• NY LIVE: 2016 Land Rover Range Rover SVAutobiography [Video]

    April 1, 2015
    Land Rover has introduced the 2016 Range Rover SVAutobiography, the most luxurious, powerful and expensive regular-production SUV it has ever built.
    Scheduled to debut later this week at the New York Motor Show, the SVAutobiography replaces the range-topping Autobiography Black trim level. Based on the long-wheelbase Range Rover, the new model gains a number of relatively minor visual updates including model-specific emblems on the hood and on the tailgate, a new radiator grille finished in Graphite Atlas and polished chrome as well as four exhaust outlets. A two-tone paint job that pairs a Santorini Black roof with one of nine available colors is available at an extra cost.

    Inside, the SVAutobiography lives up to its flagship positioning with knobs, dials and pedals machined from solid aluminum as well as leather upholstery on the seats, the dashboard and the door panels. The rear occupants are treated to power-retractable aircraft-inspired tablets, a drink cooler, twisted pile mohair carpet and solid aluminum coat hooks bolted to the door pillars.

    Buyers after a fully-loaded SUV can order the optional sliding luggage floor. Made out of aluminum and real wood, the floor slides out by several inches in order to make loading and unloading items a breeze while adding an extra touch of luxury.

    In North America, the SVAutobiography is exclusively available with a 5.0-liter V8 engine that uses a Roots-type twin vortex supercharger to generate 550 horsepower and 502 lb-ft. of torque. Borrowed from the Range Rover Sport SVR, the supercharged V8 sends power to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. Brembo brakes all around bring the action to a stop, but Land Rover has not published performance specifications.

    The 2016 Land Rover Range Rover SVAutobiography will go on sale this fall. It will start at $199,495, excluding a mandatory $995 destination charge.

    Live photos by Brian Williams.

  • NY LIVE: Subaru STI Performance Concept

    April 1, 2015
    Subaru has traveled to the New York Motor Show to reveal an aggressive-looking new concept called STI Performance.
    As its name implies, the concept was designed to showcase what Subaru Tecnica International (STI) is capable of in terms of building rally-inspired performance cars. Starting with a stock BRZ, STI has fitted a new front bumper with large air dams and a carbon fiber splitter, side skirts, a huge carbon fiber wing out back and a sizable air diffuser. The concept rides on 19-inch alloy wheels.

    The interior has been upgraded with sport seats, a STI-specific steering wheel with an integrated tachometer, a short-throw shifter as well as carbon fiber inserts on the dashboard and on the center console. The concept’s infotainment system gains a race mode that can be configured to provide the temperature of each tire, a G-force meter, a throttle monitor and a stopwatch.

    Technical details have not been published yet but Subaru promises the concept is powered by the same engine that is found under the hood of the BRZs that compete in Japan’s Super GT race series. Tuned-specifically for intensive track use, the flat-four uses a large turbocharger to generate 300 horsepower and 330 lb-ft. of torque, a generous increase of 100 horsepower and 179 lb-ft. over the standard BRZ. The GT cars are equipped with a six-speed sequential gearbox, but the concept appears to be fitted with a manual transmission.

    The Subaru STI Performance will likely not make the jump from concept to production as-is. However, Subaru has announced plans to expand the presence of its STI division in the United States, meaning we can expect a wider range of aftermarket parts and more STI-tuned models to arrive in the near future.

    Live images by Brian Williams.

  • NY LIVE: Lincoln Continental concept [Video]

    April 1, 2015
    Lincoln has formally revealed its Continental concept at the New York Auto Show.
    Finished in Rhapsody Blue, the Continental concept is one of the most striking Lincolns in recent memory. It breaks all ties with the company’s current design language and instead adopts a bold, upscale look that is characterized by an arch-shaped radiator grille with mesh inserts, a curved hood and swept-back headlights with laser-assisted high beams.

    Out back, Lincoln’s latest concept features pronounced haunches, thin tail lamps connected by a light bar and quad exhaust pipes. 21-inch alloy wheels wrapped by Pirelli P-Zero tires add a finishing touch to the low-slung look and increase the sedan’s road presence.

    The cockpit is accessed via E-latch door handles that are integrated into the belt line. While the exterior boasts a relatively understated look, the interior stands out with a wide center console fitted with acres of chrome trim, a sunroof that tints at the push of a button and plush 30-way adjustable front seats upholstered in a combination of Venetian leather and Alcantara. Occupants can enjoy a quiet ride provided by Lincoln’s Active Noise Control technology or play their favorite tunes through a 19-speaker Revel Ultima System stereo.

    The passengers who ride in the back can relax thanks to aircraft-inspired tablet lap trays built into the center console and a champagne storage compartment. Alternatively, the rear seats can fully recline, letting the occupants sleep on long drives.

    Power comes from a Lincoln-specific 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, but additional technical details were not published. Lincoln says that the concept offers three driving modes called normal, sport and comfort, respectively.

    Far from a simple design study, the Continental concept is a hugely important car for Lincoln. A slightly toned-down version of it designed to replace the slow-selling MKS as the automaker’s flagship will be introduced next year, and the sedan will usher in the design language that will influence most – if not all – of the company’s cars over the next few years.

    Live photos by Brian Williams.

  • NY LIVE: 2016 Porsche Boxster Spyder [Video]

    April 1, 2015
    Porsche has traveled to the annual New York Motor Show to introduce the 2016 Boxster Spyder.
    Positioned at the very top of the Boxster lineup, the Spyder is powered by a 3.8-liter flat-six engine tuned to generate 375 horsepower, a figure that makes it the most powerful Boxster to date. Linked exclusively to a six-speed manual transmission, the six-cylinder sends the ragtop from zero to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and on to a top speed of 180 mph.

    Porsche’s latest convertible gains a lowered track-tuned suspension, a more direct steering and high-performance brakes borrowed from the 911 Carrera S.

    Visually, the muscular-looking Spyder immediately stands out thanks to a Cayman GT4-sourced front bumper with three large air ducts and a pair of streamliners on the decklid, a styling cue borrowed from the 718 Spyder that was built in the 1960s and the sold-out gasoline-electric 918 Spyder supercar. The rear fascia benefits from a small spoiler and an air diffuser, while ten-spoke alloy wheels wrap up the look.

    Inside, the Spyder features a pair of sport seats and a model-specific steering wheel that is smaller than the unit found in less powerful Boxsters. Porsche has tossed out the air conditioning system and the radio in order to remove as much weight as possible, but both features can be added at no extra cost.

    The Spyder is fitted with a cloth soft top that is opened and closed by hand, a setup that saves additional weight. Porsche promises the Spyder is the lightest member of the Boxster family but it has not revealed precisely how much it weighs.

    On sale now, the 2016 Porsche Boxster Spyder starts at $82,100 before a mandatory $995 destination charge is factored in. The Spyder will land on dealer lots next October.

    Live photos by Brian Williams.

  • NY LIVE: 2016 Infiniti QX50

    April 1, 2015
    Infiniti has unveiled its updated QX50 compact crossover at the 2015 New York auto show. In addition to its fresh face, the 2016 QX50 also boast more interior space thanks to a longer wheelbase.
    Though similar in design to the outgoing model, the 2016 QX50 features a revised front fascia that includes a new bumper, LED daytime running lights and a Infiniti’s double-arch grille. The QX50′s rear fascia has also been tweaked.

    The QX50′s interior is largely carried over and is highlighted by a dash-mounted 7-inch color display.

    The big news for the 2016 QX50 is a stretched platform that adds 3.2-inches to the crossover’s wheelbase. Overall length is up by 4.5-inches.

    Second row passengers benefit most from the QX50′s stretch, with rear seat leg room up 4.3-inches while knee room has grown by 3.9-inches. Overall interior volume has increased by 8.3 cubic feet.

    In addition to being longer, the 2016 QX50 is also higher-riding than the previous model. Rear-wheel drive models gain 0.4-inches of ride height, netting ground clearance of 6.9-inches, while all-wheel drive models now have 6.5-inches of ground clearance, marking an increase of 0.8-inches.

    All 2016 QX50 models will receive motivation from a 3.7L V6 developing 325 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed automatic is the QX50′s lone transmission.

    The 2016 QX50 will be available in two basic configurations — the rear-wheel drive QX50 and the all-wheel drive QX50 AWD. From there, buyers will have the option of four different packages — Premium, Premium Plus, Deluxe Touring and Technology. Pricing is expected to be announced closer to the QX50′s on sale date, which should be sometime later this year.

    Live images by Brian Williams.