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Ford recalls 83k Taurus and crossover models for halfshaft issue

Autoblog - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:44

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Ford and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have issued a recall for some 83,250 vehicles in the US, for an issue with halfshafts. More specifically a "halfshaft retention circlip" might not have been properly installed on affected vehicles, with the result being halfshafts that may move improperly or disengage completely from the linkshaft while driving. The NHTSA release also notes that the issue may occur "without prior warning" which obviously factors in to the timeliness of getting this checked.

Should the halfshaft disengage, a few troubling things could happen. If it occurs while driving, power from the engine will no longer be transmitted to the wheels. And, if the vehicle is parked without the parking brake applied after disengagement of the circlip, vehicles may roll away even if they're transmissions have been placed in "Park."

Affected vehicles are as follows: Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX crossovers from model years 2012 to 2014; Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKS sedans from model years 2013 to 2014; Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT vehicles from model years 2013 to 2014.

Please check the press release below for more specific information regarding affected vehicles, and to find contact information for Ford if you suspect your vehicle may be part of this recall.

Continue reading Ford recalls 83k Taurus and crossover models for halfshaft issue

Ford recalls 83k Taurus and crossover models for halfshaft issue originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 15 Aug 2014 08:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Aston Martin dealers want crash test exemption for DB9, Vantage

Leftlane - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 13:33
Dealers claim crashworthiness standards will prevent them from selling current models.






1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sets auction record with $38 million bid

Leftlane - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 12:47
Final sale price only half of $75 million top prediction.






1962 Ferrari 250 GTO hits record $38 million sale at Bonhams' Monterey auction

Autoblog - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 11:01

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This weekend's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegrance brings together some of the rarest and most expensive automobiles in the world onto a tiny peninsula in California jutting out into the Pacific Ocean. But this year, there has been one vehicle on everyone's lips - a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO. Bonhams put up this incredibly rare Prancing Horse at no reserve for its auction at the Quail Lodge, meaning it could have sold for just a dollar. It didn't though, this ex-Jo Schlesser owned Ferrari sold for a staggering $38.115 million. That makes it the most expensive car ever sold at auction, beating out Bonhams' sale of a Mercedes W196R last year for $29.65 million.

Ferrari only built 39 of these racers, and they have been million-dollar cars for years. One reportedly sold privately for $52 million last year, and one built for Stirling Moss went for $35 million privately in 2012.

While the spectacle of seeing a 250 GTO drive across the auction block with no reserve and then set a record price was certainly amazing, it wasn't the only rare Ferrari up for sale during the evening. Bonhams also handpicked some of the most collectible Ferraris in the world and brought them to the stage. The ten cars included a 1962 250 GT Short-Wheelbase Speciale Aerodinamica that went for $6.875 million, a 1953 250 Mille Miglia Berlinetta driven to racing victory by Phil Hill for $7.26 million and even a 1978 312 T3 Formula One car for $2.31 million. All told, the group of them sold for $65.945 million.

Scroll down to read Bonhams' press release about the auction, and check our gallery to view these very valuable Ferraris.

Continue reading 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO hits record $38 million sale at Bonhams' Monterey auction

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO hits record $38 million sale at Bonhams' Monterey auction originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 15 Aug 2014 06:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Jaguar details, prices limited-edition F-Type Project 7

Leftlane - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 09:04
The Project 7 is the most expensive member of the Jaguar lineup by a long shot.






Dodge previews Trans Am-bound Challenger

Leftlane - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 08:01
The Challenger packs a V8 that pumps out a little under 500 horsepower.






Jaguar F-Type Project 7 arrives Stateside for $165k* [UPDATE]

Autoblog - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 04:00

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UPDATE: A previous version of this article had a discrepancy between the price referenced in the headline and that specified in the text body. The headline has been updated to correct that discrepancy.

There are a great many things we love about the Jaguar F-Type, but one of them is that, whatever price point you're looking at, there's an F-Type for you. (Well, not any price point... this is a Jag we're talking about, but pricing varies greatly.) Got $65k to spend? That'll get you into a base F-Type V6 coupe, and you'll likely be happy for it. Eighty grand will get you into an F-Type V6 S, $90k into a V8 S roadster, and a cool hundred grand will get you the top-of-the-line F-Type R coupe. But what if you want to spend more than that? What if you've got more like $165,000 in your pocket and it's burning a hole when it should be burning rubber?

Well we've got good news for you, friend, because that's exactly how much the exclusive F-Type Project 7 will set you back. Making its US debut during Monterey car week, Jaguar has announced that the most exclusive version of its two-seat sports car - revealed in production spec just recently at the Goodwood Festival of Speed - will cost $165k in the US (plus the standard $925 delivery charge). That's roughly the price of an F-Type R and a base F-Type V6.

For all that scratch, you get an open-top roadster with 575 horsepower on tap - more than any production road car Jaguar has ever made before, and that includes the XJ220 and ultra-rare XJR-15 supercars. The most potent version yet of Jaguar's ubiquitous and long-serving 5.0-liter supercharged V8 is enough to send Project 7 to 60 in 3.8 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 186 miles per hour.

Deliveries begin next Spring, and those customers fortunate enough will have a choice of Glacier White (revealed for the first time in this fresh batch of images) or Ultra Blue (like the concept). If you can believe it, black, red or green (like the version shown at Goodwood) will cost you extra.

Continue reading Jaguar F-Type Project 7 arrives Stateside for $165k* [UPDATE]

Jaguar F-Type Project 7 arrives Stateside for $165k* [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 14 Aug 2014 23:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Nissan GT-R and Ferrari 458 Speciale in track battle by Evo

Autoblog - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 01:01

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Supercar slayer. That's what they call the Nissan GT-R. And in many ways it is, even though its price and performance over the years have risen to put it squarely in supercar territory of its own right.

In fact, as Evo magazine has been compiling a list of its fastest cars - using the Anglesey Circuit in Wales as its common ground - the GT-R has came out on top... that is, until Evo tested the Ferrari 458 Speciale. The two are about as different as you can get within the supercar segment: one has a turbo six up front driving all four wheels in a 2+2 configuration, the other a mid-engined, rear-drive V8 two-seater. In fact the only common ground you're likely to find between them comes down to their two doors and dual-clutch transmissions. Though they serve it up in different ways, both are class-leading performers.

We're looking forward to watching Evo populate its leaderboard with more entries like the McLaren 650S and more potent Nismo GT-R, but in the meantime the British enthusiast magazine, by popular demand, has released side-by-side in-car footage of both supercars putting their best lap forward around the seaside circuit.

Continue reading Nissan GT-R and Ferrari 458 Speciale in track battle by Evo

Nissan GT-R and Ferrari 458 Speciale in track battle by Evo originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 14 Aug 2014 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What you missed on 8.14.14

Autoblog - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 00:33

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These are the coolest cop cars on the planet

Getting pulled over by the police is the worst. But getting pulled over by an boring old standard police cruiser is going to seem like adding insult to injury after reading this list of radical cop cars. Where outright speed and off-road prowess might put a Crown Vic out of the chase, this group of cars is just hitting its stride.




2014 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S Wagon

Seating for five, room for that MALM series bedroom set in the extensive cargo area and the ability to go from red light to 60 miles per hour in under four seconds. You know, you don't want the ice cream to melt. The AMG-tuned version of the E-Class wagon can seemingly do it all, but can all-wheel drive and nearly 600 hp really translate to this family hauler?




Dodge Charger Hellcat vs. the world's best

We're still wrapping our head's around the fact that the fastest and most powerful sedan in the world now comes from Dodge. With over 700 hp and a top speed of 204 mph, the competitive set for the new sedan becomes tricky to figure, mostly because anything that comes remotely close is bound to cost about three times as much. We stack the new 'Cat against some of the most exotic metal in the world, to see where it ranks.



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What you missed on 8.14.14 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 14 Aug 2014 19:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Bacon-powered motorcycle by Hormel criss-crossing the States, smelling delicious [w/videos] [UPDATE]

Autoblog - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 00:02

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UPDATE: The Hormel food company - and the starting place for the trip - is based in Austin, Minnesota, not Austin, Texas, as we originally wrote. The text has been changed to reflect this.

It's a well-known fact: bacon makes everything better. From martinis and ice cream to filet mignon and asparagus, there's pretty much nothing you can include this gift of the swine to that it doesn't improve. Being that this is an automotive enthusiast site, you may be wondering: How does bacon improve transportation? Clearly it must, if the axiom quoted at the beginning is correct (and we've established that it is), but how?

For the answer, we turn to the crew from Hormel, which is a name you might recognize from the chilled meats section of your favorite grocery store. The Austin-based food empire has assembled a motorcycle that runs on bacon grease that would otherwise have been discarded, with the goal in mind of traveling from Austin, MN, to San Diego, CA, in time for the International Bacon Film Festival, which we didn't know existed, but in retrospect, of course exists.

The machine started life as an EVA Track T800CDI diesel-powered motorcycle, hailing from The Netherlands, and a bacon-grease conversion was performed by the crew from CSE Engineering, who are accompanying the procession as it crosses the western half of the United States as part of a 12-person team that is filming and documenting the adventure. Take a look up top for some photos of the bike and its journey, and scroll down below for a playlist of videos. And rest easy this evening with the knowledge that bacon does indeed make the world of transportation a better place to be.

Continue reading Bacon-powered motorcycle by Hormel criss-crossing the States, smelling delicious [w/videos] [UPDATE]

Bacon-powered motorcycle by Hormel criss-crossing the States, smelling delicious [w/videos] [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 14 Aug 2014 19:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Affordable hydrogen will require fracking, cheap natural gas [w/video]

Autoblog - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 23:28

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*UPDATE: As our commentors have pointed out, it costs less than 10 cents a mile to drive an EV today. We apologize for the error.

Earlier this week, Toyota Motor Sales' senior vice president of automotive operations, Bob Cater, predicted that the cost to refuel a hydrogen vehicle would be around $30 to go 300 miles at some point in the future. That's around ten cents a mile, or about what it more than it costs to drive an EV today. This will require hydrogen to cost around $5-to-$7 per kilogram.

How realistic is this? A new analysis from the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis called The Hydrogen Transition takes a closer look at some of the numbers involved in the hydrogen economy and reveals it's all a bit murkier than Toyota would have us believe.

"The next three to four years will be critical for determining whether hydrogen vehicles are just a few years behind electric vehicles, rather than decades." - Joan Odgen

For starters, let's acknowledge that the researchers at UC Davis seem to be optimistic about hydrogen's chances. The lead author Joan Ogden (pictured), said in a statement that, "We seem to be tantalizingly close to the beginning of a hydrogen transition." But there's no guarantee. "The next three to four years will be critical for determining whether hydrogen vehicles are just a few years behind electric vehicles, rather than decades," she said. There are three places where the study thinks a "targeted regional investment of $100-$200 million in support of 100 stations for about 50,000 FCVs would be enough to make hydrogen cost-competitive with gasoline on a cost-per-mile basis." You can probably guess the three locations: California, Japan and Germany.

As for the timeline, the study predicts that it will take five years to get to $7.50 per kg and 12 to make further progress to $6 per kg. But this has a cost: "The boom in low-cost natural gas makes possible low-cost hydrogen," so if you're not a fan of fracking, then you might want to steer clear of an H2 car. Then there's this: "For the US as a whole, we estimate that about $1 billion investment would be needed in a series of lighthouse cities to bring the cost of hydrogen to $7/kg, a fuel cost roughly competitive with gasoline on a cent per mile basis." In other words, Carter might be right, but there are a lot of details to understand.

For more, read Ogden's article, download the 57-page white paper (or 8-page executive summary) and watch the simplified explanation in the video below. It's all well worth your time.

Continue reading Affordable hydrogen will require fracking, cheap natural gas [w/video]

Affordable hydrogen will require fracking, cheap natural gas [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Thu, 14 Aug 2014 18:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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46k Land Rovers recalled in North America over faulty airbags

Autoblog - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 22:43

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Land Rover is recalling over 40,000 of its smaller SUVs over an airbag issue. In the affected vehicles, the front passenger airbag may not deploy because of a problem with the restraint control module, which will be replaced where needed as part of the recall.

The issue specifically affects the LR2 (known overseas as the Freelander, in case you have trouble keeping track) from the 2010-2015 model years, and the Range Rover Evoque from the 2012 and 2013 model years.

A combined total of 40,551 vehicles in the United States are affected by the recall, including over 17,000 LR2s and 23,000 Evoques, with an additional 6,000 vehicles in Canada.

Owners can expect to be contacted by their local dealer, but you can read the details of the recall in the notice below from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Continue reading 46k Land Rovers recalled in North America over faulty airbags

46k Land Rovers recalled in North America over faulty airbags originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 14 Aug 2014 17:43:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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1989 Ferrari F40 review had one Italian cyclist seeing rosso

Autoblog - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 22:01

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We've got to say: we're really enjoying the MotorWeek incarnation of this Throwback Thursday trend that seems to be enveloping everyone's social media feeds. MW has an almost impossibly deep library of historical tape to draw from, meaning each recent Thursday has met with another gem dropped on YouTube.

The last old-timer that drew our interest (and yours, based on all the comments) was a sports car showdown of epic, 1990s proportions. Today though, we've got one of the most legendary supercars of all time, the Ferrari F40, presented with the wholesome goodness that is John Davis' signature style. Any classic road test of the the F40 would probably earn our clicks, but this particular video comes with some added drama around the 5:10 mark.

Don't rush there, it's fun to listen to the period-correct praise along the way, but prepare yourself for a near-miss that's almost as breathtaking as the Ferrari itself.

Continue reading 1989 Ferrari F40 review had one Italian cyclist seeing rosso

1989 Ferrari F40 review had one Italian cyclist seeing rosso originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 14 Aug 2014 17:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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McCall's Motorworks Revival ignites Monterey 2014 in spectacular style

Autoblog - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 21:28

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What makes the Monterey car week so exciting is that it's not just one event - it's made up of numerous festivities that make the whole area south of San Franciso and San Jose a special place to be in mid-August. There's the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, of course, but also The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering, the Monterey Motorsports Reunion at Laguna Seca, the Concorso Italiana and numerous auctions of classic cars. But what really kicks it off is Gordon McCall's Motorworks Revival.

Held at the Monterey Jet Center - a small airport on the peninsula - McCall's Motorworks Revival always marks the start of the celebrated car week in Northern California. And this year was no exception, though many of the cars on hand certainly were exceptional. In addition to the Toyota FT-1 concept refinished in grey with tan leather, and the 25th anniversary edition Panoz Esperante on which we reported separately, this year's Revival featured some tasty tidbits from Ford, including the original 1962 Mustang concept, the 50th anniversary edition 2015 Mustang and a rare Camilo Pardo edition Ford GT.

Pagani showed off both the Zonda and newer Huayra, Singer showcased two of its retrofitted Porsche 911s, Lamborghini arrived with both the new Huracán and a personalized Aventador, and Hennessey brought out the Venom GT that hit 270 miles per hour at Cape Canaveral. A smattering of Ferraris, Maseratis, Alfa Romeos, Teslas and an array of vintage aircraft rounded out the field.

Fortunately our own Drew Phillips was on the ground to capture all the beautiful sheet metal, and you can scope out the results in the high-resolution gallery of live shots above.

McCall's Motorworks Revival ignites Monterey 2014 in spectacular style originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 14 Aug 2014 16:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tony Stewart could face criminal charges in Kevin Ward Jr case [w/poll]

Autoblog - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 20:45

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The tragic case of Tony Stewart striking and killing Kevin Ward, Jr. in a sprint car race earlier this week has been dividing opinions, with some screaming for Stewart's head and others saying that Ward brought it upon himself. But while local law enforcement did not initially arrest Stewart or press criminal charges, that doesn't mean that criminal charges won't still be filed.

Although legal experts seem to agree that a first-degree murder charge could only come about if Stewart were to profess to criminal intent, he could still be charged with second-degree murder if he's thought to have acted recklessly with a "depraved indifference to human life" or first-degree manslaughter if he had intended to intimidate Ward but ended up killing him.

Athletes are regularly allowed to do to each other in the field of competition what would otherwise be considered criminal. Think of football players tackling each other, hockey players getting into fist fights on the ice or baseball players sliding into each other to take a base. Depending on the specific series or discipline, racing has its share of rubbing and bumping, but if Stewart's actions - purposeful or accidental - prove to be outside the realm of normal competition, he could yet face charges. The issue is complicated, however, by such factors as poor lighting on the track and lack of comprehensive video footage at the time of the collision.

Even if Stewart manages to escape criminal prosecution, though, he would likely have to face a civil suit from Ward's family - one which, given his public profile and amassed fortune - he could potentially settle out of court. If you have an opinion you which to share, let us know what you think in our informal poll below.

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Tony Stewart could face criminal charges in Kevin Ward Jr case [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 14 Aug 2014 15:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ranking Dodge's Charger Hellcat with the fastest sedans in the world

Autoblog - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 20:01

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"This is a car that most brands would never bring to market." - Tim Kuniskis

Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis had reason to be confident, perhaps even a bit cocky at the reveal of his brand's newest halo car, the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat. As he said simply, it's the "quickest, fastest and most powerful sedan in the world."

It's a bold statement, and the numbers back him up. By now they're familiar: the Charger Hellcat packs a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 with 707 horsepower. It has a top speed of 204 miles per hour and run the quarter mile on radial tires in just 10.8 seconds.

That's serious performance, and as the covers were about to come off the Charger Hellcat, Kuniskis rubbed it in a little bit. "This is a car that most brands would never bring to market," he said.

Ouch. But for now, he's right, and Dodge's natural rivals from Detroit, Ford and Chevy, have little to compare with the Charger Hellcat.

Continue reading Ranking Dodge's Charger Hellcat with the fastest sedans in the world

Ranking Dodge's Charger Hellcat with the fastest sedans in the world originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 14 Aug 2014 15:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Acura RLX Hybrid launch delayed by technical issue

Leftlane - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 19:52
The hybridized version of Acura's flagship sedan has suffered a technical setback.






Ford goes ultra-luxury with 'Essence of Lincoln' showroom scent

Leftlane - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 19:37
Original fragrance designed to create upscale, relaxing showroom experience.






Tesla Roadster getting 400-mile battery upgrade

Autoblog - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 19:15

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A few months ago, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk said something a bit cryptic during the company's annual shareholder meeting: Tesla was working on "a fairly exciting upgrade to the Roadster." Mysterious, no? Well, speaking with Auto Express recently, Musk revealed what this upgrade will be: an improved battery pack.

"The Roadster had an old generation battery," Musk told Auto Express." We'll upgrade it to a new generation battery pack and it should have a range of about 400 miles, which will allow you to drive from LA to San Francisco non-stop." The Roadster originally came with a 245-mile range, which is good for Los Angeles to Madera, CA. Tesla sold the Roadster, its first car, in the US from 2008 to 2011 and elsewhere until 2012.

It's not that the old Roadster batteries were failing regularly - quite the opposite, in fact - but li-ion EV technology advances rapidly, and so now we're extra curious what's in the new pack and how it will work. Will it be compatible with Tesla's Supercharger technology? How much will it cost, both for Roadster owners as well as for Tesla?

We've asked Tesla for answers to these questions, but all a spokeswoman would say is, "We have no further details at this time." At the shareholder meeting in early June, Musk said the "exciting upgrade" would happen this year, so if he was talking about the battery upgrade at that time, we should be getting more information on the new packs right soon.

Tesla Roadster getting 400-mile battery upgrade originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Thu, 14 Aug 2014 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Dallara developing lightweight street-legal sports coupe

Leftlane - Thu, 08/14/2014 - 19:07
Model expected to take inspiration from Lotus Elise, Alfa-Romeo 4C.