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Get a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Before it’s too Late

Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT

Back in May Chrysler made some announcements about their enthusiast-focused SRT brand. They had spun it off as a separate division but that didn’t work out so well so they decided to reconsolidate it as part of Dodge.

But this move resulted in a lot of questions, chiefly what would happen to other high-performance vehicles in the company’s portfolio including SRT versions of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chrysler 300 sedan? Answering part of this query, it appears as though the big, bad Jeep is sticking around, for the time being at least.

SEE ALSO: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Review

Model year 2015 Grand Cherokee SRTs can be ordered by dealers, but for how long is anyone’s guess. A few months back the company filed to trademark the name “Trackhawk,” which is rumored to replace the SRT version and go on sale in 2016.

The introduction of this and other special-edition models could coincide with the Jeep brand’s 75th anniversary, which takes place in the same year. The SRT Jeep Grand Cherokee starts at around $65,000 and features a 475-hp, 6.4-liter V8 engine.

GALLERY: 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT

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[Source: Automotive News]

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Chrysler Recalls 900,000 Vehicles for Fire Risk

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Chrysler is recalling over 900,000 vehicles worldwide because of defects that could cause fires.

Vehicles from the 2011 to 2014 model year equipped with the company’s widely-used Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 and a 160 amp alternator account for roughly 470,000 of the products that are part of the announcement. In those vehicles, the alternator can suddenly fail and that could potentially cause the a fire or the engine to stall.

The company is still working on a solution to the problem, which affects the Chrysler 300 sedan, Dodge Challenger and Charger cars, and Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs. An estimated 434,581 of the vehicles in that recall are in the U.S. Chrysler said today that it plans to begin notifying owners of the campaign on November 28.

SEE ALSO: Chrysler Speeds Up Jeep Recall Repairs

Chrysler also said today that it will recall 437,000 Jeep Wranglers worldwide from the 2011 to 2013 model year because they are also at risk for catching fire. Water seeping into the exterior power mirrors on those vehicles could cause and electrical short.

That campaign is expected to start on December 5 when Chrysler will instruct dealer service technicians to add a water shield and move the power mirror feed to a separate connector.

In that recall, an estimated 313,236 of the SUVs are in the United States, 39,627 in Canada, 5,685 in Mexico and 78,369 outside of North America, Chrysler said.

Read about more recalls here.

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Dartz Teases 1,500 HP Mercedes GL-Based SUV

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Latvian coachbuilder Dartz is teasing a new product based on the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class SUV.

The company known for offering classy interior upholstery selections including whale penis (yes, whale penis) seats is back at it again. This time, they plan to offer a new utility vehicle called the Black Shark, named after the Russian attack helicopter. Dartz plans to announce complete details for the Black Shark on October 19 in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of a Russian infantry division.

SEE ALSO: Dartz Prombron Black Dragon Headed to China, Priced at $7 Million

Powertrains are being sourced from Mercedes-Benz in both V8 and V12 form and the company says the Black Shark will boast up to 1,500 hp. Along with the actual vehicle, customers will also get two Vertu luxury smartphones that work in conjunction with the car to offer extras like the ability to book a private airplane in two taps and access to Vertu’s concierge service.

All models come with standard bulletproofing and electrochromic windows that can switch between being transparent and opaque. It also has an electric shock device to stave off peasants paparazzi and is built to withstand mine blasts. It also offers a biometric security system that uses retina and fingerprint scanners.

Pricing hasn’t been announced for the Black Shark, but you can count on it numbering in the millions.

Discuss this story at our luxury lifestyle forum

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Bentley SUV Creeps Closer to Production in Spy Photos

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Covered in less camouflage than before, our spy photographers snagged some shots of the upcoming Bentley SUV for the second time. 

Originally criticized for its design, Bentley has re-worked the SUV’s appearance into something that fits the automaker’s lineup a little better. It seems like they have decided on the style now too, as the vehicle in these photos is nearly identical to the prototype we previously caught testing.

EE ALSO: Bentley SUV Teased With New, Less Ugly Look

This SUV will share its platform with the Audi Q7, Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne, but don’t expect it to share much else. Although specifications are still unknown, the company has said that its SUV will be among the fastest on the market with a top speed of about 200 MPH.

We should finally see the finished product in late 2015 before it debuts for the 2016 model year.

GALLERY: Bentley SUV Spy Photos

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Discuss this story at our Luxury Lifestyle Forum

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Five-Point Inspection: 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 4MATIC

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With the success of last year’s CLA-Class compact sedan coupe, Mercedes-Benz is unabashedly eager to expand its front-wheel drive line-up in America.

The CLA already shares a platform with the A-Class and the B-Class around the world, but neither of those small hatchbacks would probably work well here since Americans prefer crossovers. So to ensure success with the next vehicle, rather than import an existing one, Mercedes decided to create an all-new small vehicle: the GLA-Class crossover.

Slotting in at the low end of the Mercedes-Benz SUV and Crossover family, the GLA is powered by a small turbocharged engine driving either the front or all four wheels. Curious if this little tall-hatch is any good, I got the chance to spend some time behind the wheel of one in Vermont. Here are five key points about the new GLA-Class.

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2015 BMW X6 Video, First Look

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The newest member of BMW’s Sport Activity lineup has been introduced at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.

Available with the same gasoline powertrains as the X5, this X6 can be had with either a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine, or a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8. Six-cylinder models can be either rear or all-wheel drive, making 300-hp, while the 445-hp V8 is only available with all-wheel drive.

Rear-wheel drive six-cylinder models start at $60,550, while V8 models ring in at $73,850. Also available are a number of trim lines, including an M Sport variant that includes an aerodynamics kit with larger front intakes, side skirts and a rear diffuser to name a few.

2014 Paris Motor Show Coverage

Inside the X6, you’ll find an array of luxury and convenience features, while drivers will appreciate a few assistance features like heads-up display and active parking assist.

Just like the X5, the X6 will be produced at the company’s recently-expanded Spartanburg assembly plant and is expected to begin arriving at dealers late this year.

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GALLERY: 2015 BMW X6 Live Photos

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Discuss this story at our BMW forum

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2015 BMW X6 Saunters Into Paris Motor Show

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BMW’s second-generation X6 just made its official debut here at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.

The German luxury brand’s newest “Sports Activity Coupe,” as they call it, comes with an important change for the 2015 model year: rear wheel drive. Just like the X5 it’s based on, BMW’s crunched-down coupe-like SUV is now available in “sDrive35i” form, powering the rear wheels via a twin-turbo straight six making 300 hp.

That powertrain will serve beside the all-wheel drive xDrive35i model that uses the same engine along with the xDrive50i, which sources power from an updated version of BMW’s 4.4-liter V8 pumping out 445 hp. In every case, that power runs through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Starting with the 2009 model year, BMW introduced something that would become a new trend in the market: taking one of its more conventionally shaped utility vehicles and compressing the body into a curvier form. Obviously it went well because the company says it sold more than a quarter million of them so far.

2015-BMW-X6-2.jpgAside from offering the normal models, which start at $60,550 for the rear-wheel drive turbo six and up to a starting price of $73,850 for the all-wheel drive V8 model, BMW is also offering xLine and M Sport variants. The xLine trim includes nicer leather upholstery and cosmetic enhancements to the exterior including stainless steel inserts at the front and rear aprons.

The M Sport package is also available on all models adding an aero kit with larger front intakes, side skirts and a rear diffuser to name a few. With that package, you can also get an optional M suspension that, like the available air ride suspension, can adjust its stiffness. Of course if you opt for the “M” branded gear it comes with sportier states of tune geared more toward handling.

2014 Paris Motor Show Coverage

The typical BMW interior accouterments are at play in the car like a Bang & Olufsen sound system and a variety of colored leathers, but the cabin is also more practical for the second generation because the rear seats also include a 40/20/40 split.

Speaking of splits, the company also says the new X6 boasts close to perfect 50:50 weight distribution thanks in part to a revised chassis that also saves weight over the previous model while adding torsional stiffness.

Finally, the X6 also comes with updated convenience and safety technology including a head-up display that shows more information including call contact and music information. There’s a parallel parking assistant, which will probably be useful considering the impossible rear sight lines associated with the X6.

As was the case in the past, X6 production will continue at the company’s recently-expanded Spartanburg assembly plant and is expected to begin arriving at dealers late this year.

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GALLERY: 2015 BMW X6 Live Photos

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Discuss this story at our BMW forum

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2015 Porsche Cayenne Goes Green, Stays Fast

 

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Forget Toyota and Tesla, Porsche is the world innovator when it comes to plug-In electric/hybrid technology.

OK maybe that’s a stretch, but with the 2015 Cayenne S E-Hybrid, Porsche will be the first company to have three different plug-in hybrid vehicles and the manufacturer claims that the world’s first hybrid vehicle ever was created by founder Ferdinand Porsche in 1899 with the Lohner-Porsche vehicle.

2015-Porsche-Cayenne-S-e-Hybrid-11.jpgRedesigned for 2015, the new Cayenne is being headlined by the E-Hybrid model. Borrowing a lot of technology and parts from the Panamera S E-Hybrid the Cayenne features a 10.8 kWh battery that sends power to a 95 hp electric motor. Combined with a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine, the Cayenne S E-Hybrid produces a total of 416 hp and 435 lb.-ft. or torque. That’s good for a 0-60 MPH time of 5.4 seconds.

2014 Paris Motor Show Coverage

With an all electric top speed of 78 MPH, Porsche is keeping electric range and fuel consumption numbers secret for now. Also unknown are charge times but the S E-Hybrid does include a 3.6 kW charger standard as well as an integrated 7.2 kW charger that can recharge the vehicle twice as fast with a suitable connection.

The refreshed 2015 Cayenne will arrive in the U.S. later this year with Diesel models being priced at $62,695 including destination charges. If you want a Cayenne S E-Hybrid, expect to pay $75,405 plus any additional options.

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GALLERY: 2015 Porsche Cayenne Live Photos

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GALLERY: 2015 Porsche Cayenne

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Discuss this story at our Porsche Cayenne forum

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Should I Buy a Used Chevrolet Equinox?

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Vehicle Overview

The first generation Equinox bowed in the 2005 model year. Although the Equinox was similar in size to many mid-size crossover of the same era, Chevrolet officially classified the vehicle as a compact crossover. As a five-seater, it lacked the third row seating option found in many mid-size crossovers and even a few compact ones.

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Initially, power came exclusively from a 3.4-liter V6 that made 185 HP and 205 lb-ft of torque. It was matched up to a five-speed automatic and available with front- or all-wheel drive. In 2008, a Sport version of the equinox was released, powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that significantly increased output to 264 HP and 250 lb-ft of torque. It was paired to a six-speed automatic transmission and a sportier tuned suspension.

Trims Packages

From 2005-2007 the Equinox was available in two trims, LS and LT. In 2008, the  fancier LTZ and Sport trims joined the LS and LT.

Top 3 Reasons to Buy

  1. Chevrolet-Equinox-2005-2009-05.jpgValue – A used Equinox can be a good value with a low price when compared to other crossovers of the same era, especially imports.
  2. Size – Although priced and optioned like a compact crossover, the Equinox is closer in size to mid-size crossovers.
  3. Style – many owners like the look of the first generation Equinox as it stood out from the compact crossover crowd.

Top 3 Problem Areas

  1. Chevrolet-Equinox-2005-2009-06.jpgKey/Ignition – Owners of Equinoxes have complained of ignition keys getting stuck in the ignition cylinder and/or falling out of the cylinder with the vehicle still running.
  2. Head Gasket – Equinox models equipped with the 3.4-liter V6 are known to have premature engine head gasket failures. This is particularly evident in 2005 and 2006 models.
  3. Safety – Safety ratings from IIHS for all years of the first generation Equinox were marginal to fair. NHTSA scored the Equinox slightly better, but other crossovers of this era did have better crash test ratings.

Before You Buy

If looking to buy an Equinox with the 3.4-liter engine, ask for a full service history and see if the head gasket has been replaced previously. As well, check the condition of the key and ignition. Fiddle around with the key while the vehicle is both on and off to ensure it will not come out of the column.

Finally, all the usual checks should be made when purchasing a used car as these crossovers can be upwards of ten years old.  Look for rust, worn tires, worn brakes and visible body damage.

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Best Bang for Your Buck

It’s best to avoid the 2005 and 2006 Equinox as these years are most prone to engine head gasket failures. The 2007 model had four recalls on it, while all other years had one or none.  It’s our recommendation to go with a 2008 or 2009 model as these have proven to be more reliable and to have significantly fewer complaints. If possible, look for a sport model with the larger, more powerful 3.6-liter engine.

Recall and Crash Test Database

2005 Chevrolet Equinox IIHS Crash Test Rating
2006 Chevrolet Equinox IIHS Crash Test Rating
2007 Chevrolet Equinox IIHS Crash Test Rating
2008 Chevrolet Equinox IIHS Crash Test Rating
2009 Chevrolet Equinox IIHS Crash Test Rating
2005 Chevrolet Equinox NHTSA Crash Test Rating
2006 Chevrolet Equinox NHTSA Crash Test Rating
2007 Chevrolet Equinox NHTSA Crash Test Rating
2008 Chevrolet Equinox NHTSA Crash Test Rating
2009 Chevrolet Equinox NHTSA Crash Test Rating
2005 Chevrolet Equinox NHTSA Recall Database
2006 Chevrolet Equinox NHTSA Recall Database
2007 Chevrolet Equinox NHTSA Recall Database
2008 Chevrolet Equinox NHTSA Recall Database
2009 Chevrolet Equinox NHTSA Recall Database

The post Should I Buy a Used Chevrolet Equinox? appeared first on AutoGuide.com News.

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Rolls-Royce SUV “a Fantastic Idea” Says CEO

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Rolls-Royce has already started an internal SUV project and the creation of high-riding Rolls seems like more of an inevitability than a dream hints the company’s CEO.

Speaking during a stopover breakfast with the media in Toronto, Canada on his way to Pebble Beach, Törsten Müller-Ötvös says the question “is not, does I make sense,” but “how will it fit the brand?” He continues; “It definitely makes sense.”

When asked point blank if Rolls is building an SUV, Müller-Ötvös commented that there is “no final decision,” but “we’re on it.”

While purists may say no to the idea, they’re the vocal minority. Müller-Ötvös commented that the night before he hosted a dinner with local owners in the Greater Toronto Area and their reaction to the idea of a Rolls SUV was that “it’s a great idea.” In fact, he insists, “everybody thinks it’s a fantastic idea.”

SEE ALSO: Rolls-Royce Wraith Review

Of those customers, Müller-Ötvös said 90 percent have one thing in common: they have a Land Rover in their driveway. Luxury SUVs are obviously on his mind and he believes the super-luxury SUV segment is only going to grow. Land Rover just introduced a new $184,000 version of the Range Rover and Bentley’s upcoming SUV is expected to top the $200,000 mark while Lamborghini is also planning to attack the segment with its upcoming Urus model.

And demand for a Rolls-Royce SUV is strong, in developed markets as much as developing ones. While much has been said about building SUVs to sell models in China, Müller-Ötvös isn’t interested in that. “We want to be globally balanced,” he says.

As for when this new SUV will arrive, it’s unlikely for at least two years. Next year Rolls has announced the debut of a new convertible model and a plus-in hybrid is also a possibility and Müller-Ötvös says it could arrive in the next five years.

Discuss this story at our luxury lifestyle forum.

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