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What has four seats under a dreamy soft top, a twin-turbo V-8 making over 400 horsepower and all the latest LED style from the new E63 AMG ?

The 2014 E550 Cabriolet, of course.

This car really stops the conversation, to some extent. Much as new cars get critiqued and reviewed from afar, only a few hours with the E550 Cabrio on a sunny day is all we — or you — will need to fall in love.

All the best parts of the soft new Mercedes-Benz aesthetic and brand appeal are present, from the high-tech full-LED option up front, to the AirScarf and embracing Sport seats inside that use active bolsters in the twist.

All that, with the breeze in your hair and 60 mph in just over 5 seconds. There is only one.

Click past the jump to enjoy the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E550 Cabriolet as much as we did on our brief test route.

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For an entry-level engine configuration, the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado LT Double Cab 4.3-liter is quite a contender as the most affordable and stylish do-it-all truck on sale now.

A quick intro to the fuel-economy leader of the all-new Silverado Double Cab V-6 was accompanied by only a brief spin around the block.

Even so, the bright red paint, huge chrome grille, and six-lug wheels made quite the impression.

Click past the jump for all the details of TopSpeed’s intro to the most affordable Silverado trucks on the lot for 2014.

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Updated 10/17/2013: This review has been updated with video reviews of the GSR version, and a memory-card full of high-resolution photos of this Cosmic Blue stunner.

Since spending a week with Mitsubishi’s gorgeous 2014 Lancer Evo GSR, I came to appreciate many things that make this such an incredible lap attack car, but also a great daily driver with incredible torque.

The legendary Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution returns for 2014 with a new touchscreen infotainment unit to enhance the interior of one of the finest road-going rally race cars ever produced. The Evo’s flypaper grip on tarmac, snow and gravel continues with two trim levels and sprint times that are as low as 4.5 seconds to 60 mph.

The Mitsu ’s competitive landscape has changed significantly since this Evo X generation arrived more than four years ago. It largely demolishes the current-gen the Subaru WRX STi on all but the roughest gravel roads, but this comes with a higher-than-expected cost.

With prices creeping past the $40,000 mark on well-optioned 2014 Evolution MR models, the modest Lancer variant now faces competition from the more-powerful BMW 135i and upcoming Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG . These Germans are each packing well over 325 horsepower and are able to match the Evo’s turbocharged punch with much-more-refined image and interior comfort levels.

While it is true that prices can climb to the luxury level in MR trim with options, the most accessible Evo remains the $35,000 GSR model with a five-speed manual and fewer pricey party tricks in the suspension and transmission. All Evo’s, of course, leverage the brilliant computer-managed AWD system with its crushingly effective yaw control and active torque vectoring.

The Evolution’s cult audience is thrilled to have this 10th gen car available for another year. More time on the market also means a huge pool of aftermarket support and even factory accessories like front and rear strut braces, a front air dam and full racing body kits – right from the local Mitsubishi dealer.

Are the Evo’s world-beating capabilities still intact and on top in one of its final years on the market? Will this generation be known as one of the best when the long-rumored hybrid powertrain brings changes to the Evo’s driving style in 2015 or 2016?

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, with detailed comparisons between the Evo GSR manual and the Evo MR twin-clutch models.

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All this talk of gorgeous HD Point-of-View driving videos reminds me of a knockout drive to share here as part of a travel article.

The four videos show the high-def ascent of the Pikes Peak Toll Road outside Colorado Springs, Colorado. Taken earlier this summer by none other than this grinning goon.

The car of choice for this adventure is the only car for the job, in my opinion. My cherished but battered 2005 http://www.topspeed.com/cars/subaru... Subaru Legacy GT manual Wagon.

This is the car that I mention in my bio as currently non-functional in garage ion the updated TopSpeed Team page...

It is still needing a big electronics overhaul to come back to life as spunky as it was when new.

But watching the clouds roll by while the upgraded turbo spins furiously and boost spikes as high as 19 PSI.

Climbing Pikes Peak takes about 45 minutes and costs about $12.00 per car. It is mostly tourists driving very slowly, with double yellow no-passing zones all the way to the top.

But on that rare sunny day, the only things slowing you down are fear of heights and the thin atmosphere at the 14,000-foot crest of the peak.

Click past the jump for the next four videos in this series, in order, going up and coming down the legendary Pikes Peak in all its high-definition glory.

Posted on by Simona  

How does the latest Lexus style look in the flesh? Pretty darn sexy, if you ask us.

Wearing almost the exact shame shade of maroon paint as the 2012 LF-CC concept, and headlights to match as well, the 2014 IS is quickly becoming one of the best-looking compact luxury models available.

The IS 350 AWD is priced from $41,700 and is the top version of the IS lineup, except of course the F Sport variants.

Lexus brought the IS onto the market in 1998 as an entry level model placed under the more powerful ES luxury sedan.

The second generation arrived in 2005 and the third one was unveiled at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show and went on sale in mid-2013 in both rear- and all-wheel-drive versions.

The IS 350 AWD comes loaded with tons of standard features, but customers interested in updating it even further have a lot of packages and options to choose from. The only problem is that these options are quite expensive and you can end up paying up to $60k for a highly equipped version.

The entire IS lineup was heavily updated for the new generation, and, just like with the GS and LS models it will feature an inverted trapezoidal upper grille, slanted lower grille and new headlights with LED technology.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Lexus IS 350 AWD.

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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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