6 Game-Changing Cars Coming in the Second Half of 2018
2018 is halfway done, and just as fast as time flies, so too is our insatiable need to see the newest cars hit the street. The first half of the year gave us some incredible debuts. That’s a list that includes the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, the Jeep Wrangler JL, the Jaguar I-Pace, the Volvo S60 and just about every new pickup that was unveiled in the last six months. It’s an eclectic list, sure, but that’s the beauty of the industry. You never know what you’re going to get on any specific day. You just sit back and enjoy the ride. And so, as we embark on the second half of the year, we have some new cars that we’re really excited to see, including a few models that are scheduled to appear at the 2018 Paris Motor Show later this year.
Apart from really important SUV debuts, the first six months of 2018 saw the introduction of some astonishing cars as well. We had it all, from electric supercars to coupe-like performance sedans and standard, but revolutionary sedans.
This year is seeing a smart shift in car development thinking. Obviously, companies have to reinvent their business model and offer the world something unique. This led to the introduction of the new BMW 8 Series Coupe, the fantastic Volvo S60 which you don’t have to buy but subscribe to it as you do with Netflix, and the super fast luxury GT that’s as mad as the 812 Superfast – the DBS Superleggera. Then there is the Rimac C_Two – a car that basically showcases the growth of a young car company. Thanks to technology wonders, we can basically watch the company development live. And, the Rimac C_Two was their Rumble in the Jungle moment. These are this year’s six most thrilling debuts so far.
6 American SUVs That Still Feature Body-on-Frame Construction
There once was a time when body-on-frame SUVs were common sights. But with the advent of unibody car-based bodies, we don’t see too many of the old body-on-frame SUVs anymore. There are still some SUVs in the market whose bodies and frames are two separate entities, so it’s not like you’re absent of any choices if this is the kind of SUV you want. The Cadillac Escalade, Jeep Wrangler, GMC Yukon, Ford Expedition, Chevrolet Tahoe, and Chevrolet Suburban are still considered body-on-frame SUVs, making them extremely useful in the outdoors. So what exactly do these six SUVs have to offer? Read on and find out.
SUVs and trucks practically replaced sedans and wagons. Heck, they are so popular now that some manufacturers make three-door versions of SUVs, something that has never worked well. Nevertheless, this year has seen a fair share of SUV and truck releases, but as with everything else, some are more important than others. I present to you five best and most important truck and SUV debuts so far this year.
2019 Volvo S60 vs 2017 Volvo S60
The 2019 Volvo S60 has arrived, and not a moment too soon. Volvo’s small premium sedan finally broke cover after weeks of build-up, ushering in a new era for the Swedish automaker in its attempt to compete against established titans like BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The new S60 represents a lot of new things for Volvo. It’s bringing the company’s new design language to the masses, which, in a lot of ways, is one of its biggest selling points. Say what you will about the new S60, but one thing that’s indisputable is that it’s a major step-up from its predecessor.
Five Interesting Facts About the 2019 BMW 8 Series
The new BMW 8 Series is out in the open, and the nameplate’s revival comes with quite a few impressive features. Not only is it sporting a unique design that’s sportier than the competition, but the 8 Series is also equipped with state-of-the-art tech and a number of cool features. We’ve already covered some of them in our "6 Astonishing Tech Gizmos and Cool Features of the New BMW 8 Series," and now its time to have a look at some of the coupe’s most interesting facts. Check them out below.
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Comparison: BMW 8 Series Vs Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe
After many years of persistent requests from gearheads and several rumors, the BMW 8 Series finally returned to the market after almost 20 years. The grand tourer’s revival not only marks the return of an iconic Bimmer, but it also gives the Munich-based company a proper competitor against the highly-acclaimed Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe and the Bentley Continental GT. BMW also returns to the luxury coupe segment before Audi will bring the A9 into dealerships.
Previewed by a concept car unveiled in 2017, the new BMW 8 Series is more than just a two-door version of the 7 Series. On top of having a unique design, it also debuts new technologies for the brand and adds a bit of sportiness to an otherwise sober segment. But, how does it compare to the popular Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe? Let’s find out in the comparison below.
Evolution of an Icon - 1999 BMW 8 Series vs 2019 BMW 8 Series
The arrival of the 2019 BMW 8 Series was a long time in the making. It’s been almost 20 years since an 8 Series hit the streets, and the arrival of the new model has brought our memories of the original version back on the surface. In times like this, we can’t help but wonder how the 8 Series measures up to the original. Does it look better? Does it have better materials? Which came with better technologies? We pieced through all that to find a clearer picture of how the new 8 Series compares to its iconic OG.
Which is Better: The Audi Q8, The BMW X6, or The Range Rover Sport?
Audi just extended its SUV lineup to include the Q8, essentially a sportier proposition to the utilitarian, wagon-like Q7. The new crossover marks Audi’s entry in the coupe-style market, a playground dominated by the BMW X6 since 2007. The segment also includes the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe and the boxier Range Rover Sport.
With a new player on the market, it’s natural to ask yourselves which one is better. We’re here to answer this question by comparing the Audi Q8 against the BMW X6 and the Range Rover Sport. We left the GLE Coupe out of the game simply because it’s based on a model that was launched all the way back in 2011 and a new-generation model is just around the corner.
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2019 Toyota Avalon: First Drive Impressions
The sedan segment has taken some pretty big hits over the last few years, regularly losing ground to the ever-popular SUV and crossover body styles. But while overall sales are down, some automakers are sticking it out with fresh new four-doors in the hopes that customers will once again see the light. Toyota is one such automaker, and the latest 2019 Avalon is a great reason to go against the grain.
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BMW M5: Old vs. New
2017 brought us the new BMW 5 Series, so it’s only fitting that 2018 brings us a new M5. We must have been good this year because Santa came early, and with him, he brought a whole slew of updates that include an updated V-8, loads of new technology, BMW’s xDrive AWD system as standard (optional outside the U.S.,) a lighter chassis, and better performance. Talk about some good news, right? Truth be told, the M5 dropped as much as 127 pounds, has more aggressive styling, an updated interior with the latest infotainment system, and an extra 38 ponies and 51 pound-feet over the outgoing model – that brings total output figures up to 591 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. It can now hit 62 mph in as little as 3.4 seconds and 124 mph in just 11.1 seconds. Of course, top speed is still pinned at 155 mph, unless you get the M Driver’s package, which increases the top speed to 189 mph.
Now, it’s set to take on other established beasts in the market that include the Mercedes-AMG E63, the Audi RS7, and the Cadillac CTS-V – I know, it’s not German, but this thing is seriously a beast, so don’t get caught slipping because it will eat you alive. With all this in mind, we decided to throw together a little infographic for the M5 to help bring its best features and qualities to the forefront. Check it all out in our visual comparison below.
The Gilded History of the Rolls-Royce Phantom
Sir Henry Royce, co-founder of Rolls-Royce, is quoted as saying, “Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it doesn’t exist, design it.” Those are some pretty heavy words, but it’s the right credo for an automaker like Rolls-Royce. With a history of producing some of the most elegant, opulent, and downright desirable luxury vehicles on the planet, perfection isn’t just a goal – it’s an expectation. Such is the case with the Phantom, Rolls-Royce’s highly recognizable flagship model. These are cars that are destined for the stables of royalty, acting as a rolling signature of power, wealth, and prestige.
Lead by the trademark Spirit of Ecstasy on the hood, the Phantom comes equipped with top-shelf extravagance and lavishness, offering high levels of personalization to those select buyers with pockets deep enough to really enjoy it. Currently offered in a variety of different flavors, including the standard Phantom, an Extended Wheelbase model, a Coupe, and a Drophead Coupe, Rolls has announced a new eighth generation slated for release later this week. However, the history of the nameplate is rapidly approaching a full century at this point, so how’d we get here? To find out, we delved into the Phantom’s history, taking a look at the seven generations that have come and gone since the model’s introduction in 1925.
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TopSpeed’s Top 5 Physics-Defying Performance Crossovers And SUVs
Technology has a very strange habit of turning the impossible (or at the very least, the improbable) into reality. This is especially true in the automotive world, where seemingly contradictory attributes manage to find a happy middle ground with surprising regularity. Case in point – the performance crossover and SUV segment. Once a body style relegated to utility, the modern tall-bodied, cargo-tastic crossover or SUV can now be had with a heavy dose of speed as well, apparently defying the laws of physics with mammoth grip and absurd levels of power. These days, it doesn’t matter if a model is heavy and huge – add the right parts, and it’ll be quick as well.
It’s a combination that seems to be growing in popularity, with a nice assortment of options available across the market. As such, we’ve collected five of the best right here for your perusal. Each offers a decent amount of cargo space, high levels of luxury, and the option for performance as well, all for a price tag around $70,000 (give or take). Our picks look like this – BMW X3 M, Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, Mercedes-AMG GLC63, Porsche Macan Turbo, and Land Rover Range Rover Sport. We’ve got the lowdown on each right here, so read on for more info. And don’t forget to post your favorite in the comments section below!
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TopSpeed’s Top 5 Luxury Compact Crossovers
When it comes to the U.S. automotive market, compact crossovers are cleaning up. The segment continues to see unprecedented growth, even with a huge variety of options already on offer. The appeal of the luxury compact crossover is multifaceted, mixing a “go anywhere, do anything” attitude with comfort and inherent driveability. Luxury compact crossovers are practical and spacious, without going overboard in terms of exterior dimensions, improving fuel efficiency and maneuverability over larger SUVs. Inside, there are amenities aplenty without breaking the bank, while the high seating position provides ample views of the road ahead. And while better suited for mall crawling rather than rock crawling, luxury compact crossovers still get that “off-roader” style, plus AWD when the weather turns sour. And of course, the extra room in the rear supports a range of lifestyles, whether its kid hauling for a family, or gear running for active outdoorsy activities. There are even performance options, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Boil it down, and the philosophy goes something like this – mix equal parts practicality, comfort, and road presence, then spread evenly on a tall-bodied package. But where to start? To help you navigate this seemingly bottomless sea of possibilities, we’ve collected facts and figures from five of the best entries in the segment, including the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Audi Q5, BMW X3, Jaguar F-Pace, and Mercedes-Benz GLC Class. Read on for the lowdown.
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What’s The Best Upscale Performance Sedan You Can Get For Less Than $50K?
The sport sedan – talk about a hotly contested segment. Almost every major automaker out there has one, but as you might expect, not all are created equal. And that’s where we come in, armed with a boatload of facts and figures to help rank the various entries from best to worst. Of course, more attentive TopSpeed readers out there are sure to point out that this is a topic we’ve covered before, most recently in a comparison piece looking at the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Chrysler 300, Infiniti Q50, Jaguar XE, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. But unlike that last article, which focused on luxury cars with a sporty flavor, this piece will instead focus on cars that place a greater emphasis on performance, with luxury as a secondary priority. As such, we’re picking apart the Acura TLX, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Cadillac ATS, Subaru WRX STI, and Volvo S60. Sure, there’s overlap, but in this crowd, the effort is made more for grins behind the wheel than backside coddling.
That isn’t to say these cars aren’t comfortable – indeed, each offers a fair amount of upscale treatment, some more so than others. That said, we weighed performance much more heavily this time around, giving otherwise more spartan models a shot at the top of the list. So how do we place these five four-doors? Read on to find out.
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You’ve finally got that big time job and you want something that isn’t too cheap, but you don’t want to spend $80,000 quite yet. There is much to choose from in the middle luxury segment and each car has it’s own unique characteristics that make it better, or worse than the competition.
Just like the entry-level luxury segment, the Germans have always had the middle levels to themselves. The Japanese and the American automakers have never been able to catch up. Yet, 2010 is a new year and things might be changing in the automotive marketplace.
Let’s take a look back at our previous winners before we begin with this list. We rated the Mini Cooper as the best small car and the Hyundai Sonata as the best midsize sedan. Finally, we rated the Audi A4 as the best entry-level luxury car on the market.
Hit the jump to see who we chose as the top mid-level luxury car.
As you have seen by now, we have a tendency to rank cars differently than other car sites. While we love practicality as much as the next site, at TopSpeed, we put speed, performance, and that certain sparkle above the size of the trunk and the back seat.
With entry-level luxury cars, finding the gems between the boring sales rep vehicles can be a pretty hard task. We have so many terribly dull sedans that are only good for taking you down the motorway to work and that’s about it. We aren’t looking for that. We don’t care about sales, we don’t care about popularity, we care about how these cars drive on the track and in the real world. We are aware that a point to point car is what most people will like, but we want an entry-level sedan that provides excitement on that everyday journey. Something that can make you smile and enjoy the drive home. A car that will make you take the back roads.
Over the course of this series we have jumped price by $10,000 each time, starting from $20,000 with the small cars and then $30,000 with the midsize. For this test, we are jumping by $15,000, to make the price cap at $45,000.
Hit the jump to see what our top ten entry-level luxury vehicles are.