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Car Reviews

For all of the cute little descriptions attributed to the Ford Fiesta, it’s important to remember that the hatchback has a racing soul hiding underneath its compact appearance. It’s not an accident that guys like Ken Block use the Fiesta for their racing exploits, and now, ahead of the Global Rallycross season, the Fiesta is once again taking center stage as the car-of-choice of Barracuda Racing.

Barracuda Networks, Inc, a leading provider of cloud-connected security and storage solutions, will be making its maiden foray into the world of rallying and it couldn’t have picked a worthier car to compete with than the Fiesta. If anything, it should serve veteran Bryan Herta and rookie driver Austin Dyne as they compete under the Barracuda Racing banner.

In order to compete in Global Rallycross, the team reconfigured the Fiesta to be an all-out powerhouse, tweaking the car’s engine to produce a staggering 600 horsepower, enough to hit 60 mph in just 1.8 seconds. In addition, Barracuda Racing also gave the Fiesta an impressive new livery that features a predominantly black finish with blue and orange trims spread throughout the race car . A huge rear wing spoiler and what looks like a roof exhaust have also been installed, largely attributed to improve the Fiesta’s performance and handling.

Click past the jump to read more about Ford Fiesta.


Naturally aspirated engines seem destined for the endangered species’ list as forced induction makes its way into nearly every mainstream category. The latest example is the new SL400 roadster Mercedes announced today. It’s a direct replacement for the SL350 roadster with the only real change centered around the new 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6.

The new biturbo V-6 might be down on displacement from its 3.5-liter predecessor, but it makes up for it with power — 26 extra horses and 81 extra pound-feet. Mercedes says 0 to 62 mph time will drop 0.7 seconds, doing the deed in 5.2 seconds on its way to its 155-mph governed top speed. While Mercedes does have a nine-speed transmission available for use, the German automaker decided the current seven-speed unit would suffice for the SL400.

The biturbo V-6 was first seen last year in the E400 sedan, though it made less power. Like that engine, the SL400’s mill features some pretty snazzy tech to create tire-turning torque while keeping the EPA (and customers’ wallets) happy. Its direct-injection fuel system features Piezo injectors that squirt fuel up to five times per power stroke for an even burn. The pressure at which they operate is varied based on engine mapping and certain conditions. Lighting the fuel is an ignition system that creates multiple sparks over during the same power stroke of each piston. Just like the fuel, the individual spark events are variable in their timing — all in an effort for the cleanest, most power-producing burn possible.

Mercedes says the SL400 will get 32 mpg while producing minimal tailpipe emissions.

Click past the jump to read more about Mercedes-Benz SL 400.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

The seventh-generation Chevrolet Corvette was launched with great success in the 2014 model year, grabbing numerous awards, including the TopSpeed Car of the Year , and exceeding GM’s initial expectations in terms of sales. In fact, demand for the 2014 Corvette Stingray was so high it prompted Chevrolet to adjust 2015 pricing in line with demand by increasing the sports car ’s MSRP by $2,000.

The vehicle’s popularity is likely to continue into the 2015 model year as well, although the Corvette Stingray is not scheduled to receive too many updates. Needless to say, the C7 is fresh enough to give its competitors a run for their money without any visual or performance-related enhancements.

On the other hand, Chevrolet has been working on numerous ways to improve the Corvette Stingray in other areas, such as fuel economy and driving experience, and it appears to have obtained that by developing an all-new gearbox.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.


Details about a possible M2 model surfaced at the end of May 2011 when BMW confirmed that the coupe and cabrio version of the 1-Series would be sold as the 2-Series . Now, thanks to the British magazine, AutoExpress, more details are available on this new sports car.

The new BMW M2 will be built on the company’s F21 platform that will also be used for the next 2-Series model. It will be an entry-level sports car featuring a front-mounted engine mated to all-new DCT semi-automatic transmission. As of right now, the likely engine is the 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbo delivering about 400 horses. One of the most innovative features of the upcoming M2 will be the intense use of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics first used in theM3 CRT and also announced for the upcoming BMW i8 .

In an interview with the British magazine, the M Division’s new managing director, Dr Friedrich Nitschke said: "In the 1M Coupe , we have a starter car for the M Division, and we are continuing to develop this project. Such models must be sporty, and offer extraordinarily low fuel consumption. This is something we could achieve with the M2. I think the 1M Coupe proves there is room for an M2, a coupe."

Although BMW feels there is room for an M2 model, don’t expect it to arrive until late 2015. At that point, models like the Porsche Cayman and the Audi TT RS may need a little jump-start to deal with the added competition.

Updated 04/07/2014: LeftLaneNews reports that the next BMW M2 will be powered by a twin-turbocharged variant of the 3.0-liter straight-six found under the hood of the M235i, and with the output increased to about 380 to 400 horsepower — 60 to 80 horsepower more than the M235i. This will allow the M2 to go from 0 to 60 mph in a little over four seconds. The M2 should be put on sale in 2016 at a price of about $55k.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 BMW M2.

Source: AutoExpress

The competitiveness of the Audi R8 LMS ultra in GT world championships lends itself to the widely known belief that the car is as good a racer you can get. That competitiveness is expected to continue in the 2014 season, specifically at the Nurburgring 24 Hours where as many as eight R8 LMS ultra cars are tipped to compete.

Ahead of the actual 24-hour race this coming June, the R8 LMS ultra was put through the paces over the weekend in qualification for the endurance race. While it failed to upend the BMW Z4’s dominance, don’t expect for one second that the R8 LMS ultra won’t be a contender when the real race at the "Green Hell" commences this coming June.

All in all, five teams will be fielding the R8 LMS ultra at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring, with some notable drivers in the mix, including Le Mans winners Frank Biela, Marcel Fässler, Stéphane Ortelli, and Marco Werner. These four drivers have accounted for 11 wins at the ’Ring, and will be complemented by former GT1 World Champions Marc Basseng and Markus Winkelhock, defending FIA GT Champion Laurens Vanthoo, and three-time Porsche Supercup Champion René Rast.

That’s as good a lineup to drive the R8 LMS ultra at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring. It’s going to face some stiff challenges, especially with the BMW Z4 and the defending-champion Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 in the fold. But don’t expect the R8 LMS ultra to just sit idle and let the rest get the spoils. The racer is tipped and ready to make some waves when the endurance race kicks off this coming June.

Click past the jump to read more about Audi R8 LMS ultra.


BMW has been rolling out some intense products this year, especially the new 3- and 4-Series lineups, complete in their sedan and coupe variations. Beyond that, the M version of each have stirred even more commotion in the industry, but one car was missing – The M4 Convertible. Today BMW corrects that as the German automaker divulges all the details and images of the new 2015 M4 drop top.

If you’ve read anything on the new M4 Coupe, the convertible will be highly familiar. Power still comes from the 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged inline-six that’s mated to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed M-DCT transmission. The other go-fast bits like the uncompromising suspension, massive brakes, and free-flowing exhaust are all carried over.

The big news with the car is its three-piece retractable hardtop. With the push of a button, the top folds itself like a piece of origami in just 20 seconds and at speeds up to 11 miles per hour. Cargo room has improved of the last generation M3 Convertible, gaining an extra 0.7 cubic feet of room with the top up and an impressive 7.8 cubic feet of extra room when the top is folded down. Unfortunately, the extra space and all the drop-top hardware comes at a heavy cost — an extra 525 pound cost over a comparable M4 Coupe.

The news of the M4 Convertible comes before its official debut at the 2014 New York Auto Show happening April 16. Though BMW is only jumping the gun by a few weeks, the information gives us a chance to really dig into the M4 Convertible once we see it roll across the all-important New York stage.

More details will roll out soon, so stay tuned.

Updated 04/07/2014: BMW announced that the all-new M4 Convertible will be priced at $73,425 — an increase of also $8k over the hardtop version.

Click past the jump to see the spy shots up close and to read more about the M4 Convertible

Much has being made about the BMW Concept X5 eDrive following its debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show last year. Shortly after its debut, a prototype was seen testing out on the road. Now, a refreshed version of the concept is headed to the 2014 New York Auto Show .

Whether this is a production model labeled as a concept or simply another prototype is a question that only BMW can answer. For the most part, there have been a few changes from the first concept we saw back in September last year.

What we do know is that there appears to be a future for the Concept X5 eDrive at some point. It may not be in the coming months, but years down the line, we expect this vehicle to be out on the road. The hybrid, luxury SUV market is still growing, and its only a matter of time before BMW jumps into the picture and announces its plans to be a strong competitor in it.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW Concept X5 eDrive.


Things are already shaping up for the new 2016 Audi Q5 SUV set to debut in the U.S. in 2017, including a plug-in hybrid version. AutoExpress is reporting the new SUV will feature a much more angular style, departing from the rounded, almost curvy style of the current ‘utes. This plays into the styling Audi has already brought to market with the new TT.

The styling of the new SUV is said to include new horizontally-arranged grille spokes with the Audi rings predominantly displayed at top-dead center. The all-LED MatrixBeam headlights will be much smaller and have a more angular look as well. Down low, large air intakes help cool the powertrain and brakes while providing visual mass down low.

Also speculated by AutoExpress is Audi’s continuation of its virtual cockpit design first seen in the TT. The design allows for a minimal use of physical buttons, all replaced by a large TFT display.

It’s said the new Q5 will be based on the MLB platform also underpinning the upcoming next-generation A4 sedan along with the Q5’s big brother, the Q7. High-strength steels and aluminum materials help reduce weight while providing a more ridged structure than the current SUVs roll on. Both handling and fuel economy will obviously benefit from the added lightness.

The report further speculates about the Q5’s powerplants. Both a four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines will be offered, along with a diesel powerplant. More importantly, Audi’s e-tron hybrid system is slated for inclusion, however it will be modified for use with all-wheel-drive and will be called e-quattro.

*Note: Current Audi Q5 pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2017 Audi Q5.

Source: AutoExpress
Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

Late last year, Citroen unveiled the DS 5LS, a compact sedan specifically developed for the Chinese market. The four-door sports an attractive design, a high-quality interior and turbocharged 1.6-liter engines that deliver up to 200 horsepower. In short, the DS 5LS is among the coolest ten cars we can’t drive in the U.S.

And if that grinds your gears, then it’s time to find out that the French are planning to unveil an even hotter version of the sedan at the upcoming Beijing International Auto Show . It’s been christened DS 5LS R and packed with more power, a more luxurious interior, and wrapped in a sporty body that pays tribute to Citroen’s racing heritage.

No need to blow a fuse yet, the DS 5LS R is only a concept car , at least until the manufacturer says otherwise. However, we do feel the need to stress the fact that Citroen absence from the U.S. market is getting increasingly frustrating as their most impressive offerings are taking the road to China.

Click past the jump to read more about the Citroen DS 5LS R Concept.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

Introduced last summer, the 2014 Ram 1500 Black Express Edition was quite popular with pickup truck drivers according to the Chrysler -owned brand, who has just revealed that the appearance package will make its way onto the more capable Heavy Duty lineup.

As suggested by its name, the Black package wraps both the Ram 2500 HD and 3500 HD in an all-black exterior. In fact, we might as well call these trucks the triple-black Ram pickups, as the chrome is completely removed from both bumpers and the imposing cross-hair grille, which are now offered in the same color as the body.

To complete the menacing look, the manufacturer perched the trucks on black 20-inch aluminum wheels and removed body-side badging from all models save for the diesel, Cummins-powered ones. Naturally, the premium bi-functional halogen headlamps and the fog lamps come with blacked-out housings, the taillights feature a smokey finish, while the windows are tinted all around.

Also included with the Black package are 15-amber-LED turn signals, 3-amber-LED side markers, and Parkview and Parksense technologies.

The new appearance pack can be had with Crew Cab and Mega Cab Ram 2500 and 3500 SRW models in Big Horn and Laramie trims, in either two-wheel and four-wheel-drive configurations.

Pricing starts at $42,140 for the Ram Heavy Duty Black, plus a $1,195 destination fee.

Click past the jump to read more about Ram Heavy Duty.


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