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Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

On the US market since the 2012 model year, the third-generation Mercedes-Benz M-Class is about to get its mid-cycle refresh, which will bring significant revisions inside and out.

Expected to break cover in the fourth quarter of the year, the facelifted 2015 M-Class will gain new front and rear fascias that include not only reshaped bumpers and grille, but a pair of redesigned headlamps and a revamped hood as well.

Although our most recent spy shots show an SUV that features the already available taillights, these are likely to be replaced with updated units once the prototype becomes a production model.

Moving into the cabin, the most important update Mercedes-Benz has in store for the M-Class is a much larger infotainment system placed on top of the center console and a new, three-spoke steering wheel. Both features are already available on the all-new C-Class sedan , and will remain with the SUV until a fourth-generation model is conceived on a clean sheet of paper.

As far as powertrains are concerned, existing engines are likely to receive some updates, but word has it a new hybrid model is also in the works.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mercedes-Benz ML-Class.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

Introduced in 1981, the DeLorean DMC-12 was a rear-engined sports car built in Northern Ireland for the American market. The vehicle acquired iconic status after staring in the Back to the Future film trilogy, in which Dr. Emmett Brown used it as a time machine.

These details, and the fact that the DMC-12 had gull-wing doors and unpainted stainless-steel body panels, are part of common knowledge nowadays, as most of the car’s history. However, the full DeLorean story is still intriguing after more than 30 years.

Why? Because DeLorean went into bankruptcy due to an unstable U.S. car market that finally slumped in the early 1980s. There’s also the fact that the DMC-12 looked faster than it really was with only 130 horsepower at its disposal and a sluggish 0 to 60 mph time of 10.5 seconds. This car could’ve been more than that.

DMC-12 aside, John DeLorean’s life is also worthy of a Hollywood movie. He worked for Chrysler , Packard, Pontiac (developed the GTO muscle car ) and Chevrolet before starting his own company, and got out of the automotive business after being framed, arrested and tried for trafficking cocaine.

With John DeLorean having passed away nearly ten years ago, only a handful of people can talk about and relate to his dream. One of them is Stephen Wynne, the man behind the new DeLorean company based in Texas, and the other one is James Espey, vice president of the small business venture that acquired the trademark in 1995.

They are now building DMC-12s from new-old-stock parts and, most importantly, carry the DeLorean legacy further into the future. Just like "Doc" Brown did in his heavily modified example of the car.

Posted on by Christian Moe +  

There was a time where bespoke, coachbuilt cars were nearly as common as standard cars. For decades names like Gläser, Zagato and Vanden Plas ruled the coachbuilding world providing custom cars for any customer with the cash and the imagination.

Thanks to unibody car construction, coachbuilding has become a nearly extinct art, but Aston Martin is reviving the spirit of the coachbuilt car with its new Q option. You won’t be able to get a custom designed body, but Q will let you alter, modify or customize almost any portion of the car to your desires. Do you want a Vanquish purple leather seats with neon green stitching, with a yellow-colored, carbon-fiber dash and orange floor mats? You can have it. Do you want to have a DB9 with all the interior trim pieces covered in wood that has been stained to match your favorite tie? You can have that done as well.

Aston Martin will even let you get customized luggage sets, umbrellas and picnic baskets. If you can dream it, Aston Martin will do its best to make it happen. The video above gives just a small taste of what wonderful things are possible with this new Q program. Some of the creations are utterly beautiful, and some will make you cringe, but each is a unique and noteworthy display of craftsmanship and design.

God help me if they ever make building a Q car into a fully interactive online car configurator.

Just in time for some weekend daydreaming, Subaru launches its online configurator for the all-new 2015 WRX and WRX STI , though this one doesn’t contain nearly the options a few of the other configurators we’ve recently seen.

What you can chose is one of three trim levels with the standard WRX model and two trim levels with the upgraded WRX STI. With its base price starting at $26,295 the WRX makes a good bargain for someone looking for an AWD car that can handle a leisurely drive one minute and burn up a dirt road the next. Moving upward from there is the WRX Premium, adding a moonroof, fog lights, headed front seats, and a rear spoiler. Topping out the WRX list is the Limited trim which included leather seats, LED headlights, and keyless access and start.

Jumping up to the racier WRX STI gets you many things — the most important of which is the 305-horsepower version of the 2.0-liter, boxer engine. Also included is the driver-controlled center differential and Brembo brakes. The top-dog range topper is the WRX STI Limited. That bad-boy gets leather seats and, more importantly, a set of 18-inch aluminum-alloy BBS wheels. Checking the box for the STI Limited will automatically set you back $38,495. Performance does come at a price.

You can build your own WRX HERE

Click past the jump for all the options and color schemes available

Source: Subaru

The second and latest episode of Drive’s "Inside Koenigsegg" web series is now up online. In keeping up with the overall theme of the second season, this episode returns to showcase the 5.0-liter, V-8 engine of the powerful supercar it has ever built: the Koenigsegg One:1 .

Much has been said about the One:1 and all of them has been either tinted with breathless amazement or shameless gushing. We admit to having fallen to both states at one point or another. But for all the technological wonder of the One:1, the heart of the car remains its massive V-8 engine that spits out an ungodly 1,340 horsepower and 1,011 pound-feet of torque.

Koenigsegg founder Christian Von Koenigsegg returns to give us a rundown on the development of the One:1’s engine, including his disclosure that the One:1’s engine is actually an evolution of the one sitting inside the Agera R .

In order to generate that much more horsepower, Koenigsegg went and changed a number of the engine’s mechanical components, including the camshafts, the springs, the valves, the injectors, the fuel pumps, and the turbochargers. And that’s just the physical changes, as Koenigsegg put it. Software modifications were also done to raise the redline of the engine.

As always, it’s a fascinating look inside one of the most highly regarded supercar manufacturers in the world and how it goes about the business of continuing to raise the bar of exotic engineering.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

The breathtaking Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge is inching closer to production. That’s a fact! There’s no word when the company will start accepting checks for lightning-fast sedan, but the Japanese automaker have just announced they will be showcasing new footage with the Eau Rouge at the Beijing Auto Show later this month.

Unfortunately, the prototype Infiniti’s performance division has been working on the past months won’t be displayed during the event, but new details, as well as part of the development process, will be revealed in China. Considering what this vehicle has to offer, we can keep our shirts on for a while longer.

While the manufacturer declined to go into specifics in its latest press blast, it did mention that the sports sedan was put through a series of grueling tests at UK’s Millbrook Proving Ground facility.

Trials were carried out by four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel, Infiniti’s Director of Performance and the man behind the beefed up version of the FX that was launched a few years back. You can see the video of these tests above.

Further info will become available on April 20, so make sure you tune in for the full details.

Click past the jump to read more about Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge.

Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

What’s green and starts with a "C?" No, it’s not creme de menthe, nor is it a cucumber. It’s the craziest factory-build Mercedes-Benz that hit the streets this year. And before you say anything, it’s not eco-friendly either. It’s actually from the gas-guzzler kin, because its name ends with "AMG" and "GT."

Yes, you guessed it, we have a new set of spy shots featuring a prototype model of the upcoming Mercedes AMG GT , the sports car that’s set to replace the SLS AMG . We’ve saw the car earlier this year, while it was stretching its legs in cold Scandinavia, but at that time it was wearing a more common camouflage.

We have no idea as to what prompted the Germans to wrap their mule in a wacky, toxic-green suit that reminds us of the poisonous dart frogs living in the South-American rainforest, but we might as well do a recap on the AMG GT.

What we know so far is that the new sports car will be primarily aimed at the Porsche 911 , and that it will be powered by a brand new 4.0-liter, V-8 plant. Don’t let the displacement fool you, this unit is expected to send up to 500 horsepower through the seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission.

Naturally, the AMG GT will resemble the SLS AMG in terms of styling, as it will share some of the technologies found in the latter, including a modified aluminum space frame. However, further updates should make the former lighter, faster and more maneuverable on the track.

What we don’t know is when Mercedes-Benz plans to unveil its new creation. Some reports are suggesting it could happen at the New York Auto Show later this month, while other point toward the Paris Motor Show , scheduled this fall.

Click past the jump to read more about Mercedes AMG GT.


Formula DRIFT Long Beach bydriftstream

The tires are just getting warmed up on the Streets of Long Beach at Round One of the 2014 Formula DRIFT taking place today and tomorrow (April 4-5) in sunny southern California. Marking the start to the 11th season for one of America’s fastest growing motor sport, Formula D can be viewed LIVE right here on TopSpeed via DailyMotion.

As the season progresses through the summer, the championships will be hosted all over the country before the final round is concluded October 11th in Irwindale, California at the unofficial “House of Drift” and birthplace of American drifting motorsports, the Irwindale Speedway.

Formula DRIFT seasons consists of two-day meets or “Rounds” where drivers compete against a set of criteria before a panel of judges who look for the best used techniques, skills, and control. Three major areas of each driver’s run are scored: line, angle, and style — with each worth a certain number of points as follows.

Line judge can award up to 25 points + 10 points for Style
Angle judge can award up to 25 points + 10 points for Style
Style judge can award up to 30 points
Total maximum points is 100

For more information on Formula DRIFT, check out their website here. But be sure to give the live stream a watch. It’s an unbelievably exciting motorsport with tons of tire smoke, revving engines, and sideways shenanigans.

Source: DailyMotion
Posted on by Ciprian Florea +  

About two weeks ago. we reported about McLaren ’s decision to pause 12C production to focus on the brand new 650S. Well, it appears that the temporary halt has just become permanent, with the British company revealing that the three-year-old 12C will no longer be built.

The move comes at no surprise, as the newly-launched 650S has proven to be quite popular with customers. Although it’s more expensive than the 12C, the new supercar will keep McLaren busy with an order bank that spans over at least six months.

Although it has stopped producing and taking orders for the MP4-12C , McLaren will continue to work on improvements for the said model. Starting June, 12C drivers will benefit from a free Technology Upgrade that includes a software update and an improved IRIS system.

First up is a new Active Aero software which will enable the car’s Airbrake to detect different driving scenarios and thus improve stability. The second upgrade included in the package is a Drag Reduction System (DRS) mode. Created to enhance high-speed aerodynamics, the DRS mode lowers the rear wing when the 12C is driven at full throttle in a straight line.

Lastly, an improved Android-based IRIS infotainment system will also come with the Technology Upgrade.

In addition, McLaren promises that the reversing camera and the DAB radio introduced on the 650S will be offered to 12C owners at "a special price."

Click past the jump to read more about McLaren MP4-12C.

Posted on by Christian Moe +  

You guys have asked for it since the first day the TopSpeed Podcast hit the site. “We want video,” cried the unified mass of listeners. Well now we are looking into making that happen for you, but we need some help. The act of creating a video version of your new favorite podcast is proving to be a bit more challenging and time consuming than originally anticipated, so we need feedback and input.

How much does the video feed enhance your enjoyment of the podcast? Is the quality on par with what you expect from us here at TopSpeed? We need to know if we are truly giving you the best content possible. This is a learning experience for all of us, so we thought we should give you guys some background on how we are bringing you the new video format, and we are looking for criticism on what we are doing right or wrong, and what you guys want to see changed.

Here is the most important part, guys. If we don’t have enough response and support for the video, we will be sticking to audio only. So if you want this video, LET US KNOW.

We have put the new video version of Episode 005 after the jump, along with a full run down of how we made this happen; complete with software and equipment lists.

Click past the jump to see the TopSpeed.com Podcast 005 video and how it was made.


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