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Porsche Macan Turbo vs Cayman GTS in track battle

  • Porsche Macan Turbo vs Cayman GTS in track battle
  • 2015 Ford Mustang GT [w/video]
  • Most reliable cars known to last 300,000 kilometres or more
  • 2014 Kia Cee'd GT

Geely to provide engines to Formula 4

Posted Sep 21st 2014 8:00AM

Geely-powered Formula 4 racer

Formula One may get the lion's share of attention, but it's far from the only formula racing series. The FIA Formula E Championship just kicked off in China this past weekend, for example – and while FIA President Jean Todt was in town, he also announced the latest engine supplier for the Formula 4.

Up until now, the FIA had certified three automakers to supply engines for Formula 4 – and they've all been European. But for the first time, a Chinese automaker has joined in on the action. That Chinese automaker is Geely, perhaps best known on these pages as the parent company of Volvo, but a major player in the Chinese market in its own right.

Starting next season, Geely will supply a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine – similar to the one that powers its GX7 sport-ute and Emgrand EC8 sedan, but tuned for racing use – to the Chinese Formula 4 series. The new series is kicking off later this year with a seven-race calendar. After that, and with FIA certification in place, the door will be open for Geely to supply its engine to other local F4 championships as well.

News Source: Geely

Citroen C4 Cactus Airflow 2L promises 141 mpg, no door dings [w/video]

Posted Sep 20th 2014 8:00PM

Citroen C4 Cactus Airflow 2L Concept

Citroen C4 Cactus Aero 2L concept - rear sail area closeupI'm the president of Autoblog's chapter of the Citroën C4 Cactus Appreciation Club. Full Disclosure: I'm also probably its only member. Why am I fan, you ask? Because the C4 and its ding-resistant Airbumps offer the versatility of a five-door Ford Focus, but it's 350 pounds (158.7 kilograms) lighter than today's Mazda MX-5 Miata, tipping the scales at just over 2,100 pounds (952.5 kilograms). And when equipped with a diesel, it returns 91.1 miles per gallon (2.6L/100km) (European), all while looking like the epitome of French quirkiness and style. I can't think of anything not to like about it, aside from the fact that I haven't actually driven it (Citroën, call me, we can change this).

For the 2014 Paris Motor Show, Citroen is bringing a new concept version of the Cactus. Unlike the Adventure Concept shown at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, the Airflow 2L Concept is focused on increasing the Cactus' already impressive fuel economy. Through a fanatical observance of aerodynamics and the shedding of a further 220 pounds (99.7 kilograms) of weight, the Airflow 2L Concept returns over 141 miles per gallon (in other words, it consumes just two litres of fuel per 100 kilometers, hence the "2L" in the name).

Aerodynamic drag has been reduced by 20 per cent thanks to three adjustable intakes in the front fascia, which can open and close automatically based on driving conditions. Side deflectors divert air around the body while active shutters on the 19-inch wheels further cut down on drag even further. The old concept car trope of video cameras in place of traditional wing mirrors is present, ostensibly to further reduce drag, while Citroën has added an air curtain system on the front bumper to manipulate air around the wheels.

The Airflow's floor is carbon fibre, while carbon composites have been used in the roof, tailgate and doors. Aluminum has been extensively employed, both for structural components as well as the hood and engine cradle.

Under that hood sits the brand's latest Hybrid Air powertrain, which boasts a three-cylinder gas engine as well as a compressed air motor. Citroën reports that this new powertrain is responsible for 30 per cent of the Airflow's improved fuel economy.

Take a look below for the full press release from Citroen, as well as a hefty gallery of images of the funky, fuel-efficient five-door. We'll have much more on the C4 Cactus Airflow 2L, as well as everything else the French brand is debuting, when we cross The Pond early next month for the 2014 Paris Motor Show.

News Source: Citroën, Q Cars via YouTube

Ford to offer Police Interceptor surveillance tech to competitors [w/video]

Posted Sep 20th 2014 6:00PM

Ford Police Interceptors

Ford unveiled its surveillance mode technology last year as an option for 2014 Ford Police Interceptor Sedan and Utility models, and it has been a huge success. Now, the automaker and its partner InterMotive Inc. have decided to license the patent-pending system, including possibly to competitors and the military.

The surveillance mode technology is all about improving officers' situational awareness when their vehicle is stationary, and they aren't paying total attention to their surroundings; when filling out paperwork, for example. When an officer activates the system, the rear radar begins monitoring what's happening behind the cruiser. If it detects someone coming up on the vehicle, then the rear camera turns on, the driver's side window closes and the doors lock. Of course, in busy environments with people constantly walking around, the police can also just keep surveillance mode turned off.

The whole setup is meant to give a cop a few extra seconds to ascertain whether a person getting close to their car means them harm. It even recently won the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executive's Award for the technology's ability to improve officer safety.

"We want to assist with and improve the security of all police officers – whether they are using a Ford Police Interceptor or a competitive vehicle," said Randy Freiburger, who supervises Ford's police and ambulance engineering in its release. Companies that license the tech pay the Blue Oval a fee, and the deals mean expanded proliferation of the automaker's safety systems. Scroll down to see a video of surveillance mode in action and read the full announcement.

News Source: Ford, Fordvideo1 via YouTube

Ferrari to reveal exclusive F12 NART next month in LA

Posted Sep 20th 2014 4:00PM

Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

While denying his tenure was coming to an end just prior to his resignation last week, outgoing Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo hinted at two new models to be revealed next month. One we anticipate to be a new version of the 458 – either the new turbocharged M model or the limited-edition Scuderia Spider – to be revealed at the Paris Motor Show on October 2, and the other we knew would be a strictly limited special exclusive to North America. And now we appear to have an idea of what that model will be.

According to Automotive News, we'll likely be looking at a version of the F12 Berlinetta decked out with the blue and white stripes pioneered by the North American Racing Team (NART) and most recently applied to the 458 Speciale. The special model is also likely to get custom bodywork and a revised interior – similar to what Ferrari Special Projects does for individual customers, but produced in a limited run of 10 examples.

All 10 of those are likely to already have been spoken for, with a price tag tipped to exceed $3 million apiece. The model will be revealed on October 12 at a special event in Los Angeles marking 60 years of Ferrari in America which will likely be Montezemolo's last event as chairman before handing over control to Sergio Marchionne and collecting his eight-figure severance package.

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News Source: Automotive News - sub. req.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 AOL

Bugatti to replace outgoing Veyron with new Chiron

Posted Sep 20th 2014 2:00PM

1999 Bugatti 18/3 Chiron concept

With around a dozen new units left up for grabs, the Bugatti Veyron is near the end of its production cycle. For its part, Bugatti is planning to replace it with another hypercar, and while it's surely already under development, lips in Molsheim remain tightly sealed until the last Veyron leaves the factory. In the meantime, though, we've got some clues to go by. And the latest comes courtesy of Car and Driver.

According to emerging intel, the Veyron's successor will wear the name Chiron. The name belongs not only a mythological Greek centaur but also to one of the most successful racing drivers of Bugatti's heyday – certainly one of the most prominent not to have been featured in the company's recent Legend series. His name did, however, adorn the Bugatti 18/3 Chiron (pictured above), one of the concepts from the late 90s that paved the way for the Veyron's arrival.

Aside from the name, there are precious few details to go by, but we can expect it to be powered by the company's 8.0-litre W16 engine, unnaturally aspirated and with a likely hybrid boost. Look for even more staggering performance than the Veyron's, with nimbler handling thanks to lighter-weight construction.

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News Source: Car and Driver

Image Credit: Bugatti

2015 Kia Sedona

Posted Sep 20th 2014 12:00PM

Injecting New Life Into A Tired Segment, But Will Anyone Notice?

2015 Kia Sedona

Minivan sales have stagnated in recent years, and Kia tells me that no fewer than 15 models have been completely eliminated from the market since crossovers rose to prominence. So why in the world is the company not only sticking by the Sedona, but also actively investing in it, giving it a complete overhaul for the 2015 model year?

The Korean automaker isn't convinced that the minivan's "family box" reputation is truly warranted, and it sees an opportunity to snare younger, more active buyers by designing, engineering and marketing the Sedona as something versatile, edgy and comfortable. While that logic may seem both a bit familiar and somewhat far-fetched, Kia says forty-five percent of minivan buyers don't actually have kids and are instead simply looking for space, so the approach should be based at least in part on sound reasoning.

I spent an afternoon in Northern California behind the wheel of Kia's new non-minivan with a healthy dose of skepticism about its new strategy, but an open mind, as well. Does the Sedona's execution live up to Kia's lofty criteria and expectations of what a nontraditional minivan should be? Will buyers ditch their CUVs for something with a little more junk in the trunk? Read on to find out.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Michael Zak / AOL

How to charge up your BMW i3 with a Honda

Posted Sep 20th 2014 10:00AM

charge bmw i3 with honda generator

Behold a cheaper version of BMW's range extender for its i3 plug-in. And it's brought to you by ... Honda? Sort of, if you take the approach that Gadget Review took when it looked for an alternative to ponying up the $4,000 or so for the gas-powered i3 range extender that comes from the factory.

What was procured was a Honda portable generator for Home Depot for the experiment, which involved gassing the generator up in a parking lot, plugging in the i3 and going out for a cup of coffee. The result was that, after about a half-hour of charging, the i3 picked up about six kilometres of driving range. Not exactly revolutionary but it least a bit instructive. And given that Honda generators start at about $800, the idea, while clunky, is potentially cash-saving.

Gadget Review briefly took the experiment one-step further by trying to run the generator inside the back of the car and plugging in, complete with a rigged-up ventilation system, but the host thought better of it once he realized that there'd be suffocation involved. Why this was never tried on the Nissan Leaf, we'll never know. Check out Gadget Review's five-minute video below.

News Source: Gadget Review via Green Car Reports

Image Credit: Gallery: 2014 Sebastian Blanco / AOL, i3 With Generator: Gadget Review

Honda Jazz looks like a good fit for Paris

Posted Sep 20th 2014 8:00AM

Honda Jazz

The quirky, utilitarian little hatchback that we know as the Honda Fit in North America carries the more melodious Jazz name in Europe. And while the newest Fit is already on sale in our market, folks are still waiting for it across the pond. Honda is unveiling its new Jazz Prototype to the 2014 Paris Motor Show in October, and it's nearly identical to what is currently on sale in North America. In fact, it's hard to image Honda changing much from this "prototype" before launching it for Europeans.

The Jazz's design is exactly what you would expect after even a glance at the current North American Fit. Except for a different wing at the rear, a shark fin antenna and a new set of wheels, this Jazz plays the same tune we've heard before.

The one thing keeping the Fit and Jazz from truly being identical siblings is that the European model packs Honda's new 1.3-litre i-VTEC Earth Dreams engine under the hood, rather than the 1.5-litre used in North America. But just like our Fit, the Jazz will be available with a six-speed manual or CVT. The Japanese automaker says that the Jazz goes on sale in the summer of 2015. Scroll down to read the company's announcement for its upcoming hatch.

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News Source: Honda

BMW X5 driver repeatedly fails to understand big rig braking distances

Posted Sep 19th 2014 8:00PM

Russian Semi repeatedly hits a BMW

Nobody should be shocked that a big, heavy vehicle like a semi truck takes a longer distance to stop than the average passenger car; it's just basic physics. However, this BMW X5 driver seemingly has a major problem grasping the concept, and it results in some serious damage to the back of his SUV.

The whole incident is very confusing to watch. The BMW doesn't even seem to have a reason to slow down before the semi slams into the back of it at fairly high speed. But to make the situation even weirder, the crashes just keep happening again and again.

To give the BMW driver a little credit, he appears amazingly calm when surveying the damage afterward. But you have to wonder what this guy was thinking when trying a harebrained move like this. Check out the video to watch the carnage unfold.

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News Source: Aleksandr Prosvetov via YouTube

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