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All the crazy stuff we saw at McCall's Motorworks Revival

Thu, Aug 18 2016

Every year, Gordon McCall puts on a lavish event packed with rare cars and planes (and the type of people that can afford rare cars and planes). And every year, more ridiculous stuff shows up. It's the good kind of machine overload. It's likely the only place in the world where you'll see a line of BMW 3.0s next to some Paganis next to a Porsche 911 by Singer Design next to a Ferrari salt racer next to a custom Olds Riviera next to the latest from Koenigsegg next to he coolest stuff Shelby ever made next to a hangar filled with McLarens, including a few P1 GTRs. And then all of that is surrounded by private jets, fighters, and planes that could have flown in directly from WWII. In a word, it's insane. Walk through the gallery above to get a taste for what was there this year for the event's 25th anniversary. Related Video: Featured Gallery 2016 McCall's Motorworks Revival View 29 Photos Image Credit: Copyright 2016 Drew Phillips / Autoblog Motorsports Misc. Auto Shows BMW Ferrari McLaren Porsche Koenigsegg

Mercedes-Benz C-Class named 2015 World Car of the Year

Thu, Apr 2 2015

It's been a good morning for Mercedes-Benz, with three of the company's wares taking home awards today at the New York Auto Show. The 2015 World Car of the Year awards have just been announced, and the charming new C-Class sedan has taken top honors, beating both the new Volkswagen Passat and Ford Mustang. But Car of the Year isn't the only award Mercedes received this morning. Here are the other World Car announcements, where M-B was honored two more times. World Performance Car of the Year: Mercedes-AMG GT World Luxury Car of the Year: Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe World Green Car of the Year: BMW i8 World Car Design of the Year: Citroen C4 Cactus Congratulations, all around, to this fantastic group of cars.

Recharge Wrap-up: Hyundai/Kia fined $755M for exaggerated MPG ratings; BMW dealers want more i8s

Sat, Jan 24 2015

The fine against Hyundai and Kia has grown to $755 million for overstating fuel economy ratings. $360 million of that fine comes from the EPA for violation of the Clean Air Act: $100 million is a civil penalty, $210 million is a forfeiture of greenhouse gas credits and another $50 million will pay for independent fuel economy audits on future models. The remaining $395 million is a settlement for customers who purchased the affected vehicles. A slew of 2011 to 2013 models were found to have fuel economy ratings overstated by one to six miles per gallon. Customers will be awarded funds to offset the unexpected fuel costs or to put toward a new Hyundai or Kia vehicle. Read more at Hybrid Cars. BMW dealers are awaiting details on new dealership standards - and BMW i8 models for their showroom floors. According to BMW National Dealer Forum Chairman Steve Late, BMW dealers are anxiously waiting to see what sort of updates they'll need to do to get in line with BMW's Future Retail 2016 program. As for the new EVs, Late says that the BMW i3 sales were slow to start, but that once people learned more about it, "wham, bam, it is taking off." The i8 shortage is a bigger problem: "I was allocated three for 2014, and I have a waiting list of 47 people. This year, maybe I will get eight or 10, and I still won't be able to fulfill them." Still, Late says he won't sell the cars at an upcharge. Read more at Automotive News. Opel is reportedly planning an electric version of its Karl hatchback. According to German automotive magazine Autobild, Opel will begin selling the diminutive Karl EV by the end of 2018. The electric car will offer a driving range of about 93 miles. The gasoline-powered version is expected to begin deliveries this June. Read more at Automotive News Europe. PSA Peugeot Citroen says it will keep its Hybrid Air program alive as it looks for a cost-sharing partner. Hybrid Air technology uses a compressed air hybrid system to improve fuel economy as we saw in the Peugeot 208 Hybrid Air concept. A French newspaper reported that Hybrid Air won't make it to commercialization, and that the program's team of engineers has been reduced. A PSA spokesperson confirms the change to the program, saying, "We are now waiting for another partner to help us begin the production stage." Read more at Automotive News Europe. Related Video:

A car writer's year in new vehicles [w/video]

Thu, Dec 18 2014

Christmas is only a week away. The New Year is just around the corner. As 2014 draws to a close, I'm not the only one taking stock of the year that's we're almost shut of. Depending on who you are or what you do, the end of the year can bring to mind tax bills, school semesters or scheduling dental appointments. For me, for the last eight or nine years, at least a small part of this transitory time is occupied with recalling the cars I've driven over the preceding 12 months. Since I started writing about and reviewing cars in 2006, I've done an uneven job of tracking every vehicle I've been in, each year. Last year I made a resolution to be better about it, and the result is a spreadsheet with model names, dates, notes and some basic facts and figures. Armed with this basic data and a yen for year-end stories, I figured it would be interesting to parse the figures and quantify my year in cars in a way I'd never done before. The results are, well, they're a little bizarre, honestly. And I think they'll affect how I approach this gig in 2015. {C} My tally for the year is 68 cars, as of this writing. Before the calendar flips to 2015 it'll be as high as 73. Let me give you a tiny bit of background about how automotive journalists typically get cars to test. There are basically two pools of vehicles I drive on a regular basis: media fleet vehicles and those available on "first drive" programs. The latter group is pretty self-explanatory. Journalists are gathered in one location (sometimes local, sometimes far-flung) with a new model(s), there's usually a day of driving, then we report back to you with our impressions. Media fleet vehicles are different. These are distributed to publications and individual journalists far and wide, and the test period goes from a few days to a week or more. Whereas first drives almost always result in a piece of review content, fleet loans only sometimes do. Other times they serve to give context about brands, segments, technology and the like, to editors and writers. So, adding up the loans I've had out of the press fleet and things I've driven at events, my tally for the year is 68 cars, as of this writing. Before the calendar flips to 2015, it'll be as high as 73. At one of the buff books like Car and Driver or Motor Trend, reviewers might rotate through five cars a week, or more. I know that number sounds high, but as best I can tell, it's pretty average for the full-time professionals in this business.

European jury picks finalists for 2015 Car of the Year

Tue, Dec 16 2014

There are countless Car of the Year awards handed out each year, and naturally, Europe has its own way of doing things. Every year, a panel of jurists representing seven publications in seven different languages and seven different countries get together to name their joint Car of the Year. The panel released a list of 32 candidates back in July, and it has now whittled that list down to seven nominees. The list consists of the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, the Citroen C4 Cactus (shown), the Ford Mondeo, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the Nissan Qashqai, the Renault Twingo and the Volkswagen Passat. Of those seven, only two are available in the US those being the Mondeo (sold Stateside as the Fusion) and the C-Class. The Passat is an entirely different model in North America, the Qashqai isn't offered here, Citroen and Renault don't even participate in our market and the BMW 2 Series is represented here only by the completely different coupe and convertible. Expect the one and only recipient of the 2015 Car of the Year award to be announced at the Geneva Motor Show this coming March, and while you're waiting, you can place your guesses for the eventual winner in Comments. Featured Gallery 2015 European Car of the Year: Nominees News Source: BMW Ford Mercedes-Benz Nissan Volkswagen Citroen Renault car of the year nissan qashqai citroen c4 cactus bmw 2 series active tourer

Top Gear names BMW i8 Car of the Year, Corvette, Ferrari, Mercedes also win big

Fri, Dec 5 2014

The lads at Top Gear have released their listing of the finest cars of the past year, handing the ultimate honor to BMW's revolutionary i8 plug-in-hybrid supercar. "The i8 is a milestone in the annals of automotive history and a glorious statement for an exciting and positive future. The i8 delivers - and then some," the British mag wrote. The i8, though, was far from the only hybridized car to take victories. James May and Richard Hammond both highlighted hybrids as their personal cars of the year, with May saluting the Ferrari LaFerrari and the Hamster, unsurprisingly, heaping praise on the Porsche 918 Spyder. Jeremy Clarkson, meanwhile, opted to shock many by selecting not only an American car as his best of 2014, but giving the honor to of all things, a Corvette. Clarkson wasn't the only person to honor the USA's iconic sports car, with the new, 650-horsepower Z06 variant being named TG's Muscle Car of the Year. Other big winners include Mercedes-Benz, which TG honored for S-Class Coupe (Luxury Car of the Year), the new AMG GT (Sports Car of the Year) and the not-for-US C-Class Estate (Family Car of the Year). The 458 Italia Speciale A snagged a second win for Ferrari. The best of the rest include the Citroen C4 Cactus, Renault Twingo, Volkswagen Golf R, Lamborghini Huracan and Audi TT. Take a look below for the celebratory press blast from BMW. The BMW i8 wins Top Gear Car of the Year The BMW i8 has been named as Top Gear magazine's global Car of the Year 2014. The plug-in hybrid performance vehicle beat off some stiff competition from a host of other premium and luxury manufacturers to win the overall award. The editorial team of Top Gear commended the BMW i8 for its breadth of abilities. Its 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine combined with an electric motor gives searing acceleration and driver enjoyment but all wrapped in a package that takes BMW's EfficientDynamics philosophy to the extreme courtesy of CO2 emissions less than 49g/km and a 135mpg combined cycle figure. Charlie Turner, Editor in Chief at Top Gear magazine, said: "The BMW is a milestone in the annals of automotive history and a glorious statement for an exciting and positive future. The i8 delivers and then some. It's the kind of car we should celebrate, a beautiful vision of the future, delivered now.

2015 BMW i8: Autoblog Technology of the Year finalist

Wed, 19 Nov 2014

Traditionally, nominations for the Autoblog Technology of the Year award are earned for specific developments - a new-think powertrain, a uniquely developed material, a groundbreaking smartphone app, or what have you. In the case of BMW's marvelous i8, it so bristles with novel applied sciences and fresh features that we broke with tradition and nominated the entire car.
We just couldn't help ourselves. Oh, we could've focused on the i8's carbon-fiber monocoque, or its well-resolved plug-in-hybrid powertrain that incorporates a tiny 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine and an electric motor, or its seamless through-the-road all-wheel drive. This is a car that will even have frickin' laser beams for headlights - at least it will for our friends in Europe (and it will in the US, should our legislators ever catch up).

2016 X6 M brings the power at LA show

Wed, 19 Nov 2014

BMW tore the cover off the second generation 2016 X6 M Wednesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
BMW tuned the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 to push out 567 horsepower, up from the last model's 555 hp. Torque also leaps to 553 pound feet, compared with the previous output of 500 lb-ft. The V8 is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, which swaps in for the old six-speed. This potent powertrain allows the crossover to hit 60 miles per hour in about four seconds.
The X6, which features slightly more dramatic styling and an angled rear roofline, debuted alongside the more conventionally styled 2016 BMW X5 M at the LA show.

2016 BMW X5 M is big and bold, not beautiful

Wed, 19 Nov 2014

Awesome as it is, the BMW X5 M has never really been an attractive machine. Big and bulgy are the themes here, and that's only more pronounced with the X5's most recent refresh. But no matter, the X5 M has never been about looks - for this machine, it's all about performance, and BMW's hi-po crossover absolutely delivers in this regard.
Under the hood is the familiar 4.4-liter, twin-turbo V8, though power has been boosted to 567 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque - healthy increases of 12 and 53, respectively, compared to the outgoing model. Hitting 60 miles per hour is said to take just four seconds, which is damn impressive considering this thing weighs well over 5,000 pounds.
But the X5 M has always been shockingly good to drive, with limits you'll never reach except in the most hardcore track scenarios (which we'd really like to see, by the way). It's not the prettiest thing ever, but that's okay. It's not exactly cheap, though, with prices starting at $99,650. Woof.

BMW 2 Series to wear 230i, M240i nameplates

Wed, 19 Nov 2014

BMW might not be done tweaking its naming scheme quite yet. Of course, at this point, the jumble of numbers on the back of the Bavarian models has no connection to what's under the hood. So there's not much reason to stop changing the monikers now.
As Autoblog reported a few months ago, BMW is slotting upgraded, turbocharged four- and six-cylinder engines called the B48 and B58, respectively, into the 3 and 4 Series. If this happens, the 328i/428i would become the 330i/430i, and the 335i/435i would turn into the 340i/440i.
Obviously, this change hasn't happened yet, but the same member of 2Addicts, a portion of the larger Bimmerpost community has now claimed that the 228i and M235i would get the same treatment. They would become the 230i and M240i, respectively, with the new engines.