Emmy Jackson

Old enough to remember that AMC, not Subaru, built the "world’s first Sport Utility Wagon" and young enough to prefer fuel injection to carburetion, Christopher "Emmy" Jackson entered the auto industry through Ford’s PR department in 1994 and has been an automotive writer since 1999. He grew up in the shadow of Ford’s Michigan Truck Plant, and collects stray vehicles like some old ladies collect cats.
In 2008 Jackson purchased a 36-foot RV and lived as a journalist/nomad for three years. Now back in metro Detroit, Jackson currently owns a ’54 Chevy pickup, a ’76 Mercedes 300D, a Honda Element and a ‘78 Avion Class C motorhome and does most of his own maintenance in between writing chapters of his third sci-fi novel.

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2016 BMW M2 Coupe With M Performance Parts

2016 BMW M2 Coupe With M Performance Parts

The 2016 BMW M2 is barely out of the box, and it’s already making its debut at SEMA. The new high-performance coupe combines BMW’s 370-horsepower twin-turbo engine and the M Division’s racing expertise into a pint-sized package, and the result is getting rave reviews. Is it ever too early for aftermarket parts, though? The M2 showed up at SEMA displaying a host of new M Performance Parts designed for it. The show car is fully decked out with looks reminiscent of the classic race-bred 3.0 CSL, just in case the M2’s link to BMW’s racing heritage is too subtle.

It may be sitting on the show stand like a one-off concept, but this M2 is displaying parts that will be available in the spring of 2016. The M2’s performance is very well dialed-in already, and M Performance has focused on the car’s appearance instead, with a range of interior and exterior upgrade components.

Updated 07/08/2016: BMW dropped a new video showing the M2 Coupe equipped with M Performance Parts in action on the race track. Hit "play" to watch the new video.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M2 Coupe With M Performance Parts.

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2017 Ford Fusion

2017 Ford Fusion

Ford’s four-door for the masses

Ford’s Fusion steps up its technology game for 2017. Inheriting the mainstream family-sedan mantle from the Taurus was no laughing matter for the Fusion, and when it debuted in 2006 it made its mark with impressive driving dynamics and a fresh new look for Ford. For 2017, the freshened second-generation Fusion retains its sport-sedan leanings while broadening the lineup and introducing features more common to luxury cars than family sedans.

It may not look like it at a glance, but there’s a lot going on with Ford’s bread-and-butter sedan. With three very distinct models, the Fusion seems to be heading down the same path that Ford’s endlessly-configurable F-Series has followed. The Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid offer maximum efficiency without sacrificing comfort or performance; the new Fusion Platinum has all of the high-tech toys including the new Ford SYNC3 system, advanced self-parking features, pedestrian detection, and adaptive cruise control with full stop and go capabilities. The stop-and-go system can take over throttle and brake functions during heavy traffic, keeping the driver from stressing out during rush hour congestion. To keep a foot in the performance game, the Fusion V6 Sport features a twin-turbo V6 that nudges BMW levels of performance.

Updated 06/10/2016: Ford announced prices for the 2017 Fusion. Check the "Prices" section for the full details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Ford Fusion.

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2016 Volkswagen Beetle Denim

2016 Volkswagen Beetle Denim

It’s difficult to get automotive upholstery just right. Have you ever wished your car’s seats could feel just like your most comfortable pair of jeans? The limited-edition 2016 Volkswagen Beetle Denim, unveiled at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, aims to do just that, while at the same time bringing back the spirit of the classic Volkswagen Beetle of the 1970s. The limited run of Beetle convertibles features interior and top fabric designed to look like denim, among other unique interior features.

Volkswagen will produce 1,000 Beetle Denims in Pure White and another 1,000 in Stonewashed Blue.

Kind of ridiculous, isn’t it? Yes, but it’s fun, and the Beetle has always been a quirky car that refrains from taking itself too seriously. Cars upholstered with jeans-style fabric aren’t a new concept, either. In 1974 and 1975, Volkswagen produced a special edition “Jeans Bug” for European markets. This car featured unique exterior trim in addition to the denim-inspired upholstery, and surviving examples are highly sought after today. Closer to home for North American Customes, AMC teamed up with Levi’s in the 1970s to produce a number of licensed “denim”-upholstered cars, including a Gremlin subcompact and a Jeep CJ-7. These vehicles followed a similar theme, with denim-type upholstery on the seats and interior panels, distinctive orange piping and even rivets styled like those of Levi’s jeans.

Updated 03/08/2016: Volkswagen announced prices for the 2016 Beetle Denim which is now available for sale. The model is priced from $25,995 plus destination ($820). Only 2,000 units will be built.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Beetle Denim.

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2016 Honda Pilot Review

2016 Honda Pilot Review

Conquering suburbia one driveway at a time

The "SUV or minivan" argument is a perennial one when it comes to vehicles used for moving mass quantities in the suburbs. Minivans would appear to hold an advantage when it comes to passenger and cargo capacity, as well as being easier to drive, but the new-for-2016 third-generation Honda Pilot could singlehandedly tip that balance in favor of the sport-utes.

The Pilot has matured into a high-tech full-size crossover vehicle, with three-row seating and space for up to eight passengers. In fact, Honda has matured the vehicle well past its throwback boxy styling and turned it into a thoroughly modern family hauler that retains the SUV-like towing capacity and bad-road capable suspension that have enabled it to hold its own against heavyweights like the Ford Explorer and Chevrolet Tahoe since 2002. If there’s any downside to the all-new Pilot, it’s that it’s almost too nice to get it dirty. But does the king of the suburban crossovers really need to tackle muddy hills anyway?

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Honda Pilot.

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2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Rally Edition Review

2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo Rally Edition Review

Tuner-car looks for Hyundai’s funky hatchback

There’s a secret recipe to creating a successful sporty compact coupe. It’s all about striking just the right balance, between attitude, style, practicality, performance and economy. The Hyundai Veloster Turbo aims to hit that perfect balance, while still remaining affordable enough for the average entry-level buyer.

Of course, the bar for "entry-level" has been moved up in recent years, thanks to dramatic improvements in quality and materials for price-leading cars. The Veloster has risen with the tide as well; it’s rolling with a high-efficiency, high-output engine, excellent interior materials and even high-fashion matte paint jobs, in certain models. The Veloster Turbo Rally Edition adds a level of exclusivity to the scheme, with a production run of 1200, improved handling and high-visibility styling. That’s not a bad deal for just over $20,000.

Affordable, sporty compacts that aren’t just hot-hatched versions of existing economy cars are surprisingly thin on the ground; the Veloster and Scion tC are just about the only ones in this price bracket. With so little competition, does the Veloster Turbo have to work that hard?

Continue reading for the full story.

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2016 Toyota Highlander Review

2016 Toyota Highlander Review

Toyota’s family hauler gains distinction

Since 2000, the Toyota Highlander has enjoyed a comfortable top spot as a nondescript suburban do-all, adept at hauling families, tackling snow days and offering better road manners than the average SUV thanks to its Camry-based underpinnings. Reliable and useful, but not particularly exciting, was the recipe.

Has that changed, though? The latest Highlander, redesigned in 2013 and tweaked again for 2016, is larger, bolder and more luxurious than its predecessors. The new Highlander has curb presence, and the eye-catching design is just the beginning. The spacious interior would look equally at home in a Lexus product, and Toyota’s added items like an available panoramic glass roof for additional "wow" factor. A longer wheelbase provides additional room for third-row passengers, and the Highlander has grown into a viable minivan alternative.

Though rarely the darlings of enthusiasts, family-sized crossovers like the Highlander are important volume vehicles for manufacturers like Toyota. Not only does the Highlander fill an important midsize niche for the marque, but it also serves as a representative of the brand (and, by extension, Lexus) through which buyers my graduate to other Toyota products in the future. That’s why the Highlander’s upgraded style is significant: it’s not enough to just be a competent vehicle these days. The key to success is to bring ’em back for more.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Toyota Highlander.

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2016 Toyota Tacoma

2016 Toyota Tacoma

Is this the world’s toughest pickup?

Ford, Chevrolet and Dodge sewed up the full-size pickup truck market long, long ago, and the American manufacturers’ expertise in that arena has never been disputed. When it comes to smaller trucks, however, that’s Toyota’s market, and it has been ever since the first indestructible Hilux was bolted together in 1964. Like the Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado, Toyota’s Tacoma carries on a long and proud tradition of reliable, hard-working pickup trucks. While there’s been some argument as to if Toyota’s full-size Tundra is a success or not, the Tacoma has remained a perennial best-seller.

For 2016, the Tacoma gets a through update, with new styling and a new V6 engine. With new mid-size pickups from Chevrolet/GMC and Ford talking seriously about bringing the Ranger back, the reskin couldn’t be better-timed. The updated Tacoma hasn’t lost its edge or its muscle, and adventure is encouraged—to the point that Toyota installs a standard GoPro mounting point on the windshield near the rearview mirror.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Toyota Tacoma.

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2016 Jeep Renegade Review

2016 Jeep Renegade Review

The smallest Jeep gets it right

The Renegade makes perfect sense for Jeep at this juncture. Not only are compact SUVs and crossovers the current hot market, but the Wrangler has gotten huge in its iconic old age, and a large percentage of the Jeep true believers don’t take the compact Compass and Patriot seriously. With a powerful need to reinforce the Jeep badge, the company needs a vehicle that embodies its strengths.

In that mission, the Renegade is not subtle. In addition to resurrecting a nameplate from a 2008 concept truck and the Jeep CJ-7 before that, the smallest Jeep is a cheeky, boxy little thing that’s practically overflowing with classic Jeep styling hallmarks and designer Easter eggs. Though it’s a humble unibodied crossover, the Renegade sports off-road friendly dimensions and a Trailhawk model that, like its Cherokee Trailhawk counterpart, is capable of following its big brothers on the toughest Jeep Jamboree courses. The Renegade arrives with a healthy dose of attitude and real capability that set it apart from the rest of the rapidly growing compact-crossover herd.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Jeep Renegade.

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2016 Mazda CX3 Review

2016 Mazda CX3 Review

Mazda’s latest jack-of-all-trades

Building crossover vehicles comes much more naturally to Mazda than SUVs. The company got out of the compact-truck game long ago, and its first SUV was the Ford Escape-based Tribute. As car-based crossovers became more popular, Mazda applied its sporty-car expertise to the template and the results have been impressive. The CX-5 and CX-7 blend the fun-to-drive aspects of Mazda’s sedans with the all-weather confidence and utility of SUVs to great effect.

Scaling things down doesn’t hurt the formula at all. Compact crossovers are currently where it’s at, marketing-wise, so Mazda has taken things down a notch with the introduction of the CX-3 for 2016. As the name suggests, it fits into the lineup below the CX-5, and offers nimbler reflexes and a more affordable package that doesn’t feel cheap. Less weight and more compact dimensions are the quickest ways to improved handling, and the CX-3 delivers. It’s probably the closest to “fun to drive” that a crossover’s going to get this side of the Nissan Juke NISMO.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Mazda CX3.

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2016 Kia Optima Turbo Review

2016 Kia Optima Turbo Review

Kia’s colorful sock in a beige world

It’s easy to think of Kia as little more than a purveyor of quirky, boxy subcompacts and the creative force behind those anthropomorphic hamsters, but the junior Korean brand has spent the past twenty years or so developing an impressive and multifaceted lineup. The latest incarnation of Kia’s mid-size Optima exemplifies this growth and maturation.

Now available as a turbocharged luxury-sport sedan, the Optima might surprise some buyers with its Kia badge. In reality, it shouldn’t come as that much of surprise.

Over the years the Optima, introduced in 2001, has grown in both size and refinement, learning from the competition and culminating in this 245 horsepower, $30,000 four-door that, impressively, isn’t even the flagship of the Kia lineup (that honor goes to the K900). The latest Optima stands out as an unusually good-looking and well-built car that defies its bottom line with amenities. With the Optima Turbo joining the lineup, “performance” can also be added to the list.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Kia Optima.

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1973 - 1976 Ferrari 365 GT4 BB

1973 - 1976 Ferrari 365 GT4 BB

By 1972, Ferrari was actually a little bit behind the times, and for a company whose reputation was staked on performance and technological prowess, that just wouldn’t do. Although a mid-engine layout had all but become a requirement for Grand Prix and sports-GT prototype racers in the early 1960s, Ferrari still lacked a mid-engine road car. This absence was made more glaring by the success of the Lamborghini Miura and then the Countach, which became an instant icon when it first hit the streets in 1971 in spite of a lack of racing pedigree.

The challenge could not go unanswered, and Ferrari’s return shot was the 365 GT4 BB. Ferrari’s first mid-engine flat twelve-cylinder road car made its debut in 1971 and hit the streets two years later. The car was based on the Pininfarina P6 concept car that appeared in 1968, and replaced the wildly successful front-engine Daytona. The new chassis was combined with a new flat-twelve engine, and this pairing would set the tone for Ferrari’s twelve-cylinder road cars for years to come.

There was a good reason for this: the 365 GT4 BB delivered on all of its promises, with interest. Capable of over 175 mph, it was easily among the world’s fastest road cars. Racing success wasn’t quite as forthcoming, and the racing 365 GT4 BB fielded by Luigi Chinetti’s North American Racing Team (NART) was not particularly competitive. That didn’t stop the 365 GT4 BB from becoming one of Ferrari’s most iconic cars, however. What it gave up in showmanship to the Countach, it made up in athleticism.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ferrari 365 GT4 BB.

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1970 - 1976 Lamborghini Jarama

1970 - 1976 Lamborghini Jarama

The Lamborghini Islero was an impressive grand tourer, worthy of its status as a challenger to the Ferrari 365 GT 2+2. Unfortunately, it was stuck between the Miura and Espada in Lamborghini’s lineup; as a result, the comparatively conservative-looking 2+2 didn’t get the attention it deserved. A lingering reputation for poor quality didn’t help. The car was thus redesigned and re-thought. The new vehicle was christened the Jarama and debuted in 1971. Officially, the Jarama is named for a Madrid district known for breeding bulls, in keeping with Lamborghini’s convention. It’s also the name of a race track in Spain, but this appears to be coincidental.

The updated design of the Jarama was still something of a wallflower compared to Lamborghini’s mid-engine supercars, and it was to be the last front-engine V12 2+2 in the Lamborghini lineup.

As it became clear that what Lamborghini’s customers really wanted was extravagant, jaw-dropping road presence, the Jarama faded into the background.

Continue reading to learn more about the Lamborghini Jarama.

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2017 Kia Optima Hybrid

2017 Kia Optima Hybrid

Kia’s newest family-sized green machine

The mid-size Optima is Kia’s best-seller, and it’s been an impressive contender in a highly competitive market. Between the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Malibu, there’s not much room for slacking when it comes to family sedans. Kia has worked hard to successfully keep up with the demands of nipping at the heels of the best-sellers, and it follows up on the fresh redesign of the Optima with an equally refurbished Optima Hybrid.

Not to be overshadowed by the introduction of the all-new Niro hybrid, Kia’s gasoline-electric Optima broadens from a single model into a lineup, with the addition of a plug-in hybrid version to the stable. This is as much to improve the breed as it is to keep up with the figurative Joneses: Ford, Toyota and Honda all offer hybrids, and the Optima is available as a plug-in version as well.

Both of the upcoming Optima hybrids are sold under Kia’s new EcoDynamics sub-brand. Kia’s future electric and hybrid projects will also migrate to this umbrella, for stronger brand recognition.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid.

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2017 Kia Forte5

2017 Kia Forte5

The eye-catching Soul isn’t the only five-door subcompact on offer from Kia’s showrooms. The more conservative Forte range also includes a hatchback model. The Kia Forte5 is an extension of the Forte sedan and is designed to appeal to buyers who might not be in love with the Soul’s polarizing boxy design. A major facelift for 2017 gives the Forte5 increased curb presence and a new family face.

If it seems like you’ve seen the Forte5 before, that’s because it’s been restyled to more closely resemble the mid-size Optima. Kia has also updated the amenities list, with items more traditionally found on premium cars, to enhance the Forte5’s wallet appeal. As Kia’s strategy seems to be to get the engineering down first and worry about the styling second, the facelift suggests that the underpinnings have reached world-class levels.

The better-looking Forte5 goes on sale later this year.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Kia Forte5.

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2016 Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept

2016 Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept

Once upon a time, it wasn’t uncommon to see concept SUVs that were essentially tougher and burlier versions of the domesticated production models. At first glance,the Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept seems to follow that template, but this trail-ready ride is hiding a Toyota Prius-like soul.

Based on the second-generation Tiguan, Volkswagen’s latest show car is powered by a two-motor plug-in hybrid system. All-wheel drive is available in all of the hybrid powertrain’s modes, giving the Tiguan GTE Active Concept the ability to take you off the beaten path with minimal environmental impact. At the very least, a full-electric off-roader allows drivers to experience the sounds of nature! Beneath the surface, this concept is a thinly-disguised version of the next-generation Tiguan, which is due to arrive some time in 2017.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Tiguan GTE Active Concept.

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2016 Aston Martin Letv Rapide S Concept

2016 Aston Martin Letv Rapide S Concept

At this point it’s clear that automotive electronics are destined to enter the same rapid-cycle evolutionary process as computers and smartphones. To help stay at the front of the wave, Aston Martin has teamed up with Chinese entertainment technology company Letv to visualize ways to keep its bespoke products connected.

For a number of reasons, Aston Martin has lagged a bit behind its competitors in terms of infotainment integration and ergonomics. The partnership with Letv intends to address this issue, and the companies unveiled the Aston Martin Autolink Rapide S Concept at CES in Las Vegas to show the direction this might take. This updated Rapide S follows the template of auto-electric pioneer Tesla in replacing the center stack and the traditional instrument panel with electronic panels. The Autolink Rapide S Concept also features the Autolink system, introduced in November 2015 as Letv’s platform for automotive internet applications. The company calls it an “Internet brain.” Remote vehicle monitoring and cloud access are possible through an in-car wi-fi system.

Though no plans for production have been announced, Letv’s partnership with Aston Martin is likely to yield benefits to customers. The bespoke nature of Aston’s products offers many opportunities for a car like the Autolink Rapide S Concept to become a reality.

Continue reading to learn more about the Aston Martin Letv Rapide S Concept.

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2016 BMW i8 Mirrorless Concept

2016 BMW i8 Mirrorless Concept

As the BMW i8 continues to make its mark as a high-tech, cutting edge green supercar, the brand is on the lookout for ways to ensure that it remains at the absolute peak of the “hey, that’s cool” technology wave. To that end, BMW showed the i8 Mirrorless Concept at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. While identical to the production i8 at a casual glance, it’s quickly obvious where this concept’s name is derived from.

This i8 has done away with low-tech slabs of silvered glass entirely, replacing the mirrors with an array of three rear-facing cameras. In addition to eliminating blind spots, the camera display can flash warning messages if the driver is about to merge in front of a faster-moving vehicle or perform a similarly hazardous maneuver. Additionally, the display is larger than a traditional mirror would be, and mounted on the dash to reduce driver eye motions. The display can also adjust itself in response to the steering wheel being turned, angling in the direction of travel when the car is backing up.

Concepts with cameras replacing the mirrors are nothing new. BMW hasn’t made any noises about whether this concept will go into production or not, but considering the technological resources it has already on hand, it doesn’t seem like a stretch to call this one plausible.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i8 Mirrorless Concept.

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2016 Nissan Sentra

2016 Nissan Sentra

Nissan is going three for three on introducing its new, striking design themes to its sedan lineup. First the Maxima, then the Altima took on the extreme show-car styling language first debuted on the Murano in 2014. The 2016 Sentra has just undergone a significant update that brings its sheet metal into the fold as well.

Nissan’s third best-seller after the Altima and Rogue crossover has always been rather bland in terms of style (even when the rest of the sedan lineup was more radical), so the dramatic reskin is an intriguing departure from tradition. It should be a good thing for Nissan; as the subcompact market has gotten more competitive, the competent-but-forgettable Sentra has risked getting lost in the shuffle of sexier and more eye-catching offerings from Mazda, Hyundai and Ford. Looking like a smaller version of the Maxima, the newly curvy Sentra is prepared to do battle with the all-new Honda Civic, Mazda3 and Kia Forte with a re-tuned suspension. A host of new technology has also been added, as the Sentra inherits luxury features from Nissan’s larger sedans as well. The updated 2016 Sentra goes on sale in December.

Updated 12/30/2015: Nissan announced prices for the 2016 Sentra which is now on sale at dealers nationwide. Prices will start from $16,780 for the Sentra S with 6-speed manual transmission - an increase of just $250 over the previous year.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Nissan Sentra.

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Audi "The Forecast" Commercial: Video

Audi "The Forecast" Commercial: Video

’Tis the season for heartstrings to be pulled, and Audi is no exception. The all-wheel drive specialist lives for bad weather in the wintertime, and highlights the virtues of its quattro all-wheel drive system in a new television ad entitled "Forecast."

The well-produced extended-cut ad seems like it might be more at home occupying a pricey Superbowl ad slot. It’s a refreshing contrast to the usual flurry of manufacturer’s ads showing cars with giant gift bows on them, not-so-subtly hinting that your loved one would appreciate a Lexus or a Lincoln under the tree. "Forecast" is one of those ads that lets the product sell itself. In fact, there’s no hard sell at all, and most of the screen time is devoted to a lonesome patriarch and his dog who are facing the prospect of a solitary holiday thanks to an unexpected blizzard.

You can probably guess the rest. Check out Audi’s Christmas "Forecast," and don’t worry, we’re sure it’s just the onions someone was chopping in the next room that have gotten into your eyes.

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1948 - 1950 Ferrari 166 Inter

1948 - 1950 Ferrari 166 Inter

By 1948 Ferrari had firmly established itself as a manufacturer of top-level racing cars. The next step was to take that engineering and performance excellence to the streets. History has shown that this was a wise decision, and that legacy started with the 166 Inter, Ferrari’s first grand touring car.

Compared to the California and 458 Italia, the 166 Inter seems like a reasonably tame vehicle, even by the standards of its era. Essentially a coachbuilt body on Ferrari’s long-wheelbase racing chassis, the 166 Inter was named for Scuderia Inter, the team that successfully campaigned Ferrari 166 models in 1948, and for the displacement of each of its twelve cylinders (166 cc). The 166 Inter debuted at the Paris Motor Show in October of 1949, with a body by Carozzeria Touring. Stabilimenti Farina, Ghia, Finale, Pininfarina and Bertone also produced bodies for the three dozen or so Inters that were built between 1948 and 1950. The grand tourers were equipped as full roadgoing vehicles, but a few actually did make it to the track and displayed performance worthy of the name.

Though demure by modern standards, the Ferrari 166 Inter was the start of a storied legacy of roadgoing Ferraris, and helped to create the template of the “grand touring” car that influences vehicles to this day. As one of the first Ferrari models to sell well outside of Italy, it was a significant influence on the marque’s reputation as well.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ferrari 166 Inter.

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1964 - 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB

1964 - 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB

Ferrari’s history of dual-purpose sports-racers was well underway by the time the 275 GTB debuted in 1964. This car’s significance went beyond its fully independent suspension and rear transaxle, both firsts for Ferrari, however. The 275 GTB broke ground by adapting racing technology to a road car more seamlessly than before. The Pininfarina-designed 275 GTB was a perfectly domesticated gran turismo, rather than a racer with extra seats and a radio installed. The 275 GTB’s blend of on-track capability and creature comforts helped to light the path for many Ferraris to come.

Following on the heels of the 250 GTO, the 275 GTB faced significant challenges in Ferrari’s most important arena: the track. The Shelby Cobra presented a persistent and significant challenge, and the diminutive Porsche 904 was also a threat. Ferrari needed to match these cars on the track without compromising the 275 GTB’s road manners, which proved to be no small feat.

Most critics would argue that it succeeded. The replacement for the 250 series has become one of the most iconic (and valuable) Ferraris as the years have gone by. The V12-powered 275 GTB offered exotic styling and race-proven performance, and was an icon as much for its owners as it was for its historical significance and performance. Contemporary 275 GTB owners included Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Eric Clapton, Clint Eastwood and Miles Davis.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ferrari 275 GTB.

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1968 - 1970 Lamborghini Islero

1968 - 1970 Lamborghini Islero

It’s worth noting that Lamborghini’s successor to the 400 GT was named after a bull that was famous for killing a matador. That says quite a bit about the attitude of the Italian sports car builder, both in the 1960s and today.

Fortunately, the 1968-69 Lamborghini Islero didn’t share its namesake’s homicidal impulses. In fact, the powerful, updated 2+2 coupe was quite a civilized ride. Essentially a design and engineering upgrade to the aging 400 GT, the Islero lived in the shadow of the Miura and Espada. Quality control issues on early models didn’t help; the redesigned V12 2+2 offered many creature comforts and impressive performance. The body woes were eventually fixed, but it nevertheless ended up a low-production model.

That’s a shame, because the Islero was a 150-plus mph car and easily among the top performers of the day. The relatively conventional bodywork meant that it also provided real-world usefulness at the dawn of the mid-engined supercar era. Ferruccio Lamborghini himself drove one as his company car. The Islero received updates in 1969 that gave it the “Islero S” moniker, but by the dawn of the 1970s it had regrettably run its race.

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1976 - 1981 Ferrari 512 BB

1976 - 1981 Ferrari 512 BB

The shape is so familiar, so iconic, so quintessentially "Ferrari" for enthusiasts who grew up in the 1980s that it’s hard to believe that the Ferrari 512BB actually had a bit of a struggle to make it into production. A mid-engine layout is practically standard equipment on modern supercars, but Enzo Ferrari wasn’t always sold on the concept for road cars.The opinionated leader of the company believed that the cars would be too difficult for owners to drive safely, in spite of the on-track benefits of the design.

Still, the idea of a roadgoing car that shared the horizontally opposed engines and mid-engine layout of racing Ferraris was too tempting to pass up. The car did go into production, in the end, and the first Berlinetta Boxer hit the streets in 1973 as the 365 GT4 BB. The car was a dramatic departure from Ferrari’s front-engined cars, and effectively set the tone for Ferrari’s most iconic vehicles through the 1990s. In 1976, a round of styling and mechanical updates renamed the car 512 BB. The name change came courtesy of a larger, 5.0-liter 12-cylinder engine and conveniently shared the name with a classic Ferrari race car.

This was adequate, as the 512 BB was a genuine supercar. It offered race-bred dynamics, stunning looks and a top speed of nearly 200 mph. The car got worldwide attention in spite of never being officially imported to North America, and squared off successfully against the world’s supercars until 1985, when it was succeeded by the even more extreme Testarossa.

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1976 - 1979 Ferrari 400 GT

1976 - 1979 Ferrari 400 GT

Even the best don’t quite get it right every time. That’s a phrase that gets tossed about a lot when the subject of the Ferrari 400GT comes up. Many critics have pointed to this car as not being up to the marque’s high standards, but what was wrong with it? Was it, objectively, that bad a car?

On paper, the 400GT does seem to violate a number of important Ferrari tenets. Based on the front-engine, rear-drive 365 GT4 2+2, the 400GT’s street cred was dented by its four-seat grand-tourer status, but the availability of an automatic transmission was the nail in the coffin for many. The 1976 400GT was the first Ferrari to be offered with an automatic transmission. The move made sense, as the car competed with other grand tourers like the Aston Martin AMV8 and Jensen Interceptor, but it’s hard to avoid thinking of the 400GT as the start down a road that has led to today’s California and FF.

Though it hasn’t received much love in hindsight, the 400GT was a successful car for Ferrari. It actually outsold the exotic Boxer with which it shared showroom space.In its various guises, the grand tourer that started as the 365 GT4 2+2 was in production from 1972 until 1989, making it Ferrari’s longest-lived model series.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ferrari 400 GT.

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1985 Mercedes Benz 190E 2.3-16V

1985 Mercedes Benz 190E 2.3-16V

It looks a little silly at first glance, a compact mid-Eighties Mercedes sedan with fender flares and wings bolted to it. The Cosworth-modified Mercedes 190E 2.3-16v set the template for an entire generation of The Fast and The Furious-inspired cars.

This hot rod sedan may seem a bit out of character for Mercedes, especially in its wildly aggressive final form, but it’s got a very important place in the flow of automotive history: many people agree that this is the car that officially kicked off the German horsepower wars. It’s definitely responsible for the BMW M3, because BMW put that car on the road as a direct response to the 190E 2.3-16v.

As with many car stories, it all begins with racing. Mercedes started out looking for a sensible replacement for the 450SLC that was its entry in international rally racing. Teaming up with Cosworth was a sensible way to go about it, and the W201-chassis 190E underwent a comprehensive makeover in 1984. And then the Audi Quattro happened. The all-wheel drive car took the rally world by storm, so Mercedes changed its focus to the German Touring Car Championship. The 190E was modified and did a successful turn in the series, racking up 42 victories over its life span. As regulations required, the car was also homologated for road use, resulting in the 190E 2.3-16v Cosworth.

And with that, a long-standing competition was born. As BMW developed the M3, the 190E 2.3-16v became more extreme as well. In its final form in 1990 as the 190E 2.5-16v Evo II, it looked and sounded like a DTM car for the street. Though the 190E 2.3-16v was only officially sold in the United States in 1986 and 1987, the hot-rodded 190E models helped to spawn a generation of legendary super-sedans.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes Benz 190E 2.3-16V.

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1929 Ruxton

1929 Ruxton

Not everyone knows at first glance what a Ruxton is, but it’s a car that few people forget. That’s just how its parent company New Era Motors intended it. In photos, the wild, multi-colored stripes make it one of the most instantly memorable cars to ever turn a wheel. When seen in person, the radical, low-slung body just adds to that impression. In addition to being innovative, the Ruxton Model C stood out in an era of cars that specialized in standing out.

That uncommon paint job (which is not a custom job; it was applied at the factory in St. Louis, MO) was chosen to put an exclamation point on a most uncommon car. The brainchild of William Muller, the Ruxton was a ridiculously long and low-slung front-wheel drive car in an era when front-wheel drive was almost unheard-of. The car was initially intended as a prototype that would convince a manufacturer to step up and produce it and named for an industrialist whom it was hoped would subsequently invest in the project (he didn’t and ultimately had nothing to do with the company whatsoever). When the search for a builder fell through plans were undertaken to put it into production independently. That’s the extremely simplified version: the car that became the Ruxton bounced around and was connected to a veritable who’s-who of 1920s American car manufacturers in its quest for production, including Hupp, Gardner, Kissel, Marmon and Moon. Ultimately, Muller and Wall Street wheeler-dealer Archie Andrews formed New Era Motors and bought out the Moon Motor Car Company. One hostile takeover (complete with executives barricading themselves in the factory) later, the Ruxton went into production in 1929.

Two things snuffed the Ruxton’s candle within a year: the stock market crash and the introduction of the Cord L-29. The front-wheel drive Cord, fielded by the much better-established Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg triumvirate, outsold the Ruxton handily, and arguably left a bigger impression on the automotive industry. After four months production was halted with just about 500 cars built. The Ruxton’s grand gesture was relegated to being a fancy footnote.

Although not often seen among the literal and figurative big boys of the 1920s and 1930s, a few Ruxtons have survived and been restored, making these candy-striped, odd-shaped sedans a rare treat.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1929 Ruxton.

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2015 Scion C-HR

2015 Scion C-HR

Scion’s vice president Andrew Gilleland says, “Scion is known for doing things differently, and maybe even being a little weird." The brand’s crossover concept, unveiled at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, is a perfect illustration of this philosophy. The Scion C-HR is a wild and stylish vehicle, communicating equal parts capability and performance. And here’s the twist: this funky little vehicle isn’t a sports coupe, it’s a crossover.

You may have seen the C-HR before. This car started life as a design concept, and was shown as the Toyota C-HR "design study" in 2014 at the Paris Motor Show. It also surfaced in Frankfurt and was discussed at the Tokyo Motor Show. The C-HR has had a few refinements since then and now it’s resurfaced with the green light to become Scion’s first crossover, and sooner than the wild sheetmetal might have you believe.

The brand has gone back and forth on whether it will produce a crossover, with public statements both positive and negative over the past six months. The speculation’s over now: the C-HR is going into production in 2016 and Scion may show off the final version as early as the 2016 Geneva Motor Show in March. The radical styling and compact all-wheel drive platform will put it into competition with the Nissan Juke, Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3 and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, among others.

Updated 11/20/2015: We added a series of new images taken during the concept’s official unveiling at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2015 Scion C-HR Concept.

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2016 Fiat 500e stormtrooper

2016 Fiat 500e stormtrooper

It has been quipped that the rounded, upright Fiat 500e bears some resemblance to a Star Wars Stormtrooper’s helmet. As it happens, Fiat is collaborating with Lucasfim as part of a massive promotional campaign for the upcoming Star Wars movie, so what better time to take that tongue-in-cheek comparison to its logical conclusion?

To remind visitors to the Los Angeles Auto Show that “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is on the way, Fiat unveiled a one-off 500e with a Stormtrooper-themed paint job. Created by Garage Italia Customs of Milan, the black and white car even has its windows wrapped to properly complete the theme. To be specific, the 500e Stormtrooper matches the armor of the First Order Legion, in Star Wars parlance. Blacked out wheels with ultra-wide whitewall tires give this custom job an appropriately cartoonish look, and the 500e’s unique flat lower front fascia lends itself well to the Stormtrooper restyle. The black and white theme continues on the interior, with white and black lacquer trim, leather and Alcantara upholstery, and a Star Wars logo on the white dashboard. The two-tone steering wheel sports a First Order insignia as well.

Continue reading to learn more about the Fiat 500e stormtrooper.

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Volvo Cars Unveils Concept 26 In Los Angeles

Volvo Cars Unveils Concept 26 In Los Angeles

Self-driving cars are right around the corner. There are numerous autonomous concepts and prototypes on the roads, fielded by Google, Volvo, Mercedes and others, and their success suggests that we might not be far from having them available to the public. This is going to require a significant shift in interior design, and Volvo has done some exploration into this idea with the Concept 26.

Unveiled at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, Concept 26 is a design study that focuses on the interior, rather than the exterior. Taking the idea of an autonomous luxury car, Volvo considers ways that the interior can be reconfigured and re-thought to accommodate drivers who aren’t necessarily driving all the time. It’s got three driving modes: Drive, Create, and Relax. Concept 26 is an interior designed for a car that is autonomous during the daily commute, but actively driven the rest of the time.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volvo Concept 26.

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Book Review: Barn Find Road Trip

Book Review: Barn Find Road Trip

For some old-car spotters, it’s all about the thrill of discovering a hidden jewel. That’s the driving force behind the current "barn find" trend of discovering forgotten classic cars hidden off the beaten path. Ace "auto archaeologist" Tom Cotter and his partner in crime collector Brian Barr may have just crowned themselves the kings of the barn find after a 14-day car-spotting road trip through the eastern United States. Armed with Cotter’s customized 1939 Ford woody to break the ice, professional photographer Michael Alan Ross and no particular destination in mind, the three-man team found over 1,000 classic cars hiding in garages, barns and back lots in just two weeks.

The remarkable odyssey is the subject of a new Motorbooks product, Barn Find Road Trip. Available now from QuartoKnows.com and other retailers, the large-format hardcover is like a car guy’s fantasy vacation brought to life.

Although many of the cars they found were for sale, Cotter and company didn’t make the trip to find a restoration project. This trip was undertaken purely for adventure, and to show other enthusiasts what’s possible with a bit of planning and know-how. You don’t have to be a "certified car geek" like Tom Cotter to pull it off.

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Top 5 Civilian Vehicles Originally Designed For Military Use

Top 5 Civilian Vehicles Originally Designed For Military Use

Can we take a moment to remember our wheeled veterans as well? Why, certainly! Just as the worst of times can bring out the best in men, the grim business of conflict often results in some outstanding machinery. When the dust settles and peace thankfully returns, many military vehicles make their way into private life, and just like the war heroes who made use of them, they put their talents to use in peacetime as well.

It’s no surprise that many decommissioned military vehicles find their way into the private sector. The qualities that make a car or truck attractive to the armed forces also draw civilian customers, as they’re designed to be rugged, easily serviced and long-lived in the face of unimaginable abuse. Many gained popularity after World War II, when returning soldiers who had experience with vehicles like the Jeep returned home and wanted a peacetime vehicle that embodied the same qualities. In some cases, a factory already tooled up to produce wartime trucks was simple to convert to civilian usage to meet demand. Still others have continued as simple evolution to a great design. They’ve come a long way and evolved a great deal since their military origins, but here are a few of the vehicles plying the streets today that got their start serving in the Armed Forces.

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Book Review: Lamborghini Supercars 50 Years

Book Review: Lamborghini Supercars 50 Years

Lamborghini’s a marque that has never had a use for subtlety. As a lifelong creator of the sorts of cars that look more at home on posters than on the street, it’s surprising to think that it’s been in the supercar business for 50 years now. A new book from Motorbooks brings that history to life. Lamborghini Supercars 50 Years is available now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other outlets.

The exotic lines of Lamborghini’s parade of dream-car sheet metal are expertly captured by automotive photographer James Mann, while Stuart Codling provides the backstory. It’s fitting material for a coffee table book, and this handsomely bound volume was designed to be just that. It’s a walk through Lamborghini’s supercars from the beginning, from the Miura up through the Huracan, including specifications and a behind-the-scenes look at the design and production of Lamborghini’s most iconic models.

It’s a tale spanning of 50 years of constant one-upmanship, in which each successive Lamborghini aims farther, faster and more extreme than its predecessor. In addition to being a parade of fine photographs of beautiful cars, Lamborghini Supercars 50 Years provides technical details of the many variants of each model, and background information about the men who designed and engineered them.

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1991 - 1993 Nissan NX2000

1991 - 1993 Nissan NX2000

Long before the Scion tC or Hyundai Veloster, there was the Nissan NX2000. Sold in the U.S. from 1991 to 1993 in moderate numbers, this baby 300ZX bridged the gap between sensible compact coupes and sports cars. It was one of the first cars aimed directly at the growing sport-compact market.

In the early 1990s, the Honda Civic was beginning to be seen as the go-to vehicle for young enthusiasts who just weren’t into muscle cars and couldn’t afford the high-performance sports cars of the day. Small cars were beginning to go fast, and the wildly popular Honda CR-X spawned imitators among the Japanese, including the NX2000.Combining a compact body with the 150-horsepower, 2.0-liter powerplant from the Nissan Sentra SE-R, the NX2000 replaced the Pulsar in Nissan’s lineup, and delivered entertaining performance with a decent measure of versatility. Along with the 240SX and 300ZX, the little hatch gave Nissan three visibly sporty vehicles.

The NX2000 was popular, though overshadowed in the market by the sleeper Sentra SE-R, whose more conventional styling and lighter curb weight made it a more attractive choice for many car buyers.Still, the NX2000 was a successful racer, a flyweight demon on the autocross track, and was considered one of the best-handling front-drivers in the world at the time.

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2015 Toyota 4Runner Tonka

2015 Toyota 4Runner Tonka

Ford is no longer the biggest manufacturer in the game of building life-sized Tonka trucks. Injecting a bit of fun into its SEMA booth, Toyota brought the Tonka 4Runner, a customized SUV that’s designed to play in the same sandbox as the Mighty Ford F-750 Tonka concept and the limited-production 2014 Tonka F-150 by the Tuscany Motor Company. The Tonka 4Runner is just begging to be played with, gotten dirty, and left out in the rain.

Built in conjunction with Funrise, who manufactures Tonka toys for Hasbro, the Tonka 4Runner is a high-riding, adventure-oriented off-roader. It’s the second collaboration with Funrise for Toyota, following the Tonka Tundra fire truck. The Tonka 4Runner is an extreme truck, with a dizzying ten-inch suspension lift, huge off-road tires and a roof tent in addition to familiar Tonka graphics. From a distance, it looks like you could just pick this one up and play with it. Although it’s inspired by toys, it’s also been designed to be a very functional expedition vehicle. The modifications to the suspension and body have been made to improve capability and versatility. There’s even a roof-mounted fuel can.

Licensing restrictions mean that production is unlikely, but as a functional, adult-sized toy, the Tonka 4Runner is a good inspirational vehicle.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota 4Runner Tonka.

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2015 Kia Sedona Photo Safari

2015 Kia Sedona Photo Safari

Minivans are versatile. Are they truly adventurous? America’s favorite uncool family hauler does a great many things well, but those things tend to be limited to on-pavement activities, preferably in the suburbs or on the open freeway. This imaginative concept from Kia, displayed at 2015 SEMA Show, takes the minivan in an entirely new direction.

Rather than being the cargo-hauler or the support vehicle, the Kia Sedona Photo Safari aims to get right in the middle of the action. The minivan has been re-imagined as a mobile shooting platform for wildlife photographers and fall color tour enthusiasts. After the addition of roof racks, camera mounts, lights, off-road tires and a radical roof-ectomy, this Sedona is a minivan with a mission.

Kia envisions the Sedona Photo Safari as an “image-capturing machine,” and teamed up with LGE-CTS Motorsports for the build. Professional photographers provided input on the best modifications to make throughout the building process, and the result is a little bit safari, a little bit post-apocalypse and strange enough to be kind of cool.

Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Sedona Photo Safari.

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2015 Toyota 4Runner Tonka

2015 Toyota 4Runner Tonka

Ford is no longer the biggest manufacturer in the game of building life-sized Tonka trucks. Injecting a bit of fun into its SEMA booth, Toyota brought the Tonka 4Runner, a customized SUV that’s designed to play in the same sandbox as the Mighty Ford F-750 Tonka concept and the limited-production 2014 Tonka F-150 by the Tuscany Motor Company. The Tonka 4Runner is just begging to be played with, gotten dirty, and left out in the rain.

Built in conjunction with Funrise, who manufactures Tonka toys for Hasbro, the Tonka 4Runner is a high-riding, adventure-oriented off-roader. It’s the second collaboration with Funrise for Toyota, following the Tonka Tundra fire truck. The Tonka 4Runner is an extreme truck, with a dizzying ten-inch suspension lift, huge off-road tires and a roof tent in addition to familiar Tonka graphics. From a distance, it looks like you could just pick this one up and play with it. Although it’s inspired by toys, it’s also been designed to be a very functional expedition vehicle. The modifications to the suspension and body have been made to improve capability and versatility. There’s even a roof-mounted fuel can.

Licensing restrictions mean that production is unlikely, but as a functional, adult-sized toy, the Tonka 4Runner is a good inspirational vehicle.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota 4Runner Tonka.

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Spyder Concept

2016 Mazda MX-5 Spyder Concept

The Mazda MX-5 has always been pretty clear about what it is. Mazda’s modern-day homage to the classic British roadster has been a single-minded vehicle since its inception, and not prone to being watered down by committee design. Just the same, Mazda has elected to take the MX-5 “back to its roots” with a pair of modified cars at this year’s SEMA show.

The MX-5 Spyder is the more genteel of Mazda’s two show roadsters. With this car, Mazda has taken the classic-roadster link as far as it possibly can, adding vintage touches like bespoke leather and artistic detailing to remind viewers of the British, Italian and Japanese sports cars from sports-racing’s heyday. The MX-5 remains the closest modern car to the classic open-air motoring experience, with lightweight construction and minimalist styling. The MX-5 Spyder has been lightened compared to the production car, and features unique exterior details as well.

Updated 11/04/2015: Mazda displayed the MX-5 Spyder concept, along with its companion the MX-5 Speedster, at its booth at the 2015 SEMA show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mazda MX-5 Spyder Concept.

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1970 Chevrolet Camaro RS with Supercharged LT4

1970 Chevrolet Camaro RS with Supercharged LT4

Mixed in with the dizzying array of Gen 6 Camaros in the Chevrolet booth is a handsome but innocuous-looking 1970 Camaro RS. The classic Camaro serves as a reminder of the muscle car’s storied history, but it’s also a convenient place to display Chevrolet Performance’s new LT4 crate engine.

Even though it’s the motivational force behind the Corvette Z06, the LT4 isn’t all that exciting on a stand by itself. So, Chevrolet Performance shoehorned it into a 1970 Camaro RS, to help whet the appetites and imaginations of hot rodders who’d be happy to find a use for the most powerful production car engine GM has ever produced. The crate LT4 can be used in custom cars, street rods, trucks and just about any other application that the imagination can come up with. It’s available as a dry- or wet-sump engine, and Chevrolet Performance offers air conditioning and accessory drive kits for a range of applications.

Will any of them be more attractive than this Gen 2 Camaro RS, though? The challenge has been made!

Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Camaro RS with Supercharged LT4.

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2016 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Momo Edition

2016 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Momo Edition

Don’t look now, but it’s been twenty years, and the Volkswagen Jetta GLI on MOMO’s booth at SEMA just might be pushing the envelope of “retro.” For enthusiasts who came of age in the late 1990s and early 2000s, this MOMO-modified Jetta will seem like a throwback to days gone by. The aftermarket manufacturer celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, and following that it’s hoping to increase its visibility in North America. To that end, the MOMO Edition Jetta GLI is heading to SEMA.

Ironically, the MOMO Edition Jetta stands out by following the template set forth by a legion of water-cooled Volkswagens throughout the 1990s. It’s got large wheels, a slammed stance, subtle graphics hinting at the modifications beneath the skin, and of course an aftermarket roof rack. The upgrades look just as natural on the new 2016 Jetta GLI as they would on a 1996 Jetta GLI.

MOMO refers to the upgraded Jetta GLI as “OEM-plus,” relying on established aftermarket companies for the performance upgrades. The wheels and steering wheel, of course, are by MOMO, and you can expect them to be available in the upcoming year as part of the legendary wheel manufacturer’s new product push.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Jetta GLI Momo Edition.

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2016 Hyundai Genesis Tjin Edition

2016 Hyundai Genesis Tjin Edition

Hyundai’s SEMA display wouldn’t be complete without a heavily modified, high-horsepower Genesis Coupe. TJIN comes through on that front with a boosted, underground racing-inspired car that’s equally prepared to do battle with Mustangs and Camaros or modified front-wheel drive imports.

TJIN Edition RoadShow’s first Hyundai for SEMA has no problem being green, thanks to a supercharged V6 that produces 500-plus horsepower and an aggressively wild body kit. The drivetrain has been thoroughly upgraded, enabling the car to deliver on all of its considerable visual promises. The TJIN Edition Genesis Coupe made its official debut at the Hyundai press conference at SEMA. Like many of the concepts unveiled at the annual aftermarket show, the best part about this car is that many of the go-fast bits will be available from various suppliers for Genesis Coupe fans to mix and match into their own cars.

Updated 11/04/2015: Hyundai unveiled the Genesis Tjin Edition concept car at the 2015 SEMA Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Hyundai Genesis Tjin Edition.

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Toyota Mirai Drops Science on "Back to the Future" Anniversary

Toyota Mirai Drops Science on "Back to the Future" Anniversary

You may have noticed an unusual number of “Back to the Future” references in your social media; that’s because 10/21/2015 is the date shown on Doc Brown’s DeLorean time machine in “Back to the Future 2.” In the plot of the movie, this is the day that Marty McFly arrives in the future to try and fix the things that have gone wrong in the timeline.

Though the DeLorean is the automotive star of the franchise, there’s a Toyota connection as well. Marty’s dream car is a black 1985 Toyota Xtracab 4x4 pickup, and Toyota’s taken the opportunity to play it up a little bit. (DeLorean probably would too, if it was still in business.) In addition to creating a “Back to the Future” edition of the all-new 2016 Tacoma, complete with 1980s-style KC light bar and nerf bumpers, the brand has brought its Mirai fuel-cell vehicle into the loop with a short video called “Fueled by the Future.” The video features the aforementioned Tacoma concept along with Christopher Lloyd, Michael J. Fox and other familiar faces.

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2016 Hyundai Tucson Adventure by John Pangilinan

2016 Hyundai Tucson Adventure by John Pangilinan

Today’s crop of crossover vehicles is more capable than conventional wisdom would have you believe. As a reminder of this, Hyundai got together with John Pangilinan to create a special 2016 Tucson for SEMA this year. The Tucson Adventuremobile is one of several modified Tucsons appearing at the show this year. Designed with camping in mind, the Adventuremobile follows in the footsteps of the Jeep Wrangler, Land Rover Defender and Honda Element with a roof-mounted tent and other camping gear.

Unlike many of the other modified Hyundais at the show, the Adventuremobile has been tweaked in a sensible fashion, so it could conceivably serve as a daily driver when it’s not time to rough it. Pangilinan is known for taking vehicles to the limit with lifestyle-based modifications, and this crossover is no exception. The Hyundai Tucson Adventure by John Pangilinan appeared at the 2015 SEMA Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Hyundai Tucson Adventure by John Pangilinan.

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Popcorn Garage Tests Your Movie Knowledge

Popcorn Garage Tests Your Movie Knowledge

Popcorn Garage, eh? I clicked through to the movie-trivia site to check it out, and the first thing I saw was a very familiar modified DeLorean DMC-12.

And then it was an hour later.

This mysterious website, the brainchild of Paris-based artist and graphic designer Priska and art director Romain Zitouni, is a movie buff and puzzle-hunter’s delight. The seemingly innocuous garage scene is stuffed with movie references. There are 66 of them in all, and the game is of course to identify them by name. The Popcorn Garage will sign you in via Facebook or other social media, and keeps track of your score. There’s no time limit, but if you make three wrong guesses, the garage lights flicker and go out, and you’ve got to start all over again. In the tradition of free web-games, it’s absolutely addictive. The movies referenced are a blend of popular blockbusters and cult classics from the past fifty years. It requires a sharp eye, attention to detail, and a reasonably good memory for the movies you’ve seen. In short, yes, it’s going to suck away an hour or so of your work day. In spite of the garage setting and Route 66 reference, this game’s for everyone.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Datsun 240Z Review: Video

Datsun 240Z Review: Video

The original Datsun 240Z is the sort of car that inspires deep loyalty among its enthusiast owners. The iconic first generation of Nissan’s two-place sports car was first introduced in 1969, and stayed in production for another nine years. The long-nosed coupe bears a passing resemblance to the Jaguar E-Type in its proportions, but established Datsun as a bona fide sports-car producer. The car itself has inspired cadres of fans as dedicated as Mustang, MG or Ferrari aficionados.

California car guy Greg Scott is a 240Z fan who’s gone above and beyond even by enthusiast standards. His 1970 240Z, known as "The Green Hornet," has been evolving for over 17 years while remaining true to the car’s original specifications and spirit, and the result is a modernized classic that’s capable of holding its own among much newer cars. This video shows The Green Hornet mixing it up with Corvettes and Porsche 911s at Laguna Seca. Though it’s track-ready, Scott’s car is impressive because it’s also street-legal, lacking the temperamental nature of many engines built for the track. The Green Hornet is driven to the track, towing its own spares, tools and fuel. Scott has retained the car’s sound deadening so the car’s comfortable enough for road driving.

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2016 Ford Focus Electric

2016 Ford Focus Electric

The battery-powered Ford Focus has been something of a dark horse in the burgeoning electric-vehicle market. It arrived on the scene in 2012 ahead of the Volkswagen eGolf and Kia Soul EV, but its low-key styling seems to have ensured that it’s stayed out of the alt-fuel spotlight. Even Ford’s hybrids and plug-in hybrids have maintained a higher profile. It’s like Ford just isn’t interested in the car.

The Focus Electric is a solid performer, though, and Ford seems intent on keeping up with the competition. Like the eGolf, it’s notable for maintaining the same entertaining performance and handling as the gasoline-powered version. This and other mainstream electric vehicles are notable because they’re the leading edge of a wave of evolution that’s normalizing electric cars. In the next few years, battery-powered cars are likely to be as casually owned and driven as hybrids are today. Cars like the relatively mundane Focus Electric, which receives a wider range of standard features and new colors for 2016, are making gasoline-free motoring more accessible.

The electric Focus received a price cut in 2014, and gets another for 2016, making it one of the most affordable mainstream electric cars. Whether it’s well-loved by its manufacturer or not, it is a player in the electric-car game.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Ford Focus Electric.

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2016 Shelby GT350R Mustang Cattle Baron's Ball Edition

2016 Shelby GT350R Mustang Cattle Baron’s Ball Edition

The name of the American Cancer Society’s Cattle Baron’s Ball conjures images of pickup trucks, but perhaps a muscle car named after a horse and a Texan is also in-theme. Appropriate or not, Ford Motor Company donated a special 2016 Shelby GT350R Mustang to the event this year. The car was auctioned off to raise money for the American Cancer Society on September 26.

The Cattle Baron’s Ball is an annual event held in Detroit to benefit the American Cancer Society. It’s been a Motor City staple since 2003, and attracts a host of wealthy socialites and philanthropists for a night of live music, gourmet cooking and charity auctions with a Western theme. Ford is the main sponsor of the event this year, and Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s VP of global purchasing, is the honorary chair. Since 1974, Ford and the Ford Motor Company Fund have contributed over $1.8 million to the American Cancer Society in Detroit, and the majority of the contributions came through the Cattle Baron’s Ball.

The next-generation Shelby Mustang is a street-legal race car, and Ford plans to build just 100 GT350s and 37 GT350R models for 2015, with a similarly small production run for 2016. It’s likely to go directly into a collector’s garage, but this 2016 Shelby GT350R sports some unique details that will inevitably set it apart when it resurfaces on the collector market some day.

Continue reading to learn more about the Shelby GT350R Mustang Cattle Baron’s Ball Edition.

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2016 Hyundai Tucson By Bisimoto Engineering

2016 Hyundai Tucson By Bisimoto Engineering

Building the most powerful Hyundai Tucson ever probably isn’t on many bucket lists. That doesn’t matter though, because 2015 SEMA is right around the corner, and it’s a place where common sense is politely asked to go straight to the back of the bus. For the fourth straight year, Bisimoto has partnered with Hyundai to create an unlikely performance monster. This year, it’s the new 2016 Hyundai Tucson going under the knife.

The popularity of crossovers is expected to lead naturally to modified crossovers, and this year’s auto show season is already jumping on that particular bandwagon, with a number of sporty and hot-rodded crossover concepts debuting in Frankfurt. SEMA is shaping up to be a similar party, if the Bisimoto Tucson is any indicator. Hyundai gave the tuner, whose usual medium is Porsches, free rein to play with the all-new 2016 Tucson, and the result is pretty impressive and possibly a shot across the bow of the Nissan Juke-R. Race-bred engine components are used to triple the Tucson’s standard output, and Bisimoto says that it’s sturdy enough to be a real-world driver, unlike some one-offs that are tuned to within an inch of detonation. Some wild body modifications are on hand to eliminate any chance that the Bisimoto Tucson would be considered a "sleeper."

Updated 11/04/2015: The new Hyundai Tucson By Bisimoto Engineering made its debut at the 2015 SEMA Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Hyundai Tucson By Bisimoto Engineering.

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2016 Rolls-Royce "Wraith - History of Rugby"

2016 Rolls-Royce "Wraith - History of Rugby"

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word "rugby?" If you said, "the Rolls-Royce Wraith," congratulations! You may be insane. You’re also exhibiting the kind of boundless creativity that drives Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke Design Studio, because that’s exactly the theme of the latest factory-customized car to roll out of Goodwood.

The beauty of Rolls-Royce’s individualized cars is that the Bespoke Design Studio can make a lovely car starting with just about any theme you can think of. The proof is in the just-unveiled Wraith — History of Rugby. This car combines the elegant British ultra-luxury of Rolls-Royce with the typically more blue-collar sport. The Wraith — History of Rugby has been styled to evoke the spirit of the sport, with colors and design elements that match those of the English rugby team. It’s even got its own set of custom-made, matching rugby balls made by Gilbert, the manufacturer of the original rugby ball. Rolls says that the Wraith’s "characteristic blend of power, style and drama" is a fitting match for the sport. Of course it is.

Continue reading to learn more about the Rolls-Royce "Wraith - History of Rugby".

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1935 Avions Voisin C25 Aerodyne

1935 Avions Voisin C25 Aerodyne

Part airplane, part spaceship, the Avions Voisin C25 Aerodyne looks as though it drove right off of a retro-futuristic Art Deco poster. The C25 Aerodyne is so radical that it doesn’t even look real at first, but in the spirit of wildly individualistic cars since the dawn of the industry (and of wildly iconoclastic French cars since…about the same time), it was indeed a production vehicle. Of course, there weren’t many of them produced.
Most noted for his aircraft designs, Gabriel Voisin and his company built aircraft during WWI. After the war, he formed Avions Voisin to build cars. The C25 Aerodyne was perhaps the ultimate expression of Gabriel B. Voisin’s unique automotive vision, which was heavily influenced by his aviation backround. Founded in 1919, Avions Voisin produced extravagantly designed cars with exotic sleeve-valve engines. Faced with flagging fortunes due to the Great Depression, Avions Voisin curiously chose to focus on high-end exotic vehicles, of which the C25 Aerodyne was one of the most memorable. Described as a “car of the future” when first displayed at the Paris Salon in 1934, it was a silent-running and impressive piece of automotive art.

The C25 Aerodyne was extremely expensive for the time, priced higher than a 1933-1938 Bugatti Type 57, and the engine’s performance, while silent and luxurious, fell somewhat short of its futuristic looks. Ironically, it also represented the last gasp of the company, which was in the process of losing its most talented employees even as the C25 was making its debut. A poor economy and WWII quickly put an end to the business. Only eight C25 Aerodynes were produced.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1935 Avions Voisin C25 Aerodyne.

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2015 Tesla Model S By Brabus

2015 Tesla Model S By Brabus

One of the best ways to determine that a car has reached mainstream acceptance is the arrival of the tuners, and for electric cars that moment may have arrived. German tuner Brabus, known for hot-rod versions of Mercedes and Smart vehicles, has turned its attention to the 2015 Tesla Model S. Brabus revealed its Zero Emissions range of Model S upgrades at Frankfurt. While many electric cars would seem unlikely recipients for tuning upgrades, the Model S has already turned heads thanks to its luxury-class ride and ultra-high-performance “Ludicrous Mode.”

Brabus says that more Zero Emissions products are on the way. For now, the company is sticking to cosmetic upgrades – sensible, considering that the Model S can be insanely fast on its own. Exterior and interior upgrades are designed to allow Tesla owners to personalize their cars in proper moneyed sports-sedan style: Brabus wheels, aero components and leather interior upgrades will be offered. Whether Brabus will find a way to make the 772 maximum-horsepower 2015 Tesla Model S P85D even more powerful remains to be seen.

Continue reading to learn more about the Tesla Model S By Brabus.

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The Queen May Get The First Bentley Bentayga

The Queen May Get The First Bentley Bentayga

Initially viewed with a bit of justifiable side-eye, Bentley’s first SUV is off to an extremely promising start. The production version just debuted at Frankfurt, and it’s better-looking than anticipated. The first year’s production run has already sold out. And best of all, it’s already got the approval of the highest authority in Britain: the first 2017 Bentley Bentayga is slated to be delivered to none other than Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

The royal family has traditionally used Land Rovers for its rough-road needs, but Bentayga #001 will be shipped to Balmoral, Scotland for use in hunting expeditions, according to Michael Winkler, Bentley’s North American CEO, in an interview with Bloomberg.

Bentley’s no stranger to providing royal vehicles. The current purpose-built 2002 Bentley State Limousine is based on the Arnage chassis and has served the royal family since 2002.

Bentley has the capacity to produce 3,000 to 4,500 Bentaygas annually, and is currently holding deposits for 3,600 vehicles. If you’re hoping to get a 2017 model, MSRPs start at $229,100. It’s the most expensive SUV sold in North America.

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This 1971 Plymouth Hemicuda Can Be Yours For $2 Million

This 1971 Plymouth Hemicuda Can Be Yours For $2 Million

Classic-car pricing bubbles are a curious thing, and watching them grow and grow is part of the appeal of auction coverage. The modern “tulip mania” effect on moneyed collectors can be quite a thing to see in action, and ever since a classic Ferrari broke the $1 million mark in the 1980s, values have continued to climb, whether we’re talking about the rusted corpse of a 1948-1965 Porsche 356 for the price of a 2015 Lexus RC 350 or a million-dollar muscle car.

Quite a few American muscle cars have broken the multimillion-dollar mark several times over in recent years, though values dropped significantly when the economy tanked in 2008 or so. The question for speculators is this: do wild auction prices translate to higher overall values, and will things return to madness levels anytime soon? That’s a question that RK Motors is banking on, because there’s a 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda sitting on its Charlotte, North Carolina showroom floor with a cool $1,999,990 written on the price tag.

That’s not a typo: 10 dollars shy of $2 million. That would have bought over 600 1971 Plymouth Barracudas at the original price. That would buy any of a number of massively fancy houses, or 34 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcats. That might even buy you a couple of Congressmen. So what’s the story here? Is this particular Cuda made of plutonium? Can it travel through time provided you can generate 1.21 gigawatts of power? Does it grant wishes?

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1937 Bugatti Type 57 G Tank

1937 Bugatti Type 57 G Tank

Bugatti introduced the legendary Type 57 in 1934, laying the groundwork for some of its most iconic cars, including the Atlantic and Atalante. In true Bugatti fashion, the chassis of this high-performance road car was proven on the race track. The Type 57G took to the track in 1937, with an enclosed body that was quickly dubbed the "Tank." The Type 57G did Bugatti proud, winning the French Grand Prix in 1936 and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1937 and 1939. The Le Mans victory was the first major international win for Bugatti. Just three Type 57G Tanks were produced, but what the car lacked in production numbers it more than made up for in results. Some accounts say that the Type 57Gs won every major race they were entered in. At the end of the 1939 Le Mans race, Bugatti was 26 miles ahead of the second-place car.

One of the streamliners disappeared after the Paris Auto Salon in 1936, and another Type 57G was destroyed in a tragic testing crash that killed Jean Bugatti shortly after it had won Le Mans in 1939. Legend has it that the last Type 57G Tank survived WWII thanks to the forward-thinking Bugatti family, who buried the vehicle underground for the duration of the conflict.

The shape and paint scheme of the Type 57G Tank also influenced the modern Bugatti Veyron, in the form of the first "Legends" limited-edition car introduced in 2013. The new car had very different dimensions, but there’s a clear lineage between the two vehicles, most evident with the Legends edition 2013 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse "Jean-Pierre Wimille," whose blue-on-blue livery matches that of the surviving Tank.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1937 Bugatti Type 57 G Tank.

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Lexus Highlights The History Of Its F Family: Video

Lexus Highlights The History Of Its F Family: Video

When it comes to heritage, relative upstart Lexus has some catching up to do. Though it’s a major player in the luxury market and is becoming a force in the sport-premium market as well, the fact remains that the brand has only been in existence since 1989. While 16 years is enough time for a decent level of maturity for a car company, companies like Mercedes and BMW have internal divisions that are older than Lexus’ entire marque.

That’s significant, because Lexus is in the process of challenging those very internal divisions. F Sport is Lexus’ answer to Mercedes’ AMG and BMW’s M Division, among others. What’s troublesome for Lexus is that it’s one thing to build cars that bang off impressive performance numbers, and quite another to impart a sense of heritage and family to them.

The solution to this conundrum? Get that history out there, and make sure people know the what the additional badge is all about. Lexus is doing just that, with distinctive styling for its F Sport models and branded accessories for the non-F cars. Lexus has released a video via Lexus Qatar that brings a bit more of the short-but-eventful history of its dedicated sports cars to life.

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1956 Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle

1956 Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle

There’s plenty of debate whether the 1908 Ford Model T or the Volkswagen Beetle had a bigger impact on the development of the automobile as a cultural icon. Both of these Everyman vehicles were produced in phenomenally high numbers and helped to shape the future of cars. The Model T left its mark with a low cost and incredible versatility, as well as a simple design that lasted for decades. The Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle stuck around even longer, in an era marked by constant changes in technology. So what set it apart?

The little car that would go on to sell over 21 million units was first imagined in 1933. In a twist of fate that surprises some people, the car was commissioned by Adolf Hitler, and designed by Ferdinand Porsche (who may have cribbed much of it from a Czechoslovakian Tatra). The car was intended to be a durable, easily-produced vehicle for the masses, and Hitler dubbed it the KdF-Wagen. The acronym stood for "Kraft durch Freude," which translates to "Strength through Joy." And then World War II happened.

Understandably, the KdF-Wagen didn’t get off the ground. After the war, however, the factory was in British hands, and they fired it up to provide transportation for British soldiers on German soil. Renamed the Volkswagen Type 1, the car joined the ranks of simple, affordable cars like the Citroen 2CV and 1957-1975 Fiat 500 as the nations of Europe got back on wheels. The first Type 1 quickly picked up the nickname "Beetle," and was first imported to the United States in 1949, but it took a few years to catch on. Only 159 were sold in 1949 and 1950. Things took off in the late 1950s, and at its height the Type 1 was selling over a million units a year.

Continue reading for my full review of this original Beetle.

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1911 Fiat Tipo 6 Four Passenger Demi Tonneau

1911 Fiat Tipo 6 Four Passenger Demi Tonneau

During the brass era of automobiles, from about 1900 to 1915, pretty much every car was a luxury car. Before Ford’s 1908 Ford Model T put the nation on wheels starting in 1907, automobiles were primarily seen as playthings for wealthy folks. Even Fiat, who’s known these days for more pedestrian economy cars and family vehicles, started out as a luxury manufacturer.

Fiat is one of the pioneers of the automotive age. The company built its first car in 1889. In addition to its forays into racing, Fiat was known for its luxury cars, and was one of the top importers of chassis into the U.S. Like most high-end cars of the time, early Fiats were sold as bare chassis and had coachbuilt bodies installed to the owners’ specifications. The bodies alone could cost as much as $4,000 in some cases. The first car to blend Fiat’s racing and luxury disciplines was the 60 HP, built from 1903 to 1907. The model range featured a pressed steel chassis and a massive 60 horsepower four-cylinder engine. The 50-60 evolved into the Tipo 6, like this example recently shown and sold at Pebble Beach. Popular with affluent American customers, the Tipo 6 was one of the most luxurious cars of its time.

Fiat was one of the best-known European manufacturers during the brass era. The company produced a range of vehicles, but it was the staggeringly expensive big-bore models that captured the attention of the public, and they were owned by royalty and dignitaries. The cars were low-production vehicles, with less than 100 built in most cases, and very few of them have survived the ensuing century.

Continue reading for my full review of this special Fiat.

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1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A Cabriolet

1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A Cabriolet

Best in Show at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance this year was awarded to a 1924 Isotta Fraschini Tipo 8A owned by the Patterson Collection of Louisville, KY. The exotic-sounding Italian name should make it clear that this is a serious chunk of automobile, but not everyone knows just how serious. Though the name hasn’t matched the staying power of its peers, Isotta Fraschini was, back in the Roaring Twenties, the car one chose when a Duesenberg wasn’t ostentatious or extreme enough. Yeah, this car is that serious.

Back when the Duesenberg Model J was a high-level automotive object of lust that cost about four times the price of the average house, an Isotta Fraschini went for even more than that. These coachbuilt vehicles were the automotive equivalent of haute couture, sold as bare chassis and powertrains. The wealthy, high-profile buyers — among them, Clara Bow, Rudolph Valentino, William Randolph Hearst and Benito Mussolini — were free to select a coachbuilder to provide any body style that was desired. Even Rolls-Royce (who was also one of Isotta Fraschini’s competitors at the time) doesn’t get that bespoke anymore.

The Tipo 8A was introduced in 1924 as the successor to the Tipo 8. The chief difference was a much larger and more powerful engine. The car was a success among the glitterati, inspiring imitators and envy alike during the late Twenties and early Thirties.

Continue reading for my full review of this very special Italian luxury classic.

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2016 Subaru BRZ Gets Price Cut

2016 Subaru BRZ Gets Price Cut

Though the Subaru BRZ and Mazda Miata are very different cars, they share a customer base. Whatever the differences in body style, both of these sports cars appeal to driving purists, who enjoy a level of connectedness that goes beyond the average commuter. That may be at least part of the reason that, closely following the launch of the all-new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata, Subaru has announced a price drop for the BRZ.

The $25,695 MSRP of the 2016 Subaru BRZ is $300 below the 2015 model. Annual updates are limited to new options and equipment, including the Subaru Starlink Multimedia System, whose 6.2-inch touch screen enables smartphone-like gesture input. A backup camera is now standard as well. The 200 horsepower, 2.0 liter boxer four-cylinder engine, standard limited-slip differential and lightweight body have not changed.

Subaru has lowered prices by approximately the same amount across the board, so the Alcantara-trimmed Limited starts at $27,395 with a six-speed manual and $28,495 with the six-speed automatic. The BRZ Limited is also equipped with dual-zone climate control and heated seats.
Continue reading for the full story.

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Worst 5 SUVs of 2015

Worst 5 SUVs of 2015

Before I start, let me admit one thing: there are no really bad cars anymore. The era of the true crapcan went out around 10 years ago, and any new car or truck you can buy these days is, at heart, a decent vehicle. It may not always seem like it, but we’re currently in the middle of an automotive renaissance of sorts. Like most other categories of cars, it’s been evolve or die for SUVs and crossovers. The competition is stiffer than ever, and that has driven dramatic improvements in the power, handling, ride, design and capability of these vehicles.

That doesn’t mean that some vehicles aren’t behind the curve, of course. And in some cases, they’re way behind the curve.

So why do some SUVs fall short? Sometimes it’s a matter of taste. Consumer desires can shift practically overnight, and it’s easy for a manufacturer to get caught out. When gas prices spiked a couple of years ago, large, V-8-powered sport utes became overnight liabilities. Similarly, the rollover controversy that struck the Ford Explorer in the late 1990s was bad news for tall, body-on-frame sport-utes. In recent years, consumer preference has turned toward more car-like crossover vehicles that split the difference between SUVs and cars, offering the best of both worlds — a move that must have folks at Suzuki and Isuzu (who attempted similar vehicles before it was popular) shaking their heads.
Continue reading for the full story.

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1969 - 1970 Porsche 908/02 Flunder Langheck (Long Tail)

1969 - 1970 Porsche 908/02 Flunder Langheck (Long Tail)

The name "Porsche" is synonymous with racing, specifically "overwhelming racing victory." Porsche’s developed a reputation for obsessive pursuit of victory, and has dominated some racing series so thoroughly that the competition all but gave up. So how did a company that started out building cute, bathtub-shaped cars that shared Volkswagen Beetle parts become one of the driving forces in just about every discipline of motorsport? Well, it started with the Porsche 908.

Porsche was involved in sports car racing throughout the 1950s. The Porsche 356 was a decent performer, and Porsche was a regular on the podium. In 1968, Porsche set its sights higher when the FIA announced a new rule change for the Group 6 sports-prototype class with a maximum engine displacement of 3.0 liters. In response, Porsche built the largest engine allowable for the first time. The resulting car was the 908, and it led the transformation of Porsche from a class leader into a race winner.

The 908 even outperformed its successor for a while. The Porsche 917 was introduced in 1969 for the purpose of winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 917’s larger-displacement engine put it into a different FIA class, as well as giving it a much higher top speed, but it suffered from teething problems at the same time that the 908 seemed to find its stride. Porsche 908s finished 1-2-3 at the 1969 BOAC 500 at Brands Hatch. The car also dominated Monza, the Targa Florio and conquered the Nurburgring with a 1-2-3-4-5 finish. But for a 1969 Ford GT40, a 908 would have won Le Mans in 1969 as well. A year-old 908 was the third-place car in Porsche’s 1-2-3 sweep of Le Mans in 1970. The indomitable 908 remained a fixture on the tracks until the mid-1970s.
Continue reading for my full review of this fantastic Porsche race car.

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The 5 Best Cars For The Apocalypse

The 5 Best Cars For The Apocalypse

When the end of civilization as we know it comes…what will you drive? That’s one of the first questions to pop to my mind when it comes to The Walking Dead, 28 Days Later, The Stand or other post-apocalypse fare. Not to mention the Mad Max series, which pretty much bases itself around this question.

It’s not really that absurd or obsessive a consideration. After all (concerns of long-term fuel availability aside), when it comes to being able to get away from trouble, a vehicle is going to be one of your most important pieces of survival equipment. A car or truck can also provide protection from the elements and help to haul loads that are too heavy to carry.

Everyone’s got a favorite "zombie-fighting" vehicle, of course, but what would you really want to drive in a post-apocalyptic wasteland? The topic has been much discussed over repeat viewings of "The Walking Dead" at my house. Is the key really to jump into the first Humvee or armored HEMMT you can find and not look back? Not necessarily.

I’m not talking about modified battle cars. If you’re going to strap on armor and smash into your enemies, grab up all the Toyota Camrys and Chevy Camaros that you can and go to town. What I’m considering is more fundamental transportation, the vehicle that’s going to carry the most supplies, take you the farthest, and be the most reliable. Adding armor and weapons to protect yourself from hostile mutants is another discussion entirely.

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Which is Better For Families: Minivans or SUVs?

Which is Better For Families: Minivans or SUVs?

Speaking strictly from an automotive standpoint, it’s the second child that really changes everything. For the most part, as long as you’ve got a back seat, any car can adapt to the necessities required to carry two adults and an infant. Some cars will be better at it than others, of course, but assuming the daily driver’s not a 2016 Mazda Miata or a motorcycle, whatever one happens to be driving when that first child comes along will do just fine.

No, the second kid is the game-changer. Whether you’re planning to stop at two or have more, now it’s time to seriously consider a “family” vehicle. For many young families that means a long-term investment. Raising a family doesn’t get any cheaper, so many folks look ahead and choose a vehicle that they can grow into.

For the past 30 years or so, that’s meant a minivan. After dethroning the traditional American station wagon in the early 1990s, minivans and SUVs have evolved to serve the needs of just about any family. But how to choose? Modern crossover vehicles and minivans both target families in different ways, and navigating the dizzying array of options can be overwhelming. Everyone has different priorities, depending on everything from snowy winters to insurance costs, but we’ve laid out some facts here that will help guide you.

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Hey! What Happened to the Station Wagons?

Hey! What Happened to the Station Wagons?

I’ve got a friend who’s moving to the U.S. from the Netherlands, and he’s looking for a car for his family. “Why do Americans hate station wagons?” he asked me, frustrated with his search. Being a long-time wagon fan, I politely disagreed, explained a bit about our obsession with minivans and SUVs, then started to point him to the station wagons that are still on the market…

…and half of them were GONE. It’s true that the number of station-wagon offerings has been in decline for a while, but it seemed to have stabilized, with several European manufacturers keeping long-tail models on hand to satisfy the enthusiasts who’d rather carry cargo the old-fashioned way, or who just like the look of a squareback car. But lo! While I wasn’t looking, executive decisions have decimated the crowd of wagons available to me and other wagon fans! This is a quiet tragedy of epic proportions!
Continue reading for the rest of this sad story.

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Car Infographic: Iconic Journeys, Why You Should Love Modern Transport

Car Infographic: Iconic Journeys, Why You Should Love Modern Transport

Adventure-seekers frequently retrace the routes of famous travelers. Though the modern versions might be less epic in scope, they do have a way of showing off just how good we’ve got it in terms of transportation, and that’s kinda special. To traverse the North American continent or the nation of Japan once required a significant chunk of time, and now with a Land Rover Evoque or bullet train at your disposal, the trip across Japan, at least, can be dispatched in a matter of hours.

Modern transportation has changed the face of the world, and nowhere is that more clear than in this infographic, which compares the time originally taken to complete famous journeys with the amount of time it takes now. The time comparison makes sense, coming as it does from watches2u.com, but the comparison of technology is definitely of interest to gearheads. The 2,481-mile trip from Chicago to Los Angeles took over three months in 1800, but a new car cuts that time down to eight days (apparently the writers of this infographic only plan to drive for five hours a day), as well as accomplishing the trip in air-conditioned comfort and with plenty of restaurants along the way. Similarly, in the 1960s the 503-mile jaunt from Tokyo to Hiroshima was a nine-hour trip by car. With modern bullet trains the trip is down to just over four hours, including bus transfers.

Continue reading for the full story.

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1912 Stutz Bearcat

1912 Stutz Bearcat

If the 1911 Mercer Raceabout was the first American car to find success using the “race and sell” philosophy, the Stutz Bearcat was among the first to parlay that supercar status in to celebrity status. After mixing it up with the Raceabout on tracks and winning 25 of the 30 races it entered in 1912, the Bearcat grew into something of an automotive icon, famously finding its way into the hands of George "Cannonball" Baker for a record-breaking 1915 cross-country run. These exploits garnered the Bearcat a name recognition that still holds up 80 years after the company’s demise.

The Stutz Bearcat was born from racing: it started out in 1911 as the Ideal Motor Car Company, and entered a car in its big hometown race, which just happened to be the Indianapolis 500. The car finished in 11th place, and the company’s name was changed to founder Harry C. Stutz’ name. The Bearcat debuted the very next year as the street version of the race car, with very little changed. Stutz took racing very seriously. Baker’s coast-to-coast run was undertaken in response to a Stutz buyer who was miffed about losing to the Mercers. Over the years, the Bearcat became known for its speed and performance, growing into a luxury speedster in the Roaring Twenties.
Continue reading to learn more about the 1912 Stutz Bearcat.

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2015 Roll Royce Ghost Chengdu-Panda

2015 Roll Royce Ghost Chengdu-Panda

When the Top Speed staff was brainstorming possible themes for Bespoke Rolls-Royce products, one of our editors jokingly suggested a panda-themed car. When Rolls-Royce announced the Ghost Chengdu-Panda for the Chengdu Motor Show, my first thought was, "Jeez, guys, we were only kidding!"

Fortunately, the Ghost Chengdu-Panda is much more tasteful than the black-and-white monstrosity that we envisioned. This tastefully modified Bespoke Ghost features special paint and interior trim, inspired by China’s favorite animal. It’s a handsome and subtle upgrade for Rolls-Royce’s junior sedan, and showcases the fact that Rolls-Royce doesn’t restrict the special stuff to the top-level Phantom. Any current Rolls-Royce product can be sent to the Bespoke Design team for that all-important personal touch, whether subtle or outrageous.

Introduced in 2009, the Rolls-Royce Ghost is the marque’s junior line, but that’s not to say it’s “lesser” in any way. The Ghost is aimed at a different demographic of the ultra-luxury market; buyers who are more likely to drive their own cars than be chauffeured. The more compact size creates a more engaging driving experience. With a V-12 under the hood, extended wheelbase and executive-class body, the Ghost is about the size of a 2014 Mercedes S-Class or 2013 BMW 7-Series (which it’s based on), but the luxury is in a different category.

Continue reading to learn more about the Roll Royce Ghost Chengdu-Panda.

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Car Infographic: "NYC to LA: The Ultimate 30 Day Road Trip"

Car Infographic: "NYC to LA: The Ultimate 30 Day Road Trip"

Summer’s not over, and it’s not too late to pack up the car and go exploring. As any dedicated road-tripper will tell you, there are literally thousands of sights to see when you drive across America. It’s the only way to really get a feeling for the sheer size and diversity of this country. Driving straight from New York to Los Angeles is a four-day affair (unless you’re in the Cannonball Run) and that’s without stopping to smell the roses, admire the natural wonders, or check out the local cuisines. Visualistan.com has come up with an “ultimate 30-day road trip” infographic to give you some travel ideas.

Aimed at European travelers, this guide is designed to give the most “American” experience possible, taking travelers straight to the heart of Manhattan (with a stop by the Empire State Building, of course) before jetting off to historic locations like Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Along the way, you’ll stop in Nashville, New Orleans, San Antonio, Aspen, Vegas, the Grand Canyon and more. That’s a lot of The Land of the Free to pack into one trip, and for those who can take the 30 days to pull it off, it will be unforgettable. If I may be so bold, I’d suggest a late-1970s Mercury Colony Park station wagon (with faux wood trim of course) to give the trip the proper ambience. Don’t forget to bring a credit card for gas.

Continue reading for the full story.

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37th 2015 Concours D'elegance of the Americas

37th 2015 Concours D’elegance of the Americas

There’s something inherently and wonderfully surreal about an automotive concours event. At its heart, it’s just a car show, but the most common venue is a beautifully manicured golf course. This is not a place where automobiles are normally seen. And the automobiles in question are far from ordinary as well; the best, most spectacular and most esoteric of classics are chosen, cars that are as much works of art as they are vehicles. In many cases, these cars are so beautifully restored that it’s a wonder they’re even allowed outdoors, let alone off of pavement. It’s a spectacle like no other.

Now in its 37th year, the Concours d’Elegance of America brought 300 cars to Plymouth, MI, for a world-class event on a hot summer afternoon. This annual event has gone through a number of name changes over the years; the last time I was here it was called the Meadowbrook Concours. The event has only gotten better over the years. A panel of 65 judges, including FCA Head of Design Ralph Gillies, retired Ford VP of design Jack Telnack, and automotive-media luminaries Jean Jennings, Frank Markus and Donald Perterson, selected winners.

This year’s Best of Show (European) was a 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante Coupe. The car, owned by the Patterson Collection of Louisville, KY, was fresh off of a Best of Show victory at the Keeneland Concours d’Elegance in Kentucky. Best of Show (American) went to a 1929 Duesenberg Model J owned by Charles Letts, Jr., of Bloomfield Hills, MI.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Audi Teases New Concept With Matrix OLED Technology For 2015 Frankfurt

Audi Teases New Concept With Matrix OLED Technology For 2015 Frankfurt

The development of LED lights for automobiles has produced dramatic changes in automotive design. Not only are new head- and taillight shapes possible, but the fairly recent notion of a car having a distinctive “light signature” is becoming commonplace as designers find ways to make cars recognizable even in the dark.

Audi was one of the first marques to adapt a very specific light signature, and it’s poised to stay at the front of the lighting game with the announcement of a concept coming to Frankfurt that uses organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology. Audi says that OLED technology provides a more homogenous, even light than LEDs and can be continuously dimmed. The upcoming concept is teased in a just-released video that tracks the history of automotive lighting from the gas-lit headlamps of brass-era cars all the way through modern LED headlamps, ending with a demonstration of the versatility of OLEDs and a glimpse of the lights on the new concept. Whatever else the upcoming concept has to show off, it’ll also provide a glimpse at the future of Audi’s lighting technology.

That future looks pretty slick. In the short video Audi shows off the OLED lights’ ability to adjust to a wide variety of conditions, changing illumination to suit a wide variety of situations in addition to changing the look of Audi’s cars. After Audi’s successful applications of LED and laser headlights, we can’t wait to see what it’s come up with this time.

Continue reading for the full story.

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"Steve McQueen: Full Throttle Cool" Book Review

"Steve McQueen: Full Throttle Cool" Book Review

When it comes to car guys, Steve McQueen was definitely a guy worth looking up to. Working his way out of a poverty-stricken and abusive childhood, McQueen became a top Hollywood star and an auto racing legend. By combining these vocations, he created some of the most iconic car-guy movies ever made. Most car enthusiasts know “Bullitt” and “Le Mans,” (and if you don’t, you should acquaint yourself immediately) but not as many are familiar with McQueen’s life, which was just as epic as his movies.

As a larger-than-life celebrity, it seems natural for Steve McQueen to share shelf space with superheroes. Motorbooks has released Steve McQueen: Full Throttle Cool, which renders McQueen’s life story in graphic novel format. Written by Dwight John Zimmerman and illustrated by Greg Scott, this graphic novel illustrates the actor and racer’s film and real-life exploits in unforgettable fashion. McQueen’s story unfolds like a hero’s origin story. Zimmerman and Scott start with his early life in Indiana and spin the whole chronicle up until McQueen’s death at age 50.

I am an avid reader, but I’m not usually one to pick up a biography. This one drew me in, however. The graphic novel format of Full Throttle Cool was a more inviting style that’s designed to appeal to a wide range of audiences, and I consumed all 96 pages in a single sitting. McQueen’s exploits have a, “Wait, this guy was for real?” quality that keeps the pages turning. The story is told through dialogue and background text, and rises above the occasionally stilted prose that’s often found in comics. Scott’s art is realistic, telling McQueen’s fantastic story while making sure that the cars and celebrities who feature in it are rendered instantly recognizable.

Continue reading for the full story.

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1911 Mercer Raceabout

1911 Mercer Raceabout

What’s a Mercer? Why, that’s simple. During the automobile’s brass era, the Mercer was nothing less than an American supercar. Mercers were setting speed records and winning races before Ferrari and Porsche were even thought of.

Formed in 1909, when the Walter motor car company was bought out by industrial magnates Ferdinand and Washington Roebling and financier John L. Kuser, Mercer was focused from the start on using racing to promote its high-quality vehicles. Engineers, designers and race drivers worked hand in hand to develop a real performance vehicle, and the Raceabout was the result. The two-seat speedster was designed to run 70 mph all day in an era where paved roads were few and far between, and would top out a 90 mph if conditions permitted. The Mercer Raceabout entered many road races from 1910-1914, and won consistently. Victory at the Indianapolis 500 eluded Mercer’s grasp, but the performance-bred Raceabout became an icon nevertheless.

Squaring off against literal giants from FIAT, Itala and Benz, the Mercer depended on light weight and nimble handling, where its competitors threw everything into large-bore, large-displacement engines. It won five of the six races it entered in its inaugural year, and racked up dozens of racing victories over the next three years. In 1914, a Mercer won the American Grand Prize, at the time the most prestigious long-distance road race in America, and averaged 77 mph over the 403-mile course. Mercer was the first American manufacturer to win this race.

Continue reading to learn more about the 1911 Mercer Raceabout.

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Lamborghini Aventador SV Roadster Caught Testing: Spy Shots

Lamborghini Aventador SV Roadster Caught Testing: Spy Shots

Although its existence isn’t a surprise, it’s nevertheless exciting to see this undisguised prototype of the upcoming 2016 Lamborghini Aventador SV Roadster running around the roads of Sant’Agata Bolognese. After all, who’s going to complain about having more variants of Lamborghini’s awesome V-12 supercar? These spy photos confirm Lamborghini’s announcement that the upcoming limited-production 2015 Lamborghini Aventador Superveloce will be losing its top as well.

The open-top Aventador SV shows off a removable carbon-fiber roof panel and a wingless tail. Whether that’s a feature unique to this particular prototype or if the Roadster just won’t have a spoiler isn’t known. The weight difference between the SV Coupe and SV Roadster is reportedly not great enough to make a difference in performance. It would have to be pretty significant to do so, considering the power on tap. Like the SV Coupe, the 6.5 liter V-12 produces a reported 750 horsepower it pushes through a seven-speed ISR transmission and all-wheel drive.

Expect a stripped-down interior similar to the SV Coupe, with soundproofing and other extraneous materials pulled out to save weight. The SV Coupe is just over a hundred pounds lighter than the 2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4. When combined with the horsepower boost, the Aventador SV’s edge should be noticeably sharper.

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2015 Rolls Royce One-Off Wraith Inspired By Chief Inspector Morse

2015 Rolls Royce One-Off Wraith Inspired By Chief Inspector Morse

Rolls-Royce created its Bespoke design studio for the purpose of enabling customers to build a car any way they wanted, and this might just be one of the most telling examples of how far it will go. Rolls-Royce Bespoke has produced cars with all manner of special customer-requested decoration, colors and unique interior materials, but this one in particular is much more thematic than the others.

Don Brinkerhoff, founder and CEO of Lifescapes International, is a long-time Rolls-Royce customer and a fan of the "Inspector Morse" detective series. When it came time to get his latest Wraith, Brinkerhoff decided to combine his two loves, and worked with the Rolls-Royce Bespoke design team to create a car inspired by the Jaguar Mark II driven by Inspector Morse. Rolls-Royce matched the color scheme of the Wraith to the car in the series. The result is a strikingly unique car that won’t be mistaken for anything else.

Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse is the star of 13 novels written between 1975 and 1999. The inspector’s adventures were serialized for British television from 1987 to 2000, where he was played by John Thaw.

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1951 - 1953 Jaguar C-Type

1951 - 1953 Jaguar C-Type

It was 1950, and the postwar sports car racing scene was beginning to heat up. In some ways the scene wasn’t too different from now: the only way to be taken seriously as a purveyor of sporty vehicles was to go racing. Jaguar’s lovely XK120 was in the performance spotlight, thanks to its 120-mph top speed making it the fastest production vehicle of its day, and so it was only natural that the car hit the track.

Three nearly stock XK120s entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1950, modified by the factory but helmed by private drivers. The cars were reasonably successful, with one getting as high as second place before retiring while running third, and the other two finishing 12th and 15th. William Lyons, managing director of Jaguar, was impressed with the showing, and speculated that with a more rigid body and a significant weight drop, the cars would be even more competitive. The key to racing success was a dramatic makeover. Jaguar designed an aerodynamic lightweight body over a tube-frame chassis, retuned the engine, transmission and front suspension, and the XK120C, later known simply as the C-Type, was born.

Three C-Types entered Le Mans in 1951, and one of them won the race outright. Jaguar set record race speeds along the way. A more ambitious effort in 1952 fell flat, but in 1953 Jaguar won Le Mans again, with its three entries coming in first, second and fourth. The effort was more impressive because of Jaguar’s low-key approach; the factory team didn’t show up with a lot of fancy equipment like Ferrari or Alfa Romeo, and quietly went out and beat the established marques. This racing success didn’t just cement Jaguar’s reputation as a force to be reckoned with on the track; it also catapulted Jaguar to international fame. The C-Type is arguably responsible for Jaguar’s legendary status. A total of 53 C-types were produced from 1951 to 1953, and replicas are still being built today.

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2016 Aston Martin Milano Rapide S Dom Perignon Deuxieme Plenitude

2016 Aston Martin Milano Rapide S Dom Perignon Deuxieme Plenitude

The 2014-2015 Aston Martin Rapide S is something of an in-between super-luxury car. Aston’s four-door sports car competes with cars like the Porsche Panamera and Maserati Quattroporte in terms of performance, but there’s also a high-luxury aspect that doesn’t come up as frequently. Aston Martin would like the Rapide to be seen as a slicker competitor to the Bentley Flying Spur as well. The "Q by Aston Martin" personalization service isn’t just a winking reminder of the marque’s long history with James Bond; it’s also an effort to compete with the bespoke divisions of its competitors.

To help showcase this service, Aston Martin has dressed up its aging executive sedan with limited-edition bespoke models like the Dom Perignon Deuxieme Plenitude. This Rapide S has been built in conjunction with Dom Perignon, and its trunk-mounted champagne storage unit will ultimately be offered to customers looking for a unique option. For some customers, it could be the perfect blend: a hand-crafted luxury sedan and the finest bubbly ready upon arrival. But is it enough to set the Rapide S apart from the high-performance luxury crowd?

Continue reading to learn more about the Aston Martin Milano Rapide S Dom Perignon Deuxieme Plenitude.

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Audi Q1 Caught Testing For The First Time: Spy Shots

Audi Q1 Caught Testing For The First Time: Spy Shots

Audi’s plans for a compact crossover vehicle to slot into the lineup below the Q3 have moved from the realm of speculation to reality, and spy photographers have caught the upcoming 2016 Audi Q1 at play. While previous test mules have worn Volkswagen Tiguan bodywork, the car’s now out in its own sheet metal, complete with dazzle camouflage.

Like the upcoming second-generation 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan, 2015 Volkswagen Golf and 2015 Audi A3 Sedan, the Q1 will ride on Volkswagen’s MQB platform (a step up from the VW Polo platform that the 2015 Audi A1 subcompact uses), and it’s expected to share a 1.6 liter four-cylinder turbodiesel and 1.4 liter gas engine with the current A1. All-wheel drive is a foregone conclusion, of course. The disguised prototype appears to show lines similar to our concept rendering, with a strong styling relationship to the Q3 and Q7. Audi is developing a distinct design language for its crossovers, separating them from the sedans and wagons, and with four of them in the lineup, the family look will suit the Q1 well. The Q1 has a more upright greenhouse than the larger SUVs, to make up for its short body while still offering decent headroom and cargo space.

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Volvo Will Bring 265 Polestar Vehicles To The U.S. In 2016; Plus Two New Colors

Volvo Will Bring 265 Polestar Vehicles To The U.S. In 2016; Plus Two New Colors

For car enthusiasts who are also Volvo fans the watchword for the past few years has been, “Get the blue one.” The blue in question is the eye-searing Rebel Blue, the signature color of Volvos that have been massaged by Polestar. These limited-production Volvos sport extensive engine, suspension and body tweaks that turn them into factory-built tuner cars. It’s a successful formula, and though uncommon, the 2016 Volvo S60 Polestar is able to roll with the sporty Germans without embarrassment.

The Polestar cars will be back for 2016, available as options on the S60 and V60. That’s good news; it means the excellent new S60 and V60 are teamed with a turbocharged 345-horsepower six-cylinder engine that sports an active exhaust and upgraded engine management system. Transmission response is faster, and all-wheel drive is standard. Polestar also adds custom Öhlins shocks and six-piston Brembo brakes.

Visually, the Polestar S60 and V60 are distinguished by a restyled front fascia and huge wheels. Inside, sport seats and steering wheel ensure a comfortable drive. There are now four colors available, with Ice White and Bright Silver joining Black Sapphire and Rebel Blue on the palette. (The Rebel Blue still looks best, though.)

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How Bespoke Will Rolls Bespoke Get?

How Bespoke Will Rolls Bespoke Get?

Choice is, of course, the ultimate luxury. The purveyors of ultra-luxury vehicles like Rolls-Royce and Bentley have understood this for years, and the latest thing in cars for the hyper-rich isn’t massaging seats that pipe in your favorite music or a holographic valet—it’s choice. As in, “What do you want? We can do that.” Rolls-Royce and Bentley have both established custom vehicle salons that are dedicated to providing customers with the ultimate in choice.

With Rolls-Royce’s Bespoke Design team, literally anything goes. Customers can choose any color they want for the exterior, and any upholstery or trim for the interior. After all, who doesn’t want to be the rockstar who insists on a bowl of M&Ms with all of the brown ones removed?

Rolls-Royce’s online bespoke configurator is just the tip of the iceberg (as well as being a very entertaining time-killer). I spoke with Gerry Spahn, communications specialist at Rolls-Royce North America, who says “Bespoke is not a tick-box program.” For the customer who truly wants a one-of-a-kind car, Rolls-Royce offers the opportunity to sit down with the team in Goodwood. Color, material and paint designers will work with the customer to provide any measure of personalization desired. But how far will they really go?

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Subaru Boss Says There Will Be A More Powerful BRZ

Subaru Boss Says There Will Be A More Powerful BRZ

It’s hard to find a car enthusiast who doesn’t approve of the 2014-2015 Subaru BRZ. It’s also hard to find one who doesn’t think it could use a bit more power from its 2.0 liter horizontally opposed four-cylinder. The BRZ is a fantastic sports car with excellent handling and a reasonable bottom line, but the 200-horsepower engine can be a bit short on excitement at times. The news that the upcoming BRZ STI doesn’t include a power increase is a bit disappointing too.

Fear not, though, Subaru has heard the complaints. Subaru of America’s COO Tom Doll said in an interview with Autoline TV that the BRZ’s perceived horsepower shortage will be addressed in the future. “There’s a place for the BRZ in our product lineup,” Doll said, speaking of the BRZ’s incongruous nature in the brand’s all-wheel drive, wagon-and-sedan focused lineup. “We may have to do some things to it to enhance the driving performance a little more; take it up a little bit…if it had a little bit more performance to it, it could really take up the sales level even more."

The BRZ STI has been confirmed for North American sale in the next couple of years, and Subaru brought the 2015 Subaru STI Performance Concept to the New York Auto Show this year to highlight possible body modifications to the sports coupe. Though the concept features a 345-horsepower turbocharged 2.0 liter four-cylinder borrowed from Subaru’s Japanese racing arm, the production BRZ STI won’t receive any engine mods. It may even get a "tuned by STI" badge rather than be a true STI model. That’s no way for this entertaining little coupe to go out: the BRZ needs tire-shredding power, stat.

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2015 Kia Soul Electric - Driven

2015 Kia Soul Electric - Driven

Reducing dependence on fossil fuels is one of the latest good-guy crusades for automobiles. Perhaps that’s why Kia’s 2015 Kia Soul EV arrived in my driveway wearing a white hat. The Soul EV is just what the name suggests—a Kia Soul with a battery-powered soul. Is electric power the way of transportation’s future? Tesla and others would certainly have you believe so. Cars like the Soul EV seem to suggest that the way forward need not be an unfamiliar one.

The Soul’s an interesting vehicle, from a marketing standpoint. Though it’s neither the most luxurious nor the most high-performance car in the lineup, it’s become Kia’s flagship, and the source from which all of the brand’s funky, rebellious spirit seems to issue. The Soul remains the most extravagantly styled and recognizable Kia. That’s probably why the brand chose it as the platform for its first all-electric vehicle in North America. I spent a week with the Soul to see how it stacks up against its peers in the growing full-electric market, and found it to be a brave little toaster indeed.

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Lamborghini Urus Will Remain Faithful To The Concept

Lamborghini Urus Will Remain Faithful To The Concept

Lamborghini’s 2017 Urus SUV has been a long time in gestation. First unveiled in 2012, a production version isn’t due until 2018. Even the Hot Wheels version beat it into production. Still, there’s good news for interested parties, as Lamborghini reports that the model will remain true to the 2012 Lamborghini Urus concept.

Unlike other exotic manufacturers who are showing up at the premium-SUV table, this is not Lamborghini’s first SUV. The Urus couldn’t be more different from the 1986-1993 Lamborghini LM002 of the 1980s, though. It’s a pavement-focused SUV, with plans for a plug-in hybrid version and Lamborghini’s first turbocharged engine, according to CEO Stephan Winkelmann. The Urus concept looks smaller than it is, thanks to sleek, flat-planed lines, a distinctive Lamborghini family face and massive 24-inch wheels. Engine details haven’t been released, but a version of the Lamborghini V-10 that powers the Huracan is likely. It’s been hinted that all-wheel drive and a dual-clutch transmission will be standard. Considering that an all-new 2018 Porsche Cayenne is due in 2017, there’s a high possibility that the Urus will share some underpinnings with it.

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Volkswagen Tiguan Testing In The Alps: Spy Shots

Volkswagen Tiguan Testing In The Alps: Spy Shots

Volkswagen’s Tiguan was one of the first of the modern wave of compact crossovers. It was competent but somewhat forgettable, especially in light of that particular segment’s explosion over the past few years. There’s an all-new Tiguan coming soon though, probably set to appear at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, and the test mules have already been spotted. Significant changes are in store for VW’s compact crossover.

Until now, prototype Tiguans have been seen wearing widened versions of the current body. These shots show a heavily disguised tester wearing the new sheet metal. From the look of it, the longer, wider and lighter Tiguan will share some of the muscular looks of the 2014 Volkswagen CrossBlue concept, with just a bit of Touareg thrown in to keep things familiar. A new grille and headlights are also discernible. The CrossBlue and 2012 Volkswagen Cross Coupe concepts seem to have provided a strong inspiration. With a production version of the CrossBlue also anticipated, this look could indicate the styling direction of all of VW’s utility vehicles.

Based on the size of the trailer the test mules have been seen pulling, the new Tiguan’s going to be a harder worker than the current car as well. There’s a good chance that a diesel option will be offered to North American customers for the first time. Volkswagen’s push to add TDI versions of most of its products suggests that it’s possible.

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Ford Will Stop Building Focus And C-Max In Michigan Starting 2018

Ford Will Stop Building Focus And C-Max In Michigan Starting 2018

Ford has announced the end of Focus and C-Max production at the Michigan Assembly plant in 2018. The change coincides with a 2018 model-year redesign for both vehicles, suggesting that the next-gen Focus and C-Max will be built at another plant. Ford did not announce what vehicle might go into the plant to replace the Focus and C-Max.

With UAW talks scheduled to begin on July 23, it seems unlikely that Ford will shutter the factory and idle over 4,000 workers. The plant’s third shift has been cut, and some jobs have been trimmed, but the Michigan Assembly plant is also one of the few Ford plants that boasts excess capacity. Ford has also said that it has no plans to close the factory. Automotive News reports that this could be part of a plan to shift Fiesta production to Thailand and move all Focus production to Ford’s Cuautitlan, Mexico plant.

The 2015 Ford Focus is currently produced in nine plants worldwide, and sells over a million units annually worldwide. In North America, however, Focus and C-Max sales are down during the first half of 2015. Lower gas prices have been cutting into demand for small cars and hybrids, which is taking a bite out of sales.

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Mercedes-AMG E63 Caught Testing For The First Time: Spy Shots

Mercedes-AMG E63 Caught Testing For The First Time: Spy Shots

The upcoming updates to the Mercedes E-Class sedan are still a few months from an official review, but spy photos of the new car — most notably the new 2017 Mercedes-AMG E63 — are creeping into the public eye. Expected to debut in January as a 2018 model, the new high-performance E-Class shows off updated style and substance.

Prototypes have been spotted wearing a heavy layer of dazzle camouflage, but the general shape of the new sedan looks to be close to that of the current car, but with more slope to the front and rear fascias. Taped-off quad headlamps and a large single-bar grille are also visible. The massive lower air intakes that have become an AMG signature are also visible through the camouflage. We don’t yet have any good hints as to what the redesigned interior will look like. The new E-Class is moving to a smaller, lighter platform, so some refinement of the interior style to match the latest C-Class and S-Class is likely.

Under the hood, the smart prediction is on a new twin-turbo 4.0 liter V-8 with 600 horsepower, with an adapted eight-speed transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive. The 4.0 currently produces 503 horsepower, but Mercedes has some catching up to do in the horsepower war and AMG is no doubt hard at work on it. Sedan and wagon versions will be offered.

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Are Most Women Lousy Drivers?

Are Most Women Lousy Drivers?

When a headline asks me a question, I feel compelled to answer it, sometimes cryptically. In this case, the answer is: no more than men are. In the United States at least, driver’s ed courses suck, so the majority of drivers aren’t properly trained, and don’t care (or know) enough to do better.

It’s not even a matter of loving cars or not (though it’s true that the average person who doesn’t care much about cars isn’t going to put too much effort into learning to pilot one well). I’ve got some bad news for the legions of gleeful hoons out there: Just because you did something on purpose doesn’t mean it’s not bad driving. It does serve as a nice way to camouflage the fact that there are just as many men who can’t drive as there are women, regardless of what you think you’ve seen.

Hello, confirmation bias, our old friend! The good news (in terms of debunking the “bad women drivers” myth) is that there’s not much basis in fact. The other bad news is, it’s pretty much impossible to tell someone that they’re wrong. It’s awfully hard to deny what someone has observed with his own eyes, even if it’s wrong. But really, this stereotype, just like that all BMW/Prius/Grand Am/whatever drivers are jerks who don’t know how to drive, or that guys get lost because they won’t ask for directions, is entirely rooted in you seeing what you expect to see.

Don’t believe me? Try this, then:
What does this say? (Don’t cheat and jump ahead.)

"Once
Upon a
a time."

Say it out loud. Go on, humor me.

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2015 Lexus RC - Driven

2015 Lexus RC - Driven

The new 2015 Lexus RC 350 F Sport grabs attention like few cars at this price point do. Maybe it’s the fact that there aren’t a lot of them around, or maybe it’s the extravagant design that doesn’t mimic anything else, but my Molten Pearl orange tester was the subject of a lot of rubbernecking. The high point of the week came as I was cruising on the freeway when a brutally modified 2013 Ford Mustang SVT Shelby GT500 raced through traffic to come up on my right, hover there a moment, and rev his engine repeatedly, like a roaring gorilla. He was making eye contact, too. Without meaning to, the RC 350 F had challenged the silverback.

So is Lexus’ new sporty-aggressive coupe up to the challenge it poses to the sports and muscle cars of the world? I spent a week out in the wild with one to find out. Lexus has a mixed history with its coupes. The original SC, back in 1991, was a smooth boulevard cruiser, not quite spacious enough to be a grand tourer but a very nice car that’s aged well, if you can find one. It was followed in 2001 by the SC430, a bubble-shaped retractable hardtop that was never the challenger to the Mercedes SL that Lexus hoped it would be (though they did race the things). The RC is a jump in a different direction, with a stronger emphasis on performance. However, it’s still not a dedicated sport car. But there are worse fates than a car accidentally punching above its weight though, right? Hmm…maybe.

Continue reading for my full review.

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2016 Bentley Continental GT Speed Breitling Jet Team Series Limited Edition

2016 Bentley Continental GT Speed Breitling Jet Team Series Limited Edition

The greatest testament to the prestige and authenticity of the Bentley nameplate and the street cred of the Continental GT coupe isn’t the car’s stunning blend of performance and top-shelf luxury. Nor is it its remarkable success in carrying the legend of the “Bentley Boys” forward into the new millennium. No, what really sets the Continental GT apart from the average automobile is its ability to spawn themed limited editions and still be taken seriously.

Don’t get me wrong; the Continental GT is a fantastic car, especially in GT Speed trim. And I am fully in favor of broadening the range with new trim combinations. But the fact remains that at a certain point, paint-and-trim upgrades to a car begin to erode its ability to be taken seriously. The introduction of the Breitling Jet Team-inspired limited-edition Continental GT Speed could come off like a six-figure mullet, but Bentley’s Mulliner coachworks seems to have created yet another elegant variant without watering down the model range.

Introduced in 2003, the Continental GT has been among Bentley’s best-sellers, helping to bring the company back to profitability after the recession. The Continental GT Speed Breitling Jet Team Series is a seven-car limited-production run featuring unique paint and interior trim. One car will be produced for each of the seven aircraft on the team, and the special edition debuts alongside the Breitling Jet Team at the Boeing Seafair Airshow in Seattle on July 31.

Continue reading to learn more about the Bentley Continental GT Speed Breitling Jet Team Series Limited Edition.

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The 5 Worst Luxo-Barges, And Were They All Lincolns?

The 5 Worst Luxo-Barges, And Were They All Lincolns?

Okay, haters, as it turns out, the worst examples of "luxobarge" are not all Lincolns. Not to be an apologist for the brand started by Henry M. Leland (who also founded Cadillac) in 1917; Lincoln has definitely had its share of missteps and stupid ideas. But there are worse things out there than the 1958 Lincoln Premiere. Shut up, yes there are, I absolutely love the ’58-’60 Lincolns and I won’t hear your whining about how oversized, overstyled and underhwelming they were. There’s a ’59 Lincoln in my dreamfleet, and there’s no ’59 Cadillac, and that should tell you something.

If nothing else, it should tell you that I’m uniquely qualified to pick out the worst and most ridiculous luxury cars in automotive history. I have looked into the grinning grilles of the most wretched examples of excess vomited forth by the pens of American designers, and found beauty. What you really want to find are the big, sloppy land yachts that even I can’t bring myself to love.

(That’s actually not true. I love these monsters as well, in a way. Even if they are stupid, ridiculous wastes of sheet metal.)

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2015 Jeep Cherokee - Driven

2015 Jeep Cherokee - Driven

The ironic thing about the new Jeep Cherokee is that it replaces the Liberty, which was continuously dogged for being too crude and trucklike, and now its detractors insist that it’s too carlike. But that’s not exactly the case. The Cherokee is much more refined than its predecessor, it’s true. It’s just that this isn’t a departure from Jeep "tradition," because its big brother the Grand Cherokee has been playing the refined-SUV card for decades now.

Jeep has been very assertive about the Cherokee’s off-road ability. It may be the most slick and futuristic-looking Jeep ever, but the Cherokee remains faithful to the brand’s long history of capable performance. Jeep has taken steps to put this compact sport-ute at the head of the technological class as well.
I drove the new Cherokee for a week.

Continue reading for my review.

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2015 Mercedes C400 - Driven

2015 Mercedes C400 - Driven

Mercedes may have finally learned to love the C-Class.

Mercedes’ junior sedan has been with us for a long time, showing up in 1993 to replace the 190 as a low-cost route to Mercedes ownership. That first C-Class was a genuine Mercedes, sure enough, but to American consumers who knew Mercedes as a purveyor of luxury cars, the C-Class was surprisingly agricultural; well-built but visibly cheap compared to the rest of the lineup. That impression has remained a fairly constant one until recent years, giving the impression that perhaps Mercedes just wasn’t trying all that hard with the C-Class because it wasn’t interested.

That’s all changed, though. Now in its fifth generation, the C-Class has become what it was intended to be all along—a proper Mercedes product in a more efficient package. No more cheap plastic and coarse powertrains; this car is a true luxury car, the S-Class reproduced in a smaller package. I spent a week with the 2015 C400 W4 to get a sense of just how seriously Mercedes is taking the “near-luxury” market. The answer? Very seriously indeed.

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Eyes On Design Car Show

Eyes On Design Car Show

The setting is familiar: a wonderfully manicured field full of classic cars on the grounds of an opulent historic estate. Folding chairs have been set up in the shade so that owners can sit near their cars, and a fancy outdoor brunch has been set up for the well-heeled. Photographers and judges roam among the vehicles, interviewing the owners who are vying for top honors in the various classes. Definitely an automotive concours.

But something’s off. There’s an AMC Eagle parked next to a Chrysler Turbine Car, a pristine 1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass Calais sharing the field with a GM EV1 and a 1928 REO Speedwagon grain truck, and if I’m not mistaken, the Pierce Arrows are outnumbered by Ford Pintos. What’s more, several of the judges appear to be blind, if the red and white canes they carry are any indicator. Welcome to the 2015 edition of the Eyes on Design car show in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan.

Now in its 29th year, Eyes on Design takes to the grounds of the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House with a carefully chosen, extremely eclectic assortment of vehicles. Rather than concentrating on the classics-with-a-capital-C, Eyes on Design brings in vehicles based on aesthetic merit, with a focus on styling good and bad, and the trends that have helped to shape the industry since the beginning. As a result, the field of 250 cars represents a mix like no other. A car doesn’t have to be a recognized collectible to share the spotlight at this show.

Eyes on Design benefits the Henry Ford Health System’s Department of Opthalmology, and adds a unique twist to the typical show-car judging system. The show brings in a number of vision-impaired vehicle judges in addition to the standard automotive experts. The white-gloved special judges choose cars based on tactile styling merits, treating the cars as three-dimensional sculptures.

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Bentley Has To Decide Between Speed 6 Sports Car And Baby SUV

Bentley Has To Decide Between Speed 6 Sports Car And Baby SUV

Bentley’s got a difficult decision to make: should its next addition to the lineup be a sports car or a small SUV?

The answer to that question would seem to be obvious, especially with the 2015 Bentley EXP10 Speed 6 Concept already generating a lot of excitement. In spite of that, however, the company is also considering the business case for a small SUV to slot into the lineup below the upcoming 2016 Bentley Bentayga.

These plans are fairly far out; we’re talking about vehicles that won’t go into production until 2020 or 2021. Bentley doesn’t anticipate being able to produce both vehicles, as the company’s development budget can only be stretched so far. And while a sports coupe would be in keeping with Bentley’s legend, a compact SUV might boost the bottom line and enable future gentlemen’s sports cars bearing the winged B.

In an interview with Autocar, Wolfgang Durheimer, Bentley’s CEO, said, "We can’t do both those cars at the same time, because Bentley is still a small company and our resources are very stretched. We are doing the studies for both those models and then we will decide on the fifth model."

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Nissan Juke Nismo RS Sets New Two-Wheeled Record

Nissan Juke Nismo RS Sets New Two-Wheeled Record

Plenty of skilled drivers are happy to live life on the edge. A select few even take that literally. At this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, stunt driver Terry Grant took to the famous track in a 2014 Nissan Juke Nismo RS, and drove the entire 1.16-mile course with two wheels in the air. Like a wheel-lifting Volkswagen GTI taken to extremes, the bone-stock Juke Nismo RS navigated the course with its passenger-side wheels in the air, and completed it in two minutes and ten seconds.

The stunt set a Guinness World Record for the fastest two-wheeled mile. The video has to be seen to be believed. Usually two-wheeled stunts are performed in a straight line, which limits the distance, but Grant takes the Juke Nismo RS around a rather twisty and technical course without drama. Please note: this is not the best way to conserve rubber during a race!

The stunt’s intent was partly to draw attention to the unveiling of the 2016 Nissan Juke-R 2.0 concept, which was teased before Goodwood. As expected, the sequel to the insane Juke-R is thematically the same, with the 600-horsepower V6 from the 2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo stuffed into the Juke’s diminutive body. The Juke’s updated styling has been be-spoilered and be-finned similar to the Juke-R, with new panels that are equal parts functional and flashy. The Juke-R 2.0 concept took to the hillclimb track at Goodwood with Le Mans LM P1 driver Jann Mardenborough at the wheel.

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What Makes A Chick Car A Chick Car?

What Makes A Chick Car A Chick Car?

My first response to that headline was: Stop it.

No, seriously, just stop it. Is this notion even still a thing? That there are “dude” cars and “chick” cars? As if your car gave a damn about who was driving it? As if you need your vehicle to properly identify your gender? It’s all well and good for Cosmo or Maxim and the unwashed masses to ascribe sexuality to vehicles, but you really ought to question your status as a car guy if this concept actually means anything to you. I’m talking to you, Chet. Can I call you Chet? Good.

The lists of "chick cars every guy should avoid" pop up all the time, and they always include a similar set of usual suspects: the Volkswagen Beetle and Cabriolet, the Mazda Miata, the Ford Ranger, the Dodge Neon, the Jeep Liberty. It’s not just the clickbait sites that do it—even Tom and Ray Magliozzi’s Car Talk site is guilty.

And every one of these lists is BS. Seriously, of the most-often repeated cars on the “chick car” lists, I’ve owned four of them, and enjoyed them immensely. I can also confirm that I suffered no crises of masculinity while driving them, nor did my girlfriends think any less of me. You know what real car enthusiasts do? They drive what they want to drive. I’m not going to "Buy American" because the UAW tells me to and I’m certainly not going to forego the joy that is a Miata because a magazine tells me it’s insufficiently manly. Shut your piehole, Chet, I’ve got corners to carve.

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2016 Nissan Juke-R 2.0 Concept

2016 Nissan Juke-R 2.0 Concept

Four years have passed since Nissan blew our minds with the amazingly awesome Juke-R Concept. As if the idea of cramming the running gear of a 2012 GT-R under the quirky body of the Nissan Juke wasn’t good enough, though, Nissan’s engineering and motorsports teams are at it again. Meet the Nissan Juke-R 2.0. Equipped with the latest performance of both the GT-R NISMO and the updated styling of the 2015 Juke, the Nissan Juke-R 2.0 continues to be the world’s only crossover supercar.

The Nissan Juke-R 2.0 will be unveiled this weekend at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed, and like the first Juke-R, this concept will not be a static display. When it isn’t lounging around at the Goodwood Supercar Paddock, the Juke-R 2.0 will be making hill climb runs with Nissan Le Mans 24 Hours driver Jann Mardenborough behind the wheel.

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Tenth Generation Honda Civic Will Be Revealed This Fall

Tenth Generation Honda Civic Will Be Revealed This Fall

With the 10th-generation Civic on the way for 2016, Honda’s taking a step back to rethink the approach it’s taken to this car, and there are some surprising changes in store—including the imminent demise of the 2014 Honda Civic Hybrid and the CNG-powered 2014 Honda Civic Natural Gas.

Wait, seriously? The manufacturer that introduced the world’s first hybrid and prides itself on offering an eco-friendly vehicle lineup is dumping its alt-fuel versions?
According to a recent Honda press release, it is true. Honda’s going to be concentrating on improving fuel efficiency through conventional means. The new Civic will also feature Honda’s first turbocharged engine. That’s not a huge surprise; other manufacturers, including Mazda, Ford and Mini have all produced small cars with hybrid-challenging fuel economy using conventional methods. And in the marketplace, the lower cost of non-hybrids often wins out. Honda, long an innovator in small engines, seems to be going in the same direction with the turbo Civic. The company says the gasoline version of the next-generation Civic is expected to return 40 mpg or more on the freeway. At that point, the $7,000 trade-off for another 7 mpg in the Civic Hybrid is hard to swallow!

Additionally, the Civic Hybrid was a relatively low-profile car, especially when compared to the Toyota Prius, the electric Nissan Leaf and range-extended electrics like the Chevy Volt. It appears that many hybrid buyers want to wear battery power on their sleeves, so to speak, and the low-key Civic Hybrid suffered the same cost penalties as other hybrids without offering the same green-snob appeal. Honda does plan to continue improving the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid, so it’s not walking away entirely.

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2015 Mercedes GLA 250 - Driven

2015 Mercedes GLA 250 - Driven

There’s no mistaking this new premium crossover for anything but a Mercedes product: the grille and distinctive prominent hood see nicely to that. That’s a good thing for the GLA 250, because the premium compact crossover market is getting kind of crowded.

I’ve always liked compact SUVs, and the cars that evolved over the years into compact crossover vehicles. Cars like the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Suzuki Sidekick/Vitara developed a blend of multi-purpose usefulness, reasonably entertaining driving dynamics and just a touch of bad-weather confidence that made them excellent all-around companions. The past few years have seen BMW, Audi, Lincoln, Buick and others send new offerings into the segment, and Mercedes introduced the GLA-Class just over a year ago to answer that challenge.

There’s a fairly specific approach that Mercedes takes to its vehicles, with reasonably consistent results. I spent a week with the 2015 Mercedes GLA 250 to see if it lived up to the high expectations invoked by the three-pointed star on the grille.

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2016 Audi SQ7 Crashes During Nurburgring Test: Video

2016 Audi SQ7 Crashes During Nurburgring Test: Video

Well, they do say that if you’re not crashing, you’re not learning.

At the very least, one Audi test driver learned a lesson or two about the upcoming 2016 Audi SQ7 during high-speed testing at the Nürburgring. YouTube user cvdzijden captured a minor mishap involving a prototype SQ7 at the exit of the Karussell hairpin. In the short video, the high-performance SUV gets a bit out of sorts, leaves the track and takes a dramatic bounce off the guardrail. The SQ7 doesn’t appear to be seriously damaged, and limps away with more bent dignity than sheet metal. A close look reveals what might be might a piece of diagnostic equipment hanging loose. My armchair analysis says that this was probably driver error rather than a vehicle malfunction. Check out the video!

The high-performance SQ7 is expected to join the 2014 Audi SQ5 in the lineup some time in 2016 as a 2017 model. In addition to the usual suite of upgraded brakes and suspension common to Audis with the "S" badge, the SQ7 will also feature an electrically driven turbocharger. It’s the first Audi production vehicle so equipped. Audi calls the system "E-Boost" (not to be confused with Ford’s EcoBoost) and it’s designed to eliminate turbo lag by using an electric motor to get the turbocharger up to speed when the engine is turning slowly.
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2015 Volkswagen CC - Driven

2015 Volkswagen CC - Driven

The CC has always been something different for Volkswagen. When it debuted in 2008, this curvy luxury sedan was VW’s second attempt at a surprisingly upscale product (the first was the Phaeton, which was a bit too upscale for the VW badge). Modern Volkswagens have evolved into well-built, fun-to-drive yet stylistically conservative vehicles. Even the sporty GTI shares an upright body and sensible hatchback with the subcompact Golf.

The CC, however, is a curvy, graceful four-door that competes with Acura, Infiniti and Lincoln, and even knocks at the door of its Audi cousins in some ways. The notion of a $40,000 Volkswagen sedan might seem strange at first, but don’t forget that Ford and Hyundai are also fielding premium cars at a similar price point. I spent a week with the 2015 Volkswagen CC, to see if Volkswagen’s quality and driving dynamics are good enough to compete with the offerings of the "real" premium brands.

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2016 Audi R8 V10 Exclusive Looks Amazing In Santorini Blue

2016 Audi R8 V10 Exclusive Looks Amazing In Santorini Blue

There was an article floating around the webs a couple of months back that suggested that the color blue is a relatively recent invention, and that modern humans actually didn’t see or identify the color until someone gave it a name. If that’s true, then it’s possible that Audi has added a new chapter to our perception of the color, with the new Santorini Blue offered on the 2016 Audi R8. If a time machine suddenly transported this vehicle back to a group of pre-blue humans, they’d have had to come up with a word on the spot for it, even if they couldn’t tell what color it was.

(Okay, I know, they would probably be fleeing in terror because a V10-powered sports car had just appeared in the middle of a field about 5,000 years before the invention of carbon fiber, but don’t think too hard about that part.)

Santorini Blue Pearlescent is a new color coming to the Audi R8 for 2016. It’s a different hue from the color of the same name used by BMW, but stunning in its own right and well-suited to the R8s’ road-hugging body.

The brilliant blue is teamed with a Havana Brown leather interior sporting contrast stitching on the seats and a matching diamond pattern on the Alcantara headliner. The interior features a black leather dash top with Havana Brown stitching and a massive, 12-inch "Virtual Cockpit" digital instrument panel, as well as matching door panels. It’s a definite visual upgrade from the standard R8.

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