The Audi A5 Sportback

Finally arriving in the US after finding success in Europe, the Audi A5 Sportback is here. It feels like a condensed version of the Audi A7, but based on the design of the A4 sedan. It’s a blend of the best parts of a coup and a hatchback, with a roomy interior and lots of power.

The engine is turbocharged with a two-liter engine with 252 horsepower, taking it from 0 to 60 in 5.7 seconds. The Quattro all-wheel drive feature enhances handling in addition to active torque distribution in the rear axle.

One of the best parts of this 2018 Audi is the technology featured throughout the vehicle. The virtual cockpit has endless possibilities for customization, with a seven-inch infotainment system with elements for navigation, audio, and Apple CarPlay and even Google Earth. The engine is packed with a seven-speed dual clutch automatic, so shifting in most traffic settings can be done with foot controls.

The Audi A5 model went on the market in May 2017, and tested to have an observed 29 mpg fuel economy. The exterior is gorgeous, and the interior is ergonomic. This Sportback is a great mix between a coupe, sedan and hatchback. This model can be found at Ugo Colombo‘s The Collection in Coral Gables, Florida.

Read more about this model in Auto Week.

 

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Maserati’s First Crossover

The 2017 Maserati Levante is a notable crossover, not just because it is the brand’s first, but also because it delivers. Coming in at a top speed of 165 mph, this crossover is one to consider when you’re searching for the perfect model. It took only 22 months to get this car from conception to the road–a response to the overwhelming demand for the crossover trend.

Built and engineered in Italy, in authentic Maserati fashion, this crossover emulates the Maserati Ghibli. It’s lower to the ground, wider, and longer than other crossovers like the Porsche Cayenne and Jeep Grand Cherokee. One of the details that makes this model so sleek is the front grill’s thin slats. It’s a change from the mesh that you’d typically find on a Maserati. Not to worry about airflow though, as there is a set of active grille shutters on the interior.

The V6 twin-turbo engine has 424 horsepower with a 0-60 time of 5 seconds. A true Italian sports car. One of the best attributes of this vehicle is the various driving modes. You can choose from Normal, Sport, Off-Road, I.C.E. which impacts the height transmission, and suspension among other things.

Read more about this model at:

http://www.autoblog.com/2016/04/29/2017-maserati-levante-first-drive-review/

The Aston Martin DB11 Drops Four Cylinders

One of the summer’s hottest releases, the Aston Martin DB11, has seen a surprising shake up to its engine. Going from a V12 to a V8 engine means that it lost about 97 horsepower and 18-pound feet of torque. What it gets in return is more agility, being that it dropped over 250 pounds.

Engineers also updated various other aspects of the car to take advantage of this new lighter model. The Suspension, anti-roll bars, dampers, springs, and stability control have all been updated. The look of the exterior has been modified slightly as well; more for aesthetic reasons than technical.

This development came about after Aston Martin partnered with Mercedes engineers. This brand is constantly changing the game and elevating their status as luxury vehicle makers. It seems that although the horsepower has dropped, its top speed is still an exhilarating 187 miles per hour.

The V8 model will go for $198,995, which is about $17,000 less than the V12 model. Interesting that Aston Martin has put their cylinders at a price of a little over $4,000 apiece.

Read more about this model at:

http://www.autoblog.com/2017/06/28/aston-martin-db11-v8-loses-four-cylinders-but-none-of-its-grace/

The Future of Aston Martin

Can Aston Martin survive without being bought by a larger automaker?  CEO Andy Palmer says yes.

Palmer recently outline the company’s plan for the next seven years, including seven new products (one each year) and move into a more traditional seven-year product cycle.

The DB11 is first up, and it will be the primary platform for their future vehicles. 2017 will see a new Vantage, followed in 2018 by the Vanquish, DBX crossover in 2019.  2020 brings in a new mid-engine sports car, and the first relaunches will be the Lagonda line in 2021, and another in 2022.

The brand will be utilizing brand ambassadors such as Tom Brady and Serena Williams to hopefully bring more interest to the American market.

Read the full article at http://www.autonews.com/article/20170217/COPY01/302179943/aston-martin-looks-to-leverage-daimler-technology-without-being

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Porsche tops the 2017 J.D. Power Dependability Study

The 28th year of the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study was recently released, and Porsche came in at #1, tying with Lexus.

Dependability is measured by taking a look at the number of problems experienced for every 100 vehicles, with lower numbers representing higher scores. This study takes into account 117 specific problems that have been separated into eight major categories.

The study was based on responses for 35,186 original owners of 2014 model-year vehicles after three years of ownership.

For the 3rd year in a row, the biggest complaint overall was Bluetooth pairing and connectivity, along with misinterpreting commands in built-in voice recognition. 22% of dependability issues reported were related to the Audio, Communication, Entertainment, and Navigation category.

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Unboxing the New Boxster

The old saying “A Boxster owner is not a Porsche owner” may no longer apply.  Compared to the last model, the 2017 Boxster will have 36 more torque and 35 more horsepower.  With a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, this new model may be the most exciting entry-level Boxster to-date.  As for acceleration, the 2017 718 Boxster will go from 0 to 60 in just 4.9 seconds which is more than a half second faster from the 2016 model.  Top speed has also increased now topping off at 170 MPH, 6 MPH faster from the prior year.  With the same braking system and more torque, the 2017 version replaces the 2016 Boxster S as the entry-level Porsche going for about $8,000 cheaper.

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While the new model sacrifices some horsepower compared the Boxster S, it is lighter and has considerably more torque.  You will also have your choice of transmission with either PDK automatic or manual stick shift (6-speed).  The Boxster brand continues to grow in the United States with over 10% of all Porsche sales in America being Boxster models.  Porsche will hope that the introduction of this new version will give Americans even more options and thus continue to drive sales upward.  The Boxster will always be compared to the 911 and no, it does not have the same large engine or features.  However, many people do not have the track, roads, etc. to truly experience what the 911 offers.  If you are looking to save considerable cash and still get the excitement that Porsche has to offer, the 2017 718 Boxster may just be the best choice for you.

 

 

Aston Martin to Enter New Markets

Aston Martin the only remaining British sports car manufacture that has not been bought by an industry giant. They have preserved there image as one of Britain’s most loved and respected sports car manufactures decade after decade, and sure James Bond may have been a key factor in this. However, the company has decided to shake things up with their recent announcement to renew every car in their lineup over the next six years.

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Perhaps the biggest surprise is the company’s CEO, Andy Palmer, announcing the brand will be entering the SUV market. The model will be called the DBX with the goal to target new customers, specifically women. While the process is going to be intense both in factories and the corporate office, the company is confident it will produce vehicles in a timely manner that will maintain their image of reliable, powerful, and beautiful cars. These moves have been made so Aston Martin will have long-term financial stability by diversifying their products into different markets, and relying less on their sports sedan. No one knows if the new models will be loved or hated as only time will tell, but Aston Martin has great brand image and the general public will be pulling for them to produce the finest vehicles. This move does not seem that drastic when compared to Aston Martin’s recent decisions to reenter the Formula One market as well as join the luxury powerboat market. Aston Martin has confidence in its employees, which is essential with the company’s complete transformation planned over the next six years.