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Monthly Archives: December 2017

Lexus LC 500 Appears in Black Panther Movie

lexus lc 500 black panther

One of the most anticipated movies from Marvel this coming 2018 aside from the Avengers: Infinity War is the Black Panther film. Just like almost any other superhero movies, several brands have taken the opportunity to promote their products there. One of them is Lexus with its LC 500 premium car. Black Panther can be seen in one part of the film riding on top of the vehicle.

black panther and lexus lc

The automaker also released a Lexus LC 500 concept car in honor of Black Panther. Lexus simply calls it the “Black Panther Inspired LC.”

The Black Panther Inspired LC 500 is highlighted by its night blue color. It is fitted with a new glowing blue Lexus logo, blacked out radiator grille, front lip spoiler, side skirts, rear diffuser, rear wing and custom wheels. The hood of the car comes with the face of Black Panther and the plate at the back has the Black Panther movie logo.

In addition, the sides seem to be sporting chrome gills with five horizontal lines probably representing the claws of the superhero. The side mirrors also appear with four sharp spikes resembling the nails of the panther. There seems to be something bluish glowing beneath the rear glass of the car too.

lexus lc black panther

The same two-tone color theme can be found in the interior of the concept LC 500. The sporty black leather seats of the auto looks like the padded paw of the panther.

black panther lc

The luxury car brand even went as far as to integrate several elements of the Black Panther mythos into the vehicle. According to the automaker, the concept car is powered by a fictitious element called “vibranium.”

Vibranium happens to be the most important material in Black Panther’s kingdom called “Wakanda.” It is a rare ore coming from a meteorite that can store vast amounts of energy.

Prior Design Takes a Shot at the Mercedes-Benz X-Class

mercedes-benz x-class by prior design (2)

Pickup trucks used to be more inclined to their utilitarian nature. However, with the tight competition in the market, automakers have brought up their game to put more exciting features in them. The Mercedes-Benz X-Class is the three-pointed star brand’s entry in the automotive landscape and it is considered to be a catalyst for a new niche in the market, which is the luxury pickup truck segment.

The Mercedes-Benz X-Class has the same platform as the Nissan Navara. However, it has successfully distanced itself from it because of the nice luxury touches that Mercedes integrated into its design. However, for those who are looking for more out their X-Class, Prior Design just introduced a new custom body kit for the vehicle.

The cosmetic upgrades provided by Prior Design to the Mercedes X-Class include a revised front bumper with large air vents, LED DRL strips and front lip spoiler. The front chrome radiator grille is also replaced by a blacked-out design. Then, the wheel arches are extended too in order to give the pickup a more aggressive look. Going around the back will reveal a rear diffuser and new exhaust tips.

So far, the changes offered by Prior Design to the Mercedes X-Class are only limited to its exterior. For those who want to get a sportier cabin, they will just have to wait for the AMG styling kit made specially for the pickup, which will come out soon.

The Mercedes X-Class is highlighted by its 3.0-liter V6 model with 254 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. The power of the auto is distributed to its four wheels via a seven-speed automatic with shift paddles. The acceleration of the pickup from zero to 60 mph is somewhere below nine seconds and its top speed is over 125 mph.

Check out some of the pictures of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class with the Prior Design treatment in the gallery below:

The Liberty Walk Lexus LC500 is Just Wild

Liberty Walk Lexus LC500 (2)

Japan-based Liberty Walk just released its new custom body kits for the latest Lexus LC500. The new package adds more to the sporty exterior of the car.

There two versions to choose from in the new body kits of Liberty Walk for the LC500. There are also two options for the materials used in the upgrades.

Exterior Upgrades

According to Liberty Walk, the visual enhancements offered by the body kits include a new front diffuser, side diffusers, rear diffuser, rear wing and wide fenders. Buyers will have the option to select either the fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) or carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) materials for the package.

From the looks of it, the add-ons really bring the base of the car very near the ground. So, better look out for some speed bumps along the way. The photos reveal a new set of Advan wheels and blue-tipped quad tailpipes too, which really complement the body kit. There are some decals in the car as well, including Liberty Walk logos, Advan logos, and letterings on the doors that read “Imagine all the people living life in peace.” The quote was lifted from John Lennon’s song titled “Imagine”.

Pricing

The first version of the body kit costs $15,650 for the FRP and $19,440 for the CFRP. The second version is priced $13,380 for the FRP and $16,740 for the CFRP. It should be noted that the LC500 already has a starting price of $92,995 (including shipping).

Interior

The interior of the LC500 is not covered by the package, but we think that the stock carbon fiber and Alcantara materials used inside the car will go well with the Liberty Walk body kit.

Engine

The engine remains in its factory configuration. As a recap, the LC500 is powered by a 5.0-liter V8 with 471 hp and 379 lb-ft of torque. Combined with a 10-speed automatic, it can go from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. Its top speed is capped at 168 mph.

2018 Honda Civic Type-R: It’s Not Only for Racing, It’s Also Practical

honda civic type-r

The 2018 Honda Civic Type-R is best known for its performance. It is the world’s fastest production front-wheel drive car today.

The hot hatch is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four engine. The unit produces 306 hp. The power goes to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. That allows the car to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds. Then, its top speed is electronically-locked at 170 mph.

The Civic Type-R exudes an air of aggressiveness, thanks to its extended front bumper complete with black mesh and lip spoiler, air intakes, side skirts, protruding rear bumper, rear wing, rear diffuser, triple exhaust pipes, and sports wheels.

Due to the mentioned factors, most buyers tend to overlook the practical side of the car. So here is a list of things that make the Civic Type-R ideal for every day driving:

1. Fuel Efficient

The hot hatch may not be Honda’s most fuel-efficient car out there. But its combined fuel-consumption is 22/28 mpg. According to TorqueNews, you can also fill it with your regular unleaded gasoline because of its engine’s low compression.

2. Its Manual Transmission is Easy to Use

Driving a manual may take away the convenience brought about by the ease of operation provided by automatic and CVT gearboxes. On the good side, an MT gives the driver a good feel of the vehicle’s power. That’s why most car purists prefer it.

The Civic Type-R’s MT is easy to learn. It has the always-on torque feature that makes shifting in city drives very minimal. In addition, the center display has indicators that help the driver determine when to shift gears.

3. Comfortable Interior

Despite the compact appearance of the Civic Type-R, it actually has a decent space in its cabin. The front has a total headroom of 39.3 inches and total legroom of 42.3 inches. The back offer an overall headroom and legroom of 37.4 inches and 35.9 inches, respectively. The rear seats can be folded to accommodate more of your haul from the grocery or your baggage.

The sports front seats possess that cozy feel in them. Then the center console has a 7.0-inch digital gauge cluster that manages the drive modes of the hatch as well as information on navigation, G-force meter, lap timer and shift lights.

Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon: The Fastest Wagon in the World

mercedes-amg e63 wagon (4)

The Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon is not your average family car. Beneath its luxurious exterior lies an engine with a performance that can beat even the likes of the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro.

Performance

According to Mercedes-Benz USA, the Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon is the fastest station wagon in the world. Beneath the hood of the car rests a handcrafted AMG 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine. The unit has an output of 603 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque at 2,500 to 4,500 rpm. The auto operates on a 4MATIC all-wheel drive configuration. Then, its power is distributed through an AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9-speed transmission that uses a wet clutch.

Putting the pedal to the metal will allow the Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon to reach 60 mph from a complete stop in just 3.4 seconds. That beats the acceleration of the Mustang and the Camaro. On the other hand, the maximum speed of the auto is electronically-capped at 180 mph.

Mercedes noted that when the car was tested by a journalist at the Nordschleife of the Nuerburgring track, it conquered the whole circuit with its lap time of 7:45.19.

Design

The Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon is the high-performance version of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon. Therefore, it has all the signature look of Mercedes’ midrange luxury vehicle such as the curvaceous corners, glossy finish and striking body lines. Its appeal is further highlighted by its improved stance, thanks to AMG’s suspension; jet wing-inspired front bumper complete with air intakes; rear diffuser; rear lip spoiler at the roofing; quad exhaust tips; and chrome horizontal grille with black vertical slats in the background.

The most noticeable part of the E63 S Wagon is its 12.3-inch digital display. The gauges also come in carbon fiber look to enhance the sporty elements of the car’s cockpit. Moreover, it has AMG Performance Seats and Steering Wheel as well as nappa leather surfaces.

Pricing

The Mercedes-AMG E63 S has a starting price of $106,950, excluding its $995 delivery and destination fees.

Self-Driving Cars: Are We Close to Getting Them?

The race to roll out the first road-worthy autonomous vehicle in the market continues. A lot of players have laid their cards in the competition with the goal of producing their entry in the segment by the start of the next decade. Let us take a look at how far the major players have gone in the development of self-driving cars.

Mercedes-Benz

mercedes-benz self-driving cars

Mercedes-Benz is very close to their goal of producing their first ever road-legal self-driving car. Most of the technologies that they are using now in their premium cars show semi-autonomous driving capabilities like auto-steering, auto-braking, lane assist, Pilot Parking, and many more.

The German brand also revealed the F015 Luxury in Motion concept car in 2015 which possesses full auto-driving features. Based on the press release of the company, the vehicle is electric-powered and it is equipped with a fully-digital interior that uses touchscreens coupled with smartphone integration. This enables the occupant of the car to set his or her destination conveniently. Then, the on-board sensors and computer of the auto will help identify obstacles along the way and safely maneuver itself during the trip.

A self-driving truck was presented by the German brand too back in 2014 called the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025. It successfully navigated itself on auto-pilot along the way.

Fast-forward in 2017, Mercedes launched the actual road test of its S-Class with self-driving tech at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The car just finished its testing in the public roads of Germany, China, Australia and South Africa. The last leg will be in the U.S. in time for CES in Vegas. However, the company seems to be hurdling with legal and regulatory issues concerning autonomous vehicles. The automaker estimates that they will be able to have their self-driving cars ready for consumers within a decade.

Waymo

waymo self-driving cars

Waymo stemmed from Google’s self-driving car project. They are aggressively developing their self-driving cars and the program has already accrued over 4 million miles of testing. The company successfully fitted their tech in a Chrysler Pacifica and some of them are now operating in Phoenix.

However, it is only confined within a certain geographical location because of its limited mapping data. Like Mercedes, their reach is roadblocked by legal elements.

Uber

uber self-driving cars

After its disruptive innovation relative to taxi services worldwide, the company is also dipping its hand in the self-driving car contest. It started its project early this year. So far, Uber in hot waters with the authorities in California according to Forbes because of the operation of its autonomous cars without a permit in San Francisco. They were recently sued by Waymo too for allegedly stealing trade secrets. Add to that the rollover accident it was involved in last March in Arizona.

Despite the mentioned hiccups, Uber is determined to push through with their self-driving car program. At present, they have accumulated 2 million miles in their testing and they are looking for another million mile early next year.

2019 BMW X7 Pre-production Begins

pre-production bmw x7 (1)

The pre-production models of the 2019 BMW X7 Sports Activity Vehicles are now being rolled out. The units are being made at the Spartanburg plant of the automaker in South Carolina, USA.

According to BMW Blog, the unveiling of the new BMW X7 is scheduled at the end of 2018. With that said, the auto will bear a 2019 model year.

pre-production bmw x7 (2)

The X7 is BMW’s largest SUV so far. All we have are the photos of the vehicle’s camouflaged pre-production version. The wrap comes in a crisscrossing black and white striped pattern which completely creates an optical illusion hiding the body lines of the auto. However, the exposed areas indicate that it will not have the same large windows shown in its concept form. Then, the sunroof appears to stretch from the first and second row seats of the unit while the rear takes a separate glass top. The X7’s production version is expected to carry over the same dual kidney chrome radiator grille and thin headlamps found in its concept version unveiled at the 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show in Germany.

The X7 will be assembled on the same facility that produces the X5 and X6 SUVs of BMW. There are no details yet about the unit’s pricing and mechanical specs.

pre-production bmw x7 (3)

It should be noted though that the auto is still subject to minor changes on its way to its production version. What we have here is merely a pre-production model and it does not reflect the final version of the SUV, which will be rolled out to customers.

When we say “pre-production vehicles”, it means these are products made after their prototypes or development mules, which are preceded by their concept versions. These are subject for thorough testing in order to find faults before the public sale of the new model commences.

1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe Transformed Into RS 2.7

1987 porsche 911 carrera (1)

Most Porsche lovers consider the 1973 911 Carrera RS 2.7 as the best 911 that ever came out. It was the first race car to be considered fit for use in public roads. The auto is very rare and getting one would cost you quite a fortune. So, if you’re looking for a more affordable alternative, you might want to take a look at the 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe sold by Bring a Trailer that has been modified to pay homage to the 1973 911 Carrera RS 2.7.

According to TheDrive, original 911 Carrera RS 2.7’s value right now is around half a million dollars. Five hundred initial units of the car were sold at the Paris Auto Show back in 1972. Therefore, aside from its expensive price tag, it is hard to find someone selling it at the present because not all of the 500 units survived the test of time.

On the other hand, the transformed 1987 911 Carrera Coupe, which now resembles the RS2.7, only costs $53,000. Among the changes introduced in the car include the new bumpers, lights, trim accessories and the ducktail spoiler. Then, the body of the auto was finished in Gulf Blue and was given “Carrera” decals to complete its facelift. To complete its exterior transformation, the vehicle received a 3.2-liter inline-six with a five-speed manual gearbox.

Inside, the 1987 unit had its surfaces replaced to accurately reflect the materials available in the 1973 period. The carpeting and houndstooth seats of the auto were from a 1973 Brumos Edition 911. Even the steering wheel, air conditioning and gauges were backdated.

Based on the documentation of the car, its chassis has logged a total of 122,000 miles. It has gained 2,719 miles in its gauge after the restoration procedure.

As seen in the pictures below, a great deal of detail was put into the transformation of the 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe to a 1973 911 Carrera RS 2.7 that it almost looks like the original thing already.

BMW 8 Series Reveals More With Thinner Camouflage

bmw 8 series (4)

We’ve been talking nonstop about this particular luxury coupe ever since BMW teased us mercilessly with the BMW 8 Series concept. Now, we can have a closer look at the 8 Series after the German company decided to fit it with new and thinner camouflage.

At first glance of the new BMW 8 Series spy shots, what we can tell is that the car will have a curvy and lean body, but it won’t be as aggressive as its concept version.

How The Front End Changed

Probably the biggest difference between the 8 Series concept and these spy photos is how the front of the coupe looks like. The concept showed a twin-kidney grille that sits low in the fascia, resulting to a dramatic drooping hood. The spy photos showed that the production version of the luxury coupe has a more conventional look with the grille downsized and raised up. The headlights are less squinty, the side vents in the lower fascia are toned down, the flanks on the sides are less curved, and the side vents are smaller.

What The Back End Looks Like

What remains from the concept is the long, gently sloping fastback roof. It trails into a subtle slope down the trunk lid. The difference comes in the form of a larger set of headlights on the production model rather than on the 8 Series concept. The tail is flatter, and lacks that sculpted masculinity shown on the concept. The exhaust outlets, which were integrated into the rear bumper (this was carried over), have been moved to the far corners.

When The 8 Series Finally Arrives

The production car for the 8 Series is supposed to arrive in 2020, though we’re expecting it to make its debut in 2019 because the concept was also shown a year earlier. Two other variants will be available—convertible and M variants. A racing version might be under development too.

3 Things Got Us Hyped About the Toyota Subcompact Urban Crossover

toyota ft-ac concept (3)

We’ve heard it again and again: Toyota, the Japanese carmaker, is planning on adding a small urban crossover SUV to its line. At the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, we saw the third preview of the vehicle in the form of the FT-AC Concept.

There is no coincidence in this after the Japanese automaker confirmed that it will bring something new to the market in the next years. Toyota Motor North America General Manager Jack Hollis said that the Japanese carmaker plans to have more than one vehicle in each segment, especially if they differ enough in features.

1. Subcompact Lineup Teases With Third Preview Of New Concept

The FT-AC Concept is the third time Toyota teased us with the concept for a new subcompact urban crossover. Currently, the Japanese automaker has a slew of subcompacts such as the C-HR, the compact RAV4, the midsize 4Runner, the full-size Highlander and Sequioa, and of course, the Land Cruiser. All of these are worlds apart in features, performance, and driving experience. The Land Cruiser remains at the top of the range.

2. Toyota Is Testing The Water With New Concepts

The FT-AC Concept may be the third one we have seen, but the earlier two concepts can hold a candle on their own. The FT-4X Concept and the TJ Cruiser Concept, as well as the third concept, the FT-AC, all have distinct characters and attitudes. Hollis said that this was specifically done to “test the waters in the market” and see the feedback from Toyota’s loyal followers.

3. New Concepts Will Have A New Platform

Many of the features of the three new concepts are different, but they will most probably share the same platform—the TNGA platform. This means that the new urban subcompact crossover will be a unibody vehicle instead of a hardcore body-on-frame vehicle. The size would be similar to the C-HR and powered by an inline-4. It will have a front-wheel-drive system, but it will also offer an option for an all-wheel drive.

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