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.
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The internet has changed the ways consumers shop, and in the same fashion, short online videos have revolutionized the way companies advertise.
Normally a car commercial shows dramatic driving, talkgin about the new features or somehow otherwise tries to turn your attention to the latest model. One of Volkswagen‘s latest commercials throws that out the window in favor of shock value.
Partnering with a YouTube how-to makeup artist, the the spot shows viewers how to bedazzle their faces and apply makeup to recreate the look shown in the clip.
Disclaimers exist for a reason: some things really are best left to professionals – for instance, stunt car driving.
In this video, a couple of thrill seekers decide it’ll be cool to pull a few extreme moves for the camera. After kicking up some smoking donuts, the driver decides to take on a sharp turn for on-lookers. Unfortunately, someone in the car isn’t wearing a seat belt and the door swings open. What happens next is just simple physics, obviously a class in high school that this passenger didn’t attend. The man appears to be unharmed by the accident, aside from scrapes, bruises and his ego.
The man who is ejected from the vehicle appears to come out of the back seat, although the video’s poor quality makes it hard to determine whether he is the driver, front passenger or rear passenger. Watch closely and let us know which person you see popping out in the comments section below.
Finally, though we shouldn’t have to remind you, do not to try this at home… otherwise we’ll be making fun of you next time around.
The band OK Go is known for its funky music videos. This time around, OK Go has teamed up with Chevrolet for its newest viral video. But instead of using choreographed moves on a treadmill, the band is using a Chevy Sonic to play instruments.
In order for the Chevy Sonic to play instruments on the bands latest single, “Needing/Getting,” a few modifications had to be added. This included installing retractable pneumatic arms that would hit instruments as the Sonic drove by them. To make this video happen, it took four months of prep work, four days of filming, stunt driving lessons, two miles of track and 1000 instruments set up along the course.
It already looks like this video is a hit – over four million hits on YouTube and counting. Watch the video after the jump and let us know what you think.
Automakers have seen the benefits that social media can have on its brands, and as a result, are spending more time (and money) cultivating a presence on these online channels. And this effort is paying off – especially for Nissan. Nissan North America has been interacting with fans of its brands through social media and building a loyal brand following.
Nissan is seeing increased fan interaction on the big three social media venues: Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Nissan ranked #8 on list of Top 15 Brands on Twitter for 2011 (as indexed by HootSuite), joining other famous brands such as Apple and Nike. Boasting more than 75,000 Twitter followers across various Nissan brand accounts, the automaker is following the lead of automakers that like to tweet. Take Lexus – the luxury brand is rated the most active tweeter when it comes to automakers, conversing with 288,000 followers… not too shabby.
Nissan is also making great strides with its Facebook account. The company has passed the 500,000 likes count, thanks it part to the all-new Pathfinder Concept reveal that can be accessed by liking Nissan’s Facebook page. Nissan still has a way to go before catching up with BMW’s Facebook page, which boasts over 7,000,000 fans.
Considering how popular online videos are, it’s no surprise that Nissan is having increased success on YouTube. The Nissan channel views have jumped to 10,000,000, thanks to frequent and updated video content.
Any self respecting car company these days has to have a presence on social media sites, and Mercedes-Benz is no exception.
This German brand has their own channel of YouTube called MercedesBenzReporter, and they use this channel to inform the public about their latest models. However in a recent episode, they covered not a car, but a facility.
The facility in question is the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Irvine, CA. The job of the Classic Center is to help maintain and restore old Mercedes-Benz models.
The place is full of rare and exotic vehicles from the brand, so it is a must for any enthusiast of this brand to visit, especially since they buy cars to either display or sell.
If you love original “Gull-wing” SL’s, you will love the video we have for you below;
Maybe the staff at Aptera watched the printer-smashing scene in Office Space too many times and felt like taking some frustration out on inanimate objects.
Whatever their reason the video footage of their antics is creating a stir. Last Sunday we reported that Aptera, the environmentally focused startup responsible for building funky-looking 3-wheeled EVs would cease to exist. They had no choice but to shut their doors after failing to find investors willing to match a $150 million Department of Energy loan offer.
Had they succeeded, Fox News reported that the company was aiming to market a family sedan similar in size to the Toyota Camry.
Aptera co-founder and former Chief Technical Officer Steve Fambro expressed his dismay on the Aptera forum yesterday, saying These were beautiful, fully functioning vehicles.” He went on to say that there was ”no viable or logical reason for this to have been done, only to prevent the founder from ever seeing their functioning [cars] work again.”
Fambro left the company in 2009 after a failed coup attempt aimed according to him at trying to save the company “from team B’s failed path of waiting for the DOE.”
The videos feature unnamed employees destroying what looks like body shells of the raindrop-like 2e. You can watch them below.
In the world of race seats, perhaps no name is bigger or stronger than Recaro. This German company has been manufacturing seats since 1906 and its products are now sold around the world. It is so popular, that if you come across a race car, chances are its seats are by Recaro.
Not to rest on their success, Recaro is looking to new channels to spread their word on the advantages of their seats. It has now just launched a Facebook page and a YouTube channel to attract more fans to their brand.
On their YouTube channel, they will post videos featuring different athletes who will talk about why they use Recaro seats. The first videos feature Formula Drift Champion Chris Forsberg. In the coming weeks you see videos featuring skateboarder Bucky Lasek and BMX/Rally Cross expert Dave Mirra.
September is now over and with it we saw the launch of the all-new MINI Coupe, while the AutoGuide team spent some time at the track putting together a shootout between the all-new 2012 Honda Civic Si and the MazdaSpeed3. The result might not surprise you, but a good look at the numbers shows that it wasn’t as far-fetched a comparison as you might think.
The past month also saw the start of the auto show season with the Frankfurt Motor Show. AutoGuide’s video crew made the trip across the pond to deliver a first look at all the new debuts, which can be viewed here.
Watch both reviews after the jump and keep up to date on the latest new car reviews here:
In the most recent example of an aquatic-predator-themed-cable-television-theme-programming tie in, Audi is jumping on the same themed-television-bandwagon as Discovery Channel’s Shark Week.
The rather cumbersomely-named “R8 GT Week” will feature daily videos that show off the R8 GT’s performance as it laps Infineon Raceway, with Audi racer Emanuele Pirro behind the wheel. Pirro won five LeMans championships, three of which were with Audi, so he certainly qualifies as an expert.
Unlike the availability of Shark Week on basic cable—as well as its ability to infiltrate pop culture consciousness—Audi’s own Week will be on its Youtube channel. Don’t call it Shark Week, however—BMW still has a trademark on that.
The video (below the jump) is the stunt that was most voted on by fans of the Mercedes-Benz Facebook page. So if it’s not extreme enough, you have a lot of people to blame.
How about a C111 rotary gullwing jumping the St. Lawrence? Why not a bunch of E-Class convertibles and GLKs in a symphonic destructo-thon? Alas, those harebrained ideas detract from the impressiveness of this stunt already, where a C63 AMG coupe drifts figure-eights around a pair of C63 AMG sedans. It’s no Saab Suite, but it’s still pretty damn cool.
Mercedes-Benz wants you to buy an AMG, but they also want you to not suck at driving it. Hence, the AMG Driving Academy makes its leap from Lime Rock Park onto Youtube, to prepare us for that day of handbuilt-engine-ownership.
Hosted by Tommy Kendall, four-time Trans Am champion and AMG instructor, it’s a primer in the high-buck AMG Driving Academy program, where the well-heeled zoom off to Europe and learn hands-on behind the wheel of the entire Benz lineup.
But since not everybody sleeps on a bed of money, the series covers everything you need to know about performance driving, short of actually stepping into a performance car: from adjusting mirrors and seats to the differences between oversteer and understeer, from threshold braking to weight distribution during a slalom. The cars shown include a CLS and C63 AMG, as well as the occasional cameo from the SLS.
Click the jump to view the 4-part series.
Subaru of America has won the top automotive Webby Award and the Gold IAAA Award for their ‘mediocrity’ advertising campaign, which lampooned traditional mid-size sedans. Subaru played off the abudnance of bland sedans in the market place. Subaru’s campaign portrays a dull and unexceptional fictional vehicle: the 2011 Mediocrity, displayed in dull beige. hue . The bland vehicle is then contrasted to the vibrant Subaru Legacy with its 2.5-litre Boxer engine and standard all-wheel drive, which, according to Subaru, is quite the opposite of ‘mediocre’.
The campaign’s digital focus was highlighted by a fully interactive website, as well as a Facebook page, a YouTube channel, a Twitter feed and a Flickr presence. Their win was chosen from almost 10,000 entries from all 50 U.S states and more than 60 countries worldwide. The Mediocrity campaign as well as substantial television advertising has increased Subaru awareness, contributing to record sales for the brand in both 2010 and the first quarter of 2011.
Check out the video after the jump!
We’ve all needed a tow one time or another, and for those who like off-roading, it seems to be inevitable. One unlucky Chevrolet Silverado owner found himself stuck in some not-too-deep mud, and the vehicle that was up for the job was none other than a Subaru Legacy GT, a family sedan with a pretty peppy turbocharged engine.
Conventional wisdom says that this situation should be reversed. But as the video shows, the little Subaru had no trouble hauling the big pickup out of the mud. Hit the jump to see the video below.
We’ve seen some really clever stuff coming out of online video production these days, but Audi-tuner ABT Sportsline may have just taken the prize for innovative design and viral marketing.
For those that remember the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, the concept is similar – just in an interactive and virtual environment. Essentially ABT Sportsline did a series of YouTube videos with each one offering a decision that seamlessly links you to the next video. The result? You get to control good ‘ol Carolin Winter as she makes a decision on which personalized Audi A1 to purchase.
There are three results that ABT is showcasing through these videos, the Klecks, Aloha and High Voltage. Through a series of step-by-step decisions ranging from speaking to the receptionist or sneaking past her (cleverly using an ABT AS5 for discrete cover), to enjoying an espresso or venturing forward to the three modified Audi A1s from ABT Sportsline.
We thought it was a pretty clever way to market their modified Audi A1s to the masses, and if anything, it’s pretty entertaining to control the fate of a young female. Get your mind out of the gutter please.
Check out the video after the jump:
Have you got talent or do you think you’ve got talent? Kia Motors America is looking for you to be the next big Internet star with their $10,000 Who’s Next? contest on YouTube.
An online video contest based around the Kia Soul, “Who’s Next” invites contestants to post their videos themed around the Soul on YouTube for a chance to win $10,000. Fan judging begins August 20, and runs through the end of September. Videos will be judged by YouTube celebrities SMOSH, ShayCarl and Lisa Nova, whose combined channels have more than 640 million video views and 2.62 million subscribers. You can watch the videos on the Kia Soul video channel on YouTube.
Out of all the entries submitted, only the top eight selected by the judges will be entered into a three-round voting process (two of these finalists will be picked by viewers). Once selected, the finalists will head to Los Angeles for the big $10,000 announcement.
Michael Sprague, Kia’s vice president of marketing and communications, said of the YouTube-based contest: “Social media is an important part of the marketing strategy for Soul, and engaging passionate enthusiasts in this space creates additional opportunities to build buzz through a new, interactive experience.”
[Source: Inside Line]
Women don’t have the right to drive in Saudi Arabia, and one woman took a courageous stand on YouTube to protest the law. Wajeha Al-Huwaider, a women’s rights activist in Saudi Arabia, decided to mark International Women’s Day in 2008 by shooting a video of herself driving and then posting it on YouTube. By posting the video on YouTube, Al-Huwaider was able to get her message out to the masses while still being able to use international exposure as a shield to protect herself from punishment.
Translated, her speech reads as follows:
“Today is of course International Women’s Day. First I would like to congratulate all the women who have achieved their rights and I hope that all the women who are still fighting for their rights will achieve them soon. Of course I am now driving this car in a rural area. In rural areas of the Kingdom, women are allowed to drive cars, unfortunately. However in the cities, in the places where they actually need to drive cars, it is still prohibited. So on the occasion of International Women’s Day, I hope his Excellency the Minister of Interior Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz will allow us to drive cars soon. We, the women who signed the petition we sent him today, all hold driving licenses and can drive cars in our cities. Many of us are also willing to help the government train women to apply for driving licenses. The problem of women being banned from driving, as many officials have reiterated, is not a political issue, or a religious issue, but rather a social issue. And we know that there are many women in our society who are capable of driving cars, and there are many families that allow their women to drive. So if the door is opened for these women to drive, I am sure that it will be the better, safer and more effective way to change perceptions that we are not ready to be allowed to drive yet. That is all. I hope that next year, on the next International Women’s Day, this ban will have been lifted.”
See after the jump for the video:
Last year Cadillac took a leap into modern times by offering its new CTS model with Wi-Fi. Now, Chevy has announced that it will offer a dealer-installed Wi-Fi service for seven models including the: Equinox, Traverse, Silverado, Tahoe, Suburban, Avalanche and Express.
The on-board system will transform a vehicle (as well as the area within 150 feet) into a Wi-Fi hotspot, letting users surf the internet freely. Passengers can check Facebook or Twitter and even watch YouTube videos thanks to a 3G network connection of up to 1.5 mbps.
In addition the system can support several devices simultaneously and with additional docking stations, the router can be moved from vehicle to vehicle.
Until December 31st, Chevy is offering the Wi-Fi as an option for $199.
Official release after the jump:
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Going by the name of Mattzel (or FONESupports), his videos have become a YouTube phenomenon. That being said, we couldn’t resist the urge to post up his latest motorsports-related work – a compilation of slowed down clips from some of the world’s premiere racing series including: Formula One, NASCAR, ALMS, WRC and there’s even some touring car and bike racing tossed in. Oh, and there are several amazing crashes included in the clips.
Combined with some subtle music it has a serious TopGear look and feel that we could just put on repeat and watch all day.
Be sure to check out FONESupports YouTube channel here and subscribe for his next masterpiece.
See after the jump for the original Racing in Slow Motion video:
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NASCAR and off-road racer Robby Gordon’s push for the SCORE championship in the annual Baja 1000 race is the focus of a new series of webisodes launched by one of the legendary racer’s sponsors MagnaFlow. Over the course of 10 weeks, MagnaFlow will release a new part in the 10-part “14 Hours To A Championship” series showing just what goes into a Baja 1000 race and how grueling the final challenge can be.
As the culmination of the SCORE series, the Baja 1000 isn’t about just one race either, but the deciding factor in a tough year of racing. And with Gordon poised to take the Championship, there’s a lot at stake.
The series promises in car cameras and a complete documentation of the race, including commentary from Gordon himself as he blasts through the desert in his Chevy CK1500 Trophy Truck.
Now if you’re a Robby Gordon fan, or a fan of off-road racing and the Baja 1,000, you likely already know the result of the race. Still, we won’t spoil it for anyone who doesn’t know.
View the series trailer above and see after the jump for the first intsallment in the “14 Hours To A Championship” series. We have also included schedule of the webisode releases dates, which can be viewed at MagnaFlow’s website or on the company’s YouTube channel here.
Language is definitely NSFW
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Last week be brought you a story of a Bugatti Veyron that crashed into a saltwater lagoon in Texas, with the corresponding (and heartbreaking) video of the supercar being pulled from the muck. Now it appears as though actual video of the accident was caught on film – and hosted on YouTube for all to watch.
The driver reported attempting to miss a low flying pelican. We don’t see the bird, but we do see a lot of water flying into the air.
The owner, who remains unnamed, was reportedly traveling to Galveston, Texas on Interstate 45, when the accident happened just south of Omega Bay.
Note: Several videos showing the crash have already been pulled from YouTube, so we’ll attempt to keep the page updated with a working link, but please let us know (by commenting on the post) if the video is no longer availble.
Many, many people were injured in the making of this film
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As a people the Finns love Rally car racing. They love watching it (especially when they’re watching famous native drivers like Marcus Grönholm or Tommi Mäkinen) and they love to get involved. They particularly like to drive… and crash. The above YouTube video compilation is made up entirely of Finnish rally car drivers slamming into pretty much anything from rocks, to trees and getting a lot of air in the process.
And the best part is, unlike every other such video on YouTube, there’s no Linkin Park soundtrack – just the sound of crushing metal.
Many, many people were harmed in the making of this video.