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Your Wimpy ATV’s Got NOTHIN’ On this Badass Russian Ride

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 barriers and has easily traversed areas where humans rarely venture, including the most distant corners of Tundra, Siberian Taiga, mountain of Kola Peninsula and swamps of the Yugra.  Of course, it’ll cost you. The price ...

February 25, 2016


Five Rides Least Likely to Cost You Big at the Repair Shop

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. Here’s how the top five played out: Hyundai: Just 2.93 Hyundai rides had serious engine problems and the average bill at the auto repair show was $316.16. Toyota: Toyota’s second-place rank is a bit odd at first g...

February 25, 2016


Lexus, Porsche, Buick Deemed Most Dependable

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 vehicle to connect to their smartphone, or have faith that their navigation system will route them to their destination, they’re certainly not yet ready to trust that autonomous technology will keep their vehicle out of the dit...

February 25, 2016


Porsche Not Sold on Self-Driving Cars

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 newspaper. And he has a point. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center on mainstream acceptance of technological advances showed that half of respondents have no interest in riding in an autonomous vehicle. College graduate...

February 11, 2016


Nearly 40 Debuts Planned for Chicago Auto Show

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 Ridgeline 2017 Hyundai Elantra 2017 Infiniti Q30 2017 Infiniti Q60 2016 Infiniti QX30 2017 Jaguar F-Pace 2016 Jaguar XE 2017 Kia Forte 2017 Kia Sportage 2016 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Co...

February 11, 2016


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

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: Powered by a 155hp 2.0-liter SkyActiv-G four-cylinder engine that routes the 148-lb.ft. of torque to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox, the MX-5 Speedster weighs in 250 pounds lighter than the its production...

February 11, 2016


Nissan Issues Third Recall Over Faulty Hood Latch

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 good. Unfortunately, in a few cases, lubricant wasn’t applied evenly and the issue persisted. Now, Nissan officials are kicking things up a notch, urging registered owners of affected rides to head back to the...

February 8, 2016


Jerry Seinfeld Selling Off a Slew of Vintage Porsches

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 wanted to bid these cars farewell in this way is really just to see the look of excitement on the faces of the next owners who I know will be out of their minds with joy that they are going to get to experien...

February 8, 2016


Top Automotive Super Bowl Ads

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 audio? Never mind. These fluffy four-leggeds have it covered. Hyundai Genesis: Dads with dating-age daughters, the Hyundai Genesis’ Car Finder feature is your new favorite tool. Hyundai Elantra: Hey, ...

February 8, 2016


Woman and Four-Legged Friend Set Off on Epic Cross-Country Journey

Woman and Four-Legged Friend Set Off on Epic Cross-Country Journey

Have you ever thought of jettisoning the mundane day-to-day and taking off with your best buddy for the road trip to end all road trips, we’ve got some inspiration for you. Adventurer and storyteller Mallory Paige is doing just that with her trusty, four-legged, goggle-donning friend Baylor (a Labrador retriever) tagging along in a KLR650 motorcycle sidecar dubbed Rufio. Their epic road trip began in June 2015 and is being documented for the world on the pair’s website, Operation Moto Dog. Their aim is to make stops in every US State and Canadian province, as well as Mexico, sharing amazing experiences and stories along the way. Thus far, they’ve hiked to an alpine lake in Colorado, battled a mosquito swarm while camping in the Florida Everglades, and doing stand-up paddleboarding in Alaska. Along the way, she’s had a breakdown or two, but in every case, locals turned out to make repairs and get the daring duo back on the road. Making the journey all the more impressive...

January 29, 2016


Check it Out - Origami Engine With Moving Parts

Check it Out - Origami Engine With Moving Parts

Some guy in Belarus has crazy talent and, apparently, a whole lot of time on his hands. But we here at E3 Spark Plugs are duly impressed. Aliaksei Zholner created a tiny replica of a V8 engine entirely from paper. And the real zinger? It’s fully functioning with moving pistons and parts. Strictly speaking, it isn’t origami. Turns out origami purists don’t take kindly to using tape, and this tiny 8-cyllinder number uses a whole lot of it. But frankly, we deem it a step up in cool factor – a decision we reached when we saw the pistons fire up and down when the crankshaft was turned. And what’s more – Zholner also created a tiny working throttle to control the paper engine. Take a look at the video below and, if you’ve got the gumption and the patience, try it yourself. Just be sure to post your results on the E3 Spark Plugs Facebook Fan Page.  

January 29, 2016


Aston Martin DB10 Featured in Latest Bond Film “Spectre” Headed to Auction

Aston Martin DB10 Featured in Latest Bond Film “Spectre” Headed to Auction

Besides the amazing stunts, the slick suits and the beautiful women, a top draw of the long series of James Bonds films is, of course, the sleek, sexy and stylish cars featured, particularly those driven by Agent 007 himself. Now, one of those rides is headed to the auction block. E3 Spark Plugs has just confirmed that the Aston Martin DB10 featured in the latest Bond film, Spectre, starring Daniel Craig, will up for grabs at the February 18 Christie’s auction in London. UK-based Aston Martin designed the DB10 specifically for Bond and built 10 of them for the film, which debuted in September and has since racked up a worldwide box office gross of $872,474,269, according to IMDB.com. Based on the V8 Vantage, the ride features a 4.7-liter V8, six-speed gearbox and carbon-fiber body. Eight of the DB10s built for filming were modified, but two, including the one to be auctioned, were untouched, save for a plaque with Daniel Craig’s autograph. Of course, if you’re the winning...

January 28, 2016


Jeep Wrangler Goes Back to the Battlefield

Jeep Wrangler Goes Back to the Battlefield

Perhaps no single vehicle is most identified with the military than the iconic Jeep Wrangler. Its legacy began with the Willys MB, a light utility vehicle developed for the US Army for use in WWII and instrumental in the Allies' victory, and later modified for the civilian world. After a years-long hiatus, the Wrangler may soon be headed back to the battlefield – with a few modifications. Word is that US Army officials are in talks with Charlotte, NC-based Hendrick Dynamics, an offshoot of the NASCAR racing team Hendrick Motorsports to make use of its modified Wrangler dubbed the Hendrick Commando, pending awarding of the Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) vehicle contract.   With a few modifications from the US version of the Wrangler, the Commando potentially could offer an inexpensive and lightweight option for unarmored vehicles that can more easily be airlifted into remote locations than the heavier, bulkier and costlier rides currently used. Also, the Commando replaces the...

January 28, 2016


Iconic DeLorean to go Back to Production Line?

Iconic DeLorean to go Back to Production Line?

If the thought of jumping into your DeLorean and heading into the time warp crosses your mind on a regular basis, well you’re out of luck. The greatest minds in the world have yet to figure out time travel outside of Hollywood blockbusters a la Back to the Future. But the car itself, which last rolled off the production line some three decades ago, may have its own resurgence, thanks to a new bit of legislation. Passed late last year, the $305-billion highway bill clears the way for automakers to build and sell annually up to 325 full-powertrain reproductions of vintage models at least 25 years old. Pending certification from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, these rides will be exempt from current crash safety standards and state pollution tests, but will have to pass current federal emissions rules. Essentially, it’s a new era for the kit car. Says SEMA Chairman Doug Evans: “This law gives enthusiasts the opport...

January 27, 2016


Who Needs a House When You Can Have a 1971 Aston Martin DBS?

Who Needs a House When You Can Have a 1971 Aston Martin DBS?

As young boys, Germany’s Michael von Trzebiatowski and his brother fell experienced their first automotive loves. Watching The Persuaders, the 1970s action series starring Roger Moore and Tony Curtis as billionaire playboy brothers-turned-detectives, the boys fell head over heels for the two real stars of the show – the Ferrari Dino driven by Curtis’ character and the Aston Martin DBS driven by Moore. When the two grew up, von Trzebiatowski’s finance-minded brother opted for buying a home over a hot vintage ride. Oh, but von Trzebiatowski wasn’t about to make the same mistake, he says. It took him a decade or two, but he successfully blew off all the more sensible trappings of adulthood and instead saved his cash. Finally, the opportunity to throw it all down for his automotive love came and today, he’s the proud owner of a pristine 1971 Aston Martin DBS V8. “Whenever I see this car, no matter if it’s day or night, no matter from which angle I’m looking at it, ...

January 26, 2016


Takata Airbag Recall Expanded – Again

Takata Airbag Recall Expanded – Again

Here we go again. Officials with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) just announced another expansion of the Takata airbag recall. Already the biggest automotive recall in history, the fiasco just swelled again, to the tune of 5 million additional vehicles (bringing the total to some 24 million) registered by US owners and believed to be outfitted with defective Takata airbag inflators. The latest move is prompted in part by the death of the driver of a 2006 Ford Ranger last month in South Carolina. According to court documents, a metal piece from the inflator canister penetrated the driver’s neck once the airbag deployed. That fits with details of other deaths and injuries blamed on the issue. Recalled airbag inflators use ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion that inflates the airbags upon collision. But test show that the chemical can deteriorate under prolonged exposure to airborne moisture. This causes the ammonium nitrate to burn too f...

January 26, 2016


Audi Aims to Keep Drivers Wide Awake, De-Stressed and Healthy

Audi Aims to Keep Drivers Wide Awake, De-Stressed and Healthy

If your New Year resolution to get healthier is being driven off track by your hectic schedule, you may yet be in luck – if you drive an Audi, that is. Among the the hundreds of health-centric new gadgetry showcased at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is the Audi Fit Driver. Originally unvieled at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show, this app pairs with a wearable fitness tracker such as the FitBit or Apple Watch and, via a series of sensors, monitors a driver's breathing and driving style. Data collected is analyzed alongside outside variables including weather and traffic information to determine whether a driver is fatigued or stressed out – both issues that can significantly boost the risk of an accident. If the system does indicate that you’re a bit frazzled or ready to nod off, sensors activate connected systems inside the car designed to relax, awaken or otherwise adjust your attitude. Resulting tweaks include changes in the cabin temperature, ambi...

January 22, 2016


New Florida Law Nixes Speeding Ticket Quotas

New Florida Law Nixes Speeding Ticket Quotas

Remember the crazy story of the tiny North Florida town where the entire police department was disbanded after five traffic cops spilled to the city council that their boss had long imposed a strict speeding ticket quota on staff? The debacle that brought down the Waldo Police Department apparently miffed more than just the thousands of motorists who were handed pricey citations for going as little as two miles over the limit over the years. It seems the state’s lawmakers also were irked at “Waldo’s finest” for making the town a notorious speed trap – so irked, in fact, that they hit back with new legislation that nixes the dubious practice within state lines. In effect as of January 1, SB 264 expressly prohibits local law-enforcement agencies from using ticket quotas and requires individual local governments to submit reports to the Florida Legislature if traffic-ticket revenues cover more than 33 percent of the costs of operating their police departments. That’s ke...

January 15, 2016


Was Your Ride Among the 10 Best Selling in 2015?

Was Your Ride Among the 10 Best Selling in 2015?

Last year was a good one to be in the automotive sales business. Car and light truck sales figures nationwide hid 17.47 million in 2015, up 5.7 percent from 2014’s numbers. Reports show that pickup trucks were the most popular choices, and Ford was the big winner - again. Its F-Series pickup truck kept its top spot as the highest selling ride in the country – a designation it’s boasted for decades. And the next three spots on the top 10 list also were pickups, followed by small and mid-sized cars made by Honda and Toyota. Here’s how the top 10 best-sellers list played out: Ford F-Series – 780,354 sold Chevrolet Silverado – 600,544 sold Dodge Ram – 451,116 sold Toyota Camry – 429,355 sold Toyota Corolla/Matrix – 363,332 sold Honda Accord – 355,557 sold Honda CR-V – 345,647 sold Honda Civic – 335,384 sold Nissan Altima – 333,398 sold Toyota RAV4 – 315,412 sold  Did your ride make the top 10 list? Post what you love most about your car o...

January 15, 2016


BMW, Skully Unveil Next Generation Motorcycle Helmets

BMW, Skully Unveil Next Generation Motorcycle Helmets

Heads up, motorcycle riders – literally. BMW garnered some serious attention at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this past weekend with the unveiling of its next-generation helmet, complete with a built-in heads-up display. In terms of looks, BMW’s Motorrad helmet has a sleek, modern design with a few extra features – Namely a GoPro-like, forward-facing camera embedded in the top of the helmet and a rear-facing camera that’s used much like a virtual rear-view mirror when the heads-up display is in use. The display feature shows the rider an array of information including speed, fuel level, gear and temperature. An advanced system known as V2V integration boosts rider safety by showing approaching road signs and warning of upcoming dangers on the roadways. Information is visible via a glass display piece that sits just in front of the right eye. Functions are activated by controls on the left handlebar and riders can record their rides with the fr...

January 15, 2016


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