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Detroit Auto Show prankster 'damages' hundreds of thousands of dollars in cars

  • Detroit Auto Show prankster 'damages' hundreds of thousands of dollars in cars
  • 2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk [w/video]
  • 2017 Jaguar XE
  • Ford reveals new F-150 Raptor packs 450 horsepower

Jonathon Ramsey

Xcar shows how to drive the Ford Model T

Posted Jan 29th 2015 8:00PM

A few weeks ago Xcar posted a teaser review of the Ford Model T, a look at what the British duo would have been doing if they'd been doing their thing for 100 years. Now we have their complete, 12-minute take on the what might be, as they say, "arguably the most important car of the 20th century."

Thankfully, instead of just a review, Xcar spends about half the time giving us a tour of history, from Ford's early days working for the Edison Illuminating Company to his racing days and founding of several car companies that either died or became other car companies after he left, like Cadillac. They also line up the pieces and the sales realities that led to Ford implementing – not creating, mind you – assembly-line production of the Tin Lizzie.

And then they get into how crazy it is to drive, like how a driver needs two of the three pedals, the handbrake lever and a steering column stalk to get into high gear. Enjoy the video above on a 100-year-old car that is "unbelievably comfortable," "mildly terrifying" and ready to do just about anything.

News Source: Xcar via AOL ON

Why Edmunds took a sledgehammer to its 2015 Ford F-150

Posted Jan 28th 2015 4:00PM

The discussion around repair bills for the aluminum-bodied 2015 Ford F-150 pickup continued from the beginning of last year to the end, and haven't abated; as an aside, some Tesla Model S owners have been shocked at disquieting repair estimates for minor damage to their aluminum wunder-sedans. Edmunds decided to inject some fact into the fray: it bought a US$52,000 long-term 2015 F-150 and clouted it with an eight-pound sledgehammer. Twice.

The rear of the bedside took the impacts since it couldn't be replaced, it would have to be repaired. To the pickup's credit, the only reason associate editor Travis Langness hit it twice was that the first sledgehammer blow didn't do as much damage as Edmunds wanted. After the second, the visible damage included the two direct impacts, a few creases, and a cracked taillight, so they drove the pickup to Santa Monica Ford to get an estimate, complete with a fictitious story about how the damage occurred and the mercy plea that Langness was paying for the repair out-of-pocket.

In Part 2 Langness hits on some of the details with getting the truck fixed, such as the massively expensive taillight and the list of tools Ford recommends dealers have to work on aluminum. But he was promised he'd have his truck back in seven days, and Santa Monica Ford got it back to him in seven days.

In Part 3 we get the bill. It's not small, but it's quite a bit less than it could have been if the service manager had charged Edmunds the official labor rate for aluminum. We're not going to spoil it here, so check out the videos below for the beginning and the end, and head over to Edmunds for the complete story about how it all happened and some riffing on the repair numbers.

News Source: Edmunds [1], [2], [3]

Nissan's front-engined Le Mans car caught testing at COTA

Posted Jan 27th 2015 8:00AM

As far as we can tell, not only is it true, it's wilder than we could have expected: not only does the Nissan LMP1 entry for Le Mans have its engine in the front, it apparently uses that combustion engine to power the front wheels while its KERS unit powers the rear wheels. Those rear wheels could be of smaller diameter than the front wheels, and total system horsepower for the racer "is a conservative 2,000 [hp]." And check out how far back that pilot is sitting... READ MORE

News Source: Jalopnik, Mulsanne Corner [1], [2]

Image Credit: Jalopnik

One man's love of vintage Honda motorcycles spawns new museum

Posted Jan 26th 2015 7:00PM

In 1977, David Silver got a Honda SS50 moped - it was the last year of unrestricted mopeds for riders just 16 years of age in the UK. That two-wheeler made him a fan, and starting his Honda parts business in 1986 made him a part of the Honda family.

He started collecting, with the idea that he'd eventually open a museum. During a visit to another amateur collector's trove in Pennsylvania, the Brit got the chance to purchase the 125 bikes the American collector had gathered, and his museum aspirations hit the fast-forward button.

He's in the process of building a proper home for the bikes in Suffolk, it should open later this year. There will be everything from the first Cub F engine that people could attach to bicycles in 1952, to two examples of the CB92 Benly Super Sport that showed how fast and how good a 125cc bike could be, to the first Fireblade that dropped in 1992 - our CBR 900RR, to the original Honda Dream. Honda says it could be one of the finest collections outside the company's museum in Japan.

You can watch Silver tell his story in the video below, and there's more on what's he'll have in an article in Honda's Dream magazine.

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Honda Heritage Center: Quick Look

News Source: Honda Video, Dream magazine via YouTube

Reporter fails to understand how car ice scraper works

Posted Jan 26th 2015 1:00PM

We know exactly why this newscaster does not speak the language of ice scrapers – why the implement is so alien to her, in fact, that she doesn't even know where to use it. It's because she grew up in San Francisco and Sacramento, CA, where mention of an ice scraper is liable to make someone say, "I love fancy cocktails." This is just a theory, but it's possible she's never even seen an ice scraper in the wild, much less needed to demonstrate one.

This reporter moved from a reporting job in Los Angeles to KREM 2 News in Spokane, WA just last summer, making these months right now her first real winter. And that is how she got an on-air lesson in the esoteric mysteries the plastic stick with a brush at one end and a... thing... at the other. Check out the video below for another example of what happens when Californians discover weather.

News Source: Tripping Over Funny via YouTube

New Honda smart cruise control predicts other motorists' future idiocy

Posted Jan 24th 2015 6:00PM

It's not quite "Open the pod bay doors, Hal," but we're getting there: Honda is offering a predictive cruise control system on the Exectuve Grade Honda CR-V in Europe starting this year. Advancing the capabilities of the present adaptive cruise control, the Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control (i-ACC) will be able to foresee and automatically react to other vehicles cutting in ahead of you up to five seconds ahead of it happening.

A research team developed the system after studying European driving patterns for years. The i-ACC keeps track of surrounding cars with a camera and radar, "evaluating relations between multiple vehicles" and running the data through an algorithm to figure out who's going to do what. If it detects another car about to move into your lane, the CR-V brakes softly and a dash light illuminates to let the driver know what's about to happen, then it brakes a little more firmly to keep the proper distance after the other car moves in.

Honda says it works in the UK and on The Continent because it knows which side of the road you're driving on. That means it could work here, but our guess is that it will take a while for that happen, our driving patterns being a little more erratic - and that's putting it kindly - than those of our Euro brethren. There's a press release below with more information.

News Source: Honda

EBR 1190 SX price and specs revealed

Posted Jan 24th 2015 8:00AM

Erik Buell Racing EBR 1190 SX motorcycle, front three-quarter view.

Erik Buell Racing has put a price to the 1190 SX "superfighter" it showed off recently at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway: MSRP is US$16,995 (CAD$18,077). That's a US$2,000 discount compared to the 1190 RX superbike on which it's based. It also saves five pounds compared to the RX, that curtailed faring bringing the SX in at 414 pounds (188 kilograms). Horsepower and torque stay the same, at 184 hp and 101.6 pound-feet, while lean angle goes from from 55 degrees on the RX to a slightly more upright 48 degrees on the SX.

Buyers can choose one of three colours, Frost Bite White, Racing Red or Galactic Black that will go along with the charcoal contrasting and gunsmoke engine. You'll find a press release below with more information on the V-twin that EBR expects to redefine the category.

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News Source: Erik Buell Racing

Mercedes C-Class Coupe caught on camera

Posted Jan 23rd 2015 2:00PM

The Mercedes C-Class Coupe is getting ready for a launch later this year and that means it has to come out and test its long, wide shoulders. Spy photographers caught it in camo around Stuttgart, and there's a bolt-on piece that makes it appear to have a BMW 6 Series-like trunk, but you can ignore that. Genuine changes include it being lower, wider, and "noticeably sportier" as we've been told, and the side mirrors are mounted on the doors instead of in the triangle between the A-pillar and beltline, where they are on the sedan.

As with the new sedan, this coupe looks much more mature than the current model, and even under the camo you can see how the sculpting has been emphasized. Notice how the upper swage maintains its punch as it runs through the door handle and over the rear wheel, instead of dipping below the door handle and softening as it does on the sedan.

It could get an intro at the Paris Motor Show, maybe even with the convertible by its side, and it's expected to go on sale in Europe later this year. Let your eyes have a taste in the spy shots above.

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Image Credit: CarPix

Porsche 911 going all-turbo this year save for GT3 and GT3 RS

Posted Jan 23rd 2015 11:00AM

The coming Porsche 911 GT3 RS will represent another high-water mark for the brand, and another milestone. Its 500-or-so horsepower and extreme aero are predicted to lop more than five seconds off the 7:20 Nürburgring lap time of the current GT3, making it "comfortably less" than 7:20. Beyond that, its naturally-aspirated 3.8-litre will form the basis of the turbocharged engines going into the standard range of 911s later this year as 2016 models.

That's right – if you're looking for a sub-GT3 911 that gulps its air without compressed assistance, then you've only got a few months to get a new one into your garage. Emissions regulations are the reason, of course, with Porsche's R&D chief Wolfgang Hatz saying that, "Every new model will have lower CO2 than before," and "if you look at euro per g/km, then it's turbo." We don't know what the engine lineup will look like, however; a few months ago Car reported that the base 911 would get a smaller-displacement version of the engine, while the S would stick with 3.8-litre displacement and jump to 520 horsepower, which is the same as the current Turbo.

After that, Hatz said, "at the end of the decade electrification has to be the next huge step." That means a hybrid 911 is being cooked up somewhere. Yet even as the brand leaps into the new, there's a chance it could dip a toe back into the old: the 911 GT3 RS will launch with a PDK, but Hatz's team is considering adding the option of a seven-speed manual.

Elsewhere in the range, the Cayman GT4 is being engineered by Porsche Motorsport as an entry-level racer, with more power than the current Cayman GTS to go with some serious weight loss. They are also developing a track-only model for privateers. The standard Boxster and Cayman will get turbocharged flat-four engines, but there'll be a sporty Boxster that also loses weight and gets more power than the 325-hp Boxster GTS. And that mid-level supercar that's been floating in the ether for years and supposedly sent to purgatory again just last November? It's on the way by 2020 "at the latest," and will use a version of the new V8 that will eventually go into the Cayenne and Panamera.

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News Source: Top Gear, Autocar

Image Credit: CarPix