2013 Ford Flex

 

The 2013 Ford Flex adds slight changes to the interior and interior. Dual chrome exhaust come standard on all models now, as do better brakes (front brakes are straight off the Taurus SHO). The base V6 jumps 25hp, to 287hp and 254lbs torque. Fuel economy goes up slightly as well, to 18 city, 25 highway (two wheel drive version).

At 4637lbs you may want to option for the EcoBoost twin turbo V6, although only available with all-wheel drive, power jumps to 365hp and 350lbs torque.

We consider this vehicle a bit of a sleeper, in the sense that it doesn’t seem to get the appreciation it might deserve. The interior is quiet and comfortable, and there is a lot of technology in this car that one might sometimes only see on much more expensive vehicles. Push-button start, rain-sensing wipers, remote start, and power-folding mirrors join the options list, while Ford’s Sync voice-recognition system is standard equipment. Other options include adaptive cruise control (which features a collision warning system, that lets you know if you’re about to bash into the car in front of you). Other features include a blind-spot warning system, Curve Control (which actually slows it down if you enter a curve to quickly) and Torque Vectoring (which can prevent understeer). Rear seat options include inflatable seat belts, to help protect smaller passengers.

Price $30,885

For more information Ford

 

Bentley SUV

Sources are saying that Bentley wants to join the lucrative, but ever expanding SUV market. They plan to announce, and possibly unveil, their SUV at the Geneva Motor Show coming up soon. Word has it that this new vehicle will be based largely on the Audi Q7 and will be powered by a W12. Since Bentley is now offering a V8 my guess is this new SUV will most likely be powered by that engine. We hope to have more information and pictures after the show.

2012 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG

What if you want an SUV that weighs over 5000lbs, but you’d still like to be able to hit 0-60 in under 5 seconds and maybe truck down the highway at 155mph? Well for 2012 Mercedes-Benz has a couple of solutions for you in the ML63 AMG. Outfitted with a twin-turbo 5.5 liter V8 making 518hp this 5200 pound rig will shoot from 0-60 in 4.8 seconds. Not good enough for you? Select the AMG Performance Package and you’ll get a jump in boost, from 14.5psi to 18.9psi. And that extra psi nets you a 550hp engine that will push this beast from 0-60 in 4.5 seconds. However, both packages are governed at 155mph. Everything runs through a much smoother seven speed automatic transmission, than the transmission it replaces.

Pricing starts at $95,865

For more information http://www.mercedes-amg.com/?lang=usa#/home

For another perspective http://www.automobilemag.com/auto_shows/los_angeles/2011/1111_2012_mercedes_benz_ml63_amg/index.html

Porsche Cayenne Voted Off Road Vehicle of the Year

The readers of “OFF ROAD” trade magazine voted the Porsche Cayenne the “Off-road vehicle of the year” in the “Luxury SUV” category. The choice was between models from eleven manufacturers in this category alone. Porsche’s sporty SUV attracted more than 20 per cent of the votes, putting itself in the lead by a clear margin.

Trucks and Country

If you like Ram trucks and Country music AND want to support the troops, then this just may be for you.

The Ram Truck brand presents “Road to the Ram® Jam,” an all-star country music series featuring five of today’s best country artists leading up to an invitation-only 2012 Ram Jam concert event Dec. 29 in Nashville, Tenn., where all five artists will perform.

The Road to the Ram Jam series will be the ultimate country music fan experience. It will help bring country music fans closer to some of their favorite artists with exclusive video content, the opportunity to win prizes including collectible posters and vinyl records through country radio stations nationwide, free music downloads, as well as a chance to enter to win trips for two to the exclusive Ram Jam concert. Fans can get more information on the Road to the Ram Jam and enter the sweepstakes at http://www.ramtrucks.com/en/road_to_ram_jam/

BNA recording artist Kellie Pickler, who recently released her new album “100 Proof,” is the first artist to help launch the series. She is offering fans a chance to win a free download of her latest single, “Tough,” when they enter to win a trip for two to the Ram Jam concert. The remaining four participating artists will be announced throughout the year. All five artists will receive a one-year lease on a 2012 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn truck. The trucks will then be auctioned off in early 2013 with all proceeds going to benefit a military-focused charity of each artist’s choice.

“Road to the Ram Jam extends the brand’s already established alignment with many of today’s top country music artists by creating an innovative platform for promoting the artists’ music and connecting with their fans,” said Fred Diaz, President and CEO of Ram Truck Brand. “We are excited to have Kellie and all the artists drive a Laramie Longhorn and experience firsthand the quality and refinement that make it the most luxurious Ram Truck ever produced by the company.”

Fans can check out behind-the-scenes video footage of Pickler in her Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn as she discusses her love for trucks, her new album “100 Proof,” and how she continues to show support for our troops with help from the USO, a nonprofit organization dedicated to lifting the spirits of America’s troops and their families. Pickler has chosen the USO (http://www.uso.org/) and their services that support wounded, ill and injured warriors as the charity to receive proceeds from the auction of her Longhorn truck in 2013. To learn more about USO Warrior and Family Care visit, http://www.uso.org/warriorandfamilycare/

“The first thing I learned to drive was my grandpa’s truck, so I’m definitely a truck girl,” Pickler said. “I’m excited to be part of Ram Truck’s Road to the Ram Jam. We’re going to have a lot of fun on that ‘Road’ — me and my Laramie. I’m also excited that we will be auctioning off my Ram truck at the end of the year to benefit our veterans in need.”

Contest Rules
The Road to the Ram® Jam sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia, 18 years or older at the time of entry. Residents of Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico are ineligible. No purchase or payment of money is necessary to win. The sweepstakes runs from Feb. 1, 2012, to Sept. 30, 2012. Official rules and complete details are found at http://www.ramtrucks.com/en/road_to_ram_jam/

Range Rover Evoque, From Concept to Reality

LRX Concept

I love concept cars. But more often than not they don’t make it to production, and if they do they may not be what we saw in concept form. Of course there are exceptions, and the Range Rover Evoque is one of them

Life for the Evoque started as the LRX Concept, shown above. But a funny thing happened on the way to production (once that trigger was pulled), little in the fundamental exterior design package was changed. I mean, it looks pretty much exactly the same! How great is that?

The Evoque comes in two and four door variations, and is powered by a 2 liter turbocharged engine producing 240hp. It comes standard with a 6 speed automatic transmission and a panoramic sunroof (among other niceties).

Evoque

Pricing starts at $43,995

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iw1aT5c1Lus

For more information http://www.landrover.com/us/en/rr/range-rover-evoque/

For another perspective http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2012-land-rover-range-rover-evoque-road-test-review

 

2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8

So you tend to like the best of both worlds. You want a car that has a reasonably respectable figure 8 lap time, like say the Dodge Charger. But you also want an SUV, to carry the family and all of your camping gear in. You want them both in one car? Then go test drive the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8.

This SUV weighs in at 5200lbs, but when you put it through it’s paces around a few corners you will be surprised. This new Grand Cherokee packs a 6.4 liter engine good for 470hp and 460lbs of torque under the hood, good enough to push it through the loop in 25.8 seconds. 0 -60 is estimated at 4.6 seconds! And the quarter mile flies by in 13.3 seconds at 103.3mph. That’s faster than the Cayenne S or the BMW X5 xDrive 35i. It’s also faster in 0-60 than the Porsche and stops faster than either of them. Amazing for a vehicle that weighs a full 800lbs more than a Dodge Charger, isn’t it?

Pricing starts at $55,295

For more information http://www.jeep.com/en/

For another perspective http://www.caranddriver.com/features/2012-jeep-grand-cherokee-srt8