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Car Reviews

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

Land Rover has yet to bring the Range Rover Hybrid to the United States, but the fuel-sipping SUV is already available in Europe and, according to the company, it will go on sale in China next month as well.

The big news, however, is that the world’s largest automotive market is also getting the hybrid powertrain in the long-wheelbase version of the Range Rover , allowing Chinese customers to enjoy an extra 186 mm (7.3 inches) of rear legroom.

Developed on the same Silk Trail expedition know-how that led to the creation of the regular Ranger Rover Hybrid, the long-wheelbase version benefits from the same powertrain and performance specs.

At the heart of the SUV lays a 3.0-liter, SDV6, turbo-diesel engine and a 35-kW (47-horsepower) electric motor that combine to deliver 335 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Connected to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission, the combo enables the vehicle to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.5 seconds, while top speed is rated at 135 mph.

When used on electric power alone, the SUV has a range of only one mile and can reach a top speed of 30 mph. Moving over to what matters the most to a hybrid — fuel efficiency — the Range Rover LWB promises to return up to 37 mpg combined, a figure unchanged versus the regular wheelbase model. Additionally, regenerative braking helps recharge the batteries while you bring the SUV to a stop.

While Chinese deliveries will commence in the fourth quarter of the year, details as to when the Range Rover Hybrid will cross the Pond to North America are still unavailable. However, U.S. dealerships should get it by the end of 2015.

Click past the jump to read more about the Land Rover Range Rover Hybrid Long Wheelbase.

One of the less talked about but no less exciting cars of the Beijing Motor Show is this Lexus of China-built CT BG 200h. Customized with a “more personalized design language,” the concept looks the part of a racer with its carbon-fiber exterior bits and bespoke paint job.

The concept is based on the 2014 Lexus CT 200h F Sport , though this finished product drastically builds off the stock car. The large spindle grille has new mesh, while the front chin splitter is much larger and includes little winglets on corners. The added aero work continues around the side with finned rocker panels and finned rear bumper edges.

Out back, the carbon-fiber rear fascia is much more aggressive in looks and functionality. Topping the car is a carbon-fiber wing mounted atop the rear hatch for additional downforce. The unique black and white paint scheme accented with gold stripes and black thin-spoke wheels, give a whole new look to the otherwise average CT 200h.

The décor inside the concept is of a similar motif, sporting carbon-fiber pieces and continuing the exterior color combination.

Unfortunately, Lexus hasn’t mentioned anything about matching the exterior’s racy theme with more horsepower or a retuned suspension. Looks like the concept — which it will likely stay — must make do with the ho-hum 134 horsepower from the 1.8-liter I-4 and the hybrid drive system. That means 0-60 times will still take 9.8 seconds and its top speed will be limited to 113 mph.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus CT BG Concept.

Source: Car Watch

Just when it seemed like the Middle East couldn’t get any cooler from an auto industry standpoint, news of a new track-focused sports car has come out. This is the Dubai Roadster, a sports car project that reportedly is the brainchild of an Emirati racer.

Judging by its looks, the Dubai Roadster looks every bit as aggressive as its name indicates. Not much has been released as far as details are concerned, but the Roadster does have all the physical attributes to be treated as a bonafide track racer. The aggressive front bumper is pretty evident and the swooping, vented hood gives the physical look of a car that’s born for racing. LED-infused headlights are also part of the treatment, while out back, a large rear wing and roll bars can be clearly seen. The overall shape screams of a track car that’s aerodynamically suited to be be quick and agile, two attributes that cars like the Roadster should be.

In terms of power, the Dubai Roadster will reportedly come with a transversely mounted, V-8 engine that can produce as much as 400 horsepower, all while weighing 1,653 pounds. The numbers certainly speak for themselves, and its origin points to a car that has some significant financial backing.

It’s still unclear how far along the Dubai Roadster is in its developmental phase, but if everything goes according to schedule, as we expect it should be, the Roadster could be ready in time for the Dubai Motor Show next year.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Dubai Roadster.

Image Note: The above image is an artistic rendering, not the actual Dubai Roadster.

Source: WCF
Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

As you may recall, at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show we had our first look at the Mercedes-Benz C-Class L , the most recent and longest member of the brand-new C-Class family. The sedan will go on sale later this year, but, to our disappointment, it won’t make it to the U.S., being a China-exclusive model.

Today, a report coming from Autocar says the C-Class lineup is set to expand even more, with a performance-oriented sedan to join the ranks next year. This time we’re not talking about yet another AMG-prepped midsize, but a vehicle that will fill the large gap between the C400 model and the brawny C63 AMG that should break cover later in 2014.

Details are scarce at the time of this writing, but the aforementioned source states the new model will be launched with the C450 AMG Sport moniker and with a 3.0-liter V-6 engine under the hood. In order for the sportier C-Class to bridge the wide gap between the 329-horsepower C400 and the 450-horsepower (estimated) C63 AMG , the Germans will increase the V-6’s output to about 372 horses.

As the name suggests, the C450 is not an official AMG model, but it’s being developed in collaboration with the company’s performance arm. It appears that the C450 AMG Sport will also be offered in an optional 4MATIC configuration, which is very likely to cross the Pond into North American dealerships.

Note: Mercedes C63 AMG rendering shown here.

Click past the jump to read more about the upcoming Mercedes-Benz C450 AMG Sport.

Source: AutoCar
Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

With 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque at its disposal, the brand-new 2015 Cadillac Escalade leads the full-size luxury SUV segment in terms of power. But if that’s not enough for you, then you’ll be happy to learn that the folks over at Hennessey Performance have taken the V-8’s output even further.

Using its new HPE550 package, the Texas-based specialist upgraded the 6.2-liter mill to deliver 557 horsepower and 542 pound-feet of torque, which translates into 32 percent and 18 percent increases respectively. As with most Hennessey tweaks, the package also includes an air-to-water intercooler system and engine management recalibration.

In a conversation with John Hennessey, the company expects one-second faster 0-to-60 and quarter-mile times, but they won’t have the official numbers until testing is completed in late-May 2014. By our estimates, this would put it at around five seconds flat. We will bring you the official numbers as soon as they become available. Top speed, however, will likely not be affected by the HPE550 kit, due to the electronic limiter on the Escalade.

The SUV’s exterior, however, remains unchanged, save for a set of lightweight Hennessey H10 forged, monoblock wheels that can be ordered separately for a hefty $6,950. The 20-inch rollers are supposed to allow more power to reach the pavement, thanks to their reduced rotating mass, which could mean a slight acceleration improvement.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Cadillac Escalade HPE550.

In New York, Mini has just finished introducing us to the 2015 Countryman . Not one to limit its attendance to just one major auto show, Mini decided to spread its new models out evenly by opting to introduce the equally refreshed 2015 Paceman in Beijing .

Ok, maybe ’refreshed’ isn’t the right word to describe the 2015 Paceman because, well, there aren’t too many changes to begin with. It does adopt some of the changes made to the Countryman, but that’s not saying a lot.

So, in essence, the 2015 Paceman’s biggest change is its a new model year.

But it’s not the Paceman’s fault, nor is it Minis, for that matter. The Paceman, after all, was only introduced a few years ago, so a major refresh probably still isn’t in the cards until next year. More importantly, with the company’s expansion plans in full effect, Mini’s new-found lineup versatility has given rise to more choices for its customers.

Jeep pulled a surprise on all of us with all the concepts it brought to the Beijing Auto Show . We say ’surprise’ because we actually thought that if there was an auto show that would have had a strong Jeep presence, it would’ve been the recently-concluded New York Auto Show . But we’re not complaining that Jeep chose Beijing to strut its new wares, including the Jeep Wrangler Sundancer, which by all accounts, looks right at home in China with its fancy colors and even fancier new additions.

You don’t need to tell us how sophisticated this Wrangler looks, relative to its status as a weekend off-road warrior. But it’s a good thing that Jeep decided to dress up this Wrangler for the occassion. After all, it’s not often that you see a utility ride like the Wrangler receive a tri-coat Chocolate Brown Metallic paint with gold accents, and did we mention the Golden Bronze tone-on-tone ghosted pattern on the fender flares and the bronze-tinted windows?

But that’s not the extent of changes you’ll see on the Wrangler Sundancer. Notice how the front and rear bumpers have been also been painted in the same tri-coat Chocolate Brown metallic paint to complement the body lines. But instead of the gold accents on the body, the bumpers received golden bronze accents to go with the linear LED lighting.

This isn’t your normal Jeep Wrangler. That much we know just by looking at it. It’s a Wrangler that clearly knows how to dress up to cater to the Chinese market, something we suspect Jeep did intentionally, and even quite proudly.

Click past the jump to read more about the Jeep Wrangler Sundancer

Posted on by Christian Moe +  

Volkswagen appears to be listening to the tiny, but obnoxiously loud, voices of the forum goers and automotive journalists. At this year’s New York Auto Show , they displayed this shiny new Golf SportWagen Concept with a new 2.0-liter TDI engine, three pedals and 4Motion AWD.

Hello, Beautiful.

This latest machine may have “concept” in its name, but there is very little about this car that won’t make it to production. Volkswagen has already stated it will be coming to U.S. shores as a replacement for the near ancient Jetta SportWagen. The new Golf SportWagen will provide a modern model for U.S. buyers that is underpinned by the new MQB architecture (the current Jetta SportWagen is actually still a fifth-gen car underneath).

VW has also confirmed the powertrain options will include the new 1.8-liter turbo gasoline engine and the updated 2.0-liter TDI diesel. Shifting will be accomplished by either a traditional manual transmission or a choice of automatics. What is not confirmed, and what makes this car a “concept” is that sweet 4Motion all-wheel drive system like you get in the Golf R . VW is stating that it may come, but no firm plans have been made yet.

Start those forum threads now, kids.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen 4Motion Concept.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

If a couple of weeks ago we were talking about how the new, beefed up C63 AMG will also get coupe, convertible and wagon versions , now we have to refocus our attention on the regular C-Class model and its brand-new family member, the C-Class Long.

Specifically developed for the Chinese market, where additional legroom is highly appreciated, the all-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Long broke cover at the Beijing Auto Show , the country’s most important automotive event for the year.

We’re not at all shocked that the elongated C-Class showed up this month, given that the vehicle has been confirmed since last year, but we’re pleasantly surprised to find out that the China -exclusive model is a full 80 mm (3.1 inches) longer than the standard version. For the record, Audi] added only 60 mm (2.4 inches) to the A4 when it created the A4L.

As the model kept its overhangs intact, the entire length of the C-Class L sits in a 2,920-mm (115-inch) long wheelbase, giving it a longer wheelbase than the regular Mercedes-Benz E-Class . The additional room the longer wheelbase spawns in the cabin is obviously available in the rear compartment, where passengers will be able to sit more comfortably and stretch their legs further before hitting the front seats.

Speaking of which, the front passenger’s seat can be adjusted from the rear for further legroom or to compensate for the extra 25 mm (1 inch) added to the rear bench.

The Germans have yet to reveal too many details, but they did mention the C-Class Long will be offered with two different exterior designs. The tame model will come with the classic front grille with the company’s star mounted on the hood, while the more aggressive version, dubbed the "Sport Sedan," will carry numerous AMG body components, including a front apron, sill panels and a diffuser-like rear skirt.

There’s no specific word on what engines will be motivating the C-Class L, but the company said the base model will get 156 horsepower, while the range-topping version can be equipped with a unit that delivers as much as 367 horsepower. This means that there will be at least a C 180L, which will cover the 156-horsepower version. As for the 367-horsepower version, the only Chinese-spec engine close to that is the 360-horsepower, 2.0-liter from the CLA45 AMG, and it is doubtful that this engine will be in a long-wheelbase cruiser, like the C-Class L.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes C-Class L.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

Summer is still more than a month away, but the folks over at ABT Sportsline are gearing up for the hot season with an equally hot convertible based on the 2014 Audi RS5 .

However, unlike the RS7 the company started offering last year with up to 700 horsepower on tap, the RS5 in question comes with no powertrain updates whatsoever. This means customers will have to settle for the 450 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque delivered by the 4.2-liter V-8 or look into other Abt Sportsline options.

Don’t be too disappointed though, having more than 500 horsepower in a convertible isn’t always pleasant. And, truth be told, there are plenty of options out there wearing either BMW or Mercedes-Benz badges.

Anyway, ABT’s RS5 isn’t exactly bone stock, as it comes fitted with a stainless-steel muffler system that includes both a mid and a rear muffler. The end result is a throatier and more aggressive V-8 exhaust note that will let everybody know this isn’t a regular RS5. You can also opt to remove the speed limiter on your RS5 from ABT, bumping the top speed to 180 mph from the stock 174 mph.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi RS5 Convertible By ABT Sportsline.


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