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Polaris Slingshot hits the road on all three wheels [w/videos]

  • Polaris Slingshot hits the road on all three wheels [w/videos]
  • 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]

Elon Musk to get spot on The Simpsons

Posted Jul 31st 2014 9:00AM

Tesla Motors IPO

It's hard to believe that The Simpsons is moving into its 26th season, but there's good news for auto enthusiasts, especially of the EV variety. The show's executive producer, Al Jean, confirmed on Twitter that Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk would have a guest spot on the show in the upcoming season. Even better, it sounds like a pretty significant role.


According to Automotive News, Jean first announced the episode during a panel at San Diego Comic-Con. It's titled "The Musk Who Fell to Earth" and has Mr. Burns somehow losing all of his money to the Tesla boss. With his name prominently in the title, it gives the indication that Elon's role is going to be a lot bigger than just muttering a few lines in one scene and then walking away.

This is technically Musk's second appearance on The Simpsons. An earlier episode featured Elon Musk as a fragrance of the fictional ASK Body Spray. Tesla put up a screenshot of it on their blog and said, "You know you're famous when you get featured on the Simpsons." Apparently, the CEO is an even bigger deal now with this guest-starring gig.

Of course, The Simpsons has made at least two, great contributions to the automotive world – the Homer and the Canyonero. Our only hope is that Musk can somehow feature EV versions of them both in his episode.

News Source: Twitter, Automotive News - sub. req., Tesla Motors

Image Credit: Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

BMW's new Driftmob video shows the M235i like you've never seen it before

Posted Jul 30th 2014 8:00PM



Last month, we went behind the scenes of the filming of BMW's new Driftmob, web video, bringing you one post from the practice sessions, and another from the shoot itself, which took place in an enormous traffic circle in Cape Town, South Africa. Today, BMW has launched the final version of Driftmob, and it's pretty damn cool.

The plot is pretty simple: just like a flashmob, in which people invade a location and perform choreographed dances to music, much to the delight of surprised onlookers, the "driftmob" features a quintet of red M235i coupes that take over a traffic circle and perform choreographed dances – sideways – to the delight of onlookers. The only differences are that, in this case, the onlookers are mostly paid extras (though there were many unwitting passersby that joined the crowd at times) and the only music is a constant squealing of tires-a sweet song if we ever heard one. Then, after about two minutes of tire-smoking shenanigans, the coupes vanish.

As promised, we will have a more detailed, behind the scenes story about the filming of the video, including insights from Rhys Millen, Samuel Hübinette, Dai Yoshihara, Rich Rutherford, and Conrad Grunewald, the five guys who executed these remarkable stunts. Meanwhile, we hope you enjoy the short flick.

News Source: BMW via YouTube

Noted Porsche collector Magnus Walker learns what a TED Talk is firsthand

Posted Jul 30th 2014 7:00PM

Magnus Walker Tedx Talk

Porsche collector Magnus Walker has the name and looks of a Viking, but once he starts talking about his life story and what drives him, he's an absolutely fascinating guy. Walker recently gave a Ted Talk at a Tedx conference at UCLA and claimed he didn't really understand the idea behind the speeches. You would never know it, though. Walker is as gifted a speaker as he is a talented restorer of some seriously cool Porsches.

Walker's talk is titled "Go with Your Gut Feeling," and it amounts to his autobiography. He recounts his birth in England, dropping out of school at 15 and moving to the US at 19. Once in Los Angeles, he started selling second-hand clothes and grew it into a fashion business.

Of course, what makes him interesting to us is his passion for Porsches. He fell in love with them when he saw a white 911 as a child at the Earl's Court Motor Show in England, but Walker waited until the '90s to buy his first one. From there he started racing and eventually restoring them. Since the documentary Urban Outlaw about him was released, Magnus has become famous for the love of the brand.

The crux of his talk is telling people to follow what they want to do and be willing to take a leap of faith, occasionally. He didn't know anything about fashion or restoring cars when he started doing them, but "passion goes a long way," he says. Scroll down to hear an eloquent speech about living life happily from someone who is practicing what he's preaching.

News Source: TEDx Talks via YouTube, UCLA Extensions Visual Arts

Ford car-camo artist works his craft on Australia's new Falcon XR8

Posted Jul 30th 2014 6:00PM

Ford Falcon camouflage

Ford is among the kings of concealment when it comes to test cars. On one recent Mustang SVT mule, the automaker went to the extreme of putting baffles over the exhausts to hide how many there were. Sounds like a lot of work, right? In a new video, the Blue Oval has decided to take fans behind the scenes to show them what it takes to camouflage a prototype. In this case the subject was the recently unveiled 2014 Falcon XR8 for Australia.

Ford's prototype build coordinator Down Under has the very appropriate name of Neil Trickey, and it's his job to obfuscate the important bits of test cars to keep them out of spy shooters' camera lenses. Trickey calls his job a "dark art," and he shows off some of the tricks of his trade in the video. It turns out that the fabric we often see on mules is a type of lycra, but his team isn't above getting out a can of spray paint to conceal parts, too.

Scroll down to watch a video about a man who you probably wish could be a little worse at his job.

News Source: Ford Australia via YouTube

Honda Civic Tourer sports forbidden facelift

Posted Jul 30th 2014 5:00PM

Honda Civic Tourer: Spy Shots

Following up on a sextet of spy photos from June, we now have another batch of images of the facelifted Euro-spec Honda Civic undergoing testing in the United Kingdom. There's a bit more sheetmetal to this particular prototype, though, as our spy photographers have caught the upcoming Tourer model (pronounced "wagon" among us Yanks).

Like the hatchback we showed you last month, the new Tourer benefits from the same set of styling tweaks inspired by the Civic Type R Concept from March's Geneva Motor Show. That means it boasts a revised front fascia, albeit with a more heavily camouflaged version of the grille shown in last month's photos. It's a similar story below, where the intakes on this long-roof model wear more disguise, yet look to be virtually identical to what we've already seen.

While the headlights still look to be a straight lift from last month's car, the more upright nature of the Tourer's tailgate demands a more subdued character. Gone are the thin, curvy LED taillights, and in their place sit significantly more substantial units (with conventional bulbs), although they boast none of the design chutzpah shown on our last round of spy photos. Our spies claim LED taillights will be available, noting that they simply aren't fitted to this particular prototype, a distinction that suggests this is a lower-end model.

Look for the new European Civic family to make their grand entrance in early October, at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.

Related GalleryEuropean Honda Civic Facelift: Spy Shots
European Honda Civic Facelift: Spy ShotsEuropean Honda Civic Facelift: Spy ShotsEuropean Honda Civic Facelift: Spy ShotsEuropean Honda Civic Facelift: Spy ShotsEuropean Honda Civic Facelift: Spy ShotsEuropean Honda Civic Facelift: Spy Shots


Image Credit: CarPix

Sarah Palin blames speeding ticket on Sammy Hagar

Posted Jul 30th 2014 4:01PM

Palin Republicans Conservatives

Rogue or no, Tea Party darling and former Alaskan governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is still subject to traffic laws. That means when Sammy Hagar's "I Can't Drive 55," comes on the radio, she's still expected to keep a moderate pace, and even her celebrity status isn't enough to get her out of a speeding ticket.

"I wasn't speeding. I was qualifying," Palin allegedly told the celebrity gossip hounds at TMZ. She was nabbed going 63 miles per hour (103 km/h) in a 45-mph (70-km/h) zone while driving her Toyota Tundra in her hometown of Wasilla, AK on July 16. Palin, according to the website, amusingly blamed her lead foot on the Hagar track.

Palin was cited for driving 10 to 19 mph (15 to 30 km/h) over the speed limit, which carries a $144 fine in addition to a $10 "police training" surcharge, according to The Detroit Free Press.

News Source: TMZ.com via The Detroit Free Press

Image Credit: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Parents of terminally ill child sue after son dies following make-a-wish-style ride

Posted Jul 30th 2014 3:00PM

Porsche Boxster

Some stories are so sad and depressing, they make you want to go back to bed and pull the covers over your head. This is one such story. 14-year-old Raphael Wittman was suffering from an unspecified form of terminal cancer when he was invited by the children's cancer charity Kinder Krebs Hilfe to a charity drive organized by Porsche Forum Austria. During the drive, the Porsche Boxster Wittman was riding in was involved in a head-on collision. Both of his legs were broken and he bit off his tongue in the wreck. He died seven weeks later, in a Vienna hospital. Now, his father is suing the charity, claiming that the accident robbed his son of the will to live.

"The accident set off a chain of events starting with the doctors putting him on new medication for the cancer he had. He was always a fighter, but suddenly he was saying that he was not going to fight any more," Franz Wittman told Austria's Kurier, according to The Guardian. "We would have had a wonderful last time together [on vacation] but it never happened because of the accident."

Father and son were originally planning to go to Tenerife to spend time together, although those plans were cancelled following the accident.

Franz Wittman is angry that in the weeks following the accident and his son's July 5 passing, the family was not contacted by the Porsche Forum or Kinder Krebs Hilfe, aside from the gift of an iPhone given to Raphael from the driver that was behind the wheel, The Daily Mail reports. Any compensation from the legal action, Wittmann says, is "not for me, it's for my son."

"We are speechless," Karin Benedik, the head of Kinder Krebshilfe, told The Guardian. "We helped this family, and now our name is being dragged through the mud. We don't want to say any more because we need to see what the accusations are, but as far as we're concerned we were not the organizers and are not responsible."

Wittman's lawyer, Dr. Astrid Wagner, seems to think her client is on sound legal footing.

"It was a charity event but these things should be properly organized and that means that the should be insurance as well as anything else," Wagner told The Mail.

News Source: The Guardian, The Daily Mail via Gawker

Ford F-35 Lightning II Edition Mustang appears at EAA Oshkosh

Posted Jul 30th 2014 2:00PM

Ford Mustang F-35 Lightning II Edition

Ford is back at the Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, WI, on July 31 auctioning off its seventh Mustang for charity, and this is one seriously mean looking 2015 'Stang. All of the money from the sale goes to give free introductory flights to young people to get them interested in aviation.

We recently saw this latest EAA Mustang as a sketch. However, it looks a whole lot more menacing in person. Dubbed the Ford F-35 Lightning II Edition Mustang, it takes liberal inspiration from Lockheed Martin's latest fighter jet, and the customization makes the pony car look ready for a role in Top Gun.

On the outside, the special Mustang wears titanium-color paint that's offset by a black and yellow stripe running from hood to rear. Out back things get really wild with a mix of bright yellow and black that flows diagonally all the way to the rear spoiler. The design is based on the livery of early production F-35s. If the rousing color scheme isn't enough to get you interested, the car also gets a carbon fiber front splitter and rear diffuser, lowered suspension and a set of custom 21-inch wheels with yellow brake calipers.

Inside, the design continues to take inspiration from the fighter with gold-tinted windows to match the radar shielding from the plane's cockpit. To keep the driver and co-pilot planted, there are two big Recaro sport seats with more yellow accents, and in case you forget what's influencing the car, the door panels and floor mats show the F-35.

Ford's work with the EAA has raised over $2.5 million for charity, and last year's Air Force Thunderbirds-inspired car brought in nearly $400,000. With the 2015 Mustang being so highly desired, you might need some deep pockets to put this one in your garage. Scroll down to read more about this fighter-inspired coupe.

News Source: Ford

Polaris Slingshot hits the road on all three wheels [w/videos]

Posted Jul 30th 2014 1:00PM

Polaris Slingshot

If there's one thing that the likes of Morgan and Campagna have taught us, it's that a three-wheeled roadster can be one heck of a fun ride, bringing together the best elements of a motorbike and a sports car (albeit with none of the practicality). And now they've got a new challenger on their hands in the form of the Slingshot.

The Polaris Slingshot has been on our radar screen for a few months, but has now been revealed in full. It's similar in form to the Three-Wheeler or T-Rex, but looks more like a KTM X-Bow minus a rear wheel. Which may make sense considering that, like the X-Bow, the Slingshot is made by a motorcycle company: Polaris makes snowmobiles and ATVs (as well as Victory and Indian motorcycles). The company is sort of like Bombardier, but where BRP's Can-Am Spyder (with its saddle and handlebars) went with a motorbike approach with an extra wheel, the Polaris Slingshot (though technically deemed a motorcycle for certification purposes) is more like a roadster missing one.

The 2.4-litre GM Ecotec four sits up front, channeling 173 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque through a five-speed manual transmission and carbon-reinforced drive belt to the solitary rear wheels. In true motorbike-manufacturer style (where pace depends mostly on the rider), Polaris hasn't revealed performance specs. But in a package weighing just 1,700 pounds (771 kilograms), it ought to go like spit. Measuring less than 150 inches (380 centimetres) tall by 77.6 inches (197 centimetres) wide and 51.9 inches (132 cm) tall, and riding on a 105-inch (267-centimetre) wheelbase with a 69-inch (175-centimetre) front track and sitting just 5 inches off the ground, it ought to feel even faster, especially considering that it's got no roof and barely any windshield to speak of. With 11.8-inch (300 mm) vented disc brakes at each of its three corners, it ought to stop on a dime as well.

Pricing starts at $19,999 for the base model and $23,999 for the better-equipped Slingshot SL. It comes with a two-year unlimited-mileage warranty extendable up to five years and will be sold by Polaris, Victory and Indian dealers across the country, although the specific laws of its registration (and whether you'll have to wear a helmet when driving it) depend on each state's individual regulations. Check it out on the Polaris website and in the playlist of eleven short video clips below.

News Source: Polaris

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