Exclusive: Xbox One and Forza Motorsport 5 to race in Australia’s V8 Supercars [w/video]

Filed under: Motorsports, Sedan, Videos, Holden, Toys/Games, Australia, Racing

Xbox One Racing Team Holden VF Commodore V8 Supercars

Microsoft is going to get into the world of racing. Okay, so the tech-giant is already kind of involved in motorsports, with its subsidiary studio, Turn 10, responsible for the phenomenon that is Forza Motorsport. Forza, which goes toe-to-toe with Sony’s Gran Turismo series, is preparing to release its fifth version in the main series, appropriately called Forza Motorsport 5.

In conjunction with promotions of the new game and the launch of the next-generation Xbox One console (due out on November 22), Microsoft has announced that Xbox Australia will team with Triple Eight Race Engineering to launch the Xbox One Racing Team at the 2013 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

Bathurst, which runs on the Mount Panorama Circuit, will be included in Forza 5 and is one of the most grueling events on the V8 Supercars calendar, covering 620 miles (1000 kilometers). Winning it is as important to V8 Supercar teams as winning the Daytona 500 or Monaco GP is to NASCAR and Formula One teams.

Leading the charge for Xbox One Racing will be a Holden VF Commodore, finished in the traditional Xbox green. Triple Eight Racing, which has won Bathurst five times since its initial win in 2006, handled the oily bits of the VF Commodore. With a 640-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8, the saloon racer can get to 62 miles per hour in 3.3 seconds and will run up to 185 mph. Have a look at the thing coming together in the video below.

Besides a top-flight car, the Xbox One Racing Team will have no shortage of talented drivers – Andy Priaulx and Mattias Ekström will be at the helm. Priaulx has competed in the World Touring Car Championship, German DTM and has ran the Bathurst 1000 three times. Ekström may be a Swede, but we feel like there’s some Finnish blood in him somewhere. He’s ran in DTM since 2001, as well as completing stints in the World Rally Championship and NASCAR. He’s also captured three titles in the Race of Champions, which saw him best the legendary Michael Schumacher.

Continue reading Xbox One and Forza Motorsport 5 to race in Australia’s V8 Supercars [w/video]

Xbox One and Forza Motorsport 5 to race in Australia’s V8 Supercars [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Exclusive: Xbox One and Forza Motorsport 5 to race in Australia’s V8 Supercars [w/video]

Filed under: Motorsports, Sedan, Videos, Holden, Toys/Games, Australia, Racing

Xbox One Racing Team Holden VF Commodore V8 Supercars

Microsoft is going to get into the world of racing. Okay, so the tech-giant is already kind of involved in motorsports, with its subsidiary studio, Turn 10, responsible for the phenomenon that is Forza Motorsport. Forza, which goes toe-to-toe with Sony’s Gran Turismo series, is preparing to release its fifth version in the main series, appropriately called Forza Motorsport 5.

In conjunction with promotions of the new game and the launch of the next-generation Xbox One console (due out on November 22), Microsoft has announced that Xbox Australia will team with Triple Eight Race Engineering to launch the Xbox One Racing Team at the 2013 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

Bathurst, which runs on the Mount Panorama Circuit, will be included in Forza 5 and is one of the most grueling events on the V8 Supercars calendar, covering 620 miles (1000 kilometers). Winning it is as important to V8 Supercar teams as winning the Daytona 500 or Monaco GP is to NASCAR and Formula One teams.

Leading the charge for Xbox One Racing will be a Holden VF Commodore, finished in the traditional Xbox green. Triple Eight Racing, which has won Bathurst five times since its initial win in 2006, handled the oily bits of the VF Commodore. With a 640-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8, the saloon racer can get to 62 miles per hour in 3.3 seconds and will run up to 185 mph. Have a look at the thing coming together in the video below.

Besides a top-flight car, the Xbox One Racing Team will have no shortage of talented drivers – Andy Priaulx and Mattias Ekström will be at the helm. Priaulx has competed in the World Touring Car Championship, German DTM and has ran the Bathurst 1000 three times. Ekström may be a Swede, but we feel like there’s some Finnish blood in him somewhere. He’s ran in DTM since 2001, as well as completing stints in the World Rally Championship and NASCAR. He’s also captured three titles in the Race of Champions, which saw him best the legendary Michael Schumacher.

Continue reading Xbox One and Forza Motorsport 5 to race in Australia’s V8 Supercars [w/video]

Xbox One and Forza Motorsport 5 to race in Australia’s V8 Supercars [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Exclusive: LA Auto Show growing to three press days?

Filed under: LA Auto Show, Etc., Safety, Technology

Los Angeles Auto Show logo

The 2013 Los Angeles International Auto Show is already shaping up to be a big deal, with at least nine world debuts from some of the biggest names in the industry. Now, Autoblog has intercepted a memo that’s going to be sent out to automakers this week explaining that LA will be even bigger this year because it is adding a third day of media festivities.

Called the Connected Car Expo, the additional day will focus on the industry’s burgeoning “connected car space.” Currently, Verizon, Sprint, OnStar and Qualcomm represent the big-name exhibitors, although we expect that list to add more than a few mainstream automakers.

The Connected Car Expo is scheduled for November 19, and will be the first official press day of the 2013 LA show. It should be noted that while the CCE will be held in the LA Convention Center, it’ll be limited to one hall and that the media – that’d be us – won’t have access to the main show floor that day. A whole day dedicated to the future of automobile technology sounds like a great idea to us, though, and we’re anxious to check it out firsthand.

LA Auto Show growing to three press days? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Exclusive: LA Auto Show growing to three press days?

Filed under: LA Auto Show, Etc., Safety, Technology

Los Angeles Auto Show logo

The 2013 Los Angeles International Auto Show is already shaping up to be a big deal, with at least nine world debuts from some of the biggest names in the industry. Now, Autoblog has intercepted a memo that’s going to be sent out to automakers this week explaining that LA will be even bigger this year because it is adding a third day of media festivities.

Called the Connected Car Expo, the additional day will focus on the industry’s burgeoning “connected car space.” Currently, Verizon, Sprint, OnStar and Qualcomm represent the big-name exhibitors, although we expect that list to add more than a few mainstream automakers.

The Connected Car Expo is scheduled for November 19, and will be the first official press day of the 2013 LA show. It should be noted that while the CCE will be held in the LA Convention Center, it’ll be limited to one hall and that the media – that’d be us – won’t have access to the main show floor that day. A whole day dedicated to the future of automobile technology sounds like a great idea to us, though, and we’re anxious to check it out firsthand.

LA Auto Show growing to three press days? originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Sep 2013 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Exclusive: Kia Track’ster still on table, Soul turbo possible

Filed under: Concept Cars, Plants/Manufacturing, Hatchback

2012 Kia Track'ster concept live at Chicago Auto Show

The Soul is a massive success – no news there.

We’ve just finished up in San Diego at the launch of the 2014 Kia Soul (sit tight for our First Drive next week), and we’ve learned a few things about the Korean automaker’s box-car future.

In the main, the Soul is a massive success – no news there – with Kia officials telling us that the US is gobbling up 80 to 90 percent of production coming out of the company’s Gwangju plant. Counterintuitively, it’s doing so well that its demand is actually hurting the viability of potential spinoff models like the 2012 Track’ster concept shown above, along with other variants. The issue is production capacity – or rather a lack thereof. In 2012, the Soul sold 112,000 copies here (its best-ever performance) and Michael Sprague, Kia’s Executive Vice President of Marketing and Communications, says “we could have sold a lot more.” The problem is, Kia Motors America can’t get any more units, the factory is running flat-out. Thus, with the standard car selling so well, there’s no room and little incentive to develop new models.

Response to the widebody Track’ster was off the charts.

That isn’t going to stop Kia from coming to market with a Soul EV, which is expected to be shown at a US auto show some time this upcoming season, but it is making it hard to justify adding something like the Track’ster or a Soul turbo. This, despite company officials telling Autoblog that they’d love to see the 201-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbo from the recently introduced 2014 Forte SX snugged in the Soul’s engine bay. The engine fits and the new K platform is up to the task, but there’s also the question of price – Executive Director of Product Planning, Orth Hedrick, tells us that such a model would likely have to cost around $2,500 more, and the automaker isn’t sure they want the Soul’s pricing bandwidth to extend that high, especially with the turbocharged Sportage already available.

Sprague admits response to the widebody Track’ster was off the charts and the project is still very much on the table, but to hear him tell it, the model sounds unlikely as long as the Soul continues to be capacity constrained. Reading between the lines a bit, it would seem that if US demand continues to be as robust as it has been, Kia is going to have to find a way to build the Soul in North America soon – possibly by expanding its West Point, Georgia plant, which is itself maxxed out building the Optima and Sorento. Given how long it would take to build out and tool up West Point, though, it seems like the Track’ster’s window of viability is closing. In the meantime, the buying public will have to be happy with the redone styling of the Track’ster-influenced 2014 Soul.

Kia Track’ster still on table, Soul turbo possible originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 29 Aug 2013 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Gran Turismo 6 to get exclusive concept cars from Aston, BMW, Nike and more

Filed under: Concept Cars, Motorsports, Performance, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, GM, Honda, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Peugeot, Alfa Romeo, Toys/Games, Racing, SRT

Vision Gran Turismo video

Much like a real conflict, the console wars being waged between Microsoft and Sony spill into a number of different battlefields and theaters. Home to some of the fiercest fighting is the racing genre, which sees Microsoft’s Forza Motorsport series go head-to-head with Sony’s Gran Turismo series. While there’s been plenty of press about Forza, GT has just struck back with some news that we aren’t sure Turn 10 Studios and Microsoft can match.

When Gran Turismo 6 arrives on the Playstation 4 on December 6, it’s with the promise of a huge suite of free, downloadable content featuring some of the finest cars from manufacturers, design houses and brands from across the globe. The staggered release will see the free content distributed from 2013 to 2014, although it’s unclear just how many cars will be distributed in total or in each car pack.

Vision includes concepts from Alfa Romeo, Alpine, Aston Martin, Audi, BMW, General Motors, Honda, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot, SRT, and Volkswagen, along with vehicles from legendary design studios like Bertone, Italdesign Giugiaro, and Zagato. Following in the footsteps of previous GT games, global brands like Nike will take part as well. Conspicuous by absence are past GT partners Citroen and Red Bull, although we doubt that this is a comprehensive list. We’re expecting plenty of surprises when DLC starts arriving.

This news is a blow to the Forza series, which while impressive in its own right (and this author’s preferred title), has seemingly struggled to have the same degree of legitimacy and exclusivity inherent in the titles from Polyphony. Gran Turismo 6 is slated for a December 6 debut. Check back here for more info and a full write-up of the new game before then. Until then, scroll down for a trailer on Vision Gran Turismo and a complete press release from Polyphony.

Continue reading Gran Turismo 6 to get exclusive concept cars from Aston, BMW, Nike and more

Gran Turismo 6 to get exclusive concept cars from Aston, BMW, Nike and more originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 Aug 2013 17:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Exclusive: BMW M4 to debut in Detroit, lose manual transmission

Filed under: Detroit Auto Show, Coupe, Performance, BMW

BMW M4 Concept live at Monterey 2013 reveal

BMW took the wraps off its M4 Concept at Pebble Beach last weekend, and many speculated that the highly anticipated production version of the sleek new two-door sports coupe would debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this year. But a well-placed source tells Autoblog that the E92 M3’s successor won’t arrive in Southern California this November. Instead, the German automaker will wait until the Detroit Auto Show in January for its first official reveal.

An all-new 3.0-liter inline-six with twin turbochargers is expected under the hood, and it should provide about the same horsepower as the current 4.0-liter V8 (rated at 414 horsepower), but with much more torque that arrives lower on the tachometer. The lightweight engine is said to have an impressively high redline, which is unusual for a turbocharged engine.

Unfortunately, Save the Manuals members aren’t going to like this next bit of news. After four generations of three-pedal M3 models, our source says the upcoming F82 M4 will arrive with a dual-clutch transmission (DCT) as standard equipment – with no manual option – just like the latest iteration of the track-ready Porsche GT3 (few have complained about the automaker’s PDK after driving the latest sports car from Stuttgart). In exchange for some moans, groans and gripes from enthusiasts, BMW’s DCT mounted aft of the M4’s inline-six will provide quicker acceleration and improved fuel economy.

BMW M4 to debut in Detroit, lose manual transmission originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 Aug 2013 13:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Exclusive: Live pics of 2014 Mazda3 from NYC, sedan on its way

Filed under: Budget, Hatchback, Mazda

2014 Mazda3

Here it is, ladies and gentlemen, straight from the memory cards of our own cameras. As you can see, the only version of the 2014 Mazda3 that the automaker is showing off at the moment is the hatchback, but we’ve gotten confirmation from Mazda that the sedan version will be shown sometime within the next five weeks.

So far, Mazda isn’t commenting on whether or not we can expect a higher-performance Mazdaspeed3 version of the car, but we’ve got our fingers crossed. In any case, we’re quite drawn to the appearance of this new hatchback from Mazda, with its flowing lines and character creases setting it apart from the rest of the compact segment in which it competes.

We also appreciate the sound engineering that went into the new 3. Despite boasting a wheelbase that’s longer than the car it replaces, we’re pleased to see that Mazda has kept its exterior size in check – it’s actually shorter overall than the last-gen model – while also reducing weight by about 200 pounds. That’s bound to be good for the new 3’s dynamic properties.

Have a good look at our live image gallery above, click here to read about the car’s new specs, and let us know what you think of Mazda’s latest compact hatchback in the Comments.

Live pics of 2014 Mazda3 from NYC, sedan on its way originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Jun 2013 14:14:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Exclusive: An inside look at Rhys Millen’s new Pikes Peak Unlimited racer [w/video]

Filed under: Motorsports, Performance, Hyundai

Wider, Lower And Decidedly More Sinister

Hyundai Genesis RMR PM580-T

Rhys Millen was sitting on a cooler whittling away at a piece of aluminum when I first arrived at the expansive skidpad at the California Proving Grounds, owned by Hyundai, located in a desolate part of the California desert about a dozen miles east of Mojave. By the time I had walked over to the accomplished driver for introductions, he had picked up a piece of sandpaper and begun to arduously file away at the alloy’s rough edges, smoothing them masterfully.

He was focused on the job, but I politely interrupted him and asked what he was making. Ryhs looked up, smiled, and then grabbed a few zip-ties and asked me to come over to the new Hyundai RMR PM580-T, destined for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in just two short weeks, raised on its air jacks just a few yards away.

Continue reading An inside look at Rhys Millen’s new Pikes Peak Unlimited racer [w/video]

An inside look at Rhys Millen’s new Pikes Peak Unlimited racer [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 15 Jun 2013 12:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Exclusive: BMW developing customizable LCD gauges for refreshed 5 and 7 Series models

Filed under: Sedan, Technology, BMW, Luxury

BMW digital LCD gauge cluster

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has had one for a few years, and Jaguar-Land Rover recently fitted units to its all-new XJ and updated Range Rover. Now BMW is getting ready to offer its own fully configurable LCD gauge cluster on the next-generation 5 Series and 7 Series models.

Co-developed in Munich and BMW’s Technology Office in Mountain View, CA, the new gauge cluster will display the standard dials for speed, revs, fuel and temp, but can be configured to show additional navigation, telematics and infotainment data depending on the driving mode. Comfort and Sport settings will tailor the display to suit conditions, possibly placing the tachometer front-and-center in Sport mode, along with providing shift lights and other more driver-centric information.

A BMW engineer we spoke with made it clear that BMW doesn’t want to rely on digital representations of analog gauges. Instead, the automaker is looking at the display as a blank canvas with which it can display a variety of information in an innovative way. However, while consumer customization will be available, BMW believes that keeping the user-tweakability to a minimum is key for ease-of-use and general readability.

Expect the new dash to appear on the refreshed 5 and 7 Series within the next two years.

BMW developing customizable LCD gauges for refreshed 5 and 7 Series models originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 25 May 2011 18:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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