The Purr of the Electric Cat. The 2019 Jaguar I-Pace EV 400 AWD

 

 

Jaguar's Race Director James S Barkley

After attending an introduction event for Jaguar’s EV Racing in New York City, last year, I have looked forward to the opportunity to spend time and experience life in a luxury EV. This summer, a Photon Red First Edition Jaguar I-Pace showed up in my driveway.

IMG_3022While the world is focused on SUV’s even as they pertain to electric-powered vehicles, Jaguar has nicely put together a sleek hatchback, that is a luxury sedan, sports sedan, EV and with the full-size hatch, all-wheel-drive SUV. And the adjustable suspension helps on or off road.

 

Design

IMG_2570Ian Callum accepts 2019 World Car Award for Jaguar I Pace
IMG_2570Ian Callum accepts 2019 World Car Award for Jaguar I Pace

First and foremost, it is a Jaguar. You can tell  Ian Callum kept with the brand’s design language using angles to replace the curves of the Jags of my youth. More a 1980’s than 1960’s look, while still quite current. Aerodynamics is the name of the game when trying to stretch every electron into a mile, and with this I-Pace, you have a 230-mile range on a charge. And selling it as a luxury SUV, and sports-sedan in one. This one has all-wheel drive and an adjustable suspension that you can raise and lower the vehicle for off-road travel if needed.

 

Under the Hood

IMG_3048While you will not find anything under the hood, or as it is known the “frunk” or boot, which is the proper British terminology, other than small cargo space. It is almost not worth opening.

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Where is all the power coming from, you ask?  Well, two electric motors that produce 394 horsepower and 512-ft of torque are fore and aft with a 90-k Wh battery pack that is mounted low and provides a 76 MPGe combined.  Actually, the only way to see anything close to the powerplant would be to put it on a lift and take it apart. So for us, we never got to see anything but what the promotional material shows. Single-speed transmission with simple push-button controls and separate buttons for mode settings give you all the control you need in this EV.

 

Electric Plug-In?

20190716_073528Should I have range anxiety? Well, range anxiety is a part of the current EV driving experience, so it comes with the territory.  It did not take us long to figure out how to cure that and enjoy the drive in this iconic brand’s EV 400. We found both pay to charge, and free-to-charge locations via the Plugshare and ChargePoint apps. Which provided fast chare options while we were out, though often not in places we were initially going, or maybe wanted to go.  As well as plugging into our 110v home outlet for a trickle charge, of about a mile an hour.

 

How do you start an EV

Jaguar's Activity Key – allows you to wear a key to the vehicle and not carry one with you.
Jaguar’s Activity Key – allows you to wear a key to the vehicle and not carry one with you.

Like with most modern cars the RFID keyfob has replaced the switchblade or knife blade key, and Jaguar feels its owners will be active and may want to wear their key like a fitness tracker, so they provide an activity key, a black band you wear on your wrist that can get wet if you go kayaking or sailing, or surfing.

 

Door handles are recessed into the Jaguar I Pace until activated
Door handles are recessed into the Jaguar I Pace until activated.

 

Aerodynamics or Tesla design copy? How do you get the door handles to pop out?  Having the key in your pocket and activating the door handle by touching it, front or back, or hitting the traditional keyfob unlock button makes the door handles appear from the side slab of the I-Pace.

 

 

 

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An important part is even if the I-Pace doors are unlocked, the charging plug is still locked onto the charging port, and you have to unlock the car again (even if it is unlocked) to release the plug.

 

Cargo

IMG_3063While the frunk is small, not to worry the conventional rear hatch has plenty of room with the 3rd-row seats up or down, if you are carrying anything, and the four-doors open wide to give you easy entry and exit to the vehicle for all the passengers. Two bucket seats up front and a sizeable split-bench seat in the rear. And as the I-Pace is a wide car, there is plenty of room in that rear seat for three people.

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Open the hatch, and you can load large items, put down those rear seatbacks and the long flat cargo floor is easy to load in and out of.

 

Price – EV’s are not cheap

IMG_3059First of all, EV’s tend to be thought of as the play toys of the Rich, or those that want to be seen as financially successful. Tesla owners feel they have the sole ownership of the upscale EV space. So when Jaguar quietly stepped in without fanfare and put the I-Pace on the scene, we knew the price tag would be comparable.

20190716_072959Starting at just under $70K for a base Jaguar I-Pace, but really whoever buys a base car?  While there are a few who are looking for basic transportation, and the Nissan Leaf’s and Kia Niro EV’s may work well there. When you get to the level of luxury that Jaguar represents you want to add bells and whistles to your whip. Our I-Pace, the First Edition, 400 AWD I-Pace stickered out at just under $80K.

Now EV enthusiasts will tell you all about the tax incentives and all, but still, you have to buy something before you get a tax break for the purchase. Well, there is the free charging, when and where you can find it.

 

Charging Infrastructure

2019 Jaguar I Pace at a ChargePoint ChargerAs they say, nothing is free in this world. You get what you pay for!  And indeed when it comes to EV Chargers, I would agree about that.  While Tesla owners rave about their own (and totally proprietary, chargers. So don’t even think about plugging in there if you are not driving a Freemont Cali built the car. Charging stations are located all over the country, which is a beautiful thing indeed. Many are at commercial centers, though some gas station | convenience stores are adding them, most EV owners have to rely on public charging stations.  Finding them through Plug Share, Electrify America, and Charge Point, as well as other app-based programs,  are expanding. We discovered that Charge Point seems to have a better handle on their chargers, and they tend to be better-maintained infrastructure.  We found that newly constructed parking garages with EV charging as part of the design are better than those that are retrofitted. If for no other reason than the number of chargers.

IMG_3047Charging at home, if you have installed a 240 V dedicated EV Charger, you will do better than using the supplied charging plugged into a 110v grounded home outlet. The added cost to your home electric bill will help you decide if an EV is right for you.

 

Aud Etron with Electrify America ChargerCharging at your place of work, if you are lucky enough to be located in a location that provides charging for EV’s all the better. I have seen solar-powered chargers as well as banks of chargers in office building garages.

 

 

Promotion and Racing

Jaguar Race to InovateWhere does this E-Grand Prix racing come into play?  For Jaguar, racing is such a part of their heritage; it makes total sense that they are early participants in the sport of racing EVs. Jaguar and racing are like Milk and Ice Cream, they are even better together.  Racing has always been a proving ground for automotive engineering, as it is some of the best testing that any vehicle can go through.

 

Awards and Accolades

Jaguar wins 2019 Word Car Award Ian Callum AcceptingIn 2019 Jaguar I-Pace wins World Car of the Year Awards presented at the New York International Auto Show, and we were there (at the next table when the awards were presented.)  And justly so, Jaguar has brought forth a great product in the early days of modern electric vehicles.

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Words and images by William West Hopper.

William West Hopper, VIP Tour Guide at the 2019 Washington DC Auto Show. Photo by Bonnie M. Moret
William West Hopper, VIP Tour Guide at the 2019 Washington DC Auto Show. Photo by Bonnie M. Moret

Mr. Hopper is a lifelong auto enthusiast. As a member, he currently serves as the President of the Washington Automotive Press Association WAPA and is also a member of The International Automotive Press Association IMPA.

All opinions are his own. Mr. Hopper received no compensation from producing this post. He was given a week with the Jaguar I-Pace that arrived with a 60% charge, and he returned it with a 100% charge.

 

Tough and Solid as a Subaru – Just a Geeky Middle Kid – The Crosstrek

Check out our YouTube Video of this Subaru Crosstrek.

Subaru Crosstrek PHEV at the Washington DC Auto ShowSubaru has a long history of being a go-anywhere, tough roadworthy car brand. From the early days as DL and GL and before, well maybe not as far back as the tiny 360.  Today, Subaru has any number of choices from sleek sports cars to full-size SUV’s, a Sedan and a choice of  Station Wagons.  All with symmetrical all-wheel drive, which along with their boxer engine are Subaru staples.

 

Subaru CrossTrek PHEV Plugin Hybrid
Subaru CrossTrek PHEV Plugin Hybrid

Then there is that middle child, the Crosstrek. An SUV is a smaller size with plenty of what most people want in an all capable vehicle, large enough on the inside for most uses, in a small footprint.   And this middle kid can get even geekier in the Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) which we had the opportunity to experience for a week driving around for a weekend on the streets of Washington DC.

Subaru Crosstrek PHEV Plugged IN

While the PHEV Crosstrek is more hybrid than EV (Electric Vehicle,) it still provides an intro to the EV lifestyle. Without the range anxiety that a full Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) may give you.  In my use, it provided 15 miles all-electric on a 110v overnight battery charge from my garage outlet.  After the battery was depleted it seamlessly transitioned into gasoline-powered hybrid mode.  What I liked most is that you had your choice of EV or hybrid mode at the push of a button.  Allowing it to be operated in all EV mode or go hybrid, with the gasoline engine engaged. Personally, I like to save the EV driving for someplace special such as in a park or other peaceful place.

Subaru is known for UTILITY

Subaru Crosstrek PHEV Battery under the rear cargo floor
Subaru Crosstrek PHEV Battery under the rear cargo floor

And the Crosstrek is utilitarian, while still being well turned out, tech-forward, and comfortable. Don’t expect plush in any Subaru. Though the Crosstrek has a lot of nice touches like the use of quality materials and the overall interior design. And being a PHEV, there are lots of iridescent blue highlights on the inside, letting you know this is not just any powertrain you are piloting.

Subaru CrossTrek Interior
Subaru CrossTrek Interior with blue accents and stylish seating.

Anything with four-doors and a hatch is all about utility. The Crosstrek carries the battery under the rear cargo area, elevates the hatch floor about four inches from where it would be in a non-PHEV version.  The downside here is that the second-row seatbacks are at a lower point than the hatch floor. Not one long uniform cargo floor when the 2nd-row seats are folded down. The battery takes up space, so if you had a tall box, you could

Subaru Crosstrek loaded with pet supplies
Subaru Crosstrek loaded with pet supplies

have some problem fitting it in the cargo area.  For our use, the higher floor did not impede loading the cargo area. Though we can see it could be taking up valuable space when you really needed those extra inches.  With doors that swing open wide access for loading items through the rear doors is easy.

 

 

 

Driveability

Subaru Crosstrek with items in the cargo area
Subaru Crosstrek with items in the cargo area the rear seats fold down lower than the cargo floor.

When colleagues drove this car, they complained about the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), it did not bother me in the least bit. While in the old days a CVT may have been an issue, being whiny and not very responsive, today Subaru has made it pretty seamless in operation. The Crosstrek had plenty of power in both PHEV and hybrid mode, enough power to propel it down the road and up hills.

Subaru Crosstrek rear seat
Subaru Crosstrek rear seat

Driver and passenger room are plentiful. In our tester, the seats are leather-trimmed in contemporary design and exciting hues. The use of leather may not be what a buyer of a “green vehicle” would choose. Though for pet owners, as Subaru owners tend to be, it tends to be the right choice as other seat coverings can get damaged with claws and nails, as well as troublesome to clean.

Subaru Crosstrek Cockpit
Subaru Crosstrek Cockpit

Crostrek’s interior design is functional and well-tailored. Buttons are where they need to be, and the three screens, the center, the top center, and dash provide plenty of information. The top center screen offers a visual of the hybrid functionality and is an extension of the actual dash screen. While the other screens provide the necessary information that you expect from them.

 

What’s Not To Love

Subaru Crosstrek PlugIn Port
Subaru Crosstrek Plug-In Port

Subaru has a marketing campaign based on Love, so finding things that go against that is not too easy. First of all, the Crosstrek is not plush, while not spartan, it is all Subaru, simple, and to the point. The Crosstrek at times rides like a truck and in our unit, with 9K miles on the odometer, it was a bit noisy, though we expect that noise is a part of the Crosstreck’s character. And yes, the hybrid engine function sometimes sounds like a wood chipper hard at

Subaru Crosstrek dash switches
Subaru Crosstrek dash switches

work.  If you are expecting a more turned out experience the Outback or Legacy or even Forester might be a better choice. Though those models do not come in a battery-powered version. Though we expect they will in the future, as everyone really likes the higher fuel mileage hybrids offer.  Like any Subie, you will get the same experience if you are seated in the front or the rear. This brand creates a complete cabin experience, and not just a nice space up front for the driver, forgetting anyone else is going to ride in the vehicle.

 

Is this EV Drive A FAD?

Subaru Crosstreck PHEV Plugged in at home to a 110v outlet
Subaru Crosstreck PHEV Plugged in at home to a 110v outlet

While the Crosstrek is the only hybrid or EV variant available in the US from Subaru, we doubt that it will be the only one for very long.  EV powertrains are quickly evolving, and the Crosstrek PHEV is an excellent step in the direction.  Especially for those who want to tread lightly on our planet and not burn gasoline to do so. Electric Vehicles can be earth-friendly when not using fossil fuels to produce electrons.  With the ever-growing wind and solar power, it can be a great option for charging. We agree that battery production is hardly earth-friendly.

Subaru Crosstrek Pluged In at a public charger
Subaru Crosstrek Plugged In at a public charger

If you rely on EV Charging stations alone, and not have the hybrid backup, there is that concern of range anxiety. Worrying about where will the next plugin will be, and will it be operational. With the hybrid, you can pretty much find a gasoline station throughout the land.  Having the best of both worlds does give EV ownership a better feel.

 

Why you should buy a Subaru Crosstrek

Subaru Crosstrek PHEV engine
Subaru Crosstrek PHEV engine

EV side, this is a significant step for those looking to upgrade from a smaller hybrid econobox. As this is asymmetrical (which is Subaru’s term) all-wheel drive. If you are looking for a vehicle that is surefooted, rugged, and spacious, this is a good option.

Subaru owners love their cars and return to buy them time and time again.  After passing down their high mileage cars to a friend or family members, or doing a properly reviewed adoption to someone who is also a fan of the brand.  That kind of long-term owner commitment is something that means something.  Ask any Subaru owner, and they will tell you how they will always own a Subaru.

Subaru Crosstrek Engine Oil Filter
Subaru Crosstrek has a gasoline engine which means an oil filter

If you want more room but less attention to detail on the interior check out our review of the Mitsubishi PHEV Outlander.

We thank Subaru and NAV’s for the opportunity to spend a week in this vehicle. Neither provided any compensation other than the loan of the vehicle and the first tank of fuel.

 

Words an images by William West Hopper (unless otherwise noted)

William West Hopper, VIP Tour Guide at the 2019 Washington DC Auto Show. Photo by Bonnie M. Moret
William West Hopper, VIP Tour Guide at the 2019 Washington DC Auto Show. Photo by Bonnie M. Moret

Wiliam West Hopper is a life-long automotive enthusiast who thinks of cars as both an extensions of one’s personality as well as a utilitarian device.  Mr. Hopper has served as local, regional and national leader of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America, and currently serves as President of the Washington Automotive Press Association, a professional automotive media organization based in Washington DC. Mr. Hopper also writes on travel as well as interior design. And is known for an eye for a great consignment or thrift shop, thus authoring a no out of print guide to Washington DC area second-hand stores.

The Italian Job – A 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia

 

Check out our Queer4Cars YouTube Video on this Amazing Car

 

2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia at the Nebraska Wyoming Border

On a recent trip to Colorado, land of Ram pickups and Jeeps, I had the opportunity to take an Alfa Romeo Giulia for the week-long romp in cowboy country.  Quickly finding out that this little sports sedan was more of a conversation starter than I would have imagined, especially where pickups and 4X4’s roam.

Young and old, male and female, all had an eye for this gorgeous Italian four-door, wanting to know more. A gas station cashier came out of his kiosk and started talking to me about how this car changed everything for the brand. A man and woman stood by holding an intense discussion about it in a

Alfa Romeo Giulia at Lafayette CO Cars and Coffee Aug 2019
Alfa Romeo Giulia at Lafayette CO Cars and Coffee Aug 2019

supermarket parking lot. Upon arrival to a Colorado Cars and Coffee, we were one of three Alfas. An Alfa owner who brought something else, came over and shared the one time he did not show is Giulia, two others would show up. 

 

 

Driving Experience

2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia at the Lady of Peace Shrine in Pine Bluffs WY
2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia at the Lady of Peace Shrine in Pine Bluffs WY

Driving this car fast is what the Giulia wants to do,  and wide-open western interstates were the perfect place to put the pedal to the metal. Comfortably sprinting along the ribbons of high plains pavement, and nimbly carving through mountain passes proved how well balanced and sure-footed the $2500 all-wheel-drive optioned Giulia TI Sport is. While the 2-liter direct-injection turbo engine could be noisy at times, it made excellent use of the 280 horsepower output and provided the upper 20’s in miles per gallon.  Mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission with the Alfa DNA Drive Mode System it had no problem with three people and luggage aboard.

Trunk space in the Alfa Romeo Guilia is tight
Trunk space in the Alfa Romeo Guilia is tight

While it is not a big car, it does seats four.  In our case 3 comfortably for a two-hour road trip. Fully occupied, might be a bit cramped in the passenger compartment and trunk space is tight, so overnight bags and not suitcases are the way to go. Egress in the rear was a bit tight, especially for senior travelers, who had to twist a bit to get in and out of the back and sometimes the front passenger seats.

 

The Cockpit

Alfa Romeo Giulia dash and column-mounted shift levers for the 8-speed automatic transmission.
Alfa Romeo Giulia dash and column-mounted shift levers for the 8-speed automatic transmission.

This car is focused on the driver. Don’t get me wrong, the passengers’ are finely cared for as well in leather six-way adjustable heated leather seats. Piloting this gorgeous sedan is foremost in the mind of Alfa’s designers with a comfortable driving position and view of the road access to the controls and gauges. The flat-bottom steering wheel with column-mounted shift levers for the 8-speed automatic give you a racecar feel. Though do it with your loves off, as it is tight clearance, which is no problem in cold weather, as the leather-wrapped steering wheel is heated.

Alfa Romeo Giulia at an Outpost in Pine Bluffs Wyoming
Alfa Romeo Giulia at an Outpost in Pine Bluffs Wyoming

Our test vehicle had striking Red Sport Seats. That and the contrasting black interior trim with aluminum trim ambient lighting and the TI Package added bright aluminum trimmed pedals for that sporty look. As part of the $2500 Ti package, you get sport leather seats with power-adjustable bolsters and manually adjustable thigh support, in addition to the standard heated driver and front passenger power 6-way adjustable seats with 4-way lumbar support.  It was hard for my senior passengers as the seat bolsters hold you firmly during spirited driving, but make slipping in and out a challenge. That combined with the tighter door opening may be an issue for those who people who may not have physical flexibility.

 

My Thoughts

Alfa Romeo Giulia and Vintage Porsche at Cars and Coffee in Lafayette CO August 2019
Alfa Romeo Giulia and Vintage Porsche at Cars and Coffee in Lafayette CO

This car is stunning to look at and lots of fun to drive. Interior is nicely detailed with all you need in a drivers car.  Having the remote start is nice as long as the fuel level is above a quarter of a tank. The $1500 Driver Assist Dynamic Plus Package with forwarding Collision Warning plus, lane departure, adaptive cruise control with stop, and automatic high-beam Bi-Xenon headlamp

Alfa Romeo Giulia with 19 Inch Wheels and Brembo Brake Calipers
Alfa Romeo Giulia with optional 19 Inch Wheels and Brembo Brake Calipers

control was a nice feature. And the added safety of the $650 Driver Assistance Static Package with blindspot and cross-path detection is quite useful in today’s busy world.  And as always LED lighting all around and 4-wheel disc brakes with the $500 optional red-painted front Brembo® calipers with gloss script were a delight to look at through the Bright 5-whole Aluminum Wheels.

Alfa Romeo Giulia at Tru Hotel in Cheyenne Wyoming

Some spots seem to be overlooked like the leather wrapping appears to miss a spot at the bottom of the steering wheel. Sort of that hole you don’t see but feel around for once you know, it is there. The limited USB ports one in the lower center dash and two inside the console, along with a 12V outlet, and surprisingly none in the rear seat area. This led us to think that some of the tech maybe a few generations older than what you might find on the competition,  it is still great to have onboard.

I am not a big fan of modern screens, and the Giulia’s were the least offensive of the cars I have driven recently. Though saying that, I was happy with the limited number of screens to scroll through on the driver’s display. I thought having a G-Force screen was odd. If you were watching it, you could not be paying attention to the driving, which would result in making the red dot move out of the center position.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Center Console

The center controls took time to get used to, as did the stalk-style electronic gear selector with a button to push for Park which also engaged the electric parking brake.  I did like to have the parking brake applied but had to remember to release it each time.  As well as remembering to push the gear stalk forward for Reverse and pull back for Drive.

This test vehicle had 12K on the odometer, and with that mileage, it is an excellent way to experience what the vehicle will be like after the honeymoon is over. This one had held up well, especially for a brand that does not always get the highest confidence level in that area.  There were some hiccups like rough starts, though that could have been the summer heat or quality of fuel. The AC was hard to find a comfortable temp, and the HVAC fan was noisy at any position but the lowest one. There was road noise from the 19-inch Pirelli run-flat tires and was a tad surprised to hear wind noise coming from the upper door, neither were disturbing but noticeable. There is no spare (hence the run-flats), but there is an air pump secured in the base of the trunk. Me, I like to have a spare, so I would want to have one. Since the car does not have staggered wheels, and these wheels are so pretty, it would be a beautiful garage decor item to have. Just in case, but not enough trunk space to carry it with you and any luggage.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Center Console
Alfa Romeo Giulia Center Console

In total, this 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia TI Sport AWD 4-door sedan in Vesuvio gray metallic paint (a $600 option) stickered out at $51,885 including the $1,295 destination charge.  This car is assembled in Cassino Italy an Italian-built engine, and German-made transmission comes with a 4-year / 50K mile powertrain and basic warranty along with roadside assistance.

 

Would I buy this car?

Absolutely it was a lot of fun to drive and it is simply gorgeous to look at.

 

Thanks To FCA, Alfa and Rocky Mountain Redline

Alfa Romeo Giulia Fuel Filler
Alfa Romeo Giulia Fuel Filler

For allowing us a week in this fantastic Alfa Romeo 2018 Guilia for a week, covering the first tank of fuel and ExpressToll fees.  We were not compensated for this review.

 

 

 

Words and images by William West Hopper. (Unless otherwise noted)

William West Hopper, VIP Tour Guide at the 2019 Washington DC Auto Show. Photo by Bonnie M. Moret
William West Hopper, VIP Tour Guide at the 2019 Washington DC Auto Show. Photo by Bonnie M. Moret

Mr. Hopper is a life long auto enthusiast. He is a member and currently serves as the President of the Washington Automotive Press Association WAPA and is a member of The International Automotive Press Association IMPA.  All opinions are his own.

Upscale Elegance with a sense of Sportiness – The 2019 Lexus ES 350 F Sport

 

Check Out Our YouTube Video Review on the Lexus ES350 F Sport.

Age has its privileges, and my first mistake was to tag a picture of the 2019 Lexus ES350 F Sport that arrived that morning with a hashtag of #V8.  Why? Because that is what these aging eyes saw on the window sticker. Or it could have been that I remember when the brand came to the USA with an 8-cylinder, while everyone else was doing a six.  Within moments a YouTuber who follows me on Instagram corrected me. And let me know how it was a V6 and not a V8. Then, not long after that one of my young compatriots coyly mentioned he too had seen the mislabeled V8 hashtag. Yup, Frickin kid’s, I mistook the 6 for an 8, wait until you grow old and dream of big powerful engines, when you are driving your electric powered whirligigs.

20190630_184623It was back in the latter part of the last century, the news was about upstart luxury brands, offshoots of Japanese economy brands. And while today, three remain Lexus has kept both tried and true to the concept of luxury all the while holding on to Toyota’s reliability, quality, and dependability.

While in the past 30 years, Lexus has become a leader. Toyota, the parent company, realized that it was time to put excitement into their models, with the We will build no boring cars ideology. Lexus’s ES line is often confused with being an upscale Toyota Camry.  Which had been considered one of the less exciting cars to drive.  And that just isn’t right. Especially in the F-Sport trim, the ES is not a Camry, or should I say the Camry is not quite an ES350 in F Sport trim.

 

What makes the F Sport special?

2019_Lexus_ES_006_C3FAD6239DA48AE1D46B22F7A777ED968DB419AEIn the automotive world, you are either a Sport or a Premium Luxury, and bringing the two together rarely makes either side happy. Toyota does just that with a more sporty persona in the F-Sport as well as the luxury and tech that Lexus is known for.

Lexus’s high-performance models are named F Sport from the Fuji Speedway in Japan whose first corner, 27R inspired the shape of the “F” emblem. First brought to market in 2007 as a factory-sanctioned high-performance line, it succeeded the TRD (Toyota Racing Development) based L-Tuned of earlier in the decade. Now F Sport has expanded across the marque’s entire model lineup and not just limited to the IS and GS models as when it was first introduced.

 

Driving the 2019 Lexus ES 350 FSport

Lexus F Sport with Lexus RX350A week behind the wheel of the 2019 Silver Lining Metallic with a red interior Lexus ES350 F Sport gave us the feel of the many features that come standard on the ES model, as well as the sporty aspects of the F Sport, more importantly, the drive experience.

 

 

Quite a comfortable sedan, especially as a long-distance road warrior, with plentiful interior passenger and trunk cargo space. Aided by the $750 Adaptative Variable Suspension, the ride was excellent and quite centered and controlled.  The 3.5 V6 24 valve DOHC Aluminum front-engine with variable valve timing and intelligent wide intake exhaust mated to an 8-speed Direct-Shift transmission, and front-wheel drive provided plenty of power no matter the need, with 22/31/25 in mileage.  Though it was not as powerful as it would have been with the original thought of 8-cylinder. (Which I will say on my first drive after the initial IG post, I thought to myself, this is not an eight!)

Lexus ES 350 F Sport GrillDriving the Lexus, you realize how big it is, parking it though, it does not seem large, and with the parking sensors and auto-brake both come in to play in tight spaces. Pulling into a space in a parking garage, it quickly sensed I was too close to the car in front of me, jarringly the auto-braking engaged quickly and securely stopping well clear of the vehicle parked in front of me. The Blindspot monitor with Rear Cross Traffic alert and parking assist with auto braking, a $1065 option is always an excellent option to have on any car.

Lexus F Sport Key Glove

 

While I marveled at the twenty-dollar Key Glove, but really is it necessary? And at twenty bucks, it would have been something that could have been acquired from a local artisan, instead of an optional add on.

 

 

 

Luxury Inside and Out

A lot of what is standard on the ES is nothing new or not found in other vehicles, interior ambient lighting, 10-way F Sport bolstered front heated and ventilated power seats with 2-way lumbar with Lexus memory system of driver seat outside mirrors and steering wheel tilt and telescope. And of course, sporty aluminum trimmed pedals.

INTERIOR_Lexus-ES-350_Flare-Red_Hadori_FSport18_79317162B50BE8E8E177B05BBE99789C4BCB1DDBIt is how Lexus brings it together inside the F Sport that is special, the interior design, the quality touch and feel that makes you appreciate it as a Lexus. Something that did bother me was the $75 optional wireless charging option hidden away under the console armrest. I think all cars should come with wireless chargers. I did indeed use it, and it to charge my Samsung outfitted with an Otter Box Case. It did not overheat like some chargers do. Where I found myself frustrated, is I wanted to look at my phone, even if things were relayed to the car’s display. And yes I know we should not be distracted by our devices, cars are meant to be driven.

Some fun aspects of the F Sport are the moveable meter in the center dash, roadside sign assist, and the smartwatch and Amazon Alexa integration. All help you integrate closer to the car so that driving becomes one with the body and soul.

20190630_184945Ride comfort with the F Sport Suspension Tuning with Performance dampers front and rear gives you a soft but sporty ride. And the large 19-inch wheels were of course more sporty 235 40 R 19 Bridgestone tires which are different from the 215/55R 17-inch wheels and tires on the non-F Sport model. Though the smoked split 5-spoke alloy wheels were indeed attractive, I worried about scratching them.

Exterior styling with a unique rear spoiler and valance and that unmistakable and controversial front bumper grill get plenty of attention. Again, I worried that someone would bump into the grill and damage it while parallel parked.  And yes indeed the ES had the intuitive parking assist option.

Lexus Strong Dealership Commitment

 

Darcars Lexus of Silver Spring MD
DarCars Lexus of Silver Spring MD Online sourced photo

Dealerships are often that first and only interaction that any auto buyer really has with a brand. Lexus ensures that commitment to the customer is a strong one, and has been very pro-active in this area long before other brands who tout it. The Lexus brand attracts a more affluent buyer who has an appreciation for the finer things in life and willing to pay for service. Here is where Lexus really shines. Their dealerships commitment to service, being one of the first to provide true concierge service, where a staff member will come to the customer to pick up their car for service and return it. This is something very attractive to women buyers, as well as those owners who have little time to attend to such things. It is our experience relayed to us from female friends that while shopping in a Lexus dealer. They now own Lexus vehicle because of this focused on the Brand’s owners. 

 

Who is Lexus today?

Lexus RX 350 and ES 350 F SportA brand that has the reliability and dependability of a Toyota, expert dealership customer service. Lexus sells a wide range of sedans, sports coupes and of course crossovers and SUV’s. Customers of Lexus have enjoyed the best of Toyota quality and technology (Lexus is one of the first luxury brands to put hybrid powertrains into their cars) from the very beginning.  Expect great things to come from the brand as it continues to grow and respond to what their customers want.

 

William West Hopper, VIP Tour Guide at the 2019 Washington DC Auto Show. Photo by Bonnie M. Moret
William West Hopper, VIP Tour Guide at the 2019 Washington DC Auto Show. Photo by Bonnie M. Moret

Words and Images by William West Hopper

This 2019 Lexus ES350 F Sport was provided to us by Toyota Motor Company and Lexus for a week to review, no compensation other than the use of the car was provided. Parking expenses were covered by myself as was any fuel used after the first tankful.

 

America’s Original Pony Car – Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Bullitt MP002 Experience on the Queer4Cars YouTube Channel

We got to take a 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt on the road for a week, here is our story:

Front of Ford Mustang Bullitt MP002 at the American Muscle Mustang Show 2019

The energy and momentum are strong for the American Original Pony Car, the Ford Mustang and nowhere more pronounced than at a gathering of Mustang enthusiasts like the American Muscle 2019 Mustang Gathering held at Maple Grove Dragway in Berks County Pennsylvania.

American Muscle Mustang Man 2019This annual event has been running for a dozen years, and while it is produced by an aftermarket product supplier, American Muscle, you would think it would be all about selling stuff. While there is plenty of commerce going on, it is more of a backdrop to the role that the enthusiasts play, and it is all done with the focus on the Make A Wish Foundation. With more than three thousand Mustangs on hand, mostly late-model, but a few of the 1980’s forward. And only a handful of earlier generation models in the display parking fields, you can feel the love that each owner has in their vehicle.

Ford Mustangs at American Muscle Mustang Show 2019

American Muscle is the perfect spot to learn more about the owner culture, and Ford put me in a 2019 Mustang Bullitt to attend the event, which resulted in Specialty Parking Pass, so we were right up front and center of this festival of pony cars. Here the Dark Highland Green V8 powered muscle machine was surrounded by thirty or so highly vetted Mustangs each selected because of their outstanding features, that only true aficionados recognized. We were parked in the middle of the carnival mid-way between the Dyno Runs, and the drag strip, and just down from the vendor booths and on the way to the food lane.

Something that was not surprising is that Mustang owners are very particular who works on their car. Ford Motor Company shared with us that it is very hard to get owners to even bring their Mustang in for the airbag recall as they are concerned about damage to their car.

Front of Ford Mustang Bullitt MP002 at the American Muscle Mustang Show 2019

I found that the owners of these vehicles are friendly and willing to share tips and show off their modifications, some vendor purchased, some like the GT350 next to me, whose bearded owner was so concerned that his air filter would get debris in the creases, he carefully planned and quite professionally fitted pantyhose around it. I kidded him throughout the day about his Pantyhose Performance Upgrade.  He admitted he was to shy to buy the nylons himself, so he sent his girlfriend to Walmart with very specific instructions on brand and color to buy.  After that, I saw other applications of air filter covers that were nowhere near as neat and clean. And it prompted me to look at the filter on MP002; it was a good thing I did not open the hood at the show, it would have been embarrassing as its filter was not debris free.

Justin Dugan from American Muscle with Mustang Owners

Who are the owners of Mustangs?

Well, they are as American as the original pony car itself.  Being summer, this event was not any different than being at the local sandlot baseball diamond or neighborhood park for basketball. Mustang Owners are as American as they come, Canadian too. They traveled from all over for this single model gathering, just to be with each other. While the auto enthusiast community tends toward the male, there was no shortage of women in attendance, and with their cars — all age groups, just about as much of the melting pot that is the USA.

Ford Mustangs of every color at American Muscle Mustang Show 2019

Mustangs of Every color, and trim level.

Special award opportunities with several judged classes, as well as the chance to put private vehicles on the Dyno to see if the work over the winter and those mods had increased horsepower.  The drag strip where both parade laps and hot laps were a part of the scene. Event non-Mustang, Jet Engine dragsters loudly blew down the strip at great speed.

American Muscle Mustang Show 2019 had an amazing amount of bargains

Shopping, Shopping, Shopping

Vendors of every kind that cater to enthusiasts of the Mustang, from wheels, and suspension to exhaust and other specialty parts. Tee-shirts to tires. American Muscle had a huge tent that featured its scratch and dent, or one of a kind items in classic flea market setting. Piled high on tables for people to paw through looking for that special bargain. A buddy of the owner of the GT500 parked next to me came back announcing a great deal on tires and wheels, and they debated if indeed he should spend for a set when he had the stock set in his garage.  I still have my eye on an American Muscle Stick Shift T-Shirt, that I should have bought while there, as the price was better than it is to be bought online and shipped.

 

 

 

Why Ford Mustang?

The Mustang was a major twentieth-century turning point from a post-war automotive world. That sent those who bought one headed into what would become the space age. Back then, the young demographic coming of age was looking for their car, not one with fins or holes in its side, like their parents. They were looking for a sportiness that provided them seating four with enough room to carry something in the trunk.  Ford had eked out an unattractive low-end uninspired compact car for the masses as the decade began, with a slightly more modern chassis and power plant. Simple and cheap to operate this became the base on which those first Mustangs were built on.

As the decade marched on, and the modern war in Viet Nam became its signature, the Mustang became an escape for many who wanted something with power and sport styling. By the end of the decade, Mustang muscles bulged in size and horsepower. With the early 70’s they were large and all-powerful competing with the Camaro, AMX Javelin, and numerous Dodge and Plymouth muscle cars. Peculiar foreign cars were now starting to take the eye to get a strong foothold on US shores. What grew more than anything else was the car culture, with cars, were becoming stars in their own right. And on the big screen, they played a role equal to that of the male star. Men found that being identified with certain cars defined who they were, with that product placement became a Madison Avenue man’s marketing dream.  Racing movies and stars like Paul Newman and others were billboard legends. From a little VW beetle to the roaring Ford Mustang in Bullitt. Woody wagon beach buggies and

Then in the 1970s, the US was hit hard with gas rationing and sky-rocking prices. Drivers saw dollar signs on a gallon of gas when just months before a dollar would increase by several gallons, looked too small econoboxes and Japanese cars ruled the roads. Ford quickly downsized the Mustang, and by the 1980s it had right-sized with the debut of the long-lived Fox-body Mustang. As the 1990s loomed, US automotive companies partnered with foreign ones. Ford and Mazda began the process of a joint build in the same American factory.  The mere idea of this travesty whipped Mustang owners and enthusiasts into a frenzy, sending hate mail to Dearborn.  Ford quickly realized that Mustang was not to be toyed with, and with Mustang owners revolting at the thought of a Mazda shared platform for their beloved car quickly brought forth a new model, the Ford Probe.

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt MP002

Bullitt MP002

Our 2019 test vehicle was an early prototype dark highland green production number MP002 (Bullitt’s are numbered, and owners are very aware of that.) It only had two options a $2,100 Bullitt Electronics Package, and the $1,695 MagneRide dampening system, bringing the $46,595 price up to $51,485 with the $1095 destination and delivery fee. The other option would have been the RECARO® Leather-trimmed Front Sport Seats a $1595 option. Not a great option for a touring car, but if you spent a lot of time at the track with it, a great choice.

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt MP002This is not a car that you just get in and drive. You are in the know of what is going on at all times, not just because the 5.0 L TI-VCT V8 engine and 6-Speed Manual transmission with the white cue ball shift knob, gave the car a lot of heft and power.  Which was apparent in low-speed situations, not an easy car to drive in the city as you never could unleash it, and this car wants to run. The shifting was surprisingly easy, even with the very strong clutch. The Bullitt was a blast on the highway, but where it was the most fun is the twisty back roads.

Outside the Bullitt is not blingy at all, if you did not know what it was, you might just think it was another Mustang. No question on the line, but no pony insignia (except on the projection puddle light at night that puts a Mustang on the ground by your door. Only the Bullitt button in the center of the rear, where at one time would have been a gas cap. The other add on was the hood Louvers, which looked good, but did nothing to enhance air into the engine.

No Way To Be  A Quiet PlayBoy

2019 Mustang Bullitt MP002 RearOf course, it’s classic fastback design is recognizably mustang.  Where the attention comes is when you fire it up, with the gurgle and growl of the engine, which brought out every male within range. Supposedly there is a quiet setting in the active valve exhaust, though I never found it. And I heard from my neighbors they or their dogs, knew when it was coming or going.  And the rumble of the five-liter engine is as much a part of the Mustang Lifestyle as anything. Not a loud, obnoxious blast, but a very seductive growl is pure Ford Mustang.

Ride and Drive Experience

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt MP002 InteriorInside it seats four in comfortable dark highland green leather-trimmed with accent stitching, heated and cooled front bucket seats. A 6-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar control, and a 6-way power front-passenger seat and two tightly in the 50/50 split-bench folding rear seat. The ride was strong, smooth, and balanced with the available MagneRide® Damping System which responds one thousand times per second. MagneRide® is a trademarked technology of BWI Group. Between the seats and the BULLITT Electronics Package that includes: B&O Play™ Premium Audio System by HARMAN  which is a 12Speakers with a trunk-mounted subwoofer system that includes a CD Player, HD Radio™ and includes a five (5)-year prepaid subscription to SiriusXM, it was great for long drives.

I thought this was a sports car…. But I am becoming a fan of  Ambient Lighting Voice-Activated Touchscreen Navigation System with SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link® not to mention the with the BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross-Traffic Alert (CTA)

 

You Ain’t Going anywhere Quietly

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Center Console Switches

 

The class-exclusive* active valve performance exhaust lets you control the volume of the Mustang exhaust. I tried my best to set it for Quiet Start, needless to say, that was no fun, so setting it for normal, custom, Sport or the Track setting. Speaking of Trac, it even comes with Track Apps Even if you never take it to a racecourse.

 

 

 

Overall

Mustangs in lineup for American Muscle 2019 at Morgantown Holiday Inn HotelThis was one of my favorite press cars that I have had over the past six years getting them. It got more attention than any car except the Lexus LC500h, and that was just women. Everyone wanted to drive this pony.  Mustangs are an American institution, no matter what you get from the basic stripped-down model to the Shelby GT500 (and that is a dream come true) you will be celebrating modern American automobiles.  (as we work on this story, the Father of the Mustang Lee Ioccoca passed away. It was his vision of what consumers wanted in a fun and useable car that made this line of vehicles possible, Interesting that as Ford phases out passenger cars from the US Market, the Mustang is not going away anytime soon.

BULLITT© and all related characters and elements are done so under Copywrite © and trademark ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s18)

Words and Images by William West Hopper

William West Hopper, VIP Tour Guide at the 2019 Washington DC Auto Show. Photo by Bonnie M. Moret
William West Hopper, VIP Tour Guide at the 2019 Washington DC Auto Show. Photo by Bonnie M. Moret

Mr. Hopper, is a life-long automobile enthusiast, growing up not far from the Maple Drove Dragway in Southeastern Pennsylvania.  This was a trip down memory lane in many ways for him. WWH is currently the President of the Washington Automotive Press Association, a 250 member strong group of automotive professionals.

AM2019 American Muscle Mustang Show Specialty Parking PassThe week-long use of the Mustang Bullitt was provided by Ford Motor Company and NAVS DC to attend the American Muscle Mustang show.  We covered our own costs for fuel, lodging (though Turn5 offered to cover that expense, it has not been reimbursed as of this writing.) Turn 5 did invite us to attend and provided us $11 in food vouchers and the Specialty Parking Pass for the Paddock area.  This report and accompanying video were not produced for payment, but for editorial purposes only.

Look Behind You! The Flashing Lights?

What Is An Officer of the Law Driving Today?

Queer4Cars 2020 Ford Explorer Utility Police Interceptor Model YouTube Video

Cop Cars

2020 Ford Police Interceptor Explorer Utility VehicleJust when you thought you had gotten used to spotting police cruiser headlights in your rearview mirror, Ford is changing the game again! With the introduction of the completely redesigned 2020, Ford Explorer comes the police equivalent: the Explorer Utility Interceptor. Ford is stepping away from selling sedans in the USA and focusing on SUV and trucks. With this comes the SUV for police duty, which many departments have already in their fleets.

What’s New

2020 Frod Police Interceptor UtilityFord has really upped their game when it comes to the new Interceptor. One of the most significant changes, besides the entire vehicle, is the shift from front wheel to rear-wheel biased all-wheel drive. Instead of being pulled around, you now are pushed town in the 2020 Explorer. The 2020 Ford Explorers Utility Interceptor comes standard with all-wheel drive and a whole host of other goodies that the general public does not get in a regular consumer edition Ford Explorer.

The new Interceptor now comes in 3 different engine versions. The first is a regular 3.3 liter naturally aspirated V6 engine. The next step up, and the one Ford really put their heads into is a 3.3-liter non-plug-in hybrid version. The third and final option is their 3.0 liter EcoBoost engine.

2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid BatteryFord has put a lot of focus on the hybrid in a push to make not only Police Interceptors but all of its fleet Green.  The image of being more environmentally friendly is an essential part of today’s market. This new hybrid is run off a lithium-ion battery pack that is the size of a small suitcase and stored in the front half of the vehicle not reducing any interior storage space. This hybrid engine is a game changer and more so for police departments. The hybrid uses the battery pack to run the vehicle for 80% of the time. When the battery charge drops below 30%, the gas engine kicks in and takes about 2 minutes to recharge the battery to full capacity. This significantly reduces the amount of idle time for the gas engine. In turn, this reduced idle time substantially reduces the amount of fuel used and emissions from the vehicle.

Value Driven

Ford Interceptor Utility BenefitsWhat citizen wouldn’t like to see their local and state police departments saving money, thus freeing it up to focus more on training or more safety? Where hybrid vehicle technology will impact will be in municipalities fuel and vehicle maintenance budgets. While hybrids initial purchase cost is indeed higher, that can be made up in just fuel cost savings alone. Not to mention that hybrids can go longer between oil changes as the engines aren’t always running or as is often the case, idling, and between the brake pad and rotor changes due to the regenerative braking technology.

2020 Ford Interceptor Utility BenefitsThe 2020 Explorer Utility comes standard with Bluetooth® hands-free connectivity. Which is a good idea, as we know it is illegal in many states to use a handheld device while operating a motor vehicle. And no one wants Officers’ breaking the law by using their phones while driving.

 

Only On A Cop Car

Ford Explorer Utility Police Interceptor weleded Steel Crash FrameThe Interceptor Utility is fitted with a welded steel under-carriage device giving it a 75mph rear crash test rating.  Plus a stiffer suspension, larger heavy duty brakes, cooling system, and alternator that is needed to run the gamut of electronics police use in their vehicle.

Ford Factory Installed Police Perimeter Alert for Interceptor VehiclesFord has developed and offers on its Interceptor vehicles a factory-installed Police safety perimeter alarm that uses the blind spot monitoring system and a dashboard display to detect any threats moving towards or away from the rear of the vehicle.  Alerting the officer with an audible tone, rolling up the windows, locking the doors and activating the Ford Explorer Utility Police Interceptor Bullit Proof Door Padrearview camera. Ford also has ballistic panels as on option for inserts in the front doors to further protect officers from armed assailants.

 

 

 

Overall

2020 Ford Explorer Utility Police Interceptor VehicleAfter test driving each of the 2020 Ford Explorer Utility powertrains available on a police emergency vehicles operations course, it is abundantly clear these are the smart choice for police departments. Start looking in your rearview mirror for a new police Interceptor starting later this year. And remember to pull over when you see those flashing lights. While they are not after you, they may be on the way to assist someone that is important to you or someone else who is in need.

 

Words by Corporal Matthew Rihl,
Photos by William West Hopper
Officer Matt in the Cockpit of a Connie

Corporal Matthew Rihl is a Field Training Officer and member of the Honor Guard with a local Virginia police department.

Corporal Matthew Rihl has served the public for 15-years with a local county police department in Virginia. In addition, he is also a Field Training Officer and a member of the Honor Guard. Officer Matt is a vital member of the LGBT Fallen Heroes Fund, which its sole purpose is to honor surviving partners and family members of LGBT police, fire, EMS and the military who have been killed in the line of duty during a special ceremony during National Police Memorial Week every year in Washington, DC.

 

Fifty Leagues Above A Sea Of SUV’s

Lincoln’s Mid-Size SUV the Nautilus Black Label Edition for 2019

Click here for our Queer4Cars YouTube Video Lincoln Nautilus Review

Lincoln Motor Company provided us with a 2019 Black Label Nautilus in Burgundy Velvet Metallic for a trip to New York State and the opening of the new TWA Hotel at JFK airport. This mid-sized SUV featured Gala trim, with deep colors and rich textures, inspired by the high fashion of New York’s Metropolitan Gala. This Gala theme features elegant Carmine and Onyx leather deeply hued seats, complemented by the luster of Nouveau Armor aluminum accents.

This mid-sized SUV has a base price of $59,390 adding on $7245 in options came to a final sticker price of $67,630, including the $995 delivery charge.

The Lincoln Motor Company introduces the new Lincoln Nautilus, a midsize luxury SUV delivering a powerful turbocharged engine range and a suite of advanced technologies designed to give drivers greater confidence on the road.While the Nautilus is not a new design, it has been updated from the last iteration when it was called the MKX. It fits neatly in a very competitive market segment, and being a Lincoln, has a lot to offer buyers in standard features, both luxury and safety features.  Being a Lincoln Black Label Edition means that it is only available from select Lincoln dealers and carries a host of Black Label benefits.

Lincoln Nautilus red onyx leather seats

Our 2019 model came with the Onyx Venetian Leather interior, and we very much enjoyed the 22-way power driver seat a $1500 option,  standard heated and ventilated front seats, as it was May, we did not try the heated rear seats. With Inside Ambient lighting, a real treat at night, and Dual zone electronic climate control which made for a comfortable interior experience. The available concealed wireless charging pad for compatible smartphones eliminates the hassle of tangled cords is something that is becoming more common, and we like that, though our Samsung smartphone in an Otterbox case did get hot and stopped charging, out of the case it did much better.  Having the Panorama vista roof was almost as good as having a convertible.

Safety Lincoln’s Job One

The Nautilus has plenty of standard safety features as well as optional on the various trim levels of the Nautilus. While these are becoming more common today, they do enhance the overall driving experience, as not everyone on the road is paying attention to driving.

  • Blind spot detection
  • pedestrian detection
  • Auto Emergency Braking
  • Pre-collision Assist
  • Lincoln’s Copilot 360
  • Blind Spot Information System
  • Rearview Camera with a wash function
  • Auto High Beams
  • Pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection
  • Adaptative Cruise Control with Stop and Go Technology
  • Evasive Steering Assist

Nautilus’s Tech Package includes the 360-degree camera, and the active parking assist as well as front park aid sensors are $1720. Driver Assistance option for $1590, includes Lane Keeping system Active cruise control with traffic jam assist and adaptive steering.

 

Turbo Powered Engine

Powered by a 2.7 GTDI V6 engine (a $2070 option) and an 8-speed select shift automatic transmission that gave us the stated fuel economy of 21 overall 19 city and 26 highway.  Our experience was that it provided plenty of power delivered through the advanced technology of turbocharging, direct injection, and twin independent variable camshaft timing. All of which made our mix of urban and highway driving comfortable and worry-free.

 

Technology, More Important Than Ever


Today’s vehicles rely on a lot of technology, cameras, radar, and more to enhance the driver’s capability. Lincoln Co-Pilot360 is much like it sounds; you have a Co-Pilot with you watching your blind spots, alerting you to vehicles and pedestrians as well as things that the driver may miss.

2019 Lincoln Natiulus GrillPre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking is surprising that first time it engages when you are not aware it will. And thankfully it does, as it has a faster reaction time than you might have, helping to prevent an accident. Evasive steer assist is now available on the Nautilus, providing drivers with steering support to help avoid collisions that might happen as you come upon a slow-moving or stopped vehicle if it can’t be mitigated by braking alone.

We experimented with the optional lane-centering technology, which detects lane markings on the road to help keep the vehicle centered. Finding it as good as the road markings that it is monitoring, if the white line on the right follows over to a turn lane, the car can steer to the right when you want to stay in the travel lane.

Adaptive cruise control with stop and go allows drivers to set a desired speed and distance between themselves and the vehicle ahead and is a valuable item on today’s crowded highways.

 

 

Drivers Will Appreciate All The Nautilus Has To Offer.

The large center touch screen serves as a portal to standard SYNC® 3 with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, enabling management of audio, phone, and navigation. Steering wheel-mounted controls are also available for some functions helping keep eyes on the road.

2019 Lincoln Nautilus dashboard and center console

As the weather turns colder drivers will appreciate the heated side view mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer. When day turns into night having the full LED lighting and headlamps with adaptive LED, Lincoln signature lighting makes a difference.

Ford is making all of their new cars connected, and this Nautilus came with the standard embedded Lincoln Connect 4G modem with Wi-Fi hotspot capability. While we think of this as for our own personal use, it makes the vehicle prepared for the world of autonomous mobility allowing for the vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to infrastructure communication. While self-driving cars are a way off, the technology that it brings to us today adds a layer of safety on today’s roadways.

Warranty

2019 Lincoln Natiulus Window StickerThis vehicle comes with a solid 4-year 50K mile warranty and six-year 70K power train Warranty. Being a Black Label model, only sold by those Lincoln dealers that are qualified to offer Black Label models, the convenience of having the vehicle pick up when it needs service and having four years of premium maintenance included is just one more reason to purchase or lease a Lincoln.

Overall

Black Label from LincolnYou may not have considered a Lincoln as you search for upscale vehicles; this is an excellent time to think about one of America’s premier luxury brands.  Lincoln has quietly stepped ahead of its competitors, and as consumers experience the brand, they will be pleasantly surprised about what they get for their dollar.  Stop by a Lincoln dealer and look at what the brand has to offer.

 

Words and Images by William West Hopper

William West Hopper, VIP Tour Guide at the 2019 Washington DC Auto Show. Photo by Bonnie M. Moret
William West Hopper, VIP Tour Guide at the 2019 Washington DC Auto Show. Photo by Bonnie M. Moret

Mr. Hopper is a life-long automotive enthusiast who has lead enthusiast organizations like the Mercedes-Benz Club of America and the Segway Enthusiast Group of America. He currently serves as the President of the Washington Automotive Press Association in Washington DC.  He can be reached on Twitter and Instagram.

The Lincoln Motor Company provided us this vehicle free of charge for a week, we were not compensated to review this vehicle. Our review is our own personal opinion and has not been influenced by anyone but our own experiences. 

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