By Dale Jewett
WITH VIDEO -- Underground Racing, the Charlotte, N.C., tuning shop that broke the 250-mph mark with a twin-turbo Lamborghini Gallardo in Texas last spring, saw that car crash on Oct. 23 after making another run at the Texas Mile high-speed challenge.
Video of the run, posted on YouTube, shows the orange Gallardo passing the 1-mile marker on the closed runway, deploying a parachute and veering to the right and off the runway. The car becomes airborne and flips twice before landing.
Internet reports say the driver survived with no major injuries, and that there was a strong crosswind at the time of the crash.
Smart gives the fortwo the Hello Kitty treatment -- REALLY?
New ad slogan is vague, confusing
According to the ad firm that came up with the tag, it's supposed to be a reference to Chevy's deep roots in American culture. OK, sure -- but if you need to explain it, it's not effective. The phrase is exceptionally bad, considering Chevy's rich history of iconic advertising.
By Automotive News
What's the latest trend for superexpensive cars? Making them look dull.
The matte paint once reserved for cars headed for crash testing is showing up on the highest of high-end models. The new Mercedes-Benz CLS sedan and Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale coupe can be ordered with matte finishes, and the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento supercar concept showed up with matte paint last month at the Paris auto show.
The reason crash-test cars get a matte finish is because there's no need to spend the extra money to add coats of glossy paint to something that's about to be driven into a wall. But that casual look is catching on.
The short-list for North American car and truck of the year.
On Dec. 16, the finalists for North American car and truck of the year -- three vehicles in each category -- will be announced, with the two winners named on Jan. 10 during the kick-off press conference for the annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Before that, however, the list needs to be whittled down from the 28 vehicles that have made the short-list. Mark Phelan from the Detroit Free Press, one of the 50 jurors voting in the contest, has listed those worthy rides -- and pointed out the interesting fact that not one pickup truck is among the 28 contenders. Check out the full list after the jump.
By Brad Constant
The 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 marks the return of the 392-cubic-inch Hemi V8.
The 392-cubic-inch Hemi (5.4 liters), which has not been in a production car for 52 years, produces 470 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. That is up 45 hp and 50 lb-ft over the previous 6.1-liter Hemi V8 in the Challenger SRT8.
The new powertrain should propel the Challenger SRT8 down the quarter-mile in the high-12-second range, according to a Dodge spokesman.
The 45th anniversary of the Highway Beautification Act.
The main reason for our mostly unfettered views is the Highway Beautification Act, which celebrated its 45th anniversary on Friday. The act limits advertisements and roadside eyesores along interstate highways, and was a cause championed by then-first lady Lady Bird Johnson, who helped push the law through a contentious 14-hour House session.
By Don Klein
Monticello Motor Club president Ari Straus and his PR guy, Roger Garbow, were brainstorming in early October and came up with what initially sounded like a crazy idea: Bring a bunch of supercars to the track for a day of drifting.
"Beer was involved," says Garbow, in an attempt to rationalize the insanity of the concept. The next day, the two decided it was still a crazy idea. "But in a good way," notes Straus, who is always looking for innovative opportunities to showcase the club's versatility. (Check out the club at www.monticellomotorclub.com on the Web).
As luck would have it, a local drift enthusiast club, D-UP!, had reserved a section of the track for a practice session just 10 days hence. So Straus swung into action and persuaded some of his tony members to bring their heavy metal to join the tire-shredding fun fest. Recruits included a Mercedes-Benz CLK 63 Black Series, a Ferrari Maranello 575, a Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera, a Ford GT and a brand new Porsche GT3 RS. The club's fleet of Cadillac CTS-V coupes was also pressed into action.
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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