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Showing posts from March, 2015

NASCAR Amends Restrictor Plate Qualifying Format

Photo Credit: 304945 Matt Sullivan/Getty Images Earlier this year at the Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR's Speedweeks opened on a controversial note. For the 2015 Daytona 500, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series adopted a multi-car group qualifying style that had debuted last season for most races. Designed to provide a more dramatic and faster-moving method departing from the single-car qualifying fashion used for decades, the new method for deciding the pole position as well as the positions for the Budweiser Duel 150 races definitely caused buzz. Unfortunately, much of the reaction after the qualifying concluded was not favourable. A Daytona 500 pole qualifying consisting of two groups of cars, it was a bizarre spectacle to watch as some vehicles drove through the infield grass to immediately to placed with a drifting partner and competitors waiting for the last possible moment to set a fast lap. This latter point meant the first 3 minutes of each of the three segments fe

The Continental Treatment: Lincoln Revives Historic Name

Through much of Lincoln's history, Ford Motor Company's luxury brand best vehicles came when they were deliberately competing against General Motors' premium car make Cadillac. The 1950s and 1960s had Lincoln attempting to boldly define itself from its main rival creating memorable designs. Diagonally-stacked headlights and suicide doors were some eye-grabbing features used by Lincoln to present their idea of luxury. With Cadillac preparing  a super-luxury CT6 sedan for 2016 , it appears the time has returned for Lincoln to directly attempt to best their old American luxury foe. At the New York International Auto Show, the Continental Concept will debut as a production-ready vision of a new luxury flagship sedan. A strikingly modern, high-class four-door, the elegance on display with the Lincoln Continental Concept is crafted with great purpose. Years ago, the Continental name one of the cornerstones of luxury in North America. First appearing with Linc

Preview to 2015 IndyCar Season: The Competitors

Photo Credit: Chris Owens Having already introduced you to the 16 races part of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar schedule , it's time to shed light on the drivers and teams contending for the various trophies. With the entry list for the season-opening race in St. Petersburg posting a healthy 24-car field, drivers connected to the superteams of Team Penske, Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Autosport are still the favoured forces to be reckoned with. However, expansion and consolidations for 2015 has the potential of creating some surprising developments as the IndyCar season progresses.  The following tidbits of information considers the 2015 Verizon IndyCar season as a whole discounting all the special deal put together for the Indianapolis 500. Reigning Champion Power Accepts #1 Photo Credit: Chris Owens For only fourth time in 15 years, the defending champion of the IRL/IndyCar Series has decided to accept a special perk. Will Power's 2015 campaign will see the Aus

Preview to 2015 IndyCar Season: The Races

Photo Credit: Chris Owens/IndyCar The start of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar season was delayed three weeks due to the cancellation of the opening round in Brazil. Having planned to run the feature race on March 8th at  Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet, the round was withdrawn by promoters. Reportedly, government funding to the race was pulled resulting the IndyCar season having to wait until March 29th's race in St. Petersburg to open the 2015 series. With 16 points-paying races including 'the month of May' festivities at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series tour consists of ten road courses and six ovals. Big Easy Debut One new race venue added to the 2015 Verizon IndyCar tour is the series' first-ever stop in the state of Louisiana. To be held on a 13-turn, 2.74-mile course at NOLA Motorsports Park, the Indy Grand Prix of Louisiana is taking place at facility opened just four years ago. Located in Avondale, the race track is only 2

Kia Soul EV Claims Inaugural AJAC Canadian Green Car of the Year

While most of the AJAC (Automobile Journalists Association of Canada) awards were handed out at the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto, one special honour awaited a vehicle connected to an all-new category for this week's Vancouver International Auto Show. An appropriate prize handed out inside the environmentally-conscious province of British Columbia, the first Canadian Green Car of the Year would be bestowed on one vehicle. From a group of four finalists chosen for fuel efficiency, low emissions and reduced overall minimized impact on the environment. Becoming the first recipient for the new award, the Kia Soul EV prevailed as the choice for 2015. An all-electric equivalent to the gasoline-powered MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) version of the Kia Soul, the Soul EV substitutes the fuel-burning powertrain for a 81.4-kw AC synchronous permanent magnet motor and 27-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Capable of travel up to 105 miles (roughly 170 kilometers) on a single charge

Canada's Steve Arpin Joins New Chip Ganassi-Owned Red Bull Global Rallycross Team

Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR Almost every time Chip Ganassi enters a new form of racing, the Chicago businessman and former driver has a given tendency of spending time in victory lane. Amassing victories and championships in the Verizon IndyCar Series as well as sports car racing, Chip Ganassi Racing has also won several NASCAR race in the Sprint Cup Series and the tour currently known as the Xfinity Series. March 18th, the habitually winning team has announced entrance into Red Bull Global Rallycross. Interested in the younger crowd attracted through the sport, team owner Chip Ganassi speak highly of Red Bull Global Rallycross' existence. “As a fan of motorsports I’m particularly interested in the GRC cars, their horsepower levels and the absence of traction control but make no mistake about it, we are in this series to win – both on and off the race track. Also, GRC has proven to be a very innovative and fresh take on today’s motorsport product." s

BMW's Production-based Plug-in Hybrid X5

Last year in New York, BMW teased a concept of their X5 sport activity vehicle operating on a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Combining the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine using BMW TwinPower Turbo technology combined with an electric motor, the X5 eDrive Concept was one of many interesting ways to envision BMW's top crossover vehicle. Recently, a diesel-powered version of the BMW X5 was imported into North America allowing owners to explore greater distances between fuel stops. Less than a year since the X5 eDrive Concept debuted, the vehicle has been granted the production green light as the 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e. Employing a similar powertrain layout displayed on the concept, the 2016 model year X5 xDrive40e operates primarily on an electric power before relying on a gasoline engine for longer range driving. From concept to production, the BMW plug-in hybrid vehicle has undergone some gains as well as some loses. The one gain made with the showroom-ready version of the electrif

Sixth-Generation Chevrolet Camaro To Be Unveiled May 16th in Detroit

We have grown accustomed to seeing some of the most anticipated new vehicle releases occurring indoors as part of one of the major auto shows. Detroit, Chicago, Toronto, Geneva and soon New York are just a few places where vehicles like the all-new Ford GT, production-ready Acura NSX or the 2016 Audi R8 has been adored in recent months. While Chevrolet has provided some excitement to indoor automotive events with the new Volt and the production-bound Bolt EV Concept , the auto brand decided to wait for warmer weather to unwrap their most frenzy-inducing vehicle. On Saturday May 16th, Chevrolet will introduce the sixth generation of their Camaro sports car to the world. With few technical details released as of this time, many are eager to find out what the 2016 model year Chevrolet Camaro has in store. Set to take place Detroit, Michigan's Belle Isle Park, the new Chevrolet Camaro will coincide with a range of festivities within the same complex that will host the Verizon I

Some Dodge Dealerships Allegedly Engaged in Devilish Conduct Selling SRT Hellcat

Last year, the Mopar world was awakened by Dodge's new super high performance SRT Hellcat line of vehicles elevating the cause of muscle cars to near ridiculous level. A supercharged HEMI V-8 powerplant pumping out 707 horsepower and over 200-mile per hour speed potential were the numbers expected from a race car, not the most powerful production vehicle built under the Dodge brand. First appearing in the form of the two-door Challenger, the SRT Hellcat treatment was performed to the Dodge Charger sedan later last year. Now that the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and 2015 Challenger SRT Hellcat has reached dealerships, the vehicle has moved quickly into the hands of buyers. Late February, FCA US (Dodge's parent company) learned of some of their dealers have been engaging in poor conduct in selling SRT Hellcat models that would not be available for months or perhaps not at all. It was reported a number of dealerships took large orders for the 2015 model year muscle car

Hot Wheels Available in Crazy Taxi Rush App

Back in the 1990s, video game company Sega created a stir in the driving game genre with the introduction of Crazy Taxi. Debuting in 1999 within the decades that were slowly being shuttered due to the growth of home video gaming, Crazy Taxi had players rushing around the virtual city of San Francisco collecting fares. The main object of each mission has been to deliver passengers to their destination in an allotted time. Making the original Crazy Taxi video game experience memorable was the California surfer-themed visuals, extreme game physics and the accompaniment of music from bands like 'The Offspring' as you rolled through the city. Being a big fan of the Crazy Taxi franchise from the start, I was overjoyed when I found the Crazy Taxi Rush Android app within the Google Play marketplace. Even though the control setup of the app is different than the arcade game and the route maps can get repetitive, the Crazy Taxi Rush app has been a favourite of mine. I part

Goodyear Rolls Out Some Radical Tire Concepts

The auto industry is on the brink of a complete reimagination for the automobile will be seen in the upcoming decades. Electrified powertrains, lightweight materials and driver aids entering the realm of autonomous motoring is already being explored as viable technologies that could impact motoring as soon as the next decade. Making contact with roads of the past, present and likely into the future (barring massive advances in hover vehicle technology), tires remain a key part to automobiles. While tire construction, treads and wheel sizes have evolved, for the most part the has not been credited for not being 21st century technology. At the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show, industry giant Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company is presenting two potentially revolutionary tire concepts, the Triple Tube and the BH03, capable of changing the way the rubber meets the road. Triple Tube One of the biggest hindrances in developing the ideal tire for the road is the inability to adj

For a Giant Sandbox: Mighty Ford F-750 Tonka

A pickup truck is a multi-purpose tool designed to perform a tough job. The Ford F-Series Super Duty truck line-up is considered one of the go-to solutions for hauling the mightiest loads building a reputation for power and durability. For people operating the Ford F-Series Super Duty trucks, perhaps the expectation for dependability was instilled at an early age. Since 1947, Tonka has been producing toys that are built to last out using metal construction. Tonka created their Mighty line of trucks and replica construction equipment in the 1960s solidifying a lasting impression in generations of childhood (Including my own). The Mighty Tonka Dump Truck is among the most iconic toy almost any young boy would covet for an extended period of youth. A simple, tough design meant the toy dump truck could handle even the most energetic kid. I can personally say I would probably still have my Mighty Tonka Dump Truck today if I wasn't encouraged to leave it outside in the sandbox du

Lighter, More Powerful 2016 Audi R8 Arrives for Geneva

It is almost the 15th year anniversary for when Audi's first name in performance made a lasting impact on the world. March 2000, the Audi R8 prototype race car stormed to a momentous victory at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. Following the maiden victory, the Audi R8 race car would become a dynasty defined by a dominate string of wins including multiple victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Seven years after the break-through Sebring win, a street-going version of the R8 inspired by the legend and technology of the race car was first sold to the public. The Audi R8 supercar quickly gained a reputation placing it on-par with the best exotic high-performance cars in the world. Standard quattro all-wheel drive paired with reliable power from the original 4.2-liter V-8 and later a 5.2-liter V-10 engine was more than enough to become a halo car for the German luxury brand. After eight years on the market, the R8 road car will receive its first complete remodel. Set for its fi

Always Room for Performance: Kia Sportspace Concept

European audiences have long accepted high-performance wagons from BMW and Audi. In fact, Audi has applied their RS moniker to their wagon Avant models for sale in Germany and other European Union countries over the years. With a few exceptions, North American enthusiasts have often sat at a distance only wondering how it will feel to drive a super powerful grocery-getter. At the Geneva Motor Show set to take place this month, Kia explores the sport wagon culture with their Sportspace Concept car. Preaching the desirable fusion of style and function, the Kia Sportspace Concept is an elegant shooting brake design with a long profile angling smartly at the rear. The styling of the rear portion of the concept car has been shaped to project a presence of a strong and athletic. At the front, Kia's tiger-nose grille features a Plexiglass insert that can be rotated operating as an active shutter for improved airflow. Ice cube style LED headlights are sculpted into the Sportspace C

Car FYI Car of the Month for February 2015: Ford GT & 2016 Chevrolet Equinox

As a new regular feature on Car FYI, this website will dedicate a vehicle to represent each passing month. I wanted to prepare the feature for last month but planning for the 2015 Canadian International AutoShow and other news slowed that progress. So, to inaugurate the Car FYI Car of the Month honours, I will name two vehicles in order to catch up. For January and February, the two vehicles chosen could not differ more greatly. Car of the Month January 2015: The Ford GT After the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the blue oval brand thrilled the high-performance community with a new iteration of their GT. The new Ford GT supercar understandably dazzled audiences with a shape that truly had to be behold to love for its every curve. Lavish use of lightweight carbon fiber and Pirelli Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 tires defined the two-seat supercar in its world premiere. This is second time Ford Motor Company is resurrecting the 1960s GT40 legacy (a vehicle b