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2015 Volkswagen Golf R [w/video]

  • 2015 Volkswagen Golf R [w/video]
  • HIGHLIGHTS: 2014 LA Auto Show
  • 2015 Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG S 4Matic stands out in the LA crowd
  • 2016 Mazda CX-3 is the newest KODO designed crossover

Jonathon Ramsey

Watch this Chinese stunt driver parallel park with only 3 inches to spare

Posted Nov 24th 2014 7:00PM

Parallel Parking Video

Whenever this writer thinks of fancy parking jobs, we go straight to Buddy Love singing Strokin' in a red Dodge Viper he slides into a tiny space in The Nutty Professor. But after watching the video below, we might have to start thinking about Han Yue, who broke the world record for getting into the tightest parallel parking space. The previous record was set in July 2013 by Alastair Moffatt, who had 3.4 inches to spare between his car and those around. Yue used a Mini Cooper at the China Drift Championship in Chongqing, China, to shrink that gap to 3.15 inches.

That gave Yue two world records at the same event: the day before, he used a BMW M4 to set the world record for doing the most donuts around a car driving on two wheels. Which, frankly, we didn't even know was a competitive thing...

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News Source: Guinness World Records via YouTube

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Jeremy Korzeniewski / AOL

Race recap: Abu Dhabi GP is reversals, luck, leanness and last dances

Posted Nov 24th 2014 1:30PM

Graphic for the 2014 Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix.

We weren't sure if Alter Ego Nico Rosberg, the one who flew into Brazil and showed Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Lewis Hamilton that he knew also knew how to grab an entire race weekend by the scruff of the neck, arrived in Abu Dhabi. In both Friday practice sessions Hamilton showed Rosberg the way.

Then on Saturday, Alter Ego Rosberg took over, taking the last Free Practice session and then pole position by a whopping four-tenths of a second over Hamilton. Thanks to the gimmicky and soon-to-be-obliterated spectre of double points, if Rosberg won the race and Hamilton finished lower than second, the World Championship would remain in German hands.

Behind Hamilton came the Williams duo, again, with Valtteri Bottas ahead of Felipe Massa. Daniil Kvyat did swell to put his Toro Rosso in fifth, Jenson Button was just as swell getting his McLaren into sixth. Kimi Räikkönen out-qualified his Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso for the third time this year, the pair taking seventh and eighth on the grid. Kevin Magnussen lined the second McLaren up in ninth, Jean-Eric Vergne making the top ten for Toro Rosso in his last race for the team. To be clear, that was the final grid for race: Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel had both qualified in the top ten but were sent to the back of the grid when their Infiniti Red Bull Racing front wings were deemed illegal. They'd start from the pit lane, which was still ahead of Romain Grosjean in the Lotus, who took so many penalties for new engine components that he started the race in Turkey.

At lights-out on Sunday, well, it was pretty much lights out.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 AP / AFP | Getty Images, AOL

Why turbo compounding may be the next big thing in powertrains

Posted Nov 23rd 2014 8:00PM

Cutaway of a turbo compounding setup in a gasoline engine.


Turbo compounding is the process of using a turbo run off exhaust gasses to provide additional power to the crankshaft via gearing or a hydrodynamic coupling, or to power a generator that distributes energy via a power electronics module. The technology isn't new - the aerospace industry introduced the concept in the 1940s - but an article in Car and Driver says it could be "the next big thing in energy recovery" for automotive engines.

Turbo compounding is a way to take advantage of wasted exhaust gasses to provide more power to the engine. In the cutaway above, the compressor in the upper right (blue arrows) is powered by the turbine wheel to its left (red arrows) to send boosted intake air to the engine. The turbine, however, is also sending exhaust gas down the plumbing to its left, where another turbine connected to a shaft drives a set of gears, essentially a high-ration transmission ultimately connected to the crankshaft in the lower left.

Bowman, which engineers electrical compounding systems for power generation and heavy vehicle sectors, says its solution can increase efficiency by to seven per cent with no negative impact. Mechanical compounding is said to supply gains of around five percent, but can have a negative impact depending on engine load.

Engine maker Detroit Diesel won the Truck Writers of North American Technical Achievement Award for its DD15 engine that uses mechanical compounding, and Scania and Volvo also use the tech for their truck engines. When it comes to automaker implementation, we might be looking at Formula One engine makers first: the new 1.6-litre turbo V6s use electrical compounding to run the MGU-H motor/generator to power a battery that provides extra boost during a lap.

News Source: Car and Driver

Infiniti Synaptiq concept 'spinal lock attachment' makes you one with your car

Posted Nov 23rd 2014 10:00AM

A rendering of Infiniti's SYNAPTIQ concept created for the LA Auto Show Design Challenge.

The theme of this year's LA Design Challenge is "Sensing the future" and asks, "How will cars interact with us in 2029?" Infiniti has kicked off entries in the LA Auto Show's yearly visionary party with its low, wide and versatile Synaptiq concept. Less a car and more of a set of interlocking pieces, the Synaptiq is termed a "universal fuselage pod," a teardrop-shaped capsule with a liquid-crystal canopy that can be fitted to different propulsion devices: a Formula One-like chassis, a desert buggy rig and a jet airframe.

Yet it answers the challenge not by being able to fly through deserts and air, but with its human-machine interface. The driver/pilot wears a Synaptic S.U.I.T. (Symbiotic User Interface Technology) fitted with biometric sensors and synthetic muscles, and through a "spinal lock attachment," he or she is made one with the car.

You gaze upon its gewgaws in the gallery above, and read more about it and other concepts from Acura, CALTY, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Peterbilt, Qoros, Subaru and Volkswagen that vied for the King of the Future title at last week's LA Auto Show.

Image Credit: Infiniti

McLaren P1 squares off against Porsche 918 in Evo track battle

Posted Nov 21st 2014 7:58PM

Evo McLaren vs Porsche

Evo's side-by-side comparison of the McLaren P1 against the Porsche 918 Spyder isn't the first time we've seen England and Germany's ultimate automotive weapons sized up together; last month, Autocar tested them over the standing mile, with a Ducati 1199 Superleggera playing the joker. Evo throws a few curves at its test, though, taking the supercars to Anglesey Circuit in Wales to see which will lay down the fastest lap time with scribe Jethro Bovington at the wheel.

In case the numbers haven't yet been seared into your memory, while both are assisted by electric motors, the 1,392-kilogram (3,069-pound), rear-wheel drive P1 gets on with 903 horsepower and 664 pound-feet from a 3.8-litre, twin-turbocharged V8. The 1,700-kilo (3,750-pound), all-wheel-drive 918 Spyder does its job with 795 hp and 575 lb-ft surging out of a naturally aspirated, 4.6-litre V8.

We're not told know which circuit layout he uses for the test, but both cars comfortably eclipse the mark set by the fastest coupe Evo's driven around it so far, the Ferrari 458 Speciale. Then, in an epilogue occasioned by a tire change, one of the supercars comfortably eclipses its own time again, before Bovington declares one the master of the track and the other the ruler of the street. Enjoy finding out which is which in the video below.

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News Source: Evo via YouTube

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 AOL

Englishman builds amazing weaponized 100-hp Tuk Tuk from Far Cry 4

Posted Nov 21st 2014 6:00PM



To celebrate the release of the Playstation game Far Cry 4, Ubisoft partnered with wild English inventor Colin Furze on creating a weaponized tuk tuk that in-game hero Ajay Ghale uses to combat the Royal Army of Pagan Min. The original engine in the Bajaj tuk tuk - usually good for something like nine or ten horsepower to move around 270 kilograms - came out, replaced by the 100-horsepower engine from a Honda CBR 600. That is where the wheelies, drifting and burnouts come from.

And because it isn't wise to take on a warlord's army and ravenous beasts with a standard auto rickshaw, the red wonder gets Uzis that slide forward to shoot through holes up front, side-mounted AK47s and rear-facing flamethrowers. You can witness the carnage that results in the video here, and check out the series of build episodes advertised at the end.

via YouTube

Bentley unveils the Grand Convertible, a droptop Mulsanne Speed

Posted Nov 18th 2014 6:00PM

The Bentley Grand Convertible concept revealed just ahead of the 2014 LA Auto Show.

Five years ago, when Bentley was preparing its farewell shindig for the Arnage, reports were that the Arnage's coupe and convertible siblings, the Brooklands and Azure, would get replacements on the Mulsanne platform. Obviously, that hasn't happened, although we were teased with the Mulsanne Vision Concept in 2012. Then, just this summer, we were again teased with rumours of a Brooklands and Azure one-two punch. While it still hasn't happened yet, Bentley's unveiling of the Grand Convertible seems to have put things in gear.

Not 'merely' a roofless Mulsanne, the Grand Convertible appears to be a droptop Mulsanne Speed, powered by a 6.75-litre engine with 530 horsepower and 811 pound-feet of torque, and fitted with the directional wheels only available on the Mulsanne Speed. Finished outside in Sequin Blue with a "liquid metal" hood and windshield frame and a burl walnut veneer on the tonneau cover - a similar combo used to introduce the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé eight years ago – the cabin is covered in Beluga leather with blue cross-stitching.

Company CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer says Bentley is watching customer reaction to the car, yet the press release says it's been "Developed to signify Bentley's intentions for the future." That sounds like better than even odds we'll be seeing this on the roads. For now, though, you can see it in the high-res gallery above, at the LA Auto Show starting this week, and at Art Basel in Miami after that, and you'll find a bit more info on it in the press release below.

News Source: Bentley

Lamborghini Accademia driving school at Laguna Seca

Posted Nov 13th 2014 11:57AM

We Get Schooled In The Art Of Lamborghini Drivingf

Lamborghini Accademia at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

I found it to be a rare, genuinely rewarding educational experience.

Lamborghini is putting more effort into its North American motorsports efforts and promotion, so we recently attended its first-ever Intensivo driving school at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, spending a day behind the wheel of both its Huracán and Aventador supercars. Offered under the Squadra Corse banner, Experienza is designed to provide a taste of Lamborghini's cars on a circuit, Intensivo is designed to maximize track-time learning, and Accademia and Advancada – only in Europe for now – are focused on the driver and driver technique. Beyond those, Squadra Corse can also provide Super Trofeo instruction to get you fit for the Blancpain one-make series and GT3 racing, too.

In a static learning environment, like at a university, the odds of having the perfect educational experience in a given course are stacked well against you. The professor speaks in gobbledygook and the textbook can feel like it's been written by wombats. The whole class has to slow down for classmates drowning in the material, or the class is so big it's hosted in an amphitheater and you can't get the one-on-one instruction you need. Those issues can carry over into driving schools, and then be exacerbated by the fear inside a miniscule classroom doing 140 miles per hour toward a double-apex hairpin.

As for the day of Intensivo, when it was over, I found it to be a rare, genuinely rewarding educational experience – so good, in fact, that for a moment I thought I might have been duped.

Image Credit: Nick Busato / Lamborghini

Race Recap: 2014 Brazilian Grand Prix showcases Silver Arrows and German steel

Posted Nov 10th 2014 5:00PM

Graphic for the 2014 Brazilian Formula One Grand Prix.

Formula One got the drawn out Driver's Championship it wanted, which won't be decided until the last race in Abu Dhabi, and it didn't even need double points to do it. A trip below the equator turned around more than merely weather patterns, Nico Rosberg throwing his Mercedes AMG Petronas around the Interlagos track faster than teammate Lewis Hamilton every time it counted, beginning with Free Practice 1.

That's how the German lined up on pole, three-hundredths ahead of the Brit. Two-tenths behind them came the Williams duo, Felipe Massa ahead at his home race, teammate Valtteri Bottas following. Jenson Button made a surprising leap up the grid to put his McLaren fifth, after being "nowhere" during the Free Practice sessions. Sebastian Vettel drove the first Infiniti Red Bull Racing to sixth, ahead of the second McLaren of Kevin Magnussen, and Daniel Ricciardo in the second Infiniti Red Bull Racing in ninth split the Ferrari duo of Fernando Alonso in eighth and Kimi Räikkönen in tenth.

When the pedal got put to the carbon fiber on Sunday, Rosberg did his best to make Hamilton earn his position.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 AP Photo | Getty Images / AFP, AOL

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