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industry news

  Automotive industry news, it feels like nothing of what they say is really important but put it together and you will get the big picture before the others.

Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson is embroiled in another controversy, only this time, he could be in a lot of trouble if claims made by the Daily Mirror that he made a racist remark during filming of an episode of Top Gear are proven true.

According to the British newspaper, Clarkson said the "n-word" when he was filiming a segment featuring the Toyota GT 86 and the Subaru BRZ in the third episode of the show’s 19th series. The scene never made it to the final cut, but a video of it has since surfaced and the Mirror claims that Clarkson can be heard saying "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, catch a n***** by his toe, when he squeals, let him go, eeny, meeny, miny, moe."

We watched the clip in question repeatedly and while it’s hard to make out the words he said in the middle of the quote, because it was badly mumbled. However, the word did end with "er." Now, depending on what you are thinking of at the time you listen to the piece, you may just hear mumbling, "Tiger," "Tigger" or the "N-word." Clarkson quickly responded to the Mirror’s allegations, posting a tweet on Twitter saying "I did not use the n word. Never use it. The Mirror has gone way too far this time."

This controversy is just the latest one that Clarkson has found himself wrapped up in. Just recently, he also caused a stir for using the term "slope" while filming the show in Thailand. In case you’re not familiar with the term, its an acronym meant to denigrate people of Asian descent. Clarkson issued an apology after that episode, but this time, he’s standing firm and denouncing the Mirror for claiming he said what a lot of people believe to be the most vile word in the English language.

We’re not accusing Clarkson of saying the word, but the Daily Mirror is equally holding ground on its allegations, even saying that it had hired a firm of audio forensic experts to analyze the clip, when it received confirmation that the word Clarkson said was the "n-word."

Shortly after his tweet came out, Clarkson issued another response (after the jump). In it, Clarkson goes into more detail about the circumstances surrounding that scene and admitted that while he tried to do everything in his power not to use the word, one of the three takes done on that scene made it "sound like" he did use it.

I take mild issue with him saying he "tried to do everything" not to use the word. If you really have to try to not say that word, then there must be some latent desire to use it. Having said that, after seeing the outtake, I just think he mumbled "tiger" and it sounds odd on the low-quality video.

Click past the jump to see the Daily Mirror’s video and article regarding this situation and Clarkson’s response video.

Source: Twitpic

Unveiled in 2011, the Rimac Concept_One created quite a stir in the supercar world, mainly because of its unique, all-electric powertrain that delivered 1,088 horsepower and a stunning 2,802 pound-feet of torque. Unfortunately, the vehicle never made it into production due to Rimac ’s inability to sustain the project financially.

But that could change in the near future, according to the Croatian company, who has announced it is about to sign a €15 million ($20.8 million) deal with investors from South America and Asia, Left Lane News reports.

More than half the sum will be coming from Colombian tycoon Frank Kanayet Yepes, a wealthy investor in the energy industry known for his passion for supercars. He will be pouring €8 million ($11.1 million) into Rimac Automobili in addition to purchasing one of the first Concept_One units.

The remaining cash infusion will come straight from Hong Kong, with mineral company Sinocop Resources paying €5 million ($6.9 million) for a 10 percent stake in the company and a further €2 million ($2.8 million) in stock.

The manufacturer has yet to reveal when the first Concept_One will be completed, but founder Mate Rimac said there are "six cars in the pipeline", with each one to cost about $1 million.

Click past the jump to read more about the Riman Concept_One

The Subaru BRZ has good bones for an every-man’s sports car . Front engine, rear-wheel drive, manual transmission, and a low starting price help make the BRZ a great bang-for-the-buck choice. But a general consensus among enthusiasts agrees that the little two-door coupe lacks power. And sadly, it seams Subaru isn’t currently doing anything about it; that is, except for Subaru Australia.

In an interview with Motoring.com, Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior says his local division has been lobbying for an STI version of the car. But in the mean time, Subaru Australia has done its own modifications with items from the STI parts bin. Even though the parts are the same, the car cannot be labeled an STI without being developed by the actual Subaru Tecnica International team.

Subaru Australia’s modified BRZ S Pack went on sale Down Under in 2013 with STI suspension components for better handling and a few sporty cosmetic bits for a unique look.

While it’s hard to blame the blokes for spicing up their own BRZs while begging for an STI version, it’s understandable why Subaru and Toyota haven’t done major modifications to the car. It’s only a few years old and its first refresh is scheduled for 2016. Several reports have confirmed the BRZ and its Toyo twin — the FR-S — will be getting drop-top version in their next life cycle.

Could it be then that an STI version will come along too? We already know the speculation about the 2.0-liter turbocharged Boxer engine from the Forester is a no-go, as the engine simply won’t fit within the engine bay. Some other mode of increasing power would have to be used. While there’s no shortage of aftermarket turbo kits for the BRZ/FR-S, the STI team is quiet on the subject.

Surely Subaru will answer the outcry for a more powerful BRZ with a STI version while Toyota (Scion ) could do the same mods but with a TRD badge slapped on. Here’s for hoping as the time draws nearer for official words about the upcoming 2016 refresh.

Click past the jump to read more. Don’t forget to tell us what you think in the comments!

Source: Motoring

If you have paid attention to all the new videos and reviews of the new LaFerrari you may have noticed something awkward on the car’s steering wheel. There is a tiny badge that reads "F150." You can see it here in our screengrab from Sport Auto’s LaFerrari video .

The badge itself is to signify the car’s internal code designation, and to pay homage to the cars of Ferrari’s past.

Let us start with the past. The very first true Ferrari supercar of the modern era was the Ferrari F40 . It was name the F40 as the car was built to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the company. Then when its successor arrived, it received the name F50 . Not because it was Ferrari’s 50th birthday, but rather, 50 is bigger than 40. That trend continued again with the Ferrari Enzo , which had a designation of F60. Now when the LaFerrari was first in production, most people simply referred to it as the F70, so where the hell did the F150 come from?

That is a slightly different nod to history. You see, a long time ago, Italy was not a unified country. It wasn’t until 1861, and after much bloodshed, that the Kingdom of Italy became a united constituency. In 2011, Ferrari named its F1 car the F150 to celebrate 150 years of Italian unity. After some legal troubles with Ford over the name, the car became known as the Ferrari 150° Italia . Since the LaFerrari was under development at a similar time, it seems very obvious why Ferrari chose the "F150" code for the car.

You learn something new every day, eh?

Click past the jump to read a little more about the Ferrari LaFerrari

Today is both a day of somber remembrance and a day of historical celebration. It was on this day, 20 years ago in 1994 at the San Marino Grand Prix that Brazilian driver Ayrton Senna lost his life.

McLaren , the F1 team Senna spent most of his career with, has posted up this short video celebrating one of his most incredible driving experiences at Monte Carlo . The words are Senna’s own, and his description of the moment is a spine-tingling demonstration of why many believe him to be one of the best to ever get in the car.

If you are eager to learn more about Senna after watching this short clip, I wholeheartedly recommend checking out the documentary film, Senna. You can find it on Netflix, and watch it for free. Even if you are not a fan of Formula One racing, the Senna documentary is still and exciting piece of film making that most will find enjoyable.

While it was sad to see Senna go, the deadly weekend at San Marino that took the lives of both Senna and Austrian driver Roland Ratzenberger was the final straw that broke the camel’s back on racing safety. An immediate and far-sweeping reform of safety in F1 took place, and since then not a single F1 driver has lost his life on the track.

It seems that in both life, and after, Senna changed the way the world saw Formula One racing forever.

If you have ever wondered why TopSpeed.com doesn’t get to do many in-person reviews on Ferraris , this might help explain things. Certain car makers are very picky, and apply lots of heavy restrictions to their car reviews. According to Jalopnik, Ferrari has now started making writers agree to a $70,000 fine if they break embargo times for the Ferrari LaFerrari.

Basically, if I got to drive the Ferrari LaFerrari , and I wanted to talk to you about it today, it would cost me $70,000. If I waited a few weeks to tell you, it wouldn’t cost me a dime. It seems strange, but this is the amount of power that some of these exotic and exclusive companies wield. On top of these types of restrictions, Ferrari has a very short list of “approved” journalists that are allowed behind the wheel of their machines.

That is not to say that we wouldn’t play ball. Our most important site feature is you guys and gals, the readers. As absurd as a massive fine for talking about a car early may seem, we would jump through almost any hoop to get you guys the cool stories and awesome drives you deserve. We just aren’t on that short list yet.

Click past the jump to read more about the Ferrari LaFerrari.

Source: Jalopnik

British-based owners of the Porsche 911 GT3 are banding together to demand compensation for costs incurred stemming from the recall of the sports car last February after two GT3s caught fire earlier this year. Customers behind the GT3 Worldwide Action Group aren’t too happy that GT3 owners from other parts of the world are getting compensated for their affected cars while those in the UK are getting nothing.

In a letter sent to Porsche AG senior management, the GT3 Worldwide Action Group is demanding a compensation of £145 ($243) per day payable from February 18, the day when owners were first advised by Porsche to stop driving the GT3 because of problems with piston-rod connectors that has forced Porsche to take the unprecedented step of replacing all of the car’s engines .

The compensation being sought by these owners is intended to cover lease costs, deprecation, reduced warranty, insurance costs and lack of intended use. On top of that, the group also wants Porsche to pay &euro100 ($138) a day for customers whose cars are still in production and 50 euros for owners who have paid a deposit but have yet to be given a build slot.

It seems like a fair deal given that according to a statement the group released, U.S. owners of the GT3 are being compensated $2,000 a month for the duration of the recall while owners in Germany are getting &euro175 ($241) a day, the same amount the group is seeking for British-based owners of the sports car. The UK’s Daily Telegraph has even corroborated these claims, saying that it had seen email from Dubai Dubai ’s official Porsche dealer confirming to one GT3 customer that it will pay the owner $12,000 in compensation for the recalled GT3.

But UK customers have so far received nothing in compensation from Porsche, and the group, which represents around 30 to 35 owners in the UK, are rising up to force Porsche to pay them up. “We are massively disappointed by the way the manufacturer has conducted itself with its lack of transparency and blatant discrimination between markets,” Sunil Mehra, the founder of the group, said.

Interestingly enough, one of those British-based customers who was forced to return the Porsche 911 GT3 was McLaren Automotive . Turns out, McLaren brought a GT3 and had plans to use it as it prepared to develop the McLaren P13 , the company’s two-seat sports car that it plans to launch as a direct competitor to the Porsche.

Click past the jump to read about Porsche GT3’s fire problems.

Audi’s latest remake of the TT Coupe and Roadster could potentially pave the way for an entire family of TT-based cars, including the Offroad concept seen at the Beijing Motor Show.

In an interview with Autocar, Audi boss man Rupert Stadler mentioned some fairly revealing information regarding the idea. “The TT can be a family,” Stadler said. “This concept shows that we can do it as long as the genetic code is kept.” This sort of ‘genetic code’ of sorts is what makes the TT unique, including the wheels arches, unique side windows, the exterior lighting, and the interior themes.

What this means for Audi, and more specifically for the TT, is a series of cars all based on the same platform, but with different seating configurations, number of doors, and possibly several powertrain options. It seems the sky is the limit for the TT except for the one design direction that Stadler specifically shot down: a bigger sedan. “The TT should be an icon and that icon has to be respected and that means a compact car that sporty to drive.

Still, that leaves options like a three-door hatch, a two-door shooting brake, the Offroad concept (pictured above), or a smaller four-door compact sedan like the one Audi Technical Chief Ulrich Hackenberg hinted at last month. This sort of sedan would compete nicely with the hot-selling Mercedes CLA and BMW M235i. However, it does seem this sort of compact sedan might cannibalize Audi sales elsewhere in its lineup, namely the A3. Perhaps Audi will include enough differentiation to separate the cars in terms of performance, intended function, and targeted audience to make production of both make sense.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi TT Offroad.

Source: AutoCar

Porsche may have recalled each and every 2014 GT3 to replace their engines, but the fire-risk debacle is far from being over. Forced to keep their GT3s in on the sidelines or in Porsche dealerships nationwide until the mill transplants begin, current owners are obviously unhappy.

And we can’t blame them. When you’re spending $130,000-plus on a sports car , the last thing you want is to wait for weeks or even months for the manufacturer to deal with any issue that might occur. Porsche is aware of that and, although it has yet to provide a timetable for this recall , it has notified its customers that they’ll be given compensation for their inability to drive the 2014 GT3s they have purchased.

According to an official letter received by GT3 owners that was published on the Rennlist Forums, Porsche’s first step is to add an extra 12 months (or 100,000 miles) to the Porsche Approved warranty that comes with each 2014 model year GT3. Also, the letter suggests each owner will be compensated for not being able to drive the car while in service, but it does not provide further details.

However, the same owner that disclosed the letter, who was supposed to get his brand-new GT3 a week ago, says Porsche has promised to pay $2,000 per month until the sports car is actually delivered.

While the German automaker is obviously trying to do the right thing, some GT3 customers are still dissatisfied with the likely scenario in which their car will be delivered six months into the model year. More details will become available in the coming weeks, so make sure you stay tuned for further news on the matter.

As a brief reminder, Porsche has notified owners to stop driving their GT3s in February after two vehicles burned to a crisp. The manufacturer discovered that the issue was caused by faulty piston rod screws and decided to install new engines on all 2014 model year vehicles. In addition to recalling cars already delivered to customers, Porsche also ordered dealers to stop selling GT3s until updates are installed.

Click past the jump to read the letter delivered to Porsche GT3 buyers.

Here it is folks, the "all-new" 2015 Dodge Charger . At first glance, I was a tad disgusted by the revisions, as they seemed rather light. But upon further examination, they began to grow on me and I noticed they were more extensive than I initially thought. Dodge changed up a ton of exterior metal, including the hood, fenders, fascias, front doors, R/T spoiler, taillights, headlights, center-mounted stop light, wheel selection, and added a few heritage colors. On the inside, I see a new seven-inch TFT gauge cluster, a new radio and touchscreens (available in 5- or 8.4-inch), a brand-new steering wheel, a bad-ass shifter, a new Dodge Performance Pages app and some new interior trimming.

The biggest change on the inside — other than more stylish aesthetics — is that Dodge Performance Pages, which is only available on the R/T model. This program, which is accessible through the 8.4-inch touchscreen, has active launch control with various RPM settings for perfect off-the-line acceleration, and performance timers and gauges, including G-force meters, engine oil, transmission oil and coolant temperatures, oil pressure, and engine performance. From the images, I can see there are two pages of gauges, and Dodge did not talk about what’s on page two. I assume this will be things like tire pressure, tire temperature and maybe brake temperature.

With the changes to the 2015 Ford Mustang and the anticipated changes in the next-gen Camaro , it looks like the muscle car realm is reaching for new heights.

Have a look after the jump to see other key changes for the 2015 Dodge Charger


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