AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Die-cast car maker Hot Wheels has taken one of its latest toy cars and blown it up into a life-size version, complete with a Chevy V8.
This past week, AutoGuide hit the Las Vegas Convention Center show floor for the annual SEMA Show. With plenty of surprises from our favorite automakers, the most interesting one to our readers was the debut of the 2014 Honda Civic Si Coupe. You can also check out our most watched videos this week on the AutoGuide YouTube channel.
A year to the day that Chevrolet revealed its Hot Wheels Camaro concept car at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas, the idea has become a reality.
Team Hot Wheels is getting pretty clever in its viral videos, this time around calling upon Team Blue to take on the Wall Ride test.
Hot Wheels will introduce a limited-run tribute Dan Wheldon commemorative edition car to simultaneously mark the beginning of a new IndyCar season and to celebrate the life of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon.
Wheldon suffered fatal injuries after a 15-car crash during last year’s IZOD IndyCar World Championship at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Available in toy stores in a matter of weeks, the Hot Wheel known as “DW-1″ will be the first Hot Wheel in decades to sport rear rubber tires and its proceeds will help support the Dan Wheldon Family Trust.
We’re all anxiously awaiting the arrival of the 2013 SRT Viper by Dodge, scheduled to debut in April at the New York International Auto Show. Until then, all that SRT (or Dodge) has done is tease us with images of the upcoming model. Toy maker Hot Wheels may, however, have just accidentally revealed the new Viper.
Hot Wheels released a list of thumbnail preview images of its upcoming toy cars and mixed in all of it was what they titled as a ’13 Viper. And while skeptics might believe that they took a little liberty in determining the design of their toy car, Hot Wheels has a reputation of generating very accurate models.
It is without a doubt what many would envision the next-generation Viper to look like – aggressive, sleek body lines, without abandoning the traditional and infamous shape of the Viper model. Either way, it’s the best that we can get and it will be rather interesting just how accurate this model toy car image is to the real thing.
Hot Wheels is finding new ways to make their toys relevant and fun again, this time around launching a new product line called the iNitro Speeders which allows the user to control their little car through an iPhone app.
Similar to what you’d find with a standard remote controlled car, the iPhone app features your standard dual-stick controller but also takes advantage of the iPhone’s built-in accelerometer to control the car. Even cooler, you can use the app to choose a predefined driving route or draw your own pattern and watch it come to life with the miniature car.
And even though you can control the car with a standard remote control that’s included, taking advantage of the iPhone app really makes it different and fun. It comes with an infrared module that plugs into the iPhone’s headphone port and after you calibrate it you’ll be good to go. Lastly, the app has a built-in racing game that you can play without the remote controlled car, giving kids and young adults (like us) a little bit of everything to enjoy.
Just in time for the holiday season, Hot Wheels announced a lineup of Ken Block toys now available at retailers nationwide such as Toys “R” Us, Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart and Pep Boys. Three individual products make up the Ken Block Hot Wheels line, a 1:64-scale die-cast 2011 Ken Block Ford Fiesta Hot Wheels car, a Hot Wheels RC Nitro Speeders Ken Block Fiesta, and a 1:16-scale Hot Wheels Ken Block RC Stunt Car.
The 1:64-scale die-cast Fiesta is available sporting the black or white liveries, depending on your preference and comes in at a mere $1.00. The RC Nitro Speeders Fiesta is a small, self-containing RC car and controller and has the ability to go 0-60 mph in scale speed in just 1-second. The Speeders is for sale at $26.00. Lastly, the RC Stunt Car is a fully functional remote controlled car with two different drift modes, allowing the user to pull both wide and tight drifts. It features a scale speed of 0-80 mph in less than 2-seconds for just $45.00.
This is just the beginning of the collaboration, as Block elaborated that he’s already working with Hot Wheels for some 2012 items, including some of his current projects that are still secret.
GALLERY: Ken Block Hot Wheels
To say that Ford put a focus on the Focus would be an understatement at this year’s SEMA Show. Nine different, fully customized Focuses were shown off in the Ford booth, with several of them part of a spectator voting competition. Projects ranged from mild to wild, with a plethora of colors being splashed on each creation.
Our personal favorite of the bunch was the Focus by the ID Agency, sporting a custom BASF green paint job with a Wraptivo roof wrap. Ford also leant a helping hand with their official Ford Licensed Accessories bike rack by Thule, adding to the versatility of the new Focus SE 5-Door. The Downforce carbon fiber lip kit was a nice and subtle touch, while we just loved the choice of bolting on 19×8.5-inch HRE Performance C90 wheels. Under the hood, the ID Agency outfitted the 2.0L Ti-VCT four-cylinder with an AEM cold air intake and MagnaFlow cat-back exhaust. A Brembo big brake kit was paired with KW Variant 3 coilovers to give this Focus plenty of braking and handling improvements – not to mention how great it looks. On the inside, Recaro Sportster seats can be found along with custom interior by Top Stitch and a Kicker car audio system by BP Auto Sound.
With so many Focuses to focus on, we decided to make a life easier to taking a photo of each of the information plaques by each car. Feast your eyes on the creations from Bojix Design, ID Agency, 3dCarbon, Capaldi Racing, ROUSH Performance, Steeda, Hot Wheels, Metal Mulish/Rockstar, and M&J Enterprises and let Autoguide know which was your favorite.
GALLERY: Bojix Design Ford Focus
GALLERY: ID Agency Ford Focus
GALLERY: 3dCarbon Ford Focus
GALLERY: Capaldi Racing Ford Focus
GALLERY: ROUSH Performance Ford Focus
GALLERY: Steeda Ford Focus
GALLERY: Hot Wheels Ford Focus
GALLERY: Metal Mulisha/Rockstar Ford Focus
GALLERY: M&J Enterprises Ford Focus
We’ve seen some ambitious projects involving Hot Wheels Tracks in our lifetime, but this one is surely at the top of the list with no dethroning in sight. The three minute long video features a 2000-feet long powered Hot Wheels track. In the span of its ridiculous distance, it goes through 14 rooms of a house, navigates around the exterior of the home and even jumps over a hot tub.
At first we couldn’t even imagine how someone could get away with building this without feeling the wrath of a loved one, taking up considerable real estate in their home and even outside the house. But luckily it’s all for a good cause, helping raise awareness towards fighting Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. And of course there’s plenty of skeptics out there that believe this is the result of camera magic, but we don’t really care. With or without it, it’s a pretty impressive video clip and kudos to the creator. The Kinetic King would be proud.
Check out the awesome video after the break.
Get ready for the next generation of radio control cars. Hot Wheel’s Nitro Speeders will be hitting store shelves this fall and tearing up a sidewalk near you.
The newest generation of micro radio controlled vehicles, Nitro Speeders were launched at this year’s New York Toy Fair. Measuring in at less than 1 3/4-inches long (1/87th scale), they can reach speeds of 8.3 mph. Thanks to the Nitro Speeder’s lightning speed and precise responsiveness, they can tackle vertical loops and can be driven on standard orange Hot Wheels stunt tracks.
Great fun for kids of any age, Nitro Speeders come in its own carrying case (which also pulls triple duty as the remote control and a charger) and that fits right in your pocket. They will be available in Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and Ken Block’s Ford Fiesta for around $21.50. If you want to see them in action, watch the video after the jump.
[Source: Oh Gizmo!]
The National Insurance Crime Bureau released its Hot Wheels report today, listing the 10 most stolen vehicles in the United States. The report examins vehicle theft data submitted by law enforcement to the National Crime Information Center to determine the most reported stolen cars.
Domestic vehicles have become more popular to thieves over their import counterparts on the list for the first time since 2002. The 1999 Chevrolet Silverado Pickup and 1997 Ford F-150 broke into the top five which was the most astonishing news because these places are usually held by small Japanese cars. The most stolen vehicles in the United States for 2010 include:
- 1994 Honda Accord
- 1995 Honda Civic
- 1991 Toyota Camry
- 1999 Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
- 1997 Ford F150 Series/Pickup
- 2004 Dodge Ram
- 2000 Dodge Caravan
- 1994 Acura Integra
- 2002 Ford Explorer
- 1999 Ford Taurus
The good news is that overall, vehicle thefts are on a downward trend. Initial 2010 FBI crime statistics point to a 7.2 percent reduction over the thefts posted in 2009. If these numbers stay their course when the FBI produces the final statistics later this year, 2010 will post the fewest vehicle thefts since 1967.
Elliot Handler, the Mattel co-founder and inventor of Hot Wheels died on July 21 at age 95 of undisclosed causes. Handler also invented the Barbie doll with wife Ruth Handler and created Hot Wheels after searching for a product that would appeal to boys. Hot wheels debuted in 1968 with a line of candy-coloured hot rods, with special fast spinning wheels. Mattel says that 41 million kids have played with Hot Wheels cars for more than four decades.
Handler was born in April 9, 1916, the second of four sons in his family, and grew up in Denver, Colorado. He met his future wife, Ruth Mosko, at a charity dance in 1932, and the couple married about five years later. Before Handler founded Mattel, he was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army. Ruth Handler passed away in 2002, and, survivors include Handler’s daughter, his brother, five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. In the last few years, Mr. Handler lived a quiet life, renting out a studio space where he would often go to paint, his daughter said.
[Source: Washington Post]
Despite pulling off the record-setting 332-foot jump during the Indy 500 flawlessly, Tanner Foust took several practice attempts in the custom Team Hot Wheels truck, one of which very nearly ended in disaster.
Taped for your enjoyment, the video highlights that Foust’s skill was put to the test each practice run. You’ll see some awesome footage of the truck getting as close as possible to flipping – we really can’t imagine how much closer you could get than this. This video just proves these jumps aren’t just a simple equation of physics and smashing the foot on the gas pedal.
Check out the video after the jump.
Right from the pages of Evel Knievel’s childhood diary, we just learned that Team Hot Wheels is going to attempt a world record distance jump at this year’s Indianapolis 500.
Team Hot Wheels is a fairly new crew of stunt drivers, and on Sunday, May 29, they are going to break the current world record distance jump of 302 feet in a four-wheeled vehicle. This is a hell of a way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 (way better than hiring a clown or petting zoo). The driver will speed down a 90 ft. ramp that is suspended to 10-story high door (100 feet tall) and will take flight across the infield of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
No word on who will be behind the wheel, but we bet kids and adults alike will be holding their breath as that brave soul makes the gravity-defying feat. This is all a part of Hot Wheel new marketing campaign to appeal to adults as well as to kids (just look at this billboard and tell us you don’t wish you could rev up the minivan for a loop around the track).
“The essence of this multi-year, multi-platform campaign is all about taking the feelings you experienced when playing with Hot Wheels as a kid and bringing them to real life in full scale,” said Simon Waldron, vice president of marketing for Hot Wheels. “By featuring an epic vehicle stunt at this year’s centennial anniversary of the Indy 500, we are engaging fans with a jaw-dropping moment in a way that only Hot Wheels can.”
Hot Wheels just got a lot more creative with their roadside advertising. This isn’t your average billboard – they’ve actually installed a giant ‘loop’ in the middle of an overpass in Bogota, Colombia.
From the side, it looks just like the famous loop tracks that Mattel has been entertaining kids with for many years. Now, it’s your turn to get into on the fun. The bad news is that you can’t actually do the loop de loop on your way into work. That’s a whole different advertising campaign that we hope Hot Wheels is working on – along with that drive-thru car wash the spits out your car at super-sonic speeds.
Hot Wheels are a timeless cool toy, so imagine our happiness when we heard about the latest development coming to these iconic mini cars.
Mattel’s Video Racer lets you recording while you’re racing them. Here’s how it works: the Video Racers are equipped with small video camera that can record 30 to 60 frames per second, capturing the action as in zooms across the floor or the racing track.
After the completion of the race, you can watch it unfold again – just flip the car over and enjoy highlights on the tiny LCD found on the underbelly of the car. You can also watch footage by downloading it to a PC or laptop via USB. Then, paste your footage together to make a best-of compilation.
Watch for the Video Racer coming to stores this fall for about $60 each (it also comes with a USB cable).
Check out video of the high-tech toy after the jump:
Art really is subjective. So we won’t blame you if you scratch your head when you hear about performance artist Chris Burden latest masterpiece dubbed “Metropolis II”, which is a representation of road traffic in Los Angeles that uses 1,200 toy cars moving along 18 lanes.
This isn’t Burden’s first piece like this. In 2004, he built “Metropolis I”, which consisted of a 65-foot Erector Set skyscraper that stood in Rockefeller Center, 80 Hot Wheels toy cars speeding down two single-lane highways, as well as monorail trains moving on tracks of their own. This piece was bought by the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan.
“Metropolis II” took shape in 2006, when he and a team of eight studio assistants, including an engineer, began work on the more ambitious version. Included in this piece are 1,200 custom-designed cars and 18 lanes; 13 toy trains and tracks; and buildings made of wood block, tiles, Legos and Lincoln Logs. The crew is still at work on the installation.
Take a look at the video below – would you call it art or just the coolest toy car track ever made?
It’s time to start padding your holiday wish list, and you’re in luck, because we’ve found some great toys to ask for when you’re perched on Santa’s knee.
If you love the retro speedsters, you’ll want to get your stocking stuffed with 2011 Hot Wheels Vintage Racing Line. Just a few of the classics include the Hemi Darts of Dick Landy and Shirley Shahan, Dick Landy’s ’70 Challenger, Dave Strickler’s ’70 Camaro RS, a ’73 Sox & Martin Duster, and more. Under the Trans-Am line, there is Dan Gurney’s ’68 Cougar, AJ Foyt’s ’65 Mustang, George Follmer’s #16 ’70 Boss 302, an AAR Cuda, and other to be named soon. Other cars that will fill out the 30 in the series include vintage NASCAR pieces, like Richard Petty’s record-setting ’67 Plymouth.
And if you do fin a set of these beauties under the tree, we won’t judge you if you decide not to share them with the kids.
[Source: Hemmings Blog]