Car Reviews

The BMW -Toyota partnership is beginning to take shape with more news about what’s in store from this marriage. Rumors have circulated since the two automakers announced the partnership back in January 2013, a lot of which have centered on the revival of the Toyota Supra and the development of the next-generation BMW Z4. But Automobile is reporting that the next BMW Z4 won’t be the fruit of the Bavarian automaker’s collaboration with its Japanese counterpart. Instead, it will be a Z4 replacement that will be called the Z5.

The Z5 will first arrive in concept form next year, around the same time Toyota introduces its own concept sports car. Unlike the Toyota concept, which is rumored to come as a hardtop coupe, the Z5 will begin its life as a roadster, albeit one that uses a classic soft top instead of a retractable hard top. It does seem that BMW is developing the Z5 as more of a replacement model to the Z4 instead of billing it as a successor.

As such, the Z5 is expected to come with its own identity independent of the Z4, including a new sports car architecture similar to what Toyota will use on the revived Supra sports coupe. BMW is even targeting the Z5 to weigh around 3,300 pounds, right around the same weight as the Z4.

Note: BMW Zagato Roadster pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2018 BMW Z5.

Posted on by Austin Taylor  

Diesels are very popular these days. They perform well, with stump-pulling torque, and are vastly more efficient than their gasoline-powered counterparts. Whereas a few decades ago a diesel engine would be written off as a smokey, slow oil-burners, these days the demand is very high, and former negative diesel traits have all been eliminated due to the advanced technology of today.

Perhaps the most impressive diesel offerings come from the German manufacturers. BMW , Audi , and Mercedes all offer several diesel engines that are every bit as desirable — if not more — as their respective gasoline versions.

Audi has an innovative new spin on the turbo-diesel with itsA6 . It is still a mono-turbo setup, but with an electric turbo chiming in to help out at lower revs. This innovative design will virtually eliminate turbo lag and provide even more oomph off the line than diesels are already famous for.

How does it work?

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Audi A6 TDI Concept.

The Lexus IS has been roaming the streets of America since 2000. That IS 300 came powered by a 3.0-liter, inline-six-cylinder engine making 217 horsepower and 218 pound-feet of torque mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The IS’ first generation was a groundbreaking one, setting plenty of design standards and even setting a few trends with its clear taillight housings. Then for 2006, the second-generation IS launched with an updated look and a slew of V-style engines. The car came in IS 250 and 350 guises until Lexus launched the IS F , a high-performance variant powered by a 5.0-liter V-8, in 2007. A clean sweep came across the IS lineup in 2008, along with the addition of a hardtop convertible. Still utilizing the second-generation platform and styling, the 2014 IS 350C soldiers on as the rest IS lineup gets a whole new look.

I just recently spent a week behind the wheel of Lexus’ 2014 IS 350C, complete with the F Sport package. Despite its exclusion from the redesign, the IS 350C is still a lovely car to look at and drive. Of course, the main focus surrounds that aluminum-alloy folding hardtop, and with good cause. A short, 20-second transformation makes the two door coupe into a 2+2 drop-top perfect for boulevard cruising and back-road burning.

Click past the jump for the full review

Posted on by Austin Taylor  

The Cadillac Escalade really doesn’t need an introduction. Even the most oblivious, non-car-enthusiast consumer could easily identify — and lust after — an Escalade . Car shoppers buy Tahoes and Yukons , which the Escalade is based on, because they need them to tow boats, carry gear, and haul large families around in. Other individuals buy the Escalade simply because they want it. Seeing as a loaded-out Yukon Denali can top $70,000, what’s the big deal to pay a few grand more for the Caddy? A nicely-equipped, four-wheel-drive model can be yours for $75,290.

The new-for-2015 Escalade has been well-received by critics. The undisputed king-of-bling in this segment, combining sharp, polarizing styling, a plenty-powerful, 420-horsepower V-8, and, finally, a gorgeous interior worthy of the price. Dealers will likely not be able to keep these on their lots.

However, that isn’t stopping Cadillac from possibly introducing a few new variants in the next year or so. Cadillac is reportedly considering a Vsport edition, likely powered by the 3.6-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6. Expect more than the current 420 horsepower it provides for the CTS Vsport. Even a turbodiesel V-6 could be in the works.

Note: Standard Cadillac Escalade pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Cadillac Escalade Vsport.

We already know most of the details surrounding the 2015 Mustang , but what Ford has given us so far is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s at least one high-performance version underway and a bunch of special-edition models are sure to follow. While the beefed-up Mustang SVT is still testing on the ’Ring with swirly camouflage covering its muscular body, Ford’s next special-edition ’Stang is already out in the open, thanks to our friends over at Mustangs Daily.

The said muscle car is actually a one-off model built for EAA AirVenture and joins previous bespoke projects that have paid tribute to either iconic U.S. airplanes or air demonstration squadrons such as the U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds. The latest custom Mustang to arrive in the EAA AirVenture collection before being auctioned off for charity is inspired by the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, a multi-role fighter plane with stealth capability introduced in 2006.

Like most aviation-themed Mustangs, the custom muscle car will go under the hammer at the Gathering of Eagles charity event at EAA AirVenture. All proceeds will be donated to the EAA Young Eagles program, a non-profit organization providing free flights to aviation enthusiasts since 1992.

Updated 07/25/2014: Following the earlier announcement, the first images of the new Mustang Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II edition have surfaced on the internet. (mustang6g)

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Ford Mustang Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.

The Challenger made its fateful return to Dodge’s lineup in 2008 following decades of remaining dormant. For the 2015 model year, the Challenger received a refresh that included a set of taillights that hark back to the 1971 model year. Those fancy taillights are small potatoes when compared to the big news of 2015, the addition of the 700-plus-horsepower Challenger SRT Hellcat.

The wait if finally over, ladies and gentlemen! Dodge has unleashed its most powerful Challenger ever — the Hellcat. Rumored since early last year and initially expected to show up at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, the monstrous muscle car was raised from the dark pits of Hell with a huge, supercharged, 6.2-liter, V-8 mill under the hood and an appearance that will make the Shelby GT500 tremble in fear.

Needless to say, the Challenger Hellcat is the first product of the newly consolidated Dodge and SRT brands, a range-topping model that will sit above the already beefed-up 392 HEMI Scat Pack Shaker that we’ve seen during the New York Auto Show last month.

"The new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is the ultimate performance muscle car," said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge Dodge president and CEO, naming it "a true GT car with an all-new driver-focused interior." The beastly coupe will be built at Chrysler’s Brampton Assembly plant in Ontario, Canada, but production won’t begin until the third quarter of 2014.

If you’re as excited as we are, waiting that long to see and drive the most powerful Challenger ever made will be painful to say the least. However, that gives us more than enough time to go through all the details and find out what the Hellcat is made of. Aside from the supercharged, V-8 HEMI we’re already drooling over...

Updated 07/16/2014: Pricing for the 2015 Challenger Hellcat SRT have been officially confirmed by Chrysler: $59,995 (excluding $995 destination and including $2,100 gas-guzzler tax; $1,700 gas-guzzler tax on models with the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic).

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.

In 2007, Honda rebadged its useful and popular Jazz model as the Fit and released it in America. Americans immediately took notice, as the unstable prices in fuel led us to start looking at smaller vehicles. What’s more, the debut Fit also had a massive 57-cubic-foot cargo area that no other compact hatchbacks could come close to. In 2015 — after a one-year break — the Fit returns with an all-new look, new cabin, updated engine, and a huge increase in rear-seat room.

I spent a week behind the wheel of the range-topping 2015 Fit EX-L — the first Fit to feature leather upholstery — and came away mighty impressed. The roominess was out of this world, the cargo area was incredible and the smattering of features were nice additions. As with most entry-level cars with leather interior, this was the sore spot in the whole thing. The leather seemed haphazardly slapped over cloth and hard plastic, leaving some fit and finish issues, and black leather is simply unbearable in the summer.

the real question is whether the iffy leather left a bad taste in my mouth or were the good parts of this compact hatch enough to make me overlook my problems with the cow hide?

Click past the jump to read my Driven review on the 2015 Fit and find out.

By now, it’s clear that BMW has a soft spot for the Japanese market. The Bavarian automaker has made a habit of launching limited-edition models in the Asian country, so we’re not surprised at all that it’s set to release another on. This time around the special model is called the X1 Exclusive Sport. Yes, it’s only been a week since BMW presented the Z4 sDrive GT Spirit , but who’s really counting anymore?

The X1 Exclusive Sport is limited to just 160 units, so yes, it is certainly something special. More importantly, it has all sorts of bells and whistles to justify its label. But this SUV does come at a relatively steep price, as it will run our Japanese petrolhead friends a cool 5.190 million yen, which converts to $51,100 as of 7/15/2014. That’s a whole lot of scratch for an X1.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 BMW X1 Exclusive Sport.

At its core, the SRT Viper GT3-R is a born and bred race car that’s capable of inflicting some serious damage on the track. The car proved as much during the Detroit leg of the Pirelli World Challenge Series in May 2014 when it scored its first-ever series victory. On July 19th and 20th, 2014, the World Challenge Series travels to Toronto and the Viper GT3-R is expected to be front and center once again.

SRT Motorsports is bringing one to the race where it will be driven by Kuno Wittmer, a man who is no stranger to driving the SRT GTS-R, his full-time ride at the IMSA Tudor United SportsCar Championship. But on July 19th and 20th, Wittmer will be piloting a special SRT GT3-R prepared by Riley Technologies.

He’s also no stranger to driving Vipers in the series, having competed there from 2008 to 2010 and boasting two victories while piloting the Viper. For one weekend, Wittmer returns to the Pirelli World Challenge Series with an even more incredible Viper by his side, ready to take the GTA class by storm.

The car itself looks like a real world beater. That’s a credit to the work put in by Riley Technologies to turn it into a full-fledged, competition-ready race car. With a massive V-10 engine under its hood that produces 680 horsepower and 640 pound-feet of torque, this SRT GT3-R is ready to take turn some heads in Toronto.

Click past the jump to read more about the Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R By Riley Technologies.

It’s been another banner year for the Porsche 911 as it continues to uphold its reputation as the company’s most popular and most iconic model. This year, Porsche seeks to add to the growing legend of the 911 by giving customers in the UK a special treat, the special-edition 911 Turbo S that’s been christened the Exclusive GB Edition.

These are the kind of special edition models that leave a mark on a lot of people. One big reason for that is because it’s a Porsche 911 Turbo S. Another reason is because it’s limited to just one market. But the most important reason is that there are only 40 models available.

The number 40 wasn’t just a random choice, rather is an important number for the 911 because 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the model. If Porsche intended the 911 Turbo S Exclusive GB Edition to be a celebratory "thank you" to its British customers, then those folks are a lucky bunch.

The Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive GB Edition is only available in the UK, if that wasn’t clear enough. That’s tough beans for us here in the US. Here’s the catch, though. This exclusive limited edition model costs £150,237, which is about $257,400 based on current exchange rates.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive GB Edition.


Back to top