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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

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

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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

2014 Kia Forte Koup SX

Posted Aug 27th 2014 11:58AM

2014 Kia Forte Koup SX

The Kia Forte and Hyundai Elantra have long followed similar paths, with each available in a four-door sedan, a five-door hatch and (most recently) a two-door coupe bodystyle. The recent death of the Hyundai Elantra Coupe in the US (which still continues to be sold here in Canada) may be threatening to change the narrative on these two affordable compact lines, of course, but the Korean two-doors have a lot in common under their distinct skins. Their most recent iterations came to market under the power of the same 2.0-litre, 173-horsepower four-cylinder paired with six-speed automatic transmissions and riding atop MacPherson strut front suspensions and torsion-beam setups out back. Each arrived weighing between 1,270 and 1,360 kilograms (2,800 and 3,000 pounds) and could be had in base form for just over $20,000. Considering this, the empirical performance stats figured to be similar.

There's an important distinction to be made, however. Rather than offer a simple two-door version of a four-door car, like Hyundai did with its Elantra Coupe, Kia has gone to lengths to craft a vehicle with its own unique attitude and attributes. Kia has embraced a sportier stance with its two-door Forte Koup, offering up a standard six-speed manual and going further in an effort to craft a more unique, aggressive coupe design.

That drive to be different was further accentuated last year, when Kia raided Hyundai's parts bin and plucked out the 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder from the Veloster Turbo. The resulting car is decidedly different than any other Forte we've tested, while also feeling like a better all-around product than the smaller hot hatch it stole its engine from. To see just how much better, we drove the Forte Koup SX for a week and set about seeing how this enhanced model stacks up as a performance offering... READ MORE

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Brandon Turkus / AOL

Chevy is building nearly 3x as many C7 Corvettes than it did the C6

Posted Aug 27th 2014 11:00AM

2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray

In case there aren't enough on the roads in your area to make the case, Corvette Blogger reports that at last weekend's Corvettes at Carlisle show, General Motors showed a graphic putting the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray production run at 37,288 units. That is about equal to the last three years of the C6 Corvette – combined – and includes Premiere Editions, regular retail sales, and "exports and captured fleet cars that were sellable units" according to Corvette product manager Harlan Charles. Coupes and convertibles equipped with the Z51 package outsold their base versions, and Torch Red narrowly beat Arctic White as the exterior hue of choice.

While that number ranks 14th on the all-time annual production chart, it's a very strong showing in the "modern era," going back 30 years to the introduction of the C3. In this millennium it's only beat by the first year of C6 production in 2005 at 37,372 units (when black was the best selling color and the Z51 only reached 40.8 per cent of sales), and the third year of C6 production that hit 40,561 units (black was still the best color and 65.5 per cent of buyers checked the Z51 box). Before that, you'd have to go all the way back to 1985 for a higher number.

The second year of C6 production declined even with the introduction of the Z06 – we'll see if the C7 Stingray's enhancements for the 2015 model year and the sales help of the bonkers yet absurdly reasonably priced Z06 can prevent that. Meanwhile, head over to Corvette Blogger for a fuller breakdown of the 2014 numbers.

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News Source: Corvette Blogger

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Seyth Miersma / AOL

VW Golf Mk8 could arrive by 2017

Posted Aug 27th 2014 10:00AM

The seventh-generation Volkswagen Golf only went on sale in North America in August, but it has been on the road in some parts of the world since 2012. The German automotive giant isn't taking a moment's rest for one of its most well known models, though. The latest rumour suggests that VW is already developing the eighth revision of its bread-and-butter hatchback, and it may be ready for launch as soon as 2017.

The rumours come courtesy of German magazine Auto Motor und Sport, and it claims that the new model will receive a thorough restyling of the current look. Not only will this mean the usual changes to the front and rear end design, but the next Golf will also be wider and sit lower than the current one, according to the magazine... READ MORE

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News Source: Auto Motor und Sport via Automotive News Europe - sub. req.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Michael Zak / AOL

Alfa Romeo to gun for Jag F-Type with 6C

Posted Aug 27th 2014 9:00AM

Alfa Romeo 4C

It has taken Alfa Romeo years of promises to finally, truly return to North America with the 4C sports coupe and its initial 86-dealer network. We already know that the sporty Italian brand has more models on the way in near future, with a midsize sedan, crossovers and more headed our way according to the company's five-year plan. Now, the latest rumour from an unnamed source speaking to Auto Express, claims that Alfa has another, more powerful sports car on the slate to take on an even higher rung of performance vehicles, cars like the Jaguar F-Type.

The so-called Alfa Romeo 6C would launch as a coupe with the twin-turbocharged V6 engine from Maserati Ghibli (which makes 404 horsepower in that application) and a convertible would join the lineup later. The Alfa's platform would come directly from the Maserati Alfieri, which is supposed to launch in 2016. In terms of styling, the insider describes the new coupe as closer to the earlier 8C Competizione than the 4C. That suggests a front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout, plenty of gorgeous curves and the brand's long-lived shield grille flanked by LED headlights up front.

Auto Express' source claims a 2017 launch date for the new range, and that could fit in Alfa's already-announced product plan. In its five-year forecast, the company said a specialty car would join the ranks from 2016-2018. At the time, we assumed this would be the sibling to the next-gen Mazda MX-5 Miata. However, the Italian end of the project was more recently reported to be in doubt, with thoughts that the codeveloped model may end up wearing a Fiat badge. The 6C could be an interesting alternative if the project comes to fruition.

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News Source: Auto Express

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Seyth Miersma / AOL