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Ford overlooks the Big Apple in the 2015 Mustang Convertible [w/video]

Posted Apr 16th 2014 8:59AM

2015 Ford Mustang Convertible

Ford has done it again. Like in April of 1964, there is once again an all-new Mustang Convertible sitting on the observation deck of New York City's Empire State Building. This has been in the making for a little while, with the first report that Ford would recreate the sky-high publicity stunt coming out a few weeks back.

The process of getting the Mustang up there wasn't exactly easy. A Troy, MI-based company chopped up the new droptop, a necessary evil to get the Mustang on the Empire State Building's only freight elevator that runs to the 86th floor observation deck. But it was slightly more involved than just taking the car apart. The company, DST, built a mockup of the ESB's freight elevators, and then practiced its cuts on a second pre-production Mustang Convertible (measure twice, cut once).

The result of all this work are the images you see above. Yes, sitting in the crisp, morning air of midtown Manhattan, over 1,000 feet up, is this brilliant, Triple Yellow Mustang. Take a look up top for our gallery of images from today's event. You can also scroll down for videos and images of the process leading up to the ESB debut.

News Source: fordvideo1 via YouTube [1], [2], [3]

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Drew Phillips / AOL

2015 Chevy Corvette Z06 Convertible is a topless temptress

Posted Apr 16th 2014 8:16AM

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible

With summer right around the corner, and the Great Winter of Doom now at our backs (just), we're thinking warm thoughts here in the Snowbelt. Just in time for the season, Chevy is dropping the top on its new Corvette Z06 Convertible, debuting here at the New York Auto Show.

Everything we love about the Z06 Coupe ("The Big Nasty," as GM's North American boss, Mark Reuss, calls it) remains intact here with the droptop. Under the hood is the same 625-horsepower, supercharged 6.2-litre V8, the same seven-speed manual transmission, and most importantly, the same curb weight. That's hugely important, as most convertibles with their complex folding roof mechanisms and body-strengthening materials tend to be slightly heftier than their fixed-top counterparts. Good work, Chevy.

In person, the Z06 Convertible looks just as mean and track-attack purposeful as the coupe. And considering you can still get the same suspension, brakes, wheels and tires as the hardtop, we're thinking it'll be just as rad to drive once the Z06 goes on sale later this year. Have a look at our fresh crop of live images, above, and look below for Chevrolet's original press blast.

Related Gallery 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible
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Leno's steam-powered 1925 Doble E-20 is fascinating

Posted Apr 15th 2014 7:59PM

Doble E-20

The steam-powered car is considered an old-fashioned relic in today's age, but in his latest video showing off his 1925 Doble E-20, Jay Leno demonstrates that at its best, steam provided a realistic challenge to the internal combustion engine. This car has some real provenance too. Famous industrialist Howard Hughes is counted among its owners, and Leno claims he liked it so much because it was the only car that performed as well as his Duesenberg.

While the Doble's four-cylinder compound engine makes only 150 horsepower, it produces a staggering 1,000 pound-feet of torque, according to Leno. That much power means that a transmission isn't necessary, and it directly drives the rear end.

For much of the video, Leno puts on his teacher's cap and explains step-by-step how the Doble's advanced steam engine works, and it's a very complicated piece of machinery, especially if your are used to internal combustion engines. One of the most interesting parts is the system's efficiency, because after being used in the engine, the gas is condensed back into water and heated again.

If you're a fan of engineering or mechanical systems, this is a fascinating video to watch, and it's amazing how functional the Doble makes steam power appear. In fact, it's almost possible to see steam as a realistic alternative to modern engines. Scroll down to watch Professor Leno give you an inside look at his idea of the pinnacle of the steam-powered automobile.

2015 Audi RS7 Dynamic Edition coming to New York Auto Show

Posted Apr 15th 2014 7:30PM

2014 Audi RS7 Dynamic Edition

The Audi RS7 is already one of the most stylish sports sedans (hatch, wagon, whatever...) on the road today with flowing roof and hunkered down appearance. Now the German automaker is taking that formula even further with the introduction of the RS7 Dynamic Edition at the 2014 New York Auto Show, and the addition of a long list of unique options.

When it goes on sale early this summer, the Dynamic Edition won't come cheap. Prices start at US$146,045, which is US$41,145 over a base RS7 (No word on Canadian pricing yet). The extra money allows opulent additions like Black Valcona honeycomb-stitched leather sport seats, Crimson Red seatbelts and interior stitching, Tornado Red brake calipers with the RS7 logo, Audi's Dynamic Ride Control suspension and a sport exhaust. It rides on 21-inch, five-spoke wheels with Gloss Black accents. Also carbon fiber pieces replace the front splitter, rear diffuser and engine cover.

The DRC suspension is a late addition to the RS7's options list and comes standard on the Dynamic Edition. It uses three-stage adjustable dampers that are cross-linked and integrated into the driving mode selection and rear differential.

Of course, the special edition still comes equipped with the RS7's 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 pumping out 560 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque through an eight-speed automatic with all-wheel drive. That'll get the big sedan to 60 miles per hour (96 km/h) is a quick 3.7 seconds, while the cylinder-on-demand function makes it run as a four-cylinder when all the power isn't needed.

News Source: Audi

Bugatti reveals Black Bess as fifth Legend edition Veyron

Posted Apr 15th 2014 7:00PM

Bugatti Veyron Vitesse Black Bess

Say what you will about all the special editions Bugatti makes out of the Veyron. The fact of the matter is that they sell, and sell quickly. In fact, each of the four Legend editions to date – all of which have been limited to three examples, amounting to twelve cars – has sold out at prices hovering around the $3 million mark, helping Bugatti sell the last few dozen examples of the Veyron roadsters it has to build before the model is retired entirely. And you can bet this one will sell out just as fast.

It's called Black Bess, and unlike the previous examples in the series that paid homage to specific people in Bugatti's history, this one honors a specific car. But not just any car: "the first ever street legal super sports car," in the automaker's own words. That epitaph belongs to the Type 18, a pre-war Bugatti with an inline-four that produced just 100 horsepower (less than a tenth of the Vitesse's output) and topped out at 160 km/h (100 miles per hour) – mind-blowing speed in its time. Named after a famous English racing horse, Bugatti only made seven Type 18s, one of which was raced by Ettore himself, and another was bought by legendary aviator Roland Garros.

To pay tribute to such an instrumental vehicle in the marque's history, Bugatti decked out a Vitesse roadster – complete with open roof and 1,184-horsepower quad-turbo W16 engine – in black with 24-carat gold accents. The interior is upholstered in light beige and brown leather with red leather steering wheel and trim. The door panels feature imagery of the original T18 and Roland Garros' plane, rendered in a specially-developed ink on leather.

As with the previous versions, Bugatti will only make three examples, each commanding a €2.15 million (about $3M) purchase price. The first of the three is being presented at the Beijing Motor Show, but if your travel plans don't include a stop in the Chinese capital this month, you can scope it out in the high-res image gallery above and the details in the press release below. The final Legend edition, which we still expect will honor Elisabeth Junek, will be presented at Pebble Beach in August.

News Source: Bugatti

BMW details Concept X5 eDrive ahead of New York debut

Posted Apr 15th 2014 6:30PM

BMW Concept X5 eDrive

Already weighing more than most other types of vehicles and with the space to accommodate the extra equipment, crossovers and SUVs arguably make for one of the more ideal platforms to transform into a hybrid. And there have been a handful of them – like the Audi Q5, Infiniti QX60/Nissan Pathfinder, Porsche Cayenne/Volkswagen Touareg, Lexus RX450h/Toyota Highlander and Cadillac Escalade/Chevy Tahoe/GMC Yukon – but by and large the majority of hybrids on the market are sedans and hatchbacks. BMW, however, looks poised to join the minority with the X5.

The Bavarian automaker showcased the X5 eDrive concept at Frankfurt last year, and as promised, has now revealed the followup it will present at the New York Auto Show in just a few days. The new Concept X5 eDrive, as BMW has now revealed, pairs a 2.0-litre turbo four good for 245 horsepower to a 95-hp electric motor to deliver a combined 340 horsepower. Its lithium-ion battery can power it for up to 32 kilometres (20 miles) and at speeds up to 120 km/h (75 miles per hour) before the gasoline engine needs to kick in. All that without sacrificing the vehicle's utility, maintaining an almost perfectly flat loading floor with 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats, and without sacrificing much on performance, either: with a 0-100 km/h time of seven seconds flat, the X5 eDrive concept is quicker off the line than the production X5 with the 2.5-litre turbodiesel and just a tenth off of the 3.0-litre turbodiesel.

With the full technical details now released (you can delve into it all in the press release below), the only question remains when BMW will actually put the X5 eDrive into production. Given its appearance in New York, though, we gather that whenever it does reach showrooms, it'll reach North American ones as well.

News Source: BMW

Ford Transit Skyliner Concept is a Gulfstream for the road

Posted Apr 15th 2014 5:57PM

Ford Transit Skyliner

If you are afraid to fly or just want to arrive at your ultimate destination in absolute comfort, then the Ford Transit Skyliner concept might be the perfect vehicle for you. Built by Galpin Auto Sports and based on a 2015 Transit, the van is basically a private jet on wheels. It even has a touch of Transformers about it with the ability to switch between four modes by pressing a button in a smartphone app.

Based on the long wheelbase, high-roof model with 487 cubic feet of cargo space and 6 feet, 9.5 inches of interior height, the Skyliner has movable captains chairs that shift around among four modes. In theater mode, the seats turn and recline to face a 52-inch retractable movie screen with 7.2 surround sound. For business, a motorized table unfolds, and the chairs gather around it. There is a mode for tailgating where the door opens four-feet wide, and, when traveling, passengers can recline back with footrests that extend for maximum comfort.

To make the ride even plusher, there is a satellite and media server to meet your entertainment needs, and there is even a built-in bar in the back. If this Ford had a bathroom, you could live in it. Of course, you would need to hire a driver to enjoy all the amenities in the back.

The exterior of the van wears a custom silver paint with contrasting gray on the lower portion and chrome trim. The Transit goes on sale this summer, and the Skyliner is going to be on display at the New York Auto Show. Scroll down to read the official announcement.

News Source: Ford

2015 VW Jetta gets official just ahead of NYC reveal

Posted Apr 15th 2014 5:30PM

2015 Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen has offered up the lightest of refreshes on its Jetta for 2015, making subtle styling tweaks to the front, rear and interior while adding a few doses of new equipment. One of the biggest tweaks is the new, 2.0-litre TDI engine, which is now more efficient, returning 5.2 L/100 km (45 miles per gallon) on the freeway (compared to 5.6 L/100 km or 42 mpg on the 2014 model) while retaining the previous engine's 236 pound-feet of torque.

Normally, we'd run through visual changes first, but really, the tweaks made are so minor that only the staunchest of VW enthusiast is going to notice them. The new, optional xenon headlights and their 15 LED running lights are the most obvious changes, while the LED taillights of the GLI and Hybrid should stick out a bit. VW's primary focus, it seems, was on the exterior's aerodynamics, rather than aesthetics.

The trunklid is slightly more aerodynamic, as is the front fascia and the rain gutters along the A-pillars. Sill covers, wheel spoilers and an underbody panel on the rear axle are less noticeable aero tweaks. Both the Jetta 1.8T and TDI include an active grille shutter on the radiator, to further reduce drag at speed.

Volkswagen has made some mild tweaks to the interior, with a color multi-function display and some new chrome trim on "mid and high-level trims." The big changes on the interior are the wealth of new driver assistance features. Blind spot monitoring comes to the Jetta, along with cross-traffic alert and frontal collision warning. It's unclear if these will be options or part of a pre-determined package or trim level.

We'll have more on the Jetta and Jetta TDI from the floor of the 2014 New York Auto Show. Take a look below for the full press release.

News Source: Volkswagen

2015 Chevrolet Cruze refresh adds Malibu's face and upgraded tech

Posted Apr 15th 2014 5:01PM

2015 Chevrolet Cruze

The Chevrolet Cruze has proven to be one of the brand's best-selling cars worldwide with over 2.5-million moved globally since its launch, and for the 2014 New York Auto Show, Chevy is taking an if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it approach to the sedan with a slight exterior refresh and some tech upgrades. This isn't to be confused with the global Cruze that is rumoured for the Beijing Motor Show, which rides on a shorter wheelbase.

On the outside, the refresh is limited to some small changes to the front end. The grille has the more angular shape from the Malibu to bring styling in line with its big brother. The LT and LTZ trims also receive LED running lights that are mounted below the headlights.

The infotainment system may be getting the biggest update of the whole car. The system now alerts driver's to text messages and reads them over Bluetooth, and iPhone iOS 6 and 7 users benefit from Siri Eyes Free voice controls. A 4G LTE connection from OnStar allows the car to act as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Finally, the seven-inch touchscreen display has additional USB ports. Later, Chevy is launching an update to support its AppShop service that allows additional features to be downloaded directly.

The interior has some minor styling tweaks as well. The cupholders are reshaped to be more useful. Also, the button layout is slightly altered with the trunk release now on center console and the door lock controls on the doors, instead of the console.

None of these changes are earth shattering, but they at least keep the Cruze competitive in terms of its tech. Scroll down to read the full release about the updates.

News Source: Chevrolet

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