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2015 Volkswagen Golf R [w/video]

  • 2015 Volkswagen Golf R [w/video]
  • HIGHLIGHTS: 2014 LA Auto Show
  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG S 4Matic stands out in the LA crowd
  • 2016 Mazda CX-3 is the newest KODO designed crossover

Motor Trend wheels the 2015 Corvette Z06

Posted Nov 24th 2014 8:00PM

Motor Trend: Chevrolet Corvette Z06

The new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is capable of some absolutely wild metrics. Want proof? Carlos Lago from Motor Trend is here to break it all down. 60 miles per hour (96 km/h)? 3.2 seconds. 60 mph (96 km/h) to 0? 91 feet. Lateral acceleration? A staggering 1.16g, a figure that is the highest MT has ever recorded for a vehicle that isn't a race car.

It's an utterly astonishing piece of work, this Z06, and just when you think it can't possibly get any more impressive, Randy Pobst hustles an auto-equipped Z06 around Road Atlanta in just 1:30. Aside from the eight-speed auto, Pobst's Z06 had the most aggressive aerodynamic package, the so-called Stage III.

Take a look at the 650-horsepower Z06 in Motor Trend's latest video.

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News Source: Motor Trend Channel via YouTube

Watch this Chinese stunt driver parallel park with only 3 inches to spare

Posted Nov 24th 2014 7:00PM

Parallel Parking Video

Whenever this writer thinks of fancy parking jobs, we go straight to Buddy Love singing Strokin' in a red Dodge Viper he slides into a tiny space in The Nutty Professor. But after watching the video below, we might have to start thinking about Han Yue, who broke the world record for getting into the tightest parallel parking space. The previous record was set in July 2013 by Alastair Moffatt, who had 3.4 inches to spare between his car and those around. Yue used a Mini Cooper at the China Drift Championship in Chongqing, China, to shrink that gap to 3.15 inches.

That gave Yue two world records at the same event: the day before, he used a BMW M4 to set the world record for doing the most donuts around a car driving on two wheels. Which, frankly, we didn't even know was a competitive thing...

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News Source: Guinness World Records via YouTube

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Jeremy Korzeniewski / AOL

Kia Sorento bares its claws for X-Men special edition

Posted Nov 24th 2014 6:30PM

Kia Sorento X-Men Edition

We all know what Batman drives. Chrysler even postulated at what Superman would drive with its special Ram Power Wagon. But what would the X-Men drive? According to Kia, the Sorento you see here.

Unveiled to promote the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD, this special Sorento has been done up in a unique livery inspired by one of Marvel's superheroes. Just which one, Kia's not saying, inviting fans to vote on its Facebook page – but unless those claws on the front are magnetized, we're pretty sure you can guess.

The special Kia Sorento will be displayed at the Australian Open, which Kia is also sponsoring, and will be followed by a video of tennis star Rafael Nadal teaming up with the team of mutants and jumping in the Sorento to take on a patrol of Sentinels.

This isn't the first time, of course, that we've seen Kia take inspiration from comic-book superheroes, but its previous collaborations – highlighted by a quintet of show cars unveiled at SEMA two years ago – were with rival DC's Justice League.

News Source: Kia

Cadillac's de Nysschen takes aim at Porsche 911, Cayenne

Posted Nov 24th 2014 6:00PM

2009 Cadillac XLR

Johan de Nysschen has big plans for Cadillac. He's moved the brand from Detroit to New York, revamped its model nomenclature, and planning a raft of new models for the near future – including a $250,000 luxury sedan to take on the likes of Rolls-Royce and Bentley. But the veteran executive of luxury automakers has some more performance-oriented machinery in mind, too.

Speaking with Car and Driver at the Los Angeles Auto Show last week, de Nysschen suggested Cadillac could be ready to launch a flagship sports car sometime in the next decade. The halo model would take aim at the Porsche 911 and do for Cadillac what Audi did with the R8, Mercedes is doing with the AMG GT and Acura once did (and is aiming to do again) with the NSX.

Just what form it would take remains a big unknown, but de Nysschen indicated that the brand would need to be built up further before the sports car would be launched, lest it emerge too detached from Cadillac's image. The last time Cadillac delved into that territory was with the Corvette-based XLR, of which it sold only 15,000 or so examples – far below initial targets.

The 911 rival isn't the only performance model de Nysschen has in mind, however. He plans to further expand the V series into a more substantial sub-brand to include a crossover to take on the likes of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, BMW X5 M and all those many AMG-tuned Mercedes utilities.

The idea of an entry-level model to slot in below the ATS was mooted as well. A range of diesel engines are slated to help Cadillac break into overseas markets in similar fashion to how Maserati has expanded its market reach with oil-burning versions of the Ghibli and Quattroporte. And we wouldn't be surprised to see Cadillac get in on a new flagship SUV being launched by Opel in Europe, either.

News Source: Car and Driver

Fiat looks to retire 'Fix It Again, Tony' by knocking Honda

Posted Nov 24th 2014 5:00PM

Fiat Fix It Ad

Ask Americans what Fiat stands for, and the odds are pretty low that you'll hear, "Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino" to be the answer. The more far likely response is "Fix It Again, Tony." The ignominious moniker comes from the brand's stint selling often unreliable models in North aMerica in the '60s and '70s, and it remains in some minds today. However, Fiat thinks the time is right to challenge the old stereotype, and it's doing just that with a new commercial for the forthcoming 500X compact crossover, while taking some shots at Honda, as well.

In the ad, a guy just wants his Civic repaired, but two heavily accented, Italian mechanics berate his Honda for not being sexy. The boss of the shop eventually promises, "We fix it," and the customer goes inside to enjoy an espresso. At no point is the infamous, "Fix it again, Tony," ever actually uttered, but it's strongly suggested with a sign for Tony's Fix It Shop prominently displayed in several shots.

In an interview with Automotive News, Fiat global brand boss Olivier Francois explained the idea behind the commercial. It "features a skeleton in the closet, the elephant in the room. His name was Tony, and he had to go," Francois said to AN.

The 500X goes on sale in the first half of 2015 in North America and shares a platform with the Jeep Renegade. The CUV is offered with either a 1.4-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder with 160 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, or a 2.4-litre four-cylinder with 180 horsepower.

The commercial certainly shows courage to take on the Fiat's old stereotype, but the brand has more to beat than just perception. The company came in dead last by a large margin in JD Power's 2014 Initial Quality Study, and it was also at the bottom of Consumer Reports' 2015 Predicted Reliability report. Scroll down to watch the ad for Fiat's attempt to challenge the legacy of Tony.

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Mercedes-AMG planning more hardcore A45 hot hatch

Posted Nov 24th 2014 4:00PM

Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG

The launch of the A45 AMG marked Mercedes-Benz's first real assault on the premium hot hatch segment. And with 355 horsepower from a 2.0-litre turbo four, it is indeed hot. But the latest word has it that Mercedes-AMG is planning an even hotter version.

Speaking with Auto Express at the LA Auto Show last week, AMG boss Tobias Moers indicated that his department was toying with the idea of a more hardcore version of the A45. In what Moers referred to as a "street fighter," the A45's engine would be tuned to produce even more power, the cabin stripped out and the rolling stock, brakes and aero upgraded for more serious performance.

Think of it, then, as something of a Black Series approach, only it's not expected to carry that name, which has historically been reserved specifically for two-door models. Given AMG's current list of priorities and limited manpower, though, Moers suggests it will be several years – likely towards the end of the model's life cycle – before it may prepare such a model, following a similar formula to the Mini JCW GP and Renaultsport Mégane R26.R. Here's hoping an American version based on the CLA could also be in the cards.

News Source: Auto Express

Watch Ford build a Mustang atop Burj Khalifa, world's tallest building

Posted Nov 24th 2014 3:00PM

Ford Mustang at top of Burj Khalifa

In 1965, a Ford Mustang Convertible proudly went on display at the top of the Empire State Building, the world's tallest building at the time. Earlier this year, the Blue Oval recreated the stunt by bringing the latest droptop 'Stang to the sky-high structure during the New York Auto Show. Unfortunately, while still iconic, the New York skyscraper has lost the world title. Of course, an automaker can't let something like that get in the way of a good publicity stunt.

For the inauguration of the Ford business unit in the Middle East and Africa, the brand gave the 2015 Mustang Convertible an even bigger building to climb – the biggest in fact. The droptop made its way to the 112th floor of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building. To put a final topper on the whole event, executive chairman Bill Ford was the one to affix the car's famous badge, making it complete.

Like with the Empire State Building spectacle, getting the Mustang to the top wasn't as simple as just driving it off the elevator. Check out the video below to see how it was done, and scroll down to read Ford's press release about the event.

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News Source: Ford, Ford Middle East via YouTube

Top 15 cars plagued with recalls

Posted Nov 24th 2014 2:00PM



New cars are clearly much more complex than they used to be and as a result, we're seeing a record setting number of vehicle recalls from manufacturers. With a staggering 52 million cars recalled so far this year and counting, we can't help but wonder if the endless stream of auto recalls by car manufacturers is the new norm we face moving forward.

In addition to the obvious safety concerns, automotive recalls also directly translate into more trips to the dealership, meaning lost time and inconvenience if your vehicle happens to be affected. Luckily, the number crunching and statistic gathering experts at iSeeCars.com have just released a study listing the Top 15 Cars with the Highest Average Number of Recalls and you might be surprised to find out recall plagued brands GM and Toyota aren't the only manufacturers on the list.

"Recalls are of course detrimental to the safety of the driver and the car's occupants, but they also represent a huge headache for consumers," said iSeeCars.com CEO Phong Ly. Each recall can lead to several hours of lost time. "It's a multi-step process," explained Ly. "You need to call to make an appointment with the dealer, then there's the driving to the dealership, waiting in line and waiting for the repair to be performed or for them to provide you a loaner car. Then you repeat the process again in reverse when the repair is complete." At an estimated average of three hours per recall, the hours lost range from 2.2 to 14.4 hours among the 35 car models studied.

Click here to find out the Top 15 Cars Plagued with Recalls that you should consider before you buy, as iSeeCars.com analyzed the 35 most widely available cars for sale from the 2007 to 2013 model years to determine which cars had the most number of recalls on average. Could the same advanced features and technology we love to have behind the wheel be fueling the vast increase in vehicle recalls and potential flaws?

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What You Need to Know About Car Recalls

News Source: iSeeCars.com

Race recap: Abu Dhabi GP is reversals, luck, leanness and last dances

Posted Nov 24th 2014 1:30PM

Graphic for the 2014 Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix.

We weren't sure if Alter Ego Nico Rosberg, the one who flew into Brazil and showed Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Lewis Hamilton that he knew also knew how to grab an entire race weekend by the scruff of the neck, arrived in Abu Dhabi. In both Friday practice sessions Hamilton showed Rosberg the way.

Then on Saturday, Alter Ego Rosberg took over, taking the last Free Practice session and then pole position by a whopping four-tenths of a second over Hamilton. Thanks to the gimmicky and soon-to-be-obliterated spectre of double points, if Rosberg won the race and Hamilton finished lower than second, the World Championship would remain in German hands.

Behind Hamilton came the Williams duo, again, with Valtteri Bottas ahead of Felipe Massa. Daniil Kvyat did swell to put his Toro Rosso in fifth, Jenson Button was just as swell getting his McLaren into sixth. Kimi Räikkönen out-qualified his Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso for the third time this year, the pair taking seventh and eighth on the grid. Kevin Magnussen lined the second McLaren up in ninth, Jean-Eric Vergne making the top ten for Toro Rosso in his last race for the team. To be clear, that was the final grid for race: Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel had both qualified in the top ten but were sent to the back of the grid when their Infiniti Red Bull Racing front wings were deemed illegal. They'd start from the pit lane, which was still ahead of Romain Grosjean in the Lotus, who took so many penalties for new engine components that he started the race in Turkey.

At lights-out on Sunday, well, it was pretty much lights out.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 AP / AFP | Getty Images, AOL

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