Report: More EU states may block Daimler cars as refrigerant battle heats up

Filed under: Government/Legal, Safety

The last time we checked in on the battle of refrigerants, France had enacted a registration ban on some Mercedes-Benz vehicles because their air-conditioning systems were loaded with R134a, which was found to be harmful to the environment by EU tests. Now, other EU states are considering banning the substance, according to Automotive News, as they push for a new refrigerant, R1234yf, to be used in new vehicles across the board.

EU testing has shown that the new chemical refrigerant, R1234yf, is safe to use in automobiles and less harmful to the environment than R134a. But after testing it independently, Daimler claimed that R1234yf could be the primary source of a vehicle fire in certain crash scenarios, if the pressurized refrigerant line broke and leaked onto the hot exhaust system. Germany, going against the EU ban, still allows vehicles with R134a to be sold within its borders.

In a meeting in Brussels with the EU’s Technical Committee on Motor Vehicles on Wednesday, representatives from the 28 member states discussed the issue and agreed that all vehicles sold within the EU must conform to the law. They stated vehicles that have already been sold with R134a must be withdrawn, just as France did by not allowing the registration of Mercedes-Benz A-class, B-class and SL cars built after June.

More talks between France and Germany will be organized to find a solution to the problem. But in the meantime, according to Automotive News, Daimler said that the vehicle ban in France alone could detract two percent from its global sales. Read the official EU press releases from the meeting in Brussels after the jump.

Continue reading More EU states may block Daimler cars as refrigerant battle heats up

More EU states may block Daimler cars as refrigerant battle heats up originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 20 Jul 2013 09:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ken Block battles Tanner Foust in DiRT 3 Gymkhana battle

Filed under: Marketing/Advertising, Videos, Ford, Toys/Games

Dirt 3 Gymkhana multiplayer Ken Block Tanner Foust

DiRT 3 pits Foust and Block in a Gymkhana showdown – Click above to watch video after the jump

The launch of DiRT 3 is nearly here. You can pick up a copy of the Gymkhana-friendly game on May 24th, but since we’re not quite there yet, Codemasters is more than happy to show off this new video, tantalizing us until the day we can finally plunk down cash for our very own copy.

Like we’ve seen in the past, this latest clip features a virtual Ken Block sliding his perfectly pixelated Ford Fiesta through a make-shift course. This time around, however, Block is joined by Tanner Foust and his equally impressive Rallycross-ready Fiesta.

The last time these two met in real life, Foust wound up beating Block at his own game. Now he’s in Block’s game, and we can’t wait to take each car out for a few (thousand) laps of virtual tire destruction. Click past the jump to watch the clip.

Continue reading Ken Block battles Tanner Foust in DiRT 3 Gymkhana battle

Ken Block battles Tanner Foust in DiRT 3 Gymkhana battle originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 12 May 2011 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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DiRT 3 available for pre-order, includes Traxxas Ken Block R/C Fiesta [w/video]

Filed under: Etc., Toys/Games

DiRT3 Traxxas Bundle

DiRT 3 and Traxxas team up to wreck our wallet – Click above to watch video after the jump

The third installment in the DiRT video game franchise, DiRT 3, hits stores on May 24, 2011. It will cost you $59.99 for a copy, which is steep, but completely in-line with the pricing for today’s video games. If you have a few extra coins hiding under the couch cushions, however, then GameStop has a tantalizing product bundle for you. Spend $299 to reserve a copy of DiRT 3, and you will also get the Traxxas Ken Block R/C Ford Fiesta.

If you were already considering buying the radio-controlled gymkhana machine, then this is a great deal, because it essentially throws the game in for free. If, like us, you were thinking of buying the Codemasters game, and you currently have R/C cars on the brain, this deal means you have to explain to your wife why the American Express bill shows a GameStop purchase for nearly five times the previously discussed amount.

Click past the jump to see why sleeping on the couch will be worth it come May 24. Thanks to all for the tips!

[Source: GameStop via MotorworldHype, YouTube]

Continue reading DiRT 3 available for pre-order, includes Traxxas Ken Block R/C Fiesta [w/video]

DiRT 3 available for pre-order, includes Traxxas Ken Block R/C Fiesta [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 28 Apr 2011 14:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ken Block murders out his 2011 Ford SVT Raptor

Ken Block's 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

Ken Block’s 2011 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor – Click above for high-res image gallery

Ford decided to show its appreciation for Ken Block’s work by gifting the Gymkhana god with a brand-new 2011 F-150 SVT Raptor. Once he took delivery of his gratis off-road rocket, Block wasted no time giving the truck a more acute sense of evil, courtesy of blacked-out wheels and a matte-black wrap.

Though its signature decals are gone, Block’s 6.2-liter V8-powered pickup is still instantly recognizable as a Raptor, thanks to the louvered hood, bulging fenders, and Raptor-only grille and headlights. Block’s new truck should be the perfect addition to his high-horsepower stable, with enough grunt to tow any of his non-street legal toys to his favorite playground, or as a brutal plaything in its own right.

Gallery: Ken Block’s murdered-out 2011 Ford Raptor

Ken Block's murdered-out 2011 Ford RaptorKen Block's murdered-out 2011 Ford Raptor

[Source: Facebook]

Ken Block murders out his 2011 Ford SVT Raptor originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 24 Apr 2011 20:17:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: New footage of Ken Block’s crash in Portugal

Filed under: Motorsports, Videos, Ford

ken block wreck ford focus rally car

Ken Block wreck at Rally of Portugal – Click above to watch the video after the jump

During a shakedown run before the 2011 Rally of Portugal, Ken Block wrecked his Ford Fiesta WRC car in a big way. The high-sprung rally car clipped a berm at the start of a turn, and the resulting series of flips were both violent and scary. Block and his teammate Alex Gelsomino checked out of the hospital with a clean bill of health, but the same prognosis can’t be said of the car.

That means we don’t feel guilty for showing you more footage of the wreck, which comes courtesy of the Monster World Rally team. The post-jump clip is over two minutes long, with the oddball goofiness we’ve come to expect from Block and Co. We’re thinking the theme here is that of a near-death experience – we can’t fathom another reason why Block would be floating around a pool, in full racing gear, with an angelic glow all around him.

Hit the jump to watch the horrific crash, which makes its entrance at 2:13, followed by a slow-motion replay.

[Source: YouTube]

Continue reading Video: New footage of Ken Block’s crash in Portugal

Video: New footage of Ken Block’s crash in Portugal originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 19 Apr 2011 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Ken Block and Zoo bikini model strap in for makeshift Gymkhana ride

Filed under: Motorsports, Marketing/Advertising, Videos, Ford, Racing

Zoo bikini model and Ken Block Gymkhana

Zoo bikini model and Ken Block on Gymkhana course – Click above to watch the video after the break

It’s a tried-and-true stunt: Take one professional driver (at least as often as not, it seems, Ken Block), put them in a fast car. Add one beautiful woman, a bunch of cameras, and stir. The result? Generally, lots of screams and nearly as many clicks on Youtube. We suspect the internet clicks will indeed come, but this particular video is suspiciously absent of screaming girls.

Judging by her lack of aural outbursts, we’d say that this particular bikini model, who was apparently plucked from the pages of Zoo Magazine, actually enjoyed her time in the passenger seat with Mr. Ken Block, he of Gymkhana fame. She even gives him a nice pat on the back upon exiting the Ford Fiesta Focus WRC racer.

This video was shot at a Gymkhana circuit at Battersea Power Station as a promotional event for the launch of DiRT 3, and both the video and GPS data overlaid over the screen were captured and recorded by a Racelogic Video VBOX. See it all go down for yourself in the video after the break.

[Source: Youtube]

Continue reading Video: Ken Block and Zoo bikini model strap in for makeshift Gymkhana ride

Video: Ken Block and Zoo bikini model strap in for makeshift Gymkhana ride originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 14 Apr 2011 15:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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1965 Ford GT40 Roadster crossing the block at Villa d’Este

Filed under: Classics, Auctions, Europe, Ford, Racing

1965 Ford GT Roadster

1965 Ford GT Roadster – Click above for high-res image gallery

A one-of-five 1965 Ford GT40 Roadster will be auctioned off at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Cernobbio, Italy on May 21. The car was built in 1965 as a prototype by Ford’s Advanced Vehicle Operations center in England, and is one of four surviving examples.

The Linden Green example crossing the block was raced by John Whitmore and Bob Bondurant in the 1965 Targa Florio, running as high as third before it was forced to quit after being damaged. The car, chassis GT/111 was lost after the Targa Florio, waiting to resurface until 2006.

The car was authenticated and restored in 2007, and has made vintage race appearances around the world, starting with the 2007 Goodwood Revival. Given the car’s rarity, blue-chip name and Whitmore/Bondurant prestige, the GT Roadster will no doubt fetch some serious bank when it rolls across the block.

Gallery: 1965 Ford GT Roadster

1965 Ford GT Roadster1965 Ford GT Roadster1965 Ford GT Roadster1965 Ford GT Roadster1965 Ford GT Roadster

[Source: Top Gear | Images: Top Gear]

1965 Ford GT40 Roadster crossing the block at Villa d’Este originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 03 Apr 2011 14:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Recreating Ken Block’s Gymkhana… in a Gulf-livery semi truck

Filed under: Motorsports, Truck, Videos, Work, Racing

Mike Ryan drifting semi

Mike Ryan’s drifting Freightliner – Click above to view watch the video after the jump

Mike Ryan has won a dozen Pikes Peak Hill Climbs in his Gulf-liveried Freightliner Cascadia, so it’s no joke when we say this man has some serious talent. To raise his and the truck’s profile a little bit, Ryan has decided to show off what he does when he’s not storming mountains to stay sharp.

Aping Ken Block’s Gymkhana series, Ryan haunts abandoned airstrips, looking for cones, old hangars and dirt roads on which to slide his truck around. In fact, Ryan has gone so far as to shoot this video at El Toro, the same Marine air base where Block filmed the first installment of his epic videos. Ryan’s Freightliner packs 1,950 horsepower and more than 3,400 pound-feet of torque, so roasting the truck’s handmade custom Michelin tires isn’t a problem, even in a 10,000-pound Big Daddy Freightliner. Check out all the action in HD splendor after the jump. Top tip, Jason!

Gallery: Mike Ryan’s Freightliner Cascadia Pikes Peak Special

Mike Ryan's Freightliner Cascadia Pikes Peak SpecialMike Ryan's Freightliner Cascadia Pikes Peak SpecialMike Ryan's Freightliner Cascadia Pikes Peak SpecialMike Ryan's Freightliner Cascadia Pikes Peak SpecialMike Ryan's Freightliner Cascadia Pikes Peak Special

Photos copyright (C)2011 Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: YouTube]

Continue reading Video: Recreating Ken Block’s Gymkhana… in a Gulf-livery semi truck

Video: Recreating Ken Block’s Gymkhana… in a Gulf-livery semi truck originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 01 Apr 2011 12:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: House panel attempting to block EPA from regulating tailpipe emissions

Filed under: Government/Legal

greenhouse gas tailpipe emissions

The Clean Air Act of 2007 gave the Environmental Protection Agency the right to regulate tailpipe emissions due to their dangers to public health. The law also gave states like California the right to set their own emissions policies; a move that could force automakers to meet several different standards in the U.S. alone. That led the federal government to essentially adopt California’s standard, resulting in a mandate of 34.1 miles per gallon by 2016.

The Detroit News reports that Fred Upton, R-MI and Ed Whitfield, R-KY have sponsored a bill in the House Energy and Commerce Committee that would overturn the Clean Air Act. The proposed measure would remove emissions regulations authority from the EPA and individual states, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration instead having sole authority to set corporate average fuel economy standards. “We feel it is not right that California should be dictating standards for the rest of the country,” said Whitfield.

The move may be well-received by automakers, since the current regulations in place will cost OEMs billions of dollars. In fact, experts claim the stiff regulations currently on the books will cost automakers up to $52 billion over the next five years. That’s a lot of cabbage, but the Obama Administration claims fuel economy improvements will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil and save car owners up to $3,000 over the life of the vehicle.

The sponsored bill has been given the go-ahead by the Energy and Power subcommittee, and The Detroit News claims house Republicans plan to fast-track the bill through Congress.

[Source: The Detroit News | Image: Clinton Steeds – C.C. 2.0]

Report: House panel attempting to block EPA from regulating tailpipe emissions originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 11 Mar 2011 18:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Twin small-block V8 Priapism is enviable hedonism

Filed under: Performance, Etc., Videos, Specialty

Yannick Sire's twin-V8 Priaprism

Yannick Sire Priapism – Click above to watch the video

Yannick Sire got his start building muscle cars for the racetrack back before the pro touring craze really got under way. In his younger days, he cut his teeth on the L.A. car scene in a heavily modified 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle while drawing a paycheck from Ted Toki at Westside Performance.

That eventually led to Sire opening his own shop, Sire Custom Performance in Inglewood, CA. It was at this shop that his love of high-revving small blocks met with an imagination too wild to languish in the ever-growing pro touring scene. Sire, having decided that nobody had built anything truly cool in ages, took it upon himself to change that.

Enter the Priapism (yes, it means what you think it does, med students). It’s a home-built twin-engined roadster employing a keep-it-simple philosophy. The interior? No nonsense. Seat, steering wheel, seat belts. That’s it. The engines? Chevrolet 350 small-blocks with hydraulic-roller cams and AFR heads which put down about 900 hp between them. That much power is pulling around a scant 2,307 pounds, even with heavy 20-inch wheels borrowed from a BMW X5.

Power goes to the ground via a Dana 60 rear axle holding 3.54 gears. Keeping the power at bay is a set of Chevrolet Corvette Z06 brakes and Continental 275/35 R20 tires up front and ludicrous 315/35 R20s out back. If you’re a Hot Rod magazine subscriber, you may recognize this car from a feature a couple years back, but this California beast continues to evolve, and the video after the jump is a newly produced (and wholly spectacular) feature. Check it out.

[Sources: Oli + Joe via Vimeo, Hot Rod]

Continue reading Video: Twin small-block V8 Priapism is enviable hedonism

Video: Twin small-block V8 Priapism is enviable hedonism originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Feb 2011 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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