Monthly Archives: November 2015

Kia K900 Gains New V6 Base Model

With the Kia K900 establishing its hold on the luxury car market, Kia has addressed the K900’s key weakness with the unveiling of an all new entry level model that aims to open the car up to more buyers while also putting the pressure on V6 versions of many of its rivals.

The exterior styling remains largely the same for all K900’s, but Kia designers have made several minor tweaks to the formula that include a revised front grille as well as a tweaked rear end with more chrome trim, a new rear bumper, updated exhaust pipes, and a 2016 K900new tail light design. A new Smart Power trunk and emergency braking capability also highlight some of the technology updates for 2016, and help bring the big four door more in line with contemporary luxury car offerings.

The interior boasts an improved navigation system that now features a beefy 9.2 inch HD touchscreen, while Kia’s remote apps gain a new start/stop function, climate control app, and lock/unlock capability. Meanwhile, parents that let their 2016 K900children drive can now set a curfew time as well as speed alerts while geofencing technology allows them to track their whereabouts at all times, and sends an alarm when the car strays from the pre-determined boundary.

The bulk of the updates however can be found under the hood of the newly minted “V6 Premium” trim which houses an all new 3.8 liter V6. Good for a healthy 311 horsepower, the V6 aims to not only make the K900 more fuel efficient, but also make the model more accessible to buyers as well. Prior to the arrival of the new V6, the K900 was only available with a 420 horsepower V8 that also sees duty in the range topping Hyundai Equus (similar to the situation that Jaguar faced when it first unveiled the current generation XJ.) The V6 will also help lessen the strain on your wallet with the ‘V6 Premium” trim featuring a base MSRP of $49,950 which is nearly $10,000 less than a fully loaded V8 powered K900. However this does not mean that you get skimped on luxury appointments with the V6 model featuring leather seats, 18-inch wheels, a navigation system, and a panoramic sunroof.

Alpina Updates 2016 B5 Bi-Turbo, 600 Horsepower And Refinement Highlight 2016 Changes

Iconic BMW tuner Alpina has revealed the suite of updates it has in store for the 2016 B5 Bi-Turbo and enthusiasts should be pleased with what they see.

A key change is found under the hood of the B5 where a tweaked version of the 4.4 liter V8 engine that now produces 600 horsepower and 591 lb-ft of torque. This is thanks in part to a pair of all new Alpina sourced turbochargers as well as lightweight pistons, a bigger oil BMW_ALPINA_B5_BITURBO_08radiator, and a high capacity fuel system. A bigger oil radiator and three intercoolers also spice things up and help improve oil flow and engine cooling. The end result is a swift 4.2 0 to 60 time as well as a higher 204 mph top speed that is right at home on the Autobahn. An eight speed automatic transmission serves as the sole transmission choice but we lament the lack of an optional stick shift.

Buyers can order the B5 either as a station wagon or a sedan with both configurations featuring standard adjustable suspension, active roll stabilization software, and a mechanical limited slip differential. The exterior styling features typical Alpina cues including the signature Alpina Classic rims, a custom body kit, and decals on both sides of the car.

The interior of the B5 also receives an upgrade, and transforms the already handsome cabin of the base 5 series into a posh environment with supple Merino leather upholstery, piano lacquer trim as well as a model exclusive instrument cluster. Every option that is availableBMW_ALPINA_B5_BITURBO_06 on the mainstream 5 Series is standard on the B5, and well heeled buyers can choose options from Alpina’s customization department to create a car that is truly unique especially when viewed alongside another B5.

The 2016 Alpina B5 Bi-Turbo is currently on sale in Europe with German buyers paying 108,600 ($115,400) while the wagon starts at a more bargain friendly 111,900 (119,000.) Currently Alpina does not have any plans to offer this model in the U.S. due to our country’s stricter emission laws, but that could change if demand is strong enough from U.S. customers.

 

 

Rezvani Unveils 700 Horsepower Beast X

Following on the heels of the recent unveiling of the Beast Speedster, the folks at Rezvani have unveiled the next level of evolution for its stylish track day weapon the Beast X which aims to sink its claws into track records and rivals from all over the world.

The X version starts life as a standard issue Beast but the goal of achieving 700 horsepower forced Rezvani engineers to pull out all the stops when it was developing the car. The familiar 2.4 Beast X 5liter Honda sourced four cylinder engine is carried over from other Beast models, but Rezvani engineers added dual Borger Warner sourced turbochargers, forged pistons and valves, as well as strengthened internals to cope with the massive stress exerted by the new-found muscle.

The end result is a true monster that can rip its way to 60 mph in a blistering 2.5 seconds which is not only a full second quicker than the Speedster, but also 0.2 seconds quicker Beast X 3than the base Beast. This is mainly due to its svelte curb weight which checks in at 1,850 lbs, and allows the Beast X to achieve its incredible acceleration runs.

The exterior styling of the X thankfully retains the elegant and curvaceous design language that we have come to love in other Beast models but Rezvani engineers made minor revisions to the aerodynamics and added a new split style rear wing to help improve down force especially at higher speeds.

Buyers interested in owning a Beast X will have to act quickly, Rezvani will be building only five examples with each example ringing in at $325,000. While there are more conventional exotic cars that can be purchased for roughly the same price, very few can match the thrills and high levels of rarity that only the Beast can achieve. If your listening Rezvani, we look forward to perhaps checking it out for ourselves in the near future.

 

Zenos E10 R Unveiled, 350 Horsepower And New Technology Sharpens Experience

Britain’s ongoing and recent love affair with lightweight track ready sports cars appears to be going full steam ahead with the newest unveiling from Zenos that brings more power and even more amounts of race ready technology into an already formidable track weapon that has certainly made a splash since its initial debut.

Known formally as the E10 R, Zenos claims that this new model is the fastest and most thrilling model to date which should please E10 buyers that crave a bit more performance in their E10 purchase. The R retains the basic E10 styling formula, but features an all new Zenos E10 R 5Ford derived 2.3 liter EcoBoost four cylinder engine that delivers 350 horsepower and an equally balanced 350 lb-ft of torque. Not only is this horsepower figure on par with the recently unveiled Ford Focus RS hatchback, but allows the E10 R to blitz its way to 60 mph in a swift 3.0 seconds flat, before topping out at a governed 155 mph.

The lightweight aluminum and carbon fiber components of its structure are largely carried over from other E10 models, but the R incorporates new Bilstein adjustable dampers as well as stronger brakes that feature an all new rotor and caliper design to help improve braking performance. 16 and 17 inch wheels are also a part of the package and help cleaveZenos E10 R 4 22 lbs of unsprung weight from the car’s flanks. This helps the car check in at an impressive 1,543 lbs which represents a 55 lb weight loss over the E10 S. Buyers that feel the R needs a little more spice can opt for a quick release steering wheel, carbon fiber racing seats, and six point harnesses to help keep occupants planted during spirited track day work.

Unlike other track day cars that often charge a premium for their levels of fun, the E10 R still remains somewhat affordable with the base model starting at £39,000 ($59,247). It is currently unknown if Zenos will perhaps offer this particular model to prospective buyers here in the U.S. but if they do, it will still face some tough competition from rivals such as the Morgan 3-Wheeler, Caterham Seven, as well as Rezvani and their Beast model lineup. In the meantime, U.S. buyers can preview the 2.3 liter EB engine in the Focus RS, and also check out this video of the E10 R in action below.

 

 

Lamborghini Unveils RWD Huracan LP 580-2

Validating recent rumors (as well as our own speculation) Lamborghini has formally unveiled the rear-wheel drive version of the Huracan ahead of its debut at the 2015 Los Angeles Motor Show.

Known officially as the LP 580-2 the new variant serves as the company’s new entry level model which should please well heeled buyers that seek to do traditional burnouts and shave a few dollars off the price in the process. The main change (besides the rear-wheel Huracan 1.2drive) is its slightly detuned 5.2 liter V10 which now produces 571 horsepower (580 PS) and 398 lb-ft of torque. Granted it is a 30 horsepower decrease when compared to the all-wheel drive model, but it still remains one of the highest horsepower figures in the segment.

All of this muscle is still delivered through the same seven speed dual clutch gearbox that also sees duty in the AWD variant, but the removal of the second driveshaft and the front wheel drive system allowed the car to shed 73 lbs of excess weight. This not only brings overall weight down to 3,062 lbs, but also shifts the weight distribution slightly rearward as well.

Lamborghini claims that the car will make the sprint to 62 mph in 4.3 seconds which is only a mere 0.2 seconds behind the AWD version and hit a slightly lower top speed of 199 mph. Lamborghini engineers bestowed the car with a stiffer suspension and a reworked power management system that features an equally tweaked steering system. The various driving modes have also been redone to help allow drivers to access desirable levels of oversteer and embrace the full capabilities of RWD.

With all of these mechanical enhancements, it’s easy to assume that the aesthetics of the car were carried over unchanged. Lamborghini however revealed that the swap in driving layout required some styling revisions to help the car cope with the change. The front air intakes for example have been slightly reformed to help increase air pressure on the front axle, while the rear spoiler helps improve rear air flow. In addition slick 19-inch Kari rims complete the styling updates, and round out the look quite nicely.

After its time on the show circuit is complete, look for the LP-580-2 to begin arriving in European Lamborghini showrooms either later this year or early next year where it will boast a 150,000 euro MSRP ($160,000.) The company did not release U.S. pricing or whether the LP-580-2 will even be launched on our shores, however we strongly suspect that it will eventually make its way to the U.S. at a later date.

GMC Introduces 2017 Canyon Denali Ahead Of LA Unveiling

The 2016 GMC Canyon has made great strides since it was unveiled and not only has it single handedly revived the mid size truck segment, but also redefined what a mid-size pickup truck should offer. GMC aims to add a little bit of luxury to its impressive repertoire of moves with the 2017 GMC Canyon Denali.

When it makes its appearance alongside its big brother the Sierra Denali Ultimate, the Canyon Denali will be the latest cog in a broader plan that sees the Denali brand change into a more focused luxury competitor especially against Ram and Ford. The exterior styling retains the basic motif that has come to define other Canyon models, but a chrome grille and chrome trim around the fog lights help make the Denali version visually 2017 GMC Canyon Denali​stand out from the rest. Chrome sidesteps, 20-inch alloy wheels, and a polished exhaust tip round out the bling treatment while a spray-in headliner is standard equipment. Buyers will have six different colors to choose from (two fewer than the standard Canyon) but expect a metallic black hue as one of the choices since it tends to be very popular on other Denali models.

The interior of the Canyon Denali retains its basic Canyon roots, but it only comes in Jet Black, and features a unique dashboard, heated and cooled front seats, and Denali badging scattered throughout. GMC claims that the Canyon Denali will be the only 2017 GMC Canyon Denali​luxury mid-size pickup truck in the segment and that means that until the Colorado gets a luxury trim of its own, the Denali will have a very compelling chunk of the market all to itself.

Performance for the Canyon Denali comes from either the familiar 3.6 liter V6, or the recently launched 2.8 liter diesel four cylinder with transmission offerings also being carried over to the Denali. Look for the diesel in particular to stand out due to its fuel economy as well as its surprising amounts of capability.

After it makes its debut in LA, look for the truck to go on sale in late 2016 with pricing and final equipment information being released closer to its official launch.

GMC Debuts 2016 Sierra Denali Ultimate

With the Ram and Ford raising the bar in terms of offering luxury and technology in their pickup truck entries, it was only a matter of time before GMC jumped into the ring. It has done so in style unveiling the 2016 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate ahead of its LA debut.

Based on the standard issue Sierra Denali, the Ultimate brings several new features to the truck that help amp up its luxury laden mission in life. LED headlights, 22-inch alloy wheels 2016 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimateand a sunroof start things off while chromed tow hooks and Tri-Mode Power Steps help make life on the work site much more elegant and refined. Currently GM has plans to offer this package only on the 1500 model, but look for the company to change its tune in the near future if demand from HD truck buyers is strong enough. In the meantime the Ultimate does offer two diffrent bed configurations with either a 5’8 or a 6’6 long bed avalible.

The cabin is largely carried over from the standard Denali, but GMC designers claim that more soft touch materials have been added, while splashes of aluminium trim help add some much needed depth and contrast to the cabin. The leather seats arrive with 2016 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimateimproved surfaces, and now feature contrast stitching that also makes its way to the dashboard and inner door panels. The truck also serves as a rolling technological showcase, and includes Apple CarPlay as well as a power sliding rear window and automatic high beams.

Performance for the Ultimate follows the same proven formula that has come to define other Sierra models. This means a standard 5.3 liter V8 that is good for 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque. Buyers looking for more performance as well as a bit of Vette inspired fun can opt for the optional 6.2 liter V8 that brings 420 horsepower and 450 lb-ft of torque to the pavement. Four wheel drive is standard fare on either engine with the transmission choices also following suit.

After the 2016 GMC Sierra Denali Ultimate makes its debut at the 2015 LA Motor Show, look for the first units to go on sale early next year. Pricing information has not been released as of yet, but with the base Denali starting at $50,015. It’s safe to conclude that there will be a sizable premium for the Ultimate with prices possibly surpassing $60,000.

Lotus Unveils Elise Sport, Sport 220, Hints At Possible U.S. Return For Elise

It’s no secret that many enthusiasts in the U.S. were disappointed when Lotus revealed that the current generation Elise would not be offered for sale several years ago. Since then the lightweight coupe has remained a tempting treat that is just out of reach, but Lotus has revealed a new model to covet at the Sport and the Sport 220 a pair of new models that aim to redefine what makes an Elise so desirable with enthusiasts.

Basically serving as a weight saving package, the base Elise Sport replaces the old standard model, and sheds 22 lbs of excess weight in the process. The end result is a curb weight of 20151113112048-c5da4547just over 1900 lbs which is paired nicely with the carryover 1.6 liter four cylinder which is good for a healthy 134 horsepower and an equally commendable 118 lb-ft of torque. This should help improve acceleration, while also allowing the car to access higher handling limits at the same time.

Meanwhile the Sport 220 boasts a slightly higher curb weight of 2,015 lbs, however this slight weight gain is easily forgiven since the 220 makes up for this handicap by offering 20151113114217-59b5ad0emore power. This is delivered by a 1.8 liter supercharged four cylinder that produces 217 horsepower and allows the 220 to make the sprint to 60 mph in a brisk 4.2 seconds (the base Elise does it in a slightly slower six seconds.)

“These two new models the Elise Sport and Sport 220 revive the iconic Sport naming designation and are both worthy of wearing this badge” stated Lotus CEO Jean-Marc Gales. “Over the years with each improvement to the Elise, we have ensured that the purity of the driving experience has been retained and improved upon and with these two new models, we have taken it on to the next level.”

Buyers interested in owning one will be pleased to hear that the weight reduction and extra refinm20151113112043-82c74e2cent will not come with a built in price increase. Lotus revealed that both models will actually be less expensive than their predecessors. The base Sport model now features a 39,990 euro ($42,761) price tag while the Sport 220 commands a slightly higher 48,700 euros($52,184.) The interior also retains its function over form design theme, though we hope that the base Sport model will feature interior color schemes that are less garish than the bright yellow plaid accents in the car Lotus featured in their press photos (we prefer the all black motif of the 220’s cabin.)

Lotus did not reveal which markets beyond its home European market, but the firm did reveal that a U.S. launch is not happening in the near future. Instead the company claims that a return to the U.S. could be possible when the next generation Elise makes its debut. If this is the case, U.S. buyers will have a long wait with reports suggesting that the car will not make an appearance till at least 2020.

 

Jeep Unveils A Pair Of Special Editions Ahead Of LA Debut

Jeep has always been known for having fun when it comes to creating special edition models, and it plans to continue this trend with the introduction of two all new models based on the 2016 Jeep Wrangler and the 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee respectively.

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Night Edition

The first model is based off of the Grand Cherokee SRT and while the standard model is pretty sinister in its own right, Jeep engineers have made several revisions to appease the few folks that think it needs a bit more aggression. Known as the SRT Night Edition, this model stands out thanks to its splashes of Gloss Black trim with the shiny stuff making its 2016 Jeep® Grand Cherokee SRT Nightway to the roof, side pillars, rear spoiler, and grille bezels with separate Satin Black trim adorning the appliques and badging. In addition, the 20-inch wheels have also been dipped in Satin Black and round out the look quite nicely. Performance comes from the familiar 6.4 liter Hemi V8 which is good for 475 horsepower and a 4.8 second 0 to 60 time.

Buyers will be able to choose from three different hues Velvet Red, Billet Silver, and Granite Crystal. The interior largely carries over unchanged but new Black Laguna leather seats with silver accent stitching help since things up, while Light Black chrome bezels add a touch of elegance to the overall look.

2016 Jeep Wrangler Backcountry

Meanwhile in the trail busting side of things, Jeep also took the veil off of the Wrangler Backcountry which is not only a nod to past 90’s era trim packages, but also highlights the Wranglers purpose as an off road vehicle.

The Backcountry is based off of the Sahara model and like prior Wrangler special edition models it comes with its own set of Backcountry decals on the front and rear, powder coated bumpers, 17-inch gloss black rims, and rock rails cribbed from the top tier Rubicon 2016 Jeep® Wrangler Backcountrytrim. Like other Wranglers, buyers can add side steps at no cost and a black “Freedom Top” hardtop also comes standard. However like standard grade Sahara models, body colored units will be avalible as an option.

The Backcountry’s 90’s vibe becomes evident when one looks at its paint selection. The Backcountry seen in Jeeps press photos is is in a eye catching hue called Xtreme Purple (exclusive to the Backcountry), but Jeep revealed that other visually appealing hues will be available including Hydro Blue, Granite Crystal, and Bright White. The interior largely retains the Wranglers function over form motif, but black accents, Diesel Grey accent stitching, all weather slush mats, and a nine speaker audio system all arrive as standard equipment.

Jeep has not released pricing information for either model, but look for more information to be unveiled at their respective debuts in LA later this month. In the meantime check out the gallery below for high resolution shots of both models.

Kia Previews Next Generation Cadenza, Sharper Styling To Highlight Updates

Kia has released a pair of teaser images that preview what’s in store for the 2016 Cadenza. Positioned between the Optima and the ultra luxurious K900, the 2017 version is rumored to possibly make its debut at the 2015 Los Angeles Motor Show in what could be a key auto event for Hyundai-Kia.

The teasers appear to suggest that the second generation Cadenza will move away from the current model’s bland styling language, and instead embrace a much sportier theme. 408673The front fascia for instance embraces a more angled version of Kia’s trademark tiger nose front grille as well as a sculpted bumper with all new quad LED fog lights. A thin strip of chrome trim connects the headlights and adds a dash of refinement to the car’s lines. Of course it is important to note that teaser images do tend tof be more exaggerated in certain details than the real thing, but look for the car to still retain its newfound aggression albeit in a more subtle fashion.

The interior will feature a three spoke steering wheel and a high resolution touchscreen. Higher trim levels will feature splashes of wood trim and upgraded interior materials. The 408672Cadenza’s debut will represent a recent push by Kia to try and move its models several notches up in the marketplace so look for the 2017 version to be much more focused on refinement than the outgoing Cadenza.

Performance details are murky, but look for the 2017 Cadenza to borrow the 3.3 liter V6 that sees duty in the Hyundai Azera. Look for this engine to produce at least 293 horsepower, but unlike the cushy Azera, look for the transmission tuning to be more sport oriented in the Cadenza possibly in a bid to woo BMW buyers. Recent reports also suggest that the Cadenza will offer a 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder as a fuel efficent alternative but we’ll have to wait until it’s official debut before it’s full technical details are confirmed.