2018 INFINITI Q60 – Automotive Review

2018 INFINITI Q60 – Automotive Review

Offering both a 2.0L and 3.0L engines in 5 different model options all with stunting sharp, slick body lines -- the INFINITI Q60 has all the pieces to the puzzle for a great sports coupe. While the Q50 is the popular sports sedan, the Q60 stands apart with its compact coupe design with a clear focus on the driver.

Design

The interior is on point. The front seat/cockpit is snug, driver-focused and functional. I never found myself overreaching for controls. The infotainment system is simple but a little cluttered. The leather seats are designed to keep your hands at 10 and 2 while being comfy enough for long drives. The rear seats are not easy to get in and out of but, that usually isn’t one’s concern when shopping for a 2-door car. Coupes, in general, usually have a problem with visibility and blind spots, but with the Around View® Monitor and the Moving Object Detection, it is no longer an issue in the Q60.

In my opinion, the major 2017 redesign of the Q60 exterior made it one of the best-looking coupes on the market. With the competition featuring massive mouthy grills and deep cut and swooping body lines, the Q60 is organic and eye-catching at the same time. Compact, sporty, with a low, mean stance, and you’ve got yourself a car that looks like it’s in its own league.

Driving

The Q60 comes with 3 pretty much different engines, but only one of them really matters. The new 400 hp 3.0-litre twin turbo V6, found only on the INFINITI Q60 Red Sport. The main difference is having a boost pressure of 14.7 psi, versus 9.5 psi for the 300-horsepower version. The impressive twin-turbo system enabled smooth and immediate responses under both careful and aggressive acceleration. The 100 hp will set you back almost $10,00 CND, but the 12.5 city/9.2hwy L/100km is only is almost the same as the standard 3.0l. V6.

The AWD system is clever and adaptive and if you want a bit more excitement there is an RWD option, but it is only available in the USA. Around corners, the Q60 stays planted with minimal body roll, but in the city, the ride isn’t the smoothest. The steering and suspension have been a common criticism, many saying it “feels numb”, and that is to do with INFINITI’s Direct Adaptive Steering. Essentially, DAS is a steering setup with no physical connection, just sensors, and switches. The system is constantly, automatically making subtle adjustments to increase stability but at the cost of feeling the road. The good thing about the DAS setup is that you can adjust the steering via the vehicle settings to fit your needs best. But no matter how much you adjust and tinker with the steering, it comes second in my mind to the feeling of a mechanical setup.

Summary

The Q60 is an eye-catching vehicle no doubt, but is 400hp worth the $60,000? With team Germany offering the comparably priced 320hp BMW 4 Series Coupe, and the 362hp Mercedes AMG C 43, the INFINITI Q60 represents a viable alternative to the leaders in sports coupes. I can say with confidence that (in my opinion), the Q60 has the competition on the ropes in the styling department. My final thought is that the Q60 is a great car, looks incredible and the engine sounds mean without being rambunctious and obnoxious. Its luxurious inside the cabin and is quiet on the highway, the steering situation can be something you get used to, the Q60 is worth a test drive for anyone looking for a sporty 2 door car.

Key Features

  • Starting at $46,295 CND for Q60 2.0T PURE AWD
    • $61,295 for the Q60 RED SPORT 400 AWD
  • Around View Monitor® (AVM) with Moving Object Detection (MOD)
  • Available twin-turbo V6 that can put up to 400 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 350 lb-ft maximum torque at 1,600-5,200 rpm
  • With up to 336 customizable driver settings on the INFINITI Drive Mode Selector
  • The worldwide debut of the new Bose® Performance Series Audio System with Advanced Staging Technology
  • INFINITI Total Ownership Experience
    • Trip Interruption Benefits covering meal, lodging, and transportation costs if you break down more than 100 km from home
    • 24-hour Roadside Assistance
    • Complimentary Service Loan Car when you drop off your INFINITI for warranty repair
  • Basic Coverage is 48 months or 100,000 kilometers, (whichever comes first), for all parts and components of new INFINITI vehicles
Automotive Reviews

2019 Acura TLX – Automotive Review

2019 Acura TLX – Automotive Review

Since 2014, Acura decided to make something smaller than the TL but bigger than the TSX. With that in mind, the TLX has been holding the fort down very well.

To provide more “character and performance” Acura introduced a new trim level called A-Spec. Entry-level luxury sedans have been always a win-win for the masses. Luxurious interior, more power, and a sportier chassis gives everyone the best bang for their buck. BMW had an answer for all those amenities with their classic 3-series. They set the bar high over the years and became the go-to for that customer, but in the process, these types of cars have evolved into more of a luxury vehicle with even pricier options. The TLX could be the under the radar answer that you may be looking for.

The TLX’s styling is near the top of the list along with Audi and Mercedes. Introducing the new Signature Diamond Pentagon grille, replacing the bright satin finish grille. Dead center of the new grille is a large Acura emblem that hides the hardware for the Adaptive Radar Cruise control. The front end has become larger and larger over the years and it is noticeable, but it isn’t as theatrical as the Lexus’ front ends. Adding to the new front end are the re-shaped full LED headlights that help tie the front end together very meticulously as well as show you what’s ahead in the late hours of the night. Large dual-exhaust tips provide a very aggressive looking rear diffuser.

Inside the cabin, the optional red leather seats offer a nice pop to what some would usually call a boring and familiar interior. The dual level infotainment system survives the year-to-year updates but has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay added. The enhanced phone connection lives in the upper-level screen, which is not a touchscreen. You interact with it via the rotary knob that lives at the bottom of the center stack. The controversial push-button gear selector made its way into the 2019 model. It’s difficult to understand why Acura went with this setup of buttons when it takes up no less space than the conventional stick gear selector.

The TLX comes in a 2.4-litre 206-horsepower engine or a 3.5 litre 290-horsepower V6. The engine is tied a 9-speed ZF transmission which in turn, provides you with 267 ft-lbs of torque to play with. A 0-100km/hr run comes in at 6.1 seconds which is very similar to the comparably priced fully loaded Audi A4 which runs at an even 6 seconds.  Under low load, the TLX will decide to shut off 3 of the 6 cylinders to save your wallet at the pump when it comes to highway cruising. In the city the stop-start idle comes standard in the V6 models. Combined city/hwy driving, the 3.5L TLX sips a mere 9.8L/100km. As for the handling, when you decide to swing your SH-AWD around a corner with the throttle down, the instrument cluster will show you as more power is delivered to the rear outside wheel. The A-Spec package gets you firmer dampers and a re-tuned electric power steering system. A-Spec models with SH-AWD (in other words, all V6 models) get firmer springs and a more rigid rear stabilizer bar for better wheel and body control.

Starting at around $35,000 offers the most value for the TLX, but the fully loaded model reviewed above comes in at around $51,000. Which is fair when compared to a fully loaded sedan in the same class, like the previously mentioned comparable Audi A4. But other competitors at this price range such as the 400-hp INFINITI Q50 RED SPORT 400, or the classic 320hp BMW 340i xDrive might start making more sense if that is what price range you are shopping for. I find the TLX a great, well-designed sedan, with a great sounding engine and it feels nimble for something with 4 doors. The interior is nice and there are many options to make it unique to you. Acura offers lots of convenient tech to add also.

Key Features:

  • Starting at $36,890 CND
  • 2019 TLX SH-AWD Elite A-Spec $51,890 CND
    • 5L Direct Injection SOHC, i-VTEC® V6 Engine
    • 290 HP and 267 Ft Lbs. Torque
    • 0-100km/hr in 6.1 seconds
    • 4/7.7/9.8 City/Hwy/Combined
  • Cargo Volume 405L
  • Apple CarPlay™* and Android Auto™*
  • Available 490-watt, 10-speaker ELS Studio® Premium Audio System
  • Array of driver safety and assistive technologies, AcuraWatch™
Automotive Reviews

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class – Automotive Review

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class – Automotive Review

The Mercedes G-Class is the latest victim of the “redesigning” phase Benz is going through. Something that hasn’t been done in over 4 decades. The exterior still screams a “demanding box on wheels” with a just a few minor touch-ups and a few added inches to the stance. The changes made to the exterior are so subtle, they aren’t noticeable to the casual fan unless they are placed side-by-side. The interior, on the other hand, has been completely overhauled and upgraded, and it is a sight to see. If you liked the last box on wheels, you’re going to be happy about this one. The G-Class stays true to its heritage but adds a slew of technology making this luxury SUV more capable than ever.

The G-Class interior has gone through an aggressive, but a much-needed update. More space, more tech, sleek design, all while keeping a few imperative features that have survived previous tweaks. Talking about the grab handle in front of the passenger and the side-hinged barn door with the full-size spare fitted at the rear. The pop-up screen has been replaced with a 12.3” infotainment system (will not come with MBUX interface, yet) that has been molded into the dash. The steering wheel has been swapped for a much more modern looking one with more appealing controls. Mercedes updated the air vents with the classic-style vents that were once used in the older models while removing the out-dated climate control dials and oversized buttons; although the toggle switches for the locking differentials remain a staple design. The shifter has been replaced with what looks to be a touch style writing pad, while the new gear selector sits below it. The cabin has loads of space, which means you will finally be able to fit average sized adults in the back seats now. The driver and passenger receive more shoulder and elbow space, and the backseat passengers are gifted an extra 6 inches of leg room. The driver seat will come with air-filled side bolsters that will adjust according to the driving styles. The G-Class’ interior will (finally) be on-par with the E-Class and S-Class vehicles.

Under the aluminum hood will sit a 4.0L twin-turbocharged V8 that will pump out 416hp and 450 ft-lbs of torque and will deliver a reasonable 21mpg. Coupled with the V8 will be a 9-speed transmission, and all together we will get a 0-62mph time of around 5.5 seconds. The AMG version will crank out 577hp and jump to 60 in 4.4 secs. Thanks to the aluminum fenders and doors, the G-Wagen sits 375lbs lighter, meaning exiting and entering doesn’t involve a loud “guh-gunk” anymore. There will be 10.6 inches of air between the G-Wagen and the dirt it drives on, and an independent front suspension which will make it even more capable off-road than before. With the rack and pinion steering set-up, it will make the steering feel very light and will be a breeze to drive around town.

If you are wondering why the G-Class went through a redesign, it is because the Range Rover was becoming more popular with buyers. The out-dated style and tech in the G-class were far behind what Land Rover was able to offer. The Lexus LX570, Lincoln Navigator, and Toyota Land Cruiser are part of the conversation when it comes to size and practicality, but include luxury and the G-Class stands alone. The 2019 G-class has gone through a redesign and has come out the other side better in every way. The exterior tweaks were minimal but effective. The interior overhaul was drastic but vital. Something not many car manufacturers are able to accomplish. The G-class is for making a statement, but throw a bit of practicality and legroom into the mix, and you might be able to justify spending the $130,000 for the G550. Keyword being might…

Automotive Reviews

Lamborghini Urus – Review

By Palvinder Sandhu

By Palvinder Sandhu

Lamborghini Urus – Review

A few years back, Lamborghini released some concept sketches of an SUV that looked too good to be true, as most concepts do.

They then went quiet, and nobody knew what was going to come from it. Years went by, and in the most recent years, the demand for luxury SUVs sky-rocketed, and Lambo’ decided they wanted a piece of the market. On December 4th, 2017 they debuted the Lamborghini Urus. A luxury SUV, with the claim of being the “fastest SUV on the planet,” and surprisingly, the concept sketch seemed to be the final draft.

The good thing about the Urus is that it looks like it is a Lamborghini. They stuck with their winning recipe and made an SUV that Bruce Wayne would drive (in black). Offering big 22” and 23” wheels that fill in the hexagonal wheel wells very nicely. Sharp and aggressive lines running along the body, and huge front-end vents that would vacuum up your puppy if it got too close. The headlights and taillights are shared with the Aventador and Huracan. Also taken from the Aventador is the width of the Urus, 79.37 inches without the mirrors. The lowered stance that you may notice provides much less body roll than expected from an SUV weighing 4750 lbs. At first glance though, the silhouette of the Urus looks oddly familiar (to the F-Pace). The Urus looks utterly fast, and later you’ll understand just how fast it is.

Lamborghini claims the be able to seat 4, 6’ tall people comfortably in the Urus, and from the images, it seems viable. The dimensions all check out. They also added that it has a “low seating” style which would seem awkward for someone who is over 6’ tall. Other than that, the interior looks fantastic. The centre console has the same pilot-like control scheme as the Aventador and Huracan with the addition of 2 touch screens. The lower screen is used for climate control or a writing pad, and the top screen is for the navigation, and media, as seen in the new Audi A8. Honey-comb stitching in the optional Alcantara seats, or the optional 18-way seats with massage and cooling, will keep you comfy on the long drives. The boot has enough space to take some of your belongings with you, with leather and Alcantara covered 600-litre trunk.  Whereas the supercars from Lamborghini were more focused on an interior mimicking the cockpit of a fighter jet with leather seats, the Urus takes a different route and brings a more luxurious and high-quality feel.

Under the hood is a 4.0L twin-turbo V8 engine (same as the Audi RS6 and Bentley Benteyga) strapped to an 8-speed transmission, that powers all four wheels. Which is a big deal because this is the first time Lamborghini has fitted a turbo, let alone 2, to a vehicle. It produces 641hp and gives the driver a 0-60 time of just 3.6 seconds, and a top speed of 187mph, which makes it the fastest production SUV on earth, over the Jeep Trackhawk. Lamborghini used the V8 instead of the V10 that’s in the Huracan, and V12 in the Aventador because it was lighter and better for the fuel economy of 22.2mpg. Speaking of weight loss, the exterior and interior are littered with carbon fiber to shave off the lbs, which give it the best power-to-weight ratio in its class. Mix that in with a 48-volt electrical system and anti-roll suspension and the Urus will go around corners nearly flat. The 4-wheel steering doesn’t hurt either when it comes to track day, which Lamborghini says the Urus will be more than suitable for. The Urus comes with a wild 6 driving modes: Strada, Sport, Corsa, Sabbia (Sand), Terra (Off-Road), and Neve (Snow), one for each terrain. As convenient as these driving modes may be, it’s hard to imagine the Urus being driven on any surface but pavement. Having the option may change your mind

Before asking yourself why a twin turbo V8, dual touch screens, six driving modes, and 0-60 in 3.6s are needed in an SUV, understand that they aren’t. This wouldn’t be a Lamborghini if it didn’t though. Lamborghini’s identity is taking practicality and throwing it out the window and making bedroom wall poster cars. The reassurance with all these bells and whistles is that they’re proven. The V8 in the RS6 is wildly impressive. The A8s infotainment system is user-friendly and fluidly intuitive. The suspension system is from the Audi Q7 and Bentley Benteyga (heavy and bulky), and they drive smooth and stay flat. This is very much a product of VWs best and proven.

With the demand for luxury SUVs hitting all-time highs in recent years, Lamborghini has brought to us another option to consider. For around $200,000 US, the price of the Urus is a little higher than its competition, but with that gap, it comes with tons of features and an immense amount of ability. From what I’ve seen, I am impressed with what Lambo’ has been able to produce. The body and styling are demanding, the power and ability are mind-blowing, and the interior is sleek, luxurious, and intuitive. It seems to check all the boxes that one needs to pull the trigger and buy one. They’re expected to roll out this spring, and if you’re feeling a little polar bear-friendly, the hybrid model is set to roll out in 2019. So, if you’ve got the cash, dishing it out for the best wouldn’t be the worst investment you’ve made.

Automotive Reviews
Tesla Roadster Concept

Tesla Roadster Concept – Review

Tesla Roadster Concept

Tesla Roadster Concept – Review

The Tesla Roadster, a 2-door hyper-car. A car with a removable glass roof, boasting numbers that some can’t wrap their head around.

Elon Musk has done it, he has broken the internet, for car enthusiasts that is. He revealed an all-electric Semi truck that will have a range of 500 miles with a full load behind it. Without a payload, it will do 0-60mph in 5 seconds, which means no more needing to find space to overtake a Semi when the light turns green. Due to some wind tunnel configuring, the Tesla semi will have a less drag coefficient than a Bugatti Chiron, and it will only take 15 minutes or so to charge. Impressive. The big rig will also come with Teslas enhanced autopilot to help avoid collisions. They are also claiming a 2-year payback period, which only adds to the list of pros.

But, the Semi wasn’t what broke the internet. It was what the Semi was hauling in its trailer at the reveal. The Tesla Roadster, a 2-door hyper-car. A car with a removable glass roof, boasting numbers that some can’t wrap their head around. Producing over 10,000 NM of torque to the wheels from a 200kwh battery, the Roadster will do 0-60mph in 1.9 seconds, and 0-100mph in 4.2 seconds, thanks to its AWD system. If your neck hasn’t snapped from the acceleration, you may be able to see the car reach a top speed of +250mph. Numbers unheard of from an all-electric car, with four seats. All these claims, are available on the base model of the Roadster, which will start at $200,000. A Special Founders edition will be available with a $250,000 price tag.

These times and torque figures and prices are all impressive. They become even more impressive when compared to some of the most popular cars that are available today. Let’s look at the McLaren P1, a personal favorite. With an invoice of $1,150,000, you get a monster twin-turbo 3.8L V8 shouting out 727hp and 531 ft-lbs of torque, and a lithium-ion battery with a more modest 177hp and 96 ft-lbs of torque. Combining to create a 903hp stunner. 0-60mph is 2.7 seconds. 0-100 is 5.1 seconds and a top speed of 217mph. Not sounding as impressive anymore following the Roadster.

The Acura NSX has a receipt that is closer to the Roadster. $156,000 will let you play with the twin-turbo 3.5L V6 hybrids 573hp, 476 ft-lbs of torque, and a 0-60 time of 3.1 seconds. Again, for a bit more money, you can have something that is quite literally from the future. Unless you’re looking at only torque numbers, in that case, the SRT Dodge Demon has the upper-hand over the Roadster, sending 10,000 ft-lbs to the wheels at launch. Other than that, the Roadster isn’t matched by any production car available today. Unfortunately, street races don’t happen as often as they do in the Fast and Furious movies. From a practical point of view, The Roadster offers the buyer four seats and a range of 620 miles, compared to the NSXs 328, and the P1s 300 miles. The NSX and P1 will only give you one passenger too.

All rainbows and unicorns, until we dig into some of the details of this vehicle. Like how the horsepower figure is nowhere to be seen. Without that number, everything else doesn’t seem to have much meaning. Some have come out and said a 0-60 time under 2.05 seconds isn’t possible with the tire technology available today. Unless Elon Musk has gone to Michelin (which from pictures seems to be the tire on the Roadster) and partnered to make a super grippy tire. Another concern we are having is the weight of the car. Teslas P100D weighs an insane 5000lbs and holds a 100kw/h battery, whereas the Roadster is going to lug a 200kw/h battery. Tesla also sells separate 210 kW/h battery packs, and they’re weighing 3,600lbs. So, without the weight of the car provided, people have been taking some guesses, and it seems that people are content with the 2,500lbs number, for just the battery alone that is. This will be a very heavy car if this holds true. A lot of energy is required to move and stop that much mass which can result in overheating. As some of us may already know, Tesla has been having trouble giving consistent lap times with previous cars due to the cooling rejection system failing, calling it the “limp mode.” Hopefully, by 2020, they’ll be able to find a solution to this problem. The last thing to remember about the Roadster, is that all the times and numbers are only claims, nothing has been tested or proven.

Shortly after the reveal, Elon Musk tweeted out that a “special edition” of the Roadster may or may not be able to “fly short hops.” Saying it’s a question of safety, but “Rocket tech applied to a car opens up revolutionary possibilities.” Meaning the Roadster Elon mentioned that already has impressive numbers, will be available in an outrageously more impressive model that will be faster, and could potentially give it the ability to “fly short hops.” The future is near, Elon Musk wants it here now, and I’m not complaining.

Although, A few things went thru my mind when I heard the news about the Roadster. Like, why the timing? Why does it seem like Tesla has been working on this [roadster] when they’ve had an enormous bottleneck issue with the Model 3? Are they trying to hide something about the Semi? It’s odd (to me) to reveal such an innovative and progressive Semi, then take all the shine away from that and throw the Roadster in everyones face. Understandably, Elon Musk isn’t one to color within the lines.

Automotive Reviews
2018 A7 Sportsback Exterior

2018 Audi A7 Sportback – Review

2018 A7 Sportsback Exterior

2018 Audi A7 Sportback – Review

The all-new 2018 Audi A7 is here with a new facelift and a load of screens inside. Re-styled from the last generation with a few tweaks for an extra ‘pop’ but the overall shape and appeal still catches everyone’s eye.

The target market hasn’t changed from the previous years as the “Elite class sedan with its sporty features” while offering a “Futuristic lounge atmosphere” as Audi likes to put it. The A7 is confined selection of trims from the Premium Plus and Prestige package, which are available with the S-Line package.

I’ve always been a fan of the A7s styling, pushing boundaries with the diving rear end, which they’ve kept with the newest generation. The main exterior change Audi has revealed is the wide gaping front grill, headlights, and taillights, which give the car an even more aggressive look than it already had. The taillights stretch across the entire trunk, just below the hidden spoiler (which automatically rises once reaching 75 mph). A three headlight systems are up for grabs, with the flagship Matrix LED System using Audi’s laser light technology.

The interior has been stripped of its buttons and dials and is now replaced with an 8.6” touchscreen in the center console; alongside the 10.1” media/navigation screen above it, with the digital speedometer. The sheik interior design in previous A7s has always been appealing and never distracting, but many have had complaints about the view out the rear window, due to the sloping roof. Drivers end up seeing the eyes of the backseat passengers rather than the headlights of trailing cars.

Available with up to 10 airbags for extra safety. It comes standard with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) that works with the Quattro All-Wheel Drive system to detect loss of traction and provide braking to avoid unnecessary body motion or slip. All models come standard also with ABS. If you’re feeling over the whole “driving” thing while behind the wheel, Audi has fitted adaptive cruise control, night vision, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking.

Audi has revealed the 3.0L supercharged V6, where as the RS7 comes with a twin-turbo 4.0L V8 that growls out 605bhp and 553lb-ft of torque to throw you from 0-60 in 3.7 seconds. The A7 six banger will belt out 340bhp and 325 lb/ft of torque that gives you a more subtle 0-60 in 5.2 seconds. It is connected to a 48-volt hybrid system which allows the start-stop system kick in at 13mph. With a redundant (my opinion) 8-speed Tiptronic automatic transmission, all this comes together to provide the driver with an apparent 12L/100 km combined figure.

Audi supplies the A7 with a warranty of 4years/80,000km from the vehicles in-service date and covers defects in material and workmanship, a 12year/unlimited mileage corrosion perforation warranty, an emissions warranty, and an 8year/160,000km high voltage battery warranty.

Considering the only changes in the new generation are the mean looking front end and the interior is riddled with touch screens, there isn’t much of a change in driveability from the previous years model. The hood doesn’t feel as long as it looks when behind the wheel. For someone who drives a truck as their main vehicle, the earlier models didn’t have a feeling of being too low to the ground. Never felt a problem with blind-spots, and when driving alone, the view out the rear window was decent. The 2018 stunner is a few cm shorter, which makes it much more appropriate for city driving (not that it wasn’t before.) Similar to the years prior they’ve been a great drive, smooth on the most uneven roads, handles itself around corners well, and when you put your foot down, it is completely stable.

The A7 has quietly, but not completely, been overlooked when being compared to its opposition in my opinion. The M6, CLS and the Panamera are its competitors who are fitting. Four door sporty sedans that push you into your seat when you want it too while pulling a few neck muscles with their stance. Biased aside, the CLS is the favorite, Panamera clawing its way to the top year after year with its redesign, and the M6 sticking to a winning recipe. In regards to the 2018 A7 Audi is done being overlooked.

Key Features:

  • Starting at $82, 300
  • Twin-turbo 4.0L V8 producing 605bhp and 8-speed transmission
  • Ten standard airbags
  • 12L per 100 km combined city/highway
Automotive Reviews