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Kia's Gangnam-Style Luxury Car
Kia is a brand that’s going places. Just a few years ago their cars were the equivalent of latex gloves; you’d use them once and throw ‘em away. But now the South Korean company is building some truly impressive, even class-leading products.
Tesla’s Model S sedan scored an unprecedented “99 out of 100″ from Consumer Reports last year, but the glowing endorsement from this influential publication could turn out to be short lived. Sources indicate the reliability of this car may have taken a slide.
Cadillac is introducing a new limited-production version of its hot new ATS sedan. The Crimson Sport special edition offers buyers some exclusive features.
Tesla saw its stock price jump nearly 14 percent this morning to a record high.
The folks at Mercedes-Benz introduced their brand-new S-Class flagship sedan earlier this year, which only means one thing: high-performance versions can’t be far behind.
Its lighter, more powerful and ridiculously luxurious. Mercedes officially unveiled its 2014 S63 AMG 4Matic today ahead of its in-person debut during the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
There won’t be any mistaking the 2014 S63 AMG when it reaches showrooms, even with its handsome new sheet metal. And while the brand’s biggest and newest performance sedan wears the same handsome styling as its relatively mundane siblings, the engineers behind Mercedes’ AMG arm have been hard at work proving the considerable prowess they hold in building athletic luxury products.
After all, the most recent products from their training camp have been the A45 and CLA45 AMG models. Time for something a little more grown up, no?
“Following the successful launch of the A45 AMG and the CLA45 AMG, the new S63 AMG 4MATIC highlights our expertise in the automotive high-end segment,” AMG CEO Ola Kallenius said.
Starting skin deep, a series of changes improve the car over its predecessor. Body panels are crafted from aluminum, the brakes are lighter and buyers can choose optional carbon ceramic units. Carbon fiber is molded to cradle the spare tire and even the front end is made of aluminum. Mercedes even saves weight by using a lithium ion battery and in total cuts 220 lbs from the car. There’s more.
A newly massaged version of the brand’s 5.5-liter biturbo V8 rests under the hood and makes 577 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. That power is sent through AMG’s multi-clutch seven-speed transmission to the brand’s 4Matic all-wheel drive system for the first time in an S63. Collectively, that launches the car from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds with 33 percent of the engine’s torque sent to the front and 67 percent to the rear. Top speed is electronically limited to 186 mph.
Mercedes says the car is also more efficient than last year’s model, although official fuel consumption figures haven’t been released.
An updated air suspension that can adapt more readily also promises a more comfortable ride while maintaining performance. Mercedes gave the new S63 AMG higher camber, a larger anti-roll bar and a stiffer subframe carrier on the rear axle, all of which are unique to the car.
As an AMG model, the cabin gets specific changes as well. Those include a sport steering wheel and seats. Those buckets have been newly designed and Mercedes says they will offer improved support over the previous car. Finally, the cabin gets other touches like an embossed AMG logo on the leather arm rest above the center console.
Mercedes will unveil the car in person early this September during the Frankfurt Motor Show. The company didn’t announce pricing yet, but the outgoing S63 AMG starts at $140,000. Expect that number to climb considerably with the added all-wheel drive and improved materials.
GALLERY: 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4Matic Mega Gallery
Discuss this story at BenzWorld.org
Cadillac has just revealed the pricing for its 2013 Cadillac ATS sport sedan that is poised to take on the highly competitive segment. Available in three powertrains, and tested at various racetracks around the world, the ATS is looking to make a big splash in the sport sedan market.
Rolls-Royce is going for gusto with its special “Six Senses” Ghost, which the company says appeals to all your sensory perceptions, and more. Silly? Maybe, but there’s no question that this concept defines luxury transportation.
The company wants to evoke your sixth sense with their new concept, the Ghost Six Senses. This car, which is being shown at the Beijing Auto Show, is based on a regular Ghost but with extra luxurious elements added to appeal to your sixth sense.
According to Car and Driver, Acura will not only introduce its NSX concept at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show, but will also reveal plans for an RL replacement in April’s New York Auto Show. The new flagship sedan will be offered with loads of on-board tech as well as its trick SH-AWD drivetrain to make an impact in the highly competitive market.
While Acura may decide to drop the RL moniker, this new sedan will remain a lightweight, nimble and economical design. Featuring a hybrid design, a V6 will send power to the front wheels while two electric motors power the rear. Clever packaging will allow the RL replacement to provide as much interior room as a BMW 7 series yet retain the exterior dimensions of a 5 series.
But that’s not all. the dimensions of the new Acura flagship has shifted the line-up, allowing Acura to only keep the TSX or the TL to slot underneath the upcoming RL. In fact, a Honda Civic-based Acura ILX sedan will be the new Acura entry sedan.
Expect more information on Acura’s developments at the upcoming New York Auto Show.
The truth is, it’s been languishing in the middle for far too long, and the boss of Geely Automobiles, Li Shufu, has been wanting to take the brand upscale ever since his Chinese company acquired this most Swedish of brands.
Now it seems he will finally get his way. While Volvo bosses have resisted to go upmarket in the past, Shufu has influenced them to have a rethink, primarily after showing them sales figures in China. While models like the XC60 and the China-special long-wheelbase S80 are flourishing, sales of its smaller cars like the S40 have been very low.
This indicates that in an emerging and growing market like China, Volvo can do better as a luxury brand rather than a mid-field brand.
Shufu, who described Volvo as “a trapped tiger,” wants to compete with the likes of the A8 and 7-series with a full-size luxury car. What will the new model be called and when will it be out is not yet known, but we look forward to seeing what they will come up with next.
[Source: Automotive News]
Japanese luxury car brand Lexus seems to be taking note of what its German rivals are able to do successfully, that is selling models with appearance packages for what would otherwise be boring luxury sedans.
So now Lexus has taken the LS460 sedan, which is an incredible luxury sedan, but lacks visual character, and added a bit of aesthetic gravitas.
Called the LS460 Touring Edition, this limited edition model will feature a sporty body kit, sport seats, and a wood and leather steering wheel. Plus you also get a new grille and 19-inch wheels for some extra curb appeal. So if you’ve wanted your LS to stand apart from all the other LS’s at the country club parking lot, this new version would appeal to you.
“The Touring Edition adds excitement to our flagship sedan,” said Mark Templin, Lexus Division group vice president and general manager. “The package on this car enhances styling and comfort, allowing us to attract younger buyers to the LS line-up.”
This new model will be available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive versions, with prices starting at $73,000.
GALLERY: Lexus LS460 Touring Edition
The Audi A6 will be available in a choice of two gasoline and three TDI engines with power output said to range from 177 hp to 300 hp. Meanwhile, Audi engineers managed to make the new A6 lighter than the previous version, with weight savings of up to 175 pounds depending on the powertrain. Fuel consumption was also decreased, with improvements up to 19%.
All new A6 models will come standard with alloy wheels, two-zone automatic air conditioning, adaptive brake light and MMI radio with a 6.5 inch monitor.
Audi also unveiled a hybrid version of the A6 featuring a 211 hp 2.0 TFSi engine and an electric motor claiming 45 hp and 155.63 ft-lb. The A6 Hybrid can reach speeds up to 62.14 mph on pure electric mode, and a range of about 2 miles on electric mode at a constant speed of 37.28 mph.
The Audi A6 will be available in early 2011, the A6 Hybrid won’t be available until the second half of 2011.
GALLERY: 2012 Audi A6
GALLERY: 2012 Audi A6 Hybrid
The all new Chrysler 300 will start at just under $28,000, rising to $41,145 for a full-blown AWD equipped 300C with a 5.7L Hemi V8. The base car, equipped with a 3.6L V6 making 292 horsepower, will start at $27,995 when it goes on sale in early 2011.
The Limited model will start at $31,995 and adds heated leather seats, a backup camera, Chrysler’s UConnect telematics with Bluetooth integration, and 18″ wheels. The Limited Luxury Group model will cost $35,245 and gets upgraded Napa leather, Ash Burl wood trim, illuminated surfaces throughout the cabin, heated rear seats, 12 way adjustable power driver and passenger seats and a power sunshade.
Finally, the V8 powered 300C will start at $38,995 and feature all of the equipment on the Limited Luxury, plus Chrysler’s brawny 363 horsepower V8.
A SafetyTec package will be available on all models that features HID headlamps, a frontal collision warning system, blindspot cameras, adaptive cruise control and audible parking sensors.
Hit the jump for the official press release
The Audi A7 is barely on sale, but rumors are already starting about the high performance RS7 that many expect to appear in the next couple years.
With torque-vectoring all wheel drive, carbon ceramic brakes and an adjustable suspension, the RS6 should have the chassis upgrades to match the rumored 600 horsepower twin-turbo V8. With the next iterations of the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG destined to be some of the best luxury sedans ever, the A7 needs to be superb if it wants to compete with such rarefied company.
[Source: Road & Track]