new cars

new cars

The Ram truck has been around in some form or fashion since Dodge started making vehicles in 1914. The Ram as we know it today got its start when Dodge put the Ram name on the then-new 1981 full size truck. Of course, the biggest change happened in 2010 when Chrysler made Ram its own brand, pulling it from under the Dodge umbrella. Now called the Ram Truck brand, Ram has been making huge strides in truck development.

New for 2009 and refreshed again in 2013, the Ram 1500 is available in an almost limitless combination of cab, bed, engine, and options. Regular, Quad, and Crew cabs come with three bed lengths and three engine options that include the base 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, the venerable 5.7-liter HEMI V-8, and the new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6.

The Ram 1500 also represents some out-of-the-box thinking in terms of packaging. A five-link rear suspension replaces the traditional leaf springs and an available air suspension gives the Ram a boost for off-roading and trailer towing. The Ram also sports an eight-speed automatic transmission sourced from ZF. The unit helps the 1500 get exceptional fuel economy while still affording it good payload and towing numbers. The truck is also available with the “Ram Box,” a set of toolboxes mounted within the bed rails that will hold anything from trailer hitches to ice and drinks.

While it’s not expected that the Ram 1500 will overtake the Ford F-150 in terms of sales volume, it is expected the Ram will be chosen for its creature comforts and smart new diesel engine.

UPDATE 7/16/2014: Ram Trucks has just announced the entire Ram lineup will comply with the SAE’s J2807 towing standards. Ram joins Toyota and General Motors in adopting the new standards, though Ram is the only automaker to adopt J2807 in for Heavy Duty trucks.

Click past the jump for the full review of the Ram 1500

Posted on by TB +  

Acura has revamped the TL just in time for the summer sales rush with a Special Edition, which packs more tech for less money. The most noticeable exterior changes to the Special Edition are the handsome 18-inch ten-spoke alloy wheels and a subtle boot-lid spoiler.

The Special Edition dresses up the mid-range TL line nicely, giving the front-wheel-drive model some of the stance and aggression of the SH-AWD model that packs a larger engine and adaptive, torque-vectoring AWD.

The current TL shape has been around since 2009 when a redesign took the crisp, chiseled looks and replaced them with some of the most unusual styling elements imaginable: the shield grille and the pinched tail being the key examples. It’s perplexing as to why this is the look that then populated the rest of the Acura line.

Basically: the TL grew up, got ugly and changed its priorities. No longer the slightest bit cool, the TL decided that refinement was the way to go.

Half the team did not get the memo, however. The SH-AWD model offers body control and traction the previous TL would’ve loved, and finally a six-speed manual was offered with that top trim level. Paired with the refinement and isolation inside the new TL, however, the sporty credentials just don’t stick.

With price pressure from the Hyundai Genesis , better performance in the Infiniti Q50 and far more badge kudos in the Mercedes-Benz CLA250 , where does the TL fit in today’s market?

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2013 Acura TL.

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There’s a big shakeup taking place in the full-size van and truck market as Ford prepares to replace its wretched Econoline with a far superior vehicle called the Transit. At first, the setup for the new Transit seems all wrong, as a uni-body is the polar opposite of the traditional body-on-frame truck construction.

The Transit is indeed a big change for a group of hard-working van buyers who are scarily familiar with all the gritty details of the Econolines they’ve run for the last 50 years. The Transit, at first, looks like a botched Euro import, but in fact, Ford’s spent years of planning, engineering and customizing the global Transit line to make sure it answers every question asked of the Econoline by American van buyers.

Part of the admirable and smart “One Ford” strategy, the Dearborn teams take a long, hard look at which of their worldwide models is best fit to tackle global challenges. In the case of the Mustang , it turns out Europe has been clamoring for it all along, so the next-gen car will be sold in Europe and in many more global markets than ever before. In the case of the large commercial van market, the Transit is simply a far better model than the Econoline in terms of fitness for purpose, modern safety and efficiency needs.

Yes, it is a V-6 uni-body without off-road options or the four-wheel-drive system of some Econolines. As we’ll discover over the full review of the lineup, these things bring only benefits but keep the core attributes: a dozen plus different body styles and engine configurations, massive passenger or cargo payload ratings, better performance and economy, more comfort, more tech and finally, more safety.

As Ford educates and comforts the long-trenched Econoline market, the two models will briefly overlap before the eventual phase-out of the E-series altogether after 2015. Let me be the first to say it: good riddance Econoline!

Click past the jump for the full review and image gallery of the 2014 Ford Transit.

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The revised Chevrolet Malibu is now better positioned to compete in the hyper-competitive mid-size sedan arena with a restyled nose, refreshed engine choices and a bump in performance for the Malibu Turbo.

The advertising spend for the launch of the 2008 Malibu was the largest in General Motors’ history, and even today, the memories remain of that cherry red Malibu plastered on every billboard, print and broadcast media outlet. A critical mistake when launching the 2013 model was a press car painted the same red color. The color and ultra-subtle styling evolution meant consumers simply didn’t notice the change and flocked to more distinctive competitors like the new Ford Fusion , Hyundai Sonata and a broad range of crossover SUV models.

The Chevy Malibu also faced stiff competition on dealer lots from the previous model that was now packing huge discounts in order to clear inventory. For buyers contemplating a new Malibu, the larger back seat of the previous model and a pile of cash on the hood were enough to convince them to go for the older, nearly identically styled model.

Fighting to re-gain attention, the 2014 Malibu packs real interior and exterior updates into the long-running ‘Bu nameplate. The nose marks out the biggest change and shows a new take on the split-bar grille appearance of Chevy sedans. Perhaps most critically, Chevy’s press images show a car in dark grey metallic paint that significantly enhances the perceived value of the car. Anything but cherry red, right?

So how does the revised 2014 Malibu lineup compare with the top sedans in the segment for value, comfort, performance and style? Offered in standard, Eco and Turbo trims, the Malibu is finally out of the fleet-sales doldrums and firmly a contender for the top domestic midsize sedan.

Click past the jump for the full review and image gallery.

Rumors have been swirling since 2011 regarding the Chevrolet SS and we were amongst the first to start discussing it . The rumors cooled off up until a few weeks ago when after 40 years of using the “SS” logo, GM finally decided to trademark it. Later the rumors became even more certain, as OnStar, GM’s in-vehicle communication system, mistakenly put the 2014 model lineup on its site. Within that lineup was a model dubbed the SS Performance.

This all adds up to a solid case that the Chevrolet SS Performance is on its way to the U.S. According to the rumormill, this would also result in the Holden Commodore SS , which was once used as the Pontiac G8 , becoming the vehicle that dons the 2014 SS Perfomance badges.

With this release, Chevy would finally have a performance sedan to stack up against the likes of the Charger R/T and the Ford Taurus SHO .

UPDATE 06/04/2013: Chevrolet announced today prices for the 2014 SS. See more after the jump.

Click past the jump to read our full review of the anticipated SS Performance and how it stacks up against the competition.

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Holden Special Vehicles recently debuted their enhanced and refreshed line of Commodore VF variants dubbed the “Gen-F” across the eight specialty models built to satisfy power-mad Australians’ thirst for large and fast rear-drive performance models. One highlight in the diverse range is the Clubsport R8 Tourer; a svelte but practical wagon that can be had with optional SV Enhanced power package, forged wheels and launch control to manage the 455-horsepower surge.

Much more than a facelift, the Gen-F series new nose touts the 2013 models’ significant performance enhancements, technology upgrades, and far better infotainment and cabin design on the inside. The big news is that HSV is getting real-time access to the latest GM innovations in a quest to reinvigorate the stalling Australian large-car market with top-end performance models.

Best known for donating its butch platform to the genetic scientists at GM, the Commodore has been used for Cadillacs, Pontiacs and Chevrolets with little commercial success but a big fan following. Until the brand closed in 2009, the Pontiac G8 GT filled an enthusiast gap in the GM lineup with its V-8 grunt, manual transmission and laugh-riot tire shredding – it even won its own re-birth as the current Chevrolet Caprice PPV .

The latest VF series Holden Commodores share a great deal with the 2014 Chevrolet SS . These HSV bruisers, however, count the 2014 Corvette Stingray as their closest relative for shared suspension, safety and technology solutions.

Click past the jump for the full review and images of the just-released 2013 HSV ClubSport R8 Tourer with optional SV Enhanced spec.

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The upcoming SSC Tuatara is the hotly anticipated sophomore album from the Washington-based SSC North America team. SSC has built a name for itself via impressive top-speed-record runs with its existing model, the Diablo -esque SSC Ultimate Aero XT.

The Tuatara’s development continued this spring with engine and gearbox setups being refined since the concept car was revealed in late 2011. The new model builds a stunning exterior and interior atop the brute-force mechanical package from the Ultimate Aero XT . The latest news to emerge from the firm is a 250 pound-feet bump in engine torque following durability testing, and news of a 300 mph speedometer, feeding rumors of a top speed well above the 276 mph initially quoted.

The style and presence of the white concept Tuatara created quite a stir when shown at Pebble Beach in 2011. Designed by the talented-but-bizarre Jason Castriota of SAAB and Fiat fame, the Tuatara most closely resembles the 2006 Maserati Birdcage 75th concept car in its smooth flowing panels and deep, milky-white paint finish. Castriota also worked on the Birdcage, but was not the lead designer. He now runs an independent design consultancy called Castriota Design.

UPDATE 5/1/2013: SSC just completed testing the Tuatara on the dyno and released all of the results. A release date has been officially set too. See more after the jump

Please follow the jump to learn more about the SSC Tuatara ahead of its first customer deliveries in January 2014.

Posted on by Aravind 8
Rolls Royce Wraith

Rolls Royce is all set to expand their model range by announcing a "stunning" new model in a couple of weeks followed by an auto-show debut on April 21st in Shangai, one of most important markets for RR.

Sadly, RR couldn’t divulge any more details on what sort of car it will be and what’s underneath the hood, but we have our bets placed on the successor to the Rolls Royce Corniche . And we’re most likely going to win that bet, given the fact that over past several months, Rolls Royce was working hard on testing out a prototype of a two-door Ghost coupe (as these spy-shots reveal). We wouldn’t be surprised by RR bringing the Corniche name back as they have been promising customers that it was in the works for a while.

The Rolls Royce Corniche is reported to be powered by a turbocharged 6.6-liter V-12 engine ready to deliver a total of 600 horsepower, which is quite powerful for a luxury cruiser. The design will also draw some inspiration from the Rolls Royce Ghost, befitting the smaller-than-Phantom description.

A full review with details shall be posted once Rolls Royce announces the "stunning" model.

Source: Bloomberg
Posted on by Aravind 0
Nissan Esflow

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is one of the very few compact sports cars that grabs a fair share of the limelight. Thanks to the increased demand for such compact sports cars, it is no surprise that other manufacturers are planning to join the bandwagon. BMW, for instance, is planning to launch a Z2 to rival the Miata.

And now, thanks to the confirmation from Nissan’s executive vice president Andy Palmer at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, Nissan will also accompany BMW in building such a vehicle, sans the open-top option from what we can tell.

This little sports car will be the entry level model for Nissan’s two-door sporty offerings, sitting below the Z-models and the mighty GT-R . Bear in mind, however, that this upcoming sports car isn’t meant to rival the award-hogging Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S.

Expect the car to be designed by the same hands that gave birth to the design of the Juke, so we can all anticipate a more youth-oriented approach.

Under the hood, Palmer mentions that the car will be "guilt-free.” What could be guiltier for a vehicle than polluting the environment? So, expect either an electric or a hybrid powertrain, though we have our bets placed on a hybrid system.

Palmer confirms that a concept model of the entry-level sports car will be shown off within a year. So, expect its production version to land in our shores somewhere around 2015.

We’re sort of excited about such a model being announced from the makers of the Godzilla. It gives more people an opportunity to enjoy sporty two-door model in a less expensive package.

Image Shown: 2011 Nissan ESFLOW Concept

Posted on by Aravind 0
Volvo XC90

After weeping at the disappointing sales last year, Volvo ’s new CEO has confirmed at the Detroit Motor Show that they will announce nine new models in less than 12 months to grab lost market share in luxury vehicles.

Out of the nine, eight new cars are merely significant updates to the current lineup of Volvos and the ninth model is confirmed to be the successor to the Volvo XC90 .

Speculated to go on sale in the late 2014, the new XC90 (may have a different name later) will sit on a new "Scaleable Platform Architecture,” which is set to underpin bigger, more appointed vehicles in the future. So, people looking for SUV practicality you’re in luck, provided you have the patience to wait for a couple of years for additional models to roll out.

Volvo is also looking to develop a new architecture for their smaller vehicles - 40 series and 50 series - with their new parents, Geely, since they’re currently relying on Ford’s architecture and are planning to cut ties with Ford soon.

We’ll post more information and details as it rolls in.

Source: Autocar

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