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News: Thursday May 18, 2017

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Another normal news day in the automotive realm:

Subaru Joins “Black Edition” Craze

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One of the most prevailing trends in the automotive industry currently is the proliferation of trim packages throughout model ranges. Usually comprising some special colors, different seats, and other little touches, they provide a way to further set your vehicle apart from more normal versions. One of the most prevalent–and popular–is the simple addition of the “Black” appearance trim package. Yesterday, Subaru followed brands such as RAM and Chevrolet in bringing the option of blacked-out rides to customers of the new Subaru Forester.

Available as a step up from the 2018 Forester 2.5i Premium, the Black Edition Package is only available with a 170hp 2.5L BOXER engine and a CVT transmission. While less than exciting to the enthusiast, the Black Edition is the only way to get shift paddles on the CVT with the 2.5L naturally aspirated engine, bringing a modicum of sporting potential. More importantly to everyone else, the CVT allows Subaru to equip all models with their EyeSight Driver Assist Technology as standard. Black wheels, black grills, and special interior appointments complete the special edition. The Black Edition Package is available on Premium-equipped Foresters as a $1,150 option package.

RAV4 Rally Effort: Going Strong

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Yesterday’s motorsports news is exciting for the blandness of the racer. The Rally Rav4, raced by Toyota in the American Rally Association 2WD class, won its third consecutive rally class win in as many races, this time at the Olympus Rally in Washington. Piloted by Ryan Millen, the 2WD Toyota highlighted the brand’s well-earned reputation for reliability as many fellow racers bowed out due to mechanical issues. Millen, speaking of his competitor in a Ford Fiesta which suffered a broken axle, says, “It’s something that we don’t have to worry about, again speaking for our reliability. It’s unfortunate for him, but for us, big picture championship-wise, this puts us in a great position”.

Keep an eye on the Rally Rav4, if only for the fun of seeing a whale of a CUV being beaten on a rally stage, as shown above.

Chevrolet Leaves India and South Africa

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General Motors head of the International Division, Stefan Jacoby, is continuing his austerity measures, as the company prepares to leave the South African and Indian markets. This follows the pulling of Chevrolet models from parts of Europe–leaving the sales to Opel–and the shut-down of Australian car-manufacturing through Holden.

Projected to save $100M USD annually, the decision comes following several factors. In India, new crash test laws–the country’s first–later this year mean that Chevrolet would have to pursue a costly development program. Manufacturing for export will continue at India’s GM plants. In the South African market, GM is shedding its manufacturing plants by selling them to Isuzu. Current GM dealers will mostly stay in business, honoring warranties and selling Isuzu’s light trucks.

2018 Acura TLX Fully Detailed

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Acura is a quickly evolving brand, building much-loved sporty FWD cars in the 90’s, “boatier” cars for an aging demographic in the early 2000’s, to most recently building highly-stylized tech-showcases with trick AWD systems or all-wheel steer systems. Acura is once again shifting lanes, merging the high-tech it has developed with an edgier, sportier platform, in the all new TLX. Gone is the angular grill, replaced with a more subdued, sporting front bumper. Carried over from the last TLX are the 204hp 2.4L inline-4 engine and the 3.5L 290hp V6. The 2.4L receives a torque-converter 8-speed dual-clutch transmission, while the V6 receives a 9-speed automatic.

Acura has decided to bring back a storied trim-package for the 2018 TLX in the form of the performance-focused A-Spec option package, pictured above. Only offered on V6 equipped models with the same 290hp, the A-Spec focuses most of its efforts on the appearance and chassis of the TLX. The body is slightly changed front and rear to add a sense of sportiness, while the wheels are increased to 19in, shod in 245-series tires. Depending on options, stiffer springs, revised steering ratios and thicker roll-bars complete the package. Inside, more aggressively bolstered seats hold everyone firmly and comfortably in place. Whereas a “base” TLX starts at $33,000 the A-Spec starts at $42,800.

Stephen Hyden View All

I recently recieved a degree in History from the University of Nevada, Reno.

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