Skip to main content

We obsessively cover the auto industry

81 New Articles in this week Hide Featured

2015 Mini Cooper S does best gymkhana stunt video impersonation

  • 2015 Mini Cooper S does best gymkhana stunt video impersonation
  • 2015 Dodge Charger shows off its new look in New York [w/videos]
  • HIGHLIGHTS: 2014 New York Auto Show
  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe rides to the top

Car dealer service study ranks best brands of 2014

Posted Apr 20th 2014 8:00PM



Cadillac and Buick have taken the trophies in J.D. Power's latest Customer Service Index Study examining satisfaction with dealer service. Surveying more than 90,000 owners and lessees of 2009-2013 model-year cars, the study found that those with pre-paid maintenance packages were ten per cent more likely to buy their next car from the same brand.

Dealer satisfaction scores have improved overall, Cadillac nabbed the luxury segment ahead of Audi and Lexus, taking the crown that Lexus held last year. Buick keeps the mass-market dealer satisfaction win in the family, finishing ahead of Volkswagen and last year's winner GMC. The study also found that service department use of tablets increased customer satisfaction, as did "best practices" like "providing helpful advice." Who knew?

Click here to find out the full details and findings in the press release below.

Related GalleryTop 10 most reliable long lasting cars, trucks, SUVs
Top 10 most reliable long lasting cars, trucks, SUVsTop 10 most reliable long lasting cars, trucks, SUVsTop 10 most reliable long lasting cars, trucks, SUVsTop 10 most reliable long lasting cars, trucks, SUVsTop 10 most reliable long lasting cars, trucks, SUVsTop 10 most reliable long lasting cars, trucks, SUVsTop 10 most reliable long lasting cars, trucks, SUVsTop 10 most reliable long lasting cars, trucks, SUVs

Related GalleryBest and worst used car values - Consumer Reports Study
Best and worst used car values - Consumer Reports StudyBest and worst used car values - Consumer Reports StudyBest and worst used car values - Consumer Reports StudyBest and worst used car values - Consumer Reports StudyBest and worst used car values - Consumer Reports StudyBest and worst used car values - Consumer Reports StudyBest and worst used car values - Consumer Reports StudyBest and worst used car values - Consumer Reports Study


Savings Experiment: Car Servicing

News Source: J.D. Power

Hardcore Jaguar F-Type R-S GT caught testing?

Posted Apr 20th 2014 6:00PM

Jaguar F-Type R-S GT prototype

Some automakers make a hardcore model, then sit back and revel in its awesomeness. Jaguar does things a little differently. It takes a standard production model, gives it more power, bigger brakes and a tighter suspension and slaps the letter R on it. Then it gives it even more power, even bigger brakes and an even tighter suspension and calls it an R-S. Sometimes the engineers in Coventry don't even think that's enough, so they strip out some weight and dial things up even further and call it an R-S GT.

So far, they've only gone that far with the XK (transformed first into the XKR, then the XKR-S, and finally the XKR-S GT), but with that model on its way out, Jaguar seems to be preparing to give the newer F-Type a similar treatment. Now we can't be sure that what we're looking at is an F-Type R-S GT, especially since the 550-horsepower engine from the XKR-S and XFR-S is already powering the existing F-Type R Coupe, but it does seem to have all the makings of a hardcore performance model.

Compared to the existing F-Type, the development model pictured here has a bigger front splitter (like the one on the Project 7 concept), a big rear wing and a set of what looks like pretty big lightweight alloys. It's also, tellingly, a roadster, which (unlike the coupe) has until now topped out at 500hp with the V8 S model. So while it may be hard to say exactly just what Jaguar has in store for us here (or what they'll call it), one thing's for sure: it's gonna be fast and loud!

Click here for photos and watch the video below.

Related Gallery2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: First Drive
2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: First Drive2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: First Drive2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: First Drive2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: First Drive2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: First Drive2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: First Drive2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: First Drive2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe: First Drive


Martin Brundle on the Testing of the Jaguar F-TYPE

Image Credit: CarPix

Tesla Model S gets custom convertible conversion

Posted Apr 20th 2014 4:00PM

Newport Convertible Enterprises Tesla Model S Convertible

The folks Newport Convertible Engineering (NCE) have made a specialty out of taking coupes and sedans and converting them into convertibles. Sometimes this results in absolutely weird creations like a Range Rover droptop, but its latest project is significantly greener. The company has developed hard and soft top conversions for the Tesla Model S (shown above), and they are already quite popular too. An investor in China has already ordered 100 of them!

NCE has been working on creating the two versions of the convertible Model S for the last six months, and it involves a lot more than just cutting the roof off. "Some sections needed restructured," said Al Zadeh, the company's CEO, to Autoblog Canada about the changes made to maintain rigidity. A soft-top conversion costs US$29,000 and a hard-top US$49,000. In addition to these prices, buyers must supply a donor vehicle. Production is due to start in July in California, Dubai, and Barcelona, Spain.

This might be just the beginning for NCE's convertible Model S. Zadeh says that the company has made an inquiry with Tesla about whether it could supply 5,000 cars for conversion to satisfy predicted demand. He will release more details on the project "when the time is right."

Scroll down for NCE's official announcement of the 100-car order and click here for photos.

Related GalleryTesla Model S - T Sportline Wheels - Most Expensive Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S - T Sportline Wheels - Most Expensive Tesla Model STesla Model S - T Sportline Wheels - Most Expensive Tesla Model STesla Model S - T Sportline Wheels - Most Expensive Tesla Model STesla Model S - T Sportline Wheels - Most Expensive Tesla Model STesla Model S - T Sportline Wheels - Most Expensive Tesla Model STesla Model S - T Sportline Wheels - Most Expensive Tesla Model STesla Model S - T Sportline Wheels - Most Expensive Tesla Model STesla Model S - T Sportline Wheels - Most Expensive Tesla Model S


Turning the Tesla Model S Into a Taxi

News Source: Newport Convertible Engineering via World Car Fans

Image Credit: Newport Convertible Engineering

2015 Mazda2 spotted on the road

Posted Apr 20th 2014 2:00PM

2015 Mazda2

When Mazda unveiled the Hazumi Concept at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, our excitement for the next Mazda2 increased considerably. The Hazumi looks to retain much of the driving character that makes the current 2 one of the very best cars in its segment while infusing it with more aggressive styling. Of course, when the 2 arrives, it won't look exactly like the Hazumi. That's why these spy photos are so important.

This is our very first look at the next-generation 2, and although the Hazumi influence might be difficult to discern, thanks to the swirly camo, it's still there. The grille shape and the headlights are very similar in shape to the items shown on the concept, while the camouflage disguises the shape of the greenhouse, which looks somewhat like the Hazumi.

What we can't see, though, is under the hood. That's where our spies come in, reporting that a pair of 1.5-litre SkyActiv engines will see action in the tossable 2. The former, which we'll almost certainly see in Canada and the US, is a gas-powered mill found in the Euro-spec Mazda3. In the larger 3, it produces 99 horsepower and 111 pound-feet of torque, which is broadly similar to what the current 2's 1.5-litre pumps out. The other engine, a 1.5-litre SkyActiv diesel, probably won't be making the trip, although we'll continue to hope.

We should expect the next-gen 2 to arrive at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, with an on-sale date of early next year.

Related GalleryMazda Hazumi Concept: Geneva 2014
Mazda Hazumi Concept: Geneva 2014Mazda Hazumi Concept: Geneva 2014Mazda Hazumi Concept: Geneva 2014Mazda Hazumi Concept: Geneva 2014Mazda Hazumi Concept: Geneva 2014Mazda Hazumi Concept: Geneva 2014Mazda Hazumi Concept: Geneva 2014Mazda Hazumi Concept: Geneva 2014


2014 Mazda MAZDA2 Test Drive

News Source: CarPix

Image Credit: CarPix

Visit this secret Citroën stash outside Paris with XCar

Posted Apr 20th 2014 12:00PM

Citroen cars on three wheels

With models like the 2CV, DS and SM, Citroën established itself as a home for quirky styling and out-of-the-box engineering, and in many minds the brand defines the look of the classic French car. In a recent video, XCar ventures inside Citroën's secret warehouse outside of Paris where the brand keeps many of its rarest and most significant cars.

The collection includes the oldest DS in the world, which was never put on sale, and four incredibly rare, pre-World War II 2CVs. According to Denis Huille of Citroën Heritage, about 60 per cent of the cars are in drivable condition.

Citroën is now starting to go through a stylistic reawakening. Concepts like the DS 5LS R, Wild Rubis and Numero 9 show off a brand that has a definite idea of how a car wearing its badge should look. Scroll down to take a tour through the company's history.

News Source: XCar Films via YouTube

Volvo shows inflatable child seat concept

Posted Apr 20th 2014 10:00AM

Volvo Unveils the Revolutionary Inflatable Child Seat Concept

Volvo is bringing its emphasis on safety and design to the littlest members of the family with its concept for an inflatable, rearward facing child safety seat. The design is meant to help traveling families by offering a lighter and less bulky alternative to traditional car seats.

The design is quite ingenious. The seat is covered in drop-stitched fabric, which fills with air to create the form of the seat. An electric motor in it allows inflation and deflation in less than 40 seconds, according to Volvo. It weighs less than 5 kilograms (11 pounds) and folds small enough when collapsed to fit into a bag. It even has a Bluetooth connection, so parents can begin expanding it remotely.

The inflatable seat in the brainchild of Lawrence Abele, Volvo's design manager at its Monitoring and Concept Center in Los Angeles, CA. "For many, travelling with young children is a challenge; any assistance to simplify the parents' life with young children is a great thing," he said in a statement released by Volvo. The chair remains a concept for now, and the automaker isn't saying whether it's going to put it into production, but it's a clever solution to a common problem.

Scroll up for the video showing it in action and click continue to read the full release.

Related GallerySafest car brands
Safest car brandsSafest car brandsSafest car brandsSafest car brandsSafest car brandsSafest car brandsSafest car brandsSafest car brands

News Source: Volvo via YouTube

2015 Mini Cooper S does best gymkhana stunt video impersonation

Posted Apr 19th 2014 8:00PM

Screencap of a Malaysian video promo for the new Mini.

Mini Malaysia wants you - at least those of you in Southeast Asia - to know that the new Mini has a riptide of adrenaline and sharp teeth underneath its larger, more ergonomically efficient exterior. To make the point it enlisted the aid of Putrajaya roads, local agency Saatchi & Saatchi Arachnid and four local action sports stars: Fizzy, Shuk, Rizlan and Nasa.

A bog standard Mini Cooper S is the star, its 192-horsepower engine and rollcage-free cabin reinforcing the message that you can do the same thing in a model right off the showroom floor... if you happen to have the same skills as Ivan Khong, the Malaysian Gymkhana Champion behind the wheel. You can click here to watch the full stunt driving video for yourself and read the backstory in the press release below.

Volkswagen Phaeton will make North American return in 2018?

Posted Apr 19th 2014 6:00PM



Volkswagen knows that its North American operations need some help, so it installed Michael Horn as CEO of its American operations a few months ago. In a new interview with Bloomberg, Horn goes into detail about his two-pronged focus for the company – making dealers happier and improving product.

Chief among that product news is confirmation that the VW Phaeton is going to return to the American (and likely Canadian) market in 2018 or 2019, a move VW has long been rumoured to be considering lately. The full-size luxury sedan hasn't been sold in Canada since the end of the 2006 model year, departing the market as a victim of slow sales. (The Phaeton has since been slightly updated overseas, where it continues to be offered.)

The complex Phaeton garnered a good amount of critical acclaim in its time on our market, yet it earned mostly perplexed looks from consumers who had trouble understanding the idea of a "People's Car" priced against competitors like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (or the VW Group's own Audi A8, for that matter). It isn't immediately clear how VW intends to exempt the next-generation Phaeton from the same fate when it returns, nor is it clear whether the new model will share its underpinnings with the Bentley Continental Flying Spur, as the first iteration did.

According to the Bloomberg interview, Horn's other main goal is improving VW's dealer relations. He says that right now, dealers are unhappy with the company, and there is a "great distance" between them. The two sides are negotiating now to improve bonuses, marketing and other elements to get the network back on board.

"We need to connect closer from the American market to the German market," said Horn in the interview, and it looks like the company is making the first steps toward that goal. Click here to watch the full discussion.

News Source: Bloomberg

Image Credit: caranddriver.com

Bentley testing hardcore high-performance Continental GT V8 on Nurburgring?

Posted Apr 19th 2014 4:00PM

Bentley Continental GT V8

The Bentley Continental GT V8 is a darn good car. The GT V8 S, even more so. It's only logical, then that an even hotter Conti GT would be commensurately better. At least, we're hoping that's what the minds at Bentley's Crewe, UK headquarters were thinking when they dispatched this bewinged GT V8 to the Nürburgring.

This Conti GT stands out not only because of its wing, but because of its improved aerodynamics as a whole. A new front fascia, complete with a body-colour lip spoiler is the big visual takeaway of this car's sportier intensions, while our spies claim this white whale rides on a lowered, firmer suspension.

The real question about this car has to do with its powerplant, though. What's under hood? The GT V8 S returns an impressive 521 horsepower while the base Conti W12 churns out 567 ponies, meaning there isn't a lot of wiggle room between what is currently the priciest V8 model and the cheapest twelve-cylinder car. The 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8, though, is certainly capable of handling more than 521 hp, as Audi uses a 560-hp variant in the RS7. Our spies, meanwhile, suggest that this may merely be an even lighter version of the GT V8 S - maybe like an RS model - that is lighter and stiffer, but no more powerful.

It's really anyone's guess as to what Bentley is up to. Here's hoping we find out soon, though. Take a look up top for our gallery of images from the Nürburgring, and then hop down below into Comments and let us know what you think Bentley is playing at.

Related Gallery2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S: First Drive
2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S: First Drive2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S: First Drive2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S: First Drive2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S: First Drive2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S: First Drive2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S: First Drive2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S: First Drive2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S: First Drive


Bentley Continental GT Speed: Fastest Ever Bentley Road Car

News Source: CarPix

Image Credit: CarPix

Loading

Loading