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We obsessively covered the 2014 Monterey Car Week

  • We obsessively covered the 2014 Monterey Car Week
  • Autoblog readers come clean with their own controversial automotive beliefs
  • 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 8AT
  • We cruised Woodward in the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat [w/video]

Smart ED ready for high-horsepower Mustang on city drag strip

Posted Aug 21st 2014 11:00AM

Smart ED City Drag Racing

Hey, all you fans of the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, where will you ever use that 328 kilometre per hour top speed? Probably not in very many places, and Smart would kindly like to remind you that, "Top speed means nothing in the city."

That's the tagline for a new ad for the all-electric Smart ED from Smart Canada. The scene is iconic: a couple of high-power cars at the drag strip. But they're up against the battery-powered Smart ED, which you wouldn't think would hold a candle to the overkill horsepower in the Ford Mustang, Audi A5 and Porsche Boxster. Well, maybe it doesn't, but that's why the message here is interesting.

We won't give everything away – that's what the 90-second video you can watch below is for – but we will say this ad does a good job of taking something we think we know and turning it on its head.

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News Source: Smart Canada via Green Car Reports, YouTube

Lotus said to be planning new sedan, crossover [w/poll]

Posted Aug 21st 2014 10:30AM

Lotus Eterne Concept

Lotus has been in limbo in recent years. After former CEO Dany Bahar revealed his plans to build six new models, its parent company was sold, Bahar was sacked, his plans were canceled and a new CEO was hired in the form of former Peugeot chief Jean-Marc Gales. The industry has been waiting ever since to find out what Gales would do with the storied marque, and now we seem to have some indication.

Reports coming in from Malaysia indicate that Jean-Marc presented to the board of parent company Proton a plan for Lotus to build a new sedan and crossover. Though details are scarce, and may seem downright blasphemous for an automaker that built is reputation on lightweight sports cars, it would not be the first time that the House that Colin Built has toyed with either idea.

The company presented the APX crossover concept at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show, and the Eterne sedan concept as part of Bahar's far-reaching plans at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. The new plans may use these concepts as starting points or could go another direction entirely.

Of course Lotus would not be the first sports car manufacturer to branch out into sedans and CUVs. Porsche has done both with great success. Lamborghini has presented concepts for both as well. And Maserati is well on its way to expanding its lineup with two new sedans already on the market and a crossover soon to follow. Aston Martin already offers a four-door and has toyed with the idea of a crossover as well, and even Bugatti has showcased sedan concepts, which would seem to leave dedicated supercar manufacturers like Ferrari and McLaren (not to mention the likes of Pagani and Koenigsegg) as the only holdouts that won't entertain the notion.

Should Lotus build a crossover and/or sedan?



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News Source: Utusan via Motor Authority

Image Credit: Lotus

BMW reveals new X5 Security Plus in Moscow

Posted Aug 21st 2014 9:59AM

BMW X5 Security Plus

A major player in the Russian market, BMW is heading to the Moscow Motor Show this month with a slew of local debuts... most of which we've already seen. But among all the new models making the trek from Bavaria to Moscow will be the new X5 Security Plus.

In a new-model launch that will surprise exactly no one, BMW's latest armored vehicle upgrades the X5 with enhanced protection for oligarchs against Chechen rebels, AK47-touting gangsters and missiles randomly falling on Crimean highways. Now meeting the VR6 standard of ballistic protection, the new X5 Security Plus incorporates reinforced bodywork, seats and joints, along with bulletproof glass.

Of course all that reinforcement (not to mention the jars of beluga caviar and bottles of Stoli in the glovebox) will come with a weight penalty, but the 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 ought to do the trick, driving 450 horsepower through BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system to get the vehicle's occupants out of a war zone in a hurry.

News Source: BMW

Infiniti previews a new... something

Posted Aug 21st 2014 9:00AM

Infiniti concept teaser

Sometimes we get a teaser image and accompanying statement where we can at least surmise what the automaker is up to. This is not one of those times.

The automaker, in this case, is Infiniti, and the teaser image shows only a grille with a similar shape to what you'd find on most of the company's products, albeit with a curvier mesh. Which isn't much to go on, really, and the accompanying statement (which you can read below in its forty-word entirety) doesn't give us much more. All it says is that the vehicle in question – which we'll wager is a concept car instead of a production debut – has "style and substance" embodied in a "vision... on a scale not seen before" from Infiniti.

Given the French peppered into the release and the encroaching chronological proximity of the Paris Motor Show, we'd guess that's where Infiniti will reveal this latest but of inspiration, but just what form it will take is still a mystery.

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News Source: Infiniti

Fall in love with the madness of the Nürburgring 24-hour race

Posted Aug 20th 2014 8:00PM

Nurburgring 24 Intervals video

We like the 24 Hours of Le Mans just fine. With the world's manufacturers in attendance and a varied field of classes and cars circling a high-speed circuit that's partially hewn from public roads, the appeal of the crown jewel of endurance racing is obvious. But, if you're tired of all the Le Mans love, there is another 24-hour race that is arguably more exciting and more extreme – we're talking the Nürburgring.

While the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans featured a 54-car field, the 2014 Nürburgring 24 grid consisted of 165 cars (like Le Mans, each team has three to four drivers). Then there are the tracks themselves – the Circuit de la Sarthe is a relatively flat, 38-turn, 8.46-mile (13.6-kilometres) circuit that's famous for its high speeds, while the N24 runs on the much longer, twister Nordschleife and GP courses. Also, the fans at the N24 are utterly mad. Evo Australia said the Ring's fans make the rowdiest spectators at the legendarily wild Bathurst 1000 look like "a church picnic" (when the Aussies praise your partying, you're doing something right).

There's a lot more that makes the N24 one of the world's most fascinating races, although we simply don't have room for it here (that Evo list can fill in more blanks). Still, by now, you should be a big fan of Germany's answer to Le Mans. Unfortunately, you're going to be left waiting a bit, as the 2015 race is still about nine months away. Whittle away at least a tiny portion of that time by checking out this truly amazing video, shot at this year's race. There's plenty of beautiful slow-motion and time-lapse videography at work, but it should do a good job of helping you understand the madness that is the Nürburgring 24 (and it will make you want to roast a pig in an engine bay).

Take a look.

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News Source: DrivingLine via YouTube

We obsessively covered the 2014 Monterey Car Week

Posted Aug 20th 2014 7:00PM

Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance

With each passing year, things just get more and more interesting at the annual Monterey Car Week. As we've seen yet again, it's not just about the historic automobiles anymore – new vehicles certainly have big presences at the various events. Beyond that, with a wide variety of sights to take in, there really is something for every car enthusiast here in Monterey, and we've had an absolute blast bringing it all of the pages of Autoblog Canada for you over the past few days.

From McCall's Motorworks Revival, the Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance, Quail, Motorsports Reunion, various auctions, and the fancy-shmancy Concours d'Elegance, there's been a lot to talk about over on America's left coast. Check out the best of the best in our roundup, below.



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Autoblog readers come clean with their own controversial automotive beliefs

Posted Aug 20th 2014 6:00PM

You Shared Your Unpopular Opinions And We Respond

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno - Season 20

A couple weeks back, the editors here at Autoblog sounded off with some of our own unpopular automotive opinions, voicing the controversial sentiments for which we often catch flak from other enthusiasts upon expression. Along with our own, we invited the Autoblog faithful to share their unpopular opinions. We were thrilled to see how many of you shared your own opinions – nearly 400 of you weighed in with thoughts of your own at last count.

The comments were so good, in fact, that we have gathered a bunch of the most interesting ones and are sharing them here (occasionally corrected for grammar, style, etc.), giving their authors their just reward for taking the time and effort to write out their thoughts. Scroll below to see some more unpopular opinions as well as our reaction to your thoughts. Perhaps you'll find you aren't so alone in thinking the Chrysler PT Cruiser wasn't all bad, or that the Nissan GT-R is overrated. Perhaps... READ MORE

Image Credit: Getty | Long Zheng / Flickr | Paul Sakuma / AP Photo | Jason Alden / Bloomberg | britl / Flickr I supergenijalac / Getty I Stacie McChesney / NBC

Car-Sharing Comparison: Everything you need to know about AutoShare, Car2Go and Zipcar

Posted Aug 20th 2014 4:59PM

AutoShare, Zipcar, or Car2Go - which of these car-sharing services is the best one?



While some forms of car-sharing have been around since the 1990s, the increasingly popular short-term car rental solution is indeed a growing trend and a great tool for people in large, urban cities. According to a study from Navigant Research, the number of car-share participants is expected to climb to more than 12 million by the end of the decade.

If you own a car and live in Toronto (or any other major city for that matter), you're likely no stranger to having to shell out exorbitant amounts of money for parking and also know the frustration of having to loop around, circling block after block just to find a parking spot. On top of parking costs, owning a car can be very expensive - factor in obscenely high Ontario insurance costs, equally obscene gas prices, increasing maintenance costs, and car payments - so much so that a growing majority of drivers who live in major cities across Canada choose to live car-free and rely on their trusty two feet, a bicycle, an expensive taxicab, or unreliable public transit to take them where they need to go.

But what do you do when you need to make a trip to the grocery store for more food than you can carry? Or what do you do when you need to make that torturous trip to Ikea - you can't exactly carry an armoire or the new unexpected love seat that you "just had to have" back downtown, can you?

Car-less drivers, meet your new BFFs - AutoShare, Zipcar, and Car2Go (in no particular order). These are the three major car-sharing companies operating in Canada; we often get asked by our readers which of these three companies they should go with. The answer to that question really depends on several factors so we've gone ahead and gathered the lowdown on all three major car share services and explored the pros and cons of each... READ MORE

Zipcars Vs Car2Go Car Sharing Comparison

First BMW i8 sells for $825,000, over five times its $145,000 base price

Posted Aug 20th 2014 4:00PM

BMW i3 Pebble Beach Auction Edition

Here are some numbers. The standard BMW i8 starts at starts at roughly $145,000 in Canada. The first i8 in North America were auctioned off at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance this past weekend and the auctioneers, Gooding & Company, said before the gavel was lifted the fist time that they expected the i8 with unique Frozen Grey Metallic and other upgrades to raise between $150,000 and $200,000 for the Pebble Beach Company Foundation. Turns out, the car eventually sold for USD$825,000 to an unnamed buyer.

Along with the honour of having the first 2015 BMW i8 on these shores, the special plug-in hybrid comes with Dalbergia Brown leather upholstery, a set of Louis Vuitton luggage and something called a "professional edition" charging station along with laser headlights (subject to regulator approval).

A number of other i8s were delivered to a few wealthy car shoppers who managed to make their way to Pebble Beach over the weekend, including automotive guru Roger Penske and Nest CEO Tony Fadell. The special edition was presented at the auction by Jay Leno and BMW North America president and CEO, Ludwig Willisch. You can't put a price on that. Just kidding. You can, and it's apparently $825,000.

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TRANSLOGIC 153: BMW I8

News Source: Autoblog Green

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Brandon Turkus / AOL

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