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Globe Drive

Trans-Canada Highway

Reporting on the automotive industry, including recalls and other news, motorsports and blog posts

Queen Elizabeth is looking for a new chauffeur

JORDAN CHITTLEY

Do you enjoy driving massive limousines and can keep a secret? Then your perfect job has just become available.

The official website of the British monarchy posted an the ad looking for a chauffeur at Buckingham Palace to handle the driving duties of Queen Elizabeth II.

“As chauffeur you will work as part of a busy and supportive team tasked with driving members of the royal family, household officials, guests and official visitors,” reads the job post. “You will ensure the vehicles are well maintained and kept to a high standard of presentation, whilst assisting with the daily administration and management of the Royal Mews Garage.”

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Why Canadians love to search for BMW on Kijiji

JORDAN CHITTLEY

Kijiji has it all: jobs, houses, vacation rentals, twerking lessons, Isa red chickens and a dresser possessed by the spirit of an ex-girlfriend. However, by far, the biggest section on the online classified website is autos.

The site started 10 years ago this month with an ad for community volunteers in Quebec. In that first year, more than 15,000 car ads were posted to it. The number of ads has grown every year and, in 2014, more than 4.7 million auto ads were posted across Canada.

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Boston cyclists dig 13-metre tunnel to keep bike path open for commuting

JORDAN CHITTLEY

 

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Monster snowfall completely buries cars and streets in PEI

Staff

 

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Harley-Davidson to show off first electric bike in Toronto

Harley-Davidson’s first electric bike will be on display at the Motorcycle Show-Toronto, taking place Friday through Sunday at the Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place. Harley’s exhibit includes a Jumpstart Demo, a simulated ride that does not require a motorcycle license.

Other features of the show include:

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Should I warm up my car before driving? Peter Cheney answers all of your questions

Staff

Globe Drive columnist Peter Cheney took control of the Globe Drive Twitter account Friday morning to answer questions about cars, buying a car or the Toronto auto show, which opens to the public on Friday, Feb. 13.

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Quebec sales incentive boosts Volkswagen sales

STAFF

Volkswagen boosted January sales in Canada by 27 per cent year-over-year, propelled by a $750 corporate incentive to Quebec customers that is to be repeated in Ontario for a 10-day span, starting Friday.

Long-term success rests on a North American catch-up strategy based on a recognition that sport utility vehicles are here to stay. At the Canadian International Auto Show’s press day on Thursday, VW presented the five-seat Cross Coupe GTE concept that has been previously introduced as a seven-seater, and is to be produced in Tennessee. It has a 360-horsepower gasoline engine and an electric engine with a range of 30 km.

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Ford GT supercar to be built at Toronto-area facility

TOM MALONEY

The all-new 2017 Ford GT, the company’s new supercar, will be built in Markham, Ont., in partnership with Multimatic, a privately-held Toronto-based company.

Joe Henrich, president of the Americas for Ford Motor Co., and former president of Ford Canada, made the announcement Thursday at the Canadian International Auto Show. There had been speculation Ford would build the car with an outside supplier.

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Subaru Legacy named Canadian Car of the Year

DARREN McGEE

The Subaru Legacy was named Thursday as the Canadian Car of the Year while the Ford F-150 took top honours as the Utility Vehicle of the Year.

“At Subaru, we have a wonderful reputation for engineering, design and building great SUVs and performance cars,” said Ted Lalka, a vice-president at Subaru Canada, while accepting the award to kick off the media preview day at the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto. “But for many Canadians, it comes as a surprise that we actually have great sedans.

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Classic Ferrari found in barn sells for record $23-million

JORDAN CHITTLEY

A 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider set a sales record for California Spiders – becoming the fifth most-expensive car ever sold at action – when it fetched about $23 million at the Artcurial auction house in Paris.

The car, one of only a few dozen ever made, once belonged to actor Alain Delon and was discovered rusting under a pile of old magazines and newspapers on a French farm.

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High-performance Ford Focus RS will be sold in Canada

DARREN McGEE

Ford’s hottest hatch is coming to Canada.

The auto maker has unveiled the Focus RS, the 315-horsepower performance version of its popular car, and announced that global production will begin later this year.

The Focus RS will be built at Ford’s plant in Saarlouis, Germany, and become the first RS model sold in the United States and Canada when it goes on sale in 2016. Pricing was not announced.

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Big disconnect between beliefs and actions when it comes to texting while driving

Staff

When it comes to texting while driving in this country, the numbers don’t add up.

A poll conducted by the Canadian Automobile Association found that 90 per cent of Canadians believe texting while driving is “socially unacceptable.”

However, the same poll found that 22 per cent of Canadians admitted to either reading or sending a text while driving. Note the words, “admitted to.” There’s no telling how many more did not admit to multi-tasking while behind the wheel.

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Limited-stop Tesla tour hits Toronto this month

DARREN McGEE

The 10-stop Tesla Tour is coming to Toronto.

Dubbed the “Double Black Dual Motor Model S Tour”, Elon Musk’s cutting-edge car company is taking both the P85D and 85D Model S on a 10-city cross-continent trip.

The Toronto stop will be held at the Allstream Centre at Exhibition Place from Feb. 12-15, with Feb. 12 available only to the media. The event opens to the public for the following three days by appointment only. Walk-ins will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis. Go to teslamotors.com/models/drive to book a spot.

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Art and the Automobile exhibit paints a classic picture

DARREN McGEE

The Canadian International AutoShow is a celebration of what’s new, now and wow in the car industry.

It’s also an opportunity for car buffs to reflect on the past – and for more than a decade the Cruise Nationals has showcased the best custom vintage restored cars and trucks.

This year, a concours-quality classic-car display is being added to the mix: The Art and the Automobile exhibit, sponsored by the Cobble Beach Concours d’Elegance and the CBC television drama Murdoch Mysteries.

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For sale: $9,000 Lambo, previously loved, too much

JORDAN CHITTLEY

Lamborghini sells some of the priciest cars in the world, out of the financial reach of most motorists. The Veneno roadster, for example – of which only nine were built – fetches $5.6 million.

But those Average Joes who cling to the dream may finally be in luck. Lambo ownership of one specific used Huracan is but $9,000 away. And by used, we mean totalled.

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U.S. man offers Tesla trunk for $109/night on AirBnB

Jordan Chittley

A Phoenix man is offering people the chance to stay overnight in what he calls the “fastest hotel in the world.” It is his Tesla Model S. You won’t actually get a chance to drive the $118,000 car that can go zero to 100 km/h in four seconds, but for $109 a night , you can sleep in the back while it is parked in a locked garage.

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Burly police officer caught on dash camera lip-syncing, dancing to Taylor Swift

A video of a bald and burly Delaware police officer lip-syncing and dancing to Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off has now gotten more than 20 million views on YouTube, and a shout-out from the pop princess herself.

Master Cpl. Jeff Davis of the Dover Police Department has gotten so much attention for the video, he even went to New York on Wednesday to appear on Good Morning America, the Today show and America’s Newsroom on Fox News.

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Elon Musk's Tesla Motors gets a reality check

JEREMY CATO

Far be it for me to say I told you so.

Still, the invisible hand of the marketplace is giving that young upstart Tesla Motors the great, big swat that anyone who a) can read a balance sheet and b) understands the complexity of the car business has known all along. I’ve argued that Tesla is not yet a fully formed car company, and the marketplace is now showing agreement.

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Close call as tractor-trailer slides sideways on black ice

JORDAN CHITTLEY

A New Jersey driver narrowly escaped being smashed by a tractor-trailer after black ice caused numerous collisions in the Philadelphia area Sunday.

In a video posted online, a driver is stopped on a section of Interstate-95 about 50 kilometres southwest of New York City behind a sideways truck. The truck had hit the guard rail and is blocking the highway. Suddenly, the camera spins around to show an out-of-control tractor-trailer sliding almost in a jackknife position straight for the driver. The brakes squeak right before the tractor-trailer jumps the guard rail, narrowly missing the driver. The tractor-trailer then fully jackknifes, taking over the other section of highway.

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Nissan investing in EV charging stations in ‘more motivated’ Quebec

Tom Maloney

The major obstacle blocking sales of zero-emission vehicles is the driver’s fear of getting stuck somewhere.

Can we make it to the ski hill and back?

Where can I re-fuel and how long will it take?

Will I miss an important meeting because the car ran out of power?

Faced with a classic chicken-and-egg dilemma – which comes first, the cars then the widely available power supply, or the supply then the cars? – auto makers are beginning to subsidize supply infrastructure for electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

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