Tag: turbocharged

2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 AWD

2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 AWD

2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 AWD
2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 AWD

Missile-like in its appearance, the 2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 AWD is quietly showing that there’s still a lot of game in Gothenburg (Göteborg), Sweden. Now the proverbial last man standing in Swedish auto manufacturers, they continue apace with solid and actually surprising new vehicles.

2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country
2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country

The Swedish Auto Industry has been through some upheavals over the last ten years. Saab, formerly based up the road in Trollhattan, is no more, with the remains (carcass) surviving as the National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) electric carmaker.

Regardless, now under the auspices of Gheely Motors, the China-based parent company of Volvo is taking names and letting the world know that it is no longer necessary to use the words Volvo and conservative in the same sentence.

Everything old is new again

Although SUVs and crossovers are the big movers and shakers in dealership showrooms, Volvo, now the quirkiest Scandinavian on the Swedish automotive mantelpiece following the exit of Saab from the auto industry, has quietly and profoundly moved in with designs that are practical and sexy at the same time. Your honor, may we present exhibit A, the Volvo V90 Cross Country?

Tell It Like It Is.

2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country
2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country

Research commissioned by Volvo Cars has told them the people want to spend time pursuing outdoor activities and such with their vehicles. But what about those of us who just think that a station wagon with extended off-roading capabilities are cool? Could this be the vehicle for us?

It just might be. The 2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 AWD is powered by Volvo’s in-line four-cylinder supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with eight speed automatic gearbox and a full-time all-wheel-drive system. We have enjoyed this proud engine in several other Volvo vehicles through the years. Energy checks in at 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft torque. This super- and turbocharged engine, pushes the 4,200-pounder to a 0 to 60 time of 6.0-seconds.

Our tester is outfitted essentially like the standard Volvo V90, but that it rides with an additional 2.3-Inches of ground clearance (8.3-inches) over the standard 6.0-inches found on the regular V90. Available in one trim level, ours was equipped with a premium load leveling air suspension system ($1,200).

Rearranging The Furniture.

Scooped out like a cantaloupe, the grille of the Volvo V90 features the new face of Volvo, complete with the trademark “Ironmark.” Slitty looking LED style headlamps tart up the V90’s peepers for a more aggressive look, which is completed with the silvered skidplate treatment at the front and rear of the Cross Country. We don’t think they are functional skids; and it would be sacrilege to subject such a good looker to those kinds of off-pavement abuses. Along the sides, enhanced body cladding gives off a more utilitarian look into the capabilities this off-roading wagon possesses.

As good as the exterior of the Volvo V90 appears, the inside is plenty fresh as well. While most vehicles feature what the youngsters call landscape-oriented central displays, the V90’s in-dash display flips things on its side to orient itself in a Portrait position. Dark walnut wood inlays set off the two-tone interior, which includes brushed aluminum, leather, rubber and plastic, and helps to enhance the acoustic qualities of the Bowers and Wilkins premium audio system.

2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country
2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country

The 10-way power front seats with Nappa ventilated leather offered an infinite number of adjustments and an aggressively lovely back massage to keep us refreshed while at speed. Rear seat outboard passengers get to take advantage of heated seating surfaces during the two days of Florida winters.

Looking skyward reveals to us what is possibly the largest sunroof in automobiledom. And then, in another apparent Swedish fetish, Volvo has adopted the Saab penchant for placing the vehicle’s ignition switch, just to the rear of the V90’s shift lever.

Behind the wheel

Color us impressed with the V90 Cross Country’s T6 engine. At 316 hp, it did not seem to struggle at all in pulling this 4,200-pound “station wagon” whether we were taking off from a stop light or accelerating on the Interstate. Power seemed evenly split amongst all four wheels depending on the traction needs that on-board sensors monitored along the way.

The ride quality in the Volvo V 90 Cross Country puts it on the same footing with offerings from Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Jaguar. A plush quiet ride clearly bore this out, with a floaty feeling that might have been enhanced by the extra cost Premium Air Suspension, which also serves as a load leveler when the V90 is fully laden. The Volvo engineers, through their spectacular tuning abilities, have managed to make this “Wagon” more Cocoon than Conestoga.

Story and photos by Mark Elias

 2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 AWD

Base MSRP: $55,300. As tested: $69,440.

Includes: Bowers and Wilkins Premium Sound system, $3,200; HUD $900; 20-inch alloy wheels, $800; Premium Air Suspension, $1,200; Destination fee, $995.

Key Specs

Cylinders:                                    4-cylinders

Displacement:                            2.0-liter Supercharged and Turbocharged

Power:                                          316 hp @ 5,700 rpm

Torque:                                        295 lb-ft @ 2,200-5,400 rpm

Fuel System:                               Gasoline Direct Injection

Fuel:                                              Premium

Acceleration:                               0-60 mph in 6 seconds

Drive Type                                   Transverse AWD

Gearbox:                                       8-speed Automatic Transmission

Unladen Weight:                        4,221-pounds

Length:                                         194.4-inches

Width:                                           75.9-inches

Height:                                          60.8-inches

Wheelbase:                                   115.8-inches

Cargo Volume:                             53.9-cubic feet, rear seat up

City:                                                22

Highway:                                       30

Combined:                                    25

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”80″ gal_title=”2017 Volvo V90 AWD”]

 

 

 

 

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport.

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport.

Hot hatches have always been our favorite type of vehicle, followed closely by what some call a Shooting Brake, but we call a Station Wagon. Yet it seems that the great unwashed prefer Crossovers and SUVs instead. But that hasn’t deterred Hyundai from introducing the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport.

Styled and benchmarked in Europe, the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT shares much of its design and DNA with the European Hyundai i30. Directly targeted towards the enthusiast crowd who also like the utility of a hatchback, it attempts to pick the best traits of the European ‘bahn burners. Hop in as we see if anything was lost in translation.

What’s New With The Elantra GT?

On the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT? Nearly everything. Taking cues from the i30, there is new design everywhere, starting with the Cascading Grille to the lower bumper air curtains that sweep air over the front wheels, to the rear spoiler and available LED taillights and dual exhaust system, this Hyundai is clearly no Corolla wanna-be.

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport
2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport

Two versions of the Elantra GT exist, depending on how deep your enthusiasm is rooted. The base Elantra GT is equipped with a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter Gas Direct Injection (GDI) four-cylinder engine that produces 161-horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque. The base model comes with a six-speed manual or an available six-speed electronic automatic transmission. It rides on a unibody-constructed chassis with MacPherson struts and coil springs in front and a torsion beam axle at the rear.

The high-line Elantra GT Sport that we drove steps things up a bit by swapping the larger engine out for a 1.6-liter turbocharged GDI powerplant that cranks out 201-horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. Power for the front driver comes from either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with on-demand Shiftronic manual shifting via the steering wheel-mounted paddle shift levers.

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport
2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport

And then things get even more interesting.

The 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport tosses the torsion beam back into the Hyundai parts bin. Instead, it opts for a full multilink independent rear suspension, higher performance front and rear springs, sport tuned dampers, 12-inch brake rotors in front and a 15mm stabilizer bar at the rear.

The pair of Elantra GTs are slated to do battle with the likes of stalwarts like the Mazda3, Volkswagen Golf, Honda Civic, Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla iM and Chevrolet Cruze.

Inside design.

The new interior of the Elantra GT Sport features a more contemporary view of things looking forward,

2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport
2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport

and even goes slightly Mercedes-like through the use of an 8.0-inch pedestal mounted display screen. The telescoping steering column brings the tiller closer to the driver for ultimate control. Speaking of controls, they are easily reached and, we think, nicely accented by red stitching and brightwork around the cabin. An available Infinity Premium Audio System with Clari-fi music restoration software and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are all now part of the mix.

The rear seats are a tighter fit although if it is just you and a significant other, there are more than 55-cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded forward.

Safety

From a safety standpoint, the Elantra GT Sport doesn’t disappoint with available Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Smart Cruise Control, Automatic Emergency Braking and Lane Keep Assist. One day they might be included at no charge.

Behind the wheel

A majority of drivers will be content with the 2.0-liter four-banger for most applications. We’re not most drivers though, and sprang for the 1.6-liter Elantra GT Sport instead. While not head snapping, we did get off on having our heads bounce off the headrests while climbing through the gears of our DCT gearbox. The Sport GT did manage to keep noise at bay during most situations and on most road surfaces, while at the same time managing to let a few high-rev engine dBs penetrate the cabin.

The handling in the GT Sport is greatly improved over the standard torsion beam setup and practically invited us to thrash it through the sweeping curves found in the Low Country of suburban Charleston, SC. The steering was well-weighted and helped to make sense of the rather firm ride. That included the feeling of virtually every piece of ballast stone that makes up some of the older streets found in this legendary town. What’s ballast stone, you may ask? It was a stone carried in empty ships to help stabilize them when not carrying a load. When they would load up with goods such as tobacco or cotton, the ballast stones were removed, and piled at dockside. Eventually there were too many of the stones to go around so they started to pave the streets with them instead.

The front seats were nicely bolstered but as we have found with other Hyundai products, rather hard to the backside, especially if you have what is generally known as a boney ass. Still, at the end of the day, as the price of its competition has risen, the new 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport hits the sweet spot in hot hatchdom today.

Story and photos by Mark Elias

2017 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport

Base MSRP: $24,350 As tested: $25,235

Includes: Destination fee, $885.

Key Specs

Cylinders:                                    Inline four-cylinder

Displacement:                            2.0 GDI or 1.6 Turbo GDI

Power:                                         2.0: 161hp @ 6,200 rpm; 1.6: 201hp @ 6,000

Torque:                                       2.0: 150 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm; 1.6: 195 @ 1,500-4,500 rpm

Fuel System:                              Gas Direct Injection

Fuel:                                             Regular

Drive Type:                                FWD

Gearbox:                                     6-speed Manual or 7-speed dual clutch automatic

Unladen Weight:                      3,158-pounds

Length:                                       170.9-inches

Width:                                        70.7-inches

Height:                                       57.7-inches

Wheelbase:                               104.3-inches

Cargo Volume:                          55.1-cubic feet rear seat folded

City:                                                         26

Highway:                                                32

Combined:                                             28

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”43″ gal_title=”2018 Hyundai Elantra GT Sport”]

 

2017 Lincoln MKZ 3.0T Black Label

2017 Lincoln MKZ 3.0T Black Label

2017 Lincoln MKZ 3.0T Black Label

Testing a Lincoln with a Concierge.

Story and photos by Mark Elias

 Inside the 2017 Lincoln MKZ 3.0T Black Label AWD, a driver and passengers will feel as though they are being well coddled with an abundance of creature comforts that do their part to make them feel as though they really belong.

Really.

Since it’s not the flagship of the line, the MKZ can coast a little bit, as far as the heavy lifting is concerned. That’s all better left for its Lincoln Continental big brother. Still, Lincoln saw fit to upgrade the MKZ’s grillwork to bring it in line with the Conti’s front opening. Now in its second generation, the MKZ has been on the market for around four years. It is built in Hermosillo, Mexico, using the Ford CD4 platform, which it shares with the Ford Fusion in North America, and the Ford Mondeo in other markets around the world.

Think of it as someone wearing a dark suit to a black tie optional dinner party. You will still not feel underdressed.

The 2017 Lincoln MKZ 3.0T is available in four trim levels ranging from base Premiere, mid-level Select, high-zoot Reserve and ultra-luxe Black Label versions. Power comes in three flavors, starting with a standard 2.0-liter, 245-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder. Next up is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas/electric hybrid combination, with 188-horsepower, that the EPA says is good for 40 mpg combined.

Finally, a twin-turbocharged aluminum-blocked 3.0-liter V6 is on offer that can be had with 350-horsepower (FWD) or 400-horsepower (AWD) depending on your drive configuration. In the case of our AWD version, the EPA says to expect 20 mpg. We’d say they are about right. All are coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission. Plenty quick, the twin-turbo V6, which shares parentage with the Ford 2.7-liter V6, is good for a zero to 60 romp in 4.8-seconds.

Black Label.

Of the four trim levels, our Black Label version shares trim found in the top-shelf Reserve version, including a 20-speaker Revel Ultima audio system and an upgraded leather interior that includes heated and ventilated front seats, with massage, FTW (!). Above our heads was a faux suede headliner. It also includes mobile showroom, remote vehicle delivery, pickup and drop off of your car when servicing is required and an extended premium service plan. Our Black Label was equipped with 19-inch Michelin Primacy radials, but truth be told, we think the overall look of the MKZ deserved a set of 20-inch tires, at least, to fill out the wheel wells.

Lincoln’s Sync 3 connectivity system has been revised to offer traditional buttons and dials rather than the rather awkward touch-sensitive systems of the past. The new voice activated navigation system offers pinch-to-zoom and swipe functions for more responsive control.

The multi-contour seating had us in a comfortable spot for the long haul. The only thing that seemed to disturb us was the merlot-based interior hue that seemed a bit out of place. Perhaps a case of Maranello tan would be more appropriate, at least in the case of our pearlized white metallic exterior finish was concerned.

The rear seat was comfortable enough for three passengers of the not-so-large persuasion, although we did hear of some discomfort from our middle passenger. Perhaps it was because of the armrest / ski pass-through as a backrest feature, or the performance Michelin tires that skinned our 19-inch alloy wheels. And besides, is the ski pass-through really necessary? From a practical standpoint, the MKZ is most likely the last car we would expect to find on the slopes near Vail and Jackson Hole.

We do think, however that the slab-sidedness of the MKZ is like a visiting relative, in the sense that it is just on the verge of overstaying its welcome.

Drive time.

We found the MKZ’s 3.0-liter twin-turbo pulled like a bat out of hell, quickly dispensing with most challengers during stoplight flash bang excursions. Ride quality was generally good, but there was a distinct drone that seemed to come from the tires that caused a louder than normal hum to appear. Road surfaces seemed to embellish it further, with it simply disappearing on pristine surfaces.

Handling was as though the MKZ was substantially lighter than the scale would have you believe. Our vectored AWD system even managed to shorten the turning radius when rounding a corner at a higher than average speed. It’s here that we found our driving nirvana. Compared to an Acura TLX, and Lexus ES350, the 2017 Lincoln MKZ 3.0T Black Label is definitely in the hunt.

2017 Lincoln MKZ 3.0T Black Label AWD

Base MSRP: $49,560. As tested: $61,765.

Includes: 3.0-liter Twin-Turbo V6, $4,000; Panoramic Roof, $1,795; Technology Package, $2,395; Climate Package, $695; Destination, $925.

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”15″ gal_title=”2017 Lincoln MKZ 3.0T Black Label AWD”]