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Luxury sedans offer big, bold presence, lots of new tech

Luxury sedans offer big, bold presence, lots of new tech
The Audi A8 combines luxurious seating with next-gen instrumentation and driver controls. (Audi)

There are plenty of studies out there attempting to show why Americans love big, shiny, bold cars. Some pundits claim it has a lot to do with the outburst of national pride after WWII — a period when Detroit super-sized its vehicles. Others say it's because everything in America is just big. The houses, the roads, the hubris — you name it.

No matter what the underlying reason, Americans definitely love their road-girding luxury sedans. There was a brief period in 1970s and 80s when sedans got smaller in the wake of the Arab Oil Embargo and higher fuel prices. But then a funny thing happened on the way to the pump: By the 90s, gas prices had declined (relatively speaking) and big car sales began to expand again.

Carmakers have kept up the momentum by adding an amazing array of technology, performance and creature comforts over the past quarter century, as well as creating much more energy efficient vehicles that produce less emissions and far more miles per gallon than the chrome-spangled beasts of old.

Although they no longer feature those distinctive fins, Cadillacs are still the epitome of the American big car experience. And none more so than the 2018 Cadillac CTS-V "super sedan," a streamlined four-door beauty that can comfortably seat five people and still beat most of its competitors in a drag race.

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All that oomph derives from a Corvette-sourced powertrain includes an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters on the steering wheel and a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine — the most powerful engine that Cadillac has ever put in one of its cars. Top speed is around 200 mph, clocking 0 to 60 in a blistering 3.7 seconds.

The passenger compartment is also race-worthy, built around 16-way adjustable Recaro performance seats and a dashboard with all the latest motoring tech, from a large touchscreen and sophisticated infotainment system to a heads-up display that projects information like speed and navigation on the windshield.

The flashy ride that Peter Parker uses for his driving test in one of the promos for this year's "Spider-Man: Homecoming" film was the 2019 Audi A8 — on loan from Iron Man Tony Stark. It was the world's first look at the fourth generation of Audi's full size, all-wheel-drive luxury sedan, and the trailer aptly demonstrated the A8's elegant styling, acceleration, parking assist and hands-free piloted driving mode.

With a more sporty appearance and better performance than its ancestors, the new A8 features some serious creature comforts in the cabin. The driver experience revolves around a new 10.1-inch touchscreen multimedia interface system to maximize control of navigation, infotainment and other settings while minimizing buttons.

The latest A8 also offers a new 3.0-liter V-6 turbo engine paired with a new 48-volt mild-hybrid drivetrain that rockets the car from 0 to 60 in 4.5 seconds. The interior includes multi-setting heated massage seating, massaging footrests, rear seat entertainment system with two Audi tablets and detachable rear seat remote, LED reading lights, four-zone automatic air conditioning and more.

The latest from Bavaria's center of sport sedans is the 2018 BMW M3 CS, which recently had its world debut at the LA Auto Show. Starting in the 1960s, the CS designation was exclusive to sporty coupes. But no more: The M3 CS is the first four-door version.

Dubbed "the baddest 3 Series on the block" on autoblog.com, the M3 CS is both a comfortable family car and a serious performance vehicle that can reach a top speed of 174 mph. Extensive use of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic in the body parts (including the hood and roof) means the car is extremely light for its size. An aerodynamic spoiler out back increases both its sporty profile and performance. For drivers who want to test their souped-up sedan on the track, BMW reminds drivers, "In the interests of everyday practicality, the M3 CS forgoes a roll cage."

Only 1,200 units of the limited edition M3 CS will be produced worldwide, with about half of those available to U.S. drivers. BMW will start taking orders for the vehicle in May of 2018. The price tag? A cool $97,000.

Bold sedans don't have to be super expensive. Several entry-level luxury four-doors start at about a third of the cost of the above models.

Billed as South Korea's attempt to break into the German-dominated luxury sports sedan segment, the 2019 Genesis G70 provides a fun driving experience with a luxurious-yet-sporty interior. Available early next year with a price tag of about $33,000, it has seating for five and promises 0 to 60 in 4.7 seconds with top speed of 167 mph.

The Chrysler 300 Touring, which starts at under $29,000, offers a range of the latest gadgets and amenities, from dashboard touchscreen and back-up camera to halogen headlights, dual-zone temperature control and heated leather-trimmed seats. The 292 horsepower Pentastar V-6 engine links to an eight-speed automatic transmission that delivers 30 mpg highway driving.

Other luxury sedans to look out for next year are the Lexus GS F, Mercedes-Benz CLS 450, Aston Martin Rapide S, BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo, Lincoln Continental Black Label and the Jaguar XJ.

– Joe Yogerst, Custom Publishing Writer


There are plenty of studies out there attempting to show why Americans love big, shiny, bold cars. Some pundits claim it has a lot to do with the outburst of national pride after WWII — a period when Detroit super-sized its vehicles. Others say it's because everything in America is just big. The houses, the roads, the hubris — you name it.

No matter what the underlying reason, Americans definitely love their road-girding luxury sedans. There was a brief period in 1970s and 80s when sedans got smaller in the wake of the Arab Oil Embargo and higher fuel prices. But then a funny thing happened on the way to the pump: By the 90s, gas prices had declined (relatively speaking) and big car sales began to expand again.

Carmakers have kept up the momentum by adding an amazing array of technology, performance and creature comforts over the past quarter century, as well as creating much more energy efficient vehicles that produce less emissions and far more miles per gallon than the chrome-spangled beasts of old.

Although they no longer feature those distinctive fins, Cadillacs are still the epitome of the American big car experience. And none more so than the 2018 Cadillac CTS-V "super sedan," a streamlined four-door beauty that can comfortably seat five people and still beat most of its competitors in a drag race.

All that oomph derives from a Corvette-sourced powertrain includes an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters on the steering wheel and a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine — the most powerful engine that Cadillac has ever put in one of its cars. Top speed is around 200 mph, clocking 0 to 60 in a blistering 3.7 seconds.

The passenger compartment is also race-worthy, built around 16-way adjustable Recaro performance seats and a dashboard with all the latest motoring tech, from a large touchscreen and sophisticated infotainment system to a heads-up display that projects information like speed and navigation on the windshield.

Advertisement

The flashy ride that Peter Parker uses for his driving test in one of the promos for this year's "Spider-Man: Homecoming" film was the 2019 Audi A8 — on loan from Iron Man Tony Stark. It was the world's first look at the fourth generation of Audi's full size, all-wheel-drive luxury sedan, and the trailer aptly demonstrated the A8's elegant styling, acceleration, parking assist and hands-free piloted driving mode.

Advertisement

With a more sporty appearance and better performance than its ancestors, the new A8 features some serious creature comforts in the cabin. The driver experience revolves around a new 10.1-inch touchscreen multimedia interface system to maximize control of navigation, infotainment and other settings while minimizing buttons.

Advertisement

The latest A8 also offers a new 3.0-liter V-6 turbo engine paired with a new 48-volt mild-hybrid drivetrain that rockets the car from 0 to 60 in 4.5 seconds. The interior includes multi-setting heated massage seating, massaging footrests, rear seat entertainment system with two Audi tablets and detachable rear seat remote, LED reading lights, four-zone automatic air conditioning and more.

The latest from Bavaria's center of sport sedans is the 2018 BMW M3 CS, which recently had its world debut at the LA Auto Show. Starting in the 1960s, the CS designation was exclusive to sporty coupes. But no more: The M3 CS is the first four-door version.

Dubbed "the baddest 3 Series on the block" on autoblog.com, the M3 CS is both a comfortable family car and a serious performance vehicle that can reach a top speed of 174 mph. Extensive use of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic in the body parts (including the hood and roof) means the car is extremely light for its size. An aerodynamic spoiler out back increases both its sporty profile and performance. For drivers who want to test their souped-up sedan on the track, BMW reminds drivers, "In the interests of everyday practicality, the M3 CS forgoes a roll cage."

Only 1,200 units of the limited edition M3 CS will be produced worldwide, with about half of those available to U.S. drivers. BMW will start taking orders for the vehicle in May of 2018. The price tag? A cool $97,000.

Bold sedans don't have to be super expensive. Several entry-level luxury four-doors start at about a third of the cost of the above models.

Billed as South Korea's attempt to break into the German-dominated luxury sports sedan segment, the 2019 Genesis G70 provides a fun driving experience with a luxurious-yet-sporty interior. Available early next year with a price tag of about $33,000, it has seating for five and promises 0 to 60 in 4.7 seconds with top speed of 167 mph.

The Chrysler 300 Touring, which starts at under $29,000, offers a range of the latest gadgets and amenities, from dashboard touchscreen and back-up camera to halogen headlights, dual-zone temperature control and heated leather-trimmed seats. The 292 horsepower Pentastar V-6 engine links to an eight-speed automatic transmission that delivers 30 mpg highway driving.

Other luxury sedans to look out for next year are the Lexus GS F, Mercedes-Benz CLS 450, Aston Martin Rapide S, BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo, Lincoln Continental Black Label and the Jaguar XJ.

– Joe Yogerst, Custom Publishing Writer