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    2023 BMW iX1 Is the Bavarian Brand's Smallest EV

    We had hoped that the move to electrification might shrink the world a little by allowing different parts of the globe to share the same models, especially EVs based on existing combustion cars. Yet, although BMW is going to be selling gasoline-powered versions of the new X1 in the United States, there are no plans to bring the fully electric iX1 across the Atlantic. It wasn’t long ago that BMW seemed to be at the forefront of the electric revolution. The adorably gawky carbon-bodied i3 hatchback and the three-cylinder PHEV i8 sports car were both pioneers. But in recent years the company has switched to a more timid approach, one where—outside of the solely electric iX—BMW has introduced a new range of “i”-branded cars that are EV versions of existing models. Like the iX3, i4, and i7, the new iX1 is one of these, fitting a fully electric powertrain to the third-gen X1, which is just going on sale in Europe.Related StoriesThe iX1 is being introduced in dual-motor all-wheel-drive form, carrying xDrive30 branding (BMW hints it will launch a less powerful two-wheel-drive version later). The motors turning each axle are identical but for a slightly lower gear ratio for the single-speed reduction at the back. Combined peak output is 308 horsepower and 364 pound-feet of torque. Power comes from a 64.7-kWh battery pack under the floor that gives a range of 266 miles under Europe’s flattering WLTP testing protocol—likely below 240 miles under the EPA’s more rigorous procedure. The battery supports DC fast-charging at up to 130 kW, which can take it from 10 percent to 80 percent in a claimed 29 minutes. The water-cooled pack will also adjust its temperature to an optimal 77 degrees Fahrenheit when nearing a fast-charger programmed into the nav system.The iX1’s interior feels well finished and impressively spacious for a car that is just over 177 inches long. Full-size adults will be able to sit front and rear without complaint, and there is a roomy 24 cubic feet of cargo space—virtues that will remain for the U.S.-bound, gasoline-powered X1 xDrive28i, which actually gets a little more cargo room at 25.7 cubic feet. The iX1 gets a 10.3-inch digital instrument display as standard, plus a 10.7-inch curved touchscreen, both running the new BMW 8 operating system. This looks nice and operates snappily, but it does mean the demise of both physical heating controls and the useful row of customizable function keys BMW previously offered. Swiping down on the top of the screen brings up a rendered version of the function keys but requires eyes to be taken off the road. Similarly, although a My Modes button on the center console has survived the cull of conventional switchgear, pressing it just brings up options on the screen, with another input then required to select one. This EV’s performance is punchy and delivered with minimal drama. The iX1’s accelerator pedal is a little top-loaded in its responses, especially in Sport mode, where the aggressive mapping makes it hard to achieve a smooth takeoff. BMW claims a 5.7-second zero-to-62-mph time. Full thrust is reserved for Boost mode, which is activated for 10 seconds by pulling a paddle behind the steering wheel, but we didn’t notice a perceptible difference versus just stomping on the accelerator. There is also a one-pedal mode, accessed by pulling the stubby gear selector to “B.”BMWThe iX1 also comes with a switchable soundtrack, with the so-called IconicSounds Electric option creating a futuristic and vaguely engine-like hum in the cabin that varies according to accelerator position. This felt less contrived than some rival offerings, but we still preferred the silence with it turned off. That’s because refinement is impressive. The cabin is well insulated at both urban and highway speeds, and despite a chunky 4600-pound weight—more than 800 pounds heavier than the X1 xDrive28i—ride quality remained good even over the bump-strewn British byways where we drove the car. The iX1 rides on passive dampers, but, like those in the G20-generation 3-series, they can hydraulically vary effort under large suspension travel. What’s lacking, sadly, as in several other recent BMWs, is the sense of dynamic connection that formerly came as standard with any of the company’s products. The iX1’s steering is completely devoid of low-speed feedback, and its front-biased handling balance is easily powered into understeer. The retired i3 was smaller and slower but was also sharper and better to drive. The priorities of driving enthusiasts don’t seem to be very high on the list of iX1 attributes. The point is made by three new switchable modes that have joined the familiar Personal, Sport and Efficient settings: Expressive, Relax, and Digital Art. Selecting Expressive changes the dashboard display and triggers the driver’s seat massage function; switching to another mode didn’t turn the kneading off, which had to be done through a tour of various menus. Relax started to play an ambient soundtrack. And Digital Art gave another redesign to both display screens. Frankly, all felt like gimmicks.Still, should we feel aggrieved to be denied the iX1? Definitely, given its combination of relatively strong performance, cute design, and competitive pricing—in Europe at least. In Germany, the pre-tax price translates to just over $45,000, meaning it costs almost exactly the same as the entry-level Kia EV6 and undercuts the Mercedes EQA350 4Matic. Better news for us is that the rest of this X1 is significantly upgraded over the outgoing model, which bodes well for the gasoline version that will come here. SpecificationsSpecifications
    2023 BMX iX1 xDrive30Vehicle Type: front- and rear-motor, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
    PRICE
    Base: $46,000 – German USD equivalent, won’t be sold in North America
    POWERTRAIN
    Front Motor: current-excited synchronous AC, 188 hp, 182 lb-ft Rear Motor: current-excited synchronous AC, 188 hp, 182 lb-ft Combined Power: 308 hpCombined Torque: 364 lb-ftBattery Pack: liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 64.7 kWhOnboard Charger: 11.0 kWPeak DC Fast-Charge Rate: 130 kWTransmissions, F/R: direct-drive/direct drive
    DIMENSIONS
    Wheelbase: 106.0 inLength: 177.2 inWidth: 72.6 inHeight: 63.6 inPassenger Volume: 101 ft3Cargo Volume: 24 ft3Curb Weight (C/D est): 4600 lb
    PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
    60 mph: 5.5 sec1/4-Mile: 13.7 secTop Speed: 112 mph
    EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)
    Combined/City/Highway: 97/99/96 MPGeRange: 230 miThis content is imported from OpenWeb. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. More

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    2023 BMW 760i xDrive: Overshadowed by the i7 but Still Much Improved

    BMW’s new fully electric i7 is grabbing the limelight, so it’s easy to overlook the gasoline-powered 7-series models that share the new body, along with various upgraded features and options. But going on sale right out of the gate, alongside the i7 EV, will be the 760i xDrive, which we drove extensively, and the 740i, which we didn’t get to drive.The first order of business is the nomenclature. Last year, the 760—or more correctly, the M760i xDrive—signified a 12-cylinder model with 600 horsepower. That engine is not available in the new model, and the 760 designation now signifies the twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 that formerly powered the 750i xDrive. In this new incarnation of the 760i, the engine has been uprated from 523 to 536 horsepower and endowed with a 48-volt hybrid system that adds an electric motor to the eight-speed ZF transmission. This motor can provide only 18 horsepower but up to 148 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough to achieve nearly instantaneous restarts after an idle stop. The electric motor also adds torque to reduce transmission downshifts. The electrical power used is regenerated during deceleration and stored in a rear-mounted 1-kWh battery.This hybrid operation is totally seamless and contributes to improved fuel economy. The EPA combined estimate goes from 19 mpg in last year’s 750i to 21 in this new 760i. More importantly, this car feels plenty quick, despite gaining about 100 pounds—mostly due to the hybrid system.According to BMW, the 760i is about 0.4 second quicker to 60 than the i7—mostly due to the gas-powered model’s nearly half-ton weight advantage. You can’t really feel that difference due to the effortless low-end torque produced by the electric. But at higher speeds, the 760 feels clearly quicker due to its weight advantage, as well as its transmission that can keep the engine near its power peak.Otherwise, the 760i shares the i7’s elegant new bodywork that is some five inches longer and two inches wider and taller than the old car. Without the EV’s underfloor battery pack, engineers were able to lower the floor in the 760i, providing fractionally more rear-seat legroom.Despite the generous increase in dimensions, the wheelbase went up by only 0.2 inch, which is perhaps why the new car provides slightly less interior space than the old one. Not that the cabin is tight, mind you. Headroom front and rear is generous, but legroom is down a bit.Inside the cabin, you’ll find sumptuous finishes, including optional cashmere/wool upholstery, several wood trim options, and jewel-like controls at all of the key touchpoints (shifter, seat controls, and iDrive knob). Also new is the Curved Display, which houses a 14.9-inch infotainment screen alongside a 12.3-inch screen serving as the instrument cluster. There’s much to control on this car, with some 43 icons present on the “everything” screen, though you’ll likely only access a few of them regularly—and they can be grouped into a “favorites” section.Other key new options include Executive Lounge seating in the right-rear position. When activated, this moves the right front passenger seat fully forward while tilting the right rear seat back and raising a footrest. Every aspect of this deployment can be controlled using a 5.5-inch touchscreen in the door panel.BMWAnother option is a 31-inch video screen that can deploy from the ceiling to provide entertainment for the rear passengers. Although the image is a non-standard format, 30 inches wide by nine inches high, movies can either be stretched or letterboxed. And if there’s only one rear passenger, the image can be shifted to either side. The small touchscreens in both rear doors control the device. By the way, these doors as well as the front ones can open and close with push-button power operation, if specified.For all of the emphasis on luxury, this largest of BMW sedans still performs well when pushed on a twisty road. There’s plenty of power at all speeds, the brakes are strong, and while the steering isn’t the most communicative we’ve ever felt, it is accurate with a solid sense of on-center. The electric power steering varies the steering ratio with the steering angle, and the 760 gets rear-wheel steering standard. Neither function is perceptible at the steering-wheel rim.All of the new 7-series models come with air springs and adaptive dampers, and the suspension automatically gets tauter as your speed increases. Select Sport mode, and the ride height drops 0.4 inch, and the dampers get even tauter. If equipped with the optional 48-volt active anti-roll system, body roll is also reduced. The steering also gets substantially heavier, and muddier, as if the friction had been increased. Oddly, we didn’t notice this behavior on the i7. There’s a total of seven drive modes to choose from, but several of them are focused on creating light and sound effects to match, or possibly, enhance your mood.No bucks-up new car comes to market without some new automation features, and the 7 is no exception. The Highway Assistant, part of the Driving Assistance Professional package, allows you to drive on highways, hands-free, at up to 80 mph. The road must be fairly straight, the lanes well marked, and you must be looking out the windshield—a camera is watching—but when all conditions are met, the car will drive precisely in the center of its lane for long periods. If you flick the turn signal, the 760i will even change lanes for you, provided it’s safe to do so.The Parking Assistant Professional function can also memorize a parking path as long as 650 feet and reproduce it at will. This means that if you have a torturous driveway or a tight underground parking garage that requires multiple forward-and-reverse maneuvers, you can teach the car once and then sit back and relax as it undertakes the laborious parking under the driver’s watchful eye.BMWThe iDrive system now understands a wider range of voice commands in a more natural language. Thanks to more microphones and speaker integration in the 7-series, rear-seat passengers can also easily make phone calls. An interior camera can be activated to remotely check the car interior for missing items and such. And it is automatically activated when the anti-theft alarm is triggered. Although we didn’t drive the 740i, it shares most of the new features of the 760i, including the 48-volt hybrid system, and it also gains about 2 mpg in the EPA ratings. Its 3.0-liter inline-six adds 40 horsepower to the last model’s output for a total of 375. A plug-in-hybrid 7 based on this engine but offering even more power will arrive a few months after the first two models, which will hit the showrooms before the end of the year. All of this comes at a price: $114,595 for the 760i xDrive, $94,295 for the 740i. Those figures are up a hefty $6K-$10K over the outgoing models, but inflation headlines provide cover for raising prices, and the standard equipment has increased. Keep in mind, BMW has put many of the more desirable options into packages, no doubt carefully crafted to run the price tags much higher.That said, these 7-series models compete in the top category of luxury sedans. You can pay much more for prestige with a Bentley or Rolls-Royce label, but you won’t necessarily get a better car. For 1 percenters not strung out on SUVs, the new 760i offers comfort, capability, and class. What more do you want in a fancy chariot?SpecificationsSpecifications
    2023 BMW 760i xDriveVehicle Type: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
    PRICE
    Base: $114,595
    ENGINE
    twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injectionDisplacement: 268 in3, 4395 cm3Power: 536 hp @ 6500 rpmTorque: 553 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm
    TRANSMISSION
    8-speed automatic
    DIMENSIONS
    Wheelbase: 126.6 inLength: 212.2 inWidth: 76.8 inHeight: 60.8 inPassenger Volume: 112 ft3Trunk Volume: 14 ft3Curb Weight (C/D est): 5000 lb
    PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
    60 mph: 4.0 sec100 mph: 9.6 sec1/4-Mile: 12.3 secTop Speed: 130-155 mph
    EPA FUEL ECONOMY
    Combined/City/Highway: 21/18/26 mpgThis content is imported from OpenWeb. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. More

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    Tested: 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV Pairs Comfy Cabin and Zippy Performance

    The 2023 Kia Sportage represents a striking and unusual new design direction for Kia’s compact SUV, with the crossover looking like it was penned by aliens and telepathically implanted in Kia’s designers’ brains. Besides the polarizing styling, the fifth-generation Sportage also marks a big shift by offering hybrid powertrains for the first time in the crossover’s history. A 226-hp hybrid effectively replaces the previous car’s optional turbo four-cylinder, while an all-new plug-in hybrid sits atop the lineup with a combined 261 horsepower, making it the most powerful Sportage yet. The plug-in-hybrid powertrain puts some extra pep in the Sportage’s step—especially versus the gutless base motor we drove earlier this year—and while the added power doesn’t transform the crossover into an engaging driver’s car, it makes the Sportage a more agreeable commuter and saves gas in the process. Michael Simari|Car and DriverOur X-Line Prestige test car is the pricier of the two available trim levels and carries a $4500 upcharge over the base X-Line. For that extra dough, the Prestige brings additional driver aids in the form of adaptive cruise control, Highway Driving Assist, Remote Smart Parking Assist, and blind-spot monitoring. Outside, the Prestige gets upgraded headlights and taillights, and LED fog lights. The interior is decked out with multicolor ambient lighting, a Harman Kardon sound system, a power-adjustable front passenger seat, memory for the power driver’s seat, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a heated windshield, and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. Our $44,680 test car’s only option was the snazzy Dawning Red paint ($395).HIGHS: Peppy around town, decent electric range, roomy cabin.The Sportage PHEV utilizes the same system as the plug-in versions of the Sorento and the Hyundai Tucson. It produces 261 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque courtesy of a turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four paired with an electric motor. A 13.8-kWh battery feeds that electric motor, and the PHEV is all-wheel drive only. The electric assistance gives the Sportage the gusto that the base car desperately needs, dashing away from a stop and squirting forward when you need to be decisive in busy traffic. We measured a 6.9-second run to 60 mph. That’s 1.5 seconds behind the plug-in Toyota RAV4 Prime, which has a 41-hp advantage, but at 30 mph the Kia is only 0.3 second adrift. Related StoriesDespite the Sportage PHEV’s fleet-footedness, it doesn’t encourage spirited driving. The steering is not especially communicative, while the brake pedal feel is inconsistent and was squishy during hard emergency stops. That said, the Sportage far outperformed the RAV4 Prime in our panic braking test, coming to a halt from 70 mph in 167 feet versus the Toyota’s 195-foot stop. There is a fair amount of body roll, but the ride is forgiving, and the Sportage handles well enough for daily driving, even if it can become a bit nervous and unsettled over midcorner bumps. The six-speed automatic shifts smoothly, and the powertrain is serene thanks to a hushed engine and a seamless transition between electric and gas power. Noise picks up if you push the 1.6-liter four-cylinder beyond 3000 rpm, but the engine doesn’t sound gruff or unrefined, although wind noise at highway speeds can get intrusive. The comfortable driving experience is bolstered by a well-appointed cabin, with added rear legroom and cargo space thanks to a 3.4-inch wheelbase increase over the previous generation. Material quality is impressive, but there’s a lot of piano-black plastic, which is likely to attract fingerprints and dust, especially around high-use areas like the gear selector and window switches. The two 12.3-inch screens have clear, crisp displays, and Kia’s infotainment system is responsive and intuitive.The controls below the center screen are not as easy to use, however, with the knobs and haptic buttons alternating between climate and audio controls. While we appreciate the inclusion of physical knobs, it’s easy to forget which mode you left the controls in last, with attempts to adjust the volume sometimes resulting in an unexpected gust of ice-cold air instead. The Sportage lacks wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, although the systems are available via a wired connection as standard. Michael Simari|Car and DriverAlong with extra power, the plug-in-hybrid system boosts the Sportage’s fuel efficiency. We observed 31 MPGe, but we struggled to keep the small battery topped up, which might have helped close the gap to the Kia’s stated 84 MPGe. The battery is good for a claimed 34 miles of electric range, so even half an hour on the highway nearly depletes it. The Sportage PHEV does not support DC fast-charging, but its 7.2-kW on-board charger can fill the battery at a Level 2 charge station in around two hours. Charging overnight at home would be no problem, but the slow charging speeds made it a lot less convenient to rely on public chargers to keep the battery full and the Sportage at its most efficient. Still, the plug-in is likely more frugal on fuel than other variants and gives the option for brief fully electric jaunts around town.LOWS: No DC fast-charging, some clunky controls, smartphone mirroring requires a wired connection.There is a lot to like about the Sportage PHEV, from the extra horsepower to the tech-filled cabin. But the plug-in starts about $11,000 higher than the traditional Sportage Hybrid, which still offers decent power and improved fuel economy without having to plug in. The PHEV makes more sense if you can charge at home and have a short daily commute—or if you appreciate an extra measure of verve under your right foot.SpecificationsSpecifications
    2023 Kia Sportage PHEV X-Line Prestige AWDVehicle Type: front-engine, front-motor, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
    PRICE
    Base/As Tested: $44,285/$44,680Options: Dawning Red premium paint, $395
    POWERTRAIN
    Turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 1.6-liter inline-4, 177 hp, 195 lb-ft + 1 AC motor, 90 hp, 224 lb-ft (combined output: 261 hp, 258 lb-ft; 13.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack; 7.2-kW onboard charger) Transmission: 6-speed automatic
    CHASSIS
    Suspension, F/R: struts/multilinkBrakes, F/R: 12.6-in vented disc/11.9-in discTires: Michelin Primacy A/S235/55R-19 101V M+S
    DIMENSIONS
    Wheelbase: 108.5 inLength: 183.5 inWidth: 73.4 inHeight: 66.9 inPassenger Volume: 100 ft3Cargo Volume: 35 ft3Curb Weight: 4250 lb
    C/D TEST RESULTS
    60 mph: 6.9 sec1/4-Mile: 15.2 sec @ 93 mph100 mph: 17.5 sec130 mph: 38.3 secResults above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.4 sec.Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 7.1 secTop Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.3 secTop Gear, 50–70 mph: 4.6 secBraking, 70–0 mph: 167 ftRoadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.84 g
    C/D FUEL ECONOMY
    Observed: 31 MPGe
    EPA FUEL ECONOMY
    Combined/City/Highway: 35/36/35mpgCombined Gasoline + Electricity: 84 MPGeEV Range: 34 mi
    C/D TESTING EXPLAINEDThis content is imported from OpenWeb. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. More

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    Juvenile Delinquents: 2022 Hyundai Elantra N vs. 2022 Subaru WRX Limited

    From the November 2022 issue of Car and Driver.As any aging punk rocker can tell you, youth is fleeting, and it’s hard to maintain the proper level of shameless rage as you get older. This is the dilemma facing Subaru, as the fifth-generation WRX attempts to please its maturing fans with adult styling and comfort while still holding on to its turbo-whistling, four-wheel-gravel-spitting persona. In the meantime, the Hyundai Elantra N has burst onto the scene, rude and exuberant, with none of the expectations of nostalgia weighing on its spoiler. Which earns the most sport-compact cred? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and may not be what either brand is attempting here, but we’ll assert that neither the WRX nor the Elantra N would be the star of the catwalk. The Subaru is chunky and cladded. It’s not radically different from Subarus past, but it’s toned down. The WRX still has a wide-fendered stance, but without a big shopping-cart wing and a jutting front lip, it looks more like a hiking sneaker than a rally racer. Not that the Elantra N can throw stones. Its huge frowning grille and crinkled body lines had a few staffers wincing. Let’s just say the word “tacky” made more than one appearance in the logbook. Inside, the WRX continues its mission of inoffensiveness, with a comfortable but unremarkable cabin that has carbon-fiber-patterned accents, red stitching, and a vertical 11.6-inch touchscreen. The materials’ feel and finish are upgrades over the previous model’s, though we had to reference the photographs to recall those details. The Elantra, on the other hand, sticks in one’s memory. Microsuede and faux leather surround a 10.3-inch touchscreen, and BMW-like steering-wheel buttons promise all kinds of Sport-mode mayhem. There’s a cherry-red unit just for rev matching, a convenience all manual-transmission cars should adopt. Want it? Press it. Don’t want it? Don’t press it. The Elantra seats get mixed reviews. Some of us liked the driving position and high side bolsters; others felt they lacked padding and combined with the N’s stiff ride in tailbone-bruising malice. View Photos2022 Subaru WRX LimitedMichael Simari|Car and Driver2nd Place: Subaru WRXHighs: Comfortable on the road, mature in its movements, quiet.Lows: Cheap speed isn’t so cheap, who wants a quiet and mature WRX?1st Place: Hyundai Elantra NHighs: Connected chassis, dumb fun with no shame.Lows: Stiff ride, firm seats, flirting with too-wild styling.View Photos2022 Hyundai Elantra NMichael Simari|Car and DriverGet into the numbers, and the Elantra N zips ahead in almost every metric, on paper and on the road. It’s quicker and lighter, pulls harder, and turns sharper than the WRX. Its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder makes 276 horsepower and 289 pound-feet of torque, both more than you get from the Subaru’s 2.4-liter flat-four, which puts out 271 horses and 258 pound-feet. With all four tires laying down power off the line, the WRX manages to beat the front-drive Elantra to 30 mph, but after that, it sees the Hyundai’s taillights. The Elantra wins to 60 mph, to 100 mph, and in the quarter-mile, which it knocks out in 13.8 seconds at 103 mph, while the Subie takes 13.9 at 101. Close, we admit, but a win’s a win. There’s a lagginess to the WRX’s power delivery when exiting corners, whereas the Elantra is raring to go. Speaking of corners, the Elantra pulls 0.99 g on the skidpad, and the WRX pushes to 0.95 g. The Subaru brings things to a halt a little sooner, stopping in 153 feet from 70 mph, whereas the Elantra N takes 156 feet. The Elantra regains the upper hand in the numbers game when we get to price and fuel economy. The Hyundai costs $4000 less than the Subaru and gets 32 mpg at 75 mph. Subie-doo ekes out 28.2022 Subaru WRX LimitedMichael Simari|Car and Driver2022 Hyundai Elantra NMichael Simari|Car and DriverOn math alone, the win goes to the Elantra N, and our less scientific fun meters agree. The WRX is grown-up. It’s all-wheel drive, sure-footed, and unlikely to make anyone mad. The Elantra N, on the other hand, has an N mode that makes the exhaust pop like a dog full of cheese. It’s uncivilized, not always comfortable, and full of personality, much like the WRX used to be. There is very little wrong with the new Subaru, but it’s a more adult car now, trying to atone for the sins of its youth. The Elantra N is here to commit new sins, and it owes nothing to anyone. It’s silly, imperfect, and always down to party. SpecificationsSpecifications
    2022 Hyundai Elantra NVehicle Type: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
    PRICE
    Base/As Tested: $33,245/$33,245Options: none
    ENGINE
    Turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injectionDisplacement: 122 in3, 1998 cm3Power: 276 hp @ 6000 rpmTorque: 289 lb-ft @ 2100 rpm
    TRANSMISSION
    6-speed manual
    CHASSIS
    Suspension, F/R: struts/multilinkBrakes, F/R: 14.2-in vented disc/12.4-in vented discTires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S245/35ZR-19 (93Y) Extra Load HN
    DIMENSIONS
    Wheelbase: 107.1 inLength: 184.1 inWidth: 71.9 inHeight: 55.7 inPassenger Volume: 99 ft3Trunk Volume: 14 ft3Curb Weight: 3199 lb
    C/D TEST RESULTS
    60 mph: 5.1 sec100 mph: 12.9 sec1/4-Mile: 13.8 sec @ 103 mph130 mph: 24.0 secResults above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 5.9 secTop Gear, 30–50 mph: 10.3 secTop Gear, 50–70 mph: 7.1 secTop Speed (C/D est): 155 mphBraking, 70–0 mph: 156 ftBraking, 100–0 mph: 318 ftRoadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.99 g
    C/D FUEL ECONOMY
    Observed: 21 mpg75-mph Highway Driving: 32 mpg75-mph Highway Range: 390 mi
    EPA FUEL ECONOMY
    Combined/City/Highway: 25/22/31 mpg
    C/D TESTING EXPLAINED
    Specifications
    2022 Subaru WRX LimitedVehicle Type: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
    PRICE
    Base/As Tested: $37,490/$37,490 Options: none
    ENGINE
    Turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve flat-4, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injectionDisplacement: 146 in3, 2387 cm3Power: 271 hp @ 5600 rpmTorque: 258 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm
    TRANSMISSION
    6-speed manual
    CHASSIS
    Suspension, F/R: struts/multilinkBrakes, F/R: 12.4-in vented disc/11.4-in vented discTires: Dunlop Sport Maxx GT 600A245/40R-18 97Y Extra Load
    DIMENSIONS
    Wheelbase: 105.2 inLength: 183.8 inWidth: 71.9 inHeight: 57.8 inPassenger Volume: 98 ft3Trunk Volume: 13 ft3Curb Weight: 3401 lb
    C/D TEST RESULTS
    60 mph: 5.5 sec100 mph: 13.7 sec1/4-Mile: 13.9 sec @ 101 mph130 mph: 26.4 secResults above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.2 sec.Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 6.7 secTop Gear, 30–50 mph: 10.3 secTop Gear, 50–70 mph: 7.7 secTop Speed (C/D est): 145 mphBraking, 70–0 mph: 153 ftBraking, 100–0 mph: 317 ftRoadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.95 g
    C/D FUEL ECONOMY
    Observed: 21 mpg75-mph Highway Driving: 28 mpg75-mph Highway Range: 460 mi
    EPA FUEL ECONOMY
    Combined/City/Highway: 22/19/26 mpg
    C/D TESTING EXPLAINEDThis content is imported from OpenWeb. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. More

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    2023 BMW i7 xDrive60 Seamlessly Integrates Its Electric Powertrain

    Should an EV look different than a gasoline-powered equivalent, or have we gotten to the stage where electric power is just another powertrain choice, like picking between a four- and a six-cylinder engine? Ford, with its F-150 Lightning, has chosen to make its EV version look much like the regular F-series. Mercedes-Benz, on the other hand, offers an EQS that bears no resemblance to its current S-class.With its new-for-2023 7-series, BMW has come down firmly in the camp of making electrification simply another powertrain alternative. The i7 xDrive60, as the EV version is called, differs from the V-8-powered 760i xDrive in only minor visual details: The BMW roundel on the hood has a subtle blue ring around it, the start/stop button inside is blue, the grille is solid and has a small “I” in a vertical element, and, of course, there are no tailpipes.This all-new Seven bears a clear resemblance to the previous model. The basic shape remains a three-box sedan with a large cabin to provide plenty of room for passengers in both rows. Up front, the large grilles remain, but they retain a horizontal orientation that dominates, without overwhelming, the car’s face. BMW’s new signature split lights are incorporated with narrow running lights at the top corners and the main headlights an inch or two below.There’s a powerful character line running along the car’s flanks, and the iconic Hofmeister kink is present in the rear quarter windows—in triplicate—echoed in the door shape, chrome trim, and in the reinforcement visible in the window. Overall, the car has presence—looking substantial, elegant, and rich.Some of that presence comes from sheer size, as the new model is a solid increment larger than its predecessor. Overall length is up to 212.2 inches, almost five inches longer than before, though the wheelbase only grew by 0.2 inch—and there is no short-wheelbase version. Width increases almost two inches, and the overall height rises by about two and a half inches. These dimensions make the i7 the largest car in the luxury-sedan segment—by a fair amount.Related StoriesBattery Size and RangeMuch of this increase was motivated by the need for a battery compartment below the interior floor. This volume is 4.9 inches deep to accommodate the 4.3-inch-high lithium-ion cells. The battery operates at 376 volts and provides a usable energy capacity of 101.7 kWh. That’s enough for an EPA range of between 296 and 318 miles, depending on the wheel and tire option.Those electrons energize a 255-hp electric motor driving the front wheels and a 308-hp motor in the rear. Combined output is 536 horsepower and 549 pound-feet of torque. Both motors use excited-field coils rather than permanent magnets to avoid the need for rare-earth elements. Of course, such motors use brushes, which BMW expects will last the life of the car. Driving the i7We predict this formidable powertrain will accelerate the nearly 6000-pound i7 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, and the i7 certainly felt that quick. As with most electrics, the torque-rich, single-speed powertrain is smooth, seamless, and instantly responsive, particularly in urban areas. As speed increases, acceleration falls off simply because the power-to-weight ratio is not spectacular and also because the electric motors produce peak power at 8000 rpm, less than half of their 16,700-rpm maximum, which is achieved at the car’s 149-mph top speed. That puts the power peak at a little over 70 mph, and without a transmission to keep the motors near their peak, the power starts tapering off once you exceed that speed.BMW provides three levels of regenerative braking, as well as single-pedal driving if you select “B” on the transmission toggle. Using the single-pedal mode makes for very smooth urban driving, and it also works well when driving hard on mountain roads—at least uphill. You hardly need to touch the brakes. When you do press the left pedal, you appreciate BMW’s fine job of blending the regen and the friction brakes, with no discontinuities in pedal effort or travel.Running hard, the i7 feels composed and capable, though you never forget it weighs nearly three tons. With standard air springs and adjustable dampers at all four corners, as well as the low-mounted half-ton battery, the car corners admirably flat when you’re pressing.Selecting Sport mode helps a bit in such driving, as it tightens the dampers, lowers the ride height by about 0.4 inch, and provides full power. In Normal mode, the i7 motors are limited to 489 horsepower but the same 549 pound-feet. In certain trim versions, you can also flick a switch marked Boost to enable peak power and torque for several seconds.Running sedately, the i7 rides smoothly and quietly, with a rock-solid structure. The seats are fully adjustable and superbly shaped, the acceleration is effortless, and the standard Bowers & Wilkins sound system (18 speakers, 655 watts, or 36 speakers and 1965 watts with the optional Diamond version) fills the cabin with high-definition music of your choice. daniel krausA Load of Luxury FeaturesThe i7’s interior is a lovely place, with jeweled major controls, nicely detailed speaker grilles and dashboard surfaces, and lovely upholsteries, including a new optional cashmere/wool blend that feels particularly rich. And every car comes with a Panoramic Sky Lounge LED moonroof that is huge, can produce a subtle light show, and has its motorized shade housed in front to avoid compromising rear headroom.The i7 also offers numerous convenience features, such as optional power opening and closing doors—front and rear—each with its own battery of sensors to avoid banging into adjacent cars, walls, or people. You can also specify the Executive Lounge option if you plan to have a chauffeur drive your i7 for you. It provides a reclining right rear seat—up to 42.5 degrees—including a footrest and heel rest on the back of the right front seat, which slides and tilts as far forward as possible when you engage this option.Another new feature is the Theater Screen. This is a 31-inch, 8K LCD screen that folds down from the ceiling for the rear passengers. It actually measures about 30 inches wide by nine inches high, so movies will be highly letterboxed unless you engage extreme stretch. But you can shift the screen to either side to bring the image closer to a single rear-seat passenger. Controlling the operation of this screen, as well as any rear-seat adjustments, is performed using 5.5-inch touchscreens in the armrests of each rear door.For the person driving, a notable addition is a feature called Highway Assistant, which will both maintain speed and steer the car on a highway at up to 80 mph, without the driver’s hands on the wheel. However, the driver must be paying attention to the road, and the car monitors your eyes with a camera. If you look down or away for more than a few seconds, you will be warned to either look at the road or put your hands on the wheel. The system works very well and can even execute a safe lane change in traffic if you flick the turn signal. But if the lane markings fade or the road gets too twisty, the system will disengage.With so many functions to operate, there’s a steep learning curve for the touchscreen interface. Almost every function is shown on BMW’s Curved Display, which includes a 12.3-inch LCD serving as the instrument cluster, along with a 14.9-inch center display, both housed in a wide, gracefully curved, thin panel.A new, eighth-generation of iDrive controls everything and you can operate the center panel with either the traditional iDrive controller, directly through the touchscreen display, or via several shortcuts scattered around the cockpit. The shortcuts are a nice touch because if you summon the screen that displays all of the car’s apps, they total 43—all with several submenus. The i7 also offers a fairly good voice-activated system, which works better for common functions than for obscure ones.The instrument cluster offers a variety of layouts and choices of information to display. But some of the designs are more creative than practical, with key elements such as the graphical speedometer and power displays mostly blocked by the steering-wheel rim. It would have been nice to offer a traditional layout with twin round dials and minor information grouped between them, but sadly, that is not available. Overall, the i7 is a terrific luxury sedan. It’s comfortable, luxurious, effortlessly powerful, impressive looking, and offers more comfort and convenience features than you can imagine. Of course, all of this also goes for its gasoline-powered 760i sibling, which costs $5700 less than the i7’s $120,295 base price. But the electric powertrain adds an additional element of smoothness and refinement. If you don’t anticipate taking long trips in the car, it’s the way to go.SpecificationsSpecifications
    2023 BMW i7 xDrive60Vehicle Type: front- and rear-motor, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
    PRICE
    Base: $120,295
    POWERTRAIN
    Front Motor: current-excited synchronous AC, 255 hp, 269 lb-ft Rear Motor: current-excited synchronous AC, 308 hp, 280 lb-ft Combined Power: 536 hpCombined Torque: 549 lb-ftBattery Pack: liquid-cooled lithium-ion, 101.7 kWhOnboard Charger: 11.0 kWPeak DC Fast-Charge Rate: 195 kWTransmissions, F/R: direct-drive
    DIMENSIONS
    Wheelbase: 126.6 inLength: 212.2 inWidth: 76.8 inHeight: 60.8 inPassenger Volume: 112 ft3Trunk Volume: 11 ft3Curb Weight (C/D est): 5950 lb
    PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
    60 mph: 4.1 sec100 mph: 9.0 sec1/4-Mile: 12.5 secTop Speed: 130–149 mph
    EPA FUEL ECONOMY
    Combined/City/Highway: 83–89/81–87/85–92 MPGeRange: 296–318 miThis content is imported from OpenWeb. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. More

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    Tested: 2023 Toyota GR Corolla Circuit Is A Rally-Bred Riot

    From the November 2022 issue of Car and Driver.Toyota wore the stink of appliance-grade transportation with pride for a long time. Reliability is neither sexy nor fun—unless you’re into actuarial science, in which case, are you reading the right rag? But the past decade has been different for Toyota. It introduced two codeveloped rear-wheel-drive sports cars—the GR86 with Subaru and the Supra with BMW, both 10Best winners—plus a rally-inspired GR Yaris for overseas markets. Now we get the Yaris’s larger sibling, the GR Corolla. Are we crazy, or is Toyota the leading enthusiast brand of the day? The GR Corolla is an absolute beauty. It’s capable of speeds as fast as anyone should feel comfortable going on public roads. The 143-mph governor can be reached on the street, but if you drive that fast on two-lane roads, you probably belong in a cage.We tested the mid-grade Circuit trim, which starts at $43,995. A base Core model is $7000 cheaper, and a $7000-pricier two-seat Morizo edition will come later in 2023.HIGHS: Oozes fun, its driveline’s safe word is “more,” chassis balance makes ’90s BMWs blush. At the heart of the GR Corolla is a 1.6-liter inline-three, a spunky little mill that also powers the GR Yaris. With a 10.5:1 compression ratio and a tiny turbo generating up to 25.2 psi of boost in the Core and Circuit models, it’s not without lag—the GR Corolla’s 5-to-60-mph time is 6.4 seconds—but it isn’t even the slightest bit offensive. A balance shaft cancels the inherent imbalance of the triple, and the passenger’s-side powertrain mount is liquid filled to further quell shakes. More on the GR CorollaIf you’re hoping for the wild three-cylinder wail of a Yamaha motorcycle or snowmobile, you’ll be disappointed. Despite the presence of a two-stage intake and exhaust and the occasional blow-off-valve whoosh, the engine sounds totally normal. It’s more like a four than other automotive threes of recent memory—BMW i8, Mitsubishi Mirage, or Smart ForTwo. When Toyota developed this engine for the Yaris, three engineering teams in the United States, Germany, and Japan worked together using computer-aided engineering to produce a working prototype in six months, about half the time of typical development. In the Corolla Core and Circuit models, it makes 300 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 273 pound-feet at 3000 rpm. The torque curve stays flat up to 5500 rpm. The Morizo edition gets a midrange bump to 295 pound-feet courtesy of a little more boost. The very stout driveline is seemingly impervious to the engine’s best efforts to destroy it. Borrowed from the homologation-special GR Yaris, the all-wheel-drive system and transmission were developed with private rally teams in mind. Following the best-practices advice of Toyota R&D, we launched the GR like a rally car, with lots of clutch slip. The GR Corolla swallowed all the abuse we could throw at it, and we never even smelled the dreaded stink of vaporized clutch material. For the best launch, hold revs near the limiter and make sure the engine doesn’t dip below 4000 rpm. But the driveline wasn’t developed for reaching 60 mph in second gear. Thus, the 4.9-second 60-mph time doesn’t fully represent the car’s quickness off the line. Eliminate a shift and the GR would run quicker than the manual hot-hatch leader Volkswagen Golf R, with its 4.7-second sprint. The GR makes up some time in the quarter-mile, tying the VW with a 13.3-second run. The prototype we tested came straight from the media launch, and both the second- and third-gear synchros were easily beat. We’re confident our next go with a GR will result in even more impressive test results.And it had better, because 300 horses is the opening bid in this segment. The Golf R and the Honda Civic Type R accomplish this, albeit from larger-displacement engines. The Corolla makes up for lack of a knockout punch by keeping mass trim. The Circuit’s standard forged carbon-fiber roof helps Toyota deliver all-wheel drive in a 3269-pound curb weight. The front-drive Type R, which gets replaced any day (come back next month), is about 100 pounds lighter. The Circuit’s standard front and rear Torsen differentials maximize grip. Drivers can select from three torque splits for the center clutch-pack coupler, with 70, 50, or 40 percent of available torque driving the rear axle. Toyota says the best performance comes from the 50:50 Track mode. Acceleration alone doesn’t make this car wonderful. Even better is its compliance on Michigan’s carpet-bombed roads. Fixed-rate dampers provide a ride-handling balance reminiscent of a ’90s BMW. There are no electronic crutches to toggle the suspension from soft to firm, yet jounce is never so abrupt that it violently tosses your head. The spring and bushing selections seem perfectly matched to the reinforced econocar unibody. LOWS: Econo-grade interior, some might want a stiffer chassis, limited availability will likely drive up transaction prices.To get a Corolla body up to GR status, Toyota adds nine feet of structural adhesive and a whopping 349 additional spot welds, not to mention additional underfloor bracing. The result is a firm but not overly stiff structure. An Audi RS3 feels like granite in comparison. There is a little, tiny, minute bit of chassis flex—not nearly as much as in a Mazda Miata—that is a boon to feel. Toss the GR into a corner and you can practically sense the load travel up its path from the tire’s contact patch. Michelin Pilot Sport 4—not 4S—tires provide 0.94 g of grip and a healthy dollop of understeer on the skidpad, although they feel much stickier on the road, and the car is more neutral. Other manufacturers should benchmark this brake pedal: It’s resolute underfoot and responds perfectly to small changes in pressure. Stopping from 70 mph in 167 feet isn’t great for this segment, but at least it’s without fade. One of our few gripes is the pedal placement. With such a firm middle pedal, the accelerator is almost out of reach for an easy heel-toe downshift. Fortunately, a modified pedal is about the easiest alteration an owner can make. Hidden behind the steering wheel is the iMT button that activates rev matching, but why muddle this car with computer assistance? Other complaints are more aesthetic. The interior is that of a car that starts at $22,645. There is no center arm rest. The infotainment screen is barely bigger than some smartphones, and its interface seems PalmPilot inspired. But it does have wireless Apple CarPlay and an inductive phone charger. And how many rally cars have a heated steering wheel? VERDICT: As close to the perfect blend of livability, affordability, and fun that is available today. And it’s a Toyota?Possibly the worst news for prospective buyers is that Toyota plans to build just 6600 GRs for the U.S. market this first year. The car has already achieved cult status and hasn’t even rolled off the showroom floor. You may not get one the first year, but you will be able to eventually. It’s worth the wait. CounterpointsAt one point, I wanted a 1988–89 Mazda 323 GTX something fierce. That car was a rally-inspired special, built on the lowly Mazda 323 but priced twice as high as a normal 323 hatch. It had a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, a five-speed manual, and an all-wheel-drive system with a lockable center differential giving a 50/50 torque split. The GR Corolla follows a similar blueprint, but with loads more power and sophistication. Driving the Gazoo is a riotous good time, and I’m determined not to miss out again. —Dan EdmundsI’ve always thought the latest Corolla had a decent chassis. What rendered it uncompetitive against the Civics and Mazda 3s of the world was, well, pretty much everything else—but mostly its powertrain and interior. Now that the folks at Gazoo Racing have installed this high-strung turbo three, I don’t care so much about the graining of the plastics. The GR is pure fun thanks to lively throttle response, an eagerness to change direction, and prodigious grip. It’s great that such a single-minded machine exists at all, let alone that it was born of such humble origins. —Joey CapparellaSpecificationsSpecifications
    2023 Toyota GR Corolla CircuitVehicle Type: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
    PRICE
    Base/As Tested: $43,995/$44,420Options: Heavy Metal paint, $425
    ENGINEturbocharged and intercooled inline-3, aluminum block and head, port and direct fuel injectionDisplacement: 99 in3, 1618 cm3Power: 300 hp @ 6500 rpmTorque: 273 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm 
    TRANSMISSION6-speed manual
    CHASSIS
    Suspension, F/R: struts/multilinkBrakes, F/R: 14.0-in vented, grooved disc/11.7-in vented, grooved discTires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4235/40ZR-18 (95Y)
    DIMENSIONS
    Wheelbase: 103.9 inLength: 173.6 inWidth: 72.8 inHeight: 57.2 inPassenger Volume: 85 ft3Cargo Volume: 18 ft3Curb Weight: 3269 lb
    C/D TEST RESULTS60 mph: 4.9 sec100 mph: 12.1 sec1/4-Mile: 13.3 sec @ 105 mph140 mph: 29.7 secResults above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 6.4 secTop Gear, 30–50 mph: 8.5 secTop Gear, 50–70 mph: 7.1 secTop Speed (gov ltd): 143 mphBraking, 70–0 mph: 167 ftBraking, 100–0 mph: 329 ftRoadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.94 g 
    C/D FUEL ECONOMY
    Observed: 20 mpgEPA FUEL ECONOMY
    Combined/City/Highway: 24/21/28 mpg 
    C/D TESTING EXPLAINEDThis content is imported from OpenWeb. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. More

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    Tested: 2022 Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS Demonstrates the Art of Compromise

    This may be news to our nation’s political leaders, but “compromise” is not a dirty word. In fact, the notion of give-and-take can create something genuinely compelling. In the automotive arena, the 2022 Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS stands as proof.The 911’s Targa body style already exemplifies compromise. Its top effectively combines the characteristics of the rear-engine sports car’s coupe and convertible body styles while mastering the nature of neither. The Targa’s retractable roof panel and giant glass rear window sacrifice some of the chassis rigidity and lighter curb weight of the Carrera coupe, as well as a measure of the immersive open-air experience that the Carrera convertible’s folding top affords. On the upside, the Targa offers more wind-in-your-hair excitement than the coupe and superior closed-roof visibility to the convertible. The conjugated qualities of the 911 Targa may dissatisfy both the coupe and convertible orthodoxies but will appeal to many. In other words, the body style has the hallmarks of a good compromise.Dynamic CompromisesThe 911 Targa 4 GTS takes this notion even further. Whereas the Carrera GTS coupe and convertible have a 911 Turbo-derived suspension setup replete with rear helper springs, the Targa 4 GTS uses an arrangement from the lesser 911 Targa 4S. (This setup is also a no-cost option on Carrera GTS coupe and convertible models.) Along with an additional 0.4 inch of ride height compared to the coupe and convertible, the Targa 4 GTS comes with more lenient adaptive dampers and anti-roll bars. The result is a GTS-badged 911 with a firm but forgiving ride, something we cannot say about the overly stiff Carrera GTS.HIGHS: Pleasantly compliant ride, still insanely quick, as enjoyable to drive as it is to look at.Predictably, the softer suspension of the Targa 4 GTS takes a toll on lateral dynamics, with the additional weight of the Targa’s power-folding roof panel and standard all-wheel-drive system exacerbating this. Body roll is ever so slightly more prevalent, and understeer rears its head just a wee bit earlier relative to the rear-drive Carrera GTS models we’ve tested. If the Carrera emphasizes the “S” in “GTS”, then the Targa plays up the “GT” side of the equation.Related StoriesIt’s a concession only the most hardcore drivers will bemoan. Because even with its mellower suspension tuning, the Targa 4 GTS handles with inordinate tenacity. Its staggered 20-inch front and 21-inch rear Pirelli P Zero PZ4 tires may have cried uncle 0.03 g before those on a 336-pound-lighter rear-drive Carrera GTS we tested in July, but the Targa’s 1.03 g of stick still makes the driver work exceptionally hard to surpass this car’s lateral limits on public roadways. Michael Simari|Car and DriverAs expected of a 911, the Targa 4 GTS’s steering is as precise as a Zenith watch and as chatty as a startup company’s CEO pitching to Silicon Valley VCs. Our test car’s $2090 optional rear-axle steering system further compounded these traits by improving upon the already responsive disposition of the 911’s wheel. Uncompromised PowerPin the throttle and the Targa 4 GTS’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter flat-six unleashes the same 473 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque as its Carrera kin—gains of 30 horses and 30 pound-feet relative to 911s bearing the S badge. Equipped with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and launch control, this Targa 4 GTS accelerated to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, just 0.1 second behind a rear-drive Carrera GTS coupe we tested in January. The Targa 4 GTS’s acceleration from 5 to 60 mph tells a fuller picture, though, as its 4.2-second run fell short of the lighter GTS coupe by 0.3 second. Even so, the Targa 4 GTS rocketed from 30 to 50 mph in 2.2 seconds and from 50 to 70 mph in 2.7 seconds, exactly matching the GTS coupe and exhaling the same guttural blats from its specially tuned exhaust system found on every 911 GTS variant.A Choice of TransmissionsAlthough our Targa 4 GTS was equipped with the PDK automatic, a seven-speed manual is also available across the GTS line. This no-cost option likely would add a tenth or two to the mile-a-minute dash, but that’s still plenty quick and a small price to pay to enjoy the thrill of rowing your own gears. Yet there’s no shame in ditching the clutch pedal. Porsche’s automated gearbox possesses the polish and agility of an Oxford-educated professional gymnast, operating with refinement worthy of a luxury vehicle, yet able to swap cogs with a speed no human can match. Paddle shifters allow the driver to take control of gear changes, with the transmission responding near-instantaneously to each satisfying pull of the steering-wheel-mounted triggers.Stepping on the GTS’s firm left pedal is equally gratifying, with the 911 Turbo-sourced brakes bringing the 3737-pound Porsche to fade-free stops from 70 mph in 142 feet and hauling it down from 100 mph in 285 feet. Both figures beat those of the leaner stick-shift Carrera GTS coupe by a foot.The Price of PowerWith a starting price of $158,150, the Targa 4 GTS stickers for $19,600 more than a Targa 4S. Accounting for the additional GTS content shrinks the gap to around half that. That difference buys the items Porsche withholds from the option sheet of the less powerful 4S, including the brand’s suede-like Race-Tex cloth that covers the seats and numerous interior pieces, GTS-specific exterior design cues, and the various aforementioned performance goodies. Lows: Dearth of standard convenience features, options add up, GTS upcharge without all of the Carrera GTS performance bits.Of course, optional extras will drive the total cost even higher. Our test car stickered for $173,520 and still lacked niceties such as power adjustments for the steering column and full power adjustment for the front seats. Unless money is no object (which, at this price point, may be the case), many Targa 4 GTS customers will have to make compromises and forgo some luxury and convenience items to keep this high-powered neo-convertible within their budget. There’s that word again. Compromise. It’s the conceptual backbone of the Targa 4 GTS. By toeing the line between coupe and convertible and the Carrera GTS and Targa 4S, the more relaxed-riding Targa 4 GTS makes itself a jack of many trades as opposed to a master of one. It’s a compromise all but the most devoted track warriors and sun worshippers will find to be worth making.SpecificationsSpecifications
    2022 Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTSVehicle Type: rear-engine, all-wheel-drive, 2+2-passenger, 2-door targa
    PRICE
    Base/As Tested: $158,150/$173,520Options: leather interior in Graphite Blue, $4530; Premium package (surround-view camera, power-folding mirrors, Bose surround sound, lane-change assist), $3760; front-axle lift, $2770; rear-axle steering, $2090; GT Silver Metallic paint, $840; ventilated front seats, $840; Chalk color seat belts, $540
    ENGINE
    twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve flat-6, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injectionDisplacement: 182 in3, 2981 cm3Power: 473 hp @ 6500 rpmTorque: 420 lb-ft @ 2300 rpm
    TRANSMISSION
    8-speed dual-clutch automatic
    CHASSIS
    Suspension, F/R: struts/multilinkBrakes, F/R: 16.1-in vented, cross-drilled disc/15.0-in vented, cross-drilled discTires: Pirelli P Zero PZ4F: 245/35ZR-20 (91Y) NA1R: 305/30ZR-21 (100Y) NA1
    DIMENSIONS
    Wheelbase: 96.5 inLength: 178.4 inWidth: 72.9 inHeight: 51.2 inPassenger Volume: 70 ft3Cargo Volume: 5 ft3Curb Weight: 3737 lb
    C/D TEST RESULTS
    60 mph: 2.9 sec100 mph: 7.1 sec1/4-Mile: 11.1 sec @ 125 mph130 mph: 12.2 sec150 mph: 17.3 secResults above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.2 sec.Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 4.2 secTop Gear, 30–50 mph: 2.2 secTop Gear, 50–70 mph: 2.7 secTop Speed (mfr’s claim): 190 mphBraking, 70–0 mph: 142 ftBraking, 100–0 mph: 285 ftRoadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 1.03 g
    C/D FUEL ECONOMY
    Observed: 19 mpg
    EPA FUEL ECONOMY
    Combined/City/Highway: 19/17/22 mpg
    C/D TESTING EXPLAINEDA car-lover’s community for ultimate access & unrivaled experiences. JOIN NOWThis content is imported from OpenWeb. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. More

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    Tested: 2022 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate Pushes the Boundaries for Luxury Pickups

    Full-size pickup trucks are so ruthlessly benchmarked against each other that it’s hard to find one that’s an outlier in any major way. For instance, had the 2022 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate participated in our most recent comparison test, its 5.4-second 60-mph time would have put it just behind the Ford F-150 PowerBoost (5.3 seconds) but a half-second ahead of the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro (5.9 seconds). Its 6.2-liter V-8 makes 420 horsepower, which is a little less than the hybrid Tundra’s 437 horses and a little more than the Hemi Ram 1500 Limited’s 395 horsepower. And on it goes, from towing to braking to features and pricing. To stand apart, a truck requires some kind of proprietary weapon—Ford’s onboard generator, or Ram’s impeccably tailored interior. Fortunately, the Sierra Denali has its own killer app: Super Cruise. GM is the only company that has it, and nobody else’s hands-free driver assistance system works as well (sorry, Ford BlueCruise). If you do a lot of highway driving, Super Cruise might be the feature that swings your decision toward the GMC rather than a comparably posh truck from a competitor. Just make sure it’s available, as GMC has periodically paused the availability of Super Cruise due to supply issues. As of now, it’s available to order on 2023 models.Not that Super Cruise is all the Sierra Denali Ultimate has going for it—and, with a starting price of $84,995 with the 6.2-liter engine, it better not be. The Sierra benefits from GM’s 2022 interior overhaul, which brought an updated design with a 13.4-inch touchscreen, and then piles on the goodies: a 15.0-inch color head-up display, heated and ventilated front seats with massage, and the nicest materials this side of an Escalade. The door panels are wrapped in leather, the Bose speaker grilles are stainless steel, and the open-pore Paldao wood is laser-etched with topographical maps and the GPS coordinates of its famed mountain namesake. Now that we mention it, this Denali might be nicer inside than an Escalade.Highs: Super Cruise, posh interior, magnetic ride control smothers the bumps.Among all that interior finery, it’s easy to miss the small infrared camera perched atop the steering column. That’s the driver-monitoring hardware for Super Cruise, and it enables hands-free driving—the truck has to know you’re awake and paying attention before it hands over control. Once it does, Super Cruise proves impressively competent. During our drive, it would regularly go 60 miles or more before disengaging, usually because of a construction zone or because it ran out of approved road. You can now engage Super Cruise while towing a trailer, and it also can automatically pull the truck out of its lane to pass slower traffic and then move back into it, both talents that GM has amply advertised. View PhotosSuper Cruise handling a highway interchange that required slowing down and applying serious steering lock.Car and DriverWhat GM hasn’t touted is Super Cruise’s ability to handle highway interchanges. When our route took us from one highway to another, we expected Super Cruise to turn off as we barreled toward the 90-degree junction. Instead, the Sierra slowed from 70 mph to about 55 mph and the steering wheel cranked over hard left as the truck negotiated the curve. When the road straightened, the Sierra resumed its set speed and continued along the (now different) highway. In other words, it did just what we would have done, had it handed over control. The fact that it didn’t need to tap out occasioned some surprise and, we admit, delight: cool. Hey, we love driving, but three hours on the highway is three hours on the highway, so hallelujah to a truck that can help mitigate that monotony.When you do find your way back to some corners, the Sierra Denali Ultimate isn’t a bad dance partner, on account of its standard magnetic ride control dampers. Even though the Sierra uses a relatively crude solid rear axle with leaf springs, magnetic ride control tames the yips and hops associated with an unladen bed, reading the road 1000 times per second. The Denali Ultimate managed 0.78 g of grip on the skidpad, which would have tied the Ram for best in that comparison test. And its ride is about as serene as the Ram’s, even without air springs. The Denali is light, for a full-size full-luxe pickup—5586 pounds—and that relative litheness shines through in its driving manners. Marc Urbano|Car and DriverWhile the standard-issue Sierra Denali is offered with GMC’s 5.3-liter V-8, in addition to the 6.2-liter V-8 and 3.0-liter diesel I-6, the Ultimate only gets the latter two engines. GMC positions the diesel six as the entry-level powerplant, priced $2500 below the gas V-8 model. Although the diesel six makes just 277 horsepower, it matches the V-8’s 460 pound-feet of torque and is a rewarding engine in its own right, if you can live without the V-8 model’s 13.9-second quarter-mile at 100 mph. (When we tested a Chevy Silverado with the 3.0-liter diesel, it ran the quarter in 15.5 seconds at 88 mph.) The diesel also earns a 24-mpg EPA combined fuel-economy rating, easily besting the gas truck’s 17 mpg. We averaged just 15 mpg in our time with this Denali. Lows: An $85,000 half-ton that’s not a 700-hp desert runner.When you’re Super Cruising on down the highway, getting a massage from your heated seat, you might forget there’s a pickup bed riding along back there out behind the cabin. But indeed there is and it’s a novel one, in that it’s made of carbon fiber. Granted, GMC’s CarbonPro bed probably won’t make much actual difference in your life, but we always recommend obtaining more carbon fiber, and it’s sure to be a conversation starter at your local mulch purveyor. Plus, think of the money you’ll save on a bedliner. The Sierra’s MultiPro tailgate also folds down into a variety of different loading positions. At this point, you might be saying, “For $84,995, that tailgate better have its own stereo in it!” Rest assured, it does. In fact, the Sierra Denali Ultimate’s price is its biggest drawback. A regular ol’ non-Ultimate Sierra Denali 4×4 with the same powertrain—420-hp 6.2-liter V-8 and 10-speed automatic—costs $12,500 less and is also available with Super Cruise (those are the only two Sierra trims to get it, for now). Then again, the Ultimate’s sticker price looks like a bargain compared to the upcoming Sierra flagship, the 2024 Sierra EV Denali Edition 1, which will cost $108,695 when production starts in early 2024. But for now, this is the pinnacle of Sierras. If you can stomach the price, there’s nothing else like it.SpecificationsSpecifications
    2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate V-8Vehicle Type: front-engine, rear/4-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door pickup
    PRICE
    Base/As Tested: $84,995/$84,995 Options: none
    ENGINE
    pushrod 16-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injectionDisplacement: 376 in3, 6162 cm3Power: 420 hp @ 5600 rpmTorque: 460 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm
    TRANSMISSION
    10-speed automatic
    CHASSIS
    Suspension, F/R: control arms/live axleBrakes, F/R: 13.0-in vented disc/13.6-in vented discTires: Bridgestone Alenza A/S 02275/50R-22 111T M+S TPC Spec 3112MS
    DIMENSIONS
    Wheelbase: 147.4 inLength: 231.9 inWidth: 81.2 inHeight: 75.5 inPassenger Volume: 136 ft3Bed Length: 69.9 inCurb Weight: 5586 lb
    C/D TEST RESULTS
    60 mph: 5.4 sec100 mph: 13.9 sec1/4-Mile: 13.9 sec @ 100 mphResults above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 5.9 secTop Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.1 secTop Gear, 50–70 mph: 3.9 secTop Speed (gov ltd): 106 mphBraking, 70–0 mph: 182 ftRoadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.78 g
    C/D FUEL ECONOMY
    Observed: 15 mpg
    EPA FUEL ECONOMY
    Combined/City/Highway: 17/15/20 mpg
    C/D TESTING EXPLAINEDThis content is imported from OpenWeb. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. More