> 

Car Reviews

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

With a market that grows larger by the year, China is one of the most important automobile battlefields nowadays, and it’s no surprise that the 2014 Beijing Auto Show hosted so many important debuts, including Mercedes’ upcoming BMW X6 fighter , the Lexus NX or Lincoln’s MKX Concept crossover.

Likewise, BMW went to Beijing to showcase an array of vehicles, hoping to gain more leverage over its luxury competitors. But besides introducing already launched cars and a couple of special models, including the 7 Series Horse Edition , the Germans also debuted the Vision Future Luxury concept , which hints at the manufacturer’s next step in regard to large sedans .

As with most of its concepts , BMW declined to offer any information as to what to what kind of production model the Vision Future Luxury will spawn, but it makes a lot of sense for us to think about the next-generation 7 Series . Additionally, and based on previous reports, this study is also a forerunner for the upcoming 9 Series — the BMW-badged executive that will take on the Mercedes-Benz S600 Pullman .

Click past the jump to learn more about the BMW Vision Future Luxury Concept.

The coupe-SUV domain has been dominated by BMW’s X6 for quite some time now. The Porsche Cayenne has come into the picture in the past few years, and now, Mercedes is thinking of joining in on the fun with the debut of the Mercedes Concept Coupe SUV at the Beijing Auto Show .

The vehicle is being billed as a coupe version of the M-Class , and judging by the official images, the Concept Coupe SUV looks incredibly awesome, the kind that could give the X6 fits in the future.

It’s pretty evident that the design of the Concept Coupe SUV fits its name. It’s like a coupe riding on an SUV platform, akin to the architecture of the X6. More importantly, Mercedes appears to be pretty serious about sending it to production, intent on rebadging it as the MLC-Class with a production timeline of 2015.

It certainly adds a whole lot of credence to the MLC-Class when the company’s boss proudly proclaims the concept as a preview of a vehicle that has a lot of potential. "With the Concept Coupé SUV we aim to secure new customers by opening up new segments for Mercedes-Benz," says Mercedes CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche, as quoted by Auto Express.

Those are words that shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially once combined with the official words from the press release below saying, “With this concept car, Mercedes-Benz is announcing the possible expansion of the previously uniform SUV off-roader family.”

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes-Benz Concept Coupe SUV.

The Morgan Plus 8 made its return in 2011 and since then, the retro-styled, modern-day sports car has seen its fair share of buyers. But don’t mistake the Plus 8’s looks as just a novelty because there’s a lot of history to it. In fact, Morgan has been building cars for 100 years, and it is paying tribute to that with the launch of the special edition Plus 8 Speedster.

There’s no denying that the Morgan Plus 8 Speedster doesn’t look like any other sports car these days. It’s looks come from a bygone era of stripped-down, road-going race cars and therein lies the appeal, as a lot of people will say.

You can call the Plus 8 Speedster eccentric, but what it really represents is a testament to the timeless nature of the model that can get imbibed with a buyer’s taste and preference, thanks to the comprehensive list of options Morgan is offering for its customers.

Oh, and don’t forget that the Plus 8 Speedster really does live up to its legend. It’s powered by a BMW -sourced, 4.8-liter, V-8 engine that produces 367 horsepower and 370 pound-feet, while mated to either a six-speed manual or a ZF six-speed automatic transmission. That much power translates to a 0-to-62 mph time of 4.2 seconds to go with an electrionically limited top speed of 148 mph. Those numbers represent a 0.3-second faster 0-to-60-mph time and a 7-mph slower top speed than the base Plus 8 with the same engine output.

The Morgan Plus 8 Speedster is expected to hit production this coming June with the first cars available later this year. It’s a special edition model so understandably, it comes with a special edition price of £69,995, which is about $117,000 based on current exchange rates.

Click past the jump to read about the Morgan Plus 8.

Buying a Lamborghini puts you in fairly exclusive club of ownership, but if even that small group seems a little big, the Italian automaker makes it possible to customize a vehicle just the way you want it. Case in point: this Aventador decked out from Lambo’s Ad Personam personalization program dubbed the Nazionale edition.

Making its debut at the Beijing Auto Show, this car represents what customers can do with the Ad Personam program. This particular customer decided on an Italian theme, obviously paying homage to Lamborghini’s roots.

Proudly displaying an Italian flag strip down the center of the car, the Nazionale edition also features some pretty unique tailoring on almost every surface. The Bianco Opalis exterior paint color is completely unique, nicely offset by the blacked out 20- and 21-inch matt Titanium wheels on the car’s front and rear. Behind them are massive red brake calipers, reminding onlookers of the Aventador’s performance-minded function.

The Italian theme continues inside with the flags adorning the headrests and the tri-color stripe running along the center of the headliner. The leather seats, carpet, and much of the dashboard are covered in two contrasting colors called Nero Ade and Blu Cepheus. The seats also get unique Q-citura stitching. Capping off the bespoke work is an Ad Personam logo on the upper door panel and steering wheel.

The Aventador is powered by a raucous 6.5-liter, naturally-aspirated, V-12 engine making 700 horsepower. Its mid-mounted location allows for crisp handling and nearly perfect weight distribution. Zero to 62 mph times come in at 2.9 seconds on its way to a 217-mph top speed.

Click past the jump to read more about the standard Lamborghini Aventador Nazionale.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

While the Volkswagen Golf R has yet to go on sale in the United States, although it already made its debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January, the Wolfsburg crew has unveiled an even more powerful version of the hot hatch . Dubbed the Golf R 400, the new machine made its official debut at the Beijing Auto Show as a concept car that takes the familiar Golf design and wraps it into a more assertive package with significantly more power under the hood.

Although Volkswagen isn’t the type of automaker that looks back on past models when designing new vehicles, the R 400 Concept showed up in China with exterior cues taken from two of its most important hatches — the Rallye Golf G60 built in the late 1980s and the VR6-powered R32 model based on the fourth-generation Golf .

Apparently Volkswagen doesn’t plan to put the Golf R 400 into production anytime soon, but the concept car is worth looking into as some of its design features and technologies are likely to go mainstream.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept.

Lincoln Motor Company has just announced its launch a full product lineup in China, including five new vehicles. One of those – a midsize luxury SUV – accompanies the news in this teaser video above. Though Lincoln hasn’t given away much info on the new vehicle, the video does reveal some interesting aspects.

From the few glimpses visible, the SUV appears to be a highly sculpted crossover with plenty of LED trickery and accent lighting. Most eye-catching are the massive turn signals that surround the headlight fixtures and continue to the side mirrors. A strong belt line runs just under the windows with a large rear haunch laying above the rear tire. If things stay true to the artist’s drawings seen here, the front will feature some fairly stunning sculpted lines with plenty of drama.

This SUV will join a lineup of four other cars including the MKZ, the MKC, a new full-size luxury sedan , and the refreshed Navigator – all of which will be built inside the United States. What’s more, Lincoln is taking an entirely new approach to selling cars, one based relationships and an inviting dealer environment.

Lincoln’s goal is a network of 60 dealers in 50 cities across China by 2016, with the first eight opening this fall. The dealers will run under the ideology of “The Lincoln Way,” a much more personal, relationship-biased approach to selling cars. “It completely shifts luxury automotive ownership from a sales and service transaction model to an experience model,” says Jim Farley, Ford’s executive vice president of global marketing.

The dealers will feature a more home-like atmosphere with a tea room and other amenities like the Personalization Studio where customers can customize and order their particular vehicle. The new dealership style will concentrate its focus on providing good relationships and quality treatment than having a large, uninviting room packed with products. It’ll be interesting to see how this business model works for China and if it could work within the U.S.

Updated 04/21/2014: Lincoln pulled the covers off its MKX Concept at the Beijing Auto Show and release these detailed images. Sadly, there isn’t much news about the interior or engine options at this time. Click past the jump to see the new shots and read the updated press release.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lincoln MKX Concept Crossover.

The General looks like it’s back to badge engineering these days, as the Chevrolet Trax treks across the state at the 2014 New York Auto Show. Though it might only be a reworked Buick Encore, the Trax is aimed at a completely different audience — one that is noticeably younger.

The Trax may be a new vehicle for the U.S., but it’s been sold in Canada and other markets around the world since 2012. Thought it’s not new, the Trax gets some needed updates before entering the U.S. market. The interior receives the majority of the updating with an upright dashboard, optional center touch screen and infotainment system, a Chevy Sonic- like gauge cluster, and a steering wheel copped from the Cruze .

The Trax seems aimed at those shopping for Sonics or Cruzes, but want something more high-riding and SUVish. That combination of small dimensions, an upright posture, and a large cargo hold (with the seats down) has worked well for Buick so far.

Like the interior, the drivetrain is rather familiar. Power comes from the 1.4-liter, turbocharged, inline four-cylinder making 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. While it’s a direct bolt-in from the Cruze, the Trax does offer an all-wheel-drive option. That combined with the higher ground clearance, and the Trax seems well suited for trudging through those pesky Polar Vortexes.

Chevy’s newest crossover offers plenty of standard features across its trim levels. Available in LS, LT, and LTZ, the Trax comes standard with a backup camera, StabiliTrak with ABS and electronic brake force distribution, and 10 airbags.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Chevrolet Trax.

The Scion xB still looks like a shoebox, but give credit to Scion for not giving up on this model when so many others would have. On the contrary, Scion’s actually continuing to build up the xB with debut of the Release Series 10.0, a specially designed xB that comes with a whole new list of modern technologies.

Limited to just 1,500 units — like the FR-S Release Series 1.0 — the xB Release Series 10.0 doesn’t completely change the vehicle’s outward appearance, but it does have a host of modifications that at least makes it look a little more presentable. That’s probably the only recourse Scion has in differentiating the xB Release Series 10.0 from the standard version, so it set out to do just that, dressing up the model with am Electric Quartz paint that it describes as a mixture of pearl white with subtle green highlights.

That’s just the beginning of a range of new bits for the xB Release Series 10.0. But the best part is that the model is expected to hit dealerships this summer at a price of $20,420, excluding the $755 in delivery, processing and handling fees. Not too bad for a relatively exclusive xB.

Before that, though, the Scion xB Release Series 10.0 made a quick stop at the 2014 New York Auto Show for its official debut.

Click past the jump to read more about the Scion xB Release Series 10.0.

Remember that odd Subaru teaser image that we showed you just before the 2014 New York Auto Show? Well, as predicted, this teaser was of the RedBull Global Rallycross car that is set to run in the 2014 season. Too bad though, we were really hoping for a special-edition 2015 Subaru WRX STI , but this is still pretty darn cool.

This rally machine is a unique-looking car that comes with all the bells and whistles of a tried-and-true dirt and gravel tosser. From the custom wide-body to the carbon-fiber, modified STI spoiler to the rally-car-standard roof scoop, Subaru Rally Team USA and Vermont SportsCar spared no expense to make the car as competition-ready as possible.

The interior of the WRX STI has been reconfigured for exclusive rallying purposes, so whatever luxury amenities the car had when it first came to life have been taken out and replaced with a host of racing equipment.So don’t go looking around for an audio system, navigation or a soft-touch dash; this thing is all racer.

Rounding out the rally makeover of the WRX STI is a new set of Method Race Wheels that have been wrapped in the series’ official Yokohama race-spec tires.

The 2014 RedBull Global Rally Championships holds its season-opening race on May 18th. Subaru Rally Team USA is expected to field a strong team with drivers Bucky Lasek and Sverre Isachsen, as well as Travis Pastrana and David Haggins, behind the wheel of the WRX STI GRC this fall.

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


Back to top