Car Reviews

After years, of patent leaks, spy shots, and endless rumors about its feasibility, the Cadillac LTS flagship sedan may finally become a reality. That’s the sentiment within the ranks at Cadillac after a high-level source told Autoblog that the RWD, flagship, luxury sedan is being developed in time to make its debut at the New York Auto Show in April 2015. That’s still a long ways away, so it should give Cadillac enough time to prepare its long-awaited answer to the likes of the Mercedes S-Class , the Audi A8 , and the BMW 7 Series .

Autoblog is also reporting certain design elements of the Elmiraj Coupe Concept we saw at the 2013 Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance will make their way to the LTS sedan. That’s a great way to establish a luxury identity for the LTS, because the Elmiraj is everything we hoped a Cadillac flagship sedan would be. While we don’t expect the LTS to be identical to the Elmiraj, we’re looking forward to seeing what Cadillac has in store for the model.

If anything, the company needs to be on its A game in developing the LTS. Last we checked, the S-Class, A8, and 7 Series were all heavyweights of the luxury sedan market. The 2015 S-Class, in particular, was a dramatic improvement from its own predecessor, re-validating Mercedes Mercedes ’ place in the pecking order of the segment. Cadillac will definitely have a lot of pressure on its hands, although the Caddy source did tell Autoblog that the company is prepared to embrace the challenge.

At this point, we’re holding our judgment on that one, at least not until we see the LTS in the flesh in April 2015. You still have time on your hands, Cadillac. You better make the most out of it if the LTS wants to live up to the hype.

Updated 09/09/2014: Cadillac is preparing a competitor for the Mercedes S-Class and while we’re still waiting for an official debut, we created a rendering of what we thing the future LTS will look like. Check it out after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Cadillac LTS.

Source: Autoblog

After months of rumors, teasing and other details surrounding the all-new Jaguar XE, it is finally official, as Jaguar unveiled it on September 8, 2014. Marketed as the British answer to the BMW 3 Series , the XE looks as if it will take on the 3 Series lineup from top to bottom. At the official reveal, Jaguar turned much of its attention to the XE S, which is obviously the answer to the BMW 335i and Mercedes C400, it also touched on the potential for diesel models and an entry-level, four-cylinder model that will battle the likes of the C250 and the 320i. The only model that Jaguar failed to talk about was the answer to the C63 AMG and M3, which should wear either an "R-S" or an "SVR" badge.

This new car is the first that is built using Jaguar’s all-new aluminum architecture that was first previewed with the C-X17 Concept SUV . Jaguar has been building aluminum-intensive cars for over a decade now, but this move further reduces the weight of Jaguar’s many offerings.

The new XE, which will likely create the backbone of Jaguar’s sales once it hits showrooms in 2015 — U.S. availability is 2016 — is the first big step the company is taking toward a lineup that will include lighter and fuel-efficient, yet powerful and sporty vehicles. Let’s have a closer look at the brand-new XE right after the jump.

Updated 09/09/2014: Jaguar unveiled a new video featuring Emeli Sandé performing on the Thames during the official launch of the Jaguar XE.

Click past the jump to read more about 2014 Jaguar XE.

It takes a special kind of gravitas to name a car ‘Divine’. That brings out a number of expectations that might not be met. But Citroen doesn’t seem to be unfazed about the kind of expectations its new Divine DS concept is going to have. On the contrary, the French automaker is actually putting a lot on the concept’s plate, essentially developing it as a preview of its future plans for the DS line.

The launch of the DS3 in 2010 proved to be a success for Citroen and gave the company a model that could compete with its rivals in Europe, so much so that it’s been touted as its own brand that has the potential to become more popular in the coming years.

If this is the road the Citroen DS is going to, then save some room for us in the bandwagon.

I, for one, am impressed at the design of the Divine DS. It’s got a sporty and aggressive character that can be used to build on the Citroen’s plans for the DS to be a stand-alone brand. The concept itself doesn’t wear any Citroen badges. It doesn’t even have the company’s logo. Instead, we see a prominent ‘DS’ emblem on the front grille, which is as good an indication as any on what the Divine DS really aims to accomplish.

There are currently no plans to build a production version of the Divine DS anytime soon. I’m not even going to get my hopes up that Citroen will actually build one.

Instead, I expect the company’s future DS line to carry the DNA of the Divine DS. If that does happen, then sign me up as a fan.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Citroen Divine DS Concept.

When it comes to bespoke cars and coachbuilding companies, Zagato is a name we simply cannot ignore. The Milan-based manufacturer is mostly known for redesigning several Italian automobiles, but it is also responsible for meddling with other vehicles, like the Ford Mustang and the Cadillac Eldorado . The Italians are also famous for creating a handful of breathtaking Aston Martins through a cooperation that dates back to the 1960 DB4 GT. Zagato also designed the DBS Coupe Centennial for the company’s anniversary in 2013, and in 2014, the Italians and Brits are back in the spotlight with the Virage Shooting Brake.

This stunning new vehicle comes right on time for Zagato’s 95th anniversary and joins the Lamborghini 5-95 , a unique, Gallardo -based supercar specifically designed for long-time collector Albert Spiess. Much like the 5-95, the Virage Shooting Brake was also built for a wealthy collector, but this time the Italians have dropped the supercar-like appearance in favor of cutting-edge styling cues. It also marks the completion of the Aston Martin-Zagato centennial trilogy that also included the DBS Coupe and the DB9 Spider. Let’s have a closer look at this rebodied Virage, shall we?

Click past the jump to read more about the Aston Martin Virage Shooting Brake By Zagato.

Lexus unveiled the 2014 GS 450h in September 2013, so it’s a little surprising that the automaker took a full year to launch the GS 450h F Sport. Despite the lack of an F Sport package for a year, the GS 450h remained a really, really sharp car that crossed out just about every item on our checklist. Giving it a sporty F Sport package simply makes it an even sweeter package.

The F Sport package is a new addition to the 2015 GS 450h. It may not come with any engine upgrades that bump the car’s already potent 338-horsepower output, but there are still enough performance upgrades to give it a sportier look and ride. Besides, the F Sport is mostly about making small improvements to many parts of the car, not just focusing on one aspect of the car and leaving the rest entirely untouched.

The exterior and interior of the GS 450h F Sport both receive notable upgrades, plus improved technology . Most importantly, all these changes didn’t cost the GS 450h its notable EPA rating, which is still estimated at 31 mpg combined.

Lexus looks like it has another knockout model to add to its growing F Sport lineup. At some point, it stops being surprising and starts becoming expected.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Lexus GS 450h F Sport.

Saleen may have built its reputation on tuning the most iconic American cars like the Chevrolet Camaro , Ford Mustang , and Dodge Challenger , but company front-man Steve Saleen seems bent on making his mark in the budding performance electric car category as well.

Rumors have circulated for more than a year regarding Saleen’s entrance into the category, with TopSpeed’s own firsthand confirmation coming from Steve himself in a late-2013 interview.

Well the rumors and speculation can all be put to rest as the company debuts the Saleen Tesla Model S Foursixteen at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance . This Tesla Model S receives a bespoke exterior design, interior updates, and of course, increases in power and performance.

Thankfully this isn’t some one-off show car, but rather a pre-production example of what will be publicly available to those looking for extra spice in their Model S. The performance upgrades include a sport-tuned suspension, bigger brakes, upgraded rear differential, and more aggressive aerodynamic surfaces.

Updated 9/8/2014: Saleen has revealed a video of the Foursixteen in action, and "breaking the sound barrier." It doesn’t literally break the sound barrier, like supersonic jet, but rather it makes a noise unlike any other Tesla Model S. Have a look at the video (above) and let me know if you think the noise is cool or annoying as all hell...

Click past the jump for all the info on the Saleen Tesla Model S Foursixteen.

Toyota’s commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Land Cruiser 70 by doing something it’s never done before. The Japanese automaker is reintroducing the model, except that it’s going to be limited to its local market. I don’t know if I speak for everybody here, but I’m completely jealous that Japan’s getting exclusive dibs on the re-released Toyota Land Cruiser 70 . All 200 planned models, to be exact. It doesn’t seem fair, does it?

To make things interesting, Toyota’s also producing a double-cab pickup version of the Land Cruiser 70, which will also be limited to the Japanese market.

Granted, I’m not that excited about the pickup version as I am about the traditional enclosed body classic. The latter model speaks to a level of nostalgia you don’t see in today’s models anymore. I’m counting those retro-inspired ones, too.

If I knew that Toyota was considering re-releasing the model due to widespread requests in Japan, I’d be screaming for the model to go Stateside. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that Toyota will do that, leaving me with no other choice than to just drool over these photos. Such a shame.

Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota Land Cruiser

About 16 years ago Chevrolet launched the Niva, a mini SUV spawned from a joint venture between General Motors and Russian manufacturer AvtoVAZ. The Chevrolet Niva is based on the no-nonsense Lada Niva, which has been around since 1977 without major updates, using the same Russian-built underpinnings. But don’t let the dated appearance fool you, the Chevy Niva is a capable off-roader that can put many modern SUVs to shame.Nearly two decades after rebadging the Lada Niva, General Motors is finally upping the ante to deliver a more appealing second-generation SUV. For the moment only a concept, the new Chevrolet Niva is a massive departure from the current SUV, boasting an all-new design, a more rugged appearance, and revamped drivetrain.

The production model won’t break cover until 2016 and we likely won’t see it in the United States, but it’s definitely a vehicle worth a mention. If you like to spend your weekends taking on the roughest off-road paths in your SUV, then the Niva Concept is a rock climber you need to have a look at.

Click past the jump to read about the Chevrolet Niva SUV Concept

Panoz , an American sports car manufacturer founded in 1989, rolled out the Esperante back in 2000. Developed as a mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive, luxury sport convertible , the first Esperante featured an aluminum body and a modular, extruded-aluminum chassis with steel subframes. The first iteration was powered by a Ford -sourced, 4.6-liter, V-8 engine that cranked out 305 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque with modifications made by Elan Motorsport Technologies. First-gen models were capable of 0-to-60-mph sprints of 4.9 to 5.1 seconds and top speeds of up to 155 mph. The Esperante also spawned a GTLM race car with notable results in the American Le Mans series . As we approach the 2015 model year, Panoz has launched an updated version of the Esperante, this time with larger, more powerful engines, a revised exterior and a completely new interior.

As with most Esperantes, the 2015 model is available in both standard and GT versions, with the latter being highlighted by a wider body kit. The revised Esperante Spyder GT comes just as Panoz is celebrating its 25th anniversary as one of America’s most exclusive sports car manufacturer. Let’s see what Don Panoz has in store this time.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Panoz Esperante Spyder GT.

The Lexus GX sport utility has been around since 2003 when Lexus added the midsize SUV to its lineup. Slotted between the smaller crossover RX and the larger LX platforms, the GX offered plenty of room for seven passengers and loads of rugged abilities that the then up-and-coming crossover segment lacked. A heavy refresh came in 2010 and included the 4.6-liter V-8 to replace the older 4.7-liter, a revised interior, and some slight updating to the exterior. Now for 2014, Lexus has reworked the GX460, giving it the corporate-wide Spindle Grille up front with HID and LED lighting, a reshaped rear bumper, and a new range-topping trim level. Lexus has also subtracted some stuff, namely the pricing. In fact, the base GX460 is roughly $4,700 cheaper than 2013 model. That said, the GX460 isn’t a cheap SUV, thanks to a starting price still touching $50,000.

The GX460 does offer a lot for that scratch, however, and it makes a solid case for itself when considering its heritage and capabilities as a true SUV — and one that can still haul seven people. It’s able to tow a 6,500-pound trailer, engage low range and hit the trails, yet still look at home parked at the county club.

I recently spent a week getting to know the 2014 GX460 with all its quirks and strong suits. The week was spent doing mixed driving, split pretty evenly on highways and city streets. Hauling passengers and hill climbing even happened on a few occasions.

Click past the jump for the full report


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