Black Widow Corvette Stingray Is Auto Show Avenger


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.

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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)

Survey: Journey's 'Don't Stop Believin' ' Is Best Song for Driving


"There's no accounting for taste," as the aphorism condescendingly reminds us. And so it goes with one's favorite music while behind the wheel. Bear in mind, "best car music" is by its nature a category separate and distinct from garden-variety "best music." In the motorized cocoon of one's ride, one can bump whichever tunes one is so inclined, free of the influence of outside opinion, the indignity of snobbery and the ridicule of one's sing-along stylings. As a result, according to a survey by, the official Best Song for Driving is "Don't Stop Believin' " by Journey.

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The '80s blue-collar-bar anthem topped the list with 30 percent of the vote by 2,000 licensed drivers age 18 or older, split evenly between male and female, according to the insurance-consumer information website. Percentages total more than 100 because respondents were allowed to choose up to five songs. "Don't Stop Believin' " was followed closely by Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" at No. 2 with 27 percent of the vote, AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" at No. 3 (22 percent), Journey again at No. 4 with "Any Way You Want It" (22 percent) and Tom Cochrane's "Life Is a Highway" in fifth place (21 percent).

By Matt Schmitz | January 23, 2014 | Comments (15)

What Car Would You Buy if You Won Mega Millions?


Way back in 2012 we surveyed our editors to find out what dream car they would purchase if they won the then record Mega Millions jackpot that was north of $500 million. Sadly, none of us won that jackpot to put our money where our dreams were.

What Car Would You Buy if You Won Mega Millions? (2012)

With today's Mega Millions Jackpot at more than $580 million we polled the crew yet again to see if those dream cars have changed at all. And with any luck — approximately 1 out of 259 million — one of us will be driving around in something shiny and new on Wednesday.

By David Thomas | December 17, 2013 | Comments (9)

Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo Concept at the 2013 L.A. Auto Show


Looks like: Something that would appear only in a virtual world
Defining characteristics: Heart-stopping looks, variable-LED grille
Ridiculous features: Appears to have zero suspension travel
Chance of being mass-produced: Video games are mass-produced, so in a sense, 100 percent

Described as a 1:1 model (meaning full-sized), the AMG Vision Gran Turismo concept is Mercedes-Benz's answer to a call for futuristic concepts from the developers of the "Gran Turismo" PlayStation 3 video game.

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Mercedes' Vision Gran Turismo, and other automakers' efforts using the same VGT name, will gradually be incorporated into "Gran Turismo 6" via online updates after the game goes on sale in December.

By Joe Wiesenfelder | November 18, 2013 | Comments (0)

What It's Like to Drive a Police Car


Note: Impersonating a law enforcement officer is a felony. Do not try this at home.

You might think that driving a new SRT Viper or Ferrari 458 Italia makes you king of the road. You feel empowered, intimidating - you know that few other cars out there look like yours, could beat you in a race to the next stoplight or could catch you if you robbed a bank. Few other cars could - except the one I'm driving.

I'm behind the wheel of a 2013 Dodge Charger Pursuit: a Hemi-powered, rear-wheel-drive, black-and-white, honest-to-goodness cop car. I'm driving it through rush-hour Detroit traffic, with fully operational lights and sirens right there at my fingertips. The temptation to push buttons is overwhelming, but my desire to not be charged with felony impersonation of a police officer continues to win out, thankfully.

By Aaron Bragman | November 15, 2013 | Comments (6)

2014 Dodge Challenger R/T Shaker: More Photos


The current-generation Dodge Challenger already takes its nostalgic cues from the 1970 model of the iconic car driven by actor Barry Newman’s Kowalski in 1971's classic car flick, "Vanishing Point." But if you're really looking to relive some muscle-car memories on that overnight delivery run from Denver to San Francisco, the new 2014 Dodge Challenger R/T Shaker should do it.

2014 Dodge Challenger R/T Shaker Dials Up Nostalgia

Introduced this week at the 2013 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas, the 2014’s functional engine-mounted Shaker scoop protrudes through the hood and rocks back and forth with the 410 pounds-feet of torque from the 375-horsepower, 5.7-liter V-8, gulping in fresh air for improved performance.

Check out the gallery below; photos by Evan Sears.

By Matt Schmitz | November 7, 2013 | Comments (4)

Neil Young to Talk about LincVolt at SEMA (Photo Gallery)


Rock 'n'roll icon Neil Young is scheduled to speak today about the LincVolt at the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show, an automotive aftermarket event held annually in Las Vegas.The LincVolt is a 1959 Lincoln Continental convertible that has been converted into a plug-in electric hybrid. The technology under the giant hood is similar to that in the Chevrolet Volt, an extended-range electric vehicle, but with a few significant differences.

By Patrick Olsen | November 7, 2013 | Comments (5)

Does Your Car Have a Name?


My grandma has a new special someone in her life: a 2013 Buick Verano she affectionately calls Veronica. The new sedan replaced Mindy — that is, Mindy Malibu. The fact that Grandma names her cars is cute, but also a bit weird. Turns out, however, she's not alone. According to a Nationwide Insurance survey, plenty of drivers name their cars.

The insurance agency polled 1,082 U.S. car owners and found that:

By Jennifer Geiger | October 22, 2013 | Comments (18)

Designer Dreams up Zombie-Slaying Santa Fe


While you're still trying to decide what to go as this Halloween, a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe is all dressed up and ready to scare the living daylights out of the walking dead. Just in time to get into the spooky spirit, the midsize SUV has been outfitted in a trim level that, well, let's just say you won't find in the Research section: the Zombie Survival Machine.

Designed by a fan of AMC's "The Walking Dead" TV show and brought to, um, life by Southern California-based car-customizer Galpin Auto Sports, the Zombie Survival Machine is equipped with everything one might need to survive that "zombie apocalypse" everyone is prophesying these days. Indeed, it looks like something author Max Brooks might like to drive to a "World War Z" book signing. The undead-assault vehicle, designed by "The Walking Dead" watcher Anson Kuo, was chosen from more than 82,500 fan submissions and revealed earlier this month at New York Comic Con.

By Matt Schmitz | October 22, 2013 | Comments (0)

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