Milestones

First Aston Martin SUV rolls off the line in Wales

Aston Martin's first SUV is finally ready for the public.

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin

It may have seemed like the last four months were a slow slog, but four years has flown by since Aston Martin announced its investment in a new manufacturing facility inn St. Athan, Wales. The first Aston Martin DBX, the company's inaugural SUV, was the first model off the line - something that will be an answer to a trivia question one day.

The virtual development of the model started in 2015 with physical testing commencing in Wales in 2018. The car was officially unveiled during festivities in Beverly Hills surrounding the L.A. Auto Show last year.

Aston Martin DBX production

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin

Aston Martin has given the DBX the soul of a sports car. The DBX transforms the luxury and design of the DBS, DB11, and Vantage into the new all-wheel drive mold.

The clean sheet design uses bonded aluminum and a new Aston Martin platform to create the SUV, which has a curb weight just under 5,000 pounds. The structure allows the cabin to be roomy, with class-leading interior space.

The DBX is Aston Martin's first five-seater. It boasts class-leading headroom and legroom. Five adults fit in the SUV with enough rear legroom for taller individuals to feel comfortable even with the front seats all the way back. Seats are outfitted in full-grain leather while the headliner is available in Alcantara leather.

The luxury automaker has given the car a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that turns out 542 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paried with a nine-speed automatic transmission and comes with a rear limited slip differential. The DBX can get from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 181 mph.

Aston Martin boasts that the model will have around 20-inches of water fording ability and enough off-road prowess to satisfy most customers.

Aston Martin has evolved its center console. In the center of the dashboard is a 10.25-inch infotainment screen while a 12.3-inch screen sits in front of the driver.

Apple CarPlay, a 360-degree camera system, and 64-color ambient lighting in two zones come standard.

A number of accessory packages are available to enhance the DBX.

U.S. buyers can get their DBX for $189,900. Enhancements and customization is extra. Orders are currently being accepted and the first delivers will begin later this year.

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The 2022 Acura TLX has the technology enabled.

Photo courtesy of Acura

Toyota and Lexus announced that the WarnerMedia RIDE app would be coming to their models earlier this year. Now, Honda and Acura will be offering the same.

On certain Wi-Fi enabled Honda and Acura vehicles, AT&T unlimited in-car Wi-Fi users will have access to the WarnerMedia RIDE app. The app allows users to connect multiple devices in their vehicles to browse, stream and share premium content from the WarnerMedia library while on the road.

Honda and Acura vehicle owners have been able to use their on-board modem as a hot spot for connecting up to seven devices since 2017. Models compatible for the new tech include the Acura RDX (2019-present), Acura TLX (2021), and Acura MDX (2022) across all trim levels. Honda vehicles with the tech include Accord (2018-present, Touring), Odyssey (2018-present; Touring, Elite), Insight (2019-present, Touring)., Passport (2019-present; Touring, Elite)., and Pilot (2019-present; Touring, Elite, Black Edition).

The WarnerMedia RIDE App allows passengers to access 1,000+ hours of live and on-demand entertainment. The app includes hit TV shows and movies from top brands such as Cartoon Network, CNN, HBO Max, TBS, TNT and TruTV, spanning animation, entertainment, news, sports and more.

WarnerMedia RIDE app The WarnerMedia RIDE app allows users to choose their own avatar.Photo courtesy of Acura

Users can set up profiles and personalize their user exerpience with an avatar from the WarnerMedia library. Profiles also ensure age-appropriate content with options for adults to restrict access to their profiles with an access code.

"Wireless connectivity and connected car services continue to be key features for customers and our long-standing relationship with AT&T continues to be one way we deliver exciting new content to Honda and Acura owners," said Art St. Cyr, vice president of North American Auto Strategy for American Honda. "Honda will continue working to enhance the in-car experience, including the capabilities of the AT&T network and access to top content with WarnerMedia RIDE."

"We're always looking for new and innovative ways to elevate the connected car experience for our customers. With WarnerMedia RIDE, we are delivering a connected experience that's perfect for journeys," said Joe Mosele, vice president, Mobility & Internet of Things, AT&T. "Our collaboration is keeping Honda and Acura owners connected wherever they travel with hours of news and entertainment for the whole family."

WarnerMedia RIDE is available now in the App Store and on Google Play for all U.S. unlimited data plan subscribers. WarnerMedia RIDE is included at no additional cost for existing and new unlimited subscribers.

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President Joe Biden visited Ford Motor Company’s Dearborn plant today

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Compan

When the president of the United States shows up to give a speech at an automotive factory, you might expect to hear talk about jobs, the environment, and international trade. You might even hear stories about the economy. What you probably aren't expecting is to see the president hop behind the wheel of a pre-production vehicle for an unscripted test drive. That unlikely event took place yesterday, as President Joe Biden buckled into the driver's seat of a Ford F-150 Lightning and took off down the company's test track.

As it turns out, being president does have a few upsides, one of which appears to be the ability to commandeer unreleased electric pickup trucks for a quick joyride. While touring Ford's historic Rouge complex, which has been tapped to produce the automaker's new electric F-150, Biden remarked that he'd like to test drive the pickup truck. Beyond the fact that presidents just don't drive, the truck hasn't even been officially unveiled to the public (that's scheduled to happened May 19 at 9:30 p.m. EST).

Ford CEO Jim Farley told The Detroit Free Press that a White House staff member approached him after the tour and asked him to accompany Biden's motorcade to a nearby test track. A short bit later, there was the president, sitting behind the wheel of a camouflaged F-150 Lightning. After a lap or two, a visibly impressed Biden remarked "this sucker's quick!" before flooring the truck for an acceleration test in front of members of the media.

An impromptu drive by the president is great publicity, but it's not as if the F-150 Lightning was going to be a low-key vehicle launch to begin with. Ford's F-150 sales average more than 100 units every hour, so an all-new electrified version of one of the world's best-selling vehicles is big news.

The new truck is expected to carry a large battery pack and two electric motors, which will send power to all four wheels. In the glimpses of the truck we can catch behind Biden at the podium, the new truck appears to have bodywork that is very close to its gas-powered counterparts, but the grille and front lighting are different. The F-150 Lightning's grille features an LED light bar that runs from one headlight unit to the other, which is consistent with leaks that we've seen from The Blue Oval in recent months.


The electrified F-150 is set to be revealed tonight, May 19 at 9:30 p.m. EST. If you're hoping to catch the event, you can watch it live on Ford's YouTube page. We'll also have an in-depth post on the truck around that same time, so stay tuned.

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