$80K-$90K

$80K-$90K

Posted on by Austin Taylor  

The trendy and gorgeous Audi A7 is receiving a facelift for 2015, and with it comes a new 3.0 TDI Ultra model that pushes the turbo-diesel to new heights of efficiency and cleanliness. Introduced in 2012 to compete with the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class , the A7 was an immediate hit. Combining arguably the best styling in the segment, a sumptuous interior, and excellent performance, it’s no wonder this car was so well-received. It wasn’t just consumers who were impressed; the A7 won several awards, including the Automobile Magazine 2012 Car of the Year Award. Autoweek featured the A7 in its "Best of the Best" feature, and, in general The A7 has been at or near the top in virtually every comparison test since its arrival on the U.S. scene.

The TDI version, introduced here just this year, has also been praised. In a recent road test of the 2014 Audi A7 TDI, Car and Driver exclaimed themselves "drunk on diesel." They were particularly enamored with the TDI’s endless 428 pound-feet of torque and excellent efficiency, with a 30 mpg combined rating.

Not one to rest on its laurels, however, Audi is giving the A7 TDI a new Ultra version to help reduce consumption and emissions even more.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TDI ultra.

It was in 2014 when the BMW 2 Series Coupe came to replace the outgoing 1 Series Coupe, and shortly following its release, BMW revealed a couple of cool iterations wearing the M235i badge. By time we turn the calendar to 2015, we will have the even more powerful M2 . For the first time in the compact’s career, BMW opted to develop a customer race car under the M235i Racing moniker. Lighter and more powerful than the standard version, the race car is already a common sight in the VLN Endurance Championship and a handful of them managed to run a full 24-hour race at Nurburgring this year.

With the M235i shaping up into a hell of a rival for the compact sports cars such as the Audi TTS or the Nissan 370Z , a brawnier version of the coupe is rolling out in Germany as we speak. This time it’s not BMW that’s responsible for the mighty racer; rather TuningWerk, a small company known for updating any BMW BMW and Mini it can get its hands on, is the mastermind behind this one. Meet the BMW M235i RS, the most powerful 2 Series ever created.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 BMW M235i By TuningWerk.

Brought to the market as a replacement for the 1 Series Coupe , the 2 Series inherited everything that made the former a great, back-to-the-roots Bimmer . Introduced in 2013, the 2 Series lineup grew larger in a flash by incorporating the mandatory M235i and the future M2 guises. But unlike most BMWs, the 2 Series also gained a racing version under the M235i Racing moniker.

Why did BMW choose the M235i and not the more nimble and powerful M2 for a race car project you may ask? That’s easy. The M235i Racing is supposed to be an entry-level race car that small privateers and amateur drivers can afford. It’s not a race car that can win a head-to-head battle with the Audi R8 LMS Ultra , but it does provide the thrills of racing for less than $90,000. That may sound like a lot even for a BMW-badged vehicle, but it’s pretty cheap given today’s racing scene.

Introduced last year, the 2014 BMW M235i Racing is already doing what it knows best at the hands of private teams, but the Germans decided to step in and field an entry of their own at this year’s Nurburgring 24 Hours race.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW M235i Racing Nurburgring 24 Hours Edition.

Open top road/track cars have become the rage these days. That’s especially true in Great Britain where seemingly a new startup comes to life promising to take the segment to a new level. Elemental is the latest to try its luck and it has come out swinging, unveiling the RP-1 and promising to lay waste to the KTM X-Bow and the Ariel Atom .

It’s an awfully difficult segment to launch new products into, especially when it’s pitted against some very established competitors. But Elemental is undaunted and the British company is relishing the opportunity to prove its worth with the RP-1.

You can’t blame the company for at least being confident. After all, the RP-1 is being promised as an evolution of the road and track car and taking it to a new level with a package that includes a powerful Ford EcoBoost engine wrapped in a lightweight carbon fiber body.

In a perfect world, such proclamations are treated with wide-eyed admiration. But with so many of this kind of cars in the market, Elemental still needs to prove itself before it’s treated with the same reverence as a company like Ariel.

The company has gotten the ball rolling in that regard. Now comes the time where the RP-1 prove its worth.

Updated 06/23/2014: The first images on the Elemental RP-1 were revealed before the car’s official debut at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Enjoy!

Click past the jump to read more about the Elemental RP-1.

The BMW X6 has been blurring the lines of SUV and sports car since its introduction in 2008. Things got even more strange when BMW threw a diesel engine under its hood and slapped an M badge on the side. Yes, BMW makes a diesel-powered M product. Unfortunately for those in the United States, the X6 M50d has been unobtainable. That trend sadly continues as the X6 rolls into its second generation for 2015.

The X6 can thank its second-generation upgrade to the X5, the SUV on which it’s based and shares much of its platform. For 2014, the X5 received a healthy makeover, including slightly larger dimensions for increased interior volume, a revised exterior, and a fresh interior.

The standard 2015 X6 is destined to arrive on U.S. shores likely sometime in the fourth quarter of 2014. While the M50d will be missing from our BMW lineup, our friends overseas will get to enjoy its torque-rich oil-burner. The M50d sports a straight-six construction displacing 3.0-liters and spooled up by two turbochargers. With an output of 381 horsepower and a tire-shredding 546 pound-feet of torque, the X6 M50d sprints to 62 mph in just 5.1 seconds.

Even with all that power, the 3.0-liter, I-6 diesel still sips fuel like a Prius. On the European test cycle, the SUV returns a highly-respectable 42.8 mpg! Let that soak in while you click past the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 BMW X6 M50d.

Posted on by Shanto  

Audi launched the sportier version of the A7 , known as S7, for the 2013 model year in the U.S., giving the quirky four-door a 420-horsepower V-8 to play with after just one year on the market. In 2014, the S7 received mild updates that included blind-spot warning, power folding mirrors and a stunning Black Optics package. Heading into the 2015 model year, the S7 is set for even more updates, as Audi is giving the model a facelift that includes new bumpers, tailpipes, headlights, and a revised Singleframe grille. Also included is an extra 30 horsepower over the 2014 model.

Audi introduced the A7 four-door coupe after realizing the success of the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class in this niche segment. BMW followed Audi with its 6 Series Gran Coupe in 2013.

With Audi and BMW locked in a see-saw battle for the lead in luxury car sales in 2014, the German brand is doing all it can to end the year at No. 1. This includes a revamp of its low-volume A7 lineup, which includes the S7. U.S. sales of the entire A7 line were up 7.1 percent at the end of April 2014, and this redesign should help keep that pattern.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Audi S7 Sportback.

The Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid sure made a name for itself in Europe last year, earning the distinction of being one of the best-selling hybrid-electrified vehicles on that side of the world. With the car’s success, it would’ve been a foregone conclusion to think that Volvo was going to take advantage of it. Well, how else do you describe the Swedish automaker’s decision to release the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid R-Design?

Essentially, the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid R-Design is a combination of two worlds for Volvo, one involving the car’s rather popular hybrid setup and another involving its, well, "sportier" R-Design side.

The latter doesn’t really move the needle for us, but the former sure does, enough for us to wonder whether this hybrid has a future in US soil. It’s unlikely at this point given how successful the model has been in Europe, but we’re still holding out hope.

After all, if Volvo has a mode this popular in Europe , wouldn’t it be a smart idea to send it across the Atlantic to see whether it has the make-up to equal its success in Europe?

Here’s to hoping Volvo shares our sentiments on that one.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid R-Design.

With 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque at its disposal, the brand-new 2015 Cadillac Escalade leads the full-size luxury SUV segment in terms of power. But if that’s not enough for you, then you’ll be happy to learn that the folks over at Hennessey Performance have taken the V-8’s output even further.

Using its new HPE550 package, the Texas-based specialist upgraded the 6.2-liter mill to deliver 557 horsepower and 542 pound-feet of torque, which translates into 32 percent and 18 percent increases respectively. As with most Hennessey tweaks, the package also includes an air-to-water intercooler system and engine management recalibration.

In a conversation with John Hennessey, the company expects one-second faster 0-to-60 and quarter-mile times, but they won’t have the official numbers until testing is completed in late-May 2014. By our estimates, this would put it at around five seconds flat. We will bring you the official numbers as soon as they become available. Top speed, however, will likely not be affected by the HPE550 kit, due to the electronic limiter on the Escalade.

The SUV’s exterior, however, remains unchanged, save for a set of lightweight Hennessey H10 forged, monoblock wheels that can be ordered separately for a hefty $6,950. The 20-inch rollers are supposed to allow more power to reach the pavement, thanks to their reduced rotating mass, which could mean a slight acceleration improvement.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Cadillac Escalade HPE550.

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.

Breaking news, ladies and gentlemen! Chevrolet has just unveiled that one of its three premieres for the New York Auto Show is the 2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible. If that’s not good news, I don’t know what is!

The big deal about it is that this is the first factory-built Corvette Z06 Convertible since 1963, when Chevy introduced the said package as a performance update for endurance racing. It was actually called "RPO Z06" and included a larger-diameter front anti-roll bar, a vacuum brake booster, a dual master cylinder, larger shocks and stiffer springs.

Because it also came with a gas tank that was nearly double the size of standard 20-gallon tank, the package was only available on coupe models at first. However, the manufacturer says that one convertible was fitted with the Z06 bundle that year.

Getting back to the newly-revealed model, Chevrolet claims the Z06 Convertible represents "the culmination of more than four years developing an all-new, all-aluminum structure." You see, because the new structure is much more stiffer than the previous Z06, the drop-top sports car needed no structural reinforcements, which means its curb weight won’t be affected by missing a fixed roof.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible.


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