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2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe

  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe
  • 2015 Subaru WRX: Accident, wheels and tires
  • Porsche 911 GT3 Cup ANDIAL Edition
  • North American Honda Civic to get Type R engine

Peter Max staring down $1M lawsuit over Corvette collection sale

Posted Dec 21st 2014 10:00AM

Pop artist Peter Max recently sold off his collection of 36 vintage Chevrolet Corvettes – one each from 1953 to 1989 ­– for an undisclosed amount. The new owners have already announced plans to restore some of them and auction the models off sometime soon. Up until then, the sports cars had been languishing in various garages around New York City for decades and were caked in dust and grime. However, Max's end of the transaction has just become more complicated, because two men are suing the artist claiming he employed them to complete the deal first.

The men allege that Max hired them to broker the sale of the 36 Corvettes in exchange for a 10-per cent commission, according to the New York Post. They claim to have emails and text messages proving the existence of the deal, and are taking Max to court for $1 million over the squabble.

The collection of Corvettes was amassed in 1989 as part of a prize package from the television network VH1, and Max bought the cars from the winner intending on using them for an art project. He never got around to it, though, and parked the sports cars around New York, until he finally sold them over the summer.

News Source: New York Post

Image Credit: Barry Brecheisen / Invision / AP

Heads continue to roll at Scuderia Ferrari

Posted Dec 21st 2014 8:00AM

It's a year of restructuring at Ferrari – especially when it comes to the Formula One department. Dissatisfied with the team's performance of late, parent company Fiat fired Ferrari's chairman, replaced its team principal twice and brought in another multiple world champion to replace the one it already had. But that's not the end of it.

Under the direction of new chairman Sergio Marchionne and team principal Maurizio Arrivabene, the Maranello-based outfit is undergoing a purge in its ranks. Ferrari has fired its veteran engineering director Pat Fry (pictured above at left), its chief designer Nicolas Tombazis (center) and its tire guru Hirohide Hamashima (whom the team picked up shortly after Bridgestone left the sport, not pictured).

In their places, Ferrari has named appropriate replacements, and has shuffled some additional staff around. F1 journalist Alberto Antonini, for example, has taken over the press office from Renato Bisignani who will now run the Scuderia's new commercial department. More vital, however, is James Allison, a longtime F1 engineer who previously worked for Ferrari for five years and returned from Lotus last year to take up position as the team's new technical director – too late to influence last season's chassis but now charged with developing next year's.

Whether the radical reshuffling of its staff will be enough to reverse the team's fortunes, nobody can say for certain at this point. But without a single grand prix victory this past season, things can hardly get any worse for what historically has been the most victorious team in all of motorsport.

News Source: Ferrari via Autosport [1], [2]

Explained: What Makes a Drift Car?

Posted Dec 20th 2014 8:00PM

Ever wonder what goes into making a good drift car?! Well, the experts at Driftworks specialise in building some pretty fun machines in the European drifting scene and this video above by our buddies at Xcar explores how to build one of these beasts.

While the video shows a number of awesome sideways-sliding vehicles, it takes a closer look at one owner's pride and joy: a modified Toyota AE86. Click here to watch this true drift classic in action and see what goes into making a great drift car.

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News Source: Xcar via AOL On

Edag planning this lightweight backlit-fabric sports car for Geneva

Posted Dec 20th 2014 6:00PM

The Light Cocoon concept from Edag Engineering, to be shown at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, front three-quarter view.

At the Geneva Motor Show this year EDAG Engineering showed off its Genesis Cockpit concept. Built with a 3D printing technique called "fused deposition modeling," it was a skeletal passenger cell suspended inside a protective shell. At next year's Geneva show EDAG will present another take on the natural forms combined with 3D printing with its Light Cocoon concept (click the image to enlarge).

Whereas the Genesis took inspiration from a turtle skeleton, the Light Cocoon tips its hat to the humble leaf - the tree kind, not the Nissan kind - by being a fabric membrane stretched over a skeletal structure. EDAG considers its creation the "ultimate in lightweight construction," its outer coating a waterproof fabric from Jack Wolfskin called Texapore Softshell that we're told is one-quarter the weight of copier paper. Making the most of the design, backlighting shows off the coupe's 'bones' underneath its skin.

Undoubtedly a neat concept, it reminds us of the BMW GINA Light Visionary Model from 2008, which had an opaque fabric covering stretched over metal and carbon fibre wires. Its aim was not only light weight and a take on new build processes, it was a shape-shifter; electrohydraulic actuators could rearrange its skeleton. We look forward to checking out the Light Cocoon next year, but we're more interested in seeing how EDAG would render its Genesis cockpit as a complete vehicle. EDAG's official press release with a few more details is below.

News Source: EDAG Engineering

Vanquish 60th anniversary model has knobs made from classic Aston Martins

Posted Dec 20th 2014 4:00PM

Aston Martin Works 60th Anniversary Vanquish, front three-quarter view.

To celebrate 60 years at Newport Pagnell, Aston Martin Works is producing six different takes on the Aston Martin Vanquish in conjunction with personalization arm Q by Aston Martin, each themed to one of the previous six decades. The collectibles will come in coupe and convertible forms and wear exterior features that immediately identify them as anniversary cars, but their finest detail is in the cockpit: the metal for the console knob bezels will come from pistons taken out of six Aston Martins built in Newport Pagnell over the past 60 years.

The first has been shown at the company's Christmas gathering for customers, and it represents the most recent decade, 2005 to 2015; its knob bezels come from pistons that once did duty in an original Vanquish. Working backwards through time, the remaining five cars will be ornamented by pistons from a V8 Vantage supercharged, a V8 Vantage X-pack, a V8 Coupe, a DB5 and a DB 2/4 Mk II saloon. One of the bezels in each car will be inscribed with the relevant model, the other bezels will feature 60th anniversary text.

Elsewhere around the offerings, each will be ornamented with Anniversary Yellow side strakes and wheels, heavy weave carbon fiber, the Q symbol on the fenders, the new Aston Martin Works 60th Anniversary logo embroidered into its leather and embossed on its sideplates and duotone seats with yellow cross stitching. You must apply to the Works department to ascertain the price, or you can head below to read the press release, which is free.

Audi doesn't even need December to set new global sales record

Posted Dec 20th 2014 2:00PM

Audi A3 sedan, front three-quarter view.

In 2011, Audi broke its previous-year global sales total at the end of November. It did it again in 2012. It did the same in 2013, and it's done the same again this year.

The brand sold roughly 1.575 million cars last year. As of November 30 this year - its 47th record-breaking month in a row in the US - it had found new owners for 1.591 million cars around the world.

Where is the action happening? Everywhere, with double digit growth year-on-year in China (16.4 per cent, led by the Q3), the US (15.4 per cent, led by the Q5) and Mexico (10.6 per cent), and triple-digit growth in Brazil (105.2 per cent). Even Europe, still struggling to break free of its retail lassitude, returned a 4.3-per cent gain, with the UK and Swedish markets up by more than 20 per cent.

In November alone, Audi's deliveries increased 10.8 per cent compared to last year, and it broke the company record for monthly sales, getting 146,250 units out the door. You can find more numbers and details in the press release below.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Seyth Miersma / AOL

Translogic 166: Porsche 918 Spyder

Posted Dec 20th 2014 12:00PM

Porsche 918 Spyder

In the same month that Porsche announced that its 918 Spyder is sold out, Translogic is getting its first (and likely last) shot at the plug-in hybrid hypercar. Our drive starts off in a very civilized fashion as we tour the 918 Spyder's e-power and hybrid modes, but the fun really starts when the naturally aspirated 4.6-litre V8 engine roars to life in sport and race hybrid modes, augmenting the electric motors with an additional 608 horsepower for a total of 887.

We even attempt an impromptu 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) test to see if we can match Porsche's gobsmacking official time of 2.5 seconds, but sadly we don't have the room to make a run on its 214-mph (344 km/h) top speed.

Watch as Translogic host Jonathon Buckley pilots this Porsche around an airstrip in Irvine, CA, with a focus on the many driving modes that set the 918 Spyder apart from anything else in the storied automaker's history.

Cadillac CT6 styling will be evolutionary, not like Elmiraj

Posted Dec 20th 2014 10:00AM

Cadillac CT6

Well, this is at least a little disappointing. It turns out Cadillac's long-awaited flagship, the CT6, won't be ushering in a wholesale change in the company's design. That's coming from GM Design guru Ed Welburn, meaning it should be taken as gospel (unless of course he's just trying to hoodwink us).

"It'll be different and it will certainly stand out in the portfolio," Welburn told Automotive News. "But you won't see a real shift in direction."

Instead, Art and Science will be shown in yet another new form, and will "continue to evolve," according to Welburn, although what that means is unclear. What we can say for certain, though, is that Art and Science on the CT6 will not evolve into the stunning Elmiraj Concept.

"I think Elmiraj was more of an influence on some other things we're working on for Cadillac," Welburn said, we're guessing with a smirk and an air of mystery.

Considering we have yet to see the CT6, it's hard to tell whether this will be good news or bad, although based on the critical reception to the Elmiraj, we're a little bit disappointed by Welburn's statements. Still, only time will tell whether the styling of the CT6 will really work out.

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News Source: Automotive News - sub. req.

Image Credit: Chris Doane Automotive

Volvo wants to sell cars online, skip most auto shows

Posted Dec 20th 2014 8:00AM

Volvo XC90

Volvo is completely rethinking its marketing strategy with an approach that it calls the Volvo Way to Market. The revised plan means an increase in the company's advertising budget overall and a totally different way to allocate those funds. The most dramatic shift is the Swedish automaker's decision to begin selling its models online directly to customers worldwide.

Volvo is leaving out specifics of its online sales strategy at the moment, but it promises that the approach doesn't push out its current dealers. According to Reuters, models sold through the web still go through the seller network for delivery. "We don't see a car distribution network without dealers in the foreseeable future," said company sales boss Alain Visser in an interview with Reuters.

The automaker already tested the online waters this year with the Special Edition XC90 that sold out in 47 hours and for the 120 US reservations of the S60 and V60 Polestar models. Tesla has been one of the major proponents of direct sales thanks in part to its unique model of having discrete stores. However, BMW and Ford have also made attempts at it in some regions.

Volvo is also cutting back on big auto show launches and plans to focus on just three events each year in the near future: the Geneva Motor Show, the alternating Shanghai and Beijing Motor Shows and the Detroit Auto Show. Instead of making reveals at the others, the company wants to conduct its own annual event to showcase vehicles. The strategy includes cutting back on sponsorships as well, except for the Volvo Ocean Race.

In perhaps the most bizarre move of the bunch, the automaker wants its dealers to highlight the brand's Swedish heritage. This means including "sound and smell elements that portray a Scandinavian spirit," according to the company's press release, plus Swedish cuisine in the waiting area. Read the full announcement below and look forward to enjoying some lingonberry jam during your next showroom visit.

News Source: Reuters, Volvo

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Drew Phillips / AOL