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Translogic 163: Acton Rocket Skates

  • Translogic 163: Acton Rocket Skates
  • 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

Seyth Miersma

2016 Mercedes-AMG GT [w/video]

Posted Nov 17th 2014 11:57AM

Wolverines, Whiskey And The Apogee Of Grand Touring

2016 Mercedes-AMG GT

At a Halloween party a couple of weeks ago, a rather inebriated new acquaintance of mine pulled a beautiful round flask out of his extravagant wolverine costume (the animal, not the X-Men character – I live in Ann Arbor) and offered me a pull. I wasn't driving, and I'm neither an asshole nor a fool, so I took a sip.

The whiskey that poured out was smooth, round on the tongue, almost honey sweet to finish and as warm as the blood in my veins. It was, perhaps, the most perfect single sip of booze I've ever had – and I've taken a lot of sips. I asked the origin of this magic liquor, and found that it was Redbreast 21; a whiskey I'd had on a few earlier occasions, though never with so delightful an effect on my overall sense of wellbeing. Somewhere in the milieu of a great party, best friends and excellent music, a great dram of whiskey became legendary.

Now, this is a story about a car, not a spirit. (Don't drink and drive, kids.) But there was a moment, working my way quickly through downhill switchbacks amidst redwood trees in those hauntingly lovely stretches of California state roads between San Francisco and Laguna Seca, where the 2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S triggered the same pathways in my brain that were formed when I took that sip of whiskey. Something in the elixir of power, grip, sound and balance that made a few corners of that drive feel like the close cousins of the best corners I'd ever turned a wheel on.

Later that day, driving the familiar route of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Mercedes-Benz' newest coupe, the AMG GT's technical abilities and few shortcomings would almost overwhelm the romance of those earlier, perfect seconds. Science cannot hold all art, after all. But like that perfect hit of whiskey, gifted from a wolverine I'll never drink with again, this is a car that has the capability to be beautiful at any given second you're at the helm. READ ON.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Seyth Miersma / AOL

Six 'shut up and take my money' cars

Posted Nov 11th 2014 1:00PM

These Models Don't Exist, But If They Did We'd Be Making Down Payments



Any time you see this iconic moment in pop culture – Shut up and take my money! – posted in response to a new car reveal, rumour for an upcoming model or even lip-service to a vehicle that should exist, you can bet there's some intrinsic good in the idea. Though depending on the person offering up the cash, that good could take the form of extraordinary form, functionality, weight savings, power, handling, etc. You get the idea.

In fact, when I first proposed this list, I reached out to the Autoblog team to help me brainstorm. Here are some of the ideas they offered up that I ultimately didn't use: Jaguar XE Coupe, Pagani Huayra Roadster, Mercedes-Benz S-Class "parade car" (cabriolet), Morgan 3-Wheeler with Ducati V-twin, Ford Transit Connectamino (pickup), Mercedes CLA63 AMG, Ford Fusion 5.0, BMW i8 Spyder, Lexus RC-F Shooting Brake, Volvo XC90 Polestar. Oh, and things we collectively wanted to stick Dodge's Hellcat in were almost as numerous as models that Fiat Chrysler Automotive currently makes (though none quite so compelling as the Hellcat Grand Cherokee you see above.)

Ultimately though, while I used a couple of ideas from my colleagues, the list of six cars I'd shell out for unquestionably is very personal. Though it isn't complete, what follows is a selection of cars whose very existence would prompt me – or the trust-fund-baby versions of me – to utter without hesitation: "Shut up and take my money."

Click here to read, enjoy, and then post your own list of Take My Money Cars in Comments below – make Fry proud.

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Image Credit: Theophilus Chin / Chris Doane Automotive, Copyright 2014 AOL, Honda, Subaru, Know Your Meme

Audi A9 Concept teased in video, new design chief tells us what to expect in LA

Posted Nov 8th 2014 6:00PM



Audi has just dropped another teaser for the A9 Concept it'll be displaying at this month's LA Auto Show. This time around, instead of one static image, we get a tantalizing video of the showcar narrated by new Audi design chief Marc Lichte.

In terms of the A9, we get a better look at the body form than we've yet seen, and we also sneak a peek at its massive, blocky, turbine-style wheels that the conceptual flagship will wear in Los Angeles.

Lichte also takes this video opportunity as a chance to say how-do-you-do to the enthusiast community, commenting not only on his vision for the A9, but also offering up his bona fides in terms of family racing and art heritage. Get to know the man behind the car behind the sheet, here.

News Source: Audi via YouTube

Jaguar bringing all-wheel-drive F-Type to LA Auto Show [w/video]

Posted Nov 6th 2014 10:30AM



Jaguar's big splash at last year's Los Angeles Auto Show was showing off the slinky F-Type Coupe; perhaps one of the loveliest car shapes on the road today. This year the company won't have a show-stopping new design to offer, but the news that all-wheel drive is coming to the F-Type range is, nevertheless, pretty spectacular.

Mixed in with news about a technical partnership between Jaguar and the Bloodhound SSC World Land Speed Record program, the British brand announced this morning that it will show the first AWD F-Type Coupe at the 2014 LA show later this month.

Jaguar tells us that the sure-footed cat, in AWD F-Type R Coupe form, will run from 0-60 miles per hour (0-96 km/h) in just 3.9 seconds, with a limited top speed of 186 mph (300 km/h).

We're told that emphasis was placed on maintaining the car's "engaging rear-drive character," while offering, "blisteringly fast performance" in all weather conditions. While that last bit seems to indicate that the AWD system will be a coupe-first proposition, the press release goes on to mention that the F-Type range will grow from six current variations to 14, in 2015. By our math, that means that some AWD convertibles must be in the cards.

Read on down below to get a bit more information about the tech tie-up between the Bloodhound gang and Jaguar, which somehow gave rise to a video (also below) of the AWD F-Type driving head-to-head with a jet in the South African desert.

News Source: Jaguar

Chevy gears up Colorado and gives lesser Camaros 1LE and Z/28 support

Posted Nov 5th 2014 12:00PM

We Get Down And Dirty With The Newest Chevy Parts Catalogue Additions



Desert trails and hot laps; if there's a better way to kick off SEMA I'd like to hear it.

Hanging around racetracks with the folks at Chevrolet is beginning to be a bit of a SEMA tradition for me. Last year, I found myself learning to drag race with near-COPO levels of awesomeness at Las Vegas Speedway; this year it's Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch with a few tricked-out Colorado midsize pickups and a slew of Camaro coupes brandishing all manner of performance parts. Desert trails and hot laps; if there's a better way to kick off the weirdest auto show on the calendar, I'd like to hear it.

Chevy had its performance parts team on hand to show off how go-fast parts from the Camaro 1LE and Z/28 could be integrated onto a stock SS. Not to be out done, accessories designers for the Colorado were there to show off the slick new GearOn system for the pickup.

When the trail dust had settled, I found some real added usefulness from the truck accessories and seriously impressive performance from a selection of tuned pony cars.

Image Credit: Chevrolet, Copyright 2014 Seyth Miersma / AOL

2015 Chevrolet COPO Camaro is the king of our quarter-mile dreams

Posted Nov 5th 2014 11:00AM

2015 Chevrolet COPO Camaro

Chevy introduced the fourth generation of its COPO Camaro at the SEMA show today; another limited run muscle car that should set drag racing fans' mouths to salivating.

Just 69 examples of the 2015 COPO will be built (the same as the first three runs of the car), with customers able to choose between 350-, 396 -and 427-cubic-inch naturally aspirated V8 engines, or a supercharged 350. The car on the show stand uses that last one, the supercharged "LSX" V8 with a many 2.9-litre Whipple supercharger.

The hand-built dragsters come fitted with an NHRA-approved roll cage and safety harness, a unique suspension and a solid rear-axle in place of the standard Camaro's independent setup.

Chevy tells us that, in addition to being a sought-after collectors item (the 69 new owners will be chosen via a random lottery), the COPO cars have distinguished themselves on the strip as well. Scroll down for the brief Chevy press release, or check out the racing machine in our live show gallery.

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Chevrolet gives us a Sonic for show and one for go at SEMA 2014

Posted Nov 4th 2014 5:30PM

Chevrolet Sonic Performance/Accessory Concepts

Amongst the treasure trove of tuning that Chevrolet has brought to SEMA this year, this pair of Sonic hatches is perhaps the most accessible. With one car tweaked for show and the other go, both halves of the SEMA ethos are nicely represented.

The Sonic Performance Concept has been fitted with the company's Performance Stage Kit, meaning cold-air induction for the 1.4-litre turbocharged engine and a new exhaust to let it breath more freely. The company tells us that the kit increases power, though it has declined to quantify that assertion, sadly. A track-tuned suspension means the performance Sonic rides lower and should corner flatter, too.

The second Sonic wears an Accessories Concept designation. The concept is essentially a test bed for appearance packages, with matte-black striping, white headlight and taillight rings, a new grille and fresh wheels. Dive deep into the world of modified hatchbacks in our gallery above.

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News Source: General Motors

Image Credit: Live photos copyright 2014 Drew Phillips / AOL

We spy the Ford Mustang King Cobra early at SEMA 2014

Posted Nov 4th 2014 11:28AM



As is the case with most auto shows, waiting for the reveal of hot new models is the worst part. So, while our own Drew Phillips has been wandering the halls here in Las Vegas since they unlocked the doors for SEMA 2014, we didn't expect him to come back with any big reveals until later in the day. Until this happened.

Meandering by the Ford stand, Phillips eagle-eyed a trunk lid that caught his attention. Popping out from an otherwise draped 2015 Mustang, the matte black lid clearly has the name King Cobra embossed on the rear.

That name is interesting for a few reasons: to start, Ford hasn't used the Cobra name (without "Jet" attached) since way back in 2004, so a new snake is certainly something to take note of. Second, the King Cobra name dates all the way back to the ill-remembered Mustang II, meaning there is a clear link to Blue Oval history here.

Just exactly what this 2015 Mustang King Cobra might be, is still unclear. There's some logic to the idea that it could be a follow up for the drag-prepped Cobra Jet car, though nothing concrete about our two images to support that.

Stay tuned though, Ford will be pulling the silks back on this one later today, and we'll report back with the full story.

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News Source: Copyright 2014 Drew Phillips / AOL

This Porsche 356 family keeps it outlaw

Posted Oct 29th 2014 8:00PM



Rod Emory was the founder of Emory Motorsports in Burbank, CA, and the scion to a family tradition of building "outlaw" Porsches that are almost as cool as the cars themselves. The lovingly modified Porsche 356s are lovely artifacts, and their story, along with the story of their builders, is pitch-perfect for the Petrolicious oeuvre of beloved classics.

Tune in for the history lesson, and then stick around for the car candy.

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News Source: Petrolicious via YouTube

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