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Toyota Gazoo Seeks Hybrid Win on Home Pavement

Toyota Gazoo Seeks Hybrid Win on Home Pavement

Toyota Motorsport GmbH, better known around the racing circuits as the Gazoo, is optimistic about its chances for a win on home soil as the team readies for the 6 Hours of Fuji on October 16th. Toyota's 1,000 horsepower hybrid racing system is developed and built just a few kilometres from the track at the Higashi-Fuji Technical Centre. The TS050 Toyota hybrid racecar has been impressive all season posting podium finishes in several rounds of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). The team's most recent success came with a third overall recorded at the 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX. Check out the video below to see this new breed of racing machine in action for yourself.   The four-wheel drive hybrid racing machine produces massive amounts of energy that converts into killer speeds down the long straightaways common to endurance racing. The team had experienced the thrill of victory and agony of defeat earlier this year at the 24-Hour event on th...

September 27, 2016


AAA Study Debunks Premium Gasoline

AAA Study Debunks Premium Gasoline

According to a recent study by the American Automobile Association, AAA, there is absolutely no benefit in using premium fuel in a vehicle that only requires regular. Today nearly 16.5 million drivers in the U.S. use premium gasoline in non-performance vehicles, literally wasting their money needlessly. On average a gallon of premium costs 18% more than regular. Multiply that over the course of a year, per driver, per vehicle, and we're talking billions of dollars (nearly $2.1 billion in 2015). The researchers behind the study tested 87 octane and 93 octane fuel in various makes and models of non-performance vehicles. These cars and trucks were graded on performance, emissions, and fuel economy. The results were clear, there was absolutely no benefit in using the higher octane gasoline. “Drivers see the ‘premium’ name at the pump and may assume the fuel is better for their vehicle,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair, “prem...

September 27, 2016


When Should You Replace the Serpentine Belt?

When Should You Replace the Serpentine Belt?

While many people regularly take their vehicles in for routine maintenance, one part of the engine is often misunderstood and overlooked.. the Serpentine Belt. In fact, most people don't think about it until it is too late, which can leave you stranded. While you may not perform your own engine maintenance, it is still important to understand how the more critical components work and how to recognize a problem before you find yourself waiting for a tow truck. The serpentine belt "snakes" around several components of the engine, transferring mechanical power to nearly every critical part. Under normal conditions, the belt needs to be replaced every 4 to 6 years. However, those living in areas where the temperature and humidity can vary greatly throughout the year may need to change it more frequently. The first visual sign that the serpentine belt is nearing the end of its life cycle is that it will become dried out and cracked. Cracks are most commonly caused by heat and age. Bet...

September 27, 2016


Lamborghini to Enter the Volume Game

Lamborghini to Enter the Volume Game

As long as anyone can remember, Lamborghini's business model has been based on extremely high quality, branding, a high price tag, and a generous dash of hype. That appears to no longer be the case as the company recently announced doubling-down on the production of their Urus SUV. The luxury SUV, priced at around $200,000, will have 7,000 units produced within the next year, making up for more than half of all Lamborghinis made. The United States is deemed to be the main target market for the Lamborghini SUV as there is still a high demand for premium SUV's throughout the nation. China comes in at a close second as their economy continues to prosper. The original Urus, debuting at the Beijing Motor Show in 2012, was expected to be powered by the VW 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine. However, final power plants for this latest iteration have not yet been confirmed. It is expected that they'll source many of the parts from Bentley and Audi to bring this incredible machine to market i...

September 13, 2016


Supercharger vs. Turbocharger - How and Why?

Supercharger vs. Turbocharger - How and Why?

While there are plenty of differences between superchargers and turbochargers, both types of engine modifications are known as forced inducted engines. The goal of this modification is to compress the airflow going into the engine to give it more power and performance. This also allows the engine to use more fuel, giving it greater horsepower and torque. What Is A Supercharger? There are different types of superchargers on the market today. The thing they have in common is that they are all belt driven. Each variation comes with slight differences in performance. For example, a centrifugal supercharger contains an impeller, which compresses air and forces it into the engine. This is contrasted against a root supercharger, which often sits on top of the engine. The root supercharger varies in consistency of airflow and is often less "dialed in" than a centrifugal design, which provides smoother airflow. In both cases, the supercharger makes more energy for the engine with the ben...

September 13, 2016


Breedlove Sues Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

Breedlove Sues Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

There's no denying that as long as we've had the automobile, we've had racing and records to beat. No name is better known in the record-breaking category for cars than Craig Breedlove, the American professional racecar driver and five-time world land speed record holder. You may have the need for speed, but that's nothing to what Craig has accomplished in his lifetime. He was the first driver in history to reach 500mph on land at the Bonneville Salt Flats; and later the first to reach 600mph. Every vehicle he drove to hit these incredible speeds were named Spirit of America, staying true to the heart of American ingenuity. In 1965, after breaking the 500mph record, Breedlove donated that iteration of Spirit of America to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. The legendary vehicle remained in their care until 2015 when it was returned to the driver by the museum. Well the car that Breedlove loaned and the one he was returned were in incredibly different conditions. Accordin...

August 27, 2016


A Look at the World's Most Expensive Cars

A Look at the World's Most Expensive Cars

What would you call an expensive car? Maybe a high-end Mercedes, BMW, or Porsche? Not high enough? Well how about a Maybach, Tesla, or Ferrari? What if we told you there are cars on the market that make the price tags of those look like toys? The truth is there are expensive cars, then there are cars that cost more than most people make in 2 lifetimes. Let's take a look at some of these record-breaking vehicles now. The Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita $4.8 million - Currently the most expensive street-legal production car in the world, the CCXR Trevita is truly one of a kind. What makes it so expensive? This supercar is literally coated in diamonds. The new exterior finish developed by Koenigsegg is called the Proprietary Diamond Weave, integrating diamond dust-impregnated resin and carbon fiber. Beyond this luxurious finish lies a 4.8-liter, dual-supercharged V8 with 797 pound-feet of torque and a total output of 1,004 horsepower. The Lamborghini Veneno $4.5 million - Looking more like...

August 27, 2016


Amazon Joins the Car Research Business

Amazon Joins the Car Research Business

Joining the ranks of Edmunds, Kelly Blue Book, and CarFinder.com, Amazon is launching a new portion of their website dedicated to helping people find the car they're looking for. The new section, called Amazon Vehicles launched the morning of August 25th. While Amazon has sold millions of car parts and accessories over the years (like E3 spark plugs), this is the company's first real push into the auto sales industry. “Amazon Vehicles is a great resource for customers who are interested in car information or looking for a broad selection of parts and accessories — all enhanced by the ability to tap into the knowledge, opinions and experiences of other car owners within the Amazon customer community,” said Adam Goetsch, director of automotive at Amazon.com. The basic data points of thousands of makes and models has been collected by Amazon, giving customers an easy way to compare vehicles. The hope is that those who already see Amazon as a one-stop-shop will embrace the eas...

August 27, 2016


5 Tips for Quality Car Maintenance

5 Tips for Quality Car Maintenance

We've written a lot about modifications you can make to your ride to increase its performance. However, most of those tips may not be for the average driver. Well today we bring you 5 important tips to make anyone's driving experience safer and better. #5. Check Your Brake Fluid - Hopefully no one will argue that stopping is the most critical part of the driving process. Along with quality pads and rotors, having fresh brake fluid will make a world of difference when you need to stop. Regularly check your brake fluid for color and clarity. If it appears dark, cloudy or too thin, chances are it needs to be replaced. The viscosity needs to be right for your system to ensure proper operation of the braking system. #4. Check Your Tire Pressure Regularly - Surprisingly the majority of the cars on the road these days are driving with poorly inflated tires. Not only is fuel economy greatly impacted, handling will also be rougher, and you'll run a higher risk for getting into an acciden...

August 27, 2016


Tech Giants Break into Automotive

Tech Giants Break into Automotive

It's 2016 and we all love our gadgets. Whether it's our smartphone, tablet, or Internet connected . . . well everything, today we can't seem to get enough of technology. This article is great news for those who love cars AND the latest tech as Samsung and LG are both getting involved in the automotive industry. “Automotive will ultimately be the next big thing in the information technology sector,” said Kim Do-kyun, one of Samsung Electronics’ memory division at the Mobile & IoT forum in Seoul. “It’s just a matter of time.” The majority of news swirling around automotive technology has been on autonomous vehicles. But did you ever stop for a moment and think about what we'll be doing with all this free time on our hands? The office commute will free nearly 2 hours per day for some drivers, time, which needs to be spent doing something. “In the long term, autonomous driving will be a game changer for bringing in new lifestyle,” Kim said. “In the short and medium ...

August 20, 2016


Spy Photos Give Hints to Volkswagen's Three-Row SUV

Spy Photos Give Hints to Volkswagen's Three-Row SUV

Excitement hit the Internet this week as Volkswagen's late entry into the third-row crossover segment was spied on a test drive. As with all pre-debut spy photos, full specifications are unknown, however the profile of the SUV looks incredibly similar to the 2013 CrossBlue concept previewed at a recent auto show. Rear styling seems to be consistent with the shapes introduced in the 2016 Passat sedan. Many people are speculating that the photos are actually of a Jeep Grand Cherokee inspired prototype based on the taillights and grille. However experience shows that auto-makers throw in tons of visual tricks for this very purpose. As far as we know the vehicle will be based on Volkswagen's MQB platform which was introduced in 2015 with their Golf lineup. It has been the basis of nearly all future models. If the reports are correct, the SUV will seat seven adults and be about the size of a Honda Pilot. We expect the interior to be styled after their latest Golf models as these have ...

August 20, 2016


Self-Driving Ford to Hit the Streets by 2021

Self-Driving Ford to Hit the Streets by 2021

On August 16th the Ford Motor Company announced its plans to bring an autonomous car to the market by 2021. The announcement accompanies Ford's recent investment of $75 million in Velodyne, a California company, which produces the lidar sensors used to detect objects. The vehicle is intended to be specifically designed for commercial mobility services, such as ride-sharing and ride-hailing. Ford will also be doubling its staff in Silicone Valley to make sure the project is a success. “Ford is going to be mass-producing vehicles with full autonomy in five years,” CEO Mark Fields said at an event in Silicon Valley that was broadcast online. “There’s going to be no steering wheel, there’s not going to be a gas pedal, there’s not going to be a brake pedal and of course a driver is not going to be required.” Ford is also making a substantial investment in Civil Maps, a company, which has developed very efficient 3-D mapping technology. Chinese search engine Baidu (their...

August 20, 2016


Six DIY Modifications for Your Ride

Six DIY Modifications for Your Ride

With high-tech computing becoming more engrained with our cars every year, it seems nearly impossible to make custom upgrades without going to the dealer. Well we found a list of six fun DIY improvements you can make to your ride without shelling out a lot of your hard earned cash to the dealer. Stiffer Motor Mounts - If you're looking for better engine response and handling precision then you may want to consider upgrading your motor mounts. This is a relatively easy thing to do if you know your way around the garage. So, what's the downside? You will most likely experience more engine noise and driveline vibration. If you don't mind the occasional vibration, most mounts can be purchased for around $200. Wider Wheels and Tires - This may seem like a no-brainer to most, but a wider wheelbase will give you improved turn-in precision, braking, and handling. The trade-offs though come from the strain the extra weight can put on your shocks. Loose-surface tracking (such as a gravel ...

August 16, 2016


Huge Transmission Recall Impacts Over 500,000 Cars

Huge Transmission Recall Impacts Over 500,000 Cars

Transmission manufacturer ZF has issued a recall of its nine-speed automatic transmission. This recall affects approximately 505,000 cars, many of which are on U.S. roads. This particular transmission has the unfavorable habit of unexpectedly shifting into neutral during driving. This is due to a faulty crimp in the wiring harness being attached to a sensor cluster. The sensor was designed to control shift pattern and quality, according to ZF. For more than two years, thousands of warranty claims have been issued for the problem. The majority of the cars sold with this problem were made by Fiat Chrysler. According to driver reports, the problem has extended beyond the shift to neutral and is now causing rough shifts, hesitation to downshift, acceleration surges, and other very dangerous "autonomous" behavior. Some drivers even reported being ran over by their own vehicles after putting them into park. When asked about ZF's responsibility to fix the matter compared to the auto man...

August 16, 2016


Elvis Presley's BMW 507 Found and Restored

Elvis Presley's BMW 507 Found and Restored

Lovers of popular auction television shows like American Pickers, Auction Hunters or Pawn Stars have probably seen countless treasures uncovered in the least likely of places. While we don't know for sure, we're guessing that's exactly how members of BMW Group Classic felt a few years ago when they discovered Elvis Presley's BMW in an Alabama pumpkin farm. Previous owner Jack Castor had been storing the iconic vehicle there and BMW offered to purchase it. Now, 2 years later, the car has been restored to its original glory. BMW took great care in using original parts whenever possible. For those they could not find, they replicated them using 3D printing technology. The BMW 507 chassis number 70079 was originally a race car driven by Hans Stuck. Elvis Presley purchased and drove the car in 1958 while enlisted with the US Army. Originally white, Elvis had painted the car red because female fans were in the habit of writing their phone numbers on his car when it was white. The resto...

August 16, 2016


Indy 500 Veteran Lost on the Dirt at Belleville

Indy 500 Veteran Lost on the Dirt at Belleville

One of racing's brightest stars, Bryan Clauson, died late Sunday in Lincoln, Nebraska, after being involved in a turn 4 wreck during a USAC midget dirt-track race on Saturday night in Belleville, Kansas. Clauson had just taken the lead in the 39th running of the Belleville Midget Nationals when his racecar struck the rear of a vehicle being lapped. The collision caused Clauson's car to flip end over end several times before coming to rest in the middle of the track. A third car could not avoid hitting Clauson's stalled car. The talented multi-time USAC National Champion was airlifted to Bryan Medical Center with severe injuries. The Indianapolis 500 is America's most historic racing event. The race is traditionally run over the Memorial Day weekend. It is every open-wheel drivers dream to race at the "Brick Yard", which gets its name from the 1910 repaving of the track with 3.2 million bricks. Clauson competed in three Indy 500 events, including the 100th running of the race in 2...

August 12, 2016


4x4 Lift Kit Tips for the DIY Mechanic

4x4 Lift Kit Tips for the DIY Mechanic

Installing an after-market lift kit is one of the most common modifications 4x4 owners want to make to their trucks, Jeeps and SUVs. Choosing the right lift kit for you and your truck is the first and most important step. What works best for another driver may not work for you. Preferences in driving style, suspension feel, and the type of off-road driving you'll be doing are all factors to take into account. The most common, and somewhat comical thing that happens to first timers is that they either go as cheap as possible or as expensive as possible. What you'll be taking along with you also matters as 4x4s loaded down with extra gear and passengers will need firmer springs and shocks. Conversely, if speed is your thing, a kit with mono-tube styling and increased wheel travel should work nicely. Bypassing the shocks altogether may give you an even speedier trip. Budget conscious consumers, especially those with late-model solid-axle Jeeps, often install coil spacers. If this i...

August 8, 2016


Military Humvee Being Replaced by New Super Truck

Military Humvee Being Replaced by New Super Truck

The iconic U.S. Military Humvee has been in service since 1984 and is nearing the end of a long journey, being retired in the very near future. Recently a $6.7 billion contract has been awarded to Wisconsin-based truck maker Oshkosh for about 17,000 new vehicles dubbed the Joint Light Tactical Vehicles, or JLTVs. These vehicles are amazing and getting all of us at E3 excited about their debut. Two and four seat options will be available and each will feature more advanced armor than their predecessors. The biggest feature being touted by Oshkosh is called the "Core1080 Crew Protection System" which will help protect the vehicle from mines, detect IEDs, and additional bolt-on armor. Along with a strong defense comes an even stronger offense as optional turret and missile launchers can also be added to the JTVs. When it comes to off-road action, the JTV's 20" wheels and 70% faster speed will make it a force to be reckoned with. Previous to the Humvee the military used a specialize...

July 20, 2016


Back To School Takes A Monster Leap Forward

Back To School Takes A Monster Leap Forward

A Michigan credit union made headlines recently by filling a monster truck with school supplies for community children. In Burton, MI, ELGA Credit Union held their 11th annual Pack the Truck event. "The difference between this collection event and others is that the supplies collected and purchased are put right into the hands of the educators at a breakfast that will take place in August," said Karen Church, CEO of ELGA Credit Union. "These are the people who see the needs on a day-to-day basis." This event takes place with the support and help of the Michigan State Police, local firefighters, police officers and city officials. On top of the donations of supplies, the event will also collect over $60,000 in cash donations used to purchase additional supplies. Several local companies are also sponsoring the event including Midwestern grocery chain Meijer. This event isn't the first time the members of the auto world have rolled up their sleeves to help kids. NASCAR legend Dale E...

July 18, 2016


Kelly Blue Book’s Top 16 Family Vehicles

Kelly Blue Book’s Top 16 Family Vehicles

In February, Kelly Blue Book released their list of the top 16 best family cars of 2016. As the modern family has changed, so has the lineup of vehicles making the list. Gone are the days where only station wagons and minivans were seen as "family" vehicles. This year's list is full of surprises, a few of which we'll review here. Many factors were analyzed including safety, cargo space, child seat readiness, and general usability. The original group of 24 was cut back to 16 after the final tests. Subaru Outback - No big surprise here as the Outback features ample cargo room, off-road AWD, and drives with the agility and refinement of a passenger car. Reclining rear seats make for easy installment of child car seats and a more comfortable ride for adult passengers. Honda Pilot - With seating for up to 8 passengers, the 2016 Pilot can fit adults in the 3rd row while still supplying plenty of cargo room. When the second and third row seats are folded flat, you have almost as much ...

July 18, 2016


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