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Archive for the ‘Auto Sales’ Category

Ferrari’s New FXXK

 REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:  YAHOO NEWS

 

 

If you thought the Ferrari LaFerrari was fast or exclusive, think again. This special, hardcore track-only limited edition is bigger, more powerful and rarer in every way.

 

Making its first real-world appearance at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi this month, Ferrari describes the car as “completely uncompromising” and promises that those lucky few that get to own one will get an “unprecedented driving experience.”

 

The FXXK is 194mm longer and 59mm wider than the standard LaFerrari hypercar on which it’s based. It also delivers 1021bhp from its combination of a naturally aspirated 6.3-liter V12 and electric motor working in unison. The Formula One-inspired KERS energy recovery system has also had some serious tweaks so that the driver has more control over how that energy boost is used.

 

The ‘Qualify’ setting delivers maximum performance within a limited number of laps; while ‘Manual Boost’ will give the car an extra edge on demand, upping the torque levels to maximum at the turn of a dial. The energy can also be returned to the car’s battery via the Fast Charge mode, or leaving the KES system in ‘Long Run’ mode will return energy, boost and acceleration consistently.

 

Ferrari won’t reveal other performance statistics, but it’s safe to say that a car that is not restricted by road car regulations or by race car rules either — the FXXK will only every compete with other FXXKs — it will have a faster 0-100km/h time than the LaFerrari’s (under 3 seconds) and should also go past the standard car’s 217mph (350km/h) top speed, too.

 

If you like the sound of the FXXK and fancy snapping one up, you’ll need to be chosen for Ferrari’s driver development program so you’ll have to already have the standard LaFerrari in your garage in order to qualify for consideration.

 

 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF CAR WINDOW TINTING, ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS , MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AUTO GLASS TINTING IN CHICAGO, OR FOR A CAR TINTING QUOTECONTACT MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS 

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Most Fun Cars for Winters Driving

 

REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:   YAHOO AUTOS

 

Mercedes 6x6 Snow photo

 

With winter upon most of the country, it seems the right time to make a list of the 5 best cars  for winter driving. A list comprised of a few select cars able to brave the freezing temperatures and snowy hell that will undoubtedly befall great swaths of the country.

 

From SUVs to sedans and even a few wildcards, these 5 cars will help you brave the winter weather all while having a good time doing it.

 

5. 2015 Subaru WRX STI

 

Subaru WRX STI winter driving photo

 

It’s a favorite for enthusiasts that live in an area that has the phrase Polar Vortex in the vocabulary. The WRX STI has remained the dominant winter car throughout its time here in the States.

 

Couple the rally heritage with interior space to fit your friends, and you’ve got the makings of one of the most perfect snow hooning machines on the planet. Add a set of snow tires and it’s a snow bound supercar!


4. 2015 GMC Yukon

 

2015 gmc yukon denali winter car photo

 

This truck is your family hauler most days, which means it barely sees the mud-strewn areas that it can rightfully handle. We had it for a week and it just plowed through everything we could throw at it; including a 500-mile road trip that seemed like it only took ten minutes.

 

Couple that wonderful V8 to the incredible 4WD system, and this truck is one of the most capable snow conquerors around.

 

It’s most likely invincible. However, if you ever are stuck, an occurrence we highly doubt is possible, you can always just relax in the back and watch Empire Strikes Back! You don’t even have to slice open a Tauntaun because this big boy has seat warmers throughout the cabin.


3. Mercedes-Benz G63 6×6 Brabus Edition

 

Mercedes-Benz G63 6x6 Brabus Edition photo

 

Whether you’re a oil sheik in the Middle East, a rich playboy in California, or a Russian oligarch, this is the ride for when you want off-roading performance, but want to stay classy. And show off how much cash you have to burn. The Mercedes-Benz G63 6×6 tuned by Brabus is possibly the most ostentatious automobile on the list.

 

It’s size could be compared to some small battleships and the interior is designed for someone with more money than taste. Nothing matters when you’re behind the wheel of this behemoth. Not sand, not snow, not the poor. Nothing. It will conquer all, and leave you with a satisfied look on your face while doing it. Polar Vortex be damned, nothing can stop this bruiser.

 

However, while its potent 700-horsepower engine can hit 60 in just 4.4 seconds, sometimes what you need is suspension travel. Something to help you go right over those snowplow made berms.


2. Local Motors Rally Fighter

 

local-motors-rally-fighter (2)

 

This truck/Baja buggy is one of the most insane things we’ve ever been in. It’s just ridiculous in its entirety. And that’s why we love it. Because of its ridiculous stats and technical engineering, the Rally Fighter hits our #2 spot with all the force that LS motor can muster.

 

Take away the crowd-sourced body and that wonderful sounding LS motors, and you would think you were staring at something that was purposely built for off-road racing. Races like Baja, or Dakar. Not something that could take your kids to school in on a public road.

 

The Rally Fighter is just one of those Frankenstein’s monster kind of cars. It combines all the right ingredients and then throws the entire thing on its head for sheer lunacy. It’s one of the quintessential off-road machines. However, it doesn’t hit our top spot, because nothing can compete with the original hoon.


1. Ken Blocks Hoonicorn 1965 Mustang

 

Ford_Unicorn_High_Front34_fnl_lay_rgb-s

 

If you haven’t seen this epically awesome, wonderfully insane, adjective inducing, KO punch to environmentalism, where have you been? Before it even debuted, spy shots had everyone talking about what a monster this next iteration of Gymkhana car would be. No one, though, expected what actually came out of Ken Block’s insane mind.

 

845 horsepower comes from a Roush Yates 410 cubic inch Ford V8 out of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Car. That was then matted to a 6-speed Sadev sequential all-wheel drive transmission, which turned 720lb-ft of torque and a set of Pirelli Trofeo R tires to pure smoke.

 

Who needs suspension travel or snow tires when you have 845 horsepower powering all four wheels? It is the ultimate snow hooning machine. Nothing can compare.

 

 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF CAR WINDOW TINTING, ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS , MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AUTO GLASS TINTING IN CHICAGO, OR FOR A CAR TINTING QUOTECONTACT MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS 

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Owners Prefer Tesla Model S over Porsche Per Consumer Reports

REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:  YAHOO FINANCE

Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA) drivers were more likely than Porsche owners — or anyone else — to say they’d buy their cars again in this year’s edition of the closely watched Consumer Reports buyer survey.

 

Tesla’s Model S luxury electric sedan topped the U.S. survey a second year in a row, scoring 98 out of a possible 100, after posting a 99 last year. This year’s No. 2 brand, Porsche, scored an average of 87 out of 100 across its model lines. Palo Alto, California-based Tesla, co-founded and led by billionaire Elon Musk, said last month that it expects to sell 50,000 Model S cars next year.


“Not only is the Tesla roomy, comfortable, and a lot of fun to drive, but it also has low operating costs,” Consumer Reports said.

 

The survey may bolster the 11-year-old carmaker’s image as the leader in the business of making high-end electric cars. It comes about a year after U.S. regulators started a four-month investigation into fires that took place after Tesla’s cars struck road debris.

 

The investigation ended without a formal recall, giving Musk more room to expand sales of the Model S and develop the long-awaited Model X SUV, whose delivery Tesla postponed again last month. It’s now expected in the third quarter of 2015.

 

Tesla shares fell 1.6 percent to $227.79 at 10:20 a.m. in New York. The stock gained 54 percent this year through yesterday, outpacing the 11 percent rise in the Russell 1000 Index.


Sports Cars

The next three most satisfying vehicles in the Consumer Reports Survey, after the Model S, were sports cars: General Motors Co. (GM) ‘s Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, with a 95 percent satisfaction rating, and Volkswagen AG’s Porsche Cayman and Boxster, which tied for third with 91 percent of buyers saying they’d purchase them again.

 

The survey covered 350,000 vehicles from one to three years old and took into account “attributes such as styling, comfort, features, cargo space, fuel economy, maintenance and repair costs, overall value, and driving dynamics,” Consumer Reports said.

 

Hybrid, electric and diesel-powered cars outscored gas engines throughout the survey, with the Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Motor Corp. (7203)’s Prius leading the compact-car category and Honda Motor Co. (7267)’s Accord Hybrid and Ford Motor Co. (F)’s Fusion Energi atop the list of mid-sized sedans.

 

 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF CAR WINDOW TINTING, ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS , MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AUTO GLASS TINTING IN CHICAGO, OR FOR A CAR TINTING QUOTECONTACT MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS 

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BMW’s 3 New Plug-In Hybrids

REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:  YAHOO AUTOS

 

If there was any doubt that we’ll see a spate of new plug-in hybrids over the next few years, a set of three different announcements from BMW last week should put that to rest.

 

The Bavarian maker of “ultimate driving machines” launched a long-wheelbase 5-Series sedan for China with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, showed a prototype 3-Series plug-in hybrid sport sedan, and described a new Power eDrive system that produces a remarkable 670 horsepower.

 

It’s long been known that BMW will introduce a plug-in hybrid X5 sometime next year.

 

That mid-size SUV will compete with the 2016 Volvo XC90 T8 ‘Twin Engine’, a plug-in hybrid model of the refreshed 2016 Mercedes-Benz ML-Class SUV (to be renamed GLE at that time), and perhaps an updated 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid–among others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BMW X5 e-Drive plug-in hybrid prototype, test drive, Woodcliff Lake, NJ, April 2014

 

The plug-in BMW X5 uses a powertrain that combines a 240-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a 70-kilowatt (95-hp) electric motor sandwiched between the engine and an adapted version of BMW’s eight-speed automatic transmission, in which the electric motor replaces the conventional torque converter.

 

The lithium-ion battery holds 9.9 kilowatt-hours, of which about 6 kWh are usable for power.

 

Versions of that powertrain are now spreading into other BMW models across the globe.

 

The BMW 530Le introduced last week at the Guangzhou Motor Show, for example, is a long-wheelbase 5-Series sedan sold in China, where extra space in the rear seat is crucial for businesspeople with chauffeurs and new owners who haven’t learned to drive.

 

Combined power output of the engine and electric motor is given as 272 hp, similar to that of the X5 plug-in hybrid, which was expected to be 270 hp or higher. Unlike the X5, however, the 530Le does not include all-wheel drive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BMW Concept X5 eDrive plug-in hybrid

 

The same powertrain will also soon go into a production version of the smaller 3-Series sedan, as previewed by a so-called “prototype” version shown to European media last week at BMW Innovation Days.

 

Also a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, the plug-in hybrid 3-Series sedan has peak power of 245 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. BMW quotes an electric range of 22 miles (likely 15 to 18 miles on U.S. test cycles), and an electric-only top speed limited to 74.5 mph.

Additional models are likely to follow as well.


But BMW is clearly thinking beyond its current system to future generations of plug-in hybrids. And it’s using components from its BMW i3 and i8 electric cars to boost their performance.

 

At the same Innovation Days event, the company showed a system it calls Power eDrive, which uses a 200-kW (268-hp) electric motor to power the rear wheels. This lets the vehicle run much of the time solely on electric power alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BMW 5-Series GT development prototype for Power eDrive plug-in hybrid system, Nov 2014

 

A combined engine-motor-transmission combination powers the front wheels as well, making the car a through-the-road hybrid, for longer distances. This time, though, the front motor is rated at 150 kW (201 hp).

 

Installed in a BMW 5-Series GT mule, the battery pack occupied the tunnel and the space below the rear seats ahead of the rear axle.

 

The system is the next stage of vehicle electrification, the company said, with the goal of maximizing the amount of time a vehicle operates in all-electric mode, which naturally boosts its efficiency.

 

Combined with battery packs of up to 20 kilowatt-hours, the output of these systems will be more than 500 kW (670 hp), letting the vehicle operate solely on electric power throughout two-thirds of its usage cycle.

 

The Power eDrive system will be a natural choice for more upmarket vehicle types, BMW suggests, where it will combine largely electric operation and dynamic response with unlimited long-distance capabilities.

 

With multiple first-generation plug-in hybrid models due over the next three years, and a second-generation system that maximizes electric driving time in the wings, BMW’s commitment to electrifying its model range is now clear.

 

We can’t wait to drive the cars.

 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF CAR WINDOW TINTING, ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS , MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AUTO GLASS TINTING IN CHICAGO, OR FOR A CAR TINTING QUOTECONTACT MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS 

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10 Car Dealer Tricks to Be Aware Of

REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:  WALL STREET CHEAT SHEET

German car dealer Michael Froehlich pose

Everyone loves shopping for a new car. Actually, no one does. It’s right up there with looking for an apartment in the winter or pricing caskets. The only part that is ever fun is test-driving a car you know you would never buy. But that’s not really shopping. That’s borrowing somebody’s car for a joy ride.

 

When it comes to comparing model specs, looking for discounts, factoring in finance terms, understanding fuel economy quotes, and looking at resale value (matching pre-owned versus new models), there is little to love about the car buying process. It only gets worse when an unethical auto dealer is trying to put one over on you. Then it’s anarchy.

 

However, you still need a car. The best way to proceed is to do your homework and never rush into any purchase. To help with dealers out to scam unwitting consusmers, CarBuyingTips.com compiled a 10 best (or worst) car dealer scams consumers should have on the radar when walking into a dealership. Here’s a look at the scams you should be ready to avoid.

A woman walks past a firm offering cash

1. The lost financing scam

Signing a deal for a new car is foolish if you don’t have the loan terms locked in already. Leaving the dealership in a new car with on-the-spot financing leaves you open to this scam. After a few weeks, you learn from the dealer that your loan application was rejected. Now you have to accept a higher annual percentage rate (APR) on the dealer’s new loan because the original rate is no longer available.

 

In reality, any rate that was pre-approved with an accurate credit score should go through. CarBuyingTips.com pegs 680 as the Mendoza Line for credit scores. Below that figure, you are getting a higher rate. Above it, you get the optimal rates. These days, there are so many free credit score services that you should go in knowing the deal. If you have a credit rating below 680 but the dealer offers you an extremely low rate, the “financing evaporated” scam may be in the works.

A woman drives past a firm offering cash

2. The ‘your credit sucks’ scam

In this scam, dealers suggest your credit has seen better days, downgrading it by a hundred or so points. That gives them the right to give you a worse financing deal and pick up some extra cash on the loan end. Of course, this scam is easily avoidable if you check your credit before you head into a dealership. When the dealer says he wanted you to get a better deal but your credit score was 640, you can ask him to go ahead and double-check that number. Before you left the cozy confines of your home, your credit rating was 780 (or 840, etc.).

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3. Car dealer never pays off trade-in loan

Trading in a car with a loan balance still on it is risky. CarBuyingTips.com shows where it’s most dangerous: when a car dealer “forgets” to pay off the loan and you are stuck with the balance because you never got paperwork guaranteeing he would. A car ought to be paid off in full if you are trading it in or otherwise be sold to a buyer on the open market. Dealers would be especially shady if they tried this scam, but it has been done in the past.

 

Pick-Up Trucks Drive Ford Sales Up 12 Percent In August

4. The ‘you need a co-signer’ scam

Let’s say you are having trouble getting a loan for your car, for whatever reason. A dealer might suggest you just get a co-signer to obtain approval and head down the road. That solution might sound appealing until you realize (either as a co-signer or the original party) that the co-signer with good credit ended up being the only one with the loan. It’s a scam because you wouldn’t have gotten the car without that loan and wouldn’t have gotten the loan without someone else’s credit. Catch this one before it’s too late by reading every bit of paperwork. The co-signer is the one at risk.

 

Electric Car Maker Tesla Opens Store In Miami Mall

5. The ‘online lenders are deadbeats’ scam

If you roll into the dealership with a pre-approval and blank check from an online lender, you should be on your merry way once you choose the right automobile. Unfortunately, you may find your dealer refusing to accept the check because he claims online lenders are deadbeats who bounce them. Then he will hit you with a loan package at higher percentage rates. His scam is convincing you other people are trying to scam him. It’s creative, but you can blow up the scam by walking out on the deal. Considering the dealer left his morals at the door, you would be advised to do so.

 

Chrysler September Sales Up 12 Percent, Best Since 2007

6. The warranty scam

CarBuyingTips.com identifies two warranty scams that are fairly common. In the first, dealers hit you with a forced warranty for several thousand dollars that supposedly comes from the bank (it doesn’t). In the second system, a warranty is snuck into the terms of your deal so it inflates the monthly price. Forced warranties are illegal, so call the bluff and tell them you want to take it home and run through it with your attorney. The terms will change immediately.

 

Consumer Spending Jumps 0.4 Percent In July

7. The dealer prep scam

“Dealer Prep” fees are supposed to compensate dealers for the exhausting work done in the trenches after your car arrives off the truck but before you drive it off the lot. According to CarBuyingTips.com, that amounts to removing the plastic covers from the seats and windows. That would hardly be worth the $600 you might see attributed to “Dealer Prep” in a line on your invoice. This fee is almost always negotiable. Again, it is a fee that will be reduced or disappear if you take the deal off the table.

 

General Motors Offers 2 Month Return Policy On New Cars

8. The trade-in loan payoff scam

This scam is mostly out in the open. A dealer offers to pay off your lease or existing loan so you can ditch your old ride and get yourself into a (cue the Bob Barker voice) A NEW CAR! You are still paying the remainder of your loan and any penalties involved with breaking a lease, so you’re doubling down on payments in the end. CarBuyingTips.com says dealers typically try to sneak in longer financing terms (six, seven years) in order to get the payment near or even below your current monthly bill.

 

General Motors Offers 2 Month Return Policy On New Cars

9. The no-warranty wrecked car scam

Why would anyone buy an as-is, no-warranty car from a dealership? You might as well pick a seller off Craigslist blindfolded and accept whatever terms are being offered. In the no-warranty scam, wrecked cars are gussied up to look like they had a long weekend rather than a funeral. There are ways to check where a car came from and whether it was totaled in the past. If you see the no-warranty offer on a car, chances are it is one of these vehicles.

 

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10. The refinancing scam

In the 10th and possibly most sinister scam CarbuyingTips.com documented, the dealer gets back sometime after the car is in your possession. He congratulates you on this being your lucky day (Christmas come early, etc.) and says he’s got a way better financing package available. Say you pay $350 a month; well now he’s got a deal for $305. All you have to do is get back in the dealership, sign some papers, and you’re living on Easy Street.

 

If you fielded such a call, you would probably wonder how you were so lucky. The opposite was true. All the dealer did was extend the term of the loan to get you paying less longer. Yes, the APR went up in the new deal. It’s one nasty scam, but just one of many out there in the auto consumer jungle.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF CAR WINDOW TINTING, ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS , MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AUTO GLASS TINTING IN CHICAGO, OR FOR A CAR TINTING QUOTECONTACT MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS 

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VW to Debut Fuel Cell Concept at LA Auto Show

REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:  GREEN AUTOBLOG

 

Amid the flurry of hydrogen announcements from Toyota and Honda last night, Volkwagen has something to add: a new hydrogen fuel cell concept vehicle. This will be the first VW hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in many years – remember the Tiguan Hy-Motion back in 2008? – and it comes as a bit of a surprise.

 

First written up by the German publication Wirtschaft Woche, VW is going to have the prototype car (not pictured) available at the ride and drive at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this week. We don’t yet know what kind of vehicle will sport the hydrogen powertrain, but our money’s on a Golf variant. We’ll see soon enough when we get to Los Angeles.

 

What’s interesting is that there have been a number of not-so-mixed messages out of the VW executive ranks when it comes to hydrogen vehicles. VW’s Japanese president, Shigeru Shoji, said in September that,hydrogen fuel cells, “may fly within Japan, but not globally.” Last year, VW’s electrification head Rudolf Krebs said that “hydrogen mobility only makes sense if you use green energy.” Also last year, VW CEO Martin Winterkorn said it’s basically impossible to build hydrogen vehicles at a “reasonable cost.” Nonetheless, we’re going to see a new VW H2 concept soon. Thoughts?

 

 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF CAR WINDOW TINTING, ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS , MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AUTO GLASS TINTING IN CHICAGO, OR FOR A CAR TINTING QUOTECONTACT MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS 

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Toyota’s Car of the Future – The Mirai

REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:  YAHOO NEWS

 

 

Toyota has chosen to name its first hydrogen fuel cell car after the Japanese word for ‘future’ and claims that the new model represents a turning point in the automotive industry.

 

The Mirai, which until now had been known by its concept car name of the FCV, has been 10 years in development. It will be officially unveiled to the world on Tuesday at the LA Auto Show, and will be going on sale in the US at some point in 2015.

 

As well as officially naming the car in a special event on Monday, Toyota’s president and CEO, Akio Toyoda, described it as an environmentally-friendly car that will be fun to drive and that “lets you have it all with no compromises.”

 

“We imagined a world filled with vehicles that would diminish our dependence on oil and reduce harm to the environment. It was a bold, but inspiring goal. And, today it is a reality,” he said.

 

Despite the huge strides made by Tesla in developing electric cars that are desirable, fun to drive and that don’t require overnight recharging every 100km, the hydrogen fuel cell is still considered the solution to making future cars greener.

 

The Mirai, for example, can travel 300 miles (over 480 km) on a single tank of hydrogen and refueling takes roughly five minutes. It takes a Tesla supercharger 20 minutes to put a 50 percent charge on a Model S when it’s running low on power.

 

However, unlike for plug-in electric vehicles, the infrastructure needed to support fuel cell cars — i.e., hydrogen filling stations — is almost non-existent. There is a small network of refueling points in California, but beyond the west coast, they’re a rare sight.

 

As well as announcing the car, Toyota also confirmed that it is building 12 hydrogen stations across New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, to go with the 19 it has planned for California.

 

 

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Review of the 2016 Mercedes – AMG GT S

REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:  YAHOO AUTOS

 

All over New York — and other upscale megalopoli like London and Vancouver — slender residential glass towers sprout, like some pernicious invasive reed. Each one touted as an order of magnitude more expensive than its predecessor, the apartments these buildings contain are outfitted with features so exclusive, the ordinary consumer will not even recognize their significance: book-matched Croatian walnut travertine, hand-polished Ecuadoran bocote, Grand Palais enamel ranges.

 

They are also empty. Generally devoid of permanent residents, these buildings and the apartments they contain act as transitory housing — pieds-a-terre — for the global one percent, who light upon their $50 million dwellings when the mood or season suits.

 

Those same economics have spawned a new thatch of elite sports cars. All-new or significantly updated two-seaters like the Jaguar F-TypeChevrolet Corvette Stingray, and (forthcoming) second-generation Audi R8, as well as slightly older and ostensible two-seaters like the Porsche 911 and Nissan GT-R, now duke it out for the AmEx Centurion Cards, and rear ends, of the beau monde as their second (or third or fourth or fifth) vehicles; something to keep at the house by the ocean, or the mountains, or the vineyard. Call them pieds-a-car.

 

2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S
2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S

 

Entering into this gilded fray this coming spring is the all-new, 503-hp Mercedes-AMG GT S (a less potent and “S”-less 456-hp variant will follow in mid-2016). Powered by a twin-turbocharged, 4-liter V-8, and transmogrifying its spirit to terra firma through an updated version of the 7-speed dual clutch transaxle, the GT S will rip its way to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, on its way to a terminal velocity of 183 mph. That’s comparable to its aforementioned competitors, and likely quicker than a major insider commodity trade.

 

This is a marked achievement, especially when considering that this is only the second complete car (after the rare SLS) built by Mercedes’ in-house performance sub-brand, AMG. Despite having dispensed with its older brother’s vital (and thirsty) 6.3-liter naturally aspirated V-8 and gullwing doors, one can see clearly the influence of SLS’ design on the GT S. It has a similar Olympic lap pool of a hood, squinty ovoid tail lamps, and tersely grimacing Bender the Robot mouth.

 

This isn’t surprising, because it shares a good deal of its aluminum sub-frame/mid-front engined/rear transaxled underpinnings with that previous model. Though we imagined it in our minds as much smaller and lighter, it also shares much of that outgoing model’s horizontal and gravitational dimensions, coming in at just 3.5 inches shorter and 175 lbs lighter the SLS—that means about 15 feet and 3,500 lbs.

 

2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S
2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S

 

This doesn’t serve it well, in our opinion. Whereas competitors like the F-Type look much smaller — and much better — in person than they do in photographs, the opposite is true of the GT S. Like a wide-eyed, pumpkin-headed starlet, who looks great projected at 60 feet but like a bonsai sunflower when spotted in the wild, the GT S has awkward proportions. We really like its broadly toned rear end and muscular quadriceps. But as much as recent Benzes like the S-Class and C-Class have reclaimed a sense of grace, we couldn’t locate the same in the GT S. We kept trying to come up with positive templates for its appearance, but all we could think was: cheesecake lollipop, extruded robot teardrop, or round of windswept boursault impaled on a butter knife.

 

2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S

 

Inside, our feelings are similarly complicated, and we mean that quite literally. As in other contemporary Benzes, the materials are beyond reproach: metal, leather, carbon fiber, and piano black (or something like it in argent matte which we’ll call “synthesizer silver”) are expertly applied. And the new sloping center console is, as on modern Porsches, quite dramatic. But, as if in homage to 1980s Alfa Romeos or 2010s Aston Martins, the controls are placed in improbable — and in the case of the joyless joystick that acts as the transmission knob, impossible — locales. We have never before wished for a prehensile spinal column, but this is seemingly the only way one could comfortably place this car in park, drive, neutral, or reverse. Or reside in its seats, which were as firm and unsupportive as a reform-school principal.

 

We did very much like the big flip-top Porsche 928-esque hatchback, which granted a quantity of actual, usable trunk space — something jarringly absent from the SLS. Firmly in the positive column as well is the way the GT S performs. It is fast. Very fast. In fact, it gobbled up everything the northern California mountains pitched at its prominent proboscis. The transmission response is greatly improved over its often-laggardly behavior in the SLS. The engine’s baritone exhaust note amps toward the profound (especially from outside the car). The computer actuated, ridiculously acronymed suspension causes the big 265/295 series (front/rear) rubber mounted to the forged 19”/20” (front/rear) wheels to offer commendable grip — if a bit too much stiffness for our false teeth. And the optional carbon ceramic brakes are a drag, in the best possible way.

 

2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S
2016 Mercedes-AMG GT S

 

Yet, somehow, the GT S left us feeling dispassionate. It was wonderful in many respects, and a vivid and significant step forward for Mercedes-Benz sports cars. Yet it didn’t manage to grab us by the loins. In the context of the category, it lacked the precision of the Porsche 911, the incorrigibility (and seductive shape) of the Jaguar F-Type, or the functionality of the outgoing R8. We liked it, but we weren’t in love, and love is everything in a sports car. Its only job is to make you grin and salivate every time you touch it or sit in it or remember, in the drudgery of your hideous existence, that you actually own it.

 

Compared to the $220,000 SLS, the AMG GT S’ anticipated price of $130,000 to $140,000 will seem like a deal, albeit one slightly higher than the Jaguar competition but close to what the higher-end Porsche 911 models command. (The non-S may start around $110,000.) Like a perfectly executed but uninhabited showplace condo in the sky, the GT S is laden with all the compelling attributes that signify absolute desirability. Yet it lacks that odd and unconscious anima that lights up our irrational emotional receptors. Like Burt Bacarach said, “a room is not a house, and a house is not a home.”

 

 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF CAR WINDOW TINTING, ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS , MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AUTO GLASS TINTING IN CHICAGO, OR FOR A CAR TINTING QUOTECONTACT MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS 

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The Most Durable Cars

REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:   YAHOO AUTOS

 

 

Everybody wants to own a keeper. A car that provides so much personal satisfaction that the years and miles can just fly by, while the enduring qualities of that daily driver remain picture perfect.

 

The hard part for most folks comes down to hype.

 

To sell more cars, manufacturers continue to promote short-term quality studies that have little or nothing to do with the long-term ownership experience. For example, J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study only covers the first 90 days of ownership, while its long-term survey tracks three-year-old vehicles over a short 12 month span.

 

In a market where the average car and truck is now over 11 years old, a long-term reliability study requires a much longer view of car ownership. For those of us who are looking to find a good used car, or even feel concerned about how a new car will hold up, we should be able to know the longevity of a vehicle for the entire life cycle instead of just a random early point in time.

 

This is why Nick Lariviere and myself have developed the Long-Term Quality Index. With over 550,000 data samples from all over the country, we have been able to look specifically at measuring the three key ingredients that tell you how well a given model has performed in today’s marketplace; mileage, age and condition.

 

To make this study fair and impartial, we have also taken two unique steps that represent a first for long-term reliability studies in the auto industry. The first is removing owner bias. Certain people will always recommend a car simply because that’s what they bought in the past and if something bad happens, they won’t tell you about it. Others are just oblivious to the thumping of a bad transmission, or the knocking of a bad motor. That is why we only have mechanics and skilled professionals appraise the vehicle’s condition.

 

Second, we focus exclusively on condition and longevity. Cars that are either 18 years or older, or have 180,000 or more miles, have endured well past the average life-span of the average vehicle.

 

In our study, we’re finding that only a chosen few can routinely achieve these two levels of longevity without a major mechanical defect. It’s this level of engineering excellence that we want to highlight in our study.

 

So what have we found so far? Some of what you might expect, but a lot of surprises.

 

Rennett Stowe via Twitter

The Over-300,000 Club Is Still Pretty Exclusive: Five types of vehicles make up more than 60% of the cars and trucks with at least 300,000 miles. They are:

By our calculations, these models are about 2.5 times more likely to hit 300,000 miles than any other vehicle.

 

One Nissan model is greater than all of Volkswagen:

We’re not talking about a mid-sized Altima, or the Sentra compact which has become the official taxi south of the border. The biggest surprise so far in the study has been the Nissan Maxima. Older models (2002 and earlier) with the 3-liter engine and four-speed automatic offer exceptional long-term reliability.

 

In the long-term reliability study, 1,038 Maximas out of 4,825 have gone over 180,000 miles (21%), versus only 785 Volkswagens out of 14,518 (5.4%)

 

Cadillac has VW levels of long-term reliability:

Both brands have abysmal long-term reliability with Cadillac scoring the same 5.4% as Volkswagen, which is less than half of the industry average. Head gasket issues for most years of the Northstar V-8 along with high maintenance costs make older Cadillacs a nadir when it comes to finding a long-term keeper.

 

How bad does it get for Cadillac? Well, here’s a shocker for you.

 

Cadillac Cars = Older Kias: If you removed the Cadillac Escalade, which is nothing more than a full-sized primped-up version of the less expensive Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon, the Cadillac brand becomes a true bottom dweller. Kias that were made before Hyundai’s takeover of that brand show similar levels of long-term failure.

 

The Honda Accord Crushes Nearly All of Europe: Thanks in great part to the sound reliability of older Volvos, all European brands are barely able to beat the number of Accords that have been traded-in with over 180,000 miles. The Honda Accord‘s tally of 3,826 trade-ins with over 180,000 out of 12,398 nearly beats Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes, VW, Volvo, Saab, Porsche, and BMW’s sub-brand MINI combined. These European models required a staggering 67,484 vehicles and an army of old Volvos to surpass the mileage tally of one popular Honda model.

 

British Roots Do Not Bear Reliable Fruit: You have about as much chance of dying from an injury this year as you do buying a Land Rover and a Jaguar with outstanding reliability. The chances of both vehicles combined lasting over 180,000 miles before getting kicked to the curb is an eye-popping 1,700:1.

 

The Accord and Camry Are Workhorses: Even with well-known transmission issues for certain six-cylinder Honda Accords, the two most popular mid-sized vehicles continue to be kept for far longer periods of time than their competition. The Accord and Camry have remained cars worth keeping with 28% of all Accords traded-in with over 180,000 miles, and 24% of all Toyota Camrys following suit. Both are more than twice the industry average of 11%.

 

Exceptional Reliability Is Still A Rare Thing: A lot of manufacturers have applied cost-cutting measures and decontenting methods to extremes. These engineering shortcuts often don’t reveal themselves until after the vehicle goes beyond 100,000 miles. However, there is still a very wide gulf that separates the market leaders from the market laggards as those miles and years add up.

 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF CAR WINDOW TINTING, ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS , MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AUTO GLASS TINTING IN CHICAGO, OR FOR A CAR TINTING QUOTECONTACT MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS 

 (847) 452-4818 or info@midwestglasstinters.net

 

 

Best Selling Vehicles in October

REPOSTED BY MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS FROM:   WALL STREET CHEAT SHEET

 

The world’s seven largest automakers don’t seem spooked by the record level of recalls throughout the industry, and neither of the consumers. Cumulatively, auto sales surged 5.8% during the month of October, and on an annualized basis, global sales should reach or exceed 16 million cars for the eighth month in a row.

 

 

Growth rates at Jeep and Ram put Fiat Chrysler in a leading position, and Chevrolet and GMC both saw gains as well, though Cadillac served as an anchor and GM gained just 0.5% for the month. Nissan, Toyota, and Honda all saw meaningful gains, though Ford’s sales haltered.

 

“For Ford, the slow month was not unexpected. The company is currently undergoing some serious revamps to its production process as it gears up for the unleashing of the all-aluminum F-150 pickup truck,” Sam Becker from the Autos Cheat Sheet wrote. “General Motors, on the other hand, is still trying to claw its way back from an absolutely disastrous beginning to the year, in which the company was forced to recall millions of vehicles.”

 

As for the top 10 best-selling vehicles of the month, there were few surprises, but recent model updates and refreshes have done their part to boost growth for several vehicles. See how the top selling vehicles in the country faired in our ranking below, courtesy of Cars.com’s Kicking Tires blog.

10. Honda Civic

An 11.6% decline in sales to 24,154 units versus the October from a year ago put the Honda Civic in tenth place, a few spots behind its usual 7th-5th place finishes. While other compacts have been renewed for 2015, the Civic is still riding its 2014 refresh, which seems to be losing its spark; sales for the year through October sit at 277,584, or 1.2% below the same 10 months of 2013.

 

9. Chevrolet Cruze

Though it’s very much the same car from 2014, Chevrolet made a few tweaks to its popular Cruze for the 2015 model year, and the results appear to have made quite a splash. Sales of the compact carleapt 51% over October of last year, and sales of the car for the year to date of 232,403 units puts the Cruze ahead of the same period last year by 9.7%.

 

8. Ford Escape

Despite little to no change for the 2015 model year, Ford’s popular crossover SUV got a 12% boost to 24,919 units for October, putting its year-to-date tally at 255,081 vehicles sold since January. This translates into a year-to-date gain of 1.8%, which is admirable for the Escape, which is starting to age against newer competition.

 

7. Toyota Corolla

Toyota’s venerable Corolla seemed to get off to a slower start coming off its redesign for the 2014 model year, but it has kept up enough steam throughout the year to maintain its rank of 7th for October on a 5.6% gain, or 24,959 units. Overall, the venerable Corolla — which was one of the first cars to wear Toyota’s new design language — is up 10.3% on the year, to 283,764 cars.

6. Honda Accord

The Accord has been on a winning streak this year, occasionally outselling the consumer favorite Camry and at one point, even the Chevrolet Silverado for a second place finish in the monthly rankings. Sales in October tempered, however, to 27,128 units, which is still good for a solid 7.8% gain, and the car is up 7.9% on the year with 331,510 units moved.

 

5. Honda CR-V

With the 2015 model year refresh hitting dealerships about now, the Honda CR-V is seeing a reigniting of consumer interest. October sales spiked to 29.7%, or 29,257 units, to leave the popular crossover SUV up 7.4% on the year, at 270,272 models sold since January.

 

4. Toyota Camry

America’s favorite midsize sedan has gotten a healthy redesign for the 2015 model year, to help shed its beige personality with a sportier, bolder appearance. Now arriving at dealers, the new Camry saw October sales surge 13.8% to 33,164 cars, leaving its year-to-date sales up 5.7% at 368,142 units with two selling months left in the year.

 

3. Ram Pickup

Ram has been on fire this year, essentially from start to finish. That streak continued through October, as the brand sold 39,834 pickups, to seal a 33.5% spike over October’s sales from last year. This leaves Ram’s pickups — the 1500 line and the larger heavy duties as well — at 359,702 models sold since January, or a 22.9% leap over the same sales period of 2013.

 

2. Chevrolet Silverado

After a disconcertingly slow start for Chevy’s updated line of pickups, the portfolio has thrown the salesthrottle open and sold 46,966 pickups in October, for a handsome 10.1% year-on-year gain over October of 2013. So far this year, Chevrolet has sold 429,119 of the bow tie-branded pickups, leaving the truck 6.4% in the green for the year so far.

 

1. Ford F-Series

As Ford readies to transition from the 2014 to 2015 model year F-Series pickups, the company has seen a dip in sales leading up to the awaited release — perhaps in anticipation. That streak continued through October with 63,410 units moved, or down 0.6% from October of 2013. To date, Ford has sold 620,447 trucks, which falls behind the first 10 months of last year by 0.5%.

 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BENEFITS OF CAR WINDOW TINTING, ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS , MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AUTO GLASS TINTING IN CHICAGO, OR FOR A CAR TINTING QUOTECONTACT MIDWEST GLASS TINTERS 

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