Volkswagen XL Sport Concept Shocks Paris Motor Show

Ryan ZumMallen on

The days of completely unexpected concepts knocking everyone off their feet at auto shows are apparently back, as Volkswagen debuted their new XL Sport concept sports car at the Paris Motor Show today. What makes it so shocking?

The XL Sport is a performance version of the super-efficient Volkswagen XL1 that uses extreme aero and an 800cc hybrid-diesel engine to achieve over 250 MPG. Instead of that powertrain, VW tossed a Ducati Superleggera V2 two-cylinder motorcycle engine inside the XL Sport. Now armed with 197 horsepower, the XL Sport could do as much as 167 mph, all while looking like a Nissan GT-R took a grip 50 years into the future. more

2015 Honda CR-V Updated With Fresh Look, Direct Injection

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It’s Put Up or Shut Up time in the affordable crossover market, and the Honda CR-V has been making it rain for a long time now. The CR-V continues to garner critical acclaims and has one of the best brand loyalty ratings in the industry. For 2015, Honda re-tooled the crossover with several significant improvements.

Most apparent are the new design, with a chromed lower lip and front fascia that greater resembles the rest of the Honda family, and the new powertrain. Honda has added direct injection to the Earth Dreams Technology 2.4L i-VTEC four-cylinder engine, and replaced an aging five-speed automatic transmission with a CVT. The result is quicker power and better fuel efficiency. Did you hear RAV-4s and Escapes collectively groaning off in the distance? more

Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 Appreciation

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Mercedes-Benz has forever been the de facto leader in luxury automobiles, with a reputation established on uncompromising cars like the 300SEL 6.3 from way back in 1969. One of the original Super Sedans, the 300 SEL 6.3 was designed as much for comfort as it was for sport.

For years, Mercedes put ungodly amounts of effort into research and development of their luxury flagships, with German precision going into each and every detail of a car. Starting in the early 60s, the company was busy building the 600-Class limousines, a favorite among the ultra wealthy, including a number of iron-fisted dictators. In 1968, the company decided to drop the powerful V8 from the 600 into the S-Class body, and thus the 300 SEL 6.3 was born. more

2015 Ford F-150 Configurator: Building the Perfect Truck

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The configurator for Ford’s aluminum F-150 is live (here), allowing shoppers a chance to assemble their dream truck before they hit dealer showrooms. There are countless trim levels and options to choose from, and few trucks will be identical.

From the ground up, the 2015 F-150 promises to be a completely new and improved truck, but how would you build yours? After poking around the configurator for a while, here’s my take on the truck. more

McLaren 625C Aimed at Emerging Asian Market
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Asia’s booming economy has been putting money into the pockets of businessmen, who will get the opportunity to buy one of the most comfortable sports cars on the market: the new McLaren 625C. Based on the popular 650S, the 625C has been designed specifically for Asian buyers.

Seeing as how the financial hubs of Asia are often bustling with people going to and from work, the new McLaren has lost some horsepower compared to its international sibling. Power drops to 616 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque, a humble downgrade from the 650S. The ‘C’ in its name stands for Club, and the club of McLaren owners overseas will surely grow with the introduction of the 625C. more

This Weekend in Car Videos: Subaru WRX vs. Ford Fiesta ST
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WRX vs Fiesta ST autocross, off-road at the Mint 400, and a GT convertible showdown. What were some of the best car videos from this past weekend? Find out here. more

Who Will Win 2015 Car and Truck of the Year?
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The end of the year is quickly approaching, which means two things in the automotive industry: Car show season, and awards season. One is about the promise of the future, and one is about judging the brand new. Today, let’s take a look at the potential winners of one of the most coveted awards around.

Journalists from all over will soon cast their votes for the 2015 North American Car and Truck of the Year, and this year the field is particularly deep. There are brand new models hitting the market for the first time, some of them blurring the lines between traditional segments and others promising to really shake up the industry. There are also new versions of some of the most iconic vehicles ever made. Who do you think should win? more

Motorsports Monday: Audi and Ekstrom Finally Claim DTM Win
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DTM – DTM at Zandvoort: It took them until the second to last race of the year, but Audi and Mattias Ekstrom finally stood atop the podium of a DTM race in 2014 aftr a convincing win at Zandvoort over the weekend.

With Marco Wittman already crowned series champion, two-time champion Ekstrom found himself out of contention earlier than usual this season. That also meant that at Zandvoort, he really had nothing to lose. Ekstrom responded with a fantastic drive in his RS5 DTM, avoiding contact that claimed many other drivers, and avoiding pursuit from Ekstrom, to take the win. more

Road Test: The Brilliant Imperfection of the Alfa Romeo 4C
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If you dart around a favorite twisting back road in the Alfa Romeo 4C, prepare to be overwhelmed by the stunning orchestra that is pumped out of the engine – not only from behind your head, but all around you. An ever-present exhaust growl rises up through the floor, turbocharger whine pierces the afternoon air and downshift pops bounce off canyon walls. Satisfied and in need of respite, I rolled the windows back up.

Wrong move. This is a car that has never heard the term “inside voice.” Through the glass window just behind your head sits a 1.75L four-cylinder engine with direct injection, variable valve timing and turbocharger boasting up to 21.75 psi of boost. Now that you’ve walled yourself in with it, the engine shouts even louder. The wastegate releases air in flooding whooshes, putting all 237 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft of torque to the rear wheels as the 4C expertly leaves yet another apex in its wake. On second thought, maybe it wasn't such a bad move after all. more

Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid to Debut in Paris
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Porsche will bring a trio of plug-in hybrids to this year’s Paris Motor Show, including the new Cayenne S E-Hybrid, the latest in the company’s hybrid offerings. Sitting alongside the Panamera S E-Hybrid and the 918 Spyder hybrid supercar, the Cayenne S E-Hybrid will make its official debut on October 2 in Paris.

The 918 Spyder will still get the bulk of the attention at the upcoming Paris Motor Show, but the Cayenne S E-Hybrid will be the most important reveal. Since its controversial introduction into the SUV market over a decade ago, the Cayenne has become a massive success for Porsche, with over half a million units sold so far. With sales continuing to increase, the company has kept up with the times, designing and releasing a full model lineup of the Cayenne, soon to include a plug-in hybrid variant. more

2015 Toyota Tundra Bass Pro Edition Announced
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Toyota has partnered with Bass Pro Shops to build a Tundra exclusively for the Gulf States, a region with a known penchant for the pickup truck. Unveiled at the 2014 State Fair of Texas, the truck will come with a unique package of options specifically designed with active lifestyles in mind.

Designed for the Gulf States (Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas), the Tundra Bass Pro Edition will be sold exclusively in the region. Surprisingly, the truck was actually designed with restraint, lacking any over-the-top features generally associated with Southern pickup trucks. There are no 5-inch exhaust stacks and no shotgun racks, only enough features to actually warrant its off road badging. more

Mercedes-AMG C63 Offers Up to 503 Horsepower
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The newest Mercedes-Benz C63’s engine, despite having 2 liters less displacement, will make up to 503 horsepower, making far more powerful than the car it is set to replace. Anyone who misses the old naturally aspirated 6.3 liter V8 will soon be won over by a rush of power from the new engines and improved chassis of the C63.

Following the naming trend of the Mercedes-AMG GT, the new sedan will not technically be a Mercedes-Benz, but rather the Mercedes-AMG C63. The base C63’s output rises to 469 horsepower, while the C63 S boasts 503 horsepower. more

2015 Chevrolet Colorado Sport Concept Unveiled
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Chevrolet revealed its Colorado Sport Concept vehicle at the State Fair of Texas, a truck built for the rugged outdoorsman. The midsize truck concept features all of the latest equipment designed to handle all the gear needed for a weekend getaway, with places to hold things like kayaks and mountain bikes.

Designed as an alternative to bigger, fullsize trucks, the Colorado Sport Concept will offer all the same thrills and capability in a more compact package. The standard Colorado features an efficient 2.5 liter, 200-horsepower inline-four offering up to 27 MPG highway, while the optional 3.6 liter V6 will boast 305 horsepower, enough to tow up to 7,000 lbs. more

Incentives To Watch: 2014 Fiat 500
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Automakers offer incentives on different models for a variety of reasons, but the one surrounding the 2014 Fiat 500 is the oldest one in the book: the car isn’t selling. For FCA, that’s bad news. For potential buyers, it’s great news.

FCA is offering between $2,500-4,000 back and between 0-1.9-percent financing on the 2014 500. The open-top 500C is available with up to $4,500 back and the same financing. If you’ve been thinking about taking the plunge on the charismatic little coupe, now might be time to take a closer look. more