By on July 11, 2019

Cadillac is hard at work preparing for the next generation of their big bruiser Escalade. Lincoln’s counterpart, the Navigator, makes a healthy 450 horsepower from its Raptor engine. How does Cadillac plan to compete? A new report suggest it’s going to get some help from the Camaro.

According to a posting from Muscle Cars and Trucks, the Escalade is going offer the supercharged V8 that powers the Camaro ZL1 and the Corvette Z06. While details are light on when this engine will go in, or what type of performance to expect, it is apparently going to be a “powerhouse.”  (Read More…)

By on February 25, 2019

As though we needed more proof that Hyundai Motor Group’s luxury arm has the Germans in its crosshairs, Genesis has placed an extended-wheelbase version of the G90 on the Asian market. Called the “Limousine Prestige,” the South Korean marque’s new model is a clear attempt to move in on Maybach’s territory.

While most agree that Genesis has done a rather good job of delivering legitimate lavishness at bargain prices, the addition of a limo will undoubtedly force it be held to a higher standard. Thankfully, this seems like the right car for the job. Whereas the G70 is focused on delighting the driver, the brand’s larger sedans sacrifice sportiness to make more room for comfort — a fair trade, especially considering it used to be the go-to formula for all reputable luxury vehicles before low-profile tires became the norm.  (Read More…)

By on February 15, 2019

Bentley touts the 2019 Bentayga Speed as the fastest production SUV ever to grace planet Earth with its presence. However, the claim is actually a little white lie.

The performance Bentayga’s 190 mph top speed technically ties it with the Lamborghini Urus, which also uses the MLBevo platform and is slightly faster to 60 mph. Of course, there are many things in the Bentley you won’t find in the Lambo. The British SUV benefits from an almost grotesque amount of luxury and an available 6.0-liter W12 rocking 626 bhp with 664 lb-ft of torque. Meanwhile, the Urus has to make due with its little 4.0-liter V8 and superior acceleration.

Alright, so we’re giving Bentley a hard time for making a pretty bold claim. But you can’t say you’re the fastest when it’s not demonstrably true and not expect some good-natured ribbing.  (Read More…)

By on January 4, 2019

Polestar, the performance-oriented luxury brand created by Volvo’s Chinese parent company Geely, already has a 2-door hybrid sports car coming down the pipe later this year — the Polestar 1. However, the company is already teasing a follow-up sedan that aims to remove the internal-combustion component entirely and take on the likes of Tesla’s Model 3.

Dubbed the Polestar 2, the model will be a four-door fastback built on a modular platform with a battery pack intended to deliver roughly 300 miles of range on a single charge. While that sounds competitive, Volvo has previously indicated the Polestar 2 might start around $50,000. That’s not a far cry from the Model 3’s current starting MSRP of $44,000 ($46,000 until a few days ago), though Tesla promises a base version in the neighborhood of $35,000 later this year.  (Read More…)

By on September 24, 2018

Audi’s fourth-generation A8 sedan is the pinnacle of the brand’s opulence, so long as you’re willing to ignore every model that begins with the letter R and the forthcoming Q8. Starting at $83,800 before destination, the A8 isn’t cheap. But it does represent a relative bargain compared to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, a model which has long been the poster child for automotive grandeur.

While the A8 is sumptuous affair, the S-Class pulls away the second Daimler tacks on the Maybach prefix and its corresponding price tag. Finding its competitive spirit, Audi is resurrecting the historic Horch name to rival Mercedes’ super-luxury flagship. Available within the next two to three years, the Horch A8 will feature additional creature comforts, palatial touches, and a much higher price tag than the car it’s based upon.  (Read More…)

By on September 17, 2018

Halfway through the brand’s decade-long turnaround plan, Cadillac President Steve Carlisle says the company is finally ready to paint the town redder than a baboon’s ass. As you’ll no doubt recall, Carlisle took over for Johan de Nysschen after a “surprise management change” last April.

He’s addressing 900 retailers this week’s Cadillac dealer meeting in Las Vegas. The strategy? Carlisle intends to outline Cadillac’s upcoming products through 2021 — primarily crossovers. For the most part it looks to be steady as she goes, with the new president following de Nysschen’s overall strategy with a few tweaks. Those changes will likely come through the brand’s marketing efforts and some minor adjustments to the 2019 Project Pinnacle retail incentive program. But it could alter the luxury marque’s final lineup, too.  (Read More…)

By on April 20, 2018

Mercedes-Maybach gently teased its new “Ultimate Luxury” concept before its official debut at the Beijing Motor Show, but one outlet’s itchy trigger finger resulted in every official image of it being sprayed all over the internet prematurely. The vehicle, dubbed the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury, is incredibly difficult to summarize.

While it’s considered a sport utility vehicle by the manufacturer, the bodywork is so unabashedly sedan-like that it almost seems like a parody of modern crossovers. The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 was similarly ridiculous, but that concept coupe was intentionally fantastical. It was a “look what our styling department can do” kind of car, whereas the Ultimate Luxury is something else entirely.

We think it’s the automotive equivalent of when a successful businessman decides to remove his shoes and socks on an airplane — upscale, but disgusting.  (Read More…)

By on February 16, 2018

2018 GMC Yukon Denali Ultimate Black Edition

We did it! Thanks to the modern obsession with larger vehicles and opulence, domestic luxury brands are taking off like a rocket. It’s going so well, in fact, that American automakers are starting to steal market share from high-end import manufacturers. Of course, this is only applicable to SUV and crossover sales.

As you know, sedan sales are losing ground to their high-riding counterparts. While this hasn’t resulted in the obliteration of the passenger car market, despite claims to the contrary, those vehicles are being massacred by wayward consumers. Sedans are becoming passé and this has allowed sport utility and crossover vehicles to amass a significant portion of the pie.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the luxury market. The rapid growth of the luxury truck segment has substantially increased the United States’ share of domestic models sold with an average transaction price of $60,000 or more. Apparently, the inarguably phenomenal Mercedes-Benz S-Class doesn’t have jack squat on the GMC Yukon Denali.

Suck it, cars.  (Read More…)

By on November 27, 2017

2018 Genesis G80 - Image: Genesis Motors

You would think you’d be happy when a peer succeeds and goes on to greater things, but the reality is often a little grimier and less magnanimous. Genesis has been a sore subject around Hyundai Motor Company ever since the automaker spun it off into its own brand. However, this has less to do with its role as an elite nameplate and more about how to manage it as part of the greater whole.

Earlier this month, dealers expressed their dismay by walking out of a meeting with Hyundai Motor America’s executives — which included CEO Kenny Lee and COO Brian Smith. The incident didn’t last particularly long and the conference eventually got back on track, but it proves there’s unresolved issues as to how the Genesis brand should be handled. (Read More…)

By on September 7, 2017

2017 Cadillac XT5 - Image: CadillacCadillac, with market-specific cars and a rapidly expanding dealer network, is increasingly a China-reliant GM luxury brand.

In four consecutive months, from April 2017 through July 2017, GM’s Cadillac division sold more new vehicles in China than in its U.S. home market. Indeed, so far this year, 48 percent of the Cadillacs sold around the world were sold in China. Thank a massive 67-percent year-over-year sales gain, stirred up by very healthy Chinese demand for the XT5.

But in August, for the first time since March, Cadillac’s U.S. dealer network reasserted its collective claim as the rightful nation for Cadillac sales success. That’s correct: Cadillac sold more vehicles in the United States in August 2017 than in China.

Albeit not many more. (Read More…)

By on June 15, 2016

Tesla Model X, Image: Tesla Motors

Sometimes, a consumer just wants to know what electric vehicle pairs well with their wrinkle-free straight leg Chinos.

Nordstrom shoppers at The Grove shopping mall in Los Angeles can breathe a sigh of relief come Saturday, when Tesla Motors plans to open a ‘gallery’ retail location inside the upscale store.

Let’s hope they swap the Model S P90D for a 60 kWh model on discount days. (Read More…)

By on May 4, 2016

2016 Audi A8 L Security

After pumping out a respectable range of luxury sedans, coupes and SUVs for years, Audi now finds itself scrambling to counter an onslaught of high-end boutique models from Mercedes-Benz.

The automaker is hinting that more versions of the range-topping A8 could be on the way, AutoExpress reports, including a long-wheelbase Maybach fighter.

In recent years, Mercedes stretched its S-Class six ways to Sunday, yielding ultra-lux models like the Mercedes-Maybach S600 and Pullman, as well as a full-size convertible. In contrast, Audi doesn’t have any half-block-long versions to offer — just its A8 and slightly stretched (by five or so inches) A8L. (Read More…)

By on April 20, 2016

2016 Buick Envision Front 3/4

Buick’s turbocharged, Chinese-made Envision crossover is landing on American shores in early summer, but the price could cause some buyers to rethink their purchase date.

Holding the title of being the first U.S. model manufactured in China, the Envision is already a two-year veteran of the overseas market. Americans are notoriously SUV-thirsty, so it was inevitable that the Envision would make its way here, loaded with a high level of standard equipment.

The starting MSRP for the 2016 Envision is $42,995 (all charges included), a figure that tops the range-leading Enclave, which starts at $39,065 (minus freight, destination and fees). (Read More…)

By on April 6, 2016

Kortezh Putin Limo, Image: Sergey Subbotin/Sputnik

It’s a limousine with the swagger of a KGB gunfighter.

Steely eyed Russian president Vladimir Putin can look forward to taking ownership of a new ride next year, Sputnik News reported (via Autoblog). And guess what? It’s a vehicle anyone in the Motherland (with money) can buy!

The limousine is a product of the state-funded Kortezh (Cortege) project, a 12.4 billion ruble ($181.9 million) venture implemented by the Central Scientific Research Automobile and Automotive Institute in Moscow.

(Read More…)

By on May 4, 2015

2014-CLA-CLASS-COUPE-GALLERY-023-WR-D

Want to know why Mercedes, Audi, Lexus and all of the other luxury players are doing so well these days? Because of less-costly, lower-end luxury models.

(Read More…)

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