Entries Tagged as 'News'

2014 LA Auto Show: Scion Leaks Their Own iM Concept Car Ahead Of LA Auto Show…Because That’s How They Roll

Posted on 11.12.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

2014_LAAS_Scion_iM_Concept_small

It happens every year.  An OEM will tease a car or concept that is going to debut at a up coming auto show and then anywhere from a week to a month before said show, said car leaks in all its glory.  The leak is usually a result of dealer documents leaking online or ninja photographers getting shots of the car as it rolls into the auto show venue.  Really there are all kinds of ways that a car can leak ahead of schedule.  Scion knows this just as well as the rest of us.  After dropping a teaser a few weeks back for their new iM concept interest in the car as been high.  They could feel the storm brewing, a leak was coming!  What were they going to do about it?!

2014_LAAS_Scion_iM_Concept_Front 2014_LAAS_Scion_iM_Concept_Rear

Leak it themselves! If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!  Today Scion decided not to wait for the inevitable “leak” and did a digital reveal of their new iM concept car ahead of the LA Auto Show (where it is supposed to “officially” debut).  In addition to giving us the full monty we also got a little background on the concept via a press release.  It looks like the theme for the new iM is to basically merge the practicality and comfort that comes with your basic commuter with edgy and somewhat aggressive styling that is commonly found on sports cars.  I actually like the idea myself.  Why should a daily “A to B” car look like a boring box?  It shouldn’t!  How do you like the iM concept?  Would you get one?  Let us know in the comments.  For now, click the thumbnails for a larger picture and for more info check out the press release below.  Also stay tuned as I will spend some time with the iM concept at the LA Auto Show coming up!

Press Release:

Modern and Magnetic: Scion iM Concept Car to Debut at LA Auto Show

European Racing Circuit Styling and Hatchback Versatility for Scion’s Adventurous Audience

TORRANCE, Calif., (Nov. 12, 2014) – Whether it’s exploring the mountains or playing at the beach, Los Angeles offers adventures off every freeway. Young people just need a vehicle to get them, and all their gear, to their destination in style.  The new Scion iM Concept car is designed with that in mind and will debut on Wednesday, November 19 at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The iM Concept is a five-door compact hatchback with sporty looks inspired by those seen on the European touring car racing circuit. The concept brings in captivating styling with edgy, geometric grille inserts, deep air intakes and fog lights. The custom-blended “Incrediblue” paint is complemented by matte silver and gunmetal accents.

To create a grounded appearance ready for the road, the iM Concept has wide aerodynamics and a lower ride height. The performance inspiration carries through into the 19-inch forged alloy wheels and sporty performance tires. Vented front rotors and 4-piston calipers work with the adjustable height racing suspension to complete the racecar-influenced design.

“The tastes of today’s younger buyers have evolved. They want a car that provides excitement and individuality, as well as the comfort, technology and reliability that Scion offers,” said Scion Vice President Doug Murtha. “The iM Concept combines sleek styling with the versatility of a modern hatchback to catch the eye of Scion customers. Stay tuned for more on how we will bring this vision to the road.”

Scion’s press conference will be held at 3:40 p.m. on Wednesday, November 19 at Scion’s display in the South Hall. To follow Scion news at the LA Auto Show use the hashtag #iMDriven or visit http://www.scion.com/blog.

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F1 Hype: Brazilian Grand Prix Quick Result (With Video)

Posted on 11.10.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

F1_2014_Brazilian_GP

The second to last race of the 2014 Formula One season is in the books!  Please tell me you didn’t…seriously?! Missed it?  OK, I will help you out yet again!  It was quite a race in Brazil and tensions were definitely high.  You sure you want to know the results?  Alright, scroll down for spoilers and a quick race recap from NBC Sports.

WARNING SPOILERS BELOW!!!

 

1st: Nico Rosberg
2nd: Lewis Hamilton
3rd: Felipe Massa

It was definitely a crazy race and the phrase of the day was tire degradation as the Pirelli tires took a beating on the Integlagos asphalt and that provided hardship for just about every team on the grid.  Tire wear definitely played a part in everyone’s strategy today.  For a recap check out the video below from NBC Sports.

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F1 Hype: United States Grand Prix (Quick Result)

Posted on 11.03.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

F1_2014_USGP

For us American F1 fans the USGP is the biggest race of the year so if you missed it then it better be because you had one hell of a Halloween!  Is that what happened?  Are you sure? OK, I believe you …this time…  Anyhow this race was also important for a few other reasons.  It was the third to the last race of this season and this was a chance for Nico Rosberg to catch up to his teammate Lewis Hamilton in championship points.  On the constructor’s side, Williams-Mercedes was hunting for a good performance to keep them ahead of Ferrari for third place in the constructor’s championship.  Ready to find out what happened?  Alright go ahead and scroll down.

WARNING! SPOILERS BELOW!

1st: Lewis Hamilton
2nd: Nico Rosberg
3rd: Daniel Riccardo

Yes, Lewis Hamilton got his second win at the Circuit Of The America’s over the weekend and deservedly so.  With Nico winning the pole position and Lewis suffering from brake problems during qualifying and during the first half of the race it looked like Nico would get the better of his rival on this weekend.  However a well-timed pit-stop by Lewis’ crew and a set of fresh tires was all the Brit needed to take the fight to Nico and over take him around the mid point of the race and stay ahead to get his 5th win in a row and to earn his 32nd career win.  Lewis’ win over the weekend officially makes him the most successful British F1 driver in the sport’s history.

Lewis is now 24 points ahead of Nico Rosberg going into the next race in Brazil and normally it would look pretty firmly locked up but we should all remember that this year the last race (in Abu Dhabi) champion points are doubled.  Thus, a first place finish in the last race is worth 50 points rather than 25 points and so on.  So if Lewis makes a just a small mistake in the next two races, Nico has a very good chance to make a last minute run at the 2014 title.  Count on tensions being high at these last two races of the season!

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SEMA 2014: Super Street Is First To Instal Individual Throttle Bodies On A Scion FR-S In USA (Video)

Posted on 10.31.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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SEMA is just around the corner and all the builds that we have been looking for are starting to make their debut.  Among the first to start showing off is Scion as they always have a preview event for their SEMA line up.  This year, we actually got invited!  As promised, most of the cars that Scion will bring to SEMA this year were at the event, including the three “Tuner Challenge” cars.  All three looked pretty fresh but Super Street Magazine’s entry really stood out thanks to its bright “Release Series” yellow paint and its shaved engine bay in which sat an engine that had the first individual throttle body (ITB) set up done in America.  ITBs have been done before on a FR-S but as far as we know the only people to pull it off is Weld in Japan.  Super Street took the task on with the help of Borla and Gearheinz.  Together the developed a drive by wire system that should have pretty awesome response and a even better sound.  That modification alone is bound to get them a lot of points!  For a quick look at Super Street’s Tuner Challenge FR-S check out the video below.

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Hype Video: OK Go Does Synchronized Dance With Honda Uni-Cub’s In New Music Video

Posted on 10.27.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

OKGo_IWontLetYouDownVideo_HondaUniCub

A while back the band OK Go broke the internet when they dropped their video “Here We Go” on YouTube which featured the band doing an incredible synchronized dance on several moving treadmills.  The video sparked hundreds of parodies and attempts to recreate the routine featuring various other vehicles.  To this day “Here We Go” is one of the most watched music videos on YouTube.  Today OK Go is trying to best themselves with the music video for their new song “I Won’t Let You Down” in which the band is riding the Honda Uni-Cub one wheeled electric vehicle for the entire video.

Through what looks like some pretty crazy choreography and some stop motion this music video is a pretty entertaining watch.  If you have no idea what the Uni-Cub is, its a one wheeled electric scooter developed by the Honda robotics division and is positioned as a “personal mobility device”.  From what I can tell its not really meant to replace a car but designed to help people travel a somewhat significant distance whom are too lazy to walk or ride a bike.  Right now the device is in prototype limbo and is not currently for sale which makes it all the more impressive that OK Go managed to get four of them for their music video.  Having said that I would highly recommend checking out the video below.  Even if you aren’t an OK Go fan, watching them scoot around on these things is still pretty entertaining.

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Gaming Hype: Project CARS Gets Delayed Until March 2015

Posted on 10.20.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

ProjectCARS_Delayed

In today’s official “bummer” news it was announced that Project CARS from Slightly Mad Studios has been delayed until March 2015.  Originally the game was to be released for PC, Xbox One, Playstation 4 (PS4), and Wii U next month in time for the Holiday season.  However, the Wii U version was always meant to be released in 2015.  Now all the other versions will join it.  I have to say this is pretty disappointing, especially since I was really looking forward to this game after playing it at E3 this  year.

Disappointment aside there is a really puzzling aspect to this story and that is the reason given for the delay.  Remember how I mentioned that Project CARS was going to originally release next month in time for the holiday shopping season?  Well it turns out that is exactly why they decided to delay it.  Confused?  Allow me to explain.  It seems that if Slightly Mad Studios and Bandai Namco the official publisher and distributor of Project CARS are worried that with so many other games coming out during the holiday season that Project CARS will get lost in the crowd.

By pushing the release to March they believe they are giving Project CARS “the greatest chance for “success and visibility”.  Normally, I would agree with this strategy however this time I do not and I will tell you why…

Firstly, I could understand being hesitant to go up against some of the big holiday releases but given the quality, finish, and overall positive impressions of the game so far I would reckon that this game would do just fine against any other triple A video game release this year.

Second, under normal circumstances the holiday season is a tough time to release a new IP but for Project CARS this would actually be the BEST time.  Gamers who are on the look out for a racing game for Christmas this year have very slim pickings.  To date there are only 3 major racing games out for “next gen” consoles: Forza Motorsport 5, Forza Horizon 2, and DRIVECLUB.

Mostly everyone who wants Forza Motorsport 5 has it already since its a launch title,  Forza Horizon 2 is a great game and will likely pick up more steam over the holidays but its still an Xbox One exclusive so not everyone in the next gen console audience can get it and this brings us to my third reason why this delay comes at a bad time.

DRIVECLUB is the only major racing game available on Playstation 4 right now and its reviews are mediocre at best.  Many outlets find DRIVECLUB to be an average racing game that is only made better by its online components.  The problem with that is currently most if not all of DRIVECLUB’s online components are not working due to major server issues and as of now it is unclear when those issues will be fixed.

This leaves PS4-owning racing game fans with virtually nothing to choose from as its likely many of them would not want to buy a broken game.  If Project CARS went ahead as scheduled the PS4 crowd would FLOCK to it in droves!  Perhaps the sales on Xbox One would not be quite as strong since it would be going up against Forza Horizon 2 but Horizon 2 is an open world game where as Project CARS is closer to a sim like Forza Motorsport 5 but includes a few things that Forza 5 lacks such as dynamic weather and possibly a larger track selection.

To me this seems like a great opportunity missed for Project CARS but hopefully this time will be used to make the game even better than it was when I played it.  I’ll keep you posted!

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Formula Drift: Irwindale Round 7 Results. Daigo Saito Takes The Final Win Of The Season & We Have A Champion

Posted on 10.13.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

FormulaDrift2014_Irwindale_Podium

Going into the final round at Irwindale things were tense.  Fredric Aasbo was less than 20 points away from the incredibly consistent Chris Forsberg.  Both drivers needed to be as close to flawless as possible if they wanted to achieve their respective desired results.  However, “flawless” is highly illusive in a sport in which results are completely subjective.  Here’s how it was all laid out for each contender: Chris Forsberg needed to make sure he finished as far ahead of Aasbo at all cost to preserve his lead.  He needed to out qualify him and finish ahead of him by at least two spots.  For Aasbo, as just mentioned he needed to finish ahead of Forsberg by two or more spots.  However, the two drivers happened to fall on the same side of the top 32 bracket so that meant considering that each driver kept winning their battles they would eventually have to face each other.

This was not great for Forsberg as his past battles with Aasbo mostly ended with his defeat.  But, if Forsberg could beat him this time it would secure a championship.  In the final four the two drivers finally faced off.  Forsberg fought valiantly but ultimately the judges gave the win to Fredric Aasbo which sent him into to the final against Daigo Saito who defeated Forrest Wang to make it to the final.  At this point Fredric had to defeat Saito in order to win the championship but Daigo’s monster car was too much and Aasbo was unable to close the gap on his follow run which resulted in the event win for Daigo and the championship win for Chris Forsberg.

FormulaDrift2014_ChrisForsbergChampion

Officially a two-time champion (Chris’ first title was earned in 2009), Chris Forsberg’s 2014 season was a constant uphill battle.  With no title sponsor on board (NOS energy drink stepped down to an associate sponsor status) Chris soldiered on through the year on a incredibly thin budget yet still managed to get a win and podium 5 times out of 7 rounds.  Fredric Aasbo had a great season getting his first two wins this season at rounds 4 & 6 but it was ultimately Forsberg’s consistency which won out.

It was a crazy season with ups, downs, controversy, and glory.  There has been/will be a lot of shake ups in the drifting community in the coming weeks which could drastically shape how the 2015 Formula Drift season will play out.  I will do my best to keep up with the news!

For now I want to say congrats to Chris Forsberg for his championship, Fredric Aasbo for his best season to date, and

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F1: Marussia F1 Driver Jules Bianchi Severely Injured In Japanese Grand Prix Crash

Posted on 10.05.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 2 - Barcelona, Spain

Instead of my normal “quick result” post on the F1 results this weekend, unfortunately I have some bad news to report.  During the Japanese Grand Prix, Marussia F1 driver Jules Bianchi was involved in a severe collision near the end of what was already a pretty sketchy race.  With a typhoon looming over Japan the Suzuka circuit was wet for most of the weekend.  In fact the race was red flagged once in the beginning of the event due to a significant down-pour.  When the rain let off the FIA decided to resume the race but later on the rains returned once again drenching the track.

Because of the tricky conditions Adrian Sutil lost control at turn 7, going off course and getting stuck in the run-off area.  The race continued with a local yellow in that area but fears began to grow that Sutil may have been seriously injured.  A recovery vehicle with a crane was deployed to extract Sutil’s car from the run off but during that time Jules Bianchi also lost control in turn 7 but instead of going into the run off his car went towards the scene of the accident at high speed and collided with the recovery vehicle.

Once the medical team and track workers reached Bianchi and realized the extent of his injuries they called for another red flag and eventually called the race with less than 10 laps to go.  Rather than air-lift Bianchi to the local hospital he was taken via ambulance with police escort.  There are conflicting reports that an air-lift was declined due to the weather conditions.  Bianchi was unconscious upon arrival and immediately underwent brain surgery for what was described as a “severe head injury”

After surgery Jules was moved to the intensive care unit and is said to be breathing on his own, which is good news.  Although the full extent of his injuries are still unknown and will probably remain that way for sometime while the driver recovers.

I can tell already that in the coming weeks there will be heated discussions about this incident in regards to who was to blame, what should have been done, what needs to be done in the future, etc.  I say as long as it all remains objective, rational, respectful, and civil bring it on.  Hopefully, this horrible occurrence will result in rules, regulations, or innovations that will increase the already advanced safety of Formula 1.

As for the results of the race, Lewis Hamilton was awarded the victory as he was in front when the race was called.  Nico Rosberg earned second place and Sebastian Vettel got third.  Naturally the podium ceremony was very much subdued from is normal fanfare.

As soon as any updates are reported  from credible sources I will try to update this post as well. For now my thoughts are with Jules Bianchi, his family, friends, and the Marussia F1 team.

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Hype: McLaren Wants To Create A Real Life J.A.R.V.I.S. (Video)

Posted on 09.23.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

McLaren_AppliedTech

Wouldn’t it be cool to actually have a virtual personal assistant that you could talk to and stuff like Tony Stark does with J.A.R.V.I.S.?  It would be so awesome!  I’d be like “JARVIS, take a picture of me being cool” and then I’d be like “JARVIS, make me a ham sandwich” and then JARVIS would be like “Dude, you’re being too bossy” and then I’d apologize because its not cool to be rude…  Anyhow, anyone familiar with McLaren knows that they have their hands on far more things than just motorsports.

McLaren really is an all around technology firm and have created cutting edge solutions for various industries from medical to commerce.  In a video that they released a while back they envision a future where all of their McLaren applied tech would combine into one crazy-slick JARVIS-like personal assistant as demonstrated by this vigorous young go-getter type-A woman featured in the clip.  The fictional (for now) device featured would pretty much work like an ECU for the human body.  It would monitor the wearers bio-telemetry and sync that with all other aspects of the user’s life (work, schedule, weather, etc).

The concept is actually pretty cool but I am not sure how I would personally feel about wearing that weird coin thing on my cheek.  You’ll see what I’m talking about in the clip below:

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Gaming Hype: Toyota FT-1 Vision GT Now Playable In Gran Turismo 6 (With Video)

Posted on 09.16.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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In another bout of video game news, today an update was released for Gran Turismo 6 which includes the Toyota FT-1 Vision GT.  As the name suggests the Vision GT is a race version of the FT-1 Vision road car concept that Toyota built for the Gran Turismo “Vision” project.  “Vision” cars (for now) can only be driven in the pristine virtual world that is Gran Turismo, so if you’ve ever wanted to know what its like to get behind the wheel of a pure-bred motorsport version of an already outrageous car then fire up the ol’ PS3 and download the update, its totally free!

If you want to see how the real life version of the FT-1 Vision GT came to life check out the video below:

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