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new cars

new cars

Posted on by TB +  

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG is finally out of its doldrums of quad-oval lights and messy body kits. The AMG Hammer is well and truly reborn with this latest generation of ultra-fast, luxurious and stylish new E63 models.

The E63 now wears the trendy sheetmetal to challenge even the sporty M6 and the Audi RS7 . Understated appeal has always been an AMG E-Class feature, but the new styling enhancements mean that the E63 is extremely serious, attention-grabbing and highly entertaining to enjoy up close.

Despite a subtle sedan shape, even blind people know that a very special car is approaching as the E63 AMG gurgles into earshot. This engine maintains much of the previous staccato machine-gun fire noise from the last cars’ naturally-aspirated engines.

In 2014, the E63 — for the first time — gains 4Matic all-wheel-drive as standard in the U.S. to go along with this beastly twin-boosted V-8, and a cabin whose luxury and comfort are contenders for world’s best.

Click past the jump for this exclusive TopSpeed Driven review of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model, including a few videos of the car in action as it slams through the gears on full throttle.

Posted on by Tushar  

Czech automaker Skoda Auto arrived at Frankfurt with a whole range of new models ranging from hatchbacks to sedans and even fast, sporty four-door saloons. It was time for the annual Frankfurt auto show and Skoda took this opportunity to unveil to the world a new design direction for future Skoda products. Their line-up also included brand new models that plug-in the gaps in the market. The Skoda Rapid Skoda Rapid Spaceback slots between the Fabia and the Rapid saloon. So let’s focus our attention on this new-comer and see what it has to offer.

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Guess who got his paws on a 2014 Corvette Stingray out in the wild this week?

The joy of hooning this hotly anticipated sports car was spoiled only by having to give it back to Chevy at the end of the day.

Are the touted enhancements to the cockpit, performance and road stance enough to put the C7 on the radar of young enthusiasts for the first time in decades? Or just a bald fatty special like the C5?

Much as the pace and V-8 bellow was to be admired in the C5 and C6, the Vette was too Plastic Fantastic to cause much of a sensation to the uninitiated. The old Vette’s key buyer group of Wal-Mart-shopping "rich" people certainly would not help any car’s cool factor.

But the C7 feels about a million miles from those two Extenze-popping machines.

Despite screeching performance and the all-conquering ZR-1, the C6 Vette was mired in image hell based on some of its buyers. An interior so low rent that catching crabs was a real possibility only confirmed suspicions that America’s Sports Car was just for creeps and perves.

Big, big changes for the C7 line. In a dream scenario this week, we found ourselves set loose in the C7. It was the meat of a day that also included a frightening hour in the Nissan GT-R (that left me trembling with delight) and a brief intro to the lumbering and oddly off-putting SRT Viper GTS .

But what to do in that Nirvana moment: a full tank of gas, the brand-new Chevrolet Corvette C7, and a heavy right foot? We cooked the tires, did a few straight-line blasts, and took as many pictures as the camera would hold.

Luckily, the impression this incredible car left is etched in the memory with the staying power of a brain tattoo.

Click past the jump for this exclusive TopSpeed Driven review of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, with nearly 75 all-new, high-resolution images of the production model we sampled.

Posted on by TB +  

The new Pathfinder is lighting up the sales charts with its seven seats and a newly luxurious, efficient and smooth driving experience. Far from going soft, the Pathfinder is still able to do all the truck-like things that made its previous body-on-frame models so memorable.

The TopSpeed Garage is much classier with the 2014 Pathfinder Platinum in "valet 1st position" out front.

Have kid-friendly features totally stomped out the lenedary toughness of the chiseled hardbody Nissan SUV’s from the 1980s? The irrelevance of this question is pretty clear. This is a business, and Nissan knows it.

We’re thrilled to report that the Pathfinder has not lost its way.

Guiding the trails like it did as one of the first semi-premium, imported SUVs in the 1980s, the Pathfinder is on a new trail now — a much smoother trail. One that has dual video monitors in back, a sliding/reclining second row to stretch out with the wireless headphones, and even a heated rear seats for the ultimate in couch potato lounge amenities in back.

But what about the irritating and non-premium character of most previous CVT automatics?

As confessed CVT haters and without rug-rats (yet), our expectations were quite mixed before the 2014 Pathfinder Platinum rolled into the TopSpeed Garage . The latest CVT automatic is standard and truly is a new breed of lightweight and economical transmissions, and we took a quick video of a brake torque launch to show how snappy this new Xtronic box is.

Click past the jump for the full TopSpeed Garage review of the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum 4x4, by far one of the most impressive seven-seat crossovers on the market.


The Cadillac Escalade has always been a love-it-or-hate-it type of vehicle, thanks to its awesome styling but terrible fuel economy. Sales have been falling off lately and incoming CAFÉ regulations are really putting the squeeze on GM to increase the overall fuel economy of its sole luxury automaker. This led to talks of the Escalade getting the axe in coming years, but apparently GM is not ready to throw in the towel yet.

Reports are pointing to an all-new Cadillac Escalade arriving in 2014 as an early-2015 model year. Instead of Caddy going the direction that many other SUV builders have gone, it will keep the Escalade on a truck frame, whereas many builders are changing SUVs to sit upon car platforms. This means that the 2015 Escalade will ride on the same platform as the soon-to-be released new Chevy Silverado and Sierra.

Unfortunately, we have nothing to really offer except speculation on the incoming Chevy and GMC trucks, as we have only seen heavily camouflaged models. All we can say for certain is that the Cadillac will share the same platform as its pickup brethren. Some experts are anticipating a change in the Silverado/Sierra twins that rivals the 1996 space shuttle treatment that the F-150 received. If this is the case, we can also expect a vastly redesigned Escalade.

We also know that GM has to work on the fuel economy of this luxury SUV to help it meet CAFÉ regulations in the future and the 18 highway mpg that the 2012 Escalade gets is simply not going to cut it. Look for GM to develop an engine that rivals the Ford’s EcoBoost V-6, like the 3.0-liter twin-turbo engine that has been mentioned, and toss it into the Escalade. The only other option would be to go turbo diesel, which may not sit well with Cadillac owners.

We will continue to bring you more information as it becomes available on the upcoming 2015 Escalade.

Updated 9/23/2013: Cadillac has unveiled a pair of teaser images of the 2015 Escalade, and it announced that it will reveal the 2015 Escalade on October 7, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. EST. You can see the reveal live, by clicking here. Additionally, Cadillac also released a series of teaser videos outlining some of the highlights of the model. You can see these videos after the jump.

Updated 10/01/2013: With just a few days before its official debut, Cadillac unveiled a new teaser image, this time revealing the interior of the 2015 Escalade. As expected the new SUV combines luxurious handcrafted elements with state-of-the-art advanced technology, this way offering the latest features in luxury, connectivity and safety for up to eight occupants.

Read more about the 2015 Cadillac Escalade after the jump

Posted on by TB +  

What is the appeal of a really hardcore performance sedan ? There are a dozen valid reasons, and most car guys will not need much persuading to get on-board. Killer pace starts from the new Panamera Turbo ’s projected 3.2-second blastoff to 60 mph.

The ingredients for the recipe are deceptively simple: big power all over the rev dial, rear-drive bias strongly preferred, and a manual box unless the automatic is absolutely state of the art.

The last and least important part? Those rear doors. Buyers of the hottest full-size performance sedans typically do not mind a tiny back seat. After all, the best possible passengers back there will probably be adoring ladies in thousand-dollar outfits.

So, megalux atmosphere back there is more important than true comfort and versatility. After all, you cannot take three beautiful and giggling best friends for a windows-down, radio-up spin in the hills without a swanky coupe-like sedan.

Even better is a stomping acceleration soundtrack and real panache outside the hottest bars and restaurants. No longer just Euro exclusives: all the cars on this list can be bought or ordered right here in the U.S. for 2013 or 2014.

Representatives from BMW , Mercedes, Lexus , Jaguar, Audi and Cadillac are also proudly represented in this market for $50,000-plus super sedans.

Click past the jump for the current Top Ten Best Performance Sedans, with a few in there you might not have expected.

Posted on by TB +  

With the roaring applause still ringing from the recent debuts of the new Silverado 1500 , Tahoe and Suburban , Chevy has also revealed a pretty heavy revamp for the 2015 HD trucks.

It seems the welcome reception to all the other new bow-tie trucks means that the 2014 model year will be very short: GM pushed up the HD release so that all the factories can start gearing up for the hugely-improved 2015 model year.

The Silverado HD’s updates are actually much deeper than a facelift, with the largest changes coming from the way the truck body is mounted to the chassis. Chevrolet is using a new type of welding process that is claimed to bring large increases in all rigidity measurements, cabin quietness and ride comfort.

The new nose looks pretty great, actually. Chevy ’s truck styling really seems to be very sharp these days. Projector beam lamps update the nose nicely, and a very dramatic chrome grille has far more shaping and structure to its surfaces.

Improvements to cooling and aerodynamics are hoped to increase highway fuel economy, where these big trucks really start to chug whatever fuel they are using at anything over 65 mph.

Drag is a real issue for these machines, and any HD owner will tell you that an 80 mph cruise with a trailer can switch the usual miles per gallon into gallons per mile.

Other changes include a totally-redesigned cabin, seats, infotainment and the whole vehicle’s electronic architecture. Under the hood, the engines are carryover but have a new engine management that integrates all the towing and stability safety features into its work flow.

What this boils down to for buyers is better economy, higher payload and towing stats, and a cruise control that now claims to be able to maintain a set speed even with a heavy trailer out back. Previous cruise controls for many cars will pop off and fail to keep a speed if doing so might make the engine stall.

So it is truck-a-palooza at Chevrolet this winter. Are buyers swayed by the new looks and vastly superior cabin?

Click past the jump for a closer look at the new sheetmetal, plus all the mechanical specs of the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD and Silverado 3500HD.

Posted on by Simona  

GMC released the official details on its 2015 Sierra HD lineup, which so happens to align perfectly with Ford revealing its competitor: the 2015 F-Series Super Duty. The model comes with a choice of two engines, two automatic transmission, an updated exterior look and an all-new, more comfortable and technology-infused interior — carried over from the 2014 Sierra 1500 .

GMC specially designed the all-new exterior in the wind tunnel to reduce wind noise and enhance powertrain cooling for more consistent performance. GMC also worked hard on the interior to make it quieter and more comfortable, with ample storage for work or travel and the intuitive connectivity of IntelliLink.

The 2015 GMC Sierra HD will be put on sale in the first quarter of 2014. Customers can choose from three models — 2500HD, 3500HD models and Denali HD — 18 different assemblies and more than 150 possible vehicle configurations. This should give customers plenty of freedom to build a Sierra HD that fits their needs perfectly.

Click past the jump to read more about the GMC Sierra HD.

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If every car company has one division of rock star engineers and stylists assigned to work on the most important projects, what do Lexus ’s biggest brains focus on? The new sport sedan platform is the result of intensive engineering at the very highest levels in the Toyota and Lexus organization. Twinned with the IS sedan, the GS was all-new for 2013 with looks that really warm up over time.

But the GS has always somewhat failed to deliver on its V-8 engine’s initial "Something Wicked This Way Comes" advertising campaign, even more than 15 years since the GS400 made every Lexus dealer a little bit more ’hip and trendy lounge’ versus a ’hip replacement center.’

The world seems like quite a different place now. The GS competes in the most challenging and action-packed segment of the luxury sedan market, the $40,000 to $60,000 class that also includes such exceptional machines as the Mercedes-Benz E350 with a new nine-speed automatic, the always-rapid BMW 535i and the quietly stellar Audi A6 .

The GS needs to be among the best if Lexus is to be successful outside its core niche of affluent and comfort-focused car shoppers who prefer not to own a German car.

Whether thinking the servicing will be too expensive, the image is not right, or myriad other reasons, Lexus wants to expand its niche to real car guys. If all goes well, the company should be able to please its existing clients and also have a shot at some respect in Europe and China, where Lexus is currently destroyed in sales by the three German luxury juggernauts.

Coming in the GS 450h Hybrid or the gasoline GS 350 or the GS 350 F Sport, the 2014 Lexus gets a new eight-speed automatic and some detail trim enhancements like something Lexus calls a ’superchrome’ finish on the wheels. The battle for luxury sedans is hotter than ever, and the new GS finally has some real advantages over its competition.

But is that enough for the 2014 Lexus GS 350?

Click past the jump to find out.

Posted on by TB +  

The Ford Fusion is becoming one of the biggest hits for any American automaker who dares tussle with the best-selling Accord and Camry . A grunty and quick EcoBoost triple-cylinder 1.5-liter joins the engine and drive layout choices for 2014, which now reaches seven variations — an unprecedented total for any American car starting at just $22,000.

So this handsome Ford runs a three-banger in 1.5-liter EcoBoost specification? Will it have the speed of a lawnmower and the engine note of a go-kart? Nope and nope. This is a potent engine, with much more power at all revs than the base 2.5-liter, four-cylinder. It’s also quite affordable to produce, so will hopefully take a larger percentage of Fusions than the pricier EcoBoost engine options.

Lastly, AWD is on the table with the top-spec 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine. Larger wheels look terrific, like they were milled from a solid block of aluminum, some swanky comfort and active safety tech, and a few new colors round out the Fusion’s updates for the new model year.

All this sounds good, but buying a Camry can be done blindfolded over the phone: are all these choices a recipe for confusion on American dealer lots?

Since becoming fans of the Fusion this summer with our Fusion Hybrid and Energi tester models, we’re happy to keep the Fusion rocking the sales charts.

Even so, the gasoline choices are fantastic for keen drivers: the manual box 1.6 EcoBoost or the 2.0-liter AWD are arguably even better vehicles for their lack of electrified tech.

Click past the jump to read all the latest updates for the 2014 Ford Fusion, one of the most confident and stylish midsize cars available.


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