Cadillac unveils new 2016 CTS-V hi-per sedan with 640 hp and 200 mph top speed - w/video

When Cadillac introduced the ATS, it allowed the automaker to move the CTS model upmarket to more directly compete with Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5-Series models (the last gen CTS was close to these competitors in size). The CTS now has similar features, sizing, and pricing to match these other "mid-size" sports sedans. The 2016 CTS-V is being introduced to compete with various AMG and M vehicles. Let's see how it matches up. The CTS-V gets upgraded "aero" styling tweaks with the extensive use of lightweight materials; a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 (640 hp, 630 lb/ft/ of torque) mated to a performance eight-speed automatic with launch control; Brembo brakes; strengthened body structure (25%); adjustable Magentic Ride Control suspension; Performance Data Recorder; 200 mph top speed; 0-60 in 3.7 seconds; CUE infotainment; Bose audio; 19-inch alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires; OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot; 20-way performance-oriented heated and ventilated front seats trimmed in semi-aniline leather, with sueded microfiber inserts and seatbacks; and more. Lots of good stuff. Pricing hasn't been announced, but it should start well above $50k. The changes to the CTS for "V" duty are nice (especially the grille) and don't look like the car has developed a glandular condition like many other performance cars do. The carbon-fiber hood features a power dome with vents that exhaust hot engine air over the vehicle instead of under it to reduce lift and the thoughtful touches and performance enhancement lists go on and on. If you've got the bucks, you could do much, much worse spending your performance dollars at you local Caddy dealer. If you want to be the first on your block with the new CTS-V, get to your dealer ASAP. For more info, check out the press release, spec charts, pics, and video after the jump.

Source: Cadillac - Extensive press release, pics, specs, and video after the"read more" jump.

New Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupé set to challenge the BMW X6 - w/videos

Firstly, the new Mercedes GLE Coupe is to the M-Class/E-Class as the BMW X6 is to the X5/5-Series. The original X6 took the body of an X5 SAV and put a sporty coupe greenhouse on top to create a vehicle that was less functional, but more stylish. Sales exceeded expectations. So it was only a matter of time before Mercedes produced their own sporty 'ute. While the newly restyled X6 looks more bulbous and less sporty, the new GLE Coupe is a clean, sporty design that puts the latest generation X6 away. The GLE Coupe will come with three engines, a 258 hp diesel (not sure about US availibility), the 333 hp V6, and the GLE 450 AMG Coupe which is fitted with the biturbo V6 that creates 367 hp. The 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission comes mated to the 4Matic all-wheel drive system regardless of engine choice. Pretty much all of Mercedes' safety suite is also standard with the Airmatic adjustable suspension available as an option (see press release for more info). If you like the X6, you'll probably like (love?) the GLE Coupe and the GLE can be spec'ed out as a nice sports ute or maxed out with every available option depending on your budget but the GLE Coupe, like the X6, won't be cheap. I like it. Now if it came with non-rock-hard seats... Expect the GLE Coupe at you dealer next year. For more info, check out the informative press release, pics, and three videos after the jump.

Source: Mercedes-Benz - Press release, pics, and videos after the "read more" jump.

Audi Exclusive releases RS 5 Coupe Sport limited edition for 2015

Audi's A5 models are lookers, and have been since their introduction years ago. The classically styled sport coupe's design was so "right on the money," that few changes have been made...period. For 2015, Audi's Exclusive group has put together a special, limited-edition model that comes with just about everything, the RS 5 Coupe Sport (the rear end shot below is a regular A5). Being an RS performance model, the RS 5 Coupe Sport comes with the 4.2-liter V8 (450 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque), a seven-speed S tronic transmission with launch control program, special suspension tuning, special 20-inch V spoke wheels with red brake calipers, quattro all-wheel drive, RS Sports seats in black with Crimson Red accents, Nappa leather interior, and more. The RS 5 Coupe Sport is available in Daytona Gray pearl effect or Nardo gray paint with multiple Audi exclusive paint colors available optionally. The best of everything doesn't come cheaply, though. The '15 RS 5 Coupe Sport will start at $87,575 plus taxes, license, fees, destination and options. If the RS 5 Coupe Sport looks like your ideal car, get to your local Audi dealer ASAP, since only 75 units will be built for the US market. More info after the jump...

Source: Audi - Press releases after the "read more' jump.

Mazda's all-new, curvaceous 2016 MX-5 (Miata) makes US debut in LA - w/videos

I like sports cars. One of my favorite cars that I've owned was an early 60s MGB, the quintessential sports car (mine was an older, pre-government reg. model) that I bought very used, but very loved. A sports car has two seats, the top goes down, and they're a blast to drive. Period. Anything else is a grand tourer or something all together different. Call me a purist, but one of the only cars available today that can wear the sports car crown is Mazda's MX-5 Miata (I think they're phasing out Miata). Sports cars aren't the fastest, but they can put a smile on your face on even the worst days. Mazda's MX-5 is one of those vehicles. The styling of the previous MX-5s were more of an homage to early sports cars, but the new MX-5 is its own curvaceous beast with flares that let you know what this car is all about. Funny though, the car seems less impressive in person than in pictures, but that is probably due to Mazda hiding the one example (the RHD model shown here) in the back of their LA Auto Show display. They sell a lot of these little beasties in LA, so I would have expected a greater presence. Anywho, a few more details were released regarding the new '16 MX-5. The 2.0-liter SkyActiv four will be the power source through a standard six-speed manual (I'm sure an automatic will be available) that is mounted closer to the driver for a more mid-engine location. Handling should be even better than before. Did I mention that it is wrapped in a striking body? Few automakers offer true sports cars anymore and enthusiasts should send Mazda a "thank you" card for the MX-5 and its continued development. You'll be able to get your new 2016 MX-5 next year. It should be worth the wait. Detailed press releases, and three videos after the jump. Enjoy.

Source: Mazda - Press releases, pics, and three videos after the "read more" jump. Previous post.

Fiat unleashes the Abarth 695 biposto "smallest supercar" on an unsuspecting world - w/videos

FCA's Fiat division owes a lot to the popular 500 sub-compact, The 500 saved Fiat from obscurity (and potential ruin) and Fiat has repaid the little runabout with continuous updates and model derivations. Fiat's Abarth performance group has had a really good time with the 500 and this is their latest effort, the Abarth 695 biposto racing/rally/street car. This is probably the closest thing to a racing/rally car that you can buy from an Abarth purveyor and still drive on the street. Yep, it's "street legal." Abarth took out all the unnecessary weight (including the rear seats) and used light-weight materials wherever possible. The 1.4-liter turbocharged four has been massaged to put out 190 hp and the manual transmission can be fitted with a "Dog Ring" kit for better shift performance. Four-point racing harnesses are anchored to the anti-rollbar and fitted through the Abarth Corsa by Sabelt carbon-fiber racing seats. Other features include the MXL2 digital data logger by Aim (for continuous monitoring of the car's performance), "ultra-light" OZ rims, matte Performance Grey paint, fully-adjustable suspension, performance exhaust, body kit, unique front and rear fascia, and much more. You can even order fixed front windows with movable poly-carbonate panels for even more weight-savings. Needless to say, Abarth is calling the 695 biposto the "smallest of supercars." Whatever you call it, the little speedster should be a hoot to drive. No word on US sales plans. For much more info, check out the press releases and videos after the jump. Make sure you have the sound on to hear that little engine wail.

Source: FCA/Fiat - Press releases, pics, and three additional videos after the "read more" jump.

Chevy Trax set to break into US small crossover market - w/video

Chevrolet announced their intention to introduce the Trax small crossover/SUV to the US market at the New York Auto Show early this year. Now that the new year is upon us, the Trax is making its way to local Chevy dealers for an early 2015 on sale date. Chevy's Trax puts the cute in :Cute ute" with attractive styling save the unfortunate Chevy family grille. For just over $20k, customers will get a nice compact crossover that features a turbocharged 1.4-liter engine (138 hp/148 lb-ft of torque) that comes mated to a standard six-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is a $1,500 option. Chevy's MyLink infotainment system is standard as are OnStar with 4G LTE and a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, Siri Eyes Free, a USB port with MP3 playback/iPod music device support, a 7-inch-diagonal color touch screen, 16-inch wheels, rear-view camera, and more. Trax comes in three flavors: LS, LT and LTZ with prices and options tailored to your needs and budget. The new 2015 Trax should be a home-run for Chevy, but the market has gotten a little more crowded with new entries like the attractive Mazda CX-3, the Honda HR-V, the Fiat 500X, and the Jeep Renegade 1 / 2, not to mention the Trax's sibling the Buick Encore. If the new Trax looks like your kind of compact crossover, make tracks (sorry, couldn't resist) to your local Chevrolet dealer and be one of the first to take home Chevy's littlest utility vehicle.

Source: Chevrolet - Press releases, pics, and video after the "read more" jump. Previous Trax post.

Dodge adds two new Viper models for 2015

Dodge's Viper has had an interesting year. The current generation Viper is arguably the best one yet, with more of everything including power and refinement. Some might argue that the "refinement" part of the equation isn't necessarily a plus, but when a car's base price hovers just below six figures, you begin to expect more. As a result, Viper sales fell off. To spur sales and to get the Viper back on track, Dodge dropped prices by $15k (Viper SRT base priced at $84,995 +)  more inline with the original car's base pricing when adjusted for inflation. Sales have taken off. To celebrate this renewed interest and to celebrate racing victories, Dodge has added two new models to the Viper portfolio, the track-focused TA 2.0 Special Edition and the more luxo GTS (pics on this page). The Viper TA 2.0 prices start at $101,995 (+ taxes, license, fees, options, destination, gas guzzler taxes) and feature SRT standard features plus a high-performance Aero Package, competition rear spoiler and front lower dive planes, two-piece Brembo Rotors, 18/19-inch Matte Black Sidewinder Wheels, Pirelli P Zero Corsa Tires, dual-mode suspension, five-mode ESC, black Brembo brakes with orange lettering, performance brake pads, carbon fiber structural X-Brace, rear carbon fiber applique, TA front splitter, TA aero wing assembly kit, TA front decal, TA sill decal, interior accent stitching, and a car cover. The Viper GTS prices start at $107,995 (+) and add Laguna leather seats; Alcantara headliner; Harman Kardon 18-speaker sound system; a Nappa leather dash, console, and doors; 18/19-inch polished aluminum Venom wheels; power six-way driver and passenger seats; and unique GTS badging. The GTS Ceramic Blue Special Edition with Ceramic Blue exterior color, Black stripes, orange brake calipers, rear carbon fiber applique, and GTS gloss black badging is a new option. 2015 Vipers also receive the refined 8.4-liter V-10 engine and Tremec six-speed manual transmission that delivers 645 horsepower and up to 20 miles per gallon on the highway. Production of the 2015 Viper has commenced with cars appearing at your local dealer in early 2015. For more info, check out the release and Viper SRT pics after the jump.

Source: FCA/Dodge - Press release after the "read more" jump.

Nissan freshens Juke and adds Color Studio - w/videos

Nissan's Juke is one of those vehicles that incite "love it" or "hate it" reactions from folks. Personally, I love it and the 2015 Juke gets some updates for the new year. The front clip is freshened with a new grille (with V-Motion inset), projector beam headlights, and revised lower valance. The rear-view mirrors get integrated LED turn-signal repeaters and the rear fascia received more aggressive shaping with revised taillights and LED accents. Additionally, new standard features include Nissan Intelligent Key® with Push Button Start, RearView Monitor, NissanConnect℠ with Mobile Apps (with a 5.0-inch color display), USB connection port for iPod® interface and other compatible devices, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, Streaming audio via Bluetooth® and Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant. New colors include Super Black, Solar yellow (above), and Cosmic Blue. For 2015, Juke is available in five trim levels: S, SV, SL, NISMO, and NISMO RS. A second-generation 1.6-liter Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG™) Turbo, 16-valve DOHC aluminum-alloy inline 4-cylinder engine (188 hp,/177 lb.ft. of torque) is standard in the first four trim levels with NISMO SR models getting the engine upgraded to 215 horsepower (at 6,000 rpm) and 210 lb-ft of torque (from 3,600 to 4,800 rpm) for the 6-speed manual transmission-equipped front-wheel drive model (CVT XTronic engines rated lower). A six-speed manual and the XTronic CVT (continuosly-variable transmission) are the transmission options and all-wheel drive is available. The big news is the new Color Studio that lets Juke owners personalize their vehicles (see the silver/orange, blue/gold vehicles). The front and rear bumper accents, headlight trim rings, side mirror caps, door handle covers, side door sills, rear roof spoiler, hatch handle finishers, lower hatch accent, interior inserts (tweeters and vents), floor mats, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and center caps may be painted in one of eight colors, Red, Yellow, Orange, Electric Blue, Black Purple, White, Matte Black and Carbon-fiber Look; (Piano Black also available for interior inserts) to help your Juke make a statement. Color Studio accents can be added at home or by your dealer and may be specified when you purchase your vehicle and financed. Looks like Nissan's funky Juke just got, well, funkier. Check out the three press releases and two videos after the jump. Additional pics will be added when they become available. Enjoy.

Source: Nissan - Press releases; pics, and video after the "read more" jump.

Audi shows A7 Sportback h-tron quattro fuel cell EV/plug-in hybrid concept - w/video

Say that ten times fast... Audi's stunning A7 Sportback is one of those cars that most people would love to own. With the A7 h-tron quattro concept, Audi has dramatically upped the technological quotient of the Sportback model with a fuel-cell/plug-in hybrid system to provide zero-emissions motoring. The A7 h-tron is like must plug-in hybrids except that power is provided by a hydrogen-powered fuel cell to an electric-powered drivetrain instead of an internal-combustion engine. A lithium-ion battery pack provides about 30 miles of EV-only range that is recharged by the regenerative braking system or by plug-in. The fuel-cell provides about 300 miles of hydrogen power per tank with fill-ups taking less than five minutes. The A7 h-tron will hit sixty from a standstill in just over 7.5 seconds to a top speed of 118 mph. Each axle has it's own electric motor to provide quattro all-wheel drive and all-weather capabilities. Audi is even developing low- or zero-emission ways to extract the hydrogen needed from water (see press release). Here in the US, many manufacturers are working to create and enlarge the hydrogen infrastructure in California and the Northeast, with the rest of the country to follow. This car looks ready to go and as soon as the infrastructure is beefed up, you will start to see vehicles like the lovely A7 Sportback h-tron quattro at your local dealer. Check out the informative press release, additional pics, and video after the jump.

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

Toyota Prius v gets rhinoplasty and upgrades for 2015 - w/video

Right off the bat, I have to say that I hate the brown/fawn/purple paint on the car in the pics. Other than that, the nose job Toyota gave the new Prius v (v for versatility) is a nice update and the taillights were also massaged to tide potential purchasers over until a total restyle is introduced in the future. The v model is the "big Prius" with more interior space than some small crossovers but still returning good, non plug-in-hybrid fuel numbers (44 mpg city / 40 mpg highway). The Advanced Technology Package has been updated with Automatic High Beams and Lane Departure Alert. A lot of attention has been paid to aerodynamics and NVH (noise/vibration,harshness). Light weight materials have been used where possible like the resin Panoramic View Moonroof  (with power retractable sunshades) that provides an open feeling in the cabin and is 40-percent lighter than a conventional glass roof of similar size. Another interesting option is the available animal-free SofTex® seat material that is designed to resist spills and wear. As the name suggests, it’s soft to the touch and is lighter than leather and other traditional leatherette-type materials. Again, on a diet so to speak. In other words, if you like Toyota's Prius, you'll love these upgraded models. For more information, check out the press release and video after the jump.

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

Lexus dazzles with LF-C2 roadster concept - w/videos

The Lexus LF-C2 concept is one of those "what if" cars that does what concepts are supposed to do, namely expose consumers to new ideas and designs that may (or may not) point to future production. Basically, the LF-C2 is a roadster version (no top) of a possible RC Convertible. The grille is a little overdone and I don't understand the Nike swoosh-like lights on the bumpers or the excessive side body kit parts, but the LF-C2 concept is attractive. The special multi-layer yellow paint may be past of the problem since it possibly over accentuates some of the concept's lines. Not a huge yellow fan, but the paint itself is nice.“We’ve been instinctively drawn to and inspired by those things that capture the beauty of light,” said Yasuo Kajino, chief designer LF-C2, Lexus Design Division. “When you put something in the right light, people see it in a way they never have before.” I like how the console starts at the rear deck and runs the length of the interior. A few of the items on the concept would not be included for production like the multiple LED screens on the dash or the "no-top" option (body lines seems to indicate where a top would be placed), but otherwise the car seems ready to go. More to come I'm sure... For more info, check out the press release, pics and two videos after the jump. Click on the pics for a closer look.

Source: Lexus - Press release, pics, and videos after the "read more" jump.

Cadillac adds a little "V" to the ATS coupe and sedan for 2016 - w/video

"V" is Cadillac for performance and the ATS is the latest model to get the V-Series treatment. Built to compete with the BMW, Mercedes, and Audi performance sedans and coupes, the ATS-V crams a twin-turbo, 3.6-liter V6 (455 hp/ 445 lb-ft of torque) mated to either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission that will hit sixty from a standstill in under four seconds. Cadillac has upgraded the rest of the car to match its performance with a revised MagnaRide adjustable sport suspension, special bracing and structure reinforcements, Brembo brakes, engine internal upgrades, standard electronic limited-slip differential, and more. The exterior style upgrades are a little more subdued compared to some performance sedan/coupes (I'm looking at you Jaguar) where the cars end up looking like they have some type of glandular condition. The front clip is a little busy, but still conveys the message that "we got power under this here hood." The rear spoiler seems a little high. but the large wheels and other "upgrades" make the ATS-V an attractive hi-per conveyance. Considering that any Cadillac "V-Series" model sits at the top of the line-up, the ATS-V gets most of Cadillac's good stuff, but as a result, it won't be cheap. For lots of info, check out the two press releases (one just for the engine), spec sheet, pics, and running footage video after the jump. (PS: At least you can see out of the ATS coupe when compared to the CTS coupe and its tiny mail slot of a rear window.)

Source: Cadillac - Extensive press releases, specs, pics, and video after the "read more" jump.

Fiat expands US lineup with 2016 500X sub-compact crossover - w/videos

Fiat has been selling around 3,500 500 sub-compacts each month since its introduction. While decent numbers, those totals have not met projections. While the 500L has improved things, it's the car shown here, the 500X, that will really improve those sales numbers. The 500X is a sub-compact crossover that shares its platform with the new Jeep Renegade. The 500X has a familial appearance to other 500 models, but is a definite step up in style and size. This probably should have been Fiat's first US car. The 500X will come in five trim levels: Pop, Easy, Lounge, Trekking, and Trekking Plus. The base engine is the 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo (160 hp, 184 lb.-ft. of torque) that is paired with a six-speed manual transmission. The available 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir2 engine produces 180 horsepower and 175 lb.-ft. of torque, and is paired exclusively to a nine-speed automatic transmission on all-wheel-drive and front-wheel-drive models. Fiat's full suite of technology and safety equipment is available with many items standard based on trim level chosen. The 500X is one of those vehicles that is hard to peg, being a crossover with almost sedan/hatchback styling.“The Fiat 500X will significantly expand the reach of the FIAT brand in North America,” said Jason Stoicevich, Head of FIAT Brand North America. “The all-new 500X delivers the Italian design and personality that we are known for, along with an unprecedented level of equipment and technology. In addition, it will be the first vehicle in our portfolio to offer an advanced all-wheel-drive system that will provide customers with peace of mind in all driving conditions.” It's also a good-looking "cute ute" especially in the Trekking models (yellow car). For more info, check out the press release, pics, and two videos after the jump. I think we'll be seeing quite a few of these out on US highways and byways.

Source: Fiat - Press release, pics, and videos after the "read more" jump. Previous post.

All-new 2016 Honda HR-V crossover set to hit the road in early 2015 - w/videos

Honda's CR-V "cute ute" has been a big seller for the automaker even though there wasn't much cute to go with the ute. Honda's all-new 2016 HR-V adds the cute to go along with all the other good things. The HR-V is built on Honda's sub-compact Fit platform and uses the Fit drivetrain and even offers the Fit's Magic (back) Seats.
The HR-V is powered by a 1.8-liter SOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine with i-VTEC vthat produces 138 hp and 127 lb.-ft. of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is offered on two-wheel-drive models but most will choose the automatic aping CVT (continuously-variable transmission). All-wheel drive is optional. HR-V comes well-equipped in LX, EX and EX-L flavors with high levels of standard equipment like four-channel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Brake Assist and Hill Start Assist; Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with Traction Control; an Expanded View Driver's Mirror; a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera; dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags, driver and front passenger SmartVent™ side airbags and side-curtain airbags for all outboard seating positions; and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) to go along with power windows, power mirrors and power door and tailgate locks; electronic parking brake; aluminum-alloy wheels; tilt and telescoping steering wheel with audio and cruise controls; and more. Like I said well-equipped. Pricing will be announced later. Honda is gonna sell lots of these. For more information about this attractive crossover, check out the press release, pics, and video after the jump. Click on pics for a closer look. Just added...LA Auto Show HR-V press intro video.

Source: Honda - Press release, pics and videos after the "read more" jump.

Upgraded 2016 Acura ILX debuts - w/video

Acura's ILX compact luxury/sport sedan should have been a home run from the get go. While they sold quite a few of them, sales didn't seem to hit expectations. There were many reasons for this. The ILX was under-powered. Some Luxury touches didn't seem quite so luxurious. Styling was okay if a little bland. And just like Honda has with other recent intros, the ILX gets a major overhaul after two short years (or so). Thankfully, many of the problems have been addressed. Firstly, the ILX gets the 2.4-liter engine (201 hp/180 Lb.-ft. of torque) that comes mated to Acura's new eight-speed dual-clutch automatic with torque converter. This engine is also the new base engine for the TLX and it should really move the smaller ILX down the road. The ILX has received Acura's Jewel Eye LED headlights as standard equipment, along with a revised grille, taillights, and front and rear valances. In other words, they left the good stuff alone and tweaked the bland stuff. Did they go to far? As "they" say, it's all in the eye of the beholder. The interior has also been upgraded and a new Premium Black interior color scheme (A-Spec) has been added that includes a black headliner, perforated black Lux Suede® seat inserts, red instrument illumination, exclusive gray interior stitching, and aluminum brake and throttle pedals. There are now six (up from three) grades to choose from: the standard ILX, the ILX with Premium Package, and the line-topping ILX Technology Plus Package as well as an all-new A-SPEC package that can be added to the Premium and Technology groups. The A-Spec package adds sporty touches like side sill garnish, a trunk spoiler, front fog lights and new 18-inch, 10-spoke machined alloy wheels with gloss black insets. Safety and tech upgrades are on hand as well including the new AcuraWatch™ suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies that includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist System, a Multi-View Rear Camera with Dynamic Guidelines, Road Departure Mitigation, and an enhanced Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (including Forward Collision Warning with sensor fusion technology). The 2016 ILX has been nicely upgraded and lets hope that Acura keeps the new sedan affordable. Makes you wonder, though...why didn't the new car debut like this? At least it is here now and the new car seems to quell the complaints from the past. We shall see. Click on pics for a closer look. Press release and video after the jump.

"Top to bottom, from dynamic design to luxury features, and leading-edge safety technology to sport sedan athleticism and sophistication, ILX is now a true gateway to Acura's performance luxury sedans," said Michael Accavitti, senior vice president and general manager for the Acura division. "ILX was always a great idea. Now it's a great idea fulfilled—a luxury vehicle for the next generation."

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

Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Concept foreshadows possible production off-roader - w/video

Okay, I don't know if Chevrolet will build this amazing Colorado concept, but they should. Chevy's mid-size Colorado pickup is the perfect starting point for a go anywhere, off-road conveyance. The Colorado ZR2 (the ZR2 moniker has been used by Chevy in the past) features unique front (with blacked out custom grille) and rear clips that improve approach and departure angles which is necessary for successful off-roaders. The front clip is especially nice, but will the bumpers pass federal regulations? The Colorado ZR2 features special Cyprus Green paint with Henna Orange accents. Off-roading ZR2 items include a wider stance (four inches), upgraded off-road suspension with King™ shock absorbers, 18-inch aluminum multi-spoke bead-lock-style wheels with 275/65R18 off-road tires, custom wheel flares and rocker guards, a built-in winch, GearOn™ accessories, a 48-inch Hi-Lift jack, flip-out aluminum tow hooks, a two-inch lift, integrated skid plates, and more. Part of the more is the 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel that produces 181 hp and a stump-pulling 369 lb-ft of torque and a six-speed automatic. This powertrain combo will see production next year. Let's hope that the ZR2 equipment package makes it to production as well. For more info, check out the release, pics, and video after the jump. Nice truck for...

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

Chrysler 300 dons updated duds for 2015 - w/videos

Chrysler's 300 full-size sedan has been one of my favorites since it was introduced and American consumers agree. The 2015 model has received updates and upgrades that really improve the breed, so to speak. I like the 300S (red car) with its sporty styling, but the 300C Platinum (new model this year, blue car) has that tough luxury look with a very nice interior (right), The 300 has mostly style updates because the basic car is that good with your choice of V6 or V8 power (don't forget the Hemi), an eight-speed automatic, and available all-wheel drive for a car that posts class-leading numbers. Even with all of the updates (upgrades?), Chrysler has held the line on pricing with the 300 Limited starting at $31,395 (+ taxes. license, fees, options, and $995 destination), $34,895 (+) gets a 300S, 300C models start at $37,895 (+), and the new 300C Platinum starts at $42,395 (+). For lots of information (including info on new interior choices), check out the press release, pics and three videos after the jump. Did I mention that I like the 300S. I think Chrysler has put the 300 full-size sedan back on many consumer's consideration lists. If I was buying a new car, I would definitely consider the...

Source: Chrysler - Extensive press release, pics, and videos after the "read more" jump.