Subaru Viziv 2 presages Tribeca replacement with diesel hybrid tech

Subaru-Viziv-2Subaru is in the middle of a new product bonanza. It has recent replacements for the Impreza and Forester at dealers, and soon we’re getting the WRX, Legacy and if rumors are right the new Outback as well. Now, there are rumblings that there could be two more models from the Japanese brand on the way with styling inspired by the Viziv 2 concept from the Geneva Motor Show.

According to a company insider speaking with Motor Trend, the crossover concept shows the way for the brand’s future design language. The shape would be used on a smaller CUV that is still being kept quite secret, and a second, larger one that would replace the recently axed Tribeca. The bigger model is the first priority and is planned as a new technology showcase.

It’s rumored to use a turbodiesel, four-cylinder boxer engine that would be boosted with one electric motor on the front axle and two at the rear, with a plug-in hybrid system sourced from Toyota. It should provide a great mix of torque and fuel economy. A smaller flat-six engine would be a second powertrain option. Though the Viziv 2 concept only seats four, the production version would probably offer three rows. read more »

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BMW releases complete pricing info on M3 and M4

2015-bmw-m4-coupe-000-1When BMW unveiled the M3 and M4 at the Detroit Auto Show back in January, we told you that the new sportsters were starting at $62,000 and $64,200, respectively. That leaked info, though, only told a small part of the story for the new M cars. Now, we have the complete pricing sheet on the new coupe and sedan, direct from BMW.

The pricing intel that we had at the time was correct – prices start at $62,000 for four doors and $64,200 for two. Those prices don’t include the $925 destination charge. Potential customers should also plan on spending an extra $550, as seven of the eight paint options are of the metallic variety. BMW’s trademark Alpine White is the only no-cost paint option.

As for the cabin, customers will, interestingly, have the choice of a cloth/leather combination as standard. That’s in addition to the standard suite of leather options. There are also extended leather and full leather options, for $950 and $3,500, respectively. There are three option packages available, covering all the extra goodies for the M3 and M4. read more »

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Ford F-150, Toyota Tacoma top ASG list of most eco-friendly trucks

fordf150No one’s going to confuse the massively popular Ford F-150 pickup truck with a green vehicle, but at least it performs well in an environmental sense when compared to its brethren. The Automotive Science Group (ASG) took on the odd (to us, at least) task of measuring which pickup trucks are friendliest to the environment and found that the big seller in the Blue Oval’s flagship F-series came up big, while the Toyota Tacoma came up, well, slightly smaller. That’s a good thing.

Among the 245 light-duty trucks that ASG studied, the 3.7-liter V6-powered F-150 won ASG’s award for full-size trucks for both regular and crew cabs. Meanwhile, the 2.7-liter Toyota Tacoma, with its fuel-economy rating of 23 miles per gallon combined, had smallest overall life-cycle carbon footprint and won ASG’s two mid-sized categories. Finally, the Chevrolet Silverado won best all-around performance in the full-size extended-cab category. The ASG factored in eco-friendliness, price and social performance (which is measured by, “considering the rights of those charged with vehicle manufacture and assembly”) to come up with its findings. read more »

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Mitsubishi ready to pull Evo’s plug

03-2013-mitsubishi-lancer-evo-x-reviewWe have all manner of unofficial metrics in the auto industry. No doubt you’ve heard some of them, like the butt dyno. Another popular measure is the smiles-per-dollar index – how entertaining is a car versus its price. Cars like the Mazda MX-5 Miata, Scion FR-S and Mini Cooper S, for example, score quite highly, while vehicles like the BMW M5 or Audi RS7 are great to drive, but score lower because of their much higher price tags. For a long time, the king of the smiles-per-dollar index was arguably the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, which blended hair-raising thrills for the price of a well-equipped Ford Fusion Titanium.

Now, it looks like the Evo will need to hand over its title, as this generation of the rally-derived rocket is likely to be Mitsubishi’s last – at least for a while. There’s been no mention of just when production of the current car will end, so if you’re in the market, we’d suggest trying to find a dealer with inventory ASAP. The news comes from the automaker’s Japanese mothership, which says the brand will instead focus on utility vehicles and EVs. While there are no direct plans for a successor, an Evo XI as it were, the door remains open for a different kind of beast, according to Mitsubishi. read more »

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2014 Ducati Monster 1200 S

2014-ducati-monster-1200-s-frThe Ducati Monster 1200 S has the power-to-weight ratio of a Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse and the contact patch of a playing card. I’m elbows deep into leaning this pulsing, growling, screaming red animal across a one-lane hairpin on the edge of a volcanic island, when a sequence of questions flit through my mind: What if I hit a patch of gravel? What if a car rounds the corner and barrels toward me? What if I overcook the bend and somersault down the mountain, followed by a tumbling 461-pound bike?

Though these thoughts occur to every motorcyclist, they’re less toxic than one might think aboard the latest naked bike from Ducati.

The Monster barks in anger when its massive, 145-horsepower L-twin fires up, and its distinct lack of bodywork lends its mechanical entrails a fascinating – if somewhat grizzly­ – presence. There’s the pretty (Brembo monoblocs, TiN-coated Öhlins shocks, an aluminum single-sided swing arm), the ugly (cooling hoses, sloppy wiring, and an ill-fitting radiator shroud), and the optically clever (twin exhaust silencers of subtly staggered proportions, an LED-illuminated license plate mounted on a rear hugger). But despite all this visual and visceral data, the bike’s electronics systems have a sneaky way of taming this two-wheeled read more »

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A look at the most expensive Land Rover ever produced

article-2477960-1906E10000000578-987_634x343After a more luxurious ride and have some cash to spend? Then you’re in luck, with the latest Range Rover being unveiled as the most expensive ever made!

Setting you back £140,000, the latest Autobiography Black is set to be released in August 2014 and is aiming for a core market of the superrich and ultra-stylish, cornering a demographic that’s already been known to favour the Land Rover for glitzy film premieres and a smooth, sleek driving experience.

And, with the most expensive Land Rover for sale, those with the cash to afford it can’t go wrong, with the vehicle offering an array of luxury features that will make any driver feel like a VIP. read more »

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PROTON Satria Neo R3

proton-r3-satriaPROTON just announced that they are upgrading their Satria R3 model released in 2004 (only 150 units) and the new street-legal Satria Neo R3 is going to be available. The specs are pretty good.

It uses a normally aspired 1.6-liter engine with power hiking to 100kW/ 135 bhp and torque at 164 Nm while the main focus is on dynamic handling to offer a “controlled yet exciting driving experience”.

The new PROTON Satria Neo R3 is coming in Incognito Black, with 17-inch tires, has a lowered suspension and a better braking system, Recaro seats and a MOMO steering wheel. Isn’t that enough for the €15,000 price ?

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clip_image005Hummer? What hummer!? That car which consumes a lot of fuel and is uncomfortable? No. The ones from Conquestcars had something different in their mind, they made a very comfortable car ready for anything, and when I say anything I mean it! For the beginning will only be built 100 cars like this

The car is built manually, a single model requiring 1500 hours for being finished. Conquest VX Knight is inspired after the Gurcka military cars, and is based on a modified Ford super-duty chassis as to meet the … military requirements.

Bullets and grenades aren’t a problem for this car, having a body made of strength steel, spoilers made of fiber glass and 64 mm thick bullet-proof windows. It weights 4,5 tons and the special run-flat Michey Thompson tires won’t make any problems to the car if perforated.What about the luxury, you may ask. read more »


Wald International takes on Rolls, Porsche, Jaguar, BMW and Infiniti… all at the same time

web630wald-international-porsche-panamera-Tuners typically roll out one package at a time. When a big tuner show like SEMA comes around, maybe a couple at a time. But Japanese tuning firm Wald International is launching five body kits for some of the most desirable top-of-the-line luxury sedans, all at the same time.

Included in Wald’s plans are aero kits for the Rolls-Royce Ghost, Porsche Panamera, Infiniti M, Jaguar XJ and BMW 7 Series. Throw in a Quattroporte, Mercedes CLS, maybe a Bentley and the Aston Martin Rapide in there and they’d have the whole kit and kaboodle covered.

Not much in the way of details available as of yet on this quintet of modified luxury wheels, but from the looks of it, each has been lowered and mounted with new front fascias, side skirts and big ol’ alloys. Check ‘em out for yourself below.

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Romania’s answer to the Hummer prepares for the end of the world

32678b7b-0d84-4a88-8376-3c892a703acf_ghe-o_rescue_630We live in a world where natural and man-made disasters run rampant.

I’m not talking about Congress alone; from large-scale events such as typhoons and earthquakes, to localized disasters like house fires and flooding, the morning news often arrives filled with calamities.

But we needn’t worry: Romania has the answer. And it comes in the form of a gigantic Hummer-like machine that can withstand anything the hand of God can cast. read more »