Sports Articles

  • 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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  • Ford shows Explorer two ways in Chicago

Ford shows Explorer two ways in Chicago

  • 09 February 2016
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First, the Explorer XLT gets a Sport Appearance Package, pictured above. It's basically an Explorer Sport without the twin-turbo V6. Instead, the XLT model with its naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 gets 20-inch wheels, a new grille, mirror caps, and a rear applique all done in Magnetic Gray. There's also a black roof rack, side cladding, and Explorer badge, with dark leather inside. The big win is the addition of Sync 3 for the 2017 Explorer. We hated the outdated MyFord Touch system in our review of the 2016 Explorer Sport, so we're really happy about this upgrade.

The second Explorer on display is a collaboration between Ford and BraunAbility for a wheelchair-accessible version of the popular crossover. It's available with base, XLT, or Limited versions of the Explorer, all powered by the aforementioned 3.5-liter V6. A sliding door moves to reveal a lighted ramp, and inside, the driver and passenger seats can be removed. An integrated key fob controls everything electronically, and Ford even offers a tow package on the BraunAbility MXV.

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