First Look

2021 Ford Bronco FIRST LOOK

2021 Ford Bronco FIRST LOOK By Car Critic Steve Hammes | TestDriveNow. Capping off what feels like the slowest striptease in automotive history, you’re finally looking at the all-new 2021 Ford Bronco. A hundred bucks payable at Ford.com reserves yours today with deliveries scheduled to begin next spring.
Series range from a base Bronco, a no-frills SUV for those who want to customize their own, to Big Bend™, Black Diamond™ and Outer Banks™ with a variety of options and colors, topping out with Wildtrak™ and Badlands™ for more extreme off-road adventuring. A limited-production First Edition™ will be offered at launch.   
So the Bronco is back and it’s even brought with it a little brother, known as the Bronco Sport – a subcompact 4X4 for those with less adventurous intentions. 

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2021 Ford F150

2021 Ford F150 Review By TestDriveNow Car Critic Steve Hammes. The all-new F-150 arrives this fall and here’s your first look at Ford’s most important model. Though it doesn’t look radically different, Ford says every body panel has been redesigned.  There’s a wider stance and 11 – yes 11 – different grille options.  And to save fuel through improved aerodynamics, there are active grill shutters and an automatic deploying air dam. But the sexy news surrounds the new optional, range –topping powertrain – a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 boosted by 47 horsepower electric motor making it full hybrid.  Integrated into the 10-speed automatic transmission, Ford is targeting a 700 mile driving range and 12,000 pounds max towing.  The battery is packaged underneath the truck so passenger and cargo volume is unencumbered. Ford refers to it as PowerBoost and it’s available on every trim level from XL to Limited.   And the electrifying news doesn’t stop there. A new feature Ford calls Pro Power Onboard turns gas and hybrid F-150s into a portable generator capable of powering 28 refrigerators or running an entire job site worth of tools.  We’ve all been there…the truck as an office.  Ford’s solution? The optional Interior Work Surface creates a an ideal space for signing documents or eating takeout.  And if your lunch break isn’t over yet, the Max Recline Seats become a sweet place to grab a couple of ZZZs.   The tailgate wars continue with Ford’s Tailagte Work Surface which includes integrated rulers, a mobile device holder and more.  On the tech side, the all-new F-150 is North America’s first full-size pickup with standard over-the-air updates.  These updates are bumper-to-bumper, and can include all-new functions and additional features throughout the life of the truck. And then there’s SYNC4 with twice the computing power of the previous gen system.  And that includes wireless Apple Car Play and Android Auto.  And some real semi-autonomous driving is coming, too.  Active Drive Assist is a hands-free experience that works on divided highways much like Caddy’s Super Cruise.  It’ll be late availability but customers can add it later via an over the air update and pay for it then.  With 3 V6s, a V8, a diesel and a Hybrid, 3 cab styles and 3 bed lengths, Ford’s F-150 looks to be a ground breaker.  Look for it this fall with specs and pricing to be released closer to launch.   

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2021 Acura TLX First Look

2021 Acura TLX First Look By TestDriveNow Car Critic Steve Hammes. Acura’s just an SUV brand, right?  Well, that’s not entirely accurate though the RDX and MDX do outsell Acura’s 4 cars combined by nearly 3-to-1. But Acura’s here to remind us that their cars are still worthy of the caliper badge and that begins with one of their many underrated models, the TLX.  The current car is a solid choice and a decent seller but Acura wants to make a bolder impression with this all-new 2021 redesign.  Arriving this fall, Acura says this TLX will be the quickest, best-handling and most well-appointed sedan they’ve ever made, a title currently held by the surprisingly good, lame duck RLX Sport Hybrid.  With a considerably longer wheelbase, wider track and lower roofline the TLX presents itself as a more legit sports sedan.  And moving beyond the recent A-Spec Sport appearance package is the heralded return of the Type S badge…a specification last seen on sporty Acuras over a decade ago.  The Type S arrives later next spring.  While a 272 horsepower 2.0-liter turbo-4 powers the standard TLX, the Type S utilizes a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 with the engine’s output to be announced later.  Both will use a 10-speed automatic.  Whereas Acura’s torque vectoring all-wheel drive system is currently only available on the V6 model, the new TLX will offer it across the board replete with quicker reactions and more rear-wheel drive intervention.  Brake by wire technology applied from the NSX supercar and an available adaptive damping suspension flesh out the new chassis which Acura claims is the most rigid they’ve ever offered with an infusion of lightweight materials.  The TLX’s dual personal cockpit design creates a strongly delineated space for both front seat occupants while the wider body affords more hip and shoulder room for rear seat passengers.  The infotainment system incorporated from the RDX uses a touchpad interface.  A Japanese company but primarily an American brand, Acura is counting on the new TLX to diversify its SUV sales heavy product portfolio.  

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2021 Mercedes AMG GLE 63 S

Mercedes has been producing some crazy fast SUVs over the past 20 years and this one here is the OG.  Originally known as the ML 55, this all-new 2021 GLE 63 S carries the brand’s AMG torch into a new decade of decadent speed.  Is 603hp enough?  How about a 0-to-60mph time of 3.7 seconds?  The handcrafted 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 receives an electric boost from its 48 volt system that can provide an additional 21 horses and a quick shot of 184 pound-feet of torque for even more responsive acceleration.  The 9-speed twin-clutch transmission adapts to the drive program that goes all the way to a RACE setting for driving on closed circuits.  But it is an SUV after all, so the fully variable 4MATIC + all-wheel drive system works in concert with Trail and Sand drive modes and the air suspension to provide safe driving at max performance on soft, muddy or slippery ground.  A performance exhaust system contributes the requisite soundtrack.  The interior is characterized by a sporty ambiance with exclusive Nappa leather AMG seats, customizable 64-color ambient lighting and the latest infotainment system with a Supersport mode replete with an AMG menu that includes a Race Timer, Engine Data and more.  Pricing will be released closer to this summer’s launch but expect it to be north of $110,000.

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2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave FIRST LOOK

2020 Jeep Gladiator Mojave FIRST LOOK By Auto Critic Steve Hammes.
If you’re into 4-wheeling, then you know that not all off-roading is the same. So while the Trail-Rated badge graces Jeep 4X4s after they’ve proven themselves in 5 critical categories, this first-ever Desert Rated Jeep operates under a different set of criteria. The 2020 Gladiator Mojave is designed for a high-speed, sandy environment so it’s not as concerned with water fording and articulation as it is ride control and stability and desert prowess.

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