Full BBC Top Gear Team Announced

If you’ve been anxiously awaiting the reboot of BBC’s Top Gear after former oft-politically incorrect host Jeremy Clarkson’s much-publicized “fracas” with a producer got him canned and the remainder of the 2015 season cancelled, E3 Spark Plugs has good news for you. The show returns to TV sets across the pond, and here in the US for those with access to international programming, in May with an all-new team of hosts and drivers. In late January, producers announced that actor Matt LeBlanc of Friends fame (he played the sexy but not-too-bright Italian Joey Tribbiani on the NBC show that ran for 10 seasons) will join the cast alongside longtime British broadcast personality Chris Evans. Now, we’ve got news of the remainder of the new...

February 25, 2016
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Your Wimpy ATV’s Got NOTHIN’ On this Badass Russian Ride

We here at E3 Spark Plugs have no idea who Alexei Gargashyan. But we’re pretty sure we’d like to spend a day with him conquering the globe in his badass wheeled creation. Dubbed the SHERP, this just might be the first all-terrain vehicle that truly lives up to the description. On land, it tops out at 28 miles per hour. So, it while it might not get you to work on time and certainly won’t win you any races, the SHERP will get you literally anywhere else you want to go on a day off and lend some serious bragging rights. Its enormous wheels can handle anything the earth throws at it, including deep snow and ice. And, its tire treads are designed to propel it trough water, too. This mini truck/tank can easily plow over rocks, fallen trees and concrete...

February 25, 2016
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Five Rides Least Likely to Cost You Big at the Repair Shop

In our last blog, E3 Spark Plugs brought you results of a J.D. Power & Associates study that revealed Porsche, Buick, Lexus, Toyota and GMC rides to be the most dependable on America’s roadways, as revealed by surveys of 33,560 owners of 2013 model-year vehicles. But another new study by CarMD, an Irvine, CA-based automotive software solutions provider, shows four other makers also boast highly dependable machines. In its 2015 CarMD Vehicle Health Index, the company looked at some 192 million vehicles built between 1996 and 2015. Of top consideration were the brands most likely to have the kind of issues that kick on the dreaded check engine light, requiring repairs between October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015, and the average cost to repair those problems....

February 25, 2016
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Lexus, Porsche, Buick Deemed Most Dependable

If you drive a Lexus, a Porsche or a Buick, congratulations are in order. According to a recent study by J.D. Power & Associates, an American-based global marketing information services firm, these three top the list of the most dependable rides on the nation’s roadways. Now it its 27th year, the study looked at data culled from 33,560 owners of 2013 model-year vehicles about any issues they’ve had with their rides over the past 12 months. Top complaints had to do with glitchy entertainment systems; inaccurate or difficult to use navigation systems; voice recognition systems that misinterpret commands; and phones that won’t sync up with a car’s system. All of these features are critical for the Millennials. “If consumers can’t rely on their...

February 25, 2016
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Porsche Not Sold on Self-Driving Cars

In the automotive world, it may seem that all the talk is about self-driving cars and their predicted eventual takeover of the world’s roadways. But one luxury carmaker is proving an old school holdout. “An iPhone belongs in your pocket, not on the road,” said Porsche CEO Oliver Blume recently, referencing news that computer giant Apple, Inc. is developing an autonomous car and seeking secure locations in the San Francisco Bay area for testing. The Silicon Valley company joins Mercedes, BMW, Tesla and Google in furthering the trend, expected to take hold on the roadways in a major way by 2020. But don’t expect to see Porsche jumping on the bandwagon anytime soon. Why not? “One wants to drive a Porsche by oneself,” Blume recently told a German...

February 11, 2016
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Nearly 40 Debuts Planned for Chicago Auto Show

As one of the first automotive shows of the year and the nation’s oldest, the Chicago Auto Show regularly lands a huge number of world debuts. This year, automakers chose this historic Windy City event, celebrating its 115th anniversary, to host the unveiling of nearly 40 of their newest models.   Here’s a list of the production rides the world will see for the first time at the Chicago Auto Show: 2016 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio 2017 Audi A4 2017 Bentley Bentayga 2017 Buick Envision 2017 Buick LaCrosse 2016 Cadillac CT6 2017 Cadillac XT5 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV 2016 Chrysler 200S Alloy 2016 Chrysler 300S Alloy Edition 2017 Chrysler Pacifica 2017 Fiat 124 Spider 2017 Ford Escape 2017 Ford Fusion 2017 Ford Raptor 2017 Genesis G90 2017 GMC Acadia 2017 Honda...

February 11, 2016
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Three Cool Concepts We're Eying at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show

The Chicago Auto Show is celebrating its 115th year with its annual show slated for February 13-21 at the McCormick Place convention center. Debuting in 1901 and charging patrons 50 cents each to see the new “horseless carriages,” the show is the nation’s oldest of its kind. Each year, the eclectic collection of concept cars proves a top draw. Among this year’s concepts on display are three that we here at E3 Spark Plugs are particularly looking forward to: Hyundai Genesis Vision G: A bold coupe design with something truly special inside. The Genesis boasts a central control panel with its Remote Wheel, an ergonomically designed semi-sphere haptic touchpad activated with a wave of the hand rather than physical buttons. Mazda Sema MX-5 Speedster:...

February 11, 2016
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Nissan Issues Third Recall Over Faulty Hood Latch

They say the third time’s a charm. Nissan is hoping that’s the case with its third recall of 2013 and 2014 model year Altimas. The Japanese automaker recently announced another recall over a faulty hood latch affecting more than 800,000 cars. Turns out a defective latch can cause the hood to fly open while driving. Clearly, this poses a serious risk for car accidents. Nissan says paint can flake off the latch exposing the bare metal. Overtime, that latch could rust, preventing it from closing properly. If the main latch isn't closed properly and the car is on the road, the secondary latch may not hold down the hood. In the first two recalls, Nissan dealers simply adjusted the latches and applied lubricant.  Assuming it was done correctly, it looked like things were...

February 8, 2016
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Jerry Seinfeld Selling Off a Slew of Vintage Porsches

Entertainer Jerry Seinfeld is known as much for his love of vintage Porsches as he is for his comedy, particularly with the success of his latest show, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. So, it comes as a bit of a surprise that he’s unloading a slew of them at the upcoming Gooding & Company Amelia Island Auction in Florida on March 11. Says Seinfeld of the portion of his collection hitting the auction block: "Each one of these cars is a pinnacle of mechanical culture to me. Many are the best examples that exist in the world. I've loved being entrusted with their care, and I'm proud of the level to which we have brought each and every one of these wonderful machines. Honestly, if I had unlimited time, space and attention span I would never sell one of them. And the reason I...

February 8, 2016
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Top Automotive Super Bowl Ads

Most Super Bowl viewers are legit football fans enjoying a great game. But it’s no secret that a large contingency of those watching the gridiron battle on TV actually tuned in for the commercials. Here are E3 Spark Plugs’ top picks for the best automotive ads aired during the 50th anniversary game, in no particular order: Audi R8: A former astronaut pining for the good ol’ days regains his passion for life when he takes his son for a spin in the new Audi R8. Serious points for the soundtrack tribute to the late David Bowie. Mini Clubman: The new Mini Clubman scoffs at your attempts to label it and defies you to label yourself in this empowering little ad. Honda Ridgeline: Can anybody find me somebody to love the new Honda Ridgeline truck with the optional truck bed...

February 8, 2016
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