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Autoblog Sunday Drive: Glendora Mountain Road

06/22/2009   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Sunday Drive

Glendora Mountain Road - Click above for a high-res image gallery

It's been a while since we did a Sunday drive, but when we had a 2010 Roush 427R Mustang delivered to the Autoblog Garage (see the review here), we figured it would be a good idea to enjoy it on some of our favorite roads in Southern California. For this Sunday Drive, we head to the northeast portion of Los Angeles County, to the city of Glendora and Glendora Mountain Road. Winding through the Glendora Wilderness Park, this route is not only a fantastic driving road but offers incredible views of the Angeles National Forest as well. If that sounds like your ideal Sunday afternoon, follow along with us on our route after the jump.

Want to contribute your own Sunday Drive? Send a Google Maps-formatted route and, if you wish, a story to autoblogsundaydrive - at - gmail - dawt - com.

Gallery: Autoblog Sunday Drive: Glendora Mountain Road

Photos copyright (C)2009 Drew Phillips / Weblogs, Inc.

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New York Preview: 510-hp Range Rover Sport emphasizes the "S" in SUV

04/08/2009   [Original: Land Rover via Autoblog]
Category: New York Auto Show, SUVs, Land Rover

2010 Range Rover Sport - Click above for high-res image gallery

Like the new LR4 and classic Range Rover, the Range Rover Sport also gets plenty of upgrades for the 2010 model year. Like the regular RR, the Sport gets the same 5.0L direct-inject V8s from Jaguar in either naturally aspirated or supercharged guise plus a new six-speed automatic transmission. The NA puts out 375 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque while the force fed mill creates 510 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque, the latter good for 5.9-second sprints to 60 mph. The Sport's exterior has also been tweaked with a new two-bar grille centered in the revised front end and new rear tail-lamps nestled above a redesigned rear bumper. The interior has also been redone with higher quality materials and a new steering wheel that includes paddle shifters on the supercharged model. Throw in enough electronic nannies to make even the Queen look like a good driver and you've got an eminently more capable sports SUV than the one it replaces.

Gallery: 2010 Range Rover Sport

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eBay Find of the Day: Back to the Future DeLorean replica [w/VIDEO]

06/18/2009   [Original:

1981 DeLorean Time Machine - Click above for high-res image gallery

The way we see it, if you're going to build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style? Thankfully, Hollywood's Doc Brown agreed with us. In this case, style equals a 1981 DeLorean with 31,854 original miles and tons of Back to the Future props built in. We're not exactly experts on the subject or anything, but this particular DeLorean time machine replica looks pretty darn accurate to us.

The actual car bits are as you'd expect. Like the DeLorean used in the classic movie from 1985, this car is powered by a 2.8-liter V6 engine driving the rear wheels, albeit the power in this one flow through a three-speed automatic transmission. No surprises there. Of course, the car's coup de grâce is the "fully functional" flux capacitor and matching set of time circuits. You can even check out the car in action in a priceless Back to the Future video sendup after the jump, or check out the gallery below that's studded with b-list celebrity cameos.

Want to take the nearly complete Back to the Future Time Machine home with you? Now's your chance. Buy it Now price: $60,000. You've got just a few more hours before - ahem - time runs out.

Gallery: eBay FOTD: 1981 DeLorean Time Machine

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Rumormill: Volkswagen green lights Bulli for production

03/11/2011   [Original: Autocar via Autoblog]
Category: Minivans/MPVs, Volkswagen, Autoline on Autoblog, Rumormill

Volkswagen bulli

Volkswagen Bulli Concept - Click above for high-res image gallery

What did you think of Volkswagen's Bulli concept, which was just shown for the first time at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show? VW is apparently hoping you liked it, because rumor (via Autocar in the UK) has it that it's going into production.

The concept version is powered by a 113-horsepower electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack, which can reportedly be charged in less than an hour. We don't know if the electric powertrain will make it into the production vehicle (our guess would be no, but who knows?), and there is no word on pricing. Still, how cool would it be to once again see a modern Volkswagen Microbus prowling the streets of America? The mind reels at the possibility.

Gallery: Volkswagen Bulli Concept: Geneva 2011

Volkswagen Bulli Concept: Geneva 2011Volkswagen Bulli Concept: Geneva 2011Volkswagen Bulli Concept: Geneva 2011Volkswagen Bulli Concept: Geneva 2011Volkswagen Bulli Concept: Geneva 2011

Photos copyright (C)2011 Steven J. Ewing / Damon Lavrinc / AOL

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Rumormill: Nissan working on Juke-based BRZ/FR-S rival?

07/18/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, Coupes, China, Euro, Japan, Nissan, Scion, Subaru, Toyota, Rumormill, Shanghai Motor Show

With the BRZ/FR-S selling like mad, it's no surprise other carmakers are looking jealously at the sales numbers. If rumors are to be believed, Nissan is no exception.

Motor Trend says it's been told Nissan is working on its own sports coupe to compete with Toyota and Subaru. It's not the first time we've heard such plans, though. Back in 2008, Nissan was reportedly working on a 240SX successor but as the economy started running out of gas, so did that project.

Nissan did, however, show off the Compact Sport Concept at the 2011 Shanghai Motor Show pictured above. Looking very much Juke-like but a bit shorter, and, well, compact.

Coincidentally, rumors say the new plan is to use the Juke platform. Inside the company the project is being called the "Mini-Z," despite the fact it would almost certainly be front-wheel or all-wheel drive. That would help differentiate it from the BRZ/FR-S, but would certainly turn off those of us with sportier intentions.

Nissan's 190-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbo was underhood in the concept, and if used in the production car, would have fewer horses but a wider torque band than its competitors from Toyota and Subaru.

Motor Trend says the U.S. probably wouldn't be the initial target market, but instead China, Japan and Europe would be first with American buyers still in consideration. The mag's source says the Mini-Z should be close in size to Honda's CR-Z and should start production sometime late next year. Check out Nissan's press release on the Compact Sport Concept below.

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Report: Marchionne plans to kill off Lancia

11/02/2012   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Car Buying, Euro, Hirings/Firings, Plants/Manufacturing, Chrysler, Earnings/Financials, Lancia, FIAT

Lancia grille

Lancia is dead. Long live Lancia.

The European financial crisis has claimed another victim. This time it is not a racing program or production facility, but an entire car brand. Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has announced the shuttering of the storied Italian make as part of a "larger strategic correction" to right Fiat's current financial woes. That kind of dashes any plans for a Stratos comeback.

According to German site Automobilwoche, the move is part of a larger effort that would see Fiat spread product offerings over more vehicle segments, including the premium market. Still, Fiat will continue to present the Panda as the "pillar of the brand, and will be rebadged as a Jeep in the near future.

With news that Fiat could post a 700-million-euro loss for 2012, the killing-off of Lancia starts to come into context. According to Marchionne, the company may not break even again until 2015 or 2016. The hope of shuttering the Lancia brand is to further consolidate underpinnings and cut costs by platform sharing and rebadging of Fiat, Jeep, and Chrysler products, hopefully pulling the Italian automaker out of the red.

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Report: Chery hires Porsche's Saracoglu as new head of design studio in Shanghai

02/27/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Concept Cars, China, Hirings/Firings, Chery, Design/Style

Hakan Saracoglu, car designerThe eastward migration of automotive designers bearing European pedigrees continues with Chery Automobile reportedly hiring former Porsche stylist Hakan Saracoglu. The move comes almost a year after Chery hired James Hope from the General Motors Exterior Design Studio in Russelsheim, Germany to be its corporate director of design.

Saracoglu had been with Porsche since 1998, and he showed his abilities on the 997-series Porsche 911 GT2 and GT2 RS, previous-generation Boxster and Cayman and the 918 Spyder. He will join Hope's team with the aim of taking Chery beyond the car it is most known for, the QQ, to a company "standing for value, for design and gaining customer confidence. That's where we want to go." Saracoglu will lead a group of 30 designers to create a range of concepts in various segments.

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2014 Jeep Cherokee: Introduction

05/28/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: SUVs, Crossovers/CUVs, Jeep, Long-Term Garage

2014 Jeep Cherokee

When we look back at some of the more shocking product launches of recent years, the Jeep Cherokee is certainly high up on the list. And we aren't just talking about its off-the-wall, polarizing design.

For starters, it brought back the iconic Cherokee nameplate - something Jeep enthusiasts have coveted for ages. But beyond that, it brought a new evolution for the Jeep brand. After all, the Cherokee is car-based - using the same compact platform that underpins the Dodge Dart and Chrysler 200. It has a greater focus on technology and refinement than ever before, in an effort to appeal to a new crop of Jeep customers. And powering it all is a new (optional) V6 engine paired with an equally new nine-speed automatic transmission.

Can the Cherokee's car-based roots still allow for a vehicle that's superb when the going gets tough? Will its design still be a love/hate affair in one year's time, or will it start to blend in? Is the powertrain strong enough to not only support the needs of daily driving and road trips, but blaze a few trails as well? We're aiming to answer all these questions, and more, over the next 12 months. Welcome to the Autoblog long-term garage, Cherokee.

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Kia Sorento spotted high-altitude testing after 'Ring run

07/08/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Spy Photos, SUVs, Crossovers/CUVs, Kia

2016 Kia Sorento

Some models stick around the market longer than others. The Kia Sorento, for example, lasted for a good eight years in its first iteration, and the second-generation model has been around for five years now. Sure, it had a facelift a couple of years ago, but if it's going to make it in the highly competitive midsize crossover market, Kia is going to have to do better than that.

And that appears to be just what it has in store. Following the previous spy shots we brought you from the Nürburgring the better part of a year ago, the next-generation Sorento has now been spotted shlepping a trailer up a mountain.

Expected to debut as soon as the Paris Motor Show in October, the third-generation Kia Sorento appears to have grown longer in order to better accommodate third-row passengers. You can also expect the latest technologies on board and maybe, just maybe, a plug-in hybrid powertain option. Watch this space for more and scope out the spy shots in the gallery above for a closer look.

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Fewest vehicles ever found eligible for Most American survey

07/01/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Plants/Manufacturing, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, GM, Honda, Toyota, SRT

2014 Ford F-150 Tremor

Once again, the most American car on the market is from an American brand. The Ford F-150 retained its number one spot in Cars.com's annual survey of the most American vehicles, trumping the Toyota Camry, which remains at number two.

Ford taking the top spot is small consolation, though, as the Detroit Three aren't too well represented here. General Motors scored a win at number seven, with the Chevrolet Corvette, while Chrysler squeaked in at number ten, with the Dodge Viper. Outside of those three vehicles, Toyota and Honda dominate the top ten.

What's most remarkable, though, is that there were so few cars available for this year's list.

"Only ten cars were eligible for the American-Made Index this year. That's the fewest in the study's nine-year history. In 2013, 14 cars met the threshold, 20 in 2012 and 30 cars the year before that," said Patrick Olsen, Editor-In-Chief of Cars.com. "This consistent decline points to global nature of cars these days. Production in the US is up, but parts are coming from all over the world, making the notion of classifying cars as 'American' more difficult than ever."

In addition to the smaller batch of cars, the bottom four (Corvette, Honda Ridgeline, Honda Crosstour and Viper) are all first timers for the Most American study.

How did these results develop, though? Well, in addition to their final assembly location, Cars.com takes into account parts content, eliminating cars with a parts distribution below 75 percent American. All cars must be built in the US, while discontinued models need to have a US-built successor heading to market.

Take a look below for the full press release and list of winners from Cars.com.

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