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The upcoming Mercedes-Benz MLC has been spotted doing hot laps around the famed Nürburgring wearing its swirly camouflage. Mercedes engineers appear to be pushing the BMW X6 -fighter pretty hard around the track, as those low-profile tires scream in protest around every turn. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Mercedes testing the fastback SUV , but it is the first time seeing it perform on the track.

While we don’t have official word of what lies under the MLC’s hood, but the engine powering this example let off plenty of cracks and snarls at it accelerated away. This may very well be an AMG model, though we suspect the bodywork for AMG-specific MLCs would be more aggressive. It does seem to keep up with the Porsche Cayenne at the video’s one-minute mark.

Mercedes will likely have the MLC production ready for the 2016 model year. Since it’s a direct competitor to the BMW X6, we can expect it to carry a price tag of $60,000 to $70,000 depending upon trim levels.

Stay tuned to TopSpeed for any more developing spy shots and news regarding the upcoming Mercedes-Benz MLC.

The Subaru Impreza was introduced in early 1993 as a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback . A two-door coupe was launched two years later. Initial engine choices included 1.6-, 1.8- and 2.0-liter flat-four engines, but Subaru later added 2.2- and 2.5-liter units as well. As the first-gen Impreza soon made a huge name for itself in rally racing, the technology made it onto the road under the WRX moniker. The iconic WRX STI model was born in 1994. The second-gen model arrived in 2000, boasting major design and technology changes, and it arrived int he U.S. for the 2002 model year. Redesigned yet again in 2007, the WRX’s engine remained largely unchanged internally, while output increased to 227 horsepower. The fourth-gen WRX (second-gen in the U.S.) was unveiled for the 2015 model year with a more aggressive design, and a 2.0-liter engine rated at 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. As we move toward 2015, Subaru is introducing a brand-new iteration of the WRX to slot between the standard version and range-topping STI.

Dubbed WRX S4, the new sports sedan is essentially an upgrade to the standard WRX with a hefty power increase for the 2.0-liter flat-four. Developed during Subaru’s racing program for the 24 Hours of Nurburgring , the new mill is not only more powerful, but boasts improved fuel efficiency as well. Rounding up the package is a slightly revised skin and a unique interior along with upgraded steering and additional safety features. Read on to find out what makes the WRX S4 a truly unique machine.

Click past the jump to read more about the Subaru WRX S4.

Posted on by Simona  

Volkswagen released the original Golf back in 1974, and shortly after, it became one of the most appreciated models in the world. As proof to its worldwide love, there have been over 30 million units sold worldwide, so there should be no surprise that Volkswagen is trying to attract even more buyers.

VW unveiled the all-electric e-golf at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show , and it will hit the market in the spring of 2014. The model looks like a regular Golf , but it adds a particularly innovative overall technological system, improved aerodynamics and optimal rolling resistance. Also, as a first for any Volkswagen model, the new e-golf is equipped with full-LED headlights.

Along with a very efficient electric motor that ensures a driving range of up to 118 miles, the new e-golf features impressive technology, like regenerative braking and a "Discover Pro" system with a series of new functions.

Updated 8/25/14: VW has revealed the e-Golf’s $34,445 price. See more details after the jump.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen e-Golf.

Having the right tool for going off-road is just like having the right tool for the track; purpose-built vehicles work best for their intended purpose. And just like we at TopSpeed often compare track toys that go fast, we also like to compare the dirtier side of the automotive spectrum.

Below the jump is our pick of the top-five best off-road vehicles currently on the market. They hail from five brands, three continents, and two vehicle types. These trucks and SUVs represent the best in modern innovation tied in with proven technology wrapped in attractive packages.

Just like at the track, it’s all about getting power to the ground when heading off the beaten path. Locking differentials, axle articulation, and proper tires make all the difference. With pricing in the comparison ranging from $31,000 to in excess of $50,000, the group varies wildly from spartan to outright luxurious. But no matter what the interior looks like, the greasy bits underneath are what count the most.

Click past the jump for TopSpeed’s Top Five Off-Roaders

To most of us, the Jaguar F-Type is synonymous with perfection. It has gorgeous bodywork that goes back to the iconic E-Type , powerful V-6 and V-8 engines and a lively attitude on both the road and the track. However, it seems some tuners are brave enough to meddle with Jaguar’s perfect machine, looking to improve its appearance and drivetrains. One of them is Arden, a German tuning company that has been updating Jaguars for the past 40 years. Given its experience with British sports cars , it’s not surprising Arden has chosen to modify Jaguar’s most intricate vehicle yet.

The F-Type gets the full treatment from Arden . The package includes subtle exterior changes, alloy wheels that are bigger than what customers can order from Jaguar , a lowered suspension and upgraded powertrains. All told, the F-Type benefits from the same upgrades available for the roadster. Read on to find out what the Germans have in store for the F-Type and how much it costs to have an F-Type modified in their shop.

Click past the jump to read more about the Jaguar F-Type by Arden

Ever since the F-Type debuted, it has received rave reviews, but there has been one sore spot among traditionalists. This issue is that it is only available with a eight-speed auto transmission, and traditionalists want the opportunity to row their own gears. I, for one, want the fastest shift times possible, and the eight-speed automatic is likely faster than any manual ever could be shifted, but some people just like that analog feeling.

Well, for those of you who have been craving for a manual in the F-Type , it looks as if Jag is working on making your dreams a reality. Today, the spy shooters from Touriclips managed to film an F-Type lapping the Nurburgring. But there is something a little different about its shift pattern. That’s right, this is the obvious sound of a test driver manually rowing a shifter through the gears as he laps the Green Hell

This can only mean that Jaguar is at the very least toying with the idea of offering a manual gearbox, but with it already doing hot laps around the `Ring, it is likely well past the "toying" phase. Jaguar is likely readying the transmission for release in the next few months, and simply testing out its durability on the famed raceway. This new transmission will be among a series of upcoming updates that will also include an all-wheel-drive option .

We’ll keep you updated on this development and pass along any new information as soon as we can.

The Land Rover Defender , one of the most coveted off-road vehicles ever built, will get the axe in 2015, 22 years after its introduction and 66 years after its ancestor, the Land Rover Series, was launched. An icon will cease to exist, although the Brits are working on a successor that will arrive sometime in 2017. While the disappearing of the original Defender is sad news for all off-road enthusiasts, Land Rover is bidding fairwell to its potent SUV by releasing several special-edition models. The most recent to come out of the company’s Solihull plant is the Africa Edition, of which only 50 units will be built.

As the name suggests, this extremely limited SUV pays tribute to the vehicle’s go-anywhere capabilities and its countless encounters with the African continent, and its harsh climate and landscape. Be it military , humanitarian aid missions or rally raids, the Defender remains one of the few vehicles to conquer Africa on land, and the Africa edition emphasizes on these achievements once more. Sure, we don’t need a special-edition SUV to remember the greatness of the Defender, but every iteration is welcome as the iconic vehicle is preparing its exit from the market.

Click past the jump to read more about the Land Rover Defender Africa Edition

The thought of having a brand-new Ford Focus RS has kept us exciting for nearly a year now. Although the Blue Oval brand has yet to make an official statement, details about the hot hatch and spy shots with several test mules kept pouring in. Excitement has reached a new level, as a prototype vehicle was just spotted taking laps around the Nurburgring track, hinting that the Focus RS is inching closer to production.

While it reveals very little details as to what design enhancements the RS will sport, the video brings important data surrounding the beefed-up hatch back. The vehicle’s way of dealing with the track’s turns is a clear indication that Ford is sticking to front-wheel-drive. Despite numerous reports that the RS could go AWD, it seems Ford is not yet willing to take the big step, most likely due to financial concerns.

The second thing we learn from the footage is that the upcoming Focus RS will sound downright gorgeous. If you’re a rally fan, than this hatch will keep your ears satisfied. The powertrain Ford has prepared for the RS is still a mystery, but most clues lead to a 2.3-liter EcoBoost. The unit is the same four-banger offered in the 2015 Mustang , but with more power set to reach the wheels. We expect the Focus RS to boast around 330 ponies, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see Ford push things up to 350 horses. Whatever the output, the Focus RS boasts the soundtrack of a race car .

Expected to arrive for the 2016 model year, the Focus RS will stand out from the pack with its reshaped bumpers, a roof spoiler, new wheels and a host of chassis updates, including bigger brakes. Although Ford is not known to post Nurburgring times, keep an eye out for a new Nurburgring record for front-wheel-drive cars.

ICON has done some pretty amazing things with old barn-find vehicles, forgotten for decades until the California team breathes new life into them. ICON’s M.O. is unlike other restoration companies, as its Derelicts line combines all the underpinnings of modern street machines, while keeping nearly every visible piece just as it was the day the company found it. ICON’s latest example is this beautiful 1948 Buick Super Convertible.

The process started when the Buick was found in a Pennsylvania garage. The car’s body was then carefully separated from its original chassis and laser-scanned. The team then spent hundreds of hours designing a new chassis to perfectly match the body’s underside, but would also hold performance gains not otherwise possible with the old 1948 frame.

The new Art Morrison chassis is complete with independent front suspension and a four-link rear suspension. Coil over JRI shocks hold up each corner while a 20-to-1 rack and pinion power steering system makes the Buick drive more like a Corvette. Speaking of Corvette , ICON dropped in a ZR1-sourced, supercharged, 6.2-liter LS9 V-8. The small block Chevy churns out 638 horsepower and 604 pound-feet of torque. A Supermatic 4L85E automatic transmission does the shifting, while a set of Z-rated, BF Goodrich G-Force tires lay the power down.

Though the interior looks completely original, ICON worked hard to hide all the modern electronic conveniences, including a web-enabled audio system with navigation, Bluetooth, a backup camera, and an Audison sound system. The touchscreen head unit is hidden behind the Buick’s original AM radio that articulates down when touched.

It’s amazing to see how well the project turned out. It took over a year to complete, and it’s easy to see why. The Buick Buick combines its original exterior and all its character, along with a kickin’ LS9 small block and a suspension that will handle the track. If that’s not a perfect combination, I don’t know what is.

Photo credit: Boldride

Click past the jump to read more about the ICON Derelict Buick Super Convertible

Source: Boldride

Chris Harris spends time in some pretty flashy cars in the name of his profession, yet he still finds time to take his own cars out for a drive. The difference between normal journalists’ rides and Harris’ is that he actually owns a flashy car. His pick is the beautiful Ferrari FF .

The FF is powered by a 6.2-liter, direct-injected V-12 making a massive 660 horsepower and 503 pound-feet of torque that’s mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and delivers power to all four wheels. The combination of power, quick shifting, and all-wheel drive means the FF hits 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds.

While those stats are impressive, none of that seems to matter to Harris as he’s blasting down winding European roads. For him, it’s all about the culmination of all the FF’s parts; the feel, the sound, and the experience. The FF turns what would normally be a boring drive home into an event. “Everything about it makes you feel special,” he says. “It makes you feel not just one cut above the AMGs and the Ms, but three cuts above. And I love that.”

As the passing countryside melts behind the FF, Harris continues by saying, “The FF really makes the driver feel special at all speeds — and that’s the thing that’s surprised me in my five months and six thousand miles so far in this car."

After ending his rave of the FF’s interior accoutrements, he finishes by saying, “It just brightens my day. And what price do you put on that? … about $2400* a month, actually.”

We find his humor rather entertaining.

*Harris actually quotes 1500 pounds a month.


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