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Holden has built small utility vehicles since the early 1950s. At first it was the Special-based Utility. The Kingswood-based coupe utility followed in 1968 and remained an integral part of the lineup until the model got the axe in 1984. The body style returned in 1990 as part of the Commodore family and adopted the familiar Ute name. Since Chevrolet cut the El Camino from its lineup in 1987, the Ute remained the only mainstream utility coupe manufactured by General Motors. The Holden Ute has become increasingly powerful over the last two decades, especially with HSV building its beefed-up version. Unfortunately, the Ute saga will come to an end in 2016, when Holden is scheduled to cease vehicle manufacturing operations in Australia. As the 2015 model year looms, HSV is bidding farewell to its iconic muscle pickup by launching the GTS Maloo, the most-powerful Ute ever created in Australia.

Still cranky about GM not wanting to import the Commodore Ute to North America? Well, then get ready to have a seizure because the GTS Maloo is the coolest coupe utility since the 1970 El Camino SS 454 LS6. And it’s supercharged!

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 HSV GTS Maloo.

The crisp, cold air caught me off guard when I stepped from the hotel into the staging area where Lexus had filed a handful of its newest creations into two lines, prepped for a drive through the lush countryside that envelopes New York’s Hudson Valley. The brisk air might not have been what this Floridian was used to in mid-September, but once behind the wheel of the 2015 Lexus RC F, things became familiar.

Though I’d not sat in Lexus’ two-door, rear-drive sports coupe a day in my life, the interior was an immediately recognizable place, harking back to my time in the 2014 IS 350 F-Sport. The controls fell in the same position, the infotainment screen showed the same Enform system, even the overall design looked like I’d accidentally sat in the wrong Lexus.

And that’s not a bad thing.

While there’s plenty of IS flavor in the new RC, there’s even more that’s unfamiliar. The beautifully stitched sports seats, the reworked gauge cluster, and the center console arrangement are all new, not to mention the 2+2 seating configuration.

Slipping the eight-speed automatic into gear, the faintly audible rumble of the RC F’s 5.0-liter V-8 mumbled at a lower tone. Our entourage of journalists was off to conquer a two-hour drive before arriving at our destination, Monticello Motor Club.

My recent drive around the Monticello Motor Club in the 2015 Lexus RC still has me pondering all the possibilities Lexus could throw at its new two-door coupe. TopSpeed has already reported Lexus’ hints at a four-door version of the car, but then the idea struck about a drop-top version. It makes perfect sense, so just follow along.

See, the RC’s chassis is a mishmash of sorts. It’s front clip, engine cradle, and suspension supports are borrowed from the GS sedan . The rear section is from the new IS sedan. But the middle section is pulled off the aging IS C, Lexus’ 2+2 hardtop convertible. Now with that stiff center section acting as the RC’s foundation, plus the serious bracing Lexus put in the chassis’ middle section, it seems completely possible for the RC to get a convertible version.

The idea becomes even more plausible when considering Lexus could replace the old IS C convertible with the RC Convertible. Development and engineering costs would be minimal as the majority of the work should already be done. Lexus’ customer base then gets a new hardtop convertible that could come available with the F Sport and track-ready F packages. That puts Lexus in line to compete with the BMW M4 Convertible and Audi RS 5 Cabriolet.

The RC Convertible would span all trim and powertrain levels, so expect the base RC 350 to get the topless treatment too — just as our rendering shows. Expect the RC Convertible to debut for the 2016 model year if the project gets the go-ahead.

Click past the jump to read more about the future Lexus RC.

Sometimes you just need a manual transmission to row. That’s how our friend Chris Harris feels before he hops in two of the last manual-transmission track cars still around, the older 997 Porsche GT3 RS and the famed 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 .

A rain-soaked racetrack nestled in the rolling English countryside provides the playground, and despite the standing water, the two cars stay planted on the tarmac. Sure, Harris has plenty of sideways action, but it seems nothing was unplanned.

The point of this little track test, according to Harris, isn’t to compare the Z/28 and GT3 RS side-by-side, but to just have fun rowing gears in a proper sports car — something our host isn’t used to saying in regards to a Camaro . Nevertheless, the Z/28’s engine with its high-tech internals and 7,000-rpm redline, provides plenty of fun. Its 305-series tires provide enough grip around the wet track to keep the 3,800-pound car from sliding into the wall.

Manual transmission-equipped sports cars are becoming less and less popular, as the performance numbers provided by these new flap-paddle gearboxes outdo those of the manual and as fewer people know how to drive stick. While it’s probable most folks looking to buy a hyped-up sports car know how to do the three-pedal dance, it’s undeniable that dual-clutch automatics are faster around a track.

But that begs the question; is speed everything, or is the connection and experience with the car worth more? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Infiniti’s all set to debut the QX70S Design at the 2014 Paris Motor Show in October. But first, how about a few teaser photos to get us all started. That’s the approach the company’s taking with its newest special-edition model. Fortunately, details aren’t as limited as the photos, so at least we get a mental picture of what we can expect to see when the QX70S Design makes it entrance.

The first indication points to the prevalent use of dark chrome on the full-sized luxury crossover . Infiniti says that there’s plenty of the dark chrome finish on the QX70S Design, including the grille, fog light surrounds, side air scoops, side sills and rear numberplate surround. Meanwhile, the headlights now come in a smoked finish, which should give the front end a more stylish look.

There’s been no indication on any performance upgrades, and we don’t expect there to be any. Either way, the QX70 already has a brute of a 3.7-liter V-6 under its hood. It’s capable of producing 325 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque, which is good enough to accelerate the SUV to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds to go with a top speed of 155 mph.

Infiniti’s plans for the QX70S Design call for the special edition SUV to hit selected markets in Western Europe as soon as the car finishes up at the Paris Motor Show.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Infiniti QX70S Design.

The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray has had strong sales numbers since it hit the market in 2013. But even a fast, powerful, and popular car isn’t immune from the tentacles of auto recalls. That’s exactly where the 2015 Corvette Stingray finds itself now with General Motors set to issue two recalls on the sought-after sports car .

Automotive News is reporting that GM is issuing these recalls to address problems with the Corvette Stingray’s airbags and parking brake cables. All in all, 2,800 models are affected by these problems, but most of these models have yet to leave dealerships. These issues are why GM sent stop-delivery orders to dealers late last week.

The airbag recall, in particular, affects around 2,000 Corvettes, most of which are still in Chevrolet’s plant in Kentucky. The problem centers on the driver-side airbag that could separate from the steering wheel in a crash, resulting in the potential injuries. An additional 800 2015 Corvette Stingray models have also been found to have defective parking brake cables that are not “fully seated and engaged” and could cause a significant drop in operational capability.

Both recalls have yet to be announced publicly because certain parts, especially for the airbags, are currently not available.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette.

Audi joined the ever-growing SUV market in late 2005, when it unveiled the Q7 full-size at the Frankfurt Motor Show . Audi launched the SUV in North America for the 2007 model year and since then it has received numerous gasoline and diesel powertrains. Although the German brand showed a hybrid Q7 concept as early as 2005, Audi didn’t develop a production model for the first-generation Q7 . The study came with a 4.2-liter, FSI engine and an electric motor that provided 150 pound-feet of extra torque. As Audi began testing the second-gen Q7 in 2014, a hybrid version of the SUV has finally started to take shape.

Our trusty paparazzi have just informed us that Audi is testing more than just regular SUVs, including a future hybrid. Now that Porsche has revealed its Cayenne S E-Hybrid, Ingolstadt is upping the ante with a fuel-sipping, yet still potent family hauler of its own and we have visual proof. Read on to get a first glimpse at the upcoming Q7 Plug-In Hybrid .

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Audi Q7 Plug-in Hybrid.

Although the Lancer nameplate goes all the way back to 1973, the sedan didn’t become the high-performance vehicle we all know today until the early 1990s. It was 1992 when Mitsubishi launched the Lancer Evolution , a beefed-up version of the standard Lancer originally intended for the Japanese market. Its immediate success prompted Mitsubishi to sell it globally, and the Lancer Evo legend was born. No less than ten generations have been developed since then, with the first nine built through 2006. The most recent iteration, the Evolution X, has been in production since October 2007 as a 2008 model year but took a one-year break in 2009 only to return the following year. The 2015 model year will be the last for the Lancer Evo, with the iconic moniker to be retired all over the world.

Having been discontinued in many markets as of September 2014, the Lancer Evo X lives on for the 2015 model year in the United States with a host of updates and new features. Read on to find out more about the final version of the Evo X and the updates it received since its 2010 facelift.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2008-2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X.

The world debut of the fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata back on September 3rd wasn’t as much a debut as much as it was a “Hey, what’s up, world! This is what I look like” event. It didn’t give us anything more than a look at the MX-5’s new body. That would have been fine for any other car, but this is the Miata we’re talking about here. The full details of the sports roadster are expected to be announced at the Paris Motor Show, but that didn’t stop the folks over at Motoring Australia from digging deeper and finding out a few things about the fourth-gen MX-5.

A source close to the Australian auto site revealed that the Miata will weigh only 1,020 kg (2,248 pounds), close to 100 kg (220 pounds) less than its predecessor. Unfortunately, the engineering team failed to meet its goal of making the new Miata weight less than 1,000 kg.

Additionally, the third-generation Miata reportedly has more safety and convenience features, including the company’s new MXD Connect infotainment technology . A seven-inch color touchscreen will also be a welcome addition, as will the Bluetooth connectivity, satellite navigation, head restraint-mounted speakers, and LED lighting.

Here’s where things get interesting. According to Motoring, the entry-level model of the fourth-gen Miata will feature a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder, Skyactiv engine that produces 128 horsepower. Torque figures are still being kept under wraps, but if that number is accurate, that’s marginally better than the third-generation model and its entry-level output of 125 ponies. A separate report also indicated that the U.S.-spec Miata will receive a 2.0-liter engine that produces a little over 145 horsepower. Both models will come with a six-speed transmission with the latter available for an upgrade to a dual-clutch semi-automatic transmission.

Ultimately, we won’t know if these numbers are accurate until the Paris Motor Show in October 2014, but these reports get us even more excited for the roadster’s full debut.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Mazda MX-5.

Source: Motoring

The 2015 Nissan GT-R NISMO carries a base price of $149,990. That’s money I don’t have, and any dream I had of someday owning this Japanese monster has long gone down the tubes. But fortunately, there’s another way for me — and all those who can’t afford the NISMO-clad Godzilla — to enjoy it in all its fire-breathing glory. Nissan and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe have announced that the GT-R NISMO is now available for Gran Turismo 6.

The companies made the announcement at the GT Academy 2014 European Race Camp at Silverstone. It’s only appropriate that Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi was the one who made the announcement. After all, he did create the video game franchise that remains one of the best-selling car racing games in history. Yamauchi said "The GT-R NISMO is an incredible car, and I am thrilled that Nissan is able to not only offer it to drivers across the globe, but now also to gamers in the virtual world of Gran Turismo 6."

"It’s another great example of how Nissan continues to bring innovation and excitement to all – both in the real and virtual world."

According to the man himself, the GT-R NISMO will be available from the in-game dealership. Gran Turismo 6 players who entered the GT Academy 2014 competition have the added treat of acquiring the car as a free download. No added costs needed; just a fast and reliable Internet connection.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo.


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