Car News

BMW ’s modern history with compact cars began in 1993 with the liftback version of the 3 Series . Discontinued in 2000, the compact Bimmer returned for the 2005 model year as the 1 Series . Four different body styles were built until 2013, when BMW decided to invent a new moniker for the two-door coupe and convertible . The coupe became the 2 Series , while the three-door and five-door hatchbacks continued as the 1 Series. The second-gen hatchbacks were launched in 2011 and a refreshed model is expected to debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show . Meanwhile, BMW is working to expand the 1 Series lineup to include a sedan, giving it yet another way to compete against its long-time German rivals from Mercedes-Benz and Audi .

Created to go against the A3 Sedan and the CLA four-door coupe, the 1 Series Sedan has become more than just an idea as of September 2014. Scheduled to break cover sometime in 2016, the four-door is already being tested on the company’s new UKL platform. This detail is of great importance, as BMW is switching to front-wheel-drive, a configuration Audi and Mercedes have already embraced for the A3 and the CLA, respectively.

Updated 09/11/2014: We have prepared a new rendering for you showing the future 1 Series Sedan. It features the latest BMW design language, that includes the updated headlamp style that run into the grill. Check it out after the jump.

Land Rover is set to embark on a massive and admittedly ambitious expansion the likes of which we haven’t seen from the British SUV maker. The company’s Range Rover brand has always been its meal ticket, but there’s a good chance that it might soon share honors with the Discovery and Defender models, each of which is set to expand into its own family of models.

Car Magazine is reporting that that Land Rover is laying the groundwork to create a separate line of models for the Discovery and the Defender, effectively creating three sub-families under the Land Rover name. The British magazine discussed this development with Land Rover’s design director and chief creative officer, Gerry McGovern. According to McGovern, Land Rover is aligning its brands to create three separate families - Range Rover, Discovery, and Defender - with each family having one standout characteristic.

The Range Rover will be a luxury sub-brand, that was established a long time ago. The Discovery, however, will be all about "Leisure," something Land Rover began with the arrival of the sportier-than-usual Discovery Sport, which is apparently taking the place of the Freelander . Discussions within the company are also on-going regarding the development of the fifth-generation Discovery that was showcased in preview guise by the Discovery Vision Concept at the 2014 New York Auto Show .

Land Rover will also work on differentiating the Range Rover models from the Discovery models.

Then there’s the Defender. McGowan described it as the dual-purpose sub-brand that will be markedly different from the Range and Discovery brands. Don’t expect the new lineup of Defenders to be similar in aesthetics to its brothers, as these models will retain the same utilitarian character best associated with the roots of Land Rover. McGown specifically pointed to the importance of having multiple Defender models, largely because it’s the brand that will cater to traditional fans of Land Rover.

“The Defender is about durability,” McGowan told Car. “You kick the hell out of them and they get up for more.”

Click past the jump to read more about Land Rover’s future plans.

Source: CAR

BMW announced its new 2 Series convertible, including the M235i and this 228i, in September 2014. While the M235i will be the choice of most enthusiasts and weekend track rats, the standard 228i and the 228i xDrive will be the ones found at Whole Foods and Macy’s, and will constitute the bulk of 2 Series sales. That’s not a bad thing, however, as the BMW’s latest drop top checks all the right boxes for topless automotive fun.

A high-strung, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine comes boosted by a twin-scroll turbocharger and is backed by an eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters or a six-speed manual. The quick-shifting flappy paddle helps the 228i hit 60 mph in a surprising 5.7 seconds. What’s more, the 228i’s chassis share many of its designs and parts with the 228i coupe, giving it some street cred right out of the box.

The 228i xDrive brings an extra level of usability to the 2 Series Convertible’s lineup. With a normal torque split favoring the rear axle, the xDrive 2 has plenty of sport still in its chassis. However, when the weather turns rough, all four wheels grip the road. The xDrive system even makes itself useful in the dry, helping the 228i xDrive knock a tenth of a second off the 228i’s 0 to 60 mph time.

While the now-dead 1 Series may have been the first drop-top contender in the premium sub-compact segment, the new 228i and 228i xDrive take the legacy into the future. If 1 Series 130,000 units sold worldwide is any indication of the 2 Series Convertible’s potential success, BMW’s latest convertible will have no trouble finding homes.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 2-Series Convertible.

You can go ahead and mark another successful TopSpeed Podcast in the books. Thanks for everyone who hung out with us live. We really appreciate it. If you missed the live show, don’t worry. You can watch or listen to the entire show right here.

We start things off with Mark’s week spent with the Hyundai Sonata Turbo . I take some time to talk about how incredibly well-designed the new 2015.5 Volvo XC60 is, and Mark comes back to talk about the incredible fun that is the Lexus RC and RC F .

When we make it over to the news portion of the show we spend the start of the show discussing the departure of Ferrari’s chairman, Luca di Montezemolo and what it could mean for the brand going forward. After that we move on to some Viper talk with the announcement of the new price cut, and we look at our beautiful rendering of what a new Viper Roadster would look like.

We keep up the excitement of new car news with a discussion about how great the new Mercedes AMG GT and Jaguar XE look now that both have been officially announced.

In this week’s Viewer Questions we talk about the V-8 engines we think sound the best and we discuss what happens if we get a press car that we don’t like. Do we still drive it, or does it sit in the driveway while we enjoy our personal cars?

We finish things up with an Own, Drive, Burn segment that consists of three legendary cars from Nissan’s past.

As always, we appreciate everyone who watches or listens. Don’t forget to leave your comments below. We love any and all feedback; good or bad. We also love to get questions and Own, Drive, Burn suggestions for next week’s show.

Stay safe and have a wonderful weekend, everyone. We will be back to see you next Thursday!

With the lightweight Jaguar XE soon to start battling the BMW 3 Series , rumors about the British company planning to roll out an entire family of vehicles are flying all over the place. Although not officially confirmed, the move makes a lot of sense considering Jaguar is aiming to become a strong competitor to Germany’s finest. Naturally, this scenario got us all excited and thinking what would an XE Coupe and Sportbrake version of the look like. Our rendering team was quick to provide us with some answers in that aspect, and, with the coupe already online, we have returned to show you the XE Sportbrake.

Yes, that’s right, we’re 100-percent positive the station wagon version of the XE will carry the Sportbrake moniker. It’s already a tradition in the Jaguar family and the Brits wouldn’t have it any other away, considering the same nameplate is used for the larger XF. Read on to see what it takes for the XE to become a premium grocery-getter.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2017 Jaguar XE Sportbrake.

Like most high-performance vehicles, the BMW M3 was the perfect platform for a dozen special-edition models throughout its history. Who can forget about the E36-based GTR and the E46-based CSL , or even the Cecotto and Ravaglia editions of the first-generation M3? Then there’s the GTS, arguably one of the best-performing M3’s in history. Launched for the 2010 model year and built in only 250 units, the GTS was a more powerful and lighter version of the E92 M3 . The coupe was powered by a 4.4-liter V-8 rated at 444 horsepower and weighed 300 pounds less than the standard M3. These specs made it incredibly fast in the 0-to-60-mph sprint, which took only 4.2 seconds, and quite popular with collectors. All 250 units sold immediately, despite a sticker of €115,000 ($149,000 as of 09/11/2014). The E92 GTS remained the sole GTS built to date, but it seems the Germans have a new iteration underway, this time around based on the M4 .

That’s the word from our skilled photographers, who spotted what appears to be a track-prepped version of the M4 set to carry the GTS moniker. And although BMW has done its best to parade it as a MotoGP Safety Car , we have reasons to believe this coupe is more than just a pace setter.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 BMW M4 GTS.

Subaru has another special-edition model for the BRZ . Raise your hand if you think it’s becoming a tad too much. I don’t mind that the company wants the sports coupe to improve its on-road presence, but there’s been a lot of these lately and none of them come with the upgrade we all really want. You know, that part about improving the car’s performance capabilities.

Granted, this BRZ Special Edition does have a few nice additions, especially those GT stripes that add an aggressive touch to the sports car . It’s also a different touch from what we’re used to. Heck, some people might think the stripes themselves are worth the "Special Edition" label attached to the model.

Add all the new exterior and interior upgrades, and they all combine to make a pretty appealing package that a lot of customers will definitely be interested in. But even with all those additions, there’s still that one little piece of the puzzle that’s missing, and we all know what it is (read: more power).

I’m not getting my hopes up, but then again, stranger things have happened.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Subaru BRZ Special Edition.

It has become inevitable that electric-powered cars are the way of the future. We aren’t quite sure how electricity is going to be created to power these cars, but it has been almost universally accepted that batteries and motors are the way forward. Of course, people are lazy and they get concerned about things like charging times, plug variations and charging locations. BMW and Daimler have teamed up to hopefully make charging as easy and painless as possible with new wireless charging technology .

I won’t go too deep into the technology behind it, but think of it as a really large version of the wireless charging technology that some cellphones use. Basically, there is a large conductive coil installed into the bottom of the car that is attached to the batteries. If you park over the top of a second large conductive coil that is attached to a power source, the car batteries will begin charging. BMW has also managed to develop this system to be extremely fast and efficient. They say that this system can fully charge the new BMW i8 in less than two hours with the current prototype system.

Another benefit of this system is the ability to build it into any flat pavement. Entire mall parking lots or even highways could theoretically be wired with conduction coils, so your car would actually be charging as you went shopping or drove to work. If electric cars are the future, this is like warping into the age of the Jetsons.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW’s new Inductive Charging System.

A recent report suggesting a coupe version of the Jaguar XE is in the works got us thinking; what would a coupe version of the XE look like and more importantly, what kind of engine will it have? The latter is a question that we don’t have answers to, but the question of the XE Coupe’s looks was solved by a quick email to our crack rendering team and voila, we have an image.

The rendering that our artist created of the future XE Coupe is based on the sedan model. True to form, our artist delivered with a detailed rendering that looks brazenly like a hard-charging coupe with the intentions of destroying the 4 Series and C-Class Coupe.

Remember, Jaguar has not officially confirmed plans of an XE Coupe, only throwing out that thinly veiled statement of "never say never." Take it for what it’s worth, but if you’re putting stock on it like we are, this rendering should at least point you in the right direction as far as what the XE Coupe could look like.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2017 Jaguar XE Coupe.

There was a lot of panic when rumors about Dodge planning to produce only 1,200 units of its impressive Challenger Hellcat SRT a year surfaced. Fortunately, Chrysler was quick to deny it, leaving the HEMI-powered Hellcat available to just about anyone. Well, anyone who’s willing to part with $60,990 for a muscle car, that is! If the Hellcat is on your to-buy list this fall, then it’s time you start building it, as Dodge has just fired up the car’s online configurator.

As expected, the Hellcat is far from being a Mini Cooper as far as personalization is concerned, but there is a handful of exterior colors and options you can choose from. As far as exterior extras go, Dodge offers a set of 275/40ZR20 summer performance tires for $395, a power sunroof for $1,195, and a Satin Black aluminum hood with functional vents for $995. Inside, buyers have to come up with $695 for a Uconnect system that has more than just AM/FM radio and Bluetooth connectivity. A set of red seat belts will set you back $95, while premium Laguna leather seats will fetch an extra $1,795.

Only two options are available in the drivetrain department. If you’re not into shifting your own gears, the standard six-speed manual can be replaced by the available TorqueFlite, eight-speed automatic. The unit costs $1,995. The second option is an engine block heater priced at $95. Dodge also offers plenty of exterior and interior color options. Read on to find out more about that.

Source: Dodge

Back to top