News

News

Launched in 1996 as a rear-wheel-drive, mid-engined roadster, the Lotus Elise replaced the aging Elan in the company’s lineup. Initially powered by a 118-horsepower, 1.8-liter Rover engine, the little roadster weighed only 1,598 pounds and was able to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in only 5.8 seconds. More powerful iterations, including one that came with 190 horsepower on tap, were released until the first-generation model was replaced in 2001. The second-gen sports car came with revised exterior styling and a refreshed interior, while the Rover engine was dropped in favor of a Toyota -sourced, 1.8-liter four-banger. The second-gen Elise received a mild facelift in 2011, when an entry-level, 1.6-liter unit was introduced for the European market. As we’re moving closer to 2015, Lotus began testing a new version of the Elise on the Nurburgring track.

Spotted for the very first time by our skilled paparazzi, this Elise prototype appears to be a road-legal version of the track-prepped Cup R model launched in 2013.

Click past the jump to read about the Lotus Elise R

Jaguar Land Rover has been really working on its in-car technologies these days. Remember all the fancy self-learning software inside those Land Rovers in this video? Well, Jaguar is showcasing its own set of dashboard wizardry in the upcoming 2016 Jaguar XE with this swanky video.

With the help of animated parts exploding outward for detailed views, Jaguar’s Global Connected Car Director, Mike Bell, takes us on a tour of what we can expect from the upcoming luxury car .

The Jaguar XE will be the first of many Jaguars featuring the automaker’s "InControl Touch Infotainment system" that integrates many advanced features through an eight-inch touch screen in the dash and Jaguar’s new Plain Speech Voice Control system. The infotainment software will seamlessly connect with both Apple and Android devices for in-car integration of certain applications. An in-car Wi-Fi hotspot allows multiple devices to access high-speed Internet.

Also present is an optional laser-projected heads-up display system that shows information over the entire width of the windshield including driving directions, vehicle information, and even road sign recognition. Of course a premium audio system will be featured; this one coming from Meridian.

Protecting all this valuable technology and the entire Jaguar XE will be the InControl Protect and InControl Secure systems with the former allowing for SOS emergency and Jaguar Assistance calls to be placed without the need for a cell phone in the car while the latter allows authorities to track the vehicle should it become stolen.

Overall it seems Jaguar Land Rover is working hard on becoming the leader of in-car technology and smart phone integration. We’re looking forward to getting our hands on this gadgetry when it debuts in late 2015.

Hyundai appears to be considering entering the luxury crossover market to compete with the Lexus RX , Audi Q5 , and Cadillac SRX . That’s according to an interview Edmunds.com had recently with Hyundai CEO Dave Zuchowski.

However, Zuchowski says the main problem with creating a luxury SUV would be having a place to sell it. “We made a conscious decision on our premium products not to establish a secondary distribution channel,” he says. “And that decision, and we absolutely think it is the right decision, has some flow-through impact on products.”

So in other words, Hyundai doesn’t think a premium SUV or crossover would sell well within conventional Hyundai dealerships. The Korean automaker is already traveling down this bumpy road with its classy Genesis and Equus sedans, products that far exceed the Hyundai brand perception held by the general public. Hyundai does have that "dealership within a dealership" concept in use where the premium products are separated from the non-premium vehicles, but apparently the concept isn’t working well enough for it to add an SUV to the Genesis and Equus side of the showroom.

Regardless of the selling method, the SUV itself would likely be based on the seven-passenger Santa Fe . It would likely keep the same underpinnings and powertrain, but have completely unique styling and an interior that matched the luxuriousness of the all-new 2015 Genesis sedan.

Zuchowski and Hyundai appear to be stuck behind their decision to remain a singular brand and not create a secondary luxury label like Toyota’s Lexus or Nissan’s Infiniti . Zuchowski uses the example of Toyota and Lexus in selling mechanically similar products with different levels of refinement. "The RX is basically the Toyota Highlander and they can charge a premium for that vehicle because they are sold in different showrooms," Zuchowski says.

For now, Hyundai’s plans for rolling out a Lexus RX competitor are on hold, with Zuchowski implying that once a sales method has been reached, the automaker could move forward.

Note: Photo is of the Hyundai Intrado Concept

Click past the jump to read about the Hyundai Intrado Concept

Source: Edmunds

Things aren’t looking so good for Aston Martin’s future if the automaker fails to get an exemption from the U.S. government’s crash test standards regarding its DB9 and Vantage models. More specifically, both models fail to comply with the new side-impact crash standards coming into effect next month and therefore would not qualify for sale within the U.S. Bloomberg reports Aston Martin filed for an exemption for the two cars last year, but the word is still out on whether the automaker will be able to continue selling the two models without making significant structural changes to meet the higher standards.

The exemptions would allow the DB9 to be sold through August 2016 and the Vantage through August 2017. Without such leeway, the automaker could suffer tremendous financial losses to its dealer network, resulting in many lost jobs and closed franchises.

With the independently owned Aston Martin already in a tight financial bind, the automaker likely cannot afford to significantly alter the DB9 and Vantage to comply with the new legislation. Since Aston Martin isn’t a part of a larger organization of automakers, it cannot simply borrow technology or shift funds to fix the problem.

The new side-impact crash standards taking effect next month are designed to heighten a vehicle’s ability to protect occupants against impacts with solid objects such as utility poles and trees.

Click past the jump to read about the Aston Martin Vantage and DB9

Source: Bloomberg

The unique i8 hybrid sports car German automaker BMW built for the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance fetched $825,000 during Gooding & Company’s annual Pebble Beach auction. Sold ahead of the official vehicle U.S. sale date for about six time the sticker — set at $135,700 — the i8 Concours d’Elegance has set a record that’s likely to stick around for a few years.

Proceeds of the i8’s sale will go to the Pebble Beach Company Foundation, which raises funds for Monterey County youth. The foundation is known for awarding grants for arts, athletics, environmental sciences, educational organizations and community programs.

The winning bidder takes home a one-of-a-kind BMW i8 finished in a bespoke, Individual exterior color, and fitted with custom upholstery and trim accents. More importantly, he gets to drive the hybrid sports car long before it reaches North American dealerships.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8 Concours d’ Elegance Edition

Ever have nightmares about handing some shady valet character the keys to your ride? Apparently Corvette engineers suffer long, sleepless nights from the thought of their baby being joy-ridden around the parking garage. Well worry no more, as the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray now comes with an upgraded Valet Mode.

Sure, other high performance and luxury nameplates come with a valet mode and the 2014 Stingray did as well, but the 2015 Vette now offers owners some extra reassurance. The valet system now ties in with the Performance Data Recorder to record not only vehicle speed, engine revs and other vital stats, but also records audio and HD video of the driving event while you’re away.

Besides keeping watch over the car, Valet Mode still locks all interior storage spaces and restricts access to the infotainment system via a simple four-digit PIN entered to begin and end the Valet Mode session. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to limit the Corvette’s performance capabilities, so valet employees still have access to the 6.2-liter’s 460 horsepower, 465 pound-feet of torque, and its 190-mph top speed. It also doesn’t prevent that rookie driver from burning out your clutch while trying to squeeze your Vette between an SUV and minivan in the parking garage.

Check out the humorous video above Chevrolet created to showcase the 2015 Stingray’s new feature.

If you’re one of those gearheads who has his fingers crossed for a mid-engined Corvette , then this report will likely keep your hopes up. According to Motor Trend, quoting "multiple sources" around General Motors , the next-generation Corvette will have its V-8 engine mounted behind the seats. What’s more, the report suggests a mid-engine Corvette could come as soon as the C7 -based ZR1 hits the market.

Just as we pointed out back in June 2014, when Chevy trademarked the "Zora " name, Motor Trend also hints that the said moniker will be used on a mid-engined Corvette. A move that would make sense, given that Zora Duntov himself created a mid-engined Corvette prototype in the early 1960s. Dubbed CERV II, the concept also featured a unique AWD system which, at the time, would’ve helped GM develop one of the most advanced supercars for the road.

Unfortunately, the CERV II never became more than just a concept and Chevrolet never offered supercar. But that could change in a few years if Motor Trend’s report proves to be accurate.

Now we know what some of you might be thinking; shifting the Corvette’s engine from the front to the middle would be a huge departure from the ’Vette’s 60-year-old legacy. Well, not quite. Motor Trend speculates that Chevy is considering a "Corvette family" for the next-generation, C8 model. Specifically, the lineup could include both a familiar, front-engine sports car and a mid-engine supercar .

Click past the jump to read about the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

Source: Motor Trend

We’ve known about the 458 Speciale Spider — or whatever it name ends up being — since June 2014, and we all know that it’ll essentially be mechanically identical to its coupe sibling. This means that it’ll carry a 4.5-liter, V-8 engine with 605 cv (596 ponies) and 398 pound-feet of torque. This should translate to a 0-to-60-mph time in the low-three-second range. What we didn’t know, until today, is just how limited it will be.

According to 4WheelsNews, the 458 Special Spider will be limited to exactly 458 units. The website does not list a source, other than the typical "insider," so a grain of salt may be in order.

Other details that 4WheelsNews learned while talking to a "friend" who attended a special unveiling of the Spider include some styling variations between this and the coupe model. The main variances of note are the different stripes that come on the Spider model and two new wheel options. Like the report of the number of units, the source is an unnamed "friend," so this could end up not being the case.

We should learn all the juicy details soon, as we expect to see the 458 Speciale Spider in the flesh at the 2014 Paris Motor Show in October.

Click past the jump to read more about the Ferrari 458 Speciale

Source: 4WheelsNews

Some people see the infiltration of compact SUVs into the luxury realm as a bit of a waste. They are only marginally larger than hatchbacks , get worse fuel economy than most hatchbacks and simply aren’t as composed as most hot hatchbacks. But most people haven’t driven the BMW X4 and the all-new Porsche Macan ; specifically, the Macan S Diesel and the X4 xDrive30d.

Steve Sutcliffe had the opportunity to not only test out both SUVs, but he also got a chance to test them out back-to-back. What’s more, Steve refrained from doing the typical "how fast does it go" test. Though he did get into straight-line speed, he also tested out their light off-road capabilities, roominess and handling.

The BMW X4 xDrive30d carries with it 258 horses, 560 Nm (413 pound-feet) of torque, a 0-to-62-mph time of 5.8 seconds and a 234-km/h (145-mph) top speed. The Porsche Macan S Diesel carries 258 horsepower, 580 Nm (428 pound-feet) of torque, a 0-to-62-mph sprint of 6.3 seconds and a 230-km/h (142-mph) top speed. On paper, it appears as if the X4 will trot to an easy victory, but Sutcliffe goes beyond paper to see if the X4 can hold up in real life too.

Check out the video to see the results of the test.

Source: Autocar UK

The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 is undoubtedly an awesome track-prepped machine, the ultimate fifth-generation Camaro if you will. But to my eyes, the 2014 model is no match to the original Z/28 , especially if we’re talking about a Trans Am-spec race car .

Chevy introduced the Z/28 option for the 1967 model year, promoting it as a "virtually race-ready" Camaro available at any U.S. dealer. Fitted with a 4.9-liter, small-block V-8 specifically designed to race in the Trans Am series, the Z/28 became a huge success by 1969, when it accounted for nearly 22 percent of total Camaro production of the year.

The Z/28 was off to a slow start in Trans Am, losing the 1967 championship to Ford and Mercury . However, the bowtie-badged muscle car went on to dominate the competition in both 1968 and 1969 with Mark Donohue behind the wheel. In two years, the Camaro Z/28 won 21 of 25 events, crushing Detroit rivals from Ford and its Mustang . The streak ended once the second-gen Camaro was introduced in 1970 and it took Chevy five more years to win another championship, this time with the Corvette .

Although the Camaro returned to the spotlight with seven Trans Am titles in the 1980s and 1990s, none of these vehicles managed to reach the fame of the first-gen Z/28s. Not at all surprising considering the stardom the first-gen Camaro so rightfully enjoys. There’s more than that, of course. The looks, the sound, and all the amazing things surrounding late 1960s racing. Most of us aren’t lucky enough to climb into one of those Trans Am beasts, but Motor Trend’s Jess Lang managed to hoon a 1969 Camaro Z/28 around the Laguna Seca . Hit the play button to find out why the first-gen Z/28 is one of the most enticing muscle cars ever built.


1 2 3 4 5 next >
Back to top