Car Reviews

I had once the privilege of driving a buddy’s Audi S3 . It was a few years ago and while my memory’s admittedly hazy of the circumstances behind it, I do remember feeling a little woozy after that encounter. The S3’s a powerful little sucker that much I can tell you. I can only imagine how the S3 would feel like with this aftermarket program from MTM on the table.

The German tuner has a history of bringing out the best in Audis . Whether its the A1 or the R8 , there’s probably an MTM program for it. This time, though, it’s the S3 that takes the spotlight, thanks to a measured tuning upgrade that doesn’t pull any punches.

Don’t expect any aesthetic improvements here. MTM built the program with power and efficiency in mind so it’s all meat, bones, and all that dirty stuff under the hood. The good news is that the tuner’s kit will be available across all variants of the S3. Whether it’s the saloon, cabriolet, sportback, there’s enough MTM love to go around.

All together, an MTM-tuned Audi S3 will cost €62,000, which is about $83,000 based on the exchange rates on 8/4/2014. The kit itself retails for €13,000 ($17,400) so you can have the choice of paying just for that, or for the entire thing, S3 included.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi S3 2.0 TFSI quattro By MTM.

The venerable Corolla has been a mainstay in Toyota’s U.S. lineup since its introduction in 1968. Toyota’s longest-running nameplate has undergone numerous alterations over the years, but has always remained a stalwart of the compact sedan segment. In 1997, the Corolla surpassed the Volkswagen Beetle as the best selling nameplate worldwide. That tradition continues today with the updated 2014 Toyota Corolla .

I recently spent a week getting to know a Corolla equipped in the LE Eco trim — the Corolla’s most fuel-efficient trim package. Equipped with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, electronic power steering, skinny tires, and a Continuously Variable Transmission, the Corolla earns an EPA economy rating of 30 mpg city, 42 mpg highway, and 35 mpg combined.

Coated in a deep Evergreen color, the Corolla did a great job at keeping its fuel-conscience end of the bargain. My weekly total average topped just over 31 mpg, besting the Corolla’s EPA city rating. A light throttle and careful driving quickly saw the average increase on slower highway jaunts, making the EPA’s estimates seem obtainable.

The Corolla proved to be a reasonable yet rather tossable set of wheels during its week stay, though there were a few quibbles about NVH.

Click past the jump for the full review of the new 2014 Toyota Corolla

Honda introduced the CR-V in 1995. The crossover was based on the Honda Civic and came with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Built until 2001, the first-gen CR-V came to the United States in 1997 and had a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine rated at 126 horsepower. A 1999 facelift saw power increase to 147 ponies, as Honda responded to criticism that the crossover was underpowered. The second-gen model arrived in 2001 with extensive visual and technology upgrades. Three new engines were introduced, including a 2.4-liter inline-four. The CR-V was redesigned yet again for the 2007 model year, when production of the crossover began at the company’s new East Liberty, Ohio plant. The fourth-gen CR-V debuted at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show and went on sale for 2012. In 2014, the vehicle is powered by a 2.4-liter, four-banger producing 185 horsepower and 163 pound-feet of torque. As we move into 2015, the current CR-V is getting ready to receive a facelift, which will arrive in dealerships for the 2016 model year.

Revised front and rear fascia, an updated interior and an enhanced engine are the main feats surrounding this mid-cycle upgrade.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Honda CR-V.

Oh, look. There’s another German aftermarket company that has prepared a program for the BMW 4 Series . At this rate, we’re probably going to see enough aftermarket programs to fill up an entire catalog. Not that it’s a problem, given the 4 Series is nothing short of awesome. This is exactly why so many tuning firms are jumping all over it. And now we have the German aftermarket company Best-Tuning, which is known for its works on Bavaria’s finest.

Since its founding in 1997, Best-Tuning has created a laundry list of tuning kits for cars and motorcycles. Its latest work on the 4 Series follows up on that tradition, even though the lack of any aesthetic upgrades won’t win it any style points from us.But who thinks the 4 Series lacks so badly that it actually needs aesthetic enhancements?

Even without the styling upgrades, this program is far from a dud. Actually, it’s got some nice qualities to it, although not to the extent of what other aftermarket firms have developed for BMW’s newest eye candy.

Best-Tuning did do some serious work improving the 4 Series’ performance capabilities, including a mild engine tune and some chassis upgrades.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 435IX By Best-Tuning.

I don’t think I’m the only one who has been disappointed with the underwhelming aftermarket programs given to the Subaru BRZ . I’m not expecting anywhere close to the level of a Nissan GT-R , but somewhere with equally impressive performance gains relative to its power wouldn’t hurt. The same disappointing trend continues with the BRZ "Albino Rhino" by RallySport Direct.

To be fair, the BRZ Albino Rhino does have impressive aesthetic and aerodynamic upgrades. I have no issues on how the BRZ looks because it looks incredible. The blue alloy wheels, in particular, are a perfect combination of saucy and sexy.

The issue here is the engine upgrade, which isn’t really much, if I’m being honest. RallySport Direct added a Vortech supercharger, which sounds really nice, but at the end of the day, even the supercharger upgrade wasn’t enough to give the BRZ "Albino Rhino" the kind of power its animal namesake is famous for.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2013 Subaru BRZ "Albino Rhino".

Source: FT86 Club

Mitsubishi introduced the Outlander in 2001 as a midsize crossover based on the ASX concept. Initially known as the Mitsubishi Airtrek on the Japanese market, the first-gen Outlander was powered by a range of 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engines mated to four- and five-speed manual and automatic transmissions. The vehicle was launched in the United States in 2003 as a replacement for the Montero Sport. The second-gen Outlander arrived in 2005. The redesigned shell came with new engines, new gearboxes and new safety features. For the first time, the crossover gained a 3.0-liter V-6 and a six-speed, twin-clutch transmission. A 2009 facelift added the Lancer’s front end to the Outlander. The second-gen model was replaced altogether for the 2013 model year, when major visual and drivetrain updates were operated. More importantly, the Outlander became available as a plug-in hybrid under the P-HEV moniker. As we move into the 2015 model year, Mitsubishi is readying the first mid-cycle refresh for its successful crossover.

The facelift comes as a last hurrah for the third-generation Outlander, which is scheduled to be replaced by a brand-new vehicle in 2017. To keep it fresh in a segment attended by many manufacturers, the Japanese automaker is refining the vehicle’s exterior looks, while upgrading the interior and the powertrains.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander.

Posted on by Austin Taylor  

The current BMW 6 Series is a hot commodity. With three different models — the two-door coupe, GranCoupe with four doors, and convertible version — BMW offers plenty of choices for consumers looking to drop some considerable change for this sporty, luxurious car. Engine offerings start with a 3.0-liter, 315-horsepower, twin-scroll turbocharged inline-six, dubbed the 640i. Next up is the 650i, with a 4.4-liter V-8, also featuring a twin-scroll turbo design, which is good for 445 horsepower. The mighty M6 Convertible comes with a more powerful version of the 650i’s V-8, producing an almost-crazy 560 horsepower. Performance is blistering, regardless of engine choice, and typical BMW luxury and top-notch fit and finish adorn the interior.

While the current 6 Series Convertible is certainly fresh, this isn’t stopping BMW from updating the lineup for the 2016 model year, and our spy photographers caught this facelifted model out testing.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 BMW 6 Series Convertible.

The A7 is a tricky car to work on because it tugs in the directions of sportiness and luxury . Trying to determine where to angle your kit is half the battle in itself. But MR Racing holds a different principle. Instead of favoring one over the other, the company prefers having a happy compromise where both style and performance benefit from its programs. That’s evident in how the aftermarket company worked on the Audi A7. MR Racing went into the build with a clear purpose in mind: it wanted to give the A7 increased styling substance to go with subtle tweaks to the its performance capabilities. Even the interior was given its own share of new digs, not the least of which is the added entertainment value of having a portable DVD player hanging from the headliner.

If I had this sleek Audi sedan in my garage, I’d be really interested in getting MR Racing to make mine exactly like this. It’s still an ’if’ at this point, but trust me, I’m working my way to get there. I just hope MR Racing can wait, say, another 15 years?

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi A7 3.0 TDI By MR Racing.

Every year, there’s always a car that captures the heart of aftermarket companies and this year it’s the BMW 4 Series . Bavaria’s new sports coupe has become the flavor of the year for tuning firms. The 4 Series love has become so rampant that even Alpha N Performance is getting in on the fun with its work on the 4 Series’ big brother, the M4 .

For now, Alpha N Performance has only produced a basic engine upgrade for the M4. The tuner still has more tricks up its sleeve in the future, including aerodynamic components and two more stages of performance upgrades. But right now, the Stage 1 engine kit is all it has for the M4.

You can draw your own conclusions on the tuner’s work on the M4. In some way, it does lack the wow factor we normally attribute to tuning programs, but for what it was able to accomplish — developing a system for the M4 is no small feat — Alpha N Performance is on the right track toward building a tuning kit that we can all get behind. Besides, it’s not totally fair to judge a tuner on a program that still has plenty of room to evolve in the future.

Hopefully, we see the final product, complete with the Stage 2 and 3 performance upgrades, sooner rather than later. We’ve got high hopes on your kit, Alpha N Performance. Don’t leave us hanging.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 BMW M4 By Alpha-N Performance.

The Fiat 500L is how we always thought the 500 should look like. It’s bigger and more dynamic, not to mention refined in ways that the standard 500 isn’t. The 500L is also versatile enough to be adapt to whatever customization package you give it. If you need proof of that, look no further than the Fiat 500L-Vans Design Concept.

The model was on display at the 2014 Vans US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, California where it turned a lot of heads with its quirky customization that pays homage to the urban fashion brand.

Fiat and Vans may be unlikely allies in the grand scheme of things, but you wouldn’t notice that by the way the two collaborated to create the 500L-Vans Design Concept. It features plenty of Vans-inspired bits spread throughout the exterior and interior, including the iconic Vans Checkerboard pattern that’s prominently displayed on the 500L’s roof.

This isn’t your standard Fiat 500L, ladies and gentlemen. This is the result of a partnership between two brands that just so happen to have products geared for the same young and adventurous generation.

Fiat and Vans worked some serious magic to turn this 500L into what it looks like now. The result is a piece of beauty, even though I say that knowing that it’s not hitting dealerships any time soon — or ever, for that matter.

Click past the jump to read more about the Fiat 500L-Vans Design Concept.


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