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2013 Volkswagen Golf R review, specs, photos, features

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The new 2013 Volkswagen Golf R performance compact

The third-generation Golf R represents intelligent downsizing. The heir to the 2004 and 2008 Golf R32 models, the new R manages to have more power, more performance, and consume less gasoline than its illustrious iconic performance forebears. And it offers all this for just $33,990, plus destination, for the two-door Golf R model.

2013 Volkswagen Golf R photo2013 Volkswagen Golf R photoFind more new 2013 Volkswagen Golf R pictures in our 2013 Volkswagen Golf R photo gallery (44 photos)

Whereas the R32 models used 3.2-liter VR6 engines, the new Golf R is fitted with a high-output version of the award-winning turbocharged 2.0-liter TSI® engine. This engine makes 256 horsepower, six more than the VR6 fitted into the 2008 R32. As well as offering more power and performance, the Golf R is also more economical, with EPA estimated fuel economy of 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway compared with EPA estimated mileage of 18 mpg city and 23 mpg highway for the prior model.

2013 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman review, specs, photos, features

The new 2013 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman

For the first time, the passion for racing can be enjoyed in combination with four-wheel drive. The MINI John Cooper Works Countryman, equipped as standard with the ALL4 all-wheel-drive system and powered by a newly developed turbocharged four-cylinder engine, lays on extreme driving fun on any terrain.

2013 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman photo2013 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman photoFind more new 2013 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman pictures in our 2013 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman photo gallery (34 photos)

Together, its powertrain and chassis technology – developed on the back of extensive motor sport expertise – and the overall concept of the first MINI with five doors and four/five seats allow the hallmark characteristics of a John Cooper Works model to take the leap into another new segment.

2013 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman photo2013 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman photo

2013 Mini John Cooper Works GP review, specs, photos, features

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The new 2013 Mini John Cooper Works GP high performance compact

Only once has there been anything like it, but even that wasn’t as quick. With the MINI John Cooper Works GP, the British premium brand has come up with another car of exceptional talent designed to deliver extreme performance on both the race track and the road.

2013 Mini John Cooper Works GP photo2013 Mini John Cooper Works GP photoFind more new 2013 Mini John Cooper Works GP pictures in our 2013 Mini John Cooper Works GP photo gallery (15 photos)

The sportiest road-registered MINI ever made will go on sale later this year in a limited run of 2,000 cars. It is currently completing a programme of testing in preparation for series production, part of which has involved setting an impressive fastest lap of the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife circuit.

2013 Mini John Cooper Works GP photo2013 Mini John Cooper Works GP photo

2012 Fiat 500 Abarth review, specifications, photos, features

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Faithful to the “small but wicked” saying coined for Karl Abarth’s cars in the 1960s, the new 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth arrives to America with the racing traditions that have made it a success on European roadways and racetracks — world-class performance and precision, purposeful and aggressive styling, high power-to-weight ratio and limited-production volume.

2012 Fiat 500 Abarth photo2012 Fiat 500 Abarth photoFind more new 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth pictures in our 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth photo gallery (37 photos)

“Bringing the 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth to the U.S. enables us to reach out to driving enthusiasts who want Italian performance at an attainable price,” said Olivier Francois, Head of FIAT Brand and Chief Marketing Officer — Chrysler Group LLC. “With its lightweight, track-tuned handling and purpose-built design, the Fiat 500 Abarth brings to life the legendary racing heritage of the brand and becomes the Italian high-performance car for everyday driving.”

2011 SEAT Leon Cupra R Review - Official photos, features, specs, pricing

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The new SEAT Leon Cupra R is preparing to roar into UK showrooms becoming, in the process, the most powerful production car yet offered by SEAT UK.

Photo: 2011 SEAT Leon Cupra RPhoto: 2011 SEAT Leon Cupra RCheck out more new 2011 SEAT Leon Cupra R pictures in our 2011 SEAT Leon Cupra R photo gallery

With 265 PS available from its 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, the fire-breathing new Leon resurrects the iconic Cupra R badge last seen on the sleek Spaniard back in 2006.

Photo: 2011 SEAT Leon Cupra RPhoto: 2011 SEAT Leon Cupra R

More than that, the car also becomes SEAT’s quickest-accelerating model to date with a 0-62 mph time of just 6.2 seconds while the top speed, where legal, of 155 mph is also SEAT’s highest ever ‘flat out’ figure.

Photo: 2011 SEAT Leon Cupra RPhoto: 2011 SEAT Leon Cupra R

2011 Opel Corsa OPC Nürburgring Edition Review - Official photos, features, specs, pricing

The Corsa OPC is now even more powerful. The limited OPC ‘Nürburgring Edition’ is based on the recently upgraded Corsa model line and, with just around 500 units planned, it will offer a rare blend of raw power, performance and passion.

Photo: 2011 Opel Corsa OPC Nürburgring Edition -Photo: 2011 Opel Corsa OPC Nürburgring Edition -

Additional power is delivered by modified engine management and turbocharger systems, a sports exhaust with reduced back pressure, and optimization for 100 octane fuel.

Photo: 2011 Opel Corsa OPC Nürburgring EditionPhoto: 2011 Opel Corsa OPC Nürburgring Edition

As a result, the maximum output of the 1.6-liter OPC turbo engine is raised from 141 kW/192 hp to 154 kW/210 hp, giving a specific power rating of 131.4 hp per liter which is exceptional in this engine class. The maximum torque of the base engine (230-266 Nm) is also increased to 250 Nm and 280 Nm when the turbocharger’s ‘overboost’ function is activated.

Photo: 2011 Opel Corsa OPC Nürburgring EditionPhoto: 2011 Opel Corsa OPC Nürburgring Edition

2011 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 Review - Official photos, features, specs, pricing

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Enter the 2011 MAZDASPEED3. From a distance, it may look like its MAZDA3 siblings, with its five-point grille and sleek lines, but one minute behind the wheel will prove otherwise.

Photo: 2011 Mazda Mazdaspeed3Photo: 2011 Mazda Mazdaspeed3Check out more 2011 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 pictures in our 2011 Mazda Mazdaspeed3 photo gallery

Even before it was introduced, driving enthusiasts had pegged the MAZDASPEED3 to be a leader in the front-drive performance car category. In addition to living up to that expectation, the MAZDASPEED3 has come to be regarded as one of the best bargains on the road and the finest marriage of performance and practicality on four wheels.

Photo: 2011 Mazda Mazdaspeed3Photo: 2011 Mazda Mazdaspeed3

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