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The 2015 Subaru Impreza gains some minor tweaks for the new year
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The Subaru Impreza really isn’t anything impressive until you start considering the turbocharged WRX and STI models, both of which are great. But still, the Impreza is a decent no-frills automobile in base form that will get you from point A to B in the same sort of comfort and reliability as anything else in its class.

But to keep things interesting still, Subaru themselves updated the 2015 Impreza just slightly to keep the car rather relevant.

For instance, the Impreza remains unchanged mechanically and instead, receives some visual updates such as a new and revised front lower fascia and a new foglight design for higher-tier models. Other updates include Subaru’s EyeSight active driver assistance package, only available on higher-spec Limited models, while the interior gains an updated seven-inch color touchscreen for the infotainment system.

Otherwise, the 2015 Subaru Impreza remains to be powered by a 2.0L boxer four with 148hp with the choice of either a five-speed manual or a CVT automatic.

For the full rundown, check it out after the jump.

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Photo Rendering: Should BMW revive the CSL variant for the M3?

BMW has always produced a high-performance variant to the M3 for every generation. More recently and notably, the E46 generation had an M3 CSL while the last generation E92 generation had the M3 GTS.

So it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to expect a high-performance and stripped down version of the all-new generation of M3 and M4. Though no word exists about such a model, digital artist r82 workchop decided to render its own futuristic vision of what a potential high-performance M4 CSL could look like, hypothetically.

The rendering features a lot of bodywork inspired by the new i8 and the new M4 to make one serious and aggressive M4 CSL concept.

Now obviously, this is just an idea and figment of our imaginations. But recently, some reports and rumors suggested that a new high-performance and lightweight M4 could be in the works. The current M4 tips the scales at around 3,406lbs but the supposed performance track-oriented version could weigh as little as 3,086lbs. It would also have stiffer suspension, more aggressive body work, and other weight-saving moves.

Do you think it should look like this?

Source: r82 workchop


Report: The Jeep Renegade to be a platform for development for FCA
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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is working overtime to make sure all of their brands have a platform for long-term stability and the next generation of automobiles. They’re putting for so much of an effort that the 2015 Jeep Renegade will actually serve as a test mule and platform for development for future vehicles of all of FCA’s portfolios, according to Senior Vice President of Product Design, Ralph Gillies, who spoke to AutoBlog recently.

Click here for our original post on the 2015 Jeep Renegade.

The 2015 Jeep Renegade is relatively important for the brand and company as a whole since it’s the first subcompact crossover, truly designed to capture the hearts and minds of young and new buyers. It is based off of a Fiat, the 500L to be exact, and is also built in Italy. But Jeep went above and beyond to make sure the Renegade looks, drives, and offers the capability of a Jeep, despite its Italian roots.

But thanks to its duality of being both American and Italian in spirit and build, the Renegade serves two purposes in two markets. Here in America, it’ll be seen as a traditional Jeep ready for the rough terrain that all of North America has to offer, while in Europe, it’s being viewed and perceived as a city car with a little more edge.

Either way, the Renegade is planned to be sold in over 100 different countries, mimicking FCA’s plans to truly expand globally. And that’s because it’s based on a Fiat, allowing engineers to tune and engineer the car accordingly to each market.

For the detailed interview, head on over to AutoBlog to check it out.

- By: Chris Chin

Source: AutoBlog


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 drivers 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