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2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 Coupe

  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 Coupe
  • 2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster
  • Chevy Camaro 1LE vs Ford Mustang with Performance Pack, surprises ensue
  • MotorWeek remembers retro icons: Toyota Supra and Acura NSX

Land Rover to send off Defender with SVR special

Posted Oct 21st 2014 2:00PM

Land Rover Defender Challenge by Bowler

Jaguar Land Rover has made plenty of drool-inducing, time-warping performance machines, but most of them – from the XJ220 to the F-Type – have come from the Jaguar side of the equation. That's where the British automaker's new Special Operations division came in with the new Range Rover Sport SVR, transforming one of Land Rover's off-roaders into a Nürburgring-conquering performance ute. But it won't be the last.

According to JLR Special Operations chief John Edwards in speaking with Autocar, the division is searching for its next project. And that could – and it seems likely will – come down to a special send-off for the long-serving Defender.

Land Rover's most hardcore, no-frills, rough-and-tumble model has been in production essentially unchanged since 1983, making it as old as some of the writers here at Autoblog (though sadly much younger than some others... -ED). It's slated to be retired next year in favour of an all-new model, but before it does, JLR apparently plans to send it off with a muscled-up performance model.

Don't take that to mean that the Defender will be stripped off its off-road capabilities in an effort to make it perform better on the track, though. According to Autocar, Land Rover is looking to the Dakar rally and the old Camel Trophy for inspiration, suggesting that we could be looking at a British take on the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor of sorts... or a production version of the Defender Challenge truck (pictured above) made together with noted LR tuner Bowler. All of which strikes us as rather enticing, though it may be a while before we get to see the finished product in the metal.

News Source: Autocar

DeLorean DMC-12 illustrates how a good idea goes bad with Xcar

Posted Oct 21st 2014 12:57PM

Xcar Delorean DMC-12

When John Z. DeLorean set out to build a car, he had good intentions – it'd be small, efficient, sporty, affordable and safe, complete with a rust-free, stainless-steel body. The outcome, though, was a lamentable mess, a coupe whose prestige rests more with its gullwing doors and its star-making role in Back To The Future than in its actual driving character.

Among the many knocks on the DeLorean DMC-12 was its shoddy quality (courtesy of its Northern Ireland factory), its anemic 2.8-litre V6 and an automatic transmission whose shifts registered on the geologic scale. The suspension was overly soft, the steering numb and the brakes left a lot to be desired.

None of that, as Xcar explains, really matters. The DeLorean is still a deeply cool car. Take a look at the latest video from the video outfit to see why.

News Source: XCARFilms via AOL ON

2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 Coupe

Posted Oct 21st 2014 11:57AM

Beauty Masks A Formidable Beast

2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe

This is the most beautiful car currently offered by Mercedes-Benz.

With apologies to the aggressive and undeniably attractive Mercedes-AMG GT, the brand-new successor to the supercar throne vacated by the dearly departed gullwinged SLS, the S-Class Coupe as seen in the images scattered through these pages is particularly evocative, with flowing lines from front to plunging rear that somehow recall early pre-war streamlining while still coming across as thoroughly modern and completely refined. It's a shape that will get noticed in traffic, generating gentle nods of approval, subtle stares and longer-than-normal glances from those with discerning automotive tastes, without attracting the kind of pre-teen attention garnered by less practical, though similarly expensive, machinery.

Considering the shapely bodywork parked before me set against the shockingly beautiful autumn colours of Rhode Island and the sweet, salty smell of ocean tides, the actual driving dynamics of the S550 Coupe I was about to experience seemed, for a brief moment, to be superfluous to the experience at hand. That is, it felt that way until slipping into what may be the most comfortable and accommodating driver's seat ever made, a move affording me the chance to revel in the cabin's almost overwhelming embrace of accoutrements and technology.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Jeremy Korzeniewski / AOL

Ontario to increase fines for texting while driving and using hand-held devices

Posted Oct 21st 2014 11:30AM



Ontario motorists will face stiffer fines and penalties for texting while driving under legislation the Liberal government will re-introduce today.The previous bill to increase the maximum fine for distracted driving to $1,000 and impose three demerit points died when the June 12 election was called.

Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca will reintroduce the bill this afternoon in an effort to help people break the habit of texting or talking on a hand-held phone while behind the wheel.

Ontario Provincial Police say distracted driving is becoming the No. 1 killer on the roads, accounting for more deaths last year than impaired driving or speed-related accidents.

A recent Centre for Addiction and Mental Health survey found more than one-third of licensed Ontario students in Grades 10 to 12 admitted to having texted while driving at least once in the past year.

Using handheld devices to text, email or talk while driving, except for 911 calls, has been banned in Ontario since 2009.

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Poll: Adults Text While Driving More Than Teens

News Source: The Canadian Press

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Seyth Miersma / AOL

Video proof that LaFerrari has a pure electric mode

Posted Oct 21st 2014 10:59AM

Ferrari LaFerrari

Typically, a hybrid car, with its gas engine and an electric motor/battery pack is able to run on both forms of propulsion independently of each other. That means you can sip gas, run on pure electricity or some variation there of. The Ferrari LaFerrari is not like other hybrids.

See, the successor to the Enzo has batteries, an electric motor and a great, thumping V12 engine, but unlike its rivals from McLaren and Porsche, it has no standalone electric mode. That's been Ferrari's party line since day one. But have the Italians been exaggerating a bit? Judging by this video, it seems like a real possibility.

The video comes from what we're guessing is a European track day. It shows a black LaFerrari stealthily sailing through a tunnel on pure electric power, which it shouldn't be able to do, before its 789-horsepower V12 fires to life.

So, what does this tell us? Well, it's quite obvious that you can drive a LaFerrari on nothing but electric power. As for why Ferrari doesn't advertise this fact, we're inclined to agree with the folks at Jalopnik, who uncovered the video. It's more than likely that the hypercar's EV range is so pitifully low that Maranello doesn't see it as worth mentioning.

What do you think? Does an EV mode for a 949-horsepower, 205-mph (330-km/h) hypercar even matter? Should Ferrari include it as an actual, driver-accessible item, even if the range is low? Have your say in Comments.

News Source: CarloDelucis, Jalopnik via YouTube

Jaguar XE SVR to challenge M3, C63 with supercharged V8 power

Posted Oct 21st 2014 10:30AM

2016 Jaguar XE S

Jaguar has a healthy powertrain range lined up for its new XE, including an array of four-cylinder engines and a supercharged 3.0-litre six that will, for now, serve as the range-topping offering in the XE S. But Car and Driver claims to have it on good authority that an even more powerful eight-cylinder version is in the works, as well.

According to C/D, the XE's engine bay has been designed to accommodate the company's ubiquitous 5.0-litre V8 engine, which in the larger XF is offered in several states of tune, including the XF Supercharged with 470 horsepower, the XFR with 510 hp and the flagship XFR-S with 550 hp.

Just which version (or versions) would be offered in the XE remains to be seen, but even in its lowest-spec supercharged form, the 470-hp version would already be enough to challenge the 425-hp BMW M3 and the base 469-hp version of the new Mercedes-AMG C63. If Jaguar wants to take on the C63 S, however, it will need to shoehorn in one of the more powerful versions.

In the end, Coventry's new Special Vehicle Operations division may opt to offer two versions, like it does with the XFR and XFR-S. Expect the top version, however much muscle it packs, to wear the British automaker's new SVR badge. It just may take a few years before it does so.

News Source: Car and Driver

Recent Tesla Model S buyers frustrated over new features

Posted Oct 21st 2014 10:00AM

Tesla Model S

Tesla wowed the motoring world when it recently unveiled the all-wheel drive, dual-motor D version that added power and range to the already well-regarded Model S. At the same time, the company showed off a new suite of safe-driving tech like a forward-looking camera, radar and ultrasonic sensors to come standard on all models. While the new features might attract some new buyers into the fold, for a few current owners the upgrades aren't coming as a pleasant surprise at all. Some of them are rallying for Tesla to fix things somehow.

These disgruntled owners aren't upset about what any of the new features actually do; in fact, they love them. The issue is Tesla's secrecy before the reveal. A few of these folks bought their cars just a few months ago, some even in September, according to The San Jose Mercury News. If the upgrades had been publicized earlier, then they would have waited to order versions with the latest and greatest tech.

Some of them are already on the web lodging their complaints. According to The San Jose Mercury News, the website Change.org has competing petitions asking Tesla to find a way to retrofit the features, which the company says isn't possible, and another requesting the automaker to ignore the complainers.

Among traditional automakers there are usually several months between a new model's announcement, and it actually going on sale. In Tesla's case, the first official teaser before the launch of the D came about a week before the reveal and hinted at something else at the time, which became the A. Should the company have given prospective buyers greater warning that two big features were on the way? Let us know what you think in Comments.

News Source: San Jose Mercury News

Image Credit: Tesla

Infiniti Q50 to enter British Touring Car Championship

Posted Oct 21st 2014 9:00AM

Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing Q50

Infiniti doesn't have much in the way of motorsports heritage. Sure, its logo is currently plastered all over the open-wheelers of the Red Bull Racing Formula One team, but that's little more than a series of stickers – the turbocharged V6 hybrid still comes from corporate cousin Renault.

Perhaps realizing that, the company is dipping its toe into the motorsports pool in a much bigger way (albeit in a far smaller series). The Nissan-owned luxury brand will campaign its Q50 sedan in the notoriously rowdy British Touring Car Championship with a new factory team, called Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing.

The team works with British veterans' charity Support Our Paras, and actually will employ a number of injured vets as part of the team, according to the report on Motor Authority.

The Q50 BTCC car needs to comply with the series rules, which call for a turbocharged, 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine. It's the manufacturer's choice on whether the mandatory six-speed sequential gearbox distributes power to either the front or rear axles. The car itself is being developed by Pro Motorsport and will likely see its track debut this year.

News Source: Motor Authority

Image Credit: Infiniti Support Our Paras Racing

Cadillac confirms CT8/CT9 flagship, ELR successor

Posted Oct 21st 2014 8:00AM

Cadillac

Cadillac has certainly been a hot topic as of late, what with Johan de Nysschen now running the joint, moving its headquarters to New York, and overhauling the company's naming structure (only to later publicly defend all of these drastic decisions). Now, looking ahead, de Nysschen is already revealing some details about what's in store for the future, including a raft of new products that include a large, long-wheelbase Mercedes-Benz S-Class rival positioned above the recently announced CT6, along with a successor to the slow-selling ELR coupe.

In an interview with Reuters, de Nysschen says his company has "just signed off on" a new flagship tipped to be called CT8 or CT9. It will compete with the long-wheelbase versions of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series, and should come to market by the end of this decade.

Among other news, the South African executive said a followup to the ELR plug-in hybrid is in development, though it may not be a two-door coupe like the current car. That's not necessarily a bad thing, since the ELR has garnered nothing but slow sales and poor reviews since its launch.

The Reuters interview also touches on some topics that we've heard about before, including the potential of a plug-in hybrid variant of the forthcoming CT6, and new crossovers to slot above and below the SRX in the brand's model line.

News Source: Reuters

Image Credit: Paul Sancya / AP

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