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Grab a bag of popcorn boys and girls, MotorTrend’s latest episode of "Head 2 Head" is live on YouTube! Pitted against one another this time is the Mercedes-Benz SLK55 AMG and the Jaguar F-Type V-6 S. Both are convertibles , and both come with plenty of drop-top attitude.

Up first is the 2014 Mercedes SLK55 AMG, which is powered by a 5.5-liter, naturally aspirated V-8 making 415 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. The AMG mill is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission that drives the rear tires. The combination is good for a 0-to-60-mph run of just 4.2 seconds on its way to a 12.6-second quarter mile run at 113.3 mph. Around the skid pad, the Merc holds a 0.93 G of lateral acceleration.

The Jaguar F-Type V-6 S is similarly matched with the Mercedes, though its power comes from a V-6. The Jag’s supercharged, 3.0-liter V-6 kicks out 375 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission does the shifting, while the rear tires lay power to the ground. The Jag has a respectable 0-to-60-mph run of 4.4 seconds and does the quarter mile in 13 seconds flat at 108.7 mph. The F-Type matches the SLK in road holding, laying down 0.93 G.

MotorTrend host Jonny Lieberman takes the two contenders to two of their natural habitats: the beach and the back roads. Both cars excel in both areas, though the SLK got negative remarks about its high doors, slow transmission, and lackluster interior. The Jaguar , on the other hand, got almost nothing but praise for its ridiculous exhaust, ZF-sourced eight-speed tranny, solid brakes, and smooth steering.

For more, just watch the video. Leave a comment below with your thoughts.

Luxury automakers love leasing cars, as they make a little money, the buyer gets a complete tax write-off and the company gets a well-maintained car back at the end of the contract. For July 2014, Maserati is giving U.S. customers a new reason to love the Ghibli , as it is offering an enticing lease deal: a three-year lease at a cost of just $799 a month. That’s an incredible deal for a car that carries a $71k MSRP.

The Ghibli is an attractive ride from front to back that’s complemented by a luxurious interior, a powerful engine, and yes, high fuel efficiency. In a lot of ways, it really is the complete package. And with this offer, it is apparent that Maserati is pushing the model hard.

This lease deal affords the leasee 10,000 miles per year and requires $5,249 at signing. Both requirements are rather acceptable for a short-term lease like this.

The promotion is available until July 31, 2014. That’s a little over two weeks from now so it’s probably a good idea to see if you can afford to take up Maserati’s offer.

Click past the jump to read more about the Maserati Ghibli and see how this lease stacks up to others.

The Laferrari FXX and the LaFerrari Spider have been in the rumormill for quite some time now. The FXX has already been spotted testing on the Nurburgring track, but unlike McLaren, Ferrari has yet to confirm a track-only LaFerrari is underway. Same goes for the LaFerrari Spider, which is rumored to join its coupe sibling sometime in 2015.

However, a new report coming from CAR suggest both LaFerrari spin-offs are set for a 2015 launch. Production is likely to commence as soon as the last of the 499 LaFerrari coupes leaves the assembly line, with both supercars to be built in very limited quantities. Much like the previous, Enzo-based special-edition Ferraris, both LaFerrari derivatives will be offered to the company’s most exclusive customers.

CAR also reveals Ferrari is currently working on no less than nine new vehicles, but until we can get hold of more information on that matter, let’s have a closer look at the LaFerrari FXX and LaFerrari Spider.

Click past the jump to read more about the Ferrari LaFerrari Spider and FXX.

Source: CAR

The 2016 Cadillac ATS-V Coupe just returned to our inbox wearing less camouflage than before. Initially spotted near the Nurburgring track with heavy cladding over its front and rear fascias, the upcoming BMW M4 competitor took German streets wearing nothing but the familiar swirly wrap seen on most prototypes. It might not sound like a good reason to celebrate since we’re still not able to see the vehicle in the metal, but the missing camo confirms some of the details we speculated upon on previous occasions.

The high-performance coupe is currently undergoing testing in Germany before a market launch that’s scheduled next year as a 2016 model. The two-door compact is one of the first two ATS models to carry the "V" badge and joins a segment dominated by the BMW M4, Audi RS5 and the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe . We expect the ATS-V Coupe to shed even more camouflage by the end of the year. Meanwhile, hit the jump to have a look at our fresh spy shots and check out the first details surrounding the vehicle’s new design.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Cadillac ATS-V.

It’s been only a couple of days since Cadillac unloaded a pair of CTS-Vs in Germany for some extensive testing on the Nurburgring track, and we just got word that the high-performance sedans have again unleashed their force-fed ponies on the "Green Hell." In fact, we have some new spy shots to share with you guys and gals, as well as a few juicy bits about the CTS-V’s brand-new engine.

It seems the 2016 CTS-V feels quite cozy on the Nordschleife and that’s good news for both Cadillac and muscle sedan enthusiasts. The current-gen CTS-V already benefits from tons of horsepower and torque to go along with good dynamics and precise handling. The spy shots show the added power won’t make the next CTS-V less agile. On the contrary, the new chassis updates have improved on the car’s skills in that department. Cadillac is looking to tighten the gap between the high-performance sedan and its popular competitors — the BMW M5 and the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG — and the next-gen CTS-V might be able to do just that.

But until it hits dealerships and starts barking up the German high-performance tree, let’s see what’s new on the CTS-V prototypes caught lapping the Nurburgring track.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V.

The Lexus IS has been roaming the streets of America since 2000. That IS 300 came powered by a 3.0-liter, inline-six-cylinder engine making 217 horsepower and 218 pound-feet of torque mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The IS’ first generation was a groundbreaking one, setting plenty of design standards and even setting a few trends with its clear taillight housings. Then for 2006, the second-generation IS launched with an updated look and a slew of V-style engines. The car came in IS 250 and 350 guises until Lexus launched the IS F , a high-performance variant powered by a 5.0-liter V-8, in 2007. A clean sweep came across the IS lineup in 2008, along with the addition of a hardtop convertible. Still utilizing the second-generation platform and styling, the 2014 IS 350C soldiers on as the rest IS lineup gets a whole new look.

I just recently spent a week behind the wheel of Lexus’ 2014 IS 350C, complete with the F Sport package. Despite its exclusion from the redesign, the IS 350C is still a lovely car to look at and drive. Of course, the main focus surrounds that aluminum-alloy folding hardtop, and with good cause. A short, 20-second transformation makes the two door coupe into a 2+2 drop-top perfect for boulevard cruising and back-road burning.

Click past the jump for the full review

Posted on by Austin Taylor  

The Cadillac Escalade really doesn’t need an introduction. Even the most oblivious, non-car-enthusiast consumer could easily identify — and lust after — an Escalade . Car shoppers buy Tahoes and Yukons , which the Escalade is based on, because they need them to tow boats, carry gear, and haul large families around in. Other individuals buy the Escalade simply because they want it. Seeing as a loaded-out Yukon Denali can top $70,000, what’s the big deal to pay a few grand more for the Caddy? A nicely-equipped, four-wheel-drive model can be yours for $75,290.

The new-for-2015 Escalade has been well-received by critics. The undisputed king-of-bling in this segment, combining sharp, polarizing styling, a plenty-powerful, 420-horsepower V-8, and, finally, a gorgeous interior worthy of the price. Dealers will likely not be able to keep these on their lots.

However, that isn’t stopping Cadillac from possibly introducing a few new variants in the next year or so. Cadillac is reportedly considering a Vsport edition, likely powered by the 3.6-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6. Expect more than the current 420 horsepower it provides for the CTS Vsport. Even a turbodiesel V-6 could be in the works.

Note: Standard Cadillac Escalade pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Cadillac Escalade Vsport.

We already know most of the details surrounding the 2015 Mustang , but what Ford has given us so far is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s at least one high-performance version underway and a bunch of special-edition models are sure to follow. While the beefed-up Mustang SVT is still testing on the ’Ring with swirly camouflage covering its muscular body, Ford’s next special-edition ’Stang is already out in the open, thanks to our friends over at Mustangs Daily.

The said muscle car is actually a one-off model built for EAA AirVenture and joins previous bespoke projects that have paid tribute to either iconic U.S. airplanes or air demonstration squadrons such as the U.S.A.F. Thunderbirds. The latest custom Mustang to arrive in the EAA AirVenture collection before being auctioned off for charity is inspired by the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, a multi-role fighter plane with stealth capability introduced in 2006.

Like most aviation-themed Mustangs, the custom muscle car will go under the hammer at the Gathering of Eagles charity event at EAA AirVenture. All proceeds will be donated to the EAA Young Eagles program, a non-profit organization providing free flights to aviation enthusiasts since 1992.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Ford Mustang Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II.

The Challenger made its fateful return to Dodge’s lineup in 2008 following decades of remaining dormant. For the 2015 model year, the Challenger received a refresh that included a set of taillights that hark back to the 1971 model year. Those fancy taillights are small potatoes when compared to the big news of 2015, the addition of the 700-plus-horsepower Challenger SRT Hellcat.

The wait if finally over, ladies and gentlemen! Dodge has unleashed its most powerful Challenger ever — the Hellcat. Rumored since early last year and initially expected to show up at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, the monstrous muscle car was raised from the dark pits of Hell with a huge, supercharged, 6.2-liter, V-8 mill under the hood and an appearance that will make the Shelby GT500 tremble in fear.

Needless to say, the Challenger Hellcat is the first product of the newly consolidated Dodge and SRT brands, a range-topping model that will sit above the already beefed-up 392 HEMI Scat Pack Shaker that we’ve seen during the New York Auto Show last month.

"The new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is the ultimate performance muscle car," said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge Dodge president and CEO, naming it "a true GT car with an all-new driver-focused interior." The beastly coupe will be built at Chrysler’s Brampton Assembly plant in Ontario, Canada, but production won’t begin until the third quarter of 2014.

If you’re as excited as we are, waiting that long to see and drive the most powerful Challenger ever made will be painful to say the least. However, that gives us more than enough time to go through all the details and find out what the Hellcat is made of. Aside from the supercharged, V-8 HEMI we’re already drooling over...

Updated 07/16/2014: Pricing for the 2015 Challenger Hellcat SRT have been officially confirmed by Chrysler: $59,995 (excluding $995 destination and including $2,100 gas-guzzler tax; $1,700 gas-guzzler tax on models with the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic).

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.

When it comes to driving, there are two things I can’t live without. A nice pair of lightweight shoes and my sunglasses. The shoes are there to assist with speed and feeling when driving a car quickly, and the sunglasses are there for basically everything else.

Your eyes are easily your most important sense for driving, and with large collections of LCD screens everywhere in the cabin, ultra-gloss metallic paints reflecting glare at every chance, your eyes are constantly being attacked. Rather than simply use a standard tint to help protect your eyes, a new premium lens has been released called Unity. Unity lenses promise the best of polarization technology, along with new performance features like outdoor, blue-light protection.

Unity says that their lenses block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays, provide enhanced clarity and contrast, plus they will reduce eye fatigue. Thanks to that fancy blue-light filter, they will apparently also help prevent macular degeneration over time.

I have spent the last several years wearing a set of polarized Oakleys and felt like nothing in the world could beat them. Unity took up that gauntlet and set me up with a few glasses in different styles with slightly different tints so I could test their claims against my go-to Oakley sunglasses.

Are all these fancy buzz words and medical claims legitimate, or is Unity just one more name cast into the world of sunglasses trying to grab your attention?

Read on to see if the Unity lenses stand up to their marketing claims.


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