Category: Luxury

By on September 18, 2015

Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé (2014)

Daimler announced Friday that it would spend $1.3 billion in its Tuscaloosa, Alabama factory to upgrade its equipment and technology, and to also add a 1.3 million square-foot body shop.

The investment will also add 300 jobs to the plant, which produces the C-Class and GL-class — and perhaps GLT? — and work is reportedly already underway. The plant has been open since 1997 and has predominantly produced SUVs, although its future products are less clear.

Mercedes is reportedly preparing to make a truck, based on the Nissan Navara, to release in global markets. In Frankfurt, the updated Nissan Navara and related Renault Alaskan made their debuts, although only the Navara will have a life in the U.S. — probably as the next Frontier. Mercedes would need to produce its pickups in the NAFTA zone to avoid a Chicken Tax if they were to sell one here. (Sprinter doesn’t care.)

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By on September 16, 2015

2016 Mini Clubman

Mini unveiled its newest Clubman this week and the car, which is one foot longer and nearly 5 inches wider than the outgoing model, is now longer than a Jeep Wrangler.

The 14-foot-long four door will be four-inches shorter than a Mazda CX-3 and will sport the Hardtop’s duo of engines for Clubman and Clubman S models. The turbocharged I-3 will produce 134 horsepower in the Clubman, while the turbo four will bump up to 189 horsepower for the Clubman S. According to Mini, the Clubman S will sprint up to 60 mph in 7 seconds.

The Clubman is 10.9 inches longer than the 5-door Hardtop, with a 4-inch longer wheelbase and is nearly 3 inches wider. Rear passengers in the Clubman will get 2 more inches of legroom over the five-door Mini (34.3 vs. 32.3).

(And the five-door Hardtop exists, why?)

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By on September 15, 2015

Mercedes-Benz "Concept IAA"

While it may or may not be the next-generation Mercedes-Benz CLS-class (note: probably not), the automaker took the wraps off a transforming concept car that grows in length significantly at highway speeds to better cut through air.

The Mercedes-Benz IAA concept (Intelligent Aerodynamic Automobile) was shown off Tuesday in Frankfurt and, according to the automaker, can grow by 390 millimeters to achieve a drag coefficient world record of 0.19. (The current generation Prius is around 0.25, for reference.)

The whole thing is powered by a hybrid powertrain that’ll never see the light of day and sports an interior array of electronics that’s probably something out of “Minority Report.” It’s the moveable aerodynamic elements on the IAA that could see production, and there are a lot of them.

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By on September 15, 2015


Jaguar showed us Tuesday what we’ve seen mostly already — the 2017 Jaguar F-Pace fully undressed — and clued us into all the juicy details.

The company’s mid-sized crossover will start from $40,990 plus $995 destination, at some point, but will go on sale next year with a duo of potent V-6 engines in the U.S. that will likely start closer to $45,000 at launch. When the car goes on sale in Spring 2016, a 340-horsepower supercharged V-6 and a 380-horsepower supercharged V-6 will be our only options stateside. Both mills will be mated to all-wheel drive and a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission. A 2-liter, I-4 diesel that produces 180 horsepower will arrive in the States later in 2016.

And then Jaguar took the car on a giant-sized Hot Wheels track. Well played.

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By on September 15, 2015

Porsche Mission E

Porsche announced its all-electric four-door concept sedan at the Frankfurt Auto Show, complete with 15-minute charging (to 80 percent) and 310-mile overall range. There’s also some holographic and emoticon blather, but we’ll get to that later.

According to Porsche, the Mission E will use two electric motors with a combined output of 600 horsepower to power the car up to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. The car’s 800-volt charger would be a first for electric cars, and would help the car charge up to 80 percent in 15 minutes. According to Tesla, the Model S takes about 30 minutes to charge up to 80 percent for similar range.

Porsche didn’t say when (or even if) the car would make it into production, but it’s likely that something very much like it will be heading our way soon. Maybe this will be a new Panamera?

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By on September 14, 2015


Bowing at the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show, the 2016 Infiniti Q30 “active compact” aims to attract a new generation of buyers now flocking to GLAs and XT5s.

The first vehicle to leave Infiniti’s newly upgraded facility in Sunderland, United Kingdom, the Q30 also marks the first time the premium brand is playing in the compact crossover space. The main goal behind the Q30 is to attract Gen X and Millennial buyers who believe a car “is an expression of ‘self’ rather than ‘status,'” desire vehicles which defy traditional categorization, and offer a “made-for-me” approach to luxury.

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By on September 9, 2015

Tesla Model S Center Stage

In a letter to Model S owners, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that its referral “experiment” had gone well and that the company would be expanding the program, according to HybridCars.

Owners can refer as many people as they want, and although the “free” Model X cars have likely already been claimed in each of the three sales regions, the top referrer by Oct. 31 can trade in their Model S for a P85D with “ludicrous” speed mode. Referring 10 new buyers now means you can buy a fully loaded “Founder Series” Model X for the price of a base Model X (a $25,000 savings according to the company).

It’ll still probably be ugly for whomever wins at the end.

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By on September 9, 2015

Bentley Bentayga

After two years and one seriously overhauled concept, Bentley took the wrapper off its first SUV on Wednesday, which made it the first automaker to offer an ultra-luxury SUV — and certainly not the last.

Bentley’s Bentayga will be powered by an all-new W-12 engine that produces 600 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, according to the automaker. That will motivate the three-ton behemoth from 0-60 mph in 4 seconds on its way up to a top speed of 187 mph.

The initial Bentaygas will be gasoline versions with a turbocharged diesel and plug-in hybrid variants soon to follow, according to Bentley.

Bentley didn’t say how much the Bentaygas would cost at launch, so we’re telling you there’s still a chance.

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By on September 8, 2015

Rolls Royce Dawn

Rolls-Royce took the cover off its new Dawn convertible (see what we did there?) Tuesday in an online reveal ahead of its debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

The car, which is powered by a 6.6-liter V-12 that produces 563 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque married to a ZF 8-speed transmission, is Rolls-Royce’s answer to what we’ve all been asking: How can I be even more noticeable in my Roller?

Here’s your answer: A 22-second folding “silent ballet” droptop with open-pore wood tonneau, hand-stitched leather everywhere, 16 speakers and self-closing doors.

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By on September 7, 2015


Porsche announced on Sunday that when its new 2017 Porsche 911 Carrera and Carrera S go on sale in March 2016 they’ll be force-fed air through twin turbochargers — and not naturally aspirated like nature intended.

Instead of a 3.6-liter flat-six behind its rear wheels, the new 911 Carrera and Carrera S will sport a twin-turbocharged, 3-liter, flat-six engine. (Porsche didn’t directly specify in its statement the engine’s number of cylinders, so if you want to play a fun game today, read how some outlets have written around it.)

As our own Tim Cain points out, the output of the new turbocharged Carrera and Carrera S, which is 370 horsepower and 420 horsepower respectively, is shockingly close to the 415 horsepower produced by the 996 Turbo from 2000.

Unsurprisingly, Porsche boosted the price too — a new Carrera will run $89,400 before delivery and options, which is more than $5,000 dearer than the current generation.

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