station wagon

station wagon

  A Station Wagon is a car body style similar to a sedan car but with an extended rear cargo area.

The Vauxhall VXR lineups is far and away one of the most feared lineups that GM offers, and that lineup has been undergoing some aesthetic changes lately. The latest of these changes hits the Insignia VXR SuperSport , which is regularly known as "UK’s fastest car under £30,000." Well, it not only retains that title through an increase top speed, but it also gets a nice revision for the end of the 2013 model year.

Available in its traditional hatchback and Sports Tourer variants, the new Insignia VXR gets a nice refresh to its front and rear fascias to help add a little extra style and aggression to the model. Not that it needs the aggressive look to scare most cars its size off of the road, but it certainly helps.

Unfortunately, this late-model-year refresh involve mostly just aesthetics, but then again, with 325PS (320 horsepower) under its hood, it’s all good.

We’ll Vauxhall reveal all of the Insignia VXR Supersport’s information at the Frankfurt Motor Show on September 12th.

[Click past the jump to read the full review on the 2013 Vauxhall Insignia VXR SuperSport.]

Posted on by TB +  

A dyno, a laptop and a dream: the BBM Motorsport upgrade for the E91 generation of BMW 3 Series brings an extra 251 pound-feet of torque with a simple induction, exhaust and ECU re-flash. Yep, this 330d has 635 pound-feet of torque to go with its appealing red foil wrap and 19-inch BBS alloys.

BBM Motorsport’s impressive project really shows the scope of tasteful performance modifications to this generation of BMW 3 Series wagons. From looking like it probably has melted candy in the leather seats, to now looking at home making sparks on the Nordschleife and racing RS6 Avants on the autobahn until the tires or nerves call it quits.

This revamp is pretty cost effective as well, with BBM offering component sales for guys who might only be able to afford one upgrade at a time. The LED lights and matte wrap might be eye-catching, but the real gold comes from 30 minutes of ‘hotsynching’ to the BMW ’s OBDII port.

A more effective ECU re-flash is hard to recall, but as we all know, tuners are not quite OEM in their durability and long-term reliability testing. Does the BBM kit push the limits of this excellent BMW turbo-diesel engine too high?

Despite sounding like a tractor or school bus to American ears, there is actually much more soulful inline-six bellow from the BBM upgrades. Bellows are the last thing you hear before your head meets the seat when the torque comes in a knockout punch.

Click past the jump for the full image gallery and details on the BMW E91 330d Touring by BBM Motorsport’s performance and style upgrades.

Posted on by TB +  

The Citroen C5 is looking quite fresh since its recent restyle that added softer double-chevron badges and a more flowing style for the company’s executive flagship from nose to tail.

The revisions really work: this car barely seems the same as the dowdy original model that launched for 2008. In fact, the two cars share a great deal of their styling and body panels, but tasteful new detailing is much better than the deep black sills and bumpers that cheapened the appearance of the original Citroen .

Reading reviews in international magazines is always interesting, but not quite as informative as it could be with all the measurements in metric. For most American enthusiasts, reading the horsepower in ‘kW’ and torque in ‘Nm’ might as well be meaningless.

This review of the C5 corrects those gaps in our collective ability to convert number formats, and will also be unique because it evaluates the C5 based on U.S. buyer preferences. With pricing for the C5 that converts to about $40,000, this Citroen is a mid-size luxury car.

Key competition for the C5 in its home market comes from the Peugeot 508 and Renault Laguna , with real encroachment from the super-efficient 5 series BMW diesels in Europe.

With throne-like seating and a plush hydraulic suspension, is the C5 up to the task? Click past the jump for the full review of the revised 2013 Citroen C5.

Posted on by Simona  

The all-new Audi RS6 sedan is great and we already know pretty much everything there is to know about it. The new RS6 Avant, on the other hand, remained a relative mystery since details of it first leaked. As time went on, our patience wore thin and we managed to dig up some information on it to wet our hot-hatch whistle a little.

Now that we have pretty much found out all of the important details and even found some rather official-looking leaked images , Audi has lifted the veil and released the RS6 Avant’s details. We didn’t expect to see the RS6 Avant’s information until the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, so we are wondering if Audi released this information willingly or if its hand was pushed by the automotive industry’s prying eyes.

Sure, we’ll go ahead and take some credit for this early information release.

Updated 12/11/2012: Audi has released a trailer video for its new RS6 Avant. The video shows the new sports wagon in action on the road and offers an idea on how the engine under the hood sounds like. Enjoy! Oh, and what a glorious sound it is. Enjoy!

Updated 08/09/2013: Audi unveiled a new commercial video for its RS6 Avant. The idea behind the commercial is that with every RS6 Avant you will also have parts from the R18 Le Mans Prototype racecar.

Click past the jump to read all of the intimate details on the 2013 Audi RS6.

Posted on by Simona  

In the latest episode of Drive, Chris Harris tested two of the most amazing sports station wagons out there: the Audi RS6 Avant and the Mercedes CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake . Both cars deliver an impressive amount of luxury, are quite powerful and are very (very) expensive. Upon first look, these two wagons appear to be identical, but when it comes down to on-road behavior, Chris finds them to be quite different. Check out the video to see what Harris thinks on the two models!

The RS6 Avant is far and away one of our favorite wagons ever to grace the pavement. It is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter TFSI V-8 engine that delivers a total of 560 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, which afford it a 0-to-60 mph sprint of just 3.9 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph (174 mph with the Dynamic Package and 189 mph with the Dynamic Package plus).

The CLS 63 AMG, on the other hand, is a model that we are still unsure of. It’s styling is a little over the top and it is powered by less powerful 5.5-liter V8 biturbo engine that delivers a total of 557 horsepower and 531 pound-feet of twist. This nets the Mercedes wagon a 0-to-60 mph sprint of 4.3 seconds and up to a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited).

Given these two cars are so close to one another on paper, one may assume that they are nearly identical on the track. Well, you will find out, just as Harris did, that things become significantly skewed in one wagon ’s favor when you put the rubber to the road. See the video to find out which model runs away with the competition.

The Audi A6 Avant isn’t necessarily the most awesome model that the German automaker offers, but it is one of just a handful of luxury wagons available on the market. However, when Audi introduced the new 3.0 Biturbo engine with 313 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, which affords it a 5.3-second 0-to-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint and a 155 mph top speed, we couldn’t help but take notice.

Apparently, Senner Tuning took notice too, as it just introduced a tuning package for the A6 Avant 3.0 TDI Biturbo that takes the A6 Avant to a new level. The tuner installed its Stage 2 tuning kit for the 3.0 TDI Biturbo engine, a sport air filter and a power convertor for the drive-by-wire system to help boost its output to 374 horsepower and 572 pound-feet of torque. Though Senner did not disclose the performance numbers of this retuned A6 Avant, we estimate it at 5 seconds to 100 km/h (62 mph) and a top speed of 180 mph.

With this boost in power, Senner also chose to increase its adhesion to the road. It started off by installing a KW Street Comfort coil-over kit that drops the A6’s ride height by 30 to 55 mm (1.18 to 2.16 inches). Senner also gives buyers the choice of two 9.5-by-20-inch wheels — Varianza T1S or Sword SC1 — with high-gloss black on the faces and high-gloss anodized beads. The rims are wrapped in 255/35R20 Vredestein Ultrac Sessanta rubber.

Other than the custom wheels and the lowering kit, the A6 ’s exterior remains unchanged, making this the perfect sleeper kit for any owner.

Posted on by TB +  

The Volvo XC70 is almost completely fresh following a thorough interior revamp for 2013 and a subtle exterior nip/tuck for 2014. The latest luxury crossover wagon from the safety experts gets a macho new grill design with giant honeycomb pattern, LED fog lights, an LED running light blade in each headlight, a freshened LED taillight design and additional matte-finish silver trims all around.

The look is far more current and allows Volvo to keep up sales momentum even as the traditional wagon body style is in retreat from the best-selling XC60 SUV and upcoming XC90 replacement.

The XC70’s boxy profile is part of the lasting charm that gives Volvo wagons such huge cabin space and cargo area capacity. This latest model finally addresses the main critiques of post-Ford Volvo : few meaningful updates to keep the line fresh and competitive.

The latest XC70 fights perception that it might be slow and pack dated cabin infotainment solutions. For 2014, this five-passenger crossover gets ultramodern TFT instruments, a new touchscreen HDD nav solution called Sensus Connected Touch, quicker automatic transmissions and a Polestar engine upgrade on the official options list.

With the last two enhancements, this stops being just an ultra-plush and luxurious family car and starts fighting back with real performance credibility – acceleration to 60 mph for the top engine falls from about 6.9 seconds down to just 6 seconds flat.
The XC70 is a niche choice but an exceptional vehicle in a segment flooded with floppy crossovers. How does it compare with the Subaru Outback and the new A4-based Audi allroad ?

Updated 8/5/2013: Volvo has just unveiled all of the pricing details for the 2014 XC70. The crossover starts at a base price of $34,500 and peaks out at just over $46k. See all of the details after the jump.

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Volvo XC70 with exclusive images of the new LED fog and running light designs.

Posted on by Simona  

If you want to buy a high-performance station wagon, there are not too many models to choose from, but the Audi S6 Avant is definitely a very good option. In its standard setup, the S6 Avant boasts a 4.0-liter V-8 engine with a total output of 420 horsepower and 550 Nm (406 pound-feet).

Sure, those are rather astounding numbers for a wagon, but this beast can get even more powerful, the only question is where to turn to get a nice boost. ABT Sportsline is happy to answer your S6 -tuning query with its performance kit that adds another 180 horsepower and 200 Nm (147 pound-feet) to the V-8’s final output.

As a result, the AS6-R now pumps out a total of 600 horsepower and a peak torque of 553 pound-feet, which is 40 horsepower and 37 pound-feet more torque than the base RS6 Avant. The ABT AS6-R can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 3.9 seconds, to 200 km/h (124 mph) in 12.9 seconds and up to a top speed of 310 km/h (192 mph).

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi A6 by ABT Sportsline.

German tuner Vath knows how to handle its business when dealing with Mercedes vehicles.

Put whatever Silver Arrow in its path and Vath will give it the kind of tuning program that Mercedes would no doubt be proud of.

For its latest work, Vath took the task of doing its business on the Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG Shooting Brake , a car that, despite its wagon configuration, packs a helluva mean punch.

But "mean" isn’t good enough for Vath; so, it did what it does best: give the car an awesome performance upgrade. In this case, the modifications involve adding bigger turbochargers to go with a new downpipe system, reducing exhaust gas counter pressure, a new rear silencer system, an ECU remap and a Vath air charge cooling system. With these upgrades installed, the German tuner was able to give the CLS 63 AMG a staggering 846 horsepower and 874 pound-feet of torque — that accounts for an increase of up to 321 horsepower and 358 pound-feet of torque. This is good enough to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in under 4 seconds with a top speed of 218 mph, whereas the stock model takes 4.4 seconds to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) and turns in a 155 mph top speed.

If you’re interested in that awesome program, you can avail of the complete package for just €46,172, which is about $61,000 based on current exchange rates.

There are also a multitude of aero components, including a new front spoiler (€1,416 / $1,868), a rear diffuser (€2,011 / $2,653) and new fins, all of which are made from carbon fiber. Moving inside, classic black carbon components have replaced the original parts (€3,927 / $5,181). The sport steering wheel also received a leather redesign (€1,297 / $1,711) that customers can opt to exchange for carbon or fine wood applications.

Moving to other aftermarket add-ons to the Mercedes, Vath upgraded the suspension (€1,166 / $1,538), added a big brake system that includes 405 mm (15.9-inch) brake disks with six-piston calipers on the front (€6,010 / $7,930), and installed a fuel cooler (€1,773 / $1,530), as well as an engine oil and and transmission oil cooler (€1,166 / $1,538).

Click past the jump to read about the Mercedes CLS 63 AMG

When its sitting idly by, the Volvo V60 isn’t exactly the type of car that titillates our senses. That’s not a knock on it; it’s just a prevailing thought in the industry.

But this particular V60 is different than pretty any other you’ve ever seen, or most likely, will ever see. Pop open the trunk and you’ll watch the magic happen.

The model is called the V60 "Pure Tension" Pavilion Concept, named aptly so because you can erect an actual pavilion just by opening its trunk. Confusing as that may sound, there’s some method to this head-scratcher of a concept .

Volvo Italy commissioned a contest called the Pure Volvo Pavilion Design Competition and this bad boy here, developed by Synthesis Design + Architecture, Buro Happold and Fabric Images, was chosen as the winner.

Using a standard V60, the winning crew installed a fully-functioning, energy-absorbing pavilion made from a flexible mesh structure that’s held in place by rods made from carbon fiber. Sounds pretty simple, right?

Well, there’s more. The aforementioned mesh structure is actually embedded with photovotaic cells that absorbs energy, natural and artificial, thus creating a unique setup wherein the pavilion itself can be used as an enormous charging station, and in some cases, as an actual pavilion that you can hold parties under.

Once you’re done with it, the whole contraption can be folded and stowed back inside the trunk of the V60, leaving little indication of the massive pavilion that was built into it.

It’s an odd setup, but one that shows the kind of innovation that makes the auto industry so special. If you want to learn more about the V60 "Pure Tension" Pavilion Concept, you can see it in Rome in a few month’s time make its debut.

Click past the jump to read about the Volvo V60 R-Design


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