Watch out Volkswagen, Renault has your number. Debuting at the Paris Motor Show in a few weeks, this Renault Eolab concept aims to match the German automaker's XL1 space pod's fuel economy - without its out-of-this-world styling and offbeat packaging. The VW, which gets its name from its ability to go 100 kilometers on one liter of fuel (about 260 miles per gallon), will no longer be the only vehicle able to be that miserly with fuel use, at least on paper.
The B-segment Eolab (we keep typing Ecolab, like the hygiene company) uses a combination of low weight thanks to materials like magnesium and aluminum, careful aerodynamics and an updated version of Renault's Z.E. [Zero Emission] hybrid gas-electric powertrain to be so frugal. In fact, the car weighs just 400 kilograms - 880 pounds - which is crazy light and means less energy is required to move it down the road. The battery part of the Eolab's PHEV powertrain will offer about 37 miles of range. In all, Renault says there are "100 new, realistic technological developments" in this showcar that could come to upcoming Renault vehicles.
Sadly, Renault is calling this cool concept "an innovative showcase with an environmental core" for now, but we'd love to try one in the real world. We're eager to learn more about this car, and we look forward to hearing Renault officials expound on how a car like this could be mass produced within the next 10 years. For now, we'll just take a look at the video below.
Renault Eolab is a hyperefficient, conventional-looking answer to VW's XL1 [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Tue, 16 Sep 2014 18:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Let's get this unfortunate though important tidbit out of the way right off the bat: The Ford S-Max isn't sold in the United States, and it's not coming here, at least not anytime soon. And so it's with our European friends in mind that we share this information about the next-gen S-Max (previewed about a year ago in concept form) that is set to debut all across Europe next year and will be shown off at the upcoming Paris Motor Show. Now, moving on...
As with the first-gen S-Max, the new model will boast seating for seven passengers, along with a decent amount of storage space, all packed into a relatively reasonably sized package. Powering the front wheels (or optionally all four) will be the buyer's choice of EcoBoost gasoline-turbocharged or turbo-diesel four-cylinder engines along with automatic and manual transmission options. Included in the mix is a new 1.5-liter EcoBoost with 160 horsepower, though the 240-horse 2.0 is likely to be seen as the headliner.
There are all kinds of new technologies on offer, ranging from Adaptive Steering to Dynamic LED Headlamps with Glare-Free Highbeams, and it's all housed inside new, more sleekly designed bodywork riding atop a chassis with new suspension architecture designed to make the S-Max a people-hauler that's still fun to drive. For all the details, we suggest you scroll down below to read through Ford's official press release.Permalink | Email this | Comments
As much as we'd love to offer up the disclaimer, "Professional rider on a closed track," we can't. As it turns out, rider Derek Molle snatched up a GoPro camera lovingly left between the yellow lines on the J turn on Mullholland, according to the video's description on YouTube.
That being the case, we'll leave you with this disclaimer instead: "Do not try this at home." To which Mr. Molle himself adds:"You will crash." Check out the video of Molle above as he grabs the GoPro off the ground while leaned over and dragging a knee, and stay for the video selfie at the end.
Watch this sportbike rider snatch up a GoPro at maximum lean originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Sep 2014 17:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The saga of the Washington state community college hoping to keep its allegedly pre-production Dodge Viper out of the maw of the crusher is going strong. Not only does the school still have the car, but there's a chance that the college might even get to keep it.
The whole situation flared up in March when the South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia, WA, received a notice from Chrysler Group that requested that the school's Viper be destroyed. The automaker had loaned the muscle car to it about a decade ago to use for educational purposes in its auto tech classes. With the Dodge growing long in the tooth, "it is unlikely that these vehicles offer any educational value to students," the company said in its press release on the matter.
However, the college balked at destroying its Viper, despite the fact it had signed a contract with Chrysler Group to do so. The school further claimed that its car was incredibly special because it was a pre-production example and just the fourth one made back in 1992. Although, as we pointed out at the time, the photos of the school's vehicle showed a coupe that looked like a newer Viper GTS.
In a recent followup from Fox News, things appear to be tenuously positive for the college. It's negotiating with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to find a way to get ownership of the Viper. A company spokesperson said for Fox's story, "We continue to pursue an amicable resolution of the matter." Until there's a final verdict, this muscle machine is safe as an education tool to teach students how to wrench on its big V10. Hopefully, we won't have to watch this Viper get crushed.
Dodge Viper saved from crusher by students, but will it last? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Sep 2014 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Upon my review of all of the information contained in the entire investigation, I have made the determination that it would be appropriate to submit the evidence to a grand jury, for their determination as to what action should be taken in this matter. Accordingly, the evidence developed in the investigation will be presented to an Ontario County grand jury in the near future.With that quote, Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo has signaled to NASCAR driver Tony Stewart that the case against him in the matter of the death of fellow racer Kevin Ward, Jr., will be an ongoing concern.
According to the D.A., specifics of the information presented to the grand jury, including who is called to testify as a witness and what evidence members are shown, is confidential. The public in general will have to wait until the jury's "determination has been made" before hearing what the status of the case will be.
Stewart, who has been described as cooperative by investigators up to this point, has released a statement indicating that he will continue to cooperate as required in this next phase of proceedings. NASCAR has chimed in as well, stating that Stewart will be allowed to continue racing.Permalink | Email this | Comments
At this point, Bob Seger feels like the living embodiment of old-school rock 'n' roll. The Michigan native has been strumming out classic records like Night Moves for decades, and he just released a new single called Detroit Made. It sounds like a future staple of just about every classic car show within the next few years, and the video is dedicated to the Motor City, past and future.
Detroit Made is all about cruising in the city in a classic Buick Electra 225, perhaps better known as a "deuce and a quarter." It's straight-down-the-middle rock and could just as easily be from a decades-old Seger album as something new.
The video for the new single mixes shots of American classics cruising along Woodward Avenue with a contemporary look at the city. Sure, there are the well-known dilapidated buildings falling into rubble, but the people there aren't just letting the city die. Other parts show the attempts to clean things up and rebuild. Check out the video if you need a few minutes of old school rockin' in your life.
Bob Seger's Detroit Made music video is an homage to the Motor City originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Sep 2014 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Episode #397 of the Autoblog Podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Steven Ewing, and Seyth Miersma talk about the leadership change at Ferrari, the Mercedes-AMG GT, and we give a report on the Long-Term Garage. 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 below with times for topics, and you can follow along down below with our Q&A. Thanks for listening!
Autoblog Podcast #397:
Hosts: Dan Roth, Steven Ewing, Seyth Miersma
- Intro and Garage - 00:00
- Montezemolo steps down - 31:16
- AMG GT - 54:50
- Long Term Update - 01:11:35
- Q&A - 01:27:47
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[MP3] Download the MP3 directly
Email: Podcast at Autoblog dot com
Review the show in iTunesPermalink | Email this | Comments
Filed under: Government/Legal
Back when investigators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration first probed reports of unintended accelerations in Toyota vehicles, they ran into a serious internal roadblock. They lacked the expertise to examine the problem. They suspected a software glitch, but couldn't delve into the interactions between the software and physical linkages in the vehicles because they didn't understand them. NHTSA ultimately needed to call on experts from NASA to study the reports.
"Can you imagine calling up NASA, and saying, 'Can you take a break from putting robots on Mars and come take a look at this Toyota?'" asks Ryan Calo, an assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Law. "That's not a sustainable strategy."
In a white paper released by the Brookings Institute on Monday, Calo argues NHTSA's shortcomings in investigating Toyota are one example of many in which government institutions have struggled to keep pace with rapid technologic advancements across a variety of industries.
To counteract that, he proposes the United States create a Federal Robotics Commission that could make sense of the complex technologic, legal and regulatory questions that have risen around robotics and artificial intelligence.
Federal Robotics Commission could accelerate arrival of self-driving cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Sep 2014 14:16:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Meet the newest vehicle in the arsenal of the San Diego Unified School District, a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle, more commonly known as an MRAP, or the US military's answer to the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) so favored by insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Now, you might be asking, are the officers of the San Diego Unified School District Police (sidebar: is it normal nowadays for school districts to have police departments?) regularly subject to ambushes and/or IEDs? It seems unlikely.
Instead, the district says the vehicle will be used for search and rescue, according to KPBS, the local public broadcaster.
"Our idea is: How can we get in and pull out a classroom at a time of kids if there's an active shooter? If there's a fire [or] if there's an earthquake, can we rip down a wall? Stuff like that," Captain Joe Florentino told KBPS
The MRAP, which is valued at $730,000, was acquired for a mere pittance - $5,000 in shipping fees - through the controversial Excess Property Program, or 1033 program. That's the same Department of Defense setup that has drawn fire following the Ferguson, MO protests. Now, critics are turning towards SDUSD, claiming the district's new toy represents a militarization of schools, a charge Chief Littlejohn refutes.
"It's not police militarizing schools," he told KBPS. "There will be medical supplies in the vehicle. There will be teddy bears in the vehicle. There will be trauma kits in the vehicle in the event any student is injured, and our officers are trained to give first aid and CPR."
Littlejohn was also quick to point out to critics that the MRAP is not tank. While he is right (it's considered an armored personnel carrier), the 18-ton, six-wheel-drive, hulled vehicle has a lot more in common with its treaded compatriots than it does your average police cruiser.
What are your thoughts? Should a school police department maintain such a significant piece of hardware, or would the $5,000 (and District's claimed $500 per year of upkeep) be better spent elsewhere? At least one critic, a school board trustee, argues that the district's 10 squad cars could use some attention. Have your say on this story below.
Truant students beware, San Diego school district acquires MRAP originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Sep 2014 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Top Gear and particularly host Jeremy Clarkson have come to define how you do a show about cars. Mix big power, an opinionated presenter, a few jokes and fantastic camera work together, and you end up with the show's basic formula. But what happens in the far-flung future when the automobile is long dead, assuming we could keep his brain alive, could Clarkson keep up his act? Upcoming PC space flight sim Star Citizen shows in a promo video that the Top Gear method would still work in the centuries ahead long after we leave the bonds of Earth.
To show off the game's Origin M50 space racer, the designers created Galactic Gear, and these folks clearly know the show very well because the video nails every bit of Top Gear. Anyone can get the silhouetted opening right, but far more impressive is the spot-on copy of Clarkson's cadence. The accent might not be quite right, but you can easily imagine him coining these same tortured metaphors about an Aston Martin, as about these spaceships.
Star Citizen is being spearheaded by Chris Roberts, the man behind classic PC space sim Wing Commander. The game eventually hopes to offer players a persistent online world to fly around in, but until then it's slowly rolling out new ships and modes. Judging from the videos online, it looks like an absolutely beautiful experience.
Galactic Gear is a pitch-perfect Top Gear sendup from the future originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Sep 2014 12:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Let's say you're rich. Filthy rich - you've got cars in garages of homes you can't remember you own, rich.
As the gap between automotive haves and have-nots continues to grow, ultraluxury automakers are exploiting fresh ways to lure the sorts of well-heeled car aficionados who would rather spend their spare time shipping exotic sleds to private tracks than sitting on a beach in the Maldives.
This rarified air presents a daunting challenge to boutique carmakers attempting to distinguish themselves, especially when they're vying for attention amidst voluptuous Paganis, Koenigseggs, and Brabus G63 AMG 6x6s. When the stakes are this high and the competition this fierce, you need a novel approach to peddle your four-wheeled wares - even if you're Bugatti.Permalink | Email this | Comments
When Chrysler showed us its hand and revealed its five-year product plan to the world, we learned that the updated 300 sedan will bow at the LA Auto Show in November. Now, thanks to Allpar, we might have our first (super grainy) look at the new sedan a full two months ahead of its official debut.
Unlike its Dodge Charger platform mate, the new 300 isn't really all that different from the model currently on sale. That said, we're not sure if the changes shown here really reflect styling that we'd call "better," with the company's logo sort of floating at the top of the grille, and a more simplistic front end that lets the schnoz stick out a bit. Again, nothing drastic to talk about, but the new tweaks are kind of weak. Of course, we'll wait until we see the finished product in the metal before we make up our minds.
Don't expect things to change too much in terms of interior refinement or powertrain offerings, as well, with all the same leather and technology we've enjoyed in the 300 before, and the usual 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and 5.7-liter Hemi V8 powertrain options. We'll know for sure when the car shows its freshened face in Los Angeles in November.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is probably one of the hottest cars of the moment mostly because of its insane, 707-horsepower supercharged V8. However, there are conflicting reports coming out that the powerplant might be having problems with its emissions compliance and may be capable of even more power.
Jalopnik says that an unnamed source within Fiat Chrysler Automobiles told it that the Hellcat was having problems meeting emissions standards at its 707-horsepower tune. The person claimed that the automaker has been testing the V8 with different types of sensors, possibly to make it a bit cleaner in the future. Autoblog spoke to SRT spokesperson Dan Reid, and he said about the claimed poor emissions, "It's totally speculation."
The source also claimed that the Hellcat had been dynoed at a monumental 825 horsepower, internally. Based on the other rumor, though, it's hard to imagine the engine being emissions compliant like that. Autoblog also asked Reid about this speculation about more power and was told, "They are totally speculating about that."
Of course, Reid's implication of speculation, in both cases, doesn't constitute a denial exactly, either. Suffice it to say that we expect more an firmer information to crop up on both fronts, before to long.
In fact, the much-anticipated muscle car will start arriving at dealers in just a few weeks, which should open the door to transparency on both issues. Waiting really is the hardest part.
Indications of 825 hp and emissions issues for Hellcat called 'speculation' by Chrysler originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Sep 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
It's been a few months since we talked about the Mercedes-Benz CLA's status as an unmitigated hit, but a new story from Automotive News will allow us to revisit the sleek, fast-selling, four-door home run. Production has been increased again, with some of the extra capacity destined for US showrooms.
"We could have sold twice as many vehicles, easily, compared to our planning," Daimler AG boss Dieter Zetsche told AN.
Dealers are sitting on perilously small supplies of the CLA, with Mercedes execs confirming to AN that a few dealers have slipped below a ten-day supply. For reference, a 60-day supply is generally considered healthy.
Mercedes' Kecskemét, Hungary factory added a third shift back in May to address high demand for the four-door. Zetsche was unwilling to divulge how many more cars the facility will be able to churn out with this latest production increase, though.
"We do not want our customers to have to wait too much," Zetsche told AN. "Wherever we could, we pulled out all the stops."
Mercedes boosts CLA supplies, says it could sell twice as many originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Sep 2014 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
You have to love someone who gets incredibly committed to a very weird idea. What you see for sale here is a right-hand drive 1971 Mercedes-Benz 220D in South Africa, but this old Mercedes is now converted into a pickup, complete with bed cover, and there's big secret under the hood, too.
The pickup conversion appears well done based on seller Sedgefield Classic Cars' photos. Even the tonneau cover fits well. You could almost believe that this Mercedes lived its life as a Chevrolet El Camino-like pickup from the very beginning.
However, the rear-quarters conversion might not be the weirdest thing about this Mercedes. The original diesel is gone from the engine bay in favor of a Lexus V8. It seems really odd to pop the hood and find a Japanese mill in this German car, but the photos make it look like a fairly well performed swap. So, bravo to the crazy thinking. According to the seller speaking to Autoblog by email, "as far as we can establish, this was done a few years ago, with all Lexus components."
Given the quality of the pickup conversion and engine swap, the interior could use a refresh. Though still useable, the seats are pretty beat up. We'd like to see the existing ones recovered, possibly in a modern but appropriate Lexus leather to subtly carry on the theme indoors.
After all of the work, this Mercedes is now a hybrid of German styling and Japanese power wrapped up in a pickup. However, the pricing for all of this weirdness is incredibly reasonable. The seller is asking a pretty reasonable-sounding 75,000 South African rand (about $6,810 at current exchange rates). We just wish it were located in the US.
Online Find of the Day: Lexus-engined Mercedes pickup is a vintage hybrid originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Sep 2014 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Formula One may get the lion's share of attention, but it's far from the only formula racing series. The FIA Formula E Championship just kicked off in China this past weekend, for example - and while FIA President Jean Todt was in town, he also announced the latest engine supplier for the Formula 4.
Up until now, the FIA had certified three automakers to supply engines for Formula 4 - and they've all been European. But for the first time, a Chinese automaker has joined in on the action. That Chinese automaker is Geely, perhaps best known on these pages as the parent company of Volvo, but a major player in the Chinese market in its own right.
Starting next season, Geely will supply a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine - similar to the one that powers its GX7 sport-ute and Emgrand EC8 sedan, but tuned for racing use - to the Chinese Formula 4 series. The new series is kicking off later this year with a seven-race calendar. After that, and with FIA certification in place, the door will be open for Geely to supply its engine to other local F4 championships as well.Permalink | Email this | Comments
811 lb-ft of torque puts the Mulsanne Speed out ahead of every so-called muscle car on the market and eclipses most million-dollar hypercars.Those in the market for a sedan with equal levels of performance and luxury would do well to stop by their local Bentley dealership, and have a look at the Flying Spur. Though not available in Speed trim like the previous four-door Continental, the W12 model already packs the 616-horsepower 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 from the Continental GT Speed - and we wouldn't be surprised to see the British automaker come out with an even more performance-oriented version in the future. But what about the Mulsanne?
Bentley's flagship model has typically been left out of the performance equation applied to its nouveau-riche stablemates, but that ends here and now with the introduction of the new Mulsanne Speed. With 530 horsepower on tap (25 more than the standard model), the new Mulsanne Speed ranks among the more (if not most) powerful sedans on the market. But it blows everything else out of the water when it comes to torque: Bentley's signature 6.75-liter twin-turbo V8 has been augmented to produce a freight train-rivaling 811 pound-feet of twist, available from as low as 1,750 rpm. As far as torque goes, that puts the Mulsanne Speed out ahead of every so-called muscle car on the market and eclipses most million-dollar hypercars. It's also around triple the output of the same engine when it was introduced way back in 1959, and could be enough to put the prospect of the Bugatti Galibier ever reaching production out of the question once and for all.
Every pound-foot of that muscle is required to move the big sedan to 60 in 4.8 seconds, en route to a top speed of 190 miles per hour (compared to 5.1 seconds and 184 mph in the existing Mulsanne). All the while, improvements to combustion and a cylinder deactivation system that turns the engine into an efficient-ish V4 when cruising, though that likely won't be a worry for the oil barons who are bound to make up the bulk of the order list.
While it was at it, the crew in Crewe also recalibrated the eight-speed automatic transmission (which now includes an S mode to keep the revs above 2,000 and the turbos spooled up) as well as the adjustable air suspension. It's also given the big sedan dark-tinted grilles and lights, directional 21-inch wheels and a two-tone interior (which takes some 150 hours and 14 bull hides to complete) with the Mulliner Driving Specification fitted as standard. There's plenty more to digest in the press release below (including some enhancements for the standard model as well) ahead of the Mulsanne Speed's debut at the Paris Motor Show next month and the commencement of deliveries this winter.
2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed unleashes a tidal wave of torque originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Sep 2014 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Filed under: Etc.
We're almost ready to record Episode #397 of the Autoblog Podcast! You can check out the topics below, add your own to the Q&A and join us live via UStream, as well. Keep reading for our embedded UStream player, and thanks for listening!
Discussion Topics for Autoblog Podcast Episode #397
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The Aficionauto host Christopher Rutkowski has a real passion for original and replica cars from movies and television, whether they are from James Bond, Jurassic Park, or incredibly obscure Japanese shows. However, he might have outdone himself this time because he hopped into one of the biggest automotive stars of contemporary cinema. This 1970 Dodge Charger appeared in Fast & Furious and came back in Fast Five, where Paul Walker actually drove it. The menacing, black muscle car will make its return to the franchise in the seventh film, too.
The Fast and Furious Charger is a real beast no matter how you look at it. The interior is nothing more than two seats and a roll cage, and as the video shows, this thing vibrates constantly like a coiled mass of muscle ready to strike. The camera can barely stay in place most of the time. Also, Dom's Dodge is more than happy to do a smoky burnout and leave the driver partially deaf afterward from its wonderful, ear-splitting engine roar.
The Aficionauto also interviews the man who controls the keys to this beast. Bob Hartwig was once an F-15 pilot, but he also loved Hollywood vehicles. Now, he's a partner at Picture Car Warehouse, a company with about 850 cars that supplies vehicles to film studios. This Charger definitely seems to be Hartwig's favorite in the collection, as it should be.
Aficionauto drives Vin Diesel's fast and furious 1970 Dodge Charger originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Sep 2014 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Review: 2015 Lincoln Navigator
We take the heavily refreshed 2015 Lincoln Navigator for a spin and find that there's plenty to like about the brand's truckish 'ute. Still, while it boasts a ton of room inside and stunning power from its 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, it's far from perfect. Read our full review for all the details.
At least 19 deaths confirmed for GM compensation
Kenneth Feinberg, the man who has been put in charge of the fund General Motors is drawing from to offer compensation to victims of its faulty ignition switches, has said at least 19 deaths have so far been confirmed resulting from the heavily publicized failure and recalls, and there are many more claims still left to process.
Toyota teases C-HR crossover concept
Toyota has a big reveal slated for the rapidly approaching Paris Motor Show in the form of the C-HR crossover concept that you can see in silhouette to the right. We don't know much more, other than the fact that it will boast a hybrid powertrain and that it looks to be much more stylish than the brand's current crop of crossovers. Stay tuned.
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