Kia unleashes new 2014 "Red Zone" Soul limited-edition model

Kia likes special-edition models...heck most folks do and this is the first special edition based on the new, updated 2014 Soul. The Soul Red Zone Edition is inspired by Kia's Track'ster concept and is based on the Soul Plus model. The Red Zone Soul features white paint with red accents on the grille and the special body kit and custom 18-inch alloy wheels. The interior has black fabric seats with red stitching, a leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, black mats with red piping, and shift knob ring, air vent ring, dash speakers and console tray trim that have been dipped in red paint to continue the theme. Pricing has not been announced, but only 2,000 Red-Zone Souls will be available in the first quarter of 2014. Check with your dealer regarding availability. More info after the jump...

Source: Kia - Press release and pics after the jump.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Premier Edition Convertible arrives for the Holidays (sort of)

When you have a new generation of an iconic sports car, it is not uncommon for an automaker to celebrate the event with a special, limited-edition version of the new baby. Chevrolet is no exception with this Premiere Edition of the 2014 Corvette Convertible. All 550 of the Corvette Premiere Edition Convertibles (PEC) will be painted in Lime Rock Green with a Brownstone suede interior and matching convertible top. The Corvette PEC is based on the top-of-the-line 3LT model and includes the suede-wrapped interior, carbon fiber accents, variable tuned performance exhaust system, Z51 Performance Package, and Magnetic Selective Ride Control. The Stingray logo adorns the sill plates, wheels, and fender vents. The Corvette PEC also includes a set of Corvette-branded luggage from Thule. These cars will also include a unique VIN sequence and unique dash plaques for each car commemorating their limited-edition status. The 2014 Corvette Premiere Edition Convertible will cost $77,450, which includes destination and delivery fees but not taxes, license, fees, and options. The cars will be at dealers in early 2014. Chances are they may all be spoken for, but you can check with your local Chevy dealer (that can sell Corvettes). Maybe they will sell it to you at sticker...

Source: Chevrolet - Press release after the "read more" jump.

Porsche offers Platinum Edition Cayenne models

Now that the Porsche Cayenne's "little" sibling, the Macan, is nibbling at the Cayenne's heels in both size and price, you know that a new (probably larger) Cayenne is right around the corner. So, a special-edition model is in order. The Cayenne's recent update should hold the "big" Porsche ute until the next model change but the Platinum Edition specials could be seen as a gift to "base" Cayenne buyers. The Platinum Edition Cayenne can be had with either the base 3.6-liter V6 engine (300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque) for $63,300 (plus taxes, license, fees, options, and $995 destination) or with the 3.0-liter turbo-diesel (240 hp and 406 lb-ft. of torque) for $66,900 (+). While this may not sound like a deal, the Platinum Edition models combine most of the popular options into one model at a price that is lower than if you were to spec the car that way yourself. Plus it can be ordered in the unique Carrara White Metallic paint finish. Other paint considerations are non-metallic Black or White and optional Meteor Grey Metallic, Basalt Black Metallic, or Mahogany Metallic all with special exterior detail accents in Platinum Silver Metallic. Yes there are still options. Like a full-leather interior over the partial leather Platinum Edition base fitment. The Black Luxor Beige two-tone interior is quite attractive (click on pic for a closer look) and is exclusive to the Platinum Series cars (trucks?). Other standard equipment includes the eight-speed Tiptronic S automatic transmission, Power Steering Plus, Park Assist front and rear, the Convenience Package and Bose® Audio Package. The standard Convenience Package includes the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system with high-resolution seven-inch touchscreen navigation, BiXenon™ headlights with Porsche Dynamic Light System (PDLS), Driver Memory Package seats, a moonroof, heated front seats, and more. The Bose® Surround Sound System includes 14 loudspeakers with 585 watts, Sirius XM® radio, and a 6-disc changer. Yes, a lot of bang for your buck. The only problems I see are the standard alloy wheels that seem a little small. This looks like an opportunity if you are in the market for an entry-level Cayenne (both still hit 60 mph in just over 7 seconds). More info after the jump. Check with your local Porsche provider for dates of availability.

Source: Porsche - Press release after the "read more" jump.

All-new 2015 Ford Mustang gallops into the limelight - w/videos - Update

Well it's here...the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang and it certainly doesn't look its age. This coming April, the Mustang turns 50, and the new 'Stang looks great. Ford revealed the new Mustang ahead of the 50th Anniversary celebration expected this April with production scheduled to begin in the fall of 2014. The new Mustang abandons the retro look of yore with a more modern look that still intimates at iterations past like the front gill-like slots, now driving lights, of the original Mustang, to the three-bar taillights with sequential feature. The GT model shown previews the cleaner yet more aggressive visage of the new Mustang with a wider body and lower trunk line. The roof is lower too adding to the clean, sleek, aero look. The tail is an especially nice update and makes the Mustang appear more lithe and less tail-heavy. (Check out the four videos of the Mustang after the jump.) While early info is light, the '15 Mustang receives numerous updates. An independent-suspension system is standard in the rear with an upgraded MacPherson-strut set-up up front. Brakes are improved with the top offering being a Brembo package. Three engines will be available at introduction (not counting future performance models) the base 3.0-liter V6 (300 hp and 270 lb.-ft. of torque), a new 2.3-liter EcoBoost four (305 hp and 300 lb.-ft. of torque), and the 5.0-liter V8 (420 hp and 390 lb.-ft. of torque), although power ratings may change before production. In the beginning, a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic will help get the power to the rear wheels. No EPA numbers have been released. One bit of unconfirmed info is that the '15 Mustang will be some 200 pounds lighter which will further improve performance, fuel efficiency, and handling. MyFord Touch will be available for the first time on any Mustang and the interior is much improved with a sharper design and higher-quality materials. Expect all the technology and safety bits and pieces to make it under the saddle of Ford's new pony car. You can get a good idea of what the 2015 Mustang has to offer from the info in the press release and videos after the jump. Click on the pics for a closer look. I really like this new pony and I want one. I mean I did learn to drive in a '66 Mustang convertible. More to come..

Update: Ford has released a new press release with more specific drivetrain info which has been added after the jump. This begs the question(s), "Is the new EcoBoost Mustang a rally racer that should fit in your garage," or "is the base 'Stang a balanced performance economy option for you," or is the V8 thumper your speed ideal?" Good questions all.

Source: Ford - Press releases (3), pics (3) and video after the "read more" jump.

Subaru reveals new 2015 WRX

Subaru took the wraps of off the new 2015 WRX sports sedan at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. As you may know, the WRX is the first step up performance-wise from the Impreza compact sedan (and 5-door) but right below the ultimate Subie rally car, the WRX STI. The new WRX (yes the Impreza name was dropped from the sportsters) features a 2.0-liter direct-injection turbo BOXER engine (268 hp) that puts the power to all four wheels through either a six-speed manual or the new optional Sport Lineartronic® continuously-variable transmission (CVT). Other enhancements include the new stiffer chassis, a torque-vectoring system (to reduce understeer), new 17-inch alloy wheels, functional hood scoop, WRX body kit (including tail lip spoiler), two versions of Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (depending on transmission choice), unique WRX wide body, automatic climate control, and more. Options include keyless access with push-button start, heated front seats, power driver’s seat, a 440-watt, 9-speaker harman/kardon premium audio system, and navigation with Aha® smartphone integration.LED lighting to name a few. The WRX is the more luxe model in the rally/performance car line-up. For more information, check out the press release after the jump.

Source: Subaru - Press Release and pics (News-Press/Subaru) after the "read more" jump.

Nissan adds a little RS to the Juke NISMO for 2014 - w/video

Let's get this out of the way. I've always liked the Nissan black. So you know I'm gonna love the 2014 Juke NISMO RS. What's not to like about a funky compact crossover in Sapphire Black with red accents, great 18-inch alloy wheels, slightly lowered stance, suspension upgrades, a body kit, spoiler, and Recaro seats covered in Alcantara. Yeah, it comes in Brilliant Silver and Pearl White as well, but when you can have the Sapphire Black...Then you add to that a 1.6-liter DOHC aluminum-alloy Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG™) turbocharged engine that makes 215 hp and 210 lb.-ft. of torque with the six-speed manual and 211 hp and 184 lb.-ft. of torque with the CVT (continuously-variable transmission) and all-wheel drive. Inside the Juke NISMO RS, the Recaro "sportster-style" seats are red leather with black alcantara inserts, the dash features carbon-fiber-look accents, and all fabrics feature red contrast stitching. Outside, the Juke NISMO RS features the body kit with red pinstripe accents, the 10-spoke diamond cut wheels, privacy glass, smoked lighting lenses, piano black "B" pillars, revised front fascia with LED lights replacing the foglamps, and special NISMO RS badges. The Juke NISMO RS comes fully-equipped but the Navigation Package (NissanConnect™ with Navigation system with 5.8-inch touch-screen, 3D-effect map views, Voice Recognition and NavTraffic capability [SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately]; NissanConnect™ Apps; Rockford Fosgate ecoPUNCH™ audio system; USB interface [iPod® compatible]; and Rear-View Monitor) as the only option. Now Jukes come in five flavors, S, SV, SL, NISMO, and NISMO RS from mildish to wild. The 2014 Juke NISMO RS will be available early in 2014. Check with your dealer for availability info. For specifics, check out the press release, LA Auto Show video, and a couple of pics after the jump.

Source: Nissan - Press release, spec chart, and LA Auto Show video after the "read more" jump.

BMW's all-new 4-Series goes topless in LA - w/video

When the 4Series was introduced to replace the 3 Series Coupe, you knew it was ajust a matter of time before the 4 Series would expand from the coupe to add a convertible...and it's a retractable hardtop one at that. Okay, the 3 Series Convertible also had a hard roof, but the new 4 Series cabrio's roof has been updated with sleeker looks and advanced soundproofing with its “noise-absorbing” headliner (pic after the jump). But let's be honest, we all know what we are talking about here. This is the latest generation of BMW open-air motoring and the new 4 Series is stunning in its look and amazing in its ability to provide miles and miles of smiles. The new 4 Series Convertible will come in three flavors, Sport Line, Modern Line and Luxury Line, with an M Sport package (Wheels, body kit, etc.) that can be added to any 4 Series. According to the press info, there will be three engines available in the new 4 Series Convertible, the four-cylinder engine (approx 240 hp) in the 428i, the 3.0-liter six (306 hp) in the 435i, and a new four-cylinder diesel engine (184 hp) in the 420d that won't be real quick, but should return excellent fuel economy. I guess you can have it all. There is no word when the diesel will be available though. With the new 4 Series Convertible you get your choice of luxury, sport, open-air motoring, or fuel efficienct or any combination thereof depending on your needs and wallet. Prices haven't been announced but expect a jump up from the 3 Series droptop. For lots of info, check out the 3 press releases (two are similar), 8 pics (click for a closer look, and a short video after the jump.  Enjoy, the wait is almost over...

Source: BMW - Press releases (3), pics (8), and video after the "read more" jump.

2014 SRT Viper GTS just got more exclusive with Anodized Carbon Special Edition

The once Dodge Viper has gone from an almost kit car-esque boy-racer mobile to a full fledged supercar that has nothing to apologize for. The styling has matured but is easily recognized as a Viper. The interior is now a comfortable place to be instead of the place where you hold on. The (now) SRT Viper has matured and is more sophisticated than ever before. The things that attracted Viper loyalists to the car are still here like the thunderingly powerful V10 engine, unique styling, two seats, and blinding speed. It is amazing that this latest generation Viper was produced at all what with the drama that Detroit has faced in recent years. Maybe Fiat ownership has been good for Chrysler. But this Viper, the GTS Anodized Carbon Special Edition, is the one to lust for. Only 50 Viper GTSes will be produced...ever. Collectors? Start with the Viper GTS with goodies like the 8.4-liter, V-10 overhead-valve engine (640 hp and 600 lb.-ft. of torque), enhanced suspension, and more. Add to that the ultra-cool new metallic matte exterior color (a Chrysler first) and Black Vapor Chrome five-spoke “Rattler” wheels, Gloss Black GTS badge, Satin Black exhaust bezel, Anodized Carbon fuel filler door, orange brake calipers, and carbon fiber brake ducts. Interior additions include an Alcantara wrapped headliner, door bolsters and knee blockers; orange accent stitching on the Nappa leather wrapped door trim, center console, instrument panel, and on the Nappa leather and Alcantara seats; orange accents added to the door panel and instrument panel; and carbon-fiber accents added to the center stack, door panels and steering wheel. And we can't forget the special carbon GTS badges. Stunning and rare. Chances are if you haven't placed your order, it's too late but you can check with your SRT retailer assuming you've got the bucks. But then if you have to ask... For more info, check out the press release and pics (3) after the jump.

Source: SRT - Press release and additional pics (3) after the "read more" jump.

Ford Edge Concept previews next production vehicle's design - w/video

It's Auto Show time and many automakers roll out the almost ready production vehicles as "concepts." What we have here is basically the new Ford Edge, here called the Edge Concept. To be fair, these concepts allow carmakers to gauge public opinion and to make last minute adjustments if necessary. The Edge Concept is a nice upgrade of the current CUV. When you take a closer look at the pics (click on them for a closer look) there us little on display that couldn't see production. Even the interior ambient lighting is showing up on production vehicles today. Maybe Ford could offer the lighting as an option due to the Edge's price point. I could see this vehicle on the road today. Please. I really like this update and lets hope Ford keeps the good stuff. And there is a lot of stuff on this vehicle. Like a self-parking system. Yup, this car will park itself. I've seen other automaker's videos showing their car pulling up to a spot in a parking lot and the car selecting and pulling into a parking spot. Cool stuff, but the day is right around the corner when an automaker is sued due to all this "helpful" technology. I can hear it now, "I mean you said it would stop itself! You said it could park with no problem, so I let it and the car just..." Look for the production version of the Edge Concept either at the Detroit or New York Auto Show early next year. I wonder what the Sport model will look like. For more info, check out the press release, pics, and video after the jump.

Source: Ford - Press release, pics (6), and video after the "read more" jump.

Chevrolet re-enters the mid-size truck market with the 2015 Colorado - w/video

When Ford dropped the Ranger and GM let the Colorado and Canyon out to pasture, mid-size truck buyers had only one new vehicle to consider, the Toyota Tacoma. GM is getting back in the fight with the new 2015 Chevrolet Colorado (expect a GMC model soon). The Colorado will be available as a four-door cab model in WT, LT and Z71 (shown) trim levels in 2WD or 4WD. Available engines include the standard 2.5L I-4 and a 3.6L V-6. A proven Duramax 2.8L I-4 turbodiesel already offered in global markets will be made available in US Colorados during the second year of production. Expect equipment and features that are new to the segment like rear-view cameras, OnStar and MyLink infotainment, navigation, and more. The look is a nice update and is one of the better-looking trucks available today. Chevy should sell bunches of them. Expect very competitive tow and haul ratings. For more info, check out the press release, pics and video after the jump. The 2015 Chevy Colorado will be available next year. More info to come... Maybe Ford will rethink bringing the global Ranger to the US when Colorado sales take off.

Source: Chevrolet - Press release, pics, and video after the "read more" jump.

Jaguar F-Type Coupé makes Los Angeles Auto Show debut - w/video - Update

You knew it was coming, it was just a matter of time. After the F-Type convertible was introduced, the design was ripe for a coupe version and here it is just in time for the LA Auto Show...and the Tokyo Show and... Anyway, It's a looker and the engine line-up is different with the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 (340 hp - F-Type, 380 hp F-Type S) for starters all the way up to the top-of-the-line F-Type R's 550 hp 5.0-litre V8 supercharged engine. Every F-TYPE Coupé model uses Jaguar's eight-speed close-ratio Quickshift transmission which is tuned for sporting performance, with full manual control from the central SportShift selector or steering wheel-mounted paddles. Suspension calibrations and hardware are based on the model selected. Expect features and equipment on par with the convertible, although the Coupe only F-Type R is the high performance model in the line up. Prices will be announced closer to the F-Type Coupe's on sale date, although pricing is expected to be very competitive. More to come. For lots of info, check out the two press releases, additional pics, and the launch film after the jump.

Update - Pricing has been announced for the new Coupe with prices starting at $68,895 for the F-Type and soaring up to $99,895 for the F-Type R which includes destination, but not taxes, license, fees, or options. Prices are about $4,000 less than the F-Type Convertible.

Source: Jaguar - Press releases (2), pics (6), and launch video after the "read more" jump.

Dodge introduces 2014 Charger and Challenger 100th Anniversary limited-edition models

Dodge is celebrated its 100th Anniversary with a pair of special edition models, the 100th Anniversary Charger and Challenger. These limited edition sportsters feature the 100th Anniversary package ($2,200 - Charger, $2,500 - Challenger) that is added to Charger and Challenger SXT Plus or R/T Plus trim levels. The 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with a five-speed manual (automatic optional) is standard and R/T Plus equipped models can add the Hemi V8 (375 hp and 395 lb.-ft. of torque). The 100th Anniversary trim can be added to Chargers and Challengers as long as they are painted...Pitch Black, Bright White, Billet Silver, Granite Crystal, Ivory Tri-Coat, Phantom Black Tri-Coat, Header Orange, and for this special occasion, all-new and exclusive High Octane Red Pearl Coat paint (shown). The interior features Nappa leather seating and accents in either black (Challenger right) or Molten Red (Charger below). 100th Anniversary Editions also include commemorative features, special badges, unique key fobs, and an exclusive owner’s kit. For more info, check out the press release after the jump. The Dodge 100th Anniversary Chargers and Challengers will be at your local dealer in the first quarter of 2014. I really like the red. You?

Source: Dodge - Press release and pics (5) after the "read more" jump.

New 2014 Fiat 500 1957 Edition aims for retro chic

To mark the 57th Anniversary of the "Nuova Cinguecento" (New 500), Fiat is introducing the 2014 500 "1957 Edition" 500. The 1957 500 features retro design touches like historic Fiat badging and the three paint choices: Bianco (white), or for a two-tone look, Verde Chiaro (light green) or exclusive Celeste (celestial blue) paired with a Bianco painted roof and mirror caps. Inside the retro look continues with the Avorio (ivory) interior environment contrasted by premium Marrone (brown) leather seats. The 1957 500 is based on the 500 Lounge model and comes with the 1.4-liter MultiAir engine and a five-speed manual transmission with a six-speed automatic optional. While it isn't my thang, this retro limited-production 500 special edition could find a few US homes. If you like what you see, the 500 1957 Edition will be at your local Fiat Studio in the Spring, but dealers will begin taking orders after the first of the year. Will there be a cabrio version like the original? Dunno, but there should be...

Source: Fiat - Press release after the "read more" jump.

Nissan shows new 2015 GT-R ahead of Tokyo Show

Nissan's GT-R has always seemed to be a boy racer/video gamer kind of supercar. In fact, the controls could be confusing to the uninitiated. For 2015, Nissan has updated their flagship supercar to broaden the car's appeal. Performance remains blistering from the 3.8-liter twin turbo V6 engine (545 hp) mated to an advanced paddle-shifted sequential 6-speed dual clutch transmission that puts that power to the road through the GT-R's all-wheel drive chassis with an adjustable suspension setup. But Nissan has updated the GT-R for '15 with a smoother suspension calibration and more premium materials that will better match the car's premium status and price. Exterior lighting is now handled mostly by LEDs with a new Adaptive Front lighting System that adjusts the car's headlights based on speed and direction. Braking is now more linear and responsive. The interior leathers and materials are richer and provide a more upscale experience as most would expect of a supercar. There is even a new Gold Flake Red Pearl color (shown) that has real gold flakes in the paint. All of these changes make the car seem more sophisticated and should help Nissan put More GT-Rs in the hands of performance-car buyers. For more info, check out the press release after the jump. I have also included the release for the new GT-R NISMO Racer for those that have an interest...

Source: Nissan - Press releases (2) and pics (3) after the "read more" jump.

Subaru set to unveil new 2015 Legacy Concept at LA Auto Show

Subaru is set to premiere the 2015 Legacy Concept (their words) at the LA Auto Show that is a thinly veiled look at the next Legacy. Add door handles, smaller wheels, and less aggressive front and rear lower valances and you should just about have it. The concept's design is the latest in the four-door coupe idiom and the new gront grille will be showing up on future Subies. The styling is a little derivative with the side view (pic after the jump) looking almost like an Accord Coupe and the new front fascia shares a similar visage with the upcoming Hyundai Genesis. None of those are necessarily bad things and the new Legacy should be a looker, especially since Subaru manages to take designs from the concept stage to the road with fewer changes than most manufacturers. No info was given about the drivetrain, but then who cares since the real thing is right around the corner. More to come...

Source: Subaru - Brief  press release after the "read more" jump.

All new Mini Cooper hardtop debuts around the world - w/video

If you live in a major US city, a new Mini is big news (especially here in LA, one of Mini's largest US markets). While the design is evolutionary, there are some revolutionary things happening under the metal. Inside, the Mini quirkiness has pretty much been laid to rest. The speedometer and other major gauges are now in front of the driver. The center section takes over infotainment and other functions. The window toggle switches are now integrated into the door armrests. Under the hood (bonnet) are two new engines, both with twin turbocharging that are mated to either the standard six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic transmissions. The standard engine is a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder unit that delivers 134 hp and 162 ft-lbs of torque. The Cooper S engine is a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder that develops 189 hp and 207 ft-lbs of torque. Fuel economy is up with both engines, but official numbers have not been set. The new Mini is roomier with new features like heads-up display, a rear-view camera, LED lighting, Mini Connect (now for Android phones), System Performance Control (Cooper S), an adjustable suspension system, Comfort Access, Park Distance Control, roof rails, and lots more either as standard (depending on model) or as an option. Since the Mini is considered a premium compact, you can spend as many dollars as you choose. In the beginning, the Hardtop Cooper and Cooper S will be available, but expect a new John Cooper Works version shortly along with a new convertible. There is even a rumor of a new four-door wagon based on the hardtop body that calls to mind the old Mini Traveler (possible name?). The new Mini Cooper and Cooper S hardtop is a nice update of the popular out-going model. Get thee to thou Mini dealer post haste if you want to be one of the first with the latest Mini. For lots of additional information, check out the 3 press releases, 9 additional pics (click for a closer look), and a video (at the end) after the jump. Enjoy!

Source: Mini - Press releases (3), pics (9), and video after the "read more" jump.

New 2014 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition debuts at the LA Auto Show

It wouldn't be a new week without a new special edition Jeep Wrangler and this one isn't any different. Ahead of its LA Auto Show debut, the 2014 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition (WWE) is meant to be a throwback to Jeeps of days gone by, but with modern hardware. You start with a Wrangler Sport in any color (although I like the dark silver one in the pics), click off the Willys Wheeler Edition box on the options sheet and you get a Wrangler with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine (285 horsepower, 260 ft.-lbs. or torque) mated to the standard six-speed manual or an available five-speed automatic transmission. Also standard is the Jeep Command-Trac 4x4 part-time, two-speed transfer case with a 2.72:1 low-range gear ratio; a Dana 44 rear axle with Trac-Lok® limited-slip rear differential and 3.73 gears; BF Goodrich KM Mud Terrain LT255/75R17 tires with high-gloss black alloys; rock rails; the Sunrider soft top and deep-tint sunscreen rear windows; and a new Jeep Trail-Rated Kit that includes a D-Ring, tow strap, and gloves in a Jeep-branded bag. Other goodies include a gloss black grille and inserts on the bumpers, and “Willys” hood decals. Willys Wheeler Editions feature the Connectivity Group with SiriusXM satellite radio, and Sport S-based models have the Power Convenience Group and Premium Tire Pressure Monitoring System as standard. Jeep Wrangler’s iconic half doors are an option. Starting early next year, you can get your rugged Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition (say that ten times fast) for starting bucks of $25,795 for two-door models and $29,595 for Unlimited (four-door) models plus taxes, license, fees, destination, and options. You'll have to ask your dealer about hard tops. For more info, check out the release and pics (including a retro Jeep pic) after the jump.

Source: Jeep - Press release after the "read more" jump.