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Trail Blazer - An Interview With Stephan Papadakis

Trail Blazer - An Interview With Stephan Papadakis

TopSpeed gets an exclusive Q and A with the sport compact legend

From street racer, to record-breaking drag racer, to winning professional drift team owner, Stephan Papadakis is hands down one of the most important figures in import performance culture. We got a chance to pick his brain.

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Video Reviews: Is the 2019 BMW X7 the new large luxury SUV king?

Video Reviews: Is the 2019 BMW X7 the new large luxury SUV king?

BMW X7 review roundup gives you the low-down on the new luxury three-row SUV

BMW’s largest SUV offering used to be the X5, but in the context of there being even larger premium SUVs on the market, the German automaker decided to make its own - the new X7. Now it’s being tested by the international motoring press, and they seem to like it quite a lot - some of them even go so far as to say its huge twin-kidney grille is not oversized and it looks suitable with the rest of the design.

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The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe is the BMW X6 rival you didn't know you wanted

The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe is the BMW X6 rival you didn’t know you wanted

Porsche extends Cayenne family with new Coupe model

Did the world really need a Porsche Cayenne with a “steeply sloping,” fastback-style roof and more squatted rear end? Apparently, it did because the new Cayenne Coupe is real and has just broken cover with its sights firmly set on the BMW X6, Mercedes GLE Coupe, Lamborghini Urus, and Audi Q8.

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Lister Unveils Roofless LFT-666, Calls It LFT-C

Lister Unveils Roofless LFT-666, Calls It LFT-C

The 2019 Lister LFT-C is a Project 7-flavored open-top F-Type that’s a lot more exclusive

The popularity of Lister’s LFT-666, formerly known as the Thunder, prompted the British outfit to create the LFT-C as an attention-grabber while it works on the Knobbly. The LFT-C features "an almost unlimited options list," packs the same 657 horsepower V-8 as the fixed-head version, and it costs $182,424. Unlike the coupe, though, only 10 LFT-Cs will ever be made.

Lister seems to be doing better than ever. The company based in Cambridge, England currently assembles the LFT-666 Coupe and the F-Pace-based LFP that’s one of the fastest SUVs money can buy in Europe. More recently, CEO Lawrence Whittaker announced plans to revive the legendary Knobbly nameplate on a retro-chic two-seater sports car with Ferrari-rivaling output, and a rebirth of the Storm is also on the cards in the future. It is, then, surprising that Lister found time to create the LFT-C at all.

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2020 Volvo XC90

2020 Volvo XC90

Volvo’s range-topping model now features an energy recovery system and a six-seat layout

The 2020 Volvo XC90 is an updated version of the second-generation SUV. Unveiled in 2019, it features a mild exterior upgrade and adds new technology inside the cabin. The Swedish SUV carries over with the same engines, but it now includes an energy recovery braking system that enhances fuel economy. Additional safety equipment rounds out the XC90’s mid-cycle facelift, which keeps the crossover competitive against vehicles like the BMW X3 and the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class.

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2019 Mercedes A-Class vs 2019 Mercedes CLA

2019 Mercedes A-Class vs 2019 Mercedes CLA

Why is Mercedes selling both the nearly identical A-Class sedan and CLA at the same time?

Mercedes’ line of front-wheel drive-biased models used to be pretty simple: you had the A-Class, a practical yet rakish compact hatchback, the B-Class, a more MPV-like (or people carrier-like version of the A-Class,) and then the sleek CLA that successfully impersonated a smaller version of the sexy CLS.

However, you can now order a sedan version of the A-Class and the new CLA. Sure, the latter is certainly more dramatic to look at but not to a huge degree. If you look at both cars from the front side by side, you will notice that only the headlights are really different. From the side, you can definitely see the CLA’s coupe-like roof and C-pillar - it’s the C-pillar of the A-Class sedan that really makes it look different.

When it comes to the rear, the A-Class sedan has a unique design not shared with other Mercedes, whereas the CLA has almost identical clusters to the larger CLS. Step inside, and you’d be hard-pressed to tell which is which - spotting the interior differences is far trickier than doing so on the outside.

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2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Revs and Prowls the Streets of Las Vegas: Video

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Revs and Prowls the Streets of Las Vegas: Video

The Super ‘Stang has arrived in Sin City!

Making its big public debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is an absolutely beastly machine. Rocking a hyper-aggressive aero package with a plus-sized front intake and GT-style rear wing, a carbon fiber and suede interior, and a supercharged 5.2-liter V-8 blown to produce well over 700 horsepower, there’s no denying the appeal of this modern muscle car. Now we’re getting a listen to its exhaust note and a look at it on the streets of Las Vegas thanks to this recent post from YouTube user Speed Phenom.

Shot at a private event put on by FoMoCo, the video features a few nice glory shots of the GT500, as well as loads of info from a Shelby rep addressing the attending guests. Cutting through the PR talk, there are a few things that standout during the speech, including the assertion that the Shelby team is still working to pin down the GT500’s final horsepower figure “until the bitter end” (hence the “700+” number currently making the rounds), as well as a few performance numbers like a “sub-11” quarter mile and “mid-3’s” for the sprint to 60 mph. The video ends with a romp across the streets of Las Vegas.

If you’re hungry for anything and everything 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, then this is the video for you.

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2019 Aurus Senat

2019 Aurus Senat

The civilian version of President Putin’s state limousine is now available for purchase

Becoming an elected official is not as easy as it may seem. If you aren’t a senator but want to pass as one, there’s now the car that’ll play along perfectly, the Aurus Senat S600. It’s the civilian version of Putin’s ride, the Senat L700, and it looks like a Rolls-Royce knock-off. With a +$160,000 price tag and almost 600 horsepower from a twin-turbocharged V-8, the Senat is sure to make some waves.

Russia isn’t really the country your first think of when you’re asked to name a nation famed for building luxurious vehicles. You might think of the U.K., the native country of both Bentley and Rolls-Royce, or maybe Germany as BMW and Mercedes-Benz hail from there. But Russia has been making exquisite limousines for decades that managed to fly below anyone’s radar. That’s because the ZILs and ZIMs of the 20th century never really got exported anywhere mainly since they were built to serve the local officialdom. Now, though, the Aurus Senat looks to pierce beyond the confines of Russia and the first market that awaits for this mammoth on wheels is, obviously, China.

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2019 Alfa Romeo Tonale Concept

2019 Alfa Romeo Tonale Concept

Based on the Jeep Renegade, it’s the company’s first hybrid vehicle

The Alfa Romeo Tonale is a crossover concept introduced at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Smaller than the Stelvio, the Tonale concept is based on the Jeep Renegade and previews the company’s second crossover. It’s also Alfa Romeo’s first hybrid vehicle. There’s no word as to when it will go in production, but it should happen sometime in 2020.

It’s been three years since Alfa Romeo joined the SUV market with the Stelvio, and the Italian firm is considering an expansion. With full access to parent company FCA’s platforms, Alfa Romeo is putting the Small Wide 4x4 chassis to good use. Already available in the Jeep Renegade, Jeep Compass, and Fiat 500X, these underpinnings will be adopted by the Tonale, Alfa Romeo’s smallest crossover yet. When it hits the market in 2020, the production version of this concept will compete against premium offerings like the Mercedes-Benz GLA and BMW X1.

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2019 Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01

2019 Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01

Mercedes-Benz will join the Formula E band of brothers along with Porsche in the 2019/2020 season

After years of speculation, Mercedes-Benz has finally revealed its Formula E contender. Well, sort of. The German manufacturer presented in the eve of the 89th Geneva Auto Show the EQ Silver Arrow 01 wearing a ’concept livery’ that is, as you can see, lacking an important element: silver. Rest assured, though, the final livery that "will be presented at a later stage ahead of the [2019/20] season opener" will undoubtedly feature some silver.

Here’s an odd one: Mercedes taking the wraps off its first electric silver arrow racer that ominously lacks any trace of silver. That’s like Ferrari debuting next year with a blue car in Formula 1. What’s more important, though, than an interim livery is what Mercedes is conveying by officializing this move. The automaker from Stuttgart left, to the dismay of many, the DTM at the end of the 2018 season after a 30-year-long involvement in the series to focus on showcasing its electric prowess on track in the world’s top arena: the Formula E. The works Merc team will debut next season, which will be the sixth in the history of the championship, and the program will be run by HWA who ran the DTM cars in the last few years and, intriguingly, will operate the new Aston Martin DTM cars this season as well from behind the scenes.

Updated 03/21/2019: We’ve updated this review with fresh images of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01 that were taken during the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Check them out in the gallery at the bottom of this page!

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2019 Fiat Centoventi Concept

2019 Fiat Centoventi Concept

A design-your-own-vehicle for the new age

For its 120th birthday, Fiat went to the 2019 Geneva Motor Show to present a concept car, except it’s really not a concept car. It’s called the Centoventi Concept, which literally translates to “one hundred and twenty” in our language. It’s not the most creative concept name in the world, but it’ll do, especially when you begin to understand what it’s really all about. Fiat’s press release calls the Centoventi Concept a vehicle that “perfectly expresses the Italian brand’s idea of electric mass mobility in the near future.” What that phrase doesn’t tell you is that the Centoventi Concept is a lot more than just a representation of Fiat’s vision for its future electric. The concept is also a blank canvas that invites user customization. It’s a design-your-own ride that lets you personalize the car’s design from the ground up. Future urban mobility? Sure, the concept is that, too. But it’s really a modular platform for creativity. The Centoventi Concept doesn’t really have a “look,” in large part because that “look” will depend on how you design it.

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2019 Indian Springfield Dark Horse

2019 Indian Springfield Dark Horse

Ride-Enhancement Features Turn This Antique Design Into An Entirely Modern Machine

Indian Motorcycle spruced up its Springfield Dark Horse ahead of MY2019 with some aesthetic tweaks that set it apart from the previous versions, but the factory didn’t stop there. It added some all-new electronic tech in the form of a few ride-enhancement features that turn this antique design into an entirely modern machine. Indian’s deep roots are on full display with this one to make it a tribute piece of sorts, and if you’re into designs from around World War II, then the Dark Horse has a lot to offer.

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"Framing John DeLorean" is the Summer Movie You Need To See

"Framing John DeLorean" is the Summer Movie You Need To See

John DeLorean lived a very eventful life, to say the least

John DeLorean is, without question, one of the most colorful and interesting personalities the auto industry has seen. As the founder of DeLorean Motor Company and the creator of the Pontiac GTO, DeLorean’s fingerprints can be seen in all sections of the auto industry. His life is a fascinating story, and we’re all going to see it play out in movie theaters and video-on-demand when the movie Framing John DeLorean, starring Alec Baldwin as John DeLorean, comes out on June 7. In addition to Baldwin, the movie also stars Morena Baccarin (Deadpool, Homeland), Josh Charles (Dead Poet’s Society, The Good Wife), and Cristina Ferrare (Home).

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Tesla Postponed Price Hikes Because of Overwhelming Number of Last Minute Orders

Tesla Postponed Price Hikes Because of Overwhelming Number of Last Minute Orders

Tesla’s not making it easy for everyone to place orders for its models

Tesla has put a stay in its decision to raise prices on most of its models worldwide due to what it described as “unusually high volume” on orders being placed on its website. The slight price adjustment was supposed to take effect midnight Pacific Time last Monday, March 18. Now, the price hike will happen midnight Pacific Time on Wednesday, March 20. The decision to raise prices by three percent on some of its models was announced last week after Tesla abruptly reversed course on its plan to close all of its retail stores and focus all sales online. With the deadline fast approaching, it’s gonna be interesting to see if Tesla experiences the same “unusually high volume” when the clock hits midnight Pacific Time today.

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