Auto Trends Magazine http://autotrends.org Car reviews, industry news, & advice. Thu, 19 Jul 2018 15:56:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 Meet VinFast, an Emerging Automaker From Vietnam http://autotrends.org/2018/07/18/vinfast-emerging-automaker-vietnam/ http://autotrends.org/2018/07/18/vinfast-emerging-automaker-vietnam/#respond Wed, 18 Jul 2018 12:32:31 +0000 http://autotrends.org/?p=13060 VinFast aims to grow with Vietnam’s car market. If you consider Vietnam, automotive manufacturing is not one of its strong suits. But with more than 93 million people, this southeast Asia nation is following a well-established passage taken by other emerging countries as consumers trade up from scooters and motorcycles to automobiles. So far, the […]

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VinFast aims to grow with Vietnam’s car market.

VinFast
Vietnam’s emerging automaker will launch two new models, including a sedan.

If you consider Vietnam, automotive manufacturing is not one of its strong suits. But with more than 93 million people, this southeast Asia nation is following a well-established passage taken by other emerging countries as consumers trade up from scooters and motorcycles to automobiles.

So far, the Vietnamese market has been served mostly by Chinese manufacturers, along with Toyota, Hyundai, Ford and GM. But the country’s leaders see an opportunity for a native manufacturer to take root and earn its own slice of the consumer pie. That company is VinFast, the automotive arm of the Vingroup, which is a leader in Vietnam’s construction and real estate sectors.

VinFast and GM

Indeed, VinFast has already inked an agreement with one automaker, the General Motors Company, to launch its nascent enterprise. In June, the two companies signed a strategic partnership whereby GM will transfer its Hanoi plant, dealer network and employee base to VinFast by the end of 2018.

As part of the transfer agreement, VinFast will produce small cars under a GM global license beginning in 2019. Further, VinFast will become the exclusive distributor of Chevrolet models throughout the country. In effect, GM is entrusting VinFast to further its own growth.

VinFast
Pininfarina designed the company’s SUV and sedan.

VinFast at the Paris Motor Show

But a strategic partnership with GM isn’t the only thing VinFast is doing to make a name for itself. For example, the automaker is working with the Pininfarina design and engineering company to develop its first two vehicles — a sedan and an SUV.

Just this week, VinFast released sketches of the new models and announced plans to unveil prototypes at the 2018 Paris Motor Show in October.

The two models will not be manufactured at the Hanoi plant. Instead, the company is building a new plant in northern Vietnam to accommodate the new models and others that will follow.

When the assembly plant is operational it will produce the two new models, with sales set to commence in September 2019. The company plans to saturate the domestic market before launching abroad a few years later. With a top capacity of 500,000 units, the new plant launches as consumer demand for passenger vehicles surges.

James DeLuca
James DeLuca, VinFast CEO.

Company Leadership

Besides working with GM and Pininfarina, the company hired outside executives to build the enterprise. James DeLuca is the company’s Chief Executive Officer, who had a long history working at GM. He began his senior management career in 2002 as the plant manager for GM’s Fort Wayne Assembly plant in Indiana. From there, he headed the stamping operation in Pontiac, Michigan.

Beginning in 2008, DeLuca traveled to South Korea to head Product Quality for GM Daewoo. Following stints in China and Michigan, DeLuca retired from GM in 2016, ending his 37-year tenure with the company. But his retirement didn’t last long as VinFast appointed him CEO in September 2017.

DeLuca is one of four members of the company’s executive team. Le Thi Thu Thuy is the Chairwoman of VinFast and also serves as Vice Chairwoman of Vingroup. Le Thanh Hai is the CEO of VinFast Trading and Service, while David Lyon is the Executive Design Director. Both Hai and Lyon previously held senior positions with GM.

Ready, Set, Launch

VinFast’s $US1.5 billion investment in a new manufacturing plant, its collaboration with GM and the Pininfarina design relationship collectively underscore its purpose. By debuting its new models on a world stage, its mission as an automotive manufacturer should become clear.

Finally, with Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) projected to rise by at least 6.5-percent annually over the next three years and car ownership expected to double within just a few years, VinFast’s launch couldn’t come at a better time.


Sketches and photos courtesy of VinFast. All rights reserved.

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Spotlight: American Children’s Home Show-off Show http://autotrends.org/2018/07/16/spotlight-american-childrens-home/ http://autotrends.org/2018/07/16/spotlight-american-childrens-home/#respond Mon, 16 Jul 2018 12:00:59 +0000 http://autotrends.org/?p=12938 American Children’s Home 20th Annual Show-Off Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show What could be better than a gathering of cars, trucks and motorcycles? Not much, unless that function benefits a nonprofit, as it did at a recent event held in Lexington, North Carolina. Indeed, the campus of the American Children’s Home was both the host […]

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American Children’s Home 20th Annual Show-Off Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show

American Children's Home
The front of the American Children’s Home in Lexington, North Carolina.

What could be better than a gathering of cars, trucks and motorcycles? Not much, unless that function benefits a nonprofit, as it did at a recent event held in Lexington, North Carolina.

Indeed, the campus of the American Children’s Home was both the host and beneficiary of an event that supports approximately 70 youngsters, all of whom need a substitute family. Some of the boys and girls live on campus. Others are in family foster care. All the children are given the help they need now as well as preparation for adult living.

As you might imagine, the mission is critical. And it is an ongoing one, established in 1928 by the Junior Order United American Mechanics North Carolina State Council. Today, the home works closely with county Departments of Social Services, accepting referrals in keeping with its mission.

American Children's Home
There is nothing like an antique roadster to put an exclamation point on a summer auto show.

20th Annual Show-Off

For the 20th consecutive year, the home hosted an annual show-offer of cars, trucks and motorcycles. Rained out in May, the show was rescheduled for July 14. Despite blazing skies and summer traffic, hundreds of entrants and volunteers came out.

Most of the entrants were classic cars and trucks from the 1950s, 60s and 70s, but there were late-model cars and trucks on hand as well. There were also more than a dozen motorcycles and a handful of antique cars.

Entire car clubs came out, including the Carolinas Region of the Porsche Club of America. This club alone raised more than $3,000 for the home.

American Children's Home
A contingent of motorcycles represented their class.

Ample Time to Show Off

Held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of the home, the show accepted entrants throughout the morning. Judges began tallying early on with more than 75 awards offered.

American Children's Home
This gentleman pulled down one of the top awards. Can you guess his ride?
Vendors, food tents, raffles, a kids zone and a silent auction, were also part of the show. Home staff and volunteers ensured a smooth show, with public announcements offered as needed.

By 1:45 p.m., the awards portion began. The first group recognized were the “Top 40” finishers followed by several “best of” categories. The awards ended with both the Best of Show and ACH Choice Award winners recognized.

As for the models on hand, we took more than 300 photos, then narrowed that to about 100 as featured here. More than half are captioned, while the last group has been presented without comment. If you notice an error, we’d appreciate you leaving a comment. Most of the make, model and year information was taken from the entry placard located on the dashboard.


American Children's Home
Early 1970s classics in a line.
American Children's Home
As usual, the Ford Mustang well represented at this year’s show.
American Children's Home
1969 AMC Javelin.
American Children's Home
AMC faithful were active participants in this year’s show.

Chevrolet Models

Chevrolet classics.
A line of classic Chevrolets.
American Children's Home
Chevrolet Bel Aire.
American Children's Home
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air.
American Children's Home
1955 Chevrolet C3100 truck.
American Children's Home
1968 Chevrolet Camaro SS.
American Children's Home
Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.
American Children's Home
Customized rides, including this early Chevrolet Camaro, were well represented.
American Children's Home
1971 Chevrolet Camaro Z28.
Poison Ivy with her equally green Chevrolet Camaro.
American Children's Home
1965 Chevrolet Chevelle.
American Children's Home
1959 Chevrolet Corvette convertible.
American Children's Home
A circa 1960 Chevrolet Corvette converible.
American Children's Home
We haven’t seen a new Chevrolet El Camino since 1987. Nor are we likely to again.
American Children's Home
1964 Chevrolet Impala coupe.
American Children's Home
1964 Chevrolet Impala station wagon.
American Children's Home
This Chevrolet Impala may eventually be restored.
American Children's Home
Asking for a friend: what year is this Chevrolet Impala coupe? 1966 or 1967?
American Children's Home
Early 1970s Chevrolet Nova.
American Children's Home
1950 Chevrolet Styline Special.
American Children's Home
Classic Chevrolets.

But, wait…there’s more!

American Children's Home
2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible.
American Children's Home
1938 Chrysler Royal.
American Children's Home
A specially modified late-model Dodge Challenger.
American Children's Home
A specially modified Dodge Charger.
American Children's Home
1966 Dodge Coronet two-door sedan.
American Children's Home
1972 Dodge Demon.
American Children's Home
1965 Ford Cobra replica.
American Children's Home
1951 Ford F1 pickup truck.
American Children's Home
A sixth-generation Ford F Series pickup truck.
American Children's Home
1965 Ford Mustang.
American Children's Home
A retro Ford Thunderbird.
American Children's Home
Ford V8 Droptop Coupe.
American Children's Home
A Ford Mustang with dihedral doors.
American Children's Home
1956 International S 160 truck.
American Children's Home
2005 Lotus Elise.
American Children's Home
1968 Pontiac Firebird convertible.
American Children's Home
A late-model Pontiac Firebird.
American Children's Home
1970 Plymouth ‘Cuda convertible.
American Children's Home
1972 Plymouth Duster.
American Children's Home
A late-model Ram 1500 crew cab.
American Children's Home
One of the more unusual non-production models on display.
American Children's Home
Early 1950s pickup truck.
American Children's Home
This 1956 Oldsmobile 88 Holiday garnered one of the top awards.
American Children's Home
Hurst/Olds: 1966 Oldsmobile 442.
American Children's Home
Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight convertible.
American Children's Home
1964 Pontiac GTO.
American Children's Home
Pontiac GTO.
American Children's Home
A few British models were on hand, including this MG.
American Children's Home
Two bugs in a row.
American Children's Home
A modified Volkswagen Beetle.

American Children's Home
Vendors lined the green in front of the home.
American Children's Home
Three raffles were held, including a 50/50 raffle.
American Children's Home
Games, including corn hole, keep youngster busy.
American Children's Home
The Lexington Fire Department on hand with its classic firefighter truck.
American Children's Home
Awards time with dozens of winners announced.

Best of the Rest:

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home

American Children's Home


See AlsoSpotlight: 2018 Piedmont Classic Chevy Club Car Show

Photos copyright Auto Trends Magazine. All rights reserved.


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Generation Five: 2018 Lexus LS http://autotrends.org/2018/07/13/generation-five-2018-lexus-ls/ http://autotrends.org/2018/07/13/generation-five-2018-lexus-ls/#respond Fri, 13 Jul 2018 09:30:28 +0000 http://autotrends.org/?p=12910 Flagship LS sedan begins its fifth generation. When Lexus launched in 1990, the automaker brought to the market two sedans targeting America’s luxury makes — the full-size LS and the midsize ES. The LS served as the flagship model, bringing its own V8 power and rear-wheel drive to the segment, much in the same way […]

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Flagship LS sedan begins its fifth generation.

2018 Lexus LS 500
The all-new Lexus LS delivers a forceful presentation.

When Lexus launched in 1990, the automaker brought to the market two sedans targeting America’s luxury makes — the full-size LS and the midsize ES. The LS served as the flagship model, bringing its own V8 power and rear-wheel drive to the segment, much in the same way as the Lincoln Town Car and the Cadillac DeVille had done.

Meanwhile, the ES took aim at the big Buick, Oldsmobile and Mercury models of the day. Although it probably can’t take full credit with contributing to the end of the second and third brands, its presence in the market didn’t help.

As the market turned, the big Lincoln and Cadillac models went away, giving Lexus a clear shot at the American consumer. But even the LS has to change with the times. This year, Lexus replaced the sedan’s V8 with a twin-turbo V6 engine. For 2018, the Lexus LS is an all-new sedan, launching the fifth generation of this venerable nameplate.

2018 Lexus LS 500

2018 Lexus LS Overview

For 2018, the big Lexus is officially known as the LS 500, replacing the previous LS 460. Until now, the numerical designation in the model name represented the engine size, as in 4.6 liters for the 460. Today, the 500 doesn’t correspond to the engine size, rather it signifies a more powerful, yet smaller engine.

Lexus offers the 2018 LS 500 in four arrangements or two trims: LS 500 RWD ($76,025), LS 500 AWD ($79,245), LS 500 F Sport RWD ($82,085) and LS 500 F Sport AWD ($83,775). These prices include a $1,025 destination charge.

The difference between the two is that the F Sport offers certain embellishments, such as a mesh grille. The suspension system is specially tuned and works with large 20-inch wheels riding on run-flat tires. It is also a better steering and handling model, although it doesn’t rise to the enhanced performance level of Lexus’ “F” line.

And lest you forget, Lexus is big on hybrids. This means the 500h is another choice, starting at $80,535 for rear-wheel drive and $83,755 for all-wheel drive. It comes with a naturally aspirated V6 engine, an electronically controlled variable transmission and electric motors. As for our review, this one covers the 2018 Lexus LS 500 F Sport, the model supplied to Auto Trends Magazine for a week of driving.

2018 Lexus LS 500

Exterior Highlights

In recent years, Lexus’ design language has taken on a more evocative (some say provocative) look, as the brand moves away from any semblance of blandness. The changes have raised the brand’s visibility in perhaps ways it could have never reached before. Loyalists may decry the new look, but then Lexus is also trying to reach a new breed of customer, including Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz owners.

Front to back, the LS’ expressive lines are marked by an abundance of sculpting. The front fascia features the brand’s recognizable spindle (hourglass) grille flanked by zig-zag headlamps and honed in by deep embrasures housing the fog lamps. It follows with a long hood and an extended beltline that rises at the rear pillar. The raised rear deck sits short and wide, and offers its own expressive design featuring twin bisecting boomerang lights.

Size matters and the LS certainly is big. The previous model had standard and stretched wheelbases on tap, but the new one has 123 inches between the wheels and is just over an inch longer overall.

Among the standard items you’ll find LED headlamps with cornering lights, LED tail lamps and turn signals, power-folding and heated side mirrors with puddle lamps, a power moonroof, and 19-inch alloy wheels. The list of options include adaptive front lights and 20-inch wheels.

The F Sport Package delivers its own look, including a special grille, a rear diffuser, a unique wheel design and large brake calipers.

2018 Lexus LS 500

Interior Highlights

Sumptuous doesn’t accurately define the LS’ interior. Palatial, lavish and opulent are a few other adjectives that come to mind.

Slip behind the wheel of the LS and immediately your senses are elevated. The look, feel, smell and sound are intensified.

You can almost taste the luxury, although I don’t recommend licking anything. The cabin is quiet, even serene with strategically placed controls, quilted leather touchpoints, wood trim, and ambient lighting setting the mood. Even a section of etched glass is present, placed on the dashboard facing the front passengers. Is this merely eye-catching decor or does it hint at some future screen? Time will most certainly tell.

Five fit in full comfort in the Lexus LS with the available Executive Package making this a four-seat sedan. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an LS in livery service, but the capability is there. Consider it the ultimate executive car for the presidential suite, a fitting way to impress clients when family members aren’t the ones enjoying it.

The list of standard features is lengthy and goes well beyond the expected full power accessories, leather interior, automatic climate control and power tilt-and-telescopic steering column. The steering wheel is wrapped in thick leather and heated, the front seats are heated and cooled, the driver’s seat is power operated and supplies lumbar support, even the front headrests are power controlled. All models come with a power rear sunshade.

Upgrades include a leather-wrapped wood steering wheel, various wood trim choices, more exquisite leather, four-zone climate control, and power side-window sunshades. Additional upgrades are included in the Executive and Luxury packages.

2018 Lexus LS 500

Technology & Safety

Lexus equips the 2018 LS with a 12-speaker audio system, Bluetooth connectivity and USB ports. A 12.3-inch color navigation display is also standard. Upgrades include a 23-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, which delivers concert-hall quality sound throughout the cabin.

Standard safety technologies include Lexus Safety System, which represents a pre-collision system. This system includes pedestrian detection, all-speed dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert, lane keep assist and automatic high beam control.

Other features include a now mandatory rearview camera, a blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, pre-collision braking and intuitive parking assist with automatic stop. There are two individual options available as well — a 24-inch heads-up display and a panoramic view monitor.

2018 Lexus LS 500

Performance Matters

A 3.5-liter V6 engine powers the 2018 Lexus LS, but it isn’t what you might expect. This one is completely different from the 3.5-liter engine you find in other Toyota and Lexus products. Indeed, it measures 3444cc to the 3456cc of the traditional engine. Some sources (such as the EPA) call it a 3.4-liter engine, but we’ll use the sizing identification shared by Lexus.

The new engine has an aluminum head and blocks along with a pair of turbos consolidated into the exhaust manifolds. With its unusually long stroke — 100.0 inches to 85.5 inches bore, Lexus claims the turbo achieves high levels of thermal efficiency. Importantly, it has an output of 416 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. Lexus pairs this engine with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Fully loaded, the LS weighs about 5,000 pounds. The new engine, however, is up to the task of moving this large sedan. Step on the accelerator and the LS begins to move forward confidently. Floor the pedal and the turbos spool up after a momentary hesitation, rocketing this big sedan forward.

The steering wheel is nicely weighted with small inputs moving this sedan with ease. Take the LS on twisty roads and it stays poised, hanging the lines quite well. On corners, the sedan leans ever so slightly. With all-wheel drive you can expect an extra measure of control as you pull out of corners or when navigating wet roads.

2018 Lexus LS 500

Cost Factor

At $75,000, this is a reasonable starting point for the 2018 LS. But most shoppers won’t stop there, with a significant number opting for all-wheel, the F Sport trim or both. Our model was so new that it didn’t come with a Monroney (sticker price and details), but we could deduce a few things and peg the price around $87,000 as equipped.

An Interior Upgrade Package ($3,730) kicks things off, adding a 28-way power driver’s seat with multi-function massage, semi-aniline perforated leather-trimmed seats, an ultra suede headliner and heated rear seats. Opting for this package required upgrading to the art wood organic, herringbone or laser special premium wood trims ($800). You also have to upgrade to the heated wood and leather steering wheel ($410), the 20-inch split-10-spoke wheels ($1,200) and choose one of four no extra charge interior colors.

Choose the Lexus Safety System+ A Package ($3,000) and this brings in Lexus CoDrive with all-speed dynamic cruise control and lane trace assist, automatic emergency braking, a head-up display, intuitive pedestrian detection alert, front cross-traffic alert and road sign assist. Opt for this package and you must also choose an adaptive variable air suspension system with rapid height function ($1,500) and three additional options: a 24-inch heads-up display ($1,220), premium LED headlamps with adaptive front lighting ($300) and a panoramic view monitor ($800).

The Top Three Packages

There are three additional packages, which build on the base and subsequent packages, including a Luxury Package ($12,290), Executive Package ($17,100) and an Executive Package with Kiriko Glass ($23,100). Without going into full detail, these packages bring in such items as driver and front passenger massage, a right-rear power recliner, wood and leather trim, a rear center console touch-screen display and four-zone concierge climate control. A Cold Weather Package ($220) adds such items as a windshield wiper deicer, headlamp washer and an enhanced interior heater for faster heat output in cold weather. Individual options include a panorama glass roof ($1,000).

Thus, the standard model with all-wheel drive can easily top $115,000. You can’t dress the F Sport as handsomely as the standard model with those prices maxing around $98,000, which was about $11,000 more than our test model.

Parting Thoughts

The 2018 LS is new, exciting and delivers a performance improvement over the previous model. That Lexus remains committed to sedans demonstrates that this automaker intends to keep the segment fully covered. As the car pie shrinks, Lexus intends to have new models in place, in an effort to secure a larger piece of said pie. That strategy may work and could position Lexus to gain marketshare as competitors leave cars behind or if the market suddenly shifts away from crossovers and back to cars.

All in all, the 2018 Lexus LS has what shoppers in this segment want — a big, cushy sedan with the performance and luxury credentials to match. Lexus met the challenge and it shows.


2018 Lexus LS 500


2018 Lexus LS Specifications

Lexus 2018 LS
Segment Full-size luxury sedan
Base Sticker Price $75,000 (plus a $1,025 destination charge)
Price as tested $87,500 (estimated)
Standard Engine 3.5-liter, twin-turbo V6
Horsepower 416 @ 6,000 RPMs
Torque (lb.-ft.) 442 @ 1,600 to 4,800 RPMs
Transmission 10-speed automatic
Seating 2+3
Curb Weight (pounds) 4,707 (RWD) to 5,093 (AWD with Executive Package)
Wheelbase (inches) 123.0
Length (inches) 206.1
Width (inches) 74.8
Height (inches) 57.1 to 57.9
Head room (f,r — inches) 37.3, 37.3
Leg room (f,r — inches) 41.0, 38.9
Shoulder room (f,r — inches) 58.8, 56.4
Hip room (f,r — inches) 55.5, 55.1
Storage (cubic feet) 16.95
Gross vehicle weight (pounds) 5,920 (RWD); 6,095 (AWD)
Towing (pounds) NR
Payload (pounds) NR
Fuel premium
Fuel Tank (gallons) 21.7
EPA Fuel MPG (city/highway) 19/30 (RWD), 18/27 (AWD)
Manufacturing Plant Georgetown, Kentucky

See AlsoFirst Look: 2019 Lexus ES

Photos copyright Auto Trends Magazine. All rights reserved.

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How to Lease Your Next Car http://autotrends.org/2018/07/10/lease-your-next-car/ http://autotrends.org/2018/07/10/lease-your-next-car/#comments Tue, 10 Jul 2018 11:20:06 +0000 http://autotrends.org/?p=12889 Finance, lease, subsribe or buy — here’s what you need to before you jump in. New car leasing is similar to renting a car, but in this case your rental term lasts for two, three or more years. You never own the car you lease and if you end your lease early or exceed the […]

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Finance, lease, subsribe or buy — here’s what you need to before you jump in.

2018 Buick Enclave Premier.
2018 Buick Enclave Premier.

New car leasing is similar to renting a car, but in this case your rental term lasts for two, three or more years. You never own the car you lease and if you end your lease early or exceed the allotted miles, you will pay some costly penalties.

With these things in mind, why would anyone want to lease a new car? For several reasons, including:

1), you want to drive a more expensive car,

2), drive a new car every few years or

3) you simply don’t have much cash to plunk down for a down payment.

If you fall under any of these three reasons, then leasing’s appeal may be strong for you.

Just like buying a car, you should do your research to find the vehicle you want and the best leasing deal possible. Leasing deals are negotiable—you’ll want to put out the least amount of cash up front while limiting your monthly lease payments.

2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring.
2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring.

1. Know your credit score.

If you have a good credit, then a high credit score should provide you the best leasing deal. Obtain your credit score from at least one of the three credit reporting bureaus — Equifax, TransUnion and Experian — to see where you stand. A score of 700 and higher reflects “good credit management” according to Experian.

2. Choose your car.

Find the type of vehicle you want and narrow your list to about three models, each of which you should test drive. Buy the car you know you’ll be happy with for the next several years. If you settle for something that you’ll tire of quickly, you’ll either be stuck with a car you dislike until the end of the lease term or be forced to pay hundreds, perhaps thousands, of dollars to break your lease.

3. Compare lease deals.

Most leasing plans are offered through your new car dealer, although arranging a lease privately is possible. Avoid being pressured by any dealer offering a “take it or leave it” deal on auto leasing—shop several dealers for the best terms.

2018 Toyota C-HR

4. Negotiate the price first.

Consider not telling the new car sales person that you want to lease your vehicle until after you negotiate your best price. Your lease is based on the final agreed upon price, so try to lower that price to hold down your overall costs and reduce your monthly payments. You can find out what a dealer paid for the car by buying a new car price report from Consumer Reports and using that information to negotiate.

5. Calculate your lease.

Before signing your lease agreement, you must calculate your costs; use a lease calculator such as one found on leaseguide.com. Your negotiated price is your base capitalization cost, which should be lower than the car’s sticker price. Be mindful of other costs including acquisition fees, a luxury tax, state sales tax and lease insurance. Adjust this figure by the amount of money you put down and any trade-in credit. Your dealer has a residual value in mind, which is what the manufacturer determines what your car will be worth at the end of lease term. In addition, leasing companies use a “money factor” or interest rate to determine costs—include that number and your term (months) to determine total lease costs and your monthly payment.

Take Your Time

New car leasing sounds complicated, doesn’t it? That’s why you should take your time to come up with the best deal to find the car you’ll be happy driving for several years. If you rush the process, you’ll pay hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars more on your lease.

2018 Lincoln Navigator Black Label.
2018 Lincoln Navigator Black Label.

See AlsoAre Pull-Ahead Lease Offers a Good Deal?

Photos copyright Auto Trends Magazine. All rights reserved.

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Toyota Supra: One Step Closer to Production Reality http://autotrends.org/2018/07/06/toyota-supra-production-reality/ http://autotrends.org/2018/07/06/toyota-supra-production-reality/#comments Fri, 06 Jul 2018 12:30:57 +0000 http://autotrends.org/?p=12873 Supra sports coupe debut is imminent. The Toyota Supra sports coupe is set to return and this time the confirmation comes through an unlikely party: NASCAR. Indeed, this week, Toyota announced that beginning with 2019’s NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS), the Supra will replace the Camry, the latter fielded in races since 2007. So, why does […]

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Supra sports coupe debut is imminent.

Toyota Supra NASCAR Xfinity
The Supra will replace the Camry for the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series.

The Toyota Supra sports coupe is set to return and this time the confirmation comes through an unlikely party: NASCAR. Indeed, this week, Toyota announced that beginning with 2019’s NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS), the Supra will replace the Camry, the latter fielded in races since 2007.

So, why does this signal that the Supra will, indeed, make its production return? For the simple reason that NASCAR models are based on production versions only — the models raced on Sunday attract customers to dealer showrooms on Monday.

Sure, the Camry and its competitors are nothing like the vehicles available for consumers, but the name is the same. Even the canvas is usually quite different, with painted on “headlights” and other embellishments included to at least suggest a correlation with the model you can find at your local dealer. After all, you cannot purchase a two-door Camry — at least one that isn’t new and one without the Solara appellation following the model name.

Daytona 500 NASCAR Race Debut

How close are we to seeing a new production-ready Supra? Very close, as the NASCAR variant will debut at Daytona Beach on February 16, 2019. That date marks the Daytona 500, the event that launches the new racing season. Thus, sometime between now and then, Toyota will make an official announcement.

In years past, that announcement would come at an auto show. For instance, the Los Angeles Auto Show held in November or early December or at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit beginning in mid-January.

But we don’t expect either show to debut the 2019 Toyota Supra. Instead, the automaker is likely to determine a time and place of its own choosing to introduce the new model.

2019 Toyota Supra NASCAR Xfinity
A production-ready Supra will return, sharing design elements with this race car.

We see one of two possible scenarios unfolding:

1. Toyota will debut the Supra during a lull in the automotive news cycle.

But not in a dead period when people’s attention is elsewhere, namely when their feet are buried in the sand, as at their favorite beach. Instead, Toyota might tie the announcement to another event, such as the Monterey Car Week and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

This year’s event will take place August 18-26, which means Toyota could time its announcement for the Friday before, which would be August 17, 2018. Certainly, they could wait for the show to begin and roll out the new model at Pebble Beach on the main show day.

2. The automaker might choose an unexpected show to debut the Supra.

Another scenario is to simply debut the Supra at the Miami Auto Show, which this year will be held Oct. 5-13, 2018, at the newly renovated Miami Beach Convention Center. Last year’s show was canceled due to Hurricane Irma. This year’s show launches following a $620 million renovation of the convention center.

Although not a major show, some manufacturers have chosen the venue to launch a new product. Indeed, Miami is where Nissan rolled out the Rogue Hybrid in 2016. Although auto show debuts are decreasing in importance, there is something about introducing a new vehicle in South Florida in October that’s certain to draw attention.

Goodwood Festival of Speed

Toyota Europe Supra TweetOf course, you may have heard that Toyota will showcase the 2019 Supra at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which takes place from July 12-15. On July 5, Toyota Europe tweeted, “#ToyotaSupra is back. A90. At Goodwood Festival of Speed 2018 @fosgoodwood”

The A90 designation is the code for the all-new Supra, which was developed alongside an all-new BMW Z4. We have heard that the Supra will not receive a manual transmission, which is news that truly saddens the faithful. We understand the “take rate” for manuals is historically low, but if you are to be taken seriously in this business, you still have to offer one. Perhaps Toyota will follow Jaguar’s lead in this department as the British automaker introduced a six-speed manual for the F-Type’s second year.

Arriving Soon: 2019 Toyota Supra

We don’t know for certain whether Goodwind will debut the absolute final production-ready copy or if we’ll see a concept teaser without the camouflage. Regardless, the Supra is coming back and its return is a cause for mass celebration.

If I were a betting man (and I am not), the Goodwind reveal will show us nearly everything about the model inside and out, with the production details and pricing news timed to coincide with this year’s Pebble Beach.


See AlsoToyota FT-1 Concept to a Supra Reality?

Photos, tweet copyright Toyota.

The post Toyota Supra: One Step Closer to Production Reality appeared first on Auto Trends Magazine.

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