If Field of Dreams had been made about an automotive enthusiast, its most famous line would need to have been, "If you build it, they will come... and then build their own replicas of yours." More evidence of that comes from Polish amateur mechanic Jack Mazur, who decided to build a copy of his dream car, the McLaren F1.
Mazur spent eight years on it, using scrap metal and parts to fabricate everything from the chassis to the seats, spending 20,000 pounds ($31,297 US) to get it done. Mazur is no novice at such endeavors, either, having worked up a homebrew Porsche 911, a Meyers Manx dune buggy and at least three Lamborghini Countachs, among other creations. It sounds like his McLaren replica, however, is the only one with a special seat just for Top Gear co-host Richard Hammond. This video tells Mazur's story in his own words.
This McLaren F1 replica was built from scrap by a Top Gear fanatic originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Dec 2014 12:42:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
I'm sure this thing is going to be a total hoot in the snow.I am not a morning person. At all. Thankfully, the Autoblog team knows this - I rarely get bothered before 8:30 AM unless it's seriously important. So when associate multimedia producer Chris McGraw started blowing up my phone at 6:45 AM on a Thursday, I knew it wasn't going to be good.
"I got rear-ended in the WRX," McGraw informed me, a shaken-up tone emanating from the other end of the line. Poor guy was on his way to the gym, for his pre-office morning workout, and an older gentleman in a Chevrolet S-10 struck the back of the Subie while trudging through a traffic jam on I-696 just northeast of Detroit. Everyone was fine, and McGraw says that the dude's pickup was in significantly worse shape than our dear Subaru. But the WRX was still pretty banged up, and later that day, it was delivered to the body shop for what turned out to be a lengthy repair process.Permalink | Email this | Comments
James Bond is used to being outgunned. Often working alone, 007 has developed a knack for taking out major criminal syndicates and terrorists despite this routine disadvantage. But in his latest film, Spectre, we suspect Mr. Bond will have met his match in at least one regard - the car being driven by his nemesis, Franz Oberhauser, played by Christoph Waltz.
For the 24th Bond flick, Spectre, the chief baddie will reportedly be driving the oft-fancied Jaguar C-X75 Concept car, which will star opposite of the hero's new Aston Martin DB10. As you'll recall, Jaguar flirted with actually producing the C-X75 before calling it off just over two years ago.
According to Autocar, which spoke to people involved in the film's production, Herr Oberhauser's C-X75 will be powered by Jaguar Land Rover's popular 5.0-liter, supercharged V8, rather than its original complex hybrid powertrain (which relied on four electric motors recharged by a pair of diesel-fueled micro gas turbines).
Jaguar would not confirm its role in the upcoming film, although Autocar has pieced together a few powerful signs that the company will be donating the services of its concept to the new flick.
First, supplying the villain's car for the latest Bond film fits in nicely with the company's "Good to be Bad" campaign, despite the fact that the villain, in this instance, is Austrian, rather than British. Moreover, Autocar points to Aston's use of the tagline "It's good to be Bond" since the reveal of the new DB10, as an indication that the Jag will be opposing its former corporate cousin in Spectre.
James Bond Spectre villain to drive never-was Jaguar C-X75 supercar originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Dec 2014 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
As a car enthusiast, you should be excited for the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Hell, we can barely contain ourselves - it's shaping up to be a great show. And this bit of news only heightens our expectations - Cadillac will be bringing its third-generation CTS-V to January's North American International Auto Show.
That bit of high-performance news has been confirmed to Autoblog by Cadillac officials. In fact, we've received an official invitation to the brand's press conference, and while the latter is light on information, it does say, "it's time for the V-Series to elevate to the next level." Considering our last experience with the CTS-V, we're not sure what there is left to elevate, although we're hopeful that Caddy will come up with something.
What that could be, of course, is very open to speculation. When the last CTS-V debuted in 2009, it arguably outgunned Germanic challengers like the 500-hp BMW M5 and 518-hp Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG for a lot less money, boasting a detuned version of the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1's 6.2-liter supercharged V8. Could that trend carry on, with the next CTS-V borrowing the supercharged, 650-hp mill from the new Corvette Z06? If escalation is the name of the game, the Z06 engine would seem to once again allow Caddy battle it out on firm, big-booted footing with BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Of course, all will become clear on the morning of Tuesday, January 13.
Like we said, we can hardly wait.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Detroit's third-largest automaker has had a lot of names over the years. It was founded as the Chrysler Corporation in 1925, a name it held until 1998 when it was bought by ze Germans in 1998 to form DaimlerChrysler AG, then it went independent in 2007 under the name Chrysler LLC before being retitled once again as Chrysler Group LLC in 2009. And now the automaker headquartered in Auburn Hills, MI, is getting yet another new name.
Announced today and effective immediately, the company formerly known as Chrysler will now be called FCA US LLC. That's a lot of letters, but they make a lot of sense, too: FCA stands for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the US telling us this is the company's American division and the LLC tells us it's a limited liability company - a legal classification similar to (but not quite the same as) a corporation. The announcement comes shortly after the company decided to phase out its long-serving Pentastar logo.
The sum total is that the once-independent industrial giant is now formally part of a larger European parent company, owned by Fiat and (for taxation purposes, anyway) based in the Netherlands. What the company formerly known as Chrysler wants to emphasize, however, is that FCA US LLC will remain based in Auburn Hills and retain its "holdings, management team, board [and] brands."Permalink | Email this | Comments
In July, 2013, before Tesla had delivered its first car to China, CEO Elon Musk called the country a "wild card." A year on, that continues to be the case, with media reports all over the spectrum concerning how Tesla is doing in China. The immediate future won't be any calmer with news that Tesla China president Veronica Wu has resigned from the company, having just taken the job in April. Hers follows the sudden departure of Kingston Chang, the man she replaced; he was hired away from Bentley China in March, 2013 and left in March of this year citing personal reasons.
Observers have put the latest departure down to the difficulties of Tesla's expansion efforts. In spite of widely acknowledged pent-up demand and the Model S being priced below expectations in China, the company has stumbled a few times navigating issues such as customs paperwork, on-time customer deliveries, navigation systems with local mapping and the installation of charging equipment for customers in rural areas. Speculative articles questioning the company's actual sales numbers in China inflate the narrative of a "speed bump" in the way of Tesla's ambitions.
Tesla China's head of charger network development, Tom Zhu, will run the company in the interim.
Tesla China president steps down after fewer than 9 months on the job originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Dec 2014 09:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Automatic parking systems are something of a novelty, in their present form. Sure, modern parallel parking systems work well enough. And they're great if you lack the special awareness required to complete such a task. But frankly, how often is the average owner of such a system in a position to use it? Perpendicular parking systems, meanwhile, are basically an admission that you don't really deserve a driver's license.
Novelties these systems may be, but they promise a future where we won't even need to be behind the wheel to park our cars. BMW is going to deliver a vision of that future at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show with the Remote Valet Parking Assistant, a smartwatch-activated system that takes the driver out of the parking equation and replaces them with an advanced collision avoidance system.
Fitted to an i3 for CES, the BMW system relies on four laser scanners to map the surrounding environment and identify obstacles. Combined with a digital site plan for a building, the company claims its car can navigate its way to an open parking spot, moving around even unexpected obstacles like improperly parked cars. The car's owner can step out of the vehicle at the intended destination, and then tap the smartwatch app for vehicle parking and retrieval.
BMW claims this system will allow more precise control than GPS, particularly in something like a multi-story parking deck. While it's an intriguing route with autonomous technology, we wonder how much is required of these digital site plans.
There are more practical uses of this technology, beyond valet parking. According to BMW, the collision-avoidance technology can aid a driver in low-light conditions, automatically braking the car for its driver when an obstruction is detected.
Look for more on BMW's Remote Valet Parking system as the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show approaches. Until then, scroll down for the full press release.
BMW to show car that can park itself in a multi-story garage at CES originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Dec 2014 08:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Everyone wants a slice of the pie that's mostly eaten up by the likes of the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. That includes Citroën, of course, which competes in the segment with the C4. Based on the same underpinnings as the Peugeot 308, the C4 was introduced back in 2004 to replace the Xsara and was replaced with an all-new model in 2010. But that was almost five years ago, so to keep pace with the competition, the Chevron marque has launched an updated version for 2015.
The changes to the new C4 are limited, but include new headlights with LED running lights, 3D-effect tail lamps and an interior with new upholstery and streamlined dashboard with seven-inch touchscreen display. The sound deadening has also been enhanced, there's a massaging front seat, a panoramic glass sunroof and a host of new technologies including hill-start assist, blind-spot monitoring and an intelligent traction control system. Power comes from a range of engines including a new three-cylinder option with 130 horsepower.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Filed under: Etc.
We're almost ready to record Episode #410 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 #410 Permalink | Email this | Comments
You know a vehicle is going to be something special when you need a pair of goggles to drive it, and this highly customized Lotus lives up to that promise. The owner refers to his one-off as the Ronin RS 211, but underneath that barely there body are a few parts left from a 2005 Lotus Elise.
Owner Frank Profera totaled his Elise when a Porsche rear-ended it, but he wasn't willing to give the sports car up. With a canvas to build from, Profera took inspiration from the Lotus 2-Eleven and Can-Am cars, and the Ronin resulted. Not content with just a svelte body, the powertrain received just as thorough an upgrade as the looks. The engine still displaces 1.8 liters but features improved internals. The pièce de résistance, though, is the custom turbocharger setup that runs on a mix of pump gas and alcohol to put out a claimed 680 horsepower, which sounds great screaming through the California canyons.
"Ronin" is a Japanese word for a master-less samurai, and with its featherlight weight, just a vestigial windshield and gobs of power, the RS 211 is a fantastic automotive symbol for the type of sword such a warrior might carry. Watch as Jay takes an extra long drive on the latest episode of Jay Leno's Garage.
Jay Leno checks out Ronin RS 211, a Lotus Elise transformed originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Dec 2014 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Porsche 911 GT3 Cup ANDIAL track test
We get our hands on a very rare (read: it's the only one), very powerful, and very awesome Porsche 911, and take it for a spin on the track. It's called the 911 GT3 Cup ANDIAL Edition, and it's a far more hardcore version of the already track-ready GT3 Cup car. It's not cheap, but from our experience behind the wheel, it feels like a total racecar bargain.
Translogic: Porsche 918 Spyder
The super hot Porsche 918 Spyder may officially be sold out, but that hasn't stopped us from getting one more crack behind the wheel of the company's hybrid supercar. The team at Translogic takes one out for a proper test, with host Jonathon Buckley explaining why this Porsche is far more interesting than the rest.
Volvo to sell cars online, skip auto shows
Here's some interesting news. Volvo has announced plans to sell its cars directly to customers over the internet, as part of a new way to reach customers worldwide. Furthermore, Volvo says it will stay away from having a huge presence at major auto shows, focusing instead on three big expos. There's a lot to learn about Volvo's new plans, here.
- Burt Reynolds Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am sells for $450k
- US Honda Civic to get Type R engine
- Vanquish 60th anniversary model has knobs made from classic Aston Martins
At the Geneva Motor Show this year EDAG Engineering showed off its Genesis Cockpit concept. Built with a 3D printing technique called "fused deposition modeling," it was a skeletal passenger cell suspended inside a protective shell. At next year's Geneva show EDAG will present another take on the natural forms combined with 3D printing with its Light Cocoon concept (click the image to enlarge).
Whereas the Genesis took inspiration from a turtle skeleton, the Light Cocoon tips its hat to the humble leaf - the tree kind, not the Nissan kind - by being a fabric membrane stretched over a skeletal structure. EDAG considers its creation the "ultimate in lightweight construction," its outer coating a waterproof fabric from Jack Wolfskin called Texapore Softshell that we're told is one-quarter the weight of copier paper. Making the most of the design, backlighting shows off the coupe's 'bones' underneath its skin.
Undoubtedly a neat concept, it reminds us of the BMW GINA Light Visionary Model from 2008, which had an opaque fabric covering stretched over metal and carbon fiber wires. Its aim was not only light weight and a take on new build processes, it was a shape-shifter; electrohydraulic actuators could rearrange its skeleton. We look forward to checking out the Light Cocoon next year, but we're more interested in seeing how EDAG would render its Genesis cockpit as a complete vehicle. EDAG's official press release with a few more details is below.
Edag planning this lightweight backlit-fabric sports car for Geneva originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Dec 2014 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
It's not every day that Koenigsegg comes out with something really new. Its Agera may be one of the fastest cars on the road, but though there have been many iterations along the way, it's essentially based on the same car the Swedish automaker has been building for the past decade or two. The latest word has it, though, that Koenigsegg is planning something new - but that's not even the biggest news.
According to Car and Driver, the House That Christian Built is planning a full-on assault of the American market. The company has already announced representation through Manhattan Motorcars in New York, which will sell one example of the highly exclusive One:1 for use only on the track and in limited "show and display" outings on public roadways. But C/D reports that there will be another three dealers set up across North America. With the northeast already covered, we'd imagine there'll be one in Toronto to cover the Canadian market, one in California, and one somewhere in the South - maybe in Texas or Florida.
To get its cars on the road, Koenigsegg will have to invest big to meet US homologation standards, and that means costly smart airbags, among other requirements. The Agera will need to be retrofitted, then, but the new model - whatever it will be - is likely being developed with US regs in mind. Just what that model will be, we don't know for sure at this point. C/D says we'll find out sometime next year. But we have a feeling it won't be an SUV.
Last we heard, Koenigsegg was planning an "entry-level" supercar with a $650,000 price tag. That might not be accessible to most, but it'll bring the Scandinavian exotic supercar manufacturer into a whole new market from the million-dollar exotics of which it's only made 115 examples in its history.
Koenigsegg coming to North America with two models originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Dec 2014 18:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments