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2017 Audi A5 Convertible

Audi’s new compact coupe loses its top to go against the 4 Series and C-Class convertibles

The second-generation Audi A5 was unveiled in 2016, nearly ten years after the sporty coupe arrived on the market to replace the 90 model. Designed around the A4 sedan, which broke cover in 2015, the new A5 gained more angular body lines, a "Singleframe" grille that’s wider and flatter than before, a modern interior with Audi’s new "continuous air vent strip" design, and a revised engine lineup.

2015 was quite a busy year for Audi, with the Germans launching the Q7, A4 and R8, and 2016 turned out to be just as crowded, with at least as many new vehicles from the Ingolstadt-based company. One such model is the A5 Convertible, which broke cover in early November after many months of testing with camouflaged bodies. Overhauled in order to give the BMW 4 Series Convertible and the brand-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Convertible a run for their money, the A5 drop-top is almost identical to the coupe aside from the soft-top and additional chassis and body reinforcement.

Audi’s new design language, classy interiors, and updated drivetrains should at least make the new A5 a strong competitor in this crowded niche, while the lighter weight and underpinnings make the convertible quicker and more nimble than the previous model. Find out more about all that in my detailed review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Audi A5 Convertible.

There once was a time when the Dodge Viper SRT-10 ACR reigned supreme at the Nürburgring with a lap time of 7:12.13. A number of cars have since eclipsed the Viper ACR’s lap time but there is belief within Viper circles that the 645-horsepower, 2016 Viper ACR could make a serious run at the Porsche 918 Spyder’s existing record of 6:57:00. Unfortunately, Dodge doesn’t appear to be interested in bringing the sports car back to the ‘Ring, so a group of Viper owners is taking the matter into its own hands with plans to raise enough money to send the 2016 Viper ACR to the Nürburgring.

The Viper Owners Association is the group behind this initiative and it’s dead serious about its goal of seeing the new Viper ACR take a crack at the 918 Spyder’s production car lap record in one of the world’s most famous race tracks. The group even set up a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of raising $159,000 to send two Viper ACRs to the ‘Ring and cover other costs like track rental, driver payments, and the shipping of the actual cars to Germany.

It’s an admittedly ambitious goal, but to the group’s credit, the campaign is off to a promising start. As I’m writing this, the campaign has already raised $51,630 from 102 people in over six days. There’s still a little over $100,000 before the campaign reaches its financial goal, but at least it won’t have to worry about actually getting the Viper ACRs since Texas-based dealer Viper Exchange has already agreed to supply two Viper ACRs for the Nürburgring attempt at no cost to the campaign.

Only time will tell if the “Take Back The Ring Record” campaign is successful, but as someone who appreciates automotive passion in all its authenticity, I’m rooting for the people behind the movement to get to where they need to go, which in this case, would be the Nürburgring.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Source: GoFundMe

2019 Toyota Supra

Japan’s iconic sports car set to return after nearly two decades

If there is a car that is included on almost every list of “greatest enthusiasts car” it’s the Toyota Supra. The little two-door sports car was originally bolted together as a response to the Z cars coming from competitor Datsun, but it eventually grew into a special machine with a cult-like following. Now after years of rumor, speculation and dreaming, it looks like the new Toyota Supra is all but official. With Toyota having launched the FT-1 concept in 2014 and with sporty prototypes spotted on the road since 2016, it looks as if the next-generation Supra isn’t far from becoming reality.

The story of the Supra may start in 1978, but it was in 1987 with the introduction of the first turbocharged model that it began to truly build its performance legacy. This third-generation Supra was fitted with more than a powerful engine. It featured adjustable suspension and brake systems that helped make it great around a racetrack as well. It became a cult icon in the auto enthusiast world, and everyone has been clamoring for a new model since the old one was pulled from U.S. showrooms in the late 1990s.

With more info and rumors coming out on a regular basis about the next-gen Toyota Supra, it was only a matter of time before the first prototypes hit the streets. This finally happened in September 2016, basically giving confirmation that the new Supra will arrive in dealerships pretty soon. Based on the spy shots, we created a rendering of the upcoming sports car, to go with our speculative review Read on to see our thoughts on the matter and stay tuned for updates.

Updated 01/24/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Toyota Supra out for a new testing session, this time during cold winter conditions.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Toyota Supra.

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace

The Tiguan is getting bigger

Volkswagen officially introduced the Tiguan’s second generation to the U.S. at the 2017 North American International Auto Show while also introducing the world to the Tiguan’s long-wheelbase version. Volkswagen calls it the Tiguan Allspace, but that name will only be used in the European market where VW already sells the second-generation Tiguan in its short wheelbase form. Here in the U.S. and in China, the long wheelbase crossover will simply be known as the Tiguan. The extra space will bring a third row with two seats, making this A-segment crossover a seven-seater.

The second-generation Tiguan’s entrance into the U.S. is certainly welcomed. The previous Tiguan soldered on since its introduction in 2007 with only a minor facelift and update in 2011. Volkswagen is making up for the stagnant crossover with a major leap in advancement for the 2018 model year. The new Tiguan rides on VW’s new MQB platform shared with the Audi Q3, Audi A3, and VW Golf, among others.

The new Tiguan also boasts a digital gauge cluster, a slew of optional engines (no diesels in the U.S., obviously), and of course, the added room and passenger capacity thanks to the longer wheelbase. Volkswagen says it Allspace version adds 4.4 inches (11 cm) of length to the wheelbase, while the overall length grows by 10.7 inches.

It would be a gross understatement to say the 2018 Tiguan is an important vehicle for Volkswagen in the U.S. Crossovers are extremely popular these days and Volkswagen is scrambling to bring offerings to market. The new three-row Tiguan will join the all-new 2018 VW Atlas, a larger three-row crossover competing against stalwarts like the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, and Ford Explorer. Volkswagen is undoubtedly hoping these new crossovers help erase Dieselgate woes from consumers’ minds, as well. Rumored plug-in hybrid models of these crossovers will surely help with that, too, though VW has yet to confirm such a powertrain.

There is plenty more to discuss about Volkswagen’s new Tiguan, so keep reading for all the info.

Continue reading for more information.

2018 BMW Z5

The upcoming BMW Z5 was spotted on the road for the first time, confirming that it will indeed replace de Z4 in the company’s lineup.

The BMW-Toyota partnership is beginning to take shape with more news about what’s in store from this marriage. Rumors have circulated since the two automakers announced the partnership back in January 2013, a lot of which has been centered on the revival of the Toyota Supra and the development of the next-generation BMW Z4. However, more recent reports claim that the next BMW Z4 won’t be the fruit of the Bavarian automaker’s collaboration with its Japanese counterpart. Instead, it will be a Z4 replacement that will be called the Z5.

After more than two years of unconfirmed speculations, the Z5 has finally made its first public appearance as a camouflaged prototype. Our paparazzi caught the roadster during cold weather testing, which suggests that BMW has been working on this new model for quite some time. The camo is thick enough to keep the Z5’s design features hidden, but I do have an idea about what lurks under the swirly, black-and-white wrap.

What I do know for a fact is that the new roadster will ride on a new architecture that will make it sportier than the Z4. Also, the big unveiling should take place in late 2016 or early 2017. Its Toyota sibling, which will look completely different on the outside and revive the Supra nameplate, should brake cover around the same time. Have a look at my speculative review below for more information and stay tuned for updates.

Updated 01/24/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming BMW Z5 out for a new testing session, this time wearing less camouflage than ever.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 BMW Z5.

2017 Hennessey Venom GT Final Edition

The last of the Venom GTs leaves a lasting legacy

If I told you that a company that’s best known in aftermarket circles was able to build a car that not only challenged the supercar establishment, but outright made everyone tremble in fear, would you believe me? The narrative certainly fits into something you’re more likely to trace back to a Hollywood screenwriter, but let me tell you something. It actually happened, and it happened as recently as 2011 when Hennessey announced plans to build a Lotus Elise-based, limited-run supercar. The tuner decided to call it the Venom GT and the rest, as they say, is history.

Fast forward to this year and it’s hard to imagine that the Hennessey Venom GT, one of the greatest supercars of the decade, is now prepared to make its final curtain call. No one’s going to say that the Venom GT was a commercial success – each model did cost in excess of $1 million – but where it lacked in volume, it more than made up for by setting one world record after another, including the fastest production car in the world, at least depending on who you ask.

Whatever the controversies surrounding the Venom GT were, nobody will deny that the supercar irrevocably changed the landscape of that segment in more ways than one. It proved that an aftermarket tuner like Hennessey was more than capable of staring down the Bugattis and Koenigseggs of the world without blinking. It proved that a car that was based on a separate car could write its own history. Most importantly, the Venom GT proved that it’s a car that will be remembered long after Hennessey sends it off into the sunset.

So here we are with Hennessey about to send off the Venom with its very own Final Edition model. The company only plans to build one model, and to no one’s surprise, it already has an owner. Seems fitting then that for a car whose legacy was always about leaving everything in its wake, the Venom GT Final Edition is now gone even before we knew anything about it.

Continue reading to learn more about the Hennessey Venom GT Final Edition.

Remember when Koenigsegg unveiled a rendering of a Prince-inspired Regera last week, complete with a purple and white treatment that paid homage to the late music icon? Well, whatever Koenigsegg’s employees are doing over there in Sweden, they better keep up this “design-your-own” Koenigsegg Regera contest of sorts. The entertainment is too good! This week, the Swedish automaker is presenting this drop-dead gorgeous Bordeaux-finished Regera that’s making our knees very wobbly.

Turns out, Steven Wade is not the only one with a hidden talent for design on Koenigsegg’s payroll. This new example is brought to us by the creative mind of no less than Johan Bjurmar, Koenigsegg’s sales director for continental Europe and Scandinavia. His interpretation of how a proper Regera should be dressed hits us in all the right spots. The three-tone color of the body is a sight to behold. The interior is also dressed like a well-kept den in one of those obscenely luxurious mansions in Rhode Island. The color combinations on both sections of the supercar match up perfectly, too, creating one of those rare instances where the car looks just as beautiful on the inside as it does on the outside.

The biggest credit to Bjurmar’s rendition of the Koenigsegg Regera is that the color combinations work so well that real highlight of the supercar – the 5.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine – was reduced to an afterthought when these images first went public. That’s a huge testament to the taste of Bjumar, especially when you consider that the V-8 powering the Regera works with three electric motors to produce a combined output in excess of 1,500 horsepower and 1,475 pound-feet of torque. Match those numbers with a dry curb weight in the vicinity of 3,130 pounds, and you’re looking at a power-to-weight ratio of 1:1. That’s right around the same amount as the Koenigsegg One:1.

And yet, for all of the Regera’s capabilities, this particular rendering is largely defined by the stylistic eye of one of Koenigsegg’s sales director over there in Europe.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

In case there was ever any doubt about Tesla’s commitment to being the preeminent electric car maker in the world, a new update for the 100D variants of the Model S and Model X that have 100 kWh battery packs is proof that the California-based automaker is serious about holding on to that title. The new update is significant for a number of different reasons, none more so than the increase in range from the Model S 90D’s 294-mile battery range to 335 miles with the non-performance version of the 100 kWh battery pack. Just as important, the Model X 100D also received a hefty increase in range amounting to 30 miles over the outgoing 90D variant, bringing that total to a sniff of 300 miles.

The updates come as part of Tesla’s continued push towards becoming one of the biggest electric car makers in the world. It still has a lot of miles to cover to get to that point. Tesla even fell short of hitting its sales targets for the year, selling 2,750 fewer cars than it initially expected. But, these new updates should help more people get on board Tesla as it continues its long drive towards electric car supremacy.

With the updates in tow, prospective Tesla customers are now left with an interesting to choice to make, especially when it comes to picking between the 100D and P100D variants of both the Model S and Model X. Outside of the disparity in range, the non-performance versions of the 100D are also significantly cheaper than their P100D counterparts. For instance, a Model S 100D is now priced at $95,800 while the P100D variant of the electric sedan starts at $137,800. Do the math and that equates to a significant difference of $42,000, enough money to actually buy another car. The same gap in price tags can be seen with the updated Model X as the 100D variant now starts at $98,500 whereas the P100 D’s price sits pretty at $135,500.

It’s unclear if the large disparity in prices will turn off prospective buyers from getting the P100D variants of both Model S and Model X. But the numbers do point favourably to the 100D variants, not only because they’re a lot cheaper than their performance counterparts, but also because the improved battery range also benefits both 100D variants of the Model S and Model X. The increase in range is actually significant when you consider that with the old price tag of the P90D, customers would only have to pay a little more than $3,000 to get those extra 40 miles in battery range.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Source: Teslarati

2017 Audi Q8 E-tron Concept

The Q8 e-Tron Concept proves that Audi can think outside of the box

Audi seems to think it can create a new niche in the full-sized vehicle segment by introducing a vehicle with SUV proportions inside, and almost coupe-like proportions outside. We first heard of the Q8 name way back in 2012 when Audi filed a trademark for it, along with other names like R6, S2, S9, and RS1, among others. Since then, the name has been associated with Audi’s dreams of electric architecture and has even been said to be arriving in 2019 – even here in the United States. More recently, however, around July of 2016, we laid eyes on a weird coupe-ish SUV prototype that just had to be the Audi Q8. Finally, at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, Audi pulled the sheets off of the Audi Q8 e-Tron Concept, a model that previews the production Q8 and comes complete with a bold exterior design that previews the evolution of Audi’s design language, high-tech door poppers, and an interior that is near-production ready. As an e-Tron, it is hybrid in nature and provides a respectable output of 330 kW (442.53 horsepower) and more than 500 pound-feet of torque.

Prior to its debut alongside the new Audi S5 Cabriolet and SQ5 production models, very little was known about the Q8 e-Tron Concept, but not that Audi has spilled the beans, we have quite a bit to talk about. Dietmar Voggenreiter – a member of the Board of Management for Sales and Marketing at Audi AG – said, “The Q8 concept is an Audi in peak form. It demonstrates the strengths of our brand in both technology and design while providing a glimpse at a future full-size, production SUV. With its next-generation display and control solutions, we are enabling customers to experience connectivity in a whole new way.”

We still have some time before we get to see the production-ready Q8 in the metal, but this Concept gives us a good idea of what to expect. Of course, not all of the features and technology will carry over into production, so let’s dive on into this concept, see how it differs from the production prototype, and look at all the finer details.

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi Q8 E-tron Concept.

2017 BMW 5 Series

New midsize loses weight, gains new technology and 7 Series-inspired design

In 2014, our spy photographers spotted the new-generation BMW 5 Series stretching its wheels on the Nurburgring track for the very first time. Later that year, the sedan was caught once again testing in Europe. Come October 2016 and the new 5 Series finally made its official debut, showcasing its evolutionary design and state-of-the art features.

As seen with recently launched new Bimmers, the new midsize sedan lost some weight thanks to BMW using the carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) technology in the larger 7 Series, as well as magnesium, aluminum, and high-strength steel in the car’s chassis. The sedan is up to 137 pounds lighter than its predecessor (depending on trim and equipment), which isn’t a whole lot but enough to make a difference in the performance and fuel economy departments.

As expected, the new-generation 5 Series was unveiled with inline four-cylinder, six-cylinder, and V-8 engines for the North American market, with a high-performance M5 to follow in 2017. Meanwhile, the four-door made its U.S. debut at the Detroit Auto Show and is slated to arrive in dealerships starting February 2017.

Continue reading to find out more about the 2017 BMW 5 Series.


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