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6 Years ago
News

porsche
porsche panamera
audi
jaguar
jaguar x
First Drive: 2012 Porsche Panamera Diesel
While America's base Panamera model continues to be the 300-horsepower V-6, European buyers now have a choice in the form of the 2012 Porsche Panamera diesel. Powered by a 250-hp diesel V-6 mated to an eight-speed automatic, it costs exactly the same as the gas V-6 and seven-speed twin-clutch PDK. Yet in official Euro tests, it uses only two-thirds the fuel with roughly the same performance.

No surprise then that Porsche expects the diesel to dominate sub-V-8 Panamera sales in Europe. The V-6 gas engine and even the vastly more expensive but barely more economical hybrid will likely lag far behind in the model mix.

So Porsche believes the diesel will be a big seller, but the engines's power...

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6 Years ago
News

jaguar
audi
jaguar x
jaguar xj
mercedes benz c
Comparison: 2012 Audi A7 vs. 2011 Jaguar XJ vs. 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS550
About a decade ago, I knew this German guy -- let's call him Jens -- with a clothing business that sold items to people like Alanis Morissette and Anthony Kiedis. He needed a ride to the American Apparel factory in downtown Los Angeles. Once inside, he purchased a trash bag full of imperfect T-shirts for about $4 a shirt. Back at his shop, he cut off the tags and screen printed each shirt with a highly stylized something or other. The one that sticks out in my mind featured an AK-47. The price after Jens and his partner made their alterations? $400 a shirt.

It's an age-old problem. How do you increase the price of an item while still selling basically the same old item? One solution is to add...

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6 Years ago
News

audi
bmw
bmw 5
jaguar
jaguar x
First Test: 2012 Audi A7
There's no such thing as a coincidence. So says George Noory, late-night king of the conspiracy theorists. I feel different (i.e. two actions can happen independently of each other), though I feel compelled to share that the same week I got my first iPad, I also happened to take a shine to an Audi. Yes, an Audi. It's not that I think there's anything wrong with Audi (well, besides the FWD nature of most of their supposed luxury cars), but I just never personally connect with 'em. Even the "everyday supercar," the much-heralded R8 left me cold. And dreaming of Gallardos. The last time an Audi really set my hair on fire was the RS4, a motorized instrument of such precision that I thought it was...

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6 Years ago
News

jaguar
First Drive: 2012 Jaguar XF
While Jaguar toils away at designing a new and "proper" C-segment car to replace the unlamented X-Type (it's three to four years away), the XF ranks as the volume model. As such, the company has been clucking and fussing over it almost constantly since its 2008 launch. For 2012, the interior and exterior get a good going-over. Exterior enhancements were predicted by the CXF concept that appeared just prior to the production launch, and they leverage technology that now makes some of that concept's styling cues production feasible. Examples include the LED daytime running lamp treatment (which has come to be expected on cars in the class), and the "Tron"-look light-blade taillamp illumination...

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7 Years ago
News

jaguar
First Look: 2012 Jaguar XKR-S
It's been suggested that Jaguar's top-performing R models are just a smidge too tame-looking; that they're wolves in sheep's Wilton woolens. Design director Ian Callum has fixed that but good with the 2012 XKR-S, an XKR with the volume cranked to about 18, both figuratively and literally.

Subtlety is out, starting with a jutting prow that incorporates a black mesh upper grille, a gigantic bottom-breather air inlet, a carbon-fiber splitter, two ram-air vents, and a pair of side-mounted vanes that allegedly help keep air attached to the nose for a smoother flow past the front wheels. Proceeding around the side, the fenders get a lovely horizontal air extractor topped with a black chrome flourish,...

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7 Years ago
News

lexus
lexus ls
bmw
bmw 7
mercedes benz s
First Test: 2011 Lexus LS 600h L
The stairs leading to the entrance of the Getty Center -- perched above Los Angeles' perpetually gridlocked 405 highway - are long and flat, forcing visitors to slow down and enjoy their rich surroundings. That's what the 2011 Lexus LS 600h L attempts to do in the automotive world. If you want a stimulating luxury flagship car, try a BMW 7 Series or Jaguar XJ. The Lexus LS 600h L wants nothing to do with fast-paced excitement, and that's why it excels.

Lexus wants to play in the full-size luxury sedan class above $100,000, where V-12 powered Mercedes-Benz S-Classes and BMW 7 Series sedans dominate. What distinguishes the Lexus from competitors is its single-minded pursuit of isolating passengers...

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7 Years ago
News

jaguar
First Drive: 2011 Jaguar XF 3.0 Diesel S Portfolio
Whenever I travel, I do my best to rent or borrow a car that's not commonly available in the U.S. It's obviously fun for me to drive something different, and a chance to write about some foreign hardware.

Such was the case on a recent visit to the U.K., when I was able to nick a turbodiesel XF out of Jaguar's press fleet. It's much the same as the XF we know and love stateside, with the exception of the turbodiesel V-6, and of course the steering wheel on the wrong side of the car.

 Jaguar's AJ-family 3.0-liter turbodiesel is a modern powerplant in every sense of the term. It boils out 275 horsepower at 4000 rpm, and a notable 443 pounds-feet of torque at just 2000 revs. It makes a reasonable...

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7 Years ago
News

jaguar
jaguar x
jaguar xj
seat
opel
First Drive: 2011 Jaguar XJ Supersport
After spending a number of hours flogging the new Jaguar XJ Supersport down some of the best back roads the Monterey Bay area has to offer, we're convinced there's some kind of trickery going on. It's simply unnatural that a car this large can feel so small when it's hustling down twisty two-lanes.

 Don't believe us? Secure the keys to an XJ Supersport, blindfold your passenger and seat him shotgun, then drive him (with a bit of urgency, mind you) down the nearest stretch of serpentine road. Let him listen to the V-8 growl from the quad exhaust pipes; let him feel the lateral g-loading the XJ is capable of while remaining surprisingly flat. Pin him against the seatbelts as the XJ's massive...

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7 Years ago
News

rover
jaguar s
First Drive: 2010 Land Rover Range Rover Supercharged
By now, there's bound to have been at least one product planning meeting at Land Rover HQ where someone -- likely a fresh hire from outside the automotive industry -- asked the question, "Why do we bother making these so capable off-road?"

In a purely rational world, the kind that realizes that for 99 percent or more Range Rover buyers -- or, more likely, lessees -- going "off-road" means driving on the sidewalk, it would be a valid question. In the actual world, the Range Rover has a reputation as one of the world's most capable SUVs -- for example, it was one of the first vehicles to traverse the Darien Gap on the Panama-Colombia border. Thus, making one that can't go wherever the driver...

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7 Years ago
News

hyundai
bmw
bmw 7
jaguar
jaguar x
First Drive: 2011 Hyundai Equus
Just two years ago, when the rear-drive Genesis debuted for the 2009 model year, established luxury brands were put on notice. Hyundai, once the "up and coming" brand of $10,000 Accents, had officially arrived on the elite scene, and its initial upper-crust offering was solid. Not the completely polished piece of some of its considerably pricier rivals, but, for the money, a fabulous first effort and one heck of a building block.

 Enter Equus, Hyundai's all-new four-door, a flagship that builds upon that robust Genesis block. Utilizing the same Tau V-8 and ZF six-speed automatic, the Equus measures 7.2 inches longer and 0.4 inch taller than the Genesis, and rides on a wheelbase stretched 4.3...

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