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HIGHLIGHTS: 2014 LA Auto Show

  • HIGHLIGHTS: 2014 LA Auto Show
  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG S 4Matic stands out in the LA crowd
  • 2016 Mazda CX-3 is the newest KODO designed crossover
  • 2016 Cadillac ATS-V blasts into LA Auto Show

2016 Smart Fortwo

Posted Nov 22nd 2014 11:57AM

A Smarter City Car For Crowded Urbanites

2016 Smart Fortwo

In the sixteen years since Daimler first introduced the Smart car, the micro city car market has grown significantly to the extent that the urban-oriented brand doesn't just have more competition to contend with these days than it did in the late 90s; for the first time it has real competition on its hands altogether. In other words, while the Smart Fortwo once had the micro city car market almost entirely to itself, new rivals have emerged to challenge its dominance.

It may be a long time, if ever, before slightly larger contenders like the Scion iQ and Volkswagen Up! catch up to the 1.6-million units Smart has moved since it first hit the market back in 1998, somehow never managing to turn a profit along the way. But the bottom line is that Smart's position in the market is far from assured, especially relying, as it has, on the same architecture for over a decade and a half.

So after strongly hinting at the way forward with a series of show cars, Daimler revealed the all-new Smart Fortwo and its bigger brother, the Forfour, in July ahead of its debut at last month's Paris Motor Show. With both the brand's future and its supremacy in the urban mobility market hanging in the balance, we boarded a flight to Barcelona to see what Daimler had up its short sleeve. What we found was a two-seat city car that's not just a substantial improvement over the model it replaces, but an altogether different beast– one which doesn't aspire to be everything to everyone, but just might be what drivers in the world's densest urban cores will need... and little more.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Noah Joseph / AOL

Energica strips Ego naked, presents Eva electric streetfighter

Posted Nov 22nd 2014 11:00AM

Energica Eva electric motorcycle

Meet Eva, the latest electric motorcycle from Energica, freshly revealed at the 100th edition of EICMA (Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo Motociclo e Accessori) in Milan. The Italian company has stripped its Ego, turning the bones of its superbike into a naked streetfighter. The result is an eye-catching creation designed to give riders a bit more control, but still capture their hearts.

There hasn't yet been much released in the way of technical details, though from what we understand, this iteration keeps the frame and 134-horsepower drivetrain of its track-friendly sibling, but trades in the front fairing for something a little more minimalistic. It also adds a set of wide upright handlebars and a two-up seat. The throttle map has been tampered with in an effort to extend the range from the 11.7-kWh battery pack and make all that power a bit more manageable.

While the Ego may be found in select dealerships in 2015 – the first in the US has been named as Newport Italian in Newport Beach, CA – Eva may only make her retail appearance in 2016 and is expected to wear a price tag slightly more modest than the US$34,000 ask of its stablemate. We'll certainly be seeing more of this urban-friendly machine over the coming months, but for now we'll have to content ourselves with the handful of shots in our gallery.

News Source: Energica, Asphalt and Rubber

How Michelin went from tire company to premiere foodie guide

Posted Nov 22nd 2014 10:00AM

The Michelin mascot Bibendum poses prior

Michelin is globally known for two things – tires and food. Yeah, we know, those two are pretty far removed from each other, but the company's history in the former is very nearly as long and storied as its work in the latter.

A decade after the Michelin brothers started selling tires, they introduced the first Michelin Guide, a comprehensive booklet that served as a powerful resource for France's early road travelers. It contained information on hotels, gas stations and, eventually, restaurants. A three-star rating system developed, and it's carried on to today, becoming a very, very prestigious award for restaurateurs.

Business Insider has a brief but comprehensive history of the so-called Michelin stars and the current state of the Michelin Guide and its role across the globe. Whether you're a fan of tasty food, Gordon Ramsay or just travel in general, the story is worth a read.

News Source: Business Insider

Image Credit: Toshifumi Kitamura / AFP / Getty Images

Infiniti Q30 prototype has entry-level luxury in the bag

Posted Nov 22nd 2014 9:00AM

Infiniti Q30: Spy Shots

The Infiniti Q30 Concept signaled the Japanese brand's clear intentions to join the growing global compact premium segment. Now, as evidenced by these images, we can see development of the brand's first compact hatchback is proceeding apace.

Our spies point to the similarity between this camouflaged tester and the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class as further evidence to the cars' shared platform, although we'll admit, we don't necessarily see the similarities. The Q30's overall look, to our eyes, is like a scaled-down, lower-riding QX50, the model previously known as EX. Infiniti design elements, like its squat greenhouse, long hood and double-arch grille are all visible.

The Mercedes-Benz connection should be clearer under the hood, though, as the Q30 is expected to be powered by the same 2.0-litre, turbocharged Mercedes four-pot that's been leading the charge throughout the brand's entry-level models, namely the CLA-, GLA- and C-Class.

As previously reported, the Q30 will eventually spawn a QX30 softroader variant. Production of the new compact will begin in the UK late next year, while US production will kick off in Decherd, TN in early 2016.

Image Credit: CarPix

McLaren P1 squares off against Porsche 918 in Evo track battle

Posted Nov 21st 2014 7:58PM

Evo McLaren vs Porsche

Evo's side-by-side comparison of the McLaren P1 against the Porsche 918 Spyder isn't the first time we've seen England and Germany's ultimate automotive weapons sized up together; last month, Autocar tested them over the standing mile, with a Ducati 1199 Superleggera playing the joker. Evo throws a few curves at its test, though, taking the supercars to Anglesey Circuit in Wales to see which will lay down the fastest lap time with scribe Jethro Bovington at the wheel.

In case the numbers haven't yet been seared into your memory, while both are assisted by electric motors, the 1,392-kilogram (3,069-pound), rear-wheel drive P1 gets on with 903 horsepower and 664 pound-feet from a 3.8-litre, twin-turbocharged V8. The 1,700-kilo (3,750-pound), all-wheel-drive 918 Spyder does its job with 795 hp and 575 lb-ft surging out of a naturally aspirated, 4.6-litre V8.

We're not told know which circuit layout he uses for the test, but both cars comfortably eclipse the mark set by the fastest coupe Evo's driven around it so far, the Ferrari 458 Speciale. Then, in an epilogue occasioned by a tire change, one of the supercars comfortably eclipses its own time again, before Bovington declares one the master of the track and the other the ruler of the street. Enjoy finding out which is which in the video below.

Related Gallery2015 McLaren P1: First Drive
2015 McLaren P1: First Drive2015 McLaren P1: First Drive2015 McLaren P1: First Drive2015 McLaren P1: First Drive2015 McLaren P1: First Drive2015 McLaren P1: First Drive2015 McLaren P1: First Drive2015 McLaren P1: First Drive


Related Gallery2015 Porsche 918 Spyder: First Drive
2015 Porsche 918 Spyder: First Drive2015 Porsche 918 Spyder: First Drive2015 Porsche 918 Spyder: First Drive2015 Porsche 918 Spyder: First Drive2015 Porsche 918 Spyder: First Drive2015 Porsche 918 Spyder: First Drive2015 Porsche 918 Spyder: First Drive2015 Porsche 918 Spyder: First Drive


News Source: Evo via YouTube

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 AOL

Retro review of the twin-turbo Toyota Supra you missed in the '90s

Posted Nov 21st 2014 7:01PM

Toyota Supra TT Motorweek

The twin-turbo fourth-generation Toyota Supra has slowly built up a reputation as one of the premiere sports coupes of the 1990s. The image was partially helped by its inclusion in the original The Fast and the Furious in 2001, but even before that it was part of the quartet of Japanese performance machines along with the Acura NSX, Mazda RX-7 and Nissan 300ZX Twin-Turbo that defined speed for a generation of enthusiasts. Thanks to Motorweek's Retro Review series, now we get a chance to hear opinions on the Toyota from its original release.

Two things strike the viewer in the review. First, it shows what a performance standout the Supra TT is. A run to 60 miles per hour (96 km/h) in 5.1 seconds and 14 seconds in the quarter mile is strong against its contemporaries and makes it hardly a slouch today. The second surprising thing is just how flabbergasted the reviewers seem at the coupe. The price is up about $8,000 from the previous year, and MotorWeek isn't entirely impressed with the Toyota's weight saving measures that make the fourth-generation Supra a bit more raw than the last model.

The great thing about these retro takes is that there's no nostalgia in the way to cloud the reviewers' judgment. Check out the video to find out how the twin-turbo Supra was received before it became part of the performance pantheon.

News Source: MotorWeek via YouTube

Englishman builds amazing weaponized 100-hp Tuk Tuk from Far Cry 4

Posted Nov 21st 2014 6:00PM



To celebrate the release of the Playstation game Far Cry 4, Ubisoft partnered with wild English inventor Colin Furze on creating a weaponized tuk tuk that in-game hero Ajay Ghale uses to combat the Royal Army of Pagan Min. The original engine in the Bajaj tuk tuk - usually good for something like nine or ten horsepower to move around 270 kilograms - came out, replaced by the 100-horsepower engine from a Honda CBR 600. That is where the wheelies, drifting and burnouts come from.

And because it isn't wise to take on a warlord's army and ravenous beasts with a standard auto rickshaw, the red wonder gets Uzis that slide forward to shoot through holes up front, side-mounted AK47s and rear-facing flamethrowers. You can witness the carnage that results in the video here, and check out the series of build episodes advertised at the end.

via YouTube

Land Rover, Toyota big winners in ALG top resale value awards

Posted Nov 21st 2014 5:00PM

2015 Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR

"Residual value is important for automakers and consumers because it's a complete indicator of the vehicle's future value." – Larry Dominique

Toyota and Land Rover took home the top brand honors in ALG's 2015 Residual Value Awards, which will be presented this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Toyota won in the mainstream brand category, while Land Rover was honored in the luxury segment. In addition to brands, ALG recognized vehicles in individual segments, and notable winners included the Mazda3 for compact car, Subaru Legacy for midsize car and Dodge Charger for fullsize car. The Subaru WRX won in the sportscar category, while the Toyota Tundra earned top honors in the fullsize truck segment.

"Residual value is important for automakers and consumers because it's a complete indicator of the vehicle's future value, accounting for quality, durability and brand desirability, among other factors," said Larry Dominique, president of ALG and executive vice president of ALG-parent, TrueCar. "The award recipients demonstrate strong forecasted returns on investments for their owners."

There were eight first-time winners this year, including the Charger, WRX, Toyota Prius V and Audi TT. Toyota had the most model winners with six.

ALG passed out 26 awards – two for brands and 24 for models – based on vehicles that are expected to retain the best percentage of their MSRP after three years. This was the 15th iteration of the awards, which are given out annually, and you're welcome to read more in the press release below.

News Source: ALG

Image Credit: Land Rover

Infiniti's Detroit concept to be 'very, very, very, very close' to new Q60

Posted Nov 21st 2014 4:00PM

2014 Infiniti Q60

Add one more vehicle to the tally of reveals slated for the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. Alfonso Albaisa, executive design director at Infiniti, has confirmed that the marque will be showing a new concept on January 13, the second media day.

More importantly, though, this concept won't be another flight of fancy like many of Infiniti's past show cars. Instead, it will foreshadow the arrival of a replacement for one of its oldest vehicles, the Q60, a model better known as the G37 Coupe.

"On January 13, you're going to see a concept car that's very, very, very, very close to the next Q60," Albaisa told Motor Trend. There isn't much to go on beyond that, sadly, although we are free to speculate.

Infiniti's past would indicate that the Q60 would carry on its role as a two-door version of the Q50 sedan, with styling influenced by its four-door sibling. While that makes sense, there's also an argument to be made for departing from the Q50's styling in favor of a more expressive look that could allow the two-door model to stand out.

Whichever avenue Infiniti chooses, we'll have an even better idea in just a few short months.

News Source: Motor Trend

Image Credit: Infiniti

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