Monster Trucks Movie Set for 2017 Release

Monster truck fans, get ready! The big, crazy, gas-guzzling, dirt-slinging, show-stealing performance rides you love are set to hit the big screen in January 2017 in a comedy/action/animation film titled, appropriately, Monster Truck. Thus far, not much is known about the film except for its IMDB.com-listed cast and synopsis: “Looking for any way to get away from the life and town he was born into, Tripp (Lucas Till), a high school senior, builds a Monster Truck from bits and pieces of scrapped cars. After an accident at a nearby oil-drilling site displaces a strange and subterranean creature with a taste and a talent for speed, Tripp may have just found the key to getting out of town and a most unlikely friend.” The cast includes Till, known for his role as Havoc in...

July 1, 2016
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Rollaway Defect Blamed for Star Trek Actor’s Accidental Death

Earlier this month, the film industry and fans worldwide were dealt a shocking blow when popular young actor Anton Yelchin was found unresponsive in the driveway of his Studio City, CA home. In the early morning of June 19, friends of the 27-year-old veteran actor best known for his role in 2009’s Star Trek (a role he’ll reprise posthumously in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond, slated for release July 22) found Yelchin pinned between his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee and a brick pillar. A medical examiner with the Los Angeles County coroner’s office declared Yelchin dead later that day, identifying the cause of death as blunt traumatic asphyxia.  Now, the investigation into Yelchin’s untimely demise has led to a proposed class-action lawsuit against manufacturer...

July 1, 2016
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First Ever Shelby Cobra to Hit the Auction Block

The annual RM Sotheby’s auction at Monterey Car Week this year already has its star feature lined up – a tiny blue roadster built by Texas chicken farmer-turned-racecar driver and iconic automotive designer Carroll Shelby. Per his posthumous wishes, Shelby’s first automotive creation, the original Shelby Cobra CSX2000, will go up for auction, alongside a number of other historically significant Shelby Cobras during the Monterey auctions slated for August 19 and 20. Shelby created this historic ride in 1962, essentially shoehorning a 260-cubic-inch Ford VA between the wheel wells of a British-made AC Ace. Instantly, a legend was born. The car remained with Shelby throughout his life and, over time, he used for development and testing, occasionally loaned it to...

July 1, 2016
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Leno Gets Lucky in Heart-Stopping Car Crash

Since leaving his Tonight Show desk, former late night talk show host Jay Leno has enjoyed a new career in automotive-centric television, hosting his popular CNBC show, Jay Leno’s Garage. But filming of a recent episode went a bit awry, as evidenced by video footage of a heart-stopping rollover car crash. The video is entertaining only because we know that everyone emerged fully intact with no injuries save for a few bruises and perhaps a shaken-up ego or two. In the video, Leno is taking a ride with 80-year-old veteran stunt driver Bob Riggle at California’s Irwindale Speedway. Their aim for the episode was to get the 2,500-horsepower vehicle up on hits back two wheels – a trick Riggle is known for having perfected over his decades of experience. "This has been...

July 1, 2016
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Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 Concept Shocks

Making its world debut earlier this month in London, the Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 concept certainly turned heads, offering a glimpse into just how today’s designers believe the iconic luxury ride’s street versions may look a century from now. The somewhat other-worldly-looking car’s official title is 103EX and its design is a striking departure for the brand. Measuring nearly 20 feet long and five feet tall, this fully autonomous coupe is something of a super yacht on wheels. It sports a glass canopy that retracts when the coach doors swing open, and a “Crystal Water” lower surface exterior material designed to make the car look as if it were floating. Should the car ever make it to the production line, it will be powered by a zero-emissions powertrain...

July 1, 2016
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Strategic Vision's 2016 Total Quality Impact Awards Winners Released

Each year, San Diego-based Strategic Vision, a research-based consultancy that helps companies understand human behavior and decision-making patterns, releases its list of the top vehicles in multiple segments. This year, the firm collected thousands of consumer surveys, analyzed their data, crunched the numbers and boiled it all down to a total of 31 cars, trucks, and utility vehicles, as well as four manufacturers leading their respective packs in 2016. Factors considered include both quantitative and qualitative issues; tangible features like seat comfort, the effectiveness of side-view mirrors, and cornering abilities; intangibles such how easy a vehicle's technology is to work with and the image that a vehicle conveys; and emotional aspects that focus on the feelings evoked by...

July 1, 2016
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Michelin, XBOX to Host Global 24 Hours Forza Motorsports Challenge

Hey gamers – Start your virtual engines! Tire maker Michelin and Xbox are gearing up for a day-long gaming event that will land one lucky winner a trip to the 2017 24 Hours of Le Mans in France.   The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles will host the 24 Hours Challenge online, with competitors from around the globe playing the new Forza Motorsport 6. The competition will coincide with the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans in France on June 18-19. "Michelin wanted to connect racing fans around the world to the 24 Hours of Le Mans," said Oscar Pereda, director of ultra-high performance at Michelin North America. "We hope this contest will help bring the excitement from France right into their living rooms." "It is fitting to celebrate Ford's return to Le Mans with some exciting...

June 13, 2016
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Formula 1 Headed Back to Las Vegas?

Las Vegas hasn’t seen a grand prix since 1982, when drivers hit the gas in the parking lot of the Caesar’s Palace casino. But the iconic race may be headed back to Sin City as early as 2018. Formula One Group CEO Bernie Ecclestone confirmed he is in talks with potential promoters for a Vegas street race. And, according to a BBC (British Broadcasting Corp.) report, a Beijing-based conglomerate has said it will help bankroll the event. "They are very close to Las Vegas and have got businesses in media, sport, technology and entertainment, so they are a massive conglomerate,” said P2M Motorsports founder and CEO Farid Shidfar, who is developing the event, said of the as-yet-unnamed Chinese firm. "They came to us out of the blue late last year, because of the initiatives...

June 13, 2016
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Season 2 of Jay Leno’s Garage Starts This Week

In its first season, it became the the most watched original series in CNBC history. And we here at E3 Spark Plugs don’t doubt it. Jay Leno’s Garage is a popular spot on the TV dial for auto enthusiasts and its second 12-episode season starts this week. Formerly a web series for NBC.com, the show since has morphed first into a special that aired on CNBC in August 2014 and now a weekly prime time network series.   The show features Leno doing reviews on all sorts of rides from restored classics to ultra-modern super cars. Home base for the Emmy Award-winning show is Leno’s Big Dog Garage in Burbank, CA. The next 12-episode run debuts on Wednesday with a look at actor Nick Cannon’s Ferrari California. Other celebrity guests on the roster this...

June 13, 2016
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Canadian Mounties Bring Out the Big Guns – or Cameras, Rather – To Bust Texting Drivers

Each year in the United States, some 3,100 people die and another 424,000 are injured in car crashes blamed at least in part on distracted drivers. And all too often, that distraction involves someone texting while behind the wheel. Law enforcement and safety officials in countries around the globe all are looking for ways to curb this roadway scourge, and Canada just may have a solid solution. In British Columbia, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, known informally as the Mounties, are rocking the roadways with a new traffic surveillance system that uses powerful spotting scopes mated to high-definition digital SLR cameras. These cameras have a resolution of 24.4 megapixels and are equipped with a fast 50mm lens. When attached to the spotting scope, these badass rigs can see objects...

June 13, 2016
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