Posts by Alex Lloyd
This is what they've come up with, the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu. Beyond the sizable makeover is now a hybrid model, a new lightweight body structure, and some clever tech for parents with teen drivers. But will it be enough to rocket sales to the level of the all-conquering Toyota Camry?
The signs point to Chevy heading in the right direction. In person, the new Malibu looks a world better than the one it replaces, appearing more grown up with a subtle hint of aggression. It's also four inches longer than the old car, which yields significantly better legroom for those in the back, and given the greater use of high-strength steel, less material was required for the body, shedding 300 lbs. of mass.
Beyond the number are the car's available gadgets. Things like wireless charging for your phone is standard on the Premium trim models, along with rear-view camera (standard on all models), pedestrian alerts and lane change assist. But perhaps the most important piece of tech for parents is the car's new Teen Driver feature.
Earlier today we brought you the first glimpse of Lincoln's new Continental concept, set to be revealed in public at the New York auto show later this week. In general, the vast amount of commenters in the article liked Lincoln's attempt at a modern interpretation of the iconic Continental, but the news gets better still.
I've just come out of another private screening for the car here in New York, and compared to the pictures (which I liked but didn't love), it looks even better. It's the attention to detail that gets lost in the imagery, like the wing-shaped door handles that are embedded into the chrome trim below the windows. It makes the car's side silhouette that much cleaner (and longer). From every angle, the Continental just looks stunning.
Don't believe me? Wait until you see it in person.
I'm writing this brief article from an airplane having just sampled the all-new 2016 Cadillac ATS-V. So... how was it?
Well, if I told you, I wouldn't have to kill you, but I would have to buy a bouquet of flowers and a nice bottle of scotch to send to the PR department at Cadillac for breaking their embargo date. What I can do, however, is show you a video of my lap using GM's sweet Performance Data Recorder -- providing I promise not to spill any driving impressions.
Being a man of honor I shall of course comply, and a good scotch ain't cheap. So here is my lap from yesterday at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, driving the new 464 hp ATS-V with an automatic transmission and without the higher downforce aero package (see below).
Be sure to check back later next month for my full review and a video brimming with tire-burning skids.
But this weird looking creature isn't just a flash in the pan; Don Panoz and his team have today unveiled new plans to expand, eventually leading to a DeltaWing sports car you can actually buy for your driveway.
The first step in the expansion arrives in the form of a GT-style race car, designed to compete against the likes of the Corvette, Ferrari 458 Italia and others in the booming GT class. Once again, the ideology is the simple: utilize a narrow front track to reduce drag and weight, therefore requiring a smaller, far more efficient engine for propulsion. The GT car is expected to appear in 2015, and will run alongside the team's current car.
For the DeltaWing Technology Group to eventually succeed in the public market, the old saying rings true: Only when they can win on Sunday will they sell on Monday.
They call it one of the world’s toughest endurance races for a reason. Despite a performance advantage over those chasing us, our transmission seemed sure to fail. We were just nine hours into this 25-hour marathon and already we were limited to running just fourth and fifth gear. This should have been the end of the story. We had put on a good show, one we could be proud of. We led most of the early hours, and proved that we were the car to beat. But prototype-style racers from the ESR class aren't designed for durability, which is why one has never won outright at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. We weren’t going to break the trend this year. Only we did.
The closing speeds between the fast and slow cars is what makes this race so spectacular. As I jump in the Norma for my first stint, a 2-hour 15-minute monster, I pass around seven different cars – from a Lotus Exige to a Honda Fit – in just one straightaway. I enter turn one at 160 mph in sixth gear. The Fit does so at about 80 mph. (Imagine passing a stopped car in the middle of the highway; that’s what’s it like approaching the slower E3-class machines.)
Not so. The scene is actually real.
Of course, there is a smidgen of CGI, mostly eliminating the surrounding men skydiving with giant cameras strapped to their heads. And the stars from the latest "Fast and Furious" flick were not really strapped behind the wheel as they dropped, because that might be a bit too terrifying to act all tough.
But as you can see in the video, the cars did legitimately skydive 12,000 ft. out of a plane. The main parachutes didn't open until 5,000 ft., and the team directing the stunt talk about the difficulty in ensuring the vehicles drop at precisely the correct spot. After all, you don't want to be liable for dropping Vin Diesel's '69 Charger on some old lady's vegetable patch.
Taking a stock 1972 C3 Chevrolet Corvette and morphing it into a race-ready beast is no easy task. Doing so in 48 hours is all but impossible. Or is it? The team at Ridetech plan to prove that not only can it be done, but it can be done well enough to compete on a racetrack immediately after. Welcome to the "48 Hour Corvette."
Back in 2011, Ridetech did the same thing with an early generation Camaro. And they did it well, documenting the whole process live on YouTube. To mark their latest 48 Hour build series, which is again being broadcast live, their C3 'Vette was purchased off eBay with a standard LT1 engine meshed to a four-speed automatic. That motor will be swapped for a 650-hp Lingenfelter LS7, and the tranny sliding places with a Tremac T-56 Magnum six-speed manual. Naturally, a wealth of other upgrades will be done, such as Ridetech's own level three CoilOver suspension, Baer brakes and a Holley Dominator EFI ECU.
Cars left abandoned by the side of the road is nothing new. Typically the vehicles are rusty Chevy Cavaliers, or '95 Civics with banging stereos worth more than the cars themselves. But when police stumbled across this particular abandoned vehicle on the Dallas North Tollway, something was different.
For starters, the yellow Lamborghini Gallardo was worth about 200 clapped-out Civics, and it was left damaged by the side of the road with no documents identifying the driver or where the supercar came from (one assumes authorities ran the VIN number, though). For a few hours Sunday morning it was a Texas-sized mystery: what would cause someone to simply abandon their Lamborghini, and who was the driver?
According to WFAA, the mystery began to unravel later that afternoon, when it was discovered that the car was not actually owned by the driver — it was rented from Exotic Skittles. The luxury car rental company did not disclose the name of the driver, or any details as to what may have happened.
A total of 23 Volkswagen Beetles were used in the 1980's movie "Herbie Goes Bananas." Why so many? Because most got totaled due to all the silly stunts director Vincent McEveety dreamed up during filming. The bug you see here is Herbie number 16, and after more than three decades being brought back from the dead, the little 1963 Beetle appeared for sale on eBay – selling a short while ago for $32,100.
Why so little for such a famous car? Well, it may be due to the fact that this Herbie doesn't feature the original motor or transmission, or even the floorpan. Some of its bodywork, too, has been replaced.
See, Herbie #16 was built specifically for the water scenes where the iconic Beetle gets dropped off a boat and into the ocean. Two cars were used; one was abandoned on the seabed and is now destroyed, the other is #16. For filming, Herbie needed to float, so an engine and transmission was not necessary; even fake fiberglass wheels were used to keep weight to a minimum.