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2016 Nissan Navara ST-X Review

If the 2016 Nissan Navara ST-X marks unique territory on high-end dual-cab 4×4 ute landscape, it’s not, despite television advert suggestion, its capability to negotiate the innards of a runaway metal pipe. Instead, this reinvented Navara’s headline change is the adoption of multi-link, coil-sprung rear suspension unique in the rugged, load-lugging utility set, an attempt […]

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2015 TopSpeed Awards: Mark's Picks

The 2015 model year has been an extremely exciting one that now flows into automotive history. We’ve seen the automakers stumbling inches from death while others have somehow been reborn. Vehicles are now getting better fuel economy than ever, yet horsepower and performance numbers continue to grow – though not usually from the same platform. Still, this year has been a fantastic ride full of drama, big debuts, and lots of honestly excellent cars.

It’s our job here at TopSpeed to bring you the latest news from the automotive industry and reviews of the newest products. It might be the best job in the world, second only to being an astronaut, in my book – but naming winners from this year’s crop of cars will be tough. Automakers have poured vast amounts of time and money into making products better. Cars in the last five years have risen in quality, feature content, and connectability. Those found on dealer lots in 2015 represent the latest in a century’s old industry that prides itself on creating things people desire and chase after.

Thankfully we have criteria that should make the task simpler. If you haven’t read how TopSpeed’s award system works, click here. These vehicles will be judged not against each other, but against our seven key points. Narrowing the field, contenders must be significantly refreshed or all-new for the 2015 or 2016 model year, and must have been in dealer showrooms within the 2015 calendar year.

Lastly, each of our editors will submit their top five pick for each of the three categories that include car, truck, and performance vehicle. Here are my top picks.

Armed with that info, let’s get to it.

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Automotive Predictions for 2016

This has been a big year for the automotive industry. One could arguably call 2015 the year of strides in autonomous technology. Tesla released its auto pilot program, Ford received permission to begin testing Autonomous cars on California roads, Google cars are still roaming about, and Toyota has even announced that it is about to unveil new map generation software – a feat that will help establish the basis for fully autonomous cars. A lot of automakers have also improved their semi-autonomous technology over previous years, making things like automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, and automatic parking available on a large number of vehicles and usable by the masses.

Technology aside, we’ve seen some automakers fall from the podium (the Volkswagen scandal anyone?) and others come back to life with a vengeance. Things like fuel economy and horsepower are starting to go hand-in-hand, at least when compared to a decade ago. So, this raises the question: What will 2016 bring for the automotive world? Will we see huge new strides in technology development, or how about a plethora of all-electric vehicles that actually have a usable range? Will Volkswagen survive the biggest emissions scandal ever, or will VAG fall apart piece by piece?

Well, the future comes one day at a time, so we can’t answer these questions with certainty. We can, however, speculate a little and make some educated guesses based on what we’ve seen in 2015 and the years before. Either way, the world is ever changing, and the automotive industry is changing just as much. We might not end up with a bunch of flying cars by the end of next year, but I bet we’ll be a few steps closer. That said, let’s make some predictions for the year to come. If you’re up for it, drop us a line in the comments section and let us know what you think 2016 will hold for the auto industry.

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Animal Farm: Beastly Horns for Your Hoopty [Video]

As conversation occasionally does among the Gen-X cohort at C/D, talk this afternoon turned to the ‘70s-chestnut television variety program Hee Haw. Which sent a certain staffer down a rabbit hole to find something automotively relevant to the show beyond Junior Samples’ used-car commercial sketches. Which is how we discovered Jed, a primitive CGI donkey […]

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2015 TopSpeed Awards: Jacob's Picks

There is never a time when I feel more like a massive car nerd then when I’m picking a best of list. It’s not that these kinds of lists are inherently nerdy, it’s just that I think about them far too much, and invariably go full High Fidelity. As always, my list of top picks for 2015 has been amended several times and mulled over for days. I have tried to offer up a diverse list, both when it comes to pricing and also intended function, although this comes through mostly with the trucks section.

I haven’t included any Volkswagens and I will admit that this is possibly unfair. I like VW’s cars, but I also used to love its diesels, so I feel my assessment of VW products is tainted. I’m not entirely sure any of them would have made the list anyway, but I will give the GTI an honorable mention here. I have included a couple of Audis and a Porsche too, so that kind of counts. It was a struggle not to make this list about half Ford products as well. Ford brought out a lot of new products this year, and it’s difficult not to be biased as the owner of a 2015 Ford. I resisted, perhaps wrongly, but that’s why naming the best of 2015 is a team effort.

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Treasure of the Sierra eBay: Merkur XR4Ti Pace Car for Sale

Thanks to Alan Mulally’s “One Ford” initiative, you can go out right now and buy a Focus that’s largely identical to the one your cousin Miroslav picked up last week in Novi Sad. But it wasn’t always that way. The Euro Fords to land on our shores were sparse and not always well-received. Case in […]

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Petrolicious Pays Tribute To The Dodge Hemi Challenger R/T: Video

The late 1960s and early 1970s was a memorable time for Dodge. The brand had already launched nameplates such as the Charger, Coronet, and the Dart in the 1960s, while the Challenger followed in 1970 as a competitor to the already successful Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. Available with a wide range of inline-six and V-8 engines, the Challenger quickly became one of the most important muscle cars of the early 1970s, but none was as celebrated as the Hemi-equipped coupes.

Powered by the almighty 426-cubic-inch V-8, also dubbed “The Elephant,” the Challenger Hemi packed no fewer than 425 horsepower and 490 pound-feet of torque, an impressive benchmark for the era. With less than 200 models built that year (only 137 had the four-speed manual), the 1970 Challenger Hemi went on to become a rare and sought-after car. Many of them have survived on U.S. soil, but there’s one coupe that lived most of its life in Venezuela.

Meet the “El Hemi,” probably the only Hemi-powered Challenger that got shipped to Venezuela in the 1970s and spent more than two decades in South America. Currently driven by Juan Escalante and his brother, the Hemi was purchased in the early 1970s by his father. After spending many years into disrepair, the car was brought to the U.S. for restoration in 1996, a process which was completed nearly ten years later, in 2005. Although Juan’s father passed away before the car was finished, the Challenger remained in the Escalante family as “a way of connecting those who have come before us to those who will be coming in the future.”

Not just a powerful muscle car, this Hemi also has an interesting story behind it. Find out more by watching Petrolicious’ latest video.

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Cars Discontinued In 2015

2015 has been a great year for the automotive industry, bringing us everything from faster-than-ever performance cars, to roomier and more efficient family vehicles, to semi-autonomous rides, and new-generation electric and hydrogen-powered models. We also saw a large number of fascinating new concept cars that will become production vehicles in the future, while several automakers reached benchmarks that seemed impossible a decade ago.

However, 2015 was also a year that saw many models being discontinued here in the United States. While some are aging models that are being replaced by new nameplates, other vehicles were simply phased out due to slow sales or because they were developed for niches that are no longer feasible in today’s changing market.

With the year now coming to an end, TopSpeed is taking a look back at the discontinued cars we said goodbye to in 2015. But, rather than include all the models that got the axe last year, I focused on those that most of us will miss and the vehicles that, at some point in their life cycle, made a significant impact on the market. Find out more about it below and tell us which model you will miss the most in the comments section.

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