Back in January, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration listed crash test ratings for the 2018 Mazda 6 in two distinctive flavors: the front-wheel model and the… all-wheel-drive variant? Wait a minute, Mazda isn’t making an AWD drive version of the sedan. Right?While there’s been plenty of confirmation for the Mazda’s new 2.5-liter turbocharged engine, we hadn’t heard anything about all-wheel drive. When questioned, the automaker said it couldn’t say anything about it one way or the other. However, Mazda North America CEO Masahiro Moro has admitted there could be a layout issue that would make pairing the new engine with all-wheel drive exceedingly difficult. It may have become too troublesome to even pursue the effort, as all mentions of the AWD Mazda 6 appear to have vanished from the NHTSA’s website. Moro said he still wants all-wheel action to play a part in Mazda’s future.“I think we … [Read more...] about All-wheel-drive Mazda 6 Prospects Looking Very Iffy
Our previous entry into Buy/Drive/Burn asked which brougham personal luxury coupe you’d choose from the Big Three for the 1980 model year. Today we’ve got a different Big Three — two Germans and a Swede. (Read ground rules here.)All of them offered luxury wagons with all-wheel drive around the turn of the century, and we hone in on 2004 today. Which one will you drive up to the Alps and then set on fire?Audi A6 AllroadBefore the CUV craze started, Audi applied some cladding to its A6 Avant, jacked up the suspension, and increased the price to create the A6 Allroad for 1999. Available with either a 2.7-liter biturbo engine or the full-fat 4.2-liter V8 (an excellent engine), the Allroad sold in relatively low numbers in North America until it was cancelled after the 2005 model year. Volvo XC70Much like the Audi, Volvo added cladding and ride height to the all-wheel drive potion to create the rough and ready XC70. First available for 1998, the V70 XC (or Cross Country), … [Read more...] about Buy/Drive/Burn: A Luxury All-Wheel Drive Wagon Awaits
Since former CEO Mark Fields announced Ford would bring the Bronco and Ranger back to the United States, the Blue Oval rumor mill has focused mainly on those vehicles. With the 2019 Ford Ranger now out of the bag, car enthusiasts everywhere will now hone their attention on the 2020 Ford Bronco. However, the Bronco is not the most important new Ford in 2020. That honor goes to the next-generation 2020 Ford Explorer, a vehicle that diverges from the current model in significant ways. Even though the Explorer’s underpinnings are a decade old, 2017 was its best sales year in the United States since 2004. Last year saw the Explorer flex its muscles and freestyle its way to 271,000 U.S. units sold. The last time Explorer volume dipped under 200,000 units was 2013. It’s a sales powerhouse that, along with F-Series trucks and the Ford Edge, has significantly increased Ford Motor Company’s average vehicle transaction price. America’s insatiable lust for crossovers … [Read more...] about 2020 Ford Explorer Goes Rear-Wheel Drive, Steals Lincoln Engine
BMW X2 hit the bright lights at the Detroit Auto Show this month, and will hit U.S. dealerships in March. The front-wheel drive BMW X2 will arrive a couple of months afterward, opening up another, less expensive entry point for the substantial number of conquest buyers BMW expects the mini crossover to capture. One letter will be the difference between the two vehicles, the AWD version called the xDrive28i, the FWD version known as the sDrive28i.Otherwise, when it comes to the outside of the X2, expect less of what you get with the X1. Pitched as a sporty lifestyle proposition, the X2 is the smallest crossover in the lineup, 3.2 inches shorter than the X1, with a roofline that stands 2.8 inches lower. Inside, the X2 copies the X1's cabin in practically all aspects save the steering wheel. The only engine we'll get is the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, shifting through an eight-speed transmission. That peppy, elastic unit also … [Read more...] about Front-wheel drive BMW X2 crossover coming this spring
Mazda is studying the potential of offering all-wheel-drive sedans eventually. But such a product may come sooner than expected, if this website from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is any indication. While searching for 2018 Mazda6 crash test ratings on the site, we found results for both front- and all-wheel-drive versions. Both cars receive an overall five-star rating.Recently, Mazda’s North America CEO Masahiro Moro opened up to CarAdvice on this subject. He indicated there’s a layout issue that would prevent combining the new 2.5-liter turbocharged engine in the Mazda6 with all-wheel drive.However, he also noted there is plenty of demand for all-wheel drive cars in the U.S. “Four-wheel drive becomes a premium cue for U.S. consumers, and obviously, I have asked our R&D department to think about how we can accommodate four-wheel drive capability in the future,” he said.The 2018 Mazda6 goes on sale this spring, but will it … [Read more...] about Will the 2018 Mazda6 Offer All-Wheel Drive in the U.S.?