News

News

Production of the insanely powerful 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat may be limited to only 1,200 units. That’s the word from Edmunds, citing a Chrysler Group person that did not want to be identified. Although the automaker has yet to confirm the said number, we won’t be surprised if this report turns out to be true. And for more than one reason.

First of all, it’s only natural for such a powerful machine to come available in limited quantities. The Hellcat is no regular Challenger and we don’t expect Dodge to keep it in production until the current generation model is phased out. At least not as a regular production car. Selling 1,200 examples each year for the next two to three years would make more sense. Sure, demand will surpass production and Dodge will have a lot of unhappy customers to deal with, but that’s what makes a muscle car like the Hellcat special.

Secondly, a limited run would bring more bad news to customers. As Hellcats will start disappearing from dealer preorder "lots," the $60,990 sticker (delivery included) will blow through the roof. Dealers win, Dodge wins, and customers will just have to fork more cash for the privilege of owning 707 horses and 650 pound-feet of torque in the shape of a Challenger.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.

Source: Edmunds

Looks like we’ve got some up-close and personal spy shots of the upcoming Mercedes-Benz MLC-Class , thanks to an emboldened shooter in Stuttgart, Germany. The pair of videos show some rather telling details of the coupe-like SUV as the videographer encircles the vehicle.

Up front, we see a huge Mercedes star with large chrome bars emanating sideways toward the nearly covered LED headlights. A rather aggressive front bumper indicates the MLC’s sporty nature. Rising up from those headlights is a striking beltline that curves dramatically upward to meet the high rear end and low roofline contour. The side windows are smaller than a traditional SUVs’ as the roof is very rounded. Down low, flat side steps run between the wheel wells for ease of entry and exit.

On the back, the rear window seems nearly flat as it leads from the roof down to the trunk lid. Three-dimensional taillights can be seen, despite Mercedes’ best attempts with swirly camo. The right-hand-side fuel-filler door can also be seen. Twin chrome exhausts tips are just barely visible along the rear bumper’s lower fascia.

And speaking of those exhaust tips, at about 20 seconds into the 50-second video, you can hear what almost sounds like a turbo four-cylinder as the MLC accelerates off. Sadly, there are too many other ambient noises around to get a clear sound of what powers the upcoming Mercedes.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mercedes MLC.

Lexus has confirmed something a lot of us have been waiting for, a production version of the LF-Lc Coupe will come out in 2016. If there was ever a time to buy some stock on the Japanese automaker, now’s the time to do it. Autocar is reporting that Lexus actually has big plans for the production version of the LF-Lc. Turns out, the model isn’t just going to be a sports car in Lexus’ lineup; it’s going to be the sports car in the lineup, replacing the departed LF-A to claim that title.

Who saw that coming?

Lexus Europe vice-president Alain Uyttenhoven confirmed as much, telling Autocar that the LF-Lc will not be a “huge volume” model. Instead, it’s being prepared as a model to “boost brand image," which is probably a less direct way of saying that the LF-Lc is going to be the halo model of the brand.

This is tremendous news for fans of Lexus, especially those who couldn’t afford the LF-A and its $375,000 price tag. According to Uyttenhoven, the production LF-Lc is going to cost significantly less than the LF-A . He also indicated that the company plans to retain the design architecture of the concept model into the production version.

This is incredible news, especially for those that have waited years to hear those words of confirmation come directly from the horse’s mouth.

Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus LF-Lc.

Source: AutoCar

It is Thursday, and you know what that means; time to hang out with your three favorite petrol-heads!

Today Mark, Justin and I spend a lot of time talking about a lot of cars. Me and Mark talk about how awesome the Toyota Avalon can be, Justin and I then argue about the Kia K900 and equipment in cars, and wrap up with Mark talking about the very big and expensive GMC Yukon Denali .

When we move on, I talk about my week with the Miata. Spoiler: I think its freaking amazing and everyone should buy one. I also take some time to talk about how awesome other Miata owners seem to be.

When we finally get around to the news we take time to discuss the future collaboration of BMW and Toyota , the upcoming family of Cadillac s with V badges, and we even talk about a diesel-powered Audi R8 .

Viewer questions include the most beautiful car we have ever seen and advice on selling your own car. We finish with an Own, Drive, Burn segment that features three of the most expensive cars ever sold.

Thanks for watching and listening. You can reach us in the comments below, or find us on Twitter @TopSpeedPodcast. If you prefer, you can reach us by email at Podcast@TopSpeed.com

See everyone next week!

If you want to talk to me, Justin or Mark directly you can find us on Twitter here:
Moe - @Moeferd
Justin - @TheCarJunkie
Mark - @MarkMcNabb

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and apparently the driver in these two videos has love for bread and milk on a whole other level. Or perhaps he just needed an excuse to go drifting around town on what is normally a mundane grocery run.

The two videos include some pretty sweet gymkhana-style action around dirt roads, farms, and rock quarries. Not to spoil the fun, but the story line in both videos revolved around our hotshoe friend realizing he’s out of ingredients to make his girl a tasty breakfast. As the girl slowly realizes her Subaru -owning man isn’t in bed with her, she awakens and walks into the kitchen only to find him preparing a meal with the just-snatched ingredients.

Besides implying that owning a Subaru and hooning it like Ken Block will save your romantic relationship, the videos are extremely entertaining to watch. They may not be the most professionally shot videos in the world, but the content sure makes up for quality.

Above is the new2015 Subaru WRX STI hooning about and below the jump is the current Subaru BRZ doing its thing. Both are fun watches, so be sure to check them both out.

Subaru BRZ Gymkhana video after the jump and for info on the cars.

Ford Motor Company is reportedly pondering a factory GT program that will see the Detroit-based manufacturer return to the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans race after a very long absence. The comeback is scheduled for 2016, SportsCar365 reports citing industry sources, when Ford is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its first overall win at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Ford, who is currently providing EcoBoost engines to a prototype program with Riley Technologies in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, is said to be evaluating a factory GT project. If the program comes to fruition, the Blue Oval will join the iconic Le Mans event in the GTE category for production-based cars. Set to receive new regulations for 2016, the GTE class is currently disputed by companies such as Ferrari , Porsche , Chevrolet , and Aston Martin .

While this is great news for every motorsport enthusiasts, our advice is to take this report with a pinch of salt. For Ford to be able to join the famed race in 2016, a vehicle should already be in development, and not just a pending approval. Unless the said race car is a well-guarded secret, chances are slim for Ford to make a comeback to Le Mans as soon as 2016.

Click past the jump to read more about Ford at Le Mans.

Source: sportscar365

The BMW -Toyota partnership is beginning to take shape with more news about what’s in store from this marriage. Rumors have circulated since the two automakers announced the partnership back in January 2013, a lot of which have centered on the revival of the Toyota Supra and the development of the next-generation BMW Z4. But Automobile is reporting that the next BMW Z4 won’t be the fruit of the Bavarian automaker’s collaboration with its Japanese counterpart. Instead, it will be a Z4 replacement that will be called the Z5.

The Z5 will first arrive in concept form next year, around the same time Toyota introduces its own concept sports car. Unlike the Toyota concept, which is rumored to come as a hardtop coupe, the Z5 will begin its life as a roadster, albeit one that uses a classic soft top instead of a retractable hard top. It does seem that BMW is developing the Z5 as more of a replacement model to the Z4 instead of billing it as a successor.

As such, the Z5 is expected to come with its own identity independent of the Z4, including a new sports car architecture similar to what Toyota will use on the revived Supra sports coupe. BMW is even targeting the Z5 to weigh around 3,300 pounds, right around the same weight as the Z4.

Note: BMW Zagato Roadster pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2018 BMW Z5.

It appears that Audi is planning to ramp the number of models it offers to 60 by the end of this decade. Though 60 models sounds like a tremendous number, Audi already produces 50. Adding an extra 10 vehicles in the next five years will be no easy task, however. The news comes by way of an interview Audi exec Chairman Rupert Stadler had with Car Magazine.

Stadler wouldn’t discuss the exact makeup of the 10 upcoming vehicles, but he did reveal the details about one, the Q1 crossover. The Q1 will share many of its components with the small Audi A1 and act in relation to it like the Q3 does with the A3 . “You’ll see the Q1 at the end of 2015 or possibly early 2016,” Stadler told Car. “The Audi Q1 is part of our broad-based SUV strategy. It is designed on the basis of the MQB modular transverse engine concept and will round off our Q series at the bottom end.”

While the Q1 will be an all-new product, it’s unlikely Audi’s other nine vehicles will be so unique. Remember that Audi counts each sub model as its own, so the S- and RS-badged vehicles are counted separately in the overall number, despite them sharing a large majority of parts with the their less-powerful versions.

Stadler mentioned possible open slots for cars in the C- and D-segments for vehicles priced over €70,000 to 80,000 price bracket. That possibly means new spin-offs of the A6 , A7 , and A8 sedans. He says the A4 and A5 vehicles are an existing example, as it’s complete with Avants , coupes , and Sportbacks.

Click past the jump to read more about Audi’s future plans.

Source: CAR

Hold off on those plans to buy the whimsical-sounding Porsche Pajun . You’re likely not going to see the model until at least 2019, so says a reported overhaul of the automaker’s roll-out product plans, known as the Porsche Product Strategy 2018.

CAR is reporting that a significant turning of the tide within Porsche stemming from the scrapping of the company’s future intentions and the Pajun is one of the unwitting victims of this drastic change of heart.

Porsche Product Strategy 2018 Initial called for the Pajun to be launched within the next four years. That timetable is still a little stretched, but at least it was concrete enough to justify the wait.

But with CAR saying that the Volkswagen Group is trying to scale down its investments in future products for supposed business reasons, all those plans under Porsche Product Strategy 2018 are now being set aside.

Initially, the Pajun was part of those plans. But with this new directive coming down from the mothership, the timetable for the model’s launch has been moved further into the future. The earliest date being thrown around is 2019, but even that appears to be an optimistic view of things.

So there’s a possibility that we won’t even see the production Pajun for another 10 years. That may be a glass-half-empty way of looking at this development, but when it comes to long-term timetables like this, it’s best to not keep your hopes up.

Click past the jump to read more about the Porsche Pajun.

Source: CAR

Grab a bag of popcorn boys and girls, MotorTrend’s latest episode of "Head 2 Head" is live on YouTube! Pitted against one another this time is the Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG and the Jaguar F-Type V-6 S. Both are convertibles , and both come with plenty of drop-top attitude.

Up first is the 2014 Mercedes SLK55 AMG, which is powered by a 5.5-liter, naturally aspirated V-8 making 415 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. The AMG mill is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission that drives the rear tires. The combination is good for a 0-to-60-mph run of just 4.2 seconds on its way to a 12.6-second quarter mile run at 113.3 mph. Around the skid pad, the Merc holds a 0.93 G of lateral acceleration.

The Jaguar F-Type V-6 S is similarly matched with the Mercedes, though its power comes from a V-6. The Jag’s supercharged, 3.0-liter V-6 kicks out 375 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission does the shifting, while the rear tires lay power to the ground. The Jag has a respectable 0-to-60-mph run of 4.4 seconds and does the quarter mile in 13 seconds flat at 108.7 mph. The F-Type matches the SLK in road holding, laying down 0.93 G.

MotorTrend host Jonny Lieberman takes the two contenders to two of their natural habitats: the beach and the back roads. Both cars excel in both areas, though the SLK got negative remarks about its high doors, slow transmission, and lackluster interior. The Jaguar , on the other hand, got almost nothing but praise for its ridiculous exhaust, ZF-sourced eight-speed tranny, solid brakes, and smooth steering.

For more, just watch the video. Leave a comment below with your thoughts.


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