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Audi Q3

Audi Q3 Pricing leakAudi only debuted the 2015 Q3 compact crossover for the US market at the 2014 Detroit Motor Show in January, yet that feels like a lifetime ago. However, the little luxury CUV is finally getting close to reaching these shores, and alleged pricing for it is leaking out.

According to leaked documents from Audi Q3 Forum (right), the premium compact crossover has a starting price of $32,500 (*plus an additional destination charge of $925), for an actual cost of $33,425. That covers the front-wheel drive model with a 200-horsepower 2.0 TFSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. Upgrading to a version with Quattro that spins all four wheels brings the bill to $34,600 - $35,525 after destination charges. In case you wanted further proof, Audi's new Q3 teaser site confirms the starting price of $32,500.

The documents list two trim levels - Premium Plus and Prestige. Premium Plus includes standard features like a panoramic sunroof, heated seats, Xenon headlights with LED running lights and dual-zone climate control and more. Paying $3,900 more for Prestige adds MMI Navigation Plus, Bose surround sound, a power tailgate and other goodies.

German luxury cars often offer a mile-long list of options, but the Q3 appears to be surprisingly sparse, according to this leak. Premium Plus is available with MMI Navigation Plus for $1,900, a driver assistance package for $1,400 and power tailgate for $400. Both trims are offered with a sport package for $550, 19-inch wheels for $800, wood inlays for $350 and a black headliner is listed as a no-cost option.

It's the perfect time for the Q3's price leak too because the competing 2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class with 208 horsepower is now confirmed with a price of $32,225 after its destination fee, while the all-wheel drive model goes for $34,225. Comparatively, the 240-hp BMW X1 sDrive28i asks $31,850 in rear-wheel drive spec or $33,650 to drive all four wheels, after their $950 destination charge. That makes the Q3 the most expensive of the German luxury CUVs by a surprising amount, though it looks like its standard equipment list will also be rather generous by comparison. Check out the gallery for all of the details.

2015 Audi Q3 pricing leaked, starts at $32,500* originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:29:00 EST

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2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

Mercedes-Benz just keeps dropping pricing bombshells on us. After unveiling the cost of the models of the upcoming GLA-Class compact crossover, now the 2015 C-Class, the German brand's bread-and-butter luxury sedan, is ready to unleash its secrets, as well.

The least expensive of the new models is the rear-wheel-drive C300 with a starting price of $38,400, plus a $925 delivery & destination charge, to bring the actual base price to $39,325. However, the two-wheel drive version doesn't hit the road until the first quarter of 2015. The first variants that people can actually buy arrive in September 2014, and they are the all-wheel drive C300 4Matic and C400 4Matic for $41,325 and $49,515, respectively, after the destination fee.

In addition to styling inspired by the S-Class, the 2015 C-Class models also have new engines. Both variants of the C300 use a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine pumping out 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. The more powerful C400 uses a bi-turbo 3.0-liter V6 making 329 hp and 354 lb-ft. All models get Mercedes' 7G-Tronic Plus seven-speed automatic gearbox. Merc is holding back on fuel economy numbers and 0-60-miles-per-hour specs until a bit closer to launch.

As befitting a Mercedes, all versions come packed with luxury features. The C300 comes quite well equipped as standard, with dual-zone climate control, power seats, a seven-inch infotainment display and more. Moving up to the C400 adds standard heated front seats, LED headlights and an upgraded stereo. Of course, there's also long list of options including improved interior upholstery, a sport package, upgraded infotainment and a whole lot more.

Comparing pricing of the 2015 C-Class to the 2014 model is rather tricky. The rear-wheel drive C300 is over $2,000 more expensive than the current C250, but if you look at the 2015 C300 4Matic versus the more comparable 2014 C300 4Matic, the latest one is only about $1,000 more. The C300 is also more expensive than the base BMW 320i, A4 or Lexus IS250, but the Mercedes is bringing more to the table in terms of engine power.

Continue reading 2015 Mercedes C-Class starts at $38,400*

2015 Mercedes C-Class starts at $38,400* originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 15:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tue, 29 Jul 2014 15:31:00 EST

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Chances are good that you, loyal Autoblog reader, have long since chosen to follow us on Twitter and 'like' us on Facebook. (If you haven't, feel free to take a second and do so right now.) Anyway, if you're one of our social media posse, you might have already heard that we're smack dab in the middle of Miata Month. We've gotten Mazda to loan us a couple of MX-5 Miatas, allowing us to say a protracted, tear-filled goodbye to the current generation (NC) of the beloved roadster, just before it exits stage right and ushers in the next generation.

You'll see a few more Miata Month items here on Autoblog after we've said our final farewell, but we absolutely wanted to make sure we created some great video evidence of our month, as well. Right down below, then, in its unfiltered-audio splendor, is the Autoblog Unplugged version of the 2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata PRHT. Your author had a pretty great time wringing out the roadster for the creation of our short vid, and we really hope you dig listening along.

Continue reading We go Unplugged to celebrate Mazda Miata Month

We go Unplugged to celebrate Mazda Miata Month originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:58:00 EST

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2015 Mercedes-Benz Vito

Mercedes-Benz may be known for its luxury cars on this side of the Atlantic, but it's equally known around the world for making robust workhorses as well: trucks, buses and vans. It has started to turn Americans on to that idea with the successful transplant of the Sprinter van to North America, but it still has a whole range of commercial vehicles it doesn't offer here. It recently rolled out the Renault-built Citan to replace its Vaneo, replaced its Viano with the new V-Class, and it has now introduced a new Vito van as well.

More utilitarian than the V-Class, the Vito is a smaller alternative to the Sprinter and hits showrooms in other global markets in a wide array of configurations. For starters, it will be available in numerous lengths as a panel van, a passenger van or as a crew cab, a configuration that combines a four-door passenger compartment with a cargo bay in the back. It's also intriguingly available in front-, rear- or all-wheel drive, motivated by a pair of four-cylinder turbodiesels displacing 1.6 liters or 2.1 liters with power ranging from 136 horsepower up to 190. Regardless of engine selection, buyers can choose from either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic.

In addition to a wider range of powertrain and bodystyle choices, Mercedes has also redesigned the new Vito to be safer and more comfortable than the model it replaces. It has a more aerodynamic shape for a lower coefficient of drag that pairs with the new engines to help reduce fuel consumption. That's particularly important to the vehicle's competitiveness among fleet buyers, because improved fuel economy leads to reduced running costs. Further, the new Vito can be kept on the road for 25,000 miles over two years in between service intervals.

Despite the suspension that's been redesigned for a more compliant ride, the new Vito doesn't skimp on the utility. In fact, Mercedes claims it's got the highest payload capacity in its class at over 3,000 pounds and a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of over three tons, depending on spec. Read all about it in the press release below and scope out the range in the high-res image gallery above.

Continue reading Mercedes rolls out versatile new Vito van

Mercedes rolls out versatile new Vito van originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:15:00 EST

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Drivers Face Added Penalties Using Mobile Phones

There's little question that driving while holding your phone is incredibly dangerous. In the UK alone, some 500 people are estimated to be seriously injured or killed each year because of car and truck drivers using their phones behind the wheel - a staggering figure that is leading British authorities to take controversial action.

The UK's Association of Chief Police Officers has issued guidelines to law enforcement officials to confiscate the phones of anyone involved in a traffic accident so that police can determine if they were using their mobile devices when the accident took place. If a driver is found to have been using his or her phone and caused a serious crash, that driver could be sentenced to up to 14 years in prison.

While the police are determined to crack down on phone use behind the wheel, others are justifiably worried about where the measure could lead. "I am 100-percent against anyone texting while drive," Hugh Bladon of the Alliance of British Drivers said to Visordown, "But I'm worried police could overdo it, just because someone is involved in a minor shunt, surely it shouldn't mean they should lose their phone." Imagine having someone hit your car, then having the police confiscating your phone, leaving you with no way to get home, and you can see what Bladon is on about. Beyond the inconvenience, there's also further privacy concerns - will UK authorities have the right to search the rest of your phone, including emails and text messages?

UK police move to seize mobile phones after all accidents originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 13:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tue, 29 Jul 2014 13:29:00 EST

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Screencap from Toyota's Japanese

A new Japanese Toyota ad featuring crisply suited businessmen driving into the jungle only to segue into a Psy-style music-video dance-off with a gorilla and natives is the latest car commercial to go viral. Jungle Wakudoki is the newest installment in a grand tradition of bizarre ads from the island nation that are by turns hilarious, head-scratching and occasionally even frightening.

Let's face it: My people are weird.

I'm half-Japanese and take suitable pride in my Asian roots, but even I can't figure out what's been slipped into the water coolers of the country's ad agencies much of the time - or the nation at large, for that matter. From Japan's ubiquitous obsession with all things adorable (kawaii) to its offbeat sense of humor and its bizarrely perverse and violent tentacle porn, it's clear there's a lot going on in the culture, and only some of it bubbles up to the surface in its marketing efforts. Much of the strangest and most amazing ads are for non-transportation products (e.g. laundry soap, snacks, energy drinks), but the automotive space has its fair share. This latest Toyota ad had me trawling YouTube for a common theme, trying to make sense of why these spots are the way they are. Scroll down to watch the Toyota ad in question as well as a bunch of other examples of Japan's most bizarre car-related ads and see if you can't find the thread that runs between them. Is it just that something's being lost in translation? Have your say in Comments.

Continue reading Toyota's Psy-style Waku-Doki ad inherits Japan's bizarre ad crown

Toyota's Psy-style Waku-Doki ad inherits Japan's bizarre ad crown originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:45:00 EST

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2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty

What weighs 30,000 pounds? Big Ben's Westminster bell. A navy ship anchor. Or as we found out during our first drive program for the 2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty, seven pallets of cinder blocks loaded onto a dual-axle gooseneck trailer. The test was part of a raft of towing demonstrations that showcased the new Super Duty's impressive tug capacity, which maxes out at 32,100 pounds. That's 1,200 more than its nearest rival, the Ram 3500, when equipped with its upgraded 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V8. Such is the heavy-duty pickup truck business, a diesel-fueled game of one-upmanship with only three players: Ford, Chevrolet/GMC and Ram. And in this game, the one with the most torque wins.

Until 2014, Ford was the one to beat, with its 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel bringing 400 hp and a massive 800 lb-ft of torque to the table. Then last year, Ram did exactly that, serving Ford with a beefed-up Cummins turbodiesel inline-six in its freshened Ram Heavy Duty truck line with 385 hp and 850 lb-ft of torque, enabling it to tow up to 30,000 pounds. But Ford claims it had designed its engine to be relatively easy to upgrade when the time called for it, so for 2015, Ford bolted a larger turbo to the Power Stroke, bringing output to an insane 440 hp and 860 lb-ft of twist, all without reducing fuel efficiency. Maximum tow capacity rises from 24,700 lbs to an incredible 31,200 lbs for the F-450 dually.

As for GM's HDs? They lag behind the lot with their 6.6-liter Duramax V-8, producing 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of torque. Yeah, you know things are serious when the trucks with 765 lb-ft are the knock-kneed wimps of the lot.

Yet all this one-upmanship isn't as crystal-clear as the spec sheets would have you believe. Ford and Ram are currently involved in a pissing match over how these tow ratings are calculated, and the solution might not be arrived at without legal intervention. We prefer firsthand drive impressions over spec-sheet bench racing (towing?), so we headed to West Virginia to saddle up and ride.

Continue reading 2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty Power Stroke

2015 Ford F-Series Super Duty Power Stroke originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:58:00 EST

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Ferrari 250 GTOs at Pebble Beach in 2011

Prices keep climbing for the Ferrari 250 GTO with virtually no end in sight. In 1969 one sold for just $2,500, but by the 1980s they were trading for hundreds of thousands, then millions, then tens of millions to the point that the last last year, one was reported to have changed hands at $52 million. But now there's a GTO for sale in Germany that could eclipse even that gargantuan price tag.

Ferrari made 39 examples of the 250 GTO between 1962 and 1962, and the item listing on mobile.de doesn't give much in the way of specifics as to which exactly we're looking at. But last we checked, there were only two GTOs in Germany, and the other one was silver. That leaves chassis number 3809GT, which was delivered new in '62 to Switzerland and participated in numerous endurance races and hillclimb events throughout the early 60s. 3809GT has been owned until now by one Hartmut Ibing, who bought it in 1976 when values were in the tens of thousands, not tens of millions. Given how his asset has appreciated so dramatically, and with less than 10,000 miles on the odometers over 52 years, we could understand how Ibing would want to cash out.

Of course we could be mistaken and we could be looking at an entirely different example - the vast majority were, after all, painted red and fitted with blue upholstery just like this one - but either way, we're looking at a price tag of 47.6 million euros. That's nearly $64 million at today's rates, inclusive of Germany's 19 percent VAT rate that adds a staggering $10 million in taxes to the pre-tax price of 40 million euros, which comes in under $54 million but would still be the most ever paid for a GTO (or really, just about any car ever made).

If that's too rich for your blood but you're still in the market, you could try your luck with the one which Bonhams will auction off at The Quail next month. Who knows, with no reserve price, maybe you'll do better. But more likely, the bidding will have driven the sale price up even higher and Ibing will rush to increase his asking price before a rejected bidder snaps his up.

1962 Ferrari 250 GTO for sale in Germany at $64 million originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:29:00 EST