Automakers mimic each other. It’s one of the reasons for the character-sapping convergence among modern cars that we often lament. Take, for example, the entry-luxury sports-sedan segment, where nearly every automaker has fully turbocharged engine lineups and complicated electronic adjustments for practically every vehicle parameter from the suspension to the transmission. And then there’s the Lexus IS350 F Sport. It, too, has an adaptive suspension and adjustable driving modes, but the steering, suspension, and powertrain cannot be individually adjusted as in the BMW 3-series or the Audi A4. You get four choices, including one good default Normal setting. The V-6–powered IS350 F Sport isn’t turbocharged like BMW’s 340i or Audi’s S4. And at $50,154 fully loaded, this range-topping, sportiest IS maxes out at approximately where pricing for the six-cylinder 3-series starts. Nearer to 3 The Lexus isn’t above mimicry, as it … [Read more...] about 2017 Lexus IS350 F Sport RWD
Well, it could finally be happening ... a Ferrari SUV/crossover thing. That is, according to a report in Car magazine citing unnamed sources within Ferrari.The Italian supercar maker isn’t calling it an SUV, but it supposedly goes by the codename F16X and will be built alongside a replacement for the GTC4Lusso. Car is reporting that the vehicle will have a raised ride height and feature a coupe-like shape. In a more exotic move, the crossover could get suicide rear doors with no B-pillars to allow easy access to the back seats. Next Gallery: Report Lawsuit claims Ferrari odometers can be rolled back to zero » Gallery: Ferrari GTC4Lusso T debuts at the Paris motor show with a turbo V8 and rear-wheel … [Read more...] about Sacrilege alert: Is Ferrari making an SUV?
There are some things that Ferrari just won't do. Pink cars. Electric vehicles. SUVs. Well, about that last one... There's long been talk about Ferrari taking the leap and producing a utility vehicle to rival the likes of the Porsche Cayenne (but, like, for way more money). Lamborghini has already gotten the hint with the upcoming Urus. Now, Car says that it can confirm that Ferrari is, in fact, working on a crossover, and the project is codenamed F16X. The British magazine even has its own artist rendering of the rumored ute, though if that's what the thing actually ends up looking like, we'll eat our hat. Car's sources in Maranello say that the vehicle will be built alongside the next-gen GTC4 Lusso (current model pictured above) with aluminum architecture, that it'll be a high-riding soft-roader, and will feature rear suicide doors with no B-pillar (picture a big opening to the rear seats). It will have all-wheel drive, building on Ferrari's experience with the FF and GTC4 Lusso. … [Read more...] about Ferrari SUV in the works, finally?
Patent drawings of the upcoming 2018 BMW X2 submitted to the patent office in Japan have found their way into the hands of auto spies, as BMW readies a production version of the concept seen at the 2016 Paris motor show. Based on the X1, the X2 is expected to adopt a more rakish, hatch-like profile, offering the versatility of a tall four-door wagon rather than a tallish SUV. This means it's expected to take on the likes of the Range Rover Evoque and other small but not pocket-sized utes, to avoid stealing UKL platform sibling Mini sales.The patent drawings suggest that the X2 will offer more muted styling than its knife-edged concept version, but other spy photos seen recently show the scale will be a bit larger than the Mercedes GLA-Class styling suggests. In fact, this is one area in which BMW will seek to compete with the not-particularly-roomy GLA 250; the end product may not be as tall as the Evoque.We expect the X2 to be offered with front-wheel drive or … [Read more...] about BMW X2 design revealed in patent images
Autoweek in review is where we bring you the biggest stories in the car world that you might have missed this week. Whether you were actually getting some work done or you stepped away from your computer for a moment, here's your chance to catch up and have something cool to talk about over the weekend. 2017 BMW 530i review: Redesign or big refresh? After spending the weekend tooling around in the new, seventh-gen BMW 5-Series, I really don’t know if I like it. I need to think about it more. According to BMW, compared to the outgoing model, ... Here's the first 'Top Gear America' trailer "Top Gear America" is just a month away from airing, no small feat given the demise of "Top Gear USA" exactly a year ago, and the BBC has just released the first brief teaser ... … [Read more...] about Autoweek in review: Everything you missed July 3-7
In the opulent and stylish presidential suite of New York's trendy Gansevoort Park Avenue Hotel, journalists representing automotive and luxury titles gathered for a light lunch and an interesting branding pitch: Zenith watches and Range Rover were joining forces with the hope of creating a mutually beneficial marketing proposition. Specifically, designers from the two brands had collaborated to create a Zenith watch stamped with the Range Rover name as well as a sporty new model, the Velar, by the automaker. "One of the things that we're putting a lot of store in is that design is a differentiator," said Land Rover Chief Design Officer Gerry McGovern. "Mechanically, cars have reached more or less a point of equality, if you look at models in competitive categories. Design is the main differentiator. It becomes what the brand stands for." Automotive marques have been collaborating with non-endemic partners for more than a hundred years. Joining forces started for practical reasons … [Read more...] about The $170,000 Breitling in the Bentley Bentayga, and other cobranding stories
The 2018 Lexus LC 500 is the latest and greatest sports coupe from Japan. The 471-horsepower luxury spaceship looks like something straight off the auto show floor. Few cars have made the transition from concept to production with so little change, and unsurprisingly, the LC gets plenty of attention. While sports cars are great on winding roads and flat-out around a racetrack, the compromises in pursuit of performance can show when you actually try to live with one every day. That said, a car that pulls at your heartstrings can be forgiven for a lot. Senior Green Editor John Beltz Snyder: On my night with the Lexus LC 500, I was tasked with picking up my toddler, Wolfgang, from daycare. I wondered if I'd even be able to shoehorn the child seat into the coupe's tiny rear row. I moved the front passenger seat up as far as it would go and folded it forward, unclipping the seat belt from the shoulder strap holding it in place. I was able to get the child seat in its rear-facing position … [Read more...] about 2018 Lexus LC 500 | Drivers’ Notes
When we got the 2017 BMW 540i xDrive in the office, there was much discussion about the car's Display Key. The words "technology nobody asked for" were bandied about, and we chuckled over the fob's somewhat comical size. For those of you who aren't familiar, the BMW Display Key is equipped with an LCD color touchscreen. It performs the standard functions of a key fob – locking, unlocking, keyless start – but its screen allows it to integrate a number of features from BMW's Connected app. You might be thinking the same things we were. Why the redundancy? Why not just use the app and not have to carry around this giant fob? How easily will this thing break if I drop it? Do I have to charge this thing? While some of those questions aren't ones we can actually answer, the last one is. There's a micro USB port on the side of the Display Key, which means you can plug it in to charge as needed. Mercifully, it can also charge wirelessly, because who is actually going to plug … [Read more...] about BMW Display Key: Technology nobody asked for?
Over the past five decades, several -- well, actually, a lot -- of Swiss watchmakers (and some German ones, too) have offered up Porsche 911-inspired chronographs. Simply, this one car has been a wellspring of countless automotive- and motorsport-inspired horological precepts, designs and calibres (movements) starting with the first Porsche Design wristwatch in 1972 right up through today.Cases in point: The just released Singer Reimagined Track 1 Chronograph and the all-new Porsche Design Monobloc Actuator GMT-Chronotimer.Nine years after Professor F.A. Porsche designed the 901 (911) he launched the Porsche Design brand. The company’s first product? The Porsche Design Chronograph I. Rob Dickinson founded the So Cal cult air cooled 911 (964) restoration and modification shop Singer Vehicle Design in 2009. Now, eight years later, and with partners Marco Borraccino and Jean-Marc Wiederrecht (watch designer and watchmaker respectively), he launched the Singer … [Read more...] about Two new Porsche 911-inspired chronographs are divergent takes on a design classic
Mercedes-Benz is giving the world the first glimpse at its upcoming X-Class pickup via an exceedingly dramatic video that looks like it took many months and many dollars to render. The 2018 X-Class will share components with the Nissan Navara pickup and use the NP300 platform courtesy of an agreement with Renault-Nissan. The midsize X-Class pickup was last previewed by two concepts at the Geneva motor show this year, named Stylish Explorer and Powerful Adventurer, that indicated what a Mercedes-Benz pickup could look like.Billed as the "world's first premium pickup," the X-Class will actually skip our pickup-friendly market entirely, aiming for the likes of the Volkswagen Amarok and the Toyota Hilux in other regions. The teaser video demonstrates that the production design has been watered down a bit from the concept, with the X-Class featuring a GLS-style grille with prominent horizontal bars, a tall hood and a front bumper with an integrated skid plate. The rear … [Read more...] about Mercedes-Benz X-Class pickup previewed ahead of global debut
America has spoken, and we are now the land of the SUV and crossover. Whether or not they're our preference as enthusiasts, we’ll still drive them all and report back to you with our findings. Halfway through 2017, these are the most popular SUV and crossover reviews we've posted. 2018 Toyota C-HR first drive: When does a car become a crossover? It’s no secret that we live in a world where everything from hate groups to Fruit Loops can be rebranded to become more or less appealing to a particular audience, and the auto industry is no ... 2018 Volkswagen Atlas first drive: American-style family hauler done right Volkswagen, at last, has a serious midsize SUV player: The new Chattanooga, Tennessee-built Atlas has learned the lessons of the two generations of the … [Read more...] about Top SUV and crossover reviews of the year so far
Enthusiasts know exactly what an M badge means when it’s plastered to the back of a BMW. Mercedes-Benz doesn’t have to explain AMG to anyone. But as good as Audi’s S and RS machines are, the performance arm that produces them, Audi Sport, is far less known. And that was even more true when that brand was called Quattro. Compared to its rivals, owning one of Audi’s RS models was almost like belonging to an underground club -- a well-kept performance car secret. That’s fun for Audi fans, but that’s certainly not an ideal strategy for increasing sales.“Quattro was not a fitting name,” Stephan Winkelmann, former Lamborghini CEO and new head of Audi Sport, told us over dinner at the launch of the RS5. “It’s the name of the equipment on the car, not the car company. The name Audi Sport was easy to choose because we have the motorsport heritage -- our DNA is motorsports.”And the car that is perhaps the … [Read more...] about 2018 Audi RS5 first drive: Audi Sport Quattro, revisited
Tesla's Model S did not get the top score in certain tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the agency said on Thursday. The Chevrolet Impala, Ford Taurus and Tesla Model S were the three sedans that got "only an acceptable rating" in a test designed to simulate what happens when the front driver-side corner of a vehicle strikes a tree or another vehicle, the IIHS said. Ford's Lincoln Continental, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Toyota Avalon received the highest rating overall, the agency said. In the test, the seat belt in Tesla's Model S was not effective and could lead to the driver's head striking the steering wheel hard through the air bag, according to the report. Tesla's Model S received the highest rating in IIHS's crash testing in every category except one, the small overlap front crash test, where it received the second highest rating available, a Tesla spokesperson said in an email. "IIHS and dozens of other private industry groups around the world … [Read more...] about Tesla Model S fails to ace IIHS crash test
Say goodbye to pure gas and diesel powertrains in Volvos, because by 2019, every new vehicle introduced in the Volvo lineup will have an electric motor or be fully electric.The full-on electrification of the lineup includes 48-volt mild hybrids, plug-in hybrids and full EVs. Five fully electric models are slated to be released between 2019 and 2021. Polestar will be heavily involved in two of those models, meaning of the five new cars, a couple of them will be of the high-performance variety. Similar to AMG developing unique cars of its own, Polestar will be doing the same, but only with pure electrics.Don’t fret too much though, because the Volvo-owned performance company will continue to produce parts for the high-octane Polestars already out there. Next Gallery: 2012 Jeep Liberty is under investigation for failing airbags … [Read more...] about Combustion engines are out at Volvo: Every new model after 2019 will be a hybrid or EV
Let a local jazz DJ lay a Miles Davis sound on the airwaves and I’ll remember the many dimensions of a man few people ever saw. Davis, who died Sept. 28, 1991, lived a meteoric career that defined him as taciturn, humorless, anti-social and totally immersed in his music. Never speaking to his audience, no song title announcements and no acknowledgements of sidemen (though there was always respect and admiration and he always hired the best).When not playing -- and often when playing -- during a set, Davis would simply walk away, turning his back on the audience. These and many other idiosyncrasies kept the myths and legends of Davis growing and enlarging.His autobiography, which came out just after his death, did nothing to deny or soften this perception. Filled with an inordinate sense of self, larded with hubris and anger, it was an unfortunate last word from a man that changed the world of music. … [Read more...] about Jazz great Miles Davis speaks his mind on Ferraris
At first glance, it may not seem like there is much room for growth above the long-wheelbase Range Rover, especially in Autobiography trim, but Land Rover is open to such a halo model to take on the Bentley Bentayga, Automotive News Europe reports. Land Rover chief of design Gerry McGovern indicated that an ultra-luxury model could be built to be positioned above the plushest Range Rover model."Why not? We've realized that the Range Rover has got this big expanse across its price range, so it's not a very big step to get into Bentayga country," McGovern told Automotive News Europe.The sub-brand currently offers four models, not counting the rest of the Land Rover lineup: Range Rover Evoque, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Velar and the Range Rover itself. McGovern indicated that he would like to see additional Range Rover models join the lineup, admitting that their overlap in size is not a concern for him, likely referencing the closeness of the Sport and the … [Read more...] about Is an even plusher Range Rover halo model on the way?
It’s great to read about affordable normcore cars, but those aren’t the machines we hang posters of up in our room. Supercars (and hypercars) are great too, but how many of us can actually afford them?We’ve driven a lot of new performance cars already this year. These things pack all the power a typical enthusiast can handle, and you won't necessarily have to win the lotto to afford one.By the numbers, these were your favorites to read about in 2017 thus far. Apparently, Porsches and Corvettes are popular with our audience -- what a surprise. 2018 Porsche 911 GT3 first drive: Impractically perfect You might think hanging a 420-pound, 500-hp 4.0-liter hunk of flat-six over the back wheels of the 2018 Porsche 911 GT3 would make it hard to handle at speed (or otherwise). You might also think ... … [Read more...] about Our top-5 performance car reviews from 2017 (so far)
As much fun as supercars and 6-by-6 G Wagens are, cars that are accessible to the rest of us are what most folks are looking for. Our list of the top-10 most-read reviews of 2017 so far includes a little bit of everything. Without further ado, here's what moved the needle in the first six months of the year: 2018 Toyota C-HR first drive: When does a car become a crossover? It’s no secret that we live in a world where everything from hate groups to Fruit Loops can be rebranded to become more or less appealing to a particular audience, and the auto industry is no ... 2017 Mercedes Benz C300 Coupe review notes: Another sexy C I hadn't driven one of the C-Class coupes yet, and damn if this car didn’t impress me right from the get-go. I’ve always said BMW tacks more … [Read more...] about All-star break: Our top car reviews from 2017 so far
While collectors on this side of the Atlantic were busy not driving the Buick GNXs, but instead storing them in hopes of cashing in for a retirement fund, collectors back in Europe were busy driving a super sedan that could keep up with the supercars of the day. We're talking about the Lotus Carlton, which at its root was also a GM vehicle -- a very special, souped-up GM vehicle turned into nothing short of a supercar fighter by Lotus.In about a month, collectors -- who perhaps had a poster of this car on their bedroom walls 25 years ago -- will get an opportunity to bid on a Carlton that might not have been shrink-wrapped but was driven very sparingly and now shows a claimed 4,500 miles on the clock.But first, a little history and a lot of specs: The Lotus Carlton was based on the Vauxhall Carlton -- the U.K. version of the Opel Omega -- but equipped with a Lotus-tuned turbocharged and intercooled 3.6-liter engine straight-six engine featuring plenty of tricks from … [Read more...] about Ultimate ’90s Q-ship: Low-mile Lotus Carlton heads to auction
Imagine a house. It’s a beautiful house, perched on a corner lot in some bougie neighborhood with its many rooms outfitted from floorboards to crown moldings with Restoration Hardware furniture. It’s a grand place, except that a few times a month at completely random intervals, the doorbell rings while the lights flash on and off. Other times, the smoke alarms sound off for no reason whatsoever. Would the rest be worth it? The Range Rover is like that house. Undeniably desirable and eminently versatile, the luxury SUV is as adept towing a race car or moving an apartment full of furnishings as it is wafting down the arteries of the country’s top-earning zip codes. Need a date-night chariot? Something in which to schlep dogs to the vet? One of our editors even threw a mean, one-eyed groundhog he trapped in his backyard, cage and all, into the cargo area to set free near our office. It surely was the most luxurious experience that woodland creature has ever had, and … [Read more...] about 2016 Range Rover Td6 Diesel