Car News

Japanese luxury automaker Infiniti has revealed plans to expand its lineup by launching a competitor for the BMW 4 Series . Speaking to Top Gear at the opening of the company’s new automotive design facility in London, Infiniti chief creative officer Shiro Nakamura confirmed the manufacturer will introduce a brand-new two-door coupe by 2015. The new vehicle will be slightly larger than a BMW 4 Series, but smaller than the 6 Series , Nakamura added, hinting that the coupe could be a two-door version of the Infiniti Q50 .

"I want to make a two-door coupe. It’s coming, you’ll see it within one year. It’ll be a production version," the representative told Top Gear. Asked whether this 4 Series competitor will spawn a rival for the high-performance M4 , Nakamura admitted such a vehicle is also being considered, but it all depends on whether or not the Q50 Eau Rouge is approved for production. That’s right folks, the GT-R powered Eau Rouge could hit the street in coupe guise as well, but that might not happen very soon.

"We are still working on the Q50 Eau Rouge, and we don’t want to give up on that, but the business case is not that easy," Nakamura continued. Well, that’s not exactly confirmation, but as long as the Eau Rouge is still on the cards, we have reasons to hope the BMW M4 is getting yet another friend to play with.

Click past the jump to read more about Infiniti’s future BMW 4 Series competitor.

Source: TopGear

GMC announced its reentry back into the sport truck game. However, its submission to the competition is decidedly drab. Now before you run for the pitchforks, let me explain. GMC has some history in the sport truck market, namely the 1991 Syclone and 1992 through 1993 Typhoon. Both the Sonoma-based Syclone and Jimmy-based Typhoon used a turbocharged and highly modified version of the 4.3-liter V-6, sported lowered suspensions, bigger brakes, and an all-wheel-drive setup. The Syclone was capable of hitting 60 in a blistering 4.3 seconds on its way to a quarter-mile run of 13.6 seconds. Impressive times still today.

So what’s the Sierra Elevation Edition got beneath its murdered-out bodywork? The 580-horsepower, supercharged 6.2-liter LSA V-8 borrowed from the Camaro ZL1 ? Perhaps the naturally aspirated 6.2-liter LT1 from the Corvette Stingray ? No and nope.

This "sport truck" sports a bone-stock, 285-horsepower, 4.3-liter, EcoTec3 V-6 found in the base Sierra. Of course, for some extra scratch, customers can upgrade to the 355-horsepower, 5.3-liter, EcoTec3 V-8. The story continues throughout the rest of the truck. Stock brakes, stock tires, and stock suspension.

GMC has included plenty of upgrades in the Elevation Edition, though they consist of purely cosmetic changes. Body-colored grille, bumpers, door handles, mirror caps, side moldings, and wheels replace the chrome bits normally found on the Sierra. Does it look good? Yes. Does its bite match its bark? Sadly, no.

While I hate to dog on GMC for its newest offering, it seems a bit half-hearted. The General Motors’ parts bin is a seemingly limitless supply of go-fast goodies just ready to be bolted on. In fact, Chevy already teases up with the Cheyenne concept at the 2013 SEMA show. If GM wanted to set the bar far above the upcoming Ford F-150 and already-award-winning Ram 1500 , it could easily do it. Why the trigger isn’t getting pulled, perhaps we’ll never know.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 GMC Sierra Elevation Edition.

2014 was a sad year for Lancia. It’s when we found out Sergio Marchionne was planning to reduce the automakers lineup to a single model by discontinuing the Delta , and both the Chrysler -based Thema and Voyager. As if that wasn’t enough, the remaining Lancia Ypsilon will be sold only in Italy, which essentially means this Italian automaker is on a quick road to extinction. For me, a big Lancia enthusiast, that’s downright terrible. Sure, present-day Lancia is just a shadow of what it used to be, but that’s no reason to pull the plug on it and let it die. On the contrary, Marchionne should devise a plan to bring it back in the spotlight, much like he’s doing with Alfa Romeo .

It remains to be seen whether Fiat will come to its senses or not, but in the meantime I’m here to present you with one of Lancia’s glorious past moments. Thanks to Petrolicious, which has made a habit of showcasing some of the most important cars the industry has created, we can have a closer look at the Lancia 037, the racer that won the World Rally Championship and paved the way for the stunning first-generation Delta.

The 037 saga began in 1980, when Lancia started working on a rally car to comply with the then-new FIA Group B regulations. The Italians opted for a mid-engine layout and turned to Abarth for a few tips. Fitted with a supercharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder powerplant that developed 265 ponies at first and 325 in its final Evolution 2 configuration, the 037 became a successful rally car, winning the series in 1983 with German ace Walter Rohrl behind the wheel.

With FIA regulations requiring at least 200 road-going version to be built for homologation, Lancia also rolled out a Stradale version, with its engine detuned to 205 horses. Although less aggressive than its rally-course sibling, the 037 Stradale is now a collectible in its own right. If only Lancia would look back on its legendary cars and move toward reviving its heritage...

Founded in 2010, Vencer announced plans to build its own supercar in 2012. Shown as a concept car the same year, the Vencer Sarthe made its public debut, in a more refined form, at the 2013 Top Marques Monaco. Powered by a naturally aspirated engine rated at 510 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque, the Sarthe made quite an impression, and many experts view it as potential threat to the more popular supercars coming from the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini . However, the Sarthe has yet to hit the streets as a production car as the Dutch took their time to further tweak things. The supercar, which is named after Le Mans’ iconic Circuit de la Sarthe track, appears to be ready to hit the streets for the 2015 model year. Enhanced by numerous updates, including a new engine and an overhauled interior, the production-ready Sarthe is here to give new meaning to the supercar segment.

And by "new meaning" we mean a road-and-track sports car unaltered by driving aids, with a true analogue and mechanical feel very few expensive supercars can deliver nowadays. But is Vencer, basically a brand-new company, capable of sustaining a war against the greatest of the industry? Should Ferrari or Lamborghini fear the electronics-free Sarthe? Read on to find out.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Vencer Sarthe.

The release of Forza Horizon 2 is getting closer every day, and Turn 10 and Playground Studios keep giving us more awesome stuff to talk about. First let’s start with actually playing the game. I have been playing it over the last few days to get ready for the review, and now you can watch me LIVE. I am allowed to stream one full hour of gameplay before the review embargo. I will be playing tonight starting at 6PM EDT. You can find the live stream video after the break. Feel free to join in a chat with me.

The next big piece of news is the announcement of the Launch Bonus Car Pack. This little bit of DLC is available on day one for free. The pack includes: 2003 Ford Focus RS , 1997 Land Rover Defender 90, 1993 Clio Williams, 2015 Ford Mustang GT , 1987 Buick Regal GNX, 2012 Cadillac Escalade ESV , 1968 Abarth 595 EsseEsse, and the 1956 Ford F-100. For fans of the upcoming game, you may have noticed that these are all previously announced cars. What downloading the car pack does, is give you these cars for free in the game so you won’t have to purchase them with the in-game credits. That means more money to buy other cars and upgrades.

Finally, we also have a brand new trailer for the new game. It is a live-action trailer that helps to define what Forza Horzion 2 is about. It starts with a selection of cars that are trapped on a track, much like a normal racing game. Soon though, a Lamborghini Huracán decides that is not good enough and bursts froth from the confines of the track and out into the open world. It’s a pretty cool video .

On a closing note, Turn 10 and Playground studios released the details on some upcoming DLC options including the VIP Membership and Car Pass purchases. You can find all the details on that after the break along with the embedded player for tonight’s Stream.

I’ll see everyone later tonight.

Jaguar’s second-generation XF has been spotted doing some hot-weather testing in Southern Europe, and this time, it’s wearing bodywork that appears to be nearly production-ready. Though it’s wrapped in swirly camo, the XF’s shape is still recognizable.

The second generation will get a revised look, helping move the BMW 5 Series competitor in line with Jag’s newest sedan, the XE . Judging by the spy shots, the XF will get a more upright grille, much like the smaller XE. We expect the XF to get an aggressive front fascia with large openings under each headlight. An integrated spoiler will sit atop the boot while the taillights will likely share much of the same design cues as the XE.

Jaguar seems bent on protecting the XF’s side profile as the doors have a large accent bump just under the door handles. We saw the same thing on the XE as it was testing. Like the XE sedan , we expect the XF to have smooth sheet metal falling from its beltline, bulging out just slightly as it meets the rocker panels, so don’t be fooled by the clever camo.

All this talk about the smaller XE rubbing off on the upcoming XF is for good reason. The XF will ride on an extended version of the XE’s platform. Both the sedan and wagon versions will come, though the wagon isn’t expected to make the U.S. market.

Powering the new XF will be a familiar group of engines, including the turbocharged, 2.0-liter I-4; the supercharged, 3.0-liter V-6; and the supercharged, 5.0-liter V-8. Folks outside the U.S. will get a diesel version as well. A plug-in hybrid will come after its initial launch.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Jaguar XF.

Land Rover’s bringing a special-edition Range Rover Evoque to the 2014 Paris Motor Show . It’s called the Evoque SW1 Special Edition and if there was ever a time that the phrase “special edition” means something, it’s this one. See, there’s something really special about the Evoque SW1, other than it being part of Jaguar and Land Rover’s new “Inspired by Britain” series of models.

The Evoque SW1 is one of the first production models to prominently feature Land Rover’s integrated laser heads-up display. It’s a really cool information display that appears onto the Evoque’s windscreen. I’m still not sure how distracting the display can be, but it does have that novelty factor attached to it.

In addition to the HUD, the Evoque SW1 also features prominent styling cues derived from its British heritage, notably the numerous appearances of the Union Jack throughout the body and cabin of the SUV .

We expect the special-edition model to hit dealerships shortly after making its debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show in October. Be on the look out for these special Evoque SUVs and stay tuned for the rest of JLR’s "Inspired by Britain" series.

Click past the jump to read more about the Land Rover Range Rover Evoque SW1 Special Edition.

The Ferrari F40 is known for three major feats: It was the company’s final turbocharged car until the California T was introduced in 2014, it’s the last Ferrari approved by Mr. Enzo himself, and it’s an important piece in Maranello’s line of range-topping supercars , a car the Enzo and LaFerrari pay homage to. But there is more to the F40 story, especially as far as development goes. Although Ferrari never intended to race the F40, the supercar eventually made its track debut in 1989 at Laguna Seca. It was a natural fit as the F40 was actually based on a race car. More specifically, on the Group B rally evolution of its predecessor, the 288 GTO .

In 1984, as soon as Porsche started racing 959-spec version of the 911 — soon to become a road-legal supercar — Ferrari had begun development of a Group B version of the 288 GTO. Dubbed Evoluzione, this extreme iteration of the GTO arrived a bit late to the party, as the FIA axed the Group B category for the 1986 season. The Italians were left with five Evoluzione prototype and no series to put them to good use in. Unlike other manufacturers, who modified their Group B cars to compete in other racing series, Ferrari used the Evoluzione development cars to build the F40. The end result was the fastest, most powerful, and most expensive car that Ferrari sold to the public up to 1987, and the spectacular supercar we all know today.

Although it’s been 24 years since the F40 was discontinued, the F50’s predecessor continues to enjoy the massive attention it gets from automotive outlets. The folks over at EVO drove one in the Swiss Alps earlier in 2014, while XCAR showcased it with help from John Pogson, one of the very few people to race the F40. Now, XCAR is back to pay yet another tribute to Ferrari’s brilliant machine with the same driver in the spotlight. Hit the play button for 17 minutes of F40 goodness.

Peugeot is gearing up for a hectic 2014 Paris Motor Show the only way it knows how. Weeks after announcing that it would display a “re-imagined” version of the Exalt Concept in Paris, the French automaker followed that up by releasing details surrounding its other Paris-bound prototype, the Quartz Concept. Unlike the Exalt Concept sedan, the automaker developed the Quartz Concept to serve as a preview of its SUV lineup.

That’s basically the purpose of the Quartz Concept, although it would be unfair to dismiss it as nothing more than a showcase concept of future models. On its own, this coupe-crossover has a lot going for it, including an aggressive body that’s highlighted by not one, but two rear spoilers.

It would be interesting to see how Peugeot approaches the Quartz Concept in the future. We all know how its important for the French brand to finally stake a claim to the ever-growing coupe -crossover market in the UK and the world.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Peugeot Quartz Concept.

By most accounts, the Nissan Zeod RC is one of the oddest-looking race cars we’ve seen. If anything, it looks like the kind of car that belongs at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah than it does in Le Mans. Yet there it was, racing around the famous race track on its way to setting the electric speed record at Le Mans. A car with such a unique background is deserved of the attention it gets, so much so that Top Gear actually brought the car to its own track to run a few laps around it.

No, Jeremy Clarkson didn’t drive it. Neither did James May or Richard Hammond for that matter. The Zeod RC was actually driven by Top Gear Magazine Motoring Editor Ollie Marriage, who himself has a background in auto racing.

That’s probably a big reason why Nissan gave him permission to drive the Zeod at full throttle, which is far easier said than done for neophyte race-car drivers like us. But Marriage was able to control the Zeod RC enough to post a picturesque lap. It’s definitely worthy of the three minutes you’re going to spend watching the video .

The Nissan Zeod RC is powered by a 1.5-liter, turbocharged engine that produces 400 horsepower and combined with a pair of electric motors that helps put the total output to an impressive 750 horsepower.


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