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Throughout The Car Industry
The newest Prancing Horse in the stable in Maranello is more than even its name hints at. The 458 Speciale is a rare beast indeed, and "special" doesn't quite cut it for us. But then, names like 458 I-Can't-Believe-It's-This-Fast don't really fit on a bumper, or something like, 458 I-Would-Trade-My-First-Born-Child-For-This-Car also doesn't quite flow off the tongue in day-to-day car talk. Taking a model in the twilight of its production cycle and revamping it just enough to warrant a slightly different variation of its namesake is something Ferrari has made a habit out of, starting almost 20 years ago with the Ferrari F355 Challenge, then the F360 Challenge Stradale, and most recently (until now, of course) the F430 Scuderia.
Posted In: Exotics, Car Reviews, Special / Limited Edition
Tags: Ferrari, 458, Speciale
Back in the day, my generation purchased a vehicle based on what we needed the car to do (i.e. cart family around, attract potential partners, get back and forth to work, etc). We watched television commercials, asked questions of salesmen, and took test drives ranging from 5 to 15 minutes. Then we made a decision and bought a car. The up-and-coming generation seems to have a different approach. Television commercials may still pique their interest, but research is done online instead of at a dealership—with a salesman who may or may not answer honestly depending on how many cars he still needs to sell for the month.
I think that someone, somewhere inside BMW’s striking headquarters in Munich (which is in Germany, thank you) is about to be made “redundant”. Either that, or the pervading sense of German pragmatism has been unceremoniously defenestrated from the offices of BMW’s marketing, branding, and long-term planning executives. How else could they justify something like the newly announced 4 Series Gran Coupe? Let me provide a little background information:
Posted In: Car News, Special / Limited Edition
Tags: BMW, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, series, gran, coupe, 428i, 435i
Import sports cars are characterized by their styling, handling, and technology integration -- what they lack in cubic inches, they make up for in the driving experience. Historically, the market hasn’t been overrun by these models, but a shift in the attitude of both auto makers and consumers is prompting the development of more import brand sports cars.
New This Year...
For 2014 alone, the sports car is getting a handful of exciting new models. Not including the supercar or exotic premiers, these are the best new import sports cars (in alphabetical order):
Remember when you were young and there were those things that adults talked about and did that were either hidden from the “children” or not discussed in front of them? This covered everything from books and magazines to movies and certain topics of conversation. When I was old enough to be privy to these things, I found among my dad’s belongings a pad of “parking citations.” Now my father was a police officer, but they weren’t those kinds of citations. These were a novelty and were intended for non-police citizens to leave on the windshields of drivers who were caught doing those irritating things that we all hate (except for those who do them, I guess). There were several categories and they all came with some very adult name calling. Even without the fine I’m sure it made you feel better to leave one for the guy who took up two parking spaces.
Are you a truck driver? Not the 18-wheel kind, but the regular kind of big truck. The people who usually drive this type of vehicle are hard working guys (or gals) who depend on their trucks to get the job done and perform as well as they do. They are a special breed. Ford is looking for five of these down-and-dirty guys (or gals) to take part in a special test drive opportunity.
And so it is that the first of F1’s pre-season tests comes to a close—not with a whimper but with several bangs, as the teams running Renault engines were forced to pack up and leave early, hampered by some fairly significant technical issues. More ill news for defending champions Red Bull, as a series of electrical and heat-management gremlins saw them complete a scant 21 laps over the course of the four-day test. Speculation abounds that the issues inherent in the Red Bull car (christened the RB10) are the result of chief designer Adrian Newey’s overly aggressive packaging of the car’s power systems. Whatever the case, the majority of fans who are sick of seeing Red Bull endlessly march from title to title are understandably sanguine about this season’s prospects.
Posted In: Racing, Reports
Tags: formula, 1, one, F1, mclaren, mercedes, ferrari, lotus, williams, renault, force, india, caterham, marussia, red, bull, racing, infiniti, lewis, hamilton, kimi, raikkonen, sebastian, vettel, jenson, button, jerez, test, preseason, pre, season, ERS, V6, turbo, reliability, daniel, ricciardo, MP4-29, adrian, newey, michael, schumacher, kevin, magnussen, RB10, Williams, Felipe, Massa, FW36
In the spring, dealerships will begin receiving the new 2014 Mini Cooper Hardtops, but you don’t have to wait to begin building yours. The manufacturer’s website, MINIUSA.com, is up and running with more options for this little car than ever before.
It’s cold in Ogden, Utah. It’s cold over a good portion of the United States right now. The residents in Ogden (and possibly where you live) are doing what many people do—starting their cars before they are ready to drive them in order to “warm them up.” This activity raises a few questions about the safety, necessity, and effectiveness of doing so.
Now that testing’s commenced, the world of F1 is once again publicly in motion. Flurries and drifts of rumor and speculation are rapidly piling up as the teams continue to pound their cars around Circuito de Jerez, revealing and exorcising a myriad of technological demons resulting from the complex new power units at the heart of this year’s cars.
Posted In: Racing, Reports
Tags: formula, 1, one, F1, mclaren, mercedes, ferrari, lotus, williams, renault, force, india, caterham, marussia, red, bull, racing, infiniti, lewis, hamilton, kimi, raikkonen, sebastian, vettel, jenson, button, jerez, test, preseason, pre, season, ERS, V6, turbo, reliability, daniel, ricciardo, MP4-29, adrian, newey, michael, schumacher, kevin, magnussen, RB10
Attention, Toyota Camry Hybrid owners! The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) has opened a preliminary evaluation of 2007-2008 Camry Hybrids due to a possible defect of the braking system. Owners have reported that they are experiencing “delayed braking actuation or increased brake pedal effort” meaning the brakes either don’t work or the pedal must be pushed harder to get the car to stop. So far there have been 59 complaints, 40% of which said the issue occurred at speeds of 40mph or more. It seems the problem is more likely as the car ages because 55% of the complaints have occurred in the last eight months.
Tags: toyota, camry hybrid, recall