2016 2016 Added Articles

2017 Cadillac XT5

  • 17 March 2016
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The XT5 is the second Cadillac model to arrive since the brand learned to speak with a New York accent (albeit an affected Soho dialect) and it's a key pillar to the brand's chances at worldwide success. In 2015, the final year of sales for the five-year-old SRX, Cadillac managed to sell almost 100,000 of them around the world – no small feat for a model about to be replaced, and proof of the crossover's relative freshness and its popularity in export markets like China.

Like the SRX that precedes it, the XT5 will be available with either front- or all-wheel drive (a $2,645 option), but that's one of few commonalities with the outgoing model. A new, lighter chassis helps the XT5 shed about 300 pounds, although Cadillac favors high-strength steel for bodywork and leaves aluminum for the engine and interior trim. In line with the revised brand guidelines for naming, SRX evolved into XT5, leaving room for larger and smaller utility vehicles to eventually join the lineup.

That's one way of explaining the evolutionary exterior styling of the XT5, which maintains the wedgy profile of the SRX but grafts on the new corporate face previewed by the CT6 sedan. Boomerang-style taillights bend, as on the ELR and SRX, and a lengthwise character line connects front and back with more grace than before. Most XT5 trim levels share a common front fascia, while the top-level Platinum has a brighter-looking grille and front skid plate. The overall look is that of a more refined SRX, and that's no bad thing for any of that model's fans – or any aficionados of the retired CTS Wagon. In short, you'll know that an XT5 isn't an SRX when you first see one, although the differences are harder to tell when the two are parked side by side.
 

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  • 2016 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

2016 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

  • 17 March 2016
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The 2016 Camaro offers a turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine rated at 275 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. It will hustle to 60 miles per hour in 5.4 seconds, gets up to 31 miles per gallon on the highway, and in the words of chief engineer Al Oppenheiser, it's a "no-excuses" engine.

That's a cliché, but he's right. Driving the Camaro 2.0T is not something you need to apologize for as an enthusiast. The sports car has plenty of power, handles well, and it even sounds decent for a turbo four (okay, that's an excuse). It's a different kind of energy for the Camaro, and it underscores the car's transition from hefty American muscle to something more sinewy and sophisticated.

We tested the four-banger on the curvy street course at Spring Mountain in Nevada, and then navigated the dusty desert roads leading to Death Valley in California. We even hopped in a convertible, which like its hardtop sibling is better and more refined than before. Four cylinders are fine with the top down, too.
 

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  • 2017 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro

2017 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro

  • 17 March 2016
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The A4 has been the backbone of Audi's lineup and key in its resurgence in the post-Unintended Acceleration days. This car has managed to build up a successful following by being an alternative to the more popular BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class while being nearly as good, if not actually better, than the competition. Audi chose to stake a claim in simple clothes covering technology that was more intuitive than some, being different without being difficult.

But Audi is as much a part of the establishment as its big rivals now, so it's not getting any alternative breaks anymore. It's the young tech startup that's finally a grownup – and learned to dress like one.

While Jonathon Ramsey got to drive this new A4 last fall in Italy, Audi sent me to San Diego last week to drive the US-spec model that goes on sale in a couple of weeks. And, in short, if you liked the old A4, you'll really like this one.

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  • The Koenigsegg Regera Hybrid At Geneva Auto Show

The Koenigsegg Regera Hybrid At Geneva Auto Show

  • 16 March 2016
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Despite this difference, though, the Regera's stats aren't quite as monstrous – 62 miles per hour takes 2.8 seconds to the Chiron's 2.5-second spring. But the low weight and excess power allows the Swede to catch up and pass Bugatti's finest on the high end. The Koenigsegg hits 124 mph in 6.6 seconds compared to the Bug's 6.5-second time. But the Regera monsters the Chiron to 186 mph. The Bugatti takes 13.5 seconds to hit that loony speed, while the Koenigsegg does the deed in a frightening 10.9 seconds. Think about that – the Regera is 2.6 seconds faster to 186. That's scary speed and it gets scarier. Koenigsegg has built a car that will go from zero to 248 mph in 20 seconds.
 

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