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Any Tech news » Auto http://anytechnews.com Tue, 27 Jun 2017 22:43:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.9 First Drive: 2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 4MATIC Cabriolet http://anytechnews.com/first-drive-2018-mercedes-benz-e400-4matic-cabriolet/ http://anytechnews.com/first-drive-2018-mercedes-benz-e400-4matic-cabriolet/#comments Tue, 27 Jun 2017 22:39:11 +0000 http://anytechnews.com/first-drive-2018-mercedes-benz-e400-4matic-cabriolet/

CROZET, France — One of the hazards of driving a convertible everyday is cultivating a deep, dark tan. You might also see rugged mountains, skies full of stars, and a road ahead that offers endless possibilities.

Doing all of this behind the wheel of a 2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 4MATIC Cabriolet offers plenty of hazards of this kind.

Like the new E-Class Coupe, the two-door Cabriolet features a long, ridged hood, low-slung grille, and a wide stance. Mercedes-Benz introduced its first E-Class Cabriolet 25 years ago, back when the convertible market in the U.S. was nearly extinct.

Christian Früh, chief engineer on the E-Class Cabriolet, says times have changed.

“People thought there was no future for cabriolets,” he states over lunch at the Jiva Hill Resort in eastern France near Geneva, Switzerland, where Automobile is testing the new model. “We disagreed. And look at where we are now!”

Today, Mercedes makes 19 convertible variants — 21, if you count models from Smart.

The AMG line Cabriolet tester we drove around snow-capped peaks in France, Switzerland, and Italy came in a fluffy shade called “designo diamond white bright,” with interiors that surrounded us in deep white/black Nappa leather. Plus, there was a black fabric top that went largely unused.

In addition to the model we drove, there’s at least a dozen colors to choose from as well as a 25th Anniversary edition that’s available in exclusive “rubelite red” paint with designo Nappa leather in macchiato beige and tizan red.

We got a closer look at that gem the following day near the top of Mont Blanc, which lies nearly 16,000 feet above sea level, when it was airlifted in by helicopter especially for the occasion — like a scene from a “Fast and Furious” sequel.

“Today, we have drop-top models in the C-Class, E-Class, and S-Class lines in addition to our longstanding roadsters. Why? Because people love them,” Früh says. “People like to reward themselves with a convertible.”

Früh also jokes that his wife now drives an S-Class Cabriolet and his life has been much better ever since. Of course, who’s life wouldn’t be?

But back to the E-Class, the latest model is bigger than its predecessor and rides on a 2.75-inch wider track that is noticeably different when its combined with the AMG tuned version that comes with larger 19-inch wheels and a standard Agility Control suspension. The amplitude-dependent damping system comes in handy, especially when tackling twisty roads.

And we drove countless winding roads over the course of two days and just over 200 miles during our trip in the Alps, the most extensive mountain range on the European continent, and home to the highest peak in Europe: Mont Blanc. The white mountain that is not only referenced in Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” but in the Middle Ages, was thought to contain dragons and spirits buried beneath its frosty glaciers.

Our E-Class took on mile long tunnels, lakeside roads, ascents, descents, high elevations, tight switchbacks, beautiful runs through Alpine meadows, and even some light rain. The relatively relaxing ride took us through small villages renowned for their wine and cheese, picturesque local scenery, and occasional colorful graffiti.

Combined with the 4MATIC all-wheel drive, which is a first for the E-Class Cabriolet series, it truly inspires confidence as you maneuver around tight turns and slower vehicles in most driving conditions. Steering is precise, fluid, and responsive, in addition to providing a somewhat sporty feel.


Under the hood there’s a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine that delivers 333 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.

The new cabriolet is packed with all the latest tech goodies necessary to get you to your destination safely. A complex network of sensors and cameras on the E-Class allows it to analyze driving conditions, recognize dangers, and react to them if you don’t — and sometimes even when you do.

During a ride through the Swiss Alps, its standard Active Brake Assist auto-stopping feature kicked in as the car approached a construction zone and the road narrowed significantly. Because the painted lines on the highway were off-centered, the cabriolet’s safety systems thought we were going to hit a construction barrier and it automatically applied the brakes to slow the car down.

On another occasion while backing out onto a narrow road next to the breathtakingly blue Lake Annecy in Doussard, France, it detected quickly approaching vehicles as the car rolled back and quickly applied the brakes before we had a chance to. It’s like having a guardian angel as your co-pilot, which can be both a blessing and a curse. (All the technology can make for a comfortable ride. But if you are the kind of driver who likes to control your machine, being second guessed by a computer can take the fun out of a day in the mountains.)

Mercedes dynamic select also allows the driver to drive in Comfort, Eco, Sport, Sport +, and Individual modes. These functions along with its start/stop technology to help save fuel can all be thankfully turned off with a touch of a button if you prefer to wing it or burn fossil fuel like nobody’s business.

There’s also a Driver’s Assistance Package that offers semi-automated driving for speeds up to 130 mph that’s super fun to use on long stretches of less engaging highway. Apparently, Remote Parking Pilot is also available via a smartphone app — but we didn’t have the opportunity to test it out just yet.


Aside from the wider, sportier track, and tech, the E-Class can seat four passengers comfortably. Up front, there’s 0.6-inches of more headroom, 2.0-inches more shoulder room, and 1.5-inches more elbow space. Rear passengers get 4.0-inches more legroom, 0.5-inches of shoulder room, and 0.8-inches more elbow space according to Mercedes-Benz estimates.

In addition, rear seats are now heated to help encourage year-round use. Optional sun-reflecting leather is available in five flavors and is designed to increase comfort in direct sunlight.

“Whoever has sat down on a hot leather seat in shorts will thank us later,” Früh states.

Rear seats fold down and there’s enough space to squeeze in a snowboard or a pair of skis. Trunk space isn’t compromised much with the top down and there’s space for at least a large backpack and small suitcase. You’ll find approximately 11-cubic feet when it is open and 13.6-cubic feet when it is closed.


The acoustic soft-top drops or closes in 20 seconds at speeds up to 30 mph. It is available in black, dark brown, dark blue, and red. And when you do have the top up — it provides a good deal of shelter.

Johannes Scheffer, Mercedes-Benz soft-top development engineer, tells us more about its multi-layering process near the top of Mont Blanc, and later after dinner, at the Grand Hotel Courmayeur in Italy.

The fabric top features 10 layers of acoustic buffering insulation that drastically reduces wind and driving sounds. Scheffer shows us a section of it that is several inches thick, derived from the S-Class Cabriolet.

A 15-minute ride through the 7.2-mile long Mont Blanc Tunnel with it up and down easily demonstrates the sound differences provided by the new top technology. With the top up, it is much easier to have a conversation or listen to French rap music.

With the top down, an Aircap electric wind deflector system helps keep passengers cool by directing the flow of air over the passenger compartment. And its Airscarf heating system helps keep occupants toasty by directing warm air towards the neck area like a scarf.

Fans are built inside the back of the headrests to direct airflow on passengers in the back. Both systems help keep the air cooler or warmer inside the compartment for longer periods of time.


If you own or have driven a convertible for any amount of time, you know that using the windshield wiper fluid with the top down usually means getting the interior splashed while driving.

Not so with the Magic Vision Control wiper system that only sprays fluid on the downward movement of the wiper, so that fluid never finds its way into the car or on you. The system and wiper blades are heated at low temperatures as well.

The Command infotainment system is Android Auto and Apple CarPlay friendly and you can use your smartphone to start the engine, turn on the A/C, and open or lock the doors.

Overall the 2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 4MATIC Cabriolet is one of the most civilized ways to explore new places, clear your mind, and work on your sun or moon tan.

Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but should become available closer to the Cabriolet’s release in the late summer.

That sounds like a good time to start planning your trip to the Alps.

2018 Mercedes-Benz E400 4MATIC Cabriolet Specifications
ON SALE Summer 2017
PRICE $67,700 (est)
ENGINE 3.0L twin-turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6/333 hp @ 5,250-6,000 rpm, 354 lb-ft @ 3,500-5,250 rpm
TRANSMISSION 9-speed automatic
LAYOUT 2-door, 4-passenger, front-engine, AWD convertible
L x W x H 190.0 x 73.2 x 56.3 in
WHEELBASE 113.1 in
WEIGHT 4,266 lb
0-60 MPH 5.5 sec
TOP SPEED 130 mph

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Sort of New Ford Bronco Co-Stars with The Rock in Upcoming Movie http://anytechnews.com/sort-of-new-ford-bronco-co-stars-with-the-rock-in-upcoming-movie/ http://anytechnews.com/sort-of-new-ford-bronco-co-stars-with-the-rock-in-upcoming-movie/#comments Mon, 26 Jun 2017 22:38:01 +0000 http://anytechnews.com/sort-of-new-ford-bronco-co-stars-with-the-rock-in-upcoming-movie/

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson posted a photo of himself and his co-star Naomi Harris with a silver Ford Bronco concept vehicle recently on Instagram.

If it looks familiar, the futuristic Bronco is a concept SUV from 2004 and will make its big screen debut in next year’s action adventure flick titled “Rampage.”

The movie is based on the 1980’s arcade game of the same name and is about three massive mutated monsters destroying cities while on — you guessed it — a rampage.

Ford finally announced the return of the Bronco after a long hiatus at this year’s Detroit auto show, but did not provide a new concept image for fans.

Earlier this year, Joe Hinrichs, Ford global operations honcho, has said the upcoming SUV will be “true to its heritage” and that “you’ll recognize it as a Bronco,” but would not confirm whether it would have two or four doors.

Regarding the concept vehicle featured in the upcoming film, Ford tells Fox News “it does not represent the future Bronco beyond sharing the iconic Bronco name.”

While the all-new Bronco is expected for 2020, it and the upcoming U.S. Ranger will be body-on-frame vehicles based on the T6 platform that was engineered in Australia.

The movie is expected to open in the spring of 2018. Hopefully we will see an official updated Bronco from Ford before then.

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First Lamborghini Centenario Roadster Worldwide Delivered in California http://anytechnews.com/first-lamborghini-centenario-roadster-worldwide-delivered-in-california/ http://anytechnews.com/first-lamborghini-centenario-roadster-worldwide-delivered-in-california/#comments Sun, 25 Jun 2017 22:36:52 +0000 http://anytechnews.com/first-lamborghini-centenario-roadster-worldwide-delivered-in-california/

Now that deliveries of the Centenario coupe have commenced, Lamborghini is rolling out the drop-top version of its new 759-hp supercar. The world’s first Lamborghini Centenario Roadster has been delivered in Beverly Hills, California.

Completely custom built, the first Roadster dons a carbon fiber exterior with yellow accents as well as silver wheels with black brake calipers. Matching the exterior, the cabin features black Nero Ade leather and Alcantara upholstery decorated with yellow stitching. Lamborghini allows customers to personalize their Centenario top to bottom, from the colors and wheels to the interior materials and stitching.

Delivering the very first copy of the Centenario Roadster to California makes sense, considering the vehicle made its first public appearance at Monterey Car Week last year. The model receives the same 6.2-liter V-12 engine as the coupe, producing 759 hp and 508 lb-ft of torque. Reaching 62 mph from a standstill requires just 2.9 seconds, according to Lamborghini, making it 0.1-second slower than the closed-top version. Top speed is more than 217 mph.

The limited-edition Lamborghini Centenario celebrates the 100th anniversary of company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini’s birth. All 20 coupes and 20 roadsters were spoken for long ago. The coupes sold for a cool 1.75 million euros (roughly $2 million), while the roadsters commanded an even higher price of 2 million euros ($2.2 million).

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2018 Subaru Outback Starts at $26,810, Legacy at $23,055 http://anytechnews.com/2018-subaru-outback-starts-at-26810-legacy-at-23055/ http://anytechnews.com/2018-subaru-outback-starts-at-26810-legacy-at-23055/#comments Sat, 24 Jun 2017 22:35:35 +0000 http://anytechnews.com/2018-subaru-outback-starts-at-26810-legacy-at-23055/

Subaru has announced pricing information for its refreshed Legacy and Outback models, both of which go on sale this summer.

The 2018 Subaru Outback arrives with an updated exterior design and changes that bring about reduced wind noise. Prices start at $26,810, up $290 from the previous model. Standard features include a 6.5-inch multimedia system and smartphone integration via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Premium models, priced from $28,910, add an all-weather package that includes heated front seats, windshield wiper de-icer, and heated exterior mirrors. The trim also brings an 8-inch multimedia screen, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 10-way power driver seat with power lumbar, and a new three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Limited models upgrade you to perforated leather-trimmed seats, heated rear seat backs, four-way power front passenger seat, and other upgrades for a total of $33,610. On the most luxurious Touring trim, costing $37,405, buyers receive silver-finished roof rails, Java Brown leather-trimmed upholstery with ivory stitching, unique interior accents, and other upgrades. Both Limited and Touring models are available with an upgraded 256-hp 3.6-liter six-cylinder boxer engine replacing the standard 175-hp 2.5-liter boxer-four engine. Prices for these more powerful models start at $36,310 and $39,605 respectively. EyeSight safety technologies are available on a number of bundle packages ranging from $1,585 to $2,085.

The refreshed 2018 Subaru Legacy, which like the Outback benefits from revised styling and a quieter cabin, starts at $23,055, an increase of $240. A 6.5-inch multimedia display is standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Up next is the Premium model priced at $25,155. An upgraded 8-inch screen, all-weather package, dual-zone automatic climate control, and other upgrades are standard.

Sport models feature two-tone cloth interior with blue stitching, carbon fiber finished patterned trim, 18-inch sport styled wheels, and other upgrades for $27,205. Limited models are equipped with either the standard 175-hp 2.5-liter engine or an upgraded 256-hp 3.6-liter engine, priced at $29,955 and $32,805 respectively. Look for a power moonroof, keyless access with push-button start, heated rear seat backs, four-way power front passenger seat, blind spot detection with lane change assist, and rear cross traffic alert on this trim. EyeSight technologies are optional just like on the Outback.

The Legacy and Outback are both built in Lafayette, Indiana.

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Dodge Challenger Demon: So Fast, You Have To Sign A Waiver To Buy It http://anytechnews.com/dodge-challenger-demon-so-fast-you-have-to-sign-a-waiver-to-buy-it/ http://anytechnews.com/dodge-challenger-demon-so-fast-you-have-to-sign-a-waiver-to-buy-it/#comments Fri, 23 Jun 2017 22:34:44 +0000 http://anytechnews.com/dodge-challenger-demon-so-fast-you-have-to-sign-a-waiver-to-buy-it/

As we explained when Dodge debuted the Challenger Demon, a street-legal drag car, its performance isn’t exactly straightforward, as each of the Demon’s maximum-performance stats is conditional on a number of variables. Now, however, Dodge seeks to avoid liability when Demon owners take their cars on public roads. According to a waiver obtained by Automotive News, Dodge is making prospective Demon owners sign the document before the keys to the 840-horsepower machine ever get near their sweaty palms.

The waiver states: “The 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon (the “Vehicle”) is the automotive industry’s first and only purpose-built, street-legal production drag car. The Demon is a unique performance Vehicle with unique characteristics, parts, systems, and capabilities and performs unlike other vehicles. It is imperative that you understand and acknowledge the unique characteristics of this Vehicle before purchasing and driving.”

The waiver’s opening paragraph is followed by 15 different key clauses customers must sign-off on before they can even be considered to purchase the Demon.

A few items of note: “Customer shall have full responsibility and shall assume all risks related to the use of the features and applications in the Vehicle and shall only use the features and applications when it is safe to do so. Failure to do so may result in an accident involving serious injury or death.” This lays sole risk on the customer and away from Dodge.

For those wanting to go from road to track and back again with a handful of friends packed into the big coupe, your passengers will be disappointed. One condition states that if the Demon is factory equipped with the passenger and rear seats but those are removed for racing competition, customers agree not to reinstall the seats themselves. Instead, a trained Dodge technician must reinstall the seats. Faulty installation could lead to “people riding in those areas [becoming] more likely to be seriously injured or killed.”

Dodge’s biggest concern appears to be the Demon’s Nitto NT05R drag radials. Four different clauses address the Demon’s specially built Nittos, including: “The Vehicle’s Nitto NT05R drag radial tires (the Drag Tires) meet United States Department of Transportation requirements, but they are not intended for highway use, as the expected miles of wear from the racing compound is greatly reduced.” This means that even though the DOT signed off on the Demon’s super-sticky Nitto drag radials, the tires’ construction and faster-than-normal degradation mean they are not really appropriate for daily use. Customers will likely have to purchase a set of common street tires if they want to drive their Demon daily and not spend a couple thousand dollars every 2,000 miles. The tradeoff is they won’t have the performance that was advertised, as we predicted when the Demon made its debut.

Dodge adds, “The Drag Tires are not recommended for driving in wet weather conditions where there is a risk of hydroplaning,” and “Customer shall not move the Vehicle in temperatures below 15 degrees F with the Drag Tires. In temperatures below 15 degrees F, the Drag Tires can lose flexibility and that may lead to cracking and other tire damage,” which again necessitates a set of normal tires.

Dodge is also clamping down on its own liability in terms of the Demon’s highly lauded performance statistics, especially its track functionality, systems, and parts on the street. Dodge says the “Customer shall never use any ‘Track Use’ features, functions, equipment, or parts on public roads or any other prohibited area. The intended use of ‘Track Use’ features, functions, equipment, or parts is for race vehicles on racetracks.” This means if you crash, break, or otherwise injure someone or yourself on a public road with systems such as the Demon’s launch control, you’re on the hook and have no legal recourse with Dodge or any of its subsidiaries.

The waiver includes a number of other amendments and acknowledgements, including the well-reported plan Dodge touted ensuring dealer markup remains at a minimum, that colors such as B5 Blue, Indigo Blue, Plum Crazy, and F8 Green won’t be available until the first quarter of 2018, and that the customer signed this document knowingly and voluntarily.

Dodge’s Demon is a hellacious track-bred drag car, and at a price of $84,995, it’s a screaming deal for one that features 840 horsepower and can smoke the quarter-mile in just 9.65 seconds. But just remember, it’s not quite as simple as driving straight from the dealer’s lot to the local racetrack, nor is it as simple as just driving home, at least not with all systems blazing.

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Long-Wheelbase 2018 Lincoln Navigator Offers Extra 15 Cubic Feet of Cargo Space http://anytechnews.com/long-wheelbase-2018-lincoln-navigator-offers-extra-15-cubic-feet-of-cargo-space/ http://anytechnews.com/long-wheelbase-2018-lincoln-navigator-offers-extra-15-cubic-feet-of-cargo-space/#comments Thu, 22 Jun 2017 22:33:51 +0000 http://anytechnews.com/long-wheelbase-2018-lincoln-navigator-offers-extra-15-cubic-feet-of-cargo-space/

For those that believe bigger is better, the 2018 Lincoln Navigator already fits the bill. But an extended-wheelbase version, which made its debut this week, is nearly a foot longer than the standard model and offers even more storage space in the rear.

The extended-wheelbase Navigator features an additional 15 cubic feet behind the third row. Here, you’ll also find a storage compartment underneath the floor for extra utility. Meanwhile, the second-row door is bigger to allow passengers to enter and exit the vehicle more easily.

Both the standard and long-wheelbase versions of the Navigator go on sale this fall. As revealed on Lincoln’s configurator site, the Navigator starts at $73,250 with the standard wheelbase and $81,945 for the extended wheelbase. They’re both available in the same trim level scheme, excepting the base Premiere model that’s offered only on the standard-wheelbase Navigator.

Buyers can select the Black Label treatment on either model. This top-trim model comes with one of three different interior design themes — Destination, Chalet, and Yacht Club — as well as a standard Technology package boasting a head-up display, adaptive cruise control with collision mitigation, and active park assist.

All Navigators come with a 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 making up to 450 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque.

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Kia Defends First Place in J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study http://anytechnews.com/kia-defends-first-place-in-j-d-powers-initial-quality-study/ http://anytechnews.com/kia-defends-first-place-in-j-d-powers-initial-quality-study/#comments Wed, 21 Jun 2017 22:32:34 +0000 http://anytechnews.com/kia-defends-first-place-in-j-d-powers-initial-quality-study/

DETROIT, Michigan – Kia grabbed top-spot on J.D. Power & Associates’ annual Initial Quality Study for the second year in a row, with a score of 72 problems per 100 new vehicles, while the newly minted Genesis brand took second-place away from Porsche, with a score of 77 problems to the German brand’s 78.

Meanwhile, Lexus fell below the industry average of 97 problems per 100 vehicles, with a score of 98, placing it 15th, down from seventh spot. It’s the first time in the brand’s history that Lexus had more problems per 100 vehicles surveyed than the industry average, said Dave Sargent, vice president for global automotive at J.D. Power, at a meeting of the Automotive Press Association.

The number of problems overall for new cars and trucks continues to fall, with J.D. Power recording a 7.6-percent drop in the industry average, from 105 problems per 100 vehicles in model year 2016.

Japanese brands that once dominated the Top 10 among J.D. Powers’ IQS rankings have suffered problems with audio/communications/entertainment/navigation  (ACEN) systems, Sargent said. Driver assistance features such as adaptive cruise control and lane-departure assist also are culprits in bringing certain brands down, Sargent notes. Adaptive cruise control accounted for 37 percent of cruise control problems, up from 17 percent in ’16.

His firm produced its first IQS in 1987, and in recent years has come under some criticism that it weighs poorly designed interior features such as ACEN systems over defects that potentially can put a new vehicle out of commission. For its 2017 model year survey, J.D. Power surveyed about 77,400 new car and truck customers, and counted each problem equally, he says.

“If the customer thinks it’s a problem, it’s a problem,” Sargent said. “It doesn’t matter whether an engineer thinks it’s a problem.”

However, the J.D. Power survey also ranked assembly plants globally, based on defects counted in this year’s IQS, and rated Toyota’s Kyushu 2 plant in Japan “platinum,” or best. It builds the Lexus ES and RX. General Motors’ Fort Wayne, Michigan plant (Chevrolet Silverado/HD, GMC Sierra/HD) and Porsche’s Leipzig, Austria plant (Cayenne, Macan) both were rated gold. Three Toyota plants, one BMW and one Daimler plant were rated silver, and another Toyota plant was rated bronze.

Japanese brands suffered a higher mix of design problems, with generally fewer defects, while domestic brands were the inverse, Sargent said.

The top 10 brands, including ties, for fewest defects in the 2017 survey are Kia, Genesis, Porsche, Ford, Ram, BMW, Chevy, Hyundai, Lincoln, Nissan and Volkswagen. Kia had all five models under the corporate Hyundai-Kia banner listed as best in their class, including the Cadenza (large car), Forte (compact car), Niro (small SUV), Sorento (midsize SUV) and Soul (compact MPV).

Ram, which was 19th in 2016, and Ford, which was 11th, tied for fourth place, making them most-improved, with 86 problems per 100 vehicles. Chevy, sixth last year, Hyundai, third last year, and BMW, fifth last year, all tied for sixth this year, at 88 problems, and Nissan, 10th last year, and Volkswagen, 14th last year, tied for 10th, at 93.

Fiat, ranked 32nd last year and this year, scored 163 problems per 100 vehicles.  From 31st on up, the rest of the bottom-10 rankings were Jaguar, Volvo, Mitsubishi, Land Rover, Mazda, Audi, Subaru, Jeep and Infiniti. Honda, a longtime top-10 brand, was 20th and tied with Cadillac at 105 problems, and Acura was 19th, with 103.

Thirty years ago, when pricier luxury models were getting their first compact disc players, the Top 10 brands were 1.) Mercedes-Benz; 2.) Acura; 3.) Nissan; 4.) Toyota; 5.) Honda; 6.) Porsche; 7.) Mazda; 8.) Mitsubishi; 9.) Subaru; and 10.) BMW.

The bottom brands in 1987, from worst on up were Plymouth, Dodge, VW, Pontiac, Jaguar, AMC/Renault, Saab, Hyundai, Yugo and Alfa Romeo. Half of them are off the market.

The “ISQ1” study of the early years measured 89 problem attributes, mainly design and defects, Sargent said, and the current survey, called IQS4, pinpoints 233 problem attributes. J.D. Power surveyed 2017 personal-use models whose owners had the car or truck “in service” more than three months, registered between November 2016 and February 2017. The surveys were fielded from February to May of this year, counting 33 brands and 243 models.

Alfa Romeo, which hasn’t sold a large enough sample of its latest models offered in the U.S., is not on the ’17 survey. Neither is Tesla, which has sold enough units. Sargent explained that some states, including California, require that an automaker give permission to release new car registration information to firms like J.D. Power, and has not done so “yet.” He expects that will change soon.

The J.D. Power & Associate Initial Quality Survey affects future new auto sales, Sargent said, citing “expected reliability” as the top reason those surveyed chose their model over others. “Expected reliability” is the number-one reason, at 51 percent, according to the study, with exterior styling next, at 46 percent, previous brand experience at 45 percent, and then, ride and handling, safety, and price/payment tied at 40 percent. Reputation/reviews were next at 39 percent, then quality of workmanship at 36 percent. Tied for last among these reasons were fuel economy/range, and all-wheel-drive capability both at 34 percent.

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DeLorean Owner Repurposes iPad Mini as Infotainment Console http://anytechnews.com/delorean-owner-repurposes-ipad-mini-as-infotainment-console/ http://anytechnews.com/delorean-owner-repurposes-ipad-mini-as-infotainment-console/#comments Tue, 20 Jun 2017 22:31:47 +0000 http://anytechnews.com/delorean-owner-repurposes-ipad-mini-as-infotainment-console/

In addition to a reputation for lacking reliability, the early 80s electronics of the DeLorean DMC-12 aren’t quite what you’d call modern. Seeking to fix both at the same time, Imgur user TheKingOfDub, brought his 1982 DMC-12 “into this century” using his knowledge of electrical engineering and an iPad Mini.

Using a relay strip from TinySine, a Bluetooth Bee, a 12V-5V converter, and a switch for disabling the system in case of an emergency, he tied the iPad mini into the car’s electrical systems and can now use it to control almost every function of the car. These include opening the DMC-12’s windows, gullwing doors, and trunk, playing music through the car’s stereo, reading outside air temp, navigation through Google Maps, and more.

TheKingofDub also installed a wireless backup camera that sits on the car’s license plate frame. According to the owner, the camera has its own WiFi network so it “is always on when the ignition is on-not just when in reverse-so you can use it when driving to get a good view of what’s going on behind you.” Especially since the rear visibility isn’t exactly wide-open and because the owner also has his windows tinted.

The Imgur post includes a detailed explanation of all the back-end programing as well as the designs he generated for the app’s screens. You can read more about the full in this reddit thread, where TheKingofDub has answered a number of questions.

Will this become a new trend among DMC-12 owners? Or is this just one man’s quest to make his DeLorean a little more livable?

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2018 Honda Accord Will Debut July 14 http://anytechnews.com/2018-honda-accord-will-debut-july-14/ http://anytechnews.com/2018-honda-accord-will-debut-july-14/#comments Mon, 19 Jun 2017 22:30:42 +0000 http://anytechnews.com/2018-honda-accord-will-debut-july-14/

Honda dropped a ton of info on the next-gen Accord earlier this month, and now it’s giving us our first glimpse of the midsizer’s front end with a new teaser sketch. In addition, the automaker announced that the 2018 Honda Accord will debut on July 14 in Detroit.

In the sketch, the Accord wears Acura-like headlights with LED projectors and vertical lighting elements that resemble the Honda luxury division’s “Jewel Eye” lamps. The grille features a horizontal chrome bar similar to the Civic’s, and the lower valance has a reverse-trapezoidal shape. The entire front fascia appears to be lower, giving the car a sleek, sporty look.

The rest of the car is obscured by shadow, but we know from camouflaged prototypes that the 10th-gen Accord will get a more raked roofline. Honda revealed the next Accord’s powertrain lineup in early June, confirming that the V-6 engine option will be dropped in favor of a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 derived from the unit found in the new Civic Type R. The range-topping engine will be tuned for low-end torque and won’t require premium fuel. The Accord will also receive the 1.5-liter turbo-four as a base engine, and the Accord Hybrid will use a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter I-4. The engines will come mated to either Honda’s new 10-speed automatic transmission, a six-speed manual, or a CVT.

Honda will broadcast the 2018 Honda Accord’s unveiling live on YouTube at 11:00 a.m. EST on July 14. Stay tuned for more details on the next-gen Accord.

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Is the 2018 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Coming to Le Mans? http://anytechnews.com/is-the-2018-chevrolet-corvette-zr1-coming-to-le-mans/ http://anytechnews.com/is-the-2018-chevrolet-corvette-zr1-coming-to-le-mans/#comments Sun, 18 Jun 2017 22:29:42 +0000 http://anytechnews.com/is-the-2018-chevrolet-corvette-zr1-coming-to-le-mans/

An intrepid Automobile reader tipped us off to a couple of photos that were posted online of what is almost certainly a 2018 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 prepped for a Nürburging lap record attempt. While we’ve seen ZR1 prototypes on the ‘Ring before, this car has a handful of key elements the others don’t.

Said to have been the sole occupant for a 747 flight to Europe, the car features a directional exhaust typically seen on cars set up for racing on Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, which limits sound to 92 decibels. As it so happens, the ‘Ring also has a similar limit of 95 decibels — and there’s no other logical reason for the funky pipes.

How do we know it’s not the upcoming mid-engine C8? Well, while we can’t see much else thanks to the car cover, the outline of the hood visible up front, the size of the wing matches that of previously spied ZR1 prototypes, and the exhaust comes out of the center instead of on the sides, like it does on the handful of prototype C8s that have been spotted in the wild.

A notable difference between this car and the other C7 ZR1 prototypes, however, is the lower rear fascia, which is all-camo here instead of flat black — a clear indicator that the production model’s tail will be distinct from its lesser Corvette brethren. It’s also rolling on shiny wheels instead of matte ones.

Additionally, we wouldn’t be surprised to see this car show up in some capacity during this coming weekend at the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s a fitting location for a reveal of a car like the C7 ZR1 — or even a camo-wrapped tease — and why else would Chevrolet spend a considerable amount of money just to overnight a single car? Nürburgring record attempts aren’t exactly time-sensitive, after all.

If the Corvette ZR1 does have a stop at Le Mans on its calendar, well find out soon enough. As for the Nürburging lap record, we’ll just have to wait until Chevy has a time to share.

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