Car news


Strong customer demand for Maserati’s new range of models has the company eyeing expanding its offerings. The word out on the street is that the Alfieri sports car that we saw at the Geneva Motor Show may have a production future down the road. Don’t look now, folks, but Maserati has been on a roll lately, which should be cause for concern for a lot of its competitors.

According to Automotive News, the sharp increase in sales the company is receiving could pave the way for the arrival of the Alfieri in the next two years, following the launch of the Levante SUV sometime next year. Since the beginning of the year, the Italian automaker has been receiving roughly 3,500 orders per month, and if that figure holds steady until the end of the year, Maserati’s sales would reach over 40,000. That’s an incredible rise in demand compared to the 15,400 models that were sold just last year.

Maserati is a hot name these days, especially in the U.S., where first quarter sales shot up 331 percent compared to last year. These robust returns wasn’t lost on Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne and his strategy of shifting the parent company’s focus to its luxury holdings, like Maserati, is paying off handsomely. "We are equipped to go on the attack against the giants in our industry," Marchionne said last month at Fiat’s annual shareholders’ meeting.

"Our strategy to expand into the more profitable premium segments has clearly begun to generate results."

And with results dramatically shooting Maserati’s stock among the public, Fiat is looking into striking while the iron is hot. That’s where the Alfieri could come in and become Maserati’s answer to industry stalwarts like the Porsche 911 Turbo and upstarts like the Jaguar F-Type .

Click past the jump to read more about the Maserati Alfieri

The title of the story isn’t a misprint, nor is it an overdue April Fool’s joke. But it is pretty silly, isn’t it? A Ford Focus taking on a Koenigsegg Agera R ? Clearly, this isn’t going to end well for the Focus with an even race. But what if the odds were stacked a little bit in favor of the Ford hatchback ? Say a half-mile headstart in a mile-long race with the Agera R? That’s like asking me to race Usain Bolt with a 50-meter headstart in a 100-meter race.

The results of this Focus versus Agera R race may surprise given the conditions being set. But it’s not the kind of surprise you’re likely to expect because, quite frankly, the Koenigsegg Agera R is one hellacious machine the likes of which very few cars in this world can even come close to matching.

The General looks like it’s back to badge engineering these days, as the Chevrolet Trax treks across the state at the 2014 New York Auto Show. Though it might only be a reworked Buick Encore, the Trax is aimed at a completely different audience — one that is noticeably younger.

The Trax may be a new vehicle for the U.S., but it’s been sold in Canada and other markets around the world since 2012. Thought it’s not new, the Trax gets some needed updates before entering the U.S. market. The interior receives the majority of the updating with an upright dashboard, optional center touch screen and infotainment system, a Chevy Sonic- like gauge cluster, and a steering wheel copped from the Cruze .

The Trax seems aimed at those shopping for Sonics or Cruzes, but want something more high-riding and SUVish. That combination of small dimensions, an upright posture, and a large cargo hold (with the seats down) has worked well for Buick so far.

Like the interior, the drivetrain is rather familiar. Power comes from the 1.4-liter, turbocharged, inline four-cylinder making 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. While it’s a direct bolt-in from the Cruze, the Trax does offer an all-wheel-drive option. That combined with the higher ground clearance, and the Trax seems well suited for trudging through those pesky Polar Vortexes.

Chevy’s newest crossover offers plenty of standard features across its trim levels. Available in LS, LT, and LTZ, the Trax comes standard with a backup camera, StabiliTrak with ABS and electronic brake force distribution, and 10 airbags.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Chevrolet Trax.

Some of us consider buying a new pair of Jordans as money well spent. But for a guy like Jay Leno, Jordans just don’t cut it anymore. If you want to get this guy all giddy, he needs to buy something he really wants, which in this case happens to be a McLaren P1 .

Recently, Leno was captured taking the P1 out to stretch its legs and by looking at how excited he was just by getting out of it, you can tell that Leno already has a soft spot for this incredible piece of British engineering. If it weren’t so big, we would have thought he’s been hugging it in bed every night since he received it.

The McLaren P1 is a legitimate bad-ass, one that’s capable of producing a staggering 903 horsepower and 1,100 pound-feet of torque. That allows the P1 to cover 0-to-60 mph in just 2.7 seconds, faster than some of us can move our foot from the brake to the gas pedal when a traffic light turns green. Top speed is at 217 mph, which pretty much means it’s ridiculously fast.

The Scion xB still looks like a shoebox, but give credit to Scion for not giving up on this model when so many others would have. On the contrary, Scion’s actually continuing to build up the xB with debut of the Release Series 10.0, a specially designed xB that comes with a whole new list of modern technologies.

Limited to just 1,500 units — like the FR-S Release Series 1.0 — the xB Release Series 10.0 doesn’t completely change the vehicle’s outward appearance, but it does have a host of modifications that at least makes it look a little more presentable. That’s probably the only recourse Scion has in differentiating the xB Release Series 10.0 from the standard version, so it set out to do just that, dressing up the model with am Electric Quartz paint that it describes as a mixture of pearl white with subtle green highlights.

That’s just the beginning of a range of new bits for the xB Release Series 10.0. But the best part is that the model is expected to hit dealerships this summer at a price of $20,420, excluding the $755 in delivery, processing and handling fees. Not too bad for a relatively exclusive xB.

Before that, though, the Scion xB Release Series 10.0 made a quick stop at the 2014 New York Auto Show for its official debut.

Click past the jump to read more about the Scion xB Release Series 10.0.

Remember that odd Subaru teaser image that we showed you just before the 2014 New York Auto Show? Well, as predicted, this teaser was of the RedBull Global Rallycross car that is set to run in the 2014 season. Too bad though, we were really hoping for a special-edition 2015 Subaru WRX STI , but this is still pretty darn cool.

This rally machine is a unique-looking car that comes with all the bells and whistles of a tried-and-true dirt and gravel tosser. From the custom wide-body to the carbon-fiber, modified STI spoiler to the rally-car-standard roof scoop, Subaru Rally Team USA and Vermont SportsCar spared no expense to make the car as competition-ready as possible.

The interior of the WRX STI has been reconfigured for exclusive rallying purposes, so whatever luxury amenities the car had when it first came to life have been taken out and replaced with a host of racing equipment.So don’t go looking around for an audio system, navigation or a soft-touch dash; this thing is all racer.

Rounding out the rally makeover of the WRX STI is a new set of Method Race Wheels that have been wrapped in the series’ official Yokohama race-spec tires.

The 2014 RedBull Global Rally Championships holds its season-opening race on May 18th. Subaru Rally Team USA is expected to field a strong team with drivers Bucky Lasek and Sverre Isachsen, as well as Travis Pastrana and David Haggins, behind the wheel of the WRX STI GRC this fall.

Click past the jump to read more about the standard Subaru WRX STI.

The Pagani Huayra continues to be one of the most mental supercars in the world, and even if its in prototype form as this lime green piece of awesomeness is, the Huayra still commands an audience like very few supercars can.

This particular model, which was captured by Marchettino, is actually labeled as Prototype 3, the same vehicle the Italian company used in the development of its electrical components. But whereas it used to don a more subdued matte-black finish with gold wheels, Pagani decided to make it look a lot more, shall we say, "electric."

So the company sought Car Wrapping Milano to give the Huayra Prototype 3 a bright lime green wrap to go with the original matte black accents around the rear bumper and diffuser area. Matching lime green brake calipers were also installed, finishing off a dramatic and colorful change for the Huayra test car.

The rest is nothing short of incredible and probably justifies the twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter AMG -sourced V10 engine under its hood even more. Nothing speaks to a car’s bombastic 720-horsepower output more than an equally bombastic lime green wrap that instantly makes it the envy of all other Huayras.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

When you’re driving a McLaren 650S there’s no such thing as too much track action. Be it the Nurburgring, Silverstone or Laguna Seca, McLaren ’s new sports car is in its natural environment.

Being brand-new, the 650S didn’t get too much track action up until now, save for the enduring testing session it was subjected to during development. But that will soon change as customers will start receiving their cars and, hopefully, they won’t be keeping them in air-conditioned garages.

Deliveries are still a few months off, but we’re happy to report that the folks over at Sport Auto got their hands on a McLaren 650S Spider and took it straight to the Hockenheim track, the other famous German racing course.

Their track test obviously included a full lap on the Formula One circuit, but they also did a top-speed trial. And this is where thing got more than interesting, as the 650S Spider managed to overcome its official top speed, which is rated at 204 mph.

Pushed to the very limit in its seventh gear and at about 7,500 rpm, the sports car reached 331 km/h, which is about 205.6 miles per hour. Sure, the gap is rather tiny, but it’s still something worth knowing and, more importantly, watching.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

Most of you are probably already familiar with the Honda Fit , the five-door subcompact that’s available nationwide with a puny, 1.5-liter four-pot under the hood. What you might not be aware of is that the automaker also builds a crossover on the same underpinnings. It’s dubbed the Vezel and has been offered in Japan since last December.

No biggie, because you’ll get to see it in person in the fourth quarter of 2014, when Honda brings it to America under the HR-V name. The new vehicle will fit right below the popular CR-V and will be manufactured in Mexico before being shipped to U.S. showrooms.

Details are limited at the time of this writing, but the first official photos released at the New York Auto Show reveal that the HR-V has very little in common with the Fit as far as design goes, bearing a styling of its own that includes a few trademark cues seen on the larger CR-V.

Honda says the HR-V will be quite the spacious and practical vehicle, thanks to "a unique center tank layout" and the Magic Seat system it will be fitted with. If you’re not familiar with the latter, it allows for multiple seating configurations and a second row that can be folded completely for extra cargo space.

There’s no word on powertrains, but expect the HR-V to be motivated by the same 1.5-liter four-cylinder unit found in the Fit. The engine delivers 130 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque through a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT, enabling the hatchback to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 8.5 seconds.

Pricing is also a mystery, but our guess is the brand-new crossover’s sticker will sit anywhere between $18,000 and $19,000.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Honda HR-V.


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