Dodge resurrects the Charger Daytona and the Challenger T/A options groups for 2017 -w/video

If you believe the commercials, Dodge is the "performance place" to find the fastest cars. I'm sure Ford, Chevy, and other carmakers (and their fans) would disagree, but one must admit that the state of the performance car market is pretty darn good right now. Cars are faster, safer, better equipped, and some get decent fuel economy as well. Dodge reached back into the vault for the names of the cars you see here, the Charger Daytona, Charger Daytona 392 (above right), Challenger T/A, and, you guessed it, the Challenger T/A 392. The 392 versions are higher-performance versions of these already fast cars that use the 6.4-liter Hemi V8 (485 hp) because the power from the "regular" Daytona and T/A 5.7-liter Hemi V8s (up to 375 hp) just aren't enough. Both cars borrow heavily from the Mopar parts bin to give them an extra edge. You have to decide whether you want the two-door Challenger T/A or the four-door Charger Daytona in your garage, but neither car is a "shrinking violet." You will be noticed. On top of all the performance goodies, the standard features list is long, so prices reflect that with the Challenger T/A starting at $37,390 (plus $1,095 destination, fees, license, taxes, and options) topping out with the Charger Daytona 392 that starts at $44,995+. There is also a Challenger T/A Plus model (improved interior and tech) that starts at $40,140+. Not cheap, but you get a unique and incredible full-size performance car for your bucks. Options abound and you can choose from the High Impact Paint (HIP) collection too. For more info, check out the fairly extensive press release and reveal video after the jump.

Source: Dodge - Extensive press release and video after the "read more" jump.

Mazda announces limited edition 2017 MX-5 RF Launch Edition - w/video

Earlier this year, Mazda announced, at the New York Auto Show, the arrival of their latest baby, the MX-5 Miata RF (Retractable Fastback). The targa-topped beauty was a surprise and replaced the previous-generation Miata's available folding hardtop. The new MX-5 RF show car was a stunner in Machine Gray Metallic paint with Auburn Nappa leather inside and Grand Touring trim. The car was so popular, that Mazda has decided to offer 1,000 Launch Edition MX-5 RFs to loyal Mazda customers. These first 1,000 cars will have every option with the only choice limited to a standard six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic. Emails are being sent to the Mazda faithful, with the rest of us able to get in line after the loyalists have determined their interest. I wonder how many Mazda-ites will buy cars for later resale at a mark-up... Pricing has not been announced. It's a shame that the Launch Special Edition is limited to 1,000 cars cuz it is a great combination in both color and equipment. For more info, check out the brief press release, reveal video (from NY Auto Show), and the previous post. Enjoy!

Source: Mazda - Press release and reveal video after the "read more" jump. Previous post.

New pics and info for the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback

Honda has been slowly rolling out the pictures and information on the new (to the US) 2017 Civic Hatchback, so here's the latest... First off, these are pics of the production (Sport Touring?) model that show off the new body style's curvaceous flanks (the kick-up over the rear wheel is nice) flowing into an is-it or is-it-not-a sedan roofline. The new Civics are great looking small(ish) cars and this latest iteration is no exception. In fact the Hatchback body style will be the basis for the upcoming Civic Type-R. Maybe the Coupe will get the Si treatment. All Civic Hatchbacks will get the new 1.5-liter turbocharged four (174 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of torque in LX, EX and EX-L trims and 180 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of torque in the Sport and an all-new Sport Touring. mated to a CVT (Continuously-Variable Transmission - hate those) or to a six-speed manual in lower trim levels. The good stuff on hand includes a fully independent suspension, sport-tuned electronic power steering with variable gear ratios, 4-channel anti-lock disc brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution and Hill Start Assist, and more. Available touches (by trim level or package chosen) the Honda Sensing™ suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies, which includes Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Forward Collision Warning (FCW) integrated with CMBS, Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), Lane Departure Warning integrated with RDM and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow. Other available features include Honda Display Audio with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ (EX and above trims), heated front seats and heated side mirrors, power driver and front-passenger seats, remote engine start, and the list goes on and on. The new Civics are much better equipped than recent past generations. The new Hatchback was developed with Euro designers and will be built in England for the time being. Check out the release for more info. The all-new 2017 Civic Hatchback will be arriving at your local dealer showroom this Fall. More to come...

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

New 2017 Buick Cascada ST special edition utilizes "all-in-one" pricing

I like convertibles. I learned to drive in a Mustang convertible and one of my favorite cars was my MGB Roadster (yes even with the reliability problems and the Lucas Electrics) so I notice things like this Buick post regarding their Cascada for 2017. The Cascada is an attractive lifestyle vehicle that many of us overlook due to space requirements usually, but what the Cascada does have in spades can be called the "fun" factor. Put the top down and have a blast. Other cars have this "factor" but the Buick is a looker (see previous posts for a better look) and you get a car that balances efficiency, luxury, and style...good things to have in a convertible. For 2017 Buick has added the Cascada ST (Sport Touring) model that puts all of the good stuff together for one price of $37,885 (includes destination, plus fees, license. taxes, options). Your $37k gets you a loaded Cascada, exclusive True Blue paint, 20-inch wheels (below), UV-reflective leather-appointed seats, a black triple-insulated top, Magic Black interior trim, and more. According to Buick, they have sold more Cascadas in the last year than Audi has A3 and A5 convertibles combined, so... The new '17 Cascada ST will be arriving at your local Buick retailer very soon. Photographer Zach Allia took the pics for Buick. For more info, check out the release and previous posts. The wheels should be darker don'tcha think?

Source: Buick - Press release after the "read more" jump. Previous post one and previous post two.

Quick Post: BMW 740e iPerformance arrives in the US - w/pricing

Previously, I talked (posted) about the biggest Bimmer's newest model, the 740e xDrive iPerformance, and how BMW and most sutomakers are attempting to keep their large flagship models relevant for the new age with technology. The 740e (you add the rest) is a plug-in hybrid that has a four-cylinder base engine mated to a hybrid, all-wheel-drive system with a combined total output of 322 hp and 369 lb./ft. of torque with power getting to the wheels through BMW's eight-speed auto and xDrive. It'll take you just over five seconds to hit sixty mph. The technology added to the 7-Series to create the 740e is pretty amazing and takes knowledge from the development of BMW.s i Models (check out the press release for heaps of info). The BMW 740e xDrive iPerformance sedan will be at your local BMW retailer in the next few days or weeks (depending on where you're located) and will set you back $89,100 (+ $995 destination, fees, license, taxes, and options). An amazing car that will get you where you're going in style and economically too. Remember, gas prices may go up...they have before. Enjoy! If you can afford it, there are worse ways to show your "green" cred...

Source: BMW - Extensive press release after the 'read more" jump. Previous post.

Toyota intros new 2017 Tacoma TRD All-Pro pricing

To say that off-road-capable trucks, available directly from manufacturers, are kinda popular might be an understatement. Ford sorta started it in a big way with the first F150 Raptor that they raced in production spec at the Baja 1000 Off-Road event (that separates the "real-deal" from the posers). Just finishing can be a victory since the race is so grueling. While Ford doesn't sell huge numbers of Raptors, it does put a glow on lesser F150s. Toyota is sending their off-road-capable 2017 Tacoma TRD (Toyota Racing Development) Pro mid-size pick-ups to dealers as you read this. What separates these latest "Off-roaders" is in their content. They usually are top- (or close to top) of-the-line trim levels in their respective line-ups and the Tacoma TRD Pro is no exception. Prices start at $40,760 (+ taxes, license, fees, options, and destination charges) for the 4X4 Double-Cab V6 with the six-speed manual and $42,760 (+) for the six-speed automatic. What does your $40k get you? Well let's start with unique blacked out trim and wheels with off-road wheel arches on the outside, and black leather, TRD badging, and premium Entune audio and infotainment on the inside. Underneath, you get the TRD off-road suspension that includes Fox Shox, special tuning, and more. In other words, a capable off-roader that comes with a Toyota warranty. Imagine. For more info and specifics, check out the press release and specs after the jump. The '17 Tacoma TRD Pro's are coming soon, so if you want to be the first, get to your Toyota retailer ASAP.

Source: Toyota - Press release and brief specs after the "read more" jump.