new cars

new cars

Volkswagen has unveiled all of the juicy bits for the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI . Suffice to say, the MK VII Golf GTI has the refined power we all look for in a sports hatchback . The 2015 model not only has that in spades, thanks to a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, I-4 engine that packs 210 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, but it also has a lot of standard and optional features to choose from.

Even better, Volkswagen is set to offer a Performance Package for the Golf GTI later in the year. This package is expected to include larger brakes, a torque-sensing electronically-controlled limited-slip differential, and a 10 horsepower boost over the regular GTI, all for just $1,495. The Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) adaptive damping system will also be available later in the 2015 model year on the SE and Autobahn models with the Performance Package.

Needless to say, there’s a lot to be giddy about with the 2015 Golf GTI and we won’t blame you for feeling the same way.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

This is the new Infiniti Q70, just announced at the New York Auto Show , and at first blush you may not peg it as a new or refreshed model. To be honest, not much has changed since it was still called the M Sedan . There have been some visual changes to distinguish the new 2015 model from the current 2014 version, but by and large this is the same swoopy and fluidic sedan Infiniti has been selling since 2010.

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, as I think the Q70 is one of the best looking cars in the class.

The big news for the 2015 car is the addition of new technology and the announcement of a long wheelbase Q70L, specifically created to cater to the booming Chinese markets. Thankfully for those of us who enjoy the idea of extra rear legroom, the Q70L will be coming to the U.S. and other important Infiniti markets. This isn’t a China exclusive like so many long wheelbase models tend to be these days.

To find out about all the changes coming to the freshly announced 2015 Q70 and Q70L hit the jump.

After Toyota North America filled trademarks for two new models — the NX 200t and NX 300h — it was not hard to figure out that these were upcoming Lexus models. The fact that they were SUVs was made simply by the "X" in their names. It was also not very difficult to understand that one trademark — the NX 200t — will be the turbocharged gasoline version, while the other one — the NX 300h — will be a hybrid model. The NX 200t will be powered by the company’s new 2.0-liter, turbocharged AR engine set to launch in 2014, while the 300h will likely get the same hybrid powertrain as in the Lexus ES 300h : a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Atkinson cycle hybrid engine.

The new Lexus NX will be placed under the company’s current RX and will most likely debut on the market sometime in 2015.

Updated 4/11/2014: Lexus has officially confirmed that the NX line will debut at the 2014 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition on April 20th. The lineup will include the base NX 200, the turbocharged NX 200t and the hybrid NX 300h. Details are still limited, but we detailed as much as we could, plugs a look at the concepts that previewed the NX, after the jump.

The Fiat 500 Abarth is one of my all-time favorite cars. It is an uncommon dose of fun and lunacy in our increasingly beige automotive world. What is a mildly eccentric Italian company to do after creating such a machine? Apparently the answer is to create an even faster and hard-core version to take racing.

Meet the 695 Assetto Corse Evoluzione.

Fiat already has an Abarth Assetto Corse for both the 500 and 695 cars, but this new Evoluzione model turns things up to 11. Power is up, weight is down, and in true race car fashion, there are a lot of minor improvements learned over the last few years of competition combine to make repairs and adjustments easier. The car obviously still retains the full complement of FIA-approved safety equipment.

If you already own one of the older 695 Assetto cars and want to stay competitive in the Trofei series, Fiat is offering the full Evoluzione kit as an upgrade.

Read on to get the scoop on all the new upgrades and enhancements.

During a recent trip to a Miami-area Porsche dealership, TopSpeed founder Philippe Daix found himself face to face with five 911 GT3s as they patiently await an engine swap. Porsche is reportedly testing a revised version of the GT3’s 3.8-liter, flat-six engine, but until the engine is ready and shipped to dealers, these brand-new cars sit covered in a layer of dust, blocked by other vehicles within the bowels of the dealer’s service department.

Porsche made the unprecedented move in February of notifying owners to stop driving their GT3s and ordered dealers to stop selling them until repairs are made. The announcement came after two seemingly perfect GT3s burst into flames as they meandered down European roads earlier this year.

The German automaker’s investigation into the fires revealed two piston rod screws became loose, causing all sorts of mayhem and catastrophe within the engine block. Thankfully, no accidents or injuries resulted from the fires, but the incidents were enough for Porsche to recall all 785 of the 2014 911 GT3 s produces. Until the cars are fixed, current GT3 owners have replacement Porsche vehicles.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Porsche 911 GT3.

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

Like its drop-top brother the Boxster , the Cayman has become a well-respected performer for Porsche since its introduction in 2006. Porsche has continued to update the car to keep it exciting, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down. For 2015, both the Cayman and Boxster are getting a new range-topping trim level that adds power, better handling, and decades of heritage — the GTS package.

The GTS package adds all the right ingredients to Porsche ’s perfect recipe: more horsepower and torque from the 3.4-liter flat-six, better handling thanks to revised suspension components and the now-standard Sports Chrono package, and a unique look to set it apart from lesser Cayman trim levels.

Getting into the nitty-gritty reveals an added 15 horsepower and 7 pound-feet of torque bringing the total number to 340 horses and 280 pound-feet. Both the six-speed manual and seven-speed PDK transmissions are available. The normally optional Sports Chrono package and Active Suspension Management (PASM) on the Cayman S become standard equipment for the GTS. Still an option, but well worth it, is Porsche’s torque vectoring differential that uses a combination of braking and locking of the differential to actively put power to the ground. Click everything into sport mode and activate launch control, and the PDK-equipped Cayman will hit 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds. The Cayman’s top speed is listed at 177 mph for those equipped with the manual, however Porsche hasn’t released the PDK’s top speed figures yet.

Giving distinction between itself and the lesser Cayman and Cayman S models, the GTS features a number of dark-grey exterior accents, an interior that’s covered in Alcantara, and several GTS badges finished in the same dark grey.

Click past the jump for all the details on the 2015 Cayman GTS

The Fiat 500 has tons of history, as does the Abarth line. One of the most famous of the Abarths debut at the Geneva Auto Show all the way back in 1964. This 695 had a 699.5 cc engine with a "whopping" 30 horsepower and could hit a top speed of 130 km/h (36 mph). Well, now 50 years later, Fiat is revealing a new Abarth 695, which it dubbed the biposto, with just a tad more power and a much higher top speed.

The 695 biposto checks in with a healthy 30-horsepower bump over the standard Fiat 500 Abarth and uses the same 1.4-liter engine. It also features an insane dog box transmission that is rarely seen in anything other than race cars, and even those are hard to come by.

On top of the racing transmission, the Abarth 695 drops loads of weight, gets a stripped-down interior and a half roll cage.

On the surface, the 695 biposto look like a massive heap of awesomeness on the surface, but is it still as awesome when I drill down into all of the details?

Click past the jump to read more and find out.

The venerable Highlander has been a strong seller for Toyota since its debut back in 2001, when it helped usher in the era of uni-body crossovers. Back then, the Highlander represented a solid alternative to the mundane four-door sedan with its higher ground clearance, upright view of the road and tidy dimensions. Five passengers and a decent amount of cargo could trudge though snow or down wooded paths with more confidence than in a Camry , thanks to the available all-wheel drive. The little CUV That Could embodied the premise of the whole crossover craze; combining the on-road manners of a car with SUV -like capabilities in a smart package.

The Highlander moved into its second generation in 2008, and received a mid-life refresh in 2010. Those changes helped it stay competitive, but the time has come for the next generation. Enter: the all-new 2014 Highlander.

Everything inside and out has a new look. Sharper, crisper lines make the CUV more manly and rugged, while its overall look still labels it as civilized. It rides on the same wheelbase but has grown some three inches, giving more rear passenger legroom.

An eight-passenger configuration is available on mid-level trims, and a powerful 3.5-liter V-6 can send power to all four wheels when the right option boxes are checked. Both the four-cylinder and hybrid models return for 2014, but with improved fuel economy.

I had the chance to drive the Highlander through the “snowpocalypse of 2014” along the icy streets of Charleston, South Carolina, as the town suffered its first snowfall in years.

Click past the jump for our 2014 Toyota Highlander review

Preparations are underway for the 2014 Chicago Auto Show , one of the largest auto shows in the U.S., as automakers fill the McCormick Place complex with their latest cars, trucks and SUVs. There seems to be a slight problem, however: NAIAS stole the show last month.

The crop of new vehicles set to be debuted is rather thin for Chicago. We know of a mere handful compared to the new releases that happened at Detroit. Show goers can take heart though as the healthy smorgasbord of vehicles from NAIAS will be paying a visit to the Windy City as well.

Among the reappearing are the Corvette Z06 , BMW M3 sedan and M4 Coupe , Cadillac ATS coupe , Chrysler 200 , Ford F-150 , Ford Mustang , Hyundai Genesis , Lexus RC F , and Toyota’s FT-1 Concept .

What’s more, the lack of new competition might play well for the automakers bringing all-new products to Chicago as the media’s coverage will likely be focused them.

Click past the jump for the 2014 Chicago Auto Show Preview


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