Car Reviews

The Dodge Viper saga began in 1991, when Chrysler introduced the semi-supercar commonly known as the modern-day Cobra. The production model was based on a concept car showcased in 1989 and carried an 8.0-liter, V-10 engine under its long hood. Sold as a roadster at first, the Viper gained a coupe version in 1996, when the second-gen car was unveiled. Numerous upgrades were implemented until 2010, including a displacement increase to 8.3 liters and an output update to more than 500 horsepower, when the Viper was discontinued after four generations only to return as the SRT Viper in 2013. Heading into 2015, the SRT and Dodge brands have again become one, allowing the Dodge Viper SRT to return.

When the Viper returned under the SRT brand, it arrived with a redesigned body and a slightly larger engine. Enlarged to displace 8.4 liters, the V-10 powerplant delivered 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque, a figure that remained unchanged until 2014. Going into 2015, the iconic Viper remains pretty much the same, save for the name change.

Updated 07/28/2014: New details on the 2015 Dodge Viper report that the sports car will deliver an additional 5 horsepower over the 2014 SRT version. The only question is if the 645 horsepower will help boost the very poor sales of the sports car. (Road And Track)

Note: 2014 SRT Viper pictured here.

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

Ever since it burst onto the scene back in 2006, the Audi R8 has evolved into one of the more customized supercars in the tuning market. Even into its second generation, tuners remain rather interested in pushing the R8 to its max. German tuners, in particular, are always quick to build programs for the R8, knowing that its popularity on German soil always creates demand in the aftermarket scene. MbDesign falls in that category, as shown by its new take on the beloved Audi supercar ., and in 2014 it is offering a fresh new take on the R8. The camouflage car wrap is a pretty darn good indication that this isn’t your regular aftermarket program for the R8.

Some parts of the program are admittedly underwhelming, but the jet-inspired camo wrap more than makes up for those little shortcomings.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi R8 By mbDESIGN.

Posted on by Austin Taylor  

The new BMW i8 is the brand’s most innovative and technologically advanced model yet. This plug-in hybrid combines efficiency with sports car performance, futuristic looks, and plenty of BMW luxury. Perhaps the first thing to catch consumers’ minds is the raw technology behind this design. This plug-in hybrid setup combines a 1.5-liter, inline three-cylinder, gas engine with two electric motors for motivation. In July 2014, BMW announced that it will auction off a special Concours d’Elegance Edition i8 to build upon the excitement about the model.

Things get a little tricky when adding the i8’s powertrain together. A six-speed automatic transmission drives the rear wheels, while an electric motor powers the front wheels through a two-speed automatic. An additional, smaller electric motor provides additional power to the rear wheels but mostly acts as a generator to top off the battery.

Confused yet? The bottom line is that this all works in harmony to create 357 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. BMW claims a 0-to-60 time of only 4.2 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph. A BMW-like 50/50 weight distribution ensures amazing balance and handling.

While all of this is enough to get excited about, BMW wants to take luxury and customization a step further with a special Concours d’Elegance Edition to be introduced and auctioned off at the Pebble Beach Auto Show in August 2014.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition.

The Lexus IS series has been around since 2000 as was Lexus’ attempt at making a proper sports sedan. The Japanese automaker did a respectable job with the IS, as it produced 217 horsepower and 218 pound-feet of torque form its 3.0-liter V-6. A five-speed automatic sent that power rearward. The IS’ design was a striking one, even propelling the aftermarket and a few other automakers into the whole clear-lens taillight fad. Things changed in 2006, as the IS lineup received an updated look and a slew of V-style engines. Lexus offered two levels of power in the IS 250 and IS 350 versions. Then in 2007, Lexus gave us the IS F ; the 5.0-liter, V-8-powered BMW M3 rival. Though the IS lineup has moved to a new design theme for 2015, the IS C — Lexus’ hardtop convertible — remains looking as it did for 2013.

A redesigned ‘organ-type’ accelerator pedal, the addition of Slacker Radio to the Lexus Enform system, and updates to iHeartRadio 4.0 are all that’s new with the IS C for 2015. While it is disappointing Lexus hasn’t updated the car’s internal and external appearance, it’s also disappointing that the powertrain remains unchanged as well.

However, if a luxury hardtop convertible is on your wish list, the IS C still offers plenty to love, including a 20-second fold time for the top operation and plenty of power for motivation down the road.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Lexus IS C.

What if The Empire invaded a planet with an extensive road system and needed a fitting mode of transportation for Darth Vader? Perhaps a Sith Lord would commission engineering droids to build something like this, the Darth Vader Car. Here on Earth, the creative minds at Hot Wheels have designed and built a fully working, large-scale model of their Darth Vader Car.

The idea started back in November of 2013 when the design team came up with the idea for Darth Vader toy car. After the small-scale version was finished, they went big. Built in only two months, the car is completely drivable.

The Darth Car is based on a Corvette C5 platform. Its new menacing bodywork is constructed mostly from fiberglass and carbon fiber, making the car nearly 50 percent lighter than the original C5. Under its lengthy hood still lies a Corvette engine, though this one has been upgraded to an LS3, 6.2-liter V-8 — the engine used in the 2008 and newer C6 Corvettes. Of course, it’s been massaged to make well beyond its stock output numbers. PCW Brands, the car’s builder, says it makes 526 horsepower and hits 150 mph. A six-speed manual transmission delivers The Force to the rear, custom-made wheels and tires.

Loads of special-effects gear is added to bring the Vader Car to life. Darth Vader respirator noises emanate from the grille while light saber sounds play as red lights glow along the rocker panels. Even the cockpit roof opens up like Darth Vader’s helmet. Oh, and there’s also a drift brake lever for, you know, agile maneuvers while in pursuit of Rebel forces.

The Darth Vader car currently on display at the 2014 Comic-Con International convention taking place in San Diego, California.

Click past the jump for video and pictures on the Darth Vader Car By Hot Wheels.

Source: Car & Driver

The third-generation BMW X5 is finally getting its aftermarket dues. Kelleners Sport gets the credit for this impressive program, blending some aerodynamic goodies with new wheels and an extensive engine update.

It’s hard to downplay how important these kits are for SUVs like the X5. For the most part, tuners can only go so far with installing new components on these types of models. What’s more important is how tuners are able to improve on the performance end, which really is the heart of every tuning program. Kelleners Sport achieved that, thanks to a variety of engine kits designed to give various trims of the X5 the extra oomph some owners need.

This is by no means the most impressive kit we’ve seen on a BMW X5 , but when it comes to offering a comprehensive list of upgrades on all sections of the SUV, Kelleners Sport did a pretty good job of checking off many items on that list.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW X5 by Kelleners Sport.

The Volkswagen Golf has succeeded in ways very few of its contemporaries have. It’s in its seventh generation for crying out loud! That’s more than what other models can say for themselves. Ever since it was released in 1974, the Golf has built a reputation as the godfather of the modern-day sports hatch. But even with its age, the Golf is still a strong presence in the hatchback market, so much so that the model is still turning heads wherever it goes. The 2015 Golf TDI is the latest in a series of new Golf models that are now available in the market. Yes, it’s got a diesel engine but it’s a new diesel engine. That counts for something.

It was also the recipient of aesthetic tweaks that makes its design fit for the times. Some might even say that the Golf looks better than ever before, which is about as big of a compliment as you can give to the hatch that most people believe blazed the trail for its kind.

Click past the jump to read more about 2015 Volkswagen Golf TDI

The Volkswagen Eos is nearing the end of its road, with 2015 marking its final year in production. To commemorate its passing, Volkswagen is introducing a ‘Final Edition’ Eos. The new trim level replaces the drop-top’s Sport trim level and the entire Eos lineup gets some new exterior colors and interior accoutrements.

New for 2015 are ‘Flash Red’ and ‘Pure White’ exterior paint colors. Flash Red comes available only on the Komfort and Executive trims, while Pure White is available across the board.

The Final Edition trim gets all the niceties from the Sport trim it replaces. Vicenza wheels sized at 18 inches, bespoke Cornsilk Beige and black two-tone Vienna leather with contrast stitching in the cabin, along with silver net interior trim. The Final Edition also gets a rearview camera and rain-sensing windshield wipers for added safety.

The Eos has been a slow seller for Volkswagen since its introduction in 2006. The hardtop convertible only moved 4,178 units in 2013 for all of America. Even in its best year, 2008, the Eos only found homes in 12,837 driveways across the U.S.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Eos Final Edition.


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