Though most movies don’t cause the viewer to think about camera angles, lighting or color tone, there are some (Star Trek, Eagle Eye, Fast & Furious) with sequences and scenes that leave you wondering “How the hell did they shoot that?” This is how the hell: Chase Car Inc. We had a chance to check out their matte-black, modded out Porsche Panamera Turbo, replete with a full camera crane. Needless to say, we smiled for the camera.
Million Dollar Baby (maker)
S is for Sexy
We want everything — always. That’s the American way. We want our gourmet burger with egg, parmesan crust and arugula, our clothes to fit well, be cheap and last forever; we want to marry the veritable hot girl who drinks beer… craft beer… at a football game. Audi’s answer to this consumer desire to have it all(ish) is the S7 ($79,000+). Despite the A7′s success, rumor has it (thanks, Adele) the performance division of Audi wasn’t satisfied yet — so they snuck into the garage one fateful night and replaced the standard 310 hp V6 turbo with a 420 hp 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. The S7 emerged.
King of the hill and vale
The remote West is a far cry from where most modern SUVs claim their stomping grounds, but it’s exactly where we found ourselves recently. Utah’s desert landscape isn’t what you’d call sparse, as far as scenery is concerned. Sedimentary rock formations that range from the utterly massive to the small and bizarre are scattered as far as the eye can see, peppered by small patches of remnant snow and capped by the beautiful winter desert sky. But this is where we tested the 2013 Range Rover — and the car felt right at home.
Stay frosty, stay smart
Winter’s that time of year when dead Christmas trees tend to litter the neighborhood landscape, you don’t see your neighbors for weeks on end and countless pounds are added to the collective American waistline. But don’t forget the pains of winter driving — the wheelspin, the snow-induced oversteer and the eye-searing whiteout conditions that make you lose sight of just about everything. Though you can’t avoid it all, you can certainly learn some basic skills that should help you stay shiny side up and clear of the local towing company.
Your view, starting at $1000
Entertaining fantastical pipe dreams has always been a fun diversion for us, like that time we thought it would be cool to go to law school because, “I don’t know what else to do with my life” (which is apparently what educational sadomasochists are apt to say). Or thinking we might one day have stacks…
The History of America's Greatest Sports Car
Your loyalties may lie with other sports car brands, but the Corvette garners respect from all automotive circles for its remarkable capabilities, especially in light of its price. The Corvette is truly an American automotive icon and easily qualifies as America’s supercar, though it didn’t always boast the performance numbers of today. For at least the past three generations, it has been widely considered a bargain, as far as supercars go — with the speed, handling and track chops to make cars costing three times more quake in their brake shoes. Follow the Corvette as we detail its humble C1 inception to its modern automotive exotica in the recently released C7.
Mash the throttle, hold on and smile
As happy as we are to see a smorgasbord of automotive selections at the Detroit Auto Show this year, our pulses raced especially fast for sports cars. But even the definition of a sports car has changed. They don’t always have two doors anymore, and they may never even set tire on a track. But some things never change; what they still can do (at least the good ones) is perform and put a crick in your neck from looking too hard. Here are some of our favorites from NAIAS 2013.
Trucks. Sure, they’re unnecessary for most of the population, borderline politically incorrect in some circles, and sort of an unnatural presence in the average, mostly-urban lifestyle. But we can’t stop loving pickups. The pickup is about as American as it gets, and until your cute little crossover can haul a boat and a couch simultaneously — in the snow — we’re quite content to keep ‘em around, thanks. This year’s new models all showcase a lot of brawn, and even toss in a bit of green to go with it
Great, in concept
As nearly every auto show evidences, status quo just doesn’t cut it — and concept cars, as crazy as they can sometimes be, give us a glimpse into the realm of automotive possibility. The concepts of NAIAS 2013 were no exception. Some were radical new designs for existing models and others are new to the…
Fun Per Gallon
If a hybrid vehicle is what you seek, there are two ends of the spectrum. On the left: the Toyota Prius, sipping fuel at 51mpg through an uninspiring 98 hp engine for $24K. On the right: the Porsche Panamera S Hybrid, which will run you close to $100k, with an “is-this-really-a-hybrid” 22mpg due to its…
Bold moves from the Blue Oval
And you thought trucks were just a waste of space and gas. The urban cowboy in us says otherwise, as does Ford, with their newly announced Ford Atlas Concept, a bold new face in the pickup truck race. Looking like an angry four-wheeled bank vault, the Atlas shows us what the next generation F-150 could…
We ain't complainin'
Though completely redesigned, the new 2014 Acura MDX 7-passenger crossover, slated to go on sale in mid-2013, isn’t exactly unfamiliar. Gone is the arrowhead-sharp front clip of yore in favor of a more brand-cohesive, sweeping profile. A warmed-over version of Honda’s 3.5-liter V6 stays on board, this time with more torque and higher efficiency. For…
Guilty as charged
Given its lineage, we probably wouldn’t refer to it as a true “driver’s car”, but the completely new, super-aerodynamic Cadillac ELR 2+2 sure looks the part. That its design is edgy, futuristic, and alludes to strong momentum is no surprise given Cadillac’s direction as of late (and because we’ve told you about it before), but…
Roads? Who needs roads?
Sand people rejoice. The Mopar Customized Jeep Wrangler Sand Trooper, originally introduced at SEMA last year, made a prominent appearance at NAIAS today. The beast marks the inception of the off-road division of Mopar and does so with beefy presence. With tires big enough to to float a barge, the Sand Trooper is the kind…
Blue in Green
Some concepts barely qualify as concepts because they’re so close to what appears to be a production version. You can tell by the absence of both tiny side mirrors and manhole-cover-sized wheels. And that’s exactly what we find in the handsome new Volkswagen Crossblue Concept. Intended for families, it slots above the Touareg with three-row…
E-Class is in session
Opting for the standard 2014 E-Class coupe, sedan, convertible or wagon gets you the new grill, hood and lights (along with a serious list of safety features) for a streamlined Optimus Prime look to the front as well as the put-a-drink-on-it wide and flat backside. But because we all need a little more-cedes in our…
From the C7th Circle of Hell
The Bowtie has pulled the wraps off its pride and joy, the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, and the result is impressive: design language is evocative of past Corvettes, while embarking on a more aggressive, more sophisticated look.
You can just about stop coveting the pricey Mercedes-Benz CLS and start picking the color of your 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class sedan. Based on the edgy A-Class hatchback, the CLA sedan is an entry-level Merc that looks far more expensive than it is. Boasting an incredible 0.22 drag coefficient, it’s the most aerodynamic production car…
Accountants in search of flair, take note.
The original Hyundai Azera wasn’t exactly sure what it wanted to be, despite Hyundai’s goal of slotting it between the Sonata and Genesis sedans. The placement made sense, given the huge gap in pricing between the two aforementioned cars. And though the Azera was a practical bargain with its roomy interior and V6 engine, it…
It IS here.
The wraps have just come off the 2014 Lexus IS before its official unveiling at the Detroit Auto Show, and the redesign effort has definitely not been wasted. More sculpted and aggressive than the car it replaces, the new IS sports the trademark spindle grille currently found on the LS, GS and ES. The fat…
Chirp all four
Crossovers are here to stay, so we’re happy to welcome ones that get our blood racing. The soon-to-be-released 2014 Audi SQ5 is just such a heart thumper. The SQ5′s rather robust 3.0-liter V6 TFSI engine has an output of 354 horsepower and 347 lb-ft of torque — more than in the S4 or S5. It’ll…
Give up in doors, gain in image
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan is sharp, but it just might be upstaged by the sportier-looking 2014 E-Class coupe. A huge grille and massive air intakes on the fascia set this two-door apart from its big brother. The coupe also retains a previous E-Class design — large haunches over the rear wheels — which is…
Time to print some rocks
Ah, those childhood days when you turned your parents’ kitchen table into your Revell model building station. But now you’ve got a job, and your own kids, who care more about their smartphones than about creating fine small-scale automotive replicas. Do yourself a favor and take back your inner maker with Papercruiser foldable PDF models ($3-$7).
More dignified than a Zipcar
If the tumble off the fiscal cliff should ever occur, you can blame it for everything from your thin wallet to your kid’s meager college savings account. Another unwelcomed consequence of our current financial disrepair? Motorcycle riding isn’t purely for fun anymore — more and more people are opting for two wheels to save some coin at the pump. The 2013 Honda NC700X is evidence of that change — but in this case, it’s change we can get behind.
The niche Italian supercar known as the Evantra impressed us when it launched two years ago boasting a flat six engine with 600 horsepower in the turbo model and a 0-60 time of around three and-a-half seconds. But that’s nothing compared to the 2013 7.0-liter V8 Mazzanti Evantra, which billows out a kidney-crushing 700 horsepower…
Beauty of the Beast
It’s high time your Cats of the World coffee table book got moved to its rightful place… storage. In its place, lay down something your friends won’t mock you about: The Porsche 911 Book 50th Anniversary Edition. With 304 pages and 250 stunning color photographs shot by automotive photographer René Staud, the book covers the…
Not just another cushy ride
Lexus, once the darling of middle-aged Asian-American women everywhere, is focusing more nowadays on driving experience as opposed to driving you to boredom. Lexus has also revised their design language to be more edgy, adventurous and sporty in appearance — relatively speaking, of course. What they’ve wrought is more than just a new brand-identifiable spindle grille, and it’s a change in the right direction. We’ve been tracking Lexus all year and even got in some track time in their new GS sporty sedan earlier this year; we came away impressed.
We love the rip-roaring sound of a Bentley with the top down, and if you mate it with the locomotive torque of a monster W12 engine, everyone’s happy. This is exactly what you get with the 2013 Bentley Continental GT Speed Convertible. 616 horses, 590 lb ft and 0-60 in about 4 very fast seconds….
Porsche's finally done it.
Previous Boxster owners were largely perceived as the type of people Ron Swanson might hate — pastel wearing, shoulder sweater draping, Mediocre University Honors graduates who yearned for the 911 Cabrio but either couldn’t afford it or couldn’t muster the skills. Of course, it was a Porsche, so it drove well and handled well, but aside from the S model, it seemed to lack that Stuttgart Blitzkrieg-like power that Porsche drivers expect. So with this new generation of the German roadster, Porsche decided to make it worthy of her pedigree.
Ugly no more
If Gumpert vehicles were as homely as their name, they might look something like this, but lucky for us, the German manufacturer makes some of the fastest and best handling supercars in the world and thankfully survived insolvency this past summer. Based on photos of their next design, the Gumpert Tornante, it looks like all…