Riding along in Ford’s bonkers Fiesta ST Global RallyCross car [w/video]

Filed under: Motorsports, Performance, Videos, Hatchback, Ford, Racing

The Mountune-worked Fiesta ST GRC does 0-to-60 mph in 1.9 seconds.

On any given day, and every single weekend, there’s at least one parking in the country invaded by manufacturer and team trucks. The be-chromed beasts and their 53-foot trailers are slotted into rows, men and women decorate the lot with orange cones to mark the invisible tracery of a temporary track, cars get unloaded, crews fret over them. The ritual can be as beautiful as the sunrise to those with enthusiast hearts, but it’s just as common.

Unless you happened to be in the parking lot in Fontana, California where Ford, OlsbergsMSE and Mountune were showing off the Fiesta ST built for Global RallyCross. Ford’s latest global performance car is an experiment on our shores that aims to find out if we – Americans – are ready to support a B-segment hot hatch with a European pedigree.

The Fiesta ST GRC, though, isn’t an experiment. It is proof that you can frappe your brain and cudgel your internal organs with nothing more than a few orange cones and a 90-second ride-along with a GRC champion.

Continue reading Riding along in Ford’s bonkers Fiesta ST Global RallyCross car [w/video]

Riding along in Ford’s bonkers Fiesta ST Global RallyCross car [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Aug 2013 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Runaway ghost-riding motorcycle wants to keep racing *Update

Filed under: Motorsports, Videos, Motorcycle

Ghost riding motorcycle at Daytona SuperSport race

Ghost-riding Daytona SuperSport motorcycle – Click above to watch the video after the break

Here’s something you don’t see everyday. We’re a little short on details – there’s no description provided and we didn’t watch the race live – but the video after the break appears to have been taken at the start of the second SuperSport race in Daytona, Florida, earlier in 2011.

Two riders collided in the middle of a turn, sending both to the ground, while a third bike was left riderless but with both wheels still on the ground. That happens often enough that there’s a term for it – ghost riding – but generally the machine only goes a few hundred feet before falling over or hitting something solid. Not so in this case.

Somehow, the ghost-ridden bike managed to stay upright long enough that it veered back onto the track, barely missing the race leader. Fortunately, nobody was seriously hurt in the incident… and it was all caught on tape.

Click past the break to watch the video… clearly, at least one bike was not ready to score a lowly DNF without putting up a proper fight. Thanks for the tip, Milan!

*UPDATE: Turns out this clip is from the 2011 World Superbike race at Donington Park in the UK.

[Source: Streetfire.net]

Continue reading Video: Runaway ghost-riding motorcycle wants to keep racing *Update

Video: Runaway ghost-riding motorcycle wants to keep racing *Update originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 06 Apr 2011 19:24:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Profit Proliferation: Porsche riding high on Cayenne, Panamera sales

Filed under: Sedan, Performance, SUV, Europe, Porsche, Earnings/Financials, Luxury

2011 Porsche Panamera

Porsche Panamera – Click above for high-res image gallery

Porsche tripled its profits in 2010, thanks largely to profits from the Cayenne and Panamera. The Stuttgart-based automaker reported $960 million in profits before taxes and interest in 2010, up from $227 million the year before.

More impressive is the fact that those numbers represent a shortened fiscal year in 2010, meaning these things are moving like the proverbial hot cakes. Porsche’s five-month revenue total increased 59 per cent to 3.87 billion Euros.

Porsche is hoping to expand its global sales to 200,000 by 2018, or roughly double the number of dreamboats it moves now. With sales climbing this quickly, that goal doesn’t seem too far off.

Gallery: First Drive: 2010 Porsche Panamera

All Photos Copyright (C)2011 Michael Harley/AOL

[Source: BusinessWeek]

Profit Proliferation: Porsche riding high on Cayenne, Panamera sales originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 Mar 2011 17:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: Fiat’s high-riding, all-wheel-drive 500

Filed under: Spy Photos, Hatchback, Fiat

Fiat 500 AWD spy shots

Fiat 500 AWD spy shots – Click above for high-res image gallery

The 2012 Fiat 500 may just be launching here in the United States, but elsewhere, Fiat appears to be working on an all-wheel-drive 500 to battle the high-riding Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Sonic that have both been recently spied. Rumors have suggested that the AWD variant will be introduced around the same time as the slightly facelifted 500 in Europe.

This 500 mule is clearly rides higher off the ground than the normal car, and our spies point out that a reworked exhaust system is present on this test car – a result of the reworked underpinnings. We expect the 500 AWD to arrive sometime in 2012, though it is unclear whether or not this model is destined for consumption here in the U.S. Scroll through our gallery of high-res spy shots below to see for yourself.

Gallery: Spy Shots: Fiat 500 AWD

[Source: CarPix]

Spy Shots: Fiat’s high-riding, all-wheel-drive 500 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 02 Feb 2011 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Spy Shots: Is there a high-riding Chevrolet Sonic in our future?

Filed under: Spy Photos, Crossover, Chevrolet

Chevrolet Sonic CUV spy shots – Click above for high-res image gallery

Not long ago, our spies captured a lifted Ford Fiesta prototype, suggesting that a B-segment crossover might be in the works for Ford. If that’s the case, it looks like the Fiesta CUV will have competition when it hits the streets, as we’ve received this set of spy shots showing a high-riding version of the Chevrolet Aveo Sonic.

Is the Sonic CUV bound for North American soil? Hard to say, but we won’t be crossing our fingers for this one to arrive on our shores. Expect to see the Sonic-based crossover sometime in 2012, with both front- and all-wheel drive versions available, with power supplied by a range of gasoline and diesel engines.

Gallery: Spy Shots: Chevrolet Sonic CUV

[Source: CarPix]

Spy Shots: Is there a high-riding Chevrolet Sonic in our future? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 11 Jan 2011 19:24:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Millionaire Segway importer killed after rolling off cliff riding his own device

Filed under: Etc., Safety, Technology, UK

Segway X2 AdventureAccording to the BBC, Jimi Heselden, the CEO of Hesco Bastion, was killed on Sunday, September 26 when he apparently rode his Segway off of a cliff and into a river. Hesco Bastion sells Segway self-balancing scooters in the UK market.

According to the story, police were called after reports came in that a man had fallen into a wharf in West Yorkshire. Heselden and a “Segway-type device” were found in the water, and the scooter mogul was pronounced dead at the scene. Heselden made his fortune in the manufacturing sector and founded his corporation in the tough neighborhood where he grew up.

Heselden was also a generous philanthropist, donating a total of 23 million to various charities during his life. Earlier this month, the 62-year-old businessman donated 10 million to a Leeds community organization. The BBC quoted a spokesperson for Hesco Bastion as saying Heselden will be remembered both for his generosity and his pride in the Leeds area. Thanks to everyone for the tips.

[Source: BBC]

Millionaire Segway importer killed after rolling off cliff riding his own device originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 27 Sep 2010 17:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Riding shotgun in the BMW 1 Series M Coupe

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Europe, Videos, BMW

BMW 1 Series M Coupe prototype on track – Click above to watch video after the jump

It’s cool. We know you’ve already clicked past the jump and are well into watching one very lucky soul flog the snot out of a prototype of the oft-hyped BMW 1 Series M Coupe around the Ascari race track in Spain. We’re not offended. For those of you who are unfortunate enough to have YouTube blocked at your place of employment, allow us to share what you’re missing out on. The good people at M-Power somehow managed to secure a spot in the passenger seat of the second-coming of M during a hot lap. We’re not talking some pansy parade through the chicanes, either. It’s more of a kick the tail out, plop your foot onto the throttle and aim for the next curb sort of shindig.

If you’re looking for any details on the car other than just how well it can rivet a smile to you face, odds are you’re out of luck. Still, watching the little M blister around the course, we can’t wait to get our grubby journo paws on the pint-size coupe. The biggest question in our minds? How is BMW going to keep the M3 sharp enough to stay ahead of its meaner younger sibling?

[Source: YouTube]

Continue reading Video: Riding shotgun in the BMW 1 Series M Coupe

Video: Riding shotgun in the BMW 1 Series M Coupe originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 09 Aug 2010 20:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Review: 2010 Lexus ES 350 is soft-riding royalty that’s lost its crown

Filed under: Sedan, Lexus, Reviews, Luxury

2010 Lexus ES 350 – Click above for high-res image gallery

The entry-level luxury sedan segment doesn’t command the enthusiast attention of, say, the ultra-premium luxury sports sedan. But if you ask automakers to choose between the two, we’d wager that most would rather have a best-in-class $35,000 sedan than a world-beating $70,000 sports tourer.

The reason? Very few fortunes are made selling a few thousand highfalutin’ rocket launchers, but bottom lines can easily be bolstered or crippled based on the success or failure of a plush, high-volume cruiser. Luxury marques from Acura to Volvo have experienced varied levels of success at the low end of the luxury market, but few have enjoyed the consistent sales dominance of the Lexus ES. In the past decade, Toyota has cranked out over 600,000 copies in the U.S. alone, with another 650,000 units shipped around the world. And those sales have traditionally been overwhelmingly of the retail variety with little or no incentives. Not bad for what many consider a glorified Toyota Camry.

Enthusiasts take note: Lexus didn’t reach such lofty sales levels with a rear-wheel-drive architecture or pavement-punishing quantities of horsepower. The road map to success for the ES has been simple: a soft, compliant ride; a pampering interior; and unmatched quality. The fifth-generation ES350 has built nicely on those attributes with smoother power, a quieter cabin and more technology. But the competition is still striving to overtake the ES in sales, so Lexus has gone and given its top-selling sedan a mid-cycle refresh for 2010. We spent a week in a Starfire Pearl ES350 to see if it still had the goods to remain a top option in the entry-level luxury segment.

Gallery: Review: 2010 Lexus ES 350

Photos by Chris Shunk / Copyright (C)2010 Weblogs, Inc.

Continue reading Review: 2010 Lexus ES 350 is soft-riding royalty that’s lost its crown

Review: 2010 Lexus ES 350 is soft-riding royalty that’s lost its crown originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 Jul 2010 11:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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