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Detroit Auto Show prankster 'damages' hundreds of thousands of dollars in cars

  • Detroit Auto Show prankster 'damages' hundreds of thousands of dollars in cars
  • 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk [w/video]
  • 2017 Jaguar XE
  • Ford reveals new F-150 Raptor packs 450 horsepower

Lamborghini spotted filming new Aventador SV completely undisguised

Posted Jan 30th 2015 3:00PM

There is a great tradition at Lamborghini in turning its mid-engined V12 supercars into Super Veloce ("High Speed") versions. So after the Aventador hit the scene, we knew it would only be a matter of time before it was to receive the SV treatment. And here it is, spied completely undisguised during a video shoot.

Now, we first spotted what we thought was the Aventador SV way back in April, 2013 – the same day, incidentally, that the LP720-4 50° Anniversario edition surfaced. That was a long time ago, however, and what we see here looks like a different beast entirely. It's got a completely reshaped front bumper, bigger air intakes, deeper side sills and a fresh set of steamroller alloys. Out back, there's a massive rear wing and below it, a new rear end with a bigger diffuser and – instead of one central exhaust – four individual pipes to let the big twelve-cylinder engine breath.

Speaking of which, you can expect the Aventador SV to come with a big power bump. Just how big, we don't know for sure, but we can extrapolate. When the Miura SV hit the scene in the early 1970s, it only packed 15 more horsepower than the existing model. Though the Countach bred a series of variants over its long lifetime, it never got an SV edition. The Diablo SV arrived five years after its donor with an 18-horse bump, later raised by another 19 hp. But after the Murciélago arrived in 2001 with 572 hp and bumped up to 631 hp in 2006, the SV model came in 2009 with 661 hp.

Given that the "standard" Aventador has been out since 2011, we're about on schedule for the Super Veloce, and if precedent proves anything, we could be looking at upwards of 750 horses to come riding around the mountain when they come to the Geneva Motor Show in March.

Image Credit: Borja Perez/CarPix

Why 2015 is going to be a huge year for trucks

Posted Jan 30th 2015 2:00PM

Four Reasons Pickups Are More Important Than Ever

Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn took center stage to introduce the 2016 Titan last week at the Detroit Auto Show. He spoke of the truck's new features, impressive Cummins V8 diesel engine and the extensive amount of time and money required to build a modern, competitive pickup truck.

"We have done all of this because we see opportunity – an opportunity in the unmet needs of today's American truck customers," Ghosn said.

He was speaking about the Titan, but his thoughts echo the industry's mindset: When it comes to trucks, find an opportunity and attack.

Even with CAFE regulations looming and fickle consumer preferences, investing in trucks is a no-brainer for automakers. Some consumers will always need a truck for their job or lifestyle. And some people will always want one, whether they need it or not.

With that in mind, here are four reasons why the pickup-truck sector is more important than ever and poised for growth in 2015.

Image Credit: Nissan, Toyota, Ram, Ford

2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport

Posted Jan 30th 2015 12:00PM

Just Because You Have A Family Doesn't Mean You Can't Have An Adventure

The SUV category transitioned from glorified agricultural equipment into slick mall trawlers in the blink of an evolutionary eye. But in the genre's speedy civilization process, something was left on the table – the promise of those all-conquering Marlboro Man antics that first tempted so many motorists out of their station wagons and MPVs. Despite utility vehicles being more popular than ever, that sort of do-anything capability is largely the stuff of fiction these days. The only uncharted thresholds modern CUVs cross are new coffee shop parking lots and unfinished McMansion developments.

At first blush, this latest entry from Land Rover would appear to be no different – the 2015 Discovery Sport wears the same rounded features, oversized 19-inch wheels and safety-first backup cameras typical of its peers. Those shovels and rakes and implements of destruction that farmers once bolted to the sides of their Land Rover Series Ones? Long gone, pal.

When it was first revealed, the 2015 Discovery Sport was unsurprisingly and uncharitably labeled a "soft-roader" by much of the automotive media and Autoblog commentariat, a quasi-epithet shared with many premium pavement pounders like the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLK and Volvo XC60. That descriptor suggested the Disco Sport was yellow of belly, willing to risk the Green Oval's peerless off-road credentials in its chase for the suburban dollar. Perhaps in order to divorce us of that notion, Land Rover invited us to Iceland in the dead of winter to test their new baby's mettle.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Chris Paukert / AOL

Watch the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat verify its 328-km/h top speed

Posted Jan 30th 2015 11:00AM

The industry is producing some ridiculously fast four-doors these days, from the Porsche Panamera and Maserati Quattroporte to the Mercedes E63 AMG and BMW M5. But the fastest of them all doesn't cost six figures. It doesn't even come from Europe. It's made right here in North America, by a US automaker. And it starts at under $65k.

We're talking about the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, the Pentastar muscle sedan with the 6.2-litre supercharged V8 and its 707 horsepower. Dodge claims it's the "quickest, fastest, most powerful [production] sedan ever," and they're not just blowing smoke... or smoking tires. During the final stages of development, engineers from Auburn Hills took a bone-stock, Hellcat-powered Charger out to a seven-mile (11.2-kilometre) oval for a top speed run and they filmed the occasion for posterity.

The result? 206.9 miles per hour (333 km/h) with the wind, 202.2 mph (325.4 km/h) against it, for a two-way average top speed of 204.55 mph (329 km/h). Chew on that, imports.

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News Source: Dodge via YouTube

We visit the birthplace of Ferrari

Posted Jan 30th 2015 9:00AM

The List Tours Italy In A Ferrari FF And Visits Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari

Jessi and Patrick travel to Italy to visit the literal and figurative birthplace of Ferrari, one of the world's most storied automakers. The duo tours the Italian countryside in an all-wheel Ferrari FF, making stops at Museo Ferrari in Maranello and in the founder's hometown of Modena.

Join our hosts as they check "Visit The Birthplace of Ferrari" off of their list.

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Xcar shows how to drive the Ford Model T

Posted Jan 29th 2015 8:00PM

A few weeks ago Xcar posted a teaser review of the Ford Model T, a look at what the British duo would have been doing if they'd been doing their thing for 100 years. Now we have their complete, 12-minute take on the what might be, as they say, "arguably the most important car of the 20th century."

Thankfully, instead of just a review, Xcar spends about half the time giving us a tour of history, from Ford's early days working for the Edison Illuminating Company to his racing days and founding of several car companies that either died or became other car companies after he left, like Cadillac. They also line up the pieces and the sales realities that led to Ford implementing – not creating, mind you – assembly-line production of the Tin Lizzie.

And then they get into how crazy it is to drive, like how a driver needs two of the three pedals, the handbrake lever and a steering column stalk to get into high gear. Enjoy the video above on a 100-year-old car that is "unbelievably comfortable," "mildly terrifying" and ready to do just about anything.

News Source: Xcar via AOL ON

Jay Leno says bonjour to his 1971 Citroën DS

Posted Jan 29th 2015 7:00PM

"Quirky," "bizarre" and "weird" are all perfect adjectives to describe the Citroën DS, but you should also add "innovative" and "legendary" to that list. This week's journey into Jay Leno's Garage shows why these unusual French sedans might not fit into the traditional definition of beauty, but still deserve not just the respect of auto fans, but their admiration and thanks, too.

First introduced in 1955, the DS really looks as futuristic today as 60 years ago, but each styling element serves a purpose. The big headlights actually turn with the steering wheel to make night driving safer, and the swooping roof is made from fibreglass to keep the centre of gravity lower. Beyond, the design, the Citroën's pneumatic suspension is still amazing to see in action as it lifts the car up and makes for a very comfy cruiser.

Jay thinks that there's an argument to naming the DS as the greatest car of the 20th century, and he's not alone. After seeing all of the reasons he lists in this clip of his '71 example, it's hard to argue with him. Leno really wants people to understand this quirky Citroën and even includes a demonstration on how to change a tire with the unique suspension setup. If you're a fan of innovative solutions in auto engineering, then this episode of the Garage is must-see video.

News Source: Jay Leno's Garage via YouTube

Lots of Land Rovers, Jaguars and Minis actually survived that near-capsized ship

Posted Jan 29th 2015 6:00PM

Despite a severe list to starboard, many of the 1,400 cars and SUVs aboard the 51,000-ton Höegh Osaka are currently being recovered in salvageable condition, with video showing some of the vehicles from British brands Land Rover, Jaguar and Mini, being driven ashore under their own power.

The car-carrying vessel developed a severe list on January 3 and was intentionally run aground on a sandbar between England and the Isle of Wight. It has since limped its way back to port in Southampton, where damage assessments are being conducted on both the ship and its $53-million in cargo.

According to the company that owns the car carrier, the ship itself only suffered minor damage in the incident, while Car and Driver is reporting that many of the damaged vehicles will almost certainly be scrapped. Still, the fact that there are vehicles, some of which appear undamaged (look at that Defender at 0:50!), being removed from the Höegh Osaka needs to count as a net win.

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News Source: Car and Driver, WonkaBar007 via YouTube

Ford Fiesta banned from SCCA autocrossing because of rollover risk

Posted Jan 29th 2015 5:00PM

Autocross can be a great way to break into motorsports, especially at SCCA events that allow run-of-the-mill, street-legal vehicles to be run through the cones in parking lots across the country. But while a wide array of vehicles are eligible, not every one is. And now the Ford Fiesta has been removed from the list of qualifying vehicles in the Sports Car Club of America's Street category for solo events.

The removal of the Fiesta was publicized in the latest issue of the SCCA's Fastrack News bulletin, which stated that, due to roll-over risk, Fiestas "do not meet the requirements and are to be removed" from the HS category of eligible vehicles. H Stock (or HS for short) is the lowest category of vehicles certified by the SCCA for use in sanctioned events.

The disqualification applies to Fiestas from the 2011 model year onwards, and does not apply to the Fiesta ST, which remains eligible. Of course the Fiesta isn't the only model deemed ineligible for SCCA autocross events. According to Jalopnik, other small hatchbacks and crossovers including the Dodge Caliber, Fiat 500, Scion xB and iQ, Nissan Juke and Mini Countryman are also prohibited from competition.

We've reached out to both Ford and the SCCA for clarification on the issue, and will issue an update if and when we receive any substantial information.

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News Source: SCCA via Jalopnik