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ATM-3211 Auto Meter Light Bulb & Socket 2 1/16" & 2 5/8" Gauges 4.9 Watts No.168
$7.95
End Date: Saturday Dec-23-2017 19:47:59 PST
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B&M 80642 Universal Auto / Automatic Trans T-Handle Shift Knob (BLACK)
$24.00
End Date: Friday Dec-22-2017 19:29:16 PST
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2x Wireless Car LED Projector Logo Ghost Shadow Laser Lights for Jeep Auto Doors
$12.79
End Date: Friday Dec-15-2017 17:46:47 PST
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MOTORCYCLE AND AUTO VALVE LAPPING COMPOUND 600 GRIT
$8.95
End Date: Thursday Dec-7-2017 10:07:05 PST
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Auto Meter 6854 Ultra-Lite Dual-Range Tachometer 5" electrical, pedestal mount
$356.95
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 14:04:23 PST
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Auto Meter 6298 Colbalt Tachometer 5'' Electrical Full Sweep 10,000 RPM
$241.95
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 14:06:00 PST
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Oakley - Race Mid FR Auto Racing Shoes - SFI/FIA - SFI-5 Rated Boot Black - Shoe
$169.95
End Date: Monday Dec-18-2017 7:02:27 PST
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Derale 14207 Auto Trans Oil Pan Cooling Kit 4-1/16" Black Steel 4 L80E
$129.84
End Date: Saturday Dec-2-2017 19:05:20 PST
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Alpinestars Tech 1-T Auto Racing Shoes - White / Red / Black - Size 7.0 - NEW
$199.95
End Date: Tuesday Nov-28-2017 12:31:14 PST
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ZAMP - FSA-3 SA2015 Auto Racing Helmet - HANS Ready - Snell Rated - Full Face +
$175.00
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Archive for the ‘sedan’ Category

PostHeaderIcon BMW M5 with M Performance Parts

2018 BMW M5 with M Performance Parts

Unveiled only a few months back (August 2017), the new M5 is arguably the most aggressive and technologically advance midsize sedan BMW has built to date. But this doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. And BMW used the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas to showcase a range of M Performance parts that enhance the M5 inside and out, as well as under the skin. It may seem a bit ridiculous to showcase performance- and visual-enhancing parts only a couple of months into an already awesome sedan’s life, but this is how the market works nowadays. While some will be more than happy to take a stock M5 home, others will pay for a few extras and a slightly customized appearance.

The new BMW M Performance parts for the still-fresh M5 are mostly about aerodynamics and weight saving on the outside. Both are achieved through extensive use of carbon-fiber, a lightweight composite that’s more than welcomed on any BMW wearing the M badge. And with the German firm usually using carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) on its cars, this is a breath of fresh air for carbon enthusiasts. The interior also received its fair share of upgrades, while the chassis and the exhaust system have been modified to better suit the enhanced aerodynamics of the sedan. But more on that in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M5 with M Performance Parts.

What makes the BMW M5 with M Performance Parts special

  • Carbon-fiber aerodynamics package
  • Carbon-fiber grille and mirror caps
  • M-style stripes
  • Race-spec steering wheel
  • Carbon-fiber shift paddles and lever cover
  • Custom floor mats
  • New telemetry system
  • Sportier coilover suspension
  • Carbon-ceramic brakes
  • New exhaust system

2018 BMW M5 with M Performance Parts - image 741712
“The already aggressive stance of the M5 is further enhanced by the M Performance aerodynamics package”

On the outside, the already aggressive stance of the M5 is further enhanced by the M Performance aerodynamics package, which includes a range of handcrafted, carbon-fiber parts. Up front, this package adds only bumper side vent surrounds, but the aero feature is complemented by carbon-fiber kidney grilles. The latter is a cool touch in terms of looks. Moving over to the sides, we can see carbon-fiber side sill extensions, also part of the aero package, and carbon mirror caps, a separate option.

Around back, the M Performance bundle includes a carbon-fiber rear spoiler (or the spoiler Pro upgrade) and a carbon-fiber rear diffuser. All told, these options not only optimize the sedan’s aerodynamics, but also reduce curb weight and enhance looks. Finally, you can also opt for the stripe package, which adorns the lower front bumper and lower doors in the traditional blue, purple, and red colors of the M division.


2018 BMW M5 with M Performance Parts - image 741719
“The package also features new carbon-fiber shift paddles and a carbon shift lever cover”

Plenty of interesting features to talk about inside the cabin too, starting with the M Performance steering wheel with distinctive geometry, pronounced Alcantara grip area, and carbon-fiber cover. The package also features new carbon-fiber shift paddles and a carbon shift lever cover. The motorsport-inspired looks are rounded off by M Performance floor mats.


2018 BMW M5 with M Performance Parts - image 741716
“Those who wish to capture their performance on film can opt for the Trackfix action camera holder”

Moving over to what’s not immediately noticeable, BMW developed the M Performance Drive Analyzer, which is described as an “innovative tool for recording and evaluating all important vehicle dynamics data.” The system analyzes and determines a range of performance factors such as engine data, speed and peak values, engaged gear, use of accelerator pedal and brakes, and lateral acceleration, working pretty much like a telemetry device. When recorded, the results can be directly shown on the smartphone as videos or graphic representations via the M Performance Drive Analyzer App, which is available free of charge to BMW customers. Those who wish to capture their performance on film can opt for the Trackfix action camera holder, which can be mounted in the threaded bush of the towing lug either at the front or rear end of the vehicle. This way you can make your own Nurburgring record attempt videos.


2018 BMW M5 with M Performance Parts - image 741730

M Performance unveiled under-the-skin upgrades too, starting with a coilover suspension with even sportier setup, which provides a more direct connection of the chassis to the road. The red coil springs. There’s also carbon-ceramic brakes with motorsports-derived pads, as well as an M performance sports exhaust system. The latter is available exclusively in the U.S. and Canada and features a titanium rear muffler, carbon-fiber tailpipe trim, and an optimized exhaust gas routing for enhanced engine roar. While the engine remained unchanged, BMW did introduce a new, handcrafted carbon-fiber cover.

Most of these parts will become available when the new M5 arrived in showroom in the spring of 2018, while some of them will hit the market in July.

References

BMW M5


2018 BMW M5 - image 727588

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M5.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon BMW M3 30 Years American Edition

1987 was a special year for BMW fans here in the US. That was the year the M3 first came to our shores. Since then, Bimmer’s resident performance sedan has carved up a legacy that’s without peer, so much so that we’re all getting a treat from BMW with the presentation of the super exclusive M3 30 Years America Edition at the 2017 SEMA Auto Show. It really doesn’t get as exclusive as this one because, quite literally, there will only be one of its kind in the world.

The M3 30 Years America Edition actually starts its life as a standard manual-transmission M3 that’s dressed up in BMW’s Competition Package. But, that’s where any semblance to a standard M3 ends. Everything else about it is exclusive to the theme of the car, which is to say that it received plenty of red, white, and blue treatment in both the exterior and interior. This is as all-American as a BMW M3 can get, at least to the point that bald eagle badges wouldn’t have been out of place in it. It’s unclear at this point how much BMW plans to sell the M3 30 Years America Edition for, though it did say that it will be available once the SEMA Auto Show ends. My money’s on it being auctioned off with the proceeds going to a charity here in the U.S., but don’t be surprised if Bimmer feels generous enough to simply raffle the sedan off. The latter would be an ideal scenario for folks like me because if it’s auctioned off, expect the bids to come hot and heavy, maybe even reach six figures under the best of conditions.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M3 30 years America Edition

What makes the BMW M3 30 Years America Edition special


2018 BMW M3 30 Years American Edition - image 741683
“The exterior is striking with the Frozen Red II Metallic shade”

There are a lot of things to like about the BMW M3 30 Years America Edition, including the theme and how BMW went about it implementing it. The exterior is striking with the Frozen Red II Metallic shade. The inclusion of “II” in its nomenclature is intended to convey the paint’s exclusivity, which came to life at the hands of the talented people over at BMW Group Designworks. In addition, the M3 30 Years America Edition also gets a carbon fiber reinforced polymer roof, which also features the same Frozen Red Metallic II paint. More cosmetic goodies come in the form of a 30th Anniversary graphic located on the rear sunshade of the sedan. This particular addition is important to enhance the sedan’s one-off exclusivity and separate itself from every other M3 in the world today. Speaking of exclusivity, the one-off M3’s wheels are also of the super limited variety. The alloy wheels measure 19 inches in the front and 20 inches in the rear and are finished in an exclusive touch of gold. It’s the only set of wheels that will get this kind of treatment, so it’s in good company with the equally rare red paint finish on the body.


2018 BMW M3 30 Years American Edition - image 741697
“We get a good number of M Performance parts, none more prominent than the carbon fiber rear wing at the back”

On the aerodynamic side of the upgrades, we get a good number of M Performance parts, none more prominent than the carbon fiber rear wing at the back. M Performance side skirts are also included, as are functional bits like the new exhaust system, titanium rear silencer, and on the suspension side of things, a completely new adjustable sports suspension until that feature red coil springs.

The exterior carries with it an extensive list of upgrades, but as good as that section got it from BMW, the M3’s interior is the real star of this show. If you’re digging the all-American theme of the M3, you’re going to dig the interior. Quite literally, there’s enough red, white, and blue surfaces in it to make Uncle Sam weep with pride.


2018 BMW M3 30 Years American Edition - image 741692
“The seats feature a base Opal White surface, with added Mugello Red Merino stripes and Fjord Blue Merino sections”

Take the seats, for example. The feature a base Opal White surface, but instead of keeping it just that way, BMW added Mugello Red Merino stripes and Fjord Blue Merino sections to really bring out the patriotic theme of the interior. A 30th Anniversary graphic on the headrests is another nice touch and completing the whole setup are a few black leather appointments scattered throughout the cabin.

There are no significant engine upgrades on the M3 30 Years America Edition but with the car sporting the Competition Package, that means that the M3’s 3.0-liter inline-six engine gets an extra 14 horsepower from the standard unit, resulting in an output of 444 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission, allowing it to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds.


2018 BMW M3 30 Years American Edition - image 741687
“The engine is mated to a standard six-speed manual transmission, allowing it to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds”

We’ll know soon enough exactly how much this one-off BMW M3 30 Years America Edition is going to cost, but for those who are looking to get a baseline amount, the standard M3 fitted with a Competition Package sells for $71,200. Considering its status as a one-off and the theme behind it, it’s almost a certainty that we’re looking at a price here that will exceed $100,000. Whatever it is, those who are interested will need to have their checkbooks in hand.

References

BMW M3


2015 BMW M3 - image 554300

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW M3.



Read more BMW news.

PostHeaderIcon Add Some Boost To Your Pumpkin With This Subaru WRX STI Carving Pattern

So then, it’s Halloween. What’s your costume gonna be? Does it happen to be a blue and gold jump suit and helmet combo with the name “Solberg” or “McRae” printed across it? If that describes you, then this is what your pumpkin should look like. Offered as a free downloadable and printable PDF from SubaruPartsPlus, this carving design will turn that boring orange squash on your porch into a turbocharged rally star, announcing to the whole neighborhood your undying allegiance to the Six Star brand.

Granted, that rumbling aftermarket exhaust you installed probably does the same thing, but either way, this is a great way to inject your spooky holiday with a little AWD goodness. We recommend adding a rooster tail of pumpkin seed “gravel” shooting out the back for extra artistic bonus points. That said, if you really wanted to scare your fellow Subaru enthusiasts, maybe a carving of a head gasket would be more appropriate…

References

Subaru WRX


2018 Subaru WRX STI - image 702594

Read our full review on the 2018 Subaru WRX STI.


2018 Subaru WRX STI – Driven - image 722054

Read our driven review on the 2018 Subaru WRX STI.

PostHeaderIcon Breaking News: Groundhogs Love Rolls-Royce

Who would have thought that those furry little ground dwellers would even have a preference of car? You would think that something like a Chevy Cruz, Ford Focus, or even a Mazda3 would be good enough. Even an Acura or a Lexus would have been more expected, but nope – that isn’t the case at all. As it turns out, Groundhogs are madly in love with Rolls-Royce vehicles. More specifically, the Rolls-Royce Phantom. As you can see from the images above, this groundhog, who asked to remain anonymous, is madly in love with the Rolls-Royce Phantom.

We’re unsure of the backstory here, or why our anonymous friend seems to love that Phantom so much, but he sure did spend plenty of time walking around underneath it, rubbing against the tire, and even considered building himself a den inside the engine bay. Don’t worry folks; he’s a bachelor, so there’s no chance of his offspring getting caught up in the cooling fans by mistake.

Okay, the truth is that we don’t know who the groundhog was or what he was doing there, but what do you think? We received these images along with a batch of Phantom photos and couldn’t help but spread the word about this little guy’s interest in one of the world’s best luxury cars. Is he friend or is he foe? Was he just curious? Check out the few shots we have of this little guy below, then let us know your opinion in the comments section.

References

Rolls Royce Phantom


2018 Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII - image 740345

Read our full review on the 2018 Rolls Royce Phantom.

PostHeaderIcon Subaru Viziv Performance Concept

2017 Subaru Viziv Performance Concept

Subaru just revealed its latest ultra-sleek concept model at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. Dubbed the Viziv Performance (Viziv is shorthand for “Vision for Innovation”), this Scooby is the latest in a series of concept cars to bear the Viziv name, rocking an aggressive exterior and tons of speedy visual cues. This is also the very first four-door sedan to come from the concept line, which can only mean one thing – this is what Subaru’s designers imagine for the next WRX. The emphasis is on driving fun and attention-grabbing details, both of which the Viziv Performance manages to accomplish, at least on paper. So then, what does it say about the brand’s favorite rally star? Read on for details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Subaru Viziv Performance Concept.

Exterior

  • Design is all angles and chiseled geometry
  • Flared fenders and carbon bits
  • Longer, lower, and wider than a WRX

Subaru Viziv Performance Concept - image 740445
“It’s all angles and chiseled geometry, an amalgamation of black and silver that manages to mate sportiness and futuristic vibes in a single, exciting package. ”

As is the case with most concept cars, the Subaru Viziv Performance Concept’s greatest strength lies in its exterior design. It’s all angles and chiseled geometry, an amalgamation of black and silver that manages to mate sportiness and futuristic vibes in a single, exciting package.

Subaru says the aesthetic uses the “Dynamic x Solid” design philosophy, with inspiration drawn from the brand’s most “iconic” models. These include the Legacy, Impreza, and WRX, symbolizing “superior Subaru driving performance.”

The look is mean and low and wide, with flared fenders adding a good deal of aggression to the whole package. As is expected of just about every performance model on the market these days, carbon fiber makes a cameo appearance, finding its way to the bumpers, fenders, and roof, which adds a tasty composite weave to offset the brighter silver body panels.

In back, the rear diffuser seems to divide the tail in half, occupying the lower section of the car with even more angles and further motorsport-inspired goodness. A large center stop lamp also enhances the performance cues, while the upper taillights stretch from fender to fender, adding to the car’s natural visual width. The rear diffuser also houses a quartet of rounded exhaust pipes, set at an angle that brings the car even closer to the ground visually.


Subaru Viziv Performance Concept - image 740442
“The rear diffuser seems to divide the tail in half, occupying the lower section of the car with even more angles and further motorsport-inspired goodness.”

In the nose, the Subaru Viziv Performance Concept gets a six-sided, three-dimensional grille that looks similar in shape to the current WRX grille, albeit a bit larger and with a cool-looking lighting element along the surround. Below the central intake are aero elements finished in black, while “hawkeye” headlight housings take up positions on the periphery.

Subaru says many of these visual cues are meant to mimic that ballsy powertrain and drivetrain under the hood, with the headlights giving a nod to the boxer engine design and the flared fenders added as a nod to the symmetrical AWD system.

“Subaru says many of these visual cues are meant to mimic that ballsy powertrain and drivetrain under the hood.”

The requisite hood scoop finishes it, mounted towards the windshield and finished in black.

Interestingly, Subaru gave us a complete breakdown of the Viziv Performance Concept’s exterior dimensions, and naturally, we should compare them to the current WRX to see if we can glean any sizing changes planned for the upcoming WRX. You can check out the specifics below, but long story short, the Viziv is a bit longer, much wider, and a little lower – all to be expected from a showy concept car, but perhaps it’s telling of what’s to come for Suby’s most beloved performance model.

2017 Subaru Viziv Performance Concept 2017 Subaru WRX
Length (Inches) 182.3 180.9
Width (Inches) 76.8 70.7
Height (Inches) 56.3 inches 58.1
Wheelbase (Inches) 107.5 104.3

Interior

  • Large touchscreen in the dash
  • Seats up to 5 passengers
  • Next-generation driver assist tech

Subaru Viziv Performance Concept - image 700140
Interior from 2018 Subaru WRX shown here.
“If we were to venture a guess about the details, we’d argue the redesigned interior of the 2017 Subaru Impreza would probably provide a few hints as to the upcoming WRX’s cabin.”

While Subaru declined to provide tons of details on the Viziv Performance Concept’s interior layout design, the automaker did mention that seating capacity was capped at 5 passengers, much like the current-generation Impreza and WRX. What’s more, we can pick out what appears to be a large digital infotainment screen in the center console.

Sounds about right, but if we were to venture a guess about the details, we’d argue the redesigned interior of the 2017 Subaru Impreza would probably provide a few hints. Six-sided shapes for the cluster gauge and upper instrumentation readout echo the shape of the grille, while a three-spoke, multi-function steering wheel gets grippy hand bolsters and some nice contrast stitching. Further contrast stitching is added to the dash, while a large touchscreen takes up residence in the center console.

“we can assume it’ll get stuff like advanced adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, smart automatic transmission shifting, and similar features”

Not terribly exciting stuff, we know. That said, the Viziv does offer up some tasty tidbits on possible technology features Subaru has in the works. Basically, the automaker foresees ever-greater autonomous driving assist integration in the near future, and in response, the Viziv comes with the next-generation EyeSight system, the brand’s branded tech suite meant to enhance both driving enjoyment and peace of mind.

Incorporating both radar and GPS systems, we can assume it’ll get stuff like advanced adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, smart automatic transmission shifting, and similar features, all of which should make the next WRX both more efficient and safer. Look for Subaru to introduce this next-gen system into its production lineup sometime around 2020.

Drivetrain

  • Boxer engine configuration
  • Likely the same turbo 2.0-liter as the current WRX
  • Large 20-inch wheels

Subaru Viziv Performance Concept - image 722070
2.5-liter from 2017 Subaru WRX shown here.

Once again, Subaru seems a bit cagey when it comes to revealing details on the Viziv Performance Concept’s engine configuration, but in all honesty, we can pretty much tell exactly what it’s got going under that hood scoop without any official confirmation.

For starters, Subaru admits to using the traditional boxer engine configuration, a platform the Six Star brand has “honed over more than five decades of development.” In the current WRX, this amounts to a turbocharged and intercooled 2.0-liter flat-four powerplant, hewn from aluminum and able to produce upwards of 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Routing the power to the ground is a six-speed manual transmission, as well as the same standard symmetrical AWD system Subaru is famous for.

“Subaru says the Viziv Performance uses its traditional boxer engine configuration, which, in the current WRX, produces upwards of 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.”

All told, expect nearly identical performance numbers as before, with around 5 seconds required in the 0-to-60 mph sprint and a top speed of 144 mph.

Interestingly, Subaru says the concept’s tire size is measured at 245/40R20, a huge upgrade over the standard WRX’s 17-inch rollers. If carried into production, it would be the biggest wheels the WRX has ever got from the factory by a long shot.

Conclusion


Subaru Viziv Performance Concept - image 740442

All told, the Viziv is an exciting look at one of our all-time favorite performance vehicles, the Subaru WRX. While we would have liked it if Subaru dropped us a few more hints on what to expect from the drivetrain and powertrain (odds are it’ll look more or less identical to the current model), we think the exterior styling is a solid step forward for the brand.

“Any and all hope that the concept’s aesthetic might make it to production should be tempered with the fact that Subaru has a nasty habit of offering up gorgeous designs that never actually get put to use. ”

That said, any and all hope that the concept’s aesthetic might make it to production should be tempered with the fact that Subaru has a nasty habit of offering up gorgeous designs that never actually get put to use. Take for example the Impreza 5-Door Concept that dropped in 2015 at the last Tokyo Motor Show. We loved it, as did most other enthusiasts, but in the end, the production version just didn’t have the same flair or snap to it. Or you could take the Impreza Sedan Concept from the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, or the XV Concept from the Geneva Motor Show in 2016… the list goes on and on.

Either way, we like the look. Just maybe put it to good use this time, eh Suby?

  • Leave it
    • Production version will likely look way different
    • No interior design details
    • No specs on the engine and drivetrain likely means carryovers for both

References

Subaru WRX


2018 Subaru WRX - image 700160

Read our full review of the 2018 Subaru WRX

Subaru



Read the latest Subaru news

PostHeaderIcon Subaru Viziv Performance Concept

2017 Subaru Viziv Performance Concept

Subaru just revealed its latest ultra-sleek concept model at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. Dubbed the Viziv Performance (Viziv is shorthand for “Vision for Innovation”), this Scooby is the latest in a series of concept cars to bear the Viziv name, rocking an aggressive exterior and tons of speedy visual cues. This is also the very first four-door sedan to come from the concept line, which can only mean one thing – this is what Subaru’s designers imagine for the next WRX. The emphasis is on driving fun and attention-grabbing details, both of which the Viziv Performance manages to accomplish, at least on paper. So then, what does it say about the brand’s favorite rally star? Read on for details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Subaru Viziv Performance Concept.

Exterior

  • Design is all angles and chiseled geometry
  • Flared fenders and carbon bits
  • Longer, lower, and wider than a WRX

Subaru Viziv Performance Concept - image 740445
“It’s all angles and chiseled geometry, an amalgamation of black and silver that manages to mate sportiness and futuristic vibes in a single, exciting package. ”

As is the case with most concept cars, the Subaru Viziv Performance Concept’s greatest strength lies in its exterior design. It’s all angles and chiseled geometry, an amalgamation of black and silver that manages to mate sportiness and futuristic vibes in a single, exciting package.

Subaru says the aesthetic uses the “Dynamic x Solid” design philosophy, with inspiration drawn from the brand’s most “iconic” models. These include the Legacy, Impreza, and WRX, symbolizing “superior Subaru driving performance.”

The look is mean and low and wide, with flared fenders adding a good deal of aggression to the whole package. As is expected of just about every performance model on the market these days, carbon fiber makes a cameo appearance, finding its way to the bumpers, fenders, and roof, which adds a tasty composite weave to offset the brighter silver body panels.

In back, the rear diffuser seems to divide the tail in half, occupying the lower section of the car with even more angles and further motorsport-inspired goodness. A large center stop lamp also enhances the performance cues, while the upper taillights stretch from fender to fender, adding to the car’s natural visual width. The rear diffuser also houses a quartet of rounded exhaust pipes, set at an angle that brings the car even closer to the ground visually.


Subaru Viziv Performance Concept - image 740442
“The rear diffuser seems to divide the tail in half, occupying the lower section of the car with even more angles and further motorsport-inspired goodness.”

In the nose, the Subaru Viziv Performance Concept gets a six-sided, three-dimensional grille that looks similar in shape to the current WRX grille, albeit a bit larger and with a cool-looking lighting element along the surround. Below the central intake are aero elements finished in black, while “hawkeye” headlight housings take up positions on the periphery.

Subaru says many of these visual cues are meant to mimic that ballsy powertrain and drivetrain under the hood, with the headlights giving a nod to the boxer engine design and the flared fenders added as a nod to the symmetrical AWD system.

“Subaru says many of these visual cues are meant to mimic that ballsy powertrain and drivetrain under the hood.”

The requisite hood scoop finishes it, mounted towards the windshield and finished in black.

Interestingly, Subaru gave us a complete breakdown of the Viziv Performance Concept’s exterior dimensions, and naturally, we should compare them to the current WRX to see if we can glean any sizing changes planned for the upcoming WRX. You can check out the specifics below, but long story short, the Viziv is a bit longer, much wider, and a little lower – all to be expected from a showy concept car, but perhaps it’s telling of what’s to come for Suby’s most beloved performance model.

2017 Subaru Viziv Performance Concept 2017 Subaru WRX
Length (Inches) 182.3 180.9
Width (Inches) 76.8 70.7
Height (Inches) 56.3 inches 58.1
Wheelbase (Inches) 107.5 104.3

Interior

  • Large touchscreen in the dash
  • Seats up to 5 passengers
  • Next-generation driver assist tech

Subaru Viziv Performance Concept - image 700140
Interior from 2018 Subaru WRX shown here.
“If we were to venture a guess about the details, we’d argue the redesigned interior of the 2017 Subaru Impreza would probably provide a few hints as to the upcoming WRX’s cabin.”

While Subaru declined to provide tons of details on the Viziv Performance Concept’s interior layout design, the automaker did mention that seating capacity was capped at 5 passengers, much like the current-generation Impreza and WRX. What’s more, we can pick out what appears to be a large digital infotainment screen in the center console.

Sounds about right, but if we were to venture a guess about the details, we’d argue the redesigned interior of the 2017 Subaru Impreza would probably provide a few hints. Six-sided shapes for the cluster gauge and upper instrumentation readout echo the shape of the grille, while a three-spoke, multi-function steering wheel gets grippy hand bolsters and some nice contrast stitching. Further contrast stitching is added to the dash, while a large touchscreen takes up residence in the center console.

“we can assume it’ll get stuff like advanced adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, smart automatic transmission shifting, and similar features”

Not terribly exciting stuff, we know. That said, the Viziv does offer up some tasty tidbits on possible technology features Subaru has in the works. Basically, the automaker foresees ever-greater autonomous driving assist integration in the near future, and in response, the Viziv comes with the next-generation EyeSight system, the brand’s branded tech suite meant to enhance both driving enjoyment and peace of mind.

Incorporating both radar and GPS systems, we can assume it’ll get stuff like advanced adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, smart automatic transmission shifting, and similar features, all of which should make the next WRX both more efficient and safer. Look for Subaru to introduce this next-gen system into its production lineup sometime around 2020.

Drivetrain

  • Boxer engine configuration
  • Likely the same turbo 2.0-liter as the current WRX
  • Large 20-inch wheels

Subaru Viziv Performance Concept - image 722070
2.5-liter from 2017 Subaru WRX shown here.

Once again, Subaru seems a bit cagey when it comes to revealing details on the Viziv Performance Concept’s engine configuration, but in all honesty, we can pretty much tell exactly what it’s got going under that hood scoop without any official confirmation.

For starters, Subaru admits to using the traditional boxer engine configuration, a platform the Six Star brand has “honed over more than five decades of development.” In the current WRX, this amounts to a turbocharged and intercooled 2.0-liter flat-four powerplant, hewn from aluminum and able to produce upwards of 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Routing the power to the ground is a six-speed manual transmission, as well as the same standard symmetrical AWD system Subaru is famous for.

“Subaru says the Viziv Performance uses its traditional boxer engine configuration, which, in the current WRX, produces upwards of 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.”

All told, expect nearly identical performance numbers as before, with around 5 seconds required in the 0-to-60 mph sprint and a top speed of 144 mph.

Interestingly, Subaru says the concept’s tire size is measured at 245/40R20, a huge upgrade over the standard WRX’s 17-inch rollers. If carried into production, it would be the biggest wheels the WRX has ever got from the factory by a long shot.

Conclusion


Subaru Viziv Performance Concept - image 740442

All told, the Viziv is an exciting look at one of our all-time favorite performance vehicles, the Subaru WRX. While we would have liked it if Subaru dropped us a few more hints on what to expect from the drivetrain and powertrain (odds are it’ll look more or less identical to the current model), we think the exterior styling is a solid step forward for the brand.

“Any and all hope that the concept’s aesthetic might make it to production should be tempered with the fact that Subaru has a nasty habit of offering up gorgeous designs that never actually get put to use. ”

That said, any and all hope that the concept’s aesthetic might make it to production should be tempered with the fact that Subaru has a nasty habit of offering up gorgeous designs that never actually get put to use. Take for example the Impreza 5-Door Concept that dropped in 2015 at the last Tokyo Motor Show. We loved it, as did most other enthusiasts, but in the end, the production version just didn’t have the same flair or snap to it. Or you could take the Impreza Sedan Concept from the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, or the XV Concept from the Geneva Motor Show in 2016… the list goes on and on.

Either way, we like the look. Just maybe put it to good use this time, eh Suby?

  • Leave it
    • Production version will likely look way different
    • No interior design details
    • No specs on the engine and drivetrain likely means carryovers for both

References

Subaru WRX


2018 Subaru WRX - image 700160

Read our full review of the 2018 Subaru WRX

Subaru



Read the latest Subaru news

PostHeaderIcon Lexus LS+ Concept

2017 Lexus LS+ Concept

The fifth-generation Lexus LS just hit the market this year, but the Japanese automaker is already looking ahead into the future with a new concept for its flagship sedan that’s heavy on state-of-the-art technology. The concept is called the LS+, and if you were thinking it to be outlandish in the typical Lexus concept fashion, then you’d be right. The LS+ Concept is a feast for the senses in more ways than one.

We already have an idea of how Lexus does concept vehicles. The NX Concept from a few years ago blasted our expectations through the roof, and it’s nice to see that Toyota’s premium brand isn’t letting up. This car, Lexus says, is going to be a showcase of what the LS could look like down the road. It’s not a certainty that this blueprint will be put to use in the future, but as far as giving us a taste of what could come, then it hits all the right spots. It looks the part of a futuristic concept though more important than that are the litany of tech features that it comes with, including the curiously named “Highway Teammate” automated driving technology that brings autonomous driving tech to life. That’s just one of the technology goodies we can expect from the LS+ Concept, so expect a whole lot more now that the full-sized beauty is sitting pretty at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Lexus LS+ Concept

Exterior

  • Laser light technology
  • Spindle front grille with mechanized shutters
  • Side-view cameras
  • 22-inch wheels

2017 Lexus LS+ Concept - image 740689
“The thing that you’ll immediately notice is how Lexus designers were able to combine current design elements with new visual features that are culled from improved technology”

If this is what the Lexus LS is going to look like in the future, then sign me up. Of course, Lexus has shown a penchant for designing some of the most incredible concepts that I’ve seen in recent years, so it’s nothing out of the ordinary that its vision for the future of the LS flagship sedan follows in that tradition. At first glance, . Take the massive spindle grille for example. Lexus already employs that feature in its current lineup but it still plays a prominent part in the overall look of the concept. Here’s the new-age rub, though. The grille itself incorporates what looks to be a mechanized shutter that does double-duty by helping with cooling the car’s internal parts and boosting the sedan’s overall aerodynamic flow.

The boomerang-like headlights are also similar in design from the current LS but, like the spindle grille, there’s more to it than meets the eye, specifically the illumination. Turns out, laser technology will be a big part of Lexus’ future, as is probably the case too with a lot of automakers down the road. Not only does it guarantee much better illumination than what we’re used to these days, but it’s a clear step in the right direction towards improving road safety for everyone involved. Then there’s the use of cameras instead of conventional side mirrors. It’s not a new “concept” but everyone’s doing it too. What’s a bit surprising is that the concept sits on massive 22-inch alloy wheels, much bigger than the 20-inch wheels the current LS uses.


2017 Lexus LS+ Concept - image 740684

Overall though, the exterior of LS+ Concept is solid work from Lexus designers. The whole shape of the body is consistent with what we know the LS to be, so it’s good that the designers didn’t go too out of the box with its presentation. It’s imposing in its own right, but not at all intimidating. That’s what you want a flagship sedan to look like.

Interior

  • Inspiration from Japanese design
  • Should have leather interior
  • Should have wood trim
  • Ambient lighting

2018 Lexus LS 500 - image 700564
Interior from 2018 Lexus LS500 shown here
“The heavy inspiration on Japanese design has been a hallmark of Lexus for years so there’s no reason to think that the future LS will adopt a similar design philosophy”

The interior of the Lexus LS+ Concept is trickier to get a hold off because judging by how blacked-out those windows are, it appears that there’s very little there to talk about. Some concepts adopt this approach so it’s nothing that we’re not used to. That said, we can still speculate on what the concept’s cabin could look like.

Personally, I don’t think the interior will be a far departure from what the current LS already has. That’s a good thing because the cabin of the current LS is one of the cleanest ones in its segment. The heavy inspiration on Japanese design has been a hallmark of Lexus for years so there’s no reason to think that the future LS will adopt a similar design philosophy. Fine leather should be a gimme. Same thing with ambient lighting and some kind massage feature on the seats. These are hallmarks of Lexus’ Japan-style cabin treatment and I’m all for getting all those things – maybe even more – on the future LS sedan.

As far as tech features go, the expectation is that Lexus is going to take a massive leap from what it has on the table now. A navigation display should still be in the mix, but it could cater to a number of new tech items in the future, including the aforementioned “Highway Teammate” technology that effectively puts a fully functioning autonomous system in place for the LS sedan.

Drivetrain

  • Highway Teammate autonomous driving technology
  • Data tech system
  • Could be all-electric
  • Could have 354-horsepower drivetrain from LS500h

2017 Lexus LS+ Concept - image 740685
“Lexus LS+ Concept is going to adopt autonomous driving technology using its Highway Teammate system”

The only thing we know about the Lexus LS+ Concept is that it’s going to adopt autonomous driving technology using its Highway Teammate system. This technology essentially gives the luxury sedan full autonomous driving capabilities to navigate around specific road conditions, including merging, lane changes, and diverging. It’s also tipped to be smart enough to keep the sedan in its lane, a safe distance from the car in front.

Coinciding with the use of Highway Teammate is the concept’s ability to communicate with a data center, allowing the system’s software to be updated on the fly. It’s something that Tesla is already doing with its fleet of models so if Lexus is going to get that level, it’s going to need to have it’s own architecture in place if it’s going to fully adapt autonomous driving technology in the future.


2017 Lexus LS+ Concept - image 740688
“The likeliest candidate is a fully-electric set-up, though a hybrid shouldn’t be dismissed either”

Beyond that, it’s anybody’s guess what kind of drivetrain the future LS could have. The likeliest candidate is a fully-electric set-up, though a hybrid shouldn’t be dismissed either. If it does end up being the latter, Lexus can point to the setup of the current LS 500h, which makes use of a 3.5-liter V-6 gasoline engine and a couple of electric motors. Total output is rated at 354 horsepower, giving the LS enough boost to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds.

Is it possible that the future LS will have a gas-engine? I’d say yes, though, I wouldn’t be surprised if Lexus goes fully hybrid and electric in the future.

Conclusion


2017 Lexus LS+ Concept - image 740687

I’m always intrigued every time Lexus comes out with a concept vehicle. It’s arguably one of the best at it and if you’re not a believer, look up some of the past Lexus concepts from the last few years. The LS+ Concept fits into that mold because it not only looks the part of a futuristic concept, but it also looks like something that Lexus will eventually turn into a production car in the future. Those are always the best kind of concepts to begin with so I’m expecting big things out of the LS+ down the road. Don’t expect it to happen anytime soon though because the LS just got its fifth-gen model rolling.

But for the future? You bet I’m looking forward to it.

  • Leave it
    • Not happening anytime soon
    • How much of it will be adapted to future LS models is a good question
    • Not enough details on the interior and drivetrain

References

Lexus LS


2018 Lexus LS 500 - image 702643

Read our review of the 2018 Lexus LS500

Lexus


2011 Lexus LF-A - image 328640

Read the latest Lexus news

PostHeaderIcon Like Lots of Tech? You Need the Audi A7 in your Life

The Audi A7 recently made its debut, and it should come as no surprise that it took a lot of DNA from it’s bigger brother, the Audi A8. A lot of this DNA includes an insane amount of technology that shows just how far we’ve come in this department over the last 20 years. Digital Displays in cars were once practically non-existent, and those that did have them didn’t have anything anywhere near as cool as we have today. With that in mind, the Audi A7 (and the A8 for that matter) really push things to the limit with technology, and that’s what we’re here to talk about today.

First off, let me point out that you’re going to have to pay up if you want the goods, but in the end, it’s really worth it if you’re into this kind of stuff. You want to hit up the checkbox for the MMI Navigation Plus system that gives you the Audi Digital Cockpit, and the MMI navigation. I mean, the graphics are beautiful, the infotainment screen is almost too gorgeous to allow in a car (talk about distracted driving,) and the way that ten-inch display in the center stack blends in so nicely with the glass panel around it, the whole package just comes together nice and clean. The best part is that the system works like a smartphone in that you can use the upper screen to control most infotainment system functions, meaning there is no more control knob. And, the lower screen is used to control various creature comforts – that means there are far fewer buttons inside the vehicle.

There’s a lot what you find in the infotainment system, though. We’re talking about as many as 39 driver assistance features (these are available via three different packages, so they don’t come cheap,) and there’s the option for voice control as well. And, when you use this voice control, the system accesses data stored locally with the vehicle and in the Audi cloud. A head-up display can be had for some extra moolah and, sometime in 2018, Audi will activate the garage and parking pilot systems which should park your car for you. And, to bring the whole technology package together, the A7 is a mild hybrid as well, which means it can freewheel at certain speeds with the engine off, only starting when needed. A front-facing camera is also used to help improve start\stop functionality.

Now, obviously, a lot of this technology is just really over the top. The mild hybrid technology doesn’t even save you a whole liter per 100km driven, and until the A7 can locate a parking spot and park itself, the parking and garage assistant just seem to be in place for people who like the showoff or are simply too lazy to park themselves. Be that as it may, the A7 is very technological and, if you’re into technology, it’s certainly something you want to look into. This is what the future of all cars looks like – few buttons, more touch displays, more hybrid technology – but it still comes at a cost. What do you guys think of the new A7’s technology? Let us know in the comments section below

Audi Virtual Cockpit and MMI explained

Audi AI parking pilot and garage pilot

References

Audi A7


Like Lots of Tech? You Need the Audi A7 in your Life - image 739611

Read our full review on the new, 2019 Audi A7.


2018 Audi RS4 And RS5 Carbon Editions - image 734768

Read more Audi news.


Watch Giant Robots Duel One Another: Video - image 739786

Read more technology news.

PostHeaderIcon The New Audi A7 Is Here, But Its Sporty Heritage Remains The Same

Out of a rich history that originates in the early 20th century, Audi as we know it was born from corporate mergers in 1969. The first Audi model came to the U.S. for the 1970 model year, and the rest is automotive history. Audi’s latest model, the 2019 A7 Sportback, just took center stage at a debut event in Ingolstadt, Germany, Audi’s hometown. The four-door coupe is stunningly gorgeous and features some cutting-edge technology and high-horsepower drivetrains.

But, it was 1992 that Audi earnestly began competing in the sports sedan segment. The model of choice: The S4. This compact sedan came with a potent, 2.2-liter turbocharged inline five-cylinder good for 227 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The little five boasted high-tech stuff for its day, too, including dual overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, and an air-to-water intercooler for the turbo. A five-speed manual transmission was the only gearbox offered. Of course, being an Audi, the 1992 S4 came with Quattro AWD. Even this version of Quattro could split torque variability between the front and rear axles depending on traction, sending as much as 70 percent to the front wheels. Fuel economy wasn’t a strong suit, however, only returning an EPA-estimated 18 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. Then again, that’s pretty good for a 227-horse, AWD car from the early 1990s.

Audi wasn’t afraid of making a limited-edition car for the U.S., either, as only 250 examples of the ’92 S4 came Stateside. More became available for the 1993 model though. Not surprisingly, all were sold out rather quickly, despite its hefty price tag of $44,750. That’s roughly $80,000 today. Still, Audi quickly built its reputation here in the U.S. and has seen big success ever since.

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Evolution of Audi’s sports sedans: 1992 Audi S4 vs. 2019 Audi A7

1992 Audi S4 Review

2019 Audi A7

References

Audi A7


2019 Audi A7 - image 739573

Read our full review on the 2019 Audi A7.


2018 Audi Q8 - image 705602

Read more Audi news.

PostHeaderIcon The Kia Stinger Gets Baptized For SEMA

It was only a matter of time before the Kia Stinger would attract the attention of aftermarket tuners. As it turns out, it was even sooner than we all thought. Kia’s new GT sedan is headed to the 2017 SEMA Auto Show, and it’s bringing West Coast Customs with it for the ride.

By now, it’s become the status quo to expect the extraordinary at SEMA, and it’s no surprise that the Stinger’s baptism in the event comes by way of one of the most famous tuning shops in the world. In true West Coast Customs fashion, the kit it prepared for the Stinger is nothing short of a statement on the tuning potential of the performance sedan. The aero kits are insane. The aesthetic details are just as incredible. And, let’s not forget what West Coast Customs is capable of if given a chance to go all-out on redesigning a car’s interior. There are no photos of the Stinger’s cabin at the moment, but you can be assured that it’s going to be overhauled, West Coast Customs style. Weird lighting? Perhaps. An ear-pounding audio system? Don’t sleep on it. Maybe an HDTV or two? Wouldn’t be a shock to the system either. The full story of West Coast Customs’ aftermarket build of the Kia Stinger is going to be told in all its glory at SEMA. As far as can’t-wait moments for the show, the unveiling of this project now sits high atop my list.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

What do we know so far about West Coast Customs’ program for the Kia Stinger?


The Kia Stinger Gets Baptized For SEMA - image 739815
“The most noticeable change is the width of the car, largely credited to the addition of those wide body fender flares”

Well, Kia was nice enough to show us a teaser of the Kia Stinger sporting West Coast Customs gear, and by the looks of the rear section of the performance sedan, we’re going to need to prepare ourselves for nothing less than a Decepticon-like transformation. The most noticeable change is the width of the car, largely credited to the addition of those wide body fender flares. The wheel arches are insane to look at from this angle though not shocking since this is a WCC build to begin with. We can’t see it from this angle, but according to Kia, there’s a similar treatment to the front end of the car, complemented by a gloss black front grille, and a number of other aggressive enhancements. A new set of 21-inch forged wheels has also been added to the mix and going back to the rear of the Stinger; we see a larger diffuser that’s flanked by four squared-off exhaust tips.

All the upgrades we’re seeing here in the photo are just from one section of the car. Imagine then what the whole thing is going to look like once the Stinger is unveiled at the SEMA Auto Show. We know that it’s going to be joined by a handful of other custom Kia creations, but you can be sure that we already know which of these builds are going to attract the most attention.


2018 Kia Stinger - image 700354
“It’s the first performance sedan that Kia’s releasing to compete against the established European elite”

For those who need a refresher, the Kia Stinger is a ground-breaking car from the Korean automaker. It’s the first performance sedan that Kia’s releasing to compete against the established European elite and based on initial response to it; the Stinger looks to be up-to-the-task of going up against the likes of the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes C-Class, and Audi A4. For one, it’s bigger than most of its competitors, something that could play well into the hands of customers who value their premium sedans to look the part of one. Then there are the engine options. The Stinger features a number of different engine variants, but for now, none is more important than the range-topping 3.3-liter bi-turbo V-6 engine that’s expected to top 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque.

Talks of a more potent are also being discussed to compete against models like the BMW M3. There’s no confirmation on the kind of power it’s getting, but the early report indicates that it’s going to make use of the same 5.0-liter V-8, Tau GDi powerplant found under the hood of the Genesis G80. The unit generates up to 420 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque in output.

References

Kia Stinger


2018 Kia Stinger - image 700361

Read out full review on the 2018 Kia Stinger.


2017 Hyundai BTR Edition Elantra Sport Concept - image 739052

Read more SEMA Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon EIC Thoughts: Audi Finally Nails a Generational Shift with the New Audi A7

I will openly admit that I’ve been very harsh toward the German brands – all of them – for following the “same sausage, different length” philosophy (Audi, this is you) or for simply changing very little when it comes to facelifts or generational shifts. Admittedly, I expected the same from Audi when it came to the A7. But, while there are a lot of similarities to the A8, the A7 still stands out as its own model thanks to Audi’s ambition to provide simple evolutionary enhancements to not only the exterior but the interior too. In comparison to the A8, the A7 gets additional body lines on the hood but lacks the strong line below the waist. Inside, the dash is more defined, while things like the center console and trim panels have been tweaked just enough to keep things comfortable. Sure, it’s a bit smaller, but everything is so well proportioned inside and out that it’s almost like it was meant to be this way.

And, even better is the fact that there are options-a-plenty. You get the MMI system by default, but to get the Virtual cockpit you have to go with the MMI Nav Plus. I don’t necessarily like that idea, but it is what it is. A total of four sound systems are for the taking, including a very powerful Bang & Olufsen advanced sound system. You can also opt for the Audi Ai Parking Pilot and Remote Garage Pilot, but those won’t be activated until later on in 2018. What I really want to know is what engines will be available once the A7 goes into production. Audi already has the base 3.0-liter (hybridized, of course) that delivers 340 ponies and 368 pound-feet, but what else will be on the docket? I would love to see a turbo V-8, but I doubt it will happen. An S7 and RS7 are almost mandatory, and with any luck, the RS7 may get the turbo V-8 – eh, a man can hope anyway, right?

At the end of the day, the A7 certainly doesn’t disappoint, but I am worried about one thing. Considering the fact that the A7 borrows heavily from the A8, will the rest of the lineup eventually end up looking just like the two range-topping models? History tells me yes, and that’s a bad thing, as Audi could really use some diversity in its lineup, but at the same time, the brand’s strategy seems to be working so perhaps I should be less critical. Is this the world we live in now? Where every automaker makes one design, then copy and pastes it onto a proportionately smaller canvas? I really hope not, but who could blame you if you were starting to think that way? I certainly won’t because it seems to me like I see a lot of the same designs popping up model after model, and that doesn’t say a lot for individuality at all.

What do you guys think? Is the A7 a hit or a dud? Are automakers being too eager and pushy with their design consistency between models, changing little outside of size and engine output? Let us know what you’re thinking in the comments section below.

References

Audi A7


EIC Thoughts: Audi Finally Nails a Generational Shift with the New Audi A7 - image 739611

Read our full review on the new, 2019 Audi A7.


2017 Audi A7 - image 673725

Read our full review on the previous 2017 Audi A7.

Audi S7


2019 Audi S7 - image 723160

Read our speculative review on the 2019 Audi S7.

PostHeaderIcon Cadillac CTS-V – Driven

This isn’t your grandfather’s Cadillac. Nope, this is the third-generation CTS-V – a 640-horsepower, rear-wheel drive sports sedan with cutting-edge technology under the skin and looks to kill. Oh, and it also hits 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds and goes 200 mph. It rivals the best Germany has to offer, such as the Audi RS7, Mercedes-AMG E63 S, and Porsche Panamera Turbo. This Caddy might not match the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat for horsepower, but it definitely has more class.

I recently spent a week living with the 2017 Cadillac CTS-V, doing everything from grocery store runs and idling in the parent pickup line at the kiddo’s school to launching the blacked-out sedan down open blacktop as the 1.7-liter roots-type supercharger screamed atop its 6.2-liter small block V-8. There’s no doubt the CTS-V is a riot when it comes to performance, but just how good is it at being a Cadillac?

Continue reading for the full review of the Cadillac CTS-V.

Exterior


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737437
“Dark, menacing with only a few touches of chrome define this CTS-V’s theme”

Dark, menacing with only a few touches of chrome define this CTS-V’s theme. Yeah, Cadillac offers several other color options, but the black-on-black look suits it well. Much of the blackness is credited to the Carbon Black Package, a $6,950 option that brings 19-inch “Midnight Dark” alloy wheels, the black chrome-accented grille, and a slew of carbon fiber both inside and out. Outside, this includes the carbon fiber hood vent, carbon fiber front splitter, and the carbon fiber rear diffuser, and the tall, carbon fiber rear spoiler.

About the only bright trim on this CTS-V is the Cadillac badge, the headlights, the V-Series badge on the front fender, the door handles, the trim around the windows, and the bar atop the license plate.


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737435
“The CTS-V has some serious aerodynamics improvement over the standard CTS”

Aside from its color, the CTS-V has some serious aerodynamics improvement over the standard CTS. The front splitter, the larger grille, the heat extractors, the underbody panels, and the rear diffuser all help manager airflow to achieve that 200-mph V-max. And yes, everything is functional. That’s especially true up front where seven heat exchangers hid behind the bumper and grille. Each has something it cools, from the main radiator for the V-8 and the intercooler for the supercharger to the rear differential and transmission. Functionality is a big part of the CTS-V’s design.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 114.6
Length (Inches) 197.6
Height (Inches) 57.2
Width (Inches) 72.2
Track front/rear (Inches) 62.1/61.2

Interior


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737415
“The outside might be functional, but the interior is slightly less so”

The outside might be functional, but the interior is slightly less so. I found the CUE infotainment system frustrating to use. The 8.0-inch display is slower to respond to fingertip touches than other GM 8.0-inch systems, and the HVAC and radio controls are just overly complex and solve a problem that didn’t exist. A set of classy yet traditionally functional controls would go a long way to making the CVT-V (and even the standard CTS) a more livable luxury sedan.

Besides the finicky controls, the CTS-V lives up to its hype. It has room for five people and a sizable trunk. The back seats are large enough for adults to get comfy and the secondary HVAC controls and air vents let rear passengers set their own temperature and fan speed. The system can also be controlled from up front so parents can manage the kid’s cooling.


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737420
“The seats are impressively adjustable, offering control over the thigh and back bolsters, lumbar, height, and rake”

My tester came with the optional $2,300 Recaro front bucket seats with suede microfiber inserts. The seats are impressively adjustable, offering control over the thigh and back bolsters, lumbar, height, and rake. They would be perfect for the track thanks to their grippy surface. On the daily, though, I found the suede inserts and thick bolster do a better job at trapping heat. Sadly, the Recaros don’t offer ventilation, only heating. The wife says that function works wonderfully.

The CTS-V also boasts a swanky digital gauge cluster that is configurable with three main themes and more than a two dozen combinations of ancillary gauges and vehicle parameters. Being a proper GM track monster, it has a G meter, a lap timing, and the Performance Data Recorder with the HD camera mounted just ahead of the rearview mirror. Slide in a memory card and the PRD will record your driving and overlay information like speed, rpm, g-forces, and lap times.

Interior Dimensions

Legroom front/rear (Inches) 45.7/35.4
Headroom front/rear (Inches) 40.4/37.5
Shoulder room front/rear (Inches) 56.9/54.8
Hip room
front/rear (Inches)
53.8/53.3

Drivetrain


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737423
“The all-aluminum small-block boasts 640 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 630 pound-feet of torque at 3,600 rpm”

The heart of the Cadillac CTS-V is its engine. This is GM’s LT4 V-8 and is the same supercharged, 6.2-liter engine found in the Corvette Z06 and Camaro ZL1. Unfortunately, Cadillac falls below Corvette and Camaro in GM’s pecking order, so its LT4 is 10 horsepower and 20 pound-feet short of the Chevys. Regardless, that still leaves the Cadillac with world-class power.

The all-aluminum small-block boasts 640 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 630 pound-feet of torque at 3,600 rpm. And just like every small-block Chevy since 1955, it uses a single camshaft located inside the block and uses pushrods to operate the two valves over each cylinder. Of course, the LT4 is a member of GM’s fifth-generation small-block, meaning it has direct fuel injection, variable valve timing, and cylinder deactivation. These features certainly contribute to the Cadillac CTS-V having an EPA-estimated highway mileage of 21 mpg. That is very respectable for a V-8 with more than 600 horsepower.


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737424
“This 4,129-pound car will hit 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, rip through the quarter-mile in only 11.8 seconds at 124 mph, and continue pulling until it hits 200 mph”

GM’s 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission also helps in fuel conservation, while also keeping the V-8 spinning in its power band during spirited driving. The transmission can also be controlled manually via paddle shifters. Power is sent rearward to an electronically controlled limited-slip differential. The smart diff manages the twist well, alternating power between the tires to maintain traction down to the millisecond. The eLSD works in conjunction with the traction control and drive modes to provide the best power-to-the ground possible. Disable the traction control, though, and you’ll instantly morph the massive Michelins into puffy clouds of expensive smoke.

The drivetrain isn’t the only tech keeping the CTS-V running right. The sedan has GM’s Magnetic Ride Control – those fluid-filled dampers that constantly adapt to changing road conditions and offer a range of ride stiffness that correlates to the drive modes. Just as in the Corvette and Camaro, the MRC works incredibly well, though I do wish Cadillac would make Comfort Mode a bit less firm. The same goes for the transmission’s shifts; the car remains too high-strung and acts like a Greyhound yanking at its leash even around town.

Small critiques aside, the nitty-gritty numbers don’t lie when it comes to the CTS-V’s performance. Provided it’s launched well and the 295-series Michelin Pilot Super Sport rear tires hook up, this 4,129-pound car will hit 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, rip through the quarter-mile in only 11.8 seconds at 124 mph, and continue pulling until it hits 200 mph. Road-holding is equally good, with a 1.0-g held on the skidpad and braking from 60 mph in an eye-popping 99 feet. These are supercar numbers from a four-door Cadillac!

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 6.2L supercharged V-8
Displacement (cu in / cc) 376 / 6,162
Bore & stroke (in / mm) 4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92
Horsepower 640 HP @ 6,400 RPM
Torque 630 LB-FT @ 3,600 RPM
Transmission 8L90 eight-speed automatic
0 to 60 mph 3.7 seconds
Top Speed 200 mph

Behind the Wheel


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737419
“The CTS-V is an absolute blast to drive fast”

The CTS-V is an absolute blast to drive fast. Its supercharged V-8 never runs out of steam on any road short of a drag strip. Its steering is quick and precise. It’s Brembo brakes (six-piston up front, four out back) do an amazing job stopping the car, regardless of speed. Even outward visibility is good, lending to a good sense of control from behind the suede-wrapped wheel.

But not everything is perfect with the CTS-V. Like I mentioned the car doesn’t feel satisfied tooling around town. It wants to move. It wants to dance. The rumble of the exhaust and whine of the supercharger are constant reminders of the 640 horses living under that carbon fiber hood. Worse still, (and I can’t believe I’m saying this…) the CTS-V is just too powerful to enjoy on public roads. That sweet V-8 wants to rev, but anything past half throttle either has the tires spinning or speed limits getting completely blown away. It’s like having bulldozer and only using it to build sandcastles. I guess that’s why they say, “it’s more fun to drive a slow car quickly than a quick car slowly.” But don’t let my personal temptations bar you from wanting this car. I just need to scratch the itch on a proper racetrack.


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737421
“The suspension is a bit too firm, and the transmission’s shifts are far too harsh”

The only (slightly more) objective criticism is the CTS-V’s Comfort Mode. I alluded to it before, but the car still feels hyped up even when this drive mode is selected. The suspension is a bit too firm, and the transmission’s shifts are far too harsh. In Sport Mode, it’s great, but sometimes I like to enjoy a peaceful drive with the wife without getting kicked in the pants by a tranny.

Nevertheless, the CTS-V is definitely on my short-list of most fun car I’ve driven and I’d buy one in a heartbeat if I had money to blow. Speaking of that…

Pricing


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737430

Without all the fancy stuff, the 2017 Cadillac CTS has a base price of $46,990. That’s not bad considering it’s rivals. Caddy will happily sell you a soft, luxury-lined model with all the bells and whistles without any of the sporty stuff starting at $60,190 for the Premium Luxury trim. There’s also the V-Sport model with a 420-horsepower twin-turbo V-6 for $61,690 or $71,790 with the Premium Luxury package added. But none of these compare to the CTS-V for raw power and sinister looks.

The 2017 CTS-V starts at $86,990. For that, you get the supercharged 6.2-liter V-8, eight-speed auto, magnetic ride control, limited-slip rear differential, Brembo brakes, all the functional aero bits, the digital gauge cluster, CUE, and full leather seats with heating and venting up front. My tester was filled to the brim with options, though, including the $6,950 Carbon Black Package. That brings the exterior carbon fiber pieces, the interior carbon fiber trim, suede steering wheel and shifter, and black wheels.


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737432

The $2,075 Luxury Package adds the Rear Camera Mirror, tri-zone climate controls, split rear seat with armrest and heated outboard seats, the power rear sunshade and manual side window shades, and a 110-volt power outlet. Then there’s the $2,300 Recaro front buckets, $1,600 Performance Data Recorder, and $1,450 panoramic moonroof. Last but not least is the Dark Gold paint on the Brembo calipers for $595.

Tack on the $1,000 gas-guzzler tax and $995 destination charges, and my tester totals out to $103,260

Competition

2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S


2017 Mercedes-AMG E63 - image 693198

The AMG E63 S is just as beastly as the Cadillac, though it goes about life a bit differently. As a whole, the car is more luxury-minded thanks to an absolutely gorgeous interior that easily outdoes the CTS-V’s and an exterior that’s a bit more reserved.

Power comes from a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 with 603 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 627 pound-feet of torque at only 2,500 rpm. It might be slightly down on power compared to the CTS-V, but thanks to 4Matic AWD, the E63 S puts the power down more predictably. A nine-speed automatic mediates relations between the all-aluminum, direct-injected V-8 and the stick rubber. Performance numbers are impressive, with 60 mph coming in only 3.2 seconds and the quarter-mile happening in 11.5 seconds. Interestingly, the Merc’s top speed, when not governed at 155 mph, is “only” 186 mph. Perhaps the CTS-V’s extra bodywork really does pay off.

The Mercedes-AMG E63 S makes the Cadillac CTS-V seem like a bargain when it comes to pricing, though. The Merc starts at $104,400 and will quickly soar when extra options.

Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S.

2018 BMW M5


2018 BMW M5 - image 727588

The M5 is a staple in the performance luxury segment and has been for decades. Now for 2018, the M5 has a fresh face, an updated interior, a more powerful engine, the addition of AWD, and the subtraction of a manual transmission. While those last two items might make purists sad, the Bavaria’s latest is no slouch or ho-hum sedan.

The familiar 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 returns but makes 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. Though lower than the others, the torque peaks at only 1,800 rpm and stays strong till 5.700 rpm where horsepower immediately takes over and lasts till 6,600 rpm. An eight-speed automatic transmission does the shifting and a part-time (no, not a type-o) AWD system. Yes, you can turn the AWD system off should you decided to drift the M5 with its Drift Mode setting on. Normal operation has the AWD system constantly engaged. BMW says the 2018 M5 will hit 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and onto a top speed of 189 mph. Looks like the Caddy is still the fastest of the bunch.

As of this writing, BMW hasn’t released the price for the 2018 M5, but we expect it to start around $100,000.

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M5.

Conclusion


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737398

The 2017 Cadillac CTS-V is a helluva car. With a good ole fashioned Chevy small-block V-8 under the hood making a class-leading 640 horsepower thanks to a supercharger, this American monster is able to truly fight off its global rivals. Its armor is made of carbon fiber and is lined with microfiber suede. It’s surname has history and it’s battling to clear the Cadillac crest of past sins. There’s no doubt Cadillac has come a long way in recent years, but there is still more work to be done. Nevertheless, Caddy is on the right track. Now, if people would just start buying them.

  • Leave it
    • Transmision isn’t the smoothest
    • Recaro seats make me hot
    • Expensive options

References

Cadillac CTS


2017 Cadillac CTS - image 703853

Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac CTS.


2016 Cadillac CTS-V - image 599734

Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac CTS-V.

PostHeaderIcon BMW 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition

BMW has released another special edition model, but again, it’s not headed to the U.S. Such a reality has become the norm for us even though it doesn’t get any easier to come to grips with. This time, the German automaker is rolling out a special edition 7 Series exclusively for the Russian market. The model goes by the name BMW 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition, and as its name suggests, it’s dressed up in all layers and manners of black.

From a distance, the special edition 7 Series looks exactly like the kind of car that a Russian oligarch would own. The all-black look gives it business-like swag and the fact that it’s based on a 7 Series is another indication that Bimmer Russia is keen on rolling this out for the upper-echelon of Russia’s social class. In keeping with its identity, the 7er Black Ice carries plenty of exclusive features, not the least of which is the paint finish that was used in it. Apart from that, the luxury sedan also boasts of an aerodynamic kit from BMW M Sport, interior upgrades courtesy of BMW Individual, a new set of wheels, and enough of the automaker’s newest and most advanced tech features. And for vanity’s sake, there are also badges throughout the car denoting its “Black Ice” name. I suppose that at some point in the future, we’re going to get our turn and have more of these special edition models head to our soil. But now’s not our time yet, so the only thing we can do at this point is admire what other market is getting from Bimmer. And, in this case, it looks like the Russian market got itself a good one from the German automaker.

Continue after the jump to read more about the BMW 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition.

What makes the BMW 7 Series Individual Ice Edition special


2017 BMW 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition - image 739622
“There are a number of different things about this particular 7 Series special edition that make it “special””

There are a number of different things about this particular 7 Series special edition that make it “special” in my eyes. The first and most important of it is its color because it’s a one-off. That means that no other BMW model will get this specific shade. BMW calls it “Frosty Black Metallic,” which it created by covering the base layer of metallic paint with a special matte varnish. This process, or “paint technology,” as BMW puts it, creates transformative properties in the paint giving it a unique shine under specific lighting conditions. BMW didn’t say what those conditions are but I suppose we can take their word for it. They’ve been doing this a lot over the years and they at least get the benefit of the doubt in this regard.

“The 7 Series SE also comes with a new set of 20-inch forged, V-spoke 649 wheels from BMW Individual.”

Beyond the meticulous process of creating a one-off paint scheme for the 7 Series, BMW also gave the luxury sedan its patented M Sport package. Notice the double grille in the front? That’s part of the M
Sport package. Same thing with the gloss black door handles and the gloss black boot lid. I suppose if BMW’s going to go to great lengths to create a one-off paint finish for a car, might as well use complementary pieces to make the whole thing shine as it did here. The 7 Series SE also comes with a new set of 20-inch forged, V-spoke 649 wheels from BMW Individual. This wheel setup is unique in it of itself because this particular set of wheels can only be paired with the M Sport body kit.

Now on to the tech side. Seeing as the 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition is exclusive to the Russian market, BMW need not worry about US regulations pertaining to the use of laser headlamps. So the luxury sedan gets them. Also standard on the special edition sedan, among other things, are parking assist with a remote control module, a 360-degree vision system, and an Executive Drive Pro package with roadway scanning.


2017 BMW 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition - image 739624
“The cabin itself is dressed up in Nappa Black leather trim to go with a BMW Individual trim that’s finished in Black Piano lacquer”

Move to the interior, and you’ll be greeted by a continuation of the stealthy theme that Bimmer seems to have adopted for this SE. The cabin itself is dressed up in Nappa Black leather trim to go with a BMW Individual trim that’s finished in Black Piano lacquer. The upholstery also gets Anthracite Alcantara, and the whole black-on-black theme continues with the BMW badge sporting this color scheme. A “Black Ice” badging on the passenger dashboard is the cherry on top of this proverbial sundae.

BMW made no mention of how much the 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition is going to cost. That said, we can at least point to the pricing of the standard 7 Series for reference, which in this case adds up to $84,000 for the base 740i model and $97,000 for the 750i. That means that with all the work BMW put into turning the 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition into a true SE, it should cost somewhere in the $110,000 range, maybe even more. Not that it matters since we’re not getting it here in the US, but if any of our friends in Russia are interested in getting one, they better get their checkbooks ready. This special edition Bimmer isn’t going to come cheap.

References

BMW 7 Series


2016 BMW 7 Series - image 633492

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW 7 Series.


2017 BMW M2 CSL - image 645061

Read more BMW news.

PostHeaderIcon BMW 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition

BMW has released another special edition model, but again, it’s not headed to the U.S. Such a reality has become the norm for us even though it doesn’t get any easier to come to grips with. This time, the German automaker is rolling out a special edition 7 Series exclusively for the Russian market. The model goes by the name BMW 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition, and as its name suggests, it’s dressed up in all layers and manners of black.

From a distance, the special edition 7 Series looks exactly like the kind of car that a Russian oligarch would own. The all-black look gives it business-like swag and the fact that it’s based on a 7 Series is another indication that Bimmer Russia is keen on rolling this out for the upper-echelon of Russia’s social class. In keeping with its identity, the 7er Black Ice carries plenty of exclusive features, not the least of which is the paint finish that was used in it. Apart from that, the luxury sedan also boasts of an aerodynamic kit from BMW M Sport, interior upgrades courtesy of BMW Individual, a new set of wheels, and enough of the automaker’s newest and most advanced tech features. And for vanity’s sake, there are also badges throughout the car denoting its “Black Ice” name. I suppose that at some point in the future, we’re going to get our turn and have more of these special edition models head to our soil. But now’s not our time yet, so the only thing we can do at this point is admire what other market is getting from Bimmer. And, in this case, it looks like the Russian market got itself a good one from the German automaker.

Continue after the jump to read more about the BMW 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition.

What makes the BMW 7 Series Individual Ice Edition special


2017 BMW 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition - image 739622
“There are a number of different things about this particular 7 Series special edition that make it “special””

There are a number of different things about this particular 7 Series special edition that make it “special” in my eyes. The first and most important of it is its color because it’s a one-off. That means that no other BMW model will get this specific shade. BMW calls it “Frosty Black Metallic,” which it created by covering the base layer of metallic paint with a special matte varnish. This process, or “paint technology,” as BMW puts it, creates transformative properties in the paint giving it a unique shine under specific lighting conditions. BMW didn’t say what those conditions are but I suppose we can take their word for it. They’ve been doing this a lot over the years and they at least get the benefit of the doubt in this regard.

“The 7 Series SE also comes with a new set of 20-inch forged, V-spoke 649 wheels from BMW Individual.”

Beyond the meticulous process of creating a one-off paint scheme for the 7 Series, BMW also gave the luxury sedan its patented M Sport package. Notice the double grille in the front? That’s part of the M
Sport package. Same thing with the gloss black door handles and the gloss black boot lid. I suppose if BMW’s going to go to great lengths to create a one-off paint finish for a car, might as well use complementary pieces to make the whole thing shine as it did here. The 7 Series SE also comes with a new set of 20-inch forged, V-spoke 649 wheels from BMW Individual. This wheel setup is unique in it of itself because this particular set of wheels can only be paired with the M Sport body kit.

Now on to the tech side. Seeing as the 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition is exclusive to the Russian market, BMW need not worry about US regulations pertaining to the use of laser headlamps. So the luxury sedan gets them. Also standard on the special edition sedan, among other things, are parking assist with a remote control module, a 360-degree vision system, and an Executive Drive Pro package with roadway scanning.


2017 BMW 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition - image 739624
“The cabin itself is dressed up in Nappa Black leather trim to go with a BMW Individual trim that’s finished in Black Piano lacquer”

Move to the interior, and you’ll be greeted by a continuation of the stealthy theme that Bimmer seems to have adopted for this SE. The cabin itself is dressed up in Nappa Black leather trim to go with a BMW Individual trim that’s finished in Black Piano lacquer. The upholstery also gets Anthracite Alcantara, and the whole black-on-black theme continues with the BMW badge sporting this color scheme. A “Black Ice” badging on the passenger dashboard is the cherry on top of this proverbial sundae.

BMW made no mention of how much the 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition is going to cost. That said, we can at least point to the pricing of the standard 7 Series for reference, which in this case adds up to $84,000 for the base 740i model and $97,000 for the 750i. That means that with all the work BMW put into turning the 7 Series Individual Black Ice Edition into a true SE, it should cost somewhere in the $110,000 range, maybe even more. Not that it matters since we’re not getting it here in the US, but if any of our friends in Russia are interested in getting one, they better get their checkbooks ready. This special edition Bimmer isn’t going to come cheap.

References

BMW 7 Series


2016 BMW 7 Series - image 633492

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW 7 Series.


2017 BMW M2 CSL - image 645061

Read more BMW news.

PostHeaderIcon Video: Audi A7 Tailights Leak Hours Before Debut

It won’t be long now and Audi will be showing off the all-new A7, but we’ve already seen a leak of what the taillights look like. All we can say is: Bugatti? Check out the video below

References

Audi A7

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Audi A7.

PostHeaderIcon Video: Audi A7 Tailights Leak Hours Before Debut

It won’t be long now and Audi will be showing off the all-new A7, but we’ve already seen a leak of what the taillights look like. All we can say is: Bugatti? Check out the video below

References

Audi A7

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Audi A7.

PostHeaderIcon Polestar 1

2017 Polestar 1

Originally named Flash Engineering and rebranded in 2005, Polestar is Volvo’s go-to when it comes to performance applications. Now, however, Polestar has broken away from the mothership, seeking its own destiny as a “standalone electric performance brand.” The Polestar 1 is the company’s first effort in that role, promising huge hybrid power, stylish GT car looks, a classy interior, and even a new take on modern car ownership models. It’s an ambitious undertaking and, if successful, it will undoubtedly shake things up across the industry. However, the question remains – will Polestar have what it takes to fend for itself?

Continue reading to learn more about the Polestar 1.

Exterior

  • Sleek, refined styling details
  • Very similar to the Volvo S90
  • Classic GT car shape

2018 Polestar 1 - image 738892
“It’s low and sleek and wide, a contoured, smoothed-out slab of elegant aggression with timeless grand tourer proportions”

Right off the bat, we’re loving the look of the Polestar 1. It’s low and sleek and wide, a contoured, smoothed-out slab of elegant aggression with timeless grand tourer proportions that would look at home at the top of the segment.

“But wait,” you’re probably saying, “this is too nice to be a real production vehicle. This is just a concept, right? Will the real thing really look this good?”

While not necessarily a slam-dunk “yes,” our answer is that we’re hopeful not much will change by the time the 1 starts rolling off the assembly line. As evidence, we’d like to point to the design seen on the latest Volvo S90 sedan –

left
right

Seen side-by-side, the design similarities are obvious. The front end in particular shows a remarkable resemblance between the two cars, with those narrow, forward-pointing headlight housings, which get divided into a bottom and upper portion thanks to a single horizontal graphic. The grilles are also identical in shape, down to the vertical slats and black insert. However, the Polestar distinguishes itself thanks to a reshaped lower bumper sporting larger intakes and more dramatic aero blades.

Moving to the flanks, we find the Polestar 1 beefs up its silhouette with a more aggressive roofline and plumped-up fender flares. This is particularly true in the rear, where the wheels seem to hang off the back of the car with an assertive demeanor. Speaking of the rollers, the Polestar 1 comes equipped with large wheels that fill the plus-sized fenders with purpose, nearly scraping its low-profile tires against the underside of the vehicle. Punctuating the smooth look of the two-door profile is a single lower character line, while the side-view mirrors look like carryovers from the S90. All told, the side-view looks more Aston Martin than it does Volvo – and that’s a very, very good thing.


2018 Polestar 1 - image 738881
“All told, the side-view looks more Aston Martin than it does Volvo – and that’s a very, very good thing.”

Moving to the rear, we once again find the S90’s influence show its face, in particular thanks to the C-shaped taillight housings. The trunk is rectangular, sharpening the look with crisp edges and a short overhang. The rear glass also appears to stretch up and into the roof, which should offer occupants a great deal of ambient lighting and result in an airy, open feel for those camped out on the rear bench. Lower black inserts connote addition sportiness with a diffuser-look element.

“It’s an extremely clean, almost anti-septic design approach, but we think it works great in an application like this.”

It’s an extremely clean, almost anti-septic design approach, but we think it works great in an application like this. We’re also digging the lack of badges, which would undoubtedly end up cluttering the overall look.

Details beyond the general aesthetics are a bit hazy at this point, but Polestar did mention that the body is made from carbon fiber, which should cut into the car’s curb weight significantly. Furthermore, we’d expect LED lighting elements front to back, plus adaptive high-/low-beam headlights in the nose.

Interior

  • Cabin layout taken from the Volvo S90
  • 2+2 seating arrangement
  • High-end materials throughout

2018 Polestar 1 - image 738877
“You still get lots of polished metal trim, added as surrounds for the dash, vertical air vents, and character lines”

Inside the cabin, the Polestar 1 once again draws heavily from the Volvo S90, this time around as a direct carryover. Even the steering wheel is identical. Check it out –

left
right

Can you spot the differences? We sure can’t.

But again, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We adore the S90’s cabin, and it wouldn’t make sense for polestar to mess with something so good just for the sake of being different.

You still get lots of polished metal trim, added as surrounds for the dash, vertical air vents, and character lines. A tall digital screen was placed in the center stack, while the various controls are angled towards the driver. Soft touch materials are added to the central tunnel, with cutouts added to provide space for the shifter and various drive settings. The seats appear to be covered in sumptuous leather upholstery, and we’d also expect heating and ventilation functions. The instrumentation behind the steering wheel includes additional digital readouts.

“Carbon fiber is a prominent trim material of choice. Yeah, it’s a bit cheesy, but it work in a high-end performer like this.”

Carbon fiber also seems to be a prominent trim material of choice, seen lying across the dash in wide swaths of tasty weave. Yeah, it’s a bit cheesy, but it work in a high-end performer like this.

Also, Polestar says the 1 uses a 2+2 interior, which means you can sneak in some smaller folks behind you if desired.

Finally, considering Volvo’s dedication to the latest and greatest assistance technology, we’d expect the same kind of gear in the Polestar 1 as well. Adaptive cruise control, speed sign recognition, automatic braking, and similar tech should come as standard.

Drivetrain

  • Hybrid powertrain makes 600 horsepower
  • 738 pound-feet of torque
  • Up to 93 miles in EV mode

2018 Polestar 1 - image 738876
“Polestar did say peak output comes to a heady 600 horsepower and 1,000 Nm (738 pound-feet) of torque”

This is where the performance company really starts to make its break from Volvo. Creating the go in the Polestar 1 is a hybrid electric-gasoline powertrain, and although we don’t know exactly what’s burning the dyno juice, Polestar did say peak output comes to a heady 600 horsepower and 1,000 Nm (738 pound-feet) of torque.

That’s a lot, and we’re excited to see Polestar getting so ambitious with its first stand-alone model. Indeed, if all goes according to plan, it certainly bodes well for the future of the company.

“Polestar says the 1 can go as far as 150 km (93 miles) on electric power alone.”

What’s more, Polestar says the 1 can go as far as 150 km (93 miles) on electric power alone, a figure the company claims as the longest of any hybrid currently on the market. That’s right – speed and economy. What a lovely combination, no?

If we were to speculate, we’d guess Polestar is tuning a twin-charged (supercharged and turbocharged) inline 2.0-liter four-cylinder (basically the T8 Plug-In Hybrid powerplant you see offered in numerous Volvo vehicles) for even more power, while throwing in a beefed-up lithium-ion battery pack under the floor and a set of high-end electric motors to boot. What’s more, we’d also expect a variety of driving modes to make the most of the available power sources, including both a sport mode and an eco mode.

Chassis And Handling

  • Uses the Volvo Scalable Platform Architecture
  • Carbon fiber body cuts weight
  • Electronic suspension is from Ohlins

2018 Polestar 1 - image 738897
“Under the skin of the Polestar 1, you’ll find (surprise, surprise) the Volvo Scalable Platform Architecture, or SPA platform”

Under the skin of the Polestar 1, you’ll find (surprise, surprise) the Volvo Scalable Platform Architecture, or SPA platform. Introduced in 2014, these are the same bones used to create the modern Volvo XC90 SUV, XC60 crossover, and of course, the S90 sedan and V90 wagon.

That said, Polestar asserts that about half of the 1’s chassis is new. Details on what that means are still forthcoming, but we’re gonna guess it has something to do with more rigidity and sportiness, as well as greater accommodation for larger battery packs. Indeed, Polestar is quick to point out that the carbon fiber body components help to up torsional rigidity by as much as 45 percent.

“Polestar asserts that about half of the 1’s chassis is new. The carbon fiber body components help to up torsional rigidity by as much as 45 percent.”

All of that should help the car not only soak up road aberrations and smooth out the ride, but also make it more entertaining to dive in the corners as well. To complement this, the Polestar 1 uses two electric motors at the rear axle, thus creating an advanced torque vectoring system for even sharper handling.

Further apex hunting is assisted by the upgraded suspension system, which uses a new electronic, continuously variable set-up from Ohlins.

All promising stuff, no doubt. But will it be enough to tackle the heavy-hitters of the segment?

Prices

  • Available via “subscription”
  • Owning one will be about $100K

2018 Polestar 1 - image 738888

Polestar is scheduling production of its first standalone vehicle for sometime mid-2019. The new GT car will get built in Polestar’s new production center in China, which is currently under construction and will be completed some time next year.

Now, here’s where things start to get a little weird. Polestar says it wants to shake up the traditional car ownership experience with the 1, starting with the way you order the thing. All interested buyers can log said interest via the Internet, either through an app or online portal. What’s more, rather than owning the car outright, you’ll be able to essentially rent it via a two- to three-year “subscription.” This includes no deposit, and simple monthly payments. The subscription will also toss in delivery services, and the chance to rent alternative vehicles in the Volvo and Polestar lineups.

“Rather than owning the car outright, you’ll be able to essentially rent it via a two- to three-year “subscription” and monthly payments.”

Of course, you’ll probably wanna try it out beforehand, so Polestar says it’s opening a network of “Polestar Spaces” across the globe to do exactly that. These will be separate from Volvo dealers – again, something that’s very ambitious for the newly christened standalone Polestar. Additionally, the 1 will use a “Phone-As-Key” feature wherein owners can share their car with someone else if desired.

Order books for the Polestar 1 are open now. Official pricing for the monthly subscription are not yet announced, but if you’re more interested in just buying one outright, we hear a figure around $100,000 might make sense.

Competition

Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid


2018 Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid - image 687806

Sportiness and efficiency, eh? Porsche already has you covered with its electrified Panamera. Dubbed the 4 E-Hybrid, this battery-assisted wagon/sedan/hatchback thing arrives on the scene with the traditional Stuttgart styling, including oval headlights and a 911-like front end. With four doors and four seats onboard, there’s plenty of room to stretch out, while materials and amenities are all top-notch. Under the hood, you’ll find a 2.9-liter V-6 making 330 horsepower, while the electric motor makes 136 horses. Put ‘em together, and you’ll get as much as 462 horsepower, plus an even-more-impressive 516 pound-feet of torque. Just 4.4 seconds is needed to hit 60 mph, while top speed looks like 172 mph. Pricing starts at just under $100,000.

Read our full review on the Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid.

Lexus LC 500H


2017 Lexus LC 500h - image 665597

Based on the hot-to-trot Lexus LC 500, the 500H builds on its ICE-only sibling’s sexy good looks by adding two electric motors and an additional automatic transmission (two transmissions total). The result is less of the wind-up-and-go feel you get from a normal CVT, plus plenty of power as well. Inside, the 500H is dripping with luxury, while the 0-to-60 mph sprint is done in less than five seconds thanks to 354 horsepower at the rear axle. Burning the gasoline is a 3.5-liter V-6, while top speed is pegged at 155 mph.

Read our full review on the Lexus LC 500H.

Conclusion


2018 Polestar 1 - image 738873

Normally, something like the Polestar 1 would have our BS detectors ringing like crazy. The details on this are few and far between, while the claims that are getting thrown around are so ambitious, they border on the unbelievable. 600 hybrid horsepower, 738 pound-feet of torque, and nearly 100 miles of all-electric range? New ownership models? Gorgeous styling and high-end luxury? All made in a new factory and coming from a new standalone brand?

If you were typing out the word “vaporware” in the comments section right at this moment, we wouldn’t blame you.

That said, we think Polestar has what it needs to pull this off. Sure, it’s broken away from Volvo, but it’s obvious how close the 1 is to existing products from the Chinese-owned Swedish automaker. Just look at the cabin for evidence of that.

“We think Polestar has what it needs to pull this off.”

So yeah, it’s ambitious, but with Volvo at its back, we think Polestar certainly has the right stuff to make it work.

The company says it’s already got three models in the works, with all future offerings slated to get fully electrified drivetrains (the Polestar 1 will the only hybrid in the lineup). These include the mid-size Polestar 2 scheduled for later in 2019, framed as the first BEV from the Volvo Car Group and expected to reach high-production numbers compared to the Polestar 1 (think Tesla Model 3 fighter). The follow-up will be the Polestar 3, an SUV that promises to “create a modern expression of electric performance and driving dynamics.”

Sounds good to us. Now we just gotta wait to see the Polestar 1 hit the streets.

  • Leave it
    • Big promises, but can Polestar deliver?
    • Very similar to existing Volvo products in numerous ways
    • Plenty of stuff could go wrong between now and full production status
    • Smells like vaporware

References

Volvo S90 Sedan


2017 Volvo S90 - image 658241

Read our full review on the 2017 Volvo S90.

Volvo XC90


2016 Volvo XC90 - image 565977

Read our full review on the 2017 Volvo XC90.

Volvo XC60


2018 Volvo XC60 - image 708314

Read our full review on the 2018 Volvo XC60.

Volvo V90 wagon


2017 Volvo V90 - image 666469

Read our full review on the 2017 Volvo V90.

PostHeaderIcon Hyundai BTR Edition Elantra Sport Concept

The Hyundai Elantra is getting a SEMA makeover, and it looks, well, you be the judge. After seeing the overhaul Blood Type Racing gave to the Elantra, it’s clear that this isn’t your mom’s daily driver anymore.

The creation is officially called the BTR Edition Elantra Sport Concept, and it’s the result of yet another collaboration between the Korean automaker and Blood Type Racing. You may remember the latter from a separate build it did for the Ford Focus ST that’s also heading to SEMA, but the company’s involvement with Hyundai actually stretches for a few years now. Back in 2014, the company created a program for the Hyundai Genesis Coupe and followed that up a year later with one for the Hyundai Veloster. This year it’s the Elantra’s turn in the spotlight, and it’s getting a slew of modifications that range from a new aerodynamic body kit all the way to tweaked suspension. The end result speaks for itself, as the Elantra has transformed into something you’re more likely to see on the set of a Fast and Furious production than the parking lot of your local Barnes and Noble.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Hyundai BTR Edition Elantra Sport Concept

Exterior


2017 Hyundai BTR Edition Elantra Sport Concept - image 739212
“Work on the exterior also includes custom headlights from Diode Dynamics and a set of 19-inch SSR GTX01 wheels wrapped in Toyo T1 Sport tires”

As you can see, a lot of work was done to the exterior of the Hyundai Elantra, and I’m not just talking about the eye-cringing Glasurit Arancio Borealis paint job from BASF. It’s really just fancy speak for a bright orange that Blood Type Racing thought would be a good choice for the compact sedan. I suppose they’re entitled to that, but I’m not a big fan of it. What I am a fan of is the extensive aero kit the Elantra was given. The components come by way of AeroTek and include a lip spoiler in the front, side skirts on the side, and a similar lip spoiler in the back. Then there’s the huge, APR GTC-200 GT rear wing sitting on top of the trunk. It’s next to impossible noticing that one. Work on the exterior also includes custom headlights from Diode Dynamics and a set of 19-inch SSR GTX01 wheels wrapped in Toyo T1 Sport tires.

Interior


2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport - image 682248

Note: Standard Hyundai Elantra pictured here.

There are no photos of the interior at the moment though it’s been mentioned that the cabin gets a re-stitched OEM-style sport interior that includes a new carbon fiber steering wheel from SoCalGarageWorks to go along with diamond-stitched floor mats and ambient interior lighting. The tuner also describes the presence of anti-roll bars from Pierce Motorsports in the cabin. This suggests that the interior of the Elantra has also been reconfigured to the point that the rear seats could have been taken out completely.

The upgrades in this section of the Elantra won’t blow anyone away, but the function-over-form approach does lend to Blood Type Racing’s goal of giving the compact sedan a new identity without sacrificing its all-around ability to remain a “daily driver” for its owners. Separate of all that, there are more features that will likely be unveiled at the 2017 SEMA Auto Show when the doors open next month.

Drivetrain


2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport - image 682247

Note: Standard Hyundai Elantra pictured here.

“Helping the engine receive more power is an optimized ECU unit, a new intake system, and a water and methanol injection system”

The specific power figures have yet to be announced, but we do know now that the sedan will retain its standard 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Helping the engine receive more power is an optimized ECU unit, a new intake system, and a water and methanol injection system that comes all the way from Devil’s Own. It’s unclear how many extra ponies Blood Type Racing was able to extract with all the modifications, but it is important to remember that a standard Elantra is good for 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Is it safe to say then that we’re looking at an output here that’s comfortably north of 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque? Given its physical make-up, I’d actually be disappointed if it was anything less than that.

The sporty nature of the BTR Edition Elantra Sport Concept is also characterized by how BTR went all-out in giving the Elantra significant chassis and suspension upgrades. There’s a new HSD coilover setup, for instance, an improved chassis brace, and an upgraded strut tower brace. Nobody goes to lengths like that if it doesn’t mean significant performance changes to a car, something that I’m becoming more and more sure of is the crux of this whole creation.

Conclusion


2017 Hyundai BTR Edition Elantra Sport Concept - image 739052

I’m not a fan of the bright orange paint finish, but I am intrigued about everything else that Blood Type Racing did to the Hyundai Elantra. The body kit is impressive, as is the reworked interior – if it does have one. There also looks to be a promising engine upgrade there somewhere, and the magnitude of the chassis and suspension improvements should not be overlooked. Overall, this looks like a fierce Hyundai Elantra, a far departure from its standard – and far more subversive counterparts. Here’s to hoping that we get to see this creation in action sometime in the future. I’d be very interested to see if all these upgrades amount to something special.

  • Leave it
    • Body paint ruins part of its appeal
    • Definitely not for everyone
    • Beauty lies in the beholder

References

Hyundai Elantra


2017 Hyundai Elantra Sport - image 682259

Read our full review on the 2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport.


2017 Hyundai Elantra - image 656275

Read our full review on the 2017 Hyundai Elantra.

PostHeaderIcon The 2018 Volkswagen Jetta Makes A Good Family Car

This week has seen a 2018 Volkswagen Jetta SE in my driveway. While there are plenty of interesting aspects to the car, the overarching theme is practicality wrapped in a reserved package. Where most compact sedans use flowy lines and outlandish styling to attract attention, the Jetta remains straight-laced. This no-nonsense approach to styling carries over into the car, making it about as honest as a family sedan can get. For that, I’ve got to give it props.

The Jetta might be labeled a compact sedan, but it offers 94 cubic feet of passenger volume and 16 cubic feet of trunk space. Rear passengers enjoy 38.1 inches of legroom, 37.1 inches of headroom, and 55.2 inches of shoulder room. Though I’m not a tall guy, I had plenty of space sitting behind the driver’s seat set adjusted for me. Comparatively, the 2017 Honda Civic, one of the most popular cars in the segment, has 97.8 cubic feet of passenger volume, an equal amount of rear-seat headroom, 55 inches of rear seat shoulder room, and 37.4 inches of rear legroom.
The Civic sedan is down about one cubic-foot of trunk space, too.

In practice, the Jetta is roomy for four adults. The rear bench can seat three in a pinch, but two is far more comfortable. My five-year-old daughter’s booster seat fits nicely back here, as well, snugly nestled between the side bolster and the seatbelt latch. The seatbelt is easy enough for her to use and buckle by herself. She can even open and close the rear door on her own, making the school pickup line much less stressful. Despite the roomy feel, the Jetta is small enough mom and dad can reach back and touch the kids – either to hand them something or “administer a hand of justice.”

Mom and dad also have plenty of room up front with plenty of storage spots. Best of all, the 2018 Jetta SE comes at a bargain. My tester had no options, preserving its $21,245 MSRP. Volkswagen does tack on $850 for destination and delivery, but that’s a typical price for any new vehicle. The Jetta’s 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is also inexpensive to fuel. The EPA estimates the Jetta with the five-speed manual to get 28 mpg city, an impressive 40 mpg highway, and 33 mpg combined. I averaged right at 33 mpg during the week.

Stay tuned for the full, driven review of the 2018 VW Jetta and be sure to check out my other coverage of the car down below.

References

Volkswagen Jetta


2017 Volkswagen Jetta SE - Driven - image 729228

Read our driven review on the 2017 Volkswagen Jetta.


2015 Volkswagen Jetta - image 548759

Read our full review on the 2017 Volkswagen Jetta.


The 2018 Volkswagen Jetta Makes A Good Family Car - image 738484

Read more about it in our 2018 Volkswagen Jetta SE: An Overview.


How The 2018 Volkswagen Jetta Proves Simple Is Better - image 738525

Read how the 2018 Volkswagen Jetta Proves Simple Is Better.

PostHeaderIcon BMW 3 Series

BMW’s next-generation 3 Series sedan was just caught on camera romping through the snow during a cold-weather testing session, giving rise to speculation about what’s in store for the up-and-coming luxury four-door. The new sedan is expected to arrive sometime in 2017 and replace the current F30 model, which was launched in 2011.

All things considered, that’s still quite a long time from now, and details are scarce, but we aren’t completely in the dark when it comes to putting together a few expectations. At this point, it’s safe to say that updated styling, lower weight, larger dimensions, more power, new autonomous drive features, and M-style performance will all make an appearance.

We also know that the upcoming model is designated as the “G20” behind closed doors.

Once the standard-bearer for compact luxury sedans, the 3 Series is facing rather stiff competition from the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Jaguar XE these days, and BMW needs to bring the heat with this next-gen car. As is, the Bavarian bestseller is under heavy fire on all fronts, so what will it take to regain its past dominance? Read on to find out.

Updated 10/17/2017: We just got our hands on a fresh batch of spy shots! Check them out after the jump…

Continue reading to learn more about the 2019 BMW 3 Series.

Spy Shots

October 17, 2017 – More updates to the interior, plus revised exterior lights


2019 BMW 3 Series - image 739039

The last time we got a peek at the upcoming BMW 3 Series was December of 2016, when a prototype was spied carrying some sporty M division gear. Now, as the Bavarian standard gets closer and closer to production status, our stealthy spy photographers nabbed a new test mule doing its thing on public roads.

Let’s start outside, where we find updates to the headlights. The housings look slim and wide, narrowing down towards a larger twin kidney grille intake. What’s more, the projectors look like they get a squared shape inside the housings, with two elements per side, presumably for the high beams and low beams respectively. Overall, we’re expecting something that resembles the current 5 Series already on the road.


2019 BMW 3 Series - image 739033

In back, we get a look at the taillights, which fold into the flanks in the typical Bimmer trapezoidal shape. The lower half will be red, while the upper section will be clear and provide the backup lights. The trunk overhang will be relatively short and square, per normal.


2019 BMW 3 Series - image 739034

Finally, we get a look inside the cabin as well. This time around, the infotainment screen looks like it was moved down into the center console, rather than stuck on top of the dash like last time. Behind the button-laden, three-spoke steering wheel appears to be digital instrumentation, while slim air vents are placed just below the center console screen. Expect drawn-out, horizontal layouts across the board.

All told, we’re getting closer and closer to an official debut some time next year!

December 14, 2016 – 3 Series Prototype Spotted with Some M Sport DNA


2019 BMW 3 Series - image 725971

2019 BMW 3 Series - image 725972

We’ve gotten a third set of pictures that show the 2019 3 Series prototype in the wild, but when we got the photos, we noticed something interesting. This isn’t the same 3 Series that we saw testing back in January or even August. No; this 3 Series is rocking some M-Sport components that give us a brief but shadowed looking into the future. To put things simply, we’re about 95-percent sure that this is a camouflaged preview of the 3 Series M Sport. Compared to the last model, the front fascia is different. The corner air intakes that are still hidden are now taller while that eye-like sensor above the right intake has been uncovered, hinting that the next 3 Series could have some kind of autonomous features. It wouldn’t be surprising considering the leaked order guide for the 5 Series from a few months back exposed us to some semi-autonomous features as well.

But, there’s more than just this to discuss. In typical M Sport fashion, this prototype is also sporting a lower ride height thanks to tuned and sportier suspension. If you look hard enough, you’ll also spot much larger brakes hidden behind the wheel while real side skirts have finally been added to the side profile. Those side skirts don’t look very aggressive, so you should expect to see a slightly different design when the real M Sport shows it face.

To the rear, there’s the addition of a small lip spoiler on the deck lid which will add just a little extra visual appeal to the M Sport. Down below, you’ll notice that there’s another sensor hole open above the right exhaust outlet while there’s actually a tiny diffuser mounted between the exhaust outlets. You do have to look close to see it, but you can see a single, vertical fin on each side of this little diffuser, just to the inside of the exhaust outlets. Finally, this is the first time we’re getting to see real exhaust outlets on the next-gen 3 Series. It’s expected that some models will retain round exhaust outlets, but the M Sport, as well as some other higher trim levels,
will get these five-sided exhaust outlets. Finally, I should point out that this M Sport prototype is rocking a set of official taillights. They are covered in a blurred wrap, but from the look of things, the lights will be LED in nature and should feature a three-bulb layout that will give the rear end of the 3 Series an appealing and three-dimensional look in the rear.

With all of that said, the new 3 Series is coming together nicely. And, if Bimmer is already testing an M Sport variant, that means that the base 3 Series it is based off up is about ready to go into production. It’s still expected for the 2019 model year, so we’ll probably see the 3 Series testing at least one more time before making its debut in either late 2017 or early 2018. It should go on sale sometime in the late third quarter or early second quarter of 2018.

August 8, 2016 – BMW 3 Series reveals its interior


2019 BMW 3 Series - image 684264

2019 BMW 3 Series - image 684268

January 20, 2016 – First testing session


2019 BMW 3 Series - image 662553

2019 BMW 3 Series - image 662551

Exterior


2019 BMW 3 Series - image 725972
“Crisper creases and a more aggressive attitude are pretty much the norm here, all while keeping that drag coefficient as low as possible.”

While the camo-clad prototype isn’t exactly revealing, all the telltale BMW signs are still present and accounted for. Up front is that classic BMW fascia, complete with a kidney grille and sporty (yet refined) lines. A long drawn-out lower intake adds to the low-and-wide stance, and the LED headlights appear to draw back into the fenders, adding even more visual width. The overhang up front is short. Around back, the taillights jut out with a circular, LED element, echoing the wide separation in the headlights. Unsurprisingly, a shot of the rear also reveals a dual-style exhaust.


2016 BMW 3 Series - image 629388

2019 BMW 3 Series - image 725974
2016 BMW 3 Series 2019 BMW 3 Series

While it’s difficult to pin down exactly what’s underneath all the black-and-white swirls, nothing stands out as particularly new or radical when it comes to shape and styling. Crisper creases and a more aggressive attitude are pretty much the norm here, all while keeping that drag coefficient as low as possible. All of the above is visible in our rendering.

Body styles will include a sedan, wagon, and four-door coupe Gran Turismo.

The most interesting feature of the exterior is the persistent rumor that BMW will extend the wheelbase to help increase interior volume. However, the larger dimensions won’t come at the cost of a higher curb weight, as BMW will undoubtedly employ its material know-how to cut mass, even compared to the current model. Aluminum, carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic, and high-strength steel will all see significant implementation.

Interior


2019 BMW 3 Series - image 684260
“One of the more exciting features expected is advanced gesture control.”

As stated in the exterior section, the extended wheelbase will create more space in the cabin, particularly for passengers sitting in the rear. Complementing this will be the latest infotainment gear available. Additional smartphone integration options, a head-up display, and a large touchscreen are all safe bets, as is a next-gen iteration of BMW’s iDrive vehicle control system. Digital instrumentation will be used behind the steering wheel, and voice recognition features will be standard.

One of the more exciting features expected is advanced gesture control. Already in place on the current 7 Series, BMW is focused on developing this technology even further, as evidenced by its appearance at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Gesture control allows the user to do stuff like answer a phone call or adjust the stereo with a simple hand movement performed in the air – you don’t even have to touch anything.

“As cool as gesture control sounds, it’s trumped by the possibility of fully autonomous driving capabilities”

As cool as gesture control sounds, it’s trumped by the possibility of fully autonomous driving capabilities. BMW is just one of several major automakers claiming to be working towards this wild new technology with the goal of putting it on the road by 2020, and the next-gen 3 Series would be the ideal platform to do exactly that.

Whether or not BMW will be able to deliver remains to be seen, but either way, the various bits of semi-autonomous tech preceding driverless cars is sure to come along for the ride. Self-parking, lane-change assist, automatic braking, and adaptive cruise control are already here, and they won’t go away unless something more comprehensive replaces them.

Other updates will include a quieter interior and the usual slew of high-quality details and upscale materials, especially with the right options.

Drivetrain


2019 BMW 3 Series - image 698469
“Stateside, we should expect to see the usual slew of turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinders and 3.0-liter six-cylinders, both significantly updated.”

One of the 3 Series’ strengths is its diverse selection of engine options, and odds are BMW will hold onto that wide variety well into the next-gen model. That means gasoline, diesel, and hybrid models, all with turbochargers.

At the bottom of the food chain will be a 1.5-liter three-cylinder with around 135 horsepower and 165 pound-feet of torque. While great for skipping a trip to the pump, it’s looking like the three-cylinder will stay overseas.

Stateside, we should expect to see the usual slew of turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinders and 3.0-liter six-cylinders, both significantly updated, of course. After all, it’s pretty clear where the industry is headed when it comes to drivetrain technology. More power and higher economy are the norm for each product cycle, and the 3 Series is no different.

The current 320i produces 180 horsepower, so I’m predicting a bump to just under 200 horsepower for 2019, plus a nice boost to fuel efficiency as well. Moving up, the mid-range 340i offers 320 horsepower, so around 350 horsepower isn’t out the question for the next generation. Hybrid power options will surely be more diverse, given the tech’s rising utilization in just about every segment out there, and diesel will also be on the table, even with the current antagonism towards oil burners.

“Every 3 Series will come with RWD as standard, while BMW’s xDrive AWD system will be available on select trim levels”

Leading the charge will be the race-bred M3, packing a high-strung six-cylinder engine under a bulging hood. Currently rated at 425 horsepower, a jump to 500 ponies seems about right for the 2019 model year.

Every 3 Series will come with RWD as standard, while BMW’s xDrive AWD system will be available on select trim levels. Transmission options will include an eight-speed automatic, and if there’s any justice in the world, a three-pedal manual as well.

After all, BMW is known for making the “ultimate driving machine,” which creates certain expectations in the mind of the consumer, especially with features like adaptive suspension, active steering, 50/50 weight distribution, and a performance-oriented driving mode.

Prices


2019 BMW 3 Series - image 662552

Even with all this new stuff, BMW can’t really afford to raise the MSRP if it wants to stay competitive. Therefore, pricing will most likely stay static, starting at around $34,000 for a base model sedan with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and RWD. From there, pricing rises quickly, with more power, more cylinders, AWD, and different body styles all adding to the bottom line. Mid-range trim levels will start at around $45,000.

Options will be plentiful – for a price. The 3 Series has traditionally offered a large variety of packages, including those for luxury (high-end leather upholstery, wood trim), technology (navigation, heads-up display), and performance (up-sized lightweight wheels, sticky summer performance tires, adaptive suspension, big brakes, carbon-fiber trim).

As always, the very top will be occupied by the beefy M3, equipped with more power, sharper suspension, and more aggressive styling. Pricing will start at around $66,000.

Competition

Jaguar XE


2017 Jaguar XE - image 567476

The XE is a direct response to the 3 Series, offering all the looks, elegance, and performance as the Bimmer, but with a decidedly British style. The options are there too, with a nice variety of drivetrains and equipment levels to choose from. Aluminum is used prodigiously to cut weight, and an eight-speed automatic gearbox routes the power. Speaking of power, the sedan comes with a 2.0-liter four-pot rated at 240 horsepower 251 pound-feet, a diesel 2.0-liter with 180 ponies and 318 pound-feet, and a supercharged, 3.0-liter V-6 good for 340 horses and 332 pound-feet. Both RWD and AWD are on the table. Pricing starts at $34,900.

Read our full review on the Jaguar XE.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan


2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class - image 707004

The classic 3 Series rival has to be the C-Class. Not only does it offer the usual lineup of turbo four-cylinders and six-cylinders, but speed lovers can also opt up to a boosted V-8, if desired. Diesel power and a hybrid are in the works for the U.S. market as well. In the meantime, the 2.0-liter four-banger in the C300 delivers 235 horsepower and 273 pound-feet, while the 3.0-liter V-6 in the C400 comes with 329 horses and 354 pound-feet. Inside is a swath of cutting-edge technology and premium luxury, while the exterior comes chiseled in that characteristic Mercedes flair. Pricing starts from $38,950.

Read our full review on the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedan.

Conclusion


2019 BMW 3 Series - image 681321

All in all, there’s nothing here that you could consider as totally revolutionary or groundbreaking. The 2019 3 Series looks to epitomize the next steps of the segment, but in some ways, that’s a good thing. Competition here is at an all-time high, and that pressure to perform is great for consumers. It could be argued that BMW grew slightly complacent in its dominance, and now, that sort of thing just won’t fly. Time to bring in the big guns.

As a performance enthusiast, the larger exterior dimensions for the 2019 3 Series certainly raises an eyebrow. However, it’s to be expected. The volume seller here is a luxury sedan with sporting elements, not a sport sedan with luxury elements. Plus, even with a little more girth, the weight should still be reduced, and the performance should still be enhanced. Plus, if you really want something fast, there’s always the M badge.

It’s still too early to make any definitive conclusions, but so far, things are looking up.

  • Leave it
    • Huge competition
    • Optional features and packages can get very expensive
    • Evolutionary, not revolutionary

Update History

Updated 08/08/2016: Our spy photographers caught the next generation BMW 3 Series out for a new testing session, and this time they also managed to take some shots of the interior. As it get pretty clear from the photos, the interior of the next 3 Series will be a mixture of old and new, with plenty of safety gizmos and the latest in infotainment.

References

BMW 3 Series


2016 BMW 3 Series - image 629400

Read our full review on the current generation BMW 3 Series.

BMW M3


2016 BMW M3 - image 629485

Read our full review on the current BMW M3.

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2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe 2-Door 2017 CHEVY CORVETTE Z16 GRAND SPORT LT COUPE AUTO 3K MI #115791 Texas Direct
$15,100.00 (8 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Nov-28-2017 17:42:15 PST
Buy It Now for only: $60,230.00
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2017 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe 2-Door 2017 CHEVY CORVETTE STINGRAY LT RED LEATHER REAR CAM 4K #111739 Texas Direct
$46,980.00
End Date: Wednesday Nov-29-2017 15:00:00 PST
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2013 Chevrolet Corvette 427 Convertible 2-Door 2013 CHEVY CORVETTE 427 COLLECTOR ED 6SPD NAV HUD 6K MI #701843 Texas Direct
$32,700.00 (17 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Nov-30-2017 16:30:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $52,980.00
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2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CORVETTE STINGRAY 3LT AUTOMATIC NAV HUD 16MI #109470 Texas Direct
$37,600.00 (14 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Nov-25-2017 13:10:17 PST
Buy It Now for only: $44,230.00
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1955 Chevrolet Other Pickups Ratrod 1955 Chevy 3100 Ratrod
$20,900.00
End Date: Thursday Nov-30-2017 5:30:45 PST
Buy It Now for only: $20,900.00
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2012 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Coupe 2-Door 2012 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY SUPER SNAKE 800-HP ONLY 544 MI #227961 Texas Direct
$87,980.00
End Date: Saturday Nov-25-2017 12:45:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $87,980.00
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2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2-Door 2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2SS RS NAV Extras SLP TVS2300 Supercharger
$29,995.00
End Date: Thursday Dec-7-2017 13:58:59 PST
Buy It Now for only: $29,995.00
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1939 Chevrolet Other Pickups 1939 Chevrolet 3/4 Ton panel truck used 70+ years patina licensed and titled
$1,075.00 (3 Bids)
End Date: Friday Dec-1-2017 10:44:04 PST
Buy It Now for only: $3,500.00
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1955 Chevrolet Other Pickups 1955 GMC 100 PICKUP
$11,100.00 (42 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Nov-29-2017 7:59:42 PST
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