All posts in “New Cars”

2021 Cadillac Escalade: 5th Gen of All American Luxury SUV Revealed

The Cadillac of SUV’s has been updated! The Escalade is one of Cadillac’s most successful models these days. The 5th generation model has been revealed this week. The look remains largely the same. What changes is the wide array of technology Cadillac has crammed into that interior!

There are a number of options when it comes to spec. Cadillac’s Sport trim for the first time, featuring a black mesh grille and black trim across the exterior. Luxury and Premium Luxury models feature a bright Galvano finish, while Platinum models top the range, with unique interior and exterior details.

There are few concessions when it comes to power. The Escalade gets a 6.2-litre V8 engine as standard with a power rating of 420 hp and 623 Nm of torque. A less powerful version, featuring a 3.0-litre turbo-diesel engine, is available with 277 hp and 623 Nm of torque. Both engines are matched with a 10-speed automatic transmission with electronic shift control. Cadillac’s acclaimed Super Cruise driver assistance technology is also available.

At the chassis side of things, the Escalade finally gets an independent rear suspension. Coupled with Cadillac’s signature Magnetic Ride Control and Air Ride Adaptive Suspension, the Escalade should glide over pot holes. The inclusion of an electronic limited-slip differential should improve handling too.

Inside, the Escalade offers an industry-first, curved OLED screen. At 38 inches, it is one of the biggest on the market. Three screens make up the total size including a 7.2-inch-diagonal touch control panel driver information centre to the driver’s left, a 14.2-inch-diagonal cluster display behind the steering wheel and a 16.9-inch-diagonal Infotainment screen to the driver’s right.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Rear

The screens incorporate a number of other important technologies. There is an all-new, Augmented Reality-enabled navigation, which uses live street views with directional overlays. Surround Vision, a standard feature that employs four exterior cameras to provide a 2-megapixel bird’s-eye view of the scene around the vehicle. A Trailering Integration Package, which offers up to nine camera views (including rear camera guidelines) to support easier hitching. Rear Camera Mirror, which streams a rear-facing camera view onto the conventional inside mirror screen. Night Vision, which uses infrared technology to enhance forward visibility. Finally, the rear-seat entertainment features a pair of 12.6-inch-diagonal independent touch displays.

Improvements have also been made to interior space. The Escalade gets 40 percent more third-row legroom and a 68 percent increase in maximum cargo space behind the third row, up to 722 litres in the standard-length model.

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Genesis GV80: Luxury SUV Revealed to Rival the Germans

Launching to synthetic sounds and a futuristic light show at the Kintex Center west of the Korean capital Seoul, the Genesis GV80 is the first SUV model from Hyundai’s upscale subsidiary Genesis. It is due to celebrate its European debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March – and it comes across as a success at first glance.

After all, it has all the ingredients required in the premium SUV category: a sophisticated vehicle architecture that is based on a rear-wheel drive concept; a luxurious interior – and a body that offers room for up to seven passengers (even if few customers will ever use the third row).

The typical rear-wheel drive proportions were already visible on the first sketches that were sent out two weeks ago; they are highlighted with a light signature with narrow, double light strips up front and in the rear. “These two lines will always shape the design of Genesis,” said the Hyundai Group’s chief designer Luc Donckerwolke at the presentation.

The wheel sizes up to 22 inches underscore the sophisticated appearance of the GV80; there is an unusual range of colors and materials both outside and inside, ranging from classic to modern – and certainly outshining the competition.

Hyundai’s head of research and development, Albert Biermann of M GmbH fame, made sure the GV80 meets the elevated demands of sporty drivers. Under the hood, the GV80 sports a 278-hp 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel engine, and there will be a 370-hp 3.3-liter V6 petrol engine as well. Entry-level models are likely to get a four-cylinder turbo. The GV80 comes with rear and all-wheel drive, an automatic transmission is standard. The relatively light body is largely made from thermoformed high-strength steels, doors and hoods are executed in aluminium.

The interior is characterized by a futuristic two-spoke steering wheel, a classic instrumentation, an ultra-wide 14.5-inch central screen and a touch-sensitive surface that can recognize handwriting, making it easy to enter commands and destinations.

Augmented reality functions help finding your lane, and a new generation of counter-sound technology will cut unwanted noise sharply. The driver’s seat – another world first – is equipped with seven air cushions. A camera system scans the road surface and informs the electronic chassis, which prepares accordingly.

Other technology highlights include a cruise control system that analyzes the owner’s driving style and can emulate it when driving autonomously. It is another world first that documents that the Hyundai Group no longer sees itself as a follower but as a pioneer of new developments.

The Group’s more entry-level brands, Hyundai and Kia, have begun to set themselves apart from other international mass producers. With Genesis, it’s an even more ambitious game. And the Genesis GV80 emphasizes that Korea is clearly aiming at the German premium brands – and on track to reach beyond them.

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Sony Unveils Vision S Full Electric Car in Surprise Move to EVs

Sony surprised the automotive industry earlier today with the debut of its Sony Vision S. It happened at the Consumer Electronics Show 2020 (CES) which began today in Las Vegas. The release is less about the fact that is a remarkably production-close car, more about the technology that is packaged within.

What really interests us is the car elements though. So we’re going to talk about those first! With the Vision S, Sony has been helped by Magna Steyr, Bosch, Nvidia and others. Magna Steyr, in case you weren’t aware, is the company that produces Mercedes-Benz’s G Class, the BMW 5 Series and the Toyota Supra.

Sony Vision-S Rear Seats

Sony says it is powered by a pair of 272 hp electric motors. These give it enough power to hit 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds, with a top speed of 240 km/h.

The Sony Vision S prototype incorporates the latest in Sony’s imaging and sensing technologies. It’s packed with sensors to start with, 33 sensors to be exact, including CMOS image sensors and ToF sensors. The sensors detect and recognise people and objects inside and outside the car.

Sony Vision-S Seats

On the audio side of things, “360 Reality Audio” provides a unique audio experience through speakers built into each seat. The front dash also features a massive panoramic screen that extends the entire length of the dashboard. It underlines Sony’s intentions in creating the ultimate mobile entertainment space.

Other than the above details, little is known about the Sony Vision S, least of all whether Sony has the intention to put it into mass production.

Sony Vision-S Front

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Updated Porsche Macan GTS Revealed

A refreshed Porsche Macan GTS launched earlier this week. The GTS has become a staple model within the Porsche range. In the 911, Cayman and Boxster ranges it links the standard Carrera models to the hardcore RS range. For the Cayenne, Macan and Panamera, it sits between the standard models and the Turbo versions. It blends performance and comfort.

The latest version of the Porsche Macan GTS uses a 2.9-litre V6 engine with turbochargers mounted inside the V. It puts down 380 hp and 520 Nm, mild increases over the outgoing model. The changes are enough to propel the GTS to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds, three tenths faster than before. It has a top speed of 261 km/h.

The GTS gets a reworked PDK dual-clutch transmission and an optional Sport Chrono package. The Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) damping control system has been specially tuned with the suspension sitting 15 mm lower than standard. The Macan GTS gets optional adaptive air suspension too, this drops ride height by another 10 mm.

The GTS rides on 20-inch RS Spyder Design wheels and generously sized cast iron brakes (360 x 36 millimetres at the front, 330 x 22 millimetres at the rear). Two further brake options are available including the Porsche Surface Coated Brake (PSCB) with tungsten carbide coating or the Porsche Ceramic Composite Brake (PCCB).

2020 Porsche Macan GTS Rear

The Sport Design package is standard with the Macan GTS with a new front trim, rear trim and side skirts. Black painted elements – a feature of all GTS models – are plentiful. The LED headlights with Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS) and the three-dimensional rear lights with LED light bar are darkened.

Inside, Alcantara is available on the seat centre panels, the centre console armrests and door panels. A multifunction sports steering wheel is fitted as standard. The GTS gets a unique seat set with eight-way adjustment. In Germany, prices start at 77,880 euros including VAT.

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Lamborghini Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo Unveiled in Monaco

At an event in Monaco yesterday, Lamborghini announced its contribution to the Gran Turismo Sport world! Gamers will be able to get the Lamborghini Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo in game, very soon!

The single seater concept was produced by Lamborghini Centro Stile in Sant’Agata Bolognese. While the design work is out of this world, the drivetrain is firmly based in reality, lifted from the recently-announced Lamborghini Sián FKP 37.

The Sian uses Lamborghini’s preferred engine, the V12, and couples it to a hybrid drivetrain. The V12 is said to produce 785 hp with the addition of titanium intake valves. The electric element is run from a 48 volt system and uses a “supercapacitor” to store power from an e-motor. The e-motor produces an additional 34 hp for an overall total of 819 hp.

In terms of design, everything runs to a point at the front, as with all Lamborghini’s. A large wing housing a significant Y-taillight dominates the rear. The main body is disconnected from the fenders, and the hexagon-inspired theme in the side windows is inspired by the Lamborghini Marzal from 1968.

The Lamborghini Lambo V12 Vision Gran Turismo weighs just 819 kg, 1 horsepower for every kilogram of weight. The fighter jet inspired monoposto styling clearly helps with this! Inside, a holographic display is on offer.

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2020 Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 S: Flagship AMG SUV Revealed

During a week when the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 captured most of our attention, Mercedes-AMG also had a few announcements to make. The biggest (literally) was its new flagship SUV, the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 S!

The biggest story here is that the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 S gets the latest version of the ’63’ drivetrain. It receives mild-hybrid treatment for the first time.

As with other Mercedes-AMG models, it comes equipped with an integrated EQ Boost starter-alternator. The performance is short-term, however, it allows 22 hp of output and 250 Nm of torque. As well as the additional performance, the EQ Boost system supplies the 48-volt electrical system, recuperates energy, shifts the load point, enables gliding and restarts the engine with the start/stop function.

Otherwise, the V8 engine is pretty familiar with twin turbochargers mounted within the V. It produces 612 hp and 850 Nm of torque which helps reduce the 100 km/h sprint time to 4.2 seconds, with a top speed of 250 km/h or 280 km/h with the optional AMG Driver’s package. The power is routed through a 9-speed automatic transmission, configured specifically for this model.

The suspension benefits from AMG Ride Control+, air suspension with special spring/damper set-up and adaptive adjustable damping ADS+. The damping can be preselected in the usual three stages – “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport+”. The air suspension allows the ride height to be lowered by 10 mm in the latter two. In Comfort, the ride height only lowers at 120 km/h.

The Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 S uses active roll stabilisation for the first time too. Much like the system which Audi uses, the Mercedes-AMG system uses two independently operating, electro-mechanical actuators on the sway bars at the front and rear axle.

Safety systems also receive an update with the latest versions of the Active Distance Assist Distronic system and the Driving Assistance package Plus.

Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 S Rear

Overall, the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 S also gets the usual AMG Dynamic Settings, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Individual, Trail and Sand. The ESP settings also include “Basic”, “Advanced” and “Pro”.

The rest is pretty much the same as the new Mercedes-Benz GLS. The interior gets the latest MBUX infotainment system. The displays form a Widescreen Cockpit. The instrument cluster and touchscreen multimedia display merge into one and can be operated through a touchpad, Touch Control buttons on the steering wheel, by voice control or gesture control.

The interior also benefits from AMG sports pedals, ARTICO man-made leather and high-gloss anthracite limewood trim elements. The AMG seats use black AMG nappa leather as standard. The 3-spoke AMG steering wheel is also a new addition.

On the outside, the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 S gets an AMG-specific radiator grille with vertical louvres in high-gloss chrome. The bonnet gets a heavily contoured power dome, AMG has also added flared wheel arches, side skirts and new exterior mirror housings. 21-inch, 10-spoke lightweight-alloy wheels are standard painted in tantalite grey with a high-sheen finish. Six further wheel variants up to 23 inches are available.

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Mini John Cooper Works GP Revealed in Los Angeles

A new range-topping, special edition Mini has been released at the Los Angeles Auto Show 2019, the Mini John Cooper Works GP. The GP has been teased for a long time with teaser runs up the Goodwood hill climb earlier this year and plenty of leaks.

The Mini John Cooper Works GP is the most extreme production Mini to date. It is set to give bigger hot hatches a run for their money!

Design

The Mini Cooper receives a variety of modifications to its design. The most noticeable is the wheel arch trim. Made from carbon fibre-reinforced plastic, it is the first time BMW has used this material. It is made using material recycled form he BMW i8 and BMW i3 production, making it highly efficient. It flares the wheel arch in a new and distinctive way.

Other changes include a new set of wheels and black painted trim pieces. At the rear is a massive rear spoiler, the biggest we’ve ever seen on a production Mini. The rear gets a redesigned rear diffuser and a smaller set of air outlets.

Powertrain

Under the bonnet sits a 2.0 litre, twin-turbocharged, 4-cylinder engine. Power is pushed up by 75 hp to 306 hp and 450 Nm of torque. It sits on a new engine mount with new tunnel bridges.

The power is achieved through a variety of changes. The turbocharger is also new. Fitted to the exhaust manifold, a divert-air valve helps it achieve better response times. The compression ratio is lower by 0.7, but the system has increased boost pressure. The intake air duct is all-new with enlarged inlet and flow cross-sections.

The injection system is revamped too. New multi-hole injectors are arranged centrally and push at increased flow rates with an injection pressure of up to 350 bar. The final modification is an all-new engine oil sump. The modifications to the engine mean that the Mini should be more responsive.

The reinforced crankshaft uses an enlarged main bearing diameter, specific pistons, bushless connecting rods and a torsional vibration damper with enhanced cooling.

The John Cooper GP Works hits 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds and a top speed of 265 km/h (with no limiter). Naturally, Mini have installed a new exhaust system with a fuller, more sonorous sound. The system is unique to the GP Works and with a straight pipe, large rear silencer and two 90 mm brushed aluminium stainless steel tailpipes.

Power is routed to the front wheels through an 8 speed Steptronic transmission as standard with an integrated differential lock. The mechanical differential distributes traction between the right and left wheels. It locks up to 31 per cent under load and the helps counteract any loss of traction.

Suspension

Changes have also been made to the suspension setup. The single-joint spring front suspension and rear multilink axle receive a completely new tune. The track width is wider and the body is lowered by 10 millimetres.

New swivel bearings are installed which increaser front wheel and rear wheel camber. Rigidity is enhanced through a stiffer rubber support bearings.

A special GP mode in the DSC settings allows increased stability intervention through the brakes to improve agility. Talking about brakes, those are completely new too. At the front, you have 4-piston units with a floating-calliper. At the rear, a single-piston, both made of aluminium. They are hidden by a set of 18 inch forged wheels.

Availability

The Mini John Cooper Works GP gets its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show 2019 this week.

It will be replicated 3,000 times with production set to get underway in March 2020. Pricing has been announced at 45,000 euros in Germany, £33,895 in the UK and $44,900 in the US.

Competition

Renault Megane R.S. Trophy R

The hot hatch market isn’t as buoyant as it has been in the past, yet the Mini Cooper GP Works has no shortage of competition.

The Renault Mégane RS Trophy is clearly Mini’s immediate benchmark. The British marque is keen to lap the Cooper GP Works around the Nurburgring faster than Renault’s 7 minutes 40.1 seconds earlier this year.

At this price tag, the Honda Civic Type R, Volkswagen Golf R and Ford Focus ST. Of course, all three are considerably larger than the dominative Mini Cooper.

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2020 Ford Mustang Mach-E: All Electric SUV Coupe Revealed

The onslaught of electric cars continues with the release of Ford’s first all-electric model. A little late to the game, Ford has finally revealed its first EV, an SUV which uses the famous Mustang badging. The Ford Mustang Mach-E!

The Mustang Mach-E is Ford’s first departure from the two-door, rear-wheel-drive setup which made the name famous. Without a big V8, the Mustang’s links to the Coupe are tied only to its blistering performance!

Design

2020 Ford Mustang Mach E Side

The Mustang Mach-E is distinctive. It uses a long, powerful hood, much like the Coupe. The rear arches are suitably bulging and the side panels, finished in black, narrow the body panels to create the illusion that the body is smaller than it is.

The headlights are long and thin, similar in style to the Coupe. The rear lights use a tri-bar setup which has become synonymous with the Mustang in recent years.

Overall, the silhouette is more Coupe than a full-size SUV. The shape is not boxy! One interesting element is the lack of conventional door handles. The Mach-E dispenses with convention, using buttons and small holds protruding from the front doors. For the fully digital experience, owners can use their smartphones as keys.

Drivetrain

The Ford Mustang Mach-E is powered by a completely new drivetrain. It is available in two versions, the standard-range with a 75.7 kWh lithium-ion battery, and the extended-range with a 98.8 kWh battery. It should achieve a respectable range of at least 300 miles in rear-wheel-drive configuration.

The standard model uses a single motor driving the rear wheels. It produces 255 hp or 282 hp in the extended-range version. The twin-motor model produces 255 hp in its lowest spec, 332 hp in its highest. The rear-wheel-drive models should hit 100 km/h in under 8 seconds while Ford are targetting a sub-7 second 100 km/h time in the twin-motor versions.

The batteries are fitted on the floor between the two axles, secured inside a waterproof battery case and surrounded by crash-absorption protection. It is slightly larger than the I-Pace, with weight stated to be between 1,993 kg to more than 2,218 kg.

The platform is all-new. Called Global Electrified 2, Ford has reworked the latest Focus and Kuga architecture.

Interior

2020 Ford Mustang Mach E Interior

Inside, Ford has gone high-tech. The Ford Mustang Mach-E seats five adults comfortably. It offers 820 litres of luggage space, 1,680 with the rear seats folded.

Ford will offer a Bang & Olufsen sound system. A panoramic fixed-glass roof is an option, with a special glass coating for enhanced infrared protection.

The Mustang Mach-E uses the latest version of Ford’s SYNC system. It operates through a massive 15.5-inch touchscreen which rivals Tesla for size. The dashboard is largely free of buttons with a narrow 10.2-inch digital cluster for the driver.

Competition

If you know the market, the competition should be obvious by now! At the moment, Ford has Jaguar’s I-Pace, Audi’s E-Tron and the Mercedes EQC to compete with. Pretty soon though, electric SUV customers will be spoilt for choice.

We expect Tesla to launch a Model Y soon which will compete directly with the Mach-E. There is the unknown quantity of the Byton M-Byte too. Infiniti, Porsche and Rivian are also known to be interested in the segment.

As far as what’s available at the moment, the Jaguar I-Pace appears to be the closest competition.

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Ferrari Roma: New V8 Coupe Revealed with 620hp

The covers have been lifted from the latest Ferrari Coupe. The Ferrari Roma packs a V8 under the front bonnet with a 2+2 setup. Designed with a simplistic, 50’s style, the Roma was revealed this evening at a Ferrari client event in Rome!

The release is not quite complete. Ferrari is teasing us with details of the powertrain and photos of the exterior. There is little else by way of detail though. A message on the company website suggests that this will be revealed at 13:30 CET tomorrow. The photos appear to be CGI renders.

Design

Ferrari Roma Side

Despite its classic design cues, the Ferrari Roma is a modern front-engined GT car. The engine is mounted as far back as possible such that Ferrari describes it as “mid-front-engined”. It has a shorter front bonnet as a result, with short overhangs.

In contrast to some of Ferrari’s more fussy, aerodynamic designs, the Ferrari Roma gets a more minimalist design. The front features a sharp front nose with a futuristic front air intake and a prominent lip spoiler. The headlights are split by a daytime running light. The nose is extremely low, probably made possible by mounting the engine so far back.

Moving along the side. The Ferrari Roma features a side shape similar to that of the classic Ferrari 612. The resemblance is accentuated by a small circular side reflector mounted behind the front wheel. The doors get recessed door handles, similar in style to the Jaguar F-Type.

Towards the rear, a styling line crosses the entire length with narrow quad taillights. The bumper gets a set of quad tailpipes and a deep rear diffuser. All in, the design is classic and unpretentious.

Power

Ferrari Roma Rear

The detail we do have include the powertrain. It uses Ferrari’s 3.9-litre V8 power plant. Fitted with twin-turbochargers, it produces 620 hp and 760 Nm of torque. It’s enough for a 3.4 second 100 km/h sprint, a 9.3 second 200 km/h sprint and a 320 km/h top speed.

Tipping the scales at 1,472 kg, it weighs slightly more than the Aston Martin Vantage but less than cars like the Mercedes-AMG GT and Jaguar F-Type SVR. The power is coupled to a new 8-speed DCT gearbox which will also be used in the Ferrari SF 90 Stradale.

Ultimately, the Roma is a re-worked version of the Portifino, fitted with a fixed roof and updated styling.

Interior

Ferrari Roma

There is only one photo of the interior which shows a tightly packaged interior with a high centre console. A display handles most of the inputs for the air conditioning and comfort settings with a number of conventional switches retained below.

The passenger seat gets a display incorporated into the dashboard. On the driver’s side, the steering wheel includes the trademark Ferrari manettino dial. The dashboard is an up to date digital display.

Competition

Aston Martin Vantage AMR

Without an idea on pricing, it looks as though the Roma is designed to compete at the lower end of the market with cars like the Aston Martin Vantage, Porsche 911 Turbo and Mercedes-AMG GT R.

We know that Bentley is working on something which might also give the Ferrari a run for its money. Maserati is known to have something in the pipeline, perhaps taking inspiration from the Roma.

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2020 BMW X5 M Competition: Ultimate BMW SUV Revealed

BMW have announced a refreshed versions of the BMW X5M today. The super-SUV’s are refreshed for the latest generation, both have been fitted with a powerful V8 engine and the latest in BMW technology.

Now in its third generation, the X5M is available in standard and Competition specification for the first time. BMW have carried out testing at Miramas and Arjeplog as well as at the Nurburgring. A world away from these harsh locations, the X5M will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show 2019 next month.

Both versions use the 4.4 litre V8 engine. Power outputs increase by 25 hp and 50 hp respectively over the outgoing model. The standard models now put out 600 hp while the Competition versions generate 625 hp and 750 Nm of torque. New engine mounts, cooling and oil supply systems and a sports exhaust release the additional power.

That power is transferred to the M xDrive system via an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission. Both cars feature an Active M Differential to optimise traction. The standard M-cars take 3.9 seconds to hit 100 km while the Competition models hit the same speed in 3.8 seconds. This makes it 0.4 seconds faster than the outgoing model.

The suspension has been re-inforced to cope with the additional power. The X5M receives electronically controlled dampers, active roll stabilisation, M Servotronic steering and Dynamic Stability Control. Competition models get 21 inch rims at the front and 22 inch rims at the back. Large M-specific brakes are essential.

To look at, you would not mistake the M models from the rest of the range. BMW designers have included large air intakes at the front, a new kidney grille with double bars, M gills at the side fenders, a new roof spoiler, rear apron and a new diffuser. The exhaust system is also all-new with a set of twin tailpipes.

Inside, a head up display is fitted as standard. An M-specific display is also included together with a leather steering wheel. The seats are multifunction with integrated head restraints. Merino leather is available throughout to enhance the luxurious feel. BMW Live Cockpit Professional is included as standard together with BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, and the Parking Assistant.

Both cars will be available from April 2020.

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2020 Audi RS4 Avant Updated with a Fresh Look

The Audi RS4 Avant has fallen out of favour in recent years. There was a time when the RS4 was the darling child of the Audi Sport range. In recent years, it is the Audi RS6 Avant which has driven the fortunes. Audi will be hoping that its latest update to the baby Avant will push sales back to where they belong.

The Audi RS4 Avant gets updates that mirror those applied to the Audi A4 range earlier this year. The front has been completely redesigned. It gets a wider and flatter single-frame grille, similar in style to the version found on the recently released Audi RS6 Avant. It is fitted with black gloss, three-dimensional honeycomb, typical of RS models.

The LED headlights also receive a refresh. Optional matrix LED units get darkened bezels. They complement the gloss black, matt aluminium and carbon fibre styling packages which add sill inlays, exterior mirror housings and elements to the front and rear bumper.

The side profile remains unchanged. The wheel arches are 30 mm wider at the front and the back compared to the A4 Avant. At the rear, a new twilight design should make it clear to the rest of the world that you are driving the latest and greatest. New air vents next to the tailpipes are also evident. Otherwise, everything else appears untouched.

The power unit is what really matters with the RS4 Avant though. The 2.9 litre V6 receives some work. It now produces 450 hp and 600 Nm of torque, sprinting from zero to 100 km/h in just 4.1 seconds. Audi engineers the twin turbochargers to act on each individual side of the cylinder bank, mounted within the V.

Power is routed through the quattro system via an eight-speed tiptronic gearbox. A torque vectoring system is on offer too, assisting with handling on difficult surfaces. An optional quattro sport differential provides an even better response.

Inside, the latest 10.1 inch MMI touch display welcomes the driver with the option of the Audi Virtual Cockpit with unique RS displays showing information on tire pressure, torque, power output and other performance-oriented details.

The Audi RS 4 Avant will make its debut at the DTM finale at the Hockenheimring on 4 to 6 October 2019. Sales in Germany and other European countries will start in October 2019. Prices for the RS4 Avant should start at 81,400 euros.

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Lamborghini Aventador SVJ 63 Roadster Revealed – 63 Units Only

Lamborghini used The Quail at Monterey to unveil a special edition Lamborghini Aventador SVJ 63 Roadster. The special edition model follows the coupe version unveiled at Pebble Beach last year.

The 63 edition models commemorate the company’s founding year of 1963. Just 63 examples will be built as a limited edition production run of an already limited edition production run.

The Lamborghini Aventador SVJ 63 Roadster gets a range of unique features. The SVJ 63 Roadsters will be available in eight exclusive new designs. The example at Pebble Beach gets a matt grey Grigio Acheso paintjob and orange Arancio Dac details.

Each car will get matt or shiny carbon fibre upper parts including the roof, engine cover, engine air vents, windscreen rim and wing mirrors. The rims get a new matt titanium finish and the car carries the SVJ 63 livery which debuted on the coupe, as well as a ‘1 of 63’ numbered plate.

Inside, there are three alcantara variations with extensive carbon fibre and Lamborghini’s patented lightweight CarbonSkin.

Otherwise, the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ 63 Roadster remains faithful to the formula of the standard SVJ Roadster‘s. The V12 engine receives the same tuning as the Coupe. It is the most powerful V12-engined car Lamborghini have produced. It puts out 770 hp at 8,500 rpm and 720 Nm of torque at 6,750 rpm. From standing, the SVJ accelerates to 100 km/h in 2.9 seconds and on to 200 km/h in 8.8 seconds. The top speed is said to be “more than 350 km/h” with a braking distance from 100 km/h to 0 in 31 meters.

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2020 Rezvani Tank Launches with 1000hp HEMI V8

Last week, Rezvani revealed a new version of the Tank. The US manufacturer has been producing the Rezvani Tank for a couple of years. Looking like a post-apocalyptic extreme SUV, the Tank now has the powertrain to match.

The Tank gets a new 6.2 litre Supercharged V8, lifted directly from the Dodge Demon. The output is boosted by a series of updates carried out by Rezvani that push output to 1,000 hp and 870 lb-ft of torque. Rezvani claim that it is the most powerful SUV on the market.

The Rezvani Tank is built using a steel body-on-frame design. It gets on-demand four-wheel-drive as standard for all trims. It’s biggest USP is its rugged exterior though. The company describe it as the perfect antidote to the daily driver.

“The new TANK is easily the toughest and most powerful production SUV in the world”, says CEO Ferris Rezvani. This is likely true with the option of ballistic armour including Kevlar plating, bulletproof glass, military-grade run flat tyres and underside explosive protection. Whatsmore, customers can also order electro-magnetic pulse protection and an intriguing self-sealing fuel tank.

Fox Racing suspension, Dynatrac axel sets with air lockers, an air compressor and optional Fox Racing 3.0 Internal Bypass Shocks keep the Tank planted.

Inside, Rezvani have applied a touch of luxury. Many elements of the interior are custom including seat style, stitching, and the color of the gauge clusters. There are leather surfaces, a suede headliner and a 7.9 inch infotainment screen with all of the mod-cons.

Prices start from $155,000 (we think this applies to the lesser models) with armoured versions starting at $295,000. Of course, the rest of the range is also available with an entry level 285 hp 3.6 litre V6, 500 hp 6.4 litre V8 and a 285 hp 3.0 litre diesel all available. The 1,000 hp version will be on display at Monterey Car Week this week.

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2020 Audi SQ7 TDI Next to Receive V8 Diesel

The Audi SQ7 TDI follows on from the release of the Audi SQ8 TDI last month. The facelift model for the second generation receives the same technology as its sportier brother combined with the visual updates applied to the Q7 range at the start of the year.

The previous generation 2 model of the Audi SQ7 TDI featured the same 4.0 litre V8 power plant. Audi’s system for the V8 includes twin turbochargers mounted close to the engine with a supplemental third electric compressor. The third compressor is powered from Audi’s 48-volt system and fills the gap between the turbos spooling and the arrival of that diesel power.

Power remains exactly the same as the outgoing model; 429 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. The SQ7 TDI hits the 100 km/h mark slightly quicker though with a 4.8 seconds, although the reason why is not entirely clear!

The SQ7 TDI gets all of the trappings of the Q7’s mid-life refresh. These include sharper styling, slimmer headlights and a new front grill. On top of this, the SQ7 gets S-specific details. They include a revamped grille, aluminium mirror details, quad chrome exhaust pipes and 21-inch cast aluminium wheels.

The Audi SQ7 TDI goes on sale in Germany at the end of July and will cost €94,900, with the seven-seat model starting at €96,420.

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New Audi S8 Revealed with 571 hp V8

The Audi S8 has been officially revealed. Details have been released for the performance model, confirming that the range-topping limousine uses V8 power once again. The combination of power and technology is likely to place the S8 close to the top of the pile when it comes to sports-focused limousines!

The engine fitted to the S8 should be familiar by now. It featured in the Porsche Panamera Turbo two years ago and can also be found under the bonnet of the Bentley Continental GT. A 4.0-litre TFSI unit, it uses Audi’s favoured bi-turbo setup with the turbochargers mounted inside the V, supplemented by a belt-alternator started and a lithium-ion battery. The setup allows Audi to counter turbo-lag whilst also offering strong fuel efficiency through the use of coasting and cylinder on demand.

In the S8, the power unit is rated to 571 hp and 800 Nm of torque. This is enough for a 250 km/h top speed with performance figures yet to be announced. The S8 gets iron-lined cylinder barrels and actuated flaps in the exhaust system which should mean that the sound will match to sledgehammer performance.

As with other Audi models, the A8 also runs a sophisticated suspension setup. Predictive active suspension, which features as an option on the standard A8, is now delivered as standard equipment, in combination with the adaptive air suspension. The former uses cameras to determine the road surface. The Audi drive select system differs slightly from other Audi models with five profiles, including a new “Comfort+” mode. As you would expect, the suspension parameters in this mode contribute to the smoothest possible ride with the body actively leaning into curves by as much as 3 degrees to reduce lateral forces.

All-wheel steering features on the Audi S8. A sport differential is fitted to the rear wheels which pushes power to the outside wheel under heavy cornering. Both systems are fitted as standard. The ceramic brake discs are an optional extra, measuring 420 mm at the front axle and 370 mm at the rear.

Visually, the S8 gains a set of 21-inch wheels. The front bumper is enhanced, together with the side sills. Audi’s characteristic silver mirror housings and quad tailpipes are also included as part of the package. Nine exterior colours arena option with carbon trim available inside. HD matrix LED headlights with Audi laser light and OLED rear lights are optional extras. New seats are fitted with ventilation and massage functions.

The Audi S8 will be made available in China, the US, Canada and South Korea, exclusively as a long wheelbase model. Pricing has not yet been announced.

BMW Vision M NEXT Revealed with 600hp Hybrid Engine

BMW M has this morning set out its vision for the immediate future. The BMW Vision M Next Concept previews what BMW considers to be its future, past the ageing BMW i8. The i8 has been a game changer in many respects, however, it now faces stiff competition with most manufacturers keen to muscle in on its eco-performance niche.

The BMW Vision M Next Concept uses a traditional petrol engine coupled with an electronic motor to produce power. The petrol unit is turbocharged and four-cylinders. Combined with the electric motors, it produces an impressive 600 hp. This, BMW states, is enough for a 300 km/h (186 mph) top speed and a 3 second 100 km/h sprint time. That power is not available all the time though. It is accessed through a BOOST+ mode, although it is not clear how long the boost is provided. It should do 100 km on battery power alone.

The looks are very similar to those of the existing i8. The BMW Vision M Next Concept remains a two-seater with a low slung, supercar type shape. It uses carbon fibre bodywork and a throwback exterior design. Looking closely at the concept, the rear view is heavily inspired by the BMW M1. Inside, things are very futuristic with a curved driver display and a dragster style steering wheel.

The replacement for the BMW i8 is expected debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2019 in September. The i8 is part of a wider BMW program called ‘Strategy One Next’ which aims for up to 25 electrified BMW models to be on sale by 2025. 

3rd Gen Bentley Flying Spur Revealed with 333km/h Top Speed

Bentley’s Flying Spur has today been revealed. Updated off the back of a successfully updated Continental GT platform. The mid-range sedan will get many of the same technical features alongside its new look. The Flying Spur is all-new with a new chassis, suspension, W12 engine and eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.

Bentley has torn apart the old model and started from scratch. The launch engine will be the twin-turbocharged W12 engine which was recently refreshed for the Bentley Continental GT. it packs performance figures of 635 hp and 900 Nm of torque. The limo gets a top speed of 333 km/h and a 100 km/h sprint time of 3.8 seconds as a result. An entry-level V8 will be added to the range at a later date, followed by a V6 petrol-powered plug-in hybrid at some point in the future.

The engine sits within the MLB structure which also underpins the Porsche Panamera. All-wheel steering is key to the Flying Spur package, together with an active system that favours rear wheel drive until it feels that the front wheels need to get involved. Improvements have been made with the addition of Bentley’s version of the 48V electric active roll control system and a new three-chamber air springs suspension setup.

In terms of design, the Flying Spur is longer than the outgoing model with shorter overhangs. The grille is the first difference you notice. The Flying Spur does not share the matrix grille of its smaller family members. Instead, Bentley has fitted veins which shroud the matrix. The Flying B mascot has been redesigned with illuminated wings, it sits on an electronically retractable plinth. The design lines are longer and lower than before with the rear arches noticeably dominant.

It’s on the inside that the differences need to be felt though. Bentley has not disappointed. Bentley has fitted a new set of seats finished in 15 hide colours. The traditional round ‘bullseye’ vents have been moved from the centre of the dashboard to a slightly lower location and re-shaped to sit either side of the Bentley clock. There is plenty of diamond quilted leather, a new Crown Cut Walnut veneer and a range of 7 other alternatives.

The dash has been redesigned using the centrepiece of the rotating display. The main display is a 12.3in touchscreen with the option of a single display or 2:1 split showing the functions of the car. Three audio systems are on offer, a standard 650-watt system featuring 10 speakers, a Bang & Olufsen 1,500-watt system with 16-speakers and illuminated grilles. The top of the range option, unique to Bentley, is a Naim, 2,200-watt, 19 speaker system.

The Bentley Flying Spur is available to order, except in EU28 countries, Israel, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine where it will launch later this year. Pricing has yet to be announced.

2020 BMW M8 Competition Revealed in Coupe and Convertible Shapes

BMW’s M8 has been a long time in gestation. We have been hearing about it for quite some time. Leaked images were also discovered late last year. Yet the official release has only just taken place.

The BMW M8 Competition Coupe and Convertible versions have been released at the same time. Both models get some additional styling. The front bumper is completely new with larger air intakes and carbon fibre surrounds. The kidney grilles have been replaced with a new black piece.

At the rear, the BMW M8 gets a new rear diffuser, larger rear wheel vents and a boot lid spoiler. The tailpipe surrounds will please those that prefer the conventional look, four large traditional style exhausts.

The BMW M8 gets the 4.4-litre V8 engine tuned to 600 hp in the BMW M8 Coupe and BMW M8 Convertible, 625 hp in the Competition models. The power is routed through an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic, and an M-specific xDrive all-wheel-drive system. The xDrive system is the latest with configurable 4WD, 4WD Sport and 2WD.

The M8 sprints to 100 km/h in 3.3 seconds, the M8 Competition Coupe hits the same benchmark in 3.2 seconds, the convertible is 0.1 seconds slower.

The chassis gets new performance optimised damper and suspension settings together with new bracing elements. The engine mounts are stiffer and there is increased camber at the front. The braking system features two selectable settings, Sport and Comfort.

Inside, BMW offers the latest M-Sport steering wheel, stainless steel pedals, M-Sport seats, a unique M-Sport digital instrument display, M-specific graphics for the infotainment system and a new M-sport gear lever to replace the crystal version in the standard M850i.

Costs are yet to be announced, however, expect this to be the most expensive M car yet!

10 Amazing New Cars We Wish We Could Buy in America

The car market in the United States isn’t quite like anywhere else. Automakers must meet a separate set of emissions standards; roads in suburban and rural areas tend to be broader and straighter than their counterparts elsewhere; gasoline is much cheaper. And, of course, American buyers have a particular taste for giant SUVs and full-sized pickups that people in other countries lack. 

All those distinctions mean Americans tend to get different cars from other markets — which, among other things, means many finely-tuned driver’s cars made for Europe and elsewhere never float over to the United States while they’re in production. Here, then, are 10 of the best examples of the “forbidden fruit” new cars American buyers can’t have…at least, not for another 25 years or so, when they can import them one by one

Alpine A110

The Alpine A110 is a mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive coupe from Renault, a modern reimagining of the original Alpine A110. The specs don’t leap out at you — it uses a 1.8-liter inline four producing 249 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque — but look closer, and you’ll see the appeal. At just 2,432 pounds, the A110 is insanely light — 30 pounds lighter than an Alfa Romeo 4C. It hits 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph. And yet it’s not a gutted track car; it’s built to be comfortable, too.

Why Americans Don’t Get It: Renault left the U.S. market nigh-on 30 years ago. And even if they were coming back, a limited-edition sports coupe meant to rival the Toyota Supra would not be the ideal vehicle to re-launch the brand here.

Audi RS 4 Avant

The RS 4 is Audi’s all-wheel-drive retort to the BMW M3. The European RS 4 pulls 450 hp and 44 lb-ft of torque from its twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V-6. It’s an absolute rocket, accelerating from 0-60 mph in just 4.1 seconds with a top speed that can reach 174 mph. America has the equivalently-powerful RS 5 coupe, but the sedan range tops out at the less-potent S4 — and the only wagon we get here is the 248-hp A4 Allroad.

Why Americans Don’t Get It: Americans tend to be anti-wagon, though Audi fans less so. Audi has teased that RS Avant models might come back; given how successful AMG and M cars have been for Mercedes-Benz and BMW here, bulking up the RS portfolio just seems like good sense. But for now, we go without.

Ford Focus ST Wagon

Ford recently unveiled the wagon version of the Focus ST hatchback. The longroof is sporty and swell to look at, with the gasoline version using Ford’s 2.3-liter inline-four to generate 276 hp and 310 lb-ft. Want that knife twisted a bit more? You can get Ford’s hot wagon with a six-speed manual. Enjoy your Edge ST, American bros.

Why Americans Don’t Get It: Ford needs profits for Wall Street. Cars need to sell in volume to be profitable. Trucks and SUVs are profitable. Americans don’t buy wagons in volume, so they’re not.

Mercedes-AMG A45 Hatchback

Yes, Mercedes makes a hot hatchback. In fact, Mercedes makes the hottest of hot hatchbacks: The new Mercedes-AMG A45, incredibly, will squeeze 420 hp from a 2.0-liter engine. That’s more power per liter than just about anything else on the road. It will also have a drift mode, which Mercedes has been hyping in YouTube videos.

Why Americans Don’t Get It: Americans don’t think hatchbacks are luxury vehicles, so one north of $50,000 would be a tough sell. Raise it a little, add some body cladding and call it a GLA45, though, and Americans will love it.

Renault Megane RS

The RS (Renault Sport) is the hottest version of Renault’s Megane hatchback, and is the carmaker’s answer to the Golf R. The 300 Trophy trim tunes the inline-four to 292 hp and 310 lb-ft, delivering a 0-60 mph time of 5.7 seconds. It’s front-wheel drive, has four-wheel steering, and can still be ordered with a six-speed manual. It also has a fancy new turbocharger the company claims was “taken directly from Formula 1,” which was probably a better selling point before the 2019 season.

Why Americans Don’t Get It: Renault doesn’t sell anything here.

Subaru Levorg STI Sport

A Subaru enthusiast’s dream car might merge the Outback’s wagon body with the WRX’s manic persona. The not-for-America Levorg wagon isn’t that exactly, but it’s the closest Subaru comes to that idea today. The 2.0-liter boxer engine produces 264 hp and 258 lb-ft. The top-of-the-line STI Sport adds some sport tuning and appearance features. It only comes with a CVT, sadly.

Why Americans Don’t Get It: Subaru has been too successful here, almost selling more cars in the US than they can produce. Why add to the workload?

Suzuki Jimny

Suzuki just released its updated version of the Jimny, which was named a 2019 World Car of the Year. It’s a small, boxy and bulletproof SUV that resembles the child of a Land Rover Defender and a G-Wagen. It’s also a rugged, supremely capable off-roader. It can go pretty much anywhere a Land Rover can go — and some places a Land Rover can’t, since it’s smaller and narrower.

Why American Don’t Get It: Suzuki left the US market in 2012. The Jimny may have a niche, but being useless for families and ill-suited to American highway driving (it only makes 100 horses) would make it hard to find mainstream appeal.

Toyota Century

The Century is Toyota’s super-lux flagship, a Japanese market-only four-door sedan. Production is limited and units available by invitation only, reserved for royalty and VIPs. It’s kept its classic aesthetic intact over the years — in part because it has been relaunched just twice since it debuted in 1967, and in part because it caters to such a small audience. Toyota’s GRMN racing division did make a special edition one that may be produced, though.

Why Americans Don’t Get It: Some things should be kept special. Also, Americans don’t view Toyota as a luxury brand — hence the existence of Lexus. And even a $200,000 Lexus sedan would be a tough sell.

TVR Griffith

The TVR nameplate has been revived in the form of what may be the perfect driver’s car. The new Griffith will be a two-door coupe designed by Gordon Murray, the man who designed the McLaren F1. As is TVR tradition, it will have a huge engine — a Ford Cosworth 5.0-liter V-8 — and a super-light, all carbon fiber chassis, paired with a six-speed manual gearbox and rear-wheel-drive. It will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about four seconds, and reached a top speed north of 200 mph. It will also have ABS, power steering, and traction control, because they aren’t sadists.

Why The U.S. Isn’t Getting It: It’s not worth building a US-spec Griffith for a 500-vehicle limited production run, considering how difficult the development process has been for TVR in general.

Volkswagen up! GTI

The oddly-named up! is Volkswagen’s pint-sized hatchback, which also comes in GTI version. The 1.0-liter three-cylinder is horsepower-light, but torque-heavy, making 113 hp and 170 lb-ft. Its size, power, and handling capability place it quite close to the original GTI. It also costs less than $20,000. There may not be a better city car on sale on any continent.

Why The U.S. Doesn’t Get It: Americans consider the Golf a small car, and sales have plummeted in recent years. Volkswagen has countered by going hard into crossovers with the Tiguan and Atlas, which doesn’t leave much room for introducing a tiny city car. And highway-centric American driving would minimize the up! GTI’s strengths and fully display its weaknesses.

A Cool Car We Can Have

Popping the top changes the experience dramatically, and suddenly, we’re debating whether the ideal GT is the one that doesn’t get in between you and road trip wonderment. Read the Story

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