utility vehicle

utility vehicle

Scion tC Sports Coupe

We have seen nearly every gimmick under the sun with various automakers, from Saturn and its "No Haggle" pricing — see where that got it — to Volkswagen with its "Sign Then Drive Event." One gimmick that we’ve been waiting for is for when dealerships start renting out their cars for extended test drives or just a weekend trip.

Well, the wait is now over, as Toyota has done just that. From the looks of things, about 85 percent of Toyota and Scion dealers across the U.S. participate in this program and Toyota claims that its rental rates are competitive with local car-rental companies. According to the Toyota Rent a Car website, you can rent cars, trucks, SUVs, Hybrids and even the 2013 RAV4 EV for a day, week or even months. Unfortunately, the 2013 Scion FR-S isn’t on the list of available models, but the almost-as-cool Scion tC is on the list.

So, we can now check brand-new rent-a-buckets off of our wish list, now we are just waiting for all of the dealers to morph into rental showrooms and Internet-based car buying — now that is "no haggle pricing!" Those two will likely never happen, but at the rate that Tesla is changing the car-buying experience, you just never know what will happen.

Your move, Elon Musk...

Click past the jump to read about some of the coolest models that Toyota is renting out under this program

Posted on by Simona  

The new-generation Jeep Cherokee was just unveiled at the 2013 New York Auto Show to rather mixed reviews, thanks to relatively over-the-top styling. Even with its odd styling, it is starting to grow on us a little. An now, rumors of an SRT version have us thinking even more fondly of this new model.

First details from the Jeep experts over at AllPar suggest that this hopped-up Cherokee will come equipped with an all-wheel-drive system in place of the standard front-wheel drive, a nine-speed automatic transmission and an engine that oozes power.

Anyone that knows anything about Chrysler ’s SRT group knows that the Cherokee SRT will feature an engine with tons more power. However, the origins of the engine and the exact output is still up for speculation. One suggestion is a 3.0-liter V-6 sourced from fellow Fiat subsidiary, Maserati . This may be a little too much for the petit Cherokee, as that would put it over the 400-horsepower mark. There is also the idea of it using a 2.4-liter boosted engine with an output of about 300 horsepower, but that’s likely not enough power to drum up interest in this model.

The most likely of scenarios is to use one of the existing Pentastar V-6 engines — 3.2- or 3.6-liter — which can be tuned to well over 400 horsepower, using a pair of turbochargers. If Chrysler chooses to only use one turbo, it would still put it in the 350- to 375-horsepower range. Either way, the Pentastar would have to undergo some big changes, including strengthening the internals and dropping the compression to around 9-to-1.

No matter what engine the Cherokee SRT uses, we can’t wait to see what it can do.

Click past the jump to read more about the Jeep Cherokee SRT.

Source: Allpar
Posted on by Simona  

1,750 horsepower vs. 510 horsepower doesn’t sound like a good competition, right? But Land Rover did it, as the SUV manufacturer put a new Range Rover Sport head-to-head against a 1945 Spitfire TR9 V12 Merlin. Car vs. plane all over again!

The Range Rover Sport was driven by Mike Cross, Jaguar Land Rover’s Chief Vehicle Integrity Engineer, while the Spitfire was piloted by Matt Jones from the Boultbee Flight Academy. So, which one won the race?

To help you see just how one-sided this competition is on paper, we remind you that the Range Rover Sport is powered by a 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 engine with 510 horsepower on tap, while the Spitfire TR9 V12 Merlin gets a 1,750-horsepower V-12 Merlin engine and it has a maximum airspeed of 400 mph.

Both the car and the plane are considered British legends of land and sky, so picking a winner can be pretty difficult. All we can say is watch the video to see which one won the race.

Posted on by Simona  

Mansory has a long tradition of upgrading the Land Rover SUVs, and after a very successful kit offered for the third-generation Range Rover , the tuner decided to do the same with the recently launched fourth-generation . With this kit, Mansory focused on making the SUV more powerful, luxurious and sophisticated.

In order to obtain these results, Mansory started with some upgrades under the hood. The V-8 engine was upgraded with a new sports air filter and an optimized engine electronic system. As a result, the V-8 engine’s output jumps by 68 horsepower and 51 pound feet to 578 horsepower and 512 pound-feet of torque. Mansory is also testing a kit that pushes output to 650 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque in initial testing — a boost of 140 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque.

The kit continues with a very cool aerodynamic kit, a new set of wheels and an updated interior.

Click past the jump to read more about the Range Rover Vogue by Mansory.

Posted on by Simona  

The new generation Jeep Grand Cherokee was unveiled at the 2010 New York Auto Show, and for the 2014 model year it got even better thanks to the addition of a new diesel engine and a new eight-speed automatic transmission. There is also a new Grand Cherokee Summit version added to the lineup, plus a new array of advanced user-friendly technology features.

Thanks to the new diesel engine, the Grand Cherokee will deliver the best-in-class fuel economy and driving range. Next to the new diesel engine the 2014 Grand Cherokee will continue to be offered with the usual V-6 and V-8 engines, that transformed the SUV into a leader on the market.

Jeep also decided to make some improvements on the exterior look and added new bi-xenon headlamps with signature LED daytime running lamps, while for the interior the model was updated with premium amenities including Natura leather, exotic open-pore wood trim and new color offerings.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Callaway Cars is best known for tuning Chevrolet and other GM models, and pushing them to unworldly numbers, but its history goes beyond just GM models. It has also taken BMW , VW , Porsche , Audi Mercedes-Benz , Aston Martin and many other models under its tuning wing. To be perfectly honest, though, most tuning enthusiasts consider Callaway a Chevy tuner.

Well, with the 2014 Silverado bringing a new generation to the legendary line of pickup trucks, it was only a matter of time before Callaway laid its tuning hands upon the model. Callaway is currently piecing together its version of the Silverado and anticipates the 5.3-liter engine to exceed 450 horsepower and the range-topping 6.2-liter V-8 to crest the 540-horsepower mark. These increases amount to minimal gains of 95 horsepower in model’s with a 5.3-liter engine and an estimated 120 horsepower in the 6.2-liter engine.

The biggest addition to the 2014 Callaway Silverado is a supercharger, but the tune will also include some electrical updates and a computer remap. Buyers will also have several optional features available, including: wheels and tires, suspension updates, interior refinements, body modifications, Honker intake systems and DD exhaust systems.

In the released image, we can see that there aren’t many additions to the body thus far. All we can see are some "Callaway" badges and some shiny, new rims.

This makes the second 2014 GM model that Callaway is working on, as earlier this year we got a look at the 2014 Corvette Stingray Aerowagon Concept . Whether you think it is blasphemy or the baddest Corvette mod you’ve ever seen, we can all agree that it is a dramatic sight.

More details will follow, but it looks like even though Chevy likely won’t offer up a competitor for the 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor or the 2014 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor models, at least Callaway will offer up a version that provides some competition.

Update 8/14/2013: Callaway has successfully installed its supercharger setup on the 5.3-liter Eco-Tec engine. There were some electrical issues that the tuner had to overcome, but after a few drive cycles it was working just fine. Callaway will release the final horsepower and torque specs soon. Callaway did announce that its tuning kit for the Silverado will start at $17,395.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado

Posted on by Simona  
Land Rover Range Rover LWB

The new-generation Land Rover Range Rover has been out for quite some time now, but we haven’t seen the entire lineup just yet. The company still has one more body version to uncover: the long wheelbase (LWB) model. Our spy photographers managed to pick one of the LWB versions out for a test drive today.

As expected, the long-wheelbase version will look nearly identical to the standard version, but the rear doors will be much longer than on the normal version and the wheelbase is extended about 150 mm (5.90 inches).

When compared to the base version, the long-wheelbase version will offer more space in the for the rear passengers, making it the perfect car for families that make good use of the rear seats.

Expect to see the new Land Rover Range Rover LWB unveiled later this year. Land Rover expects Russia and China to be the biggest markets for the upcoming Range Rover LWB, but the U.S. will also play an important role, as we are already the biggest market for Land Rover.

Posted on by TB +  

The 2014 SRX may look the same as last year’s model from the outside, but its redesigned interior now packs all the latest active safety technology, like fully adaptive cruise control. Paired with the optional AWD, this five-seat V-6 crossover is a confident and safe family car with Audi -inspired interior quality and trim choices.

You would not know it from the lack of exterior style, but the SRX is Cadillac’s most important model. It took in over one-third of total Cadillac volume over the last 3 years, despite a troubled launch.

The SRX debuted in the wrong place at the wrong time during the restructuring of GM and the closure of Saab . Twinned with the better-looking (but now defunct) Saab 9-7X, the SRX was left to shoulder the load of its own factory and hopefully double sales of the previous SRX into the mid-50,000-unit range annually.

The first-gen SRX was a cult hit with a CTS -based platform, available V-8 engines and rear or AWD. Commercially, the SRX’s narrow platform and wagon-like proportions failed to win meaningful sales ground, despite the big power, gorgeous LED brake lights and low roof.

The wagon-like SRX was replaced by this conventional front or AWD crossover. It was much closer to the Lexus RX350 template and has proved to be much more popular with normal consumers.

The SRX competes in the midsize luxury crossover segment pretty effectively in spite of its ugly-duckling beginnings. It is a top-10 seller (in its category of 25-plus other models) behind mini SUVs, like the best-selling Lexus RX , Acura MDX and Audi Q5 .

Is the mainstream Cadillac SRX a good choice for cruising comfort and safe family transport?

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Cadillac SRX with extra info on the new features, options and updates.

Posted on by Simona  

Audi announced plans to expand its SUV lineup with the unveiling of the Cross Coupe quattro concept at the 2007 Shanghai Motor Show. Ever since that unveiling, it has been pretty clear that the company is preparing a compact premium sports car with the spaciousness and versatility of a four-seat SUV.

When the Q3 finally arrived in production form at the 2011 Shanghai Motor Show, it offered no big surprises, as its exterior language remained nearly identical to the concept. The Q3 is built on the same A5 (PQ35) platform as the Volkswagen Tiguan and at launch, Audi was offered with a choice of three engines, with a fourth engine – diesel one – coming at a later date.

The Q3 was put on sale in Europe in June 2011 and it received no updates since then, except the recent addition of the most powerful version in the lineup: the Q3 RS .

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi Q3 SUV.

Posted on by Simona  

Back in July 2012, Audi announced the 2013 SQ5 TDI , which is the first S model in Audi’s history to bear a diesel engine. That’s all well and good, but what if you really want the new SQ5, but are not a big diesel fan? Well, then you will have to wait for the petrol version to debut. And it will next week at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.

The new Audi SQ5 TFSI will be specially developed for markets like United States, Canada and China, while in Europe the only version available will be the TDI one.

The model will be offered with the same "S" model upgrades seen in the TDI version: standard 20" wheels in triple-spoke design, a platinum gray radiator grille and of course a quadruple exhaust tips. Despite this similarities, the new petrol version has the advantage if being a little bit more powerful than the previous TDI engine, so the American customers will enjoy an extra 40 horsepower.

Updated 06/17/2013: Audi USA announced today prices for the 2014 Audi SQ5 that will arrive in U.S. showrooms later this summer. Click past the jump to learn how much you have to pay for the first-ever S variant of any Audi Q model.


Back to top