Ride of the Week: 2016 MERCEDES-BENZ GLE COUPE

Mercedes-Benz is going after the BMW X6 market with their newly unveiled 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, and we imagine the brand will have no problem attracting some new customers for this crossover SUV.

The slope-roofed Benz will be available in several different models, ranging from a diesel powered option to our personal favorite, the GLE 450 AMG – with power outputs starting at 258 horsepower all the way up to 367 horsepower on the high end of the spectrum. The AMG version is the flagship offering, and will be equipped with a 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission, and 4MATIC permanent all-wheel drive to tackle any terrain. As with nearly all MB vehicles, the interior is where this thing really shines. There are carbon fiber, piano lacquer and aluminum trim accents running along the dashboard and door panels, a set of aluminum sports pedals complete with stainless steel rubber studs for additional grip, AMG sport seats, and a gorgeous black Nappa leather AMG sports 3-spoke steering wheel to finish off the ensemble. Expect to see the X6 competitor landing at Benz dealers around the country at the beginning of next year.

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Ride of the Week: 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

Italian luxury car manufacturer Alfa Romeo has debuted its 2015 4C Spider, delivering race-inspired performance and advanced technologies well known from the brand. The defining feature of this model is its convertible style, with a 236-pound carbon fiber monocoque that was designed for open air. A cloth roof is included for closing the top off, which is certified for top speeds up to a full 160 mph. After launch, a carbon fiber hardtop will be introduced for harsher weather. The interior comes with cross-stitched leather in black, red, or tobacco, along with CF vents and an Alpine stereo, among updated interactive media options. Exterior characteristics include four new wheel designs in silver or dark finish, along with four choices of brake caliper.

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Ride of the Week: 2015 VOLVO S60 CROSS-COUNTRY SEDAN

Crossover SUVs have become all the rage in recent years, and Volvo’s jumping on board with the trend. Gearing up for the Detroit Auto Show, the Swedish brand has rolled out their fully capable Volvo S60 Cross-Country Sedan.

That’s right, the S60 has received the cross country treatment. The sedan is now a 5-door, with an increased right height and all-wheel drive to grab the great outdoors by the horns. Of course high profile tires were also a must, which is why Volvo outfitted the crossover with a set of either 18 or 19-inch options, both of which give the car a more aggressive look. The vehicle is equipped with the company’s T5 gas engine, with options ranging all the way up to a 250 horsepower engine. There’s also a 190 horsepower five-cylinder D4 diesel engine option available. Expect more details and price point as the Detroit Auto Show creeps closer.

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Ride of the Week: Aston Martin Unveils DB10 for New James Bond Film

Legendary British car manufacturer Aston Martin lifts the veil on their latest build for the upcoming James Bond flick Spectre. Dubbed the DB10, the latest model was designed specifically for 007 and although technical details haven’t been released yet, the design illustrates a clean separation from the styling that has characterized Astons for the past few decades. Aston’s chief designer Marek Reichman and his team worked with EON Productions – the studio in charge of the Bond franchise – and created a new form with different design cues and applied them to a shape that looks similar to the current V8 Vantage, but with different lines.

Only 10 units of the DB10 will be produced although it’s safe to assume the DB10 will have an influence on the new generation of sports cars and luxury GTs from Gaydon. Look for the DB10 in action when Spectre hits theaters on October 23, 2015. Until then, enjoy the image above.

Ride of the Week: 2015 HENNESSEY VELOCIRAPTOR 600 SUPERCHARGED FORD F-150

We’ll have to wait to see if Ford will in fact debut the much buzzed about F-150 Raptor at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show, but in the meantime, Hennessey has filled that void in our hearts with the 2015 Hennessey VelociRaptor 600 Supercharged Ford F-150.

Hennessey took a new, aluminum-bodied 2015 Ford F-150 FX4 Super Crew and added all the bells and whistles necessary to tackle anything thrown your way. Not only is the truck 700 pounds lighter, it’s also pumping out over 600 horsepower (hence the name). The after market team did this by outfitting the 5.0-liter V8 engine with a Roots-type supercharger along with upgraded fuel injectors, exhaust, and the proper engine management to handle the new setup. The exterior has also received a handful of upgrades including the 33-inch BFGoodrich tires on 17-inch Hennessey wheels, and optional LED light bars, Brembo brakes, front winch, and a whole lot more. The vehicle will be limited to just 500 units, starting at $73,500.

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Ride of the Week: 430 HP LS3-POWERED LAND ROVER DEFENDER BY WILDCAT

Have you ever seen a Land Rover Defender zip past you on the highway? Probably not. But then again, you’ve never seen a flying reindeer either, but we know both exist. And here’s proof of the former: Wildcat’s 430 hp LS3-Powered Land Rover Defender.

The Defender’s off-road skills are unquestioned, but now, thanks to the aftermarket specialists at UK-based Wildcat Automotive, this rugged vehicle has blow-by-you abilities. That comes courtesy a Chevrolet Corvette-sourced 6.2-liter LS3 V8 petrol engine which replaces the stock diesel engine, while the gearbox has been swapped out for a GM 6L80 six-speed automatic. This setup yields 430 hp and more than 398 lb-ft of torque at 4,700 rpm. Not enough for ya? Wildcat offers additional upgrades that can take your Defender to more than 550 hp. The existing vehicle management system is reconfigured to sync up with the new engine and gearbox, so all existing instruments and controls are just as they are in the standard Defender. Watch the video below.

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Ride of the Week: Ken Block’s 845 HP AWD 1965 Ford Mustang

One can’t look at a skid mark on a road or smell burning tires and not think of Ken Block’s action-packed Gymkhana series that pits an automobile against a variety of physical obstacles. With his seventh installment shot but not yet released, we do get a peek at the car he used for the stunts. Named the “HOONICORN,” it’s a 1965 Ford Mustang with a Roush Yates 410-cubic-inch Ford V8, six-speed transmission and was built by ASD Motorsports in Charlotte, North Carolina. Having ditched his rally-bred Ford Fiesta, expect the action and speed for Gymkhana 7 to be ratcheted up several notches as Block said at SEMA this year, “This is hands-down the best Gymkhana car I’ve had yet.”

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Ride of the Week: FERRARI FXX-K

Just when you thought the Ferrari LaFerrari couldn’t get any better, the Italian auto maker unveiled the even more beastly Ferrari FXX-K.

Meant only for the tracks, this 2-door is sporting a 6.3-liter V12 engine that pumps out an Earth rattling 1,035 horsepower. The model is part of the brand’s ongoing track special series, which started with the Enzo-based Ferrari FXX and included our personal favorite – the Ferrari 599XX. The vehicle has been equipped with the same HY-KERS drivetrain system found in the LaFerrari, but has added new camshafts, the removal of the exhaust silencers, and improved intake manifolds for more power. Pirelli P-Zero Slik tires outfitted with embedded acceleration sensors reside on all 4 corners, and new aerodynamic features increase downforce by up to 50%, helping drivers stay glued to the track at high speeds. There are also four different driving modes to choose from including Qualify, Long Run, Fast Charge and Manual Boost. The vehicle is part of the brand’s “Client-Test Driver” program, which lets paying customers test out many of Ferrari’s new technologies. With that being said, you probably won’t be able to own one, but you could possibly end up driving one.

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Ride of the Week: Audi Prologue Concept

German luxury car maker Audi introduces its Prologue concept car at this year’s LA Auto Show. Crafted by new Design Chief Marc Lichte, the Prologue concept represents a shift in Audi’s design as the front grill sits wider and wedge-shaped laser headlights are positioned above new air intakes. Sharp flares along the wheelbase accentuate the sporty look as Audi’s signature all-wheel drive supports the aerodynamic build. A 4.0 twin-turbo V8 engine powers the Prologue to the tune of 605 HP and 516 pound-feet of torque as LED taillights and an interior four touchscreen display provides the finishing touches to the luxury car. Stay tuned for further announcements from Audi in the near future.

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Ride of the Week: Bentley Mulsanne-Inspired Grand Convertible

Bentley lengthens its legacy just in time for the Los Angeles Auto Show as the heritage automaker unveils the Grand Convertible for a possible 2015 release. Interesting that a car intended to “signify Bentley’s intentions for the future” would so closely reference the Mulsanne – one of the brand’s longstanding flagship models. The Grand Convertible adds a sportier, perhaps more laid-back air to this legacy, coming with a droptop that gaudily bares the car’s Beluga leather and burl walnut veneer interior. Underneath the hood, the Grand Converible boasts a 6.75 liter, 530 horsepower engine, making it not only a sophisticated ride, but an enticingly powerful one as well. As Bentley gauges interest in the car over the next few months, don’t be surprised to see the Grand Convertible in your local mansion driveway sometime early next year.

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