The upcoming version of the Volkswagen Golf R is nearly ready for prime time, if this video of the car flying around the Nürburgring is any indication. The all-wheel-drive R seems to make quick, neat work of the corners we see here, and sounds pretty devilish in the process.
Expectations are that the new Golf R will run a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (what else?), tuned to produce even more than the current car's 256 horsepower. (Some sources have indicated outputs as high as 286 horsepower, with 280 pound-feet of torque. It's still not clear if Volkswagen will bring the six-speed dual-clutch transmission to the US-spec Golf R in this next go-round or if we'll stick to having only... eh... the stick.
In either case - watching the video below will only whet your appetite for the new, highest performing member of the Golf family.Permalink | Email this | Comments
There are no shiftier sands than those that underlie the heavy duty truck market. Ford, General Motors and Chrysler have been locked in the same interminable sniping match for years, each delighting in picking their competitors off with new, more powerful drivelines and ever loftier tow ratings. Right now, Ram sits at the top of the heap with its 2013 3500 HD. With the optional Max Tow package, the truck is rated to pull an astonishing 30,000 pounds. That's ludicrous weight - the kind of heft typically left to the semi world.
In fact, most states require you to have a commercial driver's license just to pull that much ballast around behind you, and for good reason: All that tonnage comes to bear on every aspect of a vehicle's driving dynamics. Every maneuver takes longer, requires more forethought and exacts a larger toll on the vehicle's hardware. Of course, as is often the case, there can be a gulf between what it says on a machine's label and what the rig can actually muster in terms of performance. We hitched a full 30,000 lbs behind the 2013 Ram 3500 HD to find out exactly how well the truck lives up to its reputation.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Employing complex scientific formulas and methodologies probably best described as "Whatever we felt like choosing," Automobile has named its All-Stars for the 2013 model year. The 11 vehicles earned their trophies for being "the best and most significant" offerings to the mag's staff and contributors, and while we were surprised to see a couple of them on the list, none of them were shocking. In no particular order, they are:
- Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 (seen above)
- Porsche Boxster
- Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S
- Audi A7
- Ram 1500
- Honda Accord
- Mazda CX-5
- Ford Focus
- BMW 3 Series
- Volkswagen GTI
There you have it. Head on over to Automobile for the full story and the adventures they created to test each winner.Permalink | Email this | Comments
We know the McLaren P1 is pretty much ready to fly into lucky US owners' underground bunkers by the latter part of fall 2013. We should get a go at an early production version by late June, we are told, and as you would imagine, we can't wait. The running number on the price for the United States remains pegged at $1.15 million.
The main facts remain the same: The P1 runs off a twin-power hybrid powerplant good for a combined 903 horsepower and 663 pound-feet of torque. Thrusting thrills are provided by both the push-button operated Drag Reduction System (or DRS), chopping drag by 23 percent by flattening the rear wing, and by the push-button operated Instant Power Assist System (IPAS) feeding instantaneous added electric-motor oomph through the gearbox straight to the drivetrain. The slingshot from 0 to 186 miles per hour (i.e. 300 kilometers per hour) happens in less than 17 seconds.
Shivers. While at the Geneva Motor Show where the P1 showed itself in full production trim and in screaming picture-hogging yellow, we chatted about further details with the P1's chief of engineering design, Dan Parry-Williams. To all the specification fodder we already have on the P1, Parry-Williams added some chum.Permalink | Email this | Comments
While more and more buyers seem to be opting for the functionality of car-based crossover vehicles every day, it's rare that your read much in the way of passionate praise for one. And, while Consumer Reports doesn't exactly lavish written paeans on the Subaru Forester in its latest review - that's just not its style - it did give the CUV a remarkably high overall score.
Praising its excellent fuel economy, visibility, roomy interior and a whole lot more, the testing publication bestowed an overall score of 88 out of 100 on the Forester. That's a really excellent number for just about any vehicle, but it's also a top-of-the-class mark for the Forester's small CUV division. Just about the only major gripe was that of ride quality.
Most of the direct competitors to the Forester have earned CR marks in the mid-70s. The Honda CR-V is some 11 points behind, for instance, while the Toyota RAV4 and the Mazda CX-5 earn scores of 75 and 74, respectively.
2014 Subaru Forester gets big nod of approval from Consumer Reports originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 22 May 2013 10:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
There seem to be plenty of reports swirling in regards to Land Rover lately. According to Autocar, not only is the British automaker going back to the drawing board for the design of its next-generation Defender, but the outlet is also saying that the Freelander name could be dropped.
While the article doesn't say why, its source indicates that current plans for the next Defender have been scrapped, yet there is a still a replacement in the works. The existing Defender will end production in 2015, but this replacement vehicle will not be ready by then. We imagine that the styling of the replacement won't echo that of the DC100 Concept shown above, and that the news would affect the planned Defender-based Tata SUV as well as the proposed Land Rover factory in India.
As for the Freelander, it sounds like the next generation of this SUV will be out by next year, but it will not be wearing the Freelander name. Instead, Land Rover will include it as a smaller version of the Discovery. Here in the States, these two vehicles are named LR2 (Freelander) and LR4 (Discovery).
Next-gen Defender plans scrapped, Freelander name being dropped originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 22 May 2013 09:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
No, a Ford Expedition did not drive from Russia to Canada via the North Pole, but that's exactly what a team of intrepid explorers accomplished recently. Using specially-modified buses with massive tires, the group slowly drove 2,485 miles in 70 days over drifting ice, occasionally using a pickaxe to clear a path and staying on guard for chasms that could open up and plunge the team into the frigid arctic waters. Average speeds were about 6 mph, "at the speed of a (farm) tractor." While the big tires technically allowed the buses to float if the need arose, the team preferred to stay out of the water to keep the suspension from getting coated in thick, hard ice. Falling in on foot would mean almost certain death.
According to Phys.org, the buses were powered by Toyota diesel engines, but were built with prototype parts from a previous driving expedition to the North Pole. Right now, the machines are parked in a garage in Canada's Resolute Bay while the the team rests up with family back home. They plan to continue their trek to back across the Bering Straight to Russia. If successful, the team may eventually offer a version of their buses for commercial sale.
Expedition drives from Russia to Canada over North Pole... originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 22 May 2013 08:46:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Three-year-old peer-to-peer car rental service Relay Rides has run into a rough ride in New York, accused by the state's Financial Services Department of "repeated false advertising and violations of insurance law."
The two sides present different takes on what's happened - a state official makes it sound like Relay Rides willfully misled consumers when it told them "that they would not be liable for out-of-pocket expenses in the event that their car was stolen or involved in an accident," because the company's insurance isn't approved by New York. Relay Rides, which operates nationwide, has said that it works to make sure it abides by state laws but learned from the Financial Services Department that there was "noncompliance with certain unique aspects of New York insurance law."
While the quarrel is sorted out, Relay Rides has said it will discontinue the service in New York but that any existing reservations will be honored.
NY State puts kibosh on RelayRides car-sharing service originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 22 May 2013 08:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Those of you who were following along with the live Xbox One keynote this afternoon have likely already seen this video, but for the rest of the world, this is the first look at the all-new Forza Motorsport 5. Slated to be a launch title for the new Xbox gaming console, Forza 5 is tipped to offer racing like no other video game before it, with controls and graphical presentation on a new level.
The demo seen here shows that, to no one's surprise, the McLaren P1 will have a star turn in the next-generation game. The video shows both the P1 and its F1 forefather in a race through narrow city streets, with both cars rendered in eye-popping detail. Actual game play footage will ultimately have to win us over, but it's safe to say that all signs point to a killer racing sim. Check out the video for yourself below.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Nissan found out about the teen and his dream of driving a GT-R, and actually did something about it. Says Mike Disser from Nissan Marketing Communications, "The team at Nissan was inspired by Zach's story. Loaning a GT-R to Zach to help make one of his dreams come true was an opportunity to do something uplifting and rewarding for a very special car-guy."
"You don't have to find out you're dying to start living"Diagnosed with the cancer at the age of 14, Zach fought back with inspiring optimism and an infectious smile, but he ultimately lost his battle with cancer on May 20. In the video posted below, Zach says "you don't have to find out you're dying to start living," and hopefully, his heartwarming spirit will live on with those who watch it. Zach's love for the GT-R starts to show around the 5:30 mark, but we definitely suggest that you grab a box of Kleenex and watch the entire 22-minute video.
This video was posted on his 18th birthday - May 3 - when he had just weeks to live. Be sure to check out some of the videos for songs that he wrote including "Clouds" (also embedded below).
Zach Sobiech was a Nissan GT-R fan, will always be our hero originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 21 May 2013 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
What, you didn't think that Kia was going to let Hyundai have all the big-dollar fun, did you? Hyundai may have blazed a trail upmarket with its Genesis Sedan and more recently, the Equus, but its corporate sibling, Kia, has arguably been autodom's hottest brand the last few years, with increases in style, tech, consumer consideration and sales that are the envy of the industry. So it's no surprise that it isn't stopping its North American product onslaught with its just-introduced 2014 Cadenza sedan, it's reportedly readying its premium-minded rear-drive Quoris cruiser for a launch here next year.
That's according to a new report from Automotive.com, which spoke with Kia officials at the media launch of the Cadenza. The oddly named Quoris ("derived from the English words 'core' and 'quality,'" says Kia), will likely nuzzle up against its Equus stablemate when it debuts, carrying an estimated $50,000 to $70,000 price tag. To our eyes, the Kia looks markedly more contemporary than the Equus inside-and-out (no surprise, it's a much newer design). And there's even more reason for optimism on Kia's behalf: the Hyundai Equus has been doing just fine on the sales front - even before its recently introduced facelift. So it's not unreasonable to interpret the luxury sedan market as open to the idea of owning a full-size luxury sedan from a non-traditional country.
In other news, Kia recently exhumed its elderly Sedona minivan, dusting it off, putting a little more frosting on its flanks and trotting it out to customers anew for 2014. The people mover's odd, Lazarus-like reanimation moment apparently isn't lost on Kia executives, who still very much want a modern minivan. According to the same report, an all-new Sedona, likely informed by 2011's funky KV7 Concept, is still a ways off - but we could hear more about it as early as later this year.
Kia to make push upmarket with Quoris next year, new Sedona also likely originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 21 May 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Before you head to the pharmacy to refill your Lipitor prescription, check this out. The American Heart Association's journal on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology has concluded that high levels of vehicle emissions can cause high cholesterol in mice, which could indicate that air pollution is a contributing factor in high cholesterol or vascular disease.
In the study, mice were exposed to diesel exhaust for two weeks "at a particulate mass concentration within the range of what mine workers usually are exposed to" (according to UCLA), which, not surprisingly, had a negative effect on the bloodstream. First, the air pollution altered the HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein, a.k.a. "good cholesterol") to the point that the positive properties of the protein were reduced and could lead to high levels of LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein, "bad cholesterol") and hardening of the arteries. While this seems like a study related to extreme pollution, it draws yet another linkage between our environments and our health.Permalink | Email this | Comments
It's been about a month since we first saw the Mitsubishi Concept G4 at the Shanghai Motor Show, but now the automaker has revealed the first images for the sedan in production trim. Wearing the Mitsubishi Attrage nameplate, this sedan will go on sale this summer in Thailand and could eventually makes its way to the US. Despite being essentially a sedan version of its subcompact Mirage, Mitsubishi refers to the Attrage as its next-generation global compact sedan, suggesting it's a fair bit larger than its hatchback counterpart.
We only have this single image to go on, but the new Attrage obviously has the same overall look as the Concept G4. As expected, it does lose some of the more conceptual bits, including the fancy headlights, grills and wheels. While the styling has us thinking back to the late 1990s, the true advantage of the Attrage is likely to be its fuel consumption. US fuel economy for the Attrage hasn't been released, but the closely related 2014 Mirage is expected to return 37 miles per gallon in the city and 44 mpg on the highway using the same 1.2-liter inline four-cylinder engine paired with either a five-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission. Scroll down for the brief press release for the Thai-built Attrage.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Chinese company Wanxiang was in the news earlier this year, as it moved to acquire bankrupt automotive battery company A123. Turns out, while that was taking place in the public eye, Wanxiang was also working with VL Automotive - of Bob Lutz and Destino fame - to try and buy out Fisker Automotive.
According to unnamed sources speaking to Reuters, VL and Wanxiang made Fisker an offer earlier in May to buy the troubled plug-in hybrid automaker through a "prepackaged bankruptcy deal." The talks are apparently ongoing and could well fall through, but it certainly makes sense for both Wanxiang and VL to want Fisker to survive in some manner. A123 supplied the Karma's battery cells and VL needs Karma bodies if it's going to build more than a small number of V8-powered Destinos.
At the end of April, Lutz wrote an article about Fisker's DOE Loan in which he called the Karma, "quite possibly the most beautiful four-door sedan ever." In that article, he also wrote, "The green craze is, frankly, ebbing, and interest in conventional cars remains strong." He's also called his gasoline-powered Destino the Karma that people will actually want to buy.
Reuters also notes there is another deal in the works from European and Hong Kong investors that would buy Fisker's $171-million debt that it owes the US DOE.
Bob Lutz and VL Automotive, Wanxiang trying to buy Fisker originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Tue, 21 May 2013 17:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
It's been a couple of years since we last heard about Holger Schubert and his award-winning office/garage, but it looks like the city of Los Angeles, thankfully, did not force him to tear down the bridge that gives his Ferrari 512 BBi arguably the nicest parking spot in California. Petrolicious is back again with another well-done video, which finally introduces us to Schubert as well as his lust-worthy Ferrari.
As for the structure, it is half garage and half work space with an office, couch, bookshelf and television, and one hell of a view. There is a ramp that raises to allow the Ferrari to roll backward out of the garage before starting up on the aforementioned bridge that sits 16-feet above the ground. The car itself is an equally admirable piece of art, with a wedge-like shape and its reserved dark gray hue. If you're not the jealous type, scroll down to meet Schubert and his incredible Ferrari.
Meet the man whose house is designed around his car originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 21 May 2013 16:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The Renault Mégane R.S. Red Bull Racing RB8 is a special edition hatchback celebrating the company's third year in a row powering Infiniti Red Bull Racing to the Formula One Constructor's Championship. The French carmaker did the same thing last year with the Megane R.S. Red Bull Racing RB7, but whereas last year's model came in the black and yellow livery associated with Renault factory racing teams, this one hews closer to Infiniti Red Bull colors, with an exclusive Crépuscule Blue finish and platinum gray accents.
Other signs as to the hatchack's purpose are the Red Bull logos on the rear quarter panels, the badging on the sills and inside and the laurel stickers on the rear windows. Helping fulfill the buyer's need for speed are a set of 19-inch black wheels shod in the same Bridgestone rubber that got the Megane around the Nürburgring in record time for a production front-wheel-drive car. The car also includes the first use of Renault's new R-Link multimedia tablet and the second generation of the R.S. Monitor.
It will go on sale in 26 countries that sadly fail to include ours. Its arrival in French dealerships is slated for June at a starting price of 36,000 euro ($46,445 US, taxes included), and it will be withdrawn from sale on September 30, 2013 to make good on its limited-edition promise. There's more on it in the press release and video below.
Renault and Red Bull Racing team up for awesome sports Megane [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 21 May 2013 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Episode #334 of the Autoblog Podcast is here, and this week, Dan Roth, Zach Bowman and Jeff Ross talk about the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the BMW 2 Series recently snagged by spy photographers, and a new study that indicates public support for autonomous automobiles. We wrap up with your questions and comments, and for those of you who hung with us live on our UStream channel, thanks for taking the time. You can follow along after the jump with our Q&A. Thanks for listening!
Autoblog Podcast #334:
Topics: Dan Roth, Zach Bowman, Jeff Ross
Runtime: 01:35:28 Get the podcast:
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As one of the premier sports cars in the world, the Porsche 911 is always driving around with a target on its rear-engined backside. If a new report is to be believed, the latest automaker with plans to build a 911-fighting sports coupe could be McLaren. Motor Trend is reporting that the recent news that Honda and McLaren are teaming up to build Formula One racecars could bear road-going fruit as well.
According to the article, the unnamed entry-level McLaren coupe may be powered by a Honda-sourced engine, but a detuned version of the 3.8-liter V8 from the MP4-12C is said to be more likely. All in, though, there is no solid information on the car just yet. As a reminder, M/T points out that the last time McLaren partnered up with a mainstream automaker, the world was introduced to the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.Permalink | Email this | Comments
An annual market study of the strongest brands across various industries has seen Toyota leapfrog BMW as the world's most valuable automotive brand. Toyota's 2013 brand value rose to $24.5 billion, up 12 percent versus 2012 numbers according to market research company Millward Brown's BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands list. BMW's value fell slightly; down by 2 percent to a total of $24 billion.
Mercedes-Benz finished in third place in the automotive category, up 11 percent from 2012 for a valuation of $18 billion. Honda ($12.4 billion, down 2 percent) and Nissan ($10.2 billion, up 3 percent) rounded out the top five for the category. Volkswagen was the only other auto brand that finished in the top 100 overall, in 100th place. Audi made the greatest percentage gain over 2012, up 18 percent to $5.5 billion, but finished outside of the top 100.
Technology companies dominated the overall list, with Apple, Google and IBM ranking one through three. Couture brand Prada was 2013's biggest gainer, rising by 63 percent over 2012.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Would you know what to do if your car crashed into the sea and began to sink? For every foot you descend towards Davey Jones' Locker, 850 pounds of pressure are being exerted on your car door, making the simple act of opening it and exiting an impossibility at the worst possible time.
For this episode of The List, we've brought our hosts, Jessi and Patrick, to the experts at Amphibious Medics to learn the various techniques for escaping a car underwater. That's right, there's more than one school of thought on the best course of action in these situations, and we're going to try them all. While our hosts express their preference for which technique worked best for them, we're no experts and encourage you to do your own research.
Of course, we set up a completely controlled situation wherein we could ensure the safety of Jessi and Patrick, so don't try this at home with your winter beater and a local pond. We found a location perfectly suited for dunking cars, hired some trained medics and divers to watch their backs, and enlisted the services of the show's trusty BMW 3 Series (see its other starring roles in Work as a Professional Stunt Driver and Buy a Used Car Online) to play the part of the hapless sinking auto.
Will this knowledge ever come in handy? About 400 people die from vehicle-related drownings in the United States each year, so the odds are ever in your favor on this one. But if you ever do find yourself slowly sinking underwater in your car, you'll be glad you scrolled down to watch.
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