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2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed

  • 2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed
  • 2015 Volkswagen Golf R [w/video]
  • HIGHLIGHTS: 2014 LA Auto Show
  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG S 4Matic stands out in the LA crowd

Here's why you shouldn't try to drift a Jeep Cherokee

Posted Nov 25th 2014 4:00PM

Jeep Cherokee drifter

There are many reasons why an XJ-generation (or really any other) Jeep Cherokee doesn't make for a very good drift machine. It's tall, it's four-wheel-drive... it's a Jeep, okay? But someone apparently forgot to tell that to this guy.

Uploaded to LiveLeak, this video shows some poor schmuck who took his Cherokee to a (mostly) empty parking lot and tried to drift it. Needless to say, things didn't go quite as he planned, but they probably went exactly as you might have expected.

Thankfully, nobody appears to have been hurt. Or at least, we assume so, since the guy apparently survived to post the video up online. Click here to watch how it all goes down.

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News Source: LiveLeak via Jalopnik

Mercedes raises the roof on new CLA Shooting Brake

Posted Nov 25th 2014 3:00PM

Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake

UPDATE: As we feared, the CLA Shooting Brake is not currently slated for North American availability. The text below has been adjusted accordingly.

Of all the variants in Mercedes' smallest line, only one doesn't have a liftgate, and that's the CLA-Class. But don't worry, the German automaker is out to fix that too with the reveal of the new CLA Shooting Brake you see here.

Based on the same platform that underpins the CLA four-door coupe, the A-Class hatchback, B-Class minivan and GLA crossover, the new Shooting Brake applies a similar formula we've already seen on the bigger CLS Shooting Brake but in a much smaller form – which is to say, it's a wagon, but a shapely one. The revised roofline means more headroom in the back seat and significantly more cargo capacity than the four-door's trunk.

Mercedes will offer the CLA with a variety of engine choices, including a 2.1-litre turbodiesel with either 136 or 177 horsepower, a 1.6-litre four with 122, 156 or 211 horsepower. That last model will even be available with 4Matic all-wheel drive for those not enamored by the idea of a front-drive Benz, but the top of the range, of course, is the CLA45 AMG Shooting Brake that carries the same 2.0-litre turbo four – all 360 horsepower of it – as the four-door CLA45 as well as the A45 and GLA45. Driving once again to all four wheels, Daimler says it'll reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.7 seconds (even quicker than the crossover) and top out at the usual 250 km/h (155 mph).

Of course those options only apply to markets where the new Shooting Brake will be offered. And unfortunately, Mercedes-Benz confirmed to Autoblog that (like the CLS wagon) the CLA Shooting Brake won't be making the transatlantic voyage to North American showrooms (where the E-Class is the only low-slung Benz wagon on offer). That leaves the four-door CLA and the GLA crossover still holding down the pint-sized fort for Mercedes.

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News Source: Mercedes-Benz

Editors' Choice: Top Five 2014 LA Auto Show Debuts

Posted Nov 25th 2014 2:00PM

In Which We Pick Our Favourites From Los Angeles

2014 LA Auto Show

It's often easy to jump to conclusions about what will absolutely steal the show at an automotive expo. Something ultra-sexy, fast, and exotic? Safe bet. A brown, Swedish shooting brake? Sounds like a winner to us. But sometimes, when the votes are tallied, we even surprise ourselves. And that's exactly what happened with this round of editors' picks for what we liked best at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Oh sure, you'll see those fast, powerful, concept-looking machines in the list of our favourites. We aren't going to rock the boat too much here, and the final vote tally was seriously close, as you'll see. But rather than cast our first-place vote to something outrageous and fantastical, we went for something that checks all the right boxes and is actually a production vehicle. Rather than spoil the results for you, though, we invite you to scroll down and check out the full roster below.

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Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Steven J. Ewing, Drew Phillips / AOL

Chaos ensues in pileup at Macau tin-top race

Posted Nov 25th 2014 1:00PM

Pileup during Chinese Racing Cup race in Macau

Touring car grids around the world have been growing at suitably rapid pace. The British Touring Car Championship has been fielding record numbers of entries, DTM and V8 Supercars both have more manufacturers participating than they have had in years, the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship has brought several national series together on one grid.... we could go on, but you get the point. And nothing illustrates that point quite like this pileup at this year's Macau Grand Prix.

The premier event in Formula 3 racing is held on the streets of China's version of Monte Carlo or Las Vegas and includes numerous support races. Among those are the World Touring Car Championship, a motorcycle race and the Chinese Racing Cup. It's during that tin-top race – campaigned by a field of 26 identical BAIC Senova D70s – that this massive pileup ensued.

We won't spoil it by giving you a play-by-play, but if you fast-forward to about the 45-second mark you can watch the nobody-got-hurt hilarity unfold before your very eyes. Be sure to add some mental Benny Hill Theme music for the full effect.

News Source: AlphaRT via YouTube, CarBuzz

2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed

Posted Nov 25th 2014 12:00PM

Fastest Bentley Ever Offers More, More, More

2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed

Why does the Bentley Mulsanne Speed exist? Sam Graham, product line director for the Mulsanne, tells us Bentley's Western customers demanded it, many driven by memories of the Arnage T – the hotted-up version of the Arnage R. The Arnage T, you may remember, arrived in 2002 and threw down 459 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque on its way to being billed the most powerful production Bentley ever. Today's Mulsanne Speed picks up the torch and takes it all the way to the Olympic stadium.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Jonathon Ramsey / AOL

2018 Jeep Wrangler to get 8-speed auto

Posted Nov 25th 2014 11:00AM

2014 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler

Remember when the Jeep Wrangler had a three-speed automatic? That wasn't that long ago – as recent as the 2007 redesign – but Chrysler is keen to leave those days behind on the dusty trail. The current model ushered in a four-speed, then a five-speed, but the latest intel indicates that an eight-speed automatic is in the cards.

According to a report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and cited by Automotive News, Jeep plans on fitting its eight-speed automatic transmission to the next-generation Wrangler. Chrysler already uses the ZF-sourced slushbox on the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ram 1500, Chrysler 300, and versions of the Dodge Challenger, Charger and Durango. But according to the SEC filing, the Auburn Hills automaker intends "to use this transmission in all of our rear-wheel-drive vehicles, except for heavy-duty versions of the Ram pick-up truck and the SRT Viper."

AN says that Chrysler wanted to slot the transmission straight into the current Wrangler, but it wouldn't fit. Between the transmission and shift to aluminum construction, the next-generation Wrangler promises to deliver a significant reduction in fuel consumption. In correspondence with Autoblog, however, company spokesmen declined to comment on the eight-speed's suitability towards either the current Wrangler or the upcoming one.

Next BMW 7 Series interior spotted

Posted Nov 25th 2014 10:30AM



The next BMW 7 Series looks to be leading a rather dramatic change of the company's interior styling, judging by this new series of spy photos.

In the trio of shots, we can see that the next 7 Series will replace the high-quality plastic buttons of the brand's iDrive, HVAC and secondary audio controls with some very, very pretty aluminum pieces. We can also see what looks like haptic touch controls for some of the HVAC systems. While the 7 Series interior has never been bad, it's lagged notably behind the Audi A8 and new Mercedes-Benz S-Class. This brightwork should be taken as a good sign, then, that BMW is preparing to take the fight to its countrymen. Aside from the handsome new switchgear, the large, wide nav screen looks like a pop-up unit, while it appears to be running a new version of the company's infotainment system.

These spy photos also give us our most detailed look at the 7 Series' new laser headlights. According to our spies, these will be an optional extra, while LED headlights will be standard. The high-output lights will flank a wider pair of kidney grilles that our spies claim will give the 7 a sportier look. Changes in back are still camouflaged, although our shooters claim the new lamps will be more angular than the current car's.

Expect the next 7 Series to make its debut in the second half of 2015, which could indicate a debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

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Image Credit: CarPix

Stranded "Top Gear" hosts ask for tourist tips in B.C.

Posted Nov 25th 2014 10:00AM

Some bad weather hit the cast and crew of popular British show "Top Gear" this weekend in Trail, B.C., giving them some unexpected free time in the province's Interior. The popular BBC series was reportedly filming for an upcoming episode that will include testing the Hennessey VelociRaptor SUV in the Okanagan area.

Controversial Co-host Jeremy Clarkson tweeted his followers asking for things to do in the city - population 7,000 - fans quickly came to his rescue on Sunday. Among the suggested tourist tips: take a tour of the local lead and zinc smelter, screen a Swedish film, and learn how to butcher a goat at the supermarket... READ FULL STORY

Jaguar to go racing with F-Type GT3?

Posted Nov 25th 2014 9:00AM

Jaguar F-Type Project 7

Most British automakers have some manner of racing program. Aston Martin, Lotus and McLaren race as a matter of course. Bentley recently got back into racing, Morgan has dabbled here and there, even Land Rover has its off-road racing programs. The only one, it seems, that isn't racing these days is Jaguar... but that could be about to change.

The latest intel from the UK suggests that Jaguar is closely evaluating the prospect of building a GT3-spec racer based on the F-Type. Like the Bentley Continental GT3 co-developed with M-Sport (not to mention Coventry's own successful partnership with TWR), the Jaguar program would need an established racing outfit to help develop the car and field it, and the automaker is said to be evaluating three potential partners.

The development of the GT3 racer would allow Jaguar to compete (or sell cars for others to compete) in a variety of racing series around the world, including the Blancpain Endurance Series, the European Le Mans Series and, if properly adapted, other series like the United SportsCar Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Jaguar's car would have to compete with such rivals as the Aston Martin Vantage GTE, Audi R8 LMS, Ferrari 458 GT, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 and Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Current FIA GT3 regulations use a Balance of Performance equation that allows for a curb weight between 1,200 and 1,300 kilograms (2,645 to 2,866 pounds) and produce between 500 and 600 horsepower. A more cost-effective GT4 racer could follow. But the best part is that Jaguar could, according to the report in Autocar, develop a road-going version as well, even more focused than the Project 7 pictured above and similar to what Bentley did with the Continental GT3-R.

Jaguar of course has had a rich history with motor racing, reaching back to its dominance at Le Mans in the 1950s with the C-Type and D-Type, extending through the TWR partnership in touring car and endurance racing in the 1980s and 90s, to the short-lived Formula One team that became Red Bull Racing. It launched a GT2-spec XKR a few years ago and was tipped to be developing a new LMP1 prototype, but neither are on the track today, where Jaguars only compete in vintage racing.

News Source: Autocar

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