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The special-edition Ferrari 458 Speciale lives up to its name for 2014.

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The special-edition Ferrari 458 Speciale lives up to its name for 2014.

Honda reveals refreshed Civic Coupe at SEMA 2013

HOT on the heels of the refreshed Civic sedan, Honda took to this year's SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show to pull the wraps off the updated Civic coupe.

The 2014 Civic coupe now dons a more aggressive bumper and grille design, as well as tweaked headlights and tinted tail lights. Understandably, the Si kicks it up a notch with an even more aggressive front bumper, a new deck lid spoiler and larger 18-inch wheels. These changes are slated not only for the Si coupe, but for the sedan as well.

Proving the changes for 2014 are more than just skin-deep, the Si is also getting a new exhaust system. It may not seem like much, but the Si's high-revving 2.0-litre engine will now pump out 205 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque, an increase from 201 and 170, respectively.

Honda also announced a new lineup of performance parts developed by its U.S.-based racing and tuning division, Honda Performance Development (HPD). The first model to get the HPD treatment will be the CR-Z in 2014, starting with a supercharger good for a horsepower boost from 140 to 200.

Subaru previews WRX ahead of L.A. auto show

AFTER the stunning Subaru WRX Concept made its debut earlier this year, followed by months of seemingly endless speculation, bickering and rumours, Subaru finally released a rather revealing teaser of the upcoming 2015 WRX.

Subaru's concept cars have a tendency to lose their edginess when moving from concept to production. The WRX seems to be no exception, toned down considerably from the borderline outlandish WRX Concept from the New York Auto Show. Still, with a huge hood scoop, bulging fenders and BRZ-inspired daytime running lights up front, it's clear the production WRX won't skimp on the aggressiveness when it makes its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week.

Initial hubbub pegged the WRX and STI as completely separate models from the Impreza, but that won't be the case. The WRX will still share its genes with the Impreza, but will sport a couple of new powertrains. Rumour has it the current pair of 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engines will be swapped out for turbocharged variants of the BRZ's FA20 2.0-litre Boxer.

It is also rumoured that Subaru will drop the WRX and STI hatchback for 2015 and go for a sedan-only lineup, at least in North America. That detail has yet to be determined, but wouldn't seem wise, considering most -- if not all -- of its competitors are hatchbacks.

At the same time as the WRX debut next week, Subaru will unveil the Levorg Concept at the Tokyo Motor Show.

In fact, look closely at the Levorg teaser shot: Could it be a hatchback or a wagon version of the WRX?

Ferrari unveils 458 Speciale

ITS name may lack any sort of inspiration, but one stint behind the wheel of the Ferrari 458 Speciale will likely prove to be anything but uninspirational. That's because the latest special-edition Ferrari is the spiritual successor to the 360 Challenge Stradale and the 430 Scuderia.

The 458 Speciale's 4.5-litre V-8 has been tweaked to deliver 596 horsepower. The kicker is the power-to-weight ratio of 4.77 pounds per horsepower, a figure made possible by the 1,290-kilogram curb weight. It can also stick to the asphalt with an astounding 1.33 lateral Gs.

All of this means it can sprint from a standstill to 100 kilometres an hour in three seconds flat and, as a matter of fact, laps Ferrari's Fiorano test track nearly three seconds sooner than the 730-horsepower F12 Berlinetta.

Kia confirms luxury sedan for LA Auto Show

TRUE to the rumours that have been floating around these past few months, Kia has officially confirmed the North American debut of the latest addition to its family -- the K900 luxury sedan.

Known in Korea as the K9 and Quoris elsewhere, the K900 shares many of its underpinnings with its Hyundai cousin, the Equus. That means you can expect the same levels of excessive luxury at a low price, by luxury sedan standards.

Kia says the K900 will retail for anywhere between $50,000 and $70,000 south of the border. For comparison's sake, the Hyundai Equus starts at $61,000 there and $64,100 in Canada.

Unlike the Equus, the K900 will be available with either a V6 or a V8. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect the 290-horsepower Lambda V6 or the 5.0-litre Tau V8, good for 429 horsepower.

The K900 will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which opens Nov. 20.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 14, 2013 F5

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