crossover

crossover

  A crossover SUV or XUV is an automobile with a sport utility vehicle appearance but is built upon a more economical and fuel-efficient car-based platform.

The Fiat 500L is probably not the first - or tenth - vehicle you’d associate with accompanying you on your off-road travails.

But that’s the beauty of a show like SEMA ; you see cars turned into something you wouldn’t have accepted and they’re all the better for it!

That’s the case with this Mopar-tuned Fiat 500L, called the Adventurer.

One look at its name and you immediately recognize that this 500L wasn’t built to be a city-dweller, like the standard model is supposed to be. Yet you see that the crossover is pretty versatile in it of itself because the 500L Adventurer looks one heck of a rugged hell raiser.

The 500L Adventurer also has a performance upgrade, thanks to a new Mopar cold-air intake and cat-back exhaust. No word yet on how much of an output increase it’ll have, but we’re preparing ourselves for a significant increase in performance.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Fiat 500L Adventurer

Ah, the boundless joys of childhood. Freedom and possibilities that stretched as far as the neighborhood streets, as fast as your bicycle would ride them, and as a wide as your orange-peel smile in the school cafeteria. Jeep’s new Built Free ad campaign aims to unearth those youthful feelings from under the mundane grind of adulthood with the slogan, "You’re still here. And you’re still you. The horizons haven’t gone anywhere."

The commercial for the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee ditches the numbers-filled, technical approach to selling in favor of a strictly lifestyle angle, with Chrysler saying the technical stuff will come later.

"The return of Jeep Cherokee and the Built Free campaign serves as a reminder that we can fulfill our daily responsibilities and still follow our innate desire to explore new and different experiences," says Olivier Francois, Chrysler’s Chief Marketing Officer. "The Jeep brand has a rich history steeped in the unrelenting pursuit of freedom."

The ad started airing Oct. 28th on all the major television networks and is the first in a long line of advertisements for the new crossover. Print, online, and even movie theater spots will follow, including Ben Stiller’s latest, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

Jeep began marketing the Cherokee this summer with a unique digital campaign “Tales from the Trailhawk,” an online video series showcasing the crossover’s 4x4 capabilities. The video series follows the Cherokee through the many off-road obstacles it faced while earning its “Trail Rated” badge, including traction, articulation, maneuverability, ground clearance, and water fording.

The Cherokee may be trail-rated, but now can finally be considered dealer-rated, as it officially makes it way into dealer showrooms. The Cherokee’s launch was delayed by two months due to last-minute updates to the engine management software. The Cherokee has a base starting price of $22,995, excluding tax, title, and destination.

Click past the jump for more about the all-new 2014 Jeep Cherokee

Posted on by Simona  

The 2013 SEMA Show bursting at the seams with wildly styled cars for the American market, and the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show seems to be doing the same for the Asian market. Suzuki seems to be the automaker leading the charge in wild concepts heading to Tokyo show.

The second concept car developed by Suzuki for the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show is the Crosshiker. This concept carries on where the G70 — a concept unveiled at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show — left off. Just like the G70, the new Crosshiker is a concept vehicle that focuses on weight reduction and highly-efficient powertrains.

The new Crosshiker, just like a large number of other Suzuki concepts hitting the show floor in Tokyo, is part of the company’s new "Let’s Create a Brand New Story" theme, and is based on the "Small Cars for a Big Future" slogan.

The Crosshiker is the perfect proof that Suzuki is serious about developing the small car of the future, as it is a compact crossover that weights only 810 kg (1,785 pounds). It also features a sleek body to allow air to flow easily over it, keeping drag to a minimum.

Under the hood of the Crosshiker sits an all-new 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine that would likely make a smart fortwo puff out its chest. This petite powerplant, according to Suzuki, "strikes a good balance between power and environmental performance."

Sure, it’ll never see a showroom floor, but it shows that Suzuki, which recently pulled its automobiles from the U.S. market, still has a little fight left in it.

Click past the jump to read more about the Suzuki Crosshiker.

Posted on by Simona  

Here in the U.S., we are getting ready for the 2013 SEMA show and the Los Angeles Auto Show , on the opposite side of the world in Japan, folks are getting ready for the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show , which takes place from November 23rd to December 1st, 2013.

It looks like Suzuki one automaker that is taking this show very seriously, as it will unveil four brand-new concept cars and several motorcycles. All of the concepts are part of the company’s new "“Let’s Create a Brand New Story" theme, and are based on the "Small Cars for a Big Future" slogan.

The first concept — called the X-Lander — is based on the small Suzuki Jimny, and it looks more like a toy rather than a real car. The concept was designed as a four-wheel-drive hybrid vehicle, so it is ideal for crowded cities or hard off-road driving.

Click past the jump to read more about the Suzuki X-Lander concept.

BMW X4

The striptease is on folks, and the X4 is on center stage showing off its sides, as it starts losing some camouflage. That’s right, our spy photographers caught the new BMW X4, X5 and X6 parked at the Nϋrburgring raceway, and it is wearing less camo than the last time we saw it.

Though this doesn’t reveal much about what’s going on out back — the part that really matters on this sweet-looking crossover coupe — it does give us an idea of the styling we can expect from the profile view. The side features a rising shoulder-line that seems to connect the front and rear door handles. We can also see that the lower parts of the doors have a nice scallop to them, helping add some sportiness to the upcoming addition to Bimmers lineup.

The front and rear ends are still under cover, but thanks to the earlier unveiled X4 concept, we know that this model will feature the new BMW face — to-the-grille headlights and the slightly forward-leaning kidney grille — unlike the recently shown 2 Series .

The only detail that we have on the back that the X4 will feature a large cargo hatch , like the X6.

The drivetrain lineup is still a mystery, but we assume that it will start out with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder with 240 horsepower, and the top trim levels will likely carry a 3.0-liter, in-line six-cylinder that starts around 300 horsepower and moves up from there.

Click past the jump to see more detailed images on the 2015 X4.

Posted on by TB +  

The Juke NISMO is a hilarious riot to drive. If you take one thing away from this full review, that should be it.

Highway fast lanes clear rapidly when any hint of GT-R or NISMO is coming up from behind.

As the second NISMO-tuned effort after the incredibly transformed 370Z Nismo, the Juke is the perfect combination of economy-car basics, but with the highest-tech racing components outside, inside and under the hood.

A similar upgrade in a past Nissan phase would have been the Nissan Sentra SE-R. Nismo isthe new hotness.

There are amazing details all over the Juke Nismo, especially with its very fun and entertaining persona on the roads. This car loves to be floored in AWD V-spec and Sport modes, slamming through seven virtual - and seriously sporty — upshifts at the red-line. In a CVT!

It is true. A huge part of the NISMO magic in the Juke is the reprogrammed ECU that makes sport mode a mandatory button push - right after lighting up the push-button ignition.

TopSpeed’s Juke Nismo press loaner is the $25,000 AWD automatic with the navigation system upgrade, but all the joy and fun cornering stance is also on offer in the manual-transmission, front-drive Juke Nismo from just $22,990.

The Nissan Juke NISMO is an incredible machine for sports-car fans and hooning boy-racers alike.

Click past the jump to hear all the reasons why this might be the smartest Fiesta ST alternative on the market.

Perfection is the name of the game with Kahn Design, and its latest creation is no exception. This beautiful Audi Q3 2.0 is a wonderful blend of performance and ruggedness, with a few custom touches that make it worth a head turn.

Starting with an Audi Q3, Kahn works its usual magic both inside and outside the all-wheel-drive crossover. The minimalist changes are a reflection of what the Q3’s owner and Kahn Design collaborated together to create.

The majority of changes have taken place inside the Q3, with the beautifully stitched, quilted and perforated seats to go along with red-faced instrument gauges. Outside, 20-inch RS-XF wheels in silver platinum are wrapped in 255/45R20 performance rubber with painted brake calipers shining through.

Click past the jump for more info on the Kahn Design Audi Q3

Posted on by TB +  

Seeing a line of pristine Carrera White Audi ’s from across the paddock at Autobahn Country Club was almost enough to make a guy start jogging to get the first seat time. The brand-new S Q5 was on the pre-event list of attendees, and the new grille finish of the Q5 in brilliant white was very promising.

Within closer range, the “TDI clean diesel” script was visible on the side of almost all ten Audi ’s on offer for the car writers to sample. The A7 and A8 were common sights leaving the club gates, but at least one car writer was mildly disappointed.

Not only was the S Q5 not present, but diesel engines all around? Eek. One bright spot was visible: a gigantic white Q7 with some snazzy fender flares on anthracite grey alloys.

Also... a diesel, but this was more TopSpeed style.

A quick blast up to my gravel road photo spot was enough time to fall head-over-heels for the big Q7, even as its replacement is firmly on the horizon for 2014 or 2015.

This Audi is a creamy beast with torque for days even in the 3.0-liter TDI specification. The real clue to its fresher-than-average looks is the S-line trim worn by the tester, which brings along a host of sporty programming options and décor inside as well.

When a Cayenne is too bouncy, and an Escalade is too soft, look no farther than the Q7 TDI S-line for a seven seats and a ride that is ’juuusst riight’.

Click past the jump for all the beautiful sunny photos of the 2014 Audi Q7 TDI S-line, plus some first-hand observations on how the small-capacity diesel engine performs.

Ever since Aston Martin re-introduced the Lagonda name in 2009, the super-lux SUV has been stuck in limbo with no production plans set in the near future.

Widespread revulsion at its styling froze the crossover in its tracks from day one.

But even with the Lagonda’s future not certain, Aston Martin boss Dr. Ulrich Bez isn’t closing the door on both the Lagonda brand and the Lagonda SUV. Or at least not yet.

Speaking to Drive, Dr. Bez intimated that he still believes that the Lagonda has a production future, although a specific timetable can’t be disclosed just yet.

So, in short, Aston Martin still has hopes for the Lagonda down the road. It’s just a matter of finding the right time to do it. Dr. Bez did say that when the Lagonda does get its production date, one of its biggest draws will be the way its built. Despite being billed as an SUV, the Lagonda will be less "utility" and more "luxury", a straight reference to the kind of image Aston Martin has come to be known for.

That’s good news for those waiting for the Lagonda to return, but not as good as the string Dr. Bez threw out in saying that the door isn’t closed on the SUV and the model for that matter.

Click past the jump to read about the Aston Martin Lagonda SUV Concept from 2009

Posted on by TB +  

The Nissan Juke Nismo is a really surprising little machine. After a week with my foot on the floor (in ’normal’ mode), I was vaguely unimpressed with the little truck’s ability to hustle out of its own way. I thought it looked cool and handled well, had great seats and a good image. But... even the coolest car in the world still needs to be fast to get my attention, and yours too I bet.

Silly me. The TopSpeed team is mostly hard at work during the day producing news content, so the amount of miles we put on the press loaners is pretty low overall.

That extra time was exactly what I needed to discover the Juke Nismo’s sport buttons, which allow personalization of numerous parameters between normal, sport and eco.

Most sport buttons in mainstream cars are a waste of time. They might make the engine hold shifts longer, or thump harder over bumps - but generally achieve very little beyond that.

The Nismo sport tune is far from subtle, however. Cars have to generally start up in their ’Normal’ setting so that they can achieve the emissions and economy required by the test and buyers.

Flipping to Juke Nismo to Sport mode opens up a totally different little crossover. One that has front, AWD auto or even a V-mode all-wheel-drive setting to keep traction.

Skinny tires ensure more playfullness than is normal in a compact, and the sport mode also transforms the optional CVT auto of our test car into something much, much more special. It thrums and upshifts like a real sports car, with handling and steering precision on the highway that seems autobahn-ready.

A quick walk-around video of the Juke Nismo highlights some of the reasons I loved this car by the end of our time together. It also shows of an impressive exhaust rumble and all the Nismo-exclusive styling features of this $27,000 pocket rocket.

Click past the jump to see some clips of the Nissan Juke Nismo ahead of the full TopSpeed Driven review in the coming weeks.


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