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Race drivers suddenly turn into insane demolition derby competitors after crash

  • Race drivers suddenly turn into insane demolition derby competitors after crash
  • 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat [w/videos]
  • Best stick shift cars under $30,000 in Canada
  • Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 race car will make you cry for mommy

2014 Audi SQ5

Posted Jul 24th 2014 11:57AM

2014 Audi SQ5

It may be obvious at this point, but here in North America, European manufacturer routinely give us the short end of the stick. Now, I'm not talking about models or brands that don't come here, like the Mercedes-Benz A-Class or the entire Renault line. No, instead, I'm referring to cars that are sold right here in the Land of the Free in one bodystyle, while Europe enjoys the same vehicle with a wider variety of configurations.

A prime example of this is the Audi S4/S5 line. In North America, we can have the supercharged twins in two-door coupe, four-door sedan, and cabriolet body styles. Meanwhile, our Euroland cousins get the same trio of bodystyles, as well as the A5/S5 Sportback, a characterful 'four-door coupe,' and a versatile hauler, the S4 Avant. At first glance, Audi of America lacks a vehicle that can compete with the latter's blend of performance, versatility and subdued looks. So, what's a North American with around $60,000 and an obsession with quick, conservative haulers to do? Well, he can buy an SQ5. (Though it bears mentioning, our NA-spec SQ5 is vastly different than what's available to our European friends.)

The SQ5 has a huge number of things going for it that make it a viable alternative to a proper hot wagon, and foremost among them are its looks – this is a sleeper. Audi has thankfully decided not to molest the clean looks of the standard Q5 when penning the sportier model.

The SQ5 gains a unique set of wheels: 20-inchers are standard, but our tester was fitted with a set of 21-inch rollers. Visually, neither make a huge departure from the standard Q5 though. Other standard features of Audi's S models are also found on the SQ5, including a set of quad exhausts, silver mirror caps and mildly different front grille and foglight surrounds. If anything, the Q5 TDI diesel I tested late last year looks sportier than today's tester.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Brandon Turkus / AOL

Funny dogs caught enjoying car rides

Posted Jul 24th 2014 11:00AM

Dogs On Summer Joyrides
"Life is a journey, not a destination." No one understands that famous Ralph Waldo Emerson quote better than the car ride-loving dogs in the video compilation above, as they enjoy Summer on the open road. While the relationship between dogs and cars often ends with them instinctively sticking their heads out the window, this hypnotizing video is sure to cheer you up and make you smile.


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LaFerrari buyer drives dream collection back to Maranello [w/video]

Posted Jul 24th 2014 10:00AM

Ferrari 288 GTO, F40, LaFerrari, Enzo and F50

We'd find it hard to feel bad for someone who "has to" choose between the latest crop of hybrid hypercars. After all, the Porsche 918 Spyder, McLaren P1 and Ferrari LaFerrari are each awesome in their own right. But for one buyer, the choice was a no-brainer: it was the Prancing Horse all along. Not because he couldn't get his hands on the Porsche or the McLaren – though we're sure each is in higher demand than there will be supply – but because he's already bought each of its predecessors.

That very fortunate buyer is one Jon Hunt. His collection already includes a 288 GTO, an F40, an F50 and an Enzo – each in red, naturally – so when it came time to pick up his new LaFerrari, he drove down from London to Maranello, bringing his sons, a few friends and each of his F-cars (as the tifosi call them) along for the ride.

The result, as you can see for yourself from the photos above and the video below, is one very compelling and drool-inducing family photo. It's not every day, after all, that you see any of these cars on the road – let alone together in one place.

News Source: Ferrari

Apple vs. Google in the battle for your car [w/poll]

Posted Jul 24th 2014 9:00AM

Apple vs Google in the car

Apple and Google are rapidly opening a new front in the on-going tech wars, as the two giants move out of your pocket and into your car. For Apple, it's using its CarPlay system, while Google will offer its newly unveiled Android Auto operating system.

While these two both offer their own distinct aesthetics, the overall function is the same. You'll plug your phone into the car via USB, and then all of the functions from your overpriced slab of aluminum, glass, plastic and silicon will be automagically added to your car's infotainment display.

Bloomberg TV has an excellent video on the two competing systems that explains why these two titans of technology are so keen on expanding into the dashboard, and what it means for you, the average motorist.

Scroll down for the video, and then be sure to register your opinion in our unofficial poll.

Would you rather have Apple or Google integration for your in-car systems?

News Source: Bloomberg TV

Unifor may establish local union for Toyota's Canadian plants

Posted Jul 24th 2014 8:00AM

Toyota Corolla

Union tactics apparently translate across borders, as Canada's Unifor may take inspiration from the United Auto Workers' recent move at the Volkswagen factory in Chattanooga, TN, and establish a local for the Toyota factories in Cambridge and Woodstock, ON.

Unifor last attempted to organize the workers at the two factories, which are responsible for production of the Toyota Corolla (above), RAV4 and Lexus RX back in April, but that vote was eventually delayed. According to that report, 3,000 of the two plants' 7,500 employees signed union cards, but that apparently wasn't enough for Unifor to force a vote. Because of this, the union is looking at the local approach, like what the UAW is attempting with VW.

"We have union halls in Woodstock and Kitchener-Waterloo; they could elect an executive and run monthly membership meetings," union president Jerry Dias told The Windsor Star. Dias added that the union "continues to sign up new members on a regular basis."

So what would the benefit to employees be if they sign up with the local? According to The Star, while Unifor couldn't act as a bargaining agent for the workers, employees would still be able to take part in other union activities. It's not entirely clear what these include, though, and as the primary mission of a union is to act as a bargaining agent for employees, the idea of a local would appear to leave something on the table.

As for when this plan could come to fruition, Dias says a final decision isn't expected until fall.

News Source: The Windsor Star

Image Credit: Toyota

Race drivers suddenly turn into insane demolition derby competitors after crash

Posted Jul 23rd 2014 7:58PM

North Carolina Modified demolition derby

Few things make racing more exciting than a good rivalry. Whether it's watching Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton go at it in Formula One or tradin' paint in NASCAR, a good feud adds an extra dash of excitement to already tight competition. However, two drivers in a Modified division race in North Carolina might have taken things too far when they turned a short track oval into a demolition derby. The crowd absolutely loved it, though.

Ironically enough, the melee happened during what the Bowman Gray Stadium billed as the Night of Destruction with monster trucks and a demolition derby also on the docket for the evening, but these two drivers gave the crowd even more wreckage than they paid for. According to the track's press release, which you can read below, the #83 car led for the majority of the race. As the laps ticked down, the #1 car in second place made its move, but it spun the #83 in the process. In retaliation, the driver waited just off track for his rival to come back around and then exacted revenge.

In the aftermath, both men were docked points by NASCAR and put on probation – a seemingly light punishment for using a car as a weapon. Now that you have the backstory, scroll down and watch the insanity unfold.

News Source: Bowman Gray Racing [1], [2], roxxxtar74, Jalopnik via YouTube

1979 Dodge Li'l Red Express in Generation Gap showdown with 1933 Ford Pickup

Posted Jul 23rd 2014 7:00PM

Dodge Lil' Red Express

Auto enthusiasts love a good debate, whether it's Mustang versus Camaro or Ferrari against Lamborghini. But how about a battle between two very different vintages of classic pickup trucks? In this case, the fight is between a 1979 Dodge Li'l Red Express and a 1933 Ford Model 46 truck with a flathead V8.

The shootout comes courtesy of the internet series Generation Gap, and its concept is super-simple. One guy prefers classics, and the other likes newer rides. They choose a category, pick two vehicles and put them head to head. In this case, neither is exactly modern, though. The Ford is more than old enough to receive Social Security checks, and the Dodge is hardly a young whippersnapper.

Other than both being pickups, these two models were made to serve very different functions. The Li'l Red Express was basically the progenitor of today's muscle trucks, with a big V8 that made it one of the quickest new models in its day (admittedly, 1979 was a rough time for automotive performance). On the other hand, the '33 Ford was just meant to work, with little pretense for anything else. One of the hosts describes it as "the simplest, most difficult" vehicle he's driven because of the tricky double clutchwork necessary to shift gears. Scroll down to watch the video and try to decide which of these two American classics you would rather have in your garage.

News Source: Motor Trend Channel via YouTube

Chevy reveals SS pace car at the Brickyard

Posted Jul 23rd 2014 6:00PM

Chevy SS Pace Car

Last season Chevy reskinned and rebranded its NASCAR stock racer after the new SS, so we knew it would only be a matter of time before the Bowtie brand's latest muscle sedan would be pressed into duty as a pace car. And now that time has come.

At the Sprint Cup race next weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, actor Chris Pratt (of Parks and Recreation, Zero Dark Thirty, Moneyball and upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy fame) will drive this specially prepared, red and silver 2014 Chevy SS around the Brickyard at the front of the NASCAR pack during the John Wayne Walding 400.

It's a momentous occasion for oval racing fans, as this year marks the 20th anniversary of NASCAR racing at Indy, but it's hardly the first time Chevy has set the pace at the Brickyard. In fact, every NASCAR race ever held at Indy has been paced by a Chevy, and this year's will be a Bowtie blowout, with a Camaro ZL1 pacing the IMSA Continental SportsCar Challenge support race, a Corvette convertible setting the pace at the United SportsCar Championship race and a Camaro 1LE serving for the Nationwide Series event.

The race officially entitled (deep breath now) "Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com" takes place next Sunday, July 27. Considering that the Chevy SS won 16 of the 36 races last season and 9 out of the first 10 this year, chances are pretty good that it'll take the checkered flag at the Brickyard, adding to the eleven consecutive wins Chevy has taken at Indy up until now. Let's just hope the pace car doesn't burst into flames this time like it did at Daytona.

News Source: Chevrolet

Hot Wheels reveals life-size Darth Vader car at Comic-Con [w/video]

Posted Jul 23rd 2014 5:00PM

Hot Wheels Darth Vader Car

Hot Wheels Darth Vader Toy CarLet's face it; Darth Vader is a thousand times cooler than Luke Skywalker. The hero might get the girl, but in the case of Star Wars, it's his sister. Vader, though, controls the Death Star, two of them in fact. It turns out that the Sith Lord has a meaner car too, at least thanks to Hot Wheels.

With Star Wars a hotter property that the surface of Tatooine thanks to the new movie due in 2015, Hot Wheels has partnered with the brand to sell replica vehicles and playsets later this year. It's kicking off the new toy line with a life-size, fully operational, one-off Darth Vader Car at San Diego Comic-Con on July 23.

According to Hot Wheels to Autoblog Canada via email, the Darth Vader Car "was designed in-house at Mattel" and built by Picture Car Warehouse. It uses a tuned LS3 V8 to send 526 horsepower to the rear wheels and has a backlit, side-exit exhaust system. The nose piece is made from carbon fibre, and it rides on a custom set of wheels from MHT. If you can't make it to San Diego to see the Vader, don't fret. "It will certainly be making appearances after Comic-Con for fans," said a company spokesperson.

The earlier image we saw of the car looked downright ugly, but the Sith's helmet made the transition into real life with a lot more menace. You could easily imagine the Vader as a very wicked-looking hotrod. The triple headlights and split windshield are especially nice touches.

If you happen to be at the con, you can even buy the 1:64 toy version of the car that comes in a case that looks like Vader's red lightsaber, plus a commemorative box, for US$40.00. There will also be a limited number on sale after the show at Hot Wheels Collectors. Scroll down to watch the Vader Car in action with some very over-the-top dialogue and read the full announcement of the official vehicle of the dark side of the force.

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Hot Wheels Unveils Life-Size 'Darth Vader Car'

News Source: Mattel, Hot Wheels via YouTube

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