compact cars

compact cars

  Compact car is a largely North American term denoting an automobile smaller than a midsize car, but larger than a subcompact car. Compact cars usually have wheelbases between 2.54 metres (100 inches) and 2.67 metres (105 inches). Another definition specifies between 100 ft³ (2800 L) and 109 ft³ (3000 L) of interior volume.

We know Ken Block has sick drifting skills, but we didn’t know he was still as adept at smoking tires even with the lights turned off. The man famous for his Gymkhana videos definitely proved as much in this new commercial from Castrol Edge.

Block was joined by BMW factory driver Augusto Farfus, GP2 driver Adrian Zaugg, and DTM driver Mike Rockenfeller in this commercial. Together, all four drivers were given a unique challenge: drive their respective vehicles in complete darkness with only their headlights to put the company’s newest and strongest oil to the test.

The challenge looks simple enough until you realize how easy it is to get discombobulated by all the lighting effects, particularly the Laser Box that Block found himself in.

But true to their racing pedigrees, the drivers successfully pulled off all the stunts, capped off by Block doing his own drift tricks inside the Box. It’s definitely worth three minutes of your time, if only to see how Mr. Gymkhana himself manages to balance drifting his car while also enjoying that laser lights show.

Left without a proper compact after discontinuing the Skylark in 1997, Buick made a comeback to the segment by launching the Verano sedan in 2011. The vehicle quickly joined the Encore and Enclave crossovers in helping Buick’s growth in both the United States and China. In 2013, the Verano accounted for 20 percent of Buick sales in the U.S.

Although the current Verano is only three years old, Buick is already working on a brand-new model. The redesigned vehicle sits atop the same Delta II platform underpinning the upcoming Chevrolet Cruze and the Euro-exclusive Opel Astra . Naturally, the new Verano shares many of its internals with the latter.

What the Verano doesn’t share with the Astra, however, is its styling. Slightly longer and wider than its Opel -badged brother, the Verano benefits from Buick’s trademark front grille — now wider for a more aggressive grin — and borrows a few cues from the larger LaCrosse model. The spy shots that arrived in our inbox straight from Germany suggest the sedan is keeping its sleek profile, while gaining a prettier rear end, with the taillights biting more into the fenders.

Things are changing under the hood as well, where an all-new, turbocharged, 1.5-liter four-pot replaces the old 2.4-liter Ecotec unit. Word has it General Motors is also looking to share the Chevrolet Cruze’s 2.0-liter turbodiesel mill with Buick. The latter delivers 151 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of torque, while returning up to 46 mpg on the highway.

We expect the new Verano to break cover in late 2015 and go on sale for the 2016 model year.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Buick Verano.

The media and prospective buyers have given Mercedes ’ new compact crossover — the GLA-Class — a lot of attention lately. And whenever there’s a new Mercedes like the GLA-Class , one can expect Brabus to start work on a tuning program for it. Like its past projects on other Mercedes vehicles, Brabus understands how to turn up the heat with its aftermarket programs. In this particular case, Brabus not only brings out the GLA-Class’ untapped performance credentials, but does so while looking classy and luxurious.

It’s hard not to love the GLA-Class, especially when an aftermarket company like Brabus gets its hands on it. The strikingly designed exterior that carries distinctive highlights showcases a GLA-Class that looks as comfortable in city streets as it is taking on some light off-road duties.

And don’t forget, Brabus always pays premium importance on giving its programs hefty performance increases and the GLA-Class is no different. Think the GLA-Class’ standard 208 horsepower is enough for Brabus?

Think again, fellas. Think again.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mercedes GLA-Class By Brabus.

Polestar may be the most renown company in the Volvo modifying business, but these Swedish cars have gone through many workshops for visual and performance upgrades in recent years. One of them belongs to Heico Sportiv , a German venture that has left its fingerprint on anything from the compact Volvo C30 to the full-size XC90 SUV .

More recently, though, the crew located near the city of Darmstadt has been busy turning the V40 hatchback into a more nimble machines. Using various tricks, the Germans came up with the T5 HPC and V40 "Pirelli" , both outstanding in terms of performance and looks.

For 2014, Heico Sportiv decided it’s time to take the V40 Cross Country to another level and turn it into a crossover capable to take on rougher paths without losing its much appreciated driving dynamics. To achieve that goal, Heico started by raising the vehicle’s suspension by about 30 mm (1.2 inches) and designing specific shock absorbers and springs.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volvo V40 Cross Country By Heico Sportiv.

You know how our smartphones and tablets always needs to have distinctive-looking cases that make them stand out from our friends’ gadgets. It’s not just with phones and tablets. The same also holds true for surfboards, wallets, or really anything that we can attach our personalities, too.

In some respects, car customization has also been around for a long time. But while it always used to be in the hands of the automaker or tuners to customize our cars for us, StickOut is offering all of us a chance to do the customization ourselves.

Is all goes well with the company’s Kickstarter fundraising campaign, all we will need to do is go to its website and we are in charge of the design, color, and layout of our very own customization plan for our car. It’s an idea that’s been around for a while but not to the extent where we’re left to our own devices to imprint our personalities into our rides.

It’s a fascinating thing to check out, especially if you’re the type who’s down for dressing up your own ride to fit your personality. Do check out the video and hop on to their site if you think it’s worth looking into.

Check out more videos from the company after the jump.

You’re looking at a flatbed trailer full of "slightly used" BMW 1-Series ActiveE electric test cars that recently paid a visit to the crusher. The saddening sight of low-mileage Bimmers spray painted, pancaked, and parked atop each other is an unexpected part of the automaker’s initial testing of fully electrified vehicles in preparation for the i3 and i8 models.

BMW launched the testing program in 2010 with some 700 1-Series in a massive real-world field study with regular owners (that BMW termed electronauts) behind the wheels. BMW studied everything from driving habits to the cars’ performance over time while the owners reported back their thoughts and findings. However, now that the production version of the i3 is available and the i8 coming in limited numbers, , BMW ended the extended lease program.

The automaker announced it would be sending many of the used cars to a car-sharing service in California, but only 70 units have been allotted. The remaining cars’ fates were left in question as the owners turned in their cars for new i3 vehicles. That is, until this pictures surfaced recently on Facebook.

Granted, the ActiveE cars were all pre-production models that could never legally be outright sold to a regular buyer, but we can’t help but wonder why BMW isn’t donating these leftover cars to high school and college technology programs around the country. Perhaps we’ll take solace in knowing this flatbed represents only a small portion of the 700 ActiveE electric cars and the rest might receive happier fates.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW ActiveE.

Source: Autos Yahoo

If you happen to be a fan of slightly quirky Japanese cars with AWD, I have great news for you. It seems Subaru is finally spending the money to bring new platforms and engines to its lineup of cars.

The report comes from Automotive News, who is claiming that after six straight years of record-breaking growth, the Fuji Heavy Industries subsidiary is going to bring a new modular platform to market in a 2016. Along with this new platform that will underpin, the new Impreza and Outback as well as the Legacy and an unnamed three-row crossover , Subaru will add direct injection to every single engine it builds in an effort to improve fuel economy. Adding direct injection will also improve emissions and improve performance.

The goal is to make its models even more enticing to buyers by providing all the same Subaru greatness with even better fuel economy, traditionally a downside of Subaru’s love of AWD.

Click past the jump to read more about the current Subaru Impreza.

Volkswagen hasn’t confirmed if it will sell a Golf R wagon in the future, but it appears its engineers and test drivers are busy developing a hot grocery getter. Now just in prototype form, the Golf R Variant showed up at the Nuburgring track to practice its skills and give us a taste of what we may be getting in showrooms. Not surprising, the wagon borrowed many body details from the hatchback , including the more aggressive front bumper, the 19-inch wheels wrapped in low-profile tires and a quad-exit exhaust fitted below the rear bumper. Some of these features set it apart from the mule we’ve seen earlier this year .

There are no badges proving the wagon we’re looking at is the Golf R, but our spy photographers have confirmed that Volkswagen is indeed testing it on the Nordschleife before giving it the green light.

If the Germans decide to go ahead with the project, the Golf R Variant will most likely be powered by a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-pot rated at 290 horsepower and 280 pound feet of torque. The wagon should take fewer than six seconds to sprint from 0 to 60 mph on its way to a top speed limited at 155 mph. The 4MOTION all-wheel-drive and the six-speed manual gearbox will come standard, while VW will offer the six-speed DGS as an alternative.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Volkswagen Golf R Variant.

Only one year has passed since Nissan revived its Datsun brand by introducing the GO hatchback , and the Japanese manufacturer has just confirmed its return to the compact car segment (C-segment in Europe) with a brand-new vehicle.

Dubbed Pulsar, a name previously used for a line of compact cars sold in Asia and Australia since 1978 (not to be confused with the Pulsar NX sports car marketed in the U.S. between 1983 and 1990), the new vehicle is a five-door hatchback aimed at models such as the Volkswagen Golf and the Ford Focus .

Nissan ’s recipe for the Pulsar is pretty much simple and includes an instantly recognizable design with styling cues borrowed from the Qashqai , small, turbocharged engine that deliver decent power and return attractive fuel economy, and a price tag that’s likely to put the hatchback below most of its competitors.

A big bet for the Japanese automaker in Europe, the Pulsar is basically insignificant to the U.S. market, with Nissan having no plans to ship it across the ocean. This might very well change depending on vehicle’s success in Europe, but we’re at least a couple of years away from a pertinent verdict. Either way, the Pulsar is a hatchback worth looking at, and that’s what we’re about to do after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Nissan Pulsar.

Oh Mini Cooper and its infinite number of look-alike models. It appears from these spy shots, the BMW sub-brand is further expanding its lineup with this five-door version of the standard hatchback, yet not to be a replacement for the Clubman. We say that because it’s seemingly parked next to a new, third-generation Clubman five-door.

This blue model coated in a yellow, swirly wrap still has its hatch-like trunk area, while getting the two extra side doors. It’s not clear what exactly separates the two side-by-side cars except their boots, but they are definitely being developed together. The car itself also appears to have gained some extra width with, surely helping its interior volume and passenger comfort.

Of course this new Clubman hatchback will join the slew of other Mini products in the coming months. It’s possible the cars will debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show happening sometime in September, but that’s pure speculation. Just stay tuned to TopSpeed for any breaking news on Mini’s ever-expanding lineup of not-so-small cars.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mini Cooper 5-Door.


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