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Watch a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport hit 246 mph during road rally

8 hours 4 min ago

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The Bugatti Veyron might be getting on in years, but it's still an engineering marvel capable of truly insane velocity. There are tons of videos of the Veyron doing its super-high-speed trick of reaching 200 miles per hour with seemingly no effort. But do you know how much ground the coupe is actually covering at full chat? Let's just say it's mighty impressive.

According to the YouTube description, this video was shot at the 2014 Sun Valley Road Rally in Idaho. The event shut down a portion of highway and allowed cars to hurtle down that stretch at ludicrous speeds, and a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport with 1,200 horsepower on hand showed the crowd what fast really looked like. Thankfully, the organizers monitored the vehicles' speed, confirming that this supercar managed a massive 246.4 miles per hour.

The way that the Veyron reaches that momentum is just as impressive, though. At first, all you see is a fast-moving white spec, but it doesn't sound like a car. It has more of the constant note of a jet but with a little audible grumble as it streaks by. Scroll down to see what nearly 250 mph looks like on a deserted stretch of highway.

Continue reading Watch a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport hit 246 mph during road rally

Watch a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport hit 246 mph during road rally originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What you missed on 7.29.14

8 hours 35 min ago


2014 Mazda Miata goes Unplugged in new video

It's Miata Month here at Autoblog, so join us as we celebrate a calendar page with the third generation of what just might be our favorite roadster ever.

As we wave goodbye to Mazda's NC-generation MX-5 Miata ahead of greeting an all-new model later this year, we decided a proper sendoff had to include a top-down video with only the sights and sounds of the car itself driving the action - no music, no weird effects, no gimmicks, just pure driving pleasure.

Just like the Miata itself.



First Drive: Ford Super Duty Power Stroke

Ford has retooled its F-250 heavy-duty pickup for 2015, including an updated powertrain as well as improved interior tech. The exterior may look the same, but a larger turbo and other changes underhood work out to 440 hp and a faintly ridiculous 860 lb-ft of torque. Tow ratings rise nicely as well. Are the changes enough to keep it ahead of rivals GM and Ram? We drive it, tow with it, and file this road-test first drive.



Toyota Waku-Doki ad inherits Japan's bizarre ad crown

Toyota has released a strange new ad for its Japanese-market HiLux pickup that features a Psy-style dance-off in the jungle among suited businessman, a gorilla and tribal natives. Sound weird? It is. But it's hilarious, and it also vividly illustrates Japan's penchant for bizarre car commercials. We've thrown in a bunch of these strange ads for your viewing pleasure... see if you can find a common thread.


Top Stories

What you missed on 7.29.14 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 19:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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GM thinks Colorado and Canyon midsize trucks will lure crossover buyers

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 23:58

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The invitation to come out and sample product at the General Motors Proving Grounds in Milford, MI is rarely dull, and after spending this morning driving preproduction versions of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon all we can say is... under strict embargo. Sorry, America, we were as excited as many of you are to learn more about GM's new midsize truck range and take note of how they go down the road, but it's going to be September before we're allowed to share that with all of you. Here's to sweet suspense.

While we might not be able to talk about refinement or handling yet, we did find some of the product positioning and marketing statements from GMC and Chevy officials on hand at the program to be pretty interesting.

Of course, we all know that the literal competitive set for Canyon and Colorado is comprised of two comparatively ancient Japanese midsize trucks: the Toyota Tacoma (which currently owns this segment) and the Nissan Frontier. The Frontier's bones are as old as the 2005 model year, with 2009 marking the last time the truck was updated. The Taco was also launched in 2005, though it did see a freshening for 2012. The point remains that, in every facet from powertrain to dash plastics, the GM midsize truck twins are going to look positively space age by comparison when they hit the market for MY 2015.

Interestingly though, The General isn't simply shooting for its aged, small-truck competitors when it comes to the planned conquest of customers. The automaker believes that both Chevy and GMC products will offer an interesting alternative to small-crossover shoppers as well. In fact, the engineering and marketing teams were possessed of this notion enough to bring along a Ford Escape as one of the competitive drives for our test day in Milford.

GM believes that both Chevy and GMC products will offer an interesting proposition to small-CUV shoppers.

Certainly, images of the Canyon and Colorado interiors that we've seen indicate that these two trucks will have cabins worthy of suburban tastemakers; full of the available comfort and convenience amenities that CUV shoppers are so keen on. Just as in their fullsize brothers, we expect these smaller trucks to be comfy places in which to pass your daily commute. We'd argue that the exterior styling of the trucks is a fit with the CUV ethos, as well.

Looking deeper, we can also see that the new trucks will probably offer reasonable tradeoffs in terms of utility, performance, mileage, space and price. Just comparing base models, the Chevy Canyon's 2.5-liter four-cylinder, rated at 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque, is slightly stronger than the average output of four-bangers from Ford, Honda and Toyota small crossovers. Now, the Canyon is likely to be somewhat thirstier than the 26 combined miles per gallon that those three offer, but it'll do so will the decided boost in tow/haul utility is the most obvious pickup strong suit.

And, of course, while we don't yet have pricing, sticking around the low $20k starting MSRPs of the best-selling small crossovers seems quite doable. Bare bones Tacoma and Frontier trucks start at $18,125 and $20,510, respectively, leaving a good gap to appropriately price the content-plus new trucks, and still stay in-budget for a typical CUV shopper.

Those tradeoffs won't work for a lot of CUV buyers, but the argument on paper is quite a bit more compelling than we would have initially thought. GM apparently believes it, as it's jumping with two feet into a segment that most automakers have abandoned or at least let wither on the vine. What say you? Would a more livable, frugal pickup make sense to you as a cross-shop with a smaller crossover? Let us know in Comments.

GM thinks Colorado and Canyon midsize trucks will lure crossover buyers originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 18:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Cadillac reveals stretched ATS-L in China [UPDATE]

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 23:15

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UPDATE: Shanghai GM has issued an official press release on the ATS-L, which we've included below, and which mentions only the turbo four as the sole engine on offer. The text has been updated accordingly.

In the market for a new Cadillac, but need more space than an ATS can afford? Then you'll want to look at the larger CTS. Unless you live in China, where buyers - often chauffeured instead of driving themselves - seem to prefer a long-wheelbase version of a smaller sedan than upgrading to a larger one. For those buyers, Cadillac has released the new ATS-L.

Based on the existing ATS sports sedan, the ATS-L offers an extra 3.3 inches of rear legroom over the model we get here. As a result, the ATS-L stretches its wheelbase to 112.5 inches and its overall length to 186 inches, while riding a quarter-inch lower than the standard-wheelbase model, which itself was recently updated. That places its length in between the regular ATS and the CTS available Stateside.

Otherwise it's essentially the same sedan, but whereas the standard ATS sedan offers three engine choices (ranging from a 2.0-liter four to a 3.6-liter V6), the ATS-L is apparently being offered only with the 2.0-liter turbo four, propelling the long-wheelbase sedan to 62 in 6.2 seconds. Other features include Brembo brakes, Magnetic Ride Control suspension, high-performance run-flat tires and - despite the longer wheelbase - perfect 50/50 weight balance front to rear.

Of course this model, produced locally for the Chinese market, isn't likely to make the transpacific voyage to US showrooms, so American buyers will still have to choose between the standard ATS, the larger CTS or the even larger XTS.

Continue reading Cadillac reveals stretched ATS-L in China [UPDATE]

Cadillac reveals stretched ATS-L in China [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 18:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Jaguar XE promises to net 'over 75 mpg,' just not for us [w/video]

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 22:31

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With around a month away from its world debut on September 8, Jaguar continues to issue a constant drip of updates about its upcoming XE compact luxury sedan that's aiming to take on the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4. Where the company's last bit of info focused on the car's suspension setup, this time Jag's putting the spotlight on the new model's modular platform and making some big promises about it, too. How big? Try over 75 miles per gallon big.

That's the headline figure that Jaguar is claiming for its new sedan, but it's keeping mum on just what powertrain will realize that figure. Furthermore, that result is on the European test cycle, which is more lenient than America's EPA testing regime. In any case, when the XE hits the road, Jag says it will be the most efficient vehicle from the company, ever.

That's thanks in no small part to the aluminum-intensive monocoque chassis underpinning the sedan. It's constructed from a new grade of the lightweight metal called RC 5754 that uses a high portion of recycled material. "The Jaguar XE body uses over 75-percent aluminum content, which far exceeds any other car in its class. This gives us a body structure with unrivaled low weight: it's light but also immensely strong with extremely high levels of torsional stiffness," said Dr. Mark White, Jaguar Chief Technical Specialist; Body Complete.

Considering that the XE is also using some of Jag's cutting-edge Ingenium family of engines, maintaining a low mass and high efficiency should be easier goals reach. The real question is still how it feels will feel to drive. Europeans get to find out in 2015, but North American buyers will have to remain patient until 2016. Hopefully, it'll be worth the wait. Scroll down for a video explaining more about the platform and for the full release.

Continue reading Jaguar XE promises to net 'over 75 mpg,' just not for us [w/video]

Jaguar XE promises to net 'over 75 mpg,' just not for us [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Autoblog Podcast #391

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 22:16

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Episode #391 of the Autoblog Podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Mike Harley and Brandon Turkus talk about the appointment of Kumar Galhotra to run Lincoln, changes coming for Scion, the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, and which cars won't live into 2015. We also take a quick detour to talk about the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge prototype, which Mike Harley just came back from driving. 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 new rundown below with times for topics, and you can follow along down below with our Q&A. Thanks for listening!

Autoblog Podcast #391:



Topics: In the Autoblog Garage: Hosts: Dan Roth, Michael Harley, Brandon Turkus
Runtime: 01:42:06

Rundown:
  • Intro and Garage - 00:00
  • Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge - 30:05
  • Kumar Galhotra to Lincoln - 34:32
  • Scion Changes - 43:58
  • Dodge Charger Hellcat - 54:25
  • Discontinued Cars - 01:06:24
  • Q&A - 01:22:59
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

Feedback:
Email: Podcast at Autoblog dot com

Review the show in iTunes

Continue reading Autoblog Podcast #391

Autoblog Podcast #391 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:16:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Will this McLaren F1 sell for over $12 million at Pebble Beach?

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 21:57

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Decades ago, a dominant Formula One team made a few dozen examples of a sports car that was as devastating on the track as it was on the road, and as such, it has become highly sought-after by collectors willing to pay millions - even tens of millions - for the privilege of ownership. We have to be talking about the Ferrari 250 GTO, right? We very well could be, but in this case, no: we're talking about the McLaren F1 - a legendary supercar whose values seem to be skyrocketing in the footsteps of its arch-rival's most iconic classic. And if this latest pre-auction estimate is anything to go by, it will only continue to climb as quickly as it accelerates.

The past couple of McLaren F1s on whose sales we've reported traded hands for over $5 million apiece and we thought that was pretty spectacular, but this latest example consigned to Gooding & Company for its upcoming sale at Pebble Beach has an expected selling price of between $12 million and $14 million.

Chassis No. 031, a 1995 model, is a bit of a rarity in that it's one of only a handful of McLaren F1s painted in white, and the only one in this particular shade of Marlboro White, adopting the color of the grand prix team's title sponsor at the time. It's had only three owners who've put barely over 1,000 miles on the odometer, starting in Japan, where it resided with collector Shin Okamoto for 15 years before he sold it to a collector in Chicago, who in turn sold it to its current owner who's putting it up for auction. The 27th example built, it's said to be in "highly original" condition, was extensively serviced at the McLaren factory as recently as 2008, and comes with all its original manuals, tools and fitted luggage.

Is all of that enough to make this 1995 McLaren F1 worth more than twice what they've been going for? If someone pays it, we suppose it will. But the McLaren isn't even the most expensive lot consigned for the auction. Little surprise, it'll have to compete with a number of much older Ferrari models for that honor: a 250 GT SWB California Spider is estimated to fetch $13-15 million, the estimate for a similar coupe has not even been released, and a rare three-seater 1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale could go for over $20 million.

Continue reading Will this McLaren F1 sell for over $12 million at Pebble Beach?

Will this McLaren F1 sell for over $12 million at Pebble Beach? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2015 Audi Q3 pricing leaked, starts at $32,500*

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 21:29

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Audi only debuted the 2015 Q3 compact crossover for the US market at the 2014 Detroit Motor Show in January, yet that feels like a lifetime ago. However, the little luxury CUV is finally getting close to reaching these shores, and alleged pricing for it is leaking out.

According to leaked documents from Audi Q3 Forum (right), the premium compact crossover has a starting price of $32,500 (*plus an additional destination charge of $925), for an actual cost of $33,425. That covers the front-wheel drive model with a 200-horsepower 2.0 TFSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. Upgrading to a version with Quattro that spins all four wheels brings the bill to $34,600 - $35,525 after destination charges. In case you wanted further proof, Audi's new Q3 teaser site confirms the starting price of $32,500.

The documents list two trim levels - Premium Plus and Prestige. Premium Plus includes standard features like a panoramic sunroof, heated seats, Xenon headlights with LED running lights and dual-zone climate control and more. Paying $3,900 more for Prestige adds MMI Navigation Plus, Bose surround sound, a power tailgate and other goodies.

German luxury cars often offer a mile-long list of options, but the Q3 appears to be surprisingly sparse, according to this leak. Premium Plus is available with MMI Navigation Plus for $1,900, a driver assistance package for $1,400 and power tailgate for $400. Both trims are offered with a sport package for $550, 19-inch wheels for $800, wood inlays for $350 and a black headliner is listed as a no-cost option.

It's the perfect time for the Q3's price leak too because the competing 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class with 208 horsepower is now confirmed with a price of $32,225 after its destination fee, while the all-wheel drive model goes for $34,225. Comparatively, the 240-hp BMW X1 sDrive28i asks $31,850 in rear-wheel drive spec or $33,650 to drive all four wheels, after their $950 destination charge. That makes the Q3 the most expensive of the German luxury CUVs by a surprising amount, though it looks like its standard equipment list will also be rather generous by comparison. Check out the gallery for all of the details.

2015 Audi Q3 pricing leaked, starts at $32,500* originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2015 Mercedes C-Class starts at $38,400*

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 20:31

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Mercedes-Benz just keeps dropping pricing bombshells on us. After unveiling the cost of the models of the upcoming GLA-Class compact crossover, now the 2015 C-Class, the German brand's bread-and-butter luxury sedan, is ready to unleash its secrets, as well.

The least expensive of the new models is the rear-wheel-drive C300 with a starting price of $38,400, plus a $925 delivery & destination charge, to bring the actual base price to $39,325. However, the two-wheel drive version doesn't hit the road until the first quarter of 2015. The first variants that people can actually buy arrive in September 2014, and they are the all-wheel drive C300 4Matic and C400 4Matic for $41,325 and $49,515, respectively, after the destination fee.

In addition to styling inspired by the S-Class, the 2015 C-Class models also have new engines. Both variants of the C300 use a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine pumping out 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. The more powerful C400 uses a bi-turbo 3.0-liter V6 making 329 hp and 354 lb-ft. All models get Mercedes' 7G-Tronic Plus seven-speed automatic gearbox. Merc is holding back on fuel economy numbers and 0-60-miles-per-hour specs until a bit closer to launch.

As befitting a Mercedes, all versions come packed with luxury features. The C300 comes quite well equipped as standard, with dual-zone climate control, power seats, a seven-inch infotainment display and more. Moving up to the C400 adds standard heated front seats, LED headlights and an upgraded stereo. Of course, there's also long list of options including improved interior upholstery, a sport package, upgraded infotainment and a whole lot more.

Comparing pricing of the 2015 C-Class to the 2014 model is rather tricky. The rear-wheel drive C300 is over $2,000 more expensive than the current C250, but if you look at the 2015 C300 4Matic versus the more comparable 2014 C300 4Matic, the latest one is only about $1,000 more. The C300 is also more expensive than the base BMW 320i, A4 or Lexus IS250, but the Mercedes is bringing more to the table in terms of engine power.

Continue reading 2015 Mercedes C-Class starts at $38,400*

2015 Mercedes C-Class starts at $38,400* originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 15:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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We go Unplugged to celebrate Mazda Miata Month

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 19:58

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Chances are good that you, loyal Autoblog reader, have long since chosen to follow us on Twitter and 'like' us on Facebook. (If you haven't, feel free to take a second and do so right now.) Anyway, if you're one of our social media posse, you might have already heard that we're smack dab in the middle of Miata Month. We've gotten Mazda to loan us a couple of MX-5 Miatas, allowing us to say a protracted, tear-filled goodbye to the current generation (NC) of the beloved roadster, just before it exits stage right and ushers in the next generation.

You'll see a few more Miata Month items here on Autoblog after we've said our final farewell, but we absolutely wanted to make sure we created some great video evidence of our month, as well. Right down below, then, in its unfiltered-audio splendor, is the Autoblog Unplugged version of the 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata PRHT. Your author had a pretty great time wringing out the roadster for the creation of our short vid, and we really hope you dig listening along.

Continue reading We go Unplugged to celebrate Mazda Miata Month

We go Unplugged to celebrate Mazda Miata Month originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mercedes rolls out versatile new Vito van

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 19:15

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Mercedes-Benz may be known for its luxury cars on this side of the Atlantic, but it's equally known around the world for making robust workhorses as well: trucks, buses and vans. It has started to turn Americans on to that idea with the successful transplant of the Sprinter van to North America, but it still has a whole range of commercial vehicles it doesn't offer here. It recently rolled out the Renault-built Citan to replace its Vaneo, replaced its Viano with the new V-Class, and it has now introduced a new Vito van as well.

More utilitarian than the V-Class, the Vito is a smaller alternative to the Sprinter and hits showrooms in other global markets in a wide array of configurations. For starters, it will be available in numerous lengths as a panel van, a passenger van or as a crew cab, a configuration that combines a four-door passenger compartment with a cargo bay in the back. It's also intriguingly available in front-, rear- or all-wheel drive, motivated by a pair of four-cylinder turbodiesels displacing 1.6 liters or 2.1 liters with power ranging from 136 horsepower up to 190. Regardless of engine selection, buyers can choose from either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic.

In addition to a wider range of powertrain and bodystyle choices, Mercedes has also redesigned the new Vito to be safer and more comfortable than the model it replaces. It has a more aerodynamic shape for a lower coefficient of drag that pairs with the new engines to help reduce fuel consumption. That's particularly important to the vehicle's competitiveness among fleet buyers, because improved fuel economy leads to reduced running costs. Further, the new Vito can be kept on the road for 25,000 miles over two years in between service intervals.

Despite the suspension that's been redesigned for a more compliant ride, the new Vito doesn't skimp on the utility. In fact, Mercedes claims it's got the highest payload capacity in its class at over 3,000 pounds and a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of over three tons, depending on spec. Read all about it in the press release below and scope out the range in the high-res image gallery above.

Continue reading Mercedes rolls out versatile new Vito van

Mercedes rolls out versatile new Vito van originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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UK police move to seize mobile phones after all accidents

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 18:29

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There's little question that driving while holding your phone is incredibly dangerous. In the UK alone, some 500 people are estimated to be seriously injured or killed each year because of car and truck drivers using their phones behind the wheel - a staggering figure that is leading British authorities to take controversial action.

The UK's Association of Chief Police Officers has issued guidelines to law enforcement officials to confiscate the phones of anyone involved in a traffic accident so that police can determine if they were using their mobile devices when the accident took place. If a driver is found to have been using his or her phone and caused a serious crash, that driver could be sentenced to up to 14 years in prison.

While the police are determined to crack down on phone use behind the wheel, others are justifiably worried about where the measure could lead. "I am 100-percent against anyone texting while drive," Hugh Bladon of the Alliance of British Drivers said to Visordown, "But I'm worried police could overdo it, just because someone is involved in a minor shunt, surely it shouldn't mean they should lose their phone." Imagine having someone hit your car, then having the police confiscating your phone, leaving you with no way to get home, and you can see what Bladon is on about. Beyond the inconvenience, there's also further privacy concerns - will UK authorities have the right to search the rest of your phone, including emails and text messages?

UK police move to seize mobile phones after all accidents originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Toyota's Psy-style Waku-Doki ad inherits Japan's bizarre ad crown

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 17:45

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A new Japanese Toyota ad featuring crisply suited businessmen driving into the jungle only to segue into a Psy-style music-video dance-off with a gorilla and natives is the latest car commercial to go viral. Jungle Wakudoki is the newest installment in a grand tradition of bizarre ads from the island nation that are by turns hilarious, head-scratching and occasionally even frightening.

Let's face it: My people are weird.

I'm half-Japanese and take suitable pride in my Asian roots, but even I can't figure out what's been slipped into the water coolers of the country's ad agencies much of the time - or the nation at large, for that matter. From Japan's ubiquitous obsession with all things adorable (kawaii) to its offbeat sense of humor and its bizarrely perverse and violent tentacle porn, it's clear there's a lot going on in the culture, and only some of it bubbles up to the surface in its marketing efforts. Much of the strangest and most amazing ads are for non-transportation products (e.g. laundry soap, snacks, energy drinks), but the automotive space has its fair share. This latest Toyota ad had me trawling YouTube for a common theme, trying to make sense of why these spots are the way they are. Scroll down to watch the Toyota ad in question as well as a bunch of other examples of Japan's most bizarre car-related ads and see if you can't find the thread that runs between them. Is it just that something's being lost in translation? Have your say in Comments.

Continue reading Toyota's Psy-style Waku-Doki ad inherits Japan's bizarre ad crown

Toyota's Psy-style Waku-Doki ad inherits Japan's bizarre ad crown originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty Power Stroke

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 16:58

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What weighs 30,000 pounds? Big Ben's Westminster bell. A navy ship anchor. Or as we found out during our first drive program for the 2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty, seven pallets of cinder blocks loaded onto a dual-axle gooseneck trailer. The test was part of a raft of towing demonstrations that showcased the new Super Duty's impressive tug capacity, which maxes out at 32,100 pounds. That's 1,200 more than its nearest rival, the Ram 3500, when equipped with its upgraded 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V8. Such is the heavy-duty pickup truck business, a diesel-fueled game of one-upmanship with only three players: Ford, Chevrolet/GMC and Ram. And in this game, the one with the most torque wins.

Until 2014, Ford was the one to beat, with its 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel bringing 400 hp and a massive 800 lb-ft of torque to the table. Then last year, Ram did exactly that, serving Ford with a beefed-up Cummins turbodiesel inline-six in its freshened Ram Heavy Duty truck line with 385 hp and 850 lb-ft of torque, enabling it to tow up to 30,000 pounds. But Ford claims it had designed its engine to be relatively easy to upgrade when the time called for it, so for 2015, Ford bolted a larger turbo to the Power Stroke, bringing output to an insane 440 hp and 860 lb-ft of twist, all without reducing fuel efficiency. Maximum tow capacity rises from 24,700 lbs to an incredible 31,200 lbs for the F-450 dually.

As for GM's HDs? They lag behind the lot with their 6.6-liter Duramax V-8, producing 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque. Yeah, you know things are serious when the trucks with 765 lb-ft are the knock-kneed wimps of the lot.

Yet all this one-upmanship isn't as crystal-clear as the spec sheets would have you believe. Ford and Ram are currently involved in a pissing match over how these tow ratings are calculated, and the solution might not be arrived at without legal intervention. We prefer firsthand drive impressions over spec-sheet bench racing (towing?), so we headed to West Virginia to saddle up and ride.

Continue reading 2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty Power Stroke

2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty Power Stroke originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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1962 Ferrari 250 GTO for sale in Germany at $64 million [UPDATE]

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 16:29

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UPDATE: A previous version of this article incorrectly listed the production period for the 250 GTO. The text below has been updated with the correct information.

Prices keep climbing for the Ferrari 250 GTO with virtually no end in sight. In 1969 one sold for just $2,500, but by the 1980s they were trading for hundreds of thousands, then millions, then tens of millions to the point that the last last year, one was reported to have changed hands at $52 million. But now there's a GTO for sale in Germany that could eclipse even that gargantuan price tag.

Ferrari made 39 examples of the 250 GTO between 1962 and 1964, and the item listing on mobile.de doesn't give much in the way of specifics as to which exactly we're looking at. But last we checked, there were only two GTOs in Germany, and the other one was silver. That leaves chassis number 3809GT, which was delivered new in '62 to Switzerland and participated in numerous endurance races and hillclimb events throughout the early 60s. 3809GT has been owned until now by one Hartmut Ibing, who bought it in 1976 when values were in the tens of thousands, not tens of millions. Given how his asset has appreciated so dramatically, and with less than 10,000 miles on the odometers over 52 years, we could understand how Ibing would want to cash out.

Of course we could be mistaken and we could be looking at an entirely different example - the vast majority were, after all, painted red and fitted with blue upholstery just like this one - but either way, we're looking at a price tag of 47.6 million euros. That's nearly $64 million at today's rates, inclusive of Germany's 19 percent VAT rate that adds a staggering $10 million in taxes to the pre-tax price of 40 million euros, which comes in under $54 million but would still be the most ever paid for a GTO (or really, just about any car ever made).

If that's too rich for your blood but you're still in the market, you could try your luck with the one which Bonhams will auction off at The Quail next month. Who knows, with no reserve price, maybe you'll do better. But more likely, the bidding will have driven the sale price up even higher and Ibing will rush to increase his asking price before a rejected bidder snaps his up.

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO for sale in Germany at $64 million [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2015 Dodge Viper getting small increase in power

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 15:45

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The Viper is used to being the most powerful car in the Dodge and SRT stables, but the arrival of the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat means that's no longer the case. The serpentine supercar is, however, reportedly getting a small boost in output for 2015, amounting to all of five horsepower.

The increase was uncovered by Road & Track courtesy of the SAE J1349 certification process to which Detroit's Big Three automakers submit themselves and which reports the Viper's output at 645 hp instead of the 640 it was rated at until now. There are a hundred factors that could have contributed to the relatively mild boost in output (best guess? nothing at all changed...), but we doubt anyone's going to complain about some extra horses under the hood.

The five-horsepower boost brings the Viper that much closer to the 650-hp Chevy Corvette Z06, not to mention the 707-hp Hellcat, but the Viper's impressive power-to-weight ratio ought to mean it'll have little problem keeping up in a straight line - which is just one of the reasons why Chrysler won't shoe-horn the Hellcat into the Viper: as R&T points out, the supercharged engine is too heavy and the blower makes it too tall to fit in the Viper's engine bay.

Chrysler's big-bore V10 engine has come a long way from the 400 horsepower it produced back in 1992, increasing displacement by only 24.5 cubic inches but power by over 60 percent over the past 22 years.

2015 Dodge Viper getting small increase in power originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 10:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Fisker's new owner working out Karma's 250 'bugs' before introducing second model

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 15:01

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Fisker may be down, but it might not stay down forever. The company behind the Karma luxury hybrid shut down late last year and was purchased by Chinese OEM supplier Wanxiang Group, which intends to restart production. It just can't tell us when.

Speaking with Automotive News Europe, Wanxgiang executives indicated they have some work on their hands, sorting out 250 "bugs" it has found in the existing Karma. Once it has those sorted out, it plans to start production again at the Valmet plant in Finland before potentially moving assembly to the plant in Delaware that Fisker had acquired from General Motors. The executives were touring the United States to inspect their battery factory in Michigan, visit the plant in Delaware and meet with government officials in Washington.

Wanxiang apparently has even bigger ambitions than that, however. The latest news is that it intends to expand the rebooted Fisker with a second model sometime in 2017. The company has not provided any details as to what that form that model might take, but prior to its bankruptcy, Fisker displayed a smaller concept sedan called the Atlantic at the 2012 New York Auto Show.

Fisker had previously revealed the Surf wagon and Sunset convertible concepts based on the Karma as well, but there's no telling at this point if Wanxiang has any intent on putting those into production any time in the near future.

Fisker's new owner working out Karma's 250 'bugs' before introducing second model originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 10:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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eBay Find Of The Day: 1988 Saleen Ford Mustang General Tire 21R race car

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 14:14

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Saleen may be making headlines these days for working on the Tesla Model S, but its history and bread-and-butter is all about the Ford Mustang. The rear-wheel-drive Dearborn pony cars singlehandedly put the company on the map in the '80s. Founder Steve Saleen was already a talented American racing driver when he started the venture, and like many auto industry businesses before him, Saleen went to the track to prove his vehicles' worth. Now, there's a chance to buy one of those early racers on eBay Motors.

Saleen Mustangs raced in the Sports Car Club of America Escort Endurance Championship - a series of multi-hour races meant to challenge man and machine. Ostensibly a showroom stock class, the cars had larger wheels, tuned suspensions and other upgrades that stretched the concept slightly. Saleen found major success though, taking the championship for its class in 1987 and winning the 24 Hours of Mosport consecutively from 1986 through 1988.

According to the seller, Saleen only built eight of these cars, and this one carries the #21R serial number. They all started life as new Mustangs from Ford dealers but were immediately stripped and prepped to go racing. Beyond obvious mods like a roll cage, they featured eight-inch wide wheels in front, an inch of additional track width, stiffer suspension bushings and much more.

Saleen #21R is still in its well-known "Bumblebee" livery and includes its SCCA logbook, original wheels, a Saleen title, Steve's signature on the interior and many of the company's ID tags still on the car, according to the auction. It carries a Buy It Now of $65,000, and the auction ends on August 13. That's not cheap, but it would likely be quite a conversation piece whenever it arrived for a day at the track.

eBay Find Of The Day: 1988 Saleen Ford Mustang General Tire 21R race car originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 09:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Honda Civic Tourer sports forbidden facelift

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 13:30

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Following up on a sextet of spy photos from June, we now have another batch of images of the facelifted Euro-spec Honda Civic undergoing testing in the United Kingdom. There's a bit more sheetmetal to this particular prototype, though, as our spy photographers have caught the upcoming Tourer model (pronounced "wagon" among us Yanks).

Like the hatchback we showed you last month, the new Tourer benefits from the same set of styling tweaks inspired by the Civic Type R Concept from March's Geneva Motor Show. That means it boasts a revised front fascia, albeit with a more heavily camouflaged version of the grille shown in last month's photos. It's a similar story below, where the intakes on this long-roof model wear more disguise, yet look to be virtually identical to what we've already seen.

While the headlights still look to be a straight lift from last month's car, the more upright nature of the Tourer's tailgate demands a more subdued character. Gone are the thin, curvy LED taillights, and in their place sit significantly more substantial units (with conventional bulbs), although they boast none of the design chutzpah shown on our last round of spy photos. Our spies claim LED taillights will be available, noting that they simply aren't fitted to this particular prototype, a distinction that suggests this is a lower-end model.

Look for the new European Civic family to make their grand entrance in early October, at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.

Honda Civic Tourer sports forbidden facelift originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 08:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA priced from $31,300*

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 04:38

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Mercedes-Benz has kindly let loose the price of the US-spec 2015 GLA-Class, telling Autoblog that the base 208-horsepower GLA250 in two-wheel drive form will go for $31,300 *not including a destination charge of $925. That makes for $32,225 in total to get one off the lot, a price predicted as early as last year and in our recent First Drive. The other two available models can push power to all four wheels, and after the destination fee is applied the GLA240 4Matic (pictured) will be $34,225 while the 355-horsepower GLA45 AMG will change lives and wallets to the tune of $49,225.

On the base scale, that puts the GLA250 just a few hundred dollar bills above the more powerful, rear-wheel-drive BMW X1 and a stack of hundreds below the less powerful, front-wheel-drive Audi Q3. If you're keeping in-house score, the GLA250 comes in at $1,400 above its sedan platform-mate with the same engine, the CLA250. At the high end, however, the competition doesn't have anything that can touch the AMG trim. Not that it should matter all that much - Mercedes needed something to keep these buyers in the family, and now it has it. If any of them should need even more power and more money spent, then there's always that 394-hp Brabus flavor. We'll have more info and details on each trim when Mercedes unleashes the shebang in the not-too-distant future.

2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA priced from $31,300* originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Jul 2014 23:38:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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