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Photo Rendering: Imagine if Volvo made a BMW X6 competitor out of its XC90
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Imagine if Volvo made a stylized XC90 built to compete against the BMW X6. Do you know what it would look like? Well, digital artist, Theophilius Chin does. And recently, he created some renderings of what it might look like, if Volvo ever came up with the idea.

Like the BMW X6, this imagination takes the XC90 and the Concept Estate and meshes them together to make a premium and sporty looking crossover.

Although no model is actually planned by Volvo, this is a good start for inspiration since Volvo does plan to continue moving its brand upmarket to continue competing against the major competition in the luxury market.

Source: Theophilius Chin


Lexus details minor updates for the 2015 LS
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The 2015 Lexus LS is being given a tiny refresh for the new model year to keep it fresh and relevant.

For the most part, the LS remains unchanged, but the parts that did include the infotainment system, interior lighting and ambiance tweaks, an improved rear-view camera and more.

The Lexus infotainment system now offers predictive traffic information, a detour preview, and more detailed sat-nav information as well as locations for the closest fueling stations, should the car be low. Additionally, Lexus updated the LS to feature more Enform App Suite functions, including control of the door locks, the ignition, and the climate control–all from the convenience of your smartphone.

Otherwise, the 2015 Lexus LS still gets power from a 4.6L V8 with 386bhp with 367 lb-ft of torque for the base model while the hybrid LS 600hL gets a 5.0L V8 hybrid setup with 438bhp.

Check out the press release after the jump.

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Report: The 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost busted for fake engine noise

One of the recent tweaks automakers have been doing in an attempt to keep cars interesting and entertaining is amplifying engine soundtracks, either by clever acoustics or mostly by pumping fake engine noises through the sound system. This has been controversial because anything fake is, well, fake, and it’s just not the same.

Why has this become and issue? Mainly because car makers are resorting to turbocharged engines and turbocharged engines have very subdued exhaust notes when compared to naturally-aspirated motors because turbochargers are piped with the exhaust system for boost, and they act as mufflers in some senses. Additionally, because cars are becoming quieter for better everyday use, this gives a chance for engineers to offer a better compromise with noise, vibrations, and harshness or the refinement of its cars.

But for something of a sports and muscle car like the new 2015 Mustang, similarly to the BMW M5, and Volkswagen’s use of a “Soundaktor” in the GTI, this is just unacceptable. There is an exception, and that would be the Ford Focus ST, which actually pipes sound in to the cabin from the engine-bay (the clever acoustics).

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Report: The Jaguar XE SVR to compete against BMW M3 and Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG
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Jaguar’s new XE sedan is really giving the Germans, the Japanese, and even the Americans something to worry about. But what they really should give worry to is the all-new XE SVR, which is destined to duke it out with the latest BMW M3, the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, and the incoming Cadillac ATS-V (we’re still waiting word on Lexus’ follow-up to the IS-F).

Click here for more news on the Jaguar XE.

This really shouldn’t be a surprise, especially when Jaguar has its sights directly set on BMW and Merc. But CARandDRIVER recently came up with some finer details about what to expect with Jaguar’s XE SVR.

As expected, the XE SVR gets a 5.0L supercharged AJ-V8 stuffed into its bonnet, lifted straight from the XF and other models in the lineup. As to what specific state of tune the V8 will be in is unknown, but the least-powerful variant makes 470hp in the XF Supercharged. And that’s plenty to combat the BMW M3′s 425hp and the Merc’s base 469hp–the S model produces around 507hp.

Alternatively, Jaguar’s Special Vehicle Operations could also end up producing two versions of the XE like they produce the XFR and the XFR-S. Either way, the Jaguar XE is ready to come to the battle, full-guns ablaze.

- By: Chris Chin

Source: CARandDRIVER


Video: Watch these rally spectators avoid near and certain death

If you are ever granted the chance to see an off-road rally race in person as a spectator, I would say, go for it, unequivocally no questions asked. But there are certain things you need to know about rally spectating, mainly because the spectators don’t exactly have a set of fenced-off bleachers to sit on and watch from a safe and far distance.

Majority of the time, you stand on the side of the road course as some of the world’s best drives zip past you on all sorts of loose and paved surfaces. That said, you need to be considerable of the possibilities of things going wrong. And things can go quite wrong, especially in rallying.

One of these cardinal rules is to never spectate from an area that’s also the outside exit line of a curve. And by simple logic, that’s because cars can lose traction when exiting a curve and the loose surfaces of a rally course increase the chances of careening off.

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Chrysler increases Ram EcoDiesel production w/ video

Chrysler has been doing extremely well with their light-duty Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. In fact, they’re doing so well, Chrysler officially announced to be doubling production, quite impressive even after receiving 8,000 orders within just three days following being launched.

Sales weren’t expected to be stellar, with Auburn Hills only predicting the EcoDiesel to make up around 10 percent of the Ram 1500′s production. But expectations were outrageously exceeded.

As a refresher, the 2015 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is a 3.0L unit built by Fiat’s subsidiary, VM Motori, to produce 240hp and 420 lb-ft of torque with a ZF-sourced eight-speed auto.

Check out the press release after the jump.

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Report: Audi is preparing an RS3 Sportback, due sometime next year

Audi is apparently working on a high-performance version of the A3 to make the RS3 Sportback.

AutoExpress in the UK recently heard of the RS3 idea, which could be utilizing the outgoing TT RS’s 2.5L turbocharged TFSI inline-five. The old RS3 was good for around 335bhp but now, the new RS3 Sportback could sport as much as 360bhp, a very considerable upgrade. Power should be sent as usual to the ground via Quattro all-wheel drive and a six-speed S tronic automatic. There was no mention of a manual option, disappointingly.

It’ll ride on Audi’s latest MQB platform, translating into a loss of 121lbs for a total curb weight of around 3,351lbs.

Expect lower and more aggressive suspension tuning, sportier bodywork, and a 0-60 time in the low four second range.

Unfortunately, there was no mention of the RS3 coming stateside and considering how the last model was also exempt from our market, we don’t expect the new one to come here either.

Source: AutoExpress


Video: Jay Leno’s Mercedes-Benz 600 Grosser is one grossly epic land yacht

The Mercedes-Benz 600 is a legend in its own right and some would even argue that it’s the greatest Mercedes ever built.

When it was first introduced in 1963, it was the epitome of what Mercedes-Benz was known for, cost-no-object engineering. And for that reason alone, the 600 really is something special, particularly when the window switches cost more than $12,000 to replace. But that’s not all.

All 600s were built with a central hydraulic system that controlled everything from the windows, to the power seats, and even an automatic trunk. Their reason: to ensure the most luxurious and seamless operation. And let’s not forget, this predates the era before compact electric and servo motors.

Driving everything is a whomping 6.3L fuel-injected “M100″ V8 good for an at the time, impressive 250hp and 370 lb-ft of torque with a four-speed automatic.

Pretty much everyone famous you could think of had a 600. From Coco Chanel, to John Lennon, Elvis Presley, Hugh Hefner, and even Saddam Hussein. And today, Jay Leno is one of the lucky individuals to be in possession of one of 2,190 short-wheelbase 600s in the world.

But for some reason, Jay Leno didn’t think 250hp was enough. So he goes over his particular example and its special party piece under the hood.

Check it out after the jump.

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Recalls: Toyota’s Tacoma recalled for rust on leaf springs and a fire risk
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The Toyota Tacoma is a great truck, but those who’ve owned them on the long term know the Tacoma is very associated with rust. And unfortunately, this relationship was exacerbated as Toyotan announced to be recalling 690,000 Tacomas from 2005-2011 due to rusting leaf springs in the rear suspension.

The leaf springs could rust and eventually crack, leading to serious problems with the suspension. Moreover, should a leaf spring snap, the suspension would sag enough to raise a flag of caution of suspension parts colliding with the fuel tank. And that’s no bueno.

No reports of crashes or fatalities have been reported, so Toyota is issuing this recall as a precaution. All owners are to be notified and affected cars are due for a trip to the dealer for inspection and a repair, free of charge.

Check out the press release after the jump.

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Report: The Mercedes AMG GT Black Series is already in the works
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With the Mercedes-AMG GT finally here, lots of questions still exist with the more impertinent one being, will there be a Black Series?

And the answer is yes, according to AMG’s chief. Tobias Moers, speaking to Britain’s Evo at the Paris show last week.

Click here for more news on the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT.

“Sooner or later, there will be a Black Series version,” Moers said. What could this mean? Well, less weight, more power than the AMG GT S’s 503hp, and lots of tweaking, all in the name of performance, much like other Black Series cars.

Moers didn’t say when the AMG GT could surface, but Evo speculates sometime in 2018.

- By: Chris Chin

Source: Evo