At Pikes Peak, 'Monster' Tajima takes the race (again), but the record still stands.
This past weekend, amid stiff competition for sporting attention from the likes of the World Cup, Wimbledon and a great few days of baseball, one of the most exciting events in motorsports took place: the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, also known as the Race to the Clouds.
In Colorado Springs, Colo., racers across a number of 4- and 2-wheel categories tackled the 14,110-foot ascent, which is composed of dirt, gravel and paved sections of road -- much the same course originally raced when the contest began way back in 1916. The victor in the most closely watched category -- "unlimited," which as the name suggests allows all types of highly modified 4-wheel rides -- was the current record holder, Japanese racer Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima. While there was significant buzz that Monster, thanks to a more powerful car, would break his own record of 10 minutes, 1 second (and therefore likely break the 10-minute mark) he managed only 10 minutes, 11 seconds in his Suzuki SX4. But that was still good enough for the win, his fifth overall victory in a row.
By Mark Rechtin, Automotive News
Kia Motors is considering changing its U.S. lineup nomenclature from product names to alphanumerics.
The move is being considered at the highest levels of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group. In a recent interview, Hyundai Motor Co. Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun said the company is considering the change.
Kia's lineup in South Korea and some other markets already is partially alphanumeric. In Korea, the mid-sized sedan based on what was known as the Optima is named the K5, a large sedan known as Cadenza in some markets--but not yet sold in the United States--is named the K7, and the Forte likely will become the K3.
Out of Control Drivers on TLC: sneak peak
A preview clip for TLC's new show "Out of Control Drivers" shows -- and know there's no way to do this justice, you're just going to have to watch the clip -- a pickup truck plowing through a gas station, taking out a pump, and slamming at high speed straight into the convenience store area.
Incredibly, no one was hurt -- including the cashier, who watched a post beam fly directly past her head. Turns out the driver had fallen asleep behind the wheel after working the night shift.
Don't drive tired, folks. "Out of Control Drivers" will premiere Sunday night on TLC. Check out the video after the jump.
About 17,000 HS250h hybrids recalled due to excessive fuel leaks during rear collisions
The agency has halted sales of the vehicle until the investigation is complete, and has already recalled the 17,000 or so vehicles that have been sold.
The upcoming Mazda2 slims down in preparation for August debut
The five-door subcompact hatch, the smallest (and lowest-priced) car that will be offered in Mazda's lineup, is set to hit dealer lots in August. It's the third-generation version, but the first to roll into North America. While the small car shares some underpinnings with the sporty Ford Fiesta, it doesn't boast the same horsepower or torque numbers: the Fiesta puts out 120 horses and 112 pound-feet of torque from its 1.6-liter four-cylinder, while the Mazda2 gets only 100 hp and 98 pound-feet of torque from its 1.5-liter. To make up for it, and in keeping with the badge's "zoom-zoom" mentality, the company has looked everywhere possible to cut weight. From Automotive News:
By Izzi Bendall
Before being delivered to its owner, the 10,000th Gallardo will be displayed in Shanghai during Lamborghini Day on June 25.
Alcohol-detection sensors coming to a car near you
Soon, some or all of these technologies could be part of your daily driving experience.
Of course, few would argue that less drunken drivers on the road is a bad thing, but the technology, or rather the possibility that it will be a required part of your vehicle's cabin, raising some questions about a person's right to privacy versus the greater good -- not to mention technical questions about how the tech operates in real-world situations. After all, drunken driving is already illegal, as is underage driving. If you had to scan your valid driver's license before operating a vehicle, do you think people would take that, too, as an invasion of privacy?
By Mark Vaughn
When the Hyundai Equus luxury sedan goes on sale this fall, it will be powered by the 4.6-liter Tau V8 from the Genesis sedan. But at an unspecified later date, both the Equus and Genesis sedans will get a new 5.0-liter version of the Tau engine making 429 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque.
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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
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