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.
Among the many classic masterpieces set for the upcoming Barrett-Jackson auction in Las Vegas, there will be a retro throwback of a different breed: the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine.
Making its debut at the Sam’s Town 300 NASCAR race in Las Vegas this Saturday, a one-of-a-kind Dodge Viper convertible limousine will be taking the first lap around the track.
The Viper limo comes courtesy of Unique Movie Cars, a company that also rents out the Dumb and Dumber Mutt Cutts van and KITT from Knight Rider. It will be chauffeuring Oscar Goodman, the host committee chairman for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, former mayor and grand marshal of the race around the Las Vegas Motor Speedway today just before 2 p.m.
Even if you’re not the grand marshal, you can still get a closer look at the custom Viper convertible limousine. Feel free to take a gander of this 25 door “beauty” following the Nationwide series race.
Las Vegas is one of America’s largest tourist attractions, with themed-hotels that ironically replicate landmarks of countries that tourists are probably visiting from. Nonetheless, it’s the one place Americans can all trek to without having to leave the country to experience a diverse amount of cultures, even if they’re not very accurate.
And now, Bruton Smith who is the CEO of Speedway Motorsports, wishes to clone another one of European’s infamous landmarks in Las Vegas – but not quite what you may be thinking. Instead of building a billion-dollar casino, Smith is aspiring to clone the infamous Nürburgring, 10 or so miles from Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
In an interview with Sirius XM Sports, Smith admitted that he has been in talks with “some Germans” on duplicating the Ring in Nevada and has already approached the Governor and the Nevada Bureau of Land Management for the 8,000 acres he’ll need. Smith also mentioned that if the product was to be completed, the ‘Ring clone would just be for test track usage for individuals and manufacturers’.
We already bet many American automakers would be onboard with something like this. They would save money on shipping out a crew and car to Europe just to test it on the real Nürburgring. It’ll be interesting if this project takes off and Vegas gets to add yet another landmark plucked from the Europeans.
[Source: SiriusXM Sports]
Tenacious Hyundai — the company that refuses to quit edging into niches, entering new segments and surprising consumers.
If you hadn’t guessed, they’re at it again. This time, trying to pitch the Genesis and Equus luxury sedans as fleet limousines at the International LCT Show in Las Vegas. Don’t feel bad if you’re unfamiliar with that too. As previously stated, this is niche stuff.
LCT stands for limousine, charter and tour operators. The International LCT Show is the largest gathering of people who build and use limos, so naturally Hyundai made an appearance there to push the goods according to the LCT website.
While limo services have traditionally relied almost exclusively on Lincoln Town Cars and Cadillac Escalades, Hyundai is hoping to break in by offering purchase incentives. The Genesis will come with a $3,500 discount, while the larger Equus’ price sheds $4,500.
Who knows, the next time you call for an airport limo a Hyundai could appear in the driveway.
GALLERY: Hyundai Equus Stretch Edition
[Source: Automotive News]
Nevada is first state in the U.S. to approve the legal road use of autonomous vehicles, perhaps due to the long stretches of straight desert roads that can be found in the Silver State.
Such approval isn’t without provisos: any self driving vehicle on the road must be indicated with a red license plate. Red, usually the marker for danger, is meant to alert all other drivers on the road that the car is without a driver.
Autonomous cars sold at mass quantities are still in the somewhat distant future, but this legislation shows that it’s more than a fad. These new regulations are helping to usher in a new age of cars that drive themselves. Despite not needing hands at the “ten and two” position we were all taught, road rules still apply to Nevada drivers. The pilot of an autonomous vehicle is still prohibited from texting or talking on a cell phone while in the drivers seats.
We are still behind the times, but they are swiftly changing.
Cadillac‘s latest in-vehicle connectivity and control module, called CUE, has been given a big boost by receiving the Top Gadgets of 2012: Editor’s Choice Award by Popular Mechanics magazine.
The award was presented to Cadillac at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV. Cadillac was the only auto manufacturer to walk away with an award from Popular Mechanics.
The CUE was picked because of its innovative technology and potential impact on the industry.
Andrew Del-Colle, assistant editor of Popular Mechanics magazine said; “After seeing an earlier demonstration of the system at the Los Angeles Auto Show, I knew it would be a strong candidate for an award at CES. The show offered a great opportunity to compare the CUE with many other OEM and aftermarket systems, and it stood out to us for its innovative use of new standards such as HTML 5, as well as for its intuitive user interface.”
CUE brings the first application of capacitive touch in an automobile. It uses electrodes to sense conductive properties of objects such as fingers. This system is similar to the touch and interaction one gets from gadgets like the iPad.
Other key aspects of CUE are natural speech recognition, Bluetooth connectivity for up to 10 devices and a motorized concealed storage compartment. The system runs on an ARM 11 3-core processor on a Linux open-source HTML5-based software platform.
The CUE system will debut in the Cadillac XTS and the ATS, and will be thus available to consumers from this summer.
Mercedes-Benz made waves for the wrong reason at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
It didn’t have anything to do with their cloud-based Mbrace2 system that brings everything from Yelp! to Facebook right into the latest Mercedes models, or anything related to the cars, for that matter. In fact, what’s really making a stir is how the company chose to use the iconic image of Ernesto “Che” Guevara as a backdrop with their emblem stamped on his beret.
Mercedes told msnbc.com that it was one of many images used during their presentation and that they only meant to evoke the idea that their cars are revolutionary, but that they do not condone Guevara’s actions. Trouble bubbled up, however, after the Heritage Foundation, a conservative political group in Washington published a blog with the headline ”Mercedes-Benz Uses Communist Madman Che Guevara to Sell Luxury Cars.”
Regardless of what the company actually meant by putting the image up, it created a notion that Mercedes might, on some level, condone the communist revolutionary’s actions in Cuba, which isn’t an easy message for everyone to swallow, regardless of its validity.
General Motors is taking their Cadillac and OnStar brand to the 2012 Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas.
The show, which runs from January 10 – 13, is a hot bed for all the latest gadgets and gizmos and GM wants to take advantage of that by showcasing their latest version of the OnStar system and Cadillac’s new CUE multi-media infotainment system.
Cadillac will be demonstrating for the press and public how CUE works and also regarding the creation of this innovative new technology.
OnStar will unveil its evolutionary research in the 4G LTE cloud connected vehicle space and reveal future expansions in the mobile applications arena. It will also make announcements about OnStar FMV, its aftermarket rearview mirror that contains all of OnStar’s key functions for older and off-brand vehicles.
OnStar will also collaborate with Verizon Wireless to show how its 4G LTE network to show how its in vehicle streaming can benefit all its occupants.
The 2012 C.E.S. will be held at the Casanova Ballroom of the Venetian Hotel and Casino, so if you want to see the latest technology from GM and other tech companies, this is the show to be at.
In the wake of the tragic crash that caused Dan Wheldon’s unfortunate passing, the IndyCar Series has decided to remove the Las Vegas race from its 2012 schedule. 2011 was the first year Las Vegas Speedway’s oval was used for open-wheel racing since 2005, and a massive 15-car accident was the result, involving the death of Dan Wheldon (above).
Currently officials have been testing at the Vegas track to see what can be done, if anything, to make the oval safer. But for now, IndyCar plans to stay away from the track.
Dan Wheldon was one of the driving forces behind the new-for-2012 Indy Car chassis, completing countless laps in pre-season testing.
But with Wheldon’s tragic death at the 2011 IZOD IndyCar World Championship at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 16th looming over the series, chassis maker Dallara has decided to honor Wheldon by naming the 2012 chassis after him.
“Dan lives in the memory of everybody at Dallara. He has been a true champion; not only because of his many victories, but and above everything else, because he has been a true and warm man to all the people he encountered,” said company boss Gianpaolo Dallara.
Wheldon achieved all 16 of his victories with a Dallara chassis. The official name of the car has yet to be announced.
The 2011 SEMA Show is just around the corner (November 1-4), and the list of vehicles vying for a SEMA Award has been released. And if you’ve got one of this year’s nominated vehicles, you could win a featured spot at the SEMA show, along with credentials to attend the annual trade-only event in Las Vegas.
SEMA awards recognize vehicles that are setting the trend in the specialty equipment industry, boasting platforms that work well with customization. There are four categories for top trending vehicles to fall into: Hottest Car, Hottest Truck, Hottest 4×4-SUV and Hottest Sport Compact.
SEMA Show exhibitors will pick the four winners of the SEMA Award based on the vehicles on display at the booths. Each booth vehicle represents one vote, and the most prominent models in each category will be named the SEMA Award winner.
Here’s where you come in. If your own one of the SEMA Award contender vehicles (you can check out the list of contenders after the jump), all you have to do is submit a video clip that shows off your vehicle’s modifications. The winner will receive a spot to feature their vehicle at the SEMA Show, along with credentials (and all the perks that come along with it) to attend the annual trade-only event.
To enter a video clip, visit the 2011 SEMA Award Contender Contest page. And you can see the full list of contenders after the jump.
This very special 2012 Camaro, which will be the 69th ZL1 made, to commemorate the 1969 ZL1, sold for $250,000. That is probably over four-times as much as what the MSRP will be for this car.
However, the premium price is for a very worthy cause. All the money, and we do mean 100% of it, will be going to the YMCA of Southern Nevada.
The buyer for this car is none other than car dealership mogul and NASCAR Sprint Cup team owner Rick Hendricks. Previously, Hendricks was also the winning bidder for the very first Corvette ZR-1, the very first of the new generation Camaro’s, and the very first Volt plug-in hybrid.
He will receive his Carbon Flash Metallic ZL1 in the first quarter of 2012.
GALLERY: 2012 Camaro ZL1 Debut in Chicago
The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is one of the most highly anticipated models of 2012. This 580-hp, supercharged V8 monster will certainly be one of the fastest sportscars on the market.
Many enthusiasts are waiting to get their hands on this model, but if you want the very first one, get ready today. At the Barrett-Jackson Auction being held today in Las Vegas, a Chevrolet dealer will auction off the first customer ZL1.
While in actuality, this will be the 69th ZL1 built at the Oshawa factory, this carbon-black metallic example is a tribute to the 69 examples of the 1969 Camaro ZL1, but it will be the first one delivered to a customer.
The car is donated by Fairway Chevrolet in Las Vegas, with 100% of the proceeds going to the YMCA of Southern Nevada.
The ZL1 will be delivered to the highest bidder by next spring.
GALLERY: 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1
The eagerly anticipated 2011 SEMA Show is being held from November 1-4, and we’ve got the scoop on free passes to this year’s show to the first 800 enthusiasts who fill in and submit an online after market survey.
SEMA will host a limited number of automotive enthusiast VIPs on Thursday November 3, 2011. The VIPs will participate in the short survey and then will be able to check out all that SEMA has to offer. Participants will get to see the best new products and hottest vehicles that the automotive aftermarket has to offer. The SEMA Show is not open to the general public, making these tickets even more exclusive. Check out more info on the free passes here!
Two security researchers from iSec Partners demonstrated at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas that they can unlock a Subaru Outback and start the engine with an Android phone.
Don Bailey and Matthew Solnik used an Android phone and a technique they have dubbed ‘war texting’, to exploit two unnamed remote control products that allowed them to lock and unlock cars remotely.
“I could care less if I could unlock a car door. It’s cool. It’s sexy,” Bailey told CNN. “But the same system is used to control phone, power, traffic systems. I think that’s the real threat.”
Neither of the men would go into detail about the hack or say which makes or vehicles were most vulnerable. However General Motors, BMW and Mercedes-Benz all offer similar cellphone apps that allow the owners to unlock and turn on the engines.
[Source: TG Daily]
Lamborghini and Las Vegas go hand-in-hand like brothels and bad decisions. But what happens when the two kings of subtlety face each other?
Dal Toro Exotic Car Showroom is under pressure to change its logo, which currently resembles a bull that is in a state of rage. The lawsuit against Dal Toro not only claims infringement on the logo, but also the bootleg merchandise they are selling from their Palazzo resort showroom and restaurant.
Always an expert on brashness, Lamborghini claims that the defendant “brashly…displays a large and striking Lamborghini bull-in-shield protected design mark at the entrance of defendants’ premises and a Lamborghini protected type mark within defendants’ exotic car showroom.”
Lorenzo Barracco, a manager at Dal Toro and totally not a mob enforcer whatsoever, claims that he is unaware of the lawsuit.