Pick your ride:
Kia Gives the Optima Sportswagon a Revitalizing New Look and Fresh Power for the Geneva Motor Show

Kia Gives the Optima Sportswagon a Revitalizing New Look and Fresh Power for the Geneva Motor Show

More efficient, cleaner, and better looking equals a successful sales recipe

Kia Motors of Europe is giving the Kia Optima sedan and Sportswagon a healthy mid-cycle refresh for the 2019 model year. The South Korean automaker is hoping to play off its successes in 2017 with an Optima that’s even more focused on customer demands.

Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer of Kia Motors Europe, said in Kia’s official release that “The Optima enjoyed a record year of sales in Europe in 2017, with sales growing from 9,600 to more than 16,800 units last year. It is a key contributor to Kia’s sustainable growth in Europe, and the Optima’s sales momentum has been maintained through the introduction of new variants in 2017. These include Sportswagon and high-performance GT variants, and an ultra-low emissions Plug-in Hybrid powertrain.

Headlining the changes are two new engines: a new “U3” 1.6-liter four-cylinder diesel and a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine. They join the two existing 2.0-liter gasoline engines and Kia’s seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The entire range now comes with drive modes, allowing customization of the driving experience.

Outwardly, the new Kia Optima Sportswagon boasts a slightly revised exterior that’s more upscale. The grille, lower fascia, headlights, and fog lights are all mildly different. Around back, new LED taillights shine with an updated pattern. New wheels also accompany the changes. The sporty GT trim gets further changes, including specific 18-inch wheels, LED fog lights, and gloss black trim on the mirror caps, side sills, and grille. The rear bumper features dual exhaust, as well.

Inside, the Optima’s cabin remains mostly unchanged. A new steering wheel, stain chrome trim, and a new ambient lighting package are the biggest updates. Two-tone leather seats are now optional, including black leather with red contrast stitching.

On GT models, the interior gets the GT insignia embroidered on the seatbacks in either black or gray contrast stitching, depending on the choice of leather seating color.

The 2019 Kia Optima Sportswagon gets a handful of active safety technology, too. This includes Kia’s new Driver Attention Warning system, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist with pedestrian recognition, Lane Keeping Assist, High Beam Assist, and Dynamic Bending Light (headlights that follow the steering wheel) with the LED headlights. A 360-degree camera system is also new for 2019.

Last but not least, the 2019 Optima comes with Kia’s most up-to-date infotainment software on both the standard 7.0-inch and optional 8.0-inch touchscreens. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and navigation from TomTom are all included.

Kia has not announced pricing at this point, but that will become available closer to the 2019 Optima and Optima Sportswaon’s on-sale date in Europe during the third quarter of 2018.

Read more
2016 - 2018 SSR Motorsports Rowdy 150

2016 - 2018 SSR Motorsports Rowdy 150

Mad Max Called. He Wants His Scooter Back.

One of the most un-scooter-like scooters out there, the Rowdy from SSR Motorsports offers a no-nonsense look with a 150 cc engine for folks that want a scooter but don’t want that typical Euro styling. Big enough for a daily commuter around town, but small enough to be an economical ride, the Rowdy is a rugged, and rugged-looking, ride.

Continue reading for my review of the SSR Motorsports Rowdy 150.

Read more
Menza Motors have launched the "Lucat" electric power commuter

Menza Motors have launched the "Lucat" electric power commuter

Another Indian start-up company giving the world its world-class product

The Emflux One is India’s first electric superbike that was launched at the 2018 Indian Auto Expo with tall claims of having a 125 mph superbike that runs on electricity for up to 100 miles at full range. And if you go full-blown-track-mode, expect a range of around 50 miles.

Now, another Indian start-up, Menza Motors, has come up with their version of an electric “power commuter” called the Lucat. And it looks bonkers for a brand new firm. This too was launched at the same Auto Expo as the Emflux was. The ‘Menza Lucat’, as it is called, is a naked streetfighter that is a factory-customized motorcycle.

Read more
14-Year-Old Gets a Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo for His Birthday

14-Year-Old Gets a Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo for His Birthday

Meanwhile, I got a VHS copy of Braveheart when I turned 14

So, what kind of presents did you get when you were 14 years old? Based on my recollection, I got a Ralph Lauren cologne, a VHS tape of Braveheart, and a $20 bill. It’s safe to say then that 14-year old Steven Aghakhani received a much better gift for his birthday than what I hauled in back then. The budding race car driver was surprised by his father in his 14th nameday with a Lamborghini. It’s not just any Lamborghini, though. It’s a Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo, the Italian automaker’s newest eater-of-worlds racer.

Aghakhani took delivery of the car when his father surprised him with a visit to O’Gara Beverly Hills. Unsure of what was going on, the 14-year old got the shock of a lifetime when his dad walked him up to a covered car and lifted the sheets, revealing a car many of us will only own in our dreams and imaginations.

Unfortunately for the birthday celebrant, he won’t be able to take his new Lambo home and drive it to his high school anytime soon. The race car is built specially for track use so if young Steven wants to drive his new pride and joy, he’s going to have to do it on the track or during racing competitions. Still, it’s a good problem to have, don’t you think?

Read more
BMW Teases A Sleek, Four-Door Coupe For Geneva; Could It Be The 8 Series Gran Coupe?

BMW Teases A Sleek, Four-Door Coupe For Geneva; Could It Be The 8 Series Gran Coupe?

We spy four doors and some sexy lines!

The 2018 Geneva International Motor Show is very nearly upon us, and BMW is gearing up for the big event with a variety of hotly anticipated debuts. The latest looks to be a concept version of the upcoming 8 Series Gran Coupe, as revealed in a teaser image recently posted to Bimmer’s various social media accounts.

Continue reading for the full story.

Read more
Volvo Removes Combustion Engine Development From the Budget

Volvo Removes Combustion Engine Development From the Budget

New-generation gas and diesel engines will be a thing of the past for the Swedish automaker

Volvo’s done building gasoline and diesel engines. The Swedish automaker revealed as much in a conversation with Road & Track. According to the report, the current crop of gas and diesel engines that Volvo is using now will be the last family of their kind. From 2019 at the latest, the company’s budget for developing new internal combustion engines will carry the same amount as a free sandwich. This development is the latest indication of Volvo’s plan to only release hybrids and EVs beginning in 2019, something company CEO Håkan Samuelsson has been saying since July 2017.

Read more
Updated: Audi Spills the Beans on the New A6, Just Hours After Images Leak

Updated: Audi Spills the Beans on the New A6, Just Hours After Images Leak

Audi could’ve done better

Audi is preparing to debut the new A6 at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show but, as is often the case with models as high-profile as the A6, leaked photos tend to ruin the surprise. Fortunately, there aren’t that many surprises to hold on to because the leaked photos of the new Audi A6 reveal, well, the new Audi A6. We’re saying “new,” by the way, strictly on a technical basis because, judging by the photos, there’s nothing overly exciting about what we see here.

Updated 02/28/2018 @ 04:00 - Audi dropped full details of the new A6 prior to its Geneva Debut. Check out the quick details below.

Read more
Report: FCA to Kill Off Diesels Over the Next 5 Years

Report: FCA to Kill Off Diesels Over the Next 5 Years

What this means for Ram & Jeep

In a recent report from Financial Times who spoke with informants close to the situation, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is allegedly looking to phase out diesel engines by 2022. This comes as a response to decreasing consumer demand for diesels following the continuous scrutiny of diesel emissions and the numerous scandals surrounding Volkswagen and other automakers. Even FCA has had run-ins with government organizations over the issue.

FCA’s official plan will reportedly be announced June 1, 2018, in FCA’s next five-year master plan. Globally, FCA uses diesel engines in most of its Fiat and Alfa Romeo models. However, diesel sales in Europe fell eight percent in 2017, moving diesel’s market share to 43.8 percent, according to a study by Jato Dynamics. Despite this slump, FCA’s diesel sales actually grew slightly.

While this spells bad news for diesel fans in Europe, fans in North America will likely dodge the bullet. FCA’s only diesel offered stateside is the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6, and the 6.7-liter inline-six turbodiesel is sources from Cummins. The EcoDiesel is found in the Ram 1500, ProMaster van, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and is soon expected in the Jeep Wrangler JL. The 6.7-liter Cummins is only used in Ram’s Heavy Duty lineup.

The EcoDiesel recently rearmed the EPA’s approval after a stop-sale order for nearly a year. The EPA reports it found an emissions cheating device similar to those found in Volkswagen TDI engines. FCA is still facing a $4.6 billion fine for the issue and is currently recalling more than 104,000 vehicles for a reprogram of their engine control modules.

The mighty Cummins turbodiesel is exempt from most of the EPA’s emissions regulations since it’s only available in vehicles above a specified weight limit.

So, as FCA begins slowly phasing out diesels in Europe and other markets around the globe, customers in Canada and the U.S. can expect to keep their turbodiesel options. Nevertheless, we’ll have to see what FCA’s upcoming master plan has in store come June 1. Stay tuned to TopSpeed.com for developing information.

Read more
Geely to Hold Off on Acquiring More Daimler Stock... for Now

Geely to Hold Off on Acquiring More Daimler Stock... for Now

Holding pattern suggests that Geely could try to leverage its new acquisitions first

It seems that the only company that can stop Geely from conquering the auto industry is Geely itself. The Chinese car giant recently scored another blockbuster acquisition when it finalized a deal to buy 9.69 percent of Daimler, making it the largest outside shareholder of the German auto conglomerate, edging out the Kuwait Investment Authority and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, which had 6.8 and 3.1 percent, respectively. Now, it looks like Geely’s ready to slow its roll on making more acquisitions, at least for the time being.

Read more
Lexus Previews UX Crossover Ahead of Geneva

Lexus Previews UX Crossover Ahead of Geneva

Familiar design is shrinkwrapped into urban crawler

Lexus has finally given an unobstructed view of its upcoming 2019 UX crossover ahead of its official debut on March 6 at the 2018 Geneva International Motor show. A single photo and a short teaser video are all Lexus gave out, yet we’ve now got a solid idea of the UX’s aesthetics.

The compact crossover will be Lexus’ smallest and least expensive model, undercutting the already small NX crossover. The UX, which stands for Urban Crossover, shares its architecture with the Toyota C-HR and its design language with the NX and popular RX crossovers. Oddly enough, Lexus calls the UX the “first urban crossover,” which is about as baseless as a statement about crossovers can get. Still, the automaker promises the platform is “exceptionally rigid with a low center of gravity for exceptional handling.”

The interior is barely seen in the teaser video, but we can see several important details. The UX borrows from the Lexus LC500’s interior with the trapezoidal binnacle with drive mode knobs protruding from the sides. Digital gauges fill the cluster. The Enform infotainment system takes on a wide, landscape design similar to the RX. Push-button starting and toggle switches for the HVAC controls are present, too. Missing is the flashy satin chrome that Lexus loves using in its interiors. The UX has a more muted tone with what looks like a leather-wrapped portion of the dash.

Engine specs are still out, but we know the UX will be offered as a 250h, meaning a hybrid powertrain is happening. We’re guessing the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder borrowed from the NX will be standard. In the NX, the engine makes 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque while backed by a six-speed automatic transmission. We’d bet Lexus will add more gears, if not a Continuously Variable Transmission. Front-wheel drive will be standard, and AWD will likely be an option.

As we reasoned in our 2019 Lexus UX speculative review, the 250h will probably come with Lexus’ 2.5-liter four-cylinder mated to a hybrid system and CVT.

Thankfully, speculation will come to an end on March 6 at 10 a.m. local time at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. We’ll update our review with all the nitty-gritty details then, so stick around to TopSpeed.com.

Read more
Video of the Day: Watch This Cadillac Escalade Outrun a Camaro ZL1 1LE

Video of the Day: Watch This Cadillac Escalade Outrun a Camaro ZL1 1LE

Hennessey gives this ‘Slade a new heart with outlandish power

Hennessey Performance is known for building over-the-top power upgrades for already quick performance vehicles. The company’s latest project is no different – an 800-horsepower Cadillac Escalade with its HPE800 package

Oh, and it’ll outrun a 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE on an unprepped drag strip.

The video shows the run from multiple angles as the 5,700-pound, three-row SUV hooks up off the starting line and outguns the Camaro. The Caddy’s advantage is its hand-built, stroked 6.8-liter V-8 stacked with a supercharger. Matching its 805 horsepower at 5,500 rpm is an equally impressive 812 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. Traction isn’t an issue thanks to its full-time 4WD system that provides a spin-free launch.

Here, in this one run, the Escalade pulls several car lengths on the Camaro. Now, it’s clear the 650-horsepower Camaro ZL1 1LE didn’t get a clean start off the line. The driver compensated for wheel spin at the line with less throttle, thereby not letting the supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 V-8 give its full muscle. The Caddy just walked on by.

Continue reading for more information.

Read more
2018 Porsche Panamera by Techart

2018 Porsche Panamera by Techart

German tuner is elevating the Panamera to new heights

TechArt’s work on the Porsche Panamera extends all the way from the saloon’s introduction in 2009. We’ve seen the German tuner introduce different versions of its GrandGT tuning kit in the past eight years. At the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, TechArt is keeping the tradition alive with its latest and punchiest Panamera program to date. The kit is called the GrandGT Supreme, and as its name suggests, the program is a more sophisticated version of the standard GrandGT, one that features a more aggressive body kit, a more opulent interior, and enough power to justify its cutting-edge looks.

Read more