Jaguar XF vs BMW 550i | Track Tested | Edmunds.com
MORE TRACK INFO @ INSIDELINE.COM: http://blogs.edmunds.com/straightline/2009/05/il-track-tested-2009-bmw-550i -vs-2010-jaguar-xf.html?tid=edmunds.il.home.photopanel..2.* Last May, the newly introduced Jaguar XF surprised us. It went head to head with the best midsize luxury sedans from Germany and came out on top. It was fast, comfortable and surprisingly competent through turns, but of course, that was the top-of-the-line supercharged model. For 2010, the Jaguar XF gets a pair of all-new 5.0-liter V8s: one normally aspirated in the XF Premium, the other supercharged in the new XFR. We'll test an XFR soon, but today Inside Line is the first to take the new non-supercharged 5.0-liter-powered 2010 Jaguar XF Premium to the test track. Rated at 385 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque it's not quite as powerful as the former 4.2-liter supercharged V8, but it's close. To see just how close, we brought back a 2009 BMW 550i to see how the new Jag stacks up when it's not getting help from a Supercharger. Given that the BMW is giving up 25 hp and 20 lb-ft of torque, we expected a close contest - and got one.
2009 BMW 750Li vs 2009 Mercedes-Benz S550 | Track Tested | Edmunds.com
BMW VS. MERCEDES TRACK SMACK @ INSIDELINE.COM: http://blogs.edmunds.com/straightline/2009/04/il-track-tested-2009-bmw-750l i-vs-2009-mercedes-benz-s550.html?tid=edmunds.il.home.photopanel..2.* These are the big guns from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Well, not the biggest guns, but with prices near or above the $100,000 range, they're big enough. The BMW 750Li is all-new for 2009 and looking better than ever. Its 400-horsepower twin-turbo V8 makes it the closest thing to a "Motorsport" 7 Series we have ever seen. The Mercedes-Benz S550 is getting a face-lift next year, but the current model has held up well. And with a 382-horsepower V8 of its own, it doesn't give up much to the new BMW. One look at the track numbers and you'll be amazed what these 2.25-ton sedans can do. From 13-second quarter-mile sprints to 110-foot stops from 60 mph, these two sedans are perfect examples of what can be accomplished when money is no object. Full details after the jump.
2009 Nissan Nismo 370Z @ Willow Springs Raceway | Edmunds.com
FULL NISSAN 370Z @ INSIDELINE.COM: http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/FirstDrives/articleId=149329?ti d=edmunds.il.home.photopanel..1.* It's called "The Fastest Road in the West" for a reason. Willow Springs International Raceway is known for its staggeringly high lap speeds, and it defines itself with one of the gnarliest, high-speed corner combinations anywhere in the world: a long decreasing-radius bend from Turn 8 to Turn 9. And so in an effort to preserve the world's population of auto scribes like us, Nissan has created a makeshift chicane to successfully emasculate these corners during our test of the 2009 Nissan Nismo 370Z. Smart move. Fortunately there are ample opportunities elsewhere on this track to explore the car's increased performance over the standard 2009 Nissan 370Z. Namely Turn 6, which apexes at a blind crest and is followed on the downhill side by a huge midcorner bump that makes the standard Z-car wallow like a Buick LeSabre over a Wyoming frost heave. It's here that the Nismo Z sells itself. In the Sport Z-car we're afraid. Afraid of physics. Afraid that the track will toss us - like a Buick - into the unforgiving desert. But after a few laps in the Nismo Z, we're confident. And we're faster. We keep our right foot planted all the way over the Turn 6 crest and across the bump, gaining enough speed that a few hundred yards down the track we ingloriously annihilate most of the orange cones that Nissan deployed to keep us alive. Nice.
2010 Audi S4 vs. 2009 BMW 335i | Audi Smokes BMW? | Edmunds.com
2010 Audi S4 vs. 2009 BMW 335i Comparison Test: http://www.insideline.com/audi/s4/2010/comparison-test-2010-audi-s4-vs-2009 -bmw-335i.html 2008 BMW M3 @ the Track Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cu7uy6m4rw0 Given all the praise heaped on the BMW 3 Series over the years, we can't blame you for thinking there's more to the story. We've heard all the conspiracy theories, most of them involving checks in large denominations from Munich. This might seem believable to a certain segment of the population, but there's a far less interesting truth behind all those wins: The BMW was the best car. Sure, certain rivals often upped their game in one area or another, but the 3 Series always put it all together in a way that made it better. So now the 2010 Audi S4 is here to take another shot. It's all-new this year and the old V8 is gone. There's now a supercharged V6 in its place, along with a lower price designed to better align the S4 with the BMW 335i. The BMW 3 Series received a face-lift of its own last year. It was mostly minor trim changes and the like, but we're told that iDrive thing was tweaked again, too (oh, lovely). Sounds like a fair fight, no?