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Morgan Plus 8 Speedster hits the track versus BMW R Nine T

  • Morgan Plus 8 Speedster hits the track versus BMW R Nine T
  • 2014 Cadillac ELR
  • 2015 Subaru Impreza gets visual tweaks, added refinement
  • Pininfarina Sergio gets its glass on for production

Autoblog

Driving the National Corvette Museum's new circuit [w/video]

Posted Sep 27th 2014 8:01PM

We Test Out Corvette Disneyland's New Track

National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park

After seven years of work, the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park has opened, and it's 3.15 miles (5.07 km) of roller-coaster blacktop.

If you're an auto enthusiast of any stripe, you know about the National Corvette Museum. We know, "Sinkhole! Sinkhole! Sinkhole!" but this story isn't about a fissure in the ground. For 20 years, NCM has been a fixture in the Bowling Green, KY area. Located directly across the street from the Corvette factory, it houses historic 'Vettes, an interesting history of the brand and people behind it, serves as a kickoff point for plant tours and hosts tons of annual club gatherings. Between the museum and factory, this place is hallowed ground for Corvette acolytes. Now, it's been made even more compelling. After seven years of work, the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park has opened directly across the freeway, and it's 3.15 miles (5.07 km) of roller-coaster blacktop.

The track has been a dream since 2007. The museum worked with local land owners and the city of Bowling Green to acquire 70 acres of property, then consulted with famed track designer Alan Wilson. Wilson surveyed the site and recommended that if the goal was a truly world-class course, another significant parcel of property would be needed. After a few more acquisitions, track designer Steve Crawford was hired to lay the course on a total of 184 acres. He incorporated famous corners from Circuit de la Sarthe and other courses as well as new unique, challenges for drivers. The asphalt was specified with a high-polymer content for durability, and ground was broken on July 13, 2013. Just 15 months later, the ribbon was cut during the Museum's 20th anniversary on September 16. Total investment: US$20 million.

News Source: CorvetteMuseum via YouTube

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Ben Wojdyla / AOL | Chevrolet

12 Instagram accounts we love

Posted Sep 26th 2014 7:00PM

And You Will, Too

Instagram

Photographing a car seems deceptively simple. See car, take photo. But anyone who has ever attempted to convey what a car stirs in the enthusiast heart using hashtags knows it is not that easy. A car's personality can change from every angle. Lighting and background is deceptively important. Conditions like dust and even small scratches can send even hardened professionals' thumbs straight to the garbage can icon.

Not everyone can spend hours scrolling through filters to perfect a shot of a Lamborghini or Porsche. That's why we've scoured through the selfies and sunsets to find the best places on Instagram for cars. Check out this list of our go-to accounts celebrating the beautiful, crazy and unique design of cars throughout the world.

PREVIEW: 2014 Paris Motor Show

Posted Sep 26th 2014 11:00AM

The Hyper-Fast, Hyper-Frugal, and Hyper-French

2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale A

Don't let the shiny objects detract from the serious side of the show. Sales, fuel economy and regulations are part of the conversation.

The Paris Motor Show is one of the glitziest events on the automotive calendar. Yes, it helps that it's in the City of Light, but the glamorous surroundings only enhance the spectacular wares that automakers bring to the show. This is where Europeans debut their best new cars for the coming year, both as eye-catching concepts and in production trim.

But don't let the shiny objects detract from the serious side of the show. Sales, fuel economy and regulations are always part of the conversation, as CEOs and politicians pitch their agendas for the industry. It's big business at the highest level.

The Paris show only happens every other year, alternating with another critical event, the Frankfurt Motor Show. Still, there's something special about Paris. The press days are next week, Oct. 2-3. Here's what you should watch for as the new sheetmetal rolls out.

Image Credit: Ferrari / Lamborghini / Peugeot / Infiniti / Mercedes-Benz

Jeep Renegade's development a template for new Fiat Chrysler Auto

Posted Sep 25th 2014 6:00PM

2015 Jeep Renegade

"We figured we'd take the best of both worlds." – Ralph Gilles.

The international makeup of the 2015 Jeep Renegade will serve as a template for cooperation within the newly formed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Senior Vice President Product Design Ralph Gilles said.

The Renegade is Jeep's first small crossover and the brand's attempt to lure new and younger buyers. It was designed in the United States, but is built in Italy on a Fiat platform shared with the 500L. Unlike the Fiat, though, it has two available four-wheel-drive systems, a familiar seven-slot grille and a pair of available open-air roof features, all characteristics that designers argue make it a legitimate Jeep.

Gilles said the Renegade's development was a test case – that succeeded – in Fiat and Chrysler product teams working together. "We figured we'd take the best of both worlds," he said at MICHauto, a day-long industry summit in Detroit on Tuesday.

The new Jeep's development spurred different ideas about the brand, Gilles said. While Chrysler's American designers and engineers had a traditional, rough-and-tough view for the Renegade, Europeans saw it as an edgier city vehicle. "It's kind of this urban jungle-fighter machine," he recalled.

It also raised some challenges, like packing the many interior conveniences and features North Americans demand into the tight layout of a European platform. We had to rethink how we do cars," Gilles said. "We've never had a space problem before."

Fitting for Jeep's international DNA, the Renegade will be sold in more than 100 countries, a wide swath for the brand which is growing handsomely overseas. That mirrors the ambitions of FCA itself – the automaker will have a far-flung footprint, with production, engineering and design largely staying in their traditional locations in Europe and America, while the new headquarters will be in London and the company will be registered in the Netherlands.

Perhaps even more important than its multicultural roots, the Renegade will also serve as the new gateway for Jeep, which wants to capture buyers from the Millennial Generation. Many of the designers who worked on the new ute where in their 20s and 30s, and see the automobile as a "device," Gilles said.

"We put a Millennial crew on it," he said. "They designed it for themselves in a certain way."

News Source: Jeep

Will.I.Am stars in new Lexus NX ad, designing a version for Paris Motor Show

Posted Sep 25th 2014 4:00PM



After likely failing to start his own car company, musician (and wacky-looking DeLorean owner) will.i.am has teamed up with Lexus to shamelessly promote the Japanese luxury car brand in strangely 'futuristic ways,' starting with the all-new 2015 Lexus NX crossover (pictured above with will.i.am in floating Karate Kid pose).

Whether you love or hate its chiseled, angular lines and spindle grille, the Lexus NX is a big step for the brand as it jumps into the sea of luxury compact crossovers. We've already checked out the new CUV, and to promote its European launch, along with a different nose, Lexus has teamed up with producer and musician will.i.am for a commercial titled Striking Angles.

As the name suggests, the ad imagines a futuristic world where practically everything shares the NX's sharp-angled design aesthetic, including the wildlife. Over a thumping remix of his Dreamin' About the Future, the luxury CUV rolls through the misty city streets for Will.I.Am to check out.

That's not the end of Lexus' promotional efforts for its newest addition, though. The brand is also displaying a one-off NX styled by Will.I.Am during Paris Fashion Week. Read the automaker's entire release about its marketing plan for the CUV, below.

Related GalleryLexus NX Will.I.Am UK Ad
Lexus NX Will.I.Am UK AdLexus NX Will.I.Am UK AdLexus NX Will.I.Am UK AdLexus NX Will.I.Am UK AdLexus NX Will.I.Am UK Ad

News Source: Lexus UK via YouTube

2015 Porsche Cayenne S

Posted Sep 24th 2014 11:57AM

Turbo V6 Makes Best-Selling Porsche More Potent Than Ever

2015 Porsche Cayenne S

Oh, Porsche. Just as the dust settles over the 911 GT3's no manual gearbox kerfuffle, the Germans have gone and yanked the yummy naturally aspirated 4.8-litre V8 from the Cayenne S and replaced it with a twin-turbo 3.6-litre V6. Is nothing sacred in Porscheland?

Perhaps not... but that's not necessarily a bad thing. After all, Porsche famously once said they'd never build a diesel, but when they did, it was actually rather stellar.

All 2015 Cayennes get subtly reworked front and rear ends, with a wider looking nose and bladed intakes feeding intercoolers, while reworked headlamps and taillights emphasize a family resemblance to the Macan. New suspension bushings and bearings combined with reworked shock internals provide sharper handling and a greater range of damping adjustability, while the standard equipment list gets a much needed boost, so to speak, with features like auto stop/start and bi-Xenon headlights. New options include rear seat air vents and smart cruise control, among others. But apart from the S E-Hybrid's new plug-in configuration and its lithium-ion battery, the most notable change in the lineup is the Cayenne S's jettisoning of the V8... READ MORE

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Basem Wasef / AOL, Porsche

Translogic 159: V2X Demonstrations at ITS World Congress

Posted Sep 22nd 2014 5:00PM

Vehicle-To-Infrastructure Communication Could Lead To Smarter, Safer Roadways

GM V2X

A few years ago, the hot term in car connectivity was V2V, or vehicle-to-vehicle communication. Now, another techy abbreviation has taken hold: V2X, or vehicle-to-anything-you-can-imagine.

We head to the ITS World Congress in Detroit, MI, to see how the cars of the future will communicate with each other, and the world around them, with demonstrations from Honda, GM and NXP.

2015 Toyota Camry

Posted Sep 22nd 2014 12:05PM

(Re)Securing Its Spot At The Top

2015 Toyota Camry

Every car has its definitive year. Whether it be the Chevrolet Corvette, the Ford Mustang, or yes, even the ubiquitous Toyota Camry, 10.2 million of which have been sold since 1983, every car has its year. For the Camry, that year was 1992. With son-of-Lexus styling, a clear sense of purpose and a parent company that had hit its stride as the purveyor of faultlessly reliable family transportation devices, the Camry got its legs in 1992. It's a car that even your mom is likely to remember, even if she never owned one herself.

The Camry you see here represents the closest Toyota has come to emulating the magic formula that made the 1992 model the stuff of legends. Compared to the 2014 model, some 2000 of the car's 6,000 parts are new, most of them involving things you can see or touch (on the outside, for example, only the roof carries over from 2014).

It's not a full redesign, but nevertheless it's a stunning development considering the predecessor upon which it's based only survived two model years. That's a testament to both the hyper-competitive nature of the family sedan segment and the lukewarm critical response that the outgoing car garnered. But that's in the past now – after driving this 2015 model, we suspect the new car's changes will be thorough enough to continue pulling in new customers by the hundreds of thousands each year for the foreseeable future... CLICK HERE TO READ FULL REVIEW

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Steve Siler / AOL

2015 Kia Sedona

Posted Sep 20th 2014 12:00PM

Injecting New Life Into A Tired Segment, But Will Anyone Notice?

2015 Kia Sedona

Minivan sales have stagnated in recent years, and Kia tells me that no fewer than 15 models have been completely eliminated from the market since crossovers rose to prominence. So why in the world is the company not only sticking by the Sedona, but also actively investing in it, giving it a complete overhaul for the 2015 model year?

The Korean automaker isn't convinced that the minivan's "family box" reputation is truly warranted, and it sees an opportunity to snare younger, more active buyers by designing, engineering and marketing the Sedona as something versatile, edgy and comfortable. While that logic may seem both a bit familiar and somewhat far-fetched, Kia says forty-five percent of minivan buyers don't actually have kids and are instead simply looking for space, so the approach should be based at least in part on sound reasoning.

I spent an afternoon in Northern California behind the wheel of Kia's new non-minivan with a healthy dose of skepticism about its new strategy, but an open mind, as well. Does the Sedona's execution live up to Kia's lofty criteria and expectations of what a nontraditional minivan should be? Will buyers ditch their CUVs for something with a little more junk in the trunk? Read on to find out.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Michael Zak / AOL

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