Monday 31 October 2011

Leaked: 2013 Honda CR-V

First we saw prototypes, then we saw leaked patent images, and now we have Honda leaking the official images of the CR-V out on its Japanese website.

Mirroring the concept, the new CR-V will be based on an all-new platform that will allow for more interior space, lower load sill, and improved versatility.

Saturday 29 October 2011

Leaked: 2012 Toyota FT-86 Coupé

Images of the upcoming Toyota FT-86 Coupé have surfaced onto the Internet via a fan-site, ahead of its official launch next month at the Tokyo Motor Show. Both the standard and Toyota’s in-house tuning company, Modellista models have been scanned via an official brochure.

Although Toyota has refused to confirm the credibility of these photos, internal sources suggested the pictured vehicle is real. Furthermore, the rear-wheel-drive coupé stays faithful to the recent FT-86 II Concept.

Video: AMG designer renders CLS63 AMG in time lapse

Producing a sketch from paper to a digital rendering is a time-consuming process so AMG has shorten the whole process by creating a video.

First the designer sketches a drawing, which is then scanned and uploaded onto the PC. Using image-editing software, Photoshop CS5 in this case, the designer adds the finishing touches.

Friday 28 October 2011

Road Test: 2012 Suzuki Swift Sport

The previous incarnation of the Suzuki Swift Sport has its own cult following when it launched back in 2006, thanks to nimble handling, minimal body roll, and sporty ride, but can the new Swift Sport match others in a world controlled by 200bhp+ (203PS/149kW) hot-hatch models?


Suzuki has adopted the “if it's ain't broke, don't fix it” approach when it came to designing the new Swift Sport, so the design is evolutionary. The newcomer is easy to distinguish against the regular Swift, thanks to minor styling cues like 17” alloy wheels, deep honeycomb grille, tinted headlight clusters, rear grey fog light housing, and sharp-looking front fog light housing.

Oh no you did'nt: Eighty-seven year old found with $3m worth of drugs

A man from Indiana was stopped on Interstate 94 near Chelsea, MI with the possession of cocaine and this was no small amount either, we're talking about 104kg (229lbs) worth stowed in his ute.

The 87 year old, named locally as Leo Sharp, told a judge he was forced at gunpoint to take the drugs to a disclosed location. The drugs had a street value of $3m (£1.8m/€2.1m). Sharp was initially pulled over by a state trooper for to tailgating. After refusing to have his truck searched, a sniffer dog was called and found the drugs in black bin bags, stowed in the bed of the ute.

Thursday 27 October 2011

Video: Thai motorists turn motorways into car parks

Recently, Thailand has been hit with some of the worst floods in 50 years, affecting 3m and killing 300. As floodwater reaches the outskirts of Bangkok, motorists were warned to store their cars in areas free from floodwater.

So, what did the motorists do? Park their cars on expressways. “Parking on expressways is dangerous because cars on them are running very fast,” deputy city police chief Panu Kerdlarppol, he said.

Video: Save me; Rescue fails sees Lexus ES drown

In a dramatic rescue attempt that saw a Lexus ES300 on the brink of sinking into a lake in Russia had an alternate effect as the tow straps snapped off, sending the car straight into the lake.

Apparently, the owner parked the car too close to the water...

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Video: Cool as a cucumber; Owner totals Aston Martin Rapide

When most people have accidents, they tend to panic during and after, but not Roberto Ricci. You see, back in July, Ricci was picking up his new Rapide and as he was driving through the Italian mountains, he “accidentally” disengaged the car's ESP system.

With a reporter on board, Ricci lost control of the car when approaching a corner, sending the car straight into some barriers. Although no airbags deployed and both individuals escaped unhurt, the car was a write-off.

Reunited: Stolen Camaro handed back to original owner

Fact: On average, a car is stolen every 26.4 seconds in the U.S. However, for one citizen, more specifically, in Jefferson City, Missouri, it took him a while to find his 1969 Chevrolet Camaro.

Edward Neeley was 18 when he had his Camaro taken away from him in 1995, but 16 years later, he's united with his car.

Mini-me: Volkswagen releases miniature Beetle

Die-cast model collectors and kids, rejoice! Your favourite Volkswagen is now available through the firm's online store in miniature models.

It recently launched scale replicas of the Beetle, Up!, XL1 diesel-electric hybrid concept car, and the Race Touareg 3 Qatar Edition. The Up! Is a 1:87 scale while the Beetle is larger, at 1:43 scale.

Monday 24 October 2011

Video: The 1:4 scale R/C truck that tows cars

Hey, remember that video of the Nissan Patrol being towed by the R/C truck? Yeah, well we got more videos and information about the person who developed that 1:4 R/C beast.

The brain behind the truck was Italian born and bred Bordin Luca. Luca is an American truck enthusiast, with his favourite being the Peterbilt 359. He saw an online video of a man driving a model truck, so Luca decided to construct one for himself.

Car cramming: Volkswagen Up! now accommodates 16 people

To show how spacious the Up! is, Volkswagen took 16 female employees and crammed them into the city-car for an informal world record attempt.

Squeezing two in the boot, one on the dashboard, seven on the rear bench, four on the front seats, two in the footwells with the boot lid doors, and windows closed, the publicity stunt is hardly record-breaking but at 3,540mm long and 1.640mm wide, placing 16 people (with room to spare) into a car that seats four passengers is staggering.

Friday 21 October 2011

Oh no you did'nt: Mercedes North America CEO fired over fraud

Reports suggest that Mercedes U.S CEO, Ernst Lieb has been fired on the grounds of corruption. German newspaper, Handelsblatt said that the former CEO violated multiple compliance rules.

Lieb was accused of expanding his home in New York, hiring a house-sitter, paying for golf club membership using Daimler capitol. He was also lending vehicles in exchange for airline upgrades.

Marketing bull: Buick designs Verano seats with ponytails in mind

We've seen marketing exaggeration and then we've seen bull. You decide where this one sits.

Buick has developed the seats of the Verano is accommodate those who a ponytail. According to the marque, its engineers spend “at least 1,000 hours” developing the seats that prevent 'hot spots'.

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Leaked: Toyota Prius C/Aqua brochure leaked

Following numerous spy photos, the first brochure images of the upcoming Toyota Prius C/Aqua supermini have been leaked onto the Internet. The sub-compact hatchback will measure at 3,995mm (157”) long, 1,695mm (66.7”) wide, and 1,445mm (57”) tall.

Motivation for the vehicle will come from a petrol-electric drivetrain that can produce 73bhp (75PS/54kW) from a 1.3 litre petrol engine with 111Nm (82lb-ft) and a 60bhp (61PS/45kW) electric motor producing 169Nm (125lb-ft) of torque, although combined output will be rated at 99bhp (100PS/74kW). This will be mated to a CVT transmission that will use 35.4km/l (2.8l/100km) of fuel, although, one can't directly translate from the Japanese cycle to the European/American cycle.

Video: Cargo squatters; Kids ride in a boot of a car

Have you ever seen three kids casually sitting in the boot of a luxury sedan in a developed country?

Filmed in South Korea, the driver of the Hyundai Genesis obviously didn't want the kids ruining the interior of his car, and from what we can see, the car is virtually free from passengers. Jump after the break for more.

Monday 17 October 2011

Say what: Mercedes 300 SL Roadster acutions for €405,000

It seems like people are spontaneously finding classic Mercedes 300 SL models. Following the appearance of the 1955 Mercedes 300 SL Lightweight special edition in a garage in Santa Monica, CA, another has appeared in Piraeus, Greece.

However, this one's ever rarer than others; the 1960 300 SL in question is a hard-top as most sold around the world were soft-tops. The car was a possension of Greek racing car fan, Criton Dilaveris, who bought it second hand. Mr. Dilasveris passed away in 1972 but had no heir, so all his assets belong to the city.

Video: Hit 'n' Run; Wreckless driver runs-down woman on bicycle

Welcome to another series of “Idiot behind the wheel”. This time we're in Racari, Romania, where a young lady on a bicycle is casually cycling across a predestrian crossing before she gets knocked down by a speeding truck. Thankfully, she escaped any serious injury and fainted at the side of the road.

And the truck driver, yeah, he's long gone.

Sunday 16 October 2011

Video: The DIY Hyundai from China

When the going gets tough, we all have to make sacrafices. Like this group of young men in China, who built a life-size replica of the Hyundai Grandeur/Azera sedan.

Over a period of months, they welded a tubular steel frame, used plastic sheets, polystyrene, and silver foil. Add to that a transmission, steering wheel and handbrake. More after the jump.

Video: Fiat Panda design story

To mark the introduction of the third-generation Panda city-car, Fiat has released a short video detailing the design of the Panda throughout the years.

The Panda III goes on sale in February 2012.

Saturday 15 October 2011

Stillborn: The Opel's that never were

Deep within Opel's Rüsselsheim basement lies a score of prototypes that never saw the day of light...until recently, that is, when the marque decided to open its doors to the public.

After the jump, you'll see numerous prototypes like the original Meriva with suicide doors and a 1992 Nova (Corsa A) facelift.

Friday 14 October 2011

Oh no you did'nt: Abarth employees steal €1m worth of parts

Around a year ago, an Abarth retailer noticed that it received an incomplete Esseesse (pronounce that eh-seh eh-seh) kit for a Abarth 500, so it complained to the factory.

Initially treated as an isolated incident, more and more dealers complained, with one dealer saying they didn't received a full kit. Alarm bells rang so the Italian tuner contact the Italian Carabinieri.

Smooth handling: BMW launches....hand sanitiser....

With moisturiser! It's BMW's most quirky way [yet] of promoting its new i sub-brand.

Working with Austrian cosmetics brand, Susanne Kaufmann, Purif-i is a natural product that will be sold in Berlin, Hong Kong, and New York.

Thursday 13 October 2011

Video: No wheel, no problem

Some drivers are idiots, and then you have some who set their own benchmark, like this bright spark.

Shot somewhere in Russia, the simpleton driver behind the wheel of this lorry compensated the missing front left wheel by pushing debris onto the right-side of the bed.

Video: Payback; Saudi drifters get arrested

Remember those dumbarses drifters in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, drifting mid-sized Japanese sedans? Guess what, the police have caught up with them. And we're not just talking about one patrol car turning up, no, we're talking about a fleet of patrol cars arriving, panicking bystanders, causing havoc.

There's more after the jump.

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Say what: British Government to put away around £15m for low-carbon cars

The Government is looking to commit at least £15m (€17m/$23.6m) to boost development of low-carbon vehicles. According to the Government, the purpose is to create investment “highly innovative, industry-led collaborative research and development projects that will achieve significant cuts in road transport CO2”.

While we're all for lower carbon vehicles to hit the road like range-extending hybrids, fuel cell, alternative fuels, and to a lesser extent, electric vehicles, we think that money could be better spent on other things, like education.

Spied: 2013 Volvo V30 testing in Western Europe

Spies have caught the first pictures of Volvo's upcoming wagon en-route to the UK via The Netherlands. Snapped in a McDonalds car park, the five-door wagon will sit above the C30 hatchback but below the aging V50.

The newcomer will sit on the front-wheel-drive 'P1' structure, shared with the S40, V50, and C30 and is pencilled for a 2013 market launch. Internal sources have hinted that Volvo have longed for a C-segment competitor since it last launched the 440 in the '90s. The compact wagon was even pushed ahead of the aging XC90 in the marque's product cycle.

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Video: Money, money, money; Man hoses down interior of new Mercedes CLS

It seems like someone is taking the Bissell  “we mean clean” slogan to literally. Shot in Macedonia, this pearly white Italian-registered Mercedes CLS 350 CDI was getting a deep clean...and we mean a deep clean.

The driver or owner (some comments suggest the men filming and cleaning are Eastern European and the car is stolen) seems completely oblivious that he's causing a substantial amount of damage. Another conspiracy theory suggests this is an insurance job.

Monday 10 October 2011

Video: Off-road fail; Driver plunges SUV face-down

Off-road days can be full of fun and danger, as this video shows. Shot somewhere in Europe during an off-roading event, the driver of this odd-looking SUV decided it would be smart if he pushed the accelerator pedal to the floor over a fairly steep hill and then slam the brakes, but law of physics kicked in, sending the vehicle face-down.

Things could have been a lot worse other than the child knocking his head.

Video: Dead or alive; Impatient driver causes potentially deadly accident

This next clip isn't for the faint-hearted. An impatient driver somewhere in Russia, driving a white compact sedan, decided to overtake two or three cars.

Travelling at high-speeds in between both lanes, it seems as if the driver lost control at the last minute and smashed straight into an oncoming lorry. Judging by the severity of the impact, we wouldn't hold our breath for any survivors in the white sedan.

Sunday 9 October 2011

Video: Overload; Russian bus driver overloads bus

First things first: we don't have anything against bus drivers, but this is clip boarders on the extreme of stupidity.

The video shows a few people trying to get into a tightly-packed bus. Realising there's not enough space at the rear, they miraculously make some and a brave lady boards the bus. But look closely and you'll see she's quite literally squashed up against the window.

Saturday 8 October 2011

2013 Ford Transit spied, U.S sales confirmed

Ford is currently busy testing the new Transit commercial van in the Austrian Alps. The new 8th-generation Transit will replace the current 7th-genetation model in Europe when it goes on sale in Spring 2013. In the U.S however, the E-Series will be sold alongside the Transit as separate product, as Ford feels there's enough difference for the two models.

Ford's Kinetic design language is clear on this prototype. Looking dynamic and striking, a pronounced fascia, upswept window line, and bulging wheelarches will feature, although the latter could be camouflage.

Video: Runaway, runaway; Driverless Ford Thunderbird reeks havoc in New Jersey

As the saying goes, always expect the unexpected. Unfortunately for these firemen in Wildwood, New Jersey, they weren't prepared for what was awaiting them....a driverless 1970 Ford T-Bird reeking havoc in reverse.

“We never had to deal with a car going in a circle,” Captain Christopher D'Amico said to NBC40 news. “We were concerned that it would change trajectory when it was bouncing up on the curb, that the tire would go in an opposite direction and send it into something else,” he stated.

Friday 7 October 2011

Video: Czech mate; Audi driver crashes into police patrol car

Proceeding with our “Another idiot behind the wheel”, the Czech driver of the black Audi really wanted to overtake the lorry ahead, despite the solid white line that prohibits any overtaking.

The result? The black Audi ploughed into the patrol car, causing substantial damage.

Video: Nissan showcases NSH-2012 smart house

You've heard of smartphones, now Nissan gives you a smart house. The brand has showcased their NSH-2012 "Smart House of the Future" at CEATEC Japan.

The house was designed with Leaf owner in mind and features an aeroplane-inspired monocoque construction that is part of a 'smart' community, that unites eco-friendliness with easy living.

Wednesday 5 October 2011

Kia TAM to be EV only

Kia has announced that it will launch a boxy electric vehicle before years' end. The project is called TAM, which we've spied before, is a city-car/mini-MPV based upon the Hyundai i10.

By Winter 2012, Kia hopes to sell more than 2,000 units, with the car featuring unique styling.

Monday 3 October 2011

Video: Fast and furious...and dumb

We've all encountered those drivers who feel as if they're king of the road, by doing what they please behind the wheel. Thankfully, karma intervenes and they get their comeuppance.

For example, this Daewoo Matiz driver in South Korea is evidently impatient. They want to turn left but aren't willing to wait in a queue, so the driver is speeding on the outside lane, attempting to squeeze in where possible, but because they were so distracted, he or she failed to notice the closed triangle in the middle of the road and as a result, got caught inside.

Sunday 2 October 2011

Video: Comparing apples to oranges; Cadillac pitches Escalade SUV against Mercedes C300

Could this be one of the worst automotive comparison's so far this year? Cadillac has decided to pitch its Escalade SUV against a Mercedes C300 compact executive sedan in a drag race.

Obviously, the race isn't fair as the Escalade has a bigger engine (6,200cc vs 3,000cc) and the fact the two vehicles aren't in the same segment. And despite its bigger engine, bluff aerodynamics and extra weight, the gap between the Escalade and C300 is something of an embarrassment.

Saturday 1 October 2011

Forthcoming Toyota Prius C/Aqua sub-compact hybrid to exceed 70mpg

Earlier this year, Toyota took the wraps off the Prius C Concept; a supermini-sized, “fun to drive”, high-mileage hybrid car designed to appeal to young singletons and couples. Following numerous spy photos, reports out of Japan suggest that Toyota's new supermini hybrid will be substantially cheaper and more fuel-efficient than the larger Prius. The Prius C, Aqua in Japan, will be $4,000 cheaper and 25% more fuel-friendly than the current Prius.

To trim development costs, Aqua will utilise the same hybrid set-up found in its larger sibling. On the Japanese 10-15 test cycle (extra urban/highway), the car is able to achieve 94mpg. In comparison, the Prius obtains a 75mpg figure on same cycle, so the Prius C/Aqua is more or less 25% more efficient, meaning it will achieve an EPA highway rating of more than 70mpg.

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