The evolution of the Fiat 500 is the perfect example of an iconic model adjusting its approach to fit into the current demands of the auto industry. The original 500 was launched in 1957 and a modern version was only introduced 50 years later in 2007. The latter date also marked the start of the 500’s evolution. No longer was it just Fiat’s kooky, little economy car; the more sophisticated market demanded better choices. And choices was what Fiat delivered with the evolved 500 lineup that now includes the 500C, the 500 Abarth, the 500L, and even the all-electric 500E. But the 500 hatchback still remains the backbone of the range.
At the 2014 Miami International Auto Show, Fiat paid tribute to that backbone when it presented a special-edition model called the 500 Ribelle. Based on the 2015 Fiat 500 Pop, the 500 Ribble ("ribble" is Italian for "rebel") is a limited-edition model designed to highlight new personalized features that help add more flavor to the 500’s retro-chic looks.
Fiat understands that the 500’s expanded presence in the US is slowly giving it a bigger audience to showcase its styling wares. The new personalized features on the 500 Ribelle drive home that point with a blend of new exterior colors, cosmetic updates, and interior refinements.
Click past the jump to read more about the Fiat 500 Ribelle.
The introduction of the Fiat 500L at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show marked the first time the Italian compact hatchback came in a different configuration. At 166.5 inches long, the 500L is almost 30 inches longer than the Fiat 500, making it the perfect five-passenger model to expand the company’s portfolio out of its compact comfort zone. While the 500L is still lagging behind the 500 in terms of sales numbers — an airbag recall in July 2014 hurt the former’s momentum — the crossover is slowly gaining traction with just under 1,000 units getting sold in October 2014. That number marks a 48-percent increase over the 623 units sold in September 2014.
The rapidly improving sales numbers comes at around the same time that Fiat unveiled the 500L Urbana Trekking, a limited-edition version of the 500L, at the 2014 Miami International Auto Show.
The 500L Urbana Trekking is based on the 500L Trekking and has been dressed with a plethora of unique exterior and interior features to highlight the amount of personalization the crossover can have. The model gets six glossy exterior paint options, new wheels, and an upgraded interior with generous applications of leather.
Expect to see the Fiat 500L Urbana Trekking in Fiat studios beginning in the first quarter of 2015.
Click past the jump to read more about the Fiat 500L Urbana Trekking.
Volvo has received its fair share of criticism for building boring cars in the past. Sometimes, it deserves it. Sometimes, it doesn’t. But the Swedish brand does have one model that has consistently drawn admirers since it made its debut in 2008. That would be the XC60, Volvo’s entry-level crossover and the company’s best-selling model since 2009. The XC60’s popularity makes it the perfect vehicle to get a limited edition variant dedicated to a sporting event that has a certain Swedish automaker as its title sponsor. Hence, we have the Volvo Ocean Race X60.
The Volvo Ocean Race XC60 made its debut at the 2014 Miami International Auto Show, which runs from November 7 to 16. In keeping with the spirit of the triennial race, the Volvo Ocean Race XC60 carries special design elements attributed to the event, including a splashy “Ocean Blue II” exterior paint finish and a morsel of identifiable design pieces that are associated to the Volvo Ocean Race.
The limited-edition XC60 is available in the T6 Drive-E FWD and T6 AWD trims options and will be available at prices of $42,100 and $43,600 respectively.
Click past the jump to read more about the Volvo Ocean Race XC60.
The Porsche 911 is a special car; no doubt about that. The 911’s following faithful are a committed group of people who appreciate the 911 for its driving prowess, its handling abilities, and of course, its rich German heritage. The little two-door, rear engine sports coupe has come along way in 50 years, but it has never forgotten where it came from.
Porsche decided to throw itself a little 50th anniversary party with this beautiful example of a 2013 911 Carrera S. Quite a few things are different about the car that make it unmistakably special, but perhaps the most special aspect is its limited production number of just 1,963. Any Porsche fanatic could instantly spot the blatant reference to the year 1963, which is when the 911 was originally introduced.
Porsche decided to switch things up a bit with the 1,963 anniversary edition 911s to be built. They all feature the wide-body work from the all-wheel-drive Carrera 4, but are only rear-wheel drive. The exterior receives a heaping helping of chrome bits not normally found on the Carrera S, while the interior features throwback cues, like houndstooth cloth seats with leather bolsters and green-colored instrument cluster markings. Even the 20-inch wheels pay homage to the original “Fuchs” wheels of the ’60s.
Just like 50 years ago, the horizontally-opposed engine sits out back, however, this example makes a few more ponies – 430 to be exact. Hooked to Porsche’s PDK transmission, the 911 needs only 3.8 seconds to hit 60 mph on its way to a top speed of 185 mph. Upping the exclusivity, the anniversary edition makes even more power than the standard 911. Porsche made the Powerkit standard equipment, including the Sport Chrono Package and sport exhaust system.
Whether you’re a Porsche junkie or not, much appreciation and respect is due towards this 911. It celebrates 50 years of an industry leader - one that kept other companies up at night figuring out how to best such an unbeatable sports coupe.
Click past the jump for more pictures and info on the 50th anniversary 911
Maserati is that sales underdog you want to win. The Italian automaker has all the room to grow, with roughly 6,200 cars sold last year. So, the sky is the limit in terms of conquest buyers and Maserati plans to find many of them in the United States.
The Maserati lineup has grown to include the stunning Quattroporte luxury sedan, the upcoming Levante SUV and this beauty, the Ghibli. Aimed squarely at the Audi A6, BMW 6 Series, and the Mercedes CLS-class, the Ghibli has a lot to prove. With the uniqueness and (current) exclusivity the Maserati name carries, we think plenty of the German driving motorheads will jump ship for something new and different.
We got our first chance to meet the Ghibli at the Miami International Auto Show, along with its big brother Quattroporte. It’s amazing to witness first hand the build quality and intricacies the Italian automaker puts into its vehicles.
The engine bay, for example, is coated with the same quality paint, clear coat, and wax the glowing exterior receives. It’s the minute attention to detail that makes the car even more special than its name and heritage bequeaths it.
The Ghibli comes to the U.S. in both standard and S trims. Powered by a Ferrari-engineered 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 engine, the standard model makes 345 horsepower. The more athletic S version gets a 59 horsepower bump to total 404. Its sprint to 60 mph happens more quickly at around 4.5 seconds. Both versions are mated to a ZF eight-speed automatic powering all four wheels.
With a starting price around $65,000, we expect the Ghibli to catch the eye of some Audi, BMW and Mercedes drivers when it crosses the pond sometime in the near future.
Click past the jump for more on the 2014 Maserati Ghibli
We’ve brought you all the important details about Cadillac’s newest flagship SUV: the totally new 2015 Escalade and Escalade ESV. Now we bring you live images and our first impressions of the beastly, all-American luxury SUV.
Over the weekend at the Miami International Auto Show, we had the chance to climb inside the completely redesigned Escalade to see the improvements first hand. The Escalade is based on its GM cousins, the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, along with the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL. Across the board, the interiors are much improved in regards to roominess and use of space. Finally for the first time, the full-size General Motors SUVs have folding rear seats that allow for a flat load floor.
The second row has grown two inches in the footwell for added ease of entry and exit for taller, larger-footed passengers. Their height won’t be a problem inside either, as headroom is quite generous throughout the cabin. The Escalade we sampled was equipped with the second-row captains chairs. The center aisle was wide enough for easy access to the third row and the nearly flat floor kept tripping hazards to the minimum.
Up front, the driver is treated to the same huge TFT display found in the Cadillac CTS and XTS. Real wood trim is abundant and contrasts nicely with the soft leather seating. Fit and finish is unmatched by any Cadillacs of past. Gaps and seams were tight even and intricate details abound throughout the cabin. The details continue outside with etched Cadillac crests appearing within the clear plastic tail lamps.
Such details were a welcome addition to what will assuredly be a home run for General Motors.
Click past the jump for detailed photos of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade.
The all-new 2015 Cadillac Escalade has arrived! Official images followed a posh event in New York last night, debuting the production version of the new Cadillac flagship.
After becoming quite familiar with the updates to the similar 2015 Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon Denali, it is clear that all three of these machines are vastly improved in almost every way. As the Cadillac of the line, the Escalade naturally brings the best 420-horsepower, V-8 engine and third-gen magnetic shocks as standard.
The Caddy’s exterior is defined by some striking LED lighting front and back. Luxury details abound inside the cabin, including special leathers and better seats than its cheaper siblings. Offered as a gurgling rear-drive or refined all-wheel-drive setup in regular or ESV sizes, the new Escalade is faster, smoother and more efficient than ever before.
The Escalade is still the king of the road in many places, and the new grille is certainly enough to grab some flash bulbs. This big truck looks great versus the previous three generations of Cadillac full-size SUVs. With pricing and dimensions that put most other SUVs in "time out," the Escalade is tipped for pricing between $65,000 and $95,000 when it arrives in early Spring 2014.
Update 11/8/2013: The 2015 Cadillac Escalade is making tis auto show debut at the 2013 Miami International Auto Show today. We will bring you any new information that comes from this debut as soon as we hear it. Stay tuned!
Updated 01/20/2014: A leaked image of the 2015 Escalade reveals that the new SUV will arrive at dealerships this spring at a price of $71,695 - which represents a price increase of $3,725 over the previous year. (GM Inside News)
Updated 02/11/2014: Cadillac revealed a new video in which it highlights the SUV’s new headlamps that combine the precision and execution of advanced technology with elegance and beauty of fine artistry.
Updated 06/02/2014: Cadillac unveiled a series of new images - about 80 - revealing new details of the exterior and the interior. Check them out in the "Images" tab.
Click past the jump for all the official launch details from Cadillac on the exciting new 2015 Escalade.
After a patent leak about an upcoming bodykit for the 991, we’ve finally captured our first images of the 2013 Porsche 911 Sport Design Package at the 2012 Miami Auto Show. The famous Porsche duck tail from the 1970’s is back, along with a more aggressive front bumper. The $5,366 option is a must have for all tuning enthusiasts willing to embellish their 991 with a bodykit, which so far was only available on the limited edition 991 Club Coupe. On this gorgeous guard red model, the wheel option is adding a whopping $7,482. The 20 inch rims add to the overall look, but the price is outrageous for wheels that most likely are not any lighter than the base OEM. For that kind of money we’d rather go buy ourselves a set of ultralight HRE or CCW wheels. Nevertheless, Porsche came up with a very good looking body kit, for those too busy to look into the aftermarket or the devoted Porsche OEM fanboys. On a last note, we can’t wait to see the new 2014 Porsche 991 GT3 body kit, Stuttgart’s designers still have it!
Mercury continues pushing fashion-forward design, with a new runway-inspired production series called VOGA. Literally translated as “fashionable and trend-setting,” VOGA hits primetime today at the South Florida International Auto Show, debuting on a 2008 Mercury Mariner. Over time, the VOGA series will be offered on a series of Mercury products.