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The News for December 12th, 2014

Greg Kachadurian December 12, 2014 The News! 35 Comments

P90169538

Welcome to the Redusernab News! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. I just throw in a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • Audi RS3 Sportback ready to take on Europe, but not America

  • Ford Performance is a thing and it’s going to be good

  • BMW updates the 6 Series for 2015 only as necessary

  • Volvo XC90 T8 is a plug-in hybrid with more torque than a Corvette

  • Mercedes-Benz builds a competitor to the most pointless car on earth

  • Plus your automotive news

Audi RS3 Sportback

Audi RS 3 Sportback

Audi’s new A3 has been a winner in terms of sales, but now Audi is ready to make it a winner in terms of performance with the Audi RS3 Sportback, the new top model in the A3 series.

At the heart of this new beast is a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine producing 367 horsepower and 343 lb.-ft. of torque, which of course gets sent to all four wheels thanks to Quattro, torque vectoring, and a seven-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission. That all means this five-door can hit 0-62 mph in 4.3 seconds and can travel up to 174 mph before the speed limiter kicks in. In order to safely operate that kind of power, Audi has also significantly enhanced the chassis to provide for a highly capable but easily manageable car in the twisties. The front track has been widened, ride height has been lowered, and adaptive magnetic dampers are available. 14.6-inch front (with 8 piston calipers) and 12.2-inch rear brakes sit behind nineteen inch alloy wheels. Carbon ceramic brakes are also an option. In total, the car weighs in at 3,351 lbs. which is 121 lbs. lighter than the last model.

rs3interior

The exterior is just as aggressive as the rest of the car is, with bespoke RS aero bits and styling that make it an undeniable member of the RS family. The interior is also recognizable and familiar to existing A3 owners, but the RS3 Sportback features sport bucket seats, special trim and badging, and a flat-bottom steering wheel wrapped in Alcantara.

European deliveries are expected to start next summer; no plans for American sales.

[Source: Audi]

Ford Performance

focusRS

Ford was in the news in a big way this week and in a way that will surely please those of us who love a good performance car. Ford announced the formation of a new performance division that would be handling all of Ford’s upcoming performance cars, which will be quite a few. Ford Performance, as it’s called, will be consolidating Ford’s Special Vehicles Team (SVT), Ford’s RS team (more on that in a sec), and all of Ford Racing into one global division of awesomeness.

The new Ford Performance will be able to focus solely on delivering the kind of performance cars and accessories that can satisfy the needs of the same customer base that has been increasing performance car sales for the blue oval by 70% in the US since 2009. That same customer base is also starting to get younger as Ford claims “millennials” are buying ST cars (like the Fiesta and Focus ST) at twice the rate of their other cars. By putting all their existing performance entities into one global brand, Ford Performance hopes to respond quickly and more accurately to our performance needs and be more innovative than they were able to before with things like aerodynamics and lightweight materials.

fordracing

To get things started at Ford Performance, they’ll soon find themselves with twelve new performance cars to their name by 2021. The first of which is likely going to be something awesome from the RS team, like a new Focus RS which will finally make its way stateside for the first time. All the cooler hatchbacks that Ford had once reserved only for Europe have finally [almost] made it to America.

As for the rest of those twelve performance cars within six years, there will probably be some Mustangs, maybe a Fiesta RS, and hopefully a new Raptor. But also expect some surprises. Word is we’ll see some of their upcoming performance models at the Detroit auto show in January, so I’ll be sure to keep you posted on whatever comes down the Ford Performance pipeline.

[Source: Ford]

2015 BMW 6 Series

P90169478

With only a few exceptions, BMW’s designers have been on a winning streak lately with some very attractive cars rolling off their assembly lines once again. The current BMW 6 Series is one such car, according to me, and for the 2015 model year BMW will be giving it some very subtle tweaks to keep it fresh without ruining what’s generally an attractive car. There are a handful of minor styling updates, a couple interior revisions, new paint colors, and nothing else.

The exterior styling updates are mostly up front with revised kidney grilles that allow more air to pass through to the engine and a revised headlamp design which is more angular and now includes standard Adaptive Full-LED lights. Along the side, restyled door mirrors reduce drag and now integrate the turn indicators which will never be used. At the business end, subtle styling on the rear apron is meant to portray the car’s surefooted handling.

P90169484

On the inside, a driver-focused cockpit remains similar in shape but only changes in materials. High gloss black trim is used more extensively and new lighting elements in the door sill and elsewhere create a more sophisticated ambient effect. Bi-color leather options are also now available which allows people to be creative in the configurator with the six new paint colors available.

Additionally, two other packages are available which add some different styling to the car. The new Black Accent Package adds glossy black trim pieces to the kidneys, Shadow Line trim, black tail pipes, and nineteen-inch bi-color wheels with a bespoke design. The existing M Sport package can be further enhanced with the M Sport Edition, which adds an Executive package (more tech and comfort and stuff), twenty-inch M Sport wheels, M aero fitments, and sport seats along with M-specific interior treatments inside.

Sometimes the easy changes are the best changes.

[Source: BMW]

Volvo XC90 T8 powertrain revealed

150088_The_all_new_Volvo_XC90

The all-new Volvo XC90 just keeps getting better. When it launches next year, the XC90 will be offered as the XC90 T8, a plug-in hybrid featuring a promising new Drive-E engine. The details on that engine were a little scarce as they were finalizing everything, but it’s now ready for the open road and we’ve finally got the specs. It’s amazing.

The Drive-E powertrain consists of a 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder gas engine capable of 318 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque on its own. However, in the T8 that engine is combined with an electric motor on the rear axle which adds 82 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft. of torque to the equation. That means total system power is an impressive 400 horsepower and 472 lb.-ft. of torque. The gas engine sends power to the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic and the electric motor powers the rear wheels. This will allow the XC90 T8 to finish the 0-62 mph sprint in only 5.9 seconds and all while achieving 59 mpge by the European cycle. Furthermore, a fully charged battery will allow for 24.8 miles of all-electric driving.

Volvo has a winner on their hands. Now all we need to do is buy it. Deliveries are expected to begin by spring of 2015.

[Source: Volvo]

Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Sport Coupe

Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé (2014)

If this had come about a month earlier, it would have been at the forefront of my Redusernab Turkey post, followed by the very car this is meant to compete with.

Mercedes-Benz has somehow looked at all the success the BMW X6 has been enjoying, such as its strong sales in its promising niche market (about 5,000 units were sold last year), and decided they wanted to compete as well. This week they revealed the Mercedes-Benz GLE 450 AMG Sport Coupe, an SUV of sorts that takes all the benefits of an actual SUV and gets rid of the important ones so you’re left with something that makes no sense at all. The BMW X6 should be very afraid indeed.

Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé (2014)

MB’s goal with the GLE 450 AMG Sport Coupe is also similar to BMW’s with the X6. It’s meant to combine soft-road ability with the thrill of a performance sedan, but I’ll let other esteemed members of society tell me whether they’ve succeeded or not. The GLE coupe will launch with a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 producing 362 horsepower and 384 lb.-ft. of torque with all that going to four wheels through a nine-speed automatic transmission. It certainly has the power to be fun and capable, I guess, but Mercedes is also adamant that their selectable driver modes will display the broad capabilities of the GLE, from comfortable cruiser to whatever “sport ” is going to be.

We’ll know a little more about this whether we like it or not at the Detroit auto show. Pricing will be revealed closer to the car’s launch.

[Source: Mercedes-Benz via ]

What’s your automotive news?

lambobike8

As always, this is the part where you fill us in on what your automotive news was. If you saw, drove, bought, sold, fixed, broke, or did anything car related that you want to share with your fellow hoons, now is the time!

My news for this past week was the insanity you see here. That’s a Lamborghini-sourced V12 that someone built into a motorcycle because he was bored. That story is here if you missed it. I still can’t get over how crazy that thing was.

  • Number_Six

    Ford Performance.
    <img src="; />

  • My news? Picking up my repaired MDX from the shop, returning the Ford Edge rental. Not a bad vehicle this Edge, what with 20k miles of abuse, it rode rather well. Cheap-ish but not horrible inside, hate the MyFord Touch screen. It's aging pretty well.

    Integra is going to be awesome, soon. I cannot wait.

    • GregKachadurian

      If it makes you any happier, MyFord Touch is being killed off in favor of Sync 3.

  • I cannot wait to see the new Focus RS next month. I think that will be what I get post Fiesta ST.

    • GregKachadurian

      I'm excited too. If it's priced well I'd be very open to making it my next car.

    • JayP2112

      I've not had my Focus ST for 6 months and already 252hp is sounding puny.
      Sh-t. My Mustang is just 300hp.

      If the RS is the bargain the ST has proved, VW and Subaru should watch out.

  • JayP2112

    My news- last HPDE of the year this weekend. Missed out on COTA last weekend. Took half a day off work to get ready and as soon as I got the wash bucket out the clouds parted. Good stuff. Feels like the good old days of the late 90's…

  • SSurfer321

    Sold this: <img src="; ,="" width="500/">
    and bought this:
    <img src="; ,="" width="500/">
    2015 Volvo V60 T5 Platinum
    2.0L 8-spd Auto
    24/38 mpg

    Of course the bottom falls out of oil as soon as I purchase something fuel efficient.

    • Woo!

      I get the Polestar version in about a week

      • SSurfer321

        Yeah my dealer didn't have one of those. And I didnt want to spend $50k.

    • Drive-E?

      • SSurfer321

        Yes. Thought about the T5 AWD but I'll utilize the fuel economy more than I'll utilize the AWD.

        • I loved the turbo and supercharged engine. Didn't drive the turbo-only engine.

          • SSurfer321

            The turbo-4 in mine is powerful enough for me at 240bhp. Power is smooth and no noticeable lag.

    • wunno sev

      you bought a V60?

      doing god's work, son. thank you. fifteen years from now i will buy it, and i couldn't have done it without you

      real talk, i don't have any money and i'm a hypocrite anyway so i'm glad to see someone putting their money where their mouth is. (i assume that, being on hooniverse, you are in full support of the volvo station wagon as a vehicle and cultural institution.)

      • SSurfer321

        Yes, I love wagons. Domestic's don't offer any. Volvo was the only one I wanted to afford. I want Volvo to stay in business and I want wagons to stay in the US.

    • Sjalabais

      That's a great choice. Now….how do you like it!? What's the good, what's the bad? How did it kick all the competition out of bed?

      • SSurfer321

        The Good? Seats, fuel economy, comfort, tech (BLIS, satnav, iPod, park assist, rear camera), stereo, capacity and price. Programmable keys, so it adjusts the seat/mirrors as I unlock the car. The wife's key adjusts the seats/mirrors for her.
        The Bad? Body roll (IPD rear sway bar will be on order after the holidays), 4-cylinder doesn't sound great, slushbox/slow manu-matic, no place for sunglasses and accessories are expensive.

        I didn't shop much competition, as the Volvo stickered at $45k and BMW/M-B were both over $55k. I would have looked at Subaru if it didn't have a CVT. Also, didn't want the high ride height of a V70 or Outback.

        I haven't yet developed an emotional attachment to the car, as I did with my truck. It could be due to my age or that I got something practical for family use. Or it could just be too early in the ownership.

        • Sjalabais

          I suppose it's too early for an emotional attachment…have to admit, I haven't tried any of the 60s yet, apart from the first S60. But I am convinced it is a capable machine. Pretty envious!

          • SSurfer321

            Funny story, it has the City Safe system, which will apply the brakes and stop the car if it detects an eminent collision (below 30mph). Arrive home one night, pulling into the driveway, apparently a little too hot and cue ABS noise and the car coming to a screeching halt. It activated as the car thought I was going to collide with the garage door giving the wife a good scare.

          • SSurfer321

            also, I didn't cross shop VW because 1. I don't find them attractive 2. German electrical gremlins after warranty 3. Friend is currently in Lemon Lawsuit with VW over 2015 Passat TDI

            • Sjalabais

              Wow, in a lawsuit with this year's car? VW has had issues as long as I can remember. Just like with GM products I can't rationally fathom why people are still buying these cars. Would be nice to hear if the swaybars work as expected, btw.

              • skitter

                More importantly, do the ashtrays deploy at the same speed?

                • Sjalabais

                  I see what you did there.

              • SSurfer321

                It may be a 2014, but yes, negotiations with the dealer failed and my friend is pursuing legal action. Problem is stemming from Infotainment. VW has tried to repair the unit, replaced the unit and tried buying back the car (at less than fair market value).

                And due to the ongoing litigation, she is stuck driving the car.

                • Sjalabais

                  What a bummer after buying a new car…good luck to her!

                  Just another reason to wait for depreciation and customer-beta-testing to do its magic!

                  • SSurfer321

                    Real bummer is its her 2nd lemon in a row. Bought a Subaru Legacy that the dealer bought back due to the passenger seat belt not functioning properly.

                    • Sjalabais

                      Guide her to the Volvo showroom!

                      That's no guarantee for problem free car ownership either though. One would think a belt issue could be fixed, too?

                    • SSurfer321

                      She's now shopping M-B or Maserati…

                    • Sjalabais

                      That sounds like one sensible and one terrible option, her luck considered.

  • 1977chevytruck

    For my news I'll share my biggest WTF moment of the week, which happened two minutes ago when I saw this.
    <img src="; width="600"> …

    One question: Why?

    P.S. Those look like chromed "Bullit" wheels, and the description says this thing is green…

    • wunno sev

      hard to tell from the picture, but they look like they could be Cragars. similar to the Bullitt wheels, since i guess they're probably what S McQ's Mustang was wearing in the movie Bullitt.

  • wisc47

    I'm not necessarily defending the X6, but having driven the V8 version just a few weeks ago I see the appeal. It's actually really fun to drive and it's comfortable. Plus, for people who can actually afford to spend $80k on a car like that, I say go with the "coupe" version of the SUV you were going to buy anyway. It isn't like the "utility" is the main draw; it's a status symbol. That's why the X6 sells, and it would be idiotic for Mercedes to not cash in on the trend. That's just my $0.02.

    • Devin

      I could understand this if the X6 and GLE coupe didn't have the rough proportions and approximate aesthetic appeal of the late and unloved Aztek. But they do, so I'd say go with the normal ones so you're not in something ugly.

  • buzzboy7

    "Attractive"

    I guess the new 6 series redefines the word to mean, bloated throat lozenge. Who knew?

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