2017 Buick Enclave Quick-Take Review: Still Comfy, Getting Older

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Overview: The Buick Enclave launched nearly a decade ago—we first drove the model way back in early 2007—on the platform that gave us the GMC Acadia, the Chevrolet Traverse, and, briefly, the Saturn Outlook. They were all part of General Motors’ initial foray into three-row unibody SUVs as alternatives to the minivans it had just put out to pasture. The now-ancient Enclave carries on for one more year before it is overhauled on the all-new Acadia’s platform for 2018 (alongside the next Traverse), but it won’t get smaller as did the GMC, which sits below the big, body-on-frame Yukon in the Professional Grade brand’s hierarchy. With nothing above it in the Buick lineup and the mid-size Envision SUV joining the fold, the Enclave will retain its large dimensions. READ MORE ››

2018 Audi A5/S5 Sportback Debuts, Coming to the U.S. for the First Time

Audi A5 Sportback
-Audi is currently launching cars that look so similar to their predecessors, it’s tough to tell that the new products are in fact, you know, new. The latest examples are the A5 and S5 Sportbacks. Good luck telling them apart from the previous model generation, which was launched in 2009. But this minor issue is far less important for the U.S. market, for we will be getting the sleek five-door hatchbacks here for the first time. READ MORE ››

Bridgestone Is Developing a Brand-New Tire for the 1992 Jaguar XJ220

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Jaguar is preparing to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the XJ220 next year, a car that was briefly the fastest in the world with a top speed of 217 mph. Now, to honor the anniversary and to help keep these high-speed collectibles on the road, parts supplier Don Law is partnering with Bridgestone to develop new tires for the XJ220. The partners aim to have the new, modern tires available for the anniversary in 2017.

 Originally, the automaker had announced it would build 220—the projected top speed in mph—up to 350 units, the actual top speed in kilometers per hour. By the time production stopped in 1994, Jaguar had built 275 XJ220s, all of which have now become valuable collectibles. Their owners know they need to turn to Don Law Racing in the U.K. to keep them on the road; Don Law is an expert Jaguar shop, essentially the world headquarters for XJ220 replacement parts.

Bridgestone, meanwhile, was the original supplier of tires for the project. A market of 275 cars may be small, but this is an important tire to develop for an important car, since tires that would work on the XJ220 went out of production years ago. Bridgestone is working with the original engineers, original test driver, and pre-production chassis 004 to develop the new 255/45ZR-17 front and 345/35ZR-18 rear tires.

The original concept, shown in 1988, was an all-wheel-drive car with a naturally aspirated V-12. Jaguar looked at the Porsche 959 and Ferrari F40 and, working in partnership with Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR), put it into production four years later as a rear-wheel-drive car with a twin-turbo V-6. Some potential buyers backed out when the price went up, perhaps disappointed that the car didn’t have a V-12 or that it fell just short of the targeted 220-mph top speed. At least those reasons were among the excuses given when the economy went into recession just as the cars were going into production.

The Jaguar hasn’t kept pace with its contemporary supercars from Stuttgart and Maranello on the collector market; while 959s and F40s fetch over $1 million, a 1993 XJ220 sold at RM Sotheby’s 2015 Monterey auction for $462,000, and a museum-stored example from 1994, the last model year, traded hands in June for $357,500. After sitting in a museum for years, that Jaguar could probably stand a fresh set of tires before it is asked to demonstrate its potential.

A version of this story originally appeared on Road & Track.

Bridgestone Is Developing a Brand New Tire for the 1992 Jaguar XJ220

landscape-1461673784-jag-heritage-xj220-1992-02

Jaguar is preparing to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the XJ220 next year, a car that was briefly the fastest in the world with a top speed of 217 mph. Now, to honor the anniversary and to help keep these high-speed collectibles on the road, parts-supplier Don Law is partnering with Bridgestone to develop new tires for the XJ220.

Only 275 of the cars were built, more than the originally announced 220 (the projected top speed in mph) but fewer than a later target of 350 units (the actual top speed in km/h). Those 275 cars have now become valuable collectibles, and most of the owners know that if they want to keep them on the road, they have to turn to Don Law Racing in the UK. Don Law is an expert Jaguar shop and has become essentially the world headquarters for any and all XJ220 replacement parts. If you need XJ220 bits and pieces, you call Don Law. Bridgestone, meanwhile, was the original supplier of tires for the project.

While it’s a small market, it’s also an important tire to develop. Tires that would work on the XJ220 went out of production years ago, so it’s hard for owners to get the correct size for their cars if they want to keep driving them. Bridgestone is working with the original engineers, original test driver, and pre-production chassis 004 to develop the new 255/45 ZR17 fronts and 345/35 ZR 18 rear tires. The partners aim to have the new, modern tires available for the anniversary in 2017.

While the original concept shown in 1988 was an all-wheel drive car with a naturally-aspirated V12, Jaguar looked at the Porsche 959 and Ferrari F40 and, working in partnership with Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) instead put it into production four years later as a rear-wheel drive car with a twin-turbo V6. Some potential buyers backed out when the price went up, perhaps also disappointed that the car didn’t have a V-12 or that it fell just short of the targeted 220-mph top speed. Or at least those reasons were among the excuses given when the economy went into a recession just as the cars were going into production.

The Jaguar hasn’t kept pace with its contemporary supercars from Stuttgart and Maranello on the collector market; while 959s and F40s fetch over $1.0-million, a 1993 XJ220 sold at RM Sotheby’s 2015 Monterey auction for  $462,000 while a museum-stored example from 1994, the last model year, traded hands in June for $357,500. After sitting in a museum for years on end, it could probably stand a fresh set of tires before it can demonstrate its potential.

A version of this story originally appeared on Road & Track.

202-mph Spur: New Flying Spur W12 S Is Fastest Bentley Sedan Ever

2017 Bentley Flying Spur W12 S

The all-new 2017 Bentley Flying Spur W12 S represents the absolute tip of the Flying Spur iceberg thanks to a modest 10-hp bump that assists in taking the “entry level” Bentley to a claimed top speed of 202 mph. This makes it 2 mph faster than the run-of-the-mill, W-12–powered Flying Spur and grants it standing as the fastest ever four-door produced by the team in Crewe.

Like its more mundane sibling, the Flying Spur W12 S relies on a 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W-12 engine to channel its muscle to all four wheels. Bentley predicts its new alpha dog, producing a healthy 626 horsepower and 605 lb-ft of torque, will rocket to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. Adding to the W12 S’s sportier character is a retuned suspension that Bentley says improves the car’s handling without sacrificing the creamy ride quality that its customers expect.

2017 Bentley Flying Spur W12 S

Meanwhile, special bodywork incorporates design cues found on the 190-mph Flying Spur V8 S, letting the world know this isn’t any normal Flying Spur. In order to make sure passersby don’t confuse a much pricier W12 S with its lesser V8 S stablemate, Bentley coats its top-of-the-line model’s exterior brightwork in gloss-black paint. Tinted front and rear lamps, as well as C-pillar-mounted W12 S badging and trim-specific seven-spoke, 21-inch wheels further differentiate the model.

Likewise, Bentley has spruced up the W12 S’s insides, adding knurled paddle shifters behind a three-spoke steering wheel, black engine-turned trim, and a two-tone leather interior. In case you forget which Flying Spur model you’re entering, Bentley also includes W12 S stitching in the headrests as well as W12 S kickplates. Options include carbon-fiber interior trim, carbon-ceramic disc brakes, and five-spoke, 21-inch wheels, not to mention an all-but-inevitable list of pricey bespoke features that will surely be available to customers.





Bentley has yet to release pricing for the 2017 Flying Spur W12 S, but it’ll surely cost more than the $228,025 non-S W12 model. The company said customer deliveries will begin before the calendar year turns over.

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Phone to Throne: Land Rover Shows Remote Control Power Seats

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Land Rover’s 2017 Discovery is still so new that it’s only being shown in camouflage until the official reveal at the upcoming Paris auto show, but we know its power-folding seats can be operated by remote control. Our modern fascination with remote control hasn’t faded since the debut of Zenith’s Space Command wireless television remote in the 1950s, which sent ultrasonic sound waves from vibrating aluminum rods to a vacuum-tube receiver, and this latest application of operation from afar looks every bit as complex, if tailored to our always connected age.

Land Rover’s InControl Remote smartphone app will be able to raise or lower the Disco’s second- and third-row seats from almost anywhere in the world. This requires untold lines of new software code to let Land Rover’s server receive commands from a cell phone, verify the user, and send the authorized signal over a second cellular network to the vehicle’s modem, at which point the vehicle’s CAN bus must interpret the command and direct it to the proper ECU which, in turn, must then activate multiple electric motors. See how easy that was?

At this point, no other automaker offers wireless seat control, least of all by way of the owner’s phone. We see huge potential in this technology as a means by which siblings can prank one another while they’re strapped in the car and, um, well, to help your spouse load a new TV into the family truckster even though you’re on a business trip five time zones away. For Land Rover owners, it’ll be another functionality for the app beyond remote start, climate control, door locking, and vehicle tracking.

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In case you’re not skydiving toward your car while fussing with an app—as Land Rover demonstrated is possible for no apparent reason—the Discovery also lets the owner raise and lower the seats from the vehicle’s infotainment screen or by pressing traditional switches located both in the cargo area and on the C-pillar behind the doors. Even the headrests automatically power up and down as needed. Progress.

We Play Mike Hawthorn, All Sideways in the 2016 Jaguar F-type Project 7

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-The British are fond of their history for good reason. From Stonehenge to Brexit, it’s been nothing if not a fascinating ride. Along those lines, it has been a long while since we’ve been able to attend a Jaguar press event without some mention of the Jaguar E-type, out of production for 41 years and still, indisputably, one of the loveliest cars ever made. The XK-E is a seemingly inexhaustible source of fuel for Jag’s endless nostalgia play, in which the current F-type sports car is billed as the E’s spiritual successor. For this year only, there is a version of the F, the limited-edition Project 7, that traces its lineage back to the racing Jaguar D-types, the XK-E’s own predecessor. From E you get F, and now an F that evokes D. Got it? READ MORE ››