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Video: Chocolate-covered Audi TT is more treat than trick

7 hours 42 min ago

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'Tis the season of chocolate, and as we sit at our desks eating entirely too many Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, we're left salivating over this particular Audi TT. Aside from the fact that it's the new, third-generation model, which is a darn desirable in and of itself, it's also covered in chocolate. Yes, chocolate.

There are 27,000 individual pieces on this two-door coupe, and they've been affixed courtesy of Belgian chocolatiers Joost Arijs. The sweet car was developed for a lifestyle and design exhibition in Kortrijk, Belgium.

Take a look at the confectionary-covered coupe in the video from WOW TV.

Continue reading Chocolate-covered Audi TT is more treat than trick

Chocolate-covered Audi TT is more treat than trick originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 31 Oct 2014 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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U-Turn: What you missed on 10.31.14

8 hours 12 min ago

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Super spooky cursed and haunted cars!

It's Halloween, you guys! So naturally, the internet is full of stories about ghosts and goblins and pumpkins and witches. But there are plenty of spooky things to talk about in the automotive space, and we've put together a list of five cars that have strong evidence to support them being cursed or haunted, if you believe in that sort of thing. Check 'em out, here.




The BMW i8 causes a scene in northern MI

We took 14 cars up to Petoskey, MI earlier this week as part of our testing for the 2014 Technology of the Year Award. And while the group was indeed full of hot metal, one specific car kept on grabbing the attention of passers-by: the BMW i8. Everywhere we went, people had plenty to say about this futuristic-looking creation. We've listed some of our favorite quotes, here.




SEMA Preview: Mopar madness

Are you ready for next week's SEMA show? We thought so. There's certainly been a lot of news from various automakers on this front, but we recently had the chance to get up close and personal with the Mopar customs that'll make their way to next week's show in Las Vegas. Editor Greg Migliore gets in front of the camera to show us what's hot from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles this year.




Top Stories

What you missed on 10.31.14 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Nurburgring bought by Russian billionaire

8 hours 42 min ago

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The Nürburgring is among the greatest racetracks of the world, with decades of fantastic motorsports history born on the snaking course. However, it seems that running the place as a business is about as difficult as learning the 12.9 miles of corners on the Nordschleife. After a long bankruptcy sale, things appeared to be looking up for the track when a Düsseldorf-based business called Capricon bought the circuit for 77 million euros, plus the promise of future investment. However, just months after being sold once, the 'Ring has yet another new owner: Russian billionaire Viktor Kharitonin.

According to the German business magazine Wirtschafts Woche, the change in ownership came because Capricorn wasn't keeping up with its payments for the track. The company's boss Robtertino Wild was supposed to pay regular 5-million-euro ($6.3 millIon) installments but reportedly missed the second payment. When he couldn't come up with the funds, Kharitonin stepped in to take over for Capricorn's share. According to the magazine, the Russian has not only already paid the missed amount, but put the money down for December early. He has also set up a company called NR Holding AG to run things.

Kharitonin is a founder of Pharmstandard, Russia's largest pharmaceutical company. According to Wirtschafts Woche, Forbes estimates his net worth at over $1 billion and puts him as the 1,342nd richest person in the world.

While Kharitonin now has a controlling stake in the 'Ring, he's not the sole shareholder. According to the local Rhein Zeitung newspaper, Capricorn's bid only covers two-thirds of the track; the remaining third belongs to German motorsports company GetSpeed.

According to Rhein Zeitung, there are no changes to any of the tracks future events or races at this time.

Nurburgring bought by Russian billionaire originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: JT Nesbitt surprises once again with Bienville Legacy

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 23:30

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JT Nesbitt is an artist when it comes to shaping metal and composites into custom vehicles. He really built a name for himself with his creations at Confederate Motorcycles, like the Wraith, but a few years ago he set out on his own to found Bienville Studios. The company's goal was to branch out beyond cycles into crafting cars too, but to finance the project Nesbitt had a Kickstarter to build a bike called the Legacy. The final result has definitely proved this guy's skill.

The look of the Legacy takes Nesbitt's work from Confederate and kicks it up even further. The bike has a very industrial design with a girder-style front end and lots of exposed fittings. However, it's clear that each piece is well thought-out and is there for a specific reason. According to Asphalt and Rubber, portions of the damping are done with mountain bike components, and chassis adjustments are made with just an allen wrench. The rugged look extends to the gauges that are in a style that would be appropriate for something steam-powered at the turn of the 19th century, and at the heart of this sensational cycle is a beautiful V4 with its exhaust pipes coming out from each side.

Bienville is making just three units of the Legacy, and each one is tailored to its owner. The video above gives a peek at some of the detail work, and the gallery below shows off even more of the bike. There are also even more videos featuring different aspects of the bike on its website.

Continue reading JT Nesbitt surprises once again with Bienville Legacy

JT Nesbitt surprises once again with Bienville Legacy originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 31 Oct 2014 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Recalls: Infiniti SUV recall marks latest chapter in Takata airbag saga

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 22:43

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Automotive parts maker Takata is having a rough year with millions of vehicles equipped with its airbag inflators being recalled. However, it looks like there might still be problems with the company's quality control, if a new recall by Infiniti is any indication.

The Japanese luxury brand is recalling 1,912 total units of the 2013 Infiniti QX56 and 2014 QX80 in North America because of a manufacturing flaw with their Takata-supplied inflators for the driver's side front airbag. Of those, 1,848 are in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Specifically, the outer baffle could be the wrong component and cause too much pressure to build up inside. According to documents submitted to NHTSA, it's possible in a crash for the part to rupture spraying metal shrapnel at occupants. At this time, Infiniti has not had any reports of this actually happening to drivers.

While this problem sounds nearly identical to the issue affecting millions of earlier vehicles, it must be noted that this is a different fault. According to the notice being sent to dealers on NHTSA's website: "This particular Voluntary Safety Recall Campaign is unrelated to two earlier campaigns that involved Takata passenger front air bag inflators on some older model Infiniti vehicles. This issue involves a much newer inflator and is a different, more isolated, Takata quality control issue."

Unfortunately, the parts to fix the vehicles aren't yet ready. According to Infiniti, it should be four or five weeks from when it submitted this recall to NHTSA on October 23 before vehicles can be repaired. According to the letter to dealers, concerned owners can ask for a loaner vehicle in the meantime.

This latest campaign comes at the worst possible time for Takata. According to Reuters, it's already having trouble supplying replacement parts for its other inflator recall. NHTSA is also asking automakers to keep testing the parts for faults, and if more problems are found, they should expand the campaigns even further.

According to Automotive News, NHTSA is sending 36 questions to Takata that it must answer by December 1 or face a fine of up to $35 million. It includes requests for documents pertaining to the recalls, a report of every death or injury and the company's production capacity to build inflators. The agency did something similar with GM's ignition switch recall earlier this year. Scroll down to read Infiniti's statement on the recall and NHTSA's report.

Continue reading Infiniti SUV recall marks latest chapter in Takata airbag saga

Infiniti SUV recall marks latest chapter in Takata airbag saga originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:43:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Makeup company shows you how to apply a car-crash face for Halloween

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 22:00

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Still deciding on what to wear for Halloween? There's not much time left to choose, but this clip might help you decide, especially if you want something gory that might scare a few people too.

The step-by-step guide here shows how to apply makeup to look like a very grisly car-crash victim with injuries like a missing eye and exposed teeth. The costume definitely isn't for the faint of heart, but the actual process to put it on doesn't look that hard. The technique even includes a few common household items, but you might need a friend's help on some parts.

Going this route certainly shows more creativity than just buying a something from a store. Give the clip a watch to see how it's done.

Continue reading Makeup company shows you how to apply a car-crash face for Halloween

Makeup company shows you how to apply a car-crash face for Halloween originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Top Gear's Clarkson in trouble again over beer tweet

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 21:28

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Ah, if we had a nickel for every time we wrote this sentence, we'd be quite well off: Jeremy Clarkson is in trouble again. The notorious host of the BBC's wildly successful Top Gear, Clarkson's latest controversy surrounds a tweet he sent while filming a special for the show in northern Australia.

Apparently, the 54-year-old Englishman chose to broadcast that he was driving with a beer in his car's cupholder. Now, there's nothing wrong with driving a vehicle, sober, with an unopened can of suds in the cabin. You don't get into truly illegal waters until the top has been popped, which Clarkson never admitted to. Still, that hasn't stopped a rather vicious rebuttal from the masses on Twitter, accusing the host of condoning drinking and driving.

One user called the host "a bloody idiot," although a fair few came to his defense, pointing out that he never said he was drinking the beer. Still, for someone that can so effortlessly court controversy, it seems like a pretty absent-minded move on his part, especially considering the rather short leash he's on with the BBC.

This is also not the first time Clarkson has raised the public's ire when it comes to drinking and driving. Clarkson and co-host James May were accused of encouraging the risky behavior by drinking gin and tonics while driving to the North Pole, as part of a previous TG special.

Take a look below for Clarkson's latest attempt at swallowing his own foot.

Continue reading Top Gear's Clarkson in trouble again over beer tweet

Top Gear's Clarkson in trouble again over beer tweet originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Daimler buys 25 percent of MV Agusta

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 20:45

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BMW obviously builds motorcycles, and Volkswagen Group owns Ducati. Now, fellow German automaker Daimler is hopping into the two-wheel game by buying a 25-percent stake in Italian sportbike maker MV Agusta for an undisclosed price.

According to Daimler's press release, its Mercedes-AMG division is actually the one that's going to be working with MV Agusta in a "long-term partnership," including coordinated marketing and sales. The automaker is also appointing a member to the motorcycle company's board of directors. At this time, there's no mention of actually co-developing models together, though.

"MV Agusta and Mercedes-AMG are a perfect brand fit: Two complementary companies that stand for design, high performance and excellence. Mercedes-AMG will help MV Agusta to further expand globally and to accelerate our growth," said MV Agusta president and CEO Giovanni Castiglioni in Daimler's announcement.

The support of a huge automaker like Daimler might be the jolt that MV Agusta needs at the moment. The company was founded in 1945 and built a reputation for crafting racing-winning motorcycles. However, in recent years things have been tough. Harley-Davidson wasn't able to turn the situation around, and the bike maker has been searching for a buyer for much of this year. First, Fiat was rumored to be interested. More recently, Daimler was reported to be considering purchasing a minority stake. Apparently, that deal worked out in the end. Scroll down to read the official announcement of the purchase.

Continue reading Daimler buys 25 percent of MV Agusta

Daimler buys 25 percent of MV Agusta originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: World's Fastest Hearse now up to 1,300 hp, looking for more records

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 20:00

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Unfortunately, for many people, a ride in the back of the hearse is the last chance they ever get to be in a car. In the case of "Madness" from AMS Performance, it could get folks to their final resting place faster than anything else around.

Based around an actual hearse from a 1996 Chevrolet Caprice originally converted by Superior Coaches, Madness has been the ongoing project of AMS Performance Vice President Arne Toman for years. The idea was partially inspired when he saw the Guinness Record for the fastest hearse was a a 13.72-second quarter mile, and that seemed quite beatable.

In the video above, under the hood of this beast is a Chevy LQ4 6.0-liter V8 out of a van with light mods like new cams and valve springs. However, it also has a turbo running at around 23 psi that brings power to around 1,000 horsepower. It makes this hearse go like a bat out of hell, It can hit 60 miles per hour in about 2.3 seconds at the strip, but the interior still has air conditioning, a stereo and all of the original equipment to carry a casket in the back.

Since shooting this video, AMS has installed an upgraded 6.0-liter mill, a new rear differential and stronger transmission, and they reportedly allow power to be bumped to 1,300 hp. It should make the quarter mile go even faster. Check out this clip to see what a 1,000-hp hearse can do at the drag strip, and scroll down to read even more about it.

Continue reading World's Fastest Hearse now up to 1,300 hp, looking for more records

World's Fastest Hearse now up to 1,300 hp, looking for more records originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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ETC: 2015 BMW i8 sets everyone's tongues wagging in Northern Michigan

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 19:15

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Like few other cars we can remember, people want to talk about the 2015 BMW i8. Drive one, and you'll soon find out what we mean. They stop you at gas stations. They accost you in Walgreen's parking lots. They stream out of neighborhood bars, beers in hand.

At least, that was our experience this week during Autoblog's Technology of the Year testing. We had the pleasure of driving the plug-in hybrid BMW sports car up to and around Petoskey, MI, a resort town where seeing such exotics is rare enough, let alone in the off season. It made for some interesting conversations - so we began writing down some of the comments the butterfly-doored coupe inspired. Here's a sampling:
  • "Wanna race for pinks? I'll go easy on you." - Acne-covered teenage pizza delivery driver in a sad-looking Ford Taurus parked at a Valero gas station near Grayling (which incidentally didn't actually have gas).
  • The proprietor of the Good Hart General Store, a quaint food emporium/post office nestled into the area's famed M-119 'Tunnel of Trees' route, gestured toward me and then said to a woman in the store: "I've almost got him talked into $5,000 and my Jeep." Her laughing response: "Yeah, bullshit!"
  • "Is that a 'boy car' or a 'girl car'?" - Female cashier at Pond Hill Farm, a farm/pumpkin patch/trout pond/tasting room/pickler/pig race complex.
  • "Is that a Lamborghini, or is that a Ferrari?" - Father with son carrying pumpkins.
  • "Well, you must be quite pleased with yourself." *Pauses and again looks at i8* "Understandably." - 20-something woman carrying a tiny sweatered dog.
  • "That looks like you're driving the future." - Walgreen's clerk who followed us out to the parking lot after we stopped to buy some pens.
  • "I have to ask, with that gorgeous car, are ya'll lost?" - Friendly patrol officer who followed us for eight miles through the Tunnel of Trees, only to turn around and question us in front of the Legs Inn.
In short, this road-bound flying saucer attracts more attention than any exotic we've driven. We're just glad it's so good to drive, or all the impromptu conversations it inspired would've been a lot more awkward.

2015 BMW i8 sets everyone's tongues wagging in Northern Michigan originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Hyundai/Kia's Prius rival to arrive by 2017

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 18:29

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The Toyota Prius is the undisputed king of the hybrid market, but Hyundai and Kia are hoping to challenge its reign in the coming years with their own dedicated model. However, in all likelihood this is the same technology being shared between them. "We will take the lead in the future by raising the competitiveness of our environment-friendly cars like hybrid-only cars, plug-in hybrid cars and fuel cell hydrogen cars," Hyundai Motor CEO Kim Choong-ho said to Reuters, during the launch of another vehicle in South Korea.

While Kim didn't say when the model would be ready, Autocar in Europe spoke to people at Kia, who said that the company's own hybrid was two years away and codenamed the DE. The initial vehicle is reportedly a five-door hatchback that's about 169-inches long, with more conventional styling than the Prius. Its powertrain is reportedly based around a 1.6-liter engine with electric assist. A plug-in version might follow later, and other bodystyles on the platform are possible. A recently spotted test mule might show the current state of development on the project (pictured above).

According to Reuters, the decision for the new vehicle comes in order to meet tighter emissions in some markets. However, it seems like a challenging move for the US market. Hyundai already sells its Tucson fuel cell in limited quantities and the Sonata hybrid, and Kia has the Optima hybrid and Soul EV. Industry analysts are also predicting that hybrids might have a hard time versus internal combustion engines in the coming years. In addition, Toyota is rumored to get fuel economy close to 60 miles per gallon for some versions of the next Prius. All of these factors make selling the models here a potentially difficult undertaking.

Hyundai/Kia's Prius rival to arrive by 2017 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: An inside look at Mopar's SEMA fleet

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 17:45

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Mopar is heading to the SEMA show in Las Vegas with a fleet of customized vehicles that appeal to enthusiasts of all stripes. There's a Dodge Viper ACR concept that follows in the lineage of the supercar's great road racing past, and a custom Ram ProMaster that might just be the ultimate outdoor party machine.

We got an inside look at Mopar's cars that will be on display at the show, which also include a Dodge Challenger T/A concept, two crazy Jeeps and a Ram 2500 Outdoorsman that could change the way you camp. While these are some of our favorites, Mopar is bringing plenty to SEMA, so let us know your top choices in the comments section.

Continue reading An inside look at Mopar's SEMA fleet

An inside look at Mopar's SEMA fleet originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Featured: Five cursed and haunted cars

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 16:57

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Any kid lucky enough to grow up in Detroit is familiar with the Henry Ford Museum. It's huge, full of shiny things and a great place to take a child and let them burn off some energy. After several field trips and weekend outings however, the dusty concept vehicles and famous aircraft tend to lose their punch for youngsters. As a fifth grader, I was already gazing on the museum's many gems with glassy eyes. On yet another school trip, we made our way to John F. Kennedy's death car, a gleaming black Lincoln limo. The aging volunteer docent told our little group something I had never heard before.

"You know, this car is haunted. Several employees have reported seeing a gray presence right here," he said, pointing to the back passenger side seat.

I perked up. Now here was something I had never heard before. A haunted car? Sure, it happened in Goosebumps, but this was real life. It made sense, in a way. Cars can be violent, emotional places. That's certainly the case with JFK's limo, as well as the other four cars on this list. And maybe those gut-wrenching deaths can permanently doom a car.

Continue reading Five cursed and haunted cars

Five cursed and haunted cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rumormill: Is Land Rover developing an all-electric Tesla Model X rival?

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 16:30

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Tesla will soon put its all-electric Model X crossover on sale, and if it's anywhere near as successful as the brand's four-door sedan the Model S, then it'll be a hell of an attention getter for mainstream automakers. Land Rover isn't waiting for proof of the Model X's success, though.

According to reports, Land Rover could be preparing an all-electric Range Rover. Likely more crossover than full-size SUV, the new vehicle would probably be far more aerodynamic than current models. But the new EV would still take advantage of LR's high-tech aluminum structure, and could potentially be a close relative of the production Jaguar C-X17, according to Autocar.

It seems unlikely that this new Land Rover EV will have the off-road chops of the brand's other models, but that doesn't mean that will be useless on the rough stuff. AC, citing Land Rover design boss Gerry McGovern, claims that a height-adjustable air suspension will allow a low, aerodynamic ride height for high-speed travel while it can easily be transitioned to a higher level for off-road duty.

As for range, AC believes (and we agree) that a successful effort would need to get as close as possible to the Model S' 265-mile EV range.

Autocar is anticipating a price of around 90,000 pounds, equivalent to $144,000, which roughly matches the cost of a UK-market Model S. If the Range Rover EV comes stateside, we'd wager that prices will start under six figures, much like the US-market Tesla.

Is Land Rover developing an all-electric Tesla Model X rival? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Breaking: NHTSA fines Ferrari $3.5 million for missing reports

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 16:02

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Ferrari will pay a $3.5 million penalty for family to comply with oversight requirements set forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The federal agency that oversees road safety in the United States announced Friday morning that Ferrari had not submitted early warning reports for the past three years. These reports help the agency identify potential or existing safety threats.

In the wake of the rolling recalls for defective General Motors ignition switches, there has been considerable scrutiny of NHTSA's handling - or mishandling - of these early warning reports. Friday's fine is an indication the agency is taking its enforcement mandates more seriously, albeit against a manufacturer that has no large-scale presence on American roads.

"There is no excuse for failing to follow laws created to keep drivers safe," US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a written statement, "and our aggressive enforcement action today underscores the point that all automakers will be held accountable if they fail to do their part in our mission to keep Americans safe on the road."

Federal law requires manufacturers to file EWR reports quarterly, and NHTSA officials say Ferrari failed to do so for three years and also failed to report three fatal accidents. As a small-volume manufacturer, Ferrari wasn't required to submit the quarterly reports until it fell under the Fiat banner in 2011, though it has always needed to report fatal accidents.

In a statement, Ferrari spokesperson Krista Florin said the missed reporters were inadvertent, and that Ferrari had implemented new procedures to "ensure full compliance in the future."

NHTSA fines Ferrari $3.5 million for missing reports originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Ford Transit customs ready to work for SEMA

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 15:15

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Ford's booth at the SEMA Show this year looks to have two, big themes. The Blue Oval is bringing over a dozen takes on the 2015 Mustang to the event, and it's now also announcing five customized versions on the 2015 Transit to join the modded pony cars. Each of the vans shows off a different use for the spacious commercial vehicle, from plush luxury to offroad ruggedness.

You probably don't think of the Transit as hitting the trails, but that's just what the take on the design from the Vegas Off-Road Experience (pictured above) is for. The company gives people the opportunity to drive a desert race truck, and this custom is meant to drive them to events. It should be able to take on the terrain a little better with off-road wheels and tires and fender flares, but inside passengers get serious luxury thanks to a 60-inch LED TV and video game systems.

Alternatively the blazing red Designed Travel Transit (right) is all about long road trips. The interior features four captain's chairs with heating, cooling and massage functions, and there's a 4K 50-inch TV to watch. For a touch of added class, the floor is made from hickory.

Formula Drift is going purely for function with its Transit (left). It's meant to be a support vehicle during competitions, and the interior is packed with fire and safety equipment, plus a Kawasaki Mule support vehicle. The series actually plans to use this custom during events next year.

Detroit Custom Coach wanted a vehicle for VIP travel in the city. It seats eight and features a cocktail bar, wood floor and TVs inside.

Finally, Galpin Auto Sports is displaying its Transit Skyliner yet again. It's basically the ultimate in luxury cruising with four captain's chairs, a bar and a 52-inch retractable movie screen with 7.2 surround system. There's even matching luggage. Scroll down to read all of the details about this quintet of customs in Ford's official press release.

Continue reading Ford Transit customs ready to work for SEMA

Ford Transit customs ready to work for SEMA originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Porsche Panamera Exclusive Series to debut in LA for $260k

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 14:30

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Driving a Porsche should feel like a privileged experience. But if you need one with extra space in the back, and have been turned off by the success of the Panamera that has made it ubiquitous, you may be intrigued by Porsche's latest reveal.

Set to debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the new Panamera Exclusive Series stands out with some unique touches. It's based on the top-of-the-line Panamera Turbo S Executive, which tells you it comes with the 4.8-liter twin-turbo V8 in top 570-horsepower spec, but also with the extended wheelbase that provides for extra space in the otherwise crowded rear seat. And that's not all.

Porsche Exclusive has also given this special-edition Panamera a unique two-tone black and brown paintjob, a set of 20-inch Sport Classic wheels painted black, and an interior done up in Nappa leather - two-tone black and brown to compliment the exterior - with dark walnut and piano black trim and a pair of 10.1-inch rear-seat touchscreens.

Porsche will only offer 100 examples worldwide, each individually numbered and equipped with a set of fitted Poltrona Frau leather luggage - all yours for $263,900 (plus $995 destination). That makes it over $63k more than the base price on the Panamera Turbo S Executive that was already the most expensive model Porsche offers this side of the 918 Spyder (pipping even the 911 Turbo S Cabrio) and also one of the most expensive four-doors on the market.

Continue reading Porsche Panamera Exclusive Series to debut in LA for $260k

Porsche Panamera Exclusive Series to debut in LA for $260k originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Land Rover to build Discovery Sport at new Brazilian factory

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 13:45

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Looking forward to getting your mitts on a new Land Rover Discovery Sport? Well you should, because it promises to be a markedly better product than the Freelander/LR2 it replaces. Just don't assume it will necessarily be built in the UK, as just about every Land Rover has in the company's 66-year history.

The new Discovery Sport (pictured above in Sao Paulo) will, of course, be built in the UK, at the Halewood plant where the Evoque is made and which has in the past handled the Freelander, the Jaguar X-Type and a variety of Fords. But it will also be assembled for local consumption at JLR's new factory in Changsu, China. And, according to the press release down below, it will also be made for the Latin American market at the new factory being built in Brazil.

The new plant is being built in Itatiaia on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro and will come online in 2016. Once it gets up to speed by the end of 2020, it will have the capacity to build 24,000 vehicles each year, ratcheting its workforce up from 400 when it opens to nearly 1,000 when all's said and done.

The Discovery Sport will be one of the products made there for the local market, but it surely won't be the only one. As in China, we expect the Evoque will be built there as well, and we wouldn't be surprised to see the new Jaguar XE join it in the near future, either. Don't expect the Brazilian-made vehicles to be sold in the US, though: those will likely still be imported from the UK... at least, that is, until the facility said to be under consideration for the southern United States opens its doors.

Continue reading Land Rover to build Discovery Sport at new Brazilian factory

Land Rover to build Discovery Sport at new Brazilian factory originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Hyundai beefs up HB20 R-Spec in Brazil

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 12:59

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If you've been following the news from the Sao Paulo Motor Show, you'll likely have seen not only a series of new concept cars, but also a whole mess of production vehicles you never knew existed because they were developed specifically for the Latin American market. One of them is the Hyundai HB20.

Hyundai Brasil makes the HB20 in Sao Paulo for local consumption in three forms: there's the HB20 hatchback, HB20S sedan and HB20X crossover. It's the former which it has transformed into the R-Spec concept you see here.

Decked out in matte blue, the HB20 R-Spec concept packs an aggressively upgraded aero kit, extra cooling ducts, 17-inch alloys, LED headlights and an interior with leather trim and striped seats. Even if we don't know what's under the hood, it all looks pretty convincing, and makes us wish Hyundai would offer it Stateside as part of the Accent family with which it shares its underpinnings.

Hyundai beefs up HB20 R-Spec in Brazil originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: On the trail of the Aston Martin racer who helped change WWII

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 01:00

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Arguably one of the most crucial operations of the second World War, Operation Mincemeat was a British disinformation mission responsible for misdirecting Axis forces towards Greece and Sardinia, and in turn, opening up the Italian island of Sicily. That led to the downfall of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and opened up the soft underbelly of Hitler's Third Reich.

While we won't go into all the details of Operation Mincemeat (it really is worth studying, though), an integral aspect required the transport of a dead body from Hackney, London, 400 miles north to Holy Loch, Scotland as quickly as possible. The corpse, which was disguised as a major in the Royal Marines and loaded with faux sensitive documents pointing to a landing in Greece, needed to be appropriately fresh. That's where Aston Martin racing driver turned MI5 operative Jock Horsfall came into play.

The body was loaded into Horsfall's customized 1937 Fordson van, and hustled north. For the rest of the story, you'll need to take a look at Xcar's recapping of Horsfall's fateful journey while at the helm of an Aston Martin Vanquish Volante, the far more civilized successor to the English legend's black 2 Litre Speed.

Continue reading On the trail of the Aston Martin racer who helped change WWII

On the trail of the Aston Martin racer who helped change WWII originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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