Car Reviews

With less than 50 units still available as of 8/6/2014, the first-generation Bugatti Veyron is quickly nearing its market exit, and the luxury supercar manufacturer is obviously up to something. The Volkswagen -owned company has yet to reveal a timetable for a direct successor or any other details — although Bugatti CEO did say the next Veyron will be more powerful — but reports claim that the new hypercar appears to be set for a 2017 release.

And with a pair of strange-looking, current-generation Veyrons spotted on the Nurburgring track, we have every reason to believe that Bugatti is indeed working on something new, be it a brand new iteration or yet another special edition.

Anyway, our skilled photographers sent us a batch of photos depicting two Veyron mules being tested on the German track and a few details that hint toward the fact that we’re not dealing with regular versions of the said supercars . While the white mule, which we’ve already seen on video , carries a strange aluminum setup atop its engine, the black test vehicle features more extensive modification.

According to our spies, the latter sports wider fenders and a wider track, while rolling on a new set of wheels that look like they’re made out of carbon fiber. Also, an extra hole in the rear bumper reveals there’s a new radiator in place to help cool the huge engine hidden under the hood.

Little else is known about the next Veyron as of 8/6/2014, but more power, less weight and hybrid technology are the main characteristics behind Bugatti’s future multimillion dollar exotic.

Updated 08/06/2014: According to the British magazine Autocar, the future Veyron successor will be powered by a heavily updated, turbocharged, 8.0-liter, W-16 engine combined with hybrid technology for a total output of 1,479 horsepower. This will allow the supercar to hit a top speed of 286 mph. The car is already in the initial conceptual engineering tests and will be unveiled in 2016. Deliveries will begin in 2017.

Click past the jump to read more about the Bugatti Veyron Successor.

Mercedes-Benz has a long and storied history as an armored vehicle manufacturer. Be it Adolf Hitler’s bulletproof 770K limousine or the early, army-spec G-Class SUVs, the Germans have provided the world with some of the best ironclad rigs. More recently, Stuttgart has been developing and selling armor-plated automobiles through its Guard program, which already includes a generous range of sedans and SUVs, such as the E-Class and the M-Class . Going into the 2015 model year, the Stuttgart crew expanded its flagship S-Class lineup by adding the S600 model to the Guard program. The result is astonishing, as the segments most luxurious and comfortable limousine has also become the safest vehicle in the world.

Surrounded by a two-inch-thick steel plate and bulletproof glass, the S600 Guard is certified for ballistic protection class VR9. That’s the highest ballistic protection class as of 2014 and makes the S-Class safe against anything from small fire arms to grenades. In fact, the S600 Guard is the first vehicle in the world to be fully certified as having VR9 levels of protection, a feat that’s likely to send it in the fleets of many heads of state.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S600 Guard.

Posted on by Austin Taylor  

An exciting M Performance Edition of the new BMW X4 is headed our way for the 2016 model year. Likely to be named the X4 M40i, and expected to offer an increase of at least 60 horsepower, courtesy of an official, M-branded S55 engine, along with suspension, brake, and styling tweaks, the M Performance upgrade will elevate an already sporty driving experience to an even higher level.

The M Performance package is already a smashing hit with the new 2 Series, and if the exciting ,new M235i — acclaimed by many to be the best-driving BMW in a decade — is any indication of just how fun to drive these tweaked models are, expect nothing less from the M Performance upgrade slated for the 2016 BMW X4.

The new BMW X4 is basically a trendy, four-door-coupe version of the hot-selling X3 crossover. Touted as a "Sports Activity Coupe," this design somewhat limits headroom and overall interior space, but the flip-side of this compromise is a much sleeker design.

Good looks and additional street presence are justifiable price premiums, and BMW wants $6,000 more than the base price of an X3 for the sharper-looking design. Based on the X6’s success, which is a similar coupe-like approach based on the X5 , we see no reason why fanatics won’t be lining up to purchase X4s in droves.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 BMW X4 M40i.

McLaren Special Operations, McLaren’s bespoke division, was first launched at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2011. Since that time, MSO has been responsible for a handful of unique creations, including the 12C Concept Car that we first saw in December 2013 and the 650S Coupe Concept that was unveiled in April 2014. For the 2014 Pebble Beach show, McLaren is returning to the scene of the MSO’s debut with two new customized projects, this time for the almighty P1 and the 650S Spider .

The former, in particular, was commissioned by a North American customer and it further reinforces MSO’s billing as McLaren’s full personalization service for its owners. MSO’s work on the P1 is completely stunning. Actually, "stunning" might not even be a clear representation of the work MSO put into turning this P1 into a true one-of-a-kind showpiece model.

There are rare moments in life when you just sit back and admire someone else’s work, and The MSO P1 is one of those moments. I’d love to wax poetic about it, but even the sincerest form of hyperbole probably won’t do justice to the work McLaren’s MSO division put into this P1.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 McLaren P1 By MSO.

What happens when Flyin’ Miata gets a hold of an old Mazda press loaner and the supercharger kit that was designed for the Super20 concept? It creates an all-out targa rally car , of course. Meet "Nancy," the supercharged and rally-prepped 2006 Mazda Miata MX-5 .

Nancy started life as a test bed for NC-generation parts, but after the application of the supercharger kit and a full suspension upgrade, she got wrapped in a racing livery vinyl and Flyin’ Miata took her racing across Canada in the 2011 Targa Newfoundland.

I got to spend several days, a few hundred miles and some track time with this incredible machine. Did Flyin’ Miata ruin the balance and fun of the Miata with all of its racing upgrades, or is Nancy merely a better version of an already great car? Read on to find out.

Continue reading to find out what I thought about Flyin’ Miata’s Nancy.

With the McLaren 650S MSO having already been showcased at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed , it was only a matter of time before McLaren Special Operations rolled out a bespoke program for 650S Spider . The recipe is pretty much the same: unique but subtle styling upgrades, special paints designed by MSO, brand-new wheels, and a custom interior. If you thought the 650S was an exclusive machine, McLaren Special Operations is here to prove you were wrong.

Just like the P1 , the 650S can be tailored to meet different tastes and showcase the uniqueness many McLaren customers enjoy. The 650S Spider joins these exclusive MSO ranks in a limited edition release of just 50 examples. Make no mistake though, what you see here is only one of the 50 vehicles set to reach their future owners. Each of them will be unique in their own right. It’s a privilege reserved only to MSO-crafted McLarens, and the 650S Spider fully deserves such treatment.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 McLaren 650S Spider By MSO.

You know that saying "when you’re at the top, there’s no other place to go but down?" Yeah, try telling that to Hennessey . The company that already has the fastest production car in the world (Guinness fails to certify it due to its crafty rules) in its stable is shooting for the stars with plans to develop evil in a vehicular form. The Texas-based company calls this evil on wheels the Venom F5.

Hennessey boss John Hennessey broke the news to Top Gear, gushing about the possibility of the Venom F5 hitting a top speed no other production car in the world has been able to attain. "I think something in the 290-mph range will be possible," Hennessey said.

The man apparently didn’t misspeak when he said "290 mph," which is all the indication you need to know that Mr. Hennessey Hennessey has either lost his mind or he is determined to drive Bugatti insane with constant pressure from Texas. The Venom F5 name pretty much says it all. That "F5" nomenclature is a reference to the most powerful classification given to tornadoes, or in the case of the Venom, a destructive output of around 1,400 horsepower.

All these horses are reigned in by a single-clutch, paddle-shift transmission, not the Ricardo, six-speed manual found in the Venom GT. You can, however, opt for the manual, if you like.

Start quivering in your boots, Bugatti . It’s better to embrace the inevitable than continue fighting for your cause.

Updated 08/05/2014: Hennessey unveiled a handful of official details on the Venom F5. Check them out after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Hennessey Venom F5.

I had once the privilege of driving a buddy’s Audi S3 . It was a few years ago and while my memory’s admittedly hazy of the circumstances behind it, I do remember feeling a little woozy after that encounter. The S3’s a powerful little sucker that much I can tell you. I can only imagine how the S3 would feel like with this aftermarket program from MTM on the table.

The German tuner has a history of bringing out the best in Audis . Whether its the A1 or the R8 , there’s probably an MTM program for it. This time, though, it’s the S3 that takes the spotlight, thanks to a measured tuning upgrade that doesn’t pull any punches.

Don’t expect any aesthetic improvements here. MTM built the program with power and efficiency in mind so it’s all meat, bones, and all that dirty stuff under the hood. The good news is that the tuner’s kit will be available across all variants of the S3. Whether it’s the saloon, cabriolet, sportback, there’s enough MTM love to go around.

All together, an MTM-tuned Audi S3 will cost €62,000, which is about $83,000 based on the exchange rates on 8/4/2014. The kit itself retails for €13,000 ($17,400) so you can have the choice of paying just for that, or for the entire thing, S3 included.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi S3 2.0 TFSI quattro By MTM.

The venerable Corolla has been a mainstay in Toyota’s U.S. lineup since its introduction in 1968. Toyota’s longest-running nameplate has undergone numerous alterations over the years, but has always remained a stalwart of the compact sedan segment. In 1997, the Corolla surpassed the Volkswagen Beetle as the best selling nameplate worldwide. That tradition continues today with the updated 2014 Toyota Corolla .

I recently spent a week getting to know a Corolla equipped in the LE Eco trim — the Corolla’s most fuel-efficient trim package. Equipped with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, electronic power steering, skinny tires, and a Continuously Variable Transmission, the Corolla earns an EPA economy rating of 30 mpg city, 42 mpg highway, and 35 mpg combined.

Coated in a deep Evergreen color, the Corolla did a great job at keeping its fuel-conscience end of the bargain. My weekly total average topped just over 31 mpg, besting the Corolla’s EPA city rating. A light throttle and careful driving quickly saw the average increase on slower highway jaunts, making the EPA’s estimates seem obtainable.

The Corolla proved to be a reasonable yet rather tossable set of wheels during its week stay, though there were a few quibbles about NVH.

Click past the jump for the full review of the new 2014 Toyota Corolla

Honda introduced the CR-V in 1995. The crossover was based on the Honda Civic and came with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Built until 2001, the first-gen CR-V came to the United States in 1997 and had a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine rated at 126 horsepower. A 1999 facelift saw power increase to 147 ponies, as Honda responded to criticism that the crossover was underpowered. The second-gen model arrived in 2001 with extensive visual and technology upgrades. Three new engines were introduced, including a 2.4-liter inline-four. The CR-V was redesigned yet again for the 2007 model year, when production of the crossover began at the company’s new East Liberty, Ohio plant. The fourth-gen CR-V debuted at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show and went on sale for 2012. In 2014, the vehicle is powered by a 2.4-liter, four-banger producing 185 horsepower and 163 pound-feet of torque. As we move into 2015, the current CR-V is getting ready to receive a facelift, which will arrive in dealerships for the 2016 model year.

Revised front and rear fascia, an updated interior and an enhanced engine are the main feats surrounding this mid-cycle upgrade.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Honda CR-V.


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