The eagerly anticipated Ford F-150 has had its 2015 pricing announced, adding only a small amount to the pickup's total cost, despite its weight-saving aluminum body. The XL and XLT entry level models only see a $395 boost over the heavier, current-generation, 2014 truck.
The XL starts at $26,615 while the XLT rings up at $31,890. The increase for Lariat is up a similarly negligible $895, to $39,880. Going up the ladder, meanwhile, the leather-intensive King Ranch sees the biggest jump of the F-150 family, with prices increasing $3,515, to $49,460. Finally, picking up the top-end Platinum trim will cost an extra $3,055, with prices starting at $52,155.
The higher prices are being blamed not only on the aluminum bodies, which trim up to 700 pounds of body fat, but on increased levels of standard equipment. While we were expecting a price hike, the fact that the 2015 F-150's volume trims - Ford spokesman Mike Levine told Reuters that the XL and XLT alone cover 70 percent of F-150 sales - have had less than a $400 increase is hugely impressive.
According to Reuters, dealers are able to place orders for the new trucks today, with sales slated to begin late this year.
2015 Ford F-150 pricing announced, aluminum-bodied truck up just $395 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Jul 2014 15:42:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Mad Max is finally returning to the big screen nearly 30 years after its last installment. The new, long-awaited Mad Max: Fury Road will bow in 2015. This doesn't appear to be just some cash-in, nostalgia-based reboot, either. George Miller wrote and directed the latest entry, just as he did all three previous movies in the series. The teaser trailer, released at San Diego Comic-Con, has hit the Web, and its dark view of the post-apocalypse looks, if anything, even more grim than the earlier ones.
Mel Gibson is no longer the titular hero, with Max now being played by Tom Hardy. Thankfully, the supercharged Pursuit Special still appears to play a role, though. Charlize Theron co-stars as a woman fighting against the horrors of the post-apocalypse, just like Max.
From the trailer, the latest installment seems to be playing up the sci-fi elements more than the previous films with modern, computer-generated special effects. Don't worry, though, there are still a good number of real-world shots on display with cars going up in fiery explosions and actually crashing. With a release not scheduled until next year, there's still time to catch up on the series, and it's well worth it for some of the best vehicular stunts ever put on film. Scroll down for an early preview of Mad Max: Fury Road.
Mad Max Fury Road shows a new road warrior in its latest trailer originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Scion seemed like such a good idea when it was first launched. Toyota's aim was to provide young people with stylish, affordable cars that would serve as a gateway to the automaker's family of products. It was also supposed to be something of an incubator for new ideas that were too radical for its more conservative Toyota and Lexus brands. Over a decade since its launch, the brand has languished, and today's showroom is populated by slow-selling and aging vehicles that have often been slow to receive upgrades. However, there may be a bright spot on the imminent horizon, as there are reportedly a slate of new models on the way over the next three years.
According to a model timeline published by Automotive News, the Scion lineup is about to get a major overhaul. First, the boxy xB may finally be going to the big refrigerator box in the sky, to be replaced by a version of the more conventionally styled Auris hatchback (pictured above) from overseas markets in early 2015. Later next year, the xD will also allegedly bow out in favor of a new hatchback based on the Mazda2 (thanks to a recently signed platform-sharing deal). For 2016, the sporty tC hatchback is also said to get a redesign, and interestingly enough, a Corolla-based compact crossover could join the ranks, too.
While those changes should boost sales volume, there's also news that's sure to make enthusiasts happy. Automotive News cites company executives who confirm a second-generation FR-S is on the way in early 2017. A Subaru exec also recently gave a similar confirmation that it was working on another BRZ.
Finally, as first rumored last year, the little iQ will likely sing its swan song at the end of 2014. The news hardly comes as a surprise. Through June, Scion has sold just just 1,227 of its Smart-sized commuter nationwide, down 47 percent from last year.
Scion xB to be replaced by Auris hatchbach, iQ dead after 2014 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Ford may have tied together much of its global lineup under the One Ford campaign, but one market where it still offers unique products is Australia. That will soon draw to a close as well, but before it does, the Blue Oval's Aussie operations are rolling out refreshed versions of its two unique products. For the moment, Ford isn't revealing much in the way of powertrain details, but it has shown off a couple of snaps of the revised products on its in-market Twitter feed.
First up is the new Territory. The SUV is neither based on a front-drive crossover platform nor on a truck frame, but shares its rear-drive underpinnings with the Falcon, taking it a step beyond the Falcon wagon alongside which it sits in Ford's Aussie range. Like the outgoing third-generation SZ Territory, the facelifted version is dominated by a narrow grille and larger front air dam, but further punctuates its big-chinned look with more rugged lower cladding and other metallic inserts that bring its look up to date.
And there's the Falcon, which Ford revealed in XR8 trim just last week and is now presenting in G6E spec. If the XR8 is the performance model, the G6E is the luxury version, swapping in more refined trim like a chrome-slat grille (instead of a black honeycomb), chrome foglamp surrounds, less-aggressive multi-spoke wheels (instead of five-spokes) and a flatter hood (instead of a power bulge). Otherwise, it looks essentially the same as the one we saw last week, its facelift bringing it more in line with the smaller, front-drive Mondeo (which we know here as the Fusion) and other members of the Ford family.
These updates, expected to launch later this year, will have to keep the Territory and Falcon fresh until they're both discontinued with the closing of Ford's manufacturing operations Down Under, a move that will put a period on an 88-year history. After that, a version of the Mondeo/Fusion will have to take the Falcon's role as Ford's large sedan while the Mustang assumes its role as performance flagship, and Territory buyers will have to look towards models like the Edge crossover and Everest SUV to meet their high-riding needs.
Ford Australia reveals updated Territory, Falcon via Twitter originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Jul 2014 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
For the past decade, Cadillac has been searching for ways to breathe life into its lineup of luxury sedans and SUVs. While it has enjoyed recent success with the CTS and Escalade, brand perception still skews older and stuffier than Caddy's German and Japanese counterparts.
Can the electrified Cadillac ELR shock the system and return a pulse to this storied American brand, or will the Chevy Volt-based plug-in price itself out of the market?
Host Jonathon Buckley heads to Los Angeles to test the 2014 Cadillac ELR.Permalink | Email this | Comments
It only takes about half a lap of the Millbrook Proving Grounds for me to become convinced that Infiniti must build this car.
The sedan I am piloting around the English circuit is a working prototype of the Q50 Eau Rouge Concept that made its world debut at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show earlier this year. As a refresher, the exquisitely painted, burgundy metallic, four-door show car is based on the production Q50, enhanced with Infiniti Red Bull Racing-inspired carbon-fiber bodywork, aerodynamic upgrades and - as we would come to learn at the Geneva Motor Show a few months later - fitted with a beastly twin-turbocharged engine shared with the parent company's spectacular Nissan GT-R.
Despite lacking the concept's gorgeously expensive paint, the vinyl-wrapped red prototype seen here is much more appealing than the static concept, as it is mechanically complete - it can be driven - thus explaining why I have traveled one-third of the way around the world to test this enthusiast-tuned, one-of-a-kind machine at one of Europe's premier testing facilities.
The Q50 Eau Rouge, named after the signature high-speed corner at Belgium's famed Spa-Francorchamps race circuit, is an intriguing program for a number of reasons. First, the Japanese luxury brand has never offered a flagship sport sedan of this magnitude. Second, the push came from Johan de Nysschen - the man tasked with turning Infiniti around who recently announced his departure from the company at the end of the month. Lastly, the working prototype was built by a small team in England, thousands of miles from Infiniti's Hong Kong headquarters, which allowed the program to move unimpeded by coagulating corporate culture. While launching the Eau Rouge program isn't as extreme as renaming all of its models, it would be easy to argue that this is a very radical move for the often-conservative Japanese automaker.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Filed under: EuropeEvery year a panel of jurists representing a variety of automotive publications in different languages and from different countries get together and pick their Car of the Year. It's a long and exhaustive process, and it starts right here.
For the 2015 award, the panel has identified 31 candidates: the Audi TT; BMW 2 Series Active Tourer and 2 Series Coupe, i8 and X4; the Citroën C1 and C4 Cactus; Fiat 500X (which hasn't even been unveiled yet); Ford EcoSport and Mondeo; Hyundai i20; Infiniti Q50; Jeep Renegade; Kia Soul; Lexus NX and RC; Mercedes-Benz C-Class, GLA and S-Class Coupe; Nissan Pulsar, Qashqai and X-Trail; Opel Corsa; Peugeot 108; Porsche Macan; Renault Twingo; Skoda Fabia; Smart Fortwo and Forfour; Subaru WRX STI; Suzuki Celerio; Toyota Aygo and Volkswagen Passat.
These 31 contenders will be whittled down to a short-list of seven nominees to be announced on December 15, followed by the announcement of the winner on March 2 at the Geneva Motor Show.
Past winners include the Peugeot 308, Volkswagen Golf, Chevy Volt/Opel Ampera, Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen Polo (going back to 2010). This year ought to present an interesting challenge in that three of the entrants - the Toyota Aygo, Citroën C1 and Peugeot 108 - are all essentially the same car. Last year saw the jury award second place jointly to the Toyota GT86 and Subaru BRZ, which was (as far as we can tell) the first time it had split the award between manufacturers of essentially the same vehicle. The Renegade, 500X, GLA, Qashqai, X-Trail and Macan seem to be at a distinct disadvantage, though, because the jury has never named a sport-ute or crossover into the top three, let alone as the winner, in its 50-year history.
European jury names 31 candidates for 2014 Car of the Year originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Jul 2014 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
If you had told us a decade ago that Google, of all companies, would be developing a driverless car, we likely would have asked you what you were smoking. But here we are, watching the Internet giant not only testing such systems on existing cars, but designing its own vehicles. It won't be the only one, it seems, as reports from China indicate that one of its own is following suit.
That company is Baidu, which for all intents and purposes is China's Google. Only, you know... it hasn't been banned in China. Baidu has a search engine, open-source online encyclopedia, searchable multimedia database... the works. It's the fifth most visited website on the internet behind Google, Facebook, YouTube and Yahoo!, and ahead of Wikipedia, Twitter, Amazon and even Autoblog, hard as it is to believe. It was the first Chinese company to be indexed on the NASDAQ 100, and now, just like Google, it's developing its own driverless car technology.
Baidu's system reportedly uses radar, lasers, cameras and GPS to recognize its surroundings and pilot the car without driver intervention. It can read traffic signs, recognize voice commands and whatever else it needs to do in order to drive itself around.
That's about all we know at the moment, with the company scheduled to begin testing before the year's end. Baidu previously announced it was developing a driverless bicycle as well, though we can scarcely imagine how that would work.
China's Google is working on its own autonomous car originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Jul 2014 11:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Three Free Practice sessions left us thinking Lewis Hamilton looked good to claim another victory for Mercedes AMG Petronas and close up the Driver's World Championship race, but the first qualifying session for the 2014 Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix threw out that script. A fuel leak in Q1 set Hamilton's car aflame and he never set a time. His chassis damaged beyond repair, the team built him a new one and he started from pit lane. That same session also claimed Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen, when a bad call about whether to go out again dropped him down to 17th and out for the day.
Without a real challenge, that put Hamilton's teammate-slash-nemesis Nico Rosberg on pole in the other Mercedes, followed by a resurgent Sebastian Vettel in the first Infiniti Red Bull Racing, Valtteri Bottas in the first Williams and Daniel Ricciardo in the second Red Bull. Fernando Alonso waved the scarlet in fifth for Ferrari but figured he could be in third place by the end of the first lap. Felipe Massa put the second Williams in sixth, followed by Jenson Button in the first McLaren, Jean-Eric Vergne getting up to eighth for Toro Rosso, Nico Hülkenberg in ninth for Force India and Kevin Magnussen in the second McLaren.
When rain poured on the 4.381-kilometer Hungaroring before the race, every script up and down the field got rewritten, and they would continue come in for revision almost every one of the 70 laps.
Race Recap: 2014 Hungarian Grand Prix a thrilling wet mess originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Jul 2014 10:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
If there's one thing that the likes of Morgan and Campagna have taught us, it's that a three-wheeled roadster can be one heck of a fun ride, bringing together the best elements of a motorbike and a sports car (albeit with none of the practicality). And now they've got a new challenger on their hands in the form of the Slingshot.
The Polaris Slingshot has been on our radar screen for a few months, but has now been revealed in full. It's similar in form to the Three-Wheeler or T-Rex, but looks more like a KTM X-Bow minus a rear wheel. Which may make sense considering that, like the X-Bow, the Slingshot is made by a motorcycle company: Polaris makes snowmobiles and ATVs (as well as Victory and Indian motorcycles). The company is sort of like Bombardier, but where BRP's Can-Am Spyder (with its saddle and handlebars) went with a motorbike approach with an extra wheel, the Polaris Slingshot (though technically deemed a motorcycle for certification purposes) is more like a roadster missing one.
The 2.4-liter GM Ecotec four sits up front, channeling 173 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque through a five-speed manual transmission and carbon-reinforced drive belt to the solitary rear wheels. In true motorbike-manufacturer style (where pace depends mostly on the rider), Polaris hasn't revealed performance specs. But in a package weighing just 1,700 pounds, it ought to go like spit. Measuring less than 150 inches tall by 77.6 inches wide and 51.9 inches tall, and riding on a 105-inch wheelbase with a 69-inch front track and sitting just 5 inches off the ground, it ought to feel even faster, especially considering that it's got no roof and barely any windshield to speak of. With 11.8-inch vented disc brakes at each of its three corners, it ought to stop on a dime as well.
Pricing starts at $19,999 for the base model and $23,999 for the better-equipped Slingshot SL. It comes with a two-year unlimited-mileage warranty extendable up to five years and will be sold by Polaris, Victory and Indian dealers across the country, although the specific laws of its registration (and whether you'll have to wear a helmet when driving it) depend on each state's individual regulations. Check it out on the Polaris website and in the playlist of eleven short video clips below.
Polaris Slingshot hits the road on all three wheels [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Jul 2014 09:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments