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MotorTrend September 2018

Motor Trend is the world's automotive authority. Every issue of Motor Trend informs and entertains with features on the testing of both domestic and import cars, car care, motor sports coverage, sneak peeks at future vehicles, and auto-industry news.

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genesis of a dream team

@Lohdown It all started back in 2006 when Kia Motors announced that Peter Schreyer would become its new Chief Design Officer. At the time, this move seemed equally audacious and puzzling: smart hire by Kia boss Eui-sun Chung, the son of Mong-koo Chung, the billionaire chairman and CEO of Hyundai Motor Group (HMG), but perhaps foolish for Schreyer. After all, what could the smaller automaker offer besides handsome compensation, frequent flyer miles, and a top-down corporate culture? Schreyer, a legit rock star in the design world (with the back-in-black wardrobe to match), already had an impressive résumé that listed icons such as the VW Golf, New Beetle, and Audi TT. He was on the short list to replace VW Group’s design chief, Walter de Silva. Surely, Schreyer had nothing to prove. His…

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2019 jaguar xe sv project 8

The go-fast boffins at Jaguar Special Vehicle Operations decided to apply an old muscle car template and wedge the company’s largest engine into its smallest sedan. In the resulting XE Project 8, that meant the 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 from the XJR575, which makes 592 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. For obvious reasons, all-wheel drive was added to the build sheet. To get the green light for production, Project 8 needed to break the lap record for four-door sedans on the Nürburgring Nordschleife—set by our 2018 Car of the Year, the 505-hp Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. In a “production-intent” car, Belgian racer and test driver Vincent Radermecker shattered the record at 7:21.23. That’s nearly 11 seconds quicker than the Alfa, and it matches the Ferrari 488 GTB, our 2017 Best Driver’s…

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2020 mercedes-benz eqc prototype

Mercedes is joining the list of automakers ready to take Tesla’s lunch money. Its EQC electric all-wheel-drive crossover is roughly the size of the compact GLC, with e-motors mounted front and rear and an underfloor battery pack that will be rated between 70 and 75 kW-hr once final durability testing is complete. Engineers are keeping exact details under wraps until the EQC makes its public debut in September, but total system output will be about 400 hp with 516 lb-ft of torque. Range will be between 200 and 240 miles. Building the EQC with the MRA component set used for Mercedes’ regular E-Class, C-Class, and GLC models means a steel body and some packaging compromises compared to purpose-built EVs. However, this also means the ECQ can be built on the same production…

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2019 bmw z4 m40i

You might’ve forgotten the BMW Z4, last available in 2016. We did, too. So we agree to keep our phones tucked away in our bags as we pass through the security gate of the former Michelin, now BMW proving ground in Miramas, France. In a field of waist-high golden grass, a fast 15-turn handling course waited for us to evaluate the 2019 Z4 M40i. I hop into a camouflaged test car. I can see that the unit is close to production ready. Some plastic surfaces still lack graining, but the seats, steering wheel, shifter, a new digital instrument panel, next-gen iDrive controller/touchscreen display, and center console are fully functional. The production Z4 will sport a soft top instead of a hard-panel convertible top that eats space when stowed. Rated at 382 hp…

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mt confidential

Daimler is hedging its bets on BEV platforms. The all-electric EQC crossover that makes its debut in September is built using the MRA toolkit that underpins the E-Class, C-Class, and GLC SUV. That means it’s not a bespoke BEV architecture, so it has some compromises in terms of proportions and packaging. The upside is it can be built on the same line as the other MRA vehicles, allowing Daimler to flex production numbers as the BEV market evolves. The same strategy will be employed for the production version of the EQA concept unveiled at the Frankfurt show last year, which will be based on the MFA front-drive components set that underpins the A-Class and B-Class. But that doesn’t mean Daimler has yet to fully commit to electric vehicles: Engineers are…

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dodge expands hellcat litter

Hellcat has spawned a full litter. FCA’s efforts to define Dodge as a sports car brand continue with two more performance cars: the 2019 Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye and 2019 Challenger R/T Scat Pack 1320 street-legal muscle car. They follow the 2008 Challenger, 2015 Hellcat, and 2018 Demon. The Redeye “is a Hellcat that’s been possessed by a Demon,” said Steve Beahm, head of passenger car brands—Dodge, SRT, Chrysler, and Fiat—for FCA North America. It has a Hellcat wide-body and Demon engine with a different calibration. The 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V-8 generates 797 hp and 707 lb-ft of torque in the Redeye, making it the most powerful current production V-8 now that the limited run of the Demon is done. FCA says Redeye becomes the quickest muscle car with a claimed 0–60…