- Motoramic39 mins ago
The name Audi dates to the birth of the German auto industry; history says it was the son of company founder August Horch who in 1910 came up with translating " horch " — German for "hark!" — into its Latin form, " audi ." After the creation of Auto Union from Audi and three other early German automakers, the name disappeared from use before World War II. It was only in the mid-1960s that Volkswagen, needing a name for some of the models it was selling from the troubled Auto Union it now owned, reached back for Audi. By 1968, Auto Union engineers had developed the company's first modern Audi, the 100, and on this date in 1968 Auto Union merged with NSU, and the new company took the Audi name as well, launching as a separate brand from Volkswagen. Last year, Audi sold 1.58 million vehicles worldwide, and has targeted surpassing BMW as the world's largest seller of luxury vehicles by the end of the decade. Here's what the most advanced Audi today — the R18 e- tron Quattro that won Le Mans last year — sounds like from behind the wheel:
- Motoramic2 days ago
Today, auto shows are filled with fancy concept cars; at this week's Geneva motor show, we found enough to pack an entire slideshow -- and still had plenty leftover that didn't make the cut. It's a way for designers to express themselves and engineers to showcase future technology. But perhaps more importantly, it's a way for automakers to test the water; gauge public (and media) interest and, if sufficient, put together a viable plan for the company's bean-counters to consider for actual production.
The history of the concept car stems back to 1938, when Buick revealed the Y-Job, shown here courtesy of bluto2000. Designed by Harley J. Earl, the concept was responsible for offering styling cues that graced Buicks well into the 1950s; even today the vertical waterfall grille can still be seen on current models.
- Motoramic2 days ago
If you look at all of the supercars just unveiled at Geneva’s Palexpo hall — the Ferrari California T, the Koenigsegg One:1, the McLaren 650S, and the Lamborghini Huracán — you will notice one thing they have in common: they’re not for you. They’re for rich people with wheelbarrows full of extra money to spend on speed and sporty/flashy good looks. The “cheapest” of them, the Ferrari, costs more than current median home price in the USA, which stands at around $195,000, and they accelerate well beyond $200,000 for the Lambo and McLaren, and onward into the millions, like, two or three, for the special Koenigsegg.
- Motoramic2 days ago
Jimmy Fallon's first weeks as the new host of NBC's "The Tonight Show" has been warmly received. So when Fallon opened his show Wednesday night with a comment about wanting to buy a truck, Detroit's truck marketers fell over themselves like teen-agers hearing Kate Upton wants an invitation to prom.
The first night, Fallon admitted he knew nothing about trucks and wasn't looking for "payola," just that he was thinking of buying a pickup that he could haul his child in. (His appeal for advice to The Roots revealed only a Mini Cooper owner.) That was enough for Detroit to tag Fallon in his medium of choice, Twitter.
Ford struck first, pitching the 2015 F-150 King Ranch, a truck that won't even be built for several months. Chevy also tried its hand:
- jhyde1 at Motoramic3 days ago
It wasn't just Walter Röhrl's two titles in the World Rally Championship in 1980 and 1982 that made him one of the most respected race drivers in the world. It was the way he won, and the machines themselves; no other racer so successfully tamed the monsters of the mid-80s rally world like the 550-hp Audi Sport Quattro E2. Röhrl retired from rallying in 1987, but his skills remain in demand, and every modern Porsche model has been tested around the Nürburgring with Röhrl at the wheel. Nothing better sums up Röhrl's skills than this famous video of his fleet footwork from 1985:
- Motoramic3 days ago
The original Dodge Viper revealed in 1992 was a beast of a machine — an attempt by then-Chrysler exec Bob Lutz to revive the spirit of the Shelby Cobra and give Chrysler a world-class sports car. Powered by a massive V-10 with 400 hp, the early Viper's brute force overwhelmed many drivers.
Today, the power that made the Viper a legend appears to be at the heart of an order from Chrysler to dozens of trade schools, demanding the immediate destruction of some 93 early Vipers, including a preproduction model that could likely fetch a couple hundred thousand dollars at auction.
- Motoramic3 days ago
BMW continued its trend today of adding more and more products to an already crowded lineup, attempting to control the universe with strict German order. Meet the 2015 BMW X4, the baby brother of the flabby X6 and slanty version of the X3 SUV.
With BMW bringing so many new variants, of other versions, of various existing models, the debate on why the brand is expanding into these niche segments, and whether it remains right to do so, has been told. A lot. So rather than repeat myself, let's take a look at some of the X4's stats:
The U.S. will see two models – the $45,625 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder xDrive28i, with 240 hp, and the $48,925 3.0-liter inline six xDrive35i, packing 300 hp. Both all-wheel drive cars mesh to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The X4 is based on the X3's platform, only with a slopey -er roof for less practicality and more supposed "dynamism."
- Motoramic3 days ago
When Audi first launched the TT in 1998 as a 1999 model, it instantly became a design icon. Its short, squat body was an amazingly simple, almost art-deco arrangement of big circles connected by straight lines, like a napkin doodle brought to life. Only as an Audi, it was pretty much perfect.
That same kind of strict geometry returns to the TT in its third generation, which just made its world debut at the Geneva auto show, only now, its tidy dimensions contain hexagons and trapezoids on the single frame grille, air intakes and elsewhere. The arched roof profile remains unmistakable, especially in the back, but the window line now features an A5-like kink in the C-pillar. Unique front and rear fascias and dual vs. quad tailpipe treatments separate the standard TT from the more powerful TTS model.
- jhyde1 at Motoramic4 days ago
Charles Brady King was a mechanical engineer and tinkerer who, like many younger men of the 1890s, was fascinated by engines and the potential of personal transportation. In his shop in Detroit, King and associates would spend hours going over diagrams in magazines and building their own versions. Thanks to income from his inventions, King had bought a one-cylinder gasoline engine and a carriage; on this date in 1896, after tying the engine to an accelerator pedal and muffler, King drove down St. Antoine to Woodward Avenue at five miles an hour — the first appearance of an automobile in the Motor City.
As the Detroit Free Press reported:
The first horseless carriage seen in this city was out on the streets last night. It is the invention of Charles B. King, a Detroiter, and its progress up down Woodward Avenue about 11 o’clock caused a deal of comment, people crowding around it so that its progress was impeded. The apparatus seemed to work all right, and went at the rate of five or six miles an hour at an even rate of speed
- Motoramic5 days ago
For a brand founded on fanciness, a flagship must not only be sumptuous and splendid, it must make a statement. And while Mercedes produces about a dozen models priced above the six-figure mark, and a handful that crest $200,000, it has only one flagship — and it’s not the $208,000 SLS AMG GT Roadster. It’s the $215,000 CL65 AMG coupe: a twelve-cylinder, twin-turbo behemoth predicated on the idea that, at the top of the economic food chain, there is always a plutocrat willing to pay a premium for profligacy. For those apex predators, the tri-star brand just introduced a replacement for the CL. Benz had already extended the top-notch S-Class nomenclature to encompass vehicles that may have been marketed as Maybachs if that experiment hadn’t been such a flop including S600, Limo, and purported Pullman and Landaulet replacements. So it makes sense that the new old flagship follows suit. The CL is dead. All heil the S-Class Coupe. Though we’re only seeing the “base” S550 here in Geneva, with a twin-turbo 4.7 liter V-8 (449 hp/516 lb.-ft) and a seven-speed automatic, we can extrapolate from this handsome, albeit slightly tarpon-esque two-door into S63 and S65 AMG coupe — and rumored convertible — permutations. We find its fluid shape cohesive, if a bit familiar (hello, 6-Series), and though we generally dig Benz’s recent surfboard-imprinted flank design, there might be a bit too much pressure on the longboard on this one. It looks a bit like gramps has cinched his belt too tight, with waist meat overflowing up into the already narrow daylight opening. Thankfully, a B-pillarless design is retained, which, along with a giant MAGIC SKY DARKENING LCD-impregnated glass sunroof, should reduce any suffocating references to Poe’s immuring Cask of Amontillado.