We're not sure if the tires gave out or BMW quit after nearly 2 hours of boredom – but either way, it's impressive.
Last Saturday, BMW set the Guinness record for the world's longest drift at 51.3 miles. That's 51.3 miles of continuous sliding, 51.3 miles of keeping the steering wheel pointed right and – for racing driver Johan Schwartz and everyone watching his white M5 loop the skid pad nearly 323 times – 51.3 miles of absolute boredom.
Somehow, just like the artificial engine sounds piped into the M5's cabin, BMW has managed to dull a usually fun and out-of-control experience into a methodical, automated process.
In this case, hearing about the record secondhand is better than watching it, which is why BMW's promo video below is only one minute long. But boring as it may be to observe, it's damned impressive. Even more so: BMW smashed Red Bull's February drift record by more than 44 miles.
Drivers have reported problems involving loss of steering, engine stalls and door latches.
At least 54 owners of 2006 Chrysler 300C, Dodge Charger and Dodge Magnum models with V8 engines told the agency their vehicles had stalled while driving after refueling. NHTSA said that half of the complaints had been received in the past eight months. About 48 owners said their vehicles stalled multiple times, while seven said their vehicles "could not be immediately restarted or [were] difficult to restart." About 192,076 vehicles may be affected.
In April, Chrysler recalled 30,000 Jeep Compass and Patriot SUVs from the 2012 and 2013 model years for fuel-tank transfer tubes that could starve the engine of gasoline. The tubes on certain models can deform over time and cause the engine to stall, especially at high altitudes and high temperatures, Chrysler said.
It is not yet clear if this latest investigation is linked, and as always, an investigation does not necessarily lead to a recall.
Automakers want to attract more customers in prime markets such as New York and California.
GM is spending about $200 million to assist dealerships in New York, New Jersey and California with facility upgrades and relocating, according to the Detroit News. In these states, where buyers sway heavily toward import brands, GM hasn't made enough strides in attracting customers. In California, for example, GM's market share has trailed that of Honda and Toyota, dipping from 11.8 percent in 2011 to 9.8 percent last year, even as Japanese automakers suffered from supply shortages after the 2011 tsunami and earthquake.
"It changed radically from where our footprint used to be, because we're the oldest ones out there … and we let it go," GM North America President Mark Reuss told the Detroit News.
Volkswagen is spending $135 million on a 265,000-square foot VW-Audi dealership (shown above) that opened in Manhattan on Friday. Volkswagen owns the property and about a dozen other dealerships in the U.S. but lets independent dealership companies operate them. Other large Manhattan dealerships, such as Manhattan Ford and Mercedes-Benz of Manhattan, are essentially corporate-managed stores.
Jeep SUVs from 2005-2010 need a software update, a few hundred Ram pickups need a coolant fix, and an airbag issue affects Jeeps used by the Postal Service.
Nearly all of the vehicles (469,072) are Jeep models, with about 295,000 affected in the United States. The 2005-2010 Grand Cherokee and the 2006-2010 Commander have transfer cases that can inadvertently shift into neutral when the vehicle is started, which can cause the car to roll away.
Transfer cases, used on four-wheel-drive models only, connect to the transmission and multiply the engine's torque by switching between low- and high-range gears. On these Jeep models, the switching is done electronically despite a physical lever in the console.
In January 2012, Chrysler began an investigation after a 2007 Grand Cherokee reportedly began rolling in neutral after the owner activated the car's remote start. By March 2013, after working with the transfer case supplier, Chrysler had traced the problem to a cracked circuit board that was sending faulty signals and had released new software to correct the problem.
Dealers will reflash the final drive controller starting in June.
Domestic brands rank higher than imports for the first time in more than a decade.
Domestic automakers overwhelmingly won the confidence and dollars of U.S car buyers for the first time in more than a decade, according to the results of a survey released Monday by Strategic Vision.
Based on a summary of all brands and models, however, two imports came out on top. Volkswagen Group of America won best overall corporation for the eighth consecutive year, while the company’s Audi brand tied with Toyota’s Lexus luxury division for the best individual vehicle brand. Also in the best brand category, Ford came in second and General Motors and Hyundai tied for third.
“Don't misunderstand, imports like Hyundai are a force to be reckoned with, and Toyota has regrouped with Total Quality winners Lexus LS, Tacoma and FJ Cruiser," Strategic Vision President Alexander Edwards said in a statement. "However, domestics are running in the tight race also, and it's now forcing all manufacturers to build the most superior, innovative and holistically quality vehicles possible to gain the hearts and minds of the customer.”
The Range Rover Supercharged is fast enough to get into Virginia's horse country without the locals suspecting a thing.
With favorable traffic, Middleburg, Va., is not quite an hour’s drive from Washington, D.C. Founded in 1787, Middleburg still has a distinct small-town feel; even today, it has one only traffic light.
But the "Main Street, U.S.A." appearance belies its true claim to fame: This is ground zero for equestrian sports. Here, nestled among the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is a place where horse-and-hound hunting is very much alive and stables are almost as common as garages.
So when I was handed the keys to a brand-new 2014 Range Rover Supercharged, I knew where I'd fit right in.
Want a discount on your next lunch? In-car advertising is on the way, but cultural and legal challenges mean it's not yet ready for drive time.
With more cars connected to satellites and cellular data, we've been waiting for in-dash advertising to appear and pay for these new cloud-based services. The idea typically provokes a knee-jerk negative reaction from car owners and the media.
"What happens if, when the logo shows on your screen, it says, 'Brought to you by Allstate?'" Akerson said last week in a conference call. "How many times is that going to pop? And how much can you get from Allstate?"
But GM isn’t the only automotive company bringing advertising to the dash.
The one-seat, one-off fighter concept celebrates Lamborghini's 50th anniversary -- and its considerable ego.
When Volkswagen lets its chief designer off the chain, we find out that the man has an uncontrollable fetish for attack helicopters.
That's the philosophy behind the one-off Lamborghini Egoista, a daredevil single-seater concept designed to echo the razor-sharp edges of an Apache helicopter.
Walter de Silva, better known for crafting production cars like the Golf and Audi A5, was tasked with creating an outrageous display for Lamborghini's 50th anniversary party last night.
After the Italian supercar maker unveiled the Veneno in March (three will be built) and the track-only Sesto Elemento in 2010 (slated for a 20-car run this year), there was nothing left to do but build a ground missile like the Egoista. And Lamborghini is quite frank about the Egoista's purpose.
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Clifford Atiyeh has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own. Raised in Volvos, he has grown to love fast, irresponsible vehicles of all kinds. He is the senior news editor at MSN Autos and also reports for Car and Driver, Road & Track, The Boston Globe and other publications.
In the garage: 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (not his)
Doug Newcomb has covered car technology for over 20 years for outlets ranging from Rolling Stone to Edmunds.com. In 2008, he published his first book, "Car Audio for Dummies" (Wiley). He lives and drives in Hood River, Ore., with his wife and two kids, who share his passion for cars and technology.
In the garage: 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS, two 1984 Chevrolet Blazers, 2008 Honda CR-V
James Tate learned to drive stick at age 13 in a 1988 Land Cruiser - in La Paz, Bolivia. He's since been a mechanic, on a pit crew and has wrenched on every car he's owned since his first 1989 Honda CRX Si (and won't stop until the car is a 1973 Porsche 911 RS). His work has appeared in Car and Driver, Popular Mechanics, Automobile and others.
In the garage: 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera, 1988 BMW M5