Video of burning Tesla S
In today’s world of YouTube and social media, one viral video can instantly create a PR nightmare for a company. Tesla is dealing with that now, as the video above showing a Tesla S on fire is getting tons of views and is reportedly affecting the Tesla stock price today.
Of course, we have no idea whatsoever as to why this car was on fire and as to whether this gives any indication of real problems with Tesla vehicles. But the company needs to respond and address the issue.
Porsche introduces the new 918 Spyder in Frankfurt
I was able to snap these photos at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show as Porsche unveiled the much-anticipated 918 Spyder supercar. As you can see it’s a beautiful vehicle, but the real story here involves the plug-in hybrid engine and performance elements.
This concept was designed to be a high-performance hybrid, with 887 horsepower and the ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 2.8 seconds. Like the Ferrari supercar announced earlier this year, the 918 Spyder features a combustion engine combined with an electric motor-based drive to optimize the dynamic performance of the vehicle. The electric motor allows for the faster acceleration from zero and then the gas motor kicks in.
This is the new reality of supercars. They are obviously becoming much more exotic, and in a way we’re seeing a real departure from traditional sports cars with a traditional stick shift. For that reason, cars like the new Corvette that still embrace the stick shift and powerful gas engine will probably still command a legion of fans.
But for sheer performance, these new hybrid supercars will be a beast on the track.
Posted in: Auto Show, Electric Cars, Hybrid Cars, Porsche, Sports Cars
Tags: 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, 918 Spyder supercar, Frankfurt, Frankfurt Motor Show, hybrid sports car, plug-in hybrid sports car, plug-in hybrid supercar, plug-in hybrids, Porsche, Porsche 918 Spyder, supercar
Ferrari introduces the 458 Speciale in Frankfurt
I was on hand in Frankfurt for the 2013 Motor Show as Ferrari unveiled the new 458 Speciale. Derived from the 458 Italia, Ferrari touts the Speciale as the most high performance Ferrari V8 sports car ever. This lightweight, track-ready Ferrari is powered by the same 4.5-liter V-8 as the standard 458 Italia, but also featuring an additional 34 horsepower for a total of 596 hp. The blue and white racing strip across the top also gives it a distinctive stylistic feature as well.
Infiniti reveals the new Q30 Concept compact CUV at Frankfurt
I was on hand in Germany this week at the 2013 Motor Show and snapped these photos of the all-new Infiniti Q30 Concept. Expectations are that this new concept car will be very close to the compact CUV that Infiniti will ultimately release.
The gold color really grabs your attention and the reveal came across as a big hit. The front end is very similar to the current design language we’re seeing from Infiniti, but the back end really stood out with the back window blending into the rear tail lights. The effect was very impressive.
I got shots from all angles so you can get a feel for the vehicle. The compact CUV market is very hot right now and the luxury brands are trying to grab their share as well, so it will be interesting to see how quickly Infiniti can get to a production model here.
“We are becoming the younger, trendsetting brand, more relevant and more exciting,” said Johan de Nysschen, President of Infiniti Motor Company, Ltd. “Infiniti Q50, and now the Q30 Concept, deliver on this promise.” Infiniti executives have been stressing the importance of design in the Infiniti strategy, and they are definitely pushing the envelope in an attempt to challenge the other luxury brands. It will be interesting to see if the buyer mix starts to skew younger. The company notes that “by the end of this decade, Gen X and Gen Y will represent 80 percent of buyers in the premium segment.”
The design of the Q30 is intended to create “a unique blend of features reminiscing of a coupe, a hatch and a crossover.” It definitely inspires a sporty vibe that should grab the attention of buyers looking for luxury and fun in their driving experience.
During the press conference de Nysschen was joined on stage by Sebastian Vettel, a 3-time Formula One world champion who has been assisting the company. He was presented with a special helmet to use in testing engineering prototypes of the future compact premium model, the first Infiniti model that he will have a role in influencing from its inception.
Posted in: Infiniti, News
Tags: 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, auto design, Auto Shows, automobile show, car design, car design concepts, car shows, concept cars, Frankfurt, Frankfurt Auto Show, Frankfurt automobiles, Frankfurt cars, Frankfurt Motor Show, IAA, Infiniti Q30 Concept, Johan de Nysschen, motor shows, Q30, Sebastian Vettel
A real hell of a backseat driver: who is it?
Everyone remembers being involved in a situation when you start to lose your temper while driving. What’s the most common reason for that? Surprisingly, our loved ones who, according to the recent survey conducted by Insurance.com, are thought to be the worst backseat drivers ever.
Among 500 drivers polled, both men (40%) and women (34%) say that their spouses can be terribly nerve-racking when sitting on the side-seat of a car. Of course, we do realize the importance of marital vows but who’s supposed to take care about our mental health and the road safety? Apart from getting on the driver’s nerves a nagging-from-the-backseat someone you love can lead to serious road issues by distracting your attention from what’s going on in front of the car.
The #1 backseat monster is followed by friends reported by 17% of polled men, and mothers with 15% of those surveyed claiming them to be extremely annoying. It might be somehow unexpected, but it turns out children are not annoying at all in comparison with other relatives. The rate of frustration provoked by sons and daughters varies from 3% to 7%, depending on the age of children. Only 5 percent of polled drivers pointed out at fathers as the worst passengers, which means you are likely to be in favor when sitting in the car of your grown-up child. Why not buy a car for your kid right now, then, huh?
The most frequently mentioned aggravations include complaints about the speed and giving unwanted advice about directions. The less reported but not less annoying sins of backseat drivers are talking on the phone and texting, eating, pushing an imaginary brake and taking over the radio. Getting car sick and telling about this after there’s anything left to do to prevent the nuisance also has a good chance to tick the driver off.
To avoid getting annoyed when you’re the one to be behind the wheel Insurance.com suggests agreeing on the route and choosing the music for your road trip beforehand. You can also try breathworking and doing yoga before setting off on a journey. The last piece of advice is applicable.
Lexus LF-NX Crossover Concept will premiere in Frankfurt
Lexus will introduce a new compact crossover concept car, the LF-NX, at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) this coming week. Highlights will include:
- LF-NX concept is powered by a new variant of the Lexus Hybrid Drive system tuned for SUV performance
- exterior design reflects a further evolution of Lexus’ L-finesse design language
- the front features a pretty extreme version of the Lexus spindle grille
- very muscular wheel arches
- interior mirrors the LF-NX’s highly sculpted exterior
What do you think?
When you have a VW camper that’s in good working order, you know you own something pretty special. Many people dream about the possibility, but the closest they get is to hire one for a week’s holiday. Those who actually have one in their garage are in the minority. This year sees the end of an era for VW campers as the T2 will no longer be in production – after an incredible 63 year run.
If you’re looking to renew your camper van insurance, it’s worth doing a ring round to get a few different quotes. Make sure to include a specialist car and classic vehicle insurance company which offers a customised insurance policy for camper van owners. At Cherished Vehicle Insurance, the customer service advisors at the end of the line are all car enthusiasts, and their passion comes through in the advice that they can give potential clients who love their cars as much as they do.
One of the benefits of buying vehicle insurance from a specialist insurer is that you’ll get an agreed value on your classic camper, rather than just today’s market value that most insurers would offer you. Also look out for other benefits such as UK and EU breakdown cover as standard, and being covered to drive in the EU for up to 90 days.
1934 Packard wins at Pebble Beach
We were at the Concours d’Elegance at Pebble Beach this weekend and we saw many beautifully restored classic cars. One journalist pointed out that cars from the 30s and 40s usually got the top prize, so we were not surprised when the Best of Show Award went to this 1934 Packard 1108 Twelve Dietrich Convertible Victoria.
Fortune profiles John Elkann
Here’s an interesting profile of John Elkann in Fortune. Elkann is the grandson of the legendary Gianni Agnelli and he now leads the family’s business interests. The Agnelli family essentially controls Exor, a public company that controls Fiat. Elkann was responsible for putting Sergio Marchionne in charge of Fiat which was critical to turning the company around.
4 Tips On How To Test-Drive Used Cars
There’s a lot more to test driving a car than just taking it out for a spin. You have to really get to know a car, maybe even fall in love with it, before you commit to buying. When you test drive a car, here’s are four tips that’ll ensure you make the most of your time:
1. Make an Exterior Inspection Checklist
Before you even get behind the wheel, you’ll want to inspect the exterior of a used car. Be sure to take this quick list:
Tires. Check if for worn tires or cracked, and check if the wear is even on all four tires.
Rust and Dents. Check doors and hinges for rust. Look along the side of the car for ripples that could signal past repairs.
Lights. Operate the headlights, brights, brake lights, and turning signals to make sure they all work.
2. Make an Interior Inspection Checklist
Once in the car, remember to check that the seats and controls are up to your standards. The smell and condition of the seats is certainly something to consider, but don’t forget to check these things:
Stereo. Operate the stereo, including the auxiliary option or CD player if available.
Seats. Try adjusting your seat and the passenger seat.
A/C and Heat. Work the air conditioning at all fan levels and temperatures.
Cruise Control. Make sure the cruise control works, even when you use the turn signal.
As you inspect the car, keep an open mind and take notes for future decision-making.
3. Look for Value-Adding Features
Do you know what makes a car a good resell? You can enjoy the luxury of these features and still get some money for it if you decide to sell again:
Hands-Free Option. With many states forbidding drivers from using their cellphones while on the road, newer cars are offering hands-free or blue-tooth options. These laws aren’t likely to change, so the value of these systems will stay intact.
Leather Interiors. Leather has long been appreciated as a high value in cars. It is still preferred today, so go ahead and spend the extra on leather if you love it. You aren’t likely to lose the money on it when you sell.
4. Ignore Value-Diminishing Features
While great features like cruise control and intelligent keys can add to your car’s resell value, too much customization wastes money when it comes time to get rid of the vehicle. Here are two things that a sales rep might highlight but that you shouldn’t consider as an addition to your car’s value:
Flashy Colors. Something unusually bold or bright like gold or lime green may seem cool at the time, but it can make resell difficult. Traditional colors like black and white are a surer way to go.
Flashy Rims. It’s not that you can’t buy nice and new rims for a car you buy used in Richmond, but something especially flamboyant or expensive may put off some buyers. Instead, choose moderately sized rims.
Did you take a checklist to your test drive? What tips do you have? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Posted in: Used Cars
Tags: car AC, car lights, car seats, car stereo, cruise control, Exterior Inspection Checklist, Interior Inspection Checklist, rust and dents in cars, test drive a car, tires, used car test drive, Value-Adding Features