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Autoblog Podcast #402 goes LIVE at 10PM Eastern!

Audi A3 TDI Road Trip, Luxury Car Features We Love

Posted Oct 20th 2014 9:30PM

Autoblog Podcast Live


We're almost ready to record Episode #402 of the Autoblog Podcast! You can check out the topics below, add your own to the Q&A and join us live via UStream, as well. Keep reading for our embedded UStream player, and thanks for listening!

Discussion Topics for Autoblog Podcast Episode #402

DeLorean DMC-12 illustrates how a good idea goes bad with Xcar

Posted Oct 20th 2014 7:57PM

Xcar Delorean DMC-12

When John Z. DeLorean set out to build a car, he had good intentions – it'd be small, efficient, sporty, affordable and safe, complete with a rust-free, stainless-steel body. The outcome, though, was a lamentable mess, a coupe whose prestige rests more with its gullwing doors and its star-making role in Back To The Future than in its actual driving character.

Among the many knocks on the DeLorean DMC-12 was its shoddy quality (courtesy of its Northern Ireland factory), its anemic 2.8-liter V6 and an automatic transmission whose shifts registered on the geologic scale. The suspension was overly soft, the steering numb and the brakes left a lot to be desired.

None of that, as Xcar explains, really matters. The DeLorean is still a deeply cool car. Take a look at the latest video from the video outfit to see why.

News Source: XCARFilms via YouTube

What you missed on 10.20.14

Posted Oct 20th 2014 7:32PM

uturn

Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster

The V12 Vantage S is indeed the shining star in Aston Martin's lineup these days, what with its screaming V12 engine and 565 horsepower on tap. Now, Aston has given its S treatment to the V12 Vantage roadster, making it the most powerful, quickest-accelerating, and fastest production roadster money can buy. Michael Harley takes one for a quick spin in Palm Springs, here.




TranslogicTranslogic: Detroit's bike culture

It may be the Motor City, but there's a huge subculture of two-wheeled enthusiasts living in and around Detroit these days. In the latest episode of Translogic, host Jonathon Buckley takes a look at a few of the cool things happening for bike enthusiasts in The D, including a tour of Detroit Bikes, a ride through the Slow Roll, and a cruise with the East Side Riders.





Joe GrahamMan arrested for doing donuts in '68 Camaro

There's the old stereotype that cops love donuts, but that isn't completely true. Doughy treats aside, burning rubber might be a whole lot of fun for drivers and passengers alike, but to law enforcement, it's a big no-no. Take this story, for instance, where a man was arrested for doing donuts in his 1968 Camaro with his son. That said, it all took place in the parking lot next to a town hall and sheriff's office. Watch the video report and let us know what you think.



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Video proof that LaFerrari has a pure electric mode

Posted Oct 20th 2014 6:59PM

Ferrari LaFerrari

Typically, a hybrid car, with its gas engine and an electric motor/battery pack is able to run on both forms of propulsion independently of each other. That means you can sip gas, run on pure electricity or some variation there of. The Ferrari LaFerrari is not like other hybrids.

See, the successor to the Enzo has batteries, an electric motor and a great, thumping V12 engine, but unlike its rivals from McLaren and Porsche, it has no standalone electric mode. That's been Ferrari's party line since day one. But have the Italians been exaggerating a bit? Judging by this video, it seems like a real possibility.

The video comes from what we're guessing is a European track day. It shows a black LaFerrari stealthily sailing through a tunnel on pure electric power, which it shouldn't be able to do, before its 789-horsepower V12 fires to life.

So, what does this tell us? Well, it's quite obvious that you can drive a LaFerrari on nothing but electric power. As for why Ferrari doesn't advertise this fact, we're inclined to agree with the folks at Jalopnik, who uncovered the video. It's more than likely that the hypercar's EV range is so pitifully low that Maranello doesn't see it as worth mentioning.

What do you think? Does an EV mode for a 949-horsepower, 205-mph hypercar even matter? Should Ferrari include it as an actual, driver-accessible item, even if the range is low? Have your say in Comments.

News Source: CarloDelucis via YouTube, Jalopnik

Audi reveals new TT spec racer

Posted Oct 20th 2014 6:31PM

Audi Sport TT Cup

We've seen the coupe. We've seen the convertible. We're still waiting on word of the next variant, but before it arrives, Audi has revealed the racing version of the new TT.

Set to form the backbone of the inaugural Audi Sport TT Cup, the competition-spec sports coupe is closely based on the production version packs the same 2.0-liter turbo four and six-speed dual-clutch transmission as the road-going TTS, delivering the same 310 horsepower, but with a push-to-pass boost of an extra 30 hp.

It's also got an active differential, and while the full specifications have not yet been revealed, it's clear that Audi has also outfitted the TT racer with more aggressive aero, track-spec rolling stock and a stripped-out cockpit (complete with the Audi PS1 Safety Seat from the R8 LMS Ultra) to get weight down to from 2,700 pounds in stock production form to 2,480.

The Audi Sport TT Cup will kick off next season in Germany as a support series to the DTM championship with a grid of 24 cars – including 18 permanent spots and six reserved for a changing roster of guest drivers. Aspiring racers will be coached by former DTM and endurance driver Markus Winkelhock and the trophy winner will get a shot at a GT3 race seat.
Related GalleryAudi Sport TT Cup
Audi Sport TT CupAudi Sport TT CupAudi Sport TT CupAudi Sport TT CupAudi Sport TT CupAudi Sport TT CupAudi Sport TT CupAudi Sport TT Cup

News Source: Audi

Are America's railroads snubbing car shipments?

Posted Oct 20th 2014 6:00PM

Ford To Close More Than Eight North American PlantsBuilding a car, delivering it to a dealer and then selling to a consumer represents an enormous and elaborate process that relies on the seamless and often invisible work of many parts. The use of railways represents a huge part of that process, but according to a new report from Automotive News, automakers are getting rather upset with rail companies over delays in their shipping process.

According to AN, the federal government's Surface Transportation Board, the overseer of the nation's railways, has ordered rail carriers to deliver weekly reports on shipping schedules after shippers complained that their goods were being left at the depot in favor of other cargo.

These reports, the first of which will be issued on Wednesday, will detail everything from what sort of cargo is being hauled via rail car, to the type of train being used, the industry being served and any delays that crop up along the way.

While other industries have gotten in on the complaining, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is one of the most notable, representing 12 automakers.

"It appears that the priority of auto shipping has become less than that of other shippers," the AAM's vice president of governmental affairs, Shane Karr, told a US Senate committee last month, AN reports. According to Karr, one unnamed automaker has dropped an extra $13 million to ship 70,000 vehicles so that vehicles could be shipped by truck rather than by rail.

News Source: Automotive News - sub. req.

Image Credit: Barry Williams / Getty Images

Submit your questions for Autoblog Podcast #402 LIVE!

Audi A3 TDI Road Trip, Luxury Car Features We Love

Posted Oct 20th 2014 5:45PM

Autoblog podcast graphic

Hot on the heels of Autoblog Podcast #401, we're set to record Autoblog Podcast #402 this evening. Check out the topics below or drop us your questions and comments via the Q&A module. And don't forget to subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so. To take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.

Discussion Topics For Autoblog Podcast Episode #402

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Formula 1 racing back to Las Vegas?

Posted Oct 20th 2014 5:30PM

Formula One World Championship

"There's a million countries that would like to have an F1 race," said the sport's commercial director Bernie Ecclestone to The Independent recently, "but they can't afford it." Las Vegas wouldn't fall into the latter category, but while not exactly a country unto itself, it is apparently at the top of the former list.

According to a report in the British newspaper, negotiations to bring Formula One back to Vegas after a 32-year absence are in advanced stages. Track designer Hermann Tilke has reportedly visited the city with an eye towards setting up a street circuit that would incorporate a run down the famous Las Vegas Strip. Just when it might happen, however, remains unclear.

The development comes amidst a resurgence of F1 racing in North America. As recently as 2009, there was not a single grand prix on our fair continent after the Canadian Grand Prix was dropped from the calendar. But that race returned in 2010, joined by a new US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, starting in 2012. And while the proposed race in the New York/New Jersey area seems to have stalled, a new race is set to join next year's calendar in Mexico.

If the Vegas GP shapes up, we'd be looking at four races in North America alone – a vital market for the series, its sponsors and participating automakers where NASCAR (which races at the nearby Las Vegas Motor Speedway) is the far more popular form of motorsport and even IndyCar arguably has a bigger following.

The last time the F1 circus visited Las Vegas was for the lackluster Caesars Palace Grand Prix, which was held on an uninspired track set up in the casino's parking lot in 1981 (when it was joined on the calendar by Long Beach) and 1982 (in parallel with races in both Long Beach and Detroit). The new race would have to offer a more engaging layout, but as far as locations go, Vegas certainly has the infrastructure to deal with the influx of tourists who'd come to town for the spectacle.

News Source: The Independent via ESPN

Image Credit: alessio mazzocco/Flickr

Watch this BMW take flight at Viru Rally

Posted Oct 20th 2014 4:57PM

BMW M3 gets some air in Estonia

An E36 BMW 3 Series might be a good choice for a lot of purposes – a long road trip, a track day, rallycross, impressing your friends... but a full-on rally? It's rear-drive when the best rally machines are front- or all-wheel drive. But that didn't stop Pritt Koik and Alari-Uku Heldna from entering their stripped-out E36 in the Viru Rally in Estonia... or from getting some big air time when they did.

Fortunately the jump was not just caught on video... it was caught on video from three angles: two from the side of the rally stage and one from inside the cockpit. Check out all three below to see how this particular BMW got back into the aircraft business.

Space-minded Ural MИР comes with solar panel, unique repair instructions

Posted Oct 20th 2014 4:30PM

Ural Mir

Ural Mir motorcycle built-in wrenchThe individualist aspect of motorcycle culture is a well-known thing. Bikers pride themselves on being different, whether they're on the back of a Suzuki or a Harley-Davidson. Ural riders are particularly unique.

These Russian bikes are known for being robust, go-anywhere things, and they routinely arrive with sidecars and camouflage paintjobs. The brand's latest limited-edition model, though, does away with the camo'd color scheme and replaces it something a bit... extraterrestrial.

This is the Ural Mir, named in honor of the Shuttle-Mir program, a space-based collaboration between the United States and Russia that saw shuttles visit the orbiting station in a then-unprecedented spirit of cooperation.

In addition to its most obvious change, the Orbital White Metallic paint, the Ural Mir features a solar panel affixed atop the nose of the sidecar. According to Ural, it can serve as a battery tender or as a source of power for accessories. It can also be simply removed and replaced with a luggage rack, should you need more space (or if it's cloudy). High-intensity LEDs adorn the nose of the sidecar for peering into the pitch-black abyss.

The other cool feature of the Ural Mir is its special instruction system. A QR code has been fitted on a large wrench, and when accessed, it provides "when all else fails" instructions including a, um, clip from the disaster flick Armageddon. So yes, if your Ural breaks down, it seems the manufacturer advocates you beating it with a wrench to get it running again. Your results may vary.

The Ural Mir starts at $16,999 and will be limited to just 20 units and arrives at dealers in November. Take a look below at the press release from Ural Motorcycles and then head over and check out Ural's special instructions.
Related GalleryUral Mir Limited Edition
Ural Mir Limited EditionUral Mir Limited EditionUral Mir Limited EditionUral Mir Limited EditionUral Mir Limited EditionUral Mir Limited EditionUral Mir Limited EditionUral Mir Limited Edition

News Source: Ural

Porsche 918 Spyder already almost sold out?

Posted Oct 20th 2014 4:01PM

Porsche 918 Spyder

Still planning on getting your hands on a Porsche 918 Spyder? You'd better act quickly, because word has it that the hybrid hypercar is nearly sold out.

While Porsche has reportedly only delivered a little over 30 of the 918 examples of the Spyder it plans to manufacture in total, Automotive News says that production is sold out through late March or early April – just a few months shy of when production is set to wrap in July.

That's pretty impressive for a car with a base price of almost $850,000, especially one requiring a $200,000 deposit just to get your name on the list. Still, that sum is significantly less than its competitors get for the McLaren P1 or LaFerrari, both of which sell for over a million (if you can actually get on one at that price), though in fairness, production of each is limited to less than half of the 918 Spyder.

News Source: Automotive News - sub. req.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Michael Harley / AOL

ETC

Toyota explains what names like Camry and Yaris mean

Posted Oct 20th 2014 3:30PM

2015 Toyota Camry

Ever wonder where automakers get the names for their cars? You're not alone. The sitcom Seinfeld opened Episode 94 – the one where George Costanza buys a Chrysler LeBaron instead of a Volvo – with a bit about nameplates like Integra, Supra and Impreza. Toyota, clearly, is not exempt from choosing evocative but enigmatic names for its models, and now the Japanese automaker is taking us through the etymology of some of its nameplates.

Names like Supra may require no clarification, but what about Camry? That comes from the Japanese word kanmuri for Crown (which is, incidentally, the name of another Toyota sedan).

Yaris? According to the company, it's "an amalgamation of words from Greek mythology and German. In Greek mythology, 'Charis' was a symbol of beauty and elegance. Toyota swapped the 'Ch' with 'Ya' – German for 'yes' – to symbolize the perceived reaction of European markets to the car's styling."

Uh-huh. By comparison, Corolla couldn't be simpler – its name refers to the innermost ring of pedals around the center of a flower. Previa is derived from the Latin word for providence (as in foresight, not capital city in Rhode Island).

Some of these name meanings you may already be aware of, but others might still be a mystery, so head over to Toyota's UK blog to delve deeper into ten of the company's most 'iconic' names.
Related Gallery2015 Toyota Camry
2015 Toyota Camry2015 Toyota Camry2015 Toyota Camry2015 Toyota Camry2015 Toyota Camry2015 Toyota Camry2015 Toyota Camry2015 Toyota Camry

News Source: Toyota UK

Citizen pulls over unmarked WA police car, education ensues

Posted Oct 20th 2014 2:58PM

Can I see some ID, sir?

Dog bites man, that's not news. Man bites dog, now that's news. Or so goes the old newspaper adage, and we see it manifested all the time. Take this latest video clip for example. While it wouldn't usually be news to see a cop pulling over a motorist, seeing a motorist pulling over a cop and asking to see ID is another matter entirely.

The video comes courtesy of one Gavin Seim, a self-styled liberty activist and former congressional candidate from Washington State's 4th district. In this instance, Seim is advocating (and civically enforcing) a law on the books in Washington that precludes law enforcement officers from patrolling in unmarked vehicles, a measure designed so that motorists know they're being lawfully pulled over by police and not by an impersonator.

Seim sees a sheriff's deputy patrolling in an unmarked, plain-white Dodge Charger, so he flags him down and – in as clear a reversal of roles as we've ever seen – proceeds to ask the deputy for ID while alerting him to the state law which he's apparently violating. Fortunately, both parties act respectfully, as you can see from the video which Seim captured and posted online in both edited and full versions.

News Source: Gavin Seim via YouTube (1), (2), Carscoops

Jaguar Land Rover in talks for Southern US factory

Posted Oct 20th 2014 2:30PM

Land Rover Discovery Sport assembly at Halewood

Jaguar Land Rover is getting serious about global expansion, and that means it can't only build its vehicles in the UK anymore. The British automaker is cutting the ribbon at its new plant in China tomorrow, marking the opening of its first factory outside the UK. In 2016, it will open another factory in Brazil. But the latest intel has it that JLR is looking into a US factory, as well.

The report, which comes to us from the Sunday Times by way of Automotive News Europe, indicates that the company is evaluating locations for a North American factory, with options centering around Southern right-to-work states like South Carolina, where BMW operates its plant in Spartanburg and a wide array of other automotive operations are based as well. The JLR plant would reportedly ramp up to a capacity of 200,000 units per year.

In related news, while that new plant JLR is inaugurating in Changshu, China, is initially slated to produce the Range Rover Evoque, it is also expected to start building the new Discovery Sport as well – just like the Halewood plant in the UK that has handled Evoque assembly from the start and which just built its first Discovery Sport, as well.
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