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2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan: How Autoblog editors would spec this luxury SUV

05/30/2018   [Original: Autoblog]

Filed under: Ford,Driving,Long-Term Garage,Coupe,Performance,Comparison Autoblog editors configure the 2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan flagship luxury SUV the way they prefer. The combinations range from classy to outrageous.Continue reading 2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan: How Autoblog editors would spec this luxury SUV 2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan: How Autoblog editors would spec this luxury SUV originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 May 2018 15:15:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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Officially Official: Mercedes-Benz unveils S63 and S65 AMG at Shanghai show

04/20/2009   [Original: Mercedes-Benz, Autoblog Chinese via Autoblog]
Category: Sedans/Saloons, Mercedes Benz, AMG, Shanghai Motor Show

2010 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG - Click above for high-res gallery

After accidentally leaking a preview on its home-market configuration website last week, Mercedes-Benz has officially unveiled its revised flagship luxo-muscle sedans, the S63 AMG and S65 AMG, at the 2009 Shanghai Motor Show today. Both are treated to the same updates given to the entire S-Class range, but these two big beasts pack one seriously mean punch.

Engines carry over largely unchanged from the outgoing models, which is good news because they're some of the most powerful units on the market. The S63 packs AMG's 6.2-liter V8 offering up 525 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque, while the top-of-the-line, have-to-have-the-best S65 AMG (above) features an enormous 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 pumping out 612 horsepower and a gravity-altering 738 lb-ft of torque. That's a lot of power, but at nearly $200k, the $130k S63 seems like a relative bargain, especially when you consider that the bi-turbo V12 model only gains 0.2 seconds off the V8's 0-60 time.

Although the engines are ostensibly the same, they've been tweaked to improve fuel consumption and carbon emissions by about 3%. They're also both mated to a new Torque Vectoring system that brakes the inside rear wheel in a corner to assist handling, plus a crosswind compensation system. Visually the AMG sedans get a new chromed-up angular grille, LED daytime running lights in the air intakes, full LED tail-lights incorporating 52 LEDs apiece, and a redesigned rear bumper with an integrated diffuser, plus all the requisite special badging and wheels. The interior has also been upgraded with bells and whistles, all of which you can read in the press release after the jump and view in the galleries below.

Gallery: 2009 Shanghai Auto Show: M-Benz S65 AMG

Gallery: 2010 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG

Gallery: 2010 Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG

Continue reading Officially Official: Mercedes-Benz unveils S63 and S65 AMG at Shanghai show

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Study: Hyundai tops Toyota in annual CarMD Vehicle Health Index

12/07/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Car Buying, Etc., HUMMER, Toyota

Hyundai takes the number one spot from Toyota in the latest CarMD Vehicle Health Index.

CarMD has released its third annual Vehicle Health Index, which for the 2013 tracked the frequency and cost of repairs for "check engine" problems of 119-million vehicles built between the 2003 and 2013 model years. For the first two years of the index, Toyota ranked at the top of the list, but this year's results see Hyundai moved to number one, pushing Toyota down a spot.

The Korean automaker's rise to the top has been "fueled by its low repair frequency," according to CarMD. Toyota is second to Hyundai in lowest repair frequency, but Toyotas also have the highest average cost of repair. (Interestingly, General Motors vehicles have the lowest average.) Both Toyota's and Hyundai's manufacturer "health" ratings suffered this year, but Toyota took a bigger hit, which also is what helped Hyundai achieve the top ranking.

While Hyundai is the top manufacturer in the index, the 2012 Toyota Camry is the top vehicle. The best-ranking Hyundai was the 2010 Elantra (behind three Nissan models and four Toyotas), which took the number eight spot. Hyundai has six other vehicles in the top 100.

The top-ten manufacturers with the best overall vehicle "health" rankings are Hyundai (No. 1), Toyota (No. 2), GM (No. 3), Chrysler (No. 4), Honda (No. 5), Ford (No. 6), Nissan (No. 7), Kia (No. 8), Volkswagen (No. 9) and Mitsubishi (No. 10).

Check out CarMD's study (Warning: PDF file) to check out all sorts of data related to car health - there's a ton of information to peruse.

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The different sides of diesel: Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins vs. Smart Fortwo CDI

04/30/2007   [Original: via Autoblog]
Category: Economy, Trucks/Pickups, Euro, Dodge, SMART

As was recently discussed over on Autobloggreen,, our oft cited source for all the news that's fit to haul, has come up with an interesting comparison between diesels. The test pits one of the largest diesels this side of a semi, currently available for public consumption (and consume it does -- fuel that is), the Dodge Ram 2500 versus one of the smallest, the Smart FourTwo Brabus edition, a real-life Bambi meets Godzilla comparison.

One point that we found to be rather interesting was that the Cummins 6.7-liter diesel engine actually scales rather well when compared to the 0.8-liter engine of the Smart. In other words, if the Smart's engine were the size of the Cummins engine, it would get worse mileage. Our advice, which we could have provided even without this particular comparison test, is to buy the truck if you need to haul lots of stuff, and to buy the Smart (when it comes to the U.S.) if you want to eke the most miles out of each gallon of diesel fuel and don't need to haul much.

If you want to relive memories of pre-movie-cartoon Bambi meets Godzilla fun, click here! Thanks Tokyo!

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Billboard War Redux: Audi shoots back, BMW turns away

04/18/2009   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Marketing/Advertising, Audi, BMW, Humor

Audi vs. BMW billboards - Click above for high-res image gallery

The billboard war taking place between Audi and BMW in Southern California has taken yet another turn today. After Audi called out its cross-country rival by saying "Your Move, BMW" on a billboard overlooking Santa Monica Blvd. advertising the new A4, BMW responded by renting its own billboard across the street that simply showed the M3 and "Checkmate." Audi then had some fun collecting photoshopped billboard responses from fans on its Facebook page before revealing its own retort. The new billboard, which reportedly went up today, shows the R8 supercar next to this proclamation: "Time to check your luxury badge. It may have expired."


While the R8 is a great weapon with which to defend yourself against an M3 attack, the battle cry beside it makes no sense to us whatsoever. If this were a Yo Mama competition, BMW would be chest bumping Wilmer Valderrama right now and Audi would be crawling back into its hoopty for the long ride home.

BMW did actually have a response for Audi. At some point the brand removed its M3 advertisement from across the street and didn't replace it. Audi is now battling with an ad for Barney's CO-OP... and losing.

Gallery: Audi vs. BMW Billboard War

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NHTSA and Ford investigating steering issues in Crown Vic, Grand Marquis and Marauder

07/12/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Sedans/Saloons, Safety, Ford, Mercury

Mercury Marauder

There may be more steering woes for the Ford Crown Victoria. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a preliminary evaluation into the Crown Vic and Mercury Grand Marquis from the 2004 to 2007 model years and the Mercury Marauder for the 2004 and 2005 model years because the steering shaft can jam. The issue could potentially affect an estimated 500,000 vehicles.

According to the regulator, there is a possibility that the driver's side heat shield for the exhaust manifold can rust, dislodge, and then wedge into the steering shaft. If this occurs, it leads to a situation where the driver can no longer control the car.

NHTSA has received five complaints of this happening, including one alleged case with an injury. In that situation, the car was driving onto the highway, lost control and rolled over. One occupant was hurt in the accident.

This isn't the first case of potential steering issues with the Crown Vic. Ford recalled 370,000 of them in 2013 in fix some components because of possible corrosion. NHTSA also investigated some police models for issues with the steering shaft.

A Ford spokesperson told Autoblog via email: "We are cooperating with NHTSA on this investigation, as we always do." It has no further information about the evaluation at this time. Scroll down to read the entire NHTSA report.

Continue reading NHTSA and Ford investigating steering issues in Crown Vic, Grand Marquis and Marauder

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Honda Civic Tourer sports forbidden facelift

07/29/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Spy Photos, Wagons/Estates, Euro, Honda

Honda Civic Tourer: Spy Shots

Following up on a sextet of spy photos from June, we now have another batch of images of the facelifted Euro-spec Honda Civic undergoing testing in the United Kingdom. There's a bit more sheetmetal to this particular prototype, though, as our spy photographers have caught the upcoming Tourer model (pronounced "wagon" among us Yanks).

Like the hatchback we showed you last month, the new Tourer benefits from the same set of styling tweaks inspired by the Civic Type R Concept from March's Geneva Motor Show. That means it boasts a revised front fascia, albeit with a more heavily camouflaged version of the grille shown in last month's photos. It's a similar story below, where the intakes on this long-roof model wear more disguise, yet look to be virtually identical to what we've already seen.

While the headlights still look to be a straight lift from last month's car, the more upright nature of the Tourer's tailgate demands a more subdued character. Gone are the thin, curvy LED taillights, and in their place sit significantly more substantial units (with conventional bulbs), although they boast none of the design chutzpah shown on our last round of spy photos. Our spies claim LED taillights will be available, noting that they simply aren't fitted to this particular prototype, a distinction that suggests this is a lower-end model.

Look for the new European Civic family to make their grand entrance in early October, at the 2014 Paris Motor Show.

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Ford still sells hideous fake vents for the Mustang

05/30/2018   [Original: Autoblog]

Filed under: Aftermarket,Ford,Convertible,Coupe,Performance We both can and can't believe Ford would support this.Continue reading Ford still sells hideous fake vents for the Mustang Ford still sells hideous fake vents for the Mustang originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 May 2018 17:50:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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Ecosse Spirit ES1 and Motoczysz C1 push the boundaries of motorcycle design

07/22/2007   [Original: Ecosse Spirit, Motoczysz and Motorcycle News via Autoblog]
Category: Motorsports, Etc., Videos

Many of the same principles for making cars go fast work the same when applied to motorcycles. However, there are fundamental differences which need to be taken into account when the highest performance is required. Take chassis design, for instance. With an automotive chassis, race cars generally want to be as stiff as possible. This is not always the case when there are only two contact patches on the ground. This is because lateral flex allows some "give" when the bike is leaned over. Some also believe that some extra steering input is given by the rear tire when the chassis flexes, allowing the motorcycle to handle better when leaned over. Another area where motorcycles differ from cars is aerodynamics. Because of the basic riderike relationship, width is crucial when it comes to motorcycle racing aerodynamics. The height is almost preset by the rider; you can only crouch so much! But, the width of the bike allows designers the ability to shorten the bike by shortening the distance between the riders knees. Motoczysz has taken this idea and run with it. They believe that by halving the engine width by arranging the four cylinders in a staggered "V" pattern that they can make up the lower output they will achieve by adding a coupling set of gears on the crankshaft with the increase in aerodynamic efficiency that the design will allow. They are also building in adjustable lateral suspension movement in their innovative front fork arrangement.

Follow us past the break for more on the design of the Motocsysz and the Ecosse Spirit ES1 plus a video of the Ecosse Spirit ES1 just before its official unveiling!

Continue reading Ecosse Spirit ES1 and Motoczysz C1 push the boundaries of motorcycle design

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BRABUS tunes new Mercedes-Benz SL to reliably insane levels

05/08/2008   [Original: BRABUS via Autoblog]
Category: Aftermarket, Tuner Tuesdays, Convertibles, Euro, Mercedes Benz, Brabus

Click above for a high-res gallery of the BRABUS SL

"BRABUS" might as well be German for, "Hey, why not?" This would seem to be the question its engineers ask themselves before they stuff ludicrous amounts of power under the hoods of Mercedes-Benz cars and trucks. This behavior is well-documented, and it continues unabated with the arrival of MB's new SL. Full wheel/tire, interior, and styling packages are a given. Backing up those enhanced looks is an assortment of tuning packages capable of providing more power than even Montgomery Scott could ever plead for.

The SV12 S Biturbo engine swap appears to have been created by someone with a severe, pathological hatred for tires. This is the same engine used in the Brabus Bullit, and it dishes out a predictably ridiculous 720 horsepower and 973 lb-ft of torque. The latter number is electronically restrained to a mere 811 lb-ft., and a top speed of well over 200 mph comes with the territory. Not interested in the full swap? No worries, BRABUS has your back. SL 65 AMG drivers can opt for the T 65 S package, which bumps the stock V12 Biturbo to 705 hp/811 lb-ft. There's a solution for the all-motor SL 63 AMG as well that packs on an additional 40 horses over stock. This pattern continues right on down the line -- even the "lowly" V6-powered cars can be tuned to deliver 327 hp/ 310 lb-ft. Bonkers. Er, BRABUS, rather.

Gallery: 2009 BRABUS SL

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