Rpmgo.com – Read the latest auto news and opinions, see the coolest cars – Part 230

Apparently, the owners of a Nevada brothel thought that a good way to boost ‘sales’ would be to offer customers gas vouchers. And it seems that the idea was pretty good, because, according to James and Bobbi Davis, the owners, they’ve already had to order another $1,000 set of gas vouchers because the first $1,000 were spent in the first week.

The vouchers are worth $50 each and are given to customers that spend $300 (about one hour’s worth of services). The 50 bucks covers the cost of a round trip drive from Las Vegas to the ranch, located in Beatty, Nevada, 130 miles northwest of Vegas.

Brothels, illegal in most US states, are legal in some parts of Nevada and Shady Lady Ranch, Davis’ brothel, has been operating for 16 years. His wife came up with the idea of offering gas vouchers, because summer is usually a slow month for their business and the gas price hit a record $4.08 a gallon last week.

The rising oil prices have definitely had repercussions on anyone driving a car or a truck. Not to mention independent gas stations, because drivers have cut back on driving or choose to refuel at stations with lower prices, putting nearly 3,000 gas stations out of business, over the past 12 months, according to oil-industry trade publication NPN Magazine.

But, as expected, the “victims” of the fuel prices are spred through other industries as well and here is a list of 10 less known “casualties”, published by Forbes:

Landscaping Industry. Trucks that average 10 mpg are used to tow lawn mowers and heavy equipment.

Independent Movers. “Deadhead” costs are putting a lot of independent movers out of business. “Deadhead” is when a truck drives empty hundreds of miles to pick up another load.

Children’s Camp Grounds. Parents now choose to camping programs closer to home.

Truck Drivers. A report says that 935 trucking companies with at least five trucks went out of business in the first quarter of this year.

Elderly Food Programs. Nearly 60% of ‘Meals On Wheels Association of America’ programs have lost volunteers who can’t afford gas.

Recreational Boating. With the average boat tank holding 90 gallons of gas (lasts for eight hours at modest speeds), most boaters are planning shorter trips.

Cab Drivers. The cost of driving a taxi has soared 38% in June 2008, compared with June 2006.

Independent Gas Station Owners. 3,000 stations closed over the past 12 months.

Volunteer Firefighters. According to The National Volunteer Firefighter Council, communities will probably see fewer volunteers responding to emergency calls, especially if the emergency occurs a good distance away.

Driving Schools. Driving schools are raising rates by as much as $20 to $50 per package and some of them dropped services like picking up and dropping off students at their homes.
Read More: “Less known ‘victims’ of $4 gas prices”

The Italian Design Institute I.DE.A celebrates 30 years since it was established by Franco Mantegazza as a family run company and, with this occasion, they built a concept car in only 30 days. The ERA concept car, a roadster without doors inspired by the cars from the ‘40s, is only a design concept, but it can be equipped with a 4 cylinder FWD engine or with a V6 RWD one. The car has two seats, a fuel tank with a central position and can be quipped with manual/sequential gearbox. The car dimensions are 4300 mm in length, 1840 mm wide and 920 mm high, having a total weight ranging from 1500 to 2000 kilograms. It can be equipped with 245/40 R19 tyres.

“Its smooth curves come to life from taut yet harmonious lines which give the car its elegant yet powerful appearance. Its simple interior, composed of a visible tubular structure, expresses the car’s pure essential nature typical to sports cars” says the I.DE.A website.
Read More: “IDEA ERA concept car”

Today, Accura released this photo of the upcoming 2009 Acura TL sedan. Available starting this fall, the TL will be the most powerful car Acura has ever produced, whatever that means, because Acura hasn’t released any further details on the car. Except that it will feature Super Handling All-Wheel Drive(SH-AWD). The guys over at Autoblog think that the car will probably be powered by the 300 hp 3.7 liter engine which currently powers the RL and the MDX.

That’s about all we’ve got so far, but stay tuned cause we’ll let you know once we get more info.
Read More: “First 2009 Acura TL Sedan photo”

Chevrolet has released the video documenting the ZR1′s 7:26.4 lap at the Nurburgring. The time makes it one of the fastest cars in the world, beating the GT-R’s time by over 2 seconds and even beating Pagani Zonda F’s time. OK so maybe the (official) 160 hp advantage it’s got over the GT-R may have helped but still it’s an impressive time. It does seem that Nissan may be understating the GT-R horsepower a “littile” as unofficia tests put it at 550-580 hp versus the officia 480. Though that much horsepower might explain the GT-R’s stellar performance.

However, unofficial times put the upcoming GT-R V-Spec at 7:25 so the battle is far from over. Also we’ll have to see Porsche’s response as it’s not gonna take the loss of it’s crown in the sports coupe sector sitting down. The upcoming refresh for the 911 line, with it’s new direct injection, might help a little though Porsche will likely have to do better than that.

Hereare the current lap times if you need a refresh.

This morning, in an event where members of the TVR Car Club were invited, TVR’s Managing Director, David Oxley announced that TVR will resume production, with the 2008 version of the Sagaris, which was presented to the guests. The car is basically the same, except for the new five spoke wheels and the satellite navigation integrated into the center console.

The left hand drive indicates that the car will be produced for the global market and officials hinted that pricing will be somewhere around 85,000 Euros. Anyways, this is good news, because TVR has always been a very interesting company and we’ll keep an eye on them to give you further info when it’s available.

More photos of the 2008 TVR Sagaris after the jump.
Read More: “TVR reborn: the 2008 TVR Sagaris”

We don’t know about it you, but we like to watch MTV Cribs, because it’s cool to see how and where celebrities live. And we always like to get down to the part where they present what’s in their garage, we saw some pretty cool cars over the time: from beautiful classics to modern super sport or fancy cars.

In one of the episode of the show, the MTV crew went down to check Bow Wow’s crib in Miami and to check out his cars. He presented two cars, a Bentley Continental GT and a Lamborghini Murcielago (what a surprise!) and he bragged about “how he ride, how he plays!”. He actually showed us the plastic covers in the Bentley, saying that it’s brand new.

However, the guys from eGMCarTech noticed that both cars had a “Prestige” license plate and did a quick search on Google and, what do you know, Prestige is actually a luxury car rental company in Miami, you can check out their website here. It costs $2,800 a day to rent the Murcielago and $1,200 for the Bentley.

To be honest, this doesn’t really come as a surprise. I’ve always had my doubts about this show and I wondered whether some celebs really own what they show off there. And this is a great example that I was right and some of them are just ordinary liars.

Check out the video after the jump.
Read More: “Busted! Bow Wow shows off with rental Lambo and Bentley”

Japanese tuner Wald International is responsable for some really interesting premiere tuning packages like the ones for the Mercedes Benz CL or the Lexus IS. And their latest creation is a tuning program for the Bentley Continental GT. Called the Black Bisson Edition will feature a more aggresive body kit and Wald’s 21-inch Portofino, Aufzhalen and Mahora wheels. That’s about all the info we’ve got so far, because Wald didn’t make an official press release, but we’ve got some really cool photos for you, after the jump. Check it out!

Read More: “Bentley Continental GT Black Bisson by Wald International”

The first thing that crosses my mind when I hear about the Black Series is the superb video made by Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson with the CLK Black Series. I absolutely loved it and apparently the car is a wonderful ride. Now Mercedes finally announced another beast, the SL65 AMG Black Series.

The “bad news” is that, even though the first rumors said that the 6 liter V12 engine which powers the car and was able develop 720 hp would be limited to 680 hp, the final power output is 661 hp. However, considering that Mercedes stripped out 550 pounds (250 kg) from the “regular” SL65 AMG, the car’s performance figures are still very impressive: fitted with five-speed automatic gearbox equipped with AMG’s speedshift software the car goes from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 3.9 seconds and reached 198 mph (320 km/h) top speed.

The Mercedes Benz SL65 AMG Black Series will debut at the Paris Motor Show in October and US sales are scheduled to start next year at a starting price of $320,000.

More photos after the jump.
Read More: “The Mercedes Benz SL65 AMG Black Series”

With the new generation Peugeot 308 being on the market for some time now, it was time for Peugeot to upgrade the CC version also. And now we have the official announcement of the new Peugeot 308 CC.

Considering that Peugeot were the ones that pioneered the modern concept of the affordable coupe cabriolet, they didn’t let us down because the 308 CC actually looks pretty good. The car has a low sporty profile, pretty similar to the superb Peugeot RC-Z Concept and features like the LED rear lights make the car wonderful to look at.

On the interior, we have deeply sculpted and supportive front seats, with integral head restraints and inbuilt “Airwave” air vent system which diffuses warm air around the occupant’s neck. Not to mention that the interior is entirely trimmed in leather.

Under the bonnet, besides the engines already available, Peugeot will offer a new 140 hp 2.0 litre HDi FAP Euro 5 diesel engine and there are also some hints that the Peugeot 308 CC will also be availble with a hybrid propulsion.

To try and make it as good as possible for day-to-day use, Peugeot has fitted the CC with a number of dedicated storage spaces, while the trunk has a capacity of 465 litres or 266 litres with the roof folded. Of course, the CC will have a lot of “goodies”, such as an MP3 CD audio system, USB Box ( with iPod / MP3 connectivity), hands-free phone kit, user-friendly satellite navigation system offering a MP3 CD audio system, Bluetooth functionality and satellite navigation with a retractable 7? 16/9 colour display.

The Peugeot 308 CC will be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show and we can’t wait to get there and have a look at this beautiful car.

Complete photo gallery after the jump.
Read More: “Official: the new Peugeot 308 CC”

The BMW 3 Series is selling pretty good but, facing strong competition from the Mercedes Benz C Class and the new Audi A4 (both being launched after the 3 Series), BMW felt it was time for the car to get a makeover. The 2009 3 Series received fresh front and rear styling and will debut at the Paris Motor Show in October.

The redesign features a new bumper, newly contoured hood and revised headlamps, plus a new grille the chrome “eyebrows”. The 3 Series also has redesigned side mirror casings, new talilights and newly shaped trunk lid and bumper.

The interior was pretty much left untouched, except for the revised armrest, new trim combos, a new high-resolution 8.8 inch display along with an updated version of BMW’s iDrive controller and a new optional 80-gigabyte harddisk.

Under the bonnet there are no changes, BMW offering the 3 Series with the same engines as before. The only change in the engine lineup is that the 3.0-liter twin-turbo engine, that develops 265 hp, will now be available in the United States too.

Overall, a pretty cool mid-life upgrade which will keep the BMW 3 Series up and going until the new generation arrives, don’t you think?

A complete photo gallery after the jump.
Read More: “BMW 3 Series facelift”

Bugatti, currently a part of the VAG group, has to recover some more of it’s huge investment developing the Veyron because right now the Veyron is being sold at a loss. Just look at all the “special edition” Veyrons out there. But special editions can only get you so far. So Bugatii is planning to launch a Targa version and apparently it’s being unveiled at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

The Targa will get a glass removable hardtop, as well as a retractable soft fabric roof. The hardtop can’t be stored inside the car either, because of space issues. Losing it’s top it also lost some of it’s rigidity so some changes were made to stiffen it up. But that adds weight so the doors and hood will be carbon-fiber. Even with the changes a convertible can’t take the 407 km/h top speed so that’s limited to 350 km/h (217 mph) still making it the fastest open top car in the world.

Toyota confirmed that the Prius hybrid will be built in USA and that production will begin in 2010. The production of the Tundra will be moved to the San Antonio plant in Spring 2009.

A new Prius can run to around 48 miles (77 kilometers) per gallon of fuel in city traffic compared to a large SUV which may run to 13 miles (21 kilometers) a gallon depending on how each vehicle is driven. The car retails for around 21,000 dollars and Toyota reported 11,765 Prius sales in June, marking a 25 percent drop from a year earlier.

“The truck market continues to worsen, so unfortunately we must temporarily suspend production. But this good news about production mix demonstrates our long-term commitment to our North American operations and to our team members, supplier partners, and communities where our plants are located,” said Jim Wiseman, vice president/external affairs for Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America (TEMA). “By using this downturn as an opportunity to develop team members and improve our operations, we hope to emerge even stronger.”

Two of the biggest motor sport companies in America, Nelson Supercar and Mosler, have created a new POWER-UP Tuning package for Mosler MT900S. This way the 600 hp super car was turned into an 1800HP monster. This Supercar is made o carbon fiber, a 7.0-liter V8 with 550 horsepower. “The Mosler MT900S road car was designed to be the extreme performance vehicle. In third-party testing it officially set nine performance records, including 0-60mph in 3.1 seconds,” says creator Warren Mosler. “Now that it has passed its testing phase with flying colors, delivery can begin in very limited numbers to a discriminating coterie of racers, collectors, and investors.”

As standard for the US market the car is fitted with Corvette brakes for ease of servicing, while for Europe, the brakes have been upgraded to 355mm diameter grooved and drilled ventilated floating disc brakes with 6 pistons Wilwood alloy calipers front and rear to provide massive stopping power. The owner helped Nelson Racing Enginesin Chatsworth, CA to build the ultimate motor: a twin-turbo 427 ci V8 producing up o 1800 horsepower on race fuel and around 1100 horsepower using 91 octanes.

To make the car more “streetable”, boost can be controlled every 100rpm in each gear. The first few gears are limited to around 6-8 psi. The dyno run was nearly 1600 horsepower before the intake collapsed from the pressure. The car should be completely finished in the next weeks.

Last year the Car and Driver Magazine took for a test-drive one version of Mosler’s 600HP that reached 100km/h in just 3.1 seconds. They described a car as a “speed violent” and “reflexes of rally car”. Can you imagine a ride with Mostler MT900S 1800HP?

The new sports sedan from Mitsubishi will have an interesting impact when it will be launched this fall. For less than $27,000 you can get a hot ride after it hits the showrooms in September. A fully Ralliant will come with Recaro seats, Sirius Satellite Radio, upgraded headlamps and a GPS system for near $30,000. Some officials already confirmed the pricing. Before the final price will be public, Mitsubishi weighs the impact of fluctuations of the dollar and yen.

The Ralliart aka WRX competitor develops from the Lancer lineup and it fits abobe the base model but is a step below the 291hp Evolution. Also the Ralliant shares considerable engine and body parts with the Evo. The car will get 237 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque out of its turbocharged 2.0-liter four, and retains some driving characteristics of the Evo-one. The Ralliart shares a twin-clutch SST transmission with the Evo. The Mitsubishi officials point the Ralliart as a potential green option for drivers looking for a good performance.

Mitsubishi expects five to ten percent of all US Lancer sales for the Ralliart and around 300-350 sells per month. In the meantime Mitsubishi is working on some electric vehicle technology, a project called iMiEV, and we all espect a nice small car. “I think we’re very serious about the technology,” said Bryan Arnett, product strategy manager for Mitsubishi Motors North America.

Also, the Concept-cX that debuted at the Frankfurt auto show last fall is also being considered for this market, possibly as early as 2010.
Read More: “The new Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart for less than $27k”