2018 Volvo S60 & V60 Polestar Champion Edition
Volvo took a title win in the FIA World Touring Car Championship this year thanks to the efforts of Cyan Racing and its S60 Polestar TC1 racer. Leading the charge was driver Thed Bjork, who also managed to grab the Driver’s Championship, making him the first Swede to “win a motor racing world title” according to Volvo. In recognition of that, the brand is releasing upgraded iterations of the S60 sedan and V60 wagon dubbed the Polestar Performance World Champion Edition.
Continue reading to learn more about the Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar Champion Edition.
2020 Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake
After six years on the market with minor changes, the Mercedes-Benz CLS was redesigned and launched in its third-gen configuration in late 2017. Now sporting a more aggressive design with features borrowed from the AMG GT sports car, the four-door coupe boasts a more upscale interior borrowed from the E-Class and introduced a brand-new engine for Mercedes-Benz. A high-performance AMG CLS63 version is sure to follow, but word has it that the German firm may not launch a new Shooting Brake model now that station wagons are no longer popular. But until Mercedes says a firm no I’m hoping that the German shooting brake will make a comeback by the end of 2018.
The CLS Shooting Brake is much newer than the four-door coupe it is based on. While the CLS broke cover back in 2004, the Shooting Brake didn’t arrive until 2012, one year after Mercedes introduced the second-generation model. So if Merc decided to axe the nameplate, the CLS Shooting Brake will die after only five years on the market. It would be a shame to lose one of the only two affordable shooting brakes (the other being the CLA) and one of the very few premium wagons still available. You can see why I’m still hoping that the second-gen CLS isn’t the end of the road for this model. We should find out more about the wagon’s future in 2018 but until that happens, let’s find out what it may bring to the market if it survives.
Continue reading to learn more about the Mercedes-Benz CLS Shooting Brake.
2017 Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate By Vath
Estate vehicles, or wagons as we like to call them, aren’t supposed to do 211 mph. It’s just one of those things that don’t happen as far as automakers are concerned. But the car tuning world is a different story, and we see a good example of that with Vath’s latest tuning program for the Mercedes-AMG C 63 Estate.
A lot of us are familiar with Vath’s work in the past, especially when it comes to Mercedes-AMG models. It has put in work to develop kits for the AMG SL 65, AMG C 450, and the sedan version of the AMG C 63. Heck, it’s even worked on the previous version of the AMG C 63 Estate. To say that Vath knows what it’s doing with Mercedes-AMG models is an accurate portrayal of the tuner’s abilities, and we see those abilities on full display once again with its new program for the meaty estate. Pick a section of the AMG E 63, and there’s a chance that Vath has something for it. The estate’s exterior? Check. Interior? Check on that too. Drivetrain? You better believe it. There are even “miscellaneous items” on the table, just in case you’re in the mood to get those. This is the kind of comprehensive tuning program that Vath has built its name on. There may be more popular tuning firms in the world out there, but when it comes to quality Mercedes-AMG tunes, few are as consistently good as Vath.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Mercedes-AMG E 63 Estate by Vath
2018 Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake
Redesigned in 2012, the current Aston Martin Vanquish is set to retire in less than a couple of years in order to make way for a brand-new model, and the British firm is doing whatever it takes to spice things up before pulling the plug. In 2016, it unveiled a re-bodied version of the grand tourer made by Zagato, but the coupe was soon followed by a Volante version. 2017 brought a Speedster model as well, and with 2018 just around the corner Aston Martin and Zagato launched a new body style, the Shooting Brake. The wagon model will be as exclusive as its sibling and likely extremely expensive, but it’s an important milestone in a market where shooting brakes have almost gone the way of the dodo bird.
While the Vantage Zagato wagon arrived unexpectedly, it’s not exactly surprising that Aston Martin created a shooting brake. The British firm is no stranger to this body style, and it has released quite a few wagons in the past. Harold Radford built such versions of DB5, DB6, and DBS back in the 1960s, but Aston Martin made its very own production run of the Virage in the early 1990s. More recently, Bertone transformed the Rapide in a shooting brake, but these are just a few examples. We definitely need more shooting brakes on the market today, and even though the Vanquish Zagato is limited to very few examples, it will be great to see one more sports wagon hit public roads.
Continue reading to learn more about the Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake.
2019 Gensis G70 Sportwagon
Launched in 2015, Genesis is the newest luxury brand on the market and the first such company to come from South Korea. Established after Hyundai rolled out increasingly more premium versions of the Genesis and Equus sedans, Genesis has already introduced three products since 2016. It all started with the G90, a redesigned and more luxurious version of the Equus, which was followed by the G80, a better replacement for the Hyundai Genesis. The third sedan, the G70, was introduced in late 2017 as a competitor for the highly popular BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Audi A4. Having already seen the G70 in all its glory, we began wondering what if Genesis decided to expand the lineup with a wagon?
Called the G70 Sportwagon by X-Tomi Designs, which provided the rendering of what could become Genesis first ever grocery getter, this luxury wagon would compete in a very small niche that no longer benefits from a global presence. While BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi continue to sell station wagon versions of their compact sedans in Europe, the United States only gets the 3 Series Sports Wagon. The G70 Sportwagon not only would add a bit of drama to this market, but it could also come to the U.S. to give BMW a bit of action and maybe even motivate Mercedes-Benz and Audi to bring their own grocery getters over the pond. But, until that happens, let’s have a closer look at what this wagon could bring to the table.
Continue reading to learn more about the Genesis G70 Sportwagon.
2018 Audi RS4 And RS5 Carbon Editions
In a day and age where “special edition” models can mean just about anything under the sun, Audi has found a nifty trick to kill two birds with one stone by offering special edition models for the Audi RS4 Avant and the Audi RS5 Coupe. Officially, both models are have been designated as Carbon Editions, a nod to the smattering of carbon bits they received that help make them lighter and a bit more fun to drive on the open road.
The lightweight blueprint is a tried-and-tested one, and many automakers have taken that approach to squeeze out every ounce of improved performance they can out of their cars without having to pump more power out of the engines. Audi’s approach with the RS4 and RS5 Carbon Editions is similar by the sheer number of carbon fiber reinforced polymer add-ons both models received. The goal of replacing the standard parts with CFRP counterparts is to make both cars lighter, which is exactly what Audi accomplished. The RS4, for example, is now 80 kilos (176 pounds) lighter than its standard counterpart whereas the RS5 slashes 60 kilos (132 pounds) from its original weight. Does the weight loss spell massive improvements in performance? Not quite. But don’t think that these are “standard” RS4s and RS5s either. If anything, these two new special editions should be lighter on their feet, and we know what that equates to in the end.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Audi RS4 Avant and RS5 Coupe Carbon Editions.
2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo
If there’s one thing I don’t like about today’s hybrid car market, it’s the lack of station wagons. Seriously, you have plenty of options for every configuration, including supercars, but station wagons are pretty much restricted to a handful of models like the Toyota Auris wagon and the Volvo V90 T8. And you can’t even get the Toyota in the U.S. Fortunately, this just changed with the arrival of the arrival of the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo. Sure, it’s not exactly affordable, but it’s a breath of fresh air if you’re in the market for a fast yet efficient vehicle with a little more room in the trunk than a standard sedan.
As you might have already guessed from the name, this Sport Turismo is essentially the wagon version of the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid that Porsche introduced at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. It has the same sporty design, but with a shooting brake roof, and the same powerful drivetrain that combines the company’s massive V-8 with an electric motor, and a battery. It’s the most powerful hybrid you can buy right now (that’s not a supercar, that is!) and it has no rival, especially in the station wagon niche. Let’s find out what makes it so attractive.
Continue reading to learn more about the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo.
2018 Audi RS4 Avant
Introduced in 1999, the Audi RS4 placed itself at the top of Audi’s compact car lineup. With a sportier, more aerodynamic exterior, exclusive features on the inside, and a more powerful engine, the RS4 quickly became a solid competitor for the BMW M3. However, unlike BMW, Audi also built a wagon version a created a brand-new niche for performance grocery getters. The RS4 Avant become such an important car in the Audi lineup, that the third-generation RS4 didn’t even get a sedan version. Come 2017 and a brand-new generation RS4 arrived, also introduced with an Avant variant only.
Essentially a beefed-up version of the latest A4 wagon, which already sports Audi’s new design language with more angular features, the RS4 Avant gained a brand-new engine that smaller, but more potent than the outgoing unit. The new performance wagon is also lighter than its predecessor, which had quite a few issues when compared to the awesome Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate. All told, Audi finally has a proper competitor for the souped-up Merc and we will find out what it brings to the table in the review below.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Audi RS4 Avant.
2017 Kia Proceed Concept
Launched in 2006 as a replacement for the Cerato, the Kia Cee’d is now one of the company’s most popular vehicles in Europe. Redesigned in 2012 into a more modern, better-looking car, the Cee’d, along with its Procee’d, GT, and station wagon variants, is getting a little long in the tooth, and a third-generation model is likely under way for 2018. While we don’t know much about it, Kia unveiled the Proceed concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show, giving us a good glimpse of what the next-gen Cee’d might bring to the table.
Described as an "extended hot hatch that presents a new body type for Kia," the Proceed concept appears to be the bastard child of a Kia Stinger and a low, sleek shooting brake. And it’s one of Kia’s most intriguing design to date. Not surprisingly, it was penned at the company’s European design center in Frankfurt, only 500 meters (0.3 miles) from where it will be unveiled. Kia also says that the Proceed concept indicates what the next-generation Cee’d "could look like," so we might be looking at a fancier version of the upcoming hatchback.
Continue reading to learn more about the Kia Proceed Concept.
2018 Opel Insignia GSi Sports Tourer
German automaker Opel first offered the Insignia in 2008, replacing the Vectra and Signum in its lineup. Also sold as a Vauxhall in Britain, a Holden Commodore in Australia, and the a Regal in China and the U.S., we’ve already seen a fastback iteration of the model offered on this side of the pond as the new 2018 Buick Regal GS. Now, Opel is offering up a hot-to-trot wagon version called the GSi Sports Tourer. The GSi nameplate was pulled from previous go-faster versions of Opel’s street cars, with previous examples including the Manta GSi and Kadett GSi from the mid-‘80s, as well as the Kadett 2.0 GSi 16V and Astra GSi and Corsa GSi. Now, followingw a full reveal at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, there’s a new one that the automaker says was designed to be both fun and practical. Outside, you’ll find long, lean, wide, and horizontal styling elements, while under the hood resides a potent turbo 2.0-liter engine, all of which combines with a substantial amount of space in back for people and things.
This is Opel’s new flagship station wagon, so it makes sense the Germans gave it the royal treatment. In fact, Opel is so certain it’ll bring the sporting goods, it included a picture of a racing suit, helmet, and gloves in the back of the trunk in the press shots. But is it really worthy of such connotations? Read on the find out.
Continue reading to learn more about the Opel Insignia GSi Sports Tourer.
2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain 4x4² Wagon
God love Mercedes-Benz and its outlandish imagination for all things off-roading. The automaker has built a one-off 4x4² version of its new E-Class All-Terrain. Yes, a 4x4²! You’ll recognize that odd designation from the AMG G550 4x4², the four-wheeled version of the high-riding AMG G63 6x6. But it’s not just the name that’s similar. Mercedes actually fitted the E-Class wagon with the same Portal hubs as the G550 4x4². The extra height gives this AWD car a whopping 16 inches of ground clearance. That’s equal to a Humvee!
The project is the brainchild of Jürgen Eberle, a vehicle development engineer assigned to the E-Class. According to Auto Express, Eberle wanted to build something that gave the new 2017 E-Class All-Terrain some credence to its name. Eberle was eventually given a small budget after approaching his bosses with the idea. The E-Class suspension was modified to accommodate the large portal hub assemblies at each wheel, which drastically widened the E-Class’ track. This necessitated fender flares, which Eberle and his team crafted from carbon fiber. Beadlock wheel and 31-inch-tall winter tires were then added to round out the project. The best part – nothing else changes. The remainder of the exterior and all of the interior is standard E-Class All-Terrain, making this one awesome looker.
Continue reading for more on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain 4x4².
2019 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon
The Cadillac CTS was introduced back in 2002 as a replacement for the Opel Omega-based Catera, and since 2013 it’s being sold in its third-generation version. Much like its predecessors, the current CTS is also available in a performance-oriented CTS-V version. On the flipside, both the coupe and wagon were cancelled for the third-gen model, and there’s no sign that they will return anytime soon. But what if Cadillac would change its mind and produce a high-performance grocery getter?
I’m obviously talking about the CTS-V Wagon, the shortest lived version of the nameplate. First introduced in 2011, the CTS-V Wagon survived only until 2014, when Cadillac decided to axe it due to demand. The death of the CTS Wagon also marked the end of the last mid-size luxury wagon built in the United States, leaving only the Mercedes-Benz E-Class to compete in this niche. More recently, the Merc was joined by the new Volvo V90, but needless to say, wagon enthusiasts still don’t have too many options to choose from. So maybe it’s time Cadillac revives the CTS Wagon in both standard and V performance guises, especially with an updated third-gen sedan already in dealerships?
Continue reading to learn more about the Cadillac CTS-V Wagon.
2018 Jaguar XF Sportbrake
Introduced in 2007 to replace the ageing S-Type, the Jaguar XF was redesigned for the 2016 model year. The makeover brought an evolutionary restyling but turned the four-door sedan in a sportier proposition on the outside and a more luxurious vehicle on the inside. The XF also received new drivetrains, most notably the company’s recently launched 2.0-liter four-cylinder in both gasoline and diesel formats. The 3.0-liter V-6 was also carried over, but with significant upgrades. Unlike the first-generation model, the second-gen XF arrived without a wagon version. This changed for the 2018 model year when Jaguar launched a redesigned XF Sportbrake.
Making things that much better, it’s available in the U.S. too!
The Sportbrake’s return is a bit surprising, especially since Ian Callum, Jaguar’s director of design, once predicted the death of the station wagon. But, while I’d like to know what made him change his mind, I’m actually glad that the Sportbrake is back in dealerships and especially in the U.S., where the midsize market was limited to just two models, with a couple more available in other niches. Sure, it’s still ridiculous, but with three different products in the premium market, we finally have some proper action going on.
Continue reading to learn more about the Jaguar XF Sportbrake.
2017 Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate By Wimmer RS
You’re not alone if you think estate sedans are a bit bland. It’s a perception that this type of car has hard a difficult time shaking off. Bless the gods, then, that there’s a model like the Mercedes-AMG C63 S Estate that’s able to shatter this preconceived notion, thanks in large part to having loads of power and for being, well, a Mercedes. It certainly helps its cause, too, that aftermarket tuners seem to have a proper appreciation for its potential, and we see that on full display with this new program presented by Wimmer RS for the AMG C63 S Estate.
At this point, we all know what Wimmer RS is capable of when you give it a chance to work on a Mercedes, let alone one that’s carrying an AMG badge. It’s done work on the AMG C63 Sedan and even has a long history with the wagon version. Today, the German tuner writes a new chapter in its quest to show the world what a fully loaded AMG C63 S Estate is capable of. The focal point of this tuning kit is the engine upgrade program, which puts in a good dose of extra power to a wagon that already boasts a potent amount. Think 510 horsepower is enough for this car? Simmer doesn’t think so, which is why it’s offering a program that uncorks 801 ponies out of the car’s bi-turbo V-8 engine.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Mercedes-AMG C63 S Estate.
2017 BMW 5 Series Touring with M Performance Parts
In a world often taken up by personalization divisions and aftermarket options, it’s easy to miss out on the benefits of something as simple as an add-on package. They don’t get the flashy reviews or the top-of-the-page headlines, but there is an argument that they’re just as effective in giving life vehicle. BMW’s M Performance Parts is a good example of that since it’s often overshadowed by tuning companies and Bimmer’s Individual personalization division. But as it showed in the 5 Series Touring variant of the mid-sized luxury sedan, there’s more to the M Performance Parts than meets the eye.
The treatment itself is getting some well-deserved shine at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show where BMW will be displaying the 5 Series Touring with M Performance Parts in all its glory. It might be hard to recognize the difference, but rest assured, the package comes with an assortment of sporty goodies meant to drive up the personality of the 5 Series Touring. Starting with the exterior and moving to the interior and the engine (yep, there’s an optional power kit included) the M Performance Parts lives up to its name by turning the 5 Series Touring into a veritable M car.
It may not carry the iconic M badge, but that’s just a matter of cosmetics. The BMW 5 Series Touring with M Performance Parts looks and acts like an M car. That in itself is worth giving the station wagon the attention it deserves.
Continue after the jump to read more about the BMW 5 Series Touring with M Performance Parts
2018 Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo
It’s been four years since we first saw the Panamera Sport Turismo Concept at the Paris Motor Show. Since then, the next-gen Panamera sedan has made its appearance, and more recently we got to lay eyes on the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid. We’ve received a few rounds of spy shots that showed the Panamera Shooting Brake being put through the paces, and just before it’s official debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, Porsche has decided to spill the beans about the newest member of the Panamera Family. Sporting the same front end as its sedan sibling and a whole new design out back that’s similar to that of the Sport Turismo Concept, the Panamera Shooting brake will also be available with the same four engines offered in the sedan, and somehow manages to maintain the same performance figures despite being slightly longer.
It gets an active spoiler out back that helps add downforce to the rear axle at track speeds, and can be had with a 2+2 or a 4+1 seating layout, the latter of which throws a jump seat of sorts between the individual seats in the rear. That makes this shooting brake model the first to offer seating for five when properly equipped. So far, Porsche as released a fair amount of information regarding its newest wagon (am I the only one who’s not sure the standard Panamera is even really a sedan?) and it’s enough to cover most of the juicy bits. We’ll surely learn more at its official debut and later on when it officially launches here in the U.S., but until then, let’s dive on in a take a good look at the new Panamera Shooting Brake… uhem…. Panamera Sport Turismo.
Continue reading to learn more about the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo.
2017 Audi RS6+ by ABT Sportsline
This time last year, ABT Sportsline was preparing its involvement at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, and one of the cars that it was presenting was the Audi RS6 Avant. It’s funny then that exactly a year later, the German tuner is back in Geneva and one of the cars it’s bringing with it to the auto show is… the Audi RS6 Avant. But before you start screaming “recycle,” it’s important to know that this isn’t last year’s program. In fact, it’s different in a lot of ways, starting with its name: the Audi RS6+ Avant.
Okay, the “+” is the only thing different with the name, but let it be said that, for better or worse, there are a lot of differences between last year’s program and this new one. This program, for example, has a more rounded aerodynamic package than last years. On the other hand, last year’s engine upgrade program - believe it or not - resulted in more power for the RS6 compared to this year’s engine upgrade program. Weird, right?
Most importantly, though, the Audi RS6+ isn’t just made up of a tuning kit like it was with last year’s offering. This version of Audi’s stately wagon is actually a special edition model that’s part of the German tuner’s lineup for the 2017 staging of the Geneva Motor Show. Only 50 units of the RS6+ will be built with the first production of the 50 being the one that will attend the show.
So if somebody you know wonders what the “+” is for in the car’s name, remind them that this creation by ABT Sportsline isn’t a traditional tuning kit. Instead, it’s a tuning kit developed specifically for this car with the intent to sell said tuned cars in very limited numbers. Makes sense now, right?
Continue reading to learn more about the Audi RS6+ by ABT Sportsline.
2017 Hyundai i30 Wagon
Sold as the Elantra GT here in the U.S. and the Hyundai I30 in the rest of the world, Hyundai’s resident hatchback entered its third generation for the 2017 model year. The four-door hatchback has already made its debut, and now we’re looking at the I30 Wagon. It features a new, angular look on the outside with a cleaner and more modern layout on the inside. Standard technology includes things like a rear-view camera, phone connectivity via Bluetooth, USB, Android Auto, or Apple Car Play. Under the hood, the I30 comes complete with a handful of engines that includes a new, turbocharged four-banger that delivers 138 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque and a new 1.0-liter, three-cylinder that delivers 118 horsepower, and a 1.6-liter diesel with 108 horsepower.
In most cases, shorter models turned wagon usual differ very little, and that’s the case with the I30 wagon. It should be identical to the four-door hatch from the rear doors forward, but to the rear, there are some other minor differences outside of the longer boot. So far, it looks like the third-generation i30 lineup will include a four-door hatch, a four-door coupe, and this wagon. But it’s not all gravy because that means it’s unlikely that we’ll see the sportiest of all, the three-door i30 hatch, in this generation.
Thomas Burkle, the Chief Designer at Hyundai’s Design Center in Europe, said, “The New Generation i30 Tourer speaks the language of the i30 family in terms of design, and it carries the new Hyundai family identity – the Cascading Grille, the tapering roofline and the dynamic proportions give the Tourer an almost coupé-like silhouette. The sleek and dynamic profile is further emphasized by a rich chrome frame surrounding the side windows.”
So, we’ll go ahead and let that sink in a little as we talk a little bit about this wagon and what it brings to the third-generation i30 lineup.
Continue reading to learn more about the Hyundai i30 Wagon.
2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon
Practicality, comfort, and speed. It’s a difficult combination to achieve, especially in the U.S., where customers are usually only offered two of these characteristics, but not the third. Compounding the problem is the fact that on these shores, practicality is almost always equated with a crossover or SUV body style, which is obviously less than ideal when it comes to performance duties. Mercifully, Mercedes-AMG has a whopper of a solution. It’s called the E 63 S Wagon, and it’s based off the four-door rocket sedan of the same name. Merc first introduced the E-Class in 1993, with the latest fifth-gen model ushered in for the 2017 model year, and incredibly, the brand has decided to continue to offer the E-Class Wagon in the U.S. Even more amazing is the fact that stateside high-speed thrill seekers can get their fix with the E 63 S Wagon iteration, which gets all the opulence, interior tech, exterior style, and over-powered performance as the E 63 S sedan, but with extra space in the hatch to boot.
But let’s just jump right into the specs that matter most, shall we? Under the hood of the AMG E 63 S Wagon is a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 gas burner, pumping out an astonishing 603 horsepower. Routing output to the ground is a nine-speed automatic transmission. It’s enough muscle to push this wagon to 60 mph in as little as 3.4 seconds, while the upgraded performance suspension system keeps it all in control. Step inside, and you get a familiar look and layout, infotainment system, and the usual premium features.
Sounds amazing, if you ask us. But the wagon body style can still be a tough sell in the U.S., even with just over 600 ponies on tap, which begs the question – what’s this thing really bring to the table?
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S Wagon.
2017 Volvo V90
Discontinued in 1998 after only two years on the market, the V90 returned as Volvo’s flagship wagon in 2016. The new V90 is built on Volvo’s new Scaleable Production Architecture platform, which already underpins the XC90 SUV and the S90. As a result, the wagon also uses the same drivetrains as the S90, which in turn borrowed them from the XC90.
Likewise, the V90 features the same design language as the sedan and gets a similar interior, which makes it one of the most luxurious grocery getters on the market. Of course, the wagon received a redesigned rear end and a more practical interior with enhanced luggage space, but the sedan’s premium features and state-of-the-art technology are still there.
More good news comes from the availability department, as Volvo confirmed that the V90 will be sold in the United States. Unveiled on North American soil at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, the V90 became Volvo’s first wagon in the U.S. in many years. Although the brand still offers the V60 on these shores, it comes in Cross Country spec with a more rugged, crossover-like appearance.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Volvo V90.
2017 Seat Leon CUPRA 300
The Seat Leon has been on the market for nearly 20 years and has evolved dramatically in the time. The third-gen model rolled onto the market in 2012, and for 2017, it was time for a much-needed facelift. With that facelift came an updated exterior, new exterior lighting units with LED strips, and a wider grille that now features a chrome surround to go with new wheel designs and some new color options. Inside, the facelifted model benefits from a new center console, an electric parking brake, and the addition of some new soundproofing for a quieter cabin. There was also the addition of a new infotainment system. There was a brand new three-cylinder engine added to the engine lineup, but what we’re really here to talk about is the new Leon Cupra 300, which as you probably guessed now has 300 PS on tap – an improvement of 10 PS over the outgoing model. Torque has increased by 30 Nm on the 300, and the estate version even gets all-wheel drive. Nice!
It should be noted that when Seat put together the facelift for the Leon, it was actually quite surprising to see the amount of work that went into it. Normally, the brand’s facelifts – as with anything from the VW umbrella – are very mild with just enough to let you say “Hey, there’s something different there.” But, the facelift was quite extensive. Be that as it may, there isn’t really much of a difference on the outside between the standard model on the Cupra, but there’s plenty of other stuff to talk about, so let’s go over what comes standard on the new Cupra, and why the new Cupra is worth your consideration.
Continue reading to learn more about the Seat Leon CUPRA 300.
2017 Skoda Octavia vRS
For a while, Skoda was soldering on as a dated company that produced less-than-modern vehicles, but all that changed in 1996 when the brand introduced the Skoda Octavia. The car has since gone through a couple of redesigns and, for the 2017 model year, it went through a facelift. This facelift brought an even more modern design outside while upping the Octavia’s interior game and bringing some updates to the powertrain department as well. Skoda revealed the facelifted Octavia back in November of 2016, and just over a month later, the brand announced a range-topping version of its resident four-door: the Octavia vRS. The vRS brings a more aggressive set of fascias on the outside, some performance-focused tweaks to the chassis and suspension, and a small increase in power that’s enough to make it the “fastest series-production model in the history of the Octavia.”
Needless to say, Skoda is really excited about its new vRS, and in all honesty, it probably should be. But, you really need a trained eye and a good sense of logic to get through all of the PR talk that comes along with the announcement for this new “performance” model. Highlights do include an increase in 10 horsepower over that of the standard model, a slightly lowered suspension system, and it even comes stock with a pair of 18-inch wheels that can be swapped out for 19-inch models if you desire to do so.
All told, the vRS looks to be a fairly decent little compact car, and its looks certainly float the bill for something that will be passed off as a range-topping model. But, is there more to it than what meets the eye? Well, let’s dive on in and talk a little more about it.
Continue reading to learn more about the Skoda Octavia vRS.
2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country By Polestar
Volvo has been making Cross Country style wagons for nearly two decades now, with the latest iteration dropping earlier this year in the form of a beefed-up V90. The formula is designed to offer an alternative to the ever-popular crossover body style, matching a high-rider stance, rugged body panels, AWD handling and grip, and plenty of luxury and tech with a spacious cabin. Now, Volvo has handed the keys over to Polestar, the Swedish brand’s dedicated performance division and racing team. Polestar has already had a crack at upgrading the new V90, blessing the five-door with a sharper throttle, quicker shifts, and a more potent engine. Rather than transforming the model into a full-blown sports car, Polestar says it “optimized” what was already there, and now, it’s doing the same thing to the V90 Cross Country softroader.
The result appears to be a nice blend of performance chops and rugged capability, all in a comfortable, wagon-fashion package. Like the optimized V90 that came before, the V90 Cross Country by Polestar sees upgrades to its throttle response, shift times, and engine output, adding just a little extra where it counts if you happen to have that performance mindset.
“Our product provides performance-oriented customers with a new level of driving pleasure,” says Niels Moller, Chief Operating Officer at Polestar. Most recently, we’ve seen Polestar’d variants of the S90 sedan and XC90, not to mention the non-cross-country V90, and this new tuned-up crossover killer looks to expand the line even further.
Intrigued? Read on for the details.
Continue reading to learn more about the Volvo V90 Cross Country By Polestar.