luxury cars

luxury cars

  Luxury cars are expensive and come in all shapes: sedan, coupe or convertible. They offer all the comfort, luxury and performance but you will have to pay premium price. German cars like BMW or Mercedes are the first brand that come to our mind but nowadays nearly all car makers offer nice and comfortable models that enter in the luxury car category.

Jaguar has launched a new teaser for the XE , ahead of the compact sedan’s official unveiling on September 8th, 2014. Much like the Land Rover Discovery Sport’s interior teaser video , which ties the company’s future with that of the space program, the new XE footage revolves around the Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows aerobatic team. In fact, the XE only makes a brief appearance in the video, being shown as it is transported by helicopter during the final seconds. The vehicle is too far away in the distance, which means we’ll have to settle for the teaser photo Jaguar released earlier in 2014.

As a brief reminder, the XE was developed as a competitor for the BMW 3 Series, but it will also be Britain’s main weapon against the likes of the Mercedes Mercedes -Benz C-Class and the Audi A4. With most of its body structure and chassis made from aluminum, the XE is expected to be lightest sedan in its segment and deliver class-leading fuel economy in its most frugal trim. Power will come from JLR’s new Ingenium engine family and will include both gasoline and diesel powerplants. A high-performance version motivated by the familiar supercharged, 5.0-liter V-8 mill is also in the books.

The first model to be unveiled will be the XE S, with the rest of the lineup to break cover during the Paris Motor Show in October 2014. Stay tuned to TopSpeed for more details on the compact sedan next week.

It’s been a while since we last heard from Swiss tuner Mansory . So we were admittedly caught by surprise when the tuner sent us details of its new aftermarket program. We’ve gotten used to Mansory building insane-looking kits for supercars we forgot that it’s equally adept in dressing up SUVs like the Range Rover Sport .

The tuner’s program for the Range Rover Sport is typical Mansory. It’s got a comprehensive mix of aerodynamic and performance upgrades for a wide range of Range Rover models, including the Sport and the Vogue.

You only need to look at the photos to see how different the Range looks. It didn’t satisfied our overwhelming seal of approval, but some of us do think that it’s an acquired taste, which really is what Mansory is all about.

But we can’t argue about the engine upgrade on the Range Rover Sport, which includes a pulley kit used in addition to the famed Mansory engine control unit. Mansory’s got the pulse of every mechanical program it does and this one for the Range is no different.

Kind of makes up for that over-the-top look of the British luxury SUV.

Click past the jump to read more about Mansory’s program for the Range Rover Sport

So this is what the Aston Martin Lagonda Sedan looks like. It doesn’t look like a typical Aston Martin that much I can see. But more surprisingly, the Lagonda’s first public appearance came as a collaboration with luxury airline Oman Air.

The two companies announced a partnership that basically gives the Middle Eastern airline a free publicity tie up with the British automaker’s new top-of-the-range, luxury four-door super-saloon designed exclusively for the Middle East market. So if you happen to travel in that part of the world, prepare yourself to see a lot of Lagonda-Oman Air billboards.

It’s a stroke of marketing savvy for both companies. Aston Martin gets a top quality airline on its side and Oman Air rakes in whatever interest - and they’re sure to be many - the limited edition Lagonda Sedan will generate in a market that has no shortage of deep-pocketed customers.

As part of their partnership, Aston Martin is sending a Lagonda prototype to do some test runs in Muscat as part of its early testing program, allowing the vehicle to get a good read on the environmental conditions in that region. Don’t be surprised if some of the beautiful people of Oman snap some quality photos of the Lagonda mule. You might even see some of them in these pages at some point in the future.

Click past the jump to read more about the Aston Martin Lagonda

Volvo’s recently released 2016 XC90 has the industry abuzz about the all-new crossover’s elegant design and futuristic interior. While the ink is still wet on the XC90’s debut headlines, Volvo has dropped an important piece to its latest vehicle’s puzzle. This Volvo-originated testing shows the new crossover getting subjected to the worst kinds of treatment.

The first battery of testing involves the common frontal offset crash at 40 mph. As the vehicle hits the barrier, the crumple zones do their job in defecting the majority of the crash’s energy away from the passenger compartment. It doesn’t even look like the side door was even scratched. Not even the windshield shows signs of damage.

The side impact test comes next, as the XC90 gets slammed with a dummy car at 35 mph. The simulated T-bone crash shows the side doors getting pushed inward, however the dual side-airbag system prevented the test dummy from ever hitting the door panel or window.

Lastly the rollover crash test simulates just that — a dreaded rollover where the vehicle spends time bouncing down the road on its roof. The test shows the side-curtain airbags deploying as the roof structure stays in place. It’s hard to tell for sure, but it seems all the occupants could simply open the doors and walk away from this crash.

While it hasn’t been official tested by the IIHS or NHTSA, it appears the all-new Volvo XC90 will pass with flying colors. It’s amazing how far crashworthiness of vehicles has come since Volvo became the first automaker to include seat belts in all its vehicles back in 1959.

Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

Bentleys introduction to the SUV world will come in the form of the Falcon. Due next year, Bentleys new flagship model, will be designed by Luc Donckerwolke, who has worked for the Volkswagen group for many years now and was the designer behind the Lamborghini Murcielago and Gallardo . His style usually utilizes sharp, crisp lines designed to reflect light. “I like really sharp, defined surfaces. If it’s too voluptuous, it’s too sweet. You need spices.”Said Donckerwolke.

This is somewhat different to the usual Bentley design, which is about softer, more rounded edges. However, despite his love for sharper lines, the new Falcon SUV will stick closely to the Bentley design language while still being a new direction for the famed British brand. “We are adapting the DNA of the brand to a new topology of car, but it’s always good when you do something that the brand hasn’t done before.”

A larger issue that Donckerwolke faces is creating a car for both the Western and Eastern markets. The Chinese and Russians seem to like the EXP 9 F concept , in which the Falcon is based, quite a bit, however the Western markets seemed more opposed to it. So the design for this car has to meet somewhere in the middle for both markets. Donckerwolke claims this is a difficult task and says Bentley “can’t design for just one market. We are ambassadors of a culture, and we have to look like a Bentley.” Hopefully Donckerwolke is up to the task, as he will have some stiff competition from Maserati and Aston Martin, which are both developing their own SUVs .

Click past the jump to read more about the Bentley Falcon

SUVs and crossovers became increasingly popular beginning in the 1990s. Few automakers have yet to join this profitable segment, while most manufacturers that offer such vehicles are elbows deep into providing the sportiness and chutzpah more and more customers are demanding nowadays, while struggling to keep up with the stringent fuel-consumption and CO2-emission regulations. Granted, SUVs are now more than just plain, slow vehicles designed to haul people or tackle the roughest off-road trails.

Need a sports car that rides higher than usual and can carry four people comfortably? Porsche is ready to take your check and deliver a Cayenne . If legroom is what interests you most, but you also need more than 500 ponies and an off-road capable rig, then you’re better off with the Range Rover LWB . You’d rather trade British elegance and German sportiness for some American bling? No problem, you’re the reason why Cadillac is building the Escalade . There’s no doubt these are all great machines, but they all come with at least one drawback, they’re awfully expensive.

That’s not to say there aren’t any affordable SUVs that can offer seating for seven people out there. There’s a handful of seven-seaters you can buy for less than $50,000 that still offer plenty of posh features. We put together a list comprising the cheapest luxury seven-seater SUVs you can buy for the 2015 model year. Check it out below and let us know which one would you pick as a daily driver.

Click past the jump to find out more about the Top 5 Luxury 7-Seater SUVs priced under $50,000.

It appears Bentley’s Mulsanne Convertible Concept is back on the drawing board. This comes after the project was killed by Bentley’s then-new CEO Wolfgang Schreiber back in 2012. Originally debuted to a small number of customers at the Concours d’Elegance a few months prior, the project went cold when Bentley’s former CEO Wolfgang Duerheimer left the company.

With Duerheimer gone, Schreiber told journalists “we will not do that car,” saying there was “just regional demand” and that it lacked a strong business case. Well the turn of fates has Duerheimer, the father of the Mulsanne Convertible Concept, returning as CEO of Bentley just two years after his leaving.

“When I returned, I was a bit irritated by the fact that no work had been done on this project in two years, Duerheimer said, later reassuring Automotive News that the project was “back on track.”

During his absence at Bentley, Duerheimer spent time as Audi’s Chief of Research and Development, along with a short period at Volkswagen coordinating all its motorsports activities.

Duerheimer is convinced the Mulsanne Convertible will be a strong competitor to the upcoming convertible versions of the Rolls-Royce Ghost and Mercedes-Benz S-Class . Still at this point we don’t know much about the Mulsanne’s pricing or future availability. But with Wolfgang Duerheimer back at the helm, his brainchild will assuredly make it to production.

Click past the jump to read more about the Bentley Mulsanne Vision Concept

The second-generation BMW X6 M has been spotted testing on public roads since February 2014. Fast-forward to August 2014, the beefed-up crossover is already stretching its wide wheels on the famed Nurburgring track. And the camouflage keeps disappearing off its muscular body, as revealed by a new batch of spy shots we just received in our inbox.

It took BMW only a few days to ditch some of the swirly wrap that’s hiding the high-performance crossover from our eyes. While the black prototype that was pushing it hard on the "Green Hell" earlier this month had its side skirts and rear end hidden under a thick layer of camo, the red-painted example our paparazzi spotted in Germany wears a more casual dress.

The redesigned side skirts are now in plain sight, while the revised rear fenders and the tailgate are no longer obscured. Sure, there’s plenty of camouflage BMW needs to peel off the X6 M, but for the meantime we’re grateful we can squint our eyes a lot less to catch the little details making this crossover special.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW X6 M

Well that was a wild and exciting Podcast. As always, we want to send a super special thanks to everyone who tuned in live, and to everyone who gave us questions to answer. If you didn’t happen to catch the live show, let me inform you of what you have waiting for you after you click that play button.

We start the show off in the usual manner with the Weekly Wheels segment where Mark talks about how good the Scion Scion FR-S is, even though it had an automatic transmission. I then proceed to tell him he is incorrect, and then we move on to talking about my time with the long wheelbase Range Rover. Spoiler: it’s like driving a house made of $100 bills.

We had a pretty busy news week and so there was a lot to cover. We move from the Range Rover straight into Mark’s choice for the five best off-road machines, talk about a worthless BMW that someone tried to sell for $18k and we even talk about the new pointless Mercedes SUV… sort of.

In other car news, we cover the shiny new Volvo XC90, the upcoming Focus RS rumors and the potential for a Ford Mustang with a 10-speed transmission. You know, like a mountain bike.

We finish the show with a fairly lengthy Q&A followed by our signature Own, Drive, Burn. For the viewer questions we discuss when the new NSX might finally arrive, what our current dream long term test car may be, the potential future of the Mazdaspeed3 and whether it is a good idea to buy a nice used car or a cheaper new one. For Own, Drive, Burn we decide between three legendary classic Hot Hatches.

The show did run a little long, but since it was the six month anniversary of our first podcast, we figured you guys wouldn’t care too much.

A quick parting note to all our US viewers. This is a crazy holiday weekend, and traditionally there are lots of incidents involving motorized things and the use of alcohol. We want you back next week, so don’t do anything stupid like drink and drive.

Don’t forget to drop your questions and Own, Drive, Burn suggestions for next week’s show in the comments below.

Have a great weekend everyone!

As is the norm with modern car production, slowly but surely we are eking out the details of an upcoming model, thanks to a collection of leaks and spy shots. The latest prey for our spy shooters lenses is the all-new 2016 BMW 7 Series . Every time we have seen this car before it has been under some very heavy camo, but now we at least have a pretty clear picture of the new headlamp treatment.

And to be honest, they look like they were swiped straight from the sexy new i8 .

It may not seem like that big of a reveal to some, but by seeing that the headlamps are following the new, and much more modern look of the i Series cars, BMW could be hinting that the new body style will be even more modern as well. I, for one, wouldn’t be upset to see a new and more exciting design direction for BMW’s standard model line.

Other than the new headlamps, there is precious little to gain from these photos. The car is still covered stem to stern in a disorienting wrap that goes so far as to even cover the rear-seat windows. We still even have the ugly aftermarket round rear lights instead of proper taillamps. Make no mistake; this car is still deep in the testing and refinement stage.

As always, keep your eyes locked here at TopSpeed.com and we will be sure to hand over every detail on BMW’s upcoming luxo-barge as we get them.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 7 Series


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