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2015 Cadillac Escalade

  • 2015 Cadillac Escalade
  • 2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution will get more power before saying goodbye
  • Man who drove Bugatti Veyron into lake pleads guilty, faces 20 years in prison [w/video]
  • 2015 Volvo XC90: Deep Dive

Here are the most disliked car brands of 2014

Posted Aug 29th 2014 4:00PM



While BMW drivers have long been the target of hatred by other motorists, a recent survey proves there are several other brands consumers dislike even more. It seems car brand hatred isn't just created by entitled drivers though, as buyers of both foreign and domestic vehicles surveyed confess they aren't overly happy with their purchases. In fact, customer satisfaction in the auto industry is currently at a five-year low.

The decline is widespread, with 80 per cent of car brands experiencing drops in overall customer satisfaction. Forrest Morgeson, director of research at ACSI, told MarketWatch that the decline is likely due to a lack of incentives -- meaning people are paying more for cars than they did a few years ago -- and a wealth of major recalls across the industry doesn't help either. A few brands performed worse than others in the study, and we've compiled those in this gallery right here.

Click on through to meet the most disliked car brands of 2014.

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News Source: via AOL Autos, American Customer Satisfaction Index

Watch this 800-hp Nissan Juke-R savage the 'Ring

Posted Aug 29th 2014 3:00PM

Nissan Juke-R Shpili Villi

The concept of the 545-horsepower Nissan Juke-R that stuffs the drivetrain of a GT-R into a subcompact crossover is already insane, but Russian company Shpilli Villi Engineering has taken things even further with their own crazy riff on the idea. Its version tunes the engine up to a claimed 800 horsepower, plus a shot of nitrous for an extra 200 hp to put it (way) over the top. Naturally, a number of other upgrades have been exacted in an effort to try and keep the custom Juke's shiny side up and the driveline internals from spontaneously rearranging themselves. Those changes include a beefed-up switchable all-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive layout and revised suspension.

Last year, you may recall that we saw an earlier version of Shpilli Villi Engineering's insanity testing with a mere 700 hp in a one-mile (1.6-kilometre), standing drag race against a Bugatti Veyron. In that state of tune, the Juke-R lost, but by less than a hundredth of a second. Now, owner and racer Vladimir Ulanov has brought his madness to the Nürburgring Nordschleife to see how it does around a damp lap of the famous track.

It looks like 800 hp and a moist track might be almost too much for this Juke to handle, because Ulanov gets very loose at several points during the lap. Understandably, his passenger seems suitably impressed and possibly a little freaked out at the end. See what you think of this craziness by watching the video.

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News Source: BridgeToGantry via YouTube

Darth Vader vs. Chewbacca street race proves the Force is strong

Posted Aug 29th 2014 2:30PM



Just in time for today's start of Fan Expo Canada we had to share this awesome video of Darth Vader vs. Chewbacca... in a winner-takes-all, heads-up street race?! Watch as Darth Vader get behind the wheel of a Z06 Corvette to challenge Chewbacca's Z28 Camaro.

We'll let you watch the video to find out who wins, but we will say that the Force is strong with this one!

News Source: High Tech Corvette via YouTube

Someone's willing to pay $16,000 for a hollow, non-working BMW i8

Posted Aug 29th 2014 2:00PM

Hollow promotional BMW i8

Hollow promotional BMW i8There is an unusual BMW i8 for sale on eBay right now. Unlike your average – and by that we mean "working" – i8, this one pretty much just sits there, looking pretty.

See, the i8 in question is just a promotional body shell. It's full size and being sold (we think) by a legit BMW dealer (Laurel BMW of Westmont), so it's got strong ties to the real thing, but there's nothing inside. In fact, you can't open the doors or windows and the wheels don't move, unless you count the tiny rolling castors that are a part of the prop. There is no fancy plug-in hybrid powertrain – no powertrain of any sort, in fact – and it was "professionally crafted just for BMW dealers." The headlights do turn on, though, so that's something.

What's most impressive, though, is that there are 50 bids for this non-working BMW. In fact, the bidding has climbed up to US$16,000. For a car that can't fulfill its mission as a car, that's pretty impressive. Oh, and those bids have not yet hit the reserve price, so the dealer is obviously hoping it can get more money for this hollow BMW.

The official base MSRP for a working i8 is US$135,700. The first i8 delivered in North America, a special edition for Pebble Beach, just sold for US$825,000.

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News Source: eBay via BMW Blog

2014 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG roars Unplugged in Detroit

Posted Aug 29th 2014 1:00PM

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG

As a reformed hooligan, there is still nothing more paralyzing to me than flashing red and blue lights matched with the sound of a siren, on a car headed right toward me. But it happens. And it happened while I stood in a cold Detroit parking lot taking the photos of the matte black 2014 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG you see here. On its own, the Merc ("Darth Benz" as my friend Eric aptly named it) looks all sorts of suspicious, with its murdered-out look only broken by chrome accents and the red brake calipers lurking behind those wheels. But I wasn't doing anything wrong. For once.

Two cruisers with four uniformed patrolmen pulled up, inspected the car, questioned me, and after realizing that everything was copacetic, two of 'em left. But the other pair hung out a bit longer, asking to see the engine, look inside, and finally, ask me for a ride down Fort Street. I happily obliged, and joked about it being a shame that I couldn't really open up the AMG G-Wagen for them, having to keep to the posted speed limit, after all. But the cop riding shotgun laughed, and instructed me to "hit it," when pulling away from a stoplight. So I did. And he laughed. Maniacally.

That's why the G63 AMG goes down as one of the best car's I've driven this year. It's not so much a dynamic masterpiece as it is a vehicle that just oozes cool across many levels, and is hysterically, ridiculously fun to drive. Everyone likes it, and it's easy to see why. First up, the twin-turbocharged, 5.5-litre V8 underhood, with 536 horsepower and 561 pound-feet of torque, with a brutal aural tone to match. Next, there's the absolutely unstoppable off-road ability (three locking differentials!). And beyond all of that, there's the style, the shape, the luxury, and the exclusivity that's all baked into the G63 package.

Because of this, I demanded we get Darth Benz on film. So as the final bits of our endlessly long cold season came to a close, I hit the streets of Detroit with our video crew in tow for another installment of Autoblog Unplugged. Again, the G-Wagen isn't really built for tackling curves – instead, it's all about the presence, and the noise. It's one of the coolest vehicles I've ever driven. Check it out in the video below.

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2014 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG2014 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG2014 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG2014 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG2014 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG2014 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG2014 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG2014 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Steven J. Ewing / AOL

2015 Cadillac Escalade

Posted Aug 29th 2014 12:15PM

Flying High In Caddy's First-Class SUV

2015 Cadillac Escalade

I have never liked traveling to Monterey, CA. The picturesque coastal city is about 300 miles (482 kilometres) from my home in Los Angeles, which means cramped and uncomfortable regional aircraft are part of the equation when the turnaround is only one night. Over the years, I have cursed the LA Basin's bumper-to-bumper traffic en route to the airport, argued with TSA personnel over carry-on baggage and waited countless hours for the fog to lift just for the anguish of being packed into a small regional jet for the flight. Of course, the process repeats on the trip home with equal misery.

Yet this time I am not suffering.

Cadillac has dropped its all-new 2015 Escalade in my driveway. Instead of battling city congestion, attempting to reason with misinformed government agents, snacking on a too-small bag of pretzels and physically rubbing shoulders with a dubious stranger for 90-plus minutes within the confines of a bumpy aircraft, I have chosen to forgo air travel and drive myself door-to-door in a fullsize luxury sport utility vehicle.

The trip should be less expensive, less stressful and it may even be quicker. Most importantly, if what Cadillac is saying about its all-new Escalade holds true, my drive will be more comfortable and unquestionably more enjoyable.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Michael Harley / AOL

Chevy's hardcore Niva concept ready for Moscow adventure

Posted Aug 29th 2014 11:00AM

Chevy Niva Concept

A couple of weeks ago, Chevrolet released a pair of shadowy teaser images previewing a new Niva. And now, with its live reveal at the Moscow Motor Show looming over the next snow-capped mountain, the Bowtie brand has taken the wraps off the new concept.

Though details are scarce at the moment – the press release below (presented in the original Russian and in translated form) deals more with the European debut of the new Tahoe, but it's clear from the 35 images that the new Niva concept is meant more for driving off the road than on it. It's compact but packs all manner of off-road equipment like knobby BF Goodrich tires, a winch, snorkel, underbody cladding, tow hooks, integrated lamp guards, auxiliary lighting and a big roof rack. Underneath and behind all that equipment, however, we're looking at a fairly handsome shape with a familiar Chevy front end and a rear section that seems to borrow heavily from Mercedes-Benz.

Though the Niva (not to be confused with the Chevy Nova) is historically known as a Lada product, General Motors has been building its own version through a joint venture with the Russian parent company since 1998. This concept ostensibly previews its replacement.

News Source: Chevrolet

2015 Ford Mustang production starts in Flat Rock

Posted Aug 29th 2014 10:00AM

2015 Ford Mustang Production

Today's the day, Ford fans. Production has officially commenced on the sixth-generation 2015 Mustang at the company's Flat Rock, MI factory. As production ramps up, sales should kick off in the coming months.

The production news isn't just a bit deal for American fans. With the new Mustang getting a bespoke right-hand-drive variant, the pony car's worldwide availability has swollen to include 120 different countries, including its home nation.

"Mustang is and will continue to be an automotive icon," Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of the Americas, said in a statement. "Expanding its availability globally affords our customers around the world the opportunity to have a true firsthand Mustang experience – one unlike any other."

Ford's Flat Rock facility has built the Mustang since the fifth-generation car debuted in 2005. For the 2015 model, the facility was subject to a massive $555-million investment that saw it add a new flexible body shop among other enhancements. Alongside the Mustang, Ford also builds its Fusion sedan.

"What an honour it is for the hardworking and dedicated UAW Local 3000 workers of Flat Rock Assembly Plant to build the next-generation Mustang," Jimmy Settles, a UAW vice president, said. "I don't think there is any place in the world where this vehicle is not known. To build it right here in Michigan is something to be proud of."

Take a look below for the full press release from Ford, and then check out the gallery of the new Mustang rolling down the production line.

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News Source: Ford

Renaultsport RS 01 hits the track with GT-R power

Posted Aug 29th 2014 9:00AM

Renaultsport RS 01

After just a bit of teasing, Renault has finally unveiled its newest racer, the Renaultsport RS 01. Destined for one-make competition in the World Series by Renault, the RS 01 features a carbon-fibre monocoque body from Dallara that allows it to slip in at just 2,425 pounds (1,100 kilograms).

The sleek, aggressive racer boasts a mid-mounted, 3.8-litre, twin-turbocharged V6 that's been swiped from the Renault's corporate ally, Nissan. The GT-R-sourced engine has also been tweaked by Nismo, and is now singing to the tune of 500 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. Mated up to that engine is a seven-speed sequential transmission from Sadev, which dispatches power via steering wheel-mounted paddles to the rear wheels. According to Renault, this combination places the RS 01 somewhere between a GT3-spec racer and a DTM car on the performance scale.

The pushrod suspension uses Öhlins adjustable dampers and it rides on unique, 18-inch Michelin rubber, while PFC Brakes delivered six-piston calipers and 15-inch (380mm) rotors. Naturally, there are a range of aerodynamic aids to improve handling, although Renault hasn't specified just how much downforce is created.

What do you think of Renault's latest creation? How do you feel about it being limited to a one-make series? Should the French company build a road-going version? Take a look below at the press release, and then have your say in Comments.

News Source: Renault

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