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The Jetta will receive a 1.4-liter turbocharged and direct-injected engine in place of the 2.0-liter and 1.8-liter turbo.

VW's new turbo 1.4 shoves 2.0 out of Jetta lineup

08/04/2015

Volkswagen is introducing a new and more efficient turbocharged and direct-injected engine into the Jetta lineup, one which will replace the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine and the 1.8T TSI engine. The new 1.4-liter gasoline engine is the latest result of Volkswagen's move to downsize powerplants while increasing output and reducing emissions, and is part of the EA211 series of small engines.

The 1.4-liter TSI engine will produce 150 hp at 5,000 rpm and 184 lb-ft of torque at just 1,400 rpm. Coupled with a six-speed automatic, Volkswagen expects this engine to return an impressive 39 mph on the highway once it goes into the Jetta -- that's a 13 percent improvement over the outgoing 2.0-liter engine that powered the Jetta.

VW engineered this engine to offer tremendous boost pressure thanks to a small, single-scroll compressor and an intercooler integrated into the injection-molded induction pipe. The engine itself features lightweight aluminum construction, a belt-driven double overhead camshaft valvetrain, variable intake and exhaust timing and an integrated exhaust manifold. Volkswagen has decreased the engine bore by 2 mm while increasing the stroke to 80 mm in an effort to shrink the size of the engine and to allow for easier boost generation. About the only feature Volkswagen kept from the earlier EA111 engine is the 82 mm cylinder spacing -- other than that this is an all-new powerplant.

The last Alfa Romeo SUV concept was the Kamal, which was shown in 2003. Expect sharper bodywork as seen on the Brera hatch on the real thing.

Alfa Romeo SUV ready, but when will we see it?

08/04/2015

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne claims Alfa Romeo has completed all the preparation work on a second model, expected to be the midsize SUV codenamed 949, Automotive News Europe reports.

"Alfa’s plan is progressing as we told you it will go," Marchionne said on a conference call with reporters.

The SUV is expected to be based on the Giulia platform, which itself will be shown in the metal in a matter of weeks at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Production is expected to start mid-2016, with U.S. sales before the end of the year. The unnamed SUV will take on midsize crossovers and SUVs like the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC-class and the Audi Q5, among others.

Latest Reviews

2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 LTZ Crew Cab

Long-term wrapup

2014 Chevrolet Silverado

08/04/2015

I’m standing on the deck of a Ranger Z520 bass boat in Beaver Lake, Ark., and Captain Blake Smith is hugging me. Then he’s yelling, “Thank you Lord!” and dropping to his knees, and pointing to the sky and yelling, “Thank you Jesus!” In my right hand is a net, and in the net, there’s largemouth bass so pregnant it looks like it might start shooting bass caviar all over the boat’s rubber floors at any moment.

In the waning moments of the first day of the Fishing League Worldwide Beaver Lake professional bass-fishing tournament, Captain Smith had been a fish short of his five-fish limit, staring down the possibility that he and his young family had made the trip from sunny Lakeland, Fla., to drizzly Arkansas for nothing. Then, he flipped a white spinner bait that looked like a small Alexander Calder mobile into some brush and the water exploded and he started yelling about a net. Then he was on his way to pocketing $4,000 for finishing 61st out of 154. The winner, Matt Arey, took home $125,000.

2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid review notes

Smooth operator

08/03/2015

DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: The Sonata Hybrid is so good it may have saved my marriage.

OK, so that's overselling it a bit, but it did prevent another argument over air conditioning thanks to a simple, brilliant feature: On the climate control panel, there's a button marked "Driver Only" with a fan symbol. Press it, and the fan only blows out of the driver's side vents, keeping the passenger from getting blasted by icy cold a/c on a hot summer day. Why said passenger wouldn't want air conditioning is beyond the scope of this article, but for the first time in a decade, all members of my immediate family were happy with the temperature in the same car at the same time.

Miracles, indeed.

The rest of our Sonata Hybrid Limited was more of the same -- it's an extremely well thought-out car, and what it may lack in sheer driving excitement is balanced by solid engineering and some careful attention to detail. For example, hybrid sedans have traditionally sacrificed interior room and trunk space for the sake of electrification. If the Sonata steals battery space, you'd never know it. The trunk is huge and flat, and rear passengers have as much legroom as I'd typically expect from cars a size larger like the Toyota Avalon or Hyundai's own Azera.

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