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Ferrari's Formula 1 Team Loses One Of Its Biggest Sponsors

Posted: 02 Dec 2017 02:00 AM PST

The eldest, and most iconic, team in Formula 1 has just lost one of its biggest sponsors, as Banco Santander has announced the conclusion of its longstanding partnership with Scuderia Ferrari, bringing to an end an eight-year collaboration.

In its place, the Spanish banking giant is embarking on an initial three-year sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League of football (or soccer as we'd call it in America).

"Ferrari and F1, to whom we are very grateful, have played an important role at Santander over the past 10 years," said Banco Santander Executive Chairman Ana Botín. "We will continue our support of sport because it is a valuable way to contribute to the prosperity of the communities where we work."

That could include lower-level sponsoring of another team or individual races, as it did with the British Grand Prix from 2007 through 2014, and the Spanish Grand Prix between 2011 and 2013.

The financial institution came to F1 in 2007, when Fernando Alonso first signed with McLaren. It followed him to Ferrari in 2010, but continued sponsoring both rival teams for several years in parallel.

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Check Out Aston Martin's New Flagship Showroom In Tokyo [w/Video]

Posted: 02 Dec 2017 12:57 AM PST

Earlier this month, Aston Martin announced the construction of first overseas brand center. Now it's opening the doors and invites us inside to take a look around.

The House of Aston Martin Aoyama is situated on the Aoyama Dori in one of Tokyo's richest and swankiest neighborhoods. Considering how much wealth is concentrated in the Japanese capital, that makes it one of the wealthiest areas in the world.

The facility covers three floors with vehicle displays, merchandise shop and entertainment space. But it doesn't actually sell cars – that's handled next door at the adjacent dealership that you can see in the video below). The House is all about representing the brand.

Aston Martin used the location to reveal the new Vantage at the same time as unveiling events were taking place in the UK, United States, and China.

"We are delighted that our first global brand centre is now open here in Tokyo, and it represents a significant milestone in our ambitious investment programme in Japan," said the company's Asia Pacific regional director Patrik Nilsson. "We opened our new Tokyo dealership three weeks ago in the adjacent building, and with the launch of The House of Aston Martin Aoyama this week our new customer facilities in Tokyo are complete and ready to take the brand to new heights of luxury and elegance."

That's just part of the British automaker's foray into Japan, where it recently opened a tech accelerator and new regional offices. The company anticipates conducting half a billion pounds' worth of trade in Japan, and has four additional dealerships spread across the country that it values as the second largest luxury car market in the world.

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Williams F1 Driver Lance Stroll Will Race In Daytona 24 Hours

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 11:58 PM PST

Williams Formula One driver Lance Stroll will compete at January's Daytona 24 Hours, joining McLaren's Fernando Alonso at the famous endurance race.

Like Alonso, Stroll will compete in the LMP2 category, but unlike his F1 compatriot, will be driving an Oreca-Gibson 07 from the Jackie Chan DC Racing squad along with Felix Rosenqvist, Daniel Juncadella and Robin Frijns.

"Sometimes it's nice to step back and do something that's a bit less high pressure — I'm looking forward to having some fun," Stroll said to Autosport.

"I'll be out there with some of my buddies in the same car, and it's going to be a pleasure to do this race again because I just love to race. We are the four young guns so it will be great fun, I'm sure, because we go way back together."

Stroll has a close relationship with his three Daytona teammates. He raced alongside Felix Rosenqvist during the European Formula 3 Championship and works with the same driver management firm as Daniel Juncadella and Robin Frijns.

This won't be Stroll's first rodeo at the event, as he raced a Ganassi Riley-Ford Daytona Prototype in 2016.


Widebody BMW M6 Gets Its Bark On Thanks To Armytrix Exhaust

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 08:04 PM PST

When stock, the BMW M6 is not one of the loudest cars in the world. It makes nice sounds, don't get us wrong, but you won't exactly hear it coming from a mile away.

So if that's your idea of an upgrade, few can get it done as well as tuner Armytrix, who made this widebody M6 sound absolutely violent.

Of course, it's not just the exhaust note that stands out on this car. Aside from the fender extensions, this M6 has also been bagged, sitting a heck of a lot closer to the road than most BMW owners would be comfortable with.

Overall, this is an extremely aggressive car, the type you're more likely to see at SEMA rather than in somebody's garage. Still, we're pretty sure its owner doesn't necessarily feel that way.

As for performance, while it may not be as quick as a stock model (unless it's got more power), its factory 560 horses and 500 lb-ft (680 Nm) of torque should still deliver plenty of punch in a straight line.


Samsung Creates 'Graphene Ball' To Speed Up Battery Charging Times

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 07:36 PM PST

While some companies are shifting their focus towards solid-state batteries, Samsung believes lithium-ion batteries still have a future in the automotive industry.

As such, researchers at the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) have developed what they call a 'graphene ball', a material that coats the electrodes and allows for a 45 per cent increase in capacity and five times faster-charging speeds than standard lithium-ion batteries. In fact, Samsung says a battery with graphene ball material could fully charge in just 12 minutes.

During its research, SAIT were able to synthesize graphene into a 3D form that resembles popcorn. It is this material that is applied to the electrodes.

Speaking of the technology, project leader Dr. Son In-hyuk said the material could be applied to batteries without significant changes to current battery manufacturing techniques.

"Our research enables mass synthesis of multifunctional composite material graphene at an affordable price. At the same time, we were able to considerably enhance the capabilities of lithium-ion batteries in an environment where the markets for mobile devices and electric vehicles is growing rapidly. Our commitment is to continuously explore and develop secondary battery technology in light of these trends," he said.


2001 Lancer Evo VII Will Leave You Wondering What The Heck Happened To Mitsubishi

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 07:05 PM PST

If Mitsubishi really wanted to, it could probably build a new Lancer Evolution to destroy every other generation to come before it. Unfortunately, no such model appears close to reality.

As a result, the world is left to enjoy the Evo that was. And when it comes to Evo models in the United States, few are held in as high regard as the VII. After all, the Evo VII was never sold Stateside, but Matt Farah recently had the opportunity to sample a right-hand drive one driven down from Canada.

This particular Evo VII looks like quite a pristine example with 130,000 miles on the clock and a number of bolt-on modifications. The owner estimates that it has between 320-350 hp at the wheels, a very respectable figure when working in conjunction with an uprated chassis that includes new suspension components and Brembo brakes.

As anyone that's driven an Evo will tell you, the sudden surge of power provided by the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder when given a few revs is nothing sort of extraordinary. This Canadian example seems exactly the same.


Ford Expedition “Baja-Forged Adventurer” Winks At Raptor-Loving Families

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 06:13 PM PST

This is probably the closest the Ford Expedition will ever get to a Raptor and we love it.

Ford brought the Expedition "Baja-Forged Adventurer" to LA Auto Show, following its debut in SEMA a few weeks back.

Built by LGE-CTS Motorsports, this Expedition features custom fender flares in order to fit 35-inch Mud-Terrains, special bumpers for more ground clearance and protection and an uprated ICON Vehicle Dynamics suspension.

The list of upgrades doesn't stop there though as this one-off rugged version also comes with a Borla cat-back exhaust, a big brake kit from Sparta Evolution, KC HiLites LEDs, a tent and a fridge/freezer. Inside we get custom leather seats, an upgraded audio system and a safe from Console Vault.

The whole idea was to turn the Expedition into a proper off-road adventurer that can fit seven passengers in style and comfort and judging from the looks, the Baja-Forged Adventurer nails the description perfectly.


Toyota's 86 Performance Kit Adds Tons Of Stuff, Except, Well...Performance

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 05:30 PM PST

Ever since it was launched, both the Press and the public have been clamoring for Toyota to make the 86 more powerful, but the company didn't satisfy their requests.

What they did recently was the introduction of a performance kit in Australia. Offered on the GTS and GT grades, regardless of the selected transmission, it adds an AUD $2,200 and $2,900 (USD $1,665 - $2,195) premium respectively, and comes with a number of mechanical and visual enhancements.

The list includes larger Brembo brakes, for improved stopping power, specially-tuned Sachs performance dampers to increase handling stability and responsiveness, and a set of 17-inch alloy wheels, with a 10-spoke pattern and anthracite finish.

Additionally, buyers of the new performance pack, which used to be offered on a limited-run of just 60 cars back in June, can order the new Moon Slate exterior color in a special version that gets black finish for the wheels, side mirror casings, and rear spoiler, and red interior trim, as well, from AUD $39,400 (USD $29,835).

Finally, the introduction of the optional kit is joined by an upgrade made to the Toyota 86's satelline navigation system on the GT grade, and updated multimedia system across the range.

Prices for the tweaked Toyota 86 start from AUD $31,440 (USD $23,807) in Australia for the 6-speed manual gearbox version, and AUD $36,640 (USD $27,745) for the six-speed automatic.

So, despite the "performance" label, the 86 gets lots of things but not improved performance. OK Toyota, we got the message: even though the chassis can handle it, you have no intention to give your compact coupe more power. Guess we'll have to cross our fingers and wait for its replacement for that.


Forget The Cullinan - Rolls Royce Will Give Its SUV A Different Name

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 05:00 PM PST

Despite almost everyone was expecting Rolls-Royce to name the first SUV in its history the Cullinan name, it appears that the British brand has chosen a dfferent moniker.

This report comes from SUVAuthority, and it quotes the brand's chief for the Asia-Pacific region, Hal Serudin, who pointed out that the 'Cullinan' is "just a working project title", adding that the company should bring "more news on this in the coming year".

In the meantime, Rolls-Royce continues testing the SUV in various environments, including the Nurburgring. Despite keeping its camouflage on, we already have a good idea on how it will look like thanks to the numerous spy shots and videos, as well as a set of renderings.

So, what should we expect? Well, mostly a Phantom-inspired exterior design and dashboard, and the same aluminum platform that's found in the brand's flagship saloon, but with different suspension settings and a new all-wheel drive system.

The luxury SUV is said to come from the 6.75-liter twin-turbo V12 of the Phantom, where it makes 571PS (563hp) and 900Nm (663lb-ft) of torque, which is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Last, but not least, Rolls-Royce is expected to unveil its Bentley Bentayga, Lamborghini Urus and Range Rover SVAutobiography rival in 2018.


Honda Clarity Walks Home With 2018 Green Car Of The Year Award

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 04:29 PM PST

Honda's bold move to offer the Clarity in three distinctive versions (electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell) have been recognized by the Green Car Journal, which named it its 2018 Green Car of the Year.

The award was handed over during the Los Angeles Auto Show, and the Clarity's competition consisted of the Honda Accord, Hyundai Ioniq, Nissan Leaf and Toyota Camry.

"It's a nod in the right direction to receive the 2018 Green Car of the Year award for the Clarity family of vehicles. The Clarity Fuel Cell, Clarity Electric, and Clarity Plug-in Hybrid offer the power of choice to consumers, who want to step into the electrification game without being compromised", said American Honda's VP of Connected and Environmental Business, Steven Center.

Last year's winner was the Chevrolet Bolt, which beat the BMW 330e iPerformance, Chrysler Pacifica, Kia Optima, and Toyota Prius Prime.

GM grabbed the 2016 Green Car of the Year prize as well with the second-generation Chevy Volt, while in 2015 and 2014 the winners were the BMW i3 and Honda Accord respectively.

Green Car of the Year winners over the years:

2006 - Mercury Mariner Hybrid
2007 - Toyota Camry Hybrid
2008 - Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid
2009 - Volkswagen Jetta TDI
2010 - Audi A3 TDI
2011 - Chevrolet Volt PHEV
2012 - Honda Civic GX CNG
2013 - Ford Fusion EcoBoost, Hybrid, and PHEV
2014 - Honda Accord Gasoline, Hybrid, and PHEV
2015 - BMW i3
2016 - Chevrolet Volt Electric, PHEV, Fuel Cell
2017 - Chevrolet Bolt
2018 - Honda Clarity


BMW New 6-Series GT Is Much Better Looking Than 5 GT, But Is That Enough?

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 05:31 PM PST

Compared to its predecessor, the unloved 5 GT, the 6-Series Gran Turismo is a sportier and more well-proportioned vehicle.

You'll probably still have to decide whether you'd choose one over the sleeker 5-Series Touring or the more imposing X5, but nevertheless, BMW did a good job with it.

As for this particular 6-Series GT, which is on display at the automaker's Abu Dhabi showroom, it's a 640i, the rear-wheel drive version, with a white exterior and a brown leather interior.

It's even got M-styled wheels with blue calipers, as well as wood inserts inside the cabin, and rear seat infotainment, which is always a plus if you've got kids.

The 640i is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six engine, sending 340 PS (335 HP) and 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) of torque to the rear wheels. It can get from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.4 seconds, just 0.1 seconds off the pace of the all-wheel drive xDrive version.


AMG Boss Confirm New A35, Hints The End Is Near For The S65

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 03:28 PM PST

Rumors of an entry-level Mercedes-AMG A-Class have been floating around for awhile and spy photographers have even snapped prototypes on multiple occasions.

It was initially believed the car would be called the A40 but AMG CEO Tobias Moers recently told Top Gear it will wear the A35 moniker.

Set to slot beneath the A45, the A35 will be a hot-hatch that is designed to battle the Audi S3 and Volkswagen Golf R. As Moers explained, "It'll be the A45's little brother" and it will have a "low" price point.

Moers declined to say what trade offs customers can expect but noted the lower price means they can't do everything to the A35 that they'll do to the A45. This undoubtedly means we can expect a less powerful engine and less extreme performance modifications.

The car will reportedly be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and previous reports have suggested it could develop around 340 hp (253 kW). That's an impressive figure but it still leaves plenty of room for the A45 which is slated to have more than 400 hp (298 kW).

Besides talking about the A35, Moers said the CLS 53 will debut at the North American International Auto Show in January. The executive also hinted at the end of AMG-tuned V12 engines by saying the market has changed and "We still have V12 aficionados but they're more into Maybach." Moers added the company doesn't need luxury cars like that in their lineup so it "could be that this is the last generation of V12 AMG S-Class'."

Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoops

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U.S. Vehicle Sales Could Fall For The First Time Since The Recession

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 02:59 PM PST

The holiday season is in full swing and a number of automakers are promoting their year-end sales events.

This happens every December but the sales push is more important than ever as USA Today is reporting that automakers are facing the first full-year sales decline in America since the Great Recession.

Despite the possibility of declining sales, the news isn't entirely bad as sales remain near record levels and consumers are buying more expensive vehicles such as trucks, crossovers, and SUVs. As the report notes, Kelley Blue Book says the "average sticker price paid for a new vehicle" hit a record of $35,870 in November.

The high prices help to pad the bottom line but sedan sales have been getting hammered in recent years. This is due to several factors including low gas prices and changing consumer preferences.

While 2017 might not turn out to be that bad in terms of sales, analysts expect sales to dip even further in 2018 thanks to a flood of off-lease vehicles. That trend could continue as Barclays analyst Brian Johnson expects sales will eventually drop to between 15.5 and 16 million which would be down from the 16.6 to 16.7 million sales that are expected next year.

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Fisker Orbit Is A Fully Autonomous Electric Mobility Shuttle

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 02:39 PM PST

Following a teaser last month, Fisker has unveiled the all-new Orbit.

Created as part of an alliance with China's Hakim Unique Group, the Orbit has been designed to become the "world's most appealing autonomous shuttle for smart cities."

The companies were coy on specifics but confirmed the Orbit is a fully autonomous electric vehicle and the first deliveries are slated to occur by the end of 2018. As part of the agreement between the two companies, Fisker Inc. will be responsible for designing and developing the vehicle while the Hakim Unique Group will handle its marketing and operations in Asia.

In a statement, Henrik Fisker said "The combination of our breakthrough automotive technology, design prowess and unique vantage point as industry revolutionaries – and Jack's [Hakim Unique Group chairman Jack Wong] truly integrated vision of smart cities – is powerful. I am very excited about making the impossible, possible with intelligent urban ecosystems – starting with the development of one of the world's most forward-thinking and uniquely designed electric, autonomous shuttles: The Fisker Orbit."

Autocar reports the Orbit will be launched in Hangzhou, China and will have an interior that reportedly resembles a hotel lobby. Fisker has already received "interest from various corporate campuses" so it's possible that the model will expand far beyond China in the future.

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BMW M5 Competition Package Is "Closer Than You'd Think"

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 02:01 PM PST

The 2018 BMW M5 recently made its North American debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show and it appears the company is already working on a high-performance variant.

When Road and Track asked BMW M boss Frank Van Meel about a possible M5 CS, the executive responded by saying "We don't have an M5 Competition today, so that might be an interesting question first before you look at the CS." Van Meel went on to say customers are already asking for a M5 Competition Package and M3 CS product manager Sebastian Maier told the publication it is "closer than you'd think."

Van Meel wasn't ready to talk specifics but he hinted the Competition Package for the M5 will echo those available on the M3 and M4. On those models, the package includes a more direct steering ratio, an Adaptive M Suspension, and a revised Active M Differential. The package also adds 20-inch lightweight alloy wheels and an upgraded engine that produces 444 hp (331 kW).

Speaking of the M5, Van Meel said the company will announce the car's Nürburgring lap time in the near future. Conditions weren't favorable during the company's first attempt but the executive believes the car will post an impressive time nonetheless.

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2018 Subaru BRZ Brings Modest Updates And A Higher Base Price

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 01:30 PM PST

The Subaru BRZ is entering the 2018 model year with a host of improvements and a slightly higher sticker price.

Set to arrive at U.S. dealerships in January, the 2018 BRZ will be priced from $25,595 which is $100 more than last year's model. To help offset the price increase, the BRZ has been equipped with a "Welcome Lighting" system which promises to provide better nighttime visibility when approaching or exiting the vehicle.

The 2018 BRZ has also been outfitted with a leather-wrapped shifter, one touch turn signals, and headlights that turn on when the windshield wipers are activated.

The entry-level BRZ Premium comes nicely equipped with LED headlights, remote keyless entry, and black seats with red contrast stitching. Drivers will also find a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an eight-speaker audio system, and an infotainment system with a 6.2-inch display.

The BRZ Limited starts at $28,445 and it adds LED fog lights, a dual-zone automatic climate control system, and a keyless entry system with a push-button ignition. Other highlights include leather / Alcantara heated front seats, a 4.2-inch multi-function display in the instrument cluster, and a 7-inch infotainment system with GPS navigation.

Options are fairly limited as the BRZ Limited can be equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission for $1,100. The Limited can be also be outfitted with a $1,195 Performance Package which adds high-performance shock absorbers, an upgraded braking system, and 17-inch alloy wheels with a black finish.

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2018 Jeep Wrangler Window Sticker Hints At $45,000 Base Price But Don't Worry Yet

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 02:24 PM PST

Jeep recently unveiled the 2018 Wrangler at the Los Angeles Auto Show and now we're getting an idea how much the model will cost.

The JL Wrangler Forums reports a member recently spotted a 2018 Wrangler Unlimited Sahara at Fiat Chrysler Automobile headquarters in Auburn Hills and it had a window sticker posted on the windshield. While the text is grainy, the sticker lists the base price as $45,000 which would be a massive increase over the outgoing model which starts at $34,245.

Of course, as the site mentions, the price of the optional equipment isn't listed and the total price of $46,095 only appears to account for the $1,095 destination charge. As a result, it's likely the $45,000 price is the cost of the vehicle with all the optional equipment instead of the price of the base vehicle.

While that's not exactly helpful in determining the vehicle's base price, the site says several sources have suggested the 2018 Wrangler will cost approximately $2,500 more than its predecessor. If that's the case, the 2018 Wrangler should start around $26,495.

Regardless of the model's cost, the sticker shows this particular Wrangler is equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 engine which develops 285 hp (212 kW) and 260 lb-ft (352 Nm) of torque.

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2007 Mercedes SLK55 Is The AMG Bargain You Were Looking For

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 12:27 PM PST

It's not the most capable or the fastest of its generation but this 2007 Mercedes SLK55 still remains a sweet little hot rod, thanks to its handmade 5.5-liter V8.

The fact that the Mercedes SLK55 also comes with a retractable hard top also makes it more appealing as a road car, enabling that V8 to flood the cabin with the right noises.

The only transmission option was a seven-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox, which isn't the most responsive one but suits well with the overall character of the Mercedes roadster.

Power is rated at 355hp which is enough to send the SLK to 62mph from a stop in 4.9 seconds as well as set on fire its rear tires in an instant as true AMGs always did. It's not the precision tool many would want but as a road car, it's a real peach.

Matt Farah samples one example in his latest One Take video so get ready for some lovely V8 songs.


U Spy Updated 2020 Karma Revero In California

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 11:55 AM PST

Karma is working on a revised version of the Revero, which in turn is an updated Fisker Karma, and these photos show a camouflaged prototype as spotted by our good reader Michael in Lake Forest, California.

The updated Revero will sport new front and rear ends in a bid to give it that much needed fresh appeal.

The current Karma Revero was launched in late 2016, remaining visually almost identical to the Fisker version, as the changes were limited to new parts and technologies in order to make it more relevant. The all-electric range was EPA-rated at 37 miles while the combined fuel economy scored 35MPGe.

The new version is expected to offer a longer electric range but there isn't much information on what changes are planned for the series-hybrid powertrain. The current model uses a turbocharged 260hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder with twin electric motors for a combined 403hp.

Back in 2014, Chinese Wanxiang Group bought the rights to the Fisker Karma and revived it in late 2016 under a then-new company called Karma. The new Karma Revero is expected to show up in 2019 but whether it'll be able to successfully compete with the new electric entries from major car makers remains to be seen.

H/T To Michael!


Rare VW Beetle RSi V6 Thrashed Around The 'Ring

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 11:28 AM PST

When it comes to unicorns from within the Volkswagen Group, the exceptionally rare Beetle RSi is unquestionably one of the most intriguing.

Built for just two years between 2001 and 2003 and restricted to 250 examples worldwide, the Beetle RSi has a 3.2-liter VR6 engine shoehorned under the hood. Delivering a total of 221 hp, the engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission sending power to the ground through all four wheels.

Just in case the engine note wasn't enough of a giveaway that the vehicle isn't just an ordinary Beetle, VW designed a custom bodykit for the car, including revised front and rear fascias, new side skirts, wheel arches, and a large rear wing.

A few days ago, one of these rare Beetle's was taken out of hibernation by its owner and brought to the famous Nurburgring.

The driver took the track quite gingerly but that's no surprise because when new, the Beetle RSi sold for roughly $80,000 in Europe!


New Aston Martin Vantage Dreamed Up In GT8 Guise

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 11:00 AM PST

Shortly after sharing a number of renderings of the new Aston Martin Vantage in Shooting Brake and Roadster configurations, we've stumbled upon these images, depicting the sports car in hardcore GT8 guise.

Aston Martin introduced the GT8 about18 months ago as one of the final iterations of the outgoing Vantage. It was more aggressive and track-focused than any other V8-powered Vantage derivative before it and will almost certainly be followed up by a successor in the future, but probably not for a good few years.

Nevertheless, these renderings from artist Aksyonov Nikita depict the new Vantage with all the aerodynamic elements of the GT8, including the fixed rear wing, menacing rear diffuser and ankle-splitting carbon fiber front fascia.

As it stands, only the entry-level Vantage has been unveiled. It is powered by an AMG-sourced 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 delivering 503 hp and 505 lb-ft of torque and mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. The new Vantage also has an impressive 50:50 weight distribution and 1,530 kg (3,373 lbs) dry weight.


Plug-In Hybrid 911 Likely To Arrive In 2023, Porsche Boss Says

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 10:38 AM PST

A plug-in hybrid version will be likely added to the 911 range mid-way through its next generation, according to Porsche CEO Oliver Blume.

The new generation of the 911 expected to go on sale in 2019, which means that we're going to see the first plug-in hybrid version of the Porsche sports car in around 2023 with the mid-cycle update of that generation.

"We will come with the plug-in hybrid with the next battery generation and with the next evolution step," Blume told AutoNews. "It will be very important for the 911 to have a plug-in hybrid."

The model isn't greenlighted yet but the Porsche CEO said it's "my opinion that we will go for it." This should clear the air around the plug-in hybrid 911, because Porsche had previously indicated that the project was dropped due to excessive battery weight.

Blume also said that Porsche has prepared the platform of the next 911 to accommodate the plug-in hybrid powertrain. Waiting to launch it until the mid-life facelift will enable them to extract more power and more driving range from the batteries, targeting a pure electric driving range of 43 miles, he added.

"The potential is very good with the new generation of batteries," Blume said.

Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoops


Warning: You Might Fall Asleep Watching This Texas Highway Chase

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 05:31 PM PST

When you think about a highway chase, you're probably imagining the suspect weaving through traffic dangerously, as police try to reel him in.

Apparently, that's not always the case. This incident occurred in Denton, Texas, where a man driving a dark sedan was being chased down by a large number of law enforcement vehicles.

The man who caught the action on camera and was also trapped in the middle of it, had this to say: "I entered the highway not realizing I was getting on in the middle of a high speed chase. I was surrounded by cops and highway patrol."

He goes on to say that he had no choice but to continue driving until the chase, which was anything but "high-speed", came to an end.

Apparently, everybody was doing around 26 mph (42 km/h), and the man in the dashcam car was wondering how come the cops were having such a hard time immobilizing the suspect's vehicle - which is a fair question.

In the end, after a brief standoff, the officers managed to take down the suspect without firing their guns, which is definitely a win.


2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS Four-Door Coupe Is Back With Straight-6 (Updated Gallery, Videos)

Posted: 01 Dec 2017 09:47 AM PST

Even though we've all had plenty of time since yesterday to make up our minds regarding the 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS, now we also know what makes it tick underneath.

We should begin by saying that the overall styling of the car is of course instantly recognizable thanks to its clear contours and high waistline. According to Mercedes, the third-generation CLS is supposed to reflect "the timeless aura of the first CLS", which as you know, basically invented this segment.

The all-new 2019 CLS will go on sale in the U.S. by Fall 2018, although other markets will get it starting in March.

"The new CLS is a design icon as the archetype of the four-door coupe. In line with our hot & cool design philosophy, we have reduced its DNA to an extremely puristic level while emotionally charging its beauty," says Gorden Wagener, Daimler's chief design officer.

A fresher spin on a familiar design

At the front, there's a little bit of AMG GT to it, especially if you look at the how the silhouette of the grille widens towards the base. Meanwhile, the headlights feature inward-slating flanks and follow the contour of the grille. As for the taillights, like the headlights they are LEDs and feature a crystalline appearance with a three-dimensional effect. Their shape and positioning is meant to accentuate the width of the new CLS. Still, it's no so different from the outgoing model.

Inside, you'll find the same clear and elegant lines you get on the E-Class, plus the illuminated air vents and hand-finished appearance of the seats. The wide-screen cockpit displays are available as optional extras, while the ambience lighting is individually adjustable in 64 different colors - including on the previously-mentioned air vents. A cool little touch was having the ambience lighting briefly change color whenever the temperature of the air conditioning system is changed. So, you've got red for warmer and blue for cooler.

In terms of practicality, the Mercedes-Benz CLS is now, for the very first time, a true five-seater. When even more room is required, the backrests can fold down in a 40/20/40 ratio, boosting the 520-liter (18.3 cu.ft) luggage compartment's capacity even more.

Can I borrow your tech, S-Class?

On the safety front, the new CLS borrows heavily from the facelifted S-Class. This means it's got the latest generation of driving assistance systems such as Active Brake Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Attention Assist, Speed Limit Assist and PRE-SAFE. All are standard by the way. Optional tech includes the Driving Assistance Package featuring Active Distance Control, Active Steering Assist, Active Speed Limit Assist, Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function, Evasive Steering Assist, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and PRE-SAFE Plus.

Also meant to improve safety are the multibeam LED headlights with Ultra Range high beam, where the brightness of the main beam lamps remains above the reference value of 1 lux over a distance of more than 650 meters (0.4 miles).

A completely new engine range

The all-new 2019 Mercedes-Benz CLS is available with a choice of two diesels and a petrol unit - specifically as a CLS 350d 4MATIC, CLS 400d 4MATIC and CLS 450 4MATIC, the latter (petrol) being the only option you have in the U.S.

In fact, the CLS 450 4MATIC utilizes a completely new in-line six-cylinder power unit with EQ Boost and a 48-volt on-board electric system. It puts down 370 PS (362 HP) and 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) of torque, while the EQ Boost function adds another 22 PS (21 HP) and 250 Nm (184 lb-ft). This adds up to a combined fuel consumption of 7.5 liters/100km (31.3 US mpg) and a 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration time of 4.8 seconds.

As for the diesels, we're talking about a 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder engine, producing 340 PS (335 HP) and 700 Nm (516 lb-ft) in the CLS 400d and 286 PS (282 HP) and 600 Nm (442 lb-ft) in the CLS 350d. Both models have combined fuel consumption figures of 5.6l/100km (42 US mpg) and 0-100 km/h times of 5.0 seconds and 5.7 seconds respectively.

Furthermore, an electrified CLS 53 hybrid is rumored to debut at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, sending a total of 429 horses to the wheels.

Mercedes will kick off CLS' launch with the Edition 1 special

Those who want their new CLS to be even more exclusive can opt for the Edition 1 launch model, which features a Copper Art interior concept with black pearl nappa leather seats, copper-colored accents and contrast top stitching (on the center console, seats, armrests, dashboard and door linings), IWC analogue clock with an exclusive dial face, gloss black vehicle key, 'Edition 1' floor mats, chrome 'Edition 1' lettering on the center console and 'Edition 1' displayed on the welcome screen.

As for its exterior styling, the Edition 1 is based on the AMG Line, which means you get LED Intelligent Light headlights as standard and 19" multi-spoke AMG alloys painted black, plus 'Edition 1' lettering on the front fenders.

Article updated with LA Auto Show images and videos