Kia have been having a good run over the past few years in terms of having a product line-up with good-looking models, however things seem to be changing especially when you look at the new Kia Niro. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it outright ugly, but it’s still not really a car that you would buy based on its looks alone. So, with two weeks to use it as my daily runabout, I had more than enough time to find out what other good qualities it has, and if other well-established hybrids such as the Toyota Prius deserve to be overlooked in favour of this new offering.
When I finished my very short test drive in the new V90, I came out thinking that this is not your stereotypical Volvo. Gone are the days of boring, square family station wagons, and in comes the elegant, exciting, and thoroughly modern way of getting around with your family.
A muscle car favourite from 1971 is this week’s standout car, the Dodge Shakedown Challenger concept from this year’s SEMA show.
The idea of an old car with new underpinnings is not entirely groundbreaking, nevertheless it’s always interesting to see what modern technology can do to classic cars. In the case of the Shakedown Challenger, it comes equipped with a 392 HEMI crate engine – the same 6.4-litre HEMI V8 found in other modern Dodge SRTs – and a Viper Tremec T6060 six-speed manual transmission.
When you think of a Toyota Land Cruiser, you probably think of a big, rugged 4x4 with legendary durability and great off-road capability. The last thing you’d think of is a big hulking mass that can reach 220mph, but that’s exactly what the Land Speed Cruiser is – revealed by Toyota at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. The car is powered by a twin-turbo 5.7-litre V8 engine that pumps out an incredible 2000hp (Yes, 2000hp!), and sends that might through a beefed up racing transmission. There is no video of the 220mph run yet, but these shakedown runs do make for some interesting viewing.
Here are the latest additions to what is already an impressive Mercedes-AMG portfolio, the E63 4MATIC+ and E63 S 4MATIC+.
Apart from an aggressive new design, there are two things that stand out with the new E63 saloons: the horsepower figure and the new 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system. The cars come powered with a 4.0-litre, twin-scroll, twin-turbo V8 with direct injection, tuned to produce 612hp and 850Nm of torque in the E63 S, and 571hp and 750Nm in the normal E63 version. Power is sent through a nine-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT transmission, which gets rid of the torque converter of a traditional automatic transmission and puts in a wet start-off clutch instead.
New footage has emerged of the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 attacking the Nurburgring, and as you'll see, it has set an interesting lap time – 7:29.60 min. That is a very quick lap time, 11.67 seconds faster than the previous ZL1, and faster than a Mercedes Benz SLS AMG – proving that muscle cars are now evolving in to very capable track cars. The car in the video is equipped with the optional ten-speed automatic transmission, and just shows why more and more people are opting for modern, fast-shifting autos to get the best out of a performance car.
This week’s standout car comes in the form of the track-focused BMW M4 DTM Champion Edition, to celebrate Marco Wittmann winning the DTM driver’s title.
The M4 DTM CE comes with a water-injected, turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six engine that produces 500hp and a torque output of 600Nm. The engine sends its power exclusively through a seven-speed double-clutch transmission, allowing it to get from 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds and maxing out at 305km/h.
I’ve wanted to buy an S197 Ford Mustang for the longest time, particularly the 2005 to 2009 version. I always thought that the S197 Mustang looked good, but it wasn’t until the release of the 2008 Shelby GT500 KR that I decided I’d have to buy one. The problem with the KR is that it was – and still is – a bit pricey for me. But the great thing about Mustangs is that you can get a regular GT and pretty much turn it into the car you want it to be, thanks to an endless supply of affordable aftermarket parts that you can add over the course of time. Basically the Mustang GT’s potential for customization is one of the reasons I decided to buy one. I also got one because Mustangs have always been special cars (safe maybe for the second generation one), being truly desirable yet attainable by the masses. It has been eight months since I bought this 2005 Mustang GT but it still remains unmodified, which means it’s the perfect candidate for a review of a used stock 2005 Mustang GT.
I find myself yet again in Toronto, and this time I’ve decided not to get anything fancy and just get a cheap rental for the week. I ended up getting a 2016 Hyundai Elantra, and if there’s a list of top inconspicuous cars, the Hyundai Elantra would probably be right up there with other cheap compact sedans and hatchbacks. So why did I even bother to include it on a website called Standout Cars? Well, the truth is the Hyundai Elantra isn’t a standout car in the attention-grabbing sense. But as far as buying a cheap, value for money type of car that promises decent fuel economy, low maintenance cost, and reasonable levels of equipment, the Elantra is a strong contender.
Something became immediately apparent when I recently took a look at Lexus’s current model line-up, and that is they’re trying very hard to add some excitement to their brand. After Lexus released the fantastic LF-A supercar its image changed forever, the only problem is that the LF-A was made in limited numbers and was very expensive. But armed with a new design language and some newfound mojo, Lexus have tried to include some of that magic to some of their more affordable models, and one of them happens to include this new IS 200t Sport.