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2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed

Posted Nov 25th 2014 12:00PM

Fastest Bentley Ever Offers More, More, More

2015 Bentley Mulsanne Speed

Why does the Bentley Mulsanne Speed exist? Sam Graham, product line director for the Mulsanne, tells us Bentley's Western customers demanded it, many driven by memories of the Arnage T – the hotted-up version of the Arnage R. The Arnage T, you may remember, arrived in 2002 and threw down 459 horsepower and 645 pound-feet of torque on its way to being billed the most powerful production Bentley ever. Today's Mulsanne Speed picks up the torch and takes it all the way to the Olympic stadium.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Jonathon Ramsey / AOL

2018 Jeep Wrangler to get 8-speed auto

Posted Nov 25th 2014 11:00AM

2014 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler

Remember when the Jeep Wrangler had a three-speed automatic? That wasn't that long ago – as recent as the 2007 redesign – but Chrysler is keen to leave those days behind on the dusty trail. The current model ushered in a four-speed, then a five-speed, but the latest intel indicates that an eight-speed automatic is in the cards.

According to a report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and cited by Automotive News, Jeep plans on fitting its eight-speed automatic transmission to the next-generation Wrangler. Chrysler already uses the ZF-sourced slushbox on the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ram 1500, Chrysler 300, and versions of the Dodge Challenger, Charger and Durango. But according to the SEC filing, the Auburn Hills automaker intends "to use this transmission in all of our rear-wheel-drive vehicles, except for heavy-duty versions of the Ram pick-up truck and the SRT Viper."

AN says that Chrysler wanted to slot the transmission straight into the current Wrangler, but it wouldn't fit. Between the transmission and shift to aluminum construction, the next-generation Wrangler promises to deliver a significant reduction in fuel consumption. In correspondence with Autoblog, however, company spokesmen declined to comment on the eight-speed's suitability towards either the current Wrangler or the upcoming one.

Next BMW 7 Series interior spotted

Posted Nov 25th 2014 10:30AM

The next BMW 7 Series looks to be leading a rather dramatic change of the company's interior styling, judging by this new series of spy photos.

In the trio of shots, we can see that the next 7 Series will replace the high-quality plastic buttons of the brand's iDrive, HVAC and secondary audio controls with some very, very pretty aluminum pieces. We can also see what looks like haptic touch controls for some of the HVAC systems. While the 7 Series interior has never been bad, it's lagged notably behind the Audi A8 and new Mercedes-Benz S-Class. This brightwork should be taken as a good sign, then, that BMW is preparing to take the fight to its countrymen. Aside from the handsome new switchgear, the large, wide nav screen looks like a pop-up unit, while it appears to be running a new version of the company's infotainment system.

These spy photos also give us our most detailed look at the 7 Series' new laser headlights. According to our spies, these will be an optional extra, while LED headlights will be standard. The high-output lights will flank a wider pair of kidney grilles that our spies claim will give the 7 a sportier look. Changes in back are still camouflaged, although our shooters claim the new lamps will be more angular than the current car's.

Expect the next 7 Series to make its debut in the second half of 2015, which could indicate a debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Related Gallery2016 BMW 7 Series: Spy Shots
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Image Credit: CarPix

Stranded "Top Gear" hosts ask for tourist tips in B.C.

Posted Nov 25th 2014 10:00AM

Some bad weather hit the cast and crew of popular British show "Top Gear" this weekend in Trail, B.C., giving them some unexpected free time in the province's Interior. The popular BBC series was reportedly filming for an upcoming episode that will include testing the Hennessey VelociRaptor SUV in the Okanagan area.

Controversial Co-host Jeremy Clarkson tweeted his followers asking for things to do in the city - population 7,000 - fans quickly came to his rescue on Sunday. Among the suggested tourist tips: take a tour of the local lead and zinc smelter, screen a Swedish film, and learn how to butcher a goat at the supermarket... READ FULL STORY

Jaguar to go racing with F-Type GT3?

Posted Nov 25th 2014 9:00AM

Jaguar F-Type Project 7

Most British automakers have some manner of racing program. Aston Martin, Lotus and McLaren race as a matter of course. Bentley recently got back into racing, Morgan has dabbled here and there, even Land Rover has its off-road racing programs. The only one, it seems, that isn't racing these days is Jaguar... but that could be about to change.

The latest intel from the UK suggests that Jaguar is closely evaluating the prospect of building a GT3-spec racer based on the F-Type. Like the Bentley Continental GT3 co-developed with M-Sport (not to mention Coventry's own successful partnership with TWR), the Jaguar program would need an established racing outfit to help develop the car and field it, and the automaker is said to be evaluating three potential partners.

The development of the GT3 racer would allow Jaguar to compete (or sell cars for others to compete) in a variety of racing series around the world, including the Blancpain Endurance Series, the European Le Mans Series and, if properly adapted, other series like the United SportsCar Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Jaguar's car would have to compete with such rivals as the Aston Martin Vantage GTE, Audi R8 LMS, Ferrari 458 GT, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 and Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Current FIA GT3 regulations use a Balance of Performance equation that allows for a curb weight between 1,200 and 1,300 kilograms (2,645 to 2,866 pounds) and produce between 500 and 600 horsepower. A more cost-effective GT4 racer could follow. But the best part is that Jaguar could, according to the report in Autocar, develop a road-going version as well, even more focused than the Project 7 pictured above and similar to what Bentley did with the Continental GT3-R.

Jaguar of course has had a rich history with motor racing, reaching back to its dominance at Le Mans in the 1950s with the C-Type and D-Type, extending through the TWR partnership in touring car and endurance racing in the 1980s and 90s, to the short-lived Formula One team that became Red Bull Racing. It launched a GT2-spec XKR a few years ago and was tipped to be developing a new LMP1 prototype, but neither are on the track today, where Jaguars only compete in vintage racing.

News Source: Autocar

Mercedes surprised Hamilton with this steering wheel message

Posted Nov 25th 2014 8:00AM

Congratulations, Lewis!

Lewis Hamilton had much to celebrate at the end of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this past weekend. Not only did he win the race in commanding form (the 33rd in his career to make him the fifth most successful in Formula One history), but he also scored enough points (double on the season finale this year) to outpace his teammate and chief rival to win the world championship. Having already been crowned champion in 2008, that makes him one of only sixteen drivers to have won multiple world titles.

It's a point his team at Mercedes didn't want him to miss, so on the cool-down lap at the end of the race, his pit crew radioed him the message "default 44" – an instruction that triggered this image to appear on the display in the middle of his steering wheel. Apparently Lewis, with plenty else on his mind (like getting his car back to the parc fermé in one piece and with enough fuel), didn't notice what was flashing in front of him.

Superimposed, as you can see, over an image of Hamilton as a young lad still in karts is Lewis' name alongside those of the other two-time world champs: Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Emerson Fittipaldi, Alberto Ascari, Fernando Alonso and Mika Hakkinen. (Never mind those who've scored more than two titles.) Intriguingly, Hakkinen is the only other one among them to have won either of his titles under Mercedes power like Lewis did, though Fangio won two of his five titles motivated by Benz engines.

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News Source: The F1 Times via Twitter

Hyundai and Kia to hit record 8M sales for 2014

Posted Nov 25th 2014 7:00AM

The logo of Hyundai Motors display durin

Hyundai and Kia are on a sales charge in 2014, and parent company Hyundai Motor Group is increasing projections to a record eight million combined units for the automakers by the end of the year – a bump over the original target of 7.86 million vehicles.

According to Bloomberg, the key to the growth is beating expectations in Brazil, China and India, and strong crossover sales are also helping the bottom line. In the US, both automakers are doing well this year. In October, Hyundai saw a six per cent dip in monthly sales, but through the first 10 months it sold 607,539 vehicles, compared to 601,773 at this point last year. Kia has done even better with 489,711 units sold from January to October, versus 456,137 for the period in 2013.

The good news is a welcome antidote to negative headlines like investors' anger over Hyundai's $10 billion land purchase in Seoul, South Korea. The two automakers also had to pay a $300 million penalty to the Environmental Protection Agency for misstating fuel economy on some models.

While sales may reach a new record, profits might not grow as much with them. The strong Korean won means that Hyundai and Kia have a tougher time keeping up profit margins compared to Japanese competitors with a weaker yen.

News Source: Bloomberg

Image Credit: Jung Yeon-Je / AFP / Getty Images

Motor Trend wheels the 2015 Corvette Z06

Posted Nov 24th 2014 8:00PM

Motor Trend: Chevrolet Corvette Z06

The new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is capable of some absolutely wild metrics. Want proof? Carlos Lago from Motor Trend is here to break it all down. 60 miles per hour (96 km/h)? 3.2 seconds. 60 mph (96 km/h) to 0? 91 feet. Lateral acceleration? A staggering 1.16g, a figure that is the highest MT has ever recorded for a vehicle that isn't a race car.

It's an utterly astonishing piece of work, this Z06, and just when you think it can't possibly get any more impressive, Randy Pobst hustles an auto-equipped Z06 around Road Atlanta in just 1:30. Aside from the eight-speed auto, Pobst's Z06 had the most aggressive aerodynamic package, the so-called Stage III.

Take a look at the 650-horsepower Z06 in Motor Trend's latest video.

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News Source: Motor Trend Channel via YouTube

Parallel parking world record broken by Chinese stunt driver

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 Chinese stunt driver 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 8.6 centimetres (3.4 inches) to spare between his car and those around. Yue used a Mini Cooper (pictured above) at the China Drift Championship in Chongqing, China, to shrink that gap to just 8 centimetres (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... If you liked this, be sure to then check out the best/worst parking fails in our related photo gallery.

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News Source: Guinness World Records via YouTube

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Jeremy Korzeniewski / AOL