Lincoln brings back the Continental - w/videos

Well this was a surprise. Lincoln not only brought out the concept version of the full-size car that is meant to replace the MKS next year, but they decided to call it Continental. Dipping into the well of names with rich history. Lincoln will roll out its answer to Cadillac's CT6, BMW's 7-Series, etc. with a name that has instant recognition around the globe...or at least in the US and China (Continental's main foci). The Rhapsody Blue Continental is a svelte vehicle that looks especially nice from the side and back. The grille is too tall to these eyes and the grille's shape seems to mimic Kia designs of all things. And when you loook at the wheels, well you get sleepy, very sleepy. Of course this is a concept and things can change before production. The interior is very nice, if a little "blingtastic" with chrome everywhere. The rear perches are "throne-like" which is very popular in China where luxury cars are often chauffeur driven. Inside you'll find fine materials like Alcantara, shearing wool carpets, rose gold trim, and more. As the Lincoln flagship. all the goodies will be on hand including a Lincoln-exclusive 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine, ambient lighting, Revel surround-sound audio, an SPD SmartGlass® tinting sunroof, 30-way adjustable seats, and much more. Exact specs, prices, and EPA-numbers will be given closer to the car's expected intro date in 2016. Looks like a really nice piece...but it won't be cheap.  Check out the press release, pics, and two videos after the jump.

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

2015 Easter Jeep Safari: Master post of Moab Jeep/Mopar concepts

Every year, Jeep showcases its vehicles and aftermarket products with concepts at the annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. The Easter Jeep Safari is attended by thousands of die-hard off-road enthusiasts, who enjoy a special week of serious off-roading on some of the country’s most rugged and recognizable trails. “The most enthusiastic off-roaders travel to Moab each year for this premier event, making Easter Jeep Safari the perfect place to showcase Jeep Performance Parts,” said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO – Mopar Brand Service, Parts, and Customer Care. “Jeep owners are passionate about their vehicles and Mopar, with Jeep Authentic Accessories and Jeep Performance Parts, offers a full-line of products for them to express this passion through customization, making sure there is no other vehicle like theirs on the road.”

The 2015 Easter Jeep Safari concept vehicles include:

Click on the links for info and pics of each concept. Check out the full press release after the jump.

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

2015 Easter Jeep Safari: Jeep Wrangler Red Rock Responder concept

Now this is a concept. Firstly, there is the Vibrance Responder Red paint. Then add in the Jeep Performance Parts body decal, 10th Anniversary hood with hydraulic hood props, high-top fender flares and 17-inch beadlock wheels with body color beadlock ring, LED headlamps and foglamps, LED A-pillar, and off-road lamps. The Wrangler Red Rock Responder includes a unique rear section that includes side cargo boxes on each side of the vehicle that hold a hi lift jack and accessories, fire extinguisher, road side accessory kit, first aid kit, Snap-on tool soft bags, a recovery kit, an air hose and accessories, a dual compressor, and an air reservoir. Functional capability is increased with the addition of 37-inch BF Goodrich Mud Terrain T/A KM2 tires, four inches of JPP lift, Fox shocks, and front and rear Dana 60 axles as well as a cold-air intake, prototype off-road rock rails and a Warn winch. The Red Rock Responder is powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine that is mated to an automatic transmission. The interior has been upgraded with embroidered black and red Mopar Katzkin leather seats, Jeep Performance Parts logo embroidered on the headrests, red accent bezels, grab handles, and all-weather floor mats. A very nice vehicle, especially if you need to be available for or assist with emergency services. More info after the jump...

Source: Jeep - Press release after the "read more" jump. 2015 Jeep Moab Easter Safari master post.

2015 Easter Jeep Safari: Jeep Cherokee Canyon Trail concept

Similar to the Renegade Desert Hawk concept, Jeep took a Desert Tan (that color again?) Cherokee and added satin-black accents hood, roof, and wheels, as well as the Jeep Performance Parts decals, a topographical hood decal showcasing the renowned Hell's Revenge off-road trail in Moab, and a “2015 Four Wheeler of the Year" decal from Four-Wheeler Magazine. Off-road capabilities are improved with off-road rock rails, a two-piece fuel tank skid plate, two-piece underbody skid plate, and oil pan and front suspension skid plates. Inside, the Canyon Trail features Mopar Katzkin leather seat covers and accent stitching, Jeep Performance Parts embroidered logo on the headrests, body color bezel accents, a cargo tray mat, Jeep Cargo Management System, a Moab Off-road bag, and all-weather floor mats. Power comes from the 2.4-liter Tigershark MultiAir2 I-4 engine mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission with Jeep Active Drive Lock (which includes low range and a locking rear differential). A nice package. Want one? Call your dealer and order the parts. More info after the jump...

Source: Jeep - Press release after the "read more" jump. 2015 Jeep Moab Easter Safari master post.

2015 Easter Jeep Safari: Jeep Renegade Desert Hawk concept

Of the seven concepts that Jeep and Mopar prepared for this year's Easter Safari in Moab, the Renegade Desert Hawk is the concept closest to the production model. The Desert Hawk concept starts with a Desert Tan Renegade Trailhawk model with black accents and wheels and adds Jeep Performance Parts body decals, a topographical hood decal that depicts the Fins and Things Moab trail, off-road rock rails, and a skid plate kit. On the inside, the Renegade Desrt Hawk wears Mopar Katzkin seat covers, body color bezel accents, and Mopar all-weather floor mats. Power is provided by the 2.4-liter Tigershark engine with MultiAir2 mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission with Jeep Active Drive Low. Yup, you could definitely do this one at your dealer. This makes for one good-looking compact ute.More info after the jump...

Source: Jeep - Press release after the "read more" jump. 2015 Jeep Moab Easter Safari master post.

2015 Easter Jeep Safari: Jeep Grand Cherokee Overlander concept

If you like your off-roaders a little larger and with a touch of luxury, then the Grand Cherokee Overlander concept may be your go-anywhere vehicle. Start with a Sage Green Grand Cherokee, and add in 19-inch milled wheels with all-terrain tires, a unique front fascia, an integrated front winch, tow hooks, larger wheel flares, SRT taillamps and hood, off-road rock rails, front and rear skid plates, spray-on truck-bed coating on the roof, and a two-person hard-shell rooftop tent, Power comes from a 3.0-liter diesel V6 mated to an eight-speed automatic. I like the wheels and the red accents. The Grand Cherokee Overlander is an attractive idea for those that go, well, overland or like to camp out. The good part is that you could probably put one together at your local dealer from Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts. Don't know about the green paint, but the rest of it is pretty cool. More info after the jump...

Source: Jeep - Press release after the "read more" jump. 2015 Jeep Moab Easter Safari master post.

2015 Easter Jeep Safari: Jeep Wrangler Africa concept

The Jeep Wrangler Africa concept from this year's Easter Safari in Moab, is the ultimate espression of the off-road, overland expedition, safari Jeep. The four-door Unlimited Wrangler is painted Desert Tan with a high-clearance steel front bumper with winch, power step rock rails, power dome vented hood, and an extended rear body and high-top roof. The Africa concept is powered by FCA's 2.8-liter diesel engine mated to an automatic transmission (coming soon to a Wrangler near you). Seventeen-inch body-colored steel wheels are backed up by a 2-inch lift kit, Dana front and rear axles, Fox Shocks, and sway bar links all from Jeep Performance Parts. A durable truck bed lining covers the floor and roof. Unlike some of the other concepts from this year's safari, the Africa concept looks road and safari ready. Is this your idea of a Jeep? Jeep, Jeep performance Parts, and Mopar just might make this happen for you. More info after the jump...

Source: Jeep - Press release after the "read more" jump. 2015 Jeep Moab Easter Safari master post.

2015 Easter Jeep Safari: Jeep Staff Car concept

Jeep's Staff Car concept from the Moab Easter Safari is an homage of sorts to the legendary Jeep military vehicles of yore. Jeep started with a Wrangler Unlimited, removed most of the B-pillar, painted the concept with Sandstorm paint, added basic steel wheels, lost the doors, minimal fender flares. a two-inch lift kit, Dana Axles front and rear, and many military-style aceents oncluding a cooler that mimics the look of an ammunition box. The 3.0-liter PentaStar V6 puts the power to the road through a six-speed manual. If you like the basic military look, this is your Jeep. Don't think the no doors or B-pillar thing would meet safety regs though. But the Jeep Staff Car concept shows just how far you can (almost) go with your Wrangler. Partial press release and link to the master post after the jump.

Source: Jeep - Press release after the "read more" jump. 2015 Jeep Moab Easter Safari master post.

2015 Easter Jeep Safari: Jeep Chief Concept

The annual Easter Safari in Moab is the highlight of any Jeep enthusiasts year. Jeep showcases most of their vehicles with fresh ideas and parts from the Mopar (and others) catalogs. This vehicle, the Chief concept, applies a look from the past to today's Wrangler with a surfer's express bent. The original chief was a two-door vehicle with long rear side windows and the Chief concept mirrors that look with windowless rear doors and, well, no rear side window. The Luau upholstery is a nice touch, but the white int isn't very beach-friendly. But it does look good. The razor grille from the Wagoneer looks nice on the Wrangler body and the 17-inch wheels complete the "look." Hardware upgrades include a two-inch lift kit, Dana axles, and Fox shocks with the 3.6-liter V6 and a six-speed manual transmission providing the motive force. This is a nice "what if" excercise that would make a nice addition (with windows) to the Jeep line-up.

Source: Jeep - Press release after the "read more" jump. 2015 Jeep Moab Easter Safari master post.

Aston Martin DBX Concept features unique drivetrain and styling

Aston Martin unveiled the DBX Concept at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. Let's get this out of the way, the DBX is a uniquely styled vehicle. New ideas can seem unusual at first, but the design does make sense with themes that echo the Volvo S60 Cross Country sedan and the Subaru Outback sedan. The DBX is a 2+2 Grand Touring Coupe that features an all-electric drivetrain behind those giant wheels. And yes, those wheels are large to accommodate the electric motors that are mounted in-board of each wheel for all-wheel drive. Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer said “This is, clearly, not a production-ready sports GT car, but it is a piece of fresh, bold thinking about what Aston Martin GT customers around the world could request of us in the future." And as a stand alone automaker, it is good to see Aston Martin thinking outside the box and looking to a bold future. It will be interesting to see if the concept or any of the car's engineering will show up in a GT car with an AM logo. Interesting. Kind of grows on you. For more info, check out the release after the jump. More to come...

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

Volkswagen Sport Coupé Concept GTE hints at the next CC - w/video

Volkswagen took the wraps off of the Sport Coupé Concept GTE at the Geneva Motor Show recently and the car reportedly hints at future VW design. The GTE is a five-door plug-in hybrid with V6/electrified power and all-wheel drive wrapped in a gorgeous body. Think of the SCC GTE as an Audi A7 for us common folk. Just like the A7, the SCC GTE hides its rear hatch with a look more in keeping with a sedan with a regular trunk, but with the best of both worlds. The batteries reside below the center console making the SCC GTE a four-seater. All-wheel drive is accomplished by the hybrid system driving the rear wheels. Expect good performance and fuel efficiency. Is this the next CC? VW says the SCC GTE would sit above the CC in today's  line-up, so... The car looks ready to go, so let's keep our fingers crossed that this one will be at your local dealer soon. For more info, check out the press release and video after the jump.

Source: Volkswagen - Press release and video after the "read more" jump.

Jeep shows Hard Steel Renegade concept w/trailer in Geneva - w/video

The Jeep brand is popular around the globe and the automaker unveiled the Renegade Hard Steel concept at the Geneva Motor Show recently. The concept starts with a production Renegade Trailhawk (the most off-roadable Renegade) and embelishes it with a brushed steel finish, black accents, Frau leather-covered seating, and the adorable trailer that has been converted into a "hot spot" with UConnect Live, speakers, and more. Many of the parts shown are available from FCA's Mopar division. The finishes really "butch" up the look of the Renegade. Mopar has offered specialty Jeep trailers before (remember the one that was the back end of a Wrangler?) so maybe a version of this trailer might see production. Who knows? I've included it here since I thought it was a "nice piece of kit." For more specifics about the Moparized Renegade, check out the press release and a video that shows Jeep's Geneva display (the Hard Steel concept appears at almost the half way mark) after the jump. Enjoy.

Source: Jeep - Brief press releases after the "read more" jump.

ACWWG: Volkswagen debuts Golf Variant GTD

Volkswagen's Jetta Sportwagen with the diesel engine is extremely popular in different parts of the US. Car buyers appreciate the Jetta Sportwagen's size, looks, price, and non-hybrid fuel efficiency (it is reportedly relatively easy to achieve or exceed EPA-fuel economy numbers with the diesel engine). A few years ago, VW offered a Golf GTD here in the US and had limited success. Customers appreciated the torque-monster motor that brought sporty handing, decent acceleration, and excellent fuel economy...kind of the best of many worlds. The car shown here (Another Car We Won't Get) is a Euro model, the Golf Variant GTD (variant is VW-speak, in this case, for an estate or station wagon body style). The new Golf Variant GTD brings a lot of the good stuff to the party like the 1.8-liter turbo diesel (with stop/start, 181 hp, 280 lb.ft. of torque), six-speed manual transmission (six-speed dual-clutch trans optional). sport suspension with XDS+ vehicle dynamics function, Sport seats (dash pic is from a regular Variant model), leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear knob, black headliner, Bi-xenon headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, "Composition Touch" radio system, and automatic climate control are all standard. Optional equipment includes the dual-clutch auto, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), the ambient traffic monitoring system Front Assist plus City Emergency Braking, Lane Assist lane departure warning system and the latest generation of DCC adaptive chassis control (including driving profile selector). A 400-watt sound system by Dynaudio, 18-inch alloy wheels of the type "Nogaro" and seat covers in Alcantara or leather ("Vienna"), as well as a "Sport & Design" package, which contains a driving profile selector, the "Nogaro" alloy wheels with 225 tyres, red brake callipers and up to 65 per cent tinting of the rear windows (shown). I don't know about you, but this would amke an excellent addition to the US line-up. If you would like to see this car come to the US (as a Jetta Sportwagen GTD, or whatever), let the good folks at Volkswagen know. For more info, check out the press releases after the jump. Cross your fingers...

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

Nissan "rethinks" compact hatchback segment with the Sway concept - w/videos

Nissan's Sway concept is a "rethinking" of the compact hatchback and in this case, that's not a bad thing. The good-looking Sway is shorter, wider, and lower than a Versa Note but with a longer wheelbase. The sculpted bodywork begins with the prominent "V-Motion grille," flows over the hood, dips behind the front wheels, arcs up over the rear wheels to the c-pillar kickline and blends into the rear hatch. Nice. The orange accents are jarring, but would look nice in body color or black. The five-door Sway has the B-pillars built into the rear doors (that open at the front) to create a lorge opening for easier entry/egress. The interior is simple, clean, and quite attractive. The roof is glass with an X-brace for strength but still allows for and open-air feeling. I've gotta say that the more I look at the Sway, the more I like it. This could be a premium hatch that would sit above the company's other offerings. Okay the glass roof might not make it to production, but maybe it could be offered as an option. The side doors look hefty and other carmakers have offered this "pillar-less" side door feature before, so Nissan should be able to meet regulations with this design. Let's hope that Nissan builds this looker. If they can't make a business case for the Sway as a Nissan, how 'bout Infiniti? For more info, check out the release, pics, and videos after the jump.

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

Bentley shows new two-seat Grand Tourer in Geneva

The Crewe crew wowed the crowd at the Geneva International Motor Show with the two-seat Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 grand touring concept. Said Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors, “EXP 10 Speed 6 is one vision for Bentley’s future – a powerful, exquisite and individual concept. The showcar has the potential to be the new pinnacle luxury two-seat sports car. It offers thrilling, driver-oriented performance, complete with trademark modern Bentley luxury and effortlessness. It could be a future model line, alongside the Continental GT and redefining the pinnacle of another market sector, and the styling of the EXP 10 Speed 6 could influence the expansion of the Bentley family. This is not just a new sports car concept – but the potential Bentley sports car – a bold vision for a brand with a bold future.” No specifics were given regarding the concept's mechanicals, but you can guess that the car has a blown or supercharged (or both), hi-per six-cylinder engine mated to a 10-speed dual-clutch transmission. The looks are great with hints of the Continental GT in the roofline and rear fenders and a Viper-esque rear clip. The front fascia is an evolution of the corporate face that bodes well for future Bentleys. Look closely at the pics and check out the amazing detailing like the cut crystal-appearing headlight glass, but then it is a Bentley. Let's hope that this one sees production. For more info, check out the two press releases and pics after the jump. Now where's that lottery ticket...

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

Mini releases Countryman Park Lane Exclusive Edition

Okay. Let's get this out of the way. Mini's Countryman is due for a major overhaul in line with the updates given to the "regular" Cooper models. These model updates generally happen fairly quickly, so the Countryman's nip/tuck is due any day now. So why the Park Lane exclusive edition you ask? Partly to maintain interest in the current car, but Mini likes special editions (and so does the public) so why not. The 2015 Mini Cooper Countryman Park Lane exclusive edition is a premium offering with unique colors and equipment. On the outside, the Countryman Park lane is painted in Earl Grey metallic that is combined with Oak Red for the roof and exterior mirror caps. The optional sport stripes (in Oak Red) adorn the hood, tailgate and lower side sections (the hood stripe has a sort of trident motif when viewed from the front). The 18-inch light alloy wheels are of the Turbo Fan Dark Grey design. Countryman Park Lane models equipped with All4 (all-wheel drive) get the MINI ALL4 Exterior visual package including silver body elements for the front and rear fascia as well as the side sills. Inside, the leather and fabric seats are finished in a Parallel Lines Light Tobacco with Charcoal Black and Oxide Silver accents everywhere. Other Park Lane equipment includes automatic air conditioning, an on-board computer, a rain sensor with automatic driving light control, the Sport Button, a sports steering wheel with multifunction buttons, velour floor mats, and a storage and lighting package. Four engines are available in Europe (2 gas, 2 diesel), but in the US we get the gas engines in the Countryman and Countryman S Park Lane guises. Mini's All4 all-wheel drive system is optional. Prices weren't announced, but expect the sticker to reside in the high end of the Countryman spectrum. Personally, I like the look/colors of the Park Lane edition which should be arriving at your local dealer this summer.

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

Chevrolet to offer special GearOn Colorado - w/video

Chevrolet is making a Colorado version for just about everyone and the latest, the 2015 Colorodo GearOn Special Edition, is for the "adventurous" souls out there. GearOn is an acessories system that includes the GearOn bars package, divider package, and cargo tie-down rings. Additional GearOn accessories can be purchased separately and can be installed at the time of delivery (installation charges may be extra). The GearOn accessory system is designed for easy configuration with a multitude of mounting accessories for everything from bikes, kayaks, skis, and stand-up paddle boards to a bed-mounted tent (see video after the jump). Many of the GearOn accessories allow the bikes, boards, and other “tools” of adventure to be mounted on upper rails, leaving room in the bed below for more gear. The Colorado GearOn Special Edition is based on the LT model and may be ordered on the extended- or crew-cab with the short or long cargo bed. Additional Colorado GearOn Special Edition equipment includes off-road assist steps, gloss black 18-inch wheels, body-colored grille, black Chevrolet bowtie logos, front foglamps, remote start, and more. A V6 engine and AWD (all-wheel drive) is available. Prices for the 2015 Chevrolet GearOn Coloroado will start at $31,250 plus taxes, license, fees, and optional equipment costs. For more info, check out the press release and time-lapse video after the jump. Check with your local dealer regarding availability. Cool. While I'm not an adventurous type, I do like the looks of this truck. You?

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

2016 Chevy Equinox compact crossover gets updated looks and features - w/videos

As Chevrolet's second-best-selling vehicle, to say that the Equinox compact crossover is important to the automaker is an understatement. Therefore, the almost long-in-the-tooth CUV is getting updates for 2016. The exterior is refreshed with nice detailing and the latest version of the Chevrolet corporate grille. Inside, materials seem to be of a better quality and there are numerous new safety and infotainment additions like the rear-view camera (all models), available OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and much more. Inline-four-cylinder and V-6 engines are available. Equinox will come in four flavors, L, LS, LT and LTZ (pics are of an LTZ model). The updates are nice, and should keep the Equinox competitive in the growing compact-crossover segment (although the wheels seem a bit small...even the 18-inch LTZ alloys). For more info, check out the press release and two B-Roll videos (good for a closer look) after the jump. The 2016 Chevrolet Equinox will be at your local dealer later this year.

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