fullsize cars

fullsize cars

As we all know very well, Chrysler enjoys releasing special edition models throughout its range of vehicles and they seem to be getting cooler just about each year. Dodge is one brand that receives more than its fair share of special edition models and it is has just unveiled three more special edition models.

The three affected models are the Dodge Avenger , Charger R/T and Challenger R/T. This kit, which Dodge has dubbed the Blacktop package, won’t add much in terms of performance to their base model. However, in terms of flat out styling, they are all three rather chilling looking – as much as a from-the-factory car can be.

The Avenger has certainly received quite a beating from experts, despite the fact that it is the most powerful mid-size sedan on the market today. Will this Blacktop Edition package make things better for it?

Click past the jump to read all about the 2013 dodge Avenger Blacktop Edition to find out.

Opel already features a very well-rounded lineup that ranges from compact hatchbacks to crossover SUVs. One area that Opel simply couldn’t keep pace was the premium convertible segment, as BMW , Mercedes , and Audi pretty much had that segment on lockdown. With its corporate eyes focused on expansion, Opel chose to release an all-new full-size convertible that can compete with the aforementioned premium lineups.

This Opel Cascada is the first of its kind in the storied automaker’s lineup since the 1930s and really digs deep into the automaker’s sporting roots by offering up competent performance matched with great drivability. The true test for this new convertible 2-door vehicle is how well it stacks up against its fellow European brands. Opel is claiming that the new Cascada will also pull at the hearts of prospective buyers, thanks to a lower-than-average entry-level price.

So, has Opel launched the perfect balance of full-size premium convertible with a wallet-friendly price, or has it simply stamped out a cheap Audi A5 ?

Click past the jump to read our full review and find out.

Okay, the BMW M6 Gran Coupe is really not a big secret. Heck, some savvy photographers caught it frolicking in the snow a few months ago. At that time, the Gran Coupe was all covered up with psychedelic livery, so you couldn’t make out what was really going on with the body.

An even savvier photographer recently caught an image of what appears to be the M6 Gran Coupe up in the air at BMW being worked on (above). There is a small chance that this is simply a 6-Series Bimmer converted into an M6 Gran Coupe. If that’s the case, then that is the cleanest conversion we’ve ever seen, so a conversion is doubtful. What’s even better is that this spy shot has no camouflage at all, so we get a look at this alleged 560-horsepower beast in all of its glory.

Granted, most of the cool stuff is under the hood and it pretty much looks like a 6-Series with flashy M6-like rims, but still, it’s an uncovered shot nonetheless. So salivate away guys and gals, as this is probably the cleanest shot that we’ll see of this beauty until BMW decides to unveil it to us.

We’ll continue to scrounge around for more images of this upcoming Bimmer.

Photo Credit: Auto Gespot

Source: AutoGespot

Think back to the era of the station wagons (circa 1970 through 1985) and imagine the wagons that graced the garages of large families. These were typically massive slabs of iron with not enough power to outrun a 3-year-old on a tricycle and massive faux-wood stickers plastered on the side. Yeah, they weren’t necessarily things of beauty, to say the least.

As we progressed through the 1980s and 1990s, the minivan took over for the station wagon and emasculated men around the world. Now it looks as if the station wagon has come full circle in the automotive realm, as minivans are slowly disappearing, and crossovers and station wagons are taking their place.

Of course, now station wagons are called either 5-door sedans or “shooting brake.” Much like when Prince decided to change his name to an unpronounceable symbol, we’ll continue to think of these as station wagons. However, with Mercedes-Benz releasing the all-new CLS Shooting Brake , we can’t help but notice that the station wagon isn’t quite the underpowered, puke green, wood-trimmed gas guzzler that we recall. With Brabus now getting its expert hands on the CLS Shooting Brake, we are in for a big change.

That’s right, Brabus decided to take the entire CLS Shooting Brake line – from the CLS 250 Shooting Brake all the way to the CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake – and pump it up a notch in the “cool” department. Well, however “cool” a station wagon can really be.

Click past the jump to read all about the Mercedes-Benz LS Shooting Brake by Brabus.

TOPCAR has popped back into the TopSpeed offices, straight out of Russia, with an all-new bespoke vehicle. Last time we caught up with our Russian custom car friends they were getting their Panamera Stingray 9/25 ready for the 2012 Moscow International Automobile Salon. Now they have delivered us a little more comfort and loads of safety with their Guard upgrade kit for the 2005 through 2013 Mercedes-Benz S600 .

TOPCAR began by stripping this S600 down and adding in bullet-proof glass and paneling to keep its occupants safe. While the armoring is cool and likely costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, we are interested mostly in what the armor is protecting. No, not the occupants, we are talking about that gorgeous interior!

The entire interior covering has been removed and replaced from headliner to floor – yeah, we said the floor too – with an elegant blend of lozenge-textured crocodile, Nappa, and Alcantara leather. Sure, using crocodile leather isn’t the most PETA-friendly thing in the world, but when you have the roughly $100K that TOPCAR put into the interior, you can tell PETA to go save a squirrel. Plus, we’re pretty sure their presence in Russia is nearly non-existent.

The crocodile leather wraps up the seats, doors, dashboard, and floor. Gracing the luggage compartment is diamond-quilted Nappa leather, making a comfortable ride for your golf clubs or whatever else you like to stick in your trunk. With our contact at TOPCAR volunteering that sometimes the term “crazy Russian” is justified, we will leave the other trunk-dwelling objects to your imagination.

You also get a huge amount of custom Karelian birch wood trim to set off all of this beautifully crafted leather. To wrap up the package, TOPCAR replaced all of the Benz’s lowly chrome trim with gold-covered pieces. I mean, you can never rock crocodile leather with chrome trim after Labor Day, right?

“Wow” just about sums up this car. When it comes to tiptoeing the line between fantastically gorgeous and horrendously overdone, TOPCAR toed that line with the expertise we expected. Awesome job!

JMS Tuning has released an all-new modification setup for earlier-generation BMW 5-Series models – E60 and E61 models. This new makeover kit has a plethora of options available, but the base kit is set in stone.

First off, the kit requires either a E60 sedan or E61 estate 5-Series with the M-Tech bumper installed. The only body panel component that comes with the base-level kit is a replacement front apron, which boasts a wide-mouth just below the front grille and a stylized front lip that wraps upward and into the wide-mouth opening.

Body styling is not all that JMS Tuning focused on with the base kit, as it also includes a set of KW Variant 3 coilovers, which are fully adjustable. On the front end, you get 60 mm (2.36 inches) of drop and on the rear end, you get 45 mm (1.77 inches) closer to the ground. Not only do these coilovers bring the 5-Series lower to the ground, giving it a great appearance, but they also increase overall handling.

Also helping handling are a set of ASA AR1 Alloy wheels 9 x 20 inches on the front and 10.5 x 20 inches on the rear. The front rims are wrapped in 245/30R20 performance tires and the rear rims are hugged by massive 285/25R20 tires. Whomever mounts these tires onto the rims, we wish a ton of luck, as their sidewalls are about the size of a rubber band.

The price for the base kit is roughly €5,250 ($6,359). If you wish to add some extra ponies to the 5-Series’ engine, you can also opt for optional exhaust kits and ECU tuning, plus JMS also offers various interior modifications to round out your 5-Series modification project.

Audi A8

Every model in Audi’s lineup is currently getting a facelift version, including the Audi A8 (pictured here), which is also getting a power boost for the V8 TDI engine sometime in early 2013. The changes for the model will be minimal, however, until Audi releases the new generation A8 sometime in 2016-2017.

The next-gen Audi A8 is expected to offer significant changes, including the removal of the current all-aluminum body and the addition of a new "aluminum hybrid" version which will combine high-strength steel and composite materials. It is also very possible that the next A8 will use the company’s future modular standard architecture that will also be used for the next generation Porsche Panamera and the future Bentley sedans. Rumors say that the next A8 could also be Audi’s first model to use a rear-wheel-drive platform.

More details on the upcoming Audi A8 will be unveiled in the near future, so stay tuned!

Source: CarAndDriver

If you have a knack for watching daytime TV, you likely know who Doctor Phil is. In fact, even if you don’t watch it, you likely know that he is the over opinionated and sometimes-controversial psychologist that hands out advice to random people on his show.

Little did we know that Dr. Phil is a car nut too, or at least he seems like one, thanks to the 1957 Bel Air convertible he owns. Unfortunately, someone obviously wanted it a little more than him, as the $100,000 drop top – yup, it’s actually worth at least that much on the high end – was the victim of a car thief at a local repair shop.

The Chevy was in the shop for repairing a no-start condition, which proves that the Doc is either too busy to fix it or knows nothing about automotive mechanics, as that should be a simple fix on this all-mechanical car. The police report states that the lock was hacked off of a garage door in the shop and the thief had a clean getaway.

The robber must have either been a mechanic and repaired the vehicle, had a tow truck, or had some help to push this large vehicle out of the shop and to its destination – likely a chop shop somewhere in the local Burbank, CA area.

The car should be relatively easy to spot, as it is a black convertible Bel Air with chrome wheels, wide-whitewall tires, gold badging, and red leather interior — similar to the one above. There is no reward listed, but we’re sure Phil would pony something up for the return of his $100K car.

The Bentley Mulsanne Vision is little more than a concept sketch to all of us so far, but that doesn’t stop us from using our imagination in creating it. We passed the sketch off to our talented rendering artist and he came back with a full scale image of what we think the Mulsanne Vision will look like.

Much like the current Mulsanne , the Vision model will boast the signature circular headlights and marker lights up front. It will also boast the same pronounced hood as the base sedan model that it’s derived from. One large difference on the front end of our rendered Vision and the current Mulsanne is that the lower grille in the Vision is open instead of grated.

As you continue down the front of the car, the Vision Mulsanne shows the same signature styling of the current Mulsanne sedan. The differences really come once you hit the doors. The Mulsanne Vision is, of course, a convertible model and features just a pair of doors, as opposed to the Mulsanne’s typical four doors and hard top. Short of those differences, the doors boast almost identical styling.

Once you reach the rear quarter panel, you catch a few more refinements given to the Mulsanne Vision to make it more muscular looking than its 4-door version. The body line that goes over the wheel arch on the sedan version shows elegance, whereas the Vision model shows some added aggression, as the body line starts lower on the quarter panel and swoops upward before sweeping toward the rear of the car, toward the ground, then back toward the rear of the wheel arch.

We are still unsure what’s under the hood of this massive drop-top, but we all assume that it will carry a 12-cylinder engine, as Bentley is reportedly killing off its 6.75-liter turbocharged V-8 engine .

We’ll keep you updated on the 2013 Mulsanne Vision and get you some official images and information as soon as possible, so stay tuned!

Across the pond, in the UK, there is a slightly revised lineup for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class than we see in the U.S. In the U.S. we only get to see the E350 and E500 – not inclusive of the AMG line – but in the UK they get the E200, E220, E250, E350, and E500. The E500, being the top trim in the lineup, boasts the largest and most powerful engine, a 4,663cc V-8 engine that pumps out 300 Kw (408 horsepower) at 5,000 rpm and 600 Nm of torque (442 foot-pounds) at 1,600 to 4,750 rpm.

Those are all pretty acceptable numbers for a full-size sedan or coupe, but our UK friends are capped off there, as they do not have access to the 518-horsepower E63 AMG . Vath has come to the rescue for said owners, by releasing an all new array of upgrades that not only make the E500 look sportier, but bump its horsepower into E63 AMG territory.

Click past the jump to read all about this new upgrade kit and see how it compares to the E63 AMG offered in the U.S.


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