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2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat [w/videos]

  • 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat [w/videos]
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  • Gran Turismo 6 video game car comes to life with Nissan's 2020 GT-R Concept

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.

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

Ferrari 330 P4 is a stunning red bolide

Posted Jul 23rd 2014 3:59PM

Ferrari 330 P4

There are many beautiful cars in the world, and then there is the Ferrari 330 P4 that outdoes practically all of them. Combining more curves than Christina Hendricks and the singing voice of Adele, it might just be one of the most aesthetically pleasing cars ever made. In its latest video, Petrolicious takes a look at the sole remaining original P4 in existence and talks to the lucky man who gets to drive it.

Ferrari Corsa instructor Nick Longhi has the enviable task about getting behind the wheel of the V12 racer in this video, and he says it doesn't drive the way you might think. The P4 isn't out to bite drivers who aren't paying attention. Instead, he claims that the car just does everything right and helps the person at the controls be that much better.

Historically, the P4 was Ferrari's attempt in the 1967 season to take on the dominating Ford GT40. The Prancing Horse's major achievement that year was a 1-2-3 finish in the 24 Hours of Daytona, but it couldn't quite beat the Ford at the famous race at Le Mans.

Arguably, the later Ferrari 312PB that Petrolicious highlighted a few weeks ago sounds better, but it's got absolutely nothing on the voluptuously elegant design of the P4. Scroll down to learn about this thoroughbred of a Prancing Horse with some fantastic cinematography.

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News Source: Petrolicious via YouTube

Production Acura NSX spied getting sharper on the 'Ring

Posted Jul 23rd 2014 3:00PM



Acura hasn't been shy about trotting out the concept version of its upcoming NSX hybrid supercar – we've seen it colourized on Facebook, wearing Super GT drag and running wrapped at Mid Ohio – but until now, we've missed seeing the production version at all. Thankfully, our boys in the field have been diligently camped out by the Nürburgring, just the place for Acura engineers to get the NSX shaken down and ready for the public.

The first thing you'll likely notice (and no doubt appreciate) is that Acura is staying very true to the concept car. The same wind-tunnel-carved wedge shape is in evidence in the car's silhouette, and details like aggressively scalloped engine vents behind the cabin have made it through unscathed.

We do notice that there are some vertical elements at the bottom of the front fascia/grille that appear to be revised, and the mirrors are considerably less slinky than those of the concept car. Still, by and large, we're seeing a direct translation from show stand to real life here.

There haven't been any revelations about the powertrain in recent weeks, so expect the NSX to come fitted with a 400-plus-horsepower V6 engine mounted amidships, along with a series of electric motors for added grunt. Two of the electric powerplants are expected to turn the front wheels, and effect the most impressive-yet version of Acura's Super Handling All Wheel Drive.

News Source: CarPix

Chop the top of your new Dodge Viper for $35,000

Posted Jul 23rd 2014 2:00PM

Prefix Performance Dodge Viper Medusa convertible

We have good news, and we have bad news. First, the good: It's now possible to get a brand-new Dodge Viper roadster, which is nice, considering we're in the dead of summer and many of us like wind-in-the-hair motoring. Now, the bad: This is not a factory option from the automaker, instead coming courtesy of an aftermarket company called Prefix Performance, and that means it's going to cost you some serious coin.

Called Medusa, this drop-top Viper was created without the knowledge or consent of Dodge, but that's probably fine because Prefix works with the automaker already for the final preparation of the American supercar, including paint. According to the company, the current, fifth-gen Viper was built with a convertible version in mind, so no chassis strengthening is required. From the looks of the somewhat grainy photos available, the conversion appears of very high quality.

Want one? Well, that means you're going to need to procure a Viper – Prefix has 10 units ready for transformation as it stands – and that's going to cost at the very least US$102,485. Then, you'll need to write a check for an additional US$35,000 for Prefix to surgically remove the car's roof. Thing is, for that kind of cash, a prospective owner could buy, among other very nice options, a Viper hardtop and a loaded Miata, or a Corvette Stingray convertible and several pockets full of change. Or, perhaps a new Viper hardtop and a used, first-gen Viper convertible?

If you're still interested (and we wouldn't blame you if you were, regardless of the value debate), we'd suggest getting in touch with Prefix and getting yourself in line. In the meantime, feel free to check out the images above and below.

How Hollywood furthered our automotive obsession [w/videos]

Posted Jul 23rd 2014 1:01PM

Our Favourite Cars From The Big And Small Screens

Generally, General Lee

The car enthusiast's passion generally isn't founded in any single experience. It is a result of many influences, coming from places like our parents, our surrounding area's culture and, almost always, the media.

The automobile plays both major and minor roles in nearly every movie and TV show known to mankind. Today the editors at Autoblog, Autoblog Canada and AOL Autos are paying homage to a few of these, acknowledging the ones that stand out in our minds as having played a profound part in forming our ardor for all things automotive.

Head on past the jump to see the cars from the big and small screen for which our staff still pines. And make sure to tell us about your favorite movie/TV cars, in Comments.

Image Credit: Bruno_me - Flickr

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