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As it tends to do around this time, the year is steadily drawing to a close; 2013 is dwindling like a tiki torch running out of citronella-scented oil. The last flickers are smoldering, but she burned brightly for 12 months so the end is not in vain.
Lots of important car news broke through the year as the industry continues to evolve and stabilize coming out of the devastating Great Recession. Capping the year, here are the Top 10 Automotive Stories from 2013.
Actor Vin Diesel has revealed the new release date for Fast and Furious 7, which will now be released in theaters on April 10, 2015.
By now you probably know that Paul Walker, 40, died last weekend in a car accident in Southern California.
Following the tragic death of Paul Walker over the weekend, Universal and the team behind Fast and Furious 7 have some tough decisions to make on the future of the successful movie franchise.
Actor Paul Walker, 40, died today in a fiery single car crash that left the star and an unidentified person dead.
No, that’s not a typo. Fast and the Furious 6 hasn’t even hit the big screen yet and the seventh installment in the series already has a release date: July 11, 2014.
If you thought the fifth installment of the Fast & Furious movie franchise was the end, you were mistaken… twice. While the closing credits for the film left an obvious opening for a sixth movie, now comes word that Universal Pictures is planning a seventh as well, which is to be shot at the same time as the sixth flick, with both taking place in Europe.
In addition, rumors are swirling that action star Jason Statham (a man often seen behind the wheel of an Audi in the Transporter movie series) could be joining the cast for both movies.
Having dealt with American muscle and Japanese imports, is it finally time for the Fast & Furious cast to hit the Nurburgring in a Porsche GT3 or BMW M5? Once can only hope.
You’ve had a taste of Fast Five, and now you craving more. Good News – NBC Universal has just announced a release date for the sixth film in the The Fast and the Furious series.
Even though the newest movie is still untitled, they’ve got some time to come up with something brilliant. Expect it to hit theaters on May 24, 2013. You may be surprised to see a May release, considering the fourth and fifth films did awesome with April release dates. But the studio is hoping to cash in with a blockbuster to open the summer movie season.
Because the Fast Five did so well (the worldwide box office receipts are set to pass $600 million), it shows that this franchise still has plenty of gas left. You can expect to see Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson return for the new film, along with Fast Five director Justin Lin at the helm.
[Source: Edmunds Inside Line]
Yes this story is about Paul Walker, but there’s nothing else fast or furious about it – sorry.
The damage appears to be minor, but with a high-priced machine like the R8, even a fender bender can be several thousand in repairs. Doing the right thing, Walker does swap insurance info with the unnamed R8 driver.
Watch the video at the link below and turn up your speakers to hear the crunch.
The Fast and the Furious has attained cult status amongst car guys for its horrific dialogue, cheese-ball action scenes and technical inaccuracy. The subsequent follow-ups were never met with the same fanfare, but the fifth installment, titled Fast Five might be able to bring back some of the magic, with the return of Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto.
While the first trailer aired in December, 2010, this one features more action-packed hijinks, boiled-over testosterone and big explosions. Hit the jump to take a look.
News of a fifth Fast & Furious film have been around for quite some time, but now comes word that this next installment in the franchise will include Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. According to a report by Deadline.com, Johnson will star alongside F&F originals Paul Walker and Vin Diesel. In fact, it’s suggested that Johnson’s character will be, “on the right side of the law,” a role that will no doubt have him slugging it out with Vin Diesel at some point in the movie.
While riced-out lime green Talons and terrible import car jargon might not have us out street racing in an H22 Del Sol like it was 2001, we’re eager to see the next installment of the F&F franchise. If not for the usually cool car chases, then at least for a laugh.
The Redline Time Attack series — where man and machine compete against the clock to post the fastest lap time in Street, Modified, and Unlimited classes — attracts many of the biggest name tuner shops in the country, but it has also attracted Paul Walker, star of the film ‘Fast & Furious’.
Walker has made appearances at West coast Time Attack events in the past in a variety of cars including a R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R and a Porsche 911 GT3 RS, but this year he’s driving an E92 BMW M3 in the Street tire class. On March 26th at Buttonwillow Raceway (100 or so miles north of Los Angeles), Walker posted a best lap time of 2:08.407, good for 12th in class (out of 16 competitors). This was 10-seconds off the pace of class winner Mike Bonnani in the Berk Technology BMW 135i, but Bonnani is a veteran of the series and a professional driving instructor.
Walker’s M3, modified to the limit of the Street tire class, has been prepared by AE Performance of Chino, CA. Modifications include a gutted interior and full roll cage, as well as bigger brakes, wider and lighter Volk Racing TE37 wheels and Hankook Ventus RS-3 tires (which meet the 140 UTQG or higher requirement for this class). Curb weight has been reduced from the factory 3704 lbs down to a comparatively svelte 3567 lbs and a carbon fiber wing has been added to give the M3 some added rear grip.
If you’re a diehard Walker and F&F fan and need an autograph to go with your signed Vin Diesel ‘The Chronicles of Riddick’ action figure, chances are you’ll find Walker at a west coast Redline Time Attack event. Just don’t tell him we sent you.
Thieves have made off with that oh so sexy Nissan GT-R from the most recent Fast & Furious film. The car was being stored, along with several other vehicles, at a facility in Sun Valley, Los Angeles. The thieves were no doubt aware that the vehicle was inside the facility when they broke through the metal door and drove off with the car, paying no attention to the other vehicles inside. The thieves did, however, damage both a Porsche Boxster and a classic Studebaker in the process.
While looking like every SpoCom fan’s wet dream, the blue R34 GT-R is actually a GT-S model that was transformed by pro driver Chris Milano over two years. Fast & Furious lead Paul Walker drove the car in the movie.
The car is estimated to be worth roughly $75,000 (” More than you can afford pal”), however, it was not insured as it was only being used for promotional purposes.
There is no word on if the police have any leads on who stole the car, but we think they should check the garage of Nicolas Cage, Mr. Gone in 60 Seconds himself. Either that, or it’s currently being chopped up and sold to other Skyline owners as “overnight parts from Japan.”
Sportbike inspired Zuk and SXForce Return
Suzuki doesn’t have a new vehicle for the New York Auto Show, but it’s resurrecting some SEMA Show cars that are so old old we had forgotten all about them and thought the company’s press release was about some new tricked out versions of the SX4.
But how can you forget a name like Zuk?
That’s right, the Suzuki-sportbike inspired Zuk has been dusted off and polished up for the Big Apple, this after it made it’s initial debut in Sin City back at the SEMA Show in 2006. The Zuk is based off the SX4 Crossover and features a Road Race Motorsports turbo kit, bolted to the factory 2.0-liter engine to make 300hp.
The car also features a complete aerodynamic overhaul, some big fart cans, a sizable rear spoiler and some 19-inch wheels. It reminds us of a more nostalgic time and makes us long for a copy of Modified Mag and Paul Walker on the big screen (the more things change, the more they stay the same…).
The exterior bodywork and paint is inspired from Suzuki’s GSX-R and Hayabusa sport bikes, while inside the motorcycle theme continues with a roll-cage that has a definite motorcycle-frame look to it.
The second SX4 is the SXForce, based on the SX4 Sport sedan version of the popular Suzuki model, and it first debuted at the SEMA Show in 2007. With 250hp and a carbon fiber body, the SXForce looks like it’s ready for track duty, and Suzuki claims it has been “track tested.”
It features Tein coilovers, a roll-cage, 18-inch Enkei wheels with 255/45/18 Toyo T1-R tires up front and 235/40/18s in the rear. It also features a Rotora six-piston calipers with 355mm rotors.
The sportbike theme continues on the SXForce with a motorcycle instrument cluster and controls, as well as Hayabusa handlebars instead of a traditional steering wheel.
Be sure to check out our coverage of the New York Auto Show starting Wednesday, April 8th.
GALLERY: Suzuki Zuk
GALLERY: Suzuki SX Force
More on these models as well as other past Suzuki SEMA Show cars after the jump: