For motorsports fans in the US, the winter is often a wasteland of interest, leaving us to look forward to warmer weather and the return of racing. However, there's a lighthouse that shines each year during the cold doldrums in the form of the Dakar Rally. Often broadcast in the wee hours of the morning, it gives the DVR-savvy a reprieve to watch motorcycles and trucks blasting through the desert while the snow falls outside at home.
The Top Gear crew may have encountered more of an "episode" than they bargained for on their recent trip to Argentina. But before the team had to flee the country under the imminent threat of violence, they apparently got enough footage to put together a TV special, and that special will air in two parts after Christmas.
A couple of months ago, the team from Top Gear ticked off masses of locals in Argentina and had to flee the country – leaving their cars behind. Now it seems the BBC crew is trying to get those cars back.
It was a mixed bag for the Porsche team at the 6 Hours of Sao Paulo this weekend – the last race of its first season in the FIA World Endurance Championship. On the one hand, the German team took its first win since launching its LMP1 effort at the start of this season. On the other, its star driver suffered a massive crash that left him in the hospital.
Formula One got the drawn out Driver's Championship it wanted, which won't be decided until the last race in Abu Dhabi, and it didn't even need double points to do it. A trip below the equator turned around more than merely weather patterns, Nico Rosberg throwing his Mercedes AMG Petronas around the Interlagos track faster than teammate Lewis Hamilton every time it counted, beginning with Free Practice 1.
Ford rolled into the Sao Paulo Motor Show with some pretty cool crossovers in tow, the awesomest of all being the EcoSport Storm concept shown above, which draws its inspiration directly from the F-150 SVT Raptor. It packs a lower grille clearly derived from the now-famous muscle truck, as well as a Blue Storm paint job, black and silver trim, special graphics, lower body cladding and 215/75 R15 off-road tires. Don't go holding your breath for a supercharged V8, though; made locally in Brazil, I
Looking forward to getting your mitts on a new Land Rover Discovery Sport? Well you should, because it promises to be a markedly better product than the Freelander/LR2 it replaces. Just don't assume it will necessarily be built in the UK, as just about every Land Rover has in the company's 66-year history.
If you've been following the news from the Sao Paulo Motor Show, you'll likely have seen not only a series of new concept cars, but also a whole mess of production vehicles you never knew existed because they were developed specifically for the Latin American market. One of them is the Hyundai HB20.
Crossovers are the name of the game at the Sao Paulo Motor Show this year, with numerous European and Japanese automakers using the occasion of Latin America's largest auto show to showcase new high-riding concepts. This latest example comes from Citroën.
The striking new concept vehicle seen above is called the FCC4, which stands for Fiat Concept Car... with, um, four doors. We're not quite sure what else to call it, because the Fiat Design Center Latam (as in, Latin America) has apparently tried to transcend market segments and traditional bodystyles as much as possible. It's sort of like a four-door coupe, riding high on a jacked-up suspension, with what looks at first like a pickup bed but is actually covered by a sloping glass fastback.
Barely three weeks ago, Renault-owned Romanian automaker Dacia showed off a pickup-bodied version of its Duster SUV. A special job for Romania's OMV Petrom Group, the Duster pickup isn't available to the European public. The new Duster Oroch, however, could be.
The Sao Paulo Motor Show only comes around once every other year, and Nissan – an automaker deeply vested in the Latin American market – isn't missing out on the opportunity to showcase a new crossover concept.
The Bronco may be long gone from Ford dealerships back home, but down in Brazil its spirit lives on in the Troller brand. Founded independently in 1995, Ford do Brasil took over Troller in 2007 and has been teasing us with its rough-and-tumble SUVs ever since. So with the Sao Paulo Motor Show coming up, Troller has revealed this special version of the T4.
We've gotten used to the idea of Volkswagen keeping certain models like the Scirocco and Amarok to the European market and not bringing them to North America, but the German automaker also has a full line of vehicles made right here in the Americas that don't make it to US showrooms either. Those are the products of Volkswagen do Brasil, which has just revealed two new debuts for the upcoming Sao Paulo Motor Show.
Top Gear has a reputation for many things. Chief among those is its use of staged situations and its uncanny ability to insult cultures and ethnic groups across the world. Occasionally, though, we have to give the team of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May the benefit of the doubt.
Brazil is a long way from the US, and the price of the BMW i3 in that South American country is even further away from what Americans pay for the same electric vehicle. But that hasn't stopped a few wealthy Brazilians from taking the plunge.
Volkswagen may have come a long way since the original Beetle to produce hatchbacks, coupes, convertibles, sedans, wagons and crossovers... but pickups? As we found out in England recently, the Amarok is a notable exception, but it's not the only one. Head down to South America and you can also pick up the Saveiro.
Every year the racing season closes with the annual Race of Champions. The year-end event gives drivers from different racing disciplines a chance to compete against each other on common ground and in identical machinery. And while it doesn't necessarily move every year, organizers try to bring the action to different locations.