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First Look: Dodge Shows Durango Pictures

Three-row sport ute is based on Jeep Grand Cherokee platform.

by on Sep.02, 2010

The 2011 Dodge Durango features a sculpted new shape with a grille similar to the Dodge Ram pickup truck.

The Durango returns to the Dodge lineup for 2011, but this time as a mid-size unibody rather than as a full-size body-on-frame truck.

Following up teaser images that were released last month, Dodge is now showing images of the whole vehicle.

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And there’s a little surprise in the pictures, as well: The Durango sports Dodge’s new logo. With the creation of the Ram line of trucks, the Dodge loses the Ram in its familiar logo.

The Durango, which is based on the same platform as the recently introduced 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee, will have three rows to seat up to seven people. The Grand Cherokee is two rows only.

First Drive: 2011 Ford Edge

Refreshed crossover features updated engine lineup and infotainment options.

by on Aug.23, 2010

The 2011 Ford Edge Sport features 22-inch forged aluminum rims.

Just looking at the skin of the refreshed 2011 Ford Edge hardly scratches the surface of what’s new here.

Within the year, there will be three engine choices instead of just one. Two will have more power and all will have better fuel economy. On top of that is MyFord Touch, a huge upgrade on Ford’s Sync infotainment and communication system.

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The power increases from the 3.5- and 3.7-liter V6s were obvious with a push of the right foot. And while the upgraded infotainment systems are a huge step forward, there’s still some work to do to make them more user friendly.

While some aspects of the infotainment system still has a few bugs, the completely reworked interior it resides in is more stylish and more high-tech.

Ford showed the updated Edge to journalists last week at an in-depth preview in Nashville. After listening to presentations on everything that is new with the Edge, we spent time on some beautiful twisting roads where we found the Edge, and especially the Edge Sport, to have a noticeable bump in power.

First Look: The 2011 Buick Regal

Two four-cylinder sporty sedans coming from Buick via Opel.

by on Nov.12, 2009


Regal will first be offered in premium CXL trim only. Other trim levels come in 2012.

Buick is taking an Opel Insignia sport sedan, adding the existing Chinese grille and Regal badges and bringing it to America during the second quarter of next year.

For the first 15 months of sale, Regal will be imported from Rüsselsheim, Germany, before a yet unspecified North American assembly site comes on stream.

There are no plans to import the Regal from China, where it is also currently made, with more than 64,000 in sales since production started last December.

Later today in Los Angeles, an estimated 600 Buick owners and potential customers culled from German and Japanese sport sedan owners will have the chance to test-drive the top of the line CXL versions of the mid-size car.


With fenders flared to wrap around the tires, it’s a common look not used in recent Buicks.

The last time Buick tried this with a rebadged Saturn hybrid, reaction was so negative that Buick canceled the program it had just announced a fortnight or so before.

This time around – “kissing the dragon,” marketing slang for talking to breathing customers instead of idealized, fictional ones – might not be so bad since the Opel is universally acclaimed as a solid product.

So out in la-la land where GM is a mere footnote to sales tables, “intenders” will get a shot at the performance-oriented, front-wheel-drive CXL. They will test, what could be weeks or months  ahead of the media, a sport model with an optional 2-liter, direct injected four-cylinder engine that is said to provide more power than Japanese V6 engines in competitors.

Preliminary ratings here of 220 horsepower (164 kW) and 258 pound feet of torque should make this CSX a mid-seven-second zero-to-6o mph car. The 2.0L turbo uses a twin-scroll turbocharger that is said to build power quickly at lower rpms. Would they dare badge it Gran Sport, nailhead fans?

All these assertions await test drives to prove their veracity. However, previous personal experience with Jim Federico, the chief engineer on this program, who cheerfully explained the car to me, has shown that his predicted numbers are accurate. It’s too bad that this turbo option will not appear until late-summer 2010.