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U.S. News and World Report has announced its choices for best family vehicles of 2020. Here’s the rundown of the list and our thoughts on the winners and their chief rivals in each category. Some of the categories appear to be shoe-ins and others maybe not so much.

See the U.S. News rankings here: https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/best-cars-for-families

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The heartbeat of Aston Martin’s sports car range just got a little bit faster with the introduction of the new Vantage Roadster. Joining the Vantage Coupe, which was launched in 2018, Aston Martin says this convertible model amplifies the emotional appeal of a model renowned for delivering a compelling blend of potent performance, outstanding dynamics and everyday usability.

Powered by Aston Martin’s 4.0L twin-turbo  V8 engine and mated to an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission, Vantage Roadster accelerates from 0-60mph in just 3.7 seconds and is capable of 190 mph with the roof raised. Weight increases by just 132 pounds (60 kg) compared with the Coupe thanks to a new, lighter Z-fold roof mechanism and optimized exterior and chassis revisions throughout.

Aston Martin President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Andy Palmer, said of the Vantage Roadster: “Open-top Aston Martins are always firm favourites with our customers, so it’s very exciting to introduce the Vantage Roadster. For many, driving with the roof down is the true definition of the sports car experience as it truly brings your senses to life. Vantage has always delivered the purest of thrills, but in Roadster form that adrenaline rush is set to go to the next level”.

Careful development of structural shear panels and chassis components ensures the Vantage Roadster retains the strong dynamic ability and sporting character achieved in the Coupe with no compromise to feel or refinement. Sharing the same adaptive damping, dynamic stability control, dynamic torque vectoring and electronic rear differential, the Roadster benefits from specific dynamic refinements. These include a bespoke tune for the rear dampers, adaptive damping system software and ESP calibration.

As you’d expect from a dedicated sports car, a choice of Sport, Sport + and Track chassis modes – also tuned specifically for the Roadster – give the driver control of its dynamic character and behaviour. Working in harmony with Sport, Sport+ and Track powertrain modes retained from the Coupe offers the ability to progressively increase the car’s overall responsiveness and excitement, meaning the Roadster has a tremendous breadth of ability and feels equally at home on road or race track.

Aston Martin Vantage

While Vantage Roadster mirrors the Coupe’s exceptional tactility, pace and cornering performance, the design of the body is very much its own. The tautly tailored fabric hood features a compact powered Z-fold mechanism that ensures rapid operation (lowered in 6.7 or raised in 6.8 seconds at speeds of up to 50 kmh/31 mph). In fact, the roof of Vantage Roadster has the fastest full operating cycle of any automatic automotive convertible system.

An impressively low stack height pays the double dividend of allowing Aston Martin’s award-winning design team the latitude to create a seamless rear profile with minimal impact on the Roadster’s luggage space. For all of you who love the links, the Vantage has a trunk large enough to stow a full-sized golf bag and accessories.

The introduction of the Vantage Roadster sees a range of new options introduced across the Vantage range. To celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Vantage nameplate, Aston Martin is introducing the company’s iconic ‘vane’ grille as an option, available on both Coupe and Roadster as an alternative to the track-inspired ‘hunter’ grille featured on the Coupe from its launch in 2018. There is also a new range of optional alloy wheel designs in a choice of finishes. Enthusiasts will also welcome the manual 7-speed transmission being offered as an option on the Coupe, having initially only been available in the limited-edition Vantage AMR.

Matt Becker, Aston Martin Chief Engineer, adds: “Convertible sports cars are often seen as compromised when compared to their Coupe equivalents, but the Vantage Roadster remains absolutely dedicated true to its mission of delivering precise, agile and expressive handling dynamics combined with stonking straight-line performance. And of course, there’s the added dimension of driving a great-sounding sports car with the roof down”.

The Vantage recommended retail price of the Vantage Roadster starts from $161,000 in USA. First deliveries of the Vantage Roadster are scheduled to begin during Q2 2020.

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QUICK TAKE:

  • Sportier, more dramatic exterior style aided by new lower, wider proportions
  • New refined, luxurious interior styling with extra attention paid to quality
  • Standard Nissan Safety Shield® 360 and available driver assist technologies
  • Comprehensive suite of intelligent connectivity technologies, including NissanConnect® featuring Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™
  • New, more powerful 149-horsepower, 4-cylinder engine with improved fuel economy
  • Enhanced driving dynamics with new independent rear suspension and dual pinion electric steering

MikeDitzPhoto 310-994-0307

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nissan announced U.S. pricing starting at $19,090 for the all-new 2020 Sentra, which goes on sale January 28, 2020 at Nissan dealers nationwide.

The all-new 2020 Sentra represents a breakthrough for Nissan’s popular compact sedan – with eye-catching new styling, a comprehensive suite of intelligent driving technologies including standard Nissan Safety Shield 360, advanced connectivity functions and confident performance provided by a new platform and engine. The 2020 Sentra is available in three well-equipped grade levels, S, SV and SR.

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices for the 2020 Nissan Sentra:

Sentra S

$19,090 USD

Sentra SV

$20,270 USD

Sentra SR

$21,430 USD

Destination and Handling $925.

MikeDitzPhoto 310-994-0307

About the 2020 Nissan Sentra
Now in its eighth generation, the 2020 Sentra has a powerful new design that shares muscular, sporty elements from models like Maxima and Altima. It also features a refined, premium interior, setting new standards for quality and comfort.

Nissan has also made extensive upgrades to Sentra’s driving experience. A new, fuel-efficient 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine delivers 149 horsepower and 146 ft-lb of torque – increases of 20 percent and 17 percent respectively over the previous model. Sentra’s top-level driving dynamics are provided by a new independent rear suspension matched to a McPherson strut front suspension with twin-tube shock absorbers. Also new are a responsive dual-pinion rack electric power steering system and Nissan Intelligent Trace Control technology, both standard.

Nissan Safety Shield 360, a suite of six advanced driver-assist systems, is standard on all 2020 Sentra grade levels. Nissan Safety Shield 360 includes Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist and Rear Automatic Braking. Sentra also features standard Rear Door Alert, 10 supplemental air bags and Intelligent Driver Alertness.

For more information on the 2020 Sentra, along with the complete lineup of Nissan vehicles, please visit NissanNews.com.

Original post appears here

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Aaron interviews Kristin about her experience at the Texas Truck Rodeo this year. Kristin was very much a part of putting this signature Texas Auto Writers Association event together, but more than that, she got some great interviews and footage from the event. Here’s a rundown of what was there, her thoughts on it, and a sneak peek at a few videos that are coming very soon from the Truck Rodeo.

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  • Aston Martin DBX’s interior showcased for first time, delivering class-leading interior space and a range of luxurious materials
  • Pricing confirmed: $189,900 in the USA.
  • Brand’s first SUV set for unveil in Beijing, China on Wednesday, November 20

With the global unveil of the company’s first SUV set for Wednesday November 20 in Beijing, China, the luxury British marque has today released the first [official] image showcasing the finely-crafted cabin of the Aston Martin DBX. The MSRP has been confirmed at $189,900 in the US.

We have seen it, but we can’t tell you about it until the global launch on November 20. In the meantime, check out these spy photos from Road & Track

More from Aston Martin 

Combining the results of intensive customer research and Aston Martin’s expertise in hand-crafted interiors, DBX has been designed inside out to ensure owners feel instantly at home from the moment they enter the spacious cabin. Matching class-leading materials with carefully considered ergonomics, DBX has been created to meet the needs of the 99th percentile male to the 5th percentile female; an incredibly broad set of requirements.

The decision to use a bespoke chassis allowed Aston Martin’s design team – led by Executive Vice President & Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman – to tailor the interior space to the specific needs of DBX’s customers. The length between the wheels allowed the design team to optimise cabin space while maintaining a sleek, low roofline.

Over six months were spent solely focused on defining the position of the driver within the vehicle, with enough movement in the driver’s seat and steering column to allow clear visibility of all controls, screens and through windows. Crucially, the seating position also delivers a clear view of the bonnet to give confidence when in tight proximity to other cars.

Superior visibility is key to an SUV when inspiring driving confidence and DBX fulfils this demand with an enhanced feeling of sitting within the car, bringing a greater sense of safety and a familiar Aston Martin sporting feel.  Fundamentally, DBX offers a cabin that gives the driver an instant and relaxed confidence, yet offers the promise of dynamic performance to reward the most discerning driver.

Design details

While the driver has been placed at the forefront of DBX’s interior philosophy, key details throughout have been carefully considered to ensure the model delivers on all elements of the design team’s initial brief.

The dashboard accentuates the feeling of space and luxury in DBX. Each button and dial has been carefully positioned following extensive testing from external counsel, including the brand’s Female Advisory Board [we dig this!] and multiple customer clinics with HNWIs of mixed demographic, ensuring the cabin develops a feeling of instant familiarity. Into this broad sweep of dash-board the new TFT screens are integrated seamlessly, so that, despite their impressive size, the technology doesn’t interrupt the elegant overall flow of the interior design. Cabin storage, a necessity in an SUV, can also be difficult to incorporate harmoniously, but in DBX, Aston Martin’s designers have managed to create one of the interior’s standout features – a bridged centre console – creating an elegant, floating aesthetic that offers storage space below for larger items such as a handbag or large 1.5L water bottles. This feature keeps valuables close to hand while not occupying the passenger seat and away from dirt on the car’s floor mats.

Stadium seating for better visibility

The rear passengers were central to the design process. The design team wanted an inclusive feeling for those in the rear of the car, but without the sense that the rear occupants were leaning over those in the front of the vehicle, which can sometimes be the result of so-called ‘stadium’ seating arrangements. The needs of children were also considered extensively and, in a new exercise for Aston Martin, a group of children were invited to share their experience of ingress and egress and sitting in an ergonomic assessment model at the company’s design studio.

The result of all this research and development has ensured class-leading front & rear legroom and a fantastic feeling of airiness thanks to the full-length panoramic glass roof and expansive side windows. Sports car packaging methodologies and technical solutions have enabled significant benefits to DBX.  The approaches learned through extensive experience of making space efficient sports car interiors means there is more knee and foot space for rear passengers than is typically found in rival SUVs. Wherever you sit in DBX, there is a sense of space and lightness with encapsulating views of the world you’re exploring.

With the model set to be unveiled on Wednesday, November 20, buyers may begin ordering.

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