The stuff of calendars and posters, exotics are cars you will rarely see in real life. Lucky indeed is the individual who gets to see a Bentley Continental GT Speed or a Spyker C8 Aileron drive by on the street. We've gone through our auto show photographs to select rare new production cars.
The new Mini continues its automotive archeology by bringing back the Clubman version. The 2008 Mini Cooper S Clubman shares the same powertrain and cabin gadget options with the Mini Cooper S, yet the Clubman gets a bit more cargo space and easier access to the back seats. With its extra length and weight, we expected it to lose that fun Mini driving character, but it maintains its sprightliness. Mini's BMW owners let it share excellent cabin technology, including navigation with live traffic and HD radio. But the only significant cabin tech option on our Clubman was Mini's … Read more
With the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ, Chevrolet makes its strongest bid yet to unseat the Toyota Camry as America's most popular car. For cabin quality, the Malibu LTZ equals the Camry and even the Honda Accord. The Malibu features the most modern powertrain we've yet seen from Chevrolet, although the handling feels wobbly, especially at freeway speeds. The head unit in the Malibu LTZ is GM-standard, it has a decent interface for playing MP3 CDs and a standard auxiliary input. The cabin electronics are rounded out with OnStar's various services, including hands-free-calling and turn-by-turn directions.
Although we frequently see car models get updated at car shows, it's uncommon to see a completely new model. We've gathered new cars that debuted at the recent batch of auto shows here, so you can see what to expect in showrooms.
Last year Fiat built a mammoth version of its new Fiat 500 mini car for the Frankfurt auto show, and now, in a fit of more size-conscious advertising, Fiat put up a mammoth advertising display for the tiny car in Berlin. This giant display is 3,100 square feet per side, and it is set up near Checkpoint Charlie, the former Berlin wall gate between West and East Germany. The cool feature of this advertising monument is that you can text it. According to Fiat, if you send a text to 84000 with the password Fiat 500, the message will … Read more
BMW's announcement of the 135i hit us like Pavlov's bell, the one he used to make his dog salivate. Once we got into the 2008 BMW 135i Coupe, all of our expectations were met, and more. BMW threw its best engine into its smallest car, leading to impressive acceleration for a car in this price range. But don't expect BMW engineers to content themselves with this simple concept; no, they tuned the car appropriately, such as making sure its tires would hold the road while being turned by 3-liter, twin-turbocharged power.
You usually have to pay for … Read more
Following the sport versions of Audi's larger cars, such as the S4, S5, and S8, the diminutive TT gets its own sports version, the TTS. Audi announced today that the 2009 TTS would launch in late 2008. We got a preview of this car at the 2008 Detroit auto show, and came away baffled by its engine specs. We were highly impressed by the 2008 Audi TT Coupe and Convertible, when equipped with the 3.2-liter V-6 and Quattro all-wheel-drive, but Audi specified a 2-liter turbocharged four cylinder for the TTS. Stats published with Audi's announcement today clear … Read more
A new BMW launch always gets our rev-counter ticking higher, so when we got the chance to test drive three new Bimmer models last week at an event hosted by the Western Automotive Journalists association, we lost no time in buckling up. From the two nimble 1-Series models to the the phenomenal M3 trio, to the curiously styled X6, we put the next generation of Bavarian Motor Work through its paces.
When we tested the 2008 BMW M3 Coupe recently, we were so impressed with it that we gave it an Editors' Choice award. But now we've driven the M3 equipped with BMW's new double-clutch gearbox, and found that perfection could be improved upon. We got our first sense of the brilliance of this gearbox on a public road, where we shifted up through the gears until the indicator in the instrument cluster showed a seven. Yes, seven speeds. One critique we had of the six-speed manual M3 Coupe we reviewed was that its fuel economy was low, sticking … Read more
The Truth About Cars blog posted commentary on the next generation Toyota Prius today. The car is supposed to debut at the 2009 Detroit auto show, but a few details have come out in Edmund's Auto Observer. The new Prius will be 3 inches to 4 inches longer than the current model and it will get a 50 horsepower boost. Along with all that, it will get better fuel economy than the current model. The last update was in 2004, so this new version is definitely due. There's also talk of another model in the Prius line, and … Read more