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Acura NSX coming to Detroit, the wait is almost over [w/video]

  • Acura NSX coming to Detroit, the wait is almost over [w/video]
  • 2015 Subaru WRX: Accident, wheels and tires
  • Porsche 911 GT3 Cup ANDIAL Edition
  • North American Honda Civic to get Type R engine

Infiniti's Vision for Gran Turismo revealed in full [w/video]

Posted Dec 17th 2014 2:00PM

Infiniti Concept Vision Gran Turismo

Just about any car has to be designed with some sort of limitations, whether it's a production car that has to be usable on the road, a racecar that has to comply with regulations, or even a concept car that does, at the end of the day, actually need to be crafted out of real materials and wheeled onto a stage. But the Vision Gran Turismo series imposes no such limitations. Designed only for a virtual reality, the project allows for designers to craft a purely fantastical design whose limits fall barely short of their own imaginations. It presents companies with the opportunity to represent their brand as they want to, so it comes as little surprise that every automaker from here to Hong Kong has been lining up to take part. And the latest is Infiniti.

Previewed in a pair of teaser renderings barely over a week ago, the Infiniti Concept Vision Gran Turismo is a suitably striking addition to the virtual world of the Gran Turismo video game franchise. Designed at the company's Beijing studio, the brief calls for a 4.5-litre naturally aspirated V8 hybrid powertrain, with a front mid-ship layout driving a rear transaxle for ideal 45/55 front-rear weight distribution. Beyond that it's all flowing forms, extreme aero and signature Infiniti design cues like a widened version of the brand's trademark grille shape and the kink in the rear pillar.

It's got butterfly doors hinged ahead of those spindly mirrors, center-lock alloys crafted from carbon fibre, deeply sculpted aerodynamic elements, a large boomerang-shaped rear wing and aggressive long-hood/low greenhouse proportions. It's F1 meets GT, to hear Infiniti tell it, and whether you've got a PS3 and a copy of Gran Turismo 6 to play around with it or not, you can check it out in the images above and the video below.

News Source: Polyphony Digital

Raminator sets world record for fastest monster truck [w/video]

Posted Dec 17th 2014 1:00PM

Raminator at Circuit of the Americas

Monster trucks are made for a lot of things: crushing jalopies, jumping over jalopies, wowing spectators while crushing and jumping over jalopies, and so on. But powerful as they tend to be, monster trucks are not built for outright speed. Still, one has to be faster than another, and as it turns out, Raminator is the fastest of them all.

Alongside Rammunition and the new Mopar Muscle, Raminator is one of three Ram-based monster trucks run by the Hall Brothers Racing Team with support from Chrysler. It's been named Truck of the Year by the Monster Truck Racing Association a record eight times, its driver Mark Hall has been named the association's Driver of the Year nine times and its crew chief Tim Hall its Mechanic of the Year five times. And now Raminator and the Hall Brothers have claimed the Guinness World Record for the fastest monster truck, recording a top speed of 99.10 mph (159.4 km/h) to break the previous record of 96.8 mph (155.7 km/h).

The record was set at the Circuit of the Americas, the 3.4-mile (5.5-kilometre) track built on the outskirts of Austin, Texas, to host the United States Grand Prix. Aside from Formula One, the track has hosted endurance racing, touring cars and motorbikes, and while Raminator may not be the fastest vehicle ever to lap the circuit, it's surely one of the biggest. Click here to scope out the video from the record run below.

News Source: Ram

2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe

Posted Dec 17th 2014 12:00PM

One Man's Goldilocks Is Another Man's Overkill

Conventional wisdom would dictate that adding more power and several key performance enhancements to an already very good car, like the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 Coupe, will end up equaling an even better car. In the case of the 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG Coupe, conventional wisdom sort of applies, but perhaps not as much as we'd have initially guessed.

We'll get into the nitty gritty details in just a moment, but here's the most immediate takeaway we had in our minds as we walked away from this super coupe: The S63 AMG is excellent, but so is the slightly more mundane S550 Coupe on which it is based, and which is priced some $27,000 less expensive than its more powerful sibling. Chew on those figures while we examine what differentiates the two S-Class Coupes.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Jeremy Korzeniewski / AOL / Mercedes-Benz

Autoweek dubs GMC Canyon, VW GTI its 2015 'Best of the Best'

Posted Dec 17th 2014 11:00AM

2015 GMC Canyon

2015 Volkswagen GTIFor kids around the globe, tis the season for Santa, reindeer and presents. For the automotive industry, the last quarter of each year is reserved for awards, whether they come from Motor Trend, Car and Driver, Automobile, or yes, Autoblog. The latest to get released comes from our friends at Autoweek.

The magazine has echoed other outlets, naming a Volkswagen hatchback and a small pickup from General Motors as its Best of the Best. Unlike Motor Trend, which handed out its golden calipers to the Chevrolet Colorado and Volkswagen Golf range, Autoweek doled out its awards to the Colorado's twin, the GMC Canyon, while singling out the hottest version of the Golf, the GTI.

"This is the best hot-hatch on the American market – and it may be the best car you can buy for less than US$30K," one AW staffer said in the publication's article on the feature. Other staffers praised the absolute value provided by the GTI and the overall fun factor.

The Canyon, meanwhile, was saluted for being "the perfect size," not to mention its excellent build quality, feature-rich cabin and overall practicality. "It's truly a truck in the most honest sense of the word," Autoweek wrote of the Canyon.

Scroll down for the full press release on the announcement from Autoweek, which includes comments from both Volkswagen and GMC. And then head over and read AW's full feature on the awards.

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News Source: Autoweek

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 AOL

Acura NSX coming to Detroit, the wait is almost over [w/video]

Posted Dec 17th 2014 10:00AM

Turbo Engines, New Pilot And Ridgeline Round Out "The Year Of Honda

Acura NSX

Finally. After spending years rounding three bases in the development of the second coming of the Acura NSX, we can espy home base just beyond the turn of the year. Here is your first teaser image for the profoundly anticipated coupe that will show itself in production form at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. (We've even brightened it up for you, but feel free to see it in high-res, original form, along with a few other teaser shots, here.) What we can see of it looks like the last camouflaged prototype we saw at the 'Ring, save for switching out the prorotype's traditional headlights for Acura's jeweled units.

After years of foreplay, well... let's just say we're ready. The coupe, its zirconium e-coat and its twin-turbocharged Sport Hybrid power unit – aimed at Ferrari 458 Italia performance for Audi R8 money – will be uncovered on January 12, 2015 at 11:50 AM Eastern time, and you can watch it as it happens at There's a teaser video, below, to whet your appetites.

Next month's NSX debut kicks off what John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda, calls "The Year of Honda." Speaking to members of the media at an event in Detroit Tuesday, Mendel said that following the NSX, Honda will debut a new version of the Pilot SUV in 2015, as well as a redesigned Ridgeline pickup. Mendel also confirmed that Honda will launch small-displacement, turbocharged engines for use in production vehicles. As for Acura, the company's luxury division will offer the new ILX this year, and Mendel hinted that the RDX and MDX crossovers will get a few updates to make them more competitive within their respective segments.

It sounds like a busy year, for sure. And we're ready and waiting (we've been waiting...) for the NSX to kick it all off. Head below to read the official confirmation statement, and to see a teaser video.

News Source: Acura via YouTube

Seniors accidentally lock themselves in Mazda3 for 13 hours, nearly die

Posted Dec 17th 2014 9:00AM

2014 Mazda3

It's an over-played trope that senior citizens are bad with technology. Its regular use as a comedic device, though, overshadows a more dire circumstance that comes when elderly citizens are paired with gizmos and gadgets they don't fully understand.

A couple from New Zealand spent the night in their new, smart-key-equipped Mazda3 after thinking they'd locked themselves in, in what The Otago Daily Times called "a series of 'Murphy's Law' events." The two thought the car wouldn't function without the key fob, which had accidentally been left outside of the car, along with the owner's manual. That, along with the combination of stress, darkness and a lack of overall information about the car nearly killed Mollieanne and Brian Smith.

After thinking they'd become trapped, the Smiths, 65 and 68, respectively, tried honking the horn to alert neighbours – it was Guy Fawkes Night, so the sound was drowned out by fireworks – and even took the Mazda's jack to a window in their attempt to escape.

When they were discovered and freed 13 hours later, Mrs. Smith was unconscious and Mr. Smith was having trouble breathing, with emergency crews telling the couple another half hour in the car would have killed them. Mr. Smith later told The Otago Daily Times he was "very methodical," but couldn't figure out how to unlock the car.

"Once I found out how simple it was to unlock it I kicked myself that I did not find the way out," the 68-year-old told The Times. "I had this mind-set that I did not have the transponder [so I could not get out]."

Mazda New Zealand pointed out that is not the case.

"It's not a design flaw with the car," Mazda New Zealand General Manager Glenn Harris told The Times. "What we have said to the [dealership] network is, with new technologies, don't forget to show customers how to use them in their entirety [and] how to override them. There is always a manual process to override them."


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News Source: Otago Daily Times

Image Credit: Mazda

Xcar gets muddy with BRP's Can-Am Maverick

Posted Dec 16th 2014 8:00PM

XCar flogs the BRP Can-Am Maverick UTV around a muddy English field.

Xcar has channeled its inner Dukes of Hazard, but uses a BRP Can-Am Maverick as substitute for the General Lee and a muddy English field instead of Hazard County, Kentucky. The Maverick is a side-by-side or utility task vehicle (SxS or UTV) from the same folks who make the Spyder, but BRP considers this is a "Sport 2-Seater" of the UTV world that will "get you in front of the pack."

It does so with a 976-cc, V-twin Rotax engine with 101 horsepower that propels the Maverick's 1,294 pounds (687 kilograms), it can be either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive at the flick of a switch, it's got 14 inches of suspension travel, and it's road legal in the UK. Eschewing the sanity of the road, Xcar flogs it in an English field and finds the Maverick is capable of a great many things, including the reward of "a childish state of giddiness."

News Source: XCAR

Watch feds crush classic Mini caught in importation dragnet

Posted Dec 16th 2014 7:00PM

Crushed Mini

Fair warning for any classic car fans that suffer from high blood pressure: this story might not be good for your health. US Customs and Border Protection is teaming up with British law enforcement to keep unsafe, imported vehicles off the road here – like this Mini. In the government's view, the only way to make things right is to crush the cars, apparently.

The destruction is part of Operation Atlantic, a crackdown on Minis and Land Rover Defenders that are being illegally imported. According to Yahoo Autos, this is just one of about 100 vehicles from the dragnet. This specific car went into the US in June, and its VIN indicated a model from 1988. However, the vehicle had a different engine than it should have, and the steering wheel was on the wrong side. It was likely actually from around 2000.

To emphasize the crackdown, government officials and press gathered at a New Jersey junkyard to destroy the car. Check out the video below to watch the carnage and listen to the horrible crunching noises, and read the sad press release below.

News Source: Yahoo Autos, US Customs and Border Patrol

Image Credit: Related images copyright U.S. Customs and Border Protection / Flickr

eBay Find of the Day: J. Ruiter Reboot Buggy [w/video]

Posted Dec 16th 2014 6:30PM

Ruiter Reboot Buggy

Do you need to be the person with the most unique vehicle on your block, a car or truck people constantly stop and ask questions about? Well, the Reboot Buggy from designer Joey Ruiter might be the ultimate answer to your iconoclastic desire, and it's now for auction on eBay Motors.

The concept of a "box on wheels" gets thrown around fairly often to describe vehicles, but it's hard to think of a better way to describe the Reboot Buggy. Without an arch or a curve on any part of its (almost nonexistent) body, it's a shape you'd expect a superhero to be driving. It rides on a custom tube chassis with aluminum body panels and doors from polycarbonate.

Autoblog senior editor Seyth Miersma got to drive the Reboot Buggy earlier this year and described its addictive handling both on and off road. Power comes from a mid-mounted 6.3-litre V8 making a claimed 470 horsepower that routes through a three-speed automatic to drive the rear wheels. To keep all that power down, the suspension is fully independent at all four corners and offers 26 inches of travel at the front and rear. Beefy 40-inch grip in the rough stuff pretty well, too.

No need to worry about where to drive the Reboot Buggy, either. Not only is it street legal with a Michigan title, but the winning bidder also gets an enclosed trailer with custom rear doors to fit the vehicle's 92.5-inch width. The auction ends on Saturday, December 20, and as of this writing, bidding currently sits at US$10,187 with the reserve not yet met.

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News Source: eBay Motors

Image Credit: J. Ruiter, Related images copyright 2014 Seyth Miersma / AOL