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MT Explains Why Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6 Trumps its 4x4 Sibling

Wed, 27 Nov 2013 23:17:00 +0000

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You must really live perched atop a mountain, or at the bottom of some remote, inaccessible valley in order to even begin to try and justify paying close to $700,000 for a Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6x6; even once you think you need it, it’s still ridiculous.
But it’s here, and it’s not some suburb shed hack-job, being a fully-fledged different AMG model in its own right, and probably the most capable off-roader you could buy at any price, as MotorTrend’s Jonny Lieberman found out, when he recently pitted the six-wheeler against the normal G63.
It all went down in Graz, Austria, less than a stone’s throw away from the Steyr factory that has been assembling the Geländewagen since 1979, on both purpose-built off-road proving grounds and natural ones.
Naturally, the 6x6 cruised up all obstacles with ease, and while the four-wheeled variant is practically just as capable, the bigger vehicles extra traction advantage, extra ground clearance and extra kudos for taking massive jumps in its stride (literally) nudged the polls in its favor.
By Andrei Nedelea

VIDEO

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New 1996 Nissan 300ZX with Only 145 Miles Could be Yours for $85,987

Wed, 27 Nov 2013 21:28:00 +0000

You can add the Z32 Nissan 300ZX to the list of cars that I have had the chance to drive and wouldn't mind owning one day, just as long as I find the right one at the right price, of course. The right one would be a late model year Turbo with a 300bhp 3.0-liter V6 featuring twin Garrett turbochargers and dual intercoolers, but I would settle with the regular 222bhp 3.0-liter V6 model, as long as it came with a stick shift, which happens to be the case of our latest find. Even better, it's virtually brand new and unused with only 145 miles (233 kilometers) on the odometer. However, there's one huge problem; the Greensboro Nissan dealer's asking price of $85,987, which is absurdly high for this car. Don't forget that we are talking about a base version of a Japanese coupe of which more than 160,000 examples were built during its lifespan (1989–2000), so it's neither rare nor that desirable. We had posted a story on a black-on-black 1996 300ZX T-Top Coupe with 144 miles that was listed for sale on eBay this past April, but it had chrome rims, while this one sports satin-finish wheels – we don't know for sure if it's the same car as the ad has since been removed. By John Halas PHOTO GALLERY [...]



EU Finalizes Revised New Luxury Manufacturer-Centric Emissions Limits; Approval Pending

Wed, 27 Nov 2013 20:55:00 +0000

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Surprise, surprise, the European Union, the one that appeared to buckle under Germany’s immense corporate interest pressure not to enforce strict emissions laws by the year first specified will be going forward with the half-assed version of the original plan that as a Reuters report says "delays 100 percent implementation of a limit of 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre (CO2/km) for all new cars until 2021 from a previous deadline of 2020."
The big luxury car manufacturers, the ones that do most of the tailpipe emitting, were the ones that expressly asked for more leniency. The same report reminds us that the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, whose party “received money (donations) from BMW,” persuaded everybody that she was safeguarding jobs.
That she may very well be doing, but it’s an indirect and happy coincidental side effect, while the air of dishonesty and corporate intrigue and interest above all is thick, if you ask me.
The final decision regarding the matter at hand, though, will be taken on Friday, when the deal will be “presented to a meeting of EU diplomats… with a view to getting their agreement,” according to Arunas Vinciunas, ambassador for Lithuania, which holds the rotating EU presidency.
It would then have to be ratified with all of the member states’ governments and the European Parliament, before finally becoming law.
By Andrei Nedelea

VIDEO

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XCar Reviews Range Rover Hybrid, Doesn't Quite Get It

Wed, 27 Nov 2013 20:00:00 +0000

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Starting from this fall, Land Rover added hybrid versions for the Range Rover and the Range Rover Sport to its range. The first ever hybrid models in the history of Land Rover combine a 3.0-liter SDV6 turbodiesel engine linked to an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission with a 35kW (47hp) electric motor/generator.
With a total system output of 335hp (340PS) and 700 Nm (516 lb-ft) of torque, the Range Rover Hybrid sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under 7 seconds and has an average fuel economy of 44.1 mpg UK (36.7 mpg US, 6.4 l/100 km).
XCar took the Range Rover Hybrid for a spin and found that it’s exactly like any other Range Rover (which is good), only more economical.
However, as the hybrid model is only offered on the top-spec Autobiography model, there’s a big problem: it costs £98,400 in the UK, the same as the 510hp V8-powered Range Rover. The question is: will fuel costs really matter for customers who can afford to spend that much on a car in the first place?
By Dan Mihalascu

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Lincoln to Reuse old Model Names for Chinese Market

Wed, 27 Nov 2013 19:15:00 +0000

A report from USA Today says that Ford’s exeutive VP in charge of global marketing, Jim Farley, recently announced that Lincoln may, in fact, switch from the current American naming scheme to one that revives old historic names, but only for the Chinese audience. The arguments that stand behind the reasoning are a) the brand has a lot of iconic names under its belt that it no longer uses and b) it is apprently believed that Chinese people actually remember the old days of Lincoln luxury, what the cars from that period were called and what they stood for. Deems quite unlikely given the cultural and historic background of the country, but we’ll see how it pans out for them once the fully-fledged country-wide introduction enters full swing. So, in a weird turn of events, North America, which is the traditional home market for Lincoln cars will boast models designated by three capital letters, the first two of which are “MK,” while China will get Zephyrs and Continentals. By Andrei Nedelea PHOTO GALLERY [...]



Meet the Cars With a Five-Star Rating in EuroNCAP's Latest Tests [w/Videos]

Wed, 27 Nov 2013 18:30:00 +0000

We’ve seen the cars that achieved a four-star rating, now it’s time to meet the best performers of EuroNCAP’s latest crash-test session. Six cars were awarded the maximum five-star rating: Ford Tourneo Connect, Infiniti Q50, Maserati Ghibli, Mazda3, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and Peugeot 308. Both luxury cars tested, the Infiniti Q50 and Maserati Ghibli, offered good overall protection. The Infiniti scored 86 percent for adult occupants, 85 percent for child occupants and 67 percent for pedestrians. The Japanese model also received an 81-percent rating for safety assist. Just tested by the IIHS, the Ghibli was awarded the highest score (95 percent) for adult occupant protection of the 11 cars assessed by EuroNCAP. Child occupant protection was rated at 79 percent, pedestrian protection at 74 percent and safety assist at 81 percent. EuroNCAP gave good ratings to both compact cars tested, the Mazda3 and Peugeot 308. The Japanese car scored 93 percent for adult occupant protection; 86 percent for child occupant, 65 percent for pedestrian and 81 percent for its safety assist systems. The Peugeot got a 92 percent rating for protection offered to adult occupants, 79 percent for child occupants, 64 for pedestrians and 81 percent for safety assist. The Ford Tourneo Connect passenger van was equally impressive, with a 94 percent rating for adult occupant protection, 85 percent for child occupant protection, 62 percent for pedestrians and 70 percent for safety assist. Finally, EuroNCAP also awarded five stars to the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, which was rated 88 percent for adult occupant protection, 84 percent for child occupant, 64 percent for pedestrian and 81 percent for safety assist. By Dan Mihalascu PHOTO GALLERYVIDEO width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/9f5IBSVSOgk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/zq8Ljz380wM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/CoYY1HjVzIA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/WqPnJcfAYRs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/EloDLrve4vk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> width="640" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Fgtp1JuJlVU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/rpmbNGwzVYc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> width="640" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/PXVssblYSb4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/mvDwn8usGm8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> width="640" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/JapkTv9xW1U" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Byz87c4tkUc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> width="640" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/XnlvF4SZGvk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/nO3BH2e0t8o" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>[...]



You Can Partially Thank 3-D Scanning for the Stunning Looks of the Cadillac Elmiraj

Wed, 27 Nov 2013 17:45:00 +0000

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While it looks like we won't be seeing the Elmiraj turning into a production car, Cadillac continues to tell us about its well-received luxury concept. This time, is has revealed details on how it used an advanced measuring technology called structured-light 3-D scanning for its development.

Often used for fine art restoration and reproduction, 3-D scanning uses projected light patterns and an advanced camera to capture three-dimensional shapes. The shapes are then converted into math data that can be manipulated in digital modeling programs. The Cadillac Elmiraj coupe concept benefitted extensively from this digital mapping technology.

Thanks to 3-D scanners, designers can quickly reverse engineer and update the master math model, and then apply them to the physical model by milling the clay.

GM has used 3-D scanning since 2001, but the Elmiraj is the first drivable concept car for which this technology has been used to validate nearly every pattern, mold and part during each phase of the vehicle build.

“With the Elmiraj, we were able to use 3-D scanning as the bridge between traditional hand-sculpting teams who work in clay and digital modeling design teams who work in math,” said Frank Saucedo, director of General Motors’ North Hollywood Advanced Design Studio.

Not only that, but 3-D scanning allows designers to revert to a previous design phase. “A scan can even reveal the need to take a step back to a previous iteration, and 3-D scanning makes it relatively easy to do,” said David Bolognino, director of GM Design Fabrication Operations.

Probably the best part of 3-D scanning is that it makes possible the transition from a scale model to a full-size model in less than one week, speeding up the design process.

Scroll down to watch how 3-D scanning works from the video posted below.

By Dan Mihalascu


VIDEO

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Ron Burgundy Calls the Durango a Terrible Car on the Conan Show

Wed, 27 Nov 2013 17:00:00 +0000

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They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity. If that’s true, Dodge should be grateful that Ron Burgundy, the star of its advertising campaign for the Durango, has criticized the SUV on the “Conan” show.

Fictional anchorman Burgundy (played by Will Ferrell) told Conan O’Brien the Durango he helps promoting is a terrible car, much to the amusement of spectators.

When asked how he feels about the fact that Durango sales rose 59 percent in October (the month the ads began being aired), Burgundy gave an unexpected answer, saying it’s amazing how sales went up considering that the Durango is a terrible car.

Obviously, this is part of the promotion strategy for the SUV, and it’s pretty amazing Dodge had the courage to approve it. It’s definitely funny and helps raise awareness on the SUV.

By Dan Mihalascu


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Experience the Vector M12 – America’s Mid-Nineties’ Lamborghini

Wed, 27 Nov 2013 16:32:00 +0000

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The Vector M12 is a very rare supercar built in the United States between 1995 – 1999 in only 17 examples (not 14 as the video title would have you believe). Its body looked Italian, even though it was not, but the chassis and engines were both derived from those used in the period Lamborghini Diablo supercar.

Power from the 5.7-liter V12 engine was rated at around 490 hp, while torque was around 576 Nm, or 425 lb-ft; the benchmark sprint came up in a mediocre 4.8 seconds, while top speed was a more acceptable 304 km/h or 190 mph.

The video posted below shows two of these uber-rare fiberglass-bodied machines, one of which is wearing the US stars and stripes, being featured in magazines back in the day, while the other one is yellow. The latter is the car that is driven, and while it may lack the purity of the true Italians, it still looks very interesting, even all these years after it was launched and quickly phased out due to its high price.

Perhaps it’s better that there are very few of these, and it makes it all the more interesting. Besides, if they really wanted to make more of them, something should definitely have been done about that interior which, even by (low) mid-nineties American standards of quality looked quite nasty…

By Andrei Nedelea

Story References: YouTube via Autoblog/com


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Spy Shots: New Audi S1 Quattro Hot Hatch for the Masses, Previews A1 Facelift Too

Wed, 27 Nov 2013 16:03:00 +0000

Looks like Audi will try to please (at least partially) all those who were unable to obtain one of the 333 examples of the limited run 256PS (253bhp) A1 Quattro with the release of a slightly less potent and extreme, but regularly available S1 Quattro hot hatch. Spied here wearing its production body parts, this S1 Quattro prototype also previews an upcoming facelift for the rest of the A1 range as it was fitted with re-shaped headlamps and revised taillights. Along with the three-door version seen in these photos, Audi will also release a five-door S1 Quattro Sportback, with both cars featuring a light bodykit with the usual "S" cosmetic upgrades including bigger wheels, a dedicated front grille, sport bumpers, aero parts and quad exhaust tips. Under the hood, Audi is believed to use a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine producing somewhere around 220-hp paired to its all-wheel drive 'quattro' system. Look for the S1 in Europe next year. Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoopS PHOTO GALLERY [...]



Just a Couple of BMW M5 'Ring Taxis Having Fun Around Corners

Wed, 27 Nov 2013 15:30:00 +0000

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If you happen to have an automotive bucket list, then you should definitely include a ride in BMW's M5 Nürburgring Taxi. This new video shot by a YouTube user from the outside gives you a taste of what to expect – if it doesn't, we've added a few more onboard clips.

The ride involves a BMW Driving Experience instructor behind the wheel of a latest generation BMW M5, the one with the twin-turbocharged V8 capable of delivering 560PS (552hp) and 0-100km/h (62mph) run time of 4.3 seconds.

You'll have to make plans and book ahead, with the "taxi service" open between April and October. As far as costs are concerned, this roller-coaster experience for adults is currently priced at €225 (US$306) per car, which means you can split it via three dropping it to a more reasonable €75 (US$102) per person, just as long as you don't get into a childish fight about who sits in front…


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EuroNCAP Awards Only 4 Stars to BMW i3, Ford EcoSport, Nissan Note, Mercedes Citan and VW T5 [w/Videos]

Wed, 27 Nov 2013 15:00:00 +0000

EuroNCAP has released a fresh batch of crash-test results for new vehicles, and not everyone will be happy after seeing the outcome. The recently launched BMW i3 EV, Ford EcoSport and Nissan Note only received four stars out of a maximum of five, with the VW T5 van also awarded with four stars. The Mercedes-Benz Citan was reassessed and obtained a four star rating, after only receiving three stars in its first crash test. While the BMW i3 did well in terms of adult occupant protection (86 percent) and child occupant protection (81 percent), it was penalized for a rather low score on pedestrian protection (57 percent) and for the lack of safety assist systems like a speed assistance system - although BMW offers an optional sign recognition speed limit system, EuroNCAP said it doesn’t reach its minimum fitment rate to be assessed. The score of 55 percent for safety assist (shared with the Ford EcoSport) is the lowest from this latest crash test session. Speaking of the Ford EcoSport, the small SUV got a good rating for adult occupant protection (93 percent), managed 77 percent for child occupant protection and only 58 percent for pedestrian protection. The Nissan Note scored 86 percent on adult occupant protection, 82 percent on child occupant protection, but only 58 percent for pedestrian protection. However, it got the highest rating for safety assist (70 percent) of the 4-star rated cars, together with the Mercedes-Benz Citan, thanks to the availability of a speed assistance system. The Mercedes-Benz Citan returned for a reassessment after only getting 3 stars in May this year. It did better this time, getting a 4-star overall rating with a score of 79 percent for adult occupant protection, 81 percent for child occupant protection, 56 percent for pedestrian protection and 70 percent for safety assist. Finally, the facelifted VW T5 accepted 4 stars, although it was the worst in terms of pedestrian protection, with a low rating of 32 percent. Adult occupant protection and child occupant protection were reasonable at 79 percent and 74 percent, respectively, while safety assist was rated at 57 percent. By Dan Mihalascu PHOTO GALLERY VIDEO width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/2greh-OyBOU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/tH5K2QzGYGo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/tH5K2QzGYGo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/qKExGqWYlnc" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> width="640" height="480" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/D3ELCiGr1k4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/vZTncI-e7S8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/IndFKiLHD30" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/QVTZ91FUwMo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/QVTZ91FUwMo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>[...]



BMW Driver Won't Take Stop for an Answer from Russian Traffic Cop

Wed, 27 Nov 2013 14:36:00 +0000

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A bizarre incident from Russia (yes, we know, what else is new…) that was partially caught on film is raising age-old questions about the way certain drivers behave on the road as well as their shady connections with law enforcement.

On November 7, traffic officer Andrew Yakimin attempted to stop a Bungle-butt BMW 7-Series with foreign plates because it had blacked out windows, which is illegal, in the city of Krasnodar in western Russia, but the driver refused to pull over.

Yakimin described the incident thusly to local new station Yugopilos:

"I placed a rod on the car and demanded that the driver stop," said Yakimin. "However, the driver failed to comply and continued to move. Since there was a traffic jam, I caught up with the car on foot and knocked on the window by hand, because I thought that the driver might have not seen my gesture to stop due to the tinted windows".

However, the driver of the foreign car the rolled down his window and cussed at the officer.

"I tried to reach for the ignition key to stop his attempt to leave," said Yakimin. – "The driver stepped on the accelerator pedal, but I grabbed the car with both hands and began to rest on the asphalt and screaming at him to stop, then he dragged me around 10-20 meters. At that moment, when I held the car door, he hit my hands and pushed me away. The car was going around 40 km/h. Then the driver stopped abruptly and I was thrown from the car," continued Yakimin.

The driver then jumped out of the BMW and attacked the officer.

"Our battle lasted about 20-30 seconds. I managed to get my gun," said Yakimin. – "The driver got into the car, moved sharply and hit me with the front part of the machine."

From what we understand, this is the scene that a pedestrian caught on his or her phone camera and which you can see in the video below.

Even though the BMW driver managed to get away at that point, with the help of a colleague, the dedicated Russian officer was able to apprehend the man and bring him to the police station. But guess what happened next? The man somehow escaped the police station and is now at large…


VIDEO

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Fiat Says Chrysler IPO Won’t Happen This Year

Wed, 27 Nov 2013 14:15:00 +0000

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This week, Fiat announced that a Chrysler share sale in 2013 is no longer feasible. The Italian carmaker that holds a majority stake in Chrysler issued a statement saying the U.S. automaker will continue to work on the IPO (initial public offering), which may happen in the first quarter next year.

“Fiat S.p.A. today announced that the Board of Directors of Chrysler Group LLC, having consulted with the prospective underwriters for Chrysler Group’s initial public offering and counsel, has determined that it will not be practicable for Chrysler Group to launch and complete an initial public offering prior to the end of 2013,” reads the release.

“No assurance can be given as to whether or when an offering will be launched as any launch will be subject to market conditions and other relevant considerations,” the statement adds.

Fiat and VEBA (The Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Association), a United Auto Workers trust, are disputing Chrysler’s value as the Italian carmaker seeks to buy the UAW fund’s 41.5 percent stake as cheaply as possible. On the other hand, the trust has two options – to sell its holding to Fiat directly or to go through with an IPO.

Fiat wants to gain complete control of Chrysler in order to merge the two companies into a global automotive player. In case it doesn’t get the remaining Chrysler stock, Fiat threatened to reconsider the benefits and costs of expanding the relationship with the U.S. automaker.

By Dan Mihalascu

Note; the car pictured above is the Chrysler 700C


PHOTO GALLERY

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Hyundai Brings Walking Dead Edition of Tucson to Life

Wed, 27 Nov 2013 13:55:00 +0000

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It looks like we won't make it without seeing at least one production Hyundai wearing The Walking Dead moniker on the road. After more concepts that most of you would care to recall, Hyundai has made the decision to build a limited run of Tucson crossovers (supposedly) inspired by the Robert Kirkman's series of comics that will soon celebrate its 10th anniversary.

Naturally, the production Tucson "The Walking Dead" limited edition will be nowhere near as post-apocalyptic or cool as Hyundai's concepts for the series.

You probably won't be able to tell from these two teaser photos, but according to Hyundai, the limited run model sports an Ash Black exterior with a subtle red accent graphics package and dedicated exterior and interior badges, along with roof rack cross rails, mudguards, and custom floor and cargo mats.

Nothing much really, but Hyundai will look to sweeten up the deal with a "custom Zombie Survival Kit – a Walking Dead 72-hour survivalist’s backpack, a necessary item for any zombie “prepper” – and a Walking Dead Tucson Quick Reference Guide".

More details on the car are to be announced early next year when it goes on sale in the States.


PHOTO GALLERY

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Japanese Team Drives Kei EV Van for 807 Miles on One Charge Setting World Record

Wed, 27 Nov 2013 13:35:00 +0000

While cramming many batteries into the back of a regular vehicle and turning it into a long-range electric vehicle seems like a straightforward enough thing to do, we have no doubt that many try it, but we only end up hearing about a small percentage of them – the ones who actually achieve noteworthy results. With a 64 year-old Dakar rally winner on board, the first one in Japan's history, a local team has officially made itself worthy of media attention, after having covered 1,300 km (807 miles) aboard a Suzuki Every kei van, that was probably filled full of batteries in the back, and only charging it up once beforehand. Apparently, Suzuki did sell an electric version of the Every, but its quoted range was nowhere near what was achieved today, hinting at extensive yet unspecified modifications done to it for the staged drive around the village of Ogata, in the Akita Prefecture. Regardless, the attempt dwarfed the previous one by almost 300 km (186 miles) and landed the participants a chance at a Guinness world record. However, it probably won't last long, and we’re now looking forward to seeing the next, better vehicle, the one that will break the 2,000 km (1,242 mile) barrier. By Andrei Nedelea Story References: Japantimes via Green.Autoblog PHOTO GALLERY [...]



2M-Designs Will Have Your Jaguar XF Diesel Looking Like This for €15,000

Wed, 27 Nov 2013 13:15:00 +0000

Not that the Jaguar XF lacks in the style department, but German foil wrap specialist 2M-Designs has collaborated with local tuners Loder1899 and MB-Individual Cars to present a more unique and powerful take on the British luxury saloon. The makeover of the diesel-powered XF 3.0 SDV6 begins with a silky matte white foil wrap and black accents before a rear diffuser made out of carbon fiber and several elements from the XFR-S are added, including the front bumper, grille and bonnet scoops. Completing the look is a set of 21-inch wheels shod in 255/30ZR21 tires on the front axle and 295/35ZR21 on the rear, and slightly tinted head- and tail-lamps. The XF also gains a 35mm lowered sports suspension with Eibach parts and an engine tune that includes a different exhaust system boosting the 3.0-liter V6's output from 275PS (271hp) to 340PS (335hp) for a 0-100km/h (62mph) sprint time of 5.4 seconds and a top speed of 280km/h (174mph). The cost for this specific build in Germany is €15,000, which comes to around US$20,400 at the current exchange rates. PHOTO GALLERY [...]



Maserati Ghibli Awarded Top Safety Pick Distinction by IIHS [w/Video]

Wed, 27 Nov 2013 12:53:00 +0000

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One area in which the Maserati Ghibli simply had to at least match its mainstream rivals was safety. It’s an all-new car, so it benefits from the very latest in crash protection know-how as well as both active and passive systems to take all manner of impact avoidance measures – it even comes with all-wheel drive. All told, we were not surprised it was named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The testing procedure it was put through in order to achieve the title “simulates a side impact with a large SUV or pickup truck, front moderate overlap impact, roof-crush consistent with a rollover, and a rear collision capable of inducing whiplash.” It achieved the maximum “good” rating for each one and made use of all its seven standard airbags and splashes of high-strength lightweight materials like aluminum and hot-formed steel.

Video evidence for two of those staged crashes, the moderate overlap and side impact tests can be found after the virtual jump, below.

By Andrei Nedelea


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BMW Has Already Sold All i8 Models Allocated for 2014

Wed, 27 Nov 2013 00:37:00 +0000

We knew BMW’s new i3 got off to a good start, but it looks like the more expensive i8 plug-in hybrid sports car is doing well too. According to the carmaker’s global sales chief, Ian Robertson, BMW has already sold the 2014 supply for the i8. However, the executive didn’t say how many units of the i8 sports car (due to be introduced in mid-2014) will be sold next year. The BMW i8 is priced from €126,000 in Germany, while in the UK it has a base price of £99,125. In the United States, BMW will offer the i8 from $135,700. Robertson told Reuters news that there are nearly 10,000 orders for the i3 electric car, for which deliveries started in mid-November in Germany. The BMW i3 will arrive in U.S. dealerships in the second quarter of 2014. As a reminder, the BMW i8 features a plug-in hybrid powertrain featuring a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder twin-turbocharged petrol engine developing 231 PS (228hp) and 320 Nm (236 lb-ft) of torque that drives the rear wheels via a 6-speed automatic gearbox and a synchronous electric motor developing 96kW (129hp) and 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) of torque that turns the front wheels via a two-stage automatic transmission. There’s also a 5 kWh lithium-ion high-voltage battery with liquid cooling. The car’s combined system output of 362 PS (357hp) and 570 Nm (420 lb-ft) allows it to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62mph) in 4.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). Average fuel economy is estimated at 2.5 l/100 km (113 mpg UK, 94 mpg US) – obviously, including the use of the battery. By Dan Mihalascu PHOTO GALLERY [...]



Road Surface Severely Blistered by Broken Russian Water Main

Wed, 27 Nov 2013 00:01:00 +0000

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High-level public corruption seems to be a way of life in Russia, and while people might be accustomed to things run like this, they suffer the consequences on an everyday basis – especially when it comes to poorly maintained roads.

This can cause mildly-amusing incidents such as the one you see portrayed in the video posted below.

At first, it looks like any old intersection, but as soon as the tarmac starts swelling up and seeping what appears to be filthy sewage water while a car is on top quickly stops being funny. It must have been a shocking “what the heck is going on” moment for the driver of the trapped car, who is trapped on the newly-created steaming mound of tarmac…

All I can say is that all involved should be thankful for this not being a gas main incident.


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Lamborghini Grinds Our Gears with Gallardo's Replacement Facebook Sharing Teaser

Tue, 26 Nov 2013 23:41:00 +0000

It's only been 24 hours since the last Gallardo rolled off Lamborghini's assembly line on Monday, and the Italian sports carmaker has already kicked off an online campaign for its replacement, rumored, but not officially confirmed yet, to be named the Cabrera. That's all fine and dandy, but there's something very frustrating about the way Lamborghini has chosen to promote the unveiling of the car through a microsite that brings you to an icon of an engine starter and the following caption: "Listen to your instinct. Discover the roar of the new creature from Lamborghini. That will be just the beginning." To open the microsite, you have to "like" the page on Facebook and accept the fact that Lamborghini will have access to your profile and friends -which I hesitantly did for researching purposes, but the thing is, even if you do accept, nothing happens… On Lamborghini's FB page, member Dominic C. posted: "I left my mail and shared to my facebook but seems nothing works yet," to which the Italians replied, "You just have to wait and keep sharing. The more you share the faster you discover!". Really Lamborghini; "the more you keep sharing"? No thanks, think I'll pass… Update: To make it work and hear the five-second engine roar after you "like" the microsite on FB, you have to return to the front page (or just click here)and hit the start button. To do so again, you have to refresh the page as the start button disappears... PHOTO GALLERY [...]



Official: PSA Hires Renault's Ex-COO Carlos Tavares to Lead Company in 2014

Tue, 26 Nov 2013 23:10:00 +0000

French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroën has made an official announcement on the nomination of former Renault executive Carlos Tavares to its Managing Board from January 1, 2014, before he takes over as CEO later in the year replacing 61-year old Philippe Varin, who plans to retire in 2014. Tavares, who left his position as Renault’s chief operating officer just this past August after more than three decades with the French company and its Japanese affiliate Nissan, will have the daunting task of fixing PSA's troublesome finances during a recession in its home market of Europe, while also expanding the automaker's operations in other regions. Thierry Peugeot, President of the Supervisory Board, stated : "By chosing Carlos Tavares, reknowned automotive industry professional, to succeed Philippe Varin in 2014, the Supervisory Board ensures that the strategy of recovery and development to overcome the current crisis, a strategy that has been carried out for several years, will continue to be executed over the long term." In the same statement, PSA said that Varin will remain at the helm of the company during the transition: "During this period Philippe Varin will continue his mission as President of the Managing Board, in particular with the responsibility of carrying out strategic discussions begun with the various partners. Carlos Tavares will begin his induction into the company and its challenges, and will work with the Managing Board on the action plans aimed at continuing the recovery of the Group." By partners, we suspect that PSA means the ongoing talks it has China's Dongfeng Motor to grow their existing collaboration, as well as with GM, albeit for the opposite reasons… Thanks to all who sent in a tip! PHOTO GALLERY [...]



Chevrolet Kicks Off Sales of Corvette Stingray Convertible with Premiere Edition

Tue, 26 Nov 2013 22:47:00 +0000

To mark the U.S. sales debut of the 2014 Corvette Stingray Convertible, Chevrolet has launched a limited series called Premiere Edition. Production will be limited to 550 units, all in an identical configuration: top-of-the-line 3LT models with Lime Rock Green exterior paint and Brownstone suede interior. The Convertible Premiere Edition also features suede-wrapped interior trim, carbon fiber accents, variable tuned performance exhaust system, Z51 Performance Package and Magnetic Selective Ride Control. Other standard features are the wheels with “Stingray”-logo center caps, “Stingray”-logo interior sill plates and a five-piece set of Corvette-branded luggage from Thule – all from the Corvette Accessories catalog. Each of the 550 units will have a unique VIN (vehicle identification number) sequence and unique dash plaques to mark their limited-run status. The 2014 Corvette Stingray Premiere Edition Convertible will cost $77,450 (€57,142), including destination and delivery fees. Deliveries begin in early 2014. If that’s too expensive, Chevrolet has also released a list of nine other Corvette gifts for the holiday season, starting from a $12 Corvette Stingray Rollerball Pen and ending with a $5,000 Corvette Heritage Neon Sign. Other suggested gifts are a Monopoly Empire Game ($20) featuring a 2014 Corvette Stingray game piece to travel around the board, a 1:18 2014 Corvette Stingray ($38.50), a book about the seventh-generation Corvette ($40), Fisher Price Power Wheels Corvette ($275), a Corvette watch ($775) and Corvette Stingray Luggage ($910). By Dan Mihalascu PHOTO GALLERY [...]



Noble Founder Aids Arrinera in Honing new Hussarya Supercar from Poland [w/Video]

Tue, 26 Nov 2013 22:00:00 +0000

Currently in rolling chassis form, the first supercar to come out of Poland bearing the Arrinera badge will be called the Hussarya. It promises a power figure of 650 hp, from its mid-mounted 6.2-liter V8 driving the rear wheels, a benchmark sprint time of 3.2 seconds and a top speed in excess of 200 mph or 320 km/h. The company was started in 2008, but up until this point, all we had to go on were promising announcement videos and announced promises that have yet to materialize; we last heard about them in a meaningful way more than a year ago… However, the project is far from dead, and the Hussarya is currently undergoing testing in rolling chassis form, in order for its driving behavior and characteristics to be honed and dialed in. Thankfully, they’re not only accessing the limited Polish knowledge bank of supercar handling to achieve it, and have brought in help from abroad, in the form of Lee Noble, the man who gave his name to the now familiar supercar manufacturer and also aided Arrinera from the very beginning. It’s a well-known fact that Noble-badged cars are renowned for their handling, and this will definitely reflect in the Hussarya, when (if) it comes out in production form.By Andrei Nedelea VIDEO width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/rmU-vBkRIlI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen> width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/CYF55fE3NPU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>PHOTO GALLERY [...]



Review of New Porsche Panamera 4S Puts New Force-Fed V6 to the Test

Tue, 26 Nov 2013 21:15:00 +0000

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By now, you’ve probably seen many pieces dedicated to the Porsche Panamera, both in text and video form. They all rave about it being comfortable yet sporty, and sufficiently roomy in the back to make it a pleasant long-distance cruiser, even if it’s no match for the real luxury sedans, that in turn aren’t really a match for it in terms of the sporty stuff it trumps all the others on…

MotorTrend does have a fairly important mission to fulfill in their own latest video review of one of the most recent additions to the Panamera range, the new V6-powered all-wheel drive 4S; before, it had a naturally-aspirated V8 that by all accounts was a good performing and characterful engine. The new six-cylinder makes 416 PS or 410 hp, from a displacement of three liters, with the help of two turbochargers.

On paper, that puts it above the old unit in every single way, being both more powerful and offering more torque, while also posting better acceleration times and economy figures, as well.

However, the engine is found to be a bit flat-sounding and not responsive at low rpms, not really being in tune with the sporty Porsche character, being rated as a far less entertaining drive than before.

By Andrei Nedelea


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