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Car Reviews

Since the new Acura RDX made its market debut in the the 2013 model year, the SUV has become a popular one for customers, posting 22 straight monthly sales record as of February 2014. For the 2015 model year, the RDX packs most of what made it such a desirable model, including with the same V-6 engine that nets 270 horsepower and Acura’s innovative Technology Package.

While other models look better than the RDX, there is a certain amount of appeal to the SUV’s rather no-frills character. The all-business look lends to its strong and fuel efficient V-6, and when you add all the standard equipment put into the RDX, it usually translates to strong customer appeal and, in turn, high volume of sales.

Acura’s hitching its wagon to the belief that the popularity of the RDX will remain for the 2015 model. It’s a precarious position to be in, but for the most part, the company is adhering to the "if it ain’t broke, why fix it?" adage.

The RDX has been successful far so there’s little reason to believe that it can’t do it again, at least for another year.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Acura RDX.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

As spring kicks in each year, Jeep and Mopar are gearing up for the annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, by creating some of the greatest off-roaders which, unfortunately, we can’t buy.

Last year, for instance, the Chrysler -owned brands have come up with the extreme Wrangler Sand Trooper II perched on 40-inch bead-lock wheels, the lightweight Wrangler Stitch , and the production-friendly Grand Cherokee Trailhawk II Concept .

For 2014, Jeep and Mopar are storming Utah highly-anticipated event with another half-dozen of unique climbing-capable machines. Among them, visitors will be able to get up close and personal with a more extreme take on the redesigned 2014 Jeep Cherokee.

Dubbed Cherokee Dakar, the crossover concept pays tribute to the grueling African (err, South American) safari rally with its off-road-spec suspension, massive sand-digging tires and flared wheel arches. From the teaser, it appears that the dark-grey body is complemented by a red window trim, while the two-tone rims benefit from the same contrasting hues. Additionally, the concept will get to keep the Cherokee’s standard red tow hooks.

There are no clues as to what might be hiding under the hood, but we’re not hoping for more than a 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6. Not that we wouldn’t love to see a Hemi V-8 in there, but the Cherokee’s bay is not roomy enough for a 6.4-liter mill

Updated 04/10/2014: Jeep unveiled the official details on the new Cherokee Dakar concept set to be unveiled on April 12 at the Jeep Easter Safari.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Dakar.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

With up to 560 horsepower pushing it from the back, the 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo is the kind of sports car you’re just dying to take for a spin around the Nurburgring. Opt for the Convertible , and you’re off to a great summer to say the least.

Although the latter is available in about 14 exterior colors, including the special GT Silver Metallic and Lime Gold Metallic hues that will relieve buyers of $3,140, we know for a fact that some customers are a bit more pretentious and need more than that. They need exclusivity, they’re after a 911 that’s like no other.

Our best advice to them is that they take it to Porsche Exclusive, Stuttgart’s in-house customizing team (similar to Rolls-Royce ’s Bespoke and BMW ’s Individual brands). Responsible for creating the stunning Lime Gold 911 Turbo a couple of months ago, Porsche Exclusive just rolled out another unique sports car , this time adding some bells and whistles to the Turbo Convertible.

As with most Porsche Exclusive models, no power-enhancing updates were operated under the hood, where the 3.8-liter, twin-turbo flat-six is just as it left the factory. No need to be disappointed though, this convertible has what it needs to stand out in a 911 crowd.

Click past the jump to read more about Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet by Porsche Exclusive.

Yet another supercar making its grand entrance is the gorgeous McLaren 650S Spider at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show in all its drop-top glory. The car is easily recognizable as the topless twin to McLaren ’s latest supercar, the 650S , and thankfully, not much changes between the coupe and spider versions.

The 650s Spider utilizes the same carbon-fiber MonoCell chassis underpinning the coupe and doesn’t require any reinforcing or structural strengthening with its top removed. McLaren says the Spider will have identical ride and handling characteristics with no noticeable losses in performance. And even with the addition two-piece mechanical top, only 88 pounds is added to the 650S’ 2,932-pound curb weight, bringing the Spider’s dry weight to a sill-respectable 3,020 pounds.

Power still comes from the beastly 3.8-liter turbocharged V-8 making 640 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. It’s the same engine found within the 12C and P1 , but with a nice bump in power. That power helps the 650S coupe hit 62 mph in a blazing three seconds, 124 mph in 8.4 seconds and 186 mph in just 25.4 seconds on its way to a 207-mph top speed. McLaren does expect the extra 88 pounds to hinder the 650S Spider’s acceleration times, but only marginally.

Updated 04/02/2014: McLaren officially announced prices for the new 650S Spider which will be available from 13 U.S. retail locations. The model will be priced from $280,225.

Click past the jump for all the details on the McLaren 650S Spider

Posted on by Christian Moe +  

I think somebody owes me 5 dollars. McLaren has dropped the official details on its upcoming 650S reveal at Geneva , and just as I predicted, it is essentially a hotted up version of the McLaren 12C not the upcoming P15. Just as expected, that 650 in the name stands for the amount of power produced by the engine. Since McLaren is a UK company, they have the power rating of the new 650S rated in Pferdestärke (PS) so the actual U.S. horsepower rating is 640.

The new car features a pretty solid collection of visual upgrades and aerodynamic changes that increase downforce and handling at speed. This isn’t a pure power bump either, as the 650S is designed with several bespoke parts and pieces.

Add to that a nearly 210 mph top speed and a 0-to-60mph time of under three seconds, and the 650S is ready to crush the competition.

Updated 04/02/2014: The new McLaren 650S Coupe will be making its North American debut later this month at the 2014 New York Auto Show, but with just days its U.S. debut, McLaren announced prices for the supercar. The new 650S Coupe will be priced from $265,500 and will be offered through 13 U.S. dealers.

Continue to get all the details on the new McLaren 650S Coupe and Spider.

The Mercedes A45 AMG may be considered as the baby brother of AMG’s full lineup, but there’s nothing small about this model once you add Brabus into the mix. Thanks to the German tuner’s comprehensive aerodynamic and performance upgrades, this A45 AMG is ready to tussle with the big boys.

The program is typical of what you can expect from Brabus. Slap on some new aero components, dress up the interior, and drop a performance upgrade on the engine. It’s the three-step process to turning cars like the A45 AMG into veritable pocket rockets.

But the best part about this program — apart from having Brabus’ seal of approval — is the fact that on its own, the A45 AMG is already a pretty powerful Mercedes , capable of producing in excess of 360 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque. This insane power allows the A45 AMG to hit 60 mph in 4.6 seconds to go with a top speed of 155 mph.

But even with those impressive numbers, Brabus was still able to add more ponies to the engine, which in a lot of ways proves that when it comes to Mercedes models, nobody does aftermarket programs better than this tuner.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG by Brabus.

Posted on by Christian Moe +  

Jaguar may not have as huge a presence at this year’s Geneva Auto Show now that its big reveals of the F-type Roadster and Coupe have been accomplished, but that hasn’t stopped them from teasing us with their next big reveal.

All we have are a few teaser images, but Jaguar has confirmed that their compact 3 Series -fighter is real and it is going to wear the name XE.

This new car will be the first that is built using Jaguar’s all-new aluminum architecture that was first previewed with the C-X17 Concept SUV . Jaguar has been building aluminum intensive cars for over a decade now, but this move will further reduce the weight of Jaguar’s many offerings.

The new XE will likely create the backbone of Jaguar’s sales once it hits showrooms in 2015 (US availability is 2016). It will likely eclipse the sales of all the other Jaguars combined in its first year on sale.

For such a mainstream model, expect a range of engine options and power outputs from a base four-cylinder all the way to a potential M3 fighter with the supercharged V-6 from the F-Type.

Updated 04/02/2014: Jaguar released some information on the XE on its international webpage stating the 2016 XE will borrow the F-Type’s V-6 engine. No details were offered on the output level, but for sure will be something close to the output level offered in the F-Type: 340 horsepower in the base versions and 380 horsepower in the S version.

Click past the jump to read more about 2014 Jaguar XE

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

Just like most Japanese-built luxury SUVs for the U.S. market, the Infiniti QX series has a foggy past and needed more than 10 years to fully mature. Roquefort, anyone?. Initially named QX4, the first-generation QX was a midsize SUV developed to take on Acura ’s SLX model and Lexus ’ larger LX .

The QX had grown into a full-size SUV about nine years later, when the Nissan Armada-based, second-generation iteration was unveiled as the QX56. Overhauled in 2010, the vehicle finally ditched its not-so-attractive design by borrowing styling cues from the smaller, sportier FX , which is now retailed with a QX70 badge.

The third-generation QX also got a new platform underneath, moving away from the Nissan Armada to become an ultra luxurious Patrol . As with the entire Infiniti lineup, the full-size SUV was also renamed for the 2014 model year, changing its ID to QX80.

Already in its fifth production year, the QX80 is likely to hang around for another couple of years. And although Infiniti wasn’t too keen on meddling with the SUV too much for 2014, the QX80 remains a force to be reckoned with in the full-size segment.

Click past the jump to read more about Infiniti 2014 QX80

Posted on by Christian Moe +  

Hyundai shocked the market when it first unveiled its German-fighting Genesis sedan. With a rear-wheel-drive platform, powerful engine and luxury amenities for a bargain price, the Genesis took the competition completely by surprise. Today at the Detroit Auto Show, Hyundai took the wraps of the new-generation of this brand-defining car.

Meet the 2015 Hyundai Genesis sedan; one of the few Korean cars that has Mercedes , Audi and BMW looking over their shoulders.

Built on a new, more rigid platform with a new exterior design and advanced drivetrain options, the newest Genesis looks to carry on the tradition of besting BMW, Mercedes and Audi at the luxury sedan game.

Updated 04/01/2014: Hyundai announced today prices for the all-new Genesis that will go on sale later this month. Prices will range from $38,000 for the well-equipped 3.8 liter V-6 and $51,500 for the 5.0 liter V-8 model.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Genesis

Lexus ’ goal of becoming a player in the luxury market has received a shot in the arm with the arrival of the 2014 ES . Not only is it more dynamic looking, thanks to its adaption of Lexus’ new design ideology, but it also has all the luxury amenities and requisite technology to lock horns with the big boys of the market.

Say what you want about the 2014 ES 350, but you can’t deny that it has arrived and made its intentions known that it’s not going away anytime soon. The limited engine choices could be a drawback, given how versatile and generous other models are in in their drivetrain variety.

All that being said, though, the ES definitely qualifies as a true luxury contender. It’s revised looks and incredibly detailed interior is already enough to justify that billing.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Lexus ES 350.


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