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2015 SEMA Preview: Hyundai teases new Veloster Turbo R-Spec

Hyundai hopped on their PR wire to tease a new tuner concept they’re introducing at this year’s 2015 SEMA show in Las Vegas.

It starts out life as  Veloster Turbo R-Spec and is then given to Blood Type Racing, who gives it a pretty wicked workover.

The modifications include a carbon-fiber wide body kit, complete with an aggressive front splitter and canards, “demon eye” colored headlights, a carbon fiber rear spoiler, and red-painted 19-inch SSR Professor TF1 wheels, wrapped in fancy Toyo Proxes R888 tires.

The tuner look also continues inside with a four-point roll-cage, four-point safety harnesses for the seats, a Sabelt steering wheel, and a Rockford Fosgate high-end audio system.

It’s also has some go to complement the show as Blood Type Racing also fiddled with the 1.6L turbocharged four-banger by fitting a large Garrett snail, a revised intake manifold, and even methanol/water injection. A custom-made intercooler gets fitted to help the snail function more efficiently, a sports-tuned exhaust system, and rebuilt internals to handle the stronger outputs. The result: 500hp.

Check out the press release after the jump.

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Video: The first trifecta shootout feat. LaFerrari vs McLaren P1 vs Porsche 918 happens

Remember when Top Gear was in the process of trying to arrange the first-ever track competition featuring the LaFerrari, McLaren P1, and Porsche 918 Spyder? So do we, but Jeremy Clarkson threw a wrench into that whole attempt by punching a producer and getting fired, so that was sacked.

You’d think Chris Harris would’ve done it by now, but it seems The Supercar Driver beat everyone to the punch by being able to get all three hypercard at Silverstone Circuit on the same day, within several hours of each other, for a track battle.

Yea, take that Ferrari…

Previously, the reason why outlets had difficulty testing all three hypercard back-to-back was because of some interesting brand politics where Ferrari wouldn’t loan a LaFerrari out for testing, even to those as big as the BBC’s Top Gear UK crew, because they didn’t want to risk their reputation. So there was no chance in hell anyone else was going to get their hands on the three cars all at once.

But when there’s a will, there’s a way and like life, someone found a way.

The cars were flogged around the track for the fastest time with Touring Car driver Mat Jackson behind the wheel of all three. Check out the first video in this three-part series after the jump.

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Video: Watch how the Ford Focus RS came to be in terms of design and crash-worthiness
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Ford is doing an episodal campaign with the new, hotly-anticiapted Focus RS as a way to tease us with their hottest Focus ever, which is even coming stateside.

The first two episodes started off with the pilot and Ken Block, who obviously has rich ties with Ford. In the first episode of the series, Block was featured with the Focus RS in the video dubbed, “Rebirth of an Icon – Project Kick-Off Featuring Ken Block.”

Click here for more news on the Ford Focus RS.

With the latest addition to the series, Ford shows off the Focus RS prototype in its testing phases for crash-tests and exterior design. In all, a total of around 28 Focus RS prototypes were destroyed for the sake of your head and safety.

As a refresher, the new Ford Focus RS is expected to come with Ford’s last EcoBoost turbocharged four-banger, in place of the previous Focus RS’s Volvo-sourced turbo five-cylinder. It’s the same 2.3L EcoBoost four as the new Ford Mustang EcoBoost, though it’s massaged to churn out 345hp and 324 lb-ft of twist, which is more than the Mustang EcoBoost’s 310hp rating. A six-speed manual or automatic will be available and for the first time, the RS will come standard with all-wheel drive.

Check out the videos after the jump.

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Lexus once again confirms new luxury sedan concept at Tokyo, could preview next LS sedan

Not too long ago, a report surfaced indicating Lexus was prepping a new luxury concept for the Tokyo Motor Show in just a few weeks as a preview to the next-generation LS sedan.

Now, Lexus themselves confirmed the concept will actually show up and is indeed a precursor to the sixth generation flagship sedan.

It is said the new LS sedan is due for production sometime later in 2016, so it’s very safe to assume the concept twill be near-production ready, or at least will closely resemble the production version of the LS. Being the flagship, it’ll also foreshadow what Lexus has in store for the future with its entire lineup as the LS paves the way for the future of company’s next-generation of cars.

Rumors suggest the new LS will still get a honkin’ V8 with around 465hp available while a hybridized version should also continue into the new version with a combined output or around 535hp, similarly to the current LS600hL.

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Report: Maserati closing up shop…temporarily with production amid slow demand

Maserati doesn’t seem to get out of its slump of low desirability as AutomotiveNews Europe reports the Trident of Italy will be closing up shop at production for the first week of November due to slow demand. And this isn’t just in America or Europe as sales are even declining in China, the largest car market in the world.

Around 2,000 employees will be getting a work-sanctioned vacation because orders have been mainly fulfilled at Maserati and production exceeded the demand, according to the company’s CEO, Harald Wester.

This isn’t the first time this happened this year as production for the Ghibli and Quattroporte were halted in the second quarter of 2015 due to a similar drop in demand, hacking away at the company’s profits.

As a result, Maserati will dedicate its resources more to the preparation for the launch of the new Ghibli-based Levante crossover, which is the company’s only major chance at success in terms of making a popular selling model that could result in greater profits.

– By: Chris Chin

Source: AutomotiveNews Europe

Jeremy Clarkson confirms new Amazon show won’t be called “Gear Knobs”

Not too long ago, a rumored report from BuzzFeed surfaced to suggest Jeremy Clarkson and friends’ new TV show should be called “Gear Knobs,” given the fact that the trio have been called “knobs” many times before in their quests and ambitions on Top Gear UK.

Of course, as a play on words, this would totally make sense given that cars are filled to the brim with knobs.

But amid some new news from Clarkson’s Twitter, he confirmed the new show on Amazon isn’t called “Gear Knobs” as suggested by the previous report. Other name possibilities include “House of Cars,” as a spinoff from Netflix’s House of Cards show, but that too was turned down as well, especially since Clarkson, Hammond and May didn’t team up with Netflix.

So the official name for the show still remains to be a mystery. That’s a bit of a shame, we kinda liked “Gear Knobs.”
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Cadillac implements some modest changes thru its lineup 2016 CTS and ATS get tweaked

Cadillac officially announced to be adding some minor changes to the 2016 ATS and CTS sedans as they enter the new model year.

Most of the changes are in the name of added efficiency as the 3.6L naturally-aspirated V6 engines in both cars are bound to receive GM’s latest Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivation system. Also gaining the system is the Escalades massive V8.

Both mills can drop down to four-cylinder operation, depending on the driving situation, boosting fuel economy when needed.

Though the 3.6L V6 and 6.2L V8 aren’t the only engines to gain the fuel-mising systems as the 2.0L turbocharged fours in the ATS and CTS also get the annoying feature known as Automatic Start/Stop. Additionally, GM’s latest eight-speed automatic has been standardized on the sedans to boost acceleration performance and fuel economy.

Yay efficiency!

For the press release, check it out after the jump.

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Report: The Range Rover Evoque Cabrio to be limited in production

Land Rover’s attempting to be successful in a market niche where Nissan once was not. That niche would be the one previously filled by the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet, the bastard child of a crossover with its head chopped off and two doors.

The result is the Range Rover Evoque Cabrio, which the British luxury SUV firm announced will be revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this year. And similarly to the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet, Land Rover’s anticipating sales to be low and slow so as a result, they’re limiting production of the Evoque Convertible.

Land Rover tout’s the new model as the “world’s first luxury compact SUV convertible,” but we’re not so sure how such an accolade will improve sales forecasts since there wasn’t much to help the unremarkable sales of the Murano CrossCabriolet. But then again, the Murano was uglier than a troll beaten with the ugly stick and to its advantage, somewhat, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible is at least a little bit better looking. It’s still no convertible Defender though…

Either way, the Evoque Convertible will reach US shores while being sold in Europe and China and it’ll only be available in three-door configuration.

– By: Chris Chin

Source: AutomotiveNews Europe

Report: The Lincoln Continental is scheduled to take a bow in Detroit
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CARandDRIVER received the scoop regarding the new, highly-anticipated Lincoln Continental sedan and its reveal, which is now scheduled to happen at the Detroit Auto Show next year.

C/D spoke with Lincoln Marketing Manager, Imran Jalal, who disclosed the new bit and in the same breathe, also confirmed the Continental will continue riding on a front-wheel drive-based platform with all-wheel drive as option, similarly to the current MKS flagship sedan.

Click here for our original post on the 2015 Lincoln Continental Concept from the 2015 New York Auto Show. And more news.

Lincoln originally shocked the audience and press at the 2015 New York Auto Show with its Continental Concept, velour seats and all which seems to be a huge throwback to Lincoln’s golden years in the 1970s, back when you were likely to find a brick of cocaine nestled away in the trunk well.

It also sparked controversy for resembling the Bentley Continental Flying Spur sedan just a little too much.

Either way, Jalal didn’t expose any details regarding what will power the new Continental, but it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to expect a range of transverse Ford offerings, such as their EcoBoost V6 or even their naturally-aspirated V6.

– By: Chris Chin

Source: CARandDRIVER

Report: The Ford GT could get lightweight carbon fiber wheels like a Koenigsegg

Ford is still in the midst of developing the all-new GT supercar before it gets launched for sale sometime next year.

That said, new reports are still hailing in about what should come with Dearborn’s latest halo car and this time, Australia’s Car’s Guide apparently learned the new GT should sport a unique set of kicks.

Click here for more news on the Ford GT.

Speaking to “internal sources,” the outlet supposedly heard the new GT could get carbon fiber wheels to help keep unsprung weight low in order to improve handling overall. Carbon fiber wheels aren’t exactly new, but they aren’t entirely mainstream either, as in your basic Nissan Z doesn’t exactly come with them. That’s because they’re expensive, and carbon fiber is still a material that isn’t readily available to the point of being put into affordable mainstream automobiles. So it’s no wonder that a company like Koenigsegg was one of the first manufacturers to offer carbon fiber wheels.

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