|_______________||2 || || Video: The big dune jump and the damage done |
Filed under: Motorsports, Truck, Videos, Ford, Specialty, Racing
The Silver Lake sand dunes see their fair share of well-built trophy trucks executing impressive jumps. Drivers build insane pieces of machinery for the express purpose of sailing through the air like mad men and women.
Mike Higgins is no stranger to the area. His heavily modified Ford trophy truck has gone flying through the sky on more than one occasion, but he recently bit off more than he could chew. After hitting a particularly lofty dune, Higgins went airborne for a ridiculous 180 feet before becoming intimately familiar with the finer points of gravity.
While Higgins nailed the jump, his landing fell short of wowing the judges. The impact very nearly broke his truck in two. Despite the mechanical mayhem, the driver walked away without a scratch, proving that occasionally miracles really do happen. You can check out the jump and the subsequent destruction below for yourself. Be warned: there's a fair bit of foul language.
Continue reading The big dune jump and the damage done
The big dune jump and the damage done originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 20 May 2013 19:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
|_______________||3 || || ETC: Graduates! The CEO of GM has some wisdom to share |
Filed under: Etc., GM
Universities are right now trotting out Grade-A commencement speakers to motivate this year's graduating class of collegiates to change the world, or at least vacate their parents' property before the age of 30. Some of the most inspiring commencement speeches of all time include the one Steve Jobs gave at Stanford in 2005, and this year's address du jour is one given by the late David Foster Wallace at Kenyon College in 2008 (watch them both below).
Automaker executives are often invited to the podium to speak as well. Former General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner spoke in 2011 at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne just recently addressed graduates at Walsh College. Over the weekend, current GM CEO Dan Akerson took to the podium to inspire students embarking from the Mendoza School of Business at Notre Dame.
Did Akerson, who graduated from Annapolis in 1970, motivate the next Jobs, Musk or Gates to lead us all into a bright and promising future? We'll let you read the transcript below and judge for yourself. His message had to do with what constitutes a good leader, those qualities being the ability to define reality by setting priorities, allocating capital and resources to meet those priorities, a willingness to serve and leading by example.
Speaking to a room full of business school graduates, Akerson also remarked, "If all you intend to do with this knowledge and influence is see how many points you can score on your personal wealth scorecard... then something is terribly wrong." An interesting, if convenient, revelation from someone whose salary topped $11 million in 2012.
Continue reading Graduates! The CEO of GM has some wisdom to share
Graduates! The CEO of GM has some wisdom to share originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 20 May 2013 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
|_______________||4 || || Report: BMW-Toyota sports car heading towards Tokyo debut |
Filed under: Performance, BMW, Toyota
Earlier this year, BMW and Toyota confirmed a four-part joint venture mostly focusing on increasing improving vehicle efficiency using fuel cells, lightweight materials and better battery technology. Also tucked into the announcement was a "feasibility study" for a shared platform to underpin a future midsize "sports vehicle."
In terms of the latter, it seems that things have stepped up from the feasibility stage to the conceptual stage, as Motor Trend reports we could see a pair of new sports car concepts debut later this year in at the Tokyo Motor Show. There isn't much information about the new program, but the article suggests the sports cars could be all-wheel drive hybrids, with electric motors powering the front wheels and a gas engine powering the rear wheels. While a partnership between Toyota and BMW might not lend itself to a catchy portmanteau like "Toyobaru," here's hoping it will bear fruit that is as exciting as the ones produced by the Toyota/Subaru tie up.
BMW-Toyota sports car heading towards Tokyo debut originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 20 May 2013 18:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
|_______________||5 || || Spy Shots: Is Chevrolet readying a CNG-powered Impala? |
Filed under: Spy Photos, Sedan, Chevrolet, Specialty
When it comes to fleet vehicles, the Chevrolet Impala definitely plays an important role for General Motors, and it looks like GM is hard at work developing the next-gen Impala for bulk-buying businesses. The Motoring Journal recently spotted a handful of Impalas testing in Colorado with minor camouflage, but upon closer inspection, these appear to be test mules for a new compressed natural gas (CNG) model - a powertrain combination far more likely to find favor with fleet buyers than everyday consumers.
Aside from the obvious "CNG" stickers affixed to the decklid, these cars also have different exhaust outlets than what we saw on the V6-equipped Impalas during our first drive of the sedan back in March. Images also show under the hood with a different engine cover and plenty of exposed wiring as the CNG system continues testing. There was also an electrical connector poking out of the front fascia, and at least one of the sedans had a receiver-style trailer hitch.
During the launch of the 2014 Impala, Chevrolet said that it is looking to flip the current fleet-to-retail from 70:30 to a more profitable and resale-friendly 30:70 ratio, and this new CNG Impala could be a good way to retain some of that 30-percent fleet business. We reached out to GM for word on when a CNG Impala might arrive, and received this response:
Our best guess is that it could debut for the 2015 model year, since the ninth-generation model is carrying over for fleet-only sales as the 2014 Impala Limited.
We do offer a CNG van and a bi-fuel pickup truck, but still studying the demand for CNG powered passenger cars. Infrastructure is a consideration for anyone buying these types of vehicles. Unfortunately, there's nothing to announce today on this front.
Is Chevrolet readying a CNG-powered Impala? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 20 May 2013 18:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
|_______________||6 || || Report: 3 former Saab execs charged with tax evasion |
Filed under: Europe, Government/Legal, Saab
The Associated Press reports three former Saab executives have been arrested on charges of accounting fraud. Swedish prosecutor Olof Sahlgren has refused to identify the individuals, but says they're suspected of attempting to evade taxes by falsifying Saab accounts between 2010 and 2011 during the Spyker years. Other reports indicate the parties involved include former General Counsel to Saab Kristina Geers (seen to the left of former CEO Victor Muller, above), a 15-year-veteran of the company - her husband, Eric, was the company's communications director for 9 years as well.
Saab filed for bankruptcy in 2011, and was purchased shortly thereafter by National Electric Vehicle Sweden. If convicted, the trio could face up to four years in prison for their crimes under Swedish law.
3 former Saab execs charged with tax evasion originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 20 May 2013 17:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
|_______________||7 || || Official: Hennessey completes first VelociRaptor SUV conversion [w/video] |
Filed under: Aftermarket, Performance, SUV, Ford, Off-Road
Start with a Ford F-150 SVT Raptor as your base vehicle for modification, and chances are high that you'll end up with something pretty cool. Now, have those modifications done by professional lunatics Hennessey Performance, make the project turning the pickup into an ultra-long SUV, and the result stands a real chance of being a total kick in the ass. Let us present the Hennessey VelociRaptor then, in all of its awesomeness.
Hennessey has taken care in grafting a "Expedition style" rear cabin onto the Raptor, complete with an optional third row. The pictures we have show a cabin that's up to the fit and finish standards of the original Ford truck, too. The cab added over the bed also makes room for a massive load space out back, accessible via split out-folding doors and long enough for a person to lay down in (see video).
Mechanically, the truck-turned-SUV sticks with Ford's stock 6.2-liter V8, rated at 411 horsepower, or can be had with a supercharger and some 600 hp. Hennessey says the stock-motor VelociRaptor will run from 0-60 miles per hour in 7.5 seconds, while the hi-po version takes just 5.9 seconds. The SUV does take some of the off-road ability away from the Raptor, with the company saying it hasn't yet had the opportunity to test its capabilities. On-roading and "moderate off-road duties" are the current prescription.
Hennessey will build just 30 copies of the VelociRaptor per year, offered at a starting price of $149,500. If that seems like an absorbent markup over the Raptor's $43,920, well, you're welcome to go out and build your own. Scroll down for a video walk around of the VelociRaptor, and one showing the supercharged version on a dyno.
Continue reading Hennessey completes first VelociRaptor SUV conversion [w/video]
Hennessey completes first VelociRaptor SUV conversion [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 20 May 2013 16:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
|_______________||9 || || Video: Freak accident during Jeep demonstration turns fatal |
Filed under: Safety, Videos, Jeep, Off-Road
A 20-year-old woman was killed in Edmonton, Canada on Satuday, reports CTV News, in a freak accident resulting from a rollover during a Jeep demonstration. As part of a fundraising enthusiast event called "Jeeps Go Topless," the driver of one Jeep Wrangler drove up and onto the top of the tire of another.
CTV reports that the owner of the topmost Jeep then switched the vehicle off, posed for pictures and then dismounted from his vehicle. His movement off of the Jeep apparently caused it to tip over, crushing a woman who was on top of an adjacent vehicle. Edmonton police are currently investigating more fully what caused the parking lot accident to occur. Scroll below to watch the CTV News video report about this tragic incident.
Continue reading Freak accident during Jeep demonstration turns fatal
Freak accident during Jeep demonstration turns fatal originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 20 May 2013 16:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments
|_______________||10 || || Official: 2014 BMW M5 and M6 add Competition Package bundles, stay close to home otherwise |
Filed under: Sedan, Performance, BMW, Luxury
The leaked facelift images and the Competition Package rumors were accurate: These are the 2014 BMW M5 and M6 models, with exactly three nips and four tucks distinguishing them from their outgoing counterparts, as well as an expected track-day overhaul package. The standard M5 boasts 560 horsepower from its 4.4-liter, twin-turbo V8, and the new Competition Package ups that to a preliminary 575 hp, with shifting options remaining the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission or the six-speed manual. Unsurprisingly, the M6 family - including the two-door coupe, convertible and four-door Gran Coupe - get this optional treatment as well.
The go-fast packs make a lot more changes around the cars, though. It lowers them by ten millimeters, recalibrates the steering, differential, front bushings, coil springs, dampers and M chassis control system while adding stiffer anti-sway bars and black chrome exhaust tips. All models sit on 20-inch M light alloy wheels and can be specced with carbon ceramic brakes. For the dragsters among you, the result is a 0-62 mph time that drops by 0.1 second in all models but the M6 convertible.
Inside, on all 2014 M5 and M6 models, there's a new look to the steering wheel, a touchpad for the iDrive controller, more storage and more chrome trim. Two more paint colors and two more leather hues have been announced, with more Frozen paint finishes on the way as well. We're told prices will be announced closer to the models' August on-sale date. For now you read what BMW has to say about them in the press release below.
Continue reading 2014 BMW M5 and M6 add Competition Package bundles, stay close to home otherwise
2014 BMW M5 and M6 add Competition Package bundles, stay close to home otherwise originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 20 May 2013 15:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Permalink | Email this | Comments