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Autoblog Podcast #399 goes LIVE at 10PM Eastern!

7 hours 38 min ago

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We're almost ready to record Episode #399 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 #399

Continue reading Autoblog Podcast #399 goes LIVE at 10PM Eastern!

Autoblog Podcast #399 goes LIVE at 10PM Eastern! originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 21:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Piano Guys seranade each generation of Batmobile [w/poll]

9 hours 10 min ago

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A new Batmobile is on the way for the upcoming film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and it blends the military styling of the one in the Dark Knight trilogy with some of the sleekness from the version in the '89 Tim Burton movie. With a new model imminent, it's a perfect time to honor three of the most famous shapes for the Caped Crusader's ride, and a group called The Piano Guys are doing just that in a new music video featuring a medley of Batman theme tunes played on a cello and piano.

According to the opening of the YouTube video and its accompanying description, the guys used the piano and over 100 tracks from the cello to create the song, and the video itself was shot on handheld cameras and a radio-controlled helicopter. The result is pretty amazing both visually and musically with great sets and fantastic-looking examples of each era of the Dark Knight's car.

Check out the video, and let us know in the poll below which Batmobile is your favorite: the Adam West classic, Tim Burton's aerodynamic interpretation or Christopher Nolan's utilitarian Tumbler.

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Continue reading Piano Guys seranade each generation of Batmobile [w/poll]

Piano Guys seranade each generation of Batmobile [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What you missed on 9.29.14

9 hours 37 min ago

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Driving and debating the pricey Cadillac ELR

See that pretty, black coupe over to the right? That's the 2014 Cadillac ELR, and we think it's perhaps the best-looking Cadillac currently on the market. Problem is, it's also one of the most expensive, and we're not so so it's worth it's shockingly (pun intended, sadly) high price. In fact, we're pretty darn sure it isn't. Read our full report to find out why.





Lamborghini Asterion leaks in magazine

The 2014 Paris Motor Show is right around the corner, which means it's just about time to expect the leaky wheels of the internet to start showing off the carefully hidden treasure trove of debuts planned for the City of Lights. In this case, though, it was a magazine that did the leaking, and it's a tasty new concept from Lamborghini on its pages.




2016 Chevy Camaro spied in Germany

There's a new Chevy Camaro headed our way, but before it gets Stateside, the boffins at GM need to make sure it's completely ready for the road - and that means testing on Germany's notoriously high-speed roadways and race tracks. And that, in turn, means spy shots. See the latest round of camo'd test mules right here.



Top Stories

What you missed on 9.29.14 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 19:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Totaled Tesla Model S is a case of buyer beware

10 hours 8 min ago

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Getting a Tesla Model S for just $50,000 is a steal, but when it's a salvage title car and was written off as totaled by an insurance company, the bargain might not be worth the headache. That's what a San Diego man is learning now that he's having trouble getting his fancy but damaged electric vehicle to work.

Tesla has a different version of the story, of course.

Peter Rutman has spent $8,000 in repairs for his EV, but there's one important bit of help he still needs: official activation from Tesla. Rutman is steaming mad at Tesla, telling San Diego 6 that, "Tesla has created a situation where there is nowhere to go. They've blocked every avenue." Tesla has a different version of the story, of course, and says that they're happy to look at the car (and certify it to run if it's in good shape), but said in a statement to AutoblogGreen that Rutman isn't willing to sign a waiver to let Tesla's mechanics get at the car.

"We have strong concerns about this car being safe for the road, but we have been prevented from inspecting the vehicle because Mr. Rutman refused to sign an inspection authorization form. That form clearly states that in order for us to support the vehicle on an ongoing basis, we need to ensure the repairs meet minimum safety standards," the company said. You can read the full statement below.

San Diego 6 says that one of the problems is Tesla's direct-sales model, which means that there's only one place for a customer like Rutman to go for assistance: the company itself. Right now, Rutman says, a Tesla-certified mechanic has to trigger some switch before the car will charge. And that can't happen until he signs the aforementioned authorization form.

Rutman told the local TV station (video also below) that, "The document they wanted me to sign didn't indicate they were going to do any repairs to the car, or get it up and running. They can take the car. They can keep it. They can do whatever they want with it." Tesla says this isn't true, and also denies there is any sort of black list in effect.

Continue reading Totaled Tesla Model S is a case of buyer beware

Totaled Tesla Model S is a case of buyer beware originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Combative de Nysschen defends Cadillac move, naming change

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 23:30

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Johan de Nysschen isn't afraid of taking quick, decisive actions, even if they are criticized. Since taking the wheel at Cadillac, he instigated moving the luxury division's base of operations to Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood and introduced a new naming scheme for the future of the brand, like he did at Infiniti. The polarizing boss recently explained his feelings about the future of Cadillac in more depth on his Facebook page, but unfortunately only his friends could read it. Thankfully, Daily Kanban posted much of the strongly worded missive for the whole world to see.

Much of the message examines the decision to move some employees to New York. De Nysschen claims that it's all about giving Cadillac distance from Detroit to reshape itself. It allows for, "No distractions. No side shows. No cross-brand corporate considerations. No homogenized lowest common denominator approach. Just pure, unadulterated, CLASS."

De Nysschen's isn't afraid of stepping on some toes to make his point, either. He claims that after announcing the move to SoHo, he received, "emails from GM retires suggesting that is the dumbest idea since the Cimmaron. I quietly wonder if any of them had a hand in creating that masterful monument to product substance."

De Nysschen also briefly takes aim at those critiquing the model naming scheme change, as well. "I do not determine strategy based on the unfiltered observations of people who do not have a 360 degree understanding of the problem," he writes.

The new boss curtly ends the message: "So, Detroit fans, I love your city, the success of Cadillac will be your success, the majority of our jobs remain in Detroit, and as we grow, these will increase too. But other than that - don't mess with me."

The current goal for Cadillac's leaders is to raise its brand perception and maybe take a step towards being the standard of the world again. After only being at the task for a few weeks, de Nysschen is certainly showing laser focus on getting the job done, no matter who gets upset at how he does it.

Combative de Nysschen defends Cadillac move, naming change originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Honda reveals more with Civic Type R concept bound for Paris

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 23:00

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The reveal of the next-generation Honda Civic Type R has been a gradual one. First Honda showed us a camouflaged prototype, then let us drive one at its Japanese proving ground and followed up with a concept at the Geneva Motor Show. Now with the Paris Motor Show looming on the horizon, it has revealed yet another concept to keep hot-hatch enthusiasts on their toes.

The second Civic Type R concept appears almost identical to the first one - right down to the aggressive aero kit, quad exhaust tips, oversized wheels and ultra-low-profile rubber - but wears a new coat of Superman blue with go-fast decals. With its release, however, Honda has confirmed some of the salient details set for the production version.

In the nose sits a 2.0-liter turbo four with 276 horsepower and a 7,000-rpm redline, mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Adaptive dampers and a "steer axis" system promise to keep the power under control, while a push of the +R button tightens up the suspension, steering and torque mapping.

All of this adds up to a hot hatch which Honda promises will surpass every Type R before it - including the Integra, Accord, the previous Civic... and yes, even the NSX. Production is slated to take place at Honda's plant in Swindon, UK, with delivery to European showrooms commencing sometime next year.

Continue reading Honda reveals more with Civic Type R concept bound for Paris

Honda reveals more with Civic Type R concept bound for Paris originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Kia showcasing Optima T-Hybrid concept in Paris [w/video]

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 22:35

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At the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, Kia showcased a new diesel hybrid powertrain. And at the rapidly approaching Paris Motor Show, it will present that new technology in the Optima sedan concept you see here.

Called the Kia Optima T-Hybrid, the concept mates a 1.7-liter diesel with both a turbocharger and electric supercharger to a small electric motor and a 48-volt lead-carbon battery. The mild hybrid setup allows it to travel in electric-only model at low speeds and at cruise, regenerating brake power to recharge the battery. Kia said it chose the lead-carbon battery pack over lithium-ion because it's easier to recycle and does not require active cooling.

Because the powertrain is still under development, Kia isn't saying what kind of fuel economy or emissions figures it gets in the Optima T-Hybrid concept, but it is targeting a "significant reduction" in emissions and fuel consumption, while delivering 15 to 20 percent more power. Check out the system in action in the video below.

Continue reading Kia showcasing Optima T-Hybrid concept in Paris [w/video]

Kia showcasing Optima T-Hybrid concept in Paris [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 17:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Submit your questions for Autoblog Podcast #399 LIVE!

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 22:20

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We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #399 this evening. We'll be joined by Rob Sass from Hagerty Insurance to talk about their latest extreme classic car challenge. Check out the topics below or drop us your questions and comments via the Q&A module. And don't forget to subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so. To take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.

Discussion Topics For Autoblog Podcast Episode #399
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Submit your questions for Autoblog Podcast #399 LIVE! originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 17:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Jaguar details new Ingenium four-cylinder engines [w/video]

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 21:57

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When Jaguar lifted the veil on its new XE sports sedan earlier this month, it only revealed details on one engine - that being the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 in the flagship XE S. But we already knew that the British automaker's new entry-level model will offer many other powertrain options, and now it has revealed a little more.

Jaguar has been developing a new family of 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines it calls Ingenium, which will be offered in a wide array of configurations and specifications. In advance of its debut at the upcoming Paris Motor Show, the Leaping Cat marque has announced the specifications of the two diesel versions. The first will offer 161 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque and some of the best environmental credentials on the market. There will also be a more potent version with 177 hp and 317 lb-ft, which Jaguar says is "one of the highest torque outputs in the class." Either way, both versions feature variable exhaust valve timing, cooled low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation and selective catalytic reduction technologies to help meet the stringent Euro 6 standards.

That's all well and fine, but considering that Jaguar doesn't offer diesels in North America, the chances of these oil-burners making their way Stateside seem slim. But if you watch the video below, you'll also find basic specs on their gasoline counterparts as well. Like the diesels, they're turbocharged and displace 2.0 liters, but in petrol form, they offer 197 hp and 206 lb-ft of torque, or 236 hp and 250 lb-ft.

Though we're only likely to get the automatic version in America, globally speaking Jaguar will offer both six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmissions. Whatever the specification, though, the new engines are set to roll off the line at the company's new plant in the West Midlands at a rate as high as one every 36 seconds, should the demand exist.

Continue reading Jaguar details new Ingenium four-cylinder engines [w/video]

Jaguar details new Ingenium four-cylinder engines [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 16:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2016 Chevy Camaro makes camo'd appearance in Germany

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 21:30

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After our initial round of spy photos revealed a heavily camouflaged prototype of the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro, we've been on the lookout for anything new on the next-gen muscle car. And now, we have it.

This is the best look we've had of the 2016 Camaro yet, and while it may be wearing a Michigan manufacturer's plate, this tester is zipping about on Germany's Nürburgring. As with our first batch of photos, this appears to be a more potent version of the Camaro, potentially an SS 1LE or ZL1, judging by the power bulge in the hood, the quadruple exhausts, the meaty wheels and a significant rear spoiler.

Aside from those items, most of which were available in the July round of photos, our spies point to an even slimmer roofline, which leads into a smaller rear decklid and a rounded rear end. Out front, we can see an evolution of the current Camaro's wide, narrow grille (more than one Autoblog editor points out that there's a Scion tC-like quality to this car's nose, although we'd like to point out that's largely the fault of the camouflage) and a front axle with wheels pushed towards the outer corner of the car.

It's not clear what sort of engine is sitting under this Camaro's hood, although considering it's sporting touches, we're betting it's some sort of V8. Other engines that could arrive on the new Alpha-platform Camaro include the usual suspects - GM's 3.6-liter V6, which is found in the current car, and the 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder found on the next Camaro's platform-mates, the Cadillac ATS and CTS.

Take a look at our full battery of spy photos of the 2016 Chevy Camaro.

2016 Chevy Camaro makes camo'd appearance in Germany originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Toyota recalls 690,000 Tacoma trucks for rusty leaf springs, fire risk

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 20:43

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Toyota has announced that it will be issuing a recall of 690,000 Tacoma pickups from model years 2005 through 2011. The affected vehicles include both the four-wheel-drive model and the two-wheel-drive PreRunner (but not the standard 4x2 pickups), which may have a rather serious problem with their rear suspensions.

In some cases, corrosion and stress could cause one of the three or four leaves in the rear suspension's leaf springs to fracture. While the trucks can still be driven with a broken leaf, Toyota is concerned that it could move out of position and impact other components in the rear of the truck, with a particular focus on the fuel tank. Needless to say, but a piece of metal continuously impacting anything, let alone the fuel tank, is cause for concern.

As of this writing, there have been no reports of crashes, injuries, fires or deaths due to this problem, although that won't stop Toyota from informing all affected customers of the issue. Those 690,000 owners will need to report in to dealers for inspections and, if necessary, repairs.

Scroll down for the press release from Toyota.

Continue reading Toyota recalls 690,000 Tacoma trucks for rusty leaf springs, fire risk

Toyota recalls 690,000 Tacoma trucks for rusty leaf springs, fire risk originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 15:43:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lamborghini Asterion leaked in print ahead of Paris debut

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 19:55

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The first purportedly leaked images from an Italian magazine of Lamborghini's new vehicle for the Paris Motor Show are on the web, and they closely echo the model's silhouette from the teaser. However, there's no official mention of a name to confirm that this is being called the Asterion, as rumored.

The profile image (right) definitely suggests this is the same model that Lamborghini is previewing for Paris. It features the same slightly arcing hood and roof, and it has a rear air intake behind the door. The shape also seems to support the belief that this concept has a 2+2 seating arrangement to echo earlier Lambo models like Espada.

According to Autoblog.nl, which has posted the images, the vehicle may use a hybrid V10 with three electric motors to produce in the neighborhood of 900 horsepower. Furthermore, it claims that this might be just one of two concepts that Lamborghini is bringing to the Paris show. For now it's still a mystery, but all should be revealed on October 2 for the vehicle's unveiling.

Lamborghini Asterion leaked in print ahead of Paris debut originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 14:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Porsche 918 Spyder burns to ground in gas station conflagration

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 19:15

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There's one fewer Porsche 918 Spyder zipping along the roads of Toronto, Canada, today. A fire at a gas station over the weekend claimed one of the hybrid supercars in a massive blaze, and a portion of the inferno was caught on video.

According to our partners to the North at Autoblog Canada, the cause of the fire hasn't been officially confirmed yet, but witnesses reportedly claimed gasoline somehow came into contact with the hot exhaust outlets that exit out of the top of the supercar's engine bay. This was just one of two 918s believed to be in the Toronto area.

Other than a possible broken heart from the owner, the fire reportedly caused no injuries, and only the Porsche and gas pump appeared to sustain serious damage. Warning, the video of the conflagration does contain some explicit language.

Continue reading Porsche 918 Spyder burns to ground in gas station conflagration

Porsche 918 Spyder burns to ground in gas station conflagration originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2015 Ford F-150 claims segment's best payload, towing ratings

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 18:28

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While we are set to drive the new, 2015 Ford F-150 in the coming days, there's a big piece of news on the latest-generation of the Blue Oval's bread-and-butter pickup coming out of Dearborn, and it focuses on the truck's hauling and towing abilities.

The new F-150 will have a maximum payload of 3,300-pounds (V8 models), and, perhaps more importantly, a 12,200-pound tow rating (EcoBoost V6 models), which for the first time are compliant with the Society of Automotive Engineer's J2807 standards. Those best-in-class figures are significant feathers in Ford's cap as the Detroit Three continue duking it out for the title of top pickup.

"As founding members of the SAE trailer towing committee, we will meet SAE trailer towing standards," Ford's Aaron Miller told Autoblog.

In order to seize that max tow rating, you'll need to tick the box for the F-150's excellent 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 and its 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, although your payload rating will only reach 3,180 pounds. Ford's new 2.7-liter, 325-hp, 375-lb-ft EcoBoost V6, meanwhile, can manage to tow 8,500 pounds and enjoys a payload rating of 2,250 pounds.

If you're aching for the max payload rating of 3,300 pounds, you'll want to go naturally aspirated and opt for the F-150's biggest engine, the 5.0-liter V8. Snagging for the 385-hp, 387-lb-ft eight-cylinder drops the tow rating to a still respectable 11,100 pounds. Finally, the F-Series' base 3.5-liter V6 and its 283 hp and 255 lb-ft of torque can haul 1,910 pounds and tow 7,600 pounds.

Scroll on down for the full press blast from Ford.

Continue reading 2015 Ford F-150 claims segment's best payload, towing ratings

2015 Ford F-150 claims segment's best payload, towing ratings originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 13:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ellen DeGeneres sends up Matthew McConaughey's Lincoln ad

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 17:43

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Lincoln had to have known that when it released its new ad campaign for the new MKC with Matthew McConaughey, it would open itself up to a bit of good old fashioned ridicule. The television commercial was, after all, good for a laugh or two. And true to their mission, talk show hosts haven't missed the opportunity to have a little fun at Lincoln's and McConaughey's expense.

Conan O'Brien was first to send up the television spot, but now Ellen DeGeneres has taken a stab at it too, superimposing herself in the back seat of the compact luxury crossover, downing some pot brownies and generally playing Costello to McConaughey's Abbott. It's worth a watch, if only to see Ellen getting down in her usual, offbeat style.

Continue reading Ellen DeGeneres sends up Matthew McConaughey's Lincoln ad

Ellen DeGeneres sends up Matthew McConaughey's Lincoln ad originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 12:43:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2014 Cadillac ELR

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 16:57

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Well, this is awkward.

A few years ago, Audi Of America's boss Johan de Nysschen went on record describing the Chevrolet Volt as "a car for idiots." Fast-forward to earlier this summer, and the well-regarded executive suddenly found himself in a new office with new business cards bearing the title: President, Cadillac. That means that among other challenges, de Nysschen is now tasked with selling the ELR, a car that is, at its core, a Volt in a sportier, less utile frock wearing a price tag that's twice as expensive.

Frankly, it's not a prospect we imagine the South African executive and recent Infiniti boss relishes. Just about nobody is buying the ELR - Cadillac has sold but 774 examples of its plug-in hybrid coupe this year and it presently has an almost a 200-day supply according to Automotive News. What's more, those numbers actually represent big improvements over just a few months ago, before GM started heaping on the incentives. The cynic in us says that the bad news for De Nysschen is that he's got a borderline sales-proof car in his new corporate garage. The good news? Cadillac customers apparently aren't idiots.

Before we go any further, let's get back to that elephant in the room: price. There's no way to be kind here - General Motors has saddled its 2014 Cadillac ELR with a scarcely believable bottom line: $75,000. Even arithmophobes like us can work out that that means it costs as much as a base ATS Coupe and a Chevrolet Volt combined. That, in our book, is unforgivably bad math - the sort of computation logic understood only by buyers of the Aston Martin Cygnet, or perhaps those who signed off on the Allante's assembly process back in the '80s, an arrangement that involved flying uncompleted cars over the Atlantic in custom-outfitted Boeing 747s. Twice.

Continue reading 2014 Cadillac ELR

2014 Cadillac ELR originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Volkswagen charges up new Passat GTE for the trip to Paris

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 16:30

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We all know that the letters GT stand for Gran Turismo, but tacking on another letter can evoke a different meaning altogether. GTO for Ferraris (or Pontiacs), GT-R for Nissan supercars, GTA for high-performance Alfa Romeos (or car-theft video games, or metropolitan Toronto)... The list goes on and on, but few are as familiar with the idea as Volkswagen, which uses the letters GTI for hot hatches, GTD for their diesel counterparts, and most recently, GTE for plug-in hybrids.

VW introduced the nomenclature with the Golf GTE earlier this year, and is now following up with the Passat GTE you see here. It packs a hybrid powertrain consisting of a 1.4-liter turbo four producing 154 horsepower and an electric motor good for another 114 hp, channeled to the front wheels through a six-speed DSG for a combined output of 215 hp and 295 pound-feet of torque.

In electric-only mode, it'll reach 80 mph and take you as far as 31 miles.

That's more juice than the Golf GTE, but in the larger Passat delivers similar performance: 0-62 in under eight seconds and a top speed in excess of 136 miles per hour. In electric-only mode, it'll reach 80 mph and take you as far as 31 miles. But with both motors running, and both the 13-gallon fuel tank and the lithium-ion battery topped off, it'll travel up to 1,000 kilometers. That's the equivalent of 622 miles - more than the Golf GTE and more than enough to send the plug-in Passat from London to its debut in Paris and back again (or all the way from Detroit to New York) all without stopping at a single charging or gas station along the way.

Set to launch in the second half of next year, the Passat GTE will be available in both sedan and wagon forms. But since this is based on the European model, we're not holding our breath for its transatlantic voyage to North American showrooms. Hypermilers will just have to hope that VW will offer a model with a similar system Stateside in the near future.

Continue reading Volkswagen charges up new Passat GTE for the trip to Paris

Volkswagen charges up new Passat GTE for the trip to Paris originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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NHTSA investigating power modules on Chrysler Group SUVs and minivans

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 16:02

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The Center for Auto Safety is officially petitioning the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to begin scrutinizing alleged problems with the totally integrated power module (TIPM) on about 24 Chrysler Group SUVs and minivans. The advocacy group claims that the part's failure can cause affected vehicles to stall or not start at all. NHTSA is still looking into the accusations and deciding whether a full investigation is actually warranted.

The CAS petition claims at least 70 TIPM failures, but according to NHTSA, six of the complaints are for models that don't have the modules. In 34 of the reported cases, the vehicles refused to start, and in 17 of them the engine stalled. There were also two allegations of smoke and one of a fire. However, none of these affected airbag deployment or resulted in a crash.

This petition isn't the first TIPM-related problem for Chrysler Group. A recent report in the New York Times alleged that it found 240 complaints potentially related to the issue on NHTSA's website alone. In September, the automaker also recalled 230,760 examples worldwide (188,723 in the US) of the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango replace the fuel pump relay circuit inside of the TIPM-7 with one external to the unit. The original part could allegedly cause the models to stall without warning. Even earlier, the company also recalled about 80,000 examples of the Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Nitro in 2007 to have the module reprogrammed.

Autoblog spoke to Chrysler Group about the defect petition and was sent the following statement by email:

"In keeping with sound engineering practice and Chrysler Group's longstanding policy of cooperation with NHTSA, the Company is actively investigating customer complaints and retrieving components from the field for closer analysis. Every Chrysler Group vehicle meets or exceeds all applicable safety standards."

Scroll down to read NHTSA's full explanation of the defect petition with the models CAS wants investigated, the recall notice for Chrysler's fuel pump recall and the automaker's statement about it.

Continue reading NHTSA investigating power modules on Chrysler Group SUVs and minivans

NHTSA investigating power modules on Chrysler Group SUVs and minivans originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 11:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Horses, beer and Mercedes-Benz take credit for the van

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 15:12

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There may not be as many minivans on the road as there used to be, but make no mistake about it: the van is still an indispensable mode of transportation. Especially for things like beer, ice cream, flowers, teams of television adventurers, and... more beer. There have been many automakers that have made vans over the years, and many that still do. But Mercedes-Benz is keen to point out that it pioneered the van.

In this light-hearted, minute-and-a-half-long video clip, Mercedes takes us from the advent of the van before the turn of the century (the previous century, that is) through its gestation and evolution into the vital vehicle that it is today. But it never would have happened if not for some tired horses and many beer-swilling Germans, the former owing their thanks to the latter... and, if the narrative is to be believed, all of us owing that pioneering spirit to Mercedes.

Continue reading Horses, beer and Mercedes-Benz take credit for the van

Horses, beer and Mercedes-Benz take credit for the van originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 10:12:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Volvo V40 Cross Country gets the all-wheel drive it deserves

Mon, 09/29/2014 - 14:28

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Want a rugged Volvo wagon? Gothenburg has two kinds to offer: there's the XC crossovers on the one hand and ruggedized wagons on the other. As we reported last month from the unveiling of the new XC90 in Sweden, Volvo plans on offering more Cross Country wagons in the future. But in the meantime, it has upgraded the existing V40 Cross Country with some key enhancements - not the least of which is the long-awaited addition of all-wheel drive.

Powertrain upgrades for Volvo's smallest soft-roader include the new T5 engine (a 1.7-liter turbo four producing 245 horsepower), an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The new powertrain is not only more capable, but also more environmentally friendly than the old T5 it replaces.

The enhanced V40 Cross Country launches in Europe mid-fall before being rolled out in other markets in the following months, but unfortunately the United States is not among them as the V40 is not offered Stateside in any configuration, which is a shame.

Continue reading Volvo V40 Cross Country gets the all-wheel drive it deserves

Volvo V40 Cross Country gets the all-wheel drive it deserves originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 09:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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