$50K-$60K

$50K-$60K

Chevrolet’s release of the all new Camaro ZL1 at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show allowed them to reignite the muscle car wars that have been burning up the automotive websites for a good and long time. But before Chevrolet can shout out "Checkmate,"

Ford has answered the ZL1 with an update car of their own: the 2013 Shelby GT500. Recent spy shots have revealed that the company is already testing the 2013MY GT500 and it will be more powerful than ever.

The Camaro ZL1’s LSA 6.2L supercharged V-8 engine producing an estimated 550 horsepower and 550 pound-feet. of torque is nothing to shake a stick at, but Ford has one-upped them once again. The Eaton M112 supercharger that is being housed in the current GT500’s V8 engine will be replaced with the more-efficient and quieter TVS unit. The V8 engine found in the 2013 model will also get modified and bumped up to 5.8L, all while producing up to 650 horsepower and making it the most powerful, factory made Mustang ever! The game continues...Your move Chevrolet.

UPDATE 07/02/2012: Ford has unveiled a new video featuring the 2013 Shelby GT500 as it goes out to the quarter-mile drag strip to see what it’s made of.

More details on the 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 after the jump.

The Infiniti IPL G Cabrio Concept was a surprise attendee at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, leading to a lot of curious eyebrows as to why the car made its way there in the first place. Turns out, Infiniti brought the concept as part of their announcement for plans for a production version set to be released soon.

Following in the footsteps of the IPL G Coupe , which itself was first introduced around this time last year, the IPL G Convertible is being prepared to give consumers an open-top version of the affordable yet high-powered sports car from Infiniti’s Performance Line.

The IPL G Convertible was officially unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show, drawing an overwhelmingly positive response from a crowd that saw a car replete with impressive exterior, interior, and performance features.

“Like every Infiniti, the new IPL G Convertible takes a different path from its established competitors, with its retractable hardtop that is designed to look as good with the top up as down," said Infiniti Americas Vice President Ben Poore. "It’s a terrific addition to the Infiniti Performance Line, taking the dramatic Infiniti G Convertible to an even higher level.”

The Infiniti IPL G Cabrio Concept was a surprise attendee at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, leading to a lot of curious eyebrows as to why the car made its way there in the first place. Turns out, Infiniti brought the concept as part of their announcement for plans for a production version set to be released soon.

Following in the footsteps of the IPL G Coupe , which itself was first introduced around this time last year, the IPL G Convertible is being prepared to give consumers an open-top version of the affordable yet high-powered sports car from Infiniti’s Performance Line.

The IPL G Convertible was officially unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show, drawing an overwhelmingly positive response from a crowd that saw a car replete with impressive exterior, interior, and performance features.

“Like every Infiniti, the new IPL G Convertible takes a different path from its established competitors, with its retractable hardtop that is designed to look as good with the top up as down," said Infiniti Americas Vice President Ben Poore. "It’s a terrific addition to the Infiniti Performance Line, taking the dramatic Infiniti G Convertible to an even higher level.”

UPDATE 06/07/2012: Infiniti has announced prices for the 2013 IPL G Convertible which is on sale now at Infiniti retailers nationwide. The model will be priced from $60,600, while its coupe brother has a starting price of $50,500.

Find out more about the Infiniti IPL G Convertible after the jump

Posted on by Thomas Nelson 3

In the gear head community, the arrival of a new Shelby GT 500 Mustang is always eagerly awaited. The 2013 Shelby Mustang is no different and this anticipation has been exaggerated because of rumors of a new power plant.

Car and Driver points out that, initially, a turbocharged engine was rumored to be under the hood, but Ford has confirmed that the 2013 Shelby Mustang will keep its supercharged V8. This supercharged V8 will reportedly put out 600 horses. There’s been no word on the price of this top-end pony car, but it will most likely remain in the $50-60K range.

This latest Mustang will face stiff competition from its muscle car rivals from Chevy , Dodge , and Chrysler . The list of rivals from these manufacturers include the Camaro ZL1 , and the Dodge Challenger and Chrysler SRT-8 , if they get the addition of a supercharger.

This is another example of the renewed Detroit civil war and this "conflict" is pushing innovation and engineering to the forefront again in a cut throat competition for the toughest crowd of all: automotive enthusiasts.

Posted on by Thomas Nelson 19

Have you ever wanted a luxury SUV that would let you soak up the sun? Well, you may just get one that is fully capable. We’re not talking fancy glass sunroofs either; we’re talking about an Evoque convertible. LandRover is reportedly considering a drop top model of their new jewel and when AutoExpress talked to them about this rumor, they did not deny it.

"A convertible Evoque wouldn’t be the maddest brand extension. It isn’t a totally crazy idea," a spokeperson admitted. “All I can say is watch this space. We’ve got lots of ideas for the Evoque."

There’s no word about what will power this Land Rover convertible, but it will most likely be the 2.0 liter turbocharged engine that pumps out 237 horsepower and 250 ft/lbs of torque. As for pricing, expect a base cost north of the premium Evoque Coupe Dynamic ($52,895).

Competition for this cabrio will emerge from Nissan, who premiered a convertible version of their Murano SUV called the Cross Cabriolet . We are supremely excited to see how this new market segment develops because before these vehicles, the only full size SUV that had a drop top was the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited . This vehicle was made to pound the dirt trails as opposed to the streets of Dana Point and is about as elegant as a pair of cargo pants. The Land Rover would offer people the convertible experience combined with both luxury amenities and the practicality of a Land Rover. Who can say no to a car that offers you all that?

Source: AutoExpress
Posted on by Thomas Nelson 4

BMW’s M division has always been known for consistently pushing the envelope in performance and engineering. For example, the E30 M3 had a ferocious 192 horsepower inline-4 that had thrust comparable to a Jupiter missile and could still go around a corner properly. The next generation E36 M3 was powered by a brand new six cylinder engine with 240 horsepower. M’s desire to be the automotive equivalent of Magellan didn’t start or end with the M3 - the e60 M5 set the bar high with its revolutionary V10 which revved to over 7000 rpm! - but BMW keeps excelling at taking the sports car to the next level.

Proof of this comes in the latest details for the future M3 . According to AutoExpress, the new M3 (due out in 2014) will revert back to a six cylinder motor as opposed to the current V8. But just because it has lost two cylinders to the relentless push for greater fuel economy, don’t think that the innovation has stopped. The newest engineering masterpiece from BMW is the tri-turbo engine. That’s right, an engine with three turbos. How does this work? Well, the first two will be rather conventional since they will run off exhaust gasses, but the third will be an electric turbo. This new engine will reportedly push out around 450 horsepower and, in addition to this inventive engine, AutoExpress reports that BMW will add more carbon fiber parts to help lower the weight.

If this M3 does come into production, BMW will set an engineering benchmark that few can hope to surpass and a performance threshold that will set them atop the heap.

Source: AutoExpress

Audi has just revealed the A6 Avant in Berlin. The Avant is the most successful business-class station wagon in Europe and the new model will be offered with a choice of six engines with an 18% fuel consumption, a lightweight body, and many additional innovations.

The base version will be offered with a 177 HP 2.0 TDI engine, while the top model gets a 313 HP 3.0 TDI engine. The 2.0L TDI version is the most impressive when it comes to fuel economy with a total of 47 mpg on the highway.

Like with all the other models, the A6 Avant will also get a S-Line sports package that will lower the body by 30 millimeters and includes large wheels, appearance modifications, and many special details for the all-black interior.

The seventh generation Audi A6 Avant will go on sale on the European markets in late summer 2011 with a base price of 40,850 euros - or about $58,000 at the current exchange rates.

Hit the jump to read more about the new Audi A6 Avant.

Posted on by Matt McDonald 5

Believe it or not, once upon a time Mercedes was not producing more powerful and agile versions of its best sedans. AMG was a separate tuning company not exclusively owned by Mercedes Benz. They operated much the same as any other tuner, such as Brabus or Lorinser . Most automotive manufacturers dismiss the aftermarket world and few would ever market an aftermarket design through its own dealership network.

The relationship between Mercedes and AMG was different and the two brothers from Großaspach, Germany were able to catch their biggest break in the early 1990s. Mercedes Benz realized that it needed to compete in the sports sedan market and its down right boring C280 model was just not enough when up against a BMW M3 . The two companies soon signed a contract allowing AMG to use the extensive worldwide dealer network that was at Mercedes’ disposal to market and sell their cars. The first was to be called the C36 AMG. There is some debate as to what was actually the first AMG car, but this was certainly the first to be sold by Mercedes as an AMG model. Racing collaborations had taken place in previous years, but never sold to the public in this fashion.

The C36 proved to be a success, even though many AMG enthusiasts may dismiss it. The car was more powerful than an M3 and the limited production run made it desirable to Mercedes buyers looking for a special vehicle. Production of the C36 stopped in 1998, but Mercedes would soon after take a controlling 51% share in AMG and begin using it as an exclusive tuning arm.

Hit the jump for more details on 1995 C36 AMG.

Source: Mercedes
Posted on by Matt McDonald 2

In 1998, if you were growing out of your boy racer faze and becoming a man that was still looking for driving excitement to go with his morning coffee, then your options were slim. Entry level luxury sedans were still in their infancy and BMW had utter dominance in the segment. The E36 M3 models were the enthusiast’s weapon of choice and they also offered luxury coupled with everyday drivability.

Other manufacturers such as Audi began to use displacement as their weapon of choice and the horsepower wars began. It started with each manufacturer utilizing the specialties of their in house tuning shops more and more, but it has progressed to epic proportions today. Consider that most of these small sedans have changed little in overall size and the “performance” models of the 1990s were powered by small and efficient engines pushing under or just above 300hp. Today, 300hp in a sports sedan would be laughed right off the autobahn by cars pushing at least 400hp with V8s or twin turbo V6s.

Nonetheless, this was the beginning and Mercedes was poised to take things to a new level. A new engine had been developed for use in theML , CLK , and S-class models as an entry-level V8. It was the 4.3-liter model that was coded 430 on the badges of the vehicles. Before it even made an appearance in those other models for standard duty, AMG was able to get their hands on it and make some major improvements. The beast that emerged would be forced into the C43 AMG in order to take on the other German brands.

Hit the jump for more details on the 1998 Mercedes C43 AMG.

Posted on by Matt McDonald 6

We’ve all played racing games on various systems like the PlayStation 3 or XBOX 360 , and for the most part they are all the same. Graphics have been getting better and better with more powerful processors, but the feel of actually driving is largely absent. This is not so much the game creator’s fault, but more a problem with the philosophy of controlling a car with only a handheld remote.

Back in the day when I was playing games like “Cruisin’ USA” for the Nintendo 64, I remember the rumble pack being a revelation. You could actually feel some of the feedback from the road, but mostly just when you crashed. Today, video games have expanded far beyond what I could have ever imagined as a kid and even race teams and manufacturers use these systems to develop their technology before it is ever tested on the track.

Force Dynamics is a company that designs and constructs motion simulators for various applications. They have taken the time to understand how the brain interprets speed and have translated that information into the most advanced gaming chair on the market. The 401 system features full four-axis motion movements, surround sound speakers, and a high definition display to make the driver feel as if they were really on the race track.

Hit the jump for more details on the Force Dynamics Chair

When we got our turn with the new Lexus F-Sports Edition , we weren’t all that impressed with the suped up IS 350C. Lexus had basically taken their boring sedan and juiced it up just for the sheer sport of it and, as it turns out, a geek on steroids still isn’t all that cool. Now it seems as if Lexus is bringing it back for the 2011MY, but with a few changes in its price and number of units.

Either people agreed with us and Lexus is lowering the price with the hopes that more units will sell and even out their bottom line, or the company thinks more people should get the chance to drive around in their pseudo-sports car. Something tells us that the jump from 100 units to 175 and the $55,120 (down from last year’s $57,500) price tag is more of a bargaining chip than it is a gesture of sincerity. Either way, the Lexus IS 350C F Sport Special Edition will go on sale at the end of February 2011.

Lexus didn’t concern themselves with upgrading the engine of the vehicle, which is probably a good thing because the car couldn’t handle the power it was given to begin with, but they did add a few new F Sport Performance accessories to make it worth our while - not that it is. They also changed the exterior colors from Tungsten Pearl and Obsidian to Starfire Pearl and Obsidian.

Hit the jump to read more about the Lexus IS 350C F Sport Special Edition.


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