Ram 1500 bests new F-150 in MT pickup shootout

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Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

2015 Ford F-150Ford’s 2015 Ford F-150 is a technological tour-de-force, what with its aluminum-intensive construction and its powerful and efficient new 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine option. But now that it’s hit the market, it’s time to get down to brass tacks and find out how just the latest F-150 actually stands up to its rivals in the hyper-competitive fullsize segment.

Motor Trend is among the first to round up the Ford (in Lariat 2.7-liter 4X4 guise here) and put it up against the Ram 1500 Outdoorsman EcoDiesel 4×4 and 5.3-liter-equipped Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71 to find out how Dearborn’s new-think truck measures up.

The test put the trio through over 1,000 miles of tough driving in California and Arizona in a variety of conditions from just cruising around unladen to hauling a trailer. MT found all three trucks to be competent, but the most praise got heaped on the Ram and the Ford, with the Chevrolet falling a step behind its competitors in many tests.

Among the Ford’s most-liked features was its 2.7-liter, twin-turbo V6 that helped make the F-150 easily the quickest of the group, with some editors saying the engine felt about the same whether driving around with cargo in the bed or not. There was some minor turbo lag during acceleration while trailering, but that issue affected the Ram, too.

The Ram’s powertrain was lauded, as well. The EcoDiesel was torquey around town, and the 1500′s combination of an eight-speed automatic and air suspension was judged to be the best of the lot. It was the most difficult to get into the bed, though.

The Ram also won the fuel economy award by netting 20-miles-per-gallon city and 28-mpg highway in the test to beat its Environmental Protection Agency ratings of 19/27. The Ford’s EcoBoost managed 17/22, one mpg off each from the EPA numbers, and using a lot of throttle really depleted its efficiency. As MT notes, however, it would take time for the diesel’s mileage savings to pay off at the pump for these two trucks.

In the end, the Ram just barely eked out the win, with the title partially earned because of “the Ford’s unknown maintenance and aluminum repair costs,” according to MT. Go check out the full comparison to read all of the details, then let us know what you think in Comments.

Ram 1500 bests new F-150 in MT pickup shootout originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Motor Trend wheels the 2015 Corvette Z06

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Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Videos, Chevrolet

Motor Trend: Chevrolet Corvette Z06

The new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is capable of some absolutely wild metrics. Want proof? Carlos Lago from Motor Trend is here to break it all down. 60 miles per hour? 3.2 seconds. 60 to 0? 91 feet. Lateral acceleration? A staggering 1.16g, a figure that is the highest MT has ever recorded for a vehicle that isn’t a race car.

It’s an utterly astonishing piece of work, this Z06, and just when you think it can’t possibly get any more impressive, Randy Pobst hustles an auto-equipped Z06 around Road Atlanta in just 1:30. Aside from the eight-speed auto, Pobst’s Z06 had the most aggressive aerodynamic package, the so-called Stage III.

Take a look at the 650-horsepower Z06 in Motor Trend’s latest video.

Continue reading Motor Trend wheels the 2015 Corvette Z06

Motor Trend wheels the 2015 Corvette Z06 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 24 Nov 2014 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chevrolet Cruze Named 2014 Fleet Car of the Year

The 2015 Chevrolet Cruze was named the 2014 Fleet Car of the Year by Automotive Fleet and Business Fleet magazines. Fleet managers from both large and small fleets and covering every fleet segment selected the Cruze as the winner, besting 48 other cars.

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Chevrolet Cruze Named 2014 Fleet Car of the Year

Colorado and Canyon: Striving for the Perfect Body

The men and women launching the new 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickup trucks at General Motors’ Wentzville Assembly Plant are proud of their “perfect bodies.”

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Colorado and Canyon: Striving for the Perfect Body

Chevy Sail 3 lands in China

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Filed under: Budget, Sedan, China, Chevrolet, Misc. Auto Shows

The Chevrolet Sail, front three-quarter view.

Shanghai General Motors took 32 cars to this year’s Guangzhou Motor Show, with its Chevrolet Sail 3 leading the way. After putting almost 1.4 million of them into Chinese hands, the third generation of the Bowtie’s entry-level sedan wants to “take the nameplate and the segment to a new level.” Its new architecture sporting a 1.4-inch longer wheelbase supports a growth spurt of two inches in length and 1.8 inches in width. The exterior also gets “eagle eye-shaped” headlights and “dual-c-element taillights.”

Under the hood will be either a 1.5-liter DVVT or a 1.3-liter VVT, each of them more powerful and more frugal than previous offerings. Both can be paired with a manual or an automatic transmission, and qualify for listing in China’s National Energy-Saving and Eco-Friendly Vehicle Catalogue, as well as a 3,000 renminbi rebate ($490 US).

You can read more about it in the press release below, and get more info on the Chevrolet Camaro RS Limited Edition, Corvette Stingray Coupe, Buick Regal GS and Excelle XT also introduced at the show.

Continue reading Chevy Sail 3 lands in China

Chevy Sail 3 lands in China originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 23 Nov 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Watch Ford build a Mustang atop Burj Khalifa, world’s tallest building

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Ford Mustang at top of Burj Khalifa

In 1965, a Ford Mustang Convertible proudly went on display at the top of the Empire State Building, the world’s tallest building at the time. Earlier this year, the Blue Oval recreated the stunt by bringing the latest droptop ‘Stang to the sky-high structure during the New York Auto Show. Unfortunately, while still iconic, the New York skyscraper has lost the world title. Of course, an automaker can’t let something like that get in the way of a good publicity stunt.

For the inauguration of the Ford business unit in the Middle East and Africa, the brand gave the 2015 Mustang Convertible an even bigger building to climb – the biggest in fact. The droptop made its way to the 112th floor of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. To put a final topper on the whole event, executive chairman Bill Ford was the one to affix the car’s famous badge, making it complete.

Like with the Empire State Building spectacle, getting the Mustang to the top wasn’t as simple as just driving it off the elevator. Check out the video above to see how it was done, and scroll down to read Ford’s press release about the event.

Continue reading Watch Ford build a Mustang atop Burj Khalifa, world’s tallest building

Watch Ford build a Mustang atop Burj Khalifa, world’s tallest building originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 22 Nov 2014 19:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Weekly Recap: Racing legend Jim Hall explains Chevy’s futuristic Chaparral concept

Filed under: Concept Cars , LA Auto Show , Motorsports , Performance , Chevrolet , Lincoln , Toyota , Ferrari , Design/Style “I said our cars are built to be winners.” – Jim Hall Racing legend Jim Hall never thought he’d be a video game consultant, but when Chevrolet asked for his advice to create a futuristic Chaparral for the Vision Gran Turismo series, he was eager to help. He reviewed early sketches and suggested some changes that made it onto the concept, including the addition of a camera that’s mounted onto a mast over the cabin to aid the driver. The Chevy Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo concept was revealed this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show and will be part of a downloadable update for PlayStation 3’s Gran Turismo 6 in December. Theoretically, at least, it uses a laser-beam propulsion system and an air-powered generator to produce 900 horsepower in the video game. It’s capable of sprinting to 60 miles per hour in 1.5 seconds en route to a top speed of 240 mph. Continue reading Weekly Recap: Racing legend Jim Hall explains Chevy’s futuristic Chaparral concept Weekly Recap: Racing legend Jim Hall explains Chevy’s futuristic Chaparral concept originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 22 Nov 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

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Weekly Recap: Racing legend Jim Hall explains Chevy’s futuristic Chaparral concept

Weekly Recap: Racing legend Jim Hall explains Chevy’s futuristic Chaparral concept

Filed under: Concept Cars , LA Auto Show , Motorsports , Performance , Chevrolet , Lincoln , Toyota , Ferrari , Design/Style “I said our cars are built to be winners.” – Jim Hall Racing legend Jim Hall never thought he’d be a video game consultant, but when Chevrolet asked for his advice to create a futuristic Chaparral for the Vision Gran Turismo series, he was eager to help. He reviewed early sketches and suggested some changes that made it onto the concept, including the addition of a camera that’s mounted onto a mast over the cabin to aid the driver. The Chevy Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo concept was revealed this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show and will be part of a downloadable update for PlayStation 3’s Gran Turismo 6 in December. Theoretically, at least, it uses a laser-beam propulsion system and an air-powered generator to produce 900 horsepower in the video game. It’s capable of sprinting to 60 miles per hour in 1.5 seconds en route to a top speed of 240 mph. Continue reading Weekly Recap: Racing legend Jim Hall explains Chevy’s futuristic Chaparral concept Weekly Recap: Racing legend Jim Hall explains Chevy’s futuristic Chaparral concept originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 22 Nov 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink

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Weekly Recap: Racing legend Jim Hall explains Chevy’s futuristic Chaparral concept

Retro review of the twin-turbo Toyota Supra you missed in the ’90s

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Filed under: Classics , Coupe , Performance , Videos , Toyota The twin-turbo fourth-generation Toyota Supra has slowly built up a reputation as one of the premiere sports coupes of the 1990s. The image was partially helped by its inclusion in the original The Fast and the Furious in 2001, but even before that it was part of the quartet of Japanese performance machines along with the Acura NSX , Mazda RX-7 and Nissan 300ZX Twin-Turbo that defined speed for a generation of enthusiasts. Thanks to Motorweek ‘s Retro Review series, now we get a chance to hear opinions on the Toyota from its original release. Two things strike the viewer in the review. First, it shows what a performance standout the Supra TT is. A run to 60 miles per hour in 5.1 seconds and 14 seconds in the quarter mile is strong against its contemporaries and makes it hardly a slouch today. The second surprising thing is just how flabbergasted the reviewers seem at the coupe. The price is up about $8,000 from the previous year, and MotorWeek isn’t entirely impressed with the Toyota’s weight saving measures that make the fourth-generation Supra a bit more raw than the last model. The great thing about these retro takes is that there’s no nostalgia in the way to cloud the reviewers’ judgment. Check out the video to find out how the twin-turbo Supra was received before it became part of the performance pantheon.

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Toyota Supra TT Motorweek

The twin-turbo fourth-generation Toyota Supra has slowly built up a reputation as one of the premiere sports coupes of the 1990s. The image was partially helped by its inclusion in the original The Fast and the Furious in 2001, but even before that it was part of the quartet of Japanese performance machines along with the Acura NSX, Mazda RX-7 and Nissan 300ZX Twin-Turbo that defined speed for a generation of enthusiasts. Thanks to Motorweek‘s Retro Review series, now we get a chance to hear opinions on the Toyota from its original release.

Two things strike the viewer in the review. First, it shows what a performance standout the Supra TT is. A run to 60 miles per hour in 5.1 seconds and 14 seconds in the quarter mile is strong against its contemporaries and makes it hardly a slouch today. The second surprising thing is just how flabbergasted the reviewers seem at the coupe. The price is up about $8,000 from the previous year, and MotorWeek isn’t entirely impressed with the Toyota’s weight saving measures that make the fourth-generation Supra a bit more raw than the last model.

The great thing about these retro takes is that there’s no nostalgia in the way to cloud the reviewers’ judgment. Check out the video to find out how the twin-turbo Supra was received before it became part of the performance pantheon.

Continue reading Retro review of the twin-turbo Toyota Supra you missed in the ’90s

Retro review of the twin-turbo Toyota Supra you missed in the ’90s originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Retro review of the twin-turbo Toyota Supra you missed in the ’90s

Chrysler, Nissan minivans earn ‘dire’ crash test results, says IIHS [w/video]

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Filed under: Minivan/Van , Safety , Videos , Chrysler , Dodge , Nissan , Toyota First introduced in 2012, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s small-overlap frontal crash test has become the bane of many auto engineers’ existence. It’s a particularly steep design challenge because it forces just 25 percent of a vehicle’s front end to take the brunt of a 40-mile-per-hour impact. The newly released results of four family-minded minivans underscore just how difficult the crash test is: only one scored an Acceptable rating, and the other three did very poorly. The 2008-2015 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan , plus the 2011-2015 Nissan Quest , all received Poor ratings in the test, the IIHS’ lowest possible score. The three of them showed significant crash intrusion into the driver’s area. The dummy in the Nissan actually had to be cut out of the vehicle, with an IIHS spokesperson remarking, “the structure collapsed like a house of cards.” In the Fiat Chrysler Automobile vans, the steering wheels moved out of the way, making the airbag less effective and letting the driver’s head hit the dashboard. While it was not actually crashed, the agency is also giving the 2009-12 Volkswagen Routan a Poor score because it shares a structure with the FCA models. The newly released results of four minivans underscore just how difficult the small-offset crash test is. The refreshed 2015 Toyota Sienna (shown), conversely, earned an Acceptable rating and is also a Top Safety Pick+ because of its optional forward collision warning and automatic braking system. While the crash test dummy moved around during the impact more than the agency would have liked, sensors showed a low risk of injuries.

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2015 Toyota Sienna

First introduced in 2012, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s small-overlap frontal crash test has become the bane of many auto engineers’ existence. It’s a particularly steep design challenge because it forces just 25 percent of a vehicle’s front end to take the brunt of a 40-mile-per-hour impact. The newly released results of four family-minded minivans underscore just how difficult the crash test is: only one scored an Acceptable rating, and the other three did very poorly.

The 2008-2015 Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan, plus the 2011-2015 Nissan Quest, all received Poor ratings in the test, the IIHS’ lowest possible score. The three of them showed significant crash intrusion into the driver’s area. The dummy in the Nissan actually had to be cut out of the vehicle, with an IIHS spokesperson remarking, “the structure collapsed like a house of cards.” In the Fiat Chrysler Automobile vans, the steering wheels moved out of the way, making the airbag less effective and letting the driver’s head hit the dashboard. While it was not actually crashed, the agency is also giving the 2009-12 Volkswagen Routan a Poor score because it shares a structure with the FCA models.

The newly released results of four minivans underscore just how difficult the small-offset crash test is.

The refreshed 2015 Toyota Sienna (shown), conversely, earned an Acceptable rating and is also a Top Safety Pick+ because of its optional forward collision warning and automatic braking system. While the crash test dummy moved around during the impact more than the agency would have liked, sensors showed a low risk of injuries.

The IIHS tested the Honda Odyssey last year, and it earned a Good overall score, the agency’s best ranking. It’s also a Top Safety Pick+ vehicle. The only member of the minivan segment left to test is the latest Kia Sedona, and the Institute is reportedly waiting a little longer for Kia to make changes to improve the model’s performance.

When reached for comment, Nissan spokesperson Steve Yaeger provided Autoblog with the following statement:

“Nissan is committed to vehicle safety and believes that consumers should have information about crash protection so they can make educated buying decisions. Nissan is proud of the 2014 Quest’s “good” rating in the IIHS front moderate overlap and side impact tests as well as a “good” head restraint rating.

As for the performance of the 2014 Quest in the ‘small overlap frontal test,’ Nissan will continue to review these and other results from IIHS testing as we seek opportunities for improvements.”

Chrysler Group also provided us with the following statement:

“No single test determines overall vehicle safety. Chrysler Group minivans meet or exceed all government-mandated safety requirements. They are unchanged, structurally, from previous model-year vehicles that received the highest performance ratings bestowed by the IIHS in tests simulating the four main crash types – side, rollover, rear and moderate-overlap front.”

Scroll down to see graphic video of the tests for yourself and read the IIHS’ announcement.

Continue reading Chrysler, Nissan minivans earn ‘dire’ crash test results, says IIHS [w/video]

Chrysler, Nissan minivans earn ‘dire’ crash test results, says IIHS [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 21 Nov 2014 15:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chrysler, Nissan minivans earn ‘dire’ crash test results, says IIHS [w/video]