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Here are the most disliked car brands of 2014

  • Here are the most disliked car brands of 2014
  • 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]

Bentley considering smaller coupe

Posted Aug 31st 2014 6:00PM

Bentley badge

Only halfway through the year, Bentley reports that it's on track to post record sales. Thanks in no small part to the introduction of its new V8 engine in the Continental family, sales are up nearly a quarter over last year. And they only stand to increase even more with the introduction of new models currently in the pipeline. The upcoming SUV will surely form a large part of that, but it won't be the end of the story for the storied marque.

Car and Driver reports that, after the SUV, Bentley plans to introduce a new coupe line below the Continental to square off against the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. Details are few and far between at this point, but considering how much Bentley manages to do with the relatively heft Continental GT, a lighter and more nimble sports car sounds promising.

In related news, rumours are gathering pace that Bentley is planning to introduce a new Mulsanne Speed at the upcoming Paris Motor Show, its Jurassic-era 6.75-litre V8 massaged from 505 horsepower – already the most that engine has produced in its half-century history – up to around 550.

Don't think that Bentley has given up, however, on its venerable 6.0-litre twin-turbo W-12 engine. Far from it. Car and Driver also reports that the crew from Crewe only plans to further develop the W-12, and if push came to shove, would be the "last manufacturer of 12-cylinder engines in the world." Indeed it already is among the last, although BMW/Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, Mercedes and Ferrari aren't likely to give up on dozen-piston engines anytime soon, either... even if Aston Martin eventually does. Expect direct injection and even more powerful versions than the 616-hp Continental GT Speed to follow in the near future.

Related Gallery2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S
2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S2014 Bentley Continental GT V8 S


Lincoln Navigator facelift only has to last until 2016 replacement

Posted Aug 31st 2014 4:00PM

2015 Lincoln Navigator

The Navigator is not only Lincoln's longest-serving nameplate – dating back to 1998 when the final Town Car was introduced – but it's also the oldest model still in the brand's portfolio. The current Navigator arrived on the market in 2007, and underwent a refresh just a few months ago for the 2015 model year. The updates were subtle, but if you're waiting for an all-new model, it's just a couple of years down the road.

According to Automotive News, Lincoln is already working on an all-new replacement for the current, long-serving Navigator, which will be revealed two years from now in the middle of 2016 as a 2017 model. At that point, we're expecting it could switch (alongside the Expedition) to the new aluminum architecture introduced on the Ford F-150, seeing as how the current model is based on the old F-150.

In the meantime, the refreshed Navigator ditches the big 5.4-litre Triton V8 in favor of a more economical 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6, and wages war in two wheelbase lengths against the V8-powered competition in the form of the Cadillac Escalade (and Escalade ESV), the Land Cruiser-based Lexus LX and the Infiniti QX80, which is based on the overseas Nissan Patrol.

Glickenhaus's SCG 003 to pack twin-turbo Honda V6?

Posted Aug 31st 2014 2:00PM

SCG 003 teaser rendering

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus has made (or commissioned) two vehicles to date – the P4/5 and the P4/5 Competizione – and is now hard at work on its third. The first was based on the Ferrari Enzo and the second on a Ferrari F430, but the third is being developed independently from the ground up. The question, then, is what engine will it use?

Well now we may have our answer as Jalopnik reports that the SCG 003 (as it's known at the moment) will be powered by a 3.5-litre V6 sourced from Honda, fitted with twin turbochargers and producing in excess of 500 horsepower.

Honda's J35Y engine produces 278 horsepower in the Accord, 290 hp in the Acura MDX and 310 hp in the RLX. It also forms the basis for the HR35TT racing engine which Honda Performance Development puts in its Daytona Prototype, so if the rumours turn out to be true, chances are that's probably the engine in question – with the possible addition of a hybrid electric assist – but we'll have to sit tight to find out for sure.

News Source: Jalopnik

From sandals to flooring, there are many ways to reuse an old tire

Posted Aug 31st 2014 12:01PM

KENYA-ECONOMY-SANDALS

detroit treads tigers sandalsFurniture, flip flops and floors, oh my! Those are just a few of the products being repurposed from a faction of the 1.5 billion tires that get discarded each year, according to a fun little story from the BBC. And, if nothing else, the reincarnated products are durable.

Small companies in Kenya are refashioning old tires into sandals that sell for $2 to $5 a pop. The US takes that concept to the more high-brow and hip (read: pricier) level, as a company called Detroit Treads has brought on University of Michigan students to go through some of the 35,000 tires a year discarded in the Motor City and turn them into $25 flip flops (watch their commercial below). Meanwhile, some Swedish folks are grinding up old tires into a powder, mixing it with recycled plastic and creating material and producing parquet-type flooring. And in India, another company is turning old tires into material used for outdoor furniture. Probably all-weather radials, we guess.

A small fraction of old tires get put to new use through retreading and there are some larger companies giving recycling efforts a shot as well. In late 2012, Hertz started collaborating with Liberty Tire Recycling to turn some of the 160,000 tires the rental-car company discards each year into material used for playgrounds, public parks and roadways. 2012 was also the year Bridgestone Americas debuted its One Team, One Planet Spent Tire program, in which the tire maker arranged for its company-owned stores to recycle all the old tires their customers discarded.

News Source: BBC

Image Credit: SIMON MAINA / AFP / Getty Images

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer getting third row

Posted Aug 31st 2014 10:00AM

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer

In what enthusiasts will likely see as a continued attempt to dilute the BMW brand, the German manufacturer is testing a three-row variant of its already controversial 2 Series Active Tourer. Our trusty spy photographers captured images of the new, front-drive MPV testing on the roads of Europe.

The easiest way to ID this more passenger friendly 2er is its slightly longer length, which will allow it to accommodate seven people in total. As our spies point out, this should make the 2AT an attractive proposition for European taxi companies. Yep, BMW built a car that will be praised by taxi drivers. On top of the extra seats, the rear overhang appears larger as well, which should mean extra cargo space.

This, of course, is not the first time we've captured images of a new 2AT variant undergoing testing. Back in May, we spotted a hybrid-powered variant out for a drive.

Take a look up top for our full gallery of spy photos to see a front-wheel-drive, seven-passenger BMW people mover in action.

News Source: CarPix

Jaguar Land Rover offers (some) detail about new Ingenium engine

Posted Aug 31st 2014 9:00AM

Jaguar Ingenium Engine

Jaguar Land Rover officially announced its Ingenium family of engines with the unveiling of the 2.0-litre version in the Jaguar XE concept at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, but it kept details very thin at the time. All we knew was that the new turbocharged mills could be configured to use gasoline or diesel, and be positioned longitudinally or transversely. Months later, JLR is finally letting some more info slip about its new baby, but there are still some big questions to be answered.

For the Ingenium project, Jaguar Land Rover gave its engineers a clean sheet of paper and told them not to worry about using any previous parts or machinery. In the end, the designers came up with a family of turbocharged, aluminum-block engines based around modular, 500cc cylinders to allow it to grow or shrink as the market demanded. The layout was also made adaptable enough to incorporate hybrid drivetrains, if needed. "Being configurable and flexible are the two key strands of Ingenium's DNA because we have future-proofed our new engines from the outset," said said Ron Lee, the company's director of Powertrain Engineering.

To maximize efficiency, Jaguar promises that all versions of the Ingenium engines come with computer-controlled, variable oil pumps and water pumps to use only as much energy as needed. They also get direct injection, roller bearings for the cams and stop/start. The diesel version alone has 17 per cent less internal friction than the mill it replaces, the company claims. JLR is also promising class-leading figures for Ingenium's torque and horsepower too, but it's not giving away those specs just yet.

While it all sounds intriguing, we still have to wait a while before actually driving a product that makes use of the Ingenium. The production of the 2.0-litre diesel (codenamed AJ200D) doesn't begin until early 2015. Scroll down to read the full press release about JLR's new pride and joy.

News Source: Jaguar Land Rover

Kaz: Pushing The Virtual Divide Gran Turismo documentary now free on YouTube

Posted Aug 30th 2014 7:59PM

Kaz: Pushing The Virtual Divide

The video game Gran Turismo arguably wasn't the first great driving simulator, but it came along at just the right time to do things no other console game had ever done so well before. First, the Sony PlayStation allowed for 3D graphics that could create a recognizable model of a car in 360 degrees. Also, GT offered a huge breadth of vehicles that could get almost anyone interested. Up to that point in time, most driving games focused on just Formula 1, rallying, production cars, or other specific subsets of the autosphere, but GT had everything, which made it possible to find your dream car and go racing. The full-length documentary movie Kaz: Pushing the Virtual Divide delves into the mind of series leader Kazunori Yamauchi, and now it's available for anyone to watch for free.

Kaz originally launched in North America on Hulu in January, but not everyone has access to that streaming service. The documentary looks at the history of Gran Turismo starting from its early development and interviews Yamauchi about his theory behind making it. It also examines some of the racing that the series of games is emulating and influencing, including little kids getting into karting and the Nissan GT Academy. It's all done with beautiful cinematography and direction from Tamir Moscovici, who also helmed a 30-minute documentary about Magnus Walker. Note: Large portions of the movie have Yamauchi speaking in his native Japanese, so you're going to want to turn on subtitles to watch this intriguing film.

News Source: Gran Turismo TV via YouTube

Cadillac dealers frustrated over Escalade production snarls

Posted Aug 30th 2014 6:00PM

2015 Cadillac Escalade, front three-quarter view.

Lincoln went through it during the launch of the MKZ last year, Jeep went through something similar with its Cherokee launch, and now the 2015 Cadillac Escalade has apparently caught the bug: dealer delivery delays because of quality control checks. Automotive News reports that Cadillac dealers have been waiting three times longer than usual - a month or more - from the time an Escalade leaves the assembly line to when it gets delivered. Worse, dealers are saying they don't always know where their vehicles are in transit, or when they are set to arrive. The situation has upset customers who have put down deposits and things have gotten so bad that some dealers have reportedly stopped taking pre-orders.

Cadillac says it has the delay, called "dwell time," down to two weeks, and it expects to cut that to a week by the beginning of September. The company said "a lengthy quality-assurance process on some interior parts" has caused the lag, the report citing additional issues with figuring out which vehicles should be delivered first. A spokesman said that more trucks have been put in the distribution system to work through the backlog, but it's clear it's still going to take some time to set things right, with one dealer telling AN that cars ordered in February and March still haven't arrived.

Brand chief Kurt McNeil said additional personnel are at the Escalade's Arlington, Texas factory to speed up the checks, and spreadsheets tracking every order have been distributed to field staff. Even with the snafu, though, the Escalade is Cadillac's best seller through July.

Related Gallery2015 Cadillac Escalade - First Drive Review
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News Source: Automotive News - sub. req.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Brandon Turkus / AOL

Porsche prioritizes 200,000-unit sales target over exclusivity [w/poll]

Posted Aug 30th 2014 4:00PM

Porsche Panamera production

Would a Porsche still be a Porsche if it weren't as exclusive? That's the question which industry pundits are asking – and customers may soon as well – as the German automaker emerges from the fringe in pursuit of larger volumes.

A dozen years ago Porsche was barely selling over 50,000 units per annum. In a sales surge that has gathered pace as fast as a 911 Turbo, however, it was already hovering around the 100,000-unit mark a few years later. Last year it sold over 160,000, and has targeted 200,000 units by 2018. But it may not even take that long.

Automotive News reports that Porsche has advanced its targets to reach for 200,000 units by the end of this year or the next. The bump in sales would be driven particularly by the introduction of the new Macan, of which it aims to sell 50,000 units annually, starting next year. The Cayenne currently stands far and away as its most successful model. The 911 and Panamera have swapped second place a few times over the past five years, followed by the Boxster and Cayman.

Porsche's pursuit of higher volumes is mirrored by that of Maserati, which has been pursuing a similar path but at lower volumes. Maserati sold barely more than 6,000 units last year, but with the introduction of the new Ghibli sedan and upcoming Levante crossover, aims to reach 50,000 units next year. Ferrari, conversely, has actually been reducing production in order to maintain exclusivity and profitability.

Will Porsche's drive to 200,000 sales erode its desirability?

News Source: Automotive News - sub. req.

Image Credit: Porsche

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