luxury

2015 Acura TLX first-drive: The subtle sports sedan

2015 Acura TLX first-drive: The subtle sports sedan

Acura has something to prove with the new 2015 TLX. Honda’s top-drawer division credits itself with having co-created the midsize luxury sedan segment with the original TL, though it’s now one of the most competitive and the big German brands like Mercedes-Benz and BMW have weighed in with their own take on the category, Meanwhile rivals like Lexus have been joined by upstart budget alternatives from Hyundai and others, leaving Acura’s TL and TSX looking tired. Can the new TLX set Acura back on the right track?

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Mercedes-Benz’s S 65 AMG Coupe ladles excess for a quarter-million

Mercedes-Benz’s S 65 AMG Coupe ladles excess for a quarter-million

Mercedes-Benz loves its V12 engines, and the potent powerplant has found itself another suitable home under the lengthy hood of the S 65 AMG Coupé, a monstrous 6-liter biturbo beast pushing out 630 HP. Limited to 155 mph, and capable of doing the 0-60 mph dash in just 4.1 seconds, the S 65 AMG replaces the CL 65 AMG for V12 purists, combining 738 lb-ft of torque with a cosseting cabin.

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2015 Lexus NX first-drive: Crossover Crunchtime

2015 Lexus NX first-drive: Crossover Crunchtime

The 2015 Lexus NX isn’t your accountant’s Lexus. Aggressively designed, and breaking new ground for Lexus with its first turbocharged engine, the new NX attempts to distill what has worked for the RX into a package more appealing to hip urbanites, young families, and those who might more regularly find mountain bikes in their trunk than Whole Foods bags. True to recent form, there’s even a warmed-up F SPORT version to offset the hybrid worthiness just a little. The NX doesn’t hit the US officially until the end of this year, but I grabbed some early time behind the wheel to see how it’s shaping up.

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2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS packs peekaboo LED lights

2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS packs peekaboo LED lights

Four-door coupe, swoopy sedan, or slightly melted E-Class: whatever you want to call Mercedes-Benz's CLS, the company has refreshed it for 2015 complete with meaty CLS 64 AMG versions. Both the Coupe and the Shooting Brake body-styles have been given face-lifts, with tweaked designs and new Multibeam LED headlamps as an option, using cameras to monitor the road ahead as well as other traffic and adjusting the play of light accordingly.

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McLaren P1 GTR takes the well-heeled to the track

McLaren P1 GTR takes the well-heeled to the track

McLaren fans may be disappointed at the thought of P1 supercar production coming to an end, but the British car company is promising the salve the sadness with a $3.4m track-only edition, the McLaren P1 GTR. Bringing back the classic GTR name from McLaren's 24 Hours-winning F1 GTR two decades ago, the track-only model is expected to muster a whopping 1,000 PS (986 HP) by the time the firm's engineers have finished their efforts.

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BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe B&O Edition pairs 1,200W with 575HP

BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe B&O Edition pairs 1,200W with 575HP

BMW and Bang & Olufsen have teamed on a special edition of the 6 Series Gran Coupe, including a 575 HP M6 version which will see the 4.4-liter V8 twin-turbo engine compete for aural appeal with 1,200W of speakers. Limited in number to just 110 cars, the 2015 BMW Individual 6 Series Gran Coupe "Bang & Olufsen Edition" will be filled with a total of sixteen speakers with matching B&O amps.

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2015 BMW X6 official: Tech turned up

2015 BMW X6 official: Tech turned up

BMW has taken the wraps off the 2015 X6, its second-generation "sports activity coupe", boosting power, improving efficiency, and making the design a little meatier than the outgoing car. Offering a choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel-drive, along with a standard 8-speed Steptronic transmission, BMW ConnectedDrive infotainment, and 19-inch light-alloy wheels, the new X6 also comes in M50d M Sport form, though initially only for Europe.

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Vertu Signature Touch packs solid specs and sky-high price

Vertu Signature Touch packs solid specs and sky-high price

When it comes to Vertu, we've aways been more critical of the average specifications than of the sky-high prices, and the new handmade Signature Touch Android smartphone seems to finally address that. Pairing the company's over-engineered titanium and leather construction with a 4.7-inch 1080p display, Android 4.4 KitKat on a Snapdragon 2.3GHz quadcore, and a 13-megapixel camera, the Signature Touch is for once a Vertu that can compete on hardware, too.

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I took Lamborghini’s Aventador on the track (& only just survived)

I took Lamborghini’s Aventador on the track (& only just survived)

The promise of 700 horsepower is throbbing ominously behind me, audible even through the crash helmet, eager to show me what $400,000 worth of Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 can do when faced with an open track and an eager right foot. I know I should be checking the GoPro cameras suction-cupped to the windshield one last time, or memorizing the dashboard so I can tell you what hand-stitched Italian leather smells like, but all I can do is grip the contoured wheel and stare at the pace car ahead of me. Then the world clicks into hyperspeed.

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