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2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed

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  • 2015 Volkswagen Golf R [w/video]
  • HIGHLIGHTS: 2014 LA Auto Show
  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG S 4Matic stands out in the LA crowd

Should an infotainment system determine which car you choose?

Posted Nov 26th 2014 10:00AM



In-car electronics are all the rage these days, with infotainment systems and tech features getting more and more attention from consumers and car critics alike. The only issue with these systems is that they are necessarily not essential.

What is an infotainment system? Well, it's a computerized setup that controls all of your in-car entertainment and information functionality, including navigation, audio, text messaging, phone calls, smartphone-enabled applications and rear-seat entertainment. They are usually accessible via a special controller or touch screen. Ford's MyFord Touch and BMW's ConnectedDrive / iDrive system are some of the most prominent examples in the industry.

The real question is whether the quality of an infotainment system is important enough to affect the choice of your vehicle. To figure that out, you will need to ask yourself the following questions...

Elon Musk goes deep, says 'Nobody should be CEO forever'

Posted Nov 26th 2014 9:00AM

Elon Musk

When someone achieves as much as Elon Musk has, it's easy to become fascinated not just with what the person is doing, but who that person is on a personal level. Sure, many of us are curious about what the future of Tesla or SpaceX looks like from inside the mind of its CEO, but some of us are also curious what he eats for breakfast. In a recent interview with Auto Bild, the German interviewers do a great job of getting Musk to open up about his business plans, his daily habits and even some of his deeper, more meaningful musings.

"Nobody should be CEO forever." – Elon Musk

Musk says he would likely remain CEO of Tesla Motors for three or four more years, at least long enough to see volume production of the upcoming Model III and building of the Gigafactory (for which Musk was able to command enormous incentives from the state of Nevada). "I will never leave Tesla forever, but I may not be CEO forever," Musk said. "Nobody should be CEO forever."

When hiring, Musk looks for "evidence of exceptional ability" and "a track record of exceptional achievement." That does not necessarily include a college degree. "If you look at, say, people like Bill Gates or Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, these guys didn't graduate from college, but if you had a chance to hire them, of course that would be a good idea."

At an interesting point in the conversation, the interviewers ask Musk to describe himself. He says that he has an innate sense of drive and that he seeks the truth, but it's interesting to watch him dig deep to come up with an answer. "All these introspective questions are interesting," he said. "I don't get asked these very often."

Musk goes on to talk about how he originally expected both SpaceX and Tesla to fail, how he lived on borrowed money to keep his companies afloat and even how he'd like to die on the planet Mars. While we didn't get to hear any more about the demon that is artificial intelligence, the video is an interesting journey through the life and mind of an exceptional person. Watch the whole thing below.

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News Source: Hybrid Cars via YouTube

What's it like to wakeboard behind a Ferrari F50? Glad you asked

Posted Nov 25th 2014 8:00PM

Ferrari F50 Wakeboarding

Peons. Peasants. Plebians. You think the videos that show you water skiing or wakeboarding behind pickup trucks are cool? They aren't. Wakeboarding behind a Ferrari F50, though, is most assuredly awesome.

Those over-wealthy Einsteins at YouTube channel Tax The Rich have released their latest stunt driving masterpiece, which shows a charming yellow Ferrari towing a wakeboarder down what looks like an irrigation canal. It really is as cool as it sounds. Click here to watch for yourself.

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Scion rules out roadster, turbo versions of FR-S

Posted Nov 25th 2014 7:00PM

Toyota FT-86 Open concept live at Geneva Motor Show reveal

Ever since Toyota and Subaru released the sports car alternatively known as the GT86, 86, BRZ and Scion FR-S a couple of years ago, rumours have circulated that even more exciting variants could be in store. But at least as far as Scion is concerned, those rumors are apparently nothing more than wishful thinking.

Speaking with WardsAuto at the LA Auto Show last week, Scion chief Doug Murtha said that the prospect of an FR-S roadster has been taken off the table entirely. Apparently Scion lobbied parent company Toyota to produce just such a model, but after failing to find other markets interested enough in the model to put it into production, corporate HQ said no.

"I think we were pretty aggressive on our (submitted plan), but we looked at what we would have conceivably lost on the product and said, 'We're not going to even push it further,'" Murtha said, going on to note, "Nobody was more disappointed than we were."

Murtha further shot down the idea of a turbo version of the FR-S, dismissing it as a prospect the blogosphere (that's us) wanted to happen but "that's not something that's coming."

Either variant might have helped Scion and Toyota boost sales of the model (which are predictably dropping after their first two years on the market), but the investment also might not have paid off their development, tooling and marketing costs. Of course, Murtha can only speak for Toyota, but we'd be surprised to see Subaru go it alone on either model, as costs would be that much more prohibitive without a partner.

Bummer.

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News Source: WardsAuto

Ferrari 458 Speciale buyers told to spec options to secure orders

Posted Nov 25th 2014 6:30PM

2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale

Want to get your hands on a Ferrari 458 Speciale? You're in good company, because demand for what could be the last naturally aspirated V8 supercar from Maranello is apparently soaring. As a result, some buyers who've already placed their orders are reportedly being "advised" to add on extra options or risk losing their place on the waiting list to someone who will.

The news comes from UK-based Magnitude Finance, whose director Tim Marlow said, "One client ordered the car many months ago but he was subsequently advised to increase the options he selected to guarantee delivery simply because others are prepared to go pay over the odds to get one new." Another Magnitude client was asked by the dealer "on five occasions to say others wanted to buy it if he changed his mind."

Reached for comment, Ferrari spokesperson Krista Florin told Autoblog: "As with any Ferrari, customization is offered as a service to make each car unique. However, there are no requirements in order to secure an order."

The options list on the 458 Speciale can add up fast. Active headlights add over $2,500 to the price, fitted luggage nearly $11k, leather interior and front lift system a solid $6k each and those NART stripes another $11k. Ordering items like the engine cover ($7.8k), rear diffuser ($9.6k) and outer sill cover ($10k) in carbon fibre can add to the $288k base price as quick as the Speciale can gather pace. That's how our recent tester ended up topping $336k – and that's if we could actually get one.

Part of the demand is surely coming from moneyed enthusiasts keen to take possession of one of the finest mid-engined supercars Ferrari has ever made, but the demand and values are surely being driven up as well by speculators. "Everyone we speak to sees this as the next appreciating model over the long-term like the 360 Challenge Stradale and 430 Scuderia 16M before it," added Marlow, "so demand is really high."

We can only imagine that demand has been even higher for the convertible version, as Ferrari will only make 499 examples of the 458 Speciale A, putting the roadster in an even more rarified class.

News Source: Magnitude Finance

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Drew Phillips / AOL

Watch Razor Crazy Carts transform office into racetrack

Posted Nov 25th 2014 6:00PM

XCAR Crazy Cart video

Working here at Autoblog Canada is a lot of fun. Working at Xcar, though, seems like it's somehow even better, if this video is any indication of a typical day's work.

Xcar's Alex Goy and Drew Stearne have apparently been wreaking havoc in their UK offices with their avid use of Razor's hoontastic Crazy Cart. An irate HR manager reached out to the two, asking them to please move their antics back to the basement and spare the office's walls of further collisions.

Naturally, the best (and quickest) way for the pair to move the single-wheeled go carts downstairs was to tear through the office one last time. The results are just as sensational as you might expect. Hit the jump to watch the incredible footage of these office-racing pranksters in action.

News Source: XCAR via YouTube

eBay Find of the Day: 25-station video gaming trailer w/ bonus Ford F-250

Posted Nov 25th 2014 5:00PM



Why, you might be asking yourself, is Autoblog showing me an eBay Motors listing for a 2006 Ford F-250 and a box trailer (with a badly cropped photo to boot)? It's not because we're highly interested in this blue-collar rig, to be sure, but rather because we're interested in throwing the greatest Forza party of all time.

Housed in that innocuous white 26-foot trailer is a gamer's delight, with 25 Xbox 360 systems connected up to 25 high-definition monitors and 24 headsets to keep everyone locked into the action (one of the stations is outside the trailer). When connected up to one of two included generators, the setup allows for two-dozen combatants to square off, back-to-back and head-to-head.

Sure, the Buy It Now price of $79,000 seems steep considering the trailer will need about ten grand worth of Xbox One or Playstation 4 upgrades in the near future. But that doesn't mean you couldn't squeeze out a few more years of massive multiplayer fun. Check out the listing here, and do let us know if you buy it, we'd love to come over and game.

News Source: eBay Motors

Here's why you shouldn't try to drift a Jeep Cherokee

Posted Nov 25th 2014 4:00PM

Jeep Cherokee drifter

There are many reasons why an XJ-generation (or really any other) Jeep Cherokee doesn't make for a very good drift machine. It's tall, it's four-wheel-drive... it's a Jeep, okay? But someone apparently forgot to tell that to this guy.

Uploaded to LiveLeak, this video shows some poor schmuck who took his Cherokee to a (mostly) empty parking lot and tried to drift it. Needless to say, things didn't go quite as he planned, but they probably went exactly as you might have expected.

Thankfully, nobody appears to have been hurt. Or at least, we assume so, since the guy apparently survived to post the video up online. Click here to watch how it all goes down.

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News Source: LiveLeak via Jalopnik

Mercedes raises the roof on new CLA Shooting Brake

Posted Nov 25th 2014 3:00PM

Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake

UPDATE: As we feared, the CLA Shooting Brake is not currently slated for North American availability. The text below has been adjusted accordingly.

Of all the variants in Mercedes' smallest line, only one doesn't have a liftgate, and that's the CLA-Class. But don't worry, the German automaker is out to fix that too with the reveal of the new CLA Shooting Brake you see here.

Based on the same platform that underpins the CLA four-door coupe, the A-Class hatchback, B-Class minivan and GLA crossover, the new Shooting Brake applies a similar formula we've already seen on the bigger CLS Shooting Brake but in a much smaller form – which is to say, it's a wagon, but a shapely one. The revised roofline means more headroom in the back seat and significantly more cargo capacity than the four-door's trunk.

Mercedes will offer the CLA with a variety of engine choices, including a 2.1-litre turbodiesel with either 136 or 177 horsepower, a 1.6-litre four with 122, 156 or 211 horsepower. That last model will even be available with 4Matic all-wheel drive for those not enamored by the idea of a front-drive Benz, but the top of the range, of course, is the CLA45 AMG Shooting Brake that carries the same 2.0-litre turbo four – all 360 horsepower of it – as the four-door CLA45 as well as the A45 and GLA45. Driving once again to all four wheels, Daimler says it'll reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.7 seconds (even quicker than the crossover) and top out at the usual 250 km/h (155 mph).

Of course those options only apply to markets where the new Shooting Brake will be offered. And unfortunately, Mercedes-Benz confirmed to Autoblog that (like the CLS wagon) the CLA Shooting Brake won't be making the transatlantic voyage to North American showrooms (where the E-Class is the only low-slung Benz wagon on offer). That leaves the four-door CLA and the GLA crossover still holding down the pint-sized fort for Mercedes.

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News Source: Mercedes-Benz

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