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Volkswagen Suspends Chief Lobbyist, Attempts to Save Face Over Monkey Gassing

Volkswagen Suspends Chief Lobbyist, Attempts to Save Face Over Monkey Gassing

Another PR disaster for the German company

The Volkswagen Group is scrambling to salvage its public image amid reports that in 2014 the company funded research on diesel emissions that involved sealing monkeys in an airtight chamber pumped full of exhaust fumes. As a result, VW’s chief lobbyist, Thomas Steg, has taken a leave of absence.

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Jeep to Cease Wrangler JK Production Making Way for new JL Pickup

Jeep to Cease Wrangler JK Production Making Way for new JL Pickup

That means the pickup’s debut is getting closer

Jeep is scheduled to end production of the outgoing Wrangler JK on April 7, 2018. Both the JK and the all-new 2018 Wrangler JL have been built simultaneously since November, but on separate assembly lines on separate sides of the Jeep campus. However, the JK’s end marks the beginning of the Wrangler JL-based pickup truck, the Scrambler.

Moreover, that means the Scrambler’s official debut is quickly approaching. The 2018 Chicago Auto Show is likely the next-best opportunity. The show is slated for February 8 and 9, so we don’t have long to wait.

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Hyundai Drops a Pair of Teasers for the Next-Gen Santa Fe

Hyundai Drops a Pair of Teasers for the Next-Gen Santa Fe

Hyundai’s three-row crossover getting a highly stylized makeover

Hyundai’s next-generation Santa Fe crossover has just been officially teased. The automaker released two renderings showing the inspiration for the upcoming three-row crossover. Compared to the current Santa Fe, the design is far more aggressive and stylized, likely in a concerted effort to stand apart in the increasingly crowded crossover segment.

The new Santa Fe will likely debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show and arrive in showrooms for the 2019 model year. It will replace the current crossover, which has been on sale since the 2013 model year.

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Report: Next-Gen Porsche 911 Will Get a Plug-In Hybrid Drivetrain!

Report: Next-Gen Porsche 911 Will Get a Plug-In Hybrid Drivetrain!

Don’t expect to see it until 2022 at the earliest

The next-generation Porsche 911 is shaping up to be a groundbreaking model in many ways. There are reports that it will be the last version of the 911 to sit on its own platform as succeeding generations will start using Volkswagen’s SAZ architecture which will be shared with other performance models, including the Cayman and Boxster 718 twins. Now, there’s a new report from Auto Express that says that the next-gen 911 will be the first 911 model to be offered as a plug-in hybrid model. Should that be the case, the next-gen sports car is going to have a lot of history on its side.

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Hyundai To Film Its Super Bowl LII Advert On The Spot

Hyundai To Film Its Super Bowl LII Advert On The Spot

The South Korean brand fights the good fight

Hyundai is gearing up for its big Super Bowl advert, with plans to finalize it with footage shot during the game in a last-minute editing blitz right before it goes live. The advert will highlight the company’s philanthropic efforts with the Hyundai Hope On Wheels childhood cancer fund.

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It's a Go: The Lexus LC Convertible Will Happen

It’s a Go: The Lexus LC Convertible Will Happen

The LC F is also in the cards

Grab hold of whatever you’re holding and don’t let go. The Lexus LC 500 is finally getting a convertible version. Given what we know about the LC 500 — it’s awesome — a convertible version is exactly what the doctor ordered. A convertible LC 500 is an exciting addition to the automaker’s lineup. Not only does it spell its coupe counterpart from going at the market alone, but it also provides customers with a fresh alternative to a segment inhabited by the likes of the Audi R8 Spyder and the Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster. Even better: a more potent LC F model is also a possibility. If Lexus wanted to shake the establishment, these two models would go a long way in doing just that.

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BMW, Daimler, and VW Paid To Put Monkeys In Diesel-Emission Gas Chamber For “Research”

BMW, Daimler, and VW Paid To Put Monkeys In Diesel-Emission Gas Chamber For “Research”

It’s not a good look for a German company...

Prepare yourself, because the rabbit hole that is the Diesel Gate scandal just got a little deeper. According to a recent report from The New York Times, Germany’s “Big Three Automakers” funded a study in 2014 that aimed at proving the safety of diesel emissions by sealing off a group of monkeys in an airtight chamber pumped full of diesel emissions. Apparently, the diesel model in question, a VW Beetle, was manipulated to create less pollution in lab tests than it would on the street, much like the defeat devices associated with the Diesel Gate scandal.

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Wallpaper of the Day: One-Off 2018 McLaren 720S by MSO

Wallpaper of the Day: One-Off 2018 McLaren 720S by MSO

It’s a McLaren, it’s a one-off, it’s the perfect wallpaper!

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Flamethrowers And Autopilot – Potentially Very Dangerous, But That's A Good Thing

Flamethrowers And Autopilot – Potentially Very Dangerous, But That’s A Good Thing

Elon Musk’s latest venture is an exercise in freedom

Those of us living here in the U.S. like to think we enjoy a good amount of leeway when it comes to self-determination and the way in which we live our lives. That includes the freedom to enjoy potentially dangerous activities, like driving a race car, or shooting a gun, or skydiving. And thanks to Elon Musk’s various ventures, we can add the convenience of the Tesla Autopilot feature and the fun of firing off a $500 flamethrower to the list. Unfortunately, there are still some individuals out there who demand hand-holding.

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Teaser of the Week: Ford Ranger Raptor Doing What it Does Best

Teaser of the Week: Ford Ranger Raptor Doing What it Does Best

And the February 7 reveal is fast approaching

Ford just released a third teaser video for its highly anticipated Ranger Raptor. The scripted text emblazed over the moving shots of a camouflaged test mule bombing over terrain say the Ranger Raptor is “Ready for… speed, water, sand, hills, mud, jumps, and anything,” The last phrase then says it’s ready for its reveal. That’s right; the time is growing short for Ford to officially unveil the Ranger Raptor in all its glory.

The event is taking place on February 7, 2018, at Bangkok Auto Show in Thailand. While Thailand might seem an odd choice rather than the U.S. or Australia, the country actually has quite the love for pickups and off-roading. No worries, though, both Americans and Australians will soon have Ranger Raptors arriving in their showrooms.

While Ford hasn’t even hinted at the powerplant under the Ranger Raptor’s hood, a report from Motoring suggests the truck is getting an all-new 2.0-liter high-output four-cylinder turbodiesel. The specific output wasn’t announced, but the new (Power Stroke?) turbodiesel would be more powerful than the current 3.2-liter inline-five turbodiesel, which makes 197 horsepower and 347 pound-feet of torque. The report also says Ford’s new 10-speed automatic transmission will be the sole gearbox.

While the 10-speed auto is an obvious component, the small-displacement four-cylinder turbodiesel is a stretch – at least for U.S.-bound Ranger Raptors. Ford’s peppy 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 or even the standard-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 would be a more plausible engine for North America. It seems we’ll have to wait until February 7 to find out.

Expect the Ranger Raptor to arrive in U.S. showrooms as a 2019 model sometime in the first half of next year. Prices are expected to compete with the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, which starts at $40,400 and increases with options. Perhaps Ford will also offer a turbodiesel and gasoline engine option, just like the Colorado ZR2, as well. Again, tune in to TopSpeed.com on February 7 for all the details.

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2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona - Race Report

2018 Rolex 24 at Daytona - Race Report

Cadillac takes 1-2 victory!

After 24 grueling hours that saw a myriad of punctures, but surprisingly few full-course cautions, Cadillac proved again to be head-and-shoulders above the plentiful opposition, which included F1 Champ Fernando Alonso, in what was a truly record-breaking 56th running of the ultimate enduro test on the Daytona International Speedway.

Just two short years ago, the 24 Hours of Daytona was broken apart by no less than 21 full-course yellow periods. They were for cars slowing down or stopping on course, a number of crashes, and other more or less minor incidents. This meant that many competitors were able to get back some of the laps they’d lost since IMSA allows for a ‘wave-around’ procedure that sees cars that are a number of laps down gain a lap at each caution period – although each car can only gain a certain number of laps. As a team owner, you can rest assured that, having a 24 hour-long-race in front of you, there will surely be cautions that will give you the opportunity to gain some time that you might’ve lost – or should you?

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2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB

A shrunken G-Class?

Like most premium automakers, Mercedes-Benz took the crossover market by storm in the 2000s. In 1998, the M-Class joined the G-Class as the company’s second SUV, but since then the German carmaker launched no fewer than five crossovers plus a pickup truck. And Mercedes isn’t stopping here. According to recent reports and spy shots, the Germans are planning to launch a brand-new model called the GLB. Although the name suggests that it will slot between the tiny GLA and the C-Class based GLC (formerly known as the GLK), the GLB will be a bit different. Sure, it will fit between the two in terms of size, but unlike its siblings, it will have a boxy design inspired by the mighty G-Class.

Rumors about such a model surfaced back in 2012, when Mercedes unveiled the Ener-G-Force Concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Created by the company’s Advaned Design Studio in Carlsbad, California, it looked like a futuristic version of the G-Class and had a hydrogen-powered drivetrain. The rumors turned into certainty when a small but boxy crossover was spotted testing on public roads. With models like the GLA and GLC unlikely to ditch their sleek, sporty lines, the GLB remains the only option for a shrunken G-Class. Let’s find out what it may bring to the table in the speculative review below.

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