Mazda CX-9 Adds Rear Seat Entertainment System

Not to be outdone by competitors like the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, and Nissan Pathfinder–all of which offer a rear seat entertainment system—Mazda is bringing the option to the CX-9. Mazda will retrofit any 2016, 2017, and 2018 CX-9 with the entertainment system, and it will also be available on select new models as a port-installed item.

The entertainment system consists of two 8-inch LCD monitors. It also comes with one CD/DVD player, two remote controls, and two wireless headphones. There are USB 2.0 and SD card inputs as well as HDMI ports for connecting your Android or iOS devices. Rear seat passengers can play the same or different content simultaneously since video data can come from these multiple sources.

The CX-9 hasn’t always offered a full set of amenities, but following its 2016 redesign, Mazda has slowly increased its competitiveness among other three-row crossovers. For the 2018 model year, automatic emergency braking became standard on all trims, along with blind spot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alert. Mazda also brought heated second row seats, a heated steering wheel, and a windshield wiper de-icer to the Grand Touring trim.

The rear seat entertainment system accessory kit is now available with a price tag of $1,995.

Source: Mazda

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2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe and Cabriolet Get a Power Bump, More Tech

Hot off the heels of the refreshed C-Class sedan, the refreshed 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe and Cabriolet make their official debut at the 2018 New York auto show. Like the sedan, the Mercedes C-Class coupe and Cabriolet get very minor exterior design tweaks and standard full LED headlights (Ultra Wide LED headlights are optional). The 2019 Mercedes-AMG C43 is distinguished from the C300 by its quad round exhaust tips, larger lower front air intakes, and blacked out mesh grille pattern. The majority of the changes take place under the hood and inside with additional power and an updated multimedia system.

Mercedes’ COMAND infotainment system now comes standard with a 10.25-inch screen on the 2019 C-Class Coupe and Cabriolet, and a 12.3-inch unit is optional. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard on all C-Class models along with two USB ports, Bluetooth, and an SD card reader. The available navigation system has been updated with support for car-to-X warning messages, in addition to providing the driver with real-time traffic and weather information. NFC technology to connect your phone to the car via Bluetooth and a wireless phone charger are optional.

Keyless entry and start are now standard, as is an open/close button on the C-Class Cabriolet’s key fob so you can raise and lower the car’s roof from outside the car. In addition, there’s an optional digital instrument cluster with three driver-selectable styles, including Classic, Sport, and Progressive. Touch-sensitive controls have replaced physical buttons on the steering wheel.

Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and forward collision warning comes standard on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe and Cabriolet. Available active driver assistance features include Active Distance Assist Distronic, which uses the navigation system to predict speed the car will approach a turn, lane change assist, active steering assist, and emergency stop assist.

Under the hood of the 2019 C300 and C300 4Matic is an updated 2.0-liter turbo-four now making 255 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 14 hp compared to the outgoing model. Like the 2019 Mercedes-AMG C43 sedan, the C43 coupe and convertible gets a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 with 385 hp and 384 lb-ft—up 23 hp. All models come exclusively with a nine-speed automatic transmission but the unit in the C43 has been programmed to shift quicker.

A performance-oriented 4Matic all-wheel drive system also comes standard on the C43 and features a rear bias, sending 69 percent of torque to the rear wheels and 31 percent to the front. An AMG Drive Select system is available on the C43 and includes Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Individual modes, the last of which enables you to tailor the according to your needs. All 2019 C43 models come with adjustable dampers, enabling the driver to adjust the car for comfort or sporty driving.

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe and Cabriolet will go on sale in late 2018.

Source: Mercedes-Benz

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2019 Ford Fusion First Look: Seventh-Year Itch

The midsize sedan leaders, Honda and Toyota, stick to a pretty rigid five-year model cycle. Nissan often stretches that to six. Ford’s second-generation Fusion got a substantial revision for 2017—its fifth year, and apparently it’s going to have to soldier on for at least another year or so because the seventh-year super-super-senior 2019 Ford Fusion will be getting yet another software and soft-tooled part spiff-up. It remains to be seen whether this move proves to be penny wisdom in the face of rapidly contracting car sales (though for now midsize cars rank as our fourth largest segment) or pound foolishness in the face of spanking new versions of the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and (soon) Nissan Altima.

The visual changes are minimal at best. New front and rear fascias rearrange the lower air intakes and/or fog lamps in front and the tailpipe and/or faux diffuser in the back. Ford also slightly revised the Fusion’s grilles and tail lamp trim (it no longer connects across the trunklid). There are two new wheel designs and a few color options change inside and out. A less visible but pretty crucial change: The number of orderable build combinations will drop from a Detroit-like 2,000-plus to a more Honda-esque 36 (not counting color). This mostly comes from making high-take-rate options standard, like the tech package on SE models and the sunroof on Titanium models.

Functionally, the pre-Fusion Contour-era 2.5-liter Duratec I-4 is now basically a penny-pincher fleet special available on the S model only. The 1.5-liter EcoBoost turbo-four becomes the volume engine, standard on SE trim and up. The other major powertrain news is an upgrade of the battery pack in the plug-in hybrid Energi models. Making the separator film between the anode and cathode thinner permits more energy-dense, thicker anode plates to be fitted. This means that without changing the battery pack size, or number of prismatic cells (84), the 2019 pack’s capacity increases from 7.6 to 9.0 kW-hrs (its mass also increases by a scant 3 percent).

Official EPA numbers aren’t out yet, but the EV-Only range is expected to increase from 21 to 25 miles, and hence the Federal tax credit should increase from $4,000 to $4,600. A study of Ford’s own EV and PHEV customers suggests that this will increase the percentage of drivers who can make it to and from work on a single charge from 38 to 48 (80 percent for those who can charge at work).

The other big news is that Ford’s recently announced Co-Pilot360 Protect suite of driver-assist technologies will become standard across the line. Features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot information with cross-traffic alert, a lane keeping system, rear backup camera, and auto high-beam lighting. An Assist package adding adaptive cruise control with stop-and-start capability comes standard on Titanium, Sport, and all hybrid models. It’s optional on S, SE, and SEL models (the latter replaces the former SE with luxury package). This strategy cedes the safety high-ground to the Accord, which gets standard Honda Sensing on all models. That system includes adaptive cruise, traffic-sign recognition, and road-departure mitigation systems.

Will these changes scratch the Fusion’s seventh-year itch sufficiently to maintain its perennial fourth-place ranking in the midsize sedan segment? And if not, does Ford care? The corporation has declared that in two years 86 percent of sales will be trucks and SUVs, and based on last year’s stats, the Fusion, Focus, Mustang, and Continental (cars deemed most likely to survive) accounted for 18 percent of sales. So there may be some room for further slippage.

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Spied! Production Toyota Supra Begins to Take Shape

We won’t see the production version of the new Toyota Supra until sometime in the first half of 2019. Until then, these spy shots give us our best look yet at the much anticipated sports car.

Our spy photographers have caught prototype Supras on various occasions, but these latest pictures reveal an updated rear end. The bumper area looks more sculpted than on past prototypes, and we can even see a diffuser back there. Up front, you’ll notice narrow headlights like on other mules, although the front vents look like they could be significantly closer to production. In one photo, the Supra is testing once again with its twin, the BMW Z4.

Earlier this month, Toyota revealed a concept track car version of the Supra. It features a three-inlet setup on the front portion of the car, along with the slim taillights and the bold rear lip we see in the prototype.

Toyota hasn’t released powertrain information on the new model. But the Supra’s chief engineer, Tetsuya Tada, strongly hinted that the car would receive a turbocharged inline-six-cylinder engine to satiate fans of the nameplate who expect a Supra to have a straight-six. Considering it shares bones with the BMW Z4, we could see the Bavarian automaker’s venerable 3.0-liter turbo I-6 under the hood. The production version will be on sale next year, although specific timing for the U.S. remains unknown.

Photo source: CarPix

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Hennessey Upgrade Brings 2018 Lincoln Navigator up to 600 HP

The 2018 Lincoln Navigator is a fine luxury SUV to start with, but if you want to stand out from the crowd, Hennessey offers performance upgrades that will turn your premium ute into a three-ton missile.

“The 2018 Navigator is a world-class luxury SUV and we wanted to take its already impressive power and performance to the next level,” said John Hennessey, company president, in a statement. “Over the past 12 months we have built and delivered hundreds of VelociRaptor 600 upgrades to our new Ford Raptor clients. It made perfect sense to offer a similar upgrade package for the new Navigator, which has essentially the same engine.”

The Texas tuner increased the stock twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine from 450 hp to 600 hp by installing new engine management software, a high-flow air induction system, stainless steel exhaust system, and a large front-mounted intercooler with blow-off valve upgrade.

With the power upgrades, the Navigator can sprint from 0-60 mph in a claimed 4.8 seconds and complete the quarter mile in 12.9 seconds at 107 mph, according to Hennessey. Other optional performance goodies include forged monoblock wheels, a lowered suspension, Brembo brakes with six-piston calipers, and 15.1-inch brake rotors to help slow this heavy hitter down.

“Our family has owned and driven several high-powered GMC Denalis and Escalades over the past five years. We are now very pleased to have a high-powered Lincoln to add to our family fleet,” said Hennessey. “But I probably won’t get as much seat time as I would like as my wife, Hope, will probably get the keys to our special Lincoln before I do!”

The new HPE600 upgrade kit costs $19,950 installed, and includes a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty from Hennessey. The company plans to build 200 copies of its super Navigator this year.

Source: Hennessey

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