Car Reviews

The Mercedes CLS-Class is a perfect example of a luxury sedan done exactly the way it was supposed to. But that doesn’t mean it stil can’t be improved upon. That’s one of the reasons Mercedes announced a new Night Package for the CLS, giving the model a nice brush up in style and class.

The package is limited to exterior upgrades and is available only on the CLS 500, CLS 500 4MATIC of AMG Line-equipped CLS-Class models. A short list of design elements are a part of the Night Package, including the addition of a high-gloss black lamella in the radiator grille and a new, high-gloss black front splitter in the front bumper. In fact, high-gloss black was used generously on the CLS; notice the exterior mirrors sporting the same finish?

Heat-insulating dark-tinted glass on the rear doors and an anodized trim strip are also part of the Night Package. These two elements don’t catch the public’s attention and yet, both play important roles in creating a comprehensive package that owners of the CLS-Class can appreciate.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes-Benz CLS With Night Package.

Although it doesn’t benefit from the same recognition surrounding the Ferrari brand, Renault is a big name in the world of motorsports. The French have been involved in top-tier racing for decades and, more recently, their World Series championships have helped numerous talented youngsters grow into professional racers. For 2015, Renault and its Sport Technologies arm are readying yet another racing division, one that comes with its own, exclusive race car.

Make no mistake though, this new racer that’s set to break cover at the Moscow International Auto Show in August is not another beefed-up Megane RS . The French are actually taking it up a notch with a vehicle that promises to be faster than the entire bunch of race-ready Megane RS and Clio RS hatches. Making things even more interesting is the fact that Renault says the race car will feature a "uniquely stunning design" — the statement is backed by a teaser showcasing a sleek, coupe-like shape with a fixed wing on the rear.

The full details won’t be out until August 27th, 2014, but the limited amount of info Renault has shared so far talks about at least 500 horsepower, lightness and brings together names like Nismo and Dallara. That’s exciting news in my book.

Click past the jump to read more about the Renault Sport Trophy.

The Lexus RX essentially created the luxury crossover market when it debuted in 1998. By using a unibody chassis rather than a body-on-frame setup like most SUVs, the Lexus was quieter, more comfortable and nicer to drive than any of its competitors. Lexus had an immediate hit. Now more than 15 years later I have been given the keys to a third-generation model. Meet the RX 450h.

The “h” signifies that this particular family machine is powered by a hybrid system. Toyota makes some of the best hybrids in the business, but I worry that the weight and heft of an SUV may be too much to ask of the Hybrid Synergy Drive setup. With lots of crossover competition from America and the German’s alike the RX 450h has some stiff rivals. Can this latest version of Lexus’ segment defining crossover keep up with the now rampant competition?

Read more about the 2014 Lexus RX 450h after the break

The Sonata has been roaming the streets of America since 1989. Those early Hyundais were rather boring, bland cars with little styling, questionable reliability, and a name that was synonymous with less-than-impressive tax brackets. Things began to change for the Korean automaker when its products became better looking and longer lasting. The 2005 Sonata was a key player in that movement with its good-looking proportions and U.S.-built claim-to-fame. Things got even better in 2011 when Hyundai debuted the YF platform Sonata. Its upscale looks and solid powertrain sent the competition packing and sent Hyundai’s sales numbers skyward.

Now entering 2015, the Sonata has once again gone under the knife. But unlike 2011, the look is more sculpted, angular, and upscale thanks to Hyundai’s new Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language.

Like I mentioned in my Sonata preview article, I spent a recent day behind the wheel of Hyundai’s newest car in hopes of gaining an understanding about the direction the new Sonata is headed, as well as the changes that exist.

Click past the jump for the full review

No, this isn’t a Transformer you’re looking at. This is the latest piece of supercar work coming from the mental minds of DMC . The German supercar tuner isn’t done making hellacious programs for the Lamborghini Aventador . At some point, you wonder if there’s any limit to the company’s imagination.

This new program, dubbed the LP988 "Edizione-GT", follows in the footsteps of the Molto Veloce and Spezial Version packages. Only its not so much as "following in the footsteps" as it is taking it to an entirely new level.

In other words, this is the STAGE3 program, and surely, it lives up to its billing with an incredible tuning kit that comprises of a migraine-inducing body kit and engine upgrade combination.

This is the kind of program that isn’t easy to make, let alone easy to buy. According to DMC, simply showing up with a big, fat check isn’t going to make you a proud owner of the Aventador LP988 Edizione-GT. Instead, interested customers need to to apply — yes, apply — before you’re allowed to buy one. Additionally, each customer selects a one-off color, and DMC will never use that color again on an Aventador.

Those who make the cut will then be treated to a unique model that DMC says will be limited to just one color and/or style per unit, ensuring that no two programs are exactly the same. That’s exclusivity spelled with a capital "E."

The Lamborghini Aventador LP988 Edizione-GT program will cost buyers a whopping $288,888.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Lamborghini Aventador LP988 "Edizione-GT" By DMC.

MG needs our love, guys and gals. The British automaker deserves it and it’s on us to give it. With so many automakers having sports hatchbacks available, it’s easy to see why MG can get lost in the mix. So it’s on us to give it some shine, especially when it releases a model like the MG3 Trophy Championship Concept that actually has some very nice qualities and over 100 horsepower more than the standard version.

The model was introduced at the MG90, an event that celebrated the company’s 90th anniversary, that took place from June 20 through 24, 2014. Three concepts were launched during the event and one of them is the MG3 Trophy Championship Concept. It’s based on the current MG3 and was given a comprehensive aerodynamic and performance upgrade that has given the sports hatch a little more pop.

It’s not going to blow your mind, but it could be appealing enough to get racing teams interested in the vehicle. That’s one of the objectives in launching the concept and for the sake of MG, we’re hoping that interest is high on this modified bad-boy.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 MG MG3 Trophy Championship Concept.

Introduced for the 2013 model year, the Cadillac ATS is one of the newest products to come out of Lansing, Michigan. Developed to compete in a market dominated by the BMW 3 Series , the ATS rides on GM’s Alpha platform and is Caddy’s smallest four-door sedan as of June 2014. Although it spent less than two years in showrooms, the sedan got a mild refresh for the 2015 model year, borrowing the front end, the interior and the suspension that debuted on its Coupe cousin.

Scheduled to break cover later in 2014, the revised 2015 Cadillac ATS sedan has revealed itself earlier than expected during a commercial shoot. The four-door compact has been spotted on the road posing for the camera in its brand-new suit, allowing us to have a closer look at some of the changes Cadillac is getting ready to introduce. Not surprising, the exterior updates revolve around the brand-new ATS Coupe and include the company’s re-branding campaign by means of a redesigned crest.

Click past the jump to read more about 2015 Cadillac ATS Sedan

The Skoda Octavia vRS , a high-performance version of the company’s notchback sedan and estate, was launched in 2001, five years after the Octavia nameplate was revived. The first-generation model was powered by a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine that delivered 178 ponies. The unit was later upgraded to displace 2.0 liters and churn out 220 horsepower. Going into the 2015 model year, Skoda is rolling out an even more powerful version of the Octavia, taking its output into the 280-horsepower territory.

Developed to mark the 40th anniversary of the RS brand, the fastest Octavia ever built joins the lineup to take over the range-topping model crown from the already powerful vRS. Dubbed Octavia RS+, the new member of the Octavia range also comes with a host of visual improvements meant to raise the bar in terms of sportiness and aggressiveness. A number of exclusive features set it apart from the regular Octavia and even the vRS, but we’ll talk more about that after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the Skoda Octavia RS+.

The BMW M4 arrived in time for the 2015 model year, just a year after the 4 Series took the place of the 3 Series coupe. Based on a chassis that is lower and wide than the outgoing M3 Coupe, the M4 is one mean machine that pumps an almost unfathomable amount of power form its 3.0-liter, I-6 powerplant. Heading into the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed , our friends over at Pistonheads made quite an impression at the with their own BMW Individual-dressed M4 Coupe .

The car looks undeniably sexy, the product of months of work and preparation that resulted in a true one-of-a-kind Bavarian sports coupe .

Readers of the auto news site had a big hand in helping Pistonheads design the M4 Coupe. To their credit, PH readers did an impressive job on the model, giving it a unique finish you normally don’t see in a BMW M4 Coupe. The Tanzanite Blue metallic paint finish is a particularly impressive color for the M4. It’s not too flashy, but it’s one that may make you do a double-take.

But here’s the best part about the entire build. Pistonheads’ BMW M4 Individual was built specifically for Goodwood and two readers of the site were given a chance to drive the sports coupe up the famous. In addition to that, both readers also got the opportunity to drive around the circuit in other BMW models, ensuring that the experience left an indelible mark in their minds.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW Individual M4 Coupe Pistonheads Edition.

British design firm Kahn Design is one of the best Land Rover modifiers in the business. That’s not an opinion as it is a fact. Time and again, Kahn releases new programs for Land Rover SUVs , sometimes to the point of even saturating its portfolio with the amount of projects it builds. It’s latest work, though, is a real treat, especially for fans of the Defender .

The program is called the Chelsea Defender and as you can expect, Kahn Design put in serious work to refine it. The end result really speaks for itself. The Defender looks absolutely gorgeous, a far departure from its traditional utilitarian look that doesn’t really do much to excite our senses.

This work brings out the eyes of the Defender, so to speak. It’s a comprehensive project, too, which is a bit surprising considering that Kahn usually reserves its modifications for the interior. So imagine our surprise when we saw a modified exterior look on the Defender, highlighted by a Nara Bronze paint finish with LED diamond bright lights.

It’s another impressive project by Kahn Design. At this point, you really expect nothing less from Kahn.

Click past the jump to read more about the Land Rover Defender By Kahn Design.


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