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Posted on September 30, 2014 by Seyth Miersma
We don't get to cover the ins and outs of the motorcycle world as much as we'd like, but there was no way we could skip bringing you the latest announcement of the Kawasaki Ninja H2R.
Great Galloping Jesus, does this thing look incredible.
The Ninja nameplate has typically been synonymous with top-tier performance, and this carbon fiber-clad monster seeks to take that reputation to another level. Crouched inside of that green, tubular steel trellis frame is a 998cc inline-four engine that has been supercharged to the tune of 300 horsepower. That unprecedented figure is almost guaranteed to carry the H2R well past the 200-mile per-hour-mark, for any test-rider brave enough to keep the throttle pegged and skillful enough to keep the 17-inch slicks stuck to the Earth.
The new Ninja isn't a street-legal machine - as evidenced by its headlightless, bewinged face - but rather a showpiece for Kawasaki knowhow. A single-sided swingarm - a first for Kawasaki - holds the rear wheel in place, while the steel trellis takes up less space than would an aluminum twin-spar. The carbon-fiber work on the cowl was designed with assistance from the company's aerospace arm, while engineering of the centrifugal supercharger was aided by minds in the personal watercraft division. Teamwork makes the dream work, we always say.
And this particular dream is expected to be come a streetable reality, we're told, at this year's EICMA show. The new Ninja formula is expected to be shown on a street bike debut at the event. Don't expect the consumer version to be as wild, and as wildly powerful, but we do anticipate it'll be impressive.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Posted on by Brandon Turkus
We're plenty excited about the new McLaren 650S GT3. While we've poured over images of the new racer, we've yet to see it in motion, which makes the arrival of this new video pretty fortuitous.
By clicking 'play' above, you'll see the 650S streaking through the forest, showing off its many good angles along with an ear-pleasing exhaust note that should fit in nicely on the racing grid. Of course, what grid that will be is open for discussion.
Rumors continue circulating that the replacement for the MP4-12C GT3 will herald McLaren's long-awaited return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans and other top-flight endurance series, provided it's converted to the GTE class standard. While that's yet to be confirmed, as of right now, it's a virtual certainty that this new model will take up the series currently contested by the GT3 class, including the Blancpain Endurance Series and Pirelli World Challenge.
Take a look at the video and let us know what you think in Comments.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Posted on by Michael Harley
Predicting the future direction of Honda's compact CR-V would have been difficult based on the Civic-derived model that first arrived on our shores for the 1997 model year. The newcomer, selling alongside the body-on-frame Passport (a hastily rebadged Isuzu Rodeo), was a cute compact crossover with four doors and an awkward curb-side hinged tailgate thanks to its Japanese home-market design. The five-passenger CUV offered generous interior room, but its wheezy 2.0-liter four-cylinder, with an output of just 126 horsepower and 133 pound-feet of torque, required 11.7 seconds to bring the 3,153-pound vehicle to 60 miles per hour. Rear drum brakes didn't help much in the stopping department, but Honda offered safety-minded consumers optional anti-lock brakes on the premium trim.
Nearly two decades after its introduction, the CR-V has matured in spectacular manner. The refreshed 2015 Honda CR-V, now in its fourth generation, is dimensionally within two inches of its ancestor in overall length and nearly identical in height and wheelbase. That consistency of dimension is impressive in this age of size and segment creep, and it stands as a testament to how 'right' Honda engineers got the model's original packaging. Of course, the CR-V hasn't stood still - nearly everything else about the best-selling compact CUV has improved in leaps and bounds.
But Honda is not the only player in this hotly contested segment today, so the automaker has taken the unusual step of updating its fourth-generation model just a few years after its introduction in an effort to keep it seated on the podium. To learn more about the automaker's improvements, and form our own impressions, we spent a day driving the CR-V in sunny Southern California.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Posted on by Brandon Turkus
Harley-Davidson is getting in on the recall chorus this year, announcing a six-figure callback of its Touring and CVO lines of cruisers. 105,746 Electra Glide Ultra Classic, Ultra Limited, Police Electra Glide, Street Glide Special, Street Glide, Tri Glide Ultra, CVO Limited, CVO Road King, CVO Breakout, Electra Glide Ultra Classic Twin Cooled, Ultra Limited Shrine, Street Glide Shrine and CVO Softail Deluxe are affected.
The problem focuses on clutch master cylinder, which could be prone to failure, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, could reduce the "pressure available to keep the clutch disengaged." If the clutch engages, NHTSA says the bike could creep forward unintentionally, raising the risk of a crash.
Separately, HD is also recalling 1,384 XG500 and XG750 (better known as Street 500 and Street 750) due to a problem with the neck of the fuel tank filler. Apparently, the neck may be "insufficiently flat," which could prevent the fuel cap from sealing properly and increasing the chance of a fuel spill.
The Touring line recall only affects 2014 models, while the 1,400 Street bikes are from model year 2015. In both cases, Harley will be notifying owners of the affected bikes, who will need to report in for free repairs (either a rebuilt clutch master cylinder or a new fuel tank).
Take a look below for the NHTSA bulletins on both the cruiser recall and the Street recall.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Posted on by Autoblog Staff
Driving and debating the pricey Cadillac ELR
See that pretty, black coupe over to the right? That's the 2014 Cadillac ELR, and we think it's perhaps the best-looking Cadillac currently on the market. Problem is, it's also one of the most expensive, and we're not so so it's worth it's shockingly (pun intended, sadly) high price. In fact, we're pretty darn sure it isn't. Read our full report to find out why.
Lamborghini Asterion leaks in magazine
The 2014 Paris Motor Show is right around the corner, which means it's just about time to expect the leaky wheels of the internet to start showing off the carefully hidden treasure trove of debuts planned for the City of Lights. In this case, though, it was a magazine that did the leaking, and it's a tasty new concept from Lamborghini on its pages.
2016 Chevy Camaro spied in Germany
There's a new Chevy Camaro headed our way, but before it gets Stateside, the boffins at GM need to make sure it's completely ready for the road - and that means testing on Germany's notoriously high-speed roadways and race tracks. And that, in turn, means spy shots. See the latest round of camo'd test mules right here.
- Toyota recalls 690,000 Tacoma trucks for rusty leaf springs, fire risk
- 2015 Ford F-150 claims segment's best payload, towing ratings
- NHTSA investigating power modules on Chrysler Group SUVs and minivans
Posted on September 29, 2014 by Noah Joseph
The reveal of the next-generation Honda Civic Type R has been a gradual one. First Honda showed us a camouflaged prototype, then let us drive one at its Japanese proving ground and followed up with a concept at the Geneva Motor Show. Now with the Paris Motor Show looming on the horizon, it has revealed yet another concept to keep hot-hatch enthusiasts on their toes.
The second Civic Type R concept appears almost identical to the first one - right down to the aggressive aero kit, quad exhaust tips, oversized wheels and ultra-low-profile rubber - but wears a new coat of Superman blue with go-fast decals. With its release, however, Honda has confirmed some of the salient details set for the production version.
In the nose sits a 2.0-liter turbo four with 276 horsepower and a 7,000-rpm redline, mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Adaptive dampers and a "steer axis" system promise to keep the power under control, while a push of the +R button tightens up the suspension, steering and torque mapping.
All of this adds up to a hot hatch which Honda promises will surpass every Type R before it - including the Integra, Accord, the previous Civic... and yes, even the NSX. Production is slated to take place at Honda's plant in Swindon, UK, with delivery to European showrooms commencing sometime next year.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Posted on by Noah Joseph
At the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, Kia showcased a new diesel hybrid powertrain. And at the rapidly approaching Paris Motor Show, it will present that new technology in the Optima sedan concept you see here.
Called the Kia Optima T-Hybrid, the concept mates a 1.7-liter diesel with both a turbocharger and electric supercharger to a small electric motor and a 48-volt lead-carbon battery. The mild hybrid setup allows it to travel in electric-only model at low speeds and at cruise, regenerating brake power to recharge the battery. Kia said it chose the lead-carbon battery pack over lithium-ion because it's easier to recycle and does not require active cooling.
Because the powertrain is still under development, Kia isn't saying what kind of fuel economy or emissions figures it gets in the Optima T-Hybrid concept, but it is targeting a "significant reduction" in emissions and fuel consumption, while delivering 15 to 20 percent more power. Check out the system in action in the video below.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Posted on by Brandon Turkus
Toyota has announced that it will be issuing a recall of 690,000 Tacoma pickups from model years 2005 through 2011. The affected vehicles include both the four-wheel-drive model and the two-wheel-drive PreRunner (but not the standard 4x2 pickups), which may have a rather serious problem with their rear suspensions.
In some cases, corrosion and stress could cause one of the three or four leaves in the rear suspension's leaf springs to fracture. While the trucks can still be driven with a broken leaf, Toyota is concerned that it could move out of position and impact other components in the rear of the truck, with a particular focus on the fuel tank. Needless to say, but a piece of metal continuously impacting anything, let alone the fuel tank, is cause for concern.
As of this writing, there have been no reports of crashes, injuries, fires or deaths due to this problem, although that won't stop Toyota from informing all affected customers of the issue. Those 690,000 owners will need to report in to dealers for inspections and, if necessary, repairs.
Scroll down for the press release from Toyota.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Posted on by Chris Bruce
The first purportedly leaked images from an Italian magazine of Lamborghini's new vehicle for the Paris Motor Show are on the web, and they closely echo the model's silhouette from the teaser. However, there's no official mention of a name to confirm that this is being called the Asterion, as rumored.
The profile image (right) definitely suggests this is the same model that Lamborghini is previewing for Paris. It features the same slightly arcing hood and roof, and it has a rear air intake behind the door. The shape also seems to support the belief that this concept has a 2+2 seating arrangement to echo earlier Lambo models like Espada.
According to Autoblog.nl, which has posted the images, the vehicle may use a hybrid V10 with three electric motors to produce in the neighborhood of 900 horsepower. Furthermore, it claims that this might be just one of two concepts that Lamborghini is bringing to the Paris show. For now it's still a mystery, but all should be revealed on October 2 for the vehicle's unveiling.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Posted on by Chris Paukert
Well, this is awkward.
A few years ago, Audi Of America's boss Johan de Nysschen went on record describing the Chevrolet Volt as "a car for idiots." Fast-forward to earlier this summer, and the well-regarded executive suddenly found himself in a new office with new business cards bearing the title: President, Cadillac. That means that among other challenges, de Nysschen is now tasked with selling the ELR, a car that is, at its core, a Volt in a sportier, less utile frock wearing a price tag that's twice as expensive.
Frankly, it's not a prospect we imagine the South African executive and recent Infiniti boss relishes. Just about nobody is buying the ELR - Cadillac has sold but 774 examples of its plug-in hybrid coupe this year and it presently has an almost a 200-day supply according to Automotive News. What's more, those numbers actually represent big improvements over just a few months ago, before GM started heaping on the incentives. The cynic in us says that the bad news for De Nysschen is that he's got a borderline sales-proof car in his new corporate garage. The good news? Cadillac customers apparently aren't idiots.
Before we go any further, let's get back to that elephant in the room: price. There's no way to be kind here - General Motors has saddled its 2014 Cadillac ELR with a scarcely believable bottom line: $75,000. Even arithmophobes like us can work out that that means it costs as much as a base ATS Coupe and a Chevrolet Volt combined. That, in our book, is unforgivably bad math - the sort of computation logic understood only by buyers of the Aston Martin Cygnet, or perhaps those who signed off on the Allante's assembly process back in the '80s, an arrangement that involved flying uncompleted cars over the Atlantic in custom-outfitted Boeing 747s. Twice.Permalink | Email this | Comments