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19 Aug 2014

2015 Chevy Corvette Z06 order guide spills all the details

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2015 Chevy Corvette Z06

2015 Chevy Corvette order guideWant to see how you’d configure your new Corvette Z06? No, we’re afraid that model has yet to be included in Chevy’s online configuration tool, but it has been added to the order guide. So now Corvette buyers will have the choice between the base Stingray coupe, the Z51 coupe, the Stingray convertible, Z51 convertible, Z06 coupe or Z06 convertible. That’s six variants in all, giving those in the market for the latest American sports car a wealth of choices.

Of course, those three versions and two body-styles are only the starting point to which you can add a wealth of options, from the Performance Data Recorder to the full Z07 performance package with carbon-ceramic brakes and suspension upgrades. No matter which way you spec it, you’re still getting the most powerful vehicle General Motors has ever made, with 650 horsepower and just as much torque from a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that might as well be called the ZR1 already. Check out the order guide broken down page by page in the gallery below.

2015 Chevy Corvette Z06 order guide spills all the details originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 19 Aug 2014 10:13:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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19 Aug 2014

Russia may respond to sanctions by banning car imports

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Inside Renault SA's Russian Plant

The Iron Curtain may be lowering on Russia again, at least when it comes to the country’s auto industry. The government there is reportedly considering a ban on imported cars as a response if the West puts more sanctions in place. However, even if the restrictions materialize, domestically built vehicles from foreign automakers would likely still receive an exemption.

Russia and Western governments are fighting back and forth in a war of words over the country’s alleged support of separatists in Ukraine. Sanctions from both sides are aimed at harming the other’s economy enough to give in. After recently limiting some food imports, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev hinted that further restrictions could be leveled at other industries, including automobiles.

According to Reuters, Vladimir Putin reportedly already considered limiting vehicle imports but eventually rejected the idea. The plan was left as a more drastic option, though. Unnamed Russian government sources recently told the Vedomosti newspaper that the strategy was still under consideration. However, the state hasn’t actually begun preparing for any such implementation.

If the import sanctions do actually materialize, they would be a complete reversal of recent trends in the Russian auto industry. Analysts were already predicting decline of up to 30 percent in the country’s new car market for 2014, and tariffs were also expected to fall, which would further boost imports. There were even rumors of some automakers cutting back on factory capacity; Ford responded to the weakened market by cutting about 950 jobs there in April.

Russia may respond to sanctions by banning car imports originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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19 Aug 2014

2015 Mercedes C-Class configurator tucks in

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A screenshot of the configurator for the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

We know it takes $39,325 just to get a C300 off the lot, now that Mercedes-Benz has posted the configurator for the 2015 C-Class we can research how much we’ll need to get the one we want. Going for tempered extravagance first, we built a C400 with options like the multispoke wheels, LED-stuffed exterior lighting, the leather-bound Interior Package, the Multimedia and Driver Assistance Packages, and the Hands-Free Access Package as a cherry. We could have motored back home for $59,575.

Then we went the other way, kitting out a C300 with fewer options and more sport. That meant adding the Sport Package for fancy wheels and the sport interior, we stuck with black MB-Tex and aluminum inside, plus heated front seats, then skipped all the premium interior packages but did Keyless Go for $550, Airmatic Suspension, the rear view camera, and splurged on the illuminated star up front and a spoiler in back. The register rang up $47,200.

There are a few curious details, starting with the color palette: eight of the ten exterior hues are from the monochrome range; the only two real colors are Dakota Brown Metallic (pictured) and Lunar Blue Metallic. In Germany, they also get a bright blue and a Hyacinth Red. The C400 gets four choices of interior material and three of interior trim, the C300 gets 15 choices of material and seven of trim. Then there are à-la-carte gotchas like the Head-Up Display, which lists for $990 but choosing it automatically adds the $2,700 Premium Package. But hey, it’s only configurator money, so have at it.

2015 Mercedes C-Class configurator tucks in originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 19 Aug 2014 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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18 Aug 2014

Lincoln putting perfume on its sales

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Lincoln Learning Luxury

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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16 Aug 2014

Hyundai dealerships getting global makeover

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Hyundai Global Dealership Space identity

In the near future, almost no matter where you’re at in the world – whether in Mexico or France – you may not be able to tell an immediate difference between Hyundai dealers. The Korean brand plans to remove some of the diversity from its showrooms in favor of a unified design everywhere outside of the US by about 2020.

The plan is called the Global Dealership Space Identity, and the end result features a modern, open showroom with floor-to-ceiling glass to look in and a bronze-colored roof section (pictured above). The goal of the unified design “is to strengthen our Modern Premium brand consistency across all dealerships, proving premium emotional experiences related to our brand and increase interaction with customers,” said Hyundai spokesperson Sookjin Hwang to Autoblog via email.

The ball is already rolling on the plan with the cues being implemented at new dealers in Mexico and about 42 other showrooms worldwide. In the future even Canada may use it, according to Automotive News. “Hyundai Motor plans to fully implement the new identity worldwide within five years (2014~2018). The exact timing for each country will be different.”

The one place that GDSI won’t be blanketing every showroom anytime soon will be the US. According to Automotive News, Hyundai only instituted its blue and silver color scheme for dealerships here about four years ago. Forcing another change would likely result in a revolt complete with torches and pitchforks. Although, the company may open a few new stores with the GDSI look in the US just as a pilot program.

Hyundai dealerships getting global makeover originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 16 Aug 2014 08:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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13 Aug 2014

Son surprises mom with her dream car, a 1973 Saab 99

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Mom gets her dream Saab 99

Often, it feels like the news is just a never-ending stream of one depressing headline after another. It can be so liberating to see something positive and uplifting every once in a while. Just look at the ecstatic expression on this mother’s face after receiving her dream car from her son.

Mom has some seriously quirky taste too: she isn’t after a muscle car or a two-seat droptop; instead, it’s a 1973 Saab 99 EMS in a very ’70s shade of copper at the top of her wish list.

According to the video, it took her son about a year to track down this hunk of Swedish steel and save up the money to purchase it. Though, judging from his mom’s reaction, it was worth every penny. She puts together what’s going on with the Saab pretty quickly and immediately starts swearing at her son – out of love, of course.

If you’re feeling a little blue, consider this a much-needed pick-me-up. Watching the unbridled joy of someone getting something that they always wanted just feels wonderful.

Continue reading Son surprises mom with her dream car, a 1973 Saab 99

Son surprises mom with her dream car, a 1973 Saab 99 originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 13 Aug 2014 12:46:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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12 Aug 2014

BMW maintenance plan no longer transferrable to 2nd owner

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FILES - Picture taken on October 12, 200

One of the best innovations in car buying in recent years is the rise of no-cost scheduled maintenance programs. Many people feel really anxious about taking their car in for service, and these deals help mitigate that somewhat. Obviously, it’s not free for automakers to implement the offers, and now BMW is altering the way its four-year, 50,000-mile Maintenance Program works for some owners. “To keep such an offer sustainable we had to make a change,” said Kenn Sparks, Manager of Business Communications at BMW North America, to Autoblog via email.

The original person to buy or lease the model isn’t going to see any difference, but the program is no longer transferable to a second owner, unless that person is in the owners household. Those people include includes parents, siblings, grandparents and grandchildren, in addition to someone like a spouse or children. The original owner just has to advise BMW of new user. “The program change will affect 2nd owners and for them BMW is introducing an optional full-maintenance product that covers the vehicle up to 100,000 miles,” said Sparks. Scroll down to read the entire announcement.

Continue reading BMW maintenance plan no longer transferrable to 2nd owner

BMW maintenance plan no longer transferrable to 2nd owner originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 12 Aug 2014 10:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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12 Aug 2014

Bentley reserves 99 Continental GT3-Rs for North America at $337k apiece

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Bentley Continental GT3-R

Whether they’re powered by V8 or W12 engines, the Bentley Continental GT just keeps getting faster and faster. The new Continental GT Speed, for example, is the fastest road-going Bentley ever made, capable of reaching 206 miles per hour. And the Continental GT3-R is the quickest-accelerating Bentley yet, capable of hitting 60 in just 3.6 seconds.

In other words, if you want to get your hands on one, you’ll need to act fast. Bentley is only making 300 examples of the GT3-R, but while it is said to have already sold out the entire production run, it has been kind enough to keep 99 examples on the side just for the North American market.

The road-going embodiment of the Continental GT3 racer, the GT3-R packs a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 tuned up to 572 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. That makes it 72 hp and 29 lb-ft stronger than the base Continental GT V8, or 43 hp and 14 lb-ft more muscular than the GT V8 S, about on par with the W12 model but 54 hp and 89 lb-ft shy of the latest GT Speed. But thanks to its lighter weight (inherent in the eight-cylinder model and stripped of a further 220 pounds in the GT3-R), it trounces them all in the sprint to 60.

The price of admission, however, is also higher than anything else Bentley makes: at a whopping $337,000, it’s nearly twice as expensive as a base V8 model, a good 50 percent more than the GT Speed, about fifty grand more than the previous range-topping Supersports model and more than even the top-of-the-line Mulsanne.

The Continental GT3-R makes its US debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance this weekend.

Continue reading Bentley reserves 99 Continental GT3-Rs for North America at $337k apiece

Bentley reserves 99 Continental GT3-Rs for North America at $337k apiece originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 12 Aug 2014 11:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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12 Aug 2014

2015 Audi S3 configurator goes live with all the black and silver paint you’ve hoped for

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It has already been nearly a year since we completed our First Drive of the premium pocket rocket Audi S3, with official pricing for the car detailed earlier this summer. Those are facts, but facts won’t help you while away your lunchtime in blissful, car-dreaming reverie, will they?

No, for help with imagining just exactly the kind of Audi S3 that you’d like to put in your garage, the freshly launched configurator is just the thing.

Every 2015 Audi S3 will come with 2.0T power under the hood – to the tune of 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. The most basic Premium Plus trim (an interesting renaming of “entry level” we’ll grant you) starts at $41,100 before destination, while the higher-content Prestige asks $47,000. The extra six grand buys you full LED lighting, tri-zone climate control, S model appearance upgrades like quad exhaust tips and a more advanced infotainment suite with Bang & Olufsen sound.

Nine paint options are available at launch, though only one, Brilliant Black, comes without an additional upcharge. Most of the other hues will run you an extra $550, though if you’re sweet on the looks of the Panther Black Crystal (seen above), you’ll have to shell out $1,075 for the look. Your choice of three interior colorways are all cost-free options, however.

There are really only two options packages beyond the trim level differences: a technology pack for $1,400 and a performance pack for $1,500. The performance upgrades include 19-inch five spoke wheels (an inch larger than the standard rolling stock, with the same 225-section tires), and Audi’s magnetic ride control. The tech pack brings lane assist and adaptive cruise to help you crush those long road trips, along with an emergency city braking system for low-speed stops and a front camera with distance sensor for tight parking spots.

Finally, if you intend on putting folks (young or old) in the small rear seating area, we’d recommend dropping the $350 extra for rear side airbags. Always hoon responsibly.

2015 Audi S3 configurator goes live with all the black and silver paint you’ve hoped for originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 12 Aug 2014 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Aug 2014

LaFerrari trading at double its list price

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Ferrari LaFerrari

If you’ve been looking at the seven-figure price tags (plus or minus) on the latest batch of hypercars, and wondering how their manufacturers could possibly charge that much, consider that their predecessors typically traded at well above their list price as it is. The Ferrari Enzo, for example, listed for “only” $650k, but with production limited to 349 units, demand far outstripped supply, driving the mark-up into seven-figures. In fact Enzos are still selling for a million or more at auction. Surely Ferrari deserves a piece of that action itself, at least as much as the speculators… hence the $1.7 million sticker price on its successor LaFerrari.

Here’s the thing, though: according to the latest reports, buyers are paying that much again just for the privilege of getting their hands on a LaFerrari. In other words, they’re paying double the already sky-high asking price: as much as $3.4 million to put it in the same ballpark as the Lamborghini Veneno (whose production was even more limited) and the latest Legend edition of the Bugatti Veyron Vitesse roadster.

The story gets a bit more sane with its rivals, though: according to the analysis reported by Oracle Finance, the McLaren P1 is commanding “only” a $500k premium over list, and the Porsche 918 Spyder “just” $335k extra. However even less expensive new models from high-end automakers like the Lamborghini Huracán and Porsche Macan are reportedly commanding $50k and $10k premiums, respectively.

LaFerrari trading at double its list price originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Aug 2014 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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