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E3 Releases Project CARS Racing Sim Trailer

E3 Releases Project CARS Racing Sim Trailer

A scene from the new Project CARS video game, due for release in March. If you’re already itching to experience the new Project CARS racing simulator, you’re in luck – Sort of. While it won’t hit your video game consoles until March, you can get a glimpse of what’s to come via the just-released trailer. Among the sleek, sexy speedsters featured are a range of F1s, Hot Hatches, Hypercars and what looks to be a hydrogen-fueled Aston Martin Rapide S. Project CARS (which stands for Community Assisted Racing Simulator) was developed by Britain’s Slightly Mad Studios and is slated for release on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on March 17 in the US, March 20 in Europe. Wii U and SteamOS/Linux versions are expected later in the year. Rather than go the traditional video game publisher financing route, developers raised funds for the game via sales of Tool Packs, which granted member players access to ongoing builds, allowing them to help contribute to the g...

February 10, 2015


One in 10 Cars Sold will be Driverless by 2035, Study Shows

One in 10 Cars Sold will be Driverless by 2035, Study Shows

Several models of partially automated cars hit the market this year, and experts say they’ll go mainstream sooner than you think. The times, they are a changin’! Up until this year, autonomous cars were the stuff of Bond flicks and Google projects. Now, three major automakers – Audi, Mercedes-Benz and General Motors – plan to roll out partially automated cars in 2015 and 2016. Fully driverless cars are expected to hit auto dealership showrooms by 2025. And according to a new study, they’ll be all the rage. Conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, a global management consulting firm and the world’s leading advisor on business strategy, upward of 12 million driverless cars will traverse America’s roadways by 2035. That figure represents 10 percent of annual sales of new vehicles – and we’re talking just 20 years away. Your kids will laugh at your silly, old-school, gotta-drive-it-yourself car like you laughed at that 8-track cassette player your dad just would...

February 10, 2015


Google’s Phone-Free Android Auto System Set for 2015 debut

Google’s Phone-Free Android Auto System Set for 2015 debut

Google debuts its Android Auto in-car infotainment system this year. On the heels of Apple’s CarPlay infotainment system that debuted in 2014 model year cars, Google recently announced its own version called Android Auto, set for release this year. Apple’s CarPlay is available for all iPhones that operate on iOS7.1 or later and connects via the Lightning connector to a vehicle’s dashboard console. Similarly, the current Android Auto software requires connection to an Android-powered phone to be connected to a car‘s dash console. But Google has bigger plans in store. Ultimately, the company aims to allow for installation of a coming version of the Android software directly into a vehicle’s infotainment system, making it the standard operating interface. Both systems feature voice-activated controls, allowing for safer, hands-free operation. The move essentially will cut out the middleman, allowing drivers to access a range of internet functions including navigation a...

February 10, 2015


E3 Spark Plugs Recommends: Six Car Flicks to See in 2015

E3 Spark Plugs Recommends: Six Car Flicks to See in 2015

We’re looking forward to a spate of 2015 films sure to please car buffs, including “Mad Max: Fury Road.” The New Year has begun and judging by our highly unscientific review of the coming year in film, 2015 will be a good one for the fast car enthusiast. Here is E3 Spark Plugs’ list of must-see movies for gearheads and auto buffs: Furious 7: The mysterious Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), who makes his first appearance in the after-credit scene of Fast and furious 6 that takes viewers back to the Tokyo Drift days and features Han’s car exploding, is back. Remember Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), the former special ops mercenary major-turned-underworld power figure that Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) threw from a plane in Fast & Furious 6? Yeah. Turns out Deckard is his brother. And he’s mad. Furious 7 also is the last filmed by late actor and racing enthusiast Paul Walker. Release date – April 3. Mad Max: Fury Road: Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron star in this post-apocalypt...

February 10, 2015


Chrysler Recalls 67,000 Trucks after Clutch Defect Kills Child

Chrysler Recalls 67,000 Trucks after Clutch Defect Kills Child

Chrysler is recalling some 67,000 2006-2007 Dodge Ram, Dodge Dakota and Mitsubishi Raider trucks. Fiat Chrysler (formerly called the Chrysler Group) has issued a voluntary recall of nearly 67,000 trucks from the 2006 and 2007 model years with manual transmissions – and with good reason. In May, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration launched an investigation into a reported issue with the trucks’ clutches. Prompting the investigation was the heartbreaking death of a child run over by a 2006 Dodge Ram 3500 pickup truck inadvertently started by another child. NHTSA investigators found that a spring wire in the clutch ignition interlock switch can break in trucks with manual transmissions. The result can be either the vehicle not starting at all, or starting and rolling once the ignition key is turned – even with no operation of the clutch. Recalled models all are manual transmission pickup trucks from the 2006 and 2007 model years manufactured between Ju...

February 10, 2015


Half of Teen Crash Deaths Involved Older Cars, Research Shows

Half of Teen Crash Deaths Involved Older Cars, Research Shows

Is Junior on your last nerve, bugging you for a sleek new ride rather than the decade-old hand-me-down you drove when he was in kindergarten? We feel you, Mom and Pop. But this time, Junior might just have a valid point, according to results of a new study released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Turns out that nearly half of drivers ages 15 to 17 killed in auto accidents between 2008 and 2012 drove cars that were at least 11 years old. Researchers analyzed data from the government’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, informally known as FARS. That data shows, compared to middle-aged drivers killed in car accidents during the same time span, teens overwhelmingly drove older, smaller cars. It also revealed that 82 percent of teens killed in wrecks drove cars that were at least six years old. But before you cave and pony up for that sleek new 2-door convertible sports car, be sure to remind Junior that it’s not just older cars, but smaller ones that pose...

February 10, 2015


Three Ways Your Ride Can Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Three Ways Your Ride Can Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Is having more fun or spending time with your family or friends on your list of New Year’s resolutions? Well, then get in your car and go! Now that 2014 is quickly coming to a close, people worldwide are thinking about their plans, goals and hopes for 2015. One dismal bit of info from the statistical brainiacs swears that a meager eight percent of Americans actually succeed in keeping their New Year’s resolutions. We here at E3 Spark Plugs are calling that particular stat bogus. In fact, we’re convinced that all you need to help you keep a few top resolutions is your trusty ride. Here’s how… Get more exercise: This one is pretty much a given on any New Year’s resolutions list. But gyms are pricey and one can only circle the local park so many times before passing out not from overexertion, but from pure boredom. In fact, boredom with the routine is a top excuse for crapping out on one’s exercise intentions. Instead, research great hiking, running and power-wal...

February 10, 2015


Is Cuba the Next Mother Lode for American Classic Car Collectors?

Is Cuba the Next Mother Lode for American Classic Car Collectors?

Classic American cars fill Cuba’s streets. But are they collector-worthy? Mention Cuba and any automotive-minded American immediately envisions streets lined with classic US-made cars in every color. Now that President Obama is moving to relax (if not ultimately end) our nation’s 54-year-old trade embargo against the Pearl of the Antilles, many collectors are wondering if Cuba may be the next mother lode of accessible classic rides. Perhaps – and perhaps not, experts say. Throughout the early 20th century, after gaining its independence from the US in 1902 and until the Communist revolution in 1959, Cuba thrived. A mid-century economic boom filled its streets with Detroit steel. But that stopped in 1960 with the US commercial, economic, and financial embargo imposed on Cuba in response to human rights violations and troubled diplomatic relations. The result today is a virtual time capsule of primarily 1940s and 1950s American-made rides. But many of those colorful, curv...

February 10, 2015


Hell Hath No Fury Like a New Hellcat Wrecked an Hour After Leaving the Lot

Hell Hath No Fury Like a New Hellcat Wrecked an Hour After Leaving the Lot

This is how a Colorado man’s new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat looked when he bought it… A few months ago, E3 Spark Plugs gave you a glimpse of the new Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, a boss of a muscle car outfitted with a screaming 707 horsepower 6.2-liter Hemi engine boasting 650 lb.-ft. of torque and a National Hot Rod Association-certified quarter-mile elapsed track test time of 10.8-second time at 126 mph. This track-scorching ride that hit America’s auto sales lots just over a month ago and runs upward of $80,000 is aptly named. Dictionary.com defines a hellcat as “a bad-tempered, spiteful, woman.” And as the saying goes, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” …And this is how it looked an hour later. We’re guessing there’s no need to explain that line to 34-year-old Lance Utley of Colorado, one of the first to own the car and perhaps not quite ready for such a wild gal. According to reports from the Colorado State Patrol, Utley was traveli...

February 10, 2015


Jerry Lee Lewis’ ’59 Harley Rumbles Off to Auction – Could Fetch $1 million

Jerry Lee Lewis’ ’59 Harley Rumbles Off to Auction – Could Fetch $1 million

Great Balls of Fire! Rock & Roll wild man Jerry Lee Lewis’ 1959 Harley-Davidson motorcycle is expected to fetch upward of $1 million at auction next month in Kissimmee, FL. There’s potentially a Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On next month at the Mecum auction house‘s Kissimmee, Florida event Jan. 16-25 in Osceola Heritage Park. Long considered Rock & Roll’s “first great wild man,” Lewis will auction off the 1959 Harley-Davidson motorcycle he’s owned for nearly six decades. The bike is one of two that Harley reportedly gifted to “The Killer,” as Lewis is dubbed, and “The King,” Elvis Presley. Lewis reportedly told Mecum Marketing Director Sam Murtaugh that he got the first of the two bikes and often poked fun at Presley for having been second in line. Lewis’ black and white Harley is expected to be the star of the show, Mecum officials say. “This could be the $1 million motorcycle,” said auction house President Dana Mecum in a prepared statement. ...

February 10, 2015


Epic Barn Find Reveals 60 Classic Cars Hidden Away for Decades

Epic Barn Find Reveals 60 Classic Cars Hidden Away for Decades

A late French trucking magnate’s collection of 60 classic cars recently was discovered in what’s being deemed one of the greatest barn finds ever. This could be the barn find to end all barn finds. Throughout the 1950s, ’60 and ’70s, French trucking magnate Roger Baillon amassed an impressive collection of high-end rides with the intention of creating a museum. Unfortunately, a 1978 bankruptcy nixed those plans, so Baillon locked the barn doors and called it a day. Fast-forward nearly four decades later, when the late Baillon’s western France estate now is in the hands of his grandchildren. Apparently, none of said grandchildren are car buffs. It wasn’t until a family friend mentioned rumors of a hidden trove of classic cars to someone working with the auction house Artcurial that the stash of 60 rotting, but still gorgeous classics was discovered. “When we arrived here, we found ourselves overcome with emotion,” said Matthieu Lamoure, managing director of Art...

February 10, 2015


Three Great Holiday Gift Ideas for the Car Lover You Love

Three Great Holiday Gift Ideas for the Car Lover You Love

Shopping for a car buff this holiday season? E3 Spark Plugs offers a few ideas. We’re speeding up to Hanukkah and Christmas. Are you ready? If you haven’t yet found that perfect gift for the auto buff you love, we’ve got three ideas that are sure to rev up a car lover’s holiday. Automatic Smart Driving Assist: This one is perfect if you’ve got a teen driver in the house, or if your significant other simply drives like a bonehead. The small device plugs into the data port on your car’s onboard computer and wirelessly syncs to a smartphone. Once connected, the system serves up all sorts of data, from what’s got your check engine light glowing, to where you parked to just how much a lead-foot driver your teen is. You get real-time audio feedback while you drive, and a score that you can compare to your spouse’s and finally prove once and for all which of you is the better driver. The License+ feature allows you to monitor your teen’s driving, set goals and rew...

February 10, 2015


Billionaire Sues after Wrong Spark Plug Destroys Classic Lamborghini Miura

Billionaire Sues after Wrong Spark Plug Destroys Classic Lamborghini Miura

A mechanic installing the wrong spark plugs is being blamed for destroying a UK billionaire’s 1971 Lamborghini Miura SV, like this one. This one’s gonna hurt. A UK billionaire is suing the car dealer he trusted with tuning up his $1.4 million 1971 Lamborghini Miura SV. Property developer Jon Hunt is suing H.R. Owen, a luxury car dealer, for $1.1 million after the dealer’s mechanics allegedly installed the wrong spark plugs, causing the car to burst into flames while cruising a London street last year. Hunt’s son had picked up the car and got less than a mile down the street when the car started smoking, then lit up like New Year’s Eve. The burned out shell now is worth a paltry $300,000. And, what makes this story all the more gut wrenching is that only 763 Miuras were built between 1966 and 1973, making it a rare classic. Hunt’s suit alleges that the spark plugs fitted worked at too high a temperature, igniting fuel. The case has yet to be heard by the courts, an...

February 10, 2015


Top Five Auto Shows in the US

Top Five Auto Shows in the US

A scene from the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, the nation’s largest. Here at E3 Spark Plugs, we’d rather be at an auto show than just about anywhere else in the world – except for behind the wheel of a fast car, of course. If you’re an enthusiast, too – whether of sleek new looks, futuristic concepts or vintage rides – we’ve listed the five biggest auto shows in the United States. Chicago Auto Show: Debuting in1901, it’s the nation’s largest and longest running auto show occupying 1.2 million square feet of the McCormick Place complex. North American International Auto Show: Often referred to by its original name, the Detroit Auto Show, this one has run since 1907, except for a 10-year stretch during World War II, when the manufacture and sale of cars to the masses was temporarily halted to support the war effort. San Francisco International Auto Show: It’s the largest show of any kind in North California and the second largest car show in the Western US. It ...

February 10, 2015


Where are the Best and Worst Drivers in America?

Where are the Best and Worst Drivers in America?

Allstate just released its annual list of the cities with the best and worst drivers. Fort Collins, Colorado – you’ve earned your bragging rights. Worcester and Boston, Massachusetts – not so much. Allstate recently released its annual America’s Best Drivers Report, identifying the cities where you’re most and least likely to get in a fender-bender or cuss out a stranger in the next car on your way to work. Here’s how the rankings stand for 2014: Best Drivers in America Fort Collins, CO Brownsville, TX Boise, ID Kansas City, KS Huntsville, AL Montgomery, AL Visalia, CA Laredo, TX Madison, WI Olathe, KS Worst Drivers in America Worcester, MA Boston, MA Washington, DC Springfield, MA Providence, RI Baltimore, MD Glendale, CA Alexandria, VA Philadelphia, PA New Haven, CT The annual report analyzes the nation’s 200 largest cities, raking them primarily according to the frequency of property damage collision claims filed with Allstate, t...

February 10, 2015


Iconic Hess Toy Trucks Celebrate 50 Years

Iconic Hess Toy Trucks Celebrate 50 Years

Hess is celebrating 50 years of its iconic toy trucks with a new 3-piece set and a commemorative book. It’s been a favorite Christmas gift for kids for decades. Now, New York-based Hess Corp. is celebrating 50 years of its iconic toy truck collection with a trio of cool mini rides – a heavy-duty flatbed truck that does double duty as a transporter and a launch pad for its companion space cruiser and scout. Founded in 1919, Hess introduced its toy trucks, helicopters, police cars, airplanes, space shuttles and rescue vehicles in 1964, making it one of the longest running toy brands on the US market. A new model is released each year and sold online and at Hess gas stations nationwide. Older models in good shape are considered collectibles and can sell for hundreds of dollars. In fact, the original – a Hess B-Tanker Truck – can fetch upward of $2,000 if it’s in great condition. The new three-piece collection sells for $29 and is sure to be a hit with both kids and col...

February 10, 2015


Top Collection of American Muscle Carts to Hit Auction Block

Top Collection of American Muscle Carts to Hit Auction Block

25 gems from the Wellborn Muscle Car Museum will go up for auction in Florida in January. Brothers Tim and Paul Wellborn have never been much for foreign rides. Oh, no. It’s the muscle cars made right here in the USA that they love the most. For Tim Wellborn, it all started the day his dad rolled up in a 1971 Dodge Hemi Charger. “I’d sit in that thing and dream as a little kid,” he told reporters recently. “I turned 16 and wouldn’t you know, the keys just disappeared to that car. That’s probably why I’m still alive. No 16-year-old kid should have the keys to a Hemi. But ever since then I’ve been a muscle car guy.” In the decades since Dad’s epic roll up the driveway, the Wellborn brothers have amassed one of the nation’s top collections of American muscle cars, creating the Wellborn Muscle Car Museum in Alexander City, Alabama to show them off. Now, 25 of the 70 cars in the collection will go up for bid next month at the Mecum Auctions even in Kissimme...

February 10, 2015


New York International Motorcycle Show Rumbles into the Big Apple Next Week

New York International Motorcycle Show Rumbles into the Big Apple Next Week

The last major bike event of the year, the New York International Motorcycle Show, rumbles into the Jacob Javitz Center Dec. 12-14, offering a first look at hundreds of the newest street bikes, dirt bikes, cruisers, scooters, side-by-sides and ATVs. But if you can’t make it, no worries. The 2015 season of motorcycle shows and rallies begins next month. E3 Spark Plugs brings you our list of our favorite events for 2015. Easy Riders Bike Show Tour in Long Beach, California, January 10 Easy Riders Bike Show Tour in Sacramento, California, January 17-18 Easy Riders Bike Show tour in Charlotte, North Carolina, January 24 Colorado Motorcycle Expo in Denver, January 31-February 1 Timonium Motorcycle Show in Timonium, Maryland, February 6 Easy Riders Bike Show Tour in Nashville, Tennessee, February 7 Easy Riders Bike Show Tour – National Invitational Finals in Columbus, Ohio, February 21-22 Daytona Bike Week in Daytona, Florida, March 6-15 Bama Bike Fest Spring Motorcycle R...

February 10, 2015


“Transparent” Car Promises Greater Safety

“Transparent” Car Promises Greater Safety

New optical technology can help make a vehicle virtually transparent, potentially reducing the risk of accidents. Statistics show that nearly 840,000 car accidents are caused by drivers failing to see other vehicles or pedestrians in their blind spots. Now, Japanese researchers have developed a system that affords drivers a 360-degree view of the world around them, virtually eliminating dangerous blind spots. But if you’ve got visions of a road-worthy version of Wonder Woman’s invisible jet, you’re a little off base. A project of the Graduate School of Media Design at Keio University, the “transparent” Toyota Prius isn’t a see-thru ride, but instead employs a projection system that makes the car’s backseat and side panels appear completely transparent to the driver. The system involves cameras mounted to the outside of the car that sends images to an onboard computer and displays them via a projector. The projector also features a lens array, half-mirror and ret...

February 10, 2015


Five Car Models Bowing Out with Final Editions in 2015

Five Car Models Bowing Out with Final Editions in 2015

The Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS is on its coming to an end, and the amazing final edition already is sold out. They say nothing lasts forever. Such is the case for five different car models set to get the final edition sendoff in 2015. If you’re one of those who loves the get-’em-before-they’re-gone challenge, here are the five rides you need to look out for over the next year: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution: This high performance sports car originally intended only for the Japanese market will drive off into the sunset after a special action model offering in 2015. The decision comes after a slow year of selling only about 200 a month nationwide, officials say. Volkswagen Eos: This slope-backed steel droptop is heavy on great design , but also a bit too heavy on price for consumers. In its last days on the lot, the company is offering loads of extras including 18-inch alloy wheels, heated 12-way power seats and a backup camera. Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS: You might be out of luck...

February 10, 2015


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