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Directory of links to sites on the world of automotive, motor cars, motorcycles, and motor vehicles in general.

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Derek Denesevich Bentley Face Tattoo

Bentley and Porsche are two of the jewels in Volkswagen Group's luxury brand crown, but in Florida they also have a very tenuous connection with crime. With his multiple face and neck tattoos, including a Bentley logo right between his eyes, Derek Denesevich (pictured above) has been charged with the surprising crime of alleged identity theft. He recently surrendered to a Florida court, and could face seven years in prison, if convicted.

You might wonder where Porsche fits into this. According to the Sun Sentinel, Denesevich's accomplice was one Porscha Kyles, who worked for the Broward Clerk of Courts. She allegedly used her access to driver's license records to steal information and sell it to Denesevich. He is then accused of filing fraudulent income taxes to recoup the refund checks.

According to the Sentinel, Kyles has already pleaded guilty to conspiracy and identity theft and was sentenced to three years and one day in prison. The duo reportedly stole over 100 identities and made at least $120,000. Scroll down for a video about this pair of auto-related criminals.

Continue reading This FL man accused of stealing drivers licenses has best tattoo ever

This FL man accused of stealing drivers licenses has best tattoo ever originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 10 Jul 2014 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thu, 10 Jul 2014 20:00:00 EST

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Daily U-Turn

Rolling Coal at a Toyota PriusRolling Coal: A Political Statement Hits Our Nation's Roads

That disgusting black smoke you see to your right is this truck owner's unique way of making a political statement that he doesn't agree with the current US Presidential Administration's policies. Rolling Coal, as it's called, is more often than not directed toward eco-friendly symbols like the Toyota Prius. Interesting (or terrible...) way of making your opinion known, eh?


2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser Ultimate Edition 2014 Toyota FJ Cruiser - Autoblog Quick Spin


We'll be said to see this one leave the market. In case you didn't know, 2014 marks the swan song for the Toyota FJ Cruiser, leaving the Jeep Wrangler to hold the mantle mostly uncontested as the most off-road-oriented stock vehicle from a major automaker in the US. As Jonathon Ramsey said, "The FJ Cruiser is poised to join a long list of vehicles that got better and better, then got axed."


Want a Tucker Torpedo? Will This Do Instead? Tucker Torpedo Replica prototype


The car to your right is most definitely not a 1946 Tucker Torpedo. Underneath the somewhat wacky bodywork sits a 1971 Buick Riviera, a cult classic in its own right. It's kind of crazy, sort of cool in a weird way, and undeniably unique. If that kind of thing is your bag, baby, feel free to bid - it's currently up for auction on eBay.


Top Stories

What you missed on 7.10.14 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 10 Jul 2014 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thu, 10 Jul 2014 19:30:00 EST

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1951 Chrysler New Yorker Rally Car

Cars have a weird way of bringing fathers and sons together. You might not want to talk to your dad (or son) about politics, but if you can get him into a conversation about 1950s automotive design, then you can chat for hours. The latest video from Petrolicious looks at how Jonathan Auerbach and his dad bonded through racing in long-distance rallies in an absolutely brutish 1951 Chrysler New Yorker.

The Auerbachs have over 10,000 miles in competition on this behemoth of a Chrysler. It packs a 354-cubic-inch (5.8-liter) hemi V8 with Weber carbs under the hood, and driving it looks more akin to piloting a ship than any kind of on-road vehicle. The New Yorker can take a pounding and just keep going, too. Jonathan says that they hit two deer during one event, and the only damage to the car was some missing trim up front.

The next goal is to prep the car for the arduous Peking to Paris Rally. The big Chrysler should be quite the sight when it rolls across the finish line in France. Scroll down to hear this poignant story about a father and son becoming best friends while racing an American classic. You might want to have a tissue handy, if you're close to your dad, though.

Continue reading How a Chrysler New Yorker rally car turned father and son into best friends

How a Chrysler New Yorker rally car turned father and son into best friends originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 10 Jul 2014 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thu, 10 Jul 2014 19:00:00 EST

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Jaguar Ingenium Engine

Jaguar Land Rover officially announced its Ingenium family of engines with the unveiling of the 2.0-liter version in the Jaguar XE concept at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, but it kept details very thin at the time. All we knew was that the new turbocharged mills could be configured to use gasoline or diesel, and be positioned longitudinally or transversely. Months later, JLR is finally letting some more info slip about its new baby, but there are still some big questions to be answered.

For the Ingenium project, Jaguar Land Rover gave its engineers a clean sheet of paper and told them not to worry about using any previous parts or machinery. In the end, the designers came up with a family of turbocharged, aluminum-block engines based around modular, 500cc cylinders to allow it to grow or shrink as the market demanded. The layout was also made adaptable enough to incorporate hybrid drivetrains, if needed. "Being configurable and flexible are the two key strands of Ingenium's DNA because we have future-proofed our new engines from the outset," said said Ron Lee, the company's director of Powertrain Engineering.

To maximize efficiency, Jaguar promises that all versions of the Ingenium engines come with computer-controlled, variable oil pumps and water pumps to use only as much energy as needed. They also get direct injection, roller bearings for the cams and stop/start. The diesel version alone has 17 percent less internal friction than the mill it replaces, the company claims. JLR is also promising class-leading figures for Ingenium's torque and horsepower too, but it's not giving away those specs just yet.

While it all sounds intriguing, we still have to wait a while before actually driving a product that makes use of the Ingenium. The production of the 2.0-liter diesel (codenamed AJ200D) doesn't begin until early 2015. Scroll down to read the full press release about JLR's new pride and joy.

Continue reading Jaguar Land Rover offers (some) detail about new Ingenium engine

Jaguar Land Rover offers (some) detail about new Ingenium engine originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 10 Jul 2014 18:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thu, 10 Jul 2014 18:33:00 EST

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Bentley Continental Flying Star by Touring

There was a time when a customer would buy a chassis from an automaker like Bentley and then take it to a coachbuilder to have whatever bodywork they wanted put on it. The practice was particularly prevalent in Bentley's earlier days, but the industry has progressed in such a way - with tighter regulations and unibody construction - that such a practice is no longer feasible. But Bentley wants to get back into that business.

Speaking to UK trade publications recently, Bentley sales chief Kevin Rose indicated that the company is looking into setting up a special division within itself to meet the demands of extremely wealthy customers who want to commission their own coachbuilt custom creations. It's an emerging trend that's seen Ferrari Special Projects build one-offs like the F12 TRS and SP12 EC and McLaren Special Operations the outlandish X-1, and Bentley wants to get in on the action.

It wouldn't be the first even to rebody a contemporary Bentley in recent years. Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera offers the Flying Star (pictured above) that turns the Continental GT into a shooting brake, and Dany Bahar's new coachbuilding outfit Ares plans to do the same. By bringing it in-house, however, Bentley would be able to pick the chassis up off the assembly line at the right time and provide the necessary support and factory backing.

With such an initiative in place, we'd likely finally see a Mulsanne convertible built, along with countless permutations of the Continental family and upcoming SUV. A four-door Flying Spur GTC parade car? No problem. Two-door Falcon sport-ute? Just sign here, sir. The sky's the proverbial limit, and that's where Bentley appears to have set its sights.

Bentley wants to get into the coachbuilding business originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 10 Jul 2014 17:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thu, 10 Jul 2014 17:45:00 EST

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China International Battery Fair 2014

Recently, I visited the China International Battery Fair in Shenzhen. This is perhaps the largest battery show in the world, with over 980 exhibitors covering three-quarter of a million square feet. The three-day exhibition was followed by a three-day conference on battery technology and innovation drawing battery scientists from all over the world.

Almost everybody in the battery industry in China attends this show. There were lead acid batteries, NiCad batteries and all kinds of lithium-ion batteries. There were manufacturers of battery electrodes, separators and battery cases. Battery assembly equipment manufacturers were also present.

Most people think of China as a low-tech cheap labor market, but Chinese companies are now making the robots to produce batteries. Back in 2008, Chinese battery assembly equipment manufacturers were struggling to produce cylindrical cells. Today they have mastered the production of cut and stacked cells (which is where the future of lithium-ion technology is heading).

China's central government is investing huge resources into the battery industry to make China the world leader of battery technology.

One hundred years ago the engine was the key to manufacturing an automobile; for electric vehicles the battery is the key: that is where the power comes from. Batteries are the most expensive component in an electric vehicle, sometimes exceeding more than half the bill of materials cost. Tesla's Gigafactory will change the entire automobile industry and give Tesla an incredible competitive advantage, putting Tesla years ahead of all other automobile manufacturers. Tesla will turn its electric vehicle manufacturing volume into a battery cost advantage and make it very difficult for other automobile manufacturers to compete.

The Chinese government also understands the importance of batteries to the electric vehicle industry. The central government is investing huge resources into the battery industry to make China the world leader of battery technology. Close to 900 of the exhibitors at the CIBF were Chinese manufacturers.

Continue reading Why Elon Musk is right about batteries being the future of automobiles

Why Elon Musk is right about batteries being the future of automobiles originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Thu, 10 Jul 2014 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thu, 10 Jul 2014 17:00:00 EST

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JLR's self learning car

Land Rover makes some of the most capable SUVs on or off the road, and some of the most luxurious too. But the British automaker isn't about to rest on those laurels - not when every other automaker assaults its territory with sport-utes of their own. That's why Land Rover has been working so hard on nifty new technologies from a depth-sounder in the door mirror of the Range Rover Sport an augmented-reality head-up display that makes the whole front of the car virtually disappear.

JLR's newest tech may not be ground-breaking, but its integration promises to make driving around town that much easier. The system syncs with the driver's smartphone and uses all manner of parameters - including driver habits, weather and location as well as the presence of other passengers - to make the commute go as smoothly as possible. Get into the car and it'll set the seat and mirrors for you. No big deal, because lots of cars do that. But it'll also set up the nav system to take you to work and the sound system to play your favorite music. Okay, getting more interesting.

Get in with your kids and it'll know not only that you've got to drop them off at school first (or remind you to pack their gym bag if they've got soccer practice after school that day) but that they might not enjoy that Chumbawamba album you've been listening to since college and it'll play something it knows you'll all enjoy based on your listening history. Then it'll switch back to Tubthumping once the kids are out, remind you of your morning meeting and alert those you're scheduled to meet with if you get stuck in traffic while finding you a better route to get there, monitoring fuel levels all the while and telling you if you'll need to tank up before you reach your destination. It knows if you like calling your mother on the drive to work and will lower the air suspension to make it easier to hop out once you get there.

Impressive stuff, and you can delve deeper into it in the press release and video below.

Continue reading Land Rover knows where you're going and how you want to get there

Land Rover knows where you're going and how you want to get there originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 10 Jul 2014 16:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thu, 10 Jul 2014 16:57:00 EST

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Ford CEO

It's hardly a secret that the auto industry is undergoing an enormous, tectonic shift in the way it thinks, builds cars and does business. Between alternative forms of energy, a renewed focus on low curb weights and aerodynamic bodies, the advent of driverless and autonomous cars and the need to reduce the our impact on the environment, it's very likely that the car that's built 10 years down the line will be scarcely recognizable when parked next to the car from 10 years ago.

Few people are as able to explain the industry's many upcoming changes and challenges as clearly as William Clay Ford, Jr., better known as Bill Ford. The 57-year-old currently sits as the executive chairman of the company his great-grandfather, Henry Ford, founded over 110 years ago.

In an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal (subscription required), Ford explains that the role of automakers is, necessarily, going to change to suit the needs of the future world. That means changing the view of not just the automobile, but the automaker. As Ford explains it, automakers will "move from being just car and truck manufacturers to become personal-mobility companies."

That's going to mean building cars that are better integrated with the transport system, which of course, means increased connectivity. That seems to be Ford's biggest point here - the analog days of motoring are dead and waiting to be buried, as we prepare for a world where our cars talk to each other and the world around us, all in a bid to improve the life of the driver, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and those on public transport. Other big changes are more predictable - expanded use of aluminum, high-strength steel and carbon fiber as part of a push towards increased fuel efficiency are also part of Ford's vision of our automotive future.

In all, Ford's op-ed provides a fascinating look at what one of the industry's biggest names thinks of the automobile's future, with a particular focus on how it will affect you and I as the world continues to change, evolve and grow. The entire piece is available at The Wall Street Journal's site, and is a highly recommended read.

Bill Ford op-ed argues we can't just build and sell more of the same cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 10 Jul 2014 16:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thu, 10 Jul 2014 16:28:00 EST