Month: August 2017

2018 Volvo XC60 T8 Plug-In Hybrid – First Drive Review ""

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2018 Volvo XC60 T8 Plug-In Hybrid First Drive: 400 Placid Ponies ""

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Volvo is not known to brag about horsepower. Not that Volvo has anything against horsepower—it wouldn’t have the Polestar performance brand if it did—it’s just that horsepower isn’t an area in which the Swedish firm tends to have much to brag about. Yet chief among the points Volvo has made time and again since introducing its all-new 2018 XC60 crossover is the impressive 400 horsepower produced by the XC60 T8’s complex plug-in-hybrid powertrain, the same setup found in the larger, seven-seat XC90 T8. That’s more horsepower than almost every crossover in its class, tying the standard Porsche Macan Turbo. Furthermore, its 472 lb-ft of torque exceeds that of the Macan Turbo with the Performance package by 30 lb-ft. Volvo won’t get to brag for long, with the upcoming 469-hp Mercedes-AMG GLC63 and 505-hp Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio poised to raise the bar in the not-too-distant future. But until those monsters arrive, Volvo can ride its high-horsepower high horse right into the 400-horsepower club, where Swedes have rarely been seen until now. READ MORE ››

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Classic BMW: 2018 BMW 2-series, Tested in Depth ""

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If BMW’s floaty 7-series and disconnected 3-series are symptoms of something amiss in the state of Bavaria, then the 2-series is the antidote. This sports coupe is quick, nimble, and engaging the way that some our favorite Bimmers of yore were. Two models, the 248-hp 230i and the 335-hp M240i, span the distance from slightly sportier than average to nearly track ready. Both powertrains are available with all-wheel drive and as convertibles, and while the interior is cramped for four, it could be the perfect chariot for a single person in search of a more exciting commute. Others in the class have more in the way of active safety technology, luxury materials, and connectivity options, but we’re still happy any time we can get behind the wheel of this gift to BMW’s faithful. READ MORE ››

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2018 BMW 2-series – In-Depth Review ""

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2018 Toyota Tundra – In-Depth Review ""

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2018 Toyota Tundra In-Depth Review: A Modest Option While Awaiting a Major Makeover ""

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Although it’s overshadowed by glorified American pickups, the Tundra butters its bread with the Toyota nameplate and off-road dexterity. Unlike U.S. rivals, the Tundra is a V-8-only lineup; there’s a standard 4.6-liter V-8 and an optional 5.7-liter that uncorks 401 lb-ft of torque. Both pair with a six-speed automatic and rear- or four-wheel drive. Packing in people is easy with a cavernous crew-cab interior; too bad it disappoints with lackluster quality and a dated design. Likewise, the Tundra’s bulbous body stands out, but its look has grown long in the tooth. Toyota has kept its aging pickup relevant via steady updates, such as this year’s additions of standard active safety features. Still, the Tundra remains a modest pickup-truck option until its much-needed major makeover. READ MORE ››

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Tested: How Fast Your Car Needs to Be to Outrun a Cop – Feature ""

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Chase Enders: Police Spike Strips Tested! – Feature ""

Chase Enders: Police Spike Strips Tested!Chase Enders: Police Spike Strips Tested!Chase Enders: Police Spike Strips Tested!Chase Enders: Police Spike Strips Tested!Chase Enders: Police Spike Strips Tested!Chase Enders: Police Spike Strips Tested!Chase Enders: Police Spike Strips Tested!Chase Enders: Police Spike Strips Tested!Chase Enders: Police Spike Strips Tested!Chase Enders: Police Spike Strips Tested!Chase Enders: Police Spike Strips Tested!Chase Enders: Police Spike Strips Tested!Chase Enders: Police Spike Strips Tested!Chase Enders: Police Spike Strips Tested!Chase Enders: Police Spike Strips Tested!Chase Enders: Police Spike Strips Tested!Chase Enders: Police Spike Strips Tested!Chase Enders: Police Spike Strips Tested!Chase Enders: Police Spike Strips Tested! “”

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Tested: How Fast Your Car Needs To Be to Outrun a Cop ""

Tested: How Fast Your Car Needs To Be to Outrun a Cop

You’re watching TV, a show is on with a name like America’s Most Inbred: High-Speed Pursuits, and you notice a trend. Anytime you see a police chase, the fugitive is driving a vehicle woefully inadequate for the task. There is a 100 percent certainty that if you see a Pontiac LeMans in a police chase, it’s the crappy Daewoo-sourced hatchback from the 1980s. You almost never see anything good making a desperate run for it. READ MORE ››

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Chase Enders: Police Spike Strips Tested! ""

If You Can't Catch 'Em, Trap 'Em

From the September 2017 issue

A police chase is one of the best forms of live television—we all secretly root for the bad guy, hoping to see Bo and Luke Duke–level skills emerge as the perpetrator rides into the sunset unscathed. Rarely is that the case, though. Certainly, running from the police is a terrible idea and we do not condone it. It puts the lives of innocent civilians and underpaid officers at risk. That’s why the following pursuit-terminating tools exist. Let us examine:

Stinger Trooper

Stinger Trooper

Price: $499

Hand-deployed spike systems are the most common way of slowing a fleeing vehicle. The Stinger system from Federal Signal can be thrown across the road or pulled across by the attached 40-foot rope; the former technique requires training and practice. The Stinger is compact, roughly the size of a briefcase, and weighs nine pounds. The reusable, durable, and flexible plastic modular base holds 110 1.8-inch hollow steel spikes, all of which are easily replaceable. When deployed, the unit stretches 15.5 feet and uses rocker arms to tilt the spikes into the tire at the correct angle, ensuring maximum penetration. Our testing revealed that running over spike strips in real life is nothing like what you imagine. There is no crazy explosion. The car doesn’t go flipping through the air. The spikes just cause a controlled air leak. Our front tires went flat 20 seconds after collecting nine spikes. The Stinger system is a low-cost and effective way of taking out tires, but there’s one problem: To retract the device, the officer using the system can’t be more than 40 feet out of harm’s way.

Stinger Trooper

NightHawk

NightHawk

Price: $2995

Arizona-based Pacific Scientific Energetic Materials Company takes traditional hand-deployed spikes to a new level with its remotely operated NightHawk system. Within its waterproof Pelican case are 10 Stop Sticks, each 15 inches long and containing 15 spikes, which are linked together to extend up to 15 feet. From up to 100 feet away, an officer can deploy the system: A replaceable aluminum launch tube ($175) fires a three-pound drogue, which pulls the strip across the road and drops it in the path of the unsuspecting criminal, all in under two seconds. Once the perpetrator runs over the strip, the system’s operator can remotely activate a drill motor to retract the strip, also in under two seconds. A standard 18-volt battery powers the system. Both of our Mitsubishi Eclipse’s front tires, as well as its right rear, were fully deflated within 40 seconds, suffering a combined nine punctures. The NightHawk’s high cost might keep this model out of the hands of some law-enforcement departments, but it is a small price to pay to better protect officers.

NightHawk

Stinger Trooper

ArrestNet

Price: N/A

This prototype, also from PacSci EMC, represents the future of roadside vehicle immobilization. Also powered by an 18-volt battery, the deployment pod contains an onboard nitrogen supply and a net rolled up in ripstop fabric. When remotely activated, nitrogen stored at 2300 psi inflates tubes sewn into the fabric, rolling it out and laying it flat and firm across any surface to reveal an outlaw’s worst nightmare: a leading edge of 96 tire-deflating, barbed stainless-steel spikes that are attached to a 16-foot-by-16-foot net made of Dyneema, a high-strength poly­ethylene material. With the Eclipse traveling at 50 mph, driving over the net sounds like an airbag exploding. Full entanglement required just 0.5 second and 37 feet, stalling the engine, locking up the tires, and bringing the car to a stop in 207 feet. There’s no escaping the net; driving backward only makes things worse. Once production begins in late 2017, the system will be contained, like the NightHawk, in a waterproof case capable of being left on the roadside—near border crossings, for example—for extended periods of time.

Stinger Trooper

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