2020 Jeep “JLUR” Wrangler Rubicon EcoDiesel – Off-Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

After four years off, FCA brought back the 3.0-liter V6 EcoDiesel. This time they’ve decided to add it to the Jeep Wrangler. Enthusiasts call the newest Wrangler the JL.  If it’s the four-door version they, add a “U,” and for the Rubicon trim they add an R. Our test model was a 2020 JLUR EcoDiesel. Video Intro   Overview Arguably America’s most rugged vehicle, the newest Jeep Wrangler has been modernized without compromise to off-road ability. The Jeep brand is FCA’s top seller in the U.S., and the Wrangler is a big portion of that. In order to please a wider …

Read more 2020 Jeep “JLUR” Wrangler Rubicon EcoDiesel – Off-Road Test Review – By Matt Barnes

2020 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4×4 EcoDiesel by Ben Lewis

When we used to go to movie theaters (remember that?) our favorite large bucket of popcorn unapologetically wore the “Big is More” logo. You have to admire the honesty. And if a pickup truck ever deserved to have the Big is More graphic on it, it would be the 2020 Dodge Ram 1500. Big is Beautiful This is one gorgeous truck. And being a crew cab, it cuts a large swath wherever it goes. The massive front grille must look immense in the rearview mirror of traffic as pull up – other cars would scurry to get out of your …

Read more 2020 Dodge Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4×4 EcoDiesel by Ben Lewis

2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison Duramax Diesel Review

The ZR2 Bison is unstoppable!! Never thought I’d find a factory off-road pickup that can hang with the Raptor, but the Colorado’s slimmer width is a big plus on narrow trails. The diesel engine is packing a wallop at 365 pound-feet of torque and so you can tow an extra 700 pounds (up to 7700). However, the 0-60-mph time drops 3 seconds from 6.5 to 9.5. It feels pretty glacial on the road until you adjust to its power delivery style. But then you start to love how it just surges forward without a gear change, or pops off the …

Read more 2020 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison Duramax Diesel Review

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2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison AEV 2.8L Diesel – First Drive Review

Aptly named save for one trait Upon reflection of my encounter with Chevy’s new ZR2 Bison AEV trim package for their mid-sized truck offering, the Colorado, the Bison moniker was appropriate. I found myself with a bit of a shiver on a particularly cold morning, with what felt like freezing fog. For being in the heart of a land that had lived in harmony with the name Chevy decided on for this variant, Bison, I hadn’t heeded the lessons learned from the past centuries of the local peoples. As my breath puffed visibly as I grew closer to this truck, …

Read more 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison AEV 2.8L Diesel – First Drive Review

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

A friend just asked about buying a Diesel-engine car. Diesel? Really? It seems like that boat has sailed a while ago, with VW’s diesel-gate putting the powertrain on the chopping block for most passenger cars. Hybrids and EV’s are where it’s going – for their combination of low or zero emissions, hefty government subsidies (ok, those may go away) and driving fun. Yes, driving fun. And one of the most interesting of these vehicles is the new Honda Clarity. A new way to roll Well, the Honda Clarity actually gives you three ways to roll – if you’re on the …

Read more 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid – Road Test Review – By Ben Lewis

Road Test Review – 2017 Ford F-450 King Ranch Super Duty – By Carl Malek

When it comes to pickup trucks, the old adage “Bigger is better” still dominates the segment. While light duty models like the Ford F-150, Ram 1500, and the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 will represent the bulk of pickup truck sales, customers in need of a heavy duty workhorse will no doubt be drawn to their heavy duty counterparts. With their beefy hardware, massive size, and immense towing and hauling capabilities, these big beasts are always distinctive sights out on the open road. But can they still function as daily drivers while delivering the capability customers demand? or is this an imperfect …

Read more Road Test Review – 2017 Ford F-450 King Ranch Super Duty – By Carl Malek

2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty 6.7L Platinum – Road Test Review w/ Videos

Where to start?  Super Duty is stronger than before, yes. But you are not prepared for how much stronger it is.  Ford quotes the strength of the (high-strength steel) boxed ladder frame as being 20X more rigid than before.  2000 percent! Ford added hundreds of pounds to this frame to blow away its rivals in max towing. All bodywork and the bed of the truck make the swap to aluminum for 2017 at the same time.  So if the new frame added 300 pounds, the alloy bodywork subtracts 700 from the total.  All in all, the new F-250 is a full …

Read more 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty 6.7L Platinum – Road Test Review w/ Videos

Drive Review – 2016 GMC CANYON DuraMax SLT 4WD – By Ben Lewis

    We recently tested the all-new 2016 RAV4 Hybrid. What does this have to do with the GMC Canyon Diesel? Nothing, except it does point to a trend. Fresh powertrain choices in well-established vehicles. In the case of the Canyon – ok, just this once – the 2016 GMC Canyon 4WD SLT Short Box with 2.8L DURAMAX turbo diesel 4-cylinder – it means that the mid-size pickup buyer now has the opportunity to  enjoy the diesel goodness they’ve long been denied. Diesel has always been the go-to for the big rigs, and for the heavy-duty, 250-series size pickups as …

Read more Drive Review – 2016 GMC CANYON DuraMax SLT 4WD – By Ben Lewis

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Drive Review – 2016 RAM 3500 LIMITED Cummins Dually – By Carl Malek

A Tale Of Two Trucks – Part 1 The 2016 RAM 3500 Limited & 2016 RAM 2500 Longhorn   With pickup trucks seeing a resurgence in both popularity and sales these days due to low fuel prices, many automakers are revamping their long term sales strategies to try and meet this newfound demand. FCA and their Ram brand are no exception, and are doubling down on their efforts to steal the sales crown away from both Ford and General Motors thanks to offerings such as the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel as well as recent shifts in production capacity. I wanted to find out for …

Read more Drive Review – 2016 RAM 3500 LIMITED Cummins Dually – By Carl Malek

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Road Test Review: 2016 Ram 150 HFE EcoDiesel – By Tim Esterdahl

Bare Bones And Fuel Efficient Review: 2016 Ram 150 HFE EcoDiesel A point of contention among truck fans is the rising price of full-size trucks. These prices are largely driven by the growth in so-called “Cowboy Cadillacs,” yet basic trucks still exist. Marrying the basic truck features with great fuel economy, we recently got to test a bare bones 2016 Ram 1500 HFE EcoDiesel. Ringing in just under $40k, it was surprising how different a truck feels without all the upgraded features. Our test model was a Quad Cab, 4×2 with standard equipment and only a $695 optional equipment package …

Read more Road Test Review: 2016 Ram 150 HFE EcoDiesel – By Tim Esterdahl

Review + Videos – 2016 Nissan TITAN XD 5.0L Cummins TDV8 – The CRUSHER is HD Truck of the Year!

As you may have noticed, there is usually lead time for these full reviews after the cars leave the CRD speed fleet.  Time to process and refine the review content is usually really helpful, despite that seeming counterintuitive. Not in this case.  Titan XD jumps the line, and is firmly top-of-mind a day after its departure. The Titan XD blew us away so thoroughly with its unique skills and capabilities that we’re tempted to name it HD Truck of the Year.  Not just tempted, it’s done. This is our HD TOTY for 2016. Diving in deep yesterday for the drive videos helped crack …

Read more Review + Videos – 2016 Nissan TITAN XD 5.0L Cummins TDV8 – The CRUSHER is HD Truck of the Year!

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Must-Hear Monster! 700HP TECHART Magnum in 35 New Photos, Engine MP3s

In the TechArt world, Magnum is shorthand for every Cayenne upgrade in the catalog!  The team has been finalizing their style,. performance and tech upgrades for this third-generation Cayenne MAGNUM over the last few months — and the results are pretty intense! The exterior upgrades fit all 2015-current Cayenne models, while the optional suspension and exhaust mods also enhance everything from the Cayenne S Diesel to the full-fat Turbo. An extra 120 horsepower come from all-new turbochargers, engine breathing and cooling on the Turbo — with 640HP available at all times, and the massive 700HP coming on steam with the …

Read more Must-Hear Monster! 700HP TECHART Magnum in 35 New Photos, Engine MP3s

700HP TECHART Magnum for Porsche Cayenne is New 4.0s Flagship

In the TechArt world, Magnum is shorthand for every Cayenne upgrade in the catalog!  The team has been finalizing their style,. performance and tech upgrades for this third-generation Cayenne MAGNUM over the last few months — and the results are pretty intense! The exterior upgrades fit all 2015-current Cayenne models, while the optional suspension and exhaust mods also enhance everything from the Cayenne S Diesel to the full-fat Turbo. An extra 120 horsepower come from all-new turbochargers, engine breathing and cooling on the Turbo — with 640HP available at all times, and the massive 700HP coming on steam with the …

Read more 700HP TECHART Magnum for Porsche Cayenne is New 4.0s Flagship

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2017 GMC Canyon DENALI Wears Butch New Grille, 20s and LEDs – 31MPG DuraMax Diesel Optional

Despite all the excitement around the new generation of mid-size pickup trucks, the huge praise heaped on the Chevy Colorado has not yet translated into huge full-year sales numbers.  At least, not by US pickup market standards — where the F-Series from Ford nears 800k units annually in a good year.  (Not this launch year, mind you, with lots of factory down-time in the aluminum transition. Since the launch of the GMC Canyon and its bro, the Chevy Colorado, the two have been burning up the sale growth charts. Despite initial impressions of the GMC as the better-looking of the …

Read more 2017 GMC Canyon DENALI Wears Butch New Grille, 20s and LEDs – 31MPG DuraMax Diesel Optional

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2016 Volkswagen Passat USA Shows Boss New R-Line, Tech Updates at NYC Reveal

Clearly not the greatest time to roll out a new vehicle, but the 2016 Passat is welcome anyway. These are the premium and sexy upgrades we have wished for to set the Passat apart from normal Camrys in the mid-size sedan segment. Available LED head and taillamps are suitably Audi-esque in their execution quality. And even with carry-over panels, the larger wheels and fresh nose is a bit eye-catching. This nose is new from the A-pillar forward, but might take a VW fan to recognize over the current US PAssat nose. Crucially, the vehicle now looks its size — a …

Read more 2016 Volkswagen Passat USA Shows Boss New R-Line, Tech Updates at NYC Reveal

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 Toyota FORTUNER Global SUV Previews US-Market 2018 Lexus GX460 Replacement

  Here is an interesting global reveal that is being de-emphasized by Toyota USA and Toyota’s EU divisions. This makes sense when you think of where the new Fortuner SUV will be sold: in Southeast Asia, Australia and Middle Eastern markets. The Fortuner occupies a curious place in the Toyota global range: bigger than the 4Runner but also based on a ladder pickup frame. It is smaller than the big Land Cruiser and Sequoia, but will supplement the Land Cruiser Prado versus replace it. That Prado is the closest relative to the US-market Lexus GX460. So what is this truck? …

Read more 2016 Toyota FORTUNER Global SUV Previews US-Market 2018 Lexus GX460 Replacement

2016 Chevrolet Colorado Trail Boss

2016 Chevrolet Colorado Adds DuraMax Diesel Option + Trail Boss and Midnight Packages

Go Chevy! Usually, the larger a company is, the less nimble they are to market wants. Subtle trends like gloss black details and chrome delete started in the aftermarket, went to supercars, and are now going mainstream. The look of the new blacked-out Colorado Midnight and the seriously cool Trail Boss offroaders are absolutely perfect to snag style shoppers. Yes, you could do most of these upgrades post-sale as a DIY, but it’s much simpler to have a factory upgrade available. This ensures your DIY skills won’t come back to bite you in the ass a year later if things …

Read more 2016 Chevrolet Colorado Adds DuraMax Diesel Option + Trail Boss and Midnight Packages

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ALPINA X3 – Gorgeous M Sport Styling and Performance Tweaks

PART FOUR of FOUR The Alpina X3 My favorite Alpina upgrade of this four-pack? Easily this aggressive X3 makeover. Versus the stock X3, the Alpina is virtually unrecognizable. Granted, comparing the Alpina X3 to the base model is not a fair comparo. This Alpina truck started as the X3 M Sport, which is already a little-known way to make the humdrum design really pop with some M style.   The fact that there is no X version of the X3 (yet) helps to make this Alpina SUV ultra unique and exclusive. 2015 BMW X3 xLine 2015 BMW X3 M Sport …

Read more ALPINA X3 – Gorgeous M Sport Styling and Performance Tweaks

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2015 ALPINA B3 – Digital Wheel Colorizer and USA 3 series Upgrade Showcase

PART THREE of FOUR The Alpina 3 series Now on to the ever-popular 3 series: a sedan so incredibly fun to drive, you are shocked when people buy anything else! The 3 series is arguably the most improved by the ALPINA style. Even outside the core design tweaks and green/blue paint colors, the Alpina 3 series is *thisclose* to its M3 and M5 siblings on overall stance, traction and visual aggressiveness. ORIGINAL: The import and BMW distribution of the ALPINA B6 and B7 to the US is big news. They are all extremely rare and extremely cool, especially the new …

Read more 2015 ALPINA B3 – Digital Wheel Colorizer and USA 3 series Upgrade Showcase

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ALPINA B4 Mods Available for USA BMW 4 series Owners

PART TWO of FOUR The Alpina 4 series The import and BMW distribution of the ALPINA B6 and B7 to the US is big news. They are all extremely rare and extremely cool, especially the new ALPINA B6 Gran Coupe. These ALPINA specials are a fantastic M car alternative, with more engines, xDrive and even diesel engines able to Alpina-fied. But the great thing about the ALPINA upgrade catalog is that all the parts that make these complete models are also available indivudally. There is a slight benefit to this for current BMW owners: you can target specific upgrades and …

Read more ALPINA B4 Mods Available for USA BMW 4 series Owners

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ALPINA B5 Mods Available for USA BMW 5 series Owners

PART ONE of FOUR The import and BMW distribution of the ALPINA B6 and B7 to the US is big news. They are all extremely rare and extremely cool, especially the new ALPINA B6 Gran Coupe. These ALPINA specials are a fantastic M car alternative, with more engines, xDrive and even diesel engines able to Alpina-fied. But the great thing about the ALPINA upgrade catalog is that all the parts that make these complete models are also available indivudally. There is a slight benefit to this for current BMW owners: you can target specific upgrades and install them over time. …

Read more ALPINA B5 Mods Available for USA BMW 5 series Owners

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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 …

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

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Porsche Macan Diesel with KAEGE.de Active Exhaust Sounds Like V8 Racecar!

Upping turbodiesel power via ECU programming is a fine art in Europe these days – with a plug and play upgrade one of the first things many buyers order right after their car arrives. But these massive power upgrades do not address another major issue with diesel engines versus gasoline: the exhaust note. Luckily, some talented tuners are fixing this with incredible skill. Kaege.de’s results in the before/after video below are nothing short of remarkable. Adjustable sound output levels are controlled via the cruise-control wheel stalk — with everything from a light growl to a full racing blatt available! Porsche …

Read more Porsche Macan Diesel with KAEGE.de Active Exhaust Sounds Like V8 Racecar!

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2015 Infiniti QX30 Concept Headed for Geneva

  The newest Infiniti is almost here! The QX30 Concept’s first teaser image is official, and is almost a dead ringer for the Q30 concept seen at Frankfurt 2013. From the back at least, the new QX30 does appeal to be significantly more SUV-ish than the low-riding Q30. This would imply there might be road and trail versions of the model in the cars. This version is also nearly production-ready (tires aside…) and should arrive in global Infiniti showrooms by December, we predict. The premium compact crossover is likely to be an influential design template, later rolling upmarket with a …

Read more 2015 Infiniti QX30 Concept Headed for Geneva

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Road Test Review – 2015 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Feels Light, Quick and Lux

 Video First Drive Review: 2015 VW Touareg TDI Clean Diesel INTRO Few people have been more scathing in their assessment of the new Touareg’s extremely light exterior refresh than us. But think about it: when a person gets a facelift, they do not want to be some shocking cat-lady whose new face is shocking from 100 yards away. You want it to be exceptionally subtle. You want to look 2X as fresh and young and modern, but without causing too much attention or interest in exactly how you achieved this fountain of youth. So goes the new Touareg’s refresh for …

Read more Road Test Review – 2015 Volkswagen Touareg TDI Feels Light, Quick and Lux

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1969 Mercedes-Benz C111 and 1970 C111-II: Wankel vs V8 Proved Piston-Engine Dominance

Updated 12.15.14 Including the first two C111 prototype designs here: the C111 proper from 1969 with a Wankel engine, and a C111-II running a 3.5-liter V8. The way to tell them apart is that the V8-powered C111-II has open spaces in the rear flying pillars, while the C111-I has louvered and solid-looking pillars.   1969 Mercedes-Benz C111 and 1970 C111-II     PREVIOUS The Mercedes-Benz C111 was a sports-car vision revealed in the late 1960s with a slant-nosed, mid-engine design far removed from any Mercedes passenger vehicle. It was part of the continuing quest to broaden the Mercedes brand into …

Read more 1969 Mercedes-Benz C111 and 1970 C111-II: Wankel vs V8 Proved Piston-Engine Dominance

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Concept Flashback – 2006 Peugeot 908 RC Was Rear-Engine V12 Diesel Limo

Peugeot is one of the most prolific OEMs when it comes to fantastic halo concepts. These very rarely are the lightly dressed-up versions of future production cars that other manufacturers trot out these days. They are pure and simple fantasy looks into the future. Often, though, these concepts are a fun and lavish way to preview actual design themes and styles that will make it to the brand’s mini hatchbacks in the coming years. And so it was with this 908 RC. Running the powertrain of the 908 HDi FAP Le Mans car, the 908 RC shows some slinky style …

Read more Concept Flashback – 2006 Peugeot 908 RC Was Rear-Engine V12 Diesel Limo

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201MPH 1977 Mercedes-Benz C111-III Diesel World Speed Record Car

The Mercedes-Benz C111 was a sports-car vision revealed in the late 1960s with a slant-nosed, mid-engine design far removed from any Mercedes passenger vehicle. It was part of the continuing quest to broaden the Mercedes brand into new segments, in this case the supercar market. We will cover the orange-colored C111 and C111-2 models in a later article. This post is dedicated to the much-later iteration on the theme from 1977 and 1978. The original C111’s Wankel engine was shelved indefinitely by the early 1970s, and production of the car was a non-starter due to dramatic Wankel failures in Audi …

Read more 201MPH 1977 Mercedes-Benz C111-III Diesel World Speed Record Car

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Update1 – 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Z71 6.6L DuraMax Diesel

Updated 12.1.14 With 35 Real-Life Photos Nothing too revolutionary here – the new 2015 Silverado HD has been on the roads since mid-summer. But even so, took the chance to snap this flagship of sorts in Florida. A flagship truck? Yes, when it is the top Z71 LTZ 4WD with the stump-pulling DuraMaz diesel option! This truck might not be as flashy as the lighter-weight 1500 models, but is a major force of nature on any work site. The sticker price proves how far trucks have come in the ranges of General Motors: this $71,000 Silverado HD is one of …

Read more Update1 – 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Z71 6.6L DuraMax Diesel

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HD First Drive Review – 2015 Ford Transit PowerStroke Diesel

  In the broad and deep Ford Transit line for 2015, there are more than 50 variations in cab setup, overall length, wheelbase, roof height, engine and rear axle setup. The dually rear-end in LWB, high-roof cargo configuration is surely one of the hardest-working in the bunch. This extends to its payload and tow ratings as well as its overall cost-of-ownership. For cargo and passenger Transits that will cover huge miles with a full pack of cargo in back or on tow, the PowerStroke diesel is a welcome option to consider. This cutting-edge 3.2-liter inline-5 diesel is one of the …

Read more HD First Drive Review – 2015 Ford Transit PowerStroke Diesel

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2015 Ford Transit Upfits Bring 30+ Factory-Adjacent Suppliers For Streamlined Procurement

One of the most impactful changes in the 2015 Transit vs Econoline is that a huge variety of custom cargo upfits can now be ordered right at a local Ford dealer or through any fleet manager. This means the trucks arrive ready-to-work with exactly the right set of interior cargo solutions, exterior racks or even full chassis conversions. We saw a great selection of the Transit Upfits available on Ford’s recent roadshow — and were very, very impressed. Ford’s suppliers all now have factories within 20-miles or so of the giant Transit hub in Kansas City. This means the trucks …

Read more 2015 Ford Transit Upfits Bring 30+ Factory-Adjacent Suppliers For Streamlined Procurement

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Update1 – 2015 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Concept Runs 2.8L DuraMax Diesel

  The new Chevrolet Colorado mid-size trucks seem just about pitch-perfect for many reluctant truck buyers. People who want to park easily both in the city and in their garages adore the Colorado’s right-sized approach and also love its Z71 off-road trim levels for added butchness and off-road-ability. The 2.8-liter turbodiesel engine has been confirmed by GMC and Chevrolet as coming to the Canyon and Colorado in a few months — so this ZR2 concept is a blend of real and fantasy. The ZR2 concept truck brings a cool and futuristic front end, revised styling all around the lower sills …

Read more Update1 – 2015 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Concept Runs 2.8L DuraMax Diesel

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2015 Unimog U5023 Gains Even-More-Hardcore Off-Road Equipment Package

Updated 11.11.14 As if the Unimog U5023 range-topper were not extreme enough for you… the sexy new flagship of the Unimog range can now be equipped with  a special off-roading package shown below. Giant tires and huge new wheel flares mark out the toughest and most-capable trucks in the world. The U4023 and U5023 are the freshest of the Unimog family visually thanks to that sweet new single-bar grille and a Mercedes star logo that is as big as a large pizza — and stares down at you from above eye level! Included below is the full write-up of the …

Read more 2015 Unimog U5023 Gains Even-More-Hardcore Off-Road Equipment Package

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Best Base SUV Trim? 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo from $29,000

We all know the new Jeep Grand Cherokee is the best truck ever to don the seven-slat grille. Watching the SRT GC’s launch control starts are intoxicating, and the latest LED style of a pinched horseshoe in the headlight graphic is very appealing. The top-spec Summit trim even brings some heavenly new open-pore woods and fine leathers to the cabin – but at a price. The top Grand Cherokee’s become quite expensive in the higher trim levels – even kissing $50,000 for the diesel engine in some trims. What about a GC for the rest of us? The 2014 Laredo …

Read more Best Base SUV Trim? 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo from $29,000

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Renault Espace New for 2015 With More-Butch Styling, Will Not Come to UK

  The Renault Espace has long been one of the biggest players in luxury French family travel. Consider its history: the minivan exemplar has been plying Europe’s roads since its near-simultaneous debut in the mid-80s with the Chrysler minivans over here in the States. Many variations on the Espace’s appeal have moved the car upmarket over the years, without reclaiming much if its initial sales volume from its first few generations. The new Espace is a seriously low-volume seller at this point, and will not be made in right-hand-drive since being dropped from the UK price lists two years back. …

Read more Renault Espace New for 2015 With More-Butch Styling, Will Not Come to UK

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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 Vauxhall Corsa Brings Adam Opel-style Nose, Better Engines and Cabin Refinement

Official Details are out for the next Opel/Vauxhall Corsa – which is by far the division’s greatest seller around the world. 370,000 units per year is nothing to sneeze at, especially as these buyers are in the highly-desirable under-40 age segment. While that might not seem like a cool or hip demo, it is actually pretty low by industry averages. 2015 Vauxhall Corsa     Vauxhall reveals fourth-generation Corsa First official pictures of New Corsa ahead of late-2014 launch New engines, transmissions and engine technology New interior with IntelliLink Set for unveil at Paris Show, October 4-19 Luton – These are …

Read more 2015 Vauxhall Corsa Brings Adam Opel-style Nose, Better Engines and Cabin Refinement

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2014 Mercedes-Benz E400 BlueTec Hybrid – Gibraltar to Goodwood… In One Tank of Diesel?

Is EU Immigration reform debate stymied by classy and comfortable luxury cars!? It seems the E-Class Mercedes-Benz is as good as any passport for slipping from Africa up to the UK on just one tank of fuel… Of course, the Diesel-electric energy solution has long been the preferred method for locomotives – but thought too expensive for cars until Mercedes-Benz and a few French OEMs built them both into one car. It seems to be the best of all worlds – except for Mr. Frnakel’s bladder! 2014 Mercedes-Benz E400 BlueTec Hybrid Official Details below from Mercedes-Benz UK. 1,223-MILES: E-CLASS TRAVELS …

Read more 2014 Mercedes-Benz E400 BlueTec Hybrid – Gibraltar to Goodwood… In One Tank of Diesel?

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2014 Range Rover Sport Stealth Pack Brings Black 21s or 22-inch Wheels

This new addition to the Range Rover Sport is very welcome to keep it as stylish as its Cayenne arch-rival. The just-announced Stealth Pack includes satin-black wheels in two sizes for a premium of about $2,000 for the 21’s and up to $3,500 for the 22-inch wheel upgrade. Pricing is not yet official for the US market, but its arrival later this summer year is almost guaranteed based on the huge RRS demand this market provides Land Rover. 2014 Range Rover Sport Stealth Pack RANGE ROVER SPORT STEALTH PACK MAKES ITS GLOBAL DEBUT AT GOODWOOD FESTIVAL OF SPEED Range Rover …

Read more 2014 Range Rover Sport Stealth Pack Brings Black 21s or 22-inch Wheels

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Concept Flashback: 2012 Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Force

The Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-force concept from Los Angeles 2012 deserves a fresh look, despite its ridiculous name. As part of the annual LA design challenge, the Ener-G truck seemed a bit too whimsical to ever see production. But could times be changing? The Galendewagen must be made until 2017 (I believe) based on a supply agreement with the German government. While keeping production lines open, the luxury G63 AMG is a consistent superstar for the brand. Even if only a few hundred are sold per year – the margins on a $150,000 SUV offer plenty of leverage to keep G-wagon fans …

Read more Concept Flashback: 2012 Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Force

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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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2015 GMC Sierra All-Terrain HD – Real-Life Launch Photos of the King-Kong 2015 HD Truck

GMC is on a roll right now – sales are way up, market share is up, and diesel engine adoption is above 70-percent among HD truck buyers. This is all great news for the company, and shows that buyers are stepping up to the HD trucks in record numbers. The trade-offs for doing so are less than ever before, and the payout is far more capability. To make the transition as smooth as possible from the loaded half-ton trucks to the 2500 and 3500 HD lines, the Denali trim comes along and now the All Terrain package (available of SLE …

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New 2014 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Vans in Real Life + 2015 4×4 Model Details

The Big Van wars are going nuclear this year! While the segment has languished in obscurity for at least the last thirty years, the Econoline and Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana have quietly hoovered up nearly 100,000 sales each to some of the nation’s hardest-working owners. Yes, pickups like the F-150 might be a more popular lifestyle choice, but nothing truly gets more work done – and more people hauled – than the largest of vans. The segment is slowly reinventing itself with the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter starting the modernization wave nearly a decade ago under the Freightliner and Ram brands. Another all-new …

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2015 INFINITI QX60 Buyers Guide – Pricing, Specs and Features – AWD Hybrid Highly Recommended

There was a time when the Hybrid models in many car ranges were much more of a style and eco-conscience type of choice. The biggest example of this paradox of the Hybrid actually being a far worse machine, but much more successful with consumers, is the Lexus RX350 versus the RX450h. The RX Hybrid is so ubiquitous that it is easy to forget the standard model still exists! But is it a better car? That is very open to debate – as the Lexus system of AWD with electric power to the back axle is less-than-helpful in many slick road …

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MOPAR Adding Huge JEEP Upgrade Options — Cherokee Adventurer, Cherokee Dakar and Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel Trail Warrior

Jeep just debuted a six-pack of new concepts for next week’s Moab off-road rally — which annually gathers thousands of Jeeps and Jeepers together for adventures out on the rocky desert trails. And more than a little fun back at base camp, too! This annual event is a huge part of Jeep culture — and is surely one of the biggest off-road extravaganza’s anywhere in the world. The new Cherokee adds Adventurer and Dakar spec levels via the MOPAR upgrades, while the Grand Cherokee is now upfit as a Trail Warrior in EcoDiesel spec. A diesel is perfect for off-roading …

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2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD Arriving Now To Dealers Nationwide — High Country Edition Tops The Range in Style

The first Silverado HD trucks are rolling into dealers nationwide this month — with the High Country topping things nicely via a monochrome exterior and a Denali-level cabin overhaul. The 2015 Sierra HD will offer a Denali pack — which, if we’re not mistaken, is a new flagship equipment level for GM’s 2500HD and 3500HD rigs.   The Silverado HD’s updates are actually much deeper than a facelift, with the largest changes coming from the way the truck body is mounted to the chassis. Chevrolet is using a new type of welding process that is claimed to bring large increases …

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INFINITI Q50 Upping Pressure on BMW With Aggressive New Turbo Engines — 2.0L Turbo for Europe … or 560HP GT-R V6 for US!

Okay, that is not super fair. The European market is also a sure thing for the Q50 Eau Rouge, which runs a 560-horsepower twin turbocharged engine that is closely related, if not the exact same, as what powers the upgraded 2014 Nissan GT-R. But the bigger news may be down at the lower end of the range: Europe is the first market to benefit from a new sharing deal with Mercedes-Benz. Infiniti will borrow the brand-new 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that is seeing duty, or will soon see action, in everything from the CLA250 to the E250. So, the Infiniti Q50 …

Read more INFINITI Q50 Upping Pressure on BMW With Aggressive New Turbo Engines — 2.0L Turbo for Europe … or 560HP GT-R V6 for US!

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Latest GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali and 3500HD Bring Class-Exclusive LEDs and Very Premium Designs

The 2015 GMC Sierra HD is quite an appealing machine. Its chunky fender arches and butch panels are at once both very stylish as well as very functional.   The LED addition in the headlamps of the Sierra HD are a treat, and a segment-exclusive item for the time being. They really help the Sierra line feel new and unique versus the latest Silverado line, which lack this element and can feel a bit stale visually by comparison. The Chevrolet HD trucks are more distinctive in being new versus the 1500, but all the Chevy trucks are less revamped than …

Read more Latest GMC Sierra 2500HD Denali and 3500HD Bring Class-Exclusive LEDs and Very Premium Designs

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302HP 2015 GMC Canyon COLORS Guide

The 2015 GMC Canyon and Chevy Colorado are shaping up to be huge news in a stagnant segment: mid-size trucks. Compact trucks? Not a “thing” anymore. Everybody who is anybody is going mid-size. As the Toyota Tacoma grew in size markedly to match the (long-gone; not missed) Dodge Dakota in size, others are quickly following suit. The next Nissan Frontier is debating various diesel engine options for a big revision for the 2016 model year, and even Ford is internally debating reviving the Ranger model for US sales. But the real news in this segment? Buyers are terminally bored with …

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TechArt Showing 13 Mad Porsche Customs in Geneva + Exclusive 911 Noselift System for Tall Driveways

Geneva supercars? Again? Oh yes. TechArt is one of my favorite technical upgrade shops because their focus is primarily under the hood. Yes, they embellish their models with lurid body kits and wild colors: but that is only to show off the amazing power and grip solutions TechArt has done in the oily parts of these Porsches. A few all-stars are present and accounted-for in the TechArt Geneva lineup, with much focus these days on the Cayenne and Panamera. The 911 is not left out: TechArt’s upgraded 911’s also look good enough to kiss on the badge. TECHART unveils numerous …

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German Special Customs Turns Mercedes-Benz ML into Autobahn Cruise Missile

This overhaul looks seriously awesome, and completely reinvigorates the Mercedes-Benz ML from the outside – its weakest current point. This W166 generation of ML-Class is actually far better than ever before under skin and inside, where this versatile family car now equals the cabin quality of the E-Class.   The latest Mercedes-Benz ML Widebody kit from German Special Customs dramatically increases the road presence of this mid-size SUV. From well below the Jeep Grand Cherokee in the styling stakes — to flexing and eating Cayenne Turbo’s for breakfast. The Mercedes-Benz ML is a relatively unloved member of the range, albeit …

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PICKUP TRUCK SURVEY: What Are 350 Lb-Ft and 30+ MPG Worth? Nissan Seeks Input on Future Diesel Frontier

Survey Link: www.tinyurl.com/nissanfrontiersurvey The Nissan Frontier Diesel was an exciting surprise for a smash-hit Chicago auto show this year. This is an exciting discovery from the photos below: The Boost Gauge Goes Up To 35 PSI! That is a lot of boost. My Subaru Legacy GT’s OEM turbo maxed out at 12.2 PSI. Okay, but what about the WRX STI? Only 15 PSI. Second exciting photo realization? If a Diesel Frontier is in the pipeline with this Xterra roof rack, could the diesel also fit in Nissan’s next-gen SUVs? Third one? New rear long-tail spoiler tells me this truck has …

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Happy St. Valentine’s Day! BMW Debuts 225i Active Tourer to UK Lovers

This is big news. BMW has been working on smoothly transitioning its lower-range models to a new front-drive setup. Why? It is simply much better for packaging and cost-to-build reasons. Furthermore, buyers who might snap up a BMW at Ford prices might not really mind which wheels take more of the drive energy. Especially if there is extra room in back for strollers, child seats and all. THe UK debut of the 218i, 218d and 225i Active Tourers previews how these cars may ultimately look if they come to America. Will they be soggy-to-drive? No. BMW has proven itself very …

Read more Happy St. Valentine’s Day! BMW Debuts 225i Active Tourer to UK Lovers

Concept Flashback: 2012 Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-Force Is Potential 2015 Paris-Dakar Hybrid?

The Mercedes-Benz Ener-G-force concept from the 2012 Los Angeles deserves a fresh look. As part of the annual LA design challenge, the Ener-G truck seemed a bit too whimsical to ever see production. But could times be changing? The Galendewagen must be made until 2017 (I believe) based on a supply agreement with the German government. While keeping production lines open, the luxury G63 AMG is a consistent superstar for the brand. Even if only a few hundred are sold per year – the margins on a $150,000 SUV offer plenty of leverage to keep G-wagon fans happy. So how …

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Update1 – Future Taxi Faceoff: Ford Transit Connect vs. NissanT4L vs. Current TX4

The London taxi market is heating up this winter, with companies eager to step in for the polluting, unsafe, unreliable and undignified British Manganese TX4. The Nissan NV200 – what I affectionately call the NissanTaxi4London – is a much better long-term solution to healthy, quiet and safe urban streets than any TX4.   Update: All the below critiques are aimed at the old, classic “London Cab” and not the Nissan. Yes, yes. Nobody likes the TX4 on any rational level. But they have grown accustomed… to its face.   Why so hard on the old TX4 claptraps? This is a …

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BMW 328d and 328i Wagons Back in U.S. for 2014 – Buyers Guide

Fast wagons are cooler than ever in 2014. Even a lowly Jetta Sportwagen on dark steel winter wheels can cause a double-take. They are rare, and achieve a low-roof profile that all the sportiest SUVs envy. Even better? Sweeping on-ramps and highway curves can be confidently driven fast, on throttle, with family and kids in the back. Try the same thing in many SUVs, and there will be much more body roll and potential life partner jabs to ribs. Slow down!     But the low, low center of gravity is like a gift that keeps on giving with the …

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GLK250 Diesel Joins GLK350 from $37,000 – Buyers Guide to AMG Sport trims

The Mercedes-Benz GLK350 is a cool little truck. The really great thing about this package versus other crossovers is how agile and fun it is to toss around. The low proportions and general handling excellence really shame the Acura RDX and even the Range Rover Evoque. The GLK makes no apologies for its macho lines, and really looks exclusive on city streets. The GLK is rear-drive as standard, making this one of the most balanced in its segment for fast drivers. That segment is growing fast, with the GLA250 also joining the U.S. price books for 2014, and the BMW …

Read more GLK250 Diesel Joins GLK350 from $37,000 – Buyers Guide to AMG Sport trims

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2014 Nissan Titan Packs Standard 5.6L V8 for $29,000 in Big FU to F150

6.8-seconds to 60MPH, 317 horsepower, chain-driven DOHC… Everyone loves a bargain, and Nissan’s 2014 Titan pricing is still $5,000 under the F-150 at all EcoBoost Fords. Will it get muddy and carry the dogs? The PRO-4X definitely looks like it is having fun ‘muddin’ out there in Beaumont, Texas. Reviewing the specs and photos – I have to say I am almost giddy with delight. Did you know the 2014 Titan was so powerful? I assumed at least one level of V6 engine was in the lineup. Nope – this is the same Q45-derived, IndyCar-powering, Smooth and Huge engine from …

Read more 2014 Nissan Titan Packs Standard 5.6L V8 for $29,000 in Big FU to F150

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Hot New Trucks: 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo from $29,000

We all know the new Jeep Grand Cherokee is the best truck ever to don the seven-slat grille. Watching the SRT GC’s launch control starts are intoxicating, and the latest LED style of a pinched horseshoe in the headlight graphic is very appealing. The top-spec Summit trim even brings some heavenly new open-pore woods and fine leathers to the cabin – but at a price. The top Grand Cherokee’s become quite expensive in the higher trim levels – even kissing $50,000 for the diesel engine in some trims. What about a GC for the rest of us? The 2014 Laredo …

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Video: Latest Formula E Cars Sound Like Sexy Jets in Track Testing

Formula E is really shaping up to be a remarkable series!   TV rights are being finalized all over the world for the first race in 2015, and the teams count is now up to ~nine with the latest Mahindra and ABT AudiSport on-boarding. But the real highlight of a visit to Formula E’s website is the video intro. Listen to these cars! No Audi e-tron or R18 I’ve heard sounds anything like this. My reference point is Petit Le Mans 2012, I believe, with the big Audi’s and even bigger HDI FAP cars terrorizing the senses as they raced …

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2014 Unimog U5023 Now Packing Scary Style and Tech

2014 Unimog U5023 Now Packing Scary Style and Tech The legendary Mercedes-Benz Unimog all-terrain trucks are refreshed for 2013 with a comprehensive makeover inside the cabin, underneath that boxed ladder chassis and outside with a menacing new grille and LED lighting. The top of the new Unimog lineup in terms of off-road ability is the new U5023 model, which replaces the previous U5000 nameplates. Sharing the nose layout with its shorter sibling, the U4023, these models are the freshest outside with a dramatic new single-wing grille to house the dinner-plate-sized Mercedes star emblem. This is a unique touch for the …

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