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2014

2014

The coupe-SUV domain has been dominated by BMW’s X6 for quite some time now. The Porsche Cayenne has come into the picture in the past few years, and now, Mercedes is thinking of joining in on the fun with the debut of the Mercedes Concept Coupe SUV at the Beijing Auto Show .

The vehicle is being billed as a coupe version of the M-Class , and judging by the official images, the Concept Coupe SUV looks incredibly awesome, the kind that could give the X6 fits in the future.

It’s pretty evident that the design of the Concept Coupe SUV fits its name. It’s like a coupe riding on an SUV platform, akin to the architecture of the X6. More importantly, Mercedes appears to be pretty serious about sending it to production, intent on rebadging it as the MLC-Class with a production timeline of 2015.

It certainly adds a whole lot of credence to the MLC-Class when the company’s boss proudly proclaims the concept as a preview of a vehicle that has a lot of potential. "With the Concept Coupé SUV we aim to secure new customers by opening up new segments for Mercedes-Benz," says Mercedes CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche, as quoted by Auto Express.

Those are words that shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially once combined with the official words from the press release below saying, “With this concept car, Mercedes-Benz is announcing the possible expansion of the previously uniform SUV off-roader family.”

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupe SUV.

Buying a Lamborghini puts you in fairly exclusive club of ownership, but if even that small group seems a little big, the Italian automaker makes it possible to customize a vehicle just the way you want it. Case in point: this Aventador decked out from Lambo’s Ad Personam personalization program dubbed the Nazionale edition.

Making its debut at the Beijing Auto Show, this car represents what customers can do with the Ad Personam program. This particular customer decided on an Italian theme, obviously paying homage to Lamborghini’s roots.

Proudly displaying an Italian flag strip down the center of the car, the Nazionale edition also features some pretty unique tailoring on almost every surface. The Bianco Opalis exterior paint color is completely unique, nicely offset by the blacked out 20- and 21-inch matt Titanium wheels on the car’s front and rear. Behind them are massive red brake calipers, reminding onlookers of the Aventador’s performance-minded function.

The Italian theme continues inside with the flags adorning the headrests and the tri-color stripe running along the center of the headliner. The leather seats, carpet, and much of the dashboard are covered in two contrasting colors called Nero Ade and Blu Cepheus. The seats also get unique Q-citura stitching. Capping off the bespoke work is an Ad Personam logo on the upper door panel and steering wheel.

The Aventador is powered by a raucous 6.5-liter, naturally-aspirated, V-12 engine making 700 horsepower. Its mid-mounted location allows for crisp handling and nearly perfect weight distribution. Zero to 62 mph times come in at 2.9 seconds on its way to a 217-mph top speed.

Click past the jump to read more about the standard Lamborghini Aventador Nazionale.

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.

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.


Toyota is turning up the fun factor with the heavily refreshed 2015 Camry, making it more exciting to drive, quieter inside, and more appealing to look at. A new interior includes better materials and even a handy wireless phone charger in the center console. This update comes only two years after the Camry’s last refresh, but in its quest to excite customers with a more upmarket sedan, Toyota is staying poised on its toes, jabbing at the competition.

Though much of the car’s underpinnings are not new, the car will have a fresh feel and character. Revised suspension components make the Camry a better handler while upgraded insulation keeps NVH levels to a minimum. Outside, every body panel except for the roof has been replaced in a effort to liven up the Camry’s demeanor.

While the Camry gets a new look, the greasy bits under the hood will carry over. The 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder and the 3.5-liter V-6 return, as does the six-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid trim carries over as well, utilizing the same Atkinson Cycle 2.5-liter I-4 mated to an E-CVT. All three engines are good performers and get impressive fuel economy numbers, though none of them will be setting lap time records or leaving burnout marks up Interstate on-ramps.

The Camry might not be setting records around a racetrack, but it sure has set plenty of sales records, leading the pack as the best selling sedan for the last 12 years. Toyota has sold nearly a million Camrys in the last two years alone. So is messing with success worth it? Click past the jump for all the details on the new 2015 Camry and decide for yourself.

Click past the jump for the low down on the 2015 Toyota Camry

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.

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.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

The 2015 Challenger and 2015 Charger were the main attraction at Dodge ’s New York Auto Show booth, with both vehicles being showcased in brand-new clothes. Unlike the Charger, which received a much more extensive facelift, the updated Challenger arrived with milder body enhancements, but it somehow managed to look more attractive than the former.

I’m tempted to believe this is because the Charger borrowed too many details from the Dart , but I’m also willing to admit that I’m a sucker for the 1971 Challenger, the exact model Dodge looked upon for the 2015 facelift.

Anyway, besides the 1971-inspired fascias and a more modern interior, the revised Challenger also gained a brand-new model, the 392 HEMI Scat Pack Shaker. As the name suggests, the new trim blends features from both the Scat Pack and the Shaker bundles, while making use of the large 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 mill and the Super Track Pak.

In short, it’s a muscle car that will sit at the top of the non-SRT Challenger lineup next year, being aimed at the Mopar gearheads that are in the hunt for classic looks in a 21st century coupe .

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Dodge Challenger 392 HEMI Scat Pack Shaker.


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