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2015 Aston Martin Vanquish

  • 2015 Aston Martin Vanquish
  • 2015 Audi RS5 Coupe Sport is one of 75
  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe
  • 2015 Subaru WRX: Accident, wheels and tires

2015 Aston Martin Vanquish

Posted Dec 22nd 2014 12:00PM

Driveline Updates Make For A Really Special Package, But Is That Enough?

There's something really special about an Aston Martin Vanquish. It's not my favorite model in the British automaker's range – I'm more of a Vantage guy, if I'm being choosy. But every time I drive one, I feel like I'm driving a piece of royalty, nevermind the US$300,000 price tag. It's stunning to look at, even in the rather drab shade of gray pictured here. It makes an absolutely killer noise, the free-breathing V12 firing from beneath the hood and out the back with a truly intoxicating sound. And from behind the wheel, it feels like a truly proper grand tourer. Well, almost.

The one major hiccup with the Vanquish I drove last year was its six-speed automatic transmission. In a word, it was awful. Really jarring shifts, delayed manual control through the paddles, and really, just a hugely misaligned piece of an otherwise excellent puzzle. So I was happy to hear that for 2015, Aston Martin had fitted a new, ZF-sourced, eight-speed unit – you know, the transmission being used by automakers like BMW, Jaguar, Audi, and many more. I normally have zero issues with this silky gearbox. But in the Vanquish, it wasn't smooth sailing like I expected – it feels like it still needs some final calibrations. But that doesn't make this car any less special.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Steven J. Ewing / AOL

2015 Dodge Challenger crash test results slip from last year's model

Posted Dec 22nd 2014 11:00AM

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released the results of its latest round of crash testing, announcing that the 2015 Dodge Challenger has netted a five-star overall crash rating. Of course, Chrysler won't want us to tell you this, but that NHTSA overall rating is not the whole story here.

As The Car Connection so astutely points out, five-star rating aside, the refreshed 2015 Challenger actually performed worse than when it was tested back in 2013. The V6-powered SXT model tested by NHTSA in this latest round of testing was only able to record a four-star rating in its frontal crash test, while it nailed a five-star rating in the side-impact test. The 2013 Challenger managed a five-star rating in the frontal test.

Of course, while this rating is a sign of overall good news for Challenger fans, the car, as TCC argues, has yet to be tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It'll be interesting to see if these NHTSA ratings translate to an IIHS Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick Plus.

Scroll down for the full press release from FCA.

News Source: Dodge, The Car Connection

Image Credit: Dodge

Meet the safest new cars of 2014

Posted Dec 22nd 2014 10:00AM

After looking at the this list of the Safest Crossovers and SUVs of 2014, the crash-rating experts at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has recenty released its list of Safest New Cars for 2014.

While the best way to survive a collision is clearly to avoid it altogether, this list features the world's safest small, midsize and luxury cars based on their respective IIHS crash test performance and safety rating results.

Click here to find out the safest new cars on the road.

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News Source: IIHS

Image Credit: Autoblog / Manufacturers

Montreal woman gets 90 days in jail for duck-stopping deaths

Posted Dec 22nd 2014 9:00AM

A woman who caused a fatal accident while stopping to rescue a flock of ducklings on a Canadian freeway has been sentenced to 90 days in jail. Her driving license was also suspended for 10 years and she'll be forced to perform 240 hours of community service.

Emma Czornobaj, 26, made headlines when she stopped her car in the left lane of a highway south of Montreal to rescue the waterfowl. She was found guilty of two counts of criminal negligence causing death after the motorcycle of 50-year-old André Roy crashed into her at anywhere between 100 to 120 kilometres per hour. Roy's daughter Jessica, who was riding on the back, was also killed in the incident.

While she faced up to 14 years in jail, Crown prosecutors were only seeking a nine-month sentence, along with the 240 hours of community service, the CBC reports. The 90-day sentence was a compromise.

Czornobaj is appealing the conviction.

News Source: CBC

Image Credit: Brennan Linsley / AP

2016 Cadillac CTS-V arrives with 640 hp, 320-km/h top speed

Posted Dec 22nd 2014 8:00AM

Most Powerful Cadillac Ever Prepares To Storm Detroit Auto Show

Ask the company's executive team, and they'll tell you "this is the maximum Cadillac V-Series." It's the 2016 CTS-V sedan, and it packs the very best of what's possible at Cadillac. And the company says it doesn't think "anyone thought it was possible that we could push [the CTS-V] this far."

The big news is what's underhood: General Motors' supercharged, 6.2-litre LT4 V8, tuned to 640 horsepower and 630 pound-feet of torque. That's 10 hp and 20 lb-ft less than the monstrous Corvette Z06, and the result is the most powerful car Cadillac has ever produced. With rear-wheel drive, launch control and the eight-speed automatic transmission (sorry, folks – no more manual transmission here), Cadillac says the 2016 CTS-V will sprint to 60 miles per hour (96 km/h) in just 3.7 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 320 km/h (200 miles per hour).

Naturally, Cadillac's engineers say they have tuned the CTS-V to ensure it can put all that power to the ground with the most precision and poise possible. That starts with the excellent Magnetic Ride Control active damping system (with a claimed 40-percent increase in responsiveness)and a 25-per cent increase in structural stiffness that should improve overall handling and steering. What's more, a high-performance Brembo brake package comes standard, as do 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in seriously sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires that will reportedly offer 1g in lateral acceleration.

News Source: Cadillac

Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2014 Steven J. Ewing / AOL

12 Awesome cars we loved driving this year

Posted Dec 21st 2014 8:00PM

Here at Autoblog Canada we get to jump behind the wheel of some amazing cars, trucks and pretty much anything awesome involving a few wheels and an engine. As we get set to say goodbye to yet another great year of test drives and car reviews, our team decided to round up the 12 Awesome Cars We Loved Driving in 2014.

Click on the respective photos below to see which dirty dozen had us wishing for more seat time and fighting over the keys.

Image Credit: Autoblog / AOL

Hyundai's bizarre pooping robot baby pitches new Sonata

Posted Dec 21st 2014 6:00PM

Hyundai is taking auto advertising to some very odd places with its latest commercial, called Exobaby, and starring a computer-generated robo-toddler. And yes, robot babies still make a doodoo now and again, it seems. There are certainly some very weird auto ads out there, but Hyundai's new challenger is entering the ring with this absolutely bizarre Exobaby commercial for the latest Sonata.

Blending inspiration from the video game Mega Man, the classic 1970s TV show The Six Million Dollar Man and a waking nightmare, Exobaby falls very deeply into the uncanny valley. Its proportions and movement come off as just slightly distorted, and the result is a baby that's more creepy than cute for this ad. Things get even odder just a few seconds in when the robo-toddler poops.

Ostensibly, the Exobaby ad is supposed to show off all of the high-tech features on the Sonata, but many viewers are just going to be left trying to figure out what they're watching. If you need just over a minute of weird advertising to lift your day, then this Hyundai commercial must be seen.

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News Source: HyundaiWorldwide via YouTube

Image Credit: Related images copyright Hyundai

China's answer to Elon Musk seeks licence to build electric car

Posted Dec 21st 2014 4:00PM

With just under 7,000 electric vehicles capable of highway speeds sold in China in 2013 (versus over 200,000 slower models), the country's government plans a major investment of support behind its efficient auto industry in the near future. Including buying more of them for official purposes, the strategy includes issuing new automotive manufacturing licences to companies that want to build EVs but aren't currently automakers. At least one of these businesses believes that it can revolutionize the market with its vehicle.

Jia Yueting (pictured above) has a story that almost sounds like the Chinese counterpart to Elon Musk's. He was a young tech genius and at 41 years old has already taken at least two companies public.

Jia's current venture is Leshi Internet Information & Technology, a maker of web-enabled TVs, and according to Bloomberg his 44 per cent stake is worth about $2.3 billion. Now, his sights are set on succeeding in the auto industry.

Jia claims his EV is well under development and is promising next-gen technology that sounds hard to deliver on. According to Bloomberg, the vehicle would offer multiple touchscreens inside, autonomous driving and automatic parking – all for a reasonable price. He already reportedly has people working in Silicon Valley to develop the systems and has an investment in a battery company, as well. The next step is getting the government licence that potentially allows the dream to become a reality.

Even his Jia's model doesn't live up to its big promises, there are other companies in China wanting to build EVs. According to Bloomberg, Fisker owner Wanxiang is also applying for a manufacturing licence, and it already has ties to the industry as an automotive parts supplier with over $23 billion in annual revenue.

News Source: Bloomberg

Image Credit: ChinaFotoPress / ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

2015 Audi RS5 Coupe Sport is one of 75

Posted Dec 21st 2014 2:00PM

Audi has released a new limited edition of its V8-powered RS5, with the 2015 Sport edition. Limited to just 75 units and designed by the German manufacturers Exclusive customization team, the stylish RS5 starts at US$87,575.

That's nearly US$17,000 more than the standard RS5, although you might struggle to see why. The Sport adds beautiful 20-inch 5-V-spke wheels, along with plenty of nice leatherwork in the cabin. That includes the black-and-Crimson-Red Nappa leather seats, which feature an embossed RS logo in the seatback, as well as Crimson Red leather door inserts. Contrast stitching in the leather-wrapped wheel and shifter boot match the shade on the seats and door inserts.

Audi will paint the limited-edition RS5 in either Daytona Gray or Nardo Gray for no charge or, if you're willing to pay a bit more, you can chose from one of the shades from the manufacturer's Exclusive catalog. There's no mention of how much these custom hues will cost, though.

Beyond that, the RS5 Sport is the same thumper that's been on sale for several years, with a 4.2-litre, 450-horsepower V8 under the hood and a seven-speed, S-Tronic transmission dispatching power to a Quattro all-wheel-drive system.

News Source: Audi