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Monthly Archives: October 2017

A Ride Inside the Waymo Self-Driving Car

waymo self-driving car

Waymo has gone a long way from a small project under Google focused on the development of self-driving cars to a company of its own, which is now under Alphabet, Inc. Recently, Waymo’s tech for self-driving car was integrated on a Chrysler Pacifica and it was put to test.

Andrew Hawkins of The Verge, got the chance to become a passenger of the minivan during the test. He described it as “smooth, yet totally unremarkable ride” because it had no driver and other passengers on-board. However, he stated that he felt completely safe in it.

Hawkins claimed that he already took similar rides before inside other self-driving cars. The only difference with the Waymo-equipped Pacifica was that there was no safety driver. Everything was handled by the car’s AI, which showed the true meaning of autonomy.

The self-driving Pacifica only ran at low speeds, but it was more than a slow crawl. It was able to move itself around cyclists, pedestrians and someone standing beside a stalled Hyundai. It should be noted that the people in the scene were merely actors, but everything was made to emulate real-life traffic conditions. Another demo also showed the SUV dodging moving autos along the way.

At present, Waymo has covered 3.5 million miles in its testing. The company was tight-lipped about the nature of the tests at first. It wasn’t until Monday when it opened its testing facilities and vehicles to the press to show them how far they have gone. The presentations demonstrated how Waymo could handle basic and complex tasks involved in driving better than humans.

John Krafcik, the CEO of Waymo, revealed that they are targeting to reach the “level four mode” wherein the cars possessing their tech could already locate and approach passengers.

So far, we learned that Waymo has successfully integrated their tech with the Pacifica and Lexus SUVs.

5 Best Classic Movie Cars For Halloween


Halloween is coming up. If you are looking for a nice theme that will go along with your car for the occasion, check out the 5 best classic cars that have played iconic roles in action, sci-fi, suspense and adventure movies.

Here are the 5 best movie cars for Halloween that have played key roles in Hollywood.

1. Batmobile


The Batmobile has evolved over the years from the memorable 1966 car based on the 50’s Lincolm Futura driven by Adam West’s Batman to the tank-like unit used by Ben Afflect in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Most fans of the caped crusader might agree though that the most popular in the bunch is the ’66 Batmobile.

2. Christine

Christine 1958 Plymouth Fury

Based on the novel of Stephen King and directed by John Carpenter, two of the best personalities in the horror genre, Christine is a cult classic that tells the story of a car possessed by the evil spirit of its former owner. The star in this 1983 film is a cherry 1958 Plymouth Fury, which was auctioned in 2015 by Barrett-Jackson for $198,000.

3. Doc’s 1981 DeLorean DMC-12

delorean dmc 12

In Back to the Future, the eccentric scientist Dr. Emmet “Doc” Brown transformed the gullwing sports car into a time machine, which the protagonist Marty McFly later used.

The auto ran from model year 1981 to 1983. Its maker sadly folded due to bankruptcy in 1982. DMC is making its come back into the scene though after it announced the continuation of the DMC-12’s production this year.

4. Ecto-1


The Ecto-1 was a modified 1959 Cadillac Miller Meteor Ambulance. Only 25 samples of the car were ever created and two of them made it into the movie Ghostbusters in 1984. The reboot of the film in 2016 replaced the unit with an 80’s Cadillac hearse.

5. Herbie

Herbie the Love Bug

Herbie is a sentient 1963 Volkswagen Beetle racing car that appeared in the 1968 Disney film called “The Love Bug”. The movie tells the story of a race car driver and his love interest who developed feelings for each other thanks to the help of the anthropomorphic car.

Top Expectations From the Ferrari FXX K Evo

Spy shot of the Ferrari FXX K Evo prototype.

Spy shot of the Ferrari FXX K Evo prototype.

A new Ferrari hypercar is set to be unveiled in a few days. The high-performance vehicle will be called the Ferrari FXX K Evo.

The FXX K Evo will make its debut at the 2017 Finali Mondiali. The event will be held this coming October 30 at the Mugello track in Italy.

The FXX K Evo was mentioned in the press release of Ferrari for the show. So far, only a few details were revealed about it. Combining the official information with other reliable sources and insiders within the company, here are the things we expect about it:


The sports car manufacturer revealed that the FXX K Evo was based on the concept car they introduced at the 2014 Finali Mondiali held in Abu Dhabi. It should be noted though that the one they will showcase at the coming event will be an evolved version of the former.

Based on the past spy shots of the hypercar’s production version, it will heavily base its design on its concept model. There appears to be some tweaks in the bumper, spoilers and air intakes of the vehicle though.

The one that will be made available to customers appears to have a sharper profile too with its longer sloping hood and rear roofline. Look forward to a lighter armor for the production model as well.


Again, the specific engine of the FXX K Evo remains a closely-guarded secret of Ferrari, but its press release claimed that the car could deliver more than 1,050 hp. It will likely have a hybrid setup, which is made up of a petrol engine and electric motors. The petrol unit of the auto will most probably be a 6.3-liter V12.

Given the car’s hybrid setup featuring a V12 combustion engine, better aerodynamic elements and lighter frame, it is bound to have a quick acceleration time that might even be faster than the record set by the original FXX at the Fiorano track.

Mitsubishi e-Evolution Concept Unveiled in Japan

mitsubishi e-evolution (2)

The Mitsubishi e-Evolution was just unveiled this week at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. The auto is still in its concept stage but it promises to bring in high-performance elements similar to the discontinued Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

The Mitsubishi e-Evolution was classified by its maker as a crossover SUV. As the small letter “e” in its name implies, it is powered by electricity. The concept marks the Japanese brand’s first time to integrate EV technology with a high-performance vehicle.

According to a report, the e-Evolution makes use of three electric motors. The concept follows the same setup of the Lancer Evo, except that this one is electrified. Two of its motors are mounted to the rear wheels for better distribution of power and improved handling. Then the crossover possesses a four-wheel drive system.

The battery pack for the electric motors of the vehicle is located in the middle part of its base just under the floor. Mitsubishi said that it is to allow a better center of gravity for the auto.

The e-Evolution is equipped with an AI package. The source said that the AI analyzes the skill of the crossover’s driver. After that, it uses its assessment in its “coaching function”, which recommends ways for the driver on how to go about the various road conditions. The aim of such feature is to make the handling of the auto enjoyable and safe to the driver even if he or she does not have the skills of the racing driver.

Since Mitsubishi is now a part of the Renault-Nissan alliance, it is expected that some of the technologies found in the coming EV will also appear in the future vehicles of Renault and Nissan under a different name.


The pictures below show the concept form of the Mitsubishi e-Evolution:

Toyota Tops Consumer Reports in Terms of Reliability

toyota camry

For the fifth consecutive year, Toyota emerged on top in terms of reliability. This was based on a survey conducted by Consumer Reports.

According to Fox News, Toyota took the top place among the 27 automotive brands surveyed by Consumer Reports. The brand was followed by Lexus, which also happened to be Toyota’s luxury vehicle division. The two exchanged places from their rankings in 2016. Another Asian brand, Kia, appeared in the top three spot of the study.

US brand Cadillac was listed as the worst among the 27 brands researched. Then, GMC and Ram were in the 26th and 25th places, respectively.

The source noted that the meticulous approach of Toyota in introducing new technology in its vehicles mostly contributed to its reliability. The Japanese brand has been known to implement new tech gradually and steadily in its new models. This was in contrast to the other brands featured in the survey, which garnered low scores because of complaints in their infotainment systems and new transmissions.

The report singled out the Toyota Camry sedan as an example. The latest model of the car possesses an eight-speed transmission gearbox. The system was first tested in the Highlander SUV.

Kia was two spots up from last year. Again, this was because of their decision not to rush things up when it comes to putting new tech in their vehicles. Most of the technology in their new models today first came out in their sister brand, Hyundai. The Kia Niro hybrid had the highest point in reliability among the other units in the brand’s lineup. Unfortunately for Hyundai, they dived three spots down to number 10 this year.

The biggest climber in this year’s survey was Chrysler. The brand was up by 10 positions compared to last year, thanks mainly to the positive remarks in its Pacifica minivan. Acura plunged the deepest by seven spots because of its new models’ transmission issues.

2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS and 718 Boxster GTS Get 365 HP

porsche 718 cayman gts and 718 boxster gts (1)

Porsche just expanded the lineup of its 718 Cayman and 718 Boxter range. The automaker recently revealed details about the 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS and the 718 Boxster GTS.

Based on the announcement of Porsche, both models had their outputs raised to 365 hp. The visuals of the cars feature a couple of enhancements too.


The 718 Cayman GTS and 718 Boxster GTS are equipped with 2.5-liter four-cylinder engines. Thanks to upgrades in the cars’ turbochargers and new intake ducts, the GTS models of the Cayman and Boxster now boast increase in their respective outputs by 35 hp and 15 hp compared to their GTS predecessors with naturally-aspirated power units.

The maximum torque of both GTS models have also gone up to 430 Nm. This can be achieved from 1,900 to 5,000 rpm.

The power of the mid-engined sports cars are distributed via a six-speed manual transmission. Buyers have the option to go for the seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) dual-clutch transmission gearbox too.

The GTS models can be optimized with the Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV) that comes with a mechanical rear differential lock, Porsche Chrono Package, and the Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) lowering the height of the auto by 10 millimeters.

When equipped with all the performance-enhancing options, the 718 Cayman GTS and 718 Boxster GTS can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in just 4.1 seconds. Then their max speed are capped at 290 km/h.


The GTS models got subtle improvements in their styling to make them stand out from their lower-end siblings. The noticeable upgrades include the new bumpers, lighting system, rear diffuser, exhausts, badges and set of 20-inch alloy wheels in black satin finish. As mentioned earlier, the vehicles have lower suspensions.

Complementing the striking exterior of the cars are Alcantara accents in their interior. Then, the drivers of the car are treated to the Porsche Track Precision App that will let them monitor and analyze their driving performance through their smartphones.


The Porsche 718 Cayman GTS has a starting price of 76,137 euros while the 718 Boxster’s cost begins at 78,160 euros. The figures already reflect the VAT and other fees in Germany.

Both cars are now available to order. The vehicles are expected to arrive in dealerships in the middle of December this year.

Toyota And Honda Caught Up in Kobe Steel Scandal

toyota and honda caught in kobe steel scandal

Kobe Steel, operating under the brand Kobelco, offers a wide range of products. Its main products include steel, titanium, aluminum and copper. It is a multi-billion company that caters even to giant automotive brands.

However, with the recent scandal plaguing it, automakers have launched their probe to identify their vehicles that have been affected. Toyota and Honda are now investigating on the matter to protect their customers and preserve their business interests.

The issue broke when Kobe Steel found out that their personnel have been giving false information in terms of the strength and durability ratings of their metal products. The incorrect data allowed the company to continuously meet the different quality standards required by their customers and by law. The problem is that it has been uncovered that most of their products were substandard.

Toyota is now worried about the aftermath of the shocking revelation as they have been using the aluminum produced by Kobe Steel in the doors and other body panels of their vehicles. The company believes that they have been doing that in the past decade.

On the other hand, Honda is also caught up in the nasty situation. The Japanese automaker admitted to using Kobelco metals in their doors and hoods.

It is believed that Mazda and Mitsubishi are in the mix as well. The problem may not be confined in Asia alone as the same company is the source of some materials for the vehicles of Nissan, Subaru, Ford and General Motors too.

While there are no reports of accidents or safety concerns centering on the subject yet, Toyota and Honda claimed that they are rapidly working to identify the models that have been affected. The issue might result to a massive recall similar to the Takata airbag scandal, and not to mention, numerous lawsuits from affected parties.

Porsche Passport Gives Access to 22 Different Porsche Models

porsche passport

Do you want to drive up to 22 different Porsche models without buying one? If you are in Metro Atlanta, you can do so with the Porsche Passport.

According to Autoweek, Porsche Passport is a program that can be accessed via a mobile app. Through subscription, members can drive up to 22 Porsche sports cars and other vehicles. It offers unrestricted mileage, frequent vehicle switches and on-demand access.

The company announced that vehicle deliveries for members will start in November, which also marks the pilot of the program. However, it will only be available in Atlanta for now where the headquarters of Porsche Cars North America Inc. is located. Porsche and Clutch Technologies, a known subscription vehicle service provider, are working in partnership for the program.

While Porsche Passport sounds really amazing, it does come with a hefty price tag though. Membership subscription costs from $2,000 to $3,000. And that’s only for a month of access of the program. There is a one-time activation fee of $500 as well.

The source said that there are two membership plans available for interested parties:

1. Launch Plan

For $2,000 monthly, members can have access to up to eight Porsche vehicles. The selection includes the 718 Boxster going to the Cayman S, Macan S and Cayenne.

2. Accelerate Plan

For $3,000 a month, the plan gives access to all 22 Porsche autos, including the ones featured in the Launch plan. Customers can also switch among the popular vehicles of the brand like the 911 Carrera S, Panamera 4S, Macan GTS and the Cayenne S E-Hybrid models.


The report noted that the fixed rate of the plans already cover the vehicle tax and registration charges plus the insurance, maintenance and detailing.

How to Get Porsche Passport

Interested customers residing in Metro Atlanta can download the Porsche Passport app through the App Store and Google Play Store. The application process is detailed in the app.

Do Electric Cars Really Serve as Cleaner Alternatives?

Ferrari LaFerrari hybrid

There is a popular belief that electric cars are environment-friendly because of their zero emission values. However, Ferrari and Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is not buying it.

Ferrari has shown us their hybrid car concept for the 599 back in 2010, their latest hybrid Ferrari LaFerrari, and their Formula One cars are now using a hybrid powertrain that is proving to be a major challenge for the reigning champion, Mercedes. Despite that, it seems electric cars do not sit well with Ferrari executives. The fans of the brand share the same sentiment too. After all, the brand has been known for its powerful cars ran by combustion engines.

Marchionne pointed out in an interview with CNBC that electric cars may not be as clean as they seem. He said that the full environmental impact of electric vehicles or EVs must be analyzed thoroughly. He recommended a full examination on the origin of the electric power, where it comes from, the manufacture of its batteries, cost in terms of carbon dioxide and its environmental impact.

The CEO pointed out that if they are using nuclear power in the production of such, then he has no issue about it as he thinks that is the right thing. He explained that if companies are still using fossil fuel to produce EVs, there is a bigger issue regarding the matter.

The report claimed that as of now, Ferrari has no public plans to develop EVs. Ferrari execs and fans defended their stance with the fact that electric cars would not fit in the brand’s image. However, the source stated that their position might change due to the strong push of governments worldwide for electrification in order to curb pollution.

It should be noted that Fiat Chrysler does have its own electric models as well, but Marchionne revealed that the company is losing as much as $20,000 for every electric model of the Fiat 500.

2018 BMW X2 Spied With A Little Camo

bmw x2 (3)

The 2018 BMW X2 was recently caught on cam while it was being transported. The soon-to-be-released SUV of the German brand was seen with a little camouflage.

The photos of the X2 prototype posted in Motor1 showing the auto with just a little camo wrap is an indication that its official unveiling may be near. The source projected that the vehicle might make its live debut at the Los Angeles Motor Show in December with an online reveal probably coming as early as November. It is also possible that the world premiere of the X2 might be pushed until January, which is just in time for the Detroit Motor Show.

With only the areas surrounding the grille, rear glass and the taillights hidden under a zebra wrap, we can see that the X2 production version kept many of the design elements shown by its concept model last year. However, the one we are looking at here ditched the massive twin exhausts and it is riding on smaller wheels. The huge vents located on the sides of the front bumper have been tweaked as well.

The X2 was developed as the X1’s sportier version. It has its sights set as a rival to the Mercedes-Benz GLA and the Audi Q2, which explains its coupe-like appearance.

Compared to the X1, the X2 features a sharper nose, thinner headlamps and slimmer rear windows. The taillights will probably be more advanced and sportier compared to the bigger model too.

The X2 is expected to use the UKL platform of BMW. Then, its drivetrains will likely reflect those found in the X1, including a hybrid version later in its production cycle. Furthermore, the interior of the SUV should offer the same level of interior design found in its big brother.

Spy Shots of the BMW X2

Check out the latest spy shots of the upcoming BMW X2 in the gallery below.

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