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2015 Montreal Auto Show: Performance Zone

  • 2015 Montreal Auto Show: Performance Zone
  • 2015 Ducati Scrambler
  • 2015 Porsche 911 GTS Club Coupe Special Edition
  • Ken Block shows us around his Ford F-150 RaptorTrax

Reporter fails to understand how car ice scraper works

Posted Jan 26th 2015 1:00PM



We know exactly why this newscaster does not speak the language of ice scrapers – why the implement is so alien to her, in fact, that she doesn't even know where to use it. It's because she grew up in San Francisco and Sacramento, CA, where mention of an ice scraper is liable to make someone say, "I love fancy cocktails." This is just a theory, but it's possible she's never even seen an ice scraper in the wild, much less needed to demonstrate one.

This reporter moved from a reporting job in Los Angeles to KREM 2 News in Spokane, WA just last summer, making these months right now her first real winter. And that is how she got an on-air lesson in the esoteric mysteries the plastic stick with a brush at one end and a... thing... at the other. Check out the video below for another example of what happens when Californians discover weather.

News Source: Tripping Over Funny via YouTube

Car Club Spotlight: Moab Jeep Jamboree

Posted Jan 26th 2015 12:00PM



Today Autoblog is excited to premiere its latest original video series, Car Club Spotlight. Our debut Car Club episode features the Just Jeeps club of Omaha, including a father-son duo traveling to Moab, Utah to brave the treacherous trails of the Red Desert. Brian is behind the wheel, as his father guides him through the most dangerous geographical features Moab has to offer.

Joining them are Gene and Jean, an older married couple from Minnesota whose modified Jeep Wrangler – like its owners – knows no bounds. "We're in our seventies now," explained Jean. "We could be sitting at home in a rocking chair watching TV, but we'd rather do this."

Also hitting the trails is Matt, a Californian who looks to pay homage to his father by exploring southern Utah in a World War II-era Jeep Willys. "This was our stomping ground," said Matt. "That's why I chose to come to Utah for my big vacation this year, in his memory, to see some of the places we used to go together, and have fun and do some Jeeping."

Each Car Club Spotlight episode features a different car club or event, where passionate owner communities gather to share automotive experiences and embark on incredible adventures. From Main Street cruises to off-road trails, catch all the latest car club activity on Autoblog.

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10 Best Cars to Buy Used Over New

Posted Jan 26th 2015 11:00AM



Buying a slightly used car over a new car can sometimes save you thousands of dollars while still giving you all the benefits of a new car. With warranties that last anywhere from 4 years all the way up to 10 years nowadays, it's a no brainer for some buyers to buy slightly used vehicle over a new one.

It's no secret that a brand new car loses thousands of dollars in depreciation value as soon as it leaves the dealer's lot. For some people, it won't matter. The benefits and the feeling of having a brand new car may often outweigh any financial penalty to some consumers. Buying new also sometimes gives you the option of customizing your options for your specific wants or needs.

For those of you that see the value in buying almost-new over new, iSeeCars.com has looked at the data for over 15.7 million cars sold over the past year and put together a list of the 10 Best Cars to Buy Used Over New.

Check out the gallery to find out which of the 10 almost-new cars have the largest drop in financial value; giving you, the buyer, the best purchase price advantage if you're looking to save some money.

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News Source: iSeeCars.com

Image Credit: Copyright 2015: AOL

Bentley Bentayga SUV to come in hybrid, diesel variants in 2017

Posted Jan 26th 2015 9:00AM



The Bentley Bentayga SUV will add plug-in hybrid and diesel variants in 2017, a year after the W12-powered model launches around the world. The hybrid variant will be able to travel about 50 kilometres (31 miles) on electricity. It will have a V6 or V8 gasoline engine to extend range, though a final decision has not been made as to which one will be used, CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer said. The diesel, a V8, will be the first in a Bentley... READ MORE

News Source: Bentley

Ford GT, Buick Avenir and Audi Q7 take 2015 EyesOn Design awards

Posted Jan 25th 2015 8:00PM



The annual EyesOn Design Awards at the Detroit Auto Show allows some of the greatest designers in the world to weigh in on the best production and concept debuts at the big event each year. For 2015, the large panel of judges included luminaries like Frank Stephenson of McLaren, Ralph Gilles from FCA and Moray Callum of Ford.

Apparently the editors at Autoblog had a good eye because the winner of 2015's Best Designed Production Vehicle award went to the Ford GT, which was also our favourite debut from the show. The new supercar beat the Acura NSX and Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe for the honour. The judges described the Blue Oval's shape as "capturing the original GT40 in a modern interpretation," according to EyesOn Design.

The Buick Avenir was also a big winner in the awards this year and received the nods for both Best Designed Concept Vehicle and Innovative Use of Colour, Graphics and Materials. In the concept category, it beat out the Chevrolet Bolt and Mercedes-Benz F 015, and in the latter group, the sedan triumphed over Audi Q7, Mercedes F 015 and Volkswagen Cross Coupe GTE. The Q7 received its own accolade for Best Designed Interior, and it beat the Avenir and Infiniti Q60 for the honour.

This year's Lifetime Design Achievement Award went to former Renault designer Patrick le Quement, and Bob Lutz received the EyesOn Design Catalyst Award for the second time. The honour is for an executive "who has empowered great design," according to the organization, which describes Lutz perfectly. Scroll down to read the announcement with more comments about the winners.

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News Source: EyesOn Design

Image Credit: DW3 Photography, Related images copyright 2015 Drew Phillips / AOL

Audi reveals virtual reality 'dealership in a briefcase'

Posted Jan 25th 2015 6:00PM



Virtual reality still seems like technology that should be lumped in with the flying car and colonizing the moon as the sort of perennially "almost-here" Next Big Thing that never quite arrives. However, devices like gaming's Oculus Rift suggests that it's too soon to write off VR just yet, and Audi apparently agrees.

The heart of its new VR Experience is a headset that customers wear that lets them see a virtual car before their eyes. Using the technology, the potential buyer can sit behind the wheel or open up the trunk. A camera tracks their head movements and adjusts the image on the goggles accordingly. To make the whole experience even more immersive, headphones let them hear the sound of the door or listen to the radio.

The German automaker claims that the VR Experience technology will be available in "dynamic growth markets" by the end of 2015. The system will essentially offer the entire dealership experience in a device the size of a briefcase, and it'll be possible to view every possible equipment combination and color on all of the brand's models.

The immersive hardware sounds amazing, if it's as good as the automaker claims. Among other things, VR will allow buyers to pick out just the right color and trim, even if the dealer doesn't have that specific combo in stock. Read below for Audi's announcement of this sci-fi gadget that the company claims is on the way.

News Source: Audi

Mercedes-AMG planning hybrid hypercar?

Posted Jan 25th 2015 4:00PM

Mercedes-AMG GT (C 190) 2014

It used to be that, a few overlapping two-door models aside, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche didn't really compete with one another. That's how the two ended up collaborating on projects like the Mercedes 500 E that put it on the performance sedan map without fear of stepping on each other's toes. But Porsche has grown considerably since then, challenging its Stuttgart neighbor with four-door sedans and crossovers, as well as sports coupes and convertibles. Little wonder, then, that Mercedes has hit back at Porsche with the AMG GT, and there will be many more versions to follow in 911 style. But that may not be the final salvo the Silver Star marque launches at Zuffenhausen.

According to the latest bit of speculation and deduction from our friends at Motor Trend, Mercedes-AMG may be planning a hybrid hypercar of its own to take on the Porsche 918 Spyder – not to mention the McLaren P1 and LaFerrari. Solid information is sparse at this point, but after speaking to AMG chief Tobias Moers, MT speculates that the new flagship will likely be mid-engined, with a boosted version of the company's 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 kicking out between 650 and 700 horsepower, working with a pair of electric motors at the front to deliver tenacious through-the-road all-wheel traction and a combined output in the thousand-horsepower range.

There is the possibility, though, that Mercedes could go after the latest hybrid hypercars with a flagship version of its just-launched AMG GT, packing a similar powertrain setup as the ultimate evolution of the breed. Other GT versions will likely soon include a GT3 racing model, a Black Series version and a roadster – following a similar path taken not only by the 911, but also by Benz's previous halo supercars like the SLR McLaren and SLS AMG.

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News Source: Motor Trend

Image Credit: Mercedes-Benz

Toyota, Lexus to build more CUVs to meet surging demand

Posted Jan 25th 2015 2:00PM



What was the biggest takeaway from the auto industry's 2014? Besides the fact that recalls are now a sad and mostly unremarkable part of a vehicle's life, it's that you can't be a competitive, mainstream brand in North America without a really strong line of crossovers, SUVs or pickups. We saw evidence of this as recently as Monday, when Hyundai unveiled its HCD-15 Santa Cruz Concept, and now we're seeing it again with Toyota.

The company already has a comprehensive lineup of both mainstream and luxury CUVs and SUVs, although surging demand – sales were up 16 per cent last year, Bloomberg reports – has led the company to increase its production tempo at the plants responsible for the RAV4 and Lexus RX.

Lexus RX"The freeze is still in place until the end of March of 2016," Toyota's Jim Lentz told Bloomberg during this week's Detroit Auto Show, referencing the production bump at the Japanese and Canadian factories responsible for the models. "That hasn't changed. All indications are that it will lift, but right now it has not lifted."

The increased sales are even spurring the brand to consider additional CUVs, including a compact that would slot in below the RAV4, Lentz told the business publication. Such a move would give Toyota a player in an increasingly competitive and important segment. In 2014 alone, mainstream brands, including Honda, Mazda, Chevrolet and Jeep, have announced brand new products destined for the compact CUV market.

"We're going to have to look at how the market under RAV4 develops," Lentz told Bloomberg. "There's no question that it's going to. That's going to be the next growth spurt."

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News Source: Bloomberg

Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Jeremy Korzeniewski / AOL

BMW mulling potential 9 Series production

Posted Jan 25th 2015 12:00PM



Nine months may be long enough to bring another human being into the world, but it may take BMW a bit longer to make up its mind on the production of a potential 9 Series model.

The idea was first mooted when the Bavarian automaker presented the Vision Future Luxury concept at the Beijing Motor Show last year. Billed (not unlike rival Audi's Prologue concept) more as a design study than a pre-production concept, the Vision Future Luxury show car nevertheless took a larger form than the 7 Series, prompting speculation that a new flagship sedan could be in the works.

The better part of a year later, such a decision has reportedly yet to be taken, but over at BMW Blog they're reporting that the automaker's incoming chief executive Harald Krüger is a fan of the idea and could give it the green light after he takes the helm in May.

If approved, the model likely to be dubbed 9 Series would reportedly compete with the Mercedes-Maybach S600 – but then that model was earmarked to take on the Rolls-Royce Ghost. BMW has typically been careful not to overlap with its Rolls-Royce division, but considering how it's also been going downmarket with front-drive models to close the gap to the Mini brand, we wouldn't be all that surprised to see the 9 Series positioned maybe just below the next-generation Ghost and developed alongside it, taking a page out of rival VW's playbook.

Volkswagen has, after all, made a brisk business out of sharing platforms and slicing market segments between the various brands under its umbrella. And while BMW is nowhere near as large, its new leadership could find new ways to increase its market share.

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News Source: BMW Blog via World Car Fans

Image Credit: BMW

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