Close

Volvo XC90 SUV Concept Takes Automotive Luxury to New Heights

Volvo XC90 SUV Concept Takes Automotive Luxury to New Heights

Luxury automobile concepts almost always are impressive. But the new Volvo XC90 SUV concept, unveiled at the recent 2015 Shanghai Auto Show, puts most to shame - particularly on the inside. "We understand that most high-level executives are chauffer driven," said Volvo's Senior Vice President of Design Thomas Ingenlath in a promotional video about the inspiration behind the development of the XC90. So, designers set out to replicate that experience for others. To that end, most noticeable is the removal of the front passenger seat, replaced with a lounge console that doubles as an ottoman for tired feet and a storage space for kicked-off shoes and features a massive 17-inch multimedia screen. The screen unit also folds down to lap-level and becomes a tray table that opens up for easy storage of cufflinks, watches, jewelry and cosmetics, allowing passengers to quickly freshen up their appearance throughout the day. "The lounge console was created to provide a space for personali...

April 29, 2015


Movie Cars Take Spotlight At Austin Auto Show

Movie Cars Take Spotlight At Austin Auto Show

The annual Austin Auto Show is officially underway, showing off hundreds of the latest and greatest in the automotive world offered by members of the Austin Automobile Dealers Association. But the exhibit that's really grabbing headlines is one boasting some of the most iconic cars in TV and movie history, including: The DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future The Ecto-1 from Ghost Busters The Knight 2000 K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider The Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo And your kids will no doubt dig the one-of-a-kind Toyota Sienna SpongeBob van. The guy behind the screen cars' appearance is reality star VideoBob Moseley from the Reelz Channel's Screen Machines. He told Austin-area reporters that his obsession with building replicas of TV and film cars began in 2003 when he bought a DeLorean and set out to replicate the fantasy vehicle from the iconic 1985 film. "Things just got way out of hand and I started building these complete total replicas," Moseley said, n...

April 25, 2015


Harley-Davidson Recalls More Than 54,000 Bikes

Harley-Davidson Recalls More Than 54,000 Bikes

Hey, Hog riders - take note. Harley-Davidson just announced two separate recalls affecting more than 54,000 motorcycles already on the roadways nationwide. The largest of the two recalls affects 45,901 rides with faulty clutch master cylinders. According to documents submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), "a chemical reaction inside of the sealed clutch system creates gas bubbles which may cause loss of clutch lift." This can cause a bike to lurch unexpectedly when the rider puts the transmission in gear, particularly after it's been parked for an extended period of time. Thus far, the issue has resulted in 313 warranty claims, 31 customer complaints, 27 crashes or other incidents and four minor injuries. Models affected include: 2014 CVO Road King 2014-2015 Electra Glide Ultra Classic, Ultra Classic - Twin Cooled, Ultra Limited, Police Electra Glide, Street Glide, Street Glide Special, and CVO Street Glide 2015 Electra Glide Ultra Classic...

April 25, 2015


Insane Chevy FNR Concept May be the Ultimate Ride of the Future

Insane Chevy FNR Concept May be the Ultimate Ride of the Future

It's a little bit Tron, a tad Batmobile and touch of Alien xenomorph. And that's just the exterior of Chevy' insane new FNR concept car brought to you courtesy of the recent Shanghai Auto Show. It's the stuff of science fiction brought to life and while it's likely far too costly to ever make the production line, we here at E3 Spark Plugs would love to get behind the wheel just once. The car features a sci-fi-inspired capsule design with dragonfly doors that swing up from both the front and back, magnetic hubless wheels, an automatic wireless charging system and a roof-mounted sensor package that can be used to map out the car's route - human interaction not necessary. Inside, you'll find seating that looks more like intergalactic space harps than standard bucket seats. They rotate 180 degrees, turning the car into something of a social scene - a highly effective use of space, considering that no one need pay attention to the road. The fully automated FNR does that for you, aft...

April 24, 2015


Floyd Mayweather Has Racked Up More than 100 Cars From Same Dealer

Floyd Mayweather Has Racked Up More than 100 Cars From Same Dealer

It's a known fact in business that it's easier to lure back a repeat customer that to score a new one. Apparently, no one knows that better than dealer Josh "Chop" Towbin, who owns Towbin Motorcars in Las Vegas. Specializing in ultrahigh-end rides, Towbin no doubt boasts a few celebrity clients. But his top bread-and-butter client apparently is famed five-division world champion boxer Floyd Mayweaather, Jr. According to the Washington Post, the 38-year-old fighter thus far has purchased no less than 100 cars from the dealership, including 16 Rolls Royces. "He'll buy a car before the fight. He'll buy cars after the fight. He'll buy cars on holidays," Towbin told reporters of his favorite client, who stands to make upward of $180 million in a single night when he fights ring rival Manny Pacquiano on May 2. Apparently, Mayweather is a cash-only kind of guy - a factor that prompted Towbin to purchase and install a top-of-the-line cash counting machine that always stands at the rea...

April 24, 2015


Paul Walker's Famed 1993 Toyota Supra Goes to Auction

Paul Walker's Famed 1993 Toyota Supra Goes to Auction

The 1993 bright orange Toyota Supra driven by late actor and racing enthusiast Paul Walker in the original The Fast & The Furious (2001) film is up for grabs. It's arguably the most famous of the many souped-up muscle cars driven in the multi-billion-dollar film franchise that also stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson and Jason Statham. Several nearly identical cars were built for the film's multiple scenes, but the one on the auction block is the ride that appears in the final dramatic race that features Walker's character, Brian O'Conner, and Diesel's character, Dominic Toretto, nearly getting taken out by an oncoming train. Officials with the famed auction house Meccum expect the car to drive up a selling price of $150,000 to $200,000. But the winning bidder should take note - The car won't perform on real-world streets the same way it performs in the film. Its 2JZ-GE 3.0L/220 HP inline-6 engine is the non-turbo model and that pair of Holley P...

April 24, 2015


Dangerous Door Latch Prompts Recall of 390,000 Ford Vehicles

Dangerous Door Latch Prompts Recall of 390,000 Ford Vehicles

Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford Motor Co. today issued a recall of some 390,000 Ford Fiesta and Fusion and Lincoln MKZ models sold throughout North America. Company officials warned vehicle owners of a potential door latch malfunction that can cause the door to become unlatched or even swing open while a vehicle is in motion. The company confirmed that it received reports of two incidents in which latches malfunctioned. In one, the door bounced back and struck the driver. In the other, the door swung open and struck another vehicle. Though no major injuries were involved, Ford warns that there is a risk of serious harm. Models affected by the recall were produced at Ford plants in Mexico and include the 2012-2014 Fiesta, the 2013-2014 Fusion and the 2013-2014 Lincoln MKZ. Some 86 percent of the recalled rides are registered to owners here in the United States, with the rest in Canada and Mexico. If you own one of the recalled rides, E3 Spark Plugs urges you to heed warnings and ...

April 24, 2015


Three Fantastic Debts at the New York International Auto Show

Three Fantastic Debts at the New York International Auto Show

The 2015 New York International Auto Show recently wrapped its annual show - the nation's first and oldest automotive exhibition. We here at E3 Spark Plugs are duly impressed with many of the new rides hitting the production lines. Here are three of our favorites from this year's show. 2016 McLaren 570S: Company officials say this exotic, wing-doored beauty is the first car in its segment to combine rear-wheel drive, a mid-engine layout and a carbon-fiber structure. Plus, most of the body panels, including the doors, are rendered from aluminum for a light 2895 pounds (dry), with 58 percent of that weight over the rear wheels. This 7-speed automatic clutch ride gets 562 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque from its twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-8. It's gorgeous and it's a mean driving machine, offered at a (relative to other McLarens) affordable $185,000 starting price. 2016 Porsche Boxter Spyder: Light, low and a blast to drive, the six-speed manual transmission Spyder boasts ...

April 13, 2015


Pro Racer Punks Driving Instructors

Pro Racer Punks Driving Instructors

Remember the video E3 Spark Plugs brought you in February of the beautiful blonde would-be reality show dater who turned out to be a pro-racer and an epic practical jokester? We've got another great behind-the-wheel punk to show you. This time, it's a gorgeous pro drifter Leona Chin and a passel of petrified driving instructors. The Southeast Asian beauty recently was recruited by Malaysia's MaxMan TV to punk a group of driving instructors on their first day of work. The prank began with a bit of a transformation for both Chin and her car. Chin shed her fire suit for a nerd-tastic SpongeBob SquarePants dress, glasses and brightly colored floral hair clips. Her car was stripped of its sponsor branding and a rear spoiler, and a large stuffed bear was posed in the rear seat. "It's my brother's car," Chin told the unsuspecting instructors about the high-powered sports car. She began her faux test by stalling the stick-shift in first gear and flipping on the windshield wipers. "You...

April 13, 2015


Tributes to Late Paul Walker Abound - Diesel Confirms News of "F8"

Tributes to Late Paul Walker Abound - Diesel Confirms News of

In less than two weeks, Furious 7, the last in the wildly successful The Fast and The Furious film franchise, has revved up box office revenues topping $800 million globally since its April 2 opening. While we here at E3 Spark Plugs think the film itself is pretty amazing, we're particularly impressed with the film's video tribute to late actor Paul Walker. And, we're psyched about plans for the series' continuation. Killed in a November 2013 car crash, Walker appeared in the series as Brian O'Conner, a former FBI agent-turned-criminal and professional street racer. The character is married to Mia (Jordana Brewster), sister of best friend Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), and the two have a young son, Jack. After Walker's death, which occurred during production of Furious 7, producers were unsure whether they could continue the series. But the next year, production was back on track, with a few heartrending changes. In January 2014, news broke that Walker's character would be retir...

April 13, 2015


Talking Shop with "Furious 7" Picture Car Coordinator Dennis McCarthy

Talking Shop with

In anticipation of Furious 7 hitting movie theaters nationwide next week, we here at E3 Spark Plugs thought we'd introduce you to a guy who has, hands down, the coolest job in America. Meet Dennis McCarthy, Picture Car Coordinator for what is arguably one of the most successful film franchises in history. He's got the enviable task of selecting and building cars not only for the Fast and Furious franchise, but for an array of great car-centric movies including Death Race, Batman Begins and Total Recall. In a recent interview with BoldRide, McCarthy spilled about the 300+ cars he provided for the film, dramatic crashes, parachute jumps and working with the late Paul Walker. A few highlights: On deciding which character gets which ride: "It’s really a character thing. My end goal is that if you saw the cars lined up in front of my shop, you would know which car goes to which character. Dom’s character obviously started in the first movie driving Hondas and the Mazda RX-7, bu...

March 27, 2015


Extreme Barbie Jeep Races - Redneck Fun at its Best

Extreme Barbie Jeep Races - Redneck Fun at its Best

It's the most fun a car buff and adrenaline junkie can get out of 15 pounds of pink plastic. Introducing Extreme Barbie Jeep Racing, a low-rent off-road racing event that'll have you in stitches - literally and figuratively. It's a simple concept, really. Take a power-wheels vehicle, break off the drive gear, find yourself a steep hill and hang on tight. That's right. Since around 2010, competitors who typically are grown men, many of them with wives, mortgages and otherwise respectable vocations, have been hurtling down rocky hills, gullies and mountainsides in little girls' wheeled toys on purpose. It's a rugged man's contest to see who can make it to the bottom of a down-hill course the fastest without completely wiping out. It appears that Extreme Barbie Jeep Racing, which has been featured on ESPN, believe it or not, originated at the Morris Mountain ORV Park in Heflin, Alabama. There's no definitive word on whether alcohol was involved or someone lost a bet. But since 201...

March 27, 2015


Honda Unveils BULLDOG Motorcycle Concept

Honda Unveils BULLDOG Motorcycle Concept

Honda today unveiled its new leisure motorcycle, the BULLDOG, at the Osaka Motorcycle Show 2015. Designed for the non-typical motorcycle rider, this 400cc city machine places an emphasis on storage, simplicity, and all-around riding capability. The BULLDOG’s 15-inch wide-tires and low center-of-gravity ensure a solid footing, even for the vertically-challenged rider. And its liquid-cooled 4-stroke DOHC inline 2-cylinder 400cc engine with a 6-speed transmission is powerful, yet easy to handle, making it a versatile ride that can handily traverse a range of terrain, from urban to rural areas. There are racks above the headlamps and behind the seat, and there's more storage on either side of the highly styled fuel tank. The BULLDOG has quickly garnered international coverage and though it's only a concept now, it likely would have a base of ready buyers if it hit the production line. What do you think? Would you like to see the BULLDOG hit production and come to the US? Post yo...

March 26, 2015


New Documentary Tells Story of BMW Touring Car

New Documentary Tells Story of BMW Touring Car

If you're a BMW enthusiast or a touring car racing fan, get ready for a visual adrenaline rush via a new documentary film. Adrenalin: The BMW Touring Car Story will explore the historical, intrinsic link between touring car racing and BMW sports production vehicles and detail all the reasons why stars of the sport prefer it over other types of cars and races. The film is being produced by filmmakers Tim and Nick Hahne, already known in the racing community for producing producing 24 Hours: One Team, One Target, which detailed BMW’s stake in the 2011 Nürburgring 24 hour race. And if the name sounds familiar, you're likely a fan of their famous uncle, Hubert Hahne, legendary touring car and Formula One racer. Adrenalin, will feature lots of vintage racing footage and interviews with racing stars like Johnny Cecotto, Augusto Farfus, Jens Marquardt, Andy Priaulx, Bruno Spengler and Alex Zanardi, to name just a few. It's set for release on Vimeo on-demand in November. Until then, e...

March 26, 2015


Toyota Pays Tribute to Clarkson with Classic Video Montage

Toyota Pays Tribute to Clarkson with Classic Video Montage

Lately, you either love him or hate him. Jeremy Clarkson, the oft-foul-mouthed former TV host can certainly be polarizing. After nearly four decades co-hosting the BBC's Top Gear series, Clarkson recently was fired after reports that he threw a punch at show producer Oisin Tymon in a March 10 fracas that effectively nixed the remainder of the show's 22nd season. But for their part, Japan's Toyota Motor Co. is sad to see the mouthy chap go. In an entertaining farewell, the company produced a video featuring clips from multiple episodes featuring Clarkson routinely destroying the automaker's vehicles, slamming them into trees, careening into gullies, dropping them out of the air, etc. Meanwhile, Clarkson is playing nice, himself, asking fans and media to back off his former colleague. "All I would like to say is, I wish people would leave Ois alone, because none of this is his fault," Clarkson told the media. "Clarkson is a polarizing character, to be sure," AutoBlog wrote earli...

March 26, 2015


NASCAR Stars' Classic Cars on Display in Charlotte

NASCAR Stars' Classic Cars on Display in Charlotte

If you're a NASCAR fan, you no doubt have memorized the cars that each of your favorite drivers drive on the racetrack. But do you know rides fill their garages? Thousands of racing and classic car enthusiasts will find out next month during the AutoFair at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The event, slated for April 9-12 in the CMS's Nationwide Showcase Pavilion, will feature the off-track rides owned by a dozen NASCAR stars including Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jeff Gordon, Kyle and Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, David Ragan and Ben Kennedy. Among the highlights: Gordon's 1952 Oldsmobile Super 88; Kyle Busch’s 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Coupe; Kurt Busch’s 1932 Ford Roadster; Bowyer’s 1979 Peterbilt 389 pickup truck; Ragan’s 1938 Ford UPS package car; Kennedy’s Verrado Electric Drift Trike, a tricycle with slick rear wheels for drifting; Earnhardt's bright yellow 2001 Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, a street version of the car he and his father drove together in the 2001 Rol...

March 26, 2015


Volkswagen Recruits Three Bronx Grandmothers to Promote its TDI Engines

Volkswagen Recruits Three Bronx Grandmothers to Promote its TDI Engines

Take a peek inside most any auto repair garage and somewhere, you're likely to see a poster of a busty babe modeling in an ad for everything from spark plugs to tires to hemi engines. But in promoting its new TDI engines, Volkswagen has taken a decidedly different route. And we here at E3 Spark Plugs are charmed. A trio of grandmothers from the Bronx dubbed "Three Golden Sisters" first appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Network in 2013, but shot to fame when their videoed commentary the Kim Kardashian sex tape went viral. Ever since, 83-year-old Mary Bartnicki, Josie Cavaluzzi and Teresa Dahlquist, both 73, have been doling out hilarious, sharp-tongued advice and giving their opinions on pop culture to millions of fans. In a brilliant marketing move, Volkswagen has recruited the trio to help set the record straight on a few of the most common and malicious misperceptions of diesel engines - that they're slow and loud (they aren't), that it's hard to find a station to refill (it isn'...

March 23, 2015


Mystery Plumber Leaves Behind Amazing Collection of Vintage Cars

Mystery Plumber Leaves Behind Amazing Collection of Vintage Cars

Tasked with doling out the estates of late California residents, the Orange County District Attorneys' office typically isn't in the business of producing car shows. But that may change shortly, thanks to one mysterious Gerald Willits. The 76-year-old Buena Park plumber passed away last August without an original will or any legally recognized next of kin. Now, the DA's office must figure out just what to do with the 69 vintage cars that Willits left behind. The collection is being described as "a combination of Hoarders and Antiques Roadshow" and includes Ford Model Ts and Model As, Volkswagen Buses and Beetles and dozens of other models spanning a century. Unfortunately, they're not in the best of condition. Stored outside for decades, many were discovered covered in leaves and none can be driven off the lot. Only a few have keys or title documents. "This is a unique situation for us," said Elizabeth Henderson, chief deputy public administrator for Orange County. "We get cars...

March 22, 2015


Good News, Bad News in Impaired Driving Studies

Good News, Bad News in Impaired Driving Studies

Researchers with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration just wrapped two separate studies on impaired driving and the results are mixed. While drunk driving rates have declined in the United States, drugged driving is on the rise. First, there's the NHTSA's Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers, conducted every five years since 1973. The latest found that the number of drivers caught with alcohol in their system has dropped by 30 percent since 2007, and by 80 percent since the time of the initial study. That's the good news. Now the bad - That same survey revealed a huge increase in the number of drivers caught using marijuana or other illegal drugs while behind the wheel. Nighttime weekend drivers are the biggest offenders. The number of these drivers with evidence of drugs in their system rose from 16.3 percent in 2007 to 20 percent in 2014. And the number of drivers with marijuana in their systems grew by a whopping 50 percent. That brings us t...

March 22, 2015


Jeep Unleashes Seven New Concept Rides for 49th Annual Easter Jeep Safari

Jeep Unleashes Seven New Concept Rides for 49th Annual Easter Jeep Safari

Each spring, hundreds of Jeep enthusiasts head for Moab, Utah for nine days of trail rides hosted by the Red Rock 4-Wheelers club. Now it its 49th year, the annual Easter Jeep Safari allows rare access to trails stretching across federal and Utah state lands, including many left over from the area's mining boom of the 1950s. Each event also features a two-day vendor show and this year, Jeep has gone all out with plans to unveil seven new concept rides. "We go to this legendary event each year to showcase our latest Jeep production vehicles, as well as a variety of new ideas in our concept vehicles," said Mike Manley, President and CEO – Jeep Brand. "In doing so, we receive a tremendous amount of valuable feedback, while interacting with our customers in the Jeep brand's natural environment. We're especially looking forward to this year's Jeep Safari, as Renegade makes its official public debut on Moab's demanding trails." Here at E3 Spark Plugs, our favorite is the Jeep Chief...

March 22, 2015


Find Yor Part