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We obsessively covered the 2014 Monterey Car Week

  • We obsessively covered the 2014 Monterey Car Week
  • Autoblog readers come clean with their own controversial automotive beliefs
  • 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 8AT
  • We cruised Woodward in the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat [w/video]

Lamborghini Miura and Countach driven back to back in bid to make Autoblog staff jealous

Posted Aug 21st 2014 4:00PM

Lamborghini Miura and Countach video

For the Autoblog staff, we're in the honeymoon phase following the Monterey car week and Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. In terms of big, huge, labor-intensive events on the horizon, we're free until the beginning of October, when we'll ship off to Paris for its annual motor show. That means we're free to look back on the beautiful metal out in California, which included more than a few classic Lamborghinis, including the Miura and Countach.

Unfortunately, we never had a hope of getting behind the wheel (believe it or not, asking exceptionally wealthy car collectors to borrow their meticulously maintained, extraordinarily rare vehicles doesn't elicit immediate cooperation). Considering this grave injustice, we're left taking solace in the latest video from Car, which sees the British outlet taking spins in both the Miura and Countach. The pair of vehicles served as forbearers to the modern supercar, with the former's early mid-engine layout and the latter's aggressive, wedge-shaped styling.

Take a look at the latest video from the lucky bastards team at Car.

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News Source: CARmagazineTV via YouTube

Watch Audi's Emmy promo, starring Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Posted Aug 21st 2014 2:58PM

Emmy Awards Promo

A lot of online videos try way too hard to be funny, but the promo from Audi for the 66th Emmy Awards on Monday, August 25, shows that if you put faith in a proven group of hilarious actors, you can strike comedy gold. The short film reunites Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul as the proprietors of a pawnshop of rare and obscure items called Barely Legal Pawn. They have their own fictional reality show (which really needs to exist) that rips off Pawn Stars, and this segment has comedy veteran Julia Louis-Dreyfus coming in to sell her Emmy award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy as Elaine on Seinfeld. Louis-Dreyfus also pays the title sponsor's bills by subtly incorporating a 2015 S3 into the otherwise car-free gag.

It would ruin the video to spoil any of the jokes; you just need to watch it. Cranston actually bridges the gap here because way before he became famous as Walter White on Breaking Bad, he had a recurring guest role on Seinfeld as dentist Dr. Tim Whatley. If you're a fan of either show or just need a hearty chuckle for today, this one is definitely for you because all three former Emmy winners put in fantastic performances.

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News Source: Television Academy via YouTube, Adweek

2015 Ford Mustang RTR teased ahead of SEMA debut

Posted Aug 21st 2014 2:00PM

Rendering of the 2015 RTR Mustang that will be shown at SEMA.

Drifter Vaughn Gittin, Jr. and his tuning shop, RTR has shown off a preliminary rendering of the tuned 2015 Ford Mustang it's going to rock this year's SEMA show. About two months after that, they'll start showing up fully built in select Ford dealerships, plus garage rats can order the parts through Mustang RTR or American Muscle.

Hardware and numbers are still secret, but we're told the Mustang RTR will be available in both four- and eight-cylinder variants and in two states of tune, Spec 1 and Spec 2. We drove a 2012 version of the Mustang RTR and declared it not bad, a noteworthy progression over the model that preceded it. There's a press release below with Gittin's words on the announcement and a couple of high-res images to whet your appetite for Las Vegas.

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News Source: Ford Racing, RTR via Facebook

Watch these NHRA top fuel dragsters pull successive barrel-rolls

Posted Aug 21st 2014 1:00PM

Drag race at Brainerd

To win a race, you have to finish the race. It's the first lesson of racing, no matter what kind you're into. In drag racing, though, if your opponent crashes out – as is not uncommon a sight – then victory is yours. But what if both dragsters fail to make it to the finish line?

That's what racing fans witnessed this past weekend when the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series arrived in Brainerd, MN. That's where both Don Kritzky and Monte Green rolled their top fuel dragsters one after the other, causing the unusual and noteworthy crash captured in this video. Green was reportedly treated on the scene while Kritzky was airlifted to a hospital in Minneapolis (we're working to get further word on his condition and will update you if we learn more).

News Source: NHRA via YouTube

2015 Subaru WRX CVT

Posted Aug 21st 2014 12:00PM

I drove the 2015 Subaru WRX Sport Lineartronic (CVT) for the first time at CTMP's (Mosport) brand-new Driver Development Track (DDT) earlier this year at the WRX Club Event. The event was a track event and I couldn't help but compare its track prowess to the 6-speed versions in that article, so I didn't exactly give the CVT-equipped car a glowing review. Subaru reached out to me to get me to expand upon why I didn't like it and promptly offered to put me into a CVT-equipped WRX for a week-long real-world test.

I quickly agreed that it would be a good idea for a couple of reasons. I realized that it's not always about balls-out acceleration, performance, clutch-kicks, hard shifts and rowing your own boat. I also realized that when it comes to a car that's primary purpose is to be a daily driven commuter car with performance on tap, you can't judge it by a grueling track test; it's not what its prime directive is.

We've reviewed the WRX extensively and even have a long-term tester in our ranks (click here for the introduction and click here for the most recent update); so this review is going to be focused on what driving the third-pedal-less CVT WRX around in your daily grind is like... READ ON

Image Credit: Copyright 2014: Santiago Gomez / AOL

Smart ED ready for high-horsepower Mustang on city drag strip

Posted Aug 21st 2014 11:00AM

Smart ED City Drag Racing

Hey, all you fans of the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, where will you ever use that 328 kilometre per hour top speed? Probably not in very many places, and Smart would kindly like to remind you that, "Top speed means nothing in the city."

That's the tagline for a new ad for the all-electric Smart ED from Smart Canada. The scene is iconic: a couple of high-power cars at the drag strip. But they're up against the battery-powered Smart ED, which you wouldn't think would hold a candle to the overkill horsepower in the Ford Mustang, Audi A5 and Porsche Boxster. Well, maybe it doesn't, but that's why the message here is interesting.

We won't give everything away – that's what the 90-second video you can watch below is for – but we will say this ad does a good job of taking something we think we know and turning it on its head.

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News Source: Smart Canada via Green Car Reports, YouTube

Lotus said to be planning new sedan, crossover [w/poll]

Posted Aug 21st 2014 10:30AM

Lotus Eterne Concept

Lotus has been in limbo in recent years. After former CEO Dany Bahar revealed his plans to build six new models, its parent company was sold, Bahar was sacked, his plans were canceled and a new CEO was hired in the form of former Peugeot chief Jean-Marc Gales. The industry has been waiting ever since to find out what Gales would do with the storied marque, and now we seem to have some indication.

Reports coming in from Malaysia indicate that Jean-Marc presented to the board of parent company Proton a plan for Lotus to build a new sedan and crossover. Though details are scarce, and may seem downright blasphemous for an automaker that built is reputation on lightweight sports cars, it would not be the first time that the House that Colin Built has toyed with either idea.

The company presented the APX crossover concept at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show, and the Eterne sedan concept as part of Bahar's far-reaching plans at the 2010 Paris Motor Show. The new plans may use these concepts as starting points or could go another direction entirely.

Of course Lotus would not be the first sports car manufacturer to branch out into sedans and CUVs. Porsche has done both with great success. Lamborghini has presented concepts for both as well. And Maserati is well on its way to expanding its lineup with two new sedans already on the market and a crossover soon to follow. Aston Martin already offers a four-door and has toyed with the idea of a crossover as well, and even Bugatti has showcased sedan concepts, which would seem to leave dedicated supercar manufacturers like Ferrari and McLaren (not to mention the likes of Pagani and Koenigsegg) as the only holdouts that won't entertain the notion.

Should Lotus build a crossover and/or sedan?

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News Source: Utusan via Motor Authority

Image Credit: Lotus

BMW reveals new X5 Security Plus in Moscow

Posted Aug 21st 2014 9:59AM

BMW X5 Security Plus

A major player in the Russian market, BMW is heading to the Moscow Motor Show this month with a slew of local debuts... most of which we've already seen. But among all the new models making the trek from Bavaria to Moscow will be the new X5 Security Plus.

In a new-model launch that will surprise exactly no one, BMW's latest armored vehicle upgrades the X5 with enhanced protection for oligarchs against Chechen rebels, AK47-touting gangsters and missiles randomly falling on Crimean highways. Now meeting the VR6 standard of ballistic protection, the new X5 Security Plus incorporates reinforced bodywork, seats and joints, along with bulletproof glass.

Of course all that reinforcement (not to mention the jars of beluga caviar and bottles of Stoli in the glovebox) will come with a weight penalty, but the 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 ought to do the trick, driving 450 horsepower through BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system to get the vehicle's occupants out of a war zone in a hurry.

News Source: BMW

Infiniti previews a new... something

Posted Aug 21st 2014 9:00AM

Infiniti concept teaser

Sometimes we get a teaser image and accompanying statement where we can at least surmise what the automaker is up to. This is not one of those times.

The automaker, in this case, is Infiniti, and the teaser image shows only a grille with a similar shape to what you'd find on most of the company's products, albeit with a curvier mesh. Which isn't much to go on, really, and the accompanying statement (which you can read below in its forty-word entirety) doesn't give us much more. All it says is that the vehicle in question – which we'll wager is a concept car instead of a production debut – has "style and substance" embodied in a "vision... on a scale not seen before" from Infiniti.

Given the French peppered into the release and the encroaching chronological proximity of the Paris Motor Show, we'd guess that's where Infiniti will reveal this latest but of inspiration, but just what form it will take is still a mystery.

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News Source: Infiniti