Tag Archives: Technology

2018 Mercedes-AMG GLA45 receives some small nips and tucks

Samsung Galaxy S8’s major makeover

This year’s flagship phone gets a sexy new design and Bixby, a house-made digital assistant.

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Hyundai remixes the 2018 Sonata in New York video

Love cars? Climb in the driver’s seat for the latest in reviews, advice and picks by our editors.

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Chevrolet Corvette celebrates 65 years with lots of carbon fiber

If there’s one thing Chevrolet likes to do with the Corvette, it’s to rollout special edition packages every now and then. The latest comes in the form of the Carbon 65 Edition for the 2018 model year, which celebrates the American sports car’s 65th anniversary.

Just 650 number cars will be offered with the Carbon 65 Edition package for the 460-horsepower Grand Sport and 650-horsepower Z06 Corvettes in both coupe and convertible bodies.

Carbon Edition cars will be recognizable thanks to exposed carbon fiber design elements such as a new rear spoiler, quarter ducts, ground effects, hood section and roof. In addition, the cars will wear a special Ceramic Matrix Grey paint job, unique fender and door graphic, Carbon Flash badges, blue brake calipers and ride on black wheels.


The cabin features Jet Black suede with blue accent stitching. It also receives other special touches including a carbon fiber steering wheel rim along with interior trim, Competition Sport seats and Carbon 65 Edition sill plates.

Availability of the $15,000 Corvette Carbon 65 Edition package will begin this summer.

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2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk Release Date, Price and Specs

At next week’s New York Auto Show, Jeep will unveil what is undoubtedly one of the most bonkers SUVs ever, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. Think of it as the Hellcat of the Jeep world. This 707-horsepower sport utility is sure to blow your face off with its 0-60 mph time of just 3.5 seconds and a top speed of — wait for it — 180 miles per hour. Jeep says it’s the most-powerful and quickest production SUV ever, and we’re not here to argue.

Today’s Grand Cherokee SRT ekes a mere 470 pound-feet of torque out of its V8 engine. Pshaw, we say. The Trackhawk of tomorrow goes above and beyond with its 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine, twisting out 645 pound-feet of torque.

That supercharger puts out maximum boost pressure of 11.6 psi and has a maximum air-flow rate of 30,000 liters per minute, just like its Charger/Challenger Hellcat kin. It swallows all that air from a cold-air scoop discreetly located in the driver’s side lower fascia. The corresponding inlet on the passenger side serves an oil-cooler, so say “goodbye” to the fog lights.

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee TrackhawkEnlarge Image

This is one cray-zay SUV.


A revised TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters sends power to the pavement in a 40-percent front/60-percent rear split in Auto mode, but there are four other modes in the Selec-Track system to choose from, each controlling the four-wheel-drive system, transmission, suspension and steering.

Sport produces quicker shifts and goes to a 35/65 torque split. Track mode tightens up those shifts even more and sends even more power to the rear in a 30/70 split. Tow mode allows the Trackhawk to haul 7,200 pounds with a 60/40 torque split, and Snow distributes torque evenly to all wheels to get through slippery situations.

There’s also a Custom mode so you can dial this monster to your liking and a Valet mode to keep the parking-lot attendant from taking a high-horsepower joyride. And did I mention Launch Control? Because there’s Launch Control.

Holy $#*% it’s the Jeep Grand Cherokee…
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2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk

The front brakes are the biggest to ever grace a Jeep vehicle. The 15.75-inch vented rotors are clamped down on by six-piston, bright yellow Brembo calipers. The rears are 13.78-inch vented rotors with four-piston calipers. Jeep claims the setup can bring this SUV from 60-0 miles per hour in just 114 feet.

Beyond those massive discs, one advanced driver assist system front, the Trackhawk comes standard with adaptive cruise control, brake assist, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning, park assist and lane departure warning.

If you’re crazy enough to take this thing off-road, the Trackhawk comes with the Quadra-Trac four-wheel-drive system, although it’s worth noting that the whole vehicle sits an inch lower than the Grand Cherokees you’re used to. You’ll want to swap out your tires, too, as the Trackhawk comes with either Pirelli 295/45Z Scorpion Verde All-Season tires or the new Pirelli P Zero three-season tires wrapped around 20-inch wheels. Great for the track, not so great in the dirt.

2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee TrackhawkEnlarge Image

The rear gets quad exhaust tips…all the better to hear it, my dear.


Visually, the Trackhawk has a few styling cues to set it apart. A bit of side sill cladding and wheel flares, as well as a sculpted hood highlight the aggressive nature of what’s lurking beneath the surface. The rear is accented with four-inch black-chrome quad exhaust tips.

Inside, expect the tech to be suitably track focused. Fiat Chrysler’s 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment screen doesn’t only allow for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, it also hosts Trackhawk-exclusive Performance Pages. Time your laps, keep an eye on your drivetrain’s temperatures, even take a gander at instantaneous horsepower and torque. Plus, you can even save a screenshot to a USB drive and brag to all your friends the next day.

The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk will be built in Detroit, Michigan and will be available late in 2017. No official word on pricing, but the lesser Grand Cherokee SRT starts at around $67,000 and we expect a dealer premium on this one, suggesting a base price of around $80,000. Mercy.

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Hyundai, Kia recall over 1M vehicles for engine gremlins

Hyundai and Kia manufacture their own engines, and a recently discovered manufacturing error might send more than 1 million of those motors to an early grave.

Hyundai and Kia announced separate recalls for the same issue. Hyundai’s recall covers approximately 572,000 examples of the 2013-2014 Santa Fe and the 2013-2014 Sonata. Kia’s recall affects about 618,160 examples of the 2011-2014 Optima, 2012-2014 Sorento and 2011-2013 Sportage.

2013 Kia SorentoEnlarge Image

When your engine starts making knocking noises, never continue to drive it. Find a safe place to stop and shut the engine off.


All the vehicles in question possess one of two engines — a 2.4-liter, direct injected, naturally aspirated I4, or a 2.0-liter turbocharged I4. The motors carry varying build dates between 2010 and 2014.

Manufacturing errors are to blame for this issue. Apparently, metal debris wasn’t completely cleared from crankshaft oil passages, and a second error produced surface roughness in the crankpins (crank journals). These two factors may limit oil delivery to the connecting rod bearings, which allow the connecting rods to move freely.

As the bearing wears from encountering a rough surface with a lack of lubrication, the engine may start knocking. If the driver doesn’t realize what’s wrong, the bearings may fail, which could seize the engine and doom it to the scrap heap. A seized engine also creates a safety hazard if it happens while the vehicle is on the road.

Both dealers and owners will be notified in May, the latter by first-class mail. Owners will have to head to the dealership, where technicians will inspect and potentially replace the engine. If owners already shelled out for repairs, they’ll have to go through the motions with Hyundai or Kia to get reimbursed.

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Roadtrip: Seeing stars in the Honda Ridgeline video

Love cars? Climb in the driver’s seat for the latest in reviews, advice and picks by our editors.

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