Month: November, 2014
The new and improved 2015 Jaguar XJ AWD offers a sophisticated look with cutting edge performance. It’s the type of car that you can be proud to drive around town, but that you won’t be scared to tackle snowy roads with, and that’s something that a lot of Americans would be glad to own.
One of the most notable things about the XJ is its new look. It features a bold mesh grill and slim ultra-bright Xenon headlights that accentuate the strong lower portion of the vehicle. The thin roofline gives the vehicle a lightweight look up top offering a little bit of grace to this muscular machine.
Inside the cabin you’ll notice fine leather and quality manufactured across the front and back doors and wrapping up around the dash. Each vehicle comes standard with a panoramic glass roof, and features a classy analog clock inspired by a luxury wristwatch.
Thanks to the 3.0 liter supercharged V6 engine this Jag has plenty of power. The AWD system splits torque evenly during acceleration to provide the maximum amount of traction possible. All of this power is channeled through an eight speed automatic transmission that moves through the gears smoothly and offers an even rise in power when you stomp on the pedal.
This AWD vehicle handles superbly in a variety of conditions thanks to a lot of careful engineering. It defaults to 30 percent of the power at the front and 70 percent of the power at the back for an agile and lightweight feel while bolting around corners. Electronic sensors are constantly running and looking for loss of traction in tires around the vehicle so they can adjust torque levels to improve grip while driving. While driving in Winter conditions there is a Winter Mode setting on the vehicle that provides a more capable level of grip for slippery conditions. This helps you accelerate more evenly and brake safely on snowy roads.
As with any Jaguar the 2015 XJ AWD is supremely comfortable. It sits atop a lightweight aluminum architecture that provides those fast response times and enjoyable handling, but features magnesium and durable alloys to add to the stiffness of the frame. Thanks to the double wishbone front suspension and the air springs used in the rear multilink suspension the vehicle handles bumps and uneven surfaces with class, and you’ll feel like you’re riding along a much smoother road than you actually are.
The XJ is not short on fancy gadgets, and any techy will be glad to climb into the cabin. The gauge cluster and information display have been merged into one massive 12.3 inch widescreen high-definition display. The virtual gauges change position allowing different pieces of information and careful warnings to be display prominently while facilitating safe driving conditions. The media system as well as the climate control and a more car information menus can be accessed on the eight-inch touch screen display at the center of the vehicle. This has virtual menus that respond quickly and operate dynamically to make the most of that screen real estate.
Drivers and passengers can take a look at important digital communications, pay attention to navigation information and send and adjust the climate control all with this one screen. It connects through Bluetooth to mobile devices, offers several different audio setups, and is very usable for people new and skilled with technology. Both touchscreen systems offer voice controls as well, allowing the driver to take advantage of all those features safely.
The 2015 XJ AWD is a capable sedan meant to be driven all year long. It comes with more than enough space to carry children comfortably, but has a classy exterior that’s well-suited to arriving at business deals. It offers a nice mix between refinement and pulse-pounding performance, and there’s something for everyone to love in this car.
2015 model year Jaguar vehicles are receiving an updated media system with the InControl media platform. This advanced setup provides more capable voice controls to the user while giving them a simpler interface to rely on as well.
How it Works
The brand new interface is run through the user’s smartphone and then makes the connection back to the vehicle from there. The application runs on the smartphone and is connected through a USB port. This connection allows the phone to communicate with the vehicle and connects the Internet to the car enabling many of the media apps. The phone is also connected to the car via a Bluetooth link, enabling phone audio to be played through the car speakers.
The InControl media platform focuses on a simple look that’s easy to understand and use. The interface is split down the middle vertically, and it displays all the navigation information on the right and the other information on the left. The left side of the screen can be used to show off map data, text messages, audio system information and a variety of other details depending on what you are currently doing.
On the main screen you’ll have a set of important shortcuts on the left side of the screen, and your settings and input buttons are permanently locked in place at the bottom of the screen. By keeping the same layout throughout all the menus the system becomes intuitive to use and more enjoyable when you have to make quick decisions.
Like a few other multimedia systems on the market today, voice controls are heavily integrated into the InControl system. With a simple press of the button you can easily give commands to control different system functions. You can say things like “Text Mary” and “I’m leaving now” or you can start a playlist simply by saying “Listen to Metallica”. The system is designed to be as easy to use as possible and it really makes controlling most of your vehicle’s media a hands-free affair. All the incoming information is read aloud, making it simple for you to react while driving safely.
This new advanced media system that Jaguar has started using is a major improvement over the old one. It offers more seamless voice controls and a much simpler menu that most people will find more enjoyable.
Rumors have been running rampant recently concerning the 2016 Cadillac ATS V. This highly anticipated vehicle is expected to be very powerful and one of the favored offerings by Cadillac in the coming days. This high-powered coup looks luxurious within, and has enough power to be a real threat to the Mercedes-AMG C63.
The 2016 ATS V is rumored to have 450 HP and 445 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s fitted with a twin-turbocharged V6 engine with plenty of power to send this 3,600 lb. car rocketing down the road. Th8is powerful engine is tied to a simple six speed transmission, but the beauty of it is that drivers get to pick between automatic and manual versions depending on what they prefer. Many racing purists will enjoy the option to have a manual transmission.
A lot of technology went into the engine to enable the new car to produce so much power. It features two different water-to-air intercoolers to help with heat dissipation. It also comes with an additional radiator just for cooling off the gearbox. Titanium was used to create the connecting rods and it was also used on the turbines for the turbos to make them very lightweight and durable.
The 2016 ATS-V sits atop a frame that’s been spot welded much more heavily giving it 50 percent more roll stiffness than previous vehicles. This helps reduce body roll and makes it more effective when cornering. An electronic differential also helps to improve the traction and the handling of the vehicle further, by applying different amounts of power to different wheels of the vehicle based on need.
It’s clear that when Cadillac designed the ATS-V they were trying to create an intimidating vehicle. It’s designed with a large black mesh grille that dominates the front of the vehicle and matches the black trim around the sides and back. The massive heat extractor in the hood give the vehicle an even bulkier look while providing valuable cool air to the engine.
It’s clear that Cadillac is working hard to keep up with Mercedez and the new ATS-V might just have what it takes to do so. Although it seems like it will have less horsepower available than the AMG C63 does that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be a slower vehicle. It will come down to the performance of each of the cars and how they grip the roads, as well as the weight of both vehicles. More information is expected to be released on the 2016 ATS-V when it is unveiled next month at the LA Car Show. Until then much of this is still speculation, but the ATS-V seems destined to be a formidable car on the race track.
It’s hard to understand the charm of the 2014 Land Rover LR4 at first glance, even though it managed to snag the top spot in a recent quality survey. It’s a boxy relic from the past that hasn’t managed to keep up with the times. There’s sleeker more streamlined SUVs all over the place and it’s hard not to believe that this high-priced performance machine isn’t at least a little bit dated. That being said, the LR4 is very charming and once you climb behind the driver’s seat you’ll understand why so many people have already picked one up.
Design or Lack Thereof
The LR4 looks much the same as the original models of the vehicle. It’s very boxy and utilitarian. It has plenty of nice features packed into it, but you wouldn’t know that by looking at it. It still looks very rugged, but it could probably be streamlined quite a bit more to save on fuel use. Once you climb inside the cabin it’s obvious that the same straightforward design sense governing the exterior comes to play inside as well, but it’s a bit more refined.
You get neat clean gauge clusters, a center stack containing all the essential buttons and controls laid out in an easy to understand fashion. The seats are comfortable and soft-touch materials abound, but you won’t find many unexpected style cues in this vehicle. Land Rover sticks with design features that work well and create a neat and orderly interior that’s enjoyable to ride in.
Power and Handling
You can’t really begin to appreciate the LR4 until you get behind the wheel and take it for a ride. The 3.0 liter V6 engine is turbocharged and packs 340 HP with 332 lb.-ft. of torque available. The engine speeds this mammoth box up effectively, allowing you to go from 0 to 60 in less than 8 seconds. Getting up to highway speeds is a breeze and the eight speed automatic clutch keeps everything smooth along the way.
While driving around you can’t help but noticing how smooth everything is. The air-ride suspension takes the brunt of most bumps and you are left feeling like you’re travelling down a road much smoother than you actually are. The vehicle features all-time 4wheel drive giving it plenty of grip, even on poor terrain and during unexpected showers or snowy conditions. While driving you can let the auto clutch do all the work for you, or you can enjoy manual-esque controls using the paddle shifters. The one downside to the performance of the LR4 is its fuel economy. It only sees slight improvements from the previous version with 14 MPG City and 19 Highway. This gives it 16 MPG combined and only puts it at the same level as many V8 competitors, when it should be surpassing them.
Inside the LR4 there is room for up to seven people to sit comfortably, courtesy of a rear jump seat. The two back rows of chairs fold down into the floor and provide you with up to 90.3 cubic feet of cargo space for any kind of hauling you want to do. The interior is nothing if not comfortable and versatile. One of the biggest benefits of driving around a big box is all the headroom you get, which should help tall passengers sit comfortably. The air-ride suspension gives you the ability to lower the vehicle at slow speeds with the push of a button for more enjoyable entry and exit.
Althoguh the LR4 isn’t jam pakced iwht luxury features it does come with a slew of modern amenities that you’d expect to see on a vehicle in its price range. It features keyless entry and push button start. You can use the included navigation system to navigate both on and off the road. There is also a Bluetooth connection and a USB port for iPhone devices. The media system features hands-free support making operating all the controls easier while behind the wheel. You get a standard radio package in the vehicle, but if you are willing to pay for the upgrade you’ll also receive a Sat and HD radio setup for enhanced luxury.
On top of all the standard safety features that are expected on modern vehicles such as traction control and airbags, the LR4 also comes with front and rear parking sensors making it much easier to get in and out of tight spots while in the city. If you aren’t against paying extra for added safety you can get active safety sensors that keep track of blind spots and help avoid frontal collisions. There is also an add-on package providing you with a surround camera system giving you a look of all the sides of your vehicle.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more off-road capable vehicle than the LR4. It comes with an electronic terrain response system that allows you to switch the traction controls to handle different conditions. There is also an add-on heavy-duty package you can get to add in two speed transfer case providing two speed modes and a rock crawl setting for even more off-road capability. That air-ride suspension comes in handy here as well since it has a height enhancing feature lifting the vehicle a few more inches as long as you keep it under 25 MPH during use.
The LR4 isn’t a modern looking vehicle by any means, but it has all the capability to keep you safely on the roadn o matter what conditions you decide to tackle. It’s incredibly comfortable and comes with most modern amenities and it features more than enough cargo space for just about anyone. Sure there are things to dislike in this Land Rover model, but for the right person it’s a real treat.