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Updated: 11 weeks 3 days ago

Porsche considering X6-style Cayenne coupe

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 19:40

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2013 Porsche Cayenne GTS

It was practically unthinkable when Porsche introduced the Cayenne in 2002. An SUV... from Porsche? Purists balked, but customers flocked, and the Cayenne propelled the its holding company into such profitability that it practically took over the entire Volkswagen Group. It's now been twelve years since the original Cayenne arrived as the first production Porsche with more than two doors, and Zuffenhausen has since followed up with the Panamera, the Macan and the second-generation Cayenne. But it isn't about to stop there.

The latest intel coming in from overseas suggests that Porsche is in the advanced stages of designing a slant-back, five-door Cayenne coupe to take on the likes of the BMW X6 and upcoming Mercedes-Benz MLC. Though the business case (however solid BMW may have already demonstrated it to be) is still being considered, if approved it would join the upcoming third-generation Cayenne on the production line in Leipzig as early as 2018 - a year after the new Cayenne itself is expected to arrive.

The Cayenne coupe would share much with the more conventional MkIII Cayenne (and for that matter the next Audi Q7 and VW Touareg as well as the Lamborghini Urus and Bentley Falcon) but differentiate itself with a more stylish (if less practical) roofline and an altogether sportier attitude. Autocar reports that the design calls for tauter sheetmetal and sportier cabin inspired by the 918 Spyder. Pricing would be positioned a good 15-20 percent higher than the regular Cayenne, and the "coupe" version would likely be offered with most, if not all of the engines available in the conventional version - including gasoline, diesel, turbo and possibly even hybrid options ranging all the way up to the 550-horsepower Turbo S.

Porsche considering X6-style Cayenne coupe originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 05 May 2014 18:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 12:57

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2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4

It was probably the best headache I've ever had in my life. A spicy combination of Lamborghini's superlative new 2015 Huracán LP 610-4, fast-as-you-can-drive laps of the tricky Ascari race circuit, 80 kilometers of the Ronda Road and a healthy dose of southern Spanish sun had left me with a bit of a pounder. That cocktail of speed and noise had also granted me one of the best days of driving in my life.

As an encore to Gallardo, the single most successful Lamborghini model in history, and following on the heels of the most profitable era the company has ever known, the stakes for this Huracán could hardly be higher. What's more, considering that stablemate Avendator hasn't exactly come in for universal praise (despite its unquestionable commercial success), I flew to Spain with a small pit of doubt in my generally buoyant heart. Could Huracán possibly let me down?

It could, maybe. But it didn't. This is a car that most assuredly lives up to the hype, and is fully worthy of wearing the crown won for it by the outgoing Gallardo. Sorry for the spoiler.

A couple of aspirin, rehydration and a few minibar cervezas later, my headache was more or less forgotten. But the drive of this heartthrob Huracán is something that I'd keep with me for a lot longer.

Continue reading 2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4

2015 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 05 May 2014 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2015 Hyundai Genesis demonstrates safety with high-stakes blind tests

Sun, 05/04/2014 - 20:23

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Hyundai Genesis Gauntlet

For better or worse, technology like adaptive cruise control, backup cameras, lane keeping assist and other safety features have revolutionized the way cars drive. Hyundai is proving just how advanced its assists are in a trio of new videos starring veteran stunt and race driver Rhys Millen.

Each video puts Millen behind the wheel of a 2015 Hyundai Genesis with all of its windows blacked out. He's challenged to prove the usefulness of the car's backup camera, lane assist and automatic emergency braking by making it through three dangerous situations while driving blind.

At about two-minutes each, the videos are quick to watch, even if the amount of danger Millen is ever really in seems somewhat questionable. The one titled The Gauntlet, which tests the backup cam to swinging transport containers, is probably the best of the bunch. Scroll down to watch all three videos and see how you think Hyundai's safety assists stack up.

Continue reading 2015 Hyundai Genesis demonstrates safety with high-stakes blind tests

2015 Hyundai Genesis demonstrates safety with high-stakes blind tests originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 04 May 2014 19:23:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Drifting can be dangerous for spectators, too

Fri, 05/02/2014 - 16:00

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Idiots drifting

Okay kids, here's your lesson for the day. When you go to a motorsports event (that isn't a rally), there are these things called walls. They're big and hard. There might be stacks of tires in front of them. There are also these things called barriers, catch fences and run-off areas. They exist to protect you, the spectator, when something inevitably goes wrong on the track.

If you don't have these things, you probably shouldn't be watching whatever four-wheeled mayhem is taking place. This gentleman learned that the hard way, after getting a bit too close while some hoon drifts his BMW 3 Series.

Scroll down for the video, and be warned, while there isn't any blood that we can see, some viewers might find the sight of a human getting punted by a BMW disturbing.

Continue reading Drifting can be dangerous for spectators, too

Drifting can be dangerous for spectators, too originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 02 May 2014 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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BMW M2 reportedly green-lit

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 14:31

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BMW M235i

A BMW M2 is on the way, according to a sub-forum in the Bimmerpost empire. Of course, we're actively enjoying a few grains of salt, just to be safe, as the post doesn't mention explicit sources, saying only that "multiple inside sources (who have been accurate in the past)," have confirmed the car.

Provided the forum is correct, though, there's some juicy information here. Production is allegedly slated for late fall 2015, with deliveries likely starting in early 2016. The new sports coupe should arrive with 365 to 375 horsepower, courtesy of an upgraded version of BMW's N55 turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-six.

The report claims BMW also considered a modified version of the 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder found in the Mini Cooper S. That engine, known internally as the B48, would have been called the S48 for M2 duty, a significance that we're sure BMW purists would appreciate (the only BMW four-cylinder engine to wear an S designation was the four-cylinder from the legendary E30 M3).

The juiciest tip, though, is the M2's internal code-name - pyrat2. According to the post, "pyrat" was the code-name for the 1 Series M Coupe. If this is correct, then, we're almost certainly looking at a clear successor to the limited-run 1M Coupe. Unlike that car, though, the M2 is likely to be part of a far more standard production run, not just a one-year proposition.

This is all pretty great news. Take your prescribed grains of salt, and then hop into Comments and let us know what you think.

BMW M2 reportedly green-lit originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 May 2014 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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XCAR marks 20-year anniversary of Senna's passing with Mercedes 190E Cosworth

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 13:45

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 Ayrton Senna and the Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 Cosworth

While the automotive world is focusing on the twentieth anniversary of Ayrton Senna's death, there was much, much more to the legendary driver than his untimely passing at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

XCAR has the story of a younger Senna, who, by a stroke of luck, found himself matched up against a veritable dream team of nine Formula One champions, not to mention a cadre of German touring car aces. A "probably still pissed (drunk)" James Hunt, hard-driving Niki Lauda and future champion and rival Alain Prost, were in attendance for the one-off, spec race, which was put on by Mercedes-Benz, in honor of the opening of the Nürburgring's Grand Prix circuit. And Senna was on hand with the explicit goal of besting them all.

Each driver was handed a lightly modified, but brand-new 190E 2.3-16 Cosworth, a car that can best be though of as the distant ancestor of the lovable C63 AMG. As for the race itself, well, it was sort of like an introduction of what the sport could come to expect from the Brazilian.

Take a look below for the full video on Senna and the Cossie.

Continue reading XCAR marks 20-year anniversary of Senna's passing with Mercedes 190E Cosworth

XCAR marks 20-year anniversary of Senna's passing with Mercedes 190E Cosworth originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 May 2014 12:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2015.5 Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar [w/video]

Thu, 05/01/2014 - 12:57

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2015 Volvo S60 Polestar

Polestar Performance has been around since 1996, but until recently, it only did two things: manage Volvo motorsports operations and run a specialist consumer-facing side that built concept cars and boosted Volvo's turbocharged production cars by 15 to 60 horsepower. Five years ago, it fulfilled its long-held desire to engineer an actual production car, first creating the C30 Polestar Performance Concept, a showcar that led to the C30 Polestar Limited Edition.

That foray led to the berserker, 508-horsepower 2013 S60 Polestar Concept that Auto Motor und Sport called "a hard slap in the face to the Germans," and that model led to the limited-edition S60 Polestar production car just for Australia, a car reviewers swooned for, with one comparing its chassis finesse to the Ferrari 458 Italia.

All of which is to say, Polestar has a good start for a motorsports and tuning company to make good on its production car dreams. The 2015 Volvo S60 Polestar and V60 Polestar keep that momentum going, and beautifully at that.

Continue reading 2015.5 Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar [w/video]

2015.5 Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 May 2014 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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eBay Find of the Day: 1981 Porsche 928 convertible by Carelli

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 19:28

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1981 Porsche 928 Convertible by Carelli Design

The Porsche 928 was perhaps the consummate European GT of its day. With a powerful front-mounted V8 engine that grew in displacement as the model years went on, it was capable of eating up the miles at triple-digit speeds in great comfort for occupants. It was also an unusual beauty, with its sharp front and curved rear featuring innovative integrated bumpers.

Currently for auction on eBay Motors is one of the rarest 928s you're likely to find, in a handsome combination of Guards Red paint and tan leather interior, though we wouldn't mind a less-showy finish to the factory wheels. According to the seller, this car is one of eight 928 convertibles by Carelli Design, a firm that's still in business.

1981 Porsche 928 convertibleThe auction claims that these cars were made in 1981 as a feasibility study between Carelli and Porsche for a possible production 928 convertible. The seller says he worked at the dealership where the car is said to have been originally sold $103,000. To remove the roof and hide the convertible top, there were significant changes made to the body and interior, including redesigned doors and a completely new trunk. As you can see in the gallery, when down, the top is completely hidden in a very factory-like fashion. When up, it looks slightly awkward, though (and we'd really like to see a rear three-quarter view to check out the blind spots).

The car is mechanically stock, with a 4.5-liter V8 and an automatic transmission that sends power to the rear wheels. Over the years, an aftermarket muffler, exhaust tip and switch to control the antenna have been installed. The seller claims there are just 6,333 miles on this rare Porsche convertible.

As of this writing, the auction sits at $25,100 with 2 bids and the reserve not met. The seller touts that the car comes with a certificate of authenticity from Porsche and a Motor Trend article about the Carelli-prepared 928s.

eBay Find of the Day: 1981 Porsche 928 convertible by Carelli originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 30 Apr 2014 18:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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FB Tuning debuts 400-hp carbon-bodied Chrysler Crossfire in Monaco

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 17:58

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FB-ONE

The Chrysler Crossfire was, suffice it to say, a matter of taste. Based on old Mercedes-Benz mechanicals, it included retro styling accents and an armadillo roofline. Some loved it, but there was clearly room for improvement - not to mention more sales - and that's just what Italian coachbuilder FB Tuning had to showcase at the Top Marques show in Monaco this year.

Called the FB-ONE, it's based on the Crossfire, which itself was based on the same R170 chassis as the first-generation Mercedes-Benz SLK. It packs the same 3.2-liter V6 as well, which FB claims to have tuned farther than anything Daimler-Chrysler ever managed with the same engine. Whereas the SLK32 AMG packed 354 horsepower and the Crossfire SRT-6 offered 330, the FB-One packs a nice, round 400 hp, which ought to be good for a 0-60 time of little over four seconds.

As you can see, that's not all they've done with FB-One. It's also been rebodied in carbon fiber, with gold accents, deep-dish alloys that look like they came out of a casino and the headlights from an Audi A8. Whether the result is your cup of tea likely depends, as it did with the Crossfire in the first place, on your own personal tastes, so check it out for yourself in the video below.

Continue reading FB Tuning debuts 400-hp carbon-bodied Chrysler Crossfire in Monaco

FB Tuning debuts 400-hp carbon-bodied Chrysler Crossfire in Monaco originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 30 Apr 2014 16:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2014 Land Rover Range Rover L Autobiography

Wed, 04/30/2014 - 12:57

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2014 Land Rover Range Rover L Autobiography

When it comes to fullsize, ultra-luxurious SUVs, you can't do much better than a Range Rover. We've gushed over the biggest Land Rover several times, praising this latest generation's powerful engines, luxurious interiors, and ability to climb both mountainsides and social ladders all while looking fantastic.

Capable as it may be, Land Rover's mission with the Range Rover is to also create an absolutely top-shelf luxury experience, something that's perhaps best illustrated here with the company's new long-wheelbase model. In previous generations, rear seat accommodations were always a sore spot, with compromised legroom and tricky ingress and egress.

By stretching the wheelbase by nearly eight inches, this longer Rangie now offers an additional 7.3 inches of legroom. And with a new executive rear seating package that replaces the traditional bench for a proper two-plus-two arrangement, the back seats now feature an additional 17 degrees of recline. It all comes at a price - roughly $146,000 as-tested - but combined with the more luxurious rear seat accommodations, that hefty price tag actually seems like sort of a bargain. Think about it: Sure, you can get a stretched S-Class or 7 Series for slightly less coin, but the Range Rover is far more capacious, functional, and has all that off-road prowess, to boot. Don't think of this thing as just a stretched Range Rover. Think of it as the most luxurious fullsize SUV you can buy today - and maybe tomorrow, too.

Driving Notes
  • Mechanically speaking, the long-wheelbase model doesn't shake up the Range Rover package too much. Nor does it from a design standpoint. Oh sure, you can really see that added length, especially in the profile view. But aside from that, the only added visual cues are small 'L' badges on the aluminum character line below the doors. The extended Range Rover is still handsome as ever, and the extra length doesn't make it look awkward, or too-long, like some stretched-wheelbase cars.
  • Nothing is different under the hood, either, where Land Rover's 5.0-liter supercharged V8 still keeps things rockin' with 510 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque. Like the standard-wheelbase models, this power is all managed through a buttery-smooth eight-speed automatic transmission, and the same four-wheel drive and off-road capability is there.
  • This powertrain still makes for a bloody quick Range Rover, especially considering its size and heft - the longer model adds some 287 pounds to the overall curb weight, tipping the scales at a healthy 5,137 pounds. That's a lot of weight, but it's still less than standard-wheelbase rivals (the Lexus LX 570 weighs a galling 6,000 pounds), and it remains a significant decrease from the outgoing model thanks to its new aluminum-intensive construction. And with that 5.0-liter supercharged heart pumping out the power, Land Rover estimates that its largest Range Rover will still sprint to 60 miles per hour in 5.1 seconds.
  • On the road, the LWB model is every bit as good to drive as the standard configuration, though some full-size SUV attributes like a bit of vagueness in the steering, a fair amount of body roll, and noticeable front/rear pitch during takeoff and landing have been baked in (the latter being a longtime air-suspended Land Rover hallmark). Stretching the wheelbase does make the Range Rover a bit more compliant and limousine-like on the highway, with pavement irregularities being seemingly more smothered than before.
  • Should you venture off road, the LWB Range Rover is nearly every bit as capable as its more compact (ha!) sister. All of the excellent off-road terrain management settings are there, and approach and departure angles haven't changed in stretching the wheelbase. The breakover angle has decreased slightly, however - 18.4 to 26.1 degrees (normal vs. off-road heights) in the LWB, compared to 20.1 to 28.3 degrees in the normal-wheelbase model.
  • In all, there isn't a whole lot of difference from behind the wheel, but to critique the long-wheelbase Range Rover on its dynamics would be missing its point entirely. The big-ticket feature here, is what's in store for the folks you're chauffeuring around.
  • We aren't exaggerating here when we say that the executive seating package on this Range Rover provides for one of the most luxurious and spacious rear compartments we've ever had the privilege of experiencing. There's headroom, knee room, legroom and shoulder room galore, with individually heated, cooled and massaging rear thrones. What's more, Land Rover offers individual rear seat entertainment systems, four-zone climate control and a massive panoramic sunroof. Combine those attributes with the SUV's stadium seating, and you've got all the makings of a truly first-class experience.
  • Nothing in the class - no Mercedes-Benz, no BMW, no Lexus, no Audi - offers this sort of rear seat accommodation. Land Rover has created something that will likely rival - and perhaps, best - what Bentley is planning for its upcoming SUV, if not its Flying Spur.
  • That isn't completely without fault, though our cabin complaints mostly concern the cockpit. We still don't love Land Rover's slow-to-respond touchscreen infotainment system, and some of the minor controls feel cheap considering how luxurious the rest of the interior is.
  • Our tester's orange-tan leather may come across as a bit much for some eyes (these photos don't help), but it's all up to would-be owners how they spec their new ride. Land Rover offers a host of other interior color combos, and it doesn't change the fact that this cabin is otherwise top-notch as far as comfort and refinement goes.
  • Of course, all this added goodness comes at a price. Long-wheelbase models start at $106,225, and can only be had with the 5.0-liter SC V8. From there, adding the Autobiography trim adds a hefty $36,800 to the bottom line, which allows you to select the executive rear seating pack, and adds a healthy upgrade of interior luxury and small upgrades to the exterior (unique 21-inch wheels, chrome-plated grille and more). Want something even more outrageous? Land Rover will sell you a limited-edition LWB Autobiography Black, for $185,000.
  • You can scoff all you want at the $146,000 bottom line for this tester, but again, considering it will likely rival what Bentley offers with its SUV - a vehicle that should easily cost twice as much - in the right light, it's kind of a bargain. And with a powerful engine, genuine go-anywhere capability and serious street cred, what is perhaps the best fullsize SUV money can buy just got better. Who says size doesn't matter?

2014 Land Rover Range Rover L Autobiography originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 30 Apr 2014 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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World's Best Dad invites Lamborghini owners to son's birthday party

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 20:58

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Jacob turns 8 with a surprise Lamborghini-themed birthday

The resulting unalloyed joy, as you'll see in the footage below, is priceless.

One of my defining moments as a budding car enthusiast came the first time I got to see a Lamborghini up close. I was out in Los Angeles visiting a relative with my mother and sister, and I took the change of scenery as an opportunity to look for more exotic cars than my middle-class Midwestern upbringing would usually encounter. We were on a walk, when off in the distance I saw - and heard - something extraordinary: An early '80s Lamborghini Countach, black with those bronze five-hole wheels, pulling into a parking spot. My mom still takes great joy in periodically retelling the events of that day, and as the story goes, I joyfully took off without warning, chasing the car down the street shouting "Lamborghini!" "Lamborghini!!" in my best eight-year-old Italian accent.

I must've still been adorable, because the owner not only let me sit in his car, scissor door open and ridiculous grin on my face, he left me playing around in its interior, nonchalantly telling me to shut the door when I was done. Just like that, he left, disappearing into a shop across the street. I can't tell you how long I sat in the car, or how many photos I demanded my mother take of me with my borrowed Bell and Howell, but I can remember being astounded at how low it was - I could crouch as if sitting on the bumper and still see over it! That was around 30 years ago, and I still have a couple of those dog-eared pictures.

Funnily enough, my memorable Lamborghini encounter is pretty similar to that of the young boy featured in this video. At age seven, however, Jacob is clearly ahead of the curve. As the story goes, his father left a message on Lamborghini Los Angeles North's Facebook page, asking if someone with "a kind heart" would help him help make his Lamborghini-fanatic child's birthday wish come true. And "come true" it did, with the dealership helping organize not just a ride-along in an Aventador, but also a small cavalcade of other Lambos, all of which all showed up unannounced at his house on Jacob's birthday. The resulting unalloyed joy, as you'll see in the footage below, is priceless.

As car enthusiasts, most of us have been lucky enough to have memorable defining car experiences, those fleeting moments in our personal back catalogs that have come to mean so much more than they first appeared to be. Thanks in part to the kindness of Lamborghini-driving stranger several decades ago, I still make a point of inviting onlookers of all ages in for a closer look whenever I am fortunate enough to have the keys to something nice.

I suspect after his grand, Lamborghini-filled birthday, young Jacob will grow to do the same when he's an adult... because that's how new enthusiasts are born.

Continue reading World's Best Dad invites Lamborghini owners to son's birthday party

World's Best Dad invites Lamborghini owners to son's birthday party originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Apr 2014 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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This BMW 2 Series ad has run afoul of Aussie ad watchdogs [w/poll]

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 18:03

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BMW M235i

A complaint by an Australian movie-goer has put the brakes on an extended in-theater ad campaign by BMW, and drawn the attention of the country's Advertising Standards Board. According to the anonymous complaint, the ad "portrays an unfavorable message, contrary to safe and sensible driving."

The ASB upheld the complaint, which said the ad for the new M235i showed driving "typical of hoon activity," thanks to the burnouts, dusty drifts and runs up to redline. It's that last one that seems to have gotten the spot in the most trouble, with the ASB acknowledging that even though the car wasn't shown breaking the speed limit, the ad was in violation of a voluntary code of conduct for automotive advertising, according to Australia's Go Auto.

BMW doesn't seem to agree, pointing out that the ad uses creative editing, aggressive camera angles and other filming tricks to "add visual impact."

"We would also add that these creative measures are likely to have been exaggerated from the viewer's perspective in a cinema environment with Dolby surround sound and high definition, super-size cinema screens," BMW's Australian outfit said, according to Go Auto.

It's unclear what movies the ad was shown before, but as BMW points out, considering the "cinematic environment," it suggests the case "be dismissed summarily as a frivolous complaint."

We'd be inclined to agree with BMW, largely due to the setting. Considering some of the stuff that happens in movies today, showing a bit of sliding about and some wide-open-throttle runs is hardly the worst thing people will encounter.

Of course, we'd like to know what you think. Scroll down and have a look at the advertisement, then be sure to vote in our unofficial poll on the matter. You can then continue the debate down in Comments.

View Poll

Continue reading This BMW 2 Series ad has run afoul of Aussie ad watchdogs [w/poll]

This BMW 2 Series ad has run afoul of Aussie ad watchdogs [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Apr 2014 17:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 12:57

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2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA 250

With more than a year separating my test week with the 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 from its debutante ball at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, I had the advantage of a mountain of data and diatribes with which to inform my initial opinion. Conversations with colleagues and coworkers netted splintered ideas about the CLA's driving demeanor; reading hundreds of comments posted on Autoblog articles revealed a popular divide about everything from exterior styling to the execution of its navigation screen.

While commentary from the public and pundits alike has spun in a circle over the front-driver Mercedes this last year, the car-buying public has been voting the CLA up in fantastic fashion. Early sales have been very strong for the lowest-cost-of-entry Benz, despite being capacity constrained over the first months of 2014. Mercedes-Benz USA PR manager Christian Bokich told me that dealers are "selling the 250 and 45 AMG as fast as they can get them," and though he wouldn't share the internal number, says that the CLA has the lowest day supply of any model in the brand's lineup. Clearly, while we've been happily shouting at each other, Mercedes sales' staffs have been swiftly compiling signed purchase agreements, and racking up numbers.

Given the context of this first year of existence, I thought it would be helpful to review the CLA250 with a special eye to those areas of the car that have been the most hotly contested. By my research, that means wading into the fray on the attractiveness of its sheetmetal, the polish of its interior, the starchiness of its suspension and the thrift of its luxurious bottom line.

Continue reading 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250

2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Apr 2014 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mercedes recalling 284k C-Class models for taillight failure [UPDATE]

Tue, 04/29/2014 - 11:01

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2011 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG

UPDATE: A Mercedes-Benz spokesperson has responded to our request for more information, with an official statement that you can read, below. Mercedes also points out that "no accidents, injuries, or deaths have been reported" as a result of the taillight issue.

If you are behind a newer Mercedes-Benz C-Class, you might want to pay extra attention. The German automaker has issued a recall for 252,867 C-Class models from 2008-2011 in the United States, because of possible failure of the taillights. The repair is necessary on the C300, C300 4Matic, C350 and C63 AMG (pictured above). According to The Detroit News, an additional 31,000 cars in Canada are also affected.

In the company's recall filling with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it says vehicles from January 26, 2007, to July 13, 2011 could have a faulty ground connection for the taillights. Affected vehicles show a dimming or complete failure of them. Obviously, if other drivers don't know a vehicle is stopping or turning, it's harder for them to react and could cause an accident.

To fix the problem, the company will replace the bulb holder and any corroded connectors. Mercedes will begin notifying owners about the recall in June, but the new parts won't be ready by that time. It will send a second letter later to schedule repairs in August or September. Scroll down to read NHTSA's report.

Continue reading Mercedes recalling 284k C-Class models for taillight failure [UPDATE]

Mercedes recalling 284k C-Class models for taillight failure [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Apr 2014 10:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Jaguar SUV mule doing Ring testing in Evoque clothes

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 15:15

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Jaguar C-X17

Jaguar has moved its Range Rover Evoque-bodied tests of the production C-X17 Concept from icy streets to the legendary Nürburgring, as work continues on the brand's first SUV.

Really, there's not a great deal of new stuff here. Based on the number plates, this is a different vehicle from the one we saw back in March, which we originally identified as the upcoming replacement for the Land Rover Freelander/LR2. The details, though, appear largely the same. The biggest distinction we can see between the March tests and this are the US-spec headlights, which add amber reflectors at their sides. Based on these shots, it does seem as if the C-X17 should be a fairly poised road vehicle, as the engineers hustle it around the 'Ring.

Of course, as soon our spies can capture images of a production-bodied C-X17, we'll be sure to pass those on to you. Until then, take a look up top for images of the Range Rover-bodied Jaguar as it tests at Germany's Nürburgring. You can also scroll down for our March images for the C-X17 mules testing on public roads.

Jaguar SUV mule doing Ring testing in Evoque clothes originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Apr 2014 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2015 BMW i8 [w/video]

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 12:57

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2015 BMW i8

The most important thing to keep in mind while driving BMW's all-new i8 is that it's not a product of the company's vaunted M division.

Sleek sports-coupe design, carbon-fiber construction and blistering acceleration may cause automotive enthusiasts to drool, but the i8 has not been conceptualized, engineered or assembled to be another one of BMW's world-class track stars. Instead, the i8 has been hatched as a progressive sports car from the Bavarian outfit's new i division, which "represents visionary electric vehicles and mobility services, inspiring design and a new understanding of premium that is strongly defined by sustainability." Think of it as thrilling, but with an engaging environmental twist.

It's nearly impossible to walk up to the i8 without stopping twenty feet short and taking in its styling. There's no other production car as visually fascinating - this BMW is showroom-ready sculpture that captures all of the essence of the Vision Efficient Dynamics Concept that wowed crowds at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. The wind sees it as a 0.26 drag coefficient, but humans will study its beautifully crafted carbon fiber and glass panels and realize they're in the presence of the future.

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2015 BMW i8 [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Apr 2014 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lexus still planning seven-seat crossover

Mon, 04/28/2014 - 11:16

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2013 Lexus RX350 F-Sport

In case you're thinking, "But Lexus already has a seven-seat crossover in the GX 460," that's actually a proper SUV - the body-on-frame kind with the massive footprint and floaty handling. A report in Automotive News says that Lexus is trying to figure out how to produce a true crossover with space for seven humans, with the options narrowed down to growing the RX (pictured) or sorting out a brand new model.

How badly does the brand want it? Its chief told AN that another row is first on the list of dealer requests, that the offering could be worth 35,000 more sales per year and they don't care if it eats into five-seater RX sales - "We want it." But hey, when 40 percent of monthly sales are made up of the RX, and Lexus moved more than 103,000 of them in 2013, it's understandable that the company wouldn't mind risking a small hit for the chance to increase sales by a third of their current levels.

Toyota applied to trademark the name TX and that's already been mooted in reports as a replacement for the GX, said to end its life in 2016. The latest report, however, suggests that the GX might not go away since it's "highly profitable for the automaker, even at low volumes," and that "TX coding could merely be for a seven-seat variant of the RX 350." AN also wonders if this larger hauler would stay on the recently lengthened Toyota Highlander platform, which offers meager third-row seating, or switch to the rear-wheel-drive platform used by the IS and GS for tauter responsiveness. With Lexus saying it will be at least two years before it could be brought to market, we have a while to wait yet to find out.

Lexus still planning seven-seat crossover originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Apr 2014 10:16:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Buick shows off new Ultra Luxury Interior for LaCrosse

Sun, 04/27/2014 - 17:29

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Buick LaCrosse Ultra Luxury Interior.

The options sheet of the 2014 Buick LaCrosse gets all kinds of fancy with the addition of the Ultra Luxury Interior. Pointing its Tri-Shield logo at the world of haute luxury, the cabin treatment combines sangria leather with ebony accents, shadow tamo ash wood trim and a microsuede headliner to "drive fashion forward."

You'll need to start with LaCrosse models with the 3.6-liter V6 and either the Leather, Premium or Premium II trims to go all Brioni and Buckingham on the cabin, and the privilege package will run you $2,495. We're told that you won't find such contrasting hues anywhere else in the class, though, and that kind of exclusivity might make any price a bargain.

You can find more information on the Ultra Luxury Interior in the press release below, along with some intensely fashion-foward gobbledygook.

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Buick shows off new Ultra Luxury Interior for LaCrosse originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 27 Apr 2014 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Aussie Ford Falcon GT shows its rear end to Lamborghini Gallardo

Sun, 04/27/2014 - 16:01

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Screencap from video of a drag race between a Ford Falcon GT and Lamborghini Gallardo in Australia.

When Ford Australia announces, as it did recently, that it wants to celebrate the end of its Ford Performance Vehicle division with a Falcon FPV GT-F that celebrates big-bore origins of the nameplate, it's talking about the kind of car in this video.

At some point the classic Falcon GT - said to be an XY series - was invited to a test of acceleration against a Lamborghini Gallardo. At the very least, the Falcon GT had a 351 cubic-inch motor and 300 horsepower, but whatever this guy's got under the hood of his yellow sedan makes has him so confident that he his passenger doesn't even move his elbow from its resting place on the door.

You'll find a reminder of Ford Australia's heyday, a raucous exhaust note and some NSFW language in the short video below.

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Aussie Ford Falcon GT shows its rear end to Lamborghini Gallardo originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 27 Apr 2014 15:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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AMG's partnership with Aston Martin won't extend past engines, for now

Sun, 04/27/2014 - 08:59

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The 4.7-liter V8 in an Aston Martin V8 Vantage

There's been talk of late about the technical partnership between Aston Martin and the AMG division of Mercedes-Benz going beyond engines to include Mercedes sports car and SUV platforms for the English brand, perhaps as a way to kickstart the development of a Lagonda SUV. But AMG CEO Tobias Moers, speaking to Top Gear, said that's effectively out of the question because, "No one has the time to discuss any more involvement than that for now."

Moers believes Aston Martin will be so busy "for the next two to three years" integrating its AMG-sourced engine and electronics that it won't have the resources to devote to working out a platform-sharing deal; Daimler sources have already said that Aston Martin's development budget "just isn't enough" to even consider a whole new model, and that greater cooperation would require something like a larger ownership stake in the boutique sports car maker.

AMG, in the meantime, is busy with the recent launch of the GLA45 AMG, the coming C63 AMG and its rumored 4.0-liter V8, the Mercedes-AMG GT and its assault on the Porsche 911 among who-knows-what other skunkworks projects. Moers said the technical partnership is about profit for AMG, clear and simple, and, "All these rumors about platform sharing are nice but no one at Aston or Mercedes has the time to discuss them."

AMG's partnership with Aston Martin won't extend past engines, for now originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 27 Apr 2014 07:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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