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Throughout The Car Industry



Categories: Videos

GM Sees Big Future in EN-V Commuter; People With Taste Disagree

On: Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 9:56AM | By: Chris Weiss


GM Sees Big Future in EN-V Commuter; People With Taste Disagree test 1-1

GM is currently hard at work on a vehicle that won't so much rival other cars and trucks as it will public transportation. The automaker believes that its EN-V is the perfect solution for urban commuting where space, traffic, and pollution are factors that argue against more traditional vehicles. GM is hoping that the future of urban driving will look a lot like its "Electric Networked Vehicle."


Video: V12-Powered Lamborghinis of the Past Parade in Italy

On: Wed, Dec 1, 2010 at 10:26AM | By: Chris Weiss


Video: V12-Powered Lamborghinis of the Past Parade in Italy test 1-1

Not a full week ago, we were enjoying a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade awaiting a delicious meal like no other. Now, it's early in the work week, the post-holiday paperwork is piled high and we'll be lucky to shovel down some microwaved leftovers between meetings. In other words, life has plumetted drastically in less than a week. Oh yeah, and it's holiday shopping season. Joy.

Bringing a little bit of the festive fun back to this end-of-November morning, we have some video of an even cooler parade. Early this month, Lamborghini held a retirement party for the outgoing Murcielago at its headquarters in Sant'Agata Bolognese, Italy. Part of the celebration was a grand parade of V12-powered Lambos from generations gone by. There's a Miura, a 350 GT, a Countach and Diablo, in addition to a few Murcielagos. All driving around looking pretty. It's basically a moving Lambo museum.

We didn't have a clip at the time, but there's now one floating around on YouTube. If this doesn't bring back a little of that lighthearted holiday cheer, I think you're a lost cause.


Top Gear USA: Has Potential, Needs Some Work

On: Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 4:34PM | By: John Welch


Top Gear USA: Has Potential, Needs Some Work test 1-1

First of all, let me point out that Top Gear UK was around for 20 years before it was morphed into the program we all know and love today. Jeremy Clarkson has been cracking-wise about cars for a long time; he has a deep, thundering voice, and is very good at belching out sound bite-sized quips while maintaining control of whatever car he may be piloting at the time. Rutledge Wood has been a NASCAR circus clown for the last six years, Adam Ferrara is a stand-up comedian, and Tanner Foust is a race-driver turned SPEEDtv Host-Monkey, and as such has layer upon layer of hokey, Canadian-style television training to shed before he is anything other than wooden in front of a camera. Lower your expectations a might bit, and Top Gear USA can be seen for what it is: a start.

James May and Richard Hammond were both polished writers and public personalities before they began hosting Top Gear. Top Gear UK's producers have a larger budget, more experience and the joys of a British tv schedule working for them—no commercial interruptions equals a 58-minute "hour" instead of a 43-minute "hour". Top Gear USA is haphazard at best, and that isn't the fault of the hosts, producers or the History Channel. Trying to follow in the footsteps of the single greatest television show of all time isn't something one just does . . . it will take many seasons for TGUSA to shine as brightly as TGUK, if it even can. The first episode was not a home run folks, not even close . . . but the second episode displayed significant improvement. Still not "good", but better with the potential to become great.


Ford Completes F-150 Torture Test At Baja 1000 Race

On: Mon, Nov 29, 2010 at 2:32PM | By: Sherry Christiansen


Ford Completes F-150 Torture Test At Baja 1000 Race test 1-1

Ford utilized an F-150 EcoBoost race truck with the equivalent of 10 years of rugged use to complete a grueling Baja 1000 race in a little over 38 hours; traveling a whopping 1061 miles!

The 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine used to power the race truck performed spectacularly in the harsh terrain and extreme temperature swings of the Baja California Penninsula in Mexico. The truck endured accelerations at full throttle, and stiff decelerations across the mountains at temperatures that ranged between freezing and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.


 

Video: Jay Leno Drives the Jaguar C-X75 Concept

On: Fri, Nov 26, 2010 at 4:40PM | By: Chris Weiss


Video: Jay Leno Drives the Jaguar C-X75 Concept test 1-1

There are few if any high-end cars that haven't made their way through Jay Leno's Garage. Because when he's not making stupid one-liners about Bill Clinton, he's out driving some of the most exclusive cars on the planet. Case in point: the Jaguar C-X75. An incredible but fantastical concept, the C-X75 is based largely on future technology. Yet Jay Leno has already driven it.


Audi Quattro A Go Go

On: Wed, Nov 24, 2010 at 1:02PM | By: John Welch


Audi Quattro A Go Go  test 1-1

In the last decade Audi has absolutely dominated open-formula sports car racing. Recently, Peugeot has stolen some of Audi's thunder, but overall Audi will be remembered as the brand that dominated Le Mans at the beginning of the Twenty First Century. Before tackling the sports car world, Audi dominated a different form of balls-out open rules racing. It was called Group B, and like all racing that starts with the infinitely cool moniker "Group", it was to good to have a future. The cars of Group B were nutso turbocharged demons, and they did their best to kill every driver crazy enough to strap in and go for a relaxing drive in the woods. Many drivers lost their lives in the few short years Group B was around; because of this the insane lack of safety regulation simply could not continue. Though Group B didn't make it out of the Eighties, the legends created by the monstrous Group B cars will continue to grow on the Internet and elsewhere.

Audi's contribution to Group B would spawn a road car, necessary for homologation, that is instantly recognizable by boxy shape and name: Quattro. Every all wheel drive Audi since has carried  a "Quattro" badge, but none have captured the mystique of the original. The blat of the turbo five cylinder engine is unmistakable, the fender flares highly outrageous, the awd grip tenacious to a fault. The looks of the Quattro tick all of my Mad Max Apocalypse Car boxes; square headlamps, angular proportions, two doors. The original Audi Quattro has long deserved a second coming.

And so it shall be, Audi announcing this week that its drop dead gorgeous Audi Quattro Concept will in fact make it to production. The fenders may have been toned down, but the essential ingredients remain. A blown, 408 bhp five-pot, mounted lengthwise and connected to that ever present AWD system. The car should weigh in under 3,000 lbs., like the original, and should be able to eclipse 60 mph in under four seconds. And it will look astounding when it does.


Will Volkswagen Bring Back the Legendary Microbus?

On: Wed, Nov 24, 2010 at 10:31AM | By: Chris Weiss


Will Volkswagen Bring Back the Legendary Microbus?  test 1-1

The Volkswagen Transporter Type 2--also commonly called the minibus or microbus-- is a remnant of a bygone era, an era when free love, anti-war and timeless music were all the rage. In fact, it's hard to think of the classic VW and not think of long-haired hippies, psychadelic drugs, tie dye and Woodstock.

According to reports, the VW Microbus will soon be part of a new era. Volkswagen Chief Designer Klaus Bischoff has confirmed that VW is working on a new version of its classic minibus. The news is far short of a full production confirmation, but it makes clear that VW is at least giving some careful thought to bringing back the legend.


One M Worth Waiting For

On: Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 12:37PM | By: Lou Ruggieri


One M Worth Waiting For test 1-1

Since its inaugural debut in 2008, the 1-Series BMW has developed a healthy following of its own, and become a bit more than what some critics touted as merely a "poor man's BMW". Whether it is the happy-to-be-in-the-sun 128i convertible, or the exhilarating turbo-charged 135i, or anything variation therein, the 1-Series has done well for itself. But as any true BMW enthusiast will tell you, no model lineup is truly worthy of the being called the Ultimate Driving Machine until it has an M car designation. It seems that the 1-Series has passed the consumer rite of passage, and now will enter the upper echelon of Bimmer-dom.  

Just as the 1-Series is essentially a 4/5ths version of the 3-Series, so the 1-Series M will be to the M3. In short, the M could stand for Mighty Mouse or just simply Marvelous. Sporting flared fenders, a quad tailpipe exhaust, and a bad attitude, this car is made to fly. It looks the part, thanks to being widened by those massive fenders by what appears to be about a foot, but in actuality amounts to only about 3.1 inches. As with most M cars, the 1-Series M will sport a new front fascia to differentiate it from lesser ones, but more importantly to help support the turbo's need for air, and lots of it.    

Although purists will argue that a "true" M car does not employ forced induction, and that naturally aspirated high revs are the defining characteristic of an M car... They are wrong. That may sound harsh, but in a world where fuel cost is perpetually on the rise, and engineers have to get more and more out of less and less, forced induction is the way to go for gas engines. Unless, those purists want to stay pure and get smoked around every track, at every stoplight, and on every road course they come across just to hold dearly to their outmoded idea of what performance needs to be, then sure, go for it.  


Ferrari World Coming To A City Near You?

On: Wed, Nov 17, 2010 at 10:56AM | By: Chris Weiss


Ferrari World Coming To A City Near You?  test 1-1

Last month, Ferrari World, the new Ferrari theme park in Abu Dhabi, opened its doors for the very first time, welcoming an inaugural period that will run through this month. An official grand opening ceremony is scheduled for November 30, and the world will officially have the Disney World of fast cars with prancing horse hood ornaments. It's about damn time.

Now I'm not sure about our average reader, but I know that I don't have a trip to Abu Dhabi planned anytime soon. And as much of a draw as Ferrari World is, I just don't see myself heading in that direction in the near future. But, if there happened to be a Ferrari World a little closer to home, it would definitely make my vacation short list. And according to news reports, Ferrari is already in the process of building a theme park empire.


Despite the Fires, Ferrari 458 Is Auto Express 'Performance Car of the Year'

On: Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 5:34PM | By: Chris Weiss


Despite the Fires, Ferrari 458 Is Auto Express 'Performance Car of the Year' test 1-1

I don't know about you, but I'd consider one of the cornerstones of a "performance car" to be its ability to not catch fire when simply driving down the road. And if that car was, say, a 570-hp V8-driven supercar, I'd guess that it probably shouldn't catch fire even if you drive fast in hot weather. So if I was going to be judging a competition to decide the "performance car of the year," I'd probably use the penchant for fiery, car-leveling infernos as a quick elimination tool to narrow the pool.

Apparently, the folks over at Auto Express view it a little differently. They looked right past the well-publicized fire issue that Ferrari itself copped to just two months ago, and named the 458 Italia its "Performance Car of the Year." I'd love to know what kind of high-grade green the folks in Maranello shipped over to the U.K. to help grease the wheels toward that conclusion.


Belgium's Supercar Gets a Successor

On: Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 4:33PM | By: Chris Weiss


Belgium's Supercar Gets a Successor test 1-1

It seems that no matter how long I write about supercars and the automotive industry, there's always some random exotic company out there—often in northern Europe—building a supercar that I've never heard of. The latest company to point to my insufficient supercar knowledge is Automobiles Gillet. Its new Vertigo .5 Spirit is a successor to the original Vertigo that was launched back in the 1990s and promises to deliver even more performance.