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2015 Honda CR-V

  • 2015 Honda CR-V
  • Morgan Plus 8 Speedster hits the track versus BMW R Nine T
  • 2014 Cadillac ELR
  • 2015 Subaru Impreza gets visual tweaks, added refinement

Kia bringing updated Rio, Venga to Paris

Posted Sep 30th 2014 1:30PM

2015 Kia Rio

The Rio may not be the most popular Kia in North America – not by a long shot – but it was the brand's top seller globally last year. Little wonder, then, that although the current fourth-generation model was only introduced in 2011, the Korean automaker is already rolling out a facelifted version.

Set to be revealed later this week at the Paris Motor Show, the 2015 Kia Rio has been updated inside, out and under the hood. The front end gets a new grille, bumper and foglights, there's a new bumper around back, and a fresh array of alloy wheels ranging in size from 15 inches to 17. There are also two new colors on offer, and the interior has been updated with a new center stack and chrome trim.

Powertrain options depend on local market demands but range from 74 horsepower to 107, driving the front wheels through a five- or six-speed manual or four-speed automatic and available with stop/start ignition. The updates were announced for the European-spec model; we're waiting for confirmation on what, if any, of these revisions will reach North American showrooms, so watch this space.

While it's at it, Kia has also revealed an updated Venga, the mini-minivan based on the same platform as the Kia Soul and Hyundai i20, introduced in Europe five years ago. Scope out the full details of both models in the press releases below.

Related Gallery2015 Kia Venga
2015 Kia Venga2015 Kia Venga2015 Kia Venga2015 Kia Venga2015 Kia Venga2015 Kia Venga2015 Kia Venga2015 Kia Venga


News Source: Kia

Piano Guys seranade each generation of Batmobile [w/poll]

Posted Sep 30th 2014 1:00PM

The Piano Guys perform a medley of Batman songs with a trio of Batmobiles

A new Batmobile is on the way for the upcoming film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and it blends the military styling of the one in the Dark Knight trilogy with some of the sleekness from the version in the '89 Tim Burton movie. With a new model imminent, it's a perfect time to honor three of the most famous shapes for the Caped Crusader's ride, and a group called The Piano Guys are doing just that in a new music video featuring a medley of Batman theme tunes played on a cello and piano.

According to the opening of the YouTube video and its accompanying description, the guys used the piano and over 100 tracks from the cello to create the song, and the video itself was shot on handheld cameras and a radio-controlled helicopter. The result is pretty amazing both visually and musically with great sets and fantastic-looking examples of each era of the Dark Knight's car.

Check out the video, and let us know in the poll below which Batmobile is your favourite: the Adam West classic, Tim Burton's aerodynamic interpretation or Christopher Nolan's utilitarian Tumbler.

Which Batmobile is your favourite?

News Source: The Piano Guys, Road & Track via YouTube

2015 Honda CR-V

Posted Sep 30th 2014 12:00PM

Meaningful Mid-Cycle Refresh Leaves This Cute-Ute All Grown Up

2015 Honda CR-V

Predicting the future direction of Honda's compact CR-V would have been difficult based on the Civic-derived model that first arrived on our shores for the 1997 model year. The newcomer, selling alongside the body-on-frame Passport (a hastily rebadged Isuzu Rodeo), was a cute compact crossover with four doors and an awkward curb-side hinged tailgate thanks to its Japanese home-market design. The five-passenger CUV offered generous interior room, but its wheezy 2.0-litre four-cylinder, with an output of just 126 horsepower and 133 pound-feet of torque, required 11.7 seconds to bring the 3,153-pound (1,430-kilogram) vehicle to 60 miles per hour (96 kilometres per hour). Rear drum brakes didn't help much in the stopping department, but Honda offered safety-minded consumers optional anti-lock brakes on the premium trim.

Nearly two decades after its introduction, the CR-V has matured in spectacular manner. The refreshed 2015 Honda CR-V, now in its fourth generation, is dimensionally within two inches of its ancestor in overall length and nearly identical in height and wheelbase. That consistency of dimension is impressive in this age of size and segment creep, and it stands as a testament to how 'right' Honda engineers got the model's original packaging. Of course, the CR-V hasn't stood still – nearly everything else about the best-selling compact CUV has improved in leaps and bounds.

But Honda is not the only player in this hotly contested segment today, so the automaker has taken the unusual step of updating its fourth-generation model just a few years after its introduction in an effort to keep it seated on the podium. To learn more about the automaker's improvements, and form our own impressions, we spent a day driving the CR-V in sunny Southern California.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Michael Harley / AOL, Honda

Wal-Mart claims Tracy Morgan wasn't wearing seatbelt during crash

Posted Sep 30th 2014 11:30AM

Actor Tracy Morgan Wasn't Wearing Seatbelt In June Crash, Wal-Mart Says
According to retail giant Wal-Mart, actor and comedian Tracy Morgan and others involved in his limousine crash were not wearing seat belts when their vehicle was struck by a Wal-Mart truck back in June. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. made its contention in a court filing responding to a lawsuit by Morgan and three other plaintiffs over the shocking crash on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Click here to watch the video report above for the latest news updates as this story develops.

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News Source: Wochit via AOL On

2016 Chevy Camaro makes camo'd appearance in Germany

Posted Sep 30th 2014 11:00AM

2016 Chevy Camaro

After our initial round of spy photos revealed a heavily camouflaged prototype of the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro, we've been on the lookout for anything new on the next-gen muscle car. And now, we have it.

This is the best look we've had of the 2016 Camaro yet, and while it may be wearing a Michigan manufacturer's plate, this tester is zipping about on Germany's Nürburgring. As with our first batch of photos, this appears to be a more potent version of the Camaro, potentially an SS 1LE or ZL1, judging by the power bulge in the hood, the quadruple exhausts, the meaty wheels and a significant rear spoiler.

Aside from those items, most of which were available in the July round of photos, our spies point to an even slimmer roofline, which leads into a smaller rear decklid and a rounded rear end. Out front, we can see an evolution of the current Camaro's wide, narrow grille (more than one Autoblog editor points out that there's a Scion tC-like quality to this car's nose, although we'd like to point out that's largely the fault of the camouflage) and a front axle with wheels pushed towards the outer corner of the car.

It's not clear what sort of engine is sitting under this Camaro's hood, although considering it's sporting touches, we're betting it's some sort of V8. Other engines that could arrive on the new Alpha-platform Camaro include the usual suspects – GM's 3.6-litre V6, which is found in the current car, and the 2.0-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder found on the next Camaro's platform-mates, the Cadillac ATS and CTS.

Take a look at our full battery of spy photos of the 2016 Chevy Camaro.

Related Gallery2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28
2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/282014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/282014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/282014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/282014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/282014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/282014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/282014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28


Image Credit: CarPix

Kia showcasing Optima T-Hybrid concept in Paris [w/video]

Posted Sep 30th 2014 10:00AM

Kia Optima T-Hybrid Concept

At the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, Kia showcased a new diesel hybrid powertrain. And at the rapidly approaching Paris Motor Show, it will present that new technology in the Optima sedan concept you see here.

Called the Kia Optima T-Hybrid, the concept mates a 1.7-litre diesel with both a turbocharger and electric supercharger to a small electric motor and a 48-volt lead-carbon battery. The mild hybrid setup allows it to travel in electric-only model at low speeds and at cruise, regenerating brake power to recharge the battery. Kia said it chose the lead-carbon battery pack over lithium-ion because it's easier to recycle and does not require active cooling.

Because the powertrain is still under development, Kia isn't saying what kind of fuel economy or emissions figures it gets in the Optima T-Hybrid concept, but it is targeting a "significant reduction" in emissions and fuel consumption, while delivering 15 to 20 per cent more power. Check out the system in action in the video below.

News Source: Kia

Honda reveals more with Civic Type R concept bound for Paris

Posted Sep 30th 2014 9:00AM

Honda Civic Type R Concept

The reveal of the next-generation Honda Civic Type R has been a gradual one. First Honda showed us a camouflaged prototype, then let us drive one at its Japanese proving ground and followed up with a concept at the Geneva Motor Show. Now with the Paris Motor Show looming on the horizon, it has revealed yet another concept to keep hot-hatch enthusiasts on their toes.

The second Civic Type R concept appears almost identical to the first one – right down to the aggressive aero kit, quad exhaust tips, oversized wheels and ultra-low-profile rubber – but wears a new coat of Superman blue with go-fast decals. With its release, however, Honda has confirmed some of the salient details set for the production version.

In the nose sits a 2.0-litre turbo four with 276 horsepower and a 7,000-rpm redline, mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Adaptive dampers and a "steer axis" system promise to keep the power under control, while a push of the +R button tightens up the suspension, steering and torque mapping.

All of this adds up to a hot hatch which Honda promises will surpass every Type R before it – including the Integra, Accord, the previous Civic... and yes, even the NSX. Production is slated to take place at Honda's plant in Swindon, UK, with delivery to European showrooms commencing sometime next year.

Related GalleryHonda Civic Type R Spy Shots
Honda Civic Type R Spy ShotsHonda Civic Type R Spy ShotsHonda Civic Type R Spy ShotsHonda Civic Type R Spy ShotsHonda Civic Type R Spy ShotsHonda Civic Type R Spy ShotsHonda Civic Type R Spy ShotsHonda Civic Type R Spy Shots


News Source: Honda

Caterham F1 changes leadership again as Albers steps down

Posted Sep 30th 2014 8:00AM

Christijan Albers at Caterham

To say that there's been some instability at the Caterham F1 team lately would be a gross understatement. Caterham owner Tony Fernandes sold the team a couple of months ago, its team principal Cyril Abiteboul left for Renault, and a consortium of investors took over. They named former F1 driver Christijan Albers as team principal, supported by former HRT exec Manfredi Ravetto and advised by veteran strategist Colin Kolles. All the while it's been switching drivers back and forth, briefly replacing Kamui Kobayashi with three-time Le Mans winner André Lotterer before bringing Kobayashi back. And now it's switching team principals again.

Although it's unclear whether Albers saw his transitionary mission as complete or if there was some clash with his financial backers, the retired Dutch driver has reportedly stepped aside. In his place, rather than have Colin Kolles (who himself is reportedly working on starting his own team) calling the shots, the team has promoted Ravetto to team principal, with Kolles apparently serving as technical director.

Whether the reconfigured leadership can improve the team's fortunes remains to be seen, but one thing's for sure: there's only one way for Caterham to go, and that's up. In five seasons on the grid (previously under the Lotus banner before that naming dispute was resolved), the team currently known as Caterham (though who knows for how much longer) has utterly failed to distinguish itself. It has yet to take a podium finish (let alone a race win), rack up a pole or fastest lap or even score a single championship point, finishing in tenth or eleventh place in every season in which it has competed thus far.

News Source: Autosport

Image Credit: Charles Coates/LAT/Caterham

Is this the world's cheapest Gymkhana video?

Posted Sep 29th 2014 8:00PM

Skodakhana

We don't know how much Monster Energy spends on Ken Block's famous Gymkhana videos, but we're sure they're big-budget productions, shot on big lots with lots of props, more GoPro cameras than we'd care to count and some big-name personalities involved. But whether you'd consider them distractions or enhancements, what makes these videos great is the driving skills.

Case in point: this latest video from the Czech Republic. It doesn't have any celebrities, no spectacular special effects, not even an exciting location. It's just a local rally driver by the name of Petr Šimurda with unreal car-control abilities, sliding an old Škoda rally machine around a car lot in Central Europe like it was on caster wheels. And is it lacking for not having big-name stars or guys in gorilla suits on Segway scooters? Not one bit. See for yourself in the video clip.

News Source: YouTube via Jalopnik

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