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Cars 3 review: "Pixar’s least essential franchise gets a polished but disposable threequel"

Midway through Cars 3, Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) gets literally stuck in the mud. Unable to drive, he sits there immobile, spinning his wheels. As visual metaphors go, it’s a strikingly apt symbol for a series that’s both Pixar’s least-loved (by the critics anyway) and its most commercially, er, driven. You could even apply it to Pixar itself, which is in something of a creative slough only two years on from the highpoint that was Inside Out.

The stats speak for themselves – five prequel/sequels in eight years, with two more (The Incredibles 2 and Toy Story 4) on the way before the end of the decade. That would be fine if the non-franchise stand-alones were all up to Inside Out’s standards. Brave and The Good Dinosaur, alas, were anything but, putting pressure on the upcoming Coco to claw back some cred.

Cars 3, for what it’s worth, is a lot better than 2011’s Cars 2, which put aggravating tow truck Mater front and centre of a Bondian spy spoof that made next to no sense, even within the context of the property’s logic-skewing alt-verse. For one thing, Cars 3 puts the spotlight back on race car Lightning, the race circuit itself and the gentle Americana of the 2006 original.

It also improves upon its immediate predecessor by having a subtext; McQueen’s painful realisation that his powers are dwindling enables director Brian Fee to offer a thoughtful contemplation on what champions do when they’re past their prime.

One can possibly read from this that Pixar chief John Lasseter has read the runes himself and is anticipating the day when he will pass the reins to younger talents. (He’s started by letting Fee – a storyboard artist on the first two Cars films – fill his director’s chair.)

If that’s Cars 3’s agenda, however, it’s one that comes with a heavy-handed sermon on the value of mentors, represented not only by flashbacks to Paul Newman’s Doc Hudson but also by grizzled old-timer Smokey (Chris Cooper).

The film rates higher by giving Lightning a sleek rival in hi-tech speedster Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer), having a decent female lead in the form of peppy trainer Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) and incorporating some self-knowing nods to its ranking in the studio’s pecking order. (Lightning’s new sponsor, voiced by Nathan Fillion, wants him to give up racing and focus his energies on flogging branded merchandise.)

But even at its best, Cars 3 is only a shadow of Cars – a film that, lest we forget, was hardly one of Pixar’s finest in the first place.

Article source: http://www.gamesradar.com/cars-3-review/

Cars 3 review – whiz without the fizz

A third zip around the racetrack for Pixar’s Cars franchise, this time tackling an older generation’s anxieties about irrelevance in the internet age, with racing veteran Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) almost edged out by Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer), a sleeker, faster, more efficient anthropomorphised automobile. A sly feminist subplot involving trainer Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) is welcome, and it’s a colourful, spry enough ride, but it doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel.

Watch a trailer for Cars 3.

Article source: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/jul/16/cars-3-review-once-more-round-the-block-owen-wilson-armie-hammer-brian-fee

Ford Tourneo – The Perfect Family Car in Your Budget!

This post made possible by site supporter Dealer Reviews.

 

When you think of a car which ensures your family safety, has comfort features and space you will have plenty of options posted on a hoarding or on advertisement magazines. But, you will always wonder which car to choose from which satisfies you in place of status and is quite friendly with your budget. Well, there are many, but, to be honest, there are few which are quite worthy of your expectations.

Through the years, Ford has come up with a number of cars expected to deliver the different needs of the people. They have family cars, luxury cars, modern ones and yes classics like Mustang to name. When it comes to a budget-friendly family car you have Ford Tourneo!

Yes, Ford Tourneo is one of those few cars which is worth your expectations of an affordable and complete family car. It checks on most of the expected features on wish-list manual of any buyer who plans to buy a car.

Ford Tourneo comes with two variants “Zetec” and “Titanium” available in different colours from Standard Red to Grey. When it comes to features, there are plenty to attract the customers for sure.

Engine

Ford Tourneo is available with four types of transmission: 1.5 100PS and 1.5 120PS Auto 5-speed auto power shift with a powerful Diesel engine. It also comes with 5 and 6-speed manual shifts.

Interior

Its charcoal finished interior complement the car’s exterior finish and make. It also comes with all the necessary gadgets from SYNC 3 systems to spectacular Navigation and audio system to entertains on long tours. Tourneo has a huge amount of space with folding seats to accommodate your needs, which gives you options to load bikes and luggage.

Security

Ford has given extra additional security features like City safety speed limit sensors and perimeter security alarm in Tourneo but, to avail this feature customer needs to spend extra amount from their wallet.

There are people who are challenged by buying a car and always have a fear that they are not making a good investment by spending a fortune on a car. Hey!! You don’t need to worry as you can always opt for used cars, there are many dealers across UK where you can test drive a used vehicle, check its review and get a full detail report of its current condition before buying.

One of such trusted dealers for Ford cars is Dealer Reviews. Here you can get plenty of options for buying used cars. Dealer Reviews enhance you to get a detail report of different kinds of Ford models which you like and available for sale. Its genuine comments and reports helps buyers from getting conned by fake sellers.

All in all, the Ford Tourneo is the best city car you can have for your home and daily use as it can fit on any category of use which you can put through, in short lines, “A worthy dependable car.”

Photos/https://www.ford.co.uk/cars/tourneo-custom

Article source: https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/ford-tourneo-perfect-family-car-budget-spnsr/

PowerSteering: 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Review

Introduction
Crossovers. People can’t get enough of them. Built on a car platform but boasting a more generous cargo area and a higher seating position all wrapped up in the shell of a rugged SUV, a crossover provides a little of everything to a whole lot of people.

Luxury automakers have bought into the trend, big time, recently riding the wave of SUV popularity down market to grab younger customers. Historically, smaller vehicles conjured images of simplicity and economy, but premium brands long ago figured out that people are willing to live with petite dimensions if the price tag means that they can afford a prestige badge.

2017 Mercedes-AMG GLC43 front quarter left photoMercedes-Benz first dipped its toe into the shallower end of the economic pool with the GLK-Class. Now, the GLK is transformed into the GLC-Class, a 5-passenger crossover SUV built on the same platform and sharing many of its bits and pieces with the popular C-Class lineup.

Since the GLC-Class debuted for 2016, Mercedes has been expanding the lineup, adding a GLC Coupe with a rakish roofline and performance-tuned variants wearing AMG nomenclature.

For this review, the automaker provided a Mercedes-AMG GLC43 with metallic paint, upgraded leather and wood trim, Premium 3 package, Advanced Parking Assist package, Burmeister premium audio system, and an Air Balance cabin fragrance system. The price came to $67,955, including the $925 destination charge.



What Owners Say
Before we discuss the results of our evaluation of the Mercedes GLC-Class, it’s helpful to understand who buys this SUV and what they like most and least about it.

Compared with Compact Premium SUV buyers, Mercedes GLC-Class buyers are slightly older and wealthier, with ownership leaning slightly more male than female. J.D. Power research data shows that 58% of GLC-Class buyers are men (vs. 56% for the segment), they are 58 years of age (vs. 56), and enjoy an annual household income of $158,203 (vs. $155,595).

Mercedes GLC-Class buyers are more likely to identify themselves as practical buyers (31% vs. 26% for the segment) and are less likely to prefer to buy a vehicle from a domestic company (26% vs. 31%) or to avoid vehicles that they think have high maintenance costs (73% vs. 81%). Otherwise, their sentiments align with buyers within the segment as a whole.

Buyers say their favorite things about the GLC-Class are (in descending order) the driving dynamics, seats, exterior styling, interior design, and visibility and safety. Buyers indicate their least favorite things about the GLC-Class are (in descending order) the engine/transmission, storage and space, climate system, infotainment system, and fuel economy.


What Our Expert Says
In the sections that follow, our expert provides her own assessment of how the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class performs in each of the 10 categories that comprise the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study.SM

Exterior
Mercedes may have decided to tone down the personality of its compact crossover, switching from the squat and rectangular lines of the GLK-Class to the blandly smooth GLC-Class, but at least the AMG models demonstrate a bit of individuality. The studded grille design dazzles, the body kit emboldens, the 21-in. wheels intimidate, and the split exhaust outlets broadcast the AMG GLC43’s intentions. Choose this AMG-massaged version of the SUV and it will bear little resemblance to the grocery-getters littering the parking lot at your suburban shopping center.

Interior
The test vehicle’s Brilliant Blue paint contrasted beautifully with lovely, caramel-colored premium leather upholstery, which itself stood starkly apart from the black dashboard, metallic accents, and the natural grain Black Ash wood trim.

Style rules within the GLC, and the juxtaposition of simplicity in appearance against complexity of technology is compelling. Round instrument binnacles and air vents dominate the dashboard, giving the GLC a distinctive appearance. I am not, however, a fan of the freestanding infotainment display screen. It looks like an aftermarket item that an owner tacked onto the dashboard as an afterthought rather than an integral part of a cohesive cabin design.

Overall, though, there’s no denying that the AMG GLC43 is a luxury vehicle. From the materials to the ambience, Mercedes has done a great job of creating an upscale environment throughout this SUV.

Seats
Well-bolstered front seats provide plenty of thigh support and numerous adjustments to help a driver and front passenger to find an ideal position. You just need to remember that the seat controls are located on the door panel and not on the side of the seat base.

Compared with the old GLK-Class, the GLC supplies far more generous rear-seat room. That’s the benefit of the GLC’s 4.6-in. wheelbase stretch, which added a bunch of space for back-seat drivers. While it might still be a tight fit for three full-size adults, two should find comfort with no problems.

The test vehicle had a rear 115-volt power outlet, which is appreciated but not as much as rear USB charging ports would be. Don’t forget your power brick so that anyone riding in the rear seat can power up.

Climate Control System
Aside from fuel economy and the infotainment system, GLC-Class buyers are least impressed with the climate system. One reason could be a lack of familiarity with piano key controls, which look classy and elegant and are becoming increasingly common.

Another reason could be that the heated seat buttons are located on the door panel rather than the center console where people tend to expect to find them.

Either way, it is easy to acclimate, and the silver lining is that you need not venture into the infotainment system in order to make the most common adjustments to the climate system.

Infotainment System
As with most Mercedes-Benz models, the GLC’s Comand infotainment system requires a bit of time in training before it comes anything close to natural and intuitive to use.

Rather than provide familiar buttons and knobs combined with a touch-sensing display screen, Mercedes instead supplies intimidatingly specific and confusingly unorthodox controls to access all of the technology that the GLC offers. There is a primary control knob mounted to the center console, a touch pad that can recognize handwriting, and a few buttons for accessing main system menus. Alternatively, you can use voice prompts or steering wheel controls to make certain adjustments to the system.

It definitely takes some getting used to, and new owners are advised to read the owner’s manual and learn all of the system’s capabilities. Once you get used to it, it does start making sense, but Comand does represent a steep learning curve for people new to a Mercedes-Benz.

While we’re on the subject of the infotainment system, I’m no audiophile, but the sound quality flowing from the distinctive speaker grilles of the upgraded Burmeister audio system was extraordinary.

Storage and Space
Although Mercedes characterizes the GLC-Class as a midsize SUV, it actually competes with smaller models such as the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Cadillac XT5, and Lexus NX. And while cargo space is improved compared with the old GLK-Class, the GLC’s 20.5 cu. ft. of luggage volume behind the rear seats is conservative. Fold the seats down for 56.5 cu. ft. of space, but even that might prove to be too tight for some people.

At first glance, it appears that cabin storage space is nearly non-existent. Open the bin forward of the Comand controller and it, combined with the center console storage area and the generously sized door panel storage bins, provides ample space. Room for improvement on this front remains, but for smaller items there is plenty of space.

Visibility and Safety
Outward visibility in the GLC is fine, and the SUV’s available driver-assistance systems come in handy, from the standard reversing camera to the optional surround-view camera and active park-assist system that will steer the GLC into street and lot parking while you operate the transmission and pedals.

My test vehicle was also equipped with the Premium 3 package, which contains a long list of safety-related technologies. Among them, the most unusual is the Pre-Safe Plus system, which uses rear-mounted radar that can sense when a vehicle behind the GLC might potentially collide with it. In response, Pre-Safe Plus illuminates the GLC’s hazard flashers to get the other motorist’s attention, tightens the seat belts in anticipation of the impact, and locks the brakes to help prevent secondary collisions.

Given this SUV’s popularity, you would think the federal government and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) would have completed a full round of crash testing on it. But that is not the case. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administartion (NHTSA) hasn’t tested the GLC-Class at all, and the IIHS has assessed its performance in only two of its eight tests.

Engine/Transmission
In J.D. Power studies, GLC buyers name the engine/transmission as one of the things they are less satisfied with. My advice to solve for that is to pay extra for this AMG-massaged version of the vehicle.

The 362-horsepower, twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter V-6 engine feels pretty close to a rocket and is able to move this 4,145-lb. SUV from 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, according to Mercedes.

Power is sent to the 4Matic all-wheel-drive (AWD) system through a 9-speed automatic transmission, and while gear changes don’t bonk your head into the restraints like they might in more powerful AMG variants, this unit feels terrifically snappy across the tachometer. Better yet, there is no discernable turbo lag to speak of.

If there is a reason to complain, drivetrain smoothness at lower residential and city speeds could be improved. This AMG GLC43 wants to run, so it takes some effort to drive it without herks and jerks when all you’re seeking is a parking space or your child at the school pick-up line.

Fuel Economy
Impressively—and despite my regular visits to the thick of its power band—the AMG GLC43 returned 19.4 mpg over the course of a week of mixed driving. That’s only a smidge below the EPA-stated estimate of 20 mpg (18 city/24 highway), and represents a noteworthy number for a performance-tuned twin-turbo engine powering a 2-plus-ton AWD vehicle.

Driving Dynamics
In addition to the herky jerky nature of the drivetrain at lower speeds, the AMG GLC43 is a loud, obnoxious creature around town, the massive performance tires generating plenty of road noise, occupants suffering through excess suspension stiffness over bumps, the SUV’s exhaust belching with each transmission upshift. Grabby brakes don’t help to make this version of the SUV any smoother to drive.

All is forgiven, however, when the AMG GLC43 is introduced to a long, unmolested straightaway followed by tangled ribbons of asphalt.

Stab the accelerator and this SUV instantly roars to speed. Mash the brake pedal and it bears down into a corner. Wrestle the heavy but direct and accurate steering and it exits carrying an impressive amount of speed. And all of the components can take this abuse for an extended period of time.

Kudos to Mercedes-AMG for building such an impressive performance SUV. Just know that it comes at a literal and figurative price.


Final Impressions
Irrationally or not, these are exuberant times for luxury carmakers. Especially for Mercedes-Benz, with a seemingly endless supply of shoots and offshoots of the star-wearing cars to enflame the desires of those with ample credit.

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class gives you the luxurious amenities and image boost that Benzes usually confer, while providing a good amount of utility. By slapping the AMG badge on it, Mercedes transforms it into a bit of a savage while still maintaining its polished manners.

Those seeking more savagery might want to wait for the 469-horsepower GLC63, which will be released in 2018. Those seeking more Zen will want to stick with the GLC300 with or without 4Matic.

Mercedes-Benz USA supplied the vehicle used for this 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class review.



Article source: http://www.jdpower.com/cars/articles/new-car-reviews/powersteering-2017-mercedes-benz-glc-class-review

2017 Ford Focus Sedan and Hatchback | Review | Car and Driver

Overview: A 10Best Cars winner in 2012 and 2013, Ford’s third-generation Focus is now merely a competent small car that is starting to show its age among a set of fresher rivals. The current Focus sedan and hatchback have been around since the 2012 model year without major changes, leaving it behind many competitors in terms of available technology. Although the broader lineup includes an electric version, the Focus Electric, and two hot-hatch variants, the ST and the RS, we’re covering only the standard Focus sedan and hatch here.

The Focus offers a choice of two engines: a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter inline-four and a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder that’s designed for better fuel economy. The 1.0-liter is now offered only in the sedan, and it sacrifices some oomph to earn EPA highway ratings of up to 40 mpg. Trim levels start with the bare-bones S sedan, while the SE, SEL, and Titanium offer more equipment commensurate with increased price tags. The hatchback body style costs about $500 more than the sedan, a modest premium given its extra measure of practicality.

What’s New: Ford has simplified the Focus lineup, eliminating certain configurations, including our favorite, the hatchback with the 2.0-liter engine and a manual transmission. In fact, save for the enthusiast-oriented ST and RS models, the Focus hatchback is now automatic-only, and it’s no longer offered with the more efficient turbo 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine. The SEL trim level is a new addition for the hatch, slotting in between the SE and Titanium models.

What We Like: The Focus remains one of the more fun-to-drive cars in its segment, with quick steering and a responsive, well-balanced chassis. It’s refined, too, with a composed ride and a relatively isolated interior that make it feel more expensive than it is.

We think the clean exterior styling has aged well against extroverted new competition such as the latest Honda Civic. The available Sync 3 touchscreen infotainment system is refreshingly easy to use, with well-organized menus and large onscreen buttons. Sync 3, which is standard on SEL and Titanium trim levels, also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.

What We Don’t Like: Neither of the Focus’s powertrains are particularly inspiring. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder is not as punchy as the turbo fours available in many competitors, while the tiny turbo 1.0-liter three-cylinder is overmatched by the Focus’s size, requiring more than 9.0 seconds to get the car to 60 mph when equipped with the manual transmission and more than 10.0 seconds when paired with the optional automatic. We’re also not sold on the six-speed dual-clutch automatic that pairs with the 2.0-liter engine on most models. Although Ford has smoothed its operation over the years, it shifts slowly, eliminating any discernible advantage over a conventional automatic transmission while still displaying the sometimes clunky low-speed behavior common among dual-clutch gearboxes.

The Focus resides on the smaller end of its segment, and its interior feels cramped. The rear seat is tight for adults, and, even in the hatchback, cargo space is less than generous. Few active-safety features are available, and the ones that are—namely blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warning—come only as part of a $795 option package on the top Titanium trim level, meaning you’ll pay more than $25,000 for a Focus so equipped.

Verdict: As it ages, the Focus slides farther down the compact-car totem pole.

BUILD YOUR OWN | FULL RESEARCH

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2017 Ford Focus

Overview: A 10Best Cars winner in 2012 and 2013, Ford’s third-generation Focus is now merely a competent small car that is starting to show its age among a set of fresher rivals. The current Focus sedan and hatchback have been around since the 2012 model year without major changes, leaving it behind many competitors in terms of available technology. Although the broader lineup includes an electric version, the Focus Electric, and two hot-hatch variants, the ST and the RS, we’re covering only the standard Focus sedan and hatch here.

The Focus offers a choice of two engines: a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter inline-four and a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder that’s designed for better fuel economy. The 1.0-liter is now offered only in the sedan, and it sacrifices some oomph to earn EPA highway ratings of up to 40 mpg. Trim levels start with the bare-bones S sedan, while the SE, SEL, and Titanium offer more equipment commensurate with increased price tags. The hatchback body style costs about $500 more than the sedan, a modest premium given its extra measure of practicality.

What’s New: Ford has simplified the Focus lineup, eliminating certain configurations, including our favorite, the hatchback with the 2.0-liter engine and a manual transmission. In fact, save for the enthusiast-oriented ST and RS models, the Focus hatchback is now automatic-only, and it’s no longer offered with the more efficient turbo 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine. The SEL trim level is a new addition for the hatch, slotting in between the SE and Titanium models.

What We Like: The Focus remains one of the more fun-to-drive cars in its segment, with quick steering and a responsive, well-balanced chassis. It’s refined, too, with a composed ride and a relatively isolated interior that make it feel more expensive than it is.

We think the clean exterior styling has aged well against extroverted new competition such as the latest Honda Civic. The available Sync 3 touchscreen infotainment system is refreshingly easy to use, with well-organized menus and large onscreen buttons. Sync 3, which is standard on SEL and Titanium trim levels, also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.

What We Don’t Like: Neither of the Focus’s powertrains are particularly inspiring. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder is not as punchy as the turbo fours available in many competitors, while the tiny turbo 1.0-liter three-cylinder is overmatched by the Focus’s size, requiring more than 9.0 seconds to get the car to 60 mph when equipped with the manual transmission and more than 10.0 seconds when paired with the optional automatic. We’re also not sold on the six-speed dual-clutch automatic that pairs with the 2.0-liter engine on most models. Although Ford has smoothed its operation over the years, it shifts slowly, eliminating any discernible advantage over a conventional automatic transmission while still displaying the sometimes clunky low-speed behavior common among dual-clutch gearboxes.

The Focus resides on the smaller end of its segment, and its interior feels cramped. The rear seat is tight for adults, and, even in the hatchback, cargo space is less than generous. Few active-safety features are available, and the ones that are—namely blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warning—come only as part of a $795 option package on the top Titanium trim level, meaning you’ll pay more than $25,000 for a Focus so equipped.

Verdict: As it ages, the Focus slides farther down the compact-car totem pole.

BUILD YOUR OWN | FULL RESEARCH

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Cars 3 review – a franchise that’s running out of road | Film | The …

When Shrek the Third came out in 2007, many pundits commented on the strange phenomenon of cartoon characters who appeared to be going through the motions. That’s really what is going on here. Cars 3 is the threequel that no one was crying out for. It is well-intentioned and amiable, but basically running on empty. It seeks to replicate the rookie-mentor dynamic of the first film, only this time making Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) face up to his dawning oldster status. He is still racing, but losing his speed and losing his touch.

Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer) is a smug newbie who is outpacing him on the track and patronising him off it; Lightning must submit to a new motivation regime run by Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) and a new relationship and new possibilities emerge. “Tow” Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) naturally gets another walk-on, or drive-on. The weird thing is that in this identikit car universe, Lightning doesn’t look or sound older. Obviously he doesn’t get out of shape. Somehow, the film must square the circle of Lightning defiantly remaining a winner and yet gracefully ceding the field to the younger generation. This it just about manages to do, although it is a bit contrived. Cars 3 could make a rental download for a rainy family holiday, but the imaginative spark has gone.

Article source: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/jul/13/cars-3-review-a-franchise-thats-running-out-of-road

2018 Jaguar E-Pace Review: Photo Gallery

CARS.COM — “Honey, I shrunk the F-Pace!” exclaimed a Jaguar engineer, before being asked not to refer to a co-worker as “honey.” The all-new 2018 Jaguar E-Pace is Jaguar’s attempt to take the successful F-Pace SUV and shrink it down to compete with smaller offerings from its German rivals like the BMW X3, Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class.

Related: 2018 Jaguar E-Pace Preview

The E-Pace shares its larger sibling’s looks, including the aggressive grille, sloping roofline, and short front and rear overhangs. The E-Pace will be available with a body-colored roof, a black contrast roof or a fixed-glass panoramic roof. Wheel choices are standard 18-inch wheels or optional 21-inch alloy wheels. A variety of colors are available, including a First Edition-only Caldera Red. Opting for the sportier R-Dynamic trim gives you a more aggressive-looking SUV with a unique front bumper, trim-specific foglights and a satin-chrome grille. It will also give you an extra 50 horsepower from the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine (up to 296 hp from other trim levels’ 246 hp).

Inside, occupants will experience a cabin Jaguar claims to be inspired by the F-Type sports car. Satin-chrome and metal-finish materials join leather seats and surfaces to create an upscale interior, while R-Dynamic models add brighter colors, contrast stitching and sport seats for a sportier feel.

The standout feature in the interior is Jaguar’s new InControl Touch Pro multimedia system. A 10-inch touchscreen with pinch-and-zoom functionality centralizes many controls for the E-Pace, including audio and navigation, but climate controls are still operated via traditional knobs and dials. The driver gets a configurable 12.3-inch TFT screen for gauges, as well as a color head-up display.

Check out the gallery above for more of the all-new 2018 Jaguar E-Pace.

 

 

 

Article source: https://www.cars.com/articles/2018-jaguar-e-pace-review-photo-gallery-1420696198500/

Daimler Summoned by German Government Over Diesel Emissions

The German government summoned Daimler AG executives to Berlin to explain the carmaker’s role in possible diesel-emissions cheating after two engines used in Mercedes-Benz vehicles drew increased scrutiny from prosecutors.

Daimler confirmed that several of its representatives are attending a special hearing on Thursday afternoon into the diesel scandal called by the German Transport Ministry a day after news broke about the scope of the probe by Stuttgart investigators. Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported, citing unidentified people at the ministry, that the country’s automotive regulator will test the company’s vehicles for potential emissions-manipulating software. Daimler spokesman Hendrik Sackmann declined to comment on the report immediately, while the ministry didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

A person familiar with the investigation said Thursday that, according to the warrant authorizing searches at Daimler sites in May, prosecutors focused on two diesel motors allegedly equipped with so-called defeat devices that would reduce emissions controls. The Mercedes GLK 250 and GL 350 sport-utility vehicles are among models at the carmaker that use the engines. The probe is looking into sales from 2008 to 2016, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing an ongoing investigation.

The Stuttgart-based maker of Mercedes-Benz luxury cars is one of a number of auto manufacturers targeted in a technology scandal that’s enveloped the industry since Volkswagen AG revealed in September 2015 that it installed software to bypass pollution rules. Hundreds of police officers and prosecutors participated in the searches at Daimler sites throughout Germany in May as part of a probe opened two months earlier.

Shares Decline

“Daimler appears to have taken their interpretation of what’s technically allowed on emissions treatment too far,” said Juergen Pieper, an analyst at Bankhaus Metzler in Frankfurt. “The question now is if they’ve broken the rules on purpose or have been bending them too far.” He estimated that any upgrade required for the cars would cost about 500 million euros ($570 million).

Daimler shares fell 0.5 percent to 65.15 euros at the close in Frankfurt, partly recovering from a drop of as much as 3 percent. The stock has declined 7.9 percent this year, valuing the automaker at 69.7 billion euros.

Investigators, who began looking into possible fraud and false advertising at Daimler in March, have identified two technicians at the manufacturer who are suspected of handling manipulated software that controls the engines’ exhaust, the person said. The warrant doesn’t specify the number of vehicles affected, the person said.

Jan Holzner, a spokesman at the Stuttgart prosecutors office, declined to comment on the warrant’s details, but said information about the document first published in Munich-based daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung can’t be interpreted as the probe being widened. He confirmed that two people are being investigated. Prosecutors haven’t started to review the bulk of the material seized because Daimler has filed several court suits against the searches, meaning the documents remain sealed for now.

1 Million Vehicles

Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported that Daimler used the two engines in more than 1 million vehicles.

Daimler spokesman Joerg Howe reiterated on Thursday that the manufacturer is cooperating fully with the investigation. He declined to comment further.

The Stuttgart raids in May also targeted material collected by lawyers at Gibson Dunn Crutcher, according to the person familiar with the details of the investigation. Daimler had appointed the firm as its own investigator cooperating in a separate U.S. Department of Justice probe into the carmaker’s diesel engines. Daimler asked a Stuttgart court to be allowed to recover that material from the hands of prosecutors, the person said.

German courts have been divided on whether items collected by law firms hired by companies to investigate independently are covered by attorney-client privilege, a rule that normally puts such material off limits. Volkswagen faces a similar situation after the Munich offices of law firm Jones Day were raided and documents seized. VW has hired Jones Day to investigate the diesel issue and report to the DOJ. VW has asked Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court to ban prosecutors from any use of material produced by Jones Day.

    Article source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-12/daimler-probe-reviews-engines-used-in-1-million-cars-sz-reports

Modarri car building sets review

If you think back to your favorite toys when you were a kid, were they video games or were they toys that let you use your imagination like construction sets and other building toys? I’m going to show my age here, but some of my favorite toys when I was a budding gadgeteerling were Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, and an Etch A Sketch. I spent hours playing with these toys because each time I built or drew something, it was new. You can still buy those classic toys today, but if you’re looking for a new toy for your kids that promotes creativity and open-ended play, check out Modarri. They call it the Ultimate Toy Car. Let’s see if that’s true. 

What is it?

Modarri are car building sets designed for kids and those who are still young at heart. Each car building set comes with at least one car and individual parts that you can mix and match to create different looks.

In the image above, you can see what is included in a single car set. The single car set includes 6 frame pieces, a set of wheels, and a hex screwdriver.

Although it’s not obvious, you can even mix and match tires and seats if you have more than one car.


The wheels feature real suspension and shock absorbers.

The Modarri car frame parts stack on top of each other and are held in place with two screws.

The hood goes on first.

Then the fenders.

And then the metal frame that has the screws which are retained in the frame so that they won’t fall out and get lost.

The whole idea of the Modarri car building system is that you can mix and match the parts to create new cars.

Three car sets like the one shown above contain extra parts like the traffic cones and additional screwdrivers. And of course, the more pieces you have, the more variations of cars you can build.


All of the car parts except the metal frame with the screws and some of the wheel mechanism are made of plastic. The parts feel rugged enough though, so they should be able to stand up to some rough play.

Building the cars isn’t the only fun kids can have. You can also “drive” the cars by putting your finger in the seat. Since the wheels have built-in suspension, you can actually steer the cars, which is fun.

Modarri also offers a carrying case so you (I mean your child) can keep the cars, parts and tools organized and tidy.

The case can hold a dozen cars and has a removable tray and a handle for easy transport.

Final thoughts

So is Modarri the ultimate toy car building set? Yes, it is. These cars are a lot of fun to assemble, disassemble and “drive”. The system is very LEGO-like, but the Modarri cars look a lot more like a real car than any LEGO car does.

If your child likes to build things and likes race cars, Modarri car building sets are sure to keep them (and you) entertained for hours.

Source: The sample for this review was provided by Modarri. Please visit their site for more info and Amazon to order.



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Article source: http://the-gadgeteer.com/2017/07/13/modarri-car-building-sets-review/