Project Azure_49_L

ECD Auto Design Shows New Defender 110 Azure Custom w/ Lux Upgrades + 430HP V8

This latest custom Defender 110 from ECD Automotive Design pushes alot of my buttons.  First off, it is already completely finished, is in the USA, and has a huge list of mods and design tweaks. Most exciting is the engine swap to a GM crate LS3 making more than 400 ponies and sent to the wheels via a six-speed automatic. No word on pricing for this one-off but links below for more info!   ECD Auto Design Defender 110 Azure ECD Automotive Design – Project Azure Specifications Model – Custom Defender 110 Engine – 6.2L LS3 V8 with 430 hp Transmission – 6-speed automatic Exhaust – Borla Performance …

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2018 Mazda3 GT 5-Door – Road Test Review w/ Perf Drive Video

Want to know the true reason why nobody should suffer driving a car they don’t love? And also the reason why car shoppers are fools to make up their mind online instead of on the test drives? The shining example for both is the delightful 2018 Mazda3 GT.  Here is a car that will hit 35-mpg on the highway and keep your payments easily below $300 a month.  All while having truly fun performance and actual torque to keep you ahead of traffic! Driving the Mazda3 for a week is like a slap in the face or a dunk in …

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2018 Kia Rio EX 5-door – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

We’ve often said it’s more interesting to see how a manufacturer makes their inexpensive cars vs. the big-ticket items. We recently tested the Genesis G80 Sport, one of the most lux of the Kia/Hyundai/Genesis family, and came away mightily impressed. How about the other end of the spectrum, Kia Rio? Can the littlest Kia win us over? Welcome to the Rodney Dangerfield section of the auto market. It’s hard to get any respect. The little Rio is the cheapest car K-H-G sells in the U.S., and while the brand has made huge strides, especially in the last 10 years, it’s …

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2017 Honda CIVIC Sport 6MT Hatchback – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Civic loyalists, your car is back! If you’ve wanted a performance Civic hatch, it’s been a long wait.  The last one was in 2003! In Si form, that Civic five-door was a neat little car.  We especially liked the rally-style shifter mounted high on the center console, the sport bucket seats, and the large (for Honda) 2.0-liter with i-VTEC. And while not a nose-bleed revver like the smaller Civics, it was still fun to drive hard. But that was 14 years ago! And while we’ve had plenty of enjoyable Civics to drive, they’ve only been offered in Coupe and Sedan …

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2017 Subaru IMPREZA SPORT and 5-Door – Live NY Debut

Some serious WRX coolness in the new Impreza Sport sedan and 5-Door! Here is the official release plus 20 live photos from New York. 2017 Subaru Impreza SPORT   SUBARU INTRODUCES ALL-NEW, U.S.-BUILT 2017 IMPREZA 23/03/16   Sedan and 5-Door Styles New Subaru Global Platform Significantly Enhances Safety, Ride Comfort and Agility Award-Winning EyeSight®, Plus New Driver Assist Technologies SUBARU STARLINK™ Safety and Security Features and AppsNew Subaru Design Language Debuts 2.0-liter Boxer Engine with Direct Injection and Higher PerformanceFirst Impreza to be Built in U.S. New Sport Version with 18-inch Wheels, Sport Suspension and Active Torque Vectoring NEW YORK –  …

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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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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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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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2015 Chevrolet BOLT Concept Previews All-New EV 5-Door Arriving Within a Year

We are big bears on EV adoption overall, and love seeing Elon Musk squirm. In that regard, the Bolt is a fun new entry to the rapidly-irrelevant EV model niche. The Bolt is a relatively exciting surprise from Chevrolet: the new five-door EV concept that is a lightly-veiled production model arriving within a year to Chevy showrooms. The new Bolt EV concept shows the potential of a utility and family-friendly package with EV underpinnings. No pricing has been quoted, but expect this package to sticker from about $35,000 before tax incentives bring its costs to about $30,000. It is most …

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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 …

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Road Test Review – 2014 Mazda3 S Grand Touring 5-Door Drives Like BMW!

By Special Contributor Ken Glassman Mazda has been making some great cars for a long time. And Mazda has been setting themselves apart from the crowd by dialing in more driving excitement. You can always count on a Mazda to offer outstanding handling and excellent performance into all their models. And the 3 series Grand Touring is no exception.  EXTERIOR The styling of this 5-door hatchback is slick and unique. Hatchbacks are not nearly as popular in the US as they are everywhere else in the world, but this one may change how Americans look at a hatchback, and see …

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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 …

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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!

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2015 SEAT Leon X-Perience Is Gravel-Ready 4×4 Estate Coming to European Dealers In November

If car company product planners got their way, there might be a new SUV or all-wheel-drive model arriving fresh every year right as the weather turns cold and snowy. The same folks would love a cabrio for the showrooms every June — but that is not really how the car business works. Or is it!? SEAT today revealed the production-specification Leon X-PERIENCE — which is an Outback-type of upgrade to the normal Leon Estate. As a huge fan of the Leon 5-door as well as the Estate — this new model makes perfect sense! We estimate the arrival in SEAT …

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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

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Road Test Review w/ Pricing and Specs – 2014 Mazda3 Grand Touring

We were amazed with the all-new 2014 Mazda3 from the moment we laid eyes on it – especially the slinky and low-slung sedan variant that just arrived this Spring to Mazda dealers nationwide. After some joyful driving of the loaded 2014 Mazda3 s Grand Touring model, it is clear that the praise we shared in the “2014’s Smartest Compact” article was not sufficient. This might be the best car on the market in general, with no caveats for size or price. It is that good. I am struggling to convey how outstanding a machine it is in all regards — …

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