Auto Industry News: Kia’s the New Class of Luxury, Ford Continues Dominance

Kia Stinger

The Kia Stinger is making a bold first impression with its venture into the luxury car realm. And can we just say, what a perfect name for a smooth ride that moves like a hornet with a sting to match. The 365 horsepower sports sedan has rear-wheel drive and a twin-turbo V6 engine that goes from 0 to 60 in 4.7 seconds. Even though the Kia Stinger GT package will cost you a little more than the standard 2.0-liter at $39,000, the price is beyond reasonable for any comparable sports vehicle.

And it’s this combination of performance and Kia affordability that earned the Stinger GT “Best in Show” honors from Cars.com at the 2017 North American International Auto Show. The one-off build for the 2017 SEMA Show featured a custom orange paint job and participation from renowned aftermarket brands like Eibach, K&N, Borla Exhaust, Air Design USA, and TSW Alloy Wheels.

Ford Expedition Lives Up To Name

The Ford Expedition, like the Chevy Suburban, has cultivated its own reputation of luxury over the years. So, obviously a few heads turned to learn that this beloved “upscale” model is due for a FX4 off-road package. Don’t let ‘er size and good looks fool you, though; the Expedition may have some junk in the trunk, but the platform is built to withstand some difficult terrain.

Multiple outlets have had the ability to take it out for test runs and confirm it’s all systems go. The FX4 is available in both regular length and max size Expedition, thus properly supplementing its 375-400 horsepower with capability to go anywhere thanks to the two-speed transfer case. In his first drive review, Motor Trend’s Johnny Lieberman tested the Expedition on a “pretty challenging dirt course.” And it appears that of the off-road modes offered, “Mud and Rut” is the ideal choice for extreme conditions. Yeah so, it’s safe to say that any hesitant off roaders can now trust the Expedition and get out there!

F-350 CLAIMS THE WIN(s)

Ford has been pretty dominant in the truck department and while many talk F-150, the F-350 has more than earned its paygrade. In the recent 1-Ton Truck Trend Challenge, the F-350 claimed the overall win. By a small margin, it outscored the Denali 3500 and RAM 3500 in dyno and fuel economy. It smoked the competition at the drag strip, capturing the top spot in the eighth-mile trailer tow with a time of 14.076 seconds at 53.85 mph. And as for the sled pull, the F-350’s nearest competitor only came within 18 feet. Ford’s not playing around, and it means heavy-duty business. Unfortunately, not all manufacturers share Ford and Kia’s success.

Duramax Attempt At Scandal Recovery?

If you remember from the spring, GM was in hot water after several vehicles were reported as exceeding five times the legal levels of nitrogen-oxide. Supposedly 705,000 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks equipped with the company’s Duramax diesel engine failed to meet standard.

Now it appears that GM is making attempts at covering its tracks by “looking toward the future.” According to reports Deutsche Bank, the company is working at an accelerated rate on an autonomous vehicle that will be ready for debut in mere quarters, not years. As we’ve seen with Tesla, autonomy and electricity are set to go hand-in-hand for future sales. And being that Tesla has shown the world it’s not invincible, there may be ample opportunity for GM to claim a spot and sweep the emissions scandal under the rug.

Around the Circuit

In conclusion, thank goodness F1 is back. After a two week break, the field did not disappoint Sunday at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, edged out Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas by less than three seconds for his first win since August.

And the NASCAR season is winding down. Matt Kenseth captured the win at Phoenix. The 45-year-old edged out Chase Elliot for the victory Sunday, and it also knocked Elliot from Cup contention. However, Elliot still gave the veteran his due respect with a post-race bump. This was Kenseth’s first win in 51 events. Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch will move on to Homestead for the series title.

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