Car News

The Audi A8 may be a luxury car by appearance, but it has a lot more to offer than just its good looks. Any aftermarket company that has built tuning programs for the A8 will attest to this, none more profoundly than Senner Tuning. The German aftermarket company has built programs for a wide range of Audi models. This time around, it has set its sights on the four rings’ flagship luxury sedan.

Admittedly, the program lacks the visual appeal that Senner Tuning’s other Audi programs have had. But that isn’t a reason to gripe. This kit is all about polishing the luxury sedan’s performance credentials, which has plenty of room for improvement. That’s what Senner Tuning zeroed in on, and the results are pretty impressive.

To be fair, the program does have some visual upgrades if you can even describe an LED number plate lighting as a “visual upgrade." But for the most part, Senner Tuning decided to focus on the A8’s engine and in doing so, gave it enough of an upgrade to be more formidable on the road. The A8 is more than just class and luxury, folks. Look no further than this program Senner Tuning developed for the A8 as proof of that.

The entire program costs around €9,500, including VAT. Based on the exchange rate on 9/18/2014, that price translates to about $12,250.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi A8 By Senner Tuning.

It appears the idea of BMW building a drop-top version of its popular i8 has been completely nixed. The word comes straight from a BMW representative when questioned by the Europe-based website, InAutoNews.

“There are no plans to produce the BMW i8 Spyder,” says the BMW rep.

Such a definitive and short answer is hard to question, but we still do. Perhaps BMW is saving a spyder version for the rumored i9 , the hyped-up version of the i8 rumored to have a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter I-6 pulled from the M4 . With such a potent gasoline powerplant combined with the electric motors from the i8, the i9 could potentially be BMW’s hottest performer.

Still, if BMW does launch the i9, we can expect it to arrive in coupe form first and then followed by a spyder version later. In short, don’t hold your breath.

The BMW representative then spoke on possible iterations of the BMW 7 Series , after future prodding from InAutoNews. Rumors suggest BMW would follow Mercedes’ lead in offering multiple versions of its luxurious 7 Series. The BMW rep again answered, “…there are no plant to produce any derivatives of the 7 Series outside of standard and long-wheelbase.” Kiss a 7 Series coupe and convertible goodbye.

While reports confirm BMW is building a larger flagship SUV slotted above the X5 , dubbed the X7, rumors had suggested the 7 Series would be the base for the X7. Again the BMW rep shot the theory to the ground. “The BMW X7 will be produced in the future, but that is a different proposition and is not based on the 7 Series.” Well then.

Regardless of its platform, the X7 will be a direct competitor to the Mercedes GL-Class and the new Range Rover . Expect the X7 to hit European showrooms by 2017 or 2018.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8.

Source: inautonews

Steve Saleen has made good use of his time since regaining his namesake brand in 2012. The timing couldn’t have been any more ideal too, because a little over a year after returning to Saleen , the all-new Ford Mustang made its debut. Yep, sometimes, timing is everything.

The aftermarket company known for building sick specialized Mustangs has prepared its first interpretation of the new Ford muscle car . It’s predictably called the 2015 Saleen 302 Mustang and like its predecessors, and it’s sure to have all of the familiar high-performance modifications that Saleen has come to be known for.

The full scope of details haven’t been released as of 7/3/2014 and we only get a teaser photo to look at, plus an accompanying video. But make no mistake, a lot of the technical components are there for the new Saleen 302, including what we expect to be a robust performance tune that adds even more power to the Mustang’s already gnarly 5.0-liter, V-8 engine.

Without knowing how Saleen reinvented the Mustang into the 302, a look at the front section photo suggests that Mustang was given the full Saleen treatment, including improvements to its aesthetic and aerodynamic qualities. The vented hood now has a scoop, something the standard Mustang doesn’t have. Moreover, the headlights appear to have been cut in favor of a longer front grille. Even the lower bumper is restyled to include visible intakes and what appears to be slit-like indicators.

We expect Saleen to divulge more details soon. For now, enjoy the photo and the video. Let your imagination do the rest.

Updated 09/18/2014: Saleen announced that the all-new 2015 302 Mustang will make its world debut Saturday, September 20, 2014 during the Annual Saleen Show. Stay tuned for more details.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Saleen 302 Mustang.

Hey, everybody. I am back with your weekly reminder that the TopSpeed Podcast is coming at you live today at 12:00 p.m. EDT. We would love it if you came by to hang out and chat with us. This week we have a lot of big news to cover and a bunch of fun questions to answer.

All three of us have cars in our driveways this week, so we have a full trio of Weekly Wheels cars that include the Acura ILX , the Infiniti QX60 and the Lexus GS450h .

Our news section will be filled with lots of news about Ferrari including plans to up production numbers and the arrival of an outrageously expensive special edition that is getting made just for U.S. buyers.

Other things we plan on talking about including the availability of Hennessey parts at AutoNation dealers, potential for an off-road version of the Audi TT , and we plan on doing a lot of talking about the new 2015 Ford Mustang and what it might be like to drive. There will also be a small story about a Mini Cooper you can build yourself for $100, and because we all love Miatas , there will be some talk about the tiny roadster as well. It appears that we might have the specifications for the Australian market car, so we will deliberate on that.

Our Questions and Answers segment has questions about Ferrari’s former head, Luca di Montezemolo, naming our own car companies and cars for epic drives. Finally, we will end the show as always with Own, Drive, Burn. This week we have a trio of historic sports cars .

We will see everyone later today!

Volvo first introduced the S90 name in 1996, when it renamed the 960 for certain markets. With Volvo discontinuing the 900 Series midsize in 1998, the S80 we know of today rolled in as the replacement for the S90. The S90 also marked the end of an era for Volvo , being the last rear-wheel-drive car wearing the Swedish company’s badge. The S80 continued the S90’s luxurious legacy over the course of two generations. The first series lived between 1998 and 2006, while the second-gen model is in its eighth year on the market as of 2014. As we enter the 2015 model year and a new design era for Volvo, rumors are swirling about the return of the S90 nameplate as the company’s range-topping model.

Besides taking duties from the S80, the S90 is also set to revolutionize the midsize luxury segment, much like the second-generation XC90 did in the SUV market. Expect the sedan to receive the hauler’s design language, along with an interior packed with the latest technology and luxury items developed by the Swedes. The overhauled sedan will hit dealerships in the second half of 2016.

Note: 2013 Volvo Concept Coupe pictured here - it will most likely inspire design language.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Volvo S90.

Source: AutoExpress

If you find yourself on a California expressway, you may just be next to a self-driving Audi . That’s right; Audi snagged California’s first permit that allows autonomous driving for automakers developing the technology . The news comes after years of negotiations between several automakers and the State of California to allow more extensive testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads.

The news is especially important for Audi, as its Electronics Research Laboratory is in Belmont, California. Now the German automaker can stick closer to its Belmont base camp rather than testing in Nevada, a state that has previously welcomed driverless cars.

While this milestone marks a first for California, it isn’t Audi’s first autonomous rodeo. The automaker has logged tens of thousands of autonomous driving across Europe.

“Driverless vehicle technology has the potential to revolutionize driving, reduce traffic accidents and save lives,” says California Senator Alex Padilla. “I applaud the efforts of Audi of America and others whose commitment is making this technology a reality.”

Audi and future autonomous-testing automakers will have to show proof of insurance or surety bonds before being awarded a permit for testing — a slight formality for automotive giants sinking big bucks into driverless research and development.

Audi’s automated Piloted driving system is geared toward freeway traffic conditions, eliminating the need for a human to control the vehicle through crowded, mostly straight-line, stop-and-go traffic situations. Current internal forecasts have Audi introducing driverless systems to the public within a five-year timeframe.

Click past the jump to read more about Audi’s self-driving technology .

The Toyota FT-1 "Vision GT" is headed to the virtual world of Gran Turismo 6. It’s only appropriate considering that the concept was created specifically for the purpose of celebrating Gran Turismo’s 15th anniversary. Still, it’s pretty cool that we now have a chance to drive the FT-1 Vision GT, albeit as a video game car.

The high-powered concept is already available for download so you can expect Gran Turismo 6 fans to stumble amongst themselves to get the vehicle into their garages as quick as possible. Yes, I speak from experience, although my slow Internet connection turned the whole download experience into an exercise in patience.

Still, seeing the FT-1 Vision GT Concept and controlling it was a real treat, even for a discerning and admittedly high-brow GT6 player like me. It’s also a nice followup to the earlier FT-1 Concept that became downloadable in the game back in January 2014.

Now that there are two of these concepts available on Gran Turismo 6, I can’t imagine fans of Toyota playing with any other car than this one. Again, I say all of this through experience and calloused fingers.

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

The 458 Speciale was a bit of a surprise when the details began leaking out in 2013, and we were in for an even bigger treat when it debuted during the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show with its 596 horsepower — 34 more horses than the base 458 — 398 pound-feet of torque, 200 pounds of weight loss, and three-second 0-to-60 mph time. Now on June 24th, 2014, rumors surfaced claiming that Ferrari is planning on removing the top from the 458 Speciale, creating a new, road- and track-ready Spider.

The news was broken by 4wheelsnews.com via "inside sources" within Ferrari, but the details behind the model remain a relative mystery for now. What we know for sure is that this model will weigh significantly less than the current 458 Italia Spider , carry the same engine as the Speciale Coupe and clip 60 mph in around three ticks of the second hand.

Updated 09/17/2014: Ferrari will unveil the new 458 Speciale Spider at the 2014 Paris Motor Show in October 2014.

Click past the jump for the whole story and to see what I think of this move.

Source: 4wheelsnews

“The king of today’s muscle cars .” That’s what Carlos Lago says about the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat in MotorTrend’s latest episode of Ignition. The crowning comes after much flogging, something the Hellcat is surely used to by now.

A trip to the dyno revealed the Challenger’s supercharged, 6.2-liter, V-8 HEMI puts down 671 horsepower at the rear wheels — well within the expected range for parasitic driveline loss. Torque was equally impressive, putting down 606 pound-feet at the wheels.

Of course raw numbers don’t tell the whole story. For that, a trip down a desert road is needed. The Hellcat makes a surprising boulevard cruiser, just like its less-powerful Challenger stablemates. Lago notes the redesigned interior and Uconnect infotainment system make long drives a pleasant experience.

What’s more, the Hellcat’s hellacious 707 horses are well integrated into the car. It doesn’t overwhelm the car at slow speed when just cruising around town, implies Lago. “The car is inching towards being a GT car,” he says.

Handling the abuse the track and drag strip dish out is a big aspect of the Hellcat’s personality. That’s why it’s got some serious intercoolers knocking engine temperatures down. Massive Brembo brakes with six-piston calipers up front and four-piston calipers out back help bring things to a stop.

No matter what you think about the Challenger Hellcat, you’ve got to admit it exudes more presence and intimidation than just about anything on the roads today.

The highly anticipated 2015 ATS Coupe is finally ready to hit the streets, as Cadillac has fired up the online configurator for its BMW 4 Series fighter. So if you were anxious to build your own ATS Coupe or just have a look at the options Caddy is offering, now you can have at it before taking your check to the closest dealership.

As soon as you choose between the 2.0-liter four-banger and the 3.6-liter, V-6 engine, you’re off to select one of the three trims the ATS Coupe comes in. Be it Luxury , Performance or Premium, Cadillac’s smallest vehicle can be had with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. The former is standard, while the latter is obviously the pricy option.

Speaking of options, there’s plenty of stuff you can choose from. If you fancy a power sunroof, Cadillac will be happy to provide you with one for $1,050. As for interior extras, there are check boxes for anything from a black, microfiber suede shifter handle and premium floor mats to a cargo net and cargo area organizer. If you have $3,035 to throw around, you can also fit the ATS Coupe with a Driver Assist Package that include Adaptive Cruise Control and numerous other safety and convenience features.

Did I hear someone ask about exterior colors and interior themes? Well, you’re just going to have to read on to find out more about that.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe.


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