Jaguars are cool. Jaguars are awesome. Jaguars are the best.
Anytime you attach those three descriptions to the British automaker, chances are, you’re going to have a lot of people agreeing with you. That includes German tuner, Loder1899, who not only loves Jaguars, but loves them enough to give one of the brand’s models - the XF V6 Diesel - a comprehensive aerodynamic and performance upgrade.
The trick to appreciating Loder1899’s program is to look at the details. The things you’ll notice are the new components, including the front apron, the boot lid spoiler and the carbon-fiber diffuser. Looks great, right?
But once you really take a closer look at the car, you’ll also notice that a lot of its components have been blacked-out, particularly the grille, the headlights, the hood vents, front intakes, side mirrors, side vents, the taillights and even the Jaguar badges. What all this blacked-out goodness does is turn the XF into a wicked saloon that oozes of attitude. Rounding out the exterior modifications is a new set of 21-inch wheels wrapped in 255 tires.
Under its hood, the XF V6 Diesel also gets the benefit of having a remapped ECU unit that increases its output from the standard 275 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque to an impressive 310 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque, good enough to allow the car to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 6.2 seconds, 0.2 seconds faster than the standard model with a top speed of 155 mph.
Click past the jump to read about the Jaguar XF Diesel Full story
Clean diesel models are just starting to make their ways into the North American market, and to everyone’s surprise, they do quite well. For example, in the first quarter of 2012, sales numbers were up 35 percent when compared to the same period of 2011 and things continue to improve.
From all diesel units sold in the USA last year, a total of 44 percent where the Jetta TDI, a pretty astounding result, considering this is about half of a market that offers about 25 clean diesel models, which experts say will double by 2017.
The first step into this direction was made at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show where Chevy unveiled the new Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel - not a big surprise considering Cruze is Chevrolet’s hottest-selling sedan.
The model will be put on sale at a starting price at $25,695, which is about $2,500 more than the Jetta TDI priced at $23,055.
UPDATE 6/12/2013: This review has been updated with the official drivetrain specifications. Surprisingly, they are significantly better than GM originally estimated.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2014 Chevrolet Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel. Full story
Jaguar UK announced that for the 2014 model year, the XF lineup will be expanded with the addition of a new four-cylinder engine. Also, new for 2014 the XF will receive an extended navigation system offering a more focused and intuitive mapping, a smart keyboard and one-way road visualization.
The new, four-cylinder, 2.2-liter diesel engine delivers a total of 163 horsepower and will be mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The new four-cylinder engine features a larger exhaust gas recirculation valves and a revised cooling assembly, which contributes to its astronomical 57.7 mpg and 129 g/km CO2 ratings.
The new engine is combined with Jaguar’s Stop-Start system, which features a twin-solenoid starter system that shuts down the engine when the car comes to a halt and restarts it fast enough for the driver to shoot into traffic seamlessly. When this system shuts down the engine, the instrument panel shows an illuminated ’ECO’ symbol. The 2014 XF is equipped with two batteries: one for the engine re-starting and one for all the other ancillaries.
If for some reason, the driver would like to deactivate the Start-Stop system, he can do so manually. However, the system reactivates on the following key cycle.
Click past the jump to read more about the standard Jaguar XF. Full story
Along with the new third-generation X5, BMW also offered the first details on the new X5 M50d - a model first added to the lineup back in 2012.
As no surprise, this diesel X5 will be offered with the same upgrades as the standard version, including a new front and rear fascia, a new set of headlights and an updated interior.
The new X5 M50d is powered by a tri-turbocharged 3.0-liter in-line-six diesel engine delivering a total of 376 horsepower between 4,000 and 4,400rpm and 546 pound-feet of torque from 2,000 to 3,000 rpm. The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic and sends its power to all four wheels. The X5 M50d will sprint to 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds and up to a top speed of 155 mph. BMW is reporting a combined fuel consumption of 35.1 mpg U.S.
The bad news is that the new BMW X5 M50d won’t be offered on the U.S. market, hence it being a 2013 model year instead of a 2014.
Click past the jump to read more the BMW X5 M50d. Full story
After taking care of the standard seventh-gen Golf and the GTI version, German tuner, ABT Sportsline, decided to do the same with the GTD version.
It’s no surprise that the updates offered for the GTD version are nearly identical to the ones offered in the standard version and include updates to the exterior and some extra horses under the hood.
Most of the work was made under the hood where the tuner installed its ABT Power kit that increases the four-cylinder’s output up to a total of 210 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque - up from the standard 184 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque.
To give the Golf the look to match the added power, ABT Sportsline also offers an aerodynamic kit and a set of aftermarket wheels. Also, for a better engine sound, the rear pipes were replaced with new ones.
Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Golf GTD by ABT Sportsline. Full story
Alongside the seventh-generation Golf, Volkswagen has also dropped one of the world’s most fuel-efficient family cars – the new Golf BlueMotion – onto the market. The model is about 15-percent more fuel efficient than its predecessor, but at the same time it also offers the same level of practicality, comfort and safety as a standard Golf.
The new model was previewed by the Golf BlueMotion Concept at the 2012 Paris Auto Show and, as no surprise, the production version is basically identical.
When compared to a standard Golf, the BlueMotion version features a lightweight design and it is more aerodynamic, thanks to a lowered ride. The exterior updates combine with a highly efficient diesel engine to ensure out-of-this-world fuel economy.
The model is now on sale and on the British market and is relatively affordable for such an efficient car.
Click past the jump to read more about the new Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion. Full story
If you want to buy a German mid-sized sedan, you have three choices: Audi A4, BMW 3 Series or Mercedes C-Class. Still, the C-Class has lost lots of ground in the past few years and it was about time for Mercedes to do something about it.
The next-generation Mercedes C-Class has been caught testing in many times, but until now we had no details on the engines to be featured in the new model. However, in a recent interview Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Steve Cannon revealed that the next C-Class will be offered with a series of firsts: the first diesel and hybrid powertrains, first time with an all-wheel-drive system will and the first time the next C-Class will have an engine built in the United States: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder developed in cooperation with Nissan.
Also, next to the current sedan and coupe variants, the next C-Class will also add a convertible and station wagon versions. All these changes were required to make the C-Class more competitive with the BMW 3 Series.
Mercedes will unveil the next-generation C-Class at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show; the coupe and convertible will arrive in 2015. The hybrid version will also arrive in 2015. Full story
RallyRaid International brings 16 years of hard-fought distance rallying expertise to the creation of their latest model, the Desert Warrior 3. The DW3’s rise and current dominance of FIA endurance rallying is an interesting “underdog” story. Exclusive interviews with team principle Paul Round and lead designer Mike “BD” Jones reveal the details of the BMW-powered DW3’s exotic in-house design and the current two-model range.
The RallyRaid DW3 looks like a simple body-style evolution on the familiar Bowler template for Land Rover-based Dakar rally cars. In fact, the Evoque appearances are just a cosmetic touch to provide continuity between the DW3 and RallyRaid’s previous generations of Defender-inspired Desert Warriors.
UK-based RallyRaid International is a small, battle-hardened operation that shies from the limelight much more than others in the high-dollar rally prototype scene. The competition schedule demands the bulk of the team accompany the race cars on their frequent two-week-long, 1,000-plus-mile off-road races in some of the most desolate, inhospitable corners of the globe. There is no road-legal variant and there’s no fancy customer showroom - aside from the dusty podiums of the Dakar finish line.
Please follow the jump for the full mechanical specifications, an awesome video montage of the car’s design and construction and image gallery of the Desert Warrior 3 inside and out. Full story
The 2015 Volkswagen Golf made its North American debut at the 2013 New York International Auto Show. The Golf is a practical hatchback vehicle that offers good performance in one trim and great gas mileage in another.
The seventh generation of the car is longer, wider and lower than the outgoing model. This gives the car a more aggressive and sportier look while also making it more aerodynamic.
The improved aerodynamics along with a lighter body help to give all trims better gas mileage than their predecessors.
For someone wanting a sporty looking car with good performance the regular Golf is a very good choice. However, if you are worried about sky high gas prices then the TDI clean diesel is a good option for you.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2015 Volkswagen Golf. Full story
BMW is going to expand its U.S. 3-Series lineup with the addition of a new, diesel-powered version. This model, called the 328d, made its world debut at the 2013 New York International Auto Show on March 27th and will be put on sale this fall. Prices will be announced closer to its market launch.
The new 328d sedan will be joined by the 328d xDrive Sports Wagon. As with all the other models in the lineup, the new 328d can be ordered in Luxury, Sport and Modern Lines, or with the M Sport package.
The 328d will be offered with a four-cylinder diesel engine and can be ordered with either rear wheel drive or xDrive configurations. BMW reported it will deliver a fuel economy of about 45 mpg. Everything else will be shared with the other models in the 3-Series lineup, except of course the 328d badge at the rear that reminds you this is a diesel version.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2014 BMW 328d. Full story