Watch the 2019 Ford Focus ST-Line Make a Top Speed Run on the Autobahn
Most of the autobahn top speed runs we’ve seen over the years usually involve a high-powered German sedan with its governor disabled. This time, we’ve got something a little different. Ever wonder what it’s like to push the new Ford Focus ST-Line to its limits? Now’s your chance to find out, with this point-of-view take from AutoTopNL.
Listen to the 2019 McLaren Speedtail Purr as It’s Moved Out of McLaren’s HQ
If you’re anything like us, you’ve been falling over backwards to get a handle on McLaren’s latest über speed machine, also known as the Speedtail. Now we’ve got some footage in hand of the Speedtail idling and rolling around at McLaren’s headquarters, giving us an in-motion view of the hypercar and an ear-full of its burbling exhaust at idle.
2020 BMW 3 Series Touring
The current BMW 3 Series, otherwise known as the F30, is up for replacement this year, giving way to the upcoming seventh-generation model. Also known as the G20, the fresh Bimmer ‘3 is expected to appear in full production form at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, and with it, a selection of body styles and powertrain configurations will follow. Chief among these will be the Touring model, otherwise known as the “estate” body style. Over here in the U.S., we know it as the Sports Wagon. The new 2020 3 Series Touring was recently spied out and about, undergoing testing in real-world conditions to shake down any possible problems ahead of its debut, so read on for our full speculative review.
Update 11.12.2018 - Our paparazzi spotted the German wagon on a trailer with less camouflage than usual. Check it out in the gallery section.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 BMW 3 Series Touring.
In honor of Memorial Day, we’re taking a look at a selection of military hardware and vehicles, including some of the latest technology deployed on the modern frontlines. The iRobot Warrior is one great example. Designed as a multi-mission, unmanned ground vehicle, or UGV, the Warrior is a flexible utility robot capable of tackling dangerous situations without placing U.S. soldiers in direct danger. It’s produced by the Massachusetts-based iRobot Corporation, which just so happens to be the same company that makes the Roomba, that vacuum disc you see cats riding around on the Internet. But the Warrior isn’t a joke – this machine is a highly versatile battlefield asset capable of saving lives.
Developed in part thanks to a multi-million dollar contract with the Army Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, there are multiple iterations and configurations of the iRobot Warrior, including the 710 and 710 Kobra. Read on for the details on this modern slice of combat-ready tech.
Veteran’s Day Special – Military Vehicle Video Compilation
Today is Veteran’s Day, and from all of us here at TopSpeed, we would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of the men and women serving in our country’s military. In recognition of this day, we put together a list of videos that feature modern military machines, including a list top American transport vehicles, the new Oshkosh JLTV, the hydrogen-powered Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 undergoing testing, and even five military vehicles available for purchase by civilians.
If you’re looking for a way to show your appreciation, Military.com has a list of suggestions to check out. You could also donate to a veteran’s charity organization, such as Wounded Warrior Project, Disabled American Veterans, or the USO. Or you could just say “thank you for your service” to a veteran.
10 Most Affordable New Sports Cars for 2018
Although it’s easy to get lost in the deluge of noise surrounding fully self-driving, electron-powered commuter bubbles, there’s still a strong number of gas-powered sports machines out there to enjoy. And we aren’t talking about six-figure unobtanium supercars either - nope, we’re talking about loads of driving goodness to be had in the far more reasonable $20k to $30k price range. As such, we put together the following list of the 10 Most Affordable Sports Cars on the market today.
Looking over the list, some of you out there will undoubtedly point out how several entries aren’t your typical “sports car,” whether it’s the body style, drivetrain layout, or both. Regardless, every single one of these models comes packed with maximum smiles per miles, and for a lightweight price tag to boot. As such, we’ve included a few hot hatchbacks, a rally car, and a few others that fall outside the traditional sports car spectrum. Of course, there’s plenty of RWD coupes in there as well, so fear not and read on.
Watch This Lightly Tuned McLaren 720S Run the Quarter Mile in Less Than 10 Seconds
The McLaren 720S is an absolute beast right out of the box, with nearly $300K worth of go-fast awesomeness on offer for anyone with the bank to back it. That said, for a little extra outlay, you can extract even more from it, granted you know where to turn for a tune.
This particular example comes from EKanoo Racing, a tuner based out of the Middle East that specializes in building seriously quick drag racing machinery. This McLaren is no different, however, the mods are very light, with just an ECU retune to pull a bit more power from the mid-mounted, twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8.
EKanoo Racing declined to say exactly how much more power this tuned 720S is making, but unleashed down the 1320, it manages a very fast 9.605 at 146 mph. Compare that to the stocker’s time of 10 seconds flat at 140 mph, and it’s obvious this thing is laying down some extra mid-range muscle.
As a reminder, the stock McLaren 720S produces 710 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque, all of which is routed to the rear wheels by way of seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The sprint to 60 mph takes less than 3 seconds, while top speed is rated at 212 mph.
The run itself takes place in Bahrain at the Bahrain International Circuit, the same track used for the annual Bahrain Grand Prix Formula 1 race. The whole clip is just 30 seconds long, but seeing this thing move at full chat is a delight all the same. Make sure to listen for the high-pitched whine as the 720S accelerates, which apparently are the super-sticky tires making maximum thrust against the tacky track surface.
Best Electric Cars of 2018
Electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular these days, and manufacturers are responding by pouring in the investment and releasing oodles of new models. As such, competition between EV’s is growing, and 2018 was no exception. But the question is, which of these machines is the “best”? To find out, we lined up the usual suspects up and looked at all the critical specs, including range-per-charge, battery capacity, charge times, interior space, interior tech, and more. Read on to see which EV came out on top!
Team O’Neil Rally School Explains Heel Toe and Clutchless Shifting: Video
In the never-ending quest to be a better driver, there’s a few techniques and terms you’ll run into time and again. Heel-toe and clutchless shifting are two very common examples, offering a way to execute buttery-smooth gear changes that won’t upset the drivetrain or the car’s balance at speed, both of which are critical when driving at the limit.
Luckily, there’s the Team O’Neil Rally School, which not only offers hands-on experience with in-depth driving classes at its facility in New Hampshire, but also these helpful videos to give you a basic understanding of what these techniques entail and why they’re important.
First up is heel toe, which is a way to efficiently downshift under braking without upsetting the car’s balance. Essentially, heel toe involves putting the clutch in with your left foot and braking with your right, then moving the shifter to neutral. From there, you use the side of your foot (or “heel”) to “blip” the throttle, bringing up the engine rpms to match those of the rest of the drivetrain and wheels. Properly executed, the shifter should slide into the lower gear with ease, and when you let out the clutch, there should be no jerking in the drivetrain, giving you a smooth downshift under braking. The throttle blips also sound pretty cool.
Next up is clutchless shifting, which is all about feeling out where the engine and drivetrain match up in terms of rpm, then sliding the transmission into gear at just the right moment. This is a good technique to use if you have some kind of clutch failure, or for you simply don’t want to mess about with trick heel toe shifting, but be warned, it can be pretty hard on your transmission if improperly executed.
Finally, it goes without saying that if you want to try these techniques for yourself, make sure to do them in a safe environment!
Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison vs Ford F-150 Raptor
There are few things in this world as resolutely badass as a hugely capable off-roader pickup truck. These are the machines you want with you when there’s a forest, mountain, or desert between you and your destination. With a go-anywhere attitude and the right stuff to walk the walk, the street-legal off-roader used to be something cobbled together in a shed. Now, you can get one direct from the factory, be it the Colorado ZR2 Bison from Chevrolet, or the F-150 Raptor from Ford.
These purpose-built, highly specialized variants offer tons of good stuff for those who prefer the trail to the street. For example, the Bison was created in collaboration with American Expedition Vehicles (AEV), an aftermarket off-roader company that knows exactly what’s needed when the going gets rough. Then there’s the F-150 Raptor, which Ford developed into a full-blown Baja racer with a license plate. But how do these two stack up against one another? Read on to find out.
2020 Porsche 911 GT3
The Porsche 911 GT3 has been around since 1999, continuing Stuttgart’s habit of unleashing high-performance spec iterations of its iconic sports car originally started in the ‘70s with the incredible Carrera RS. Now, with the imminent arrival of an all-new 911 (also known as the 992 generation) by the end of 2018, we’ve been waiting for details on the next GT3. Luckily, it looks like we got just that, as our spy photographers snapped a few shots of a possible undercover 992-spec GT3 out and about undergoing some cold weather testing. As such, we drew up a quick speculative review on what to expect.
Updated 11/05/2018: We just got our hands on a bunch of new spy shots that show off the various facets of the GT3’s (mostly) production-ready body! Check them out below.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 Porsche 911 GT3.
Tesla Summon - Your Solution to Two Hour Parking Laws
You could argue that the original automobile was invented to get around the hassle of dealing with horses and all the difficulties associated with using a giant mammal to get from A to B. Sure, that’s a gross simplification, and there were certainly other factors at play, but convenience undoubtedly played a major role all the same. Now, with the advent of autonomous drive systems, our lives are about to get a whole lot easier, as evidenced by this Tesla owner’s novel use of the Summon feature.
It Looks Like BMW May Offer the M3 With a Manual Transmission After All
The new BMW M3 is on its way, as confirmed in a recent rash of spy shots that show the Bavarian rocket ship out for a spot of testing at the Nürburgring. For now, though, specifics aren’t quite nailed down, with the question of two pedals or three providing one of the biggest question marks of them all. Luckily for those of us who prefer a manual, it’s looking like Bimmer isn’t quite ready to ditch the stick shift.
Watch the Porsche 911 GT2 RS MR Become the Fastest Road-Legal Car to Tackle the Nürburgring
Nürburgring lap records are always en vogue amongst the big sports car makes, but nowadays, their popularity seems to be growing even more. The latest comes from Porsche, which just claimed the title of Fastest Road-Legal Car to ever lap the ‘Ring, with the 911 GT2 RS MR circling the treacherous German racetrack in 6 minutes, 40.3 seconds.
Shmee’s Walkaround of the 2019 BMW M850i Convertible Makes Us All Tingly Inside
Six months after the 8 Series Coupe dropped at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, BMW has revealed the hotly anticipated 8 Series Convertible, and long story short, it’s quite the looker! YouTube personality Shmee150 got a chance to get up close and personal with the latest topless Bavarian hotrod and documented the experience in this 10-minute, 46-second walkaround video.
The 2020 Jeep Scrambler Teased in Dealer Memo; Confirmation of L.A. Debut
Hype is building for the upcoming Jeep pickup, the first such model to come from the brand in three decades. We’ve pieced together some of the basics from spy shots and rumors, but now we’re getting a much better handle on what to expect thanks to a recently leaked memo sent to FCA dealers, with the really big news including a confirmation that Jeep will pull the sheets on its new pickup at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show on November 28th!
Watch the Carbon Fiber Polestar 1 Smash Into a Wall
Carbon fiber is a wonderful material. Offering both high strength and low weight, carbon fiber combines two characteristics seemingly at odds with one another to form a very desirable end product, something which is particularly valuable in an automotive application. After all, cars need to be strong in a crash, but lightweight to cover performance and efficiency. As such, we see the big makes utilizing carbon fiber across multiple segments. Now, Polestar (Volvo’s performance offshoot brand) is putting the value of carbon fiber on full display with this official crash test video of its latest Polestar 1 performance coupe.
2020 BMW 8 Series Convertible
Unveiled for the 2019 model year, the modern BMW 8 Series revives the iconic nameplate that the German firm produced from 1990 to 1999. Unlike its predecessor, the new 8 Series also spawned a convertible version to tackle the drop-top variant of the luxurious Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe.
After nearly two decades on the shelf, the BMW 8 Series is back, and it’s once again looking to head the BMW lineup with sporty grand touring luxury as a replacement for the outgoing 6 Series. Revived in both racing and full production form at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Bavarians kicked things off with a hardtop coupe iteration, but this new flagship also spawned a convertible ahead of the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show. Does it have what it takes to give the S-Class Cabriolet a run for its money?
Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 BMW 8 Series Convertible.
Mopar’s Hellephant Crate Engine Proves 1,000 Horsepower Is the New Benchmark
When Bugatti first announced that it would equip the original Veyron with a 1,000-horsepower engine straight from the factory, the world stood still. It was a watershed moment for the car industry, a point in time where even the most uninterested of the automotive laymen were forced to take notice of what was happening.
In the nearly 15 years since the Veyron first hit production, the bar has consistently been raised, and now internal combustion is taking on ever-greater levels of performance. FCA just proved as much, with Mopar now offering the first-ever 1,000-horsepower crate engine from an OEM. If you think about it, four-figures right out the box is insane, but that’s the world we live in now. But the question is - how’d we get here, and where are we going?
2019 BMW 8 Series Convertible Unveiled
BMW just dropped the top on its supreme two-door with the official reveal of the new 2019 8 Series Convertible. Both a diesel-powered model and high-powered gas-drinking M model are on offer, and both come stuffed to the gills with tech for infotainment, convenience, and safety.
All About The Hellephant Crate Engine and Why You Should Care
Mopar made an enormous splash at SEMA this year, revealing the most powerful crate engine to ever come from an OEM. It’s called the Hellephant, and it’s got enough muscle to outrun just about anything on four wheels. But we wanted to know - what makes it tick, and how does it compare to what’s already out there? What’s more, where exactly will this thing find a home?
2019 Ken Block’s F-150 Hoonitruck
When Ken Block unleashed the original Hoonicorn back in 2014, we went just a little bit of crazy. And why not? With an all-carbon widebody paying homage to the ’65 Mustang, a race-spec AWD system, and 845 horsepower from a 410-cube race-spec V-8 with velocity stacks rising more than a foot out of the hood, it was pretty much the perfect machine for grabbing eyeballs on the Internet. Now, Block and the Hoonigan team have once again managed to one-up themselves. The latest is called the Hoonitruck, and it’s bigger, more powerful, and crazier than the original Hoonicorn.
Like the Hoonicorn, the Hoonitruck took about two years to build. This time around though, the machine is “based” on a 1977 Ford F-150. And by based, I mean the Hoonitruck employs the same general shape as the factory pickup. That’s it though, as everything else is custom-built to put on a tire-killing speed show. The Hoonitruck is now headed for a starring role in the tenth iteration of Block’s über-viral Gymkhana video series, but until then, read on for all the details on this wild new smoke factory.
10 fun coupes with enough space for your golf clubs
Whether it’s a quick jaunt to the driving range, or an entire Sunday spent on the links with your friends, it’s important to have the right ride to get you and your gear to the golf course without a fuss. As such, the big luxury automakers out there offer a range of two-door coupes with enough space in the rear to transport your clubs, bag, and whatever else you need for a round or two, all without sacrificing comfort in the cabin. But which of these is the best?
To find out, we took a look at all the big names on the market from the perspective of a golfer. First and foremost, the coupe in question has to have enough trunk space to carry at least one golf bag, assuming an average golf bag size of 36 inches by 14 inches by 10 inches, or 3 cubic feet, give or take. What’s more, we’re also considering style and appearance, as well as luxury and equipment features inside the cabin.
So then - arranged in no particular order, here’s our picks for the top 10 luxury coupes to take golfing.
2018 Nissan Project Clubsport 23
The 2018 SEMA show is here, and Nissan is headed to Vegas with a newly tuned iteration of its aging 370Z sport compact coupe. This latest build combines a selection of parts plucked from the factory, and the aftermarket, as well as a smattering of custom one-off, fabricated pieces that “may appear someday alone or packaged together at Nissan dealership parts departments.” Sounds great, but how does it fare amongst the best of the best in the desert?
Mopar Drops 1,000-Horsepower Crate Engine Bombshell at SEMA 2018
Following a number of teasers in the run-up to the annual SEMA show in Las Vegas, the speed gurus from Mopar, FCA’s in-house performance group, pulled the sheets on a brand-new, utterly custom Dodge Charger concept car, and with it, a new crate engine that puts last year’s “Hellcrate” package to shame.
2019 BMW X5 with M Performance Parts
The fourth-generation BMW X5 is set to arrive very soon for the 2019 model year, but Bimmer is already ramping up the hype with a slew of new M Performance parts, including fresh exterior bits and new interior equipment. Off-roading- or racer-styles are both on offer.
Someone Seriously Turned a Pontiac Fiero Into a Porsche Carrera GT
Car customization can make your dreams come true - even if that dream is turning your mid-80’s domestic into a Porsche supercar. Case in point is this, uh, unique Pontiac Fiero, which someone transformed into a hilarious parrot of the Porsche Carrera GT.
The best part is that it’s listed on Ebay UK, so if you really want it, and have an extra $16,881 to spare, it could be yours. Don’t worry, we won’t judge you.
Watch a Brave Soul Max Out the F90 BMW M5 Competition on the Autobahn
If you’re the kind of person who dreams of taking their tuned-up Bavarian ground-bound rocket to the very limit, then we’ve got just the video for you. Shot on the German autobahn, what we have here is one particularly intrepid soul going for broke in his range-topping BMW M5 Competition, maxing out at an impressive 309 km/h (192 mph)!
Check Out this Cool Acceleration Test Between a BMW 440i Gran Coupe and an Audi S5 Sportback
Our friends at AutoTopNL are back at it again, this time testing out some of Germany’s top four-door coupe’s in a battle of straight-line speed. Taking up the gauntlet this time around is the BMW 440i Gran Coupe xDrive and Audi S5 Sportback Quattro. Who will come out on top?
Opensky’s M-02J Jet-Powered Glider is the Coolest Thing You’ll See this Week!
There you are, soaring above the clouds, gazing down upon the Earth, the atmosphere rushing around you as you defy gravity. Then poof, you wake up, still ground-bound and in bed, and you realize you’re late for work. Damnit. Well, not to worry, because these days, personal flying machines are popping up all the time. Take this one, for example - the Opensky M-02J, a Japanese-made, jet-powered glider that might make your dreams come true.
Offering up accommodations for just a single individual, this glider is basically a pair of wings with a single center-mounted engine, which the pilot appears to mount in a prone position. The whole thing is over 30 feet wide and nearly seven feet long, and offers a top speed of 124 mph (although the recommended cruising speed is between 31 and 56 mph). Flight times vary, but average around 15 minutes. You might also wanna cut down on the cheeseburgers, as the maximum occupant weight is limited to 110 pounds. You’ll need to be pretty dextrous as well, as the aircraft is controlled by shifting your weight forward and aft to climb and dive respectively, left and right to bank.
Overall, we think this thing is pretty damn cool. As you might expect, it isn’t cheap either, as costs to produce this working prototype come to well over a quarter million dollars. Unfortunately, there are no plans in place to produce any more examples, but the fact this thing exists at all is pretty exciting, don’t ya think?
Shmee150 Takes a First Look at the McLaren Speedtail
The McLaren Speedtail is here, and it’s an utterly majestic thing to behold. One of the first lucky individuals to get up close and personal with it is our friend Shmee150, who recently posted this 14-minute, 36-second walk-around on the latest Woking wonder-machine. Hit play and drink in the awesomeness!
Ken Block’s New AWD F-150-Based Hoonitruck Is Ford GT Crazy
It ain’t easy being Ken Block. Sure, it looks like fun and games, what with a career as a professional race car driver, plus all kinds of extremely lucrative endorsement deals and one of the most viral brands on the face of the planet. But along with all those perks, Block must also one-up himself on an extremely regular basis. It all started with the Gymkhana series, with each successive video bringing the stunt driving insanity to an all-new level. Then came the builds, starting with the infamous Hoonicorn. Now, we’re getting a look at the latest wild creation from the Hoonigan team. It’s called the Hoonitruck, and as you probably expect, it’s every shade of over-the-top.
2020 Porsche Cayman T
While most automakers these days are occupied searching for new methods of extracting more and more power from their sports coupes, Porsche seems more concerned with something even more elusive - lower weight. As such, the German automaker has given birth to a string of lightness-adding model variants, including the likes of the 911 Carrera T. Now, Porsche will apply a similar performance philosophy to the Cayman. Like its 911 big brother, the fresh two-door will take the name T, and offer a more driver-focused experience thanks to less heft, a taut suspension tune, and a few extra ponies to boot, all for less than the hardcore Cayman GT4 track weapon.
The New Toyota MR2 Could Arrive in 2021 and it Might be an All-Electric Sports Car
The original Toyota MR2 was a fantastic little Japanese sport compact, offering crisp mid-engine, RWD handling for a fraction of the cost of some European exotic. Unfortunately, Toyota axed the MR2 in 2007, and since then, enthusiasts have been left out in the cold. Now, however, it’s looking like the Mister Two might be heading for a resurgence, all thanks to EV tech.
2018 Lynk & Co 02
There’s certainly no shortage of compact crossovers out there, but now it’s looking like the game might see a pretty big change in the future. That’s because Lynk & Co is gearing up to offer the 02 stateside, bringing a mix of new ownership models, new styling, and affordable technology to the already saturated compact crossover market.
The 02 made its debut in the spring of 2018, with a full reveal in Holland on March 26th, and it’s already available in China. Up next, the 02 will head to Europe, with a U.S. debut planned for sometime around 2021. The 02 is essentially a smaller, sportier version of the Lynk & Co 01, and like its bigger sibling, the 02 comes with a raft of features bearing both European and Chinese influences. The question is - how will it fit in on these shores?
Volkswagen Hopes the T-Cross Will Inject an Urbanized Dose of Cool Into Its SUV Lineup
Volkswagen just dropped its latest compact crossover in a worldwide debut following a heavily publicized Internet streaming event. It’s called the T-Cross, and it’s designed as a jack-of-all-trades passenger vehicle for the “urban” lifestyle, something that could net big sales for the German automaker in the near future.
Based on VW’s MQB architecture, the T-Cross is somewhat related to the Volkswagen Polo. The cabin seats up to five passengers, with the rear bench adjusting as needed for more cargo room. The cabin tech includes wireless smartphone charing and as many as four USB ports.
Under the hood, the T-Cross offers three gas engines and a diesel powerplant as well, all of which are turbocharged. These include a duo of 1.0-liter three-cylinder gas options making between 95 and 115 horsepower, followed by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder making 150 horsepower. Finally, there’s a 1.6-liter four-cylinder diesel making 95 horsepower.
Unsurprisingly, safety tech is a big focus for the T-Cross, with the standard spec tossing in a Front Assist area monitoring system with Pedestrian Monitoring and a City Emergency Braking System, as well as lane keeping assist, Hill Start Assist, and Blind Spot Detection. Further features are offered as optional equipment.
Will the T-Cross have what it takes to steal sales from competitors like the Honda HR-V or Toyota C-HR? Given Volkswagen is throwing a lot of weight into this new debut, we think it’s highly likely.
43-Year-Old Crashes a McLaren Senna Just Hours After Delivery
When you name your latest supercar after one of the greatest Formula 1 drivers to ever grace a racetrack, there are a few assumptions to be made. Firstly, the car in question will be blisteringly, outrageously fast, and secondly, it’ll be quite the handful behind the wheel. Unfortunately for one McLaren Senna customer, these were two lessons learned the hard way.
Mercedes Invents the Nürburgring “4-Door Coupe” Record with the AMG GT 63 S
Nürburgring lap times are pretty damn important these days, with the top manufacturers duking it out at the Green Hell for bragging rights and a momentary spot in the limelight. Now, it looks like Mercedes is inventing its own record to grab more attention for the AMG GT 63 S.
Apple Wants to Link the Batteries of Self-Driving Electric Cars in the Name of Range and Efficiency
We’ve heard it a million times - fully autonomous all-electric cars are the way of the future. However, while there’s certainly no shortage of speculation in this space, the way we get to that future remains to be seen. Now, it looks like Apple might have a novel new method to enhance battery efficiency, a critical component to widespread EV adoption.
The 2020 Ford Bronco and 2019 Ford Ranger Will Be One and the Same Under the Skin
The Bronco is coming back, and we’re still waiting with bated breath for all the juicy details from Ford. Luckily, it’s looking like we won’t have to wait too much longer, as a full debut is expected early next year at the Detroit Auto Show this coming January. However, before then, we’re picking apart all the rumors we can get our hands on, including the possibility Ford will source the Bronco’s underlying structure from the new Ranger.
2019 BMW X7 vs 2019 Land Rover Range Rover
Big SUVs are as popular as ever, with buyers flocking to dealers to get the very latest in tall-riding, high-end utility vehicles. The latest from BMW is the X7, which sits above the X5 in terms of size and passenger capacity, arriving as a brand-new model line for the Bavarians. By contrast, the Land Rover Range Rover is well-established as the go-to model for a combination of functionality and luxury, like a penthouse suite on wheels that you can drive through a mud puddle. Both are mighty impressive, but how do they compare? To find out, we took an in-depth look at both, including a rundown on the exterior styling, interior design, features, drivetrain, performance, technology, and price. Read on for all the important info you need to know!
Fisker’s Second Run Looks Promising Thanks to an Investment From Caterpillar for Solid-State Battery Technology
Competition in the all-electric passenger vehicle segment is heating up, and one of the major points of contention is battery technology. Lithium-ion packs are all the rage these days, but critical figures like range-per-charge and charge times are lagging compared to the internal combustion alternatives. However, technology development might soon turn the tables, and now, it looks as though Caterpillar is considering solid-state batteries as a possible investment for the future.
Elon Musk Says The Boring Company’s First Tunnel Will be Open by December 10; Is it All Smoke and Mirrors?
While most folks know Elon Musk for companies like Tesla and SpaceX, the engineer/investor/business mogul/tech personality also has a number of side projects, including an organization dubbed The Boring Company, which seeks to bring underground high-speed all-electric transportation to the masses. Now, The Boring Company is gearing up to unveil its first completed tunnel in Los Angeles.
2018 Karma Aliso Edition
If you’re looking for a unique, handsome, tech-savvy hybrid sports sedan, the Karma Revero is a pretty decent choice. Now, Karma is offering an extremely limited special edition dubbed the Aliso, which takes its name from a town in Southern California, and offers customers a slew of additional California-style customization options that could hint at what’s to come from the boutique automaker. And no, that doesn’t mean it just comes with avocado.
Nissan Teases the Refreshed 2019 Nissan Maxima; Will Debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show
The 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show is just a little over a month away now, and the early debuts are already starting to trickle in. One of the first out the gates comes from Nissan, which just debuted its latest Maxima four-door. Details on the updated flagship sedan are still forthcoming, but that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate a little bit…
This 1,400-Horsepower Dodge Demon Can Run 8-Second Quarter Miles
The Demon is one scorcher of a muscle car, running the quarter mile in an incredible 9.65 seconds at 140 mph right out of the box. But, as is often the case, some folks always want more, and thus we have this tuned carbon fiber example that adds more power and slashes the quarter run into the 8’s.
Video: The Vesco Turbinator II Cracks the 500-MPH Barrier at the Bonneville Salt Flats!
Things are getting pretty wild these days in the world of ultimate velocity record runs. The latest comes from the Bonneville Salt Flats World Finals, held earlier this month on October 2nd, in which the above-featured turbine-driven rail managed to eclipse the current world top speed record for a wheel-driven vehicle.
Tesla Offers New Mid Range Model 3 To Tempt EV Buyers, But Base Trim Buyers Might Be Out Of Luck
A new Model 3 is now available to order. It’s called the “Mid Range,” and it offers 260 miles per charge, a top speed of 125 mph, and a 0-to-60 mph time of 5.6 seconds, all for $45,000. Factor in the $7,500 Federal Tax Credit and $4,300 in average fuel savings, and the final price comes to $33,200, which makes it quite tempting for those looking to live the Tesla lifestyle without dropping a ton of coin. However, with the base Model 3 not hitting production until next year and the Federal Tax Credit on its way out the door, will the Mid Range be the best Tesla you can buy?
2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Revealed In Social Media Post
If you love a thumping big V-8, tire-shredding RWD power, and all the attitude that goes with it, you’re spoiled for choice. Indeed, there’s no shortage of badass muscle cars out there these days, and now, it looks like Ford is getting in on the fun with a new Mustang Shelby GT500, as revealed in a recent Instagram post by user sinister_lifestyle.
2019 Toyota 4Runner Nightshade Special Edition
For the last three-and-a-half decades, the Toyota 4Runner has been one of the go-to models for practical body-on-frame SUV adventure and outdoor cred. Now, the Japanese automaker is offering a new upgrade for the top Limited trim level. It’s dubbed the Nightshade Special Edition, and it adds a fresh coat of aesthetic appeal to the mid-size utility vehicle.
2019 Porsche Panamera GTS Sport Turismo
First introduced for the 2010 model year, the Porsche Panamera is now well-established as Stuttgart’s go-to four-door ‘Bahn burner. Following the introduction of a second generation in 2016, Porsche is now broadening the range with a fresh new mid-grade model, bridging the gap between the Panamera 4S and Panamera Turbo. As before, the latest Panamera GTS looks to combine a sporty attitude with the luxury and utility of a four-door body style, offering both weekend thrills and daily-driving comfort. As such, the 2019 model year brings with it a more powerful turbocharged engine, fresh interior tech, and new standard features.
You Can Rent a One-Off Bugatti Veyron for Just $20,000 a Day
2019 BMW X7 Unveiled
The first-ever BMW X7 is now official, slotting in above the BMW X5 in terms of size and appointment. Outside, this massive machine rocks 21-inch alloy wheels as standard, plus the largest kidney grille ever designed for a production BMW. There’s LED lighting in the rear, plus a full set of adaptive LED headlights up front, both as standard.
You’ll also notice longer rear doors, which allow for easier access to the extra bench in back. That’s critical, as the X7 comes with three-row, seven-passenger seating as standard, plus the option for second-row captain’s chairs if desired. Cargo space is ample, with 48.6 cubic feet on offer with the rear benches up, and 90.4 cubic feet with them down. Additionally, BMW is tossing in a raft of cutting-edge driver assistance tech, such as standards like Lane Departure Warning, Speed Limit Information, and Frontal Collision Warning. Meanwhile, electroplated interior accents and standard four-zone climate control keep it classy and comfortable.
In terms of motivation, the X7 comes with a pair of turbocharged engine options, including a 4.4-liter V-8 and a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder. The former makes 456 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, enabling a run to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, while the latter makes 335 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque, enabling a run to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. An eight-speed automatic transmission is shared between both powerplants, routing muscle to an xDrive AWD system. A standard two-axle air suspension setup keeps it shiny side up, and there’s an optional M Sport differential offered with both the Dynamic Handling Package and the Off-Road Package.
BMW is opening up online preorders for the 2019 X7 later this month, with customers encouraged to pay their deposits via their smartphone or home computer for priority in the vehicle production queue. Pricing starts at $73,900 for the xDrive 40i and $92,600 for the xDrive 50i.
2019 Porsche Panamera GTS and Panamera GTS Sport Turismo Unveiled
Porsche just dropped details on the new 2019 Panamera GTS and Panamera GTS Sport Turismo, building a bridge between the Panamera 4S and the even-faster Turbo model. At the heart of the matter is a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8, which spins out a hefty 453 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 457 pound-feet of torque at 1,800 rpm. For those of you keeping score at home, those figures improve upon those offered by the naturally aspirated ‘eight found in the previous Panamera GTS, besting the outgoing model by 13 horsepower and a whopping 73 pound-feet of torque.
The GTS once again employs four-wheel grip to put it to the pavement, plus some Porsche Traction Management wizardry to boot. An eight-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission makes the connection. Flat out, the Panamera GTS sprints to 60 mph in a scant 3.9 seconds. Top speed is rated at 179 mph for the GTS Sport Turismo and 181 mph for the GTS.
Complementary upgrades include a lower ride height compared to slower-trim Panamera models, with adjustments made to the standard Porsche Adaptive Suspension Management system. The corners are stuffed with some rather enormous brakes too, with discs measuring in at 390 mm (15.4 inches) in front and 365 mm (14.4 inches) in the rear.
The spec also includes the Sport Chrono Package and a Sport Exhaust as standard, while the wheels are upgraded to 20-inchers with the standard Sport Design package. Inside, you get Black Alcantara upholstery bits and anodized aluminum trim, while the optional GTS package tosses in new stitching, logos, and a fresh tachometer face. Optional equipment includes a new heads-up display unit.
Order books are open now, with the Panamera GTS starting at $128,300, and the Panamera GTS Sport Turismo starting at $134,500. Deliveries are scheduled for the second half of 2019.
Max Verstappen Road Trips His F1 Ride from the Rockies to Miami: Video
No matter which flavor of automotive awesomeness you prefer, you absolutely must do a cross-country road trip at least once in your life. Seeing this great country unfold around the double-yellow line is an unforgettable experience, pretty much guaranteeing you’ll find some adventure along the way. Unsurprisingly, adventure is exactly what Max Verstappen finds in this five-minute video chronicling his trip from the Rocky Mountains to Miami.
The video begins on the winding switchbacks of the West, with the Torro Rosso slithering its way through paved (and unpaved) two-lanes as he heads East.
Up next, Verstappen shreds some sand on the beaches of Miami before heading down Ocean Drive for a little peacocking. Then it’s to the docks, where the F1 machine gets into a little race with a speedboat.
So yeah, the video can be a little cheesy at times, but seeing this finely tuned F1 car completely out of its element is reason enough to press play.
Hurricane Michael Did Some Serious Damage to These Dealerships
Florida residents are only now sifting through the horrific devastation wrought by Hurricane Michael, with homes and lives destroyed by heavy flooding and 155-mph winds in one of the top-four strongest hurricanes to ever hit the U.S. As of this writing, the death toll sits at 13, and is expected to rise further into the weekend. Roughly 1.5 million residences and businesses are currently without power. Car dealers are also among those effected, as evidenced in these recently captured amateur photographs.
Speaking with Automotive News, Alan Mankoff, district manager for JM&A Group, described the damage in Panama City, saying, “The town is in shambles. Every store got hit hard. Panama City Toyota just finished a rehab and had not had the grand opening yet and it’s destroyed.”
Pictures reveal walls and roofs torn away, debris everywhere, water damage seeping into every crevice. He full extent of the damage is not yet known, but initial estimates put the dollar figure well into the billions. Fox Business projects upwards of $30 billion of damage.
McLaren Teases New Speedtail, Its First Ever Hyper-GT Car
McLaren has announced the latest addition to its top-shelf Ultimate Series. It’s called the Speedtail, and its a limited-run, multi-million dollar, ground-bound rocket ship stuffed with speed-making hybrid power and oodles of customizability. Production kicks off in about a year, and all 106 examples are already spoken for.
2018 Infiniti Project Black S Concept
Like pretty much every other major automaker out there, Infiniti is signaling a strong move towards electrification in the very near future, with a particularly heavy emphasis on the tech slated for 2021 and onward. While some enthusiasts will undoubtedly cringe at the thought of yet more battery-powered vehicles plying the roads, Infiniti is proving that such a fate is anything but boring, especially when it comes infused with technology plucked from the high-speed world of Formula 1 racing. Which brings us to the latest Project Black S concept, which recently made its big debut at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. Offered as an evolution of the previous Infiniti Project Black S that dropped at the Geneva Auto Show a few years back, this latest creation is based on the utterly fantastic Q60 Red Sport 400 sports coupe, and provides both aesthetic and technical details on how Infiniti plans to implement hybrid technology to spark the interest of speed lovers everywhere.
Continue reading to lean more about the 2018 Infiniti Project Black S Concept.
2020 BMW M3
The BMW M3 has been around for a while now, first entering production in 1985 as a high-powered go-faster variant of the ever-popular BMW 3 Series. The latest F80 generation dropped in 2014, essentially setting the benchmark for all other fast four-doors to match, and now, there’s a new generation in the making. Dubbed internally as the G80, the next M3 is shaping up to be quite the ultimate driving machine, so we gathered up all the rumors we could find and put ‘em right here in the following speculative review.
Updated 10/09/2018: The M3 was once again spied, both at the ’Ring and on the street, and this time it’s sporting even less camo! Check out the new round of pics below...
10 Best Used Cars For New Drivers
While most modern cars pack in the safety features and offer plenty of value-per-dollar, there are some out there that seem to stand above the rest. If you’re scouring the used market looking for just the right ride for your new driver, fear not, as we’ve put together a list that outlines ten models that are just a few years old, but still come with just about everything you could want.
Each entry also includes a rundown on crashworthiness, as tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or IIHS, a U.S.-based non-profit organization that conducts research on almost all new cars.
So with that, read on for our list of the ten best-used cars for new drivers.
Team O’Neil Rally School Gives a Brief Lesson on How To Execute a Pendulum Turn: Video
In theory, getting a car sideways is a relatively simple endeavor, right? Turn the wheel, mash the throttle, and counter-steer your way to glory - easy enough! Well, as you might imagine, the reality is a little different. Most cars are setup to understeer in a corner, which means if you overcook it on the entry, you’re going headfirst into whatever is planted on the periphery. Luckily, there are numerous techniques to fix this problem, including something called the “Pendulum Turn,” as explained by Team O’Neil Rally School in this brief sub-3-minute video.
In case you were unaware, Team O’Neil Rally School is one of the top racing schools in the country. Nestled in the mountains of New Hampshire, the school offers a plethora of courses that cover the art and science of shredding terra, and this video is a decent brief on just one of the techniques taught.
Alternately called a Scandinavian Flick, the Pendulum Turn is used to load up a car’s suspension with the weight of the body on one side before pivoting it all to the other side, breaking traction over the rear end and rotating the car in the process. It’s a pretty common technique used throughout motorsport, including ice racing, drifting, and of course, rally racing, and the folks at O’Neil do a good job explaining the basics in such a brief amount of time.
Of course, it should go without saying - if you plan on trying a Pendulum Turn for yourself, make sure it’s in a safe environment, as mastering this technique is certainly no simple feat. Assume you’re gonna muck it up and avoid the tears. Stay safe out there, people!
1972 Nissan Fairlady 240ZG
In case you were unaware, the high-end collectible car market in the U.S. is finally starting to recognize all the great classics hailing from the Land of the Rising Sun. While European and American sports cars have always held a place of prominence, Japanese rides are now making some serious parallel headway, carving out a real niche at some of the biggest auctions of the year. One of the most easily recognized classic Japanese models has to be the original Nissan Z, known stateside as the Datsun 240 Z. Offering timeless good looks, excellent handling, plenty of power, and a great noise from the exhaust, the original Z brought modern Japanese technology to the masses, and is now highly sought after in the collector market. One of the rarer and more visually appealing examples of the early Z is the ZG, also known as the HS30-H Nissan Fairlady ZG, which brought even more style to bear with the addition of several unique body components, plus a sharper driving experience with new drivetrain components.
Continue reading to learn more about the 1972 Nissan Fairlady 240 ZG.
Watch This Absurd CBR-Swapped Reliant Robin Attack a Hillclimb: Video
Around these parts, the Reliant Robin is considered to be, well, a little strange. A lot of it boils down to the drivetrain layout, with two driven wheels in the rear, and a single wheel up front to steer. The set-up helps with regards to licensing, as the Robin is technically considered a motorcycle in its native England. However, dynamically speaking, it’s pretty unwieldily on the road. Basically, it goes like this - if you take a corner with any kind of velocity, the car will roll right over itself, something Jeremy Clarkson demonstrated with dramatic clarity back in the old Top Gear days. However, against all odds, someone decided this was the right platform to build a fire-breathing hill climb racer. Seriously. We have the video to prove it.
This sub-4-minute clip comes to us courtesy of the YouTube channel HillClimb Monsters, which claims this mean green machine comes packing with 110 horsepower and 12,000 rpm thanks to a Honda CBR 1000 engine swap. It’s also got a wide body kit to help fit the larger wheels in back, a full aero kit, and a stripped interior for even less weight.
Seeing this thing rage up the hillclimb is like watching a one-legged man do a tightrope walk. You hold your breath in anticipation of something going wrong, with every corner presenting a new opportunity for the unique little racer to roll off and add some of that green paint to the grass. Amazingly, the driver holds it together, all while the high-strung powerplant does its thing at full chat.
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE
Just a few years have passed since the GLE first hit the scene, but Merc isn’t waiting around to usher in a new generation for the 2019 model year. Bringing revamped, off-roader-inspired styling, a new interior design, a vast array of tech-heavy features, an updated engine line, and a new 48-volt mild hybrid system, the latest GLE is locked and loaded to take on the mid-size luxury SUV segment, with rivals like the BMW X5 and Audi Q7 set squarely in the brand’s crosshairs.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE.
Fail: Kiki Challenge in the Car Wash Gone Wrong
Unsurprisingly, Drake’s “In My Feelings” has claimed yet another victim. As videos of folks jumping out of moving cars to dance in the middle of the road continue to proliferate, it’s not unexpected than some of ‘em don’t exactly go as planned. Such is the case here, where the participants unwittingly create a suicide-hinged door in a car wash.
The video starts as you’d expect - a woman dancing outside a car, her friend cheering her on from the driver’s seat as she films. But there’s a twist - this is all taking place inside a drive-through car wash, and the car is moving across an automatic conveyor belt. Cue the drama.
The pair realize their mistake too late, and despite hopping back into the cabin, the car’s passenger door finds itself smashed against a big scrubber brush. As the car moves backwards, the door gets shoved forward by the brush, bending it at an unnatural angle.
Meanwhile, the idiotic passengers are left unharmed. Maybe a little sudsy.
The car in question is an unidentified Scion model, and we’re left wondering what happens next. Does the cabin fill with water? Do the idiots drive away? Does the carwash owner freak out?
We can only guess.
Continue reading for the full story.
Budget Direct Renders the Mini’s Style from Six Different Manufacturers
When it comes to iconic style, the Mini Cooper has to be one of the most recognizable brands on the market. The small stature, the fun-loving lines, the bubbly proportions, the copious detailing, the Union Jack roof… there’s no question what you’re looking at when you see a Mini. As such, it could be interesting to apply the Mini’s style to other major automakers - which is exactly what Budget Direct did with the following six renderings.
Continue reading for the full story.
Love It or Leave It - The 2019 Mercedes-Benz EQC
After years of rumors, teasers, and concept cars, Mercedes-Benz finally launched the EQ brand. Short for "electric intelligence," EQ made its official debut through the EQC, a compact crossover similar in size to the familiar GLC. It’s Mercedes’ first all-electric crossover and its second EV after the B-Class Electric. The EQC’s introduction is definitely a major event for the German brand, but does it have what it takes to compete against the successful Tesla Model X and the upcoming BMW iX3? It’s still early to say, but we already know what we love and hate about it.
Continue reading for the full story.
Love It or Leave It - The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE
Introduced in 2015, the GLE nameplate is only three years old as of 2018. However, the vehicle that received the badge is already seven years old in 2018, a major issue with a brand-new BMW X5 in showrooms. Fortunately, Mercedes-Benz acted fast, and a new-generation midsize SUV was launched for the 2020 model year. It’s the first brand-new crossover to sport the "GLE" badge, and it’s loaded with as much technology as its sedan counterpart, the E-Class. Here’s what we think about it.
1958 Porsche 550a Spyder
The Porsche 550 is a true icon of Porsche history. Known as both a race car and a sports car, the 550 was the kind of machine you could drive to the track, take the win, then drive back home. The famous British-American racing driver Ken Miles called it the “greatest long-distance racer in the world,” and despite its low power figures, this plucky little two-door could take down cars with far more power and straight-line speed. Eventually evolving into the even-quicker 550a, the 550 is now widely recognized as one of the more desirable collectible Porsches in the world.
Continue reading to learn more about the Porsche 550a Spyder.
2019 Mercedes-AMG A35 4Matic Unveiled
Following a round of teasers, Mercedes-AMG has finally revealed its latest fire-breathing hatchback - the 2019 A35 4Matic.
“Body shell, suspension, all-wheel drive, transmission, driving programs, fine tuning - every detail has been designed for maximum driving dynamics without compromising on everyday comfort,” Merc announces.
The main party piece can be found under the hood, where Mercedes stuffed the hot-to-trot A-Class with a turbocharged four-cylinder making as much as 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Properly applied, its enough to send the A35 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in a scorching 4.7 seconds, while top speed clocks in at 155 mph. The boost snail is a twin-scroll unit for sharper response.
Routing the muscle is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, which feeds an AMG-tuned, electro-mechanical 4Matic AWD system. The torque split can vary between front-wheel drive only, to a 50:50 split front-to-back.
Keeping it shiny side up are MacPherson struts up front and a four-link for the rear. There’s plenty of aluminum to keep it all light, while a set of adaptive dampers can be had for a little extra outlay. Large four-pot brakes clamp the front, with brake rotors that measure in at 13.8 inches in front and 13 inches in the rear.
The A35 looks the part of a hooligan thanks to AMG’s classic styling chops, which includes a unique grille in the nose, aero-optimized 18-inch wheels in the corners, and a large spoiler mated to a pronounced diffuser in the rear.
Inside the cabin, you’ll find the latest MBUX infotainment goodies, plus AMG’s signature upholstery treatment and a flat-bottom steering wheel. A fully digital instrument display provides the feedback.
Look for the 2019 Mercedes-AMG A35 4Matic to strut its stuff early next month at the 2018 Paris Motor Show.
2018 BMW iNext Concept
As each of the major automakers vie for technological supremacy, the space between blue-sky concept cars and their production-based realities is starting to blur. The latest to step into this space is the BMW iNext, an autonomous, battery-powered SUV that comes stuffed with the Bavarian’s latest and greatest ideas for the next generation.
“The iNext project will provide our building blocks for the future, from which the entire company and all its brands are set to benefit,” said BMW Group Chairman of the Board of Management, Harald Krüger. That means that over the next several years, this thing will provide the guidance for not just BMW’s line, but the Mini line as well, both of which are promised to offer “in-car integration of the strategic innovation fields Autonomy + Connectivity + Electric + Services,” according to BMW. Indeed, now that BMW has been doing the EV thing for more than a decade at this point, it’s about time the company stepped up its game. Read on to see how.
Continue reading to learn more about the BMW iNext Concept.
The Hoonigans Feature A Drifter Who Drives Using Just His Feet: Video
Motorsport is hard, no matter the level, no matter the series, no matter the car. All of it takes supreme dedication and effort, and if you don’t have the fires of passion to propel you, you’ll never get off the couch. Bartosz Ostalowski - well, he’s got the passion, that much is obvious. Despite the losing his arms in a motorcycle accident, Ostalowski managed to find a way to continue doing what he loves, namely getting sideways in a big cloud of tire smoke. Believe it or not, he does it all using his feet.
The Hoonigan crew went to Poland to check it out for themselves, linking up with Ostalowski during some shakedown practice runs prior to his stint in a recent Drift Masters event. His car is a Nissan Skyline GT-R R34, which comes stuffed with a V-8 powerplant. The power hits the rear wheels through an eight-speed gearbox from ZF, with cog swaps executed via a custom paddle mounted near his right shoulder. Ostalowski steers using his left foot, and works the pedals with his right foot, plus there’s a third e-brake pedal to lock the rears during tandem battles.
Watching Ostalowski work his magic is nothing short of incredible. The man is obviously a killer drifter, but the fact he manages it all using just his feet takes it all to an entirely new level. Watching it all go down is an inspiration, and we’re convinced Ostalowski has a very bright career ahead of him.
Watch a Race-Prepped Subaru Legacy Attack a Hill Climb: Video
While the Subaru WRX gets plenty (and I do mean plenty) of love in the performance world, it’s not the only Six Star out there to offer a heady dose of thrills behind the wheel. Take the Legacy RS, a turbocharged AWD slingshot which, properly prepared, can still bring the heat in a major way, as evidenced by this 3-minute, 35-second hill climb video.
The vid includes both exterior shots and interior shots of the Legacy’s run, and provides plenty of pops and bangs through the audio to get your blood flowing.
According to HillClimb Monsters, the channel that posted the video, the Legacy belongs to Damien Bradley from Team Legacy U.K., and comes fresh from the world of time attack competition. Specs include a six-speed sequential race transmission (man, that thing is loud in the interior shots), race-spec six-pot brakes from Alcon, and Nitron suspension bits. Apparently, its also got 700 horsepower thanks to a fully built boxer engine and GT35R turbo, although we think the tune might a bit lower, at least on this particular run.
Either way, seeing this thing scorch its way up the hill is a delight all the same.
Chevrolet Corvette C8 Caught Testing at the Nürburgring
Hype continues to build for the up-and-coming eighth-generation Chevrolet Corvette, as rumor has it the American icon will finally step up to a mid-engined platform in a bid to challenge top-shelf sports machines from Europe. Now, you can get a sneak peek at what’s in store, as the C8 was just spied lapping the Nürburgring.
Continue reading for the full story.
Motherboard Features the Mechanic Reviving Wrecked Teslas: Video
When it comes to bringing a car back from the brink, there are plenty of folks out there to look to as a good example - at least as far as internal combustion is concerned. That said, the ICE is slowly (but surely) giving way to electric power, which begs the question: what happens to the art of the restoration when batteries run the world? This man has the answer. His name is Rich, and he likes to rebuild Teslas.
“Tesla’s stance in rebuilding vehicles is only they should do it,” Rich explains. “I would say I’m the first person to bring a Tesla that’s completely dead to running and driving, almost showroom floor quality, independently, by themselves. At this point, I would consider myself the Dr. Frankenstein of Teslas.”
We certainly think that’s an appropriate title. Rich’s brilliance is in his deep understanding of how America’s most popular all-electric car works. Not only does he source all his own parts, but he singlehandedly wrenches them into shape. The end result is nothing less than amazing.
Rich shares his work on his YouTube channel Rich Rebuilds, posting video topics that include how-to’s, upgrades, tear downs, and a whole lot more. We love his DIY attitude, not to mention the fact he’s pretty much the only mechanic out there that we know of who’s going this deep on Teslas.
“If you own something, if you purchase something free and clear, then you should be able to fix it yourself,” Rich says.
Amen to that.
Design Cut Build Creates a Bad Little Hitch Wagon: Video
The third season of Design Cut Build is in full swing, and as you might expect, Aaron and Iggy are once again making all kinds of impressive fabricated creations. The latest is a custom metal wagon that can link up with the trailer hitch of Chad’s SUV, so it’s straight to the drawing board to piece this thing together from scratch.
After laying it out in marker, the boys start by building the hitch tongue, followed by fabricating a straight rectangular wagon frame. Then they put together the endplates and mesh sides, and by then, the project really starts to look good.
At first, it might look like a pretty straightforward project, but like anything you build out of raw metal, you gotta take it step by step. Luckily, that’s exactly what the Design Cut Build is good at.
Hit play to see how it all comes together!
Mercedes Previews Future City Driving with Vision URBANETIC Concept
Auto show season is creeping up, and that means the concepts are starting to roll on out. One of the first out the gates is this new all-electric, fully autonomous, highly customizable transportation bubble from Mercedes-Benz Vans, which offers highly intelligent conveyance for not only people, but goods and cargo as well.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes Vision Urbanetic Concept.
VP of America’s Largest Porsche Dealer Scams Customers for $2.5 Million; Vanishes Without a Trace
Champion Porsche, the biggest Porsche dealer in America, just filed a lawsuit against its former vice president of marketing, outlining how he allegedly managed to defraud dozens of customers eager to pick up the latest top-end sports cars.
Continue reading for the full story.
BMW Z4 M40i Prototype Laps Nürburgring in 7:55
We got an eye-full of the new BMW Z4 at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering last month during Monterey Car Week, and while it was great to see the Bavarian’s latest creation parked, we didn’t get a chance to see it in motion. Now, we have an in-depth look at the Z4’s dynamic capability, as it just went less than 8 minutes at the ‘Ring.
Continue reading for the full story.
Volkswagen’s Mass-Produced 3D Parts Will Open Doors Never Thought Possible for OE Customization
Additive manufacturing, more commonly known as 3D printing, is usually utilized for the rapid production of prototypes and specialty parts. Now, however, Volkswagen claims a breakthrough development has readied this cutting-edge technology for mass production, opening up a slew of customer customization opportunities.
Continue reading for the full story.
Toyota Truck Starts to Climb a Rock with Just the Torque From its Starter Motor
Pure-bred off-roaders are pretty wild machines, clawing their way through crazy terrain that looks more like the moon than anything you’d expect to find a car on. Enabling this capability is the right combination of mechanical bits, as evidenced by the Toyota featured above, which manages to mount a steep slab of granite through the torque of its starter motor.
Continue reading for the full story.
1968 Porsche 908 Works Short-Tail Coupe
The Porsche 908 is a prototype racer that competed in the mid- to late-‘60s and into the early-70’s, squaring off against some of the best of the best from the likes of Ferrari and Ford in numerous endurance racing events. Bearing an advanced aero package, an innovative flat-eight-cylinder engine, and a tenacious attitude, the 908 played a crucial part in Porsche’s racing development, and now sits as one of the more desirable collectible competition Porsches to go head to auction.
Continue reading to learn more about 1968 Porsche 908 Works Short-Tail Coupe..
2018 Lancia Delta HF Integrale - Futurista Coupe
The Lancia Delta HF Integrale was an absolute legend in the world of motorsports. Forged in the fires of Group A rally racing, the boxy Italian compact collected a number of wins throughout its career, earning the respect and adoration of countless racing fans. Eugenio Amos counts himself among those fans, and from his passion, he’s created the Lancia Delta Futurista, a restomod that elevates the legend to an all-new level, all while keeping in the spirit of the original.
The Lancia Delta Futurista was designed and built by Amos’ company, Automobili Amos, a customization shop out of Italy. The restomod project is similar to the Jag E-Type-based Eagle Speedster and 911-based Singer Porsches we’ve seen before, mixing high-level modernization and performance with old school, nostalgia-inducing cues. Amos likens the Lancia Delta Futurista to a “romantic vision” that breaks from a world perceived as “too aseptic, too fast, that runs like the wind, superficial and intangible.”
Continue reading to learn more about the Lancia Delta Futurista.
Bugatti CEO Says the Chiron Can Hit 280 MPH but Won’t Prove It
Despite producing some of the most powerful and expensive sports cars on the planet, Bugatti’s priorities aren’t necessarily tied to one-upping the competition in terms of ultimate top speed. In fact, Bugatti feels like it doesn’t have to prove, well, anything.
Continue reading for the full story.
2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE Unveiled
Mercedes-Benz just spilled the beans on its brand-new 2020 GLE, revealing specs and pics of the luxury SUV’s latest and greatest bits and pieces. Let’s begin with the exterior, where we find the GLE is now even more SUV-like than before. Complementing the new look is a host of chrome embellishments, while intelligent LED lighting illuminates the way forward. The new looks is also functional, as the aero now slices through the atmosphere with a Cd of 0.29, a figure Merc claims as best-in-class. Under the flared arches, you’ll find wheel sizing ranging between 19 and 22 inches in diameter.
The latest GLE also adds 3 inches to the wheelbase, which helps substantially with regard to passenger room. New for 2020 is six-way electric adjustability for passengers in the second row, plus 12.3-inch infotainment screens as standard with crisp 720p resolution. What’s more, the onboard systems now support gesture control, and offer semi-autonomous features like Active Stop-and-Go Assist, Active Brake Assist, and Cross-Traffic Assist.
Under the hood, the base model GLE comes equipped with a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder, which is turbocharged to produce upwards of 255 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Next in line is a turbo 3.0-liter six-cylinder making 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. If you want even more of the go stuff, Merc is also sure to release the high-powered 2020 Mercedes-AMG GLE63 very shortly. A 4Matic AWD system makes the grip.
Finally, the GLE comes with new E-Active Body Control active suspension system with a mild-hybrid 48-volt power source to keep it all shiny side up.
Look for the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE to make its big public debut at the Paris Motor Show this coming October, with an on-sale date slated for sometime next year.
Turn 10 Studios Releases Full Car List and Soundtrack for Forza Horizon 4
Forza Horizon is a fun franchise, breaking from its sim-based Forza Motorsport sister game as a more arcadey open-world environment where you can live out your dream of driving like a maniac on public roads in a totally consequence-free manner. The latest fourth installment is due out early next month, and now, developer Turn 10 Studios is giving us the rundown on the cars and the songs slated for release.
Continue reading for the full story.
Ford Takes the Fun Out of Off-Roading with Trail Control for the 2019 Ford Raptor
Off-roading can be a lot of fun - from exploring the great outdoors, to finding the right line through a challenging bit of terrain, to extracting every ounce of capability from your vehicle, it’s just the right activity to get away from it all. Now, Ford hopes to make it more accessible with its new Trail Control system for the 2019 F-150 Raptor, which the company likens to “cruise control for off-road driving.” Color us skeptical.
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New Teaser Shows the 2019 Mercedes GLE with Some CLS DNA
A Company Known as Grex Is Now Selling the TVR Sagaris As a Kit Car
If you aren’t privy to the British insanity that is TVR, I’ll be happy to inform you. Founded in 1946 in Blackpool, TVR is an independent boutique sports car manufacturer known for creating aggressive, driver-centric RWD sports machines with a penchant for ass-out antics. TVR’s are simple, brutal machines, devoid of any assists or driver aids whatsoever, maximizing driver engagement at all costs. ABS? Learn to threshold brake. Traction control? It’s called your right foot. Air bags? Well, just don’t crash. These things are utterly mad, but unfortunately, we here in the U.S. never got a crack at ‘em. Until now.
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2020 Porsche Taycan
While considered laughable just a decade or two ago, the idea of a high-performance electric vehicle is now widely accepted in even the most traditional of speed circles. As the list of battery-motivated monster machines continues to grow, Porsche is getting in on the action with its up-and-coming Mission E. As a follow-up to hybrid superstars like the 918 Spyder and the Panamera, the Mission E is slated to become Stuttgart’s very first all-electric vehicle. Porsche teased the new model with a concept at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, and now, we’re getting our very first shots of the production iteration in the wild. Captured out and about doing some real-world testing just outside Porsche’s factory in Weissach, the spy shots reveal just how close the Mission E is to becoming a reality on public roads. Expect specs that either match or beat the Tesla Model S, with several hundred miles of range and a blistering 0-to-60 mph time, not to mention a luxurious cabin space and Nurburgring-tested handling.
While full details are still forthcoming, there’s plenty of info floating around out there to go on in terms of speculation. Regardless, it’s sure to be top-shelf and quite fast, but the question remains – will it be enough to take out the Tesla? Is this finally the Model S killer we’ve been waiting for? We’re still a few years away from the release of the Mission E, so we’ll have to wait, but in the meantime, check out our speculative review.
Update 09/10/2018: The Porsche Taycan was spotted during its pre-production test runs with minor changes. Check out the spy shots section below to see what has changed as it moves closer to production
Can the SSC Tuatara Reach 300 MPH?
Between 2006 and 2013, SSC North America (formerly known as Shelby SuperCars) held the title of fastest production car in the world thanks to its 256-mph Ultimate Aero rear-/mid-engine coupe. SSC was eventually dethroned by the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, but now, the U.S.-based boutique automaker is stepping back in the ring with the Tuatara. The question is - does it have what it takes to best the current crop of outrageous top speed-makers?
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Lexus Now Has a Flagship Yacht
Ah, the good life. Luxury cars, caviar, champagne, and of course, yachts. Sounds about right. Now, Lexus is expanding its offerings to include two of the four things I just mentioned, and neither fit on a cracker or in a glass.
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The Lucid Air Just Slaughtered Tesla and Jaguar’s EVs Around Laguna Seca
In addition to playing host to the Monterey Motorsports Reunion, the Ferrari Challenge, and numerous other high-profile racing events, Laguna Seca is also the latest battleground for cutting-edge EV performance bragging rights, with makes like Tesla and Jaguar attacking the world-famous Californian circuit to show off their battery-powered speed chops. Now, the Lucid Motors Air, the up-and-coming sedan from the Newark-based company, just reset the lap record for production-based EVs. Kind of.
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A New Z Car is Officially in the Works
We here at TopSpeed like to think we’re pretty patient. Usually. Sometimes? Look, the point is we’re just about fed up waiting for the new Z car, what with the relatively ancient 370Z model and all its ho-hum special editions Nissan has been dishing out lately. Luckily, it sounds like Nissan heard our cry for something fresh, as it was recently revealed by one of the automaker’s lead designers that a new Z is indeed in development. Like, right now.
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1974 Lancia Stratos HF Stradale
Let’s do a little thought experiment. Say you’re looking to create one of the greatest road cars in existence. Where do you start? The answer should be obvious - racing, or, more specifically, a homologation special. These are machines birthed from the womb of competition, tuned ever so slightly to meet the rules of the road and sold to mere mortals like you and me. The Lancia Stratos HF Stradale is one such vehicle. Plucked from the sideways insanity of the WRC, the Stratos comes from a time before AWD, a time when simple, brutal machines vied for supremacy by dancing on the limits of adhesion offered by the rear wheels alone.
The “HF” in the name stands for “High Fidelity,” Lancia’s go-to designation when it comes to its high-performance models, while “Stradale” is Italian for road, indicating the car’s street worthiness. Powered by a Ferrari-sourced V-6 and stripped down to only the bare essentials, the Stratos is often credited with changing the world of rally as the first car designed specifically for competition in the sport. Throw in the fact Lancia made nearly 500 examples for the road, and what you’re left with is a truly fantastic car.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lancia Stratos HF Stradale.
Is This the 2021 Ford Bronco II, aka “Baby Bronco?”
As Ford moves away from its line of sedans, it’s instead focusing (perhaps “concentrating” is a more appropriate word) much more heavily on its crossovers and trucks. As such, the Blue Oval has a swarm of fresh prototypes out on the road, like this recently spied compact crossover - leading us to ask, is this the new Baby Bronco?
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Burt Reynolds, Star of “Smokey and the Bandit”, Has Passed Away at 82
Known for his charm, sex appeal, and swagger, not to mention his famous mustache, Burt Reynolds was one of those actors that was just impossible not to like. Today, Reynolds passed away after suffering cardiac arrest. He was 82.
Born in southern Georgia and later ending up in Florida, Reynolds’ early life revolved around sports, earning a football scholarship to Florida State University. However, following a series of injuries, Reynolds diverted his attention to a career in acting.
Early roles included a spot in the TV series “Gunsmoke,” but Reynolds is best known for his performances in major films like “Deliverance,” “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” and “Boogie Nights.” Reynolds also directed and produced throughout his career.
However, for us here at TopSpeed, “Smokey and the Bandit” is our go-to memory for Reynolds. Released in 1977, the film is an action comedy featuring the Pontiac Trans-Am, and depicts an illegal high-speed run to deliver beer from Texas to Atlanta in just 28 hours. Bo “Bandit” Darville (played by Reynolds) takes up the challenge, but after picking up the attractive hitchhiker Carrie (Sally Field), Bandit finds himself running from Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason).
We’ll definitely be rewatching that classic very soon.
When Bugatti launched the Veyron back in 2005, it was difficult to imagine a more ridiculous supercar. But the Veyron became much more ridiculous over the years and its successor, the Chiron, added more to that status. But the Chiron lacks a very important feat; it has yet to set a new world speed record for production cars. Whether this will change or not remains a mystery, but Bugatti just moved into a rather surprising direction with the supercar. The French firm redesigned the shell, added more downforce, and renamed it the Divo.
Named after a racing driver from the past, the Divo is essentially a more track-focused version of the Chiron. This is a big thing actually, as both the Veyron and the Chiron are far from agile on the race course. But the Divo retains the luxurious status of the Chiron and, more importantly, it revives Bugatti’s coachbuilding program. How do we like it? Let’s find out below.
1996 - 2004 Porsche Boxster (986)
Although it might look like Porsche is at the top of its game these days, the Stuttgart brand has seen plenty of rough spots over the years. For example, back in the ‘90s, Porsche went through a period of stagnation and financial difficulty that very nearly killed the brand, but luckily, Porsche managed to put together just the right recipe to bring it back from the brink of bankruptcy. It’s called the Boxster..
Framed as a more accessible entry into the Porsche lifestyle, the Boxster 986 was the first model to carry the Boxster nameplate, with the first-gen lasting from 1996 to 2004. The name itself is an amalgamation of the words “roadster,” a nod to the car’s body style, and “boxer,” which is a nod to the car’s engine configuration. Equipped with classic Porsche styling, faultless handling characteristics, and a rev-happy powerplant, the Boxster was a smash hit for sales, and it is now credited with playing an integral part in Porsche’s late-‘90s renaissance.
Continue reading to learn more about the 1996 - 2004 Porsche Boxster (986).
Donut Media Features the Most Awesome Geo Tracker You’ll Ever See: Video
For Delton Hubbard and his car obsession, “never enough” is the perfect descriptor. What started as an unquenchable thirst for Hot Wheels collectibles eventually blossomed into a full-blown, real-sized custom build, and now, Hubbard’s passion for Hot Wheels might net him a spot in the history books with his very own custom die-cast model.
One look at this thing will reveal exactly what we mean by “full-blown.” Sitting under that enormous nitrous-fed supercharged V-8 is a Chevrolet Geo Tracker, which now, after an enormous amount of work, looks every bit the part of a Hot Wheels toy. The paint is a crazy shade of orange mixed and matched with some wild graphic overlays, while nitrous bottles dot the exterior and interior alike. There’s even a wind up key in back.
Don’t be fooled - this thing is 100 percent real, and everything works as you’d expect, as evidenced by the smokey burnout the Tracker rips at the start of the video.
Hubbard recently took his creation to the Hot Wheels Legend tour in Charlotte, North Carolina, where it managed to secure a spot to go to SEMA 2018 in Las Vegas. There, the Tracker will go up against several other finalists in a bid to become an authentic Hot Wheels collectible.
Hubbard’s passion is palpable in the video, and we certainly wish him all the luck in Vegas!