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Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept is your new favourite hot hatch

  • Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept is your new favourite hot hatch
  • 2015 Mini Cooper S does best gymkhana stunt video impersonation
  • 2015 Dodge Charger shows off its new look in New York [w/videos]
  • HIGHLIGHTS: 2014 New York Auto Show

Porsche giving Nick Murray exactly what he deserves [w/video]

Posted Apr 21st 2014 10:59AM

Nick Murray Porsche 911

The tale of Nick Murray and his lemon Porsche 911 appears to have come to a satisfactory end. As noted in the original story about Murray (if you haven't seen it yet, grab a drink and enjoy that gem before reading on), he and Porsche Cars North America met and came to a resolution. However, we didn't know exactly what that meant, until now.

Murray has created a new video explaining that PCNA offered to buy back the car at full price or give him an exact replacement for it. This was exactly what he was asking for. Murray remains pro-Porsche in the new video. "I am definitely considering reordering a Porsche 911," he says.

Porsche also posted a message on its Facebook page that clarified the situation. "We at Porsche have always sought excellence in all that we do. We know you expect it of us. And when we don't meet that standard, we make every effort to improve," said a portion of the note.

It's good to see a level-headed guy like Murray succeed. He's getting what he wants, but he doesn't seem to harbour any ill will towards the company. Scroll down to watch the latest video. Warning, there is some very vulgar NSFW language when he reads several YouTube comments left on his previous video.

News Source: Porsche Facebook, Nick Murray via YouTube

Volkswagen Golf R 400 Concept is your new favourite hot hatch

Posted Apr 21st 2014 10:00AM

Volkswagen Golf R 400 Conceptç

This, friends, is what happens when you shoehorn 395 horsepower into a Golf. You get a three-door hatch that will happily scurry to 62 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds and on to a top speed o (280 km/h (174 mph). Oh yes, we like you, Golf R 400 Concept.

The R 400 is the long-awaited successor to bonkers Golf creations like the GTI W12 from 2007 and, more recently, the Design Vision GTI. It's powered by the same 2.0-litre, turbocharged four-cylinder found in a number of Volkswagen (and Audi, SEAT and Skoda) products, although it's been heavily massaged to pump out 332 pound-feet of torque along side its amplified horsepower.

Naturally, it's been lowered and now rides on 19-inch wheels. Outside of those changes, though, mums the word on suspension and chassis enhancements. While this is a bummer, the striking looks of the Golf R 400 more than make up for it.

We're digging the Lemon Yellow accents and Silver Flake paint, while we're quite pleased that VW has avoided the urge to fit an absurd body kit akin to the Golf W12's. Instead, the body of this Concept is tastefully finished and surprisingly, once the carbon fibre is replaced, it all looks quite production ready. The interior, meanwhile, looks mostly stock aside from the trim work (carbon leather and Alcantara abound) and the awesome racing seats. Build it VW. We know you want to.

Scroll up for our gallery of live images from Beijing, and then hop below for the press blast and stock images from VW.

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Image Credit: Live images copyright 2014 Chris Paukert / AOL, VW

Subaru to return to Isle of Man with 2015 WRX STI hoping to set new record [w/videos]

Posted Apr 21st 2014 9:00AM

Dave Higgins sets a lap record around the Isle of Man TT course in a 2011 Subaru WRX STI sedan.

This is what it looked like when Mark Higgins set the lap record at the 37.75-mile (60.75-km) TT Mountain Course on the Isle of Man in 2011 in a Subaru WRX STI. And it will probably look much the same when Higgins returns to the chunk of land in the Irish Sea to with the aim of breaking his record, set at an average speed of 115.36 miles per hour (185.36 km/h), but he'll do so in a 2015 WRX STI.

As in 2011, he'll drive a mostly stock US sedan fitted with a roll cage, race harness, fire suppression system and upgraded springs and dampers. We're sure he'll be hoping to avoid a repeat of "The biggest moment of my life," though. There's a press release below with more information on the coming attempt, including dates, and we've included a video of that "moment" as well as one of the whole record run. Godspeed, Mr. Higgins.

News Source: Subaru

Car dealer service study ranks best brands of 2014

Posted Apr 20th 2014 8:00PM



Cadillac and Buick have taken the trophies in J.D. Power's latest Customer Service Index Study examining satisfaction with dealer service. Surveying more than 90,000 owners and lessees of 2009-2013 model-year cars, the study found that those with pre-paid maintenance packages were ten per cent more likely to buy their next car from the same brand.

Dealer satisfaction scores have improved overall, Cadillac nabbed the luxury segment ahead of Audi and Lexus, taking the crown that Lexus held last year. Buick keeps the mass-market dealer satisfaction win in the family, finishing ahead of Volkswagen and last year's winner GMC. The study also found that service department use of tablets increased customer satisfaction, as did "best practices" like "providing helpful advice." Who knew?

Click here to find out the full details and findings in the press release below.

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Savings Experiment: Car Servicing

News Source: J.D. Power

Hardcore Jaguar F-Type R-S GT caught testing?

Posted Apr 20th 2014 6:00PM

Jaguar F-Type R-S GT prototype

Some automakers make a hardcore model, then sit back and revel in its awesomeness. Jaguar does things a little differently. It takes a standard production model, gives it more power, bigger brakes and a tighter suspension and slaps the letter R on it. Then it gives it even more power, even bigger brakes and an even tighter suspension and calls it an R-S. Sometimes the engineers in Coventry don't even think that's enough, so they strip out some weight and dial things up even further and call it an R-S GT.

So far, they've only gone that far with the XK (transformed first into the XKR, then the XKR-S, and finally the XKR-S GT), but with that model on its way out, Jaguar seems to be preparing to give the newer F-Type a similar treatment. Now we can't be sure that what we're looking at is an F-Type R-S GT, especially since the 550-horsepower engine from the XKR-S and XFR-S is already powering the existing F-Type R Coupe, but it does seem to have all the makings of a hardcore performance model.

Compared to the existing F-Type, the development model pictured here has a bigger front splitter (like the one on the Project 7 concept), a big rear wing and a set of what looks like pretty big lightweight alloys. It's also, tellingly, a roadster, which (unlike the coupe) has until now topped out at 500hp with the V8 S model. So while it may be hard to say exactly just what Jaguar has in store for us here (or what they'll call it), one thing's for sure: it's gonna be fast and loud!

Click here for photos and watch the video below.

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Martin Brundle on the Testing of the Jaguar F-TYPE

Image Credit: CarPix

Tesla Model S gets custom convertible conversion

Posted Apr 20th 2014 4:00PM

Newport Convertible Enterprises Tesla Model S Convertible

The folks Newport Convertible Engineering (NCE) have made a specialty out of taking coupes and sedans and converting them into convertibles. Sometimes this results in absolutely weird creations like a Range Rover droptop, but its latest project is significantly greener. The company has developed hard and soft top conversions for the Tesla Model S (shown above), and they are already quite popular too. An investor in China has already ordered 100 of them!

NCE has been working on creating the two versions of the convertible Model S for the last six months, and it involves a lot more than just cutting the roof off. "Some sections needed restructured," said Al Zadeh, the company's CEO, to Autoblog Canada about the changes made to maintain rigidity. A soft-top conversion costs US$29,000 and a hard-top US$49,000. In addition to these prices, buyers must supply a donor vehicle. Production is due to start in July in California, Dubai, and Barcelona, Spain.

This might be just the beginning for NCE's convertible Model S. Zadeh says that the company has made an inquiry with Tesla about whether it could supply 5,000 cars for conversion to satisfy predicted demand. He will release more details on the project "when the time is right."

Scroll down for NCE's official announcement of the 100-car order and click here for photos.

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Turning the Tesla Model S Into a Taxi

News Source: Newport Convertible Engineering via World Car Fans

Image Credit: Newport Convertible Engineering

2015 Mazda2 spotted on the road

Posted Apr 20th 2014 2:00PM

2015 Mazda2

When Mazda unveiled the Hazumi Concept at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, our excitement for the next Mazda2 increased considerably. The Hazumi looks to retain much of the driving character that makes the current 2 one of the very best cars in its segment while infusing it with more aggressive styling. Of course, when the 2 arrives, it won't look exactly like the Hazumi. That's why these spy photos are so important.

This is our very first look at the next-generation 2, and although the Hazumi influence might be difficult to discern, thanks to the swirly camo, it's still there. The grille shape and the headlights are very similar in shape to the items shown on the concept, while the camouflage disguises the shape of the greenhouse, which looks somewhat like the Hazumi.

What we can't see, though, is under the hood. That's where our spies come in, reporting that a pair of 1.5-litre SkyActiv engines will see action in the tossable 2. The former, which we'll almost certainly see in Canada and the US, is a gas-powered mill found in the Euro-spec Mazda3. In the larger 3, it produces 99 horsepower and 111 pound-feet of torque, which is broadly similar to what the current 2's 1.5-litre pumps out. The other engine, a 1.5-litre SkyActiv diesel, probably won't be making the trip, although we'll continue to hope.

We should expect the next-gen 2 to arrive at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, with an on-sale date of early next year.

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2014 Mazda MAZDA2 Test Drive

News Source: CarPix

Image Credit: CarPix

Visit this secret Citroën stash outside Paris with XCar

Posted Apr 20th 2014 12:00PM

Citroen cars on three wheels

With models like the 2CV, DS and SM, Citroën established itself as a home for quirky styling and out-of-the-box engineering, and in many minds the brand defines the look of the classic French car. In a recent video, XCar ventures inside Citroën's secret warehouse outside of Paris where the brand keeps many of its rarest and most significant cars.

The collection includes the oldest DS in the world, which was never put on sale, and four incredibly rare, pre-World War II 2CVs. According to Denis Huille of Citroën Heritage, about 60 per cent of the cars are in drivable condition.

Citroën is now starting to go through a stylistic reawakening. Concepts like the DS 5LS R, Wild Rubis and Numero 9 show off a brand that has a definite idea of how a car wearing its badge should look. Scroll down to take a tour through the company's history.

News Source: XCar Films via YouTube

Volvo shows inflatable child seat concept

Posted Apr 20th 2014 10:00AM

Volvo Unveils the Revolutionary Inflatable Child Seat Concept

Volvo is bringing its emphasis on safety and design to the littlest members of the family with its concept for an inflatable, rearward facing child safety seat. The design is meant to help traveling families by offering a lighter and less bulky alternative to traditional car seats.

The design is quite ingenious. The seat is covered in drop-stitched fabric, which fills with air to create the form of the seat. An electric motor in it allows inflation and deflation in less than 40 seconds, according to Volvo. It weighs less than 5 kilograms (11 pounds) and folds small enough when collapsed to fit into a bag. It even has a Bluetooth connection, so parents can begin expanding it remotely.

The inflatable seat in the brainchild of Lawrence Abele, Volvo's design manager at its Monitoring and Concept Center in Los Angeles, CA. "For many, travelling with young children is a challenge; any assistance to simplify the parents' life with young children is a great thing," he said in a statement released by Volvo. The chair remains a concept for now, and the automaker isn't saying whether it's going to put it into production, but it's a clever solution to a common problem.

Scroll up for the video showing it in action and click continue to read the full release.

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News Source: Volvo via YouTube

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