Audi encourages you to take on the world, in an A4

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We really dug Volkswagen's Night Drive microsite that asked visitors, "When was the last time you just went for a drive?" So when we came across a press release from Audi (posted after the jump), announcing its own microsite in the same vein, we looked forward to exploring its premise: "Global Drives. Essentially, it gives users the opportunity to see some of the world's best driving roads, accompanied by some stellar photography, and create their own personal drives around the world - all in an effort to promote the A4.

When we finally made it through to the site, it was a profound disappointment. The user interface was wonky, the drives uninspiring and the features were less than intuitive. Everything the VW site isn't. On the other hand, if you're willing to brave the Flash and create your own route, you'll be entered into a contest that allows other visitors to rate your drive, with five finalists being selected to win a prize.

Check it out if you've got a spare five minutes, but consider your attention span warned.

[Source: Audi]

Continue reading Audi encourages you to take on the world, in an A4

 

[via] Autoblog

Corbin Raven 3-wheeler prototype hits the road

There is currently a growing list of three-wheeled vehicles set to be sold in America. One reason for this trend is that by losing out on the fourth wheel, the vehicle is officially classified as a motorcycle and is therefore exempt from much of the safety testing that is required for automobiles. Some three-wheelers are more like cars than others, and the Corbin Raven qualifies as rather car-like in its execution. Consider the windshield, which offers some relief from wind and weather. Note the steering wheel replacing the handlebars, and foot pedals as opposed to hand controls. The vehicle appears to be front-wheel drive as well, and offers three-wheel steering. Also of note are what appear to be hydraulic tubes connected to the rear hub, which would explain how the rear-wheel steering operates.

There are many questions that hopefully will be answered soon, such as if heating and air conditioning are to be offered. We don't see a windshield wiper on the concept, either. One wonders what the frontal body work might look like, as well. It should also be noted that this is not Mike Corbin's first three-wheeled vehicle, the first one being the electric Corbin Sparrow. The Sparrow is now sold as the NmG, which stands for "No more Gas". Corbin is known for its motorcycle accessories, specifically seats, luggage and windshields. With gas prices on the rise, would any of you be interested in a vehicle such as the Raven, if it indeed is able to reach 100 miles per gallon and sell for less than $12,000?

[Source: Straightline]

 

[via] Autoblog

Behold the Flueguar!

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The Manolo. He reads the Autoblog. Which is pretty cool, actually. The shoe/styleblogger extraordinaire tipped us off on the fabulous Flueguar. Right about now, you may be wondering, "What the %$#! is a Flueguar?"

Allow us to elaborate.

The Flueguar, seen above, is shoe designer John Fluevog's lead-sled '65 Jaguar Mk X. The car was purchased when it was just a year old by his late dad, and over time it had decomposed into a neglected hulk. For all intents and purposes, it was dead. Fluevog decided to not take the easy way out and junk the ride, however. Instead, he embarked on a restoration/modification project with the help of RX Autoworks. That collaboration resulted in the homage to English elegance and American-style hot-rodder badassedness you see here.

Follow the jump for more.

[Source: Fluevog Shoes via Manolo's Shoe Blog]

Continue reading Behold the Flueguar!

 

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[via] Autoblog

Goodwood Festival of Speed: The best take to bicycles

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The highlight of the Goodwood Festival of Speed is the 1.16-mile hillclimb. Nearly 200 cars in various classes, grouped by theme, race up the incline 9-turn incline and then parade down the hill in groups to line up for the next assault. The Festival is no stranger to Formula 1 cars or drivers (Nick Heidfeld holds the record for the hillclimb in a Mclaren MP4/13 at 41.16 seconds), but this years event will feature F1 drivers on bicycles. The bicycle challenge is called the Goodwood Organic Milk Race, and celebrates Britain's cycling event called the Milk Race, and the fact that the Goodwood Estate at Home Farm has introduced its own brand of organic milk. The uphill time trial will feature F1 racers paired with professional cyclists in 2-man teams. Former drivers will include Damon Hill and Allan McNish. Anthony Davidson, Jensen Button, Mark Webber are among the current pilots participating. And based on the state of their respective F1 teams, Goodwood could be the best chance for them to take home some silverware for a while.

[Source: Fourtitude]

 

[via] Autoblog

Greenwich Concours d'Elegance - Day 1

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Click image for a huge gallery from Day 1 of the Greenwich Concours

I'd never been to a Concours d'Elegance prior to Saturday. If the Greenwich Concours is the only one I'm ever able to go to for the remainder of my days, I will consider myself to be very fortunate. It's that kind of experience. Saturday's focus was American cars, and every era of motoring was represented. From gorgeous Brass Era machinery right up to the latest and greatest from the present day, walking through the concours was like stepping into a time warp where you popped into a different decade every few hundred feet.

Follow the jump for more info.

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[via] Autoblog

Spy Shots: Next-gen Chevy Lacetti

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Lehmann has captured a camoflaged Chevy running around the Nurburgring that we'll likely see in the States as the Suzuki Forenza. The Lacetti is sold around the world under varied monikers -- it's the Forenza here, in the UK it's the Chevy Lacetti, and China gets it as a Buick. They all started off as the smartly styled Daewoo Nubira. The styling doesn't appear to be a huge departure from the incumbent's Pininfarina lines. The "shoulder" line at the top of the doors is more defined and dips further, and the grille and headlights are new, of course. Looking through the camo, it appears that there's a more pronounced shape to the hood, but we notice a little weirdness where all the lines meet at the base of the A-pillar. Once the wraps come off, we're sure it'll all make sense, and the new Lacetti will carry handsome and inoffensive lines, just like the outgoing design.

[Source: World Car Fans]

 

[via] Autoblog

Michelin claims new tire comfortable, sporting, economical

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Michelin says there are two touring-tire-buying camps. One drives BMWs and Audis and goes shopping for performance touring tires. The other group drives Camrys and Accords and is somewhat surprised to learn they'll be shopping for more expensive performance tires. The tire company hopes to capture a big slice of the second group with its new Primacy MXV4

Michelin says this new tire not only provides the performance enthusiasts demand, but also gives casual drivers the comfort they want along with a 60,000 mile warranty.

To show off the MXV4, Michelin invited Autoblog to Barber Motorsports in Birmingham, Ala. to see for ourselves how it performed.

Continued after the jump.

Also, check out the gallery of photos from the event.

Continue reading Michelin claims new tire comfortable, sporting, economical

 

[via] Autoblog

Chrysler buyouts hitting snags

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When Ford and General Motors offered buyouts to their employees over the last two years, they each got more takers than they were looking for. Those companies chose to let most of the applicants have the buyouts and then hired temporary workers to fill the gap. This year, it was Chrysler's turn to shed another 13,000 employees and they're taking a different tack.

They offered two different deals based on the employees' age. Older employees near retirement age could get a $70,000 lump sum payment with lifetime health insurance. The second package is for younger employees, who can take a $100,000 lump sum with no health insurance. About 4,560 employees have been approved so far, mostly for the $70,000 package. The problem is the lower-seniority workers. Chrysler doesn't want to be in the position of hiring temporary workers and is taking the applicants on a case by case basis so they don't eliminate too many jobs.

Many of the younger workers who want to leave have already found new jobs elsewhere and are now stuck while they wait for Chrysler to decide if they can get their money. So far, Chrysler isn't giving a target date for when decisions will be made and that's leading to a lot of frustration. Chrysler may want to get this situation sorted quickly before it backfires on them.

[Source: Detroit News]

 

[via] Autoblog

You can relax: Spyker F1 is safe

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Spyker made 94 cars last year, as well as its first profit, and has nearly 200 pre-orders for its new SSUV. In spite of that, it is apparently in some sort of financial trouble. The Etihad Aldar Spyker F1 team, however, is safe. Managing Director Colin Kolles revealed that "Spyker formula one is financed through its own consortium of investors, partners and suppliers and we are not reliant on input from the road car division." It makes sense -- though privateers are almost gone, a team like Williams still makes it without carmaker support. But this leaves open the possibility that Spyker cars, which are ugly but superlative in their way, will go the way of bellbottoms while the F1 team, a spectacularly average affair up to now, will remain. All you fans of Christijan Albers and Adrian Sutil, rejoice.

[Source: Motor Authority]

 

[via] Autoblog

Autoblog Week in Photos: Week of May 27, 2007

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We're now in week two of Autoblog's redesign and contest for a fully-loaded $29,000 Dodge Nitro. (Enter every day through June 14th by clicking here.) This week in pictures was chock-full of spy shots, new models, and some interesting videos. Some of our best work includes our review of the Expedition EL, and don't forget the purchased spy photos of Jaguar's unique-looking Shifter, and some great shots of the next generation Cadillac CTS-V.

We put a lot of effort into the last week, but you only need three minutes to get an update by clicking on the above video. We've also added links below to some of the more significant galleries from the last seven days. This week, music comes from Country Blue with "Fast Cars and Cheap Cigars". Enjoy!





 

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[via] Autoblog

VIDEO: Bumblebee speaks in new Transformers TV spot

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We can't even try to hide our excitement over the upcoming Transformer movie, so we're just going to keep showing you every new clip we can find. So far from what we can tell, Transformers is shaping up to be something along the lines of Independence Day meets Terminator meets Johnny Five. This time, we get a glimpse of what good-guy Autobot Bumblebee sounds like in an all-new small school trailer. It isn't much but hey, we're excited. If you are too, maybe we'll see you at the local megaplex on July 4. Check out the video after the jump.

[Source: Virb]

Continue reading VIDEO: Bumblebee speaks in new Transformers TV spot

 

[via] Autoblog

AutoblogGreen for 06.04.07

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No shortage of green cars news since Friday, as the long list below attests to. Whether it's the new vehicle designs featured in vehicles like the Corbin Raven and the Palumbo M-80, or the global politics of biofuels and emissions standards, there seems to be very little down time in the industry today. Good.

 

[via] Autoblog

Ford increases Edge sales projections to 120k yearly

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When we drove the Edge in San Francisco last year, we came away rather impressed by Ford's newest entrant into the highly competitive CUV market. Apparently, we're not alone.

Consumer demand for the Edge has continued to increase since its launch, causing Ford to raise its sales forecast from 100,000 to 120,000 sales annually. Case-in-point: May saw the highest number of Edge sales so far, with 12,701 units sold. If those numbers remain constant, Ford should be able to exceed its revised sales goal, if only by a couple of hundred vehicles.

Knowing how important the Edge is to Ford's success, this is good news for the Blue Oval boys. Let's just hope it can be sustained.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

 

[via] Autoblog

Enter the (C&D) rumormill: Audi R8 diesel coming in '09

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When the topic of conversation at the Autoblog bunker shifts to the R8, it's simply a matter of time before one of us brings up the idea of a diesel version of Audi's new supercar. With the recent success of the TDI R10, Audi has both the technological prowess and the racing creds to make a serious play towards being the first automaker to offer an oilburner in an exotic. According to Car and Driver, it's not only plausible, it's undergoing development.

C & D breaks down the engine choices into " the good, the bad and the ugly," with the good going to the 4.2-liter TDI (326 HP and 561 lb.-ft. of torque), the bad being the 3-liter V6 (233 HP and 369 lb-ft. of twist) and the ugly as the twin-turbo V12 found in the R10 racecar. The latter is making close to 500 HP and a kidney-punishing 738 pound-feet of torque, which because of its high weight and intricacies would make it a poor choice.

Notable absent from the mag's lineup is the 5-liter V10 found in the Touareg that produces 308 HP and 550 lb-ft. of stump-destroying torque, but considering that the 4.2-liter TDI makes more power and more low-end grunt, we understand why it was left out of the mix.

If Car and Driver's sources are to be believed, expect the TDI R8 to come to market in 2009. That, along with a rumored Targa version supposedly due that same year, would cause the R8 line to swell beyond feasibility. Time will tell, but we like what we hear so far.

[Source: Car and Driver via the German Car Blog]

 

[via] Autoblog

Will the Impreza WRX get a different grille?

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Click the image above for a gallery.

Although our initial (negative) impression of the restyled Impreza remains, every time it's caught in the wild with a de-chromed, color-matched grille, we warm up to it a bit more. Sure, the headlights and profile still scream Corolla, but it's amazing what a nose job can do - just ask Ashley Simpson.

These most recent shots of the 2008 Impreza come courtesy of a NASIOC member who was attending an event hosted by ESX Motorsports, one of the top Subie tuners in the nation.

As we said before, we're still not entirely convinced that the redesign is in the best interest of the Impreza, especially those taillights, but if the driving dynamics remain, we'll just force ourselves to get over it.

[Source: NASIOC]

 

[via] Autoblog