Posts Tagged ‘all-wheel drive’

Snowbound: Dodge Challenger GT Weathers the Storm

Testing out the new 2017 AWD muscle coupe.

by on Jan.31, 2017

Dashing through the snow...a 2017 Dodge Challenger GT takes a run.

There’s nothing unusual about lining up a Dodge Challenger at the start of a quarter-mile drag strip; the muscle coupe was born to race. Nothing unusual, that is, unless there’s a half-foot of snow on the ground.

But that’s where we found ourselves recently, getting ready to put pedal to metal to see how the 2017 Challenger would handle. Of course, we had one thing working in our favor: this was the new, all-wheel-drive edition of the Dodge muscle car, the 2017 Dodge Challenger GT.

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Dodge has already put its AWD system in the Challenger’s sibling, the Charger, so we had a sense of what to expect, but the 2017 Challenger GT proved itself with aplomb during a couple days up in the snow and ice of Maine and New Hampshire, with plenty of time on public roads, as well as on a track normally closed for the season.


Dodge Adding All-Wheel-Drive Challenger GT

“Shifting the muscle-car paradigm.”

by on Dec.07, 2016

The 2017 Dodge Challenger GT will be the first Detroit muscle car to use all-wheel-drive.

If you’re a muscle car fan living in the Midwest or some other part of the Snowbelt, odds are you either put your steed up on blocks over the winter or spend much of your time driving worried about spinning out.

But Dodge is “shifting the muscle-car paradigm,” according to brand boss Tim Kuniskis. It’s about to launch the first Detroit model to offer all-wheel-drive, the new Dodge Challenger GT expected to plow into dealer showrooms before the end of the first quarter of 2017.

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Set to become “the world’s first and only all-wheel-drive American muscle coupe,” the Challenger GT actually becomes the latest in a string of high-performance models intended to improve all-weather drivability by delivering torque to all four wheels.


Mini Goes ALL4 with Clubman

All-wheel-drive system starts at $25,900.

by on Jan.20, 2016

The Mini Clubman will get all-wheel-drive for the first time with the addition of the All4 system.

With winter finally bringing on its worst in many parts of the country, Mini’s latest product announcement probably couldn’t be better timed. The British automaker is set to offer its ALL4 all-wheel-drive system on the Clubman model for the first time.

The longest model in the Mini line-up, the Clubman was completely redesigned this year – and, like the rest of the marque’s models, it’s a bit larger and more lavishly equipped. The availability of all-wheel-drive should expand its appeal to buyers in snowier climes.

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The all-wheel-drive system will be offered as an option on all trim levels of the new Mini Clubman, starting with the base Cooper at $25,900.  The Mini Cooper S Clubman ALL4 will carry a sticker of $29,450.


BMW Will Add AWD to M

Needed to handle increasing power, says M brand chief.

by on Jan.22, 2015

The BMW M5 is going to get all-wheel drive and a form of torque vectoring to handle all that power.

BMW will be taking the lead from its two German rivals, adding all-wheel-drive to some of its high-performance M models.

Audi has long relied on all-wheel-drive to put power to the pavement with its S and RS lines, and Mercedes-Benz recently announced that it will go AWD on all but a handful of its AMG performance products. BMW was the holdout – with the exception of its performance Sports-Activity Vehicles.

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Going forward, however, that will change – slightly – said Frank van Meel, the head of BMW M. Speaking to Britain’s AutoCar, he said the “philosophy will remain rear-wheel drive, (but) as we increase the power and torque, then the M5 and M6 will have large outputs, so we’ll look at those (AWD) solutions.” (more…)

Jaguar Reveals New “Instinctive” AWD F-Type R Coupe

LA Auto Show debut to feature land speed record holder Andy Green.

by on Nov.06, 2014

Jaguar's new F-Type R Coupe with "instinctive" AWD is shown preparing for a run in South Africa.

Jaguar is punching up the performance quotient of its popular F-Type Coupe with an R edition that helps put all its power to the pavement with a new “instinctive” all-wheel-drive system.

To get the word out about the system, meanwhile, the automaker is partnering up with Bloodhound SSC, a British team setting out for a world land speed record in excess of 1,000 mph.

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The new F-Type R Coupe AWD system is one of a number of performance enhancements that Jaguar will reveal during the Los Angeles Auto Show later this month, Vehicle Line Director Ian Hoban saying, “Our target with engineering the all-wheel-drive F-TYPE was to maintain the engaging rear-drive character that’s so important to Jaguar sports cars, yet offer even greater dynamic capability.”


Buyers Showing Love for All-Wheel-Drive Vehicles

Sales have increased five points in five years.

by on Dec.13, 2013

Subaru's sales jump this year is helping to push sales of all-wheel-drive-equipped vehicles to new highs.

With nasty winter weather dominating the headlines the past few years, it would seem people are buying vehicles better equipped to handle the elements: sales of all-wheel-drive vehicles have risen five percentage points in five years.

Nearly one-third – 31.3% – of new vehicles sold through September were equipped with either all- or four-wheel drive. This is up from 26.3% during the same nine-month span of 2008, according to data from Polk, an automotive research firm in Southfield, Mich.

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While Mother Nature may have played a small role in the increase, more likely it’s the rising sales of crossovers and small sport-utilities as well as companies that feature AWD vehicles, such as Audi and Subaru, that have spurred the change. (more…)

Hyundai Going AWD With Next-Gen Genesis

HTRAC system to eventually roll out across the line-up.

by on Oct.18, 2013

Hyundai will plant the HTRAC logo on the back of the Gen-2 Genesis sedan, with other models to follow.

Hyundai is getting ready to join the list of makers offering all-wheel-drive options to upscale motorists – in this case with a new AWD system it is calling “HTRAC,” which will make its debut on the next-generation Genesis model.

Once reserved for off-road vehicles and a few more mainstream offerings, all-wheel-drive has been steadily gaining ground across the industry and nowhere more quickly than in the luxury market. In fact, dealers and manufacturers alike say it has become difficult to sell a non-AWD-equipped luxury vehicle in many northern regions, such as New York, anymore.

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“We expect our customers to feel world-class safety and driving performance in the all-new Genesis equipped with the HTRAC system,” said Woong-Chul Yang, Vice Chairman and head of Hyundai Motor Group’s R&D Center.

The Korean maker’s HTRAC designation should be an easy one to translate, the “H” short for Hyundai, and the rest a shortened form of “Traction,” Hyundai notes.


Mercedes Moving to All-Wheel-Drive with AMG

Focus on performance – but opens doors to Snowbelt markets.

by on Apr.05, 2013

The new Mercedes-Benz CLA45 helps usher in a new AWD strategy for the German maker's AMG brand.

With the launch of its updated 2014 E-Class, CLS and CLA performance models, Mercedes-Benz will begin a dramatic shift at its AMG brand-within-a-brand. Going forward, virtually all of the performance division’s products will come with standard all-wheel-drive.

The strategy should help expand the appeal of models like the 2014 E63 AMG and new CLA45 AMG in snowy northern regions where all-wheel-drive has become a virtual must for buyers.

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But by putting as much emphasis on performance as cold weather traction, Mercedes is betting it will also further enhance demand for AMG models in their traditional “smile state” markets.

“It should widen our footprint,” suggested Rob Moran, manager of the AMG line for Mercedes-Benz USA.


First Look: 2013 Subaru Legacy and Outback

More good news for NY Auto Show-goers.

by on Mar.30, 2012

The 2013 Subaru Outback will formally debut at the NY Auto Show next week.

We almost don’t need to bother going to next week’s NY Auto Show.  Almost.  But while virtually everything planned for the media preview has already been previewed in advance there’s still nothing like checking out the sheet metal in person.

For now, though, enjoy these images of the latest offerings to break cover.  Subaru previously revealed the new XV CrossTrek.  Now, it’s providing pics of the new 2013 Legacy and Outback models, both getting moderately extensive updates.

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But what may draw the closest attention is the fact that Subaru claims the 2013 Legacy will deliver segment-leading 32 mpg fuel economy.

Among other things, both updates will be offered with the maker’s new EyeSight system, a lower-cost way of providing such advanced safety systems as Adaptive Cruise Control, Vehicle Lane Departure Warnings and Pre-Collision Braking.


AWD or Stability Control: Which Is More Important?

Stability control may be the most important auto safety technology in a generation, but there's still a place for AWD.

by on Dec.16, 2010

Subaru's WRX STi puts its power to all four wheels.

The day after this week’s blizzard, a co-worker asked if I had driven my all-wheel-drive Subaru or the 2011 Buick Regal I happened to be testing.

AWD traction would seem to be a big advantage, and considering that I have a 55-mile commute, I’ll take all the advantages I can get.

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But the Subaru is a 10-year-old warrior, so, while it does have anti-lock brakes, it doesn’t have the latest safety devices such as traction control or stability control. So, even thought the Regal puts power down through its front wheels only, I’ll take the modern car in most circumstances over the older one, even if it is driving all four wheels.

Traction control and stability control are that important. In the old days, you wanted a limited-slip differential to keep the wheel with the least amount of traction from spinning. But traction control effectively replaces the limited slip, in many respects. By selectively braking the wheel with the least traction, the wheel that can get the best bite gets some of the power.


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