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The Detroit Auto Show brought us both the announcement new 2017 Ford GT and Forza Motorsports 6, and it was glorious. The announcements came together as the Ford GT is going to be the hero car of the new Xbox One racing game, and it will appear on the box art. The Ford GT is more than a simple model for the front of the game as Ford and Turn 10 studios are working together to make sure the Ford GT in the game is as accurate as possible to real life.

Part of that collaboration means exclusive access to the car and its design team. This was shown today with a new video from Turn 10 and Microsoft that goes in depth into the design and creation of Dearborn’s newest supercar. The video features interview footage of several of the key people involved in bringing this carbon-fiber supercar to life, and it gives you an idea of just how passionate and dedicated they are to their craft. It’s a great watch.

Plus it gives you a really nice and really close look at all the interesting and subtle details that make this car special and unique. I think I need to go watch it again, actually.

Posted on by Jeffrey N. Ross  

Put down your J.C. Whitney catalog and have a look what’s coming soon from Ford Racing. The 2016 Ford Mustang Ford Mustang Boss 302S! At least that’s my best guess after seeing the recent addition to the Ford Racing performance parts catalog. Even though Ford has not revealed official naming and information is severely limited, the brief description does say that a factory-built, road-racing Mustang will be available during the first quarter of 2016 with a starting price of $89,995, which is considerably lower than the $70,000 price that the Shelby GT350R (shown above) is expected to go for.

The part number alone – M-FR500-B302S – might be the biggest tell about this ready-to-race Mustang that just so happens to be the same part number used for the 2014 Ford Racing Boss 302S . Unlike the street-legal Boss 302 and Boss 302 Laguna Seca models, the Ford Racing Boss 302S will be designed for off-road use (read: track use) only with a serial number instead of a conventional car’s VIN. The description for this car promises “Ford Racing road race Mustangs are factory-built race cars, ready for track days and road racing in a number of SCCA and NASA classes.”

Like the previous Boss 302S (as well as the Mustang Cobra Jet drag racer), this track-prepped Mustang will roll off the same assembly line as the standard 2015 Ford Mustang in Flat Rock, MI. Ford has not announced specs for its new racecar, but its predecessor was fitted with racing equipment such as a six-point roll cage, racing suspension, racing brakes, adjustable front splitter and rear wing and a 5.0-liter V-8 under the hood.

If you’re in the market for the ultimate road-racing sixth-gen Mustang, you might want to call your Ford dealer now. Ford is currently allowing “Placeholder Orders,” but it isn’t saying what type of allocation or availability it is planning for this car.

Click past the jump to read more about Ford’s future road-racing Mustang.

Posted on by Alex Oagana  

With the Super Bowl Sunday just a few days away, a number of carmakers decided to jump on the commercial-running bandwagon, with BMW returning from a four-year hiatus in a pretty big way and showing its amusing "Newfangled Idea" spot. The 60-second commercial was made to market the BMW i3 and will air during the first quarter of NBC’s broadcast of Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday, February 1.

Featuring Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel in their first-ever commercial together, the spot is actually split in half, with the first part showing a segment from 1994 of the two TV presenters trying to explain what the Internet actually is. Fast-forward 21 years to 2015, Katie Couric and Bryant Gumpel are shown driving in an all-electric BMW i3, whose level of technology and the way it is manufactured seems to confuse the two in a similar way. "In 1994, people had not yet grasped what the internet was, which is similar to how electric mobility is viewed today," said Trudy Hardy, Vice President of Marketing, BMW of North America. "Electric mobility is at a tipping point. We are on the verge of something great and we hope that with this spot, we can educate audiences about the BMW i3 and e-mobility in a fun and engaging way."

With the deflate-gate-marred New England Patriots battling the Seattle Seahawks and millions of Americans watching, Super Bowl Sunday will obviously be a pretty good time for BMW to showcase the i3 to a larger audience. The 2015 BMW i3 starts at $42,400 MSRP, is powered by an electric motor with 170 horsepower, and offers an EPA-rated range of up to 81 miles per charge,.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i3.

It looks like BMW is in or some huge changes in the coming decade, as it is working hard to hit the extremely stringent expectations of the EU’s upcoming emissions restrictions. These restrictions will limit fleet average CO2 outputs to just 95g/km by 2021, putting Bimmer in a spot to innovate or get penalized. In true Bimmer fashion, the brand has chosen to innovate, and the upcoming 2016 BMW 3 Series eDrive is just scratching the surface of what the German brand has in store for its large car lineup (3 Series and up).

We all know that BMW will go plug-in hybrid on its larger cars, which is no mystery, but what about all that extra weight the batteries add to the car? Well, according to AutoCar, the German automaker is working on advanced material mixes and construction processes to help reduce weight. Things like glues, adhesives and rivets are replacing numerous spot welds. Additionally, BMW is looking to develop more aluminum, high-strength steel and carbon-fiber architecture.

Onto the hybrid system, BMW is working on building one that will be scalable from the 3 Series up to the V-12 Rolls Royce, dropping construction costs and spreading leftover costs among a number of models. This system will use a front-mounted engine that acts as a generator at peak efficiency 90 percent of the time. Behind the engine are three electric motors, one in a new, top-secret transmission and two in the rear axle. The engine will provide the power for the transmission-mounted motor and the two will combined to power the front wheels (90 percent by the motor and 10 percent by the engine at 50 mph). Of course, the rear motors will power the rear wheels, making literally every single BMW product above the 3 Series available with all-wheel drive – a pretty nice side effect to have from going green.

In addition to all of this high-tech electrification, the 2016 3 Series Plug-In will debut a 3D sat-nav system that aids the car in choosing the right mode depending on future conditions and free-wheel cruising up to 99 mph to reduce fuel consumption. Unfortunately, the upcoming 3er plug-in will not boast the advanced AWD hybrid system of the future, but it does feature a transmission-mounted electric motor similar to the one that will eventually spread across Bimmer’s range.

By the time the next-generation 3 Series Plug In arrives, which AutoCar is claiming will be around 2018 to 2022, look for the engine to run in Lambda 1 cycle 90 percent of the time for optimal fuel efficiency. Additional changes by 2022 should include reduced complexity of emission control systems for lowered cost; a simpler and cheaper transmission with fewer than three ranges; a jump in battery size thanks to the missing drive shaft; and a body that weighs about 100 kg (220 pounds) less due to advanced construction. Oh, and the addition of AWD across the range above the 3 Series; can’t forget that.

Needless to say, the 3 Series is at the forefront of BMW’s EV revolution, and we’re going to see it start to unfold with the upcoming plug-in model.

Source: AutoCar

The Prius c started its life in 2012 as a smaller and more affordable version of the hotly successful Prius liftback. Through 2014, the model remained relatively unchanged and failed to really shake up the hybrid segment. Now as we approach 2015, the Prius c has undergone a nice refresh that makes it stand out from its larger brothers with its sportier and more youthful appearance. Oh, and it gets 50 mpg combined, which sweetens the deal a little.

Though it’s just a refresh the 2015 Prius c looks like a whole new car; that’s just how far Toyota took this upgrade. Sure, from the side it looks like the 2014 model, but the wide-open front grille and the “light pipe” taillights inject a little youth into the lineup.

So, is this redesign enough to help push the Prius c to the next level?

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Toyota Prius c and find out.

Posted on by Jeffrey N. Ross  

Cadillac has been on fire lately with new vehicles like the Escalade , CTS and ATS , but a big void in its lineup just so happens to be one of the faster-growing segments: small premium utility vehicles. Even worse, Reuters is quoting Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen as saying that the automaker is still at least four years away from bringing such a vehicle to market.

These small, luxury crossovers are extremely popular right now in key global markets that include the U.S., China and Europe, and just about all luxury automakers – including Lincoln – have recently introduced such a product such as the 2015 Lexus NX , 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class , 2016 BMW X1 and 2015 Lincoln MKC . Based on Cadillac’s new naming structure, the small utility vehicle will likely wear the XT3 moniker, slotting beneath the third-generation SRX, which is expected to go into production later this year possibly called the XT5.

There is no word as to what platform Cadillac would use to underpin this new utility vehicle, but between the rear-drive ATS ATS and a new rear-drive subcompact sedan under the ATS, there is a pretty good chance that the sub-SRX utility vehicle could be rear-drive based. If that’s the case, then it just might be worth waiting for, as most other competitors in this segment are based on front-drive platforms. As far as pricing goes, there is also plenty of room beneath the current SRX’s $37,605 starting price to position it competitively in the market.

Some good news for Cadillac is that once it gets this new utility vehicle onto the market, it should be able to compete on a global scale right out of the gate. Having come from Audi (before his short stint at Infiniti ), de Nysschen knows the importance of diesels in Europe and was quoted as saying "if you want to play in Europe, you better have some diesels.” The report says that Cadillac will begin offering diesel engines in its new models starting in 2019, which seems to match up with de Nysschen’s four-year timeline.

Click past the jump to read more about Cadillac’s future compact SUV.

Source: Reuters
Posted on by Jeffrey N. Ross  

We imagine it’s pretty hard to get Jay Leno giddy when it comes to classic cars, but it looks like all it might take is a $5,000 Mercedes-Benz with 327,000 miles on the odometer. That car just so happens to be a 1972 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3, which the car-loving funnyman refers to as a “German supercar” as he details the 43-year-old sedan in the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage.

Leno says he bought the clapped-out Benz seven years ago as a project with the goal of slapping a drivetrain from an SLS AMG underneath the body. After consulting his followers, he decided instead to keep the car as Mercedes had intended rather than turn it into a Stuttgart restomod.

The heart of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 was its 300-horsepower, 6.3-liter V-8 that was made possible thanks to the “money-no-object” Mercedes 600. Leno says that the “6.3” badge on the trunk was about as desired to German drivers as the “Hemi” badge was in America. And this car had the performance to back it up, too, with quarter-mile times said to be in the 14-second range. This Mercedes was so powerful and so refined that Leno considers the 2015 Dodge Charger Hellcat as a modern-day equivalent, and he even went as far to say that it is his “favorite Mercedes-Benz to drive."

After watching the video, it’s clear that Leno’s decision to keep the 300 SEL 6.3 intact wasn’t just based on the feedback from his viewers. He has a recognizable fondness for this car and its glorious engine that dates back to a dealership job he had in his 20s, which most car lovers can all trace back similar experiences. Leno spends most of the 20-minute video waxing nostalgic about his Mercedes, while providing plenty of excellent details about the Tri-Star as well.

Click past the jump to read more about the 1972 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3.

Source: YouTube

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