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Video: Local Motors Rally Fighter Hits The Dirt

On: Sat, Jul 2, 2011 at 9:40AM | By: Chris Weiss


Video: Local Motors Rally Fighter Hits The Dirt test 1-1

The Local Motors Rally Fighter is one of those unique vehicles that we just can't seem to get enough of. It's not the prettiest, probably not the best bang for the buck, but it's just such an interesting idea and backstory that we love seeing it. Translogic got to get behind the scenes and behind the wheel and provided a new video clip of the crowd-sourced off-road demon in action. Surprisingly, the action really isn't the best part—some nice fast off-roading down a dusty dirt road, but we've already seen better. More interesting was the interview with Local Motors' CEO Jay Rogers.


Sorry Chrysler: You Don't Own Ad Rights To Detroit

On: Sat, Jul 2, 2011 at 9:23AM | By: Chris Weiss


Sorry Chrysler: You Don't Own Ad Rights To Detroit test 1-1

Well, here's a brilliant victory for the little guy. Though I went on a pretty big rant against Chrysler in its lawsuit against a Detroit-area clothing company that used the popular "Imported From Detroit" slogan in a line of clothes, I really suspected that the court was going to side with the much bigger, more powerful automaker. But a Detroit federal court has ruled against Chrysler in trying to stop Pure Detroit from using the phrase, paving the way for the clothing company to keep selling "Imported from Detroit" clothes.


Flying Spyder; The 2012 Audi R8 GT

On: Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 4:48PM | By: Lou Ruggieri


Flying Spyder; The 2012 Audi R8 GT test 1-1

If you missed out on the first 333 copies of the very impressive, very powerful, very fast Audi R8 GT a couple months ago, don't feel bad because we did too. But all might not be lost. Audi is going to give us all another 333 chances to own the baddest car in their lineup, except this one comes without a roof. The 2012 Audi R8 GT Spyder promises to be one of the most exciting open air cars we've laid eyes on in a long time.  

Much like its fixed-roof sibling, the GT Spyder takes what an "ordinary" R8 offers and ratchets it up a few notches towards 'race'. The GT Spyder uses the same 5.2-liter V10, but thanks to a few tweaks here and there, it produces a healthier 552 horsepower (up 27 ponies) and 398 pound-feet of torque (versus seven pound-feet). Now, obviously that little power increase alone is not enough to warrant a new model designation, but it is nice to know that Audi upped the output just enough to brag about.


Toyota (With A Straight Face) Announces The Prius Plus Performance Package

On: Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 1:50PM | By: Andrew W Davis


2011 Prius with PLUS Performance Package test 2

“Developed to meet the evolving demands of the growing hybrid segment, PLUS enhances the driving experience for Toyota hybrid enthusiasts by offering cool and fun accessories that add sporty looks with performance handling.”

Despite the fact that “cool” and “fun” are two things NO Prius could EVER be to many, those crazy cats over at Toyota Racing Development are going to give the Prius—yep, all models—a “performance” makeover as the “first installment of the new PLUS brand of accessories from Toyota.”

This “exciting”—another non-Prius adjective—“new accessory package for 2011” isn’t half-bad, with many of the same kind of performance-enhancing bits that wouldn’t seem so out of place if they didn’t come in a Prius wrapper.

So, here’s the question: Did TRD transform a Prius into something that people who actually CARE about cars won’t be ashamed to be seen in? You decide!


 

Marauder Makes Mayhem On Top Gear

On: Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 11:16AM | By: Chris Weiss


Marauder Makes Mayhem On Top Gear test 1-1

Earlier this week, the all-new season of Top Gear began. And we're not talking the watery, semi-entertaining American version, but the original that started it all. What better way to start an all-new season than by featuring something that can be described as the "world's most unstoppable vehicle." The crew put the Marauder armored vehicle through all kinds of brutal testing, and the machine of destruction and protection came out with nary a scratch.

Built by the Paramount Group of South Africa, the Marauder looks kind of like a Hummer that's taken every type of steroid known to man. It's taller, burlier, longer, and, most importantly, tougher. It can carry up to 10 fully outfitted troops in a military mission and is designed to keep its occupants safe no matter what kind of carnage is going on outside. It can be used as an infantry patrol vehicle, command center, or mobile medical station and can survive all types of explosions and attacks. Highlights include run-flat tires, which can roll another 30 miles, even after being pierced by bullets, the ability to swim with a fording depth of half the vehicle, and anti-blast seats. Despite weighing 15 tons—up to 18 when fully packed—the Marauder can travel at speeds up to 75 mph.


Tech-Ghost Riding Now Legal in Nevada

On: Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 9:57AM | By: Chris Weiss


Tech-Ghost Riding Now Legal in Nevada test 1-1

Not only can you play every betting game known to man and have relations with a street walker in the same night in Nevada, now you can legally ghost ride. Okay, it's not exactly classic ghost riding where you climb out of a moving car and dance like a fool on the hood or roof, but the effect is the same: empty driver's seat, moving car. After some hard lobbying by Google, the Nevada state legislature passed Bill 511, which legalizes certain self-driven cars on roadways. Google will now be able to test its fleet of advanced, autonomous cars.


Nearly 500 Morgan Threewheelers Already Sold

On: Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 6:04PM | By: Chris Weiss


Morgan Threewheeler test 2

Remove one wheel from your average car, strap a V-Twin motorcycle engine to a retro-styled two-seater with tubular aluminum frame, and slap on a $40,000 price tag, and you have the makings of a real novelty vehicle, not necessarily a big seller. But, so far, Morgan has been rather successful in marketing that exact vehicle to buyers. Four hundred-eighty such buyers have already stepped to the plate and put a deposit down on their very own car... motorcycle... Threewheeler.


Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Is Nearly No More

On: Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 5:36PM | By: Chris Weiss


Bugatti Veyron  test 2

If you look at the market for million-dollar supercars, you'll find a small, but defined market that includes such models as the all-new Pagani Huayra and Koenigsegg Agera R. But, if you look at the market for million-dollar supercars that also own a production car world speed record, well, that market is a market of one: the Bugatti Veyron. And the ultra-exclusive market is about to dry up altogether, as the very last Bugatti Veyron 16.4 has been sold.

Originally produced in 2004, the Bugatti Veyron has easily been the most storied supercar of the 21st century. From its very introduction, the Veyron was the epitome of automotive excess: 1,001-hp 16-cylinder engine, super-million-dollar price tag, and a top speed so damn fast you needed a separate key to unlock it. It's everything that little boys dream of and their parents loathe and fear.


Sedan or SUV? Lamborghini Still Unsure.

On: Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 2:32PM | By: Chris Weiss


Sedan or SUV? Lamborghini Still Unsure. test 1-1

Previous sound bites from Stephan Winkelmann had all but confirmed that Lamborghini is building a sedan as its third model. But a new Car and Driver report indicates that Lamborghini still isn't 100 percent behind the sedan. In fact, the report brings us right back to last summer, at which point it was reported that Lamborghini was debating between an SUV and a sedan.


Video: Lexus LFA Nurburgring Edition Earns Its Name

On: Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 12:30PM | By: Chris Weiss


Video: Lexus LFA Nurburgring Edition Earns Its Name test 1-1

When you designate a 'Nurburgring Edition' anything, you'd better be sure that it's up to the task. And Lexus did just that in racing its LFA Nurburgring Edition around the Nordschliefe circuit of Nurburgring. Finish time? 7:22.85. And that was just messin' around.

Gazoo Racing team manager Akira Iida attacked the Ring before last weekend's 24 Hours of Nurburgring event and logged the time, which would be enough to give the LFA Nurburgring the number 10 spot all time. We say "would be" because the run wasn't an official lap, just a warm up. An official attempt is likely to come later this year and we'd expect the LFA to move up the list even further.


Bid On The World's Oldest-Known Bespoke Bentley To Book-End Your Brooklands

On: Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 9:15AM | By: Andrew W Davis


1921 Bentley; Photoillustration by Author test 2

When it comes to the winners of the world’s major automotive-endurance races, it’s usually the cars that have won the 24 at Le Sarthe that command the most respect and highest prices.

When buying a classic Bentley—cars once famously derided in-period by no less than Ettore Bugatti as the “world’s fastest trucks”—the same applies. And though you may not know it by looking at their modern line-up, Bentley was chief ass-kicker at Le Mans once upon a time, winning the full-day racing event outright four CONSECUTIVE times, 1927-1930.

Those winning “trucks”—and certain of their contemporaries—would easily be multimillion-plus-dollar cars if ever they were sold at auction, which they VERY rarely are. But those are the genesis for Bentley’s RACING heritage. What about the company itself? What would the VERY FIRST “bespoke” Bentley be worth? We’re about to find out…