First Drive Review – 2015 Mitsubishi MIRAGE ES

When cheap doesn’t equal cheerful. Light and nimble city cars – what they lack in power they joyously make up for with quirky styling, low price tags, and interior accommodations. Enter Mitsubishi. Previously, the smallest car in Mitsubishi’s lineup was the mid-size Lancer, but in 2014 they rolled out a small car priced around $13,000. On paper, the 2015 Mirage seemed like it could it be a decent city car. Then you take a look at it and the mirage vanishes (pun intended). Without even giving away any stats about the Mirage, you look at it and straight away shake …

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1985 Volvo 480ES – ‘Project Galaxy’ Showcar Turns 30 + Lessons In Retrospect

Trust and affection go hand in hand. When you love a brand, you are willing to follow it to the ends of the Earth if need be. The BMW X5 proved this conclusively — with initial haters eventually loving the SUV’s Bimmer-ness, and its sales success worldwide still quite striking. Volvo proved its brand flexibility in a similar way with the XC90 — a game-changer of an SUV that saved the marque from a possible SAAB-like fate during the industry shakeout of ~2009. In fact, Volvo has long been remarkably flexible in moving beyond its core family sedan and wagon …

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2017 Volvo V40 and V40 Cross Country Facelift Revealed

We’re huge cheerleaders of Volvo’s long-deserved reboot. The new XC90 and S90/V90 point strongly toward the 2020 goals of the firm for its entire range.  And they are off to a racing start!  Sales of the XC90 are through the roof — recording some of the only volume gains the firm has achieved in at least the last decade. The entire line will be fully switched from its current platforms over to the new all-hybrid architectures in the future, but some models will obviously benefit from this before others. The V40 is new enough that it is falling to the …

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2016 SEAT Leon CUPRA 290 – GTI-Beating Coupe, Hatch and Wagon Gain New Sport Exhaust and Power Bump

A new sport exhaust for the five-door and SC Cupras for 2016 opens up a shouty new bellow on throttle — and ramps up max power by about 10 ponies. The wagon appears to miss out on the new sport exhaust — but is bumped up to 290 all the same.  Vmax?  156MPH!  0-60?  5.7-seconds on its best day, and 6.2-ish like clockwork on other days.  Both are a half-second beyond what the fastest GTI can deliver. As before on the Cupra 280, this wagon/coupe/hatch family is the quickest front-drive production car to ever lap the Nurburgring.  Standard LED lighting all …

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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 …

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Road Test Review – 2016 Acura ILX Tech Plus – Hawkeye Drives!

  2016 Acura ILX Tech Plus Review By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman Acura describes the ILX as a “Gateway” product that allows a customer to enter the world of Acura at a lower price point, in the hopes that more expensive move-up models will be in their future.  Perhaps that will prove true, but there is a lot of competition in the “Near Luxury” segment, loosely defined by sticker prices in the low to mid $30,000 range, and cars like the Buick Verano, or Audi A3 might be better choices, among others. The 2016 ILX is a mid-cycle updated vehicle, with …

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2016 nanoFlowcell QUANTiNO – AWD EV Aims Squarely at BMW i3 via Revolutionary Battery Tech

NanoFlowcell is the stunning startup trying to make energy from ordinary salt water. A revolutionary new battery chemistry is at the heart of the firm’s products to date.  Cars like the super-exotic Quant F — a four-seater with gorgeous gullwing doors opening the entire bodyside. Looking like a stretched Porsche 918 Spyder, the main quant prototype is still a stunner. But what about production feasibility?  FOr that, the plan has evolved into this slick electric hatchback.  A premium model aimed right at the BMW i3, the QUANTiNO majors on realistic goals.  Four electric motors — one at each corner — …

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Concept Debrief – 2004 Kia KCV III – Glass-Roof CC Showed Newfound Design/Execution Skills

In a few short years at the turn of the millennium, Kia’s concepts went from reskinned and rebadged Lotus Elan’s to purely bespoke creations, designed with near-Italian flair.  And constructed with credible, world-class production values! This KCV III was an important mark in the sand for Kia’s evolution from niche budget brand to mainstream heavy-hitter. Today, the giant headlights are alarmingly out of style, but there is goodness shining through even there. Check out the bright white LED DRLs in the bottom of those giant lamps! And the full-frame grille set vertically into the bumper?  Finished in non-chrome grey, no …

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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…. …

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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 …

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Concept Flashback - 1999 SEAT Formula Roadster 3

Concept Flashback – 1999 SEAT Formula Roadster

The 1999 SEAT Formula helped transition the brand into a new-millenium design mood. This was actually a really exciting time for the brand: the Leon Cupra was starting the earn buyers from previous GTI and Focus devotees as a five-door sportscar, while the Toledo and Ibiza were quite popular as well. This Formula concept was a mid-engined chassis layout with an alloy spaceframe chassis and bodywork, ensuring with the aim of delivering Boxster-like thrills on the road, but at prices below the Audi TT. The design themes shown on this car its main production impact, however, for the SEAT brand.   …

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Chevrolet Unveils 2017 Bolt EV at CES

Barra Delivers! 2017 Chevrolet BOLT EV – $30k Price and 200+ Mile Range Should Worry i3, Leaf and Prius PHEV

Disbelief?  Awe?  Wonder? Trying to find the right description to pick my jaw up off my desk. The new Chevy Bolt EV is almost surreal at its CES reveal this week.  Just a year ago, the Bolt concept wowed Detroit with its big range promises, practical shape and interesting cabin tech.  Few people — this author included — ever expected a production car to be so close on the horizon. But here it is, folks!  The massive promises from General Motors about their future electric product plans were not just hot air! The 2017 Bolt EV promises a 200-mile-plus battery range …

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2017 Chevrolet CRUZE HATCH Reveals Unique 5-Door Design, Massive Trunk Ahead of Fall Arrival

Here is a nice surprise reveal from Chevy: the upcoming Cruze Hatch. This new bodystyle builds on the massive improvements of the 2016 Cruze sedan with unique styling for the nose and tail, a giant cargo area of 18.5-cubic-feet with the seats up, and wagon-like utility with them folded down.  How big with the seats down? Nearly 50 cubes!  That is SUV-big. It is great to see Chevy offering this variant in the home US market.  Favorite details?  The bumper designs front and rear — with their swirl of painted surface forming claw-like accents to the black lower bumpers. The …

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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 …

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Design Analysis – 2014 SEAT Ibiza CUPSTER

The 2014 GTI Wörthersee event brought out a few exciting concept reveals: including this very playful Ibiza. If any car’s namesake location points to its mission, it would be this concept!  Why?  Ibiza (say: eeee-beee-thhaaa) is the Cancun of Europe. Sunny party people flock to this semi-trashy island resort to escape the grey, rainy winters across Europe.  They dance to all the latest club bangers, contract some STDs (worth it!), then march home — back to the real world. Would this CUPSTER make sense in just resort mode, or in real life? It does not really matter: the car is …

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Concept Flashback – 2011 Volkswagen Up! Azzurra Sailing Team was Playful Blue Sky Thinking

A harborside revival of many beach cars, the Up! Azzurra Sailing Team concept for the 2011 show circuit was the most whimsical part of a five-pack of custom Up! variants. The vehicle features exquisite wood and brass detailing for its doorlets and seatbacks, and a totally bespoke solid sill and rear window. The entire roof is just blue sky. And while this type of cabrio is questionable from all perspectives, it is exceptionally well-executed as a showpiece for the standard Up! Even with that million-dollar four-seat cabin, the nose, bumpers and even mini steel wheels are all exactly what Euro …

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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 …

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2016 Chevrolet Trax Midnight Edition is Coolest $500 Style Upgrade … Ever?

Nobody will preach the virtues of a black pack like ThisGuy! A properly de-chromed and blacked-out look can make even the most awful Jetta SportWagen a little bit stylish… so clearly the potential to improve already-modern and stylish rides? HUGE! And the more popular a car is on the roads, the more appealing it is for some buyers to stand up and stand out from the crowd.  DIY black packs work wonders in photoshop — and real life — on GM models in particular.  We’ve shared many with you here… an ATS black pack coupe dream, CT6 Black Tie limo …

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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 …

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2017 Jannarelly Design JD1 is All-New, Rear-Engine Exotic from Talent Behind LYKAN HyperSport and Zarooq Sandracer

WHat happens when two of the most skilled talents in bespoke supercars come together?  Fusing design vision, carbon-fiber production and a bit of marketing magic? The JD1 from Jannarelly Design! This is a fantastic bit of absolutely breaking news: Anthony Jannarelly is a clear favorite of ours since obsessing over his crisp, layered aesthetic as seen on the W Motors Lykan and Fenyr, plus the recently-revealed Zarooq SandRacer. This new venture pairs Jannarelly with Frederic Juillot, lead at Equation Composite, to make their own supercar vision a reality. A look behind the curtain of the two Frenchmen’s lives shows that their …

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2016 RINSPEED Etos Concept – Self-Driving, Drone-Launching Technical Tour de Force

The RINSPEED concept for 2016 is out, with highly advanced digital-car tech of the future taking a front seat for nearly every technical element of the machine. And if there were a back seat in the Etos, the two occupants could both chill back there while the self-driving tech takes over, sinks the steering wheel into the dashboard, and performs fully autonomous self-driving. A basis on the BMW i8 platform means that style, to some extent, has taken a back seat to tech this year.  This means the BMW kidney grilles are replaced up front by ultralight plastics and 3D-effect …

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Concept Flashback – 1995 BMW Z21 Just 4/2

Here is a very fun roadster concept from BMW Technik in 1995: the Just 4/2.  Also known as the Z21 internally, the rear-engine design was intended as a lightweight sports roadster in the mold of the Lotus/Caterham Seven — but designed to be safe and road-legal worldwide. The UK’s very forgiving road safety rules are all that allow their thriving mini track car industry — so BMW hoped to take the sheer joy of an open-cockpit, open-wheeled plaything to a global audience. Interesting details abound: the removable door panels keep their upper frame element in place for side crash protection …

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Road Test Review – 2015 Lexus NX300h – Future-Proof Cruiser

By now you have definitely done a double-take on seeing the 2015 Lexus NX on the road. At first, another of the RX cavalry. Then new creases, new LED graphics and a sleek and low roofline make clear this is no RX. With the lean and chic nose look off the RC and IS, the NX is a deeply stylish crossover in all three of its trimlines: NS200t, NX F Sport and the NX300h tested here.  Both the base turbo four and this uplevel Hybrid model share their appearances, with only the F Sport getting the aggressive front chin spoiler, …

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2016 Citroen E-MEHARI Is Production-Bound EV Beach Car

Think of the original 1950-1980s MEHARI Citroen like a French Volkswagen Thing. Mostly open bodywork in corrugated panels increase the monocoque strength dramatically, allowing both cars to haul much more than their car-shaped siblings. Some of the first continental pickup trucks, if you will. The 2016 model shares some of the silly and playful beach spirit of the original MEHARI, but with more focus on stressfree driving than do-it-all utility. The E-MEHARI is not a concept, and is headed for sale in France in Spring 2016. It is a full EV with (we believe) front-drive for its advanced lithium metal …

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2016 Toyota S-FR Racing Concept is Trackday Dream – Turbo Triple with 300HP?

Holy cow, how incredibly fun and intense does this new S-FR Racing Concept look! With a cleanly integrated widybody, Supra-sexy sills and air dams, plus a huge wing in back atop a giant GT3 diffuser?! LOVE! Imagine this car with 300-horsepower. Suddenly its insane grip package and centerlock alloys start to make sense. This is all mainly concept-car bluster ahead of the Tokyo Auto Salon event in January of 2016, when this upgraded S-FR will meet the public. The latest rumor is that the S-FR may run a turbo triple versus the 1.5-liter MX-5 four-cylinder we speculated previously. We still …

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2017 Hyundai ELANTRA Sedan Debuts Impressive Redesign, Giant Cabin and Fresh Tech

The new Elantra is pretty impressive!  Competing for LA attention with the new Civic twins from Honda, the Cruze/Volt twins from Chevy and many others… the Elantra had its work cut out for it from day one. Luckily, the new model holds its own versus those rivals. A seriously generous helping of premium style, roominess and tech makes the Elantra quite a contender. The 2017 model is about an inch longer and wider, with a much sleeker aero rating — down to just 0.27 cD in the wind tunnel. This is achieved via a new full-frame grille, underbody aero shrouds, …

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2015 Scion C-HR Concept Teases Upcoming Production Crossover – $24k Pricing, Hybrid Option Predicted

Hey good lookin’! Your eyes are not deciving you: this new Scion concept might look very familiar. If so, it is because we have seen it at Geneva and Frankfurt in Toyota guise. The purple and grey C-HR concepts shown so far are exact clones of this Scion for good reason: all tease the same upcoming compact crossover. Priced below the RAV4 and tipped to offer a hybrid engine option, the C-HR is a handsome and on-trend statement of intent for Toyota and its Scion offshoot. This concept is not in the slightest bit production feasible, however, with wild shapes …

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2016 Nissan Sentra Breaks Cover – New Face, Fresh Tech from $17k

Well hello there, fresh Sentra! 2016 Nissan Sentra 2016 Nissan Sentra Press Kit: Overview 2016 Nissan Sentra Offers New Exterior Appearance, Refreshed Interior and Advanced Safety and Driving Technologies Nissan’s popular compact sedan continues to stand out with “class-above” style, premium design qualities and enhanced driving experience Exterior redesign brings Sentra closer in look and feel to the bold new 2016 Maxima and redesigned 2016 Altima – reflecting Nissan’s new design language Revised interior features new TFT-type (Thin Film Transfer) LCD flat panel display, available Siri Eyes Free™ Voice Recognition Available technology includes NissanConnectSM Services powered by SiriusXM® (SiriusXM® subscription …

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2017 INFINITI QX30 Official Debut – Stylish Crossover Hits Showrooms in June

Official reveal today of the crossover Infiniti Q30 — the QX30! Infiniti has been teasing these twins via a series of concepts for what feels like years. The finish, production product shows why it took so long — with concept-like detailing, fabulous surface tension in the body shape, and a high-quality interior. Infiniti is product that the cabin of the QX30 shares virtually nothing touchable or visible with its Mercedes GLA platform-mate. In fact, the QX30 runs a bit more rugged and tough look inside overall than even its Q30 street sibling. Performance and power should match buyer needs in …

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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 …

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2016 RANGE ROVER Evoque Convertible Goes Stargazing in Santa Monica

Naomie Harris is bringing some James Bond magic to the LA premiere of the new Evoque Convertible, with a gorgeous new photoset from the Cali beach and around SoCal hotspots with snapper Ben Watts behind the camera. The truck certainly looks gorgeous and right for its environs throughout!  Just don’t forget the black pack to get the sexy dark detailing shown on this first production model. Pricing is a worry. Volumes will be limited, of course, as a halo car in the Land Rover lineup, and the first soft-top Landie in the US since the Defender bowed out in the …

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Ford SEMA 2015 Cars Recap – Ice Nine Mustang GT350-EcoBoost Wins Hearts/Minds

What’s your favorite among this dozen-plus group of Ford SEMA customs? After seeing the finished products, we’d say our favorite is the Ice Nine Mustang widebody. Running a 475-horsepower EcoBoost turbo and GT350 nose pieces, the race-ready fender extensions with exposed rivets are particularly sexy and on-trend for 2016. The Cobra Jet is looking faster and louder than ever in its new-body form, but its skinny front tires make it less of a road-legal dream car than others. PREVIOUS Ford is going even more bananas for SEMA this year than usual!  We have at least two dozen custom Fords headed …

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2016 RANGE ROVER Evoque Convertible – World Premiere

The key question we had about the new Evoque Cabrio is if it would channel the Defender spirit, or be a bit of a Murano CC. The production model is here in official form tonight, and you can judge for yourself. There’s no denying how hot the Evoque Convertible would be on the streets. Somehow that ultra-low roof’s disappearance dramatically ups the sexiness of the box/tub shape. Paired with giant wheels, the Evoque Coonvertible will be like a concept car for the roads. Definitely go for the available black pack!   Black Design Pack   SPECIFICS 20 inch Five Split-Spoke …

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First Drive Review – 2016 Honda HR-V – Looks Cool, Drives Poorly with Zero Power

    Really wanted to love the new HR-V as an emblem of new Honda mojo. But after a brief drive, the HR-V is a huge letdown and not in the top five cars in the compact-crossover segment. How to go from excitement to extreme aversion in just an hour on the road? The HR-V is perhaps not as bad as it seems when I end this drive video with “Hate It.” But Honda desperately needs to ace at least four big criteria for its next-gen models, this HR-V and new Civic included: — Design — Drive — Cabin tech …

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Ford SEMA 2015 Custom CARS Preview – Rally Focii, Street Fiestas and 900HP EcoBoost Mustang!?

  Ford is going even more bananas for SEMA this year than usual!  We have at least two dozen custom Fords headed to the Vegas aftermarket equipment show — and that is just what we know so far. Last year included more than a few surprises closer to the event. Among the eight custom Mustangs headed to the Ford SEMA stand, the BISIMOTO turbo might be the most tempting and body performance upgrade. The EcoBoost in question, by the way, is not the V6TT — but the Mustang EcoBoost’s stock 2.3-liter twin-scroll turbo! A full carbon-fiber exterior looks sweet and …

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2015 DATSUN Go-Cross Concept Previews High-Ride, Low-Price Future Crossover

The Datsun brand’s revival is still at full speed, with a variety of models for sale in launch markets around India and Asia. Now we have a look at the brand’s next stage, a high-riding crossover. This preview shows us two things, both pretty impressive for a design concept: — the Datsun face and overall design style translate well onto an SUV shape — while this Go-Cross is dripping with swanky LEDs and gloss-black detailing, the parts underneath appear production-ready in most places. Datsun will certainly be producing this car, by the way. No coyness about that from the Nissan …

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2015 Subaru Impreza 5-Door Concept, WRX S207 NBR Challenge Join Packed Tokyo Showstand

Subaru is really growing in leaps and bounds! No better evidence than a frankly packed Tokyo stand from the once-humble maker of AWD mountain cars. Joining the all-new VIZIV Future Concept on the stands is the also-new Impreza 5-Door Concept. While the new WRX still feels very fresh, it is always good to take a sneak peek at the next-gen design vision for the product. Since the WRX and Impreza lineups were formally divorced in this generation in the US, the XV Crosstrek has taken on a bit of an entry-level role in the Subaru range. But this is traditionally …

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Tokyo Auto Show 2015 – Mega Gallery in 230 New Photos

Some sweet strange at the 2015 Tokyo Auto Show! Fave reveals include the NC2020 in red, plus the Yamaha Sports Ride concept — which is a mini Pagani for all intents and purposes. Of course, the Mazda RX-Vision is also a fantastic indication of future turbo rotaries returning to the Japanese supercar battle of 2018.  Picture it: GT-R vs Supra FT-1 vs NSX vs RX-7 Turbo! On the other side of the power spectrum, the Honda S660 and Daihatsu Copen have potential fresh competition beyond the Yamaha above in a mini Toyota sportscar: the S-FR Concept.  Or the mysterious Kode-9 …

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2015 Nissan IDS Concept is Autopilot EV with Sharply Stylish Aero

Here is a pretty interesting concept car from Nissan for the Tokyo auto show: the IDS. This rolling showcase shows the latest Nissan vision for a sporty, ultra-efficient battery-electric vehicle of the future. One might think of this as a superLeaf, as well as a look at the tech expected to underpin the redesigned ~2017 Leaf. The major upgrades are everywhere: exterior design is all-new and aggressively sleek in the wind tunnel. The cabin is a future-tech fantasy of touchscreens and AI controls, including a fully autonomous drive mode. Under the actually-pretty-stylish nose and its extreme lower splitter, next-gen LEDs …

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2015 Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo is Yuppy-Chic Hydrogen PHEV

Tokyo has long been the global auto show to see some weird, wild and wacky stuff. Futuristic dreams on four wheels, usually with brightly lit color-schemes and adaptive video screens to boot. The show this year is still tech-rich, but a bit more somber than previous years. A firm production focus appears to be the concept-car focus so far. But here glides in an unlikely hero for wild and crazy concept cars, none other than Mercedes-Benz!? The Vision Tokyo is a funky style wagon aimed at chic yuppies stuck in traffic. As opposed to chic oldies in the back of …

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2016 Ford Focus ST Kona Blue ST1 Flyaround in 120 Pics + HD Video

    Really had a ball flogging the Focus ST on track the other week. GoPro video came back as a photo-set by accident, so left with *just* these gorgeous 120 photos of the new slugger. Kona Blue is the color, with minimal options and an as-tested price very close to the $25k base. Versus the $36k of the RS, the ST really earned its keep out there in the twisties. Strong brakes, awesome front diff grip that felt totally understeer-proof, plus a snorty throttle intake and shouty new exhaust. The stick is as feelsome and snicky as ever — …

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Chevrolet Reveals 2015 SEMA Fleet: 6-Pack of RED LINE Concepts

Pretty awesome little pack of Chevys heading to SEMA! The concept theme this year is Red Line — which is a light aesthetic upgrade for a variety of models using factory accessories and DIY-style customizations. Dark trims, LED-lit emblems, huge alloys and blacked-out details are a recurring element on the Malibu, Sonic RS, Camaro Red Line, Silverado, Colorado and the Trax! Enjoy this exclusive preview with 100 or so images of the yet-to-be-seen Red Line Series for SEMA 2015.   Chevrolet 2015 SEMA RED LINE Concepts Chevrolet Red Line Concepts Showcase Latest Accessories Themed collection highlights production, concept components   …

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2015 Nissan TEATRO for DAYZ Concept is Next-Gen Stoner Streamer

Some trends have a strong basis in real-life, timeless buyer preferences. Boot-cut jeans fit a huge range of bodytypes in a flattering way. Ugg boots are actually ridiculously comfy and easy to wear all day. Workout clothes are comfiest when you are not working out. Same goes for urban yoofs of the world. Young-person culture adores the idea of a boxy social pod on wheels — as the Scion xD/xB and Nissan Cube took global. The hotness of the box shape never really went out of style in Japan. But is definitely in need of a connected-services and design-ethos refresh. …

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2016 Honda CIVIC Sedan – Full Tech Specs, 160 Photos and Upgraded Features Detail

The 2016 Honda Civic sedan is absolutely miraculous. We had no idea Honda would go do-or-die on this model redesign, but are thrilled with the results! The new Civic is the biggest compact in its class now by interior room, is more than two inches longer and wider than before, yet chops nearly an inch off the roofline. Available full-LED headlights complement the standard LED brakelights on the sci-fi tail, while the nose sports new LED DRLs for most trims this year. The design is hard to fully comprehend — or was before we had this mega photo set of …

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2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i Arrives in November with Pricing from $35k – Colors + Real-Life Photos

The new X1 is in the wild, but you might not know it from first glance. It is a majorly convincing upgrade from the fairly low-slung and diminutive model. Sure, we loved the way the BMW X1 M Sport handled a track day. But it was quite low-slung and a bit too wagonlike, apparently, for mass consumption. The cab-backward look continues for 2016 in this second-gen model, but the entire visage grows up, out and across. The new X1 will still carve canyon tarmac, but now looks much more comfortable in rusty trails. The new model is basically a super-chunky …

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FUTURE-SPEC – Mazda MX-5 and CX-3 Platforms Reborn as Scion S-FR and Scion iD

A few months ago, Toyota and Mazda announced a major partnership in vehicle development and production. The Mazda2’s conversion into the US-exclusive four-door Scion iA is a huge hit, and the two Japanese rivals seemed eager to deepen the bond. There may have been an equity swap to even seal their newly-strong link. But details on the ground were — and are — very secret. What are they working on together? PART ONE:  The S-FR As the months pass, we have a much clearer idea: specific Toyota variants of Mazda platforms. The S-FR sports coupe for the Tokyo auto show …

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2015 Scion xB 686 Parklan Edition Closes Boxcar Books with Apres-Ski Special

 Mark my words… we are going to miss the Scion xB in a few years. Square vehicle always seem out of step and in need of replacement with something sleeker, but the results have almost always caused a backswing in hipster tastes. Look at the VW Vanagon, original Jeep Cherokee or even the new Honda Pilot. Boxy is foxy. This xB takes the look to a fantastic style peak in a final special: the 686 Parklan Edition. A unique cocoa bean exterior is a deep metallic brown, accented by gloss black for the wheels and trims outside. Slight red-lined accents …

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HD Road Test Review – 2016 FIAT 500X Trekking is Bei Bei-Cute but Drives Euro-Sharp

INTRO Really wanted to incorporate Best of Awards  into the headline for this new Fiat 500X — but just ran out of space. What a stellar machine! With a drive experience recalling BMW’s and Audi’s, plus a cabin with fantastic Euro feel, the 2016 500X is an absolute gem from its $20k base price. Over a week of flogging the 500X Trekking in full sport mode glory, we fell hard for the 500X’s charms. To the point that even the design of the nose started to feel familiar and cute! As cute as Bei Bei the Panda cub at the …

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Road Test Review – 2015 Buick Encore AWD Premium with Ken Glassman

2015 Buick Encore AWD Review By Ken “Hawkeye” Glassman   The marketing folks at Buick have identified a large group of auto buyers who are looking for cars that have a prestige image, contemporary styling, and nicely appointed comfortable cabins. These shoppers want luxury amenities, but are also environmentally conscious and don’t require strong gas guzzling performance. The 2015 Buick Encore was designed with those attributes in mind. The handsome, rugged exterior styling features sculpted lines from the front clip and steeply raked hood (complete with Buicks iconic Venti-ports) to the character lines running just above the beltline, and door …

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2015 Peugeot FRACTAL Franfurt 2

2015 Peugeot FRACTAL Concept – EVCC Explores 3D-Printed Materials

Updated with Official Details and Photos 9.17.15 Here is a gorgeous bit of unsanctioned, uncaptioned news!  All 25 photos of Peugeot’s upcoming Frankfurt concept car are live a bit early this morning. And they show some sweet, sexy new angles for next-gen Pugs! The Fractal concept is the first near-production application of the blocky, angular and geometric new design ethos seen on the Exalt concept, 2008 DKR racer and a few other concepts recently, including the Peugeot Vision Gran Turismo hypercar. An ultra-wide but very low and lean design, the shape is unlike anything else on the market — and …

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2016 Honda Civic Sedan 61

2016 Honda CIVIC Sedan – 70-Image Reveal of Lux New Look + 1.5L Turbo

Honda’s live YouTube concert and Civic reveal is streaming the world debut of the all-new sedan tonight — with shockingly advanced design, tech and cabin luxury upgrades. The all-new look is quite distinctive and very sexy, particularly versus the current Civic. An all-new platform brings a lower hoodline, a more rear-mounted windshield, plus flying C-pillars out back that plunge into the trunk nicely. Out back, an aero-optimized octagon forms the main trunk and bumper shape, wearing striking LED light pipes around the top edges. Those lights are a great complement to the LED headlights, turn signals and DRLs in the …

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HONDA PROJECT 2&4 POWERED BY RC213V AT FRANKFURT MOTOR SHOW 2015

Best of Frankfurt 2015 – Honda Project 2&4 Concept – Floating Seats Promise Surreal Track Pleasure

Updated 9.16.15 With 35 New Photos Check out the Honda Project 2&4 up close and in detail!  This is one of the most outrageous concepts from Honda in years. Not just Honda, any manufacturer, really. And this is not just some track car, either, as we surmised below. By engineering the 2&4 with outboard seating, the drive experience should also blend the joy of two-wheeling. But with the cornering pace of a four-wheeled vehicle. Not having any panels, doors or bodywork anywhere to your left shoulder, hip or pedals will be a revolution on the road. Far more exposed than …

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2015 Toyota C-HR Concept 4-Door 5

2015 Toyota C-HR Concept Updated as 4-Door, Production Model En Route for 2017

Toyota’s baby SUV is almost ready for primetime! The second variant on the C-HR theme since Geneva in March of 2015, this new version is a rich metallic silver with production-intent proportions. Versus the original purple C-HR, this latest concept adds a pair of rear doors versus being a soft-road coupe. Mind you, the doors are well-hidden behind an interesting upward bulge of metal in the side surfaces. Other big tweaks to the shape of the body take the C-HR design from completely one-off to production-ready. We saw a similar evolution of the Lexus NX via various concepts, eventually leading …

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2016 Toyota PRIUS 9

2016 Toyota PRIUS Intros Future-Tech Design, Sharper Handling and 10% Efficiency Bump

New new Prius made a splashy debut last night in Las Vegas — marking a new phase in hybrid-electric cars right in a desert city that neon and AC made possible. Is this fun-loving mission a disconnect for the ultra-responsible Prius? Not at all: the new Prius adds efficiency and new tech to the classic Prius merits, but injects a healthy share of fun and style for the first time in 2016. What does this mean? Let’s break it down into three buckets: tech, fun and style. TECH The basics are that the new Prius is 2.4-inches longer, 0.6-inches wider …

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2015 Honda Project 2&4 Concept – World Premiere of 14000-RPM Baby NSX

  Much as the world (and especially Japanese K-car buyers) love the S660 roadster, the sports potential of that mid-engine roadster is limited. Limited by power caps, safety rules and exhange rates — the S660 is not a global halo car, and definitely not a mini-NSX. What about the latest in Honda engine tech, paired with an open-wheeled racing design fresh from 2025? Now that would be something! Running the ultra-potent RC213V MotoGP bike engine, the Project 2&4 is ultra light and ultra simple. Ultra fresh sci-fi looks are just part of its charm, however. The real thrills will come …

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2016 Renault MEGANE GT Leads All-New Model Launch – I See You Baby?

The Renault Megane became a cultural touchstone with its first-gen lines. All geometric choppiness plus an architectural, vogue set of curves? The body language of the car was a massive hit — and became one of the best-selling models in recent Renault history. In its best years in the early 2000s, the Megane was often neck and neck with the VW Golf for UK sales. A dance-pop ad campaign made the most of the Megane’s funky trunk lines, all set to Groove Armada’s “See You Baby, Shakin’ That A**.” This author recalls the first time he saw one in the …

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2017 Fiat 500 and 500C Facelift – 120 New Pics Show Sleeker Nose with Wraith-Style LEDS?!

The refreshed Fiat 500 just went on sale in Europe featuring fresh style, updated engines and new cabin touchscreens. While a very light facelift overall, the results outhit their weight via an all-new nose and fresh LED lighting front and back. A more premium lower grille wears metallic mesh innards for the 2017 model-year, with a slight chrome garnish off each bumper edge. A cleaner middle grille element and much tighter headlights complete the makeover up front. The ‘after’ pictures are very, very impressive. From the current 500 looking slightly gob-eyed when viewed straight on, the new 500 has a …

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2015 Citroen Cactus M Concept – Jolly Surf Special Runs Inflatable AirFrame Soft-Top

  French makes, and Citroen in particular, have a strange and unjustified fascination with surf cars. Think of these as part Fiat Jolli with its wicker seats, and part Jeep Wrangler. But with Euro6 emissions and zero practicality. We saw this in the Pluriel and numerous Cacti concepts over the years. The new Cactus M is a far more practical fantasy, if that is possible. Real doors and even a roof! The convertible crossover has fixed A and D-pillars in a sexy woodgrain wrap. The contrast between these organic pillars and the bright Hawaiian blue of the body is certainly …

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2016 BMW i8 FIA Formula E Pacecar – Wireless Charging + M8 Mods Roadmap?

BMW has re-signed as the official safety and medical car provider for the second-ever Formula E race series! The 2015/2016 series will feature a number of electric BMW’s on track for assistance and support duties, including bikes and an X5 eDrive. The i3 will be a medical support vehicle as well. But the really fast laps demand a fast safety and pacecar, of course! And here is the perfect machine, the PHEV BMW i8. And not just any i8, either. A few interesting tidbits about this pacecar are extremely promising. Wireless charging and a huge chassis upgrade that may point …

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2015 Peugeot FRACTAL Concept 18

2015 Peugeot FRACTAL Concept – Modular Cabrio Previews 2017 209 and RC-Z Replacement

Here is a gorgeous bit of unsanctioned, uncaptioned news!  All 25 photos of Peugeot’s upcoming Frankfurt concept car are live a bit early this morning. And they show some sweet, sexy new angles for next-gen Pugs! The Fractal concept is the first near-production application of the blocky, angular and geometric new design ethos seen on the Exalt concept, 2008 DKR racer and a few other concepts recently, including the Peugeot Vision Gran Turismo hypercar. An ultra-wide but very low and lean design, the shape is unlike anything else on the market — and is beautifully executed to help the lion …

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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 …

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Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG in Satin Red Chrome Wrap by FOLIEN EXPERTE 6

Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG in Satin Red Chrome Wrap by FOLIEN EXPERTE

  WOOOWWW! This is one of the best-looking wraps we have seen in years. What started as a semi-DIY matte black wrapping trend has evolved rapidly in the last decade. The latest wraps use super sophisticated, multi-later materials to create a satin, shimmery effect that is virtually impossible to do with paint. For the rich, lustrous red to pop so well on the A45 AMG is testament to the new materails scientists at 3M, but also to the skilled industry wrapping has spawned. Where the original wraps were tough to apply with flawless, OEM-level production values — the technique could …

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2016 BAC Mono Scores Prime Placement on Concept Lawn + Configurator

  Updated with Pebble Beach 2015 Photos The BAC Mono had prime placement on the Concept Lawn of Pebble Beach!  The corner spot is cherished thanks to the resort walkway layout. On concours sunday, tens of thousands will see the BAC Mono’s stealthy racecar stance!  Ready to pounce… Same deal for its showing at the Quail. Just a few new photos to share, but worthwhile to see the new 2016 any way possible. Also pumped to share the actual BAC Mono configurator link. After a rendered color post… good to see that wild greens and yellows can be made real. …

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2016 BAC Mono – Digital Color Visualizer + TallPapers

  2016 BAC Mono – Digital Color Visualizer + TallPapers Ahh, our English sports-car chums have it so good. Yes, you can buy the monoposto 2016 BAC Mono from anywhere in the world. But it is a rare place that will slap license plates on both ends and let you play F1 hero on public roads. The 2016 model year brings big changes for the stunning Mono, showcased in a fiery new red paintwork at Goodwood 2015. Along with some super-sticky Kumho tires, the new 305-horsepower drivetrain delivered big-time at the rolling motor show. 2.5-liter Mountune Ford power with drive-by-wire …

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305HP 2016 BAC Mono – Watch New Turbo Powertrain Nail 2nd-Quickest Goodwood Hillclimb!

    Ahh, our English sports-car chums have it so good. Yes, you can buy the monoposto 2016 BAC Mono from anywhere in the world. But it is a rare place that will slap license plates on both ends and let you play F1 hero on public roads. The 2016 model year brings big changes for the stunning Mono, showcased in a fiery new red paintwork at Goodwood 2015. Along with some super-sticky Kumho tires, the new 305-horsepower drivetrain delivered big-time at the rolling motor show. 2.5-liter Mountune Ford power with drive-by-wire throttle replaces the previous 2.3-liter unit. The bump …

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HD Road Test Review – 2016 Scion iM Is Sporty and Uber-Practical New Focus-Fighter

The all-new 2016 Scion iM is part of a big new-product push from Scion: the iM hatchback and much smaller iA sedan replace the boxy xD and xB. Why so normal and conventional from Toyota’s youth brand this year? Following buyer trends, of course!  Extensive research on how to resonate with today’s 35-and-under car shoppers shows a big shift in preferences. Perhaps feeling the crunch of a slower global economy on their hipster jeans, first-time new car buyers want a car with more evergreen appeal than the once-trendy Scion box cars. The iM hopes to ace the 2016 buyer mood …

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2016 Scion iA Review – Best Compact Sedan… Ever? 55 Pics + HD Drive Video

Quick: what are the biggest issues with compact cars? — They are typically a total snooze outside — And alarmingly depressing to drive Is that just an unbreakable curse, or can Scion engineer and design its way to greatness on its first attempt? INTRO Scion has a double threat of new compacts for 2016: the all-new iA sedan and iM hatchback take over for the discontinued iQ, xD and xB. After years of wild niche models, Scion is refocusing its mission to speak to 2015 buyer wants and needs via far more traditional body styles. The iM is a tC-based …

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1971 ABARTH Scorpione Prototipo is Rear-Engine Rallycar for RM London 2015

    Abarth built a series of fascinating race concepts between the 1950s and the mid 1970s, usually somehow based on a Fiat 500 but often completely redesigned. This Scorpione Prototipo was a very contemporary take on a quasi-factory rally car. The glasshouse and overall proportions of the vehicle are far more advanced than any Cinquecento, with a complete repackaging into a two-seat GT car with its engine in the trunk. Theoretical competition in racing would come from cars like the Alpine A110 or the Lancia Fulvia. The Abarth 1300 badge in back next to the circular punch-drilled ventwork is …

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New ŠKODA Octavia Scout

Top 5 UK Family Cars of All Time! Sam Dickson and Tilsun Group Rank Their Faves

Guest Post By Sam Dickson   Top 5 Family Cars When it comes to buying a family car, there are certain factors that need to be considered: Will it be big enough? What are the safety features? Will the car be suitable for my children when they reach their teenage years? With questions like this and much more, it’s hugely important to do some thorough research to ensure you choose the perfect car for you and your family. As a vastly competitive market in the car world, you’ll come across a large range of family cars that showcase features designed …

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2015 Polaris Slingshot SL LE – Open-Air Speedster Thrills From $25k!

There are many compelling ways to get around a racetrack quicker than a factory supercar. As the VUHL 05, Lotus 3-Eleven and Caterham Seven chase this race-helmet owner group, Americans have a very compelling alternative to consider. And this one is road-legal and costs just a slice of the price. Running on three wheels makes the Slingshot a motorcycle — but that is only the start of the intrigue. From the design outside, people will be shocked by the sci-fi beauty and exposed chassis first. Only on third or fourth glance will they not see a stunning, Lambo-meets-Batman mashup. Polaris …

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HD Road Test Review – 2016 Jeep RENEGADE Trailhawk Is Fun, Stylish and Smart!?

    INTRO – 2016 Jeep RENEGADE Trailhawk Review HD Off-Road Drive Video 1 Nearly everyone has a great Jeep Wrangler memory from their youth. You were thin and gorgeous, laughing and loving the top-down lifestyle. Hanging a foot out the doorframe on a sunny afternoon. Tunes were playing, and exploring the world around you took on new meaning. Or you were discovering the huge straight-six torque that defined the truck for decades. Or just pining from the sidewalk at your sexy crush driving away. That collective memory is a core element of the brand’s appeal — and always has …

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2016 Chevrolet CRUZE RS Premier 14

2016 Chevrolet Cruze Is All-New With Standard Turbo, 2.5in Length Stretch and 80-Lb Weight Loss

Wowwwww!! Now this is an extremely promising new Chevrolet. Since the hits started coming with the new Impala and 2016 Malibu, Chevrolet is going from strength to strength. Nowhere is Chevy’s new skill more apparent than in compact cars. The Cruze, Sonic and Spark take the highest market share for any one manufacturer across their segments — which is a huge achievement for a relatively new player in supermini’s and subcompacts. This new Cruze may look slightly familiar — as it shares many key design elements with the 2016 Volt. Where the Volt features a solid shield grille and chrome …

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Next-Generation NSX: The 93rd Pikes Peak International Hill Clim

2015 Acura NSX Pikes Peak Pacecar Headlines Dozen Honda Cloud-Chasers!

Honda and Acura have continued their title sponsorship of the Pikes Peak Hillclimb in 2015 with a variety of cool tech innovations on and off the 14,000-foot mountain of a racetrack. Climbing 1000 feet a minute while hitting 180-degree corners every few hundred yards is no small achievement for any car — and Pikes Peak in recent years has become true global racing highlight for many brands. Knocking seconds off the climb times is increasingly challenging and requires ultra-high-performance machinery to achieve. Peugeot nailed a track record last year, and Honda was aiming for quickest-ever glory in 2015 with its …

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2015 Honda Civic Type R European Dynamic Launch 12

2015 Honda Civic Type R – European Launch Gallery in 104 Gorgeous Photos

  Are you sitting down? Get ready to be absolutely floored with adrenaline via the all-new 2015 Honda Civic Type R’s intense design and visual fury at speed. On sale now in European markets, this is not a total ****tease for US and global Honda fans. The turbocharged engine under the hood of this Euro-exclusive Civic Type R is just the first salvo for Honda’s resurgent performance. Honda of America is visibly excited about turbo power energizing its upcoming range. Davis Adams of Honda PR is freshly home from the Slovakia track launch of the 2015 Euro Type R, and …

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2017 Morgan EV3 – Electric 3 Wheeler Is Streamliner Heaven

Exciting first look full reveal from Morgan today ahead of the Goodwood Festival of Speed: the iconic Three-Wheeler in electric form! Dubbed the EV3, this prototype is on the way to production with a weight loss of nearly 200-pounds versus the gasoline model, plus a much sportier handling balance. Why such a change in dynamics versus the normal 3 Wheeler? That model’s highly unusual engine placement ahead of the front axle creates some quite extreme forces on the chassis in hard driving. That huge polar movement around bends is part of what makes the 3 Wheeler such a joy to …

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Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

2017 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen Alltrack In 30 New Photos

 Updated 6.11.15 With 30 New Photos This Alltrack Golf SportWagen makes so much sense, it is hard to believe it took this long tomake real. Subaru is still riding the giant wave of Outback sales that started with its lifted, AWD wagons in 1995. The Alltrack is set to arrive in the US in 2016, and VW seems eager to follow up on the demand for its Golf SportWagen TDI and TSI. If you wish hard enough, we might even see the bad-ass older brother of the VW wagon family: the Golf R SportWagen. Or at least a GTI Variant! …

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HD First Drive Review – 2015 VW Golf SportWagen TDI SE 6-Speed Manual

Listen to that TDI growl through the gears!   A first drive of VW’s new Golf Sportwagen TDI shows that this new vehicle brings all the Euro manners you could imagine — all at a great price. What? About a Volkswagen!? Yes, the VW Golf range is all pretty fantastic, but pricing can feel ambitious on the GTI and Golf R. At first sight, we worried the Golf Sportwagen would kill its appeal with a $38,000 price. Nope. $28k base with $1000 lighting pack and $700 driver assist pack takes us to just $30,505. True value-oriented pricing on the six-speed …

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2016 BMW X1 xDrive28i 42

2016 BMW X1 Grows Up Tall With All-New Platform and X7-Previewing Design

Grew up tall and grew up right! The new BMW X1 is here and is a massive advancement in the BMW SUV portfolio. Not only is the car improved throughout, the design is a fresh and forward-looking take on what the upcoming X7 and 750 will look like. This is the latest BMW nose and kidney style, as seen recently on the CSL Hommage and the Vision Future Luxury. Larger, more vertical and more square kidneys is the latest look. And to be honest, the design is a fantastic fit for the baby X1. This incredibly tossable and rapid BMW …

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2016 Honda HR-V Looks Damn Good in 88 New Photos

  Updated 5.26.15 With 88 New Photos We struggled for a minute on this headline — but there is no mistaking the meaning: the 2016 HR-V’s design looks sublime in this new photo set. Even in its dark Steel Grey, the swoopy lines and stance of the HR-V are clear winners. We see LED lighting out back, but none up front. Even so, the nose of the HR-V is one of its coolest angles. The deep grille with its dark crossbar up top is very convincing. A sport grille is available, as are some cool multi-spoke alloys – as shown …

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2016 Honda HR-V - Modern Steel Metallic 12_001-horz

$20k 2016 Honda HR-V Arriving Now! Trims, Pricing + All Colors in Animated Turntables

Welcome to the ultimate Honda HR-V colors guide! 300-plus images, eight turntable animations and even the full pricing and trims list. The first HR-V’s are rolling into dealerships this week, but will be snapped up almost instantly by other eager shoppers. Why? Great style and design, posh cabin with cool new tech, plus pricing from a base of just $19,000 for the LX model. The EX-L Navi with AWD and an automatic transmission tops out the model range around $27,000. Our pick? The most-loaded manual transmission model in EX FWD form. With the cool available machined alloys and the Sport …

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2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI S Review 3

Road Test Review – 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI S with Ken Glassman

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI S Review By Ken Glassman   Set your way-back machine to 1983. Volkswagen introduces a new car that is designed for “drivers”, not just people who drive cars. The Golf GTI was meant to be a small, stylish (which was debatable) car that had good power, combined with excellent handling, a slick gearbox, basic interior appointments, and would still get excellent gas mileage. It had to fit four people (albeit a bit tight) and have the flexibility of a hatchback, which has always been popular in Europe. But built into everyone was the most important feature: …

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2015 VW Golf GTE Sport Concept 2

2015 VW Golf GTE Sport Concept + 2016 GTI Clubsport Production Reveal at Worthersee

Volkswagen has delivered a half-dozen Golf and GTI concepts in the last 12 months — so you are forgiven for thinking that the GTE looks too familiar to be all-new. With the Design Vision GTI, the GTI SuperSport and GTI speedster (both for Gran Turismo), the GTI thinktank is in full swing in Wolfsburg. This new GTE concept takes much of the intensely aggressive and dominating style of the SuperSport and adds a production-feasible e-AWD system. This li-ion PHEV setup adds a giant wallop of on-demand torque to the rear axle for nearly 400-hp in total. We have an all-new …

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2016 Acura ILX Graphite Luster 71

Fast Drive Video Review – 2016 Acura ILX Is Shockingly Fun and Fast With New 8-Sp DCT

2016 Acura ILX Review HD Drive Video We’d wager that no auto writer has been harder on Acura over the years than Car-Revs-Daily.com. A headline for some TLX renders last year wondered aloud: “How Much More Wood Can Acura Woodchuck Chuck.” That is seriously harsh. But as the TLX was revealed with the same much-hated shield grille… we could not help but vent some frustration. Fast forward to driving the TLX and its new ILX kid brother. We have to correct the record. Acura is on a mission, folks. Its two latest cars introduce exceptional new drivetrain tech and the …

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2015 Chevrolet Trax LT 74

Road Test Review – 2015 Chevrolet Trax LT on HD Video + Colors, Wheels and Pricing

  As you move up in the world, there are certain luxuries in life that are total game-changers. Things that make it impossible to go back once you have experienced their brilliance. As a young buck moving from the college dorms into a small first apartment, you have a hard gig in life overall. You might not even have a dishwasher or a washer and dryer in your unit. Typing this now in my 30’s, the idea of living without such modern conveniences is almost unfathomable. Going back to a laundromat two blocks away or a musty basement of half-functional …

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1973 Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R Kenmeri 5

RM Monterey 2015 Preview – 1973 Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R Kenmeri

Succeeding the first-gen Hakosuka Skyline GT-R was this iconic Ken & Mary (or ‘Kenmeri’ for short) two-door. With a far more workmanlike profile than the same-year 240Z, the 2000 GT-R did all it could mechanically to be a legitimate sports-car. The legend of this upswept C-pillar shape speaks for itself, with this Skyline one of the best-loved Japanese cars ever made. Do not let the completely-original stance fool you into thinking this is just some retro nerd-mobile. With a lowered stance, this Skyline GT-R is instantly recognizable from 1000 paces as a supercar hero.  1973 Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R Kenmeri   …

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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 …

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First Drive Review – 2015 Ford Focus ST in HD Video + 150 Photos!

Loved meeting the 2015 Focus ST in the flesh recently for a fast blast around Texas Motor Speedway. Not high in the banked oval, unfortunately. Just a bit of on-camera hooning in the roads nearby. The town name of “No Limits” seemed applicable to flying past dozens of vacant track parking lots. The changes for the 252-horsepower 2015 model are perfect updates. A new nose with a low and mean style, standard LED headlight accent blades, HID headlights for the ST2 and ST3 trim packs, and standard Rado Grey wheels. The tail is also revised with a new rear window …

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2015 Nissan Lannia Revealed in Shanghai With Funky Rump

Nissan’s new global design language is definitely fresh and unique — from the 2016 Maxima to this Chinese-market Lannia sedan, there is a real shared DNA visible in the panels. Defined by a deep swoosh and flow of metal over the front fenders that swings down into the door surfacing, the Nissan style might catch a few eyes. But there is something amiss. The concept to reality transition is wiping out nearly 90-percent of the original design appeal. It appears to be the limitations of production panel stamps that is watering down almost all the flavor of the original concept …

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2015 QOROS 2 PHEV Concept 4

Update1 – 2015 QOROS 2 SUV PHEV Concept Previews Upcoming Juke-Fighter

Updated 4.21.15 with 10 Real-Life Photos Qoros is by far our favorite Chinese car brand — plucking exceptional talent from the UK car scene like Gerte Hildebrand of MINI fame and Jamie Barrett from the RCA design program. The goal is to bring global car safety, design and equipment standards to China-made vehicles. This is more than lip-service: QOROS has the only Chinese vehicles to pass the tough EuroNCAP crash tests and on sale across the highly competitive European car market. Qoros recognizes the opportunity for new brands in the crossover and SUV space — with this latest Qoros 2 SUV …

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Best of Shanghai - 2015 Chevrolet FNR Concept 2

Best of Shanghai – 2015 Chevrolet FNR Concept Is First Self-Driver For Cool People

Finally!  A high-tech and super-advanced autonomous concept that is not just aimed at super-nerds! Even though Shanghai is only just getting into its swing of new car reveals, we can be sure that the Chevrolet FNR will be one of the most memorable and intriguing vehicles on display. The new Chevrolet FNR Concept just bowed in Shanghai to stunned crowds and camera-phone flashbulbs exploding in a cascade of light. A sinewy mix of glass capsule and integrated chassis materials is a fascinating look at the future of car design. The FNR features some intense dragonfly double doors which side upward …

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2015 Peugeot GT Line Is Glossy Black/White Style Upgrade for 7 Models

Big Peugeot day today =] An all-new style and desirability push for the brand is now coming to fruition with better designs outside and in. To drive the point home, a new GT Line offers damn sexy and very on-trend trim choices for almost a dozen Peugeot models. The GT Line is a top-flight equipment and design upgrade and can be specced with a variety of engine and transmission choices for the RCZ, 208, 308 and the new 508 models.  Consisting of glacier white exterior paints with gloss-black detailing, the GT Line really looks fantastic. Dark wheels and dark headlight …

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2016 Cadillac ELR Much Quicker and $10k Cheaper! 2014 Models Like a $50k BMW i8 at i3 Prices?

Putting together these turntables just now offered a chance to see the ELR in 360-degrees across its four colors. Mid-way through the black ELR, we have a revelation: this car is gorgeous! Even the 2014 model of the spinners is quite a dashing and sexy shape from all sides, with a mid-engine exotic feel to the profile especially. The 2016 ELR takes this design to the next level: a new Performance Pack brings bigger five-spoke alloys and trim tweaks to go along with its new Caddy crest badges front and rear. The 2016 refresh has some other delights in store, …

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6.5s, 143MPH 2015 Vauxhall Corsa VXR Arriving In May Priced From 18k

The new Corsa VXR is priced and on its way to showrooms in just two weeks time. The base Corsa VXR comes in at £18k with standard Recaro seats, a 202-horsepower turbo engine and performance topline stats of 6.5-seconds to 60 and a 143-mph top speed. Overall, the biggest changes to the Corsa VXR versus the previous model are up front and from the driver’s seat. The nose is now all-new versus both the previous Corsa VXR and the base Corsa range, with a deep lower bumper, forward-facing grille in a low snout area, and a new integrated air intake duct …

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MINI Augmented Vision Concept Preview Future SuperTech Driving Possibilities

MINI Augmented Vision Concept Previews FutureTech Driving Possibilities

  Augmented Reality has now become Augmented Vision — both derivatives of the hot VR technology that is sweeping certain corners of the venture-capital-backed startup industry. AR takes real-world visuals and is able to annotate, animate or ‘bring to life’ static displays. The easiest way to understand it is: see a shark billboard, view billboard through AR apps or glasses, and shark starts snapping and moving in 3D. Normal world in background, just added excitement via AR.  Firms like Facebook, Google and Microsoft have put huge investments in place under the belief that AR and VR will become primary user …

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Road Test Review - 2015 Scion tC 6-Speed With TRD Performance Parts 49

Road Test Review – 2015 Scion tC 6-Speed + TRD Performance Parts

The Scion tC has been on the market for quite a while now – but there is a reason! It is a solid performance platform with chic styling, a two-door profile and a very roomy back seat with fold-down seats for wagon-like space. 2015 Scion tC Review Video   Coming well-equipped with just a few options, the main choice is between a light and snicky six-speed manual and a conventional automatic. The stick is the clear choice for performance drivers, delivering a 7.8-second sprint to 60-mph and a joyful feel to the whole drive. The ultra-light clutch and shift action …

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Shell Oil and Gordon Murray Partnering on Project M for Reborn T.25 City Car

A car funded and developed by an oil company feels more than a little dishonest right from the start. After all, there is no bigger conflict of interest: oil companies would naturally want all cars to use as much fuel as possible. It is in their core interests to increase gasoline consumption on a grand scale. Even so, deep-pocketed oil companies are also interested in two things: branding and green-washing. By branding the Shell lubricants business as an innovator and supporter of advanced technology, Shell and Gordon Murray’s Project M can be a grand public-relations coup among some. Oil companies …

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2009 Citroen REVOLTe 86

Concept Flashback – 2009 Citroen REVOLTe Was PHEV Deux Chevaux Redux

  If there are two cars that will forever define Citroen over the 20th century, they are the DS and the 2CV. One an advanced luxury car with front-drive and a hydraulic suspension for eerie smoothness over cobblestone Parisian streets. The other a basic post-war mobility solution whose 2CV name translates as “Two Steam Horses.” Redesigning those icons for today is an immediate and instant testbed for future Citroen design ideas. Many, many designers have tried this “New Beetle” styling exercise on the 2CV — with largely hideous results. So for the REVOLTe to be instantly attractive and appealing is …

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2015 Hyundai Accent GLS Sedan 5

Road Test Review – 2015 Hyundai Accent GLS Sedan Is Stylish, Quiet and Smooth with 37MPG

In the compact segment, buyers want a brand-new car with all the tech, safety and reliability of a mid-size, but the efficiency and low entry price of around $15,000. The Accent is lightly refreshed for 2015 with many more premium features than is the norm for the segment, plus added interior refinement and some top-line trim details that are truly stylish. Available in as the GLS sedan or two levels of five-door, the Accent is one of the most grown-up cars in its class. Real sedan style is even possible – which is not something many would say about the …

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2015 Honda S660 31

2015 Honda S660 Is JDM Mid-Engine Targa With Turbo Triple Engine + 6-Speed Manual

Honda’s renaissance in sporty cars might be topped by the NSX supercar, but the effects of a sporty focus runs up and down the range. This K-car is a very positive step forward for Honda, even if it is primarily aimed at the Japanese Domestic Market. With style and LEDs like much pricier and more powerful sports cars, the S660 is the most affordable way into a mid-engine, open-top thrills. Weight distribution is 45-percent front, 55-percent rear, promising much of the light nose and nimble thrills of the Porsche Boxster for perhaps a quarter of the price. Power comes from …

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