Coming into the 2018 model year, a new trim level of the TLX called A-Spec brings an enhanced level of sport for the brand’s mid-size sedan. In addition to the styling and technological updates applied to the rest of the TLX lineup, the A-Spec gets more aggressive styling and performance orientated interior appointments emphasizing the focused direction of Acura.
Do they add up to a cohesive message? Let’s break down the car with an engineering review.
It’s been eight years since VW first introduced the Tiguan in the US market and just when the name finally has some familiarity to it, VW has completely turned the car that it’s tied to on its head. Looks like we’re going back to school.
The modern Audi has always been seen as the progressive alternative to its fellow countrymen, BMW and Mercedes. Making its own way, whether going full out in Group B rally racing – giving the Quattro name its legendary status, or leading the industry with an all-aluminum chassis, Audi represents a brand willing to press the envelope for design and engineering.
The 2019 Audi A8 is no exception. It brings the first vehicle prepared for Level 3 autonomous driving (no driver interaction) and demonstrates a new found freedom for design within the Audi group – more explanation on that in a bit.
Not long after Volvo announced that products introduced from 2019 onwards would feature electrified powertrains, a new joint-venture was established to enhance intellectual property sharing with its Chinese parent company, Geely Holdings, and ultimately Geely Auto and LYNK & CO (all of which Geely Holdings is a significant stakeholder).
The Honda Accord has been a standout among the midsize sedan segment, always bringing a refreshing dose of sport to the sedan segment. Once responsible for handling the day-to-day duties of the American family, this role has been largely taken over by crossovers and smaller cars. Honda has proved that it can still hit home-runs with the Civic and the CR-V but it will take a bit more to ensure the Accord is considered a success.
After two generations of interior mis-steps and relatively conservative exterior designs, the all-new Accord has been injected with some much needed premium appeal and upped the ante on what defines sport within this segment. Is it enough to keep it at the top of its class?
Volvo has announced that from 2019, all new model releases will feature an electrified powertrain, meaning that it will either be a mild-hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or full EV. The brand will continue to sell cars solely powered by combustion engines until about 2023, depending on new model development timing.
While this is a big industry news, as no other traditional brands have committed to electrifying their entire lineup, it may not be considered as significant by the time 2019 and especially 2023 come around. Consider this as more of a brand direction announcement, rather than a major technological advancement.
We like to point to F1 for some substantial technological advances, but it’s largely the commercial side of the auto industry that serves as technology’s real-world test bed; being able to verify and put a value behind the durability, serviceability, and life-cycle costs. At this year’s annual World Truck Show, Ford, Chevrolet, and Ram all made announcements regarding different areas the customer experience such as, branding, virtual customization, and OEM approved aftermarket companies that convert fossil-fueled trucks into hybrid and full-on electric vehicles.
Georgetown Lake is less than an hour’s drive from Denver and is the site of this year’s Land Rover Flatirons Ice Cup. 2017 was the Land Rover-exclusive event’s 14th year and featured a full model lineup from the latest Range Rover LWB to the Discovery Sport. In total, there were 26 different drivers and popularity for the event remains as high as ever. Nam Phan, event coordinator with Land Rover Flatirons, said that half of the available spots were claimed within the first day and that he regularly gets RSVP requests before a date is even set.
I had never driven a car on a frozen lake before so this was a bit strange to me. Sure, I’ve driven on plenty of black ice but never did I enjoy it or turn around to try it again. This seemed like a great opportunity to do some slip and sliding and spend the day with some fellow Land Rover owners.