Today hottest/favourite autonews about auto makers (Hyundai, GM, Dodge, Chevy, Mercedes-BenzB, Cadillac, BMW, Toyota), photos/videos of supercars and from auto shows
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Return of the Reader Ride

07/11/2007   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: RR of the Day

It's a rare week that goes by that we don't get at least one comment asking where the Reader Ride of the Day has gone. Well, we're pleased to announce that the RR hiatus has ended and in the next two weeks we'll be accumulating more reader-owned vehicles to showcase on a regular basis. We're still mulling over whether or not we want to keep the same format as before, featuring one vehicle per day and then allowing you to vote for your favorite at the end of the week, or making it a weekly feature, with a vote at the end of the month. Sound off in comments about what you'd prefer and we'll take your thoughts into consideration.

We've got a new Flickr pool set up, ingeniously titled "Autoblog Reader Rides," and we'd ask you to begin submitting your rides as soon as you've got three photos and a brief (or detailed) description of your vehicle. Directions are posted after the jump that outline how to submit, what we need and what our new Flickr address is. Bring your best and brightest, or your downtrodden and rusted -- we don't care -- we just want to see what you're rollin'.

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SEMA Sideshow: Hossfly V8 Barstools

11/05/2007   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: SEMA, Etc.

A company called Boss Hoss was offering one of the most unique rides in Vegas last week, and that's really saying a lot. Amidst the ocean of custom vehicles, this one seemed like just the perfect thing for covering the show, motoring over to one of the after-parties and bellying up to the bar. Compact and easily maneuverable, it also had a surfeit of power should one need to get somewhere in a hurry. We can say with some certainty that it had one of the best power-to-weight ratios of any vehicle in the convention center halls at SEMA, although the top speed is limited to 25 mph. Appearing to be a mounted display engine at first glance, a quick double-take brought the steering wheel and seat into focus. Sitting atop the small-block engine was... well, the driver's seat. Called the Hossfly, this novelty transportation device is available through California Boss Hoss as a kit or in turnkey form, and is essentially a V8 barstool. Little more than an engine on wheels with an elevated seat and steering wheel, it has a 5 gallon tank and is said to be capable of hauling up to 2,000 pounds. If like us you think this would be fun for a very short trip, know that the kits start at $8,000 - minus the engine. One other note: it does have a radiator to keep things cool below the seat, at least partially.

Gallery: Hossfly V8 Barstools

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Australian Jeep marketing stunt goes awry [w/video]

07/16/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Marketing/Advertising, Videos, Crossovers/CUVs, Jeep, Australia, Off-Road

Jeep Cherokee

Jeep fans in Australia are none too happy with the off-road brand following a contest that saw ten new Cherokees sold for just $10,000 Australian (about $9,400), roughly a quarter of the vehicle's price Down Under.

The contest, called the "World's Most Remote Dealership," gave Aussies the chance to snag an ultra-affordable Cherokee Longitude (analogous to the US-spec Latitude trim), provided they could get to a secret dealership in the remote wilderness of western New South Wales, near the border with the state of South Australia.

In order to get the exact location of the dealership, though, potential customers needed to download an app, which would release a phone number 9:00 AM AEST on Thursday (7:00 PM EDT, Wednesday night). The first ten people who could call in and prove they could afford to finance $10,000 and get to the remote dealership, were given the location of the remote dealership.

The only problem is that the phone number to call in was leaked out on an Internet forum the night before. That's left some contest participants crying foul, despite the fact that the lines themselves didn't open until 9:00 AM AEST, according to CarAdvice, who spoke to Jeep Australia's director of corporate affairs, Karla Leach.

Over 49,000 people downloaded the app and the call center responsible for the contest recorded 30,000 phone calls, with winners coming from all six Australian states. Aside from the leaked number, congestion on the phone lines was an issue, as well.

Many Australians voiced their frustration on the company's Facebook page.

"Absolute farce, number wouldn't even connect let alone ring," one commenter wrote. "Truly a waste of my time ?Jeep Australia. How could you go through with the promo knowing full well the number had been leaked? Makes me feel a sense of animosity towards the Jeep brand," wrote another. There was also talk from some commenters of a class-action lawsuit.

Jeep, though, seems to think that some of the sour grapes are simply due to those who didn't win.

"We are overwhelmed with the amazing participation in the Jeep 'The World's Most Remote Dealership' promotion. There were over 30,000 calls made this morning for the chance to buy just 10 vehicles. So we can understand that some people are disappointed that were not successful," Leach told CarAdvice.

What do you think? Is Jeep at fault for the number being leaked? Does it even matter, since the lines didn't open until a pre-determined time? Scroll down and have a look at the event's commercial, and then have your say in Comments.

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Acura NSX bodywork to be sheathed in zirconium e-coat, fewer paint layers

08/06/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Coupes, Tech, Videos, Supercars, Acura, Honda

Acura NSX prototype

Automakers make halo cars to drum up excitement and show off what they can do, but there's more to it than that. Advanced platforms allow a company's engineers to experiment with all sorts of technologies. And in the case of the upcoming new Acura NSX, that includes new paint processes.

Speaking with Autoline in this video interview, Honda's North American Senior VP Jon Minto talked about an innovative zirconium e-coat which it's applying to the new NSX. Unlike some experimental paints developed for Formula One, however, this coating is not designed to minimize drag or enhance cooling: it's designed to be more environmentally friendly.

It's one of a few measures which Honda is implementing on the NSX before expanding it to more accessible models, along with another process that uses fewer coats to reduce energy consumption by 40 percent. Watch the interview with Autoline host John McElroy right here.

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Lamborghini Accademia heading to Laguna Seca

08/02/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Sports/GTs, Supercars, Lamborghini

Lamborghini Accademia

If you want to learn how to get the most out of your Lambo, who better to teach you than Lamborghini itself. That's why the Bolognese automaker has launched the Lamborghini Accademia. Developed by the factory's Squadra Corse competition department, the Lamborghini Accademia is set up to show customers how to handle their supercars on a closed track and with the expert tutelage of factory instructors.

The trouble for American customers, though, is that the Accademia has (this year, at least) only held sessions at European tracks like Imola in Italy and Hockenheim in Germany. Not that the cost of a transatlantic flight would deter someone splurging six figures on a supercar, mind you, but we're glad to report now that the program is coming to North America for the first time.

Between September 14 and 17, the Lamborghini Accademia will be setting up shop at California's legendary Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. That's where instructors will run groups of 24 students through the finer points of slalom, acceleration, braking, drifting and section-by-section learning of the famous track, from the Andretti Hairpin to the famous Corkscrew... all from behind the wheel of the new Huracán LP 610-4. Not a bad place to experience the Raging Bull marque's latest creation, or a bad car in which to experience one of America's finest racing circuits.

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Ask Autoblog: How are Michigan roads made?

03/10/2008   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Ask Auto Specialists, Etc.

The process of constructing roadways in a Michigan is a long and arduous one that takes many millions of dollars, countless workers standing around and at least five seasons to finish. Roadways here on the home turf of the American auto industry are a unique breed. Even though Windsor, Ontario is just across the river from Detroit and has exactly the same climatic conditions, its roads are completely different from those in Michigan. That becomes immediately apparent as your roll off the Ambassador Bridge. We here at Autoblog strive to keep you, our loyal readers, informed about all things even vaguely related to cars. Therefore, we present our step-by-step guide to the creation of a Michigan road.

The process typically starts in the spring as soon as the salt has been rinsed away. Before the first crocuses pop out of the dirt, the crews start setting out signs and orange barrels along the edges of the most heavily traveled thoroughfares. There they typically sit for anywhere from one to four weeks before the crews return to start closing off lanes of traffic. After another interval of random length, the heavy equipment begins to arrive and the process of tearing apart the existing pavement begins. Just to make sure that no one accidentally misses out on the fun, the same scenario is usually repeated along several parallel paths that might serve as alternate routes between any two major points that people commute.

Learn about the rest of the process after the jump.

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Scooter-geek's dream ride: Yamaha Vino scooter, fully farkled

05/09/2008   [Original: Thought Lab via Autoblog]
Category: Aftermarket, Audio, Gadgets, Green, Tech, Toys, Motorcycles

Though it's usually the adventure touring crowd that excels at turning their motorcycles into rolling technology test-beds, we've recently run across a Yamaha Vino scooter that has been fully farkled. Featuring an on-board computer based around a VIA mini ITX form factor motherboard that's cleverly been hidden under the stock Vino's seat, this rolling geek-mobile packs in WiFi, Bluetooth, USB, GPS, FM radio, a TV tuner and a front-mounted camera in its diminutive frame. With the full-spec computer, pretty much anything should be possible right from the road using this scooter. While this is certainly a cool project, we have a few questions regarding its durability. How long will the acrylic plate that makes the structure for the computer hold up? Perhaps most importantly, how long will the scooter's battery be able to power all this technology? In the name of science, of course, we graciously offer our services for a road trip on the machine to find the answer to these all-important questions. Thanks for the tip, jared!

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Review: 2009 Smart ForTwo Cabriolet undone by tricky transmission

07/03/2009   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Garage, Economy, Hatchbacks, SMART

2009 Smart ForTwo Cabriolet - Click above for high-res image gallery

The Smart ForTwo isn't for shy people. Even though Smart USA has sold about 30,000 of these tiny two-seaters in the U.S., the little rollerskate attracts a lot of attention. On the road or in America's parking lots, the ForTwo is a conversation piece, and people don't hesitate to come up and talk to you. Some will tell you about the Smart they saw in Europe. Others will ask if it has the guts to make it onto the highway. Most will assume it gets great gas mileage (it doesn't). But one thing's for certain, during our week with the ForTwo, there was a 100-percent conversation rate wherever we went. Anthropophobes, be warned.

Follow the jump to see what it's like to spend wheel time with a Smart ForTwo Cabriolet.

Gallery: Review: 2009 Smart ForTwo

Photos Copyright (C)2009 Sebastian Blanco / Weblogs, Inc.

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Hyundai trumps BMW and Jaguar in J.D. Power 2009 APEAL study

07/16/2009   [Original: via Autoblog]
Category: Trends, Marketing/Advertising, BMW, Dodge, Ford, Hyundai, Nissan, Volkswagen

Click above for a gallery of the graphics from J.D. Power and Associates

Porsche grabs the top spot for the fifth year in a row in the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout (APEAL) Study. For this year's study, the team at JDPA gathered information from more than 80,900 purchasers and lessees of new 2009 model-year cars and questioned them on more than 90 vehicle attributes. Their studies examined "how gratifying a new vehicle is to own and drive," based on those evaluations.

While the APEAL nameplate ranking is significant (Porsche, Jaguar, and Cadillac round out the top-three), the segment winners offer more insight into what today's buyers are seeking. This year, it appears to be the newly launched models including the Volkswagen CC, Nissan Maxima, Dodge Challenger, and Ford Flex... each took top honors in their respective category. This year's biggest upset comes in the "Midsize Premium Car" segment as the all-new Hyundai Genesis (sedan) knocks the BMW 5 Series from the podium. Check out the gallery for the graphics, and read the full press release after the break.

Gallery: 2009 J.D. Power APEAL Results

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Sales Watch: Honda Accord sales creeping up on Toyota Camry?

07/16/2009   [Original: Wards Automotive via Autoblog]
Category: Car Buying, Trends, Sedans/Saloons, Honda, Toyota

While the Honda Accord dominated the 1990s, it has been virtually all Toyota Camry in the new century. Yet a look back at the first six months of 2009 shows that the newer, larger Accord is continuing to gain ground on its chief rival. Camry sales have so far remained top in its segment, with 150,242 sales in the first half of the year. The Accord isn't far behind, though, as it has amassed 131,143 sales through June; only 19,199 behind Camry.

Wards Auto reports that the Accord's gains have been consistent over the past three years, as the sales gap went from 94,004 in 2006 to 80,877 in 2007 and 63,828 in 2008. With sales deeply depressed so far in 2009, though, the numbers can be a bit deceiving. Still, the Camry has seen a 37.4% drop in sales, as compared to 36.3% for the Accord.

Toyota told Wards that one reason for the Accord's improved sales verses the Camry are increasing incentives on the full-size Honda. According to Edmunds, the Accord's April incentives increased four-fold verses the automaker's April, 2008 numbers. Even more interesting is the fact that cash on the hood has increased since April, hitting $2,183 in June. The Camry, on the other hand, had $1,538 on the hood last month; down over $400 compared to May.

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