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Australian Holden Volt Port Cancellled : News
Australian Holden Volt Port Cancellled : News

It seems the Aussies don’t have much of a love affair with the Holden Volt, the rebadged Chevrolet Volt twin for Oz. The plug-in hasn’t been the hottest seller, presumably due to high prices.

Only 58 examples of the Holden Volt were sold in Australia during 2014, building a negative business case to ship the newest generation Volt to Australian shores. This is down from a still marginal 101 cars in 2013.

As we reported previously, the new 2016 Chevrolet Volt was teased early at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas days ago. Holden spokesperson Kate Lonsdale commented to Australia’s Drive saying there’s no guarantee the car will be available in the country.

“I’m not able to answer that,” she told the magazine. “We’re looking at it… we’ll review the business case.”

We’ve all heard that one before.

The Holden Volt is more expensive than other plug-in alternatives such as the Toyota Prius and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, ringing in at a steep $59,990 AUD, or about $48,000 USD. Lonsdale says the car “was always going to be a very niche model” that was not intended to break sales records. Meanwhile, look for the official debut on the 2016 Chevrolet Volt to happen early next week during the 2015 North American International Auto Show.

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Sources : Holden Volt Photo | Holden Volt Article
Rolls Royce Phantom Limelight : Concept Cars
Rolls Royce Phantom Limelight : Concept Cars

The ‘Limelight’ moniker given to Rolls Royce’s latest collection is no accident. It is intended for a select group of buyers who spend their lives in the public eye and on the world stage. The limelight name is inspired by the actual limelight effect discovered by Sir Goldsworthy Gurney in the 1820s. His lighting concept was an invention that revolutionised illumination in the theatres of London’s Covent Garden, providing spotlight on the leading actors.

Rolls Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös told BMW Blog, “In creating the Rolls-Royce Phantom Limelight Collection, our designers have delivered authentic luxury by thinking deeply about the lifestyles of the powerful people who operate in the public eye and move swiftly from engagement to engagement as part of their daily life.”

“The result is a beautiful, discreet motor car in which those for whom the world is waiting can prepare, relax and arrive in the finest luxury and style.”

There will only be 25 examples from the Phantom Limelight Collection on offer with enquiries now being taken worldwide.

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Sources : Rolls Royce Phantom Limelight Photo | Rolls Royce Phantom Limelight Article
2015 Lincoln MKC : Current Models
2015 Lincoln MKC : Current Models

Lincoln is targeting young, affluent car shoppers in East and West Coast cities with its new 2015 MKC compact crossover. And while that's definitely not the traditional Lincoln shopper, the brand is aiming its sights right over years of muddled messages, and blasting past those waves of constant change with a rip tide of product—luxury product that's seriously competitive with high-cachet brands.

The MKC also becomes the second of four new Lincolns due to arrive in showrooms by 2016—with a new MKX crossover and a revamped Navigator both due soon. While the MKZ sedan that was introduced last year was an interesting, albeit somewhat eccentric, new entry for the luxury market, the MKC is what Lincoln needs: a model that looks sophisticated but fits right into its class, performs with verve, and wows with a luxurious cabin and plenty of technology, all at a few grand less than the equivalent from those luxury brands that are a little more 'defined' today.

To that, the 2015 Lincoln MKC makes a solid statement of purpose against the likes of the Audi Q5, Acura RDX, or Cadillac SRX, as well as somewhat smaller new premium entries like the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLA.

A pretty rendition of the standard-issue crossover styling themes, the MKC sports some subtle design cues that show someone's paying attention. The front end's one of the slimmed-down renditions now appearing on all Lincoln faces, except the Navigator's. The MKC's split-wing grille leads into a sideview basically untouched from its concept-car stage, glass carefully framed to avoid any references to the Escape. The most interesting view's the one from the back, where the MKC's full-width taillights and the two-piece tailgate design are smoothly executed in a way we'd expect from Chrysler or Infiniti.

The cockpit adopts the trick cue from the MKZ sedan: it skips the shift lever in favor of pushbuttons to actuate its transmission. The MyLincoln Touch infotainment system's large screen is now complemented by large knobs for tuning and volume, and with an array of climate-control switches on its elevated, kiosk-like center console. Lincoln says it's using more Bridge of Weir leather and real wood trim in the MKC to evoke a richer feel, too.

Though it's directly related to the Ford Escape, and part of the vast family of compact vehiclesincluding the Ford Focus, tthe MKC's premium interior and more powerful drivetrain help insert a lot of distance from those mass-market offerings.

The 2015 Lincoln MKC doesn't at all offer a V-6; but it does better than that, really. With a new 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder engine (yes, the same engine that's headed into the 2015 Ford Mustang), making 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque, this is a model that moves very rapidly (think around seven seconds to 60 mph), with plenty of power to spare for quick takeoffs, or no-sweat highway passing. It's one of the highlights that makes the MKC special. With a twin-scroll turbocharger, its power delivery is more immediate—and on par with the V-8s of less than a decade ago, really. Its sound is a bit coarse when accelerating, but a balance-shaft system keeps it vibration-free, and generous noise insulation plus active noise cancellation altogether keep the cabin quiet.

For those who don't need quite as much get up and go, the strong 2.0-liter EcoBoost, with 240 horsepower and 270 lb-ft, is the other choice, and it moves nearly as quickly—especially in base front-wheel-drive form. And the MKC has a level of ride-and-handling refinement that's on par with what you'll find in the RDX, the Q5, and the BMW X3. Steering is sharp, precise, and very well-weighted, and thanks in part to a continuous damping suspension and active noise cancellation, you get crisp handling and great body control, without all the coarseness and road noise that such a setup usually brings on.

It's all, by the way, customizable, with a Lincoln Drive Control system that lets you program the 'D' and 'S' modes on the shift panel to call up a customizable combination of modes for powertrain and steering, as well as ride.

Sized like an Escape, the MKC is banking on a spiced-up interior to convince shoppers that less is more. Today's Escape is slightly shorter than a CR-V, longer than a Hyundai Tucson, but has a more snug feel than some of its competition, thanks in part to firm, thin, sporty seats. Bridge of Weir leather in much of the model line gives front occupants good long-distance comfort, and soft-touch surfaces wrap not only the upper portion of the dash and doors, but also down below. Back-seat space is the weak point, with the MKC's tapered-down roofline and hard, upright seating not adding up to a luxurious back seat for adults -- especially if you opt for the twin-panel panoramic roof.

At the base level, the 2015 Lincoln MKC Premiere includes power heated driver’s and passenger’s seats; the MyLincoln Touch system with an eight-inch screen, a media hub with two USB ports, an SD card reader, and RCA input; keyless entry and push-button start; cruise control; active noise control; the programmable MyKey system; speed-sensitive intermittent wipers; remote start; HID headlamps; reverse sensors; heated mirrors; and many more features that solidly place it in the luxury category.

There’s some good value here, provided you’re okay with a brand that might not (at least not yet) have built back a reputation to rival Lexus or Audi. Pricing starts at $33,995 for the Premiere and runs up to $44,565 for the 2.3-liter AWD Reserve. Load up the latter and you can top the $50k mark -- but not by much. That’s at least a few grand less than most rivals with the same equipment.

Over the base Premiere model, you can step up to the Select Package to get the upgraded leather, more adjustable seats, ambient lighting, and plenty more extras; then top Reserve models get the dual-pane panoramic sunroof, navigation, a hands-free tailgate, and heated-and-cooled seats, among other things. You can also opt up to a THX II Certified audio system with 14 speakers plus a distributed bass system, or spring for extras like 20-inch wheels or several special paint hues.

A MyLincoln Mobile app allows a wide range of services from a distance (through the cell network), including remote starting, a fuel-level check, and a vehicle locator. You can also opt into a whole suite of active-safety features, and a new Active Park Assist adds Park Out Assist, which now not only helps you get into tight parallel spots but out of them.

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Sources : 2015 Lincoln MKC Photo | 2015 Lincoln MKC Article
1933 Stutz DV32 Convertible Victoria : Classic Cars
1933 Stutz DV32 Convertible Victoria : Classic Cars

“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” Charles Dickens wrote it about 18th century France, but it applied just as well to the mood within 1060 North Capitol Avenue, Indianapolis, in 1930. Stutz was in trouble. The successes of competition in the Brass Era had not translated into successes in production in the 1920s, and the company was further weakened by financial shenanigans of top management and the onslaught of the Great Depression. In the end, it would not survive. Nonetheless, in early-1931, amidst all the gloom and doom, Stutz launched the DV32, as fine an epitaph as any automaker would ever write for itself.

The DV32 began with the original Stutz Vertical Eight that had debuted in 1926. Not having the funds on hand to design a completely new engine, the company had made do with this mill for five years, continuously fine-tuning and upgrading it. As the last iteration, the DV32 began with the 322-cubic inch former BB engine, redesigned by Charles “Pop” Greuter, dean of the Stutz engineering department, with double overhead camshafts and angled valves above hemispherical combustion chambers. It was this arrangement that gave the engine its lasting title—it boasted four valves per cylinder, 32 in total, or “Dual Valve-32.”

The upgraded engine produced some 125 horsepower, about the same horsepower-per-cubic-inch ratio of the Duesenberg Model J, taken to the rear axle through a Warner four-speed transmission. Even with heavy bodywork on the long chassis, a DV32 was swift and flexible, capable of 80 mph, and of outrunning just about everything but the inevitable.

Only about 200 examples of the DV32 were delivered during Stutz’s waning days, which finally came to an end in 1935 after a valiant attempt at survival through light truck production. The survivors have long been held among the most valuable and desirable of Stutzes, and they are among the most pleasurable automobiles of their era to drive. Particularly desirable are those sacred few chassis that received custom coachwork.

While its early history is not known, it is likely that this particular DV32 began its life in New York City. There it was delivered to the premises of the Rollston Company, the Big Apple’s most prestigious coachbuilder for three decades. While other American body makers were noted for their flamboyance or their conservatism, Rollston was perhaps the most versatile, capable of creations that spanned the spectrum of good taste. They produced fabulous town cars, roadsters, phaetons, and limousines alike, their designs united only by peerless build quality and bank account-exhausting cost.

The DV32 offered here was treated to a variation of Rollston’s Convertible Victoria, a five-passenger design utilized on several different chassis during the Classic Era. This design was ordinarily quite formal, with a high beltline, long doors, and rather squared-off proportions, befitting a two-door automobile that would on occasion be driven by a chauffeur. This particular car, body number 530, was given a more aggressively slanted windshield, which resulted in a car of an entirely different personality. Even in the subdued original colors of Sierra Sandstone and Antique Veridian Green over beige leather upholstery, the Stutz appears vaguely menacing, the angled glass serving to lower the roof and lengthen the proportions of the car.

The car’s history has been traced back to 1952, when it was acquired by Carl Pennrich, of Greenwood Lake, New York, further indicating that its original owner was likely one of Rollston’s many local customers. In 1960, Pennrich sold the Stutz to William Harrah, in whose vast Reno warehouses it would remain for over a quarter century. As a long-term exhibit at Harrah’s Automobile Collection, the Stutz became a very well-known example to enthusiasts and remained a large, complete, correct, and original car that was properly kept. A two-page color spread of the car, painted its then-current maroon, appeared in Volume Two, Number One, of Automobile Quarterly, illustrating an article on Stutz by D. Cameron Peck.

After the Harrah Collection was dispersed, the Stutz found its way into the hands of noted collector Richard Scott, who got it running and driving again and reports that it was a “bulletproof car.” After several years spent in Scott’s collection, it passed through the hands of noted collectors Joseph Cassini and David Kane, before coming into the ownership of the current enthusiast owner, a longtime aficionado of the Stutz and other fine Classic Era marques. Immensely knowledgeable of what he owns, he endeavored to have the car exquisitely restored, after which it achieved Second in Class at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2006, Best in Show at the Glenmoor Gathering and Best in Class at Amelia Island in 2007, and Best in Class at the Meadow Brook Concours in 2009. The car remains in exquisite overall condition and is ready to continue its illustrious concours career with pride under new ownership.

The original Stutz may have been “the car that made good in a day,” but as memories of the Bearcat faded into the board track dust, it was the DV32 that made certain that the company would be remembered. The Rollston Convertible Victoria offered here is as fine an example of the ultimate Stutz as it exists today, demonstrating the meaning of high-speed American luxury as few cars have, before or since.


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Sources : 1933 Stutz DV32 Convertible Victoria Photo | 1933 Stutz DV32 Convertible Victoria Article
Tori Kelley : Unbreakable Smile : Music
"Don't mistake kindness for weakness."





Birth Name : Victoria Loren Kelly
Born : December 14, 1992 (age 22)
Origin : Wildomar, California, U.S.
Genres : Pop soul R&B
Occupations : Singer songwriter
Years active : 2006–present
Labels : Capitol

Tori Kelly first rose to attention when her cover of Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin Bout You,” went viral, racking up over 22 million views. To date, her YouTube channel boasts over ONE MILLION YouTube Subscribers with over 89 million views. Now, two EP’s later Handmade Songs, which Kelly self-penned, produced, mixed and released, and Foreword, she plans to release her first full length debut this spring.

Kelly co-wrote “Nobody Love” off her 2015 Spring debut alongside Rickard Goransson and Max Martin. Martin says, “After hearing Tori sing, we felt so inspired that we had no choice but to get involved. It’s been such a pleasure to be a part of her journey.” She also co-wrote with such vets as Savan Kotecha, Toby Gad, Claude Kelly, Chuck Harmony, Wolf Cousins, and Ed Sheeran. The album, she says, does not depart from her soulful roots. “It’s like a marriage between that soulful urban thing and a mainstream pop vibe. It was hard to get to that place, but once we had ‘Nobody Love,’ I knew we’d cracked the code. It felt seamless.”

Working with one of the most successful hit makers in the industry is a long way from Kelly’s early years making songs in her bedroom and posting them online. Born and raised in Temecula, California, Kelly is the daughter of musicians, her dad is a singer and bassist and her mom plays piano and saxophone. She sites early influences like gospel singer Crystal Lewis, Jill Scott, Jeff Buckley, and Maxwell.

Over the past year and a half, Kelly has sold out shows in several major cities (including The Troubadour and The Roxy in Los Angeles, the Bowery Ballroom and Gramercy Theatre in New York City, and Bush Hall in London), headlined a nine-city sold-out U.S. tour, and supported Ed Sheeran, and Sam Smith on tour.

“I’m excited to get out and play for people. That’s always the dream.”

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Sources : Kelley Photo | Unbreakable Smile Video | Kelley Article
CamaroSix Shows Some Goods : News
CamaroSix Shows Some Goods : News

The newest pair of teaser images for the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro was introduced today, this time showing the hood lines and the new rear spoiler of the 6th gen muscle car.

Right now, we are about 17 days from the world debut of the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro and today, the CamaroSix website unlocked the two newest teaser images of the 6th gen F-Body. These new images showing the upper portion of the rear end from a side-view angle and the hood from an overhead angle. Other than the camouflaged shot that GM introduced before the stream of teasers began, this newest pair marks the first time that the automaker has shown off the outside of the 2016 Camaro.

“The Camaro went to the gym and came out with a lithe, more athletic physique for the sixth generation,” said Ed Welburn, vice president, GM Global Design. “It’s a more expressive evolution of the Camaro’s iconic character – and one that complements its leaner size and sharper reflexes.”

The Back End of CamaroSix
The more significant of the two new teaser shots of the 2016 Camaro is the rear end view, as it shows off the new spoiler, which differs greatly from the spoiler found on the current 2015 Camaro. The 5th gen Camaro has used a spoiler design which had a molded form to the trunk lid, where the 6th gen Camaro has a new pedestal design.

This rear end shot also shows the basic form of the tail lights of the 2016 Camaro, although the tail lights themselves and the rear bumper area have been removed in this shot. Even without the tail light lenses, we can see that the 2016 Camaro tail lights are more sharply angled inward than the current models, giving the back end an angrier, more aggressive look.

The Hood of CamaroSix
The hood of the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro is also very different from the current models, with a far more chiseled design. The GM release states that the hood appears to be shrink-wrapped around the engine, and I can see it. While there is still a raised center section, similar to the current models, the high edges and valleys that separate the center bulge and the edges is vastly different from the predominantly flat design of the 2010-2015 Camaro hood.

The hood that we see here doesn’t have any sort of venting, so I wonder if this might not be the hood of the V6 2016 Camaro, as the vented hood on the current Camaro SS is something that I (and many others) would like to see carried on into the next generation.

No New Info
While today’s teasers offered us our first look at the outside of the 2016 Camaro, today’s release don’t include any juicy details on the next generation muscle car. However, these sexy hood lines, the new spoiler design and the angular taillights should be enough to keep everyone on the edge of their seats until the next pair of teaser images.

Now that we have seen 10 teaser images of the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro, there are just two left to be unlocked ahead of the May 16th debut in Detroit. The final two teasers will be released on May 11th and if I had to guess, I would expect to see at least one interior teaser in the final pairing.

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Sources : CamaroSix Rear Fender Photo | CamaroSix Article
Paul Smith x Land Rover Defender : Concept Cars
Paul Smith x Land Rover Defender : Concept Cars

As one of the world’s most recognizable cars edges toward retirement, Paul Smith has designed a one-off bespoke version of the archetypal 4×4 – the Land Rover Defender.

Using a palette of 27 individual colours, Paul Smith has created a typically vibrant and utterly unique version of the Defender that nods to the cars impeccable service history with the Army, Navy and Airforce. The colours also reference the Defender’s ties to British countryside, for which it has been a symbol and ambassador for the past 60 years.

“I wanted deep, rich colours, but at the same time, I wanted them to work together yet be surprising“, says Paul Smith. Design elements used in the Defender also tie into other recent collaborations, as Paul explains: “I wanted to give this Defender a feeling of luxury. So, I used a mix of leather and fabric for the seats. I actually used the fabric that I design for Maharam, the American upholstery company. My designs are known for their attention to detail, so I didn’t want this Defender to be any different.”

With production of the Land Rover Defender due to end in December of this year, this is a fitting tribute to one of the world’s most loved vehicles. And a hell of a goodbye, really.

The Paul Smith x Land Rover Defender is being launched at the Paul Smith flagship shop on Mayfair’s Albemarle Street now by Paul Smith and Land Rover’s Chief Creative Officer Gerry McGovern, who helped to bring this special collaboration to fruition.

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Sources : Paul Smith x Land Rover Defender Photo | Paul Smith x Land Rover Defender Article
2015 Cadillac Escalade : Current Models
2015 Cadillac Escalade : Current Models

The Cadillac Escalade has been around for 16 years and three generations. During that time, it has been synonymous with being a straight-up baller. The problem is that, aside from looks, it has never actually been a very good vehicle. Old Escalades were slow, had with cheap interiors, and offered wretched driving dynamics and even worse brakes. While they fell flat on the road, they were at their best as stationary surfaces over which to drape babes in music videos.

Thankfully, the new Escalade is a whole different story. It may be bigger, badder, and even more baller than ever, but for the first time in its history it is also a refined and fun vehicle to drive. In fact, the only thing about it that isn’t a dramatic improvement in the new Escalade is the fuel economy.

Refined vulgarity
The defining characteristic of an Escalade is styling. A bad-looking, or even worse, subtle Escalade is slightly more useless than a submarine with a screen door. Happily, the new Escalade is a looker. For starters, there is the Caddy’s sheer presence. No one who saw the Escalade could avoid marveling at just how damn big it was. The sense of vast bulk is added to by classic Escalade touches, like rims the size of Fiat 500s and a grille that looks like it could fit on a semi.

Look more closely, though, and there are now some refined and even beautiful touches as well. The massive clear rear light assemblies look like something from a modern art exhibit. The door handles boast cleverly wrought LED lighting, and even the logo has gotten in on the act. New Escalades are ditching the traditional Cadillac shield in favor of a bolder, cleaner design — sans wreath.

In a lot of ways, this new logo sums up the new Escalades look. Sure, it is brash and even vulgar, as is appropriate for the car that celebrates the most conspicuous sort of consumption. However, there is also a new thoughtfulness and attention to detail that highlights that the Escalade truly is a luxury product.

Finally, a nice place to be
Not so long ago the Cadillac Escalade’s interior was awash in fake wood and bits of plastic that started life in a Chevy Tahoe. Compared to that, the 2015 interior is a revelation.

My Platinum trim press demonstrator had more leather, suede, and wood than any three BMWs. Even better, it appeared extremely well assembled. Gone are the panel gaps and loose parts that were the unfortunate hallmark of earlier Cadillac interiors.

Along with the improved materials, there is modern design. The center console is dominated by Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system. While this is in some ways frustrating to use, it definitely makes a modern stylistic statement, ditching buttons and switches for chrome and piano-black touch panels.

CUE isn’t the only high-tech thing in the interior either. In its loaded Platinum trim, the Escalade features a staggering number of technological toys, including everything from heated, cooled and massaging seats, to a refrigerator and third-row seats that raise and lower at the touch of a button.

The result of all of this is that the Escalade feels worth its $93,000 price tag. The interior has the same luxury gravitas as its German and British rivals, as well as possibly even more features. What is more it is a comfortable and relaxing place to be.

In fact I really only have two quibbles with this part of the Escalade. First, despite the monolithic exterior dimensions, the interior isn’t quite as big as one would expect. With the front seats all the way back, second row passengers have only adequate legroom. Also, with the third row of seats in position, cargo space is surprisingly limited. In practice, this will rarely be an issue but nonetheless disappointing.

Second, while interior quality is up massively, there are still a few Chevy-sourced components kicking around. Both the control stalks, column shifter, and trim in the third row come from Chevy trucks. It’s hardly unforgivable, but not an issue that is likely to be found in other luxury SUVs.

Luxury dynamics
As impressive as the rest of the Escalade is, the real treat is how it drives. Despite using old-school body-on-frame construction and a pushrod V8, the big Cadillac rivals any of its foreign competitors on ride quality, if not handling prowess.

The standard wheelbase version of the Escalade weighs in at a pavement-cracking, bridge-sagging 5,840 pounds. It bears this weight shockingly well, though. It would be wrong, as well as faintly ridiculous, to call it nimble, but the Escalade has a really pleasant degree of poise.

Steering is precise and direct, with force building nicely in hard turns. The suspension, given the weight and size, is a masterwork, keeping the Escalade level in all but the hardest corners. The truck’s 52/48 front-to-rear weight balance likely aids the suspension’s competence. Certainly, the Escalade is far from sporty, but it is something more appropriate: luxurious.

The ride is no small part of this luxurious, with the suspension devouring bumps and imperfections. It almost feels as though the Escalade is flattening the road beneath it.

Power, as one would expect in a car mounting a Corvette-sourced, 6.2-liter V8, is plentiful, boasting 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to give a 0-to-60 time of around 6.0 seconds.

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Sources : 2015 Cadillac Escalade Photo | 2015 Cadillac Escalade Article
Guaranteed Credit Autos : News
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DRIVE AWAY 2DAY understands that purchasing a vehicle in these tough credit markets can be discouraging and time consuming. That’s why we take the grunt work out of it for you. Our qualified team of vehicle professionals will take your information and develop a deal that is right for you, regardless of past credit decisions. We believe everyone has the right to drive a car they are proud of. With over 30 years of experience in automotive purchasing, we feel we are more than competent to put a deal together that is right for you.

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Macally dMount : Accessories
Macally dMount : Accessories

The free navigation apps like Google Maps Navigation and Nokia Here are getting better and better, which means more and more people are using their smartphones as satnavs these days. A decent mount is a vitally important bit of kit that transforms the experience from casual glances at a mobe sliding around the place to something solid and reliable.

So here's something Solid And Reliable!
So these days a car gadget round-up wouldn’t be complete without picking out the best smartphone mount. While not the cheapest example of the breed, the dMount from Macally is distinctive as it’s specifically designed to be mounted on your car’s dashboard rather than windscreen. Thanks to a clever suction cup coated with a silicon gel so long as your car has an even vaguely flat bit of dash the dMount will stay stuck where you stick it and it even works on textured surfaces.

The dMount is very well made, easy to adjust and, thanks to an extendable arm and clever support strut, also very stable. It will hold your device in pretty much any way you care to imagine. Perhaps more importantly in this age of the big-arsed smartphone it can easily accommodate devices up to 95mm wide (that’s 3¾-inches if my mum is reading this), so even monster handsets like Sony’s Z Ultra will fit in it. And being dash-mounted you can set up your enormo-phone without creating the blind spot from hell on your windshield.


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Sources : Macally dMount Photo | Macally dMount Article
1963 Austin Mini Cooper S : Classic Cars
1963 Austin Mini Cooper S : Classic Cars

Alec Issigonis’s tiny Mini sedan can lay claim to being one of the most significant automobile design of the 20th Century. The simple design broke all the rules, what with its transverse-mounted, four-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive, transmission in the sump, a wheel at each corner, and suspension by simple rubber cones.

Costing only $1,340, the 1959 Mini also offered surprising interior space at only 10 feet long, and its 33-hp, 848-cc engine could manage 40 mpg when driven carefully. In one step, Issigonis had replaced every three-wheeled microcar, as well as every motorcycle and sidecar, with a real family sedan. It was a stroke of genius and led to his knighthood.

Minis were originally badged as Austin Se7en and Morris Mini Minor, but soon they were just known as Minis. Their charm was in basic functionality – pull-string door openers, “bucket” door pockets, sliding windows, a shelf instead of a dashboard and a single big speedometer with integrated gas gauge in the center. The rear license plate swung down so the car could be driven with the trunk lid open to handle larger objects. About 945,000 Mk I models were built between 1959-67.

The Mini everybody remembers, of course, is the Cooper. Race car builder John Cooper tweaked his first Mini in 1961, getting 55 hp from a bored-out 997-cc engine, with a surprising 87 mph top speed, disc brakes, and remote shifter. The Cooper received the Riley Elf’s 998-cc engine in 1964 and used hydrolastic suspension until 1969.

The pinnacle of the line was the Cooper “S” model, commonly fitted with 1071-cc and 1275-cc engines. Top speed was close to 100 mph and Works cars won the Monte Carlo Rally four times straight in the mid-1960s, though officials disqualified the team for a controversial headlight infraction in 1966. The Mk II got twin gas tanks in 1967 and concealed door hinges in 1969. There were 4,031 cars built with the 1071-cc engine, 963 with the short-stroke 970-cc motor and an overwhelming 40,153 with the 1275-cc block. Fakes abound, so make sure all the numbers match.

The name was retired after 1971, not to appear again until 1990. These gray-market (1990-2001) Mini Coopers, are quite common in the U.S., and are often titled as earlier cars. They can be recognized by twin stripes on the hood and a row of spotlights across the front. In 1991 the cars switched to a single-point fuel injection system, and starting in late 1996 the Mini Cooper adopted twin-point injection (along with a radiator placement now in front of the engine). A full-width wood dash places the gauges in front of the driver and the fit and finish is markedly plusher than the original cars. Buyers should use extreme caution when contemplating purchase of these Minis as certain states object strenuously when an owner attempts to register a vehicle whose condition and fittings does not correspond to the claimed year of manufacture.

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Sources : 1963 Austin Mini Cooper S Photo | 1963 Austin Mini Cooper S Article
Qoros 2 PHEV : Concept Cars
Qoros 2 PHEV : Concept Cars

The Qoros 2 PHEV concept was unveiled at the Shanghai International Auto Show this week. The compact crossover SUV features a turbocharged 4 cylinder engine for the front wheels and a separate electric motor for each rear wheel. The car can operate in electric only mode or in all wheel drive mode. The driver can also select Hybrid mode, which allows an onboard computer to optimize the input from both the engine and the electric motors for maximum fuel economy in all conditions.

Qoros is an Israeli/Chinese company with international ambitions. In its press release for the Qoros 2 PHEV concept, it offers few particulars about the drivetrain, range, type of battery or other technical specifications but goes on at length about how bold and rugged the styling is. All SUV owners like to imagine their vehicle could win a battle with a charging rhinoceros on the way to work and the Qoros 2 certainly looks capable of doing exactly that.

Chinese cars are virtually unknown in the US market at present, but that is going to change. There was a time when Japanese and Korean cars were unknown here but both have risen over time to become top sellers. Few Americans realize the importance of tradition in every aspect of Chinese culture. The Qoros press release offers numerous examples of how many cultural references are incorporated into the concept car. Here are a few examples:

“The Qoros 2 SUV PHEV Concept features a panoramic glass roof, which makes for a light and airy passenger cabin while incorporating a Chinese pattern in white jade. The pattern is traditionally used in Chinese windows, and synonymous with the layout of ‘Siheyuan’ a historical unique folk house in the Hutongs in Beijing with a long history in Chinese architecture. A QR code has been embedded within the design of the roof graphics, directing viewers to the Qoros website. The driver’s side rear wheel also pays homage to the Chinese Year of the Goat celebration with a special rim inlay design.”

“Looking more closely at the car, there are nine name ‘stamps’ featured throughout the exterior and interior. These reflect the nine design team members that worked on the car, but also have a deeper meaning. In mandarin, Nine九 (pinyin: jiŭ) sounds exactly like 久 (jiǔ) – which means ‘long lasting’ or ‘a long time’ and therefore is often used in weddings. But the number nine also describes something ‘big’ or ‘more’. This reflects the fact that more than just nine designers and technicians were involved to make this project happen.”

The concept features software that constantly updates the driver about projected range using electric or gasoline power. It also has an elaborate charging port that rises up from the base of the windshield so the owner never has to touch a charging cable. Inductive charging equipment is mounted underneath the car for wireless charging at home or on the electrified highways of the future.

Will the Qoros 2 concept ever enter production? And if so, will it ever make it to the US? There is a large pent up demand for plug in hybrid SUVs. If the world’s major manufacturers won’t give the people what they want, perhaps Qoros will.

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Sources : Qoros 2 PHEV Photo | Qoros 2 PHEV Article
2016 Ford Explorer : Current Models
2016 Ford Explorer : Current Models

With a dramatic styling refresh, the new 2016 Ford Explorer makes its debut at the LA Auto Show. The update brings with it the availability of a larger EcoBoost four-cylinder engine and all-new top trim model.

The previous generation Explorer's 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine is replaced with a new 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine that Ford claims will deliver more horsepower and torque, with no expected fuel economy reduction from the current 23 mpg combined estimate. The displacement bump and accompanying boost in torque are also likely reasons that the four-cylinder model can can now be paired with either the available tow package or four-wheel-drive system with Terrain Management.

The automaker states that the new turbocharged four-cylinder will deliver "at least 270 horsepower and at least 300 pound-feet of torque." Presumably, the use of "at least" indicates that the final performance and efficiency tune hasn't been finalized. We've seen the 2.3-liter EcoBoost in action previously in the new Lincoln MKC, where the stated output was 285 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque, and expect the Ford to be in that ballpark.

Elsewhere in the lineup, the Explorer's 3.5-liter V-6 and 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine options persist unchanged for the 2016 model and still output 290 and 365 horsepower, respectively.

New active shutters close the front grill openings at highway speeds and new ducts force a high-speed "air curtain" around the rolling wheels and tires at speed. Both of these standard aerodynamic technologies reduce drag at highway speeds and potentially boost the new SUV's highway fuel economy across the lineup.

Ford also eases parking the big Explorer with new driver aid tech. Available front and rear cameras feature wide-angle lenses and come equipped with spray washers to keep the view clear of dust or snow. Ford's automatic park assist system can automatically park the Explorer at the touch of a button -- guiding the SUV with the electric power steering while you man the accelerator and brake. Parallel parking and perpendicular parking assist are supported; and now the system even has a "park-out" assist feature that can help semi-automatically guide the vehicle out of a parking spot as well.

First seen on the Ford C-Max and Escape, the automaker's hands-free liftgate makes an appearance on the 2016 Explorer, unlocking and raising the liftgate with a kick of a foot beneath the rear bumper. And throughout the cabin, the automaker tells us you'll find new smart-charging USB ports to quickly charge passengers' gadgets.

The 2016 Ford Explorer will also debut a new "Platinum Series" trim level at the top of the line that the automaker hopes will appeal to a more upscale buyer. According to Matt Zuehlk, Ford Explorer brand manager, "90 percent of today's Explorer Sport buyers purchase the most expensive package available. That's a strong signal customers are ready for Platinum."

Ford will find out just how ready those customers are when the new Ford Explorer goes on sale next summer.

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Sources : 2016 Ford Explorer Photo | 2016 Ford Explorer Article
DeTomaso Sold For Cost of La Ferrari : News
DeTomaso Sold For Cost of La Ferrari : News

EARLIER DEAL FALLS THROUGH, LEADING TO $1.17 MILLION SALE TO CHINESE HOLDING COMPANY

The De Tomaso deal announced several weeks ago has reportedly fallen through, with the company finding another buyer at a significantly lower price. La Repubblica reports that the storied Italian brand has been sold to China's Consolidated Ideal TeamVenture, which picked up the company for just 1.05 million euros, or approximately $1.17 million. The new deal was presented before a bankruptcy court judge in Italy this week.

The previous deal, which reportedly fell apart after the buyer was not able to fulfill its financial obligations, would have seen the company sell to L3 Holdings for 2 million euros, or approximately $2.1 million. Consolidated Ideal TeamVenture was reportedly one of the underbidders in the sale, along with the Italian Eos Group.

A lawyer for the buyer announced that Ideal TeamVenture plans to produce cars in China bearing the De Tomaso name. The holding company is incorporated in the Virgin Islands but keeps a physical office in Hong Kong.

News of the deal was received with much controversy in the Italian press and in the city of Turin, where 900 potential jobs are on the line. At the appearance of the buyer before the court, no statements were made regarding the future of De Tomaso's former workforce, many of whom have failed to find new jobs. La Repubblica commented that the former workers and their union treated the deal as a defeat when news broke. During the previous round of buyout talks, L3 Holdings was the only bidder to present a comprehensive plan that would include former De Tomaso workers who had been laid off.

The company founded by Alejandro De Tomaso entered bankruptcy most recently in 2012, after encountering similar financial issues in 2004 and 2008. After being purchased in 2009 by Fiat executive Gian Mario Rossignolo, the company publicized very ambitious plans involving a whole lineup of vehicles, including a crossover, a two-seater sports car and a limousine, of all things.

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Sources : DeTomaso Photo | DeTomaso Article
Guaranteed Credit Autos : News

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DRIVE AWAY 2DAY understands that purchasing a vehicle in these tough credit markets can be discouraging and time consuming. That’s why we take the grunt work out of it for you. Our qualified team of vehicle professionals will take your information and develop a deal that is right for you, regardless of past credit decisions. We believe everyone has the right to drive a car they are proud of. With over 30 years of experience in automotive purchasing, we feel we are more than competent to put a deal together that is right for you.

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Auto Express : Blogs
Auto Express : Blogs

Auto Express is the car news weekly, delivering the big motoring news stories, scoop pictures, drives of new cars and road tests - FIRST! Nothing moves in the world of cars without Auto Express knowing about it, from future models to changes in the law. Auto Express is the definitive road testing magazine too, assessing more cars (over 1,100 a year) than any other magazine.

Car : McLaren X-1
Author : Jack Rix

It might seem like something from the set of Thunderbirds, but this wild-looking supercar is a McLaren 12C underneath.

Called the X-1, it’s the first one-off from McLaren’s Special Operations (MSO) – a newly formed division responsible for bespoke cars.

The X-1 has been created for an “anonymous car enthusiast”, and debuted today at The Quail - an event during the Pebble Beach weekend in Monterey, California - after two-and-a-half years of development.

The design is the work of McLaren’s Royal College of Art graduate Hong Yeo, and took 18 months alone.

Every part of the carbon-fibre bodywork was built especially for the X-1; the only thing that’s carried over from the 12C is the glass. As a result, the X-1 is 109mm longer and 188mm wider, but the same height as a standard 12C. Yet it weighs the same, at around 1,400kg.

McLaren says the customer demanded a timeless design. Inspiration came from classic models such as the 1961 Facel Vega, 1939 Mercedes 540K and 1971 Citroen SM, while art deco clocks, Airstream trailers and even aubergines influenced the styling. The most striking feature is the rear wheelarch, which hinges upwards if you need access to the tyre underneath.

Both the interior and the mechanicals are identical to the 12C coupe’s, so the X-1 gets the latest 616bhp version of the 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8, making it capable of more than 200mph. (Read More)

Car : BMW Zagato Roadster
Author : Luke Madden

It’s the second time this year that BMW has joined forces with the legendary coachbuilder, after the Zagato Coupe was displayed at Villa d'Este on the shores of Lake Como, Italy, back in May.

Both cars are based on the Z4, and the Roadster is almost identical to the Coupe. There are a few changes, though, including the addition of rollover hoops and a new bootlid that hopes to replicate the famous Zagato double-bubble roof. In fact, there are nods to Zagato everywhere, including the grille, which consists of hundreds of ‘Zs’.

At the rear is a softer, curvier design than on the Coupe, complete with a subtle spoiler and dark tail-lights. The interior gets a more hand-crafted feel featuring high-quality materials and a strip of brown leather running around the interior and even over the roll-hoops.

BMW is expected to release a facelifted version of the Z4 Roadster in January, and both Zagato concepts could give us an idea of the kind of subtle changes that could be made. (Read More)

Car : Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe Aviator
Author : Jack Rix

Rolls-Royce has revealed a Phantom Coupe-based special edition at the Quail gathering in Pebble Beach - the first in a series of 35 models known as the Aviator Collection.

Finished in Aviator grey, it gets a contrasting matt bonnet plus matt-black dials in the instrument cluster. The aviation theme continues on the inside with an aviation-grade clock, while the transmission tunnel is finished in anodised aluminium to echo one of the most famous Rolls-Royce-powered planes - the Supermarine S6B.

On the inside of the glove box there's an embossed quote from the company's founder, Charles Rolls following his first flight with the Wright Brothers in 1908: "The power of flight is as a fresh gift from the Creator, the greatest treasure yet given to man."

There's no word on price yet but the standard car costs £253,125, and with its bespoke elements the Aviator edition is expect to carry a hefty premium.


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Sources : Auto Express Photo | About Auto Express | McLaren X-1 Photo | McLaren X-1 Article | BMW Zagato Roadster Photo | BMW Zagato Roadster Article | Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe Aviator Photo | Rolls Royce Phantom Coupe Aviator Article
2000 Maserati 3200GT : Classic Cars
2000 Maserati 3200GT : Classic Cars

The Maserati 3200 GT (Tipo 338) is a 2+2 grand tourer produced by Maserati from 1998 to 2002. The luxury coupé was styled by Italdesign, whose founder and head Giorgetto Giugiaro previously designed, among others, the Ghibli, Bora and Merak. Interiors design was commissioned to Enrico Fumia and completed by 1995. 4,795 cars were produced.

The 3200 GT was announced in July 1998, presented to the press in September by Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, with the participation of veteran Maserati racing driver Sir Stirling Moss and Giorgetto Giugiaro, and finally made its public debut at the October 1998 Mondial de l'Automobile in Paris.

Its name honoured the Maserati 3500 GT, the Trident's first series production grand tourer. Sold mainly in Europe, the 3200 GT was powered by the twin-turbo, 32-valve, dual overhead cam 3.2-litre V8 engine featured in the Quattroporte Evoluzione, set up to develop 370 PS (272 kW; 365 hp) against the quattroporte's 335 PS—115 PS (85 kW; 113 hp) per litre. This manual transmission version was produced until 2001. The tail-lights consisted of LEDs arranged in the shape of boomerang. The outer layer of the 'boomerang' provided the brake light, with the inner layer providing the directional indicator. Deliveries started in March 1999.

In 1999 an automatic version of the 3200 GT became available, either referred to as 3200 GT Automatica or 3200 GTA. Introduced at the March 1999 Geneva Motor Show, it was equipped with a 4-speed conventional torque converter automatic transmission supplied by Australian firm BTR. Engine output remained unchanged, though the engine was set up specifically for the automatic; according to Maserati, the weight increase over the manual gearbox was limited to 30 kg (66.1 lb), for a 1,620 kg (3,571.5 lb) kerb weight. In Italy the Automatica commanded a 7 million Lire premium over the 3200 GT's 149.5 million Lire list price. This version was produced until 2002. In June 1999 the 1000th 3200 GT left the factory.

The 3200 GT coupé body seated four and had a drag coefficient of Cd=0.34. The steel unibody structure was complemented by a front tubular subframe supporting the drivetrain and a rear subframe supporting the suspension links and the differential. Suspension was of the double wishbone type all around, with forged aluminium control arms and uprights, coaxial aluminium-bodied dampers and coil springs, and two anti-roll bars. The gearbox was in line with the front-mounted engine, and transmitted power to the rear limited slip differential via a two-piece aluminium driveshaft. Brembo supplied the braking system, consisting of vented and cross-drilled disks with four-pot callipers on all four wheels. Active safety systems included four channel anti-lock braking system and Bosch ASR traction control system.

Engines and performance
The all-aluminium V8 engine was square (bore and stroke 80 millimetres or 3.1 inches), had two overhead camshafts per bank operating four valves per cylinder, two crossflow turbochargers, and a crossplane crankshaft; it featured "drive by wire" electronic throttle control.

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Sources : 2000 Maserati 3200GT Photo | 2000 Maserati 3200GT Article
Skoda Fabia Funstar : Concept Cars
Skoda Fabia Funstar : Concept Cars

The Worthersee tuning festival in Austria will host a special guest - this funky Skoda Fabia pick-up

Skoda has taken the wraps off a wacky one-off pick-up version of its all-new Fabia.

The model, named Funstar, will be showcased at the Worthersee tuning festival in Austria in mid-May, and will be seen by many as a spiritual successor to the Felicia Fun, a pick-up which enjoyed cult status among Skoda fans in the late nineties.

The Fabia Funstar was designed and created by a team of 17 and 18-year-old students at the Skoda Akademie vocational school, following their success in designing the Citijet Citigo-based drop-top for last year’s Worthersee event.

It uses the recently launched supermini as a base, but true to the spirit of Worthersee, features a number of alterations and add-ons to create something unique.

The frameless body dispenses with the Fabia’s rear seats and instead follows the example of the Felicia Fun, with a load bed – made of stainless sheet metal - to maximise carrying capacity.

The sides were reinforced and panels adjusted to fit in with the new design, while the B-pillar has been widened and there are large vents on the bonnet.

Under the skin, the model uses Skoda’s familiar 1.2 TSI engine with 121bhp and seven-speed DSG gearbox, while there’s a new exhaust system and a fruitier engine note. A 177bhp 1.8-litre engine had to be ruled out, as it was too large.

The shock absorbers have also been tweaked on account of the car’s lighter weight at the rear.

And we’re told the Funstar is a working concept, with Auto Express likely to be able to get behind the wheel in June.

The students initially considered a black colour scheme for the Funstar, but eventually opted for a steel grey, moon white and reflex green combination, although the green used is not the familiar Skoda corporate colour. Green 18-inch Gemini alloy wheels from the Octavia vRS add further glamour and were chosen, apparently, because 19s would not fit in the wheelarches.

LED headlights with green daytime running lights add a touch of menace at the front, while the tail lamps feature a total of 320 diodes in the traditional Skoda C-shape.

A green surround for the grille and green wing mirror casings help the car stand out further, while there’s further green detailing inside, plus sports seats and a racy flat-bottom steering wheel.

The sound system, meanwhile, has been boosted from 300 to 1,400 watts, while the infotainment system has full smartphone compatibility.

The Funstar name was apparently chosen via a Facebook competition, with a primary school local to Skoda’s Mlada Boleslav base in the Czech Republic coming out on top, although the link to the Felicia Fun is obvious.

Sadly, there is no chance of the Fabia Funstar making production, although the students at the Skoda Akademie are hopeful that it will be similarly well received to the Citijet, to allow them to create another model for next year’s Worthersee event.

The Funstar’s spiritual predecessor, the Felicia Fun, was launched in 1998, and quickly became one of the most recognisable cars on the road - despite only 300 being made in right-hand drive - on account of its vivid yellow paintjob.

It was marketed as a lifestyle pick-up which could combine work duties with leisure activities, and featured an unusual seating arrangement where the rear ‘wall’ of the cabin could be pulled out to free up two additional seats for passengers in the load bed.

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Sources : Skoda Fabia Funstar Photo | Skoda Fabia Funstar Article
2015 Lotus Exige : Current Models
2015 Lotus Exige : Current Models

Derived from the Elise roadster, the Lotus Exige V6 Cup and the more hardcore V6 Cup R model are super lightweight, back-to-the-basics machines focused on providing a pure and engaging driving experience. Recent changes in the United States' safety regulations mean the Exige siblings are exclusively sold as track cars and cannot be legally driven on a public road.

Based on the Exige S sold worldwide, the V6 Cup model gains a roll bar, competition seats equipped with four-point harnesses, a quick-release steering wheel, an adjustable suspension setup, two-piece brake discs and Pirelli Corsa tires. A strict diet helps the V6 Cup shed 176 pounds compared to its road-going counterpart.

The Exige V6 Cup R pushes the envelope by adding a large rear spoiler crafted out of carbon fiber, a full FIA-spec roll cage, a fire suppression system, an 18-gallon fuel cell and a carbon fiber driver's seat equipped with a six-point harness. It is 308 pounds lighter than the regular-production Exige S. Both cars are eligible to compete in the Lotus Cup USA as well as similar events held in England, Italy and Thailand.

Technical Specifications
The Exige V6 Cup is powered by a mid-mounted supercharged 3.5-liter V6 engine that generates 350 horsepower at 7,000 rpms and 295 lb-ft. of torque at 4,500 rpms. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission.

The more expensive V6 Cup R model uses an updated version of the supercharged six-cylinder tuned to churn out 366 ponies at 7,200 rpms and 304 lb-ft. of twist at 5,000 rpms. The naturally-aspirated Exige Cup's six-speed manual comes standard, and a six-speed sequential gearbox controlled by shift paddles mounted behind the steering wheel can be ordered at an extra cost.

Both cars come standard with Lotus' Dynamic Performance Management (DPM) system that allows the driver to alternate between four driving modes - Sport, Race, Launch Control and off - at the flick of a button.

Optional Equipment
The list of options includes A/C, rear parking sensors, a host of different paint options, a fuel sampling kit, a passenger seat and diamond-cut wheels. Exige Cup R buyers can also order the aforementioned Xtrac Sequential gearbox.

Current Lotus owners interested in hitting the track have access to a full catalog of race-focused parts including a sports exhaust, an 18-gallon fuel cell, a six-point harness, a lightweight battery, a quick-release steering wheel, performance brake pads and stiffer engine mounts.

Key Competitors
As a lightweight, minimalistic track machine, the Exige V6 Cup's main competition comes from the stripped-down, performance-focused Porsche Cayman R. Buyers can also conceivably cross shop the Nissan Nismo 370Z and the Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca, both of which offer plenty of power but are much heavier than the Lotus.

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Sources : 2015 Lotus Exige Photo | 2015 Lotus Exige Article
Tesla Powers Businesses And Homes : News
Tesla Powers Businesses And Homes : News

Tesla Motors Inc. CEO Elon Musk unveiled a suite of batteries to store electricity for homes, businesses and utilities, saying a greener power grid furthers the company’s mission to provide pollution-free energy.

“Our goal here is to fundamentally change the way the world uses energy,” Musk said at an event Thursday at the company’s design studio in Hawthorne, Calif. “We’re talking at the terawatt scale. The goal is complete transformation of the entire energy infrastructure of the world.”

The announcement, after weeks of anticipation, marks Tesla’s expansion beyond electric cars.

As homes, businesses and utilities use more renewable energy generated by sunshine and wind, the need to provide reliable power grows. Batteries can be used to store electricity during peak production and dispense it later, when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.

Tesla’s home battery, named “Powerwall,” is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that mounts on the wall and comes in 7 kilowatt-hour or 10 kilowatt-hour versions, the company said in a statement. Deliveries will begin in late summer at prices starting from $3,000, Tesla said.

The battery is designed to enable so-called “load-shifting” by charging during times when electricity prices are lower due to less demand, and discharging when demand and prices are high. It can also store solar power generated during daytime and release it at night, and serve as backup during outages, according to Tesla. The average American home consumes about 30 kilowatt-hours of energy a day, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Musk said the home batteries will come in different colors and look like “a beautiful sculpture on the wall.”

Utility industry

In the utility industry, storage is finally coming of age. In Tesla’s home state of California, a groundbreaking energy-storage mandate requires PG&E Corp., Edison International’s Southern California Edison and Sempra Energy’s San Diego Gas & Electric to collectively buy 1.3 gigawatts of energy storage capacity by the end of 2020. New York is also turning to storage to relieve congestion on transmission lines and plans for the potential retirement of aging power plants.

The power industry has struggled to come up with a cost-effective storage solution, an issue that has become more pressing as growing amounts of solar and wind are integrated into the grid.

“Energy storage can be a really large ecosystem,” Chris Shelton, vice president at AES Corp., an Arlington, Virginia-based power producer and utility owner, said in an interview after Musk’s announcement. “It helps to have another voice, and a prominent voice, making the case.”

More ‘Gigafactories’

Tesla’s utility-scale battery will consist of 100 kilowatt-hour blocks that can be grouped to a scale of 500 kilowatt-hours to more than 10 megawatt-hours.

Tesla is making a bet that its $5 billion “gigafactory” under construction near Reno, Nev., will enable the mass production needed to drive down battery costs for both cars and energy-storage products that are already serving as a revenue stream for the company. More such factories will be needed to help make the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, Musk said.

Tesla, whose batteries are already supplying large customers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Cargill Inc., and Jackson Family Wines, has formed partnerships with companies including Green Mountain Power to sell its home batteries, it said. The company is also teaming up with Southern California Edison to install batteries for utilities, while Amazon.com Inc. and Target Corp. will pilot use of Tesla’s batteries for businesses.

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Sources : Tesla Photo | Tesla Powers Businesses And Homes Article
Audi RS 3 "Birth" : Videos

Audi RS 3 "Birth" : Videos

Every now and then a film comes along that needs to be viewed on the best possible screen, with the best possible sound. This is one of them. The new Audi RS 3 is born. #RS3birth


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Sources : Audi RS 3 "Birth" Photo | Audi RS 3 "Birth" Video
1987 Buick GNX : Classic Cars
1987 Buick GNX : Classic Cars

ASC/McLaren partnered with Buick to produce one of the best muscle cars ever. Buick GNX program manager, Lou Infante, said it best when he remarked “The net result is a mid-13 second GNX that’s at home on the drag strip, road course and interstate.”

From the outside the only difference between the Grand National and the GNX was a different set of wheels. The GNX had aluminum wheels with black centers and flared fenders while the Grand National had chrome wheels. Also, the front fender badges were removed and “GNX” badges were added to the grill and the rear deck lid. The interior was identical to the Grand National with the exception of a badge on the instrument panel that showed the cars production number.

The real heart of the GNX was under the hood. The V6 turbo was upgraded with special bearings, rods and a strengthened valve train. A Garrett AiResearch turbo was linked to a special designed intercooler. The GNX’s computer was modified to enhance fuel mix, turbo boost and transmission performance. The result was 276 horsepower and a massive 360 lbs-fts of torque. There was so much torque available that a special ladder bar was installed beneath the car. It ran from the mid-section of the car to the rear axle to increase rear wheel traction. As a result, the GNX will actually lift the rear end up when the car is about to launch heavily. It’s an interesting and intimidating sight.

The price of admission for the GNX was $29,900 and 547 people had to have one. That is almost twice the cost of the garden variety Grand National. For that considerable sum the buyer got a production car capable of thirteen and a half second quarter mile times. Throughout the late 1980’s, the GNX dominated drag strips across the nation.

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Sources : 1987 Buick GNX Photo | 1987 Buick GNX Article
First Hellcat Hits UK : News
First Hellcat Hits UK : News

The first example of the most impressive muscle car the automotive industry has to offer, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, has recently arrived in the United Kingdom.

We already know that the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is one impressive ride to own and that it is capable of shadowing a lot of expensive and exotic rides and the first example of the model has recently arrived on British soil. According to the local media, the model in question is available at Geiger Cars and it is up for grabs for 86,000 euros, or the equivalent of 94,400 USD.

The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat has been based on the 2015 model year and it has been officially unveiled back in 2014. The vehicle in question is the most powerful production muscle car which has been produced up to date and it left behind two of its main competitors, the Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang. The impressive ride is available for order in the United States for just under 60,000 USD, so the pricing for this particular model includes shipping, VAT and a lot of taxes. Power to the vehicle is being provided by a 6.2 liter V8 engine, which is capable of producing a total output of 707 HP (527 kW) and it has a peak torque of 880 Nm (650 lb-ft). From 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph), it needs less than 4 seconds and it can go all the way up to a top speed of 320 km/h (199 mph).

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Sources : Hellcat Photo | Hellcat Article
2017 Koenigsegg Agera RS : Concept Cars
2017 Koenigsegg Agera RS : Concept Cars

Within the world of boutique supercars, Koenigsegg is pretty much sitting at the top of the heap. There are many arguments to support this, but perhaps one of the best is sitting on the company's show stand at Geneva right now. It's called the Koenigsegg Agera RS, its engine cranks out a staggering 1,160-hp and everything on it is designed and built in house.

Boutique supercars, such as the Koenigsegg, have to tread a fine line. They service a cadre of buyers who want something more exclusive than a Ferrari or a Mercedes, but at the same time, they have to avoid being seen as kit cars with pretensions and a great marketing plan. Where a lot of boutique supercars start to fail is when you literally get under the skin. Some of them, despite high tech carbon fiber bodies sculpted by famous design houses and massaged in wind tunnels, have underpinnings that are of a more, a-hem, prosaic nature. One does not have to dig too deep to find engines sourced from wherever was convenient, braking systems that were ordered from a catalog and steering racks sourced from Ford Anglias.

This is most definitely not the case with Koenigsegg in general and the Agera RS specifically. But before we get deep into the particulars of the Koenigsegg Agera RS, just consider the wheels this thing rides on: Koenigsegg Aircore! Super light hollow carbon fiber wheels with center locking fitment, 19 x 9.5 in up front and 20 x 12.5 in out back.

Besides the annoying use of that exclamation point (Christian von Koenigsegg has a flair for stuff like that), that one little specification about something as commonplace as a wheel tells us that, for one thing, they are made from carbon fiber, for another they are hollow and that they are made in house by Koenigsegg. Who does that? Who is crazy enough and so engineeringly anal retentive that they make their own wheels, which are hollow and made out of carbon fiber to be as light as possible?

Koenigsegg, that's who. And you don't have to think very long and very hard to realize that if that's how the company approaches what sort of wheels go on its cars, what must the rest of the car be like?

The Agera RS is a follow on and refinement of the first Agera, but also folded into the mix is everything Koenigsegg learned from its One:1 program and all the development done on the previous Agera S and Agera R models. Koenigsegg even goes so far as to point out that the Agera RS has "everyday usability, luggage compartment, rear window and detachable and storable hardtop." We're glad to hear about the "improved" rear window, since what counted as a rear window on the older Koenigseggs worked about as well as a mail slot.

So Christian and the rest of the crew from Angelholm pulled out all of the stops, and poured all of the company's experience into the RS. This means all sorts of goodies like advanced lightweight sound insulation and a new track-optimized front splitter for more downforce. New front winglets and side skirts help with the aerodynamic drag and also give the RS more aerodynamic grip. There's an advanced dynamic underbody flap system that works in concert with a dynamically active rear spoiler for more down force, which is now up to 450 kg at 250 km/h (990 lb at 155 mph). That is a considerable amount of downforce for a road car. The RS also features improved side air outlets behind the front wheels for less drag and less front end lift.

Add up all these improvements, and the new RS has a lower curb weight when compared to the previous R and S versions. Koenigsegg says this was accomplished by using advanced chassis and body composites and carbon fiber lay-up techniques.

That's just the goodies that come standard with the car. The lucky purchaser of a Koenigsegg Agera RS also has the option to choose Koenigsegg's in house designed active and self-leveling chassis package, 3G connected Pre-Active chassis setups, alternative aero packages and an active sound cancellation system.

Taken by itself, the engine is an astonishing piece of technology. It only displaces 5 liters (the size of a Chevy small block V8) and it cranks out a shocking 1,160 brake horsepower. Nearly 1,200 hp from a 5 liter mill works out at 232 ponies per liter. In terms of power for a given size, that is a remarkably efficient engine. And get this, the engine in the Agera RS has been optimized for regular pump gas and in certain markets can also be upgraded to run on E85 with flex fuel capabilities, for even higher power levels.

And that's just under the hood, the rest of the car is just as uncompromising. Take a look at the chassis. It's made from carbon fiber and aluminum honeycomb and features integrated fuel tanks. The chassis, including the tanks, weighs only 70 kg (154 lb), which is less than your average adult. Amazing.

The transmission is a 7-speed paddle-shift unit with auto shift mode that is mated to a Koenigsegg Electronic differential (KED) and its functioning is overseen by a Koenigsegg Gearbox Control Module (KGCM).

The brakes are the size of a large pepperoni pizza and are made from ceramic. The front and rear suspensions are double wishbones with carbon fiber being used for the rear upper wishbones. The gas-hydraulic shock absorbers are two-way electronically adjustable and the rear shocks are pushrod operated, while the ride height is electronically adjustable.

With a body made from pre-impregnated carbon fiber/Kevlar and removable hardtop the whole thing tips the scales at 1,395 kg (3,075 lb) curb weight, and although that's not exactly light, it isn't heavy either. Besides, it's being motivated by over 1,100 horsepower, so we doubt anyone will call the Agera RS slow.

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Sources : 2017 Koenigsegg Agera RS Photo | 2017 Koenigsegg Agera RS Article