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This week's news on wheels

This Week In Motoring: August 18, 2014

This Week in Motoring: the most expensive car ever sold, plenty of eco-cars, the science behind Tony Stewart’s tragic sprint car accident, Motor Trend‘s awesome drag race and much more.

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The horse without the mane is just as wild

Quick Spin: Ferrari 458 Spider, The Perfect Convertible?

In the middle of a cool Chicago summer, sunlight bounces off the unmistakeable Rosso Corsa hood of a V8 Ferrari. A mere eighth of a depression of the throttle produces a sound I can only describe as a chorus of angels descending to earth on winged stallions. Against all odds, Ferrari’s delicious V8 458 Spider has won me over to top-down driving.

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Prancing, galloping and snorting beauties

Prize Horses: The 10 Most Beautiful Ferraris

Great Ferraris are some of the most stunning cars to ever put rubber to pavement. These ten pageant winners out of Maranello stir the soul and make car lovers out of hotwheels-vrooming youths.

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The Theater of Motorsport

Scuderia 120

There’s a particular theater to motorsport. The hair-bristling caterwaul of a race exhaust. The aromas of hot metal mechanics. The gritty dust of tire soot. And that’s for spectators.

Step beyond the yellow line into pit row and things get far more visceral. And though we could prattle on in paragraphs about what it’s like to be face-to-face with theatrics of racing Ferraris, we figured it best to report this story through the medium of film.

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The Quail Preview

Photo Essay: A Rare Look at an Even Rarer Ferrari Collection

Ferrari enthusiast and luxury watch retailer David Lee is headed to this year’s The Quail at Pebble Beach. And, more importantly, he’s bringing his collection of vintage Ferarri supercars with him. We got a sneak peak at some of his rare beauties.

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Racing Horses

Icon: 1966-1967 Ferrari 330 P3 and P4

The Ferrari 330 P3 and P4 may have never won at Le Mans, but they remain some of the most beautiful and coveted cars of all time. Born of a bitter rivalry between Ford and Ferrari, this is their story.

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The Horse Prances On

22 Great Moments in Ferrari History

From motorsport victories to pop culture appearances, these are the moments that helped solidify Ferrari’s rightful spot as one of the greatest (if not the greatest) automotive marques of all time.

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The Week's News on Wheels

This Week In Motoring: August 11, 2014

This Week in Motoring: Lambo’s new performance driving school, this year’s Pebble Beach Concours, a winged ambulance and more.

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Confusing, a little odd... and molto bello

Driving the Dino 308 GT4, the Most Controversial Ferrari in History

Featuring a slew of firsts, the Ferrari Dino 308 GT4 was wrapped in controversy, failed in sales and has been looked down upon by aficionados for years. Today there is a resurgence in the interest of this ill-fated groundbreaker. We talked to one proud owner to find out why.

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Cruze'n USA

2,000 Miles, 24 Hours and a Chevrolet Cruze Turbo Diesel

We drove a Chevy Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel from New York City to West Michigan for a 2,000-mile round trip. Here’s what we learned.

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Clean, Torquey and Efficient -- What's Not to Love?

Economy Plus: Driving 5 Great Diesels

The only problem with hybrids is how boring they can be to drive. Diesel cars, on the other hand, offer outstanding torque with hybrid-like fuel economy. We take five great ones out for a spin.

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Feel The (Clean) Burn

New-School Diesel Brings Clean Burns to the Masses

Diesels have come a long way since the days of smoke spewing trucks and roaring German sedans. New advances in diesel tech have made the fuel a more viable option for passenger cars, and they may have some serious benefits over their gasoline counterparts.

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A battle of torque, efficiency, and German luxury

Want This, Get This: Audi A8 L TDI or BMW 328d xDrive

The Germans are all over the diesel car market. Which makes complete sense: those Europeans are passionate about the practicality that diesel-powered cars provide, not to mention the kind of torque that can pull Tyrannosaur teeth from their sockets. If you want a capable German diesel that nets both solid mileage numbers, good driving dynamics and the aesthetics and comfort a stylish German sedan affords, then look to Audi and BMW at the two ends of the price spectrum.

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GP x Petrolicious

The Collector’s Series, Part Twelve: Citroën DS

Vintage is in something fierce. You can blame the cliche and assign Mad Men all you want. But vintage is deeper than that. A stretch of tough times and the “planned obsolescence” of today has refocused our attention to history even more than ever. New doesn’t always equate to better and some things really don’t work like they used to. The Collector, a new Octane series in partnership with the classic car experts at Petrolicious, acknowledges the automotive gems of yesteryear that have gone overlooked for one reason or another. As a series, the selections we’ll share stand as both a group of savvy buys we’d base our personal car collection around and as a source of inspiration for life in the wake of ownership.

Head to Petrolicious to read The Collector Series, Part Twelve: The Citroen DS, then peruse the kit it inspired.

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Some MMasterful, All MMagnificent

The BMW M3 Through the Generations

Over the decades, BMW’s iconic M3 has only grown in power, performance (and in most cases, weight), going from niche sports sedans to one of the most popular performance-focused automobiles in the industry. The best part? There are five generations of them, all with scintillating, unique details and the underlying similarities of greatness.

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Odds and Evens Make A Great Whole

Masters of the House: Driving the BMW M3 and M4

The slightly slick track at Wisconsin’s Road America has me wondering just how little effort it would take to spin the 425 hp German monster I’m driving. The truth is that the M4 I’m helming isn’t working nearly as hard as it can with its 425 hp (and more importantly) its 406 lb-ft of torque and shaved corpulence. 174 pounds. That’s the equivalent weight of two average male German Shepherds drooling on your fine leather sport seats and the same amount of poundage the new 2-door M4 has dropped over the M3 Coupe it replaces. But the all-new BMW M3 and M4 are so much more than more power and less fat.

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A look at Porsche's journey to Le Mans

Viewfinder: We Are Racers

The biggest story behind this year’s running of Le Mans was no doubt the return of Porsche, who have been absent from the race’s top class for 16 years. The storied automaker teamed up with Michelin to create “We Are Racers”, a series of short films documenting the company’s 2014 journey to Le Mans.

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The Hillclimb is alive with the sound of motors

Photo Essay: Goodwood Festival of Speed

The Goodwood Festival of Speed is more than just a motoring event. It’s the product of one man’s passion for all things automotive, fueled by hundreds of thousands of the worshiping faithful. Lord March, as Charles Gordon-Lennox is called, took possession of the 12,000-acre Goodwood Estate in 1993 and almost immediately started the Festival in the name of bringing racing back to its traditional home in West Sussex. He’s effectively created a playground for both the annual event’s spectators and its drivers.

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More Horses, Same Stable

Max Out: Tips for Getting More Horsepower Out of Your Engine

So you’ve purchased your car of choice and remained within your diminutive budget, only to hope your routes are mostly downhill. You regularly scream, “I’m givin’ her all she’s got, Captain!” a la Montgomery Scott as you try to merge with freeway traffic but are passed by a Biggest Loser contestant on rollerblades. You’re in luck. There are ways to bring your car’s horsepower to levels higher than Tom Cruise’s vertical leap, and they don’t have to cost you a large fraction of your annual salary. Just remember one thing, young man: with great power comes great responsibility satisfaction.

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GP x Petrolicious

The Collector Series, Part Eleven: Facel Vega HK500

Vintage is in something fierce. You can blame the cliche and assign Mad Men all you want. But vintage is deeper than that. A stretch of tough times and the “planned obsolescence” of today has refocused our attention to history even more than ever. New doesn’t always equate to better and some things really don’t work like they used to. The Collector, a new Octane series in partnership with the classic car experts at Petrolicious, acknowledges the automotive gems of yesteryear that have gone overlooked for one reason or another. As a series, the selections we’ll share stand as both a group of savvy buys we’d base our personal car collection around and as a source of inspiration for life in the wake of ownership.

Head to Petrolicious to read The Collector Series, Part Eleven: Facel Vega HK500, then peruse the kit it inspired.

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1.16 miles and 300 feet of elevation gain in (less than) one minute

Anatomy of the Goodwood Hillclimb

The annual Festival of Speed in West Sussex, England centers around a storied Hillclimb, which winds 1.16 miles through event founder Lord March’s private estate and rises 300 feet. Drivers — piloting any type of car, new or old, from sports cars to supercars to deft Formula 1 racers to Nascar stock car growlers — rip through the narrow course in under a minute.

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Italian roads, German wheels, American smiles

Coupe de Grace: Driving the Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4Matic Coupe

The brand new Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4Matic Coupe answers the world’s plea for an enormously luxurious grand tourer. We tested its 577 horsepower on the twisty roads of Tuscany.

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No Compromise, Plenty of Style

Three New-Wave Hybrids That Emphasize Design (and Efficiency)

If you think the only thing about hybrids that’s advanced in the past decade or so is technology, think again. No longer the ugly stepchild of the automotive world, many hybrids have also arrived in the department of style and even take the kind of risks manufacturers wouldn’t dare impute to their gas-powered children. We’ve helmed three stylish hybrids that run the range of prices and designs. They’re all pleasing to the eye as well as to the environment and give us hope for the future: one without hybrids that look like lozenges on wheels.

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Hollywood Time Traveler

Carving the Malibu Mountains in the BMW i8

BMW’s i8 looks like it belongs in 2024. That it gets to 60 in 4.2 seconds, sips fuel for 100 mpg, opens up to drivers and passengers with scissor doors and is made almost exclusively of lightweight materials also gives it the strange air of a Hollywood time traveler. But no, this sleek, blue-mustachioed speedster lives right here in the present, having taken form from a concept originally released at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show. And what better backdrop to take a drive than the California coastal roads? Slide it into e-mode, listen to a few oddly calming blips and beeps, zip to 75 in silence, then hear as its 1.5 liter turbocharged 3-cylinder adds a well-controlled bluster. For a moment, you’ll think you’ve arrived…in the future.

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The Prius and Future King

Where Green is Going: The Future of the Hybrid Vehicle

Today, hybrids have become a very real alternative to conventional gas-powered combustion engine cars. But it’s not all flowers, Pikachu, and future decades of booming hybrid sales. The auto industry seems to have a different, more nuanced version of what the future of environmentally minded cars actually looks like. We examine.

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A World Rally Blur

With the 2015 Subaru WRX, A Rally Car Matures

Since it arrived onto North American shores in 2002 the Subaru WRX has been making the case for unadulterated fun, one four-wheel drift at a time. Vehicles and our expectations of them however, have changed a lot over the last 13 model years. No longer content to merely juke and jive with the best of them, we now demand our cars have styling, more toys than an only child and soft-touch everything. To keep these newly refined ralliers content in their cockpits, Subaru sent the WRX to finishing school. And, if you ask us, it graduated — with honors.

subaru-sponsor-logo-200x40This post is presented by Subaru.
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Affordable Ways to Your Fuel-Lovin' Heart

Cheap Thrills: 10 Bargain Driver’s Cars

Your buddy’s Rosso Corsa Red Ferrari makes your blood boil with envy. Unfortunately, your better half won’t let you mortgage the house so you can buy one yourself. Though they may not have the prancing horse on the grille or elicit gazes from the bold and the beautiful, these 10 affordable driver’s cars still delight with great driving dynamics and the kind of motoring spirit that makes you feel like a kid again.

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A German grand tourer requires grand style

Kit: Mercedes-Benz 280 SL “Pagoda”

You’re the guy who gets respect the subtle way. You don’t demand it; you’re not the showy type. It’s also how you choose your cars, which is why you’ll drive the 280 SL “Pagoda”. It’s elegant and beautiful without barking for attention — an under-the-radar grand tourer that looks just as good parked at the hunting club as it does at the finest restaurant in town. Our kit for this gentleman’s car will keep you stylish, comfortable and classic…just like the vehicle you’ve chosen for your stable.

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Back and better than ever...or is it?

Quick Spin: 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Longer, wider, lighter and with brand new tech, the Mk VII Golf GTI goes head to head…with past versions of itself.

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Glory days on the road

Kit: Mustang Fastback

If you’re fortunate enough to possess a Mustang Fastback — one of the grandaddies of the American muscle car — you know the respect and admiration it garners from car lovers to kids. It’s Americana on four wheels. That sort of red, white and blue clout requires a driver to pull off an homage to American style without resorting to a pair of Ol’ Glory lined cutoff jeans. Here, we line up the right kit (light on the actual stars and stripes pattern) you need to get it right.