In the music industry, the only achievement more daunting than your first hit record is your second. Think on it a moment: How many times have you asked yourself, “Whatever happened to that new band that had the huge hit a year or two ago?” The industry is rife with examples of bands that hit it big only to slip quietly into the night when the follow-up album failed to live up to the breakout debut. They even have a name for it: the “sophomore slump.” The problem is less common in the automotive industry, but it still exists. The potential for the sophomore slump to strike is never higher than when building the second generation of an iconic car. Audi‘s designers and engineers must’ve been acutely aware of this as they brought the all-new R8 into existence. After all, the original is beautiful and contemporary to this day, and it’s had no trouble keeping up with newer competitors. The likelihood that Audi would fail to do the original justice … [Read more...] about 2017 Audi R8 Second Drive Review
Biggest beauty trends 2017
The new-car market is bursting with activity; it’s incredible how many options exist from affordable subcompacts to high-end sports cars and midsize sedans filled with premium options formerly reserved for the very top of the luxury market. There are plenty of luxurious options as well, and we’ve covered them all right here. So when it’s time to learn more about the cars you’ve been considering, keep reading to find info on fuel economy, acceleration, trim changes, price ranges, and even IntelliChoice five-year retained value—it’s a package you’re only going to find on MotorTrend.com (stay tuned for a separate guide on trucks, vans, and SUVs). And if you’re seeking more info than the entries below provide, don’t miss our industry-leading reviews and our newly designed online buyer’s guide pages. Happy shopping! 5M: 5-speed manual 6A: 6-speed automatic 6-sp auto-cl man: 6-speed auto-clutch manual 7-sp twin-cl auto: 7-speed … [Read more...] about 2017 New Cars: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide
“SUV convertible” is not as stupid as it sounds. The 2017 Range Rover Evoque drop-top, which follows in the tire tracks of the discontinued Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet, is the latest in this ultra small segment. The difference is that the Evoque turns heads for the right reasons and is made by an automaker that, for years, has attempted to connect itself with fashion and high culture. This association turns the Evoque convertible from a potential embarrassment to a rolling style statement that might make passersby smile and want to take a photo. We track tested, Real MPGed, and road tripped the Evoque convertible to determine just how much of a threat the SUV convertible is to the C-Class Cabriolet, 3 Series convertible, and A5 Cabriolet. I can tell you from personal experience that Pebble Beach’s scenic 17-Mile Drive is slightly more rewarding from the higher seating position of an SUV and also from the roofless vantage point of a convertible. The 2017 Evoque … [Read more...] about 2017 Range Rover Evoque Convertible First Test: It’s Cool, But Will the Love Last?
Introduced in 2005, the Motor Trend Power List recognizes those who have most made a difference in the automotive industry during the previous year. These are the people who have helped create, engineer, and market the cars, trucks, and SUVs we love to drive, the people who have entertained us, engaged us, and, yes, sometimes enraged us. We recognized that, inevitably, automaker CEOs tended to hog the upper echelons of the list. So we changed things up a little last year, reworking the top 10 places to recognize those who have had the most impact on the industry over the past 12 months in terms of design, engineering, brand development, performance, product development, and overall company management. And because this fascinating industry never stops evolving, we’ve nominated our top disrupter, outsider, and futurist, too. At the top of our list is our Person of the Year, the individual we believe has had the most impact on the industry during the year. Perhaps because the … [Read more...] about The 2017 Power List – And the Person of the Year Is…
Mercedes-Benz is no stranger to our SUV of the Year honors. The venerable Stuttgart brand has twice before taken home the Golden Calipers, once in 2007 for the three-row GL-Class and again six years later for the second-generation GL.Interestingly, the first Mercedes-Benz SUV meant for civilians, the 1998 ML320, did not win our SUV of the Year award (principally because we hadn’t thought it up yet). However, the ML320 did win our 1998 Truck of the Year award—no doubt hastening the decision to cook up an award just for SUVs. The M-Class helped usher in the luxury crossover as we know it today, so we find it fitting that the all-new GLC is the fourth SUV with a three-pointed star on its hood to take home a Motor Trend Of The Year award.It couldn’t come at a better time for Mercedes. Saying the crossover SUV segment is on fire isn’t strong enough. Small and midsize premium SUVs have achieved critical mass while other perennially strong segments are melting down. As … [Read more...] about Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class is the 2017 Motor Trend SUV of the Year
Our 2016 Best Driver’s Car competition is the most competitive in the award’s nine-year history. This year, 12 automakers sent their best sports cars, supercars, and ponycars our way for a week of incredibly vigorous testing. In fact, if you’ll allow us to brag for a moment, we had so many contenders that we had to institute a one-car-per-manufacturer rule for this competition—more on that in a sec.This year, we had 6,484 horsepower worth of cars competing to earn our Best Driver’s Car title. This $1.8 million field of carbon fiber, aluminum, and steel is particularly special because it represents almost every major auto-producing country. It’s a veritable best-driving Olympics. Our United Nations of competitors includes two supercars from Japan, three cars on behalf of the United Kingdom, four sports cars from Germany, and three more proudly representing the United States.You’ll notice the lack of South Korean and Italian cars. The former is … [Read more...] about 2016 Motor Trend Best Driver’s Car
Mopar fans are some of the most dedicated people you’ll find; they’ll stop at nothing to score the most elusive of parts, they’ll comb through acres of machinery to find the right project car, and they’ll travel to the biggest, most important shows to present their pride and joy when it’s finished. On the flip side, those who admire vintage Chrysler iron will trek hundreds or thousands of miles to be in the mere presence of a Hemi car or a winged warrior. These cars are nostalgic, and bring back tons of memories for those who remember them in their heyday, but they are also inspirational for a younger generation. Whether you’re a current Mopar owner, or just wish you were, the huge spread of classic Chryslers at Carlisle is the main draw, and there’s plenty to see. The 83-acre Carlisle Fairgrounds venue is home to the Chrysler Nationals and has ample space to hold over 3,000 display cars. Most are organized outdoors in rows by body size … [Read more...] about Mopars Galore At The 2017 Chrysler Nats! See Over 250 Pixs!
When you look back on 2015, which storylines spring to mind? The world’s first climate-change accord? Caitlyn Jenner? Donald Trump? The discovery of ice mountains on Pluto and water on Mars? The NFL’s Deflategate? Likely yes to all and plenty more, but in Automobile land we’ll also remember the sale of almost 17.5 million light vehicles in the United States—an all-time high besting the previous mark, set in 2000, by almost 70,000. It wasn’t exactly a surprise. Favorable economic headwinds, the return of, ahem, relatively cheap gasoline, exciting new technologies, and most crucially, a full slate of intriguing automotive offerings sent a record number of consumers into showrooms. But enough about last year: Say hello to the new vehicles that have either just debuted or will shortly. Do they have what it takes to drive the market toward another sales benchmark? Numbers through the first half of 2016 indicate, yes, indeed they do. Sections $200k+ $50k to … [Read more...] about New Cars for 2017
Mercedes-Benz E400 wagon is perhaps its perfect exemplar.It happens that Northern Germany is a perfect place to demonstrate its charms. Our drive route took us from the ancient river port of Hamburg to a resort at the shore of the Baltic, with evenly spaced trees lining chalkboard-smooth roads along the way. The scenery, and the asphalt, was chosen to highlight the car's aesthetic and dynamic appeal – mission accomplished. On the same trip, and the same roads, we also drove the 2017 Mercedes-AMG E43 sedan. The contrast there was informative.Some background before a compare and contrast. The E400 wagon is indeed coming to the United States, and in only one flavor: its 3.0-liter, twin-turbo V6 backed up with a 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic and 4Matic all-wheel drive. The other two E-Class models have an equally narrow scope: The E300 is only available as a sedan, with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four, the same 9G-Tronic, and the option of rear- or all-wheel drive. The E43 will only … [Read more...] about Utility, luxury, and speed | 2017 Mercedes-Benz E400 Wagon First Drive
luxury sedan, they chat about more power, better economy, and leveraged links to Silicon Valley's hottest microchip and graphics powerhouses. It's not like that in Italy. The Mediterranean peninsula only has one authentic maker of luxury sedans, and cutting-edge consumer technology has never been Maserati's forte.Beautiful cars, sure. Compelling engine notes, yup. The prioritization of handling emotion above cornering speed and even ride quality? Absolutely. Three years ago Maserati thought that blueprint would be enough for its all-new Quattroporte. It wasn't.For starters, the car wasn't beautiful. Compared to the filigreed purity of its predecessor, the QP (as they call it in Modena) looked awkward, even clunky. A big part of that was the sheer scope of the 124.8-inch wheelbase, which made it nigh impossible to deliver the proportional elegance and unfussed panel pressings of its predecessor. Still, the added length provided rear legroom that takes surveyors to measure.More important … [Read more...] about 2017 Maserati Quattroporte First Drive