All posts on April, 2016


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Jay Leno Dusts Off His Ford Festiva-Based Shogun Hot Hatch: Video

For someone who literally has a treasure trove of classic and exotic cars sitting in his garage, Jay Leno seems to have quite the soft sport for his Ford Festiva-based Shogun hatchback. Make no mistake about it though, the Shogun isn’t just an ordinary hatchback. In fact, it’s probably the closest thing to physically embodying what the term “pocket rocket” means.

The history of the Shogun dates all the way back to 1989 when two engineers – Chuck Beck and Rick Titus – decided to take a seemingly boring Festiva and swapped the backseat for a Yamaha-sourced 3.0-liter V-6 engine from the Ford Taurus SHO that pumped out 220 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque. The two also worked on the aerodynamics (check out those massive rear fenders) of the car until it weighed just 2,190 pounds. The result was a hatchback that could sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just five seconds to go with a top speed of 145 mph. Remember, this was 1989.

Only seven Shoguns were built and Leno, like the true collector that he is, owns chassis ’003’ of the seven models. Once he got it, Leno injected NOS into the engine, adding another 90 horsepower to the mix and bringing the total up to around 300 horsepower. Needless to say, the Shogun drives unlike any hatchback from any era, including this one.

Combine that with the sound of the engine and the sheer rarity of the car and you get a proper hot hatch that has clearly lasted the test of time. Just watching Leno take the Shogun out for a spin and hearing that Taurus SHO engine come to life is why this hot hatch has earned its status as a certified pocket rocket.


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Microsoft Curbs Cortana in Windows 10

Microsoft has decided to restrict its Cortana digital assistant to operating with the Edge browser and Bing search engine in Windows 10. “As Windows 10 has grown in adoption and usage, we have seen some software programs circumvent [its] design and redirect you to search providers that were not designed to work with Cortana,” said Ryan Gavin, Microsoft’s general manager of search and Cortana.

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BMW 1 Series sedan previewed with leaked design files – report

An image that purportedly reveals components of the upcoming and so-called 2017 BMW 1-Series sedan has surfaced online this week. In addition to recent spy pictures, fans got their first look at the sedan at last November’s Auto Guangzhou in China, presented then as the Concept Compact Sedan. This new leaked image, first posted to Facebook page Ferd, show a number of […]

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Nissan recalls 3.5 million vehicles over airbag sensor

Filed under: Government/Legal, Green, Recalls, Chevrolet, Infiniti, Nissan, Safety, Crossover, Hatchback, Minivan/Van, Sedan, SUVNissan is recalling 3.53 million vehicles globally – 3.2 million in the United States – because the front passenger airbag …

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Rolls-Royce Wraith gets $50,000 bespoke luggage set

Luxury marque Rolls-Royce has used its flair for premium car design to create a range of elegant luggage designed to accompany the Wraith. The collection was brought to life by Rolls-Royce designer, Michael Bryden, and has been crafted to be housed perfectly in the rear compartment of the $645,000 car. The range features two Grand […]

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This LEGO Porsche 911 GT3 RS Looks Amazing: Video

Lego has done some pretty amazing things through the Techno line. It’s recreated the Caterham Super Seven, a Mini Cooper, and even a Formula Off-Roader and a 24 Hours Race Car seen here. It even created a Porsche with working suspension a few years back. Well, it seems like as the years go on, the brand gets better and better at making these crazy toys.

Case in point: Lego Technic No. 42056 – a Porsche 911 GT3 RS. It retails for $300 here in the U.S. and is arguably one of the most detailed and thorough kits to date. By that I mean it looks amazing and includes of 2,700 pieces. In size, the thing is over six-inches high, almost two feet long and nearly a foot wide. Plus, it even has a working PDK transmission. If you haven’t had a chance to set eyes on the kit yet, watching this four-minute video of Lego’s Senior Design Manager, Andrew Woodman, walk through the kit and all the little goodies that come with it.

I won’t spoil the video for you, but if you’re a Lego fan, it’s certainly one you want to watch. Woodman breaks down a few of the things that come with the kit and displays just how detailed the Lego model really is. With that said, go ahead – hit play and be amazed by the shocking detail of Lego Technic’s newest kit.


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Restoration Of Le Mans-Winning Ford GT40 Mk II Continues: Video

The restoration of the 1966 Le Mans-winning Ford GT40 Mk II P1046 continues with the latest video to come out of RK Motors Charlotte.

If you recall, the first part of the web series was posted last week in which we learned that Rob Kaufman, the owner of RK Motors Charlotte, began an ambitious project to restore the legendary race car back to its championship glory. Together with the help of Rare Drive, Inc., RK Motors Charlotte took the arduous task of bringing P1046 back to the configuration of its history-making achievement, considered by many as the greatest racing moment in Ford history.

Whereas the first video mainly focused on the history of the car, this one gives us a close look on the preparations that have been made and the first task of actually disassembling the race car. As explained by the host, a lot of work was already done on the iconic race car, including the shortening of the tail section, the installation of a large roll cage, and the refitting of the entire interior, which was sadly brushed aside when the car was ignominiously turned into a transmission test mule after its victory in Le Mans.

The entire project is far from complete and more videos are expected to be released in the coming weeks. The plan is for the project to be completed in time for the 24 Hours of Le Mans where it will be participating in the 50th anniversary of Ford’s transcendent victory in the world’s most famous endurance race.


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Australia’s cheapest new cars

Looking for a new car on a small budget? Here are eight of the cheapest new cars available Australia-wide, right now. As you would expect, they are all micro or light cars and, unless otherwise stated, the price excludes on-road costs like registration, stamp duty and CTP. If you shop around, though, you can find great […]

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