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2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport

Posted Jan 30th 2015 12:00PM

Just Because You Have A Family Doesn't Mean You Can't Have An Adventure

The SUV category transitioned from glorified agricultural equipment into slick mall trawlers in the blink of an evolutionary eye. But in the genre's speedy civilization process, something was left on the table – the promise of those all-conquering Marlboro Man antics that first tempted so many motorists out of their station wagons and MPVs. Despite utility vehicles being more popular than ever, that sort of do-anything capability is largely the stuff of fiction these days. The only uncharted thresholds modern CUVs cross are new coffee shop parking lots and unfinished McMansion developments.

At first blush, this latest entry from Land Rover would appear to be no different – the 2015 Discovery Sport wears the same rounded features, oversized 19-inch wheels and safety-first backup cameras typical of its peers. Those shovels and rakes and implements of destruction that farmers once bolted to the sides of their Land Rover Series Ones? Long gone, pal.

When it was first revealed, the 2015 Discovery Sport was unsurprisingly and uncharitably labeled a "soft-roader" by much of the automotive media and Autoblog commentariat, a quasi-epithet shared with many premium pavement pounders like the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLK and Volvo XC60. That descriptor suggested the Disco Sport was yellow of belly, willing to risk the Green Oval's peerless off-road credentials in its chase for the suburban dollar. Perhaps in order to divorce us of that notion, Land Rover invited us to Iceland in the dead of winter to test their new baby's mettle.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Chris Paukert / AOL

Watch the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat verify its 328-km/h top speed

Posted Jan 30th 2015 11:00AM

The industry is producing some ridiculously fast four-doors these days, from the Porsche Panamera and Maserati Quattroporte to the Mercedes E63 AMG and BMW M5. But the fastest of them all doesn't cost six figures. It doesn't even come from Europe. It's made right here in North America, by a US automaker. And it starts at under $65k.

We're talking about the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, the Pentastar muscle sedan with the 6.2-litre supercharged V8 and its 707 horsepower. Dodge claims it's the "quickest, fastest, most powerful [production] sedan ever," and they're not just blowing smoke... or smoking tires. During the final stages of development, engineers from Auburn Hills took a bone-stock, Hellcat-powered Charger out to a seven-mile (11.2-kilometre) oval for a top speed run and they filmed the occasion for posterity.

The result? 206.9 miles per hour (333 km/h) with the wind, 202.2 mph (325.4 km/h) against it, for a two-way average top speed of 204.55 mph (329 km/h). Chew on that, imports.

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News Source: Dodge via YouTube

We visit the birthplace of Ferrari

Posted Jan 30th 2015 9:00AM

The List Tours Italy In A Ferrari FF And Visits Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari

Jessi and Patrick travel to Italy to visit the literal and figurative birthplace of Ferrari, one of the world's most storied automakers. The duo tours the Italian countryside in an all-wheel Ferrari FF, making stops at Museo Ferrari in Maranello and in the founder's hometown of Modena.

Join our hosts as they check "Visit The Birthplace of Ferrari" off of their list.

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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

Jay Leno says bonjour to his 1971 Citroën DS

Posted Jan 29th 2015 7:00PM

"Quirky," "bizarre" and "weird" are all perfect adjectives to describe the Citroën DS, but you should also add "innovative" and "legendary" to that list. This week's journey into Jay Leno's Garage shows why these unusual French sedans might not fit into the traditional definition of beauty, but still deserve not just the respect of auto fans, but their admiration and thanks, too.

First introduced in 1955, the DS really looks as futuristic today as 60 years ago, but each styling element serves a purpose. The big headlights actually turn with the steering wheel to make night driving safer, and the swooping roof is made from fibreglass to keep the centre of gravity lower. Beyond, the design, the Citroën's pneumatic suspension is still amazing to see in action as it lifts the car up and makes for a very comfy cruiser.

Jay thinks that there's an argument to naming the DS as the greatest car of the 20th century, and he's not alone. After seeing all of the reasons he lists in this clip of his '71 example, it's hard to argue with him. Leno really wants people to understand this quirky Citroën and even includes a demonstration on how to change a tire with the unique suspension setup. If you're a fan of innovative solutions in auto engineering, then this episode of the Garage is must-see video.

News Source: Jay Leno's Garage via YouTube

Lots of Land Rovers, Jaguars and Minis actually survived that near-capsized ship

Posted Jan 29th 2015 6:00PM

Despite a severe list to starboard, many of the 1,400 cars and SUVs aboard the 51,000-ton Höegh Osaka are currently being recovered in salvageable condition, with video showing some of the vehicles from British brands Land Rover, Jaguar and Mini, being driven ashore under their own power.

The car-carrying vessel developed a severe list on January 3 and was intentionally run aground on a sandbar between England and the Isle of Wight. It has since limped its way back to port in Southampton, where damage assessments are being conducted on both the ship and its $53-million in cargo.

According to the company that owns the car carrier, the ship itself only suffered minor damage in the incident, while Car and Driver is reporting that many of the damaged vehicles will almost certainly be scrapped. Still, the fact that there are vehicles, some of which appear undamaged (look at that Defender at 0:50!), being removed from the Höegh Osaka needs to count as a net win.

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News Source: Car and Driver, WonkaBar007 via YouTube

Ford Fiesta banned from SCCA autocrossing because of rollover risk

Posted Jan 29th 2015 5:00PM

Autocross can be a great way to break into motorsports, especially at SCCA events that allow run-of-the-mill, street-legal vehicles to be run through the cones in parking lots across the country. But while a wide array of vehicles are eligible, not every one is. And now the Ford Fiesta has been removed from the list of qualifying vehicles in the Sports Car Club of America's Street category for solo events.

The removal of the Fiesta was publicized in the latest issue of the SCCA's Fastrack News bulletin, which stated that, due to roll-over risk, Fiestas "do not meet the requirements and are to be removed" from the HS category of eligible vehicles. H Stock (or HS for short) is the lowest category of vehicles certified by the SCCA for use in sanctioned events.

The disqualification applies to Fiestas from the 2011 model year onwards, and does not apply to the Fiesta ST, which remains eligible. Of course the Fiesta isn't the only model deemed ineligible for SCCA autocross events. According to Jalopnik, other small hatchbacks and crossovers including the Dodge Caliber, Fiat 500, Scion xB and iQ, Nissan Juke and Mini Countryman are also prohibited from competition.

We've reached out to both Ford and the SCCA for clarification on the issue, and will issue an update if and when we receive any substantial information.

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News Source: SCCA via Jalopnik

Porsche says next Cayenne will be faster than Bentley Bentayga

Posted Jan 29th 2015 4:00PM

Bentley and Porsche are both high-end marques under the same umbrella, and may even be collaborating on development of new models – but while they tend to take different approaches and go after different customers, that doesn't mean they can't share a bit of sibling rivalry. And that spirit of competition – even within the Volkswagen Group – looks to be coming to a head in the form of their upcoming luxury performance crossovers.

For his part, Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer promises that the brand's upcoming Bentayga sport-ute will (in its top spec with the W12 engine) be the fastest SUV on the market. But in speaking with Car and Driver, Wolfgang Hatz – who holds the Porsche R&D head office that Dürheimer used to occupy – says the Bentley won't be king for long.

Porsche just released the new Cayenne Turbo S in Detroit, touting it as the first SUV to crack the eight-minute barrier at the Nürburgring. And Hatz says that the next version will be even faster. "Our Cayenne is always very very quick. It is doing 300 km/h (186 mph). I think if [Dürheimer] is doing 2 to 3 km/h more, then why not? He's doing that with a 12-cylinder. Our car will be much quicker on the road."

The next Cayenne is slated to use a new generation of engines, and according to Hatz, will benefit from the same (if not more) weight loss as the new Audi Q7 with which it will share its platform. That sounds like a winning combination to us. That is, at least, for fans of performance crossovers. For those who aren't, Porsche promises it won't be bolstering its lineup with any new ones. Apparently the Cayenne and the smaller Macan are enough.

Nor will Zuffenhausen slot anything bigger than a V6 into the Macan, according to the report. While Porsche's baby crossover will surely continue to get faster with new iterations, the Cayenne will always remain the performance flagship of its SUV range.

News Source: Car and Driver

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

Posted Jan 29th 2015 3:00PM

Obtaining credentials for an auto show is generally a pretty selective process, especially at one of the world's premier shows, like Geneva, Los Angeles or Detroit. That didn't stop online prankster Dennis Roady from getting credentialed for the 2015 North American International Auto Show on behalf of a Russian YouTube channel to cover the show.

While he wasn't brought on strictly to cause mischief, Roady couldn't help but have some fun at the expense of the product specialists during the serious business of covering the show. He took to an app called "Dude, Your Car," which allows Apple iPhone users to take snaps of vehicles and then edit them to add some serious, but fake, dents and scratches.

Naturally, the pranking session was caught on video, where you can enjoy the sight of poor product specialists freaking out over damage to vehicles ranging from the expensive Mercedes-Maybach S600 to the new Audi R8 and a lovely Dodge Challenger. Take a look and have a laugh.

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News Source: howtoPRANKitup via YouTube, The Detroit News