Report: NHTSA expected to mandate black boxes in all cars next month

Filed under: Technology

electronic data recorderAre you ready for a black box to be installed in your car? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration apparently is. According to a new report from Wired, NHTSA is expected to rule next month that all new cars will need to carry just such a device.

Now, before you get all “Screw the Gubment!” in the comments, you should know that many modern cars already have black box systems installed – you might have one and not even know it. General Motors, for instance, has been installed the electronic data recorders since the 1990s, on almost all vehicles fitted with airbags.

The concern for most drivers, however, lies with what type of information is captured, and who has access to it. Also, different automakers use different Electronic Data Recorder devices. A black box standard needs to be developed, which would allow for the data retrieved from an EDR to be consistent regardless of the vehicle make it’s pulled from.

Some view this mandate as an invasion of motorists’ privacy. However, the data recovered from the black box systems can provide crucial insight into crash dynamics. Exactly who’s allowed to view that information varies by state, of course, and only 13 states currently have legislation in place regulating the release of EDR data.

What do you think, is this a good idea, or a bad one? Have your say in Comments.

NHTSA expected to mandate black boxes in all cars next month originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 24 May 2011 14:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Falcon Motorcycles Black Falcon is the epitome of the art [UPDATED w/video]

Filed under: Aftermarket, Classics, Motorcycle

Falcon Motorcycles Black Falcon

Falcon Motorcycles Black Falcon – Click above for high-res image gallery

One of these days, we’re going to make it down to the Quail Motorcycle Gathering. Aside from being a Mecca for the two-wheel set, the venue also serves as the backdrop for numerous debuts. This year, Falcon Motorcycles pulled the sheets back on its latest creation – the Black Falcon. The machine started life as a legendary Vincent Black Shadow that had been converted into a drag racer and lakebed heathen.

After a year of work by a six-man crew, the bike has transcended mere transportation. The blueprinted engine now produces a full 75 horsepower thanks to lightened, balanced internals, and a set of massive brakes sourced from the locomotive sector stand ready to bring the party down from its 140 mph top speed.

There isn’t a single piece of the Black Falcon that hasn’t been broken down and re-engineered to perform and look better than the factory ever intended. Falcon even constructed two tanks for the machine – one for road travel and smaller, one-gallon piece for racing duty. We’re completely smitten. Head over to Bike Exif for a full rundown on the creation, and be sure to check out this beautiful machine in our high-res image gallery.

*Update: Video can now be found after the break.

Continue reading Falcon Motorcycles Black Falcon is the epitome of the art [UPDATED w/video]

Falcon Motorcycles Black Falcon is the epitome of the art [UPDATED w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 16 May 2011 19:24:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2012 Porsche Cayman S Black Edition joins the dark side

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Porsche, Luxury

2012 Porsche Cayman S Black Edition

2012 Porsche Cayman S Black Edition – Click above for high-res image gallery

Porsche has just unveiled the newest addition to its stable: the 2012 Porsche Cayman S Black Edition. Along with that sinister paint scheme, the vehicle packs an extra 10 horsepower over the standard Cayman S and rolls on unique 19-inch Boxster Spyder wheels. That bumps the final pony figure up to 330 hp, which helps the vehicle scoot to 60 miles per hour in a scan 4.6 seconds.

Outside, all of the vehicle’s chrome accents have been painted black for the ultimate stealth look, and that theme carries on indoors. Black is the only available interior color, though brushed stainless steel and aluminum accents are littered throughout the cabin for a little flair. Even the gauges have been doused dark, and a Sport Design steering wheel is part of the package, too.

The Cayman S Black Edition toes the same line as the Boxster S and 911 Black Editions by offering the Porsche Convenience package as standard equipment. The 500 buyers lucky enough to sink their teeth into this model will be treated to adaptive bi-xenon headlights and rain-sensing wipers, among other kit, and navigation is standard, as well.

If you like what you see, Porsche will kindly ask for $67,500 for the pleasure of ownership. Hit the jump for the full press blast.

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2012 Porsche Cayman S Black Edition joins the dark side originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 06 May 2011 12:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rumormill: Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series Coupe to get 507-hp 6.2-liter V8

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Europe, Mercedes-Benz, Rumormill, Luxury

2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG

2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe – Click above for high-res image gallery

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG debuted at last week’s New York Auto Show sporting a 6.2-liter naturally-aspirated V8 packing 451 snorting ponies. On the heels of that debut comes a report that AMG’s upcoming C63 AMG Black Series will arrive packing just over 500 horsepower from a tweaked version of the same engine. With that much grunt on tap, the Black Series two-door should go from zero to sideways faster than you can say “new tires.”

When the C63 AMG Black Series Coupe debuts, expect it to differentiate itself from the rest of the C-Class world with a lower stance and significantly wider and more aggressive bodywork, and we wouldn’t be surprised if it weighed less, too. The coupe should follow the debut of the C63 AMG Black Series Sedan. Like the four-door, the Black Series Coupe will almost certainly funnel grunt through Mercedes-Benz’s AMG Speedshift seven-speed gearbox. Thanks for the tip, Jason!

Gallery: 2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe: New York 2011

Gallery: Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series: Spy Shots

Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series spy shotsMercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series spy shotsMercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series spy shotsMercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series spy shotsMercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series spy shots

Live photos copyright (C)2011 Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: BenzInsider]

Rumormill: Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series Coupe to get 507-hp 6.2-liter V8 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 25 Apr 2011 13:00:00 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]

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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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Volvo rolls out exclusive C30 Black Design for Italy… does it look better? [w/poll]

Filed under: Europe, Hatchback, Volvo, Design/Style

2011 Volvo C30 Black Design

2011 Volvo C30 Black Design – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Volvo C30 is a bit of a divisive design. Some love the radical P1800ES-inspired hatch, while others find it awkward. But maybe the brand’s latest special edition can help.

Called the C30 Black Design, it’s limited exclusively to the Italian market and to just 600 examples. What sets it apart is the application of a 3M carbon-look film to the roof, pillars, grille surround and wing mirrors. There’s also 17-inch matte black wheels (upgradable to 18-inchers) and a specially trimmed interior with individualized dedication plaque.

Italian buyers can choose between the 115-horsepower D2 or 150-hp D3 turbo-diesel engines, or a 145-hp 2.0-liter gasoline four, and specify theirs in white, gray or orange. The question is, does the faux-carbon trim make the C30 look better or worse? Cast your vote in our poll below after looking over the gallery.

View Poll

Gallery: 2011 Volvo C30 Black Design

[Source: OmniAuto.it (translated)]

Volvo rolls out exclusive C30 Black Design for Italy… does it look better? [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 07 Apr 2011 18:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series so hot we’d like to bag it up

Filed under: Spy Photos, Coupe, Performance, Mercedes-Benz

spy photo of mercedes-benz c63 amg coupe black series

Spy Shots: Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series – Click above for high-res image gallery

Spy photographers had previously captured images of what’s tipped to be the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series sedan. The four-door muscle car could be seen traipsing down snowy roads. At the time, there were rumors that the two-door C63 AMG coupe could also be lured over to the dark side. Now our spy shooters have returned with photographic proof to back up that claim.

The hallmark of a Black Series Mercedes is two-fold in its simplicity: more power and better dynamics through things like a wider track and lightweight materials. The “standard” C63 AMG Coupe will pump out 451-horsepower, so we’re hoping that the Sith Lord-edition will crest the 500-hp mark. Weight can be shed through the use of slimmer, grippier front seats and by ditching the back seat entirely. Who has time for back-seat passengers when you have the keys to a Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series anyway?

Gallery: Spy Shots: Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series

Spy Shots: Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black SeriesSpy Shots: Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black SeriesSpy Shots: Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black SeriesSpy Shots: Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black SeriesSpy Shots: Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series

[Source: CarPix]

Spy Shots: Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Coupe Black Series so hot we’d like to bag it up originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 07 Apr 2011 15:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Ford feels Japan quake effect with shortage of red, black paint

Filed under: Plants/Manufacturing, Ford

2010 Ford Taurus SHO

2010 Ford Taurus SHO – Click above for high-res image gallery

Due to a pigment shortage stemming from the March 11 earthquake in Japan, Ford has had to stop taking new orders for cars in Tuxedo Black, and is limiting orders of three shades of red. Officials from Ford say they’re working on another source for the pigment as you read this, and have enough cars in each color to satisfy demand until production resumes.

The paint shortage affects the F-150 and Super Duty lines of pickups, as well as the Explorer, the Expedition, Focus, Taurus and the Lincoln MKS and Navigator. Ford’s slowdown follows General Motors, who slowed production of pickups in Shreveport, Louisiana, as well as compact cars in Europe following parts shortages.

Honda, Toyota and Nissan have all experienced slowdowns as a result of the quake, though none have had to limit color choices.

Gallery: Review: 2010 Ford Taurus SHO

Photos copyright (C)2011 John Neff / AOL

[Source: Bloomberg]

Report: Ford feels Japan quake effect with shortage of red, black paint originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Mar 2011 16:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series caught working out in the cold

Filed under: Spy Photos, Sedan, Performance, Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series spy shots

Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series spy shots – Click above for high-res image gallery

Hold on to your hats, folks. As if the current 451-horsepower Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG weren’t hardcore enough, the folks in Stuttgart are working on an even hotter Black Series version of Merc’s BMW M3 killer.

The bulgier fender flares you see here won’t be the only visual upgrades – our spies tell us that a new front spoiler will be on deck, as well as a revised rear diffuser with some Formula One-inspired cues. This development car still uses the old front fascia not found on the new-for-2012 car, but we’ll probably see the updated headlamps and LED running lights as part of the new package.

The automaker’s 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 will still be the powerplant of choice, current intelligence reports suggest we can expect about 510 horsepower on tap – 29 more ponies than the already-potent C63 with the P31 Development Package. That grunt runs through Mercedes-Benz’s seven-speed AMG Speedshift transmission, and even with the added Black Series bits, we’d expect that a few pounds have been shaved off of the AMG’s curb weight.

Our spies even suggest that a C63 AMG Black Series Coupe is in the works, and it will bow shortly after the sedan’s official debut. Consider that a proper successor to the shockingly great CLK63 AMG Black Series that debuted in 2007.

Gallery: Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series: Spy Shots

Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series spy shotsMercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series spy shotsMercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series spy shotsMercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series spy shotsMercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series spy shots

[Source: CarPix]

Spy Shots: Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series caught working out in the cold originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 21 Mar 2011 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Geneva 2011: Lotus flashes the black and gold with new racing cars

Filed under: Motorsports, Geneva Motor Show, Lotus, Racing

2011 Lotus Race Cars at 2011 Geneva Motor Show

2011 Lotus Renault GP R31 and Evora GT4 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Picking a color scheme for a race car is usually a straightforward matter, but when Lotus opted to revive the black-and-gold combination of the classic John Player Special livery for its new Formula One car, things got a bit complicated. Not because it was once associated with a tobacco brand, but because of the still-unsettled dispute with the other Lotus team.

The Malaysian outfit at the back of the field originally planned on adopting the black and gold for this season, but opted to stick with its existing green and yellow livery shortly after Lotus Cars assumed part ownership of the newly rechristened Lotus Renault GP team.

The naming rights may still be in dispute, but the livery issue is settled. And Lotus isn’t just applying it to the grand prix racer you see here. (Though Renault, incidentally, displayed the team’s car from last year in the new livery on its stand, and Pirelli a selection of last year’s cars as well, Lotus appears to have brought the new 2011 challenger…or at least a mockup.) The British outfit also brought along an Evora GT4 decked out in the same scheme. And it looks positively dynamite on both cars. But don’t take our word for it: check it out for yourself in the high-resolution image gallery below and see for yourself.

Gallery: 2011 Lotus Race Cars: Geneva 2011

Photos copyright (C)2011 Drew Phillips / AOL

Geneva 2011: Lotus flashes the black and gold with new racing cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 03 Mar 2011 15:19:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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