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Detroit Auto Show

New Ford Ranger Returns To America To Reclaim Midsize Truck Crown

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New 2019 Ford Ranger Truck - America

After an eight-year absence, the Ford Ranger returns to North America better than ever!

Ford Motors unveiled the all-new, 2019 Ford Ranger at the Detroit Auto Show, giving the company a strong contender in a now-growing mid-size pickup truck segment that it ceded to the Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon and Nissan Frontier.

The new Ranger isn’t actually “all-new”, seeing as it’s been on sale in internationally for nearly two years. Even so, its fresh on the North American market and features updates specifically-tailored for the region’s unique tastes. It gets a new grille, new headlights and a new bumper design, while the rear has the Ranger name stamped across it like the Tacoma.

Inside, the dash is highlighted by an 8-inch touch screen for the available SYNC 3 system, which is compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Alexa interfaces. The instrument cluster features dual LCD productivity screens for real-time vehicle, navigation and audio information; 4G LTE is available for ten devices, the optional premium audio system was designed by Bang & Olufsen, and AC outlets provide added convenience and versatility.

Ford’s midsize pickup truck comes in two cab configurations (SuperCab and SuperCrew), three trim levels (XL, XLT, and Lariat) and two appearance packages called Chrome and Sport, all boasting a 2.3-liter EcoBoost — the same engine used in the Mustang — mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Buyers have the option of an FX4 Off-Road Package featuring Ford’s Terrain Management System, which can switch between four modes depending on the road surface, altering throttle response and transmission shift points. Trail Control allows for low-speed crawls by powering each wheel individually, while electronic locking rear differential

The FX4 Off-Road Package also adds all-terrain tires, a frame-mounted heavy-gauge steel front bash plate, frame-mounted skid plates, and FX4 badging.

Overall, the new Ford Ranger appears to be a thoroughly modern midsize pickup truck with the capabilities, creature comforts and connected technologies one would expect from a contemporary vehicle of its segment. It’s not clear if it’s better than the competition, but it sure is light years better than the relic that’s the previous Ranger.

Production of the 2019 Ranger begins in late 2018 at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant. Are you happy with how it turned out?

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Detroit Auto Show

Subaru WRX STI S209 Is The Most Powerful Subaru Ever

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New Subaru-WRX STI S209 Sports Car

The long-rumored, limited edition Subaru WRX STI S209 is here, and it’s the most powerful car ever built by Subaru.

Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto SHow, the S209 transcends the standard WRX STI in power, aerodynamics, and handling. Engineers reworked Subaru’s 2.5-liter boxer engine, giving it a larger HKS turbocharger that increases boost pressure from 16.2 psi to 18.0 psi and stronger yet lighter pistons and connecting rods.

The result? A significant boost in power from 300 horsepower to 341 horsepower, while midrange torque jumps by 10 percent at 3,600 rpm. All that power is sent to the four wheels via a six-speed manual transmission.

Inspired by the the WRX STI Nürburgring Challenge racecar, the WRX STI S209 looks the part with wider fenders, front canards and a large rear wing. Handling benefits from a revised chassis and suspension, a flexible strut tower bar and tensioned draw stiffeners, along with 19×9-inch forged BBS alloy wheels covered in sticky Dunlop SP Sport Maxx tires.

The Subaru WRX STI S209 will be available exclusively in the US market, and only 200 units will be manufactured. You will be able to choose from two color combinations: WR Blue Pearl with gray wheels and Crystal White Pearl with gold wheels.

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Coupe

New Lexus RC F Track Edition Joins 2020 RC F Lineup With Less Weight, More Performance

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2020 Lexus RC F Track Edition

A track-focused version joins the updated RC F for 2020.

The new Supra was Toyota’s big debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, but luxury subsidiary Lexus tagged along to remind everybody that it already has a performance coupe, one with a V8 to play with.

The RC F has received some upgrades for 2020 model year, and to make it more compelling for sports car enthusiasts, Lexus has added a new Track Edition to the lineup for 2020. The so-called RC F Track Edition is a stripped-down, track-only spec model that benefits from more aggressive aerodynamic elements and a weight-reduction regime.

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Like the regular RC coupe, all Lexus RC F models get new headlights, a restyled grille and new taillights. The 5.0L V8 has been caressed to squeeze out an extra five horsepower and 6 lb-ft. of torque, bringing the total to 472 horsepower and 395 lb-ft. The eight-speed automatic transmission carries over but now has a higher final drive ratio (3.13 vs 2.93).

With the RC F Track Edition, major panels like the roof and hood are carbon fiber, and the standard RC F’s rear seats have been replaced by a carbon fiber partition.

Engineers also equipped 19-inch BBS forged-alloy wheels, Brembo with lightweight carbon-ceramic brake rotors, and a titanium muffler and tail pipes. These lighter pieces come together to reduce the Track Edition’s weight by 176 pounds from the RC F, and Lexus estimates that using the standard launch control system propels it to 60 mph (96 km/h) in just under 4.0 seconds (3.96 seconds, to be exact).

Standard on even the stock RC F, the new electronic launch control automatically adjusts the traction and throttle control for maximum acceleration from a stop. All the driver has to do is press and hold the brake pedal, engage the system, floor the accelerator to bring up the engine speed, and release the brake.

To help the RC F Track Edition stand out, designers gave it a red leather interior with Alcantara seat accents and red carbon trim on the doors and dashboard. Only two exterior colors are available: Ultra White and Matte Nebula Gray.

Production of the updated Lexus RC F and RC F Track Edition begin in the second half of 2019. Pricing notwithstanding, do you feel compelled to buy one?

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Crossovers

Kia’s New Telluride SUV Is Big Enough For Your Whole Family

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New, 2020 Kia Telluride SUV

Kia’s biggest-ever SUV has enough room to accommodate eight occupants in relative comfort.

The Kia Telluride has finally seen the light of day, giving Kia a spacious modern SUV for the whole family.

Designed in California specifically for the North American market, particularly the United States, the Telluride stands out with a boxy shape, a blunt hood, and a wide grille flanked by a pair of blunt vertical headlights. It’s distinctive, attractive and should turn some heads in the rather soft and puffy-looking full-size SUV segment.

Power is provided by a 3.8L V6 that produces 291 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque, good enough for a 5,000-pound tow rating. An 8-speed automatic transmission drives the wheels.

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The Telluride also features four-wheel independent suspension with an optional self-leveling system and all-wheel drive. ‘Comfort’ and ‘snow’ odes distribute just 20 percent of torque to the rear wheels, while ‘sport’ has a 65-35 front-back split and ‘lock’ divides power equally between all corners.

Inside, the clean, BMW-esque dashboard is fitted with a 10.25-inch touchscreen that’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibile, while a 10-speaker, 630-watt Harman Kardon sound system makes it easy to blast you favorite tunes throughout the cavernous interior. There’s also a wireless charging pad and a total of six USB charging ports.

Buyers looking for a more premium look and feel can splurge on a number of luxury interior appointments, ranging from quilted Nappa leather to matte-finish wood.

On the safety front, Kia’s big SUV is available with tons of safety tech, including forward collision warning, forward collision-avoidance assist, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, a blind spot monitor, adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera, and a head-up display.

The all-new, 2020 Kia Telluride goes on sale in the second half of 2019 in LX, EX, S, and SX trims. Would you consider it as your next family-hauler?

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