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The Chevrolet Camaro is fresh for 2014 with a wide variety of new technology and features for all levels of the iconic pony-car lineup.

There are highlights at every price level, with the all-new Z28 ’s rainy-day lap record of the Nurburgring setting the tone for much more capable and handling-focused rear-drive sports coupes from Chevy in 2014.

The stars are aligned for TopSpeed and the Camaro as well, because no sooner did we stop speculating about the Z28’s driver on Twitter ... a brand-new Camaro RS had arrived out front.

This RS is so far removed from all the previous appearance packages that comparing new to old is almost impossible. Despite carrying a DOHC V-6 engine in place of the Corvette’s OHV V-8, the Camaro RS sings with just as much throaty rumble under power.

How to make a V-6, direct-injection engine bellow? Four giant stainless tips peek out from below the new LED tail lights - giving a big clue that this is no old Vulcan V-6 Mustang .

Matching polished 20-inch alloys and LED lighting up front completes the Camaro RS’s exterior makeover.

But the ultimate show piece is the new dual-mode active exhaust option. At $900, this will be money in the bank for years to come. The baffles open at about 3,250 RPM and stay clear through the Camaro V-6’s 7,000 RPM red-line.

But if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth a million. Enjoy these first drive video reviews ahead of the full TopSpeed Driven review in the coming weeks.

Click past the jump for even more fun in the Camaro RS, including POV video of the hot new Chevy doing a pair of donuts in an empty parking lot, then roaring past a Mustang GT out on the road

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Seeing a line of pristine Carrera White Audi ’s from across the paddock at Autobahn Country Club was almost enough to make a guy start jogging to get the first seat time. The brand-new S Q5 was on the pre-event list of attendees, and the new grille finish of the Q5 in brilliant white was very promising.

Within closer range, the “TDI clean diesel” script was visible on the side of almost all ten Audi ’s on offer for the car writers to sample. The A7 and A8 were common sights leaving the club gates, but at least one car writer was mildly disappointed.

Not only was the S Q5 not present, but diesel engines all around? Eek. One bright spot was visible: a gigantic white Q7 with some snazzy fender flares on anthracite grey alloys.

Also... a diesel, but this was more TopSpeed style.

A quick blast up to my gravel road photo spot was enough time to fall head-over-heels for the big Q7, even as its replacement is firmly on the horizon for 2014 or 2015.

This Audi is a creamy beast with torque for days even in the 3.0-liter TDI specification. The real clue to its fresher-than-average looks is the S-line trim worn by the tester, which brings along a host of sporty programming options and décor inside as well.

When a Cayenne is too bouncy, and an Escalade is too soft, look no farther than the Q7 TDI S-line for a seven seats and a ride that is ’juuusst riight’.

Click past the jump for all the beautiful sunny photos of the 2014 Audi Q7 TDI S-line, plus some first-hand observations on how the small-capacity diesel engine performs.

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The Nissan Juke Nismo is a really surprising little machine. After a week with my foot on the floor (in ’normal’ mode), I was vaguely unimpressed with the little truck’s ability to hustle out of its own way. I thought it looked cool and handled well, had great seats and a good image. But... even the coolest car in the world still needs to be fast to get my attention, and yours too I bet.

Silly me. The TopSpeed team is mostly hard at work during the day producing news content, so the amount of miles we put on the press loaners is pretty low overall.

That extra time was exactly what I needed to discover the Juke Nismo’s sport buttons, which allow personalization of numerous parameters between normal, sport and eco.

Most sport buttons in mainstream cars are a waste of time. They might make the engine hold shifts longer, or thump harder over bumps - but generally achieve very little beyond that.

The Nismo sport tune is far from subtle, however. Cars have to generally start up in their ’Normal’ setting so that they can achieve the emissions and economy required by the test and buyers.

Flipping to Juke Nismo to Sport mode opens up a totally different little crossover. One that has front, AWD auto or even a V-mode all-wheel-drive setting to keep traction.

Skinny tires ensure more playfullness than is normal in a compact, and the sport mode also transforms the optional CVT auto of our test car into something much, much more special. It thrums and upshifts like a real sports car, with handling and steering precision on the highway that seems autobahn-ready.

A quick walk-around video of the Juke Nismo highlights some of the reasons I loved this car by the end of our time together. It also shows of an impressive exhaust rumble and all the Nismo-exclusive styling features of this $27,000 pocket rocket.

Click past the jump to see some clips of the Nissan Juke Nismo ahead of the full TopSpeed Driven review in the coming weeks.

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The Nissan GT-R is my hero. I was so amazed by the performance of the R35 generation of GT-R when launched that I modified the back of my Legacy 2.5GT to read “2.5GT-R” with an expensive and genuine GT-R emblem from Japan.

To put a badge from another car onto your own, as a grown man, is pretty pathetic in retrospect. But for the year or so that my Subaru was a 2.5GT-R, every time I saw the beveled red letters of that logo, I could not help but smile.

My car, I told myself, was sort of like a GT-R for people with dogs and cargo flexibility needs. I eventually grew up and mounted the GT-R emblem in prime position on my refrigerator, where it delights me even today.

Do not meet your heroes, they say. A lifetime spent worshiping a professional baseball pitcher, only to find out he is meaner than a rattlesnake and twice as deadly. Seeing the underbelly of any icon could ruin baseball altogether - if that was your life’s passion until seeing the bad parts up close.

I got to meet my hero last week via the 2014 Nissan GT-R Track Pack . While the car defined my day, and has consumed my thoughts ever since, I am unable to form an opinion even a full week later.

This is rare for me. Love it or hate it, I generally get a good sense of a car’s merits and issues within a few minutes behind the wheel.

But the GT-R is very different. Our time together was more of a fling than going steady, but if I thought I loved the GT-R more than anything else in the world before I drove it, what do I think now?

Still hard to say. I do know that sitting down in the GT-R for the first time was very intense on a number of levels. The hoon before me had every setting in race mode, and, frankly, I was not prepared for the performance the GT-R offers its drivers every second it is on the roads.

So while I try to stop shaking with cold sweats after only a few full-throttle sessions, the GT-R is better than a hero to me. It was better than everything I had previously read or knew about the vehicle.

We are putting together the full Driven review for next week, but until then, please enjoy these TopSpeed First-Drive Video reviews of the 2014 Nissan GT-R .

Click past the jump to see me sweat it out while hitting 60-mph in a claimed 2.8 seconds.

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One really cool thing about TopSpeed right now is that we are getting better. Fast.

The TopSpeed auto news and games portal is in ’Dynamic’ mode - as on the best track cars - with traction and stability control buttons each pushed until everything is disabled.

More access to news and cars means far better reviews to read with better photos, so we are working hard to up our game to the highest levels of automotive news.
On the journey of driving supercars for the first time, the stumbling blocks are many to achieve really good, informative and entertaining car content.

Something really surprising is how much one’s opinion of a press loaner car changes from day one of the loan to day seven. No, we do not get one-year loaners to complain about in print (yet!).

Even so, the real quality of many high-performance machines is hard to grasp at first sitting. It takes time to appreciate their quirks.

This video review format previews some of the awesome TopSpeed Driven reviews that are coming in the next few weeks.

Adding all the specs takes time, but why should YouTube people be the only ones to see us miss gears, bomb around corners and floor throttles on the world’s hottest new cars?

The first segment is based on a car that many readers adore, the 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution GSR .

The goal here is to make the coolest and best car news that is always fresh and fun to read. We always read the comments, so rant away if TopSpeed seems to be changing too much. A Facebook Like is a vote in the right direction, so let us know!

Until then, enjoy the above clip of my first-ever drive in the Evo X GSR that is out front of the TopSpeed Garage this week.

For more information on the 2014 Evo, sprint over to the full review comparing the Evo GSR manual with its TC-SST brother, the Evo MR here .

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The arrival of a diesel engine in the luxurious and easy-driving 2014 Ram 1500 pickup is huge news. Until this point, diesel engines for all truck lines have been restricted to just 2500 and 3500 models.

Ford and Chevy continue without a small diesel engine in their light trucks, and are about to feel the hurt from the new 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.

As much as car buyers traditionally loathe the idea of diesel engines, truck buyers adore it.

Under the chrome Ram hood, the 3.0-liter, V-6 diesel option even delivered a (momentary) 36 mpg via the standard eight-speed automatic during a light cruise on the test route. But that is not even the best part.

The Ram EcoDiesel packs all the benefits of 25-mpg-plus highway efficiency, but none of the typical diesel engine noise or the driving dynamics of an 18-wheeler. This is a machine whose huge torque reserves and lighter front end join forces to make a smooth, quiet and nimble truck. All that comfort on the air springs front and rear has virtually no major tradeoff in the capabilities tallies versus the F-150 or Silverado .

While both of those leading trucks — Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado — are also quite refined in the drivetrain these days, none offer the absolutely S-Class -rivaling smoothness of the Ram 1500 Laramie over bumps.

Un-laden half-ton trucks might have smooth engines, but are still a pitter-patter of suspension clatter in back on good sunny days. On bad snowy or rainy days, that inherent over-sprung feel can become downright treacherous over mid-corner bumps.

Jittery and gas-guzzling pickups are starting to feel mighty obsolete in direct comparison to the swanky new Ram EcoDiesel.

Click past the jump for this exclusive TopSpeed Driven preview of the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, which is arriving in showrooms across five trim levels starting in December.

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The Nissan 370Z was the first model to get the comprehensive Nismo upgrade from the revered tuning arm of the Japanese auto giant. Long housed in an anonymous mid-rise factory with only a bright red door to signal something special inside, the Nismo team is spreading its wings with further upgrades to normal Nissan models.

The best-known work from these honorable speed demons is, of course, the GT-R . As we will see, this is not a team who adds some stickers and a lightly revised ECU to cars that don the "Nismo" badge.

The pitfalls of creating a performance spin-off series are many. Too much change and the price can nearly double, cutting volume by four in the process. The previous Cadillac CTS-V suffered such a fate.

On the other side of the spectrum; too little enhancement, and the car is dismissed as badge and stickers job by those in the know. So there is a fine line to walk between the loaded 370Z Touring’s $38,000 price and the $43,000 base of the Nismo version.

After some seat time and some driving videos (viewable below), the 370Z Nismo is unlike any other Z-car driven to date. It features extensively restyled bodywork from every angle, a far lower ride height, and exhaust drums so large they might be packing oil reserves.

For those with allegiance to only hardcore performance, the 370Z Nismo really trumps the equivalent Genesis Coupe R-Spec s and Camaro s of the performance world. An apt comparison would be to the previous Ford Mustang Boss 302 that was basically a Laguna Seca time attack special.

The spec sheet of the 370Z shows how busy the Nismo team was in revamping the Z-car to its standards. This is far more than a body and paint shop; this car is purpose-built from the body-in-white chassis upward by Nismo.

Click past the jump for the full TopSpeed Driven review of the 2014 Nissan 370Z NISMO, including a few videos of driving impressions.

At the 2010 New York Auto Show , Hyundai unveiled the Sonata Hybrid , and the 2014 model that we got our hands on its nearly identical to the debut model.

Regardless of its age — about 40 years old in car years — the Sonata Hybrid still looks pretty modern, with its distinctive front fascia that shows off LED-trimmed headlamps and a wavy front grill. The LED taillights and aerodynamic rims are the only details that scream "hybrid." Though it remains relatively up to date, we do expect Hyundai to reveal a redesigned Sonata line for 2015, including the hybrid model.

The interior is very well-appointed, and only LCD gauges and "Blue Efficiency" button on the steering wheel clue you in that this is indeed a hybrid model. A quick press of this "Blue Efficiency" button, and the Sonata Hybrid awakens from its efficient — boring — mode. The hybrid system is attached to a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that pumps out 159 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. The hybrid system chimes in with an extra 47 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. In all, this system puts down a respectable 200 horsepower, but don’t expect the mid-3,000-pound, midsize cruiser to pin you to your seat.

After some seat time in the Lexus ES Hybrid , we are a little spoiled, but we have to remind you that you get what you pay for. The Sonata checks in around $30,000, and it delivers a premium look and feel. Taking into consideration that hybrid cars tend receive a 20 to 30 percent premium over their gasoline counterparts, the Sonata Hybrid is a relative bargain.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited

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The 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG is finally out of its doldrums of quad-oval lights and messy body kits. The AMG Hammer is well and truly reborn with this latest generation of ultra-fast, luxurious and stylish new E63 models.

The E63 now wears the trendy sheetmetal to challenge even the sporty M6 and the Audi RS7 . Understated appeal has always been an AMG E-Class feature, but the new styling enhancements mean that the E63 is extremely serious, attention-grabbing and highly entertaining to enjoy up close.

Despite a subtle sedan shape, even blind people know that a very special car is approaching as the E63 AMG gurgles into earshot. This engine maintains much of the previous staccato machine-gun fire noise from the last cars’ naturally-aspirated engines.

In 2014, the E63 — for the first time — gains 4Matic all-wheel-drive as standard in the U.S. to go along with this beastly twin-boosted V-8, and a cabin whose luxury and comfort are contenders for world’s best.

Click past the jump for this exclusive TopSpeed Driven review of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S-Model, including a few videos of the car in action as it slams through the gears on full throttle.

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Guess who got his paws on a 2014 Corvette Stingray out in the wild this week?

The joy of hooning this hotly anticipated sports car was spoiled only by having to give it back to Chevy at the end of the day.

Are the touted enhancements to the cockpit, performance and road stance enough to put the C7 on the radar of young enthusiasts for the first time in decades? Or just a bald fatty special like the C5?

Much as the pace and V-8 bellow was to be admired in the C5 and C6, the Vette was too Plastic Fantastic to cause much of a sensation to the uninitiated. The old Vette’s key buyer group of Wal-Mart-shopping "rich" people certainly would not help any car’s cool factor.

But the C7 feels about a million miles from those two Extenze-popping machines.

Despite screeching performance and the all-conquering ZR-1, the C6 Vette was mired in image hell based on some of its buyers. An interior so low rent that catching crabs was a real possibility only confirmed suspicions that America’s Sports Car was just for creeps and perves.

Big, big changes for the C7 line. In a dream scenario this week, we found ourselves set loose in the C7. It was the meat of a day that also included a frightening hour in the Nissan GT-R (that left me trembling with delight) and a brief intro to the lumbering and oddly off-putting SRT Viper GTS .

But what to do in that Nirvana moment: a full tank of gas, the brand-new Chevrolet Corvette C7, and a heavy right foot? We cooked the tires, did a few straight-line blasts, and took as many pictures as the camera would hold.

Luckily, the impression this incredible car left is etched in the memory with the staying power of a brain tattoo.

Click past the jump for this exclusive TopSpeed Driven review of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, with nearly 75 all-new, high-resolution images of the production model we sampled.


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