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Sports Car Redefined: Top Gear Guys Play Rugby From Behind the Wheel

Before you fall off your seat laughing at the ridiculous antics of Jeremy Clarkson and James May, be very careful. With their luck Car Rugby could very well be the newest sport at the next Olympics.

The trailer for the hilarious event is full of suspense and displays the agony of defeat in the usual Top Gear fashion, which means fun for the whole family. With something for every movie-goer, there could even be a thrilling police car chase. Remember the days when the term sports car just meant a car that went really fast?

Jeremy Clarkson brings out his A-game. You might not think that having a fleet of cars nudge an oversized rugby ball across a field in Twickenham would be great for TV but the team at Top Gear would prove you wrong. Then again, you might never imagine a midsize sedan could actually “kick” said oversized rugby ball over the goal bar but you’d be wrong again.

They say seeing is believing and it’s still unbelievable how much fun these guys are having. It’s obvious straight off the bat that professional stunt drivers had to be called in. The Stig makes an appearance as the referee/ police with a dramatic display of skill.

In fact, the entire match is so thrilling I wouldn’t mind watching it every day. The threat of impending danger is almost too much. You would think that these cars would inevitably crash into each other with all the excitement and chaos but you’d be surprised at the level of control and athletic dexterity a car can have on a grassy field.

We’re still not sure exactly how this game called car rugby is played but there’s lots of horn-honking and Clarkson yelling at the ball, team mates, opponents and life itself. Oh yeah, and there’s mud, lots of mud.

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Video: See the Mini Countryman Backflip and Actually Nail the Landing

Mini Countryman S All4 John Cooper Works

In an unceasing attempt to convince everyone that the Mini Countryman is cool, the small car brand has partnered with Monster Energy and Gravi-T/Freestyle Rally Team to do things a little differently than the normal “ad”.

The modified Mini Countryman S All4 John Cooper Works Edition (try saying that 3 times fast) was driven by rally driver, pro skier and apparently budding Cirque du Soleil performer Guerlain Chicherit. In what appears to be a video shot solely to gain viral status, the too big for its name vehicle performs an aerial move that I never expected.

Basically he starts the car then revs the engine, takes off up a ramp, flips, lands into a snow covered down-ramp and drives along. I’d like to take this moment to point out that the car starts smoking but let’s pretend that doesn’t matter. Check it out below:

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Video: Honda Presidents Day Sale Ad Turns Abe Lincoln into an R&B Star

Honda takes a whole new approach to President’s Day in this unexpected rib-tickler that leaves us wondering what just happened.

Who’s your founding father? If you’re not feeling the groove of the weirdly wonderful Honda 2013 Presidents’ Day TV commercial then you’d better check your pulse. Sure to make you fall off your seat in stitches, this commercial could become the most talked about car ad in history.

Honda has definitely done its homework, and by homework we mean history homework. Honda takes us back… wayyy back in time to colonial days with full period wear and musical props.

With automaker Lincoln’s recent use of the former president in its advertising, we initially thought this ad was heading down a similar road but that was not the case. Could this be a clever jab at Lincoln’s ad campaign? It’s hard to tell but this one definitely takes the cake and breaks the mould. In the ad George Washington and Abraham Lincoln star in their own R&B music video with a song about features Honda is pushing for its sale.

Set to a funky R&B beat, this 30-second music video is a barrel of laughs. From the wigs to the beards, it’s nothing short of epic.  The ad makes it clear that great deals and features like a rear view camera and bluetooth come standard from Honda. We love that it appeals to a wider demographic to include just about anyone with a sense of humor, from the old schoolers to the new schoolers, so it’s a winner.

But is it a first? Not entirely; it kind of reminds us of the recent outrageous series of 2013 Ford Fusion commercials run by Ford company in which entertainer Reggie Watts puts customers’ comments about the car into song.

Putting old English to modern music is hilarious and the period costumes just put it over the top. In a totally unrelated twist, one of the “supporting actors” in the video looks a little like Denzel Washington. Heck, with all the celebrity endorsements in car commercials these days, a big name like that could be the next face of Honda.

So if you’ve got a car company and want to boost sales, get a former president to endorse your brand and if you can’t get the real deal, do like Honda and get a couple of look-alikes. We’re pretty sure it won’t hurt your sales. If this ad doesn’t make people line up at Honda’s event, nothing will.

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Blake Griffin Time Travels in New Kia Optima Series of Commercials

Kia Optima shows off its sense of humor in the latest series of ads. Starring NBA player Blake Griffin, the commercials take a hilarious look at the top selling points of this model.

In the easy-going ads Blake Griffin travels back in time, in his 2013 Kia Optima, to pay a visit to his younger self thanks to computer graphics. Griffin starts talking to the 2013 Optima’s onboard computer UVO which turns on his Jukebox music system at his command. Since that’s what we see in the first scene we guess Kia is pretty darn proud of it. Griffin then asks the car to take him back to 2002, which we’re pretty sure it can’t do, no matter how much Sean Paul’s “Gimme The Light” takes us back to the good old days.


The Kia Optima

The car ends up in 2002 on a court and the baller walks towards his younger self with a huge bottle of sunblock. Apparently, the Kia Optima protects like sunblock and is an IIHS top safety pick. The sunblock, his only prop, does seem a bit random. Is it a jab at the player’s tanned complexion? In any case, he leaves the poor kid in a puddle of sunblock because his future looks so bright.

We love it because it’s like watching Will Ferrell in a remake of Back to the Future or a skit from SNL. Griffin brings the right amount of effortless swag to appeal to a younger demographic. He’s good-looking, athletic, the ladies will dig him and the guys will want to be him. Watch the ad here:

From dancehall to hip-hop, the second ad is our favorite because it appeals to the real driver. Griffin’s wearing racing gloves (awesome!) just because his Kia Optima Turbo has paddle shifters. Frankly, we’re speechless. Even if he wasn’t a celebrity, Kia would’ve had us at those three magic words… “Turbo” and “paddle shifters”. What’s not to love? And just in case you missed it the basketball star is dressed in the perfect red and white suit for Valentine’s Day.

The first thing going for these ads is that Kia seems to be following a trend of celebrity endorsement in car commercials, with JLo being the face of Fiat last year.

Given that the automotive industry’s recent obsession with technology, Kia makes a point of playing up the Optima’s strengths in this area. The car can’t really travel through time but it’s fun to think that one day it could.

 

 

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Video: Latest Ad ‘Find New Roads’ Shows Off Chevrolet’s Many Sides

Chevrolet shows off its latest lineup of vehicles as part of new ad campaign
 

The 2014 Corvette Stingray

Chevrolet is ready to compete in every car class this year and to prove it the company has just rolled out its brand new ad campaign “Find New Roads”. One thing is certain and that is the automaker is proud to show off its latest lineup of vehicles which seems to have something for everyone.

Starring the Volt plug-in hybrid for the environmentally responsible buyers, the 2014 Corvette C7, also known as the 2014 Stingray, the upscale 2014 Impala, the Sonic hatchback for the younger demographic that prefers a cool compact car and the Spark city car to complete the lineup.

To show off the Volt’s integrated dock, Chevrolet runs an ad within an ad and makes the footage look like clips from different movies. Interesting.

The Spark portion of the ad features the cute little cars matching the ladies’ cute little dresses and of course where are the ladies going? Shopping! Some people might find the entire concept a bit patronizing but retro is in and if we were in the 50’s it would be entirely acceptable. Funky, fresh and fun with its vibrant colors, this compact car feels like it’s wrapped with a girly bow instead of the Chevy bowtie.

However, it’s hard not to agree with critics who have issue with the ridiculous stunts the Sonic performs. I highly doubt the Sonic can actually perform skateboard tricks. That just makes the car unrealistic and completely out of touch with the consumer’s real needs.

The unique way Chevrolet parades their current fleet is exciting and culminates in a heart-pumping adrenaline packed chase scene displaying the speed, agility and sheer awesomeness of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7 Stingray. Absolutely stunning, the Stingray steals the show, screaming through the streets.

Closing scenes show the Volt plug-in surrounded by nature. The parting thought Chevrolet leaves us with is the fact that through its hybrid nature and technology can co-exist. Yes, it’s got the technology people crave but it’s got a heart too.

All in all it’s a successful ad but why call it Find New Roads? Why not “Find Your Fantasy Car” or “Find a Family of Deer” if they really want to stay true to the storyline of the ad?

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Fast & Furious 6 – All Roads Lead to a Blockbuster this Summer

The Fast & Furious franchise is set to add another movie to its list this year with Fast & Furious 6 bursting onto movie screens on Monday May 27, Memorial Day.

Yes, another Fast & Furious movie and no, they’re not done making them. I know people keep asking how many F&F movies the studios intend on making but for those nay-sayers, I’d like to direct them to the “Extended First Look” below.

Boom! Any action movie fan who can watch that trailer and honestly say they don’t want to watch Fast and Furious 6 is probably not telling the truth, but everyone is entitled to their opinion, as misguided as it may be.

I have to admit I was never the biggest Fast & Furious fan but the angle they’re taking on this one has really piqued my interest. The stunts, cars, weapons, explosions and special effects don’t hurt either.

The day it comes out I may brave the crowds and line up early for tickets to the premier just so I can be one of the first to re-enact my favorite scenes from the movie all from the comfort of my office chair to my jealous colleagues who will “check it out this weekend”, losers.

Here’s a look back at the predecessors of this unstoppable franchise.

The Fast & the Furious – Official Movie Trailer

2 Fast 2 Furious – the legendary bridge jump

Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift – Mastering the Drift

Tokyo Drift is arguably the worst of the franchise. I guess Vin Diesel and Paul Walker were busy. The best thing to come from this one was the theme song by Teriyaki Boyz. It was my ring tone for a while.

Fast & Furious 4

Ah, the return of the real cast. It was like a family reunion and a good way to purge the world of the memory of Tokyo Drift.

Fast Five

This is when things got real! I guess they were preparing us for Fast & Furious 6 by adding another layer for the storyline since the original story arc had been played out.
On another note, I wonder if Vin Diesel will still be playing lead in “Fast & Furious 33: Alien Drift.” I guess time will tell.

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Fusion Remix! Ford Makes Music With Comments for New 2013 Ads

Who would have thought that commenting on Ford’s new 2013 Fusion could make you a star? Ford has begun giving product feedback center stage in their new Ford Fusion ads, featuring entertainer Reggie Watts who does a remix of the comments to create a song.

The video series called “Fusion Remix” is hilarious. Watts creates clever freestyles around comments from potential customers and critics, fusing a number of musical styles to masterfully present the car’s features in fresh, funny and thoroughly entertaining way.

Watch the 2013 Ford Fusion ads below and let us know what you think. We think Ford is definitely on to something.

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Could Driverless Cars be Closer Than You Think?

Lexus LS Advanced Active Safety Research Vehicle (AASRV)

Talk of driverless cars took center stage at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and it’s enough to thrill my inner geek. Two major companies Audi and Toyota are making strides with their autonomous car technology, with Audi becoming the first automaker to obtain a license from Nevada to test its self-piloted cars on the state’s roads.

But how close are we really to the car of the future, and what does it mean for car design, driving and even laws down the road?

Toyota, who unveiled their high-tech Lexus LS research vehicle, insists that completely driverless cars are not the focus of their technology. Instead, they hope to make improvements that make driving easier.

“While key components of these research efforts could lead to a fully autonomous car in the future, the vision is not necessarily a car that drives itself,” a Toyota statement read. “Instead, Toyota and Lexus envision technologies that enhance the skills of the driver, believing a more skillful driver is a safer driver.”

Thanks to a 360-degree roof mounted laser, radar, GPS and stereo cameras, the Lexus LS AARV can detect objects from up to 490 feet away. It can also tell the difference between a red or green light, measure the location and speed of objects at intersections and estimate travel distance, angle, orientation and speed.

Audi TTS Pikes Peak Research Car

Audi is thinking along the same lines. They see their technology being used, not to take drivers out of the equation, but to ease everyday driving situations like monotonous stop-and-go traffic or trying to fit into tight parking spaces.

This video showing their driverless research car, the TTS, climbing the Pike Peaks mountain road in Colorado gives my inner geek some hope though. They can say what they want; there’s definitely nothing everyday about this.

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Tribute to the Lexus LFA as Final Car Rolls Off the Production Line

Lexus LFAThe Last Lexus LFA on production line – white LFA Nurburgring Edition

The 500th  Lexus LFA rolled off the production line on Friday December 14th and it will be the last Lexus LFA ever produced.

The Lexus LFA was Lexus’ pride and joy. Here are seven reasons why:

  1. A staggering 552 hp
  2. 4.8-liter V10 engine
  3. 354 lb-ft torque
  4. Six-speed single clutch automated transmission
  5. Zero to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds
  6. Completed the quarter mile in 11.9 seconds at 123.7 mph
  7. 60 to zero braking run of 106 feet

The last Lexus LFA is the 50th Nurburgring Edition that features an upgraded, reworked suspension and redesigned rear wing. The LFA Nurburgring Edition also got a 10-hp increase over the standard Lexus LFA making it able to reach a top speed of 202 mph.

Let’s take a look back at some of the videos and commercials featuring the Lexus LFA.

I fell in love with the Lexus LFA the first time I laid eyes on it. Here was the first Lexus LFA Official Video, seen in 2009.

In 2010, MotorTrend introduced the Lexus LFA and then showed how powerful the LFA was in a drag race, pitting it against the Nissan GT-R.

The folks at Yamaha Music Instrument Department did the final tuning on the Lexus LFA’s engine and you can hear the work they put into the engine sound below.

One of my personal favorites is the Lexus Presents: Unleash the LFA video. The clip shows off its speed, handling, agility and ability to bring out anyone’s darker side.


Even though the Lexus LFA will no longer be in production chances are we’ll be seeing its influence soon. All eyes are on Toyota to see what their plans are for the future of their supercar line. Rumor has it that some of the elements that made the LFA great are incorporated into the new Supra, the next supercar that Toyota plans on introducing.

 

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Video: Romain Grosjean Crowned Victor at 2012 Race of Champions

Romain Grosjean

26-year-old Romain Grosjean has won the 2012 Race of Champions held in Bangkok, Thailand on December 16th. The Formula 1 driver who races for team Lotus captured the title from a field of the world’s greatest race car drivers.

French born Grosjean beat Le Mans legend Tom Kristensen in the final race to find himself at the top of the podium for the first time.

The Race of Champions (ROC) is held at the end of every year and features the highest ranked racers from Formula 1, IndyCar, NASCAR, WRC etc and pits them against each other in identical cars.

ROC is the one event that puts all the stars of car racing on an even playing field. The drivers go head-to-head in matching cars on what looks like an obstacle-course inspired drag race.

See the highlights below

What makes the event so much fun, apart from seeing all your favorite racers in one race, is the fact that ROC gives the racers different types of cars to drive. The cars used for this year’s Race of Champions are:

  1. Audi R8 LMS
  2. VW Scirocco
  3. Gallardo Super Trofeo
  4. Toyota GT86
  5. KTM X-Bow
  6. Euro Racecar and one of my personal favorites
  7. ROC Car

Congratulations to Grosjean on his victory at this year’s race. I want him to know that next year I’ll be entering Formula 1 just so I can be invited to race at next year’s ROC. See you there.

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