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BMW Previews Advanced ConnectedDrive Technologies

On: Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 11:34AM | By: Chris Weiss

BMW Previews Advanced ConnectedDrive Technologies test 2

Back at the Geneva Motor Show, BMW launched the Vision ConnectedDrive. While the car was a pretty striking, retro-inspired-futuro roadster, its main emphasis wasn't on aesthetics, but on technology. The car was equipped with a variety of technological components like a three-dimensional heads-up display and vehicle-to-vehicle communications system. This month, BMW issued a lengthy presser, taking us much deeper into the innovative (and perhaps twisted) world of ConnectedDrive.

The short story, cars are going to be a whole lot more intuitive in the future. The long story...read on.

Toyota And Mercedes Voted Top 15 Brands

On: Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 10:13AM | By: Chris Weiss

Toyota And Mercedes Voted Top 15 Brands test 2

Interbrand's list of Top 100 companies is out, and two automakers have ranked among the top 15 companies. Interbrand is a global brand management company, and its annual list of the top 100 brands analyzes how a given brand helps its company perform financially, attract a talented employee pool, meet customer demands, and perform overall.

The top 10 are a list of very recognizable brands headed by Coca Cola, IBM, and Microsoft. Other household names like McDonald's, Disney, and Apple are also in the top 10. The top automaker chosen is Toyota, which slots in at number 11. Mercedes-Benz follows at number 12, and other automakers to make the top 100 are Honda (number 19), Volkswagen (number 47), Ford (number 50), Audi (number 59), Hyundai (number 61), Porsche (number 72), Nissan (number 90), Ferrari (number 99), and Harley-Davidson (number 100).

Toyota, which was also number 11 last year, is an especially interesting choice given some of the mud that the brand was dragged through last year after its unprecedented recall problems and government hearings on its culpability.

2000 Mustang Cobra R

On: Thu, Oct 13, 2011 at 9:05AM | By: Peter C Sessler

2000 Mustang Cobra R test 2

The high point for Ford’s 4th Generation 1994-2004 Mustang is the 2000 Mustang Cobra “R” model. No fooling around here—the “R” model was not equipped with any luxury options such as air conditioning, stereo, power windows, rear seats, and power door locks. The standard seats were replaced with special Recaro versions which also incorporated a Cobra snake and “R” emblem on the headrest area. The snake/”R” emblem was also used on the reverse indicator letter on the transmission shifter. It almost seems as though Ford didn’t want people to drive the car.

HEEEYYYYY!!! The Fonz's Triumph Motorcycle Up For Auction

On: Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 4:58PM | By: Chris Weiss

HEEEYYYYY!!! The Fonz's Triumph Motorcycle Up For Auction test 2

Few characters in the history of television are legends on the same level as The Fonz. Hell, even on his worst day, The Fonz gave us timeless pop culture—his jumping over a shark on waterskis in a 1977 episode, inspired the phrase "jump the shark," which has come to identify the point of no return where something popular starts a downward spiral from its peak.

Okay, my admiration for all things Fonzie has a point that has to do with automobiles, I promise. The 1949 Triumph Trophy TR5 once ridden by Fonz in Happy Days will go up for auction next month.


300-HP Turbo Range Rover Evoque Planned

On: Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 3:49PM | By: Chris Weiss

300-HP Turbo Range Rover Evoque Planned test 2

Do you like the small size and updated looks of Land Rover's smallest vehicle ever but find yourself yearning for a little extra power? Land Rover's got you covered. Or at least it might if this new rumor comes true. Land Rover is reportedly working on a "hot" version of the Range Rover Evoque, which would add a high-pressure turbocharger to the 2.0-liter engine for up to around 300 horses of power.

Mecum Brought The Weird And Wacky To Its Dallas Sale, Too

On: Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 2:37PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Photoillustration by author test 2

Life at a modern car auction like Mecum’s October 6-8 Dallas sale doesn’t revolve around ’69 Camaros and 1950s fin-tails alone. In fact, in order to fill out every slot on every planned sales day, the large majority of lots are actually filled with the mildly-collectible, the odd-but-mundane and the lightly-used/late-model “just a” cars.

But hidden among the 80 Camaros and 95 Mustangs and the bazillion other “usual” lots are the truly unique, interesting and just plain weird. They are what my grandfather would call a “hammer without a nail,” but if you have a particularly-bizarre itch that needed scratching—say for the “fastest F450 in the world”—then these might be right up your alley.

So join me for a trip through the seven wackiest lots—actually eight, but two were linked—Mecum had on offer, from a $12,500 Honda to a $333,000 Camaro. They may not be your cup of tea to own, but you can’t say that they’re not “interesting” in their own way(s)…

Chevy Camaro ZL1 Convertible Announced

On: Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 1:15PM | By: Chris Weiss

Chevy Camaro ZL1 Convertible Announced test 2

The Camaro ZL1 has been quite the story this year. The car debuted without much of any teasing at the Chicago Auto Show in February, later clocked in at an extra 30 horses over what Chevy originally announced in Chicago, lapped Nurburgring in 7:41.27, and will get a bald brother before the year is out. Chevy announced that it will introduce a ZL1 convertible at the 2011 LA Auto Show next month.

Vygor Introduces Opera Sports Car

On: Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 11:46AM | By: Chris Weiss

Vygor Introduces Opera Sports Car test 2

Following up on a teaser a couple weeks ago, Italian newcomer Vygor has introduced its Opera sports car. Like traditional opera, the sports car is an acquired taste (to put it optimistically), and not something most people will want to spend any time sitting in.

GM Consolidates Engines, Electrifies Spark

On: Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 10:35AM | By: Chris Salamone

GM Consolidates Engines, Electrifies Spark test 2

Just moments ago, GM announced the company’s plan to consolidate their global family of small-displacement gasoline engines over the next few years in pursuit of reducing manufacturing complexity, improving fuel economy, while increasing quality and performance. Three engine families will soon become a single uber group, encompassing more than 2 million engines per year by 2020.

And that’s not all. During a Chevrolet press conference held via live webcast, the company also mentioned plans to bring an electric Spark to market and introduced a facelift for the newly minted American super sub-compact. No word yet on vehicle range or cost.

Video: 1,800-HP Dune Buggy Rips Sand

On: Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 9:30AM | By: Chris Weiss

Video: 1,800-HP Dune Buggy Rips Sand test 2

All out dune buggy action is pretty fun to watch no matter what, but when the buggy has an absolutely monstrous V-8 engine strapped to the back, it's even more fun. This video takes you to some coastal dunes to watch one of the most suped-up bugs you're likely to ever see take on the sand.

Typically I'm too ADD to watch a Web video for more than four minutes, but this 14-minute clip that has been making its way around the blogosphere is worth sitting tight for. The video is basically all about a fun-lovin' joy ride on the Oceano Dunes in Pismo Beach, California. That would be worth about two or three minutes of my time, tops, if it wasn't for the fact that the vehicle of choice is a completely overpowered 1,800-hp beast of a dune buggy.

1978 Ford Mustang II Cobra II

On: Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 3:16PM | By: Peter C Sessler

1978 Ford Mustang II Cobra II test 2

The 1974-1978 Mustangs aren’t known for high performance or even low performance. Like any car, you’ll find there are enthusiasts who like these cars—it’s just that there are fewer.

The Mustang, after the downsizing it took in 1974, looked like it was a winner for Ford—but unfortunately, sales started to decline after 1974. But not to worry, the Fox-based Mustangs were already in the works—but it took time for them to get into production, so in the meantime, Ford had to do with what was available.

Performance always sold for the Mustang. Throaty exhaust pipes, big tires, and lots of stripes always helped the Mustang. And, so, that was done for the Mustang. By 1978, the Cobra II Mustang was the “hot” Mustang, and everyone one who came within 50 feet of the car would instantly know that this was a Cobra II Mustang, as it was plastered on each door.