Friday 30 September 2011

New spy photos of upcoming Vauxhall/Opel premium supermini

Spies have caught Vauxhall/Opel's forthcoming supermini undergoing testing again. This time, the vehicle was snapped on a testing facility in Germany undergoing high-speed testing.

The newcomer is still wearing thick camouflage with plastic body-panels dominating the fascias. We expect the Allegra/Junior to borrow designed cues off the recent Zafira Tourer, including the glossy black boomerang-shaped fascia inserts.

Thursday 29 September 2011

2013 Cadillac ATS spied in Nürburgring

Cadillac is still thoroughly testing the new ATS compact executive sedan on the roads of Europe and these latest spy photos suggest the brand is getting very serious about the European market. Spied testing in Nürburgring, Germany, engineers want to make sure the vehicle drives with precision. Recently, prototypes have slowly dropped the heavy camouflage, allowing us to make out more details than ever.

GM CEO, Dan Akerson said that Cadillac has “ceded this segment of the market to our foreign competitors for far too long”, while Europe head, Nick Reilly said the brand is “serious this time” about making Cadillac work around the world.

I can see you: Dodge Hornet sedan spied undisguised

We've seen the new Chrysler/Dodge compact sedan in mule and prototype form, but this is the first time we have encountered a pre-production model of the new Dodge sedan. Set to be called Hornet (the Hornet concept was a supermini), the vehicle was spied deep within a Chrysler facility, ready to take the road after being disguised.

Visually, the newcomer looks contemporary despite missing its headlights. The fascia seems to be dominated by a glossy black squat crosshair grille, which lends a sporty, dynamic look.

Wednesday 28 September 2011

Massachusetts demands that innocent drivers still pay fines (U.S)

Beware if you're driving in Massachusetts, as the state's supreme court ruled that any motorists given a fine must pay a fee, even if they're found innocent by the court.

The ruling came as a lawyer, locally named as Ralph C. Sullivan, opposed a $100 (£64/€73) fine for not staying within a marked lane. Sullivan finally won his case, but was forced to pay $70 (£45/€51) in court fees.

Tuesday 27 September 2011

2013 European-spec Honda CR-V leaked

These are the first undisguised photos of Honda's forthcoming CR-V. Leaked from the EPO (European Patent Office), it's clear that the production-ready model will remain faithful to the concept.

The biggest changes will occur upfront, where the new CR-V features a wraparound front bumper, that better integrates into the bodywork, an outstanding three-bar chrome grille, and slimmer headlights with LED's. According to Honda, the pointier fascia contributes to better aerodynamics, thus reducing fuel consumption.

Monday 26 September 2011

Follow the leader: Toyota sued by woman over crude campaign

Facepalm, fail, call this story what you like, it could cost Toyota $10m (£6.4m/€7.4m) after a creepy marketing campaign for the Matrix compact went horribly, horribly wrong in 2009. The concept of the campaign, called 'Your Other You', revolves around a pretend stalker called Sebastian Bowler, a 25 year old English alcoholic who is a diehard football fan, to stalk a nominated target.

As part of the prank, the victim, Amber Duick, received e-mails from Mr Bowler, played by an actor, asking her to stay at her home after getting kicked out of the motel. This is where things started to get uneasy, Duick received an e-mail from someone claiming to be the motel manager and demanded a fee for a television that Mr. Bowler has destroyed.

Sunday 25 September 2011

Mercedes CEO dropped from murder investigation

Following the accidental death of a 27 year old test driver, it's been confirmed that Mercedes CEO Dieter Zetsche can not be made accountable for his accidental death. The engineer was killed in a car accident caused by a younger intern pulling out onto a high-speed test track.

His parents have said Mercedes should not have allowed the inexperienced young intern behind the wheel of a car. Senior public prosecutor Alexander Retemeyer said in a report: “There is an investigation. It is highly doubtful that the chief executive personally can be held responsible for this, however.”

Holden Commodore tops list for most stolen car in 2010 (AU)

If the slogan of the Australian state of Victoria - “Victoria – The place to be” - is anything to go by, then perhaps you wouldn't be surprised that it has one of the highest car thefts in Australia, with the most stolen vehicle being the humble (in its entry-level form) Holden Commodore, at least according to RACV Insurance claims data.

In the last financial year (2010/2011), 198 Commodore owners made claims with arch-rival, the Ford Falcon taking second place with 107 insurance claims filed. Other stolen vehicles in Victoria include the Toyota Corolla, Ford Laser (Orion in Europe), and the Toyota Camry.

Saturday 24 September 2011

Uh oh: John Travolta has Mercedes 280 SL stolen

Crooks in Santa Monica, CA, have stolen John Travolta’s 1970 Mercedes 280 SL. The classic car was parked near-by when theft took place during the day, after Travolta popped into a Jaguar dealership. Around 10 minutes later, the car vanished.

The thieves obviously knew the 280 SL fetched a high-sticker price on the used market. Reports suggest the robbery was professional, possibly employing a tow-truck.

Video: Watersports; Nissan GT-R lands in shallow stream

Hmm, there's something strange about the videos after the jump...could it be that the Nissan GT-R landed in a shallow stream after the driver lost control in Amsterdam, Holland.

Local media report that the driver was finishing up from a close-by track day when, for some unknown reason, lost control of the supercar. Thankfully no-one was hurt in the accident. Wash watch the two videos after the break.

Friday 23 September 2011

Video: Invalids in cars terrorise other drivers

The 'idiots behind the wheel' bar has risen considerably by these morons in mid-sized sedans. Brandishing guns, shooting from car window's and driving like they are being electrocuted, the 10 minute video was filmed in Saudi Arabia.

Unfortunately, the invalids drew a crowd off people, thus encouraging them further. As if that wasn't enough, the Accord is thrown in the path of other motorists and near a school bus. For shame, for shame!

Video: Skills!; Truck driver performs neat manouver on motorway

Always expect the unexpected, that's the moral of the video after the break. The footage shows a large red lorry making a quick manoeuvre to avoid contact with the vehicle, a Mini, in front after it crashed into another car.

Check it out!

Thursday 22 September 2011

Video: Girls just wanna have fun; Russian trio sing and dance while driving

After the jump, you will be able to view a video of not what to do when you're driving. The three women, named Elena Temnikova, Olga Seryabkina and Anastasia Karpova, form a Russian pop group called Serebar and are seeing dancing and singing away while cruising in a new Volvo S60.

Just for the record, we wouldn't advise you watching this video at work.

Wednesday 21 September 2011

Video: The wheels on the bus go round; Driver stopped for carrying 66 kids in minivan

In parts of Asia, overloading a vehicle is common practise. For example, a passenger car designed for 9 people may carry 13 or 14 passengers, but what this driver and school teacher did may be pushing the boat out a little.

In Qianan, Hebei Province, China, a compact MPV was stopped by local authorities after it was discovered that 66 small children – aged 4 and 5 - were crammed into a vehicle designed to carry 8 passengers. The rear cabin was dismantle and fitted with wooden benches to transport the children to school. The driver apparently received a hefty fine.

Golden Eye: Tata Nano draped in $4.5m worth of valuable substances

A company that owns a large chain of jewellery stores in India has unveiled a Tata Nano covered in £2.9m ($4.5m/€3.2m) worth a valuable substances. Goldplus said the design is an outcome of a competition announced late last year.

We're not going to point out the irony draping the world's cheapest car in some of the world's most expensive substances. Around 80kg (176lbs) of 22 carat gold, 15kg (33lbs) of silver, and mixture of precious and semi-precious stones like rubies, pearls, emeralds, and black beads feature.

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Video: It's behind you; Ferrari owner unable to find reverse gear

Hand's up if you can find the reverse gear on your car. I can, its the little “R” on the top-left hand corner of my gearstick, but as the title suggests, this Ferrari 360 Modena owner was unable to find reverse.

This incident occurred on the streets of Belgium when the driver took the wrong road. After many attempts of trying to find the reverse gear, he gave up and pushed the car back by hand with assistance from his passenger.

Video: Yellow submarine; Rare Ferrari Enzo takes a dip into the sea

With Ferrari producing around 400 Enzo supercars, the last thing you would to do is damage it and then make headlines. Unfortunately, that's what happened to car dealership owner, Zahir Rana at the Targa Newfoundland Rally in Canada.

The 2003 Enzo, tuned by Edo Competition, was driven by Rana when he hit a hump, sending the vehicle into the sea. Rana and his co-driver Roland Linder escaped without any injuries, while the car was rescued, sustaining minor damages.

Monday 19 September 2011

Video: Starry eyed; Fiat teams with J-Lo for new advert

Fiat's U.S division has released its latest advert for the new 500C, starring Jennifer Lopez.

The 42 year old signed a temporary contract with Fiat and will feature in other commercials throughout the year. Unsurprisingly, considering the price-tag J-Lo commands, the commercial primarily focuses on her. But if you look hard enough, you may just see the 500C too.

Thursday 15 September 2011

Video: When a Corvette meets a tree

If you're bored at work or school, here's a video to get your day off to a good start, primarily because you didn't encounter him.

This man in a Corvette Z06 started showing off to impress the car filming the incident by trying to drift in sharp corners, eventually he started getting cocky and took a corner too fast, losing control of the car and smashing into a tree.

Toyota slammed over 'Touch & Go' multimedia system

Toyota has been criticised by a safety chief for allowing text messages to be sent while the vehicle is in motion. More specifically, the new “Touch & Go” multimedia system in the Yaris allows driver's to sent bespoke SMS messages through the system's touchscreen. Rivals systems only let driver's reply with preset messages like “Driving now, will reply later” or “Driving now, please call later”.

AA road safety chief Andrew Howard argued that it could be a distraction, saying: “People will feel pressured to reply to texts and not watch the road.” He added that owners “risk falling foul of dangerous driving laws” if not in proper control of the car. Obviously, this is were common-sense should kick in.

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Dacia to launch three new models in 2012

Budget car marque Dacia is looking to launch three new models next year, but only one model will reach the UK in addition to the Duster compact SUV.

The Renault-Nissan owned firm had a quiet booth at the recent Frankfurt show but will launch a compact family sedan, MPV, and commercial van for 2012, with the former joining the ageing Duster.

Fisker confirms deliveries for Karma

Remember when Fisker first promised to get the Karma into American dealerships by September 2010, and then again in March 2011. Well, that never happened and the third deadline is looming, September 2011.

Henry Fisker promised to get retailers some inventory by the end of September 2011. According to an internal whistleblower, Fisker is on track to meet that target, although official deliveries haven't begun yet.

Tuesday 13 September 2011

It's getting hot in here: Chevrolet Cruze diesel spied in SoCal

After confirming the diesel Cruze for the U.S, spies have snapped the U.S spec Cruze conducting towing tests in Death Valley, California. Unsurprisingly, the test vehicle was spied with the Volkswagen Jetta 2.0 TDI.

It's safe to assume the mill under the hood will be a turbocharged 2.0 VCDi 4-cylinder that produces 161bhp (163PS/120kW) and 360Nm (265ft-lb) of torque.

Monday 12 September 2011

Meet India's first female mechanic...

Shanti Devi is believed to be India's first and only female mechanic. The 50 year old employs her 55 year old husband, Ram Bahadur, on the Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar Depot, on the outskirts of Delhi.

Her garage sits on a 75 acre site and has been functioning for 18 years. Working 12 hours a day, seven days a week, Devi makes 48,000 rupees (£650) a month in the heyday summer months, where some pull in 2,000 rupees (£26).

Video: Outrageous; Four-year old girl driving on public streets

After the jump, you can watch footage of a happy four year-old Chinese girl called Jia Zheng driving a mid-sized Chevrolet car in early morning traffic in Jinal, Shangdong Province, China.

It's though that her mother is filming in the front passenger seat while her father is sat at the back shouting instructions. At one point, Jia executes a clever manoeuvre around a car that's waiting to turn-off elsewhere. Later on, she pulls over to let her Dad drive, who removes a few objects that are attached to the pedals. The video has caused anger in China where people are calling for her parents to be prosecuted.

Sunday 11 September 2011

Video: High five; Volkswagen 'claps' 2012 Beetle

Volkswagen will be airing its new Beetle commercial tomorrow across the United States as it builds up interest prior to the launch in Autumn. The multi-million dollar advertising campaign will include magazine and digital advertising, in addition to television advertising.

The advert features an amazed Beetle driver being high-fived by lots of passers-by with Shirley Ellis - The Clapping Song playing in the background.

Volkswagen produces 10,000th Passat sedan (U.S)

The 10,000th Volkswagen Passat has rolled off the assembly line. Despite being functional for less than six months, the brand's Chattanooga, Tennessee factory reached the milestone yesterday. The milestone car was a Passat TDI in Candy White, destined for a customer in California.

“A lot of hard work has gone into this milestone, and I’m very proud of our team for reaching the 10,000 cars produced mark while maintaining high quality,” said Frank Fischer, CEO and Chairman of Volkswagen Chattanooga, in an interview with the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Saturday 10 September 2011

Buick rules-out Regal station wagon

For those of you who were holding out for a Buick station wagon, you will be sorely disappointed. Despite spy photos of a production-ready Regal station wagon, an internal source at Buick has revealed that the company is not consider a Regal wagon for the foreseeable future.

It was rumoured that Buick was pondering over three additional variants of the Regal, including a coupé, cabriolet and station wagon, although Buick's European division, Vauxhall/Opel, will obtain a coupé variant of the Insignia.

Fiat to offer Chrysler new compact commercial van in 2013 (U.S)

The Ford Transit Connect is about to have some company in the small commercial van market, as Chrysler’s Ram division is set to import the Fiat Doblò.

This was first speculated earlier this year as spy photos started appearing of a Michigan-registered Fiat Doblò chassis testing in Michigan. Fiat and Tofas Turk Otomobil Fabrikasi announced in a statement that it will produce 190,000 Ram Doblò commercial vans over a period of seven years, beginning in 2013.

Audi diesel sales increase in U.S

Thanks to lower NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) in diesel vehicles, Audi has announced a surge in diesel uptake, particularly in the A3 compact. In fact, 69% of U.S spec A3s were powered by the 2.0 TDI unit, despite the four digit price premium. The Q7 diesel was also popular, with 45.5% of customers plucking the muscular 3.0 TDI V6.

Other German brands have reported similar increases with the Mercedes-based 3.0 CDI V6 accounting for 36% of GL sales. Around 20% of BMW X5 sales have gone towards the 3.0d diesel mill.

Friday 9 September 2011

Bugatti holds Galibier 16C

According to an American media outlet, Bugatti/Bentley CEO, Wolfgang Durheimer is delaying the Galibier 16C in a pursuit for perfection. An internal source within VAG says Durheimer wants the production Galibier 16C to have more power, space, and comfort when it goes on sale.

The source added the car should be at the very top of every segment so “billionaire buddies” can talk about its merits without reservation and should be an “argument stopper”.

Alfa Romeo 159 production ends

Alfa Romeo has terminated production of the swanky 159 sedan and wagon after six years. It comes as Fiat needs the Pomigliano d’Arco, Italy, plant to produce the new Panda.

The 159 replaced the hugely popular 156, a car that nearly turned around Alfa's fortunes in the late 90's. Unlike its successor, the 159 never caught on with buyers as Alfa Romeo marketed the car as a premium alternative to other compact executive German sedans. Alfa is expecting any remaining stock to run-out soon as it prepares itself for the upcoming Giulia.

Thursday 8 September 2011

Murder on the dancefloor: Dodge to abort Nitro SUV

Chrysler has confirmed that it will kill-off the wacky Dodge Nitro SUV by year's end, despite sales increasing 20% this year. Chrysler will continue to manufacture the Nitro in Autumn but the vehicles will be marketed as 2011 models.

Until December, the only trim-level that will be offered is the R/T, that will feature sports suspension and a 4.0 litre V6 petrol engine.

Peugeot reaches 1 millionth milestone with 308 compact

Peugeot has build its 1 millionth 308 compact family car at the Sochaux, France, factory a few days ago. The milestone car was a silver 5-door 1.6 e-HDi 112. The 308 is also built in Mulhouse, France, and combined, pump out a thousand 308s a day.

The 308 was launched at the Paris motor show in Autumn 2007, before going on sale in 100 markets across the world. Recently, the 308 was facelifted for 2012, with the vehicle being a huge success in Russia, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

Video: Threading a needle; Russian driver narrowly misses pedestrian

The lights turn green and up the road, there are some pedestrians crossing the road. Do you slow down or try to avoid them by speed through? Well, just ask this Russian driver as he weaved through two pedestrians who were crossing the road.

We're not even sure the driver was paying any attention to what's going on, but then again, perhaps the walkers shouldn't have crossed the road....

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Look at me!: Toyota teases 2012 Avensis facelift

Toyota has teased the revised Avensis, ahead of its world debut at next week's Frankfurt motor show. Up front, the fascia boasts restyled headlamps, grille, and bumper, that jointly follow Toyota’s new design language. The rear will feature reworked tail-lights and a new bumper.

Toyota will also improve the interior quality and made “strategic changes” to the engines and driving dynamics, making it Toyota's words “the largest mid-life investment Toyota has made for any model”.

Car sales increase for the first time (UK)

For the first time in just over a year, car sales have increased by 7.3% to 59,346 units last month. Fleet sales continued to increase while the private sector grew by 10.7% with the supermini sector growing by 17.6% in August.

SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt recognises consumer confidence is low, but said buyers are well catered for in today’s market: “The September new car market is always important for the UK motor industry, accounting for around 17% of the full year’s registrations. Consumers are nervous about the future, but with industry offering unprecedented improvements in fuel economy, competitive finance offers and a wide variety of new models, buyers will find there is something to suit every taste and pocket.”

Video: Fire, fire; Ariel Atom catches fire in street race

This Ariel Atom caught fire at the Västerås Street Racing event in Sweden. As the vehicle was starting, smoke started bellowing out of the engine compartment, eventually causing a fire.

The driver doesn't seemed fazed by the incident but when he does get out of the car, we find out that he's wearing jeans. How hard is it to acquire a fire-resistant racing suit?

Tuesday 6 September 2011

Doom or gloom: Toyota 4Runner survival vehicle hits eBay

For those of you who fear a possible zombie attack or an imminent apocalypse, a Western Virginian man has built a Mexican drug tank “survival vehicle.”

The vehicle itself a 1995 Toyota 4Runner V6 with a large front bullet deflector, a 1,200 psi liquid nitrogen-fed air cannon, and a unique camouflage paint job.

Last ever Mitsubishi Eclipse to be auctioned off

The last ever Mitsubishi Eclipse has rolled off the production line and will be later auctioned off in Illinois. The last Eclipse is a bespoke model, powered by a 3.8 litre V6, featuring a Special Edition package, 18” Dark Argent alloy wheels, unique graphics, sunroof, leather interior, 650 watt Rockford Fosgate 9 speaker audio system w/Sirius XM, Bluetooth, rear view camera and bi-xenon headlights.

When the Eclipse first launched in 1989, it attained cult status with 980,000 units sold and was one the biggest selling coupés on the market.

Monday 5 September 2011

Video: Police man goes crazy over stubborn driver

Hitting numerous websites across the world is video footage of a police officer verbally abusing a motorist.

The police man pulled over the SUV for speeding. Initially, everything goes well until the cop finds a previous arrest for possession of marijuana. He returns to the motorist and said he'll “cut him [motorist] through” but he would like the vehicle to be checked over. Due to the lack of warrant, the driver declines, in which, the officer bursts and starts cursing at the driver.

Video: Batmobile; Taiwanese man jumps green Toyota with baseball bat

Check out the video after the jump of this disturbance that took place somewhere in Taiwan. While we can't piece everything together, a small Toyota sedan is chased by two men, one with a baseball bat.

A few minutes into the video, the man with the bat jumped onto the green sedan and smashed the windscreen before the moving car strikes the vehicle filming the kerfuffle.

Technician joyrides in 1 Series M Coupé, gets fired

When an individual orders a high-end car, like a BMW 1 Series M Coupé, the last thing you want is someone a douchébag to abuse it and video it. Alas for one trusting SoCal owner who had his potential M-Coupé tooled around by a technician and his co-worker. The dealership was asking for a $20,000 premium over the regular on-the-road price for the unsold car.

After enthusiasts 1Addicts found out, the technician tried to cover his tracks by deleting the video from his YouTube account. The technician was later sacked and is on the run from the police.

Sunday 4 September 2011

Fourteen men busted for stolen car export

U.S agents are about to close an intense investigation regarding a spate a car thefts that started on 9th July 2008.

According to The National Post, it all started when Jason Hana hired a Dodge Journey in Michigan, then gave the car to Adnan Hana, who drove it into Canada. Jason followed Adnan into Canada in a second car, but only to return together on the same day in a single car, leaving the Dodge in Canada.

Jeep workers fix different wheelarches to 2012 Wrangler

A worker at Jeep's Toledo, Ohio plant decided that he wanted a customer to have a bespoke Wrangler, by fitting mix-matched wheelarches. The black 2012 Wrangler Sahara headed towards an outlet in New York, where the dealership is aware of the painted and unpainted wheelarches and is awaiting confirmation from Chrysler. user mathjak107 said he noticed the fault a week ago after the vehicle was left in a garage for a few days while Hurricane Irene passed through New York.

Saturday 3 September 2011

Justin Bieber crashes borrowed Ferrari in L.A

Justin Bieber got himself into a little fender bender with a Honda Civic when he was driving around in a borrowed Ferrari California in Studio City, Los Angeles, U.S. According to reports, neither Bieber or the Civic driver were injured.

Reports suggest the accident was so minor, police didn't bother recording it but both vehicles sustained minor damage.

Video: Ute driver just misses motorcyclist

A biker and his passenger in Australia narrowly missed death when a light pick-up truck, possibly a Toyota Hilux passed inches, if not millimetres, away from them.

Because the incident happened so quickly, you may have to replay the video a few times. It seems that the ute driver took a corner too quickly, thus causing him to wide-turn to avoid tipping over.

Video: Going down under; Sinkhole gobbles Jeep Patriot SUV

A 35 year old man from Lexington, Boston, Massachusetts, made local news after a series of accidents caused a sinkhole to swallow his Jeep Patriot.

The accident occurred 6:30am on a Tuesday morning when the sliver Patriot ploughed into a telephone girder and then pounded into a fire hydrant, which flooded the surrounding area, causing the earth below to collapse. Luckily, the driver suffered minor injuries.

Off with his head; Man commits suicide with SUV

While many find themselves on the receiving end of law enforcement officers, you can't help but feel for them when they are subjected to harm and distressing situations.

Cue the case of a middle-aged man who decollated himself after having an argument with his ex-wife over the custody of their two children. According to WAVY TV 10, the unknown 46 year old from Virginia committed suicide by wrapping a steel cable around his neck and fastening the other end to a tree.

Friday 2 September 2011

Green and mean; Muammar Gaddafi's Fiat 500 Castagna EV captured by rebels

Two rebels have got their mitts on Muammar Gaddafi's Fiat 500C Castagna EV. Confiscate at the dictator's home in Bab Al-Azizia, the custom-made convertible was ordered by Gaddafi in June 2009 by a go-between.

He requested that the vehicle be delivered by September with numerous bespoke alterations like a cream leather upholstery, jade green/gold paint, wood accents, and other Libyan themed highlights. All this cost him tax-paying Libyans £88,550 (€100,000/$144,100) in which the vehicle was also ordered with a huge recharging system that allows a depleted battery to be fully charged in 10 minutes.

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