Car Reviews

Tesla has officially announced its next product: the Model III. Scheduled to debut in 2017 after the upcoming Model X SUV, the midsize Model III sedan has its sights set squarely on the BMW 3 Series . Tesla’s new car will slot under the popular Model S in both size and price.

Keeping with its unconventional business methods, Tesla announced the product in an interview with AutoExpress. CEO Elon Musk says the new car will cost $35,000 and have a range of 200 miles on a single charge. The candid interview continued with Musk mentioning he wanted the new car called the Model E, but ran into red tape with Ford , which apparently holds rights to the name.

To combat the nomenclature woes, Tesla will badge the new car with the Roman numeral “III.” We have to give pause to Tesla’s naming scheme, particularly because of the combination of the Model S, the Model E (err Model III), and the Model X. It seems the world can see Elon Musk’s rather interesting sense of humor.

While the Models S, III, and X are the main focus of Tesla’s future, the company is giving early adopters a substantial power boost. Musk continued in the interview saying Tesla will offer the original Tesla Roadster a replacement battery that extends its range to 400 miles while boosting power. Musk says, “which will allow you to drive from LA to San Francisco non-stop.”

Note: Current Tesla Mode S pictured above

Click past the jump to read more about the 2017 Tesla Model III.

Source: AutoExpress

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.

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.

Still relatively new, the Audi A7 Sportback rides on Volkswagen Group’s MLB platform and first drove the streets of America in 2012. That MLB platform also underpins the A4 , A5 , A6 , A8 , and even the Q5 and Porsche Macan . Needless to day, it’s a popular building block for Volkswagen vehicles. Besides its underpinnings, the A7 Sportback comes with a pair of V-6 engines. First up is the 3.0-liter TFSI supercharged gasoline engine making 310 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. While it’s a great engine, fans of oil-burners will love the 3.0-liter TDI turbo diesel also available in the A7. Audi’s rich history of TDI engines turns a quarter century this year, and to celebrate, the German automaker is offering the A7 Sportback TDI Competition model — a hopped-up version of the A7 TDI.

The twin-turbocharged, clean-diesel gets meatier camshafts that help generate an additional seven horsepower, bringing the total to 326 ponies. The 3.0-liter TDI enjoys a maximum torque output of 479 pound-feet between 1,400 and 2,800 rpm. These changes don’t kill the A7 Sportback’s fuel economy either, as it still returns over 38 mpg. Get hard on the throttle, however, and the TDI’s computer will temporarily increase turbo boost, squeezing another 20 horsepower out of the mill, making its maximum output 346 horses.

There are plenty of other changes around the A7 Sportback TDI Competition package besides the extra oomph. Click on past the jump for the full rundown of all the updated features and creature comforts within Audi’s latest A7 TDI.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TDI Competition.


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