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What you missed on 11.21.14

Posted 2014-11-21T19:30:00Z


2015 Audi A3 Cabriolet  - front three-quarter view, red2015 Audi A3 Cabriolet Quick Spin

It's Audi is expanding its entry-level A3 range with this new Cabriolet model. The droptop four-seater may not be wearing a Volkswagen badge, but it picks up where the discontinued Eos left off, adding available all-wheel drive and a premium badge. We drive it and see if it's worth the money.

Mazda2 sedan - front three-quarter dynamic viewMazda2 Sedan Images Released

North America is already expected to get a new hatchback version of the Mazda2 subcompact, but now that we've seen the new sedan variant, we want the chance to drive it, too. These first images come courtesy of Mazda as the car gets ready for its official reveal at the Thailand International Motor Expo on November 28.

2015 Ford F-150 - Front three-quarter view2015 Ford F-150 to get up to 26 miles per gallon

The We've been waiting for fuel economy ratings on Ford's new aluminum-intensive F-150 pickup for a long time, and now we've got 'em. In its most efficient guise, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost-equipped F-Series will score 26 mpg according to the EPA. That's an impressive figure, the best among gas full-size pickups. However, your mileage may vary – Autoblog has had particular difficulty achieving EPA estimates on a number of Ford EcoBoost vehicles, including the new F-150

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What you missed on 11.18.14

Posted 2014-11-18T19:32:00Z


Bentley Grand ConvertibleBig, topless Bentley sure is Grand

It's been a while since we've had a properly huge, grand Bentley convertible in our market, following the departure of the Azure. But lo, Bentley has introduced the aptly named Grand Convertible, just days before the Los Angeles Auto Show. It's based on the new Mulsanne Speed, and is really something special. Check it out, here.

Bentley Mulsanne SpeedBig, fixed-roof Bentley is also quite grand

Speaking of Mulsanne Speed, we actually just drove one. Well, Jonathon Ramsey did, piloting the 530-horsepower, 811-pound-feet sedan through Florida. Ramsey finds out that the fastest Bentley ever is also one of the best, in all regards. Makes sense, considering the nearly $400,000 as-tested price. Check out the full Quick Spin for Ramsey's impressions.

VW Golf R VariantVW Golf R wagon? Shut up and take our money

There's not much to dislike about the Volkswagen Golf R. It's one of our favorite hot hatches, and with a functional shape and all-wheel drive, it's pretty much the perfect everyday car. Or is it? Meet the Golf R Variant, also debuting this week at the LA Auto Show. It takes everything we know and love about the Golf R and stretches it into an even more capacious wagon shape. Sign us up. Now.

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What you missed on 11.17.14

Posted 2014-11-17T19:31:00Z


Ford Shelby GT350 MustangReturn of the Shelby GT350

The Shelby GT350 nameplate has quite a bit of history. Not only does it carry a legendary name on its hind quarters, it also holds the distinction of being one of the most track-capable Mustang models in Ford's history. In other words, this new Shelby GT350 you see to the right has a lot to live up to. Here's hoping its new flat-plane-crank 5.2-liter V8 proves to be as exciting as it sounds.

2016 Audi S6We drove the 2016 Audi S6

More power, more technology and more aggressive looks. That pretty much sums up the changes made to the Audi S6 for 2016, which sounds mighty fine to us. We liked the Audi S6 already, but more, assuming it's done well, is always welcome. Read all about our experience with the S6 here.

Lincoln Black LabelLincoln adds Black Label to MKZ and MKC

Lincoln will take a step into further luxury waters starting in December with the launch of its new Black Label. For an additional $5,995 on top of the car's purchase price, buyers of new MKZ and MKC models can sign up for the new Black Label program, which brings with it new interior trimmings, free car washes and lots more. Read all about it here.

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Weekly Recap: Ignition-switch recall stirs new controversy for GM

Posted 2014-11-15T11:59:00Z

General Motors Recall

GM has recalled an estimated 2.6 million vehicles for the ignition switches, and it's believed at least 32 deaths have resulted from the crashes.

General Motors again came under fire this week for its handling of its far-reaching ignition-switch recall.

Newly released emails indicated GM had ordered 500,000 replacement ignition switches nearly two months before it notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the dangers posed by the cars. An urgent order was placed in December 2013 with parts supplier Delphi Automotive, though the recall wasn't announced until February 2014.

"The question is why the delay and how many lives were put at risk since GM waited at least two months before issuing a recall even though it had already decided to order parts," Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said in a statement.

GM said it has revamped its safety processes, compressing the time required to take action, and a vice president of global safety, Jeff Boyer, was appointed in April. The company says these moves allow information about safety issues to reach senior executives sooner.

"These emails are further confirmation that our system needed reform, and we have done so," GM spokesman Alan Adler told Autoblog earlier this week. "We have reorganized our entire safety investigation and decision process and have more investigators, move issues more quickly and make decisions with better data."

What you missed on 11.14.14

Posted 2014-11-14T19:16:00Z


Mercedes-AMG GTOMG, AMG!

It's here, you guys – our first test of the highly anticipated 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT. Senior Editor Seyth Miersma put the slick new coupe through its paces on road and track in northern California and came away pretty darn impressed with Merc's new coupe. It isn't totally perfect, though. Read his full findings, here.

Cadillac ATS-V.R600-hp Cadillac ATS-V.R racer revealed

We haven't even met the production ATS-V yet, and we're already seeing how it will influence Cadillac's future motorsports efforts. Revealed today, the ATS-V.R racecar has been built to FIA GT3 specifications, meaning it's fit to do battle with track stars from around the world. We can't wait to see this thing hit the tarmac.

OnStarGM is building a better Check Engine light

We're very familiar with our cars' current warning systems, letting us know about low tire pressure, low fuel, and many more problems. But what if the cars could actually tell you exactly what's wrong when the dreaded "check engine" light illuminates? General Motors is working on this technology, as executive editor Chris Paukert explains.

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What you missed on 11.13.14

Posted 2014-11-13T19:30:00Z


Lamborghini Accademia - cars on trackWe get schooled at at Lamborghini Accademia

Lamborghini recently invited us to try out its Accademia performance driving program at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, one of our favorite tracks anywhere. Driving a Huracán or an Aventador is always entertaining, but next-level instruction and evaluation really separates Accademia from some of its rivals.

This or That - VW Vanagon Syncro vs. Land Rover DefenderThis Or That: $30K Off-Road Challenge

Our popular This Or That Series has moved on to our writers' favorite $30,000 off-road rigs, and Jeremy Korzeniewski and Brandon Turkus have come up with a couple of real zingers from 1987: a Volkswagen Vanagon Syncro and a Land Rover Defender. Which would you rather have? Read along and find out who picked what vehicle, and why.

Ford Everest SUV splashing through the mudFord reveals all-new overseas Everest SUV

While here in America the vast majority of utility vehicles have moved to car-based crossover platforms, globally there's still a healthy market for body-on-frame SUVs. Bruisers like this handsome new Ford Everest, which will be sold in Asia-Pacific markets. Judging by our reader poll, Autoblog readers think the model would succeed in North America, too.

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What you missed on 11.12.14

Posted 2014-11-12T19:32:00Z


Audi A3 TDI2015 Audi A3 TDI Challenge

Audi recently challenged us to drive 834 miles on one tank of diesel in the new 2015 A3 TDI sedan. Senior Editor Steven Ewing was up for the task, and managed just under 60 miles per gallon in the new Audi – nearly 17 mpg better than the EPA highway rating. This wasn't an easy task, though. Read his full experience, here.

Ford F-1502015 Ford F-150 enters production

The aluminum-bodied F-150 isn't just a breakthrough for Ford, it's a game-changer in the pickup truck market. To ensure that this completely redesigned truck is still Built Ford Tough, Ford had to reconfigure several of its manufacturing processes, and we took a tour of the automaker's pickup plant just as the first F-150s rolled off the line.

Scion iM conceptScion shows its iM concept

Toyota's youth-oriented division teased its new LA Auto Show concept some time ago, but we now have full images and details. It's called the iM, and it's actually just a rebadged version of the Auris that Toyota already sells overseas. Of course, it's been fitted with some extra flashy bits to make it at least look more exciting and show-ready. Get the full scoop, here.

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What you missed on 11.11.14

Posted 2014-11-11T19:32:00Z


Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT HellcatSix "shut up and take my money" cars

We all know and love the "shut up and take my money" meme, but now, Seyth Miersma puts an automotive spin on it with this list of six cars we'd buy if the were to ever be created. Performance wagons? Check. Hotter hatches? Yep, got those, too. Widespread use of the word "Hellcat?" You know it. See what we'd throw our hard-earned dollars at without a second thought, here.

Mercedes namingMercedes asks, "What's in a name?"

Hold onto your butts. Mercedes-Benz is about to redo a good chunk of its nomenclature strategy, moving all of its utility vehicles to "G" designations, creating single-letter add-ons for drivetrain designations, and bringing back the Maybach name as a sub-brand, the first product of which – the Mercedes-Maybach S600 – will be shown at the LA Auto Show.

Cadillac ATS-VCadillac ATS-V packs 450 hp, 6-speed manual

We're not supposed to see the new Cadillac ATS-V Coupe until the LA Auto Show next week, but thanks to the leaky ways of the internet, we've got our first crop of images and details. The good news? A twin-turbo V6 with 450 horsepower mated to a six-speed manual transmission, all wrapped up in a seriously aggressive and sleek coupe. The bad news? Actually, there isn't any.

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What you missed on 11.10.14

Posted 2014-11-10T19:30:00Z


We drive the new 2016 Smart Fortwo2016 Smart Fortwo

It will have to be better than the model it is replacing, right? That was a common refrain heard around the Autoblog HQ in the days leading up to our first drive of the new 2016 Smart Fortwo. Have the biggest problems with the previous Fortwo – its jerky transmission, questionable value proposition and so-so fuel mileage ratings – been adequately addressed for 2016? Read our full report to find out.

Acura spied testing premium minivanAcura minivan spy shots

Is the United States ready for a minivan with a premium nameplate? We may soon find, as our intrepid spy shooters have spotted a new minivan mule out and about with engineers behind the wheel, and under all that camouflage, it appears to be wearing an Acura grille and Acura badges inside and out. Or could Honda be playing a trick on the collective motoring world? Only time will tell.

New York lowers default speed limitNew York City 25 mph speed limit

New York City, the most populous metropolis in the United States, has officially lowered the default speed limit on roads within its confines. If not otherwise marked, drivers are now expected to go no faster than 25 miles per hour, down from the previous limit of 30 mph. The stated goal is to reduce deadly accidents involving pedestrians, but not everyone agrees that it's a wise move.

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Weekly Recap: Kia forges fresh identity with LeBron James, racing and a luxury car

Posted 2014-11-08T11:02:00Z

Lebron James 2015 Kia K900

"The truth of the matter is we have some pretty damn good quality." – Michael Sprague

Kia is on pace to post it best-ever sales year in the United States, yet executives admit the company is still hampered by the lingering memories of its old products, which were often viewed as cheap and unreliable.

"Quality continues to be an issue for us from a perception standpoint – not from a reality standpoint," said Michael Sprague, Kia's executive vice president of sales and marketing.

For emphasis he added: "The truth of the matter is we have some pretty damn good quality."

Scores from J.D. Power and others bear this out, though Kia is still frustrated that public perception has lagged. This has led to a number of high profile – and expensive – efforts to change the hearts and minds of consumers, including signing NBA mega star LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers as a spokesman. James, a noted car aficionado, is being used to pitch the K900, Kia's first luxury sedan. Though the K900 isn't expected to generate a large sales volume, Kia hopes the V8-powered, rear-wheel drive luxury car will burnish the brand's image.

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