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2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat vs. SRT Viper

  • 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat vs. SRT Viper
  • 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat
  • BMW M4 vs. Lexus RC F in Head 2 Head sports coupe showdown
  • 2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack

On the trail of the Aston Martin racer who helped change WWII

Posted Oct 31st 2014 4:00PM

Jock Horsfall, MI5

Arguably one of the most crucial operations of the second World War, Operation Mincemeat was a British disinformation mission responsible for misdirecting Axis forces towards Greece and Sardinia, and in turn, opening up the Italian island of Sicily. That led to the downfall of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and opened up the soft underbelly of Hitler's Third Reich.

While we won't go into all the details of Operation Mincemeat (it really is worth studying, though), an integral aspect required the transport of a dead body from Hackney, London, 400 miles (643 km) north to Holy Loch, Scotland as quickly as possible. The corpse, which was disguised as a major in the Royal Marines and loaded with faux sensitive documents pointing to a landing in Greece, needed to be appropriately fresh. That's where Aston Martin racing driver turned MI5 operative Jock Horsfall came into play.

The body was loaded into Horsfall's customized 1937 Fordson van, and hustled north. For the rest of the story, you'll need to take a look at Xcar's recapping of Horsfall's fateful journey while at the helm of an Aston Martin Vanquish Volante, the far more civilized successor to the English legend's black 2 Litre Speed.

News Source: XCARFilms via AOL ON

World's Fastest Hearse now up to 1,300 hp, looking for more records

Posted Oct 31st 2014 3:00PM

World's Fastest Hearse

Unfortunately, for many people, a ride in the back of the hearse is the last chance they ever get to be in a car. In the case of "Madness" from AMS Performance, it could get folks to their final resting place faster than anything else around.

Based around an actual hearse from a 1996 Chevrolet Caprice originally converted by Superior Coaches, Madness has been the ongoing project of AMS Performance Vice President Arne Toman for years. The idea was partially inspired when he saw the Guinness Record for the fastest hearse was a a 13.72-second quarter mile, and that seemed quite beatable.

In the video below, under the hood of this beast is a Chevy LQ4 6.0-liter V8 out of a van with light mods like new cams and valve springs. However, it also has a turbo running at around 23 psi that brings power to around 1,000 horsepower. It makes this hearse go like a bat out of hell, It can hit 60 miles per hour (96 km/h) in about 2.3 seconds at the strip, but the interior still has air conditioning, a stereo and all of the original equipment to carry a casket in the back.

Since shooting this video, AMS has installed an upgraded 6.0-litre mill, a new rear differential and stronger transmission, and they reportedly allow power to be bumped to 1,300 hp. It should make the quarter mile go even faster. Check out this clip to see what a 1,000-hp hearse can do at the drag strip, and scroll down to read even more about it.

News Source: AMS Performance, Amstuned via YouTube

Is Land Rover developing an all-electric Tesla Model X rival?

Posted Oct 31st 2014 2:00PM

Land Rover Range Rover Hybrid

Tesla will soon put its all-electric Model X crossover on sale, and if it's anywhere near as successful as the brand's four-door sedan the Model S, then it'll be a hell of an attention getter for mainstream automakers. Land Rover isn't waiting for proof of the Model X's success, though.

According to reports, Land Rover could be preparing an all-electric Range Rover. Likely more crossover than full-size SUV, the new vehicle would probably be far more aerodynamic than current models. But the new EV would still take advantage of LR's high-tech aluminum structure, and could potentially be a close relative of the production Jaguar C-X17, according to Autocar.

It seems unlikely that this new Land Rover EV will have the off-road chops of the brand's other models, but that doesn't mean that will be useless on the rough stuff. AC, citing Land Rover design boss Gerry McGovern, claims that a height-adjustable air suspension will allow a low, aerodynamic ride height for high-speed travel while it can easily be transitioned to a higher level for off-road duty.

As for range, AC believes (and we agree) that a successful effort would need to get as close as possible to the Model S' 265-mile (425-kilometre) EV range.

Autocar is anticipating a price of around 90,000 pounds, equivalent to $162,000, which roughly matches the cost of a UK-market Model S. If the Range Rover EV comes stateside, we'd wager that prices will start under six figures, much like the US-market Tesla.

News Source: Autocar

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Noah Joseph / AOL

An inside look at Mopar's SEMA fleet

Posted Oct 31st 2014 1:00PM

Mopar SEMA Preview

Mopar is heading to the SEMA show in Las Vegas with a fleet of customized vehicles that appeal to enthusiasts of all stripes. There's a Dodge Viper ACR concept that follows in the lineage of the supercar's great road racing past, and a custom Ram ProMaster that might just be the ultimate outdoor party machine.

We got an inside look at Mopar's cars that will be on display at the show, which also include a Dodge Challenger T/A concept, two crazy Jeeps and a Ram 2500 Outdoorsman that could change the way you camp. While these are some of our favorites, Mopar is bringing plenty to SEMA, so let us know your top choices in the comments section.

Five cursed and haunted cars

Posted Oct 31st 2014 11:57AM

From Franz Ferdinand To James Dean, Things That Go Honk In The Night

fog in the city

Any kid lucky enough to grow up in Detroit is familiar with the Henry Ford Museum. It's huge, full of shiny things and a great place to take a child and let them burn off some energy. After several field trips and weekend outings however, the dusty concept vehicles and famous aircraft tend to lose their punch for youngsters. As a fifth grader, I was already gazing on the museum's many gems with glassy eyes. On yet another school trip, we made our way to John F. Kennedy's death car, a gleaming black Lincoln limo. The aging volunteer docent told our little group something I had never heard before.

"You know, this car is haunted. Several employees have reported seeing a gray presence right here," he said, pointing to the back passenger side seat.

I perked up. Now here was something I had never heard before. A haunted car? Sure, it happened in Goosebumps, but this was real life. It made sense, in a way. Cars can be violent, emotional places. That's certainly the case with JFK's limo, as well as the other four cars on this list. And maybe those gut-wrenching deaths can permanently doom a car. READ ON...

Image Credit: Wikicommons, The Surrey Advertiser, Getty, Wikicommons, Renault

Nurburgring bought by Russian billionaire

Posted Oct 31st 2014 11:00AM

AUTO-PRIX-F1-GER

The Nürburgring is among the greatest racetracks of the world, with decades of fantastic motorsports history born on the snaking course. However, it seems that running the place as a business is about as difficult as learning the 12.9 miles (20 kilometres) of corners on the Nordschleife. After a long bankruptcy sale, things appeared to be looking up for the track when a Düsseldorf-based business called Capricon bought the circuit for 77 million euros, plus the promise of future investment. However, just months after being sold once, the 'Ring has yet another new owner: Russian billionaire Viktor Kharitonin.

According to the German business magazine Wirtschafts Woche, the change in ownership came because Capricorn wasn't keeping up with its payments for the track. The company's boss Robtertino Wild was supposed to pay regular 5-million-euro ($7.1 millIon) installments but reportedly missed the second payment. When he couldn't come up with the funds, Kharitonin stepped in to take over for Capricorn's share. According to the magazine, the Russian has not only already paid the missed amount, but put the money down for December early. He has also set up a company called NR Holding AG to run things.

Kharitonin is a founder of Pharmstandard, Russia's largest pharmaceutical company. According to Wirtschafts Woche, Forbes estimates his net worth at over $1 billion and puts him as the 1,342nd richest person in the world.

While Kharitonin now has a controlling stake in the 'Ring, he's not the sole shareholder. According to the local Rhein Zeitung newspaper, Capricorn's bid only covers two-thirds of the track; the remaining third belongs to German motorsports company GetSpeed.

According to Rhein Zeitung, there are no changes to any of the tracks future events or races at this time.

News Source: Wirtschafts Woche, Rhein Zeitung

Image Credit: Tom Gandolfini / AFP / Getty Images

Porsche Panamera Exclusive Series to debut in LA for $260k

Posted Oct 31st 2014 10:00AM

2015 Porsche Panamera Exclusive Series

Driving a Porsche should feel like a privileged experience. But if you need one with extra space in the back, and have been turned off by the success of the Panamera that has made it ubiquitous, you may be intrigued by Porsche's latest reveal.

Set to debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the new Panamera Exclusive Series stands out with some unique touches. It's based on the top-of-the-line Panamera Turbo S Executive, which tells you it comes with the 4.8-litre twin-turbo V8 in top 570-horsepower spec, but also with the extended wheelbase that provides for extra space in the otherwise crowded rear seat. And that's not all.

Porsche Exclusive has also given this special-edition Panamera a unique two-tone black and brown paintjob, a set of 20-inch Sport Classic wheels painted black, and an interior done up in Nappa leather – two-tone black and brown to compliment the exterior – with dark walnut and piano black trim and a pair of 10.1-inch rear-seat touchscreens.

Porsche will only offer 100 examples worldwide, each individually numbered and equipped with a set of fitted Poltrona Frau leather luggage – all yours for US$263,900. That makes it over US$63k more than the base price on the Panamera Turbo S Executive that was already the most expensive model Porsche offers this side of the 918 Spyder (pipping even the 911 Turbo S Cabrio) and also one of the most expensive four-doors on the market.

News Source: Porsche

FR-S with Targa-style top leads Scion's SEMA brigade

Posted Oct 31st 2014 9:00AM

Scion FR-S Targa

Scion xB VanThe Scion brand seems to be a bit rudderless in the auto industry at the moment. The company just doesn't seem to know what audience it wants to appeal to. For this year's SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the automakers is kind of just going wild with bizarre customs like a turbocharged FR-S with a targa top (pictured above).

Taking the roof off of a FR-S isn't an entirely new idea, but this targa-top version at SEMA is certainly a new take. In addition to just chopping a panel out of the roof, the custom also adds a louvered rear window in an especially cool touch that lends an '80s coupe vibe. To take the wild look even further, the car wears a bespoke wide body kit with an integrated rear spoiler and center-mount exhaust, and all of the bodywork is done in metal. Being for the premiere aftermarket show, performance also has to play a role, and the upgrades include a Greddy turbo kit, coil-over suspension from KW and big brakes from Wilwood.

If the FR-S seemed just slightly inspired by the '80s, the xB for the show goes for a look that's a decade older with inspiration from '70s conversion vans and skateboarding. With design help from skateboarder Riley Hawk, the custom is painted in shades of groovy earth tones with bubble windows in the rear, and the cargo box on the roof stores skateboards. The interior features touchstones of the time with a mix of wood-grain trim, shag carpet and comfy brown leather.

Finally, Scion is going metal with a custom tC inspired by the band Slayer. The exterior wears a custom paint job with the band's logo, airbrushed skulls, red lights and even swords shaped into the wheels. The ghoulish look makes it inside too, but so does a Pioneer sound system to replace the rear seats. It should be deafening, and according to Scion, some of the band members are going to demonstrate it by playing guitars through the setup at the show.

All three of these customs are weird in their own way, but you certainly can't call any of them boring. Scroll down to read all about them in the company's announcement, and check them out in more detail in the gallery.

News Source: Scion

Hyundai beefs up HB20 R-Spec in Brazil

Posted Oct 31st 2014 8:00AM

Hyundai HB20 R-Spec Concept

If you've been following the news from the Sao Paulo Motor Show, you'll likely have seen not only a series of new concept cars, but also a whole mess of production vehicles you never knew existed because they were developed specifically for the Latin American market. One of them is the Hyundai HB20.

Hyundai Brasil makes the HB20 in Sao Paulo for local consumption in three forms: there's the HB20 hatchback, HB20S sedan and HB20X crossover. It's the former which it has transformed into the R-Spec concept you see here.

Decked out in matte blue, the HB20 R-Spec concept packs an aggressively upgraded aero kit, extra cooling ducts, 17-inch alloys, LED headlights and an interior with leather trim and striped seats. Even if we don't know what's under the hood, it all looks pretty convincing, and makes us wish Hyundai would offer it Stateside as part of the Accent family with which it shares its underpinnings.

News Source: Hyundai via Autoweek.nl

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