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Watch Sebastian Vettel become first driver to lap Sochi GP circuit

Posted on September 1, 2014 by Jonathon Ramsey

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Sebastian Vettel Infiniti Red Bull racing

In April of last year, Sebastian Vettel and David Coulthard drove the unpaved Sochi Formula One circuit in a pair of Infiniti M sedans, getting both muddy and airborne in the process. Now with tarmac laid down and fences put up, Vettel and Coulthard have gone back to the Black Sea vacation spot for another hot lap, this time in a Q50 Hybrid and without the need for mud flaps.

Sochi has earned the blessing of F1's race director, so now the next test will be the fans. With a healthy amount of wall-and-fencing along the straights, it has shades of Valencia for the viewer. We hope it will be much more exciting than its Spanish counterpart when racing happens on October 12. You'll find more videos below covering Infiniti's visits to the Sochi Autodrom, and a press release on the latest lap.

Continue reading Watch Sebastian Vettel become first driver to lap Sochi GP circuit

Watch Sebastian Vettel become first driver to lap Sochi GP circuit originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 31 Aug 2014 19:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Audi recalling 70k TDI models worldwide over braking problem [UPDATE]

Posted on August 30, 2014 by Steven J. Ewing

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Audi A7 TDI

Audi is issuing a recall covering some 70,000 vehicles worldwide, due to problems with their brake boosters. According to Automotive News Europe, diesel-powered examples of the A4, A5, A6, A7 and Q7 are all being called back due to this issue.

The report indicates that while the brakes in these vehicles still function, the enhancing power from the booster may fail due to a possible leaky membrane.

All of the affected vehicles are powered by the 3.0-liter TDI turbodiesel V6, and were built between March and December of 2012. It is unclear as of this writing how many of these vehicles are in the States, though remember, US customers are not privy to 3.0 TDI examples of the A4 or A5. Autoblog has reached out to Audi for specific numbers, and we'll update this space when we hear more.

UPDATE: Audi spokesperson Mark Dahncke confirmed that this recall affects 1,814 vehicles in the United States - all 2013 model year Q7 TDI vehicles built between June 5 and November 29, 2012.

Audi recalling 70k TDI models worldwide over braking problem [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 30 Aug 2014 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Audi recalling 70k TDI models worldwide over braking problem

Posted on by Steven J. Ewing

Filed under: , , , , , ,

Audi A7 TDI

Audi is issuing a recall covering some 70,000 vehicles worldwide, due to problems with their brake boosters. According to Automotive News Europe, diesel-powered examples of the A4, A5, A6, A7 and Q7 are all being called back due to this issue.

The report indicates that while the brakes in these vehicles still function, the enhancing power from the booster may fail due to a possible leaky membrane.

All of the affected vehicles are powered by the 3.0-liter TDI turbodiesel V6, and were built between March and December of 2012. It is unclear as of this writing how many of these vehicles are in the States, though remember, US customers are not privy to 3.0 TDI examples of the A4 or A5. Autoblog has reached out to Audi for specific numbers, and we'll update this space when we hear more.

Audi recalling 70k TDI models worldwide over braking problem originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 30 Aug 2014 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ecclestone vows revenge after F1 trial settlement

Posted on by Chris Bruce

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AUTO-PRIX-F1-BELGIUM-SPA-PRACTICE

At times, it seems all too easy to imagine Formula One bigwig Bernie Ecclestone holding a cat and laughing maniacally like a James Bond villain. He just seems like a horrible person to be on the wrong side of. Now that Ecclestone has put his bribery trial in Germany behind him, his enemies had better watch out because Bernie is scheming for revenge.

"Now I am in a position where I have got a little bit more time and I shall follow my old idea in life: 'Don't get mad, get even.' I haven't got mad but I'm going to get even," said Ecclestone to UK newspaper The Independent. His first target is reportedly German businessman Dieter Hahn from Constantin Medien. Hahn tried to sue Ecclestone for undervaluing F1 shares to allow competing company CVC to buy them but lost.

It's possible that CVC might be putting those shares, which amount to 35 percent ownership of F1, up for sale in the future, and Ecclestone may be angling to buy them back himself. "Lots of people have looked at buying Formula One. Until they start looking at what they have got to pay, it is coffee-shop talk," said Ecclestone to the newspaper. Though, he claims buying the stake isn't a priority for him.

Ecclestone paid $100 million to German prosecutors in early August to have the charges against him dismissed. He was accused of bribing a German banker for preferential treatment and could have faced up to 10 years in prison. Ecclestone told The Independent that the prosecutors came to him first to offer the deal, and they previously said that the F1 supremo's advanced age was also a contributing factor.

Ecclestone vows revenge after F1 trial settlement originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 30 Aug 2014 08:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What you missed on 8.29.14

Posted on by Autoblog Staff

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Daily U-Turn

Review: 2015 Cadillac Escalade

Faced with having to rub elbows with strange human beings on a non-luxurious aircraft, our own intrepid Michael Harley chooses instead to drive from LA to Monterey in the swanky new Cadillac Escalade. Can a 600-mile solo drive in the lap of American lavishness counter the efficiencies of modern air travel? (If you really don't know the answer to that one, we're guessing you haven't flown in a while). Read now.




First Aston Martin Lagonda delivered

After taking a decades-long nap, the Aston Martin Lagonda nameplate has finally been revived. The very first group of Aston's newest utlra-luxury sedan has shipped, arriving to Dubai (where else?) by way of Oman Air and some very careful packing. The new Lagonda may only be offered in the Middle Eastern market, but that doesn't mean we can't admire these first looks at it, from afar.




Lutz's WM Destino may close to a reality

When crotchety, cigar chomping, erstwhile major automotive executive Bob Lutz showed up at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show with a Corvette-engined Fisker Karma, we collectively applauded the effort and immediately dismissed it from ever being a reality. As it turns out, with a new investment partner and trademark tenaciousness, Lutz may be ready to actually meet his Destino.



Top Stories

What you missed on 8.29.14 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 29 Aug 2014 19:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2015 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak previewed

Posted on August 29, 2014 by Seyth Miersma

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Dodge and Mopar have never strayed far from success in drag racing, be it on run-what-you-brung nights at the local strip or at the highest levels of the sport. Hoping to both add to that heritage and capitalize on some of the media spotlight that's shown so brightly on the brand of late, Dodge has given us our first look at the 2015 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak test car.

Though this first iteration doesn't make use of the 707-horsepower Hellcat engine, it seems to be a pretty formidable racing package. Starting with a stock '15 Challenger, Mopar adds a full roll cage built to National Hot Rod Association specs. Rubber front and back is drag racing-ready as well, with 28x4.5-inch tires in the front, and fat 30x9-inch tires out back - all from Hoosier.

Powering the beast is a massive 426-cubic-inch (7.0-liter) Hemi Race V8, with output levels that are still unspecified. A Chrysler 727 automatic transmission connects up to a racing style shift lever, with integral line lock.

The rear-end is typical of the bulletproof fare needed for the rigors of drag racing, with a solid rear axle with a nine-inch aluminum third member, adjustable shocks, and an anti-sway bar. Front struts are also adjustable for compression and rebound.

The interior also begins life as a 2015 Challenger SRT, but gains Mopar gauges, lightweight racing seats, safety nets and five-point harnesses.

Scroll on below for even more information about the 2015 Mopar Challenger Drag Pak.

Continue reading 2015 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak previewed

2015 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak previewed originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 29 Aug 2014 18:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tony Stewart to race again, reacts to fatal Ward Jr. accident [w/video]

Posted on by Chris Bruce

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Oral-B USA 500 - Practice

Two weeks since fatally hitting driver Kevin Ward Jr. during a sprint car race in New York, Tony Stewart is returning to the NASCAR Sprint Cup for the upcoming race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The three-time series champion had missed the last three races following the tragedy.

Stewart also gave a press conference at the track where he reacted publicly to the incident for the first time. "This has been one of the toughest tragedies I've ever had to deal with both professionally and personally," he said. At this time, Stewart isn't answering any questions from the media regarding the crash because the police investigation into the case is still ongoing. It's still not known whether the driver could face any criminal charges. You can watch the entire statement from him in a video, below.

The Ontario Country Sheriff that's investigating the death also released a statement that said, "the investigation into the death of Kevin A. Ward Jr., which occurred August 9, 2014, at the Canandaigua, New York Motorsports Park will continue for at least another two weeks."


NASCAR executive vice president Steve O'Donnell also put out a report to USA Today:

"Tony Stewart has received all the necessary clearances required to return to all racing activities and therefore is eligible to compete this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. NASCAR has remained in constant contact with his race team and we will stay very close to this situation as Stewart returns to competition."

According to USA Today, in the wake of the fatal accident, NASCAR passed a new rule requiring drivers to remain in their cars, unless they are in immediate danger, until safety crews arrive. Scroll down to watch Stewart's full conference and read the statement from the sheriff's department.

Continue reading Tony Stewart to race again, reacts to fatal Ward Jr. accident [w/video]

Tony Stewart to race again, reacts to fatal Ward Jr. accident [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 29 Aug 2014 16:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Challenger A/T Unlimited Concept could be your next Hellcat-powered ORV

Posted on by Seyth Miersma

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This past June I spent an excellent day hanging out with Joey Ruiter, driving and discussing his Reboot Buggy project. Before heading home, I let him know that he was more than welcome to keep me abreast of whichever new automotive project he'd get into. You can never have too many car designers and one-off fabricators in your Rolodex, right?

Ruiter recently made good with the follow-up, emailing me with details on this Dodge Challenger A/T Untamed Concept that pushes a lot of hot buttons for the muscle car and off-roading enthusiasts.

This all-terrain Mopar is a lot more than a Challenger body dropped on a truck chassis, too. A materialized version of the A/T would included a completely new, long-travel suspension, skid plates, body armor and rock sliders, and obviously flared fenders to help accommodate a hellacious set of off-road-ready tires. The dramatically revised underpinnings would be topped with a slick graphics package and a killer lower light bar, all making the A/T look quite cohesive in its own, radical way. And the result would be a car no longer limited to mere road-driving.

I asked Ruiter if his concept was rocking a theoretical Hellcat V8 under the hood, and while he agreed that the supercharged engine would make the A/T "the most insane ride ever," he thinks a tuned V6 would make more sense from a weight standpoint. Ruiter also told me that he "wanted the passion given to the Hellcat to be pushed into more areas."

That's a sentiment a lot of you should be on board with, considering how many "Hellcat Grand Cherokee NOW!!!!" comments I read, every time we run a new HC piece.

Which is important to know, because, while the package isn't ready yet, Ruiter really would like to offer something like the Challenger A/T for real customers. He's working to develop a kit that could A/T-ize Challengers, Mustangs and Camaros. We're all for it.

Do you think the Challenger A/T Untamed should transition from concept to reality? Have your say below, in Comments.

Continue reading Challenger A/T Unlimited Concept could be your next Hellcat-powered ORV

Challenger A/T Unlimited Concept could be your next Hellcat-powered ORV originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 29 Aug 2014 16:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Online Find Of The Day: Custom 2005 Chevy SSR is late for Shark Week

Posted on by Chris Bruce

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2005 Chevy SSR Custom

Even when brand new, the Chevrolet SSR wasn't the most beloved car on the market. Its attempt to mix a pickup, convertible sports car and retro styling caused to be a love-it-or-hate-it design. With most people falling deeply into the latter camp, production only lasted from 2003 to 2006.

But let's just say one of the most polarizing vehicles of the last decade wasn't enough for you. What would you do? Well, one owner commissioned a fiberglass body kit with reptile eyes, snout, fangs and spiky tail to create the dinoSSauR, as the dealer calls this creation. It can be yours for the low, low price of $34,988.

To this 2005 SSR's credit, the dealer claims just 6,468 miles on the clock - possibly because no one would ever want to be caught driving it. Although, Halloween is coming, and it could be a great match for your caveman costume. The SSR has its stock 6.0-liter LS2 V8 under the hood with an aftermarket Magnaflow exhaust and a six-speed manual gearbox. It also comes fairly loaded with heated seats, an auto-dimming mirror, memory seats and more. So at least the dinoSSauR is a comfortable bit of rolling weirdness.

To add the cherry of oddness on top of this insane vehicle sundae, it's being offered by a dealer called North Freeway Hyundai in Spring, TX, which claims to be the largest SSR seller in the world having moved over 350 of them. If you're digging the idea of a dinosaur-inspired Chevy retro-truck convertible, head over to Cars.com and put this beauty in your garage.

Online Find Of The Day: Custom 2005 Chevy SSR is late for Shark Week originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 29 Aug 2014 15:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Red Bull captures F1 action in all its thermal glory

Posted on by Noah Joseph

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Red Bull RB8 in infrared

Remember a few months ago when BMW released thermal imagery of one of its M4 DTM touring cars coming in for a pit stop? That was pretty cool, but this is even cooler.

The Red Bull Racing team has partnered with Oregon-based thermal-imaging company FLIR Systems to capture its Formula One racers with cutting-edge infrared cameras. The results, as you can see from this video clip, are quite stunning, showing where the heat builds up in a modern grand prix car - predictably enough around the tires, engine and exhaust, though we're sure it gets pretty hot inside the cockpit, too. Check out the footage right here.

Continue reading Red Bull captures F1 action in all its thermal glory

Red Bull captures F1 action in all its thermal glory originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 29 Aug 2014 15:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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