Report: Ecclestone says 2014 Grand Prix of America is dead

Filed under: Motorsports

FILE - In this Monday, June 11, 2012 file photograph, the race car belonging to defending Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel is on display with the Manhattan skyline in the background during a news conference in Weehawken, N.J. Vettel drove a 3.2-mile course to demonstrate the planned route for the 2013 Grand Prix of America race in the F1 series. On Friday, Oct. 19, 2012, it was announced that Formula One's inaugural Grand Prix of America slated to be run in New Jersey has been postponed until 2014. Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone says

The United States of America will not be getting a second Formula One race next year. The troubled Grand Prix of America, which was slated to run on a street circuit on the shores of the Hudson river and in the shadow of the New York City skyline has been shelved, following the failure of the race’s organizers to come up with the requisite $100 million in funds demanded by F1’s tempestuous maestro, Bernie Ecclestone. The problematic Grand Prix was already pushed back once, from the 2013 season to 2014, and Ecclestone has also torn up at least one contract.

At the helm of the US race is Leo Hindrey, a multi-billionaire and a managing partner at InterMedia Partners, and Chris Pook, an ally of Ecclestone’s and the former boss of the CART. The two placed Swiss financier and bank UBS in charge of putting together the $100 million. While UBS has only been on the case since June, according to the CNN report, that’s apparently long enough for Ecclestone, who told the news channel, “It’s not on the cards for next year. They haven’t got any money.”

Ecclestone followed up, saying the GPoA “is like Donington all over again,” referring to the race at the UK’s Donington Park. The UK track was meant to take the British Grand Prix from Silverstone in 2010, but was dropped before a single race could be ran, due to its failure to come up with the $210-million race fee. Despite the lack of funds, the organizers of US race remain confident that they’ll still be on the finalized calendar to be released by the FIA at the end of the year.

Ecclestone’s decision regarding this second US race is a telling one, though, as CNN points out. Running a race with the NYC skyline has been a dream of the F1 boss for year, and while that dream may be in tatters, there’s still a spot on the F1 calendar that will need to be filled. It’s unclear what will happen if the US race organizers can come up with the money before the end of the year. Click over to CNN for the detailed rundown of the Grand Prix of American and its rocky history.

Ecclestone says 2014 Grand Prix of America is dead originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 23 Aug 2013 15:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Report: Ecclestone says 2014 Grand Prix of America is dead”

Official: Toyota Tacoma X-Runner dead

Filed under: Car Buying, Truck, Toyota

A report from last week indicated that Toyota will begin trimming models from its Tacoma lineup starting with the Regular Cab in 2015, but the popular pickup will lose its first variant even sooner than that. For 2014, the Tacoma X-Runner has been dropped, though the company’s SR Package could fill the need of those looking for a sporty pickup.

The X-Runner has been around since 2005 with its lowered stance, aftermarket-look body kit and bright paint colors, all of which are offered available only on V6-powered, two-wheel-drive Access Cab Tacomas. The new SR Package sounds like it will offer a somewhat similar appearance, though, with a monotone exterior paint scheme in limited colors accented with smoked headlights, but it will only be offered on Pre-Runner and 4×4 models. Other changes being made to the 2014 Tacoma include a new wheel option with black finish, a wider variety of Entune multimedia features, and the option to have the backup camera display moved from the rearview mirror to the audio system head unit.

Continue reading Toyota Tacoma X-Runner dead

Toyota Tacoma X-Runner dead originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 06 Aug 2013 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Official: Toyota Tacoma X-Runner dead”

Official: Hyundai shows Walking Dead Veloster Zombie Survival Machine at Comic-Con

Filed under: Aftermarket, Marketing/Advertising, Hatchback, Hyundai, TV/Movies

Hyundai Veloster Turbo made up for The Walking Dead tv show - front three-quarter view

The Walking Dead, the hit zombie apocalypse show on AMC, has enjoyed a marketing tie-in with Hyundai for two seasons now. If you’ve watched the show, you’d no doubt seen Rick Grimes, his sociopath-in-training son Carl and emerging hero Glenn Rhee avoiding the dead behind the wheel of a light-green Hyundai Tucson. That relationship expanded beyond the show when Hyundai brought an Elantra Coupe-based Zombie Survival Machine to last year’s San Diego Comic-Con.

For this year’s Comic-Con, the new Zombie Survival Machine is just a touch faster, funkier and deadlier. Based on a Hyundai Veloster Turbo and built by Galpin Auto Sports to decapitate as many Walkers as possible, this four-door hatch has been heavily modified. The headlights, taillights and windows are all protected with a combination of wrought iron and chainlink fencing. There’s also plenty of armor on the body panels.

Passive zombie killing features abound, like the “horde plow” on the front bumper and sawblade grille. But by and large, the majority of the Veloster Turbo Zombie Survival Machine’s offensive power comes from a combination of firearms and chainsaws. A .50-caliber machine gun is mounted on the roof, along with a pair of assault rifles on the hood. Each door features blades along the base and a machine gun. Melee weapons can be found in the back, including a spiked baseball bat or katana.

We see a few issues with the Veloster Turbo ZSM. Clearly, the creators have never read Max Brooks’ excellent book, World War Z, otherwise they’d know that flame throwers (of which we counted three) are ineffective against the dead, as are rapid-fire weapons. Our nerdy minds aside, this is a pretty cool one-off concept from one of the very best shows on television. But if you think you can do better, Hyundai has set up an app for fans to design their own Zombie Survival Machines. The winning entry will get their car built and put on display at New York Comic-Con in October. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we need to see if we can retrofit our long-term Veloster Turbo into a Zombie Survival Machine.

Continue reading Hyundai shows Walking Dead Veloster Zombie Survival Machine at Comic-Con

Hyundai shows Walking Dead Veloster Zombie Survival Machine at Comic-Con originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 19 Jul 2013 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Official: Hyundai shows Walking Dead Veloster Zombie Survival Machine at Comic-Con”

Official: Altima Coupe dead as Nissan charts the changes for 2014

Filed under: Car Buying, Coupe, Nissan

The 2014 model year brings plenty of new designs and updates from Nissan – including the next-generation Rogue – but the Altima Coupe has been discontinued. The current generation of the Coupe won buyers over with sharp styling and, at one point, a 270-horsepower naturally aspirated V6 – the heart of the more upscale Infinity G37. It’s unlikely that Nissan plans to make another one, but keep in mind the current Coupe was released to the public about a year after the sedan hit dealerships.

The vehicles joining Nissan’s lineup for 2014 include the Versa Note hatchback, the NV200 Compact Cargo van and the next-generation Rogue compact SUV. Also new for 2014 is the Pathfinder Hybrid, but that will be added to the lineup in the fall.

Other models that are receiving enhancements are the sedan version of the Altima, which now comes standard with the CVT transmission and gets revised option packs; the Frontier, which gets updated option packs, enhanced navigation system functionality and a sliding middle rear window; the GT-R, which receives a bunch of small performance enhancements and, more importantly, initially will be offered in three versions (Premium, Black Edition and Track Edition), with another, limited special-edition model coming late in the year; the Versa sedan, all versions of which get 60/40-split fold-down rear seats and revised steering and suspension tuning; and last, but not least, the 370Z NISMO will have exterior accent color updates and a new steering wheel and tachometer.

There are plenty more details to be gleaned about Nissan’s model lineup for 2014, so be sure to read the press release below.

Continue reading Altima Coupe dead as Nissan charts the changes for 2014

Altima Coupe dead as Nissan charts the changes for 2014 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 17 Jul 2013 10:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Official: Altima Coupe dead as Nissan charts the changes for 2014”

Video: Friends videotape man “trapped” inside C6 Corvette with dead battery

Filed under: Coupe, Etc., Videos, Chevrolet, GM, Humor

trapped inside a c6 corvette

How NOT to get out of a C6 Corvette – Click above to watch video after the jump

Are sixth-generation Chevrolet Corvette coupes attempting to take out their owners? After one man recently became “trapped” inside his ZR1, another driver, captured above, also believed he was stuck inside his ‘Vette. The real issue here, however, isn’t folks being outsmarted by their cars; it’s that vehicle owners don’t even bother learning how their cars work.

When the battery dies on a C6 Corvette, the door-release buttons stop working. General Motors isn’t in the business of creating sports cars that turn into traps, so it installs (very obviously marked) levers on the floor that, when pulled, manually open the doors. Not rocket science, guys. No need to panic. But hey, when you do freak out, and your friends are kind enough to find it hilarious and videotape it, well, we’re happy to share.

Click past the jump to watch. Just be advised: the language is not safe for work.

Continue reading Friends videotape man “trapped” inside C6 Corvette with dead battery

Friends videotape man “trapped” inside C6 Corvette with dead battery originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 14 May 2011 10:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Video: Friends videotape man “trapped” inside C6 Corvette with dead battery”

Best Motoring International, Hot Version are officially dead

Filed under: Hirings/Firings/Layoffs, Japan

Those of us brought up in the ’90s import scene were dealt a serious blow last week with the announcement that HKS is shuttering its U.S. operations after years of stagnant sales in the States. Now comes word that the video series from Best Motoring International and Hot Version have been killed and the hosts disbanded.

2&4 Motoring, owned by Japanese publishing juggernaut Kodansha, has been responsible for the popular automotive video series for the last two decades, but slow sales and a lack of consistent revenue have taken their toll. The series’ creators and their hosts – including Hideki Tanabe – are supposedly moving on to bigger and better things, making Hot Version #110 and April 2011’s Best Motoring shows the final installments of the series.

[Source: 7Tune | Image Credit: Adam Zillin]

Best Motoring International, Hot Version are officially dead originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 01 May 2011 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Best Motoring International, Hot Version are officially dead”

David E. Davis, Jr., Dean of automotive journalism, dead at 80

Filed under: Classics

David E. Davis, Jr.David E. Davis, Jr. has died at age 80. The longtime Car and Driver editor, Automobile Magazine founder and man with his fingerprints all over this great business of ours passed away unexpectedly after complications from bladder surgery at 5:15pm Eastern on Sunday. A hugely witty man with a talent for honing a magazine’s voice and recognizing and refining talent in those around him, Davis stands among the founding fathers of modern automotive journalism.

In recent years, Davis had returned to C/D as a columnist after helping to get pioneering digital auto magazine, Winding Road, off the ground. He has held sway over nearly every great print title in the American auto journalism world at one point or another, including Road & Track and Motor Trend, and earlier in his professional life, he cultivated a distinguished career in the automotive ad business, where he was instrumental in the creation of General Motors’ seminal “Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet” campaign, among others.

As an editor, publisher, ad man, racer, mentor and raconteur extraordinaire, Davis leaves an indelible mark on the industry. As a family man, he leaves behind his beloved wife, Jeannie, a daughter and two sons, including our own European Editor, Matt Davis.

Ever eloquent, where others might simply inquire “How are you?”, Davis was known for asking colleagues and friends “Is your life a rich tapestry?” Davis’ own life was certainly a vibrant and detailed work of art. Everyone in auto world owes this icon a debt of gratitude… and some of us even owe him our careers.

David E. Davis, Jr., Dean of automotive journalism, dead at 80 originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 27 Mar 2011 21:18:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “David E. Davis, Jr., Dean of automotive journalism, dead at 80”

Richard Hamann, Hamann Motorsport founder, dead at 53

Filed under: Aftermarket, Etc., Europe, Lamborghini

2010 Hamann Victory II

Hamann Victory II – Click above for high-res image gallery

Richard Hamann, founder of Hamann Motorsport, died this weekend after a long struggle with cancer. He was 53.

Hamann led a nearly 20-year racing career before forsaking his Nomex and starting the tuning company that got its hands on just about every European sports car you can name from 1986 on. Most recently, his company has made its name with cars like the Hamann Victory II, a hotter Lamborghini Gallardo.

Before he was making sports cars sportier, Hamann enjoyed a long and successful racing career. In his time on track, he took part in more than 700 races, finishing on the podium a startling 300 of those times. He had a combined 103 victories in DTM, Group C, Formula 3 and the Special Touring Car Trophy, which he won three times at the wheel of a BMW M1.

Despite the loss of its leader, Hamann’s company will carry on.

Gallery: Hamann Victory II

[Source: Hamann via E90post]

Richard Hamann, Hamann Motorsport founder, dead at 53 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 21 Mar 2011 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Richard Hamann, Hamann Motorsport founder, dead at 53”

Baltimore issues over 2,000 red light camera tickets with dead officer’s signature

Filed under: Government/Legal

traffic camera

Getting pulled over and ticketed by law enforcement makes for a bad day, and we’re quite certain the feeling is amplified when the citation comes in the mail days after the infraction occurs. There’s no surprise, then, that most drivers can’t stand traffic cams, and in many cases, the ticketed fight the infractions tooth and nail. In the city of Baltimore, MD, there are 2,000 ticketed motorists who may have a solid case.

WBAL-TV 11 reports that a police officer who tragically died in a car accident ‘signed’ those 2,000 tickets months after he passed away. That’s a big problem, because each red light camera citation is supposed to be reviewed by an officer of the law before getting sent out. City officials claim that the residents received the wrong notice, and that the tickets were in fact properly reviewed before being issued. We’re guessing that those ticketed won’t buy that explanation and the courts in Baltimore will be quite busy for the next few months. Head over to WBAL TV to view the report.

[Source: WBAL TV]

Baltimore issues over 2,000 red light camera tickets with dead officer’s signature originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 16 Feb 2011 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Baltimore issues over 2,000 red light camera tickets with dead officer’s signature”

Opinion: Chrysler no longer left for dead, biggest test still coming

Filed under: Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Fiat

Chrysler badge

Some years ago, sitting in my office with the windows open on a warm spring day, I heard a deep rumble – not unlike the sound of a freight train passing by… but closer, more menacing, and immediately followed by a violent shudder as a rare Midwest earthquakes rolled out from under Lake Erie.

This wasn’t supposed to be a particularly good year for the smallest of the Detroit makers.

I’m starting to hear a similar sound, not quite so loud, but this time emerging from Auburn Hills, Michigan, where Chrysler is headquartered. Call it a hum, maybe a rumble, though definitely not yet the sort of buzz that would follow a similarly seismic event – in this case the turnaround of a company most folks had long written off for dead.

This wasn’t supposed to be a particularly good year for the smallest of the Detroit makers. Its product pipeline, went the conventional wisdom, was all but empty, other than the completely-remade Jeep Grand Cherokee and redesigned Chrysler 300, due later in the model-year. But I think most of us in the media were delivered a pleasant surprise a few months back when we got a first good look at the rest of the maker’s 2011 lineup.

Continue reading…


Paul EisensteinPaul A. Eisenstein is Publisher of TheDetroitBureau.com, and a 30-year veteran of the automotive beat. His editorials bring his unique perspective and deep understanding of the auto world to Autoblog readers on a regular basis.

Continue reading Opinion: Chrysler no longer left for dead, biggest test still coming

Opinion: Chrysler no longer left for dead, biggest test still coming originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 04 Feb 2011 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Opinion: Chrysler no longer left for dead, biggest test still coming”