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First Drive Review: 2020 GMC Acadia gets sophisticated, rides smoothly

GMC has introduced the new Acadia AT4 for 2020.

Photo Courtesy of GMC

The GMC Acadia is back and bolder for the 2020 model year with fascia changes, cabin refinements, tech upgrades, and a new trim level.

The model, a three-row SUV that's smaller than the GMC Yukon, is in line with the Chevrolet Traverse in the GM lineup. Its positioning makes it an attractive model for buyers looking for more space, but don't need the overt truckiness that the Yukon offers.

At its front the 2020 GMC Acadia comes with anew standard LED lighting, a new grille, and fresh front and rear fascia. Additional equipment upgrades include side mirrors with integrated turn signals (power-folding on Denali) and a hands-free power liftgate. There are also new 18- and 20-inch wheel designs.

2020 GMC Acadia AT4 The Acadia now comes in an AT4 trim. Photo Courtesy of GMC

The 2020 GMC Acadia also now comes in an AT4 grade, giving the model the darkened exterior accents and appearance of off-road readiness that is afforded other GMC models with AT4 trim levels. Its bold appearance works with the Acadia's refined design lines and fits well with current market trends. All-wheel drive is standard in this model. It rides on standard 17-inch wheels and 20-inchers are available.

Under its hood, buyers can get a new turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, which is standard on SLT and Denali models. It achieves 230 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder and available 3.6-liter V6 power plans still make the Acadia lineup for 2020. All engines are paired with a new nine-speed automatic transmission and have stop-start functionality.

An eBoost brake system is standard on turbo models. All Acadias have had suspension and handling upgrades for the new model year. On the winding rural roads of Jackson, Wyoming, the Acadia rode smoothly, absorbing most of the road's imperfections, and handled well, making it easy to park along the town square.

2020 GMC Acadia Denali GMC has retained the Acadia's plush seating for the 2020 model year.Photo Courtesy of GMC

The SUV is shifted via buttons and levers on the center stack, a move that frees up space traditionally taken up by a stick shifter. It's not terrible to use and will ultimately take some getting used to but should be easily adopted by drivers.

Most of the materials inside the cabin of the GMC Acadia are on-par with what you'll find inside other premium SUVs like the Infiniti QX60 and Acura MDX. That being said, there are some obvious cost-cutting design and materials choices, like the puzzling placement of the new open-pore wood decor in the Acadia Denali.

Every 2020 GMC Acadia come standard with GM's new 8-inch infotainment screen. The responsive screen has new a personal profile feature, refreshed navigation interface that allows for most functions to be reached via a single screen, and USB-C ports. There's a total of five charging ports in the Acadia, including a USB-A outlet in the third row.

There's a number of other new and enhanced features including the next-gen 15-watt wireless charging, a high-definition rear camera, and an available rear camera mirror (Denali only).

2020 GMC Acadia AT4 A new head up display is available. Photo Courtesy of GMC

The 2020 Acadia has the same list of standard and available safety technology as in the previous model year. None of the technologies proved too obstructive during testing.

The 2020 GMC Acadia will arrive on dealership lots this autumn It is made in America, at General Motors' Spring Hill, Tennessee plant.

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The Lincoln Nautilus has gotten a substantial interior upgrade as part of a mid-cycle refresh.

Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Company

Lincoln replaced the MKX with the Nautilus in 2019 and now, at the three-model year mark, the SUV is undergoing a refresh that aims to up the ante on the elegance inside the two-row midsize SUV.

"Nautilus plays a critical role in bringing new clients to the brand, especially those who are looking for the flexibility of a larger midsize SUV and appreciate the luxurious features and design that set Lincoln apart," said Michael Sprague, North America director, Lincoln. "The intent for the new Nautilus was refinement, rounding out our distinct lineup of SUVs – truly creating sanctuary."

2021 Lincoln Nautilus The Nautilus now offers the largest infotainment screen in its segment.Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Company

The new interior is designed to draw the eye side-to-side, emphasizing the wide proportions of the SUV. At the center of the dashboard is a 13.2-inch infotainment screen, the largest available across the Lincoln lineup and the largest in its segment. Below that are the SUV's piano key shifters, a feature carried over from the Lincoln Navigator.

The screen is the home to the SYNC 4 operating system, making the Nautilus the first Lincoln vehicle to adopt the tech. Phone is Key comes to the SUV as well, a technology Hyundai has also marketed this year that allows drivers to use their phones to start and drive the vehicle for a designated period of time, without the physical key present.

SYNC 4 will operate with a Lincoln-exclusive Constellation appearance theme that is inspired by the night sky. The scheme features blue tones with pops of orange.

The system allows for wireless communications and over-the-air updates. SiriusXM with 360L and a digital owner's manual are offered as well.

2021 Lincoln Nautilus

Photo courtesy of Lincoln Motor Company

Lincoln is giving buyers an additional Black Label themes to choose from for 2021 - Flight. It joins Chalet, Thoroughbred, and Gala in the Black Label theme lineup.

Buyers are able to get their 2021 Nautilus with the new Sandstone color family inside, featuring high color contrasts from light to dark. The Black Ebony interior returns for 2021, but with added Roast accents on the seats, doors, and console armrests.

Lincoln has refreshed the Nautilus's exterior color options as well. Asher Gray is a new choice and is available with the Monochromatic Package. Green Gem and Lincoln Flight Blue round out the new paint options.

Lincoln will continue to offer the Nautilus with a 335-horspower, twin-turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 or a standard 250-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Lincoln Co-Pilot360 comes standard on the SUV and Lincoln Co-Pilot360 Plus is available. The Plus version adds a 360-degree camera with front sensing system, adaptive cruise control with lane centering, distance alert, enhanced part assist, and evasive steering. This technology is the rebranded version of Ford's Co-Pilot360 tech.

Nautilus will continue to be built in Oakville, Ontario, for North America and will arrive in dealerships in early 2021.

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The Aston Martin Vantage Legacy Collection celebrates the winning racing legacy of the iconic models.

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin

The new Aston Martin Vantage Legacy Collection celebrates one of the most successful periods of car racing in the company's history. Between 2009 and 2018, Aston Martin took the checkered flag in two 24 Hours of Le Mans class victories (in 2014 and 2017) and seven FIA World Endurance Championship titles, as well as numerous international sports car championship titles in British GT, GT World Challenge (Europe) and the European Le Mans Series.

The new trio of Legacy Vantages are based on the V8 Vantage road car, which was launched in 2005. They have been crafted in Aston Martin Racing's workshops and come complete with a brand new chassis, race-ready equipment, and a Sterling Green paint job with Aston Martin Yellow trim lines.

The trio includes a V8 Vantage GTE, a V12 Vantage GT3, and Vantage GT4.

Aston Martin Vantage GT3 The Astin Martin V12 Vantage GT3 has a strong racing lineage.Photo courtesy of Aston Martin

"For a collector, this trio of Aston Martin Racing Vantages represents the ultimate tribute to a halcyon period for the brand in international sportscar racing," said David King, President of Aston Martin Racing. "While Aston Martin has since gone on to record world championship titles with the current generation turbo-charged V8 Vantage, the foundations laid by the huge success of the original car won it admirers the around the globe and led to it becoming a firm favorite with racing fans. The Legacy collection is a beautiful sign-off for this wonderful car."

Aston Martin brought the Vantage GT4 to the track as the first car created around the company's VH-era architecture. It debuted in 2009 as the first of 107 cars created by Aston Martin Racing. Many of these vehicles are still competing today. The car that is a part of the Vantage Legacy Collection is the 108th and final car to be made.

Aston Martin Vantage GT4 Legacy Collection

Aston Martin Vantage GT4

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin

The Vantage GT4 Legacy Collection model is powered by a 4.7-liter V8 engine that is paired with a six-speed Sportshift transmission. It features a FIA-approved full roll cage, polycarbonate side and rear windows, side sills with exposed carbon fiber rib, a quick-release hoot and tailgate, and a lightweight battery. Stiffened front- and rear anti-roll bars, a spherical bearing suspension, two-way adjustable Koni dampers, and a double wishbone suspension are standard equipment as well.

An adjustable carbon fiber wing, four-piston mono block calipers, a Bosch race-developed antilock braking system and traction control, carbon fiber dive plates, two-piece front brake disc, and Pagid RS 29 race pads also come on the model.

The interior of this unique model features a Recaro competition seat, Sabelt six-point safety harness, FIA-copliant Lifeline plumbed-in extinguisher system, weight-reduced fascia, and a quick-release steering wheel. A Recaro HANS compatible seat is available.

The whole rig rides on magnesium five-stud wheels.

Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 Legacy Collection

Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin

Three years after the Vantage GT4 took to the track, the V12 Vantage GT3 debuted and soon became the dominant car in the British GT championship, winning outright titles in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2018. Over seven years, 46 cars were built.

The Legacy Collection version of the car is built on an aluminum chassis and has a steel rollcage that meets FIA standards. It also comes equipped with a 6.0-liter V12 engine that is paired with an Xtrac six-speed semi-automatic paddle shift transmission. A racing clutch, limited slip differential, carbon fiber prop shaft, six-pot front calipers, ventilated front and rear brake discs, four-pot rear calipers, and a manually adjustable front and rear brake bias are standard.

It also has a 8862 safety seat, six-point safety harness, racing seat nets, carbon fiber dash, fire extinguisher 8862 safety system, driver display, and shift lights are inside the cabin while a front splitter, full width carbon fiber rear wing, removable carbon fiber body panels, and an aluminum roof are on the exterior.

A double wishbone suspension, four-way adjustable Bilstein dampers, and staggered wheels compete the model.

A high-speed pneumatic jack system is included with purchase.

Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTW Legacy Collection

Aston Martin V8 Vantage GTW

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin

Aston Martin Racing brought the V8 Vantage GTW to Sebring in 2012 for its debut. It spearheaded Aston Martin's works return to production-based racing following three years of competing in the LMP1 class. The V8 Vantage GTE took its first win at the final round of the FIA World Endurance Championship in Shanghai in October of that year. Only six of the models were originally built, with the last race of the models occurring at Le Mans in 2018. The GTE in this collection is the seventh and final car to be made, chassis number 007.

This Legacy Collection model comes complete with the aluminum chassis and steel rollcage that you'd expect. It has a lightweight V8 engine, six-speed semi-automatic paddle shift gearbox, ZF Sachs Racing clutch, limited slip combination VC and ramp/plate differential, and carbon fiber propshaft.

The car has the full aerodynamic update that brings it into alignment with 2016 LMGTE regulations, carbon fiber bodywork, an aluminum roof with driver safety access hatch, and an adjustable carbon fiber rear wing. Braking comes courtesy of six-pot Brembo calipers up front and four-pot in the back, vented discs, Pagid RS pads, a bespoke pedal box, and Goodridge hydraulic brake lines.

It rides on staggered wheels wrapped in Dunlop tires.

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