Car Reviews

The Toyota GT86 was launched in 2012, along with its Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S siblings. Although the GT86 was only sold in Europe, both the BRZ and the FR-S arrived in the United States for the 2013 model year. All three sports cars share the same 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, boxer engine that delivers 200 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. The powerplant mates to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic and enables each of the triplets to sprint from naught to 60 mph in 6.9 to 7.6 seconds, respectively. Far from being one of the fastest sports car on the market, the Toyota GT86 is definitely one of the most affordable, a feat that made it quite popular with consumers.

As we move into the 2015 model year, Toyobaru has yet to introduce the highly anticipated performance update the GT86/BRZ/FR-S dearly needs. However, the GT86 nameplate expanded to receive a brand-new member in the shape of a rally car. Yes folks, Toyota is joining the World Rally Championship with an R3-spec version of its sports car. The race-ready GT86 is not only more powerful, but lighter too, and it just fired up our enthusiasm toward a faster road-going version.

Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota GT86 CS-R3 Rally Car.

Car wrapping is a delicate art that sometimes requires restraint. Lose it and your work becomes a little too abrasive. Hold off on the art and the product could look pedestrian. There are only a few companies in the world that can expertly strike a balance between the two and one of them is Fostla.De. The German tuner is one of the best in the business at this and recently, the company presented a new program for the BMW X5 that embodied the tuner’s affinity for car wrapping. See, the tuner’s program for the X5 comes with an anodized matte-red car wrap to go with a significant performance boost.

We appreciate the fact that Fostla prepared a comprehensive upgrade for the X5, but it’s hard to notice them all when all that red is staring you in the face. But hey, the program does come with a significant performance boost, which is more than we can say for other car-wrapping specialists who don’t venture into the the engine compartment.

The entire kit costs €8,500, which is about $10,700 based on the exchange rate on 7/30/2014. It’s a nice program for the X5, although its pretty steep price tag might dissuade some customers.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW X5 M By Fostla.De.

Posted on by Austin Taylor  

Prior Design is a well-known tuner that specializes in upgrading German metal. Many recent Mercedes , Audi , and BMW models have gone under Prior Design’s knife and come out modified quite handsomely. We recently reviewed the BMW M6 GranCoupe , customized by Prior Design and came away very impressed. Its latest offering is for the true two-door version of the 6 Series. Prior Design upgrades are marketed as mostly aerodynamic enhancements, but these upgrades simultaneously give the modified cars a stunning, show-worthy, tuner look.

This Prior Design BMW 6-series is a prime example. While the stock 6 Series is one of the better-looking BMWs of today, with clean lines and a slippery shape, the Prior Design team dramatically increases this already-pretty car’s street presence, all the while helping it cut through the wind in an even easier fashion with sharp, functional aerodynamic upgrades.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 6 Series By Prior Design.

With a whopping 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque at its disposal, and fearsome, American-made looks, the 2014 SRT Viper is one mean and powerful machine. To most, the "Snake" is perfect. To others, albeit not that many, the Viper could still use some improvements. It’s not often we see the near-supercar receive an aftermarket makeover, but companies such as Inspired Autosport are always up for the challenge.

Known for adding a touch of uniqueness to an array of vehicles, ranging from Mercedes-Benz SUVs to Lamborghini supercars , IA added the 2014 SRT Viper to its portfolio. The request came from a customers who did not want to take delivery of the 640-horsepower beast without a few extras inside and out, and thus "Project #Merica" was born.

The base car was none other than the GTS, the top-of-the-line Viper that costs no less than $124,985 before options. Did IA succeed in their mission to enhance a one of America’s coolest sports cars ? Read on to find out.

Click past the jump to read more about the SRT Viper GTS by Inspired Autosport.

Although it doesn’t benefit from the same recognition surrounding the Ferrari brand, Renault is a big name in the world of motorsports. The French have been involved in top-tier racing for decades and, more recently, their World Series championships have helped numerous talented youngsters grow into professional racers. For 2015, Renault and its Sport Technologies arm are readying yet another racing division, one that comes with its own, exclusive race car.

Make no mistake though, this new racer that’s set to break cover at the Moscow International Auto Show in August is not another beefed-up Megane RS . The French are actually taking it up a notch with a vehicle that promises to be faster than the entire bunch of race-ready Megane RS and Clio RS hatches. Making things even more interesting is the fact that Renault says the race car will feature a "uniquely stunning design" — the statement is backed by a teaser showcasing a sleek, coupe-like shape with a fixed wing on the rear.

The full details won’t be out until August 27th, 2014, but the limited amount of info Renault has shared so far talks about at least 500 horsepower, lightness and brings together names like Nismo and Dallara. That’s exciting news in my book.

Updated 07/30/2014: Renault unveiled the official name of its new sports car and a new teaser image for the Renaultsport R.S. 01, which will be unveiled on August 27th, 2014.

Click past the jump to read more about the Renault Sport Trophy.

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 and a few small details, 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 07/30/2014: Jaguar unveiled a new image that reveals the front end of the new XE sports sedan. The new image is part of a new project called FEEL XE that will start on September 8th, 2014 and will feature Emeli Sandé.

Click past the jump to read more about 2014 Jaguar XE

The Q by Aston Martin program has been around for only two years, but most of its creations are definitely bound to become valuable classics. The latest vehicle coming from the company’s personalization arm is no exception and, unlike other bespoke Aston Martins, is crossing "the Pond" to be auctioned for charity in Los Gatos, California. The sports car in question is an equestrian-themed DB9 Volante.

Just like the unique 2014 Ferrari FF Dressage Edition the Italians launched in China earlier in 2014, the DB9 Volante by Q pays tribute to the equestrian lifestyle. Not at all surprising considering its British roots and the fact that it will cross the block during the Menlo Charity Horse Show, one of the finest equestrian events in the United States.

Equipped with a unique interior that boasts more luxury than any other production DB9, this equestrian-inspired convertible will generate a $10,000 donation to benefit the Vista Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired. The sports car will be auctioned off by Los Gatos Aston Martin between August 5th and 10th, 2014.

Click past the jump to read more about the Aston Martin DB9 By Q By Aston Martin.

A mysterious Audi SUV was recently spotted doing some runs on the Nurburgring . The sheer size of the vehicle suggests that this model could be the second generation Q7 . However, a recent confirmation from an Audi executive seems to indicate that this is not just an ordinary Q7, but the SQ7 that is scheduled to be released in 2016.

So why do we think that it’s the SQ7? It’s a little hard to catch but if you look closely, you’ll notice that it has a quad-pipe exhaust system instead of the dual-pipe setup on the standard Q7.

Audi board member for technical development Ulrich Hackenberg has already confirmed to Autocar that the new Q7 will arrive next year. He also added that a more powerful SQ7 will come a year later. This spy video is the first indication that the car is right smack in the middle of development in time for its scheduled launch in 2016.

We don’t expect a whole lot aesthetic changes between the Q7 and the SQ7. But we do expect the latter to feature a completely different powertrain that could make use of a “supplemental electric charger” that will be used with a 3.0-liter, turbocharged, V-6 TDI engine and a lithium-ion battery.

Audi has already previewed this powertrain on a couple of concepts: the A6 TDI Concept and the RS 5 TDI-e Concept . The two concepts actually carried different iterations of this new powertrain technology. The A6 TDI used an electrically driven turbo combined with a single exhaust gas-driven turbocharger, whereas the RS 5 TDI used used a sequential twin-turbo system with a large and small turbocharger.

It remains to be seen what kind of engine configuration the SQ7 will carry but don’t be surprised if its hybrid system generates a little more than 370 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque output of the rumored Q7 e-Tron.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Audi SQ7.

The ATS was launched in 2013 as Cadillac’s smallest sedan yet. Aimed at the BMW 3 Series , Audi A4 and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class , the ATS was the first vehicle to ride on GM’s Alpha platform, which would later underpin the larger, third-generation Cadillac CTS . Three engines have been offered since its introduction, including a 202-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-banger as the entry-level plant; a turbocharged, 2.0-liter with 272 ponies in the mid-range model; and a range-topping, 321-horse, naturally aspirated, 3.6-liter V-6. As we move into the 2015 model year, the ATS range expands to welcome a coupe and a long-wheelbase version of the sedan.

Dubbed ATS-L, the model is exclusive to China, a market that’s overwhelmed by long-wheelbase sedans. Not to be left out in a segment that already includes longer versions of the Mercedes Mercedes -Benz C-Class and the Audi A4, Cadillac Cadillac is joining in with a model set to satisfy China’s need for luxury and added legroom. How does it stack up against German competition? Read on to find out.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Cadillac ATS-L.


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