sedan

sedan

  A sedan car is a four-door vehicle, with a separate hood covering the engine in the front, and a separate trunk for luggage at the rear — the achetypical 3-box car. However, other variations of the body style exist as well, including two-door and hatchback/fastback models.

The term "sleeper car" goes back to the 1950s, when American manufacturers started building high output cars that would eventually spawn into muscle cars a decade later. Tracking the first sleeper is a daunting task, but most stories lead to the 1955 Chrysler C-300, a two-door, luxury coupe motivated by a 5.4-liter V-8 engine rated at 300 horsepower. It was the first production passenger car to come with 300 ponies on tap and a design that had nothing to say about that. The "all go and no show" car was born, a trend that would continue with vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9, the Lotus Carlton or the Audi RS2 Avant.

Sleepers are still among us in 2014. Looking for a very fast car that doesn’t scream "I’m fast as a bullet!"? There are plenty of options to choose from that cover various segments. Sedans , wagons, SUVs , you name it. Be careful though, you might miss them due to their bland styling. Make sure you have a look under the hood and check that spec sheet.

Meanwhile, I put together a list of Top 5 Sleeper Cars available today. It includes a few American-built vehicles, and a couple more coming from cold, snowy Sweden and rugby-loving Australia. Check them out past the jump and tell me your thoughts in the comments section. Did I miss anything? Is there a vehicle that shouldn’t be on this list?

Click past the just to read more about the best sleeper cars on the market.

The GS is the second-largest sedan you can buy from Lexus , and it is one of the most luxurious. It comes loaded with all the leather, wood and technology you would expect from the brand, but it comes with something most Lexus models are missing; a touch of anger and performance. Lexus sells the GS with an adjustable sports suspension, an F Sport model and even a hybrid that promises to let you have fun.

Lexus has proven that it can do some great things with the F brand, but I had to laugh at the idea of a fun hybrid from the brand. Low and behold a Starfire Pearl colored GS450h rolled into my driveway for me to beat and cane on for a whole week. After experiencing what Porsche can do with the Panamera Hybrid , I was interested to see if Lexus could make a hybrid that was “fun.”

It has more than 300 horsepower, promises more than 30 mpg, and it looks great to boot. If there was ever going to be a hybrid from the Toyota family that I would enjoy, it would be this one. Let’s jump and in and drop the hammer; it’s time to see what this thing is made of.

Read on to find out more about the 2014 Lexus GS450h

The Audi A8 may be a luxury car by appearance, but it has a lot more to offer than just its good looks. Any aftermarket company that has built tuning programs for the A8 will attest to this, none more profoundly than Senner Tuning. The German aftermarket company has built programs for a wide range of Audi models. This time around, it has set its sights on the four rings’ flagship luxury sedan.

Admittedly, the program lacks the visual appeal that Senner Tuning’s other Audi programs have had. But that isn’t a reason to gripe. This kit is all about polishing the luxury sedan’s performance credentials, which has plenty of room for improvement. That’s what Senner Tuning zeroed in on, and the results are pretty impressive.

To be fair, the program does have some visual upgrades if you can even describe an LED number plate lighting as a “visual upgrade." But for the most part, Senner Tuning decided to focus on the A8’s engine and in doing so, gave it enough of an upgrade to be more formidable on the road. The A8 is more than just class and luxury, folks. Look no further than this program Senner Tuning developed for the A8 as proof of that.

The entire program costs around €9,500, including VAT. Based on the exchange rate on 9/18/2014, that price translates to about $12,250.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi A8 By Senner Tuning.

Volvo first introduced the S90 name in 1996, when it renamed the 960 for certain markets. With Volvo discontinuing the 900 Series midsize in 1998, the S80 we know of today rolled in as the replacement for the S90. The S90 also marked the end of an era for Volvo , being the last rear-wheel-drive car wearing the Swedish company’s badge. The S80 continued the S90’s luxurious legacy over the course of two generations. The first series lived between 1998 and 2006, while the second-gen model is in its eighth year on the market as of 2014. As we enter the 2015 model year and a new design era for Volvo, rumors are swirling about the return of the S90 nameplate as the company’s range-topping model.

Besides taking duties from the S80, the S90 is also set to revolutionize the midsize luxury segment, much like the second-generation XC90 did in the SUV market. Expect the sedan to receive the hauler’s design language, along with an interior packed with the latest technology and luxury items developed by the Swedes. The overhauled sedan will hit dealerships in the second half of 2016.

Note: 2013 Volvo Concept Coupe pictured here - it will most likely inspire design language.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Volvo S90.

Source: AutoExpress

If you find yourself on a California expressway, you may just be next to a self-driving Audi . That’s right; Audi snagged California’s first permit that allows autonomous driving for automakers developing the technology . The news comes after years of negotiations between several automakers and the State of California to allow more extensive testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads.

The news is especially important for Audi, as its Electronics Research Laboratory is in Belmont, California. Now the German automaker can stick closer to its Belmont base camp rather than testing in Nevada, a state that has previously welcomed driverless cars.

While this milestone marks a first for California, it isn’t Audi’s first autonomous rodeo. The automaker has logged tens of thousands of autonomous driving across Europe.

“Driverless vehicle technology has the potential to revolutionize driving, reduce traffic accidents and save lives,” says California Senator Alex Padilla. “I applaud the efforts of Audi of America and others whose commitment is making this technology a reality.”

Audi and future autonomous-testing automakers will have to show proof of insurance or surety bonds before being awarded a permit for testing — a slight formality for automotive giants sinking big bucks into driverless research and development.

Audi’s automated Piloted driving system is geared toward freeway traffic conditions, eliminating the need for a human to control the vehicle through crowded, mostly straight-line, stop-and-go traffic situations. Current internal forecasts have Audi introducing driverless systems to the public within a five-year timeframe.

Click past the jump to read more about Audi’s self-driving technology .

You may recall my first drive experience with the all-new 2015 Hyundai Sonata. It took place in the heartland of Alabama, along I-65 at Hyundai’s Montgomery Assembly Plant. There I spent time in with all three Sonata models: the 1.6-liter, I-4 Turbo in the Eco model, the 2.4-liter, I-4 volume engine, and the sportier, 2.0-liter, I-4 Turbo. All three made a positive impression during the short routes over the busy afternoon. A more extended test was in order.

I recently spent a week behind the wheel of a Sonata 2.0T painted in Urban Sunset, much like the tester I had in Montgomery. Even the options list — or lack thereof — looked the same. Carpeted floor mats costing $125 was the only added extra my recent ride had. That’s not altogether terrible, as the Sonata comes with a healthy list of standard features, including the proximity key entry and push-button starting, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, a five-inch touchscreen in the dash with SiriusXM and Bluetooth connectivity, HID headlights, and LED taillights. The most noticeable feature missing is navigation, but it is available.

The Sonata proved to be a helpful tool in the week’s chore list — a list that included a trip to IKEA, hauling four other passengers around town, and jaunting down the highway while riding solo. So how did the Hyundai handle the week? Click past the jump to find out.

Click past the jump for more on the 2015 Sonata

Luxury business tycoon Stephen Hung has just scored the world’s largest Rolls-Royce Phantom fleet for his opulent Louis XIII hotel and casino in Macau. Hung, together with a handful of his Louis XIII lieutenants, paid a visit to Rolls-Royce’s headquarters at Goodwood, England to officially place an order for 30 bespoke extended-wheelbase Phantoms, all of which will be used for his opulent boutique hotel in Macau’s Coloane district.

Each of the 30 Phantom Louis XIII Edition models will feature bespoke elements on both the exterior and interior, including bespoke clocks created specifically by ritzy jeweler Graff. Two of the Phantom models, in particular, are the most expensive Phantoms ever commissioned. That’s hardly a surprise considering Hung’s Louis XIII hotel and casino isn’t exactly for weak wallets either. The hotel will only have 230 available rooms once its completed in 2016, but each of these rooms will have at least 2,000 square feet of space all the way up to massive 20,000-square-foot mega suites.

The partnership between the two companies also extended to designing the parking and driveways at Louis XIII that will house the fleet of Rolls-Royce models. Likewise, Rolls-Royce will also train chauffeurs from the hotel on the “appropriate driving and handling” of these 30 special edition Phantoms.

So yeah, Louis XIII (the hotel, not the old French monarch) and Rolls-Royce are a match made in royalty heaven.

Click past the jump to read more about the Rolls Royce Phantom Louis XIII Special Edition.

Mercedes-Benz increased production capacity for the CLA four-door coupe back in May 2014 in an attempt to increase the dwindling supply that has affected U.S. sales recently. The increased production proved a huge hit, as sales peaked in July and August. Today, Daimler is taking is a step with CEO Dieter Zetsche confirming the U.S. will get additional CLA sedans , but he refrained from giving specific numbers, Automotive News reports.

Zetsche hopes the additional units will help increase CLA sales in the U.S., a market that has been affected by a tight supply since spring 2014, after the initial allocation sold out. "We could have sold twice as many vehicles, easily, compared to our planning," he said at a press event.

CLA sales in the States peaked at 4,895 units in October 2013 and dropped below 2,000 examples starting February 2014. Deliveries picked up to more than 2,000 units a year in July and August after recording a 1,214-unit low in May, but the Germans are far from meeting U.S. demand.

The baby CLS is made at the Kecskemet factory in Hungary, which added a third shift in May 2014.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes CLA-Class.

Looks like Ferrari isn’t the only automaker that’s set to introduce a special-edition model that places emphasis on the U.S. market. German automaker Porsche has a plan to build an exclusive version of the Panamera later this year. Automobile is reporting that Porsche’s design arm, Porsche Exclusive, will be unveiling 100 units of a limited-edition Panamera , 30 of which are headed to the U.S.

Details are still sketchy on the extent of exclusivity this particular Panamera will have, but Automobile’s source indicates that the luxury saloon will feature a unique metallic-paint scheme, a multi-colored leather upholstery, and will feature just about every option imaginable.

It’s highly unlikely that the model will reach the $3.2 million price tag of the U.S.-bound, super-exclusive Ferrari, but you can at least expect the Panamera to come dressed to impress, maybe even have a little sparkle here and there.

The same report also suggests that Porsche Executive will use the top-of-the-line Panamera Turbo S Executive to develop this limited-edition model. In the event that happens, you can expect it to retail for a good bit more than the $201,495 (with destination) price tag of the standard Panamera Turbo S Executive.

Maybe somewhere in the vicinity of $250,000 to $300,000.

Porsche is expected to divulge more details about this mysterious Panamera in the coming weeks, at which point I expect to hear news that all 30 models have already sold out.

Click past the jump to read more about this future super-sedan from Porsche.

Mercedes-Benz is expanding its S-Class lineup for 2015 with a plug-in hybrid version, joining the S400 Hybrid and the S300 BlueTEC Hybrid. The S550 Plug-in Hybrid features an extreme level of technical innovations all working together to produce the most efficient driving experience while still offering all the posh buyers expect from Mercedes.

The sedan uses a twin-turbocharged, V-6 engine and a high-voltage, 8.7 kWh lithium-ion battery to motivate the car. A super-compact electric motor fits in place of the seven-speed automatic’s torque converter, allowing for easy fitment under the S-Class’ floor pan.

Four drive modes allow the driver to chose between Hybrid, E-Mode (electric only, E-Save (less electric, more gasoline) and Charge (charges the battery while driving). The S550 Plug-in Hybrid also uses recuperative braking system to slow the car. The system works to eliminate the noticeable transition between the conventional brakes and the electric motor in generator mode.

On top of recuperative braking, the S550 Plug-in Hybrid lives up to its name by offering a receptacle in the rear bumper for charging from a power source. What’s more, Mercedes Mercedes is working alongside BMW on a wireless, inductive charging system. Mercedes hasn’t revealed when inductive charging with be available, but expect it in the future.

Updated 09/17/2014: Mercedes unveiled a new set of images and full specs on the 2015 S500 Plug-in Hybrid. Check them out after the jump.
Click past the jump to read more about the S500 Plug-In Hybrid


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