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VW Teases New “Trendy, Affordable” New SUV Concept

“Hardly any switches,” in high-tech interior.

by on Feb.22, 2016

VW teases its new compact SUV

Volkswagen’s product line-up has a big hole in it, though nothing too big a couple of new SUVs couldn’t fill.

The German maker has already laid out plans to launch a production version of its popular CrossBlue Concept SUV. Now, it’s offering a hint of what else it has in mind for a more “trendy, affordable” SUV for its line-up.

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The so-far unnamed SUV Concept will make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show next month, alongside a new version of VW’s little “Up!” city car. That includes gas and diesel-powered versions of the little hatchback, as well as alternatives using natural gas and battery power, VW hints.


First Look: 2016 BMW X1

Big things in a small package.

by on Jun.02, 2015

BMW claims the 2016 remake of the X1 will offer the roomiest interior in its segment.

Small outside, big inside. That’s been a major selling point for a new generation of compact Sport-Utility Vehicles, such as the BMW X1. And the German maker is promising to deliver even greater room, versatility — and performance — as it prepares to roll out the second-generation X1.

In keeping with broader trends in the luxury market, the new Sport Activity Vehicle, as BMW prefers to call it, will also yield more power even while cutting emissions and fuel consumption thanks to the latest EfficientDynamics technologies.

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The debut of the 2016 BMW X1 comes just six years after the launch of the original model and underscores the increasingly competitive nature of a segment that barely existed when the first one hit the street. Sales of the original have already been approaching the 700,000 mark.


Audi Bringing All-New Q7 to Detroit Auto Show

German maker’s oldest model finally getting a remake.

by on Dec.12, 2014

The new Audi Q7 will shed more than 700 pounds.

Among the estimated 45 world debuts scheduled for the upcoming Detroit Auto Show, expect a big one from Audi – quite literally, as it plans to reveal the replacement for the biggest, and oldest, model in its line-up.

The Q7 SUV has undergone only the most modest of tweaks since its original debut back in 2006, an unusually lengthy wait considering the ever-faster pace of today’s auto industry.

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Audi apparently intends to address some of the key complaints about the Q7, which include its unimpressive fuel economy, as well as its poor space utilization. Among other things, the big ute will drop more than 700 pounds of mass. It will, meanwhile, get a new plug-in hybrid system which Audi claims will deliver as much as 138 mpg.


BMW Reveals New X4 SAV

Downsized X6 to debut at NY Auto Show.

by on Mar.06, 2014

BMW adds another Sports Activity Vehicle to its line-up, the new X4 Sports Activity Coupe.

If you’re having a hard time keeping up with all the SAVs, GTs, Gran Coupes and Active Tourers, here’s a spoiler alert: the BMW line-up is about to get bigger still.

Barely had we finished writing about the maker’s Geneva Motor Show additions, including the new 2-Series Active Tourer, before we received an e-mail advising us of yet another debut, this one the Bavarian maker’s latest Sports Activity Coupe, the X4.

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Think of it as a downsized version of the X6 and, as BMW has changed the definition, this Coupe actually has four doors.  Make that five with the big rear hatch.

We’ll have to wait until next month’s New York Auto Show to see this one in the sheet metal – which may give us a chance to digest all the other recent BMW offerings.  But here’s what the maker is telling us ahead of time.


Macan Can Push Porsche Past its 200,000 Goal in 2015

Small SUV intro should get maker to goal three years early.

by on Feb.11, 2014

Porsche's new Macan SUV is expected to help push the company past is goal of 200,000 deliveries a year in 2015: three years early.

Seems like so many German automakers are making public proclamations about when they’ll reach a certain sales goal and sticking to them no matter what the market is doing, except one: Porsche.

Porsche executives said the company will reach its goal of delivering 200,000 vehicles…three years early in 2015.

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The German maker delivered 162,145 vehicles in 2013, which was a 15% increase over the previous year largely due to demand for the Boxster and Cayman doubled. The company has introduced several new models in the last decade, such as the Cayenne, Cayman and Panamera, helping the sales numbers higher and higher. (more…)

First Look: 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG

Muscle, luxury and plenty of space.

by on Nov.14, 2011

Mercedes delivers a big bump in power with the launch of the 2012 ML63 AMG.

Mercedes-Benz is seldom shy about adding some muscle to its more mainstream offerings, and the AMG badge on the back of the third-generation ML line suggests that this sport-utility vehicle isn’t meant for crawling all over boulder-strewn trails.

Then again, neither are any of the other members of the ML line-up, which is more likely to win over soccer moms and commuter dads than rugged outdoorsmen.  In the case of the Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG, the pitch is to those who want a reasonable degree of functionality and flexibility but still hope to find something with the soul of a sports car.

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There’s no question that the fast-beating heart of the 2012 ML63 can impress, the updated 5.5-liter biturbo V8 making518 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque – up 15 hp and 44 lb-ft, respectively, over the old model.  For those who need to press things to the limit, you’ll also find the AMG Performance Package bumps that up to 550 hp and 560 lb-ft.  Power is channeled through the Mercedes Speedshift Plus-7 automatic gearbox.