Lincoln bringing back ‘suicide doors’ on 2019 Continental

Lincoln brought back the Continental name two years ago and now it's resurrecting a feature that’s commonly known by a name it would prefer you don’t use. To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the model, Lincoln is offering a limited run of 80 Coach Door Edition Continentals for 2019 equipped with what are colloquially known as “suicide … Continue reading “Lincoln bringing back ‘suicide doors’ on 2019 Continental”

Lincoln brought back the Continental name two years ago and now it's resurrecting a feature that’s commonly known by a name it would prefer you don’t use.

To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the model, Lincoln is offering a limited run of 80 Coach Door Edition Continentals for 2019 equipped with what are colloquially known as “suicide doors.”

The rear-hinged rear doors hearken back to the 1961-1969 heyday of the Continental, when it was at the height of fashion. They offer a stylish and arguably easier way to enter and exit the vehicle.

The cars start as top of the line Black Label trim Continentals and are modified by limousine specialist Cabot Coach of Haverhill, Mass., with a wheelbase stretched six inches that also improves rear legroom.

Commemorative plates on the door sills and rear console will remind passengers they’re not riding around in just any old custom Lincoln. In fact, the automaker says it will put the car through federal crash testing and sell it as a new vehicle rather than a conversion.

The order books are open now at Black Label-approved Lincoln dealers for cars expected to arrive next summer. The exact price hasn’t been announced, but Lincoln says it will be over $100,000, while the standard Black Label Continental starts at $71,440.

If you miss out, be patient. A second batch of yet to be determined size will be available in 2020. You’ve already waited half a century to buy one, what’s one more year?

DO YOU THINK LINCOLN SHOULD PUT COACH DOORS ON OTHER MODELS? LET FOX NEWS AUTOS KNOW ON FACEBOOK

Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com’s Automotive Editor.

Trump, GM awkwardly silent on new Cadillac presidential limousine

With its recently announced U.S. plant closures and layoffs, General Motors isn’t exactly on President Trump’s good side these days. Which makes things a little awkward, because he just got one of its latest models.

You might not know that, though, because the all-new presidential limousine hasn’t generated any fanfare – from either side of the strained relationship.

The replacement for the famous Obama-era Cadillac “Beast” first appeared in New York on Sept. 23, when it picked Trump up at the Downtown Manhattan Heliport and took him to Trump Tower, ahead of his appearance at the U.N. General Assembly.

(@scavino45)

The heavily armored car is the result of a four-year, $15.8 million GM project, and is one of the most high-tech vehicles in the world. The contract reportedly covers a fleet of about a dozen identical vehicles.

But neither Cadillac nor the White House heralded its arrival. Aside from a response to a Fox News question posted to the private Twitter account of GM’s head of product planning and Cadillac, Mark Reuss, said “Very proud of our team. #America #Cadillac,” there hasn’t been a peep from the automaker. And its deployment was only tacitly announced in a U.S. Secret Service post.

Even the Tweeter in Chief, who once commissioned a line of “Trump Edition” Cadillac limousines, hasn’t typed a character about it – even as he has used the platform to berate GM for its recent business decisions.

(Dillinger-Gaines Coachworks)

This is in stark contrast to 2009, when the first-generation Beast was unveiled ahead of its formal debut at Obama’s inauguration with a lengthy press release, accompanied by official photos from GM.

The "Beast" made its public debut on Obama’s innauguration day. (Cadillac)

“As Americans celebrate the inauguration of a new president of the United States next week, another new Cadillac will grace Pennsylvania Avenue to lead the proceedings. President Barack Obama will ride in an all-new Cadillac Presidential Limousine, continuing a long tradition of Cadillac limousines that have served many U.S. presidents,” it read.

“Cadillac is honored to again provide a new Presidential Limousine,” wrote then-Cadillac boss Mark McNabb. “This is a great American tradition that we’re delighted to renew with an all-new car featuring the best of Cadillac’s dramatic design and technology.”

A Cadillac spokesman confirmed the company won’t be putting out similar announcements this time around.

“We are not able to comment. This is all done through the Secret Service,” he said.

(Getty)

But while the technical details of the limousine are top secret, there are no regulations that prevent Cadillac from touting its involvement – as it did the last time. So why isn’t it taking greater advantage?

“The difference between Obama and Trump is the difference between day and night. Generally speaking, being associated with Prez Obama was almost always positive. Being associated with Trump is risky biz,” Michael Bernacci, a marketing professor at the University of Detroit Mercy, wrote in an email.

Sam Abuelsamid, a senior analyst at Navigant Research, agreed.

“I'm actually not at all surprised that GM is keeping a low profile this time,” he said. “Making a big deal about it runs the risk of a backlash from either or both sides of the political spectrum.”

Things are very different over in Russia, where President Putin has been going out of his way to promote his new Aurus limousine, even taking it for a spin himself on a Formula One track.

It’s the flagship of a new brand of luxury vehicles developed by the Russian government for use by officials and sold commercially, possibly to other heads of state.

(Reuters)

Trump’s limo is exclusively for use by the executive branch – and isn’t even based on a retail Cadillac model. While it’s been designed to like a sedan, it’s built on a truck chassis and uses the headlights from a Cadillac Escalade. That was also true of the 2009 edition.

“I don't think that there is much of a product halo to be gained from this particular vehicle, since it really doesn't share anything with any production Cadillac,” Abuelsamid said.

Cadillac's U.S. sales are flat this year, and it will be eliminating three of the four existing sedan models by the end of 2019. That would leave it with just one in showrooms,  in a lineup of SUVs. The White House did not respond to a request for comment on this report.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? LET FOX NEWS AUTOS KNOW ON FACEBOOK

Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com’s Automotive Editor.

Payless fools ‘influencers’ to pay big price for affordably priced shoes at fake high-end store

Payless, the affordably-priced shoe company, revealed an advertising campaign Wednesday that attempted to show the quality of its shoes by fooling fashion-savvy influencers at a fake posh store in Los Angeles.

The company took over a former Armani store and renamed it "Palessi." The fake store held a grand opening and invited social media fashion influencers to walk on a red carpet. Once inside, champaign was served, according to Palessi's Instagram profile.

Unbeknownst to the party-goers, the brightly-lit store was stocked with $19.99 pumps and $39.99 boots, AdWeek reported. Some of the guests raved about the shoes and said they'd pay hundreds of dollars for a pair. The top offer was $640, which would be a 1,800 percent markup, the report said.

"They're elegant, sophisticated," one partygoer said.

"And I could tell it was made out of high-quality material," another said in the video that has more than 255,000 views as of Friday.

Palessi sold about $3,000 worth of product in the first few hours of the social experiment, according to AdWeek.

When it was revealed that the shoes were actually Payless shoes, party-goers were shocked.

"Are you serious?! … Wait did I just pay too much?" one said.

The shoe brand rang up the purchases, but influencers received their money back and got to keep their shoes, the report said.

Sarah Couch, Payless chief marketing officer, told AdWeek that the chain aimed to tackle the shoe brand's perception head-on, especially at a time of fierce competition from e-commerce sites.

“The campaign plays off of the enormous discrepancy and aims to remind consumers we are still a relevant place to shop for affordable fashion,” Couch said.

The ads will run on cable television networks and social media platforms through the holidays, according to the report.

Payless emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 2017, after closing more than 670 stores, USA Today reported. It now has about 2,750 stores in North America and more than 3,500 worldwide, along with an online store, the report said.

Amy Lieu is a news editor and reporter for Fox News.

2019 Acura RDX Test Drive: Back to the future

Second time looks to be the charm for Acura’s third-generation RDX. Allow me to explain that calculus.

When the compact SUV was first introduced in 2007, it was essentially a luxed-up version of the Honda CR-V that was powered by the first turbocharged four-cylinder engine the automaker ever offered in the United States.

But it wasn’t a great one. It was a little weak and rough around the edges, and the RDX didn’t find as many buyers as expected. So when it was redesigned for 2012, Acura swapped in one of its silky naturally-aspirated V6 engines to right the ship. It did, and it was smooth sailing from there.

It quickly moved into a strong second place on the sales charts behind the larger MDX. That looks set to change with the all-new 2019 RDX, which has been the brand’s most wanted since it arrived in showrooms, powered once again by a turbocharged four-cylinder.

ACURA MDX SPORT HYBRID TEST DRIVE:

Video

The engine is one of several turbos spread across the Honda/Acura lineup these days. The 272 hp 2.0-liter comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission and is proof that a decade of hard work can pay off. It’s very good. There’s lots of grunt, and Acura dialed in a deep, rich sound with a digital assist.

(Acura)

The RDX rides on its own platform this time around, one that features a sporty five-link rear suspension and a super stiff structure engineered to give it a premium feel and accommodate a big hole in the ceiling for a standard panoramic sunroof. The wheelbase is longer than a CR-V’s and the richly appointed passenger compartment is a little roomier, but the RDX’s chic roofline cuts into cargo space. The spare tire is mounted beneath the vehicle, however, which may prove to be inconvenient at the worst time possible, but leaves room for a couple of handy storage bins under the floor.

(Acura)

Prices start at $38,295 for a front-wheel-drive RDX, which beats most of its competitors by thousands, and a loaded all-wheel-drive model rings up at $48,395.

Four trim levels are available, with the top of the line Advanced getting a head-up display, computer-controlled suspension system and a pair of heated and ventilated front buckets with adjustable side bolsters and leg supports. They are remarkably comfortable and dressed in high-quality leather. So is the bridge-like center console, which feels so good you just want to wrap your arms around it.

It’s also home for one of the RDX’s signature features, the so-called True Touchpad Interface for the infotainment system. The pad is designed to mirror the screen mounted up on the dashboard so you don’t have to reach for it or draw your eyes too far away from the road. It works well when you’re trying to access icons located in the corners of the screen, but isn’t so accurate in the middle. Swiping through menus or browsing radio stations is a tedious process. Once you have all of your customizable desktops and favorites set up – not something you want to try while driving – it’s not bad, but I never got the sense it was any better than just having a closer, traditional touchscreen with auxiliary knobs like the Accord offers. That said, it’s much better than the similar setup found in some Lexus vehicles, or any dial-style controls.

(Acura)

The RDX does have one of the those, but it’s only for choosing from its selection of Snow, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ drive modes, each modifying the drivetrain’s eagerness, steering feel and suspension stiffness as appropriate. There’s a noticeable difference between them, and I found myself switching to sport anytime the road started getting hilly and twisty. Acura’s been trying to get its groove back, and the RDX has it in this setting. Sport+ is a bit too much for a vehicle like this, as it lets engine rev way too high before it switches gears, (but you’ve got to kick that VTEC in sometimes, bro.)

All things considered, the Ohio-built RDX is an excellent value and a far more engaging car to drive than its archrivals, the Lexus NX and RX, which bookend it in size. Acuras have always been a sensible choice in the luxury SUV segment, and this one ignites more senses than any Acura SUV before it.

———-

2019 Acura RDX

Base price: $38,295

As tested: $48,395

Type: 5-passenger, 4-door all-wheel-drive SUV

Engine: Turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder

Power: 272 hp, 280 lb-ft torque

Transmission: 10-speed automatic

MPG: 21 city/27 hwy

Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com’s Automotive Editor.

L.A. Auto Show: The 2020 Lincoln Aviator can fly…down the road

The all-new 2020 Lincoln Aviator may have a name from the history books, but it’s the most powerful and technologically-advanced vehicle the brand has ever made.

The three-row SUV is being offered with a plug-in hybrid powertrain comprised of a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6, a 10-speed automatic transmission and an electric motor between them that’s aimed more at performance than efficiency, but delivers a bit of both.

Aviator chief engineer John Davis said that the combined output will be at least 450 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque, which would make it more potent than Lincoln’s top of the line Navigator SUV.

(Lincoln)

The Aviator can travel some distance in all-electric mode, but Lincoln isn’t bragging about the range yet, so I don’t expect it to be very far. Figure between 20 and 30 miles. Davis said that even if you don’t plug it in to recharge it, it should always have enough electricity in reserve to deliver full power in short bursts.

Standard Aviator models come without the hybrid bits, but still have 400 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque, which sounds more than adequate. Unlike Lincoln’s other front or all-wheel drive crossover SUVs — the Nautilus and MKC — the larger Aviator is built on a rear or all-wheel-drive platform, in the vein of its luxury competitors. This improves both handling and towing capability, according to Davis, and let the designers give it a long, stylish hood.

(Lincoln)

The Aviator will be offered with an air suspension system that can adjust its ride height, and active dampers tied to a camera that monitors the road in front of the vehicle and prepares the stiffness of the shocks to match what’s coming up ahead.

Additional sensors will allow the Aviator to automatically brake for obstacles, or apply gentle pressure on the steering wheel to help guide the driver around them if evasive action is taken. It can also steer itself into a parking space, shifting from drive to reverse as needed while the driver simply holds down a button.

(Lincoln)

Inside, the Aviator has a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system display, a fully digital instrument cluster, real wood and metal trim, high-tier leather upholstery, available massaging 30-way adjustable front seats and an optional surround sound system with 28 speakers.

You can use a new technology Lincoln calls "phone as key" to use your smartphone to enter and start the vehicle without carrying a fob. Keys can be given to friends or family members, and there’s a number pad by the door instead that can be used with a code if a phone goes dead when you’re on the road. It uses a Bluetooth connection that only works in close proximity to the vehicle, which reduces the threat of the signal being intercepted by thieves.

Aviator pricing has not been announced, but will likely start above the aging $50,000 MKT when it pulls into showrooms in the middle of next year.

Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com’s Automotive Editor.

2019 Acura RDX Test Drive: Back to the future

Second time looks to be the charm for Acura’s third-generation RDX. Allow me to explain that calculus.

When the compact SUV was first introduced in 2007, it was essentially a luxed-up version of the Honda CR-V that was powered by the first turbocharged four-cylinder engine the automaker ever offered in the United States.

But it wasn’t a great one. It was a little weak and rough around the edges, and the RDX didn’t find as many buyers as expected. So when it was redesigned for 2012, Acura swapped in one of its silky naturally-aspirated V6 engines to right the ship. It did, and it was smooth sailing from there.

It quickly moved into a strong second place on the sales charts behind the larger MDX. That looks set to change with the all-new 2019 RDX, which has been the brand’s most wanted since it arrived in showrooms, powered once again by a turbocharged four-cylinder.

ACURA MDX SPORT HYBRID TEST DRIVE:

Video

The engine is one of several turbos spread across the Honda/Acura lineup these days. The 272 hp 2.0-liter comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission and is proof that a decade of hard work can pay off. It’s very good. There’s lots of grunt, and Acura dialed in a deep, rich sound with a digital assist.

(Acura)

The RDX rides on its own platform this time around, one that features a sporty five-link rear suspension and a super stiff structure engineered to give it a premium feel and accommodate a big hole in the ceiling for a standard panoramic sunroof. The wheelbase is longer than a CR-V’s and the richly appointed passenger compartment is a little roomier, but the RDX’s chic roofline cuts into cargo space. The spare tire is mounted beneath the vehicle, however, which may prove to be inconvenient at the worst time possible, but leaves room for a couple of handy storage bins under the floor.

(Acura)

Prices start at $38,295 for a front-wheel-drive RDX, which beats most of its competitors by thousands, and a loaded all-wheel-drive model rings up at $48,395.

Four trim levels are available, with the top of the line Advanced getting a head-up display, computer-controlled suspension system and a pair of heated and ventilated front buckets with adjustable side bolsters and leg supports. They are remarkably comfortable and dressed in high-quality leather. So is the bridge-like center console, which feels so good you just want to wrap your arms around it.

It’s also home for one of the RDX’s signature features, the so-called True Touchpad Interface for the infotainment system. The pad is designed to mirror the screen mounted up on the dashboard so you don’t have to reach for it or draw your eyes too far away from the road. It works well when you’re trying to access icons located in the corners of the screen, but isn’t so accurate in the middle. Swiping through menus or browsing radio stations is a tedious process. Once you have all of your customizable desktops and favorites set up – not something you want to try while driving – it’s not bad, but I never got the sense it was any better than just having a closer, traditional touchscreen with auxiliary knobs like the Accord offers. That said, it’s much better than the similar setup found in some Lexus vehicles, or any dial-style controls.

(Acura)

The RDX does have one of the those, but it’s only for choosing from its selection of Snow, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ drive modes, each modifying the drivetrain’s eagerness, steering feel and suspension stiffness as appropriate. There’s a noticeable difference between them, and I found myself switching to sport anytime the road started getting hilly and twisty. Acura’s been trying to get its groove back, and the RDX has it in this setting. Sport+ is a bit too much for a vehicle like this, as it lets engine rev way too high before it switches gears, (but you’ve got to kick that VTEC in sometimes, bro.)

All things considered, the Ohio-built RDX is an excellent value and a far more engaging car to drive than its archrivals, the Lexus NX and RX, which bookend it in size. Acuras have always been a sensible choice in the luxury SUV segment, and this one ignites more senses than any Acura SUV before it.

———-

2019 Acura RDX

Base price: $38,295

As tested: $48,395

Type: 5-passenger, 4-door all-wheel-drive SUV

Engine: Turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder

Power: 272 hp, 280 lb-ft torque

Transmission: 10-speed automatic

MPG: 21 city/27 hwy

Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com’s Automotive Editor.

2019 Acura RDX Test Drive: Back to the future

Second time looks to be the charm for Acura’s third-generation RDX. Allow me to explain that calculus.

When the compact SUV was first introduced in 2007, it was essentially a luxed-up version of the Honda CR-V that was powered by the first turbocharged four-cylinder engine the automaker ever offered in the United States.

But it wasn’t a great one. It was a little weak and rough around the edges, and the RDX didn’t find as many buyers as expected. So when it was redesigned for 2012, Acura swapped in one of its silky naturally-aspirated V6 engines to right the ship. It did, and it was smooth sailing from there.

It quickly moved into a strong second place on the sales charts behind the larger MDX. That looks set to change with the all-new 2019 RDX, which has been the brand’s most wanted since it arrived in showrooms, powered once again by a turbocharged four-cylinder.

ACURA MDX SPORT HYBRID TEST DRIVE:

Video

The engine is one of several turbos spread across the Honda/Acura lineup these days. The 272 hp 2.0-liter comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission and is proof that a decade of hard work can pay off. It’s very good. There’s lots of grunt, and Acura dialed in a deep, rich sound with a digital assist.

(Acura)

The RDX rides on its own platform this time around, one that features a sporty five-link rear suspension and a super stiff structure engineered to give it a premium feel and accommodate a big hole in the ceiling for a standard panoramic sunroof. The wheelbase is longer than a CR-V’s and the richly appointed passenger compartment is a little roomier, but the RDX’s chic roofline cuts into cargo space. The spare tire is mounted beneath the vehicle, however, which may prove to be inconvenient at the worst time possible, but leaves room for a couple of handy storage bins under the floor.

(Acura)

Prices start at $38,295 for a front-wheel-drive RDX, which beats most of its competitors by thousands, and a loaded all-wheel-drive model rings up at $48,395.

Four trim levels are available, with the top of the line Advanced getting a head-up display, computer-controlled suspension system and a pair of heated and ventilated front buckets with adjustable side bolsters and leg supports. They are remarkably comfortable and dressed in high-quality leather. So is the bridge-like center console, which feels so good you just want to wrap your arms around it.

It’s also home for one of the RDX’s signature features, the so-called True Touchpad Interface for the infotainment system. The pad is designed to mirror the screen mounted up on the dashboard so you don’t have to reach for it or draw your eyes too far away from the road. It works well when you’re trying to access icons located in the corners of the screen, but isn’t so accurate in the middle. Swiping through menus or browsing radio stations is a tedious process. Once you have all of your customizable desktops and favorites set up – not something you want to try while driving – it’s not bad, but I never got the sense it was any better than just having a closer, traditional touchscreen with auxiliary knobs like the Accord offers. That said, it’s much better than the similar setup found in some Lexus vehicles, or any dial-style controls.

(Acura)

The RDX does have one of the those, but it’s only for choosing from its selection of Snow, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ drive modes, each modifying the drivetrain’s eagerness, steering feel and suspension stiffness as appropriate. There’s a noticeable difference between them, and I found myself switching to sport anytime the road started getting hilly and twisty. Acura’s been trying to get its groove back, and the RDX has it in this setting. Sport+ is a bit too much for a vehicle like this, as it lets engine rev way too high before it switches gears, (but you’ve got to kick that VTEC in sometimes, bro.)

All things considered, the Ohio-built RDX is an excellent value and a far more engaging car to drive than its archrivals, the Lexus NX and RX, which bookend it in size. Acuras have always been a sensible choice in the luxury SUV segment, and this one ignites more senses than any Acura SUV before it.

———-

2019 Acura RDX

Base price: $38,295

As tested: $48,395

Type: 5-passenger, 4-door all-wheel-drive SUV

Engine: Turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder

Power: 272 hp, 280 lb-ft torque

Transmission: 10-speed automatic

MPG: 21 city/27 hwy

Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com’s Automotive Editor.