A recent trend in the luxury SUV segment is to offer a sexier, coupe-like styled variant for those willing to compromise a little utility in favor of a heavier dose of sport. And some of the designs being born are absolutely stunning; for example, the all-new Audi Q8.
It’s a head turner as long as you don’t mind Audi’s recent penchant for faux exhaust outlets. And if you can’t tell, I want one…I think it’s the best of this type currently on the market though I’ll be curious what the new BMW X6 has to say about that later this year.
It seemed like summer weather would never arrive but it’s finally here which means it’s convertible season. And which brand sells more top down models than any other? That’s right; Mercedes. And this one here is one of their most affordable. The refreshed C-Class Cabriolet. MSRP as-tested: $70,725. But instead of spending $70,725 on this one I’d step up to the AMG C 43 with its 385hp engine and a starting price in the mid-$60s. And for the real crazies, there’s the C 63 S Cabriolet with over 500 horsepower for about $85,000.
When it’s time for a six-figure executive sedan where will you turn? One of the German stalwarts? Lexus, perhaps? Or maybe you want something more exotic, something Italian. Well, that’s where the Maserati Quattroporte comes in with its Ferrari-born soundtrack. Its look is understated elegance; sound: high-performance. But the MSRP is served like overcooked rigatoni. According to insiders, an all-new Quattroporte is another 3 years away.
Cadillac’s car lineup is undergoing a major restructuring.
The small ATS sedan and Coupe have already exited the. The midsized CTS ostensibly becomes the all-new CT5 compact sedan when it arrives early next year joined by an even smaller 4-door called the CT4. And at the larger end of the spectrum the XTS is slowly being phased out while the CT6 has been given a reprieve from GM’s big car chopping block.
In summary, Caddy’s sedan lineup is being reduced to 3 core models, each available in new V-Series livery that also is taking a new path. Adopting the same formula as their German rivals, the new 2020 CT4-V and CT5-V will be faster and performance oriented but not to the level we’ve become accustomed to.
The new strategy will be to offer 2 V-Series versions per car – one with more go and the other with all-out, track-readiness.
These are the mid-performance cars: the CT4-V offers 320 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque from its 2.7-liter turbo-4 while the CT5-V runs with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 going to 355 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. Both share Magnetic Ride Control shocks and V-Series drive modes, available in rear- or all-wheel drive with a 10-speed automatic transmission, Brembo front brakes, mild electrification and limited slip differentials.
And moving down from the flagship CT6 is Cadillac’s awesome, hands-free driving Super Cruise technology.
Previously announced and already sold out, the CT6-V is the first to arrive this summer with the heralded Blackwing twin-turbo V8 with true V-Series performance of 550 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque.
There are pickup trucks and then there are pickup trucks. I’m talking about ones with dual rear wheels, diesel engines that push up to 1,000 pound-feet of torque and that can tow over 33,000 pounds. Well, that’s exactly the resume of this all-new Ram 3500 Heavy Duty. And on top of that, it can be optioned like a luxury sedan.
The 3500 is the biggest, most capable truck that Ram sells and for 2019 it brings with it many of the polished innovations first seen on the all-new 1500; fusing the brawniest mechanical elements with those of a luxury rig. Like all trucks, Ram’s Heavy Duty series can be configured in a multitude of cab, box and engine layouts in both 2500 and 3500 payload capacities. But they don’t get any bigger than this one – the 3500 Mega Cab 4X4 dually weighing over 4 tons and measuring 21’ long with a 6’4” box. Payload: 5,420 pounds. Max Trailer Weight Rating: 33,020 pounds, thanks to the twisting force of Ram’s newest high output turbo. The 3500 Laramie 4X4 Mega Cab starts at about $55,000 and totals $83,670 as-tested. Made in Mexico, this new Heavy Duty is for the ranch or business owner who doesn’t sacrifice comfort for capability.