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Polestar looking to tune Volvo CUVs

Posted Oct 19th 2014 1:30PM

2015 Volvo XC90 R-Design

Volvo is getting serious about emerging from the fringes and into the mainstream of the luxury automobile market. But if it's going to challenge the Germans, it's going to need a performance line. And that's just what it's developing with Polestar.

Building on the motorsport partnership that has seen Polestar represent Volvo in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship, World Touring Car Championship and V8 Supercars series, Polestar has been charged with developing road-going performance Volvos as well. It currently offers comprehensively tuned versions of the S60 and V60, as well as engine upgrades for other models, but the latest word has it that Polestar will turn its attention next to tuning Volvo crossovers like the XC60 and the new XC90, pictured above in top-spec R-Design trim.

Details on how Volvo would modify those models remain to be determined, but it wouldn't be much of a stretch to imagine the XC60 outfitted with similar enhancements to those offered on its sedan and wagon stablemates to mount a challenge to the Audi SQ5. As for the larger XC90, it seems Volvo is already squeezing as much out of its new 2.0-liter triple-charged inline-four as it can, but more aggressive handling, aero and brakes could stand to transform the flagship crossover in pursuit of performance utes like the Mercedes ML63 AMG and BMW X5 M, even if it couldn't quite match their impressive horsepower outputs.
Related Gallery2015 Volvo XC90 R-Design
2015 Volvo XC90 R-Design2015 Volvo XC90 R-Design2015 Volvo XC90 R-Design2015 Volvo XC90 R-Design2015 Volvo XC90 R-Design2015 Volvo XC90 R-Design2015 Volvo XC90 R-Design2015 Volvo XC90 R-Design

News Source: Drive.com.au via Motor Authority

2015 Ford Mustang already under recall, but just 53 units

Posted Oct 19th 2014 12:03PM

2015 Ford Mustang

Ford has issued a small – but significant – recall for one of its spotlight cars: the 2015 Mustang.

The recall affects just 53 cars, with 50 in the United States and three in Canada. Ford said the passenger side safety belt buckle tension sensor may not have been calibrated properly by the supplier. This could lead to "misclassification" of the passenger seat occupant, and could cause the airbag to deploy improperly.

A Ford spokesperson didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. In a statement, the automaker said it is not aware of any accidents or injuries, and dealers will replace the buckle assembly at no cost to customers. The cars affected were built at Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan from Aug. 18 to Oct. 2.

Along with the aluminum-bodied 2015 Ford F-150, the Mustang is one of the most important launches for the Blue Oval this year. The Mustang, which has fresh styling, a new suspension and uses turbocharging, is attempting to retrench Ford's position as a leader in sports cars against strong competition from traditional Detroit rivals Chevy and Dodge.

Scroll through Ford's statement for more details.

News Source: Ford

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Drew Phillips / AOL

All Porsche 911s to get turbos in 2015?

Posted Oct 19th 2014 10:33AM

Porsche 911

Currently, Porsche builds two turbocharged 911s – the Turbo and the Turbo S (and their cabriolet counterparts). The rest of the 911 range, meanwhile, is motivated by either 3.4- or 3.8-liter flat-sixes of varying outputs. This clear separation could be set to change in the very near future, though, as rumors continue to swirl that Porsche's rear-engined range could switch exclusively to turbocharged power.

This time, it's Car projecting that the 911 range will go turbocharged as part of a mid-cycle refresh, with the base Carrera's 3.4-liter dropping to 2.9 liters and adding an iron lung, bumping the entry level 911 up to 400 horsepower. Yes, a 400-horsepower, entry level 911. The Carrera S, meanwhile, will retain its 3.8-liter engine, but will also benefit from turbocharging, increasing output to 530 horsepower and 520 pound-feet of torque. So basically, it sounds like the current, 520-hp 911 Turbo will become the next Carrera S.

What does that mean for Porsche's traditional high-performance models? Well, it's a safe bet that the Turbo, Turbo S and eventual GT2 will be producing seriously huge power figures. Based on pure speculation, we wouldn't be shocked to see a 600-hp Turbo, with the S and GT2 increasing output markedly from there.

What do you think? Should Porsche go turbo only, or should there remain an aspect of the 911 range that makes its power the good ole fashioned way? Have your say in Comments.

News Source: Car

Image Credit: CarPix

2015 Dodge Charger priced from $27,995, Hellcat from $63,995*

Posted Oct 19th 2014 9:00AM

2015 Dodge Charger Hellcat

Ladies and gentlemen, let's get the most salient bit of information out of the way right off the bat: $63,995*. That's the amount of money Dodge dealers will be asking for (at the very least, naturally) for a 2015 Charger Hellcat (*plus $995 for destination on all pricing figures). That rather reasonable sum will bring home its buyer a 6.2-liter Hemi V8 engine boasting a supercharger to post such gaudy figures as 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, leading to a top speed of 204 miles per hour to go along with an NHRA-certified quarter-mile time of 11.0 seconds.

With that out of the way, the rest of the 2015 Dodge Charger pricing information breaks down as follows: $27,995 will deliver a sedan with a 292-horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Moving up one step of the ladder nets the buyer an SXT model with the same engine, but a nicer chunk of technology and optional equipment for a $2,000 premium. All-wheel drive adds another $3,000. Hemi V8-powered R/T models now boast an eight-speed transmission bolted to the same well-loved 370-horsepower engine as before, for a base price of $32,995.

The SRT 392 model that had hitherto been the top-performing Charger brings with it an asking price of $47,385 while bargain hunters can equip a Charger R/T Scat Pack machine with that same 485-horsepower 6.4-liter Hemi, albeit with somewhat less posh interior bits and pieces, the removal of the 392's adjustable suspension and hi-po wheel and tire package for $39,995.

There are a few other ways to order a Charger in 2015, and we suggest you read all about them in the press release below. We don't have to tell you how amazing it is that you can now mosey on down to your local Dodge dealer and order a 707-hp sedan for under $64,000. Neither must it be said that the SRT's 485 ponies are nothing to sneeze at. In any case, we're officially basking in the golden age of horsepower.

News Source: Dodge

Corvette gets slidey with Britain's best performance cars

Posted Oct 18th 2014 7:05PM

Autocar Best Driver's Car

Autocar wants to find Britain's best driver's car, and it's challenging a murderers' row of some of the world's best performance vehicles to find out, including the latest Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. All of them were therefore assembled at the Castle Combe Circuit to find a winner.

If it wants to take the crown from this pack of mostly European competitors, the 'Vette has to beat some steep competition. Its challengers include monsters like the Ferrari 458 Speciale, Ariel Atom 3.5R and Jaguar F-Type Coupe. As a further hurdle for the winner to clear, Autocar also has last year's champ among the fighters – the Porsche 911 GT3.

Even if you're not at all interested in the C7, there's still something here for practically any fan of fast cars. The competitors include relative oddities among the pack like the Renault Mégane RS Trophy and Alfa Romeo 4C. Plus, Autocar has some well-positioned microphones that let you hear the Atom wailing like a banshee and the roar of the 458 Speciale. Check out the video to see which one of these all-stars takes home the award this year.

News Source: Autocar via YouTube

Infiniti Q50 to enter British Touring Car Championship

Posted Oct 18th 2014 5:13PM

Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing Q50

Infiniti doesn't have much in the way of motorsports heritage. Sure, its logo is currently plastered all over the open-wheelers of the Red Bull Racing Formula One team, but that's little more than a series of stickers – the turbocharged V6 hybrid still comes from corporate cousin Renault.

Perhaps realizing that, the company is dipping its toe into the motorsports pool in a much bigger way (albeit in a far smaller series). The Nissan-owned luxury brand will campaign its Q50 sedan in the notoriously rowdy British Touring Car Championship with a new factory team, called Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing.

The team works with British veterans' charity Support Our Paras, and actually will employ a number of injured vets as part of the team, according to the report on Motor Authority.

The Q50 BTCC car needs to comply with the series rules, which call for a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine. It's the manufacturer's choice on whether the mandatory six-speed sequential gearbox distributes power to either the front or rear axles. The car itself is being developed by Pro Motorsport and will likely see its track debut this year.

News Source: Motor Authority

Image Credit: Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing

VW bringing Fox Pepper, Saveiro Surf to Sao Paulo show

Posted Oct 18th 2014 2:58PM

Volkswagen Fox Pepper concept

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.

First up is the Fox Pepper, a spicy little concept based on VW's sub-Polo hatchback. The show car features a front bumper and honeycomb grille with red lower lip (like you might find on a GTI), contrasting wheel arch extensions (like you might on the Golf Alltrack revealed in Paris), a black roof, 15-inch alloys and an interior decked out in two-tone leather and all the bells and whistles. Power comes from a 1.6-liter that burns ethanol to the tune of 120 horsepower to send it to 62 miles per hour in 9.8 seconds (or 10.3 on ordinary gasoline).

VW is also showcasing the similarly Fox-based Saveiro Surf. Starting with the single-cab version of the recently revised Saveiro ute, the Surf packs a less potent version of the same engine with 104 hp on tap, along with cosmetic upgrades including a unique set of 15-inch wheels, honeycomb grille, roof bar, unique graphics and, of course, a surf board resting in the bed.

You can delve into all the details in the press releases below if you read Portuguese, or in the auto-translated versions enclosed as well.

News Source: Volkswagen do Brasil

Audi inaugurates new R8 production line at Neckarsulm

Posted Oct 18th 2014 1:01PM

Audi Böllinger Höfe

Of all the factories which the Volkswagen Group operates around the world, the Audi plant in Neckarsulm may not be the very largest, but it is among the most diversified. That's where Audi builds versions of the A4, A5, A6, A8 and Q7 lines. It's also been home to the R8, but now the German automaker has moved supercar production to a new facility just a few miles down the road.

Back in August, Audi stopped production of the R8 at its main Neckarsulm site and moved it to the new Böllinger Höfe site in Heilbronn, restarting production just three weeks later. The new assembly line brings together various workshops that had been scattered about the Neckarsulm complex under one roof, and will surely make production of the next-generation R8 that much smoother.

The Böllinger Höfe facility is about a quarter the size of the main Neckarsulm plant, and will also house a small-scale production line – similar, we gather, to what Audi subsidiary Lamborghini recently built in Sant'Agata Bolognese – and a massive, state-of-the-art logistics center with capable of handling 4,500 containers each day.

The expansion is part of a major infrastructure campaign that will see Audi invest some $28 billion worldwide through 2018, about half of which will be invested in German facilities – including over $800 million each year at Neckasulm. Last month, Audi Sport opened its new headquarters in Neuburg.
Related GalleryAudi Böllinger Höfe
Audi Böllinger HöfeAudi Böllinger HöfeAudi Böllinger Höfe

News Source: Audi

Weekly Recap: Will 'smaller is smarter' strategy work for 2015 Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon?

Plus: Ferrari Celebrates 60; Ariel Upgrades The Atom; And The Abarth Factory Opens Its Doors Virtually

Posted Oct 18th 2014 10:58AM

2015 Chevy Colorado

"For this customer, smaller is smarter. " – Rich Latek.

The pickup truck segment has never been more competitive in the United States, and General Motors is betting a "smaller is smarter" strategy will help lure new buyers into its fold with the additions of the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon to its lineup.

The trucks are launching this fall, and except for a minor recall this month, they've received positive publicity for their looks, capabilities and drive character. The trucks are slightly shorter, narrower and sit lower to the ground than their fullsize brethren. At first glance, it doesn't seem like much – these are still big trucks with considerable presence – but the dimensions make the Colorado and Canyon easier to maneuver and park. GM expects this buyer to use their truck to commute to work, yet still occasionally need to tow and haul on weekends.

"For this customer, smaller is smarter," said GMC marketing director Rich Latek.
Related Gallery2015 Chevrolet Colorado
2015 Chevrolet Colorado2015 Chevrolet Colorado2015 Chevrolet Colorado2015 Chevrolet Colorado2015 Chevrolet Colorado2015 Chevrolet Colorado2015 Chevrolet Colorado2015 Chevrolet Colorado

Image Credit: Chevrolet, GMC, Ferrari, Ariel, Abarth

Suzuki recalling 23k GSX-R750 and GSX-R1000 bikes to replace chain adjuster

Posted Oct 18th 2014 8:58AM

2012 Suzuki GSXR-1000

Suzuki is known for having a pair of very capable sportbikes in its GSX-R750 and GSXR-1000, but now the Japanese company is recalling 23,073 of them in the US to replace the chain adjuster. Specifically, the campaign affects 2011-2014 model year versions of the 750 and the 2009-2014 1000.

According to documents from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the problem can occur if riders miss a gear while upshifting. It's possible that the following shift might put enough added strain on the drivetrain to move the rear axle. This can damage the left-side chain adjuster. If there's too much harm done to the part, then the chain could potentially slip off the bike, leaving the powerless bike more vulnerable to a crash.

To fix the problem, Suzuki dealers will "replace the left-side adjuster with an improved part" that will be heat-treated to be stronger. Scroll down to read the full recall report.
Related Gallery2012 Suzuki GSX-R1000
2012 Suzuki GSX-R10002012 Suzuki GSX-R10002012 Suzuki GSX-R10002012 Suzuki GSX-R10002012 Suzuki GSX-R10002012 Suzuki GSX-R10002012 Suzuki GSX-R10002012 Suzuki GSX-R1000

News Source: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Image Credit: Suzuki

Naked breasts billboards cause 517 accidents in one day

Posted Oct 17th 2014 7:59PM

The larger-than-life ads were plastered on no fewer than 30 trucks spread across Moscow's roads.

A sexy mobile advertisement featuring a woman's breasts is being blamed for causing over 500 car crashes in one day. The larger-than-life inadvertent distracted driving ads were plastered on no fewer than 30 trucks spread across Moscow's roads.

The specific purpose of the ad campaign – designed by an advertising agency specializing in mobile ads – was to draw attention to the mobile billboards. The sparse text in the ad translates from Russian to "They Attract." They certainly do!

Russian motorist Ildar Yuriev says, "I was on my way to a business meeting when I saw this truck with a huge photo of breasts on its side go by. Then I was hit by the car behind who said he had been distracted by the truck. It made me late and left my car in the garage, and although I am insured I am still out of pocket."

Drivers across Moscow were quick to vocalize their outrage and have reportedly unleashed their anger on AdvTruck.ru, the agency responsible for the stunt. A spokesperson for AdvTruck says "'We are planning to bring a new advertising format onto the market, encouraging companies to place their ads on the sides of trucks, as we thought this would be a good alternative to putting them on the sides of public transport. We wanted to draw attention to this new format with this campaign" he explained.

He then added "In all cases of accidents, the car owners will receive compensation costs from us that aren't covered by their insurance."

The ad campaign, however tacky, obviously did the job it set out to do, but it left a city full of carnage in its wake, as no fewer than 517 collisions related to the mobile billboards have been officially reported. We'll be sure to keep you abreast of the situation as more reports flood in. Check out the full video report below.

News Source: AOL via Daily Mail

What you missed on 10.17.14

Posted Oct 17th 2014 7:30PM

uturn

Review: Driveclub for Playstation 4

Every new video game comes to market with high expectations. But a title like Driveclub – set to be the first PS4-exclusive racing game yet, and already delayed by more than a year – has more to achieve than most. We've been playing the socially augmented racer for the last few weeks, and report in with a full review. Do Forza fans have an excuse to jump systems?


Ladies and gents, your 2016 Nissan Maxima

When Nissan showed off its Sport Sedan Concept at the last Detroit Auto Show, hopes were immediately brightened for the next-generation Maxima that it foretold. Now, thanks to some crafty lens-work, or spies in the field have captured concrete evidence that bits of the concept will make it through to production. Get a glimpse of the future, here.



LeBron James to rep Kia K900

When one thinks about vehicles that all-world pro basketball players drive, names like Range Rover, Mercedes and even Cadillac Escalade come to mind. The Kia K900... not so much. So consider how surprising it was to learn that the best baller in the NBA drove Kia's flagship, even before he got the gig repping it. Find out why King James is such a fan of sensible luxury.


Top Stories

ETC

Here's how people spec'd their C7 Corvettes in 2014

Posted Oct 17th 2014 6:58PM

2014 Chevrolet Corvette

The Z51 option pack was hugely popular full-stop, with a total of 21,105 examples in all bodystyles ordered.

For its first year out of the gate, the 2014 Chevrolet C7 Corvette Stingray did very well for itself, selling 37,288 units worldwide with 34,678 of the new sports cars hitting the market in the US alone. In fact, the total number was one of the best figures for the Corvette in the modern era. But the full breakdown of all the 2014 C7's sales data has hit the web from The National Corvette Museum blog, and it has given us the chance to be nosy and find out what people really want from this latest model.

Individually, buyers seemed to really want some extra performance from their new Vette, because the coupe with the Z51 package was the most popular model, with 15,431 made (41.4 percent), followed by the standard coupe with 11,134 built (29.9 percent). The Z51 option pack was hugely popular full-stop, with a total of 21,105 examples in all bodystyles ordered with its added performance pieces – that's 56.6 percent of the year's production. If anything, we're surprised the bargain-priced grouping didn't net an even higher percentages.

Despite people clearly wanting performance, customers' transmission preferences unsurprisingly skewed towards automatics. The six-speed auto had 24,088 orders (64.6 percent), while the remaining 13,200 were seven-speed manuals. When the 'Vette was closer to launch, the seven-speed represented about 38 percent of the production, so it only fell a few percent over the entire model year.

Interestingly, some options were practically a universal choice among buyers. Some 31,173 cars (83.6 percent) had the box for the optional performance exhaust ticked. Also, 30,427 people (81.6 percent) ponied up for navigation.

When shopping for colors, customers really wanted to own a little red Corvette. Torch Red was the most popular paint shade with 7,197 made. In fact, it, Arctic White and Black were the three most popular hues, representing 51.7 percent of total orders. The least wanted was Lime Rock Green with just 1,566 sold, and it has been discontinued for the 2015 model year.

These details are just scratching the surface at all of the info to be gleaned from this data. Check out the The National Corvette Museum blog for the full table.

Porsche becomes first company to rent out Vatican's Sistine Chapel

Posted Oct 17th 2014 6:31PM

Sistine Chapel with Pope and worshipers

We wouldn't go so far as to say God is a Porsche fan, but those in charge of one of the holiest Christian spots on our little blue marble are welcoming the German automaker into one of the religion's most revered and beautiful settings – the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. In so doing, Porsche will reportedly become the first company to rent out the holy hall for a corporate function.

Now, it's not like Pope Francis has signed off on Porsche doing do donuts in a 911 underneath Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam. Instead, the Vatican has rented out the home of the Papal Conclave to the Porsche Travel Club, which will host a classical music concert. The Travel Club organizes events and tours across Europe for Porsche enthusiasts, with the Vatican concert just one part of a tour of Rome.

According to Automotive News Europe, Porsche will sell 40 tickets – at 5,000 euros each ($6,379) – to the event, while the Vatican has confirmed that the Pope will not be in attendance.

News Source: Automotive News Europe - sub. req.

Image Credit: L'Osservatore Romano / AP

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