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Lamborghini flown from Qatar to UK for an oil change

You’d better be careful next time you complain the service is really far from your home, because it can be even worse. Take this ‘poor’ Sheik’s case. He had to fly his £190,000 Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 (similar to the one from The Dark Night movie) all the way from Qatar to the UK for an oil change. The whole trip cost him £20,000, plus £3,552 to service at an approved dealer.

I know, the guy has too much money than he can spend, but you have to admit, that’s pretty cool. Of course, environmentalists don’t have the same opinion, because the whole ‘operation’ sparked fury from them. For example, here are a few statements from some very angry people:
Airport worker: “This car doesn’t have a carbon footprint – more of a crater.”
Cargo handler: “It would have been far more efficient to fly mechanics out there.”
Jenny Evans, of pressure group Plane Stupid: “This horrifies me. It is another example of how rich people exploit and pollute the planet because of their money.”
Friends of the Earth’s transport campaigner Richard Dyer: “Flying a car thousands of miles for a service is ludicrous when planes are one of the most polluting ways to transport goods. We urge the individual to get their car serviced closer to home.”

To be honest, what I really don’t understand is why the owner chose to do that? I mean, I suppose there are Lamborghini services in Qatar. Or maybe he only did it because he can?


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Beware, catalyzer thieves are coming!

Even though it’s hard to believe, it seems that catalyzer thefts is increasing from one simple reason: the Platinum inside has a market value of 200 dollars. The main problem with these thefts are that the catalyzers found at the thieves could not be identified and the police couldn’t press charges. To handle these thefts, Ford joined forces with Retainagroup security specialist, so now the catalyzers are die-cut with a 7-digit unique code and one phone number, available 24 hours a day. The registration kit is available at Ford dealers at a price of 11.87 pounds for a single car, or 30 packages kit, with only 136 pounds.


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The first Tesla crash happend in San Francisco

In case you haven’t heard, the Tesla Roadster is the first electric sports car to enter production soon. Finally we can say good bye to all the ugly little cars and save the planet in a stylish and sporty way. But untill you can make your deposit for the car, you can see how it performs in the crash tests. Even though they were unplanned ! Looks like the first Tesla crash took place in San Francisco. Fortunatelly nobody got injured, but the poor car got squashed between a Mercedes and a Toyota Camry. That’s a shome, considering that only nine Tesla cars were manufactured so far. You can see for yourself in the photos what happened.

Would you buy one ?

More leaked photos of the new Ford Ka

Two days ago we’ve shown you the first leaked photo of the upcoming Ford Ka. The car is scheduled to debut this autumn, at the Paris Motor Show and Ford was probably planning on announcing the car closer to the French show. However, since that photo leaked, Ford has announced that the official press release will be made tomorrow but still, we’ve managed to get a hold of another two photos of the car. We can now see the rear and the interior.

More official details tomorrow, but rumors say that the car will be built in Tychy, Poland it’ll be powered by 1.4 and 1.6-litre petrol engines and a 1.6 TDCi diesel engine.

Check out the other photo after the jump.


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Saddam’s Rolls for sale

A year and a half after Saddam Hussein was executed, here’s your chance to won a piece of history, by buying a Rollls Royce Corniche that belonged to the tyrannical Iraqui dictator. The car will be sold at Autocontinental, a car dealship in Redhill, Surrey and it has a price tag of £185,000. The Rolls features heated, brown leather seats with red piping, climate control system and comes with papers confirming its ownership by the former Iraqi leader.

According to Steven Brown, the owner of car dealership, the car will be shipped from Baghdad within the next 28 days and before the new owner takes possession, it will be refitted with a new stereo to replace the one he claims American soldiers removed when they found the car. The Rolls was bought by an Iraqui friend for Steven’s and he already has a lot of interested buyers, including an American Colonel who wants to afix SADDAM numberplates to the car.

But that’s not all, because Steven is planning on buying one of Saddam’s gems, a top-of-the-range Maybach Mercedes which was fitted with 23-carat gold, but Saddam never got the chance to drive before he was arrested and executed for crimes against humanity in 2006.

Video: Porsche 911 Carrera Facelift promo

Last month Porsche announced the facelift for the Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe and Cabrio and now we’ve got this great promotional video recently released by Porsche. Just a reminder, the updates on the car include a slightly updated look (front and rear LED lights along with slightly redesigned bumpers), a new optional seven-speed automatic double-clutch gearbox dubbed Porsche-Doppelkupplung (PDK) along with a new direct injection system. The Carrera is powered by a 3.6-liter engine and sprints from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.7 seconds (0.2 faster than the current generation) while the Carrera S has a 3.8-liter which now produces 385 bhpand sprints 0 to 60mph in just 4.3 seconds and reaches a top speed of 186mph (300 km/h). Pricing for the 2009 Porsche Carrera will start at €69,600 for the Coupe and €78,000 for for Cabrio whilst the Carrerra S will start at €78,000 for the Coupe and €88,000 for the Cabrio.

Enjoy the video!


GM to cut 5,000 jobs by November 1

According to Wall Street Journal General Motors plans on removing about 5,000 employees by November 1 as a part of its cost-cutting strategy. The Detroit giant’s total revenue is expected to fall about 3% in the quarter and an operating loss of $1.49 billion as GM relies on strong international operations to offset bleeding in North America. The head count move is part of a 20% reduction GM plans for its North American white-collar cost structure this year. It plans to shave $10 billion over the next 17 months. GM will also suspend the dividend, cut capital spending and trim retiree benefits to meet its target.

GM hopes the early-retirement incentives will persuade workers to leave voluntarily. The company is expected to roll out offers soon that will include both cash incentives and the chance for some to leave early with full pension benefits. GM has cut its white-collar work force 40% since 2000, to about 32,000 employees.

The auto maker also confirmed plans to scale back its vehicle-leasing operations, which could further crimp U.S. sales. While GM plans to continue to offer subsidized leases in the U.S., it is adjusting some of the lease terms and will exclude certain vehicles. GM is likely to have lease-related losses of its own when it reports earnings. A glimpse of the extent could come Thursday when GMAC LLC, its financing unit, reports. Lehman Brothers estimated Tuesday that GM had a $2.45 billion loss in the quarter. As of March 31, GM had $24 billion on hand. GM has a plan to shore up liquidity by $15 billion by the end of 2009 by implementing the $10 billion cost-cutting plan and raising $5 billion through asset sales and collateralized loans.


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F1 cars are shocking, literally

What you can see in the video below is a BMW Sauber F1 mechanic which got a taste of the experimental Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) used during some tests of the F1 team. When Christian Klien pulled into the pits, one of the mechanics touched the car and received an electric shock that put him to ground. Fortunately, he was ok and didn’t sustain and serious injuries, after a short medical check being allowed to return to the pits.

One of the BMW Sauber spokesmans said: “During testing of the KERS car at the Jerez track this morning, there was an incident involving a mechanic [...] When the car returned to the pits, he touched it and suffered an electric shock. He sustained slight injuries to his left hand and grazing on his left arm.”



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Chrysler in talks with Fiat and Tata

According to The Guardian, Chrysler is currently in talks with Fiat and Tata over a possible future cooperation. As we already know, Fiat and Tata have a partnership. Fiat agreed this month to handle the financing in Europe for Tata’s Jaguar and Land Rover brands, while Tata said it was open to Fiat selling its ultra-cheap Nano.

Though no officials from the three companies confirmed, rumors say that Chrysler, the third largest U.S. automaker, has been in discussions with Tata about arrangements to sell its Jeep Wrangler SUV in India and possibly other Asian markets, the sources said. The cooperation between Tata and Chrysler could result in the two automakers launching an electric vehicle. Tata said in January that “exploratory discussions” had begun with Chrysler over sales for a battery-powered version of its Ace mini-truck. By concluding a deal with Tata, Chrysler also could look to sell a version of the Jeep Wrangler to the Indian military, another person familiar with the talks said.

In addition, Chrysler has been talking to Fiat about leasing Chrysler production capacity in North America and cooperating in retail distribution in the U.S. market. That could allow Fiat to return to the world’s largest auto market, while Chrysler could cut costs at a time when sales are down and it faces mounting pressure to shore up cash. Like the other two Detroit giants, GM and Ford, Chrysler has faced scrutiny over its liquidity because of the sharp decline in sales. Chrysler lost $1.6 billion in 2007 and the holding company that includes both the automaker and its financing unit, Chrysler Financial, lost $509 million in the first quarter.

New photos of the 2009 Ferrari California

Thanks to German magazine AutoZeitung, we’ve got a new set of 2009 Ferrari California photos. Nice! The California was announced some time ago, with the official debut scheduled for the Paris Motor Show and will only be available as cabrio. Under the hood we’ve got a 4.3 liter V8 engine that develops 460 hp at 7,500 rpm and takes the car from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 4.0 seconds. The chassis and bodywork are aluminum and the engine is mated to the seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox controlled by the F1-Trac traction control system from the 599 GTB Fiorano.

Check out the complete photo gallery after the jump.

“Art of Speed” Hyundai Genesis Coupe to be on display at SEMA

Hyundai USA announced that at this year’s SEMA Show one of the Hyundai’s stand stars will be this “Art of Speed” Genesis Coupe, created in cooperation with Rhys Millen Racing (RMR). The car is powered by a 2.0 litre DOHV four-cylinder engine which is fitted with an RMR turbo kit, heavy-duty HKS sequential transmission and a K&W coil over suspension. The special edition Hyundai Genesis Coupe is finished in a silver and black paint scheme and it features the impressive RMR wide body kit, functional hood scoop, carbon fiber wing, Brembo brakes, Enkei racing wheels and Bridgestone Protenza RE-01 tires. Interior mods include Sparco steering wheel and racing seats, eight-point roll cage and a RMR carbon fiber dash.

“We’ve been excited about working with Rhys Millen since the minute he walked through our doors at Hyundai Motor America,” says John Krafcik, vice president, product development and strategic planning, Hyundai Motor America. “Genesis Coupe is a rear-wheel drive performance machine we designed to capture the hearts of hardcore automotive enthusiasts, so we can’t wait to see Rhys’ RMR Genesis Coupe on the race track.”

Official info on the 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX

Today Subaru released the official specs and some photos of the 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX. Comparing it to the 2008 model, the new Impreza WRX is much much better and we can only feel sorry for those that rushed and bought the 2008 version. The new Impreza received a 41 hp power boost, retuned suspension and wider, lower-profile summer performance tires.

By fitting the car with a larger turbocharger, along with a new larger-diameter exhaust and low-density catalyst for reduced backpressure, the WRX engine now produces 265 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 244 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,000 rpm – significant increases from the 224 horsepower and 226 lb.-ft. For the 2009 WRX, Subaru engineers developed a revised suspension which, combined with Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability and traction control system helps to enhance the WRX model’s road handling safety. The car comes standard with 17 x 7-inch aluminum alloy wheels which now wear 225/45R17 summer performance tires, compared to 205/50R17 all-season tires used on the 2008 WRX.

You can check out all the new features of the 2009 Subaru Impreza WRX in the official press release.

Also, more photos are available after the jump.

Mercedes Benz SLC gullwing spied

The Mercedes Benz SLR being discontinued next year and this will also mark the end of the cooperation between Mercedes and McLaren. The German company’s replacement for the SLR will be the Mercedes Benz SLC gullwing, which will be developed by Mercedes and AMG. Scheduled to debut at next year’s Frankfurt Motor Show, the Mercedes SLC was recently caught testing. Though heavily camouflaged, we do have some clues on the SLC’s final appearance, with the long hood, truncated rear cabin and short rear deck highlighting the design. An adjustable rear spoiler is also present, although the final design will almost certainly change before production.

Latest rumors say that SLC won’t be in the same class as the SLR, but closer to the SL63 AMG and the final price will be somewhere around €150,000 ($234,000). The sports car will be powered by AMG’s 6.2 liter V8 engine which is expected to develop around 580 hp (433 kW) and which is mounted up front but behind the front axle, for better weight distribution. The SLC will weight around 1,650kg and the expected performances are: 0 to 100km/h (62 mph) sprint in 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 315 km/h (195 mph).

After the Frankfurt debut next year, the first deliveries will start in mid 2010 and Mercedes expects to sell between 3,000 and 5,000 units per year.

Fuel prices make US drivers travel less

Fuel prices are high and are impacting almost every part of our daily life. Such is the case with US drivers who seem to travel less, due to fuel costs and the economy crysis affecting the country. Statistics from the US Department of Transportation show that americans traveled in 2008 over 40 billion fewer miles than in the same period in 2007. An even more shocking one is that in May, 9.6 billion fewer miles were driven in the US. According to CNNmoney.com, this is the biggest decline in miles travelled since the Department of Transportation have recorded it. Cars are replaced by trains, buses and bicycles in an effort to cut costs but still enjoy a vacation away from home by Americans.

A delicate situation is the current stagnation and even lowering of the fuel prices, whether this will make US citizens travel more by car is yet unknown, only time will tell if this would have any impact on them. Another delicate side-effect of the rise in fuel prices is that the tax imposed by the government on the fuel has remained the same since the price has risen, thus the miles less traveled make a pretty big hole in the government budget.


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New spy photos of the next generation Toyota Prius

We all know the Toyota Prius, it’s the most popular hybrid car out there, having conquered almost everyone with it’s eco-friendly nature, being the car to have if you want to help the planet. One thing though has received mixed oppinions, the design, people saying very different things about the exterior of the car.

Recently some spy shots appeared of a presumed facelift to the Prius, but it would now seem that it wasn’t just a facelift, Toyota planning a totaly new body for their top notch hybrid. Although there have been talks about the new generation of the Prius, even a launch date of January 2009 at the Detroit MotorShow being fronted, new rumours state that this new model will be available around 2010.

This new model will be wider and longer, leaving more space for the passengers in the back and for the trunk. This new space would ultimately be used to develop more vehicles based on this new Prius, and according to Jim Lentz, Toyota USA President, we might see body versions from 2-door coupe to wagon or commuter car. But the design hasn’t been the only thing that Toyota engineers have taken care of, the fuel economy is expected to improve, so is the top speed. Also the NiMh batteries which now power the Prius will be replaced by lighter and smaller Li-ion ones in the effort to increase storage space.


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