Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo Concept: First Look


Looks like: The progeny of Batman's Batmobile and Speed Racer's Mach Five

Defining characteristics: Cartoonishly futuristic body, "prone driver configuration," laser propulsion system

Ridiculous features: Let's be frank, the whole damn thing is one big ridiculous feature. (Did we mention that laser propulsion system?)

Chance of being mass-produced: In this millennium, or … ?

If Dr. Evil were to take up car racing, he would definitely drive the Chevrolet Chaparral 2X Vision Gran Turismo concept car created for fans of the massively popular PlayStation 3 video-game series "Gran Turismo" and debuting this week at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. After all, it's got frickin' laser beams attached to its powertrain!

Related: More 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

Yes, this video-game vehicle incarnate uses a fantasy laser-based propulsion system, which Chevrolet says was inspired by "technology derived from advanced work targeted at space travel and future aircraft design." The automaker says it "features a mid-mounted laser, beamed-energy propulsion system, which pulses beams of light that focus in a shroud, creating shock waves that generate tremendous thrust." The 671-kilowatt laser uses a lithium-ion battery pack and an air-powered generator to create 900 boiler horsepower, rocketing the car from zero to 60 mph in 1.5 seconds on its way to a 240 mph top speed.

By Matt Schmitz | November 20, 2014 | Comments (0)

Scion Amps Things Up at SEMA Show With Slayer tC


Scion's customized Slayer-inspired 2014 tC could be dangerous. Not because it's a tricked-out tribute to the outlaw elder statesmen of speed metal, but because it's gonna be difficult to steer and work the manual transmission while throwing up your devil horns. The Scion x Slayer Mobile Amp tC is making its beastly bow this week at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association Show in Las Vegas, and this car is nothing if not special.

Related: Hey Metal Heads: Slayer-Inspired Scion to Stalk SEMA

The black-as-night Slayer Scion isn't just another token theme car with a unique paint job and some extra badging. It's retrofitted front to back, inside and out with metal motifs and working musical gear. Sinister visual cues include an expansive Slayer logo on the hood, red headlights that look like bloodshot eyes after a rough night backstage and a misty skull mural spanning the side of the car. In the cockpit, metal heads will geek out on Marshall Amplification-branded seats, a sword-hilt parking-brake lever and a gear-shift handle that Hamlet might use to lament poor Yorick's fate (while laying a little rubber on the asphalt).

Moreover, in addition to rear-hinged doors, the rear hatch opens up to reveal a trunk load of fully operational sound equipment — speakers, amps, visual display and all — enabling aspiring rock gods to throw down an eardrum-splitting live set anywhere they can find a parking space.

Now, about getting the Slayer Scion to's Chicago headquarters for testing …

Check out the gallery below; photos by Evan Sears.

By Matt Schmitz | November 6, 2014 | Comments (2)

DeLorean Motor Co. Takes Film Fans 'Back to the Future'


Crazy to think for those of us who are old enough to have seen "Back to the Future" in its original run, but we've nearly reached that famed "future" date when Doc Brown flew Marty McFly 30 years into the future in a DeLorean time machine. Yes, one year from today will be Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, the date to which Doc and Marty jumped ahead on the space-time continuum, yet we're still waiting on those flying cars, hoverboards and power-lacing sneakers. One company, however, is making DeLorean time machines.

Related: Top 10 Movie Cars

Yes, you can travel back in time on a nostalgia trip in an honest-to-goodness DeLorean car courtesy of the DeLorean Motor Co., which continues to keep the short-lived, long-defunct brand running all these years later. It not only restores and sells traditional DeLoreans, the company outfits some to be replicas of the famed movie car ... at a price.

By Matt Schmitz | October 21, 2014 | Comments (3)

'Price Is Right' Contestants to Bid on 'Dream Cars'


OK, playing "The Price is Right" rules, as close as you can without going over: How much would you expect to pay for a Porsche Cayenne? How about a Range Rover Sport SE? A Maserati Quattroporte S Q4, Tesla Model S or Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster? All next week contestants on the iconic game show will be making bids on that half-million-dollar quintet of luxury vehicles in hopes of hearing Bob Barker … er … we mean, Drew Carey, announce that they've won "A NEW CARRR!!!"

What Car Would You Buy if You Won Mega Millions?

"Dream Car Week" runs Oct. 13-17 on the four-decade-old-plus shopping-themed game show that asks contestants to wager on the retail price of merchandise in hopes of winning extravagant prizes presented by comely models. The show was famously hosted by Barker from its inception until 2007, when bespectacled comedian and sitcom star Carey succeeded him. The show runs 11 a.m. to noon Eastern Standard Time weekdays on CBS.

By Matt Schmitz | October 10, 2014 | Comments (6)

Hey Metal Heads: Slayer-Inspired Scion to Stalk SEMA


As long as there has been heavy metal, teenagers have sought out bands with which to frighten their parents. Now there's a car to really drive 'em nuts. In November, Toyota-owned Scion will unleash a special-edition car perfectly suited for that purpose, the Scion x Slayer Mobile Amp tC, inspired by the irreverently iconic headbangers, Slayer. On second thought, given the band's influential career spanning more than three decades, the youngsters' enthusiasm may actually take a backseat to that of Mom and Dad for a road trip "South of Heaven" to spend some "Seasons in the Abyss."

Related: Black Widow Corvette Stingray Is Auto Show Avenger

You can't make out a whole h-e-double-hockey-sticks of a lot from the rudimentary pencil-sketch-style image Toyota released this week of the modified version of Scion's sporty coupe — beyond it being obligatorily black in color with a large, red circle adorning the hood (the band's inverted-pentagram logo, perhaps?). No doubt something very similar has been sketched on more than a couple fifth-period Life Sciences textbooks by daydreaming junior-high misfits (we don't mean us). In any case, the automaker promises an exterior style commensurately aggressive to its subject with band-inspired details. And perhaps of equal importance, that influence carries over into the interior as the "multimedia machine" boasts amps, towers of speakers, a custom mixer and a 32-inch monitor for media playback, Toyota said.

By Matt Schmitz | September 19, 2014 | Comments (1)

'Lincoln Lawyer' Star McConaughey Tabbed for Lincoln Ads


Don't drive a Lincoln? Matthew McConaughey thinks it'd be a lot cooler if you did.

Earlier this year, the Hollywood A-lister's so-called McConaissance was fully realized when he won the Oscar for his "Dallas Buyers Club" performance. Now, Ford is hoping the born-again serious actor — who'd become a bit of a punchline in recent years, starring in poorly received romantic comedies and, like, "Surfer, Dude" before a string of prestige pieces and box-office hits rescued his rep — can bring some of that same McConaughey mojo to the flagging luxury brand.

Related: Godzilla Bites Off a Mouthful in New Fiat 500L Ad

According to The Detroit News, Lincoln announced today that it is partnering with the star on a two-year deal that will bring McConaughey's famous face and Texas drawl to a series of TV and online ads. The spots are slated to begin next month and focus on the 2015 MKC compact crossover.

By Matt Schmitz | August 21, 2014 | Comments (1)

Ford, Heinz Team Up to Develop Tomato-Based Plastic


Here at'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)

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