Tag: BMW 7 Series

2017 Lincoln Continental AWD Reserve

2017 Lincoln Continental AWD Reserve

Ford’s Lincoln division as of late has undergone a Phoenix-like rise from the ashes. First attempts with the MKS, and MKT felt like the brand had two broken wings. Follow up efforts with the MKZ and MKC resulted in more widespread acceptance, but the brand still lacked a flagship. That was until the appearance of the 2017 Lincoln Continental.

A few Lincoln Continental concept cars had appeared through the years, and some were actually handsome. In 2015, Lincoln introduced a Continental concept that made the rounds at all the auto shows to great acclaim. The future looked bright. Eventually the concept was green-lighted, which caused Town Car fans and limo operators alike to rejoice. Production of the new Lincoln Continental began in 2016 as a 2017 model.

It is a gorgeous car. But sadly it looked as though something was lost in translation from concept to production car.

Not a large barge.

Borrowing design cues of land yachts like Bentley and Rolls-Royce, among others, the 2017 Continental does not appear very big. Still, the EPA tags it a full-size luxury sedan. So large, it does match the wheelbase of the late and lamented 1980-era Continentals. Yes, the ones with the velour interiors. The only thing missing are suicide rear doors. Oh don’t get us wrong, there’s a few other things missing as well, but we’ll get to that later.

Built utilizing the Ford CD4 platform, which it shares with the Fusion and MKZ, the base Continental is powered by a buyer’s choice of 3.7-liter Cyclone V6, a 2.7 liter EcoBoost twin turbo V6, or in the case of our top-line AWD Reserve model, the 3.0-liter EcoBoost twin turbo V6 that makes 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. That engine is mated to a six-speed Selectshift automatic transmission with gear selection buttons located to the left of the Lincoln Sync3 audio system. We are chuffed by the 3.0-liter EcoBoost, but wonder where the missing eight-speed automatic transmission is. Six-speed just seems so 2002 these days.

Our Continental received its motivation from a transverse-mounted and compressed V6 engine sending power to all four wheels. The rear wheels feature a torque vectoring function that speeds up the outside wheel in a turn, which shortens the car’s turning radius, for tighter cornering. Continuously controlled dampers allowed for on the fly suspension adjustments, which varied ride quality over the roads of South Florida. The ride was not too far off from Town Cars of old.

The Lincoln Continental competes directly against such segment stars as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the BMW 7-series and the Lexus LS. We’d say it has a bit of catching up to do, but with a few tweaks, it will be off to a good start.

The Continental was gorgeous to look at, except for the rubberized leather stretched across the dashboard. Shortcomings like that manage to kill a brand’s return to glory and in this case, Lincoln can’t afford a misstep. In Reserve trim it has virtually the entire Lincoln parts catalog in place, for the full E-ticket experience. Our tester featured the 30-way Perfect Position seating system in front with articulated seatbacks and massage functions for the upper and lower parts of the human body. There’s nothing quite like getting your back and butt massaged while doing 80 mph.

Controls throughout are a bit understated, clearly from the less-is-more school of interior design. Although they have been around for a few years, the PRNDS buttons are a still not doing it for us. Add to that the excessive use of bright chrome inside, that to our eyes appears a bit over done. Perhaps it would be wise for them to use the brushed aluminum as seen around the Revel audio system, instead.

As Matthew McConaughey so aptly demonstrated in those commercials where he goes swimming in a tuxedo, the back seat is really where you want to sit in this car. With the Lincoln Continental preparing to make waves in China, it is truly the car that we would love to be chauffeured in. With the fold-down center console, and reclining rear seat, it’s a place that allows occupants the ability to decide everything from which Sirius XM channel to listen to and at what temperature.

2017 Lincoln Continental AWD Reserve
2017 Lincoln Continental AWD Reserve

Amazing and adjustable massaging seats aside, there are other cool bits including slick electric pushbuttons on the door that make for a simple push to exit. Conversely, if you don’t use enough force to close the doors, the Lincoln will cinch them shut for you. That’s it. The outside placement of the door handles are high along the Conti’s beltline, as well as attention grabbing. Still, we miss having the suicide doors that would have made us feel like part of the cast of Entourage.

Gorgeous open-pore wood veneer accents are simply beautiful to look at and touch. If you came to this hotrod Lincoln in hopes of seeing the same glossy plasticized faux wood trim pieces that you grew up with in Mom’s old Country Squire, you are sadly in the wrong place.

2017 Lincoln Continental AWD Reserve
2017 Lincoln Continental AWD Reserve

Performance

This Lincoln does snap your neck with power on demand from the twin turbo EcoBoost V6. It is a great performer that actually belongs in many of the other cars in the Ford and Lincoln portfolio. Despite its head snapping abilities, it still managed to deliver a 24.3 mpg average on a trip to Marathon in the Florida Keys, without even breaking a sweat. Now if we could only convince Ford to put this engine in the Fusion and Mustang…

Overall the Lincoln presents with a nice grunt coming from the engine compartment. Ride quality is admittedly floaty-boaty, but after all, isn’t that the reason you’d buy such a rig in the first place? Mind you, this is not a corner carving track car. Instead, consider it a boulevardier that will cruise you across country leaving you refreshed and fatigue-free at the same time.

This is full-blown luxury from Lincoln.

 

 

Story and Photos by Mark Elias

 2017 Lincoln Continental AWD Reserve

Base MSRP: $56,075   As Tested: $75,770

3.0-liter Twin Turbo EcoBoost engine, $3,265; Luxury Package, $5,000; PerfectPosition Seating, $1,500; Rear Seat Package, $4,300; Continental Technology Package, $3,105; 20-inch Polished wheels, $750; Continental Climate Control, $850; Destination Fee, $925.

Key Specs

Cylinders:                                    6

Displacement:                            3.0-liter Twin Turbocharged V6

Power:                                          400 hp @ 5,750 rpm

Torque:                                        400 lb-ft @ 2,750 rpm

Fuel System:                               Gasoline Direct Injection

Drive Type                                   AWD

Unladen Weight:                        4,547-pounds

Length:                                         201.4-inches

Width:                                           82.3-inches w/mirrors

Height:                                          58.5-inches

Wheelbase:                                   117.9-inches

Cargo Volume:                             16.7-cubic feet

Fuel Economy                              16 city/24 highway/19 combined

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2017 Genesis G90 RWD Ultimate

2017 Genesis G90 RWD Ultimate

Even though the 2017 Genesis G90 5.0 Ultimate is a totally new vehicle- and Genesis is now a stand-alone brand, parent company Hyundai has had a few years to get it right. As far as luxury goes, the South Korean company introduced the Equus, in 1999. We didn’t see it until its second-generation sibling appeared in North America, which was an okay first effort for these shores. Still, it suffered from some cost-cutting measures that rendered that horse a little lame from the start.

What a difference a name change and a total re-imaging of Hyundai’s prestige brand can accomplish. We are just thankful they have re-imagined their current ad campaign (“Respect is the ultimate Luxury.” Huh?) Hop in as we test the new 2017 Genesis G90 5.0 Ultimate.

Choices: You get two.

Available in two trim levels, the 3.3T Premium, and as our tester, the 5.0 V8 Ultimate, the G90 is the large flagship of the Genesis premium line. A five-passenger unibody design, it is adaptable for family or executive transportation duties nearly anywhere in the world.

2017 Genesis G90 5.0-liter V8

Our tester received motivation from a 5.0-liter V8 direct-injection engine making 420-horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. It is mated to an eight-speed electronic automatic transmission with Shiftronic manual shift mode using the steering wheel-mounted paddle shift levers.

This sled rides on a Nürburgring-developed multilink front and rear suspension with Genesis Adaptive Damper Control, allowing the driver to adjust ride characteristics according to road conditions and driver’s mood. They can be set for Eco, Smart, Sport and Individual drive modes that set specific calibrations for throttle and road conditions.

Both 3.3T and 5.0 versions are available with optional all-wheel-drive.

Looks.

While not exactly following the design ethos of its Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7-series or Lexus LS competition to the “T,” the G90 is still as large and imposing. Accented with just the right amount of chrome brightwork, the exterior of the new G90 also features the trademarked Genesis grille as seen through most of the lineup. Expressive LEDs illuminate the G’s path and include self-leveling and steerable lighting to brighten up the darkest corners of the night.

The swept-back roofline finishes with a short rear overhang that is elegant and functional at the same time. The rear fascia includes a pair of chromed finishing pipes that exit just under the rear bumper.

Interior fitment.

The part where driver and passengers interact shows that Hyundai / Genesis have been paying close attention to the cabins of their competition. Well-made, the G90 interior breaks no new ground but, with a few exceptions, does offer all the features you would expect from highline rides costing thousands more.

2017 Genesis G90’s 14-way adjustable front seats.

Workmanship in the car is beautiful, and a huge improvement in quality over the Equus. Gone is the polished leather feel found in that dearly departed, replaced with a higher-quality, more heavily-gauged Nappa hide that actually feels like it belongs here. The buttons are all over the place–lots of them. But their arrangement is much better sorted than the outgoing model. Still there is room for improvement.

Seating in the G90 is found at the intersection of elegant and comfortable. A 14-way driver’s seat offers a multitude of adjustments including bolsters that widen or narrow as needed. Heating and ventilation occur in the outboard seats, which also include reclining front and rear seatbacks. We were only wishing they included a massage function.

On the dashboard sits an analog clock that is a nice touch, but we think it is definitely in need of a specialty watchmaker brand, to boost the caché of this car. IWC, Bulova, and other brands could be leveraged in this spot.

While a factory rear seat DVD system does not currently exist, we were thoroughly entertained by the Lexicon 900-watt audio system with Clari-fi technology, which helped to restore sound quality lost in digital audio tracks. It goes a long way to enhance the musical quality coming from the 17-speaker 7.1 Surround-Sound system.

Safety

The Genesis G90 is loaded with all the safety features typically found in this class of vehicle including a forward collision warning system with automatic braking, driver drowsiness sensing, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic sensing, full front, rear and side air curtain airbags, and of course, lane departure warning and prevention.

Behind the wheel

Intensely quiet, the Genesis G90 sits alongside such segment luminaries as the BMW 7-Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Audi’s A8, Lexus’s LS460, and even the Cadillac CT6. Except for the engine raising its voice under pressure, it manages to proceed with little more than a purr from the pavement. Credit to the ContiProContact tires and the gobs of underbody insulation to keep the road noise at bay.

Power from the 5.0-liter V8 is immense. While not absolutely necessary for most people, it will still be the choice for those who equate luxury with power. Steering from the motor-assisted power steering system offered a competent feel that is perfectly at home in a luxo-barge like this Genesis. If the standard Smart setting is not to your liking, a quick flick of the switch will place you in either Eco, Sport or customizable Individual settings, that while not appreciably firming up the suspension to any major degree, still offer a slight throttle and suspension remap. Either way, it results in a satisfying ride quality.

The wrap-up.

Despite the fact the Genesis G90 will feel to some as the next-generation Equus, it is all new from the ground up. While the G90 may not attract the conquest buyer the brand is hoping for, it is priced right. Going for the fences, this Genesis hits solidly. While it may not be a grand slam, this one is out of the park.

2017 Genesis G90 RWD 5.0 Ultimate

Story and photos by Mark Elias

MSRP: $69,700. Price as tested: $70,650.

Includes: $950 Destination fee.

 

Key Specs

Cylinders:                                            V8

Displacement:                                    5.0-liter

Power:                                                420 hp @ 6,000 rpm

Torque:                                              383 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm

Fuel System:                                     Direct Injection

Fuel:                                                   Gasoline

Acceleration:                                    0-60mph in 5.3 seconds

Drive Type                                        4WD

Gearbox:                                           8-speed automatic with Shiftronic

Tire Size:                                          245/45R19F front — 275/40/R19 rear

Unladen Weight:                            4,905-pounds

Length:                                             204.9-inches

Width:                                              75.4-inches

Height:                                             58.9-inches

Wheelbase:                                      124.4

Cargo Volume:                                15.7 cubic feet

Cd:                                                      0.27

City:                                                    15

Highway:                                           23

Combined:                                        18

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Oligarch for a day in the 2017 BMW M760i xDrive

Oligarch for a day in the 2017 BMW M760i xDrive

Being the halo car means nothing is spared. Or, at least that’s the way it’s supposed to be. With the 2017 BMW M760i xDrive, the company has pulled from all disciplines and departments to provide a top line offering that can go head to head with all the other halos in the business.

 Subtly understated with its matte-black finish, the M760i makes a quick U-turn from that subtlety in exchange for a little bling on the D-pillar. Spelling out V-12 means it’s the biggest engine on offer. It’s also somewhat prophetic that BMWDesignworks chose to place the V12 designation directly above the fuel filler cap. That alpha-numeric lets all others, including your business manager, know you’re a big spender.

2017 BMW M760i xDrive

Cruising in the new Borscht Belt.

We are cruising on East Hallandale Beach Boulevard-the new Borscht Belt. Forget the Catskills in upstate New York. This borscht is Russian, owing to the influx of residents from the former Soviet Union. Nightclubs keep up the tradition of over the top food and entertainment, coupled with copious amounts of vodka. With thuggish looking bodyguard types chainsmoking outside, there must be an oligarch or three in our midst as the parking lot is littered with a Phantom Roller, a couple of Bentleys, a Merc and more. Save a spot for our murdered out 2017 BMW M760i xDrive, which would not look out of place, whether you are Millionaire Russian Playboy, or not.

The M760i is one of the new “bridge the gap” series of BMW vehicles that are classified as M-Performance models rather than an actual M7. That’s why BMW sells the Alpina B7 hot rod instead. But M-Performance doesn’t mean it’s a slouch. The 760i features the brand’s first M Performance TwinPower Turbo 12-cylinder engine, which actually slots in as a 6.6-liter V12. Single scroll turbochargers sit on either side of the cylinders to help it produce 601 horsepower at 5,500 rpm, and 590 lb-ft of torque at just 1,500 rpm. Zero to 60 mph ticks off in just 3.7-seconds and is electronically capped at 155 mph. But why, damn it? That’s like being chemically castrated.

2017 BMW M760i xDrive

That power is sent through a ZF 8-speed Steptronic Sport Automatic transmission for dynamic and sure shifting through the range. Launch control is included but really, do you seriously plan on going to a track day in this car? Paddle shift levers let you place the gearbox in manual mode where it will hold the gears until you actually shift it. Just be prepared for it to bang up against the rev-limiter if you forget, once the stoplight turns green. The xDrive system features a rear wheel bias that enthusiasts demand, and is coupled with the anticipatory chassis control and active comfort drive with road preview, that allows the M760i to utilize all its talents to minimize body roll while maximizing comfort tuning. Oh did we mention it gives great throat? When driven in anger, the 2017 BMW M760i xDrive bellows out a guttural moan that will cause the hair on your neck to stand right up.

Former Trump pen-pal, Vlad Putin, your chariot awaits.

2017 BMW M760i xDrive

As tested: $154,795.

Destination fee, $995.

 

Key Specs

Cylinders:                                            V-12

Displacement:                                    6.6-liter

Power:                                                 601 hp

Torque:                                               590 lb-ft

Fuel System:                                      Petrol Direct Injection

Fuel:                                                    Premium

Acceleration:                                     0-60mph in 3.7 seconds

Drive Type                                         xDrive All-wheel-drive

Gearbox:                                            8-speed Shiftronic Automatic

Tire Size:                                           20-inch

 

City:

Highway:                                          Are you serious?

Combined:

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