Car news

Posted on by Simona  

With a history that began in 1989, the Mazda MX-5 is one of the best sold convertibles on the market. In its 21 years of history, the MX-5 saw three different generations, numerous design updates, and even more engine changes. However, the most impressive update has been announced for the fourth generation that is set to be launched in 2012.

The Mazda MX-5 will remain a rear-wheel drive compact sports coupe with exterior design inspired by the Shinari Concept unveiled earlier this year. With the new generation, Mazda will focus on reducing the total weight to less than 1,000 kilos.

At the launch of the Shinari concept, Ikuo Maeda, general manager of Mazda Motor Corp.’s design division said: "this design will lead to the next generation of Mazda design and will lead to other elements." Guess the MX-5 will be among the first to adopt Mazda’s new "Kodo - Soul of Motion" design language.

Update 4/17/2014: The 2015 MX-5’s chassis and engine debuted at the 2014 New York International Auto Show, and its lightweight construction will help drop 220 pounds from the MX-5’s weight. See more after the jump.

Hit the jump to read more about the fourth generation Mazda MX-5.

Here it is folks, the "all-new" 2015 Dodge Charger . At first glance, I was a tad disgusted by the revisions, as they seemed rather light. But upon further examination, they began to grow on me and I noticed they were more extensive than I initially thought. Dodge changed up a ton of exterior metal, including the hood, fenders, fascias, front doors, R/T spoiler, taillights, headlights, center-mounted stop light, wheel selection, and added a few heritage colors. On the inside, I see a new seven-inch TFT gauge cluster, a new radio and touchscreens (available in 5- or 8.4-inch), a brand-new steering wheel, a bad-ass shifter, a new Dodge Performance Pages app and some new interior trimming.

The biggest change on the inside — other than more stylish aesthetics — is that Dodge Performance Pages, which is only available on the R/T model. This program, which is accessible through the 8.4-inch touchscreen, has active launch control with various RPM settings for perfect off-the-line acceleration, and performance timers and gauges, including G-force meters, engine oil, transmission oil and coolant temperatures, oil pressure, and engine performance. From the images, I can see there are two pages of gauges, and Dodge did not talk about what’s on page two. I assume this will be things like tire pressure, tire temperature and maybe brake temperature.

With the changes to the 2015 Ford Mustang and the anticipated changes in the next-gen Camaro , it looks like the muscle car realm is reaching for new heights.

Have a look after the jump to see other key changes for the 2015 Dodge Charger

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

Acura unveiled the 2015 TLX at the 2014 New York International Auto Show . It’s pretty surprising seeing it already, considering we just saw the TLX Prototype in Detroit a few months ago. But it looks like Acura’s moving ahead with the production of the TLX in an attempt to stake its name in the performance luxury sedan market.

The objective of the company is pretty obvious. The TL sedan just wasn’t cutting it, struggling to gain any traction in the face of stiff competition from other models. So in an attempt to jump start its fortunes in the midsize luxury segment, the TLX is set to arrive packing a new and refined sports-sedan design to go with Acura’s next-generation powertrain and handling technologies.

The engine options are an interesting development because the two-wheel drive 2015 TLX will carry two new powerplants, including a 2.4-liter, 16-valve, i-VTEC four-cylinder that’s mated to an all-new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and a more powerful 3.5-liter, 24-valve, i-VTEC V-6 mated to a new nine-speed automatic transmission.

Handling of the TLX was also carefully upgraded, thanks to Acura’s new Super-Handling All Wheel Drive system that’s not only 25 percent lighter than its predecessor, but also incorporates new torque-vectoring control logic that ensures superior handling efficiency for the TLX.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Acura TLX.

It goes without saying that the Lexus CT 200h is about as unique a car you can find for a hybrid hatch . Lexus has done a lot of work to bring out the best of this model in the past few years, even adding the unique spindle grille styling for the 2014 model. But even that wasn’t enough for the company because lo and behold, we now have the CT 200h F Sport.

The graduation from the standard model to the one with an F Sport stamp of approval is mostly limited to aesthetic and aerodynamic changes, but the difference between the two is pretty drastic, particularly on how sportier and more aggressive the front section of the CT 200h F Sport looks. Those inserts really do a lot to bring out the hybrid’s menacing look, right?

We certainly think so, and that’s one of the reasons why we think highly of the model, other than its obvious performance and efficiency numbers.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Lexus CT 200h F Sport.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

Now that Viper production is on temporary halt due to poor sales , it seems that the folks over at Street and Racing Technology (SRT) are spending time developing a new, special edition version of its V-10-powered sports car .

The brand’s newest iteration, which is on display at the New York Auto Show as we speak, brings together two of the meanest SRT Vipers launched throughout the last 12 months. We’re talking about the Viper Anodized Carbon Special Edition and the Corvette ZR1 -killing Viper TA (short for Time Attack).

Suggestively named Anodized Carbon Special Edition TA, the new model takes the coolest features from the aforementioned versions: a unique-looking body and a track-prepped chassis.

As you might already know, the 2014 SRT Viper Anodized Carbon Special Edition features an exclusive grey-like, metallic matte exterior color, satin black exhaust bezels, gloss black badges and a carbon-fiber rear applique. Moving over to the Viper TA, it’s main highlights are a Bilstein Damptronic suspension system tuned for track use, racing stabilizer bars, a carbon-fiber X-brace and high-performance Brembo brakes.

So what happens when you take these machines and build them into one?

Click past the jump to find out more about the SRT Viper Anodized Carbon Special Edition TA.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

With the new, lightning-fast Porsche 911 GT3 already on the streets - actually most of them are in the workshop for an engine replacement due to fire risk — it’s only natural for us petrol heads to be anxious for a new GT3 RS version to come out of Stuttgart.

Word has it the recent 911 GT3 fire debacle may have prompted the Germans to approach a slower, but safer development process, a decision that would make sense, but it appears that didn’t stop Porsche from taking the RS out for a new test session at the Nurburgring track.

Wearing very little camouflage, the prototype reveals the RS’ new aerodynamic body tweaks, which begin from the front bumper and go all the way back to the massive wing. A closer look at the revised front fascia shows the car sports a larger lip spoiler, with two canards mounted on the sides. These are actually new on the RS, having been offered only on the RS 4.0 version in the past.

The hood and the roof have also been reshaped, as were the fenders, which have been widened to house fatter wheels and tires. Around the back, the modified bumper is barely noticeable with the huge wing in sight. The unit is only slightly taller, but its new shape suggests it will provide even more grip.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Porsche GT3 RS.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

As a luxury manufacturer, having an exclusive personalization program is mandatory these days. BMW has the Individual program, Porsche offers new, bold designs via Porsche Exclusive , while Mercedes-Benz will be happy to take your hard-earned to offer you some of its Designo exterior paints and interior leather and trims.

As expected, Audi doesn’t want to fall behind on this front so it stormed the New York Auto Show with a more exclusive take on the 2014 RS7 four-door coupe. Already an aggressive-looking and luxurious vehicle, the said model got a few bells and whistles inside and out and a new name.

Dubbed Dynamic Edition, the fanciest member of the RS7 lineup isn’t just a unique showroom model built to exemplify "some of the personalization options that are possible through Audi’s exclusive program." It will go into production and will hit dealerships this summer, but its price tag might be a turn off for U.S. customers.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Audi Exclusive RS7 Dynamic Edition.

Volkswagen has unveiled all of the juicy bits for the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI . Suffice to say, the MK VII Golf GTI has the refined power we all look for in a sports hatchback . The 2015 model not only has that in spades, thanks to a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, I-4 engine that packs 210 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, but it also has a lot of standard and optional features to choose from.

Even better, Volkswagen is set to offer a Performance Package for the Golf GTI later in the year. This package is expected to include larger brakes, a torque-sensing electronically-controlled limited-slip differential, and a 10 horsepower boost over the regular GTI, all for just $1,495. The Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) adaptive damping system will also be available later in the 2015 model year on the SE and Autobahn models with the Performance Package.

Needless to say, there’s a lot to be giddy about with the 2015 Golf GTI and we won’t blame you for feeling the same way.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Why oh why must Toyota and Scion continuously tease us with fast-looking versions of the GT 86 and FR-S , but never actually release one with any go-fast bits on it? Well, here is yet another example of all show and no go from Toyota, as Scion has unveiled its FR-S Release Series 1.0 in New York, and revealed even more that it couldn’t care less what the masses are asking for.

The only good thing to come from this new version is that it will be limited to just 1,500 units and feature a few useful gadgets among the useless, rice-boy add-on equipment. We’ll start with the good stuff, which includes push-button start, black seats with a "T" pattern, HID headlights and automatic dual climate control. Those are all nice additions, but Toyota Toyota went ahead and riced this bad-boy out with its TRD Quad Tip Exhaust System, lowering springs, aero kit with a rear spoiler and fender garnishes.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all not calling the FR-S Release Series 1.0 ugly by any means, but I take issue with slapping all of that extra weight onto the FR-S and making it look the part of a racer without bumping the actual performance. Sure, the lowering springs may make it more agile — doubtful — but the engine remains the same 200-horsepower, 151-pound-feet unit it’s always had. The only hope that we have is that the TRD exhaust system actually frees up a few ponies, but there is no mention of that.

According to Scion, the FR-S Release Series 1.0 will cost "under $30,000" plus handling and destination charges.

Guess we’ll continue to wait for a performance version of the GT 86/FR-S/BRZ triplets...

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Scion FR-S Release Series.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

The first-generation Dodge Challenger was one of the quickest muscle cars you could have back in the early 1970s. The R/T model, for instance, needed just 6.2 seconds to sprint from 0 to 60 mph and 13.7 seconds to complete the quarter mile. That was pretty quick 40 years ago.

The current Challenger can still hold its own against the Ford Mustang and the Chevy Camaro — the only modern muscle cars around — but its 0-to-60 and quarter mile figures have improved only slightly.

However, these numbers tend to become spectacular under NHRA regulations, where superchargers, aerodynamic tweaks and drag race -spec tires can make things astoundingly fast. Racing driver Rob Goss, for exacmple, managed to take his 2009 Challenger into seven-second territory last year, setting a new quarter-mile record for the model.

More recently though, Goss improved his benchmark once again by completing the 1320 in only 7.32 seconds at 187 mph, making his DragPak-fitted Mopar the fastest modern-day Dodge Challenger out there.

The record pass was achieved during the National Muscle Car Association (NMCA) Muscle Car Series in the Street Outlaw Class at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Bradenton, Florida. Word has it that Goss is set to reach new heights by the end of the year.

In case you’re wondering, this specific Challenger is powered by a 404-cubic-inch, aluminum V-8 engine built by BES Racing paired with a Pro Charger F1X supercharger.

Speaking of superchargers and Challengers, did you know the 2015 Challenger is getting a "Hellcat" V-8 engine that’s expected to deliver at least 640 horsepower? More info about this spectacular mill, as well as on the facelifted Challenger, are about to become official at the New York Auto Show this week, so make sure you stick around and don’t miss any of the details.


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