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2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe

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  • 2015 Subaru WRX: Accident, wheels and tires
  • Porsche 911 GT3 Cup ANDIAL Edition

Raminator sets world record for fastest monster truck [w/video]

Posted Dec 17th 2014 8:00PM

Raminator at Circuit of the Americas

Monster trucks are made for a lot of things: crushing jalopies, jumping over jalopies, wowing spectators while crushing and jumping over jalopies, and so on. But powerful as they tend to be, monster trucks are not built for outright speed. Still, one has to be faster than another, and as it turns out, Raminator is the fastest of them all.

Alongside Rammunition and the new Mopar Muscle, Raminator is one of three Ram-based monster trucks run by the Hall Brothers Racing Team with support from Chrysler. It's been named Truck of the Year by the Monster Truck Racing Association a record eight times, its driver Mark Hall has been named the association's Driver of the Year nine times and its crew chief Tim Hall its Mechanic of the Year five times. And now Raminator and the Hall Brothers have claimed the Guinness World Record for the fastest monster truck, recording a top speed of 99.10 mph (159.4 km/h) to break the previous record of 96.8 mph (155.7 km/h).

The record was set at the Circuit of the Americas, the 3.4-mile (5.5-kilometre) track built on the outskirts of Austin, Texas, to host the United States Grand Prix. Aside from Formula One, the track has hosted endurance racing, touring cars and motorbikes, and while Raminator may not be the fastest vehicle ever to lap the circuit, it's surely one of the biggest. Click here to scope out the video from the record run below.

News Source: Ram

40 Years of BMW captured in awesome 10-second GIF

Posted Dec 17th 2014 7:00PM



Ever wonder how the current BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe evolved from a boxy 1970s classic? If so, this 10-second GIF above does a pretty darn good job of summing it all up right before your eyes. At first glance there seem to be few similarities between the vintage BMWs of the 1960s and 1970s and today's models. Look closer, though, and you can see the clear imprint of a lineage in numerous subtle but persistent details.

"The 4 Series Gran Coupe is like a spaceship in comparison to the 2002," says Erik Goplen, Creative Director, Global Automotive Design at BMW Group DesignworksUSA. "But it's definitely baby steps when you're in the process and in the throes."

To help reveal the continuity of BMW's design history, re:form worked with Remedy Editorial in San Francisco to create animated GIFs connecting over 40 years of car models into a few seconds of video. The set begins with the classic 2002 model BMW, takes in all six iterations of the 3 Series, and culminates with the 4 Series Gran Coupe released this year. Enjoy.

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News Source: BMW / re:form, re:form via Medium.com

Porsche's high-tech 'mirror' turns every car into a Macan

Posted Dec 17th 2014 6:00PM

A Porsche campaign puts a large screen at a valet stand in Los Angeles. As people drive up, they see themselves pulling up in a Porsche Macan.

Porsche calls it the "Magic Mirror," but it's less a reflective device and more 12 high-def screens that track drivers pulling into the valet area at a mall in Los Angeles. As they pass the screens in their cars, they get to see what they'd look like pulling up in a Macan, Porsche's newest and smallest crossover.

It could be considered the experiential evolution of a prior campaign that let people imagine how a Porsche would look in their driveways, an idea that was taken even further by a dealer in Toronto a few years later. Check out the video to see how it was done and how it was received.

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News Source: Porsche via YouTube

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Seyth Miersma / AOL

BMW 2 Series gets 3-cylinder Mini engine

Posted Dec 17th 2014 5:00PM

2015 BMW 2 Series

BMW Three-CylinderBMW just keeps lopping off cylinders from its engines and sliding the ever-more-diminutive mills into its models. This spring, Europeans will get some of the automaker's smallest yet thanks to a new entry-level 2 Series that will share a powerplant with the Mini Cooper. The Bavarian company will also introduce a few other tweaks to the compact coupe across the pond.

The 218i is the new 2 Series base model, and it shares its 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder with the latest family of Minis. The engine makes the same 134 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque, but BMW does have some tiny changes for it. First, the orientation is swapped to fit lengthwise under the hood and drive the rear wheels. Just as importantly, buyers can order it with an eight-speed automatic, rather than the six-speed in the Minis.

BMW claims that the little engine gives the 218i a 50:50 weight distribution, and it takes around 8.8 seconds to reach 100 km/h (62 mph) with the standard six-speed manual – tack on another tenth for the automatic. Either way, top speed is still a perfectly respectable 212 km/h (132 mph). Those acceleration numbers, incidentally, are over a second slower than what the latest Cooper is quoted at.

Beyond this new base model, BMW will bring a few other additions to the 2 Series for Europe. The 220d oil burner will be available with xDrive all-wheel drive, and the company will introduce several new equipment bundles called Advantage, Luxury Line, Sport Line and M Sport. Each will bundle various options and trims together to appeal to buyers. No word yet on whether the 218i will eventually make it to North America, but we aren't holding our breath. Scroll down to read BMW's lengthy release about all of the changes set for the 2 Series.

News Source: BMW

Hot Wheels loses Ferrari diecast contract to Chinese company

Posted Dec 17th 2014 4:00PM

Ferrari Store Opens In Rome

If you're anything like this writer, chances are you've got a diecast model or two kicking around the house. And if one of those models replicates a Ferrari, chances are it's made by Hot Wheels. The Mattel brand secured an exclusive contract from the Maranello automaker in the late 1990s, but the latest word from Hemmings has it that Ferrari has ended its partnership with Hot Wheels and awarded it instead to the May Cheong Group.

Unless you're an avid diecast collector, you may not have heard of May Cheong, but you may have heard of its brands Maisto and Bburago. Both brands are longtime players in the model car market, but it's the Bburago part of the deal that's particularly interesting.

Founded in Italy, Bburago made a name for itself largely due to the scale Ferrari models it made back in the day. But when the Prancing Horse marque awarded the exclusive contract to Mattel, and with increasing competition from the Far East, Bburago collapsed. May Cheong swept in and scooped it up, and now the Italian model brand, along with its onetime rival Maisto, will be producing diecast Ferraris once again.

Whether Bburago will use any of its old tooling to resume production of Ferrari scale models or start from scratch with all-new equipment remains to be seen, as does the matter of whether either it or Maisto will be able to produce the same quality of models as Hot Wheels has with some of its higher-end offerings. Like most collectors, this writer's looking forward to finding out. Looks like it's time to buy another display case.

News Source: Hemmings Daily

Image Credit: Marco Di Lauro/Getty

Watch Nissan 350Zs set the record for world's longest tandem drift

Posted Dec 17th 2014 3:00PM

Two Nissan 350Zs set a Guinness World Record for the long twin-vehicle drift in Dubai.

Back in July, Harald Müller notched a Guinness World Record by drifting longer than any lone tire-burner ever had: 89.55 miles (144.11 kilometres). This month, Nissan Middle East broke the Guinness World Record for the longest twin drift when two drivers slithered through a figure eight for 17.7 miles (28.4 kilometres). The feat came about to commemorate the opening of the Nissan 370Z Drift Experience in Dubai, which will teach eager punters how to abuse slip angle, but the actual drifting was done with two 350Zs.

Nissan opened the centre in partnership with ProDrift Academy, a European school for wannabe drifters, and when it comes time for actual instruction that will be done in the eponymous 370Z. You can check out a video snippet from the event above (due to the cheesy music, and what sounds like fake tire screeching, the video may be more enjoyable on mute) Also, check out the official press release from Nissan Middle East for more details.

News Source: Nissan via Top Gear

Infiniti's Vision for Gran Turismo revealed in full [w/video]

Posted Dec 17th 2014 2:00PM

Infiniti Concept Vision Gran Turismo

Just about any car has to be designed with some sort of limitations, whether it's a production car that has to be usable on the road, a racecar that has to comply with regulations, or even a concept car that does, at the end of the day, actually need to be crafted out of real materials and wheeled onto a stage. But the Vision Gran Turismo series imposes no such limitations. Designed only for a virtual reality, the project allows for designers to craft a purely fantastical design whose limits fall barely short of their own imaginations. It presents companies with the opportunity to represent their brand as they want to, so it comes as little surprise that every automaker from here to Hong Kong has been lining up to take part. And the latest is Infiniti.

Previewed in a pair of teaser renderings barely over a week ago, the Infiniti Concept Vision Gran Turismo is a suitably striking addition to the virtual world of the Gran Turismo video game franchise. Designed at the company's Beijing studio, the brief calls for a 4.5-litre naturally aspirated V8 hybrid powertrain, with a front mid-ship layout driving a rear transaxle for ideal 45/55 front-rear weight distribution. Beyond that it's all flowing forms, extreme aero and signature Infiniti design cues like a widened version of the brand's trademark grille shape and the kink in the rear pillar.

It's got butterfly doors hinged ahead of those spindly mirrors, center-lock alloys crafted from carbon fibre, deeply sculpted aerodynamic elements, a large boomerang-shaped rear wing and aggressive long-hood/low greenhouse proportions. It's F1 meets GT, to hear Infiniti tell it, and whether you've got a PS3 and a copy of Gran Turismo 6 to play around with it or not, you can check it out in the images above and the video below.

News Source: Polyphony Digital

Fiat Abarth Zagato lovechild is a double bubble worth the trouble

Posted Dec 17th 2014 1:00PM

1957 Fiat Abarth Zagato 750 GT Corsa

The Italian automotive industry is filled with legendary names: Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Lamborghini, De Tomaso, Pagani... but the names Fiat, Abarth and Zagato belong up there right beside them – especially when they came together on a vehicle as singular as this one.

It's a 1957 Fiat Abarth 750 GT Zagato Corsa, and it's a rare little monster indeed. It's based on a Fiat 600, tuned by Abarth and rebodied in classic double-bubble form by Zagato. There were only about five or six hundred of these made, and only 21 of them were Corsas. Its owner, Carl Gustav Magnusson, had one just like it when he lived in Europe, and entered it five times in the Mille Miglia. But after selling it and moving to America, he found another – with matching numbers – scooped it up and has enjoyed it ever since.

Fiat and Zagato took a modern stab at a similar formula a few years ago, and if it had ever reached production, an Abarth version would likely have followed. But alas it never did, so the closest we'll likely ever get is to join the videographic artisans at Petrolicious as they tell the story of this beautiful little classic in the video above.

News Source: Petrolicious via YouTube

2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe

Posted Dec 17th 2014 12:00PM

One Man's Goldilocks Is Another Man's Overkill



Conventional wisdom would dictate that adding more power and several key performance enhancements to an already very good car, like the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 Coupe, will end up equaling an even better car. In the case of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe, conventional wisdom sort of applies, but perhaps not as much as we'd have initially guessed.

We'll get into the nitty gritty details in just a moment, but here's the most immediate takeaway we had in our minds as we walked away from this super coupe: The S63 AMG is excellent, but so is the slightly more mundane S550 Coupe on which it is based, and which is priced some $27,000 less expensive than its more powerful sibling. Chew on those figures while we examine what differentiates the two S-Class Coupes.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Jeremy Korzeniewski / AOL / Mercedes-Benz

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