Drive Away 2Day

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2015 Toyota Prius Three : Current Models
2015 Toyota Prius Three : Current Models

Back for a further encore is the granddaddy of all hybrids, the Toyota Prius compact hybrid hatchback. So familiar is this little gas-electric people-hauler that just its name can stand in place of the word “hybrid.” Again seating 5, the latest Prius returns with 39.6 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seatbacks folded, a peppy hybrid inline 4-cylinder engine, spiffy profile and a better than decent ride. The revamped front fascia that debuted late in 2014 with the lowered front end, slanted headlights and enlarged grille underneath give this hybrid pioneer the profile it needed to proclaim itself a true road warrior.

For 2015, the Prius sports a new addition to the lineup, as the brand new Persona Series Special Edition trim slots between the Prius Three and the up-featured Prius Four. The re-vamped lineup, therefore, constitutes the base Prius Two, the next-up Prius Three, the new Profile Series, the full-featured Prius Four and the flagship Prius Five. Each trim returns with only front-wheel drive (FWD) and yet again, offers the best gas mileage of any traditional hybrid currently on the market. Additionally, all trims — including the base Prius Two — now come with a rear-view camera as standard equipment.

Returning for 2015 is the ubiquitous 1.8-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) gasoline engine that’s paired with two electric motors to put out a combined 134 hp and 153 lb-ft of torque. This power comes under the management of a unique continuously variable transmission (CVT), offering 3 driving modes: all-electric EV, traditionally hybrid-like Eco and I4-only Power, via Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive. This popular gas-electric commuter car can cruise for short distances at up to 30 mph and the gas-burner combines with regenerative braking to recharge the 650-volt (max) sealed nickel-metal hydride battery. Of course, mileage remains estimated at a segment-best 51 mpg city/48 highway, but don’t expect to blow anyone away when the light turns green, as the Prius' 0-60 mph time averages 10.2 seconds.

Depending on the trim selected, the 2015 Prius returns packing either 15- or 17-inch alloy wheels, chrome exterior trim pieces and a rear spoiler outside. Cloth or leatherette upholstery, full power accessories and, in higher trims, heated front seats (with a power-adjustable driver’s seat) grace the interior.

Again, look for standard cruise control and telescoping tilt-wheel steering across the lineup, as well as climate control, an upgraded trip computer, the new-for-2015 rear-view camera and Bluetooth hands-free calling. Moving higher up the trim list, expect standard voice-activated Entune infotainment with a 6.1-inch touchscreen to return, as well as an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, interior illumination, enhanced keyless entry and, on all editions except the Prius Two, a standard hard-drive-based navigation system.

Entertainment, meantime, remains offered via a single-CD player with 6 speakers and a USB port in the Prius Two. The Prius Three and the Prius Persona Series both add in standard satellite radio, as well as smartphone apps via Entune. The Prius Four and the top-shelf Prius Five, furthermore, each return toting an 8-speaker JBL premium audio system.

Optional equipment carried over from 2014 includes the popular Solar Roof Package: a tinted, power sunroof boasting solar-powered ventilation to take the strain off of the climate control system. The Prius Four and higher trims add a heads-up display, upgraded navigation with 7-inch screen and Toyota’s Safety Connect emergency communications to the whole package. Meanwhile, the Advanced Technology Package, available only to the Prius Five, features adaptive cruise control, a pre-collision alert, lane departure warning, the Safety Connect system, and the heads-up display all in the same group. Finally, all trims remain eligible for the optional Appearance Package with 17-inch alloy wheels and an aerodynamic body kit, as well as the Performance Package boasting a sport-tuned suspension.

Safety-wise, look for 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS) to return in all 2015 Prius iterations, as well as front side-mounted airbags, front and rear head airbags, and, in the Persona Series and higher trims, standard turn-signal-integrated mirrors. The Prius Five, meanwhile, also carries standard front fog/driving lights and LED headlights. Furthermore, security — lineup-wide — can be enhanced with Toyota’s available VIP Security System.

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Sources : 2015 Toyota Prius Three Photo | 2015 Toyota Prius Three Article
Mercedes Pickup Named GLT? : News
Mercedes Pickup Named GLT? : News

The Mercedes-Benz pickup will allegedly be called the GLT, and it won't be "a fat cowboy truck." That's according to the head of MB's truck project, former AMG boss Volker Mornhinweg, quoted by Car.

We already knew that Mercedes would be teaming up with Renault-Nissan for its double-cab pickup, but until Car sat down with Mornhinweg, we were unsure of how the vehicle would be targeted. Aside from being neither fat nor cowboy like, the exec shed some light on the German brand's mindset behind the new truck.

"We are not going to develop a fat cowboy truck for North America. After all, the big three – Ford, GM/GMC and Ram – already own about 90 percent of that market which typically absorbs in excess of two million units per year," Mornhinweg told Car. "In this cutthroat environment, newcomers like us would invariably fight an arduous uphill battle. That's why our focus is on a smaller and lighter pick-up truck which is already perceived as premium product in South America, Africa and the Middle East."

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Sources : Mercedes Pickup Photo | Mercedes Pickup Article
2018 Cadillac XT3 : Concept Cars
2018 Cadillac XT3 : Concept Cars

Many will be surprised by the fact that Cadillac is preparing a rival of BMW X1, a new, small, compact-size SUV called 2018 Cadillac XT3. However, this is not that strange if you consider that Cadillac is changing its course in the automotive world. In next few years, the Company will undergo some deep, systemic changes. It all starts with a new man in charge of Cadillac, Johan de Nyscchen. The very first thing he did, was the revision of the nomenclature of all models in the line-up. Given that Cadillac increased sales of SUV in last few years, it is quite logical move to introduce more models in the line-up. So, new small SUV is vital part of the strategy. Cadillac established separate line of SUV models with XT mark, that starts with XT2 and goes to XT8. Therefore, XT3 represents just a part of the puzzle of the future expansion of Cadillac’s SUV models.

The design language of the new 2018 Cadillac XT3 will share some design cues with a larger, luxury SUV models, such as new Escalade. The massive V-shaped grille with vertical look LED headlights will be the most dominant visual mark of the front end. A side profile of the car is expected to be canted. As far as rear end is concerned, new vertical LED taillights and a pair of side exhaust pipes are dominant. It will be based on a shorter version of the GM Alpha platform that is utilized in ATS.

This car should also feature a V-shaped center console with display (touchscreen perhaps). Unfortunately, the CUE infotainment system along with larger screen will not be parts of standard equipment. Given that this model belongs to the segment of compact SUV models, we should not expect some spacious interior of the car.

The engine offer starts with a a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline unit that delivers around 220 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque (340 Nm). The new Cadillac XT3 will have either rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel drive, which mostly depends on the choice of engine. As standard, this engine will be paired with a six-speed manual transmission. On the other hand, 10-speed automatic transmission will be optional. The main trump of the new crossover will certainly be the competitive price. Don’t expect to find a Magnetic Ride Control active suspension on the XT3.

The main rivals of the new 2018 Cadillac XT3 are the German premium crossovers Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.

The Audi Q3 is the smallest crossover in Audi’s offer and one of the rear crossovers that comes standard with front-wheel drive (only car in this group). Normally, quattro all-wheel-drive system will also be available, however, as an optional equipment. It has a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine with 200 horsepower and 207 lb-ft of twist (281 Nm). For the European market, 2.0-liter TDI engine is offered as well.The base price for this model starts at 32,500 dollars.

The Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class is the smallest SUV in Mercedes and comes in a two versions, GLA250 or GLA45 AMG.It is based on the Mercedes Modular Front Architecture. The entry level model GLA250 has a turbocharged, 2-liter, four-cylinder gasoline engine that generates 208 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque (350 Nm). Power is sent to all wheels via seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel-drive system.This version costs 33,300 dollars for the base model. The upmarket model is GLA45 AMG, which has at its disposal 355 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque (450 Nm) in combination with seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The offer for the European market is extended by turbo diesel units.

The second-generation of the BMW X1 will make a debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show.It will be available in the U.S. dealerships during 2016. As far as engine lineup is concerned, entry level model will have 1.5-liter, three-cylinder unit, and more upmarket models will have and 2.0-liter, four-cylinder gasoline and diesel units, Engines will be paired with either ZF eight-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission.

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Sources : 2018 Cadillac XT3 Photo | 2018 Cadillac XT3 Article
Jason Statham : Stars & Cars
"Your body is like a piece of dynamite. You can tap it with a pencil all day, but you'll never make it explode. You hit it once with a hammer: Bang! Get serious. Do 40 hard minutes, not an hour and half of nonsense. It's so much more rewarding."

Birth Name : Jason Statham
Born : 26 July 1967 (age 47)
Origin : Shirebrook, Derbyshire, England, United Kingdom
Occupations : Actor, Martial Artist
Years active : 1998–present

Jason Statham was born in Shirebrook, Derbyshire, to Eileen (Yates), a dancer, and Barry Statham, a street merchant and lounge singer. Statham has done quite a lot in a short time. He has been a Diver on the British National Diving Team and finished 12th in the World Championships in 1992. He has also been a fashion model, black market salesman and finally of course, actor. He got the audition for his debut role as Bacon in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) through French Connection, for whom he was modeling. They became a major investor in the film and introduced Jason to Guy Ritchie, who invited him to audition for a part in the film by challenging him to impersonate an illegal street vendor and convince him to purchase fake jewelery. Jason must have been doing something right because after the success of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) he teamed up again with Guy Ritchie for Snatch. (2000), with co-stars including Brad Pitt, Dennis Farina and Benicio Del Toro. After Snatch. (2000) came Turn It Up (2000) with US music star Ja Rule, followed by a supporting actor role in the Sci-Fi film Ghosts of Mars (2001), Jet Li's The One (2001) and another screen partnership with Vinnie Jones in Mean Machine (2001) under Guy Ritchie's and Matthew Vaughn's SKA Films. Finally in 2002 he was cast as the lead role of Frank Martin in The Transporter (2002). Jason is also in the summer 2003 blockbuster remake of The Italian Job (1969), The Italian Job (2003), playing Handsome Rob.

Car : Ferrari F12
Price : $318,888

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Sources : Statham Photo | Ferrari F12 Photo | Statham Article
1986 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24 : Classic Cars
1986 Chevrolet Cavalier Z24 : Classic Cars

Some people might say we’re stretching it a bit to consider the Chevrolet Cavalier Z24 a candidate for the Class of 1986. Some people might even go so far as to say we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel, and it’s only April – what’s next, the NUMMI Nova?

On the other hand, some people have a genuine appreciation for the Cavalier and in particular the Z24. Conceived as a sort of little brother to the Camaro Z28, the Z24 bowed in late 1985 as a 1986 model year car after much delay. Though Chevrolet produced a “sporty” Cavalier before 1986 – the Type-10 – the Z24 was not its direct replacement; that duty fell to the Cavalier RS, also new for 1986. Both the RS and the Z24 used the F41 sport suspension, but where the 120hp 2.8-liter multi-point fuel injected V-6 was optional in the RS, it came standard on the Z28, as did a four-speed manual transaxle, rally wheels and full-body ground effects for that sporty look. Another major difference between the RS and the Z24: the RS could be had in five different Cavalier body styles – including the convertible – while the Z24 could only be had as a coupe or hatchback. Not until 1988 would Chevrolet make a Cavalier Z24 available in the convertible body style. With a few different engines, including the 3.1L V-6, the Z24 remained the top Cavalier through the 2002 model year.

While it was no world-class sports car, and in fact was laughable in the face of much of its competition, Chevrolet sold gobs and gobs of Z24s over the years, so there must have been some sort of attraction to them. So let’s hear it from you: To the fans of the Z24, what made them attractive and what will make them collectible? To the Z24′s detractors, what makes them unworthy of a space in your garage dedicated solely to 1986 vehicles?

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Sources : Chevrolet Cavalier Z24 Photo | Chevrolet Cavalier Z24 Article
Saleen GTX Showcased In CA : News
Saleen GTX Showcased In CA : News

Famous Mustang racer and tuner Steve Saleen has hopped onto the Tesla bandwagon with a ModelS originally dubbed the FourSixteen. Saleen changed the FourSixteen to ST once the 691 horsepower P85D was unveiled last October. Perhaps the third time’s a charm though as the Saleen ST has been re-renamed to the Saleen GTX, which trotted out during the Formula E race in Long Beach.

Apparently the name change came earlier in the year and I just missed the news. Apparently Tesla owners didn’t though, at least according to Molly Saleen VP of Saleen’s Retail division., who said; “We get almost as many calls about our GTX performance parts as we do our 302 parts. Tesla owners love the fact that a name like Saleen is offering them performance and styling for their vehicles.”

Saleen claims an improved final gear ratio and MAXGrip differential increase acceleration over the stock P85D, but doesn’t mention any specific numbers. Nor does Saleen increase the output over the stock 691 horsepower, so just how much faster the GTX is supposed to be is anybody’s guess. At last check, the ST691 cost $164,000, but I can’t find any price numbers for the GTX. Saleen is also offering a package for the 380 horsepower rear-wheel drive versions of the Model S, as the 416 horsepower P85 was phased out with the P85D.

Maybe this time, the name will stick.

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Sources : Saleen GTX Photo | Saleen GTX Article
2016 Lexus ES : Concept Cars
2016 Lexus ES : Concept Cars

Lexus just dropped the first teaser for its new ES prior to the luxury sedan's world premiere at the Shanghai Auto Show on April 20, 2015.

While the Japanese carmaker doesn't clarify if it's an all-new model or a refresh, we know that China gets the same sixth-generation ES that was launched in the summer of 2012 as North America, so it's way too early for an outright replacement. Therefore, we believe that Lexus will unveil a mid-life facelift for the ES.

According to the short press blurb, "the new Lexus ES maintains its classical elegance while conveying a more dynamic experience and luxurious craftsmanship".

The single picture of the ES' front quarter reveals a newly styled headlamp with a more prominent "Nike Swoosh" LED daytime running light and a wider and uninterrupted version of Lexus' spindle grille.

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Sources : 2016 Lexus ES Photo | 2016 Lexus ES Article
2015 Opel Adam Rocks S : Current Models
2015 Opel Adam Rocks S : Current Models

General Motors' Opel division has introduced a more powerful version of the rugged-looking Adam Rocks.

Called Adam Rocks S, the Fiat 500-fighting hatchback gains a turbocharged 1.4-liter EcoTec four-cylinder engine rated at 150 horsepower and 162 lb-ft. of torque. Linked to a six-speed manual transmission, the Rocks S reaches 62 mph from a stop in 8.5 seconds - about a second and a half faster than the standard Rocks - and tops out at 130 mph.

Gas mileage checks in at nearly 40 mpg in a mixed European cycle.

The latest member of the Adam family benefits from a stiffer sport-tuned suspension and upgraded brakes on all four corners. Additionally, the ESP system can be turned off, a feature that is not available on the standard Rocks.

Visually, the S stands out from the stock Adam Rocks thanks to minor upgrades like deeper rear bumper with an oval exhaust outlet and a sizable roof-mounted spoiler borrowed from the Adam S. Buyers can choose from 11 paint colors, while the power-retractable soft top can be ordered in one of five shades.

The 2015 Opel Adam Rocks S will make its public debut next week at the International Amsterdam Motorshow. It will land in showrooms across Europe shortly after, but Opel has not announced how much of a premium it will carry over the standard Adam Rocks.

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Sources : 2015 Opel Adam Rocks S Photo | 2015 Opel Adam Rocks S Article
Alfa Romeo 8c : Photos
Alfa Romeo 8c : Photos

Sources : Alfa Romeo 8c Photo
Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita : Concept Cars
Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita : Concept Cars

A diamond on wheels

"Trevita" is a Swedish abbreviation that translates into “three whites”. The Koenigsegg visible carbon weave bodywork is renowned around the globe for its perfection and uniqueness. So far it has only been possible to utilize the classic black carbon fibers. Until now. When sunlight hits the Trevita, it sparkles like millions of silvery white diamonds infused inside the visible carbon fiber weave bodywork.

Disproves the impossible

In our quest to create new unique technologies and solutions, we have now reached a new milestone – The Koenigsegg Proprietary Diamond Weave. Utilizing a unique new method we have managed to coat fibers with a diamond finish. The process was fully developed at Koenigsegg headquarters in Ängelholm, Sweden, where the fiber treatment is conducted carefully in small quantities, prior to further processing of the pre-preg material.

Only three of a kind

Koenigsegg produced only three Trevitas in total, hence the name. This makes the Trevita one of the rarest members of the Koenigsegg family. All three cars feature the Koenigsegg Shimmering Diamond Weave bodywork, double carbon rear wing, inconell exhaust system, carbon ceramic brakes with ABS, airbags, paddle-shift, chrono instrument cluster, infotainment system, tire monitoring system and a hydraulic lifting system. We've created a triumvirate of astonishing beauty for three exceptionally fortunate owners.

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Sources : Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita Photo | Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita Article
Aston Martin And Fisker Resolve : News
Aston Martin And Fisker Resolve : News

Thunderbolt Car won't be going into production.

Aston Martin and Henrik Fisker have settled their lawsuit over Project Thunderbolt.

Originally slated to go into "extremely limited" production, the Thunderbolt was based on the Aston Martin Vanquish and featured an aggressive carbon fiber body and an upgraded interior. However, Aston Martin wasn't pleased and filed a lawsuit which claimed the car an unauthorized copy and a "bad-faith intent to free-ride off the tremendous goodwill associated with the famous Aston Martin mark."

While the terms of the settlement are confidential, both sides confirmed the Thunderbolt will not go into production and the lawsuit will be dropped. The two sides also said there were some "apparent misunderstanding" but everything has been "amicably resolved."

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Sources : Aston Martin And Fisker Photo | Aston Martin And Fisker Article
2015 Honda Fit : Current Models
2015 Honda Fit : Current Models

All 2015 Fits are powered by a new 1.5L 4-cylinder engine that makes 130hp.There are two available transmissions, a 6-speed manual or a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Power is sent to the front wheels and while nobody would accuse the Fit of being a sports car, acceleration is peppy, reflecting an increase in power over last year's model.Fuel economy is stellar, particularly with the CVT transmission.The Fit is able to achieve 41 MPG on the highway when properly equipped and even regular non-CVT Fits are rated at 32 MPG in combined city and highway driving. The Fit comes in three different trim levels: LX, EX and EX-L. Base LX trimmed Fits come with plenty of standard features including Bluetooth connectivity, air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, cruise control, automatic headlights, a tilting and telescoping steering wheel, a 160-watt AM/FM/CD player, a 5-inch color screen, a USB port and an audio input jack for MP3 players.EX trimmed Fits come equipped with a smart entry system, fog lamps, 16-inch alloy wheels, hands-free text messaging, push button start, a 180-watt display type audio system with a 7-inch screen, an HDMI port, Pandora internet radio compatibility and a 1-touch power moonroof with tilt functionality.

The top of the line EX-L comes standard with the CVT transmission and features a leather wrapped interior, which is a first for the Honda Fit.In addition to the leather seating surfaces, the Fit EX-L comes with a leather wrapped steering wheel, heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals, as well as heated front seats.The EX-L is also available with a navigation system, a feature which adds SiriusXM and HD radio.Safety features are standard across all trim levels for the Fit, so even base LX models benefit from the whole host of safety devices available for the car.Airbags include front, multiple threshold airbags, side airbags and side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor. Anti-lock brakes, traction control and stability control are all included along with brake assist and a tire pressure monitoring system.

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Sources : 2015 Honda Fit Photo | 2015 Honda Fit Article
Citroën Aircross : Concept Cars
Citroën Aircross : Concept Cars

This Citroën Aircross concept car points the way to a new family of crossovers for the brand, as well as demonstrating how the radical looks of the C4 Cactus will be adapted for use on every Citroën by 2020. finished signatures framing the rear window) and ‘Air Curtains’ (intakes at the front of the car) are both functional devices that enhance aerodynamics.

The Aircross’s production intent is emphasised by the fact that it sits on the EMP2 scalable platform, which underpins all of PSA Peugeot Citroën’s mid to large offerings. The concept car is 4.58m long, 2.1m wide and 1.8m tall. That makes it close to a Land Rover Discovery Sport in all dimensions but width — a criterion concept car designers like to exaggerate the most. finished signatures framing the rear window) and ‘Air Curtains’ (intakes at the front of the car) are both functional devices that enhance aerodynamics.

It is thought that the looks could be adapted for a family of crossovers, ranging from a Mini Countryman rival to a larger, seven-seat SUV. With Cactus sales described as encouraging and Citroën eager to establish its own identity among PSA’s DS and Peugeot brands, Citroën boss Linda Jackson is keen to accelerate the roll-out of the new look over the next five years. finished signatures framing the rear window) and ‘Air Curtains’ (intakes at the front of the car) are both functional devices that enhance aerodynamics.

“We need to go back to what we were always good at: design,” said Jackson, who cited the 2CV, CX and SM as examples of previous daring Citroën creations. “That was complemented by an emphasis on comfort over sportiness, spaciousness and a charisma that made the owner feel at home. We want those qualities back.” finished signatures framing the rear window) and ‘Air Curtains’ (intakes at the front of the car) are both functional devices that enhance aerodynamics.

Jackson believes that the move will make Citroëns more instantly recognisable and provoke buyers to either love or hate the cars. “It’s no good being everybody’s third choice. You end up having to use discounts to persuade buyers to choose your vehicles, and at that point you don’t have a sustainable business,” she said. finished signatures framing the rear window) and ‘Air Curtains’ (intakes at the front of the car) are both functional devices that enhance aerodynamics.

“It will take time, but it is certain that the next generation of Citroëns will be a leap forward for us. If we want stand-out cars, then we have to be bold.” finished signatures framing the rear window) and ‘Air Curtains’ (intakes at the front of the car) are both functional devices that enhance aerodynamics.

The Aircross is powered by a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. An electric motor producing 95bhp and 148lb ft is located on the rear axle and is combined with a front-mounted 1.6-litre petrol engine developing 218bhp and 203lb ft. finished signatures framing the rear window) and ‘Air Curtains’ (intakes at the front of the car) are both functional devices that enhance aerodynamics.

The electric motor is fuelled by a lithium ion battery pack that can be recharged in three and a half hours via a domestic socket. The car has a claimed all-electric range of 31 miles for urban routes and switches between the electric motor and internal combustion engine for journeys that call for regular acceleration and deceleration. On the motorway, the petrol engine is used exclusively. finished signatures framing the rear window) and ‘Air Curtains’ (intakes at the front of the car) are both functional devices that enhance aerodynamics.

The Aircross also features a boost function that calls on the combined 313bhp of the electric motor and petrol engine when the driver accelerates heavily. This allows a 0-62mph time of 4.5sec. CO2 emissions are rated at 39g/km and fuel economy 166mpg. finished signatures framing the rear window) and ‘Air Curtains’ (intakes at the front of the car) are both functional devices that enhance aerodynamics.

Citroën Aircross - key features finished signatures framing the rear window) and ‘Air Curtains’ (intakes at the front of the car) are both functional devices that enhance aerodynamics.

Changing faces - As on the Cactus, the thin headlights link to the Citroën logo. The design is described as a hallmark that will appear on every car Citroën makes, but the area below will change according to bodystyle. On the Aircross, the ‘mouth’ of the car is more open than on the Cactus, emphasising its width. finished signatures framing the rear window) and ‘Air Curtains’ (intakes at the front of the car) are both functional devices that enhance aerodynamics.

Not just chrome - Citroën is bucking trends set by German premium makers. As a result, there are few chrome accents in the cabin. Materials here include Teflon coating and brushed aluminium, which are durable but tactile. Citroën refers to ‘sofa spirit’, meaning an interior that’s both inviting and comfortable. finished signatures framing the rear window) and ‘Air Curtains’ (intakes at the front of the car) are both functional devices that enhance aerodynamics.

Airbumps evolve - Set low to emphasise the car’s bolder SUV stance, the ‘Alloy Bumps’ are made of honeycomb aluminium castings surrounded by hard rubber. Production versions are unlikely to be so intricate or weighty, but they show how the Airbump concept will evolve for different vehicle types. finished signatures framing the rear window) and ‘Air Curtains’ (intakes at the front of the car) are both functional devices that enhance aerodynamics.

Production focus - Exaggerated width, wheels and tyres aside, there are likely to be few changes when the car makes production. The ‘Air Signs’ (chrome-finished signatures framing the rear window) and ‘Air Curtains’ (intakes at the front of the car) are both functional devices that enhance aerodynamics.

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Sources : Citroën Aircross Photo | Citroën Aircross Article
Bob Boniface : Designers And Engineers
Bob Boniface : Designers And Engineers

Leading a design team is less about realizing your vision than understanding what others see and helping them turn it into reality. Cadillac Exterior Design Director Robert Boniface’s combination of a psychology degree from Vanderbilt and a degree in industrial and transportation design from the College of Creative Studies may make him uniquely suited to his job of mentoring and managing creative spirits.

But the lean 48-year-old took a winding route to his 2014 Free Press Automotive Leadership award for design.

“First and foremost, my job is to design beautiful cars and to help my team achieve that,” Boniface said. “No car is ever going out of my studio unless it’s beautiful.”

Boniface’s first sketches decorated his family’s refrigerator in Youngstown, Ohio, on Mother’s Day, 1971. Like most budding designers’ early work, it was inspired by Ferraris, a brand that became one of his lifelong enthusiasms.

Despite that, Boniface’s artistic side took the backseat for a couple of decades until he left a job with a mutual fund and enrolled in CCS to become a grown-up car designer.

Boniface’s work is marked by an intense focus on getting a vehicle’s basic proportions right before any other work begins.

“It all starts with proportion,” he said. “A car can’t be beautiful if the proportions aren’t right. But if you get them right, everything else works.

“Look at the 2014 CTS: the dash-to-axle length, the lean body sections, and the proportion of the wheels to the body and how far back the windshield is. We tried to build a car that’s going to be beautiful for a long time.”

The role of design director at GM entails getting other disciplines such as marketing, engineering and manufacturing to buy into new designs and running interference between designers and the corporate hierarchy.

“My job is to see the talents on a team and help them realize their potential,” Boniface said. “As a manager or director, it’s not your job to create clones of yourself.

“Sometimes that means stepping out of your comfort zone. If you’re only drawn to images that fit your preconceived image, you could be inflexible. You must understand that you’re designing for a broader audience.”

That may explain why Boniface brought the same enthusiasm to working on minivansthat he did to the flashier Chevrolet Camaro and Volt. A fan and collector of Italian cars, Boniface retains a boyish fascination with vintage Ferraris, Fiats and Alfa Romeos.

Now with a brace of acclaimed vehicles on his résumé, Boniface concentrates on orchestrating his team on projects such as the ATS coupe that will debut at the North American International Auto Show.

Boniface has a reputation for being supportive and approachable.

As the designs make their way up the corporate hierarchy, Boniface makes sure his designers get credit, including praising low-level designers by name in reviews with top management, a rarity in the ego-driven world of automotive design.

“Designers have a shelf life,” Boniface said. “You must trust young designers to know where the culture is headed.”

As vehicles’ reliability, fuel economy and features improve, he believes the importance of great design will become ever more important.

“Design is the great differentiator. What does your car say about you?”

The 2015 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid car starts at $34,995, including an $825 destination charge, reflecting no price increase over the 2014 model, according to

The 2015 Volt is on sale now at Chevrolet dealerships.

Pricing does not include any federal or state tax credits.

Upgrades for the new model year include a new exterior color, OnStar with 4G LTE and a standard built in Wi-Fi hotspot, which provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot comes with a three-month/3GB data trial. The new exterior color is Iridescent Pearl Tricoat.

GM said an engineering change in the battery cell used in the 2015 Volt results in an overall storage capacity increase from 16.5 to 17.1 kWh.

"Customers may see a slight EV range improvement with the new battery, but the EPA-estimated range remains unchanged," the automaker said in a statement.

The Volt has a range of up to 380 miles.

Last year, the Volt received a $5,000 price cut to make it more competitive against a growing range of entries.

Key competitors to the Volt include the Ford C-Max Energi, Honda Fit EV, Nissan Leaf and Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid.

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Sources : Bob Boniface Photo | 2015 Chevy Volt Photo | Bob Boniface Article | 2015 Chevy Volt Article
1960 Plymouth Superbird : Classic Cars
1960 Plymouth Superbird : Classic Cars

The Plymouth Superbird was introduced in 1970 and shared many similarities in design to the Dodge Daytona. The Superbird was based on the Plymouth Road Runner except for the airfoil and nose. The Road Runner was based on the Belvedere but given Warner Brother cartoon figures and a horn that made a 'Beep Beep' sound. To inspire sales and to compete with the other muscle cars of the day, these vehicles were given large and powerful engines.

The spoiler on the Superbird was higher and more angled than the Daytonas. Part of the reason for mounting the wing so high was to allow better access to the trunk. Under 90 mph, the wing was basically useless.

Rules changed on the NASCAR circuit for 1970, making it hard to homologate a vehicle for racing. The rules for the year prior stated that 500 examples had to be produced before being allowed to race on the stock car circuit. For 1970 the rules stated that at least one example had to be built for each dealership.

There were three engine choices available. The Super Commando 440 V8 with a single four barrel carburetor was the most popular of the engine options. With 375 horsepower and 480 foot-pounds of torque, the Superbird could accelerate from zero-to-sixty in just under six-seconds.

With the 440 cubic-inch V8 with Six Pack, the quarter-mile was achieved in 14 and a-half seconds at 103 mph. The most expensive and most powerful engine available to the Superbird was the 426 Hemi. The 425 horsepower engine carried the Superbird from zero-to-sixty in just 4.8 seconds and reduced the quarter-mile time by almost a second.

During its production run lasting only one year, 1920 examples were produced. The vehicles outfitted with the Hemi engine are the rarest, with only 93 examples produced. 1,162 examples were outfitted with the 440 and single four-barrel carburetor. 665 examples were built with the 440 Six Pack.

Part of the reason for the low production figures was the controversial oversized wing and angular nose. Also, the cartoon characters and 'beep-beep' horn were 'love-or-hate'. The performance was undisputed and the top speed was unbeatable. Throughout the early part of the 1970's, Plymouth continued the production of the Road Runner. Though, due to increasing emission and government regulations, the horsepower era of the 1960's was coming to a close. Insurance premiums were costing more and many felt that these high powered machines were unsafe for the road. This would bring about a whole new trend of fuel-efficient luxury machines replacing the bare-bones, high performance, muscle cars.

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Sources : 1960 Plymough Superbird Photo | 1960 Plymough Superbird Article
Robert DeNiro Cast As Enzo Ferrari : News
Robert DeNiro Cast As Enzo Ferrari : News

It’s been nearly 30 years since his death, but Enzo Ferrari remains one of the most enigmatic and talked-about figures in all of automotive history. Hollywood has been trying to get a film about the life of “Il Commendatore” off the ground since at least the early 1990s, but now it looks like it’s finally happening with Robert DeNiro in the title role.

Citing a report from Italian newspaper Il Messaggero, The Guardian says that 71-year-old DeNiro has announced he’ll star as Ferrari in an upcoming movie, possibly with Clint Eastwood as director if he likes the script. Here’s what DeNiro told the newspaper:

“It is an honor to tell the life of an extraordinary man who revolutionized the world of motor sport. The film will go into production soon, mostly in Italy, and has absolute priority over all my other projects.” The film is expected to cover a period from 1945 to the early 1980s, which is most of the time Ferrari spent building his racing team and its road car arm.

I’m excited to see DeNiro as Ferrari. It’s a good fit all around. Besides the obvious Italian heritage the two share, DeNiro’s a great choice to play a man who was famously temperamental and complicated on and off the race track.

Let’s hope this Ferrari film endeavor has better luck than previous ones did.

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Sources : Robert DeNiro Photo | Robert DeNiro Article
2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 : Current Models
2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 : Current Models

General Motors has just released the individual (RPO) equipment-level changes to the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado line of pickup trucks. The changes go far, but start with the replacement of Blue Granite Metallic and Blue Topaz Metallic colors with Deep Ocean Blue Metallic and Rain Forest Green Metallic.

Meanwhile, new features for the 2015 Silverado include OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi capability (and a larger antenna to boot), Premium Camper Mirrors, spray-on bed liner, a new off-road graphic in the info center of the Z71 model, moving the USB port into the glovebox on trucks with the bench seat, and — last but certainly not least — the newfound availability of the Silverado Rally Edition appearance package.

In addition, all 2015 Silverados do away with HD Radio functionality, Hill Start Assist hold time increases from 1.5 to 3 seconds, the 2WT trim level becomes changes to LS, and chrome tow hooks become a factory installed option. On top of that, the 8-inch MyLink radios become available on the LT Regular Cab models, the Rear Vision Camera is included in the Silverado WT Convenience Package, 17-inch wheels become standard on the 1LT All Star Edition (18-, 20- or 22-inch wheels are also available), the 4.3L LV3 V6 engine and the 5.3L V8 L83 engine become E85-capable when equipped with the FHS RPO, and the LT trim levels get body-color door handles, mirror caps, and body side moldings.

For whatever reason, the list doesn’t include 8-speed automatic transmissions, but they’re definitely part of the 2015 Silverado lineup. Check out the RPO-level changes for yourself:

(G56) Blue Granite Metallic
(GTS) Blue Topaz Metallic

New Features
Next Gen OnStar (UE1) including (VV4) WiFi communications equipment and Mobile Internet Connectivity. Note Next Gen OnStar drives a slightly larger exterior antenna. Antenna is body color for 1500 High Country & HD High Country. Molded in black for other Silverado applications
(DQS) Premium Camper Mirrors with chrome cap and new features: power fold, LED amber running lamps, and LED back-up lamp. Carry-over features include power adjust, manual extend, memory, heat, turn signal, and puddle lamp. Note – (DPN) Camper Mirror on WT and LT models – same content and functionality as DQS with the exception of Chrome Caps (DPN are MIC Black), and NO Power Fold
(CGN) Spray-on Bed Liner now standard on all High Country models. Includes Chevrolet Bowtie logo on front bed wall
(CGN) Spray-on Bed Liner now available optionally on most Silverado (non-High Country) models & cabs. Includes Chevrolet Bowtie logo on front bed wall
Off-Road graphic in Driver Info Center for all Z71 models
USB Jack in glovebox of trucks with AZ3 bench seat
Silverado Rally Edition. (GE3) Rally 1 Includes Body color grille surround with black mesh, Black Bow Ties, gloss black door handles and mirror caps, rally stripes on hood and tailgate. (PEC) Rally 2 includes All Star Edition content, content of Rally 1 (above) and 22′ gloss black wheels, and 4″ black tubular assist steps. Available in Black, Red, Silver, White, and Deep Ruby
(G1K) Deep Ocean Blue Metallic: available on all Silverado
(G7J) Rain Forest Green Metallic available on Silverado (previously available as promo color)

(IO5, IO6) 8 inch radios now available on LT Regular Cab models (replacing IO3 & IO4)
(UVC) Rear Camera now included with (PCM) Silverado WT Convenience Package
Body color door handles, mirror caps, and body side moldings on LT trim. Chrome belt molding on LTZ & High Country trim
(VLQ) Chrome Tow Hooks become factory installed option on Silverado 1500
Cluster “tick marks” change from white to blue
HD radio feature removed from all radios
Hill Start Assist hold time increased to 3 seconds (from 1.5 seconds)
2WT now LS
17″ wheels now standard on 1LT All Star Edition, or available 18″, 20″ or 22″ wheels
Z71 grille painted argent mesh with chrome surround and chrome horizontal bars
(L86) 6.2L V8 to become available in early Q4 (not available at start of 2015 MY production)
E85 capability on 4.3L (LV3) engine or 5.3L (L83) engine with RPO (FHS)

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Sources : Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Photo | Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Article
Rolls-Royce Project Cullinan : Concept Cars
Rolls-Royce Project Cullinan : Concept Cars

Rolls-Royce has an internal name for its SUV program—"Project Cullinan"—and now it has its first development mule. What's crazy is that Rolls could probably offer a Phantom in this exact spec tomorrow and sell out of it.

Because seriously, a Phantom with a shortened wheelbase, a lift, and more wing? People would buy that. I mean, there are people who buy Mansory Phantoms, so why not this?

In the release announcing the development mule's creation (yes, they did a press release for an engineering prototype), Rolls-Royce says that the car shown here "has been created purely to begin the development of an all-wheel drive suspension system that will deliver a ride that will be Effortless … Everywhere. The body may hint at the size of the new car, but it features no design aspects of the eventual high-sided, all-terrain motor car announced by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in February this year."

The first round of tests will incorporate driving on "Belgian Pavé, cobblestones, corrugated concrete, noise development and measurement surfaces, resonance road, and acceleration bumps."

Off-road testing will come later. Did I mention that it has an AWESOME GIANT WING? Because...awesome giant wing on a lifted Phantom.

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Sources : Project Cullinan Photo | Project Cullinan Article
Opel Monza : Photos
Opel Monza : Photos

Sources : Opel Monza Photo
1970 Nissan Skyline : Classic Cars
1970 Nissan Skyline : Classic Cars

What looks to be a pristine (or fully restored) example of the modern day Nissan GT-R's granddaddy, a 1970 Skyline GT-R Coupe S45 with only 89,000 kilometers or a little over 55,000 miles on the odometer, is up for sale by a Japan-based dealer. There's no asking price on the seller's website but understandably, we reckon that a historic model like 1970 Skyline GT-R with such low mileage won't be offered for a low price.

1970 Nissan Skyline GT-R S45The first Skyline GT-R was launched in Japan originally as a four door sedan in February 1969 (pictured here), followed shortly after by the coupe model you're all gawking at in the photo album below -no need to apologize, we did the same thing, ain't she a beauty?

Like its sedan counterpart, at the heart of the 1970 Skyline GT-R is Nissan's S20 2.0-liter straight-six DOHC 24-valve engine. It produces (or at least it did when it came out of the factory) a maximum output of 160PS at 7,000 rpm and a peak torque of 18.0 kgm or 130-lb/ft at 5,600 rpm. Power is transferred to the rear wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox.

1970 Nissan Skyline GT-R S45We don't have any official performance figures for the Coupe (maybe some of you Nissan fans can help us out here), but we did manage to find out that the 1969 Skyline GT-R Sedan with the same engine was capable of achieving a top speed of 200km/h or 125mph while it covered the first 400m from a standing start in 16.1 seconds (official data from Nissan).

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Sources : 1970 Nissan Skyline Photo | 1970 Nissan Skyline Article
2015 GMC Canyon : Current Models
2015 GMC Canyon : Current Models

A multitool combines the functions and features of a variety of hand tools into one compact package. No, that package may not contain the sharpest knife that you'll ever own, the strongest pair of pliers in your toolbox or the most user-friendly screwdriver that money can buy, but the best tool is always the one you have with you. A multitool makes up for a few small compromises with huge, pocket-friendly convenience. Short of carrying a full toolbox in your backpack, there's nothing better.

When I think of the 2015 GMC Canyon, I think that our crew-cab, short-box model is a multitool on wheels; a vehicle that serves as a commuter, a hauler, a family car, a puller and more. There are a few compromises here and there -- particularly for city drivers who may not have the space for such a large "small truck" -- but this is a solid choice for those who need one vehicle to do it all.

Flexible, configurable
The pickup truck is one of the most customizable vehicle classes on the road, so it's no surprise that the Canyon is available in a variety of configurations. There's the extended cab with a long 6-foot bed, a crew cab with a long 6-foot bed and our example's configuration: a crew cab with a short 5-foot bed. Your needs in a truck will no doubt be different from mine, but I think the short crew is the best balance of flexibility and compactness.

Each of those configurations features three more trim levels -- base, SLE and SLT -- along with two engines, two transmissions and two drivetrain configurations. Our example was a V-6 SLE 4WD model with an optional All-terrain package that includes a few off-road optimizations and cabin creature comforts.

Engine and power train
In at least one of its many configurations, the Canyon can be had with a 2.5-liter, inline four-cylinder engine that produces 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque. We weren't able to test that setup, but I think that our example's V-6 may be a better fit for a vehicle of this size.

The 3.6-liter V-6 engine makes 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque with direct injection and bumps the maximum GVWR payload to 6,000 pounds and the maximum towing capacity to 6,700 pounds when equipped with the towing package. That engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission in either a rear-wheel drive (2WD) or four-wheel drive (4WD) configurations. Our example featured the latter.

The 4WD model features an Autotrac transfer case that can, with the twist of a dial, quickly be set to lock into four-wheel-drive mode when off-road, rear-wheel-drive mode for efficient street cruising or be left to its own devices to control the torque split, automatically sending torque to the front wheels when slip is detected. There's also a 4WD Low setting for use in low-speed, high-torque multiplication situations, such as when climbing rocks. The All-terrain package also includes an optional locking rear differential, hill descent control, an underbody skid plate for the transfer case and unique styling.

On the road, I found the Canyon's performance to be good -- its automatic transmission shifting smoothly and V-6 supplying good torque -- but there's an odd hesitation to its acceleration. The pickup accelerates well when tasked, but more delicate throttle adjustments seem to be dulled. I'm reminded of the "Eco" mode throttle mapping that many sedans use to smooth out a lead-footed driver's acceleration in the interest of fuel economy. Perhaps I'm just used to a bit more throttle response, but it did mean that I had to be a lot more deliberate when asking the Canyon to pass.

GMC and the EPA estimate that the 2015 Canyon is good for 20 combined mpg (17 city and 24 highway) in this short crew 4WD configuration. I finished my traffic heavy week at about 17 mpg.

Daily driving comfort
On the road, the Canyon's handling was predictable and and solid feeling, but still a truckish ride. The multileaf spring rear suspension transmits many of the bumps and jolts directly into the cabin, jostling driver and passengers alike. As is often the case with trucks, there's no escaping the reality that you're riding with most of the center of gravity above the suspension. However, the small pickup never seemed to be rattled by the bumps; its stiff chassis never rattled or groaned. The ride may have occasionally gotten rough, but it always felt solidly planted, which inspired a good deal of confidence in me, the driver.

The ride may have been predictably truckish, but the turning radius was surprisingly small. At lower speeds, the Canyon proved to be quite nimble and, along with its standard rear cameras, well-adapted to the tight turns and tighter parking spots of city parking decks. The adoption of electric power steering for the 2015 Canyon helps to give the steering an easy, carlike feel and likely boosts fuel efficiency.

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Sources : 2015 GMC Canyon Photo | 2015 GMC Canyon Article
Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe : Concept Cars
Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe : Concept Cars

Prior to the Shanghai Auto Show 2015 later this month, an official sketch previewing the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe has just been revealed.

Before the release of this image, no-one even knew that the GLC Coupe was being developed with all the news focusing on the impending Mercedes-Benz GLC four-door set to replace the GLK. With the GLC Coupe however, the German marque will attempt to directly rival the BMW X4 and the concept previewed here closely resembles how the production car will look.

While sharing the GLC name, the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe will be smaller than the regular GLC and sit below the GLE Coupe in the firm’s line-up. With that in mind, it will be underpinned by the same architecture as the W205-generation Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

As evidenced by the image, the GLC Coupe Concept is evidently a Mercedes-Benz with a prominent grille incorporating the brand’s logo as well as sleek headlights and gaping wide air intakes. While it remains unclear how the four-door GLC will look as prototypes have only been spied with heavy camouflage, it seems evident that the GLC Coupe will be easily distinguishable with a selection of new body panels and not just the removal of two doors.

Beneath the skin, we can expect the same line-up of engines for the GLC Coupe as the GLC SUV. As such, engines including a small 1.8-litre petrol four-cylinder, 2.1-litre four-cylinder diesel and a hybrid powertrain are all likely.

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Sources : Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe Photo | Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe Article
Summer Gas To Be Lower Priced : News
Summer Gas To Be Lower Priced : News

NEW YORK – Drivers will see the lowest summer gasoline prices in about six years, according to the Energy Department.

The national average price is forecast to fall 32% from a year ago to $2.45 a gallon between April and September, the period when Americans do most of their driving. That would mark the lowest seasonal average since 2009.

For the year, the department's Energy Information Administration expects gasoline to average $2.40 a gallon, down from $3.36 a year prior.

The lower prices are a result of world oil supplies growing faster than demand because of higher production in North America and elsewhere. That dynamic has been depressing the price of crude oil. But, the Energy Department warned that the forecast could substantially change if oil-related sanctions against Iran are lifted as part of ongoing negotiations. That country is believed to hold at least 30 million gallons of oil in storage.

The price of Brent crude, a benchmark used to price oil used by many U. S. refineries and the most important factor in gasoline prices, is forecast to fall 40% this year.

U.S. drivers are expected to consume slightly more gasoline, a 1.6% increase, during the summer. But gasoline expenditures by household are expected to be the lowest since 2004, according to the EIA, with people spending about $700 less on gasoline in 2015.

The average price of gasoline in the U.S. was $2.38 a gallon Tuesday, down 33% from last year, according to AAA and Michigan gas prices also average $2.38, according to AAA Michigan.

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Sources : Gas Photo | Gas Article
Volvo LifePaint : Accessories
Volvo LifePaint : Accessories

Volvo Cars presents LifePaint. The best way to survive a crash, is not to crash. LifePaint is a unique reflective safety spray. Invisible by daylight, it shines brightly in the glare of car headlights. Making the invisible, visible.

Minimize the risk!
Every accident involving a cyclist is one too much. Volvo perpetuates their mission of keeping both the drivers of their cars and the people around them safe with LifePaint, a unique water-based reflective safety spray. Douse your clothes, bike, helmet, or virtually anything with the stuff; it sprays on invisibly and glows back brightly when shone on by headlights to make wearers glaringly obvious to drivers past dusk. Each application lasts roughly one week and even washes off easily without affecting the color of your garments in the slightest.

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Sources : Volvo LifePaint Photo | Volvo LifePaint Article
1962 Bentley S3 Continental : Classic Cars
1962 Bentley S3 Continental : Classic Cars

The Bentley S3 is a four-door luxury car produced by Bentley from late 1962 until 1965.

The S3 was very similar to the S2. The most-visible difference was a four-headlamp layout that paved the way for the radically new Bentley T1 in 1965. The interior was modified with individual seats for front passengers and increased leg room in the rear. The 6.2 L (6230 cc/380 in³) V8 engine continued with minor modifications. The power steering was also improved.

In 1959, Rolls-Royce acquired H. J. Mulliner & Co., coachbuilders (HJM). In 1961, HJM was merged with Park Ward, which had been in the possession of Rolls-Royce since 1939, to form Mulliner, Park Ward Ltd. (MPW). When production of the S3 Continentals commenced there were more differences than the adaption of the previous HJM design by Mulliner Park Ward: The cars were built at the former Park Ward premises in Willesden, North London. The HJM facilities were abandoned.

The S3 Continental was strictly coachbuilt. Most bodies were of the altered HJM style, available in fixed head or drop head coupe form. Of the 328 coachbuilt S3 (Continentals included here), nearly 100 were by MPW. Again, fixed head or a drop head coupe configurations were available. The most prominent visual difference from the s2 configuration was the four canted headlights.

For the first time, this body was offered on the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud, as well as the S3 chassis. The final S3 was delivered in 1966, when the new Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow and Bentley T-series were readily available.[3] Like earlier Continentals, the sportier S3 bodywork was manufactured entirely from aluminum, unlike the heavier, steel bodied standard saloon. This, combined with higher gearing and the better compression ratios made for a markedly faster car. Four-doored Continentals bodied by H. J. Mulliner were known as the "Flying Spur", although four-door Continentals by other coachbuilders are sometimes erroneously referred to as "Flying Spurs" as well; the term only correctly refers to Mulliner's versions. Another elegant four-door saloon for the S3 Continental came from James Young).

Despite being highly desirable, the considerably more expensive Continentals (a premium of 40-50%) were produced in much smaller quantities than the standard S3 saloon, which outsold it by a factor of four.

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Sources : Bentley S3 Continental Photo | Bentley S3 Continental Article
2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek : Current Models
2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek : Current Models

The 2015 XV Crosstrek is essentially a small utility vehicle, but with the profile of a compact hatchback. It's based on the Impreza hatchback—a version of it, really—offering increased ground clearance, suspension and mechanical changes, and a rough-and-tumble appearance with flared fenders and an integrated roof rack.

Altogether, it's enough additional buff and brawn to merit the separate model name. And it certainly surpasses the ability set of a lot of truckier-looking crossovers. In addition to a 2.0-liter engine with standard all-wheel drive that is borrowed from the Impreza line, the XV is available as a hybrid, which was added for 2014.

The XV Crosstrek has a ramped-up, rugged appearance that's surprisingly different in stance from its Impreza hatchback base. But with the exception of some extra noise and more vague on-road behavior, it still handles pretty much like a passenger car--and it offers versatile and impressive cargo capacity for ski gear, camping supplies, or just groceries and other everyday cargo. Subaru also notes that the hybrid version's battery pack is stowed under the deck, meaning that its cargo volume is largely unchanged from the conventional version.

Ground clearance is raised to 8.7 inches, and the Crosstrek has more engine cooling, a larger gas tank, some suspension and structural reinforcements, and good approach and departure angles (18 degrees and nearly 28 degrees, respectively). With Subaru's standard all-wheel drive distributing power among all four wheels, the Impreza-based crossover might be one of the best small vehicles for snowy driveways and dirt, gravel, and rutted roads.

The model range can be considered in the same vein as a good pair of cross-trainer shoes: sufficiently sturdy to handle a variety of different uses, but not specialized to any one particular duty cycle at the expense of any others.

The standard XV Crosstrek comes with a 148-horsepower, 2.0-liter flat-four engine paired either with a five-speed manual gearbox or Subaru's Lineartronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). The new hybrid powertrain inserts a small 10-kilowatt (13.4-hp) electric motor between the engine and CVT, though it's there largely to assist the engine and can propel the vehicle from a stop on electricity alone only if you're willing to accelerate very, very gently--and there's no one behind you.

The Crosstrek Hybrid is Subaru's first gas-electric effort. The system only adds a mile mileage boost--it's a mild-hybrid system that only kicks in at 40 mph or less. But the real allure of the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid model is a lengthy list of upgrades to its suspension and noise insulation that make it a considerably more pleasant car in which to spend time than the noisy, occasionally wandering conventional Crosstrek. The hybrid operates much like Honda's mild-hybrid system--meaning it's there largely to restart the engine, capture braking energy to recharge the nickel-metal-hydride battery pack, and otherwise add supplementary torque so the gasoline engine doesn't have to work as hard.

There's a lot that's appealing to a wide range of everyday needs here—like a smooth, refined ride that's a step above rival models like the Nissan Juke, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, and MINI Countryman. But we've found that the Crosstrek wanders easily at highway speeds, with numb steering and some susceptibility to crosswinds. It's also astoundingly noisy on certain rough types of pavement. The hybrid model has five upgrades to its front suspension and a dozen improvements to noise and vibration insulation--which together pretty much cure those problems. Non-hybrid models get some, but not all, of these changes for 2015—and we'll revisit this impression as soon as we've spent time in the 2015 XV Crosstrek.

Below 50 mph, handling is surprisingly nimble, and the Crosstrek rides well and soaks up harshness from trails and gravel roads with great competence. It's not particularly quick, with less than 150 hp moving more than 3,200 pounds for a fully-loaded Crosstrek Limited. The five-speed manual feels more agile, against an occasional lag in power delivery with the CVT.

The cabin of the XV Crosstrek is largely the same as the Impreza, with some changes to fabrics, meaning adults can get in and out of all four doors, and four of them will fit fine front and rear. All models include a rubberized cargo tray that's easily removed and hosed off, and the electronic-circuit pattern stamped into the rubber of the hybrid's tray is a nice touch. The roof rack on all models is standard and can carry up to 150 pounds. Crosstrek models come rated to tow up to 1,500 pounds, too. Materials and trims are only average for this price range, though, perhaps fitting Subaru's utilitarian image. Some interfaces for audio and trip-computer displays also feel clunky and outdated.

With a starting price around $22,000, the 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Premium (the lowest trim level) is a strong value. The Hybrid starts around $25,000. Then there's the Limited model, the more upscale trim level. That adds leather upholstery, leather shift-knob and steering-wheel trim, automatic climate control, and a fold-down rear-seat armrest with cupholders. All Crosstreks come with keyless entry, air conditioning, power accessories, and cruise control, as well--of course--as all-wheel drive. They also get a step-up display audio system with 7.0-inch screen, rear camera and HD Radio, and a navigation system with XM NavTraffic, voice control, and text-messaging ability is optional. Adding options and the mandatory delivery fee can push that up toward $28,000, however, which brings the Crosstrek into competition with more traditional compact crossovers, and the top-of-the-line Crosstrek Hybrid just crosses $30,000.

For the 2015 model year, Subaru is offering its EyeSight accident-avoidance technology. It uses cameras to power lane-departure and collision warning systems. Subaru has also updated the infotainment offerings for 2015, with a 6.2-inch touch screen standard and a 7.0-inch screen with multi-touch gestures included on upper trim levels.

Gas mileage is excellent for a crossover (the best in the class, really), at up to 28 mpg combined (25 mpg city, 33 mpg highway) with the CVT. It falls to 26 mpg combined, or 23 mpg city/30 mpg highway, with the manual. The hybrid improves on that a bit, at a combined 31 mpg rating (28 mpg city, 34 mpg highway) -- not as much as hybrid buyers may expect -- although we failed to see any real-world improvement over the CVT-equipped Crosstrek in a road test of almost 500 miles.

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Sources : Subaru XV Crosstrek Photo | Subaru XV Crosstrek Article
Kia Novo : Concept Cars
Kia Novo : Concept Cars

South Korean carmaker Kia has debuted a new sleek and powerful-looking concept car at the 2015 Seoul Motor Show. The Novo takes a fastback coupé style that looks almost futuristic, and while many concepts are blue-sky exercises, Kia insists the Novo gives "clear hints" about its future designs.

According to Kia, the Novo is named after the Latin notion of making something new and fresh. Its design certainly feels like a departure from traditional Kia styling, characterized by a low profile, a solid, wide stance and thick, bold design features.

There is only a short overhang at the front of the vehicle, with a longer one at the rear. The Novo has both a large flattened nose and rear, to which the roofline curves down. Kia says this gives it a "raked sporty look." Both the laser headlights and taillights take a slightly elongated horizontal form, contributing to the design.

Inside, Kia has gone for a minimalist approach that it says is designed to provide a "sanctuary" for urban drivers. Leather and aluminum highlights abound, as do a wealth of high-tech features.

The instruments are shown on a three-dimensional holographic display in front of the driver. A "blind control" touchpad next to the steering wheel, meanwhile, provides a means of controlling the car's functions without the driver needing to look away from the road.

The touchpad also has a fingerprint scanner that allows the car to be automatically configured based on the preferences of each different driver. A touchscreen on the dash also provides a means of viewing the vehicle's functionality.

The Novo is powered by a 1.6 l (0.35 gal) "Kappa" turbo GDi engine and has seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. It sits on what Kia calls adaptive concave profile tires, which are designed to clear excess road water away from the wheels for greater grip using a sunken middle channel.

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Sources : Kia Novo Photo | Kia Novo Article