Caddy’s CT4 sedan a value leader …
Seemingly forever Cadillac was THE American luxury car, its image built on being big, luxurious, powerful, pricey, and stylish, often to a gaudy extreme!
All that changed when Japan’s luxury makes invaded and when coupled with growing sales of German luxury makes, Cadillac’s slice of the U.S. luxury pie became much smaller. But Caddy got its act together more quickly than Lincoln, the other big U.S. luxury make since Packard ceased to exist after the late 1950s. So for the past 20 year or so Caddy has been making solid and fairly stylish luxury vehicles. Continue reading 2020 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury
Genesis has it all, but the panache and name …
When Toyota launched Lexus in 1989, its first sedans impersonated Mercedes-Benz models, but cost a lot less. Now Hyundai has launched its impressive new Genesis luxury car lineup with two models and the top-level G90 looks like a Bentley. Even its logo resembles that of the British make.
Again the formula is to create a car that visually screams luxury while undercutting the original by thousands of dollars. To be sure the new G90 competes mostly with the large Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Lexus and Cadillac sedans. But if you could convince your neighbors you were driving a Bentley, yet only spent $70 grand or so, well, you just might try.
That’s what Hyundai is betting on, just as Lexus did before it.
Certainly the G90 is impressive and dressed in Caspian Black, a metallic black paint job, the tested rear-drive Ultimate model turned heads. People asked what it was. Genesis didn’t ring any bells.
But it may soon. Along with this 5.0-liter, 420-horse, V6-powered G90 Genesis offers the G80 with a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 that creates a substantial 365 horsepower. Both models are rear-wheel drive, but offer all-wheel-drive versions too. Continue reading 2017 Genesis G90 RWD 5.0 Ultimate
Acura RDX couples luxury, power with AWD
Smooth, quiet and useful, with a strong interior luxury quotient. That’s the new Acura RDX AWD Advance, the top-of-the-line model that should be making European makes nervous.
Well, it’s awfully nice and for substantially less cash than equally equipped German makes, such BMW, Mercedes and Audi. There’s still some panache to such nameplates, but folks looking for luxury and value will find both in the Acura.
This is an incredibly quiet and comfortable crossover vehicle that will carry five passengers. It’s handsome but certainly not a head turner. But the dark metallic blue of the test vehicle made this RDX stand out in a sea of gray/silver crossovers populating suburbia.
There’s much to like here, and little to loathe, or even think twice about.
Power is good from the 3.5-liter iVTEC V6 that creates 279 horsepower with a torque rating of 252 ft.-lbs. Plus there’s a sport mode that increases throttle response if you’re needing quick acceleration. Certainly the RDX will quickly get you to highway speeds for easy merges. However, and this was only a moderate concern, sometime there is a lag in acceleration once you are at speed and get on the gas quickly to pass, or when powering out of a turn. This is not uncommon in many of today’s vehicles, no matter their price. Continue reading 2016 Acura RDX AWD Advance
Autoart decks out racy BMW M3 in Tic Tac livery
BMWs are racers at heart and BMW’s M Series are the hopped up versions of already racy coupes and sedans that the Bavarian automaker squeezes out of its German factories.
Naturally, Germans love to put their BMWs, Audis, Mercedes and Volkswagens to the test on the racetrack. So in the 1980s they began testing their home-country metal on road courses as part of the Deutsche Touring Masters Championship, popularly known as DTM. Think of it as German NASCAR.
Back in the late 1980s and early ‘90s BMW’s awesome M3 (first built in 1986) dominated the DTM series. The M3 was the souped up small coupe that sold well as the 3 Series in the U.S. market and was known as the E30 overseas. BMW sold hundreds of thousands of these, the original rear-drive 3 Series being made from 1982 to 1992.
That’s the timeframe Autoart focuses on with a variety of 1:18 diecast models, including the review car, a colorful green, white and gold Tic Tac-sponsored 1991 racer from Tauber Motorsports. That year the car was driven in many of the DTM’s 12-race season by Canadian Allen Berg, who had a varied racing career, including one year piloting a Formula 1 car.
Berg and the No. 43 Tic Tac M3 Sport Evolution machine did not have great success that season, the 9th for DTM, but the car looks like a winner and was popular because of its unusual sponsorship and paint scheme. An M3 won DTM championships in 1987 and ‘89 by beating the likes of worthy competitors like the Audi V8 Quattro, Ford Sierra and Mercedes 190E. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart 1991 BMW M3 DTM
Genesis 5.0 R-Spec a styling winner, but a mixed bag
Hyundai certainly knows what it’s doing as far as styling and creating a quality car these days, that’s why it continues to gain market share.
But its large Genesis luxury sedan is a mixed bag. Here’s why.
First, the tested Genesis 5.0 R-Spec is a great looking car that reflects a new Mercedes look. Obviously Hyundai designers were heavily influenced by Mercedes styling as its mid-size Sonata also very much borrows from the German car maker’s designs. Where Hyundai one-ups Mercedes is inside the cockpit. Hyundai successfully executes simple, elegant interior design with logical button and control placement and layout.
Likewise, Hyundai has figured out how to create beastly power and silky transmissions to tame it. Case in point, the pearl black test car’s 5.0-liter, V8 with dual CVVT creates a monstrous 429 hp. (R-Spec stands for Race-Spec, thus the prodigious power.) Yet linked with an 8-speed automatic with the Shiftronic feature so that you can manually shift if you so desire, the power is delivered with seamless shifts.
Want to fly up to freeway speeds? Just drop the pedal and the rear-drive Genesis rockets in a well-controlled burst, up to 60 in just a few seconds. Continue reading 2013 Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec