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Road Test: Lincoln Navigator (2023)

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The 2023 Lincoln Navigator is an elegant and well-rounded SUV that provides ample space for passengers and cargo, a luxurious interior, and a strong engine. The 2023 Lincoln Navigator is a large and luxurious SUV that offers a spacious and peaceful cabin.

It is based on the same platform as the Ford Expedition but features a unique interior with high-quality materials and comfort-focused features such as optional 30-way power-adjustable seats with massage. Both short and long-wheelbase versions are available and are powered by a 440 horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 engine that provides V8-like power and allows for a maximum towing capacity of 3946 kgs.

The Navigator excels in providing comfort and quietness, even on long drives. The 2023 Lincoln Navigator has just a few changes from the 2022 model, which received several updates including the new ActiveGlide hands-free driving system and refreshed styling.

Additional features like ventilated second-row rear seats and a larger infotainment touchscreen were also introduced. The 2023 Navigator comes packed with a single engine and transmission option, a 440 horsepower engine paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

During our review period, the Navigator proved to be quick and responsive, reaching 100 kmph in about 6 seconds, which is impressive for such a huge vehicle. We also loved the handling and ride comfort, especially on a long drive from Sharjah to Fujairah. The Navigator’s steering and suspension were also on par, doing an excellent job in terms of the ride quality.

The Navigator’s interior is spacious and opulently designed, with high-end materials such as open-pore wood trim and massaging front seats available in upper trim levels. Even the base model Navigator offers a beautifully designed cabin. The Navigator’s third row has particularly impressive legroom when compared with its competitors.

The optional 30-way-adjustable massaging front seats are a standout feature, allowing for personalised comfort with adjustable thigh support. The Navigator’s size can be a drawback in tight spaces, but it provides plenty of cargo room.

The Navigator delivers strong performance and easy driving despite its size and weight. The engine is quick and responsive, steering is effortless, and the body roll is well-controlled when turning. The V6 engine provides ample power, and while large vehicles sometimes struggle with abrupt braking, the Navigator’s braking performance was quite good.

The Navigator also has minimal wind and road noise. Furthermore, it is equipped with advanced technology including a user-friendly infotainment interface, a high-quality sound system, various driving aids, and numerous device charging options. It also offers wireless support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration and an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot.

Standard driving aids include blind-spot detection, lane-keeping assist, and forward collision detection with automatic emergency braking. The optional ActiveGlide advanced adaptive cruise control, Lincoln’s version of Ford’s BlueCruise system, allows for hands-free driving on certain highways, as mentioned earlier.

The 2023 Lincoln Navigator is an excellent luxury large SUV with a comprehensive list of standard features and good fuel efficiency for its class. It is also enjoyable to drive and has a beautiful spacious cabin. If you are in the market for a large luxury SUV, the Navigator is definitely worth considering due to its sophisticated interior and strong overall performance.

Price: AED 369,495 onwards

Lincoln Navigator (2023) AED 369,495 onwards

Summary

During our review period, the Navigator proved to be quick and responsive, reaching 100 kmph in about 6 seconds, which is impressive for such a huge vehicle. We also loved the handling and ride comfort, especially on a long drive from Sharjah to Fujairah.

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BMW Launches the M3 CS

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BMW M GmbH will maintain its focus on adding highly appealing special-edition models to its product range in 2023. The all-new BMW M3 CS brings even greater intensity to the racing allure that marks out the company’s successful high-performance models for the premium midsize segment. This gives the BMW M3 CS a unique character profile and the ability to serve up the undiluted M feeling that excites and enthralls over every mile on the road as well as on the track.

The powertrain concept for the new BMW M3 CS teams a 550 hp six-cylinder in-line engine with an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission and the M xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system. This setup produces a 0 to 100 km/h time of 3.4 seconds. The BMW M3 CS comes with the M Driver’s Package as standard and has an electronically limited top speed of 302 km/h. The new BMW M3 CS will be built in a limited run at BMW Group Plant Munich from March 2023, with its phased launch getting underway the same month.

A more power/less weight formula instills the new BMW M3 CS with compelling performance qualities. It draws its power from a specially upgraded version of the high-revving six-cylinder in-line engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology developed for the BMW M3 and BMW M4 models. The engine under the bonnet of the new BMW M3 CS therefore also boasts a wealth of technological details derived directly from the race-car unit.

Its crankcase has a sleeve-free, closed-deck construction and is extremely rigid, making it suitable for very high combustion pressures. Its cylinder head has a 3D-printed core, allowing the coolant ducts to be routed in an optimum arrangement for temperature management that would be impossible to achieve using conventional metal casting methods. The system of oil supply is designed to handle the specific challenges of track use, as is the cooling system.

The unit’s considerable upgrade potential paved the way for a 40 hp hike in peak output compared with the BMW M3 Competition Sedan with M xDrive, resulting in 550 hp. In addition, a specially designed engine mounting with increased spring rates creates an extremely rigid connection between the power unit and the vehicle’s structure. A press of the accelerator is therefore greeted by an even sharper engine response and direct transmission of its power to the drivetrain. The engine in the new BMW M3 CS puts a peak torque of 650 Nm (479 lb-ft) on tap from just 2,750 rpm and sustains it all the way to 5,950 rpm.

This is accompanied by the emotionally stirring soundtrack produced by the dual-branch exhaust system featuring electrically controlled flaps, a titanium rear silencer with weight-minimising design, and – in customary M fashion – two pairs of tailpipes painted in matt Black. Selecting the SPORT or SPORT+ modes for the engine setting in the M Setup menu dials up the drive sound to produce a note with unmissable racing car undertones.

Extensive, model-specific lightweight design measures play a major part in moulding the performance qualities and exclusive character of the new BMW M3 CS. The use of components made from carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) both inside and out is of key importance here. Besides its carbon fibre roof, the special-edition model also uses this lightweight, high-tech material for its bonnet, front splitter, front air intakes, exterior mirror caps, rear diffuser, and rear spoiler.

Its centre console, the shift paddles on the steering wheel, and its interior trim strips are likewise all manufactured from CFRP. The standard M Carbon bucket seats also do their bit to keep weight down in the cabin. The titanium rear silencer, meanwhile, shaves more than 4 kilograms off the weight of the exhaust system fitted on the new BMW M3 CS. The various lightweight design measures bring about a total weight saving of some 20 kilograms compared to the BMW M3 Competition Sedan with M xDrive.

The new BMW M3 CS instantly announces its sharper character with a series of individual design features. The Frozen Solid White metallic paint finish available for the exterior is exclusive to the latest special-edition model from BMW M GmbH. Exposed carbon-fibre surfaces for the roof, the two indents chiselled into the bonnet, the front splitter, front air intakes, M exterior mirror caps, rear spoiler, and rear apron combine with the Black side skirts and M gills to provide a stunning contrast to the new paint finish. Signal Green solid, Brooklyn Grey metallic, and Sapphire Black metallic are available as alternative exterior colours.

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Road Test: Ford Taurus (2023)

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The Ford Taurus was discontinued in the U.S. a couple of years ago. However, the nameplate has been revived for a new model in the Middle East. The Taurus is only available in select countries in the GCC.

It comes packed with a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder “Ecoboost” engine married to an 8-speed automatic transmission. It offers 232 horsepower and a torque of 360 Nm.

Standard features on the Taurus Ambiente include power steering, power windows, LED auto headlamps, auto start-stop, cruise control, a sunroof, an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Bluetooth, dual-zone automatic AC, parking sensors, and 18-inch alloy wheels.

The Taurus Trend meanwhile includes additional features such as a rearview camera and dual-panel sunroof. The Taurus Titanium, which is reviewed here, includes leather seats, 19-inch alloy wheels, front LED fog lamps, ambient lighting, wireless charging, and adaptive cruise control.

The Taurus Titanium Plus includes additional features such as a power rear seat recliner, rear seat climate control, and an automated parking system.

Safety features on the Ambiente include front and side airbags, knee airbags, tire pressure monitor, ABS, and traction control. The higher Titanium models include lane departure warning, lane discipline aid, blind spot monitoring, and collision mitigation.

On the front, the Taurus features a pair of striking LED daytime running lights located above the main headlamps and a prominent black grille. The rear of the vehicle features LED taillights, an LED light bar, a large “Taurus” badge on the trunk lid, and silver accents on the rear bumper.

The interior of the 2023 Taurus boasts a comfortable cabin with features such as an 8-inch digital instrument cluster, a 13.2-inch infotainment screen, a wireless charging pad, a three-spoke steering wheel, and a two-tone dashboard. The interior is quite pretty and modern and goes very well with the striking exterior.

The Ford Taurus provides a comfortable driving experience, even on rough roads, with less road noise compared to some more expensive alternatives in the market. It handles well for its size, feeling agile and providing a good grip.

If you are in the market for a full-sized sedan that looks and feels premium, you should definitely consider the 2023 Ford Taurus.

Price: AED 144795 onwards

Ford Taurus (2023) AED 144795 onwards
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

The Taurus Titanium, which is reviewed here, includes leather seats, 19-inch alloy wheels, front LED fog lamps, ambient lighting, wireless charging, and adaptive cruise control.

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Gargash Group Launches the All-New GAC EMPOW

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Gargash Group has unveiled the all-new GAC EMPOW in the region. The all-new EMPOW continues on GAC Motor’s tradition and is built to deliver an exhilarating drive packed with advanced smart features, stunning racecar design, and ultimate handling. Ushering a new chapter of the modern and sporty sedan with an iconic wider and lower stance coupled with its racecar-style exhaust sound, the new model takes on GAC Motor’s revolutionary technology and boasts a refreshing and trendy design and dynamic exterior. GAC Motor has chosen UAE to be the first market in the Middle East to showcase EMPOW due to its strategic importance within the region.

Comprising a 1.5TGDI engine, EMPOW brings users a stronger sporty, youthful vibe, and is equipped with a central console screen, wireless phone charging, and the L2 ADAS feature—making it much more advanced in terms of technology, innovation, and smart driving in experience as compared to its competitors in the segment.  GAC Motor seeks a presence in this sporty sedan segment and EMPOW delivers it in style with 177 max horsepower & 270 Nm torque delivering strong power coupled with superb handling.

Shehab Gargash, MD & Group CEO of Gargash Group stated, “Our strategic partnership with GAC Motor is an important milestone for us and is very much in line with our growth strategy. Since our inception, our core goal has been to create outstanding experiences for customers, and by joining forces with a brand like GAC Motor that has inspired monumental change in the market over the years, we’ve been able to move forward at a rapid pace. We stand by GAC’s decision to host the Middle East debut of the EMPOW in the UAE and believe it’s the ideal market to introduce this new sporty sedan, which will surely create waves and take the nation by storm.”

For his part, Zeng Hebin, General Manager of GAC Motor International, said, “We are very pleased to collaborate with our long-standing partner Gargash Group, an industry expert, to offer UAE residents the dynamic EMPOW. Customers will find it a delight to own one, as it is a comfortable yet stylish car that will meet most transport needs. Over the past few years, we’ve been working on making a mark in this product segment and with the opportunities that the UAE market holds, we’re confident that we’ll be able to meet our targets by exceeding customer expectations.”

Morgan Sunderland, General Manager at Gargash Motors, said, “GAC Motor is one of the leading automobile brands in its segment and we’re pleased to represent them in the UAE. With the new EMPOW model, we look forward to elevating GAC Motor’s position as the definitive choice for customers and taking our partnership to new heights. The EMPOW is a top-of-the-class sport sedan which matches its on-road performance with its comfort and convenience.”

Currently, the EMPOW is available in five iconic colours including Classy Black, Moon Grey, Ivory White, Glossy Fighter Green, and Matte Fighter Green.

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