Audi builds the compact sedan meant to get you going...the RS 3 - w/video

Audi's A3 compact sedan is a right-sized alternative to mid-sizers and a four door with a trunk for hatchback naysayers. While the A3's performance has been deemed more than acceptable, and the S3 is even better, the new RS 3 is compact sedan nirvana. Under the hood is Audi's 2.5-liter TFSI aluminum engine with 400 hp and 354.0 lb-ft of torque. This redesigned five-cylinder engine is mated to Audi's seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with quattro all-wheel drive and will take the RS 3 to 60 mph in about 4 seconds. Top speed is just under 175 MPH. Being the top A3 model, the new RS 3 gets all of the goodies in the A3 bag, like MMI, Audi Connect, sport suspension, Bang & Olufsen premium sound, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, electronic stability control, and much more. The dark trim, large wheels, and rear decklid spoiler compliment the external visuals. Black fine Nappa leather sport seats with RS logos on the backrests are standard with more contoured RS sport seats with integrated head restraints available as an option. A nice place to be or be seen in don'tcha think? Prices have not been announced but expect pricing to arrive in the mid five-figure range. The new Audi RS 3 will arrive at your US dealer this coming summer. Contact your dealer for more exact timing. For more info, check out the press release and running footage after the jump.

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

Ram rolls out the Rebel TRX concept at the Texas State Fair - w/video

Ram has unleashed yet another Ford Raptor-fighter, the Rebel TRX concept. Ram started with a four-door Ram 1500 and shoehorned in a 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8 (575 hp, no torque number listed) and mated it to a Torqueflite eight-speed automatic and the 4x4 Performance Control System with a Borg Warner 44-45 transfer case. Needless to say, Ram borrowed heavily from the Mopar (and other's) parts catalogs to make the Rebel TRX "off-road worthy." The fenders has been stretched about six inches over the wheels for extra clearance and to contain all of the off-road goodies. (Check out the press release for a detailed description of the suspension and other mods). It is an aggressive looking vehicle with the Rebel's "snout" nose, flares, two-tone paint, a massive wheel/tire package, and side exhaust pipes hidden in the full-length rock rail. Look Ram, Ford has a new Raptor coming out that promises to be better than the last one. Take the Rebel TRX down to Baja and race it, work out the kinks, and bring it to market already. Your Ram fans will be glad you did. For more info, check out the press release and video after the jump.

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

Honda Civic Type R Prototype reveal video

 Hope this tides you over until more specific info is released.

 Source: Honda

2018 Chevrolet Equinox showcases new looks, new turbocharged engines, and new tech - w/video

Chevrolet has taken the wraps off of the all-new 2018 Equinox compact crossover. The new Equinox will go on sale early next year with new looks, engines, and features including a class-first turbo-diesel that should get 40 mpg on the highway. Yes America, you're getting the diesel. Gotta satisfy those customers that VW abandoned, right? Anywho, the '18 Equinox has styling that is sharper than its predecessor but with similar themes. The "happy face" grille is a bit much for me. The sheetmetal is more muscular in appearance and the interior is very nice for the compact class. There's plenty of room for the driver and four passengers with new safety equipment and tech to keep everyone safe. OnStar and MyLink infotainment systems are available (depending on trim level and option packages) and they support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Three engines (1.5-liter turbo/170 hp & 203 lb.-ft. of torque, 2.0-liter turbo/252 hp & 260 lb.-ft. of torque, 1.6-liter turbodiesel/136 hp & 236 lb.-ft. of torque) will be available mated to a six-speed automatic with all-wheel drive an option. Did I mention that the '18 Equinox has lost 400 lbs? So, performance and efficiency will improve over the previous model. For more info, check out the press release and video after the jump. The Equinox is one of Chevrolet's best-selling vehicles and for the 2018 model year, things should get better and better.

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

Jeep intros the all-new Compass in Brazil

This is just a taste of what's coming early next year. The US version of the Compass (no more Patriot) will debut at the LA Auto Show in a few weeks with the first utes being delivered in early 2017 (possibly as a 2018?). The new Compass adopts the styling cues of the Grand Cherokee and everything seems more refined. Expect the Compass line-up to mirror the GC including Limited (below) and Trail-Rated Trailhawk models (above). This new Compass is a nice update. Looks like Jeep has hit another one "out-of-the-park." More info to come after the LA show...'til then enjoy the pics.

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

Volvo hopes to hit the Outback with the all-new V90 Cross Country for 2017 - w/video

The Outback I refer to in the headline is not the one in Australia, although this Volvo could be put to work there, but the one built by Subaru. Okay, the Subie is smaller and less plush but most of the "raised estates" in the US are of the smaller variety. Pretty soon though, everyone will have there very own full- or almost-full-size station wagon that is lifted and fitted with all-wheel drive. Volvo is one of the first and with a mighty nice one I'd say. The V90 Cross Country (Volvo speak for Outback) is an attractive beast that appears quite large. As with recent Volvos, the V90 CC is very nice inside (you can even order plush) with all of Volvo's famous safety equipment, options, and all the hard- and soft-ware your little heart, and wallet, desire including a high-end sound system by Bowers & Wilkins. Prices weren't announced but expect the fun to start in the mid-five figure range with options and equipment pushing that number close to six figures. Expect the same engines and transmissions as the rest of the 90 Series and lets hope that includes the T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrain, delivering up to 410 hp. Nice car Volvo. It's quite a looker. More info and video after the jump.

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


All-new Escala Concept points the Cadillac way forward - w/video

It's amazing how things change with time. Most folks thought that the CT6 was Cadillac's flagship and it is for now, but the I'm-an-Escalade-minus-two-letters Escala Concept is Cadillac's "real deal." Said Johan de Nysschen, president of Global Cadillac, “Escala is a concept with two clear objectives, First, Escala is a statement of intent for the next iteration of the Cadillac design language, and also technical concepts in development for future Cadillac models. Secondly, Escala builds Cadillac’s aspirational character, signaling the brand’s return to the pinnacle of premium.” The Escala uses Cadillac's new large-car, RWD platform that will underpin many future Caddys. It also uses a new 4.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 for plenty of go. Obviously, the almost-production-ready Escala could under go changes before any cars go down the line, I mean some might find the dash a bit simplistic, but again changes... The Escala is certainly a good-looking concept even with the Prius-esque tailights (hate them on the Prius, like them here). Even though I dislike the whole "our new styling direction" roll-out process because it implies that current cars are less than and/or unattractive, with the Escala, things ARE certainly looking up (better?) for Cadillac. Will the new models get here in time? Again, time will tell... Press release and short video after the jump.

Source: Cadillac = Press release and video after the "read more" jump.

Nissan makes 2017 Sentra a bit faster with SR Turbo model

Some might call this a bit like "putting lipstick on a pig" but the Sentra is Nissan's third most popular vehicle and anything that improves performance can only make things bettter, right? For 2017, Nissan is dropping the 1.6-liter Direct Injection Gasoline (DIGTM) turbo engine (188 hp, 177 lb./ft. of torque) into the new SR Turbo model that will be mated to a six-speed manual or a rubber-band-esque CVT (take the manual). The new engine puts power numbers on par with the competition's base and sportier models, but not even close to the "hot hatches" like the 300-hp Ford Focus RS. But it won't cost as much as those hot hatches either. The entire car has been upgraded to handle the extra power with a tauter suspension, an enhanced body structure, revised steering system, larger front disc brakes, and more. At this time the new model is available as a four-door sedan only so this li'l Nissan could be the perfect quick car that won't get noticed by the ticket-givers. For more info, check out the two press releases and b-roll video after the jump.

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

Quick Peek: Lexus reveals new UX Crossover Concept

If I had to hazard a guess, the new Lexus UX Crossover Concept seems hewn from the same stuff as the Toyota C-HR (nee Scion) Sport Crossover Concept (link below) that is supposed to reach production very soon. This would be Lexus' take on the sport crossover market that includes the Nissan Juke and others. With the Lexus version, expect higher-quality materials and higher prices. So far it looks good. We shall see in a few weeks when the concept is revealed at the Paris Motor Show (link after the jump). More to come...

Source: Lexus - Brief press release after the "read more" jump. Toyota C-HR Sport post.

Land Rover leaks Discovery pics to picque your interest

Land Rover has leaked photos of the all-new full-size Discovery SUV ahead of it's official debut at the Paris Motor Show in a few weeks. What is clear is that the new "Disco" is staying true to the design first shown as the Discovery Vision Concept (pic after jump). That's a good thing as you review Discoveries from the past below. Not saying they were bad, just that the new Discovery will be modern in appearance. It will be interesting to see how the seven-seater will be outfitted for duty in the US. Diesel? More to come...

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

ACWWG: Audi Q2 Edition #1

Audi recently announced the all-new Q2 Edition #1 special edition model that will be available to the first folks in the Q2 queue (say that ten times fast). The good-looking Q2 looks even better in Edition #1 trim with the Quantam Gray paint and accents, the special 19-inch wheels, and much, much more as standard equipment. Pricing wasn't announced but pre-sales begin now in Europe with an expected late autumn delivery. I emailed my press rep at Audi asking when (and if) we would see the Q2 Edition #1 in the US and was told that the US isn't getting the Q2 at all (for now I guess/hope). Bummer. That's why I added the Another Car/Crossover We Won't Get acronym to the title. So feast your eyes on another piece of forbidden fruit. Too bad. Crossovers in this size class/category are hot right now in the US, which makes me wonder what Audi and parent-company VW are (over?) thinking. If the Q2 and the Edition #1 look like something you'd like in your driveway/parking space, let Audi know. Couldn't hurt... More info and pics (interior shot is a non-Edition #1 model) after the jump.

Source: Audi - Press release after the "read more" jump. Previous post.

Porsche adds Performance Package to 2017 Macan Turbo

Porsche's Macan is one of (if not the) most popular models in it's line up. The compact/mid-size (ish) crossover is described by Porsche as the "sportscar" of its class and Porsche has taken a page from parent Volkswagen's book by adding a Performance Package to the range-topping Macan Turbo. Like VW does with the GTI, the Macan Turbo with the Performance Package gets a 10% performance boost (up to 440 hp) for the 3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V6 (0 to 60 mph in just over 4 seconds), a newly developed brake system, lowered body, controlled sports chassis, Sport Chrono Package, and a sports exhaust system are all standard allowing the driver to tailor the driving experience to their wants and needs. Choose Sport Plus for speed and agility and normal for around town cruising... To gild this lily even further, Porsche has special options tailored to Macan Turbo Performance Package buyers like the Turbo Exterior Package that adds darkened 21-inch wheels (which the car needs don'tcha think?) as well as a Turbo Interior Package that adds black leather with Alcantara inserts and carbon-fiber accents. In other words, you can spend a (relatively) little or a lot. I mean if you're going to spend almost six figures for your sport crossover, you should get it just how you like it, am I right? If the extra fins and flourishes aren't your thing, get a darker color to diminish their impact or go full on with a high-contrast color (like a fiery red or bright white) that will make those extras stand out. See, just how you like it...

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

2017 Dodge Ram 1500 Sport adds Night package

Chances are if you're in the market for a full-sized pickup, you probably know which dealership that you'll be heading toward. But that doesn't mean that truck manufacturers want to make it easy for you. Witness the latest in the "my truck is meaner-looking than yours" contest, the Ram 1500 Night. This special-edition Ram is based on the Sport model which comes relatively well-equipped (heated High-back bucket seats with full console, heated steering wheel, halogen projector headlamps, and more) and is a good-starting point for this "special." The Monocromatic color treatment of the Sport is accentuated on the Night package with black trim, badging, grille, and high-gloss 20-inch wheels to further compliment your truck's Bright Silver Metallic, Bright White, Brilliant Black, Flame Red, or Granite Crystal Metallic paint. The '17 Ram 1500 Night is available in regular, Quad, and Crew cab styles with a choice of bed lengths and either the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 (306 hp/269 lb.-ft. of torque) or the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 (395 hp/410 lb.-ft. of torque) mated to an eight-speed automatic. Most Ram and Mopar options are available to fit your needs and budget. If the 2017 Ram 1500 Night looks like your kinda truck, Production will begin in the next few weeks. For more info, check out the release after the jump.

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