Official: Forza 5 announces Laguna Seca and Spa, details on new physics engine [w/video]

Filed under: Videos, Audi, Toys/Games, Racing

During Gamescom in Cologne, Germany the Forza Motorsport team showed off another demo of Forza Motorsport 5 and announced two tracks for the game: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Spa-Francorchamps. Laguna Seca and its Corkscrew have been in the previous four versions, while Spa and Eau Rouge are making their first intro to marquee Xbox driving game.

Turn 10 director Dan Greenawalt said during an interview that the power of the coming Xbox One has permitted new tire modeling, and that Turn 10 worked with internationally eminent tire testing institute CalSpan to upgrade the game’s tire science. We won’t know how that translates through the wheel until the game and console launch in November, but we’re told that being able to “collect data on tire variables that have never been isolated” means greatly enhanced “tire physics, suspension, geometry, aerodynamics.”

That sounds like code for getting more feedback, but you’ll need to be a much better driver. You can check out the interview in the video below and a host of new screenshots from the game, featuring the Audi R18 e-tron quattro.

Continue reading Forza 5 announces Laguna Seca and Spa, details on new physics engine [w/video]

Forza 5 announces Laguna Seca and Spa, details on new physics engine [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 23 Aug 2013 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Cadillac’s Butler announces surprise departure

Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, Cadillac

Don Butler, former vice president of global strategic development for Cadillac

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that Cadillac’s vice president of global strategic development, Don Butler, has resigned. Butler has held the position since April, after a term as vice president of US marketing for General Motor’s luxury brand.

As the report explains, the timing here is pretty unfortunate for Cadillac. Butler is the third high-profile member of Cadillac’s brass to depart in recent months, following the firing of US sales boss Chase Hawkins and the pending departure of Susan Docherty. Cadillac spokesman David Caldwell told the Detroit paper, “Bob [Ferguson],” global boss for Cadillac, “and other leaders asked him to stay on. Don’s here in the office today – and told our team that his decision is purely on a personal level. After three years of putting everything into Cadillac, he is stepping away for some personal time, and to consider new avenues in his life.”

Butler says his decision is part of a decision to “recalibrate, reassess my priorities.” Whatever the reason, it’s an unpleasant surprise for Cadillac, which has been on a surge in 2013, with 30-percent jump in sales on the heels of the hot-selling ATS.

Cadillac’s Butler announces surprise departure originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 05 Aug 2013 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Nissan announces limited-edition 2014 GT-R in Midnight Opal

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Nissan

2014 Nissan GT-R Special Edition

Nissan has unveiled the 2014 GT-R Special Edition. Finished in Midnight Opal paint, the GT-R SE will be limited to just 100 units worldwide, with 50 earmarked for the US.

With sales slated to start this fall, the Special Edition of the 545-horsepower GT-R tacks $6,000 on to the $105,590 price of a GT-R Premium. The hand-applied Midnight Opal paint isn’t the only special item, though. Forged RAYS wheels are included in a ten-spoke design that’s never before made it to American shores, and there’s a dry carbon-fiber rear spoiler, similar in design and appearance to the one found on the GT-R Black and Track Editions. Finally, a gold-plated plaque has been fitted to single out the GT-R Special Edition from the very fast herd.

US sales of the GT-R SE are slated to begin in September. Scroll down for the official press blast.

Continue reading Nissan announces limited-edition 2014 GT-R in Midnight Opal

Nissan announces limited-edition 2014 GT-R in Midnight Opal originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Jul 2013 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Mazda announces live-streaming vehicle intro on Xbox

Filed under: Mazda, Toys/Games

XBox logo

In April, Mazda introduced a marketing campaign titled “Game Changers” to showcase how certain people have made significant impacts in their respective sports, and now it’s the Japanese automaker that is changing the game by creating an innovative way to launch a new product. Mazda is teaming up with Xbox to offer a first-of-its-kind live-streaming global debut of a new product. Mazda didn’t say which model will be debuted, but our guess is that it will be the next-generation Mazda3.

The actual reveal will take place at 9 pm on June 26 during a live concert from the band Metric in New York City, but there will be other live events preceding the concert in Melbourne, St. Petersburg, Istanbul and London. Mazda will be promoting the event on social media using the hashtag #GameChanger, and there is also a contest on Xbox where one winner will receive $2,500 to attend a music event of their choice. Scroll down for the full details of the contest and vehicle debut event.

Continue reading Mazda announces live-streaming vehicle intro on Xbox

Mazda announces live-streaming vehicle intro on Xbox originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 19 Jun 2013 11:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hyundai announces 5 million units sold in Europe

Filed under: Budget, Europe, Hyundai

Hyundai i30

The UK-market Hyundai i30 – Click above to enlarge

It’s official: five million Hyundai vehicles have been paired with paying customers in Europe since 1977. It began with a Hyundai Pony sent home with a UK buyer, and the latest milestone was achieved with the sale of an i30 (pictured). Although it works out to roughly 147,000 cars per year over those 34 years, the Korean firm didn’t hit the million-sales mark until 1996. The second million came in 2001, the third million in 2005, and it’s been another million every three years since.

More than half of those sales are accounted for by just five European countries, with Germany in the lead at 714,260 units. There’s a press release after the jump with all the info.

Continue reading Hyundai announces 5 million units sold in Europe

Hyundai announces 5 million units sold in Europe originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 28 May 2011 15:36:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Toyota announces its own social network

Filed under: Etc., Technology, Toyota

Toyota Friend social network

There isn’t a Trent Reznor score attached to this story, but Toyota must’ve finally received The Social Network courtesy of its Netflix queue. The automaker has announced that it’s creating a virtual online hangout of its own. Dubbed Toyota Friend, the service will connect Toyota owners with a shared love for the Japanese automaker.

Toyota has teamed up with cloud computing solutions company Salesforce.com. One of the tech firms products is called Salesforce Chatter, which is a private social network designed to allow a specific group to communicate. For the automaker’s purposes, Toyota Friend will allow vehicle owners to interact with dealers, the manufacturer and each other. In fact, Toyota Friend will even connect owners to their cars by tapping into the vehicles telematic systems.

Initially, Toyota Friend will roll out to Japanese customers. Specifically those that have purchased 2012 model year electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.

This partnership involves more than shared technology. Toyota is investing 442 million yen (approximately $5.4 million USD) into the company that oversees the application of the automaker’s global cloud computing development, which is called Toyota Media Services. Salesforce is supplying 223 million yen ($2.7 million USD). Additionally, Microsoft has agreed to provide 335 million yen ($4.1 million USD) as part of the recently announced strategic partnership between the computing giant and Toyota. See the full press release after the break.

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Toyota announces its own social network originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 24 May 2011 11:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Roush announces 2012 Stage 3 Mustang with 540 horsepower

Filed under: Aftermarket, Coupe, Performance, Ford

2012 Roush Stage 3 Mustang

2012 Roush Stage 3 Mustang – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Stage 3 has always been the flagship of Roush’s modified Ford Mustang stable, and the supercharged pony car is making a return for 2012 with a new RS3 moniker. With 540 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque on tap, the Stage 3 replaces the 5XR as Roush’s most powerful offering.

Along with the extra power, the RS3 comes with a new graphics package that is available in six stripe colors and six accent colors, making for 288 color combinations. You can use Roush’s new online configurator to see what colors like Luminescent Lime and Red-Blooded American look on the car and add optional items like the 20-inch Hyper Black wheels and rear three-quarter window louvers. The 2012 RS3 Mustang starts at $59,945 and comes standard with a 3-year/36,000 mile warranty. PR and full details after the jump.

Gallery: 2012 Roush Stage 3 Mustang

[Source: Roush]

Continue reading Roush announces 2012 Stage 3 Mustang with 540 horsepower

Roush announces 2012 Stage 3 Mustang with 540 horsepower originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 15 Apr 2011 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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SMS Supercars announces White, Yellow and Black Label Mustangs

Filed under: Aftermarket, Coupe, Performance, Ford

SMS White Label Mustang

SMS White Label Mustang – Click above for image gallery

Last Spring, Steve Saleen’s new company, SMS Supercars, unveiled its 2011 302 Mustang. At that time, two models were offered – the standard 302 with 440 horsepower and a supercharged 302SC with 535 horsepower. Each car came with a full body kit, interior upgrades, 20-inch wheels and tires, sport suspension and more.

For the 2012 model year, SMS Supercars is changing things up a bit, offering three models under color labels (think Johnnie Walker color labels for its scotch). Kicking things off is the White Label Mustang, which includes only basic upgrades but comes with a fairly affordable price tag of $35,540. Next is the Yellow Label, which adds the SMS supercharger system good for 545 horsepower and a set of 19-inch wheels and tires. Finally, the Black Label is the flagship model with an optional 575-horsepower supercharger system, fully upgraded suspension, complete body kit and custom leather appointments. Pricing for the Black Label is set at $48,000 for the naturally aspirated version and $58,000 for the supercharged model. More details are available in the official PR after the jump.

Gallery: SMS White Label Mustang

[Source: SMS Supercars]

Continue reading SMS Supercars announces White, Yellow and Black Label Mustangs

SMS Supercars announces White, Yellow and Black Label Mustangs originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 14 Apr 2011 19:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Caterham announces race-based Supersport

Filed under: Convertible, Performance, Lotus, MISC

Caterham Supersport

Caterham Supersport – Click above for high-res image gallery

It’s not everyday that we get excited about a car with 140 horsepower and 13-inch wheels. But then the Caterham Seven is no everyday car.

Lately, Caterham has been focusing outside the mold of the Seven with new models like the SP/300R and plans for further new products. But after a couple of years when the only new additions to the Seven range have been cosmetic specials like the Monaco and Lambretta editions, the British automaker has announced a new Supersport model.

Modestly powered but sprightly in weight, the Supersport roadster is based on the track model used in the eponymous spec racing series. Its 1.6-liter Ford four is tuned by Caterham to produce 140 horsepower – a far cry from the 500hp supercharged V8 in the Levante model – but with only 520 kg (1,146 pounds) to schlepp around, it’ll do 0-60 in a tidy 4.9 seconds, and it probably feels even faster thanks to the classic low seating position that’s practically on top of the rear wheels and open cockpit.

Short gearing, lightweight flywheel, limited-slip differential, race-spec springs and dampers, stiffer anti-roll bars, racing buckets with four-point harnesses and a dashboard with shift lights round out the package that’s available as a DIY kit for £19,995 or factory-built for £22,995 in the UK – equivalent to $33k and $37k in U.S. dollars (including British taxes), respectively. Follow the jump for the full press release and check it out in our gallery below.

Gallery: Caterham Supersport

[Source: Caterham]

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Caterham announces race-based Supersport originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Apr 2011 13:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Audi announces Pole2Pole expedition

Filed under: Etc., Audi

audi pole2pole expedition

The North Pole and the South Pole are separated by over 12,000 miles, and Swedish explorer Johan Ernst Nilson wants to traverse that distance within 12 months. To do so, he wants to go carbon-neutral, and Audi has partnered up with Nilson to help make sure he accomplishes his goal.

Called the Pole2Pole Expedition, Nilson plans to go from the North Pole to the South Pole in six stages. Nilson’s means of transportation will be skis, a dog-sled, sailboat, bicycle and kite-sled. Audi has provided a light-weight sled that will allow Nilson to transport his equipment as he nears the southern pole, and the automaker has also offered up its test facility so Nilson can ensure that it will withstand the harsh conditions to which it’ll be subjected. The test facility is capable of recreating freezing temperatures and vicious wind, two of many environmental hazards awaiting Nilson on his trip.

In addition to the carbon-fiber sled and cold-weather testing, Audi has supplied a Q5 that will serve as a support vehicle as Nilson treks across the Americas. The Q5 spews CO2 so the team will work to offset the difference and keep the expedition carbon neutral.

Check out the press release after the jump for more on Johan Ernst Nilson’s Pole2Pole expedition.

[Source: Audi]

Continue reading Audi announces Pole2Pole expedition

Audi announces Pole2Pole expedition originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 09 Apr 2011 16:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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