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.
Aston Martin Vantage Review By Auto Critic Steve Hammes. https://testdrivenow.com/aston-martin-vantage/
Excluding their “Special Models” – the ones you’ll never see that cost millions of dollars – Aston Martin essentially sells 3 cars: the range-topping, $300k+ DBS Superleggera I tested a couple of months ago, the DB11 grand tourer and this; the brand’s most popular and affordable sports car, the Vantage. There’s no doubting the Vantage’s excessive curb appeal and if you drive with a purpose this is a car that will endlessly entertain.
MSRP as-tested: $170,609
If you’re lucky enough to consider a summer toy, Mazda’s been tempting shoppers with this one for 3 decades. Of course, it’s the Miata; the world’s fun-loving, affordable roadster. The Miata RF is sexy and is still turning heads. Total MSRP of this one is $35,390 – but go with the manual. https://testdrivenow.com/2020-mazda-mx-5-rf-review/
2020 Mazda MX-5 RF Review By Auto Critic Steve Hammes
With a gallon of regular averaging a relatively cheap $2.57, crossovers and SUVs now comprise more than 50% of new vehicle purchases while pickup trucks have taken nearly 20% of the market for the first time in 15 years. But that doesn’t mean their buyers are eager to part with their hard-earned money. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, these are the least efficient for the 2020 model year…
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2020 INFINITI AND BEYOND By TestDriveNow Auto Critic Steve Hammes. Infiniti is celebrating its 30th anniversary but it’s a far cry from cupcakes and balloons. Times are tough for the brand’s 205 U.S. dealers. Nissan’s luxury division has seen sales decrease for 11 straight months with declines across all 7 nameplates – 2 of which have been discontinued for the 2020 model year. Their clear sales leader – the QX60 3-row crossover SUV – hasn’t been completely redesigned since 2012.
In the meanwhile, Infiniti recently debuted its Edition 30 vehicles across all 5 existing models featuring a number of distinctive design touches. Available in 3 colors – Black, Graphite and White – with additions like dark finish wheels, dark chrome details, unique graphite interior and the inclusion of ProASSIST package driver assistance features as standard, the Edition 30 Package varies in price per vehicle, ranging from $2,000 for the QX50 Essential to $5,700 for the QX80 Luxe.