Tag Archives: Toys

New crash test decimates IIHS Top Safety Pick+ list

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has once again strengthened its requirements to receive its top safety awards, and as expected, it resulted in a pretty serious culling of vehicles that were previously eligible.

The IIHS announced this week that just 15 vehicles initially qualify for the 2018 Top Safety Pick+ accolade, which is given to the vehicles that the IIHS has evaluated and ranked as the safest cars on the road, down from 38 vehicles last year. 47 vehicles are eligible for the second-place Top Safety Pick award, which has slightly less stringent requirements.

iihs-passenger-promoEnlarge Image

Some automakers may have thought they could cheap out by only reinforcing the driver’s side for the small-overlap test. Not anymore.


Two reasons exists for this herd-thinning. The first is an expansion of the headlight test, which was introduced in 2016. Now, in order to achieve Top Safety Pick+, a car must have at least one headlight setup that is rated Good, as opposed to last year’s bar of Acceptable. In 2018, Top Safety Pick will require a headlight rating of Acceptable. Headlights are rated on illumination capability on straights and in corners, as well as how much glare they give off.

That second reason is an entirely new test — the passenger side small-overlap test. This mimics the same IIHS test performed on the driver side, but the new test ensures that automakers are putting equal effort into protecting both front occupants, not just the driver. The test is new, and is likely to cause some consternation among automakers as they scramble to catch up to ever-changing targets.

While automakers are not mandated to score well in IIHS crash tests, the positive marketing that comes from it is hard to top. The tests are generally much tougher than those required by the federal government, which are the basic crashworthiness tests required for selling vehicles in the US. The IIHS is a non-government entity that only exists to help improve vehicle safety, even if some automakers believe it might have ulterior motives.

You can see the full list of 2018 Top Safety Pick award winners on the IIHS website, but the 15 winners of the 2018 Top Safety Pick+ award are listed below:

  • Kia Forte
  • Kia Soul
  • Subaru Impreza (sedan and hatchback)
  • Subaru WRX
  • Subaru Legacy
  • Subaru Outback
  • Toyota Camry
  • BMW 5 Series
  • Genesis G80
  • Genesis G90
  • Lincoln Continental
  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan
  • Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
  • Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/new-crash-test-decimates-iihs-top-safety-pick-plus-list/#ftag=CAD7f780fb

The new Corvette ZR1 is a 755-hp monster on the track

What you’re looking at is the ultimate evolution of the Corvette, the fastest, the most outrageous example of this American icon that we’ve ever seen. At 755 horsepower it’s over 100 up on the already-insane Corvette Z06, and its 212 miles-per-hour top speed is a new high water mark for road-going Chevrolets. But more important than that is what this new ZR1 can do around a racetrack, and after a few terrifying laps in the passenger seat around one of the ballsiest tracks in the US of A, I can confidently say that this new ‘Vette will not disappoint.

2018 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

You’ll want to read our full first take of the new Corvette ZR1 for all the details of just how Chevrolet engineers managed to extract another 105 ponies out of the LT5 V8 found in the Z06, which already puts down an outrageous 650, but suffice to say it’s more than just a bigger supercharger. More power means more fuel, more air and, crucially, more cooling.

Three separate radiators try to keep engine temps at bay, while a massive intercooler chills the air going in that new supercharger. The bigger ‘charger and intercooler necessitate that shaker-style hood, engine cowling poking up through and sitting right there in plain sight as you look through the windshield. Get on the throttle and that cowling bucks and shakes, a dance I’m sure you’ll be seeing at many a cars-and-coffee gathering in the coming year.

160 mph in the outrageous, 755-horsepower Corvette ZR1

The new Corvette ZR1 is the fastest yet, and so we couldn’t resist a chance to take one for a ride. Join us as we head out to the desert in a Z06, then take a few laps inside the 755-horsepower 2018 Corvette ZR1.

by Tim Stevens

755 horsepower is accompanied by 715 pound-feet of torque, and while Chevrolet isn’t quoting an official 0 – 60 time just yet, it’ll likely shave a few digits from the Z06’s already-impressive 2.95 seconds. Quarter-mile time is “in the high 10-second range” and the car is actually capable of going faster than its official top speed of 212. A limiter kicks in at 215 for fear of the tires ripping themselves to shreds.

2018 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

Few will say it lacks presence on the road.

Nick Miotke/Roadshow

That’s only if you don’t select the ZTK package, a $2,995 bundle that slaps a giant, adjustable wing on the back and also provides extra aerodynamic appendages at the front. The net result is 950 pounds of downforce at speed, the kind of extra grip that enables carrying 140 mph into the final, grueling, sweeper at Willow Springs, the historic track about two hours outside Los Angeles.

It’s on the Big Willow configuration that I got my first taste of ZR1, sadly from the passenger seat for now, but beggars can’t be choosers. It’s an incredibly fast track, with corners that really test your mettle as much as that of your car, and the ZR1 swallowed it up with aplomb. The track’s aging surface is bumpy to the extreme, but the ZR1’s downforce helped keep the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires nicely composed — at least, as well composed as you can expect on a car that ducts 755 horsepower through its rear wheels.

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 live reveal in Dubai

You can only learn so much from the wrong seat in a car like this, but even from the next county you’ll be able to appreciate that Chevrolet has nailed the sound. This will be the loudest Corvette ever, but it isn’t obnoxiously so. In fact, ZR1 will be even quieter on the highway than the Z06, but at full-song on the track it is deafening, the kind of angry ruckus you’d expect to go along with that wing.

The 2018 Corvette ZR1 starts at $119,995, with the convertible starting at $123,995. The ZTK package, which nets you the wing, a set of Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and some other niceties, adds $2,995 to that. Given a Z06 can be had for just over $80,000, the $40,000 premium might seem a bit dear, but as is usually the case with Corvettes that’s still a bargain compared what you’d have to pay to get a piece of European exotica with this kind of performance. 

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/the-new-corvette-zr1-is-a-755-monster-on-the-track/#ftag=CAD7f780fb

Life on three wheels: Arcimoto’s cute and quirky FUV

Cameras that make great holiday gifts

Let them start the new year with a step up in photo and video quality from a phone.

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/pictures/check-out-the-cute-and-quirky-arcimoto-fuv/#ftag=CAD7f780fb

2018 Arcimoto FUV Release Date, Price and Specs

Want to downsize your four-wheeled vehicle but aren’t quite ready to go full motorcycle? Maybe a reverse trike is more your bag. These half-moto/half-car vehicles could be your commute-problem solver, especially in crowded cities, and for good reason. They are electric, easy to park and perfect for short commutes. At the Los Angeles Auto Show the folks at Arcimoto showed off the FUV. Pronounce it anyway you want, but the Fun Utility Vehicle certainly puts a bit of joy in the commute.

Arcimoto FUV gives us a super-fun electric option for commuting

The Fun Utility Vehicle is like a cross between Mario Kart and Moto GP.

by Emme Hall

The FUV is about the length and height of a Smart car, but is a bit slimmer thanks to tandem-seating. A 12kWh battery comes standard for a range of 70 miles, but you can upgrade to a larger battery for 130 miles of range. It’s charged with a standard 110 outlet or a level 2 charger, but don’t expect high-speed CHAdeMO capabilities.

Two electric motors power the front two wheels of the FUV, giving it a top speed of 85 miles an hour. I got nowhere near that speed on my quick jaunt around downtown L.A., but the instant electric torque inspired plenty of confidence while I was sharing the road with big construction trucks around the Los Angeles Convention Center. Instead of a steering wheel, the FUV is operated with motorcycle handlebars. A hand-brake offers regenerative power but there is a hydraulic foot brake as well that can keep the little FUV stopped at a light. I don’t have much motorcycle riding experience, so using my left thumb for the turn signals was a little weird at first, but it soon became second nature.

Arcimoto FUV

Going into turns requires a bit of throttle at the beginning to help kick-start the power steering, but true to its name, it’s quite fun, inducing a bit of lean, feeling like a cross between Mario Kart and Moto GP. Visibility is excellent as, well, there were no doors on my tester. Doors are, fortunately, available.

Arcimoto will deliver six of the FUVs by the end of the year, with the rest of the 2,000 first-production run coming in 2018. The cost is $11.900, about half the price of the new Honda Gold Wing. You can grab a reservation for $100 at Arcimoto.com

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/auto/fuv-fun-utility-vehicle/#ftag=CAD7f780fb

Cadillac to unveil future models sooner to improve quality

You won’t have to wait as long to see future Cadillac models from now on. 

According to a report by Automotive News, General Motors’ premium brand is tweaking the way it develops and introduces vehicles to the market. The changes will result in the brand publicly showing the vehicles sooner than they’ve typically done in the past. The cadence shift isn’t being done to build excitement for new cars and SUVs, it’s actually part of a bid to improve quality.

Cadillac president Johan de NysschenEnlarge Image

Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen


Cadillac models have typically been revealed at auto shows and the like about two or three months ahead of the start of production. But that hasn’t given the automaker much time to test undisguised vehicles out on real-world roads, a step that’s seen as vital to ensuring quality. And like all other automakers, Cadillac camouflages development models in order to keep its future products a secret from competitors and the media.

But that’s all going to change. New Cadillacs will be unveiled about six or seven months ahead, and they’ll also be tested by a wider variety of GM employees. Having camouflage-free test vehicles available for more than just engineers to evaluate will open up the late-development process to new opinions and perspectives.

“We want to put more of our development cars into the hands of ordinary drivers, not just engineers, so people can see how they perform in normal usage conditions… and that really requires the removal of camo,” Cadillac president Johan de Nyscchen told the industry publication.

2018 Cadillac XTS

Cadillac has been in a state of perpetual rebirth for upwards of 15 years. Despite producing a number of critically acclaimed vehicles, it still hasn’t found the recipe for successfully challenging the likes of Audi, BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz in sales. That formula is a moving target, of course, but this change could be a small but important step towards improving the marque’s chances.

While automakers such as Tesla take a similar long-lead approach to vehicle reveals, many brands known for high quality vehicles do not. Honda, for example, has routinely revealed vehicles, including its latest Accord, mere weeks from their on-sale date. Doing so is seen as a way to prevent damaging sales of outgoing models still sitting on dealer lots. 

Like GM as a whole, Cadillac has done a tremendous amount of work over the past several years reducing its reliance on new-car incentives and discounts that tend to negatively impact resale value and brand image. This new earlier-reveal process may prove to be an extra challenge when it comes to moving departing models off showroom floors, but Cadillac officials remain resolute — brand spokesperson Donny Nordlicht tells Roadshow that the change won’t impact its sales strategy. “We’re being very disciplined with our incentives to help build the foundation of the brand, especially in the US… and that plan remains unchanged,” he said.

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/cadillac-to-unveil-future-models-sooner-to-improve-quality/#ftag=CAD7f780fb

A slew of new engine tech at the L.A. auto show video

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

Article source: https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/videos/a-slew-of-new-engine-tech-at-the-l-a-auto-show/#ftag=CAD7f780fb