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2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

  • 2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro
  • Audi reveals new TT spec racer
  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 Coupe
  • 2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster

Porsche 918 Spyder already almost sold out?

Posted Oct 23rd 2014 5:00PM

Porsche 918 Spyder

Still planning on getting your hands on a Porsche 918 Spyder? You'd better act quickly, because word has it that the hybrid hypercar is nearly sold out.

While Porsche has reportedly only delivered a little over 30 of the 918 examples of the Spyder it plans to manufacture in total, Automotive News says that production is sold out through late March or early April – just a few months shy of when production is set to wrap in July.

That's pretty impressive for a car with a base price of almost $850,000, especially one requiring a $200,000 deposit just to get your name on the list. Still, that sum is significantly less than its competitors get for the McLaren P1 or LaFerrari, both of which sell for over a million (if you can actually get on one at that price), though in fairness, production of each is limited to less than half of the 918 Spyder.

News Source: Automotive News - sub. req.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Michael Harley / AOL

2015 Dodge Charger priced from $32,495, Hellcat from $64,495 in Canada

Posted Oct 23rd 2014 4:00PM

2015 Dodge Charger Hellcat

Ladies and gentlemen, let's get the most salient bit of information out of the way right off the bat: $64,495 (all prices exclude $1,695 destination). That's the amount of money Dodge dealers will be asking for (at the very least, naturally) for a 2015 Charger Hellcat. That rather reasonable sum will bring home its buyer a 6.2-litre Hemi V8 engine boasting a supercharger to post such gaudy figures as 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, leading to a top speed of 204 miles per hour to go along with an NHRA-certified quarter-mile time of 11.0 seconds.

With that out of the way, the rest of the 2015 Dodge Charger pricing information breaks down as follows: $32,495 will deliver a sedan with a 292-horsepower 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 engine, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Moving up one step of the ladder nets the buyer an SXT model with the same engine, but a nicer chunk of technology and optional equipment for a $3,100 premium. All-wheel drive adds another $5,300. Hemi V8-powered R/T models now boast an eight-speed transmission bolted to the same well-loved 370-horsepower engine as before, for a base price of $39,495.

The SRT 392 model that had hitherto been the top-performing Charger brings with it an asking price of $50,495 while bargain hunters can equip a Charger R/T Scat Pack machine with that same 485-horsepower 6.4-litre Hemi, albeit with somewhat less posh interior bits and pieces, the removal of the 392's adjustable suspension and hi-po wheel and tire package for $46,495.

There are a few other ways to order a Charger in 2015, and we suggest you read all about them in the press release below. We don't have to tell you how amazing it is that you can now mosey on down to your local Dodge dealer and order a 707-hp sedan for under $65,000. Neither must it be said that the SRT's 485 ponies are nothing to sneeze at. In any case, we're officially basking in the golden age of horsepower.

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News Source: Dodge

Autobild blows China's fake BMW X5 sky high

Posted Oct 23rd 2014 3:00PM

Shuanghuan CEO blown up

The Germans famously love their cars. With high-speed cruising on the Autobahn and a lot of fun available from the country's back roads, they have every reason to. Apparently, the country's auto writers also take their jobs in advising the enthusiastic populace very seriously. As this video from Autobild shows, when a downright horrible vehicle like the Shuanghuan CEO comes around, it receives some sweeping destruction.

To be fair, the CEO might be one of the worst vehicles in the world. Not only is the SUV a pretty blatant copy of a first-generation BMW X5, it's a bad one at that. The horrible build quality shown by Autobild must be seen to be believed. Even worse, the example in this video is said to be just five years old, but practically every part is rusting or corroding. There are even dead flies in the headlights.

Autobild attempts to give the CEO a proper driving test, but it fails in spectacular fashion. This is a Chinese SUV with no apparent redeeming qualities, and the video shows what happens from there. Be warned, the clip is entirely in German, but it shows enough of the vehicle's qualities to make it clear what's happening and why.

News Source: Autobild via YouTube

Convertible demand has tanked over last seven years

Posted Oct 23rd 2014 2:00PM

Volkswagen Beetle Convertible

Few things match the joy of open-roofed motoring. The wind runs through your hair, the sun beats down and the trees flash overhead, and it's then that you realize that this elemental experience is just better than being permanently ensconced in stylized cage of steel and glass. Unfortunately for a lot of convertible manufacturers, consumers are unaware of this truth.

That's bad news for the sun worshipers among us, as a new report from Automotive News Europe indicates that falling demand for droptops is not just turning off automakers, but it's actually impacting the contracted manufacturers whose primary focus is canvas roofs and folding hardtops.

According to ANE, convertible sales are down from 5.4 per cent of sales in the first half of 2007 to just 3.3 per cent in 2014, a situation that is untenable for the three largest manufacturers of convertible roofs, according to one CEO.

Holger Engelmann, the CEO of the world's largest convertible system supplier, Webasto, told ANE if convertible sales continue to decline, the market won't be strong enough to support his company and its two main competitors, Magna CTS and Valmet, the second and third largest manufacturers, respectively.

The reasons for the decline of convertibles are wide and varied, but a few obvious things can be blamed – first, there are changing tastes. In the past, people opted for droptops "because they wanted to show that they belonged to a certain community," trend research Sven Gabor Janszky told ANE. "Today, people would rather show that they are something special or that ecology is very important to them by buying an electric car such as the Tesla or the BMW i3."

Beyond that, things are easier to pin down. According to the analysts that spoke to ANE, the market-wide shift towards crossovers and SUVs isn't just hurting sedans, it's having an impact on convertibles, too. Factor in the proliferation of glass roofs and panoramic sunroofs, which provide the sort of elemental experience typical of convertibles, but without the increased price, complexity and sometimes off-putting driving dynamics, and it's not too hard to see why convertible sales are facing issues.

Still, this isn't a trend we want to see. Here's hoping Joe Consumer realizes the error of his ways and moves back to open-roof driving.

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Best and worst cars for tall drivers

Posted Oct 23rd 2014 1:00PM



There are several deciding factors when it comes to buying a new car, from price and fuel economy to insurance costs and reliability, but fitting comfortably into the driver's seat can make or break any deal. Before you buy, make sure the car fits your size.

Both short and tall drivers can have a tough time finding the right vehicle, as tall people could hit the roof and short people might not properly reach the clutch. Thankfully, we've compiled this list for all you tall folks out there based on seat comfort, driving position, access, legroom, and visibility. Oh, and not to worry 'shawtay,' as our list of best and worst cars for short drivers is coming out next week.

Click here to view the best and worst new cars for tall drivers.

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News Source: Automotive.com, Autoblog Canada / Respective Manufacturers

Image Credit: Toyota of Naperville

2015 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

Posted Oct 23rd 2014 12:00PM

Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

Despite the earnest efforts of Japanese automakers like Toyota and Nissan, the North American pickup truck scene remains wholly dominated by the likes of Ford, General Motors and Chrysler. This is not news. Part of the reason is because of the sheer number of variants offered by US automakers – everything from work-spec base trucks to house-leveling heavy duty models can be had, with a seemingly endless combination of engines, cab sizes, bed lengths and trim levels. It's a hugely profitable business, and though the Japanese automakers still offer competitive fullsize trucks, in terms of sheer volume, they simply don't compete.

But American pickups aren't just about work; there's a huge play aspect involved, too. Look at the desert-storming Ford F-150 SVT Raptor or the Ram Power Wagon – these butch trucks are built with superb off-road prowess in mind, and Detroit's Japanese rivals have once again largely been silent in this segment. Until now.

Introduced at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, Toyota now offers the TRD Pro series of models that, in addition to the crazy-orange Tundra seen here, includes the smaller Tacoma pickup and 4Runner SUV. And this isn't just some pretty appearance package, either – there's honest-to-goodness capability baked into all of the TRD Pro models. Intriguing, for sure, so I recently spent a weekend with the big boy Tundra to see what's what.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Steven J. Ewing / AOL

Jay Leno takes a Surfin' Safari in a 1937 Ford Woodie Restomod

Posted Oct 23rd 2014 11:00AM

1937 Ford Woodie Restomod

Woodie wagons were a major part of surfing culture in the 1960s, offering coastal style and a ton of room, and they even earned a mention in the Beach Boys' classic song Surfin' Safari. This week, Jay Leno's Garage takes a look at two modern, restomodded examples of these style icons.

Unlike a lot of restomods, builder Scott Bonowski keeps these wagons looking almost completely stock on the outside, and all of the upgrades are hidden underneath the timber. You can't tell by looking at it, but the '37 Woodie (pictured above) has independent front and rear suspension, disc brakes and a Ford 5.0-litre V8 under the hood.

Beyond the mechanical aspect, the craftsmanship into the wood is astounding. Bonowski claims there are between 30 and 50 coats of varnish on this wagon. It makes these woodies as much of a piece of fine furniture as a vehicle to drive.

Leno might be taking his garage to television sometime soon, but until then, we still get to enjoy Jay heaping some love on fantastic cars once a week. Click here to take a tour of two of these intriguing classics in his latest video below.

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News Source: Jay Leno's Garage via YouTube

Kids 39% more likely to buy parents' car brand

Posted Oct 23rd 2014 10:00AM

CHINA-AUTO-SHOW

Children are a blank slate. They draw their habits, behaviours and mannerisms from their parents. If you subscribe to that viewpoint, then this study out of Michigan State University won't really come as a surprise. According to Soren Anderson, and MSU economist, kids are 39 per cent more likely to buy cars from the brands their parents support... READ MORE

News Source: Michigan State University

Image Credit: Peter Parks / AFP / Getty Images

Daimler divests remaining interest in Tesla

Posted Oct 23rd 2014 9:00AM

Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive

Back in 2009, Daimler acquired over 9 per cent of Tesla. A couple of months later, it sold 40 per cent of that stake to Abu Dhabi-based Aabar Investments. The following year, Tesla listed on the stock exchange and Daimler's interest was reduced to 4 per cent. But now the German industrial giant has announced it is selling that 4 per cent and divesting from Tesla altogether in a liquidation that is expected to raise approximately $780 million for Daimler. The divestment has also triggered speculation that the move could make room for rival German automaker BMW to take an interest in Tesla.

Despite the divestment, Daimler insists that its technological partnership with Tesla will remain unaffected. Mercedes sources the batteries for its B-Class Electric Drive (pictured above) from the Californian outfit in a deal that is not set to change as a result of the financial realignment. A similar collaboration was in place for the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive, however, now that the new generation of Smarts developed with Renault is on its way, it's possible that a next-generation Fortwo ED will use French tech instead as an extension of the partnership between Daimler and Renault-Nissan.

Daimler has also taken the occasion to point out that, between the Mercedes, Smart and various truck brands, it offers "the industry's biggest portfolio of electric vehicles," including pure EVs, fuel cells and hybrids. The automaker says it will introduce ten new plug-in hybrid Mercedes models by 2017.

News Source: Daimler, Forbes

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