Mark McNabb

Mark McNabb is one of those eccentric people who, for whatever reason, cannot stop thinking about mechanical modes of transportation, especially the automobile. With dirty hands and a background in automotive journalism, Mark is excited to join TopSpeed.com in providing the latest news and most interesting reviews to this corner of the internet.


Dodge ’s highly anticipated facelift for the Challenger has finally arrived — a little late we might add — to give the pony a fresh start in the muscle car battle against its Detroit rivals.

Revamped inside and out, the Challenger stormed into New York with updated front and rear fascias, and new exterior colors and wheel designs. Sure, the facelift is not as spectacular as the one seen on the Charger , but it should be enough to keep the Challenger marketable until the next-generation model arrives.

Those who were looking forward to see some engine updates will end up a bit disappointed, as Dodge didn’t bother to offer extra oomph, and, apparently, the new Hellcat V-8 is not yet ready to make an entrance. However, the ancient five-speed automatic has finally been moved to the dustbin, making way for a more attractive unit.

The new Challenger comes just as Dodge is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and the muscle car will certainly be a part of this summer’s merrymaking. We bet something special is coming our way, but, until them, let’s take a deep dive into the 2015 Challenger.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Dodge Challenger.


The wait is over for the all-new 2015 Dodge Charger, though with a quick glance at the photos, it seems ‘all-new’ is a bit of a stretch. But while everything but the front grille may look carried over, nearly every body panel has been updated. The subtle changes continue inside with a reworked dashboard, a more techno-laden gauge cluster, a new center stack, and a sweet T-handle gear selector.

Things under the hood are still familiar, too. The base 3.6-liter, Pentastar V-6 returns, as does the venerable 5.7-liter, HEMI V-8. The transmission options have changed, however. The eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic is now standard across the board, helping the Pentastar V-6 achieve 31 mpg highway while assisting the 5.7-liter HEMI sprint to 60 mph in roughly 5 seconds.

The interior sees a host of electronic upgrades and new technologies within Chrysler’s latest version of Uconnect. Voice texting, updated 3D navigation, WiFi hotspot capabilities, and the all-new Dodge Performance pages all find a home within the 8.4-inch touch screen. That latter item holds a plethora of performance options and customizable settings including launch control and its rpm settings, performance timers, extra gauges, and even a g-force meter.

Matching the updated and more upmarket interior is the Charger’s reworked outer skin. The most noticeable changes lie up front with its more Dodge Dart -like appearance. Around to the sides are scalloped doors still flowing into the large rear haunches and then to a detail-rich rear fascia. A new crop of wheels completes the 2015 transformation.

Click past the jump for the complete run-down on the 2015 Dodge Charger


Things are getting pretty racy over at Ferrari , as the company has just confirmed plans to build a racetrack-only version of the LaFerrrari hypercar titled the LaFerrari XX and will see big changes with the suspension and aerodynamics setups in the production car.

The breaking news comes way of Antonello Coletta, Ferrari’s head of Sporting Activity Department, at the ongoing Ferrari Racing Days in Sydney, Australia. “Now we are working on the new hypercar for the circuit, the LaFerrari XX,” Coletta admitted to Drive.com. "I hope that the new car will arrive on the circuit in January or February of next year.”

Coletta says Ferrari realizes improving the car’s power will be a difficult challenge as the car already makes an impressive 963 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque with its 6.3-liter V-12 engine and two electric motors. Though the power will increase, the biggest changes are said to be within the suspension tuning, tire choice, and aerodynamics.

“It will be completely different the handling, because it’s normal that the handling is different for the circuit and the road, says Coletta. The difference will be the slick tires, the aerodynamics, the electronics, the suspension, the shock absorbers.”

Though the rumors still fly about Ferrari reentering Le Mans , Coletta and the Italian automaker still deny any definite plans. “Now, we stay in F1 … For now Ferrari will not be in Le Mans but we will see, but it is absolutely not sure,” Drive reports Coletta saying. Catching an odd, Le Mans-style, LaFerrari racer testing is only adding fuel to these rumors.

The track-only LaFerrari XX follows in the footsteps already laid by the Enzo -based FXX and 599 XX. The car is expected to launch in 2015 for a price even larger than the production LaFerrari’s $1.8 million asking price.

Click past the jump to read about the LaFerrari EVOXX that we envisioned

Source: Drive

The Land Rover brand is on the brink of renaissance; a future laid out with a structured purpose that includes no less than three sub-categories and levels of refinement and off-road abilities — and it’s all starting with this, the Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept.

Just one day before the New York Auto Show officially kicks off, Land Rover pulled the covers off its newest design and road map for the company’s future. The overarching plan includes creating three sub brands with individual vehicles under each. It will be a lot like what the Range Rover brand has already done with its multiple models.

Range Rover will soldier on filling the luxury segment while the Land Rover Discovery lineup will fill the ‘leisure’-oriented rolls and a new lineup under the Defender nameplate will cater to the hard-core off-roaders and keep the Land Rover tradition alive of blazing trails in far-off regions of the world while (hopefully) being accessible to every market, including the U.S.

Besides announcing the new corporate structuring, Land Rover is heralding in its new design language with the Discovery Vision Concept. The new look still has lingering cues from the LR4 that it replaces and the more upscale Range Rovers, but overall, the look is totally fresh. Included under is silvery skin are acres of new technologies and innovative features that set the SUV – and the brand – on a level above. Such things as gesture controls, its ‘transparent’ hood, and the first ever remote-control drive.

Click past the jump for the full rundown on all the new features

A few weeks ago we reported that Ford was planning a daring reenactment of the 1964 Ford Mustang convertible launch atop the Empire State Building’s 86th floor observation deck. With only a few hours left before the big 50th anniversary celebration begins, Ford lets loose the details on how it’s pulling off the stunt.

Just like in 1964, the 2015 Mustang convertible has gone under the knife, getting sliced up into pieces in order to fit within the building’s elevators. Though the first Mustang was only sectioned into three pieces, the 2015 pony car had to be sliced into six. Each section is welded to a steel tube subframe that bolts together with the other sections, holding together the entire car. Even the suspension components are held in place by the steel tubing.

Despite the car’s divided ascension of the skyscraper, the car will look showroom fresh as it sits on the observation deck for 54 hours, while the New York Auto Show happens 1,454 feet below.

This isn’t the 2015 Mustang Convertible’s first public appearance, but it certainly is grander than the lackadaisical attention it was given when it was first seen along side the Mustang coupe when it debuted December 5th.


Ram Trucks has just released the details and photos of its latest and greatest Power Wagon, a refreshed version of the heavy-duty, off-road champ that can handle nearly every strenuous task thrown its way. While the Power Wagon isn’t the only off-road-based truck out there today, it is certainly the only one capable of trudging deep ruts, climbing rocks, and fording 30 inches of water while hauling 1,490 pounds in its bed.

And yes, people actually do that.

While the obvious comparison is with the Ford Raptor, the trucks compete on two different playing fields. Designed as a high-speed desert runner, the Raptor is lighter and more nimble than the Ram while its suspension is designed to absorb jumps and bumps at tremendous speeds. Those Fox racing shocks work very well in those circumstances, but aren’t so great for towing or hauling.

That’s where the Power Wagon picks up. Built on the back of a Ram 2500 Heavy Duty truck, the Power Wagon has the strength of the heavy duty combined with the off-road prowess of a Jeep Wrangler. The fact both the Wrangler and Power Wagon come from the same manufacturer shouldn’t come as a surprise. They actually share some hardware – at least in concept — namely the front axle’s electronic sway bar disconnect. With the push of a button, the massive solid axle is free to twist in full flex, keeping its 33-inch tall tires on the ground no matter how severe the terrain gets.

The list of impressive hardware continues throughout the three-quarter-ton truck as the Ram powers its way through Prius’ nightmares and Raptors’ dreams. Click past the jump for the full run-down.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Ram 2500 Power Wagon.


The Mercedes news keeps on rolling in with the latest bits of information regarding the next-generation SLK roadster. Destined for debut as a 2018 model, it’s reported the new drop top will feature a hybrid powertrain similar to the new C-Class sedan.

According to AutoExpress, the new SLK will also ride on the modular sports car architecture (MSA), just as the larger SL roadster. The new underpinnings will allow the SLK to accept a larger variety of engine and transmission options not currently available. That, combined with the C-Class’ plug-in hybrid powertrain opens the possibilities for an all-wheel-drive option as well.

Living up to its name, the modular sports car architecture allows engineers to easily change the lengths, widths, and wheelbases. This will help differentiate the SLK from the larger SL-Class , while keeping engineering and manufacturing costs to a minimum. Even with the new platform, the SLK’s production will continue in the current factory in Bremen, Germany. The SL-Class will shift production to that location as well.

Mercedes’ crusade to improve fuel efficiency surely means some weight reduction over the current car. Weighing in at 3,163 pounds, the SLK is already a fairly light car, but could still stand to lose a few pounds. A reduced curb weight would also help it better compete again the Porsche Boxster and BMW Z4 Roadster.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2018 Mercedes SLK.

Source: AutoExpress

Tesla’s legal team has yet another case added to their already cluttered desks as the self-described "King of Lemon Laws" attorney Vince Megna files a suit against the California automaker with allegations of a defective product. Already contending with the New Jersey car sales ban fiasco, Tesla must now confront the auto industry’s most notorious lawyer and his Franklin, Wisconsin-based client.

The issues apparently started when Megna’s client purchased a Tesla Model S in March of 2013 for a cool $98,000. Shortly after delivery, the car had troubles starting and holding a charge. With no dealers around, the car had to be towed an hour and a half south to Chicago, IL. Over the first five months of ownership, the Model S spent a total of 66 days in the shop.

After attempting to have Tesla buy back the car on three separate occasions — as possible under the Federal government’s Lemon Law — the owners contacted Megna for help.

With a reputation for never going easy on automakers, Megna has been known to make short videos full of ironic humor, wit, and duct tape-wearing paralegals detailing his clients’ cases, just as you can see in the video above.

Be sure to stay tuned to TopSpeed for any developing information on Tesla’s first Lemon Law case.

Click past the jump for the video and to read more about the Tesla Model S.

Buying a new vehicle for cheap these days can be a daunting task, especially a pickup truck. As customer demands have grown, so have the trucks’ capabilities and price tags. If you’ve got $50,000 to blow, the options are nearly limitless. But what about $30,000? Or even under that? What kind of truck can be had for less than that magical money ceiling?

The truck market is a highly competitive one with each automaker gunning to outdo and one-up the competition. This is great for those looking for feature-laden trucks with more technology than the best luxury cars could boast five years ago or tow ratings that seem to compete with Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks.

Consequently, prices for these “work vehicles” have become luxury-like in the process. Sure, some buyers need a truck to pull double duty as the family sedan throughout the week while still towing the boat or RV on the weekends. For that purpose, modern full-size trucks in mid- to upper-grade trim reign supreme.

Because prices have jumped so high, folks wanting to spend $30,000 or less on a truck only have a few options, consisting mostly of single- or extended-cab full-size trucks or smaller midsize trucks. It all depends on how the truck is optioned out.

Those looking to tow will have to sacrifice interior amenities for a larger engine and a towing package. Those looking for interior room will ironically have to stick with a midsized truck that offers a four-door crew cab model. For buyers, it all boils down to how the truck will be used. Evaluating personal use is perhaps the most critical aspect of buying a truck on a budget.

Click past the jump for TopSpeed’s 5 best trucks under $30K


Note: Current SL63 AMG shown here.

This week has seen some shake-ups with the SL-Class lineup from Mercedes. The German automaker’s latest announcement centers on the mighty SL63 roadster. In an apparent move to streamline the lineup, Mercedes is cutting the Performance Package option, but adding even more horsepower to the standard car.

With the current Performance Package, the 5.5-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8 got a 27 horsepower bump in output over the standard SL63’s 529 horsepower. But all 2015 SL63s will come with 577 horsepower standard. Adding to that, a new mechanical locking differential will help put power to the ground more effectively.

It’s likely Mercedes is stirring the SL pot in hopes of drumming up sales. Though it’s only two years old, the latest generation of SL-Class hasn’t seen a major update since its release. The car has historically been a slow seller, focusing mainly on quality over quantity for those well off enough for those who can afford a $100,000, two-seat convertible. For 2013, Mercedes sold just over 7,000 units — considerably more than the 4,899 units it sold in 2012.

This news comes directly after Mercedes announced the axing of the Euro-spec SL350 in favor of the new SL400 powered by a smaller, yet more powerful 3.0-liter, twin-turbo V-6. Luckily, the U.S. will also be getting the new SL400, adding to the SL550, SL63 AMG, and SL65 AMG models already available here.

We’ll bring you more details on the SL63 AMG once Mercedes reveals them all, so stay tuned.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG.

Source: AutoCar

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