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2015 Ford Mustang 50th Anniversary Edition debuts on stage

  • 2015 Ford Mustang 50th Anniversary Edition debuts on stage
  • 2015 BMW M4 Convertible will give the best bad hair days
  • 2015 Hyundai Sonata plays a more mature tune
  • 2015 Chevy Corvette Z06 Convertible goes topless in New York

Seyth Miersma

2014 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman All4

Posted Apr 14th 2014 2:58PM

2014 Mini John Cooper Works Countryman

The standard Mini Countryman is a bit of an odd duck against the backdrop of 'normal' small crossovers like the Mazda CX-5 and the Ford Escape, but I sort of get it. Apply the same winning Mini formula to a CUV, and you get a smaller-than-average entry in the segment, one that is far more entertaining to drive than the norm, more stylish inside and out and pretty expensive when cross-shopped. That list of qualities doesn't appeal to all crossover shoppers, sure, but it intrigues a big enough list that the Countryman has reason for being.

Now, add the expensive John Cooper Works package to the Countryman's already niche goodies list, and Mini starts to lose me. So, I'm getting the softer suspended, taller, generally less dynamically joyful version of the brand's core values, but now you're charging me at least $38,500 to start ($13k more expensive than the basic, $25,500 front-drive Cooper Countryman and $8,600 more than the starting MSRP of the $29,900 Cooper S All4 version)? What's that? You're going to make it look like a garish, tippy-toed tuner car in the process? Take my money. Or, actually, let me keep it. I can swing with a lot of the weirdness that Mini has to offer, but this car pushed me past my limit... READ FULL REVIEW

Related Gallery2013 Mini Countryman John Cooper Works All4
2013 Mini Countryman John Cooper Works All42013 Mini Countryman John Cooper Works All42013 Mini Countryman John Cooper Works All42013 Mini Countryman John Cooper Works All42013 Mini Countryman John Cooper Works All42013 Mini Countryman John Cooper Works All42013 Mini Countryman John Cooper Works All42013 Mini Countryman John Cooper Works All4

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Seyth Miersma / AOL

Behind the scenes at Turn 10: See how Forza Motorsport 5 racetracks are made [w/video]

Posted Apr 9th 2014 3:00PM

The Process Behind The New Long Beach Track, And All The Rest

Forza Motorsport 5 Long Beach

Today the world of Forza Motorsport 5 gets a good deal richer, with Turn 10 Studios announcing the arrival of the famed road course at Long Beach to the game's roster. As was the case when the studio unveiled Road America back in February, Long Beach will be a free piece of downloadable content for game owners. The new circuit will be hitting Xbox One as of April 10. There's also a new car pack coming at the same time, the contents of which you see in the gallery above (and detailed below in the press release).

With the Long Beach debut as a backdrop, we had a chance to pick the brains of the folks at Turn 10, including Creative Director Dan Greenawalt, about the process behind the creation of these true-to-life tracks for the next generation of gaming consoles.

The first step for building a FM5 track of a real-life venue, as you may have already heard, involves laser scanning everything: from the surface of the circuit itself, to the surrounding buildings and even vegetation. The resulting digital model includes every element rendered in "sub-centimetre accuracy," according to Greenawalt. For a track like Long Beach, the laser scanning means functional elements like the curbing are true to life, as well as details like the exact angles of the palm trees that line the track, and appearance of the shadows they cast at roughly 240 km/h (150 miles per hour)... READ FULL STORY

Used BMW 1 Series M Coupe now more expensive than when new

Posted Apr 8th 2014 4:59PM

2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe

At the end of the day, your friendly Autoblog Canada editors are car guys and girls, just like you. So, while we might have more of an opportunity to test some of the most interesting vehicles on the new car scene than does your average gear head, we can still be found whiling away those long afternoon hours looking at used cars and thinking about what could be.

Just the other day, we had a vivid reminder about one of our dream cars from the very recent past, the 2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe. If you didn't catch it, Michael Harley had a great time testing and reviewing the new Dinan S3-R version of the car recently, which throws an impressively engineered turbo and suspension tune on a BMW that was damn near perfect out of the box.

A few savvy Autoblog Canada readers pointed out that our estimated price for a used donor car, set at $50,000 or so, was too low. Odd, we thought, as the car retailed for $53,600 here in Canada when it was brand-new back in 2011... So we started checking around.

With only 740 units sold in the US and 220 units in Canada to begin with, finding data on 1MC sales is a bit dicey, but here's what we know. We tracked down about 8 cars currently on sale in Canada, by way of major used auto sales websites, and found an average asking price of a whopping $63,359 with an average mileage of about (18,668 km) on the clock. That's nearly $10,000 over the MSRP when new, or an appreciation of around $3,300 per year.

The best deal we could locate was a 34,000 km 2011 BMW 1 M Coupe listed for $58,995; the most expensive being $76,078 with just 1,900 kms on it. Those numbers are just about right on based on the industry standard Black Book, too, which calls the retail value in places like California, for instance, at an even US$60,000 for an "Extra Clean" car. Talk about an investment we can get behind...

Related GalleryDinan S3-R BMW 1M Coupe: Review
Dinan S3-R BMW 1M Coupe: ReviewDinan S3-R BMW 1M Coupe: ReviewDinan S3-R BMW 1M Coupe: ReviewDinan S3-R BMW 1M Coupe: ReviewDinan S3-R BMW 1M Coupe: ReviewDinan S3-R BMW 1M Coupe: ReviewDinan S3-R BMW 1M Coupe: ReviewDinan S3-R BMW 1M Coupe: Review

2011 BMW 1 Series M Coupe E82

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Steven J. Ewing / AOL

eBay Find of the Day: Harley-Davidson powered Toyota Prius [w/video]

Posted Apr 3rd 2014 9:59AM

Toyota Prius Harley Davidson engine ToyHog

Sometimes we pluck cars from the listings of eBay Motors because they're old and interesting, some for being simply lovely, some for rarity and some for pure fun. And sometimes we pick eBay Finds of the Day, because they're a hacked apart Toyota Prius' with Harley Davidson V-twin-power; concocted by the same mind that brought you innumerable Jalopnik articles and is partially responsible for the joy that is the 24 Hours of LeMons. This time it's that last one.

A fairly subtle tweet from long-time Jalop contributor and well-regarded grease monkey, Murilee Martin, hipped us to this crazy Frankenstein Prius. Built from the bones of a 2008 Toyota and the heart of a 1986 Harley-Davidson Sportster 883, the motive portmanteau is, well... it's a thing.

Toyota's advanced Hybrid Synergy Drive has been unceremoniously wrenched and snipped out of the engine bay, making room (via an artful hole in the hood) for the towering, bored out V-twin. Or, as the maestro himself puts it:

"2 Cylinder air-cooled engine with rock-and-stick technology that replaces the overly-complicated crap that Toyota spent bazillions of dollars and dozens of years designing and I spent a couple hours with a 10mm wrench and some wire cutters undoing."

Did we mention it's not currently running?

Suffice it to say – whether you think this "ToyHog" is an achievement or an abomination – you're going to want to treat yourself to the full eBay listing. We've got a gallery full of hellacious pictures in the meantime, and a video of the beast running, below.

News Source: eBay Motors via YouTube

April Fools' Day joke roundup [w/videos]

Posted Apr 1st 2014 8:00PM

Audi Japan sushi

Before the advent of the Internet, big days for automotive news were almost exclusively centred on auto shows and motorsports events. Today, of course, the news cycle is practically never ending. That means that automakers, parts suppliers, and media outlets are constantly looking for ways to compete for your attention. Which, in turn, means that April 1 has become kind of a thing... if you hadn't noticed already.

Every year the pace with which the April Fool's Day tips come in seems to increase, and generally the jokes seem to get better and more sophisticated – though as you'll see here, you don't need a big budget to pull off a witty prank.

The list of April Fool's jokes you'll find below is far from comprehensive; instead it's a list of notable companies and/or gags that we thought were particularly successful. (Yes, Audi Japan's Quattro Sushi scores on both counts.) Enjoy browsing the list of laugh below, and tell us in Comments about pranks you liked that we didn't catalog here. Oh, and don't miss the Petrolicious video towards the bottom, it's "America's masterpiece."

Watch how a Ford Raptor rolls down the assembly line in Dearborn

Posted Mar 31st 2014 4:00PM

Ford F-150 Raptor

Bloomberg TV reporter Matt Miller is the proud new owner of a pretty killer truck. How do we know? The reporter headed to Dearborn, MI to Ford's assembly plant, with a film crew in tow, to see exactly how his new F-150 SVT Raptor and its mother-loving 6.2-litre V8 engine, was screwed together.

The resulting video does an excellent job of summing up how an assemblage of parts and pieces is turned into a triple-black Raptor, thanks to the work of some 1,000 employees and about 20 hours of real time. Click through below to see how the truck is born, with a surprise cameo playing the part of delivery driver at the end.

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News Source: Bloomberg

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Drew Phillips / AOL

Next Audi R8 seen and heard in this spy video

Posted Mar 30th 2014 6:00PM

Audi R8 spy video

A few weeks ago, our clandestine spy photographers brought home the first good look at the next-generation Audi R8. We were all pretty stoked.

Seemingly following the game plan of the recently shown Audi TT, the next R8 looks to be an evolutionary update on a supercar form that pretty much everyone loves.

Today, the same shooters that snapped the car in stills have delivered some pretty compelling moving pictures of the thing. Captured both in some less-than-inspiring around-town traffic situations and out on the Nürburgring, the video delivers our first taste of the new R8's auditory splendor. Well... a taste of it, anyway.

If you're listening for clean audio of the R8 in action, we recommend fast-forwarding to the 0:45-second mark, and the 1:35-second mark, where the Audi 4.2-litre V8 (we believe) can be heard fairly well. The rest of the audio is somewhat muddied by other ring traffic, though the car still looks fairly amazing while underway. Check out the full video below.

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News Source: CarPix

Are you a Volkswagen GTI Club Sport?

Posted Mar 28th 2014 6:30PM

VW GTI Club Sport spy shots

Volkswagen has been getting pretty racy with its development programs over the past few days. We're still excited about the possibilities offered up with the Golf R Wagon spy shots we caught a yesterday, and now we have a potentially hot new GTI variant to sink our teeth into.

The unsubtle hot hatch seen here would appear to be some kind of stripped and tightened Club Sport version of the current GTI. Revised wheels, a lowered stance and a slightly deeper chin spoiler all hint at a package that is perhaps focused on a quasi-track tune for the VW. Oh, of course the massive rear wing is a nod in that direction as well, though its tacked-on appearance has us crossing our fingers that there's a more production-friendly version en route.

You'll probably notice that the car is wearing "Wiechers Sport" decals on its panels, as well, calling out a German tuning company. Our spy shooter believes that these may be a bluff, as the car is wearing official VW plates and was stationed at the company's facility at the Nürburgring. He also mentions that the same sort of stickers were applied to the Scirocco R when it was testing.

There's a decent chance that this GTI Club Sport – or whatever it ends up being called – will make a splash at the always-exciting Wörthersee at the end of May. Stay tuned for more as we have it.

Image Credit: CarPix

Driven to work explores life of a snowplow driver

Posted Mar 28th 2014 11:58AM

Clearing A Path Through The Winter That Won't End

Driven To Work - Snowplow Driver

Driven To Work is a new Autoblog Original series exploring the vehicles that do the work of the world and telling the stories of the people who operate them.

The first Polar Vortex – a thing non-meteorologists had never heard of until this year – gave birth to a second and a third generation. Temperatures fell so low in places that throwing perfectly good hot water into the frigid air became a video meme.

Snow fell in locations so southerly that their residents didn't have the requisite comforting wool socks, to say nothing of a good pair of Sorels to do the shoveling in. The snow choked Atlanta twice; Texans and Alabamians alike shared shocked Instagrams of snow on their front walks and backyards. Lions most certainly would have been lying down with lambs simply to stay warm, if only their zookeepers left them alfresco.

And of course, the snowfall in places that are normally pretty snowy was equally biblical. The fat, middle part of America, and parts of Canada are still digging out from the load that has been dumped on us for the last four months.

In a year that's seen snow steal the headlines more often than not, it's still sometimes easy to forget that it's all got to get moved somewhere, and by someone. Around Ann Arbor, MI, moving a great deal of that snow falls to guys like Dan Clark, a snowplow driver for the Washtenaw County Road Commission (WCRC) on the Michigan State Trunk Line crew. I recently hitched a ride with Dan in his brand-spanking-new Freightliner 11SD plow truck to see just what it's taken to keep the roads clear during this snow season. In the process, I learned a truckload about pushing powder.

Image Credit: Seyth Miersma