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2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe

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  • Porsche 911 GT3 Cup ANDIAL Edition
  • North American Honda Civic to get Type R engine

Translogic 166: Porsche 918 Spyder

Posted Dec 20th 2014 12:00PM

Porsche 918 Spyder

In the same month that Porsche announced that its 918 Spyder is sold out, Translogic is getting its first (and likely last) shot at the plug-in hybrid hypercar. Our drive starts off in a very civilized fashion as we tour the 918 Spyder's e-power and hybrid modes, but the fun really starts when the naturally aspirated 4.6-litre V8 engine roars to life in sport and race hybrid modes, augmenting the electric motors with an additional 608 horsepower for a total of 887.

We even attempt an impromptu 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) test to see if we can match Porsche's gobsmacking official time of 2.5 seconds, but sadly we don't have the room to make a run on its 214-mph (344 km/h) top speed.

Watch as Translogic host Jonathon Buckley pilots this Porsche around an airstrip in Irvine, CA, with a focus on the many driving modes that set the 918 Spyder apart from anything else in the storied automaker's history.

Cadillac CT6 styling will be evolutionary, not like Elmiraj

Posted Dec 20th 2014 10:00AM

Cadillac CT6

Well, this is at least a little disappointing. It turns out Cadillac's long-awaited flagship, the CT6, won't be ushering in a wholesale change in the company's design. That's coming from GM Design guru Ed Welburn, meaning it should be taken as gospel (unless of course he's just trying to hoodwink us).

"It'll be different and it will certainly stand out in the portfolio," Welburn told Automotive News. "But you won't see a real shift in direction."

Instead, Art and Science will be shown in yet another new form, and will "continue to evolve," according to Welburn, although what that means is unclear. What we can say for certain, though, is that Art and Science on the CT6 will not evolve into the stunning Elmiraj Concept.

"I think Elmiraj was more of an influence on some other things we're working on for Cadillac," Welburn said, we're guessing with a smirk and an air of mystery.

Considering we have yet to see the CT6, it's hard to tell whether this will be good news or bad, although based on the critical reception to the Elmiraj, we're a little bit disappointed by Welburn's statements. Still, only time will tell whether the styling of the CT6 will really work out.

Related GalleryCadillac Elmiraj Concept: Monterey 2013
Cadillac Elmiraj Concept: Monterey 2013Cadillac Elmiraj Concept: Monterey 2013Cadillac Elmiraj Concept: Monterey 2013Cadillac Elmiraj Concept: Monterey 2013Cadillac Elmiraj Concept: Monterey 2013Cadillac Elmiraj Concept: Monterey 2013Cadillac Elmiraj Concept: Monterey 2013Cadillac Elmiraj Concept: Monterey 2013

News Source: Automotive News - sub. req.

Image Credit: Chris Doane Automotive

Volvo wants to sell cars online, skip most auto shows

Posted Dec 20th 2014 8:00AM

Volvo XC90

Volvo is completely rethinking its marketing strategy with an approach that it calls the Volvo Way to Market. The revised plan means an increase in the company's advertising budget overall and a totally different way to allocate those funds. The most dramatic shift is the Swedish automaker's decision to begin selling its models online directly to customers worldwide.

Volvo is leaving out specifics of its online sales strategy at the moment, but it promises that the approach doesn't push out its current dealers. According to Reuters, models sold through the web still go through the seller network for delivery. "We don't see a car distribution network without dealers in the foreseeable future," said company sales boss Alain Visser in an interview with Reuters.

The automaker already tested the online waters this year with the Special Edition XC90 that sold out in 47 hours and for the 120 US reservations of the S60 and V60 Polestar models. Tesla has been one of the major proponents of direct sales thanks in part to its unique model of having discrete stores. However, BMW and Ford have also made attempts at it in some regions.

Volvo is also cutting back on big auto show launches and plans to focus on just three events each year in the near future: the Geneva Motor Show, the alternating Shanghai and Beijing Motor Shows and the Detroit Auto Show. Instead of making reveals at the others, the company wants to conduct its own annual event to showcase vehicles. The strategy includes cutting back on sponsorships as well, except for the Volvo Ocean Race.

In perhaps the most bizarre move of the bunch, the automaker wants its dealers to highlight the brand's Swedish heritage. This means including "sound and smell elements that portray a Scandinavian spirit," according to the company's press release, plus Swedish cuisine in the waiting area. Read the full announcement below and look forward to enjoying some lingonberry jam during your next showroom visit.

News Source: Reuters, Volvo

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Drew Phillips / AOL

Coolest dad ever makes memorable father and son drifting video

Posted Dec 19th 2014 8:00PM

One year ago, car enthusiast turned proud papa Anton from Kazakhstan took his son Timofey out drifting in his car. The resulting video, showing the young boy's hilarious facial expressions during the wild ride, was a viral hit with over one million views.

Now, the pair are back for yet another smokey sideways drift adventure and even a year older, Timofey is still amazed by the experience. While some may criticize his parenting skills Anton's driving skills are pretty darn good, plus he insists the routine was entirely safe, and that this took place "on a special secure closed track, with no other cars."

Click here to watch the father and son drift video for yourself.

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News Source: Storyful via AOL On, YouTube/Toxa Avdeyev

Image Credit: Storyful via AOL On

Ford abandons MyFord Touch, all hail Sync 3 infotainment [w/video]

Posted Dec 19th 2014 7:00PM

Ford Sync 3

MyFord Touch has been among the most widely disdained automotive infotainment systems on the market, practically since its introduction in 2010. Consumer Reports was among the most vocal critics, all but advocating its lynching by an angry mob armed with torches and pitchforks. Not surprisingly, then, after such a critical walloping, Ford has finally decided to say goodbye to the unloved tech, declaring the end of MyFord Touch branding in favour of Sync 3 for its upcoming, all-new system.

Ford is promising everything you would expect from Sync 3, including faster response time, better voice-command integration, easier controls and a more useable interface. The screen layout includes fewer items to make them easier to discern, and the icons are made from large, high-contrast buttons. There's also a dedicated tab for apps at the bottom of the screen in addition to those for audio, climate, phone and navigation. Another useful feature is the fact that Sync 3 can download improvements over your home Wi-Fi for easier updates.

In addition to the revamped interface, the software running behind the scenes is a big change too. Rather than MyFord Touch's Microsoft-sourced system, Sync 3 uses the Blackberry-owned QNX, according to Automotive News. Such a switch was rumoured earlier this year.

Drivers still have to live with MyFord Touch a little longer, though. According to Automotive News, Ford said that the change to Sync 3 will happen during the 2016 model year with complete integration into the lineup by the end of the 2016 calendar year. It will come standard on Titanium trim models and as a separate option will be priced in line with the current MyFord Touch. The Sync 3 brand will carry over to Lincoln, too, but with a different look.

The gallery above shows a few more looks at the interface, and we invite you to scroll down to watch a video of Sync 3 in action and to read Ford's press release about it, below.

News Source: Ford, Automotive News - sub. req., Fordvideo1 via YouTube

South Dakota yanks double-entendre 'Don't Jerk and Drive' campaign [w/video]

Posted Dec 19th 2014 6:00PM

Don't Jerk and DriveThe South Dakota Office of Highway Safety just can't take its own suggestive joke. The government organization recently started a public service campaign with the far too easily mocked name Don't Jerk and Drive. It was supposed to educate drivers on how to handle hitting snowy or icy patches of road by not overcorrecting the steering wheel, but the double entendre was deemed too racy for the roads.

Some citizens were reportedly upset about the suggestive title, and a state representative was allegedly planning a hearing, according to the Argus Leader. Government officials stopped the campaign believing it was distracting from the actual goal. "The message is that we'd prefer drivers keep their cars out of the ditch and their minds out of the gutter," said Lee Axdahl, director of the office of Highway Safety, to the Argus Leader.

The officials behind the slogan were not so naïve to miss the obvious sexual double-entendre in the slogan. However, the ads were meant to grab the attention of young men because they were found to be most likely to overcorrect and cause these types of accidents. Despite the controversy, the campaign was proving popular. According to the Argus Leader, there was a surge of views on the office's Facebook page to see the PSA.

While this campaign is ostensibly over, a video version of the PSA is still available on YouTube from the Office of Highway Safety. Check it out below to see what some the hand-wringing is about.

News Source: Argus Leader, SD Highway Safety via YouTube

Image Credit: South Dakota Office of Highway Safety

Lotus readying Evora crossover?!

Posted Dec 19th 2014 5:00PM

2011 Lotus Evora S

If it seems to you like every sports car manufacturer is getting into the crossover game, that's because it's pretty much true. And now, we potentially have one more to add to the list, as Britain's Car magazine reports that Lotus – yes, Lotus – is proceeding with plans to build a crossover.

Rather than build a new crossover from the ground up, however, Lotus is said to be developing a high-riding version of the existing Evora. It's tipped to keep its rear-drive configuration (rather than going with a proper all-wheel-drive system), with a raised ride height and more rugged styling. In that respect, it may emerge more like a Local Motors Rally Fighter than a Porsche Cayenne challenger.

That may yet emerge as not such a bad thing as it may seem on the surface, but for those purists who'd balk at the notion of an off-road Lotus, the British automaker has other plans in store as well. The crossover would arrive on the heels of a refreshed version of the existing Evora, a potential convertible version of the same, and a hardcore, track-focused successor to the 2-Eleven is also said to be in the works.

In the end, Lotus would only be the latest in a long string of established sports car makers to get into the crossover game. Porsche of course led the way with the Cayenne and followed up with the Macan, Maserati is set to follow suit, and last we heard, Lamborghini was still awaiting approval to build the Urus concept.

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News Source: Car

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 AOL

Spyker files for bankruptcy protection

Posted Dec 19th 2014 4:00PM

Spyker logo

To say that Spyker has fallen on hard times in recent years would be a gross understatement, but now the troubled Dutch automaker has officially declared bankruptcy.

In a new announcement, Spyker confirms it has "filed a voluntary petition for financial restructuring" with the Dutch courts, which have granted it a "temporary moratorium of payment" – a procedure which the company itself equates to filing under Chapter 11 in the United States.

Reviving a dormant name previously used between 1880 and 1926, Spyker Cars set up shop in 1999 to make high-end luxury sports cars, starting with the C8. In 2006, however, it bit off what proved to be more than it could chew when it took over what had been the Jordan Grand Prix team, subsequently selling it to Force India. That failed venture didn't prevent it from the even-more-ambitious step of taking over Saab from General Motors in 2010, and we all know how that worked out.

In announcing its bankruptcy, Spyker identified those two financially crippling endeavors and the legacy of their costs as primary reasons for its current situation. The company tried to regroup post-Saab, launching plans to build its new B6 Venator but apparently failing to raise the necessary capital to get that model off the ground. The company even tried, as it has now revealed, to merge with an unidentified American manufacturer of electric aircraft, but when that fell through, its fate, it seems, was sealed.

Spyker still hopes to restructure and proceed with plans to build the B6 Venator, but for now, its fate lies with the courts.

News Source: Spyker

Ford GT successor to debut in Detroit and go racing

Posted Dec 19th 2014 3:00PM

Ford GT supercar - red

Anticipation for all of the exciting reveals at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show just a few weeks away is building to a fever pitch, and rumours are mounting that Ford has a big surprise in store in the shape of a future performance halo model.

Insider sources speaking to Autoweek claim the next Ford supercar is definitely going to be revealed at the Detroit show in early January. However, the model is not necessarily the next-generation Ford GT in terms of its name or design aesthetic. Instead, one of these people indicates that the new halo model might drop retro styling altogether.

If the latest reports are to be believed, Ford's high-performance project goes beyond something to just grab headlines and rocket down the street. According to Autoweek, the automaker is also reportedly employing Chip Ganassi Racing to run a two-car racing effort in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship in 2016. That would allegedly include a trip to the 24 Hours of Le Mans to race on the 50th anniversary of the Ford GT40's win in 1966. The speculation goes that at least the racing version might use a twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 for power. However, the motorsports part of the program may not be announced during the auto show reveal.

Rumours about the new halo car from the Blue Oval and its racing intentions have been percolating for months. The company might have considered an LMP2 entry, but speculation popped up later about the production supercar. A more recent report suggested that Ford might show a new Shelby GT350R Mustang, a successor to the F-150 Raptor and next Ford GT in Detroit.

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News Source: Autoweek

Image Credit: Ford