Skip to main content

We obsessively cover the auto industry…

30 New Articles in the last 24 hours Hide

First Drive
2015 Lincoln Navigator

  • First Drive
    2015 Lincoln Navigator
  • Spy Shots
    Toyota Hilux successor spotted
  • Video
    GT-R owner finds going 200 mph on a public freeway is asking for trouble
  • U-Turn
    Weekly Recap: What led to the end of the Montezemolo Era at Ferrari?
Tip Us

Autoblog Podcast #397 goes LIVE at 10PM Eastern!

Montezemolo Steps Down, Mercedes-Benz AMG GT, Long Term Update

Posted Sep 15th 2014 9:30PM

Autoblog Podcast Live


We're almost ready to record Episode #397 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 #397

Aficionauto drives Vin Diesel's fast and furious 1970 Dodge Charger

Posted Sep 15th 2014 8:01PM

Dodge Charger from Fast and the Furious

The Aficionauto host Christopher Rutkowski has a real passion for original and replica cars from movies and television, whether they are from James Bond, Jurassic Park, or incredibly obscure Japanese shows. However, he might have outdone himself this time because he hopped into one of the biggest automotive stars of contemporary cinema. This 1970 Dodge Charger appeared in Fast & Furious and came back in Fast Five, where Paul Walker actually drove it. The menacing, black muscle car will make its return to the franchise in the seventh film, too.

The Fast and Furious Charger is a real beast no matter how you look at it. The interior is nothing more than two seats and a roll cage, and as the video shows, this thing vibrates constantly like a coiled mass of muscle ready to strike. The camera can barely stay in place most of the time. Also, Dom's Dodge is more than happy to do a smoky burnout and leave the driver partially deaf afterward from its wonderful, ear-splitting engine roar.

The Aficionauto also interviews the man who controls the keys to this beast. Bob Hartwig was once an F-15 pilot, but he also loved Hollywood vehicles. Now, he's a partner at Picture Car Warehouse, a company with about 850 cars that supplies vehicles to film studios. This Charger definitely seems to be Hartwig's favorite in the collection, as it should be.

News Source: The Aficionauto via YouTube

What you missed on 9.15.14

Posted Sep 15th 2014 7:31PM

Daily U-Turn

Lincoln NavigatorReview: 2015 Lincoln Navigator

We take the heavily refreshed 2015 Lincoln Navigator for a spin and find that there's plenty to like about the brand's truckish 'ute. Still, while it boasts a ton of room inside and stunning power from its 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, it's far from perfect. Read our full review for all the details.






Kenneth Feinburg At least 19 deaths confirmed for GM compensation

Kenneth Feinberg, the man who has been put in charge of the fund General Motors is drawing from to offer compensation to victims of its faulty ignition switches, has said at least 19 deaths have so far been confirmed resulting from the heavily publicized failure and recalls, and there are many more claims still left to process.




Toyota C-HR Concept teaserToyota teases C-HR crossover concept

Toyota has a big reveal slated for the rapidly approaching Paris Motor Show in the form of the C-HR crossover concept that you can see in silhouette to the right. We don't know much more, other than the fact that it will boast a hybrid powertrain and that it looks to be much more stylish than the brand's current crop of crossovers. Stay tuned.




Top Stories

Porsche offers detuned Boxster and Cayman 211 in Europe

Posted Sep 15th 2014 7:01PM

Porsche Boxster 211

Looking at a new Porsche Boxster? First of all, we commend you on your choice, because in its latest iteration, the Boxster has sped out from under the shadow of the 911 and into its own. But now to choose: do you get the base model with 265 horsepower, the Boxster S with 315 hp, or the top-of-the-line Boxster GTS with 330 hp? It's a daunting question, considering the $10k+ price gap between each model that you could put into the gas-and-rubber jar. Same goes for the Cayman, albeit with ten more horses across the board. But as if that's not confusing enough, there appears to be another player on the field. (That is, at least, in certain European markets.)

Porsche Cayman 211Appearing on the company's Belgian and Norwegian sites are the Boxster 211 and Cayman 211. As you might have guessed, they pack a less substantial 211 horsepower, undercutting what we know as the base models. Instead of using a smaller engine, though, the Boxster and Cayman 211 get the same 2.7-liter boxer six, just with less power.

As a result, they're a bit slower off the line: the Boxster 211 takes between 6.1 and 6.4 seconds to get to 62, depending on exact specifications, compared to the 5.5- to 5.8-second range for the 265-hp Boxster, while the Cayman 211 is quoted at 6.2 seconds versus the 275-hp Cayman's 5.4 to 5.7 seconds. Fuel consumption and emissions, on the other hand (and as you'd expect), are better in the 211. But while Porsche Norway charges around $10k less for the 211 models, Porsche Belgium charges the same for the 211 models as it does for the next most powerful versions (from which they appear to be visually indistinguishable).

We've sought confirmation from Porsche Cars North America, but given that the 211 models were likely created more to meet local government requirements than pure customer demand, we wouldn't expect these detuned versions to be offered Stateside anytime soon.
Related Gallery2014 Porsche Boxster 211
2014 Porsche Boxster 2112014 Porsche Boxster 2112014 Porsche Boxster 2112014 Porsche Boxster 2112014 Porsche Boxster 2112014 Porsche Boxster 2112014 Porsche Boxster 2112014 Porsche Boxster 211

Mercedes gives B-Class a facelift in time for Paris

Posted Sep 15th 2014 6:32PM

2015 Mercedes-Benz B-Class

Front-drive hatchbacks are the name of the game these days in the German automotive industry. In recent years BMW has gotten into the game with the 2 Series Active Tourer, while Audi has stepped up its game with the A1 and Mercedes has been keen to play, too. The Silver Arrow has rolled out the new A-Class and its sedan sister, the CLA, as well as the GLA crossover, and you can bet there'll be more to come. But Benz doesn't want you to forget about the B-Class, so it's introducing an updated version.

Mercedes first introduced the B-Class back in 2005, replacing it with the second-generation model in 2011. But with its newer stablemates garnering the lion's share of attention at the bottom of the Benz range, and increased competition from rival automakers, the B-Class has undergone some minor updates. Up front you'll find a reshaped bumper, grille and headlights, along with new taillights and bumper around back. There's also a revised interior designed to convey a more upscale environment, with color-changing ambient lighting and an eight-inch touchscreen display atop the dashboard. Of course, this being a Mercedes update, the new B-Class benefits from added safety systems as well.

Buyers in markets where the B-Class is sold will be able to choose between three new trim levels and a staggering array of four-cylinder engine options, with gasoline engines ranging in output from 122 to 211 horsepower, and diesels from 90 to 177 hp – some available with 4Matic all-wheel drive. There's also a natural gas version, and the B-Class Electric Drive – the only version offered Stateside – continues with the same output. Look for the new B-Class to make its live debut at the Paris Motor Show next month.

News Source: Mercedes-Benz

Lincoln's first shipment of cars arrives in China

Posted Sep 15th 2014 6:01PM

Lincoln arrives in China

It has been two years since Lincoln first announced its plans to expand into China, and the first models destined for sale in the giant automotive market just came off the boat in Shanghai on September 10. It's going to be a few weeks before Chinese buyers actually have the chance to get behind the wheel, though.

The first two models being offered to China are the MKZ and MKC, as seen arriving in these photos, and they are going to be sold at dealers that look more like hotels than traditional showrooms. The first four are opening in Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou in October, with a grand unveiling of the new brand to Chinese consumers later that month. By the end of the year, Lincoln wants to have eight dealers operating in seven cities. By 2016, the automaker wants to have a lineup of five models available in the People's Republic.

"This is the culmination of months of teamwork and collaboration both in North America and here in China," said Robert Parker, President of Lincoln China, in the company's release.

Obviously, a single shipment of vehicles isn't going to be anywhere near enough to quell Chinese demand, or at least Lincoln hopes. Two more freighters packed with the brand's models are due to arrive in October. Scroll down for the full announcement.
Related GalleryLincoln Arrives in China
Lincoln Arrives in ChinaLincoln Arrives in ChinaLincoln Arrives in ChinaLincoln Arrives in ChinaLincoln Arrives in China

News Source: Lincoln

Nissan not shuttering Leaf EV battery plants, at least not yet

Posted Sep 15th 2014 5:58PM

Japan Nissan

The big news on the electric vehicle front today is that Nissan is considering slowing down EV battery production in the US and UK and source all of Nissan's big packs come from Japan. Nissan may also buy some batteries from the Korean company LG Chem. This is apparently causing dissent within Nissan, but it follows what Alliance partner Renault is doing in the hunt for 180-mile EVs.

This change – officially denied by Nissan – raises a lot of questions here, since Nissan made a huge deal about building the Leaf pack in Tennessee a few years ago. In fact, the car's big price drop was due, in part, to localizing battery production. If the company is really going to give up on building the packs where it makes the cars, then does Nissan not see itself as being capable of producing an energy-dense battery cheap enough to compete with Tesla and its Gigafactory and GM (which, of course, has long worked with LG Chem on batteries)? Whatever Nissan decides, it needs to be ready to compete in a market that offers a $35,000, 200-mile car by 2017.

"We have not taken any decision whatsoever to modify battery sourcing allocation." – Renault-Nissan's Rachel Konrad

Nissan would not comment directly on the reported change, but Rachel Konrad, the Alliance's global director of communications and marketing told AutoblogGreen, "The Renault-Nissan Alliance remains 100 percent committed to its industry-leading EV program. This global commitment continues for the foreseeable future, and we have not taken any decision whatsoever to modify battery sourcing allocation. Nissan has no plans to impair its battery investments. Beyond that,we will not comment on speculation or anonymous sources, and as a matter of policy the Alliance does not confirm or deny procurement reviews."
Related GalleryNissan Leaf Production
Nissan Leaf ProductionNissan Leaf ProductionNissan Leaf ProductionNissan Leaf ProductionNissan Leaf ProductionNissan Leaf ProductionNissan Leaf ProductionNissan Leaf Production

News Source: Reuters, Renault-Nissan Alliance, The Wall Street Journal

Image Credit: Koji Sasahara / AP

Submit Your Questions For Autoblog Podcast #397 LIVE!

Montezemolo Steps Down, Mercedes-AMG GT, Long-Term Garage Update

Posted Sep 15th 2014 5:45PM

Autoblog podcast graphic

We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #397 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 #397
[RSS] Add the Autoblog Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator

Audi Q7 plug-in hybrid spied, Porsche powertrain possible

Posted Sep 15th 2014 5:31PM

Audi Q7 PHV: Spy Shots

It's no secret that a new Audi Q7 is on the way. The replacement for the aging, three-row luxury CUV has already been spotted once, in December of 2013. Now, though, we have images of the second-generation model lapping Germany's Nürburgring Nordschleife, and it just happens to be showing a feature we reported on at the end of July – a plug-in-hybrid powertrain.

Given away by its high-voltage stickers on the window and a spare door to hide the charger – note how both the driver and passenger sides sport an access point – our spies snapped a series of photos, and put forth the compelling idea that the new Q7 would use the PHV system from the Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid.

If that's the case, that should mean at least 320 horsepower from a 3.0-liter, supercharged V6, while an electric motor chips in a further 95 ponies for a total system output of 416 hp.

As for when the first Q7 PHV could arrive, our spies claim that the new model will debut in 2015, with the Hybrid available from the start. As for when it will debut, the Geneva Motor Show is always a solid candidate, although the other big shows – Detroit, New York and Shanghai – remain possibilities. Basically, this debut is still up in the air. Should that change, though, we'll be sure to make sure you know.

Image Credit: CarPix

NHTSA investigating Ford Fiesta for faulty door latches

Posted Sep 15th 2014 5:00PM

2011 Ford Fiesta SES

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a preliminary investigation on the 2011-2013 Ford Fiesta because the regulator has received 61 complaints from drivers, including one claim of an injury, about the doors on the subcompacts failing to latch and sometimes even flying open while driving. NHTSA has estimated that the problem could affect as many as 205,000 vehicles.

NHTSA is still gathering further data about the problem, but looking at the complaints so far, both front and rear doors appear to be potentially involved with the alleged failures. Among the reports, there are 12 claiming that the door opened while driving. Several also indicate the "Door Ajar" warning illuminating during this problem. The one purported injury happened when someone attempted to shut the door, and it bounced back.

Ford spokesperson Kelli Felker told Autoblog via email, "We are cooperating with NHTSA on this investigation, as we always do." Scroll down to read the report from NHTSA.

News Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Drew Phillips / AOL

Ferrari to reveal exclusive F12 NART next month in LA

Posted Sep 15th 2014 4:28PM

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

While denying his tenure was coming to an end just prior to his resignation last week, outgoing Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo hinted at two new models to be revealed next month. One we anticipate to be a new version of the 458 – either the new turbocharged M model or the limited-edition Scuderia Spider – to be revealed at the Paris Motor Show on October 2, and the other we knew would be a strictly limited special exclusive to North America. And now we appear to have an idea of what that model will be.

According to Automotive News, we'll likely be looking at a version of the F12 Berlinetta decked out with the blue and white stripes pioneered by the North American Racing Team (NART) and most recently applied to the 458 Speciale. The special model is also likely to get custom bodywork and a revised interior – similar to what Ferrari Special Projects does for individual customers, but produced in a limited run of 10 examples.

All 10 of those are likely to already have been spoken for, with a price tag tipped to exceed $3 million apiece. The model will be revealed on October 12 at a special event in Los Angeles marking 60 years of Ferrari in America which will likely be Montezemolo's last event as chairman before handing over control to Sergio Marchionne and collecting his eight-figure severance package.

News Source: Automotive News - sub. req.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 AOL

2015 Mazda3 finally pairs 6-speed manual with larger engine

Posted Sep 15th 2014 4:00PM

Mazda3

With all of the hype and anticipation surrounding the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata, the Japanese brand was able to sneak another driver-oriented model into its lineup. The company's spec page for the 2015 Mazda3 hatchback and sedan have been updated to list the Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter four-cylinder as finally being available with a six-speed manual transmission, in addition to the previous six-speed automatic. The automaker had promised the row-your-own gearbox with the bigger engine back when it first announced the new Mazda3, but it waited a model year to actually put the combo on sale.

According to Mazda's specs, the manual gearbox trims 40 pounds off of a hatchback or 54 pounds off of a sedan in s Touring and s Grand Touring trims. However, shedding that weight doesn't necessarily boost fuel economy. The six-speed hatch is rated at 26 miles per gallon city and 35 mpg highway, compared to 27/37 for the automatic. The manual sedan is rated at 25/37 city/highway mpg, versus 28/39 with the auto. Buyers can save a little money by opting for the manual, though. Regardless of body style, it's about $1,050 cheaper than the automatic. There are two, other minor 2015 model year changes, as well. The Mazda Connect infotainment system and rear camera are now standard on the i Touring model, and all buyers can get Mazda Connect upgraded to include navigation for $399.95 from dealers, if they don't already have nav.

Autoblog reached out to Mazda and learned that the 2.5L 6MT models started hitting dealers in August. The 2.5 wasn't initially available with the stick because, "We had to prioritize engineering resources and the 2.5L 6MT was not a high priority combination. Globally, smaller engines are preferred in terms of sales," a Mazda spokesperson explained via email. The automaker also notes that Austrailia will probably be the only other market outside of North America to get the six-speed gearbox with the larger engine.
Related Gallery2014 Mazda3: First Drive
2014 Mazda3: First Drive2014 Mazda3: First Drive2014 Mazda3: First Drive2014 Mazda3: First Drive2014 Mazda3: First Drive2014 Mazda3: First Drive2014 Mazda3: First Drive2014 Mazda3: First Drive

News Source: Mazda

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Steven J. Ewing / AOL

Ford previews new C-Max ahead of upcoming debut

Posted Sep 15th 2014 3:32PM

2015 Ford C-Max

Looking at a Ford Focus? These days you can get it as a five-door hatch, a four-door sedan, or... that's all. European buyers don't even get our sedan, but they do get a wagon. And while the three-door hatch, two-door coupe and two-door cabrio have long since ended production, buyers around the world can also get the company's larger C-Max. And now, like the Focus upon which it's based, Ford is preparing to roll out a new version.

The tall wagon (or small minivan, depending on your perspective) is being treated to what Ford says is "an extreme makeover." Details to accompany the teaser image above remain few and far between, but following the spy shots we recently posted, it looks destined for some of the same visual updates as Ford rolled out on the 2015 Focus, with "even more refinement, practicality and technology."

Like the Mercedes B-Class, which is only available Stateside as an EV, American buyers can only get the C-Max in electrified form, either as the C-Max Hybrid or C-Max Energi. Overseas buyers, however, will be able to choose from a range of powertrain options and two wheelbase lengths – the longer of which boasts seven seats and the Grand C-Max name. (Remember when Chrysler did the same with its minivans?) Both are set to debut on September 17, so watch this space. After that, we'll expect to see it on display at the Paris Motor Show.

News Source: Ford

World's quickest street-legal vehicle is... 1998 Chevy S-10 pickup

Posted Sep 15th 2014 2:58PM

Larry Larson's 1998 Chevy S-10 pickup truck

In the pantheon of performance cars and trucks that have come across our radars, there exists a clear dividing line between those designed solely for use at a racetrack – be that a road circuit, oval, dirt track or drag strip – and those that can be driven to and from such a track. Which makes sense, since any car that can legally be driven on the road must comply with a number of varied and complicated requirements that include proper safety glass, lighting bits, bumpers and treaded tires, while machines destined to live out their lives off our nation's highways need to do little more than go fast and provide a modicum of safety for its driver and any competitors.

All of that (probably unnecessary) preamble explains why there's so much interest in claiming the title as the world's quickest street-legal vehicle. And there's a new king on that ballyhooed throne. The location was a quarter-mile strip of asphalt in Tulsa, OK, the competition was the 2014 Drag Week event hosted by the boys at Hot Rod, the driver was Larry Larson and the vehicle was, get this, a 1998 Chevy S-10 pickup truck.

Video evidence can be seen above, and we suggest you head on over to Hot Rod to read more about Larry and his steel-bodied pickup after seeing for yourself what it's capable of. Yes, it certainly pushes the boundaries of what we'd consider "street legal," but it's an impressive accomplishment no matter which way you slice it.

News Source: Hot Rod Magazine via YouTube

Loading

Loading
Advertisement
Autoblog iPhone App
Shop for a vehicle