I’m not married. Nor do I have any kids, a 401K, a mortgage, and an underlying fear for discoloring hair and sagging body parts invoked by the stress of a nine-to-fiver and coming home some to juniors running around…yet (no offense). But all in all, I pretty much seem like the worst candidate to be reviewing the all-new and completely redone 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe. And that’s because, majority of the people in the market for a crossover SUV are left with options that only blend you into the mainstream automotive hodgepodge. It’s the kind of market that me, being the youthful college upperclassman that I am, seeks to avoid simply because I am by virtue, the complete antithesis to the 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe’s intended market.
But the company as a whole has certainly reaffirmed its footprint in the automobile industry as of recent, representing one of the greatest automotive turnarounds of the new millennium. So that said, even my youthful self was curious to see how Hyundai’s efforts paid off with their latest model, the redesigned 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe.
Pedantic individuals would keenly note from the pictures alone that this new Santa Fe is, well, a little bit on the big side. And that’s because it is. The original Hyundai Santa Fe was originally classified as a compact SUV when compared to its peewee subcompact sibling, the Tucson. Over the course of time, the Hyundai Santa Fe grew over time from market demand, but it essentially still remained a compact crossover—and that’s something that this particular 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe, isn’t.
The after market alloy is an enormous business, a simple way (if you make the right choice) of changing the overall look of your car. There’s nothing worse than seeing a £75,000 car sitting on a pair of incongruous £5000 wheels.
Even if your ride is of no particular style or pedigree, a simple pair of matched alloys will give it that little extra those revolting plastic hubs can’t. The range of wheels available is an infinite pit of swirling aluminium and magnesium, and of course the personal choice is subjective, so I’ve selected some alloys that cover the broad-spectrum of car styles.
BBS Forged Split Rims
BBS have been in the business years, well known for supplying BMW in the eighties with factory fit alloys on their higher end models. Mercedes-Benz also look good with the retro BBS. This modern split rim is quite a common sight on VWs and Vauxhalls, and in black or white it can really set a car off. Although expensive, this BBS alloy is a safe choice as it sits well on most manufacturers’ design.
While the idea of a six-wheeled G-Wagen is nothing new – as we’ve seen one before – but this particular 6×6 G-Class is rather interesting. This isn’t some tough military vehicle ordered by a government. This is based on the ultra-luxurious G63 AMG, and is headed to the Middle East to become a rich Sheikh’s new toy.
Two examples of this amazing vehicle have been spotted at an airport in Germany, en route to the Middle East. They are converted into pickup trucks, but not the usual sort of pickup truck. The bed is lined with fine timber. They certainly won’t be using these cars to carry horse manure around!
Other features visible in the pictures include Hutchinson wheels with chunky off-road tires, and Öhlins dampers. The interior features two-tone black and white leather upholstery with diamond stitching, and carbon fiber trims.
Mercedes G63 AMG is powered by a turbocharged 5.5 liter V8 developing 550 horsepower and over 760 Nm of torque. The addition of the third axle is not likely to affect the car’s performance significantly.
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Mercedes-Benz pulled off the virtual sheets of its range-topping AMG version of its latest A-Class compact hatchback: the A45 AMG. And the idea of this new hot-hatch is to allow Mercedes-AMG to expand into lower markets. A long time ago, specifically before AMG was acquired as Mercedes-Benz’s official in-house tuner in 1990, one once had to dolly-up some serious money to get an AMG-tuned Mercedes. Now though, this A45 AMG is here for the masses.
“The A 45 AMG will enable Mercedes-AMG to appeal to new customers and tap new markets,” Ola Källenius said in the press release, Mercedes-AM’s chairman. We are adding an extremely attractive model with exceptional performance data to our range of unique high-performance automobiles.”
In an rather new nomenclature scheme, there’s no 4.5L hulk of German awesomeness under the hood, but rather a 2.0L turobcharged inline-four good for 360hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, which drives all four wheels via Mercedes’ 4MATIC all-wheel system. Channeling that power is AMG’s seven speed dual-clutch cog swapper that allows the A45 AMG to propel from 0-60 in just 4.5 seconds for a top sprint of 155mph.
Of course, the usual list of upgraded suspension and chassis components, brakes, and the steering system add to the A45 AMG’s package.
Visually however, the A45 AMG upgrades aren’t too dramatic as the A-Class is already a fairly slick looking vehicle.
Here’s yet another limited edition car that’s just been announced. Last night I was staying in New York and since it was 9/11 I decided to take an evening stroll downtown to get a photo of the twin towers of Light. I happened upon a line of luxury motor homes and limos parked on a side street and realized there was an event going on in a store. It was obviously a fashionable happening as photographers snapped red carpet pictures of people arriving. At first I thought it was something to do with the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week but as soon as I saw a Chrysler 300C being used as a prop that was out of the question.
By pure happenstance I had found myself at the pre-launch of the 2013 Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Editions. This was not an unveiling for automotive media but more for local stars, such as Howard Stern. Luckily I saw someone from Chrysler and she was able to sneak me in just as ZZ Top emerged from a motor home and walked inside to give a live performance. It was just one of those happenstances where one finds oneself in the right place at the right time.
Today Chrysler issued a news release describing the two models, a Limited Edition and a Luxury Edition. It says that John Varvatos, who hails from Detroit and has become a well know designer of menswear, worked with Chrysler designers to create two different versions of the 300C that epitomize the Motor City’s resurgence with a “Detroit-tough” attitude.
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At long last and after more leaks than the proverbial bucket, Lexus came out with all the official details and pictures of its redesigned for the 2013 model year LS flagship sedan series, which was unveiled on Monday during a special happening in San Francisco.
While based on the fourth generation model that has been in production since 2006, the refreshed LS sedan gains a more dynamic exterior look along with a restyled interior and notable changes under the sheetmetal to fend off the German competition that comes in the form of the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
For the 2013MY, the LS line-up includes the LS 460, LS 460L (LWB), LS 600hL hybrid, and the first-ever LS 460 F Sport variant . The LS 460 and LS 460L are available in both RWD and AWD versions while the LS Hybrid is offered with a full-time AWD system.
The exterior makeover brings the LS in line with the latest Lexus models like the RX facelift and the new GS, providing the sedan with a crispier look up front thanks to the new spindle grille and the redesigned headlamps, bumper, hood and fender forms.
The profile remains the same but Lexus made changes to the rear end of the car that gains darkened tail lamps with a chrome strip divider, a re-sculptured boot and a new bumper design.
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Apple’s announcement that Siri is coming “Eyes Free of charge” into automobiles left far more concerns than solutions at WWDC this week. But immediately after talking with automakers, examining how voice controls are presently embedded in cars and searching at Apple’s own patent filing for a steering wheel-mounted remote, we have a clearer view of how Apple’s personal assistant will integrate into your up coming ride.
There’s been plenty of confusion about what type Siri Eyes Free of charge will consider when it ultimately comes to autos in the next year, and from what we can gather, there are a handful of achievable models that automakers functioning with Apple will follow.