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Bugatti Veyron Legends Edition Black Bess isn't exactly subtle

Posted Apr 22nd 2014 10:00AM

Bugatti Veyron Legends Black Bess

The Bugatti Veyron Legend editions may do nothing to alter the Grand Sport Vitesse's already prodigious performance, but buyers appear to love them. Four special models have been unveiled so far, and Bugatti has sold out of all of them. At the 2014 Beijing Motor Show, the automaker has introduced the fifth Legend – the Black Bess.

Unlike the previous models, this Legend is inspired by a specific car, rather than a person. Black Bess was the name of a Bugatti Type 18 owned by famous French aviator Roland Garros. With seven examples built from 1912 to 1914, the 18 was a supercar in its time. It sported a 99-horspower, 5.0-litre four-cylinder engine and could reach 160 km/h (100 miles per hour). While paltry today, it was amazing performance by contemporary standards.

The modern Black Bess packs the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse's 1,184-hp, quad-turbo W16 engine, and it wears rich, black paint with 24-carat gold accents. The interior has a combination of beige, brown and red leather, but its real showpieces are the hand-painted leather door panels that depict the Type 18 and Roland Garros' plane.

Like the rest of the Legends vehicles, the Black Bess will be limited to just three cars, and each one will be priced at €2.15 million (CAD$3.27 million). Scroll down to read the full press release on the on Bugatti's latest, classically inspired creation.

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News Source: Bugatti

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Chris Paukert / AOL

VW may actually build gonzo Golf R 400

Posted Apr 22nd 2014 9:00AM

Volkswagen Golf R400

The Golf R 400 Concept with 395 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque might be one of the coolest concepts at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show. The absolutely scorching hatch can hit 100 km/h (62 miles per hour) in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 280 km/h (174 miles per hour). All of that power comes out the EA888 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that is nearly ubiquitous in VW Group's cars with all-wheel drive. The even better news about the R 400 is that it might actually see production.

According to Car and Driver, Volkswagen head of research and development Heinz-Jakob Neusser confirms that there will be a production version. However, there is no word whether the model is coming to North America. Neusser also claims that the engine in the R 400 is only mildly revised over the Golf R to take the extra boost. There is also the possibility the powerful four-cylinder could make it into other VW Group models.

It's great to hear that the Golf R 400 is more than just a styling exercise. It does a fantastic job at looking understated yet powerful, with the big wheels and bumper but few other body modifications. Now, let's hope VW deems North America worthy of its halo hot hatch.

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News Source: Car and Driver

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Chris Paukert / AOL

Watch this 6-year-old ride a Harley in the desert [w/poll]

Posted Apr 22nd 2014 8:55AM

Six-year-old riding motorcycle

Did your parents ever let you do something as a kid, and you later realized how dangerous it was? Well, depending on your outlook, the adult in this video is either the coolest guy ever or the most reckless. While on a motorcycle ride, he taps the young boy in front of him on the helmet and hands over complete control.

Unfortunately, we have no context for this video. The YouTube description just says, "6-Year-Old Boy Riding Father's Harley On An Open Road!" So it's difficult to say where this is happening or when. Regardless, it's almost certainly against the law to let a child ride a motorcycle on public roads.

To their credit, both of them handle things quite well. On the adult's side, they don't appear to pass any traffic during the video, and he waits for a long, straight piece of road for the kid to take over. The little boy is pretty cool too. He nonchalantly grabs the handlebars after two prompts from the man and gives the throttle a good twist. He doesn't seem afraid by any of this.

Is this a cool chance for the kid or an adult putting them both at risk? Scroll down to check out the video and have your say in the poll below.

News Source: Jacob Hughes via YouTube

Jeep brings quartet of concepts to Beijing to show its Chinese style

Posted Apr 21st 2014 11:30AM

Jeep Renegade Zi You Xia

Jeep is making a big play for the Chinese crossover market at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show. It has a quartet styling concepts for the Renegade, Cherokee and Wrangler that are inspired by Chinese culture at the show.

Among them is the newest member of the Jeep lineup – the Renegade. Its Zi You Xia concept (pictured above) comes from the Mandarin for "rebel," and it's painted in Warm Chocolate Grey with Dark Anodized Bronze trim, including the 20-inch wheels. The roof, grille surround, and mirror caps are done in a complimentary Dark Charcoal colour as an accent. The interior is a mix of dark brown leather and Anodized Copper trim. This is one swanky compact crossover.

The Cherokee Sageland and Urbane concepts are meant to show to different sides of Chinese style. With inspiration from the Shangri-La Region, the Sageland has Ivory Pearl tri-coat paint with bronze trim on the outside, and the interior is covered in Gray Nappa leather with red and blue stitching. The Urbane's look comes from the nightlife in the country's cities. The exterior is a colour called Maximum Steel with Hyper Black trim. Inside, it combines Piano Black trim with dark red leather seats.

Finally, there is the Wrangler Sundancer concept that wears tri-coat Chocolate Brown metallic paint with gold accents, bronze fender flares and bronze-tinted glass. For an added dose of style, the front and rear bumpers are fitted with LED lights, and it rides on 20-inch pale gold wheels with polished gold inserts. Almost the entire interior is covered in Berry Baltique leather, which has a very red tone of brown, with pale gold trim.

Jeep didn't go into specific detail about the powertrains for any of the concepts. However, that makes sense because they show off more of what the brand can do with its styling than any performance advantages. Scroll down to read about all four of them in the official release.

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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

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

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

Volkswagen Phaeton will make North American return in 2018?

Posted Apr 19th 2014 6:00PM



Volkswagen knows that its North American operations need some help, so it installed Michael Horn as CEO of its American operations a few months ago. In a new interview with Bloomberg, Horn goes into detail about his two-pronged focus for the company – making dealers happier and improving product.

Chief among that product news is confirmation that the VW Phaeton is going to return to the American (and likely Canadian) market in 2018 or 2019, a move VW has long been rumoured to be considering lately. The full-size luxury sedan hasn't been sold in Canada since the end of the 2006 model year, departing the market as a victim of slow sales. (The Phaeton has since been slightly updated overseas, where it continues to be offered.)

The complex Phaeton garnered a good amount of critical acclaim in its time on our market, yet it earned mostly perplexed looks from consumers who had trouble understanding the idea of a "People's Car" priced against competitors like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (or the VW Group's own Audi A8, for that matter). It isn't immediately clear how VW intends to exempt the next-generation Phaeton from the same fate when it returns, nor is it clear whether the new model will share its underpinnings with the Bentley Continental Flying Spur, as the first iteration did.

According to the Bloomberg interview, Horn's other main goal is improving VW's dealer relations. He says that right now, dealers are unhappy with the company, and there is a "great distance" between them. The two sides are negotiating now to improve bonuses, marketing and other elements to get the network back on board.

"We need to connect closer from the American market to the German market," said Horn in the interview, and it looks like the company is making the first steps toward that goal. Click here to watch the full discussion.

News Source: Bloomberg

Image Credit: caranddriver.com

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