Anything gets boring after a few years, even our favorite sports cars. That is why each 2 to4 years, most car models receive a facelift. Usually only the headlight and bumpers are retouched to boost the sales until a completely new model comes up.
Alfa Romeo’s never-ending soap opera continues with Fiat’s poorly-considered plan to fight with Chrysler’s labor union. If the 4C ever does arrive in the U.S. in 2014, its launch editions will be some of the only cars on the roads without the updates planned for 2015.
New headlights, a targa version and a more-hardcore performance model are all in the cards for 2015.
While on the U.S. market the Alfa Romeo 4C arrival depends on theChrysler’s buyout, for the European market Alfa Romeo is already considering a few more alternatives.
According to a report coming from AutoEdizione, the next few years will bring some more interesting features for the new 4C: "There will be something to everybody’s liking, for example headlights which will resemble the ones we saw on the concept car in 2011."
The launch of the new 4C will be celebrated with one special edition called Launch Edition that will be focused on saving weight and getting the maximum performance out of the car. Next to this however, Alfa Romeo will also offer an even more sportier version built specifically for racing. There will also be an open Targa version, plus a few more interior updates and new headlights.
All we can say is that we’re really hopping that at least the standard 4C will arrive in the North American market. But with Fiat’s poor management and desire to empty Chrysler’s bank accounts, nothing is a sure thing yet.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Alfa Romeo 4C.
The Cadillac Escalade has always been a love-it-or-hate-it type of vehicle, thanks to its awesome styling but terrible fuel economy. Sales have been falling off lately and incoming CAFÉ regulations are really putting the squeeze on GM to increase the overall fuel economy of its sole luxury automaker. This led to talks of the Escalade getting the axe in coming years, but apparently GM is not ready to throw in the towel yet.
Reports are pointing to an all-new Cadillac Escalade arriving in 2014 as an early-2015 model year. Instead of Caddy going the direction that many other SUV builders have gone, it will keep the Escalade on a truck frame, whereas many builders are changing SUVs to sit upon car platforms. This means that the 2015 Escalade will ride on the same platform as the soon-to-be released new Chevy Silverado and Sierra.
Unfortunately, we have nothing to really offer except speculation on the incoming Chevy and GMC trucks, as we have only seen heavily camouflaged models. All we can say for certain is that the Cadillac will share the same platform as its pickup brethren. Some experts are anticipating a change in the Silverado/Sierra twins that rivals the 1996 space shuttle treatment that the F-150 received. If this is the case, we can also expect a vastly redesigned Escalade.
We also know that GM has to work on the fuel economy of this luxury SUV to help it meet CAFÉ regulations in the future and the 18 highway mpg that the 2012 Escalade gets is simply not going to cut it. Look for GM to develop an engine that rivals the Ford’s EcoBoost V-6, like the 3.0-liter twin-turbo engine that has been mentioned, and toss it into the Escalade. The only other option would be to go turbo diesel, which may not sit well with Cadillac owners.
We will continue to bring you more information as it becomes available on the upcoming 2015 Escalade.
Updated 9/23/2013: Cadillac has unveiled a pair of teaser images of the 2015 Escalade, and it announced that it will reveal the 2015 Escalade on October 7, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. EST. You can see the reveal live, by clicking here. Additionally, Cadillac also released a series of teaser videos outlining some of the highlights of the model. You can see these videos after the jump.
Updated 10/01/2013: With just a few days before its official debut, Cadillac unveiled a new teaser image, this time revealing the interior of the 2015 Escalade. As expected the new SUV combines luxurious handcrafted elements with state-of-the-art advanced technology, this way offering the latest features in luxury, connectivity and safety for up to eight occupants.
Read more about the 2015 Cadillac Escalade after the jump
The revised 2014 BMW M5 comes with just small updates on the exterior and the interior, but it offers one of the greatest addition of the past few years: a new Competition Package that adds an extra 15 horsepower under the hood.
Next to the extra power the M5 equipped with the Competition Package is offering an extensively tuned chassis set-up. It gets new coil springs and damper calibrations and stiffened anti-sway bars that have lowered the car’s ride by 10 mm (0.39 inches). Thank to these updates the car’s cornering dynamics and tractability have been improved, and the 0 to 60 mph sprint time was reduced by 0.1 seconds.
The package is also offering unique 20-inch M light-alloy wheels, a sport exhaust system featuring M quad tailpipes finished in Black Chrome and re-mapped M Dynamic Mode (MDM) of DSC (Dynamic Stability Control).
The new BMW M5 Competition Package will go on sale on the U.S. market in August 2013. The package will add another $7,300 to the M5’s starting price of $90,900.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 BMW M5 and to see a video of the M5 Competition Package in action on the Nürburgring
Car manufacturers love nothing more than to get us all talking about their latest concept. It makes them even more happy when there is an aura of mystery around it. Well, Toyota is one that loves pulling this stunt (See: over-dramatized 2013 Avalon release). This time around, Lexus , Toyota’s luxury arm, has chosen to remain even more secretive than its older cousin.
This new mystery for us to solve is the upcoming introduction of a new concept car at the Paris Motor Show. Fortunately, we won’t have to wait the full time to catch a glimpse of the new Lexus, as the luxury automaker has promised to release its first images on September 17th.
If Lexus is anything like its parent company, these images will likely be as nondescript as possible and not really reveal anything. Using our magical speculation meters, we are guessing that this will end up being the concept that the next-gen IS will be based off of. If so, we really can’t wait to find out what’s under the hood, as we are anticipating a nasty twin-boosted V-6 to grace the IS-F’s engine compartment.
Given the next-gen IS is about a year or two away, this makes sense for it to still be a concept car. We’ll definitely find out a lot more when Lexus decides to release some images. Hopefully they are enough to at least clue us in on whether it is the new IS lineup or not.
Shmee150 is always great for awesome YouTube videos and sometimes he even gets us a glimpse at cars we would otherwise know nothing about. This time around he’s completed both tasks, and done an admiral job at it. While we all sit and wait for Lamborghini to stop fiddling around with producing an Aventador Spider, Shmee has dug one up that is customized by Oakley Design and Refined-Marques.
At the recent Chelsea Auto Legends event in London, Oakley Design and Refined-Marques unveiled their Aventador project, calling it the Lamborghini Aventador Dragon Edition. Only 10 units will be made, which means that it’s more than just an exclusive piece of high-powered Italian awesomeness.
The Aventador Dragon Edition distinguishes itself from just about every other Aventador on the planet, highlighted by the attention-grabbing chrome Aqua-Blue exterior body. From there, Oakley Design’s comprehensive carbon fiber body kit was also fitted into the car. The components for this kit include a redesigned front bumper, a fixed carbon fiber rear spoiler, rear air vents, and a new set of HRE wheels. Inside, the Dragon Edition was dressed with a slew of specially-numbered plaques designating its model number. These plaques can be found throughout the supercar, including on the engine bay, the dashboard, and the door sills. Moreover, the supercar also has red dragon stitching on the inside of the doors, in case people forget that the car is called the Aventador Dragon Edition.
Under its hood, the folks at Oakley and Refined-Marques also bumped up the power, thanks to the former’s ECU modifications resulting in an output of 760 horsepower. While there is no mention of torque increase, we’re sure there is somewhat of an increase in there, too. Additionally, the fabricators added in a titanium exhaust system that saves a whopping 35 kg (77 lbs).
Check out a few videos of the Lamborghini Aventador Dragon Edition after the jump.
The Nissan Pathfinder is turning 27 years old in the 2013 model year, which is about 50 years old in car years, as it is starting to get a little long in the tooth. Fortunately, Nissan has continuously made changes to this once-compact SUV throughout the years to keep it up with the times. The 2013 model year is going to be a drastic redo for the Pathfinder, as just like Nissan did in 1996, when it changed from a compact SUV to a mid-size one, this popular SUV will be moving classes again.
In this latest generational change, the Pathfinder is moving away from the shrinking mid-size SUV world and sliding right into the mid-size crossover realm, much like the Explorer recently did. This is mostly due to the fact that sitting on a smaller frame and having a more car-like ride has become more desirable than the truck-like ride given by body-on-frame SUVs. This also makes the Pathfinder a more nimble vehicle.
Though the specifications are still a little bit scarce, we do have a pretty firm grasp of what Nissan is planning with this all-new Pathfinder crossover and we are going to let you in on what we know.
UPDATE 10/10/2012: Nissan has announced pricing for the 2013 Nissan Pathfinder SUV, which goes on sale in U.S. Nissan dealers nationwide in late October 2012. Prices will range from $28,270 for the base Pathfinder S 2WD and will go up to $40,770 for the Pathfinder Platinum 4WD. Check out full pricing for packages and accessories after the jump!
Click past the jump to read more on the Nissan Pathfinder.
It is well known among the automotive world that the Aston Martin Rapide has always been the black sheep of the luxury sports sedan market. Its 470-horsepower, 5.9-liter V-12 engine has always fallen short of the competition, like the 518-pony Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG and 500-horsepower Panamera Turbo. To make matters worse, it starts off at over $110,000 more than the Mercedes and over $70,000 more than the Porsche.
This all points to a big reason for Aston Martin refreshing the Rapide for 2013. Granted, the base price will not change, but its performance will. Initially, we all expected to see an available a higher-performance Rapide S in 2013. According to reports, however, a Rapide S is not in the works.
Car and Driver is reporting that Aston Martin is fitting the 5.9-liter V-12 plant from the 2013 Vanquish , which produces 565 horsepower, into the slightly redesigned Rapide. The exact horsepower figures are not compete for the Rapide, but we expect it to be slightly de-tuned to not compete with the Vanquish.
You can look for the 2013 Aston Martin Rapide to punch out somewhere in the 545-horsepower range to give it a bump over its cheaper competitors. Is this really enough to push the Aston in front of the competition? We say no, but it should help level out the market slightly.
With the additional horsepower in the base Rapide, there is no need for a Rapide S model, per Car and Driver, so don’t look for one this year. Apparently, all of the style changes we have seen from the spy shots and renderings are all included on the base model, if the reports are accurate.
It’s nice to see Aston Martin thinking about ways to make its extremely expensive sedan a little more worth the extra money, but would you still pay over $100K more for the Aston over the Mercedes?
When Lotus chose to pull out of the 2012 Paris Motor Show , the same show that the struggling car company released five new concepts at two years ago, we had a sneaking suspicion that this was the calm before the model-trimming storm. It looks as if our suspicions were true, as according to reports, Lotus has cut out all of Bahar’s brainchildren, with a possible exception being the revamped Espirit .
As we always say, sports car lovers are a fickle bunch. They know what they like and do not deal well with changes. Ferrari and Lamborghini lovers want fat sports cars with even fatter engines, whereas Lotus lovers want svelte and nimble machines that they can toss around at will. The models that Lotus has axed were very fat, by Lotus standard, and were not warmly received by enthusiasts.
Also scrapped in the process was the crazy notion that Lotus would produce its own engines for these new models. If the consistent lapping of Lotus-powered vehicles in INDYCAR isn’t enough of a deterrent for Lotus building their own engines, the sheer cost of the project is.
This is all clearly a cost-controlling measure by DRB-Hicom and Lotus to try and save the failing company, but it does have a bit of the undercoating of a jab to Bahar’s ribs. Regardless of the possible shot at Bahar’s ego, this is just one of the many necessary evils that Lotus has to go through to get back to being a profitable business.
Another necessary evil is the fact that Lotus will have to lay off 50 contractors hired to work on these new projects, which were part of Bahar’s “Five-Year Plan.”
Lotus and DRB-Hicom have submitted a new business plan to their creditors in hopes of getting some leeway in their debts and maybe freeing up some loan money to help inject some life into Lotus. We certainly hope to see Lotus back near the top of the boutique automaker list and we’ll keep a keen eye on this situation with many more updates likely coming your way.
The SEAT Ibiza is not what most enthusiasts would qualify as a hot-hatch, except when fitted with the 1.4-liter TSI or 2.0-liter TDI engine, which produce 150 PS (147 horsepower) and 143 PS (141 horsepower), respectively. Leingarten-based custom auto enthusiasts, JE Design, has managed to turn even the lower-level Ibiza models into a semi-hot hatch, or at the very least, a sharp-looking and peppy hatchback.
The 2012 SEAT Ibiza is available in three body styles, 3-door hatch, 5-door hatch, and station wagon. The JE Design kit is built to fit any of the body styles that the Ibiza comes in. The SEAT Ibiza itself starts at €9,995 and ranges up to €16,340. This upgrade kit, of course, goes on top of the cost of the car, but with the SEAT Ibiza’s low cost, the entire package becomes rather affordable.
Click past the jump to read what JE Designs has done to make the SEAT Ibiza more stylish, comfortable, and even a little bit faster.
For true car nuts, there is nothing better than having total control over your car’s power via a manual transmission. Unfortunately, we three-pedal lovers are becoming less and less common each year, especially with the advancements being made in automatic transmission technology. This disappearance of the slush-box automatics and introduction of precision shifting performance automatics has left the manual transmission as an undesirable hunk of metal.
The BMW M-Series is a clear example of where a manual transmission is at its best. With the baby brother, the M3, punching out 414 ponies and its two big brothers, the M5 and M6 , slated to wallop the concrete with 560 horsepower; we think a manual transmission is the only way to really experience them. Well, apparently we are in the minority, as according to Inside Line, only 15 to 20 percent of the M5s sold in the U.S. last year were six-speed manuals and BMW has taken notice.
With this, BMW has decided that the next generation M5 and M6 will not be engineered with a manual transmission option, leaving just a dual-clutch automatic as the only available transmission. This makes the reports that the U.S.-bound M6 models will come with a manual option seem like they were just pipe dreams. The M3 , however, will still receive its typical no-cost manual transmission option.
Fortunately for us, the dual clutch transmission is just as responsive, if not more responsive, than a manual transmission. Plus, there is no clutch to mess with, so your left foot can take a much needed break from all of the thrashing it has received over the years. To boot, this automatic transmission has also proved to be a more fuel-economy-friendly option over manual transmissions, which is pretty much the opposite of what we have had crammed into our heads for the last, say, 100 years!