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Rambo Lambo, Part II

Lamborghini SUV coming in 2018; will be built in Italy

05/27/2015

Lamborghini will produce its new SUV at its Sant’Agata Bolognese plant in Italy, with the model due to enter the market in 2018, the company said today.

Lamborghini said it will hire 500 new employees, almost double the physical size of its plant in Italy’s Emilia Romagna region and invest “hundreds of millions of euros” in the project over the life cycle of the vehicle.

Lamborghini, part of the Volkswagen group, hopes the SUV will allow it to repeat sister brand Porsche’s success in the fast-growing market for luxury SUVs and boost profitability. The SUV’s targeted volumes of around 3,000 vehicles per year will more than double the company’s deliveries, which stood at 2,530 vehicles last year.

“The introduction of a third model signifies for us the beginning of a new era,” Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann said in a statement.

205 Porsche 918 Spyders were recalled for defective chassis parts late last year.

Porsche 918 Spyder gets another recall

05/26/2015

Porsche has initiated a second “precautionary” recall for the $845,000 hybrid 918 Spyder, this time for an inspection of the electrical wiring harness for a radiator fan.

The recall affects 223 vehicles in the United States that were manufactured before the end of April 2015. Porsche says the harness could be damaged by one of the carbon fiber components on the car.

205 Porsche 918 Spyders were recalled for defective chassis parts late last year.

As a quick refresher, the 918 uses a 4.6-liter V8 and two synchronous electric motors to deliver 875 hp and 944 lb-ft of torque. Power is fed to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual.

Owners will be contacted by Porsche soon; the service visit will, of cours

Latest Reviews

First drive

2016 Ford Explorer

05/27/2015

What is it?

It’s the refreshed 2016 Ford Explorer, and, although not all new, it is another positive step in the right direction.

The 2016 Explorer has all new sheet metal from the A-pillar forward. The rear has a freshened treatment as well. "Athletic" is the term Ford used at the informal introduction, and it fits -- this is a good-looking SUV.

The 2016 Explorer is available in 2- or 4-wheel drive in the Base, XLT and Limited models, and as a 4WD only in Sport and the all-new Platinum trim level.

The standard engine on the Base, XLT and Limited models is a 3.5-liter naturally aspirated V6; available on only the Sport and Platinum models is a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6.

Another new engine choice is the 2.3-liter I4 EcoBoost. It’s available on the Base, XLT and Limited models. The 2.0L EcoBoost, which was only available in FWD models, is gone from the lineup.  There is a good chance that its lo

Sonata Hybrid’s Nu engine produces 154 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque.

First drive

2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid

05/27/2015

What is it?

Recent low fuel prices have made electrified vehicles of all types a hard sell. Cheap gas means SUVs and crossovers are flying off dealer lots while more efficient hybrids and plug-ins sit there with a layer of dust and a few bucks on their hoods. That’s not exactly a welcome environment in which to launch a pair of new hybrids.

“Prices are going to go back up,” says Michael O'Brien, Hyundai’s vice president of corporate and product planning. “There’s no economist that would suggest otherwise. It’s just a matter of which month.”

Of course, Hyundai would like that timeframe to coincide with the summer and fall launches of their two newest Sonata models -- the Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid.

Hybrids in the Sonata’s class have all upped their game in the past few years. Now every one of them returns more than 40 mpg combined, meaning Hyundai had to comfortably clear that hurdle to stay on shopping lists. The previous Hybrid’s 2.4-liter “Theta II” four-cylinder was ditched for a new “Nu” 2.0-liter unit with direct injection paired with a smaller, lighter and more powerful 38 kW electric motor. But like the last Hybrid, it all runs through a six-speed automatic transmission instead of a CVT. And that’s good news. Aside from the Subaru WRX, we haven’t met a CVT that performs as well as a real automatic.