2014

2014

Ford has been selling the F-Series since 1948, but the F-150 model didn’t arrive until 1975, when Ford used it as a `tweener pickup to span the gap between the F-100 and F-250. When Ford rolled out the Atlas Concept at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, we were pretty sure that the automaker was already hard at work overhauling the existing F-150 in its likeness. And for the 2015 model year, our suspicions are confirmed, as brand-new F-150, based on the Atlas concept, hit dealers.

With this redesign, Ford will focus on drastically reducing the F-150’s total weight by making use of lightweight aluminum materials. Under the hood, the model will carry a familiar line of engines with a new, 2.7-liter EcoBoost delivering awesome power and better fuel economy.

Updated 07/22/2014: Ford released the specifications figures for the F-150’s new 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine. Click past the jump for the details. A towing test video was also added.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Ford F-150.

The Bentley Mulsanne ’s market launch in 2011 ushered in a new era for the British marque as a direct answer to the Rolls-Royce Ghost . The luxury limousine didn’t exactly set the world on fire when it was released, but a facelift to the 2015 model helped alleviate some of the Mulsanne’s design concerns. But a facelifted Mulsanne isn’t the only version in the works here. Turns out, a performance variant of the model is also in the pipeline.

Auto Express received word from Bentley insiders that the company is in the middle of preparing a high-performance Mulsanne that the automaker will likely name the Mulsanne Speed.

We don’t estimate the Mulsanne Speed to look drastically different from the limousine version. Maybe it’ll come with some tweaks here and there to make it a little lighter and give it a sportier look, but the overall design should be consistent with the facelifted 2015 Mulsanne .

That being said, the Mulsanne Speed is still being prepared as a performance model, so we expect some modifications done to the car’s chassis and suspension in order to improve its handling and driveability.

The Mulsanne’s 6.75-liter, twin-turbo V-8 will be used in the Mulsanne Speed; that much appears to be certain. The output, though, is being tipped to increase from 505 horsepower to 550 horsepower to give it a little more oomph to go with its sporty nature. The higher output will also translate to better performance numbers, including a 0 to 62 mph time under five seconds and a top speed of close to 200 mph.

Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer didn’t specifically say when the Mulsanne Speed is going to make its debut, opting only to say that it’s arriving at an auto show later this year. Well, Frankfurt is on hiatus this year so the biggest one in Europe that’s still on the calendar is the Paris Motor Show in October 2014.

Note: Standard Bentley Mulsanne pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the Bentley Mulsanne Speed.

Source: AutoExpress

Vauxhall is a largely unknown brand in the U.S., but it’s got a pretty big following in the UK. In fact, one of the brand’s most popular models is the Corsa supermini, a car that first broke into the scene back in 1982 as the Opel Corsa. The Corsa was actually called the Nova in its first incarnation out of fears that Corsa was too close to the word "coarser". It doesn’t exactly build up confidence that a model’s name sounds like a word that means "poor quality". Over time, Vauxhall finally adapted the Corsa name, beginning the supermini’s run that has lasted four generations. After years of bland facelifts and minor upgrades, Vauxhall finally welcomed the fourth-generation Corsa for 2015, complete with enough new features and new technology to make your head spin. Vauxhall also confirmed that it’s going to release a VXR variant of the Corsa. Good times all around!

Before diving into the Vauxhall Corsa, it’s important to remember that Opel and Vauxhall actually share the Corsa model. The two models are virtually identical except for the different company badges. The only difference is that the model is badged as a Vauxhall in the UK while Opel is used throughout Europe.

The Vauxhall Corsa is an incredibly popular model in the UK, routinely averaging over 83,000 units sold per year. That’s second only to its closest competitor, the Ford Fiesta . But here’s the catch: the Corsa was still getting strong sales numbers despite the fact that the third-generation model was in its last stages.

But with an all-new, fourth-generation model scheduled to hit showrooms for 2015, you can bet that more people will be clamoring to get a piece of the Corsa.

Is 100,000 units a year possible for the fourth-generation Vauxhall Corsa? We can’t tell you that right now, but all the signs seem to point to a resounding "yes!"

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Vauxhall Corsa

Launched in 1996, the first-generation Mazda2 had very little in common with the current supermini. More a minivan-like, tall hatchback with a boxy design, the Mazda2 , also known as the Mazda Demio, was offered with a couple of small-displacement, four-cylinder, gasoline engines that delivered 82 horsepower (1.3-liter) and 99 ponies (1.5-liter). The first-gen Mazda2 became a hit in Japan and was kept in production until 2002. The second-gen model brought major styling changes to the 2, but the company kept the tall, minivan-like design, while adding new gasoline engines, including a diesel. It was 2007 when the third-generation Mazda2 arrived and the compact started looking more like the supermini we all know today. The third-gen car is also the first Mazda2 to arrive Stateside, following its debut at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show. After nearly eight years on the market, the Mazda2 is finally receiving its much-needed overhaul for the 2015 model year.

The supermini follows into footsteps of the Mazda3 and Mazda6 in design and technology, as it comes to life as a production version of the 2014 Hazumi Concept . Set to go on sale in Japan by the end of 2014, the Mazda2 won’t hit U.S. shores until 2015 (2016 model year). But until it does, let’s have a look at what the redesigned supermini has to offer.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mazda2.

Dodge ’s highly anticipated facelift for the Challenger has finally arrived — a little late we might add — to give the pony a fresh start in the muscle car battle against its Detroit rivals.

Revamped inside and out, the Challenger stormed into New York with updated front and rear fascias, and new exterior colors and wheel designs. Sure, the facelift is not as spectacular as the one seen on the Charger , but it should be enough to keep the Challenger marketable until the next-generation model arrives.

Those who were looking forward to see some engine updates will end up a bit disappointed, as Dodge didn’t bother to offer extra oomph, and, apparently, the new Hellcat V-8 is not yet ready to make an entrance. However, the ancient five-speed automatic has finally been moved to the dustbin, making way for a more attractive unit.

The new Challenger comes just as Dodge is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and the muscle car will certainly be a part of this summer’s merrymaking. We bet something special is coming our way, but, until them, let’s take a deep dive into the 2015 Challenger.

Updated 07/16/2014: Dodge officially announced prices for the entire 2015 lineup and they are pretty much exactly what we expected. The base Challenger SXT has a starting price of $26,995, while the top-of-the-line SRT 392 goes up to $46,395.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Dodge Challenger.

17 years ago, a team of British enthusiasts came to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada to set a new land speed record. The group was led by famed Scottish entrepreneur Richard Noble and had the jet-propelled, Thrust SSC car at its disposal. The attempt was not only successful, but it also became the first to officially break the sound barrier at 763.035 mph.

The benchmark remained untouchable to this day, but that could change in 2016, when Noble’s team will try to take the supersonic record into 1,000-mph territory with a brand-new vehicle. That car goes by the name of Bloodhound SSC and comes to prove that jet power, rocket power and a more conventional V-8 engine can work together under the same roof.

Much like the Thrust SSC, the Bloodhound SSC is being built using advanced, aerospace construction techniques, acres of carbon fiber and titanium, and a bevy of state-of-the-art technology.

Why are we reviewing a supersonic car you may ask? Well, the Bloodhound SSC might very well preview some of the technologies we will find in the road-going vehicles of the future. But most importantly, this land rocket is tuned to reach mind-boggling speeds by means of 130,000 horsepower!

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Bloodhound SSC.

The Prius is the flagship of the environmental movement. Toyota ’s wonder child has dominated the world of hybrids since its introduction in 2001. As a man with petrol in my veins and a favorite cars list that includes names like Porsche and Lamborghini , the Prius should be the antithesis of all I love about motoring. With a focus on quiet and environmentally friendly transportation, the Prius has been branded as one of the worst and most uninteresting thing to drive in the world.

This is my first real experience with Toyota’s darling though, and I wanted to at least give it a fair shake. The model sitting in my drive is the Prius V model, the largest of the family and the least fuel efficient. It has a CVT, some batteries and only two pedals. After a week with this machine and more than 500 miles I learned a lot about it.

Was it the terrible car I had feared or did it turn out to be something else entirely? Hit the jump to find out.

Read more about my drive of the 2014 Toyota Prius V after the break.

Goodwood may have ended, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t more to see. With so many cars at Goodwood covering so many generations, markets, styles and brands, it can be hard to make sure you’ve seen it all. Ferrari understands this, and because it never want anyone to miss a single on of their cars , the Italian automaker compiled a nice video for us of all the Prancing Horses that charged up the Hill.

The video stars with a lovely introduction from Lord March’s daughter, Atty Lennox, and then it goes into full on Italian Petrol Opera.

There are F1 cars from the modern and classic era, road going machines,like the 458 Speciale , one-off SP projects like the F12 TRS and even some machines from Ferrari ’s storied Le Mans endurance racing history.

The video would be a bit better if there was more exhaust noise and a little less music, but otherwise there is a lot here to fall in love with.

Click that play button and watch some of Italy’s finest blast the Hill of Goodwood.

We hope everyone enjoyed the show! A special big thanks goes out to our live viewers and commentators. You make the show even more enjoyable.

This week is crammed full of crazy and wild stuff, and we start things off with a bang. Right after introductions we talk about my upcoming trip to Colorado to drive some V-8 powered Miatas. We then jump straight into the Weekly Wheels segment where Justin talks about his time with the spacious Kia Sorento . Spoiler alert: he really liked it. We kept the SUV theme going with my talk about the Lexus RX 450h . You get a good explanation about why I was so hard on the thing in my review. We finish with Mark’s thoughts on the Prius .

If you think this list is a bit boring, I have a brand new Miata coming soon, so that will be in next-week’s podcast.

For the news, we start with the somber news of the tragedy at Pikes Peak. To keep from depressing everyone on this Thursday we move to Mark’s trip to the Hyundai manufacturing plant in Alabama. From there we move to the insanity that is a 700 horsepower Challenger. There is lots of grunting and yelling of ’Merica in that segment.

To finish out the news, we do a mad dash through a pile of Goodwood news including the new Focus ST , the McLaren 650s GT3 and Nissan’s new hill climb record.

We finish the show up with a few questions from the viewers that range from how to buy a used car, to how to escape rapid soccer fans. We also look at the future of the Focus RS and the next-generation Miata .

The last piece of the show is Own, Drive, Burn and we have a large Mercedes , an armored personnel carrier and a monster truck. This whole show was full of awesome and crazy.

If you have questions for us, or if you have suggestions for Own, Drive, Burn, just drop them in comments, or hit us up on the Twitter @TopSpeedPodcast . You can also send us an email to Podcast@TopSpeed.com.

Have a safe weekend and we will see you next Thursday.

The Jaguar F-Type was launched for the 2013 model as a spiritual successor to the iconic E-Type . Bolted onto a shortened XK platform, the F-Type was initially introduced as a soft-top convertible . The Coupe version arrived a year later and went on sale for the 2014 model year. Both versions are powered by supercharged V-6 and V-8 engines with outputs ranging from 335 horsepower to 542 ponies. As we approach the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed, we’ve learned that Jaguar will actually produce the F-Type Project 7 that it rolled out as a concept in 2013.

Shortly after releasing the F-Type Roadster, Jaguar created the Project 7 design study. The concept car paid tribute to Ecurie Ecosse racing team that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans race twice with the Jaguar D-Type in the 1950s. The concept featured a D-Type -style rollover hoop behind the driver’s seat, as well as the race car’s white-striped livery. It showcased its astonishing looks at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed before going into history as one of the sexiest concept cars of the 21st century.

Coming into 2014, Jaguar commissioned its Special Vehicle Operations division to transform the concept car into a production vehicle. Thus the F-Type Project 7 ditches its auto show queen status and goes to wander the streets and tracks in all of its Le Mans-inspired glory.

Updated 07/03/2014: Jaguar announced that the new F-Type Project 7 will make its dynamic debut at Le Mans Classic this weekend just in time to celebrate Jaguar D-type’s 60th anniversary. It will be joined by the very first D-type and other F-TYPE R Coupe models.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Jaguar F-Type Project 7.


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