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News

The 2015 Cadillac Escalade is one of largest and boxiest full-size SUVs nowadays. I’m not saying it is not stylish, but that thing is huge, heavy and seemingly slow, but once its 420-horsepower V-8 comes to life, the Escalade is anything but slow. In fact, it takes only 6.4 seconds to charge from naught to 60 mph, which is faster than a Subaru BRZ or Scion FR-S , and it reaches the end of a quarter-mile strip in 14.8 seconds.

On the other hand, we know that some potential buyers would like the 2015 Escalade to be a tad quicker. This is where Hennessey Performance and its HPE550 package comes in. The upgrade places a supercharger atop the 6.2-liter V-8 and adds performance-enhancing parts, including a high-flow intercooling system. The result? Output goes up to a whopping 552 ponies and 565 pound-feet of torque, while it 0-to-60-mph drops to 4.9 seconds. Although the Texas-based company hasn’t released quarter-mile figures yet, it’s safe to assume the Escalade HPE550 is in the low 13-second range.

One thing’s for sure, the supercharged Escalade is definitely faster than a base model, and the video above proves just that. Hit the play button to find out why Hennessey charges a $15,950 premium to tweak the 2015 Escalade.

A number of automakers may be gearing up for the Paris Motor Show next month, but Audi’s looking ahead to the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2014 to preview its new design language through what’s being described as a large saloon-coupe concept.

Sources close to Autocar indicates that the new concept will be used as a springboard for a potential flagship, four-door model that will replace the A8 as the company’s top-of-the-line luxury sedan. Not surprisingly, the future model is going to be called the A9.

The concept will also be unveiled to showcase Audi’s new design direction developed under the stewardship of Marc Lichte, the same man who designed the current-generation Volkswagen Golf and Passat .

There aren’t a lot of details surrounding the concept at this point, but Autocar’s sources suggest that the concept will feature a number of never-before-seen design features, including a new Singleframe grille and laser headlamps. The concept’s interior will also be drastically different from anything we’ve seen Audi do in recent years. A new digital instrument cluster is expected to be one of the highlights of the concept’s interior, as well as new connectivity options Audi’s currently developing for the next-generation A8 and the A9 .

A production version of the concept is expected to follow, although that model isn’t expected to arrive until 2017.

Click past the jump to read more about Audi A9.

Source: AutoCar

We already know everything there is to know about the Porsche 918 Spyder and we all agree its Stuttgart’s finest piece of engineering yet. That’s why we can’t get enough of this V-8-powered hybrid and drool over any 918 Spyder-related footage we lay our eyes upon. This time around, there’s no test drive or quarter-mile race, but a 0-to-207 mph run that puts the German supercar within four mph of its claimed top speed. What’s really impressive is that the 918 Spyder takes only 29 seconds to charge to 207 mph from a standing start, yet another benchmark added to its staggering performance credentials, which include a 0-to-60-mph time of only 2.8 seconds.

As a brief reminder, Porsche’s latest supercar is powered by a 4.6-liter, V-8 engine connected to two electric motors. The combo cranks out 887 horsepower and an amazing 940 pound-feet of torque. This drivertrain may generate less horsepower than those fitted in the Ferrari LaFerrari and the McLaren P1 , but make no mistakes, the 918 Spyder is just as fast.

If you need further proof, Sport Auto’s video above is enough to showcase the 918’s capabilities when the hammer falls on the gas pedal.

Hit the play button to enjoy the speed and the roar of that incredible V-8 engine!

Hennessey Performance and the nation-wide automotive dealer AutoNation have recently announced their alliance in bringing Hennessey Hennessey Performance parts to the masses through AutoNation’s extensive dealer network. That means you can walk into your local AutoNation Chevrolet dealer and order a Hennessey upgrade to your vehicle, so long as Hennessey makes a kit for it.

Kicking off this new partnership, Hennessey outfitted a Chevy Silverado crew cab with its HPE550 Supercharger kit and hooked a flatbed trailer to its hitch. Riding along is a Corvette Stingray convertible with Hennessey’s HPE650 Supercharger . As the supercharger names suggest, the Silverado now makes 550 horsepower and the Vette puts out an impressive 650.

What we see in the video above is the pair getting their modifications in preparation for their nationwide tour. Yep, starting this month, Hennessey will be touring the country, going from one AutoNation dealer to the next, showcasing the performance advantages of its engine upgrades. Demonstration rides will be given and burnouts will likely happen.

Chevy buyers will be able to outfit not only the Corvette and Silverado with Hennessey’s wares, but also the SS , Camaro , Tahoe , and Suburban .

Once this Chevrolet tour is over in approximately 12 months, Hennessey will begin the same process with AutoNation Ford dealerships; showcasing Hennessey’s soon-to-be finished upgrades for the new 2015 Ford lineup. That includes the new Mustang and F-150 .

The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is headed to dealerships, but not all dealers will be able to get their hands on the high-powered coupe . As ordering for the Challenger SRT Hellcat begins, Dodge is switching up its allocation methods, turning it into a competition among dealerships to see which ones are able to to sell the most Dodge vehicles within the last 180 days. Yup. The more you sell, the better chance you get of securing more Challenger SRTs for your customers.

Then in December 2014, Dodge will issue a second allocation calculation based on the previous 90-days’ sales performance on top of the traditional 30-day inventory turn.

Dodge brand head Tim Kuniskis told Automotive News that this new system will reward dealerships that take the time to sell as many Dodge models as they can get. “You sell a lot of Darts for me, Journeys for me, Durangos for me, I’m going to give you the rights to this one, too, because this is a halo of the brand,” Kuniskis added.

In the future, Dodge will also begin implementing a system that measures how many days the Challenger Hellcat stays on the lot. According to Kuniskis, that would be a big factor in the allocation of the model to dealerships moving forward. Simply put, the longer a Challenger Hellcat stays on the lot, the less future Hellcat models that dealership receives.

Click past the jump to read more about the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.

Don’t have the money to make a bid for an actual Aston Martin DB5 ? Don’t worry because the creators of the James Bond series, EON Productions, has a DB5 that you can actually afford. But there are a couple of caveats. One, the DB5 isn’t an actual model, but rather a one-off, gold-plated, one-third-scale replica of the model. Two, it’s expected to sell anywhere between £40,000-60,000, which is about $66,000-100,000 as of 9/9/2014.

Still interested?

The gold-plated DB5 replica was actually commissioned by EON Productions as part of the 50th anniversary of Goldfinger, the first James Bond movie that the iconic Aston Martin appeared in. It even has the signature of James Bond production designer Sir Ken Adams, the same man largely responsible for designing the modifications to the car, including the radio-controlled machine guns, bulletproof shield and revolving number plate.

Global auctioneers Christies will send the model under the hammer later this month for charity to benefit the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in the UK.

So it is for a good cause, which should make it a little easier to spend that much money on a scale model of the DB5. At least you know the money you spend will be put to good use. Bidding has started at the Christies website where it will continue until September 17, 2014.

If the car is a little too steep for your bank account, you can instead opt to bid for an 18-karat yellow gold Goldfinger Seamaster Aqua Terra wristwatch created by Omega.
The one-off timepiece is estimated to fetch anywhere between £8,000-12,000, which is about $13,000-20,000 based on current exchange rates.

Click past the jump to read more about Aston Martin DB5.

Source: Christies

Sabine Schmitz is a name you might recognize; she is a professional driver who is referred to by many as the “Queen of the ‘Ring.” She was one of the first head drivers of the Nurburgring taxi service, and if you have ever watched Top Gear, she is the excitable young German lady that took a Ford Transit van around the Green Hell in Series 6. She also hosts German automotive television show, D Motor. To say she knows cars is quite an understatement, and that is what makes this video so interesting. Sabine owns a 997-generation 911 GT3 that she has driven for more than 12,000 miles on the Nurburgring alone, and she is set to compare it to the all-new 991-generation 911 GT3 . You know, the one that Porsche stopped selling because it caught on fire.

With Sabine’s intimate knowledge of the older GT3, it is really interesting to hear her take on the new car. She has the ability to really pick out the subtle things that make each car feel and perform differently. Now this is only a short performance test and drive time on a closed airfield, not a blast down the Nordschliefe, so Sabine can only say so much about the way the car drives, but she still seems impressed.

Click play to watch Sabine beat on both her personal 911, the new 911 , and as a bonus you get to hear lots of angry Porsche flat-six wail as she drags both cars screaming to their redlines. It a glorious thing, so turn that volume up.

The time is fast approaching, and I can’t wait. Forza Horizon 2 hits store shelves in just a few weeks, and now we have the official launch trailer as well as news on the arrival of a demo version you can play early. First, just take a look at this trailer. All of the footage in this is straight gameplay from the Xbox One version of the game and it looks stunning. The cars, modifications and scenery are all top notch.

September 30th cannot come soon enough.

Thankfully we don’t have to wait for the release date to bomb around the great European countryside as there will a demo released on September 16th on the Xbox One. I think I *cough* may be sick *cough* next week. According to some reps, the demo will be a timed affair with a few select cars from the game just like the demo for the original Forza Horizon was.

If you are an Xbox 360 player, yes the game is coming to you too, but we have no word on a demo for your system. I am sorry.

When you do pick up the new game, Turn 10 and Playground games have announced that there will be a special reward system that will grant you some fancy cars to start the game with if you are a returning fan. If you have played any Forza game before you are likely familiar with the Forza Rewards system. Essentially, Turn 10 keeps track of how much you play and you gain points based on time played, miles driven, cars owned and more. If you have enough points when you fire up Forza Horizon 2 for the first time you will get a selection of cars that range from the BMW 1 Series M to the Huracán and the McLaren P1 . You can find a full list of cars, their unlock tier and a link to the Forza site to check your standings after the break.

So to recap; we have a great new trailer to watch, a demo coming out in just a few days, and a way to unlock a small collection of awesome cars before the game even launches. Can I get a “hell yes?”

It appears Ford is taking extra measures to ensure its new 2015 F-150 will withstand the test of time and unfavorable weather conditions, including harsh sunlight. The automaker has announced its practices for testing both interior and exterior parts, and it’s rather interesting.

A majority of testing took place at Ford’s own Central Lab, where individual parts were subjected to a Thermatron. Like a scene from an old Sci-Fi film, the Thermatron blasts the parts with UV rays over an extended timeframe, simulating five years of sun exposure in a fraction of the time.

Ford is paying a lot of attention to the F-150’s interior in terms of its anti-glare properties. Washed out gauges, infotainment screen, and reflective materials on the dash have all been eliminated – preventing the driver from getting shot in the eye with a beam of sun reflecting off a chrome trim piece.

Special attention is also being paid to the exterior badges. A quick look at any mid- to late-2000s F-Series truck will reveal Ford had serious issues with its badges fading. Ford says it tested all its exterior badges under some 3,000 hours of sun-like conditions, along with temperatures as cold as -40 degrees Celsius followed by a steam bath of 100 degrees Celsius. That’s serious stuff.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Ford F-150.

With the latest game in the Forza universe, Forza Horizon 2 , launching at the end of the month and a brand new demo for the gaming coming next Tuesday, it seemed like a great time to talk about the full car list. Over the last several weeks there have been small releases of cars, but now we have the entire roster, and it is a pretty large one. Microsoft promised more than 200 cars, and we are rolling into the game with 210.

Some of the big names on this list we already knew about like the Lamborghini Huracán , Local Motors Rally Fighter and the McLaren P1 , but the last announcement brought a few special surprises. If you like the off-road scene, you can bomb around in a Land Rover Defender 90 ; for the supercar fans, they have the return of the Ferrari F40 and (my personal favorite) the 1966 Ford GT40 MkII . Oh yeah, they have the Lamborghini Veneno as well.

The entire car list this year is pretty incredible, with five machines from Alfa Romeo , every Corvette ZR1 (and ZR-1) ever created, and no less than 15 Ferraris. They also have seven different Lambos, a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon and the Koenigsegg Agera . Seriously, there is something here for everyone. They even have a Honda Civic CRX Mugen from 1984. With a large Italian-style countryside to frolic around, this looks to be shaping up as one of the best games in the series. Oh man, they have the Aston Martin DB5 and Vanquish too!

You can pick up your copy of the new game starting September 30, 2014 on Xbox One and Xbox 360. To see a full list of the cars, check after the break. They are sorted in alphabetical order by brand for your convenience.

Find the entire 210 car roster for Forza Horizon 2 after the break


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