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Archive for the ‘los angeles auto show’ Category

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Jeep Wrangler To Debut At LA Auto Show

The upcoming and highly anticipated 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL will debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show in late November. That’s the official word from Jeep CEO Mike Manley, originating from an interview with Auto Express. What’s more, Manley confirmed the Wrangler will have a hybrid powertrain option, the details of which will be announced before the end of 2017. Thankfully, the Wrangler will still have the rugged looks and off-road capability of the current Wrangler JK we’ve come to love, but with healthy updates to both styling details and interior NVH.

“It’s definitely going to move the game along but you will absolutely know it’s a Wrangler – for sure! If we did anything that departed from the Wrangler formula I don’t think I’d be able to get out of the States,” said Manley, a native of Great Britain. It’s clear the next-generation Wrangler will have a familiar shape thanks to numerous spy shots of prototype vehicles seen scurrying around Detroit.
However, improvements to the Wrangler’s everyday livability will be a welcomed addition. “You’ll be really surprised how far we’ve been able to move things in terms of capability, fuel economy, ride comfort, noise and all of those things, said Mike Manley. “I’m very pleased with where it is.”

Continue reading for more information.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet

Revived by Mercedes-Benz in 1997 after more than five decades since it stopped building automobiles, the Maybach brand and its modern limousines, the 57 and 62, were received with great enthusiasm. However, both cars were seen as slightly fancied-up versions of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class as soon as they hit the market and the company’s sales expectations were never met. When it was shut down in 2012, Maybach has only sold around 3,000 units. By comparison, Rolls-Royce sold more than 2,700 vehicles in 2010. The luxury brand was once again revived in 2015, but this time around as Mercedes-Maybach and as a sub-brand of the S-Class model. Two four-door models were launched immediately, following by sleek looking concept coupe. Although the latter has yet to be confirmed for production as of December 2016, Mercedes did launch a convertible version based on the S-Class. It’s called the Mercedes-Maybach S650 and its the first Maybach drop-top since the 1930s.

Although based on the standard S-Class inside and out, the Maybach S650 is actually pretty unique in the lineup. Its body features are heavily based on the AMG S65 model, thus having a sportier appearance, while the interior comes with bespoke leather upholstery and numerous accessories. Under the hood, the convertible is more than just a standard S-Class, using the most powerful engine available for the nameplate at this point. This makes the S650 the quickest and most powerful Maybach ever built.

The luxury convertible is also available in very limited numbers, with just 300 units to be built and sold globally. Naturally, these specs also make it highly expensive, to the point where a Maybach could cost more than its Rolls-Royce competitor. Find out more about it in my comprehensive review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet.

PostHeaderIcon Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

Rumors about Alfa Romeo’s plans to revive the Giulia nameplate have been floating around since 2012, but it took the Italians until 2015 to actually reveal a modern incarnation of its iconic compact sedan. Developed as a rear-wheel-drive competitor for the 2016 BMW 3 Series and the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the new Giulia also marks the brand’s return to its RWD roots. Making the news that much better is that Alfa Romeo kicked this revival off with a high-performance model aimed at the 2016 BMW M3 and 2015 Mercedes-AMG C63.

Meet the Giulia Quadrifoglio, the beefed-up sedan that’s been forged with just one purpose: to obliterate its German rivals.

This is indeed a great moment for Alfa Romeo, which has just launched its first RWD sedan since 1992, when the 75/Milano model was discontinued. From then on, Fiat took over and replaced it with the 155, 156, and the 159. The 159 was retired in 2011, putting an end to Alfa Romeo as a compact executive-car manufacturer. Come 2015 and the Italian brand finally has something to brag about.

Updated 12/12/2016: Alfa Romeo revealed prices for the most powerful version of its latest Giulia sedan.

Continue reading to learn more about the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio.

PostHeaderIcon Genesis G80 Sport

Considering the Genesis brand is a new entity, the Genesis G80 is technically a brand new car in the market. First on sale for the 2017 model year, the car has come off as a big hit, effectively fusing together power, luxury, and safety into one very sexy package. But, there were two problems with the G80. The first problem is that it was nowhere near as stylish or aggressive as the Genesis New York Concept, and the second problem is that there was no middle model – leaving consumers to choose between the 311-horsepower V-6 and the 420-horsepower V-8 models. For the 2018 model year, both of those problems have been addressed as Genesis has decided to refresh the G80 and introduce a new trim level called known as the 3.3T Sport. This refreshing has brought new, better-looking fascias to the front and rear, the availability of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive across the entire range, new safety features, and a new standard 18-inch wheel design. On top of that, the new 3.3t Sport offers up a cool 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque – just the right amount to position it between the G80 3.8 and the G80 5.0.

It seems pretty fast for such a new brand to offer up a model refresh after just a year on the market, but that just goes to show how serious the Genesis brand is about winning over consumers and keeping competing models like the BMW 5 Series and the Audi A6 at bay. The new Sport trim should prove to be a breath of fresh air for anyone who wants more than 300 ponies on tap without having to step up to the range-topping 5.0 model. So, will Genesis garner new customers with the introduction of this new trim level and the refresh of the entire range? Only time will tell, but let’s take a look at the new 3.3t Sport and see what it’s all about.

Continue reading to learn more about the Genesis G80 Sport.

PostHeaderIcon Rezvani Beast Alpha

The Rezvani Beast came to be in 2014, less than a year after Rezvani Motors was established in 2014. Developed as a street-legal race car, the Beast is based on the British-made Ariel Atom, using not only its lightweight chassis, but Honda Racing engine too. Much like any carmaker focused on track-ready, limited-production cars, Rezvani focuses on creating various versions of its original sports car rather than developing new products. The initial Beast was followed by a Speedster version in 2016, while the 2017 model year brought the Beast X, Rezvani’s quickest and most powerful vehicle to date. At the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, Rezvani unveiled yet another variant of the Beast, called the Alpha.

Although much of the styling is identical to any other Beast we’ve seen so far, there are two very important features that set the Alpha apart. First, it has a targa-style roof. Granted, it’s removable and turns the car into a proper roadster, but when in place, it provides the comfort of a regular coupe, as well as better aerodynamics. Second, the Alpha uses a Lotus-derived chassis instead of the Ariel Atom underpinnings found in other Beast models. Third, the engine is turbocharged rather than supercharged. Finally, it comes with a rather unconventional door system, which Rezvani dubbed “SideWinder.”

Despite the updates, it’s not significantly more expensive than the standard Beast ,which is a real treat given that the limited-edition Beast X had a nearly 60-percent premium. But let’s find out more about that as well as what makes the Alpha special in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Rezvani Beast Alpha.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda RT24-P

After a few seasons of racing gasoline-powered prototypes in North America, Mazda switched to a diesel engine based on the 2.2-liter SkyActiv-D unit found in its production cars. That didn’t go very well, so the automaker returned to the 2.0-liter gasoline four-pot in 2016, when it continued with the same Lola chassis. With IMSA Prototype class rules revised for 2017, Mazda ditched the old Lola underpinnings in favor of a Riley chassis and redesigned the bodywork of its race car. With rules now more permissive as far as designs go, Mazda came up with a race car that uses many of the Kodo styling cues seen on the company’s production cars.

The new race car will compete in the new DPi class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. The category replaces last year’s Prototype class and introduces revised regulations to the series. The new Riley chassis was designed and built by Multimatic, while the engine was carried over from last year’s race car.

“This is a huge moment for Mazda Motorsports and the entire Mazda family,” said John Doonan, director of Mazda Motorsports North America. “To have a car which features Mazda design language at the top level of our motorsports program is meaningful for us as a brand. We believe we have the right team, the right drivers and the right chassis to win races and championships.”

Mazda Motorsports will tackle the 2017 season with two vehicles. Car No. 55 will be driven by Jonathan Bomarito and Tristan Nunez, while car No. 77 will be piloted by Joel Miller and Tom Long. The season will commence in Daytona on January 28, while the final race will take place in Georgia on October 7.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mazda RT24-P.

PostHeaderIcon Hyundai Autonomous Ioniq Concept

The Hyundai Ioniq was unveiled to the public in early 2016, after a couple of years of speculation and spy shots of camouflaged test cars. Developed to compete against the popular Toyota Prius, the Ioniq sports a modern design that combines the company’s latest styling language with a few unique design features of its own. Available in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions at launch, the Ioniq is also set to get an all-electric variant in 2017. At the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, Hyundai confirmed that the EV will also get an autonomous system and showcased a concept car featuring the new technology.

Essentially identical to the hybrid inside and out, the Autonomous Ioniq is one of the few self-driving cars in development to have a hidden LiDAR system in its front bumper instead of on the roof and Hyundai says that its goal is to keep the self-driving systems as simple as possible. This will be accomplished by using the Ioniq’s Smart Cruise Control radar, along with its Lane Keep Assist cameras and integrating them with LiDAR technology.

Hyundai also announced that it’s developing its own autonomous vehicle operating system, which will result in a low-cost platform that can be installed in future Hyundai models that should be more affordable. A display-only model in L.A., the Autonomous Ioniq will be further showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2017, where two cars will be found driving on the streets of Las Vegas.

There’s no specific timetable as to when the production car will arrive, but Hyundai is already testing three autonomous Ioniqs and two autonomous Tucson Fuel Cell SUVs at its research and development center in Namyang, South Korea. The second half of 2017 sounds like a reasonable launch date.

Continue reading to learn more about the Hyundai Autonomous IONIQ concept.

PostHeaderIcon Volkswagen e-Golf

Unveiled at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, the e-Golf went on sale globally in the summer of 2014, about two years after the Golf Mk7 it is based on made its public debut. In the U.S., the e-Golf arrived in late 2014 as a 2015-model-year vehicle. Essentially a standard Golf with the gasoline engine swapped for an electric motor and a battery pack, the e-Golf crossed the pond to North America with 115 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. The EPA rated the hatchback at 83 miles on a single charge, which put it on par with EVs like the Ford Focus Electric and Nissan Leaf. For 2017, the e-Golf received a comprehensive update that added new technology, a new battery, more power, and an extended range.

Unveiled only a few weeks after Volkswagen debuted the regular Golf range, including the performance GTi model and the GTE hybrid, the facelifted e-Golf benefits from the same upgrades as the standard hatchback. While exterior changes are minor, customers now have access to new technology and features, including the optional gesture control function that Volkswagen unveiled in 2015. The revised e-Golf offers better performance, with the tweaked motor and larger battery delivering more horsepower and torque. Also quicker and able to reach a higher top speed, the e-Golf comes with 50-percent more range than the outgoing model.

The new tech and powertrain puts the e-Golf above its traditional rivals, but it’s not yet ready to go against the upcoming Chevrolet Bolt. Find out how it compares with its most important competitors in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen e-Golf

PostHeaderIcon Lexus Sriracha IS

Special edition cars can go in a variety of different ways depending on the person who’s looking at them. There are some models like the 2013 BMW 760Li Sterling Robbe & Berking Edition that inspired universal acclaim. On the flip side, some special edition versions like the DS3 Givenchy Le MakeUp were panned for one reason or another. Somewhere in the middle of this vast expanse of special edition models sits the Lexus Sriracha IS, a unique iteration of the Japanese automaker’s luxury sedan that’s inspired by the Sriracha sauce made famous by the California-based hot sauce company Huy Fong Foods.

Yep, hell has frozen over now that cars are being inspired by food condiments.

To be fair, the Sriracha IS doesn’t look too bad. It actually has some appeal to it if you’re the type who appreciates a red car with green accents on it. At the very least, it is eye-catching, which I suppose is the reaction West Coast Customs was looking for when it was enlisted by Lexus to work on the IS and give it the Sriracha treatment in time for its debut, which occurred at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Give West Coast Customs this much; the custom features on the IS are really something else. The paint job itself took some time to plan and execute and the accompanying green accents are both bold and consistent with the color scheme of the hot sauce company. Even the interior is dressed up to be completely in tune with the hot sauce company’s identity, something I never thought I’d get to write, let alone see in my lifetime.

About the only thing disappointing about the Lexus Sriracha IS is that West Coast Customs didn’t do something to spice up the sedan’s 3.5-liter V-6 engine. It still packs 255 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque on account of the IS 300 AWD badge on the sedan. I just would’ve preferred it if Lexus instead based the Sriracha IS on the range-topping IS 350. At least that has 306 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque on tap. Or, you know, Lexus could just bring back the IS F. Speaking of which, what’s the word on that, Lexus?

Continue after the jump to read more about the Lexus Sriracha IS.

PostHeaderIcon 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show – Worst In Show

Let me be frank – the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show wasn’t exactly the most amazing auto show of all time. And if I’m completely honest, I’d probably say it was, for the most part, a bit of a dud. But don’t get me wrong – there were still several standouts worthy of their floor space. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Honda Civic Si Prototype are both good examples of that (check out our complete list of Best In Show here). But, as is tradition, there was still plenty of bad to accompany the good, and as such, we’ve rounded up the top five worst debuts from this year’s La La Land circus right here.

Included is a sport compact disappointment, a high-riding turd on wheels, a couple weak-sauce concepts, and an are-you-even-trying “special” edition convertible.

But before you hit that jump, a warning – we brought out the TopSpeed troll to help us write this one, and it ain’t gonna be pretty.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Subaru VIZIV-7 SUV Concept

Does the Viziv name sound familiar to you? Well, it should because that’s the name Subaru has used for a large SUV concept not once, not twice, but now three times. It started back in 2013 with the Subaru Viziv Concept that debuted with a funky set of side doors at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. A couple of years later, Subaru showed up at the Tokyo Motor Show with the 2015 Subaru Viziv Future Concept. That second iteration was more toned down that then first – the funky doors were gone – but the interior was still heavily futuristic. Fast forward to the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show and Subaru was back at it again with the Viziv-7 Concept, a model that showcases what a large, three-row SUV from Subaru will look like when it makes its debut in 2018. To date, we have yet to see the inside of the concept – the doors were even locked at the show, with the interior hidden away by tinted windows – but as far as the exterior goes, this baby is ready to go into production.

As far as SUV’s and crossovers go, Subaru doesn’t have much. There’s the Compact Subaru Outback, which isn’t really as much a crossover or SUV as it is a wagon with jacked up suspension. Then there’s the Crosstrek, which is an Impreza with a raised roof and suspension, and then there’s the Forester, which in every sense of the word is an SUV, but it’s still in the compact segment. That means that Subaru has some room to grow if it really wants to compete in the world of gas guzzlers that is the American SUV Market. The production model derived from the Viziv-7 will fit more in the large-SUV category and will compete against the likes of models like the GMC Yukon, Toyota Sequoia, Nissan Armada, Chevy Tahoe, and Ford Expedition, to name a small handful.

Needless to say,Subaru has its work cut out for it if it expects its newest SUV to gain any traction at all in the market. The competition is stiff, and for folks buying in this segment, fuel economy isn’t as important as the number of passengers something can haul or the cargo space available. With that said, let’s take a better look at the Viziv-7 concept and talk about what we can expect from the future model it represents.

Continue reading to learn more about the Subaru VIZIV-7 SUV Concept.

PostHeaderIcon Nissan Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you know that the Star Wars franchise is experiencing a renaissance. As with most valued franchises, companies have had no problem jumping in on the bandwagon. Count Nissan among these companies and the Japanese automaker hasn’t been bashful about its partnership with Star Wars franchise. You only need to take a look at the Nissan Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition that was unveiled at the Los Angeles Motor Show to see the lengths by which this partnership has grown in the past few years.

Based on the 2017 Nissan Rogue, the SUV gets an overdose in Star Wars-related cosmetic digs, right down to the Rebel Alliance and Galactic Empire logos on the cupholders and the Rogue One logo badging on the front doors. Remember in 2013 when Nissan and Star Wars also collaborated on another model, the Juke Star Wars Edition? That version had more buzz surrounding it, but you can make a case that the Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition SUV received more of the stylized Star Wars treatment than the Juke ever had.

Here’s the best part about the Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition: only 5,400 units are going to be made available and of that 5,400 units, 5,000 has been earmarked for the U.S. market with the remaining 400 going to Canada. It’s a far cry from the Juke Star Wars Edition, which was only made available in Japan. Remember though, the Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition only comes in package form and is only available for Rogue models equipped with the Sun and Sound Touring Package. The package costs $1,990.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Nissan Rogue One Star Wars Limited Edition.

PostHeaderIcon 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show – Best In Show

The journalists have all left the Los Angeles Convention Center, leaving it to the motor-minded public to take up the slack and fill the halls at this year’s LA Auto Show. Behind the gates, attendees will find several high-profile makes missing in action, with names like Bentley, Bugatti, Ferrari, and Rolls-Royce all absent for 2016. Nevertheless, La La Land still managed to muster up some very impressive debuts, and we’ve collected our top five right here for your perusal and enjoyment.

While crossovers were undoubtedly the dominant body style at this year’s show, there were also several exceptions that brought fun, sportiness, and luxury to the table as well. Long story short, the crème de la crème from the 2016 LA Auto Show offers a little something for everyone, so read on for the lowdown.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Honda Civic SI

The Honda Civic has always been a go-to for tuners everywhere, but more recently, the Civic hasn’t exactly been praised for its looks or design. All of that changed with the introduction of the 10th-generation model, and now we’ll be blessed not only with a new, track-ready Civic Type R, but a Civic Si in coupe and sedan form as well. Slated to launch in 2017 as a 2018 model, the Civic Si was unveiled to the world in a near-production-ready form at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, which means it gives us a very good idea of what to expect when the road-going model officially debuts. As a production model, the new Civic Si will spot a 1.5-liter, direct-injected, turbocharged four-banger that utilizes dual variable valve timing and mates to a six-speed manual transmission. Performance figures are unknown at this point, but Honda says the standard engine is both “high-performance and high-torque” Furthermore, it will come with active damper and steering systems, limited-slip differential, and 19-inch wheels wrapped in high-performance tires. A factory performance aero kit that has front and rear splitters will help tie together the package that is the Civic Si.

The best part about the new Civic Si is that it maintains its own unique design compared to the standard road-going Civics and the Type R hatchback that broke the internet when it debuted. When it came to an Si model, we all kind of expected to see a lot of Type R styling in a coupe or sedan body form, but Honda did things right and gave the Si its own identity. If you like good performance and awesome looks without having to go hatchback, the Civic Si Coupe or Sedan will definitely be for you.

With that said, let’s talk about the upcoming model and what we can predict about it based on the prototype that Honda brought to the Los Angeles Auto Show.

PostHeaderIcon Jaguar I-Pace Concept

Jaguar entered a new era in 2013, when it launched the F-Type and revived the sporty and innovative spirit it had lost in recent decades. The British company made another step into the future in 2015, when the F-Pace became the first SUV to wear the iconic “Cat” logo. Come 2016 and Jaguar is ready to take a new step into the future, this time with an all-electric vehicle. It’s called the I-Pace, it’s only a concept for now, but will become a production model for the 2018 model year.

Unveiled at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, the I-Pace is loosely based on the F-Pace styling-wise, but ditches Jaguar’s already familiar four-cylinder, V-6, and V-8 powerplants for a pair of electric motors and a battery pack. The I-Pace will become Jaguar’s first-ever electric vehicle when it hits public roads and will essentially bring to fruition the electrification process that the company began back in 2010 with the C-X75 concept.

The I-Pace was created and developed by Ian Callum, Jaguar’s design director and the man who has previously penned cars such as the Aston Martin DB7 and DB9, Jaguar XK, XF, and XJ, as well as the F-Type sports car. Callum also designed the Ford RS200 and Nissan R390 race cars.

Described as a smart five-seater that’s “a performance car, a family car, and an SUV all in one,” the I-Pace grants Jaguar entry to the electric car segment, and if performance figures are any indication, the popular Tesla Model X will finally get a worthy competitor.

Updated 03/15/2017: Jaguar dropped a series of new images showing the I-Pace concept in action on the streets of London. Also the company confirmed that the I-Pace will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 4 seconds and will have a driving range of about 500 kilometers.

Continue reading to learn more about the Jaguar I-Pace Concept.

PostHeaderIcon Porsche Panamera Executive

The second-generation Porsche Panamera was unveiled in June 2016 at a special event in Berlin, Germany. The overhauled sedan arrives with an evolutionary design based on the previous model, but gained several 911-like features for added sportiness and a slightly longer and wider body. Inside, it adopted a fresh design with larger screens for the infotainment system and instrument cluster, while the previous V-6 and V-8 engines were replaced with smaller, more efficient units. The hybrid model was also redesigned, while 2016 marked the return of the long-wheelbase Executive version.

The Panamera Executive made its first appearance for the 2014 model year, when the first-generation sedan received its mid-cycle facelift. Offered in various trims, it had a 5.9-inch longer wheelbase and some extra standard equipment on the inside. For 2015, it also spawned an Exclusive Series model with a two-tone paint, bespoke interior, a limited, 100-unit production run, and a highly expensive sticker. At the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, Porsche unveiled the second-generation Panamera Executive.

Much like the previous model, the new Executive brings a few extra goodies to the table, as well as the same 5.9 extra inches to the wheelbase, which translate into a more comfortable interior, especially for rear-seat passengers. The elongated sedan is available in four trim levels, including the Panamera 4, 4S, 4 E-Hybrid, and Turbo, all based on the regular models and powered by the same drivetrains. Find out what sets it apart from its predecessor in the review below.

Updated 11/21/2016: We added a series of images taken during the car’s official debut at the 2016 Paris Auto Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Porsche Panamera Executive.

PostHeaderIcon Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

Having already returned to being a relevant carmaker thanks to the 4C sports car and the Giulia sedan, Alfa Romeo is getting its vehicle development plans into high gear with several fresh models by 2018, two of which will be SUVs. The first hauler was originally scheduled to hit showrooms in 2017 and it made its global debut at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. It goes by the name Stelvio and will compete against the likes of BMW X3, Audi Q5, Jaguar F-Pace, and Porsche Macan. Unlike most of its rivals, Alfa Romeo also developed a high-peformance version of the Stelvio, and just like the Giulia sedan, it wears the green Quadrifoglio badge.

But the badge isn’t the only thing that the two nameplates have in common. The crossover itself is based on the sedan, sharing many components in the chassis and drivetrain, as well as the same styling language. What’s more, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio will hit the streets with the same 2.9-liter V-6 rated at more than 500 horsepower!

“The all-new Stelvio, named after one of the greatest driving roads in the world – the Stelvio Pass in the Italian Alps – sets a new benchmark for the segment,” said Reid Bigland, Head of Alfa Romeo. “Stelvio is uniquely engineered to challenge two-door sports cars on the track, without sacrificing any of the characteristics you would expect from a premium SUV, resulting in the perfect mix of high performance, capability and Italian design.”

As it is the case with all automakers that jumped on the SUV bandwagon recently, Alfa Romeo hopes the new rig will help increase its global sales. Specifically, the SUV is part of a business plan that includes eight new vehicles and global annual sales of 400,000 units by 2018. In 2014 and 2015, Alfa Romeo delivered fewer than 70,000 cars. Will the Stelvio make a difference? Join me in my review to find out.

Continue reading to learn more about the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio.

PostHeaderIcon Mazda CX-5

When it was introduced for the 2013 model year, Mazda had high hopes for the CX-5. But, the model has been a major disappointment with sales in 2014 not even hitting the 100,000 mark while models from competitors, like the Honda CR-V, for example, saw much higher numbers to the tune of 350,000 examples sold. The CX-5 was facelifted in 2016, but it still failed to meet expectations, despite having a fair amount of muscle under the hood. Consider the CX-5 isn’t exactly a slouch, it must be the design that turns customers away, so Mazda got to work. It didn’t take long for Mazda to complete the second-gen model, and it made its debut at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show sporting an awesome new body color, G-Vectoring Control, a revamped body shell, slightly wider stance, and the addition of Mazda’s SKYACTIV, 2.2-liter diesel engine as an option for U.S. buyers.

The hardest thing Mazda really has to overcome is how overcrowded the compact SUV segment really is. Big names like CR-V, Escape, Equinox, and Rav 4 all resonate through the minds of those looking for the best ride in this segment, and that doesn’t help a newer model like the CX-5 – being around just a few years – establish a good hold in the market. But Mazda isn’t giving up yet, and the new design that makes front clip inherently longer than the outgoing model should help the CX-5 garner the attention of those really wanting a sporty compact SUV. On top of that, there’s lots of cool technology like Mazda’s G-Vectoring control, i-ACTIVESENSE safety features, and there’s even a two-step reclining mechanism built into the rear seats.

But, there’s a lot more to talk about when it comes to the 2018 Mazda CX-5, so let’s dive on in a take a good look at what it brings to the table and how it compares to the rather stiff competition in this segment.

PostHeaderIcon Honda to Debut the New Civic Si at the L.A. Auto Show

Sport compact fans have been blessed with a ton of fantastic products over the last few years, with models like the Subaru WRX, Volkswagen Golf R, Toyota 86, Mini Cooper S, Fiat 500 Sport, and Mazda MX-5 all proving that big fun can be had in small packages. Joining the party is the new Civic Type R, which just debuted in prototype guise at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. Stateside buyers will be happy to know that the ‘Ring-storming, R’d-out tenth-gen Civic will indeed make it to U.S. dealers, but what if you want something a little less over the top? Honda has an answer, and it’s called the Civic Si. For now, details on the mid-ranger are still under wraps, but that’ll soon change, as it was just confirmed that the new Civic Si will make its formal public debut next month at the Los Angeles Motor Show.

Breaking the news (perhaps unintentionally) is a single line in a recent L.A. Auto Show press release, which lists the Si as of many upcoming debuts slated to drop cover at the event. And while official specs are still forthcoming, a little speculation couldn’t hurt.

First off, we know the powerplant will be turbocharged, and will most likely be the same 1.5-liter four-cylinder currently outfitted on the more pedestrian Civic variants. Those models get 174 horsepower, but we think the Si will sport around 225 ponies, all of which will get routed to the front axle by way of a six-speed manual transmission.

The body style is bit more uncertain, but with the recent reveal of the tenth-gen Civic hatchback, an Si five-door seems likely. Also look for swoopy, sporty styling, with an aggression level somewhere around 5, as opposed to the Type R’s 11.

Major debuts at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show are scheduled to kick off Wednesday, November 16th, continuing into Thursday, November 17. Stay tuned, as we’ll be on the scene bringing you the latest as it happens.

Note: 2014 – 2015 Civic Si shown above.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Volkswagen Atlas

As far as SUVs and crossovers go, every manufacturer seems to have an offering that fits exactly what you need in an overgrown people hauler. Some manufacturers have three, while others like Chevy have five, but there’s one mainstream automaker that hasn’t brought their A-game to the SUV market yet, and that automaker is Volkswagen. The brand has its fair share of hatchbacks, but it only has two SUVs – the compact Volkswagen Tiguan and the much larger Volkswagen Touareg. The Volkswagen Atlas was originally expected to slot between the two, however, VW pulled on over on us and actually made the Atlas larger than the Touareg. Finally unveiled on the Santa Monica Pier, the Atlas comes correct with lots of DNA from the CrossBlue Concept, The choice of a four-cylinder or six-cylinder engine, lots of safety features, and seating for seven full-sized Americans.

Up until now, we were unsure if this new SUV would be called the Atlas, as VW has also trademarked the name “Teramont” – one that would go along with VW’s “T” naming structure. Now, we’re thinking it’s likely that the Teramont name will be used in other markets, or could – potentially – be reserved for a model that will slot between the Tiguan. Until then, we’ve got a lot to talk about, as the Atlas has a lot of stiff competition. Models like the Toyota Sequoia, Nissan Armada, GMC Yukon, Chevy Suburban, and Ford Expedition all pose some pretty stiff competition. Needless to say, the Atlas really has its work cut out for it over the next few years.

So, can the Atlas stand up against long-standing models that are well established in the full-sized SUV market and help VW overcome the corporate disaster that was Dieselgate? Well, let’s dive on in and find out what it has to offer.

Update 4/4/2017: Volkswagen has announced pricing for the new Atlas, slotting it between the Tiguan and Touareg. Check out the prices section below to learn all about it.

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