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Archive for the ‘station wagon’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Audi RS4 Avant

Introduced in 1999, the Audi RS4 placed itself at the top of Audi’s compact car lineup. With a sportier, more aerodynamic exterior, exclusive features on the inside, and a more powerful engine, the RS4 quickly became a solid competitor for the BMW M3. However, unlike BMW, Audi also built a wagon version a created a brand-new niche for performance grocery getters. The RS4 Avant become such an important car in the Audi lineup, that the third-generation RS4 didn’t even get a sedan version. Come 2017 and a brand-new generation RS4 arrived, also introduced with an Avant variant only.

Essentially a beefed-up version of the latest A4 wagon, which already sports Audi’s new design language with more angular features, the RS4 Avant gained a brand-new engine that smaller, but more potent than the outgoing unit. The new performance wagon is also lighter than its predecessor, which had quite a few issues when compared to the awesome Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate. All told, Audi finally has a proper competitor for the souped-up Merc and we will find out what it brings to the table in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Audi RS4 Avant.

PostHeaderIcon Opel Insignia GSi Sports Tourer

German automaker Opel first offered the Insignia in 2008, replacing the Vectra and Signum in its lineup. Also sold as a Vauxhall in Britain, a Holden Commodore in Australia, and the a Regal in China and the U.S., we’ve already seen a fastback iteration of the model offered on this side of the pond as the new 2018 Buick Regal GS. Now, Opel is offering up a hot-to-trot wagon version called the GSi Sports Tourer. The GSi nameplate was pulled from previous go-faster versions of Opel’s street cars, with previous examples including the Manta GSi and Kadett GSi from the mid-‘80s, as well as the Kadett 2.0 GSi 16V and Astra GSi and Corsa GSi. Now, followingw a full reveal at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, there’s a new one that the automaker says was designed to be both fun and practical. Outside, you’ll find long, lean, wide, and horizontal styling elements, while under the hood resides a potent turbo 2.0-liter engine, all of which combines with a substantial amount of space in back for people and things.

This is Opel’s new flagship station wagon, so it makes sense the Germans gave it the royal treatment. In fact, Opel is so certain it’ll bring the sporting goods, it included a picture of a racing suit, helmet, and gloves in the back of the trunk in the press shots. But is it really worthy of such connotations? Read on the find out.

Continue reading to learn more about the Opel Insignia GSi Sports Tourer.

PostHeaderIcon This Fancy Interior Is a Sign that Kia Is Taking the Luxury Path

When it comes to luxury cars, Kia isn’t the automaker you’d usually go to. But the brand that was once associated with cheap, poorly built cars has evolved to the point where it can compete head-on with class leaders. Granted, it’s not yet there in the full-size luxury market, where the K900 has yet to gain popularity, but it’s making tremendous progress. And proof of that are not only in the latest production cars, but also the Proceed concept that was just unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Essentially a slightly more futuristic, shooting brake variant of the Kia Stinger, the Proceed isn’t overly spectacular on the outside. However, the interior is an attention grabber due to its out-of-the-box design and fancy features. More importantly, it shows what the brand is capable of and looking at it make me very confident that Kia will climb higher and higher on the premium ladder. Sure, the Proceed will remain a concept for now, but if previous show cars are any indication, we could see many of these features production models really soon. Keep reading to find out why I think this is one of the most exciting interior designs launched in 2017.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Kia Proceed Concept

Launched in 2006 as a replacement for the Cerato, the Kia Cee’d is now one of the company’s most popular vehicles in Europe. Redesigned in 2012 into a more modern, better-looking car, the Cee’d, along with its Procee’d, GT, and station wagon variants, is getting a little long in the tooth, and a third-generation model is likely under way for 2018. While we don’t know much about it, Kia unveiled the Proceed concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show, giving us a good glimpse of what the next-gen Cee’d might bring to the table.

Described as an “extended hot hatch that presents a new body type for Kia,” the Proceed concept appears to be the bastard child of a Kia Stinger and a low, sleek shooting brake. And it’s one of Kia’s most intriguing design to date. Not surprisingly, it was penned at the company’s European design center in Frankfurt, only 500 meters (0.3 miles) from where it will be unveiled. Kia also says that the Proceed concept indicates what the next-generation Cee’d “could look like,” so we might be looking at a fancier version of the upcoming hatchback.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Proceed Concept.

PostHeaderIcon Kia’s Upcoming Shooting Brake Concept has us Saying “Please Take our Money!”

The 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show is just around the corner and, as usual, we’re in for a ton of debuts including both production and concept cars. Kia, which runs a design center just 500 meters from the Frankfurt Motor Show, is among carmakers that will bring new products to the event. The company’s main highlight is a concept car that presents “a new body type for Kia.” It doesn’t have a name yet, but the Korean manufacturer points out that it indicates what the next-generation Cee’d “could look like.”

It’s bold, athletic, and indeed brings a new body style to the current Kia lineup. While the company describes it as an “extended hot hatch,” it’s actually some kind of modern shooting brake. Or a really sleek wagon with an almost fastback rear end. But it’s gorgeous, and the really wide wheel arches, the sculpted side skirts, and the rear diffuser suggest we’re looking at a performance model. Kia didn’t share any actual details about the car, but I might have an idea about what it may be. Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Volvo S60 and V60 Get Carbon Fiber Enhancements From Polestar

Of the models in Volvo’s automotive lineup, the S60 and V60 are the two that have yet to adopt the Swedish automaker’s design language. Don’t worry though because that’s coming in the next few years. In the meantime, the two models are getting a nice treat for the 2018MY, all thanks to some new aerodynamic accessories provided by Polestar.

The kit itself covers plenty of real estate on both the S60 and V60 and was designed to help enhance the sedan and wagon’s performance and handling credentials. It covers upgrades on both the exterior and interior of the two models, with the exterior of each model promised to receive improvements in downforce by as much as 30 percent. There are no power upgrades, though, so don’t expect anything on that front. Still, there’s plenty of new bits and pieces to get excited about, especially for those who are looking into either the S60 or the V60 as their new automotive purchase. Best hurry though in making up your mind because Volvo is limiting production of the Polestar aerodynamic package to just 1,500 units. Should you decide to hold off until the next-generation models for both the S60 and V60 arrive, you’re going to have to wait at least another year for both cars to adopt Volvo’s current design looks. Either way, it’s not a bad idea to go in either direction.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Subaru Enthusiast Makes Intake Out Of Cardboard, Goes Faster: Video

Folks like us do some pretty silly things in the name of performance. Whether its justifying the purchase of a new Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio as a “family car,” or breaking your back running coilovers on the daily driver for a few seconds per lap on the weekends, you wouldn’t be wrong for calling our perspective “skewed” at best. That said, where there’s a will, there’s a way, as evidenced by this intrepid young Subaru driver’s unorthodox approach to boosting horsepower. Documented in a short five-minute, 21-second video from our friends over at 1320 Video, the Subaru in question is a mostly stock early 2000’s Forester running flat out at the Pikes Peak Airstrip Attack event at the Colorado Springs Airport. In a bid to crest the 100-mph mark, the driver fabricated a new intake from a Pringles can and cereal box, plumbing it through the headlight for a budget-friendly ram air effect. The result is just enough extra power to reach three digits, making this driver our new hero.

Never mind the Mustangs and Vipers this kid is running against. We’re much more interested in the box-shaped, 15-year-old grocery getter chipping away for a personal record. This is real enthusiasm, people, and it’s infectious. Fingers crossed the owner continues to have fun for years to come.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Cadillac CTS-V Wagon

The Cadillac CTS was introduced back in 2002 as a replacement for the Opel Omega-based Catera, and since 2013 it’s being sold in its third-generation version. Much like its predecessors, the current CTS is also available in a performance-oriented CTS-V version. On the flipside, both the coupe and wagon were cancelled for the third-gen model, and there’s no sign that they will return anytime soon. But what if Cadillac would change its mind and produce a high-performance grocery getter?

I’m obviously talking about the CTS-V Wagon, the shortest lived version of the nameplate. First introduced in 2011, the CTS-V Wagon survived only until 2014, when Cadillac decided to axe it due to demand. The death of the CTS Wagon also marked the end of the last mid-size luxury wagon built in the United States, leaving only the Mercedes-Benz E-Class to compete in this niche. More recently, the Merc was joined by the new Volvo V90, but needless to say, wagon enthusiasts still don’t have too many options to choose from. So maybe it’s time Cadillac revives the CTS Wagon in both standard and V performance guises, especially with an updated third-gen sedan already in dealerships?

Continue reading to learn more about the Cadillac CTS-V Wagon.

PostHeaderIcon Jaguar XF Sportbrake

Introduced in 2007 to replace the ageing S-Type, the Jaguar XF was redesigned for the 2016 model year. The makeover brought an evolutionary restyling but turned the four-door sedan in a sportier proposition on the outside and a more luxurious vehicle on the inside. The XF also received new drivetrains, most notably the company’s recently launched 2.0-liter four-cylinder in both gasoline and diesel formats. The 3.0-liter V-6 was also carried over, but with significant upgrades. Unlike the first-generation model, the second-gen XF arrived without a wagon version. This changed for the 2018 model year when Jaguar launched a redesigned XF Sportbrake.

Making things that much better, it’s available in the U.S. too!

The Sportbrake’s return is a bit surprising, especially since Ian Callum, Jaguar’s director of design, once predicted the death of the station wagon. But, while I’d like to know what made him change his mind, I’m actually glad that the Sportbrake is back in dealerships and especially in the U.S., where the midsize market was limited to just two models, with a couple more available in other niches. Sure, it’s still ridiculous, but with three different products in the premium market, we finally have some proper action going on.

Continue reading to learn more about the Jaguar XF Sportbrake.


PostHeaderIcon Buick Prepares To Enter the Station Wagon Game Yet Again

TV killed the radio star, and now, SUVs are killing the car. Want proof? Buick, yes I said Buick, is going to drop the Regal sedan altogether and replace it with a sedan-styled, five-door that’s more like an SUV or wagon than the sedan that we’ve all known for so many years. It’s not surprising, considering the sale of midsize sedans have dropped for two years in a row, while crossovers have accounted for roughly two-thirds of Buicks sales in 2016 alone. We also saw this coming after Buick showed off the Cadillac Escala concept not that long ago.

So, what kind of design is Buick actually going with? Well, don’t hold your breath for anything special because GM is all about badge-engineering these days and the 2018 Regal is going to be no exception. Need a hint? How about the name Opel? Need another hint? How about Insignia? That’s right; the next-gen Regal is likely to be nearly identical to the Opel Insignia Grand Sport hatchback and the Insignia Sports Tourer wagon that debuted at the Geneva Auto Show just this month.

There has been no comment from Buick about this development, however, rumor has it that the new Regal will be built in Opel’s Ruesselsheim factory in Germany and imported into the U.S. On the plus side, if the Buick really is going the five-door route with the Regal, it will be the brand’s first official wagon since the Buick Century and Buick Roadmaster of the 1990s. And, on another note, it could be the last produced by Opel now that the brand (and Vauxhall, for that matter) are being sold to PSA Group.

Keep reading for the rest of the story


PostHeaderIcon BMW 5 Series Touring with M Performance Parts

In a world often taken up by personalization divisions and aftermarket options, it’s easy to miss out on the benefits of something as simple as an add-on package. They don’t get the flashy reviews or the top-of-the-page headlines, but there is an argument that they’re just as effective in giving life vehicle. BMW’s M Performance Parts is a good example of that since it’s often overshadowed by tuning companies and Bimmer’s Individual personalization division. But as it showed in the 5 Series Touring variant of the mid-sized luxury sedan, there’s more to the M Performance Parts than meets the eye.

The treatment itself is getting some well-deserved shine at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show where BMW will be displaying the 5 Series Touring with M Performance Parts in all its glory. It might be hard to recognize the difference, but rest assured, the package comes with an assortment of sporty goodies meant to drive up the personality of the 5 Series Touring. Starting with the exterior and moving to the interior and the engine (yep, there’s an optional power kit included) the M Performance Parts lives up to its name by turning the 5 Series Touring into a veritable M car.

It may not carry the iconic M badge, but that’s just a matter of cosmetics. The BMW 5 Series Touring with M Performance Parts looks and acts like an M car. That in itself is worth giving the station wagon the attention it deserves.

Continue after the jump to read more about the BMW 5 Series Touring with M Performance Parts


PostHeaderIcon Kia Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Combines Cargo Space with Hybrid Engine

Wagons are big sellers in Europe and around the globe, so it only makes sense for Kia to debut its Sportswagon version of the Optima Plug-in Hybrid. Announced at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show, the Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid offers a 60-kilometer range on battery power before its 2.0-liter gasoline four-cylinder kicks in. And while neither the Sportswagon nor the plug-in hybrid powertrain are new to Kia, this marks the first time they have been combined. Sales will begin in the third quarter of 2017 across Europe.

The familiar powertrain consists of Kia’s 2.0-liter GDI (gasoline, direct injection) four-cylinder from the Nu engine family. Alone, it generates 154 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. The gasoline engine is supplemented by an 11.26-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, which powers a 50-kW motor mated between the gas engine and automatic transmission. The result is a total system output of 202 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque. Kia says the Optima Sportswagon will hit 62 mph in 9.7 seconds. It’s no Tesla Model S, by any means.

Aside from its lackadaisical straight-line acceleration, the Optima Sportswagon is highly competitive. It boasts a cargo space of 1,574 liters with the rear seats folded flat. That’s 55.5 cubic feet for those on the Imperial scale. With the rear seats raised, the cargo area still provides 440 liters (15.5 cubic feet) of room. That’s on par with many crossovers and other wagons on the market.

Of course, the Optima Sportswagon shares commonalities between its respective parents. The overall wagon shape remains true, while the added aero bits are straight from the Optima Plug-in Sedan. These features include aerodynamically tuned bumpers, side skirts, and wheels. Inside, the driver gets an updated instrument cluster that displays powertrain information on the eight-inch touchscreen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are present, too, as is TomTom’s Kia Connected Services with life traffic updates and such. Active safety systems include adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and automatic emergency braking.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Kia Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Combines Cargo Space with Hybrid Engine

Wagons are big sellers in Europe and around the globe, so it only makes sense for Kia to debut its Sportswagon version of the Optima Plug-in Hybrid. Announced at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show, the Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid offers a 60-kilometer range on battery power before its 2.0-liter gasoline four-cylinder kicks in. And while neither the Sportswagon nor the plug-in hybrid powertrain are new to Kia, this marks the first time they have been combined. Sales will begin in the third quarter of 2017 across Europe.

The familiar powertrain consists of Kia’s 2.0-liter GDI (gasoline, direct injection) four-cylinder from the Nu engine family. Alone, it generates 154 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. The gasoline engine is supplemented by an 11.26-kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, which powers a 50-kW motor mated between the gas engine and automatic transmission. The result is a total system output of 202 horsepower and 276 pound-feet of torque. Kia says the Optima Sportswagon will hit 62 mph in 9.7 seconds. It’s no Tesla Model S, by any means.

Aside from its lackadaisical straight-line acceleration, the Optima Sportswagon is highly competitive. It boasts a cargo space of 1,574 liters with the rear seats folded flat. That’s 55.5 cubic feet for those on the Imperial scale. With the rear seats raised, the cargo area still provides 440 liters (15.5 cubic feet) of room. That’s on par with many crossovers and other wagons on the market.

Of course, the Optima Sportswagon shares commonalities between its respective parents. The overall wagon shape remains true, while the added aero bits are straight from the Optima Plug-in Sedan. These features include aerodynamically tuned bumpers, side skirts, and wheels. Inside, the driver gets an updated instrument cluster that displays powertrain information on the eight-inch touchscreen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are present, too, as is TomTom’s Kia Connected Services with life traffic updates and such. Active safety systems include adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and automatic emergency braking.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo

It’s been four years since we first saw the Panamera Sport Turismo Concept at the Paris Motor Show. Since then, the next-gen Panamera sedan has made its appearance, and more recently we got to lay eyes on the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid. We’ve received a few rounds of spy shots that showed the Panamera Shooting Brake being put through the paces, and just before it’s official debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, Porsche has decided to spill the beans about the newest member of the Panamera Family. Sporting the same front end as its sedan sibling and a whole new design out back that’s similar to that of the Sport Turismo Concept, the Panamera Shooting brake will also be available with the same four engines available in the sedan, and somehow manages to maintain the same performance figures despite being longer. It gets an active spoiler out back that helps add downforce to the rear axle at track speeds, and can be had with a 2+2 or a 4+1 seating layout, the latter of which throws a jump seat of sorts between the individual seats in the rear. That makes this shooting brake model the first to offer seating for five when properly equipped.

So far, Porsche as released a fair amount of information regarding its newest wagon (am I the only one who’s not sure the standard Panamera is even really a sedan?) and it’s enough to cover most of the juicy bits. We’ll surely learn more at its official debut and later on when it officially launches here in the U.S., but until then, let’s dive on in a take a good look at the new Panamera Shooting Brake… uhem…. Panamera Sport Turismo.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo.


PostHeaderIcon Audi RS6+ by ABT Sportsline

This time last year, ABT Sportsline was preparing its involvement at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, and one of the cars that it was presenting was the Audi RS6 Avant. It’s funny then that exactly a year later, the German tuner is back in Geneva and one of the cars it’s bringing with it to the auto show is… the Audi RS6 Avant. But before you start screaming “recycle,” it’s important to know that this isn’t last year’s program. In fact, it’s different in a lot of ways, starting with its name: the Audi RS6+ Avant.

Okay, the “+” is the only thing different with the name, but let it be said that, for better or worse, there are a lot of differences between last year’s program and this new one. This program, for example, has a more rounded aerodynamic package than last years. On the other hand, last year’s engine upgrade program – believe it or not – resulted in more power for the RS6 compared to this year’s engine upgrade program. Weird, right?

Most importantly, though, the Audi RS6+ isn’t just made up of a tuning kit like it was with last year’s offering. This version of Audi’s stately wagon is actually a special edition model that’s part of the German tuner’s lineup for the 2017 staging of the Geneva Motor Show. Only 50 units of the RS6+ will be built with the first production of the 50 being the one that will attend the show.

So if somebody you know wonders what the “+” is for in the car’s name, remind them that this creation by ABT Sportsline isn’t a traditional tuning kit. Instead, it’s a tuning kit developed specifically for this car with the intent to sell said tuned cars in very limited numbers. Makes sense now, right?

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi RS6+ by ABT Sportsline.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon

Practicality, comfort, and speed. It’s a difficult combination to achieve, especially in the U.S., where customers are usually only offered two of these characteristics, but not the third. Compounding the problem is the fact that on these shores, practicality is almost always equated with a crossover or SUV body style, which is obviously less than ideal when it comes to performance duties. Mercifully, Mercedes-AMG has a whopper of a solution. It’s called the E 63 S Wagon, and it’s based off the four-door rocket sedan of the same name. Merc first introduced the E-Class in 1993, with the latest fifth-gen model ushered in for the 2017 model year, and incredibly, the brand has decided to continue to offer the E-Class Wagon in the U.S. Even more amazing is the fact that stateside high-speed thrill seekers can get their fix with the E 63 S Wagon iteration, which gets all the opulence, interior tech, exterior style, and over-powered performance as the E 63 S sedan, but with extra space in the hatch to boot.

But let’s just jump right into the specs that matter most, shall we? Under the hood of the AMG E 63 S Wagon is a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 gas burner, pumping out an astonishing 603 horsepower. Routing output to the ground is a nine-speed automatic transmission. It’s enough muscle to push this wagon to 60 mph in as little as 3.4 seconds, while the upgraded performance suspension system keeps it all in control. Step inside, and you get a familiar look and layout, infotainment system, and the usual premium features.

Sounds amazing, if you ask us. But the wagon body style can still be a tough sell in the U.S., even with just over 600 ponies on tap, which begs the question – what’s this thing really bring to the table?

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon.


PostHeaderIcon Don't Expect To See The Alfa Romeo Giulia Sportwagon

You can tell that Alfa Romeo is in a good place when the problems it’s having involves deciding between two models that are going to be received well by the public. Apparently, that’s the predicament the Italian automaker finds itself in with the Giulia Sportwagon variant and a report from Car Magazine reveals that the Italian automaker is dropping plans to build the wagon variant of the Giulia because it wants to focus its attention on the Stelvio SUV.

Speaking with the news outlet, Alfa Romeo manufacturing chief Alfredo Altavilla explained that the Giulia Sportwagon, while appealing for a number of different reasons, wouldn’t make sense since the Stelvio already captures a lot of the features and capabilities that the Giulia Sportwagon would have had in case Alfa Romeo decided to green light it. In his own words, Altavilla added that the Stelvio “can capture all the people who would otherwise have been interested in the [Giulia Sportwagon].”

While there is some point to Altavilla’s explanation, it’s still a little surprising that Alfa Romeo would do anything to quell the momentum that the Giulia has generated since it was launched in 2016. The positive reception of the sedan reignited interest in the once-struggling Italian brand and the momentum has swelled to the point that we’re now in line to see the Giulia Sprint, a two-door coupe variant that’s expected to compete against the likes of the BMW M4, Mercedes-AMG C 63, and Audi RS5. Adding a Sportwagon variant would have helped round out the Giulia family as that model would have been able to directly line up against the BMW 3 Series Touring and the Mercedes C-Class Estate and compete against those variants independently.

Turns out, we’re not going to see that anymore because Alfa Romeo isn’t even going to cross that bridge. Again, the explanation behind the decision to drop the Giulia Sportwagon makes a lot of sense at the moment. Let’s just hope that for Alfa’s sake, it won’t come back and bite them in the future.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


PostHeaderIcon 2017 BMW 5 Series Touring Unveiled

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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