2020 BMW X7 - Driven
The BMW X7 is one of the newest models in Bimmer’s lineup, and it serves a noble purpose as the brand’s flagship SUV (or Sports Activity Vehicle, if you listen to BMW’s “we-need-to-be-different” nonsense.) It was announced back in 2014, and shown off in concept form (the BMW X7 iPerformance Concept) in 2017, but wasn’t available at dealers until March 2019. Since then, we’ve been itching to get behind the wheel of one, and BMW was happy to oblige.
As you might expect from a flagship model, the X7 is about as luxurious as you can get without dipping your toes in the six-figure range. It comes close, with the X7 XDrive50i commanding an MSRP of $92,600, but it won’t cross that big mark unless you start checking off option boxes. Even the M50i falls just shy of six figures at $99,600. Under the hood of our xDrive50i sat a 4.4-liter V-8 (the same one that may be discontinued soon enough,) and it was good for 456 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. The sprint to 60 mph was rated at 5.2, but we got there in just a hair over 5 seconds, mighty impressive for a vehicle that weighs 5,617 pounds.
Interior space of the X7 was great, but what really caught our attention was the air suspension that would raise or lower as needed. Loading something into the rear? No problem, the suspension will drop to make it easier for you. Going over rough roads? Raise it up a notch. Spirited driving? The suspension will help keep things level. It’s like there’s nothing it can’t do. Comfort was on par with what you would expect, while materials and fit and finish were top notch.
We’re busy writing out in-depth review and driving impression of the 2020 BMW X7 right now, but until we’re done, we’ve posted our awesome photo gallery in the slider above and further down the page – be sure to check it out.
2019 Volkswagen Golf GTi - Driven
We have been itching to get behind the wheel of the 2020 Volkswagen Golf Mk. 8 and would really love to try out the yet-to-be-released Mk. 8 Golf GTi, but we’ve been told we still have to wait a while. To make things good, however, and hold us over, Volkswagen decided to send out an MK. 7 2019 Golf GTi and, while it wasn’t exactly what we wanted, we have to admit that the week we spent with it was beyond memorable.
As you can see from the photo gallery organized into the slider above and the page below, the Golf GTi, even in its older design, is quite the looker. It’s attractive from all angles, and the interior really gives you the feeling that you’re sitting in a proper hot hatch. The flat-bottom steering wheel and eight-inch infotainment displayed helped in the regard, but the overall fitment of the seats and materials put together one hell of a package.
The 2.0-liter turbo-four under the hood isn’t the most powerful four-cylinder on the block – the title is reserved for the Mercedes-AMG A45S – but it’s powerful enough to keep just about any enthusiast happy at 228 ponies and 258 pound-feet of torque. Volkswagen claims that’s good for a 5.7-second sprint to 60 mph, but we actually got there around one-tenth faster. More impressive than that is the fact that this baby is as nimble as can be. The 35.8-foot turning circle means it can turn on a dime (this is much better than both the Focus ST and i30 N that it competes with) while the 5.1-inch ride height feels like the sweet spot in terms of dealing with typical road conditions.
All told, our week with the Golf GTi isn’t one that we’ll forget, and we can’t wait to try out the MK.8 to see just how Volkswagen will manage to improve. Until that happens, though, you can enjoy our massive photo gallery. We’re busy putting together an in-depth review on the 2019 golf GTi, so be sure to check back in with us soon to learn the finer details!
2020 Lincoln Aviator - Driven
The Aviator name was revived back in 2019 as a replacement for the Lincoln MKT. Ever since, we’ve been dying to get our hands on one to see just how well it actually represents Lincoln as a brand and if it can actually handle the stiff competition in the premium SUV segment. Well, our requests were finally answered and a Lincoln Aviator showed up at TopSpeed HQ with full tank of gas and the paperwork that said we could drive it for a week. And, drive it we did.
Any negative preconceptions we had about the Lincoln brand or the Aviator in general were axed the second we stepped inside. The cabin, for the most part, feels highly premium and the layout was very spacious. We didn’t have the hybrid model, so all our power came from the 3.0-liter V-6 that was good for 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque, two figures that proved themselves to be more than enough for a vehicle this caliber.
We were equally impressed with the amount of available cargo room (up to 77.t cubic-feet with all the seats folder flat, and the technology inside felt really upscale compared to what we expected based on previous experience with Lincoln models. Our model started out at $51,100, but our tester was fitted with a couple of options that made it a little more expensive. We’re busy putting together an in-depth buyer’s guide for this very vehicle, so until then check out the full, high-resolution photo gallery that we’ve added to the slider above or the body of the page below.
Turboant X7 Electric Scooter Review
The entry-level electric scooter niche is a cutthroat affair right now. Companies that are more or less known in the scooter industry are battling for a piece of the pie as more and more riders are looking at e-scooters as a solution to avoid clogged city traffic or simply as an alternative to shabby public transportation networks that don’t properly cover their areas.
Enter Turboant and their X7 electric scooter, a contraption that’s looking to dethrone the hugely-popular Xiaomi Mi M365 and steal some of its customers. Turboant was kind enough to send us the X7 for reviewing purposes, so inevitably, we took it for a spin. Our impressions are for you to read in the hands-on review that continues below.
2020 Audi TT-RS - Driven
Audi updated the TT-RS for the 2019 model year, and after just a year on the market, we finally managed to get our hands on one. To our surprise, we found that the updated front and rear designs actually give the TT-RS a more dynamic, yet aggressive look. That is thanks to, at least in part, the new honeycomb grille up front that’s paired with the contrasted front spoiler lip.
Further emphasizing the sporty appearance of our TT-RS tester were the black mirror caps, the black accents on the rear spoiler, and the black diffuser-like elements in the rear fascia. Most people wouldn’t recognize some of the smaller bits, but those black legs for the spoiler, for instance, really stand out with the black accents on the rear decklid and the taillights.
The interior design of the TT-RS just screams performance and, at times, we almost felt like we were driving a Porsche. Maybe it’s the honeycomb inserts on the seats, the low seating position, or the material on the flat-bottom steering wheel. Honestly, it was probably a combination of all three, but we were so mesmerized by the crispness of the Audi virtual cockpit it was hard to look away.
Under the hood sits Audi’s classic 2.5-liter inline-five with 400 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. We really wish we had a six-speed manual, but unfortunately, the best we could ask for was the seven-speed automatic. The AWD was nice and, despite Audi’s claims of a 3.7-second sprint to 60 mph, we actually clocked the same run somewhere in the high-3.5 to low-3.6 range on multiple occasions. If we had tried a top speed run, we would have been limited to 155 mph (we didn’t break the highway speed limit, though) however, if you’re willing to pay for it, you could get that limit raised to 174 mph. Pricing for our tester, as you see it here, was $77,490.
BMW Introduced the seventh-generation G20 3 Series for the 2019 model year and with it came a new design language, update engines, and some features from models like the 5 Series and X5, among others. To top all this off, it’s also just a bit larger and more aggressive than the seven-year-old F30 3 Series that it replaced. We didn’t get a chance to run the new 3 Series prototype around the track on the original pre-release test days, so we’ve been itching to see just how much better new the 3 Series is and whether or not all that new technology and new driving dynamics live up to the hype. So, we started reaching out in hopes of getting our hands on a new 3 Series tester, and BMW delivered. In fact, it delivered so well, that we got to spend a week with none other than the new 2020 BMW M340i – the best model you can get without going full-on M.
So, is the M340i really a poor man’s M3? Does it really compete against the Mercedes-AMG CLA45 or the Audi S5 Sportback? Does the M340i really deserve its time in the limelight? Well, after a week of a weird, love-hate affair with the 2020 BMW M340i, we have answers to all these questions and more. Here’s our experience….
2019 Audi A7 - Driven
In the past 20 to 25 years, automotive executives have been looking at ways to activate new areas of the public by coming up with weird niches, some more successful than others. The Audi A7 is a proud flag-bearer of the four-door coupe segment that’s managed to keep its head above the water as consumers flock to buy the latest crossover SUV. Get behind the wheel of Audi’s sleek answer to the Mercedes-Benz CLS and it’s easy to see why as this might just be one of the best models Audi currently sales Stateside.
Introduced back in 2017, the second-generation Audi A7 set about fixing just about everything that was wrong with the original luxury four-door coupe from Ingolstadt. Broadly speaking, the Germans have managed to tick all the boxes while also improving in areas that didn’t really need improving such as the design - one of Audi’s undeniable strengths despite what you may consider as an overly aggressive brand recognition strategy that ended up making all of Audi’s products look alike. Still, the A7 manages to stand out from the crowd with the single-piece rear light cluster and it looks sportier than ever, the muscular vibe given by the exterior being bolstered by its handling and performance. While not new on the market, we jumped at the opportunity of driving the A7 right away to see if there’s any wind left in the sails of this quirky niche.
2019 Nissan Rogue - Driven
The Nissan Rogue is in its second generation, but it has been soldiering on since it was introduced in 2014 with only a mild facelift in 2017 and a safety equipment update in 2018. With all of the wide selection of compact SUVs on the market, we thought it would be a good idea to see how the aging Rogue holds up on an oh-so-competitive market. Does the Rogue’s appearance, interior comfort, safety systems, and technology hold up against the ever-growing crop of small crossovers or is Nissan in dire need of majorly updating the Rogue? Well, we found that out for ourselves and more – this is our experience with the 2020 Nissan Rogue.
2019 Fiat 500 Abarth Driven
The reborn, retro-chic, Fiat 500 first graced North American shores back in 2011 and now, eight years down the line, we got behind the wheel of the peppy Abarth version to get one final sting from the scorpion as the entire 500 range is being discontinued by Fiat-Chrysler. Prepare for some top-down driving as we assess whether we’ll miss the 500 for what it is or for its vibe akin to an endless summer holiday in the rolling hills of Tuscany.
The Chevy Traverse had an identity complex during its first 8 years of life, with the first-gen model being a weird blend of crossover and minivan with GM’s old, not-so-attractive styling inside and out. Fortunately, the 2018 model year became the host of the second-gen Traverse, and it came with a true SUV appearance that doesn’t require the hardcore (and heavy) full-size truck DNA under the metal. As the roomiest three-row SUV on the market without those full-size truck underpinnings, we’ve been wondering how the second-gen Traverse really holds up against competitors like the Ford Explorer and Mazda CX-9. Finally, after two years on the market, we finally got the chance to get behind the wheel to find out for ourselves. This is our experience with the 2020 Chevy Traverse.
2019 BMW i3 - Driven
There aren’t too many models out there that can legitimately lay claim to being funkier than the Nissan Juke, but the BMW i3 is one of them. It was introduced in 2013 as BMW’s first step into the electric market with a single purpose in mind – to see if people would actually be interested in an electric BMW. Well, the i3 has served its purpose very well and actually received a lot of attention. Whether that attention was received because of its funky minivan-like hatchback appearance or because it was an electric BMW is up for debate, but after 6 years on the market BMW has no choice but to dig into the electric car segment even more, so you can write the i3 off as a success either way.
That success, however, doesn’t come without a price, and in this case, the BMW i3 is paying the ultimate price – it will eventually die off as BMW focuses on other electric vehicles. With the i3’s time on the Earth limited to the next few years as BMW runs out parts inventory, we decided it would be a great time to test out the i3 before it fades off into oblivion. After all, it’s the last of its kind and, therefore, is probably as good as it will ever get. This is our story of a week well spent with the soon-to-be-extinct BMW i3.
2019 Cadillac XT4 - Driven
Back in 2018, Cadillac finally decided that it was tired of missing out on sales in the compact SUV market and launched the XT4. This compact crossover was designed to compete against the best in the market, including the BMW X1, Mercedes GLC, Infiniti QX50, and Lexus NX, among others. Now that the XT4 has been on the market for well over a year, we decided it was time to get behind the wheel and see how it really holds up. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really seem to hold water against models from BMW, Mercedes, or Audi, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t compete in the market at all. This means there are a lot of questions to answer: How does the Cadillac XT4 drive, does it have enough passenger space, and what about cargo room? What models does the XT4 actually compete against? Well, we spent a week with the XT4, and we’re here to answer all those questions and more . This is what we’ve learned after spending a week with Cadillac’s latest compact crossover.
2019 Hyundai Elantra Sport - Driven
The Hyundai Elantra isn’t exactly a spring chicken, being on the market for two decades as of 2020. Over the years, it’s gone through five generational shifts, with the most recent taking place in 2015 with a major facelift happening in 2019. The Elantra of today is completely different than the car it once was and has moved on from its econobox roots into all-new territory where its design and driving dynamics can compete with great authority over the models it competes with, including the Honda Civic, Chevy Cruze, and even the Volkswagen Jetta. These days, the range-topping model in the lineup is the Elantra Sport, and we’ve been wondering just how sporty it really is. Well, we’ve finally had a chance to spend some time with it, and this is our experience.
The Chrysler Pacifica was introduced in 2016 as a replacement for the Chrysler Town & Country, but it wasn’t until 2017 that the Pacifica Hybrid was launched. As a model that only has a couple of years under its belt, the Pacifica is still relatively fresh on the market and is one of the few minivans that are still in production for the U.S. Market. What’s even more interesting is the fact that Chrysler has managed to create its own little niche of sorts, as the Pacifica Hybrid – the model you see here – is the only hybrid minivan on the market. That means it doesn’t have any prerequisite standard to live up to and is responsible for setting its own standard. With it competing against non-hybrid minivans we have actually been very curious about how well it stacks up against the less-sophisticated competition.
Is the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid really worth buying in terms of fuel economy, comfort, and value? Is it a worth competitor for the new Honda Odyssey or nearly decade-old Toyota Sienna? Well, we managed to score a week with the Pacific Hybrid, and we set out to answer these questions and more. Here’s what we learned after spending a week with the market’s only hybrid minivan.
2019 Ford Mustang GT
The Ford Mustang has a rich history that dates all the way back to the 1962 Ford Mustang I two-seater concept. It wasn’t until mid-1964 that it was introduced in production form (just two weeks after Plymouth introduced the first Barracuda) and has been in production ever since, with the sixth-generation model, the model you see here, being introduced in 2015. For one reason or another, we haven’t had a chance to get our hands on a sixth-gen model, but all that has changed now, and we happened to be graced with the 2019 Ford Mustang GT Convertible. With the bright green pony car sitting in our parking lot, we couldn’t wait to drive it. And, despite the fact that we had a whole week to get acquainted, we got right to putting the GT Convertible, and its 5.0-liter V-8 to the test.
Does it compete well with the Chevy Camaro Convertible? What about, on the other end of the spectrum, the BMW 4 Series Cabriolet? Well, this is our experience and what we thought about it. Strap in folks, this is going to be one long ride.
2019 Land Rover Range Rover Sport - Driven
Despite offering one of the most premium cabins in its SUVs, Land Rover is still not recalled as a luxurious brand. It is, however, synonymous with reliable, tough off-roaders. But, if you have spent some time with any of the latest models, you will realize that the brand has come a long way in terms of spoiling and pampering the customer. It can give the big three Germans a tough fight in this aspect. And the Land Rover Range Rover Sport further strengthens this faith. Just like any other model in its lineup, the Range Rover Sport will definitely age gracefully and blend well with the upcoming new crop of EVs that look like they belong to another planet. But is the Range Rover Sport all about the aesthetics and luxuriousness? We laid our hands on it and our answer is...of course not!
2019 Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster - Driven
When you see one on the street, you can’t stop staring. The long hood, the aggressive nose with the classic-looking grille, the big wheels hiding sizeable brakes and the short tail. It’s got all the ingredients of a Gran Turismo built by the book and, in Roadster trim, it offers limitless headroom for those endless summer days.
The AMG GT is everything the SLS was plus some more and the AMG GT C Roadster is the most powerful and fastest AMG GT with a drop-top that you can get Stateside for now, as no GT S Roadster is offered for the 2019 model year. Still, with 550 horsepower and a top speed that comes perilously close to 200 mph, it’s hard to see why you’d want more. The good news is that, in spite of all of the muscle, the AMG GT C Roadster still offers all the refinement you’d expect coming from a product of the Mercedes house.
If you want to enjoy the best that Affalterbach’s got to offer, you can’t go wrong with the Mercedes-AMG GT, the two-door sports car from the brand with the three-pointed star that’s ready to take on all of the GTs on the market, including the 911, the Corvette, and the Audi R8 - and do it with an added dose of style. Yes, the gullwing doors that made the SLS feel extra special are no more but let’s not forget Lamborghini isn’t offering scissor doors on all its models either - and you can hardly complain when behind the wheel of one. The chassis is on point, as is the paddle-controlled automatic transmission that helps you get from naught to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds. We tested one to see if the $34,150 price gap between the standard AMG GT Roadster and the C version is worth it. Read on to find out.
The Fiat 500 L is classified as a Compact MPV – Minivan, as we know the term here in the United States – but it’s really more of a compact SUV or large hatchback. It’s been on the global market since 2012, but Fiat didn’t bring it to the states until the 2014 model year. It’s been on the market ever since, and was updated in 2018, but the truth of the matter is that the 500 L is still nearly eight years old. With this in mind, we’re kind of curious if the city car on steroids – remember, it’s based on the 500 city car – is still a viable choice in today’s market.
So, we spoke with our press fleet coordinator and managed to get our hands on a 2019 Fiat 500 L. A couple of weeks later, a 2019 Fiat 500 L Trekking showed up at Top Speed headquarters. This trim level sits above the entry-level Pop trim, but below the upper-class Urbana and Lounge trim levels with a starting price of $23,575. It is certainly positioned right in the middle of the affordable price bracket, but how does it drive? Is the aging 500 L comfortable and up to par with the competition? Does it provide the same thrills and entertaining experience as the smaller 500 that it’s based on? Well, after spending a week with the 2019 Fiat 500 L, we have answers to these questions and more – this is our story.
2019 Genesis G70 - Driven
We know and you know that if you want a compact luxury sedan without thinking twice you’ll check in at your local Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz dealer and ask for an offer on one of the Famous Three. But we reckon there are better options out there, cars that’ll cost you less and offer more than you could ask for at that price point while also not disappoint you in terms of performance, comfort, quality, and maintenance. Such a car is the Genesis G70, the 2019 North American Car Of The Year. We drove one powered by the 3.3-liter turbocharged engine and we think you shouldn’t jump straight to a Merc C43 or BMW M340i before taking a good close look at the G70.
The compact luxury sedan market is packed at the moment, as it always has been. The German stranglehold on the segment may seem like an unbreakable status quo and it’s not for lack of trying from the likes of Infiniti, Acura or Lexus. More recently, the Koreans also want a piece of the action and there’s some promise in what they offer: Kia’s coming forth with the Stinger that has impressed us in its top-of-the-line specification while Genesis, Hyundai’s luxury brand, launched the G70 in 2017 as its third model and a direct rival to the 3 Series, C Class, and A4. It was penned by the same guy who came up with the Stinger’s aggressive lines but the G70 is a much more traditional-looking sedan. Still, it’s not a car you would be blamed for turning around to get another look at and it’s got more tricks up its sleeve under the skin. Overall, it may not be a complete match for the offering from Stuttgart, Munich, and Ingolstadt but we think this is a car that’s perfect for the conscious buyer who’s stepping up to a luxury compact sedan.
2020 BMW M850i Convertible - Driven
The year was 2018, and it was time for BMW to have a Halo car outside of the aging i8, but BMW didn’t go for another EV or a high-powered supercar. Instead, after a 20-year hiatus, BMW decided that it was time to revive the 8 Series name, and that’s exactly what happened on June 15, 2018. The modern, sporty 2019 BMW 8 Series shot like an arrow straight to the heart of purists as BMW let out the roaring promise of crippling power in a sexy coupe silhouette – 523 horsepower in M850i form, to be specific. Since the return of the new 8 Series that hot day in the middle of June, the 8 Series lineup has expanded to include the 840i, M850i, M8, and the soon-to-launch Gran Coupe that should be offered in both M850i and M8 form.
Like most BMW fanboys, we started picking apart the new BMW 8 Series. We wondered: Is it worthy of the 8 Series name? Will it be worth the near-six-figure price? Can this large of a car really offer up the performance, handling, and luxury that not only have we come to expect from BMW but from something that wears the crown of a halo car? We’ve set out to find the truth on a number of occasions, and have even compared it on paper to the 6 Series, the Aston Martin DB11, and the Mercedes S-Class. It wasn’t until Summer of 2019 that we actually got to sit behind the wheel of the new 8 Series, though. But, when we did, we were graced with the honor of driving the M850i Convertible – a model that is said to blend 523 horsepower, world-class driving dynamics, and the best open-air feeling on the market.
The question now is, however, does the all-new 8 Series actually live up to the bold claims made by BMW? Well, we spent a whole week with the M850i Convertible, and this is our story. You might want to buckle up because things get interesting!!
Mercedes-AMG C43 Convertible - Driven
As an entry-level luxury performance cabriolet within the AMG lineup, the Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabriolet continues a famous line of Mercedes-branded convertibles that shaped this part of the automotive landscape. With the latest redesign, the Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabriolet brings more power, a more aggressive exterior, and refined tech onboard. Our test drive revealed if it still has the grace and unique character that every Mercedes cabriolet carries with pride.
2019 Chevrolet Blazer - Driven
The Chevy Blazer name dates back to 1969 when Chevy introduced the K5 Balzer, a large, rugged SUV with some serious utility and off-road chops. The Blazer name remained in use for this specific model until 1994 when GM decided the Tahoe name was a better fit. In 1983, 11 years before the K5 Blazer was discontinued, Chevy slapped the Blazer name on a smaller SUV known as the S-10 Blazer. From 1990 to 2000, there was a rebadged Tahoe sold in certain markets as the “Grand Blazer.” Despite the different shapes and sizes and designs over the years, there’s one thing all of these models stayed true to, and that was their beastly nature and ability to go anywhere while taking one hell of a beating. This trend continued all the way until 2005 when Chevy discontinued the S10 Blazer and shelved the name for what we thought would be forever. Then, 2019 came, and here were are looking at the Blazer name all over again.
The problem with the new, 2019 Chevy Blazer is that it has attracted polarizing opinions. For some, the new Blazer is too much of a family hauler with little ability to go off-road and, thus, just doesn’t live up to the Blazer name – especially when you consider Ford’s bringing back a boxy Bronco and Ram is bring back the RamCharger. Others, however, seem to like the design of the new Blazer – it’s sporty thanks to its Camaro design cues, has decent interior space, and may even be a good family vehicle. This second group of opinion makers are, obviously, the ones that didn’t look at the old Blazer as a part of Chevy heritage. But this is where we are now, and when we got the opportunity to try out the new Blazer to see how it holds up in the real world, we couldn’t turn down the opportunity. Does it oppose a true threat to the segment, or did Chevy drop the ball? Join us as we explore the all-new Chevy Blazer and how it holds up against the competition.
2019 Infinity QX80 - Driven
The Infiniti QX80 isn’t exactly a spring chicken. If you count the three years that it was on the market as the “QX56,” this full-size SUV has been on the market for nearly a decade. This is a rather long lifestyle for an SUV in today’s automotive climate, but the QX80 is a very niche vehicle; not in size and purpose but in terms of sales for the brand. When you look at overall sales of the XC80, the figures don’t look that great. In 2016, Chevy sold more than 103,000 Tahoes, and even Cadillac sold some 23,000 examples of the Escalade. The QX80, though? Infiniti moved just 14,085 over all of 2016, and that was an 8.3-percent increase over 2015. With that in mind, the company can’t exactly give it a short lifespan like other automakers can their full-sized, wide-selling SUVs.
That doesn’t mean the QX80 has been ignored, however. On the contrary, it was actually refreshed when Infiniti swapped its name over from QX56, and it was refreshed again in 2017. The overall appearance of the QC80 isn’t displeasing to look at, and when we were offered the chance to spend a few days and give it a good thorough test drive, we couldn’t turn down the offer. Immediately we started asking ourselves questions: Can it still hold its own in a market with much newer, more advanced vehicles? Does it’s aged chassis still deliver driving dynamics and comfortability that’s on par with other full-sized, luxury SUVs on the market today? Should someone really pay anywhere between $65,000 and upward of $90,000 for a vehicle that’s due for retirement? Well, we’ve set out to figure out just how well the QX80 has aged over the years – you just might be surprised.
2019 Hyundai Kona
The Kona is Hyundai’s smallest crossover, a quirky looking model that was conceived to challenge the established names in the subcompact niche like Mazda’s CX-3, the Toyota C-HR, and the Honda HR-V. Starting at little over $19,240, the Kona offers up to 175 horsepower although the base engine is far less powerful. The design is, if anything, divisive and the fuel consumption is on par with what the rivals come up with at 33 mpg highway.
Hyundai, like Citroen, is an adopter of the ’big-grille-and-narrow-headlights’ design language for some of its crossover SUV models and you can see that in the facial expression of the Kona that somewhat mimics its much larger brother, the eight-passenger Palisade. But that’s about as much as these two models share with the Kona being a budget offering, something you’ll see and feel in the cabin, although you now get more equipment in standard than you did with the 2018 MY.
The Kona is still a new model so judgment on its long-term reliability will have to wait but you may like to know that the Kona, both in hybrid and non-hybrid guise, was the recipient of the 2019 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year award making the Kona the first subcompact crossover to ever win this award. We drove a cherry red Kona to see if it deserves all the accolades and you can read more about it below.
2019 Land Rover Range Rover SV Autobiography by SVO - Driven
When you put words like luxury, performance, and SUV in the same sentence, the first names that probably come to mind are BMW, Audi, Bentley, or maybe even Lamborghini. But, what about Land Rover? It seems to be a brand that resides in the shadowy depths of our brains instead of up front where it really belongs. This never became more evident until we managed to get our hands on a Land Rover Range Rover SVAutobiography. From the second we came into contact with the SVA, the exterior design started tickling our interest, and we only became more fascinated with it once we sat down inside. In short, we couldn’t wait to drive it and experience the whole package. How does it handle? Is it comfortable for longer drives? Is that 557-horsepower V-8 too much for a vehicle like this or not enough, and how does its performance stack up against the competition? We decided to find out for ourselves, and this is our experience with the 2019 Land Rover Range Rover SVAutobiography.
2019 Lincoln MKC - Driven
Lincoln has updated the MKC crossover for the 2019 model year, and with this refresh, the manufacturer aims to make its smallest SUV more attractive among the many talented rivals in its segment. The pre-facelift MKC was already pretty good, although not perfect, but now Lincoln says there is even more to like about it.
We tried the top of the range, The 2019 Lincoln MKC “Black Label”, with the more powerful of the two available engines, the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder turbo. In this spec, the MKC doesn’t leave you wanting for power, presence, or luxury, but at the same time it’s not perfect and we understand why these aren’t flying out of showrooms.
It is by no means a bad way to spend around $50,000 on a posh compact SUV that also happens to be made by an American brand. In the configuration we tested it in, it’s actually quite pleasant to live with - it’s even fun on occasion, especially with the 2.3-liter engine that comes as standard with grippy all-wheel drive.
2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI 2.0 Autobahn Driven
For 45 years, the Volkswagen Golf has proudly carried the compact hatchback flag for Volkswagen. For 45 years, the Golf has established itself as one of the most popular models in its segment. And for 45 years, the Golf continues to be one of VW’s most popular models. Generations have passed and versions have come and gone; through it all, the Golf name has remained front and center in the conversation on the best hatchback models in the market. That reputation has extended to the Golf’s sporty alter-ego, the GTI.
It’s no secret that the Golf GTI has evolved into a separate model with a separate identity from its Golf brethren. Need proof of that? Look no further than the 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Autobahn, the range-topping version of the current GTI line that proudly carries the name of Germany’s famous thoroughfare. Does the 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Autobahn live up to the billing as one of the finest sporty compact hatchbacks in the market today? More importantly, does it live up to the billing of the Golf name from where it traces its roots and the Autobahn from which it was named after? We got our hands on a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI Autobahn seeking answers to these questions, and, for what it’s worth, our questions were answered emphatically.
2019 BMW i8 Roadster Driven
The BMW i8 Roadster is the car you want to have if you want to make more statements at once. If you want to look wealthy, unusual, and with an eye towards our future, you should park an i8 in your driveway. The 2+2 sports car still looks fresh six years into its production cycle and, as much as we love the glassed roof of the coupe, this roadster version is the one to have during the summer months. We took one for a spin to see if BMW has lost the lead in the hybrid sports car segment or if the i8 is still the king of the crop.
Now, the first thing you must know about the i8 Roadster is the concession it pushes you to make: due to the fact that you no longer have a fixed roof over your head and, instead, you have to make do with a soft top, there are o back seats. The place where the back seats used to be is eaten up by the two-piece, electrified roof when it’s folded away from view. On the other hand, you do get just as much oomph as in the case of the Coupe, namely 369 horsepower combined that translate to a 0-60 mph time of 4.4 seconds. Also, the roofless i8 was the first to come with the 11.6 kWh battery pack that feeds the single synchronous electric motor on the front axle and the one that sits on the back axle, near the engine.
2019 Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupe - Driven
In rankings of popular super luxury grand tourers, the Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupe often gets the shaft when compared with the likes of the Bentley Continental GT, Aston Martin DB11, and Rolls-Royce Wraith. It’s not conventional to think of the AMG S 63 Coupe in the same category as these models, and yet, the German saloon has proven, time and again, that it doesn’t only belong in the conversation, but it can also lay claim to being the best of the lot. The 2019 Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupe, in particular, personifies the split identity of this segment. It’s civil and brutal at the same time, deliberate and raunchy, advanced beyond measure yet ferociously savage when it needs to be. It tugs at the essence of what a grand tourer should be, and in doing so, it’s staking claim to a throne that has previously — and unfairly — been out of its reach.
2019 Genesis G70
We all know Nissan’s Infiniti or Toyota’s Lexus, but we’re just getting to grips with Korean automaker’s Hyundai luxury brand, Genesis. It’s only four years old and, now, we got a taste of its latest offering, the G70, a compact luxury sedan that slots below the brand’s current offerings, the G80 and the G90. Genesis hopes to shake up the German constabulary in the segment, but this won’t be easy in a world where people sometimes look for a certain badge above all else when getting ready to take out their wallets.
In general, luxury car manufacturers are gathering a clientele by assuring its devotees that the car they’re getting is more than just a means of transportation, that’s a way for them to show to the world who they are and what they are. That’s why the brand image is vital in the luxury segment. That’s why companies that have been around the block for a while and have been able to build this image and project it onto the world (making it possible for its customers to project it back onto others) are successful while newer brands sometimes struggle to get off the ground. Genesis, which should never be confused with the Hyundai Genesis, tries to convince people that they should stray away from their Audis and Mercs and even their Lexuses and, instead, try the Korean recipe.
Considering how far Hyundai but also Kia have gone in the past decade and a half, is it safe to assume that Genesis can put its money where its mouth is? Well, that’s why we were more than happy to have a closer look at a G70, a car that’s supposed to fend off the BMW 3 Series, which has just climbed up to a new generation, the Mercedes-Benz C Class, and the Audi A4 - if we are to mention just the ICE-powered Germans. In fact, the compact luxury sedan segment is so large, Genesis will have a hard time making any sort of headlines but, as we’ve seen, it’s been able to do just that so this car is one that’s certainly strong on its feet although it has no history to rely on (and that may be a good thing).
When you say Ford Mustang, it can conjure up a very wide and different array of iconic models in peoples head. Most will probably associate the name with a V-8 coupe of some sort or maybe an old-school muscle car, but nowadays you can buy the Mustang as a drop-top four-cylinder. And, we bet you aren’t yet convinced whether one is worth the money or not.
Well, it depends a lot on what you plan to do with your new Mustang. If you want to have a fast daily that’s properly quick, you get the V8-powered GT. Meanwhile, if you want to take your car to regular track days, you spring for the GT350R, widely acknowledged as being the best car ever to bear a Mustang badge. So, where does that leave the Mustang convertible with a four-pot? It’s for people who don’t want to go around corners at crazy speeds faster than the next car just have to out-accelerate most cars on the road.
It has softer suspension than the hardtop, and because it has no roof, it doesn’t have the coupe’s structural rigidity. This translates into a far more relaxed driving experience where you are not edged to drive faster, brake later, and whip the car’s tail out at every opportunity. It can still do all these things very well, but when you subject it to them, the feedback it provides you suggests it is not enjoying the treatment.
As a swift cruiser that looks great and, maybe more importantly, you look cool in, there are few better cars out there for the money. Its turbocharged engine is pokey enough to make any overtaking maneuver a breeze, and because it is downsized, it returns much better efficiency numbers compared to the V-8. The automatic gearbox on our tester could have been snappier, and even though this convertible is a really relaxed flavor of Mustang, getting it with the six-speed stick makes a lot of sense.
2019 Mercedes-Benz AMG E63 S - Driven
Ever since Mercedes acquired AMG, in 1999, the Three Pointed Star has been hot on BMW’s heels making increasingly good (and good to drive) super sedans. Now, it looks like we have reached a point where the current Mercedes-AMG E63 is as good as BMW’s M5, if not better in several areas.
This is unprecedented because previous hot E-Class models were fun to slide around while producing plumes of tire smoke and also launch off the line (an experience also often accompanied by a bit too much tire smoke). Now, the current E63 S has all-wheel drive to reign its massive power and torque figures in, it has excellent body control, sharp and direct steering, and it’s now a car that definitely appeals to exactly the same people who would consider buying the current BMW M5.
There is no question about it: the latest E63S AMG 4Matic+ is a precision machine with considerably more finesse to its handling compared to previous models. According to some, it’s currently the most accomplished, rewarding and best-to-drive vehicle in its class and, after spending some time with it, we agree. It’s bonkers fast but not really usable on the road, unless you fancy a run-in with the law (or running into the guard rails), so if you really want to explore its breadth of abilities, you take it to a track.
Just in time for Easter! Eggy car game challenges you to drive an innocent easter egg home without breaking it and while collecting rewards along the way. One cool bonus allows you to freeze the egg on the car, allowing you to accelerate without consequences. But watch out when the egg starts blinking, it will unfreeze soon and may crash and crack open unless you get your car back in check. Have fun driving the easter egg back to your family in one piece. This may be the most fun you will get during the holidays.
The Infiniti QX50 has been around since 2013 but drove straight into its second generation for the 2019 model year. The second-generation QX50 does look sportier, and it does feature better interior materials, but the real news in the VC-Turbo engine under the hood. This is Inifinities prized variable compression engine that is supposed to provide impressive performance along with superb fuel economy. And, it’s all controlled depending on input from the driver. When economy is desired, and the engine is under light load, the engine runs at high compression to cut fuel usage but, if you put your foot through the floor, compression will drop to as low as 8:1 and you’ll get fairly decent performance – almost like feelings Honda’s V-TEC kick in. We got to spend a week with a $55,000 version of the QX50 and, while we weren’t extremely impressed with it, we didn’t exactly hate it either. Check out our photo gallery and thoughts in our review below.
2019 Subaru WRX
The Subaru WRX is one of those sporty sedan rally cars that every enthusiast should drive at least once in their life. It went through a generational shift for the 2015 model year that made it even better, bringing new exterior looks, a longer A-Pillar, LED exterior lighting, a roomier interior, better outward visibility, and a new 2.0-liter four-banger that was 0.5-liters smaller than the outgoing unit but offered three extra ponies and 14 extra pound-feet which really helped to offset the 50+ pound weight gain than came with the new-gen model. It’s only been a couple of years since the new-gen model hit showrooms, and Subie put together some minor revisions for the 2018 model year. There was no power gain to speak of, unfortunately, but it did make some minor exterior styling updates, improved the suspension setup, updated the manual transmission, and now offers a new optional Performance pack – the latter of which you really want to know about if you’re hoping to ride off into the sunset with a new WRX. For 2019, there were no changes to speak of but we were excited to get our hands on one anyway. This was our experience.
2019 Subaru Forester
Subaru went all in with the 2019 Forester, and it really paid off. When you add up the fresh, modern look, all that interior space, a little bit of extra power, and loads of updated safety tech, it’s hard not to be mesmerized by this amazing piece of machinery. Of course, looks and features are only half the story, though. What about the experience of being behind the wheel? How does the Forester handle quick maneuvers? How is it for long trips? Well, we spent some one-on-one time the 2019 Forester, and this is our experience.
The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe represents the fourth generation of Hyundai’s most noticeable SUV. On the market since 2000, we’ve seen it transform from a basic, compact SUV into something that’s a little closer to being midsized but also closer to the premium category. For 2019, it’s more attractive and more advanced than ever. With a new exterior look, more upscale cabin (with more space than ever), and a lineup of fuel-efficient drivetrain choices, you really can’t go wrong with the Hyundai Santa Fe. We actually got our hands on a 2019 model and put it through the paces. Our tester was a 2.0T model, so we had the turbocharged engine that was very enjoyable to drive. As you’ll find out from our driven review below, the 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe is easy to enjoy.
2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS - Driven
Mustangs and Camaro are so common these days, that one may think their commercial success is more about cheap pricing than real merit. The truth could not be farther and the Chevy Camaro SS is here to remind everyone, especially those of German origins, that American muscle icons are not only alive but Reborn.
The Camaro/Mustang fratricide competition has pushed each generations further in terms of handling and overall build quality. The 2019 Camaro is now a very mature, modern sport car. The high displacement V8 rumbles above the turbocharged imports, and the many years of testing at the Nurburgring is paying of large dividends. Add to the mix a newly found interest for quality interior and you have a car Europeans would dream to put their hands on. So let’s go ahead and dive into this ’Americana driving machine’.
2019 Lincoln Nautilus Black Label - Driven
The 2019 Lincoln Nautilus is the perfect example of what American car buyers want these days.A large vehicle capable of fitting a full family and its cargo, featuring a sporty look, commanding view of the road, and most importantly which doesn’t look like a minivan. Our tester Nautilus in its black label trim is pushing all gadgets and luxury known to man to also fit into the category of luxury cars. It does it all; it is all-wheel drive, hatchback, self-driving, and even good looking!. Let’s jump aboard for a quick driven review of this new offering from Lincoln, and see if daily life is as rosy as it seems.
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350
The 2020 GLE is about to hit the US showrooms in late spring 2019, and let me tell to all SUV buyers out there, wait for it! This new generation is absolutely ground breaking when it comes to technology. No wonder Mercedes-Benz skipped the 2019 year model and jump straight into 2020. The new infotainment system called MBUX is stunning to look at and I wondered how I lived before without the self driving capabilities offered in these kind of vehicles. Follow me on a photo reportage of the GLE features.
2019 Chevrolet Bolt
The Chevy Bolt tends to have a bad rap because of the bow-tie emblem; it’s quirky DNA mashup between MPV and hatchback, and the fact that it’s not a Tesla. But, we managed to spend some one-on-one time with the Chevy Bolt and, well, let’s just say that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. Despite the general consensus surrounding GM’s compact EV, and all the hype generated by Tesla, the Bolt has found a place in our hearts. Here’s our story of a simple yet enjoyable getaway with none other than the 2019 Chevy Bolt.
Best flashlight for auto enthusiast : Fenix HL60R
For all of the press and hype surrounding the Toyota GT 86 and the Subaru BRZ, not a lot of people know or have given love to the third model of the bunch, the Scion FR-S.
All that’s about to change because the Scion FR-S has arrived. For those that have shed rivers of tears when they found out that neither the GT 86 nor the BRZ were headed Stateside, news that the FR-S will arrive in America is tantamount to a post Thanksgiving blessing.
Now, we’ve actually seen a concept version of the FR-S - called the FR-S Concept - at the New York Auto Show, so it really didn’t come as a surprise to a lot of us that the sports coupe was coming to the US, but seeing the concept and seeing the production version are two different things.
It doesn’t even matter that we’re not getting the GT 86 and the BRZ. We have the FR-S, and just like a child that comes to us, we’re going to shower it with as much love as we can possibly give.
Updated 05/15/2015: Scion today announced prices and updates for the 2015 FR-S sports car set to go on sale just in time for summer. Updates for the 2015 model year include: a more rigid front suspension and re-tuning of the rear shock absorbers, larger exhaust tips and for the interior an updated panel with a carbon fiber look. The model will also get auto on/off headlights. Prices for the 2015 FR-S will start from $24,900 for the six-speed manual version and $26,000 for the six-speed automatic one.
Find out more about the Scion FR-S after the jump.
The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray hysteria is just reaching full steam, so please avert your eyes if you are already bored to tears with the legendary Vette.
But part of the hoopla is genuine excitement that Chevy has produced such a vastly-improved sports car. After a few different drives by the TopSpeed team, the similarities in what we observed in these two different C7 models are remarkable.
Two guys who were traditionally more anti-Corvette would be hard to find. So the shared observations about the handling, power, cabin and - especially - theC7’s vastly improved structural rigidity are a resounding vote of confidence in the new Corvette.
For skeptics, all we can say is try it out before you flock to Porsche or BMW for classy driving thrills.
My drive was up near Chicago in a blue C7, whereas TopSpeed’s founder Philippe was lucky enough to take a top-off cruise around Miami in a white example.
With palm trees flying by the windows and the blue sky visible above Phil’s curly hair, the Miami Vice jokes are on the tip of my tongue. I will refrain, however, as my first Stingray review already ruffled some feathers among the Vette faithful.
But the red leather of Phil’s Stingray Z51 really looks right so close to the ocean and all the glamor of South Beach.
Click past the jump to enjoy this detailed TopSpeed First-Drive Video of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51, one of the first media outlets to sample the Vette with its targa top panel stowed in the giant trunk.
At the 2010 New York Auto Show, Hyundai unveiled the Sonata Hybrid, and the 2014 model that we got our hands on its nearly identical to the debut model.
Regardless of its age — about 40 years old in car years — the Sonata Hybrid still looks pretty modern, with its distinctive front fascia that shows off LED-trimmed headlamps and a wavy front grill. The LED taillights and aerodynamic rims are the only details that scream "hybrid." Though it remains relatively up to date, we do expect Hyundai to reveal a redesigned Sonata line for 2015, including the hybrid model.
The interior is very well-appointed, and only LCD gauges and "Blue Efficiency" button on the steering wheel clue you in that this is indeed a hybrid model. A quick press of this "Blue Efficiency" button, and the Sonata Hybrid awakens from its efficient — boring — mode. The hybrid system is attached to a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that pumps out 159 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque. The hybrid system chimes in with an extra 47 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. In all, this system puts down a respectable 200 horsepower, but don’t expect the mid-3,000-pound, midsize cruiser to pin you to your seat.
After some seat time in the Lexus ES Hybrid, we are a little spoiled, but we have to remind you that you get what you pay for. The Sonata checks in around $30,000, and it delivers a premium look and feel. Taking into consideration that hybrid cars tend receive a 20 to 30 percent premium over their gasoline counterparts, the Sonata Hybrid is a relative bargain.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited
With every passing year, compact cars seem to get better and better, so it’s no surprise that the the Sentra is not the same entry-level, cheapo Nissan it used to be. Our Sentra tester is fitted with the SR trim package, which adds in plenty of bells and whistles that you would expect from a more expensive vehicle, including keyless entry, push-button start and navigation. The best part is the price; at $21,550 as tested, the Sentra SR offers plenty of bang for your buck.
The Sentra SR’s exterior is very well appointed with LED headlight surrounds, sport front and rear bumpers, and side skirts that look like they belong in "The Fast and the Furious" series. Even the alloy wheels look pretty good for the price.
What really pulls the whole exterior together is that Electric Metallic Blue paint that we last saw on the 370Z a few years back. Sure, it’s not a Ferrari, but there’s a lot to take in for the price point.
The interior is a not quite as satisfying as the outside, but the push-button start and navigation system for under $22k, we’re not complaining.
The seats are cloth, but they look good for the class, and the dash is padded with the more expensive, soft plastic. Add to that trimming that doesn’t feel like it was stamped in the same Chinese factory as your iPhone case, and the overall interior package is fairly attractive. Top that with good rear leg room, nice visibility all around and folding rear seats, and you have a flexible product with very little compromises.
On the road, the Sentra drives okay, but with a CVT driving the front wheels, it is not an overly exhilarating experience. The leather-wrapped steering wheel feels better than a lot of more expensive cars, and the CVT does a good job at limiting torque steer and unwanted movement in the steering wheel.
The suspension is comfortable for daily use, but it also allows you to take corners with confidence. We even caught ourselves taking a few corners fast enough to get a little feedback from the tires, which added a some extra fun to the drive. Is it Porsche fun? No, but it is above average for the econo-box class.
Overall The Nissan Sentra SR gives you a lot for your money. On the outside, it looks good enough to prevent your buddies from chuckling at you when you roll up in it, and inside, you have plenty of premium features to keep you happy for years to come.
Of course, with the 2014 Toyota Corolla debuting a sporty look, your choice of entry-level sedans is getting harder.
The 2014 truck season is in full swing, and some of the main manufacturers are launching all-new variants of their resident pickups. Chevrolet already released its new 2014 Silverado, and Ford is set to reveal its all-new 2015 F150 that will be based on the 2013 Atlas Concept.
Even SUVs are off to a good start, with the debut of the 2014 X5 and 2014 Range Rover Sport. Toyota has been waiting patiently for the pickup market to come back, and its is now set to launch the 2014 Tundra with "Truck Of The Year" aspirations.
The Tundra looks quite similar to last year’s model but if you look closer, you’ll find that it is loaded with improvements.
Toyota invited us to the woods of Georgia to test drive it and see how it does on and off the road, as well as with a trailer hitched to the back end.
Click past the jump to read what we think of it.
The 2014 STI risks getting lost in the shuffle of the next-gen WRX’s launch at this fall’s Los Angeles auto show. As is customary for Subaru when upgrading the Impreza-based models, the next-gen STI will follow the regular WRX as a projected 2016 model year intro.
That is more than enough time to fall in love again with the current model’s brash styling, forceful turbocharged power delivery, and better tech integration in the cockpit than ever before. 305 horsepower and a 4.7-second sprint to 60 mph means the WRX STI is still a favorite here in the TopSpeed Garage.
Introduced for 2011, the current STI’s strength as a Subaru performance flagship is fully intact. As a low-volume model, its boxer rumble casts a performance glow over even the base $18,000 Impreza sedan. No changes to the STI for 2014, aside from the audio system now offering integration of Aha’s music app.
First-hand driving impressions of this track toy are included, as are comparisons with the WRX STI’s potent competition from the BMW 135i and Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.
Click past the jump for the full TopSpeed Garage review of the 2014 Subaru WRX STI, still a game-changer with wild turbo boost and AWD traction to make every corner seem like a straightaway.
The Grand Cherokee SRT is Jeep’s real hero car, and the only one to compete effectively with the super-SUV benchmark from Porsche. The Jeep’s drastic SRT makeover is arguably the most effective across the Chrysler range by blending the huge Hemi V-8’s torque with the sure-footed and quite advanced Grand Cherokee platform.
A change across the board from “SRT8” to “SRT” for all the performance trims prepares the range for its next generation of super and turbocharged SRT models - with forced induction making the SRT6, SRT4 etc cylinder counts much less meaningful.
The SRT conversion makes the Grand Cherokee one of the most entertaining models out of Auburn Hills, with all the track attitude and road muscle of the Viper but far fewer tradeoffs in daily driving.
As almost a totally distinct model from the Grand Cherokee range, the SRT version is new for 2014 with the latest interior tech upgrades, a new eight-speed auto transmission, and the tasteful headlight LED accents that were new this year on the base models.
Combined with the menacing nose graphic of the Grand Cherokee SRT, the additional LED lights update the nose appearance nicely. A black lower bumper shroud makes the SRT seem mean even with the lights off, with its 20-inch wheels and giant tires looking very prominent from all angles.
The real news with this latest Jeep is new launch control programming for the cutting-edge autobox that should offer an even quicker sprint than the last model’s 5.1-second rush to 60 mph. Smoothness, economy, and tow ratings are also all up across the board, making this Grand Cherokee SRT quite an appealing prospect for hot-rod SUV shoppers.
Will the loss of the "8" on the badge hurt its street cred versus the Range Rover Sport? Is the price premium and five-seat layout a problem versus the Ford Explorer Sport?
Click past the jump for all the latest images and details of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT.
It’s no secret that Lambo has huge plans for its 50th anniversary and that the Aventador is due to lose its top in the U.S. market… officially. The Italian automaker decided why not just kick them both off at the same time, which it did today in Miami and we were there to witness it all.
The day kicked off at noon today in Miami, and began with a press conference across from the Breakwater Hotel and a 40-car parade down Collins Avenue. During the press conference, Lambo unveiled the much-anticipated Aventador LP700-4 Roadster to us media folk and it was definitely worth the wait. Have a look at our collection of images and you can see just how sexy the car really is.
On top of the official unveiling of the drop-top supercar, Lambo also satisfied our appetite for some speed. It accomplished this feat by closing off a runway at the Miami International Airport – the first time MIA has ever close a runway for an automotive event – to allow 12 Aventadors to run wild down the long straight stretch, peaking out at over 180 mph.
What a phenomenal showing by Lambo.
BFGoodrich is coming up with a new extreme-performance tire, the Rival. That category of tire is the last street-legal step before you go to the dark side with race-only tires. If you are looking for mind-blowing performance, you owe it to yourself to shop in that category. The usual suspects are the Hankook RS3, Toyo R1R, Yokohama AD08, Kumho XS and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup.
Until now, BFG’s most extreme street tire was the Comp-2. Launched in 2012, the Comp-2 tire received first place on TireRack’s ultra-high-performance tire survey, not bad.
Michelin acquired BFGoodrich in 1988, so while BFG tires are solely manufactured in the USA, BFG benefits from all the research and development Michelin can offer. Think about it, all the goodies at a lesser price and made in the USA!
The Rival offers a couple of very distinctive features that make BFG hope it will be the next big thing. To prove its worth, they invited us for a full day of torture testing against the competition. Keep reading for our impressions first hand.
UPDATE: BFG posted two new videos to promote their new Rival tire, check them out after the jump.
After a patent leak about an upcoming bodykit for the 991, we’ve finally captured our first images of the 2013 Porsche 911 Sport Design Package at the 2012 Miami Auto Show. The famous Porsche duck tail from the 1970’s is back, along with a more aggressive front bumper. The $5,366 option is a must have for all tuning enthusiasts willing to embellish their 991 with a bodykit, which so far was only available on the limited edition 991 Club Coupe. On this gorgeous guard red model, the wheel option is adding a whopping $7,482. The 20 inch rims add to the overall look, but the price is outrageous for wheels that most likely are not any lighter than the base OEM. For that kind of money we’d rather go buy ourselves a set of ultralight HRE or CCW wheels. Nevertheless, Porsche came up with a very good looking body kit, for those too busy to look into the aftermarket or the devoted Porsche OEM fanboys. On a last note, we can’t wait to see the new 2014 Porsche 991 GT3 body kit, Stuttgart’s designers still have it!
Just like almost every other automaker, Chrysler has headed into Las Vegas with guns a blazin’. Between Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Fiat, and Ram, there are more custom Chrysler products than you can shake a camshaft at. Another one to just come to light is the Dodge Dart Slingshot — not to be confused with the Dodge Slingshot Concept.
The details on it are still a little scarce, but they are starting to make their way out, along with some images. The Slingshot is no question a hat tip to the SCCA-style racers in Dodge’s fan base. It’s exterior is very near stock, boasting only a Mopar carbon-fiber hood and a set of 17-inch black alloy wheels to help reduce its weight a little. The exterior is, of course, covered in full Mopar livery along with a white base coat and a black grille.
Inside the Dart Slingshot is where its SSCA soul comes out. As required by the racing circuit, the Slingshot features a competition-spec roll cage, racing seats, and six-point harnesses to keep the riders strapped in place.
Under the hood, it appears as if Mopar left the engine as-is. Then again, the 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo engine that Dodge borrowed from Fiat is rather impressive itself, as it pumps out 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The only modification to the driveline is an aftermarket exhaust system that is more show and sound than it is performance.
Mopar did install a performance suspension system, but we are still awaiting confirmation on what makes up this performance setup.
Stay tuned for more information.
If you drive your car hard, then chances are you are worried about your engine more than most drivers. Forums are filled with horror stories that will transform the biggest fanboy into a doubter at the drop of a hat. Most of us change our oil on a regular basis, some people waste their time with 3,000-mile oil changes, but I prefer to inspect my oil filter very often, and especially after each track day.
If your engine is constantly nearing its redline, then it will like shed bits of various metal components, which is actually fairly normal. Though this is a normal thing to happen, these contaminants can get caught up in the filter and restrict the oil flow just enough to cause damage at higher rpm.
Few racers know that you can actually change the filter without doing a complete oil change. So you can keep all but about a half-quart of the good oil in the engine and get a fresh filter — I prefer Purolator — in there to keep it all flowing as it’s supposed to.
Click past the jump to see how it’s done.
While we were polishing our photography skills at the 2012 Fort-Lauderdale Auto Show, we had our first contact with the new 2013 Subaru BRZ. The Subaru/Toyota love child exceeded our expectations in all aspects. At first glimpse it looks very low to the ground, which is a good thing considering both manufacturer wanted this vehicle to have the lowest center of gravity in this market segment, even lower than the Porsche Cayman. All exterior design elements such as headlights, tail lights, wings and bumper look very high quality and all body panel fit nice and tight. After waiting our turn behind a long line of enthusiasts, we jumped inside and again bulls eye. The seating position is sporty and low to the ground as we hoped. Knobs and other controls are made out of high quality material and you would not think the car will cost in the mid to high $20k.
The overall feel is very close to the mazda miata, a little tight but exactly what we needed to go to the track on the cheap.
Keep in mind the Subaru BRZ is the high end model and the Toyota GT86 or Scion FR-S will be a little cheaper.
We overheard that the production will be limited, sales pitch or not, and the delivery will take approximately 10 weeks, if you act fast. The convertible versionS should reach our shore in the fall of 2012.
Check out the video and the picture gallery but if you remotely want to buy one, you better hurry to place your order because it was definitely the star of the show. So many people wanted to sit in it, the Subaru people had to lock it up after only 2 hours of public display!
Fiat is promoting their new 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth with a scorpion hunt/giveaway. Find eight Scorpion (symbol of Abarth) scattered around the web and you will enter to win one for yourself!
To show your investigative skills, you need to go to the Abarth Facebook giveaway page, and you will be provided with clues to find your lethal friends. The clues are tough to crack, but if you read this, you are in luck because TopSpeed is giving away one of the 8 scorpions. Check out our homepage and you should be able to grab that one easily. Be fast or they will be gone by March 4th 2012.
Happy scorpion hunting !
Update: Some of you asked us why they could not see the scorpion on our homepage. The Abarth scorpions are only showing their menacing logo if you are connected to internet from the USA.
If you are using ad blocker, you will need to disable those to see the scorpion. Here is a link to how it should look like
Chrysler is coming up with their own tagline for the 2012 Super Bowl, ’it’s halftime in America’. Instead of going for the usually funny commercial, they take a much stronger stance with a serious celebrity to replace Eminem. We like the patriotic spirit behind the commercial, and Chrysler is the perfect spokesperson to say that America is coming back. We need more commercials like these, especially during the Super Bowl. Good move Chrysler!.
UPDATE: It looks like the video has been removed because of some Copyrights claims from the NFL. Chrysler must have overlooked how picky the NFL is about their licensing fees. Too bad it was a good one.
You have to give credit to Toyota for bringing to the market another good looking Toyota Camry; The new model look sportier than ever. To celebrate the new car, Toyota is releasing a trendy Superbowl commercial featuring some good fun. The best selling sedan, known for its bullet proof reliability is turning cops into massage therapist and couch into supermodel wearing bikinis. We would’ve liked to see a bit more of the car itself but check it out and tweet away on the special #reinvented hashtag, made specially for the new Camry’s rejuvenated, or shall we say, reinvented campaign.
Check out after the jump our favorite Camry commercial, praising the muscle power coming out of their V6.
Hyundai is putting their whole factory personnel back at the promotional work in this new Superbowl commercial. If you remember they already had a quite successful factory commercial back in 2010, see that one after the jump. In this new attempt, Hyundai combines the latest trend/frenzy of acapella singing with the very patriotic Rocky theme song. In order to grasp the full idea behind the commercial, you have to understand that Hyundai produce most of their US vehicles in their ultra modern factory located in Montgomery Alabama...in the USA. So this is a little reminder that Hyundai is building their car in the USA and in good American spirit nonetheless. We are not sure about the tag line coming along the commercial, "There’s always a way. That’s just our way", but we like the commercial.
While the Apple Ipad offers all major motorhead magazines in their "Newsstand", they are not cheap. In fact they cost as much as the paper version, unless you get into the subscription thing. Anyways, life on itunes is not easy when you are broke. Porsche, of all brands, is bringing the smile back on the penny pincher’s face with a free Ipad app worth downloading. It is called Christophorus, and you can download it directly from this link. Don’t ask me why it is called Christophorasarus, I have no clue.
The app is like many magazine apps out there, but while it is free, Porsche has not cheapened out on the merchandise. You will find plenty of interactive content. While the app itself is a little slow to respond from one feature to another, once loaded, the pages slide and flow nicely . It is all about enjoying cool animations and sharp pictures from Porsche’s marketing team.
In the edition 352, I particularly enjoyed the sliding layers showing the evolution of the 911 over time. Or unveiling the cover on the new 991 with my fingertip.
If you are a Porsche fan, and who isn’t, you have to download this one. Did I mention it is free?
Jaguar is known for a lot of things with the words "luxurious," "classy," "elegant," and "powerful" being thrown around most often. Their full lineup of vehicles exude power and class, and have done so since 1949 when the XK 120 was born. They have followed the bigger and better trend over the years, but their elegance and sport have always been a staple in their production.
Their new lineup continues this trend with the XJ, XK, XF models glistening in the light of Jaguar’s success, and offering even more sparkle for the future. This is the face of Jaguar and might we add, it’s something that a lot of us have always dreamed of.
More videos highlighting Jaguar’s Lineup can be found after the jump.