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2012

2012

Kia is teasing us with their new generation Carens, but today at the Paris Auto Show the model has finally made its official debut. However, customers interested in buying one will have to wait until spring 2013 because this is when the model will be put on sale.

The third generation Carens is new from the ground up and Kia hopes to attract new buyers with an all-new platform, it delivers stylish, spacious practicality, with sleek aerodynamics, a cab-forward design, long wheelbase and up to seven seats.

"The new Carens builds on the family-friendly versatility and functionality of its predecessor, and features more athletic and visually dynamic design," says Hyoung-Keun Lee, Vice Chairman and CEO, Kia Motors Corporation. "This marks a dramatic shift forward for our MPV contender and brings the model in line with Kia’s distinctive current design direction."

Updated 09/27/2012: This review has been updated with the official details, images and specs.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Kia Carens.


Citroen’s DS3 supermini is stripping its cape in favor of a black soft top roof and although the DS3 Cabrio won’t be making its official appearance until the 2012 Paris Auto Show in September, the company has opted to reveal the full list of specifications a little early.

The new droptop DS3 was rumored to be called the DS3 Airflow, but it looks as though the French company has opted to keep the car’s simple namesake intact. The future Citroen will be similar to the hatchback version, except, of course, for its soft top, which takes 16 seconds to open or close and can be operated at speeds of up to 120 km/h (74 mph). When this top is down, the edges and the side windows will remain in their place, just like the system set up for the Fiat 500C. The new model is also the only real 5-seater in the category and offers the largest boot.

As for the engines, the model will be offered with the same ten diesel and petrol engines as its hard-top brother, with power ranging from 89-204 HP. Citroen will also offer an Eco-friendly version emitting just 99 g/km of CO2. Performance will vary because of the extra weight provided by the convertible setup, but who buys a DS3 because of it performance times?

European sales for the 2013 Citroen DS3 Cabrio will begin in the first part of 2013 when the market will be privy to three different versions: Racing, Ultra Prestige, and Just Mat.

UPDATE 08/31/2012: This review has been updated with the official details and images for the Citroen DS3 Cabrio.

UPDATE 01/08/13: Citroen has announced the pricing for the DS3 Cabrio. Well, at least the pricing in Germany. Check out how much it costs in Deutschland after the jump and from there, you can have a rough estimate on how much it’ll cost in your currency.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Citroen DS3 Cabrio.


Large companies, like GM, seem to have issues keeping new model leakage under control. We are not completely naive, so we do understand that some of these leaks from large automakers are actually orchestrated by the automaker itself to help drum up interest. Still, there is the occasional major leak that some disgruntled design team member decides to plaster all over the Interwebz.

Well, Lada, a Russia-based company much smaller than GM, but a relative success in the Russian market, kept its recently unveiled SUV under such tight lock and key that it took all of us aback when it was debuted at the Moscow Motor Show. The Xray, as Lada has dubbed this concept SUV, is nothing like any other SUV it has ever produced and it looks like something that belongs in a worldwide production model’s lineup. That said, don’t look for this SUV , or any Lada for that matter, to make its way to the U.S.

The styling of this crossover SUV is not something you would expect to see from a budget automaker, like Lada. It does, however, show how Lada’s eyes are on the future, making its cars more stylish and offering up a wider range.

UPDATE 09/06/12: The first official video of the Lada Xray Concept has just gone live. Click on the photo above to check it out!

Click past the jump to read our full review and find out more about the basics of the Lada XRay Concept.


Toyota has announced a special edition Camry SE Sport Limited Edition which will arrive at Toyota dealers by Labor Day weekend. The new Camry will have a starting price of $25,995 and be offered in four exterior paints -Pearl White, Barcelona Red, Attitude Black and Blizzard Pearl - combined with a choice of black or black/ash interior. Models painted in Pearl White will only be built for three months starting on September 12, 2012 and ending on November 12, 2012.

The new Camry SE Sport edition will be offered with an impressive list of standard equipment, including 18" alloy wheels with a smoked finish, 8-way power seats, power sunroof, and a Display Audio (6.1-inch touchscreen) with Navigation and Entune.

The special edition Camry will also be offered exclusively with the revised 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 178 HP and 170 lb.-ft. of peak torque. The engine will be mated to a a six-speed automatic transmission.

Bentley Hunaudieres

Most people won’t remember the 1999 Bentley Hunaudières (pictured here), a concept car created shortly after Volkswagen took ownership of Bentley . It was built on a Lamborghini platform and powered by a W16 engine, shining a whole new light on the otherwise limousine-filled Bentley lineup. This supercar was so unlike anything Bentley would ever push towards production that we wouldn’t doubt it if not one person ever thought they would see this car again.

We can’t promise that the Hunaudières will come back from its 13-year-long hiatus, a la the Porsche 928 H50 Concept/Panamera return, but we can say that Bentley is making some changes and bringing another cool sports-car concept out into the open. This new Bentley sports car will be making its first appearance at the 2012 Paris Auto Show in September.

There are no details available on this new concept at this point, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see this sports car concept be put into production solely because of Bentley’s sales target of 15,000 units annually. This new model will join the company’s upcoming facelift version for the Continental Supersport , the four-door Continental Flying Spur , the open-top version of the Mulsanne , and the SUV set to be launched in 2015.

Source: CarAndDriver

Across the pond, in the UK, there is a slightly revised lineup for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class than we see in the U.S. In the U.S. we only get to see the E350 and E500 – not inclusive of the AMG line – but in the UK they get the E200, E220, E250, E350, and E500. The E500, being the top trim in the lineup, boasts the largest and most powerful engine, a 4,663cc V-8 engine that pumps out 300 Kw (408 horsepower) at 5,000 rpm and 600 Nm of torque (442 foot-pounds) at 1,600 to 4,750 rpm.

Those are all pretty acceptable numbers for a full-size sedan or coupe, but our UK friends are capped off there, as they do not have access to the 518-horsepower E63 AMG . Vath has come to the rescue for said owners, by releasing an all new array of upgrades that not only make the E500 look sportier, but bump its horsepower into E63 AMG territory.

Click past the jump to read all about this new upgrade kit and see how it compares to the E63 AMG offered in the U.S.

On August 29th, the Moscow International Automobile Salon 2012 kicks off and it is scheduled to run through September 9th. For this upcoming show, TOPCAR has put together an entrant in the form of a 2012 Porsche Panamera customized to the gills. This Porsche Panamera Stingray GTR is actually the 9th edition of 25 upcoming Stingray GTR models.

We are not necessarily huge fans of the Panamera and even less of fans when it comes to customized models. So many companies tend to go way overboard restyling the Panamera and they actually end up taking away the little character that this Porsche sedan actually has.

TOP CAR has taken to this Panamera from top to bottom, decking out its interior, exterior, engine, and even the brakes in an attempt to not just make it look better, but run with the best of them. Can TOP CAR really pull off the nearly impossible by handing us a well-designed Panamera with accents where they need to be, or did they just roll out another Panamera hack-job like we usually see?

Click past the jump to read our full review to see how it stacks up.

Shmee150 is always great for awesome YouTube videos and sometimes he even gets us a glimpse at cars we would otherwise know nothing about. This time around he’s completed both tasks, and done an admiral job at it. While we all sit and wait for Lamborghini to stop fiddling around with producing an Aventador Spider, Shmee has dug one up that is customized by Oakley Design and Refined-Marques.

At the recent Chelsea Auto Legends event in London, Oakley Design and Refined-Marques unveiled their Aventador project, calling it the Lamborghini Aventador Dragon Edition. Only 10 units will be made, which means that it’s more than just an exclusive piece of high-powered Italian awesomeness.

The Aventador Dragon Edition distinguishes itself from just about every other Aventador on the planet, highlighted by the attention-grabbing chrome Aqua-Blue exterior body. From there, Oakley Design’s comprehensive carbon fiber body kit was also fitted into the car. The components for this kit include a redesigned front bumper, a fixed carbon fiber rear spoiler, rear air vents, and a new set of HRE wheels. Inside, the Dragon Edition was dressed with a slew of specially-numbered plaques designating its model number. These plaques can be found throughout the supercar, including on the engine bay, the dashboard, and the door sills. Moreover, the supercar also has red dragon stitching on the inside of the doors, in case people forget that the car is called the Aventador Dragon Edition.

Under its hood, the folks at Oakley and Refined-Marques also bumped up the power, thanks to the former’s ECU modifications resulting in an output of 760 horsepower. While there is no mention of torque increase, we’re sure there is somewhat of an increase in there, too. Additionally, the fabricators added in a titanium exhaust system that saves a whopping 35 kg (77 lbs).

Check out a few videos of the Lamborghini Aventador Dragon Edition after the jump.

When us 30-somethings were kids, Powerwheels cars were all the rage. We could drive our own miniature car at a snail’s pace for roughly 10 minutes before the battery drained and left us stranded wherever we were. Those 10 minutes were typically the highlight of our week, despite the fact that molasses could flow down the road faster than our Powerwheels car could drive.

Well, FFTEC Motorsports, who is best known for building monster Mitsubishis , Porsches , Subarus , etc., decided that, after one of its employee’s son wore the rubber wheels off of his Lightning McQueen Powerwheels, it was time for some minor modifications.

FFTEC completely stripped the guts from the Powerwheels car, leaving pretty much just the plastic body. From there, FFTEC installed an aluminum sub-chassis in the rear end and installed new bearing-style hubs with disc brakes. On these hubs are a set of rubber all-terrain tires, so the Powerwheels car could literally put rubber to the road instead of plastic.

FFTEC didn’t stop there, as technicians decided that the car just wasn’t quite fast enough, so they installed a 500-watt, 0.66-horsepower electric motor to drive the rear wheels via a chain system. They also installed 24-volt gel batteries to help prolong the car’s running life. Also part of the build is a variable-speed throttle, in placer of the Powerwheels all-or-nothing throttle, and a Sparco battery cutoff switch.

After it was all said and done, FFTEC produced a video and slapped it on YouTube for us to see. Have a look for yourself and think about how you could have easily beaten everyone in the Driveway Le Mans Series of Powerwheels.

Nice job FFTEC!

Posted on by Alexander + 44

We absolutely just love talking about wagons that we’ll never get to see on our side of the pond. Wait, scratch that. It actually sucks to hear that Jaguar has finally unveiled the XF Sportbrake and Europe will be one of the few that will actually revel in its luxurious five door space. It’s not their fault that the British brand is going where the wagon demand is at its highest nor that we decided bigger was better before giving these in-between vehicles a chance, but we’re still a little envious.

The XF Sportbrake was supposed to make its world debut in March at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, but Jaguar decided to offer the first details one week before the actual event. While the car’s front is identical to the sedan version, the new XF Sportbrake is entirely new from the B-pillar and back. Under the hood, Jaguar has placed a range of four-cylinder 2.2-liter and V6 3.0-liter diesel engines with power going up to 275 HP.

UPDATE 08/08/12: Jaguar has released a video explaining the versatility of the new Jaguar XF Sportbrake. Check out the video to see just how much can fit into the back of this spacious ride!

Hit the jump to read more about the new Jaguar XF Sportbrake.


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