Car news

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

While the Volkswagen Golf R has yet to go on sale in the United States, although it already made its debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January, the Wolfsburg crew has unveiled an even more powerful version of the hot hatch . Dubbed the Golf R 400, the new machine made its official debut at the Beijing Auto Show as a concept car that takes the familiar Golf design and wraps it into a more assertive package with significantly more power under the hood.

Although Volkswagen isn’t the type of automaker that looks back on past models when designing new vehicles, the R 400 Concept showed up in China with exterior cues taken from two of its most important hatches — the Rallye Golf G60 built in the late 1980s and the VR6-powered R32 model based on the fourth-generation Golf .

Apparently Volkswagen doesn’t plan to put the Golf R 400 into production anytime soon, but the concept car is worth looking into as some of its design features and technologies are likely to go mainstream.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept.

Lincoln Motor Company has just announced its launch a full product lineup in China, including five new vehicles. One of those – a midsize luxury SUV – accompanies the news in this teaser video above. Though Lincoln hasn’t given away much info on the new vehicle, the video does reveal some interesting aspects.

From the few glimpses visible, the SUV appears to be a highly sculpted crossover with plenty of LED trickery and accent lighting. Most eye-catching are the massive turn signals that surround the headlight fixtures and continue to the side mirrors. A strong belt line runs just under the windows with a large rear haunch laying above the rear tire. If things stay true to the artist’s drawings seen here, the front will feature some fairly stunning sculpted lines with plenty of drama.

This SUV will join a lineup of four other cars including the MKZ, the MKC, a new full-size luxury sedan , and the refreshed Navigator – all of which will be built inside the United States. What’s more, Lincoln is taking an entirely new approach to selling cars, one based relationships and an inviting dealer environment.

Lincoln’s goal is a network of 60 dealers in 50 cities across China by 2016, with the first eight opening this fall. The dealers will run under the ideology of “The Lincoln Way,” a much more personal, relationship-biased approach to selling cars. “It completely shifts luxury automotive ownership from a sales and service transaction model to an experience model,” says Jim Farley, Ford’s executive vice president of global marketing.

The dealers will feature a more home-like atmosphere with a tea room and other amenities like the Personalization Studio where customers can customize and order their particular vehicle. The new dealership style will concentrate its focus on providing good relationships and quality treatment than having a large, uninviting room packed with products. It’ll be interesting to see how this business model works for China and if it could work within the U.S.

Updated 04/21/2014: Lincoln pulled the covers off its MKX Concept at the Beijing Auto Show and release these detailed images. Sadly, there isn’t much news about the interior or engine options at this time. Click past the jump to see the new shots and read the updated press release.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lincoln MKX Concept Crossover.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

Porsche may have recalled each and every 2014 GT3 to replace their engines, but the fire-risk debacle is far from being over. Forced to keep their GT3s in on the sidelines or in Porsche dealerships nationwide until the mill transplants begin, current owners are obviously unhappy.

And we can’t blame them. When you’re spending $130,000-plus on a sports car , the last thing you want is to wait for weeks or even months for the manufacturer to deal with any issue that might occur. Porsche is aware of that and, although it has yet to provide a timetable for this recall , it has notified its customers that they’ll be given compensation for their inability to drive the 2014 GT3s they have purchased.

According to an official letter received by GT3 owners that was published on the Rennlist Forums, Porsche’s first step is to add an extra 12 months (or 100,000 miles) to the Porsche Approved warranty that comes with each 2014 model year GT3. Also, the letter suggests each owner will be compensated for not being able to drive the car while in service, but it does not provide further details.

However, the same owner that disclosed the letter, who was supposed to get his brand-new GT3 a week ago, says Porsche has promised to pay $2,000 per month until the sports car is actually delivered.

While the German automaker is obviously trying to do the right thing, some GT3 customers are still dissatisfied with the likely scenario in which their car will be delivered six months into the model year. More details will become available in the coming weeks, so make sure you stay tuned for further news on the matter.

As a brief reminder, Porsche has notified owners to stop driving their GT3s in February after two vehicles burned to a crisp. The manufacturer discovered that the issue was caused by faulty piston rod screws and decided to install new engines on all 2014 model year vehicles. In addition to recalling cars already delivered to customers, Porsche also ordered dealers to stop selling GT3s until updates are installed.

Click past the jump to read the letter delivered to Porsche GT3 buyers.


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.


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