Car Reviews

Dodge ’s highly anticipated facelift for the Challenger has finally arrived — a little late we might add — to give the pony a fresh start in the muscle car battle against its Detroit rivals.

Revamped inside and out, the Challenger stormed into New York with updated front and rear fascias, and new exterior colors and wheel designs. Sure, the facelift is not as spectacular as the one seen on the Charger , but it should be enough to keep the Challenger marketable until the next-generation model arrives.

Those who were looking forward to see some engine updates will end up a bit disappointed, as Dodge didn’t bother to offer extra oomph, and, apparently, the new Hellcat V-8 is not yet ready to make an entrance. However, the ancient five-speed automatic has finally been moved to the dustbin, making way for a more attractive unit.

The new Challenger comes just as Dodge is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and the muscle car will certainly be a part of this summer’s merrymaking. We bet something special is coming our way, but, until them, let’s take a deep dive into the 2015 Challenger.

Updated 07/16/2014: Dodge officially announced prices for the entire 2015 lineup and they are pretty much exactly what we expected. The base Challenger SXT has a starting price of $26,995, while the top-of-the-line SRT 392 goes up to $46,395.

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

The Infiniti Q60 actually began its life as the G37 . But the company decided to adopt a new naming strategy in 2012, dropping its old nomenclature in favor of a new ’Q ’ prefix for its coupes, sedans, and convertibles. That’s how the Q60 came to have its new name. The model is actually offered in both coupe and convertible configurations, offering customers a choice of enjoying the model with the top closed or tucked comfortably near the trunk.

Naturally, new strategies also comes with new expectations. That’s what Infiniti had to overcome with the launch of the 2014 Q60 Convertible. For the most part, Infiniti has a model that can really make a name for itself in an extremely competitive market segment.

The Q60 Convertible still has some work to do if it wants to catch some mainstream love, but the good news is that Infiniti gave it a nice head start.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Infiniti Q60 Convertible.

Posted on by Simona  

America’s original pony car will turn 50 in 2014, and Ford is celebrating the monumental birthday by taking its maiden voyage overseas. The 2015 Ford Mustang will find its way into right-hand-drive markets, such as England, Japan and Australia. Moreover, for the first time in the Mustang’s history, England and Australia studios will aid in the design of the new-generation muscle car. Add that to the fact that the 2015 Mustang will receive independent rear suspension for the first time ever, with exception of the Cobra version a decade ago, and the Mustang suddenly becomes a hot topic among enthusiasts.

With such dramatic changes in the geographical availability of the Mustang, as well as the move away from the cheaper live axle, not much else has to change in order for this new-generation Mustang to find its new niche in the 2015 model year. That being said, expect the updated muscle car to get a radical redesign while still staying true to its overall look and style.

Also, for the first time, the Mustang is offered with an EcoBoost engine and a series of new technologies that will push it on top on the market.

Updated 07/17/2014: Ford released specification figures for the 2015 Mustang. Check them out after the jump.

More details on the 2015 Ford Mustang after the jump.

The Aston Martin Vantage is the smallest car in the current Aston range and it was created to be a more entertaining sports car with a cheaper price point when compared to the GT cars like the DB9 . The car was lauded for its looks and handling abilities, but many felt the standard V-8 lacked the proper grunt for a car like this. Aston Martin rose to the challenge and created the V12 Vantage by cramming the 12-cyliiunder engine from the DB9 into the engine bay of the smaller car. Just last year, Aston turned up the wick even farther with a faster, lighter, and more exciting V12 Vantage S model. The big issue with the V12 Vantage S is that is only available in hardtop form, not the seductive roadster. Until now, anyways.

That’s right, Aston has just announced a drop-top version of the V12 Vantage S, and it is as amazing as it sounds.

Functionally the new V12 Vantage S Roadster is identical to its hard-top sibling. That means powerful V-12 engine, reduced weight, increased torque, and a top speed of more than 200 mph.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster.

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.

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.


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