VIDEO: They hacked a Jeep

Jeep Cherokee hackers, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek

Back in 2013 these two guys hacked a Toyota Prius while they were riding in the back seat. Now they’re back, and this time they’ve remotely hacked a Jeep Cherokee. They did this by attacking the car’s Uconnect system, which provides internet access.

They were able to control minor things such as radio volume and HVAC controls. They could play with the Jeep’s windscreen wipers and, worryingly, they could control the steering, the brakes and cut all engine power.

Watch the clip below and see Miller and Valasek play with their 1:1 remote control toy. All well and good unless you happen to be Andy Greenberg and thinking you’re actually in control of the car while you’re out on public roads.

“There are hundreds of thousands of cars that are vulnerable on the road right now,” Charlie Miller claims.

For their part Fiat Chrysler say they have released a free security patch that resolves any vulnerability but somewhat dismissively added: “Similar to a smartphone or tablet, vehicle software can require updates for improved security protection to reduce the potential risk of unauthorised and unlawful access to vehicle systems.”

[Source: Wired via ABC]

UPDATE: FCA Australia has just released a statement confirming the release of a new security patch. Furthermore, because Uconnect is not available outside the US, no locally sold cars are affected by this cybersecurity issue.

Continue reading →

Volkswagen announces Golf R Wolfsburg Edition

Volkswagen Golf R Wagon Wolfsburg Edition

Volkswagen Australia will launch the Golf R Wagon locally in September and when it does it will be sold solely as a limited-run model badged as a Wolfsburg Edition.

It’s expected “limited-run” will translate to around 200 examples with a similar number of Golf R Wolfsburg Edition five-door hatchbacks also to be up from grabs from September.

The Golf R Wagon Wolfsburg Edition will be priced from $58,990, while the hatch version will be a bit cheaper at $56,990 ($1750 more than a regular Golf R).

Based on MY16 Golf R specifications, the Wolfsburg Editions will be available with a 6-speed DSG only and feature the standard 206kW/380Nm engine plus a list of equipment and cosmetic enhancements.

Those enhancements include 19″ Pretoria-style alloy wheels, black wing mirrors, black roof rails for the wagon, Carbon Nappa leather seats with front heating, Adaptive Cruise Control, Front Assist with City Emergency Braking, Proactive occupant monitoring system, blind spot monitor and, of course, a special Wolfsburg Edition badge on the rear. The only option available is a panoramic glass sunroof ($1850).

The Wolfsburg Editions will be available in three colours including Oryx White Pearl, which will be exclusive to the Wolfsburg Edition range. The other colours have not been specified in the available press material but judging by the supplied pics you can lock in Lapiz Blue metallic and we expect the third colour will be Deep Black Pearl Effect.

There’s a few more pics from Volkswagen and their official press release waiting for you after the break.

Continue reading →

Is there a new Porsche 911 R coming?

1967 Porsche 911 R

If you know your Porsches you’ll know the reverence the 911 R nameplate holds. And we have it on good authority that Porsche is hatching a new special model, along the lines of the 997-based Sport Classic, that could well bring the 911 R badge back to the future. It won’t be a racing model like the original, but it will still be quite unique.

Based on the information we have learned a special prototype rolled off the Stuttgart production line earlier this week. This hitherto secret 911 features a Turbo S body, a 4.0 litre GT3 RS engine and suspension components from the GTS and GT3. The model has rear seats and Porsche is toying with the idea of badging it as a 911 R.

And, if you know your Porsches, you’ll also know that when they make limited-run models they don’t come cheap. It’s expected the 911 R will have a €250,000 base price. That’s close to €70,000 more than the list price of a GT3 RS, or around the price of a Cayman S.

At this stage we can’t say this is any more than a well-founded rumour based on information from sources AUSmotive has come to trust. We won’t mind at all if you bookmark this post and hold us to account.

In the menatime if you want to learn more about the original 911 R then take a look at these links: The Revs Institiute | Road Scholars | Butzi Squared

[Pic: The Revs Institiute ]

Porsche’s Pink Pig lives on

Porsche 911 GT3 RS in Pink Pig livery

We thank Tom Ford for commissioning this rendering of a new 911 GT3 RS branded with Pink Pig colours. It looks great and reminds us of a true icon. Thanks Tom!

The Porsche 917/20 “Pink Pig” is one of motorsport’s most iconic liveries. The 917/20 was an aerodynamic experiment designed in partnership with French company SERA and its broader than usual proportions earnt it the pig nickname from Porsche itself.

The car was entered in the 1971 24 Hours of Le Mans and after team sponsor Martini refused to have its branding on the car the pig-themed livery was born. The Pink Pig failed to finish due to an accident and although its time as a competition vehicle was brief the livery has left an lasting mark on the history of the 917.

[Source: Twitter]

Continue reading →

Porsche 991 911 facelift in testing

Porsche 991.2 911 in testing

Following last week’s scooped images captured by Bridge to Gantry, Autocar brings us a gallery of images showing the Porsche 991.2 911 undergoing testing in South Africa. The images have been supplied by Porsche, although as yet not via their usual media outlets.

Technical details are being kept under wraps for now, even if the cars are not. So at this stage we can really only point to cosmetic changes to the front and rear bodywork, wing mirrors and the like.

We can bring your attention to the fact that a manual gearbox will still be available and that there will be (a no doubt optional) steering-wheel mounted controller to switch between four driving modes.

And, of course, we know the entry level Carrera and Carrera S models will be turbocharged. It appears as though there’s some debate over the capacity of the flat six engines.

We reckon it’ll be a 2.7 litre in the Carrera making something like 275kW (up from 257kW) and a 3.0 litre for the S with around 310kW (up from 294kW).

[Source: Autocar]

Continue reading →

FIA to retire number 17 from Formula 1

2014 Monaco Grand Prix

As a mark of respect to the late Jules Bianchi the FIA has retired his racing number 17 from Formula 1. The FIA’s brief statement follows:

20.07.15 – Jean Todt, President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) announced that the car number 17 will be retired from the FIA Formula One World Championship in honour of Jules Bianchi.

As F1 car numbers are now personally chosen by each driver, the FIA believes it to be an appropriate gesture to retire Jules Bianchi’s number 17.

As a result, this number can no longer be used for a car competing in the FIA Formula One World Championship.

You’d love to get caught in this Spyder’s Web

Mark Webber and a pair of Porsche Spyders

Imagine your day job is a factory Porsche driver and that you’re thrown the keys to a new Boxster Spyder to drive to work:

You have to get the basics right. It doesn’t matter how much performance a car has if the driving position is terrible, or the seat doesn’t hold you properly. This is perfect: the wheel is the right size and shape and has no buttons on it. I need them on my 919, but not here. Nothing is more complicated than it needs to be; everything is designed to let you focus on the driving, and that’s what matters.

Then, when you get there, you get some time in a classic 550 Spyder:

If you look at it, you see how well Porsche understood the fundamentals of what makes a great driving machine even then. The car is incredibly light even by modern standards, and putting a boxer engine behind the driver is as good as you can get from the point of view of weight distribution and center of gravity. I loved the gearbox, the engine response, the handling balance, and the whole feel of the car. And it has that sense you get in modern Porsche sports cars that it could go all day, all night, and all the next day and still be ready for more.

And then the real work starts: the 6 Hours of Silverstone.

Sure beats sitting on your arse hanging around shopping malls for hours.

[Source: Porsche]

Continue reading →

Australia is the best country in the world, except…

Dale Lomas with his new Seat Leon ST Cupra 280

Australia is one of the best countries in the world to live. If not the best. But there are two things we can’t do and that’s buy a fast Seat wagon and we can’t drive our own cars around the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Yes, I’m sure that second part can be done, but not without a lot of red tape, a lot of hassle and, importantly, a lot of money.

Dale Lomas from Bridge to Gantry just bought himself a new car—a Seat Leon ST Cupra 280 estate—and on day one of ownership he ducked around to his favourite local road for a run. Bastard!

Oh yeah, that Harry’s Lap Timer setup seems pretty cool too, even advising of a yellow flag via the mobile phone app.

Settle in and enjoy the lap.

Continue reading →

Jules Bianchi 1989–2015

Jules Bianchi

French Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi passed away today, finally succumbing to the severe head injuries he suffered after crashing at the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix. He was 25-years-old.

The news was confirmed in a statement published to Facebook by the Bianchi family. Word of Bianchi’s death comes just days after Jules’ father, Phillipe, spoke on French radio and said there had been “no significant progress” in his recovery.

It’s 285 days since Bianchi’s accident and, sadly, any hopes of a recovery had long since past. It is a desperately sad situation and we pass on our condolences to his family and friends.

May he rest in peace.

Continue reading →

Snow on Mount Panorama!

Snow on Mount Panorama, Bathurst, July 2015

Parts of New South Wales and south-east Queensland awoke to a fresh blanket of snow this morning and here’s something you don’t see every day: snow on Mount Panorama in Bathurst!

This image of the downhill run from Skyline was shared on twitter. There’s a two more images of a snowy “mountain” after the break as well, including one of Nick Percat driving on the circuit.

If you see any more pics of a snowy Bathurst drop us a line in the comments section.

[Source: @MtPanCircuit]

EDIT: Wheels has the story on a Mercedes-Benz AMG drive day, featuring the new GT S, being affected by the snow.

Continue reading →

First look at the 991.2 Porsche 911 facelift

Porsche 911 991.2 spied at the Nurburgring
Porsche 911 991.2 spied at the Nurburgring

The 991.2 Porsche 911 is due to be revealed at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September, but an undisguised model was spotted lapping the Nürburgring industry pool session yesterday. And here it is!

You’ll notice the revised styling at the front compared with the first gen 991 911 launched in 2011. Also, at the rear there is new rear lights as well as a new twin exhaust arrangement.

Is that exhaust layout the first tangible signs of the new 2.7 litre turbocharged four-cylinder?

[Source: Pistonheads & Cossie670]

UPDATE: A new image from an undisguised 991.2 on the streets of Prague can be seen below. Check out the new vented air intake at the rear.

UPDATE 22 July: New video has been added below.

Continue reading →

Classic Mini Clubman Estate wallpapers

Mini Clubman Estate

It’s safe to say the release of the new MINI Clubman didn’t exactly capture the attention of the readers. “What a hideous turd,” was the first comment left here on AUSmotive and elsewhere the feedback given freely to MINI wasn’t exactly flattering.

It may surprise a few of you to learn that with the release of images for the 21st century Clubman BMW also handed out these images of a Classic Mini Clubman Estate.

And seeing as we reckon most of you will share our view that this one seriously cool little car we figured we’d share these nine photos with you all.

The Clubman Estate replaced the earlier Traveller and Countryman models and was built from 1969–82 during the British Leyland era of Mini stewardship.

BMW says a total of 197,606 Clubman Estates were built and we thank them for sharing these fantastic pics with us, which you can access in our 2560x1690px mega image sizing by clicking on the pics you like.

Continue reading →