2021 MINI Cooper 1499 GT and Countryman Oxford Edition add spice and value to MINI lineup.

Keeping an icon fresh can be a challenge sometimes, and its even more so when you are trying to add some spice and vigor to the iconic MINI Cooper and its CUV focused sibling the Countryman. However, MINI designers and engineers have always stepped up to the challenge in the past, and they did it again with the unveiling of the MINI Cooper 1499 GT and Countryman Oxford Editions.   1499 GT Edition is a throwback to budget performance We’ll give MINI credit, we actually had to go back in time (and read a few old books) to find the …

Read more 2021 MINI Cooper 1499 GT and Countryman Oxford Edition add spice and value to MINI lineup.

2020 MINI Cooper S Clubman by Ben Lewis

Is there anybody that still thinks MINI is a British company? Well, the truth is, it’s been part of BMW for a long time. In fact, many of the current BMW’s – like the X1 SUV – share MINI running gear. But that’s no reason to cry into your warm beer, as MINI is the best of both worlds. While the stylists who surround the MINI product make grand efforts to keep the bulldog-style, the fun and whimsical vibe, the knowledgeable folks at BMW continue to massage and refine the product. Ever year, there’s lots of little improvements. So, we …

Read more 2020 MINI Cooper S Clubman by Ben Lewis

Road Test Review – 2020 Mini Cooper S Clubman – By Carl Malek [Video]

The 2020 Mini Cooper S Clubman is the answer to a very interesting question. What would happen if you take a Mini Cooper hatchback, and try to apply some of its quirky charm and appeal to a segment blurring utility focused model? The end result is the Clubman which tries to add more versatility and cargo hauling ability into its distinctly British flanks. But while the Clubman Panel Van a few years ago was a short lived and ultimately flawed experiment, the standard Clubman has managed to gather a sizable following of loyalists over the years. We were eager to …

Read more Road Test Review – 2020 Mini Cooper S Clubman – By Carl Malek [Video]

2019 Mini Cooper S Hardtop 60th Anniversary – Review by Ben Lewis

When we talk about performance cars, the benchmark is still 0-60. Which may be outdated, but it’s easy to get your head around and compare cars of the past with cars of today. (Spoiler Alert – cars of today are much faster today.) That said, we are talking 0-60 mph. But with the 2019, we are talking something completely different. 0 – 60 Years Yep, years. Hard to believe that the original Mini first bowed in 1959. Especially since a super-small, efficient and fun vehicle seems so now. 1959 was an interesting year – The first Barbie Doll was introduced, …

Read more 2019 Mini Cooper S Hardtop 60th Anniversary – Review by Ben Lewis

2017 Mini Cooper Countryman ALL4 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

It’s no fun being judged by your name. Even if it’s a good one. Take Mini, for example. Around since the 60’s, it stood for diminutive cars that surprised and delighted, in part to their snug external dimensions, and their larger-than-life performance. When the Mini Cooper was reintroduced in the US in 2003, it was much larger than the original, but still a lot smaller than just about everything else for sale. And in the past 14 years, we’ve seen the Mini product expand into larger vehicles like the Clubman and small crossovers like the Mini Countryman. And now with …

Read more 2017 Mini Cooper Countryman ALL4 – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Double Drive Review! 2016 MINI Cooper S CLUBMAN – 8sp Automatic versus 6sp Stick

  For years now, the number of manual transmissions has been dropping in favor of the automatic transmissions. True car enthusiasts have bemoaned the loss of the stick while automakers pander to growing consumer demand for automatics (plus, many drivers can’t drive a manual). However, with the Mini Cooper Clubman, the manual vs. automatic debate is at the heart of the car. Is a Mini Cooper, well, a Mini Cooper without a stick? Nope. A few weeks ago, I reviewed a 2016 MINI Cooper Clubman S manual and enjoyed all of its quirkiness including the thrill of getting off the …

Read more Double Drive Review! 2016 MINI Cooper S CLUBMAN – 8sp Automatic versus 6sp Stick

2016 MINI Clubman 15

Drive Review – 2016 Mini Cooper Clubman S – By Ben Lewis

  Pardon us while we get all Existentialist on you. But is Mini as a measure of size, or a state of mind?  That’s what’s got us scratching our heads with the latest Clubman S. This is actually the second generation of the Clubber, the first was a longer wheelbase version of the existing model, with a small suicide door on the passenger side to help passengers pile in and enjoy the extra room. It actually made a lot of sense, it gave a bit better ride, and introduced Mini drivers to the joys (accessibility) and horrors (visibility) of split …

Read more Drive Review – 2016 Mini Cooper Clubman S – By Ben Lewis

Road Test Review: 2016 MINI Cooper S CLUBMAN

REVIEW: 2016 Mini Cooper S Clubman Is Unique, Sporty Drive … Once Inside Cabin In a world of mega – huge trucks, large SUVs and big sedans – there is the 2016 Mini Cooper S Clubman. It is a drastic departure from other cars on the market with its unique styling, sporty powertrain and zippy turning radius. Now with more cargo room, the Mini Cooper Clubman is simply a great drive, albeit if you are OK sacrificing some entry/exit ease and long-drive comfort. Without a doubt, Mini Coopers are uniquely different – even refreshing – compared to an automotive market …

Read more Road Test Review: 2016 MINI Cooper S CLUBMAN

2017 MINI Cooper Convertible 2

2017 MINI Cooper Convertible – 80 New Photos of Ragtop

Updated 2.24.16 with 77 new photosThe new MINI ragtop is here and vastly improved!  An all-new and wider platform houses two new engines, an all-new cabin and some sweet new tech and style options. The Cooper and Cooper S both run turbo engines for the next-gen model, with standard six-speed manuals or six-speed automatics available. But there is a big difference for the S in this generation: a whole extra cylinder!  That;s right, the base MINI runs a 1.5-liter triple!  This new modular engine series powers all future BMW’s; the 340i just revealed its 3.0-liter version of the same engine, …

Read more 2017 MINI Cooper Convertible – 80 New Photos of Ragtop

2015 MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4-Door 65

2015 MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4-Door – HD First Drive Video + 150 Photos

With a base price of $25,000, the 2015 MINI Cooper S 4-Door Hardtop overlaps closely with an unlikely competitor: the new Focus ST. Both are fun-running favorites with a cultlike following, and both achieve 60-mph in the low 6.0-second range through six-speed manuals. Though the Cooper S is down 65 horsepower versus the Focus ST, the MINI’s Cooper S upgrade is more important than ever for 2015. As with the MINI hardtop, the base Cooper runs a three-cylinder to the Cooper S’s turbo four. Power is up from 134 horsepower in the Cooper to 184 in the Cooper S, a …

Read more 2015 MINI Cooper S Hardtop 4-Door – HD First Drive Video + 150 Photos

Mini Cooper 5-Door gif

2015 MINI Cooper 5-Door in Postcard-Worthy Trip Around The City of Light

A moveable feast with a big back seat? Yep! Table for five, please. Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Metro, the Seine and the Arc de Triumph — all in an afternoon with this big new MINI! Any of these charming photos would look nice on an old-fashion paper postcard, or even an Instagram to your friends back home. The 5-door SD shown here is the hot Diesel engine for Europe, but the looks are identical to the Cooper and Cooper S engines we will see in the US. This means a base turbo triple and a turbo …

Read more 2015 MINI Cooper 5-Door in Postcard-Worthy Trip Around The City of Light

2013 Kia CUB Concept gif

2013 Kia CUB Concept Is Retro-Futurist Hatch With Surfacing and Stance To Best Even MINI Cooper

  Here is a real charmer of a concept – one that shows what the aesthetic of the Soul might look like in a traditional five-door hatchback. The retro portion of the design is in the low hood and steep windshield glass, while the futurist element comes with the lack of gaudy chrome detailing or a big grille up front. Rounding takes over in the front corner vents and the smooth flow of the rear canopy and hatch region. A shark-fin element appears in three-dimensional relief in the front door panel, while the rear glass incorporates a CHMSL LED as …

Read more 2013 Kia CUB Concept Is Retro-Futurist Hatch With Surfacing and Stance To Best Even MINI Cooper

2015 MINI Cooper JCW Concept Brushed-Alloy Paints Hot Bod 12

MINI Cooper JCW Concept Debuts Brushed-Alloy Paints on Hot New Bod

The all-new MINI John Cooper Works is taking shape! After the recent debut of the all-new 2014 Mini Cooper and Cooper S, the hottest member of the MINI clan is closing fast in the rear-view mirror.   Even as a concept, the huge body revisions are visible from almost every angle versus its 2014 MINI siblings. Up front, the JCW brings nearly double the square footage of air intakes, and a far more menacing lower chin style. Expected to run a turbocharged four-cylinder versus the top Cooper S model’s turbo triple, the JCW will be able to really push the …

Read more MINI Cooper JCW Concept Debuts Brushed-Alloy Paints on Hot New Bod

P90275449_highRes

2017 MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept – Design Analysis

MINI fatigue is undeniable lately as an enthusiast and for car shoppers alike.  The improvements are so substantive, but the design and image seems frozen in time.  Most of the time. Then rumbles up a track-attack prototype so extreme that even it hates being a hatchback.  It hates that its breadvan shape lacks the low nose of a supercar or the mid-engined silhouette. So this JCW GP concept rejects its limitations.  It says: i will create extreme downforce and aero — hatchback shape and all.  It does not accept that front-drive is a demerit on the Nordschleife. Floating external fenders …

Read more 2017 MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept – Design Analysis

2016 MINI Clubman ALL4 Is New AWD, LWB Cooper S 66

2017 MINI Clubman ALL4 Is New AWD, LWB Cooper S

MINI’s new Clubman is the most desirable model in the revamped lineup.  Why?  Not just because it is HUGE versus the others, but now for its added capability with its All4 AWD system. The core platform is shared with the MINI Cooper 4-Door, but dramatically wider and longer. How much wider and longer than the 4-Door Hardtop?  About a half foot stretch to the sides, and nearly a fool foot of extra length.  Most of that bounty heads right to the back seats and cargo areas — making the new Clubman All4 a serious rival to the Countryman. But lower …

Read more 2017 MINI Clubman ALL4 Is New AWD, LWB Cooper S

(Jan 2015) Detroit, MI

2015 MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop Priced at $30k – Looks as Exciting as a Warm Nap

Update: we prepared this whole post just now — before realizing a double deja vu. This car debuted online months ago. Sigh. See below. MINI has a bit of a problem. This hottest-ever JCW hardtop is just not doing it for us today. Aside from the cool new cabin and better LED accents outside, we see zero reason to pick this 2015 model over a pre-owned 2009 model. Trouble ahead for MINI. This big news here is that US pricing is announced with a base of $30,000. 2015 MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop MINI BRINGS MOTORSPORTS HERITAGE TO DETROIT FOR …

Read more 2015 MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop Priced at $30k – Looks as Exciting as a Warm Nap

mini jcw gif

228HP, 5.9s 2016 MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop World Debut

  The new MINI JCW is here! Revealed online ahead of its global showing in Detroit next month, the next-gen JCW is a pretty stout upgrade over an already-intense predecessor. Power is up 10-percent to 228-horsepower, while torque is up 14-percent to 236-pound-feet from an all-new turbo four. The big news with this engine is its giant jump in displacement: up 25-percent over the previous engine. That means the power is easier to achieve without huge throttle needed. Good on the track, but even better for real-world road power and responsiveness. The six-speed manual sprints to 60-mph now in 6.1-seconds, …

Read more 228HP, 5.9s 2016 MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop World Debut

MINI Paceman header GIF

2014 MINI Paceman Cooper S – Built-out and Recommended Options for Loaded $34k Price

2014 MINI Paceman Cooper S Options The MINI Paceman might seem a little unnecessary, but it is a unique choice that is a must-have fashion statement for some. For my personal preference of rear-drive, or rear-drive-based AWD cars, the BMW X1 would be my pick over the Paceman any day of the week. But the appeal of the Paceman is pretty real for its extra ride height over the very low-slung MINI hardtop. The style and image is what sets the BMW and MINI apart for most buyers. But both share one critical issue to be wary of: the ability …

Read more 2014 MINI Paceman Cooper S – Built-out and Recommended Options for Loaded $34k Price

2022 Mini JCW Lineup Adds New Dampers And Styling For Customers To Enjoy

It wasn’t too long ago that Mini released the goods on the 2022 Mini Cooper Hardtop and Convertible lineup, promising that the duo was getting some welcome updates for the 2022 model year. Notably missing absent from the party were the JCW versions, with Mini reps only revealing that they were also going to get some updates of their own. At last, Mini has shown the world what the 2022 JCW models have in store for consumers, and it appears that these spunky track slayers will have enough new stuff to please even the pickiest of Mini loyalists.   Adaptive …

Read more 2022 Mini JCW Lineup Adds New Dampers And Styling For Customers To Enjoy

2020 Mini JCW Countryman All4 by Ben Lewis

You think you know Mini, but you don’t know Mini. Yeah, we know, cute fun little cars. Quick, with – everyone says it – “go cart” handling. But how about a high performance, sports car-stomping, lightning-quick Mini? And how about making that a Countryman? Behold the JCW Countryman, an unlikely superhero you can’t help but cheer for. For those not in the know, JCW is John Cooper Works. Cooper was a famous racer and performance builder of the original Mini in the 60’s, and we love that Mini remembers those who were so influential to the brand. A Super New …

Read more 2020 Mini JCW Countryman All4 by Ben Lewis

Frankfurt IAA 2017 – SEAT, VW, Opel, Mini and Renault

Insignia GSi causes a major double-take to get things started on the euro mass-market showfloor gallery.  A brand-new Cupra R and Megane RS are headed to buyers very soon and look dynamite.  The Mini JCW GP Concept is even cooler in real life than it was in its preshow photos.  And finally VW’s soft-skinned ID Crozz Concept is red and happy to be in the world.  Like an electric puppy. 2018 Open Insignia GSi 2018 Renault Megane R.S. 2018 SEAT Leon Cupra R 2017 MINI Cooper GP Concept 2017 VW I.D. Crozz Concept, 2018 VW T-Roc

2016 MINI JCW Hardtop - USA 22

2016 MINI JCW Hardtop – USA First Look – Sweet New LEDs, Wider Stance Mark Out New $31k Bulldog

Updated 2.15.16 with first USA photos from Daytona Cool to see and hear the new MINI sports flagship at Daytona the other week.  It might have lagged the BMW M-livery M5 and M3s off the line for the IMSA Hot Lap Experience shown in the below video…. but it definitely looked like it was enjoying every second on that high-speed racetrack! The new look is most recognizable thanks to the new full-moon LED DRLs, LED fogs and smart bi-xenon projector beam main lamps in front. We even hate the tail less than before: in JCW guise, the too-large rear lamps shrink into …

Read more 2016 MINI JCW Hardtop – USA First Look – Sweet New LEDs, Wider Stance Mark Out New $31k Bulldog

231HP, ~6.3s 2016 MINI JCW Convertible – Legacy Looks, Speed Shortage = Wandering Eyes

Do you remember the will-they/won’t-they drama around the first JCW Convertible?  People wondered if such a hotted-up MINI could handle being roofless.  Would its front-drive chassis just fall apart around corners? That was certainly not the case for the eventual ragtop JCW — but the buzz and enthusiast excitement is relatively interesting.  Why?  It is not present whatsoever for this general of MINI Cooper S JCW. The extreme continuity of the looks for this third-gen new MINI generation are doing the new-gen Coopers no favors.  Despite being an all-new chassis with all-new engines and virtually zero carryover from the second-gen MINIs…. …

Read more 231HP, ~6.3s 2016 MINI JCW Convertible – Legacy Looks, Speed Shortage = Wandering Eyes

2016 MINI 4-Door CARBON EDITION 1

2016 MINI 4-Door CARBON EDITION Features New JCW Pro Tuning, Dual-Mode Exhaust!

Excellent new special MINI for the USA in 2016: the very fresh and flash Carbon Edition of the hardtop 4-door. The upgrades and special tweaks versus the Cooper S basis are visible and very audible!  A new JCW Pro Tuning Kit package bundles in special programming for the intake and a remote-operated sport exhaust. This valve-operated setup will make the Carbon a real screamer! Along with its GTI-large cabin and pace, the MINI 4-Door Carbon is definitely a viable WRX competitor — from 1000-yards!   2016 MINI 4-Door CARBON EDITION   Introducing the MINI Carbon Edition: The fastest, loudest, and …

Read more 2016 MINI 4-Door CARBON EDITION Features New JCW Pro Tuning, Dual-Mode Exhaust!

2017 MINI RAGTOP Bares All Ahead of March 2016 USA Arrival

The new MINI ragtop is here and vastly improved!  An all-new and wider platform houses two new engines, an all-new cabin and some sweet new tech and style options. The Cooper and Cooper S both run turbo engines for the next-gen model, with standard six-speed manuals or six-speed automatics available. But there is a big difference for the S in this generation: a whole extra cylinder!  That;s right, the base MINI runs a 1.5-liter triple!  This new modular engine series powers all future BMW’s; the 340i just revealed its 3.0-liter version of the same engine, but as a six-cylinder. A …

Read more 2017 MINI RAGTOP Bares All Ahead of March 2016 USA Arrival

MINI Goes HUGE! Just-Revealed 2016 CLUBMAN is Foot Longer, Much Wider than MINI 4-Door Hardtop

The MINI range is in the midst of a full rebirth. New tech, swanky and posh cabin materials, plus fresh looks outside. The big plus is that the driving playfulness of the standard hatch applies to any body style, or even SUV. But the downside is that they all look pretty similar. Don’t let this reveal miss your radar, though, because the new Clubman might be the ideal and long-sought-after fast wagon variant of your dreams! First off, the dimensions. The Clubman is 10.6 inches longer than the new 4-Door Hardtop (aka the 5-Door in UK). The Clubman is also …

Read more MINI Goes HUGE! Just-Revealed 2016 CLUBMAN is Foot Longer, Much Wider than MINI 4-Door Hardtop

2015-MINI-Vision-GT-5-copy8741

395HP, 3.5s 2015 MINI Vision Gran Turismo Runs AWD With 180MPH Vmax

  We did not have to wait long to see the full MINI Vision Gran Turismo concept in all its glory! This hotshot pocket-rocket is now a serious racing beast: full AWD system, a 395-horsepower turbo engine, and a sprint to 62-mph in just 3.5-seconds. The overall top speed? 180-mph! The hottest-ever MINI racer is available to play in GT6 from today. 2015 MINI Vision Gran Turismo     MINI goes Gran Turismo®6. From today gamers can enjoy driving the virtual MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo. 26.02.2015 Munich. Inspired by the brand’s legendary motor racing success, the MINI Design Team …

Read more 395HP, 3.5s 2015 MINI Vision Gran Turismo Runs AWD With 180MPH Vmax

2015 MINI 5-Door gif

Updated with 30 New Photos – 2015 MINI 5-Door Answers the Call of Back-Seaters Everywhere!

Updated 9.23.14 What is the back-seaters’ call? “Let us out!” ? That is not exactly the MINI Cooper’s fun-loving style! Back-seat whiners have typically just wanted to stretch their legs a little bit, but been stuck until one of the fancy front-seaters will move their tush and let the seat slide up to an open slice of door. The 2015 MINI five-door hatch promises modest solutions to both problems via an extra set of rear doors on the silly-fun urban classic. The latest MINI model is far more approachable in every way, with its turbocharged standard triple delivering more MPG …

Read more Updated with 30 New Photos – 2015 MINI 5-Door Answers the Call of Back-Seaters Everywhere!

MINI 5-Door 2015 Cooper S GIF header

192HP, 6.8-Second 2015 MINI 5-Door Answers the Call of Back-Seaters Everywhere

What is the back-seaters’ call? “Let us out!” ? That is not exactly the MINI Cooper’s fun-loving style! Back-seat whiners have typically just wanted to stretch their legs a little bit, but been stuck until one of the fancy front-seaters will move their tush and let the seat slide up to an open slice of door. The 2015 MINI five-door hatch promises modest solutions to both problems via an extra set of rear doors on the silly-fun urban classic. The latest MINI model is far more approachable in every way, with its turbocharged standard triple delivering more MPG and also …

Read more 192HP, 6.8-Second 2015 MINI 5-Door Answers the Call of Back-Seaters Everywhere

2015 MINI COuntryman GIF header

2015 MINI Countryman Debuts Dark-Trimmed Style and LED Foglamp Rings

Okay, these updates probably could have been grouped together, considering the below is almost a complete Search/Replace for Paceman –> Countryman. But such is life. Here are the 2015 MINI Countryman details. MINI USA UNVEILS 2015 MINI COUNTRYMAN WITH WORLD PREMIERE AT NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW 16/04/14   MINI Countryman is currently the second highest selling model in the U.S. by volume, led only by the MINI Hardtop New safety and functional features enhance the premium crossover model Expanded range of paint finishes now includes Jungle Green metallic, Midnight Grey metallic, and Starlight Blue metallic Woodcliff Lake, NJ – …

Read more 2015 MINI Countryman Debuts Dark-Trimmed Style and LED Foglamp Rings

MINI Paceman 2015 GIF header

2015 MINI Paceman Adds LED DRLs and Foglamps + Blacked-Out Styling Updates

Most subtle facelift ever? Glad to see the dark headlight style is going mainstream, with a lack of chrome also a big enhancement for the 2015 Paceman. The other largest change is the LED foglamp ring down below, which is pretty disappointing versus a full LED headlamp makeover. Even so, better some LED style than none!   MINI UNVEILS 2015 MINI PACEMAN WITH WORLD PREMIERE AT BEIJING MOTOR SHOW 22/04/14 Woodcliff Lake, NJ – April 21, 2014…As an extravagant individualist in urban traffic, the MINI Paceman is a real eye-catcher. The world’s first ever Sports Activity Coupé in the premium …

Read more 2015 MINI Paceman Adds LED DRLs and Foglamps + Blacked-Out Styling Updates

MINI Paceman Adventure Concept GIF1

MINI Paceman Adventure Concept Leverages DAKAR Winning Streak – Previews Next MINI Paceman Cabrio?

Sometimes reverse psychology is the best way to read quotes written by hardcore commincations professionals – folks like PR teams and diplomats, for example. So when MINI says… “The MINI Paceman Adventure is a true one-off and there are no plans for series production.” The jaded auto journo like me reads this as true, with a big “But…” While the off-road kit outfitted to this Paceman Adventure is surely a fantasy-level that is best fit for a concept, the basic drop-top premise seems much more plausible. This cabrio soft-roader is totally do-able once the concept embellishments like the steel pickup …

Read more MINI Paceman Adventure Concept Leverages DAKAR Winning Streak – Previews Next MINI Paceman Cabrio?

Street parker header

VIDEO — Andy Stella’s Top 5 Cars to Street Park in Chicago, Year-round! Wrangler, MINI… Jaguar XJ?

By Special Contributor Andy Stella Spring is almost here in Chicago, and you know what that means: people forget that they just spent six months acting surprised every time it snowed. With snow comes decreased street width, huge banks plowed against our cars, and mounds of Honda Fit-sized snow piles taking up precious parking space. Once the snow clears, we must not forget to let some practicality guide our summer car shopping! What is my experience, you ask? Well, before I lived in Chicago, I endured even colder, snowier winters in Minnesota while attending college, and before that, I was …

Read more VIDEO — Andy Stella’s Top 5 Cars to Street Park in Chicago, Year-round! Wrangler, MINI… Jaguar XJ?

_D4N2964_002

My MINI Build-Out: Hardtop Customizer Shows Cool Upgrades Throughout + At Least Half Are Zero-Cost Additions —

The new 2014 MINI Cooper Hardtop is arriving now in the US — and not a moment too soon for the many loyal fans this car has earned! But which is best for you? The four themes explored on the previous article highlight only a small smattering of the customizations available outside, inside and within the all-new 2014 MINI Cooper line. We spent a good chunk of time building out our perfect MINI — highlighting the most critical options and style upgrades available. Overall, a few key discoveries to share: — the interior is where the real customization action gets …

Read more My MINI Build-Out: Hardtop Customizer Shows Cool Upgrades Throughout + At Least Half Are Zero-Cost Additions —

MINI hardtop header

2014 MINI Hardtop Debuts Four Theme Packs to Kickstart Your Wild Imagination — Arriving Now from $23k

Okay, perhaps $35k is a better price cap for that bold claim — which we are eager to prove if need be. It is far more than Union Jack flags on the roof and mirrors these days at MINI, as well, even though that classic staple remains available. Vivid Green: gives accessories a youthful, fresh look with striking dashes of rich green against a black background. Speedwell Blue: adds a touch of sporty flair and a sense of tradition, thanks to a reinterpretation of the red, white and blue of the Union Jack, combined with a warm brown tone. John Cooper Works …

Read more 2014 MINI Hardtop Debuts Four Theme Packs to Kickstart Your Wild Imagination — Arriving Now from $23k

1961 MINI Drops 54 Years in 60 Seconds

Timelapse Video: 1961 MINI Drops 54 Years at Past/Future Dutch MINI Factory

A charming, *exclusive* time-lapse of a 1961 model’s rebirth from MINI, just as the firm debuts its hottest 2014 JCW Concept and the all-new Hardtops are officially official. Long pre-amble: Short video. Enjoy this ’61 Mini’s rebirth. This 1961 Austin Seven was originally built in the Netherlands after Mini fever swept Britain and wider Europe by storm. Similar tides these days, as Mini has signed up to build cars again in the Netherlands starting in Summer 2014. While this is not a fully Mini plant, the Dutch crew is giving it all of their love. A team of – no …

Read more Timelapse Video: 1961 MINI Drops 54 Years at Past/Future Dutch MINI Factory

NEW-2014-MINI-Cooper-Hardtop-3edit

All-New 2014 MINI Hardtop Debuts LEDs Galore and Futuristic Cabin Tech

BMW’s MINI is absolutely a future textbook example of how to revive and relaunch a silent brand into a loud, crowded age. While the original 1960s Mini was much more of a phenom inside England, BMW’s ambitions have always been far more global. Spending ten years with the nightmare of Rover Cars Limited taught BMW many lessons in the 1990s about what *not* to do with a classic brand. Divesting Rover and Land Rover helped BMW pivot to a far more logical and promising ownership of Rolls-Royce, Mini, and a few other moribund sports car brands in the early 2000s. …

Read more All-New 2014 MINI Hardtop Debuts LEDs Galore and Futuristic Cabin Tech

2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV SELS S-AWC – Review By Ben Lewis

Quick!  What’s the world’s best-selling Plug-in Hybrid? If you’re like us, you probably said the Toyota Prius. I mean, they pretty much own all things hybrid, no? No. Surprise! It’s the Mitsubishi Outlander. Which was a surprise to us, too. Mitsubishi is one of the smaller players in the U.S. – until recently when Nissan bought a large share of it. (For those playing at home, Renault is a 43% owner of Nissan, while Nissan owns 34% of Mitsubishi). Those deeper pockets are sure to see investment in Mitsubishi, and a rosier future for the brand. We already felt the …

Read more 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV SELS S-AWC – Review By Ben Lewis

IMG_8260

2019 VW Beetle Convertible 2.0T Final Edition SEL – Review by Ben Lewis

Sometimes when cars go away, we don’t mourn their passing. Usually, those cars are nothing special, having outlived their usefulness, or are being replaced with something much better. But the VW Beetle has always been more than that. So, we’re truly sad to see this cheerful little vehicle go away. Who doesn’t need to smile today? Auf Wiedersehen, Baby… The appropriately named Final Edition is sending the Beetle off in a fine way. VW has a habit of making cool last models, and this one is no exception. We were lucky enough to score the Convertible version – it just …

Read more 2019 VW Beetle Convertible 2.0T Final Edition SEL – Review by Ben Lewis

2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

As we write this, it’s the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. Perfect time to review a roadster, then. And on such a noteworthy day, the 124 Spider Abarth seems like the ideal car for celebrating. Brio! Translated from Italian, it means vigor, vivacity. And the Fiat serves this up, with a fun to drive personality, stunning looks, and intangibles that just feel so European…which is pretty interesting when you consider, the 124 is mostly Japanese. Underneath the swanky Italian bodywork is a Miata. But before we delve under the body, let’s linger on the handsome suit draping …

Read more 2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2018 INFINITI QX30 Sport – Road Test Review w/ Performance Drive Video!

 We start the drive video review asking a serious question: does this Euro Infiniti QX30 belong in the USA? This baby Infiniti has two variants on sale in America: the crossover-ish QX30 and QX30 AWD.  Then there is the wild cousin: the QX30 Sport.  Lowered ride height.  Performance mods and gloss black finishes galore.  Stance to make the most of the double-clutch automatic and turbo motor from Mercedes-Benz. Premium compact five-doors are big business on the continent.  Instead of trading up to a sedan after the Golf/Focus class, owners will shell out big cash to get into the A3, 1 …

Read more 2018 INFINITI QX30 Sport – Road Test Review w/ Performance Drive Video!

2017 KIA Soul Turbo – HD Road Test Review + Video

The Kia Soul is a runaway  success. It is the best-selling global Kia vehicle in the brand’s history.  And it has outlasted its Nissan Cube or the Scion xB box-car rivals in the marketplace by being better. This acclaim is perhaps why the Soul still wears its original sheetmetal — albeit revamped slightly for the exterior of this latest iteration.  Fresh LEDs, bumpers and trim details are all this car needs to be fresh in 2017. If the core package was so right-sized and right-priced, it does make sense to keep it humming along nicely with the same look. Beneath …

Read more 2017 KIA Soul Turbo – HD Road Test Review + Video

Top 11 Hot Hatchbacks in the USA for 2017

This spring has been a renaissance for hot hatch testing here at Car-Revs-Daily.  We’ve had the great pleasure of flogging the two reigning champs: the Focus RS and Golf R — and realized these pocket rockets are a speedfreak’s dream come true.  So tight and nimble.  So ferocious on throttle.  And so affordable versus a big V8 in Camaro  or Mustang!  Affordable to buy and also to insure and own. They make spouses less furious  than an impractical two-seat coupe.  And they are actually useful at transporting big things via their fold-down back seats. The market for hot hatchbacks has …

Read more Top 11 Hot Hatchbacks in the USA for 2017

GTI for an Eye! 2016 Volkswagen GTI Avenges MkV GTI Sins

GTI Battle: 2008 VW GTI DSG vs. 2016 VW GTI Autobahn with Performance Package & DSG Just how much of a difference can two generations make? I love hot hatchbacks. Being able to have a practical performance-oriented vehicle is immensely appealing. For nine years, I drove a Mk5 2008 Volkswagen GTI whose sole option was the DSG automated-manual gearbox (Yes, it wasn’t a manual and no I don’t care). It was a fantastic car, but the time finally came when I wanted to upgrade. What to get? Something sporty like a Nissan 370Z? Some American muscle in the form of a Ford Mustang …

Read more GTI for an Eye! 2016 Volkswagen GTI Avenges MkV GTI Sins

guangzhou-2015-web-0014-tile

2015 BMW Concept Compact Sedan Teases Upcoming 135i: $25k Base Price, Standard Turbo, RWD?

  Here is a bit of a mystery concept from BMW: the 2015 Concept Compact Sedan. Debuting at the Guangzhou auto show in China this week, the Concept CS is not mysterious about its production intent. One look inside the cabin of even the renders shows that this car is nearly finalized already, and likely to be in some global Bimmer showrooms by the end of calendar 2016. From there, things line up with logical powertrains in 120i, 128i and 135i, mirroring the two-door 235i, etc. Pricing for the eventual 1 series is likely to start at about $25k, at …

Read more 2015 BMW Concept Compact Sedan Teases Upcoming 135i: $25k Base Price, Standard Turbo, RWD?

smart fortwo cabrio 2015

2017 Smart ForTwo Cabrio Revealed Ahead of US Arrival In Summer 2016

The 2017 Smart Cabrio is official ahead of its public debut in Frankfurt next month, with the first confirmed timeframe for its US arrival. The overall rollout has been extremely slow so far, but US Smart showrooms are finally close to clearing their inventory of the existing — and deeply unpopular — model. Why bother bringing Smart back at all ?  And why start with this cabrio? Smart is coming back mainly thanks to a new four-door variant of the rear-engine city car. The larger model is expected to eventually compete with the Fiat 500 and base MINI Coopers, in …

Read more 2017 Smart ForTwo Cabrio Revealed Ahead of US Arrival In Summer 2016

tbirds 2001

RM Texas 2014 Highlights – 2001 Ford Thunderbird and 2003 Ford Thunderbird Supercharged Concepts

The RM Auctions Texas 2014 sale in 2014 centered on Sam Pack’s amazing collection of 100-plus amazing American icons. Of all the marques in the world, Mr. Pack loved Ford best. And as far as Ford models, the Thunderbird was his all-time favorite. This is readily apparent looking through the catalog – with at least 10 Thunderbirds of all eras included in pristine, flawless condition. These two are part of a rare Ford sale of the original auto show concept cars from the 2000s. The 2001 Thunderbird Sports Roadster concept was widely liked when it debuted, and production was fast-tracked. …

Read more RM Texas 2014 Highlights – 2001 Ford Thunderbird and 2003 Ford Thunderbird Supercharged Concepts

500x lounge gif

2016 Fiat 500X Lounge Is Right-Sized City Softroader with 4 Doors!

Updated 11.17.14 The 500X Cross looks just about *perfect* to answer to wishes of all Fiat dealerships across the US — compact, city-friendly but now a four-door and arguably a bit more handsome than even the original 500. Included below is a mega photo pack of the 500X Cross — which is the off-road guise with chunkier bumpers and gravel-proof plastic sills. Also below are the wheels and trim personalization options, interior photos and UK pricing. No word yet on US pricing or arrival time-frames, but we’d predict around a June 2015 arrival to the US as a 2016 model. …

Read more 2016 Fiat 500X Lounge Is Right-Sized City Softroader with 4 Doors!

500x cross

2016 Fiat 500X Cross AWD Trim Looking Svelt and Handsome in 75 New Photos

Updated 11.17.14 The 500X Cross looks just about *perfect* to answer to wishes of all Fiat dealerships across the US — compact, city-friendly but now a four-door and arguably a bit more handsome than even the original 500. Included below is a mega photo pack of the 500X Cross — which is the off-road guise with chunkier bumpers and gravel-proof plastic sills. Also below are the wheels and trim personalization options, interior photos and UK pricing. No word yet on US pricing or arrival time-frames, but we’d predict around a June 2015 arrival to the US as a 2016 model. …

Read more 2016 Fiat 500X Cross AWD Trim Looking Svelt and Handsome in 75 New Photos

yaris gif

Road Test Review – 2015 Toyota Yaris SE 5-Door Is A Hipsters Delight!

 2015 Toyota Yaris Review Quick: name the only Toyota (or Lexus) that is imported to the US from Europe? Any guesses? The header here is a solid clue. It is indeed the 2015 Yaris. Designed and built in Europe, the land of hot hatch excellence and cheap/cheerful mini cars, the Yaris embodies all the frisky spirit of the Fiat 500 or the MINI Cooper — but with a giant discount. The 2015 Yaris hopes to sell on more the efficiency and low entry pricing, however. It brings a full suspension redesign, a cabin upgrade and even funky LED lighting on …

Read more Road Test Review – 2015 Toyota Yaris SE 5-Door Is A Hipsters Delight!

500x gif

2016 Fiat 500X Makes Paris Debut With Optional AWD and 9-Speed Automatic

Fiat has big plans for the 500X, a four-door off-roader sharing a name and styling themes with the popular 500 line of mini cars. This machine is a logical next move for Fiat as the 500 enters its third year on the US market. Under the skin, the 500X shares major platform and chassis pieces with the upcoming Jeep Renegade mini SUV, and benefits from the Jeep’s AWD and automatic transmission requirements. Both features are relatively critical to the 500X achieving sales volume in the US market when it arrives in Spring 2015 as a 2016 model. Perhaps even more …

Read more 2016 Fiat 500X Makes Paris Debut With Optional AWD and 9-Speed Automatic

beetle gif

Road Test Review – 2014 Volkswagen Beetle R-Line Convertible

  By Ken Glassman Five minutes after they dropped off the new Beetle Convertible R-Line in my driveway, I was out cruising down the road. Perfect sunny day, with temps in the mid 70’s, and I’m loving it. I am a big convertible fan, and will take any opportunity to get into one and enjoy the pleasure of top down driving. Unfortunately, there are precious few convertibles on the market – at least within the price range of average folks. Of course if you want to take out a second mortgage on your house, you can choose from some outstanding …

Read more Road Test Review – 2014 Volkswagen Beetle R-Line Convertible

Qoros header gif 1

QOROS Design Analysis – Qoros9 and Flagship Concepts Preview Exciting Future Models

QOROS is the German-led Chinese car firm that could change global perceptions about Chinese vehicles through sheer strength of engineering. The firm aims to deliver the best of European safety, handling, styling and quality standards to an affordable-produced model for the first time. Headed by Gert Hildebrand as design chief, Qoros is on firm footing to bring his MINI Cooper design expertise to all sorts of new segments. Here is Hildebrand with the Qoros Flagship model discussed below. QOROS Design Analysis – Qoros9 and Flagship Concepts Preview Exciting Future Models After many false starts by other brands, the Qoros 3 …

Read more QOROS Design Analysis – Qoros9 and Flagship Concepts Preview Exciting Future Models

2020 BMW M235i xDrive Gran Coupe by Ben Lewis

We recently tested the MINI Clubman and remarked that there’s a lot of BMW under the skin. Well, in many ways, you could say the new BMW 2-series Gran Coupe has a fair amount of MINI under the skin – and just like the Clubby, it’s a good thing. Another way to think of the M235i Gran Coupe is the sedan version of the monster X2 M35i we tested – they share a lot of the same running gear – but going from SAV/SUV/Crossover to Sedan/Gran Coupe (stop with all the different names, please!) creates a very different beast. But …

Read more 2020 BMW M235i xDrive Gran Coupe by Ben Lewis

Car Care Product Review – Audew 150 PSI Portable Digital Tire Inflator – By Carl Malek

Lets face it, getting a flat tire can really put a damper on your day, especially if you happen to be far away from help. While a handful of current automotive models still come with compact spare tires, an increasing number of them are ditching the traditional spare tire in lieu of portable kits or nothing at all. This latter trait has really allowed portable tire compressors to come into their own, and the market in these devices has grown over the past few years. But choosing the right one for your vehicle can be tough, so when the folks …

Read more Car Care Product Review – Audew 150 PSI Portable Digital Tire Inflator – By Carl Malek

Road Test Review – 2019 Hyundai Veloster N Performance Package – By Carl Malek [Video]

Remember when Hyundai challenged segment benchmarks like the Volkswagen Golf GTI to a duel on the track? If your recollection is a bit fuzzy we don’t blame you. When the Hyundai Veloster first made its appearance several years ago, it certainly was a bold departure for the brand. Once known for making cheap runabouts, the Veloster aimed to bring about a styling change with its three door layout, hatchback proportions, and a whole new perspective on design. But while the addition of a turbo variant later in its life cycle helped bring a pinch of sizzle to the party, it …

Read more Road Test Review – 2019 Hyundai Veloster N Performance Package – By Carl Malek [Video]

2020 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth by Ben Lewis

Ok, we’re spoiled here in California. While a great part of the country is dealing with old man Winter and shoveling their way to get cars out of the driveway, we’ve had a nice touch of warmth hitting the low 70’s. A perfect time for a zippy drop top like the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth. It’s a What? We forget sometimes that everyone isn’t a car enthusiast. But we had more than a few people asking us what our tester was. Well, it’s a Fiat, obviously, right? Until you notice that it does not say Fiat anywhere on the vehicle. …

Read more 2020 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth by Ben Lewis

Concept Flashback – 2011 Unimog 60th Anniversary Design Concept

While we’re in the Unimog mood, here is a fun look back to the recent past for the 60 Years design concept. This sought to strip the Unimog to its core, function-required elements. Enhancing the insane wheel travel and semi-flexible chassis with showy red springs visible easily through the giant front fender/hood combination. Deconstruction and modernization are the clearest themes visible in this design. The bodywork is pared to the bare minimum, while the roll cage for the passenger cell becomes the only structural element of the open-air cabin. Similarly flowing new frame rails swoop upward around the rear suspension …

Read more Concept Flashback – 2011 Unimog 60th Anniversary Design Concept

1AQ2Y7059 copy

2.8s 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT Concept – LIVE Geneva Debut in 40 Pics

Does this car live up to its preshow hype!?  YES! A four-door fastback supercar with the space of Panamera but the speed of 911 Turbo? Quite a potent blend. The concept wears much body adornment and even a hybrid ERS powertrain teaser.  But this shape is certainly en route to buyers VERY SOON with the standard (!) turbo V8s we have come to know and love from AMG. Look for pricing around 200k when this car makes its way to showrooms about a year from today. Worst thing about it so far?  The name?  This is the AMG GT … …

Read more 2.8s 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT Concept – LIVE Geneva Debut in 40 Pics

2017_NAIAS_2018_Lexus_LS_500_009_AC00A447A81271D3136EE23C323147B340D4C794

2018 Lexus LS500 Debuts All-New Flagship with 4.5s Turbo 10-Speed and Standard LWB

The new Lexus LS just debuted in Detroit with some shocking advancements in style, luxury and performance. First things first: the powertrain of the creamy cruiser is now a 3.5-liter twin-turb oV6 making 415 horsepower.  Through the standard 10-speed automatic, the new LS promises a brisk flash t o60-mph in just 4.5-seconds. The machine is longer than before: its 123-inch wheelbase is up 1.3-inches versus even the LWB LS460L/LS600hL from the existing generation.  A lower rear roofline but much more enveloping rear seating keeps legroom limo-huge. The design itself is also a big leap into the future.  With a nose …

Read more 2018 Lexus LS500 Debuts All-New Flagship with 4.5s Turbo 10-Speed and Standard LWB

2017 BMW M6 GTLM – 19th BMW Art Car by John Baldessari Will Race DAYTONA

The BMW Art cars are best as real-world racers. Taking corners in a future legend has appeal today just like it did when the first BMW Art Car emerged from the Paris office around 1973. This latest racing artwork, the 19th in the series? A 2017 M6 GTLM, naturally. The biggest, baddest BMW racecar ever made.  A vehicle so shouty on throttle that the artist put the letters F A S T right along both flanks. 2017 BMW M6 GTLM – 19th BMW Art Car by John Baldessari World premiere of BMW Art Car by John Baldessari at Art Basel …

Read more 2017 BMW M6 GTLM – 19th BMW Art Car by John Baldessari Will Race DAYTONA

2016 Lexus NX200t F SPORT AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

If the NX200t did one of those TV Ancestry tests, what would show up? Platform sharing today makes it difficult to figure out what is a real brand anymore. You’ve got rebadged Mercedes posing as Infiniti’s. Jeeps driving around on Fiat underpinnings. Fiats driving around on Mazda bits. Subaru’s, Scions. And more.  Oh my. Then we have intermingling within the automakers as well, and they can be very well disguised. Case in point, Lexus and Toyota. There’s a lot of sharing going on. In all honesty, though, it always felt like the downscale Toyota models were getting Lexus goodness, rather …

Read more 2016 Lexus NX200t F SPORT AWD – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017-vw-beetle-dune-cabriolet-6

2017 VW Beetle DUNE Cabriolet – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Is the Beetle Dune ragtop just what the doctor ordered? Back in September, we tested a VW Beetle Dune, and decided it could be the answer to VW’s Diesel-inspired tummy troubles. While the folks at VW may (still) be reaching for a Super Gulp-size Pepto, we found a much better choice for quick relief. The 2017 VW Beetle DUNE Cabrio. The recipe for the convertible is pretty similar to the Dune hardtop. Based as an homage to the Baja Bugs of yore, all Dune models get a notable bump in the macho department, with a slightly taller ride height (half …

Read more 2017 VW Beetle DUNE Cabriolet – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

2017-honda-cr-v-1

2017 Honda CR-V – Turbo-powered Redesign Continues March Upmarket

You know those statistics that say California is a top-10 economy, ranked worldwide versus entire countries? The CR-V is a similar story for Honda.  It is an absolute mint. This car makes money like you would not believe, and single-handedly pulls in revenue many automakers can’t achieve with their entire lineups. CR-V is a profit-center extraordinaire. As a result, the model has received careful pruning over the last few years to make up for the missing total redesign.  Even while the compact crossover market has grown to the second-best-selling in all of automobile-dom —- behind pickups and neck/neck with midsize sedans …

Read more 2017 Honda CR-V – Turbo-powered Redesign Continues March Upmarket

2016 Toyota TS050 Hybrid – World Debut at HTTT – New V6TT, 1000HP eAWD Racecar

Toyota GAZOO racing just revealed its 2016 competitor for the highest honor in racing: the WEC LeMans series. This TS050 might look familiar but is packing some radical changes throughout.  The most crucial appears to be a swap to direct-injection for an all-new 2.4-liter V6TT providing the main power to the back wheels. The other big change is a move from supercapacitors for the regen braking to a more conventional, and much higher-output, lithium-ion battery pack system.  Toyota calls the new power pack the 8MJ, and notes it required a full redesign of the entire vehicle, including the transaxle transmission …

Read more 2016 Toyota TS050 Hybrid – World Debut at HTTT – New V6TT, 1000HP eAWD Racecar

JUST Huge TallPapers Page – Updated 12.21.2018

‘Tallpaper’ is a term I made up to describe these new types of stacked images. They are more convenient and informative for sharing via social media. Tallpaper output has fallen since my passionate love affair with the Animated Graphic Interchange Format got really serious in 2015. =] But the tallpapers are still pretty fun and unique.   Continues on NEXT PAGE –>

Design Analysis – 2016 Alfa Romeo DISCO VOLANTE SPYDER By Touring Superleggera + 1952 C52

It takes a master designer to reinterpret a retro model in a desirable, futuristic modern car.  The fail count is much larger than the short success list of the New Beetle, Ford GT and perhaps MINI. Fails?  Fiat 500, Lamborghini Miura, Ford Thunderbird, Chevrolet HHR, Plymouth Prowler, etc. etc. Among supercars, it is even harder to continue designs from so long ago.  Why? The designs were always extra wacky, with limited appeal even in their original iterations. In addition, supercar shoppers are always craving the next hotness.  The unattainable, never-before-seen machines that will bring traffic to a halt around you. Therefore, Touring Superleggera struck a …

Read more Design Analysis – 2016 Alfa Romeo DISCO VOLANTE SPYDER By Touring Superleggera + 1952 C52

2016 BMW Motorrad G 310 R 67

2017 BMW Motorrad G310 R – Ultra-Light Stunt Bike Is A Two-Wheeled Dino Ferrari

This of this new G310 R from BMW Motorrad as the two-wheeled Dino Ferrari. Lighter weight, lower power outputs than its big brothers…. but just as sexy and innovative.  And crucially, with a radically lower price! The G310 R is the production variant of the G310 Stunt concept — -and is a wonderful intro sportbike thanks to its flawless handling, light weight and modest power output. A single-cylinder engine puts out a top horsepower rating of just 34.  But before you balk, just know that the total unladen weight is only 350 pounds! This all ensures flickable, trustworthy maneuvers on …

Read more 2017 BMW Motorrad G310 R – Ultra-Light Stunt Bike Is A Two-Wheeled Dino Ferrari

OP_ED: Meet the $25B Microbus – 2016 Volkswagen Budd-E – EV Van Concept Begs Sympathy for Poor, Mistreated VW

Here is the seventh Volkswagen concept trying to re-invent the microbus. The difference?  This microvan may actually be produced for limited sale in EV-heavy markets like the US west coast, Atlanta and Washington DC. Really? Not for profits, but as a knee-jerk reaction to being caught lying/cheating.  So yes, the Budd-E might make it to US showrooms in some decontented form. Perhaps as soon as 2019 for the 2020 model year.  But don’t bet on it. Typically, Volkswagen has claimed a reborn van was a non-starter because it was impossible to make its bluff original face with a front-engine layout.  (They …

Read more OP_ED: Meet the $25B Microbus – 2016 Volkswagen Budd-E – EV Van Concept Begs Sympathy for Poor, Mistreated VW

2011 Volkswagen NILS 20

Concept Debrief – 2011 Volkswagen NILS – Govt-Funded EV Commuter Now Seems Like Unfathomably Bad Joke

It is very, very challenging to read (and write) about VW’s eco mobility ideas in light of the company’s current emissions scandals. The “diesel issue” — as it is known in German — really puts all the last ten years of innovative, visionary concept cars in the shameful, punishment corner of the automotive universe. What about the “C02 issue”?  Oh, that has resolved itself.  Not a pattern of lies and systemic fraud.  Hooray! Super, super trustworthy company, obviously. Beyond that obligatory caveat… This NILS concept shows how seriously the VAG once took its mission to mass-produce zero-emissions automobiles. VW was actually …

Read more Concept Debrief – 2011 Volkswagen NILS – Govt-Funded EV Commuter Now Seems Like Unfathomably Bad Joke

Concept Flashback - 2009 RINSPEED iChange 34

Concept Flashback – 2009 RINSPEED iChange

How about an awesome Rinspeed concept to help forget the X-Trem from 1999? Flash forward ten years later, and we have the 2009 iChange — an ultra-low, sleek and sexy single-seat sports car — with a twist. At the touch of a button, the track-attack looks and functionality of the iChange into a chic three-seater with bubble glass canopy.  How?  The entire glasshouse shifts upward and forward, with its rear section base extending a few inches upward to give more headroom in back.   (It is subtle)  Very subtle.  So the name is iChange, but might be better billed as the …

Read more Concept Flashback – 2009 RINSPEED iChange

2015 LA Auto Show 88

2016 Honda CIVIC Coupe Reveal – Big Style, Power from First-Ever Turbo Engine Option

First look today at the 2016 Honda Civic Coupe! Very impressive and sexy new form language, design elements and a gorgeous, coupe-exclusive tail make this the hottest 10th-gen Civic shown so far. Power is up across both LX and EX trims, with a fairly potent new 1.5-liter turbo four making 174 horsepower, an improvement of 31 ponies versus the equivalent engine last year. Joining the Civic sedan, the Coupe is the second reveal in a broad Civic assault over the next year. The first-ever US-market Civic 5-door is coming along soon, followed by Si versions of at least the Coupe …

Read more 2016 Honda CIVIC Coupe Reveal – Big Style, Power from First-Ever Turbo Engine Option

Ford SEMA 2015 Custom TRUCKS 11

Ford SEMA 2015 Custom TRUCKS – Galpin F-150 in Gulf Racing Livery Is Best of Group

Some really cool custom Edges and Explorers join the F-150 wolfpack from Ford for SEMA 2015. Initial favorite is off-roader Explorer or the Galpin Auto Sports F-150. Wearing a widebody and custom PPG paints in Gulf Racing colors… the truck is just a few logos and Raptor badges from being the ultimate in HOT new metal headed out to Vegas. No word on if the custom trucks will include a Pepto and Z-pack for your well-being after a few days in Vegas… =]   Ford SEMA 2015 Custom TRUCKS Edge Two Popular Ford SUVs Storm SEMA with Wild Versions for …

Read more Ford SEMA 2015 Custom TRUCKS – Galpin F-150 in Gulf Racing Livery Is Best of Group

Ford SEMA 2015 Custom TRUCKS Preview – Baja F-150 in Gulf Racing Colors Leads Pack

Some really cool custom Edges and Explorers join the F-150 wolfpack from Ford for SEMA 2015. Initial favorite is off-roader Explorer or the Galpin Auto Sports F-150. Wearing a widebody and custom PPG paints in Gulf Racing colors… the truck is just a few logos and Raptor badges from being the ultimate in HOT new metal headed out to Vegas. No word on if the custom trucks will include a Pepto and Z-pack for your well-being after a few days in Vegas… =]   Ford SEMA 2015 Custom TRUCKS Preview Edge Two Popular Ford SUVs Storm SEMA with Wild Versions …

Read more Ford SEMA 2015 Custom TRUCKS Preview – Baja F-150 in Gulf Racing Colors Leads Pack

BMW Stunt G310 Is Hyper-Agile Bike Concept for Sao Paolo

BMW Motorrad has been balls-out this year with concepts in bike segments where the brand does not currently compete. This is a broad look into the future of the BMW two-wheeled range — with the engineers, designers and customers all taking the journey together. Where will the spinning top land, and which among the 2015 BMW bike concepts might make production? So far this year, we’ve seen a cruiser in the Concept 101.   Plus a dirt/sand/street Scrambler in the Path 22. And now an ultra-playful trick bike in the form of the Stunt G 310. We’d honestly vote for all …

Read more BMW Stunt G310 Is Hyper-Agile Bike Concept for Sao Paolo

VW Diesels Face Massive EPA Fraud Allegation – TDI Stop Sale Notice Is Days Away

Very unsettling news today that casts a dark shadow on Volkswagen TDI “Clean Diesel” engines sold in the United States since 2008. The EPA’s legal “notice of violation” to Volkswagen of America is deathly serious. And, as we predict below, will lead to TDI models being pulled from US showrooms almost immediately — as soon as this coming week. Unlike recall notices to fix even serious safety issues, a willful violation of the Clean Air Act would incur significantly higher monetary damages than a typical recall. Even the Takata airbag scandal is not this alarming. Max fines per vehicle sold …

Read more VW Diesels Face Massive EPA Fraud Allegation – TDI Stop Sale Notice Is Days Away

2016 Acura RDX

2016 Acura RDX Refresh Adds Power, Tech and Style – 40 New Photos + Pricing by Trim

The quick and nimble Acura RDX is fresh for 2016 with new LED lighting front and rear, a server of new active safety technology and a redesigned cabin control stack. Now majoring on touchscreens and simplified settings, the 2016 RDX’s standard 3.5-liter V6 will compete even more effectively with the Lexus NX, BMW X3, Lincoln MKC, Mercedes GLK and a half-dozen other five-seat, semi-compact SUVs and crossovers. This segment is definitely not the small or compact SUV norm– these luxury models are big and wide, with roomy rear seats. They are small enough for city duty and most travel, but …

Read more 2016 Acura RDX Refresh Adds Power, Tech and Style – 40 New Photos + Pricing by Trim

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC  90

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC Revealed as $50k Macan-Fighter With Air Suspension and Fab Cabin

  The Mercedes-Benz SUV blitz is in full swing — after the GLE and GLE Coupe twins, the latest family member has finally broken cover: the 2016 GLC. Renamed to align with the E-Class and C-Class in overall size and tech, the latest Merc SUV range is now far broader and able to scoop up sales that might have been lost to the BMW X3, Porsche Macan and Land Rover Discovery Sport. The GLC is a drastic departure from the boxy and off-road-oriented design of the GLK. This new truck focuses on practical and aesthetic improvements across the board. Added …

Read more 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC Revealed as $50k Macan-Fighter With Air Suspension and Fab Cabin

2015 BMW Concept Path 22 Scrambler 4

2015 BMW Concept Path 22 Previews Production Scrambler at Biarritz Bike Fest

  BMW Motorrad is on a concept bender lately! Fantastic Villa d’Este glimpses into the future have come into focus over the last few years, with the R NineT a particularly tempting design statement among riders worldwide. But how to take all the futuristic materials into production, and what bike market to aim for? This 2015 Concept Path 22 gives us a clear answer: BMW is exploring a Scrambler for the first time. As described by BMW below, the fun and sporty genre of motorcycles is a bit of a hybrid: with street-bike features and performance, but much meatier tire …

Read more 2015 BMW Concept Path 22 Previews Production Scrambler at Biarritz Bike Fest

SRT Tomahawk Vision Gran Turismo 42

404MPH via 2590HP! SRT Tomahawk X Tops Raceable Trio of S, GTS-R and X Models

Stunning reveal today for the SRT Tomahawk Vision GT car for Gran Turismo. The details are as great as the sweeping airfoils all around the Tomahawk’s graphene glass and bodywork. Three variants of this ultra-futuristic supercar prototype are engineered and raceable at different levels of the game. All with record-setting levels of theoretical performance! A mid-mounted, wide-block V10 engine provides primary thrust, with the front axle on-demand AWD. Performance will be obscene. All run a combination of wide-block V10 plus hydaulic AWD and active aero. The Tomahawk S comes in with 1007-horsepower, while the GTS-R is race-optimized throughout. The white …

Read more 404MPH via 2590HP! SRT Tomahawk X Tops Raceable Trio of S, GTS-R and X Models

2015 BMW Motorrad Concept 101 13

2015 BMW Motorrad Concept 101 Is Lux Cruiser

BMW Motorrad’s sales are on an absolute tear in the US and worldwide in recent years. Where to take the brand that dominates the desirability of the entire two-wheeled world? Upward and onward! The highest-margin area of the motorcycle market is for large cruisers. This new Concept 101 takes the BMW riding-pleasure mantra into this huge new area. A bike that surely makes many German minimalists cringe, the Concept 101 is a firm statement of intent. The machine debuted this weekend at the BMW-sponsored Villa d’Este Concours. It is a long-range cruiser with hardshell luggage cases, a relaxed riding position …

Read more 2015 BMW Motorrad Concept 101 Is Lux Cruiser

2007 Mazda TAIKI Concept 32

Concept Flashback – 2007 Mazda TAIKI Explores HyperLight Supercar Back-Channels

Let’s imagine you want to make a supercar. The normal way to achieve massive performance is a giant engine. But is there an alternative route to supercar speed? The TAIKI concept believes there is. The little ticks down the aerodynamics chart are actually really giant leaps forward in aero slipperiness. Dropping a coefficient of drag from 0.30 cD to a 0.29 cD is actually a 10X improvement in how smoothly the car can pass through the air. This change continues its exponential level of change as you approach 0.01 — so the benefits of drag reduction are quite powerful. More …

Read more Concept Flashback – 2007 Mazda TAIKI Explores HyperLight Supercar Back-Channels

2015 BMW M4 MotoGP Safety Car - New Hydro-Cooled Boost Vaporization 72

2015 BMW M4 MotoGP Safety Car – New Water-Cooled Boost Vaporization – Coming to 2016 M4 GTS?

This new M4 MotoGP Safety Car is a beaut in its matte-black finish and artful M-color racing stripes and huge fixed wing atop the trunk. But there are two pieces of big news hiding under that pace-car livery: a new water-cooled turbo vaporization technology and the possibility of these upgrades hitting an M4 GTS production model in the next year or so with up to 100 extra horsepower. First off, the water cooled turbo system. First off, to clarify. Most intercoolers or charge cooler systems actually spray water to the outside of the intercooler itself. Spraying water atop the cooling …

Read more 2015 BMW M4 MotoGP Safety Car – New Water-Cooled Boost Vaporization – Coming to 2016 M4 GTS?

2015 Acura RDX 2

2015 Acura RDX Refreshed With New Tech, LED Lighting and Chassis Refinement

 The quick and nimble Acura RDX is fresh for 2016 with new LED lighting front and rear, a server of new active safety technology and a redesigned cabin control stack. Now majoring on touchscreens and simplified settings, the 2016 RDX’s standard 3.5-liter V6 will compete even more effectively with the Lexus NX, BMW X3, Lincoln MKC, Mercedes GLK and a half-dozen other five-seat, semi-compact SUVs and crossovers. This segment is definitely not the small or compact SUV norm– these luxury models are big and wide, with roomy rear seats. They are small enough for city duty and most travel, but …

Read more 2015 Acura RDX Refreshed With New Tech, LED Lighting and Chassis Refinement

2016 Renault Kadjar 8

2016 Renault Kadjar Is New Mid-Size Crossover With High Style and Available AWD

 This is the all-new Renault Kadjar! Revealed ahead of its public launch in Geneva next month, the Kadjar is the freshest entry into Renault’s rapidly-growing crossover arsenal. After owning family car transport for the last decade or more with the Espace and Picasso minivans, Renault is changing with the times. Ultra-functional vans are no longer the must-have family accessory. The new must-have for carpools and primary-school dropoffs? Mid-size crossovers. This new Kadjar takes aim squarely at the Honda CR-V and a three dozen other alternatives. The Kadjar promises to be more luxurious and stylish than the Nissan Qashqai, which comes …

Read more 2016 Renault Kadjar Is New Mid-Size Crossover With High Style and Available AWD

4c spider

4.1s 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider is Modern Dino Ferrari

 Not sure why it took so long to come to this realization, but better late than never. The best way to think about the new Alfa Romeo 4C Spider is as a modern Dino Ferrari. When the Dino was launched, it was the least-powerful and by far the most affordable Ferrari ever made. It was ostensibly created to give Enzo’s son the joy of mid-engine performance in a package that wouldn’t overwhelm the young driver with too much power. But the Dino was barely slower than many of Ferrari’s finest cars of the 1960s, despite packing half the cylinders of …

Read more 4.1s 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider is Modern Dino Ferrari

q7 tech

2016 Audi Q7 Shows New MMI Touch, Audi Connect and MIB Tablet Interfaces by Nvidia

The new Audi Q7 will debut not just a much lighter chassis and all-new styling outside, but a cabin that is fresh from the carpet upward and absolutely packed with tech goodies. Where to start? The latest Virtual Cockpit design uses a 12.3-inch TFT panel in the main guage cluster, able to show 3D instruments, full Google-Earth navigation and maps, and a dozen other custom displays as needed. These are operated by voice, redundant knobs and buttons on the wheel and dash, or by the new MMI Touch control panel with multi-touch capabilities (ahead of the shifter). On the road, …

Read more 2016 Audi Q7 Shows New MMI Touch, Audi Connect and MIB Tablet Interfaces by Nvidia

brabus c-class sport

2015 BRABUS C300 and C400 Sport are Stage 2 Aero, Wheels and ECU Reflash Kits

  New products from Brabus for the 2015 C-Class today: wheels and aerodynamic addtions for the ‘Sport’ trims of the new C-Class. For the US market, this is the C300 Sport and C400 Sport. The Sport style option replaced the previous AM Sport and comes from the factory with different bumper and grille detailing versus the standard car. Great to see Brabus making special products to be exact-fits to whichever Mercedes you own. This set of upgrades is extremely subtle – replacing the black chrome lower splitter in the front bumper with a grey carbon-fiber element, changing the grille bars …

Read more 2015 BRABUS C300 and C400 Sport are Stage 2 Aero, Wheels and ECU Reflash Kits

Lexus NX300h F Sport gif

50 New Photos! 2015 Lexus NX300h and NX300h F Sport Are Best-Looking SUVs of the Year

Updated 10.24.14 with 50 New Photos These latest photos from the UK show the hybrid NX Lexus in an absolutely beautiful light. The complex and emotional creasing of the surfaces is endlessly entertaining to the eye, while the practicality of this mid-size crossover pair belies their base price in the mid-$30,000 ballpark. It is surprising and welcome to have an F Sport version of the Hybrid. This is definitely a car to worry both the BMW X3 and X5. The Lexus NX will be in dealerships in just a few months, with a December arrival projected nationwide. 2015 Lexus NX300h …

Read more 50 New Photos! 2015 Lexus NX300h and NX300h F Sport Are Best-Looking SUVs of the Year

vitesse1

Bugatti GS Vitesse 1 of 1 Edition Celebrates Type 41 Royale In Bespoke Yellow / Black

When spending more than $2-million on a single car, every one is inherently special. The Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse falls into this league of ultra-customized purchases – where an extra few hundred thousand dollars in special add-ons in the new normal. Such is the case of this Vitesse One of One edition, delivered in secret last month at Pebble Beach in a private gala. Aside from the gorgeous fly yellow into obsidian exterior, there are unique touches on all sides. The grille is quite special – as the first-ever Veyron to have the normal mesh replaced by a laser-cut PL, …

Read more Bugatti GS Vitesse 1 of 1 Edition Celebrates Type 41 Royale In Bespoke Yellow / Black

s550 coupe gif

Update3 With 70 New Photos – 2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 Coupe Priced from $116k

Update3 10.17.14 Three updates?!  This article is becoming a beast and a half – with about 150 photos of the new S550 in Pebble Beach and elsewhere included below. But who can deny how gorgeous the new S-Class Coupe is in every latest photo! Not us, that is for sure. The options shown on this S550 Coupe make it every bit as sexy and slinky as the S63 and S63 AMG Coupes — not to mention the Bentley Continental GT. In terms of differentiating among the powertrains, the big key is in the front bumpers — where the S550 is …

Read more Update3 With 70 New Photos – 2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 Coupe Priced from $116k

audi tt cup gif

2015 Audi Sport TT Cup Is Customer Racing Series Alongside DTM – Now Taking 18 Driver Applications!

12 races over the 2015 DTM season will see dozens of normal guys train with Audi Sport and head out for intense 30-minute TT Cup races with a truly world-class engineering and racing support team at their disposal. The Audi Sport TT Cup is a customer racing program that will run these 30-minute races of 24 cars each before six major DTM races in the 2015 season. The price is sure to be high for those who want to join, but the rewards will be high too. This is a fully race-prepped TT with 310-horsepower, roll cage, lightweighting and flypaper …

Read more 2015 Audi Sport TT Cup Is Customer Racing Series Alongside DTM – Now Taking 18 Driver Applications!

renault ebola gif

Update1 With 50 New Photos – 2014 Renault Eolab Concept PHEV Is Not Ebola-Proof

  The Renault Ebola Eolab concept PHEV is back with 50 new photos! Renault reads the newspaper, right? How could they let a name so close to the deadliest disease known to man be attached to the back of a damn-sexy concept car previewing a PHEV Megane? We especially like the orange-red accent color that appears to be bleeding out the Eolab’s grille and under its floating A-pillars. Classy. Eolab. Ebola. Pretty close. We are excited for the upcoming Chevrolet Cancer and Vauxhall SIDS. Or how about the new Volkswagen HIV? Mazda Malaria? Opel Polio?     PREVIOUS Ahh! What …

Read more Update1 With 50 New Photos – 2014 Renault Eolab Concept PHEV Is Not Ebola-Proof

AMG GT edition one gif

2015 Mercedes-AMG GT Edition 1 Packs Dark Style and Huge Rear Wing + 60 New Photos

Updated 10.10.14   The wraps have come off the AMG GT’s Edition 1 package! 2015 Mercedes-AMG GT Edition 1     PREVIOUS The relationship between PlayStation and Mercedes-Benz has been very strong since the AMG SLS was the cover car for GranTurismo 5. That relationship is a three-way affair: among AMG, Polyphony Digital as the GT game developers, and Sony itself in extending the reach of PS4. The new DRIVECLUB game seeks to be a new type of social racing experience — where friends battle one another for track glory both in real-time and as part of championship leagues. Sony …

Read more 2015 Mercedes-AMG GT Edition 1 Packs Dark Style and Huge Rear Wing + 60 New Photos

xboq rr gif

2015 KTM X-Bow RR Is 400HP of Race-Ready Track Speed

The HTM X-Bow RR is a custom-created version of the X-Bow GT and X-Bow R designed to beat all others in the one-make ‘Crossbow’ Battle. The one-make racing series puts the KTM dash-board mantra into action — you must be Ready To Race! Sure, the RR is not the best-looking of the X-Bow line. Its extra aero kit and crash structures like roll bars and crash protection is purely functional. This makes sense when you see the list of huge track-attack upgrades that are fitted to this racing special. For buyers outside of Europe, where the X-Bow will be a …

Read more 2015 KTM X-Bow RR Is 400HP of Race-Ready Track Speed

Brivido gif

2012 Giugiaro BRIVIDO Martini Racing Honors Lancia Beta Montecarlo and 037

In the world of iconic racing liveries, Martini Racing is right up there with Golf Oil as the most-loved in history. What better way to salute the long collaborative partnership between ItalDesign Giugiaro than to dress their sexy Brivido GT concept in fast red and blue stripes on a white base. In the case of the Brivido Martini Racing, the homage is more than paint-deep. With a semi-exposed rear diffuser and and long, low nose splitter, the Brivido is close in spirit to the legendary 037 and Beta Montecarlo racecars. These wild turbo rally specials were so fast and wild …

Read more 2012 Giugiaro BRIVIDO Martini Racing Honors Lancia Beta Montecarlo and 037

Silver Arrows GIF324

Update1 Racing Heritage: the Silver Arrows from Mercedes-Benz (100+ Rare Photos)

Imagine a combination of all forms of racing – off-road to high-speed – done by one core chassis design.   During the 1930s, the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows were storming every type of racing one could imagine: both competitively in Formula races and for world record attempts outside the circuit. This sent the Silver Arrows up hillclimb events, on ultimate Vmax runs, and even a few winter setups that included a dually rear wheel and a closed shell cockpit at one point.   All these variants were highly ingenious engineering achievements around one core chassis design. The open-wheel profile of any …

Read more Update1 Racing Heritage: the Silver Arrows from Mercedes-Benz (100+ Rare Photos)

AMG GT gif423

AMG GT Starring in New PS4 Racing Game DRIVECLUB from October 8th

  The relationship between PlayStation and Mercedes-Benz has been very strong since the AMG SLS was the cover car for GranTurismo 5. That relationship is a three-way affair: among AMG, Polyphony Digital as the GT game developers, and Sony itself in extending the reach of PS4. The new DRIVECLUB game seeks to be a new type of social racing experience — where friends battle one another for track glory both in real-time and as part of championship leagues. Sony hopes to leverage the PS4’s social features in ways that many GT6 drivers do not prioritize. So the AMG GT being …

Read more AMG GT Starring in New PS4 Racing Game DRIVECLUB from October 8th

Eolab gif

2014 Renault Eolab Concept is Ultra-Aerodynamic Innovation Showcase

Ahh! What a terrible, terrible name for a pretty cool concept, Renault. The focus of this machine is to maximize the efficiency of an EV powertrain in a holistic way. This means aero as well as weight and management and materials innovation. The car is said to preview an EV that will be larger than the current ZOE hatchback and will integrate many of these features into a production car. The drag coefficient of the Eolab concept is just 0.235, which is very good but not very much better than the slipperiest new cars available in 2015 – like the …

Read more 2014 Renault Eolab Concept is Ultra-Aerodynamic Innovation Showcase