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2015 Dodge Charger shows off its new look in New York [w/videos]

  • 2015 Dodge Charger shows off its new look in New York [w/videos]
  • 2015 Dodge Challenger Scat Pack adds power and fun, with a warranty
  • 2015 Subaru Outback offers much more during its debut
  • HIGHLIGHTS: 2014 New York Auto Show

Jonathon Ramsey

2015 Subaru Outback offers much more during its debut

Posted Apr 17th 2014 3:00PM

2015 Subaru Outback

While its new front fascia makes the biggest obvious impact, Subaru says changes to the entire 2015 Outback package make it roomier, more powerful, more efficient and quieter. The hexagonal grille gets it in line with the corporate template, to go along with a new shape to the lower grille and fog light cladding, a sharp crease for a shoulder line and a faster rake to the windshield. The rocker panel cladding and its 'toothed' molding remain, but it now also doubles as a step for when you want to place items on the roof rack.

Under the aluminum hood will either be a 2.5-litre, four-cylinder boxer engine with 175 horsepower and a carryover 174 pound-feet of torque, or a 3.6-litre inline-six-cylinder with 256 hp and 247 lb-ft exclusively in the 3.6R Limited model. Paired to the lower-friction Lineartronic CVT that is the only shifting choice, and aided by features like the active grille shutter system and electric power steering, Subaru estimates that the fuel economy ratings for the 2015 Outback have been improved in 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder iterations. The 2015 Outback 2.5i CVT models are estimated at 8.0 L/100 km city, 6.0 L/100 km highway and 7.1 L/100 km combined. Trims with the 6-cylinder engine have estimated fuel economy ratings of 11.2 L/100 km city, 7.4 L/100 km highway and 9.5 L/100 km combined.

The Outback has grown in every dimension, but never by more than 0.7 of an inch. Outback's trunk has been enlarged to 1,005 litres. The passenger cabin grows by 76.4 litres (2.7 cubic feet), though, so occupants have more shoulder, hip, elbow and legroom. The cargo hold is enlarged by 33.9 litres (1.2 cu-ft) with the rear seats up, by 56.6 litres (2.0 cu-ft) with them down and the load floor is flatter. Accessing it is made easier by the memory height function on the power tailgate and new release handles for the rear thrones. Cabin ambience is improved by sound abatement measures like an acoustic windshield, thicker panels and more noise-insulating foam.

The standard equipment list gets a little longer, with larger brakes and ventilated rear discs, a rear-view camera, welcome lighting, soft-touch materials and either 6.2-inch or 7-inch touchscreens for infotainment automatically among the goodies. The options list now includes steering-responsive fog lights on models equipped with Subaru's EyeSight system, and a rear vehicle detection system that bundles blind spot detection, lane change assist and a rear cross traffic alert.

It will roll into dealerships this summer, but before that, there's a press release below, a few images above and we'll get a close look at it on the New York Auto Show floor.

Related Gallery2015 Subaru Outback
2015 Subaru Outback2015 Subaru Outback2015 Subaru Outback2015 Subaru Outback2015 Subaru Outback2015 Subaru Outback2015 Subaru Outback2015 Subaru Outback

News Source: Subaru

Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2014 Michael Harley / AOL

Morgan celebrates 100 years of going its own way

Posted Apr 14th 2014 7:00PM

A 53-year employee of Morgan Motor Company holds a handmade trophy awarded to winners in a factory football game.

Morgan is really pretty good at making nifty little videos that showcase the nifty little car company it is. The English fashioner of wood-framed automobiles and three-wheeled jitneys has done it again in commemoration of more than 100 years building cars at its factory in Pickersleigh.

Employees who've been in the family for anywhere from four to 53 years talk about what they've done, what they've seen and what they think about a carmaker still "doing things that aren't needed," like hand-rolling edges for each spare wheel cover. That's 'Taff' Evans above, holding up the shop-made trophy for the winners of a long-defunct football match between The Old Ones and The Young Ones.

You can watch the video below. And we also recommend checking out Drive's tour of the Morgan plant, which it called "The Most Honest Car Factory in the World."

News Source: Morgan Motor Company via YouTube

Toyota retires robots in favour of humans to improve automaking process

Posted Apr 14th 2014 1:00PM

A Toyota Motors Tsutsumi factory worker

Mitsuru Kawai is overseeing a return to the old ways at Toyota factories throughout Japan. Having spent 50 years at the Japanese automaker, Kawai remembers when manual skills were prized at the company and "experienced masters used to be called gods, and they could make anything." Company CEO Akio Toyoda personally chose Kawai to develop programs to teach workers metalcraft such as how to forge a crankshaft from scratch, and 100 workstations that formerly housed machines have been set aside for human training.

The idea is that when employees personally understand the fabrication of components, they will understand how to make better machines. Said Kawai, "To be the master of the machine, you have to have the knowledge and the skills to teach the machine." Lessons learned by the newly skilled workers have led to shorter production lines – in one case, 96 per cent shorter – improved parts production and less scrap.

Taking time to give workers the knowledge to solve problems instead of merely having them "feed parts into a machine and call somebody for help when it breaks down," Kawai's initiative is akin to that of Toyota's Operations Management Consulting Division, where new managers are given a length of time to finish a project but not given any help - they have to learn on their own. It's not a step back from Toyota's quest to build more than ten million cars a year; it's an effort to make sure that this time they don't sacrifice quality while making the effort. Said Kawai, "We need to become more solid and get back to basics."

News Source: Bloomberg

Image Credit: Toshimi Kitamura/AFP/Getty Images

Monowheel Ryno bike hitting the streets mid-April [w/video]

Posted Apr 14th 2014 10:00AM

Ryno Motors founder Chris Hoffman rides a Ryno electric unicycle

It was 2011 that the Ryno electric unicycle began making news. Three years later, the news is that the one-wheeled commuter transport vehicle is shipping: head to the Ryno Motors site and you can pick one up for US$5,295. If you're the type that always has to try the extra toppings, then you can upgrade to lithium-ion batteries "for an additional fee" and get the Ryno Rack for US$169.95 to make portage on your one-humped camel a little easier.

A refundable deposit of US$150 will get your name down for one of the first units, said to ship in the second quarter of this year. Coastal habitation is suggested since you'll have to pick up your toy at a dealer, where you'll get some "brief training" in how to ride it. Ryno says the "high-volume production run" will happen late in the year.

The Ryno has a range of 16 kilometres (ten miles) and a 20 km/h (12 mile-per-hour) top speed. It's street legal, can be charged at a regular home outlet, is safe for use on sidewalks and recently stopped by the Popular Science offices to be taken for a spin. You can watch the tech guys try out the front half of the Batcycle in the video below.

News Source: Popular Science

Colorado company making North American Ute dreams come true

Posted Apr 13th 2014 4:00PM

One of the American utes built by Colorado firm Left Hand Utes

Randy Reese is the Colorado dreamcatcher for those who still light votive candles at the altar of Our Lady of El Camino. He fulfills his role by importing the bodies of Australian utes, like the one pictured above, and installing them on the chassis' of fully NA-compliant cars like the Pontiac GTO, G8, or Chevrolet Caprice or Impala. His two-year-old company only builds a few cars a year - each one takes 2.5 months - but they're all fully done up with their original safety equipment, accessories, Customs paperwork and VIN.

Jalopnik has the tale of how a bad divorce, a supercharger, a bunch of Hummer H3s and a trip to Australia led Reese to Left Hand Utes, and just one little click can take you there.

Us here at Autoblog Canada are ecstatic about this!

News Source: Jalopnik

Image Credit: Left Hand Utes

Formula Drift driver Chris Forsberg drifts Skyline-swapped 1975 Datsun 280Z... like a boss

Posted Apr 11th 2014 7:59PM

Screencap of a Clarion ad featuring Chris Forsberg drifting a custom Nissan 280Z

Chris Forsberg won the Formula Drift Championship in 2009, was in the catbird seat to win it last year until the final race of the season and started this year's season with a win at Long Beach. That is how he can be provide the example for Clarion USA's tagline, "Dream like a champion."

In this three-minute video for the audio components manufacturer, Forsberg gives up the race suit for a corporate suit, then takes time out of his commute to think about what he'd rather be doing. In a 1975 Nissan 280Z with a turbocharged 2.0-litre Skyline RBDET20 engine (like a boss!). We're sure this has never happened to any of you before.

You can click here to watch how dream begins – and suddenly ends – in the video below.

Related GalleryChris Forsberg 370Z - Megaspeed
Chris Forsberg 370Z - MegaspeedChris Forsberg 370Z - MegaspeedChris Forsberg 370Z - MegaspeedChris Forsberg 370Z - MegaspeedChris Forsberg 370Z - MegaspeedChris Forsberg 370Z - MegaspeedChris Forsberg 370Z - MegaspeedChris Forsberg 370Z - Megaspeed

News Source: Clarion USA via YouTube

This is what Microsoft's latest Windows In The Car looks like

Posted Apr 10th 2014 10:00AM

Screencap from a presentation of Microsoft's coming Windows-in-Car interface.

Following Apple's unveiling of CarPlay at this year's Geneva Motor Show, Microsoft used its recent Build developer conference to reveal how it plans to allow the integration of its smartphones with automobiles. Instead of automakers using Microsoft programming to create their own infotainment interfaces, this would port your mobile phone's screen onto the car's touchscreen but with the look of the Windows "Metro" UI.

The system uses the Mirrorlink standard, which is (also) a rival to CarPlay, the major difference between the two being that Mirrorlink can port Windows, Android and Blackberry phone systems, and Google has its own Open Automotive Alliance dedicated to Android integration. Automakers won't have to choose just one, having come together to establish open standards that can incorporate the different systems.

Microsoft's concept provides almost complete control of what's on your phone, throws in GPS data like speed limits and some vehicular controls, and will let developers create apps that adhere to safe driving protocols. The system doesn't have a name or an arrival date yet, but Microsoft is testing it out on the road right now. You can watch it be demonstrated - and yes, crash, since it's pre-production software - in the video below.

News Source: The Verge, iClarified via YouTube

Modified Trabant takes on Nissan GT-R in 1/4-mile battle

Posted Apr 9th 2014 9:01PM

Screencap from a drag race between modified Trabant and a Nissan GT-R

The little yellow guy in the right lane above with the "Flitzer" licence plate looks like a Trabant 601 wagon and it's called a Trabant, but it's got little to do with the impoverished East German runabout that did its part to drive Communist ideals further into the ground. You'd almost be forgiven for not knowing there's a turbocharged 3.0-litre engine up front, until you have look at that rear track... and the wheelie bars in back.

So with a power-to-weight ratio akin to an LS9-powered scooter, it's no surprise that the Trabbi puts a pasting on a slightly tuned, 580-horsepower Nissan GT-R - we don't know what happened with Godzilla's shifting, but it was all over from the hole shot. It's still fun to watch, though, and you can do that in the video below.

News Source: Johny Kalos, World Car Fans via YouTube

Watch this British motorcyclist tumble down a 40-foot hill

Posted Apr 9th 2014 7:58PM

Screencap from an English motorcyclists' helmet cam just before he takes a 40-foot fall.

The image above is a frame from English motorcyclist Jack Sanderson's helmet cam. After a bit of impatience while riding a seven-mile (11 km) stretch of the A537 called Cat and Fiddle, 21-year-old Sanderson learned why it's one of the most dangerous roads in all of Europe. He took a corner too fast, couldn't keep it inside the white dividing line and, when he crossed into the oncoming lane, there was a Honda headed at him.

With nowhere else to go, Sanderson took the high road - and by "high-road" we mean drove off the tarmac and tumbled 40 feet down a hill. His Kawasaki Ninja was a write-off, but incredibly Sanderson escaped with a mild concussion and a cut on his hand - not even getting the cut until he grabbed some barbed wire while walking back up the hill.

Sanderson said the incident changed his whole outlook on life, and posted video of the incident on YouTube as a lesson to other riders. You can watch it below.

News Source: Janifer Johen, RideApart via YouTube