Car news

Jeep pulled a surprise on all of us with all the concepts it brought to the Beijing Auto Show . We say ’surprise’ because we actually thought that if there was an auto show that would have had a strong Jeep presence, it would’ve been the recently-concluded New York Auto Show . But we’re not complaining that Jeep chose Beijing to strut its new wares, including the Jeep Wrangler Sundancer, which by all accounts, looks right at home in China with its fancy colors and even fancier new additions.

You don’t need to tell us how sophisticated this Wrangler looks, relative to its status as a weekend off-road warrior. But it’s a good thing that Jeep decided to dress up this Wrangler for the occassion. After all, it’s not often that you see a utility ride like the Wrangler receive a tri-coat Chocolate Brown Metallic paint with gold accents, and did we mention the Golden Bronze tone-on-tone ghosted pattern on the fender flares and the bronze-tinted windows?

But that’s not the extent of changes you’ll see on the Wrangler Sundancer. Notice how the front and rear bumpers have been also been painted in the same tri-coat Chocolate Brown metallic paint to complement the body lines. But instead of the gold accents on the body, the bumpers received golden bronze accents to go with the linear LED lighting.

This isn’t your normal Jeep Wrangler. That much we know just by looking at it. It’s a Wrangler that clearly knows how to dress up to cater to the Chinese market, something we suspect Jeep did intentionally, and even quite proudly.

Click past the jump to read more about the Jeep Wrangler Sundancer

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

Ford ’s intentions with the brand-new, sixth-generation Mustang are more than obvious. The more European design, the independent rear suspension and the new tech behind it are there with one purpose, to make it appealing to a global audience.

Sure, the Mustang benefits from a 50-year-long history and its iconic, American charm, but Ford was aware that most non-U.S. costumers that haven’t been touched by the muscle car bug were more likely to choose other offerings, such as a BMW 4 Series, over the ’Stang. Hence the diluted recipe for the 2015 model, one that has been acclaimed and criticized as well since day one.

It’s been a little more than four months since the Blue Oval took the wraps off the new Mustang , but new details around the pony are still to come. While we’re anxiously waiting for Detroit to release final performance numbers and pricing figures, the manufacturer introduced us to yet another brand-new feature that will come with the Mustang: electronic line-lock.

Don’t let the name confuse you, this is no groundbreaking technology set to improve handling or braking, but an electronic burnout-control system that enables the driver to burn rubber without risking damage to the clutch. To put it simple, when activated, the feature gains access to the stability control’s hydraulic control unit and locks the front brakes while releasing the rear brakes. This means the driver can do a burnout without having to worry about finding the perfect balance while keeping one foot on the brake pedal and the other on the throttle.

Now don’t go thinking that this new gimmick, which comes standard on Mustang GT models equipped with manual transmissions, was added so that customers can show off by creating a cloud of smoke in traffic. Ford clearly states that the electronic line-lock is intended for race track use, quoting the drivers’ need to prep their tires before pulling a quarter mile run. On the other hand, the automaker says that "racing the 2015 Mustang will void warranty," a statement that leaves up puzzled to say the least, and is in stark contrast to Chevy’s stance on the Z/28’s warranty and racing .

Ford also claims its electronic line-lock is an industry-first feature, but we know this isn’t entirely true, as BMW offers something similar — it’s called "smokey burnout" — on the new M3 and M4 models.

All told, this electronic burnout trick will be hard to swallow by muscle car purists, but we bet it will find a lot of fans among users that are looking for these kind of technologically advanced features. Now everyone can do a burnout without having to practice or worry about anything...

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Ford Mustang.

Posted on by Christian Moe +  

Volkswagen appears to be listening to the tiny, but obnoxiously loud, voices of the forum goers and automotive journalists. At this year’s New York Auto Show , they displayed this shiny new Golf SportWagen Concept with a new 2.0-liter TDI engine, three pedals and 4Motion AWD.

Hello, Beautiful.

This latest machine may have “concept” in its name, but there is very little about this car that won’t make it to production. Volkswagen has already stated it will be coming to U.S. shores as a replacement for the near ancient Jetta SportWagen. The new Golf SportWagen will provide a modern model for U.S. buyers that is underpinned by the new MQB architecture (the current Jetta SportWagen is actually still a fifth-gen car underneath).

VW has also confirmed the powertrain options will include the new 1.8-liter turbo gasoline engine and the updated 2.0-liter TDI diesel. Shifting will be accomplished by either a traditional manual transmission or a choice of automatics. What is not confirmed, and what makes this car a “concept” is that sweet 4Motion all-wheel drive system like you get in the Golf R . VW is stating that it may come, but no firm plans have been made yet.

Start those forum threads now, kids.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 4Motion Concept.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

As the 2014 New York Auto Show finally revealed all of its mysteries last week, you’ve probably noticed that the brand-new Mercedes-Benz AMG GT was not among them. Far from shocking we may add, as the NYIAS scenario wasn’t very likely in the first place.

And that’s because the Germans are still testing the sports car . In fact, they have recently switched from public road try-outs (check out our previous spy shots here and here ) to more enduring race course tests. Where? At the Nurburgring track, of course, the place where all sports cars go to prove themselves.

Having new footage with the AMG GT is great news, but the included video is exciting and somewhat disappointing at the same time. The good news is that we’re finally getting a taste of that new 4.0-liter V-8 engine. As expected, it comes with a throaty exhaust note as a strong argument that downsizing isn’t necessarily bad.

The bad news is that there’s no skin for us to ogle at, with the coupe still wrapped in its annoying camouflage. However, there is a tiny detail that shows up in the video: the engine’s radiator is now covered by Mercedes ’ signature grille with the three-pointed star right in the middle. We know it’s not much, but it’s nice to see some progress.

As we’ve previously reported, there’s no info as to when and where this sports car will be unveiled, but we have reasons to believe it will happen at the Paris Motor Show this fall.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

If a couple of weeks ago we were talking about how the new, beefed up C63 AMG will also get coupe, convertible and wagon versions , now we have to refocus our attention on the regular C-Class model and its brand-new family member, the C-Class Long.

Specifically developed for the Chinese market, where additional legroom is highly appreciated, the all-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Long broke cover at the Beijing Auto Show , the country’s most important automotive event for the year.

We’re not at all shocked that the elongated C-Class showed up this month, given that the vehicle has been confirmed since last year, but we’re pleasantly surprised to find out that the China -exclusive model is a full 80 mm (3.1 inches) longer than the standard version. For the record, Audi] added only 60 mm (2.4 inches) to the A4 when it created the A4L.

As the model kept its overhangs intact, the entire length of the C-Class L sits in a 2,920-mm (115-inch) long wheelbase, giving it a longer wheelbase than the regular Mercedes-Benz E-Class . The additional room the longer wheelbase spawns in the cabin is obviously available in the rear compartment, where passengers will be able to sit more comfortably and stretch their legs further before hitting the front seats.

Speaking of which, the front passenger’s seat can be adjusted from the rear for further legroom or to compensate for the extra 25 mm (1 inch) added to the rear bench.

The Germans have yet to reveal too many details, but they did mention the C-Class Long will be offered with two different exterior designs. The tame model will come with the classic front grille with the company’s star mounted on the hood, while the more aggressive version, dubbed the "Sport Sedan," will carry numerous AMG body components, including a front apron, sill panels and a diffuser-like rear skirt.

There’s no specific word on what engines will be motivating the C-Class L, but the company said the base model will get 156 horsepower, while the range-topping version can be equipped with a unit that delivers as much as 367 horsepower. This means that there will be at least a C 180L, which will cover the 156-horsepower version. As for the 367-horsepower version, the only Chinese-spec engine close to that is the 360-horsepower, 2.0-liter from the CLA45 AMG, and it is doubtful that this engine will be in a long-wheelbase cruiser, like the C-Class L.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes C-Class L.

Posted on by Christian Moe +  

Well, it seems that Ferrari is trying to keep secrets. The guys over at Carscoops.com have managed to obtain a photo of a previously unknown Fezza hiding under a sheet. The front end similar features the headlamps of the F12berlinetta , but the bumper, hood and overall design are unique.

Carscoops claims that they have been told this is the latest project from Ferrari SP America, and it is a new “targa version” of the F12. SP America is the special projects division that is in charge of creating unique and one-off creations for well-heeled customers. Judging by the massive front intakes and what looks like even larger brakes, I think this machine will be packing much more than a fancy roof. It is hard to tell from this photo, but it also appears that this new F12 variant will be losing the cars distinctive buttresses in the front fenders as well.

As always with this kind of thing, everything here should be taken with a grain of salt, but if I were a betting man, I would expect this to be a one-off F12 with a power boost from 730 ponies to at least 750 horsepower. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is an extra dose of carbon fiber to help cut weight as well.

We shouldn’t have too long to wait for details, as the car should be unveiled very soon.

Keep it locked here for all the news as it breaks on this newest Prancing Horse.

Click past the jump to read more about the Ferrari F12Berlinetta.

Source: Carscoops
Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

Summer is still more than a month away, but the folks over at ABT Sportsline are gearing up for the hot season with an equally hot convertible based on the 2014 Audi RS5 .

However, unlike the RS7 the company started offering last year with up to 700 horsepower on tap, the RS5 in question comes with no powertrain updates whatsoever. This means customers will have to settle for the 450 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque delivered by the 4.2-liter V-8 or look into other Abt Sportsline options.

Don’t be too disappointed though, having more than 500 horsepower in a convertible isn’t always pleasant. And, truth be told, there are plenty of options out there wearing either BMW or Mercedes-Benz badges.

Anyway, ABT’s RS5 isn’t exactly bone stock, as it comes fitted with a stainless-steel muffler system that includes both a mid and a rear muffler. The end result is a throatier and more aggressive V-8 exhaust note that will let everybody know this isn’t a regular RS5. You can also opt to remove the speed limiter on your RS5 from ABT, bumping the top speed to 180 mph from the stock 174 mph.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi RS5 Convertible By ABT Sportsline.

MotorTrend has gotten very good at head to head video reviews, and their latest one is no exception. This time, the new BMW M235i goes up against the Mercedes CLA45 AMG. Both cars represent the smaller, more nimble side of each automaker’s lineup, but still pack a punch under the hood. Check out the video above to see who Motor Trend crowns the victor. The winner just might surprise you.

Staffer Jonny Lieberman starts out carving canyon roads in both cars. Turns out, he’s quite fond of the BMW’s power output from the 3.0-liter, inline-six and its eight-speed automatic. As a whole, the car looks better than the old 1 Series, as Jonny heralds it as having the best looking BMW front end in a long time. The BMW seems to have only one major drawback: its brakes. Though the do stop a few feet shorter than the CLA45 AMG’s, they tend to fade and have inconsistent pedal feel. Otherwise, the M235i appears to be a hoot to drive with its drift-happy rear end.

Conversely, the CLA45 AMG produces more power from its 2.0-liter, turbocharged, inline four-cylinder, coming in at 360 horses and 331 pound-feet. Adding to its bag of tricks are its superb brakes with good pedal feel and fade-free stopping power. The car’s biggest downfall — dynamics-wise — is its understeer. Though its minimal compared to a regular sedan , the Mercedes just doesn’t grip the road in the same manner as the BMW. On a more subjective side, Jonny shares his distaste for the CLA’s coupe-like sloping roofline and stubby rear end.

Which one is crowned the winner? Click past the jump to find out.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

BMW is continuing to enjoy great success in the United States. But as growing sales and local prosperity always come with high demand, the Germans need to find ways to boost North American production, especially when it comes to their best-selling 3 Series sedan .

BMW already has a facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The plant assembles X5 and X6 SUVs and is about to have its production capacity increased by 50 percent when it welcomes a brand new vehicle, the larger X7 .

Since squeezing 3 Series production in South Carolina is out of the question, BMW is planning on building a second factory in North America, Bloomberg reports, adding that the manufacturer has narrowed the list of locations within the United States and Mexico, with at least two sites south of the border still being considered.

There’s no indication as to where BMW might decide to assemble the 3 Series in North America, but Mexico sounds more likely due to a number financial considerations that also include less expensive workforce.

A timetable for this decision is not available at the time of this writing, but stay tuned to TopSpeed for further information.

Click past the jump to find out more about BMW plans to move 3 Series production to North America

Source: Bloomberg

The Jeep Renegade is barely a few months old, but somehow, a special design concept has found itself halfway around the world at the Beijing Auto Show . This is the Renegade Zi You Xia, a new concept that Jeep created specifically to highlight the Renegade’s sophisticated side.

It’s quite appropriate that Jeep nicknamed this concept ZI You Xia, which means "rebel" when translated to English. Even more so with all the China -inspired details the baby Jeep received to cater to its host market.

For one, the Warm Chocolate Gray with a contrasting Dark Anodized Bronze colors of the Renegade Zi You Xia were inspired by the colors of the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. The latter, in particular, you can clearly see used on the grille throats, front fog lamp bezels, rear lower fascia, skidplate, taillight insert bezel and badging.

To serve as a third shade of the exterior, a Dark Charcoal paint color was used on the roof panel, grille surrounds and door mirror caps of the Renegade Zi You Xia, something Jeep describes as creating harmonious accents throughout the body to cultivate a more premium appearance for the otherwise clunky-looking crossover .

Given how new the Renegade actually is as a model, it’s hard to gauge just how well it’s going to be received in the Chinese market. We’ve gotta give credit to Jeep for preempting sales with this concept study of the Renegade. Chances are, a lot more Chinese customers will be drawn towards Jeep’s newest model now that they know what a Renegade can look like under the best of circumstances.

Click past the jump to read more about the Jeep Renegade Zi You Xia


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