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Taking A Music-Themed Road Trip In The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse RS

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2018 Chevrolet Traverse RS

Feast your eyes on the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse RS, an all new trim level now available on Chevy’s midsize 3-row crossover that offers drivers both show and go. The Traverse RS features a more street inspired style, with blacked-out styling cues. The RS also delivers a distinctive dose of fun-to-drive sportiness thanks to a turbocharged powerplant that is unique within the lineup.

Our friends at Chevy invited us out to Los Angeles to experience the new Traverse RS firsthand, taking part in a music-themed road trip from Hollywood to Joshua Tree. We kicked things off at the Sunset Marquis, an legendary hotel with a history of rock and roll royalty, located just steps away from the famed Sunset Strip.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Sunset Marquis is the fact that there’s a state-of-the-art recording studio located right on the property, where over 80 Grammy-winning records have been produced by music’s biggest stars, including Aerosmith, Elton John, and Green Day, to name a few. Now you might be wondering, why exactly does a hotel have a recording studio in it?

2018 Chevrolet Traverse RS

As the story goes, Jeff Beck and Jed Leiber were staying at the Marquis in the early 1990’s and were writing and performing in their hotel room. After some noise complaints, the GM offered them a laundry room, where they could make as much noise as thye wanted. What started as a temporary room, turned into a destination for rock stars and the like to come hang, and make records. The rest is history!

The next morning, we received a brief overview of the Traverse RS before pairing up and making our way out Joshua Tree, with a drive route that had us leaving the nightmare that is Los Angeles traffic, and allowing us to experience the RS’s turbocharged performance once we hit the highway.

Unlike the rest of the Traverse lineup, which are powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that puts out 310 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque, the new Chevy Traverse RS uses a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that makes 257 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque (with 90% of peak torque available at 2,100 rpm), with power going to the front wheels. The 9-speed automatic transmission does a good job at keeping the engine in the sweet spot, giving you ample power when you need it.

2018 Chevrolet Traverse RS

A few hours later, we arrived at Pink Satellite Studios, a state-of-the-art local recording studio in Joshua Tree that is pretty far off the beaten path, allowing artists to truly “get away from it all” and be inspired creatively by the high desert. Paved roads ended about five miles back, so we got to have a little off-roading fun with our Traverse, getting her nice and dirty on the ride up here.

Founded by Spike Edney (Queen’s musical director and keyboard player since 1984) and Chris Haines (a 15 times Baja 1000 Motorcycle Championship winner, Beatles fanatic, and collector of vintage instruments), the duo have hosted a number of noteworthy musical artists at their pink oasis, and they regaled us with some pretty incredible stories as we enjoyed lunch and took in the majestic scenery around us.

After lunch, we decided to go explore Joshua Tree National Park for a little bit, and it only seemed fitting for us to play U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For at full blast as we made our way into the park. It sounded pretty awesome too, thanks to the rocking Bose premium 10-speaker audio system.

2018 Chevrolet Traverse RS

With the sun beginning to set, we made our way out of the park and over to Pioneertown, a quirky little town originally built as a Wild West film set. The accommodations at the Pioneertown Motel were rustic, and I felt like I had taken a trip back in time to the wild west.

After getting changed, we headed across the way to dinner at Pappy & Harriet’s, a historic music destination that always attracts talented artists. And this night was no exception, with some amazing local bands that put on one heck of a show for the audience.

Overall, I was pretty impressed with the Traverse RS. It definitely stands out from the crowd with the blacked out grille, black window trim, black roof rails and black bowtie emblems, along with those 20-inch wheels with a Dark Android finish. The turbocharged engine seems well-suited to the RS, giving this SUV a nice dose of excitement. And it comes loaded with standard features, all for just $43,095.

2018 Chevrolet Traverse RS

To learn more about the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse RS, visit www.chevrolet.com.

Sujeet Patel is the founder of Guys Gab, and one of the biggest automotive enthusiast you'll ever meet. He's been fortunate enough to turn his passion for cars into a full-time job. Like they say, "If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life."

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The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Gets A Substantial Power Boost, Higher Redline

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2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata

When we drove the current-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata, it didn’t take long for us to fall for it, as it offers one of the purest driving experiences out there. In fact, we described the ND as “the most fun you can have for under $30K”. And that’s a statement I’ll stand by today.

If you’re looking for a car that will deliver maximum smiles per hour as you go flat out through the twisties, it honestly doesn’t get much better than this. Seriously, if I lived in an area with fun roads (and less snow), there’d be a Miata parked in my garage right now.

Still.. a little extra power would be nice, as the Miata only has 155 horsepower on tap, which is less than the Fiat 124 Spider, even though they’re essentially the same cars!

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata

But that’s about to change. The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata gets a substantial bump in power, with 181 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque, with a richer torque curve throughout the car’s entire rev range. And the redline has increased from 6,800 rpm to 7,500 rpm.

While an additional 26 HP might not sound like much, it’s all about the power-to-weight ratio. The Miata is a lightweight car in it’s own right, weighing in at 2,300 pounds and change, which is 1,000 less than most “regular” cars. Coupled with the better torque curve, it’s going to make a HUGE difference in the way the car drives. Zoom-Zoom!

Mazda says the new MX-5 is quicker, more responsive and aims to be more engaging to drive, adhering to Mazda’s unique Jinba Ittai — “horse and rider as one” — engineering philosophy.

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata

Beyond the engine improvements, the 2019 MX-5 introduces an available brown canvas soft top, new black metallic 17-inch wheels, a newly telescoping steering wheel (30mm of travel), easier-to-open doors and revised door stops and revised cupholders and seat levers. There are also some additional safety features.

The 2019 Mazda MX-5 will be available in the U.S. this fall, with pricing, packaging and full specifications to be announced closer to on-sale timing.

Of course, the age old question.. Go with a new 2019 Miata, or get a left-over ’18 model for a big discount? Decisions, decisions..

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The 2019 BMW 8 Series Is The Luxury Super Coupe We’ve Been Waiting For

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2019 BMW 8 Series Coupe

When BMW unveiled the Concept 8 Series last year, it caused quite a stir for obvious reasons. After all, it had been nearly 20 years since the last 8 Series rolled off the production line back in 1999, and we had long given up on BMW ever bringing back the storied nameplate.

But was the Bavarian car company just teasing us with another sexy concept that wouldn’t see the light of day, as is so often the case?

Today, we got our answer, with the introduction of the all-new 2019 BMW 8 Series Coupe, a luxury sports coupe that is ready to take on the competition with outstanding performance, beautiful design and state of the art technology.

2019 BMW 8 Series Coupe

The directive for the all-new BMW 8 Series Coupe’s design was to provide a thrilling driving experience. Body, powertrain and suspension were honed to achieve the agility, precision and poise expected of a top-class luxury sports coupe.

Styling wise, the production model stays fairly true to the concept, exuding “a very modern form of sporting appeal beautifully blended with an air of exclusiveness and sensual allure.” The 8 Series is the first model to show off BMW’s new design language that is focusing on modernity and emotional engagement.

2019 BMW 8 Series Coupe

The car’s low-slung design, an elongated silhouette with a slim window pillars, a roofline with a distinctive “double-bubble” contouring, a long wheelbase and wide track are the defining elements of the all-new BMW 8 Series Coupe’s proportions.

The first variant to launch, the BMW M850i xDrive, is powered by a new twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 that puts out a healthy 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, launching the car from 0-60 mph in just 3.6 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 155 mph. And it will serve up an enthralling soundtrack along the way.

2019 BMW 8 Series Coupe interior

As the name suggests, the BMW M850i is equipped with xDrive rear-biased intelligent all-wheel drive, and it’s mated to an eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission that has been updated with wider ratios and sportier gear shifts. Shift paddles on the steering wheel are included as standard for manual gear selection, while a Launch Control function allows for accelerating from a standing start with maximum available traction.

Being BMW’s flagship vehicle, the car will come loaded with luxury features and technology, more than there’s space for here to go on about. But rest assured, you’ll be rolling around in the lap of luxury, and the envy of all of your neighbors.

Pricing for the BMW 8 Series Coupe will be released closer to its launch date this Fall.

What do you guys think about the 2019 BMW 8 Series Coupe?

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New 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 Would Get Carroll’s Stamp Of Approval

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2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

When the 2018 Ford Mustang launched last Fall, there were a number of models for buyers to choose from (EcoBoost, GT, Performance Pack 1, Performance Pack 2, Bullitt). But one model that was noticeably absent from the list was the track-ready Shelby GT350.

Like many others, I figured that Ford Performance was focused on the upcoming 2020 Shelby GT500, and that the Shelby GT350 would ultimately get phased out. But Ford surprised us the other day when they unveiled a new 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350 at a media event at M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan.

As you can see from these photos, the Shelby GT350 doesn’t adopt the 2018 Mustang’s styling updates, continues on with the same exterior design as before. Nor does it receive any changes under the hood, sticking with the glorious 5.2-liter flat-plane-crank V8 that puts out 526HP at 8,250 rpm and 429 lb-ft. Because if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

So what is new? Ford Performance engineers and designers incorporated the latest advances in tire, aerodynamics and chassis technology into the 2019 Mustang Shelby GT350.

Working exclusively with Michelin, the team also engineered new Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires with a Shelby GT350-specific tread pattern and different compound to deliver more grip for significantly improved acceleration and lateral acceleration, as well as braking. These tires are wrapped around new 19-inch aluminum wheels.

An all-new rear spoiler with optional Gurney flap and optimized grille closeout was designed and tuned with experience gained from wind tunnel development of the Ford Performance Mustang road course racing cars and upcoming Shelby GT500 model. Together, they deliver significant rear greater aerodynamic efficiency when equipped with the new optional Gurney flap on the rear spoiler, which will be available after launch.

2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

Upgrades to Shelby GT350’s standard MagneRide active suspension complement the aero and tire enhancements with recalibrated springs and revised damping to take full advantage of the improvements.

Stopping power is provided by six-piston front and four-piston rear caliper Brembo brakes. For added control and improved driver feedback, Shelby GT350’s electric power-assist steering and three-mode electronic stability control settings feature enhancements taken from Ford Performance’s hundreds of hours of competitive track testing.

The result of all of these tweaks and adjustments? A more balanced, higher-performing car on the straightaways and especially in the corners.

2019 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

“The new Shelby GT350 is our ultimate track Mustang. We’ve stuck to Carroll Shelby’s original formula for winning championships and made our Shelby GT350 even better with the latest in race-proven aerodynamics, tire and chassis technology,” said Hermann Salenbauch, global director for Ford Performance vehicle programs.

Honestly, I didn’t think the Shelby GT350 could get any better than it already was, but clearly I was wrong. The new model will be the benchmark for the competition, and I can’t wait to get some seat time with it.. hopefully on a race track!

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