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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.


Subaru is preparing to make a statement at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring, and to help it do so, the Japanese automaker has unveiled the WRX STI NBR Challenge.

The race car is scheduled to compete in the SP3T class, which is a sub-category that only allows cars carrying turbocharged engines with displacements of 2.0 liters or less.

That’s all fine and dandy for Subaru and its new WRX STI NBR Challenge, which is a full-fledged race car complete with all the bells and whistles required to compete in the series. With this being a race-tuned rig, you won’t find the usual WRX goodies; instead, it comes with modified bumpers, a prominent rear wing, a ventilated hood, lightweight windows and a track-tuned suspension, all put in specifically for racing purposes.

The WRX STI NBR Challenge also received a set of 18-inch, BBS wheels wrapped in Dunlop tires, as well as a reworked 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine that’s now capable of hitting 340 horsepower and 340 pound-feet of torque. That’s a tidy 35 horsepower and 50 pound-feet of torque more than the stock 2015 WRX STI.

Subaru has high hopes for the WRX STI NBR Challenge as it prepares to tackle the Nurburgring. Tackling the `Ring is easier said than done, but with drivers Toshihiro Yoshida, Kota Sasaki, Carlo van Dam and Marcel Lasée all ready to take their turn racing this blue rocket, Subaru’s got as good a chance as any other team.

Click past the jump to read about the 2015 Subaru WRX STI

Crash safety is an important thing and vehicles these days are safer than ever before. But the auto industry took a hard hit when the Institute of Insurance and Highway Safety recently released its review of 11 subcompact minicars for the 2013 and 2014 model years.

Out of 11 cars tested in the IIHS’s small overlap crash test, only the Chevy Spark received an “acceptable” rating while the other contenders got lesser scores of “marginal” or “poor.” None of the cars earned the best rating of “good.” With the Spark’s advantage in the small overlap test, combined with its “good” ratings in the IIHS’ other crash tests, the Spark was awarded a 2014 Top Safety Pick.

The small overlap test has gotten its share of flack since its introduction in August 2012. Automakers complain the test wasn’t announced far enough in advance for new models already in development to accommodate the new crash standards. It appears the Honda Fit , Fiat 500 , Hyundai Accent , Nissan Versa , Mitsubishi Mirage , and the Toyota Prius C were the ones who missed the memo – all scoring the lowest score of “poor.” The Ford Fiesta , Toyota Yaris , Kia Rio , and Mazda2 fared a bit better with a score of “marginal.”

Mind you, the small overlap crash is only one test out of several conducted by the IIHS including the moderate overlap and side impact. Clicking past the jump will shows the complete video chronicles of the 11 mincars.

Click past the jump to watch the IIHS crash these 11 minicars

The Volkswagen Golf doesn’t carry nearly the same amount of cache as more powerful hatchbacks do, but when it comes to sports hatchbacks , you’ll find it difficult to name another one that’s as beloved by aftermarket company’s than the Golf .

As it is, the Golf’s reputation as a sports car trapped in a hatchback body has made it a tuning favorite, and the latest one to profess its admiration for the VW is Caractere, which is no stranger to working on Volkswagens .

The program is made up of both aesthetic and mechanical upgrades with Caractere working really hard to build a new aero kit that gives the Golf a more dynamic look and feel. The kit includes a new front lip spoiler, revised side skirts, a rear diffuser, a stainless-steel sports exhaust system and a new set of 18- or 19-inch CW1 light alloys. These five new elements play equally important roles on improving the Golf’s look, while also addressing the need for more performance balance brought about by the comprehensive engine tune the company gave it.

Speaking of the performance upgrades, Caractere offers a comprehensive program list that covers the full breadth of Golf trim models, beginning with the 1.6 TDI, which saw its output jump from 90 horsepower to 110 horsepower all the way to the most powerful Golf in the fold — the 2.0 TFSI — which increased its output from 270 horsepower all the way up to 310 horsepower.

It’s not the most mind-blowing Golf project we’ve seen, but in terms of overall likeness and authenticity, Caractere’s program for Volkswagen’s resident sports hatch gets high marks from us.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Golf VII

Source: Caractere
Posted on by Simona  
Mini Cooper Clubman

We’ve already seen the official details on first versions of the new-generation Mini Cooper , but others are still out there testing. One of the models still in the testing phase, the Clubman version, was caught testing is the crisp air of Sweden.

Even though the prototype wears lots of camouflage, it’s pretty clear that the next Clubman will grow in size — just like the standard Cooper — and will have regular-size rear doors. What Mini didn’t change was the two-door setup for the cargo area, which is one of the many features that makes the Clubman so unique.

The 2015 Clubman will come with the same engine lineup as the base Cooper, which includes a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine for the base version and a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine for the S version. In Europe, customers will also get a series of diesel engines to choose from.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mini Clubman.

Posted on by Christian Moe +  

The 2015 Honda Fit is the latest and greatest in the line of fun and funky five-doors from the Japanese automaker. The latest Fit looks to increase power and fuel economy for a more engaging and dynamic drive, while maintaining the practicality and versatility the Fit is known for.

The powertrain of this new Honda is comprised of all-new engines and transmissions, and the entire body has been redesigned and revised to improve stiffness and reduce NVH. The new 2015 car is shorter overall than its predecessor but features an increased wheelbase to improve interior dimensions.

This new car has just been unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show and we have all the details here for you. Read on to see if it has what it takes to beat its older self.

Updated 04/09/2014: Honda announced today that the new Fit will be put on sale on April 14 with a starting price of $15,525 for the LX trim with 6-speed manual transmission.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Honda Fit.

Posted on by Simona  

Subaru of American announced that the first 1,000 units of the 2015 WRX STI offered in North America will be special Launch Edition models. The WRX STI Launch Edition will come draped in WRX Blue Pearl exterior paint combined with gold-painted, 18-inch, BBS alloy wheels wrapped in 245/40R18 summer performance tires.

On the interior, the 2015 WRX STI Launch Edition will also feature an exclusive cabin design treatment that includes performance-designed front seats wrapped in blue Alcantara with black stitching — regular WRX STIs will be carry black seats with red stitching. The same blue and black combination will see used on the door panels, console and the carpeted floor mats. The will be lots of "STI" and "Launch Edition" logos placed all over the cabin to remind you that this is a special model.

As standard, the new WRX STI Launch Edition will come with an STI short-throw shifter for the six-speed manual transmission and Keyless Access & Start system, which are usually offered as an option on the WRX STI Premium.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Subaru WRX STI.

Posted on by Christian Moe +  

The importance of Volkswagen ’s Polo R WRC racer cannot be overstated. Designed specifically for the new rules that went into effect for the 2013 season, the Polo R dominated the World Rally Championship, knocking Citroen from the top of the podium for the first time in nearly a decade.

That last fact is what needs to resonate the most. The Polo R WRC ended a nine-year domination of the sport. When you have one man, or one team that is unstoppable in any form of competition, it ceases to become a competition. When you know who will win, it isn’t very much fun to watch, unless you happen to be a fan of the winner.

Volkswagen can’t afford to rest on its laurels though. The 2014 season represents a whole new competition, and Citroen is no doubt making plans to take back the title of World Champion.

As such, Volkswagen has announced its car for the 2014 WRC season, and it has been kind enough to share a few of the important changes it has made. Apart from the obvious visual changes on the new rally car , Volkswagen has spent much of its time perfecting engine components and improving the overall stability of the car through ECU flashes and the alteration of chassis components. Other than the 315-horsepower four-pot under the hood, Volkswagen didn’t dive too far into the details of what’s changed under the skin, as it is hoping to surprise its rivals once again this year.

The first race of the season, Rallye Monte Carlo, is taking place this week and Volkswagen is off to a promising start as they secured the fastest time in the testing stage. That said, Citroen was only 1.2 seconds off pace, and only 3.5 seconds separate first and seventh, so the racing should be close.

Ladies and Gentleman, Volkswagen has brought the excitement back to the World Rally Championship.

Click past the jump to read more on the WRC.

The Volkswagen Golf GTI is now on its seventh generation so with the car having been around that long, an assumption can be made that Volkswagen must be doing something right.

But even with the Golf’s popularity, the sports hatch could still use some extra lovin’, and that attention is being given in kind by BBM Motorsport. Known for its Volkswagen programs, BBM’s fascination for VW models is on display with its latest program for the seventh-generation Golf.

The program was made for the Golf GTI Performance, which already boasts an impressive 230 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque in its standard guise. Seems like a modicum amount of output, right?

Not according to BBM, as it gave the Golf’s four-banger some extra goodies, including a new carbon intake kit and new custom down pipes with sports cats, to go with a modified electronics system. With these changes in tow, the Golf GTI Performance now boasts an output of 300 horsepower at 6,100 to 6,700 rpm and 324 pound-feet of torque at 2,150 to 4,750 rpm, sizable increases for Volkswagen’s resident sports hatch.

And just to give the Golf GTI Performance’s program more substance, BBM Motorsports also added a red wrap from SFT Carwrap Ibbenbueren, a set of 19-inch BBS wheels, a Supersprint bespoke exhaust system with 100 mm (3.94-inch) pipes, a Stoptech braking system with 328-by-25 mm (12.9-by-0.98-inch) rotors and four-piston calipers, and a KW suspension system that’s electronically adjustable between 20 to 55 mm (0.79 to 2.2 inches). They don’t sound like fancy upgrades, but you can’t underestimate their importance in making this program as well-rounded as it can be.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Golf GTI Performance

Posted on by Simona  

Ant lover of racing games has wondered at on time or another just how close the game is to real racing. Imagine, taking the same car you are using in the game and putting it head-to-head with the real car on the real-life version of the track you are racing on; what a fantastic idea, right?

To date, we have never seen this test, but the folks over at Viagame did just that in order to find out which crosses the finish line first, the virtual racer or the real-life on..

To perform this crazy test, they recruited one of Sweden’s best gamers and put him in a Renault Mégane Red Bull Edition with gaming system installed in it. They then took a real-life race car driver and put him in the driver’s seat of the Renault and headed for the Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona to see who wins.

Check out the above video to see who wins, it’s pretty neat to see real versus virtual in a head-to-head battle.

Posted on by Simona  

In the latest episode of The Smoking Tire, Matt Farah wanted to see just how much car you can get for around $25k in both the new and used markets. From the new market, he chose a 2014 Ford Fiesta ST and from the used market, he borrowed a friend’s E46 BMW M3 . The Fiesta ST is a downright impressive hatchback that is unrivaled in its class, but the E46 M3 is still known as one of the best driver’s cars of all time.

Farah thinks that the Fiesta ST is easier to drive and that it offers a better equipped interior. Ford’s feisty hatchback is powered by a 1.6-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 197 horsepower and 202 pound-feet of torque. On the other hand, the E46 M3 gets a 3.2-liter, six-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 333 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque.

On paper, it looks like the M3 would win hands down, but he didn’t test these cars on paper. Check out the video to see which one he prefers.


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