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Aussie policeman victim of explosive poo trap

Posted Sep 19th 2014 9:00AM

A generic

My cousins lived next to a big cow pasture in Platteville, WI, when we were all kids. Those boys knew how to have a good time in the country, and when my brother and I came to visit one year, they divulged the fun that could be had by rigging cow patties (that's a pile of poo, for you city slickers) with little firecrackers. Push one in, up to the fuse, light it, and run as fast as you can.

Of course, eventually everyone ended up with at least a little poop on himself, which is why we played the game in the first place. Good times, but a bad example it seems...

Things weren't so jolly, familial or pastoral for an Austrian traffic officer recently, I imagine, when he was showered with doo-doo of indiscriminate origin in the course of duty.

Constable Gunther Maier "triggered" a fishing line found on the side of a Moeltal state highway, which was connected to a bucket filled with explosives and manure. The constable was about six and a half feet away from the brownie bomb when it detonated, and was lucky to escape the incident without injury, though he did end up "covered with manure."

A spokesman for the Austrian police said the bomber was most likely targeting police intentionally; with the bucket of BM found in an area know to be a speed trap. And, what's more, police aren't laughing off the matter, either – the individual responsible could potentially face criminal charges for his or her actions.

I doubt that my cousins were in Austria at the time of the incident, but I wouldn't be surprised if the culprit grew up on a farm...

News Source: UPI

Image Credit: Maurice Savage / Alamy

Ford previews new C-Max ahead of upcoming debut

Posted Sep 19th 2014 8:00AM

2015 Ford C-Max

Looking at a Ford Focus? These days you can get it as a five-door hatch, a four-door sedan, or... that's all. European buyers don't even get our sedan, but they do get a wagon. And while the three-door hatch, two-door coupe and two-door cabrio have long since ended production, buyers around the world can also get the company's larger C-Max. And now, like the Focus upon which it's based, Ford is preparing to roll out a new version.

The tall wagon (or small minivan, depending on your perspective) is being treated to what Ford says is "an extreme makeover." Details to accompany the teaser image above remain few and far between, but following the spy shots we recently posted, it looks destined for some of the same visual updates as Ford rolled out on the 2015 Focus, with "even more refinement, practicality and technology."

Like the Mercedes B-Class, which is only available Stateside as an EV, North American buyers can only get the C-Max in electrified form, either as the C-Max Hybrid or C-Max Energi. Overseas buyers, however, will be able to choose from a range of powertrain options and two wheelbase lengths – the longer of which boasts seven seats and the Grand C-Max name. (Remember when Chrysler did the same with its minivans?) Both are set to debut on September 17, so watch this space. After that, we'll expect to see it on display at the Paris Motor Show.

News Source: Ford

Citroen and Ines de La Fressange Paris show off two new concepts

Posted Sep 19th 2014 7:00AM

Citroën DS3 Ines de La Fressange Paris Concept

Citroën DS3 Cabrio Ines de La Fressange ParisCitroën is taking some inspiration from the famous Parisian style with two new, chic concepts based on the DS3 (above) and DS3 Cabrio (right) with input from the fashion house Ines de La Fressange Paris. There aren't any actual mechanical tweaks to them; they just show what the cars could look like with a dash of haute couture.

The DS3 hatchback gets a spray of Ink Blue, satin-finish paint with a slightly contrasting Onyx Black roof, and its Cabrio sibling wears gloss Perla Nera Black body with an Infinite Blue softop roof. Other than the colours, they share a ton of other features with Ines Red mirror caps, 17-inch wheels, an Ines de la Fressange Paris emblem on the center pillar and a subtle Aéropostale red, white and blue trim strip wrapping around the back. They're both handsome vehicles, but it's hard to understand why some extra paint and trim make them concepts.

Inside, the two of them are identical, and their blue, white and red color scheme echoes the French flag. Compared to the relatively subtle exteriors, the dashboard is covered in eye-piercing Ines Red with the company's emblem. The seats are covered in Granite Blue leather with white stitching to get all of the colors in there. The Aéropostale trim strip also gets used again on the seats.

Both DS3 concepts will make their world premiere at the DS World Paris on September 17, and they they'll also be on display at the Paris Motor Show in October. Scroll down to read the full announcement about these stylish Parisian hatches.


Citroen DIVINE DS Concept: Capturing the Essence of the DS Brand

News Source: Citroën

Baja champ blazes trail through Ensenada with his Monster trophy truck

Posted Sep 18th 2014 8:00PM

Monster Energy Ensenda Video

Last year, former Baja 1000 champ BJ Baldwin and his trophy truck proved that they could save a woman stranded in the desert in a broken down Nissan GT-R in a video called Recoil. For this year's sequel, he's turned the excitement way up. By combining high speed, huge jumps, women in bikinis, liberal use of slow-mo and staging everything in a unique location, the makers of Recoil 2 might have hit on the perfect formula for a fantastic automotive stunt demonstration video.

The challenge here is for Baldwin to speed from the outskirts of Ensenada, Mexico, to a seaside party within just 20 minutes. Obviously, it wouldn't be exciting if he just had to cruise to victory, and Baldwin turns the little town into his own personal launch pad by flinging his Monster Energy Chevrolet Silverado over whatever gets in its way.

His weapon to make sure the job gets down is a truck with a claimed 800+ horsepower and a suspension setup that that looks like it can take on just about anything. Baldwin puts it all to very good use here, so turn up the speakers and enjoy.

News Source: Monster Energy via YouTube

Owner reunited with classic 1967 Jaguar E-type stolen 46 years ago

Posted Sep 18th 2014 7:00PM



A classic 1967 Jaguar E-Type roadster that was reported stolen in New York over 46 years ago has finally been recovered by United States Custom Border Protection officers in Los Angeles. Authorities delivered the good news to its rightful owner, 82-year-old Ivan Schneider who says, "It's a miracle. I never thought I'd see the car again. Who would believe a car would show up 45 years later like this?"

According to reports, Schneider originally bought his Jaguar "dream car" back when he was just 35-years-old. Unfortunately, he didn't get to enjoy it for long, as the then newly successful trial lawyer living in Manhattan reported his beloved 1967 Jaguar E-Type missing the night of May 13, 1968.

With each passing decade, Schneider's hopes and dreams of ever being reunited with his car faded further away... Until now. Sadly, the beige-coloured convertible (which was in near-mint condition the night it was taken), is now rusted and worn down, with a brown mismatched door, damaged roof and covered in scratches accumulated over the years. But Schneider vows he's willing to "spend as much as it takes" to restore it and enjoy it once the Jaguar is officially shipped back to him.

The stolen 1967 Jaguar convertible was discovered at the Long Beach seaport complex near Los Angeles by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It was seized as part of a Netherlands-bound car shipment container along with several other recovered vehicles including two Mercedes, a 1969 Chevrolet Corvette and a brand new Chevrolet Camaro.

While this event took 46 years to happen, we couldn't be happier for Schneider and his recently reacquired collector car. Click here to watch the full video report below.

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News Source: GeoBeats via AOL On

Vencer Sarthe supercar emerges out of The Netherlands

Posted Sep 18th 2014 6:00PM

2015 Vencer Sarthe

Vencer Sarthe - 2015 MY - Rear three-quarter viewPlans change, and hopefully as an idea evolves along the way, it gets even better by the end. That mantra appears to be the case with the Vencer Sarthe supercar that is finally heading into production for the 2015 model year. It has had some significant changes over its two years of development.

We first saw the Sarthe back in 2012 when Vencer first announced its supercar, and the model made its world debut last year. The Dutch builders didn't let that stop them, though, and they have continued to tweak things up until this just-announced production version.

The general idea behind the Sarthe is the same. The supercar takes its name from the famous Circuit de la Sarthe Le Mans race course and claims design inspiration from endurance racers of the '80s. The basic engineering still features a carbon-fiber body, chrome-moly chassis and a V8 stuck behind the driver to spin the rear wheels.

However, Vencer claims that there are over 100 changes compared to the earlier prototypes, including a different engine. Instead of the original, naturally aspirated 510-horsepower V8, there's a 6.3-litre supercharged V8 with 613 hp and 618 pound-feet of torque. With no computer assists, a Torsen limited-slip differential is there to help with traction. While not mentioned in the release, photos show a six-speed manual gearbox.

The exterior also gets some pretty radical changes, especially in the back. Instead of being smooth, the rear pillars now include air intakes, and there's an electrically deploying rear wing. The engine cover is redesigned, and the side air inlets are larger. The interior goes for absolute minimalism, with a central screen for the instruments, a few buttons and the gearshift.

Vencer claims to be building its first customer cars now in Vriezenveen, The Netherlands, and European prices start at 270,882 euros ($382,978) before any applicable taxes. Scroll down to read about this Dutch supercar in its latest evolution.

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News Source: Vencer

Meet Sparky, Nissan's Leaf-based, Frontier-bedded EV parts hauler [w/video]

Posted Sep 18th 2014 5:00PM

Nissan Leaf Frontier

For many enthusiasts, the concept of the ute – a car with a pickup bed – is somehow irresistibly appealing. On paper, it promises the marriage of a truck's utility and a car's superior driving dynamics, and for that reason alone, we'd love to see more of them. Yet while other parts of the world get them in good numbers, North America doesn't ever see them – at least not for long. Based on what we've seen of late, though, that's not due to a lack of motivation on the part of engineers.

BMW wowed us several years ago with an M3 ute, and earlier this year, some interns converted a Mini Paceman into the pickup-bodied Paceman Adventure. Loathe to let their rivals in Munich and Oxford have all the fun, Nissan has built its very own car-based pickup. Meet Sparky, the world's first Leaf Frontier.

Like the M3, this all-electric ute is used as a parts hauler for Nissan's engineering teams at its sprawling Stanfield, AZ tech centre and proving grounds. "We tried to keep it a secret and be exciting for everybody. But we have visitors and they come and they see that truck and they go straight to 'What is it?' and they start looking at it, and it makes great conversation," Nissan's Roland Schellenberg said in a statement.

Schellenberg completed the months-long team-building project alongside fellow engineer Arnold Moulinet. "After [Schellenberg] told us it was going to be the Leaf that we would redo, I went home and stayed up til like four in the morning making all kinds of designs for what would work. We basically got the stock Leaf, and after reviewing a bunch of designs of pickup trucks that we have here at Nissan, we decided to go with a Frontier bed," Moulinet said in a statement. "My main job here is working on rough-road vehicles, rough-road testing. I'm pretty good at taking cars completely apart to the bare frame and putting them back together again to resume testing."

Take a look below for the video on the impetus behind Sparky, the build process and to see the final result in action.

News Source: Nissan Newsroom via YouTube

Lotus to layoff a quarter of its workforce

Posted Sep 18th 2014 4:30PM

Group Lotus HQ

Lotus has issued a press release to day, wherein it indicates that a "need to both reshape its organisation and to reduce costs" may result in the loss of "up to 325" jobs. That's a fairly significant number of layoffs for any company, but considering that Lotus currently employs 1,215 people (per the company's bio in the same release), it could mean a full 25-per cent of the automaker's workers could soon be sharpening their resumes.

CEO Jean-Marc Gales says in the statement that Lotus has "worked very hard to avoid the need to make this proposal," but admits that it is now "essential" to the future of the company. The chief indicates that post-restructuring, he expects Lotus to be a "leaner" and "more competitive" organization, one which – and we can all see a little silver lining here – is focused on "producing class-leading sports cars and innovative engineering."

The 325-job number appears to be soft at this point, with the statement indicating that some negotiation about which and how many posts will be cut is yet to come. Further, the company may "redeploy" some employees, and may even recruit new blood for "key roles," all with an eye toward running the strongest possible team going forward. Though, we imagine that the recruitment bit won't fly well for those employees getting the sack.

Continue on below for the full press release from Lotus.

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Image Credit: Ian Hampton / Flickr CC 2.0

Volvo XC90 R-Design adds a dash of sport

Posted Sep 18th 2014 4:00PM

2015 Volvo XC90 R-Design

The 2015 Volvo XC90 is a huge leap forward for the Swedish automaker as its first all-new model since leaving Ford ownership. There's a lot riding on the crossover's success, too, because its platform is supposed to underpin Volvo vehicles for years to come. The latest move for the new CUV is adding a little aggressiveness to the look with the R-Design trim for buyers desiring a sportier-looking Swede.

The R-Design joins the already announced Momentum and Inscription trims. Mechanically it doesn't change anything, but ticking the box for the R-Design adds a slightly different grille with horizontal slats, a redesigned lower air dam, new window trim, matte silver side-mirror covers and rectangular exhaust nestled in an altered lower rear bumper. The sportier XC90 comes standard with 20-inch wheels, but a 22-inch design is optional, as well.

The meaner look is carried inside with sport seats covered in Nubuck and Nappa leather, a perforated leather steering wheel and R-Design trim for the gearshift, pedals, floor mats and illuminated tread plates. The touchscreen infotainment system also gets an R-Design theme.

According to Volvo, the XC90 R-Design is all about giving buyers a chance to personalize their crossover. With the Momentum as the base and the Inscription trim representing more luxury with high-end finishes, the new addition goes after one more niche. Scroll down to read the official announcement of this slightly meaner looking XC90.

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News Source: Volvo

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