Between Las Vegas and the emirates of the Persian Gulf, we're sure there are Rolls-Royces to be found in the desert all the time. And we don't doubt that, given those locations, one gets torched every so often. There'd probably even be someone in a tuxedo or evening gown running for cover when it happens, too. The thing is that we're seldom if ever there to watch it go down, much less capture it in stunning high-definition, frame-by-frame video when it does.
That's where this four-minute clip by Tyler Shields comes in. The American photographer and filmmaker staged and captured this Silver Shadow being doused in gasoline (or at least what we're supposed to believe is gasoline) and set afire in the Mojave Desert, along with actor Cru Ennis and actress Ana Mulvoy-Ten.
It's heartbreaking but mesmerizing, and you'll want to watch the video for yourself to see which side you fall on. If it's the former, take solace at least in the fact that the Silver Shadow is far from a rare beast. In fact, it remains by far the most prolific Rolls-Royce ever, with over 30,000 made between 1965 and 1980... so we doubt this one will be missed terribly.
In any case, scroll down below for the video, along with a behind-the-scenes look at how it was filmed. If you want to know more about Shields and the reason he blew up a perfectly good Rolls, click here for his blog.
This exploding Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow is angering, mesmerizing originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 19 Oct 2014 19:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Chevrolet has a seriously packed booth ready for this year's SEMA show. Not only does the company already have the Camaro SS Special Edition, Silverado Toughnology and Colorado Sport, but it is now announcing five more concepts to be on display.
Among this quintet of concepts is the Chevy SS Sport that wears some Australian inspiration. Sure, it has the grille kit, fog light bezels and rear spoiler out of the Chevrolet Accessories catalog, but the 20-inch wheels, floor mats and cargo tray all sport the logo for Holden, General Motor's division Down Under. Power is left alone for this Aussie-inspired muscle sedan with the stock 415 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque 6.2-liter V8.
The Impala Blackout gets a monochromatic look to fit its name with a black grille surround, rear spoiler and mirror caps. It uses the sedan's standard 3.6-liter V6 with 305 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of torque.
Chevy also has two takes on the Sonic for SEMA. The Performance concept benefits from a cold-air intake and higher-flow exhaust for the 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a suspension kit to chop the ride height. On the outside, it gets some Synergy Green paint and upgraded trim.
The aptly named Accessories concept shows off what's available from Chevy's aftermarket catalog with white headlight and taillight rings and black replacement parts for the grille, mirror caps and rear spoiler. It also gets the suspension kit.
Finally, the Cruze RS Plus wears a custom paint job in Wildfire Metallic with matte black stripes, and the interior gets some ambient lighting, illuminated door sills and upgraded amplifier and subwoofer. Under the hood, Chevy equips the 1.4-liter turbo engine with a cold-air intake and "performance-enhancing stage kit," but total power isn't mentioned. Scroll down to read the company's full release for these SEMA concepts.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Just as much as (if not more than) any other automaker, the Volkswagen Group is all about synergies: making the most out of the considerable resources it has at its disposal, and letting one division help the other. But if you wonder what benefit Volkswagen could possibly get from its acquisition of Ducati, and vice versa, wonder now more. Just a few weeks ago VW demonstrated one thing it's gotten out of the Ducati takeover with the XL Sport concept, and now Ducati is showcasing its side of the bargain with the new Testastretta DVT motorcycle engine.
Shorthand for Desmodromic Variable Timing, this V-twin is the first motorcycle engine to employ independently variable timing on both the intake and exhaust camshafts - a technology borrowed from its new German parent company. With continuously adjusting valve timing, the engine churns out an impressive 160 horsepower and 100 pound-feet of torque from a 1.2-liter two-cylinder engine, all the while returning 8-percent better fuel efficiency than the non-variable version, further enabled by a new fuel injection system that sprays directly into the intake valve instead of the intake port wall.
The DVT system in Ducati's new engine is just the latest advancement in motorcycle propulsion, arriving hot on the heels of the supercharged engine Kawasaki recently revealed and the turbocharged v-twin showcased by Suzuki nearly a year ago.
Want to delve deeper into the technical details of Ducati's new engine design? There's plenty to geek out on in the press release and pair of videos below.
Ducati Testastretta DVT borrows VW tech for more power from less fuel [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 19 Oct 2014 16:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Between the Mustangs you'd find in Formula D and the Fiestas in the Global and World rallycross championships, there's no shortage of Ford drift cars on the scene. But at the upcoming SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the Blue Oval automaker intends to show off a different kind of drift machine.
Created in collaboration with driftmeister Vaughn Gittin, Jr., this custom F-150 has been designed for "on- and off-road capabilities, as well as drifting and jumping." It's got a suspension with components from Kibbetech King and Air Lift Performance to give it 12 inches of travel and comes packed with 5 Recaro seats. Other details remain limited, but if the rendering above is anything to go by, it ought to be pretty awesome.
Alongside the Gittin truck, Ford will also be showcasing another F-150 designed together with freestyle motorcross rider Brian Deegan, packing the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine and a long list of enhancements. Between these two trucks, Ford hopes to extend its winning streak for the Hottest Truck award that it's taken four years running now. Feel free to read more in the press release below.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Volvo is getting serious about emerging from the fringes and into the mainstream of the luxury automobile market. But if it's going to challenge the Germans, it's going to need a performance line. And that's just what it's developing with Polestar.
Building on the motorsport partnership that has seen Polestar represent Volvo in the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship, World Touring Car Championship and V8 Supercars series, Polestar has been charged with developing road-going performance Volvos as well. It currently offers comprehensively tuned versions of the S60 and V60, as well as engine upgrades for other models, but the latest word has it that Polestar will turn its attention next to tuning Volvo crossovers like the XC60 and the new XC90, pictured above in top-spec R-Design trim.
Details on how Volvo would modify those models remain to be determined, but it wouldn't be much of a stretch to imagine the XC60 outfitted with similar enhancements to those offered on its sedan and wagon stablemates to mount a challenge to the Audi SQ5. As for the larger XC90, it seems Volvo is already squeezing as much out of its new 2.0-liter triple-charged inline-four as it can, but more aggressive handling, aero and brakes could stand to transform the flagship crossover in pursuit of performance utes like the Mercedes ML63 AMG and BMW X5 M, even if it couldn't quite match their impressive horsepower outputs.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Ford has issued a small - but significant - recall for one of its spotlight cars: the 2015 Mustang.
The recall affects just 53 cars, with 50 in the United States and three in Canada. Ford said the passenger side safety belt buckle tension sensor may not have been calibrated properly by the supplier. This could lead to "misclassification" of the passenger seat occupant, and could cause the airbag to deploy improperly.
A Ford spokesperson didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. In a statement, the automaker said it is not aware of any accidents or injuries, and dealers will replace the buckle assembly at no cost to customers. The cars affected were built at Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan from Aug. 18 to Oct. 2.
Along with the aluminum-bodied 2015 Ford F-150, the Mustang is one of the most important launches for the Blue Oval this year. The Mustang, which has fresh styling, a new suspension and uses turbocharging, is attempting to retrench Ford's position as a leader in sports cars against strong competition from traditional Detroit rivals Chevy and Dodge.
Scroll through Ford's statement for more details.
2015 Ford Mustang already under recall, but just 53 units originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 19 Oct 2014 12:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Currently, Porsche builds two turbocharged 911s - the Turbo and the Turbo S (and their cabriolet counterparts). The rest of the 911 range, meanwhile, is motivated by either 3.4- or 3.8-liter flat-sixes of varying outputs. This clear separation could be set to change in the very near future, though, as rumors continue to swirl that Porsche's rear-engined range could switch exclusively to turbocharged power.
This time, it's Car projecting that the 911 range will go turbocharged as part of a mid-cycle refresh, with the base Carrera's 3.4-liter dropping to 2.9 liters and adding an iron lung, bumping the entry level 911 up to 400 horsepower. Yes, a 400-horsepower, entry level 911. The Carrera S, meanwhile, will retain its 3.8-liter engine, but will also benefit from turbocharging, increasing output to 530 horsepower and 520 pound-feet of torque. So basically, it sounds like the current, 520-hp 911 Turbo will become the next Carrera S.
What does that mean for Porsche's traditional high-performance models? Well, it's a safe bet that the Turbo, Turbo S and eventual GT2 will be producing seriously huge power figures. Based on pure speculation, we wouldn't be shocked to see a 600-hp Turbo, with the S and GT2 increasing output markedly from there.
What do you think? Should Porsche go turbo only, or should there remain an aspect of the 911 range that makes its power the good ole fashioned way? Have your say in Comments.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Ladies and gentlemen, let's get the most salient bit of information out of the way right off the bat: $63,995*. That's the amount of money Dodge dealers will be asking for (at the very least, naturally) for a 2015 Charger Hellcat (*plus $995 for destination on all pricing figures). That rather reasonable sum will bring home its buyer a 6.2-liter Hemi V8 engine boasting a supercharger to post such gaudy figures as 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, leading to a top speed of 204 miles per hour to go along with an NHRA-certified quarter-mile time of 11.0 seconds.
With that out of the way, the rest of the 2015 Dodge Charger pricing information breaks down as follows: $27,995 will deliver a sedan with a 292-horsepower 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Moving up one step of the ladder nets the buyer an SXT model with the same engine, but a nicer chunk of technology and optional equipment for a $2,000 premium. All-wheel drive adds another $3,000. Hemi V8-powered R/T models now boast an eight-speed transmission bolted to the same well-loved 370-horsepower engine as before, for a base price of $32,995.
The SRT 392 model that had hitherto been the top-performing Charger brings with it an asking price of $47,385 while bargain hunters can equip a Charger R/T Scat Pack machine with that same 485-horsepower 6.4-liter Hemi, albeit with somewhat less posh interior bits and pieces, the removal of the 392's adjustable suspension and hi-po wheel and tire package for $39,995.
There are a few other ways to order a Charger in 2015, and we suggest you read all about them in the press release below. We don't have to tell you how amazing it is that you can now mosey on down to your local Dodge dealer and order a 707-hp sedan for under $64,000. Neither must it be said that the SRT's 485 ponies are nothing to sneeze at. In any case, we're officially basking in the golden age of horsepower.
2015 Dodge Charger priced from $27,995, Hellcat from $63,995* originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 19 Oct 2014 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Autocar wants to find Britain's best driver's car, and it's challenging a murderers' row of some of the world's best performance vehicles to find out, including the latest Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. All of them were therefore assembled at the Castle Combe Circuit to find a winner.
If it wants to take the crown from this pack of mostly European competitors, the 'Vette has to beat some steep competition. Its challengers include monsters like the Ferrari 458 Speciale, Ariel Atom 3.5R and Jaguar F-Type Coupe. As a further hurdle for the winner to clear, Autocar also has last year's champ among the fighters - the Porsche 911 GT3.
Even if you're not at all interested in the C7, there's still something here for practically any fan of fast cars. The competitors include relative oddities among the pack like the Renault Mégane RS Trophy and Alfa Romeo 4C. Plus, Autocar has some well-positioned microphones that let you hear the Atom wailing like a banshee and the roar of the 458 Speciale. Check out the video to see which one of these all-stars takes home the award this year.
Corvette gets slidey with Britain's best performance cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 18 Oct 2014 19:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Infiniti doesn't have much in the way of motorsports heritage. Sure, its logo is currently plastered all over the open-wheelers of the Red Bull Racing Formula One team, but that's little more than a series of stickers - the turbocharged V6 hybrid still comes from corporate cousin Renault.
Perhaps realizing that, the company is dipping its toe into the motorsports pool in a much bigger way (albeit in a far smaller series). The Nissan-owned luxury brand will campaign its Q50 sedan in the notoriously rowdy British Touring Car Championship with a new factory team, called Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing.
The team works with British veterans' charity Support Our Paras, and actually will employ a number of injured vets as part of the team, according to the report on Motor Authority.
The Q50 BTCC car needs to comply with the series rules, which call for a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine. It's the manufacturer's choice on whether the mandatory six-speed sequential gearbox distributes power to either the front or rear axles. The car itself is being developed by Pro Motorsport and will likely see its track debut this year.
Infiniti Q50 to enter British Touring Car Championship originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 18 Oct 2014 17:13:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
We've gotten used to the idea of Volkswagen keeping certain models like the Scirocco and Amarok to the European market and not bringing them to North America, but the German automaker also has a full line of vehicles made right here in the Americas that don't make it to US showrooms either. Those are the products of Volkswagen do Brasil, which has just revealed two new debuts for the upcoming Sao Paulo Motor Show.
First up is the Fox Pepper, a spicy little concept based on VW's sub-Polo hatchback. The show car features a front bumper and honeycomb grille with red lower lip (like you might find on a GTI), contrasting wheel arch extensions (like you might on the Golf Alltrack revealed in Paris), a black roof, 15-inch alloys and an interior decked out in two-tone leather and all the bells and whistles. Power comes from a 1.6-liter that burns ethanol to the tune of 120 horsepower to send it to 62 miles per hour in 9.8 seconds (or 10.3 on ordinary gasoline).
VW is also showcasing the similarly Fox-based Saveiro Surf. Starting with the single-cab version of the recently revised Saveiro ute, the Surf packs a less potent version of the same engine with 104 hp on tap, along with cosmetic upgrades including a unique set of 15-inch wheels, honeycomb grille, roof bar, unique graphics and, of course, a surf board resting in the bed.
You can delve into all the details in the press releases below if you read Portuguese, or in the auto-translated versions enclosed as well.
VW bringing Fox Pepper, Saveiro Surf to Sao Paulo show originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 18 Oct 2014 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Of all the factories which the Volkswagen Group operates around the world, the Audi plant in Neckarsulm may not be the very largest, but it is among the most diversified. That's where Audi builds versions of the A4, A5, A6, A8 and Q7 lines. It's also been home to the R8, but now the German automaker has moved supercar production to a new facility just a few miles down the road.
Back in August, Audi stopped production of the R8 at its main Neckarsulm site and moved it to the new Böllinger Höfe site in Heilbronn, restarting production just three weeks later. The new assembly line brings together various workshops that had been scattered about the Neckarsulm complex under one roof, and will surely make production of the next-generation R8 that much smoother.
The Böllinger Höfe facility is about a quarter the size of the main Neckarsulm plant, and will also house a small-scale production line - similar, we gather, to what Audi subsidiary Lamborghini recently built in Sant'Agata Bolognese - and a massive, state-of-the-art logistics center with capable of handling 4,500 containers each day.
The expansion is part of a major infrastructure campaign that will see Audi invest some $28 billion worldwide through 2018, about half of which will be invested in German facilities - including over $800 million each year at Neckasulm. Last month, Audi Sport opened its new headquarters in Neuburg.
Audi inaugurates new R8 production line at Neckarsulm originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 18 Oct 2014 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
"For this customer, smaller is smarter. " - Rich Latek.The pickup truck segment has never been more competitive in the United States, and General Motors is betting a "smaller is smarter" strategy will help lure new buyers into its fold with the additions of the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon to its lineup.
The trucks are launching this fall, and except for a minor recall this month, they've received positive publicity for their looks, capabilities and drive character. The trucks are slightly shorter, narrower and sit lower to the ground than their fullsize brethren. At first glance, it doesn't seem like much - these are still big trucks with considerable presence - but the dimensions make the Colorado and Canyon easier to maneuver and park. GM expects this buyer to use their truck to commute to work, yet still occasionally need to tow and haul on weekends.
"For this customer, smaller is smarter," said GMC marketing director Rich Latek.
Weekly Recap: Will 'smaller is smarter' strategy work for 2015 Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon? originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 18 Oct 2014 10:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments