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Cars and automotive tech to heat up your spring
Cars coming out this spring feature hot power to thaw out that winter ice. Choices include the Cadillac ATS-V, VW Golf R and the truly mad BMW X6 M, all powerful carts to break your winter cabin fever.
The outlook: BMW's M cars are noted for track-worthy performance, but apply this formula to the X6, with its large SUV-like body, and you have a recipe for true madness. The X6 M shows all the spirit and handling of its M siblings, yet it sits high up, offering the driver a commanding view of the road.
The outlook: Compact SUVs show increasing popularity, and Honda brings its tried-and-true engineering to the segment with the HR-V. Perfect for an urban environment, the HR-V brings good cargo capacity and fuel economy with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine.
The outlook: Volkswagen performance fanatics can have a good time in the Golf GTI, or step it up even further to the Golf R. With a four-cylinder engine making 292 horsepower as well as all-wheel-drive, the Golf R wants to be the hottest hatchback around, and will satisfy buyers seeking acceleration and grip.
The outlook: Cadillac wants its ATS model to compete with the BMW 3-series but has had trouble gaining traction. The ATS-V, boasting 455 horsepower, may be the magic bullet as it takes on the BMW M3 in a high-performance shootout, and could turn buyers away from Europe towards an American original.
The outlook: For those craving the British off-road expertise of Land Rover, the company offers a new entry point, the Discovery Sport. Priced well below its upscale Range Rover line, the Discovery Sport promises much of the brand's all-terrain capability plus everyday utility. A four-cylinder engine will help keep fuel costs low, while standard all-wheel-drive with Land Rover's Terrain Response System, makes it suitable for any part of the country.
The outlook: Pioneer's AVIC NEX line was the first aftermarket receivers to bring Apple CarPlay to the masses. The second-generation series could be the first to add Android Auto to the feature mix when it debuts this spring.
The outlook: The coolest aftermarket car multimedia receiver at CES 2015 was the Parrot's RMB 6. This touchscreen receiver not only adds both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to any car, but it also features a laundry list of tech features and upgradability like we've never seen before. It could be the all-in-one solution that transforms any car into a tech car.
The outlook: We gave the current Acura ILX a hard time for feeling a bit like a warmed-over Honda Civic. The Japanese premium automaker strikes back by packing the revised 2016 ILX to the gills with new tech, outfitting it with a crazy eight-speed dual-clutch transmission with a torque converter, and adding a sport-tuned A-Spec trim level.