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Dakar Rally adds Classic category for 2021

In early 2021, the Porsche 959 and the Lada Niva will have at least one thing in common: They’ll both be eligible to participate in the Dakar Rally after a long hiatus. Neither will realistically be able to beat the racers that will be built specifically for the 2021 event, so the organizers created a Classic category that’s open to cars and trucks.

Contrary to what its name suggests, the Dakar Rally hasn’t been held in Africa since it was canceled in 2008 over terrorism-related fears. It was held in South America in the 2010s, and it moved to Saudi Arabia in 2020. That’s where older racers will be given the opportunity to show what they’re capable of after decades of hibernation. Although the organizers haven’t published a list of eligible vehicles, they noted the Classic category is open to

2020 Ferrari F8 Spider First Drive | Driving impressions, performance, specs, photos

LOS ANGELES — Humanity may be hermetically sealed off by facemasks and lockdowns, but the 2020 Ferrari F8 Spider is ferociously gulping gallons of atmosphere into the cabin as I dice through Malibu’s canyon roads. At least the al fresco exotic can button up in a pinch: Give it 14 seconds at speeds up to 28 mph, and the two-piece hardtop envelops the cockpit, shielding the Giallo Modena two-seater from breathy bystanders.

Microbes were the last thing on my mind while piloting Maranello’s roadster du jour, especially in the remote confines of the coastal Santa Monica mountain range. With a 710-horsepower twin-turbo V8 tucked behind me, it’s easy to see why: this $396,994 prancing horse absolutely rips, ticking off a claimed 62-mph time of 2.9 seconds (figure around 2.7 clicks to 60 mph). With a long enough leash,

Daniel Abt, fired from Audi Formula E team, finds seat with Nio

Daniel Abt will return to the all-electric Formula E series with the Nio 333 team for the final six races of the season in Berlin after being sacked by Audi in May for an esports controversy.

The 27-year-old German lost his real-world drive after he let a gamer take his place, without the rest of the field knowing, in an official Formula E “Race at Home Challenge” event.

Abt, a winner in Berlin in 2018, will replace Chinese driver Ma Qinghua alongside British driver Oliver Turvey at the Chinese-owned team in the season finale behind closed doors at the old Tempelhof airport next month.

China-based Ma, who has yet to score any points this season, has been ruled out by travel restrictions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

“As the saying goes in the eastern world, ‘A prodigal who returns

2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 First Drive | Photos, specs, features

Let’s say you’ve got $75,000 to spend, an open mind and find yourself in the AMG section of your local Mercedes-Benz dealer. Just go with it. The obvious answer is a well-equipped AMG C 63. It has a twin-turbo V8, it’s rear-drive based and looks at home pulling up to restaurants and the racetrack alike. Be it the sedan or coupe, it doesn’t really matter. 

But over there, probably hidden behind a GLS 63, sits something a bit different: the 2020 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45. It’s the savage, top-tier version of the entry-level Mercedes that’s equal parts sedan and coupe. Remember the CLA 45 AMG? Remember thinking that Mercedes was off its rocker for offering a 355-horsepower four-cylinder. Prepare your eyeballs, because AMG has found more power. New and now built by hand like higher-end AMG

Collaboration between rideshare and public transit post-coronavirus

WARWICK, Rhode Island — Urban transportation’s transformation has shifted up a gear as the coronavirus crisis turns travel habits on their head, with Uber making allies of public transit systems by now offering to sell them its software expertise.

This means Marin County’s Transportation Authority will next month allow passengers in the San Francisco Bay area to book a trip through the Uber app, but rather than someone’s private car they will ride wheelchair-accessible public vans.

From the streets of Utah’s Salt Lake City to Missouri’s St. Louis and New Jersey’s Jersey City, more than 120 U.S. transit agencies have launched collaborations with ride-hail firms in the past two years, data analyzed by Reuters shows.

“Providing software is a higher-margin service for us. We’re leveraging technology we’ve been building for years,” David Reich, Uber Technologies Inc’s head of transit, said.

2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime First Drive | Plug-in hybrid, what’s new, range, fuel economy

So far, there haven’t been many hybrid variants of smaller mainstream two-row crossovers and, understandably, all have focused on efficiency. The new, range-topping 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime is flipping the script.

For 2021, Toyota is looking to reclaim the performance high ground in the compact crossover segment with a plug-in hybrid. The RAV4 Prime may approach performance from a completely different angle, but 302 horsepower is 302 horsepower, and quick is quick. Like our Volvo S60 long-termer, the 2021 RAV4 Prime is poised to be as fun as it is frugal.

Toyota has hinted at this approach before, as the current RAV4‘s sportiest trim level, the XSE, is only available as the Hybrid. Blessed with sharper suspension and steering tuning, it stemmed from the belief of chief engineer Yoshikazu Saeki that hybrids had untapped performance potential. It,