Audi will be using the Playstation Home “gaming social media” service as part of its Audi e-tron concept’s marketing campaign. I’m not sure if motoring and gaming go together so I think some explanation on what exactly Playstation Home must come first. Essentially its a community that you can access on your PS3, and membership is free. Users can travel throughout the Home world within their region, and the world is constantly updated by Sony and partners. Each part of the world is known as a space. Public spaces can just be for display, fun, or for meeting people. Audi has set up its own space, quite generically but aptly called the Audi Space. Basically you can head onto the Audi Space to check out the e-tron concept. The Playstation Home world also includes free minigames within the world, so Audi has also come up with a game called Vertical Run. It will only be launched in December though. The goal of Vertical Run is to beat the competition in a multiplayer … [Read more...] about Audi sets up e-tron game in Playstation Home
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9th Place: Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Getting to know the Countach’s Torchbearer Oh dear. I can already read the “For the third time in as many months, I’m cancelling my subscription!” hate mail as I type. But the fact is, the Lamborghini Aventador — the most expensive, powerful, fastest, and rad of the bunch — finished dead last. Before we get to the specifics, please know that we all love the fact that this car exists, how bloody fast it is (the fourth-fleetest vehicle we’ve taken around Laguna Seca), and the entire extreme package. The only problem with the Aventador is the way it drives, especially in a Best Driver’s Car competition.Despite its heavy reliance on carbon fiber, the LP700-4 was the weightiest car of the test at 4109 pounds. That’s 15 pounds fatter than even the big-boned Camaro ZL1. And here’s the really inexplicable part: Lago flew to Italy to test a European-spec version of the big-dog bull — and … [Read more...] about 2012 Motor Trend Best Driver’s Car
A good commercial is one that breaks through the clutter, registers a convincing sales message and sears itself into your memory. I call it the Rule of IMP, for Intrusive, Memorable, and Persuasive. But for Super Bowl commercials there’s an additional rule: They’ve got to be entertaining as well. So which ones have us buzzing around the virtual water cooler today? Here’s our take, with each slotted alphabetically into three categories—Best, Worst, and Meh. Award-winning ad man-cum-auto journalist Don Klein knows a good (or bad) car commercial when he sees one; the Ad Section is his space to tell you what he thinks of the latest spots. But everyone has an opinion when it comes to advertising—especially during the Super Bowl—so hit Backfires below and tell us what you think, too. Audi “Prom”This year’s Super Bowl commercial is another big win for Audi’s brilliant marketing team, not only because of the spot itself—which … [Read more...] about Super Bowl XLVII Car Commercials: The Best, the Worst, and the “Meh” [The Ad Section]
Throughout the history of the automobile in America, one city has been synonymous with the industry and culture of cars. Booming with America’s great period of industrialization, Detroit became the Motor City, the hometown of an industry that created a blue-collar middle class and a culture based on personal mobility. But as America has entered the post-industrial age, as the focus of our economy has shifted from production to consumption, Detroit has been left behind. Long used to defining consumer tastes, Detroit was caught unawares by the changes wrought by globalization and the rise of information technology. And as America’s traditional auto industry struggles to redefine itself in the new economy, another Motor City is rising to meet the challenges of a new age.Though not often recognized as such, Los Angeles has long been America’s “other” car capital. Developing during the rise of the automobile, Los Angeles has become a place where automobile … [Read more...] about Blind Spot: America’s New Motor City
For the first time in Wards’ 23 years of testing, its 10 Best Engines list is without a representative from America’s most rootin’-tootin’ of engine configurations.Last year’s Best Engines list was a grand menagerie of naturally aspirated sixes, forced-induction fours, hybrids, diesels, and a flat-plane V8.This year’s list is a collection of modestly sized turbo fours and sixes, with a handful of electrification thrown in for good measure.Perhaps WardsAuto thinks the automotive industry has finally found a formula that works.In 2015, the 5.2-liter Voodoo V8 found in the Ford Shelby GT350 made the grade due to its impressive engineering and 8,250 rpm redline. This year, Wards didn’t seem to think there was room for anything that didn’t epitomize the perfect marriage of efficiency and performance — a characteristic V8s aren’t particularly well-known for.“Automakers see downsizing, … [Read more...] about Wards 10 Best Engines Doesn’t Include a V8 for the First Time in History
Aztek. Cimarron. Le Mans. General Motors has gotten it wrong more than once.But General Motors, in business for nearly 110 years — and eight years in its current post-bankruptcy iteration — also gets it right. Sometimes GM gets the styling right. Sometimes GM perfectly meets the segment’s needs. Sometimes the performance bargain is unbeatable. Every now and then, those factors merge together and General Motors introduces a thoroughly impressive vehicle.You could make a case for the C7 Chevrolet Corvette. A 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham is a stunning example of GM knowing precisely what Cadillac should be. A mid-90s Chevrolet Impala SS represents GM boldly thumbing its nose at conventional performance. Cars such as the Pontiac GTO, Buick Regal GNX, and Chevrolet Nomad hold a special place in the hearts of many.But what do you believe is the best General Motors vehicle of all time?We’ll narrow our purview to vehicles sold in the United States, eliminating … [Read more...] about QOTD: What’s the Best GM Vehicle of All Time?
BMW plans to streamline its manufacturing process by providing fewer model variants and eliminating less popular engine or equipment options. The goal here is to free up capital for research and development spending in the coming years, according to a Wednesday announcement from the brand’s chief finance officer, Nicolas Peter.With most German automakers already pushing heavily into the realm of electric vehicles, BMW’s strong presence in China is forcing it to further bolster its efforts in EV development. The country’s particularly aggressive emission regulations and mandates on electric vehicle sales means any manufacturer hoping to persist within its borders will have to ensure 12 percent of its fleet is electric by 2020 — and BMW isn’t ready.As a result, the automaker is trimming fat wherever it can find it. Unfortunately, that means eliminating the manual gearbox for the 2 Series in the United States and abandoning certain engine … [Read more...] about BMW Drops Manual Transmission From Best Model to Help Pay for R&D
Despite being unified on the trading front, Mexico and the Southeastern United States are besting Canada and Detroit in the automotive industry game.Presently, Mexico’s contribution to overall North American annual production came to 18.8 percent in 2014, Detroit Free Press says, double the percentage of vehicles the country’s burgeoning industry made back in 2004. Conversely, Canada’s percentage fell from 16.9 percent a decade earlier, to 14.1 percent last year. The U.S. also lost production volume over the years, rebounding to 67.1 percent in 2014 after its seven-year-decline from a peak of 73.6 percent ended in 2011.While the U.S. still makes the most vehicles per year, more production is heading south of the Mason-Dixon when not crossing the border entirely. DesRosiers Automotive Consultants president Dennis DesRosiers says “over half the capacity and 80 percent to 90 percent of investment dollars are going to the U.S. South or Mexico,” leaving Detroit … [Read more...] about Mexico, Southeastern US Besting Canada, Detroit In Auto Manufacturing
I come before you today to state a simple truth, a truth that is so obvious that it doesn’t even need to be said, yet it has never been properly addressed. The car franchise dealership, as we know it, is broken.It’s too bloated. It doesn’t live in the now. It spends far too much to acquire its customers. It doesn’t focus on the things that matter. Some OEMs wish that they could eliminate it. In most cases, it’s owned by a guy whose only achievement in life is having been born to the owner of a car dealership.It’s also the only business in America that intentionally operates in a way that is frustrating and oppressive to its customers. You could never run any other business in America the way that a car dealership is run. The posted price means nothing. Virtually no two people will pay the same price for a car. Even once the price is finally negotiated, surprises keep coming to the point where virtually nobody is entirely sure if he or she got a fair … [Read more...] about Bark’s Bites: Here’s What Bark Motors Would Look Like
Nate writes:Hi Bark,I like to know your opinion on the subject matter of the email. My ideal car is a reliable all-wheel-drive, full-size sedan with more than 400-500 horsepower, similar 400 lb-ft of torque, decent average fuel economy of 25 miles per gallon, and it’s made by Honda/Acura with all the safety features (lane keep assist, front collision mitigation, blind spot detection, etc).However, that vehicle does not exist, and I have a budget of $55,000 out the door.So my only choices, it seems, are:1). Chevy SS (negatives are fuel economy and reliability?) I’m leaning more towards this.2). Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack (negative are nose-heavy when braking and cornering, and reliability).3). Infiniti Q50S Red Sport 400 (negatives are not being full-size, and has oversteer/understeer issues).If my wife didn’t give me a limit, I would spring for a Lexus GS F. I didn’t mention any European brands due to reading about notorious times being fixed at … [Read more...] about Ask Bark: What’s The Best Sporty Sedan For Me?