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Some people see the infiltration of compact SUVs into the luxury realm as a bit of a waste. They are only marginally larger than hatchbacks , get worse fuel economy than most hatchbacks and simply aren’t as composed as most hot hatchbacks. But most people haven’t driven the BMW X4 and the all-new Porsche Macan ; specifically, the Macan S Diesel and the X4 xDrive30d.

Steve Sutcliffe had the opportunity to not only test out both SUVs, but he also got a chance to test them out back-to-back. What’s more, Steve refrained from doing the typical "how fast does it go" test. Though he did get into straight-line speed, he also tested out their light off-road capabilities, roominess and handling.

The BMW X4 xDrive30d carries with it 258 horses, 560 Nm (413 pound-feet) of torque, a 0-to-62-mph time of 5.8 seconds and a 234-km/h (145-mph) top speed. The Porsche Macan S Diesel carries 258 horsepower, 580 Nm (428 pound-feet) of torque, a 0-to-62-mph sprint of 6.3 seconds and a 230-km/h (142-mph) top speed. On paper, it appears as if the X4 will trot to an easy victory, but Sutcliffe goes beyond paper to see if the X4 can hold up in real life too.

Check out the video to see the results of the test.

Source: Autocar UK

Rolls-Royce has made a habit of releasing numerous special-edition models of its luxurious vehicles. Often unique, these luxo-barges are delivered in Middle East and China, the world’s most important luxury markets. Phantoms , Ghosts , Wraiths , you name it. Rolls-Royce will customize its interior, add a bespoke paint job, ask a hefty premium in exchange and call it a day. After launching the stunning Pinnacle Travel Phantom at the 2014 Beijing Auto Show , the Brits are introducing a bespoke Ghost limousine during the Chengdu Motor Show, scheduled between August 29th and September 7th, 2014.

Details are slim as of 08/15/2014, but the preliminary photos released by Rolls-Royce reveal a rather intriguing Ghost model, especially when it comes to its interior theme.

Stay tuned to TopSpeed for a detailed update on this exquisite Rolls-Royce Ghost. We’ll be right back as soon as the luxury company unwraps the limousine at the Chengdu Motor Show.

Click past the jump to read about the Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II

The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 is undoubtedly an awesome track-prepped machine, the ultimate fifth-generation Camaro if you will. But to my eyes, the 2014 model is no match to the original Z/28 , especially if we’re talking about a Trans Am-spec race car .

Chevy introduced the Z/28 option for the 1967 model year, promoting it as a "virtually race-ready" Camaro available at any U.S. dealer. Fitted with a 4.9-liter, small-block V-8 specifically designed to race in the Trans Am series, the Z/28 became a huge success by 1969, when it accounted for nearly 22 percent of total Camaro production of the year.

The Z/28 was off to a slow start in Trans Am, losing the 1967 championship to Ford and Mercury . However, the bowtie-badged muscle car went on to dominate the competition in both 1968 and 1969 with Mark Donohue behind the wheel. In two years, the Camaro Z/28 won 21 of 25 events, crushing Detroit rivals from Ford and its Mustang . The streak ended once the second-gen Camaro was introduced in 1970 and it took Chevy five more years to win another championship, this time with the Corvette .

Although the Camaro returned to the spotlight with seven Trans Am titles in the 1980s and 1990s, none of these vehicles managed to reach the fame of the first-gen Z/28s. Not at all surprising considering the stardom the first-gen Camaro so rightfully enjoys. There’s more than that, of course. The looks, the sound, and all the amazing things surrounding late 1960s racing. Most of us aren’t lucky enough to climb into one of those Trans Am beasts, but Motor Trend’s Jess Lang managed to hoon a 1969 Camaro Z/28 around the Laguna Seca . Hit the play button to find out why the first-gen Z/28 is one of the most enticing muscle cars ever built.

Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

Chris Harris is back again, making me jealous of his life. He recently spent some time in Maranello, testing the new Ferrari LaFerrari . The LaFerrari, despite having a silly name, is the hardcore, hybrid successor to the famous Enzo. It’s also the Italian answer to the Porsche 918 and the McLaren P1 . It’s also probably the most brutally fast hybrid production car ever made.

Chris got to test each of those aforementioned hybrid supercars and had nothing but great things to say about them. However, he seems to feel a bit different about this LaFerrari. It seems to be the only one of the three he actually loved. The reason for that is probably the fact that the LaFerrari hides it’s techno-wonder more than the others. The Porsche 918 is a unashamed nerd-fest (a very cool, very fast nerd-fest), and the McLaren is all business with its very serious, designed-in-a-wind-tunnel looks. The LaFerrari, on the other hand, is typical Italian pantomime and theater, it’s a celebration of colors and noise. I personally think it looks fantastic, I especially like the bug-antenna-style wing mirrors. It looks like a proper Ferrari, not just an exercise in aerodynamics and numbers. They each have their own character but the LaFerrari seems to have the most interesting one.

Combine all of this power, performance, handling prowess and looks, and you have possibly the greatest supercar the world has ever seen. Now go watch Mr. Harris give it "the full potatoes!".

Ferrari isn’t the only automaker that can get involved in the exclusive luxury watch business. Jaguar wants to get in on the fun and it tapped British watchmaker Bremont to create an ultra-limited edition timepiece in honor of the iconic Lightweight E-Type .

The two British brands actually have a history of collaboration, beginning with the development of the Jaguar C-X75 Concept back in 2010, specifically the analog dashboard clock found in the interior of the 778-horsepower hybrid supercar. Now, the two companies are back at it again with a new partnership that ties into Jaguar’s plan to finish the Lightweight E-Type project it started in February 1963.

The watch itself is a thing of beauty. It’s got a 43 mm (1.69-inch) white gold case with an aluminum center ring. This ring, it turns out, was made using the same material used int he construction of the Lightweight E-Type. How’s that for unique, right? Look inside at the black dial and you’ll notice that it was inspired by a Lightweight E-Type tachometer. A subtle "red zone" quadrant is also a prominent feature while at the six o’clock position, a specific car chassis number of the Lightweight E-Type is displayed, just above where it reads ’Automatic’ and ’Made in U.K.’ Meanwhile, the watch strap is made from Connolly leather, which is the same type of cover Jaguar used on the Lightweight E-Type’s upholstery.

Neither Jaguar nor Bremont has mentioned any pricing details for these six watches. What we do know is that they won’t come cheap. Not cheap at all.

Click past the jump to read more about the Jaguar Lightweight E-Type tachometer.

Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

According to the great Jeremy Clarkson, you can’t be a true petrol-head until you’ve owned an Alfa Romeo. That always posed a problem for many American car enthusiasts. See, Alfa Romeo hasn’t really sold any cars here since the 90’s and even then they were very few and far between. Sure, we got the beautiful 8C Competizione, but that was only for a handful of lucky millionaires. The 4C has already come to the U.S. but even that is too expensive and exclusive for the average buyer. Fortunately, though, for us average ’Mericans, Alfa hasn’t forgotten us. The Giulia is coming in 2015 and it’s a rear-wheel drive sedan, most likely powered by one of Fiat’s turbo four cylinder engines, and a GTA version will follow it across the pond.

The Giulia is going to be the car that Alfa Romeo uses to reintroduce the brand to the US. It should be sized and priced to compete with the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C-Class . The big news however is the announcement of a "hot" version, called the Giulia GTA. The GTA’s main focus will be to take on the M3 and upcoming C63 AMG .

*Image shown here is of the standard version of the upcoming Giulia

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA.

Source: AutoExpress

Remember when Kobe Bryant "jumped over" an Aston Martin back in 2008? We all know that the Black Mamba didn’t actually do it. Neither did stunt man Damion Poitier when he was enlisted by Sports Science to do the same thing in 2009. So it’s safe to say that jumping over a car is an impossible and dangerous task. Or is it?

Norwegian Niklas Strandbraten and his friends, electronic music duo Broiler, decided to give the old jumping-over-a-car stunt a little try. This time, the stunt didn’t involve an Aston Martin Vantage or a Lamborghini Gallardo . Instead, an Audi R8 was used, which, according to owner and Broiler member Mikkel Christiansen, is almost four inches taller than a Gallardo. Not only that, Strandbraten was tasked to jump over the R8 as the German supercar was moving at a speed of 150 km/h (93 mph). Pretty freakin’ stupid and dangerous, right?

The video shows that Strandbraten was able to clear the R8, but I don’t really know if its legitimate or not. I’ve seen too many "fake jumps" over the years, including Kobe’s, that has turned me forever skeptical on the stunt. Heck, if Sports Science couldn’t pull it off, then you know how difficult that stunt is.

If Strandbraten really did jump over it, then congratulations to him. It takes a lot of guts and mental faculties to be able to pull that of. But if he didn’t, chalk this one up as yet another fake jump for the archives.

It really was just a matter of time before the BMW 4 Series Convertible received the same BMW M Performance parts as its coupe brother. It surprisingly took more than a year for that to happen — the 4 Series Coupe received its goodies in July 2013 — but better late than never, right?

The modifications bear a lot of similarities to the M Performance parts on the 4 Series Coupe and while that shouldn’t come as a surprise, BMW could have used a little more spice in decking out the convertible version with new goodies from its own M division. At least that’s my take on it.

For what it is worth, the 4 Series Convertible does come away with a handful of M Performance upgrades. They’re mostly of the aesthetic variety on the exterior and interior, but there are also subtle performance modifications in the pipeline, including a new sports muffler and engine upgrades.

My guess is that these M Performance parts are just the start of more in-house upgrades on the 4 Series Convertible. The model’s popularity among buyers will likely sway BMW into expanding its offerings for all variants of the 4 Series.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW 4 Series Convertible With M Performance Parts.

Source: Carscoops

I’ve seen a lot of timepieces born from collaborations between an automaker and a watch company, but I honestly haven’t seen anything quite like this. British watchmaker Christopher Ward has created a limited-edition watch that has a piece of an actual car embedded in it. But wait, it’s not just any car we’re talking about here; this particular watch has an original piece of exterior paneling from a Ferrari 250 GTO . Let me know if any of you have seen or heard anything like this before because I surely haven’t. I also haven’t seen a unicorn in my lifetime, but that’s a story for another day.

This particular watch, though, is a thing of beauty. It’s called the C70 3527 GT and the ’3527 GT’ nomenclature is a nod to the chassis number of the seventh 250 GTO.

Christopher Ward is only releasing 100 pieces and each individual buyer will only receive one unit. Each watch will come with a price tag of $2,950, which is incredibly expensive compared to my humble, eight-year-old Casio G-Shock.

Should you be interested in ordering the C70 3527 GT Chronometer, you’re going to need to contact Christopher Ward directly to let its sales people know you’re willing to spend that much money on arguably the most unique auto-themed timepiece in the world. It’s first-come, first-served so act quickly if you want one.

Click past the jump to read more about the Christopher Ward C70 3527 GT Chronometer.

Now that the Pagani Zonda and its countless special editions is dead and buried, the Italian supercar manufacturer can finally focus on the Huayra and the bespoke iterations customers are demanding. We’ve already seen one such model reach U.S. dealerships earlier in 2014 , and a second supercar just landed on American soil, this time around in Kris Singh’s garage.

Known as a passionate car collector, Singh joined the exclusive club of Pagani Huayra supercar owners by taking delivery of his unique, La Monza Lisa edition. The first Huayra to feature a special name, Singh’s Pagani showcases a bare carbon-fiber finish and wears a custom Italian Tricolore stripe down its nose, roof and engine bonnet. Adding to its uniqueness is a set of chrome, seven-spoke rims usually seen on the track-confined Pagani Zonda R . A "Pagani" vanity plate rounds off Singh’s Huayra, which is set to turn many heads.

Just like his rare Lamborghini Veneno and the Huracan he’s about to receive will do.

Engine-wise, the Huayra La Monza Lisa is as stock as it gets. Residing under the long rear hood is the same, AMG-sourced, 6.0-liter V-12 that sends 730 horsepower and 740 pound-feet of torque to the wheels and a piercing note through that sexy, center-mounted exhaust.

Click past the jump to read more about Pagani Huyra.

Source: Instagram

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