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Watch Subaru's Epic Mt. Washington Record Run: Video

Watch Subaru’s Epic Mt. Washington Record Run: Video

Hunting for hill climb glory in a pair of six-star supercars

Hill climbs almost never fail to bring the good stuff. Taking place outside the relatively safe confines of a race track and drawing a variety of makes and models to compete, these sorts of events are ripe for drama and history making. And that’s exactly what happened when Subaru Rally Team USA went to tackle Mt. Washington over the summer. With breathtaking drops, highly technical corners, and both tarmac and dirt, the Mt. Washington hill climb is a 7.5-mile, 4,600-foot monster that’s not to be trifled with.

Luckily, Subaru brought a pair of aces when it came to its driver roster, including motocross champion-turned rallyist Travis Pastrana, and Isle of Man expert David Higgins. Then there are the cars, which arrived rocking the same engine as the battle machines from the Global Rallycross series, boosted to an incredible 800 horsepower. “This is the fastest Subaru I’ve ever driven, up the craziest mountain I’ve ever driven,” says Pastrana. It’s a sentiment echoed by Higgins: “Two corners up the first practice run, that excitement turned into a pretty even split between panic and fear.” All told, this video a bit long, clocking in at around 23 minutes, but it’s definitely worth it. Expect epic editing, lots of drama, great tracking shots, a nice soundtrack, entertaining narration, and simply insane footage both inside and outside the car.

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Quick Comparison – BMW M5 Vs. Cadillac CTS-V

Quick Comparison – BMW M5 Vs. Cadillac CTS-V

Germany takes on the U.S. for super sedan supremacy

The new BMW M5 has arrived, boasting a boatload of power, oodles of luxury, the traditional German refinement, and even a performance AWD system that’ll go full Gymkhana-RWD-smoke-machine at the touch of a button. Sweet. So then, it seems like all the stuff you’d expect, plus a ‘lil extra on top, right? Should be about right for anyone looking for superlative performance in a high-status package – a.k.a., the standard M5 owner. But here’s the thing - the Bavarians aren’t alone anymore. The luxury performance four-door segment has more than a few tempting options on hand at the moment – take, for example, the Cadillac CTS-V, a tire-shredding monster with every intention of toppling the Teutonic status quo. Both rock sports car specs, plus acres of hide and top-shelf opulence. So how do they line up?

To find out, we dug into the info sheets and laid it all on the table. In this quick comparison, we take a look at the exterior, interior, drivetrain, and prices for both, drawing a few conclusions on the way. Is the Caddy the new king, or can Bimmer reassert its dominance?

Continue reading for a quick comparison between the BMW M5 and Cadillac CTS-V.

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Audi Sport Is Dreaming Of Its Own Hypercar

Audi Sport Is Dreaming Of Its Own Hypercar

Don’t expect it to arrive anytime soon though

The landscape of the hypercar segment today is as fertile as it’s ever been, and it’s fixing to grow even more now that Audi Sport GmbH has given indication that it might want to join in on the fun at some point in the future. Just don’t expect that “future” to arrive quickly because at this point, the main concern of Audi’s performance division is to roll out new models to fortify its status as a true performance sub-brand.

There is a glimmer of hope that we’ll eventually see a Audi hypercar. According to Automotive News no less than Audi Sport CEO Stephan Winkelmann is warm to the idea, explaining that a hypercar is something that the brand not only “deserves,” but just as important is that there’s a “demand outside, and the customers are looking into it.” Winkelman’s claims are backed up by the fact that despite carrying price tags exceeding $1 million, hypercars like the Ferrari LaFerrari, Porsche 918 Spyder, and McLaren P1 have all sold out, some even in record time. It’s this kind of demand that has spurred Aston Martin and Mercedes-AMG to make their own hypercars, which everyone expects will also sell out at a snap of a finer. The fertility of the hypercar market is something that Audi Sport wants to sow its seeds on, but not at the cost of ignoring its other performance models. That, above all else, is the brand’s priority at this point, starting with filling out its roster of performance crossovers and electric cars. Only after it’s done that will Audi Sport really take the thought of a hypercar seriously. Here’s to hoping that it finishes its "priorities" quickly then, right?

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Why I'd Skip the BMW M5 For The M550i

Why I’d Skip the BMW M5 For The M550i

An opinionated realist here to squash your bad choices

Hopefully you’ve read my thoughts on the 2018 BMW M550i xDrive I recently spent a week with. If not, you should. Hopefully you’ve also read the opinions of our fearless editor, Robert Moore, on whether the new 2018 BMW M5 is a waste of money compared to the M550i. If not, again, you should. But having spent time with BMW’s slightly less M-ified 5 Series, I wanted to chime in on the topic. Buckle your seatbelts, you might not like my answer.

My confession wouldn’t feel out-of-place in an AA-style meeting: “Hi, I’m Mark and I love horsepower and speed. Oh, and find comfort in tire smoke and going 140 mph down the back straight at Monticello with a V-8 screaming in my ear.” Yeah, I’m that guy. So, it might come as a surprise to hear that I’d buy the M550i over the M5 nine times out of 10. Why? It’s simple: The M550i is a better all-round daily driver that looks just as good as the M5 and has just as much usable horsepower for public roads. See, here’s the thing. I’m not the guy who needs the ultimate version of something to feel self-worth and gratification. My ego would be just fine not having that M5 badge affixed to my BMW. I’m also a realist with a strong suspicion I wouldn’t be autocrossing my five-passenger, full-size sedan every weekend. That’s what Miatas and Corvettes are for. And with the money I’m not spending in the M5, I can buy a mint Miata and throw speed parts at it. And let’s face it, two cars are better than one.

Continue reading for more ramblings.

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Who Knew That Supervolcanoes Could Be Important To The Auto Industry?

Who Knew That Supervolcanoes Could Be Important To The Auto Industry?

Apparently, it’s a rich source of lithium

The wonders of this world never cease to be amazing. Just when you thought we’ve figured everything out about this planet of ours, scientists stumble into a new discovery that could alter the future of the auto industry. No, they haven’t figured out a way to make cars fly or make them invincible; they’ve found an unlikely source of lithium that could be a tremendous boost to the advent of electric cars: supervolcanoes.

Scientists and researchers at Stanford University made the discovery when they examined and analyzed the contents of the craters that were created by supervolcanoes millions of years ago across the entire U.S., including Nevada. Upon careful study of the volcanic magma hiding in crystals in the craters, including slicing bits of magma that were trapped in the crystals, scientists discovered the presence of the highly combustible silvery white alkali metal. This discovery could be a boon to the auto industry, which has become increasingly reliant on lithium, which serves as the beating heart element of the batteries that are the core of any electric vehicle. While there’s still no certainty that the lithium discovered in supervolcanoes can be mined on a massive scale, the mere discovery could have short- and long-term ramifications on a number of industries. The auto world, in particular, will inevitably need more lithium if it really wants electric cars to be the future of the industry. It’s good to know that these supervolcanoes have turned out to be sources of the same material that the business needs in abundance.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Visual Comparison: BMW M5

Visual Comparison: BMW M5

How new is it really?

The new BMW M5 has finally made its debut, but how new is it really? Well, we decided to throw together a quick visual comparison to look at just how much it has changed over the last couple of generations. Then, to add in that little extra everyone loves, we show you what it looks like next to its primary competition. So, check out what we’ve got below, then let us know your thoughts in the comments section at the end of the article.

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Forza Motorsport 7 Is Literally Next-Generation Gaming: Video

Forza Motorsport 7 Is Literally Next-Generation Gaming: Video

You’ll need an XBox One X and a 4K-resolution TV to appreciate the scale of the game

We already know what to expect from Forza Motorsport 7. Or do we? That question may not be answered until we all get our hands on the game later this year, but Forza creative director Bill Giese isn’t waiting until October 3 (or November 7 for those who have the Xbox One X) to get the game’s hype train rolling. Speaking with IGN at Gamescom 2017 in Cologne, Germany, Giese touched on several important items about the game that’s already making us giddy for Forza 7 to hit shelves.

Among the most important announcements that caught our attention is Giese’s admission that experiencing Forza 7 at its best requires the all-new Xbox One X, thanks to its much faster processing power over the Xbox One, as well as true 4K resolution. Basically, you’re going to need an Xbox One X and a 4K TV to really immerse yourselves into the world of Forza 7. Giese even says that playing Forza 7 on the Xbox One X at native 4K at 60 FPS really opens up the richness of the racing environment that Turn 10 Studios created. Think it can’t get any more real than what the Xbox One provides? Well, according to Giese, playing the game on the One X allows you see even the tiniest of details in crystal clear resolution. Imagine the people in the stands having actual faces and moving like real people. Better yet, imagine the bits and pieces of rock on the asphalt or the patches of grass as your cars drive by. They can all be seen in 4K resolution.

Add all of this to the fact that Forza 7 has over 700 cars at its disposal, including the largest collection of Ferrari cars in the history of video game racing franchises and the addition of Porsche into the fold, and you have a game that’s already living up to the hype, even if it’s still two months away from releasing.

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Amalgam's 1:8 Scale Model Replica Of The Bugatti Veyron Vitesse Is Its Sickest One Yet

Amalgam’s 1:8 Scale Model Replica Of The Bugatti Veyron Vitesse Is Its Sickest One Yet

If you’re going to spend $15,000 on a scale model, this is the one to get

$15,000 can buy a lot of things. You can split that money up and pay for a year’s worth of rent. You can indulge on something like the Tonino Lamborghini Alpha One smartphone and save the rest for a rainy day. You can even use all of it in one go and buy a Ford Fiesta. All those things are on the table, though you can also use your $15 grand on something far less useful, though still pretty awesome: a 1:8 scale model of the Bugatti Veyron Vitesse.

I’ve seen my fair share of immaculate supercar scale models, but I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never seen anything quite like Amalgam’s scale model of the Veyron Vitesse. The details of this scaled down Veyron Vitesse are incredible. All the little minutiae of the supercar’s design are accurately depicted to the extent that you’d be forgiven if you thought that it was an actual Veyron Vitesse that was shrunk down by some kind of shirking device that Amalgam has at its disposal. Jokes aside, the company did say that the scale model is completely hand-crafted using the original CAD data supplied by no less than Bugatti itself. The involvement of the French automaker is enough reason to understand why the accuracy of the details of the Veyron is absolutely stunning. Amalgam even said that it takes 310 hours to build one scale model, and that’s just one part of a development process that roughly takes 3,000 hours, the equivalent of 125 days! It’s no wonder that the whole thing costs $15,000, and even after talking about it, I still haven’t gone to the best part of the scale model.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Lamborghini's New Alpha-One Smartphone Is The Definition Of Unnecessary Excess

Lamborghini’s New Alpha-One Smartphone Is The Definition Of Unnecessary Excess

Would you spend $2,450 for a Lambo phone? I didn’t think so.

Part of what makes Lamborghini a premium brand is that it can slap its name on anything and that “thing” suddenly becomes a premium item. No more is this evident than on laptops and smartphones. Remember the Asus Lamborghini VX Series? How about the ZX1 smartphone? Now, the Raging Bull’s likeness will once again be stamped on a smartphone. This one is called “Alpha-One,” and it’s a waste of $2,450.

Now, I will indulge those who think a Lamborghini-branded smartphone is something worth splurging on. The Alpha-One, to its credit, isn’t a shill. It does have a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, which is supposedly fast and does lots of cool things. It also has four gigabytes worth of RAM with expandable storage, a 20-megapixel rear camera, an eight-megapixel front camera, a fingerprint scanner, a 5.5-inch WQHD display, and an Android Nougat operating system. I’ll give it this much: it’s well-equipped, which is more than what other faux mobile phone brands can say for themselves. Take it a step further and you might even be impressed by its supposed liquid metal frame and Italian handmade black leather back case, which by the way, has its own contrast stitching. On the surface, everything about it checks out as a premium smartphone, and that’s precisely what it’s problem is. As well-equipped as it is, there’s no way that the Alpha-One should cost $2,450, roughly double the price of the most powerful version of the iPhone that’s out in the market today. Then again, that’s the price people will have to pay for it, all because it has “Lamborghini” logo.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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Apparently, The Bugatti Chiron Isn't Invincible To The Elements: Video

Apparently, The Bugatti Chiron Isn’t Invincible To The Elements: Video

Spoiler alert: don’t watch it if your stomach is weak

Have you had lunch yet? If you have, then you might have the stomach to watch this. If you haven’t, well, the risk is on you. Nothing really prepares a car with low ground clearance for uneven roads. It only takes a burp from gravity for a car’s low-hanging body parts to make contact with the pavement. That scraping sound is enough to make even the most hardened of men lose their wits. Unfortunately for all of us, watching this video is a perfect example of the perils of low ground clearance, and worse enough, it happened to a Bugatti Chiron.

I’m going to presume that the driver behind the wheel of the Chiron is its owner, so it’ll be easier to stomach the fact that he can’t blame anybody else for his foible. But he did find himself in a very delicate position with little space to maneuver his Chiron in such an angle that one tire goes through the dip in the pavement before the other. Doing so would’ve saved his carbon fiber underbody from getting planted to the ground. But alas, he didn’t have the space he needed so he braved it, rolling the Bugatti supercar straight on. It turned out to be a bad move as the underbody makes contact with the road and we hear that agonizing sound of carbon fiber meeting cement. To make things worse, the whole episode happened in front of a group of people who were mingling around the Chiron. Hopefully, the scrape didn’t do too much damage to the Bugatti supercar, as the slightest damage can be met with five-figure repair costs, or worse if the whole panel gets shredded. Knowing how expensive these parts can be, I’d be sweating in my Bugatti, too.

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Driving into a Total Solar Eclipse will Blow your Mind

Driving into a Total Solar Eclipse will Blow your Mind

This is NOT a time-lapse video, in case any of you are wondering

Ninty nine years. That’s how long it’s been since a total solar eclipse was visible from coast to coast across the entire continental United States. Naturally, an event this rare drew the attention of the global audience. If you saw the total solar eclipse a few days ago, chances are that you were at least awed by it. For some people, though, the eclipse provided a tremendous opportunity to create web content. For one person in particular, they decided to create a four-minute video detailing the experience of driving on the road during the eclipse. Well, it was a good idea because the video itself is, well, illuminating.

Credits to HaloMasterMind117 for thinking about doing this. While everyone had their necks strained to the high heavens watching the phenomena, this guy was driving around the town, dashboard camera rolling, to document the changing environment as the moon completely blocked the sun for a few minutes. The video starts off just as the eclipse was reaching its totality in Columbia, South Carolina. From what looks to be a typically sunny August afternoon, the sky quickly goes dark, prompting the street lights to turn on. In a matter of seconds, that “typically sunny August afternoon” turns into dusk and just as quickly, goes full-scale nighttime. You would think that this was some kind of time-lapse video but it isn’t. It’s the effect of the total solar eclipse. The driver then drives along a straight road for a few minutes and the color in the sky quickly changes just as the sun re-appears, first looking like dawn, and then back to being a typically sunny August afternoon. Take note that all of this happened in a matter of minutes, further adding to how awesome it must have been to experience the total solar eclipse in its entirety.

We often take it for granted, but just as we think less and less about it, the universe once again proves just how awesome it is.

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Aussies are Planning to Build the Best Road in the World

Aussies are Planning to Build the Best Road in the World

At the very least, it could join the list of most memorable roads in the world to drive

As the auto industry continues to embrace electric cars, governments around the world are continuing their own march of ramping up efforts to accommodate the rise of electric vehicles. The local governments of Paris, Madrid, Athens, and Mexico City have all said that they’ll ban diesel cars from city centers by 2025. More recently, the British government said that the sale of gas and diesel cars will be banned from 2040, a move that France also plans to make. Now Australia’s getting in on the action with plans to build a massive superhighway along the coast of Queensland near the Great Barrier Reef. This superhighway, according to Reuters, will be built for electric cars.

The project itself is as grandiose as it is ambitious. If it comes to fruition, the superhighway will cover a distance of 1,118 miles, running from Coolangatta in the south of Cairns and stretching all the way to Cairns in the northern area of Queensland. To put that in perspective, that 1,118-mile distance is roughly the same as going from New York, New York to Miami, Florida. While there is still no timetable as to when this superhighway will be built, there are also plans to equip this long stretch of road with charging stations, spread out along its entire length. According to reports, these stations will be provided by Tritium and Schneider Electric, a local based manufacturer that plans to offer free charging to all plug-in vehicles who will use the road. Should the superhighway become a reality, its sheer size and location – in reach of the majestic Great Barrier Reef – could turn it into one of the best highways in the world, and quite certainly, the quietest of them all too.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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