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What you missed on 9.29.14 PDF Print E-mail

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Pagani HuayraDriving and debating the pricey Cadillac ELR

See that pretty, black coupe over to the right? That's the 2014 Cadillac ELR, and we think it's perhaps the best-looking Cadillac currently on the market. Problem is, it's also one of the most expensive, and we're not so so it's worth it's shockingly (pun intended, sadly) high price. In fact, we're pretty darn sure it isn't. Read our full report to find out why.

Lamborghini leakLamborghini Asterion leaks in magazine

The 2014 Paris Motor Show is right around the corner, which means it's just about time to expect the leaky wheels of the internet to start showing off the carefully hidden treasure trove of debuts planned for the City of Lights. In this case, though, it was a magazine that did the leaking, and it's a tasty new concept from Lamborghini on its pages.

Chevy Corvette2016 Chevy Camaro spied in Germany

There's a new Chevy Camaro headed our way, but before it gets Stateside, the boffins at GM need to make sure it's completely ready for the road – and that means testing on Germany's notoriously high-speed roadways and race tracks. And that, in turn, means spy shots. See the latest round of camo'd test mules right here.

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2016 Chevy Camaro makes camo'd appearance in Germany PDF Print E-mail

2016 Chevy Camaro

After our initial round of spy photos revealed a heavily camouflaged prototype of the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro, we've been on the lookout for anything new on the next-gen muscle car. And now, we have it.

This is the best look we've had of the 2016 Camaro yet, and while it may be wearing a Michigan manufacturer's plate, this tester is zipping about on Germany's Nürburgring. As with our first batch of photos, this appears to be a more potent version of the Camaro, potentially an SS 1LE or ZL1, judging by the power bulge in the hood, the quadruple exhausts, the meaty wheels and a significant rear spoiler.

Aside from those items, most of which were available in the July round of photos, our spies point to an even slimmer roofline, which leads into a smaller rear decklid and a rounded rear end. Out front, we can see an evolution of the current Camaro's wide, narrow grille (more than one Autoblog editor points out that there's a Scion tC-like quality to this car's nose, although we'd like to point out that's largely the fault of the camouflage) and a front axle with wheels pushed towards the outer corner of the car.

It's not clear what sort of engine is sitting under this Camaro's hood, although considering it's sporting touches, we're betting it's some sort of V8. Other engines that could arrive on the new Alpha-platform Camaro include the usual suspects – GM's 3.6-liter V6, which is found in the current car, and the 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder found on the next Camaro's platform-mates, the Cadillac ATS and CTS.

Take a look at our full battery of spy photos of the 2016 Chevy Camaro.

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Chevy Silverado Toughnology Concept gets ready for SEMA PDF Print E-mail

'Toughnology' Concept Shows Silverado's Built-In Strength

High-strength steel body structure supports capability, reduces weight, cost

2014-09-25
DALLAS – High-strength steel makes the Chevrolet Silverado lighter, stronger and more efficient than the conventional carbon steel used in most vehicles. Those attributes are highlighted in the simulated raw steel appearance of the new Silverado Toughnology concept.

The concept is also a showcase for Silverado's connectivity technologies – including all-new OnStar 4G LTE with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot – as well as accessories and performance parts available through Chevrolet dealers.

"The technology of advanced high-strength steel makes the Chevrolet Silverado stronger, lighter, more capable and more efficient – and that's exactly what the Toughnology concept represents," said Jeff Luke, executive chief engineer. "During the Silverado's development, we evaluated all materials and chose those that would provide the best strength to support capability while still delivering a strong value to customers.

"High-strength steel had clear advantages and is a contributor to the overall package that made Silverado the 2014 North American Truck of the Year."

High-strength steel, which is pressed while still in molten form, can be up to 30 percent lighter than carbon steel with the same strength. It offers significant mass savings at a lower cost than aluminum, which helps keep down the overall vehicle cost. Lower weight translates to greater efficiency and capability for truck owners.

The 2015 Silverado 1500 with the EcotTec3 5.3L V-8 engine is EPA-estimated at 23 mpg on the highway and offers a maximum trailering capacity of 11,200 pounds, per newly adopted SAE J2807 Recommended Practices. With the available 6.2L V-8 engine and all-new eight-speed automatic transmission, the Silverado's trailering capacity increases to 12,000 pounds.

The Silverado Toughnology concept wears most of its high-strength steel under the skin, just like every production model. Approximately 67 percent of each Silverado cab is constructed of the durable material, including stronger ultra-high-strength steel. It is used in the A-pillars, B-pillars, rockers and roof rails, as well strategic sections on the interior structure. Ultra-high-strength steel is used in areas of the rocker panels and underbody to help improve performance in crashes.

The 2015 Silverado 1500 crew cab model earned a 5-Star Safety Rating – the highest rating – in government crash testing.

Lightweight strength extends to the Silverado's pickup box, where the floor is made of roll-formed steel. It's more durable than the conventional stamped steel used by other manufacturers and it's lighter than the material used for stamped parts, further reducing vehicle weight.

The Silverado also strategically uses aluminum, including the hood, which saves 17 pounds over a conventional stamped steel hood.

"We put the best materials to use where they'll do the most good," said Luke. "Every panel, inside and out, is designed to support the Silverado's capability and carry on its position as America's most dependable, longest-lasting truck."

Concept features

The Toughnology concept is striking for its stripped-down appearance. The paint job mimics the look of raw, unpainted steel and is accented with steel molecule graphics. The hood – the only visible metal exterior component that isn't steel – is painted black.

Additional black and chrome exterior accents complement the raw steel appearance, along with Chevrolet Accessory 22-inch wheels mounted on off-road tires. The special content includes:

Chevrolet Accessories grille insert
Tubular assist steps
Soft, folding tonneau cover
Washable carpet bedliner
Fender flares
Tinted headlamp lenses.

Performance capability upgrades include a performance exhaust system and upgraded performance brakes. Under the hood is a performance air intake system on its 5.3L engine rated at 355 horsepower and 383 lb-ft of torque.

Inside, the Silverado Toughnology wears LTZ trim, including heated, leather-appointed bucket seats. It also features the available rear-seat entertainment system and Silverado's latest connectivity features, including OnStar 4G LTE with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot and a wireless phone-charging mat that recharges phones via a magnetic inductive charge.

The available OnStar with 4G LTE and built-in Wi-Fi hotspot provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the vehicle is on and comes with a three-month/three-gigabyte data trial (whichever comes first). 4G LTE is the most current and fastest mobile data network – 10 times faster than 3G and 100 times faster than OnStar's previous generation hardware.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.9 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

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What you missed on 9.26.14 PDF Print E-mail

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Pagani HuayraDriving the $1.84-million Pagani Huayra

"The Pagani has an exhilarating sharp edge to it that never allows you to drop your guard. I was constantly nervous, relentlessly cautious and overwhelmingly engaged." Those are Michael Harley's words about the absolutely magnificent hypercar that he drove to bring you today's feature review. We needn't say anything else. Go read it. Now.

Ferrari2014 Paris Motor Show preview

The 2014 Paris Motor Show is right around the corner (next week!), and thus, we're getting our list together of all there is to see at the French expo. Greg Migliore recaps the different things that make up what's important at the Paris show, and adds some insight into the specific vehicles we're tipped to see this year. Of course, stay tuned for our full coverage in just a few days.

Chevy CorvetteTesting the Corvette Museum's new track

Forget about that sinkhole. The big news at the National Corvette Museum this year is the opening of its on-site racetrack, and we recently had the opportunity to test it out. It's "3.15 miles of roller-coaster blacktop," and we experience all of it from behind the wheel of – what else? – the new C7 Corvette Stingray. Read our thoughts and check out a video, here.

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Porsche 911 Turbo and Nissan GT-R Nismo star in World's Greatest Drag Race 4 PDF Print E-mail


We love Motor Trend's annual World's Greatest Drag Race video. Now back for its fourth appearance, the idea of lining some of the world's fastest cars up for a ten-wide, straight-line, full-throttle run is, well... it's pretty freaking badass.

The lineup this year boasts some impressively fast cars to be sure. The group of ten includes the following darlings: Alfa Romeo 4C, BMW i8, BMW M4, Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Ford Fiesta ST, Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, Nissan GT-R Nismo, Porsche 911 Turbo S, Subaru WRX STI and, last but not least, the Volkswagen GTI. Give us any one of those for the weekend, and we're happy to take the keys.

It must be said though, that for a publication that draws as much water as Motor Trend does, there are some big cars that we might expect to be here instead. The Lamborghini Huracán or Ferrari 458 Speciale would have added some exotic flare to the list, and the omissions of the Chevy Corvette Stingray (for the second year in a row) and the Dodge Challenger Hellcat are real head-scratchers.

In any event, the 10-way blast-off really comes down to a two-car race, as you might expect. Hit that play button to get in on the fun.

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Chevy announces Tahoe and Suburban Z71, Texas Editions PDF Print E-mail

Chevrolet Introduces 2015 Tahoe and Suburban Z71

DALLAS – Chevrolet introduced Z71 editions of the 2015 Tahoe and Suburban today at the Texas State Fair. They go on sale this fall.

Synonymous with off-road performance, the Z71 package adds a front skid plate, off-road tires mounted on 18-inch wheels, a unique grille, running boards and "Z71" identification inside and out. Fog lamps, front tow hooks and front parking assist are also included.

"The popular Z71 package enhances the capable look and feel of the new 2015 Tahoe and Suburban," said Sandor Piszar, director of Chevrolet Marketing. "It gives customers another choice when it comes to selecting the full-size Chevrolet SUV that's perfect for their lifestyle."

The Z71 package is available on 2015 Tahoe and Suburban LT models with 4WD, with vehicles produced starting in October. Those vehicles also benefit from additional content added midway through the launch year, including OnStar 4G LTE with a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless phone charging capability and hands-free liftgate operation.

OnStar with 4G LTE with a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot is standard on LT and LTZ models. It provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the vehicle is on and comes with a three-month/three gigabyte data trial (whichever comes first), after which the customer can purchase additional data.

The hands-free liftgate and wireless phone charging are included with the available Luxury Package on LT models and they're standard on LTZ. The hands-free liftgate feature allows a customer with a keyless entry fob to open and close the liftgate by waving his or her foot under a sensor beneath the rear fascia.

With the wireless phone charging feature, a magnetic inductive charging system allows users to place their phone on a small mat in the vehicle, where it charges without the need to plug it in.

Designed for greater capability

The new Z71 package complements a chassis and suspension system engineered to deliver a quieter, more-controlled ride. It all starts on a stronger, fully boxed, perimeter frame, which supports payload and trailering capability that body-frame-integral crossovers and SUVs can't match.

All models – 2WD and 4WD – feature an updated coil-over-shock independent front suspension design. At the rear is a five-link coil-spring suspension design, which enables optimal ride and handling through more precise tuning. Additional chassis and suspension features include:

– A wider rear track that contributes to a more planted stance
– Shear-style body mounts, which reduce body shake and enhance the feeling of structural stiffness and improve damping performance when compared with previous compression mounts
– Eighteen-inch standard wheels are a half-inch wider than previous models, reducing tire flex for improved cornering performance
– New, electric variable-assist power steering system enhances fuel economy and tailors steering assist to vehicle speed
– New four-wheel-disc brake system with Duralife™ brake rotors that offer up to double the service life
– Available automatic locking rear differential that provides greater traction when needed and greater driving comfort when it's not.

Tahoe and Suburban LTZ models feature third-generation magnetic ride control – a real-time damping system that delivers more precise body motion control. It "reads" the road every millisecond and changes damping in just 10-15 milliseconds in shocks filled with a magneto-rheological fluid containing minute iron particles. Under the presence of magnetic charge, the iron particles align to provide damping resistance almost instantly.

Z71: A legacy of capability

Chevrolet has long used the Z71 designation as the order code for 4WD or off-road suspension packages on its full-size trucks and SUVs – much like Z28 originally denoted a specific suspension package on the Camaro.

In 1988, the first official special Z71 package appeared on Chevrolet's new-generation full-size pickup trucks, melding capability-enhancing components such as special shocks and chassis protection equipment with visual distinction, including the iconic Z71 rear fender decals.

As Chevrolet introduced new-generation full-size SUVs for 2000, a special Tahoe Z71 marked the end of production for the previous-generation models. Z71 packages were offered on Tahoe and Suburban in 2001 and have remained in production for most of the last 15 years. On some models, the package was available with 2WD suspensions as well.

In 2013, Z71-equipped models accounted for 10 percent of Tahoe and Suburban sales.

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Tahoe/Suburban Texas Editions Salute the Lone Star State

Special package mirrors Silverado model for the largest Chevy truck market

DALLAS – Deep in the heart of Texas, Chevrolet sells more Tahoe and Suburban models than in any other state and all-new Texas Editions of the SUVs celebrate the Lone Star State's love for Chevy trucks.

The 2015 Tahoe and Suburban Texas Editions go on sale next month, offered in LT or LTZ trims, and distinguished by exclusive badging. They also feature a special package of options for $2,195 for the LT and $1,095 for the LTZ in addition to the SUVs' retail prices, including:

– Max Trailering Package, which includes a 3.42 axle ratio and trailer brake controller in addition to the standard hitch receiver and seven-wire harness
– Twenty-inch polished aluminum wheels on LT models
– Twenty-two-inch premium painted aluminum wheels on LTZ models
– Additional nine-month subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio
– Navigation radio on LT models (it is standard on LTZ.)

"Texas is Chevy truck country and the new Tahoe and Suburban Texas Editions celebrate that passion like Friday night football," said Sandor Piszar, director of Chevrolet Marketing. "These SUVs are part of the very fabric of Texas life."

The Tahoe and Suburban are woven into the Texas economy. With combined retail sales in the state up 37 percent for the first eight months of 2014, they've not only kept dealers busy, but the workers at the Arlington Assembly plant, where they're built. The plant marked its 60th anniversary earlier this year and started building the Suburban and Tahoe in 2000. More than 4,500 Arlington employees have been working on three shifts, seven days a week to keep up with the full-size SUV demand.

Since opening in 1954, Arlington Assembly has more than tripled in size and produced nearly 10 million vehicles.

Texas is also the Chevrolet Silverado's largest market, with nearly 40,000 retail sales for the first eight months of the year. In addition to a Texas Edition of the pickup, Chevrolet earlier announced a special University of Texas version for 2015. Along with the special Texas Edition content, it features an exclusive Sunset Orange Metallic exterior color accented with UT graphics on the rear fenders and tailgate.

Strong sales of the Tahoe, Suburban and Silverado in Texas helped propel a 14-percent increase in national Chevrolet truck sales in August. Tahoe and Suburban had their best retail sales month in six years, while Silverado's overall sales were also the best since 2008.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.9 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

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World's quickest street-legal vehicle is... 1998 Chevy S-10 pickup PDF Print E-mail


In the pantheon of performance cars and trucks that have come across our radars, there exists a clear dividing line between those designed solely for use at a racetrack – be that a road circuit, oval, dirt track or drag strip – and those that can be driven to and from such a track. Which makes sense, since any car that can legally be driven on the road must comply with a number of varied and complicated requirements that include proper safety glass, lighting bits, bumpers and treaded tires, while machines destined to live out their lives off our nation's highways need to do little more than go fast and provide a modicum of safety for its driver and any competitors.

All of that (probably unnecessary) preamble explains why there's so much interest in claiming the title as the world's quickest street-legal vehicle. And there's a new king on that ballyhooed throne. The location was a quarter-mile strip of asphalt in Tulsa, OK, the competition was the 2014 Drag Week event hosted by the boys at Hot Rod, the driver was Larry Larson and the vehicle was, get this, a 1998 Chevy S-10 pickup truck.

Video evidence can be seen above, and we suggest you head on over to Hot Rod to read more about Larry and his steel-bodied pickup after seeing for yourself what it's capable of. Yes, it certainly pushes the boundaries of what we'd consider "street legal," but it's an impressive accomplishment no matter which way you slice it.

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1969 Corvette Lego model needs some support to make production PDF Print E-mail

1969 Chevrolet Corvette Lego proposal

Spend just a few minutes looking around online, and you quickly find that people have figured out how to make just about anything out of Lego, including some very cool model cars. The Danish company has taken this fact to heart and has released some fantastic automotive kits recently. In August, its vintage Mini Cooper came out, and a few years ago, it unveiled its 1962 Volkswagen Bus. But maybe it's about time that Lego added a large-scale recreation of a classic American sports car to its offerings.

To that end, a user named Brickdater on the website Lego Ideas is hoping to put this 1969 Corvette into production. According to the project description, "Ever since I can remember I've always wanted a '69 Vette. So I built one." The creator definitely gets the C3 'Vette's curvaceous form down, despite having to render them in angular plastic blocks. Brickdater has even managed to achieve a two-tone look with a white stripe running over the hood, roof and trunk. As it sits now, the Corvette is made up of 1,500 parts – about 420 more than the Mini Cooper – and the design features removable T-tops and a really well-detailed engine bay, complete with a carb and hoses.

Lego Ideas is a way for the company to get new product ideas directly from its fans. If a project receives 10,000 supporters, the Lego Review Board evaluates it. Then if it gives the design the thumbs up (which isn't a guarantee), the kit gets put into production. Lego even shares a percentage of each sale with the creator.

With about 2,400 supporters as of this writing and nearly a year to reach the goal, Brickdater's Vette is doing pretty well so far, but obviously it could use a nudge if you're so inclined. You can add your further encouragement over at Lego Ideas.

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Leno samples Corvette Z06, steam cars, supercars and the wonders of Pebble Beach PDF Print E-mail


While Jay Leno's Garage was conceived to highlight the wonders of The Big Chin's eponymous storage facility, Leno does occasionally get out an into the larger world. A great excuse for a road trip was Pebble Beach and the festivities around Monterey, where Leno seemingly had a pretty full dance card.

In an episode aptly dubbed The Ultimate Car Week, our host takes us through a pretty representative selection of great things to see in and around Pebble. Starting with a ride-along in a steam car, Jay manages to check in on McLaren's newest supercar and drive the Alfa Romeo 4C along the way. Oh, and he swipes a look at the all-new Corvette Z06 (next to the original Z06), before hitting the Concourse d'Elegance, too.

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