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Review
2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible

  • Review
    2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible
  • New York
    We obsessively covered the 2014 New York Auto Show [w/video]
  • Podcast
    Autoblog Podcast #377
  • Beijing
    Audi TT Offroad concept packs 408 hybrid horsepower, yet returns 123 mpg
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Hyundai presents 70 movies in 10 minutes... and it's very strange

Posted Apr 22nd 2014 8:01PM

Hyundai 70 movies video

Hyundai i10 ShortCuts 70 films in 10 minutesIt's not often we can use the term "trippy" to describe anything we post here at Autoblog, but this German video, promoted by Hyundai and starring the brand's European-spec i10 is trippy, surreal and totally bizarre. And we love it.

Movie buffs will appreciate this ridiculous mix of classic movies into a strange mishmash that makes no sense at all. From Silence of the Lambs to the Terminator series to Pulp Fiction, The Godfather and 300, there's the list of films parodied in this spot is wildly diverse. We've watched a few times, and while we can name the vast majority of classic films shown, we have no idea what the actual point of the video is.

Take a look below and let us know what you think in Comments. But beware, there is some NSFW language.

News Source: ShortCuts via YouTube

Ferrari threatening to fine journalists $69,000 for breaking LaFerrari embargo?

Posted Apr 22nd 2014 7:15PM

Ferrari LaFerrari

In automotive journalism, we deal with embargoes on a regular basis. For the uninitiated, these are agreements between publications like Autoblog and manufacturers. While news embargoes (where pubs are provided with information and images and agree to hold until a predetermined date) are fairly common, today, we're focusing on drive embargoes. These are what we generally end up signing when we attend a vehicle launch. Generally, these are in the media's best interest. As drive programs are spread out over a week or two with multiple different "waves" of media, drive embargoes put the biggest and smallest publications on level footing when it comes to publishing reviews.

According to a report from Autocar's Steve Sutcliffe, Ferrari has taken its drive embargo for the LaFerrari hypercar a bit too far. See, initial reviews from the few publications that attended the drive event for the hybrid-powered monster can hit the newsstand or internet on April 30. Originally, syndicated stories – those sold by freelancers or publications to other outlets – couldn't be published until May 12. These syndicated reviews are big money for larger magazines and, in the case of freelance journalists, are a primary source of revenue. Inexplicably, though, Ferrari has pushed the syndication embargo back to May 26, which is bad news for everyone involved (aside from Ferrari).

This could have been nothing more than an annoyance. The stories would still get sold (although it might be for a bit less coin, considering the initial reviews will be nearly a month old) and you'll still be bombarded by reviews of the LaFerrari not once, but twice, just as Ferrari planned.

What's truly weird, though, is what Ferrari is doing to try and enforce its syndication embargo – the Scuderia is threatening to fine journalists 50,000 euro ($69,000 at today's rates) if their embargoed copy or images are published before May 26. Let's keep in mind, this isn't a leak of driving impressions – those are almost certainly going to be published at 12:01 AM on April 30 by every publication that attended the drive program – it's merely the secondary publication of an old review.

Not only is the reasoning for this absolutely bewildering – Ferrari doesn't seem to gain anything by limiting secondary publishing of LaFerrari reviews – but as Jalopnik's Matt Hardigree points out, it basically puts a price tag on breaking an embargo. Publications that aren't invited to drive the LaFerrari but can afford to pay the $69,000 fine have no reason to follow the embargo (they obviously weren't invited to drive the car, so why worry about angering Ferrari?).

Sutcliffe has a more concise breakdown of the entire affair over at Autocar. Have a look, and then head back here and let us know what you think.
Related GalleryFerrari LaFerrari
Ferrari LaFerrariFerrari LaFerrariFerrari LaFerrariFerrari LaFerrariFerrari LaFerrariFerrari LaFerrariFerrari LaFerrari

News Source: Autocar via Jalopnik

Lexus IS 250 to get new turbo four?

Posted Apr 22nd 2014 6:29PM

Lexus IS 250

"All show, no go." That's how I described the 2014 Lexus IS 250 F Sport that you see above, when I reviewed it back in November. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot to like about the new IS, but the 204-horsepower, 2.5-liter V6 in the IS 250 is not on that list. In my review, I suggested that Lexus ought to get on the bandwagon of offering a small-displacement, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine in its base IS (like its rivals), and now the folks at Motor Trend are furthering that discussion.

Lexus pulled the wraps off its new NX 200t crossover at the Beijing show recently, and it'll be the first vehicle in the company's lineup to use a brand-new – you guessed it – 2.0-liter turbo-four. With 238 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque on tap, that represents a healthy increase over the 204 hp and anemic 185 lb-ft currently being offered with the 2.5-liter V6, and we imagine the fuel economy gains will be rather significant, too. For comparison, the Lexus' four-pot power numbers are very close to the 240 hp and 255 lb-ft offered in the same-sized engine that BMW uses in the 328i.

Motor Trend also posits that Lexus may consider changing the base IS' name from 250 to 200, or perhaps 200t, to properly reflect the new engine's displacement. Of course, that's assuming Lexus doesn't pull a BMW or Mercedes-Benz, and no longer has its alphanumeric names properly reflect the size of the powerplant found underhood.

Assuming Lexus does throw the 2.0T into the IS – the company said it plans to use this engine in several of its other vehicles – Motor Trend says it should show up around 2016. All I know is, that day can't come soon enough.

News Source: Motor Trend

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Steven J. Ewing / AOL

2014 Chevy Impala being investigated over braking issue

Posted Apr 22nd 2014 5:44PM

2014 Chevrolet Impala

General Motors' recent recall woes may only be getting worse. According to The Detroit News, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation into 60,000 2014 Chevrolet Impala models over concerns relating to the sedan's emergency braking system.

The News reports that the NHTSA probe comes on the heels of a single complaint, citing "inappropriate activation of the emergency braking system." The official complaint states that the driver "alleges that the driver assist system inappropriately activated emergency braking bringing the vehicle to a complete stop under what the driver considered to be full braking force."

NHTSA reports that the driver "heard three to four beeps from the forward collision avoidance system" in the vehicle in question (a rental 2014 Impala with just 2,500 miles on the odometer), and that "this was immediately followed by an autonomous brake activation resulting in their vehicle being struck from the rear by another vehicle." No police report was filed following this incident, and there were no injuries.

A General Motors spokesperson told The Detroit News that the company is fully cooperating with this preliminary investigation. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.

News Source: The Detroit News

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 AOL

Watch the boys from Hot Rod hoon a Corvette worthy of a sinkhole

Posted Apr 22nd 2014 5:02PM

Hot Rod Magazine: Roadkill

Have you read Mike Harley's awesome write up of the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible yet? The car Harley tests is the polar opposite of what you see above. Yes, the boys from Hot Rod Magazine's Roadkill series are back, and this time they're driving the world's worst Corvette from Florida (where else?) to the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY.

Their mission? To put this god-awful car into the sinkhole that swallowed up a number priceless Vettes at the museum back in February. Now, you may be looking at the photo above and thinking, "Hey, that doesn't look that bad. I mean, sure, the headlights are wonky and is that a bald eagle on the trunk?" Trust us, it is.

The two hosts face all manner of challenges - as per usual - along the way, from a run-in with Don Schumacher that nearly sends the pair to Las Vegas instead of Kentucky, to encounters with the local police to your typical batch of mechanical gremlins. It all makes for a seriously entertaining 22 minutes of video, all of which you can see by scrolling down.

News Source: Motor Trend Channel via YouTube

Saturn Ion steering probe closed by NHTSA

Posted Apr 22nd 2014 4:26PM

Saturn Ion

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has closed its investigation into faulty electric power steering motors affecting 334,728 Saturn Ions from 2004-2007, because General Motors has issued a recall for them. The group's research found that the part failed at a high rate in the vehicles.

GM recalled over 1.3 million vehicles a few weeks ago, including the Ion, because the power steering could suddenly fail. If broken, the cars could still turn, but it took greater effort. The automaker is also covering 96,324 2003 Ions with a lifetime warranty for their motors, but it's not immediately replacing them.

NHTSA opened its investigation into the motors in September 2011, and it found 4,787 complaints and 30,560 warranty claims that showed failure for the Ion alone. It estimated a complaint rate of 14.3 incidents per 1,000 vehicles and warranty claim rate of 9.1 percent. The investigation also found evidence of 12 crashes caused by loss of steering, two of which resulted in injuries.

According to The Detroit News, the Ion wasn't initially going to be included in the recall. During the House's hearing into GM's ignition switch recall, it presented an email from October 2011 to Mary Barra that notified her of the bad steering motors and said the "Ion data did not justify being included" in the recall. At some point, the automaker apparently changed its decision. NHTSA's investigation report can be downloaded as a PDF.

News Source: The Detroit News, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (PDF)

Image Credit: General Motors

Subaru WRX hatchback back off the table

Posted Apr 22nd 2014 4:01PM

Subaru WRX

It's fair to see we're rather fond of the new Subaru WRX. That's not to say we don't have a number of issues with the budget sports sedan, though. Foremost among those complaints is that it's short exactly one door.

Yes, the sedan-only WRX is just fine, but we'd be lying if we said we weren't missing the long-roofed, five-door model of years past. More pressing than our sentimentality, though, is the business case for a WRX wagon - half of the 2013 WRX and STI models sold had five doors. As a general rule, ignoring half of your former customers isn't the best strategy for long-term success.

There was some hope, as recently as a few weeks ago, though, that Subaru would right this wrong and offer a real, five-door WRX. An Australian reporter managed to corner project manager Masuo Takatsu, who said strong interest from the US meant that the Subaru mothership was considering a WRX with a hatch rather than a trunk.

Sadly, that doesn't seem to be the case, as Subaru USA is dashing any and all hope of a second body style. According to Motor Trend, the company's US arm reached out to Japan and, despite the statements made by Takatsu, confirmed that there were no plans for a WRX wagon. Sigh...
Related Gallery2015 Subaru WRX
2015 Subaru WRX2015 Subaru WRX2015 Subaru WRX2015 Subaru WRX2015 Subaru WRX2015 Subaru WRX2015 Subaru WRX2015 Subaru WRX

News Source: Motor Trend

Image Credit: Subaru

Autoblog Podcast #377

New York Auto Show and Beijing Motor Show wrap-ups

Posted Apr 22nd 2014 3:44PM

Autoblog Podcast logo

Episode #377 of the Autoblog podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth and Steven Ewing talk about the New York Auto Show, the Beijing Motor Show (and a tangent or two). We start with what's in the garage and finish up with some of your questions, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. Check out the new rundown below with times for topics, and you can follow along down below with our Q&A. Thanks for listening!

Autoblog Podcast #377:

play


Topics: In the Autoblog Garage:
Hosts: Dan Roth, Steven Ewing
Runtime: 01:24:17

Rundown:
  • Intro and Garage - 00:00
  • New York Auto Show - 29:43
  • Beijing Motor Show - 55:31
  • Q&A - 01:03:46

Get the podcast:
[UStream] Listen live on Mondays at 10 PM Eastern at UStream
[iTunes] Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes
[RSS] Add the Autoblog Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly

Feedback:
Email: Podcast at Autoblog dot com

Review the show in iTunes

2015 Ford Mustang option prices gallop onto the web

Posted Apr 22nd 2014 3:30PM

2015 Ford Mustang GT

The 2015 Ford Mustang is one of the most anticipated cars of the year, despite the fact that production hasn't yet begun. What's a pony car fan to do? It turns out that Ford already has pricing and options information about the vehicle in its dealer ordering system. A few enterprising folks have snapped some pictures from it and have posted them online. You might not be able to drive your car yet, but you can at least see what it might cost.

At the moment, Ford appears to be splitting the Mustang into five models – 3.7-liter V6, 2.3-liter EcoBoost, GT with the 5.0-liter V8, 50th Anniversary and SVT. There are 10 available paint colors, 2 of which require an extra outlay. Triple Yellow is $495, and Ruby Red Tint is $395. Regardless of model, navigation goes for $795, and reverse parking assist is $295.

For both the EcoBoost and GT, the six-speed automatic tacks an extra $1,195 to the sticker, and adaptive cruise control is the same price. The GT also has a limited-slip 3.55 rear end for $395 and a GT Performance package for $2,495. Recaro leather seats add an extra $1,595. For the EcoBoost, there's something called EcoBoost Performance package for $1,995. The system doesn't say what the packages include.

The info here also fits exactly with what we know about the Mustang 50th Anniversary Edition from the New York Auto Show. The package comes in Kona Blue or Wimbledon White with a special leather interior. According to this data, it adds $1,595 to the cost of a Mustang GT.

A user at the Mustang 6G forums also has images from the ordering system, and they include some info on the SVT model. While there are no prices, options include a track package, tech package and available Alcantara or leather seats.

Note, the pricing and options listed here could still change. That said, it's still fun to check them out. Information on colors and body styles can be downloaded as a PDF from The Mustang Source forum, and the rest can be viewed at Mustang 6G. Happy building.

News Source: Mustang 6G, The Mustang Source via Jalopnik

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Brandon Turkus / AOL

Icon 4x4 gets lavish short film treatment

Posted Apr 22nd 2014 2:58PM

Icon 4X4 Thriftmaster

Icon is one of the coolest American boutique vehicle builders around today, known in part for its talent of combining the looks of classic vehicles with modern powertrains and features to create something beautiful. A new video takes a sentimental look at the company's philosophy and at two of its more recent creations – the Thriftmaster truck and E-Flyer bicycle.

Icon sees itself as a company that is picking up the pieces of American style by making products the best they can possibly be. The two vehicles in the video show off that dedication. The E-Flyer is an electric bicycle with a 35-mile range and derestricted 35-mile-per-hour top speed, and it's priced at the relatively affordable price of $4,995.

The Thriftmaster is an even better expression of what the Icon does so well. While it looks like an old truck on the outside, a 5.3-liter V8 lurks under the hood with 315 horsepower or 435 hp in supercharged form. The pickup also packs all the modern conveniences like four-wheel disc brakes, navigation and on-board Wi-Fi. The company plans to build just five of them starting at $220,000 each. Scroll down to watch the video and get a better understanding of how Icon goes about its business.

News Source: William Bradford via Vimeo

Infiniti all but certain to produce Q50 Eau Rouge [w/video]

Posted Apr 22nd 2014 2:30PM

Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge prototype at Milbrook

These pages are full of projects that automakers have tried to get moving but never quite managed to. And Infiniti has had its fair share, particularly when it comes to high-performance models. It's tried to drum up excitement with the Infiniti Performance Line and with its partnerships with Red Bull Racing and its star driver, but models like the G37 IPL and FX Sebastian Vettel edition never amounted to a real challenge to the likes of Mercedes-AMG and BMW's M division. There was talk of a sedan version of the Nissan GT-R to wear an Infiniti badge, but those rumors amounted to even less. The Q50 Eau Rouge, however, could finally be the ticket.

The concept debuted at the Detroit Auto Show a few months ago without an engine (or at least not one we were made aware of) but with all manner of carbon-fiber aerodynamic components. It then rolled in to Geneva with the beating heart of the GT-R – a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 tuned to 560 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque – and arrived in Beijing earlier this week in an even more evolved form. And according to the chatter coming out of China (whose financial hub of Hong Kong, incidentally, serves as Infiniti's home base), it's all but certain to be approved for production.

"At this stage it would take more to stop the car getting made than to start things," says Auto Express, citing an unnamed source. The finished product would look much like the versions we've seen until now, and while it would be available in an array of colors, that metallic blood red could emerge as Infinit's signature performance color.

The vehicle has been undergoing testing at the Milbrook Proving Ground in the UK where four-time world champion Vettel has been helping engineers refine the car, tweaking the suspension, aerodynamics and various components. Infiniti released a 30-second clip showing Seb behind the wheel a couple weeks ago, and has now released a slightly longer 50-second clip (included below) indicating that the Eau Rouge will be capable of reaching 62 miles per hour in under four seconds. By that metric alone, the Eau Rouge would be quick enough to trounce not only a BMW M3, but also the bigger M5.

News Source: Auto Express

Hundreds of thousands of recalled GM cars may never get fixed

Posted Apr 22nd 2014 2:01PM

GM Recall Texas

Despite all of the national publicity and Congressional hearings, General Motors may never fix all of the roughly 2.6 million vehicles involved in its ignition switch recall. The automaker may never get the chance – many owners simply don't have recalled vehicles serviced, regardless of the danger.

Since the automaker announced the first recall, it took months for Delphi to have enough improved parts on hand to supply them to dealers. With parts in place, GM's repairs were scheduled to begin on April 7. The company isn't discussing specific data on the number of vehicles repaired so far. "We're on track," said GM spokesperson Jim Cain to Autoblog about its progress. "Every day, parts availability improves."

However, there still could be hundreds of thousands of affected vehicles without the repair on the road in the coming years. According to a report by CNN Money, GM generally sees recall rates of 80 percent of cars within a year and 85 percent within two years. This is higher than the industry average of about 66 percent of models actually getting serviced. But even if 85 percent of them are repaired, it means about 390,000 cars on the road will still be left in need of the fix.

There are many reasons why an affected vehicle might not be repaired. Some people don't think they have the time to take their car in, despite the fact that GM struck a deal with several rental car agencies to ensure owners a loaner vehicle while the affected models were being fixed. It can also be hard to track down owners of older vehicles for recalls. The company might be trying to fix these cars for a long time to come.

News Source: CNN Money

Image Credit: Molly Riley / AP Photo

2015 Acura TLX launch delayed

Posted Apr 22nd 2014 1:28PM

2015 Acura TLX

Last week in New York, Acura pulled the wraps off its all-new TLX sedan – a midsize model that replaces both the TSX and TL in one fell swoop. In a bit of behind-the-scenes full disclosure, we were originally scheduled to get our first drive of the car in early May. But an intrepid reader forwarded us an email to Acura dealers saying that the on-sale date of the TLX will be pushed back, and subsequently, the automaker confirmed to Autoblog that the official media launch has been postponed, as well. Acura spokesperson Chuck Schifsky tells us that the 2015 TLX will now go on sale later this summer.

"We don't view it as a major delay," Schifsky told Autoblog. The TLX is "the most technologically advanced Acura" yet – even more so than the original NSX, Schifsky says – and thus, there are "lots of systems to get sorted out." When asked if there is a specific component to point to regarding this delay, Schifsky told Autoblog that it's "not any one thing."

"We have determined that it is necessary to modify the production schedule for the 2015 TLX, which will move the on-sale date to late summer."

"The TLX has more advanced and customer-relevant technology than on any other Acura model in our history, and we must assure that all systems are ready for mass production. Further, it is critical that we have a stable and sustainable supply of vehicles and components to support the strong customer response that we expect for this all-new Acura sedan," a company spokesperson wrote to its dealers. "To achieve these goals, we have determined that it is necessary to modify the production schedule for the 2015 TLX, which will move the on-sale date to late summer."

The 2015 TLX uses both a 2.4-liter inline-four and a 3.5-liter V6, and will be the first Acura to use two brand-new transmissions. The 2.4-liter engine features an eight-speed, dual-clutch gearbox, and the 3.5-liter V6 uses a nine-speed automatic. What's more, the TLX features a reworked version of the Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) that debuted in the larger RLX, and the company's Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) is available, too.

"The 2015 TLX is the emotionally powerful car we've been longing for," Acura wrote to its dealers. So it goes without saying, the company has a whole lot riding on this all-new offering, and it's important to get it right from the start. Schifsky reiterates, "Don't put the car on sale until it's perfect."
Related Gallery2015 Acura TLX
2015 Acura TLX2015 Acura TLX2015 Acura TLX2015 Acura TLX2015 Acura TLX2015 Acura TLX2015 Acura TLX2015 Acura TLX

Ford demonstrates Mustang's new Line Lock burnout feature

Posted Apr 22nd 2014 12:45PM

Ford Mustang Line Lock

Been saving your pennies for a 2015 Ford Mustang? Put in a few extra shifts or some overtime? Got a great down payment ready? Well, however much you saved for your new pony car, start saving more - you'll need the extra money to spend on tires.

That's because the Mustang will come with a system called Line Lock, which can lock the front brakes electronically, allowing drivers to perform big, dumb, smoky burnouts without moving so much as an inch. It's sort of like launch control, only the average driver might actually use it.

Now, line locks aren't uncommon, particularly in drag racing. Usually, a flip of the switch locks the front brakes. The Mustang, besides offering the system from the factory which is unique in and of itself, looks a bit more involved.

We're quite glad Ford has gone ahead and published this video. When it finally comes time for us to test the all-new Mustang, we'll be plenty familiar with the first feature we test. Take a look below for the full video.

News Source: fordvideo1 via YouTube

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