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Watch 2,000HP Lamborghini spin out at 320 KM/H... into a pond

  • Watch 2,000HP Lamborghini spin out at 320 KM/H... into a pond
  • 2017 Jaguar XE
  • Ford reveals new F-150 Raptor packs 450 horsepower
  • 8 things you learn while driving a cop car [w/videos]

'84 MotorWeek Cherokee, Bronco and Blazer comparison indulges your SUV nostalgia

Posted Jan 29th 2015 11:00AM

These days, truck-based, full-frame SUVs are somewhat of a rarity on the auto landscape due to the rapid rise in popularity of easier-driving, car-based crossovers. Although, without the gradually building popularity of these chunky, high-riding vehicles decades ago, it's unlikely that America's roads would be filled with so many CUVs today. In its latest dig into the archives, MotorWeek has found a 1984 comparison test of a trio of these early Sport Utility Wagons, as long-time host John Davis called them, that helped get acceptance of this segment going.

This is a red, white and blue test of the SUVs from North American automakers at the time and pits the Chevrolet Blazer, Ford Bronco and Jeep Cherokee (specifically in Wagoneer guise) against each other. Driving manners and interior usability are considered in the evaluation, but Motorweek actually takes these vehicles off road, too. Among the bigger revelations is the improvement in on-road ability in the past 30 years. While specific 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) times aren't given, all three models take around 10 seconds just to get to around 50 miles per hour )80 km/h) in the 500-feet on-ramp acceleration test. Check out this clip to see just how far this segment has progressed in the past three decades or just get a blast of nostalgia from these now vintage models.

Mini Minor to be co-developed with Toyota

Posted Jan 29th 2015 9:00AM

It was back in 2011 when Mini first showcased the prospect of an even smaller hatchback with the Rocketman concept at the Geneva Motor Show. In the nearly four years since, parent company BMW has hemmed and hawed on the possibility of putting it into production, but the latest word from Europe has it that the project is a go.

According to Automobile magazine, Mini is realigning its product portfolio into five pillars: the essential hardtop we've already seen (available in two/three- and four/five-doors), the convertible, the upcoming new Clubman wagon (coming this summer with full-size auxiliary suicide doors on both sides), the next-gen Countryman crossover in 2016 and two new model lines. One will be the production version of the Superleggera roadster concept, earmarked for 2018. The other will be the Minor, a smaller city car reviving a long-gone model name and presaged by the aforementioned Rocketman concept. But for that last one, Mini won't go it alone.

To develop the mini Mini, BMW will reportedly turn to its partnership with Toyota. The relationship is already set to yield a new Supra and Z4 and share fuel cell and other technologies. But this would broaden the partnership to include a small hatchback. However rather than use the existing (or next-gen) Aygo, which is already built under joint venture with PSA Peugeot Citroën (with which BMW previously had a joint engine venture), word has it that the BMW and Toyota will develop a new platform for the project – one that will be used by both partners.

The new product plan doesn't leave much room for the Mini Coupe and Roadster (which have already been discontinued), for the Paceman three-door crossover (which will suffer the same fate) or for the projected seven-seater minivan. But the addition of the new Superleggera roadster and super-mini Mini aren't likely to leave us wanting for either.

Related GalleryMini Rocketman Concept
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News Source: Automobile

Image Credit: Mini

Top Gear brings together LaFerrari, McLaren P1 and Porsche 918

Posted Jan 28th 2015 8:00PM

Earlier this month, Top Gear released a brief video of the comparison test between three hybrid hypercars we'd all been waiting for: the Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder. The story was done by the print magazine and not by the television show, and the video they released was barely over half a minute long, reserving the full version for subscribers of the iPad edition.

Now the British mag has put the full video on YouTube, and while it's still only a minute and a half long – three times the length of the previous teaser – it's packed with electrified exotic goodness.

The test surely took some serious wrangling to put together, and though the metal (or carbon fibre, as the case may be) was apparently furnished mostly by private owners, to hear Top Gear tell it, the manufacturers – Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche – were eager and helpful in putting the showdown together. For the final conclusions, we're afraid you'll still have to buy the magazine, but for a rare chance to watch all these three world-beaters on the same road at the same time, you'll want to scope out this latest video clip.

News Source: Top Gear via YouTube

Fulfilling the Dream of Evel Knievel's Snake River Canyon jump

Posted Jan 28th 2015 7:00PM

Even today, Evel Knievel stands as the epitome of a daredevil. He might not have always been successful in his motorcycle jumps, but his boundless charisma and perseverance kept people watching.

One of his most audacious attempted stunts came in 1974 when he tried to clear Idaho's Snake River Canyon in a rocket. The feat famously went awry when the parachute opened too early. Now, a group, including the son of the original rocket builder, has started working to make Knievel's dream into a reality. Some of the adventure was chronicled in a new short documentary called Fulfilling the Dream.

To stay true to Knievel's plan, the team wants to cross the canyon in a rocket following the same design as the original. The stunt was previously scheduled in September 2014 to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the jump. However, according to the group's Facebook page, the actual undertaking has been pushed back to this summer.

In the meantime, the documentary provides a peek behind the scenes of making the jump a success this time. Whether or not this group can actually do it, the story about the endeavour is fascinating.

News Source: Facebook, Evel Spirit via YouTube

We drive the 'soft, safe, sexy' Spira4u foam car in Detroit

Posted Jan 28th 2015 6:00PM

The furthest distance that a foam-based Spira4u electric vehicle has traveled is 481 miles on one charge. According to the Spira4u website, this trip was done in a special bamboo Spira4u that designer Lon Ballard drove from Santa Rosa, Laguna to Ballesteros (Cagayan Province) in the Philippines in July 2012. In total, Lon and his brother Doug and the rest of the Spira4u team have put over 15,000 test miles (24,140 km) onto this completely unique vehicle. I added a few more outside the Detroit Auto Show last week and, as you can see in the video above, it was quite an experience. Despite the car's catchy slogan – "Soft, Safe, Sexy" – I did not feel particularly protected for the few minutes we spent behind the wheel. Excuse me, the tiller.

You see, the Spira4u doesn't share a lot of parts with any other car on the road. Instead, this is a sort of enclosed motorcycle. With foam. It only has three wheels, there's the aforementioned steering tiller and it's covered with a coreboard material, laminated plastic and fiberglass. Why would anyone design a car like this and spend "a couple million dollars" of his own money to build it? Well, to be soft, safe and sexy.

Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Seyth MIersma / AOL

REAL TALK: Elon Musk raises the stakes for Tesla Motors

Posted Jan 28th 2015 5:00PM

Falling gas prices, production delays and weakened demand in a key market would send shudders through the CEOs of most automakers. None of those problems could dent the enthusiasm Tesla Motors CEO and co-founder Elon Musk has for a vision of an electric-car future... READ MORE

Image Credit: Associated Press | Tesla Motors | Copyright 2015 Sebastian Blanco / AOL

Why Edmunds took a sledgehammer to its 2015 Ford F-150

Posted Jan 28th 2015 4:00PM

The discussion around repair bills for the aluminum-bodied 2015 Ford F-150 pickup continued from the beginning of last year to the end, and haven't abated; as an aside, some Tesla Model S owners have been shocked at disquieting repair estimates for minor damage to their aluminum wunder-sedans. Edmunds decided to inject some fact into the fray: it bought a US$52,000 long-term 2015 F-150 and clouted it with an eight-pound sledgehammer. Twice.

The rear of the bedside took the impacts since it couldn't be replaced, it would have to be repaired. To the pickup's credit, the only reason associate editor Travis Langness hit it twice was that the first sledgehammer blow didn't do as much damage as Edmunds wanted. After the second, the visible damage included the two direct impacts, a few creases, and a cracked taillight, so they drove the pickup to Santa Monica Ford to get an estimate, complete with a fictitious story about how the damage occurred and the mercy plea that Langness was paying for the repair out-of-pocket.

In Part 2 Langness hits on some of the details with getting the truck fixed, such as the massively expensive taillight and the list of tools Ford recommends dealers have to work on aluminum. But he was promised he'd have his truck back in seven days, and Santa Monica Ford got it back to him in seven days.

In Part 3 we get the bill. It's not small, but it's quite a bit less than it could have been if the service manager had charged Edmunds the official labor rate for aluminum. We're not going to spoil it here, so check out the videos below for the beginning and the end, and head over to Edmunds for the complete story about how it all happened and some riffing on the repair numbers.

News Source: Edmunds [1], [2], [3]

GoDaddy forced to pull Super Bowl ad after public outcry

Posted Jan 28th 2015 2:58PM

Domain name registration company GoDaddy is known for creating some controversial Super Bowl ads, often starring racecar driver Danica Patrick in some revealing clothing. Patrick makes a brief appearance driving a van in the company's commercial this year, too, but outrage from animal lovers surrounding the advertisement is keeping the spot off the airwaves during the game.

The debate has nothing to do with what Patrick is wearing or any problem with sexuality or violence of any kind. Instead, the commercial titled Journey Home shows an incredibly cute puppy falling out of the back of a pickup truck and trying to find its way home. The pup finally makes it back to the farm only for the ad's twist to come.

Outrage over the ad spread through social media after it was released. According to Fox News, GoDaddy put the commercial on YouTube early on Tuesday and had to remove it hours later. CEO Blake Irvin even wrote a blog post titled We're Listening, Message Received on the company's site announcing the spot would be pulled from the Super Bowl and replaced with something else. Though, don't worry about the puppy; according to Irvin, the dog is now the pet of a GoDaddy employee.

News Source: Fox News, Twitter, Sonny Black via YouTube

Forget hotels, sleep in a Tesla Model S for just $85 per night [w/video]

Posted Jan 28th 2015 2:00PM

The Tesla Model S has received near universal praise for its ability to combine the efficiency the electric power and the performance expected from a luxury sedan. However, rarely has the Tesla been complimented for its capability as a camper capable of sleeping two people; in fact that has never happened. Though, a guy named Steve on Airbnb in Phoenix, AZ, is trying to change that perception by renting out his Model S (pictured above) as a motel for US$85 a night.

If you're not familiar with it, Airbnb is a peer-to-peer lodging service that lets people rent their homes to visitors for short stays. Steve isn't offering his house, at least not all of it, just the Tesla Model S to sleep in. Although, folks are also able to use the kitchen, living room, TV and bathroom in his condo.

It's actually hard to tell if this guy is joking or not during some portions of his ad. For example, you shouldn't worry about comfort because photos show an airbed able to sleep two people in the back of the Model S. Also, security shouldn't be a concern because renters are "locked securely in my attached garage" at night. Don't you feel safer already? Light shouldn't be a problem either because the vehicle is equipped with two remote-controlled candles.

This might not be the most relaxing vacation to Phoenix, though. The host admits that the Tesla is his personal car, and that means renters need to be up by 8:00 AM for him to go to work. Since Steve's also a licensed limo driver, you can hire him to drive you around, even on guided tours.

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News Source: Airbnb