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2015 BMW M3 squares off against Alpina D3 in gas vs. diesel throwdown

  • 2015 BMW M3 squares off against Alpina D3 in gas vs. diesel throwdown
  • HIGHLIGHTS: Importfest 2014 takes over downtown Toronto
  • 2016 Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Prototype [w/video]
  • Father-son team grows close by building tuned Porsche

Nissan commits to adding 'iconic' design after Cube killed off

Posted Jul 29th 2014 1:45PM

Nissan Cube

The Nissan Cube is officially on its way out of the brand's vehicle line-up in North America. In a way, that's too bad, simply because the Cube's styling was nothing if not distinctive – much like the company's own Juke. However, the flame for uniquely styled models is indeed still burning over at Nissan.

We might never see an exact replacement for the Cube in the brand's lineup, but product planning boss Andy Palmer says that its retirement leaves a spot open in the Nissan lineup for something else. "To be clear, we will morph this space in our portfolio into something iconic," said Palmer to Automotive News. Unfortunately, he wouldn't hint at what that could mean.

However, his lack of suggestions makes it fun to speculate about what oddity could replace the Cube, especially since two of Nissan's more recent quirky concepts might have problems hitting the road. The Bladeglider is mired in Nissan and Deltawing Technologies' ongoing patent lawsuit. Alternatively, the retro-inspired IDx might be too expensive to build profitably. Still, this is the company that created both the (nearly dead) Murano CrossCabriolet and the very successful Juke; it can probably come up with something else delightfully weird.

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eBay Find Of The Day: 1988 Saleen Ford Mustang General Tire 21R race car

Posted Jul 29th 2014 1:00PM

1988 Ford Mustang Saleen 21R General Tire racecar auction

Saleen may be making headlines these days for working on the Tesla Model S, but its history and bread-and-butter is all about the Ford Mustang. The rear-wheel-drive Dearborn pony cars singlehandedly put the company on the map in the '80s. Founder Steve Saleen was already a talented American racing driver when he started the venture, and like many auto industry businesses before him, Saleen went to the track to prove his vehicles' worth. Now, there's a chance to buy one of those early racers on eBay Motors.

Saleen Mustangs raced in the Sports Car Club of America Escort Endurance Championship – a series of multi-hour races meant to challenge man and machine. Ostensibly a showroom stock class, the cars had larger wheels, tuned suspensions and other upgrades that stretched the concept slightly. Saleen found major success though, taking the championship for its class in 1987 and winning the 24 Hours of Mosport consecutively from 1986 through 1988.

According to the seller, Saleen only built eight of these cars, and this one carries the #21R serial number. They all started life as new Mustangs from Ford dealers but were immediately stripped and prepped to go racing. Beyond obvious mods like a roll cage, they featured eight-inch wide wheels in front, an inch of additional track width, stiffer suspension bushings and much more.

Saleen #21R is still in its well-known "Bumblebee" livery and includes its SCCA logbook, original wheels, a Saleen title, Steve's signature on the interior and many of the company's ID tags still on the car, according to the auction. It carries a Buy It Now of US$65,000, and the auction ends on August 13. That's not cheap, but it would likely be quite a conversation piece whenever it arrived for a day at the track.

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News Source: eBay Motors

2014 Cadillac ELR

Posted Jul 29th 2014 12:00PM

Translogic 155: Cadillac ELR Plug-In Hybrid
For the past decade, Cadillac has been searching for ways to breathe life into its lineup of luxury sedans and SUVs. While it has enjoyed recent success with the CTS and Escalade, brand perception still skews older and stuffier than Caddy's German and Japanese counterparts.

Can the electrified Cadillac ELR shock the system and return a pulse to this storied American brand, or will the Chevy Volt-based plug-in price itself out of the market? Host Jonathon Buckley heads to Los Angeles to test the 2014 Cadillac ELR and you can click here to watch it all in the video above.

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2014 European Car of the Year candidates

Posted Jul 29th 2014 10:59AM



Every year a panel of jurists representing a variety of automotive publications in different languages and from different countries get together and pick their Car of the Year. It's a long and exhaustive process, and it starts right here.

For the 2015 award, the panel has identified this list of 32 automotive candidates. These Car of the Year contenders (shown here) will be whittled down to a short-list of just seven nominees to be announced on December 15, followed by the announcement of the winner on March 2, 2015 at the Geneva Motor Show.




Past winners include the Peugeot 308, Volkswagen Golf, Chevy Volt/Opel Ampera, Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen Polo (going back to 2010). This year ought to present an interesting challenge in that three of the entrants – the Toyota Aygo, Citroën C1 and Peugeot 108 – are all essentially the same car. Last year saw the jury award second place jointly to the Toyota GT86 and Subaru BRZ, which was (as far as we can tell) the first time it had split the award between manufacturers of essentially the same vehicle. The Renegade, 500X, GLA, Qashqai, X-Trail and Macan seem to be at a distinct disadvantage, though, because the jury has never named a sport-ute or crossover into the top three, let alone as the winner, in its 50-year history.

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Top 10 Coolest Cars At The 2014 Toronto Auto Show

News Source: Car of The Year

Jaguar buys world's largest collection of British cars

Posted Jul 29th 2014 10:15AM

James Hull Collection

Whether you're looking at Bertone going bankrupt or Spyker facing (and subsequently resolving) a large tax bill, it's saddening to see an automaker having to sell off its factory collection. That's why we're glad to report that there are still some acquiring historic vehicles from their pasts. Like Jaguar, which has just bought the largest private collection of classic British cars in the world.

The collection of 543 cars was painstakingly assembled by one James Hull, a British dentist with some 50 dental clinics to his name across the UK and who was keen to find the right buyer to take possession of his life's work and preserve it for years to come.

Of those 543 cars, the majority are of British origin, including over 130 Jaguars. The collection includes seven XK120s, several C- and D-Types, a rare XKSS, eight E-Types, thirty Mark-series Jaguar sedans, nineteen XJS coupes and convertibles, some twenty XJ sedans as well as some pre-war SS models and Swallow sidecars and coachbuilt specials from the company's early days. Among the many noteworthy examples are a rare SS100, an alloy-bodied XK120 and an MK X owned by company founder Sir William Lyons himself, as well as Winston Churchill's Austin, Elton John's Bentley, and racing driver and motorcycle rider Mike Hailwood's E-Type.

The collection was acquired by Jaguar Land Rover through its new Special Operations division – the same unit responsible for the F-Type Project 7 and which now incorporates Jaguar Heritage. It will be housed at a new facility at Jaguar's historic home at Browns Lane in Coventry, the cars to be used at future events to promote the brand and highlight its history.

Although most of the cars were made by other manufacturers, Jaguar spokesman Dan Connell confirmed in correspondence with Autoblog that "the collection will stay together for the foreseeable future." As for the final price, neither party is saying, but while it was reportedly listed for sale at £100 million ($170m), we're told that wasn't the price which JLR paid for the collection. As Hull put it in the press release below, "My primary motivation was not to get the maximum price but rather to secure the future of the collection in this country with the right custodian." Evidently Jaguar was deemed to be "the right custodian."

News Source: Jaguar

The making of Deadmau5 Nyan Cat Purrari in under two minutes

Posted Jul 29th 2014 9:01AM

The Making of the Deadmau5 Nyan Cat Purrari 458 at Sekanskin
Love it or hate it, the bright blue Nyan Cat wrapped Ferrari belonging to none other than Deadmau5 underwent quite a transformation in order to become the highly recognizable Purrari we know today.

While wrapping a car in a different colour, texture, graphic or design may sound as simple as applying a giant sticker, the complex car wrap experts at Sekanskin in Mississauga, Ontario can be seen hard at work in the video above. The detailed clip actually captures the making of the Deadmau5 Nyan cat Ferrari in under two-minutes, thanks to a terrific time lapse video shot by Rick Skyler while the Purrari was coming to life at the shop.

Click here to play the video and then read our 15 things you didn't know about car wraps. If you still want to know more or really like what you see, the Deadmau5 Purrari is actually up for sale too and the team at Sekanskin is always busy working on something new.

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Coal-rolling Ram dually does tandem beer-shooting burnout with ATV in bed

Posted Jul 28th 2014 8:00PM

A Coal-Rolling tandem ATV burnout

Sometimes a video comes around that just makes you shake your head in disbelief. Take for example these guys from Nebraska in their dually diesel flatbed Ram, doing a smoky burnout. Lighting up the tires is nothing new, but these folks take things a step further by having another guy on an ATV in bed that is also smoking the tires. Finally, people are sitting on a couch in the bed taking the whole show in, as beer cans shoot out of the stacks.

There have been several stories recently about the scourge of rolling coal, i.e., diesel trucks modified to lay down a thick, black smoke screen, sometimes for vaguely political reasons. Whatever your opinion is on it, breathing in this much nasty stuff isn't exactly great for your health. Of course, it turns out that burning rubber is pretty awful, too. Both diesel and tire emissions contain cancer-causing Group 1 carcinogens. Combine them with the cigarette smoking here, and these guys are an oncologist's nightmare. Scroll down to take it all in for yourself. Warning, there is a little explicit language.

News Source: 1320 Video via YouTube

2015 BMW M3 squares off against Alpina D3 in gas vs. diesel throwdown

Posted Jul 28th 2014 7:01PM



There was a time when diesel meant one of two things: This vehicle's owner either wants to save some money at the pump or needs to haul massive loads. It definitely did not mean that the owner of said machine wanted to drive fast, but that perception has slowly but surely been changing over the last several years, with automakers from Volkswagen and Ford to Audi and BMW offering spiced-up versions of their high-compression, turbocharged diesels.

It's that last automaker we mentioned that's the subject of the video you'll see down below. One bright-blue BMW M3 was procured by the Brits at Autocar, and it was lined up against a deep-black Alpina D3 (which we sadly can't buy in North America) in a spate of tests, including acceleration, stopping, sound and lap times on a closed circuit. The results, which we won't spoil for you, were enlightening, and were followed up by personal impressions from the man behind the wheel.

We know you're curious. All it takes to find out which of these 3.0-litre, twin-turbo-powered 3 Series variants came out on top is to scroll down below and watch. You know what to do.

News Source: YouTube via Autocar

Cellphone bans don't reduce accidents, research finds

Posted Jul 28th 2014 5:59PM

October 27, 2008 - A driver talks on his cell phone while smoking a cigarette and driving eastbound

"It was pretty clear to us that there was no compelling evidence of a decrease in accidents" – Daniel Kaffine

Common sense says that talking on a cellphone while driving is not a particularly safe thing to do. But recent studies have found banning cellphone use while behind the wheel is not leading to a decrease in accidents.

The results are somewhat surprising and have left researchers and regulators scratching their heads, as every province in Canada has a distracted driving (which includes using hand-held communication devices while driving) laws in place.

The most recent study, published this summer in the journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, analyzed California's cellphone ban for drivers in 2008. Researchers found the number of accidents only dropped from 66.7 per day to 65.2 per day, a statistically minor decline. The results were mirrored in many other major cities, including San Francisco, though Los Angeles did experience a slight decrease in accidents. Researchers looked at the six-month periods before and after the ban went into place on July 1, 2008.

"We went in there expecting to see something," Daniel Kaffine, one of the study's authors, told Autoblog Canada. "[But] it was pretty clear to us that there was no compelling evidence of a decrease in accidents."

Though offsetting for safety advocates, Kaffine's research is in line with other findings. The Highway Loss Data Institute, the research arm of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, studied insurance claims rates in 2009 and 2010 studies, and found no link that bans helped decrease crashes... READ MORE

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Image Credit: Pawel Dwulit/Toronto Star via Getty, AP Photo/Pat Sullivan

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