- Lawrence Ulrich at Motoramic1 hr ago
Buyers of Ferraris or Jaguars are used to perks from manufacturers – including racetrack lessons to help master their exotic machines. But for enthusiasts on a tighter budget, the Ford ST Octane Academy might be the sweetest deal in motoring: Buy a Ford Fiesta ST or Focus ST hatchback, and the reward is a free day of training at one of America’s longest, most-lavish road courses.
The ST Octane Academy is up and revving at Miller Motorsports Park near Park City, Utah, the $85 million, 511-acre playground created by the late Larry Miller, the owner of the Utah Jazz, auto dealership mogul and vintage car collector.
Opened in 2006, Miller Motorsports has been ground zero for Ford driver training, including extreme off-roading in Ford’s near-insane Raptor pickup. Miller’s Boss Track Attack program also highlights the famous loyalty of Mustang fans: 22 percent of people who bought a Boss 302 Mustang, or more than 1,500 students, have made the pilgrimage to Utah to put the Boss through its paces.
- Justin Hyde at Motoramic4 hrs ago
Ask me or any auto expert what's the fastest car you can buy for any given amount, and we could easily cough up several options. Same for most luxurious, or off-roadable, or any other measurement. Yet there's one variation that's far harder to answer: What's the greenest, most environmentally friendly car you can buy today?
It's not easy knowing what's green in the auto industry. Last year's "Green Car of the Year" as chosen by the Green Car Journal — the Honda Accord hybrid and plug-in — doesn't even appear on the "Greenest Cars of 2014" list as chosen by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy; only three of ACEEE's picks carry over to Kelly Blue Book's own eco-friendly list. Much of that's due to automakers trying to optimize their vehicles to solve different pollution problems; high-efficiency diesels may score badly on smog ratings, while flex-fuel vehicles that reduce oil dependence by burning ethanol or natural gas get lower MPGs.
- Alex Lloyd at Motoramic5 hrs ago
The TT – Audi's diminutive sports car. Since production began in 1998, the two-door coupe has aged with the pugnacity of a grizzled New Yorker, but kept its small proportions. And why would it change, as the arrival of the '09 TT RS proved, adding some grit makes for a rather captivating dish. And so you'll excuse me for being puzzled by the Audi TT Offroad concept. The "off-road" part, specifically.
The TT, a singular model in the truest sense of the word (if you can count both coupe and roadster as one), verges on plurality. The TT will, it seems, spawn offspring – ones that are bigger, fatter and run off electricity.
The TT Offroad combines two electric power units with a 292-hp turbocharged four-cylinder combustion engine. A separating clutch links the lump to a 40kW electric motor, with a dual clutch transmission routing power to the front wheels. The second electric motor, sat on the rear axle independent of the other two, adds a further 199 lb.-ft. of torque to the tally. All told, the TT Offroad delivers 479 lb.-ft., along with a horsepower rating of 408.
- GE Anderson at Motoramic9 hrs ago
One hundred and three years ago today -- April 23, 1911 -- Bob Burman set the world speed record of 225.65 kmh (140.21 mph) in Daytona Beach, Fla. behind the wheel of the Blitzen Benz. The 200-hp car was twice as fast as aircraft of its time, and Burman's record would stand for eight years. The above photo comes from the Library of Congress' Flickr photostream. Check out the video below of the guys from the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center starting the car's engine at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance:
- Justin Hyde at Motoramic23 hrs ago
The Lotus Europa was one of the stranger sports cars of the '70s, but still managed to corner like a sheepdog thanks to its low weight and fiberglass body. This example caught by Dave Lindsay is fairly typical of the nicer early '70s Type 62 Europas Lotus exported to the United States; by today's standards they're odd, underpowered and unreliable — which means they have a fervent fan base. If you have a shot to share, please add it to the Motoramic group on Flickr, or send us a message via Twitter, Facebook and
- Neal Pollack at Motoramic1 day ago
In MotoGP, a most strange sport, compact, highly fit men, most of them Spanish, Italian, Japanese, or Australian, maneuver 350-lb., multimillion-dollar motorcycles around Formula 1 tracks at 210 mph while wearing computerized suits that inflate when they fall off at speed. It feels as though you’re watching Tron live, and the crashes are just as spectacular. Driving these things requires a lot of nerve, as well as generous levels of Euro-style machismo. The riders of MotoGP can’t walk down the street in Barcelona or Milan without being followed by screaming fans. They’re like some sort of unholy marriage between Daft Punk and Apollo astronauts. In the United States, they’re just guys walking down the street.
- Alex Lloyd at Motoramic1 day ago
We've seen Ken Block slide his 650-hp Ford Fiesta rally car through the streets of San Fransisco and, more recently, around Miley Cirus' wrecking ball. But how he is he at playing soccer while doing these things?
It turns out, quite good.
Welcome to the world of Footkhana, where Ken Block faces his toughest challenge yet — defeat Neymar, Jr., a Brazilian soccer football star, in a head-to-head battle of fancy footwork.
Let's get one thing straight, in this video shot by Castrol motor oil, it's football — because naming a video "Sockhana" doesn't have the same ring. And because soccer is actually a game you play with your foot, unlike our version of football.
- Alex Lloyd at Motoramic1 day ago
When you think of Britain, many things spring to mind — Monty Python, James Bond, rain, bad teeth and more rain. From an automotive perspective, the most quintessentially British brand (even though it's now technically Indian) would likely be Jaguar. But there is one little automaker that embodies everything Britain does best, only usually, it's a bit of an afterthought: The Morgan Motor Company.
The small carmaker from Malvern, England, founded by Mr. Morgan back in 1910, has a new car in its model lineup. And in true Morgan fashion, it looks like it's from the 1940s — only it goes like that Meat Loaf songand costs nearly $120,000.
To celebrate the company's 100th year at its Pickersleigh Road factory, Morgan has released the Plus 8 Speedster. Fans of the brand will know that the Plus 8 has been a featured model for around 50 years, but a speedster version, well, that just makes it better.
- Justin Hyde at Motoramic1 day ago
One of the most famous engineers in automotive history rarely set foot in the company with his name on it. After launching the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost in 1905, and building the factory in 1908, doctors told Henry Royce he was near death from overwork in 1911, and barred him from the premises. For the next 22 years, Royce worked from estates, often hiring designers and engineers to draft his plans and help him flyspeck problems. Working from home, Royce not only built up Rolls-Royce but designed aircraft engines that defended Britain in two world wars. Today, the aeronautical and automotive businesses that still bear his name have long been separated, but both can rightly claim his mantle. Here's a glimpse of Royce at work:
- Steven Lang at Motoramic1 day ago
Every car brand likes to market themselves as the best. From "The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection" that launched Lexus to the top of most quality surveys, to "The Ultimate Driving Machine" solidifying the performance pedigree of BMW, automakers like to tell us that they alone are going to offer the absolute best long-term ownership experience.
But are they telling the truth?
I have been a car dealer, an auctioneer, and part-owner of an auto auction over the past 15 years. During that time, I have seen a lot of easily detectable patterns between those brands that have truly stood by their promise, and those that were merely giving lip service.
However, one man's experience can only go so far. That's why over the past year and a half, I have co-developed a long-term reliability study that now has nearly 350,000 sample trade-ins from all over the country.