Ford, Heinz Team Up to Develop Tomato-Based Plastic

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Here at Cars.com's headquarters in Chicago, we are bound by local tradition to refrain from putting ketchup on our hot dogs — but we'll certainly consider putting it in our cars if it's more palatable to the environment. Condiment giant H.J. Heinz Co., maker of the iconic ketchup brand, has made a seemingly unlikely pairing with Ford to study the use of tomato fiber in developing more sustainable, composite bio-plastic materials for vehicles. Researchers are testing the materials' durability for wiring brackets and storage bins, according to Ford.

2013 Ford Escape Goes Green, Literally

The project began two years ago when Ford joined forces with Heinz, Coca-Cola, Nike and Procter & Gamble to accelerate the development of a 100 percent plant-based plastic to replace petroleum-based packaging materials. Heinz researchers had been looking for ways to recycle and repurpose peels, stems and seeds from the more than 2 million tons of tomatoes the company uses each year to make ketchup, according to Ford.

By Matt Schmitz | June 10, 2014 | Comments (5)

'Batman Vs. Superman' Director Unveils New Batmobile

If we may appropriate the popular way to describe a mullet haircut in describing the new Batmobile: It's Burton in front, Nolan in the back. Zack Snyder, director of last summer's Superman reboot "Man of Steel" and next summer's follow-up, which has been going by the title of "Batman vs. Superman," tweeted a couple of teaser photos of the latest design of the Dark Knight detective's iconic ride.

Batman Can Crash Lamborghinis Too

On Monday, Snyder unveiled a rear view of a partially shrouded Batmobile, revealing open, oversized wheels immediately calling to mind those of the military-assault-style Tumbler from director Christopher Nolan's well-regarded "Dark Knight" trilogy that culminated with 2012's "The Dark Knight Rises." Tuesday, Snyder showed us a partial frontal shot bearing an enclosed cockpit, wraparound windshield and an elongated, dragsterlike body swooping up and back into a sort of large rear tail fin — or batwing? — reminiscent of director Tim Burton's more Gothically cartoonish version of the Caped Crusader coupe from the late-1980s and early-'90s. (Let's just leave director Joel Schumacher's version out of this, shall we?)

By Matt Schmitz | May 14, 2014 | Comments (0)

Godzilla Bites Off a Mouthful in New Fiat 500L Ad

Remember those TV commercials back when the 1998 "Godzilla" movie came out featuring the King of Monsters himself opposite that annoying "Yo quiero Taco Bell"-spouting, gordita-hawking Chihuahua? Well as of Monday, the great lizard is back in the advertising game — sans lapdog — in time for the release of the latest "Godzilla" reboot, which stomps into theaters May 16. And this time, he's traded Mexican for Italian as he throws his considerable weight behind Fiat.

Kia Super Bowl Ad Takes 2015 Kia K900 for a Ride in 'The Matrix'

The just-released cross-marketing spot — boasting visual effects by the same team that brought Godzilla out of retirement for the new Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures production — features the eponymous creature rampaging through a chaotic cityscape, feasting on cars like the man from Mars in Blondie's "Rapture." The car cuisine of choice comes courtesy of the Italian automaker. When Godzilla attempts to devour a 500L, however, he soon learns he's bitten off more than he can chew, segueing into the ad's tagline, "The four-door Fiat 500L. It's a lot bigger than you think."

The all-new 2014 500L is longer and wider than the regular 500. The front-wheel-drive hatchback is powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 160 horsepower and 184 pounds-feet of torque, pushing it from zero to 60 mph in just less than 9 seconds. But rest assured 500L drivers, while you might not be fast enough to outrun gargantuan radioactive lizards, your supersized minicar will prove too hard to swallow.

Watch the commercial above.

By Matt Schmitz | May 7, 2014 | Comments (0)

Chevy Steers the Action in 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'

Iron Man has an affinity for Audi. The Avengers are all about Acura. Now, Captain America — the poster boy for Made in the U.S.A. — demonstrates his domestic disposition by pledging allegiance to a brand that's as American as apple pie: Chevrolet. As Marvel Entertainment's latest Avengers-universe entry, "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" dominated the box office this past weekend with an April-record-smashing $96 million bow, the bow-tie brand dominated the film's driving scenes.

Black Widow Corvette Stingray Is Auto Show Avenger

As we reported during the 2014 Chicago Auto Show in February, among the most prominently featured vehicles in the Chevy-heavy sequel is the custom black-on-black-on-black Chevrolet Corvette Stingray driven by actress Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow when she picks up Cap in front of the Capitol. (She's a spy, so obviously a totally bad-ass-looking supercar should help her keep a low profile, right?) Other showcased Chevrolets include the Tahoe SUV, Impala sedan and Silverado pickup truck.

By Matt Schmitz | April 11, 2014 | Comments (0)

The Greatest Road Sign of All-Time: And the Winner Is …

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After just five days, more than 5,000 people voted for the greatest road sign of all-time and the winner is … Good Luck submitted to our friends at Car Talk by a listener named Ed.

Good Luck received 30 percent of the votes cast. The second-place finisher, Left Turn Under the Following 26 Conditions, received nearly 20 percent of the votes, with No Outlet coming in third at 17 percent.

There's no prize for the winner other than the obvious bragging rights associated with finding the most mind-boggling sign known to man … or at least out of the signs found this time around.

Let us know if you'd like the chance to dig up more classic signs in the future.

Car Talk is a Cars.com partner.

By David Thomas | March 15, 2014 | Comments (4)

Vote for the All-Time Greatest Road Sign

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Have you ever passed through a new town and giggled at a street with a funny name like Electric Avenue?

Or have you seen a warning sign that didn't really need to be there? Then you're like the thousands of fans who have been voting over the past few weeks on the greatest road signs our partners at CarTalk could dig up.

The 11 signs below were selected by CarTalk's Facebook fans as the funniest from a group of more than 60 terrific entrees. Why 11 instead of 10? Because it's the Internet and we can do that.

Check them out below and then take our poll by 10 a.m. Eastern Time Friday. CarTalk will name the winner on Saturday March 15th.

By David Thomas | March 10, 2014 | Comments (41)

And the Os-car Goes to ...

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The 2014 movie-awards season is revving up as the 86th Academy Awards draws nearer. As you catch up on your nominated films before the Super Bowl of Hollywood on March 2, we saw this as a golden opportunity to give out our own golden statuettes.

More Pop Culture News

Our Os-cars (get it?) award celebrates the finest performances by automobiles from theatrically released films of the past year. While it's an honor just to be nominated for an Os-car, if you believe we've made an unforgiveable snub or care to submit a nominee in a category not listed below for our consideration, we encourage you do so in the comments section.

So without further ado, here are the 2014 Cars.com Os-car winners:

By Matt Schmitz | February 25, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Chicago Blackhawks Camaro SS Photo Gallery (20 Photos)

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For the past few years at the Chicago Auto Show, a company based in Gurnee, Ill., has built and displayed a custom Chevrolet Camaro in honor of the local NHL franchise, the Chicago Blackhawks. This year is no different.

More 2014 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

Real Wheels makes custom parts for an array of vehicles from semitrucks to SUVs, but it’s the Chicago Blackhawks Camaro that likely gets this company the most attention. This year’s car is a 2014 Camaro SS convertible with some new tweaks. There’s still the Indian head logo cutouts in the custom grille, but there is no logo on the hood, just a stripe job around the hood scoop.

By David Thomas | February 7, 2014 | Comments (8)

Black Widow Corvette Stingray Is Auto Show Avenger

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What do you get when you cross a barb-tailed fish with a venomous spider? At the 2014 Chicago Auto Show, it means you get a supercar with looks that could kill — and performance to match — that's fit for a deadly super-agent who fights alongside "Earth's Mightiest Heroes." Chevrolet today gave the world its first peek at the Black Widow Corvette Stingray, a menacing-looking, black-on-black version of the current-generation Vette behind the wheel of which movie audiences will see actress Scarlett Johansson's Natasha "Black Widow" Romanoff when "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" opens April 4.

More 2014 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

Tim Mahoney, Chevrolet global chief marketing officer, introduced the Black Widow Stingray during a triple unveiling that also included the bi-fuel 2015 Silverado Heavy Duty CNG (compressed natural gas) pickup truck and 2015 Chevrolet City Express cargo van. The presentation opened with a screening of the trailer for this year's sequel to "Captain America: The First Avenger," Cap's first film since 2012's super-friends extravaganza "Marvel's The Avengers." Marvel Entertainment’s cross-marketing partnership will introduce GM products to a film universe that has previously featured prominent appearances by vehicles from Toyota and Honda by way of Lexus and Acura.

By Matt Schmitz | February 6, 2014 | Comments (3)

Kia Super Bowl Ad Takes 2015 K900 for a Ride in 'The Matrix'

An automaker's Super Bowl XLVIII TV ad will mark the return of "The Matrix," but it's not an announcement of the revival of Toyota's defunct hatchback. Instead, Kia has co-opted the imagery of the blockbuster sci-fi film trilogy in its TV spot, "The Truth," to challenge the world's presumptions about luxury vehicles. The 2015 K900, Kia's all-new premium rear-wheel-drive sedan, boasts the automaker's first V-8 and is being positioned as the Korean automaker's most aggressive foray into the luxury realm.

2015 Kia K900: Up Close

In the ad, which is set to debut during Sunday's Super Bowl, we find that ever-faithful, Neo-evangelizing "Matrix" guru Morpheus has not ended up quite as we might've expected after the saga's climatic war against the machines. The character, played by actor Laurence Fishburne, evidently is now working as an upscale-restaurant valet — albeit not one content just to pull your car around and pocket his tip. Morpheus informs a well-dressed couple that "it is the world of luxury that has been pulled over your eyes" and offers them a familiar color-coded choice to learn the truth or continue living a lie. You can guess which one they opt for, resulting in a heavily referential ride replete with evil agents, bending spoons and bullet-time explosions — plus a rather confounding opera performance by our hero. Watch the commercial above.

By Matt Schmitz | January 29, 2014 | Comments (2)

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