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Audi looks to be putting the finishing touches on is upcoming 2015 RS 3 Sportback as this test mule runs ‘round the Ring. Spotted thanks to its larger, more aggressive front lower fascia, lowered suspension, and the aggressive note spewing from the four oval exhaust tips, this Audi means business.

Under the hood, we expect the Audi to have a turbocharged, 2.5-liter, inline five-cylinder engine and Quattro all-wheel drive. This updated version of the same I-5 mill found in the previous RS 3 will likely find a home in the new TT RS as well. Rumors suggest the engine could produce more than 360 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque. Backing the five-banger would likely be the seven-speed, S-tronic dual-clutch found elsewhere in the Audi lineup.

What’s more important is the U.S. has an actual shot at getting the RS 3 Sportback on its shores. If you’ll recall, Audi set a goal back in 2011 of doubling sales of its sporty RS-branded cars in the United States by 2015. Well, the time has come, and the RS 3 Sportback is a likely candidate. The likelihood increases further considering Audi needs a competitor to the Mercedes CLA45 AMG and BMW M2 .

We expect to see the 2015 Audi RS 3 Sportback officially unveiled at the 2014 Paris Motor Show . If not, expect it at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show . Until then, enjoy this spy video of Audi’s meanest hot hatch tearing up the Nürburgring .

What happens when you combine rally heritage, diesel racing technology and a small sports car ? If you ask Audi, it will tell you that sounds the perfect recipe for the new 2015 Audi TT 2.0 TDI Ultra.

Yes, I know it’s an obnoxiously long name, but there is a lot of important information in there. First off, the 2015 Audi TT portion lets us know that this is based on the latest and greatest version of Audi’s venerable coupe , the TT. The 2.0 TDI tells us it uses the latest Volkswagen family, common-rail, turbo-diesel engine. The Ultra is the most important part though. Audi has reserved that term for new versions of its cars that are ultra-efficient while still retaining the fun and excitement that the brand is known for.

Considering this little rocket will hit 60 mph in less than seven seconds, reach a top speed of 150 mph and still manage more than 50 mpg, I think Audi has succeeded in its mission. Is this new TT the Ultra choice for frugal fun? Read on to find out more and decide for yourself.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Audi TT 2.0 TDI Ultra

If you missed this week’s episode of the TopSpeed Podcast , you might not be aware that I am currently reviewing the new Forza Horizon 2 game. I am not allowed to tell you much about it now, but if you want to get an idea of what the game is about, you can take a look at this video. This is the opening cutscene that takes place as soon as you turn the game on for the first time.

This video sets up the whole premise of the game. Forza isn’t a game about racing; it’s a game about the culture of the car. It celebrates the fun, the excitement, the friendship and the freedom that all comes with owning a car. It looks and feels a lot like my experience in the Gumball 3000 .

The video is a live-action piece, so don’t get too excited about how realistic it looks at first. I think the video is incredibly well-done and sets an excellent tone for the game as a whole. If you are interested in the game, you can buy it starting September 30th for both the Xbox One and the Xbox 360 . If you want a bit more information about the game, my review will go live Thursday September 25th.

While you wait for the review and the game to come out, why don’t you watch some of the other trailers and look over the official car list for the game.

Ringbrothers are responsible for some of the coolest resto-mod projects the tuning market has to offer. Be it the 1965 Ford Mustang Blizzard or the 1970 Chevrolet Camaro Diversion, Ringbrothers’ recent builds are arguably amongst the finest automotive works of art. Enormous horsepower, tastefully reshaped bodies and modern underpinnings make any classic muscle car with a Ringbrothers badge a prized collectible. Not surprising, these cars auction for big bucks. Last time we heard anything about the Wisconsin-based company, it brought the stunning 1971 De Tomaso Pantera ADRNLN to the 2013 SEMA Show . Nearly a year has passed, and Ringbrothers have yet another project on its hands.

This time around, the tuning shop is breathing new life into a 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle . The muscle car is being built for lubricant manufacturer Royal Purple, who plans to introduce four new products alongside the beefed-up Chevelle. It’s all scheduled to happen on November 4th, the first day of the 2014 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, let’s have a look at what the Ringbrothers have in store for this 1966 Chevelle.

Click past the jump to read more about the 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle By Ringbrothers.

Although the third-generation Audi TT has yet to arrive in dealerships — European deliveries are set to begin in December 2014, while U.S. customers won’t get it for the 2016 model year — the Germans have already developed a special-edition coupe. Dubbed Nuvolari, the model that precedes the commercial launch of the new TT over the pond pays tribute to an important figure in Audi’s history: Tazio Nuvolari.

Nuvolari is known as one of the greatest drivers in motorsport history. And for good reason, as the Italian-born ace has no less than 52 major racing victories to his name. His prodigious career spanned between 1924 and 1939, with a brief return from 1946 until 1950. He has driven various Bugattis , Alfa Romeos , Maseratis and Ferraris before switching to Auto Union, one of the most successful race car manufacturers of the 1930s. At the time, Auto Union incorporated four brands including Audi, which explains why Ingolstadt takes so much pride in Nuvolari.

Of course, the Audi TT is not in any way related to Tazio, but the TT Nuvolari Special Edition is a great way to stir emotions among classic motorsport enthusiasts. Especially in Italy, where this coupe will be launched on September 19th, 2014.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi TT Nuvolari Special Edition.

Source: Audi Italia

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.

Volvo turned a lot of heads in August 2014 when it revealed the new XC90 . Who knew the Swedish automaker — known more for safe, boxy cars — had the creative juices to develop a luxury SUV that has garnered a lot of praise. Not long after the debut of the XC90, Volvo followed that up with the debut of the XC90 R-Design.

The XC90 R-Design is an XC90 dressed up in a nice tuxedo. Ok, the bowtie might be a little too much but you get the point. It has a bagful of extra options for the SUV’s exterior, interior, and wheels. There are just the right amount of modifications to get noticed without going overboard.

The Volvo XC90 R-Design should begin production in May 2015 with deliveries to follow sometime in the latter part of the year.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Volvo XC90 R-Design.

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

With all the influx happening within Ferrari these days, you can at least count on one thing happening moving forward; the Italian automaker will continue to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by 20 percent by 2021. In order to accomplish that, Ferrari powertrain director Vittorio Dini told Automotive News that the company will continue down the path of using turbochargers on its V-8 engines and combining hybrid systems with its V-12 engines.

Ferrari already has two cars using a variation of each engine system. The California T already features a turbocharged V-8, becoming the first production turbocharged Ferrari since the iconic F40. On the flip-side, the LaFerrari became the first Ferrari to use a hybrid system, which was combined with a 6.3-liter V-12 to produce a combined 963 horsepower.

Moving forward, Dini told Automotive News that all V-8-powered Ferraris will use turbochargers, including the next iterations of the 458 Italia and the 458 Spider, which are scheduled to arrive in 2015 and 2016, respectively. The challenge with these turbocharged V-8 engines would be to decrease their displacements while increasing their output numbers.

A similar re-engineering is also expected to happen to the Ferrari FF and F12berlinetta , two models that currently use V-12 engines. Dini stopped short of officially confirming plans to use hybrid technology on both models, but don’t be surprised if the next FF arrives in 2016 with a hybrid system of its own. Same with the next F12berlinetta, which Ferrari may release in 2017 with modified version of the hybrid system.

Click past the jump to read more about Ferrari’s future engines.

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.


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