What Does This Button Do?

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Tons of things go into seats, like passengers, child-safety seats and less convenient items like quarters, cellphones and keys that disappear into the black hole between the cushions. Few things, however, come out of a seat unless it's a coil spring poking you in the rear or the extravagant feature Mercedes-Benz incorporates on its E-Class convertible.

Top 10 Most Extravagant Car Options

The Mercedes-Benz E550 Cabriolet's mysterious button hints that it expels something from the front seats, but it's not the scented breeze of pine trees when your passenger can't catch a hint.

By Joe Bruzek | July 30, 2014 | Comments (1)

2014 Mercedes-Benz E550 Cabriolet Video

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz E550 Cabriolet, the redesigned E-Class luxury vehicle which Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays recently tested, boasts new interior and exterior styling, a turbocharged V-8 engine and rear-wheel drive to go with that droptop. Is it as fun as all that sounds? Watch the video and find out.

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By Matt Schmitz | July 22, 2014 | Comments (1)

2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster (10 Photos)

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Aston Martin just took the wraps off its fastest and most powerful convertible — the 2015 V12 Vantage roadster joins the V12 Vantage S coupe. Powered by a naturally-aspirated 565-horspower, 6.0-liter V-12 engine, Aston says the roadster sprints from zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and has a top speed of 201 mph.

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The new roadster trades the coupe's aluminum-accented grille design for a carbon fiber one trimmed with black or titanium silver mesh. Aston Martin says the new look maximizes airflow and is inspired by the CC100 Speedster concept and its Vantage racecars. Inside, customers can choose a myriad of bespoke colors, trim, and materials through Aston Martin's Q customization arm.

Aston Martin said the car will arrive in markets around the world later this year; no word yet on a U.S. on-sale date. Check out the gallery below.

By Jennifer Geiger | July 16, 2014 | Comments (0)

Mazda Confirms New MX-5 Miata for 2016

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Mazda is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its feisty little roadster with a big announcement: The automaker plans to unveil the fourth generation of the MX-5 Miata in September. Mazda didn't release any details, but we know the redesigned car will wear the 2016 model year.

2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata Review

Mazda gave enthusiasts a sneak peek at the 2014 New York International Auto Show when it showed off the vehicle's new SkyActiv chassis and announced that the new MX-5 "would be lighter, stronger and with a physical footprint more in tune with its first-generation predecessor than with its heavier, larger current-day cousin." Check back for more when the car debuts on Sept. 3.

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears (2014 model shown)

By Jennifer Geiger | July 3, 2014 | Comments (0)

2015 Fiat 500 Abarth Cabrio Automatic: Quick Spin

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Fiat's plucky little 500 Abarth has gained a reputation among performance enthusiasts as a fun, snorty, raucous little hot hatch. With its 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder pumping 160 horsepower out of a specially tuned, snapping, popping, rasping exhaust system and its go-kart-like handling, it's a monster on the track — and something of a monster on the street as well.

Why Your Neighbors Will Hate the Fiat 500 Abarth

It's mainly been an enthusiast's toy because it's only been available with a five-speed manual transmission. But stick shifts are falling out of favor with U.S. buyers, so in the interest of expanding the Abarth's appeal Fiat added a six-speed automatic transmission for 2015. I had an opportunity to drive the new automatic Abarth Cabrio at Chrysler's Chelsea Proving Grounds in Michigan and it won't let enthusiasts down.

By Aaron Bragman | July 3, 2014 | Comments (1)

Photo Gallery: Jaguar F-Type Project 7

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Jaguar has confirmed that it intends to build 250 examples of the 2013 F-Type Project 7 concept car for sale to the public, using its Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations team to handle the assembly of the custom two-seat roadster. Inspired by the 60th anniversary of the LeMans-winning Jaguar D-type race car, the F-Type Project 7 features handmade carbon- fiber aerodynamic aids and a unique suspension, as well as the most powerful engine Jaguar has ever put in a car: a 575-horsepower, supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 mated to an eight- speed automatic transmission. Jaguar says it will propel the Project 7 from zero to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 186 mph, making it the fastest car Jaguar has ever produced.

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Several high-performance features will be standard on the Project 7, including carbon- ceramic brakes, a torque vectoring system and race-inspired seats. The only roof will be a stowable fabric strip that stretches from the top of the windshield and accommodates the D-type-inspired fairing behind the driver's head. It will be fully road-legal, however, and even features a trunk that holds 7 cubic feet of luggage.

The first examples of the new Project 7 will be delivered to customers in mid-2015, and it will make its public debut at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed in West Sussex, England on Thursday. Pricing has not yet been announced.

Check out the gallery below.

By Aaron Bragman | June 25, 2014 | Comments (1)

Audi Prices A3 Family Newcomers

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The 2015 Audi A3 sedan, which arrived in April, soon will welcome a trio of siblings. Audi this week announced pricing on the expanded A3 family, which includes the 2015 S3 performance sedan, the A3 Cabriolet and A3 TDI diesel sedan. The three new models are slated to go on sale late this summer, ranging in price from around $33,000 to nearly $42,000.

2015 Audi A3 Review

Standard features across the lineup include leather seats, power panoramic roof, Bluetooth connectivity, Sirius XM Satellite and HD radio, a power driver's seat, a split-folding rear seatback and Audi's collision-mitigation system, as well as standard Singleframe grille, bi-xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights and LED taillights. Available features include full LED headlights, a Bang & Olufsen premium audio system, an updated version of Audi's multimedia system and Audi's four selectable driving modes.

Joining the already-available regular A3 sedan, which starts at $30,795, including an $895 destination charge, the S3 performance sedan will start at $41,995, including destination. The S3 is powered by a 2.0-liter direct-injected four-cylinder engine making 292 horsepower and features standard all-wheel drive and a sport suspension. The S3 can be outfitted with trim-specific 18- or 19-inch wheels. Standard interior features include a leather-wrapped, flat-bottom steering wheel, paddle shifters and aluminum details.

By Matt Schmitz | June 20, 2014 | Comments (4)

Recall Alert: 2004-2011 Saab 9-3 Convertible

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Vehicles Affected: About 28,789 model-year 2004-11 Saab 9-3 convertibles

The Problem: The automatic tensioning system cable in the driver's-side front seat belt retractor could break. If this happens, the seat belt webbing spooled out by the driver would not retract. GM said the convertible and sedan versions were investigated at the same time, but the convertible parts were not identical to the sedan parts. Click here for the original sedan recall. GM has since learned of customer complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration about the convertibles.

The Fix: GM will notify owners, and dealers will replace the driver's-side retractor for free. In addition, GM has issued a special coverage so that if the same repair is required to the passenger-side retractor, it will be covered for the life of the vehicle. GM also extended the special coverage for passenger-side belt retractors on the 2004 Saab 9-3 sedan from the original 10-year coverage to the life of the vehicle. The automaker said it is unaware of any crashes or injuries resulting from the problem.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call GM customer service at 866-418-8168 for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | June 13, 2014 | Comments (5)

Recall Alert: 2010-2014 Chevrolet Camaro

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Vehicles Affected: Approximately 464,712 model-year 2010-14 Chevrolet Camaros – all current-generation models of the car are affected

The Problem: General Motors is reporting that the driver's knee could bump the key fob, causing the key to move out of the Run position. This could lead to a reduction or loss of power. GM is aware of three crashes and four injuries related to the issue.

The automaker said the Camaro's ignition switch meets all engineering specifications and this issue is unrelated to the ignition switch recall affecting the Chevrolet Cobalt and several of GM's other compact cars.   

The Fix: GM is changing the key's design; the change will make the ignition key and fob independent of each other. 

What Owners Should Do: The automaker has not yet provided an owner notification schedule; affected owners will receive a recall letter. GM says courtesy transportation will be provided if needed. Owners can call Chevrolet at 800-222-1020 for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Jennifer Geiger | June 13, 2014 | Comments (6)

2014 Jaguar F-Type Convertible Photo Gallery (24 Photos)

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A bout of sunny weather coincided with a bumper crop of test convertibles this spring — our drive of the 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata was followed by a stint in the droptop version of Jaguar's newest car, the F-Type. We tested the 495-horsepower, supercharged V-8 model of the rear-wheel-drive soft-top roadster in eye-popping Italian Racing Red, matching its eye-popping $103,820 sticker price after options and destination. 

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Cars.com reviewer Joe Wiesenfelder called this cat "a tour de force of eager power, engaging dynamics and head-turning looks." Click here for the full review and check out the gallery below; Cars.com photos by Evan Sears. 

By Jennifer Geiger | June 10, 2014 | Comments (0)

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