Car News

Jay is riding low in this episode of Jay Leno’s Garage . Our legendary petrol-head host meets up with three low rider aficionados who take Jay through the ins and outs of low rider tech and history. The two beautiful low rider examples are a black, 1966 Chevrolet Impala and a pinstriped 1963 Chevy Impala Convertible. Both are completely customized with unique parts and outstanding chrome work.

Jay starts off talking with the editor of Lowrider Magazine, Joe Ray, about how the low-rider culture got its start back in the 1960s and how it’s spreading all over the world today.

After that, Jay talks with Chris Najera, the owner of the black 1966 Impala about why he kept a solid paint color and how he modernized a few key bits of the interior. Under the hood lies an absolutely beautiful V-8 drenched in chrome and brimming with power.

Brandon Brusca then shows Jay nearly every inch of his candy-colored orange 1963 Impala Convertible. Every single inch of the car is completely customized. The pinstriped paint job runs the entire length of the car and exemplified automotive artistic craftsmanship. A 409-cubic-inch V-8 burbles between pinstriped inner fender wells and is covered in chrome.

Jay continues to take a look at the ’63 Impala, but from the underside, where the craftsmanship and attention to detail matches that of the top side. There are even engravings on the chrome-plated link bars for the rear suspension. Every nut, every bolt, and every connector is shined to meticulous perfection.

The kicker to it all is the ’63 Impala’s air-suspension system. It utilizes air compressors originally built in the 1960s for U.S. fighter planes. The video might be long, but it’s worth your time, even if you’re not into the low-rider scene.

The Toyota FT-1 Concept was unveiled last January amidst a chorus of adulation coming from all corners of the auto industry. In a lot of ways, the FT-1 was more than just a concept. It was the reinvigoration of hope that the successor to the Toyota Supra was just around the corner. But what we didn’t know then was that Toyota may have bigger plans for the FT-1 Concept other than its intended showpiece purpose.

FT1Club moderator VH_Supra26 noticed something peculiar in an episode of Motor Trend’s Downshift series featuring the FT-1 Concept. In that episode, the concept’s designers talked shop about the concept, describing what it represented in the company’s future sports car plans.

But in one of the scenes during the episode, sketch boads in the background revealed a particular sketch of a heavily modified FT-1 Concept. At the very least, it looked a lot more aggressive than the "standard" concept version, leading many to speculate that the Japanese automaker is seriously thinking about introducing a concept racing version of the FT-1.

Toyota ] has given no indication on its end that such a car exists or that it has plans to build one in the future. But seeing the sketch of the concept, complete with the same color scheme of the G Sports Concept, makes us think that there will come a time in the not-so-distant future where Toyota will reveal the FT-1 Racing Concept.

Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota FT-1.

Source: FT1 Club

The Smart ForTwo will never be mistaken as a fast and powerful car and everyone knows that speed really isn’t its selling point. Knowing that has actually led us to ponder one of life’s most important questions: why would Brabus , a bastion of aftermarket power and performance, waste its time on a ForTwo?

The German aftermarket company has actually worked on the ForTwo before so an answer to the aforementioned question is really irrelevant at this point. Apparently, Brabus likes the ForTwo enough to turn it into its own version of a pocket rocket.

Recently, our master spy photographers managed to take a handful of photos of the Brabus-prepred Smart ForTwo. It’s heavily decked in camouflage so its hard to make out the exact work the German tuner did on the small city car.

It’s still unclear as to how much power Brabus has in store for the new Smart ForTwo. Rumors are circulating that this ForTwo will receive close to 120 horsepower under its hood. That’s an incredible number for a car of this size.

The 2015 Smart ForTwo by Brabus is expected to hit the showroom floor sooner than later, but before that, we’re anticipating it to be unveiled in a major auto show, possibly at Geneva in March 2015.

Click past the jump to read more about the Smart ForTwo By Brabus.

Note: Current BMW i8 pictured here.

There’s been a lot of talk about BMW’s plan to expand the i range beyond the current i3 hatchback and i8 sports car. A larger i5 to slot above the i3 , for instance, has been in the rumor mill since last year. More recently though, certain reports are talking about an i9, essentially a plug-in hybrid supercar , placed atop the brand-new i8. The new vehicle will arrive in 2016, German outlet Auto Motor and Sport reports, just in time to celebrate BMW’s 100th anniversary.

Reportedly developed as a spiritual successor to the iconic M1 built between 1978 and 1981, the i9 will be a beefed-up version of the i8 with a more aggressive design and a more potent hybrid drivetrain. Naturally, the i9 will benefit from the same 50:50 weight distribution as the i8, while extensive use of carbon-fiber and aluminum will help keep weight in the 3,300-pound area in spite of its larger gasoline engine and electric motor.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 BMW i9.

It’s been five years since Jaguar introduced the current-generation XJ , and the large sedan is finally getting its first update. Paraded on public streets during testing since November 2013, the XJ is inching closer to production, as a brand-new batch of spy shots reveal . So what has been Jaguar up to these past six months? Nothing much really, as the sedan is only getting a mild facelift, but the updated XJ is starting to take shape.

Photographed while tackling the iconic Nurburgring track at blistering speed, the executive four-door has yet to ditch the black-and-white camouflage covering its front and rear fascias. However, we now have a few small details to ogle at before this Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Audi A8 fighter makes its way onto showroom floors. Are these new updates extensive enough to jeep the XJ fresh for a few more years with a brand-new S-Class on the market and redesigned BMW 7 Series underway? Stick around to find out.

Click past the jump to read more about the revised Jaguar XJ.

The upcoming Mercedes-Benz M-Class facelift just came out for a new testing session in Europe. Scheduled to break cover in the fourth quarter of 2014 as a 2015 model, the updated SUV was spotted wearing less camouflage than usual, albeit still hiding its revised front and rear fascias. The facelift brings significant revisions inside and out, as Mercedes-Benz is looking to build on the M-Class’ increasing popularity, especially in the United States.

The upgrades also come as a response to the recently launched, third-generation BMW X5 and the anticipated introduction of a brand-new Audi Q7 . The facelift is supposed to keep the third-generation M-Class fresh for three more years, until a redesigned version replaces it for 2018. But until that happens, let’s have a look at what these new spy shots have to share about the revised midsize SUV and revisit the details surrounding the upcoming M-Class.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mercedes M-Class.

If you’re in the market for a new car and have roughly $1.4 million to spend, then your option list just grew by one. This Pagani Huayra is currently for sale in Greenwich, Connecticut and is one of the first — if not the first — Huayras to be sold inside the U.S. You’ll recall Pagani opened up the avenue for Huayras to make their way Stateside just a few weeks ago.

Hand-built in Modena, Italy, the supercar is flown to the U.S. for importation. Its allure comes from its AMG-sourced, twin-turbocharged, 6.0-liter, V-12 engine cranking out 730 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed sequential gearbox controls the action. The mid-engine machine is capable of holding corners at 1.66 g of lateral acceleration and hitting 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds. Its top speed is an outrageous 230 mph.

This particular example is has its carbon-fiber body exposed for all to see and its interior is covered in red leather. With only has 35 miles on its odometer, this Huayra is ready for a long life of track days and garaged nights. Even with its high price tag, we can’t imagine it sitting on the dealer lot very long. These cars are outrageously rare, with Pagani only building a handful each year.

Click past the jump to read more about the Pagani Huayra.

Posted on by Austin Taylor  

Porsche already has a hit on its hands with the new Macan . Intended to be a smaller, sportier brother to the Cayenne , the Macan shares its wheelbase and basic suspension design with its corporate sibling, the excellent Audi Q5 , but very little else. With TechArt offering up a host of aftermarket upgrades for the Macan, it is truly separated from its platform mate.

Performance is stout, with a choice of two twin-turbocharged, V-6 engines coupled with the acclaimed, seven-speed, dual-clutch PDK transmission. Power is routed to the ground via Porsche’s rear-biased, all-wheel-drive system.

The base Macan S makes 340 horsepower from its 3.0-liter V-6, while the Macan Turbo uses a larger, 3.6-liter version that increases output to an even 400 horsepower.

Both models have been very well-received by critics. The Macan’s performance is impressive and has been commended for typical excellent Porsche driving dynamics, and many professionals feel the Macan offers a superior driving experience; more so than even the company’s own Cayenne.

However, that’s not stopping the aftermarket tuner TechArt from upping the game for enthusiasts.

Click past the jump to read more about the Porsche Macan By TechArt.

Cadillac has come a long way in the last 12 years. Before the CTS, the brand was suffering a slow and agonizing demise, exacerbated by the popularity of several European luxury brands. That first-generation CTS helped pull the iconic American brand upward. Lasting from 2003 through 2007, the first generation established Cadillac’s new "Art and Science" design theme that still continues today. For 2008, the second-generation CTS rolled off assembly lines. It was a quantum leap forward in quality, reliability, and even desirability. Now entering its third generation, the 2014 Cadillac CTS has again made a quantum leap forward in nearly every imaginable way.

Its exterior carries a futuristic interpretation of the "Art and Science" theme while the interior still features an angular and sophisticated look. Under the hood lies three high-tech engines capable of hustling the 3,600-pound sedan to 60 mph in roughly six seconds or faster, yet still achieve 30 mpg highway.

I recently spent a week behind the wheel of Cadillac’s new midsize sedan and came away with great impressions and high hopes for the luxury brand’s future.

The full report and video review are just below the jump.

Afzal Kahn and Ant Anstead are joining forces but they’re not building custom vehicles. What they are building is an actual car, or to be more specific, a new two-seat, open top roadster called the Evanta Barchetta.

The retro-inspired Evanta Barchetta has the looks that can warp you back into the 1950s. The sweeping curves and the swept back headlights definitely hark to the motorsports of that era, something Ant-Kahn tried to convey in the design of the roadster. The hand-crafted, coachbuilt model also makes use of lightweight materials like a composite Kevlar body in order to keep its overall weight down.

The Evanta Barchetta isn’t all about its looks either. It also has the engine to be considered as a true sports car . Pop open the hood and you’ll see a Chevrolet -sourced, 6.2-liter, LS3 engine that produces 450 horsepower.

From there, it’s all about the math. Here you have a lightweight vehicle that produces that much engine output. You don’t need to be a genius to conclude that the Evanta Barchetta is going to be one fast sports car that should pay proper homage to its racing roots.

Ant-Kahn is set to debut the Evanta Barchetta at the Goodwood Revival Motor Show on September 12th, 2014. Only 20 models are going to be built per year and the waiting list is apparently filing up fast. If you’re interested, now is the time to let Ant-Kahn know about it.

Stay tuned to TopSpeed.com for more information on this upcoming sports car.

Updated 07/23/2014: Afzal Kahn tweeted a series of new images for the future Ant-Kahn Evanta Barchetta. Enjoy!

Click past the jump to read more about the Ant-KahnEvanta Barchetta..


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