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A case study in the failure of the CUV

The Bizarre Success of the BMW X6

The BMW X6 been around since 2007 and has found shockingly good sales success for BMW, even earning a refresh this year: all this, despite its inferior specs, a small interior, and the fact that it looks like it’s been whacked with the same ugly stick as the Pontiac Aztek. So how does the X6 manage to draw buyers?

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Jeep's radical departure pays off

In the 2015 Jeep Renegade, Very Different is Very Good

Jeep is an American automotive staple, but it hasn’t done anything radically new in, well…ever. This signature Jeep American-ness on four driven wheels now gets its biggest injection of originality in the form of the Italian-made, Fiat 500L-based 2015 Jeep Renegade.

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Crossovers to the dark side

Five Best Performance Crossovers

Crossovers have changed in the recent past; you no longer have to trade in your testicles and driving sense to drive one. Even the haters (car nuts) have been proven wrong now that more horses, better driving dynamics and sleeker silhouettes have shown up in performance-focused crossovers. Here are five that break hard from the pack of mediocre crossovers still stuck in the driver’s ed parking lot.

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Drive French, look French, eat cheese

Kit: Citroën DS

The Citroën DS automatically imputes coolness of a high order in a way a vintage Ferrari can’t. You’re somehow instantly scholarly, erudite and a wildman in the bedroom. Why is that? Well, the DS coveted in the same way the 1st edition of a classic novel is. The car isn’t deemed exotic, sporty or sexy in any conventional manner, but it’s no less desirable by virtue of its specialness. And that’s what the DS has in droves. For its time, it was the future of automobiles and it drove like nothing else.

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Some MMasterful, All MMagnificent

The BMW M3 Through the Generations

Over the decades, BMW’s iconic M3 has only grown in power, performance (and in most cases, weight), going from niche sports sedans to one of the most popular performance-focused automobiles in the industry. The best part? There are five generations of them, all with scintillating, unique details and the underlying similarities of greatness.

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Odds and Evens Make A Great Whole

Masters of the House: Driving the BMW M3 and M4

The slightly slick track at Wisconsin’s Road America has me wondering just how little effort it would take to spin the 425 hp German monster I’m driving. The truth is that the M4 I’m helming isn’t working nearly as hard as it can with its 425 hp (and more importantly) its 406 lb-ft of torque and shaved corpulence. 174 pounds. That’s the equivalent weight of two average male German Shepherds drooling on your fine leather sport seats and the same amount of poundage the new 2-door M4 has dropped over the M3 Coupe it replaces. But the all-new BMW M3 and M4 are so much more than more power and less fat.

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Does this weight make me look fat?

Is Luxury Killing The Sports Sedan?

From The Archives: Though the newer cars might be faster, safer and better appointed, they certainly don’t feel more agile or connected to the driver. In the name of technology, most sports sedans have lost a purity that once existed across the segment. And there’s virtually no end in sight.

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The Hillclimb is alive with the sound of motors

Photo Essay: Goodwood Festival of Speed

The Goodwood Festival of Speed is more than just a motoring event. It’s the product of one man’s passion for all things automotive, fueled by hundreds of thousands of the worshiping faithful. Lord March, as Charles Gordon-Lennox is called, took possession of the 12,000-acre Goodwood Estate in 1993 and almost immediately started the Festival in the name of bringing racing back to its traditional home in West Sussex. He’s effectively created a playground for both the annual event’s spectators and its drivers.

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Looking great at Goodwood

Kit: Goodwood Festival of Speed

When attending a British motoring event that’s held on the estate owned by someone named Lord March, you can’t just fly over the Atlantic with a day pack full of casual duds and a twin blade razor. We’ve put together a comprehensive kit that takes you from airport to hotel to track and back.

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More Horses, Same Stable

Max Out: Tips for Getting More Horsepower Out of Your Engine

So you’ve purchased your car of choice and remained within your diminutive budget, only to hope your routes are mostly downhill. You regularly scream, “I’m givin’ her all she’s got, Captain!” a la Montgomery Scott as you try to merge with freeway traffic but are passed by a Biggest Loser contestant on rollerblades. You’re in luck. There are ways to bring your car’s horsepower to levels higher than Tom Cruise’s vertical leap, and they don’t have to cost you a large fraction of your annual salary. Just remember one thing, young man: with great power comes great responsibility satisfaction.

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GP x Petrolicious

Kit: Facel Vega HK500

The Facel Vega isn’t a car everyone knows about, but it’s got presence like few other vintage cars. If you’re fortunate enough to park one of these muscular French beauties in your garage, you should be outfitted appropriately. That means dressed up, but not overly so — just like the Facel Vega whose rubber you’re about to roast.

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1.16 miles and 300 feet of elevation gain in (less than) one minute

Anatomy of the Goodwood Hillclimb

The annual Festival of Speed in West Sussex, England centers around a storied Hillclimb, which winds 1.16 miles through event founder Lord March’s private estate and rises 300 feet. Drivers — piloting any type of car, new or old, from sports cars to supercars to deft Formula 1 racers to Nascar stock car growlers — rip through the narrow course in under a minute.

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Italian roads, German wheels, American smiles

Coupe de Grace: Driving the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4Matic Coupe

The brand new Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4Matic Coupe answers the world’s plea for an enormously luxurious grand tourer. We tested its 577 horsepower on the twisty roads of Tuscany.

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No Compromise, Plenty of Style

Three New-Wave Hybrids That Emphasize Design (and Efficiency)

If you think the only thing about hybrids that’s advanced in the past decade or so is technology, think again. No longer the ugly stepchild of the automotive world, many hybrids have also arrived in the department of style and even take the kind of risks manufacturers wouldn’t dare impute to their gas-powered children. We’ve helmed three stylish hybrids that run the range of prices and designs. They’re all pleasing to the eye as well as to the environment and give us hope for the future: one without hybrids that look like lozenges on wheels.

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The Prius and Future King

Where Green is Going: The Future of the Hybrid Vehicle

Today, hybrids have become a very real alternative to conventional gas-powered combustion engine cars. But it’s not all flowers, Pikachu, and future decades of booming hybrid sales. The auto industry seems to have a different, more nuanced version of what the future of environmentally minded cars actually looks like. We examine.

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Captain Planet approved. Sort of.

The Supercar is Being Perfected — as a Hybrid

From the Archives: The Porsche 918, the McLaren P1 and the Ferrari LaFerrari are still all about superlatives — fastest, best handling, most exotic. But they also repurpose the latest technology to maximize the “dear lord” factor. They’re redefining excess, not stamping it out.

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Goodwood, 3:30 p.m

Postcard: Fumes of Motoring Past and Present

Standing here in a small crowd of automotive devotees at the top of the Hill Climb at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, it’s a privilege to breathe in the fumes of motoring past and present as historic cars and motorcycles whiz past in all their glory.

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Affordable Ways to Your Fuel-Lovin' Heart

Cheap Thrills: 10 Bargain Driver’s Cars

Your buddy’s Rosso Corsa Red Ferrari makes your blood boil with envy. Unfortunately, your better half won’t let you mortgage the house so you can buy one yourself. Though they may not have the prancing horse on the grille or elicit gazes from the bold and the beautiful, these 10 affordable driver’s cars still delight with great driving dynamics and the kind of motoring spirit that makes you feel like a kid again.

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A German grand tourer requires grand style

Kit: Mercedes-Benz 280 SL “Pagoda”

You’re the guy who gets respect the subtle way. You don’t demand it; you’re not the showy type. It’s also how you choose your cars, which is why you’ll drive the 280 SL “Pagoda”. It’s elegant and beautiful without barking for attention — an under-the-radar grand tourer that looks just as good parked at the hunting club as it does at the finest restaurant in town. Our kit for this gentleman’s car will keep you stylish, comfortable and classic…just like the vehicle you’ve chosen for your stable.

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...Finally

Lincoln’s 2015 MKC Fights the Good Fight, and Wins

Lincoln’s new MKC crossover is a stunning success — and the brand couldn’t have needed it more.

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Two if by land, two if by sea

Breakdown: Gibbs Quadski XL

You’re the kind of guy who hates two things: wasting time and not getting enough attention. You also have a passion for both watersports and getting hugged from behind by a gleefully screaming passenger. The brand new Gibbs Quadski XL is the morphing amphibious vehicle for you, changing from watercraft to rear-wheel-drive ATV with the push of a button. We break down its features.

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Elbow grease optional

Kit: Automotive DIY Done Right

Winter has the propensity to put a hurtin’ on your car, but those cold memories can easily be replaced with the right kind of DIY TLC. You don’t have to be the third member of Car Talk to find success in the confines of your own home garage — you just need the right tools and gear. (OK, and maybe a few tips from Tom and Ray won’t hurt.) The Home Depot is the place to get prepped for your home-mechanic needs.

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The second time's the charm

Bentley’s New SUV Could Be a Best Seller

It’s a fact: Bentley plans to release an SUV in the near future. Here’s everything we currently know about the car, its effect on the brand and what it needs to be successful.

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Big tires, big ambitions

Want This, Get This: 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport or 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk

It used to be a well-known truth: getting an SUV that conquered the rough-and-tumble of off-roading and had good driving dynamics on the road was a holy grail, like marrying a woman with the physique of Lolo Jones and the brains of Marie Curie. Nowadays, that vehicular combination is no longer as elusive as you think. What you get in both the 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport and the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk are excellent on-road manners and the kind of off-road chops that will have herds of mountain goats bowing in respect. You just have to decide how much you plan on doling out.

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Glory days on the road

Kit: Mustang Fastback

If you’re fortunate enough to possess a Mustang Fastback — one of the grandaddies of the American muscle car — you know the respect and admiration it garners from car lovers to kids. It’s Americana on four wheels. That sort of red, white and blue clout requires a driver to pull off an homage to American style without resorting to a pair of Ol’ Glory lined cutoff jeans. Here, we line up the right kit (light on the actual stars and stripes pattern) you need to get it right.

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Jurassic Park(ing)

Behind The Wheel: Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

From the Archives: After twelve generations of model updates, the Ford SVT Raptor is arguably the most tenacious version of the Blue oval’s numerous F-150 iterations. Truly testing this machine called for something more than a few days piddling around Los Angeles, so when when we were invited to go attend the one-day Raptor Assault School at Miller Motorsports Park in the wide open Utah countryside we moved quicker than a rattle snake on the floor of a country line dance.

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The unkindest cut

From Bachelor to Family Man: Choosing the Next Car

After the journey from single man to husband and father, choosing a new car involves more than just driving passions. Life has become more pragmatic. How does one choose?

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Utter Beauty and Supreme Brawn

Film: Proving the Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 at Ascari

The four fat rubber circles that attach both you and the Huracán to the road were chosen to be worked very, very hard. So were the 601 horses that shriek from its 5.2-liter V10 power plant. There’s an extra incentive behind each of these Italian supercar’s facets: it’s not enough for this car to move like Usain Bolt or look like Elisabetta Canalis. The Huracán is Sant’Agata’s replacement for the monumentally successful Gallardo (huge shoes to fill) and frankly, it makes its predecessor seem rough and antiquated — even a bit homely. The mechanical shaming of the Gallarod tells you just about everything you need to know about the Huracán. It’s next-generation Lamborghini.

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Be the country gentleman

Land Rover Series 1 Kit

Driving the iconic, century-old Land Rover Series 1 warrants a look that is 100 percent country — so you’d be best suited for some rugged but still classy gear that’s ready for the great outdoors. We’ve put together a kit that will have you looking almost as safari-slick as Robert Redford in Out of Africa. Almost.

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BMW's best driver's car

In the BMW M235i, New Hope for BMW Drivers

As good as BMWs typically are, they’ve lost some of their deft and agile performance in recent years. The 135i and the 1 M, released in 2008 and 2011, respectively, certainly did their share to make amends for past wrongs. But the new M235i does more than just try to make peace with the former BMW faithful. It’s a whole new step in the right direction.