by Stephen Cox It was the mid 1970's. NASCAR's aerodynamic supercars were a thing of the past. The great American muscle car had succumbed to a slow death, strangled by illegal government regulations and an absurd 55 mile per hour speed limit. The US auto industry fell into its own Dark Age and would not emerge for another 20 years. But in Nuremberg, Germany, a small band of merry rebels picked up where America left off.
The New Audi A6: Finally A Rival For The BMW 5 Series
by Luke Peters The brand new Audi A6 is a true return to form. The 2014 model has built on the disappointment of its predecessors. It has been reintroduced this year and is back to the top of the class. For a long time, the BMW 5 series dominated the market for this type of executive car. However, with the Audi A6, there is finally some competition.
First Twin Turbo V-Series delivers track-capable driving experience Cadillac today introduced the 2016 ATS-V, expanding the acclaimed ATS product range and elevating the brand's elite high-performance V-Series to its next generation. Available in sedan and coupe forms, the first-ever ATS-V will introduce class-leading twin-turbocharged power and a comprehensive suite of design and performance systems when production begins in spring 2015.
All-new Voltec extended range electric vehicle (EREV) propulsion system When the next-generation Chevrolet Volt debuts at the North American International Auto Show in January, it will feature an all-new Voltec extended range electric vehicle (EREV) propulsion system substantially developed from Volt owners including data collected on their driving behaviors. The Voltec system includes the battery, drive unit, range-extending engine and power electronics. The new system will be more efficient and offer greater EV range and fuel economy compared to the current generation.
Leading scientists describe future auto propulsion
Can you say electric! By 2050, most vehicles will need to be electrically propelled, with a battery to store energy or an on-board hydrogen fuel cell to generate electricity, if emission targets set by governments are to be met. That's the conclusion of an expert team responsible for penning Towards Sustainable Road Transport published by Elsevier. The three authors are senior research chemists who have spent their professional careers working in the fields of energy and electrochemistry. More than 300 pages packed with information describe the growth and technical development of road vehicles during the 20th century, and the state-of-the-art power sources and advanced vehicle designs now needed to meet the 80 per cent reduction required in global emissions over the next 35 years, and needed to protect the next generation.
Electric vehicles win MPG contest with zero pollution
Handwriting is on the wall for gasoline powered cars The electric vehicles taking part in this year's MPG Marathon demonstrated how cost effective and reliable they were by completing the course in virtually the same time as their competitors – but by using less energy and with no pollution. Three electric vehicles took part for the first time in the 23-team eco-driving event, which was again sponsored by ALD Automotive and TRACKER and was won by Honda engineers Fergal McGrath and James Warren, driving a Honda Civic Tourer and recording an outstanding 97.92mpg.
by Luke Peters The French car maker Citroen is in something of a state of flux at the moment. The PSA Peugeot Citroen Group that owns the company is reshuffling Citroen's model lineup. As part of that process, Citroen is making its DS luxury car brand an independent company. For those of you familiar with Citroen's long and rich history, the last time Citroen sold a car in the United States was back in 1972. The company stopped selling cars here in the US because of strict auto regulations.
by Ali Arsham Let's pretend that you wanted to move a very heavy load up a very long and steep hill. What vehicle would you use? We were at that point and selected a Dodge Ram 3500 dually for the job. Then we loaded it up and headed for the hills to see how it would perform and the results were amazing.
by Ali Arsham Leave it to the Italians to add style and performance to an electric car. The Fiat 500e was a pleasant surprise for us and we hated to see it go away. Most electric cars have the personality of a banana and can even be less fun to drive. The Fiat 500e delivered a terrific driving experience with 87 mile range in a good looking package during its stay with us.
Atherton underscores vital role of racing in innovation
at international SAE conference As they have for many, many years, every race car in last Saturday's TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race at Circuit of The Americas had a rearview mirror. That's not news, as a rearview mirror is a simple, obvious and essential part of any automobile. But as IMSA President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Atherton pointed out last week in a keynote address to the SAE North American International Powertrain Conference in Chicago, the rearview mirror is one of the most basic examples of automobile innovation driven by racing.
by Luke Peters Alfa Romeo was once a great and popular car maker. But it’s no secret that the Fiat-owned firm is suffering financial problems. When you go on the Alfa Romeo website, you can only see two new models on offer - the Mito and Giulietta. Fiat recently announced that they are investing 5 billion euros into the ailing car marque. A total of eight new models will get introduced to the Alfa Romeo lineup, and one of those is the 4C.
by Michael Gartner My father never drove a car. Well, that's not quite right. I should say I never saw him drive a car. He quit driving in 1927, when he was 25 years old, and the last car he drove was a 1926 Whippet. "In those days," he told me when he was in his 90s, "to drive a car you had to do things with your hands, and do things with your feet, and look every which way, and I decided you could walk through life and enjoy it or drive through life and miss it."
2014 edition Monterey Classic Car Week has been a fixture in the minds of motor sport aficionados since its earliest origins in 1950. Explore the event through this selection of images which capture the essence of the 2014 edition.
Saleen FOURSIXTEEN performance electric breaks cover From the same automotive performance brand that brought the true American Supercar, the S7, Saleen has once again set precedence for a vehicle of epic proportions. The Tesla Model S based Saleen FOURSIXTEEN performance electric car was shown for the first time at the 2014 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
by Ali Arsham Honda sells around 20,000 Civics each month which is only second to their Accord. Since its introduction in 1973, Honda has sold 8.8 million Civics just in the United States alone. With those numbers, the Civic is a very important model to Honda’s bottom line. A couple of years ago, Honda came up with the ninth generation Civic that is said to be completely redesigned.
by Ali Arsham The Honda Accord is a very important vehicle for Honda. It is the second bestselling car in the US, selling about 29,000 cars in just last month alone. When Honda decided to create the all-new ninth generation Accord, they had to be careful not to mess with a great product. Fortunately, the new Accord is more luxurious and better performing than any Accord in its 38 year history.
by Bob Lefsetz You mean I need a bigger engine and a swoopy style to get laid? I just go on Tinder! Welcome to the baby boomer nightmare, wherein everything they’ve held near and dear becomes irrelevant. Like automobiles. Cars are a utility. So long Ferrari. So long Aston Martin. So long the SUV. Do you think kids want to own a big box with terrible mileage just like their parents drive? Just because cars have lasted a century, that does not mean they're here to stay, that does not mean they're not ripe for disruption. Cars are the newspapers of today. Something oldsters can't live without and youngsters can.
by Ali Arsham Everyone needs a truck at some point. It may be for your job or your hobby but a truck comes in very handy sometimes. Toyota's Tundra has been one of the best since the 2007 model was introduced and for 2014 it has been restyled with some improvements. We wanted to see how good the Tundra has become so we picked up a top of the line 1794 Edition to find out.
Will be the most performance-focused derivative F-TYPE The F-TYPE Project 7, the latest model in the acclaimed Jaguar F-TYPE sports car range, is set to make its debut at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed on June 26. "Special Operations exists to develop a suite of products and services that enable our most discerning and enthusiastic customers to indulge their passion for our cars. F-TYPE Project 7 is a perfect example of one such product. It's the most powerful production Jaguar vehicle ever built.
by Ali Arsham No vehicle is perfect and can do it all. But if you could only have one vehicle on your driveway, the Lexus LX570 would be a great choice. It is a brilliant combination of luxury and capability in one package. It can tow a huge load, go off roading, haul a bunch of stuff, carry eight people and do 0-60 in 7.5 seconds and the quarter mile in 15.7 seconds. The LX570 is basically a Toyota Land Cruiser but with more luxury.
by Stuart Wood The term 'Hybrid Cars' is more commonly known as the Hybrid Electric Vehicles, which incorporate two or more power sources. Generally the Hybrid Cars feature an Internal Combustion engine and electric motors. The combination of these two distinct power sources can help the vehicle achieve either the best fuel efficiency or the best performance.
by Ali Arsham For nearly three decades, the Toyota 4Runner mid-size SUV has been a stalwart for off-roading enthusiasts seeking an SUV with rugged, go-anywhere capability. Currently In its fifth-generation, 4Runner stands out in a crowded SUV field as one of the few fully capable mid-size SUVs. The original 4Runner was basically a Toyota pickup with a back seat. It was not very fancy and there were not many creature comforts but the price was right and it was a great off road machine.
by Ali Arsham Kia has been on a roll lately introducing terrific cars in the entry-level and mid-level markets. When you’re successful in entry-level markets there’s only one place to go and that would be up which is why Kia has come up with the new Kia Cadenza. The Cadenza is a midsize car geared towards the luxury car buyer. The Cadenza is Kia’s flagship sedan (until the K900 which just arrived) which represents the most powerful and technologically advanced Kia ever offered in the US.
4-Passenger DeltaWing Technologies Inc. today revealed how the groundbreaking DeltaWing architecture – a highly aerodynamic and lightweight design currently competing in IMSA sports car road races in the form of the DeltaWing race car – could look as a street-legal, four-passenger car. The rendering depicts an exciting, aerodynamic car design that evokes motion, energy and speed even at a standstill and is unlike any of today’s road-going automobiles.
by Stephen Cox "Barn finds" really happen. In the mid-1990's my dad was visiting an old high school buddy in southern Indiana. As they talked of the good old days, my father noticed a dirty, old car sitting inside his friend’s barn. It was a blue 1971 Ford Torino. The owner said that it had been purchased new by his mother, after which it was passed down to his son. It still ran pretty well when he finally got a new car and parked the Torino in the barn some years ago.
AUTOMOTIVE Mercedes-AMG presents the most extreme version of the celebrated SLS, the 2014 model-year SLS AMG Black Series. Inspired by the SLS AMG GT3 race car, the fifth Black Seriesmodel from Mercedes-AMG boasts a mix of breathtaking design, outstanding driving dynamics and uncompromising lightweight construction in line with the AMG Lightweight Performance strategy. The 2014 SLS AMG Black Series achieves a power/weight ratio of 5.49 lb / hp. The AMG 6.3-liter V8 engine generates 622 horsepower at 7,400 rpm and accelerates the SLS to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds.
Convertible Corvette Z06 highlights show It's the New York Auto Show kickoff day this morning, but a lot of the news broke last night. New York, usually the bastion of mid-size sedans will actually have some sporty dynamism with the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible and 2016 Mazda Miata. Going up in weight, there's also the S63 AMG Coupe, Lamborghini Huracan, Audi RS7 Exclusive RS7 Dynamic Edition and Aston Martin N430. We present some of the highlights in photos.
by Ali Arsham The Scion tC has been overshadowed lately by the sportier Scion FR-S. While the FR-S is definitely the sportier Scion, the tC has its own virtues and should not be forgotten. It has been freshened up for 2014 with some small changes and it was exciting to see how our old friend had grown up. The tC will surprise you in many ways.
by Mark J. Cipolloni So far I'm averaging over 1,000 MPG. Yes, you read that right, 1,000 miles per gallon in a car that is arguably the best looking plug-in electric car in the world. Not arguably. It is. In fact it may be the best looking mid-size car period. The Cadillac ELR makes the Tesla Model S look like a farm tractor. Mercedes and BMW owners stare, woman smile and kids point - wow mom look at that, said one.
AUTOMOTIVE The all-new BMW M4 Convertible arrives in US showrooms late this summer to join the M4 Coupe and M3 Sedan. The 2015 BMW M4 Convertible is powered by the same BMW M TwinPower Turbo 3.0-liter inline-six as its siblings. That engine produces 425 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque and can be mated to either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed M-DCT transmission. The new BMW M4 Convertible makes its world debut at the 2014 New York International Auto Show.
by Stephen Cox Get your hot rod out of your garage and enjoy it with a clear conscience. No matter what anyone tells you, driving your classic muscle car does not cost any more today than it did in 1969. Perhaps it is ego. Maybe it's propaganda and repetition. But for some bizarre reason, Americans insist on denominating everything in dollars. We routinely wake up and ask, “How many dollars does it take to buy a gallon of gas today?”
Special edition highlights the sporting dynamics, striking ATS design Cadillac enhances the dynamic performance and design of the 2014 ATS sedan with a new, limited-edition Crimson Sport special edition. Produced only during the spring of 2014, the special edition sedan is characterized by its unique Crimson Red Metallic exterior paint and a collection of its sportiest performance attributes, including an available Track Package.
by Ali Arsham Toyota sells around 30,000 Camrys each month in the US. In comparison, the Camry outsells the Avalon ten to one. That is amazing because the Avalon is better looking, roomier, and has more features than the Camry for not much more money. Toyota says that the Avalon styling will filter down to its other models so we’ll see when the freshened up Camry arrives in a few months.
Honda Unveils New Civic Type R Today sees the worldwide reveal of the Honda Civic Type R Concept model which points to the styling direction for the exterior design of the highly-anticipated production new Type R that will debut in Europe during 2015. Described by the design team as a ‘racing car for the road’ rather than a high performance version of a road car, the new Type R looks set to signal a new era for the marque – with the most extreme Civic Type R yet.
Performance Traction Helps Camaro Z/28 Soar on Track
Algorithm helps maintain momentum for faster lap times Engineers call it "flying car" logic. On the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, the Performance Traction Management system delivers faster lap times on an undulating race track by helping maintain the car’s full power and momentum even if the tires briefly lose contact with the ground, in certain track conditions. Created for track use only, the "flying car" logic woven into the Z/28's standard PTM system integrates the chassis mode selection, Traction Control and Active Handling Systems.
28 Ways Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Rules the Road Course
Increased grip, reduced weight, better brakes Lightweight, nimble and incredibly powerful, the original Z/28 was designed for road racing. The 2014 Z/28 carries the same spirit, with every detail engineered specifically to create the ultimate track-capable Camaro. To enable the Z/28 to quickly lap the most challenging road courses, engineers and designers focused on strengthening three key areas during development.
To be unveiled at the International Geneva Motor Show McLaren Automotive has released the first images of its new supercar, the 650S Coupe. McLaren will unveil the new model at the International Geneva Motor Show in March. The McLaren 650S joins the range as an additional model alongside the 12C and sold-out McLaren P1, and learns from both models as well as 50 years of competing in the highest levels of motorsport.
The red-hot 200mph supercar If you're California dreaming and have a spare $254,000 in your back pocket, this red-hot new Ferrari could be just the thing to blow away the rain-drenched winter blues of Britain. The new 200mph Ferrari California T is set to roar into showrooms in September after its world debut at next month's Geneva Motor Show. And by then hopefully the current deluge will be sufficiently long gone to allow the new Italian supercar's retractable top to come down for a bit of wind in the hair motoring in the sun.
by Ali Arsham When was the last time that something that was hip and cool was offered for less money. Usually you have to buy last year’s fashion at a discount. Well the nice people at Chevrolet have just dropped the price on the Chevrolet Volt by $5000 for 2014. The 2014 model will start at $34,995, including an $810 destination fee (excluding tax, title, license and dealer fees). If consumers include federal tax credits ranging from $0-$7,500 (depending on individual tax liability), pricing could start at $27,495.
Mercedes new flagship Stylistically self-assured presence, exclusive appointments and refined sportiness – the new S-Class Coupe from Mercedes-Benz combines the classic proportions of a large, sporty coupe with modern luxury and state-of-the art technology. As a world premiere, the breathtaking two-door coupe can be optionally equipped with the MAGIC BODY CONTROL suspension system with curve tilting function. Additional technical highlights are the head-up display and the touch pad feature.
by Stephen Cox To no one’s surprise, US Dept. of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced at a propaganda conference this past week that in addition to surveillance cameras, traffic light cameras, license plates, roadside still photo speed traps and a national driver’s license database, American drivers would soon be subjected to yet another tracking system. This time the system will be embedded in your car. And there is no opt out. New car buyers have no choice.
by Ali Arsham In case you have missed it, Fiat is back in the US after a long holiday. The first Fiat was the Fiat 500 which was a very cute small car. There have been several different versions of the 500 so far and the latest one is also the biggest one, the 500L. The 500L promises more room for families with four real size doors which makes it a lot more practical. The extra size does not make the 500L into a boring family car and the car keeps its original charm and fun.
by Ali Arsham The Ford Escape was introduced in 2001 as a smaller SUV. There have been many improvements since then but for 2014 the Escape receives a major refreshing that makes it look much more contemporary. The other big change is under the hood with the addition of several new engines including the new EcoBoost family of turbocharged engines. We got our hands on one and were very impressed with the Escape. It is a much improved car from the Escape that you may remember.
by Ali Arsham Up until now, if you wanted a diesel engine in your pickup truck you had to buy a big heavy duty pickup. We know that diesels are more efficient so why can’t we have a diesel engine in a ½ ton pickup? Thanks to Chrysler’s Ram brand that is now possible and it is a very good one. The 2014 Ram 1500 not only is the first light-duty, full-size pickup to offer durable, efficient diesel technology – it is the only one.
by Mark Scheuern General Motors' Chevrolet unit swept car and truck of the year honors but Ford's use of aluminum in its F150 sparked new debate on the first day of the Detroit auto show Monday. Toyota unveiled a provocative new concept for a sports car, with a race car pit crew opening a shiny red box to reveal the FT-1 sports concept -- Future Toyota 1.
Monday The Detroit North American International Auto Show opened Monday to the public with the launch of some exciting new cars, not the least of which was the new Corvette Z06 with over 625 HP under the hood and performance that exceeds even the Corvette ZR1. Check out these photos for some other exciting cars you will soon be able to buy.
Enters supercar territory with race-proven design Chevrolet today introduced the most track-capable Corvette in the brand’s history – the 2015 Corvette Z06. It stretches the performance envelope for Corvette with unprecedented levels of aerodynamic downforce, at least 625 horsepower from an all-new supercharged engine, and an all-new, high-performance eight-speed automatic transmission – all building on the advanced driver technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray.
Co-developed with 2015 Corvette Z06, sharing chassis, engine and aerodynamics Chevrolet today unveiled the Corvette C7.R race car, which was co-developed with the all-new 2015 Corvette Z06. They represent the closest link in modern times between Corvettes built for racing and the road, sharing unprecedented levels of engineering and components including chassis architecture, engine technologies and aerodynamic strategies.
by Stephen Cox I have a confession to make. I don’t pay much attention to the multi-million dollar collector cars on the auction block. They prance across the stage looking really hot and endlessly tease you with something you know you can’t afford. Insert Britney Spears joke here. However, I do have a raging passion for under-appreciated cars that average, everyday people can actually buy. Cars like the 1968 Impala small block, the A-code 289 Mustangs, or the early 302-powered Mavericks are not garage queens.
Compact SUV with Driving Performance Mercedes-AMG rigorously continues its product initiative: with the new GLA45 AMG the performance brand of Mercedes-Benz makes a dynamic statement in the strongly growing segment of compact SUVs. The combination of powerful-distinctive design, exclusive appointments as well as superior engine power and driving performance is unique: the most powerful series-production four-cylinder engine in the world puts 355 hp of power and 332 lb-ft of torque on the road.
Integrated video, audio and telemetry recording capability Chevrolet announced at the Consumer Electronics Show today an industry-first Performance Data Recorder for the 2015 Corvette Stingray. The fully integrated system enables users to record high-definition video, with telemetry overlays, of their driving experiences on and off the track. The Performance Data Recorder combines the ability to record and share drive videos with the power of a professional-level motorsports telemetry system.
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