BMW Concept 90 Motorcycle debuts at Villa d’Este

628x459xbmw concept 90.jpg.pagespeed.ic .3 UcACD1lE 300x219  BMW Concept 90 Motorcycle debuts at Villa dEste The Concept 90 is one of two new vehicles BMW is showing off at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on the tony shores of Lake Como in Italy.

This year is the 90th anniversary of BMW Motorrad and the 40th anniversary of the R 90 S (inset) – the first production motorcycle to come with a front fairing – and BMW has worked with custom bike builder Roland Sands Design to craft a homage to the Daytona Orange boxer from the Seventies.

While following the line of its forbearer, obviously the Concept 90 has been sexed and sleeked up. The bodywork is of hand-worked aluminum, the giant halogen lamp of the 1975 model (which is when Daytona Orange was introduced) has gone LED, and the front engine cover, valve covers, exhaust and wheels have been made with a contrast-cut milling process. read more »

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Top ten cars bought by people who probably can’t afford a car

2013 dodge avenger 006 opt 300x199  Top ten cars bought by people who probably cant afford a car Sub-prime borrowers are buying completely different cars than everyone else, at least according to data gathered by Carfinance.com. This financing company that specializes in helping “below-prime” borrowers finance their car purchases looked at data gathered from between October 2012 and March 2013. According to their numbers, the top 10 new cars bought by sub-prime borrowers during that time are as follows.

Dodge Avenger
Kia Forte
Kia Optima
Chrysler 200
Dodge Journey
Ford Focus
Ram 1500
Nissan Sentra
Nissan Versa
Kia Sorento read more »

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Toyota recalling FJ Cruiser due to excessively bright headlights

004 toyota fj cruiser 300x195  Toyota recalling FJ Cruiser due to excessively bright headlights Now, hold on. This recall isn’t quite as serious as it sounds. Yes, Toyota is recalling 11,489 FJ Cruiser models from the 2007 to 2013 model years, and yes, it’s because the vehicles, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states, “fail to conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, ‘Lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment.’” But read the fine print and you’ll see the catch: This recall is only for vehicles fitted with the automaker’s auxiliary lighting kit that can be mounted to the front bumper.

Basically, the auxiliary lamp assemblies use 55-watt bulbs, and when these are turned on in conjunction with the upper beam headlamps, it’s a pretty blinding sight. NHTSA states that excessively bright lights can blind other drivers, increasing the risk for a crash.

To remedy the situation, Toyota will replace the 55-watt bulbs with cooler 35-watt units. The recall is expected to begin later this month. Scroll down for the full details in the NHTSA report. read more »

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Daimler, Renault talking about large van joint venture

mercedes sprinter 2014 300x195  Daimler, Renault talking about large van joint venture Daimler and Renault officially joined hands in April 2010. Since then, Nissan has agreed to build engines for the Germans, Daimler is expected to construct a plant near the Nissan plant in Mexico, the Smart ForFour and Renault Twingo will share platforms and electric siblings and the same Renault manufacturing facility, and Mercedes is supposedly considering a Renault-based X-Class vehicle to slot between Smart and the A-Class. Not bad for less than three years’ work.

But wait, there’s more. According to a report in Automotive News, the two firms are talking about developing a large van. When it comes to big cargo haulers, Mercedes is in bed with Volkswagen at the moment, but the contract has just three more years to run and VW has announced its intention to go solo on the next-generation van.

This wouldn’t be the first commercial vehicle tie-up for the brands: Mercedes already uses the Renault Kangoo as the base for its Citan. Both Daimler and Renault have confirmed the talks, but have not confirmed a French newspaper report that the manufacturing site has already been chosen in France.

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Nissan lowers price of seven models for better search results

628x417xnissan price cuts.jpg.pagespeed.ic .0dSoMvmkAu 300x199  Nissan lowers price of seven models for better search results Intent on not eliminating itself from consideration, and adapting to the way consumers research new car purchases, Nissan has announced price discounts now in effect, indefinitely, on seven models: the Altima, Armada, Juke, Maxima, Murano, Rogue and Sentra.

It was found that Nissan’s price points fell outside the competitive pool when prospective buyers searched for cars based on maximum price.

The price cuts vary and depend on the equipment spec, but they range from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars; the MSRP of the Altima drops by $580, the Sentra by $730, the Armada by $4,400. Discounts on the Murano alone range from $1,460 to $2,410.

Under orders from CEO Carlos Ghosn the brand is working to raise its US market share to ten percent by 2016, from 7.9 percent currently – which includes Infiniti – and appears to be optimizing its placement every step of the way to do so.

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Chevy sees greener pastures with 2014 Silverado High Country

628x398x2014 chevrolet silveradohighctry 628.jpg.pagespeed.ic .VgtKjE9qiK 300x190 Chevy sees greener pastures with 2014 Silverado High CountryIt’s no secret that fullsize pickups are the financial engines that power Detroit automakers – it’s been that way for decades. In recent years, though, growing consumer appetites for dolled-up trucks has meant even more opportunities for manufacturers to line their coffers while pleasing increasingly discerning customers. Trims like King Ranch on the Ford F-Series and Laramie Longhorn on Ram trucks now include high-end amenities that were the exclusive preserve of luxury cars just a few years ago.

General Motors has been content to let its GMC brand harvest top-shelf pickup buyers for some time now – particularly with its high-line Denali models – but it’s hard to turn away easy profits. GM says over 30 percent of new pickup sales now transact above $40,000, and that figure is growing by the year. Thus, it’s no surprise that execs are finally letting Chevrolet get in on the action with this new range-topping High Country trim for the 2014 Silverado. Officials tell Autoblog that it’s the first premium-branded Chevy pickup since the Cameo Carrier of the 1950s. read more »

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Ferrari F12 races Air Malta A320 jet

air malta f12 race 628 300x167 Ferrari F12 races Air Malta A320 jetAir Malta recently worked up a little stunt that pitted an Airbus A320 against a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta in a drag race to raise funds for charity.

It’s easy to forget just how quick something the size of a jetliner can be, but watching the video below shows us just where the big passenger aircraft stands when it comes to sprinting down a runway. We won’t spoil the clip for you, you’ll just have to check out the showdown below.

Air Malta says it raised over 178,820 euro with the stunt, which is around $230,000. That’s despite the fact that intermittent rain showers kept crowds away.

Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton even stopped by to say “Hi” to the crowds. He wasn’t piloting the F12, however. Check out the video below for yourself. read more »

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Next-gen Mini interior ditching familiar center speedo

2015miniinterior 300x168  Next gen Mini interior ditching familiar center speedo A Reddit user has posted images of the 2015 F56 Mini Cooper, one each of the exterior and interior. As has been the case since the launch of the new Mini in 2001, the overall exterior shape underneath camouflage screams Mini, but insiders are still calling the coming F56 model “the most aggressively different new Mini yet.” Inside, though, the two-door that defined premium hatchbacks has, according to its most devoted buyers, gone mainstream.

The giant ring atop the center console is there, but there’s no longer a speedometer inside of it. Instead, in an integration that brings to mind words like “shoehorned,” Mini designers have placed radio and telephone controls inside the bezel. According to the Mini experts at MotoringFile, the picture above is the base trim and one of four possible treatments – in the upper trims a larger screen for navigation takes up most of the space. The bezel itself is marked with mood lighting that supposedly “swirls around” when you start the car with the red toggle switch.

The speedo rests atop the steering column with a tachometer placed to its left. The BMW wheel pictured is just for the prototype – you can expect a familiar three-spoke Mini wheel when the car is revealed, and latest rumor is that the event will take place at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

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Chrysler begins shipping 2013 SRT Viper

2013 srt viper fd 300x199 Chrysler begins shipping 2013 SRT ViperAlmost a year to the day after SRT president and CEO Ralph Gilles first introduced – and kissed the fender of – the 2013 SRT Viper at the 2012 New York Auto Show, the high-performance coupe has begun shipping to dealers. The first production cars started rolling off the line at Chrysler’s Conner Avenue Assembly plant in Detroit back in January (a facility Gilles lovingly compares to Santa’s workshop), but The Detroit News is reporting that the cars just started heading to customers across the US on Sunday.

Two of the first examples destined for driveways include a Stryker Red example that was the very 2013 Viper to be sold (the car was won by Scott Thomas of Oklahoma City at a Barrett-Jackson charity auction for cancer for $300,000), along with a white example headed to Gilles’ personal collection. The report says that Gilles took delivery of his Viper and put just 30 miles on it before heading to New York for this week’s auto show. What, he didn’t drive?

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Daniel Craig nets $1M to show up at Land Rover NY, leaves quickly

daniel craig land rover range rover sport 628 300x168 Daniel Craig nets $1M to show up at Land Rover NY, leaves quicklyThe New York Post reports actor Daniel Craig pocketed a cool $1 million to appear at a the New York Auto Show on behalf of Land Rover this week, despite staying at the function only briefly. The actor appeared at the Skylight at Moynihan Station on Tuesday, and was shown in a video driving the 2014 Range Rover Sport to the venue before driving onto a stage, live. From there, the actor who plays James Bond walked along a line of photographers and vanished from sight.

While speaking with The New York Post, a representative from Land Rover said, “We won’t comment on our relationship with Mr. Craig beyond confirming that Land Rover supports the charity SAFE, of which the actor is a patron, and will continue its charitable efforts with a vehicle donation later this year.”

You can watch Craig’s entrance as well as an interview with the actor in the videos below. read more »

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