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10 Best Vehicles for Winter
Road beasts for the snow, ice and grime.
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Espresso Machine Buying Guide
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10 Best Snow Tires
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5-Doors to your heart

Shooting Stars: 5 Best Station Wagons

The venerable station is no longer what it was: a dowdy people hauler that oftentimes “sported” less than favorable designs (faux wood paneling, anyone?). And though the American populace now prefers cross-overs, station wagons still survive in the domestic automotive landscape. With lower centers of gravity, sleeker profiles and (typically) better driving dynamics than their SUV counterparts, there’s plenty of reasons to love them. We certainly do.

It’s for all of the aforementioned reasons that wagons sell in much bigger numbers in Europe. With the hope of bringing the States around to how truly great they are, we give you five of the best wagons (and, sadly, some of the only ones left for sale here). Let’s just hope they never completely disappear.

octane-promo-box-logo-gear-patrolThis article is part of a new original series, OCTANE -- a premium take on all things motoring.
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Starpower trumps horsepower

Reel Wheels: 15 Iconic Movie Cars

Weeding through Hollywood’s entire crop of iconic movie cars in the hopes of arriving at an agreed upon best of list is like trying to choose the sexiest Victoria’s Secret model — it can be grueling work, but the research isn’t exactly painful. Car guys are a picky lot, especially when looking to the silver screen: Some go weak in the knees when they hear an American V8 rumble to life slightly out of frame, while others are gaga for the svelte silhouette of a European exotic on a twisty backdrop. A select few believe the essential chase scene is the deciding factor, while yet another breed is only happy when the director has chosen an “appropriate” vehicle for the character driving, regardless of whether the movie was even watchable.

The GP Team’s collection of petrolheads put all of these variables into play, entered into deep philosophical debate and eventually agreed to disagree so we could present you with our picks for the best movie cars ever. Gentlemen, start your arguing engines!

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Today in Gear: April 30, 2013

Breitling Emergency II The built-in personal locator beacon in the Emergency II uses a dual frequency transmitter to communicate with satellites, making your watch (and everything attached to it) easy to track down in case of an emergency. A rechargeable battery means you can explore corners of the Earth unfettered by Radio Shacks and without…

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Time to meet the winners

10 Best Cars of the New York Auto Show

Imagine spending years designing, redesigning, engineering and finally building a car — only to have public opinion weigh in on your baby. No pressure, right? Well, at this year’s New York International Auto Show, plenty of brands did a damn good job. We were tantalized by some of what’s to come: cars that will certainly hit production in some form or another (and thank goodness for that). From track beasts to practical and attractive sedans, we rounded up the cream of the crop, in our humble opinion. Take a look at the 10 best in show.

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S is for Sexy

2013 Audi S7

We want everything — always. That’s the American way. We want our gourmet burger with egg, parmesan crust and arugula, our clothes to fit well, be cheap and last forever; we want to marry the veritable hot girl who drinks beer… craft beer… at a football game. Audi’s answer to this consumer desire to have it all(ish) is the S7 ($79,000+). Despite the A7’s success, rumor has it (thanks, Adele) the performance division of Audi wasn’t satisfied yet — so they snuck into the garage one fateful night and replaced the standard 310 hp V6 turbo with a 420 hp 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. The S7 emerged.

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Mash the throttle, hold on and smile

Best Sports Cars at Detroit 2013

As happy as we are to see a smorgasbord of automotive selections at the Detroit Auto Show this year, our pulses raced especially fast for sports cars. But even the definition of a sports car has changed. They don’t always have two doors anymore, and they may never even set tire on a track. But some things never change; what they still can do (at least the good ones) is perform and put a crick in your neck from looking too hard. Here are some of our favorites from NAIAS 2013.

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Chirp all four

2014 Audi SQ5

Crossovers are here to stay, so we’re happy to welcome ones that get our blood racing. The soon-to-be-released 2014 Audi SQ5 is just such a heart thumper. The SQ5’s rather robust 3.0-liter V6 TFSI engine has an output of 354 horsepower and 347 lb-ft of torque — more than in the S4 or S5. It’ll…

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Second act of a different play

Quick Spin: 2013 Audi allroad

The original Audi allroad Quattro, sold between 2000 and 2006, was one righteous automobile. Built like a tank, powered by big horsepower numbers, designed for actual rough terrain, and with creature comforts and an actual height-adjustable suspension, the first allroad still garners respect from the automotive cognoscenti. Though a decent number were sold in both…

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Right on Q

Audi Crosslane Coupe Concept

The Paris Motor Show produced some serious automotive eye candy, including a preview of Audi’s future design language in the Crosslane Coupe Concept. The Crosslane’s accentuated angular look seems to borrow a few external styling cues from its more expensive Lamborghini Urus brother and hints at what the next Q-series crossovers could look like. The…

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Drop Top Gorgeous

Behind The Wheel: Audi R8 V10 Spyder

Legend has it that when you drive a supercar, your biceps and pectorals enlarge by up to 30% and your testosterone levels climb rapidly, giving your confidence a much needed kick in the basement. On the down side, you become increasingly discourteous and you can’t seem to supress the desire to purchase (and wear) a…

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THE Amazing Race

Bentley Grand Tour | Part 2: The 24 Hours of Le Mans

Automotive racing comes in nearly infinite forms today, but no challenge is more immersed in history than the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Described as the most grueling test of man and machine in the entire world of racing, the 24 Hours of Le Mans has been held every year since 1923 (with a 10…

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Minus nothing

2013 Audi R8 V10 Plus

Refreshing a supercar is like asking Aishwarya Rai to pretty herself up. No easy task. Well, Audi recently released photos of their R8 V10 Plus, the new supercar range topper for the German automaker, and though the design changes are fairly noticeable via updated tube LED headlights and revised taillights, it’s the performance that gets…

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The sleeper awakens

Behind the Wheel | 2012 Audi S4

Audi’s S4 has been on the scene since 1991 as Audi’s performance response to BMW’s M3 and Merc’s C-Class AMG. Quick, sophisticated and a sleeper in its own right, the S4 still tended to reserve itself for those who wanted solid performance and creature comforts but didn’t necessarily pine for the M3’s razor handling and…

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Look, Ma! No skills!

Audi e-bike Wörthersee

One thing we know about the individual(s) who handles Audi’s bicycle line is, he’s got time on his hands. For the Wörthersee tour in Austria, Audi will reveal an incredible twist on the bicycle in Austria with their E-Bike Wörthersee, and it’s really not exactly what you’d think. Rather than simply an eco-conscious two-wheeler, the…

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Strap in the groceries

Audi RS Q3 Concept

Audi’s Q5 has been a huge success both on our shores and internationally, so it makes perfect sense for the German automaker to capitalize on the SUV/Crossover segment with the introduction of the Audi RS Q3 concept at the upcoming Beijing Motor Show. The question remains as to whether we’ll be lucky enough to get…

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Peer into the future, without the crystal ball

CES 2012: Our Favorite Booths

We kicked off 2012 by visiting not-so-beautiful Las Vegas to attend CES, with the hope of getting a head start on the exciting new products that will launch over the coming year. While we’ll continue to highlight gadgets revealed there on a regular basis, one of the best parts about being on the ground at…

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All Right

2013 Audi allroad Quattro

If the resident car nuts here at Gear Patrol can agree on one thing (which doesn’t happen very often) it’s that we consider ourselves “wagon-ites”, for lack of a better term. Practically no one does it better than Audi, or Subaru, and specifically the all new 2013 Audi allroad Quattro. First introduced in 1999 in…

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Mechanical Synfonica

“What happens if we mix the sound of a classical orchestra with the modern tones of a powerful motorsound? What’s the outcome if we try to use the momentum of a melody and blend it to the deep sound of a V8 or the high tone of a biturbo engine?” These are the questions the…

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How mid-size got its groove back

Behind the Wheel | Six Sigma: 2012 Audi A6

I fondly remember my father’s 1988 Audi 5000, both of them. After the first one he owned had run its course, he went about purchasing the exact same one again. Same color, same interior, same everything. It was then, despite its infamous foibles, that I was introduced to German engineering, a course on how to…

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Sexy Back

2012 Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TFSI

Well, folks, it looks like the “four door coupe” is one oxymoron that is here to stay. The term is a weird one, but for Audi, the result is positively stunning in the 2012 Audi A7 Sportback 3.0 TFSI, an exercise in what can be done with automotive sheetmetal when the beancounters don’t get a…

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Woodn't you?

2011 Audi duoCity by Renovo

Sometimes aesthetics play second fiddle to environmental sustainability. Some automobiles come to mind. In the case of the 2011 Audi duoCity, design reigns alongside being green. Audi has partnered with Portland, OR based Renovo, maker of custom hardwood bikes. With impressive lightness, stiffness (hold back on the wood jokes) and shock absorbency, the duoCity boasts…

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What a luxury sedan feels like. Period.

Behind the Wheel: 2011 Audi A8

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Gets you where Quattro won't

Audi Carbon Ski Concept

In case Hublot’s sledge doesn’t strike your winter sport fancy, consider Audi’s Carbon Ski Concept a potential alternative. Created in collaboration with Head, Audi’s Munich based concept design team has developed a pair of skis built around a wood core sandwiched between aluminum and titanium and coated in carbon fiber. The result is a more…

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I crush your Big Wheel

Audi C e-tron

When is a toy car not a toy car? When Audi builds one out of carbon-fiber, throws in an electric motor and makes it so exclusive, you can’t actually buy it (yet). Case in point, the Audi C e-tron, built by the German automaker and modeled after the Auto Union Type C Grand Prix car…

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2010 Paris Motor Show | 20 Cars that Matter

The 2010 Paris Motor Show had landed and it wouldn’t be unreasonable to for a man to assume an amplitude of impossibly sexy cars, leggy models, and enough bespoke suits to make the men of Positano blush. Well, if this year’s display of supercar prowess is anything more than a declaration that the recession is…

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Only True Audi Fans Need Invest

Audi Foosball Table

If you’re an Audi fan and aren’t saving your paychecks for an S5, then Audi’s design arm, Audi Design, has provided you another opportunity to keep your money “in the family” with the Audi Foosball Table ($16,000). Having taken a year in development and designed to meet strict foosball tournament standards (whatever the hell that…

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Lighter, Faster, Tremendous(er)

2011 Audi R8 GT

Move aside Lamborghini Gallardo LP560, Audi’s in town with the bigger, badder 2011 Audi R8 GT ($250,000). 560 hp and 398 lb-ft torque (yes, the same Lambo), ensure the R8 GT will bully with the best (though we’ll settle for our Audi S5). Ingolstadt’s scientists/artists have coaxed and wooed the 5.2 FSI V10 to the…

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2009 Audi Q5 Review

By Michael Curwood | The Truth About Cars Audi is pitching its late-to-the-party Q5 against Lexus’ recently refreshed RX350. Audi’s ad men would have you believe that the Q5 buyer is making a forceful statement of individuality and taste—in contrast to the RX buyer’s safe, boring, follow-the-herd mentality. It’s a strange play during these times…