Gaming Roundup | Is the ability to play Gran Turismo worth $399?

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The crossover between gearheads and gamers is growing every day. Professional race car drivers develop their chops digitally before ever stepping foot onto certain tracks thanks to racing simulators like iRacing. Entertainers like T-Pain are simultaneously diving into both automotive and gaming ventures. We even see the overlap firsthand on our very own livestreams, where car enthusiasts of all ages from around the world join us to talk about not only their favorite cars, but also their favorite racing and driving games. So we wanted to create a place on Autoblog to talk about the gaming news of the week, and how it might relate to the automotive world (and for any parents out there, we’ll try to help you make sense of some of the madness.) Enter: Autoblog‘s Gaming Roundup. Let’s dive in. 

Did Sony finally release Playstation 5 prices?

It did, and predictably, the PS5 will be available on November 12 for the same price as the Xbox Series X at $499. There’s a twist, though. As you probably know, Xbox is releasing two consoles this November, the Series X and the $299 Series S. Although the Series S doesn’t quite pack the same punch as the Series X, it’s still a “next generation console” and it will be able to play all the same games as the Series X. Well, what might be flying under the radar a bit is that Sony is releasing two consoles this November as well, the PS5 and the PS5 digital edition (the same console but without a disc drive). The headline here is that, if you don’t need a disc drive, you can get a PS5 digital edition for $399. Assuming the PS5 and Series X are mostly comparable in power (yes, yes, I know, this can be argued but realistically they’re about the same, let’s be reasonable here), this means that if you don’t need a disc drive, you can snag a “full-powered” next-gen console for only $399 in the form of a PS5 digital edition. The confusing part, though, is that if you don’t have a 4K TV or don’t care about playing every game at the absolute maximum specs that can be achieved via console, then you can still participate in the next generation of gaming just fine with the $299 Xbox Series S. Keep in mind, if you want to play Forza, that’ll only be available on Xbox (and PC), and if you want to play Gran Turismo, that’ll only be available on Playstation, so you’ll have to go PS5. Got all that? You might have to search pretty hard for a PS5, though you can pre-order one here, but availability has been sporadic, and that’ll likely continue for some time.

Racing games that aren’t sims

Q: You guys talk a lot about sim racers in these posts — can you recommend any racing games that aren’t simulators?

You better believe we can. Last week, a game called “Hotshot Racing” launched on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. It’s a retro-style racing game themed after arcade games, and News Editor Joel Stocksdale spent this past week playing it. His thoughts:

Joel Stocksdale: “Hotshot Racing” is an all-around charmer, from the graphics to the gameplay. Its art style is clearly inspired by arcade racing games, particularly Sega Model 1 and Model 2 games such as “Virtua Racing” and “Daytona USA.” That’s evident by the vibrant colors, low-polygon models and creative tracks adorned with everything from castles to dinosaurs. The detailed animations of everything on the track, the long draw distances and buttery smooth framerate make it look and feel more sophisticated than you would expect, though. Also evident is not just a love for classic arcade games, but for cars. The game features various drivers with unique cars, all of which are clearly inspired by real ones. These include well-known vehicles like Corvettes and Jaguar E-Types, as well as more obscure machines such as the Toyota GT-One Le Mans racer. You’ll even find paint schemes inspired by real cars, such as a TRD Toyota Levin race car or a NASCAR wearing the colors of Tom Cruise’s City Chevrolet car in “Days of Thunder.” Thought was also put into the visual upgrades that can be done, such as the engine hood scoops: Front-engine cars get scoops in the hood, mid-engine cars get them on the sides and roofs.

The gameplay is also a blast. You get a superb sense of speed, with the bright scenery whipping by, anime speed lines in your peripheral view. Controls are extremely tight, precise and responsive.Combined with easy-to-drive cars, the game is great for anyone of any skill level to pick up and try out. The game mechanics and tight controls also make it so that there’s plenty to master for people who want a challenge. Adding nuance is the fact that every car controls a little bit differently, even within the same class (balanced, speed, acceleration and drift). With 16 tracks, race, time trial, pursuit and speed related modes available, there’s plenty to keep you busy. It’s still not as expansive as a game like “Forza Horizon,” but that’s OK, especially because “Hotshot Racing” carries a price of just $19.99. So if you’re looking for a bright, cheerful and exciting racing game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, “Hotshot Racing” is absolutely worth a try. The game is a digital-only release, so you won’t find it on store shelves, but you can pick it up from any digital storefront. If you need to fund your account, you can do that by picking up an Xbox Store gift card here, or a Playstation Store gift card here.

Source: AutoBlog.com

Nissan Z Proto, next-gen Hyundai Tucson and a hi-po mystery Bronco | Autoblog Podcast #645

In this week’s Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder and News Editor Joel Stocksdale. In the news this week, Ford has teased some sort of high-performance Bronco, Nissan unveiled the Z Proto, Hyundai revealed the next-gen Tucson and GMC teased the Hummer EV’s “Crab Mode.” Our editors break that all down for you, and share some insights and opinions before they turn to the cars in their own driveways. This week, they’ve been spending time with the 2020 Mercedes-AMG G 63, as well as the 2020 BMW Alpina B7.

Autoblog Podcast #645

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Rundown

  • Ford’s beefed-up Bronco prototype stars in new teaser photo
  • Nissan Z Proto previews the retro, rear-drive, turbo, manual future of the Z
    • All the Nissan Z cars that got us to the Z Proto
  • 2022 Hyundai Tucson debuts with striking styling inside and out
  • GMC Hummer teases crab mode, reveal set for Oct. 20
  • Cars we’re driving:
    • 2020 Mercedes-AMG G 63
    • 2020 BMW Alpina B7

Feedback

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Source: AutoBlog.com

Porsche Taycan Turbo safety car bows at Le Mans

Porsche pulled the covers off its new Taycan safety car Friday, ahead of the 88th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where it will make its debut with the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland series. The support series will start its season Saturday with a 45-minute sprint race that will run prior to the weekend’s 24-hour marathon. We may still be years away from seeing an electric car tackle the world-famous endurance race, but if we had to bet money on who’d be the first, Porsche would be up there. 

“Like its predecessors, the first all-electric sports car from Porsche feels equally at home on the race track as it does on the road. All that remains to be done is to take the champagne crates out of the luggage compartment before the Porsche Taycan safety car sets off on its first outing in Le Mans on Saturday,” Porsche said in its announcement.

While the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Cars that will hit the track have all been trucked in, Porsche proudly drove the 670-horsepower Taycan Turbo safety car pictured here to the event, providing an opportunity to showcase its real-world charging capabilities on the route from Porsche’s German HQ to Le Mans in France, which Porsche described as the company’s “second home.”

“Not only can drivers top up the batteries of their electric sports cars at these charging points, they can also take in some cultural and gastronomic highlights. Moreover, the high-power charging stations of Porsche’s technology partner Ionity can now be found at more and more stops along European motorways. With their 800-volt technology, these can recharge the Porsche Taycan in the time it takes to stop for a coffee,” it said.

The Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland series comprises 11 races, kicking off with Le Mans before touring Germany through the end of the year. The season concludes with Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland Experience Day in Oschersleben on Nov. 9.

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Source: AutoBlog.com

Like classic Mustangs that make over 600 horsepower? Then this ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ Eleanor homage is for you

Autoblog may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability is subject to change. No donation or payment necessary to enter or win this sweepstakes. See official rules on Omaze. 

Enter to win this giveaway or any other Omaze experience between now and December 31st, 2020, and receive 150 bonus entries with Autoblog’s exclusive code AUTOBLOG150. Simply add the discount at checkout.

I have a question for you all. Is Nicolas Cage a great actor or the greatest actor? While you ponder the answer to that question, travel on over to Omaze, where they’re raffling off a 1967 Ford Mustang, an official homage to Eleanor, the car Cage drove in the film “Gone in 60 Seconds.” 

Win an Officially Licensed 1967 Ford Mustang “Eleanor” and $20,000 – Enter at Omaze

I’m a huge fan of Ford Mustangs, so any 1967 variety will definitely grab my attention, but this is not an ordinary 1967 Mustang. This car features Roush 5.0 Supercharged Coyote V8 that makes over 600 horsepower. For reference, the 1967 GT500 only made 355 horsepower, so this is quite the bump. It also has some modern upgrades including a customized infotainment system, and, according to Omaze, “NOS tank with “Go-Baby-Go” button, 17-inch wheels with super wide 315 rear tires, 13-inch 4-Piston Wilwood Disc Brakes, full black leather interior with carbon fiber trim, RECARO bucket seats, power windows and locks, premium Alpine and JL Audio sound system with navigation, AC and heat, carbon fiber hood and front body moldings,” all thanks to Fusion Motor Company. 

Now, I can already hear the purists out there, “but I want a 1967 Mustang with everything original.” I get it. There’s something about a car that looks like it arrived in a time machine. Well, currently there are nearly one hundred 1967 Ford Mustangs for sale on Autoblog and most of them are under the cash alternative of this prize, which is $183,750. So enter, and if you decide you want an original 1967 Ford Mustang, you can still buy it. 

Better yet, keep Eleanor, take the $20,000 that comes with it, and start your own 1967 Mustang project. The options are limitless, but first you have to enter. And you better enter quickly, because the deadline to enter is September 22, 2020 at 11:59pm PT.

Finally, this raffle supports Represent Justice, which, according to Omaze, “is changing the conversation around incarceration and America’s justice system. Through stories of hope and redemption, they spur public demand for a fair legal system and dignity for individuals impacted by it, who are disproportionately people of color and the poor. Your donation will support the Represent Justice Fund, which was created to support and build capacity for criminal justice reform organizations, system-impacted advocates, and protect the health and safety of incarcerated communities, who are at greater risk due to COVID-19.”

Don’t forget to use Autoblog’s exclusive code AUTOBLOG150 at checkout to get 150 FREE entries for this giveaway or any other Omaze experience between now and December 31st 2020.

Source: AutoBlog.com

You can now watch the finale of season one of ‘The Autoblog Show’ online

You can now watch our TV Series ‘The Autoblog Show’ online, including the 10th and final episode of season one. 

In this episode producers Alex Malburg and Christopher McGraw head to the mitten state in the dead of winter to test two very different vehicles, the impeccably designed Volvo S60 T8, and the latest generation of the Subaru Forester. 

Check out the finale of season one of “The Autoblog Show” above. It originally aired on Verizon Fios TV, the Yahoo! Finance Channel on the Roku TV app and SamsungTV+.

Source: AutoBlog.com

Everything you’ll need to change your own oil and filter

Autoblog may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Pricing and availability is subject to change.

If you’ve never changed your own oil before, there’s no better time than now to start. It’s really not all that hard, and it can be an extremely rewarding experience. The video above features AMMO’s Larry Kosilla as he goes through the step-by-step process, addressing common mistakes and detailing exactly what you’ll need to take the project from start to finish. We’ve also included links to anything you might need for the job, below. Of course, always keep in mind that each car is different, which means the process may vary slightly from vehicle to vehicle. Always be sure to consult your manual before doing any type of work on your car.

Motor Oil

Motor oil is something that is going to be individual to each situation. It’s essential to check your owner’s manual to see what viscosity and kind of oil you’ll need (and how much of it). Once you figure it out, you can either pick some up from your local auto parts store or order it online. You can find a handful of options here. 

Oil Filter

This is another piece of the puzzle that you’ll have to look up in your owner’s manual. Luckily, this information usually isn’t too tough to find. Once you know what kind of filter you need, you can look for one on Amazon, and for an extra feeling of security that you’re picking up something compatible, you can use Amazon’s handy “Select Your Vehicle” feature to enter your year, make, and model, to ensure that what you’re about to buy will work with your vehicle. You can find a wide selection of oil filters right here.

40 Pieces – EPAuto 1/4-Inch & 3/8-Inch Drive Socket Set with 72 Tooth Reversible Ratchet – $22.97 at Amazon.com

Many of us already have a ratchet set in the garage, but just in case you don’t, this is an affordable 40-piece beginner’s set that should be more than enough to get you started. This set comes with both a 1/4″ and 3/8″ drive, which should be applicable to most situations that need some ratcheting. You can check out this set here.

WORKPRO 12″ Adjustable Oil Filter Pliers, Oil Filter Wrench Adjustable Oil Filter Removal Tool – $9.99 at Amazon.com

An oil filter wrench is pretty tough to go wrong on. We found this perfectly suitable option on Amazon for less than 10 bucks. You can check it out right here. 

Anti Splash Oil Drain Pan – $17.89 at Amazon.com

Don’t have a drain pan? You can pretty much use anything you want to catch the oil, but we recommend finding something that won’t splash and make a mess! This high-sided pan should be everything you’ll likely need, and it can be picked up for $17.89 right here. 

Radians Clear Safety Glasses, Scratch-Resistant, Wraparound, One Size – $1.74 (27% off) at Amazon.com

We’ve included this super affordable option for safety glasses here, but really, brands aren’t so important in this area, just make sure your eyes are protected! They’re pretty important for this silly little thing called sight, you know. Don’t be the guy or gal who is too cool for safety gear. If you don’t already have a pair around the house, this pair literally costs less than a cup of coffee. There’s no excuse to not be protecting your eyes. You can learn more about this pair of safety glasses here.

AMMEX X3 Industrial Black Nitrile Gloves, Box of 100 – $16.25

Yet again, we’ve come up against a case of “the best gloves are the ones you already have in your garage.” There’s nothing particularly specific you should be looking for here, the gloves are mostly just to keep your hands clean. Washing motor oil off of your hands is not a super fun experience, so we’d suggest trying to avoid it if possible. If you need some new gloves, though, you can grab this pack of 100 right here.

AmazonBasics Blue, White, and Yellow Microfiber Cleaning Cloth – Pack of 24 – $13.90 (10% off) at Amazon.com

Last but not least, one of the most important parts of an oil change is the ever-important “rag.” Admittedly, these microfiber towels are a bit nicer than your standard rag, but at $13.90 for a 24-pack, now is as good a time as any to upgrade and get a few of these bad boys to keep around the garage. They’ll come in handy for a whole lot more than just oil changes.

Instructions:

First, check your owner’s manual to see what type of oil your car needs and how much oil it takes. You don’t want to put in too much or too little of the wrong viscosity oil. Once that’s done, visit an auto parts store to buy the oil, filter, a catch can large enough to hold all the old oil and any other tools, or pick them up online. The parts store should be able to help you find what type of filter you need.

Safety is key, so be sure to wear both gloves and glasses. If you’re using jack stands or a ramp, chock the tires and set the parking brake. If a car’s been running, the oil will be hot. A warm engine is fine, but a hot engine can cause burns. Let the car sit for a bit before you start draining, that way you don’t burn yourself on scalding hot engine oil.

Once you’re ready to start, open the filler cap at the top of the engine. That will help the oil drain quicker. Underneath, line up the catch can beneath the oil drain plug. Keep in mind that the oil might flow out at a slight angle. Loosen the drain plug about halfway using a ratchet. Finish unscrewing the drain plug by hand, quickly removing the bolt at the very end. Clean the drain plug with brake cleaner in order to remove any metal or contaminants that may have collected there.

After the oil has completely drained, add a new crush washer to the drain plug and screw it back in by hand until tight, finishing with a ratchet. Once it’s snug, give the plug another half turn, but not more than that. Use rags to wipe off the bottom of the oil pan and the area around the drain plug.

Next, find the old oil filter. Remove it by hand or, if needed, using an oil-filter wrench. Be careful toward the end, keeping the filter upright. It will still be full of old oil. Before you install the new filter, rub a light ring of new oil around the filter’s o-ring. It’s also a good idea to pre-fill the new filter with fresh, clean oil. That way, oil can get to the engine’s bearings and other parts quicker. Reinstall the filter, tightening it by hand. Do not use a wrench to tighten it.

The next step is to add the new oil to the top of the engine. Use a funnel to keep the oil from spilling all over. Also, double check to make sure you’re putting in the correct amount of the right type of oil. If you spin the bottle to the side or upside-down, it will actually pour easier and with less blubbing.

Once the proper amount of oil has been poured, close the cap and start the vehicle for five minutes to allow the fresh oil to circulate in the system. Look for leaks. Turn the car off and make sure the vehicle is perfectly level or off the jack stands before checking the dipstick. You want the reading to be correct and even.

Pull the stick and clean off the excess oil with a rag. Re-insert the dipstick, making sure it’s completely compressed before removing it again and checking the level. There’s typically a low and a high indicator on the stick. Try to keep the oil up to, but not above the high marker.

Be sure to dispose of the used oil by collecting it in old bottles, juice jugs, or water containers and bring them to your local auto parts store, mechanics shop, or recycling center. Do not just toss the jugs or containers into a trash can.

You can watch the entire process in the video at the top of this story.

Source: AutoBlog.com

Vanderhall steps out of three-wheeler segment with electric Wrangler rival

Utah-based Vanderhall announced its first four-wheeled model will be an electric off-roader that looks like a cross between a Jeep Wrangler and a dune buggy. Called Navarro, it’s scheduled to go on sale in 2022.

The SUV is recognizable as a member of the Vanderhall range because its headlights are mounted directly behind the grille, but the similarities end there. It’s tall, rides on massive tires, and doesn’t have overhangs on either end; it looks like it could climb up a wall. Its wheels are exposed, a styling cue that will undoubtedly summon a dark cloud of disapproval from regulators, and it’s fitted with some kind of removable top.

One of the coolest features, at least judging by the short video Vanderhall posted on YouTube, are see-through doors. Stylists didn’t add them for adventurers who want to go groundhog spotting. Punching out the sheet metal allows off-roaders to see the obstacles that could potentially cause expensive damage to the rocker panels and the underbody. The born-again Ford Bronco offers them, too, though they’re found on the list of options.

Specifications remain under wraps, so all we know is that the Navarro is 100% electric. It’s not absurd to presume four-wheel drive will come standard. How else will users take advantage of the long-travel suspension and the foot-plus of ground clearance? 

Vanderhall is doubling the size of its factory in Provo, a town about 45 minutes south of Salt Lake City, to build additional models, including the Navarro. When construction work is completed, the one-million-square-foot facility will have an annual capacity of approximately 10,000 cars thanks in part to 900 employees.

Although it’s not a household name, Vanderhall earned a small but loyal following with three-wheelers like the Carmel, which is powered by a General Motors-sourced turbo four, and the Edison, which is electric. Pricing starts at $25,950 for gasoline-powered models and $34,950 for the battery-powered variant. Pricing information for the Navarro hasn’t been announced yet, but there is no reason to believe Vanderhall will charge less for more.

Source: AutoBlog.com

Ford testing 2021 Bronco with Sasquatch package and manual gearbox?

Shortly after the 2021 Ford Bronco debuted, enthusiasts playing around with the configuration tools unearthed a somewhat troubling detail: The attractive Sasquatch package — which adds 35″ tires and locking differentials and is ostensibly available on every variant of the new 4×4 — is only available with the 10-speed automatic transmission. Even with the 2.3-liter engine, which can normally be mated to the seven-speed manual, adding the Sasquatch package required selecting the auto.

But according to Bronco Nation (the new Ford-supported Bronco community), Blue Oval engineers have been spotted testing a manual-transmission prototype with all of the Sasquatch package goodies. 

Bronco Nation was on the ground for durability testing in Moab, UT several weeks ago where a 2.3L manual Badlands Bronco was used. We were able to ride in that Bronco, but at the time it was running on 33-in., non-Sasquatch tires,” the community post says. “Since then, Bronco Nation has obtained additional photos of this same testing unit now equipped with 35-in. tires and what appears to be the Sasquatch package. We are able to confirm that it is the same unit based on the vehicle I.D. (Vehicle 301W412) number found on the yellow sticker at the top of the windshield.” 

There’s not much to see in the photos apart from what is noted here, but you can check them out at the above link if you want to see this re-jiggered prototype in the proverbial metal. 

Until Ford confirms otherwise, we’re still operating under the assumption that, like the 2.7-liter, twin-turbocharged V6, if you want the Sasquatch package, you’re stuck with the 10-speed. So, it’s possible to get the locking differentials, Bilstein off-road shocks and 4.7:1 gear ratios (along with the aforementioned monster tires) without opting for the larger six-cylinder. For those who are looking for the Bronco’s “Rubicon” equivalent, the Badlands model is your ticket. Regardless of engine choice, you can select locking differentials, big tires, extra height, and much, much more. 

Source: AutoBlog.com

Next-gen Audi RS 3 sedan drops camo in new spy photos

The high-performance RS 3 variant of Audi’s new A3 sedan and hatchback has been in development for some time, but now that the more mundane variants of the subcompact luxury car have been revealed, Audi has stripped some of the camo off of its RS 3 development mules, giving is a better idea of what to expect in terms of unique treatments. 

While RS represents the pinnacle of each Audi model line’s performance, VW’s luxury subsidiary tends to keep its styling on the more conservative side. That appears to be the case here too, and the already muscular looking baby sedan gets some flared fenders, reworked front and rear bumpers, and more pronounced side skirts.

All of those details are obscured by the remaining vinyl on this prototype, but at least Audi’s disguise lets us know where to look. We’ve also seen the RS 3 Sportback being tested, but we already know it will not come to the States yet again. Instead, Audi is giving us some cool new wagons to compensate for this oversight.

The regular Audi A3 was revealed back in March, so we expect to learn more about this RS 3 soon. As for a launch, especially here in the States? Don’t hold your breath. Chances are we won’t get a concrete timeline until sometime in 2021, especially with automakers revising schedules because of the coronavirus crisis. When the RS 3 is revealed, we expect it to have an updated version of the current turbo 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine making more than 400 horsepower.

Source: AutoBlog.com

RCMP: Tesla driver was asleep while car was doing over 90 mph

It has been awhile since we’ve had a good example of a Tesla driver endangering those around him while under the delusion that his car is magical. But here’s one: The Royal Canadian Mounted Police say they caught a driver — and we use that term loosely — who was asleep while his Tesla traveled down a highway at speeds over 90 mph.

The incident happened in July but is just now cropping up in Canadian media reports. It happened north of Calgary, Alberta, near the town of Ponoka. Motorists there spotted a Tesla Model S barreling along at 140 kph (87 mph). The two front-seat occupants weren’t visible, as their seats were reclined.

When Mounties closed in, the RCMP says, they determined the occupants were sound asleep. As traffic made way for the lights and sirens, the road ahead opened up, and the Tesla accelerated automatically to a setting of exactly 150 kph (93 mph).

The speed limit on Alberta highways, for those awake enough to heed it, is generally 100-110 kph (65-70 mph).

Officers took the photo you see above.

“Nobody was looking out the windshield to see where the car was going,” RCMP Sgt. Darrin Turnbull told CBC News on Thursday.

“I’ve been in policing for over 23 years, and the majority that in traffic law enforcement, and I’m speechless. I’ve never, ever seen anything like this before, but of course the technology wasn’t there. 

“We believe the vehicle was operating on the Autopilot system, which is really just an advanced driver safety system, a driver assist program. You still need to be driving the vehicle,” Turnbull said. “But of course, there are aftermarket things that can be done to a vehicle against the manufacturer’s recommendations to change or circumvent the safety system.” 

The driver, a 20-year-old from British Columbia, has been charged with speeding and dangerous driving. And his license was suspended for 24 hours (that’s all?). He’s due in court in December.

There’s a long-running dispute over Tesla’s supposed self-driving abilities, what the public misperceives Autopilot to mean, and of course there have been fatalities and investigations and sanctions. Consumer Reports shared some terrifying test results last year, AAA likewise in testing this year, and in Autoblog’s own experience, we’ve been troubled by the system. Tesla’s response is always that its features require constant supervision by a driver.

So, too, say the Mounties: “Although manufacturers of new vehicles have built-in safeguards to prevent drivers from taking advantage of the new safety systems in vehicles, those systems are just that, supplemental safety systems,” said Supt. Gary Graham in a news release. “They are not self-driving systems, they still come with the responsibility of driving.”

That message doesn’t seem to be sinking in.

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Source: AutoBlog.com