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2015 Volvo XC90: Deep Dive

  • 2015 Volvo XC90: Deep Dive
  • 2014 Land Rover Range Rover HSE
  • What to watch out for when buying a classic car
  • 2015 Galpin Ford GTR1

Behind the scenes of BMW's 'Driftmob' [w/videos]

Posted Aug 27th 2014 8:00PM

BMW Driftmob

All this, for one minute and 47 seconds of action-packed footage with no official plot.

We arrived in Cape Town, South Africa, on the third and last practice day for the drivers of a BMWStories internet video called The Epic Driftmob feat. BMW M235i. We were immediately whisked to a large, empty parking lot on the outskirts of Cape Town, where tires are squealing, and chunks of rubber are flying as five red BMW M235i coupes churn up more smoke than a California wildfire. And the smell – it smelled like heated metal, the kind of thing rev limiters were made for. Times five.

A couple dozen locals have lined up along a chain link fence, lured like moths to a flame by the sounds and scents and plumes of smoke emanating from the site. Each has their camera ready for the moment stunt coordinator Riley Harper says, "Action."

This event – and Autoblog's involvement in it, specifically – was more or less an experiment on BMW's part to see if there is a story to be told from video production and photo shoots, normally marketing endeavors and something PR folks keep documentarians like us a long way away from. We were the only North American media outlet invited, and we weren't there to drive a new product, just to watch one of its current (and in our opinion, one of its best) cars, the M235i coupe, do amazing things at the hands of some of the world's best drifters.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Steve Siler / AOL / BMW

Bugatti Veyron Supercar: Cockpit Views at 384 km/h

Posted Aug 27th 2014 7:00PM

Bugatti Veyron Supercar: Cockpit Views at 238.5mph

Watch the video above to experience the world's fastest car, the Bugatti Veyron from inside the cockpit of this top speed rocket. The high-definition video captures a first person view as the Bugatti Veyron travels and reaches insane top
speeds hitting up to 384 km/h (238.5mph) during the 2014 Sun Valley Road Rally in Idaho. All highways were shut down for this top speed run event and credit to 'Ambenso' for the clip.

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News Source: Rumble via AOL On

Man who drove Bugatti Veyron into lake pleads guilty, faces 20 years in prison [w/video]

Posted Aug 27th 2014 6:00PM

Bugatti Crash

Remember the guy who caught on video driving a Bugatti Veyron into the Gulf Bay in Texas? Well, he's now facing a few decades behind bars. You might wonder why some seriously bad driving in a million-dollar supercar could lead to such a long stint in the slammer. Well, Andy Lee House of Lufkin, TX, pled guilty to wire mail fraud in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas. As it turns out, crashing the car was all about getting an insurance payout.

According to The Lufkin Daily News reporting on the case, House wrecked the Veyron in November 2009 after purchasing it for $1 million and insuring it for $2.2 million. His plan was allegedly to ruin the Bugatti, pay back his loan and pocket the rest. After crashing it, House left the car running in the salt water to make sure the supercar's engine sucked in enough H2O to thoroughly destroy it. Of course, the incident was captured on video by passing motorists, and that messed up his scheme. House hasn't been sentenced yet, but he could face up to 20 years in federal prison.

According to our earlier story on the case, House at one point tried to use the creative alibi that the reason he left the Veyron running for so long was that he was being bitten by mosquitos and didn't want to go back to the car to shut it off. Before the crash, he also reportedly tried to pay someone to steal the car and torch it. This Bugatti didn't stand a chance. Scroll down to watch the video that started it all. Warning: it does contain some explicit language.

News Source: Lufkin Daily News, Jomgarza via YouTube

Volvo building new AstaZero safety proving ground in Sweden

Posted Aug 27th 2014 5:00PM


Volvo is an automaker committed to vehicle safety, setting an ambitious target for itself: by 2020, the Swedish automaker envisions that no one will be killed or seriously injured in one of its cars. In order to achieve that goal, Volvo has announced a new proving ground designed specifically to test safety solutions.

Called AstaZero, the new facility near the company's headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden, is the result of a $70 million investment. It will cover some 500 acres, with over 60 acres of pavement, four city blocks and three and a half miles of highway. The Active Safety Test Area (the ASTA in AstaZero) will enable Volvo and its partners (including Scania trucks as well as government bodies and university development programs) to simulate city streets, highways, rural roads, roundabouts, T-junctions and more, combining traffic from cars, pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles, buses, trucks and even animals in order to account for all manner of potential hazards.

The facility will enable Volvo to test active safety systems and autonomous vehicle operations, and even allow robots to test its prototypes in an adaptive environment that aims to be more flexible than existing proving grounds. Read more about Volvo's commitment to safety in the press release below.

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News Source: Volvo

Water-powered Hoverboard is real and we want one

Posted Aug 27th 2014 3:59PM


In 2012, Translogic featured a unique jet ski-powered device known as the Flyboard, which transformed its pilot into a sort of aquatic Iron Man. With hydro-thrusters at the hands and feet, Flyboard enabled water-powered flight and incredible ariel tricks.

The folks from Zapata Racing are back with their latest innovation, the Hoverboard. If Flyboard drew comparisons to Tony Stark's metal suit, Hoverboard is sure to conjure up another pop-culture touchstone: Marty McFly's hovering skateboard from Back To The Future Part II.

Translogic Host Jonathon Buckley heads to San Diego, CA to meet with the founder of Aquatic Aviation, a North American distributor of both aquatic devices, and attempts some high-flying tricks on the water-powered Hoverboard.

Delivering a one-off Bugatti Veyron Vitesse

Posted Aug 27th 2014 3:30PM

Bugatti Veyron L'Or Style delivered in San Diego

The Veyron is nearing the end of its production run, at the end of which Bugatti will have built only 450 examples. Of those, only 150 will be roadsters, and of those roadsters, even fewer will be the Vitesse version that combines the best attributes of the Grand Sport and Super Sport models. And with a virtually endless array of colour choices, no two ever need be alike (safe for the Legend editions, each of which Bugatti will only build three examples). Yet certain examples have received extra-special treatments, and that's just what we have here.

Called the L'Or Style edition, this Vitesse roadster features a similar treatment to the L'Or Blanc edition, but in red and black instead of blue and white. Which is all well and fine, but what we're really interested in here is how it's being delivered. Because while it may seem like Bugatti's created another "one of a kind" Veyron every other day, it's not every day that you see how the logistics of delivering a $3 million supercar are handled.

Fortunately, the Symbolic Motors group that includes in its portfolio the Bugatti San Diego franchise and which handled the sale of this particular Veyron, captured the delivery process on video. We'll let you watch for yourself to see just how painstaking the process (even just that part caught on video) is – complete with wood-floored transporter truck, intake-perforated protective wrap and wheel spoke guards - but suffice it to say it's a bit more coddling than your average dealership delivery.

News Source: Symbolic Motors, MotorAuthority via YouTube

2015 Volvo XC90: Deep Dive

Posted Aug 27th 2014 3:00PM

Everything You Need To Know About The XC90 And The Future Of Volvo

Volvo XC90

The new XC90 isn't just about the new XC90 – it's as much about the new generation of Volvos that will result.

Around the turn of the millennium, Volvo seemed like the perfect automaker to make a crossover. It had, after all, already established for itself a reputation for building all-wheel-drive wagons for transporting families in safety and comfort. But while its competitors marched one by one into the luxury utility market, Volvo held out. That was, anyway, until the debut of the original XC90 in 2002. And it's never looked back since.

Over the past baker's dozen years of production, Volvo has produced over 600,000 examples of the XC90 – not to mention another half-million or so of the smaller XC60 that followed. In other words, the decision to build the XC90 in the first place may very well have been among the smartest that Volvo has ever made. But after an unusually long lifecycle, Volvo has finally retired the first-gen XC90, and it's replacing it with the model you see here. And with it, it's ushering in a bold new era for the Swedish automaker.

After a series of three particularly handsome concept cars and even more teasers and advanced details, we're finally looking at the new 2015 Volvo XC90 here at its birthplace in Sweden. The big-production live reveal with media in attendance from around the world is testimony in and of itself to the importance of the new XC90's arrival to a marque that's always had a loyal following and is, after a period of stagnation, only growing. Because the new XC90, you see, isn't just about the new XC90: it's as much about the new generation of Volvos that will result.

Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2014 Noah Joseph / AOL

Things you should never say to car dealer

Posted Aug 27th 2014 2:00PM

Apprehensive about shopping for a new car? Afraid you'll say the wrong thing to a car dealer that will give them the upper hand in the price battle? Shopping for a new car, or even a used one, doesn't have to be that kind of nerve-jangling roll of the dice that it was many years ago.

For starters, the advent of the Internet allows car shoppers to go into battle armed with more information today than ever. Sites like Autoblog make it quite easy to get basic information that includes MSRP, features, options and reviews on any car you might have your eye on before you visit a dealership, rather than having to trust the dealer to educate you.

With more car dealers out there now than ever before, consumers also now have more leverage. It's a common consumer tactic to play two car dealers off each other, or in auto dealer parlance, "cross-shopping," to see which one can give you the best deal.

But it still helps to know what to say and what not to say as you and the car dealer play the game of haggling the price, because, you could still say the wrong thing to give the car dealer a leg up on the negotiations.

We spoke to an AAA car-buying expert and an auto dealer to find out what not to say once you're on a car dealer's turf and what to say for a better deal... READ MORE

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News Source: via AAA and AOL Autos

Image Credit:

Which is more fuel efficient, driving with a pickup's tailgate up or down?

Posted Aug 27th 2014 12:57PM

2015 Ford F-150

Thanks to the smoke wand in the wind tunnel, you can actually see the difference in our video.

Should you drive with your pickup truck's tailgate up or down? It's an age-old controversy that's divided drivers for decades. Traditionalists will swear you should leave the tailgate down. Makes sense, right? It would seem to let the air flow more cleanly over the body and through the bed. But there's also a school of thought that argues trucks are designed to look and operate in a specific manner, and modern design techniques can help channel the airflow properly. So don't mess with all of that: Leave the tailgate up. Wondering which is true?

To solve this tailgate debate, we went inside the wind tunnel at Ford to test the aerodynamics of the 2015 Ford F-150. The model's exterior design manager Brad Richards explained that the new truck was designed with purposeful edges and shapes that look imposing, yet still allow the F-150 to maintain strong aerodynamics. "We think this is the toughest F-150 by far, but also the most efficient," Richards said.

All of this matters, as loyal Ford truck buyers expect the F-150 to look a certain way, but the Blue Oval is also projecting fuel economy gains thanks to the new truck's use of lightweight aluminum. And no matter how light the truck is, fuel-economy gains could be wiped out with poor aerodynamics. With that in mind, Ford styled the truck to maintain its beefy look, but also beat its predecessor in the wind tunnel. Ford paid close attention to a new, lower air dam, mirrors that were redesigned "a dozen times" and a small lip on the rear tailgate. Acting as a spoiler, the lip allows air to cleanly detach from the body. Thanks to the smoke wand in the wind tunnel, you can actually see the difference tailgate up versus tailgate down in our video below.

Ford remains tight-lipped about the F-150's fuel economy numbers, but it admits dropping the tailgate would increase drag by about eight per cent – and sandbag fuel economy. Even for older models without the fancy spoiler, you're hurting efficiency and lowering your gas mileage when driving with the tailgate down, argues Richards. So there's your verdict, straight from the wind tunnel: Leave the tailgate up.

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Image Credit: Copyright 2014 / AOL