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Here's what a front-row seat looked like in 2014 Mille Miglia

Posted Aug 26th 2014 12:46PM

Jaguar F-Type Mille Miglia

From 1927 to 1957, the Mille Miglia was one of the great, romantic European road races of the golden era of motorsports. The cars were fast, beautiful and loud but also extremely dangerous and regularly claimed drivers' lives. After two fatal accidents in '57, the event finally had to reform and came back in 1977 as a historic rally held over the course of several days. That didn't make things boring, though, and Xcar found that out firsthand with a front-row seat to this year's race in a 2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe.

Xcar was actually following the Jaguar team this year that included Ian Callum and Jay Leno in an XK120, which we previously got a glimpse of when it was covered on Jay Leno's Garage. Where Leno focuses on a more personal story of competing, this one takes a more macro view. You really get an idea of how crazy the Mille Miglia still is, and while the F-Type is way too new to actually compete in the rally, it can still wear an event sticker and drive with the vintage racers.

One amazing fact about today's Mille Miglia is that if you're competing in the event, there are basically no rules. The roads are technically still open to traffic, but the police shut down intersections and provide a rolling roadblock. Xcar's F-Type alternated between following on the course with the classics and snipping off chunks of the route to watch the participants arrive at each stop. Check out the video to experience fantastic historic rally.

News Source: XCAR Films via YouTube

Image Credit: Related images copyright 2014 Matt Davis / AOL

2014 BMW R NineT

Germany Goes Cafe Cool, Finally Embraces Customization

Posted Aug 26th 2014 11:57AM

2014 BMW R nineT

BMW is taking a page from the Harley-Davidson playbook with its groundbreaking R NineT. A retro cafe racer with an urban hooligan twist, the bike is fully customizable from fork to exhaust. Of course, any motorcycle can be customized, but the fact that BMW has built its newest bike to encourage modification using parts that can be swapped with simple tools is a radical move for a motorcycle maker best known for its plug-and-play touring bikes.

To underscore exactly how radical, BMW has even partnered with custom heavy-hitter Roland Sands Design, which developed the initial concept for the bike and is now manufacturing a full line of parts and accessories for the R NineT, including radial valve covers ($950), retro racing saddles ($400-$420), radial gauge housing ($400) and a radial headlight bezel ($250), among other things, all of which can be swapped with a socket wrench or screwdriver instead of a hacksaw, wire cutters and TIG welder.

Alas, the bike I tested for two weeks was stock, so consider it a blank canvas.

In development since 2011, the $15,395 R NineT is a tribute to BMW's 1973 R90S superbike. As such, it's powered by a classic flat-twin that's been modernized with a gigantic 1,170-cc displacement and oil as well as air cooling. From the saddle, looking down, the protruding cylinders make the bike look as stocky as one would expect for a machine of German provenance. It's as if the R NineT is powered with wienerschnitzel instead of 91 octane.

Vital Stats

1,170cc Flat-Twin
110 HP / 88 LB-FT
6-Speed Manual
Base Price:
As-Tested Price:

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Susan Carpenter / AOL

TX officer allegedly lets 140-mph street racer go with a warning [w/poll]

Posted Aug 26th 2014 11:15AM

Mustang and Texas Police

Being pulled over by the police is one of the most nerve-racking situations that a driver can go through, and it's even worse when you know that the officer has you dead to rights for speeding well over the posted limit. In this video, the driver of a heavily modified Ford Mustang with a claimed 966 horsepower at the rear wheels could have easily lost his ride for doing triple-digit speeds and street racing, but a friendly Texas police officer appears to send him on his way with a simple warning.

What's more, the driver in question wasn't just speeding – his Mustang was the camera car for a bunch of rolling street races in the wee hours of the morning on a Texas highway. The driver was more than willing to mix it up in the action, too. Eventually the cops catch on and pick the 'Stang to pull over, but not before the Ford owner runs a claimed 140 mph. With only audio to go on after the car is pulled over, the police officer seems incredibly nonchalant about catching someone who was so brazenly breaking the law. Incredibly, the patrolman actually tells the driver that he's seen everyone racing tonight but ignored them. With traffic picking up, the cop says that it's time to "cut it out" and go home for the night. As far as this video shows, that was the end of it.

Warning: There is explicit, not-safe-for-work language in the video below.

What do you think, should the officer have let the motorist go with just a warning, or was he being too generous? Let us know in the poll below and in Comments.

Should the cop have let this driver go with just a warning?

News Source: 1320 Video via YouTube, Carscoops

eBay Find of the Day: 2006 Chevy Corvette custom is a two-tone wonder

Posted Aug 26th 2014 10:34AM

A two-tone C6 Chevrolet Corvette redone to mimic a car in the movie 'Transformers' on eBay.

We know what you're thinking, and yes, friends, it can be yours. This two-tone Chevrolet Corvette comes from Eagle, Idaho, a product of Z and M Customs in homage to the Corvette Stingray Concept that played the Autobot Sideswipe in the second Transformers film, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. According to the seller, Arcturus401, Z and M only got nine of them out the door before General Motors expressed a lawyerly displeasure, and this is the only two-tone example among them.

Underneath the custom panels lives a 2006 C6 'Vette with an automatic transmission, black leather interior and extras like a head-up display, cold-air intake, a hood that opens electronically and a custom exhaust. A two-owner coupe, it's got 59,900 miles and a salvage title, but we're told its original owner only had the Transformers plastic surgery done in 2011.

Having just relisted it, at the time of this writing, the bidding is up to $6,200, and we don't see any notes about a reserve. If you're into this sort of thing, that could be considered a bargain: when another one of those nine owners put his blue example on eBay in 2010, he wanted at least $42,500. If you'd like more Z and M bona fides before hitting the 'Bid' button, they've done a Pontiac-based Lamborghini Aventador replica, too.

News Source: eBay Motors

2015 Volvo XC90 is the Swedish future

Stunning Interior And Optional 400-HP Plug-In Powertrain Among Highlights

Posted Aug 26th 2014 9:46AM

Volvo XC90

Dashboard of 2015 Volvo XC90It's been months since the Concept XC Coupe debuted at the Detroit Auto Show, Volvo's last show car previewing its all-new 2015 XC90. But the production model is finally here after years of development, and it signals the future of the Swedish automaker with its Scalable Product Architecture modular platform and cutting-edge new engine family.

The 2015 XC90 carries all-new styling, but is still familiar up front, with the company's logo slashing diagonally through its prominent, upright grille. Like the concept, it carries T-Shaped LED running lights through the headlights. The company calls them the "Thor's Hammer" design, an evocative designation that we think is fantastic. Under that new front end is a choice of two quite powerful, but very efficient powertrains. The standard XC90 gets a 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged engine with all-wheel drive making an impressive 316 horsepower. Or if buyers want to be a little greener and more powerful, there is the XC90 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid with the same engine, albeit augmented with an electric motor to produce a staggering 400 hp.

The exterior styling is crisp, if not quite as sensual as Volvo's latest concepts, but we think the interior is the real star here, with a dashboard that looks like it came out of a Herman Miller catalog and a unique vertically oriented infotainment screen integrated into its center stack, perhaps taking a cue from Tesla. If the cabin feels as good as it looks, we think a lot of sales are going to be won inside.

Volvo prides itself on its safety reputation, and the new XC90 is no different with some brand-new tech. First, there's a run-off road protection package that absorbs energy between the seat and its frame that "cushions the vertical forces." There's also an intersection braking system that stops the crossover if it tries to pull out in front of an oncoming car.

US pricing for the XC90 T6 AWD starts at $48,900, and comes standard with luxury features like nav and a panoramic sunroof. There's also going to be a limited run of 1,927 First Edition models (the date the brand was founded) that come with all of the options and special badges but have to be reserved online starting on September 3rd at 10:00 AM ET. Prices for these exclusive vehicles start at $65,900.

Consider this an appetizer of our full coverage of the 2015 XC90. The embargo has been lifted after numerous leaks, but we have a Deep Dive delving into all of this Volvo's innovations going up shortly to help you learn the nitty-gritty details. Scroll down to read the official announcement for the next-generation Volvo and the First Edition model.
Related Gallery2015 Volvo XC90
2015 Volvo XC902015 Volvo XC902015 Volvo XC902015 Volvo XC902015 Volvo XC902015 Volvo XC902015 Volvo XC902015 Volvo XC90

News Source: Volvo

Formula E gets wireless-charging BMW i8 safety car [w/video]

Posted Aug 26th 2014 9:16AM

BMW i8 Formula E Safety Car

Racing series typically select a safety car appropriate to the kinds of racecars for which they'll be setting the pace. So you might find a Mercedes SLS pacing a Formula One grand prix, for example, and you're more likely to find a BMW M4 on duty at a DTM race and a Chevy Camaro or SS on an oval speedway for a NASCAR or Indy race. It would only stand to reason, then, that the FIA Formula E Championship kicking off next month in Beijing would press a plug-in into service as its safety car. But the organizers didn't go for your run-of-the-mill Nissan Leaf or Toyota Prius.

No, the safety car for Formula E will be a BMW i8 specially modified for the occasion. As you can see from the video below, the hybrid sports car packs a full roll cage, racing buckets with harnesses, special communications systems and on-board fire extinguishers. But that's not all.

In partnership with technological partner Qualcomm, the Formula E support fleet – including two examples each of the i8 and i3 – will feature inductive charging. So while one is out on the track, or at least sitting at the end of the pit lane waiting to be deployed – the other will be charging wirelessly. The vehicles are still pending FIA approval, and only one has been outfitted with the Qualcomm Halo wireless charging system (with the others to be retrofitted later), but they were all on hand for the recent practice race at Donnington Park.

The Qualcomm Safety Car, as it will officially be known, will be driven by longtime WTCC safety car driver Bruno Correia of Portugal. Although no mention is made in the press release or the presentation video below, it's not hard to imagine that the Formula E series might seek to adopt this technology for the racers as well in the near future.

News Source: Formula E, ElectricAutosport via YouTube

Is a wrecked Bugatti worth $250k?

Posted Aug 26th 2014 8:44AM

Wrecked Veyron

When a Bugatti Veyron crashed on a highway in Austria a few months ago, insurance company AXA estimated the cost of repairs at upwards of $800,000. Of course, there were worries that even after all the repairs the car may never drive quite the same. So rather than try, the insurance company evidently wrote it off and paid the owner the insured value of the car. But now it's got the wrecked Bugatti on its hands, and is looking to offload it.

This early model, built in 2008, has the original version's 987-horsepower 8.0-liter quad-turbo W16 engine, a fixed roof and a blue and black livery – unlike some more recent examples that have adopted a removable roof panel, employed a more powerful 1,184-hp engine and moved away from the original two-tone paint schemes. It's got nearly 20,000 miles on the odometer and would still require the better part of a million bucks to get it running again... at which point it could be worth more in spare parts, which surely don't come cheap from the manufacturer in Molsheim.

Alternatively, with bidding currently hovering around a quarter million, you could just get yourself a brand spankin' new Ferrari 458 Italia, Lamborghini Huracán or McLaren 650S and actually get to drive it without spending eight hundred grand on repairs. But if you were looking to pick up a Veyron on the cheap, regardless of condition, this could be your chance.

News Source: AXA via MotorAuthority

Noble developing M600 roadster with paddle shifters

Posted Aug 26th 2014 7:59AM

Noble M600

Want to get your hands on a Noble? May we first compliment you on your choice, good sir or madam, because the British niche manufacturer produces some of the most direct, hardcore sports cars on the market. And that, thanks to Rossion and its Noble-derived Q1, includes the United States. But if you live somewhere where Noble actually sells its own cars, you'll want to look at the M600.

The Noble M600 is about as hardcore as they come. It packs a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 kicking out 650 horsepower to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual, and not much else: no ABS, no traction control, certainly no all-wheel drive. Just 650 horsepower and a curb weight of around 2,600 pounds. No flappy-paddle gearbox here, and no trick folding roof. Only those last bits are about to change.

Speaking with Dutch publication Autovisie, Noble chief Peter Bolt Wood – a former racing and Ferrari F40 driver – revealed that his company is working on two new developments for the puritanical M600. One is an open roof, and the other some sort of paddle-shift transmission.

This isn't the first time Noble will have created an open-top sportscar. In fact we reported on the prospect of an M600 roadster a couple years ago when the company released a teaser image. But now it appears to be moving ahead with the plans.

Details are sketchy at the moment, so we don't know if the former will be a simple removable roof panel, a folding soft top, a collapsible hardtop or something else. Nor do we know if the two-pedal gearbox will be a sequential, dual-clutch or torque-converter automatic. But Wood and company seem eager to break into new markets, and apparently see both developments as vital to its expansion, without sacrificing performance. Its order books may be full at the moment, but it's expanding into China, Taiwan and Japan.

Here's hoping – with or without an open roof and paddle-shift transmission, through Rossion or on its own – it brings the M600 to North America soon as well.
Related GalleryNoble M600
Noble M600Noble M600Noble M600Noble M600Noble M600Noble M600Noble M600Noble M600

News Source: Autovisie

Jay Leno drives postcard-perfect '32 Ford Highboy Roadster

Posted Aug 25th 2014 8:00PM

1932 Ford Hot Rod

At the turn of the century, it was arguably the Honda Civic that best defined inexpensive performance tuning, and in the '50s it was the Tri-5 Chevys. One of the earliest platforms to gain a huge following among young people looking for a cheap way to go fast was the classic '32 Ford Highboy Roadster. This week, Jay Leno's Garage looks at one of the very first vehicles that defined the look of the hot rod heyday.

This '32 Ford was built in the '40s and graced the cover of the fourth issue of Hot Rod Magazine back in 1948. All of the hot rods that you see shining at car shows today owe a serious debt of gratitude to this roadster. It bears all of the cues that define the look, including a notched frame and hidden door hinges. Under the three-piece hood is a flathead V8 boasting all sorts of period modifications, including copper cylinder heads. It was seriously fast in its era too, and proved it by reaching 112.21 miles per hour on a dry lakebed in 1947.

These days, this hot rod is on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Although, if you can't make it to California to see it, the United States Postal Service is celebrating this Ford with one of its two hot rod Forever stamps. Like Jay says in the video, in terms of hot rodding, "it all comes back to this." Check out the video to learn more about this rolling piece of tuning history.

News Source: Jay Leno's Garage via YouTube

What you missed on 8.25.14

Posted Aug 25th 2014 7:30PM

Daily U-Turn

Galpin GTR1Driving the 1,058-hp Galpin GTR1

With 1,058 horsepower and 992 pound-feet of torque on tap, the Ford GT-based Galpin GTR1 is a seriously capable supercar. Of course, with its questionable styling and $1 million price tag, it certainly isn't for everyone. Senior Editor Steven Ewing took the beast for a quick spin during the Monterey Car Week recently. Learn all about Galpin's monster, here.

TranslogicWater-powered Hoverboard on Translogic

A couple of years ago, the Translogic team tested a weird jet ski-powered device called the Flyboard, from Zapata Racing. Now, that company is back with its latest creation, the Hoverboard. The Translogic team headed out to the water near San Diego, CA for some high-flying tricks, and it's all wrapped up you in the latest episode.

Ram HD PickupRam improves HD pickup ratings

In terms of tough competition, heavy-duty pickups are in a constant fight for top honors. And now, Ram can claim some new best-in-class numbers with its updated 2015 model year 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty trucks. Ram says its trucks now have the segment-best ratings for torque, towing and payload, depending on configuration, of course. Check out the full details, here.

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Someone's willing to pay $16,000 for a hollow, non-working BMW i8

Posted Aug 25th 2014 7:00PM

Hollow promotional BMW i8

Hollow promotional BMW i8There is an unusual BMW i8 for sale on eBay right now. Unlike your average – and by that we mean "working" – i8, this one pretty much just sits there, looking pretty.

See, the i8 in question is just a promotional body shell. It's fullsize and being sold (we think) by a legit BMW dealer (Laurel BMW of Westmont), so it's got strong ties to the real thing, but there's nothing inside. In fact, you can't open the doors or windows and the wheels don't move, unless you count the tiny rolling castors that are a part of the prop. There is no fancy plug-in hybrid powertrain – no powertrain of any sort, in fact – and it was "professionally crafted just for BMW dealers." The headlights do turn on, though, so that's something.

What's most impressive, though, is that there are 50 bids for this non-working BMW. In fact, the bidding has climbed up to $16,000. For a car that can't fulfill its mission as a car, that's pretty impressive. Oh, and those bids have not yet hit the reserve price, so the dealer is obviously hoping it can get more money for this hollow BMW.

The official base MSRP for a working i8 is $135,700. The first i8 delivered in the US, a special edition for Pebble Beach, just sold for $825,000.
Related GalleryHollow BMW i8 on eBay
Hollow BMW i8 on eBayHollow BMW i8 on eBayHollow BMW i8 on eBayHollow BMW i8 on eBayHollow BMW i8 on eBayHollow BMW i8 on eBayHollow BMW i8 on eBayHollow BMW i8 on eBay

News Source: eBay via BMW Blog

Lamborghini's Huracan quicker than its costlier Aventador?

Posted Aug 25th 2014 6:30PM

2015 Lamborghini Huracan

Car and Driver threw a leg over the Lamborghini Huracán and rode it hard all around the 16-turn Circuito Internationale Nardò, next to the banked oval that's brought us many a top-speed video. On the way to discovering the bull calf sweetly eclipses the Gallardo it replaces, CD also discovered that – comparing their own tests – it is faster from zero to 60 miles per hour than its paterfamilias, the Aventador.

Now, we should all know that 0-60 tests are an imprecise discipline, but CD's Eric Tingwall torched the sprint in the Huracán in 2.5 seconds – yes, faster than a whole lot of other very expensive super-coupes. In the magazine's last instrumented test of the Aventador Aaron Robinson ran 3.0 seconds, and for more Aventador perspective we can compare Motor Trend's 2.8 seconds, also scored at Nardo, Road & Track at 2.7 seconds and Lamborghini's estimated 0-62 mph time of 2.9 seconds. Any way you chop that up, 2.5 seconds beats it. A bit of a shock, then: Lamborghini lists the Huracán's 0-62 mph time as 3.2 seconds.

We'll get a more precise idea of the discrepancy when more tests come online, but for the moment - and in this one respect - we've got the $241,945, 602-horsepower Huracán showing its angry backside to the $397,500, 691-hp Aventador. Even if it remains true, though, we're not sure it matters; in a figurative case of Predator versus Alien, it's arguable that the only way to be wrong is not to own one.

News Source: Car and Driver

Volvo building new AstaZero safety proving ground in Sweden

Posted Aug 25th 2014 5:45PM


Volvo is an automaker committed to vehicle safety, setting an ambitious target for itself: by 2020, the Swedish automaker envisions that no one will be killed or seriously injured in one of its cars. In order to achieve that goal, Volvo has announced a new proving ground designed specifically to test safety solutions.

Called AstaZero, the new facility near the company's headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden, is the result of a $70 million investment. It will cover some 500 acres, with over 60 acres of pavement, four city blocks and three and a half miles of highway. The Active Safety Test Area (the ASTA in AstaZero) will enable Volvo and its partners (including Scania trucks as well as government bodies and university development programs) to simulate city streets, highways, rural roads, roundabouts, T-junctions and more, combining traffic from cars, pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles, buses, trucks and even animals in order to account for all manner of potential hazards.

The facility will enable Volvo to test active safety systems and autonomous vehicle operations, and even allow robots to test its prototypes in an adaptive environment that aims to be more flexible than existing proving grounds. Read more about Volvo's commitment to safety in the press release below.

News Source: Volvo

Flat through Eau Rouge for two decades

Posted Aug 25th 2014 5:01PM

Michael Schumacher rockets up Eau Rouge

This weekend the Formula One circus returned from its summer break and dove head-first into the Belgian Grand Prix. And you know what that means... that's right: Eau Rouge.

The legendary corner at the Circuit Spa-Francorchamps is one of those fearsome bends that, like the Karussell at the Nürburgring or the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca, is arguably just as famous as the track of which it is part. Drivers come speeding down the start finish straight, veer left, then rocket uphill and to the right towards a blind crest at speeds exceeding 200 miles per hour.

It sounds terrifying, but the pros compiled in this video make it look easy. That's how you know they're going fast. The clip brings together over two decades' worth of on-board footage from the Belgian Grand Prix, starting with Nelson Piquet (Sr.) in 1991 and culminating with Nico Hulkenberg at last year's race, taking in such world champions as Nigel Mansell, Michael Schumacher, Jacques Villeneuve, Damon Hill, Mika Hakkinen, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen along the way.

The only years that are missing are 1994 (when a chicane spoiled the fun in the wake of the fatal Ratzenberger and Senna crashes), 2003 (when Spa alternated with Magny-Cours in France) and 2006 (when the race was not held). For every other year since '91, scope out the three-minute clip right here.

News Source: rferrerF1 via YouTube, Road & Track


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