Cadillac knocks $10,000 off 2016 ELR

2016 Cadillac ELR Photo 1

The slow-selling but good-looking Cadillac ELR is back for the 2016 model year with a bunch of upgrades and a lower price. Sales in 2014 totaled just 1,310 cars; we’d guess the company is trying to eclipse that with the new and improved model.

The 2016 ELR will cost $58,495 after the $7,500 federal tax credit, making the base price about $66,000. That’s nearly $10,000 lower than last year’s price, but still far above the Volt, on which the ELR’s technology is based. Clearly, this will never be confused for Chevy’s almost-normal-looking four-door sedan.  more …

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Peugeot Really Just Made A 500 HP, AWD Hybrid Hatchback

Peugeot Really Just Made A 500 HP, AWD Hybrid Hatchback

Remember the hot Peugeot 308 R with its 266 HP 1.6?

You can forget it, because here’s the new hybrid version with 300 HP for road use, 400 for the track, and a full 500 HP if you unleash the Hot Lap mode. And yes, this is a product people will be able to buy at Peugeot dealerships.

The 308 R Hybrid was developed by Peugeot Sport, the same team that sent this monster to Dakar and raced the Peugeot 908 Hybrid4 at Le Mans in 2012.

Thanks to the additional electric motors, the 308 R Hybrid has all-wheel drive with the same 270-HP 1.6 THP engine up front linked to a six-speed manual and 115hp electric units sitting on the rear axles.   more…

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What would you pay for this ultra-low-mileage Aston Martin Virage?

1991 Aston Martin Virage

992-mile V8 from 1991 has been waiting for this moment for the last 24 years

The Aston Martin Virage is not a car we see at auction very often, and there’s a very good reason for that: there aren’t many of them. The Aston Martin of the 1990s was a very different company. In 1992, for example, the company sold a grand total of 42 cars, a figure that would make other small-volume manufacturers wince.

But as collector interest expands to previously overlooked cars, we’re bound to see more of these rare beasts. In a few weeks Silvestone Auctions will be offering a 1991 Virage with a claimed 992 miles on the clock.   more…

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Jeremy Clarkson avoids criminal charges in ‘Top Gear’ fracas

North Yorkshire police decline to file charges against former ‘Top Gear’ host

The North Yorkshire police, the local law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction where Jeremy Clarkson reportedly punched BBC producer Oisin Tymon in the mouth, will not file charges against the former “Top Gear” host, The Daily Mail reports. The police became involved after the BBC revealed that Tymon had been hurt in an altercation with the now-former “Top Gear” host that took place near a hotel on March 4.

It was earlier reported that the Yorkshire police were still interviewing witnesses even after Tymon’s lawyer had announced that the BBC producer would not file charges against Clarkson. The police, at that point in time, faced the decision of filing charges independently of Tymon. That matter was settled early this week.

“North Yorkshire police has now completed its routine inquiries following the incident at Hawes involving Mr. Jeremy Clarkson, and we will not be pursuing this matter any further,” a representative of the North Yorkshire police said in a statement released to the media.   more…

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7.0-liter V12 Aston Martin Vulcan debuts before Geneva auto show

Aston Martin Vulcan Photo 1

After a few teases, Aston Martin revealed the 7.0-liter, V12 Vulcan before its live debut at the Geneva auto show. Only 24 examples will be produced, making this edition truly limited. Output, according to Aston Martin, is 800-plus hp.

The engine was developed in conjunction with Aston Martin Racing, drawing on the company’s GT motorsport experience. The Vulcan has a lower power-to-weight ratio than the GTE cars that compete in the World Endurance Championship. Drive is channeled rearward to 19-inch wheels and Michelin tires through a six-speed sequential transmission.  more …

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No-compromise crossover: 2015 BMW X3 xDrive35i review notes

Photo: 2015 BMW X3 xDrive35i Photo 15

BMW’s X3 is a ridiculously entertaining ride

The sticker price still makes my cheeks pucker, but it’s hard to argue against the 2015 BMW X3 xDrive35i as one of the best BMWs available today; if it weren’t for the Audi SQ5 (a more expensive, specialized machine, incidentally) I’d call it my favorite small/mid SUV on the market — the Lexus NX that recently impressed me is a size smaller. Driving dynamics, interior ergonomics, performance and build quality are all outstanding. For the casual enthusiast, the straight-six X3 delivers all the goodness of a 3-series sedan in a package that feels more spacious, is easier to climb into and out of and boasts a hatch for convenient loading (“Americans don’t buy hatchbacks” my foot — they buy them by the boatload in the form of crossovers).   more…

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First drive: Zenos E10 S roadster

The UK sports car industry has a new name. Stephen Dobie drives the Focus ST-engined lightweight

It’s the Zenos E10 S. If you think it looks primed and ready to take on trackday stalwarts like the Caterham Seven, Ariel Atom and KTM X-Bow, you’d be spot on.

The Zenos’s bald numbers make it extremely competitive. It uses the engine from the Ford Focus ST, an exceedingly punchy turbocharged 2-litre four-cylinder, providing the E10 S with 247bhp with which to propel its 850kg.

A Focus feels blooming fast with this drivetrain: with 600 fewer kilos to shift and a worm-like centre of gravity, the Zenos can be scintillatingly swift if you want it to be. Its top speed is 145mph, while 0-60mph takes four seconds. Yet it starts at £29,995 (£5000 less buys a 200bhp, naturally aspirated E10, though very few customers have chosen that over its more powerful sibling).  more…

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First drive: Renault Megane GT220 Tourer

It’s the Renault Megane GT220 Sport Tourer. A long name for an even longer car, and another entrant into the pleasingly bustling hot hatch estate market.

Wearing a GT rather than an RS badge, it’s not quite an Alsatian-friendly version of the Nürburgring-honed Trophy-R. But the GT220’s front wheels are driven by what’s essentially a detuned version of its fighty sibling’s 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine, albeit around 50bhp lighter here, with 217bhp on tap.

It’s far cheaper, too. This Sport Tourer kicks off at £24,245, just £15 more than a five-door GT220.

more…

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The first 725bhp Mustang has landed

Here’s the very first production version of a tuned Mustang that produces more power than a Lamborghini Huracan and punches dangerously close to an Aventador SV. It’s called the ‘Rocket’.

It’s the brainchild of Galpin Auto Sports, the tuning arm of the largest Ford dealer in the US, designed by Henrik Fisker (the same man who did the Aston DB9, BMW Z8 and Karma), built in conjunction with GFMI Metal Crafters and first unveiled to the world at last year’s Los Angeles Motor Show.

The one you see above is the very first production version, revealed at Amelia Island yesterday – where there are many great auctions occurring – and looks positively evil.  more…

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NOOOOOO! Lotus CEO Admits They Probably Have To Build An SUV

NOOOOOO! Lotus CEO Admits They Probably Have To Build An SUV

This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that’s actually important — all in one place every weekday morning. Or, you could spend all day waiting for other sites to parse it out to you one story at a time. Isn’t your time more important?

1st Gear: Or Maybe A Crossover

It took maybe 15 minutes to realize that Dany Bahar would be a disaster as Lotus CEO, but Lotus is basically disaster incarnate so it’s hard to blame him for everything. If I’m being generous, Bahar merely accelerated a crash that was surely to come.

The new boss, Jean-Marc Gales, has actual automotive experience, which is why he’s probably right about Lotus having to do an SUV.  more…

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