No. 893
April 19, 2017

About The Autoextremist@PeterMDeLorenzo Author, commentator, influencer. "The Consigliere." Editor-in-Chief of

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On The Table


APRIL 12, 2017

(Chevrolet images)
Chevrolet is commemorating the 65th anniversary of the Corvette (and biding its time before the mid-engine C8 makes its debut) with a new Corvette Carbon 65 Edition, which will be offered on the 2018 Grand Sport 3LT and Z06 3LZ models. Limited to only 650 numbered vehicles globally, the Carbon 65 blends visible carbon-fiber exterior elements — notably, a new carbon-fiber rear spoiler and quarter ducts — with a new Ceramic Matrix Gray exterior color and special interior appointments, including a new carbon-fiber-rimmed steering wheel. The Carbon 65 Edition package (order code Z30) will
include: Ceramic Matrix Gray exterior (blue top on Convertibles); Unique fender stripes and door graphics; Black wheels with machined grooves paired with summer-only tires (Cup-style wheels for Grand Sport and Blade-style wheels for Z06); Blue brake calipers; Visible carbon-fiber ground effects, hood section and roof (Coupe models) or tonneau inserts (Convertible models); New visible carbon-fiber spoiler (all models) and quarter intake ducts (Coupe); Center caps with Carbon logo; Carbon Flash badges and outside mirrors; Jet Black suede-wrapped interior with blue stitching; Carbon-fiber steering wheel rim and gloss carbon-fiber interior trim; Competition Sport seats and Carbon 65 Edition sill plates. The Corvette Carbon 65 Edition package will cost $15,000 and will be available this summer, along with the rest of the 2018 Corvette lineup, which features many detail changes.

Editor-In-Chief"s Note: So now we can buy full-on drag racing machines from the factory. All customers who buy the new limited-production 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon receive one full-day session at Bob Bondurant School of High-performance Driving, but who's kidding whom here? You walk in, give them your money (pricing hasn't been announced) and then you can drive away in a Challenger powered by a supercharged, 840HP, 6.2-liter HEMI® Demon V-8, which Dodge PR minions insist makes it "the world’s most powerful factory-production V-8 – bar none." How fast? An NHRA-certified 9.65 seconds @ 140 mph. The press release went on and on and on, so we're got going to bother regurgitating the endless hyperbole dispensed. Suffice to say, the Challenger Demon is real fast and we expect to see them lighting up Woodward Avenue this summer (we've already seen mules running around). And, like clockwork, in the wrong hands chaos will ensue and thus it was ever so, even back in the day. In the meantime, smoke 'em if you got 'em.
(Lincoln images)
The Lincoln Navigator has been completely redesigned for 2018. “Quiet luxury is both a look and a feeling,” says Kumar Galhotra, president, The Lincoln Motor Company. “The all-new Navigator embodies both. The sleek styling, spacious interior and technology are all designed to make each trip effortless.” With wireless charging, standard Wi-Fi and a bunch of other advanced technologies that's required for price of entry into the luxury SUV segment, the new Navigator is so far removed from the previous model in terms of vehicle dynamics, light weight, power and more room that the differences are staggering. So much so that it's finally worth consideration if you're in that market. Does it have the cojones to go up against the Cadillac Escalade? That's a giant "we'll see" because the next iteration of the Escalade that's on the way is said to be spectacular. Game on.
(Lincoln images)
Lincoln designers are tangled up in blue this year and the result is the "Rhapsody," which will be the signature Lincoln Black Label theme for the 2017 Lincoln Continental. Layered tones of blue in a multitude of textures can be seen everywhere. Lincoln PR minions had this to say: "Rhapsody has many inspirations, among them Lincoln’s heritage, the sheer beauty of color, even a classic Gershwin tune."

(Toyota images)
This is the Toyota FT-4X, for “Future Toyota”-Four-Wheel Drive Crossover. It’s a four-wheel drive "toolbox" - their words, not ours - created at Toyota’s Calty Design Research Inc. in Newport Beach, California. The FT-4X is "the seamless conduit of popular Casualcore – rather than hardcore – outings by anyone, anytime," according to Toyota PR minions. “As designers, we’re investing deep thought into the emotional connection with our cars,” said Calty President, Kevin Hunter. “The Toyota FT-4X is not simply a concept where style meets function; it is a thoughtful, charming and engaging experience that adds real pleasure and convenience to the journey. We focused on how a crossover vehicle can add fun and value to casual adventures both in and out of the city, thinking about how someone would use it, and what they would love to do with it.” And now they're going to finesse and fine-tune the design, and then they're going after the Jeep Wrangler even before the Ford Bronco hits the market.

The new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet will debut at the New York International Auto Show this week. It will be available with 4MATIC all-wheel drive for the first time, so there's that.

(Volkswagen images)
The 2018 Volkswagen Golf family will also make its debut in New York. What's new? An updated exterior design, standard full-LED taillights and Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) with available full-LED headlights replacing the optional Bi-Xenon headlights in the previous models; wheel designs and body colors are refreshed and interior updates include new trim panels and materials. Infotainment systems now feature larger, crisper, 6.5-inch touchscreens. SE and SEL (above) trims feature standard 8-inch touchscreens. The new Volkswagen Digital Cockpit, allowing drivers to customize the vehicle information on the dashboards, is now standard on the Golf R. There is a boatload of improved driver assist technology available as well. The 2018 VW Golf models will be available in the fall.

(McLaren Automotive)
McLaren Automotive has begun production of the McLaren 720S, the second generation of its Super Series, which began back in 2010 with the launch of the McLaren 12C (shown above, in the background), known internally as the "P11" model line, which encompassed the 12C and all of its derivatives, as well as the McLaren 650S and 675LT. The production of the new 720S supercar (in the foreground, above) marks the beginning of the "P14" model family. The new McLaren will be hand-assembled at the McLaren Production Centre in Woking, Surrey, England.

Editor-In-Chief's Note: Besides debuting the 2018 Buick Enclave in New York, the manufacturer is introducing the Avenir as a sub-brand. Buick PR minions say that the Avenir "represents the highest expression of Buick luxury... Avenir offers unique styling cues and an extensive set of standard features and premium materials throughout the vehicle. New and versatile functionality, interior spaciousness, and intuitive technologies build on the Enclave’s established popularity." For instance, the 2018 Buick Enclave Avenir offers Evonik Acrylite exterior lighting that illuminates the road ahead "with the power of more than 100 LEDs" across the vehicle; a Rear Camera Mirror is standard; and in-vehicle ionization leaves the air cleaner and fresher. (That sounds like it might come in handy shuffling kids around.) It has room for up to seven passengers, which is crucial in some circles. (Not ours, but whatevs.) Suffice to say, the Enclave Avenir is loaded to the gills with everything an Urban Wanderer could possibly want in terms of luxury and other "stuff." (No, we're not going to list it here because we'd be here all day.) If you want one, you'll figure it out. It's all well and good, and the Buick posse seems bursting with pride, but Avenir is still a dumb-ass name, and we're hungry for good names in this business. We're quite sure Buick will sell the shit out of this vehicle, but they should have stopped at Enclave, and left Avenir to collect dust on the concept from a couple of years ago. -PMD

Mercedes-Benz USA has announced that the 2018 AMG GT R Coupe will start at $157,000. The Mercedes-AMG GT R features a front-mid-engine with a transaxle, handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine with 577HP, extensively modified suspension, active aerodynamics, active rear-wheel steering, nine-way adjustable traction control and intelligent lightweight construction throughout. It will begin arriving at U.S. dealers this summer. Yee-hah.

(Lotus images) As order books open in the U.S. and Canada, Lotus has unveiled a unique Evora Sport 410 in one of the company’s most famous liveries, the Black/Gold John Player Special F1 cars. Available in the new GP Edition color scheme, as well as Lotus’ standard array of paint options, the new Lotus Evora Sport 410 for North America is the lightest and most focused iteration of the Evora yet. It is also the fastest road-going Lotus ever sold in the U.S., going 0-60 mph in 3.9 secs with a top speed of 190 mph. Adhering to Colin Chapman's "simplify then add lightness" manifesto, the new 2017 Evora Sport 410 has undergone considerable development to meet the specific demands of the North American market, while minimizing mass has remained a priority. Lotus’ famous Lightweight Laboratory has revisited every aspect of the car, to find new weight savings and, as a result, the Lotus Evora Sport 410 is a substantial 132 lbs (60 kg) lighter than the already impressive Evora 400 for North America. Production of the Evora Sport 410 is limited to just 150 examples a year worldwide, and it is available to order now from any of the 48 Lotus dealers in the U.S. and Canada.

(Audi images)                                        
Specifically developed for the U.S. market, the 2018 Audi RS 3 will be the first compact Audi sedan to wear the RS badge. The RS 3 features the all-new 2.5L TFSI® five-cylinder engine producing 400HP, which equates to 160HP per liter. The maximum torque of 354 lb-ft is available at engine speeds as low as 1,700 rpm and remains constant up to 5,850 rpm. Paired with a seven-speed S tronic® dual clutch transmission, the RS 3 can sprint from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds and has a top track speed of 155 mph (this can be increased to 174 mph with the optional Dynamic plus package). With the dual-clutch transmission, the RS 3 also now offers a launch control program that allows faster acceleration through precise engine speed and an automated clutch release. A limited number of 2017 RS 3 models will be produced. These will be the first vehicles arriving in the U.S. and will be pre-configured with carbon fiber inlays, Audi virtual cockpit with MMI® Navigation plus, Bang & Olufsen Sound System, 19-inch, five-arm-blade design wheels with titanium finish, red brake calipers and the RS sport exhaust system with black tips, for $54,300. The all-new 2018 RS 3 will be available later this summer, for $54,900. The 2018 Audi RS 3 will make its North American debut at the New York International Auto Show.

(newspress USA images)
This is the Genesis GV80 Concept, a hydrogen fuel cell-powered electric vehicle - allegedly - at least according to Genesis PR minions, but you can disregard the hydrogen fuel cell shtick because it is meaningless. Pay attention to the look and feel of the design, however, because it is what the first SUV from Hyundai's luxury brand will look like.