hatchback

hatchback

  A hatchback is a type of automobile design, consisting of a passenger cabin which includes an integrated cargo space, accessed from behind by a hatch or flip-up window. Hatchbacks are also often called three-doors (two entry doors and the hatch) or five-doors (four entry doors and the hatch) cars.

Rumors about Ford ’s planned revival of the Focus RS have been flying around since late 2013, with many sources claiming the hot hatch will return with as much as 330 horsepower on tap. As of 06/26/2014, the Focus RS is no longer a rumor, as our skilled paparazzi caught the upcoming rocket testing disguised as a Focus ST .

Don’t let the "ST" badge around back fool you, this mule is more than that, with plenty of details giving its true identity away. Look closer at the front end’s uncamouflaged area and you’ll notice a lip spoiler and a larger air intake in the lower apron. Of course, that’s not what the front bumper will look like in production form, but the intercooler seen in the spy shots is certainly different from the one fitted on the Focus ST .

The mule’s RS-ness becomes even more obvious around back, where a different exhaust pipe configuration peeks out underneath the bumper. Whereas the ST has a center-mounted, twin-pipe arrangement, the RS mule comes with separate tips placed toward the sides. Lastly, the camouflaged roof-mounted spoiler appears to sport a new design.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Ford Focus RS.

The original Prius hit the streets of America back in 2000 with its Corolla -like looks and a funky hybrid-electric drive that was unlike anything else on U.S. roads except the two-seat Honda Insight. That first-generation Prius was replaced in 2004 with the familiar hunchback turtle look we’re all used to. The second generation is where Toyota really gained ground with hybrid sales, moving over 600,000 cars before the third-generation Prius took over in 2009. With the new model, the Prius gained a few reshaped exterior panels and a more futuristic interior while retaining is stellar fuel economy numbers. Since then, Toyota has moved over 710,000 third-gen cars.

I recently found myself behind the wheel of a 2014 Toyota Prius with the “Three Model” option package. One level up from the base model my tester came equipped with some nice features like a 6.1-inch touch screen in the center dash, Sirius XM radio, navigation, Toyota’s smart key entry and start system, and power windows. But despite those features, the car still felt very basic. Cloth seats, a rubber steering wheel, manual seats, and hard plastics everywhere kept the car feeling rather down-market.

Besides the interior’s shortcomings, the Prius performed just as you’d expect: slow and efficient. So does the car live up to all the hype that’s been following it all these years? Click past the jump to find out.

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Toyota Prius

The Ford Fiesta is already a very fashionable hatchback . It’s up to date, it comes with plenty of options, and its compact body has received a host of cool liveries at various auto shows. However, that didn’t stop the Blue Oval manufacturer from enhancing the car’s trendy appeal by launching a couple of special-edition models.

This time though, Ford is looking into a popular photography trend called "color popping". It’s a technique in which pictures are converted to black and white with only a small portion left to appear in color. Don’t worry though, Ford is not trying to sell you a white Fiesta with yellow mirror covers. These special-edition hatchbacks are finished in contrasting red and black combos and offered in two distinct color schemes.

As it stands, Ford is gunning for customers "with a passion for style and an eye for quality and detail." Is it just me, or the Fiesta Black and Red Editions are the Mini Coopers of the Ford lineup?

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Ford Fiesta Black And Red Editions.

Renault has just regained its Nurburgring record as the fastest production car with front-wheel-drive. As promised earlier this year , the French automaker stormed the German track and lapped the Nordschleife in less than eight minutes with a brand-new iteration of the Renault Megane RS .

The new benchmark was established only a couple of months after Spanish manufacturer Seat put the Leon Cupra atop the front-wheel-drive record list. The hatchback lapped the German course in 7:58.4, stealing a record that has been with Renault for about three years. Renault’s previous accomplishment was achieved with the Megane RS 265 Trophy, a sportier, 265-horsepower version of its Euro-spec C-segment vehicle.

Now, the French reclaimed their Nurburgring crown by using an updated version of the Megane: the RS 275 Trophy-R. Make no mistake though, it’s not the same hot hatch we met last month. The vehicles might be similar in appearance and sport the same engine under the hood, but that extra "R" added to the moniker means the record car is even lighter than the exclusive, limited-run hatch.

What sets the two apart, you may ask? Stick around and you’ll find out.

Click past the jump to read more about Renault’s record at Nurburgring.

Things seem to be coming together for smart with the development of its all-new forfour subcompact four-seater. The last we saw of the little city car, it was trudging through the snow in a video actually released by smart. This time, the images come by way of our spy photographers. They have caught detailed images of the forfour, along with its revised interior.

You may recall that smart is developing the forfour in conjunction with Renault. The French automaker’s version will share the same basic design and functionality, but will serve as the company’s third-generation Twingo. Both the Twingo and forfour will have a rear-mounted engine and transaxle that powers the rear wheels.

While the exterior is still tightly wrapped in swirly camo, many of the exterior details are still visible. It’s plainly a four-door car with a small hood and even smaller boot. Though storage space is at a premium, the interior will likely be a decent place to travel about in town in relative comfort.

To read about the Smart ForFour’s spied interior, click past the jump.

The Mini brand was resurrected for the 2001 model year, five years after the original Cooper ceased to exist. Initially available only as a three-door hatch and two-door convertible, the new Mini quickly grew into a lineup that included the Clubman , the Countryman , the Coupe and the Paceman . The first-gen model survived for only five years, being replaced by the second-gen in 2006. In 2013, the brand new, third-generation Mini was unveiled, this time riding atop BMW ’s UKL1 platform.

Mini already debuted a brand-new diesel engine for the Cooper 5-Door , and the Brits decided to give that same oil burner to the three-door version as well. We’re talking about the 2.0-liter four-banger that generates 170 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque, and enables the Cooper DS to become the most powerful diesel Cooper ever created.

Of course, it’s not overly fast from naught to 62 mph, but its 7.3-second second sprint is good enough considering the hatchback claims to return up to 58 mpg on the highway. The 0-to-62 mph figure drops to 7.2 seconds when the engine is paired to the six-speed Steptronic transmission. Sporty and efficient, a recipe that fits today’s demanding market like a glove.

Unfortunately, there’s no word as to whether this nippy fuel sipper will hit U.S. shores or not, but don’t expect to find it at a dealership near you this year. On the other hand, those of you who live in the United Kingdom can order one starting July 2014.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Mini Cooper SD.

Posted on by Collin Woodard  

Brought to the United States as a 2008 model, the BMW 1 Series was billed as the answer to the question, "What happened to the 3 Series, and how did it get so big all of the sudden?" Only available here as a coupe or convertible, the 1 Series won praise for its small size, sharp handling, and especially in the case of the 135i, powerful engine. Following that first generation, the 1 Series left the US market, as BMW sold the second generation model exclusively in Europe. The third generation will be returning to the US, but some big changes are on their way.

If a BMW is front-wheel drive, is it really a BMW anymore? In a sense, this question applies to the i3 , but as an electric car, accepting that it’s going to be a bit easier than it would be if it had a traditional drivetrain.

The upcoming 2018 1 Series, however, is not an electric car . It actually does have a traditional, internal-combustion engine, and even though it’s relatively young, it’s traditionally been rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive came as an option later, but even though it was small and relatively inexpensive, the 1 Series has always been a very capable handler. Not content to make a vehicle that wasn’t still the ultimate driving machine, BMW produced a car that was nimble, well balanced, and a hoot to drive.

The third-generation 1 Series, however, is coming our way, and the news is that it’s going to be front-wheel drive. Is this an abomination? Should BMWs only be rear-wheel drive (or all-wheel drive)? Isn’t front-wheel drive something for those other family sedans? It looks like we’re about to find out because ready or not, a front-wheel drive BMW is coming.

Note: Upcoming revised BMW 1 Series pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2018 BMW 1 Series.

Source: AutoExpress

The fact that the upcoming Audi RS3 , due in 2015, is getting in shape at the Nurburgring track is not surprising. However, the video you’re about to watch suggests Audi isn’t ready to give up on its 2.5-liter TFSI engine just yet.

You see, last time the RS3 Sportback was caught stretching its legs in Germany our spy photographers noted the car no longer sounded like one that’s powered by a five-cylinder mill. The scoop only added to the many rumors claiming Audi is downsizing to a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-banger, but this new video suggests otherwise.

Judging by the notes coming out of that dual-exhaust system, the fact that this mule carries a five-cylinder engine under the hood is undeniable, but what are we up against here? Is this mule using an older powertrain to run some chassis and suspension tests or is the new RS3 coming with an updated 2.5-liter TFSI?

Well, there are a few scenarios that make sense for the five-pot to remain on offer. Maybe the Germans managed to squeeze a bit more power out of it while making it more fuel efficient, or we could be looking at less horsepower aided by a lighter RS3. Either way, with the mill bundled with a six-speed S Tronic gearbox and Audi’s brilliant quattro all-wheel drive, the RS3 is bound to make an impression no matter how many cylinders pump under the hood.

The time is drawing nearer to when Apple’s CarPlay finally hits the streets in consumer vehicles. At the company’s recent 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference, USA Today got an up-close look at the new in-dash iOS operating system inside a 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV. This in-car demonstration shows just how familiar the software is to the usual iOS-powered devices.

Interestingly, Chevrolet has not made an official announcement concerning when CarPlay would be introduced into its product lineup. Chevy is listed as a “committed partner” with Apple in bringing the software to market, but the automaker has yet to announce any word on what vehicles will receive the system or what the roll-out timeline looks like.

Though it is possible Chevy will incorporate CarPlay into the Spark and other models late into the 2014 model year, it’s more likely the new technology will debut for 2015. We’re expecting General Motors to make quite the hubbub about the news once things are all confirmed.

Chevy will be joined by Ferrari , Volvo , Hyundai , and Mercedes as the first crop of automakers to sell cars with hardware capable of running the iOS software. What’s more, from the video above, it appears the software will also allow owners to access tailored vehicle-specific menus. In the Spark’s case, it has a “My Chevrolet” application on its home screen.

For those with older vehicles, companies like Pioneer are developing CarPlay-compatible head units that work with nearly every vehicle. A 1965 Ford Mustang was on display at Apple’s WWDC to showcase the aftermarket potential.

Click past the jump for more about the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV


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