Power, as they say, is nothing without control, and it is that control as well as the enjoyment derived from having it that is the criteria for this list. Having fun in a car with lots of horsepower is far easier than doing it with, say, no more than 200 ponies; engineers have their work cut out for them when making these cars fast since they don’t have the luxury of neck-snapping horsepower and acceleration as wow factor.
But such fun, low-horsepower cars do exist. The kind of cars which may not be super impressive in a straight line, but make up for that by being superbly rounded in the handling department. Where the drive from the wheels goes is also not important here, as the list posted after the jump contains cars whose power goes to the front, the rear, and to all four wheels as well.
These cars will put a smile on your face; they’ve got character, and they also allow you to drive them close to their limit and revel in the entire breadth of their performance. And, even if you exceed their limits and plant them in a ditch, the repair costs will also be noticeably lower than those associated with really serious performance machines.
7 Striking Zagato-Designed cars from the past two decades
Zagato is the modern equivalent of a coachbuilder and is based in Milan, Italy. It’s been in business since 1919, and over the years it has established itself as a creator of very dramatic looking cars. It has its own design center, and all its creations have a certain Zagato look that you can start to recognize once you’ve seen a wider selection of their cars.
This look has been continued and refined over the decades, and you can spot the visual links between their very latest creations and ones from half a century ago. They have made so many different cars, that it wouldn’t do them justice to try to pick the most notable ones from their nearly 100-year history, so in order to keep things fairly concise for the purpose of this article, I’ll be trying to pick the most striking and interesting ones from the past 20 years.
Cheap Midship Thrills: 5 Attainable Mid-Engined Cars
Having the engine in the middle or as close to the center of the car as possible is deemed ideal in order to have even weight distribution between the two axles. But over the years, the configuration has mostly been reserved for expensive exotics unattainable by only the wealthiest enthusiasts. That’s why cheaper cars that have adopted the configuration have always stood out and usually attract some manner of cult following.
This article focuses on midship cars which you can buy right now without having to factor in the sale of an organ or anything involving a Ponzi scheme and wearing a fake mustache. Rest assured you can get attainable mid-engined kicks these days in the cars posted after the jump (in ascending price order), but don’t go thinking they’re cheap; they’re not.
2021 BMW 4 Series Convertible
BMW is set to launch an all-new 4-Series two-door sometime in 2019 or 2020, and while the G23 coupe version will not feature any dramatic changes over the current model, the G22 droptop will. Spy shots indicate that for the first time in two generations (E93 and F33), BMW is giving up on the folding hardtop design in favor of the more traditional soft top option which it last used on the E46 model discontinued in 2006.
Heavy camouflage covers the prototype spotted, but this important change is quite evident as the canvas top is left completely bare (quite obviously on purpose). It might be an illusion caused by the camo, but it also appears this new 4-Series has a longer hood and rear decklid compared to its predecessor.
Update 12/30/2019: The BMW 4 Series Convertible was caught on the back of a transport on the way to some final testing before its big debut. Check out the latest pictures in our “Spy Shots” section below.
Everything You Need to Know About the 2020 Tesla Cybertruck
Tesla is about to take the pickup world by storm with an all-electric truck that will most likely be revealed this year. The vehicle that’s set to be shown this year won’t be the final production-spec model, though, as we’ve come to expect from Tesla, but it will be a very close preview of that model.
Porsche is officially going to have several versions of its Taycan all-electric model, one of which will be an estate or wagon model that will most likely be called Sport Turismo. The Taycan Sport Turismo is exactly the same as the sedan model, but with a bigger trunk and more practicality.
It’s actually going to be the first mass-market, purpose-designed, all-electric wagon ever, and no, the handful of coach-built Tesla Model S wagons don’t count.
The rest of the package remains unchanged, so it’s only going to be sold with an all-electric powertrain (don’t be fooled by the fake exhausts on the back of the camouflaged prototype in these photos provided by our spies) which will provide great performance, as well as a large lithium-ion battery pack for decent range.
Design-wise, expect a slightly more toned down version of the Mission-E Sport Turismo concept that debuted at the Geneva motor show this March. Porsche is apparently also going to make a higher-riding crossover-style version of this wagon, but it will be the sedan and wagon that will be the two main models.
But even if Tesla doesn’t make a production wagon variant of its Model S, that model is going to be the Taycan and Taycan estate’s main rival because it is already quite well established in its segment.
Updated 10/28/2019: The 2021 Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo was spotted testing in the wild once again with some minor changes as it moves closer to its launch for the 2021 model year. Check out the latest images in our spy shots section below!
2019 Renault Twingo
Renault radically changed the formula for its third-generation Twingo city runabout. The first- and second-gen Twingos were front-engined, front-wheel drive, three-door cars (and the second one even had a proper hot hatch variant). For its third generation, though, Renault completely changed things around, making the Twingo a rear-engined, rear-wheel drive, five-door model.
Further differentiating it from its predecessors was its design. Whereas the two previous Twingo incarnations were styled to look as modern and fresh as possible, the current Twingo has a retro-inspired look that owes everything to the iconic Renault 5. And it really works - the Twingo is cute, tasteful and, even though there are other retro-inspired cars out there, it’s among the most successful from a visual standpoint.
But it too isn’t especially new, as it was launched back in 2015 and was recently given its mid-lifecycle refresh. Renault didn’t change anything major, though; the refresh has changed the front and rear bumpers, the headlights, as well as added some extra interior customization options. One of the engines available for the Twingo also gets a power boost courtesy of the facelift and some extra tech has been added too.
But overall, it’s still the same fresh looking car that attracted a lot of attention back when it was launched. That attention didn’t really translate into it becoming a sales hit, yet you still see a fair few of them scuttling around Europe’s major cities (the Fiat 500 is still king in this respect and the Twingo didn’t manage to dethrone it).
2020 Land Rover Defender looks a lot like the 2011 Land Rover DC100 concept
Land Rover announced that it was working on an all-new Defender way back in 2011, when it revealed the DC100 concept. At the time, the design study made many traditional fans of the Defender exclaim that it didn’t preview a vehicle they’d be interested in buying, so Land Rover actually made a second concept in 2016, called LR1, but it didn’t show it to the public - it was an evolution of the DC100 and it actually was the basis for the recently unveiled production Defender.
All-new 2019 Renault Captur bows in Frankfurt with new platform, plug-in hybrid variant
Renault unveiled an all-new generation of its Captur crossover at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, but it wasn’t really on many people’s radar, even though the previous generation model sold over 1.5 million units since its introduction. So the new Captur is a really rather important model for Renault; it’s not terribly exciting for automotive journos or enthusiasts, but as a car people are actually going to buy, it is quite significant.
Next-gen Jaguar XJ Teased at 2020 Land Rover Defender Launch Event
Jaguar is certainly working on an all-new XJ flagship sedan model - we know this because the automaker teased its upcoming top tier three-box model back in 2018 and now it’s done it again, briefly, at the reveal event of the all-new Land Rover Defender. We didn’t get to see much, though, but it was enough to get us talking about the new big Jag, because it’s always been an interesting car and the automaker has some big formula changes planned for the next-gen model.
The 2020 Byton M-Byte Concept - The Car Nobody Paid Attention to At the Frankfurt Motor Show
Byton has kept the series-production version of the M-Byte all-electric SUV very similar to the concept that previewed it. It can’t really be said that either its exterior design or interior has been toned down for production - the latter still sports the crazy 48-inch curved display that was shown in the design study.
The 2020 Byton M-Byte is an important car, although because it doesn’t come from an established manufacturer, it didn’t receive as much attention as it deserved at its 2019 Frankfurt motor show debut. But here are the headline facts: it’s a brand new premium all-electric SUV (with a fastback-style roof), and it has a gigantic infotainment screen that dwarfs all other infotainment screens (and it’s just the main attraction of the cavernous and surprisingly well-appointed interior).
2020 Alpina B3 Touring is here to cull your BMW M3 Wagon craving
Lovers of fast wagons, you might want to sit down for this one as the mere sight of it will make your knees weak - the 2020 BMW Alpina B3 Touring is upon us and it is absolutely glorious. Wraps have just come off it at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show and it has instantly become one of the coolest BMWs you can buy right now at any price.
The 2020 Hyundai i30 N Project C Is the Hot Hatch We Deserved From the Beginning
Car enthusiasts can’t help but feel... enthusiastic whenever an automaker reveals a hardcore hot hatchback that epitomizes a good model already on offer. Such is the case with the 2020 Hyundai i30 N Project C, which is the quickest and most aggressive i30 N variant - it was just revealed at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show where it will undoubtedly attract a lot of hot hatch fans’ attention.
Is the 2020 ID 3 Volkswagen’s Third Coming After the Golf and Beetle?
Volkswagen has revealed the production version of the ID.3, the first of a new generation of all-electric vehicles. The plan is for the ID.3 to be a big sales magnet for the brand, especially since it’s not going to be a hugely expensive car, but rather one designed to be more attainable than other rival battery powered models.
The Porsche Taycan Gets Ludicrously Expensive with Options
Nobody was expecting the Porsche Taycan, the brand’s first mass market all-electric vehicle, to be cheap. And it isn’t, even when just talking about its base asking price. When you start piling on the options (and if you’re configuring one of these, make no mistake, you will), the price quickly soars to astronomical levels.
The 2020 Land Rover Defender Was Revealed via a Leaked Magazine Article
Hype buildup around the launch of the new generation Land Rover Defender has been immense. It was announced a few years ago, but since then the automaker has remained exceedingly quiet on the matter. The new Defender was teased on a number of occasions, though, and it was even shown in full camouflage at major motoring venues like the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Now, thanks to this latest lear, we finally get to lay eyes on the real thing.
The 2020 Ferrari 812 GTS Spider Has a Front-Mounted V-12 and That’s a Big Deal
If you were holding off buying the Ferrari 812 Superfast because you really wanted it as a convertible, then you should grab your checkbook because that exact car has been unveiled. It’s called the 812 GTS and Ferrari didn’t mess around with it too much - it really is just that: the drop-top version of the 812 hardtop.
Ferrari is keen to remind use that this particular formula - drop top, V-12 engine in the front, is really quite a rare combination throughout the manufacturer’s history. It points out that the last such model to go on sale was the 2010 Ferrari SA Aperta, although it also counts the limited-series 2014 Ferrari F60 America that was launched to mark the manufacturer’s 60th year on the American market.
Next-Gen Nissan Juke NISMO has its work cut out?
Nissan has only just pulled the veil away from its all-new second-generation Juke crossover and we’re already wondering what the hot Juke NISMO variant might be like. The automaker will probably go quite crazy with it if it does get made, but until we get official confirmation of the production model, this rendering is all we have to go by.
2019 Nissan Juke arrives with updated design, new platform and roomier interior
Nissan took a gamble when it launched the Juke small crossover in 2010. The bug-eyed design was definitely very polarizing, but the model quickly (and rather surprisingly for some) gained a lot of fans and now it’s a really common sight in many countries (over one million found homes just in Europe alone). And since the radical design approach proved so successful, Nissan has elected not to change it too much for the model’s second generation that was just revealed, even though it’s an all-new vehicle riding on a different platform.
The 2019 Hyundai i10 Is So Cute That You Just Want to Pet It
How the i10 city car has evolved from one generation to the next is the story of Hyundai’s growing confidence over the last few years. The first generation car looked humble and honest - it had the appearance of a kei car puffing itself up to look like something Europeans might find appealing. Next came the second-gen i10, with its bold face and overall design, and it was unashamedly European in the way it was perceived and much more proud-looking than the car it replaced.
Now we have the third-gen Hyundai i10 and it again marks a significant leap - this time into the league of the most desirable cars in its class. Compared to similar-size rivals, it almost looks like a premium automaker’s attempt at penetrating the city car class. It still looks distinctly European, just like its predecessor, but this time its design is more subtle and sculptural, and its face is less aggressive.
Ever Wonder Just What the Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina Is Made of? Look No Further
The Ferrari P4/5 by Pininfarina is one of those special one-off cars that have never slipped under the radar ever since their creation. Sure, it’s based on Ferrari Enzo underpinnings, but it’s really so much more than that, which is why the fact that we got to see it all disassembled is such a treat. And since there’s only one in the world, you’ll most likely never see it, let alone with its engine out and its underpinnings all exposed.
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA 220 AMG Line - Driven
Mercedes has really improved the CLA sedan in its second generation. It looks better, it’s considerably more comfortable and it packs even more tech than before too. It’s not quite perfect, but given how sleek and fancy it looks, you won’t have troubles forgiving the few flaws that it does have.
You’ll definitely notice the all-new interior, which is basically the same as in all current compact Mercedes models. It’s such a big improvement over the so-so interior of its predecessor and higher-spec examples now feel properly posh inside - this was never the case with the first generation CLA, whose interior was lackluster by Mercedes standards, whichever way you specced it.
However, while the exterior and interior pack quite a visual punch, what’s happened under the CLA’s skin is equally significant - whereas the previous model had a jarring ride and may have felt overly-sharp to some drivers, this new CLA has a softer, slightly more relaxed edge to it. It still feels sporty, but it doesn’t punish you for it like the old car did.
My tester was a 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLA 220 with the AMG Line pack and it felt really special to be in. Sure, maybe the €15,000 worth of extras it had on it helped seal the deal, but I was able to channel them out and focus on the core experience - and it was still good, still compelling and overall a solid car, even while ignoring the bells and whistles.
Photography by Andrei Nedelea
2019 Mercedes V300d - Driven
Mercedes pitches the V-Class (known as the Metris in North America) as a cavernous van that can cater for both people and cargo carrying duties. And because it is a Mercedes, the passenger versions can be specced up to an almost unbelievable level, with comfort and luxury features you’d normally associate with the brand’s flagship S-Class sedan, or one of their other top-tier models.
The V-Class was recently lightly facelifted, but the refresh is so light that it’s clear Mercedes thought it was already quite good as it was. On the outside, the facelift only changed the front bumpers you can have on your V, depending on which version you opt for, as well as four all-new wheel designs that range in size from 17 to 19 inches - that’s it.
But Mercedes wasn’t sloppy in its effort to improve the V-Class (which in its third and current generation was introduced in 2014) and it mainly concentrated on improving its interior. For Europe, Mercedes swapped out the older 2.1-liter four-cylinder diesel available in several states of tune, replacing it with a new (and better) 2.0-liter that is just better in every single way.
My tester was a V300d, motivated by the new four-pot oil-burner in its most powerful guise, in Avantgarde trim and with the AMG Line pack fitted on. The latter transforms the look of the big V, especially since it swaps out the front bumper for a sportier looking one that is as aggressive as on any other AMG pack-equipped Mercedes. Essentially, it adds an AMG pack-specific grille and AMG pack-specific rims (in this case seven-twin-spoke 19-inch rims that have a silver-black two-tone finish and they really match the vehicle’s silver paint).
Photography by Andrei Nedelea
Pagani Has an EV in the Works and Even an SUV, but What Does That Mean for the Legendary V-12?
Pagani has established itself as one of Italy’s most well known makers of opulent super- and hypercars and part of what made its creations so popular was the V12 engine that powered them. The engine itself is made by Mercedes-AMG for Pagani, and while the current Huayra’s twin-turbo V-12 is not as loud or characterful as the naturally-aspirated V-12 heart of the older Zonda, it’s still an integral part of the experience.
But now we have news that Pagani is looking to shift its focus away from the V-12, at least in part, since its founder and CEO, Horacio Pagani, has confirmed the company is working on a fully-electric hypercar. Not only that, but Mr. Pagani has also admitted he’s been pondering whether or not to make an SUV for a long time and now that his company’s relationship to Mercedes is so tight and fruitful, he might actually push forward to make it happen.
2020 Kia XCeed Crossover
For those who want the Ceed hatchback, but wrapped in a higher-riding, crossover-like package and with a hint of extra sportiness to its design, then the Kia XCeed is what you’re looking for. Its underpinnings are pretty much identical to those of the regular Ceed, but for some buyers, the fact that you sit higher off the ground in combination with the more rakish design will make it an irresistible proposition.
Kia markets it as “a sporty alternative to traditional SUVs” and while it’s certainly sportier than typical, tall SUVs, it’s not actually a sporty car. I will grant Kia this, though - this is the best looking member of the current Ceed family, which to my eyes is even more handsome than the Proceed wagon, thanks to its unique fascias and that very well executed fastback-style hatch.
And if at first glance you’re thinking “this looks quite different to all other Ceed models,” you are actually right. The only body panels the XCeed shares with the rest of the Ceed lineup are the front door panels - everything else is bespoke and really quite distinctive. The automaker has also tried to spruce up the interior, although here it only changed a few bits of trim to match the car’s more lively exterior - the dashboard, controls, seats and, well, pretty much everything is identical to what you see in the Ceed hatch.
2020 Renault Megane
Renault has been selling the current Megane unchanged since the current generation was launched back in 2016. Then, it attracted a lot of attention with its bold LED daytime running lights, wrap-around rear light clusters (that almost created a full-width light bar) and upmarket-feeling interior with its large portrait-style touchscreen infotainment screen.
Now, the manufacturer has brought the Megane in for its midlife makeover, in order to keep it looking fresh and to bring its look in line with that of newer models in the range (like the all-new generation Clio subcompact). The facelifted Megane features redesigned headlights (with a different but equally bold LED signature), a revised grille and front bumper, as well as a new rear light cluster design; the rear bumper may also be different, but if so, then the difference is so subtle we can’t really spot it.
Its interior has also been updated, but the biggest change can be found under the revised Megane’s hood. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains will be offered for the first time, as Renault continues the quest to electrify as much of its range as possible - this was to be expected, though, since the new Clio can also be had as a hybrid, so electrifying the Megane was a logical next step.
12 Best Handling Cars in America Under $100,000
The stereotypical view about driving in the U.S. (propagated by people who’ve never actually been Stateside) is that it’s mostly wide, straight roads that make huge pickups seem small and where people drive their cliché muscle cars mostly straight and occasionally turning to the left. But America has innumerable awesome driving roads scattered across its vast territory, breathtaking roads with great tarmac and scenery, and there are plenty of people in the U.S. who prefer a good handling car over a big, powerful bruiser that resents corners.
This listicle is for them as it tries to concentrate the 12 best handling performance cars that you can buy for under $100,000 (some of which falling well under that figure). You may also be surprised to note that two of the cars in the list below are by all definitions actual muscle cars, yet in their current incarnation they have a lot of sports car DNA and they thoroughly deserve their place on this list.
When first doing research for this list I thought it was going to be tricky to get ten cars that fit the bill without resorting to filling the list with hot hatches. But thankfully, the $100,000 cap proved sufficient to include plenty of cars that may be quite diverse, yet they’re all known for their excellent handling. The fact that some of them are also really fast in a straight line and still come within budget is a bonus.
A New EV-Only Fiat 500 Is on the Way, But What Will It Look Like?
Fiat has been selling the current 500 city runabout for over ten years, mostly unchanged, and it will have to replace it with an all-new model fairly soon. Back in 2007, when it was first revealed, it was a response to the success that BMW was having with the MINI Cooper and VW with its revived Beetle, both of which were unashamedly retro-inspired.
Times are changing now, and the focus is more on how green cars are these days, as well as their level of perceived quality - how “premium” they feel. Fiat is reportedly working on the next-gen 500 and it is apparently not only going to be slightly bigger than the current car, but also fully-electric and considerably more luxurious.
The 2020 Mercedes EQV Is the First Electric Luxury MPV, but Is It More than a V-Class with a Heart of Lithium?
Electrification has caught up with one of Mercedes’ largest passenger car offerings, its V-Class people carrier. What you’re looking at here is called the EQV and according to Mercedes, it is the only vehicle of its type currently available on the market.
It’s not Mercedes’ first commercial-type vehicle that has gone all-electric, as it follows in the footsteps of the eVito and eSprinter models. But unlike those models which are not especially luxurious or sport a premium feeling, the EQV has a more posh vibe about it (and a lot more range than either of them).
The 2020 Audi RS6 Avant is one of the hottest wagons ever and finally coming to the U.S.
Audi has lifted the veil on what has to be one of the best (and most aggressive) looking wagons ever made: the 2020 Audi RS6 Avant. On top of that, it’s also going to cross the Pond into the U.S. market, despite the fact that wagons have not been enjoying as much popularity in the States as some say they deserve.
Now, this has to be a very pleasant surprise for the handful of American performance wagon fans who, I’m certain, are, as you are reading this, ecstatically running around, arms flailing in the air. The 2020 RS6 Avant is not just a handsome wagon; it looks like it crashed into a Lamborghini body shop and what came out the other side is a very happy mix of the two. I mean sure, it looks like it wants to eat your children, but you’d happily do it knowing you are appeasing the gods of fire and flared wheel arches.
2019 Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R
The 2019 Renault Megane R.S. Trophy-R is about as close as it gets to being the cap stone for the front-wheel drive hot hatch pyramid. It is the most extreme version of the current Megane RenaultSport and it makes the regular model look tame and watered down by comparison.
It is the even more extreme version of the Megane R.S. 300 Trophy, which, in turn, is more hardcore than the base Megane RenaultSport. The 300 Trophy already has plenty of go-faster mods, such as a standard Torsen limited-slop differential, a stiffer suspension setup complete with trick dampers that feature a hydraulic bumptstop, as well as bigger brakes and extra power extracted out of its 1.8-liter turbo four-cylinder.
The Trophy-R takes things a step further: most of its performance gain comes from the weight shedding of 130 kilograms (286 pounds) and some enhanced aero. Renault engineers also removed the 4Control four-wheel steering system not only to make the car lighter, but to also give it a more consistent feel when driven quickly around a track. This and other mods result is a car that currently holds the front-wheel drive lap record around the Nurburgring Nordschleife, which is no surprise, because that’s what it was designed to do (and also be the quickest and most focused vehicle of its type).
It’s also definitely got future classic written all over it. Only 500 examples will be made, all with a manual six-speed gearbox, stripped out interior (with a deleted back seat) and unique graphics. The high asking price might put some off it, but for those hardcore enthusiasts who are willing to spend more than 50 percent more on a Trophy-R than they would on the regular RenaultSport Megane (in order for the car to come fitted with the Nürburgring Record Pack), the difference will be worth it.
Get ready for the 24th installment in the long-running Need for Speed racing game series, Need for Speed: Heat, a new title that will be released this year for PC, PS4 and Xbox. Its release coincides with the franchise’s 25th anniversary, so we really do hope it’s going to be a good one - oh, and yes, that’s right, a quarter-century has passed since the 1994 launch of the first ever Need for Speed.
The 2020 Volkswagen T-Roc Cabriolet is your new small high-riding drop top
Convertible SUVs are only slightly more common than hen’s teeth these days, primarily because there doesn’t seem to be a huge market for them, yet VW has taken the plunge and launched one of its own - the new T-Roc Cabriolet, a model the manufacturer promises has a lot of appeal thanks to the many qualities it blends together.
2020 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid tops the range with 670 horsepower
Porsche has revealed its top-of-the-range SUV offerings, in the form of the new 2020 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid and 2020 Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid Coupe. These are not only the most powerful Cayenne models ever, but also the quickest too. They also come pretty close to fully loaded in terms of optional extras and, since both are hybrids, the fact that their battery pack is some 30 percent larger than that of any electrified Cayenne previously sold, the extra all-electric range is also welcome.
When somebody mentioned a 700+ horsepower, say, ten years ago, you would have thought about the handful of vehicles that come close to that value in thousands and the few that surpassed it. Nowadays, though, it seems like every other sporty wagon, car, or SUV is getting more powerful by the year, and 700 horsepower is starting to become more common than ever.
If you set your goal of buying a 700+ horsepower vehicle today, then the list of vehicles you may end up having to pick from could look a lot like this - an eclectic mix of different styles of cars, with wildly varying price tags, styles, engine displacement, and levels of tech. It will most likely boil down to the price of the vehicle, in most cases anyway, but rest assured that some of the vehicles on the list are genuinely attainable and, even if most aren’t, the sheer variety of choice you have today is actually quite impressive.
Performance wagon fans from the U.S. have missed yet another enticing, fun new model, in the form of the new (second generation) Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake. More specifically, one of the AMG-tuned performance versions, the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35. The sleek new CLA load lugger is quite a pretty car, with a striking interior, and this AMG version also adds proper poke and cornering ability into the mix.
Power comes from a 302 horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder that sends its power to all four wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Naturally, since it is an AMG mode, it features styling tweaks and upgrades to set it apart from CLA Shooting Brake examples and the same goes for the interior. It’s a car that packs a proper punch, but it’s also practical, very stylish and very modern-feeling inside too. None of the modifications are over the top, though, because, as you might know, this is the lesser of the two AMG versions of the CLA wagon and the design needs to reflect this.
For most people, the more powerful Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 Shooting Brake will be too much, not necessarily in terms of looks, because that model doesn’t look significantly more extreme than the CLA 35, but in terms of mixing sporty looks and performance. The CLA 35 will undeniably be more popular primarily because it looks pretty much the same as the CLA 45 and most buyers won’t feel the need for the extra 100 horsepower that the more powerful version offers and the inherent extra performance.
8 Crazy Diesel Swaps in Unexpected Cars
Diesels have received an increasingly bad rep over the past decade. They’ve been shunned by some as too dirty to run, a view strengthened by all the climate change advocates throwing their arms in the air announcing our impending mass extinction by global warming. However, there are those (rare) people who still appreciate the good old compression-ignition engine and who will go to great lengths to retrofit a car they like with an oil burner to satisfy themselves.
On my quest to find the craziest diesel swaps that the internet has to offer, I’ve assembled this list of ten examples that are not only cool but also support the idea that a diesel swap is a valid swap... at least in my mind. Keep in mind that some of the swaps on the list are easier to achieve than others as they require an extensive reengineering of the vehicle.
In some cases, the (often bigger) new engine won’t fit where it intended to, and it either gets moved to the middle of the car or serious hacking of the engine bay and firewall need to take place. But once the work on one of these is done, it will not only be super fast (if you use a turbocharged diesel) but also frugal. And, if you tune it well (which you should), it won’t spew out that much sooty black smoke out the back (or the hood, side, or wherever you feel like re-routing the exhaust to).
Our spies have spotted what appears to be the new BMW X7 testing almost completely covered in camo around the Nurburgring Nordschleife. It is believed this is the hot Alpina XD7 version of the X7 which is going to get a power boost and some styling differences inside and out in the familiar Alpina style.
You may have spotted that it has a “D” in its model designation, so it’s going to be a diesel, definitely based on the most powerful oil burner BMW makes, the M50d unit that kept pinning me to my seat during my road test of the M550d - it’s a torque monster with plenty of top end too.
The engine will be breathed upon by Alpina to make more power, and the suspension will be altered as well - it will be lowered and stiffened for improved handling and grip will be improved through the use of higher performance tires.
Update 08/05/2019: The 2019 Alpina XD7 was caught testing in the wild yet again, this time bearing a little less camo and some miniscule changes. Check out our spy shots section below to see what’s new.
The 2020 Mercedes-AMG A45 S is a lot quicker than the old AMG A45, but is it better?
Mercedes recently revealed the all-new 2020 AMG A45 S, a model that builds on the qualities of its predecessor but offers better performance, more tech, and a more modern look. If you read the press blurb for the new top tier A-Class hot hatch, it all points to the fact that it’s so much better than the car it replaces, but what we want to know is if all of it stands true in the real world and, if so, by how much. This video published by carwow aims to answer all of those questions (and more), since it pits the two generations of A45 against one another in order to specifically measure their performance.
Engineering Explained Cracks the Toyota Supra’s Engineering Wide Open
We know very well that the new Toyota Supra and the BMW Z4 are mechanically very similar under their quite different bodies. Aside from the design, probably the single biggest difference between them is the fact that one is only available as a fixed top coupé, while the other can only be had as a soft top roadster. But exactly how much the two cars are alike still seems to be up for debate, which is why Engineering Explained made this in-depth video, in order to help those who are still pondering whether or not to buy the new Supra.
Jay Leno Drives a Hand-Built Replica of the Missing 1934 Bugatti Aérolithe - Can it Live Up to His Expectations?
Bugatti built the Aérolithe in 1934 as a one-off concept whose aim was to show the way forward not only for the French automaker, but for the automobile in general. And it succeeded, as it inspired the Type 57 grand tourer, of which Bugatti built a total of 710 examples between 1936 and 1940 and these are now some of the most expensive and highly coveted interwar classics in existence. There was only one problem with this picture: the Aérolithe design study disappeared under mysterious circumstances just as the clouds of war were gathering over Europe.
Grand Theft Auto VI: What We Know so Far
Whenever there is news of an upcoming Grand Theft Auto game it is BIG news. The current GTA game has so far grossed $6-billion, which is more than any blockbuster movie in history and it’s still being bought today, nearly six years after it was released. Now we know there is a new installment in the works, GTA IV, and this is what we know about it so far.
It’s likely going to feature a multiple city setup that will see the characters travel from one city to another via airplane. Seamless integration of all platforms is also one of the rumors - you’ll essentially even be able to play the game with the best possible graphics settings on your smartphone via streaming and play with people connecting through different platforms. GTA IV will have several main characters which the player will be able to cycle through to advance the story, however there is a chance that one of these characters is a cop or female... or maybe even both.
This and plenty more will be analyzed below in this frenzied quest to uncover as much about the next GTA as possible, a quest that was sparked back in March of 2018 when the YouTube channel “The Know” uploaded a video containing several bits of information about the upcoming Rockstar Games title. Back then the big news was the possible return of the series to a familiar and fan-favorite location.
What Would the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette Stingray Look Like if it Was a Front-Engined Car?
Chevrolet really got people talking with the location of the engine in the new C8 Corvette Stingray. The fact that the car is mid-engined made headlines, as did the slew of advantages this new configuration brings. There are plenty of upsides to a mid-mounted engine, but in spite of all that, some people aren’t thrilled by the new Corvette and they say they would have preferred if Chevrolet had kept it front-engined, in-keeping with tradition.
It seems that the people who share this view all agree that the Corvette nameplate is synonymous with the FR layout. Some go on to argue that the C7 was already mid-engined (well, front-mid-engined, anyway) and that there was no need to radically change the formula, just find ways to improve upon what was there.
Chevy, on the other hand, says it had just about reached the upper limit of what it could do with the front-engined Corvette, on top of the fact that there had been talks about shifting the Corvette to a mid-engined layout for decades. The automaker is adamant it made the right decision and that the mid-engined C8 is a better car than a front-engined C8 could ever have been.
And, it still looks distinctly Corvette-esque, even though its proportions might seem off due to the new layout. This essentially means that the C8 will probably still appeal to most existing Corvette fans, but at the same time, attract new buyers that may have been looking to buy something similar but far more exclusive and expensive. Is this the Corvette that will put a dent in Ferrari, Lamborghini, or McLaren’s sales? Probably not, but it will definitely affect the AMG GT, Porsche Cayman, 911, BMW Motorsport, and Audi RS and R8 sales, though, as well as the second-hand supercar market too.
Only time will tell just how big its impact will be, but while we wait, we can still imagine what a front-engined C8 Corvette Stingray may have looked like.
The First Rendering of the 2021 Chevy C8 Corvette ZR1 Has Us Anxious for the Future
Chevrolet says it has seriously enhanced every part of the new Corvette C8 Stingray’s performance repertoire - the car is considerably faster to sprint, but also sharper and more agile through the corners than the model it replaces. On paper, the regular C8 is probably about as quick as more potent versions of the old Corvette C7, so we’re really wondering what kind of bonkers numbers the ZR1 version of the C8 will provide.
What Exterior Color Options Did We Not See on the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette at Launch?
When we attended the launch of the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette we only saw the new mid-engined Stingray in four of the available colors. They’re all fine choices and each gives the car a unique vibe and look, yet this limited selection only constituted about 25 percent of all available color options. So which ones were not present?
Still Don’t Like the Look of the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette? Let Us Show You How Similar it is to the C7 Corvette!
The launch of the 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette Stingray is on everybody’s lips these days. It has to be one of the most significant car launches of the year, especially since it’s going to be sold in right-hand drive, and it is ,therefore, most likely also been designed to comply with European legislation (among other places). So, it’s going to be a global sports car with exotic supercar looks at only a fraction of the price - in fact, it’s probably not even going to be that much more expensive than the C7 Stingray it replaces.
You may think that in moving the engine behind the passenger compartment, Chevrolet has essentially rewritten the formula for the Corvette, and you’d be right. However, that’s about the most drastic and revolutionary thing the automaker did, because from a visual standpoint, everything else looks evolutionary. You can certainly immediately tell the C8 looks more modern and more like an imported, mid-engined exotic, yet you can also see the fact that it’s a development of the C7’s styling.
2020 De Tomaso P72 versus 2005 SCG P4/5
Jaws dropped at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed when the De Tomaso P72 was revealed to the public. Its intoxicating mix of retro design cues, modern interpretation, and opulent presentation made it an instant hit. The car previews a planned series of 72 examples set to grace the garages of wealthy collectors, but while most who have laid eyes on it have instantly fallen in love, there is one person who has less than flattering things to say about it.
James Glickenhaust is known for his role in the film industry, but also as an automotive entrepreneur and owner of American boutique car maker Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus (SCG). In 2005, he commissioned the creation of a Ferrari Enzo-based car called the P4/5 that was initially supposed to bear the SCG badge, but upon seeing it, Ferrari chairman at the time, Luca di Montezemolo decided that the Pininfarina-designed one-off should bear the Prancing Horse badge instead.
Glickenhaus recently accused De Tomaso of blatantly ripping off the P4/5’s design, combining it with that of the iconic 1967 Ferrari 330 P3/4 (which in turn also previously inspired the Glickenhaus car), and rehashing it for the P72. We can definitely see where he’s coming from, but at the same time, there are plenty of differences in the design, and, overall, the two cars feel different and they feel like they have different philosophies behind them. In fact, they do, because the P4/5 was conceived as a single example never to be replicated, while the P72 is intended for limited series production, and it’s also considerably more opulent looking - by contrast, the P4/5 looks spartan and racecar-like.
The New 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette’s interior is befitting of a supercar, even though it will start at under $60,000
Corvette interiors were never anything to write home about. Sure, they improved from generation to generation in terms of materials quality, design, as well as fit and finish, but there was nothing especially remarkable that put them ahead of other sports car interiors. This has now all changed with the all-new mid-engined Corvette C8 which features an interior that makes the C7’s interior look like a spiced up Chevy Cruze.
2019 BMW 1 Series review roundup - has BMW dropped the ball with its new FWD baby model?
Something needs to be said before even attempting to tackle the problem of figuring out whether the all-new BMW 1 Series is a peach or a dud: in making it front-wheel drive, BMW has made it less of an enthusiast’s car because in sending power to the front wheels, some of the handling purity has been lost. Also lost is the perfect 50/50 weight distribution that ensured the E87 and F20 were poised, predictable and fun to chuck around.
The Lotus Evija isn’t quick enough for a near-2,000 horsepower EV hypercar
Lotus has shown its most powerful and most extreme car ever, the Evija all-electric hypercar. In fact, according to the specs published by the U.K.-based sports car maker (now owned by Chinese giant Geely), it will be the most powerful production car ever made, just nudging ahead of the likes of thePininfarina Battista.
It’s a truly gorgeous looking thing, with typical Lotus design but rendered in a more futuristic manner that not only makes the car stand out, but at the same time it makes it look far more exclusive than anything the automaker has previously sold. However, while I love the way it looks, there’s something a bit peculiar about its claimed performance - to me, the amount of power and torque and the declared benchmark sprint time just don’t add up. I think it should be faster than they say it is, so keep on reading as I try to elaborate as to why.
Here’s Why You Must attend the Goodwood Festival of Speed
It is now the second consecutive year that I have attended the Goodwood Festival of Speed and it seems that each time I go, I even more fervently want to return next year to see its gloriously eclectic mix of motors. There is literally nothing else like it in the world - it’s a unique venue that brings together cars and bikes from all eras, some famous faces, and it is peppered with cool events crowned by the famous Hillclimb
There is so much to like about it. Even just the atmosphere you experience by merely perusing its grounds, centered around the historic Goodwood House - there is nothing else like it. Then there are the vehicles present at the event, which range from century-old classics that you rarely get to see running, to the very latest cars that have yet to make their showroom debut. Oh, and everything in between too.
I Saw the 2020 MINI Cooper S JCW GP at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed and Holy Mother of Hot Hatches (Well, almost)
One of the cars I was most eagerly looking forward to seeing at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed is the upcoming 2020 MINI Cooper S JCW GP. The automaker chose to have the car’s “dynamic debut” up the Goodwood Hillclimb but, when the car was not on the track, it was quietly sitting in the paddock looking like a touring car on road tires - I examined it closely and took a few closeup shots of the camouflaged pre-production prototype.
I Saw the 2020 BMW M135i at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed and I’m Impressed
BMW’s new, third-generation 1 Series, internally known as the F40, marks a big departure for the model because it moves from a rear-wheel-drive architecture to one that’s front-wheel drive. This not only has a big impact on how it drives, but it also means it has a new and different aesthetic vibe.
Whereas the previous-gen F20 1 Series, regardless of body style, betrayed the fact that its engine was mounted longitudinally and that power was sent to the rear wheels, the new F40 clearly has the proportions of a front-wheel-drive car. But it’s not a bad looking car by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, I got to see the top tier M135i at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed and even as I approached the BMW stand I was preparing myself for the worst, but when I actually saw the car, all my fears were dispelled.
2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed: Top Six New Car Premieres
What’s really great about the Goodwood Festival of Speed, especially in recent years, is that it not only assembles cars from all eras of motoring but that it also plays host to several debuts. More and more automakers have chosen the Festival as the venue of choice to reveal (usually sporty) new cars in order to gauge the opinion of the public.
The crowd at Goodwood is arguably more discerning too, since probably more people who attend this event are connoisseurs and/or enthusiasts than those who attend traditional motor shows. And, if a manufacturer chooses to present a new model here, it needs to be aware that its new metal will probably be in the very close proximity to priceless classics or flashy modern exotics.
With that being said, I’ve gathered a list of the top six most important new cars shown to the public for the first time at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed. The list contains three hot hatches and three supercars, one of which is actually a track-only special that attracted quite a bit of attention at the event.
The 2020 Ford Focus ST Might Be Fast, but It’s Boring to Look At
Ford makes some of the best hot hatches on the planet, and according to those who have already driven it, the new Focus ST is no exception. However, the Blue Oval was a bit overly cautious with the styling of the new Focus ST, so much so that it doesn’t even look like a proper ST, but more like an ST Line.
And I’m a car guy who pays attention to details and is usually quick to spot (even subtle) differences between models, but even to myself this just looks like the sport pack you pay a bit extra for to have on your mid-range Focus. This is a disappointment because it really doesn’t do this car’s performance and handling justice - if I’d buy this car, I’d instantly start searching for some sort of more aggressive body kit to spruce it up.
1967 Ford Mustang EV by Charge Cars
Electrifying older cars is an area with huge potential because the vehicles that result from such conversions have classic style and modern performance, all with zero tailpipe emissions. That’s why projects like this 1967 Ford Mustang that’s been modified by Charge Cars in the UK is so intriguing because it not only (still) looks the part, but it’s also blisteringly fast and packed with cool tech too.
The All-electric 2020 Honda e City Car Has Been Driven, but How Does it Hold Up?
The most logical place for an electric vehicle to be used is the city where commutes are quite short and involve a lot of stop and go traffic. That’s why Honda’s first mass-market electric vehicle, called Honda e, is aimed at city driving. But since city cars nowadays have evolved into posh accessories on wheels, it not only needs to perform but needs to look good while doing it.
This is very close to the final production form of the Honda e, and it was recently driven by Robert Llewellyn from the Fully Charged Show YouTube channel. He’s usually quite excited about pretty much anything that is powered by electricity, but in the case of the Honda e, he seems even more thrilled. But why is that?
Lightyear One is a viable solar sedan that’s headed for production
Over the last decade, the race to find alternative ways to fuel our vehicles has sped up exponentially and many ideas have been presented as the solution to ween ourselves off fossil fuels. And while capturing solar energy is a viable means to make power, the idea to make an actual solar-powered car has not been especially high on any automakers’ list, until now.
This is the very promising Lightyear One, an all-electric car which you can charge just like any other EV, but one whose party piece is the fact that its roof is one big solar panel that does (slowly) charge the battery. This vehicle is a one-off prototype right now, but the plan is to have an initial production run of 500 examples.
Would a Mercedes GLB pickup sell in America?
Pickup trucks are all the rage in the U.S. and have been at the peak of buyers’ preferences for decades. However, such vehicles are only really made by mainstream manufacturers, with few (if any) of the premium automakers in on this highly lucrative segment. But what if Mercedes made a pickup version of its new GLB small SUV? Would anybody actually buy such a thing?
The Kia XCeed is the Sport Crossover We Didn’t Realize We Needed
Just like every other mainstream manufacturer, Kia has launched a crossover based on its compact hatchback. Dubbed the XCeed, it is exactly what its name implies - a taller and slightly more off-road-capable version of Kia’s Ceed hatchback.
It is now the fourth available Ceed body style, after the regular hatchback, the Ceed Sportswagon, and the ProCeed shooting brake model. However, it doesn’t actually share any exterior body panels with any of them and, while the all the vehicles in the Ceed family were already pretty handsome, the new XCeed takes up a notch further. It’s even better to look at and you hardly notice it sits any higher off the ground.
2020 Ford Puma crossover is here to steal the Nissan Juke’s thunder
Make way for another quirky, cutesy, bug-eyed city crossover that wants to muscle in on the Nissan Juke’s territory: the all-new 2020 Ford Puma. It’s a funky new high rider from the Blue Oval that’s big on style and ambition. The main talking point about the Puma mini-SUV has to be the way it looks because even in the crowded and highly competitive segment it’s trying to penetrate, it’s actually quite distinctive.
Ford has not only managed to create quite the striking pint-sized crossover shape, but it’s also one that evokes the previous model that bore this name, a Fiesta-based coupe from the mid-1990s. And that’s a good thing because nobody accused the original Puma of being ugly (quite the contrary, plus it’s actually aged pretty well too) and it was actually surprisingly popular for what it was back in the day.
The 2020 Audi Q7 Has An Updated Design and New Tech, But Does It Look Worse Than Before?
People’s opinions of how good Audi cars look are remarkably varied - some think nothing on four wheels looks cooler, while others don’t appreciate their extra chiseled features and massive grilles. The current Audi Q7 SUV was one of the least polarizing models they sold, striking a great balance between being flashy and subdued. Now, however, it’s gone under the knife for the customary facelift and what has resulted from this nip and tuck doesn’t look as good as what went into the operating room in the first place.
Does the self-driving BMW M Next concept Actually Preview the Next-Gen BMW i8?
BMW is making a bold statement for the future of the company with the Vision M Next concept, a radical looking sports car with a plug-in hybrid heart that’s jam-packed with tech. The study not only makes a statement on design, but it also emphasizes the choice future drivers will have to make - will you drive yourself to your destination or will you allow the car to drive you there?
The automaker touts it as “a glimpse into the future of sporty driving,” but also a vehicle that “demonstrates how state-of-the-art technology can also make the experience of driving yourself purer and more emotionally engaging.” It’s therefore trying to meld two ideas that at first seem mutually exclusive: deriving fun not only from driving, but also being driven around in a sporty car. It may also be a preview for a future production model, possibly the next-gen i8, an i8 replacement, or even BMW’s Ferrari and McLaren rival that’s rumored to debut in a few years’ time.
BMW 8-Series Gran Touring would be one of the coolest wagons in the world
Wagons are not as popular a body style as they once were, having been pushed aside by the relentless onslaught of the crossover. If they were still a body style that enough people wanted, then maybe cars like this cool BMW M850i Gran Touring could actually have been made.
2019 Lincoln MKC - Driven
Lincoln has updated the MKC crossover for the 2019 model year, and with this refresh, the manufacturer aims to make its smallest SUV more attractive among the many talented rivals in its segment. The pre-facelift MKC was already pretty good, although not perfect, but now Lincoln says there is even more to like about it.
We tried the top of the range, The 2019 Lincoln MKC “Black Label”, with the more powerful of the two available engines, the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder turbo. In this spec, the MKC doesn’t leave you wanting for power, presence, or luxury, but at the same time it’s not perfect and we understand why these aren’t flying out of showrooms.
It is by no means a bad way to spend around $50,000 on a posh compact SUV that also happens to be made by an American brand. In the configuration we tested it in, it’s actually quite pleasant to live with - it’s even fun on occasion, especially with the 2.3-liter engine that comes as standard with grippy all-wheel drive.
The first ever Tesla pickup truck is here and it’s not what you expected
We know for a fact that Tesla will unveil its first ever pickup truck sometime this year, but some people aren’t prepared to wait so they’ve made their own. This is the story of Simone Giertz who did just that, using a Tesla Model 3 sedan as a base. That’s right. She bought a Tesla Model 3 and started cutting, adjusting, and welding. The result is way better than we would have expected. Here’s how this story goes.
Chris Harris in a Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo challenges Matt LeBlanc in a Ferrari GTC4Lusso V12
Porsche and Ferrari aren’t necessarily renowned for their family friendly wagons, yet both actually offer such models in their lineup. Ferrari has the GTC4Lusso, a shooting brake with space for four, while Porsche has given us the Panamera Sport Turismo, an actual four-door estate with practicality to match its performance.
Is the all-new Peugeot 2008 the best looking crossover you can buy right now?
It seems you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to own a great looking crossover these days because you will soon be able to order the pretty new Peugeot 2008. Essentially a taller version of the company’s rakish 208 hatchback, aimed at those who prefer a loftier driving position and more practicality, it also happens to knock the ball out of the park in terms of style.
The 2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 has a new 414 horsepower 4.0-liter boxer-six
Porsche’s press blurbs are usually more about a car’s technical prowess, the engineering behind it, and yet, for the new 2020 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4, the tone is a bit different. The automaker is trying to emphasize the fact that the new GT4 stirs your emotions and that the experience of driving it is joy, most of which is derived from the flat-six engine that powers it..
This is a significant difference to all other models in the 718 lineup, all of which are now powered by new turbocharged four-cylinder horizontally-opposed engines and the consensus is they don’t really sound especially exciting. That’s where this new 718 GT4 comes in as it not only brings back the evocative six-pot soundtrack, but it offers it in a more hardcore, track-focused package that will appeal to real enthusiasts.
2020 Renault ZOE EV has sharper looks, more range and two motor options
Our readers from North America may not really be familiar with the Renault Zoe, but it is actually the best selling all-electric vehicle in Europe, so the fact that a new one has been launched is a pretty big deal. It’s definitely an evolution of the old car and not a dramatic, revolution, but it addresses some key concerns people had with it in the past in order to make it even more enticing for city types who don’t want a small EV.
The 2020 Renault ZOE has freshened up exterior design, a much improved interior (it sorely needed), a battery pack has 30 percent extra capacity over the old one and new tech that was not available on the old ZOE. And having improved the car in all these areas, Renault has a chance of staying on top of EV sales in Europe, even though there are far more rivals out now than there were when the ZOE debuted, back in 2012.
The Toyota Camry is available in Europe for the first time in decades, sold as a luxury sedan that undercuts the usual luxury sedan suspects on price. The model is a firm favorite not only in America, but also in Russia, yet it has not been available for European buyers who where offered the Avensis sedan instead.
Now that the Avensis was phased out in mid-2018, there is space in Toyota’s Euro range for a large-ish sedan and the global Camry seems like a perfect fit. It is bigger and more expensive than the Avensis, though, and it will not really face off against the Ford Mondeos and VW Passats, but instead a different car that’s very similar to it in terms of formula: the very talented and much loved Skoda Superb, a car that offers the space of a limousine and almost limo-like levels of luxury for a fraction of what an equivalent premium car of the same size would cost.
The Superb is definitely the Camry’s biggest European rival, and once buyers do get accustomed to the Camry being available, these two models will undeniably be cross-shopped. The only problem is the Camry is only sold as a hybrid in Europe and it can’t really compete with the strong powertrain lineup of the Superb - the big Czech sedan even gained a plug-in hybrid version along with the recent mid lifecycle refresh.
2020 Ford Explorer ST does well in first video review
The 2020 Ford Explorer ST is the fastest and most powerful ST-branded Ford ever... and it’s an SUV. But is it a better SUV than the one it replaced, especially now since it has been pushed upmarket along with its price point and it may face rivals that bear a premium badge? Well, this is the very first video out on the hottest version of the new Explorer ST (or any version of it for that matter) and it suggests the Explorer definitely has improved in virtually all areas.
Think 416 Horsepower From AMG’s M 139 Four-Banger is Crazy? Mercedes Says It Can Do Better
We recently went into great detail about Mercedes’ new M 139 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the power plant that will make the new 2020 Mercedes-AMG A45S the fastest and maddest hot hatchback ever created. The automaker has announced the engine makes 415 horsepower (421 PS), or around 40 horsepower more than the similar unit it replaces. However, a new report has surfaced suggesting this crazy force-fed four-banger has even more to give and Mercedes has every intention of getting it to achieve its full potential.
2020 Hyundai Palisade
The Hyundai Palisade is the new flagship of the range, so it needs to be very good. It has a distinctive face that sets it apart from other Hyundai models and clearly can’t be mistaken for another brand. However, it’s not its striking fascia put on an otherwise familiar big SUV shape that’s important here, but the amount of room inside and how pleasant it is to travel in.
With seating for up to eight people, the Palisade offers one more than some competitors, and if you fold down all of its seats, you can get a pretty van-like loading bay. It also looks and feels well appointed inside, with no dramatic design touches - It’s just clear, functional, and minimalist.
It needs to face tough adversaries that have several generations of models behind them and, with it being a completely new nameplate, it may struggle a bit. Its exterior appearance blends a funky face with a more traditional overall aesthetic, but the interior may feel reminiscent to what you may see in a high-end German brand like Mercedes, Audi, or BMW, and its rivals will struggle to match the same feel inside their cabins.
Update 06/12/2019: Hyundai has released pricing for the all-new 2020 Palisade, and it looks like our estimates were spot on. Check out the details in the “Prices” section of our review below!
2020 BMW 3-Series Touring arrives as more practical alternative to the sedan
If sporty rear-wheel drive wagons are your thing then you will love the all-new 2020 BMW 3-Series Touring that was just revealed. It’s essentially the same proposition as the sedan, but with extra carrying capacity and practicality - two characteristics that make it more appealing to families and those who go on frequent road trips.
Some will just buy the wagon over the sedan simply for the look - throughout Western Europe you see various generations of 3-Series Touring pass you on the motorway, so that part of the world’s love affair with the more practical end of the 3-Series range is well known. But, this new one still needs to show improvements over older generations in order to stay relevant, and BMW says it is packed full of cool features that will be irresistible for those who like both sporty rear-wheel drive cars and practical load-luggers and want these two characteristics in one car.
The 2020 Bentley Flying Spur has a Crazy Top Speed And a Secret Weapon Against Cornering
Bentley has just pulled the digital wraps off the third incarnation of its Flying Spur sedan, the four-door sibling to the Continental GT coupe. This latest model has a more athletic looking body, emphasized by more muscular rear flanks. It’s also longer, more spacious and comfortable for passengers, and even better to drive than the model it replaces.
It features several technical innovations, like the first ever retractable Flying B hood mascot, but also rear-wheel steering and additional active and passive safety aids. Its 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 engine has also been reworked to produce more power and torque. In the near future, the model will also be made available with a plug-in hybrid powertrain and a twin-turbo V-8.
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB Seven-Seater Compact Crossover Is the New Official "Baby G-Class"
Previewed by the very revealing Concept GLB, the production version of the Mercedes-Benz GLB has now been officially unveiled and detailed. Its underpinnings are closely related to those of the A-Class hatch or the CLA sedan, but judging by its design and size, you wouldn’t really know they are related, at least from the outside.
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB was designed to fill the spot in the range between the smaller GLA (based on the same front-wheel drive-biased chassis architecture) and the larger GLC (essentially the SUV equivalent of the C-Class sedan). However, even though its wheelbase is shorter than that of the GLC, the GLB’s squared off design and tall greenhouse actually allow it to be perceived as the larger car.
The New Four-Cylinder From Mercedes-AMG is Crazy Powerful
We’re really looking forward to the new Mercedes-AMG A45 because it will be powered by a new four-cylinder engine with even more power than the one it replaces. It is a brand new unit, dubbed M139, that according to the manufacturer is the most powerful four-cylinder engine in series production, with an impressive 208 horsepower (211 PS) per liter output.
2020 Skoda Octavia: All We Know so Far
The Octavia is unquestionably a money maker for Skoda, a Europe-wide phenomenon that has been sweeping the continent since the original debuted in 1996. The latest (third) generation model has also proven highly popular and is still selling well today, despite the fact that it was actually launched way back in 2013. Now an all-new model is on the verge of being launched and we don’t expect it to be a misstep for Skoda. The Czech automaker will want to put its best foot forward with the fourth-gen Octavia since, even though it is not a high-riding crossover, Skoda sells nearly 400,000 units per year in Europe, among its different versions.
However, Skoda has changed its model structure with the release of the new Scala hatchback, and it’s this model that now occupies the spot in the range that was previously taken up by the Octavia. Well, they’re sold alongside right now, but that’s only until the new Octavia arrives. All information seems to point to the fact that it will be sold as a more expensive and more upmarket offering - this is a formula change compared to before when it had to fill the range now occupied by the Scala.
2020 Land Rover Defender reveals a bit more skin in new photos and video
Production of the all-new 2020 Land Rover Defender is reportedly ramping up at the company’s plant in Nitra, Slovakia. We’re still a few months away from seeing the finished product, though, and many details surrounding it are still not very clear.
We have had our best look at it so far, courtesy of an official video (and photo gallery) that highlighted the fact that pre-production prototype Defenders were actually used by park rangers in Kenya. The video is meant to evoke the Defender’s outdoorsy spirit and its capability in the toughest conditions in the world, but what we were more interested in was to get a better glimpse of of the car itself - and we did, even though the video doesn’t really have any clear closeups of the car.
10 Modern Luxury cars that changed everything
In case you thought significant innovation among luxury automakers is dead, and that everybody is copying what everybody else is doing, you are actually wrong. Plenty of innovations have popped up in different luxury cars over the last few years, some of which are just cool and amusing, while others are genuinely useful and make your life easier.
We do expect the manufacturers of the most prestigious and advanced cars in the world to come up with these new ideas that eventually trickle down into lower tier cars, so let’s see a roundup of ten cool cars and the interesting features they debuted.
The 2020 BMW M8 is Here But is it a Suitable Investment over the M850i?
No more waiting around for BMW to reveal and fully detail the first car to bear the M8 badge. While there was a previous 8 Series model back in the 1990s, it never spawned an M8, so this is it. BMW will sell it to you in coupe or convertible guise or, if you want a more extreme edge to the M8 experience, you can have either spiced up Competition guise.
BMW has taken a leap of faith after looking over the fence at Mercedes and its highly successful A-Class and launched its own front-wheel-drive hatchback, the new 1-Series. Naturally, since BMW is a manufacturer with sporting aspirations, its new 1-Series will be sold as an all-wheel-drive hot hatch too, the M135i that almost perfectly mirrors the formula (and specs) of the spiced up Mercedes-AMG A35.
It’s as if the two rival manufacturers copied each other’s formulas, then went ahead and materialized the idea in their own way and their own style. The result is two highly enticing premium hot hatchbacks with oodles of appeal and bags of charm - but which one do you go for?
There are probably few rival models in the world right now that are so close in so many ways, yet their manufacturers are completely separate entities. If you were to choose one of these cars based on performance, you’d have a very hard time doing so because they are almost identical. But even so, they will undoubtedly be cross-shopped, so a conclusion should be reached as to which one is the better buy - a tall order, no doubt, that will require an in-depth analysis of each taken separately, as well as both together and in the current market context.
The Opel Corsa is one of the German manufacturer’s best selling models, and now there’s an all-new sixth-generation model out, based around the same platform as the 2019 Peugeot 208. The two cars are mechanically very similar, but what they propose are two distinct visual packages - the 2020 Opel Corsa is the more sober and restrained of the two, so it’s probably pretty attractive to you if you prefer to be more low-key and not stand out as much as you would in, say, the flashier Peugeot 208.
Aside from it sharing its underpinnings with other PSA products, the new Corsa also being offered in all-electric form for the first time. That model is called the Corsa-e and is motivated by a powertrain that is also shared with the new e-208). However, its platform sharing doesn’t affect the way it looks, and the 2020 Corsa looks like a current Opel model both inside and out. You can’t really spot the relation unless you know of it beforehand.
The 2020 Opel Corsa’s new platform also helps it shed significant weight over its GM-Fiat underpinned predecessor and, in doing so, it has become quicker, more efficient, and better at going around corners too. Sitting inside, you’ll notice the much lower and sportier driving position as well as the feeling of being cocooned in the cabin - a feeling akin to that you get from a sports car. It even feels a bit sportier inside than its Peugeot-badged cousin.
2020 BMW 1 Series with M Performance Parts
BMW has not wasted any time showing off the optional M Performance parts it plans to offer for the all-new 2020 1 Series hatchback. The all-new, front- or all-wheel-drive model has just debuted, but BMW has already showed off what it can look all decked out with official sporty bits and there’s certainly an air of boy racer about it. It actually looks like a traditional hot hatch with all of them fitted.
BMW Opens a New FWD Chapter For Its Smallest Model, The 2020 BMW 1-Series Hatchback
BMW purists, have your rotten tomatoes ready because the all-new 1 Series has just been revealed and, as we were expecting, most models in the 1 Series lineup will be front-wheel drive. Yes, the Bavarian automaker has abandoned the traditional rear-wheel drive formula with a longitudinal engine in favor of a cheaper, easier to manufacture, and more compact transverse engine with power going either to the front wheels or all four, depending on the model.
Its internal code name is F40, and the model it replaces was called the F20. The cars themselves aren’t only different from a drivetrain layout standpoint, but also design, as the new F40 really embraces the proportions of a front-wheel drive car, with a short snout, steeply rising belt line, and slightly smaller exterior dimensions overall. In fact, if you put it alongside the new BMW X2 crossover, the 1-Series will just look like a slightly lower and sleeker version of that, but I doubt non-car people will easily be able to tell them apart.
The 6 fastest front-wheel drive cars around the Nurburgring Norschleife
Modern front-wheel drive hatchbacks are now considerably faster around a track than some of the supercars we used to drool over in the 1990s. The proof is their lap times around the fabled Nurburgring Nordschleife - times that just keep on dropping with every new hardcore hot hatch that bursts onto the scene.
The front-wheel-drive record for the Nordschleife seems to tumble every time a manufacturer that knows hot hatches releases a new model. The most recent one is the new 2019 RenaultSport Megane Trophy R, the lightened, stiffened, hardcore version of the Megane RS that took the record away from the latest Honda Civic Type-R. But that’s not to say cars that previously held the record aren’t blisteringly fast in their own right, even if they are now in third or fourth position, or even lower.
Here are the six fastest front-wheel drive cars ever made, rated by their lap times worst to best
Dieter Zetsche steps down as Daimler CEO, drives off in a BMW i8
Many agree that competition is constructive, and that it brings about progress, and that is probably the case when it comes to the rivalry between two premium German giants, Mercedes and BMW. And, now that the CEO of the former, Dieter Zetsche, has stepped down after over a decade at the helm, the latter has made a rather amusing tribute video to honor him. The video is called "Retirement is about exploring your wide open future."
2019 BMW 320d xDrive - driven
Whenever BMW launches an all-new 3-Series, this is a big deal on the sporty executive sedan scene. It’s like when Mercedes launches a new S-Class, only at the other end of the size scale. The new 2019 G20 BMW 3 Series promises a lot and I got to drive the grippy, frugal and very fast 320d xDrive for a few days to see if the model has reestablished itself as the class benchmark.
It is a bit bigger and also has different proportions compared to the outgoing 3-Series, the F30, and the visual changes really make it seem new and also stand out among other BMWs. The front part is unusually long, and you especially notice this from a side profile view mainly because the windscreen pillars are positioned quite far back. But this is not a negative point as it gives the car a lot of presence.
BMW has definitely managed to freshen it up a bit compared to the old model, and the same can be said of its interior which now feels far more contemporary than that of the F30. The interior is completely new, hardly anything has been carried over, and the result is a much more modern ambiance than what you felt in the old model which was really starting to feel... old.
In terms of driving experience, the new 3-Series does drive like the slightly bigger car than it is. In fact, you feel like you’re in a bigger car with that huge hood extending in front of you from the driver’s seat, but once you show it some corners, it’s definitely a 3-Series through its high level of agility and not the larger and slightly more comfort-oriented 5-Series.
2019 Opel Corsa photos leak; here’s what we know so far
PSA Peugeot-Citroen acquired Opel (and its U.K. arm Vauxhall) in August of 2017, and since then, it’s launched a few Opel-branded vehicles based on its own platforms. None, however, have been as important as the sixth-generation Corsa. The 2019 Opel Corsa shares its platform with the rakish new 208 hatch, but it promises to offer a more restrained, more Germanic take on the same city car formula.
The 2019 Renault Megane RS Trophy R Just Killed the Civic Type R’s Nurburgring Record
Renault’s performance division, Renault Sport, is a name synonymous with hot hatches, and its latest offering, the 2019 Megane RS Trophy-R, is a reminder why that is. The new lightened, track-focused Megane RS has just beaten the Honda Civic Type-R around the Nurburgring, stealing the front-wheel-drive crown from the Japanese manufacturer.
2019 BMW 3-Series G20 video review
Whenever BMW launches an all-new 3-Series it’s a big deal because throughout its many generations (the latest one is the seventh generation) it has often been called the class benchmark. People not only praised it for its sharp handling and tight body control, but also for its excellent build and the feeling of it being well engineered. Now there’s a new 3-Series, known as the G20 generation, and we tried it out to see if it holds its position on the throne
Once You Realize What the 2019 Ford Focus ST Wagon Offers, You’ll Be Sad That It Won’t Be Sold in the U.S.
Hot hatch lovers that need more practicality than what a hatchback can offer now have one more excellent car to choose - the brand new 2019 Ford Focus ST wagon, based on the fourth-generation Focus. The new Focus ST wagon retains the sporty driving edge of the ST hatch but injects extra practicality for those who need it. Some may even say it’s cooler than the ST hatch since hot wagons always seem to have a glowing halo around them that just makes people go crazy.
2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC reviews are in - the Tesla Model X should be worried
Mercedes jumped on the electric car bandwagon quite late compared to its German rivals, Audi and BMW, and even other manufacturers with which it’s not in direct competition. Its first fully electric vehicle is the EQC SUV, a tall car that is about the same size as the current GLC, but unlike that car, it runs on battery power alone so it does away with tailpipe emissions altogether.
This is not an original Mercedes SL Gullwing, but you can’t tell and it packs a modern secret under its hood
We all hate kit cars that try to resemble a famous established automotive shape but just fall short. Enthusiasts can spot these a mile away and... they choose to stay a mile away to avoid the horror of having to look at them. However, this amazing Mercedes SL Gullwing recreation is not like that, in fact, it’s the exact opposite of that and it’s a car most enthusiasts would be thrilled to own.
When you say Ford Mustang, it can conjure up a very wide and different array of iconic models in peoples head. Most will probably associate the name with a V-8 coupe of some sort or maybe an old-school muscle car, but nowadays you can buy the Mustang as a drop-top four-cylinder. And, we bet you aren’t yet convinced whether one is worth the money or not.
Well, it depends a lot on what you plan to do with your new Mustang. If you want to have a fast daily that’s properly quick, you get the V8-powered GT. Meanwhile, if you want to take your car to regular track days, you spring for the GT350R, widely acknowledged as being the best car ever to bear a Mustang badge. So, where does that leave the Mustang convertible with a four-pot? It’s for people who don’t want to go around corners at crazy speeds faster than the next car just have to out-accelerate most cars on the road.
It has softer suspension than the hardtop, and because it has no roof, it doesn’t have the coupe’s structural rigidity. This translates into a far more relaxed driving experience where you are not edged to drive faster, brake later, and whip the car’s tail out at every opportunity. It can still do all these things very well, but when you subject it to them, the feedback it provides you suggests it is not enjoying the treatment.
As a swift cruiser that looks great and, maybe more importantly, you look cool in, there are few better cars out there for the money. Its turbocharged engine is pokey enough to make any overtaking maneuver a breeze, and because it is downsized, it returns much better efficiency numbers compared to the V-8. The automatic gearbox on our tester could have been snappier, and even though this convertible is a really relaxed flavor of Mustang, getting it with the six-speed stick makes a lot of sense.
Hands-on look at Android Automotive
Google is looking to enter the automotive infotainment operating system market with Android Automotive OS, not to be confused with Android Auto, a system that is already included in the infotainment system of most new cars and allows users to display their phone operating system on a car’s infotainment system. Android Automotive OS is different, and it is actually a fully-fledged operating system specially designed to have all the functions we’ve come to expect from automotive infotainment solutions.
2020 Toyota Supra first drive review roundup
Toyota recently organized an official launch event for its all-new 2020 Supra that it held on and around the Summit Point Motorsports Park in West Virginia. It was many journalists’ first look at the car, but there was an embargo on their first impressions at first, and it has since lifted. As such, reviews have started to pour in.
2019 BMW Z4 video review roundup - is it the posh compact roadster we’ve been waiting for?
BMW built the previous Z4 roadster until 2016 and we’ve had to wait over two years for the new one to debut and to hopefully improve upon the original Z4’s formula. The 2019 BMW Z4 has a new and bespoke platform, probably the best design in the series, and much more tech than ever before. Now journalists have finally gotten their hands on it, and this is what they have to say!
2019 Mercedes GLC Coupe 250d 4Matic - driven
Mercedes sells the GLC Coupe for those who want a tall driving position and the apparent feeling of safety provided by SUVs, but the look of a rakish coupe and a driving experience that has to be accomplished, sporty, and fun. It’s, therefore, a vehicle that has to do quite a lot, and it actually succeeds in most of those areas... for the most part.
It has a very distinctive and unique look, much more so than the regular two-box GLC crossover. Its roofline dips towards the rear and its rear haunches are also widened over the regular GLC to give it a more butch appearance. And they do, creating a vehicle that looks very aggressive from pretty much any angle. I think it also looks better from the back than its main rival from BMW, although with some minor changes it could have won this contest hands down - right now it’s not miles ahead, but still more pleasing to behold in my book.
Out on the road, the GLC Coupe feels stiffer and more planted than the regular GLC and while it’s not the last word in sporty SUV handling, it’s very surefooted, it doesn’t lean into corners too much and its steering is refreshingly precise and undramatic. There is no vagueness when it comes to the way it handles, and my tester, even if it was powered by a diesel engine, had enough shove to nicely round out the sporty first impression it successfully makes.