We all know the Super Duty is a rugged workaholic but, this year, Ford gussies it up for a night on the town with an available new Platinum series that will exceed even the Lariat and King Ranch for upscale content. It's available in Crew Cab only, and powered by either a 6.2- liter sohc gasoline engine or the amazingly quiet 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel. The Platinum has unique exterior touches like a perforated satin-chrome mesh grille and 20-in. polished aluminum wheels. Inside are 10-way-power leather captain's chairs, a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel and a navigation system viewed on the 8-in. screen of MyFord Touch, which is new throughout the Super Duty lineup and optimized even for users who may be wearing work gloves.
The Hyundai Genesis Coupe is the most sporting offering to date from Hyundai.
Two powerful engines are offered for Hyundai's rear wheel drive coupe: a 274-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or a 348-horsepower, DOHC 3.8-liter V6. Depending on the engine chosen, six-speed manual, or eight-speed automatic transmissions are available. Automatic transmissions feature Hyundai's SHIFTRONIC paddle-shift technology. Standard wheels are 18-inch alloy and 19-inch alloy wheels are available. Driver interaction is intensified with a leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Standard air-conditioning and front seats with lumbar support ensure passenger comfort. Traction control, stability control, seat-mounted side and overhead curtain airbags ensure the driver and passengers remain safe.
The Genesis Coupe receives some significant changes for the 2013 model year. The exterior now features standard LED taillamps and revised front and rear fascias. The interior includes a redesigned center stack, gauges and new sound systems. The 2.0-liter four cylinder sports a new twin-scroll turbocharger, while the 3.8-liter V6 gains direct-injection technology and an available eight-speed automatic.
The Legacy is Subaru's full-time all-wheel drive entry in the hotly contended midsize sedan segment.
The Legacy is available with a 173-hp 2.5-liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder with a six-speed manual transmission (or optional six-speed CVT), or a 256-hp 3.6-liter six-cylinder with a five-speed automatic transmission. The CVT and automatic transmissions feature a manual mode with paddle levers on the steering wheel. Standard safety features on all Legacy models include eight-airbags, vehicle stability and traction control systems, anti-lock brakes, active front head restraints and a tire-pressure monitor. Available features include leather seating, a 440-watt nine-speaker harman/kardon audio system and dual-zone automatic climate control.
The 5 Series may be the middle child in BMW’s lineup, but it doesn’t suffer from the always-forgotten middle-child syndrome—situated between the smallish 3 and gigantic 7, these sedans and wagons offer just-right sizing. The 528i starts things off with a 3.0-liter 230-bhp inline-6 that works hard to move the 5’s 3500-lb. mass. Things pick up with the twin-turbo 535i, which, although less powerful than the 360-bhp V-8 550i, handles better due to its almost 300 lb. lighter curb weight. All-out performance junkies should look to the legendary M5 and its 500-bhp
V-10. Although the 2010 5 Series is carry-
over (save for an upgrade to the latest 7-button iDrive system), an all-new 5 Series will arrive in the second quarter of 2010 as a 2011 model.
It was only a matter of time before the Beetle got back its diesel engine. From 1998 to 2006, the New Beetle could be had with a 1.9-liter turbocharged inline-4. But back then, oil prices were relatively low so the diesel-powered Beetle failed to gain popularity. But the times they are a changin’. In recent years, Volkswagen has been aggressively adding diesel-engine options to its core models—the Jetta, Passat and Touareg, to name a few—in an effort to convince the American motoring public that hybrids weren’t the only game in town when it came to good fuel economy. And when the 2012 Beetle was introduced last year, VW officials promised a diesel-powered version was to come. They kept their promise.
The New Engine
The Beetle TDI’s powerplant is the same unit found in other Volkswagen and Audi models. It’s a 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injection clean diesel that produces 140 bhp at 4000 rpm and 236 lb.-ft. of torque at 1750. It features a cast-iron cylinder block and an aluminum-alloy cylinder head, with some subtle design elements that contribute to longevity and the reduction of noise, vibration, and harshness. The forged steel crankshaft, for instance, uses just four counterweights, instead of eight, to reduce bearing load and noise emissions. Dual overhead camshafts are driven via a toothed belt that also powers the coolant pump and the high-pressure fuel-injection pump. The TDI engine’s intake manifold uses flap valves that are powered by a step motor that is in turn activated by the Engine Control Module (ECM). At idle and low engine speeds, the flap valves are closed to cause high swirl in the combustion chamber, which results in optimal mixture. During regular driving, the flap valves are adjusted continuously according to load and engine speed to ensure optimum air movement; above 3000 rpm, the valves open fully for maximum filling of the combustion chamber. This torquey engine comes mated to either a 6-speed manual gearbox of the company’s heralded dual-clutch DSG semi-automatic transmission.
On The Road
Our Beetle TDI test car was equipped with the manual gearbox, and frankly, this is the only option for enthusiasts. Throw the shifter into 1st gear and step on the throttle. The front-drive car launches like a rocket from a standstill, with the torque coming on almost instantly, and the acceleration continues even into high revs. The suspension for the 2013 Beetle TDI consists of struts up front and a torsion beam rear. While there is some body roll and understeer at turn-in, the extra torque from the diesel engine allows you to squirt out of corners remarkably quickly, even if you’re in a higher gear.
Yes, having gobs of low-end torque is nice, but the primary reason for the getting the diesel engine is fuel economy. The 2013 Beetle TDI gets an estimated 29 mpg city/39 mpg highway, making it one of the most efficient highway vehicles in the marketplace. The diesel Beetle goes on sale this summer. Prices have not yet been announced, but we expect it to be around $25,000.