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Autoweek dubs GMC Canyon, VW GTI its 2015 'Best of the Best'

Posted Dec 16th 2014 6:00PM

2015 GMC Canyon

2015 Volkswagen GTIFor kids around the globe, tis the season for Santa, reindeer and presents. For the automotive industry, the last quarter of each year is reserved for awards, whether they come from Motor Trend, Car and Driver, Automobile, or yes, Autoblog. The latest to get released comes from our friends at Autoweek.

The magazine has echoed other outlets, naming a Volkswagen hatchback and a small pickup from General Motors as its Best of the Best. Unlike Motor Trend, which handed out its golden calipers to the Chevrolet Colorado and Volkswagen Golf range, Autoweek doled out its awards to the Colorado's twin, the GMC Canyon, while singling out the hottest version of the Golf, the GTI.

"This is the best hot-hatch on the American market – and it may be the best car you can buy for less than $30K," one AW staffer said in the publication's article on the feature. Other staffers praised the absolute value provided by the GTI and the overall fun factor.

The Canyon, meanwhile, was saluted for being "the perfect size," not to mention its excellent build quality, feature-rich cabin and overall practicality. "It's truly a truck in the most honest sense of the word," Autoweek wrote of the Canyon.

Scroll down for the full press release on the announcement from Autoweek, which includes comments from both Volkswagen and GMC. And then head over and read AW's full feature on the awards.

News Source: Autoweek

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 AOL

Autoblog Podcast #410

Mercedes-Benz GLE, The Next Audi Q7, 12 Performance Fords By 2020

Posted Dec 16th 2014 5:45PM

Autoblog Podcast logo

Episode #410 of the Autoblog Podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Chris Paukert, and Greg Migliore talk about the Mercedes-Benz GLE, the next generation Audi Q7, and Ford's promise of 12 new performance models by 2020. We start with what's in the garage and finish up with some of your questions, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. Check out the rundown with times for topics, and you can follow along down below with our Q&A. Thanks for listening!

Autoblog Podcast #410:



In The Autoblog Garage:
Hosts: Dan Roth, Chris Paukert, Greg Migliore
Runtime: 01:28:00

  • Intro and Garage - 00:00
  • Tacoma - 24:17
  • Barn Find - 38:27
  • DB10 - 49:23
  • Q&A - 01:00:00

Get the podcast:
[UStream] Listen live on Mondays at 10 PM Eastern at UStream
[iTunes] Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes
[RSS] Add the Autoblog Podcast feed to your RSS aggregator
[MP3] Download the MP3 directly

Email: Podcast at Autoblog dot com

Review the show in iTunes

eBay Find of the Day: J. Ruiter Reboot Buggy [w/video]

Posted Dec 16th 2014 5:30PM

Ruiter Reboot Buggy

Do you need to be the person with the most unique vehicle on your block, a car or truck people constantly stop and ask questions about? Well, the Reboot Buggy from designer Joey Ruiter might be the ultimate answer to your iconoclastic desire, and it's now for auction on eBay Motors.

The concept of a "box on wheels" gets thrown around fairly often to describe vehicles, but it's hard to think of a better way to describe the Reboot Buggy. Without an arch or a curve on any part of its (almost nonexistent) body, it's a shape you'd expect a superhero to be driving. It rides on a custom tube chassis with aluminum body panels and doors from polycarbonate.

Autoblog senior editor Seyth Miersma got to drive the Reboot Buggy earlier this year and described its addictive handling both on and off road. Power comes from a mid-mounted 6.3-liter V8 making a claimed 470 horsepower that routes through a three-speed automatic to drive the rear wheels. To keep all that power down, the suspension is fully independent at all four corners and offers 26 inches of travel at the front and rear. Beefy 40-inch grip in the rough stuff pretty well, too.

No need to worry about where to drive the Reboot Buggy, either. Not only is it street legal with a Michigan title, but the winning bidder also gets an enclosed trailer with custom rear doors to fit the vehicle's 92.5-inch width. The auction ends on Saturday, December 20, and as of this writing, bidding currently sits at $10,187 with the reserve not yet met.
Related GalleryJ.Ruiter Reboot Buggy
J.Ruiter Reboot BuggyJ.Ruiter Reboot BuggyJ.Ruiter Reboot BuggyJ.Ruiter Reboot BuggyJ.Ruiter Reboot BuggyJ.Ruiter Reboot Buggy

News Source: eBay Motors

Image Credit: J. Ruiter, Related images copyright 2014 Seyth Miersma / AOL

2015 Hennessey VelociRaptor 600 fills an F-150 Raptor-sized void

Posted Dec 16th 2014 4:58PM

2015 Hennessey VelociRaptor 600 Supercharged

Ford is rumored to possibly debut a new F-150 Raptor at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show in January, but whether that's the case or not, Hennessey Performance is ready to fill the muscle truck niche now with its latest VelociRaptor 600 Supercharged based on the 2015 F-150.

The fantastically named VelociRaptor package has been available on the regular Raptor for the past few years, taking power up to 600 horsepower or more, depending on what the buyer desired. With the latest one, the performance truck is now based on the aluminum-bodied F-150, specifically the FX4 Super Crew model with the 5.0-liter V8.

"Having Ford's world-class new truck design, with a weight savings of nearly 700 pounds, our VelociRaptor 600 Supercharged will have an even greater level of performance and driving excitement," said founder John Hennessey in the company's release.

The heart of VelociRaptor is the Roots-type supercharger running at 8 psi on the V8. With help from upgraded fuel injectors, a proprietary engine management system and stainless steel exhaust, it boosts grunt from a stock 385 horsepower to over 600 hp. To make sure that power gets to the road, the package also includes 33-inch BFGoodrich mounted on 17-inch Hennessey wheels. For buyers in need of more, the company offers optional parts including an off-road coilover suspension, different front and rear bumpers, a winch, LED light bar and Brembo brakes.

Speaking to Autoblog, Hennessey said he feels confident that the latest VelociRaptor could do high-four-second sprints to 60 miles per hour, compared to the outgoing model in the low-five-second range.

Prices for the VelociRaptor start at $73,500, which includes the donor F-150, and orders are open now. Actual deliveries should start by March at the latest, according to Hennessey. The company also plans to offer a similar package for EcoBoost F-150s later. Scroll down to read the full announcement about this muscle truck.

News Source: Hennessey Performance

Dodge delaying Challenger Hellcats ordered with satin black hood [UPDATE]

Posted Dec 16th 2014 4:29PM

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

The new Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is one of the most formidable muscle cars on the planet. And it looks the part, too – especially with the optional satin black hood. But if you were one of the first customers to place an order for the 707-horsepower Mopar muscle car and specified the black hood on the options sheet, you may have to wait awhile.

According to members of the forum cited by Car and Driver, deliveries of certain Challenger Hellcats have been delayed without explanation. When these fanatic customers started looking into the issue, they realized that all of the delayed orders shared one thing in common: they all had ordered their Dodges with that optional black hood.

Although an exact reason wasn't specified, those who ordered the black hood on their Challenger coupes were told that delivery was being pushed back to February. But some were reportedly informed by their local dealership that things could be moved along if they switched their order to a body-colored hood instead. It's not clear if the issue is a supplier problem, a paint booth issue at the factory, or something else entirely.

We've reached out to Dodge for clarification, and will update this story when we hear back.

UPDATE: Reached for comment, a Dodge spokesperson confirmed to Autoblog that the satin black hood "is not currently available for production" and that customers who ordered it "can opt to change their order to a body-color hood" or otherwise have their orders delayed until the option becomes available at a later date to be confirmed.

News Source: via Car and Driver

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Seyth Miersma / AOL

European jury picks finalists for 2015 Car of the Year

Posted Dec 16th 2014 3:57PM

Citroen C4 Cactus

There are countless Car of the Year awards handed out each year, and naturally, Europe has its own way of doing things. Every year, a panel of jurists representing seven publications in seven different languages and seven different countries get together to name their joint Car of the Year. The panel released a list of 32 candidates back in July, and it has now whittled that list down to seven nominees.

The list consists of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, the Citroën C4 Cactus (shown), the Ford Mondeo, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the Nissan Qashqai, the Renault Twingo and the Volkswagen Passat. Of those seven, only two are available in the US – those being the Mondeo (sold Stateside as the Fusion) and the C-Class. The Passat is an entirely different model in North America, the Qashqai isn't offered here, Citroën and Renault don't even participate in our market and the BMW 2 Series is represented here only by the completely different coupe and convertible.

Expect the one and only recipient of the 2015 Car of the Year award to be announced at the Geneva Motor Show this coming March, and while you're waiting, you can place your guesses for the eventual winner in Comments.

News Source:

Jaguar XJ facelift suggests that if it ain't broke...

Posted Dec 16th 2014 3:29PM

Jaguar XJ Spy Shots

Jaguar is preparing what looks to be a very modest upgrade for its long-serving XJ, now heading into its fifth year in production. The fullsize luxury sedan's changes are so limited it seems like a stretch to even refer to these changes as a proper update.

New front and rear lights represent the big changes, although the XJ's front grille looks to get a tiny bit of tweaking. Beyond that, though, we can't see too much changing for Jag's flagship luxury car. That said, there could be some tweaks below the sheetmetal and within the cabin that these images don't really show.

Take a look at our gallery of spy photos, at the top of the page, and let us know what you think Jag is up to with this particular XJ.
Related GalleryJaguar XJ: Spy Shots
Jaguar XJ: Spy ShotsJaguar XJ: Spy ShotsJaguar XJ: Spy ShotsJaguar XJ: Spy ShotsJaguar XJ: Spy ShotsJaguar XJ: Spy ShotsJaguar XJ: Spy ShotsJaguar XJ: Spy Shots

Image Credit: CarPix

Autoblog's ultimate holiday rides

Our Editors Choose Their Favorite Sleds For The Season

Posted Dec 16th 2014 2:57PM

Ferrari FF

Over the hills and through the woods, it's the time of year when many of us visit family and friends for the holidays. But getting there can be a chore. It's cold and snowy across much of the United States, and even if the climate is favorable, the drive to grandmother's house often is not.

Think back to holiday road trips of yore: They probably included crying babies, antsy children, hungover adults and frequent bathrooms stops all around. Now, we're all at different life stages here at Autoblog, and the perfect car for one staffer might be as useful as a team of Budweiser Clydesdales to another. Some of us bounce from family event to family event with children and a labrador in tow, while others prefer a quieter, simpler holiday. But whatever the endeavor, we all need wheels. With that in mind, here is the unofficial Autoblog list of the ultimate cars in which to tackle the holiday season.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 / AOL / Ferrari

Raminator sets world record for fastest monster truck [w/video]

Posted Dec 16th 2014 2:31PM

Raminator at Circuit of the Americas

Monster trucks are made for a lot of things: crushing jalopies, jumping over jalopies, wowing spectators while crushing and jumping over jalopies, and so on. But powerful as they tend to be, monster trucks are not built for outright speed. Still, one has to be faster than another, and as it turns out, Raminator is the fastest of them all.

Alongside Rammunition and the new Mopar Muscle, Raminator is one of three Ram-based monster trucks run by the Hall Brothers Racing Team with support from Chrysler. It's been named Truck of the Year by the Monster Truck Racing Association a record eight times, its driver Mark Hall has been named the association's Driver of the Year nine times and its crew chief Tim Hall its Mechanic of the Year five times. And now Raminator and the Hall Brothers have claimed the Guinness World Record for the fastest monster truck, recording a top speed of 99.10 miles per hour to break the previous record of 96.8 mph.

The record was set at the Circuit of the Americas, the 3.4-mile track built on the outskirts of Austin, Texas, to host the United States Grand Prix. Aside from Formula One, the track has hosted endurance racing, touring cars and motorbikes, and while Raminator may not be the fastest vehicle ever to lap the circuit, it's surely one of the biggest. Scope out the video from the record run below.
Related GalleryRaminator speed record
Raminator speed recordRaminator speed recordRaminator speed record

News Source: Ram

Hyundai reveals new Sonata Hybrid in Seoul

Posted Dec 16th 2014 1:58PM

2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Hyundai Sonata HybridThe wraps are off Hyundai's next-generation Sonata Hybrid after an unveiling in Seoul, South Korea, and the latest model brings an improved powertrain and slight styling tweaks.

In the Korean domestic market, the Sonata Hybrid relies upon a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder gas engine producing 154 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque with a 51-hp electric motor providing the rest of the thrust. Hyundai isn't revealing net system output at the moment, and it isn't saying whether we will get this powertrain in the US yet. Company spokesperson Jim Trainor tells Autoblog that those details will likely be announced at the model's North American debut at Detroit Auto Show in January. Sales are expected to begin in the spring.

In addition to the upgraded engine, there's an improved six-speed automatic that houses most of the hybrid components and uses a new clutch to reduce drag. The switch to an electric oil pump also removes some inefficiencies, and the battery pack underneath the trunk has been enlarged to 1.62 kilowatt hours, up from 1.43 kWh. Despite the capacity increase, Hyundai claims there's 10.5 percent more cargo room back there.

The Sonata's design gets a slight rethink to improve fuel economy, too. Up front, the redone nose features a new mesh grille in a more rectilinear frame, and out back, there's a set of unique taillamps, a lip spoiler and a unique rear diffuser to go along with the full underbody cover that only the pavement sees.

If anything, the new hybrid model looks more traditional to our eyes than the standard gas-powered Sonata, which comes as something of a surprise, especially as the previous-generation Sonata Hybrid was markedly more futuristic and divisive in its appearance. In any case, we expect the looks to remain largely the same for the US version, which will likely arrive wearing a 2016 model-year designation.

All of the upgrades, boost fuel economy to 18.2 kilometers per liter on the Korean cycle, the equivalent of about 42.8 miles per gallon. Comparatively, the current Sonata Hybrid in Korea is rated at 16.8 km/l (39.5 mpg).

Hyundai will also make a big expansion to its electrified slate next year. In addition to the standard Sonata Hybrid, a plug-in version will come later in 2015 – the automaker's first. More details will arrive about the model in Detroit. The company's first dedicated hybrid bodystyle will be coming in the second half of 2015, as well – it's possible that the latter will be the same Prius-fighting model that our spy shooters caught testing during the summer. Scroll down to read the full scoop on Hyundai's future hybrids.

News Source: Hyundai

11-year-old Arkansas girl pays cabbie $1,300 to drive her to Florida boy

Posted Dec 16th 2014 1:34PM

Rideshare Regulation Seattle

An 11-year-old girl from Arkansas is back at home after stealing $1,300 from her grandmother and taking a long-distance cab ride to meet a boy in Florida. Catching her wasn't too difficult, though. After her parents reported the girl missing, police found calls to the boy and the taxi company in her cell phone records, and they caught up to the vehicle in Georgia.

According to the Associated Press, the girl was attempting to reach the boy who she had met years ago. Police have leveled no charges against the taxi driver and a spokesperson for the cab company told the AP that the girl was wearing a lot of makeup to appear older. The boy she was trying to reach claimed no knowledge of her intentions, and authorities didn't plan to charge him, either.

The girl is also getting away free and clear because her grandmother doesn't intend to press charges for stealing the money. According to the AP, the girl's father has confiscated her cell phone and makeup.

News Source: Associated Press

Image Credit: Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

This McLaren F1 replica was built from scrap by a Top Gear fanatic

Posted Dec 16th 2014 12:42PM

Polish mechanic Jacek Mazur builds himself a McLaren F1 replica out of scrap metal and spare parts.

If Field of Dreams had been made about an automotive enthusiast, its most famous line would need to have been, "If you build it, they will come... and then build their own replicas of yours." More evidence of that comes from Polish amateur mechanic Jack Mazur, who decided to build a copy of his dream car, the McLaren F1.

Mazur spent eight years on it, using scrap metal and parts to fabricate everything from the chassis to the seats, spending 20,000 pounds ($31,297 US) to get it done. Mazur is no novice at such endeavors, either, having worked up a homebrew Porsche 911, a Meyers Manx dune buggy and at least three Lamborghini Countachs, among other creations. It sounds like his McLaren replica, however, is the only one with a special seat just for Top Gear co-host Richard Hammond. This video tells Mazur's story in his own words.

News Source: Barcroft Cars via YouTube

2015 Subaru WRX: Accident, wheels and tires

Body Shop Blues And Wintertime Gold

Posted Dec 16th 2014 11:57AM

Subaru WRX

I'm sure this thing is going to be a total hoot in the snow.

I am not a morning person. At all. Thankfully, the Autoblog team knows this – I rarely get bothered before 8:30 AM unless it's seriously important. So when associate multimedia producer Chris McGraw started blowing up my phone at 6:45 AM on a Thursday, I knew it wasn't going to be good.

"I got rear-ended in the WRX," McGraw informed me, a shaken-up tone emanating from the other end of the line. Poor guy was on his way to the gym, for his pre-office morning workout, and an older gentleman in a Chevrolet S-10 struck the back of the Subie while trudging through a traffic jam on I-696 just northeast of Detroit. Everyone was fine, and McGraw says that the dude's pickup was in significantly worse shape than our dear Subaru. But the WRX was still pretty banged up, and later that day, it was delivered to the body shop for what turned out to be a lengthy repair process.
Related GalleryLong-Term 2015 Subaru WRX
Long-Term 2015 Subaru WRXLong-Term 2015 Subaru WRXLong-Term 2015 Subaru WRXLong-Term 2015 Subaru WRXLong-Term 2015 Subaru WRXLong-Term 2015 Subaru WRXLong-Term 2015 Subaru WRXLong-Term 2015 Subaru WRX

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 AOL

James Bond Spectre villain to drive never-was Jaguar C-X75 supercar

Posted Dec 16th 2014 11:30AM

Jaguar C-X75

James Bond is used to being outgunned. Often working alone, 007 has developed a knack for taking out major criminal syndicates and terrorists despite this routine disadvantage. But in his latest film, Spectre, we suspect Mr. Bond will have met his match in at least one regard – the car being driven by his nemesis, Franz Oberhauser, played by Christoph Waltz.

For the 24th Bond flick, Spectre, the chief baddie will reportedly be driving the oft-fancied Jaguar C-X75 Concept car, which will star opposite of the hero's new Aston Martin DB10. As you'll recall, Jaguar flirted with actually producing the C-X75 before calling it off just over two years ago.

According to Autocar, which spoke to people involved in the film's production, Herr Oberhauser's C-X75 will be powered by Jaguar Land Rover's popular 5.0-liter, supercharged V8, rather than its original complex hybrid powertrain (which relied on four electric motors recharged by a pair of diesel-fueled micro gas turbines).

Jaguar would not confirm its role in the upcoming film, although Autocar has pieced together a few powerful signs that the company will be donating the services of its concept to the new flick.

First, supplying the villain's car for the latest Bond film fits in nicely with the company's "Good to be Bad" campaign, despite the fact that the villain, in this instance, is Austrian, rather than British. Moreover, Autocar points to Aston's use of the tagline "It's good to be Bond" since the reveal of the new DB10, as an indication that the Jag will be opposing its former corporate cousin in Spectre.
Related GalleryJaguar C-X75 concept
Jaguar C-X75 conceptJaguar C-X75 conceptJaguar C-X75 conceptJaguar C-X75 conceptJaguar C-X75 conceptJaguar C-X75 conceptJaguar C-X75 conceptJaguar C-X75 concept

News Source: Autocar

Image Credit: Jaguar


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