Auto News: 2018 Ford Mustang, Mercedes GLA, JCW Countryman ALL4

2018 Ford Mustang V8 GT

It’s been a big month for new 2018 model news and it shows no signs of slowing down.

New details about the 2018 Ford Mustang, 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA and upcoming high-performance Mini Countryman in this week’s Auto News in :60.

2018 Ford Mustang

Ford is updating the Mustang for 2018. While it doesn’t get a complete overhaul, there are some noticeable changes to the front end. They include a lower hood and smaller, narrower LED headlights.

The other big news is there are fewer powertrains to go around. Ford dropped the base V6 all-together in favor of the current 2.3-liter turbo four-cylinder. It also gave the V8 more bite with some tuning. Both are mated to Ford’s new 10-speed transmission – with paddle shifters. New suspension will also help with handling. Quad exhausts are standard on the V8 GT.

Drivers can also opt for an all-new digital instrument cluster.

2018 Mercedes-Benz GLA 250

The 2018 Mercedes-Benz is also getting some tweaks.  (A completely new restyled GLA is due out in 2020.) Designers gave it more aggressive bumpers and new wheel designs.  LED headlight are available on the GLA 250 and standard on the GLA45. They replace bi-xenon units. There is also a new “Canyon Beige” paint color.

In the rear, Mercedes is joining other automakers by now offering optional hands-free trunk access. So you can open and close the trunk by moving your foot.

Inside, the cabin comes with new seat covers and chromed control panels. The automaker also redesigned the gauge cluster and added a 360-degree camera view to the Parking Assist Package.

Mini John Cooper Works Countryman ALL4

Mini is amping up the performance on the Countryman. A high-performance John Cooper Works ALL4 model will hit the road this spring.

It’s the most powerful Mini yet with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder good for 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.  There are also improvements to the suspension and steering. Look, too, for upgraded Brembo brakes.

Outside it features some design tweaks and special JCW badging.  Inside, it comes with JCW sport seats, steering wheel and shifter. It should reach dealers in April.

Credit: Ford

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