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2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK 350

Posted Jan 22nd 2015 12:00PM



Introduced in 1996 as a 1997 model, the Mercedes-Benz SLK was a car that took the industry by surprise. It was one of the first two-seat roadsters widely available with a retractable hardtop for a reasonably affordable price.

With keys to the latest SLK350 in hand, we pondered over the bright red compact roadster with a critical eye. Has the SLK actually grown into a proper performance car, or does it still wear the dreaded chick-car stereotype? There's really only one way to find out.

We decided to take the 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLK350 out for a quick spin and see if nearly two decades later, the car still makes the same bold statement it did back in the 90s... READ MORE

News Source: Jeremy Korzeniewski / Autoblog

Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Santiago Gomez / AOL

How real is the Chevy Bolt EV and will it really cost just $30,000?

Posted Jan 22nd 2015 9:00AM



"This is us bragging that we can do this kind of car." That's how Michael Simcoe, GM's executive director for NA exteriors, described the Chevy Bolt EV concept, which made a surprise appearance at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. While there was talk of a 2017 production debut, this is for sure a concept vehicle.

But that means the ideas behind the vehicle are perhaps more important than the details. For example, no one is talking about what size battery might appear in a production Bolt, but Simcoe would talk about how rapid progress in battery improvements made it possible for GM to make the bold Bolt declaration that promises 200 miles (320 kilometres) and a price tag of around $30,000 or so after incentives... READ MORE

Dashcam captures police shooting man during traffic stop

Posted Jan 21st 2015 6:00PM



Authorities have released video that appears to show police in Bridgeton, NJ, fatally shooting an unarmed man in December after he exited his car against an officer's orders during a traffic stop.

Jerame C. Reid, who was a passenger, got out of the vehicle, a Jaguar, with his hands in the air, prompting officers to open fire, reported the Press of Atlantic City. Police and the local prosecutor declined to comment on the video, according to the newspaper.

The video was released in response to open record requests made by media. It was taken by a camera mounted on the dashboard of the police car.

The video shows an officer, Braheme Days, approaching the car and then asking Reid for his driver's licence. Days then draws his revolver and calls to his partner, Roger Worley, that there was a gun in the car. Days pulled a handgun from the car. An exchange follows between Reid and Days, who then got out of the car and the officers started shooting.

The driver of the car, Leroy Tutt, kept his hands in view of the officers through his window and was not harmed. The shooting is under investigation, as required by the state's attorney general. Reid's death sparked controversy, and a rally and a vigil were held earlier this month in New Jersey.

Reid, 36 had a previous record, the Press said, and fired shots at three New Jersey State troopers in 1994. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Meanwhile, the newspaper reports that city residents have filed nine complaints against Days and Worley for harassment, though they all have been dismissed. See the video below.

Biggest surprises from the 2015 Detroit Auto Show [w/poll]

Posted Jan 21st 2015 12:00PM



Here at Autoblog Canada, we love unexpected debuts at auto shows – and judging by our Detroit Auto Show coverage and traffic visiting our site, you do, too. Surprise reveals have been fewer and farther between in recent years with so many ways for vehicles to be teased or leak out, but this year's show has been a revelation. More to the point, it's been a series of revelations, with automakers from around the globe successfully delivering a brace of concept and production surprises.

It's made our jobs a lot more exciting and challenging, and even though it's actually more work to react and run-and-gun when the sheet is pulled on a surprise reveal than it is to publish an already-written embargoed story, we've had more fun covering this show for you than any domestic show in recent memory. We hope you've enjoyed the biggest surprises along with us.

To that end, borrowing the words of an unnamed automaker PR flack, we'd like to thank the following automakers for enduring "mountain of antacids" and that "creeping sense of paranoia" necessary to keeping ones' wares totally under wraps until the sheets are pulled off the sheetmetal:
And while we're at it, we'd like to throw in an shout-out to Detroit's substantially revised and revitalized Cobo Centre, and in particular, the redone Michelin media centre, which is arguably the single best accommodations for writing show stories that we've encountered on the entire international circuit.

Well done, everyone. Thank you, and keep the surprises coming.

Do you like it when there are surprise reveals at auto shows?



The truth behind sharing your driving data for cheaper car insurance

Posted Jan 20th 2015 7:00PM



Interested in savings as much as 30 per cent off your current car insurance premium? Safe drivers can do so, if they're willing to share their personal driving data. A new study says motorists are growing more comfortable sharing their driving data in order to earn steep discounts on auto insurance... READ FULL STORY

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News Source: Associated Press, Insurancequotes.com

2016 Mercedes-Maybach S600

Posted Jan 19th 2015 12:00PM

Has Daimler's Ultralux Brand Gone From Overpriced To High Value?




Imagine the audacity: during the salad days of the early 2000s, the company that invented the automobile – already synonymous with class-leading luxury – sought to further expand its portfolio by crashing the ultraluxury party. Going up against the likes of Rolls-Royce and Bentley, Mercedes-Benz traded its unmistakable Three-Pointed Star for a Mighty Mouse-like logo, exhuming a stately, long-dead German marque originally founded in 1909. The long-wheelbase Maybach 62 listed at an epic $360,000, while later spinoffs included curiosities like the nearly $700,000 Zeppelin, and a roofless, seven-figure limousine dubbed Laundaulet.

By the time the financial bubble finally burst in 2008, the brand's fate was all but sealed, with North American sales dropping into the double digits. It limped along another four years, but when the nameplate finally went kerplunk, it left behind it a trail of disappointed movers, shakers, moguls and rappers. The perfect postmodern metaphor for the brand's funeral pyre? Kanye West and Jay-Z's Otis music video, in which a perfectly fine Maybach is chopped and deconstructed, flames spewing out the tailpipes as it powerslides through an empty parking lot.

Image Credit: Copyright 2015 Basem Wasef / AOL

HIGHLIGHTS: Coolest Cars and Technology from CES 2015

Posted Jan 16th 2015 12:59PM



Our friends at Translogic and the glorious gadget geekout-fest known as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) go together like digital peanut butter and high-def jelly. At this year's show, surrounded by an egg-shaped Mercedes-Benz concept and the re-introduction of, of all things, the Sony Walkman, we had some fun.

Between talking with Volkswagen about its new gesture-control tech and flying some video drones, we squeezed in some time to shred on ZBoard's new electric skateboard. The future is now. Click and watch the best of CES 2015 in the two videos found below.

Translogic 168: CES 2015 Roundup

The American Autos of CES 2015 in Less Than 60 Seconds

All Jaguars and Land Rovers to get diesel engines... almost

Posted Jan 15th 2015 4:01PM



Virtually all Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles – except the F-Type sports car – will get a diesel engine option in the next three years, the company confirmed Sunday night at an event before the Detroit Auto Show.

The aggressive blitz begins this fall, when the 2016 Range Rover and Range Rover Sport will launch with available turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 diesel engines. They will push out 254 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque, while returning fuel economy of up to 28 miles per gallon (8.4L/100km) on the highway. The combined rating in city and highway driving will be 25 mpg (9.4L/100km).

The Rovers will be followed in 2016 by the XE sedan and F-Pace crossover, which will offer the 2.0-litre turbodiesel four-cylinder engines, in addition to gasoline units. The diesel-powered XE is expected to get at least 40 mpg (5.9L/100km) on the highway, Jaguar Land Rover North America CEO Joe Eberhardt said.

The oil-burners are expected to offer 20-to-30 per cent improvements in fuel economy compared with gasoline engines, depending on the vehicle.

JLR's announcement comes as gasoline prices have plummeted in North America, and regular fuel costs about $1 less than a gallon of diesel, according to AAA research. Still, the company is taking the long view, and Eberhardt said diesel engines offer greater performance and range than other options. JLR expects about 20 per cent of its customers will opt for diesel engines.

"We strongly believe this is what our customers will want, regardless of the fluctuations in gas prices," he said.

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Image Credit: Land Rover

2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, PHEV gets conservative new look, more range

Posted Jan 15th 2015 11:00AM



The plug-in hybrid middle ground between the 2015 Toyota Prius Plug-In (11 miles / 17 kilometres of EV range) and the 2016 Chevrolet Volt (50 miles / 80 kilometres) has long been the Ford domain. The Blue Oval has two plug-in hybrids with 20 miles (32 kilometres) of all-electric range, its 2015 Fusion and C-Max Energi Plug-in Hybrids. Entering this fray later this year will be the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid, which will arrive with 22 miles (35 kilometres) of EV range and 93 MPGe.

Hyundai made that announcement at the Detroit Auto Show this morning, saying that 22 miles (35 kilometres) is "farther than any other midsize PHEV sedan." Those zero-emission miles will come from a 9.8-kWh lithium polymer battery and a 50-kW electric motor. Once the pack runs out, Hyundai expects the PHEV to get 40 mpg (5.9L/100km) combined (as well as 38 mpg city and 43 mpg highway) (6.2L/100km city and 5.5L/100km highway) thanks to the gas-powered heart of the powertrain: a 154-horsepower, 2.0-litre Nu GDI four-cylinder engine that puts out 140 pound-feet of torque. When combined with the motor, the total system output is 202 horsepower.

Hyundai is also showing off a non-plug Sonata Hybrid, which is expected to get a 10-per cent fuel economy boost. The current version gets 38 mpg (6.2L/100km), combined, so that hints at around 42 mpg (5.6L/100km) on the sticker when the car arrives in dealerships. The plugless model has to make due with a 51-hp, 38-kW electric motor that offers 151 pound-feet of torque and a net power rating of 193 horsepower.

The two new Sonata Hybrid models have their own, more aerodynamic front and rear fascias as well as "purposefully unique wheels" that help drop the drag coefficient to just 0.24. The PHEV has a unique grille and a charge port on the front driver's side. Both models will arrive in dealerships later this year.

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Image Credit: Hyundai

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