2017 Nissan TITAN SL 4×4 – Road Test Review

Trucks are all about strength.  Why not have more towing, hauling and running power than you might need?  There is huge peace of mind in knowing you have so much excess capability. At some point, though, that extra muscle makes life more difficult.  That point is arguably between 1500 and 2500 pickups.  Yes, the 2500s have even more giant motors and higher tow ratings.  The new Nissan Titan bridges this gap and aims for 1500 ease of use but near 2500 size and stats. The Titan XD straddles that gap perfectly and the XD option comes standard with the 5.0-liter Cummins TDV8.  This new Titan SL – sans the XD upgrade – is cheaper, nimbler and slightly quicker than its big XD brother.  Without sacrificing any of the road presence or curb appeal of the gigantic XD. Think of the The Rock as the XD versus Vin Diesel for the …

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Autocross Class of 2017! Which Pocket Rocket Is Quickest?

Imagine the best kart track ever – inside the amazing Road America racetrack itself.  Then swap the karts for real cars.  And race them against the stopwatch in rapid-fire rotations of drivers! It was an squeely good time with the class of 2017’s new and special pocket rockets.   A big variety in power, drivetrain layout and body style: everything from the Abarth 500C to MX-5 RF and 370Z Heritage Edition.  Hyundai’s new Elantra Sport joined the fun, as did a ragtop Miata, 124 Abarth, Toyota 86 and VW Golf R.     They were all a laugh riot around these ultra-tight bends.  The hardtop MX-5 was more dramatic to drive than the softtop — and the photos show how much more body roll it has too. It vied for the second quickest laps with the Abarth 124.  Fastest of the day was the stick-shfit VW Golf R. It should …

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2016 Fiat 500L Trekking – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Are you taking things too seriously? Been following politics? Fighting holiday crowds? Dreading a New Year’s resolution? We have a cure for you. The Fiat 500L. While it is a real SUV, capable of meeting your daily needs, there’s just enough slightly wacky, off-the-beaten-path, Euro-quirkiness to help take you out of the doldrums and put a smile on your face. It started out with the cute as a bug’s ear 500. Enthusiasts rejoiced when the brand added the Mighty Mouse 500 Abarth. And we have many frugal friends enjoying the super-green 500e electric vehicle (especially at the $99/month lease!). For those needing more room, they created the larger 500L SUV. And those looking for a bit more ruggedness, they took to the hills in the soft-roader 500X. Style-conscious sports car lovers got their prayers answered with the tasty Fiat 124 Spider – essentially a Mazda Miata in a fine, fitted Italian …

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Which Car Wins? 2016 Fiat 500 Abarth vs. 2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Rally – By Ben Lewis

    One thing we hear all the time is, “What can I get that’s fun, affordable and most especially, I won’t see coming the other way all day long.” That’s not an easy task – there’s always a lot that’s new and exciting prowling the concrete jungle. But fear not, we have a couple really interesting choices for you. Welcome to the Compact Car Wild Kingdom. Let’s start with the Mad Mouse. Well, we think it sort of looks like a mouse, with its round shape, big eyes, and front grill that sort of looks like a moustache, The diminutive Fiat 500 could happily sit in your garage and munch on a piece of cheese. The Mad part comes with the name Abarth. Carlo Abarth was a racer, racing manufacturer and became famous for offering high-performance versions of Fiat cars. Fiat bought out Abarth in 1971, and it became …

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2018 Lexus LC500 Cabrio Rendering

Full details on the new LC500h from Lexus! Very interesting advancements… conforming to few of the hypotheticals we initially posed below. For example, would it be a PHEV?  Would it run a V8? No and no on those fronts. But fear not: a new Li-ion battery system and four-speed EV transaxle in back complements the3.5-liter V6 up front to deliver a ballparked 4.7-second sprint to 60-mph.  That is deeply impressive for a machine that also offers a new Hybrid manual gear-shift mode and far less CVT drone than possible before.  Lexus’s explicit promise of “well under 5 seconds to 100-kph” is great news all around. It mostly points toward the LC500 proper being a 3.9-second stunner!  The extra thrust from its 467-pony V8, ultra-light new chassis architecture and all-new transmission are sure to be nearly a second quicker than the V6 hybrid LC500h. LC500C Digital Renderings – LC 500 Cabrio No …

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2017 Lexus LC500h – Next-Gen Hybrid Is V6 Li-ion with 4-Speed eTransaxle

Full details on the new LC500h from Lexus! Very interesting advancements… conforming to few of the hypotheticals we initially posed below. For example, would it be a PHEV?  Would it run a V8? No and no on those fronts. But fear not: a new Li-ion battery system and four-speed EV transaxle in back complements the3.5-liter V6 up front to deliver a ballparked 4.7-second sprint to 60-mph.  That is deeply impressive for a machine that also offers a new Hybrid manual gear-shift mode and far less CVT drone than possible before.  Lexus’s explicit promise of “well under 5 seconds to 100-kph” is great news all around. It mostly points toward the LC500 proper being a 3.9-second stunner!  The extra thrust from its 467-pony V8, ultra-light new chassis architecture and all-new transmission are sure to be nearly a second quicker than the V6 hybrid LC500h.   No total power outputs are available yet …

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2017 Lexus LC500h Joins Geneva Roster with Next-Gen Performance Hybrid System

  Lexus just released its big Geneva news: the 2017 LC500h! This super-sports variant introduces a next-gen hybrid that Lexus calls the Multi Stage Hybrid System. No details on what this entails as of yet, but the new hybrid system promises a big boost in actual sportiness versus just extra efficiency. How will they achieve that ? There are more than a few ways.  First off, Lithium-Ion batteries are expected — which may be their first excursion in the Lexus production hybrid.  Until now, Lexus has stuck to the proven nickel-metal-hydride battery packs so well-known from the Prius and Lexus RX hybrids. But will it be AWD or still RWD?  And will the core gasoline powerplant stay as the 5.0-liter, 467HP RCF engine?  Or perhaps swapped in favor of a downsized or V6 version? Or will the new Multi Stage Hybrid system be a plug-in?  Remains TBA. A chic royal …

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2017 Lexus LC500 COLORS Visualizer + Black Chrome Looks [150 Shades]

This post goes out to the bastards at Comcast Xfinity! Why? It was the ongoing eight-hour LAN outage today that spurred a moment of creativity in photoshop.  With whom? Our new favorite subject: the 2017 Lexus LC500! After many hours and nearly 150 shades of future super-Lexus… we are thrilled by the idea of a possible BMW collaboration under these delicious panels. The cabio also seems only a snip and slice away!  The floating roof and minimal pillars all around the back glass of the LC500 make clear this machine was designed.  HARD! The tumblehome — or that area between the edges of the fenders and the glasshouse — is deeper than ANYTHING ever out of Lexus’ F skunkworks.  It promises outrageous performance…. with the rigid lightness of the BMW paired to the insane power of the new 5.0-liter V8 from the RCF!?  Add in a bespoke new 10-speed automatic …

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TOPCAR Shows Full Carbon STINGER Reskin for Porsche 911 Turbo

  Updated 1.23.16 What better way to drive home how exotic the TopCar Stinger GTR is than to see its all-new carbon bodywork make up that iconic 911 shape — even without the Porsche underneath to distract the eye. This custom upgraded exterior looks exceptionally high-quality in its raw form.  Yet also featherlight and dropping the OEM curb weight by around 200 pounds.  Along with the menu of power and handling mods, the Stinger GTR definitely packs a strong punch.  Like a prize fighter in carbon-kevlar, nothing it getting past these TopCar turbos! The full carbon Stinger GTR is set for the TopCar show stand at Geneva 2016 in March, but first orders are already shipping to US and global buyers. It is a direct-fit replacement for the factory body work on all sides — fitting both the 991 coupe and cabriolet. Favorite design elements?  The deep new sill scoop creating …

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