First Drive: 2017 BMW M760i xDrive

At first glance, the 2017 BMW M760i xDrive looks an awful lot like a standard 7 Series. But ogle a little closer and you’ll notice some un-ordinary bits: a snoutier nose, lower sills, a racier rear end, and, on the rear pillars, a little badge that says “V12.” That’s right, this thing has 12 cylinders. Salivary glands, engage!

Answering a question nearly everyone has asked, the BMW M760i is, at long last, the application of M Division wizardry to Bayerische Motoren Werke’s largest sedan platform. It’s not an all-out M car (no M7 badges, see), but it’s as close as we’re likely to get because let’s face it: no one is buying a 7 as a track day car first, daily driver second. But this one has the chuff and the stuff to wend its way through the corners like a rabid hound should you ask it to, and that’s certainly good enough for most. It’s definitely a few steps sharper than the previous hot 7 Series, the Alpina B7, which adds power but otherwise focuses on luxury ...
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Here are the Top 5 New Clean Cars for 2017

In the market for a new car that can save you money on fuel and cut your emissions? Here are some of the top clean cars scheduled to hit showrooms in 2017.

2017 Chevy Bolt

img_6356-1-1024x768 Considering that this vehicle will enter pre-production a full year ahead of the Tesla Model 3, it’s difficult to bet against the all-electric Bolt. The 2017 Bolt will offer 200 miles of electric range from a battery that can be recharged to 80 percent in an hour using a high-speed quick charger, and could be yours for an anticipated sticker price of around $30,000 after the federal electric vehicle tax credit. This test driver thinks the Bolt might be the “perfect EV package.” It’s relatively roomy, doesn’t look like a total clown car and, like all pure electric vehicles, is amazingly fun to drive. Expected to hit dealers nationwide in 2017 the Bolt will gain a head start on the Model 3, which will have a similar price and electric range. If you’re curious about electric vehicles, test drivin...
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Best electric cars: Top choices 2016

Ever-growing numbers of mainstream manufacturers are joining the electric-car race, with more motorists than ever choosing to ditch trips to the petrol station. The technology improves every year and many models on sale now offer decent ranges and performance figures and can be bought at affordable prices – due in part to the government's drive to get more motorists driving one. Switching to an electric car is getting easier and easier thanks to the expanding network of charging stations and the growing number of cars designed to go a reasonable distance on a single charge. Electric cars now come in various shapes and sizes. You can choose from small city cars that are well suited to battery power, large executive saloons and family hatchbacks powered by electric motors. Efforts are being made to make them more affordable. Buy a brand new electric car and the government will subsidise your purchase to the tune of £4,500.  Manufacturers like Renault, Nissan, Volkswagen, B...
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First Drive: 2017 Porsche Panamera 4S

Half an hour into my blast down the autobahn, the speedo needle dancing to 150 mph, I’m ready to confirm what my eyes had told me the moment I saw it: the new 2017 Porsche Panamera 4S is the super sports four-door the original never was. From exterior styling to cabin design to engine and chassis performance, the new one gets it all right. There’s nothing else quite like it.

I’ve never been a fan of the original Panamera, Porsche’s first foray into the world of four-door, all-wheel-drive sports cars. Yes, it drives well enough, and its cockpit is a dramatic, switches-filled riff on a Learjet’s, but (how to put this gently?) the bodywork is about as pulse-raising as an afternoon at the fabrics store. Uh, is that a Porsche or a Honda Crosstour? I get more revved up reading my cholesterol scores. 2017-porsche-panamera-4s-rear-three-quarter-3-660x440 Though the first-gen Panamera sold well, Porsche knew it had left a lot of its best moves back in Stuttgart. The 2017 model is clearly a Panamera—the two cars share an unmi...
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First Drive: 2017 Mercedes-AMG E43 Sedan

The driver of the Nissan Sentra two lanes to your right obviously intends to weave into the scant opening ahead just to block your fast-lane view. But you have the perfect tool to prevent it. You’re in the 2017 Mercedes-AMG E43 4MATIC, the hot-rod version of the new E-Class. It’s like a spatula for flipping Sentraburgers. You press down on the studded aluminum accelerator pedal, the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 wakens under its shroud, and all the subprime hotshot Sentra driver can do is some flipping of his own.

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This scenario is the ideal application for the E43. Yes, it’s up to brisk laps on track, a spirited romp over a mountain road, or a long-distance cruise. But after our drive in and around Hamburg, it strikes us as more of a super-commuter, a practical car, and an anonymous one despite the additional AMG body parts. Even the engine cover has a red aluminum insert and AMG lettering. In other words, no one will look twice, yet there’s enough power to command respect fro...
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First Look: 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid

As Nissan’s “Year of the Truck” continues, it’s now starting to pad out the soft-roader lineup as well. The company has unveiled the newly-refreshed 2017 Rogue crossover to join the Pathfinder, Armada, and Titan. Sales of crossovers continue to balloon, and Nissan is anticipating that this revised Rogue will become the company’s top-selling vehicle once it hits dealership lots later this year. To help propel that forward momentum, at the 2016 Miami auto show Nissan is additionally unveiling a new hybrid option, a first for the Rogue lineup.

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In addition to the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 170 horsepower in the gas-powered Rogue, the Rogue Hybrid will receive a 141-hp version of the same engine to pair with its 40-hp electric motor. Total output for the hybrid system is rated at 176 hp. Customers will have the choice to choose either between a hybrid front-wheel and all-wheel drive, without much effect on fuel economy. According to Nissan, the newly a...
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The Perfect Electric Car for You

Not long ago, buying in to the electric-vehicle lifestyle meant making significant life compromises. Limited range and gawky styling segregated EVs from the mainstream, making them conceptually interesting but hard to swallow. That's no longer the case. The EV landscape is now so vast that choices range from small hatchbacks to large luxury sedans and sport-utility vehicles. There are a growing number of charging stations around the country too, easing range anxiety. And the tax credits —  a $7,500 break from the government — are still there. The bottom line: It's a great time to go electric.

For the EV Purist

mj-618_348_for-the-ev-purist-2016-mitsubishi-i-miev-11-electric-cars-that-you-can-buy-now It's been on sale in the U.S. for almost five years, but that doesn't make the Mitsubishi i-MiEV ($23,845) a fan favorite. In fact, the best aspect of the bare-bones i-MiEV is its optional DC quick charger, which can replenish most of its sub 70-mile range within 30 minutes of juicing. With an oxcart-like ride, jarring acceleration and deceleration, and the tree...
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The Audi R8 Takes a Step Back

The Audi R8 was a ground-breaking car for the four-ringed German brand when launched in 2007. Journalists and owners fell in love with the mid-engined, bargain-priced exotic. Now there’s a second-generation R8 which, quite frankly, takes a step in the wrong direction.

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The new Audi R8 has a lot going for it, most importantly a fantastic V-10 developing 540 hp—and a staggering 610 hp in top-spec R8 Plus trim. The engine isn’t saddled with throttle-response sapping turbochargers and sounds simply amazing as its 5.2-liters rocket towards the 8500 rpm redline. Audi’s baby supercar also continues to ride impressively, which is particularly remarkable given the 20-inch wheels carry ultra-low-profile, 30-series tires. The interior and exterior both received a nip and tuck and the R8 has gained a level of refinement that was lacking in the old car. 2017-audi-r8-v10-plus-rear-end-in-motion-1 “But it drives like an Audi TT with a world-class engine,” is what I noted down after driving the top-spec R8 Plus in Decem...
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First Ride: 2016 KTM 1290 Super Duke R

urking in the blackness of the AUTOMOBILE garage is the venomous snake that is the Dodge Viper. It is difficult to resist the siren song of its raucous 8.3-liter V-10, but the 2016 KTM 1290 Super Duke R lured us in with its similarly massive V-twin engine and naked bike look. With just one twist of the throttle, its 1.3-liter mill had us hooked. At low revs, the engine’s slightly unbalanced vibration surges through the motorcycle’s frame and sends pulses through your fingertips and toes, keeping you connected at all times. Other motorcycles will do this, but few match the Super Duke’s particular rush.

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First gear rushes away as your left foot taps up to second. Here, the V-twin begins to feel like a big-turbo Toyota Supra. Torque seems to melt away. You’re still accelerating, but power becomes considerably more manageable. Then, as you begin to settle in, the tachometer reaches 6,000 rpm and all hell breaks loose. The world around you becomes a blur as the Super Duke lifts...
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2017 Audi A4: Less Weight, More Elegant Interior

Yes, the all-new Audi A4 is clearly an Audi. The new model, the ninth iteration of a vehicle line that has also been known as the Audi 80, Audi Fox, and Audi 4000, has moved to the Volkswagen Group’s modular-longitudinal MLB Evo architecture, but it still closely resembles the outgoing model—at least at first glance.It’s true that MLB Evo is not entirely new, being an evolution of a component set that launched under Audi’s current A5 coupe in 2007. But the result is a leap forward. Depending on the engine under its hood—the powertrain lineup looks quite competitive—the new A4 is said to be up to 265 pounds lighter than its predecessor, and the car will be available with virtually every assistance system and electronic gadget that debuted in the larger and pricier all-new Q7 SUV. 18-2017-audi-a4-cp In the U.S. market, the new A4 will launch with three 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The TFSI gasoline engine will be available in 190-hp/236-lb-ft or 252-hp/273-lb-ft itera...
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