Auto Notes - November 2016
Porsche wagon. Porsche will introduce its first station wagon at the Geneva Motor Show in March, furthering its offerings beyond the iconic sports cars it is known for around the world. The company first branched out in 2002 with the Cayenne SUV, followed by the Macan compact luxury CUV that began European sales in 2014.
The wagon will be a version of Porsche’s Panamera four-door model that has sold more than 150,000 units since it was introduced in 2009. An all-wheel-drive hybrid version of the Panamera was debuted at the Paris Auto Show in October. An all-electric sports car is due to be released by 2020.
Best driver’s car. The 2017 McLaren 570S has been named MOTOR TREND’s Best Driver’s Car for 2016. It beat out 12 competitors during what the publication described as a week of “vigorous testing.”
Since 2009, in conjunction with race car driver Randy Pobst, the Best Driver’s Car Week tests, reviews, and films top performing sport sedans, coupes, hatchback, and roadsters at a closed-course hill climb in California, as well as track testing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
“I am delighted that Motor Trend has recognized the McLaren 570S Coupe as their Best Driver’s Car,” said Mike Flewitt, CEO of the British automaker. “From the moment the 570S was conceived, that’s exactly what it was intended to be. Using the core DNA of McLaren, a 3.8-L twin turbocharged engine paired with a lightweight carbon fiber Monocell chassis, the 570S was tuned to offer the most amount of fun.”
McLaren cars have continued to be major players, and regular winners, at Formula 1 racing events around the world.
New Duramax. On Sept. 29, GMC announced that a redesigned Duramax 6.6-L turbo-diesel engine will be offered on the 2017 Sierra HD pickup truck. The next-generation power plant features more horsepower and torque than ever with an SAE-certified 445 HP and a net 910 lb.-ft. of torque.
Even with a 19-percent increase in max torque, GMC said the new Duramax turbo-diesel is quieter and smoother than its predecessor, with engine noise at idle reduced by 38 percent.
“Nearly everything about the Duramax is new, designed to produce more torque at lower RPM, and more confidence when trailering or hauling,” said Gary Arvan, GMC chief engineer.
New features on the 6.6-L engine include stronger cylinder block and cylinder heads, stronger rotating and reciprocating assembly, increased oil- and coolant-flow capacity, new EGR system with a single cooler and bypass system, new electrically actuated/electronically controlled turbo-charging system, all-new advanced solenoid fuel system, all-new electronic controls, new rocker cover/fuel system acoustical treatments, new full-length dampened steel oil pan, and B20 bio-diesel compatibility.
Hot GT-R. The 2017 Nissan GT-R offers a redesigned rear fascia, reshaped side skirts and C-pillar, a re-imaged front end, reinforced chassis, improved interior (including a larger infotainment system), and more horsepower, among other added features. Its sculptured exterior is hailed by many automotive analysts as one of the most dynamic designs on the market today.
The GT-R is powered by a twin-turbo 3.9-L V-6 engine that provides 565 HP and 467 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s mated to a six-speed sequential dual-clutch automatic transmission and features a high-tech all-wheel-drive system. The actual engine assembly is done by hand by a single master craftsman whose signature can be found on a small plaque.
An IHI turbocharger is mounted on each bank of the engine. Nissan said that by combining the exhaust manifold and turbocharger into a single unit, the intake and exhaust gas flow is optimized, plus a larger intercooler allows for more efficient cooling. The GT-R also now offers a hand-built titanium exhaust.
Ford Raptor. On Sept. 29, Ford Motor Co. announced horsepower and torque ratings on the all-new 2017 Ford Raptor pickup. The new 3.5-L twin-turbo high-output EcoBoost engine will produce 450 HP and 510 lb.-ft. of torque. It features a redesigned twin-turbocharger system and a redesigned valvetrain and variable-displacement oil pump.
The Ford-built 10-speed transmission is managed by a six-mode Terrain Management system with a torque-on-demand transfer case. Ford said it gives drivers the benefit of a clutched all-wheel-drive system for easy maneuverability in around-town bad weather, as well as a Baja Mode that automatically engages a locked 4x4 high setting for improved off-road capability.