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Driving Vin Diesel's fast and furious 1970 Dodge Charger in real life

  • Driving Vin Diesel's fast and furious 1970 Dodge Charger in real life
  • HIGHLIGHTS: 2014 Cobble Beach Concours d'Elegance, Canada's most prestigious auto event
  • 2015 Lincoln Navigator
  • 2015 Infiniti Q70L

Evo takes flight in BMW's sultry i8

Posted Sep 16th 2014 11:00AM

BMW i8 and electric car review

Electric cars and hybrids are here to stay, much to the apparent dismay of some auto enthusiasts, but that doesn't mean they have to represent the death of enjoyable driving. Granted, the initial run of hybrids in North America like the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius weren't exactly tailor-made for aggressive folks behind the wheel, but things are clearly changing. In its latest video, Evo takes a look at three examples from Europe's new crop of electrified vehicles to show that the future of fun motoring is safe and sound.

Evo editor Henry Catchpole kicks things off with one of the most bizarre EVs of the bunch, the tiny Renault Twizy. Its low power and 80-kilometre-per-hour top speed might make it miles away from a hot hatch, but there's still fun to be had in extracting the most from this little city car. Next up is the Audi A3 E-Tron, which isn't technically available yet. It's a step in the right direction of eventually creating an affordable, fun-to-drive hybrid hot hatch.

However, the main event is Catchpole getting some seat time in the BMW i8. The Bimmer can really fly –literally in this case – and the butterfly-door coupe offers a clear look at the prospects for electrified sports cars. It might not have the power of hybrid supercar contemporaries like the LaFerrari or Porsche 918 Spyder, but the BMW doesn't cost nearly as much, either. See? Improved efficiency doesn't have to mean boring.

News Source: Evo via YouTube

Image Credit: Related images copyright 2014 Drew Phillips / AOL

2015 Mazda3 finally pairs 6-speed manual with larger engine

Posted Sep 16th 2014 10:00AM

Mazda3

With all of the hype and anticipation surrounding the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata, the Japanese brand was able to sneak another driver-oriented model into its lineup. The company's spec page for the 2015 Mazda3 hatchback and sedan have been updated to list the Skyactiv-G 2.5-litre four-cylinder as finally being available with a six-speed manual transmission, in addition to the previous six-speed automatic. The automaker had promised the row-your-own gearbox with the bigger engine back when it first announced the new Mazda3, but it waited a model year to actually put the combo on sale.

According to Mazda's specs, the manual gearbox trims 18 kilograms or 40 pounds off of a hatchback in GT trim. However, shedding that weight doesn't necessarily boost fuel economy. The six-speed hatch is rated at 9.3 L/100 km city and 6.4 L/100 km highway, compared to 8.2/5.9 L/100 km for the automatic. Both transmissions will cost you the same amount of money.

The 2.5 wasn't initially available with the stick because, "We had to prioritize engineering resources and the 2.5L 6MT was not a high priority combination. Globally, smaller engines are preferred in terms of sales," a Mazda spokesperson explained via email. The automaker also notes that Australia will probably be the only other market outside of North America to get the six-speed gearbox with the larger engine.

News Source: Mazda

2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk ready for off road action

Posted Sep 16th 2014 9:00AM

2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk - Off Road Driving Scenes
While we've already met the 2015 Renegade – Jeep's new baby crossover that's set to potentially start under $20,000 in Canada, the video above shows what this tough little truck can do both on and off road... in Trailhawk trim of course!

Click here to watch as Jeep throws everything its got at the highly anticipate Jeep Renegade Trailhawk.

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News Source: via AOL On

2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed unleashes a tidal wave of torque

Posted Sep 16th 2014 8:00AM

Bentley Mulsanne Speed

811 lb-ft of torque puts the Mulsanne Speed out ahead of every so-called muscle car on the market and eclipses most million-dollar hypercars.

Those in the market for a sedan with equal levels of performance and luxury would do well to stop by their local Bentley dealership, and have a look at the Flying Spur. Though not available in Speed trim like the previous four-door Continental, the W12 model already packs the 616-horsepower 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 from the Continental GT Speed – and we wouldn't be surprised to see the British automaker come out with an even more performance-oriented version in the future. But what about the Mulsanne?

Bentley's flagship model has typically been left out of the performance equation applied to its nouveau-riche stablemates, but that ends here and now with the introduction of the new Mulsanne Speed. With 530 horsepower on tap (25 more than the standard model), the new Mulsanne Speed ranks among the more (if not most) powerful sedans on the market. But it blows everything else out of the water when it comes to torque: Bentley's signature 6.75-litre twin-turbo V8 has been augmented to produce a freight train-rivaling 811 pound-feet of twist, available from as low as 1,750 rpm. As far as torque goes, that puts the Mulsanne Speed out ahead of every so-called muscle car on the market and eclipses most million-dollar hypercars. It's also around triple the output of the same engine when it was introduced way back in 1959, and could be enough to put the prospect of the Bugatti Galibier ever reaching production out of the question once and for all.

Every pound-foot of that muscle is required to move the big sedan to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 4.8 seconds, en route to a top speed of 190 miles per hour (305 km/h) (compared to 5.1 seconds and 184 mph / 297 km/h in the existing Mulsanne). All the while, improvements to combustion and a cylinder deactivation system that turns the engine into an efficient-ish V4 when cruising, though that likely won't be a worry for the oil barons who are bound to make up the bulk of the order list.

While it was at it, the crew in Crewe also recalibrated the eight-speed automatic transmission (which now includes an S mode to keep the revs above 2,000 and the turbos spooled up as well as the adjustable air suspension. It's also given the big sedan dark-tinted grilles and lights, directional 21-inch wheels and a two-tone interior (which takes some 150 hours and 14 bull hides to complete) with the Mulliner Driving Specification fitted as standard. There's plenty more to digest in the press release below (including some enhancements for the standard model as well) ahead of the Mulsanne Speed's debut at the Paris Motor Show next month and the commencement of deliveries this winter.

News Source: Bentley

Driving Vin Diesel's fast and furious 1970 Dodge Charger in real life

Posted Sep 15th 2014 8:00PM

Dodge Charger from Fast and the Furious

The Aficionauto host Christopher Rutkowski has a real passion for original and replica cars from movies and television, whether they are from James Bond, Jurassic Park, or incredibly obscure Japanese shows. However, he might have outdone himself this time because he hopped into one of the biggest automotive stars of contemporary cinema. This 1970 Dodge Charger appeared in Fast & Furious and came back in Fast Five, where Paul Walker actually drove it. The menacing, black muscle car will make its return to the franchise in the seventh film, too.

The Fast and Furious Dodge Charger is a real beast no matter how you look at it. The interior is nothing more than two seats and a roll cage, and as the video shows, this thing vibrates constantly like a coiled mass of muscle ready to strike. The camera can barely stay in place most of the time. Also, "Dom's Dodge" is more than happy to do a smoky burnout and leave the driver partially deaf afterward from its wonderful, ear-splitting engine roar.

The Aficionauto also interviews the man who controls the keys to this beast. Bob Hartwig was once an F-15 fighter jet pilot, but he also loved Hollywood vehicles. Now, he's a partner at Picture Car Warehouse, a company with about 850 cars that supplies vehicles to film studios. This Charger definitely seems to be Hartwig's favorite in the collection, as it should be... Click here to watch.

News Source: The Aficionauto via YouTube

Decelerating from a 627 km/h land speed record run might trigger your fire system

Posted Sep 15th 2014 7:00PM

Danny Thompson Challenger 2 Fire Extinguisher

Have you ever had one of those days where everything was going smoothly and then, in a split-second, there was utter chaos? Racer Danny Thompson recently got a fantastic story to tell when he was taking his streamlined Challenger II land speed car for a test run. Everything appeared perfectly normal, and then things went very bizarre in a blink on an eye.

We covered Thompson last year when he was raising money to complete the car and take it to the Bonneville Salt Flats. Danny is the son of famous racer and engineer Mickey Thompson, and the Challenger II is an updated version of the same vehicle that his dad attempted to set a piston-powered land speed record with in 1969.

For the project, Danny pulled the Challenger II out of mothballs and upgraded it to modern safety standards. He also ditched the original Ford engines in favour of two, nitro-fueled V8s with a claimed combined total of 4,000 horsepower, which made it really more of a Challenger 2.5.

For this test, the Challenger II made it to over 390 miles per hour (627.6 km/h) with no problem, but then it was time to slow down. Danny pulled the 'chutes and got a very messy surprise to go with it when the fire suppression system kicked on due to the sudden deceleration. Check out the video to see how Thompson reacted.

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News Source: thompsonlsr via YouTube

Image Credit: Related images copyright ThompsonLSR

Tesla Gigafactory $1.2 billion deal details lets EV company sell direct and more

Posted Sep 15th 2014 6:30PM

Movie Tax Breaks, Insurance Companies Losing Out

Tesla Battery Factory

Now that the Nevada-based deal for the Tesla Motors Gigafactory has been made official, we've got more details on the automaker's $1.2-billion benefits package. As originally reported, this is the broad breakdown:
  • $725 million for a 20-year 100 per cent sales tax abatement
  • $332 million for a 10-year 100 per cent property tax abatement
  • $120 million in transferable tax credits
  • $75 million in transferable tax credits worth $12,500 per job times 6,000 jobs).
  • $27 million for a 10-year, 100 per cent modified business tax abatement
  • $8 million in discounted electricity rates for eight years
New reports say that one way that US legislators freed up some money ($125 million) was by ending a long-standing tax break for insurance companies. Legislators also eliminated some tax credits for movie companies to give the money ($70 million) to Tesla. One surprising side benefit for Tesla is the ability to sell its EVs directly to customers in the US state of Nevada. While Nevada hasn't been a big player in the EV dealer fight issue, it seems the company's right to sell its cars there is secure.

What does Nevada get out of the deal? Well, a lot of publicity, for starters, but also a big new employer... Requiring that at least half of all the workers at the $5 billion Gigafactory be from Nevada. (although there is a way for Tesla to get waivers around this if needed).

Add that all up and you get what state Assemblyman Ira Hansen called, "arguably the biggest thing that has happened in Nevada since at least the Hoover Dam." Not everyone is so positive. A Las Vegas schoolteacher told the Nevada Appeal, "I think it is kind of ironic that a renewable energy, a green energy car company we are courting to come to our state, that one of the things we are giving them is free energy."

You can watch a video of the September 4th Tesla/Nevada announcement and read the governor's press release about signing the bill below.

News Source: Reno Gazette-Journal, Nevada Appeal, Reuters, Automotive News - sub. req.

Image Credit: Cathleen Allison / AP

HIGHLIGHTS: 2014 Cobble Beach Concours d'Elegance, Canada's most prestigious auto event

Posted Sep 15th 2014 6:00PM



Before we had the automobile, we had horse-drawn carriages; and where there is an opportunity to travel in personalized vehicles, there will be people competing for top honours in the beauty, design and style department. It's said that in 17th century France, the aristocracy was so enamoured with how stylish, grand and beautiful their carriages were, they decided to begin showing them off on weekends and holidays... Thus, the Concours d'Elegance was born. This year's prestigious event in Cobble Beach continues in that same automotive tradition, celebrating the finest and rarest antique, vintage and classic cars right here in Canada.

The 2nd Annual Cobble Beach Concours d'Elegance was held over this past weekend by the stunning Cobble Beach Resort on Georgian Bay, and it was undoubtedly a roaring success. Similar to the infamous Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, a gorgeous golf course played home to some of the most desirable, interesting, and rare cars in existence.

Click here for our full photo gallery and highlights from the 2014 Cobble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

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HIGHLIGHTS: Lucas di Grassi wins inaugural Formula E race after big crash

Posted Sep 15th 2014 4:59PM

Beijing ePrix kicks off

It's been a long time coming, but the inaugural FIA Formula E Championship finally took place this weekend with the first race in China, officially kicking off a new era of electric racing on the international scene with the 2014 Formula E Beijing ePrix.

Despite starting back in sixth place, Nick Heidfeld quickly made his way up the grid.

With all the seats full, racing scion and former ice racer Nicolas Prost claimed pole position for the Renault-supported e.dams team, followed by former F1 driver Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt for the Audi Sport ABT team. The following slots were also taken by ex-grand prix pilots Karun Chandhok (Mahindra), Franck Montagny (Andretti Autosport), Nick Heidfeld (Venturi), Jaime Alguersuari (Virgin), Charles Pic (Andretti), Sebastien Buemi (e.dams) and the controversial Nelson Piquet Jr (China Racing). Oriol Servia (Dragon Racing), Sam Bird (Virgin), Jérome d'Ambrosio (Dragon), Takuma Sato (Amlin Aguri), Ho-Pin Tung (China) rounded out the rest of the starting grid, while Katherine Legge (Amlin Aguri) and Michela Cerruti (Trulli) started at the back of the grid. Surprisingly, experienced racing drivers Jarno Trulli (Trulli), Bruno Senna (Mahindra) and Stephane Sarrazin (Venturi) failed to meet the qualifying threshold.

Despite starting back in sixth place, Nick Heidfeld quickly made his way up the grid as the race electrified. By the mid-race car swap, Heidfeld – a former grand prix driver, Formula 3 champion, Le Mans class winner and Goodwood lap record holder – was up to second place. That's when things literally took a turn for the worse... READ MORE

News Source: Formula E

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