Tag: Luxury Lifestyle

2017 Jaguar F-Type R Convertible AWD

2017 Jaguar F-Type R Convertible AWD

New ownership at Jaguar is not that new anymore. Tata (makers of Eight-O-Clock Coffee and others) came in and dropped the brand on its proverbial head and in the process, shook things up quite nicely, we’d say. One of their grandest achievements is the latest iteration of their flagship 2017 Jaguar F-Type R Convertible AWD. The ability to go topless has never been more appealing than in this personal two-seat neo-spectacular near-supercar. Sure it’s a mouthful, (with a few hyphens) but please work with us here.

Available in a variety of configurations, the Jaguar F-Type has even helped to grease the skids for its newly arrived F-Pace SUV. But is it really all that? We spend a week in the F-Type R Convertible to find out.

Breathtaking.

That’s pretty much what it will do. Designed to take your breath away from 20-feet, and mold you to it once inside, the 2017 Jaguar F-Type R Convertible AWD is the al-fresco (topless) version of the F-Type that was introduced in 2013. A two-door, two-passenger sportscar, it is offered with several engine flavors. Our sampler featured a 5.0-liter Supercharged V8 engine built by a Jaguar team in a dedicated facility within Ford UK’s Bridgend Engine Plant. In this guise, it produces 550-horsepower and 502 lb-ft of torque that is capable of motivating the all-wheel-drive F-Type to 186 miles per hour. Power is delivered to all four wheels, as sensors see fit, by a ZF-built eight-speed automatic transmission and Jaguar Instinctive All Wheel Drive.

Jaguar F-Type R Convertible

With its instinctive features, the system sends virtually 100-percent of the torque to the rear wheels for a typical sports/performance joint, in normal circumstances. Get in over your head (as determined by onboard sensors) and a center coupler can send up to 50-percent of the available torque forward to help control any possible over- or understeer that may swamp you. Like an insurance policy, it’s not always needed but good to know its there.

Also on board: Jaguar’s Intelligent Driveline Dynamics (IDD). As the company explains, it is capable of sensing rain, ice and snowy conditions on the road and provides full functionality of AWD to the F-Type. Conversely under dry, optimum conditions, it sends approximately 90-percent of the traction and torque to the rear wheels. The beauty of the system, according to company brass, is that it works seamlessly and still maintains the F-Type’s Jaguar DNA.

This Jaguar now comes in five flavors ranging from base F-Type, F-Type Premium, F-Type S, F-Type R and top flight F-Type SVR. The three former are equipped with supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engines, while the two latter are supercharged V8 powered.

While not necessarily in the same wheelhouse as a rear-engined supercar, the Jaguar F-Type could almost sit at the same table. As such, it will be cross-shopped with such legendary rides as the Acura NSX, the Audi R8, the Mercedes-Benz SL and Nissan GT-R.

A looker.

The 2017 Jaguar F-Type R Convertible, in our mind’s eye, appears shorter than its E-Type predecessor. Still, it’s plenty slick without being over the top. While the Jaguar signature grille reappears, the power bulged hood now features revised ventilation to allow trapped underhood air an escape route to aid in front-end stability.

Jaguar F-Type R Convertible

Designed at the same time as the coupé, the convertible has taken advantage of engineering that allowed the car’s rigidity to be a part of the initial construction rather than be cut out of it the same time the roof has been lopped off. The result is a car that is nearly as rigid as its hard-topped brother. The sidelines draw rearward in an appealingly swoopy design that culminates in signature LED taillamps and an underbumper diffuser. Oh did we mention the chrome-tipped exhaust finishers? A console-mounted button opens an internal exhaust baffle that makes the engine go from a purring gurgle to a toxic roar.

Inside lines.

With precision tailoring, occupants of the cockpit wear the Jag’s interior like a fine Savile Row suit. Constantly in flux, the F-Type’s interior has seen improvements since its introduction in 2013. While the basic design remains as it did four years ago, it has undergone refinements including updated gauges and other accoutrements. While we are not particularly warmed to the ivory and black leather color scheme, we like the way the seats fit with their adjustable bolsters and lumbar support. We did hear some whining about a hard seating surface here or there, but generally more occupants liked the seating than not.

Jaguar F-Type R Convertible

The F-Type now includes a standard 770-watt Meridian audio system with Sirius XM Satellite radio and Jaguar InControl Remote & Protect, and InControl Apps. With Remote & Protect, it’s possible for owners to check fuel level, door lock status, set the climate control temperature and even start the car remotely. InControl Protect automatically sends a call based on activation of a supplemental restraint trigger that alerts the emergency desk when a shunt has occurred.

Behind the wheel

The 5.0-liter supercharged V8 is an eight-pot jewel of an engine that offers supercar performance at a not-too-outrageous price. Sporting an oil filler cap with the legend FOMOCO imprinted on it, the engine shows off some of the lingering remnants of the technology swap that did, and may still benefit the two automakers. The F-Type’s electric power-assisted steering offers, for the first time in Jaguar brand history, a more efficient, and in this case, better steering feel than found in any previous Jaguar.

Jaguar F-Type R Convertible

The cabin remains relatively quiet while at speed, thanks to the multi-layer fabric roof, which features a mechanism that can raise and lower in under 20-seconds at speeds up to 30 mph. On the other hand, if the interior gets too quiet, an exhaust by-pass valve can be opened which makes for a throatier growl coming out of the chrome exhaust finishers located within the rear under bumper diffuser.

The ZF eight-speed Sportshift automatic transmission really threw down when asked to, with sure shifts and no hunting for a proper gear. While it operates in a seamless manner in automatic mode, working the paddle shift levers clearly appeals to a driver’s emotional side. Downshifting while heading into a tight right-hander saw rev-matching do its thing to impart a feeling of oneness with the car. It was almost as if you thought about what your next move behind the wheel would be, and the F-Type would execute it for you. Flick the switch into Dynamic mode and it instantly causes a pushback into the seats. Running on bumpy roads did soak up most of the road imperfections but some of them still made their way through the harder than average seat cushioning.

Conclusion

Between the sound, performance and looks, the Jaguar F-Type R-Spec Convertible is firing on all cylinders. Along with others under the Jaguar/Land Rover (JLR) concern, it’s clear to see that Jaguar has a range of contenders in the stable.

2017 Jaguar F-Type R Convertible AWD

Story and Photos by Mark Elias

Base MSRP: $108,250         As tested: $109,245.

Includes: Destination fee, $995.

 

Key Specs

Cylinders:                                         Supercharged V8

Displacement:                                  5.0-liter

Power:                                               550 hp @ 6,500 rpm

Torque:                                              502 lb-ft @ 2,500-5,500 rpm

Fuel System:                                    Direct Injection

Fuel:                                                  Gasoline

Acceleration:                                   0-60mph in 3.9 seconds

Top Speed                                        186 mph (limited)

Drive Type                                       AWD

Gearbox:                                          ZF eight-speed automatic with “Quickshift”

Tire Size:                                         255/35R20 front/255/30R20 rear

Unladen Weight:                           3,847-pounds

Length:                                            176.0-inches

Width:                                             75.7-inches

Height:                                            51.7-inches

Wheelbase:                                    103.2-inches

Cargo Volume:                              7.3-cubic feet (trunk only)

Cd:                                                   0.37 Cd

City:                                                15

Highway:                                        23

Combined:                                     18

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”35″ gal_title=”Jaguar F-Type R Convertible AWD”]

 

2018 Genesis G80 Sport

2018 Genesis G80 Sport

Punching above its weight class is always a way to be noticed. Think of the slight schoolyard kid who packs a wallop when confronted by the playground bully. That’s a perfect analogy to the 2018 Genesis G80 Sport.

Now in its second year of production, you may have remembered a previous version known as the Hyundai Genesis. At the time, it was part of a high-zoot tag team partnership with the Hyundai Equus. Both were good, but with the breakneck speed of advancements the brand, and the industry seemingly make, they were quickly surpassed both on the outside and within. In that sense, this new luxury spinoff from Hyundai is punching above, and actually landing a few blows along the way.

Muscle-bound.

Exhibit A: The G80 Sport sedan. It’s a muscular four-door that admittedly shouldn’t show up for track days at your local racecar country club and day spa, but does manage to transport its occupants in luxury, while managing to not squeeze its owner’s bottom line. Oh, and did we mention its 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty?

Genesis G80 Sport
Genesis G80 Sport

Clearly the best value in midsize luxury cars today, it competes against the Audi A6, Mercedes E-Class, and BMW 5-series. It is loaded with nearly everything a salaryman could hope for as he climbs the corporate ladder. The 3.3-liter twin turbocharged V6 is a direct injection powerhouse that makes 365 horsepower and a genuine 376 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to Hyundai’s eight-speed automatic transmission that does everything asked of it, even if the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters are a little on the smallish side. Zero-to-60 mph times come on in 5.3-seconds for this somewhat heavy (4,519-pounds) lead sled, but it still imparts a sense of power by way of the growl that comes on while added pressure is loaded on the skinny pedal. Quiet isolation is this sedan’s strong suit.

In the oft chance that you don’t speak turbo, the G80 can be equipped with either a 420 horsepower 5.0-liter V8 or a 311 horsepower 3.8-liter V6.

The 2018 Genesis G80 Sport includes nearly every item on the Genesis options list except for the available winter-oriented AWD system, which comes with a heated steering wheel and a $2,500 price tag. A huge standard panoramic sunroof lets enough UV light in to insure your dermatologist is able to send all four of his children to college. One thing we would love to see in the Genesis lineup is an alignment with a major watchmaker for an added sense of caché. Mercedes-Benz dances with IWC. Bentley rides with Breitling. Ferrari shuffles with Panerai. It goes a long way to help boost a car’s bonafides, especially in this luxury segment, where attention to detail is everything.

Genesis G80 Sport
Genesis G80 Sport

The 2018 Genesis G80 Sport is a real charmer, but it’s not without a few minor quibbles. We found at various times the volume on the stellar Lexicon (by Harman) audio system with Clari-Fi would creep up prompting us to reach towards the centerstack for a quick readjustment. Soon we discovered we were riding along with the air conditioning blowing a balmy 85-degrees. That’s’ a result of Genesis designers placing the climate control dials where the volume and tuning knobs of the audio system are traditionally located.

Genesis G80 Sport
Genesis G80 Sport

Secondly, and this might be a bit more subjective, and perhaps a result of not being gifted with an adequately padded gluteus, but to our bottoms, the Genesis interior designers apparently received their degrees from the Major League Baseball College of Seating Design. The seat cushions in the Genesis are as hard as a bench in the dugouts of Chicago’s Wrigley Field (Home of the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs).

But does it go?
Power from the 3.3T spooled up rather quickly, putting out almost V8 power with the mileage of something you would expect in a Hyundai Accent. Not really, but you get our drift. While the Comfort settings did the job for the most part, we found the Sport gate to be much more engaging on backroads where we had a chance to see this Genesis unwind. When you hit the Drive Dynamics button to go from Eco to Comfort to Sport, things firm up in the steering and throttle departments. The suspension, whether it actually does or not, felt like it firmed up, too.

Critics commented how audacious it was that a South Korean econo-car company felt like it was time to compete with the big boys. Along the way, there have been fits and starts but they seemed to get fixed quickly as the Genesis brand does not seem content to work things out over the long term.

We find their rate of progress to be part of a plan that includes punching above that weight class, and making a name for themselves in relatively short order. With the 2018 Genesis G80 Sport, they are on a fast track.

Story and photos by Mark Elias

2018 Genesis G80 Sport
Base MSRP: $55,250 As tested: $56,225.
Includes: Destination fee, $975.

Key Specs
Cylinders: V6
Displacement: 3.3-liters
Power: 365 hp @ 6,000rpm
Torque: 376 lb-ft @ 1,300-4,500 rpm
Fuel System: Direct Injection
Fuel: Premium
Acceleration: 0-60mph in 5.3 seconds
Drive Type Rear Wheel Drive
Gearbox: 8-Speed Shiftronic Automatic Transmission
Tire Size: 245/40R19 F 275/35/19 R
Unladen Weight: 4,519-pounds
Length: 196.5-inches
Width: 74.4-inches
Height: 58.3-inches
Wheelbase: 118.5-inches
Cargo Volume: 15.3 cubic feet
Cd: 0.27
City: 17
Highway: 24
Combined: 20

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”34″ gal_title=”2018 Genesis G80 Sport”]

2018 Toyota Camry First Drive

2018 Toyota Camry First Drive

It’s a car beloved and loathed at the same time. Long Toyota’s bread and butter sedan there is no denying the Camry is a best seller, despite the fact it exists in a market awash with Sport- and Crossover Utility Vehicles. But recently, others have been stealing market share. That’s why the company that Goes Places really went places with their 2018 Toyota Camry.

Now into its eighth edition, it includes more crisp folds than an Origami swan. But is it enough to keep the buyers coming back for more?

More Than An Appliance.

The Toyota Camry has had a reputation for bulletproof transportation since originally appearing on these shores back in 1983. Eventually though, it fell into that slot where those who didn’t really care about cars as anything more than basic transportation began to take it for granted. They were the appliance buyers. The ones who treat cars as a necessity, much like a refrigerator, and were as passionate about them as they were of their side-by-side Frigidaire. (Extra points if it had water and crushed ice through the freezer door.)

Although sales of all those appliances represented positive cash flow to the company and helped to reinforce a strong bottom line, it troubled Toyota scion Akio Toyoda. The grandson of Toyota founder Kiichiro Toyoda found that the vehicles made by his namesake company had become bland, homogenized and passionless. Realizing this, he proclaimed a change was coming. “If it’s not fun to drive, it’s not a car,” he said.

The 2018 Toyota Camry is just one result of that change.

2018 Toyota Camry
2018 Toyota Camry

Perfect Imbalance.

There are many contenders in the market including such luminaries as the Hyundai Sonata and the Kia Optima. The company claims the 2018 Toyota Camry is inspired by the perfect imbalance of a ballet dancer. We suppose that means that while they stand on spindly legs, placing all their weight on pointed toe, they still appear balanced when viewed in toto. To a large degree, the same thing occurs with the new Camry.

Although continuing with a variation of the Camry’s winged grille appearance, it hits the market with not one, not two, not three, but four individual designs for greater grade differentiation. Starting with a basic black look in the lower L, LE, and Hybrid LE models, the Camry’s front-end graduates with the addition of sports mesh inserts, bright metallics, and a gloss black grill with mesh inserts on the highline XSE and XSE V6 versions.

The hood is now lowered 1.6-inches and features stamped-in character lines, that help to define the Camry’s new wider stance that now features a lower hip point, roofline and hood height for what Toyota claims is the appearance of a new, lower center of gravity. That’s probably true, as the new 2018 Camry rides 1-inch lower than the outgoing model.

Character lines run the length and width of the new Camry, adding a sense of complexity to the stamping process, as well as new points of interest from every view. The most distinctive of those would have to be the creases on the C-pillar, that in addition to drawing visual attention, help to taper airflow towards the rear spoiler, as well as being an accent point for the paint and roof of the new black XSE sport version. We understand the idea of differentiating a halo performance-style vehicle, but find the black accent a bit over done. It’s kind of like when painting a model car, you over-paint more than you intended, so you decide to continue further. In my experience, such model car paint jobs never ended well. While the lower trim levels continue with single exhaust pipes, the XSE four-cylinder, XLE and XSE V6 versions all utilize a dual exhaust system with quad chrome tips at the lower rear fascia.

2018 Toyota Camry
2018 Toyota Camry

If I was to put a tag on it, we’d say the new Camry has a European look that reminds me of the continental stylings found on the late Saab 9-3. Yes, that’s a compliment.

Motivating Forces.

Power for the 2018 Camry comes from a choice of three engines including the 2.5-liter Dynamic Force 4-cylinder engine with 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. Second is the 3.5 liter V6 that manages 301 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. Both use dual fuel injection, which combines direct cylinder injection and port fuel injection depending on engine load for the most efficient fueling at any point.

The four and six-cylinder engines are both mated to a new Direct Shift 8AT (eight-speed) automatic transmission with paddle shifters. They feature direct lockup gearing from gears two through eight for what Toyota claims is the performance of an automated manual gearbox.

2018 Toyota Camry
2018 Toyota Camry

The Hybrid Camry features power from a detuned version of the 2.5-liter Dynamic Force 4-cylinder dual injection engine, that puts out 176 horsepower and 163 lb-ft of torque. It combines with a Toyota Hybrid Electric motor for a combined net power rating of 208 horsepower. Gearbox duty is performed by a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with a top fuel estimate of 51 city / 53 highway / 52 mpg combined for the HV LE model, which incidentally is in the range of the Hybrid Camry’s Prius little brother.

The petrol-powered versions ride on a new-for-Camry suspension that includes a standard MacPherson strut front end with gas-filled shocks, a stabilizer bar and tower strut bracing. An electric power assisted rack-and-pinion steering system keeps things pointed in the right direction. At the rear you’ll find a new double-wishbone kit with gas filled shocks and stabilizer bar for advanced handling and comfort.

All the bits are part of the new Toyota New Global Architecture platform (TNGA) which focuses on factors that improve, via a lower center of gravity, increased visibility, improved structure and reduced noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).

Interior Decorating.

The interior of the new Camry, while much more refined, still includes many of the same bits found in the previous generation. Most improvements occur in the area of the dashboard, which is bisected by a new character line that flow-controls downward to the center console.

Depending on trim level, both front seat passengers will take advantage of the eight-way power seat adjustments. Rear seating has been improved with more legroom and improved ergonomics. A new panoramic glass roof is standard on V6 models, and available on XLE and XSE four-cylinder models as an added cost option. Technology offerings are also new, featuring Toyota’s Entune 3.0 Audio, with Siri Eyes Free, and Scout GPS Navigation. Currently, Toyota is staying away from Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality because they are still in the negotiation stages as to how much data they want to allow Apple and Google to aggregate.

2018 Toyota Camry
2018 Toyota Camry

Our highline XSE tester included the upgraded Entune 3.0 premium audio system with dynamic navigation, nine JBL speakers and Harman’s Clari-Fi software to restore music that is typically lost in the digital compression process.

Drivetime.

While quiet and docile, the 2.5-liter Dynamic Force four-cylinder engine provided plenty of pulling power from start, even displaying a bit of a throaty growl when driven in anger. We found in most situations that the eight-speed automatic transmission did not hunt for any particular gear, instead settling for the most efficient of the eight cogs while underway. Handling was greatly improved over the outgoing ninth-generation model, even displaying (can we say it?) a bit of an enthusiastic inflection to its driving manners.

Power from the 3.5-liter V6 engine was even more so. While we found most of the grunt from the 2.5-liter came on at the top of the power band, the V6 seemed intent on delivering it in the low, and mid ranges of the engine’s power band. We know it is counter intuitive, but we did end up with better road feel and handling while behind the wheel of the decidedly heavier six-cylinder XSE version. In either case though, the rigidity found in the TNGA contributed to greatly improved chassis handling dynamics.

Here’s the pitch.

In this unrestrained battle for market share, Toyota needs to hit a grand slam. With the 2018 Toyota Camry, the bases are loaded, the bat has struck the ball, and it’s heading towards the fences.

2018 Toyota Camry

L $23,495

LE $24,000

SE $25,200

XLE $28,450

XSE $29,000

XLE V6 $34,400

XSE V6 $34,950

 

2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid

HV LE $27,800

HV SE $29,500

HV XLE $32,250

 

Destination $     885

 

EPA Mileage Estimates

L 29 city /41 highway/34 combined

L, SE, XLE, XSE   28 city/39 highway /32 combined

XLE V6 22 city/33 highway /26 combined

XSE V6 22 city/32 highway /26 combined

 

HV LE (Hybrid) 51 city/53 highway /52 combined

 

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”30″ gal_title=”2018 Toyota Camry”]

 

 

 

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

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”28″ gal_title=”2017 Lincoln Continental AWD Reserve”]

 

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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Porsche Cars With Pedigrees.

Porsche Cars With Pedigrees.

Fans of the legendary Porsche marque were able to get up close and personal with the objects of their affections at the 22nd Annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, held March 2017 in Amelia Island, Florida, USA. Seen as part of the event’s racing display, they featured storied rides from the factory as well as by privateer teams that carried the flag of the sports car manufacturer based in Stuttgart, Germany. There was even a movie star or two.

1972 Porsche 917-10

Cars from the racing stables of Brumos Porsche in Jacksonville, Florida, were also on display and included the legendary 1,100-horsepower 1972 917-10 Can-Am car, a 1977 model 934.5, a 1979 slant nose 935 and an ugly duckling 2007 Porsche/Riley Daytona Prototype, which at some time or another were all probably driven by Brumos ace Hurley Haywood.

1979 Porsche 935, left and 1977 Porsche 934.5.

Preston Henn’s T-Bird Swap Shop 962 was part of the collection of racecars driven by legendary hot shoe Al Unser, the racing honoree at the 2017 Concours. Also on scene were several examples of the 1959 Porsche RSK, as well as a pristine 1973 Porsche Carrera RS (Rennsport) Coupe owned by Dick and Sarah Butler.

Photos and story by Mark Elias