Skip to main content

We obsessively cover the auto industry…

29 New Articles in the last 24 hours Hide

Featured
Bugatti Dynamic Driving Experience

  • Featured
    Bugatti Dynamic Driving Experience
  • Official
    2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed unleashes a tidal wave of torque
  • Spy Shots
    Toyota Hilux successor spotted
  • Video
    GT-R owner finds going 200 mph on a public freeway is asking for trouble
Tip Us

Galactic Gear is a pitch-perfect Top Gear sendup from the future

Posted Sep 16th 2014 12:45PM

Galactic Gear Video for Star Citizen

Top Gear and particularly host Jeremy Clarkson have come to define how you do a show about cars. Mix big power, an opinionated presenter, a few jokes and fantastic camera work together, and you end up with the show's basic formula. But what happens in the far-flung future when the automobile is long dead, assuming we could keep his brain alive, could Clarkson keep up his act? Upcoming PC space flight sim Star Citizen shows in a promo video that the Top Gear method would still work in the centuries ahead long after we leave the bonds of Earth.

To show off the game's Origin M50 space racer, the designers created Galactic Gear, and these folks clearly know the show very well because the video nails every bit of Top Gear. Anyone can get the silhouetted opening right, but far more impressive is the spot-on copy of Clarkson's cadence. The accent might not be quite right, but you can easily imagine him coining these same tortured metaphors about an Aston Martin, as about these spaceships.

Star Citizen is being spearheaded by Chris Roberts, the man behind classic PC space sim Wing Commander. The game eventually hopes to offer players a persistent online world to fly around in, but until then it's slowly rolling out new ships and modes. Judging from the videos online, it looks like an absolutely beautiful experience.

News Source: Roberts Space Industries via YouTube

Bugatti Dynamic Driving Experience

In Which Molsheim Courts Us Like We Are Captains Of Industry

Posted Sep 16th 2014 11:57AM

Bugatti Dynamic Driving Experience

Let's say you're rich. Filthy rich – you've got cars in garages of homes you can't remember you own, rich.

As the gap between automotive haves and have-nots continues to grow, ultraluxury automakers are exploiting fresh ways to lure the sorts of well-heeled car aficionados who would rather spend their spare time shipping exotic sleds to private tracks than sitting on a beach in the Maldives.

This rarified air presents a daunting challenge to boutique carmakers attempting to distinguish themselves, especially when they're vying for attention amidst voluptuous Paganis, Koenigseggs, and Brabus G63 AMG 6x6s. When the stakes are this high and the competition this fierce, you need a novel approach to peddle your four-wheeled wares – even if you're Bugatti.

Image Credit: Bugatti

Are you the 2015 Chrysler 300?

Posted Sep 16th 2014 11:31AM

Chrysler 300

When Chrysler showed us its hand and revealed its five-year product plan to the world, we learned that the updated 300 sedan will bow at the LA Auto Show in November. Now, thanks to Allpar, we might have our first (super grainy) look at the new sedan a full two months ahead of its official debut.

Unlike its Dodge Charger platform mate, the new 300 isn't really all that different from the model currently on sale. That said, we're not sure if the changes shown here really reflect styling that we'd call "better," with the company's logo sort of floating at the top of the grille, and a more simplistic front end that lets the schnoz stick out a bit. Again, nothing drastic to talk about, but the new tweaks are kind of weak. Of course, we'll wait until we see the finished product in the metal before we make up our minds.

Don't expect things to change too much in terms of interior refinement or powertrain offerings, as well, with all the same leather and technology we've enjoyed in the 300 before, and the usual 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and 5.7-liter Hemi V8 powertrain options. We'll know for sure when the car shows its freshened face in Los Angeles in November.

News Source: Allpar

Indications of 825 hp and emissions issues for Hellcat called 'speculation' by Chrysler

Posted Sep 16th 2014 11:00AM

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is probably one of the hottest cars of the moment mostly because of its insane, 707-horsepower supercharged V8. However, there are conflicting reports coming out that the powerplant might be having problems with its emissions compliance and may be capable of even more power.

Jalopnik says that an unnamed source within Fiat Chrysler Automobiles told it that the Hellcat was having problems meeting emissions standards at its 707-horsepower tune. The person claimed that the automaker has been testing the V8 with different types of sensors, possibly to make it a bit cleaner in the future. Autoblog spoke to SRT spokesperson Dan Reid, and he said about the claimed poor emissions, "It's totally speculation."

The source also claimed that the Hellcat had been dynoed at a monumental 825 horsepower, internally. Based on the other rumor, though, it's hard to imagine the engine being emissions compliant like that. Autoblog also asked Reid about this speculation about more power and was told, "They are totally speculating about that."

Of course, Reid's implication of speculation, in both cases, doesn't constitute a denial exactly, either. Suffice it to say that we expect more an firmer information to crop up on both fronts, before to long.

In fact, the much-anticipated muscle car will start arriving at dealers in just a few weeks, which should open the door to transparency on both issues. Waiting really is the hardest part.

News Source: Jalopnik

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Seyth Miersma / AOL

Mercedes boosts CLA supplies, says it could sell twice as many

Posted Sep 16th 2014 10:15AM

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class

It's been a few months since we talked about the Mercedes-Benz CLA's status as an unmitigated hit, but a new story from Automotive News will allow us to revisit the sleek, fast-selling, four-door home run. Production has been increased again, with some of the extra capacity destined for US showrooms.

"We could have sold twice as many vehicles, easily, compared to our planning," Daimler AG boss Dieter Zetsche told AN.

Dealers are sitting on perilously small supplies of the CLA, with Mercedes execs confirming to AN that a few dealers have slipped below a ten-day supply. For reference, a 60-day supply is generally considered healthy.

Mercedes' Kecskemét, Hungary factory added a third shift back in May to address high demand for the four-door. Zetsche was unwilling to divulge how many more cars the facility will be able to churn out with this latest production increase, though.

"We do not want our customers to have to wait too much," Zetsche told AN. "Wherever we could, we pulled out all the stops."

News Source: Automotive News - sub. req.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Seyth Miersma / AOL

Online Find of the Day: Lexus-engined Mercedes pickup is a vintage hybrid

Posted Sep 16th 2014 9:30AM

1971 Mercedes-Benz 220D Pickup with a Lexus V8

You have to love someone who gets incredibly committed to a very weird idea. What you see for sale here is a right-hand drive 1971 Mercedes-Benz 220D in South Africa, but this old Mercedes is now converted into a pickup, complete with bed cover, and there's big secret under the hood, too.

The pickup conversion appears well done based on seller Sedgefield Classic Cars' photos. Even the tonneau cover fits well. You could almost believe that this Mercedes lived its life as a Chevrolet El Camino-like pickup from the very beginning.

However, the rear-quarters conversion might not be the weirdest thing about this Mercedes. The original diesel is gone from the engine bay in favor of a Lexus V8. It seems really odd to pop the hood and find a Japanese mill in this German car, but the photos make it look like a fairly well performed swap. So, bravo to the crazy thinking. According to the seller speaking to Autoblog by email, "as far as we can establish, this was done a few years ago, with all Lexus components."

Given the quality of the pickup conversion and engine swap, the interior could use a refresh. Though still useable, the seats are pretty beat up. We'd like to see the existing ones recovered, possibly in a modern but appropriate Lexus leather to subtly carry on the theme indoors.

After all of the work, this Mercedes is now a hybrid of German styling and Japanese power wrapped up in a pickup. However, the pricing for all of this weirdness is incredibly reasonable. The seller is asking a pretty reasonable-sounding 75,000 South African rand (about $6,810 at current exchange rates). We just wish it were located in the US.

Geely to provide engines to Formula 4

Posted Sep 16th 2014 8:44AM

Geely-powered Formula 4 racer

Formula One may get the lion's share of attention, but it's far from the only formula racing series. The FIA Formula E Championship just kicked off in China this past weekend, for example – and while FIA President Jean Todt was in town, he also announced the latest engine supplier for the Formula 4.

Up until now, the FIA had certified three automakers to supply engines for Formula 4 – and they've all been European. But for the first time, a Chinese automaker has joined in on the action. That Chinese automaker is Geely, perhaps best known on these pages as the parent company of Volvo, but a major player in the Chinese market in its own right.

Starting next season, Geely will supply a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine – similar to the one that powers its GX7 sport-ute and Emgrand EC8 sedan, but tuned for racing use – to the Chinese Formula 4 series. The new series is kicking off later this year with a seven-race calendar. After that, and with FIA certification in place, the door will be open for Geely to supply its engine to other local F4 championships as well.
Related GalleryGeely Chinese Formula 4
Geely Chinese Formula 4Geely Chinese Formula 4Geely Chinese Formula 4Geely Chinese Formula 4Geely Chinese Formula 4Geely Chinese Formula 4

News Source: Geely

2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed unleashes a tidal wave of torque

Posted Sep 16th 2014 7:00AM

Bentley Mulsanne Speed

811 lb-ft of torque puts the Mulsanne Speed out ahead of every so-called muscle car on the market and eclipses most million-dollar hypercars.

Those in the market for a sedan with equal levels of performance and luxury would do well to stop by their local Bentley dealership, and have a look at the Flying Spur. Though not available in Speed trim like the previous four-door Continental, the W12 model already packs the 616-horsepower 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 from the Continental GT Speed – and we wouldn't be surprised to see the British automaker come out with an even more performance-oriented version in the future. But what about the Mulsanne?

Bentley's flagship model has typically been left out of the performance equation applied to its nouveau-riche stablemates, but that ends here and now with the introduction of the new Mulsanne Speed. With 530 horsepower on tap (25 more than the standard model), the new Mulsanne Speed ranks among the more (if not most) powerful sedans on the market. But it blows everything else out of the water when it comes to torque: Bentley's signature 6.75-liter twin-turbo V8 has been augmented to produce a freight train-rivaling 811 pound-feet of twist, available from as low as 1,750 rpm. As far as torque goes, that puts the Mulsanne Speed out ahead of every so-called muscle car on the market and eclipses most million-dollar hypercars. It's also around triple the output of the same engine when it was introduced way back in 1959, and could be enough to put the prospect of the Bugatti Galibier ever reaching production out of the question once and for all.

Every pound-foot of that muscle is required to move the big sedan to 60 in 4.8 seconds, en route to a top speed of 190 miles per hour (compared to 5.1 seconds and 184 mph in the existing Mulsanne). All the while, improvements to combustion and a cylinder deactivation system that turns the engine into an efficient-ish V4 when cruising, though that likely won't be a worry for the oil barons who are bound to make up the bulk of the order list.

While it was at it, the crew in Crewe also recalibrated the eight-speed automatic transmission (which now includes an S mode to keep the revs above 2,000 and the turbos spooled up) as well as the adjustable air suspension. It's also given the big sedan dark-tinted grilles and lights, directional 21-inch wheels and a two-tone interior (which takes some 150 hours and 14 bull hides to complete) with the Mulliner Driving Specification fitted as standard. There's plenty more to digest in the press release below (including some enhancements for the standard model as well) ahead of the Mulsanne Speed's debut at the Paris Motor Show next month and the commencement of deliveries this winter.

News Source: Bentley

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

Loading

Loading
Advertisement
Autoblog iPhone App
Shop for a vehicle