new cars

new cars

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

Posted on by Tushar  

It isn’t as hardcore as a Nissan GT-R , but it certainly is very sporty. The Nissan Z-cars have been around for a long time and the 2014 370Z is the latest iteration of a long line of Z-cars that have come and gone.

Last year, Nissan updated the 370Z Roadster with new features like daytime running lights, an updated front fascia without compromising on the looks. The coupe has nice high shoulder and confident looks. Chopping off the roof hasn’t ruined the handsome exterior of the 370Z either.

For 2014, the Nissan 370Z Roadster employs a 3.7-liter V-6 naturally aspirated engine with 332 horsepower on tap. The engine is capable of churning out 270 pound-feet of torque @ 5200 rpm. For driving enthusiasts, Nissan offers a 6-speed manual gearbox which comes with Nissan’s SynchroRev Match system, while a 7-speed automatic with paddle-shift is also on the list.

The 2014 370Z is capable of delivering similar performance as the 2013 model. Combined fuel economy figures released by Nissan confirm that the 2014 model is rated at 20 mpg and 21 mpg for manual and automatic version respectively.

Click past the jump to read in detail about the2014 Nissan 370Z Roadster

Posted on by Tushar  

If you look into the history of the Toyota brand, the Land Cruiser has been around for more than half a century. It has long proven how capable it is on whatever terrain you throw at it. Where a Range Rover would fall apart, crying out for for maintenance, the Land Cruiser would continue to do its job. When it comes to reliability, the Japanese sure do have some secret formula.

For the 2013 model year, Toyota gave the Land Cruiser a mild makeover. New styling elements were added upon an already awesome-looking machine. The interior too was overhauled, with more standard features than before, while a rather potent V-8 engine provided the muscle required to take on the worst of rugged terrains. Added safety features and driver aides all made it easy to drive.

For 2014, Toyota has made subtle changes to the Land Cruiser . It still boasts the 5.7-liter, V-8 engine and a handsome-looking exterior, but the automaker has now standardized all optional features into one attractive package. So, the 2014 Land Cruiser will be available in just one trim level.

Click past the jump to read our extensive review of the 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser

Posted on by Tushar  

When the going gets tough, it’s time to summon the Toyota Land Cruiser . When it comes to go-anywhere ability, the only vehicle that has managed to stand its ground against the Land Rover is the Toyota Land Cruiser, which in itself has earned a legendary status. For the year 2013, Toyota updated the Land Cruiser with added standard features and a styling overhaul.

Now, for the year 2014, Toyota has brought an evolutionary design change to the Land Cruiser. It may look different, but underneath it still is more or less the same burly, all-wheel-drive SUV with loads of features and creature comforts.

Like most heavy-duty off-roaders, the 2014 Land Cruiser is based on a body-on-frame platform that gives it added strength to take on the roughest of terrains the world can throw at it.

Over the past 60 years, the Land Cruiser has evolved from a manual select, all-wheel-drive utility vehicle into a luxurious SUV packed with the latest electronic aides, cameras and safety features. Has the addition of computer programs and guidance systems made exploring the farthest reaches of this planet child’s play? Lets find out.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser

Posted on by Tushar  

Hyundai has announced a set of upgrades for the 2014 Hyundai Veloster . Overall, the Veloster retains its shape with that gaping front grille and the oddball rear profile, but the big news is the addition of a Veloster Turbo R-Spec for next year.

This announcement was made during the on-going 2013 LA Auto Show . Hyundai claims, the "convention-shattering" Veloster adds convenience, performance and safety, making it more desirable than before. Well, its unconventional hatchback design never really struck a chord with our visual senses, but that’s just our opinion.

Since the Veloster Turbo ’s release, we’ve wondered if Hyundai would take advantage of the fast-growing hot-hatchback market in the U.S. and reveal a hotter variant. With the new R-Spec model, Hyundai did just that and then some, but the Korean automaker did not reveal all of its specs just yet.

Click past the jump to read more about the Hyundai Veloster Turbo R-Spec

Posted on by Tushar  
Mercedes-Benz AMG GT

Mercedes-Benz is set to retire its flagship sports car — the SLS — next year. That’s correct, the AMG-tuned Mercedes SLS will go out of production in July 2014, but the car that will take its place has been seen testing quite a few times and we know it as the Mercedes SLC . Some sources, however, suggest that the new car could be called the Mercedes GT instead.

Where the Mercedes SLS AMG was pitted against the Ferrari 458 , Lamborghini Gallardo, among others, the 2015 Mercedes Benz GT (SLC) will rival the Porsche 911 Turbo . This means that Mercedes Benz will re-position the GT down a segment to compete in a much more lucrative market among the Porsches, Jaguars and Audis. That said, a more expensive and faster version will also be available.

The new car will be assembled at Mercedes-Benz AMG at Afalterbach, Germany and will share the production line as its predecessor. According to Autocar, the Mercedes-Benz GT AMG is to be unveiled at the German Grand Prix next year and will go on sale in 2015.

More on the technical aspect of the Mercedes-Benz GT AMG after the jump.

Source: Autocar

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