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GP Experience will help you live out your F1 fantasies

Posted Oct 1st 2014 10:00AM

GP Experience Formula 1

Have you ever wanted to drive a Formula 1 car but know that you're too old, don't have the skill or lack the time and money to rise up the ranks? A new program called GP Experience claims to be the first program of its kind in North America to give people the chance to get behind the wheel an F1 car, as part of a day of high-performance driving.

The day includes instruction lapping in go-karts and eventually steps up to driving supercars. Of course, the climax is getting to do three laps in one of GP Experience's former F1 cars. There are also chances to do rounds of the circuit in the program's F1X3 three-seaters piloted by a professional.

Obviously, you're not driving Sebastian Vettel's championship-winning Red Bull from last year. According to GP Experience's FAQ, the chassis for its F1 cars are from between 2005 and 2008, and they use V8 or V10 engines from Cosworth, Judd and Peugeot that make in excess of 600 horsepower. The company's press release also claims that after graduating from the first level of the program, people can keep training and potentially get the opportunity to drive Kimi Raikkonen's 2012 Lotus E20.

GP Experience already has its first events scheduled for later this year at tracks like Thermal Club in Palm Springs, CA, and Palm Beach International Raceway in Florida that cost $6,995 (CAD$7,840) for a day of driving. There are also two courses set at the Circuit of the Americas track for $9,995 (CAD$11,200).

Obviously, these prices aren't cheap for a day at the track, but there also aren't many other opportunities out there to drive an F1 car, even for just a few laps. This is one way to tick it off the bucket list. Scroll down to read more.

News Source: GP Experience, [2], [3]

Five reasons to love, or hate, the culture of North American cars

Posted Oct 1st 2014 9:00AM


As enthusiasts, we love cars from all parts of the world. Whether they be supercars from Italy, luxury sedans from Germany or tiny urban runabouts from Japan, as long as they're interesting and well-designed for their intended purpose, we're location-agnostic when it comes to picking favourites.

... Mostly.

Considering that the vast majority of your humble staffers from Autoblog hail from and call North America home, it's only natural that some of us have a few hometown heroes with which we fill our fantasies. And it's not like American automakers haven't left a thorough swath of vehicles for us to swoon over – while the automobile wasn't exactly invented in North America, it was certainly popularized here, and, while we can probably find just as many flops as hits, the annals of automotive history are filled with plenty of examples of excellence rolling out of Detroit.

Here are a few reasons for automotive enthusiasts to celebrate North American domestic cars.

Image Credit: AOL

Chrysler registers Trackhawk trademark

Posted Oct 1st 2014 8:30AM

2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT

There may not be many ways to forecast what an automaker is planning for the future, but there are some. Trademark applications are one of them, and Chrysler has just applied with the US Patent and Trademark Office to protect the name "Trackhawk." The question is, what's it planning on using it for? We don't know for sure, but we can put together an educated guess or two. And one guess is that Jeep will use the name to replace the letters SRT on the performance version of the Grand Cherokee.

How do we figure, you ask? From a number of developments. For starters, the SRT division has been reintegrated into the Dodge brand. Those letters currently appear on only two vehicles from outside the Dodge lineup: one is the Grand Cherokee SRT, and the other is the Chrysler 300 SRT. We've heard ruminations (however unconfirmed) that the latter could be either discontinued or possibly relabeled, and if the same proves true of the GC, the Trackhawk name could serve as a on-road performance counterpart to the Trailhawk label applied to off-road versions of models like the Cherokee and Renegade.

Logical it may be, but it's hardly a foregone conclusion. The Trackhawk name could just as easily be used for a new concept (like the Trailhawk name was in 2007), for another kind of trim level or for something else entirely. In fact we don't even know for sure it'll be used by the Jeep brand specifically, or used at all for that matter. Automakers have been known, after all, to register names they don't end up using.

We've reached out to Jeep for comment, but whether we hear back with any useful information or not, we have a feeling we'll be finding out one way or another before too long, so watch this space.

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News Source: allpar.com via World Car Fans

Image Credit: Jeep

Hyundai Genesis gets stanced by Ark Performance for SEMA

Posted Oct 1st 2014 8:00AM

Hyundai Genesis Ark Performance SEMA Concept

Hyundai has yet another high-performance concept for the upcoming 2014 SEMA Show in November to join its 708-horsepower Sonata. For this one, Ark Performance is taking the Genesis Sedan and pumping up the output by supercharging its 5.0-litre V8, along with a mile-long list of other modifications to mix speed with added luxury.

Ark calls the tuner concept the AR550 in reference to taking the Genesis' standard 420 horsepower V8 and boosting it an extra 130 hp with a Rotrex supercharger to bring total output to 550 hp. The mill also benefits from a freer breathing intake and exhaust, new engine management and more.

All of that extra power would be nearly useless without upgrades elsewhere to handle it, and Ark has some big additions to include. The one-off rides on an air suspension system and stiffer front and rear sway bars. To bring things to a halt faster, larger brakes from Brembo replace the standard units.

To show off the additional performance aesthetically, Ark Performance also completely overhauls the exterior of the Genesis with its own bodykit and forged, bronze-colored wheels. The modifications include parts to widen the front and rear bumpers, including the fenders, a carbon fibre front splitter, new side skirts and a rear diffuser. Inside, the tuner wants to keep occupants comfy even while cruising at high speed with custom diamond-stitched seats and door panels from Katzkin.

According to the tuner, the whole package of the AR550 is supposed to imagine Hyundai's answer to the Bahnstorming executive sedans from AMG and the BMW M division. Scroll down to read the full release about it.

Related GalleryHyundai Genesis Ark Performance SEMA Concept
Hyundai Genesis Ark Performance SEMA ConceptHyundai Genesis Ark Performance SEMA Concept


News Source: Hyundai

Lexus GS F points its gaping grille at the BMW M5

Posted Oct 1st 2014 2:01AM

Lexus GS F: Spy Shots

A mere trio of weeks after the latest report in the slow-moving Lexus GS F rumour cycle, we have a brand new batch of spy photos of the BMW M5-fighting sedan. Looking more and more production ready – notice the more finished exhausts compared to our last round of photos – the GS F can be seen poking around what we imagine is Germany.

If the RC and RC F Coupes are any indication, it looks like Lexus will start fitting its high-performance models with a new, single-frame version of the spindle grille while a dual-frame grille will be reserved for lesser trims. Backing up that suspicion is the new single-frame grille found on this prototype, marking the first time the suspected F line styling piece has been seen on a GS F prototype.

The aforementioned staggered quad exhausts look good on the GS' rear end, while a none-too-subtle rear spoiler ups the rear's visual flair. The low-profile rubber and the multi-spoke, black wheels are nice touches that work well with the front fascia features, in addition to the new, camo'd grille and substantial brake cooling ducts.

With such a high degree of finality on this prototype, here's hoping we see the production GS F sooner rather than later.

Image Credit: CarPix

McLaren 650S GT3 stalks its prey in the woods

Posted Sep 30th 2014 8:00PM

McLaren 650S GT3

We're plenty excited about the new McLaren 650S GT3. While we've pored over images of the new racer, we've yet to see it in motion, which makes the arrival of this new video pretty fortuitous.

By clicking 'play' above, you'll see the 650S streaking through the forest, showing off its many good angles along with an ear-pleasing exhaust note that should fit in nicely on the racing grid. Of course, what grid that will be is open for discussion.

Rumours continue circulating that the replacement for the MP4-12C GT3 will herald McLaren's long-awaited return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans and other top-flight endurance series, provided it's converted to the GTE class standard. While that's yet to be confirmed, as of right now, it's a virtual certainty that this new model will take up the series currently contested by the GT3 class, including the Blancpain Endurance Series and Pirelli World Challenge.

Take a look at the video and let us know what you think in Comments.

Related GalleryMcLaren 650S GT3
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News Source: McLaren Automotive via YouTube

BEHIND THE SCENES: We obsessively cover H2O International 2014

Posted Sep 30th 2014 7:00PM



H2O International (H2Oi) is an annual "laid back" two day event held in Ocean City, Maryland, which originally featured all shapes and forms of Volkswagen vehicles and other European makes. These days, this event seems to draw all sorts of import cars and auto enthusiasts from across the US and Canada to have some fun and often make the OCPD's life a living hell in the process.

We decided it was about time Autoblog Canada tag along with photographer pal and tuner car aficionado Taylor Robinson to get a behind the scenes look at what makes H2Oi so damn popular, and this is what we found... READ MORE

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Taylor Robinson / AOL

Ford Mustang 50th anniversary edition brings in $170k at auction

Posted Sep 30th 2014 6:00PM



Earlier today, we reported on the first Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat selling for a whopping US$825,000 at auction. But impressive as that sum was, the Challenger wasn't the only sought-after modern muscle car to cross the Barrett-Jackson auction block in Las Vegas this past weekend. So did this rare Ford Mustang.

The last of 1,964 special-edition 50 Years Limited Edition pony cars sold for a princely US$170,000, with proceeds benefiting the Edith and Benson Ford Heart & Vascular Institute, a branch of the Henry Ford Health System.

The pony car in question is based on the 2015 Ford Mustang GT and upgrades with a performance package and nearly every option on the book, along with a unique appearance package to set it apart in celebration of the Mustang's 50th anniversary. It's available in two exclusive shades – Wimbledon white or Kona blue – with either a manual or automatic transmission. Only 1,964 highly symbolic examples were to be built, and this was the last of them.

Related Gallery2015 Ford Mustang 50th Anniversary Edition
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Ford Marks 50 Years of Muscle with Limited Edition Mustang

News Source: Ford

Top 10 cars for consumer complaints

Posted Sep 30th 2014 5:00PM



After listing the 20 worst used cars to avoid buying and Top 10 annoying things we hate about new cars, we're turning our attention to the vehicles consumers complain about the most, according to the NHTSA.

The cars, crossovers and SUVs featured on this Top 10 list earned the highest number of safety complaints from their respective owners. The findings are based on the number of complaints per 100k units sold.

Click here to find out which Top 10 cars consumers complain about the most.

Related GalleryTop 10 worst used cars you can buy
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Related GalleryBest and worst used car values - Consumer Reports Study
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News Source: NHTSA

Image Credit: AOL / Autoblog Canada

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