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Learn to drive a monster truck with Monster Jam driving pros

Posted Oct 21st 2014 6:00PM

How to drive a monster truck

On the surface, it's easy to write off monster trucks as big, dumb and dangerous vehicles, but when you start looking deeper, they get a lot more impressive. At least for the people competing in the Monster Jam series, there's a commitment to safety and some seriously cool engineering to make all of those huge jumps and stunts possible night after night. Of course, driving one of these behemoths isn't exactly easy, either.

Not only do drivers have to deal with bouncing around all the time, they also have in the region of 1,500 horsepower at their disposal, all of which is being channeled into something with some pretty bizarre handling characteristics, too. Just think about it: How many competition vehicles can you think of that sport massive tires and separate controls for the front and rear steering?

If you want some advice, check out this video to hear from the men and women of Monster Jam who are behind the wheel practically every night and then have to fix them to crush more cars the next day.

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News Source: Gizmag via YouTube

Here's how people spec'd their C7 Corvettes in 2014

Posted Oct 21st 2014 5:00PM

2014 Chevrolet Corvette

The Z51 option pack was hugely popular full-stop, with a total of 21,105 examples in all bodystyles ordered.

For its first year out of the gate, the 2014 Chevrolet C7 Corvette Stingray did very well for itself, selling 37,288 units worldwide with 34,678 of the new sports cars hitting the market in the US alone. In fact, the total number was one of the best figures for the Corvette in the modern era. But the full breakdown of all the 2014 C7's sales data has hit the web from The National Corvette Museum blog, and it has given us the chance to be nosy and find out what people really want from this latest model.

Individually, buyers seemed to really want some extra performance from their new Vette, because the coupe with the Z51 package was the most popular model, with 15,431 made (41.4 per cent), followed by the standard coupe with 11,134 built (29.9 per cent). The Z51 option pack was hugely popular full-stop, with a total of 21,105 examples in all bodystyles ordered with its added performance pieces – that's 56.6 per cent of the year's production. If anything, we're surprised the bargain-priced grouping didn't net an even higher percentages.

Despite people clearly wanting performance, customers' transmission preferences unsurprisingly skewed towards automatics. The six-speed auto had 24,088 orders (64.6 percent), while the remaining 13,200 were seven-speed manuals. When the 'Vette was closer to launch, the seven-speed represented about 38 percent of the production, so it only fell a few per cent over the entire model year.

Interestingly, some options were practically a universal choice among buyers. Some 31,173 cars (83.6 per cent) had the box for the optional performance exhaust ticked. Also, 30,427 people (81.6 per cent) ponied up for navigation.

When shopping for colours, customers really wanted to own a little red Corvette. Torch Red was the most popular paint shade with 7,197 made. In fact, it, Arctic White and Black were the three most popular hues, representing 51.7 per cent of total orders. The least wanted was Lime Rock Green with just 1,566 sold, and it has been discontinued for the 2015 model year.

These details are just scratching the surface at all of the info to be gleaned from this data. Check out the The National Corvette Museum blog for the full table.

Porsche becomes first company to rent out Vatican's Sistine Chapel

Posted Oct 21st 2014 4:00PM



We wouldn't go so far as to say God is a Porsche fan, but those in charge of one of the holiest Christian spots on our little blue marble are welcoming the German automaker into one of the the religions most revered and beautiful settings – the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. In so doing, Porsche will reportedly become the first company to rent out the holy hall for a corporate function.

Now, it's not like Pope Francis has signed off on Porsche doing do donuts in a 911 underneath Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam. Instead, the Vatican has rented out the home of the Papal Conclave to the Porsche Travel Club, which will host a classical music concert. The Travel Club organizes events and tours across Europe for Porsche enthusiasts, with the Vatican concert just one part of a tour of Rome.

According to Automotive News Europe, Porsche will sell 40 tickets – at 5,000 euros each ($7,188) – to the event, while the Vatican has confirmed that the Pope will not be in attendance.

News Source: Automotive News Europe - sub. req.

Image Credit: L'Osservatore Romano / AP, via twitter

Top 10 most useful apps for drivers

Posted Oct 21st 2014 3:00PM



While police are cracking down on distracted driving and texting behind the wheel, most drivers (us included) still can't remember the last time they left the house or office without a mobile device handy in their car. Living an app-centric life may have seemed unheard of even a decade ago, but for better or for worse, the phrase "there's an app for that" is here to stay.

With new apps being launched by the hundreds on a daily basis, it's sometimes hard to know which ones are worthy of the storage space on your device; so we've compiled a list of the top 10 best car-centric or auto related mobile apps for your device.

There are a wide range of different must-have auto apps ranging from real-time traffic and route planners, plus fuel mileage trackers, high tech/performance apps and in-car entertainment.

Click here to find out the top 10 best and most useful car and auto related apps.

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Land Rover to send off Defender with SVR special

Posted Oct 21st 2014 2:00PM

Land Rover Defender Challenge by Bowler

Jaguar Land Rover has made plenty of drool-inducing, time-warping performance machines, but most of them – from the XJ220 to the F-Type – have come from the Jaguar side of the equation. That's where the British automaker's new Special Operations division came in with the new Range Rover Sport SVR, transforming one of Land Rover's off-roaders into a Nürburgring-conquering performance ute. But it won't be the last.

According to JLR Special Operations chief John Edwards in speaking with Autocar, the division is searching for its next project. And that could – and it seems likely will – come down to a special send-off for the long-serving Defender.

Land Rover's most hardcore, no-frills, rough-and-tumble model has been in production essentially unchanged since 1983, making it as old as some of the writers here at Autoblog (though sadly much younger than some others... -ED). It's slated to be retired next year in favour of an all-new model, but before it does, JLR apparently plans to send it off with a muscled-up performance model.

Don't take that to mean that the Defender will be stripped off its off-road capabilities in an effort to make it perform better on the track, though. According to Autocar, Land Rover is looking to the Dakar rally and the old Camel Trophy for inspiration, suggesting that we could be looking at a British take on the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor of sorts... or a production version of the Defender Challenge truck (pictured above) made together with noted LR tuner Bowler. All of which strikes us as rather enticing, though it may be a while before we get to see the finished product in the metal.

News Source: Autocar

DeLorean DMC-12 illustrates how a good idea goes bad

Posted Oct 21st 2014 12:57PM

Xcar Delorean DMC-12

When John Z. DeLorean set out to build a car, he had good intentions – it'd be small, efficient, sporty, affordable and safe, complete with a rust-free, stainless-steel body. The outcome, though, was a lamentable mess, a coupe whose prestige rests more with its gullwing doors and its star-making role in Back To The Future than in its actual driving character.

Among the many knocks on the DeLorean DMC-12 was its shoddy quality (courtesy of its Northern Ireland factory), its anemic 2.8-litre V6 and an automatic transmission whose shifts registered on the geologic scale. The suspension was overly soft, the steering numb and the brakes left a lot to be desired.

None of that, as Xcar explains, really matters. The DeLorean is still a deeply cool car. Take a look at the latest video from the video outfit to see why.

News Source: XCARFilms via AOL ON

2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 Coupe

Posted Oct 21st 2014 11:57AM

Beauty Masks A Formidable Beast

2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe

This is the most beautiful car currently offered by Mercedes-Benz.

With apologies to the aggressive and undeniably attractive Mercedes-AMG GT, the brand-new successor to the supercar throne vacated by the dearly departed gullwinged SLS, the S-Class Coupe as seen in the images scattered through these pages is particularly evocative, with flowing lines from front to plunging rear that somehow recall early pre-war streamlining while still coming across as thoroughly modern and completely refined. It's a shape that will get noticed in traffic, generating gentle nods of approval, subtle stares and longer-than-normal glances from those with discerning automotive tastes, without attracting the kind of pre-teen attention garnered by less practical, though similarly expensive, machinery.

Considering the shapely bodywork parked before me set against the shockingly beautiful autumn colours of Rhode Island and the sweet, salty smell of ocean tides, the actual driving dynamics of the S550 Coupe I was about to experience seemed, for a brief moment, to be superfluous to the experience at hand. That is, it felt that way until slipping into what may be the most comfortable and accommodating driver's seat ever made, a move affording me the chance to revel in the cabin's almost overwhelming embrace of accoutrements and technology.

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Jeremy Korzeniewski / AOL

Ontario to increase fines for texting while driving and using hand-held devices

Posted Oct 21st 2014 11:30AM



Ontario motorists will face stiffer fines and penalties for texting while driving under legislation the Liberal government will re-introduce today.The previous bill to increase the maximum fine for distracted driving to $1,000 and impose three demerit points died when the June 12 election was called.

Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca will reintroduce the bill this afternoon in an effort to help people break the habit of texting or talking on a hand-held phone while behind the wheel.

Ontario Provincial Police say distracted driving is becoming the No. 1 killer on the roads, accounting for more deaths last year than impaired driving or speed-related accidents.

A recent Centre for Addiction and Mental Health survey found more than one-third of licensed Ontario students in Grades 10 to 12 admitted to having texted while driving at least once in the past year.

Using handheld devices to text, email or talk while driving, except for 911 calls, has been banned in Ontario since 2009.

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Poll: Adults Text While Driving More Than Teens

News Source: The Canadian Press

Image Credit: Copyright 2014 Seyth Miersma / AOL

Video proof that LaFerrari has a pure electric mode

Posted Oct 21st 2014 10:59AM

Ferrari LaFerrari

Typically, a hybrid car, with its gas engine and an electric motor/battery pack is able to run on both forms of propulsion independently of each other. That means you can sip gas, run on pure electricity or some variation there of. The Ferrari LaFerrari is not like other hybrids.

See, the successor to the Enzo has batteries, an electric motor and a great, thumping V12 engine, but unlike its rivals from McLaren and Porsche, it has no standalone electric mode. That's been Ferrari's party line since day one. But have the Italians been exaggerating a bit? Judging by this video, it seems like a real possibility.

The video comes from what we're guessing is a European track day. It shows a black LaFerrari stealthily sailing through a tunnel on pure electric power, which it shouldn't be able to do, before its 789-horsepower V12 fires to life.

So, what does this tell us? Well, it's quite obvious that you can drive a LaFerrari on nothing but electric power. As for why Ferrari doesn't advertise this fact, we're inclined to agree with the folks at Jalopnik, who uncovered the video. It's more than likely that the hypercar's EV range is so pitifully low that Maranello doesn't see it as worth mentioning.

What do you think? Does an EV mode for a 949-horsepower, 205-mph (330-km/h) hypercar even matter? Should Ferrari include it as an actual, driver-accessible item, even if the range is low? Have your say in Comments.

News Source: CarloDelucis, Jalopnik via YouTube

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