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BMW's new Driftmob video shows the M235i like you've never seen it before

Posted Jul 30th 2014 8:01PM



Last month, we went behind the scenes of the filming of BMW's new Driftmob, web video, bringing you one post from the practice sessions, and another from the shoot itself, which took place in an enormous traffic circle in Cape Town, South Africa. Today, BMW has launched the final version of Driftmob, and it's pretty damn cool.

The plot is pretty simple: just like a flashmob, in which people invade a location and perform choreographed dances to music, much to the delight of surprised onlookers, the "driftmob" features a quintet of red M235i coupes that take over a traffic circle and perform choreographed dances – sideways – to the delight of onlookers. The only differences are that, in this case, the onlookers are mostly paid extras (though there were many unwitting passersby that joined the crowd at times) and the only music is a constant squealing of tires-a sweet song if we ever heard one. Then, after about two minutes of tire-smoking shenanigans, the coupes vanish.

As promised, we will have a more detailed, behind the scenes story about the filming of the video, including insights from Rhys Millen, Samuel Hübinette, Dai Yoshihara, Rich Rutherford, and Conrad Grunewald, the five guys who executed these remarkable stunts. Meanwhile, we hope you enjoy the short flick.

What you missed on 7.30.14

Posted Jul 30th 2014 7:30PM

Daily U-Turn

Nissan Frontier diesel muleNissan lets us sample a diesel Frontier prototype

Hey. You. Yeah, you. Do you think Nissan should build a midsize pickup truck with a diesel engine? Yeah, so do we. And we just got the chance to drive just such a beast, though it's anything but a production model at this point. This particular example is fitted with a 2.8-liter four-cylinder from Cummins, and it puts out 200 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, enabling it to tow as much as 7,000 pounds.



2016 Chevy Volt spy shot2016 Chevy Volt coming soon to an auto show near you... probably

There sure is a lot we don't know about the next generation of Chevy's extended-range electric vehicle. What we do know, though, is that it ought to be making its auto show debut sometime soon. How soon? Likely either Los Angeles later this year or else Detroit, Chicago or New York in early 2015, according to an anonymous source.



Blood muscle auctionBlood Muscle auction? Sounds terrible, looks awesome

It's nicknamed the Blood Muscle auction because the cars, which will be sold each to the highest bidders on September 12, were attained by the president of a blood-testing company who is now incarcerated for alleged bribery. There's a Boss Mustang, a trio of Yenko Chevrolets and our personal favorite, a Plymouth Superbird, among others, up for bidding.


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Indian Roadmaster returns for 2015 with 'Proven power and endless chrome' [w/video]

Posted Jul 30th 2014 7:00PM

2015 Indian Roadmaster, side view.

It's a busy summer for Polaris - it's got a three-wheeled gunner called the Slingshot coming out under its own brand name, its Victory Motorcycle division is expected to launch something shortly, and now a new luxury tourer has rolled to the top of its Indian Motorcycle brand. Called the Roadmaster, the name recalls the original Indian bike of that name made from 1947 to 1953. True, Indian did produce a Roadmaster redux in 2010, but this one for 2015 is a very different bike.

Seeking to knock back any question of its bona fides as "the ultimate in luxury motorcycle touring," Indian has loaded it up with "proven power and endless chrome," as well as a long shopping list of features: LED lighting, keyless ignition with remote saddlebag and trunk locks, a power adjustable windscreen, heated grips with ten settings, adjustable passenger floorboards, and almost 38 gallons of weatherproof storage start things off.

Power comes from the company's Thunder Stroke 111 engine, a 111-cubic-inch V-twin with 119 pound-feet of torque, and according to a dyno run by Motorcycle USA, 73 horsepower. It will come in three colors when it appears in dealerships later this year, those being Thunder Black, Indian Motorcycle Red and two-tone Indian Motorcycle Red and Ivory Cream. It will wear a sticker price of $26,999 - a $7,000 drop from the last, much less luxurious Roadmaster effort.

If you happen to be at Sturgis, Indian will unveil the Roadmaster on August 2. While you wait, you can watch the first TV spot for the new bike and there's a press release below with more information.
Related Gallery2015 Indian Roadmaster
2015 Indian Roadmaster2015 Indian Roadmaster2015 Indian Roadmaster2015 Indian Roadmaster2015 Indian Roadmaster2015 Indian Roadmaster2015 Indian Roadmaster2015 Indian Roadmaster

Elon Musk to get spot on The Simpsons

Posted Jul 30th 2014 6:33PM

Tesla Motors IPO

It's hard to believe that The Simpsons is moving into its 26th season, but there's good news for auto enthusiasts, especially of the EV variety. The show's executive producer, Al Jean, confirmed on Twitter that Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk would have a guest spot on the show in the upcoming season. Even better, it sounds like a pretty significant role.


According to Automotive News, Jean first announced the episode during a panel at San Diego Comic-Con. It's titled "The Musk Who Fell to Earth" and has Mr. Burns somehow losing all of his money to the Tesla boss. With his name prominently in the title, it gives the indication that Elon's role is going to be a lot bigger than just muttering a few lines in one scene and then walking away.

This is technically Musk's second appearance on The Simpsons. An earlier episode featured Elon Musk as a fragrance of the fictional ASK Body Spray. Tesla put up a screenshot of it on their blog and said, "You know you're famous when you get featured on the Simpsons." Apparently, the CEO is an even bigger deal now with this guest-starring gig.

Of course, The Simpsons has made at least two, great contributions to the automotive world – the Homer and the Canyonero. Our only hope is that Musk can somehow feature EV versions of them both in his episode.

News Source: Twitter, Automotive News - sub. req., Tesla Motors

Image Credit: Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Suzuki calls in 26,000 Daewoo-built Veronas for overheating lights

Posted Jul 30th 2014 6:02PM

Suzuki Recall

Suzuki is recalling yet another Daewoo-built model due to possible problems with the daytime running light module in the instrument panel. This time it covers about 25,899 units of the Suzuki Verona from the 2004 through 2006 model years that need fixing. Like the repair campaign of the Forenza and Reno in May, it's possible for the part to overheat, melt and potentially cause a fire.

According to the Chronology of Principal Events section in the defect notice submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this recall was actually a direct result of the Forenza/Reno campaign. After finding the problem in those vehicles, General Motors Korea started investigating for more affected models and discovered that the Verona was also at risk. However, the report says that no cases of melting or fires have been found in the Verona.

Obviously, Suzuki will be notifying affected owners and will replace the DRL module free of charge. Scroll down to read the recall request or check out the full defect notice in PDF format, here.

News Source: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [1], [2]

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV sales reach 33,000 worldwide

Posted Jul 30th 2014 5:27PM

Plug In 2014: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

It can be difficult to see from the US, where the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid is not yet available, but the all-wheel drive SUV is a big hit in Europe and Japan. In fact, we learned at the Plug In 2014 Conference in San Jose, CA this week that Mitsubishi has sold over 33,000 copies of the PHEV around the world.

The breakdown is that Mitsubishi has delivered 15,000 units in Japan and 18,000 in Europe. Fuminori Kojima, Mitsubishi Motors North America's senior manager of incentives, told AutoblogGreen that the country with the highest sales rate in Europe is Holland, with about 6,000 units sold that thanks in part to generous incentives for plug-in hybrids there. The Euro-spec version on hand in San Jose has three regen levels (the normal D mode, plus B1 and B2). We got to take a spin around the block, but the battery was mostly depleted (it was a popular attraction in the Ride & Drive) and so we were driving on gas.

In the gallery from Plug In 2014, you'll note that the Outlander PHEV requires at least 95 octane (RON) unleaded fuel, which is 91 octane (AKI) premium fuel in the US. We don' know what the US version will need, but we've heard it will be "completely different." The Outlander has a 12-kWh battery and should have an EV range of around 30 miles. Whether or not it will have a CHAdeMO fast-charging port in the US is still undecided, as is the question of whether it will have a 3.3 or 6.6 kW onboard charger.

The timeline Kojima gave for the Outlander's US arrival was October or November of 2015, since the SUV still needs to be tested and homologated for the US, Kojima said, but the real problem is that Mitsubishi can't build enough. "The battery production capacity is limited," he said. "So that's why, [the] first [focus is the] domestic market and Europe showed more demand." As as an example, he mentioned not only the incentives but also said that the charging infrastructure is more built up in Europe. "We'd like to have it [in the US ] as soon as possible, of course," he said.

According to numbers from the European group Transport And Environment (see press release and sales chart below), overall plug-in vehicle sales have been doubling each year since the new breed was introduced in 2010. Last year, almost 50,000 plug-in vehicles were sold in the EU, with the Renault Zoe EV, Outlander PHEV and Volvo V60 Plug-in at the top of the pack.

News Source: Mitsubishi

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Sebastian Blanco / AOL

Range Rover Sport SVR sets 'Ring record for SUVs [w/video]

Posted Jul 30th 2014 5:06PM

Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR at the Nürburgring

Nürburgring lap times, it should come as no surprise, have become the ultimate bragging rights for performance automakers. So much so, in fact, that the records have been categorized. The Porsche 956 has held the outright record at 6:11 since 1983, the Pagani Zonda R is the fastest production-based track car at 6:47, the Radical SR8 LM the fastest (albeit barely) street-legal vehicle at 6:48 and the Porsche 918 Spyder the fastest fully street-legal series production vehicle at 6:57. But beyond that, automakers have begun to stake their claims for individual vehicle types, like the Renaultsport Mégane 275 Trophy-R that set the record for the fastest front-drive hot hatch at 7:54.36 just last month. And now Land Rover has claimed the record for the fastest SUV ever to lap the Nordschleife.

The record-setting SUV, of course, is not a rough-and-tumble Defender or a stretched-out Range Rover L, but the brand's upcoming new performance flagship, the Range Rover Sport SVR. The vehicle was previewed recently at Goodwood where it showcased the might of JLR's ubiquitous 5.0-liter supercharged V8 in the same 542-horsepower spec as the Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake we recently drove at the Nürburgring as well.

The Range Rover Sport SVR managed a hugely impressive lap time of 8 minutes 14 seconds, which puts it well ahead of the previous Range Rover Sport Supercharged that lapped the track in 8:55 back in 2009 and the Holden VF SS V Redline that claimed the record last year for the fastest utility vehicle at 8:19. Not bad for a vehicle with a 2.8-foot wading depth and a two-speed transfer case.

Of course with so many GT-Rs, Lambos and Porsche Turbos lapping the track, it couldn't claim the fastest AWD lap, but it is nearly three seconds faster than the Renaultsport Mégane R26.R that held the previous front-drive record before Renault and Seat started going at it earlier this year. And in the same spirit of competition, maybe we'll see Porsche bring its new Cayenne Turbo or Mercedes one of its AMG sport-utes to the Ring in an effort to take Land Rover's crown. After all, if we don't pay attention to this kind of irrelevant one-upmanship here in the blogosphere, who will? Scope out the footage and statement below, as well as the additional images we've uploaded to the gallery above.

News Source: Land Rover

Fiat recalls nearly 30,000 Fiat 500L models

Posted Jul 30th 2014 4:28PM

2014 Fiat 500L

Fiat has announced a recall of 29,500 Fiat 500L hatchbacks in the US and Canadian markets due to concerns that the roomiest member of the Fiat range features knee airbags that won't deploy unless the occupant's seatbelt is fastened.

There have been no injuries reported due to this issue, which affects vehicles from model years 2014 and 2015. Of the nearly 30,000 vehicles covered in this recall, 25,500 come from the US market, while the remaining 4,000 are from Canada. It's not clear what the underlying cause of this issue is.

Fiat knows of no injuries relating to this problem. As per usual, owners will be notified and asked to report in for a free repair.

Scroll down for a brief statement from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
Related Gallery2014 Fiat 500L: Review
2014 Fiat 500L: Review2014 Fiat 500L: Review2014 Fiat 500L: Review2014 Fiat 500L: Review2014 Fiat 500L: Review2014 Fiat 500L: Review2014 Fiat 500L: Review2014 Fiat 500L: Review

Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat ringtone revs up [w/video]

Posted Jul 30th 2014 4:01PM

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

The best (or worst, depending on your views) thing about smartphones is that you're able to carry lots, and lots of useful stuff around in your pocket. That means you can always have a phone, messaging service, email, flashlight, calculator, dictionary, encyclopedia, and literally thousands of other things on your person at all times. Now, we can add one more thing for you to carry about in your little slab of aluminum, glass and plastic – a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.

Now, you obviously can't carry around a 707-horsepower muscle car around in your pocket. That'd be ridiculous, impractical and uncomfortable. You can, however, carry around the noise made by said muscle car's 6.2-liter, supercharged Hemi V8, thanks to a new, free-to-download ringtone from the folks at Dodge and SRT.

We can't embed the ringtone here, so if you'd like to hear exactly how it'll sound when your phone goes off, you'll need to head over to the SRT Hellcat's page. If that's more trouble than it's worth, the same ringtone was attached to a tiny speaker on the press kit for the mighty Challenger, and was captured on video by our own Seyth Miersma (don't worry, he's already been soundly dressed down for shooting a video in portrait mode).

Scroll down for both the video of the ringtone, and the official press release from Dodge.

News Source: Seyth Miersma via Facebook

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Seyth Miersma / AOL

Icon Helios streamliner with Tesla bones is a dream from which we don't want to wake

Posted Jul 30th 2014 3:33PM

Icon Helios Streamliner

Icon Helios StreamlinerWhen it comes to truly, genuinely interesting automotive design and craftsmanship, Icon is one of the finest outfits in the game. We've covered the company and its founder, Jonathan Ward, in the past, and have remarked on just how fully and intricately done the automotive art it turns out is. The company's next big thing, though, is a far cry from the modified Land Rovers and Chevy Thriftmaster pickups.

The sketches you see above are of the Helios, Icon's latest mad creation. While still remarkably early in the planning phases, it's safe to say that the streamlined, Art Deco-inspired, boat-tailed (every vehicle should be boat-tailed) coupe is the company's single most ambitious vehicle yet.

"Although almost all of our projects thus far have been recreations inspired by vintage vehicles, I am fascinated about the concept of revisiting history in our own way," Ward told Jalopnik staffer and former Autoblog editor Damon Lavrinc. "The most interesting way to do this is by celebrating a particular era of design, or design language."

Technically speaking, the era that Ward is referring to never existed.

It's a world where there was no Black Friday, or Great Depression or second world war. Instead, man's fascination with aircraft and aerodynamics soldiered on untarnished by war and poverty, translating to four-wheeled creations so extreme they'd make the radical, rocket-inspired designs of the 1950s blush.

It is a stunning concept as a simple vehicle – you could drop this onto a Honda Civic platform and it'd still be a marvel. But it's Ward's plan for a powertrain that ups the already ample dose of outlandishness inherent in the Helios.

"In keeping with the founding premise at ICON, of fusing vintage design with the best modern drive experience and technology, I can think of no better platform to build this on, than the Tesla," Ward told Jalopnik.

In particular, Ward is targeting the upcoming Model X.

"I want to take the new Model X platform – so selectable AWD, 380-mile range, pure electric – and fuse it with this lost language," Ward said, adding that he's actively trying to score a meeting with Tesla founder Elon Musk and that he "will move mountains to figure out how to get [it] built."

Here's hoping that he can make that happen, because the automotive world sorely needs something this wild, this extreme and this utterly, utterly breathtaking.

You can expand the images above or head over to Jalopnik for a closer look at the Helios. After that, be sure to visit the Comments. We really want to hear from you on this one.

News Source: Jalopnik

Image Credit: Icon

New drifting world record set in Toyota GT86

Posted Jul 30th 2014 2:58PM

The world's longest drift

We have entered a drifting arms race. Last year, BMW smashed the Guinness World Record for the longest drift by hanging the tail out for 51.3 miles around a wet skid pad in an M5 at the BMW Performance Driving School in South Carolina. That beat the previous milestone of nearly seven miles. Now, Bimmer's record is up in smoke as well and is in the possession of a Toyota.

German driver Harald Müller pummeled the old record to drift for 89.55 miles around a 0.15-mile (235.5-meter) course in Samsun, Turkey, in a Toyota GT86 (or Scion FR-S as it's known in the US). According to the Guinness World Records website, it took him 612 laps and 2 hours, 25 minutes and 18 seconds to manage the achievement. Sit back to watch a few minutes of the German's two and a half hours behind the wheel with the tail out.

News Source: Guinness World Records, crazyspeed300 via YouTube, Jalopnik

Land Rover previews new seven-seat Discovery Sport

Posted Jul 30th 2014 2:31PM

2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport

Every automaker has its own way of revealing its new models. Some just pull the veil off the thing when it's ready, while others release hints and teasers leading up to the full reveal. Jaguar Land Rover seems to be taking a different approach, purposely releasing images of its new products wearing camouflaging body wraps before taking those wraps off at long last. That's the tactic it seems to be taking with the new XE sports sedan, as it is with the Range Rover Sport SVR, and now it's following a similar path with the upcoming new Discovery Sport.

Previewed by the Discovery Vision concept at the New York Auto Show a few months ago, the new Discovery Sport is slated to join the Discovery (known in North America as the LR4) in the Land Rover lineup next year, and appears to carry over the concept's styling: compared to the boxier existing model, the Discovery Sport (like the Discovery Vision) has a higher beltline, more swept-back greenhouse and forward-swept C-pillar, but a roofline that appears to taper off where the concept's was straight.

Land Rover has confirmed that the Discovery Sport will – like the LR4, Discovery Vision and Range Rover Sport – offer a third row of seats for seven-passenger capacity, as revealed by the "peeled-back" camo. The Discovery Sport will be manufactured at the Halewood plant where the Freelander and Evoque are made. Scroll down below for official details from the automaker.

News Source: Land Rover

Jaguar shows the face of its upcoming XE S sports sedan

Posted Jul 30th 2014 1:58PM

2016 Jaguar XE S

Jaguar has a bunch of projects in the hopper, from the replacements for the XJ sedan and XK coupe/convertible to its very first crossover. But arguably the most important among them is the XE – the British automaker's upcoming new sports sedan. Coventry has given us all sorts of peeks at what to expect from the new XE, from a shadowy rendering of the front end to a photo of a camo-wrapped prototype. But this is our best look yet.

As part of an announcement of a planned audio-visual spectacle scheduled to herald the arrival of the XE, Jaguar has released the image you see above, showing the undisguised XE in apparent S specification. From what we can see, it sports a fascia that looks pretty much exactly as we'd expect, though that's no bad thing. The XE is set to introduce the new Ingenium family of 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines. Whether the XE S shown here would carry a version of that (with a potential supercharger) or transplant the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 from the F-Type S remains to be seen, but whatever's under the hood, we'd expect it to hold the top end of the XE range – at least for the car's introduction before a potential R, R-S or SVR version might come along to supplant it.

One way or another, don't be surprised if you see some BMW 3 Series sedans pacing down the street nervously for the next little while. In the meantime, you can scope out all the glorious details of Jaguar's planned collaborations with the likes of Emeli Sandé, Stella McCartney and Idris Elba as part of the FEEL XE campaign in the press release below.

News Source: Jaguar

2016 Chevy Volt to make auto show debut this season

Posted Jul 30th 2014 1:30PM

2016 Chevy Volt spy shot

Ever since we saw that spy shots of the 2016 Chevy Volt, we've been hungering for more information on the next-gen version of GM's green halo car. It appears we might not have long to wait, at least for an official tease.

An inside source that wishes to remain anonymous told AutoblogGreen that GM will make two announcements regarding the second-gen Volt at the CAR Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, MI next week. The first, and most intriguing, is that that we will get our first glimpse of the new Volt at some point during the upcoming auto show season. That means either Los Angeles later this year or else Detroit, Chicago or New York in early 2015. The second bit of news is that GM will be moving production of the electric motors from Mexico to Michigan.

Details and official confirmation are, of course, missing and Chevrolet declined comment to AutoblogGreen. We should know more next week.

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