Skip to main content

We obsessively cover the auto industry

78 New Articles in this week Hide Featured

Here are the most disliked car brands of 2014

  • Here are the most disliked car brands of 2014
  • 2015 Cadillac Escalade
  • 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution will get more power before saying goodbye
  • Man who drove Bugatti Veyron into lake pleads guilty, faces 20 years in prison [w/video]

2016 Smart Fortwo, Forfour debut on new platform [w/video]

Posted Sep 2nd 2014 5:00PM

2016 Smart Fortwo and Forfour

Meet the 2016 Smart Fortwo and Forfour, a new pair of hatchbacks that Daimler hopes will revive the struggling Smart brand. We aren't expecting to see the Forfour here in the North American market, although the smaller Fortwo should eventually hit our shores in the future.

Following previous teaser sketches, it's plain to see that those drawings were fairly close to what we're seeing here. The new Smarts boast styling inspired heavily by the brand's concepts, with a bolder, sportier aesthetic.

Both two-door and four-door boast rear-engine layouts, with power coming from a trio of three-cylinder, gas-powered engines.

The new cars, a two-door and a four-door, boast rear-engine layouts, with power coming from a trio of three-cylinder, gas-powered engines in 60-, 71- and 90-horsepower varieties. A five-speed manual will be available while a "twinamic" dual-clutch transmission will also be offered. Let's home that dual-clutch unit is an improvement over the current automated manual we've been saddled with since the car's launch several years ago.

A MacPherson strut front suspension is teamed with a De Dion rear suspension, complete with twin-tube shocks, and should imbue both Smart models with typical small-car agility. For those seeking an even sharper Smart, an optional sport suspension will be available, which lowers the ride height ten millimeters (0.4 inches) and swaps out the standard springs for something stiffer.

Underpinning the new Fortwo and Forfour is the same rear-engine platform found underneath the Renault Twingo. Jointly developed between the French manufacturer and Daimler, the Fortwo rides on a 73.7-inch (1,872 mm) wheelbase, while the Forfour sits on a 98.1-inch (2,492 mm) wheelbase. For reference, the larger of the two Smarts is essentially equal with the Mini Hardtop, which sits on a 98.2-inch (2,495 mm) wheelbase. Despite the similarity to the Cooper, though, the Forfour is significantly shorter, at 137.4 inches (3,490 mm) (compared to 151.1). The tiny Fortwo, meanwhile, is just 105.5 inches (2,680 mm) long.

In an effort to stave off any potential safety worries, the new model was tested in frontal collisions against both the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and S-Class, while it's safety systems were developed in the same manner as those of the C-Class. Ultra-high strength, hot-formed steel and maximum-strength, multiphase steel is used for both the sidewall and substructure, while the crumple zones are larger. As for active safety systems, Smart is the first city car manufacturer to offer up a crosswind assist system as standard, while forward collision warning and lane keeping assist are both optional extras.

Customizability will play a significant role in both models, with Smart offering up 40 different exterior color schemes, with customers able to mix and match the color of the Tridion Safety Cell and the body color. It's a similar story inside, where the car's varied textures and shapes can be had in different combinations. In general, the latest Smarts look to be more style-conscious than in the past.

There's much more available below in an official video and lengthy press release from Smart. Scroll down and have a look, and also be sure to check out our galleries of both the 2016 Fortwo and Forfour.

Related Gallery2016 Smart Forfour
2016 Smart Forfour2016 Smart Forfour2016 Smart Forfour2016 Smart Forfour2016 Smart Forfour2016 Smart Forfour2016 Smart Forfour2016 Smart Forfour

News Source: Smart, Daimler AG via YouTube

Mercedes-AMG GT to debut on September 9

Posted Sep 2nd 2014 4:30PM

Mercedes-AMG GT

Mercedes-Benz kept the SLR McLaren around for a solid eight years. The SLS AMG hasn't even been around for five, but already Benz is preparing to roll out its next sports car. We've been anticipating the arrival of the new Mercedes-AMG GT for some time now, but now we've got the exact date of its debut.

This latest video gives us plenty of figures to chew on, from the amount of camouflage sheets used to wrap the prototypes to the temperatures at which they were tested. But the salient detail is that the coupe – which is expected to cost less than its SLS forbearer – will officially be unveiled on September 9.

Expect a public debut to follow at the Paris Motor Show the following month, after which its new 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 will be available in two states of tune: 462 horsepower or 510, nestling comfortably in between the V8 and V10 versions of the Audi R8 and just a few steps behind the Porsche 911 GT3 and Turbo.

News Source: Mercedes-AMG via YouTube

Max Verstappen has already crashed his first F1 car

Posted Sep 2nd 2014 4:00PM

Max Verstappen crash

Toro Rosso made headlines a couple of weeks ago when it signed Max Verstappen. Born in 1997, Verstappen is just 16, and will be just 17 when he makes his race debut next season, which will make him the youngest driver ever to compete in a F1 grand prix – by a margin of nearly two years, no less, the previously record held by Jaime Alguersuari, also of Toro Rosso, at 19. You imagine, then, that the team has been eager to showcase its young new talent, especially in his home country of Holland. So when STR set up one of its traveling Formula One road shows in the city of Rotterdam, it put Max behind the wheel. But things didn't go so well.

As you can see from this video, Verstappen lost control of the car – a 2007-spec STR7, if we're not mistaken – and drove it step-nose-first into the barricade in front of the cheering crowd. Not exactly a promising start to his career with the team, but then, Max has the rest of this season (and the winter break) to hone his skills as part of the Red Bull Junior program before his race debut, and he's already won nine races in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship this season.

News Source: Peter W via YouTube

Justin Bieber gets arrested for assault and dangerous driving, surprised?

Posted Sep 2nd 2014 3:30PM

Justin Bieber Arrested in Canada

Justin Bieber was arrested again! (Are we really surprised at this point?) He was arrested near his hometown of Stratfor, ON in Canada for assault and dangerous driving after he crashed into a minivan while operating an ATV.

According to a press release by the Ontario Provincial Police, officers were called to the scene of an accident in the Township of Perth on Friday afternoon. "Investigation revealed that after colliding, the driver of the ATV and an occupant of the minivan engaged in a physical altercation.

UPDATE: TMZ is reporting that it was a member of the paparazzi driving the minivan, and that it's possible the fight with the photographer could trigger a violation of the two-year probation he is on because of the egging incident. According to police sources, a probation investigation has already been launched. TMZ also posted photos of Bieber and his on-off girlfriend Selena Gomez driving around Stratford on an ATV.

Bieber was released on a "promise to appear" and is scheduled to be back in a Stratford courtroom to address the charges on Sept. 29. Stay tuned, as this story is developing.

News Source: The Huffington Post Canada via AOL On

Will the new Mazda Miata be available with multiple engines?

Posted Sep 2nd 2014 2:45PM

Next-Generation Mazda MX-5 spy shot

At this point, the countdown until the launch of the all-new, fourth-generation 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata can be measured in hours until its September 3 unveiling as easily as it can in days. With the debut of such a highly anticipated model so close, the rumours about the new sports car are starting to boil over.

We recently heard that the new Miata would likely get a 2.0-litre Skyactiv four-cylinder with a six-speed manual, plus a decent drop in weight compared to the current gen. There's even the rumoured possibility of a fastback coupe version sometime in the future.

Now, Australia's GoAuto is adding another dollop of speculation into the mix with the claim that there could be "potentially more engine options," according to Mazda Australia managing director Martin Benders to the website. The more potent option would still be the 2.0-litre Skyactiv with a power bump from its current 167 hp to closer to 200 ponies. The other possible powerplant option would be a 1.5-litre, naturally aspirated four-cylinder taken from the upcoming Mazda2 replacement. This version would also ditch some of the MX-5's more premium features to cut the weight and the price slightly.

"Lightweight rear-wheel drive sportscar offering great value is what we want to return to," said Mazda Australia senior public relations manager Steve Maciver to GoAuto. While such a tiny engine might sound dubious, remember that the original NA Miata performs admirably with just a naturally aspirated 1.6-litre four-cylinder. The potential small-displacement MX-5 might not make it to North America – we'd be a bit surprised if it did, to be honest – but it could still be quite an engaging driver. Besides, it's worth noting that earlier rumours had a 1.5-litre mill pegged as a possibility for the ND Miata.

News Source: GoAuto

Image Credit: CarPix

A Bacon-Fueled Motorcycle Now Exists

Posted Sep 2nd 2014 2:00PM

A Bacon-Fueled Motorcycle Now Exists

While it sounds like a wild bacon biker-infused idea, Hormel has created a new motorcycle that is fueled by, you guessed it... bacon grease! Click on the video above for the full story, as this bacon-fueled motorcycle attracted a lot of hungry tailgaters during its journey from Minnesota to the San Diego for Bacon Fest this past weekend (that's right, Bacon Fest is a real thing!)

Related GalleryStrangest Car at Woodward
Strangest Car at WoodwardStrangest Car at WoodwardStrangest Car at WoodwardStrangest Car at WoodwardStrangest Car at WoodwardStrangest Car at WoodwardStrangest Car at WoodwardStrangest Car at Woodward

News Source: Buzz60 via AOL On

Are these the world's worst speed bumps?

Posted Sep 2nd 2014 1:00PM

Speed Bumps in Palm Bay

If you ask a lot of driving enthusiasts, they'll tell you that speed bumps are annoying across the board. Most community organizations, however, would argue the opposite. And as with so many other things, the most effective and mutually tolerable path lies somewhere in the middle. But that middle ground is a big area. Some speed bumps are more tolerable – or more effective – than others, but striking a balance between safely slowing down vehicles and not rattling them into an early repair shop visit can sometimes be tough.

This 41-second video appears to favour one side of the aforementioned balance pretty distinctly over the other. It depicts a set of five speed bumps to slow any traffic down to an absolute crawl... and a bouncing one at that. Though we don't know exactly where it was shot, it appears to have emerged from Florida. (The mail truck tells us it's in the United States, the absence of front plates narrows it down to one of 19 states, the weather and vegetation hint at the southeast and that truck in the first frame seems to belong to a landscaping company in Palm Bay, FL.) Wherever these humps were installed though, it strikes us as the local community going a little overboard.

News Source: 0to100RealQuick via YouTube

2014 Volkswagen e-Up!

Posted Sep 2nd 2014 12:00PM

Our Favorite European Supermini Gets Juiced

2014 Volkswagen e-Up!

Volkswagen sets targets that are entertainingly confident, its stated goal for electric mobility being "market leadership by 2018." The tiny e-Up! is the first round out of the electric cannon, one of 14 EV and hybrid models the company will put on the menu this year as it spreads the electric gospel throughout its range...

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Jonathon Ramsey / AOL

Fisker-based V8-powered Destino caught testing with changes

Posted Sep 2nd 2014 11:00AM

WM Destino Spy Shots

New spy shots make it look like Bob Lutz's idea to convert the Fisker Karma into a fire-breathing sports sedan called the Destino might not be vaporware after all. Two of them were recently spotted testing in Death Valley sporting changes that make them appear closer than ever to actually going on sale.

The idea behind the Destino was always fantastic. Take the Karma (already a great-looking sedan), ditch it's powertrain and drop in the supercharged 6.2-litre V8 from the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. However, since we first saw the concept at the 2013 Detroit auto show, there hasn't been much solid news about its actual production... READ MORE

Related Gallery2013 Fisker Karma
2013 Fisker Karma2013 Fisker Karma2013 Fisker Karma2013 Fisker Karma2013 Fisker Karma2013 Fisker Karma2013 Fisker Karma2013 Fisker Karma

Image Credit: KGP Photography