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Archive for the ‘sedan’ Category

PostHeaderIcon The Toyota iM is an Odd Little Car

This week I’m driving the 2017 Toyota iM, you know, the rebadged Scion iM that survived the death of Toyota’s funky youth brand. The little car is proving to be rather fun to drive, mostly thanks to its six-speed manual transmission, light clutch, and very noticeable light weight. The iM has also proved itself to be incredibly practical, offering tons of cargo room in its hatchback body. But those can’t cover some oddities baked into the iM’s inherent inexpensiveness.

For starters, the infotainment system is the exact same unit shared by the Toyota 86 (yet another Scion survivor), the C-HR, and the iM. Selecting the small gear-like button pulls up a menu screen that should be labeled “Home.” Well, one of the soft-key buttons says “Vehicle.” But rather than being a settings and preference page, it literally gives all the vehicles this infotainment system can be programmed for. The choices include all the vehicles above, along with “Other,” just incase Toyota develops a new vehicle within the next five years that needs a generic infotainment system.

Other indicators of the iM’s $19,615 as-tested price is the digital clock. It looks like the same digital clock found every Toyota product 15 years ago. Granted, Toyota has moved away from this clock in most of its newer stuff, but boy, this clock not only tell the time, but also the decade.

Another telltale sign of having no option packages are the numerous block-out panels on the dashboard. They forever remind the owner of options not chosen or those simply not offered on the iM – at any price. There are two in the cubby hole in below the center stack, and another two just left of the steering wheel.

Last but not least is an interesting observation. Trying to adjust the backlighting brightness of the gauge cluster is, well, a cluster. Believe it or not, you’ve got to press the TRIP button on the steering wheel. Press two times to see the two tripometers. Press it a third time and you’ll see a blue bar indicating the brightness level of the backlighting. Then press and hold the TRIP button in order to cycle through the preset brightness levels. That were you thinking, Toyota?!

Ranting aside, I really do like the Toyota iM. It’s priced well against its competitors, it gets and EPA-estimated 35 mpg on the highway, and it comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission. There’s certainly a lot to love. You’ll just have to get past the few “interesting” quirks.

Oh, and I’ve lovingly named my tester, “Snot Rocket.” I feel it’s appropriate given its color.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Unveiled

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

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

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

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

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

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

PostHeaderIcon Porsche Should Be Worried About Mercedes-AMG's GT4 Concept

It’s been no secret that Mercedes-Benz’s plans for its AMG performance division have blown up since the release of the well-received Mercedes-AMG GT sports car. The German automaker quickly turned that momentum into subsequent offerings, including the AMG GT S, GT R, and most recently, the GT C. Now AMG is drawing up plans to present a new AMG GT-badged model at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, and as many have anticipated, it’s going to be a concept version of the AMG GT4, a four-door performance saloon that will no doubt the shake up the established.

Did you hear that, Porsche? The Panamera now has a direct and legitimate rival. Brace yourselves then because this new rivalry could escalate really quickly.

It’s worth mentioning that plans for a four-door, Panamera-rivaling AMG model has been in the works for a few years now, even though AMG boss Tobias Moers said back in 2015 that such a model wouldn’t be feasible. Well, that didn’t stop our master rendering artist from cooking up a virtual version of the AMG GT4 – you can see that beauty in the photo above – and as it turns out, there was a lot more to the GT4 than Moers was letting on.

Now that we’re here, we can at least expect a few things to come out at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. One of those things is the concept version of the AMG GT4, which Mercedes plans to debut at the show as part of AMG’s 50th-anniversary celebrations.

It’s not the only car that will be on Mercedes’ stand in Geneva, but it’s arguably the most important one as it sets the table for a production model that’s tipped to arrive in 2018, replacing the CLS Shooting Brake and challenging the Porsche Panamera for supremacy in that specific market.

Details aren’t expected until the auto show opens its doors, but there is strong indication that the Geneva-bound concept will look less like a concept and more like the four-seater production model that it’s going to end up being. For one, it’s going to be sharing a lot of styling cues and mechanical details with the AMG GT, albeit on a different platform from the one used by the sports car. According to Autocar, Merc will be using a modified version of its modular rear architecture for the GT4, the same platform currently used by the AMG C 63, E 63, and S 63 models. Lightweight materials are being lined up for the car, including aluminum and hot-formed high-strength steel.

The goal, it seems is to make the AMG GT4 a benchmark for luxury and performance in its segment, a status that the Panamera has held on to for the past few years.

Make no mistake about it; Mercedes-AMG isn’t messing around. Porsche needs to recognize that because once the AMG GT4 hits dealerships in 2018, one of its main objectives is to stare down its rival from Stuttgart and make it earn every accolade it’s going to get from now until the future.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Lexus LS 500h

The Lexus LS became an instant halo car when it was released in 1990 and was the very basis of which the Lexus brand was able to grow. Fast forward to today and the LS entered its fifth generation for the 2018 model year with an all-new platform, new twin-turbo V-6 drivetrain, 10-speed automatic transmission, and a sweet but sexy look with the newest iteration of Lexus’ spindle grille. But, with the introduction of a new LS Sedan, comes the introduction of a hybrid version that’s called that LS 500h – a car that sheds a bit of it’s V-8, high-performance hybrid roots in the name of economy. Yeah, that’s right, no V-8 Hybrid system here, but we’ll talk more about that later on.

For now, we don’t know a whole lot about the next-gen LS 500h outside of what we can see in the one teaser image that’s been released and the knowledge that it will be quite similar to its non-hybrid sibling. Lexus brought the standard LS to the Detroit Auto Show but has been saving the LS 500h for the Geneva Auto Show that kicks off on March 7th. With that said, let’s take a look at the teaser image and talk more about the new hybrid before Lexus beats us to the punch and spills all the beans.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lexus LS 500h.

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet SS Production Comes to an End, Order Books Set to Close in a Week

General Motors’ decision to end all Australian manufacturing is coming into effect in 2017, when the iconic Holden Commodore will be discontinued. But, this move will also affect U.S. muscle enthusiasts, who won’t be able to order the Chevrolet SS anymore. Word has it that Chevy is set to close the ordering books at the end of February, meaning there’s only a week left to place an order.

The news comes from GM Authority, which claims that the performance sedan will not be sold beyond February 28. The outlet also claims that there won’t be a send-off edition like the Commodore received in Australia, which is a shame to be honest. Instead customers will be able to order the sedan in Orange Blast Metallic instead of last year’s Some Like It Hot Red Metallic color.

But even though production and orders will come to an end, there’s a chance that inventory will mount and Chevy will end up with a solid stock of SS models. In this case, we may see significant discounts. In July 2016, Chevy rolled out a 20-percent price cut. Still, if you want to be sure that you get one, it’s safer to just place an order by February 28.

The sedan costs $48,920 including the gas guzzler tax and delivery fee and it comes standard with the 415-horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8, Magnetic Selective Ride Control, OnStar 4G LTE, Brembo brakes, premium upholstery, and a range of active safety features. Options are limited to the new Orange Blast Metallic color ($395), the six-speed manual transmission, full-size spare tire and wheel ($500), and power sunroof ($900). All told, a fully equipped SS will set you back $50,715.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet Cruze Diesel Sedan Becomes Most Efficient Non-Hybrid In America

The Chevy Cruze entered its second generation for the 2016 model year and came correct with a redesigned exterior that gives it a sportier look while maintaining the look of an everyday family sedan. Supported by an all-new architecture known as the D2 FWD, the new Cruze shed up to 250 pounds and gained an inch in the wheelbase department. The car itself is more aerodynamic, offers better fuel efficiency, and comes with extra space inside over the last-gen model. But, more important, was the new engine that displaces 1.4-liters and delivers 153 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. That was the only engine on the list for U.S. customers… until now. Chevy has finally announced the diesel-powered Chevy Cruze, and it packs a fair 137 horsepower and 240 pound-feet of torque with a 1.6-liter four-banger in tow.

Power output isn’t the reason we’re here today, though. The reason we’re here today is that diesel engine can deliver an EPA-estimated 52 mpg on the highway when paired with a six-speed manual transmission. But, it’s not all peaches and cream here, as in-city driving is rated at just 30 mpg, giving this Cruze diesel with the manual an EPA combined rating of 37 mpg. There’s also Chevy’s new nine-speed automatic that manages to pull 47 mpg on the highway and 31 mpg in the city, also leading to a combined rating of 37 mpg combined.

As far as comparisons go, it won’t beat out your everyday hybrid in combined rating or city rating, but that figure of 52 mpg on the highway is better than that of the Toyota Prius C at 43 mpg on the highway, and the Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid, which achieves 48 mpg on the highway. The Prius Eco beats it out by just one mpg on the highway. Needless to say, this is a pretty big deal for Chevy customers who spend more time on the highway than anywhere else.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Tesla Begins Preparation Ahead Of Model 3 Production

Tesla has proven in the past that it’s capable of unorthodox measures to get certain work aspects done and apparently, it’s dipping into that well one more time after a Reuters report revealed that the electric car maker plans to shut down its production facility in California for a week beginning this month. The reason behind it? Prepare for production for the Model 3 sedan.

In some aspects, such a move isn’t that strange when you consider that other companies have done it in the past in one form or another. But Tesla is a different because it has little flexibility making “brief, planned” pauses in production for a period of time. But the automaker appears to have decided on the issue as it prepares to add capacity to its facility to accommodate the coming production of the Model 3.

A Tesla spokesman even confirmed to the news outlet about the plans, saying that “this will allow Tesla to begin Model 3 production later this year as planned and enable us to start the ramp towards 500,000 vehicles annually in 2018.”

Apparently, Tesla also plans to begin test-building the Model 3 later this month, which could be part of the reason why the facility is being shut down. The goal it seems is to gauge the capability of the production plant in Freemont, California to accommodate the massive spike in production volume that will inevitably happen once the Model 3 begins production. Remember, Tesla wasted little time shouting from the heavens last May that it had received more 370,000 refundable $1,000 deposits for the Model 3, highlighting the massive demand for the car that the company believes is its ticket in breaking into the mainstream auto scene.

The timetable set for the pilot production of the Model 3 also coincides with the company’s conference call with shareholders to report its fourth-quarter results. Apparently, Tesla wants to make a good impression in that conference call and positive news surrounding the upcoming production of the Model 3 could go a long way in appeasing its shareholders.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet Cruze Redline Edition

Introduced for the 2016 model year, the second-generation Cruze represents a massive upgrade over the previous model. Sportier and more elegant on the outside, the new Cruze also boasts a roomier interior with better materials that give it a near-premium feel. The new D2XX platform, shared with the Chevy Volt and Equinox and the Opel Astra, as well as the turbocharged, 1.4-liter engine also deliver a more dynamic feel and enhanced fuel economy. Come 2017 and the Cruze receives the Redline Edition treatment at the Chicago Auto Show.

Launched alongside similar special-edition versions of the Malibu, Camaro, Trax, Equinox, Traverse, Colorado, and Silverado, the Cruze Redline Edition is essentially the production version of several almost production-ready concepts showcased throughout 2015 and 2016. The aim is to give potential Cruze customers a few customization options, a feat that’s pretty rare in the non-premium compact segment. On the other hand, the package isn’t available on all trims, which means you need a solid budget to take a Redline Edition home.

Chevrolet has yet to announce when the Cruze Redline Edition will hit dealerships, but said that all these models will become available for purchase by the end of 2017. Until then, let’s have a closer look at what this special-edition version brings to the table.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Cruze Redline Edition.

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet Malibu Redline Edition

Chevrolet launched the ninth-generation Malibu in 2015, discontinuing the previous model after only five years on the market. Redesigned from the ground up and bolted onto a new platform (E2XX), the new Malibu also gained three new drivetrains, including a 1.5-liter four-cylinder and a 1.8-liter hybrid. In 2017, Chevrolet launched the Redline Edition, a limited-edition model based on the Malibu LT trim, at the Chicago Auto Show.

The first special-edition to provide some customization for the new Malibu, the Redline Edition isn’t actually new. The package was first showcased at the 2015 SEMA Show, where it was displayed as the Red Line Series concept. At last year’s edition of the same show, Chevy rolled out a similar concept, this time around called the Malibu Blue Line and fitted with blue accents instead of red.

The production Redline Edition follows in the footsteps of the Red Line Series concept, featuring similar enhancements on the outside. Although not all elements seen on the concept were retained for production, the blacked-out details and the red accents are still there.

“Redline is another example of Chevrolet bringing SEMA concepts to showrooms,” said Brian Sweeney, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet. “The SEMA show has proven to be a great way to identify customization trends in the industry, and quickly apply those trends to our most popular Chevrolet models. Based on the strong interest Redline attracted at the show, we believe they will be very popular with customers looking for standout cars, trucks, and crossovers.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Malibu Redline Edition.

PostHeaderIcon Infiniti Q50 3.0t Signature Edition

One of Infiniti’s newest nameplates, the Q50 was launched for the 2014 model year and it has already received a facelift for 2016. Changes included minor nips and tucks, a new adaptive steering, and a Red Sport 400 trim with more power and aggressive looks. Alongside the in-house made 3.0-liter V-6 and hybrid drivetrains, the Q50 also uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas unit and a 2.1-liter diesel engine, both borrowed from Mercedes-Benz. At the 2017 Chicago Auto Show, Infiniti introduced the Signature Edition, a limited-edition model based on the 3.0t trim.

The second model to get the Signature Edition package after the QX80 SUV, this new Q50 adds a few extra standard features, while its pricing was set below that of the model it is based on.

“Building on the Q50’s, award-winning performance and engineering excellence, we saw an opportunity to combine our sport sedan’s most popular features with even more distinguished style,” said Randy Parker, vice president of Infiniti Americas. “We are continuously looking for ways to empower the drive for our customers, and we did just that with the addition of the Q50 3.0t Signature Edition to the 2017 Q50 lineup.”

The Q50 3.0t Signature Edition went on sale in February 2017, joining a comprehensive lineup that includes four trims in various configurations.

Continue reading to learn more about the Infiniti Q50 3.0t Signature Edition.

PostHeaderIcon Subaru Legacy

Introduced at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, the sixth-generation Subaru Legacy received its mid-cycle facelift exactly three years later, at the same event. Redesigned inside and out, the current Legacy carried over with the same four- and six-cylinder boxer engines, but gained a host of new technologies and active safety features. The facelift leaves a rather soft print on the midsize sedan styling-wise, with the most significant upgrades having been operated in the technology department. The sedan now features better materials, smartphone integration, and new apps, among other features.

The revised Legacy arrived just as Subaru of America posted its eighth consecutive year of record-breaking sales. Although Subaru isn’t the kind of automaker you’d expect to challenge giants like Toyota, Volkswagen, or General Motors, the Japanese firm is definitely on a roll that will lead to biggest investments in brand-new cars in the future. The Legacy is still some three years away from a complete redesign, but needless to say, the four-door is still up for a good battle in this crowded segment.

Sure, with the brand-new Camry almost in showrooms and the current Accord setting new benchmarks in the midsize market, the Legacy could use a fresh look and better tech, but it’s not as dated as it seems. Find out how it stacks against competition from Toyota, Honda, Ford, and Nissan in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Subaru Legacy.

PostHeaderIcon How Would You Configure Your Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio?

The original Alfa Romeo Giulia was a boxy little car that was on the market from 1962 to 1978. It took 37 years, and a lot of rumors, but in 2015 Alfa Romeo revived the Giulia name and used it for the first model in its strategic plan to save the Alfa Romeo brand. And the Giulia is a pretty big deal, as it’s not only the revival of an iconic car, but is also the first rear-wheel drive model from the Italian brand since the Milano met its demise back in 1992. As a competitor to the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class, a standard model just wasn’t enough, so Alfa created the high-performance Giulia Quadrifoglio to compete with the BMW M3 and Mercedes-AMG C63, among others. Now, Alfa Romeo has brought the Giulia Quadrifoglio to its online configurator so you can make your own custom sedan to drool over until you’re ready to pony up the dough it takes to park one in your driveway.

But, before we get too far into things, don’t expect to see an elaborate amount of options. In fact, there aren’t that many options to choose from at all. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the Giulia Quadrifoglio already comes equipped pretty damn well in standard form, but if you’re like me, you want the absolute best you can get out of a new car. And, that’s exactly how I configured my Giulia Quadrifoglio.

I was initially shooting for a price that topped $100,000, but the options just aren’t there. I did, however, manage to get a sticker price of $87,670 after everything’s said and done, so let’s take a look at a good look at the options I chose.

PostHeaderIcon Toyota Mirai Gets Super Bowl Commercial To Help Boost Sales

Unlike hybrids and all-electric cars, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have struggled to gain any meaningful traction in the auto industry. Part of that may be attributed to a lack of awareness of its unique capabilities and another part of that can be pointed in the direction of not having enough of them in the market to begin with. After all, California is the only state in the U.S. where an FCV like the Toyota Mirai is currently being sold. Whatever the case may be, FCVs have yet to turn into popular alternative vehicles for a lot of people and no more is that evident than the lackluster sales of the Mirai.

That’s also a big reason why Toyota is spending big money in advertising the vehicle as it now has its own commercial spot for the Super Bowl. Titled “Daisy,” the commercial goes straight to the point in highlighting the Mirai’s ability to emit water instead of gas. The ad starts with a full-bloomed daisy sitting somewhat meekly in the middle of a concrete road. A car then stops just beside the flower before coughing out a plume of smoke out of its exhaust. Convenient, right? As the car moves along, the poor daisy (with a spotlight on it no less) keels over the same way a dehydrated person would if he’s spent days on end without water.

And just as everything appeared to go south on the flower, the Mirai heroically comes along, stops at the exact same spot as the previous vehicle, and discharges whatever water it has emitted straight into the daisy. Just like that, the daisy springs back to life and a voice-over comes in to proudly say that the hydrogen-fuelled Mirai’s only emission is water.

As far as a commercial goes, this one leaves the comedy behind and cuts straight to the point to showcase why the Mirai is such an important car in today’s world. Whether the ad succeeds in generating more interest for the car is a question that will only be answered over time. But for now, the commercial comes as a worthwhile gamble on Toyota’s part considering that it only sold 1,034 models of the car in 2016 and just 83 units in the first month of 2017.

PostHeaderIcon Audi Shows Serious Side With New Super Bowl Commercial

Super Bowl LI is only four days away and as the days count down to the Big Game, we’re already seeing a rush of commercial releases from some of the biggest automakers in the world. Buick just released its new ad for the Cascada and Encore SUV. Lexus and Kia rolled out their ads a week ago, although the latter only released a short teaser of its full ad for Sunday. Then there’s Audi, whose commercials have been staples during the Super Bowl. The German automaker is once again making its presence felt for Super Bowl LI with a new commercial for the S5 Sportback that doesn’t really do much in highlighting the car.

The 60-second clip is called Daughters and unlike the celebrity routes that companies like Kia and Buick went to this year, Audi kept its ad close to the chest with a poignant message about gender equality among millions of people. It’s a curious choice to make, but Audi hasn’t been in shy using Super Bowl commercials to address social or civic issues in the past, so there’s a precedent there for the company to take this approach on Daughters.

The ad itself focuses on a young girl competing in a soap box derby against a group of boys as her father serves as the de facto narrator. Despite being subjected to underhanded tricks and all around mischief from her competitors, the young girl perseveres to take home the victory.

All the while, the father laments on the issues that his young daughter could face when she grows up in a world that still hasn’t embraced equality the way it should. But as the ad ends, his tone shifts to a more positive one as he starts hoping for a better world for his young daughter.

And, just as the ad ends, the S5 Sportback finally makes a quick cameo before the screen fades to black and Audi’s message of commitment “to equal pay for equal work” flashes on the screen.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Hyundai Sonata

The current-gen Sonata hit the market in 2015 with Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language, which resulted in a more conservative look to help generate interest in Hyundai’s home market, South Korea. The new generation featured a large amount of DNA from the HCD-14 concept but also got some cues from the Hyundai Genesis. Whether or not the new design was successful in South Korea remains to be seen, as figures aren’t readily available, but here in the U.S. and over in Canada, sales actually dropped in 2015 compared to 2014. Currently three years into its life cycle, Hyundai is planning a mid-cycle facelift for its resident mid-size that should bring some slight tweaking to the grille, exterior lamps, and fascias, while the interior should get some fresh materials and, at the very least, an upgrade to the infotainment system as well. I wouldn’t expect any changes under the hood as a result of this update, but that’s not why you’re interested in the Sonata anyway, so no big deal there.

We’re getting our first early look at the updated Sonata, which was caught playing in the snow and well covered with camo and padding to help conceal the changes that lie underneath. That means we don’t have a whole lot to go by, but there are a few things that we can make out on this tester. And, it’s set to make its official debut later on in 2017, so let’s hurry up and talk more about it before Hyundai beats us to the punch and spills the beans.

Expect a debut during the latter half of 2017.

Continue reading to learn more about the facelift Hyundai Sonata.

PostHeaderIcon Volvo S90 Inscription – Driven

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

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

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

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

Continue reading for the full driven review.

PostHeaderIcon Kia Stinger GT Plus

Kia surprised a lot of people when it debuted its new Stinger GT thanks to the performance and luxury DNA that Kia developed for its first big step into such a popular segment. Set to compete against models like the Audi A5 Sportback, Mercedes C-Class, BMW 3 Series GT, and the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, Kia’s new halo car has a lot to live up to. But, Kia isn’t done writing the Stingers story just yet as Product Market Boss, Spencer Cho, has said that the Stinger will become electrified in the future. Meanwhile, a high-performance version could be on the table as well, thanks to the Stinger’s excessively strong chassis. With that concept in mind, we tapped into our resident artist to put together a rendering of what a high-performance Stinger just might look like.

As a high-performance model, Kia will build on the car’s current profile by adding more aggressive features on the outside, to go with a few minor updates inside, and a significant power bump under the hood. It’s pretty likely that it will eventually happen, but what we don’t know is what Kia will do to increase the performance of the Stinger. Will its future hybrid plans play a role in the performance model or will it be all computer remapping and hardware upgrades? Well, we have a few theories, so let’s talk a little more about the rendering and the possibilities in my speculative review below.

PostHeaderIcon Taking On Ze Germans… In A Camry?!

You know, you can buy a lot of car for not a whole lotta money these days. For example, if it’s straight-line muscle you’re looking for, the Dodge Charger Hellcat and Dodge Challenger Hellcat will put over 700 horsepower at your disposal for a mere $65,000. That’s pretty insane if you ask us, but what about something on the either side of the spectrum, where comfort and style rule supreme? Well, around these parts, you could opt for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the German’s mid-size luxury four-door that comes jam-packed with high-tech goodies, top-shelf opulence, and upper-crust flair. Or, as an alternative, consider the new eighth-generation Toyota Camry. No, seriously.

Suffice to say, we’re big fans of the new Camry. So much so, we feel comfortable comparing it to one of Merc’s best luxury barges. The updated Toyota just dropped cover at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, and we’re convinced it’s got the goods to punch way above its weight.

But maybe we’re overstepping things a bit. Maybe we’re completely off in the deep end. Maybe. It’s certainly a possibility. But after the response we got when we compared the Camry and the BMW 5 Series, we shrugged our shoulders and went for it anyway.

Continue reading for the full comparison.

PostHeaderIcon Genesis Rolled Out The Goods For The MVPs Of The Pro Bowl

The countdown to Super Bowl LI is filled to the brim with events spread throughout what is now referred to as “Super Bowl Week.” One of the highlight events of this week is the Pro Bowl, which the AFC just won over the NFC, 20 to 17. Two players in particular, the Kansas City Chiefs’ Travis Kelce and the Buffalo Bills’ Lorenzo Alexander, stood out from their peers, earning themselves the offensive and defensive MVP awards, respectively. But Kelce and Alexander didn’t just win trophies for their efforts; they’re also each taking home a Genesis G80 sedan.

It’s a pretty sweet incentive when you a Genesis G80 is on the line. Kelce and Alexander did just that with the Chiefs tight end winning the offensive MVP award after racking up 36 yards and a touchdown to lead the AFC over Alexander and the NFC. For his part, the Bills linebacker made a good show for himself too, finishing the the game with eight tackles to notch the defensive MVP award.

For their efforts, Kelce and Alexander both get a luxury sedan that’s being touted as a legitimate competitor to the BMW 5 Series and the Audi A6, two German stalwarts that have dominated the mid-size luxury sedan segment for years. The G80 is no slouch of a luxury sedan itself. It features a design that’s at home in this segment as any of its German rivals. It also has a well-appointed interior and just as important, it comes with Hyundai’s award-winning 5.0-liter “Tau” V-8 engine that’s good for 420 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque.

Best of all, the G80 comes with 107.7 cubic feet of passenger volume, more than what the 5 Series, Cadillac CTS, Lexus GS, Infiniti Q70, and Mercedes E-Class all have to offer. For two larger-than-life athletes who need all the in the interior space they can get, the G80 is a solid car to address those needs.

Give credit where it’s due. Both Kelce and Alexander balled at the Pro Bowl and for their efforts, they’ve been rewarded with a luxury sedan that’s fighting its own battles for supremacy.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Rolls-Royce Phantom Specially Commissioned By Stephen Hung

Rolls-Royce prides itself on being at the absolute pinnacle of automotive luxury. It’s a position that the British car brand has cultivated with utmost dedication to its craft, and the results definitely speak for themselves. Today, Rolls-Royce holds a candle to no one in its segment, and the automaker has also become the go-to brand for luxurious establishments who are in need of a fleet of luxury vehicles. Take for example the soon-to-open “The 13” super luxury hotel in Macau.

Not content with building a $1 billion property in the heart of Macau, the hotel’s joint chairman, Stephen Hung, has ordered 30 bespoke Rolls-Royce Phantoms to serve as the hotel’s official guest transportation. Take those shuttle buses elsewhere, fellas. The 13 is rolling its guests in a lap of luxury, right down to its chauffeur-driven luxury rides.

As you can probably expect, the 30 Phantoms are all customized to the hilt and filled with just about every bespoke feature Rolls-Royce can fit on them. They’re collectively known as the “Phantom Specially Commissioned by Stephen Hung” series and all 30 vehicles represent the largest single commission Rolls-Royce has done in its own long and esteemed history. Seems appropriate then that Hung paid around $20 million for the order. At the very least, it’s in line with the extravagance of a hotel that itself comes with 200 multi-level suites, highlighted by the 30,000-square foot Villa de Stephen.

Hey, if you can order 30 highly bespoke Rolls-Royce Phantoms at a drop of a hat, you can have a villa named after you too.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Rolls-Royce Phantom “Specially Commissioned by Stephen Hung” Series.

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