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2014 Audi R8 V8

  • 2014 Audi R8 V8
  • 1954 Ferrari 375 MM Scaglietti Coupe named Best In Show at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
  • HIGHLIGHTS: Pebble Beach Concept Cars Display
  • 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4Matic

We cruised Woodward in the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat [w/video]

Posted Aug 19th 2014 8:00PM

Calling Attention With A 700-Horsepower Megaphone

Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

We were definitely rock stars at the 20th edition of the Dream Cruise.

The yell came from somewhere in the crowd: "Hey Hellcat, push it!" We obliged with a jab of the throttle, and the 707 horses of the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat roared to life. It went on like this. All weekend. It's one thing to attend the Woodward Dream Cruise, it's quite another to star in it.

We were definitely rock stars at the 20th edition of the Dream Cruise, metro Detroit's annual summer car show that rolls up and down the area's iconic strip, Woodward Avenue. Chrysler tossed us the keys to its latest muscle coupe a few days before the cruise with the suggestion: "Have fun." Hmm, okay, think we can handle that. And with a vague game plan of burning as much fuel as possible, we hit the road.

Thursday night was a bit of a dry run – or so we thought. The idea was to get used to the Hellcat's heavy clutch in traffic, gun the engine a few times and head home. But the Dodge commanded immediate attention from the moment we pulled onto Woodward... READ FULL STORY

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Greg Migliore / AOL

The Stig stunt bungees a Lotus F1 car in Durban

Posted Aug 19th 2014 7:00PM

The Stig in a Lotus F1 car

Remember a couple of months ago when a mischievous Stig broke into the Lotus racing headquarters in Enstone and made off with an F1 car? Well, now we know where he went with it.

In this humorous clip from Top Gear, the tamed racing driver in the white suit disembarks with Pastor Maldonado's Lotus-Renault E22 (not the E21 he took from the team's headquarters, eagle-eye viewers might notice) in Durban, South Africa, and takes it to Moses Mabhida Stadium for the Top Gear Festival. After having some fun on a dirt bike, a chrome Mustang drift car and a few other curiosities, he hooks it up to a bungee cord and jumps off a tower behind the wheel.

Now we're not quite convinced they actually did this and that it wasn't all CGI, but it's still worth a watch and a laugh. Click here to see it for yourself.

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News Source: Top Gear via YouTube

Audi Airomorph is a sleek shape-shifting senior thesis

Posted Aug 19th 2014 6:30PM

Audi Airomorph

Eric Kim just graduated from the from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, at the end of the spring 2014 semester, and for his senior thesis project he came up with this futuristic Audi endurance racer called the Airomorph. He even got some input Audi designer Kris Vancoppenolle.

The Airomorph imagines a future Audi racer for Le Mans that features adjusting fabric panels to fine-tune the car's aerodynamics as it laps the course – a technology inspired by catamaran racing. "I started from scratch and had the freedom to deliver and execute a white space design for the future," said Kim to Autoblog via email. It's also somewhat similar to the idea behind BMW Gina concept, although Kim says that wasn't an inspiration for his design. The body here is made from a single piece of a silver, expansion-resistant material stretched over a frame underneath. The fabric anchors at the wheels, front and rear section with movable cables, and hydraulic actuators pull the wires to shift the aero as needed.

The actual shape echoes Audi endurance racers from the past and present. In profile, you can easily see the current R18 with its arcing cockpit and fin down the rear. Of course, that's interpreted through a little bit of Blade Runner with the covered wheels sticking out from the body. The front shows the rectangular shapes from the earlier R15. There doesn't appear to be any way to actually see out of the vehicle, though.

The Airomorph certainly presents and interesting view into the future and an interesting way to achieve some of the active aerodynamic effects that we see today in vehicles. He told Autoblog that he's now working as an automotive exterior designer at Ford Strategic Concepts Group in Irvine, CA.

5 Amazing Concept Cars from the Chicago Auto Show

News Source: Car Body Design

Image Credit: Eric Kim

Dodge Challenger returns to Trans Am

Posted Aug 19th 2014 6:00PM

2014 Dodge Challenger SRT Trans Am

NASCAR's Nationwide Series may have switched (in appearance anyway) to muscle cars, but North American racing fans know that if they want to see real muscle cars on the street circuits, the only place to look is Trans Am. The all-American racing series is packed with Mustangs, Camaros and even Corvettes. The one thing it's been missing is the Dodge Challenger, but now SRT Motorsports has announced it's bringing its muscle car back where it belongs.

Rather than waiting until next year, the Miller Racing team is switching mid-season to the new Dodge Challenger SRT Trans Am racer you see here, just in time for this past weekend's race at Mid-Ohio. And not just that – it's lined up a compelling pair of drivers to pilot it, as well.

The No. 11 car will be driven by Trans Am legend Tommy Kendall, a four-time series champion who's been off the grid since 2004. Backing him up in the No. 1 Challenger will be none other than Cameron Lawrence, the driver who has won five out of six races in the Chevy Camaro so far this season, losing out only once to American racing scion Adam Andretti.

In partnership with SRT Motorsports, Miller Racing will continue its assault on the TA2 class, carrying over Lawrence's points in the drivers' standings and putting the Challenger back on the track. Click here for full press release.

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2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Design


News Source: SRT Motorsports

Cadillac to fight Audi A3, Mercedes CLA with small rear-drive sedan?

Posted Aug 19th 2014 5:00PM

2015 Cadillac ATS

Compact luxury sedans are fast becoming the trend among upscale automakers. Mercedes has the new CLA (and its many platform-mates), BMW has the 1 Series and 2 Series, Audi has the A3 and, though Lexus apparently isn't interested in anything smaller than its CT 200h, Infiniti is getting in on the action with a compact model of its own. It would only follow logically, then, that Cadillac should launch a competitor, and according to the latest reports, that's just what it has in store.

Speaking with Car and Driver, Cadillac marketing chief Uwe Ellinghaus confirmed that such a project is in the works. But unlike its rivals, Cadillac aims to go with a rear-wheel-drive layout. This despite research that apparently indicates that a surprising 80 per cent of owners think that their BMW 1 Series is front-drive. It's the driving dynamics and styling proportions that motivate Ellinghaus and his colleagues to stick with rear-drive, however.

The new model would in all likelihood be based on the same GM Alpha architecture that underpins the ATS and CTS – a platform that has helped Cadillac keep the weight down on both models and which is expected to underpin the next-generation Chevy Camaro, as well. The sub-ATS could be positioned as a four-door 2+2, however, as the ATS grows a little larger in its next iteration in order to make room for its new baby brother.

Expect four-cylinder engines – including the 2.0-litre turbo four and a replacement for the base 2.5-litre naturally aspirated four found in the ATS – to provide the motivation, but it may be another few years before the new compact model arrives as part of an expanded Caddy family to launch upwards as well with a new flagship sedan. Just what Cadillac would call it, however, remains a mystery, as the ATS obviously starts the nomenclature succession at the start of the alphabet.

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News Source: Car and Driver

Lotus spotted testing more extreme Elise on the Nordschleife

Posted Aug 19th 2014 4:00PM

Lotus Elise R prototype

If we had a nickel for every version of the Elise that Lotus has rolled out over the years, we might actually have enough spare change to buy one ourselves. And we're not even talking about the entire separate models (like the Exige and Europa) that Lotus has based on the Elise's platform or the other automakers' cars (like the Tesla Roadster and Hennessey Venom GT) that have used the same. And now Lotus appears to be testing another one.

Spotted lapping the Nürburgring, what we're looking at here appears to be the track-bound Elise S Cup R, but our intrepid paparazzi by the side of the track tell us it's missing the switches for the battery isolator and fire extinguisher. In their place, this Elise is wearing an even bigger rear wing as part of an altogether rather aggressive aero kit – not to mention a rockin' matte red wrap.

All of these telltales make us think Lotus has something extreme in the works, and we could find out what exactly it is as early as the Paris Motor Show in October, so stay tuned and watch this space.

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News Source: CarPix

Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider tops Gooding's Saturday auction at $15.18 million

Posted Aug 19th 2014 3:30PM

1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider

During the weekend's automotive smorgasbord in Pebble Beach, Ferrari has played a huge roll. Twenty examples of the ultra-rare 250 TR, better known as the Testa Rossa, were prominently on display at the Concours d'Elegance, and the Prancing Horses have been top sellers at many of the auctions. You can chalk up one more on that list with a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider with a scarce, optional hardtop included going for $15.18 million at Gooding & Company's sale on Saturday night. Ferris Bueller would find it so choice.

In all, the auction house brought in about $60.4 million during the night, and 17 of the cars on the block sold for over $1 million. None of the other cars on Saturday managed quite the stratospheric highs of the California, though. A 1955 Aston Martin DB3S was the second-highest seller at $5.5 million. The next four top vehicles were all Ferraris with final prices ranging between $2.09 million and $2.365 million. Clearly, investors are in love with the Prancing Horse these days.

Check out our gallery, and scroll down to read the auction house's announcement of its top Saturday results.

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News Source: Gooding and Company

Image Credit: Live images copyright 2014 Drew Phillips / AOL

1967 Maserati Ghibli puts the grand in grand tourer

Posted Aug 19th 2014 3:00PM

1967 Maserati Ghibli, front three-quarter view.

Motor Tend technical director Frank Markus owns a 1967 Maserati Ghibli, bought back in the early 2000s when "they could be had for Camry money" – now Hagerty values them anywhere from $63,000 to $107,000. The grand tourer designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro outsold the more powerful and less expensive Ferrari 365 Daytona, and the more powerful and more expensive Lamborghini Miura.

Carlos Lago, host of the magazine's Ignition video series, figures it's because of the Ghibli's long-haul comfort and the tractability of its 4.7-litre V8 with 330-horsepower and 330 pound-feet accessed with a five-speed manual, even though he cites the powertrain and suspension as being behind the times.

There's no arguing about the Ghibli's sound, though. You can get several ears-full of it, as well as Lagos' and Markus' thoughts on the car, in the video below.

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News Source: Ignition via YouTube

Ferrari to offer 458 examples of new Speciale Spider

Posted Aug 19th 2014 2:30PM

Ferrari 458 Speciale

Talk about first-world, one-per center problems: you want to get a new Ferrari, you've even settled on the 458, but you can't decide between the Spider and the Speciale. It's a tough call, we know. But your pain will be over soon, if the latest rumours are to be believed.

Those rumours have it that, at an exclusive preview event for select customers at Pebble Beach this past weekend, Ferrari showed off a new 458 variant that combines the best attributes of the 458 Spider (namely its folding hardtop) with those of the 458 Speciale (those being its 600-horsepower engine and other go-fast bits).

Succeeding the similarly exclusive, best-of-both-worlds, F430-based 16M Scuderia Spider, the new 458 Speciale Spider (or whatever it's ultimately called) is said to be limited to 458 examples worldwide, and is expected to be unveiled to the public at the Paris Motor Show this coming October.

We've reached out for confirmation from Ferrari on the model's closed-doors debut in Monterey and upcoming reveal in Paris, so watch this space for an update when we've got it.

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News Source: 4WheelsNews

Image Credit: Ferrari

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