Monthly Archives: May 2016
The new 2016 Honda Accord V-6 Sedan is not offering anything luxurious in terms of styling, interior materials or even drivetrain options. But it does offer a superior and pretty spectacular chassis that does all the work, and more.
Honda used a top-of-the-line chassis that enables the car to handle more than it should. Although not made for rough road, that chassis will allow the Accord to handle it better than it was able to in the past.
The suspension is incredible, and you’ll feel nary a juggle when the car passed by a broken pavement or turned a sharp corner. The steering wheel may not be as quick as a sports car, but who wants that for a family car?
The steering wheel is competitive enough, and has the ability to make the driver feel what’s happening on the front-wheel-drive system. The chassis is on a completely different level—Honda has won on this matter.
The brakes, according to reviews, feel strong and can handle terrains very well. The 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces makes 278 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque is just enough to make it easy for the driver to maneuver through daily traffic.
When your car has a light load, there is pthe option for the cylinder deactivation, which then allows for better fuel efficiency. The current ratings stand at 21 mpg city and 34 mpg highway.
If you want better fuel efficiency, you may want to choose the four-cylinder option. It has a rating of 30 mpg, tests revealed.
Transmission-wise, you’ll get a six-speed gearbox that has a Sport mode for better engine handling in certain situations.
Inside, nothing much has changed, and the lack of upgrades on the infotainment system may even cause some clients to turn their backs on the 2016 Accord V6.
Ford is releasing special editions of their Focus ST, Focus RS and Mustang just in time for the Le Mans 50th anniversary. The new Ford Fiesta ST special edition, which will be covered in black livery with gray racing stripes that run from front to rear, is being built specifically for the French market.
There would only be 50 units of the Fiesta ST Le Mans 50th Anniversary Edition, reports said.
On the exterior, the Fiesta ST Le Mans is quite similar to the looks of the No. 2 GT40 from 1966. They have the same front and rear fascias, front and rear light units, radiator grille, and same wheels.
Inside, there’s the same styling and features as the current Fiesta. There’s the oversized six-speed shifter with leather accents on the center console, as well as MyFord’s Touch infotainment system as standard.
The only difference in this special edition Fiesta is the plate on the center console that read “1966-2016” and “Limited Edition 50 units.” There’s also that classic Ford racing logo from the 1960s.
Fiesta also has that “sound symposer” located under the dashboard, making you think you’re going faster than you actually are.
That being said, you’ll be more disappointed with what you find under the hood. Despite it being a tribute to Le Mans, we found nothing special on the engine. It has the same 1.6-liter, EcoBoost that produces 197 horsepower and 202 pound-feet of torque.
With a six-speed manual transmission, the Fiesta can go 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds. It has a top speed of 130 mph. It seems to be an underwhelming effort to pay tribute to the GT40. But since there are only 50 production units of the special edition Fiesta, Ford fans will certainly want to get their hands on this.
The Fiesta ST Le Mans edition will sell for $30,428, an increase of $2,684 from the current price of the regular Fiesta.
When Bentley launched its Continental GT Black Speed special edition for the Australian market, both the US and European markets were slighted by the fact that they can’t get their hands on it.
Fortunately, Bentley announced a new special edition using the “Black” name. This time, it’s based on the GT Speed according to a report. You can choose either a coupe or convertible bodystyle, and there’s also more than just one exterior color.
But what sets this apart from other “special editions” is that the 2017 Bentley Continental GT Speed Black Edition will receive upgrades on its drivetrain. It will have 633 hp and 620 lb-ft of torque. The extra horsepower and torque will allow the car to go 0-60 mph in a mere sprint.
True to its name, the GT Speed Black Edition is decked out in high-gloss black exterior. It has an all-black components—main grille, meshes, bumpers, headlamps and taillights bezels, window trim, lower chrome strip, mirror caps, and bumper insert.
You can opt to have contrast colors for the exterior. Colors include Hallmark (metallic gray), Beluga (black), St. James’ Red, and Cyber Yellow.
Clients can customize the overall look of the GT Speed Black Edition. Beluga will give a sportier appearance while St. James’ Red and Cyber Yellow will make it flashier.
Regardless of the exterior colors you will choose, the GT Speed Black Edition will arrive with all-black, 21-inch, five-spoke wheels and bespoke brake calipers in either red or black.
Bentley Motors already unveiled the GT Speed and GT Speed Black Edition this week in a private event in New York City. Deliveries for the GT Speed Black Edition will begin this year’s summer in both the US and European markets.
Bentley’s Continental GT Speed Black Edition will sell for $253,235 in the US. But if you want a drop top, prepare to shell out $277,235 for the convertible model.
Kia Soul has been highly popular the past years. Although I am personally not a fan of the bodystyle and there are extreme reactions to it among the auto industry experts, it was certainly one of Kia’s most popular models.
In fact, the only thing more popular than the Soul is the commercials Kia has produced for the incoming hatchback. Aside from the catchy hit songs that they used, the commercials also featured hamsters (which Kia tagged as Hamstars). Can anything be cuter than that?
The latest commercial is now out and it’s full of the same things—catchy song and Hamstars. But what specifically is being talked about right now is the “wink” at the end of the commercial, hinting of the possibility of a turbocharged Soul hatchback.
An overview of the current Soul lineup was also shown at the end of the video. The lineup included the regular gasoline-powered model, the electric model and a “turbo” version. Kia teased that all of these will be arriving just in time for Winter 2016.
We’ve heard rumors that Kia has been planning a turbocharged Soul hatchback for years. So far, this is the first evidence of those plans, and it’s just in time for a change in the Soul’s performance and power.
As for the bodystyle, many experts have always raved about the Soul’s standout styling, roomy interior and useful in-car technology. That’s not to mention that the Soul is nicely priced.
But what it does lack is more power and better performance on the road. The current Soul has either a gas-powered 130-hp 1.6-liter or a 164-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the latter offered only with automatic transmission.
What are we expecting? Kia currently has a 201-hp 1.6-liter turbo four on the Forte5. If that would be used to turbocharge the hatchback, we’re sure it will add a bit of pep, complete with either a manual or dual-clutch auto transmission.
It’s Denali no more. GMC has finally decided that chrome should not only be used on its top Denali trim levels. A premium edition for the Yukon and Yukon XL SUV will bring to life chrome in mid-level SLT trim.
According to a source, the biggest difference in terms of overall look would be the chrome grille with horizontal slats that is exclusive on the special edition model. It is shinier and demands more attention than the standard’s simpler grille. It’s even more tough-looking than the Yukon Denali’s honeycomb-mesh chrome grille.
Other things in the package are the chrome body-side moldings, a polished exhaust tip, and 22-inch chrome wheels that features a design exclusive to the premium edition.
There are other 22-inch wheel options for the Yukon SLT, which will cost between $2,900 and $2,995.
If you want the SLT Premium Edition, and is expecting Denali’s interior and drivetrain upgrades, you might be a bit disappointed. Unlike how it almost recreates the exterior through chrome-plated features, the drivetrain can be a letdown, depending on where you’re looking at it from.
Instead of the 6.2-liter V8 engine on an 8-speed automatic transmission on the Denali tuning program, you’ll be getting the 5.3-liter V8 with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
However, the SLT Premium Edition is more fuel efficient with a 16/23 mpg city/highway rating compared to Denali’s 15/21 mpg.
The Yukon SLT, on the other hand, can have a four-wheel drive option for an additional $3,000.
GMC did not say how much these extra “shine” would all cost. If you want the premium edition, expect it to be above the Yukon SLT’s (rear-wheel drive) $58,195 in terms of price range. The equivalent XL version will start at $60,895.
These special edition models will be on the market starting later this summer. Official pricing should be in the next few weeks.
The Mini Cooper John Cooper Works is already the range-topping version of the Mini’s most iconic look. With 228 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, it doesn’t need more tuning.
But somehow, B&B Automobiltechnik decided to do more based on a report. Aside from giving it power that almost reaches to 300 horsepower, Automobiltechnik’s tuning program also offered a three-stage engine kit that adds different amounts of ponies on the John Cooper Works’ engine.
There are also upgrades on the chassis, suspension, and grip and handling—all of which complement the hatchback’s sporty looks.
Unlike Manhart Racing’s tuning program, B&B’s package for the Mini has minimal, if nothing, upgrades on the exterior and interior. However, what it does have is an affordable program we would all like to see on a hatchback.
The exterior updates on the JCW are just a set of new 18-inch B9 alloy wheels wrapped in 215/35R18 tires. There’s also the high-performance brake system that features 13-inch brake discs.
Inside, the tuner decided to keep everything the same.
We mentioned that there is a three-step engine upgrade for the JCW. The first step, dubbed the Stage 1 kit, can help the JCW take its power to 272 horsepower with no mention of torque improvement.
For the Stage 2 kit, B&B is offering a boost to 286 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. This can be done by improving the intake ducts and manifold to go along with the turbo boost increase by 0.25 bar.
Finally, the Stage 3 kit brings an amazing number of upgrades—a high-performance intercooler, upgraded intake ducts and manifold, high-flow exhaust downpipe, and a remap of the fuel, ignition and turbocharger boost curves.
This allows the engine to go up to 300 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque. The top speed would be increased from 153 mph to 174 mph.
Prices range, of course. The Stage 1 kit will cost you $1,446; the Stage 2 kit, $2,172; and the Stage 3 kit, $4,400.
The year 2016 has so far brought in new models from Audi, and the next half of this year will also see the launch of the A5 Convertible, just a few short months after the company unveiled the A5 Coupe.
After seeing the prototypes of the S5 and RS5 coupes being tested near the Nurburgring, it can be assumed that the convertible will also be having higher performance models. But as for now, let’s take a look at this standard model, which would be competing with the BMW 4 Series Convertible and the Merdedes-Benz C-Class Convertible.
The A5 would certainly be a tough competitor. Based on the spy shots, we can assume that there would be a new design language, classy interiors and updated drivetrains.
The convertible was covered in camo, but there are plenty of hints as to what it would look like once the camo comes off. It looks like the convertible will have a sharper body line, which confirms the A5 will be heavily based on the A4.
In short, the A5 should be a two-door convertible version of the A4.
The A5 would have the same size and shape as its predecessor, albeit it has reshaped body lines and slightly more angular features. Expect to see new headlamps that feature L-shaped LED stripes and redesigned twin LED lamps. At the back, there would be thinner taillights, shorter trunk lid, and a new bumper.
The interior will be completely redesigned. There’s a new “dashboard” with a continuous air-vent strip and the center console will have a sportier look. There would also be a new steering wheel with revised buttons, a larger display for infotainment system, and a new airconditioning unit.
The seats would be bound with softer materials that match the dashboard and door panels.
The range of diesel and gasoline options were updated—from a 1.4-liter TFSI rated engine to a 2.0-liter four-banger to a 3.0-liter V6.
The A5 Convertible should be a tad bit more expensive than the A4, which starts at $47,900 for the base trim and $50,200 for the premium version.
There were rumors that Rolls Royce’s new 4×4 SUV was going to be a monster truck. Well, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. BMW’s design chief Adrian van Hooydonk said that it would be “daunting” to build an SUV for RR.
He promised in an interview though that Rolls Royce’s new 4×4 will be “a truly special car,” and that it won’t be a monster truck.
This is certainly good news for everyone who thought that RR’s Project Cullinan would be going toward the direction of building an SUV monster truck. Project Cullinan can be previewed through the Phantom prototype seen in these photos.
The “not monster truck” design has already been approved, and it will assuredly be one drivers can use as an everyday car.
Hooydonk explained that there are a lot of considerations need to be made when building a new model for RR. When the brand started, it had huge wheels that covered a lot of ground clearance because they were used by the Maharajas to travel from Europe to the Far East.
Back then, car companies have yet to categorize cars into sedans, SUVs or trucks. They were just cars, Hooydonk said. Roads back then weren’t smooth, too, so Rolls was built on that premise.
The idea for the new 4×4 is not to interpret the old Maharaja car. Rather, it will be built on the idea that RR cars were used for daily activities across rough roads.
What Hooydonk plans for the 4×4 is to completely move it away from the predicament RR has—that they are too elegant and too sophisticated to be driven. For this “SUV,” Royce wants something that drivers will want to use, instead of to look at only.
To do this, Rolls decides to sit the model on an all-new aluminum space frame structure, which is currently undergoing road testing to ensure a perfectly capable driving experience.
The result? Hooydonk hopes it’s an all-terrain SUV that is fun to drive every day, but not a monster truck, that has a likely V12 engine and the “magic carpet ride.”
There seems to be a pervading trend now among the governments of first-world nations: use sports car as the official livery of the country’s police force.
Just recently, Nissan handed over three of its 370Z to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department to show they are supporting the men and women in service of Tokyo, Japan.
The cars are all decked out in black-and-white regalia, complete with flashing lights and all the livery worthy of a police car. If one looks at the cars closely, they can also notice the Nissan badge at the front was replaced by the Tokyo police force’s shield.
Especially prepared by Nismo using the 370Z Nismo as donor, these three new police cars for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department will use Nissan’s familiar 3.7-liter V6 engine, based on a report. For these particular cars, the engine can deliver 350 horsepower.
Nissan provided the cars after the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department called on Japanese automakers to provide them with an “iconic car” that will help represent the department’s commitment to road safety in the city (and even in surrounding areas).
This was a similar strategy used by the UAE government, particularly Dubai, although things are quite different in that oil-rich country. For the Dubai Police Department, nothing short of the priciest sports cars can speak out against the deluge of high performance engines parading around the city every single day.
Exotic cars such as the Bugatti Veyron and the Porsche 918 Spyder make up the Dubai Police Department’s fleet.
Such a call from Japan (and even from Dubai) followed an announcement by Italy’s Carabinieri earlier this month that it has a handful of Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglios in its fleet.
Can you just imagine having a Bugatti for a police car? The Nissan 370Z is not in any way cheap, but the Bugatti, Porsche and Alfa Romeo are on totally different platforms.
When Renault unveiled its Renault Scenic back in March, everyone was wowed as it was based on the R-Space Concept. Two months after, the company is pulling the sheet off its bigger brother—the longer, taller, wider and much better performer, the 2017 Renault Grand Scenic.
According to a source, the Grand Scenic is nine inches loner, almost an inch wider, and a half-inch taller than its smaller brother. It is a completely redesigned Renault Scenic—from the front end to the rear end. The result is a sexier compact MPV segment in the Grand Scenic.
Coming in as standards to the Grand Scenic are the 20-inch wheels, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, full-color heads-up display, parking assistance, and diesel and two gasoline options.
It also has an all-new color that is exclusive to the Grand Scenic—the Vision Brown. Inside, it offers seating for five to seven people. They can enjoy the two-tone livery from the second equipment level up.
The exterior received major updates—new fascia, new headlamps, new grille and a redesigned hood. The windshield is also considerably longer and there corner glass panels before the side view mirrors.
But what gave the Grand Scenic a more elegant feeling is the 20-inch wheels with a twisted, five-spoke design. That certainly gives the Grand Scenic a more high-end appearance than the outgoing model.
Inside, nothing says spectacular than the Grand Scenic’s dashboard, corner glass that eliminates blind spots, and the cluster of tech such as an 8.7-inch touchscreen display, two USB ports, SD card slot, audio jack and 12-volt socket.
Renault also boasts of the car’s “Easy Life” sliding center console that allows a “saloon car cockpit feel” or a more open floor plan to make passengers more comfortable.
Pricing has not been released yet, but be ready to shell out £23,500 or $34,365 before options, taxes, and delivery.