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Honda CR-V Hybrid coming to the US.

Published on April 21, 2017, by in Automobile.

Article Source: FendyBt2 Official Website

When asked about their plans to add hybrid versions to all their SUVS, here is what the Honda guys were saying at the Shanghai Auto Sho:
“CR-V is a logical part of that, and we will announce timing for the US at a later date”
That’s PR BS code for ” it’s coming to America”.

Not sure yet if it will be coming from China or not. (The CR-V for the US is built in Ohio)

Apparently, it uses the same powertrain as the Honda Accord Hybrid.
That car has 212hp. And gets 49mpg in the city and 47mpg Why.
Which is really good.
Since the CR-V is actually about the same weight, we could see almost similar numbers for the SUV.

Which would put it ahead of anyone else in that segment.
Where a Nissan Rogue Hybrid only gets 33/35.
The Toyota RAV-4 Hybrid gets 34/30.

Only the smaller Kia Niro gets a better 52/49. But again, it is smaller…

This would be a great move for Honda in the US. If priced right that is….
Which means, it might have to be imported from China in order to be affordable.
Not something crazy like $5000 over the regular one….

Who knows….


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2017 Mercedes-AMG C43 4MATIC Coupe Review & Test Drive

Published on April 19, 2017, by in Automobile.

Article Source: FendyBt2 Official Website

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In the past couple of years, Mercedes-Benz has been hard at work to throw just about every vehicle segment offering on the wall to see what sticks. Covering virtually all major vehicle segments except the coveted pickup truck market, Mercedes-Benz has just about all bases covered. With the introduction of a new AMG model to fill a gap between the high-performance C63 Coupe and the new C-Class luxury sports coupe, Mercedes-AMG is poised to leave no stones uncovered. For the 2017 model year, AMG gives the masses exactly what they want and meet them at their desired price point for stepping into true modern-day luxury performance on four wheels.

>> Get the best price on the Mercedes-Benz C-Class from a network of local dealers now. <<

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In comes the new Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe (previously the AMG C450), a vehicle that brings a proven BiTurbo V6 engine pumping out 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels by way of the brand’s 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system. Before power is diverted to the advanced all-wheel-drive system, the C43 gets a new 9-speed automatic transmission to power the wheels with lighting fast shifts that nearly rival dual clutch units in late-model supercars. To my delight, the C43 Coupe manages to fire off snappy shifts in its Sport+ drive mode with an intoxicating clatter sound emitting through the luxury-laced cabin making it to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds.

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In my opinion, Mercedes-AMG has tamed a juvenile beast that begs to run beside its more powerful brethren found in the 503-horsepower BiTurbo V8 C63 S Coupe, which, in an overall assessment, has a much more high-strung character mostly reserved for hardcore enthusiast. When it comes to the C43 Coupe, things get a bit lost in translation for the enthusiast crowd where the C43 is more subdued, more of a cruising destroyer than a laser guided weapon armed with a potent warhead. To the twin-turbo V6 engine’s benefit, there isn’t any noticeable turbo lag while the power band is full of power up to redline. The fight that the C43 brings is more of a twelve rounder that could go either way when pitted with an equal partner, a softer approach to still be entertaining but not keep everyone out of their seat awaiting a bloodbath.

See Also: Mercedes-AMG C63 S Coupe Review & Test Drive

The Mercedes-AMG C43 is surprisingly efficient in everyday driving for its performance level, somewhat thanks to its quick and assured-shifting 9-speed automatic transmission. I was able to get just over 30 mpg on the highway and returned a respectable 23.9 around town. The EPA estimates for the new C43 fall somewhat in line with my results at 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway for my 4MATIC all-wheel-drive test vehicle. The rear-wheel-drive model gets one additional mpg on the highway compared to the 4MATIC model.

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To summarize the placement of the new C43 Coupe, the AMG outfit has done a remarkable job to put the new Benz Coupe in a place that puts luxury slightly above the requirement for shear performance. It’s not to say that the C43 is a slouch in any way, it’s more of a relaxed vehicle that its adaptive suspension system fails to keep in a firm position even in the firmest Sport + setting for the adaptive dampers. The tail end still tends to flop around a bit more for my taste and the overall dynamic of the ride quality balancing out the sporty side fails to impress when compared to its bad ass C63 S Coupe sibling. In all, the C43 Coupe’s chassis is capable but doesn’t have the chops to get down and dirty to put a smile on your face like a BMW 440i Coupe with the M Sport and Track Handling Package goodies or a new Audi S5, in my opinion.

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Where the new 2017 Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe possibly outshines its competition is the classy styling and available luxury appointments that nearly mimic the feel and look of a new S-Class. The exterior is hard to discern for many onlookers in that they may assume you are driving the cream of the crop out of the AMG outfit for the smallish C-Class. Lacking the boldly flared fenders of the C63 S Coupe, the C43 Coupe makes due with classiness in styling that looks more menacing than its well-to-do BiTurbo V6 engine. There is a high level of premium quality and perception in the C43 Coupe inside and out. The cabin is lavish enough to keep S-Class drivers happy, and at the same time, keep you somewhat entertained at the sound of the BiTurbo V6’s growl and pop-pops out of the dual-stage exhaust system when in Sport + mode.

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The uncompromised quality of the interior keeps the C43 Coupe in an upper echelon to run with the big dogs regarding fit and finish and overall luxury appeal. The onslaught of available features and amenities also make the C43 Coupe a desirable vehicle for those who enjoy the finer things in life. However, with the starting price of just $55,500 for the new Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe, there isn’t much content to keep many luxury buyers satisfied when compared to other vehicles in the same segment. Loading up the C43 makes the complete package attractive for new luxury vehicle seekers but it all comes at a much higher price once expensive option packages are added to the equation.

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The dashboard is full of soft-touch surfaces, decent amounts of aluminum trim, and textured wood encompassing the center stack of the dashboard and below the floating infotainment screen. Most of the controls are conveniently placed and mostly mimic higher-class vehicles, such as the infamous S-Class. The level of attention to detail and classic proportions of conventional vehicle traits keep the C43 Coupe a level above the competition concerning its interior. The sporty front seats are also a plus in keeping with the tradition of comfort with multiple personalities that have bolster supports in the right places but a soft and supple quality to keep you comfy on long trips.

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The new Mercedes-AMG C43 is an excellent compromise and value for those who don’t wish to spend the price of admission for a new C63 Coupe but still want a taste of the true AMG flavor. My nicely equipped (19-inch AMG black-accented wheels with summer performance tires, color heads-up display, night package, parking assist package w/360-degree camera system, AMG exterior carbon fiber package, AMG Performance Steering wheel, AMG Performance exhaust system, Premium 2 Package w/COMAND voice navigation, 8.4-inch infotainment screen, power trunk lid) but far from loaded C43 AMG test vehicle comes in a price of $66,945, including a $925 destination and delivery charge.

>> Get the best price on the Mercedes-Benz C-Class from a network of local dealers now. <<

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>> Get the best price on the Mercedes-Benz C-Class from a network of local dealers now. <<

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base C43 Coupe $55,500 / As-Tested C43 4MATIC Coupe $66,945
  • Engine: 3.0-liter twin-turbo (biturbo) V6 362 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm / 384ft-lbs. torque @ 2,000 rpm
  • Transmission: 9-speed automatic w/steering wheel shift paddles
  • Overall length: 184.9 inches
  • Overall width: 71.3 inches
  • Overall height: 55.3 inches
  • Wheelbase: 111.8 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,935 pounds
  • Headroom: f/r: 38.8/35.6 inches
  • Legroom: f/r: 42.0/32.0 inches
  • Cargo volume: 10.5 cu.ft.
  • Fuel tank: 17.4 gallons
  • 0-60 mph: 4.7 seconds
  • EPA mileage: 20 mpg city / 28 mpg highway (C43 4MATIC)

>> Get the best price on the Mercedes-Benz C-Class from a network of local dealers now. <<

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2017 Ford Focus RS Review & Test Drive

Published on April 13, 2017, by in Automobile.

Article Source: FendyBt2 Official Website

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In the recent couple of years, I have come to the conclusion that Ford means business. Not only have I had a chance to experience many of their high-performance vehicles as of late, but the new Ford Focus RS has graced my garage for a week, and I can say without a doubt that it’s my favorite vehicles in its segment.

The new Ford Focus RS has injected respectable performance in a platform that has thrived for many years as a notable economy vehicle that came in either a sedan or hatchback flavor. When it comes to the Focus RS, Ford takes the hatchback formula and injects it with a variation of its Mustang’s EcoBoost 2.3-liter engine but re-tunes several aspects of the engine to produce a healthy dose of 350 horsepower and matching 350 lb-ft of torque.

>> Get the best price on the Ford Focus from a network of local dealers now. <<

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The turbocharged 4-cylinder engine in the new Focus RS is an eager powerplant that gets mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, the only choice available, which sends power to all four wheels through a dynamic torque vectoring all-wheel-drive system using a clutch pack that can transmit as much as 70% of power to the rear wheels. Moreover, the advanced all-wheel-drive system can split power to each rear wheel taking that 70% rear-biased power and split it as much as 100% to a desired rear wheel. Part of the all-wheel-drive system’s torque vectoring comes into play with the infamous Drift Mode, which I found to be somewhat of a difficult feat to conquer as the ultra-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires found on my test vehicle were rather grabby and didn’t like to slide around.

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Ford’s performance outfit has certainly paid attention to what enthusiast want, and it mostly starts with the 6-speed manual transmission bolted to a nicely-tuned turbocharged engine that surges through the RPM band in the new Focus RS. There isn’t much noticeable turbo lag, and most of the rev range the engine breathes well enough as to not suffer from much loss of power at high RPMs near redline.

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Ford has paid its dividends and some when it comes to the newest 2.3-liter engine found in the Focus RS. Once I took a good friend’s fresh off of the new assembly line Focus RS for a quick spin and for some reason it didn’t feel as lively as my new test vehicle. Regardless, the Focus RS is a thrasher and feels as if it may have a bit more than the stated 350 horsepower at the flywheel. Speaking of flywheels, the rev range and the engine’s ability to permit easy shifts is a major plus. Though, the clutch pedal/pressure plate is somewhat heavy, a complete opposite to something like the new GT350 from Ford. The bite point of the clutch is almost immediate upon a lift from the floor. That and the longer throws do take a bit to get used to, but once you have mastered the assuring and rewarding manual transmission the Focus RS puts and keeps a smile on your face.

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Part of keeping a smile is the Ford Focus RS’ ability to remain somewhat efficient getting up to 25 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg in the city. While the figures are far from other lower-trimmed Focus models, they are mostly consistent and can be pushed slightly beyond 25 mpg as I saw nearly 27 mpg on the highway with careful right-foot action.

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Ford purposely introduced several different aspects of the new Focus RS’ dynamics when compared with something like the new Focus ST. Apart from the obvious differences in the RS being all-wheel-drive and having a lot more power to work with, the new Focus RS has a tight suspension setup with two-setting dampers that appear to always been on the firm side even in the normal mode. The Sport mode setting for the adaptive dampers, something you reserve for the track, can be jarring at times and nearly unlivable on a daily basis. Of the four drive modes, Normal, Sport, Track, and Drift, Sport is the desirable spot with just enough weight in the steering wheel and the right amount of throttle response. Moving to Track mode automatically places the dampers in their firmest setting, which reiterates the gauge cluster’s color LCD screen message of “Track Use Only.” Overall, the ride quality, be that it is a bit firm and bouncy at times, is overly assuring to most drivers followed up with exceptional handling that feels as if the Focus RS is on rails. Never did a feel as if the Focus RS was pushed too hard on public roads where it went exactly where I pointed it. You can say the new Focus RS is, sharply “Focused” in more than one way.

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On the inside of the new Ford Focus RS is a familiar cabin that gets its uniqueness from only a few aspects, such as the heavily bolstered heated Recaro front seats. The front seats are not for everyone. They hug you in just the right places to match the nearly off of the charts lateral handling and acceleration of the Focus RS, reaching 1.04 g in the corner with the Cup 2 tires. I suspect that those with extra-large posteriors may find the seats a bit too narrow and uncomfortable on long road trips. Still, the seats are quite welcomed among hardcore enthusiasts to keep you in place on those turns that generate over 1g. Out back, the Focus RS is mostly what is expected in any other new Focus hatchback with room to spare for cargo and just enough seating area for a couple of adults.

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Ford’s latest Sync infotainment system is a welcomed change that finally gets it right with a quick-responding touch screen and easy-to-use menu sets and controls. Readily available updates to the system are said to add features like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, which was not included as part of the firmware on my test vehicle. Still, the system is quite an improvement and functions just as you expect in a 2017 model year vehicle.

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Within the likings of Ford Performance vehicles, the Focus RS is a nice addition that doesn’t necessarily break the bank with a price tag starting at $35,900. However, adding on many of the desirable features, such as heated seats, voice-activated navigation, power/heated mirrors, and the sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires wrapping a set of 19-inch forged wheels, the price will rise to my test vehicle’s $41,550 out-the-door mark. The Ford Focus RS is undeniably ‘THE’ Hot Hatch to buy right now!

>> Get the best price on the Ford Focus from a network of local dealers now. <<

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>> Get the best price on the Ford Focus from a network of local dealers now. <<

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base Focus RS $35,900 / As-Tested $41,550
  • Engine: 2.3-liter EcoBoost (Turbocharged) 4-cylinder 350 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm / 350 ft-lbs. torque @ 3,200 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 104.3 in.
  • Total length: 172.8 in.
  • Total width: 71.8 in.
  • Total height: 58 in.
  • Track: f/r-60.9 / 60.0 in.
  • Fuel tank: 13.9 gallons
  • Headroom: f/r-38.3 /38 in.
  • Legroom: f/r-43.1 / 33.2 in.
  • Rear Cargo Capacity (seats in place): 19.9 cu.ft.
  • Curb weight: 3,525 lbs.
  • 0-60 mph: 4.7 seconds
  • EPA mileage: 19 mpg/city, 25 mpg/highway

>> Get the best price on the Ford Focus from a network of local dealers now. <<

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