Justin Cupler

Justin Cupler is the editor in chief of these TopSpeed.com pages, and he’s been a member of the team since 2012. Justin’s love for cars started back when he was just five years old, helping his dad work on his 1957 Chevy Bell Air and then his 1966 Chevelle SS. Justin’s love for car’s became a career when he began working on cars in the mid-2000s, then he moved into repair shop management shortly after.

After growing tired of fixing other peoples’ car problems, Justin earned a certificate in radio and television broadcasting, and dove into the world of talk radio and television. Following a short stint in radio, he then moved into the print journalism, and began writing for various automotive sites, including Cars Direct, Internet Auto Guides, Ebay Motors, and many more.

Justin loves his family first, but second in line is his 2004 Mazdaspeed MX-5 that he aiming to crest the 300-horsepower mark with. It’s a little rough right now, but we call that "character."

Why oh why must Toyota and Scion continuously tease us with fast-looking versions of the GT 86 and FR-S , but never actually release one with any go-fast bits on it? Well, here is yet another example of all show and no go from Toyota, as Scion has unveiled its FR-S Release Series 1.0 in New York, and revealed even more that it couldn’t care less what the masses are asking for.

The only good thing to come from this new version is that it will be limited to just 1,500 units and feature a few useful gadgets among the useless, rice-boy add-on equipment. We’ll start with the good stuff, which includes push-button start, black seats with a "T" pattern, HID headlights and automatic dual climate control. Those are all nice additions, but Toyota Toyota went ahead and riced this bad-boy out with its TRD Quad Tip Exhaust System, lowering springs, aero kit with a rear spoiler and fender garnishes.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all not calling the FR-S Release Series 1.0 ugly by any means, but I take issue with slapping all of that extra weight onto the FR-S and making it look the part of a racer without bumping the actual performance. Sure, the lowering springs may make it more agile — doubtful — but the engine remains the same 200-horsepower, 151-pound-feet unit it’s always had. The only hope that we have is that the TRD exhaust system actually frees up a few ponies, but there is no mention of that.

According to Scion, the FR-S Release Series 1.0 will cost "under $30,000" plus handling and destination charges.

Guess we’ll continue to wait for a performance version of the GT 86/FR-S/BRZ triplets...

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Scion FR-S Release Series.

In 25 years, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has become a cult icon and entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling, two-seat, open-top sports car . But that is old news, and we are here to show you just what Mazda plans to do in celebration of the Miata’s 25th year in existence. The automaker is launching a 25th Anniversary Edition at the New York Auto Show to show buyers just how important the roadster is to Mazda.

This special-edition MX-5 Miata is based on the power retractable hard top (PRHT) version of the car, giving this drop-top a nice and quiet cabin when the top is up — I noted this in my recent test drive of the Club version . The 25th Anniversary Edition will be exclusively available in Soul Red Metallic — a proper color for the iconic sports car — with contrasting black mirrors, A-pillars and top. On the inside, the special model gets off-white leather seating and door trim, and a hand-finished decorative panel.

Under the hood, things will remain the same, as it will feature the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder mill that cranks out 167 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque when mated to the standard six-cog manual. You can also opt for the six-speed auto transmission, but that results in 11 fewer ponies under the hood. This special MX-5 also gets the added benefit of Bilstein dampers to keep it glued to the road in the twist.

Unfortunately, there are no real modifications to this car other than the exclusive colors inside and out, the hand-worked decorative panel and badges, but it is still a nice send-off for the NC-generation MX-5.

Click past the jump to the MX-5 25th Anniversary Edition up close.

Rumors about the Mercedes SLC-Class started awhile back and for a short period of time, it was believed that the new SLS AMG would be called the SLC. Obviously, this is not the case, but hopes for an SLC are still not lost as Mercedes will indeed offer the SLC in an unexpected package.

The SLC-Class will actually be the baby brother of the SLS and will attack the likes of the Porsche 911 . Compared to the SLS, the future SLC will be lighter and slimmer with the use of plenty of carbon fiber and aluminum. In a shocking twist of SLS insult, the SLC will be devoid of gullwing doors.

The less dramatic specifications of the Mercedes SLC have also given way to a cheaper price tag compared to its brother. Expect to pay somewhere under €100,000 (about $145,000 at the current exchange rates).

As a reminder, the SLC name was first used as a market name for the Mercedes C107 from 1971 to 1981. These vehicles were sold in three different versions - 280, 380 and 500 SLC - and were powered by either an in-line-six engine or a V-8 for the top versions. The "SLC" name is expected to be revived sometime in 2014.

Updated 04/15/2015: German magazine Auto Motor Und Sport got its hand on the first set of images revealing the interior of the future AMG GT. Check them out after the jump.

Updated 04/16/2014: Mercedes officially confirmed today that its future sports car will be called AMG GT. Also, the company offered the first details on the AMG GT’s interior.

Click past the jump to read more about the future Mercedes SLC/AMG GT.

Source: Autobild

We all know that Barrett-Jackson is no stranger to the rarest, meanest and sexiest the automotive world has ever seen, and we know that the auction house is also used to eight- and nine-digit takes at the end of each auction. Well, the 2014 Palm Beach Auction was no different than every other one, as it pulled in a cool $25 million. Sure, that is relatively small by B-J standards, but for Palm Beach, that is a pretty good tally. Surprisingly, there was only one true supercar in the whole lineup this year.

This trumps last year’s $21 million, and makes it the second-largest tally since the massive $32 million B-J did in 2007. In total, there were 509 cars sold, and seven of those cars had their proceeds go to charities. These seven cars netted a total of $2.35 million dollars for their respective charities. All of these totals are well and good, but we are here to talk about the cars that really lit up Barrett-Jackson’s coffers, like the incredible $1,000,000 that the 2015 Corvette Z06 drew in and the nine remaining six-digit totals that make up the top-ten highest sales figures at Palm Beach.

Click past the jump to see the entire list of the top sellers.

After Toyota North America filled trademarks for two new models — the NX 200t and NX 300h — it was not hard to figure out that these were upcoming Lexus models. The fact that they were SUVs was made simply by the "X" in their names. It was also not very difficult to understand that one trademark — the NX 200t — will be the turbocharged gasoline version, while the other one — the NX 300h — will be a hybrid model. The NX 200t will be powered by the company’s new 2.0-liter, turbocharged AR engine set to launch in 2014, while the 300h will likely get the same hybrid powertrain as in the Lexus ES 300h : a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Atkinson cycle hybrid engine.

The new Lexus NX will be placed under the company’s current RX and will most likely debut on the market sometime in 2015.

Updated 4/11/2014: Lexus has officially confirmed that the NX line will debut at the 2014 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition on April 20th. The lineup will include the base NX 200, the turbocharged NX 200t and the hybrid NX 300h. Details are still limited, but we detailed as much as we could, plugs a look at the concepts that previewed the NX, after the jump.

Okay, we’ve seen Porsche , BMW and Audi all experimenting with hybrid and electric cars , which is okay. But now things are getting a little more upscale in the electrification of luxury cars to help boost mpgs without losing performance and comfort. The latest of the entrants is Bentley with its Beijing-bound Hybrid Concept, which is little more than an electrified and copper-accented Mulsanne . Hey, if you’re gonna reveal a new hybrid engine, then why not show it off in your flagship sedan?

The details are still a little scarce on the Hybrid Concept, but Bentlry did let us in on a few details. We know that the hybrid drivetrain will carry the same 6.75-liter V-8 gas burner as the base model, but with electric motors added to boost fuel economy and output, while decreasing CO2 emissions. According to Bentley, this drivetrain bumps fuel economy up by 25 percent and guts CO2 by 70 percent.

What’s more, this drivetrain is in Bentley’s future plans, and it will slowly make its way into every Bentley vehicle.

we expect to hear more about the car following its debut at the Beijing Auto Show on April 20th.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Bentley Hybrid Concept.


Details about a possible M2 model surfaced at the end of May 2011 when BMW confirmed that the coupe and cabrio version of the 1-Series would be sold as the 2-Series . Now, thanks to the British magazine, AutoExpress, more details are available on this new sports car.

The new BMW M2 will be built on the company’s F21 platform that will also be used for the next 2-Series model. It will be an entry-level sports car featuring a front-mounted engine mated to all-new DCT semi-automatic transmission. As of right now, the likely engine is the 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbo delivering about 400 horses. One of the most innovative features of the upcoming M2 will be the intense use of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics first used in theM3 CRT and also announced for the upcoming BMW i8 .

In an interview with the British magazine, the M Division’s new managing director, Dr Friedrich Nitschke said: "In the 1M Coupe , we have a starter car for the M Division, and we are continuing to develop this project. Such models must be sporty, and offer extraordinarily low fuel consumption. This is something we could achieve with the M2. I think the 1M Coupe proves there is room for an M2, a coupe."

Although BMW feels there is room for an M2 model, don’t expect it to arrive until late 2015. At that point, models like the Porsche Cayman and the Audi TT RS may need a little jump-start to deal with the added competition.

Updated 04/07/2014: LeftLaneNews reports that the next BMW M2 will be powered by a twin-turbocharged variant of the 3.0-liter straight-six found under the hood of the M235i, and with the output increased to about 380 to 400 horsepower — 60 to 80 horsepower more than the M235i. This will allow the M2 to go from 0 to 60 mph in a little over four seconds. The M2 should be put on sale in 2016 at a price of about $55k.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 BMW M2.

Source: AutoExpress

Ah, April 1st is upon us, and the tom foolery of April Fools day seems to have come to an end. We shared with you our own little April Fool with the "teasing" of the new Barracuda , which was obviously a dolled-up and re-badged Dodge Dart . A few of our colleagues seemed to enjoy our little joke, and we saw a bunch that we loved too.

We saw a Ford SVT Bronco, news that the GT-R Hybrid would debut at the 2014 NYIAS, a new BMW "technology," a sportbrake SRT Viper and many more. Some were great and others were pretty crappy. I may be wrong, but my opinion of a good April Fool is an unbelievable story that you can somehow believe. Things like a four-door Ferrari are overdone and completely obvious, but a story like the Ford SVT Bronco is just believable enough to get you going.

We have queried a few of the TopSpeed editors to find out which piece they enjoyed the most.

Click past the jump to see each of our favorites.


Oh there are some really, really savvy spy photographers out and about these days and this time they caught the mother of all shots. The Barracuda has been an on-and-off venture for Chrysler for some time now, but we now have proof — via these exclusive spy shots — that it will debut this year at the New York International Auto Show in April. What’s more, it’s nothing like any of us imagined it would be...

We so happen to have a little "birdie" that works in the printing department at a large monthly automotive publication, and he noticed that the "boss man" was making sure only a select few saw the inside of this magazine. When he happened across a stray copy, he was as shocked as we are to see that the Barracuda will return not as a muscle car , but as a rebadged Dodge Dart .... sigh.... Our dreams are now crushed.

He managed to whip out his cell and snap off a few quick pictures, and this was the clearest one he could get, as he worried his boss could come around the corner at any second. We cleaned it up a bit by changing it to black and white, as the colors were a little messy from the poor lighting.

According to our source, the Barracuda features the same Fiat Compact platform as the Dart and Chrysler 200, but with some extra performance goodies. On top of the images, he scanned the page for as much information as he could absorb, and managed to catch that it will feature turbocharged four-cylinder with somewhere in the 250-horsepower and 260-pound-feet range, and that it will debut in New York this year. Unfortunately, that is all the information he could grab in the short amount of time he had alone with the stray mag.

Though the image is blurry, he described it as "a Dodge Dart with SRT aero mods and rims, and a dark grille." He couldn’t tell if it was an SRT model or a Plymouth , but the chances of Chrysler bringing back Plymouth for just this one model are slim to none.

So there you have it folks; Fiat has struck again by releasing another Chrysler icon from the muscle car years as a front-driven sedan, a la the Dodge Dart. We’ll go bury our heads in the sand until the NYIAS is over...

Update 4/1/2014: In case you haven’t figured it out just yet, this is a figment of our crazy imaginations here at the TopSpeed offices. Our rendering artist extraordinaire put a modified Dodge Dart on the pages of some random magazine, blurred the text a little and pasted in a Barracuda emblem and even a swimming barracuda in the background for the added "cheesy" effect. Thanks for playing along, we’ll be here all night; make sure to tip you waiters and waitresses...

Earlier this year, our spy photographers managed to catch the next-generation BMW 5 Series Touring while it was being towed to a test facility in Europe. Today, the next 5 Series was caught once again, but this time we caught both the sedan and station wagon variants.

As you can see, the 5 Series that we caught testing is covered in tons of camouflage, which shows us that BMW BMW is planning a pretty significant overhaul. Unfortunately, it looks like the 5er is still in its early production stages so what you see may not carry over into the production model.

Rumors suggest that the next 5 Series will lose some weight, thanks to the use of next-generation 7 Series -derived CFRP technology. We also believe that the model will feature an exterior design inspired by the Vision Connected Drive concept and an interior stuffed with tons of safety gizmos.

Under its hood, BMW will place an update range of engines, starting with a new 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engine and capping off with a V-8 in the M5 — if BMW decides not to replace the V-8 with the new six-cylinder engine from the 2014 M3 .

The next-generation BMW 5 Series is expected to be unveiled sometime in 2016, making it a 2017 model year here in the U.S.

Updated 03/27/2014: British magazine AutoExpress revealed a series of new info on the next-generation BMW 5 Series set to be revealed in 2016. According to the magazine, the next 5 Series will feature a range of modular engines that use 0.5-liter cylinders, similar to the three-cylinder engine found in the new Mini lineup. BMW i BMW i s still weighing whether customers would actually buy a three-cylinder 5er, but at least the architecture and cost spreading is in place. Additionally, this will be the cleanest engine lineup in the class, set to deliver under 100g/km.


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