Friday, 19 January 2018

Aston Martin DB11

                        Turning up its looks and performance literally to 11, the DB11 continues Aston Martin’s tradition of blending style and power. Two twin-turbo engines are offered—a 503-hp 4.0-liter V-8 and a 600-hp 5.2-liter V-12—both teamed with a paddle-shifted eight-speed automatic. In our testing, the V-12 launched the DB11 from zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. A lightweight structure, torque-vectoring system, and stiff chassis result in impressively agile handling. Want to feel like 007? This is your car. 

Source: www.caranddriver.com

Acura NSX

                      If you’ve been dreaming of the next NSX, it’s time to wake up: It’s here in the form of a highly technical and utterly thrilling supercar. With weight-saving construction, a hybrid powertrain that has three electric motors and a mid-mounted twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 making a combined output of 573 hp, the NSX offers pulse-pounding performance paired with everyday usability. A nine-speed dual-clutch automatic and all-wheel drive are standard.

Source: www.caranddriver.com

Acura MDX

               Blending comfort, technology, and spirited handling into a three-row crossover is no easy feat, but the MDX manages to pull it off with ease. A 290-hp 3.5-liter V-6 drives the front or all four wheels through a quick-shifting nine-speed automatic. Automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and dual infotainment screens are standard; navigation and rear-seat entertainment are optional. A hybrid, powered by a 3.0-liter V-6 and a trio of electric motors is also available.

Source: www.caranddriver.com

Acura ILX

                        Although the ILX is basically a Honda Civic, it is a really nice Civic, featuring an interior with upgraded materials. The sole power train is a 201-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder with front-wheel drive. The transmission is a dual-clutch eight-speed automatic; a manual is not available. The automatic is smooth and gives the ILX more of a calm and adult demeanor, which is a welcome change from the previous generation’s high-strung character. The ILX offers value for the money versus the competition.

Source :https://www.caranddriver.com/

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Rolls-Royce Dawn


Luxurious, exclusive, exquisite; take your pick of adjectives for the lovely Dawn and any one of them will suffice. Basically a Wraith coupe under the skin, the Dawn’s sheet metal curves and swoops, making it—according to Rolls—the “sexiest Rolls-Royce ever built.” Inside there is room for four adult passengers; occupants will be dazzled by the gorgeous leather and acres of real wood trim. Under the hood is a 6.6-liter twin-turbo V-12 that makes 563 hp, so the Dawn is as fleet as it is sexy.

 The Rolls-Royce Dawn is most at home cruising the glittering boulevards of Palm Springs or Palm Beach, the Siriusly Sinatra channel permanently playing, and the driver wearing $2600 Gucci crocodile loafers while contemplating how to cajole public financing for his new NFL stadium. Unlike, say, the similarly pricey Lambor­ghini Aventador, the Dawn can be driven and used every day. It clears curbs, there’s some room in the trunk, there is a trunk, and it’s easy to get in and out of. It also doesn’t invite a race at every stoplight, though it may invite people of all races to spontaneously come up to the window and quote ­Bernie Sanders. Alas, first-world problems.

The Dawn earns its copious allocation of asphalt by adding mechanical substance and harmony to exquisite design and detail. It’s not a basket of latter-day tricks; it’s not compatible with Apple Car Play, and there’s no on board Wi-Fi. At $402,300 as tested, including a $2750 destination charge and a $2100 gas-guzzler tax, the Dawn is slightly old school, like its future owners.

At a glance, the Dawn is a decapitated Wraith coupe, but Rolls says 80 percent of the body panels are unique to the new car. Top up, it has a spec­tacu­lar raked profile, and a gorgeous sailing-sloop silhouette when the six-layer cloth top is down. With its recessed grille, it looks fantastic from the front whether you choose to keep the Flying Lady ornament deployed or, as is allowed by a function in the center-console screen, hidden away below a trapdoor. From the rear, well, the car is not quite as distinctively stately.

It rides on the same 122.5-inch wheelbase as the Wraith and is only slightly longer overall. The pair shares basic suspension, drive train, and structural elements, with the core engineering derived from a previous-generation BMW 7-series. From a performance standpoint, the difference is that the hardtop Wraith is about 400 pounds lighter and pushes its mass around with 624 horsepower from its BMW-built twin-turbo 6.6-liter V-12. The 5776-pound Dawn’s similar V-12 is tuned to just 563 horsepower.

 The Dawn is enormous, but more than a foot shorter overall than the discontinued Phantom Drop head Coupe it effectively replaces. In compensation, the Dawn is more graceful, more at ease in traffic, and less likely to goad the peasantry toward fiery insurrection. It’s also surprisingly roomier than the Coupe.

Of course the Dawn’s interior uses leather from cows apparently raised on a diet of butter, and the stitching is exquisite. The glossy wood trim chosen for our test car was perfectly matched. The simple instrumentation, which uses what look like tiny sterling-silver sugar spoons for pointers, includes a “Power Reserve” gauge in lieu of a tachometer. There’s room for four full-size people to repose in comfort.

Enter through the massive rear-hinged, power-closing doors, and the Dawn seems almost human scale. It’s tough to tell which switches are plastic and which are metal, but all work with straightforward ease. Even the “Spirit of Ecstasy Rotary Controller” that navigates through the menus on the 10.3-inch LED screen operates perilously close to intuitively, no doubt because with just a few changes to the graphics, it’s actually BMW’s infotainment system. Our test car had the optional radar-based cruise control and lane-departure warning aboard; blind-spot monitoring is not available on the Dawn.

 A sanguine harp strum warns you that the V-12 is about to purr to life, and the transmission engages via a thin wand on the steering column. Using GPS-gathered data to optimize its shift points, the ZF eight-speed transmission shifts nearly undetected. Yet, despite such utter tranquility, this is an almost-three-ton convertible that whooshes to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and consumes the quarter-mile in an astonishing 12.8 seconds at 114 mph.

There’s not much steering feel through the oversize wheel, but the suspension tuning is perfect. This isn’t a car that wafts or glides over the road, but one that confidently devours asphalt as if it were a ribbon of Beluga caviar. The Dawn may or may not have the stiffest production convertible structure yet, but nothing else offers such a magnificent ride—secure, serene, and controlled—over virtually any surface. However, it will push its 255/40R-21 Continental ContiSportContact5 front tires if hustled indiscreetly, and the engine doesn’t respond quickly enough to offset that with power. So don’t do that. The skid pad orbit was a modest 0.83 g, and the massive brakes hauled the Dawn from 70 mph in a fairly phenomenal 162 feet.

“In the world of Rolls-Royce, day-to-day mathematical norms don’t always apply,” says Rolls’ director of design, Giles Taylor. “That’s why I say in the case of the new Rolls-Royce Dawn, 2+2 does not equal 4.” This may be smart marketing, a pleasant fantasy, or simple lunacy, but it’s bad math. And it misses the best thing about current Rollers, which is that they drive brilliantly in a world where two plus two always equals four. With interest.

Audi A5


The stylish and comfortable A5 is available as a coupe or convertible. All-wheel drive is standard for great performance in all conditions. The A5 uses a 252-hp 2.0-liter four with a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Automated emergency braking is standard on all A5s with more active-safety tech available at extra cost. A 7.0-inch infotainment system features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Those seeking more muscle might consider the mighty S5 or the bahn-burning RS5.
The seasons always change, but convertibles rarely do. The idea of a retractable roof on automobiles has existed since before the invention of the car itself, and droptops have been a mainstay of Audi’s offerings for decades now. In the United States, the four-ring brand sells four convertibles for a variety of clientele. There’s the small and relatively affordable A3 for sun seekers on a (sort of) budget, the stylish TT for sportier and more style-conscious tastes, and the wild R8 Spyder for those looking to cause a stir. Think of the mid-level A5 and its S5 sibling, then, as Audi’s Goldilocks cabriolets: not too big, not too small, not too expensive, but not too plebeian, either.

And yes, the A5 is just right. Like the A5 coupe we tested earlier this year, the newly redesigned A5 cabriolet sets nary a tire wrong, being exactly as polished, swift, and refined as we’ve come to expect from modern Audis—only with the extra joy of open-air driving to sweeten the deal.

Grip Galore

 For starters, the droptop A5 is a performer. An extra 360 pounds compared with the coupe dulls the cabriolet’s acceleration somewhat, increasing the zero-to-60-mph time from the coupe’s 5.0 seconds to a less spry 5.6. But the A5 cabriolet still turned in a sports-car-like skidpad figure of 0.96 g and a short 145-foot stop from 70 mph, beating out its hardtop counterpart by 0.03 g and 7 feet. The two A5s wore different tires, with the convertible riding on Hankook Ventus rubber and the coupe on Continental Conti Sport Contacts, but both are nevertheless mighty impressive at the track.

Those cornering and braking numbers from this base, four-cylinder A5 even outstrip the more performance-oriented Mercedes - AMG C43 cabriolet, although that car competes more directly with the 354-hp, V-6–powered Audi S5 cabriolet. While the S5 would give the turbocharged six-cylinder C43 a better run for its money in stoplight drag races, given the snappiness of the A5 2.0T’s turbocharged inline-four and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, we’d think twice before spending the extra $12,700 for the S5.

Audi’s expert chassis tuning also means that the A5 is able to balance its performance with a genuinely relaxed character, appropriate for its mission as a luxury drop top that most owners will use as a fair-weather daily driver. Its ride quality is plush and composed, and the stiff structure never quivers. Even in the firmer Dynamic driving mode—and despite our test car’s larger 19-inch wheels (18s are standard)—harsh impacts rarely penetrate the cabin.

Wind in Your Hair

Thus far, Audi has stuck with traditional soft tops, presumably to save weight and to ease packaging versus the retractable hardtops some competitors favor. The A5 cabriolet’s cloth top does a good job of insulating the cabin when raised, with only a small amount of wind noise noticeable on the highway. Lowering the top is a 15-second affair that can be done at speeds up to 31 mph. When folded, the roof occupies a bit of space in the trunk, shrinking cargo volume to 7 cubic feet (from 9 with the top raised). Audi offers a removable wind deflector, but we don’t think it’s really needed given how well the car controls wind buffeting without it, even at highway speeds. When installed, the deflector prohibits use of the rear seats, which are generously sized for a compact convertible. They can easily accommodate two adults for short- and medium-length trips.

If pressed to come up with criticisms for the A5 cabriolet, we might throw some stones at its staid looks, which we consider a step backward from the previous generation’s clean and classic design. Audi has given in to the current trend of ostentatious grilles, making the front end look overwrought, while the profile and rear end are nearly indistinguishable from those of the previous A5. Our test car’s sober Florett Silver paint didn’t help counter the A5’s tendency to blend in. More distinct hues are available, but none will give the A5 the same street presence as Mercedes-Benz’s stylish C-class cabriolet.

Worth It

 The A5 cabriolet’s goodness also doesn’t come cheap, with the convertible costing nearly $7000 more than the coupe. Our Prestige-trim-level test car was loaded with extras, including the $1800 Driver Assistance package, $1000 adaptive dampers, the $2100 Luxury package, and $1050 19-inch wheels, pushing the total to $65,050. At that price, we can’t help but start thinking about one of our other favorite droptops, the Porsche 718 Boxster, even if that sporty two-seat roadster isn’t exactly a fair competitor for the cushier, four-passenger A5.

Instead of being a highly focused machine like the Porsche, though, the A5 aims to please a wide swath of customers by doing just about everything well. In its latest iteration, it succeeds mightily at that mission.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Jaguar XJ

Jaguar, now owned by Tata Motors has always been known for luxury. One car that strongly brings forward the luxury essence of Jaguar is the XJ. The Jaguar XJ luxury sedan comes with one diesel and two petrol engines, including a supercharged V8.