Car News

You can file this in the "saw that coming" file, but Lamborghini is going to be making multiple versions of its new Huracán over the next few years, including a rear-wheel-drive model. This news comes courtesy of Autocar, who managed to get a few words with Lamborghini boss Stephan Winkelmann after the reveal of the new Huracán Super Trofeo at Pebble Beach last week. The key phrase Winkelmann uttered was “why should we not do a rear-drive option?”

There was a limited run of RWD Gallardos that started with the special LP550-2 Balboni Edition . After the Balboni came another limited run Bicolore special edition , and finally Lamborghini just began offering a base level RWD car. It makes sense that the Huracán will follow this same tradition, but Autocar expects the RWD model to be a special, high-end creation that will carry a higher price and more limited production numbers.

Before the RWD model arrives, expect a convertible Spyder version to arrive next year, with a higher performance variant a year or two after that. There will inevitably be lightweight versions as well, and this may be where the RWD comes into play. Cutting the AWD system from under the Huracán is likely to save 100 pounds or more.

Click past the jump to read about the Lamborghini Huracan

Source: Autocar UK

Have you noticed how more and more pickup trucks have come to match regular cars in terms of fancy, luxurious convenience features and technology ? Gone are the days when trucks used to feature a simple dash, a vinyl-wrapped bench, and roll-down windows. Nowadays, truck drivers travel in comfy leather seats and benefit from infotainment systems and other electronic gadgets. Heck, the 2015 Ford F-150 can even be had with massaging seats. The trend isn’t exactly new, however. Back in the 1970s, Detroit began offering visual features initially available on muscle cars on its trucks too. The second-gen Chevy C/K, for instance, was offered with the same Rally wheels and stripes that could be ordered on the Camaro . And it looked downright cool, too. Fast forward to 2015, Chevrolet is expanding the Silverado lineup with a Rally Edition model.

Although unrelated to the aforementioned C/K, the Silverado Rally Edition is only about enhanced visuals. The two distinct packages, available on 1500 Double Cab and Crew Cab pickups, add a tad of fancy to Chevy’s bread-and-butter truck without meddling with its drivetrain. Read on to find out what makes this special-edition Silverado special.

Click past the jump to read more about the Chevrolet Silverado Rally Edition

Mopar, AMG , SVT, and TRD – all names synonymous with factory performance with balanced characteristics and an intact vehicle warranty. Yet with these great names in manufacturer-approved performance parts, one automaker was suspiciously absent from the scene despite having a huge aftermarket following: Honda .

That’s about to change with Honda’s new Honda Performance Development, or HPD division. Roll out will be quite slow, however, as the division builds a name for itself within the Honda brand. HPD’s first project is the slow-selling Honda CR-Z hybrid .

Owners of manual-transmission CR-Zs can now have Honda install a 200,000 rpm Rotrex centrifugal traction-drive supercharger mated to a Griffiths air-to-air intercooler. A respectable 67-horsepower increase is expected, bringing total horsepower to 197 ponies and roughly 170 pound-feet of torque, while fuel consumption remains at 42 mpg. Other modifications to the CR-Z includes a performance exhaust, suspension upgrades, a wheel and tire package, and a big brake kit. Not bad for a hybrid. The supercharger kit runs $5,495 plus installation.

Philip LaPointe, manager of HPD Street Performance, told Automotive News in an interview that, “We’re sticking our first toe in the water. We didn’t want to start with too high volume. We need to know who’s going to build the parts and distribute them. We need to get our dealers and logistics up to speed."

LaPointe continued saying the performance parts for other Honda models would go on sale over the next few years. Buys will likely be waiting till the all-new 2016 Civic rolls out before a full-on HPD kit would be available from the dealer showroom, however. “The dream scenario is to have performance parts available at [new-product] launch,” he said.

Honda will allow buyers to retain the balance of their factory warranty even with the supercharger kit installed.

Updated 8/21/2014: Honda has finally unveiled the final specifications and cost for the supercharger kit from HPD. Not only is it more powerful that we expected, but it also is cheaper than expected and the full warranty remains intact.

Click past the jump for more on the Honda CR-Z by HPD

Discontinued in 2012 as Saab was filing for bankruptcy, the 9-3 sedan made a surprising return in 2013, when the brand was revived under National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) ownership. But instead of launching the third-generation model that was in the works before Saab went bankrupt, NEVS started building second-gen cars at the company’s Trollhattan production plant. Identical to the 2012 model, the "new" sedan arrived in dealerships without the trademark griffin logos and with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-banger under the hood.While NEVS is undoubtedly working on a modern replacement for the 9-3 , the next-generation vehicle won’t be launched for at least two more years. Instead, the Swedes are reportedly looking to reintroduce the 9-3 SportCombi and have already confirmed plans to offer an electric iteration of the current sedan.

The EV is still not ready to go into production, but NEVS has just unveiled the prototype that will become an actual Saab product in the near future.

Click past the jump to read more about the Saab 9-3 EV Prototype

In 1994, Toyota wowed the world with its new RAV4. Toyota had brought the world a machine that possessed the size and practicality of an SUV , but it promised the driving dynamics and comfort of a car. When it went on sale in 1995, it was an instant hit, and the crossover craze officially started. In 2014, 20 years later, the RAV4 has just moved into its fourth generation, and sales are still going strong. Over the last two decades, there have been dozens of competitors join the game, and Toyota is no longer the only kid on the block.

Is the RAV4 still the machine to buy, or has the king been dethroned by one of the many challengers. I had a 2014 RAV4 Limited with FWD for a week, and I decided I was going to do my best to figure out if this latest RAV4 is worth the badge on its bodywork, or the money in your wallet.

With a fresh exterior design, revised drivetrain options and a new interior, this is the most radical change the RAV4 has ever experienced. Read on to see if it is any good.

Continue reading to learn more about the new 2014 Toyota RAV4 Limited

It’s been four years since Lotus introduced a brand-new model, but the financially troubled automaker could soon bounce back with a couple of new vehicles besides the Elise R that was spotted testing at the Nurburgring in August 2014. According to Malaysian outlet Utusan, the British sports car manufacturer is aiming to save itself from bankruptcy by entering two previously unexplored markets. Specifically, Lotus is planning to develop an SUV and a D-segment sedan (midsize for the U.S. market).

The new plan was devised Jean-Marc Gales, who took over as Lotus CEO in May 2014, and presented at a Board of Directors meeting chaired by Proton executives in Malaysia. Gales, who has previously worked for Citroen , Daimler , GM and Volkswagen , has been appointed to implement a new brand strategy at Lotus, which suffered a $283 million net loss in 2013, when global sales dropped by 40 percent.

Still hoping to sell more than 4,000 vehicles a year, a plan that went down the drain given last year’s disastrous results, Lotus wants a piece of the ever-growing SUV market and a powerful sedan that would appeal to Asian, and especially Chinese customers.

Click past the jump to learn more about the Lotus’ new vehicle plan

Source: Utusan

Introduced in 2013 for the 2014 model year, the Infiniti Q50 replaced the G series as the company’s luxury compact sedan. Inspired by a series of concept cars launched over the last decade, the Q50 is mainly aimed at the BMW 3 Series , the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the Audi A4 . In the United States, the sedan is offered with two different drivetrains, and in either rear-wheel- or all-wheel-drive configurations. The base model is fitted with a potent, 3.7-liter, V-6 engine that delivers 328 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. The range-topping sedan, on the other hand, is motivated by a hybrid drivetrain consisting of a 3.5-liter V-6 and an electric motor. Combined output sits at 369 ponies and a whopping 403 pound-feet of twist. As we’re moving closer to the 2015 model year, Infiniti is expanding the Q50 lineup by adding a long-wheelbase version.

Dubbed Q50L, the elongated sedan will be sold exclusively in China , a market very fond of longer-than-usual vehicles that offer extra legroom in the back. The Japanese luxury sedan will compete against a host of other long-wheelbase compacts that have yet to be launched in the United States, including products from Audi , Mercedes-Benz and even Cadillac .

Click past the jump to read more about the Infiniti Q50L

Source: Le Blog Auto
Posted on by Nico DeMattia  

Aston Martin is probably the coolest car company in the world. Its stunning designs, growling V-12s and relationship with everyone’s favorite British spy, give it an image of undeniable desirability. However, despite its icy coolness, Aston has always been a flawed company. Being a relatively small company, it’s always dealt with financial issues and, because of this, has always suffered in the R&D department. Due to it’s lack of funds, Aston has never been able to keep up with it’s rivals, particularly Porsche , when it comes to technology and innovation. For instance, Aston’s latest and greatest, the new Vanquish , uses an engine that’s essentially a decade old. So Aston Martin needs some help and Daimler very well may be there to help it carry on.

Last year, Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, Daimler, acquired four percent of Aston Martin. Now, however, Daimler wants a larger stake and bought one more percent to make it a nice, even five.

Click past the jump to read more about the Daimler-Aston Martin partnership.

Another live episode of the TopSpeed Podcast has come and gone again. We hope everyone enjoyed this extra-large episode celebrating 25 jam packed casts of automotive mayhem.

We start this week out with the return of Mark, and a little talk about pumpkins and drunken hand grenade safety. It’s a strange story, but we are sure you will find it entertaining. Once the show proper gets started, we get things moving with Weekly Wheels. This week we cover the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel , the Toyota Rav4 and the Fiat 500c Abarth . Two of the three are considered to be amazing, and two of the three are considered to be kinda terrible. Good luck figuring that out without watching the show.

For the news we start with the new Shelby-bodied Renovo supercar, and discuss whether or not this electric car deserves that supercar title. After that we move on to a BMW that is covered in bullet holes, a Corvette system that records your valet’s every move, and the return of the mid-engined Vette rumors. We also take just a second to touch on the possibility of Hyundai making a luxury SUV to compete with Lexus .

The Question and Answer segment of this show was pretty amazing thanks to some incredible questions from you guys. We talk about what kind of dream car we would build if we could put any engine and any interior inside of any other car’s body. We have some pretty varied responses. After that we talk about what cars we would buy if we only had $40k; the catch is we have those cars for the rest of forever. Finally we talk about some of VW’s greatest creations that they refuse to bring to US shores, and talk about why that is.

We finish things out in our traditional manner with an Own, Drive, Burn that features three limited run cars from the 1970s and 1980s. One of them is so awesome, it can go back in time.

Thanks again to everyone who listens and watches us banter about cars every week. We really appreciate you. Make sure to let us know if you like the show, and if there is anything we should change. We also need more questions and Own, Drive, Burn suggestions for every show, so keep those coming. You can reach us in the comments below, on Twitter @TopSpeedPodcast, or by email at Podcast@TopSpeed.com.

Have a great weekend, and we will see you next Thursday.


Launched in 2013, the Opel Cascada is a midsize convertible underpinned by GM’s Delta II platform. The European drop-top is available with a lineup of three turbocharged engines, including 1.4-liter and 1.6-liter gasoline unit, and a 2.0-liter diesel. Output ranges between 118 and 167 horsepower, while the diesel benefits from 280 pound-feet of torque. Also offered with Vauxhall and Holden badges in the United Kingdom and Australia, respectively, the Opel Cascada is getting ready to arrive Stateside under the Buick marque for the 2016 model year.

According to GM Inside News, Buick has already showcased the Cascada as a future product to dealerships in August 2014, with an official launch set for 2015. Opel has already trademarked the Cascada name in the United States, meaning the convertible is only months away from receiving a Trishield badge.

Note: Photo is of the Opel Cascada

Click past the jump to read more about the Buick Cascada


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