Motorsports: First X Games Gymkhana GRID race is officially in the books [w/video]

Filed under: Motorsports, Videos, Celebrities, Racing

2013 X-Games Gymkhana GRID

If you don’t want to know who won the first-ever X Games Gymkhana GRID event, which just happened late last night in Los Angeles, now would be the time to stop reading.

Still there? Okay, good. In the end, it came down to Tanner Foust and Patrick Sandell, with Foust managing to win the first two races of the best-out-of-three format. Ken Block, who’s name is synonymous with Gymkhana, was taken out in the quarterfinals by Liam Doran, who went on to win the bronze medal.

We were on hand at the event, and we came away with plenty of tire-smoking live images for your viewing pleasure. After checking those out, why not scroll down and watch the main event yourself in the video below? Also, don’t forget that the Rallycross event takes place later tonight – we will, of course, be there to bring you all the details.

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First X Games Gymkhana GRID race is officially in the books [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 04 Aug 2013 08:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG officially teased in mini video

Filed under: Sedan, Performance, Videos, Mercedes-Benz, Luxury

The followup to the Mercedes-Benz S550, the S63 AMG, will sport a biturbocharged V8 that will likely turn out around 550 horsepower. The new engine is probably the 5.5-liter, biturbocharged V-8 that’s been popping up in everything from the ML63 to the E63 AMG. The front fascia is more aggressive, which shouldn’t come as a surprise, while a meaty exhaust setup can be found out back.

We managed to pick all that up from a short, 17-second video posted by MB. The original video that unveiled the S63 AMG has since been pulled down, making this YouTube clip the best look we now have at the new super sedan, at least until the Germans give up the goods for real.

Be sure to check out the video below, along with our original posting on the S63 AMG.

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Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG officially teased in mini video originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Jul 2013 18:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Mazda3 officially unveiled

Filed under: Budget, Sedan, Hatchback, Mazda

Mazda has officially pulled the sheets off of its 2014 Mazda3. The all-new compact boasts a wheelbase that’s a full 2.4 inches longer than the outgoing model, yet the hatchback is a nearly two inches shorter from stem to stern. The machine is also lower and wider than before, which should give occupants plenty of space indoors. The driver gets treated to a new human-machine interface that features a new Active Driving Display for information like vehicle speed and navigation instructions conveniently in the line of sight. Likewise, the vehicle’s infotainment system has received a complete rebuild.

Outside, the new Mazda3 makes full use of the company’s KODO design language, and to our eyes, the result is one of the most attractive entries in the segment. Jump under the hood, and buyers can expect to find a Skyactiv-G 2.0-liter gasoline engine with 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque, though no fuel economy estimates are available. For those looking for a bit more thrust, Mazda also offers a 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G gasoline mill with 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. So far there’s no word on the diesel engine available to our friends in Europe.

Both engines can be mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic and feature the automaker’s i-ELOOP brake energy regeneration systems. The recaptured energy is stored in a capacitor and used to power the vehicle’s various electrical systems.

Mazda says the company’s newest compact features a chassis that’s a full 30-percent stiffer than the 2013 model thanks in part to extensive use of high-strength steel. The material also let Mazda cut around 200 pounds from the vehicle. Expect pricing, availability and fuel economy information to surface later. In the interim, you can read the full press release below for more information. We’ll have more photos to share shortly, so stay tuned.

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Mazda3 officially unveiled originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 26 Jun 2013 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Carbon Motors officially files for bankruptcy, lawsuits follow

Filed under: Sedan, Government/Legal, Technology, Police/Emergency, Diesel

Carbon Motors E7 diesel police car - front three-quarter view

So much for Carbon Motors. The would-be police pursuit vehicle manufacturer has officially filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy (read: liquidation) according to the Indianapolis Business Journal. The company officially lists its liabilities at $21.7 million and its assets at a mere $18,976, including one prototype, a few bits of furniture, books and the company’s intellectual property. Some of the largest debtors are investors and suppliers, including BMW. The German automaker claims Carbon Motors owes them some $3 million.

Carbon Motors built a business model around for its diesel-powered E7 police car by securing a Department of Energy loan through its Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program for $310 million, but the US Government denied the company’s application in March of 2012. From that point, it was evidently only a matter of time before the company caved in on itself. The warning signs were already thick on the ground when it was revealed that the company had quietly pulled out of its Connerville, Indiana plant back in April.

Bankruptcy protection shields Carbon Motors from lawsuits against the manufacturer. That’s good news, considering three former executives have already filed a lawsuit against the company earlier this year for $600,000 in deferred wages.

Carbon Motors officially files for bankruptcy, lawsuits follow originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 19 Jun 2013 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Fiat officially introduces seven-seat 500L Living

Filed under: Minivan/Van, Hatchback, Fiat

As Fiat prepares to expand the lineup of the 500 with the roomier 500L, the Italian automaker has just announced a further addition to its enlarged hatchback offering. While the standard 500L has a five-passenger seating configuration, the new 500L Living brings a third row of seats, upping capacity to seven passengers.

Based on the specs Fiat released, the 500L Living has had its overall length stretched by about eight inches to accommodate the extra seats, while width and height stay about the same. We still have no word on the wheelbase of this new model versus the 500L. Fiat also says that the 500L Living will have a luggage capacity of 22.5 cubic feet (we assume that number is with the rear seats folded, which is smaller than that of the five-passenger 500L (12.1 cu-ft with rear seats up and 46.2 cu-ft with rear seats down).

European sales of the 500L Living will commence this summer, but there is no mention as to if or when this seven-passenger Fiat could be offered in the US, to compete against the likes of the Mazda5, Ford Transit Connect Wagon and Nissan NV200. Scroll down for the more information on this new Fiat model.

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Fiat officially introduces seven-seat 500L Living originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Jun 2013 15:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: 2014 BMW 4 Series Coupe officially debuts, priced from $41,425*

Filed under: Coupe, BMW, Luxury

2014 BMW 4 Series Coupe

Well, that didn’t take long. Less than two hours after the first images of the 2014 BMW 4 Series Coupe leaked onto the Internet, we’ve been given the go-ahead to publish the whole kit and caboodle. And while we won’t say we told you so, it looks as though the car’s official details are standing true to our earlier predictions.

In other words, BMW will offer the 4 Series in 428i and 435i models, both of which can be had with xDrive all-wheel drive. Just like in the 3 Series, the 428i is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine, good for 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque, and the 435i gets BMW’s turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six making 300 hp and 300 lb-ft. In three of the four models, both a six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic transmission are available; the 428i xDrive can only be had with the auto ‘box. The 428i (with rear-wheel drive, we assume) can hit 60 miles per hour in 5.7 seconds (though BMW doesn’t specify with which transmission), and the 435i will do that same sprint in 5.3 seconds with the manual and five seconds flat with the eight-speed auto.

2014 BMW 4 Series InteriorWe’ve already dissected the 4 Series’ visuals, but the numbers show just how different it is from the 3 Series sedan. The 4 Coupe is one-tenth of an inch longer overall, while riding on the same 110.6-inch wheelbase, is 0.6 inches wider, and has a roofline that’s a full 2.7 inches closer to the ground. It looks sleek, incorporating BMW’s new design language from the 3 Series with an overall profile that’s similar to the larger 6 Series coupe.

BMW will offer the 4 Series Coupe in three different trim lines – Luxury, Sport and M Sport. Much like the 3 Series range, the Luxury line focuses more on overall amenities and upscale appearance, while the Sport and M Sport models are meant to offer the most driver-focused set of equipment with slightly more aggression outside. 18- and 19-inch wheels are available on all models, and M Sport models get a whole raft of equipment including better suspension tuning and upgraded brakes to make the whole package more exciting on the road. The cabin doesn’t look all that different from the 3 Series, incorporating the same suite of technological goodies and creature comforts, and is offered in a variety of hues.

The new 4 Series goes on sale later this summer, and BMW has already confirmed that pricing will start at $41,425 (*including destination) for the 428i Coupe – an increase of $1,650 versus a 328i sedan. From there, the 428i xDrive rolls in at $46,925, the 435i starts at $43,425, and the range-topping 435i xDrive will set you back $48,925. Have a look through our huge gallery above to see the new 4 Series from all angles, and scroll down for BMW’s lengthy press release with all the nitty-gritty details.

Continue reading 2014 BMW 4 Series Coupe officially debuts, priced from $41,425*

2014 BMW 4 Series Coupe officially debuts, priced from $41,425* originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 14 Jun 2013 15:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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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.

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Officially Official: 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Porsche

2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0

2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Enough with the leaks and speculation. Here it is. The 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0. The ultimate naturally aspirated 911 and the 997’s motorsports-infused swan-song.

As the name would suggest, this latest limited-edition 911 packs a 4.0-liter flat-six derived from the 911 GT3 RSR racer, complete with forged pistons, titanium connecting rods and a crankshaft pulled directly from its track-bred descendent. The result is the most powerful NA 911 to date, with 500 horsepower peaking at 8,250 rpm and maximum torque – 339 pound-feet – coming in at 5,750 rpm.

That massive engine partnered with a host of lightweight kit (carbon fiber buckets, front fenders, luggage compartment lid and “weight-optimized” carpets) allows the 2,998-pound (wet, mind) GT3 RS 4.0 to run to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, crack 124 mph in less than 12 seconds and top out at 193 mph.

A six-speed manual is the only gearbox available and the Carrara (their spelling) White paint comes standard, along with central twin exhausts, massive rear wing and the first production application of air deflection vanes on both sides of the front bumper (dubbed “flics”) to improve stability and exert an extra 426 pounds of downforce at speed.

And before you ask, the RS 4.0 ran the Nürburgring in 7 minutes and 27 seconds, putting it in contention for one of the fastest production cars ever run around the Nordschleife.

If you’ve got $185,000 laying around in your hedge fund, get your orders in now. Only 600 will be produced when sales begin later this year. Full details in the press blast after the jump.

Gallery: 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0

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Officially Official: 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 28 Apr 2011 04:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mercedes-Benz officially prices CLS from $71,000*

Filed under: Sedan, Performance, Mercedes-Benz, Luxury

2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS550

2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS – Click above for high-res image gallery

With such a broad (and ever-expanding) range of products, Mercedes-Benz is always bound to be introducing something new at any given moment. And in this case, the German automaker has officially confirmed pricing for its new CLS.

Joining the Three-Pointed Star is the swoopy new 2012 CLS. Mercedes will offer the second-generation four-door coupe as both the CLS550 (with 4.6-liter twin-turbo V8) and CLS63 AMG (with 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8) guise at $71,300 and $94,900, respectively (*plus $875 in destination charges). Follow the jump for the official announcement that also details how much cash you’ll need to secure your own 2012 SLK roadster, whose pricing we revealed last week at the New York Auto Show.

Gallery: 2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class2012 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class

[Source: Mercedes-Benz]

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Mercedes-Benz officially prices CLS from $71,000* originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 26 Apr 2011 15:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mini and Prodrive officially launch WRC team at Oxford

Filed under: Motorsports, Crossover, Mini, Off-Road, Racing

Mini JCW WRC

MINI John Cooper Works WRC – Click above for high-res image gallery

It’s been a long time in the making, but after confirming their participation some eight months ago and unveiling the car in Monte Carlo for nostalgia’s sake, Mini and Prodrive have finally and officially launched their joint World Rally Championship effort at the Mini assembly plant in Oxford, England.

The team is starting off with a limited schedule in the WRC this year, where it will contest a number of rallies throughout the year, before taking on the likes of Ford and Citroën – which have won every drivers’ and manufacturers’ championship in the WRC for the past seven years – for the full championship in 2012.

The S2000-spec Mini Countryman rally car has already contested three lower-level regional rallies, winning the Rally dell’Adriatico in the Italian Gravel Rally Championship. 2009 IRC champion Kris Meeke and former Citroën WRC driver Dani Sordo will debut as Mini’s official works drivers at the Italian Rally in Sardegna next month.

We’ll be watching to see how they do, but for now you can follow the jump to read the full press release, and check out the images of the WRC-spec car at its debut in Oxford and the S2000-spec machine being put through its paces during Rally Portugal in the galleries below.

Gallery: MINI John Cooper Works WRC

Gallery: MINI John Cooper Works S2000

[Source: Mini]

Continue reading Mini and Prodrive officially launch WRC team at Oxford

Mini and Prodrive officially launch WRC team at Oxford originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 13 Apr 2011 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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