Simona

Simona graduated from the Faculty of Computer Science in 2005, and landed a position with Top Speed in 2006. Since joining the team, she has come to realize that few things evoke as much joy as cruising down a twisty mountainside in the newest sports car.
With cars being a relatively new addition to Simona’s list of favorite things, she learns something new with each model as she passes the information on to you.

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When the Kia Soul dropped onto the U.S. market in 2010 , hipsters everywhere saw Kia in a whole new light. This boxy compact car had all the tuning capabilities the Honda Civic had when it was a tuning phenomenon through the late 1990s and early 2000s, plus it had a catchy commercial with hip hop hamsters . All was well in the world of the Soul, and it’s about to get even more real with the preparation of the future-generation model.

Fresh off of its facelift in 2011 , the most sold model from Kia has just entered a new generation. The 2014 Kia Soul was unveiled at the 2013 New York Auto Show and will be put on sale in the third quarter of this year.

For the new generation, the Soul has switched to a new chassis, received a new design language inspired by the Track’ster concept and features significant suspension upgrades.

Updated 02/19/2014: TopSpeed editor in chief, Justin Cupler, got his hands on the top-of-the-line Kia Soul for a whole week. Check out the "Driving Impressions" section after the jump to see what he thought.

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Ever since 2011, rumors have been swirling that once the new-generation Impreza hits the market, Subaru will separate the Impreza and WRX models. Of course, both will share the same platform, but the WRX and the WRX STI versions will be radically modified and each part on it will be unique.

As no surprise, shortly after the WRX Concept was unveiled at the 2013 New York Auto Show, our spy photographers caught the production version testing around the Nürburgring race track. Now, after many testing sessions, teasers and speculations, the 2015 WRX made its world debut at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show.

The model offers a new design language, a powerful four-cylinder engine — not as powerful as hoped though, as it was rumored it will deliver more than 300 horsepower — and, for the first time, the choice of two gearboxes: a six-speed manual transmission or a CVT.

Updated 02/14/2014: Subaru announced today prices for the 2014 WRX set to be put on sale this spring. Prices for the base WRX will start from $26,295 for the base version, but it can go up to $31,195 for the WRX Limited Edition.

Hit the jump for more details on the new Subaru WRX.

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Audi A5 Coupe

The Audi A5 was initially released in 2008 and the only update it has received since was in the 2012 model year. It now appears that BMW’s decision to offer a 4 Series Coupe and Convertible has forced Audi into also developing a new-generation A5. The new A5 Coupe will arrive in 2015 and it will be followed by a Convertible version six months later.

First details on the second-generation Audi A5 suggest the model will be put on a strict diet, as Audi hopes to shave a total of 220 pounds from the car’s weight. This move will also help reduce the car’s fuel consumption, without needing to downsize engines to a 1.4-liter level.

In order to obtain this drop in weight, Audi will use lighter engine ancillaries, hollow-spoke wheels and aluminum panels. Under the hood, Audi will install the same engine lineup found in the current generation, but with an improved output level. For the S5, the V-6 will deliver a total of 340 horsepower - up from the current 328 horsepower, while the RS5 will drop the current V-8 in a favor of a new twin-turbocharged V-6 engine with an output of 475 horsepower. It is also rumored that the next A5 will be offered with an electric range for the first time.

Updated 02/13/2014: Car And Driver reports that the next-generation Audi A5 will be built on Volkswagen’s new MLB modular-longitudinal architecture and will include lots of aluminum to help reduce its weight by about 200 pounds. Audi will keep about two-thirds of the current’s powertrain lineup, but will add a series of new engines, including a new, 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 for the RS5 in place of the current 4.2-liter V-8.

Hit the jump to read more about the Audi A5.

Image Note: The above image is of the 2012 A5, not the upcoming generation.

Source: CAR
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Now that Porsche has revealed the full line of specifications for the new generation 911 family, creative types are busying themselves with the different variations up the brand’s sleeve. We just revealed our thoughts on the next gen 911 Turbo and then we found PS-Garage’s take on the future GT3 RS .

The Porsche 911 GT3 RS is the perfect sports car for those looking for true racetrack performance in a street car. The RS version will be the next logical step after the new 911 GT3 is revealed sometime in 2013, and while the new standard GT3 will deliver somewhere in the neighborhood of 480 HP, the RS version will be working with about an 20 HP. Unlike other 911 models, the GT3 RS will be offered exclusively with Porsche’s new seven-speed manual gearbox.

The new GT3 RS will bring in some of the usual upgrades such as an improved suspension, better aerodynamics, and an extra-large carbon-fiber rear wing serving as a reminder of its racing connections.

Updated 02/20/2014: British magazine AutoCar reports that the new generation 911 GT3 RS will be powered by a naturally aspired engine with an output of at least 500 horsepower. With this amazing output the GT3 RS should go from 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 or 3.3 seconds and up to a top speed of 196 mph.

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The Miata never gets its fair share of press these days, but with the model celebrating its 25th anniversary — yeah, it’s 25 years old, folks — it is getting all the press it can handle. Even the big-boys, like Jay Leno, are getting in on the open-top celebration.

Jay, who owns a supercharged, first-gen MX-5 Miata, spoke with the two men responsible for this glorious sports car , Bob Hall and Kenichi Yamamoto, and discussed the progression of the Miata project, which officially started back in 1982.

What was great about this interview is that the two creators did not just talk about the final product. They dug deep and pulled up all of the old and juicy details about the project. One such detail was the fact that the Miata actually had a one-in-three chance of being either a front-wheel-drive or a mid-engine car. Fortunately, the rear-wheel-drive design by Hall and Yamamoto won over the folks in Japan, and the rest is history.

check out the above video to see the entire interview with these two guys and Jay showing off his tuned-up Miata MX-5.

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The launch of the revised 2014 Chevrolet Camaro also marked the return of the Z/28 nomenclature. The Z/28 name was initially used back in 1967 when a special Camaro was designed to compete in the Sports Car Club of America’s Trans-Am 2 class. Now, for the 2014 model year, the Z/28 nomenclature is applied to the most capable and fastest Camaro currently available on the market.

The new Camaro Z/28 was not built to compete in a specific race series, but it features track-focused capabilities. When compared to the ZL1, it is significantly lighter and, even though it is no more powerful, it is around three seconds faster around Chevy ’s testing track than the Camaro ZL1 . Also, as a tribute to the original Camaro Z/28, the new generation is only offered with a manual gearbox.

Updated 02/25/2014: Chevrolet unveiled a new video, explaining how the Performance Traction Management system helps the new Camaro Z/28 delivering faster laps on the race track.

Hit the jump to read more about the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.

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Back in 2009, TopGear took a trip to Romania and tested the "Transfagarasan" road. In the end, the guys were so impressed by the road, that Jeremy called it: "the best road in the world!" I’ve personally traveled that road and generally agree, but that’s only because TopGear never tested the other great road in Romania: Transalpina.

Transfagarasan climbs to 2,034 meters (1,263 miles) above sea level and is 90 km (60 miles) of hard hairpin turns, long S-curves and sharp descents top allow you to really test your driving skills. The only problem is that the speed limit is 40 km/h (about 25 mph), but I doubt that some folks resisted the urge to push their car to its limits. Not to mention that the scenery is simply amazing here.

But, no matter how wild the Trasfagarasan is, it is not as scary as Transalpina, or the "King’s Road" as it is also called. It climbs to 2,145 meters (1,332 miles) and is a little bit longer than the other road at 148 km (91 miles). While it may not offer the same hairpin bends as the Trasfagarasan, driving it is a little bit scarier, given the road is built on the edge of the mountain and when you look down, all you see is large precipice with no end. Also, this road requires you to drive a more powerful car, because at higher altitudes, it climbs really fast and a small engine has no chance of making it.

Of course this is our opinion on the roads, now check out what the guys over Evo have to say about the two Romania roads. They have the advantage of driving a Jaguar F-Type Roadster , so next to some great scenery you will also enjoy an amazing car!

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BMW announced today that its venerable X3 SUV is getting a much-needed upgrade. BMW is blowing open the new 2015 BMW X3 SUV by offering it with multiple U.S.-market firsts. Most notably, you can now get the X3 with diesel power, and there is now a model without all-wheel drive.

The availability of the rear-wheel-drive model helps bring the price of the X3 down into a new market, and the diesel engine option provides a level of fuel economy that far exceeds any of the previous X3 models.

As expected with any major update, the designs of the interior and exterior have been updated and overall equipment levels have increased.

Is the new 2015 BMW X3 the best luxury SUV money can buy, or does BMW need to make more substantial changes to make the model worth looking at?

Continue reading to find out all the details on this new machine.

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Mercedes brought out the C-Class in 1993 as a replacement for the 190E, and since then, it has sprouted three generations and has become the most important model in the company’s lineup. To keep the momentum going, Mercedes is working on the fourth-generation C-Class (internally called the BR205), and, after testing it for months, the company released today the first official details on the new model.

The car’s design lines are inspired by the F800 Concept Car displayed in Geneva two years ago, with a more marked front grille. This will obviously change the look of the C-Class, but won’t change it so severely as to present a completely new design.

Mercedes is set on keeping the essence of the model, but it added a certain degree of sportiness and dynamic so that it can compete with the Audi A4 and the BMW 3-Series .

The Mercedes C-Class Sedan will arrive in 2014 and six months later, it will be followed by a station wagon version. Approximately one year after that, the company will unveil the coupe and convertible versions as well.

For the U.S. market, the C-Class will be built in the Alabama plant alongside the GL-Class and ML-Class .

Updated 12/16/2013: This review was updated with the official details, images, video and specs.

Updated 02/05/2014: Mercedes unveiled a new video in which it explains the progressive and emotional design featured in the new generation C-Class. Enjoy!

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mercedes C-Class.

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Another day, another Ferrari 250 sets a sales record. This latest record-setting Ferrari is a 250 Testa Rossa, and it changed hands for what the Daily Mail is reporting as £24,000,000 — that equates to about $39 million.

At that price, it exceeds the previous record of £22.5 million set in 2012 by a 250 GTO, and it triples the price paid for a 1957 Testa Rossa in 2009 . That 2009 sale was also a record.

What separates this Testa Rossa from its brethren to demand such a price? Pedigree, fame and its immaculate condition all came together to make this a very valuable car.

The car itself is Chassis 0704, and it is actually a prototype that was created before the limited run of “normal” 250 Testa Rossas. F1 World Champion Phil Hill helped to pilot this exact car to race wins in the in the 1,000 km (683.5-mile) Buenos Aires and 12 Hour Sebring races. It has contested many other races, including two entrances into the 24 Hours of Le Mans. That gives this particular car one of the best racing heritages of any Ferrari still in existence in the private market.

Even with such a long racing heritage, the car is completely original and unmolested. It has all the battle scars of wheel-to-wheel action, but it has very little actual damage to any of the body panels, and the interior looks incredible for a 57-year-old car.

The new owner of the car has not been released, but if you want more info and images of this incredible machine head over to the Daily Mail for the original story.

Click past the jump to read more about the 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa.

Source: Dailymail

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