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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

2015 BMW M3 squares off against Alpina D3 in gas vs. diesel throwdown




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2015 BMW M3 squares off against Alpina D3 in gas vs. diesel throwdown



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BMW M3 versus Alpina D3



There was a time when diesel meant one of two things: This vehicle's owner either wants to save some money at the pump or needs to haul massive loads. It definitely did not mean that the owner of said machine wanted to drive fast, but that perception has slowly but surely been changing over the last several years, with automakers from Volkswagen and Ford to Audi and BMW offering spiced-up versions of their high-compression, turbocharged diesels.



It's that last automaker we mentioned that's the subject of the video you'll see down below. One bright-blue BMW M3 was procured by the Brits at Autocar, and it was lined up against a deep-black Alpina D3 (which we sadly can't buy in the US) in a spate of tests, including acceleration, stopping, sound and lap times on a closed circuit. The results, which we won't spoil for you, were enlightening, and were followed up by personal impressions from the man behind the wheel.



We know you're curious. All it takes to find out which of these 3.0-liter, twin-turbo-powered 3 Series variants came out on top is to scroll down below and watch. You know what to do.

Continue reading 2015 BMW M3 squares off against Alpina D3 in gas vs. diesel throwdown

2015 BMW M3 squares off against Alpina D3 in gas vs. diesel throwdown originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 26 Jul 2014 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in the works




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Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in the works



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2015 Dodge Charger



In Autoblog's recent First Drive of the 2015 Challenger SRT with the 707-horsepower Hellcat V8 we found its engine to be as brutally powerful as the numbers would suggest, even if it wasn't the best handler. However, the muscle-car-styling just isn't right for some buyers that need four doors and proper rear seats to haul around the family. It appears that Dodge has their backs, though, because the Hellcat is very likely on its way into the Charger in the near future. Imagine the looks on your passengers' faces when you stomp down on the throttle.



According to Road & Track, when Dodge submitted the Hellcat for engine power certification to the Society of Automotive Engineers, the company included the Charger on the paperwork. That showed that the automaker wanted the engine checked out for the sedan, too. R&T reckons the 707-hp Charger would hit the road about a year from now, clearing the Challenger for a year of exclusivity with the powerplant.



When the Charger SRT Hellcat does hit the road, it may carry a very special accolade. Assuming nothing beats it in the meantime, it might be the world's highest horsepower production sedan. Think on that for a second. Even a Mercedes S65 AMG only has 621 horsepower, though a good bit more torque at 738 pound-feet to the Dodge's 650 lb-ft. So while the beastly engine is getting put into other models, where else would you like to see it? The Ram? Grand Cherokee? Let us know in Comments.
Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in the works originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Jul 2014 12:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Porsche's 959 is still poster-worthy after all these years




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Porsche's 959 is still poster-worthy after all these years



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Xcar: Porsche 959



Today, we have the Porsche 918 Spyder. Before that, there was the Carrera GT. While both of those cars are dramatic departures from the traditional, rear-engine Porsche formula, they owe their very existence to another wild child of the iconic German brand - the 959.



Like so many of the great performance cars of yesteryear, the 959 was a homologation special, built just so Porsche could go racing in the clinically insane Group B rally series. Fewer than 400 959s hit the streets, but those that did were some of the most advanced cars of the 1980s. A rear-mounted, twin-turbocharged flat-six sent its power through a still-rare all-wheel-drive system, creating a race-inspired rocket that was, for a short time, the fastest production car on the planet.



Xcar has the story of the 959, from its inception to its conquest of the Paris-Dakar rally, which is interspersed with a drive of the legendary coupe. Scroll down for the full video.
Continue reading Porsche's 959 is still poster-worthy after all these years
Porsche's 959 is still poster-worthy after all these years originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Will this 1966 Ferrari three-seater surpass $20M at Pebble Beach auction?




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Will this 1966 Ferrari three-seater surpass $20M at Pebble Beach auction?



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1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale



With a week of lavish automotive events coming up centered around the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in August, some of the highest profile auto auctions in the world are about to take place. Hearing about Ferrari Testa Rossas and 250 GTOs going for tens of millions of dollars during these events is commonplace, but Gooding & Company is bringing a unique Prancing Horse to sell in California that could be a record-breaker for the company.



The car in question is the drop-dead gorgeous 1966 Ferrari 365 P Berlinetta Speciale with just 7,900 kilometers (4,910 miles) on the clock that's pictured above, and it checks all of the boxes to make it incredibly desirable. First off, just look at it. The flowing lines and giant, tinted moonroof really make this Ferrari a head-turner. Inside, it has the distinctive feature of three seats with the driver slightly forward in the middle, kind of like the McLaren F1. And what a view from behind the wheel with all of the expansive glass in front of and above the driver. According to the auction listing, Pininfarina displayed the Speciale at a variety of international motor shows in 1966 and 1967.



If the looks aren't enough, then the provenance puts this Ferrari over the top, for sure. Underneath those gorgeous lines is the chassis from a Ferrari 365 P2 endurance racer. The sale claims that this was the first mid-engine, Ferrari 12-cylinder model created from the start as a road car. After touring with Pininfarina, it went to Luigi Chinetti, the first man to sell a Prancing Horse in the US and the boss of the company's North American Racing Team. He sold it twice, but the Speciale has been in the hands of the Chinetti since 1969.



Gooding isn't offering a dollar estimate on the sale, but it's expecting big things. "The most expensive automobile that Gooding & Company has ever sold at public auction is the 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa. We expect to shatter that record at Pebble Beach this year," said company boss David Gooding about the car, according to a spokesperson to Autoblog. That Testa Rossa went for $16.39 million after fees. It gives the 365 a lot to live up to. Scroll down to read the entire auction listing.
Continue reading Will this 1966 Ferrari three-seater surpass $20M at Pebble Beach auction?
Will this 1966 Ferrari three-seater surpass $20M at Pebble Beach auction? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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Friday, July 25, 2014

Mazda recalling 18k Mazda6 and RX-8 models over airbag inflators




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Mazda recalling 18k Mazda6 and RX-8 models over airbag inflators



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Mazda RX-8 badge



Faulty Takata airbag inflators keep taking their toll on automakers. Mazda is the latest to be affected in the US by announcing a recall covering 18,050 Mazda6 and RX-8 models to replace the front, passenger-side airbags. Specifically, the campaign covers 18,000 Mazda6 units from the 2003 and 2004 model years built between May 29, 2002, and March 4, 2004, and 50 RX-8 vehicles from the 2004 model year made between June 25, 2003, and June 30, 2003.



As with the rest of the vehicles with these faulty inflators, it's possible for the part to rupture when deploying the airbag and potentially spray shrapnel at the occupant. Mazda's defect notice goes into a bit more detail than most about the problem saying: "some propellant wafers have been produced with an inadequate compaction force, or may have been exposed to uncontrolled moisture conditions (those wafers could have absorbed moisture beyond the allowable limits)."



This isn't Mazda's first difficulty with Takata-supplied airbags this year. The company was among the seven automakers that recalled vehicles in hot-weather states over the inflators. It also had to recently fix 42,000 Mazda6 vehicles in China over the issue.



Repairs of the Mazda6 and RX-8 are scheduled to start in August, and obviously there's no charge to owners. Scroll down to read the recall announcement, or read the complete defect notice as a PDF, here.
Continue reading Mazda recalling 18k Mazda6 and RX-8 models over airbag inflators
Mazda recalling 18k Mazda6 and RX-8 models over airbag inflators originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Jul 2014 10:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

2014 Audi SQ5




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2014 Audi SQ5



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2014 Audi SQ5



It may be obvious at this point, but here in the United States, European manufacturers routinely give us the short end of the stick. Now, I'm not talking about models or brands that don't come here, like the Mercedes-Benz A-Class or the entire Renault line. No, instead, I'm referring to cars that are sold right here in the Land of the Free in one bodystyle, while Europe enjoys the same vehicle with a wider variety of configurations.



A prime example of this is the Audi S4/S5 line. In America, we can have the supercharged twins in two-door coupe, four-door sedan, and cabriolet body styles. Meanwhile, our Euroland cousins get the same trio of bodystyles, as well as the A5/S5 Sportback, a characterful 'four-door coupe,' and a versatile hauler, the S4 Avant. At first glance, Audi of America lacks a vehicle that can compete with the latter's blend of performance, versatility and subdued looks. So, what's an American with around $60,000 and an obsession with quick, conservative haulers to do? Well, he can buy an SQ5. (Though it bears mentioning, our US-spec SQ5 is vastly different than what's available to our European friends.)



The SQ5 has a huge number of things going for it that make it a viable alternative to a proper hot wagon, and foremost among them are its looks - this is a sleeper. Audi has thankfully decided not to molest the clean looks of the standard Q5 when penning the sportier model.



The SQ5 gains a unique set of wheels: 20-inchers are standard, but our tester was fitted with a set of 21-inch rollers. Visually, neither make a huge departure from the standard Q5 though. Other standard features of Audi's S models are also found on the SQ5, including a set of quad exhausts, silver mirror caps and mildly different front grille and foglight surrounds. If anything, the Q5 TDI diesel I tested late last year looks sportier than today's tester.
Continue reading 2014 Audi SQ5
2014 Audi SQ5 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 24 Jul 2014 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Will Dodge limit 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat to 1,200 units?




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Will Dodge limit 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat to 1,200 units?



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2015 Dodge Challenge SRT Hellcat



With over 700 horsepower on tap and a price tag barely over $60k, Dodge appears on paper to have a winner on its hands with the new Challenger SRT Hellcat. But if you want to get your hands on one, you may have to act quicker than this most powerful of muscle cars covers the quarter-mile.



That's because, according to our compatriots over at Edmunds, Dodge may limit production - in the first year, at least - to just 1,200 units. That would amount to barely a quarter of the Challengers that Dodge moves each month, and would also mean only one Hellcat for every two Dodge dealers in the US - which could lead to some serious contention over which stores and which customers can get their hands on the ultimate Challenger.



Reached for comment, SRT spokesman Dan Reid told Autoblog that "there is no plan to limit production of the Challenger Hellcat," echoing the words of Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis who told Edmunds: "We don't know what the market demand is." Which doesn't mean that it won't restrict production, but doesn't mean that it will, either. It just hasn't decided yet - or announced any such decision, at any rate - over what will be the final allocation strategy for what could be a game-changing muscle car. That is, at least, until new versions of the Mustang and Camaro come along in pursuit of Dodge's bragging rights...
Will Dodge limit 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat to 1,200 units? originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 20 Jul 2014 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Audi R8 V10 Plus vs. Renault Clio Cup racecar will make you go hmmm...




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Audi R8 V10 Plus vs. Renault Clio Cup racecar will make you go hmmm...



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Evo Track Battle



Match up a hot hatch with a supercar of the same vintage, and we'll tell you who will win every time. It's easy, really, as the supercar invariably features a more advanced suspension, stickier tires and most importantly, more power. What if the hot hatch is race prepped, though?



In that particular case, all bets are off. A circuit-tuned suspension, a stripped-down cabin, an ultra-quick sequential transmission and the greatest equalizer of them all, slick tires, are all that's needed to turn the typical hot hatch into a proper dragon slayer.



Perhaps seeking to prove this, Evo has put together an interesting head-to-head between the Audi R8 V10 and a race-prepared Renault Clio Cup. Host Dickie Meaden takes us through each car, highlighting the bits and bobs on both sides which should make this a tight competition. And boy, is this one tight.



Scroll down for the full video from Evo, and let us know what you think of the result in Comments.
Continue reading Audi R8 V10 Plus vs. Renault Clio Cup racecar will make you go hmmm...
Audi R8 V10 Plus vs. Renault Clio Cup racecar will make you go hmmm... originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 18 Jul 2014 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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Monday, July 21, 2014

Chevy Corvette Stingray defeating rivals where it matters most




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Chevy Corvette Stingray defeating rivals where it matters most



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Chevrolet Corvette Stingray



Everything is coming up roses for the award-winning Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, as new data from the North American Dealers Association Used Car Guide, dissected by GM Authority, reveals that America's sports car is handily outselling two of its more expensive rivals.



Through June of 2014, the NADA notes that the Corvette has rung up 17,744 sales, handily besting the Porsche 911 and positively spanking the SRT Viper. Of course, you're sitting there thinking, "Corvette is outselling the much more expensive Porsche and Viper. Sky blue, water wet." But what's impressive here is just how thoroughly the Chevrolet is beating its two rivals, with this data serving as a testament to just how popular the seventh-generation sports car has become.



So far this year, Porsche has managed to move 5,169 911s, according to NADA. Considering that the base model starts at nearly $15,000 more than the most heavily optioned Stingray, and that Porsche owners have a vast, expensive options catalogue to select from, Stuttgart's sales are still plenty impressive in relation to the nearly 18,000 Corvettes sold.



The Viper, though, continues to simply flounder. With a starting price of $102,485 for a base model and $124,985 for the GTS, the Viper doesn't cover as vast a pricing range as the 911, but with only 354 units sold as of last month so far this year, it's far, far behind either the Porsche or the Corvette. Its more single-minded, uncompromising nature has undoubtedly served to limit its sales appeal to a larger audience.



And for those thinking that the Chevy is beating out its rivals simply because it's more affordable, GM Authority points out that it also easily bested the significantly cheaper (and older) Nissan 370Z in the first half of 2014. The Fairlady tallied up just 4,100 sales.



All in all, it's not a bad time to be a Corvette fan - or a Chevy dealer.
Chevy Corvette Stingray defeating rivals where it matters most originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 16 Jul 2014 18:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Hyundai Genesis Coupe to get bigger, lux up?




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Hyundai Genesis Coupe to get bigger, lux up?



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Hyundai HND-9



With the all-new, 2015 Hyundai Genesis Sedan hitting the road, it puts the current Genesis Coupe in a rather weird spot. The sporty model is starting to get a bit long in the tooth, and for 2015, it's dropped its four-cylinder engine in the US. Hyundai isn't letting the car whither on the vine, though. Behind closed doors, the Korean automaker is rumored to be working on a new coupe to transform the vehicle from something of a pony car in the current guise into a luxury grand tourer with avante garde styling.



The next-generation Genesis Coupe would reportedly borrow its design inspiration from the Hyundai HND-9 Sports Coupe Concept from the 2013 Seoul Motor Show, according to Australian site Go Auto. The key to the new model is growing it larger to be able to seat four adults and giving it more grown-up styling at the same time. Go Auto claims that the coupe could finally get a V8 engine option and possibly a V6 and turbocharged four-cylinder in at least some markets, too. It's slated for a possible 2016 unveiling.



Even during the HND-9's unveiling, Hyundai admitted that the concept projected of the design direction for future models. Its styling was certainly a big shift from the current Genesis Coupe with more hard creases, a wide, mesh grille and butterfly doors. The show car also packed a 3.3-liter turbocharged, direct-injected engine with 364 horsepower and an eight-speed automatic transmission driving the rear wheels.



Hyundai's Australian COO John Elsworth is really hoping to get the model Down Under, according to Go Auto. He believes that while luxury coupes might not be sales leaders, they grab mindshare and get enthusiasts excited about the brand. We like the way this guy thinks.
Hyundai Genesis Coupe to get bigger, lux up? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 16 Jul 2014 17:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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