Video: Gymkhana video team produces insane off-road flick using Polaris UTV

Filed under: Motorsports, Performance, Marketing/Advertising, Videos, Specialty, Off-Road

Gymkhana video team makes flick of Polaris UTV tearing it up at an abandoned iron mine.

The video team responsible for Ken Block’s first three Gymkhana videos is at it again, but this time, the action has been taken further off-road with a highly modified 2014 RZR XP1000, the new top-of-the-line Utility Task Vehicle (UTV) from Polaris. The video by Mad Media was published today as part of a campaign timed to follow last week’s release of Polaris’ newest offering.

The $20,000 recreational vehicles (Mad Media uses two XP1000s for the shoot), which started off with 107-horsepower 999.6cc two-cylinder engines before modifications, received suspension, engine and drivetrain upgrades before off-road truck racer and UTV champion RJ Anderson pitched them through some truly punishing terrain in an abandoned iron mine in Southern California’s desert.

The stunts are insane, and we’re impressed by the little UTV’s capabilities, but to our eyes, the video lacks the finesse and progression of the first three Ken Block Gymkhana videos. The single-pitch drone of the UTV’s engine doesn’t help, either. Watch as much off-road action as you want in the 10+ minute video below.

Continue reading Gymkhana video team produces insane off-road flick using Polaris UTV

Gymkhana video team produces insane off-road flick using Polaris UTV originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 05 Aug 2013 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Tanner Foust completes record-setting Team Hot Wheels jump at Indy 500

Team Hot Wheels
Team Hot Wheels’ “Fearless at the 500” record jump attempt – Click above for high-res image gallery

Prior to the start of today’s Indy 500, fans finally got to see the long-awaited Team Hot Wheels world-record jump attempt. The mystery “Yellow Driver” piloted specially-prepared truck down the 90-foot ramp that had been under construction in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s infield over the last several weeks. The neat gimmick behind Hot Wheels’ “Fearless at the 500” event was that the launch ramp itself was built to simulate that orange track we all grew up with, hung from a giant 10-story door. Talk about pandering to a guy’s inner child…

Anyhow, the stunt itself was a success, and fans at the Brickyard watched the truck sail, ramp-to-ramp, 332 feet through the air, setting a world record for four-wheeled vehicles in the process. Upon landing, the mystery driver doffed his helmet to reveal himself as American Top Gear host Tanner Foust. If you want to see the jump yourselves, be advised that ABC will air the stunt at 3:30 PM Eastern time today, following the conclusion of its Indy 500 race coverage. Check out the first few photos from the event below, and follow the jump for the press release.

UPDATE: Video of the jump now added after the break as well.

Gallery: Team Hot Wheels “Fearless at the 500” Jump

Continue reading Tanner Foust completes record-setting Team Hot Wheels jump at Indy 500

Tanner Foust completes record-setting Team Hot Wheels jump at Indy 500 originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 29 May 2011 14:55:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Caterham lineup set to expand under Team Lotus ownership

Caterham Seven Team Lotus trio

Caterham Seven Team Lotus Special Edition – Click above for high-res image gallery

It was only a few months ago that we reported on Caterham’s plans to expand its lineup. But a lot has happened since then, particularly for an automaker whose core product range is anchored in a design that goes back nearly six decades.

Since the launch of the SP/300.R, Caterham was acquired by Tony Fernandes – the same Malaysian entrepreneur behind Team Lotus F1. The new ownership is intent to keep the same management in place, but the cash injection is expected to lead to a further broadening of the company’s lineup.

Just what that will entail remains to be seen, but Autocar reports that whatever comes next down the pipeline will (arguably unlike some of Lotus’ own new products) remain faithful to Colin Chapman’s less-is-more philosophy.

The report also indicates a two-way door between Caterham and Team Lotus, the latter’s F1 cars set to feature the former’s branding while F1-derived technologies are set to trickle down to Caterham’s products. A Caterham Seven with regenerative braking and adaptive aerodynamics? Too soon to say, but the sky’s the proverbial limit.

Caterham lineup set to expand under Team Lotus ownership originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 10 May 2011 18:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Microsoft and Volkswagen team up for in-car file storage

Filed under: Etc., Technology, Volkswagen

volkswagen and microsoft logosThe House that Gates Built has teamed up with the Volkswagen Group to develop the next generation of automotive information and entertainment delivery strategies.

A firm called e.solutions supplies Volkswagen with its infotainment software. Microsoft has signed an agreement to license its Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT) technology to e.solutions, which allows the software developer to squeeze more information into smaller spaces. Also, the speed at which that data can be accessed will get a shot in the arm. Read more about this partnership in the full press release posted after the jump.

Continue reading Microsoft and Volkswagen team up for in-car file storage

Microsoft and Volkswagen team up for in-car file storage originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 07 May 2011 12:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rumormill: Team Lotus to acquire Caterham

Filed under: Motorsports, Lotus, UK, Rumormill

Caterham 7 racing

Colin Chapman’s legacy is a great one, without a doubt. But Lotus – the automaker and engineering firm he founded – isn’t the only one wielding it these days. So, too, do a number of manufacturers that build “continuation” versions of the famed Lotus 7, chief among them Caterham. And so does Team Lotus.

The latter Formula One racing outfit, as you may recall, originally licensed the name from Lotus’ Malaysian parent company Proton. It then bought the team name from an outside party laying claim. All of this prompted a legal battle between the racing team and the automaker which is still ongoing, a situation that was further complicated when Lotus itself got into the sport by buying into the Renault F1 team.

Now it appears that the Malaysian-owned racing team could be seeking to outflank Lotus itself by buying-out Caterham, the leading manufacturer of contemporary Sevens, as well as new models like the SP/300R. A press conference is reportedly scheduled for next week, so we’ll find out soon enough if the reports prove accurate. But for now, they certainly sound intriguing.

[Source: Autosport | Image: Caterham]

Rumormill: Team Lotus to acquire Caterham originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 22 Apr 2011 18:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Latvian team aims to be first to contest Dakar rally with EV [w/video]

Filed under: Motorsports, SUV, Racing

2012 OSCar eO

2012 OSCar eO – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Dakar Rally covers more than 5,500 miles of rough terrain through some of the harshest conditions in South America. It’s hell on both machines and drivers, demanding reliability from high-strung engines and full focus from people running on very little sleep.

The strains are enough to kill even the stoutest internal combustion engines and make veteran drivers crack. Despite all that, Latvian race car builder OSCar has decided to tackle the race in an EV. Powered by a permanent magnet motor making between 180 and 315 kW with between 370 and 590 lb. ft. of torque, the OSCar eO is an electrified version of the company’s Chevrolet LS-powered e3.

The eO’s top speed is a slightly underwhelming 86 miles per hour, but OSCar says the top speed won’t be an issue since it won’t be competing against conventionally-fueled entries.

OSCar says the eO will have a small, Nissan-sourced gasoline engine serving as a generator to help it cover long distances, but propulsion will be 100 percent electric. Helping the generator charge the batteries will be a regenerative braking system. Without the generator’s help, OSCar expects the e0 to be good for about 190 miles under light strain, and roughly half that under pressure.

To make sure the EV makes it from one end of the rally to the other, OSCar is sending along a support truck and an gas-powered e3 to make sure the car makes it to the finish in one piece. Watch for the OSCar eO when the 2012 Dakar Rally kicks off on January 1. Check out the video and press release after the break.

Gallery: 2012 OSCar eO

2012 OSCar eO2012 OSCar eO2012 OSCar eO2012 OSCar eO2012 OSCar eO

[Source: OSCar]

Continue reading Latvian team aims to be first to contest Dakar rally with EV [w/video]

Latvian team aims to be first to contest Dakar rally with EV [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 13 Apr 2011 13:29:00 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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Porsche’s Walter Röhrl, Christian Geistdörfer team up 30 years later for Targa Tasmania

Filed under: Motorsports, Classics, Coupe, Porsche, Australia, Racing

Rohrl-Gesitdorfer Porsche 911 SC

Walter Röhrl and Christian Geistdörfer with their 1981 Porsche 911 SC – Click above for high-res image gallery

Thirty years ago, Walter Röhrl and his co-driver Christian Geistdörfer very nearly won the San Remo Rally, after a comeback that would have been one for the ages. Röhrl and Geistdörfer were up against a field of faster, more powerful four-wheel-drive cars in their rear-wheel-drive Porsche 911 SC, and somehow managed to pull within an eyelash of victory.

Unfortunately, a broken driveshaft forced the pair to retire, leaving Michele Mouton’s Audi Quattro to run away with the race. Now, exactly thirty years after their heartbreak in San Remo, Röhrl and Geistdorfer are back in their 911 SC for the five-day, 2000-km Targa Tasmania. The rally starts today, and you can follow Röhrl and Geistdörfer’s progress here at Porsche UK.

The car that Röhrl drove in the 1981 San Remo rally was thrown together last minute because he was without a drive until just before the start of the race. The ill-fated San Remo run was the car’s only outing in professional competition. For this year’s Targa Tasmania, the car was found in a garage and restored to its 1981 competition specification.

Gallery: Rohrl-Gesitdorfer Porsche 911 SC

Rohrl-Gesitdorfer Porsche 911 SCRohrl-Gesitdorfer Porsche 911 SCRohrl-Gesitdorfer Porsche 911 SC

[Source: Porsche]

Continue reading Porsche’s Walter Röhrl, Christian Geistdörfer team up 30 years later for Targa Tasmania

Porsche’s Walter Röhrl, Christian Geistdörfer team up 30 years later for Targa Tasmania originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 06 Apr 2011 18:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Samuel Hubinette to field two-car Formula Drift team for 2011

Filed under: Motorsports, Coupe, Dodge, Racing

Samuel Hubinette Racing 2011

Two-time Formula Drift champion Samuel Hubinette is fielding a two-car team for the 2011 season, calling on European Pro Drift champion Dean Kearney as his second driver. The two will compete in a Dodge Motorsports Challenger and a Dodge Viper SRT-10. Kearney will wheel the Viper, while Hubinette will pilot the Challenger.

The two will drive for Hubinette’s own team, Samuel Hubinette Racing, and will get sponsorship from Dodge and V-LEDs Federal. Hubinette is sticking with longtime crew chief Brad Manka to lead both efforts.

Hubinette managed two Formula Drift championships in his first three seasons in the sport, and hopes to groom 22-year-old Kearney into the next Formula Drift champion. Kearney, a native of Ireland, won the 2009 European Pro Drift Championship. Watch for Hubinette and Kearney when the Formula Drift season kicks off April 8-9 in Long Beach, California.

[Source: Chrysler]

Continue reading Samuel Hubinette to field two-car Formula Drift team for 2011

Samuel Hubinette to field two-car Formula Drift team for 2011 originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 26 Mar 2011 19:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Hispania Racing Team F111 debut rounds out Formula 1 preseason

Filed under: Motorsports, Racing

2011 HRT F111

2011 HRT F111 – Click above for high-res image gallery

We know this looks like an F1 car. But you know what it actually is? It’s the end of the beginning. Because after Ferrari, Lotus, Renault, Sauber, Mercedes, Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Williams, McLaren, Virgin and Force India all unveiled their new Formula 1 cars for the 2011 championship, Hispania Racing Team has joined the action with the F111, marking the end of the preseason debuts.

The new car bears all the hallmarks of the new F1 regulations, but the first thing you’re likely to notice is its livery. With little in the way of sponsors, HRT brought in Daniel Simon – the former VW Group designer responsible for, among other things, the light-cycles in Tron: Legacy – to pen the car’s dynamic paint scheme. The result is considerably more attractive than last year’s gray car, leaving open spots for future sponsors (currently held by “this could be you” and “your logo here” lettering). Simon’s Cosmic Motors design firm gets its own logo on the sidepod wing plates, joined only by Tata Motors, which came to the team with Narain Karthikeyan.

The Indian driver, who once raced for Jordan way back in 2005, returns just in time for this year’s inaugural Indian Grand Prix. However, after showing Bruno Senna the door, HRT is the last outfit that still needs to confirm its second driver. This is business as usual for HRT, which last year used four different drivers: Karun Chandhok, Bruno Senna, Sakon Yamamoto and Christian Klien, none of whom scored a single point in the 2010 car. Can Karthikeyan and his to-be-announced wingman do better? Well, when you’re at rock bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up. Details are in the press release after the jump, with high-res images in the gallery below.

Gallery: 2011 Hispania Racing Team F111

[Source: Hispania Racing Team]

Continue reading Hispania Racing Team F111 debut rounds out Formula 1 preseason

Hispania Racing Team F111 debut rounds out Formula 1 preseason originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 12 Feb 2011 17:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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