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Nissan Gets a Gripz on the Next Juke

A hint of a sportier Juke to come.

by on Sep.15, 2015

The Nissan Gripz Concept aims to blend the functionality of a Juke with the sportiness of a 370Z.

Even before it rolled onto the stage at the Frankfurt Motor Show on Tuesday, the Nissan Gripz was already generating some wild rumors suggesting it might be anything from the next Juke crossover to a replacement for the Nissan 370Z sports car.

In a sense, both of those ideas are accurate. No, the Z-car isn’t going away, but today’s buyers want something more than the minimal soft-roaders of years past, and the Gripz suggests the next-generation Juke will bring not only the flexibility and utility of a crossover vehicle, but also the fun-to-drive characteristics of a sports cars.

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Exactly how much of the Gripz concept will carry over into production remains to be seen, but expect to see some key elements, including the so-called V-Motion grille, which Nissan global creative director Shiro Nakamura confirmed will be the new face of Nissan products.

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First Look: 2015 BMW X5 M and X6 M

Debut set for LA Auto Show next month.

by on Oct.29, 2014

BMW offers a first look at the two big performance crossovers, the X5 M and X6 M, coming to LA.

The world got its first look at the new BMW X5 eDrive hybrid during the Paris Motor Show a few weeks back, and now the Bavarian maker is steering in a very different direction as it offers up details on its all-new  high-performance crossovers, the 2015 BMW X5 M and X6 M. Both models will officially debut at the L.A. Auto Show next month.

As with the latest versions of the more mainstream X5 and X6 Sport-Activity Vehicles, the revised M models opt for evolutionary, rather than revolutionary, design changes. That means new front and rear fascia and body lines.

Power Up!

But what matters most is what lies barely hidden beneath the sheet metal, and the new M crossovers will be adopting the same 4.4-liter, TwinPower Turbo V-8 already offered in the M5 and M6 lines – BMW boasting that it’s the most powerful engine it has ever developed for an all-wheel-drive vehicle.

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Ford to Launch Performance Sport Version of Explorer

Muscle with mileage.

by on Mar.28, 2012

The 2013 Ford Explorer Sport will deliver 350 hp and up to 22 mpg on the highway.

Gas may be inching ever closer to an all-time record but Ford Motor Co. is betting there are still plenty of buyers who want performance as well as high mileage.  With the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport, it’s hoping to deliver both.

Scheduled for a formal unveiling at the New York Auto Show next week, Ford lifted the covers to provide a sneak peek at the performance SUV, which will deliver muscle car levels of acceleration using a turbocharged V-6 rather than a conventional V-8 – which Ford abandoned when it introduced an all-new version of the Explorer for the 2011 model-year.

“We’re confident there are people out there who still want the extra horsepower – but want to do it in a smart way,” said marketing manager Eric Peterson.

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Instead of the traditional big-block V-8, the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport turns to the maker’s turbocharged, 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine which makes 350 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque.  That’s in line with competitors like the more up-market Ranger Rover Sport, at 375 hp, and the similarly priced, Hemi V-8-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee, at 360 hp.

According to Ford, the Explorer Sport will turn 0 to 60 in about 6.0 seconds, or a full two seconds faster than the normally aspirated V-6 version of the SUV.

The Explorer Sport will rely on a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 rather than the old Explorer's big, gas-guzzling V-8.

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