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Report: Lexus refrains from F-branded crossovers

With automakers getting high off of branding, it’ snot particularly uncouth to expect manufacturers to create endless “special edition” models or sporty wannabe models of more expensive and higher performing brethren. With Lexus however, the Japanese luxury giant seeks to keep the high-performance F branch away from their crossover offerings, which makes considerable sense.

On could argue, there is an RX F-Sport–but it’s just short of a full-fledged F model, like the IS F and the incoming RC F. There are other F-Sport branded cars, and they reach every other model: the IS, GS, and LS all get their own F-Sport versions. The crossovers could still get these treatments, in lieu of the RX F-Sport.

Though according to Lexus’ F chief engineer, Yukihiko Yaguchi, there are no plans for full-blown F crossovers because a car with an official “F” badge must have the characteristics to run on the track and be a race car. Well, the IS F-Sport does have F badges too, ya know…

While the a high-performance RX F or NX F would certainly be interesting, it could still be possible considering all of the other luxury brands from Germany have high-performance versions of their crossovers. Lexus does want to match the Germans for pretty much every move. Just imagine though, a high-performance soccer-mom RX F. Yea, it sounds ludicrous, but so did a $70,000 Hyundai, 15 years ago.

Source: Car Advice


First photos of production Aston Martin Lagonda surface, thanks to Oman Air
Gallery - 4 images
  • Aston Martin Lagonda Oman Air
  • Aston Martin Lagonda Oman Air (1)
  • Aston Martin Lagonda Oman Air (2)
  • Aston Martin Lagonda Oman Air (3)

Aston Martin is doing something unique by producing a successor to the original Lagonda sedan from the 1970s and 1980s that only the Middle East could get their hands on.

Modeled and inspired directly from the original Lagonda, the new Lagonda is in essence a modernized version and is built by Aston’s new Q division. Although a price tag hasn’t been disclosed, nor hte identity of who the special customers are, the Lagonda was put into the spotlight by Oman Air as pre-production models are being shipped specifically by the air carrier so Aston could begin thorough testing of the vehicle in its bespoke market.

The new Lagonda utilizes the same VH platform as the current Rapide, with specially designed carbon fiber body panels to help reduce weight. Power is supplied by the same 6.0L naturally-aspirated V12 with around 600bhp on tap, sending its power to the rear-wheels via an eight-speed ZF-sourced auto. 0-100 km/h should occur in just 4.2 seconds. Deliveries are scheduled to begin next year with less than 100 units planned for production.

Source: OmanAir


Report: Saab files for bankruptcy protection again

Saab just isn’t doing too well and recently, the Saab’s new parent, National Electric Vehicle Sweden, just filed for bankruptcy protection, according to Reuters.

The purpose of filing for the shield is to allow NEVS and Saab to reorganize itself after negotiations with two global automakers for support have taken longer than expected, according to NEVS president, Mattias Bergman. Not much else is known, though Bergman continued to state that Saab and NEVS need additional time to figure out how to relieve Saab from its debt to suppliers.

According to Reuters, Saab has 900 supplies and a large amount of them agreed to await the result of ongoing negotiations before laying down the hammer on their own end. NEVS was also forced to file for protection as the Swedish Enforcement Authority could force NEVS to repay Saab’s debut by selling their assets. Though, such a move would cripple and current and ongoing negotiations with the “two global automakers,” so NEVS only option was to file for bankruptcy protection.

Source: NEVS via Reuters


Video: Mercedes-Benz teases AMG GT again in video, to be revealed on Sept. 9

Mercedes-Benz AMG released another teaser video to make sure we haven’t forgotten about its impending arrival on September 9.

Due in less than two weeks, the new Mercedes AMG-GT underwent 32 months of research and development in 15 countries with ambient temperatures ranging from -30 to 50 degrees Celsius. This also includes fifty test drivers and Mercedes even brags that the AMG GT designed with no compromises made.

Click here for more news on the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT.

Power is to be supplied by AMG’s latest 4.0L twin-turbo V8 with around 500hp–an entry-level model detuned to 458hp is also in the works, but due for a release a little later. This 4.0L V8 debuts in the new next generation Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG.

After being revealed on September 9 for the world to see, the AMG GT is scheduled for its worldly exhibition at the Paris Motor Show in early October.
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Report: The Aston Martin DB9 and Vantage risks no longer being sold in US

Numerous reports hint Aston Martin is facing some troubles in the near future as the small British luxury sports car maker could be forced to stop selling its DB9 and Vantage in the US due to tightening government safety standards.

In a nutshell, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is implementing new side-impact crash regulations and the current Aston Martin DB9 and Vantage are not capable of meeting these new requirements. The new standard is still in the process of being phased in from several years ago with exemptions being made for low-volume automakers. But the cut-off date for those automakers is just next month. Convertibles of any sort have to meet the new requirement by September of 2015.

Though because of the due dates on this new regulation, the DB9 and Vantage–two of Aston’s important models–could be forced to stop selling in the US. Let’s also not forget, the DB9 and Vantage are two of Aston’s oldest models currently still in production. Should the two core models be banned from being sold in the states, that could translate to a 25 percent loss in gross profits with the convertible versions adding to the total loss by 40 percent at the arrival of September 2015, equating to a net 65 percent loss for dealerships in the US. This would force many of the 35 dealers in the US to shutdown.

Aston Martin’s representative for US dealers is currently petitioning the government to grant Aston Martin an exception.

Source: Bloomberg


BREAKING: Aston Martin makes Nissan’s Andy Palmer new CEO

The Financial  in the UK recently learned that Nissan’s chief of product, Andy Palmer, was just elected into the position of CEO for Aston Martin.

Aston Martin themselves haven’t confirmed the news, though fellow news outlet, Reuters, also reports the same. According to Nissan, Palmer took a position “at another company,” and now we know which one. Andy Palmer is succeeded at Nissan by his opposite from Renault, Philippe Klein.

Palmer is no stranger to the automotive world and has circulated throughout the industry since 1991. Prior, he began his career in the UK at the European Technical Centre, as a general manager for vehicle design. He moved to Japan in 2002 when he took up a position as deputy managing director for Nissan Engineering in Europe.

Aston Martin happens to pick a proper member for its leadership, considering Ulrich Bez recently stepped down in 2013 due to his age of 70. So far, Palmer has many left over projects to deal with: a completely new range, including an all-new DB9, and a Vantage. Aston is also still in the middle of discussions with Daimler AG and an alliance with Mercedes-Benz AMG. The Lagonda sedan is currently in development while the VH architecture requires a redesign for evolutionary purposes.

So Palmer does have his work cut out for him. Will he succeed? Only time will tell.

- By: Chris Chin

Source: CAR Magazine


Report: Man who purposely crashed Bugatti Veyron in lake faces 20 years in prison
Gallery - 6 images
  • Bugatti Veyron Crash Insurance Fraud Video
  • Bugatti Veyron Crash Insurance Fraud Video (1)
  • Bugatti Veyron Crash Insurance Fraud Video (2)
  • Bugatti Veyron Crash Insurance Fraud Video (3)
  • Bugatti Veyron Crash Insurance Fraud Video (4)
  • Bugatti Veyron Crash Insurance Fraud Video (5)

Remember that dude who was caught on video driving his Bugatti Veyron into a lake, later claiming he avoided a “low flying pelican,” only to change the cause to “dropping his phone?”

Well, that man has been found guilty of attempted insurance fraud and currently faces up to 20 years in prison after the whole incident.

In 2009, Andy House, an exotic car salvage yard owner, was even alleged to have attempted to bribe someone to steal the Veyron and to destroy it.

His insurance provide, Philadelphia Insurance, didn’t buy the story one bit and sued him for Insurance Fraud. House has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.

Source: Jalopnik


Report: Details for next-gen 2019 Volkswagen Golf emerge

Even though the full seventh generation Volkswagen Golf lineup is just hitting our shores, it’s actually been around since 2012 in Europe and Asia. So the current Golf isn’t exactly news and it should be no surprise details for the next-gen model have apparently surfaced by way of AutoCar in the UK.

According to the latest report, then eight generation Golf is still five years away, but is being prepared to meet stricter European CO2 emissions restrictions due for implementation in 2020. To make the Golf more efficient and kinder to the environment to preserve polar bears, the new Golf takes inspiration from the XL1, resulting in better aerodynamics and fuel economy.

VW’s MQB platform will still be used to continue making the Golf lighter–a curb weight of 2,425lbs is the target. There’s a new flywheel system, currently being tested by Volvo, to provide the Golf with an all-wheel drive system that powers the rear-wheels while regenerating power from kinetic energy and providing the Golf with an extra 40bhp.

“Coasting” technology is also being developed to decouple the engine when cruising at speed, allowing for a shutdown, while traveling downhill or slowing down. Sounds like the days of engine braking are over, which is more fuel efficient than continuously starting and shutting off an engine.

And of course, electric turbochargers are expected to make their debut following the technology’s use in future Audi’s and new concepts.

Source: AutoCar


Report: Wireless charging tech for EVs could surface in 2017

LeftLaneNews reports wireless charging could be a common feature as early as 2017, when the first consumer-ready system is launched.

Electronics giant, Qualcomm, is known to be working on a new inductive charging system called Halo, briefly detailed by the company’s vice-president for business development and marketing, Anthony Thompson.

“We’re in discussions at some level with all of the major companies developing electric vehicles, and some requests for quotations have already gone out.”

So far, the cost of the system will most likely leave wireless charging as an upgradable option with an extra cost for luxury models. Thompson does predict wireless charging should dominate the market within ten years from now, however.

Qualcomm has already begun testing the Halo wireless charging system on the BMW i8 Formula E safety car.

Source: LeftLaneNews


Report: Ferrari to build only 458 copies of 458 Speciale Spider

4WheelsNews apparently heard through the grapevine of rumors that the new Ferrari 458 Speciale Spider is going to be limited to just 458 production units worldwide.

After Ferrari’s staff held an exclusive preview event at Pebble Beach recently, Ferrari privately showcased the new variant to its most esteemed customers. These include an updated 600hp engine and other high-performance goodies. The Ferrari 458 Speciale Spider follows in the footsteps of the original F430-based 16M Scuderia Spider.

A revealing at the Paris Motor Show in October is scheduled for the new 458.

Source: 4WheelsNews