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Subaru launches STI-tuned Forester tS in Japan

  • Subaru launches STI-tuned Forester tS in Japan
  • Hottest Selling Cars in Canada 2014
  • Such Sweet Sorrow: 2015 Cadillac CTS-V gets an Irish wake
  • Watch Razor Crazy Carts turn office space into hilarious racetrack

Scion iM spied testing down south in more production-ready guise

Posted Nov 28th 2014 7:00PM

Scion iM Spy Shots

Following the niche-oriented iQ and FR-S, Scion is preparing its first new model with mass-market appeal in quite some time with the iM. Just unveiled at the recent Los Angeles Auto Show in concept form, our spies recently shot some photos of a slightly camouflaged production iM doing some testing in Southern California.

Judging by these spy shots, the production iM is taking many more styling cues from the European-market Toyota Auris that it's based on, than the much more aggressive concept on display in LA. The body kit with a low front bumper, flared fenders, side skirts and rear spoiler are all gone in favour of a much more mainstream design (we aren't surprised). The model's name comes from the first letters of 'individuality' and 'modern,' according to Scion, but if these shots are any indication, it looks like it'll pretty easily just blend into the crowd.

Scion didn't reveal anything about that the North American-market powertrain for the production version in LA but promised the details would be released sometime in 2015. The company did hint at a starting price under $20,000, though. It's too early to make any real styling judgments about the iM before the final version is ready, but until then see what you think of these spy shots of the upcoming hatchback.

Image Credit: KGP Photography

Honda builds 300-millionth motorcycle, it's a Gold Wing

Posted Nov 28th 2014 6:00PM



Honda has been selling motorcycles in Japan since 1949. And it's been selling bikes to North American customers since John Travolta had a paper route. Combine all those years, huge markets and great products, and apparently the number you come up with is 300,000,000. Wowza.

Starting with the iconic 98-cc Dream Type-D you see above, Honda announced that it has built its 300-millionth motorcycle this month. The company currently sells all manner of powersports goodness, of course – ATVs, side-by-sides and two-wheelers – at 32 facilities in 22 countries.

Honda motorcycles took our country by storm in the 1960s, taking the title as the best-selling bike brand in the world during that decade, largely on the back of the Honda 50 or "Super Cub" bike. Honda's success in the '60s also helped to justify the establishment its first manufacturing footprint in North America, in Marysville, OH in 1979.

The company mentions, in the press release you'll find below, that lucky number 300 million was a Gold Wing produced at the Kumamoto factory in Japan. We're celebrating that tidbit with a heaping helping of historic Gold Wing photography, in the gallery of Honda bikes, above.

Image Credit: Honda

Guy Fieri pitched Flowmaster mufflers before Food Network fame

Posted Nov 28th 2014 5:00PM

Guy Fieri for Flowmaster exhausts

We all have to get our start somewhere. These days Guy Fieri is best known as a TV host, restaurateur and (to some) Lamborghini theft victim, but before selling burgers, he was pitching Flowmaster mufflers in commercials.

In the intervening years, Fieri's ability to deliver lines has come a long way. In the two ads below, his strategy mostly appeared to be saying things loudly directly into the camera, while occasionally shaking the product. It's a good thing other work came along because Fieri definitely wasn't going to be the next Billy Mays.

Scroll down to check out the two ads of a younger Fieri pitching aftermarket exhausts; you can still spot his trademark shock of white hair poking out of the sides of his baseball cap.

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News Source: Flowmaster Inc via YouTube [1], [2], Road & Track

Lexus RX replacement to debut in Detroit?

Posted Nov 28th 2014 4:00PM

2013 Lexus RX

The 2015 Detroit Auto Show is shaping up to be a big one for Lexus, with Group Vice President Jeff Bracken confirming to Ward's Auto that the Japanese luxury marque will have at least one, and possibly two, all-new-model introductions.

Ward's seems to think that one of those vehicles will be the new RX crossover, one of the brand's most popular (and oldest) offerings. The complete and utter lack of spy photos of the new RX doesn't necessarily support Ward's argument, although if the new CUV ends up being based on the JDM Toyota Harrier, as previously reported, the absence of camouflaged images might make some sense.

As for that other vehicle, it's hard to say what we might see. Were we to put our money on it, though, the long-awaited GS F would be a strong contender for a Detroit debut. The high-performance challenger to the BMW M5 and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG has been spotted almost completely undisguised as recently as October. On top of that, Detroit's reputation as a performance-focused show (last year's show saw debuts of the Ford Mustang, BMW M3 and M4, Chevrolet Corvette Z06, Volkswagen Golf R and Porsche 911 Targa) makes the GS F's appearance there a fair bet.

One thing we can count on at least hearing about when Detroit rolls around is Lexus' strong sales position. The company's 2014 sales should crest 305,000 units by the end of the year, marking the first time the company had passed the 300,000-unit mark since 2007. Bracken told Ward's that should be an easy task, particularly with the brand's "best month of the year," December, still to come.

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News Source: Ward's Auto

Image Credit: Lexus, CarPix

Quick Play: Grand Theft Auto V [w/video]

Posted Nov 28th 2014 3:00PM

The Next Generation Is A Beautiful One

Grand Theft Auto V on Xbox One

We've spilled a lot of virtual ink in our coverage of Grand Theft Auto V. Rockstar Games' 2013 blockbuster was arguably one of that year's very best titles, delivering a unique version of automotive mayhem, along with all the other things – guns, sex, drugs, murder, thievery and biting satire – that the series has been praised and criticized for.

We originally reviewed it shortly after its September 2013 release and walked away hugely impressed, heaping praise on the game as a whole, while also reserving many positive words for the automotive experience, with the car selection, physics and customization options ranking highly in our original review.

Now, here we are in 2014 and with Black Friday bearing down on us. Rockstar has made a very clever play. With a year of next-gen console sales in the books, the studio has released a heavily updated version of its blockbuster title for the Xbox One and Playstation 4, leading folks like your author to shell out another $69.99 for the privilege of terrorizing San Andreas in the glory of next-gen. Considering how well it was received last year, we figured we'd take a second look and see if the original's goodness translated to our trusty Xbox One.

Image Credit: Rockstar Games

McLaren and Honda rekindle a winning combination

Posted Nov 28th 2014 2:00PM

McLaren-Honda MP4-29H

With the 2014 Formula One World Championship now drawn to a close, all eyes are fixed on next season. And for both McLaren and Honda, that means the dawn of a new era – or hopefully, the return to one bygone.

After twenty years running Mercedes engines, McLaren is switching back to Honda next season, rekindling the most successful partnership the once-dominant team has ever had. Immediately after swapping to Honda power in 1988 – and with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost behind the wheel – McLaren entered its winningest era, racking up four consecutive world championships. In the two decades it's spent under Mercedes power since, it won three drivers' titles and one constructors', leaving the relatively brief Honda era as its most successful.

It was also the most successful for Honda, which had enjoyed success with Williams and some with Lotus, but far more with McLaren – the likes of which it was never able to recreate. The Japanese automaker that was the first to break into the Euro-centric series left grand prix racing when it left McLaren, and despite returning to fund its own team for the better part of a decade, claimed but one checkered flag before calling it quits again.

Whether the new collaboration will return both outfits to the winner's circle remains to be seen, but we're looking forward to finding out. In the meantime, after releasing a couple of images from the video shoot last week, McLaren has put out this minute-and-a-half video clip showing the MP4-29H running a few laps around Silverstone, marking the official start of what could be the second reign of the McLaren-Honda dynasty.

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News Source: McLaren

More details emerge on hotter BMW i8S coming next year

Posted Nov 28th 2014 1:00PM

BMW i8, front three-quarter view.

The BMW i8 recently won the Autoblog Technology of the Year award, and it's going to get even better. In October, Automobile magazine reported that BMW's i brand is working on an i8S that would be stiffer and more powerful, and celebrate the marque's centenary in 2016. At the time, one of two power unit combinations was suggested, either one of them good for more than 500 horsepower.

Car magazine has added more info on the coupe said to be called Project M100, saying that in addition to being a birthday gift for BMW, it will also be a going-away statement to current chairman Norbert Reithofer, who is expected to retire in 2016 or 2017. It will also be so thoroughly reworked that there will be plenty of daylight between it and the standard i8: a more integrated carbon fiber and aluminum chassis, a wider range of materials used in the build, a larger luggage bay due to the omission of rear seats, a more aggressive suspension supporting heartier brakes and wider tires, and - perhaps - a different aero and ground-effects package to be visually different and make the most of the alterations.

As for that power unit, Car says that the two options mentioned by Automobile are still under consideration, being either a 2.0-litre twin-turbo four-cylinder with 320 horsepower and a 204-hp electric motor, or a 3.0-litre straight six with 480 hp and a 109 hp. Either choice gets an integrated starter motor good for another 27 hp, and a total torque number of roughly 520 pound-feet, 100 additional lb-ft than the current car. Word is that it will be shown for the centenary in 2016 then go on sale by the end of 2017.

News Source: Car via World Car Fans

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Drew Phillips / AOL

2015 Subaru WRX: Road trip to Maine

Posted Nov 28th 2014 12:00PM

Scoobie Takes Vacationland And Doesn't Break Our Gas Budget



After driving one of the best sport compacts on the market to one of the best-driving-roads in the union, who'd have thought that one of my big takeaways would be... great fuel economy?

And yet, after putting more than 2,200 miles (3,540 kilometres) on our long-term 2014 Subaru WRX, driving from Ann Arbor, MI, to The Great State of Maine and back, my overall fuel consumption figures were almost as baffling as the premium-gasoline prices throughout Canada.

In the early part of the now-past autumn (yes, our update was slow to roll out this time around), my wife Molly and I were happy to make use of the long-term WRX for our annual road trip from Michigan to Maine. Our goal, as ever, was to fit as much hiking, boating and lobster eating as we could into a one-week span. And, with the sporting Scoobie as our ride this time, I also hoped to spend time bombing down some of my favourite roads through the White Mountains.

Anyone that pays attention to the industry knows that New England is a hot spot for Subaru sales, but it turns out that the WRX is just about tailor made for enjoying the best of Maine, too.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 AOL

Next VW GTI to get 10-speed dual-clutch gearbox

Posted Nov 28th 2014 11:00AM

VW Golf GTI

Following on Volkswagen's official announcement that it was working on a ten-speed, dual-clutch transmission, Auto Express has it on "good authority" that the new transmission will end up in the next GTI, GTD and Golf R. The brand's current seven-speed will be retained for lesser eight-generation Golfs.

While the new gearbox won't be limited to just the higher-end Golf range, the new hatchback, expected in 2017, will be the first to get it, Auto Express reports. The new DSG is the same size as the Volkswagen Group's seven-speed dual-clutch, and will easily fit into VAG's MQB platform, so we should expect it to filter into the rest of the Group's vehicles, much like the seven-speed 'box has.

The ten-speed is likely to see applications beyond even the small cars of the MQB platform. The gearbox can handle 405 pound-feet of torque, according to AE, making its application in larger offerings such as the gas-powered MLB cars and crossovers a likelihood.

Beyond the new gearbox, Volkswagen is also toying with mild-hybrid tech for the standard Golf and better batteries for the e-Golf. As we said, expect the new Golf to arrive in European markets in 2017, with the current Euro-market Golf getting updated next year. As for North America, we wouldn't be surprised if VW followed the trail blazed by the Mark 7, with a North American arrival for the eight-gem Golf slated for a year or so after sales in Europe begin.

News Source: Auto Express via PaulTan.org

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 AOL

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