Here are the latest renderings of the new JL Jeep Wrangler

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Our friends at JL Wrangler Forums have been very kind to us. While we’ve seen plenty of spy shots of the new Jeep Wrangler, until recently these renderings from JL Wrangler Forums provided our best look at the new model. Today, we have a new batch of the traditional short-wheelbase, two-door Wrangler. We just hope the full production model doesn’t stray too far from this.

The design, like every new Wrangler, is simply an adaptation of what came before it. These new renderings pull some new cues seen on the most recent set of Wrangler spy shots. The new model packs LED headlights, taillights and running lights. The Rubicon model looks to have fog lights embedded into the bumper. The vented Rubicon hood looks like it carries over. The Sport model is the entry level Wrangler. As such the renderings ditch some things like body-color fenders and roof and alloy wheels.

The JL Wrangler has been in development for years, so expect to see the full production model sometime in the next few months.

[Source: Autoblog]

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2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid gets best-in-class electric range from EPA

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Honda said Monday that its 2018 Clarity Plug-in Hybrid earned an EPA range rating of 47 miles on a full charge, the highest all-electric range among midsize plug-in hybrids.

The plug-in hybrid, which made its debut in April and hits showrooms later this year, also received an EPA fuel economy rating of 100 combined MPGe, among tops in its class, and a gasoline-only rating of 44/40/42 (city/highway/combined).

The sedan comes with a 181-horsepower electric motor that delivers 232 pound-feet of torque. It draws power from both the 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine and a 17 kilowatt-hour battery pack that can recharge in 2.5 hours at 240 volts. Drivers will be able to select from three driving modes — Normal, Econ and Sport — with a fourth HV mode that lets you preserve your electric charge for use later in the trip. The PHEV is capable of an EPA overall driving range of 340 miles.

The Clarity lineup, which also includes the hydrogen-powered Clarity Fuel Cell sedan, is part of Honda’spush to derive two-thirds of its global sales from electrified vehicles by the year 2030. Honda also expects the plug-in hybrid, which will be available in standard and Touring trims, to be the volume sales leader in the Clarity lineup.

The 2018 Hyundai Azera looks pretty classy

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With the reveal of the new Azera, Hyundai has made it clear that it has no plans to leave the large, upscale sedan market. This South Korean Avalon-fighter underwent a significant redesign inside and out and will first go on sale in Korea next month.

Outside, the Azera has a significantly different and more formal, profile. While the previous model was rakish and wedgy, the new model adopts an upright version of Hyundai’s new corporate grille, along with a long hood and more vertical windshield. The flanks also receive long, flowing character lines that give it a muscular appearance. At the back, the Azera gets a new version of the full width taillights that the model has had since the nameplate’s introduction two generations ago.

The Azera also changes radically inside. Instead of the downward flowing dash of the old model, the new interior features an instrument panel that emphasizes width, with a dark top portion and lighter lower section. Sandwiched between the two halves of the dash is a section that rises up at the center stack to house the large touch screen and an analog clock, which looks a bit out of place.

Hyundai has yet to reveal any stats, pricing or availability for the new Azera, except for its aforementioned launch date in South Korea, where it will carry the Grandeur name. However, we would imagine more details will be coming soon ahead of its US launch.

[Source: Autoblog]

Pondering the 2018 Dodge Demon and 2018 Honda Accord | Autoblog Podcast #521

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On this week’s Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-chief Greg Migliore is joined by Associate Editor Reese Counts and, for the first time, Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder. We discuss the new 2018 Honda Accord dropping the V6, what the Dodge Demon means for FCA’s future, and if Mercedes-Benz could sell a pickup truck in the US. Spend my money (your money, everyone’s money) will be back next week.

The rundown is below. Remember, if you have a car-related question you’d like us to answer or you want buying advice of your very own, send a message or a voice memo to podcast at autoblog dot com. (If you record audio of a question with your phone and get it to us, you could hear your very own voice on the podcast. Neat, right?) And if you have other questions or comments, please send those too.Autoblog Podcast #521

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Topics and stories we mention

Rundown

  • 00:00:00 – Intro + Demon
  • 00:15:48 – Accord
  • 00:28:48 – X-Class
  • 00:43:10 – Outro

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Privateer Viper team sets a 7:03.45 time at the Nurburgring

The Viper record crew have uploaded video of the official lap. According to the group’s Facebook page, they believe a sub-7 minute time is possible. They will try to return to the ‘Ring in August when there are some open slots at the track, and they will be raising money to pay for a return trip.

The group of Viper fans we told you about last week now have their first Nürburgring record attempt out of the way according to Road & Track. The automotive publication reports the team set a time of 7:03.45 with a 2017 Viper ACR. That’s a bit over 8 seconds faster around the ‘Ring than the previous-generation ACR. Unfortunately, the time puts it behind the Porsche 918 Spyder’s 6:57 time and the Lamborghini Huracan Performante’s 6:52 time. We’ve reached out to the privateer team for additional info on the attempt, and whether they will be able to make more attempts on this trip. We will update this as soon as we hear back.

The team making these attempts got its start with a GoFundMe campaign to pay for a trip the Nürburgring to set times. The reason for this trip was the fact that Dodge never took this generation of Viper ACR to the famed German racetrack, despite going around setting fast laps at North American circuits. With funding from donors, sponsorship from Kumho Tires and Prefix, and provision of two Viper ACRs from Viper Exchange and BJ Motors, the team was able to make the journey.

[Source: Autoblog]

The Dodge Demon isn’t the only way to a 10-second quarter mile

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The Demon’s rear tires smoke, the front tires lift – and in under ten seconds (after having spent $85,000) you’ve covered a quarter mile. In short, we fully get the attention shown Dodge’s SRT Demonstrator. With disruption the operative word of the times, it’s good to see a representative of the movement coming from Detroit. The SRT Demon delivers disruption in spades.

There is, however, a viable alternative – and it doesn’t require getting on the list at your Dodge dealer. If you want to do 0-60 in under three seconds or the quarter mile in around 10, the folks at Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha – with any of their one-liter superbikes – have you covered.

The gestation of what we now know as the superbike came roughly a decade after the debut of the muscle car. It was in the early ’70s, as emission and safety regulations – along with rising insurancepremiums – decimated the ranks of Detroit’s fastest that motorcycle makers found their magical, almost mystical momentum. Honda’s CB750 four was arguably the first, followed soon by Kawasaki’s Mach III and Z-1. After that, it was Katie-bar-the-door, with more horsepower offered by Japanese OEMs until, invariably, insurance premiums went higher and, during the last recession, 20-somethings couldn’t get affordable loans or insurance.

Today, Japan’s Big Four are once again engaged in a horsepower war, fueled by the rising interest in MotoGP, along with the rising profits available when selling a $20,000 motorcycle. And if that $20,000 – $10K per wheel – seems high, simple math tells you it’s less than half of what you’ll spend per corner if buying Dodge’s Demon.

The specs tell the tale. The Demon, fattened by both its flared fenders and a platform dating from the George Bush administration, supports its 4,200+ pounds on a wheelbase of 116 inches. That’s in contrast to Suzuki’s GSX-R1000 – redesigned for 2017 – which puts its 443 pounds atop a wheelbase of just 56 inches. To maximize its Hemi-supplied 800+ horsepower, Dodge diverts the air conditioning from the Demon’s interior to the engine, which makes racing on a summer evening (you guessed it) devilishly hot. On Suzuki’s GSX-R1000 – or similarly-equipped superbikes – almost all of the air at 100+ miles per hour is directed at you.

To further underscore the differences, know that the GSX-R1000 and its like-minded competition can turn a quick corner, while the Demon is hard-pressed to execute a U-turn at the end of a quarter-mile straightaway. But if the focus is only on going straight, those 1,320 feet are achieved in just over ten seconds by all four of the Japanese superbikes, at trap speeds over 140 miles per hour. Admittedly, the Dodge can do it in under 10, and if that fraction of a second bothers you… well, you could always buy the bike and leave a fraction of a second sooner.

Obviously (but we’ll say it anyway), few will cross-shop a Demon with a Suzuki, but for those with an addiction to all-out performance, the superbike provides a compelling argument to SRT’s newly minted news. With the Dodge’s $85K window sticker, plus whatever your friendly Dodge dealer is inclined to bump it, you could buy one each from Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha. And have enough left over for bail.

[Source: Autoblog]

2018 Jeep Wrangler will keep classic hood style

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One of our spy photographers caught some FCA employees poking around under the hood of a 2018 Jeep Wrangler prototype. They had the hood open wide, and because of that, we can catch a couple little details that tell us a bit more about the exterior styling of the Wrangler. Mainly that some of the Wrangler’s signature hood details will remain for the new generation.

The first details we caught were the bolt holes in the hood at the base near the hinges. These show that, as with the previous model of Wrangler, the 2018 model will feature chunky, rugged-looking external hood hinges. We can also infer that if these hinges remain, the doors will likely have matching ones, and those will hopefully still be removable.

The second details we spotted were a bit more subtle. On the sides of the hood towards the leading edge, there are some indentations. Based on the positioning, and their small size, we believe these are the indentations for external tie-down latches for the hood, just like the old model. Actually, just like pretty much every Wrangler-style Jeep back to the military models used in World War II.

Based on a report last week from JL Wrangler Forums, we are expecting to see the fully revealed 2018 Jeep Wrangler and its classic hood details at this year’s LA auto show. It is then expected to arrive at Portland Jeep Wrangler dealer, Dick’s Country Dodge, in December with both V6 and four-cylinder engine offerings.

[Source: Autoblog]