2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series Is Really Rewarding On The Track

Like its iconic predecessors, the new Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series is one beast of a car.

It sits at the top of the GT range, being Merc’s most powerful model ever, and sports some clever active and passive aerodynamics inspired by the GT3 racer.

Those louvers, air intakes and outtakes, hood scoops and giant rear wing are all there to help it corner faster at high speeds, and the modified twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 gives it the grunt to match those looks.

Related: See Just How Fast The New 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series Really Is

The V8 has a flat-plane crank and puts out 720 horsepower (730 PS / 537 kW) and 590 pound-feet (800 Nm) of torque. It sprints to 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 3.2 seconds, and to 124 mph (200 km/h) in less than 9 secods. Give it enough space and it will eventually top out at 202 mph (325 km/h).

Despite being front-engined, it actually feels like a front mid-engined car, according to the latest review in which the GT Black Series was put to the test at the Lausitzring track by Autocar. The reviewer also commented that the steering is light and offers loads of feedback and the brakes are good.

Overall, one can call it a rewarding driving experience, although for £335,000 ($432,495) in the UK, that’s to be expected. After all, that’s high-end supercar territory, so it has to be not just good, but very good, to make its mark.

2021 Dodge Durango

What kind of vehicle is the 2021 Dodge Durango? What does it compare to?

The 2021 Dodge Durango three-row crossover SUV seats up to seven passengers and has the most powerful engine and highest tow rating of any mid-size SUV. When equipped with a Hellcat supercharged V-8 engine, it doesn’t compare to anything except the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk in the same FCA family. As a three-row SUV with more modest but still blistering powertrains, it competes against the Ford Explorer, Kia Telluride, Hyundai Palisade, Mazda CX-9, and many others. 

Is the 2021 Dodge Durango a good SUV?

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For towing and performance in a three-row mid-size SUV, the Dodge Durango is hard to match. For efficiency and safety, not so much. Though it’s old, it comes well equipped and earns a solid TCC Rating of 7.0 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What’s new for the 2021 Dodge Durango?

Refreshed for its tenth anniversary, the 2021 Dodge Durango’s changes might be overshadowed by the addition of a 710-horsepower 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 Hellcat engine used in Dodge’s fire-breathing muscle cars. In addition to a sharpened face, the gracefully aging Durango gets a larger 8.4-inch touchscreen as standard, and an electronic gear shifter replaces the mechanical one for a wider cockpit that orients itself to the driver. The switchgear gets narrower, but Dodge added buttons for available heated and cooled seats so you don’t need to go through the touchscreen. 

The Durango carries itself like a Dodge muscle car, aged but timeless, buff but more from free weights than Pilates. Optional hood scoop and vents flex the Durango’s intent even more. The inside is more toned, and draped in mostly black soft-touch surfaces and more storage space than in years past. 

A V-6 and three V-8s all mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission present the shopper with many choices, all of them made for speed. The SRT Hellcat 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 outdoes the SRT 392 cubic-inch V-8 with a 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds. Certain Durangos tow up to 8,700 pounds. All that V-8 power comes at a cost at the pump, as even the most efficient V-8 with cylinder deactivation is rated at just 17 mpg combined. The V-6 gets 21 mpg.  

Despite all that sick performance, the Durango can ride relatively quiet and composed when not at full bore. Firm but comfy front and second-row captain’s chairs provide plenty of support, and the 50/50-split folding third row opens up more than 43 cubic feet of cargo space. 

The 2021 Durango comes well equipped with a large touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, four USB ports, and keyless entry and ignition, but it lacks the advanced driver assistance features standard on many competitors. Even on mid-grade trims it’s only available as a package. Couple that with poor crash-test ratings and gobs of power, and the Durango is behind the times where it counts. 

How much does the 2021 Dodge Durango cost?

Offered in SXT, GT, R/T, Citadel, or SRT 392 and SRT Hellcat editions, the 2021 Durango has a price spread greater than every SUV in this class, except for the Grand Cherokee. The base SXT costs $33,260, though we’d step over it to the GT for the third row and more available packages, including safety.

At the Hellcat end of things, the top Durango SRT Hellcat costs $82,490. 

Where is the 2021 Dodge Durango made?

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan.

2021 BMW M440i xDrive Looks Odd And Feels Heavy

2021 BMW M440i xDrive Looks Odd And Feels Heavy

On paper, the new 2021 M440i xDrive looks to be a superb sports coupe. After all, it offers performance not far off the previous-generation M4. However, do figures from the spec sheet translate into a vehicle that’s actually enjoyable to drive? Throttle House recently put one to the test to find out.

Powering the M440i is BMW’s familiar B58 3.0-liter turbocharged straight-six that powers a host of models, including the Z4 and the Toyota Supra. However, BMW has fitted this engine with a mild-hybrid 48-volt starter-generator that adds 11 hp, bringing total power up to 380 hp. As the name of the car suggests, it features an xDrive all-wheel drive system. It also has an eight-speed automatic transmission and hits 62 mph (100 km/h) in 4.7 seconds.

Read Also: 2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe Puts A Bold Face To A Dynamic Coupe Body

This review was conducted in the rain and, despite the less-than-ideal conditions, both presenters were impressed with the performance that the car provides. The mild-hybrid system also means the start/stop system works incredibly smoothly and actually shuts off the engine before you come to a stop.

Additionally, the engine performs well throughout the entire rev range and the transmission shifts through the gears very quickly. The xDrive AWD system is also excellent and has a new rear-wheel bias that allows you to have a decent amount of fun behind the wheel. Not everything is good, however. Most notably, the M440i xDrive is quite heavy and is larger than the previous-generation 4-Series, which has a negative impact on its handling.

Is The New Porsche 911 Targa 4S Good Enough To Impress Jay Leno?

Is The New Porsche 911 Targa 4S Good Enough To Impress Jay Leno?

The Porsche 911 Targa has a long and rich history and Jay Leno recently had the opportunity to drive the latest model in 4S guise.

Porsche unveiled the 992-generation 911 Targa 4 and 4S models back in May and most reviewers seem impressed with what the German car manufacturer has created. Sure, there are a handful of forthcoming 911 variants that will be much faster but the new Targa seems to provide just the right amount of power for most buyers.

Powering both the Targa 4 and Targa 4S models is a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged flat-six engine. Whereas the Targa 4 is capped at 380 hp at 6,500 rpm and 331 lb-ft (450 Nm) of torque, the 4S that Leno tested has 444 hp and 391 lb-ft (530 Nm) of torque.

Watch Also: The 2021 Porsche 911 Targa 4S Is Extremely Fast And A Joy To Drive

Porsche says the 4S can hit 60 mph (96 km/h) in just 3.6 seconds but previous tests of the car have shown it can reach that mark in as little as 3.3 seconds. That’s more than enough straight-line performance to bring a big smile to the face of the former late-night host, even though he doesn’t appear to have used the launch control system properly during his review.

Like most other episodes of Jay Leno’s Garage, the first half of the video details the exterior and interior of the car before Leno jumped behind the wheel for a cruise through the streets of Los Angeles. He admits to not having driven a new 911 for quite some time but is very impressed with the Targa 4S, in particular its precise electric steering system.

2022 GMC Hummer EV preview

GM will revive the Hummer nameplate in the 2022 model year with the GMC Hummer EV, an all-electric pickup truck and SUV with 0-60 times in the three-second range and a price tag of $100,000 or more.

The Hummer brand became part of the GM lineup at the turn of the century, when GM took over marketing of the former military vehicle. Eventually the lineup expanded to include H2 SUV and SUT vehicles and the smaller H3, before GM pulled the plug in 2009 during its bankruptcy.

The brand once maligned for its malignant environmental profile now will sport GM’s latest all-electric drivetrain, based on a 200-kwh battery pack that’s said to be good for 350 miles of range. 

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That three-motor setup will put out around 1,000 horsepower, GM says, and more than 1,000 pound-feet of torque. With DC fast charging, GM also promises 100 miles of range restored in 10 minutes.

The Hummer EV’s other attributes are said to include four-wheel steering with a diagonal-steer “crab” mode, an adaptive air suspension, and an underbody-protection system that girds the battery against rock-crawling damage.

Though final specs haven’t been confirmed, GM execs say the Hummer EV fits inside the footprint of a Sierra 1500, though it’s shorter overall. GM will build two body styles—a pickup truck with removable roof panels as well as an SUV.

GM plans to issue the first GMC Hummer EV by the end of 2021 as a 2022 Edition 1—but it’s already sold out despite a price tag of $112,595, including destination. Those Edition 1 versions have a power glass roof, a multi-function tailgate, 35-inch OD tires, GM’s Super Cruise driver assistance system, a digital key system, and an Extract Mode which raises the suspension an extra 6 inches to help the Hummer EV extract itself from off-road pitfalls. 

After that, GM will stagger the Hummer EV launch to provide a three-motor EV 3X with a $99,995 price tag and a spring 2023 arrival date; there’s also a two-motor EV 2X in the works, as well as a base version priced from $79,995—but not expected to arrive until spring 2024.

The Hummer EV’s chief rivals will include the upcoming electric version of the Ford F-150, as well as the Rivian R1T and R1S; it might also include the Tesla Cybertruck, though that vehicle is expected to be much less expensive, at least at this point in its development cycle.

More details will emerge in the coming months as GM begins building prototypes of the new Hummer EV. Production is said to begin next year in Detroit, at the same plant that formerly built Cadillacs. The battery cells come from a joint project between GM and LG Chem, and will be made in Ohio.

Can The Revamped 2021 Lexus IS 350 F Sport Keep The Germans On Their Toes?

Having been unveiled earlier this year, the 2021 Lexus IS has started arriving at dealers across the United States. But does it deserve your attention, or would you perhaps be better off with a BMW 3-Series, an Audi A4 or a Mercedes-Benz C-Class?

Despite being a mid-cycle refresh, the revisions are quite extensive, from the new spindle grille, headlights, side skirts, curvier trunk and so on, to the revised double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension and enhanced body rigidity.

Related: How Does The 2021 Lexus IS Compare To The Outgoing Model?

In the IS 350 F Sport top spec, which starts at $42,900 and was the one tested by TheSmokingTire, you will get a 3.5-liter V6. The naturally aspirated engine makes 311 HP (315 PS / 231 kW) and 280 lb-ft (379 Nm) of torque, directed to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

So, how does it feel on a twisty canyon road? Quite good, for the most part. Even if the engine isn’t the most exciting one out there, it is a good combo with the auto ‘box, especially in the Sport+ driving mode. It feels quite lively on the go, even if the reviewer calls it an evolution rather than a revolution – which is to be expected as it’s a (thorough) facelift and not an all-new model.

Before moving on to the video that reveals some of the secrets of the 2021 IS, we should note that this was a pre-production car, with Lexus advising the reviewer to go gentle on the interior.