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Lawsuit claims Chevrolet Suburban seat caused third-degree burns

Leftlane - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 16:40
Filing alleges rear seat heaters reach 'dangerously high temperatures.'






Tesla announces 'infinite mile warranty' for Model S EV drive unit

Autoblog - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 16:28

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Tesla Motors has a way with words. From Superchargers to 'auto pilot,' Tesla likes to set itself apart by calling things other things. What, fast charging and autonomous drive not good enough for ya? The same thing just happened with the announcement of a new 'infinite mile warranty' for the drive unit. That's infinite, not unlimited, but whatever it's called, the new policy lifts the warranty mileage cap on the 85-kWh version of the Model S that had previously been set at four years and 50,000 miles.

The new rules say that the drive unit will have the same 'limits' as the battery pack, which means as many miles as you can put on the car in eight years. Tesla will also honor the warranty no matter how many people have owned the car and is applying the warranty retroactively, so feel safe buying that used 2012 Model S until 2019 if you still want some warranty coverage.

"If we truly believe that electric motors are fundamentally more reliable than gasoline engines ... then our warranty policy should reflect that." - Elon Musk

Tesla has gotten some criticism recently for quality issues in Model S EVs that have been on the road for a while now. Consumer Reports, for example, described problems with their Model S after owning it for 17 months. In the warranty change announcement blog post, Tesla CEO Elon Musk admitted that Tesla made a mistake imposing a limit in the first place. "In hindsight, this should have been our policy from the beginning of the Model S program," he said. "If we truly believe that electric motors are fundamentally more reliable than gasoline engines, with far fewer moving parts and no oily residue or combustion byproducts to gum up the works, then our warranty policy should reflect that." Now it does.

Tesla is warning its investors that the short-term impact might be negative, but "by doing the right thing for Tesla vehicle owners at this early stage of our company, I am confident that it will work out well in the long term," Musk said. You can read the short announcement below.

Continue reading Tesla announces 'infinite mile warranty' for Model S EV drive unit

Tesla announces 'infinite mile warranty' for Model S EV drive unit originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Mon, 18 Aug 2014 11:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ford builds, tests first ever RHD Mustang

Leftlane - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 16:17
The Mustang is going global.






Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé Waterspeed Collection is a real land yacht

Autoblog - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 16:01

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There aren't very many better places to show the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé Waterspeed Collection than at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Not only is this aquatic-themed land yacht parked on the Concept Car Lawn appropriately very near the Pacific Ocean, it's being seen by some of the most wealthy car enthusiasts in the world on one afternoon.

The car actually debuted in May in Europe, but Rolls-Royce decided to show it again to West Coast customers. This luxury droptop is dedicated to former British waterspeed record-holder Sir Malcolm Campbell, hence the name. Campbell used a boat powered by a Rolls-Royce R engine to reach 126.33 miles per hour in 1937 on a lake in Italy and break the old milestone. Later, he took the same craft to 129.5 mph to further establish his dominance.

The Phantom Waterspeed takes inspiration from these accomplishments with a two-tone look that mixes shining Maggiore Blue exterior paint and a brushed steel tonneau cover to replace the normal teak. The blue color scheme even extends to the engine and interior trim in combination with contrasting Windchill Grey leather. Rolls isn't building many of these marine-inspired leviathans; check one out on the lawn at Pebble Beach in our gallery.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé Waterspeed Collection is a real land yacht originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 18 Aug 2014 11:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Review: 2015 Audi A3 2.0T Quattro

Leftlane - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 15:45
The new A3 is one of the best examples of the emerging entry-lux sedan genre.






Chrysler appoints new heads of Alfa Romeo and Ram

Autoblog - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 15:30

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Chrysler has announced to two key appointments to its senior leadership, both of them taking immediate effect. First up is Reid Bigland, who has been named head of the Alfa Romeo brand for North America. Bigland has served until now as head of the Ram Truck brand, a portfolio he now hands over to Robert Hegbloom, who had served until now as its director.

As a result of the appointments, both Bigland and Hegbloom will take up seats on Chrysler's NAFTA Leadership Team, and Bigland will also join the Fiat Chrysler Group Executive Council - the highest decision-making body in the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles empire.

As per Sergio Marchionne's leadership style, Bigland will continue to serve in two major capacities, maintaining his role as president and CEO of Chrysler Canada. Other senior executives who hold multiple key portfolios include Harald Wester (who serves as the group's Chief Technology Officer and also overseas Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Abarth), Olivier Francois (group Chief Marketing Officer and head of the Fiat brand) and Michael Manley (head of the Asia-Pacific region and the Jeep brand).

Continue reading Chrysler appoints new heads of Alfa Romeo and Ram

Chrysler appoints new heads of Alfa Romeo and Ram originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 18 Aug 2014 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider tops Gooding's Saturday auction at $15.18 million

Autoblog - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 15:01

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During the weekend's automotive smorgasbord in Pebble Beach, Ferrari has played a huge roll. Twenty examples of the ultra-rare 250 TR, better known as the Testa Rossa, were prominently on display at the Concours d'Elegance, and the Prancing Horses have been top sellers at many of the auctions. You can chalk up one more on that list with a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider with a scarce, optional hardtop included going for $15.18 million at Gooding & Company's sale on Saturday night. Ferris Bueller would find it so choice.

In all, the auction house brought in about $60.4 million during the night, and 17 of the cars on the block sold for over $1 million. None of the other cars on Saturday managed quite the stratospheric highs of the California, though. A 1955 Aston Martin DB3S was the second-highest seller at $5.5 million. The next four top vehicles were all Ferraris with final prices ranging between $2.09 million and $2.365 million. Clearly, investors are in love with the Prancing Horse these days.

Check out our gallery, and scroll down to read the auction house's announcement of its top Saturday results.

Continue reading Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider tops Gooding's Saturday auction at $15.18 million

Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider tops Gooding's Saturday auction at $15.18 million originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 18 Aug 2014 10:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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One-off BMW i8 sells for $825K as first examples arrive in US

Leftlane - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 14:50
Jay Leno helps auctioneers drive up bids for BMW's special-edition hybrid.






Cadillac to fight Audi A3, Mercedes CLA with small rear-drive sedan?

Autoblog - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 14:31

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Compact luxury sedans are fast becoming the trend among upscale automakers. Mercedes has the new CLA (and its many platform-mates), BMW has the 1 Series and 2 Series, Audi has the A3 and, though Lexus apparently isn't interested in anything smaller than its CT 200h, Infiniti is getting in on the action with a compact model of its own. It would only follow logically, then, that Cadillac should launch a competitor, and according to the latest reports, that's just what it has in store.

Speaking with Car and Driver, Cadillac marketing chief Uwe Ellinghaus confirmed that such a project is in the works. But unlike its rivals, Cadillac aims to go with a rear-wheel-drive layout. This despite research that apparently indicates that a surprising 80 percent of owners think that their BMW 1 Series is front-drive. It's the driving dynamics and styling proportions that motivate Ellinghaus and his colleagues to stick with rear-drive, however.

The new model would in all likelihood be based on the same GM Alpha architecture that underpins the ATS and CTS - a platform that has helped Cadillac keep the weight down on both models and which is expected to underpin the next-generation Chevy Camaro, as well. The sub-ATS could be positioned as a four-door 2+2, however, as the ATS grows a little larger in its next iteration in order to make room for its new baby brother.

Expect four-cylinder engines - including the 2.0-liter turbo four and a replacement for the base 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four found in the ATS - to provide the motivation, but it may be another few years before the new compact model arrives as part of an expanded Caddy family to launch upwards as well with a new flagship sedan. Just what Cadillac would call it, however, remains a mystery, as the ATS obviously starts the nomenclature succession at the start of the alphabet.

Cadillac to fight Audi A3, Mercedes CLA with small rear-drive sedan? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 18 Aug 2014 09:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chevy Corvette gets Valet Mode with Performance Data Recorder [w/video]

Autoblog - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 14:00

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For the 2015-model-year, Chevrolet introduces Valet Mode for the Corvette, an enhancement to the Performance Data Recorder (PDR) already available and to your peace of mind. The PDR already captures 720p HD video with a windshield-mounted camera, records interior audio with a cabin microphone and gathers telemetry data using GPS, saving the data to an SD card in the glovebox. You can then watch your track-day antics with various information overlays on the center console screen.

Valet Mode will let you hit 'Replay' when your car gets pulled up front smelling vaguely of fricasseed clutch. Turned on by entering a four-digit code, it also locks the interior storage spaces and turns off the infotainment system. It can't be turned off until the code is re-entered. There's a press release below with more information as well as a video that explains how it works, with the obligatory dig at the 'Vette's biggest foe.

Continue reading Chevy Corvette gets Valet Mode with Performance Data Recorder [w/video]

Chevy Corvette gets Valet Mode with Performance Data Recorder [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 18 Aug 2014 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Lincoln develops 'Essence of Lincoln' showroom aroma

Leftlane - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 13:52
Lincoln is pumping a new perfume into some of its new car showrooms.

Lincoln develops 'Essence of Lincoln' showroom aroma

Leftlane - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 13:52
Lincoln is pumping a new perfume into some of its new car showrooms.






Lincoln putting perfume on its sales

Autoblog - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 13:32

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Lincoln has a scent. But unlike those from Mustang, Lamborghini or even Shark by Tara, you can't buy it and you have to visit a Lincoln dealership to inhale its notes of jasmine hedione, mate tea leaves and tonka beans. Essence of Lincoln - that's what it's called - is being piped through the ventilation systems at some showrooms to help "create an emotional connection between the luxury brand and its customers," and olfactorily promote the idea of "luxury and warmth." Where it's not run through the ducts, visitors can sample it on scent cards.

Master perfumer Rene Morgenthaler worked with aroma house SensoryMax to design Essence of Lincoln. Also including traces of Earl Grey bergamot and green tea, whenever you encounter it you're meant to enjoy "a feeling of belonging to an exclusive, forward-thinking group that values style and success." And then buy an MKC. There's a press release below with details and an image to explain more, if you're still having a little trouble smelling the orange blossoms.

Continue reading Lincoln putting perfume on its sales

Lincoln putting perfume on its sales originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 18 Aug 2014 08:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Russia threatens to block car imports from US, EU

Leftlane - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 13:11
Companies with Russian factories expected to be spared from retaliatory sanctions.






Aston Martin may be forced to stop selling DB9, Vantage in US [w/poll]

Autoblog - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 13:00

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There are any number of factors that are making it increasingly difficult for a small-scale, independent automaker like Aston Martin to stay competitive in today's automotive marketplace, from purchasing power to R&D capacity. But the latest factor endangering Aston's viability on the marketplace seems to be coming down to tighter government safety standards.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is enacting new side-impact crash regulations that require vehicles to better withstand the impact from running into a pole or tree - narrow-gauge fixed objects you're likely to find lining public streets. The standard has been phased in over the last few years, but while an exemption to the gradual phase-in was granted to low-volume manufacturers, even those automakers will have to meet the cut-off next month. And convertibles (which were granted a further extension) will have to meet them by September 2015.

Unfortunately for Aston Martin, two of its core models - the Vantage and DB9 - do not pass the test. That would mean that it would have to stop selling both those model lines (which just also happen to be its oldest), but a spokesman for the brand's US dealers is petitioning the government body to grant them an exception.

According to James R. Walker, chairman of Aston's US dealer advisory panel and owner of the dealership in Washington, DC, losing the V8 Vantage coupe, V12 Vantage coupe and DB9 coupe next month would cost dealers about 25 percent of its gross profits, and losing the convertible versions of the same next year would cut another 40 percent of their profits. The combined 65 percent drop in sales (assuming, of course, that sales of the recently updated but more expensive Vanquish and Rapide wouldn't rise to make up for it) would mean that many of the 35 dealers across the US would have to close, putting the 230 people who work at the dealers (and another 300 related personnel) out of work.

On that basis, Walker is asking the government to grant an exemption for the DB9 through August 2016 and for the Vantage through August 2017. By then, we're lead to assume, their replacement (or replacements) will have arrived, meeting the new crash standards. We've reached out to Aston Martin for comment on the issue and will update you as soon as we hear back. In the meantime, voice your opinion on the issue in our online poll below.

View Poll

Aston Martin may be forced to stop selling DB9, Vantage in US [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 18 Aug 2014 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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VW mulling four-seater XL1?

Leftlane - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 09:09
Like the XL1, the four-seater XL2 will return 261 mpg in a mixed European cycle.






Saleen introduces Tesla-based Foursixteen EV

Leftlane - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 06:56
Saleen promises the Foursixteen is "one of the most compelling Teslas ever to hit the tarmac."






1954 Ferrari 375 MM Scaglietti Coupe named Best In Show at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

Autoblog - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 02:05

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For the first time in the event's 64-year history, the prestigious Best In Show honor at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance has been awarded to a Ferrari. The 1954 375 MM Scaglietti Coupe seen here is owned by car collector Jon Shirley of Medina, WA, and as it turns out, has quite a rich history.

Nevermind the fact that it's currently one of five road-going 375 MMs - this example was ordered by film director Roberto Rossellini, and was actually born as a Pininfarina-bodied competition Spyder. Following an accident, the car's original body wasn't able to be saved, but the chassis was sent to Carrozzeria Scaglietti in Modena for replacement, and the finished product became the company's first passenger car design for Ferrari.

Following its tenure with Rossellini, the car was owned by Mario Savona of Palermo, and later Charles Robert of Paris. Years later, the car was restored by its current owner in 1995, after being found in an underground garage in a Paris suburb.

In addition to being the first Ferrari to win the Best In Show award, this is the first post-war car to take the top honor since 1968. This Ferrari has quite the robust pedigree, having won many Best In Show awards at several events throughout the 1990s, in addition to the Luigi Chinetti Memorial Award at the 1998 Pebble Beach Concours.

Have a look at the winning Ferrari in our gallery from Pebble Beach, above.

1954 Ferrari 375 MM Scaglietti Coupe named Best In Show at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 17 Aug 2014 21:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Will Roegge makes 4K art of Jeff Zwart's 911 build and run up Pikes Peak

Autoblog - Mon, 08/18/2014 - 01:03

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Will Roegge has turned his camera on Jeff Zwart and provided another gem, this time documenting Zwart's run up Pikes Peak and BBI Autosport. Bertim Besha dropped out of high school, then worked his way up to founding his own shop, BBI, that gathers a crew of tuners who are just as fastidious about their work as the customers are about their cars.

They prepped the 991-series Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Turbo, the product of combining a 911 GT2 that was the most powerful car Zwart drove up the mountain with a GT3 Cup that Zwart thought had the best handling. Two TiAL turbos and a lot of fettling make for a 3.8-liter flat-six with 700 horsepower, 700 pound-feet of torque and a 7,800-rpm redline. Zwart drove it to a heartbreaking second place this year, finishing less than 1.2 seconds behind the Time Attack 1 class winner when his car suffered its first mechanical issue of the week.

The first video below covers Besha, BBI and the build, the second is Zwart's run. As if the visuals weren't enough, sit back and enjoy the shrieking of the "Hill Climb Special," which is what the constellation Sirius would sound like if it could bark.

Continue reading Will Roegge makes 4K art of Jeff Zwart's 911 build and run up Pikes Peak

Will Roegge makes 4K art of Jeff Zwart's 911 build and run up Pikes Peak originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 17 Aug 2014 20:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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