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Archive for the ‘new cars’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Here’s How the Mazda Miata’s Retractable Hardtop Works

So the Mazda MX-5 Miata RF is here – hallelujah! This is the hard-top model Miata loyalists have been wanting for four generations now. The RF, or Retractable Fastback, combines the closed-roof quietness and all-year functionality mixed directly with an open-air driving experience on warmer days. But how did Mazda squeeze a folding hard-top into the impossibly small Miata?

The answer: very smartly. In fact, the mechanical bits and electric motors that operate the top, along with the actual aluminum top section and rear glass, all fold neatly into the space already reserved for the conventional soft top. That’s impressive.

What’s more, the Miata RF only compromises 0.1 cubic feet of trunk space over the soft-top model. And no, your luggage runs zero risk of getting smashed by the retracting mechanicals. The trunk is completely separate from the top’s storage compartment. Of course, don’t expect to haul home a bulk purchase of mega-roll toilet paper; the trunk only has 4.6 cubic feet of space.

Operating the top only takes about 13 seconds. A dash-mounted toggle switch does the deed. The car just has to be rolling below six mph. Want to see it in action? Keep reading for the full step-by-step process.

Continue reading for a video of the Miata RF’s Targa top.


PostHeaderIcon Honda Civic Hatchback – Driven

The Honda Civic has long been a go-to car for practicality and honest transportation. Sure, there have been several hyped models with plenty of horsepower and fun, but the vast majority of Civics are built to handle the daily grind. Say what you will, but there’s merit in that endeavor. Well, Honda knew its customers needed something outstandingly practical, but mixed with some flare and excitement – sort of a witch’s brew of pragmatic and provocative. Enter the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback.

The Hatchback joins the Civic lineup for 2017, two years after the tenth generation debuted for 2015. It shares the spotlight with the popular Civic Sedan and fun-loving Civic Coupe. The trio now gives customers a choice in body style, while still delivering that Civic personality. All three ride on the same platform and share powertrain options.

Since the Civic Hatchback is new, Honda sent an example to test for a week for evaluations. Our tester was the EX-L Navi trim and came equipped with Honda Sensing. Otherwise, the car had no options, giving a full taste of the Civic Hatch’s second-most expensive trim. Even still, the as-tested price only rang up $27,175. That’s not bad for a vehicle with crossover-like interior room, leather seats, tons of in-dash tech, all the latest active safety features, and a turbocharged engine that averages 42 mpg on the highway. Color us impressed.

So how did the 2017 Civic Hatchback do? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for more information.


PostHeaderIcon Polaris Slingshot SL Limited Edition Midnight Cherry

Originally launched in 2014, the Polaris Sligshot is an open-top three-wheeler joy rider that seeks to find a happy middle ground between street bike exhilaration and roadster-esquecomfort. It’s an interesting proposition for anyone unwilling to go full-on moto style, but still craving a bit of that in-the-elements thrill. As such, there are twin wheels up front for stops and turns, plus a single, larger wheel in the rear providing the motivation, plus a dearth of body panels for maximum exposure in the double seats. Three trim levels are offered, and now, Polaris has announced a new special edition iteration of the mid-grade SL line. It’s called the SL LE Midnight Cherry, and it’s packing new paint, upgraded “touring” graphics, and specially padded foam bucket seats.

“This limited edition model was created for riders to discover the exhilaration and adventure of the open road in the most luxurious and stylish SL available, while not compromising comfort.”

So then in one sense, the Slingshot SL LE Midnight Cherry is like a trike grand tourer. Complementing this perspective is a plethora of options, such as abundant side storage, overnight bags for the driver and passenger, upgradeable interior trim, and available all-weather covers.

The Slingshot SL Limited Edition Midnight Cherry will hit dealers this month. Pricing is set at $26,999 across the nation and $27,299 in California, which is $1,500 more than the standard Sligshot SL model.

Read on for further details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Slingshot SL Limited Edition Midnight Cherry.


PostHeaderIcon Despair Mortals, Your Time Has Come – Dodge Reveals Challenger Demon

After months of teasers and more than a few leaks, it’s finally here – the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon has arrived. Unveiled with the help of Wiz Khalifa and Vin Diesel during a slick, pyrotechnic-filled production the night before the 2017 New York International Auto Show, Dodge claims the Demon is the fastest production muscle car in the world, framing it as the cure for soulless mobile appliances. More importantly, here are the numbers you’ve been begging for.

Output is rated at 840 horsepower at the rear wheels thanks to a 2.7-liter supercharger making 14.5 psi of boost. Acceleration looks like 2.3 seconds in the 60-mph sprint, while 5.1 seconds is needed to hit 100 mph. Launch it right, and you’ll do wheelies on your way to a 9.65-second quarter mile pass at 140 mph. Curb weight is rated at 4,200 pounds, 200 pounds less than the “regular” Challenger Hellcat.

What’s more, Dodge revealed you’ll be able to spec yours to taste, from stripped-down track tool, to something more suitable for the street. For example, the front seat and rear seat are offered for a dollar a piece, while a stereo system is also on the options list.

Looking for more info? Continue reading for all the good stuff.

Continue reading to learn more about the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon.


PostHeaderIcon Pops' Rants: Cadillac Sucks, Ferrari Is a Hypocrite, Civic Si Gets Turbo for Nothing

Have you noticed how today’s automotive strategy is built around gibberish? I swear cars are more about PR talk than anything else. Take Cadillac, for instance, which spent recent years blabbing about how it will get back on the horse in the luxury market with new vehicles with better everything. Well, it’s 2017 and Cadillac still sucks. It sucks so bad that the XT5 crossover outsells the company’s entire sedan lineup. In march, it sold 5,280 XT5 crossovers compared to 4,701 ATS, CTS, XTS, and CT6 sedans combined.

Yeah, I know, crossovers are a big deal now. But you know what? The XT5 isn’t much of a Cadillac. It’s just a bigger hatchback Chevrolet thingy with fancier styling and extra features inside. The CT6 is a true Cadillac, but 1,000 units a month ain’t gonna cut the mustard. But hey, 1,000 CT6s sold in the U.S. in one month is definitely better than sales of 761 examples in Europe in 2016. Even Lamborghini sold more cars on the old continent. A better chance of running into a Lambo then a Cadillac in Europe, now that’s how you know you have a problem buddy!

Another thing that grinds my gears these days is the hypocrisy surrounding Ferrari. Just a few days ago Sergio Marchionne said an all-electric Ferrari may become reality in the future, with the brand looking to join the Formula E series. This comes from the same man that labeled the Ferrari EV as an “obscene concept” a while back. He also said “you’d have to shoot me first” before such a supercar would be developed. Well, he just pointed a shotgun at himself. It goes to show that you can no longer trust company executives these days. And what’s the deal with banning the pink color from the lineup? It’s not fitting for your “whole ethos” you say? What does that even mean? Are you talking about the same ethos that sold Ferraris to Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton? In that case, pink would definitely hurt the ethos. And a few butts…

Speaking of which, what’s the deal with the new Civic Si? Is this thing supposed to fill the gap between the regular model and the Type R? Sounds like a fine idea, but this isn’t something you can do with 205 horsepower. Especially when the Type R has 306 horses. The really annoying thing is that the new engine is only as powerful as the one in the previous Si. And we’re talking about a turbocharger here. Yeah, so the new Civic is lighter and performance is better, but come on Honda, give people that can’t afford the Type R something to work with. It’s like the executives voted to frustrate Civic Si owners with just a mild improvement on a car that’s significantly better chassis- and tech-wise. For the first Si to use turbocharging, this car is a big disappointment. I don’t know about you, but I’m fed up with this strategy of keeping things tempered. A 250-horsepower Si wouldn’t kill the Type R, but it would make customers happier and render the Golf GTi and Fiesta ST useless.

If I wouldn’t be so lazy in the morning I’d definitely accept heading Honda’s market strategy department.

You know what else seems cool but we won’t get to enjoy it to its full potential? Lynk & Co.’s new concept sedan. Lynk & Co. is a Chinese brand own by Geely, the same firm that acquired Volvo a few years ago, and it’s about to unveil this crazy four-door. When it comes to Chinese products I’d rather stick to Zhajiangmian (Google it!), but this concept sedan is one I’d very much like to drive. Just look at it! It’s got so much muscle, suicide doors all around, and a sporty silhouette. And it’s all built around Volvo’s latest architecture. But you know what? I won’t get to drive this thing and neither will you. Because concept cars either remain concepts or go into production looking like crap. And like Trump likes to say, you can’t trust the Chinese anyway!

Finally, the healthy discounts that Chevy is offering for the SS nowadays remind me that the sedan has been discontinued and there won’t be a successor since the Holden Commodore it is based on is dead. Well screw you Chevrolet! You finally had THE performance sedan and you just screwed things up. “But, but Holden is no longer building cars in Australia,” you might say. Shut up, that’s a lame excuse! There’s plenty of ways to develop one here in the States, but no, GM would rather do a Corvette SUV instead. And don’t get me started on the new front-wheel drive Commodore… It’s a good thing Dodge keeps milking the Challenger and Charger to deliver no-nonsense muscle cars.


PostHeaderIcon 2018 Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 And GLC 63 Coupe Arrive With Healthy Turbo V-8 Power

Mercedes-AMG just dropped cover on the newGLC 63 and GLC 63 Coupe about a week before both vehicles were scheduled to appear in the metal at the New York International Auto Show. The mid-size SUV can be had in two separate flavors, including the 476-horsepower base model, or the 510-horsepower S model, both of which employ a double dose of turbo’d induction to make the go. Torque is rated at 479 pound-feet and 516 pound-feet, respectively.

Keeping it tight in the bends is a three-chamber air suspension system with adaptive components, including a four-link set-up in front and a multi-link set-up in the rear. Turns come courtesy of speed-sensitive steering.

Outside, you’ll find standard 19-inch wheels in a titanium grey finish, plus a new fascia with a grille AMG has dubbed Panamericana as a nod to the brand’s sports cars.

Inside, the pumped-up GLC’s get sport seating and leatherette upholstery, plus AMG-specific touches like badges and a performance gauge cluster.

Handling the cog swaps is an AMG Speedshift nine-speed automatic transmission, which feeds a rear-biased 4Matic+ high-performance AWD system. Big upgraded brakes are in place to make it stop.

Drivers will enjoy multiple drive modes, which affect numerous vehicle characteristics, including the sound it makes thanks to an active flap in the exhaust. Turn it up to enhance the aural enjoyment, or turn it down for a more appropriate note for whatever the situation may be.

Look for the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 and GLC 63 Coupe to premier next week in the Big Apple. Sales are scheduled for June, with a market launch in September.


PostHeaderIcon This Is How Much You'll Need To Save To Buy The Honda Civic Type R

The long wait is over. Yes, you read that right. The long wait is finally over. The Honda Civic Type R, arguably one of the most anticipated U.S.-bound performance models in a long time is set to make its arrival this summer. The hot hatch is scheduled to go on sale sometime in June or July 2017 – Honda’s press release did say “late spring” – and will carry a price tag that will be “in the mid-30k range.”

Okay so the timetable and price of the Civic Type R are not yet official, but that’s really an academic point, especially for those who have waited years for the hot hatch to make its way in U.S. soil. See, for those who aren’t familiar with the Type R’s history, the model has actually been around since 1997, spanning five different generations, including the one that was unveiled at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. In all that time, the four previous-generation Civic Type Rs never made their way to the U.S. Sure, they were sold at one point or another in places like South Africa, Malaysia, and Hong Kong, but the U.S. had always been shut out of the hot hatch despite the fact that the country remains one of Honda’s biggest markets.

None of that matters now though because the 20-year wait is finally coming to an end. The Honda Civic Type R, with its luscious 306-horsepower and 295-pound-feet of torque capabilities will be roaming American streets. It’s worth noting though that the U.S.-spec Civic Type R will carry slightly less power than the international-spec cars, which will have 315 horsepower at its disposal.

The disparity in output probably won’t matter in the long run given how long U.S. customers have waited to get their hands on the car. So while all of us wait for “late spring” to arrive, we can at least look forward to the car making an appearance at the 2017 New York Auto Show where it will be on hand together with the Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid and Honda Clarity Electric models, both of which will be making their global debuts at the event.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Volvo XC90 T6 AWD Inscription – Driven

Volvo has been making the XC90 since 2002, and with great success. The first generation SUV sold well all over the globe. Even in the U.S., the XC90 sold roughly 35,000 examples annually before the crash of 2009. Updates late in the first-generation XC90’s life kept it kicking, though with only modest sales in America. That’s all changing with the second-generation XC90, which debuted for the 2015 model year. A highbrow design, an opulent interior, sophisticated powertrain options, and a matured sense of luxury all bring the XC90 into the modern times. Even with the 2017 model already two years old, the Volvo SUV continues to look like a futuristic concept.

To get a better feel for the Swede, I spent a week driving a 2017 XC90 fitted with the T6 AWD powertrain and decked out with the high-end Inscription trim line.

For those unfamiliar, the XC90 (and most Volvos, for that matter) come standard in the Momentum trim. The XC90 is also available in the R-Design, the Inscription, and the range-topping Excellence trim. While the limo-like Excellence trim is absolutely stunning thanks to its reclining second row bucket seats and full-length center console, the Inscription trim provides all the luxury anyone without a chauffer could desire. Skipping the Excellence trim also keeps the XC90’s third-row seats.

So what’s it like to live with the 2017 Volvo XC90 T6 AWD Inscription? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for more information.


PostHeaderIcon Porsche Finally Gives Us A Panamera Wagon With The New Sport Turismo

Hot on the heels of the release of the outrageously powerful Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, Porsche is giving us another new Panamera to pick over. This one’s called the Sport Turismo, and it adds to the lineup with a fresh wagon body style (believe it or not, the old Panamera is called a “sedan”). The Sport Turismo will be offered in four trim levels, including the 4, 4S, 4 E-Hybrid, and the Turbo, with the top-spec model laying down 550 horsepower. Not only that, but up to five passengers and an impressive amount of stuff can go along for the ride.

Inside, you’ll find lots of luxury, with leather upholstery and wood trim throughout. There’s also lots of technology, including features like the Porsche Advanced Cockpit, Porsche InnoDrive, Porsche Communication Management, and adaptive cruise control.

Meanwhile, to help it turn, the wagon gets stuff like Rear Axle Steering, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport, and electronic roll stabilization. Adaptive air suspension is standard, while wheel sizing is up to 21 inches in diameter.

Out on top of that newly restyled rear end is an extendable, adaptive spoiler, offering three settings for variable levels of rear downforce, making up to 110 pounds to push on the rear axle.

Straight-line performance is similar to the sedan, with the top-spec Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo laying down a 3.4-second 0-to-60 mph time thanks to its 550-horsepower twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8.

And since wagons are known for offering a decent amount of cargo space, I should also point out that the Sport Turismo gets up to 18.4 cubic feet of rear storage with the rear seats up, and 49 cubic feet with the seats folded down.

The 2018 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo will make its worldwide debut at the Geneva International Motor Show next week, with U.S. deliveries expected by the end of the year. Pricing starts at $96,200 for the base-model 4, and tops out at $154,000 for the Turbo.

Personally, I think it definitely looks like an improvement compared to the old model. What do you guys think? Does the wagon style work for you as well? Let us know in the comments.


PostHeaderIcon Mercedes Reveals New E-Class Cab With Bigger Dimensions And Jet-Like Taillights

Mercedes-Benz just revealed its new E-Class Cabriolet ahead of an official world debut in Switzerland, completing the line with a little blue-sky opulence. The updated soft-top grows substantially on the outside, while packing all the usual goodies in the interior and rocking boosted six-cylinder motivation under the hood.

First and foremost, the updated E-Class Cab is larger than before, with a full 5 inches added to the overall length, 4.4 inches added to the wheelbase, almost 3 inches added to the width, and an extra 1.4 inches in height.

The fabric top offers the same profile as the E-Class coupe when raised, and can be had in dark brown, dark blue, red, or black. Opening and closing it takes just 20 seconds, and it can be operated while traveling at speeds up to 30 mph.

LEDs are equipped in the headlights and taillights. By the way, Mercedes says the taillights “exude a glow reminiscent of that given off by a jet engine,” which is hilarious. What’s more, if you get the optional LED Intelligent Light System, you’ll get “a special light show” whenever you walk away or towards the car.

Inside, there’s unlimited-headroom luxury seating for up to four passengers. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, while wireless phone charging is optional. The Aircap and Airscarf systems are also offered to help keep you comfortable and warm when traveling in colder climates with the top down.

A 12.3-inch digital instrument display is optional, while a 12.3-inch infotainment screen is standard. Vehicle features are operated through either the multi-function steering wheel, handwriting touchpad, or voice control.

Leather upholstery is available in one of four individual colors. You can also get Nappa leather in one of three different colors, plus there are seven individual trim options.

Making the go is a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6, which is mated to a standard nine-speed automatic transmission. RWD is standard, while 4Matic AWD is available for the first time.

The suspension was lowered 0.6 inches compared to the hard-top sedan, and can be had with adjustable damping and an available multi-chamber air set-up. Standard spec includes 18-inch wheels.

Debuting alongside the regular E-Class Cabriolet is a 25th Anniversary special edition model, which gets 19-inch wheels, the Cabriolet Comfort package, upgraded wood trim, and more.

Look for the 2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet in the metal at the Geneva International Motor Show next week. U.S. dealers are expected to get it before the end of the year. Exact pricing will be announced closer to launch.


PostHeaderIcon The 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE Is Here To Rip Your Face Off

Chevy just revealed the new Camaro ZL1 1LE, calling it the most track-capable model to ever wear the nameplate thanks to high-tech suspension, new aerodynamic enhancements, and exclusive uber-grippy Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R performance rubber. Hell yeah.

Let’s take a closer look at the specs. First, the suspension – keeping it shiny side up is Multimatic Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve (DSSV) dampers in all four corners. These race-bred bits offer a good deal of adjustability, and come complemented by an adjustable sway bar and camber plates.

Next, the aero. In back is a sizable spoiler made from carbon fiber, while up front are canards and a splitter for more grip and improved turn in.

Making the most of the extra stick are forged aluminum wheels, now offering a full inch in extra width compared to the regular ZL1, complete with that gummy Goodyear compound already mentioned. Put it on the skidpad, and Chevy says it’ll post 1.1 g.

Better suspension, more wing, and grippy rubber – check, check, and check. The final piece of the puzzle is reduced weight, with about 60 pounds cut from the curb weight of the ZL1 Coupe.

Those upgrades make it quite a bit quicker. To put it in perspective, Chevy says the ZL1 1LE is a whole 3 seconds faster around its 2.9-mile Milford test track than the regular ZL1 Coupe.

Making the go is 650 horses from a blown LT4 6.2-liter V-8, the same lump you get in the regular ZL1.

Official pricing has yet to be announced, but look for the ZL1 1LE in dealers later in the year.


PostHeaderIcon 2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Unveiled

Porsche just unveiled the new head honcho of the Panamera stable, and it just so happens to be a hybrid, marking the very first time an electrified model has lead a Porsche line.

It’s called the Turbo S E-Hybrid, and it uses hybrid technology for moar power. As such, the new Panamera Hybrid replaces the old Panamera hybrid’s six-cylinder with the same boosted V-8 as the Panamera Turbo, yielding 4.0-liters of displacement, plus an electric motor. That means 550 horsepower from the dino juice, plus an extra 136 horsepower from the electric motor. And that means when you put your foot down you’ll enjoy a whopping 680 horsepower and 626 pound-feet of torque, figures only bested by the mighty 918 Spyder when it comes to production vehicles with a Porsche badge.

Not only that, but it also can go a full 50 km (31.1 miles) on battery power alone. Porsche adds that EPA estimates on fuel returns will be posted closer to market launch. But who cares?

Routing the output towards the blacktop is an eight-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission, as well as a high-performance AWD system. Performance figures include a 0-to-60 mph time of 3.2 seconds, while top speed is rated at 192 mph. Standard spec includes ceramic brakes, dynamic chassis control, 21-inch wheels, and the Sport Chrono Package.

Inside is a 12.3-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay support, and the latest iteration of the Porsche Communication Management system, plus there’s an app that’ll let you remotely control the battery charging and set the cabin temperature settings. There’s also a long-wheelbase Executive iteration planned, if you’re feeling saucy.

The 2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid will debut in the metal at the Geneva International Motor Show next month. Pricing starts at $184,400 for the standard model, while the Executive will start at $194,800.


PostHeaderIcon Land Rover Teases New Velar SUV; Fresh Tech Incoming?

Land Rover just dropped an above-and-behind teaser image of its new Velar SUV, saying it will fill the gap between the smaller Range Rover Evoque and larger Range Rover Sport. The Velar supposedly uses the same platform as the Jaguar F-Pace, and is expected to take on rivals like the BMW X4, Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class Coupe, and Porsche Macan, with four-cylinder, six-cylinder, and possibly even hybrid powerplants offered under the hood.

Land Rover has yet to divulge many details, but did say the Velar will offer “elegant simplicity, a visually reductive approach and all-new consumer technologies,” so we’re guessing a coupe-like, streamlined, and somewhat minimalist exterior, a good dose of interior opulence, and a suite of semi-autonomous driving tech.

Studying the provided press pic, we can also see a large moonroof and a decently sized touchscreen in the dash. Land Rover added that it used “sustainable materials” in the vehicle’s construction.

“We call the Velar the avant-garde Range Rover,” says Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s Chief Design Officer, in the attached press release. “It brings a new dimension of glamour, modernity and elegance to the brand. The Range Rover Velar changes everything.”

While likely not much more than PR bluster, we’re excited to see if the Velar can truly bring something new and exciting to the segment. The name, after all, harkens back to the first Range Rover prototype from 1969, so maybe there’s something up Land Rover’s sleeve.

Thankfully, we won’t have to wait long to find out the truth. The Range Rover Velar is slated to see a full reveal on March 1st, with an in-the-metal debut in the U.S. at this year’s New York International Auto Show in April.


PostHeaderIcon BMW M4 Convertible

When BMW rolled out the M4 at the 2014 New York Auto Show, it represented the culmination of the 3 Series splitting into two distinct models. The four-door sedan version and all of its derivatives still carried the 3 Series name, but the sportier two-door variant was renamed the the 4 Series. The latter then gave birth to the M4 performance coupe, and three years after the first M4 burst into the scene and into our welcoming arms, BMW has finally announced an update to the coupe that has turned into one BMW’s most popular models.

Like with most updated models, the M4 Convertible remains the same, at least for the most part. The convertible’s design hasn’t changed, specifically in the front and rear fascias. That said, this isn’t the same exact M4 Convertibles either. There are upgrades in place all over the car that help distinguish it from its predecessor. Some are more obvious than others, but the objectives of freshening up the M4 Convertible for a plate of new customers are all there.

So if you’re in the market for a convertible that’s getting some nice new bits and pieces here and there, the updated BMW M4 Convertible makes for a pretty compelling option. Not only does it exude the confidence and outright braggadocio of BMW’s M Division, it’s also turned itself into the face of that same division. Now that same face just got a fresh set of updates. It seems to me at least that the good just got better.

Continue after the jump to read more about the BMW M4 Convertible.


PostHeaderIcon Lamborghini Urus

Rumored for many years, the upcoming Lamborghini Urus, the company’s first-ever SUV, was finally spotted in production form on public roads. Although camouflaged almost entirely, the test vehicle reveals essential details about what Lambo promises to be the world’s fastest and most dynamic SUV.

With Porsche having introduced an SUV in 2003, it was only a matter of time before the other premium sports car and supercar manufacturers joined in the fun. After years of rumors, whispers, and planning, Lamborghini is the next to cross over into the high-performance soccer mom world, a.k.a. the SUV realm, with the oddly named Urus. The name first surfaced in 2008, when Lamborghini trademarked it before the introduction of the Estoque. In 2012, the Urus concept was showcased at the Beijing Auto Show and it didn’t take long before Lamborghini confirmed that a production version is set to follow.

Though the name sounds odd, it is very appropriate for the model. The Urus, also called the Aurochs, is an ancient ancestor of the modern day cow, which went extinct in 1627. These things were massive, ranging from 61 to 71 inches tall at the shoulders and weighing in at 1,500 pounds – phew, that’s a lot of quarter pounders. This makes the urus one of the largest bulls ever recorded, which is appropriate, considering the Lamborghini Urus is almost certainly going to end up being the largest to boast the raging bull emblem.

Now that we have turned off Animal Planet, we can continue with the Lamborghini Urus and not the extinct cow relative. There is some debate as to whether Lamborghini can actually support an SUV, especially after the LM002, the original Lambo SUV, fizzled out in 1993 with only 328 models ever produced.

So, can Lambo actually have a successful SUV this time around, and how does it stack up against the Porsche Cayenne and the Bentley Bentayga? Continue reading to find out more about that.

Continue reading to find out more about Lamborghini Urus.


PostHeaderIcon 2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon Unveiled Because Fast Wagons Are Just Better

Yesterday, I announced the reveal of the BMW 5 Series Touring, lamenting how us ‘Mericans would probably get left out in the cold when it came to handsome, fun-to-drive wagon models. Apparently, Mercedes-AMG was listening, because today it announced the arrival of an outrageous, high-powered AMG-variant of the E-Class five-door. It’s called the E 63 S, taking after the Mercedes four-door of the same name, and it’s got the goods to go with the title. Because when it comes to grabbing a week’s worth of groceries and picking the kids up from soccer practice, more than 600 horsepower just feels right.

Of course, you could use this thing for more than shuttling around the progeny and their juice boxes. After all, it’s got 35 cubic feet of space in back for, well, whatever, plus the second row can be folded down at a 40:20:40 split as you see fit.

So it’s versatile, that much is obvious. Now let’s talk about why it’s fast.

Under the hood is an AMG-tuned 4.0-liter V-8, which is boosted by two twin-scroll turbos for a rip-snortin’ 603 horsepower at 5,750 rpm and 627 pound-feet of torque at 2,500 rpm. Fed through an AMG-tuned nine-speed automatic gearbox and permanent 4Matic+ AWD system (with drift mode, by the way), it’s enough motivation to send this thing to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited at 180 mph.

And it’s not just a one-trick pony, either. Making it turn is a new AMG air suspension system with tunable adaptive damping, an electronic rear limited-slip differential, AMG speed-sensitive steering, and 15-inch high-performance brakes. Ceramic composite brakes are optional, because of course.

Inside are the usual AMG bits and pieces, with a flat-bottom steering wheel, carbon fiber trim, and two performance-oriented digital gauge readouts, each measured at 12.3 inches in diameter. There are optional performance seats, while Nappa leather was added to the dash and beltlines.

Look for the 2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon this March at the Geneva Motor Show. Sales will commence this fall. In the U.S.


PostHeaderIcon 2017 BMW 5 Series Touring Unveiled

BMW just revealed the 2017 5 Series Touring model, giving the recently debuted seventh-gen mid-size 5 Series line an extra dose of usability and practicality. The new model gets the same styling outside as the updated 5 Series sedan, plus new interior technology, the latest driver’s assists and safety features, and enhanced infotainment.

Four engine options are on the table at launch, all of which are turbocharged. On the gasoline front, there’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 252 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, mated to a standard eight-speed automatic transmission and posting a 0-to-62 mph time of 6.5 seconds. There’s also a 3.0-liter six-cylinder and eight-speed auto combo, plus AWD, which lays down 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque for a 0-to-62 mph time of 5.1 seconds.

It you prefer oil burners, you can get a 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel with 190 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, which mates to a six-speed manual transmission as standard (the eight-speed is optional), and gives a 0-to-62 mph time of 8 seconds. Finally, there’s a 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel with 265 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque, offered with either RWD or AWD, plus an eight-speed automatic. All that twist yields a 0-to-62 mph time of around 5.6 seconds with AWD grip added.

BMW says it’ll add further engine and drivetrain options, including both RWD and AWD models, throughout the year.

Additional aluminum was used to reduce overall weight, including in the side members and the tailgate, cutting up to 100 kg (220 pounds) compared to the outgoing model. The suspension incorporates a rear air ride system as standard, while Dynamic Damper Control, an Adaptive Drive system, Integral Active Steering, and M Sport suspension are all optional.

Outside, you’ll find active grille shutters in the nose, plus standard LED headlights.

In the cabin is a Wi-Fi hot spot, a 10.25-inch touchscreen, a color heads-up display, gesture control, voice control, and wireless phone charging. The seats also get eight massage programs, while the rear cargo space is up to 570 – 1,700 liters (20 – 60 cubic feet). Safety features include steering assist, lane keep assist, lane change assist, cross traffic warning, and wrong-way warning.

Look for the new 5 Series Touring in the metal at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show this coming March. Sales will commence in June. No word on whether or not BMW is planning on bringing this thing stateside, but odds are against it. And that’s a shame, because the U.S. could absolutely use more wagon hotness, don’tcha think?


PostHeaderIcon Volvo S90 Inscription – Driven

Volvo has been around for 90 years and made some pretty impressive vehicles. I’d dare to say the S90 Inscription has eclipsed them all. Let me back up. Volvo’s new quest for dominance in the luxury segment has yielded two very impressive results – the second-generation XC90 SUV that debuted for the 2015 model year and the new-for-2017 S90 sedan. They both share a number on components, from the T5 and T6 four-cylinder engines to the chassis architecture. Best of all, they both share a similar design style that exudes a sense of reserved affluence.

I recently spent a week with the 2017 Volvo S90 fitted with the range-topping Inscription package and several high-end options. Though the S90 carries a base price in the mid $40,000 range, my tester felt like it cost double that, though somehow it didn’t. A rich interior is key in this positive deception, with padded leather, open pour wood accents, and aluminum trim pieces covering every inch of touchable space inside the cabin. What little plastic remains is high-quality and coated in a piano black finish.

Technology also abounds in this machine. An impressive infotainment system and digital gauge cluster further perpetuate the feeling of luxury and its merger with technology. The T6 powertrain is a marvel of modern internal-combustion engine design. And of course, a slew of active and passive safety systems continue proving Volvo remains a leader in vehicle safety.

So what’s it like to live with the S90? Keep reading for the full details.

Continue reading for the full driven review.


PostHeaderIcon Will There be a Wait List for the Kia Stinger?

When Kia came to the U.S. market, it became known as a producer of affordable but reliable cars that were fairly comfortable and looked decent. But, none of the models were really anything to write home about, and certainly couldn’t be compared with models like the BMW 3 Series and 4 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, or anything else outside of the affordable segment. When the 2014 Detroit Auto Show kicked off, Kia Debuted the GT4 Stinger along with a promise to bring such a model into production and, three years later, Kia kept its promise and debuted the Kia Stinger at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. Offered in the U.S. with a 255-horsepower four-banger or a 365-horsepower, twin-turbo, V-6, along with a very comfortable and upscale interior and a sexy exterior shell, the Stinger was a show stopper for the Korean brand as it steps into the luxury performance market. But, now that the world knows about the Stinger, it has raised a pretty interesting question: Will there be a wait list for the Stinger when the books officially open?

There’s really no way of telling quite yet, but outside of small shortages for models like the Kia Sportage, it’s hard to recall of any significant waiting period for any Kia model in the past. But, the new Stinger is a completely different breed of car that comes to offer a significantly cheaper alternative to more expensive luxury and performance models. Should Kia actually lock in even a small portion of those that are really interested in the car, it could find itself unable to keep up with demand. It comes down to a couple of factors that include when production officially starts, when the order books officially open, and that initial demand.

As of the time of this writing, neither its release date or pricing point has been officially announced, but a price tag in the range of $35,000 to $40,000 is expected while the order books should open sometime in the fall or early winter of 2017. That expected price point puts the Stinger at roughly $4,000 cheaper that the entry-level C300 from Mercedes, $6,000 cheaper than the entry-level 4 Series Gran Coupe, and a staggering $9,000 cheaper that the entry-level BMW 3 Series GT. With comparable comfort, luxury, and technology, it should be a no-brainer for those who aren’t overly loyal to the Stinger’s German competitors – as long as their willing to give the brand’s first performance luxury vehicle a chance, that is.

So, with such a low price point in comparison to its competition, the Stinger could see a lot of initial interest that could lead to a sizable waiting list. As such, it’s quite possible that dealers will find themselves in a predicament they aren’t used to: dealing with customers that want to take delivery today but simply can’t. We all saw how that went for Ford with the Focus RS, so hopefully Kia has a plan in place, just in case.


PostHeaderIcon 2018 Mini Countryman John Cooper Works Unveiled

Mini just revealed the new Countryman John Cooper Works, which means the compact crossover now gets more space, more style, and more importantly, more speed. Now in its second generation, the Countryman JCW is the largest and most powerful Mini yet.

In case you were unaware, John Cooper Works is Mini’s performance badge, homage to the famous sports car designer of the same name. Any modern Mini with an inkling of sporting intent carries the JCW designation, and as such, the Countryman JCW gets upgrades to the engine, transmission, AWD system, suspension, aero, and interior design.

Let’s get down to the specifics then, shall we? Mounted behind the grille is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, which was turbocharged to 228 horsepower at 5,000 rpm, and 258 pound-feat of torque between 1,450 and 4,500 rpm. And if you’re keeping score, that’s 20 ponies more than the outgoing Countryman.

Features include direct fuel injection, plus variable valve control and variable camshaft control (a.k.a. BMW’s Double Vanos system). Specific to the JCW model are new pistons, a new intercooler, and an additional radiator. There’s also a sport exhaust with a controllable flap and dual chrome tips.

Incredibly, Mini says the turbo pumps out an eye-popping 2.2 bar of boost (31.9 psi), but that’s gotta be a typo – we think 1.2 bar (17.4 psi) is closer to the truth!

Performance figures look like 6.2 seconds to 60 mph, while top speed is capped at 145 mph.

Cog swaps come courtesy of a standard six-speed manual, while an eight-speed Steptronic Sport Automatic is optional. Further JCW touches include a sportier suspension, 18-inch alloy rollers, and a Brembo brake package.

Outside, you’ll find more aerodynamic touches, plus larger intakes up front. The headlights get LEDs as standard. The body also gains 6.7 inches in length, 1.3 inches in width, and an extra 2.9 inches in the wheelbase.

Inside is seating for five, plus JCW-specific sports seats. Pilots can select from multiple driving modes, and should enjoy the 6.5-inch infotainment screen and various Connected features.

The 2018 Mini Countryman JCW will make its worldwide debut this coming April at the 2017 Shanghai Motor Show. Look for it in U.S. dealerships around that time.


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