2014 Audi R8 Lands at Dealerships as 'Iron Man 3' Readies Launch
The "Iron Man" movies have an uncanny ability to make you wish you could walk in another man's shoes — or fly in the super suit of "genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist" Tony Stark. While it's unlikely Iron Man suits will be available at Men's Wearhouse anytime soon, you can at least drive the same car as Robert Downey Jr.'s Stark. The all-new 2014 Audi R8 went on sale April 11 and will be prominently featured in the upcoming "Iron Man 3."
You don't have to have billions to get your hands on this high-performance luxury sports car, but you will have to have an abundance of disposable income. With Audi's seven-speed optional S tronic transmission, the V-8 coupe starts at $125,250, the V-10 at $161,550 and the V-10 Plus at $180,895. The Audi R8 Spyder roadster with the V-8 and S tronic transmission starts at $138,750 and the V-10 at $175,050. All prices include a $1,250 destination fee but exclude a $3,000 gas guzzler tax.
The S tronic transmission — which improves the 550-horsepower V-10 Plus coupe's zero-to-60 mph time by 0.3 seconds to 3.3 seconds for a top speed of 196 mph — adds $9,100 to the price of the R8 with the standard six-speed transmission. Audi said the new transmission also makes gear shifts smoother and increases efficiency. Inside, the 2014 R8 gets interior flourishes fit for a filthy-rich superhero, including diamond-stitch leather seats and a flat-bottom, multifunction steering wheel.
It's not surprising that Stark, a clean-energy innovator, opts for the all-electric R8 e-tron sports-car prototype in "Iron Man 3," out May 3. His girlfriend and Stark Industries CEO Virginia "Pepper" Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) drives the Audi S7 Sportback. Although Stark rocked an Acura NSX prototype in last year's "The Avengers," the "Iron Man" series itself has generally remained faithful to Audi; the Q7 , S5 , A8 and R8 Spyder have made cameos in previous installments.
"This is a strategic collaboration for us," said Loren Angelo, general manager of brand marketing for Audi. "Similar to the position of the R8 as an innovation leader, Iron Man's character consistently evolves throughout the trilogy as he masterminds new trends in technology and engineering." Check out the video below for a sneak peek of the car and the movie.Continue reading this post »
Which Cars Fit Three Car Seats?
UPDATE: Parents are often searching for the automotive holy grail: a car that's not a minivan and can fit three child-safety seats across the backseat. It's a short list.
In the more than two years that Cars.com editors have been installing car seats into test vehicles, we've come across only a handful of cars that can hold three car seats across a backseat.
The latest vehicle to make our list is Land Rover's redesigned-for-2013 large SUV, the Range Rover. To be considered a fit, there must be enough room between the booster seat convertible child-safety seat for a child's hand to reach the seat belt buckle.
As we come across more cars that fit three child-safety seats, we'll add to this list. For now, here are the cars from our Car Seat Checks that can fit three car seats in the second row:
If you have three or more kids in car seats, consider a minivan. They excel at hauling families and all their gear and can be quite luxurious as we found out in the Ultimate Minivan Shootout .
For Car Seat Checks, the front seats are adjusted to a comfortable position for a 6-foot driver and a 5-foot-8 passenger. The three child seats — a high-back booster seat, convertible car seat and rear-facing infant-safety seat — are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver's seat, and the infant and convertible seats are installed behind the passenger seat. We also install the infant seat in the second row's middle seat with the booster and convertible in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit. If there's a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible.Continue reading this post »
Cars.com Reviews the 2013 Lexus GX 460
The 2013 Lexus GX 460 has a comfortable interior and all the gadgets required on a premium vehicle, but it loses major points in the refinement area due to its trucklike ride, says Cars.com reviewer Kristin Varela. Although her family found plenty of room in the SUV's second row, less cargo space than many competitors and an awkward side-hinged cargo door were two big annoyances.
Summer Gas Prices, Consumption Expected to Drop
If government projections hold true, Americans this year will pay the lowest summer gas prices they have in two years. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported this week that the price for a gallon of regular gas is expected to average $3.63 during the summer driving season, identified as April through September. Crude oil prices, which account for two-thirds of the price of gas at the pump and are a major contributor to price reductions, are expected to be lower in the summer, according to the EIA.
"The forecast reflects a small decline in crude oil prices and expected gasoline consumption, as well as higher gasoline inventory levels," the EIA said in a statement.
Americans' gas consumption is expected to be down 2% this year, despite a projected 3% increase in highway travel due to improvements in vehicle efficiency, the EIA stated. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, demand for gas during the 2013 summer driving season will be the lowest in a dozen years, and nearly 6% below the 2007 peak. Meanwhile, gas production is forecasted to increase by 3% as net gas imports decrease by more than 1% compared with 2012.
Gas prices vary by region, and the EIA expects the West Coast pump price to be as much as 26 cents per gallon higher than the national average, at $3.89, while the Gulf Coast could enjoy prices 16 cents lower. That said, the West Coast will also enjoy the greatest dip (13 cents a gallon) in price compared with 2012, while the Gulf Coast will only see a 2-cent-per-gallon savings.
(Wall Street Journal)Continue reading this post »
Cars.com Family Reviews the 2013 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
With three rows of seats, the 2013 Toyota Highlander Hybrid seemed like it'd be a perfect fit for Cars.com Family reviewer BreAnn Ahara and her family, but this midsize SUV's small cargo area cramped this family of five's style. BreAnn was impressed, however, by the second row's removable center seat; it creates a pathway to the third row.Continue reading this post »