~3.4s, 196MPH 2016 Ferrari CALI Turbo – New Handling Speciale Pack Sharpens Pace, Looks

Ferrari just unveiled one of its Geneva show debuts: the new Handling Speciale pack on the California Turbo. This promises quicker responses and more intense track settings. This is the first honing of the Cali since its refresh and new engine for 2015.  Upgrades are said to be pretty noticeable on the road — with the transmission and throttle maps now better matched for the V8TT’s power delivery. A shoutier quartet of pipes out back help too. Outside, the HS pack brings a few new elements in a matching matte finish. Grille bars, exhausts, diffuser and ventwork is all darkened. …

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HD Road Test Review – 2016 Hyundai Veloster RALLY Turbo 6-Speed Manual

Welcome to the hottest Hyundai Veloster ever! Huge news for the 2016 model brings an all-new handling tune and available twin-clutch automatic option for the R-Spec, Turbo and Veloster Rally like our test car. And the changes are SERIOUSLY good!  After a week of grins and hooning at full throttle, the Veloster Rally Edition even moves up an entire competitive class in our eyes.  From before battling the Ford Fiesta ST or Nissan Juke NISMO, and up to being a credible threat to the VW GTI, Ford Focus ST and even Subaru WRX. Seriously?  How!? The 2016 Veloster is not perfect …

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2017 Sportage SX Turbo

2017 KIA Sportage SX Turbo Debut – Quad LEDs + Euro Handling Focus

The new Sportage is here in USA form, which we pleased to say looks exactly like the min-Cayenne of the Euro GT-Line rangetopper. The poshest trim for the USA is the SX Turbo AWD, as shown here. 2017 KIA Sportage SX Turbo PREVIOUS KIA’s push to excel globally is ramping up nicely. Frankfurt, California and Korea-based teams are now aligned to make the most of each area’s strengths. Korea as the lead manufacturing hub/supplier base, Cali as a tech and design center of excellence, and the European R&D division taking a much bigger role in vehicle development. It is a …

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Track Drive Review – 2016 Buick Regal GS – Flypaper Handling Is Now $3k Cheaper!

Autobahn Country Club might be my “Happy Place.” Recalling this track’s frisky bends, howling tires and full-throttle straightaways brings a smile instantly. Buick invited us to flog their performance flagship, the 2016 Regal GS, around the Illinois track and autocross to show off the machine’s latest updates: new colors and a price that is much more approachable. How approachable!?  A cool $3,300 off the base price for the GS takes the entry level to $35k versus near $38k before.  Three drivetrains continue for 2016: FWD auto, FWD manual and AWD automatic. The GS AWD we tested out still comes in …

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2.8s, 450HP 2016 Lotus 3-Eleven Nearing 7-min Nurburgring Laptime + Evora 400R Now Shipping!

Lotus just completed a 1200-mile testing session at the Nurburgring Nordeschleife, and the stopwatch is promising some fantastic pace! As the lightest and most-powerful Lotus ever made, this new 3-Eleven has high hopes for the brand at toppling the Radicals, BAC Mono, various Caterhams and numerous other track specials. After all, a lightweight track machine is Lotus’s core identity!  Who are these upstarts carving global sales from Hethel!? Even taking the 3-Eleven to the Nurburgring is huge news: most Lotus handling and performance R&D is handled on the firm’s headquarters test tracks. Jaguar and Aston share that track too at …

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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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2016_Lexus_RX_350_F_SPORT_006_D0F0E62A3FDA81EF3F718D52513104BDF9A8A1A4

Update1 – 2016 Lexus RX350 and RX450h Are All-New Inside and Out

Updated 9.8.15 With 101 Real-Life Photos The all-new Lexus RX is here and stunning! As Lexus’ all-star sales champ, the RX redesign for 2016 is an all-important step in keeping the Big L’s sales and market share near the top of the luxury brand ranks. To fend of new competition from all sides in this five-seat crossover segment, the RX is dramatically redone in almost every way. First off, the style. DESIGN ANALYSIS Wearing Lexus’s new design brief and its interesting, unique and captivating creases and angles, the RX is far more exciting to look at than it has been …

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2017 KIA Sportage 1

2017 KIA Sportage First Look: GT Line Quad LEDs + Euro Handling Focus

KIA’s push to excel globally is ramping up nicely. Frankfurt, California and Korea-based teams are now aligned to make the most of each area’s strengths. Korea as the lead manufacturing hub/supplier base, Cali as a tech and design center of excellence, and the European R&D division taking a much bigger role in vehicle development. It is a smart foundation for KIA’s move to become Hyundai’s sportier cousin. As it stands, the Kia range is broad but lacks a cohesive, defining nature. The firm has their eyes on BMW. If they can engineer cars to be sold world-wide in one chassis …

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Road Test Review – 2015 Toyota Camry XSE 2.5L – Sportier Handling + Surprising Four-Cylinder Pace

2015 Toyota Camry XSE 2.5L Review America’s sweetheart is heavily redesigned inside and out for 2015, so you are forgiven for missing a few trim-level additions for this year: an XSE four-cylinder and even an SE Hybrid. What’s the rationale behind Toyota’s move to bring flagship style and handling upgrades to all powertrains? — pretty low take rate for the V6 dramatically limited the previous V6 SE’s possible market share. This also cut the number of people who benefited from its crisper steering, handling and design outside — the new XSE upgrades outside, in the suspension/tire setup and cabin are …

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