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Study Suggests Pokemon Go Could Have Caused 145,000 Traffic Accidents

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 07:22 PM PST

A new study out of the United States suggests Pokémon Go could have resulted in more than 100,000 additional traffic accidents in the United States at the height of the game's popularity.

Professors Mara Faccio and John J. McConnell from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University, were intrigued to discover that after decades of falling traffic fatalities in the United States, fatalities began to rise again after 2011.

Many researchers blame smartphones for the increase in traffic fatalities and Faccio and McConnell decided to see if they could lay partial blame on a single game over an 18 months period.

To do so, they gathered accident data from Tippecanoe County in Indiana between 1 March 2015 and 30 November 2016. Following the release of Pokémon Go in July 2016, over 100 million people downloaded the game within a month and curiously, the likelihood of an accident occurring within 100 meters of a Pokestop rose by 26.5 per cent in the county. Looking at other locations, the researchers found similar results.

Scaling up these figures to the entire United States, the researchers suggest the game could have increased crashes by 145,632, raised the number of traffic injuries by 29,370 and fatalities by 256 in just five months. The costs associated with these accidents was estimated at between $2 billion and $7.3 billion.

Obviously, the nationwide figures published by the researchers are purely speculative but they do make you wonder…


Autonomous Ride-Sharing Fleets Could Slash Demand For Owner-Driven Sedans

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 06:09 PM PST

A new study suggests that the rise of autonomous ride-sharing fleets could halve the demand for owner-driven sedans in the United States by 2030.

According to consulting firm KPMG, the likes of Uber and other ride-sharing companies will initially roll out fleets of autonomous taxis in densely populated urban and suburban areas. As more companies, including Waymo and General Motors, enter the market with their own alternatives, the cost of using a self-driving taxi will drop drastically.

The result? A potential fall from the current 5.4 million sedans sold in the U.S. annually to just 2.1 million, as many individuals and families will opt out of owning a vehicle and simply hail a ride instead, CNBC reports.

If the study's findings come to fruition, there could be just three or four carmakers building small and midsize sedans in the U.S. by 2030.

For the moment, it appears as though the SUV and crossover markets won't be dramatically affected by the introduction of autonomous fleets.


Apple Allegedly Leasing Ex-Chrysler Proving Grounds For Autonomous Vehicle Testing

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 05:03 PM PST

Apple is reportedly leasing proving grounds in Arizona once owned by Chrysler in a bid to test autonomous vehicles.

A source claims that the technology company has made progress in self-driving software. Jalopnik suggests it means Apple is still investing heavily in autonomous vehicles.

Last year, it was revealed that Apple had scrapped plans to build its very own autonomous vehicle. Instead, the company has shifted its focus towards the technology needed to make a fully self-driving car. Recently, Apple chief executive Tim Cook said that Apple was working on autonomous systems and last week, Apple previewed its ongoing work with LiDAR.

The facility in question was once used by Chrysler to test its vehicles and includes a high-speed oval, a range of road surfaces, and areas for wet weather testing.

Daimler Chrysler sold the proving grounds in 2005 for $312 million to a developer intending on building some 16,500 houses at the location. However, these plans fell through and a deal was recently reached to lease the property to Route 14 Investment Partners LLC. It's yet to be determined if Route 14 has an affiliation with Apple.


Mercedes A-Class Interior Shots Confirm Hybrid With 50km Range

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 07:41 PM PST

Following the release of images showing off the interior of the 2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class, keen-eyed observers online have noticed something we initially didn't: one of the A-Class models pictured appears to be a hybrid.

If you look beyond the eye-catching three-spoke steering wheel, air vents and ambient lighting, you may notice an interesting read-out on the digital instrument cluster.

In the same dial as the rev counter, there is a small gauge with a battery symbol and a display stating the range and how much power remains in the battery.

In the press photos published by Mercedes-Benz, the range sits at 36 km but approximately 25 per cent of the battery's power appears to have been drained. With the battery fully-charged, that should result in a 50 km (31 mile) range.

We've known for quite some time that the next-generation A-Class would get some form of electrification, most likely through a 48V electrical system. However, up until now, it hasn't been known if the plug-in hybrid model would offer all-electric driving, yet these images seem to suggest it will. For a vehicle of this sort, a 50-km range is quite impressive.

Expect to see the all-new A-Class hatchback premiere at March's Geneva Motor Show. Shortly after, Mercedes-Benz will introduce the A-Class Sedan in regular and long-wheelbase guises.


Polestar Plans To Introduce Four Models In The Next Three Years

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 03:02 PM PST

Polestar is going at it full-steam – or with a full charge, we should say. Not only is it launching as a stand-alone brand, it's also rethinking the ownership experience, but it's launching a whole raft of new products – the scope of which we're just beginning to see now.

According to Motor Trend, Volvo's newly emancipated electric performance division is preparing to roll out not one, not two, but four models all within the next three years.

First up is the Polestar 1 we've already seen: a plug-in hybrid luxury performance coupe that looks like a sleeker, more futuristic version of the new Volvo S90. That's set to launch by the end of next year.

Motor Trend reports that the Polestar 2 will arrive by the end of 2019 as an all-electric midsize sedan to take on the Tesla Model 3. After that, we're told to expect the Polestar 3 to launch early in 2020 as an electric crossover, with an as-yet undisclosed Polestar 4 to follow later in 2020. Word has it that model could take the form of a convertible, likely closely based on the Polestar 1.

What of the Polestar-branded performance Volvo's we've seen to date, you wonder? Those will continue, with performance packages offered straight from the Volvo factory (instead of as dealer-installed equipment) and the occasional full-on performance vehicle (like the S60/V60 Polestar) to pop up from time to time. But Polestar's main focus will remain on its own dedicated line of electrified vehicles.

Just how we'll acquire them is still a matter of discussion. The initial idea is to pursue a subscription model almost exclusively, but strategists will watch to see how the Care by Volvo model is adapted (to say nothing of rivals like Book by Cadillac, Porsche Passport, and Lincoln's forthcoming pilot as well.)

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This'll Be The Last Time Lamborghini Will Tease Us About The Urus

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 02:04 PM PST

Five and a half years. That's how long it's been since Lamborghini first unveiled the Urus as a concept at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show.

Over the course of that time, it's hemmed and hawed, begged and pleaded, and more than anything, kept us on our toes about putting the crossover into production.

That all comes to an end tomorrow when the Raging Bull marque finally reveals the production model. But before it does, Lamborghini has released one last teaser video.

The clip features the company's chief executive Stefano Domenicali looking back on the process that has taken it to this point, and forward to what's about to come.

Just what that will be is, in Lamborghini's own terms, "the world's first Super Sport Utility Vehicle" – one that will not only change the company that's been gearing up for years now to build it, but put all other performance-oriented luxury crossovers and SUVs in their place.


Four-Door Vantage Would Make An Awesome Baby Rapide

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 12:56 PM PST

Four-door coupes like the Aston Martin Rapide can offer a pretty compelling best-of-both-worlds proposition, but sometimes they're too big and too expensive for their own good.

We can't help but wonder, then, if it isn't time that Aston Martin make a smaller alternative, with the Rapide due to be replaced by a new EV. Something... just like this.

Rendered by X-Tomi Design is an elongated take on the new Vantage, stretched digitally to accommodate four doors (and an extra set of seats in the back)­ – and looking even more like a Fisker.

With the DB9-based Rapide hovering closer to the $250k mark, a slightly lower-end model would do a better job of taking on the Porsche Panamera, which starts out at $85k in base spec and maxes out at short of $200k in top-of-the-line Turbo S E-Hybrid Executive trim.

It'd be a suitable foil as well to the forthcoming four-door Mercedes-AMG GT – likely to be powered by the same engine – and to a possible 8 Series Gran Coupe, should BMW choose to build one. But we're getting way ahead of ourselves here.

The counterpoint is that the Rapide's interior accommodations are tight enough as it is, so on second thought, maybe a smaller version wouldn't be such a hot idea. Especially not in that retina-searing shade of neon green, at any rate.

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Rolls-Royce Wraith Spirit Of The Union Edition Celebrates The Emirates

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 12:03 PM PST

Yesterday was National Day in the UAE – marking the 46th anniversary of the union of the seven emirates into the federation that stands today. So how best to celebrate such an occasion? With a special Rolls-Royce, of course!

Commissioned by Abu Dhabi Motors – one of the largest Rolls-Royce dealerships in the world – this special-edition Wraith is "inspired by the Spirit of the Union."

It's done up in Infinity Black with a subtle coachline in the colors of the Emirati flag. The wheel hubs feature special red outline, and the interior's decked out in black and white with red trim.

Of course, this being a Wraith, it's already the most dynamic and powerful vehicle that Rolls-Royce has ever made – its 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 rated at 623 horsepower. The only model with more muscle is the Black Badge version of the same, which boasts the same power rating but with 642 lb-ft of torque instead of 590.

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Look For Jaguar SVX, SVAutobiography Models To Come

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 10:54 AM PST

Jaguar Land Rover's Special Vehicle Operations division has been busy lately coming out with more powerful, more hard-core, and more opulent versions of both brands' products. But there's more to come.

Speaking with Jaguar's design boss and SVO's chief, Motor Trend reports on the prospect of the Leaping Cat marque getting either or both of the SVX and SVAutobiography trims in the near future.

"I don't see any reason why not," lead designer Ian Callum told MT on the possibility, accompanied by what the publication described as a "sly grin" suggesting that such models may already be in development.

SVO boss John Edwards similarly described the process within his division of fielding "constant" proposals from his team of 400 engineers and designers.

To date, Jaguar has adopted the performance-focused SVR treatment on the F-Type and SV Project approach on that same model as well as the XE sports sedan.

The SVX and SVAutobiography trims have, meanwhile, thus far only been applied to Land Rover models like the Discovery and Range Rover, respectively. But they could extend to Jaguars like the F-Pace crossover and XJ sedan.

An F-Pace SVX would ostensibly serve as a more hard-core off-road version of Jaguar's first crossover, jacked up to tackle more serious terrain. And an XJ SVAutobiography would take the flagship sedan (whether in its current or future iteration) to even more luxurious heights to rival the likes of the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class –much as a proper XJ SVR would pit the existing XJR 575 against the Mercedes-AMG S63.

Whichever models do get the ne-plus-ultra treatments, what's clear at this point is that the SVO division is full of ideas, and will put the best of them into production.

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96-Year-Old Driver Somehow Survived This Horrendous Accident

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 11:47 AM PST

We don't know why the 96-year old driver of this black sedan lost control of his car, but he should still consider himself lucky, despite suffering leg and spinal injuries, as he wasn't killed in this terrifying accident.

The incident occurred earlier this month in Melbourne, Australia, and according to the owner of the dashcam car, the damage sustained by his vehicle as well as the one beside it, was quite severe.

He also assumes that what happened prior to the crash was that the elderly man "mixed up the accelerator and brake." Aside from the driver's previously-mentioned injuries, nobody else was harmed, even though there were people in the vicinity.

The dashcam owner mentions how he arrived to find a scary scene unfolding right where his car was parked:

"An announcement came over the PA asking for the drivers of two cars, one with my registration number, to come to the reception area immediately. I saw police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances everywhere. Luckily nobody was killed."

He also said that both damaged vehicles were taken away on tow trucks and so, we presume, was the elderly man's black sedan that, ironically, ended its wild ride into a local hospital...


Liberty Walk's Audi R8 Spyder PURRs With New Wheels

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 08:58 AM PST

Whether you like them or detest them, it seems that Liberty Walk's flashy upgrades are here to stay, with the latest example to receive them being an Audi R8 Spyder in Thailand.

The kit include the usual fender add-ons in addition to some front and rear modifications, and a new suspension. Apparently, the owner of this R8 Spyder wanted more, so he turned to Infinite Motorsport, a local PUR dealer, for a new set of rims.

After viewing the collection, he eventually chose the 'Luxury Series I' LX04, which are engineered from aerospace-grade 6061-T6 forged aluminum, in 9x19- and 12.5x20-inches size front and rear respectively. With an extended concave profile, the wheels are powder coated with a matte anthracite face and gloss anthracite lip and have a forged carbon composite center cap.

Despite gaining extra head-turning points, we're not sure if these mods have in any way affected the performance of the Audi R8 Spyder, which needs 3.5 seconds for the 0-60 mph (96 km/h) acceleration in the 540 HP base version, and 3.2 seconds in the 601 HP Plus, both of which are powered by a naturally aspirated 5.2-liter V10.


Russian Firm Is Developing A Flying Sports Car, Promises A Late 2018 Launch

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 08:00 AM PST

Although flying cars are on the verge of becoming a reality, they aren't exactly what futurists predicted a few decades ago. Rather than looking like a traditional car, they're generally nothing more than a small aircraft with wings that can fold up and four wheels for use on the street.

Nonetheless, a small Russian company claims to be working on its own flying car and it will actually look like a fairly normal car. The company, Yagalёt, claims that its low-flying sports car will use hovercraft technologies to enable it to effectively float in the air. It might not reach true aircraft heights, but the company says the hover feature will allow it to glide over a range of surfaces, including water.

The design of the vehicle itself is simple and, while it might not be ground-breaking, doesn't look half bad.

Yagalёt claims it will have a functioning prototype within the next 12 months, which sounds rather ambitious, though non unfeasibles, so we'll just have to wait and see if they deliver on their promises.


Adult Movie Star's Nissan GT-R Would Kill It In Fast And Furious [w/Videos]

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 08:56 AM PST

You might be tricked into thinking that this tuned Nissan GT-R is owned by a car guy that polishes it on weekends and considers it his baby.

However, you'd be wrong, because the young blonde woman that poses next to it in the videos that follow has her name written in the papers. She may look familiar to some, and you may blame it on two other stories that we covered last year.

So, once again, say hello to Mareike Fox, a 26-year old German adult movie star with a passion for fast cars, whose Nissan GT-R used to carry a Prior Design widebody kit until not that long ago. Apparently, the young woman wanted a bit more for her Japanese supercar, so she turned to Tofu Garage in Germany to have it fitted with a Pandem Rocket Bunny V2 aerokit, which seems to have a thing or two in common with Liberty Walk's flashy creations.

As it currently sits, this tuned Nissan GT-R could definitely audition for the new 'Fast and Furious' movie thanks to its extreme body kit with extra wide fenders, gigantic rear wing, ground-hugging suspension and, of course, that non-too-subtle green paint and golden wheels.

We don't know how much the 3.8-liter twin-turbo V6 currently puts out, but it was already far from stock when it arrived at the German tuner, having been tuned to around 750 HP.



Renault Demonstrates All Features Of The New Megane RS In Official Film

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 05:55 AM PST

Renault is placing the new generation Megane RS under the microscope a couple of months after it debuted at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The official film covers all aspects of the new French hot hatch, from its exterior design, which is described as "a beast about to devour the road", to its cabin that's adorned with carbon fiber trim and Alcantara, among others.

Renault's challenger to the likes of the new Honda Civic Type R promises improved traction at any speed thanks to the new motorsport-inspired suspension, combined with the 4Control four-wheel steering. The automaker wanted to enhance the sportiness of the new Megane RS by offering a 'Race' driving mode aimed at drivers that use the car on the track.

Even the 1.8-liter turbocharged engine is brand new, as it comes from the Alpine A110. It delivers 280PS (276hp) and 390Nm (288lb-ft) of torque to the front wheels. Customers will have to choose between a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, a first for the French hot hatch, which can also be had with one of the two chassis settings, Sport or Cup.

Last, but definitely not least, Renault will attempt to steal the Nurburgring lap record for FWD production cars from the new Honda Civic Type R. To accomplish that, their range-topping Megane needs to complete the 20.7km (12.9-mile) long run in less than 7min and 43.8sec.


That's Rich: Geely Wants To Make Lotus A Ferrari Rival

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 04:56 AM PST

Two months after it completed the purchase of Lotus, Geely is laying out its plans for the British sports car manufacturer - and we have to say, they're pretty ambitious.

Although it hasn't been officially announced yet, Lotus is planning to launch its first SUV, which is probably going to be based on the CMA modular platform that also underpins the Volvo XC40 and Lynk&Co 01. The platform is designed to host high-performance powertrains and of course all-wheel drive, which is obviously good news for Lotus.

Geely's plans for Lotus though don't stop with the SUV. According to Autocar, the Chinese company wants Lotus not only to keep making sports cars, but also intends to up its game considerably.

"We are making plans; we want to bring back the heritage of Lotus to be one of the top performers in the luxury sports car segment. Lotus used to be ranked alongside Ferrari and Porsche, so we need to come back in that rank again", its boss, An Cong Hui, said.

After years of uncertainty, Lotus has recently returned to profitability and now appears to be finally in good hands. Rivaling Ferrari, though? That's setting the bar perhaps too high - but, hey, the guys have made a great job with Volvo, so they might just do the same for Lotus.


A Ferrari F40 In British Racing Green? Well, Why Not? [w/Video]

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 03:57 AM PST

What do you do if you're a prolific car collector, have some spare money and aren't worried about affecting the resale value of an iconic supercar you own? If you're Eugenio Amos, you paint your Ferrari F40 in British Racing Green.

Images of the car were shared on the owner's Instagram page and, to our surprise, the color, officially dubbed Verde Abetone, actually looks incredible on one of the most desirable Ferrari models ever produced.

To create such a unique car, the F40 spent roughly three months in an Italian paint shop undergoing its comprehensive transformation. To complement the new paint, the seats and headliner were also modified and covered in Cuoio Schedoni-colored alcantara.

Amos also owns a Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR, Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion and more, so his green F40 should be right at home in a truly bonkers collection.



Verde Abetone. #AutomobiliAmos #Ferrari #F40 📷 @pietromartelletti grazie

A post shared by Eugenio (@automobiliamos) on

The infamous Verde Abetone. #AutomobiliAmos #Ferrari #F40

A post shared by Eugenio (@automobiliamos) on

Painted to perfection, the #AutomobiliAmos ' way! #craftmanship #Ferrai #F40 #VerdeAbetone

A post shared by Eugenio (@automobiliamos) on

One letter, 2 numbers. #AutomobiliAmos #Ferrari #F40 #VerdeAbetone

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Tesla Excluded From EV Subsidies In Germany, Company Denies Wrongdoing

Posted: 03 Dec 2017 02:55 AM PST

Elon Musk is surely buoyant about Tesla, but he won't be happy with Germany's Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Controls (BAFA) decision to removed the EV maker's models from the list of electric cars eligible for subsidies.

This has sparked a row between Tesla and BAFA over whether the Model S is too expensive to qualify for the incentive, Reuters reports.

Germany's incentive scheme for electrified vehicles has a price cap of 60,000 euros ($71,500), and BAFA claims that Tesla customers cannot order the base version of the Model S without ticking some extra features first, which pushes its price above the price limit.

"This is a completely false accusation. Anyone in Germany can order a Tesla Model S base version without the comfort package, and we have delivered such cars to customers," Tesla said in a statement.

Tesla has also said that the price cap was initially set by the German government to exclude them, but later the two sides reached a compromise "that allows Tesla to sell a low option vehicle that qualifies for the incentive and customers can subsequently upgrade if they wish." The EV maker also said that they would investigate whether any customers were denied the entry-level version.

"If a sales person told a customer they could not buy the Model S base version without the comfort package, this is not accurate and clearly outside our policies and procedures and we will investigate and take appropriate action as necessary."

Under Germany's incentive scheme, buyers can get 4,000 euros off the price of a new electric vehicle and 3,000 euros off a new plug-in hybrid.