Displaying items by tag: SUV

Thursday, 28 January 2021 07:50

Manhart BMW X5 M with 823HP

German Manhart now offers the owners of the BMW X5 M Competition a new tuning program.

Manhart’s package to modify the BMW X5 M Competition primarily implies that the 4.4-liter V8 TwinPower Turbo engine is boosted from 625hp and 750 Nm to 823hp and 1080 Nm of torque.

The Manhart package also includes carbon fiber elements, a stainless steel sports exhaust system, a set of new 22-inch wheels, stronger brakes, modified suspension (the car is 30 mm lower), as well as gold details, Manhart emblems and a refined interior. alcantara, carbon fiber elements).

Manhart does not state data on acceleration to 100 km / h, so here is a reminder that the serial X5 M Competiton needs 3.8 seconds for that.

The same package will be offered for the BMW X6 M Comeptition.

Published in Blog/News
Thursday, 28 January 2021 07:44

Mercedes-Benz EQA review

Mercedes-Benz's latest EV is smoothly predictable

The latest new addition to Mercedes-Benz's growing line-up of electric cars is the EQA, the EV version of the existing GLA SUV. Although it looks like the aformentioned family car with a blanked-out nose, there's a lot of new technology under the skin, which will be shared with future models in the firm's EQ model range.

It's exactly the sort of product that the carmakers are telling us that buyers want right now – an electric SUV. And they're all rushing to build them for us, with the EQA's rivals including the upcoming BMW iX3, Ford Mustang Mach-E and Audi Q3 e-tron as well as the Volvo XC40 Recharge, which is already on sale in the UK.

Design wise, it’s what you’ve come to expect from a small Mercedes-Benz SUV – smooth, creaseless design outside and an MBUX-equipped dashboard and infotainment system on the inside.

What's it like inside?
So it looks familiar inside, but there are some interesting touches, such as the instrument lighting which turns momentarily white when boost is active and the horizontally split performance meter which replaces the rev counter. There's also a fire red low-range warning scenario for the screen and the four driving modes are named Modern Classic, Sport, Progressive and Reduced.

The EQA can be had with the Energizing Comfort Plus package first launched in the CLS, which sounds like the answer to a question no one asked, but actually enhances comfort on long drives by offering massage functions, smartwatch connectivity, mood lighting, bespoke music and even a power nap feature you can use when parked up.

UK specs are yet to be confirmed, but trim levels in Europe include AMG Line, an Electric Art version with low-drag aerodynamic wheel covers and the launch Edition 1 featuring rose gold accents inside and out.

What's under the skin?
The good news is that there's some genuinely innovative technology under the skin and the claimed battery range and performance are impressive. A substantial lithium-ion battery pack is fixed into the floor, with the first model – EQA 250 – having a usable battery capacity of 66.5kWh. That lags behind the 78kWh you get in a Volvo XC40 Recharge, but is on the money for an EV of this size and class.

It's calibrated for range and efficiency rather than performance. The EQA 250 model claims up to 266 miles of range, according to WLTP figures, has a 0-62mph time of 8.9 seconds and a maximum speed of 99mph. You can charge it up to 11kW on AC at home, or up to 100kW on DC rapid charge.

There will be more EQAs to choose from, with Mercedes-Benz confirming that the EQA 250 model will be fjoined by power variants, including those with all-wheel drive. There will also be a 200kW (272hp) version later on (most likely badged EQA 300), and another variant that can claim up to 310 miles.

The EQA also gains the EQC's Eco Assist system, which uses navigation and traffic sign data to gauge how much brake regeneration is required at a given moment, and the navigation also takes into account charging times to give you as accurate a time as possible to get to your destination.

What's it like to drive?

We've had a quick drive of a pre-production EQA in prototype form, and can confirm that it's an impressively refined place in which to spend time. The main audio source up to 20mph is the pedestrian warning chime which, later turns into a subdued hum. Only when driving really hard does that murmur swells to a discreet growl.

Despite the modest claimed acceleration figures, keen drivers will enjoy way the EQA can cover ground with surprising vigour. And like all EVs, this seamless acceleration is uninterrupted by gearchange upshifts. The almost noiseless flow means you have little sensation of speed, which might be worth noting if you're not someone who watches the speedo like a hawk. Overall, it’s a refined machine, complete with a comfortable and cosseting ride.

There are three recuperation modes (how much energy is recovered when lifting off the throttle) with different levels of energy regeneration labelled mild, medium and strong. Strong in particular feels like a viable one-pedal driving experience – lift-off and the car quickly loses momentum.

When will it go on sale in the UK?
Expect to see the EQA go on sale in the summer of 2021, with UK prices and specs yet to be confirmed. German prices start at €47,540, which suggest it'll be much more affordable than the XC40 Recharge and BMW iX3. There will be more related models to follow, with the EQB seven-seater SUV and EQS luxury saloon following later in 2021.

Source: parkers.co.uk

Published in Mercedes
Tuesday, 26 January 2021 07:33

New Toyota RAV4 plug-in hybrid 2021 review

The ever-popular Toyota RAV4 SUV gets plug-in hybrid power for first time

From a technological point of view, the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid is an impressive achievement. This is a comfortable and refined plug-in hybrid SUV – as long as you keep charging it from the plug instead of via the engine. There’s acres of space in the well stocked and well finished cabin, and the boot is still huge. The price tag is big, too, but the ultra-low Benefit-in-Kind taxation rates mean that Toyota could be on to a winner with company car buyers. The Suzuki Across – which is almost identical – is cheaper still, though.

Toyota’s hybrid expertise takes a new turn in 2021 with the introduction of this: the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid. It’s a bit of a missing link for this popular large SUV. Toyota made a fully electric RAV4 for its first two generations, but for the US market only, while the last version of the car to be replaced had a conventional hybrid powertrain to bring an electrified RAV4 to the masses.

Now, with CO2 targets ever harder to hit, Toyota sees plug-in hybrid power as a catch-all, delivering mass market appeal combined with ultra-low emissions and running costs.

The new car has a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine developing 182bhp and linked to a CVT transmission, but the battery and dual-electric motor set-up take centre stage. A large 18.1kWh battery is located beneath the rear seats, while the front motor is rated at 134kW (176bhp) and the rear at 40kW (53bhp). The engine and electric motors don’t produce maximum output at the same time, so peak power is rated at 302bhp.

With two electrified axles, the RAV4 drives through its electric motors nearly all the time. The engine is there mainly for generating charge, and only occasionally sends drive directly to the front wheels. The driver can flick through four modes – EV for pure electric running, EV/HV, which shuffles between fully electric and hybrid power automatically, HV for solely hybrid running, and a charging mode, which sees the engine top up the battery on the move.

From start-up, the RAV4 defaults to EV mode if there is enough charge in the battery. Keep the cell topped up – it can be recharged in 7.5 hours from a household plug or as little as 2.5 hours from a 7kW wallbox – and there’s plenty of all-electric range to lean on.

EV mode really means just that, and little will provoke the engine into action. Toyota claims up to 46 miles of pure-electric running is possible, and we managed 35 silent miles with no real effort. The car is extremely smooth, and on electric power alone it’s certainly fast enough for day-to-day life. Its acceleration is comparable with that of the entry-level 2.0-litre petrol RAV4. The top speed on electric power is 84mph.

When the battery is drained, the RAV4 automatically switches into EV/HV mode, but you’ll still wonder if the engine is involved. The transition between the two power sources is seamless, and even having a CVT transmission doesn’t seem to be a problem. The engine drops in and out, contributing when it needs to and quietly leaving when not required. It’s a very impressive piece of engineering.

You’ll also discover Eco and Sport modes on top of the drivetrain options. They alter the state of performance, with Eco mode dulling throttle responses in the pursuit of efficiency, and Sport mode giving you maximum power in one hit.

Although 0-62mph takes just six seconds, the RAV4 is not a car you’ll want to hurry in. Instead it’s a solid cross-country cruiser, with good ride quality at speed. The weight and firm springing mean it’s slightly fussy at low speed around town, though, and not quite as comfortable as the other RAV4 variants. It’s got nice steering, great visibility and loads of space for adults front and rear. But Toyota’s newcomer is heavy and it feels it, so while 302bhp sounds like a recipe for fun, it’s best to sit back and enjoy the impressive levels of refinement.

The only flaw in this otherwise spookily smooth and silent package is exposed when you tap into the recharge mode. Asking the engine to constantly top up the battery introduces trademark CVT wailing. Up hills the revs are intrusive and coarse, but it’s a small trade-off to pay when you consider the rest of the package.

Toyota claims fuel economy of 282.5mpg. That’s a rather fanciful figure, but you can expect around 55-60mpg in the real world, or more if you do as you should, and plug in on a daily basis. CO2 emissions of just 22g/km mean company car users profit the most from the RAV4’s tiny Benefit-in-Kind tax rate of just seven per cent for the 21/22 tax year. Those in the 40 per cent bracket can expect a tax bill next year of around £1,424, so compared with standout rivals, the Toyota’s financials make strong sense.

The only problem nipping at its heels is the near-identical Suzuki Across PHEV, which, thanks to its slightly smaller price tag, has a slightly smaller tax bill, too – £1,275 for 21/22 for higher-rate taxpayers. However, we found the Suzuki wasn’t quite as comfortable on the road as the Toyota.

Prices for the RAV4 PHEV start from £47,395 in Dynamic trim, rising to £50,895 for this Dynamic Premium car. That’s quite a chunk, and compared with rivals such as the Peugeot 3008 HYBRID4, the RAV4 is a pricey option with its large battery.

But this trim does bring a panoramic roof, black leather upholstery, and heated and cooled electrically adjustable seats. Even heated rear seats are standard. It feels plush and very well made, if lacking a little sparkle in its design. The only real weak point is the nine-inch infotainment, with its cheap-feeling buttons and dated graphics. Yet standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allow you to bypass this using a smartphone.

Source: autoexpress.co.uk

Published in Toyota

Comfortable when you need it, punchy when you want it.

With SUVs being so popular now, manufacturers have the challenge of fitting multiple models into a multitude of niches to satisfy all kinds of customers. Take Audi, for example, whose Q5 represents about 25 percent of the marque's U.S. sales. Part of that has to do with the model's three very different powertrain variants: the regular Q5 45 TFSI, the gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid Q5 55 TFSI e, and the dynamic SQ5. In the hottest segment of the game, you gotta satisfy everyone.

The 2021 Audi Q5 lineup gets a midcycle refresh that slightly changes its appearance inside and out, not to mention slightly boosts the model's performance. The 2021 SQ5, which we'll focus on in this review, improves upon the 2020 model, and after taking it to the track, we can confirm it also handles like a champ on our figure-eight course.

2021 Audi SQ5: The Numbers
In our testing, the turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 that puts down 349 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque launched the SQ5 from 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, exactly the same time Audi got with its own stopwatches. The SQ5 also completed the quarter mile in 13.4 seconds at 102.9 mph. Those are pretty good numbers for a 4,400-pound SUV and it means the SQ5 can stay neck and neck with the competition. The last Mercedes-AMG GLC43 we tested—a 2017 model—got to 60 mph in the same 4.7 seconds and crossed the quarter mile in 13.4 seconds at 104.3 mph. Talk about being competitive. Since then, however, Mercedes has added 23 horses to the GLC43, which now makes 385 hp (torque remains the same at 384 lb-ft). We have yet to test an updated GLC43, so we'll have to wait and see how much faster (if any) it is.

Road test editor Chris Walton was impressed by the SQ5's handling. "Wow! What a delight on the figure eight," he said. "Really, a tremendously fun experience that I was not anticipating. Porsche levels of fun and predictability."

Whether it's on the track or the streets, the 2021 Audi SQ5 is fun to drive. Like we said in our First Drive, the SQ5 feels more like a hot hatch than a hot SUV, with limited body roll and sharp steering response. On twisty roads, the SQ5 leans in nicely, its tires maintaining good grip and giving you the confidence to push the SUV even harder. The low-end torque allows the SQ5 to pull itself out of corners with ease, but the transmission takes a bit of time to downshift, even in Dynamic mode. At least Audi fits the SQ5 with shift paddles, which allow the driver to override the gearbox's lethargic nature.

You're most likely buying an SQ5 because you want more power, but when you want to cruise peacefully, this Audi also delivers. Despite its 21-inch wheels, the SQ5's ride is settled and peaceful on the freeway. When we drove about Portuguese Bend, an area of the Palos Verdes Peninsula in Southern California where frequent land movements perpetually rumple the pavement, we noted the Audi's suspension handled medium undulations well.

2021 Audi SQ5: Inside The Beast
You'll know you're in the SQ5 thanks to the number of badges located about the cabin. From the steering wheel to the shifter to the seats, the abundant S logos visually differentiate the SQ5 from its less powerful siblings. Besides that, all Q5 and SQ5 models come with the same 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system that's compatible with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This screen replaces the priorly available 7.0- and 8.3-inch displays and is located within easy reach of the driver. The MIB3 infotainment system is easy to use and fast to respond, and it now adds a voice control system that learns and recognizes natural commands for vehicle controls.

Although the SQ5 (as well as its Q5 stablemates) doesn't get the fancy dual-screen center console found in Audi's bigger models, such as the Q7 and Q8, the cabin still feels tech-savvy. A 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster (or Virtual Cockpit in Audi-speak) is enhanced with a better resolution that makes the setup's Google Satellite images even crisper. Our test car included the Prestige package and came with the optional color head-up display. The 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium sound system had us cranking up the volume every time we played our favorite songs.

Interior space is generally decent. The biggest compromise is to second-row foot room due to the bulky drivetrain hump. Other than that, though, there's plenty of space for adults. Rear-seat passengers will appreciate the airy cabin thanks to the large windows, but the biggest downside is that the seats do not fold in a fully flat position.

2021 Audi SQ5: Worth The Cost?
The updated SQ5 brings a fresh design inside and out while balancing dynamics and refinement for everyday driving. It's a great option for those who want more punch than the Q5 offers. Plus, with a starting price of $53,995, it's a reasonable value—at least in its base form. Prices escalate quickly, though, with our top-of-the-line SQ5 with the Prestige package stickering for $71,790.

The SQ5's number one mission is delivering a fun driving experience. This Audi not only does that, but it also provides a suave ride when you want it. Few SUVs manage to do this as well as the SQ5 does.

Source: motortrend.com

Published in Audi
Wednesday, 20 January 2021 06:28

Soon and Hyundai Bayon

Hyundai Motor has announced a new announcement of the image of its new crossover Baion. It is coming to the European market in the first half of 2021, which is an important addition to the current line of Hyundai SUVs.

With the launch of the new, additional B-segment model as an entry point into its SUV line, Hyundai sees a great opportunity to better meet the demand of European customers and increase supply in the very popular segment.

The name Baion is inspired by the city of Baion in southwestern France. Since the Hyundai Bayon is primarily a European product, Hyundai decided to name it after a European city. Located between the Atlantic coast and the Pyrenees, the French city is a great location for those who enjoy activities such as sailing and hiking, fitting into the life character of the new model.

More details about the Hyundai Bayon will be revealed soon, but it is expected to use the same platform as the new i20.

Among other things, the offer should include a 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbo gasoline engine with 120 hp.

Customers will be offered a choice between manual and automatic transmissions, and the equipment will also include a digital instrument panel and a 10.25-inch infotainment system screen.

Published in Blog/News
Tagged under
Monday, 11 January 2021 07:37

What Will the 2023 Toyota 4Runner Have to Offer?

Since 1984, the Toyota 4Runner has made its mark in our lineup as a powerhouse SUV. It’s getting close to having a cult following because of its versatility with its on and off-road capabilities. This is what makes it a great option for any driver, not just those that like to take their adventure off the pavement. Anyhow, at Toyota of N Charlotte, it’s safe to say we’re BIG fans of the Toyota 4Runner, and we’re eager to announce that the ever popular SUV will be redesigned in 2023. Take a look at the details on what to expect from this new Toyota.

What Will the New Toyota 4Runner Bring to the Table?
The current N Charlotte Toyota 4Runner model has a 4.0L V6 engine with Dual Independent Valve Timing. Rumor has it that the 2023 model will offer more than just one engine option. Even though many fans are into the current configuration, adding a couple of options can increase the horsepower, torque, fuel efficiency, and overall create a more versatile SUV than what it already is! A turbocharged option could also be in the works—this will definitely bring an amazing drive time.

It’s possible that a hybrid option for the new Toyota 4Runner model will be in the works as well. As a company committed to going green, mixing this with a popular N Charlotte model is just the right move for the company. Not only does a hybrid model offer better fuel efficiency, it also offers an eco-friendly performance with fewer emissions.

As for looks, the current N Charlotte Toyota 4Runner has a muscular design along with defined lines and features that are out of this world. For a new Toyota 4Runner redesign, the anticipation is getting fans anxious because they know that when Toyota redesigns a model, it’s a drastic change. Our guess is that parts like the back end, front grille, lighting schemes, etc., will see changes. Other accessories like tow kits and roof baskets could even become standard. Thus, there’s reason to believe that the 2023 model will look different.

If an exterior overhaul is added, then changes in the interior would also be necessary. We predict new options are coming in for interior trim materials and fabrics, as well as more space with better distribution. Infotainment, safety, efficiency, and convenience features are predicted to be be added for a better drive time!

Test Drive the N Charlotte Toyota 4Runner Today!
We’ve obviously been very eager for the arrival of the 2023 Toyota 4Runner, but for now were going to in the moment and appreciate the current model of the 4Runner. Test drive the 2021 4Runner or any other new Toyota on our lot. You can get the feel of driving on of our renowned new Toyotas. Make your way to Toyota of N Charlotte today! We’re located at 13429 Statesville Rd just off I-77 at exit 23 in Huntersville. You can also call us to schedule an appointment at (704)875-9199.

Source: toyotaofnorthcharlotte.com

Published in Toyota
Saturday, 09 January 2021 07:09

New Audi Q5 40 TDI 2021 review

The revised Audi Q5 40 TDI SUV delivers plenty of tech and surprising value

The revised Audi Q5 offers useful updates when it comes to efficiency, performance and on-board technology. It still looks stylish inside and out, it’s well built and although it’s a bit dull to drive, it’s comfortable, refined and practical. The real surprise here in the most basic Sport trim is that it delivers impressive value for money, with a generous amount of standard kit.

Think premium SUV, and the chances are that you’ll think of the Audi Q5. From the way it drives to the way it’s built and how it looks, the Q5 has always been a solid choice. But the pace of development in this class is fast, so there’s a new version of the German firm’s mid-size SUV.

The updates focus heavily on technology to keep pace with newer models in the class, as well as revisions to the 40 TDI diesel model we’re testing here, making it cleaner and more powerful, thanks in part to mild-hybrid electrification.

The level of standard kit has taken a step forward as well, so even this entry-level Sport model could offer everything you’ll realistically need, even if on its standard 18-inch wheels it doesn’t look quite as sharp or as aggressive as the sportier S line trim that sits above it. Sport still receives new LED headlights and the same overall visual updates, with a larger, more pronounced grille that features some silver vertical bars to help it stand out. There’s a different design for the front bumper, too, while at the rear the changes are less significant. It’s a subtle but effective facelift overall.

The SUV has also received the same treatment inside as its A4 and A5 siblings, with a new 10.1-inch central touchscreen as part of the MMI Nav Plus system that replaces the older scroll wheel on the transmission tunnel. There’s now a slightly awkward, rather shallow storage tray in its place, but build and material quality is still as good as you’d expect from an Audi, while the updated tech is sound. It works with the level of speed and response to your inputs you’d expect from a premium model, while there are lots of features, too.

There’s no real reason not to get on with the native system because the menus are fairly logical and easy to navigate, plus the graphics are great and the screen is well positioned in your eyeline (if maybe just a tiny bit too far away from the driver). But Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also fitted as standard, so you can plug in your smartphone instead if you want.

On top of this you also get heated sports seats in Audi’s twin leather upholstery, three-zone climate control, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors with a reversing camera, and autonomous emergency braking with collision warning and pedestrian detection.

The Q5 inherits its predecessor’s full five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating, which is an important feature for a family SUV like this.

Practicality is also key, and with a 550-litre boot – expanding to 1,520 litres with the useful 40:20:40 split rear seat bench folded down – there’s plenty of luggage room in the Audi. You even get a powered tailgate as standard to boost the level of flexibility on offer.

It’s not the biggest load bay in its class, but the Q5’s boot is far from cramped, and the same goes for the interior. You sit up high, as you’d expect in an SUV, and that’s possible because the seat base isn’t the longest, which brings your legs closer back towards you with a greater bend in your knees. But the Q5 offers plenty of legroom and doesn’t struggle for headroom either.

Practicality is pretty much unchanged then, and it’s a similar story when it comes to how the Q5 drives. That’s because it’s still based on the VW Group’s MLB Evo platform, with multi-link suspension all round.

Nestled under the bonnet of our test car is Audi’s updated 2.0-litre 40 TDI diesel, which produces 201bhp and a respectable 400Nm of torque. That’s 14bhp up on its predecessor thanks, in part, to the addition of a new 12-volt mild-hybrid system, which sees a belt-driven starter-generator (BSG) deliver a small hit of power and torque to assist when pulling away.

However, the mild-hybrid system has had a bigger impact on efficiency. The BSG charges a small lithium-ion battery when slowing down, which can be used to power ancillaries such as the climate control and electric power steering. In addition, the 2.0 TDI unit can cut out and coast at speeds of up to 99mph when you’re in the right driving mode, while the stop-start system activates below 13mph. It also makes things smoother when the engine does restart.

Claimed economy stands at 44.8mpg with 165g/km CO2 emissions, but while Audi is doing its best to make diesel less of a dirty word, it still feels like that in the current climate, the plug-in hybrid TFSI e will be a better bet for drivers seeking big efficiency and lower running costs.

Performance is strong, though, with some weight saving on engine components and the extra grunt delivering a 7.6-second 0-62mph time. In reality, nobody ever stretches their car’s performance to this degree all that regularly, but in conjunction with the seven-speed dual-clutch S tronic gearbox, the 400Nm of torque means it doesn’t kick down too many gears all that often when you want a more than moderate burst of acceleration.

Even if it does, the changes are pretty smooth – not whip-crack fast but well slurred to keep things relaxed – and the TDI unit’s sound is suppressed well enough that while it’s audible, it’s far from intrusive.

There’s little road noise too, helped by this car’s smaller wheels. They do look a little lost next to the big body, but they also improve the car’s ride quality.

The Q5 isn’t quite the most comfortable car in this class, but it rolls over ripples and imperfections in the road surface without too much fuss or transmitting a great level of shock or body movement, so it’s a smooth cruiser.

It isn’t the most dynamic option, though. The steering isn’t quite as direct as we’d like, even for an SUV (those big tyre sidewalls probably don’t help matters), while there’s some roll. But the Q5 is dynamically tidy enough to suffice; it’s comfort that matters more in a car like this, which it delivers, but the Audi is a bit dull when it comes to any sense of engagement.

Source: autoexpress.co.uk

Published in Audi
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