2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Goes Back To America

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Introduced on Wednesday, April 16: 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C sport coupe.

What exactly is it? A little sport coupe which is about everything keeps the flickering flame lit for Alfa Romeo these days.

Would it be real? Alfa’s return to America, which it left nearly two decades ago as a result of poor sales, has beenon / off, on again, off, etc.

What they said: “The all-new Alfa Romeo 4C delivers supercar-level performance in its most elemental form,” said Harald Wester, Alfa Romeo’s chief executive. “With its ultralightweight materials and technological solutions derived straight from motorsports, a midengine proportion for maximum agility and purposeful styling cues to enhance performance, the all-new 4C coupe marks Alfa Romeo’s go back to sports cars and the brand’s return to America.”

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What they didn’t say: In The United States, the Alfa Romeo 4C, despite having been discounted in Europe and ready to choose the American market, is truly a car without having company behind it -and no real dealer network or service operation in place (the opposite from the situation at Tesla, as an example, which from time to time had the organization but little product to offer). For a while, like couch surfers, some willing Fiat and Maserati dealers will let the 4C crash – er, spend time – at their places. With the ink barely dry on the tiny American management team’s business cards, it will likely be a challenging introduction.

Why is it tick: A 237-horsepower 1.8-liter (no, which is not a misprint) direct-injection turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, paired with a twin-clutch transmission, that turns this carbon-fiber two-seater into a rocket because the whole thing, in European trim anyway, weighs barely 1,000 kilos, or about 2,200 pounds.

Exactly how much, how soon? A limited Launch Edition model, with a track pack of performance and handling tweaks, will be available by June. Total creation of this version will be 500 units and become priced at $70,000, Mr. Wester said. After those are sold, subsequent base models will start at $54,000. The business expects to market about 850 in the first year in America, which will represent about 1 percent of Alfa’s total worldwide sales. A convertible version could come next year.

How’s it look? Beguiling, but long overdue. The concept version was first shown in Europe over 36 months ago, therefore the styling is not cutting edge. However it is probably the closest thing into a supercar you might own for less than $55,000.

Three Fun, Creative Ways to Save the Planet

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Way too often, it seems that being green means paying an excessive amount of money to obtain something that, while being environmentally friendly, has simply no fun factor. There is more to being granola than simply having a backyard composter and recycling. Listed below are a couple of stuff that a really fun while still allowing you to save the environment.

1. Electric Cars

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Electric cars turn heads, and also save some costs on travel costs. Each and every them cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, either. Take, for example, the Nissan Leaf from Nissan Los Angeles. It has many of the features any urban dweller will need like a Bluetooth phone system as well as a rear view monitor, even though not only is the design adorable. Best yet, it still has enough power where you don’t have to be afraid to bring it on the highway. Find out more about the Leaf at www.downtownnissan.com.

2. Upcycling

Sure, you can buy expensive furniture that claims that it is from all natural materials, or you might spend less while keeping older pieces out of the landfills in the first place. By doing a bit of searches with internet design pages, you can find approaches to use all kinds of older furniture and decorative items to make your home really special. You will get to be creative and in addition keep yard sale finds from becoming trash.

3. Shopping Bags

You don’t have to settle for whatever ugly reusable bags they are selling for a buck a piece in the supermarket. You will find tons of possibilities out there for shopping bags. You can buy one from the seller online with a marketplace such as Etsy. Those sellers would have bags available in various kinds of fabrics and designs. If you are good at sewing yourself, you can recycle fabrics and make bags yourself.

Audi Keeps All Time Sales Record In U.S. For The Fourth Time

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For the fourth consecutive year, luxury automaker Audi established another record for United states sales by unloading 158,061 cars during 2013 – a 13.5 percent increase over the previous annual record set the entire year before. The firm sold 17,013 automobiles in December alone, which is a 14.6 percent uptick over sales to the previous month. December 2013 also established the 36th successive monthly sales record for Audi in the Usa market.

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“After 36 consecutive record sales months, 2013 was another year to thank America for embracing Audi,” said Mark Del Rosso, COO and EVP, Audi of America. “These record results show the payoff from your longstanding strategy to build the Audi brand through exciting products, committed dealer partners and a sustainable business model.”

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Audi experienced a very high demand for its 2014 Audi R8 models, including the R8 V8, V10, and V10 plus, by using a 37.3 percent increase of sales in a month-over-month analysis. Luxury sedan sales remain strong, as the A6 increased 43.3 percent to 2,686 vehicles sold for your month, while year-to-date sales of the A6 increased 18.1 percent to 22,428 vehicles sold. Sales of the automaker’s “premium category vehicles,” which includes the A6,A7 and A8, and Q7 models, increased by 19.2 percent.

Sales of previously owned, certified vehicles also increased in 2013, as Audi reported an increase in sales of 10.2 percent for the year (with 40,190 sold).

Know Who Go And Drive This Luxury Cars

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We started out wanting to satisfy our curiosity about what kinds of luxury cars celebrities drive, and ended up going on an epic fact-finding pursuit to make the most complete list of celebrity rides ever compiled, anywhere. Along the way we came across some interesting, lesser known celebrity conveyances, though of course, we all know about Justin Bieber’s antics behind the wheel. Daniel Craig is an Audi fan. Carlos Slim, the world’s richest man, is spotted driving a Bentley Flying Spur. Natalie Portman drives a minimal-key Lexus RX, while Ozzy Osbourne has got the groceries in a matte black Ferrari 458 Italia. Prefers a Porsche Panamera when in Paris, though kanye West has a matte black Lamborghini Aventador. And when not driving his Porsche GT3, Patrick Dempsey grabs the wheel of his Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.

Ferraris and Bentleys are pretty high up there too, while the data demonstrates that Porsche and Mercedes-Benz are the most popular celebrity car brands. Keep reading for the full list and see how your favorite celebs are spending everything that hard-earned dough!

david beckhamPhoto Credit: Joe Seer/Shutterstock

Audi: David Beckham (S8), Sandra Bullock (A6), Daniel Craig (S6), Vanessa Hudgens (A7), John Mayer (R8), Jason Statham (R8), Dwyane Wade (R8), Robert Downey Jr. (A7), Cristiano Ronaldo (RS6), Justin Timberlake (S8), Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (S5), Chris Brown (R8), Taylor Lautner (R8), Sienna Miller (TT), Kevin Costner (S8), Zooey Deschanel (A5), Michael Bloomberg (R8), Phil Knight (R8), Taylor Swift (Q7), Zac Efron (S5), Zoe Saldana (A8), Miranda Kerr (A8), Harry Styles (R8)

Aston Martin: Dwyane Wade (Vanquish Volante), Jason Statham (DBS), Olivier Martinez (V8 Vantage), Ice-T (Vantage), Eddie Murphy (Vanquish), Ryan Seacrest (DB9), Pierce Brosnan (Vanquish), Adam Carolla (DB9), Jonathan Ives (Vanquish and DB9), Lil Wayne (Vantage), Sylvester Stallone (DBS), Prince Charles (DB6), David Beckham (AMV8), Janet Jackson (Vanquish), Marc Anthony (DB7), Missy Elliott (Vanquish), Jamie Oliver (Vantage)

paris hiltonPhoto Credit: Featureflash/Shutterstock

Bentley: Drake (Supersports), Jennifer Lopez (Continental), Prince William (Flying Spur), Bruce Willis (Continental), Eva Longoria (Continental), Jonathan Ives (Brooklands), Simon Cowell (Azure), Sylvester Stallone (Continental), Arnold Schwarzenegger (Supersports), Paris Hilton (Continental), Floyd Mayweather (Mulsanne), David Beckham (Supersports and Mulsanne), Cristiano Ronaldo (Continental), Ryan Seacrest (Flying Spur), The Overall Game (Continental), Lil Wayne (Mulsanne), Sharon Stone (Continental), Scott Disick (Mulsanne), Queen of England (State Limousine), Carlos Slim (Flying Spur)

BMW: Brad Pitt (Hydrogen 7), Jessica Alba (750iL), Anne Hathaway (i3), Reese Witherspoon (Alpina B7), Heidi Klum (M6), Selena Gomez (X5), Cristiano Ronaldo (M6), Taylor Lautner (Z4), Will Ferrell (Hydrogen 7), Alanis Morissette (X5), Samantha Ronson (750iL), Sean Penn (Z3), Taye Diggs (X6)

Bugatti: Drake, Birdman, Flo Rida, Floyd Mayweather, The Video Game, Chris Brown

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Ferrari: Pharrell (Enzo), Justin Bieber (458 Italia), Harry Styles (California), Kim Kardashian (F430), Jermaine Jackson (California), Eddie Murphy (599 GTB), Dwyane Wade (F12 Berlinetta), Rick Ross (458 Italia), Gordon Ramsay (F12 Berlinetta), Paris Hilton (F430), Adam Levine (365 GTC), 50 Cent (FF), Cristiano Ronaldo (599 GTO), John Mayer (599 GTB), LeBron James (F430 Spider), Ozzy Osbourne (458 Italia), Tommy Hilfiger (Enzo), Alex Rodriguez (575 Maranello), Hugh Grant (California), The Overall Game (F430 Spider), Ashton Kutcher (California), Tyga (California), Seal (F430 Spider), Kobe Bryant (458 Italia Spider), Flo Rida (California), Ralph Lauren (F430 Scuderia), Keith Urban (F360), Usher (F430 Spider), Gucci Mane (458 Italia), Wyclef Jean (360 Spider), Adrien Brody (F430), Rod Stewart (599 GTB)

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Ford: Shia LaBeouf (F150), John Mayer (Raptor), Heidi Klum (Raptor), Dwayne Johnson (F150), Simon Cowell (Bronco), Christina Aguilera (Mustang), Amber Heard (Mustang), Nick Jonas (Mustang), Shaquille O’Neal (Mustang), Benji Madden (Galaxie), Ken Block (Raptor)

Jaguar: Victoria Beckham (XJ), Kelly Rowland (F-Type), Lana Del Rey (XKF), Patrick Dempsey (XK120), Harrison Ford (XK140), Miranda Kerr (XJL), Danny Aiello (XJL), Jay Leno (E-Type), Kristin Davis (XF)

Lamborghini: Kanye West (Aventador), Swizz Beatz (Aventador), Chris Brown (Aventador and Gallardo), Scott Disick (Aventador), Cristiano Ronaldo (Aventador), 50 Cent (Murcielago), Rick Ross (Murcielago), Missy Elliot (Gallardo), Robinho (Gallardo), Kobe Bryant (Aventador)

Lexus: Natalie Portman (RX), Paris Hilton (LFA), Paul McCartney (LS600h), Gisele Bündchen (RX), Owen Wilson (ES), Sarah Michelle Gellar (RX), Halle Berry (RX)

miley cyrusPhoto Credit: Joe Seer/Shutterstock

Maserati: Pierce Brosnan (GranTurismo), Miley Cyrus (Quattroporte), Lapo Elkann (Ghibli), Gwen Stefani (Quattroporte), Barry Diller (GranCabrio), Britney Spears (GranCabrio), Kylie Minogue (Gran Turismo), Katy Perry (GranCabrio)

Maybach: Madonna, Will Smith, Samuel L. Jackson, Birdman, Lil Wayne, Jay Z, Sean Combs, Kanye West, Rick Ross

McLaren: Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, DavidLudacris and Beckham, Larry Ellison, Swizz Beatz, Dwayne Wade, Jay Leno, Will.i.am

Mercedes-Benz: Liev Schreiber (E350 wagon), Harry Styles (190 SL), Hilary Duff (G-Wagen), Jon Hamm (SLS AMG), Ashley Tisdale (G55), Tom Ford (G-Wagen), Ashley Olsen (G-Wagen), Kylie Jenner (G-Wagen), David Hasselhoff (CLS), Khloe Kardashian (G-Wagen), Gwen Stefani (G-Wagen), Bradley Cooper (G-Wagen), Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai (G63 AMG), Jay Z (S-Class), Patrick Dempsey (SLS AMG and G-Wagen), Sandra Bullock (GL550), Eddie Murphy (SLS AMG), Tom Cruise (SLK), Justin Theroux (S550), Rick Ross (CLS and S550), Nigo (300 SL), Russell Crowe (S550), Usher (CLS), Jim Carrey (S550), Wyclef Jean (G-Wagen), Jensen Button (C63 AMG DR250), Britney Spears (G55 AMG), Selma Blair (ML 350), Shakira (SL 550), Shaquille O’Neal (S-Class), Jared Leto (SLS AMG), Tiger Woods (S65 AMG), Tobey Maguire (S400), Alec Baldwin (M-Class), Megan Fox (G-Wagen), Mark Wahlberg (SLS AMG)

Porsche 911Photo Courtesy of Porsche

Porsche: Kate Moss (vintage 911), David Beckham (911 Turbo Cabriolet), Dustin Hoffman (911 Cabriolet), Kanye West (Panamera Turbo), Patrick Dempsey (GT3), Hilary Duff (911), Keith Urban (Cayenne), Kiefer Sutherland (Panamera), Jonah Hill (911), Miley Cyrus (Cayenne GTS), Adam Levine (356 Speedster), Maria Sharapova (Panamera GTS), Cristiano Ronaldo (Cayenne Turbo), Ellen DeGeneres (911), LeBron James (911), The Game (Panamera), Jerry Seinfeld (various 911s), Keanu Reeves (911), Zach Braff (911), Adriana Lima (Cayenne), Lindsay Lohan (911 Cabriolet), Rihanna (911 Turbo), Chris Brown (Panamera), Samantha Ronson (911 Targa), Bruce Willis (911 GTS), Sylvester Stallone (Panamera), Pharrell (550 Spyder), Steven Tyler (911 Turbo), Matthew Perry (911 Cabriolet), LeAnn Rimes (Panamera), Ashley Tisdale (Boxster), Bill Gates (959), Michael Dell (Boxster), Robert Pattinson (Boxster)

leonard dicaprioPhoto Credit: Helga Esteb/Shutterstock

Range Rover: Brad Pitt, Charlize Theron, Russell Brand, Kate Moss, David Beckham, Victoria Beckham, Robin Thicke, Sofia Vergara, Pippa Middleton, Jay-Z, John Mayer, Ryan Seacrest, Sharon Osbourne, Chris Brown, Shannen Doherty, Prince Harry, Queen of England, Courtney Cox, Alessandra Ambrosio, Richard Branson, Tim Burton, Hugh Jackman

Rolls-Royce: Swizz Beatz (Wraith), Jaime Foxx (Ghost), Ice-T (Ghost), Rick Ross (Wraith), Simon Cowell (Phantom), David Beckham (Phantom and Ghost), 50 Cent (Ghost), Snoop Dogg (Phantom), The Overall Game (Ghost), Tom Brady (Ghost), Eddie Murphy (Phantom), Ryan Phillippe (Ghost), Shaquille O’Neal (Phantom), Missy Elliott (Phantom), Sean Combs (Phantom), Guy Ritchie (Ghost)

Tesla: Matt Damon, Eva Longoria, Jack Osbourne, Jeremy Renner, Shakira, Ashton Kutcher, Rachel Zoe, Laurence Fishburne

Toyota: Leonardo DiCaprio (Prius), Adrien Grenier (Prius), Ryan Gosling (Prius), Julia Roberts (Prius), Kirsten Dunst (Prius), Eric Schmidt (Prius), Sarah Jessica Parker (Prius)

Sources: Zimbio, X17 Online, Celebrity CarsFlickr and Blog, London Daily Mail, Autoevolution, UrbanDaddy’s DRIVEN, GT Spirit, Just Jared, Celebritycarz

Idiots Guide to Car Maintenance

Lots of people are hanging on to their old motors more than ever. With this thought I’ve put together a few car maintenance tips perfect for the individual who . . . in an ideal world . . . . would simply book their car in for services somewhere. Non petrol heads read on . . . .

If your sparkling white car has dulled to mid-gray, the interior smells of the mixture between cigar smoke and wet dog and it also takes it a full a few minutes to achieve 60 miles one hour take heart – you are certainly not alone and this is designed for you. Research suggests that the average age of the private vehicles on American roads these days is more than 10 years and shows no indications of changing in the near future. Of course, to keep these motors on the road they actually do need a little maintenance and TLC.

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Follow the manual – you’ll probably find it in the glove compartment behind a dozen empty CD covers – it’s full of useful information in the manufacturer about your car. It’ll tell you by pointing out recommended maintenance schedule – these are not solely a method of ripping off unsuspecting car owners, they may be there to help you keep your car running soundly. These books have been lovingly and painstakingly made by the experts who know what they’re talking about, the people who designed the particular car you drive – the major cause of failure of engines and transmission is actually a case of simple neglect.

The importance of lubrication – lubrication is what keeps everything working efficiently. Most cars will have a stern warning light as soon as the oil level is getting a little bit low but don’t wait for that to take place – check oil levels regularly and top as needed. In the event it needs changing don’t use it off, although the synthetic oils available these days can last for 5,000, maybe even 10,000 miles between changes. Be aware of potential signals warning you about when you really need to change your air filters, fuel filters, top up your brake and transmission fuel etc – the warning signs are there for the reason . . . to warn you.

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Check the pressures – maintaining the correct tire pressures will help prolong the life span of the tires and help you to maximize your fuel economy. The correct tire pressures will be in that book from the glove compartment – the manual.

If you don’t switch your wiper blades before they get worn it can cause a scratched windshield, and windshields can set you back a few hundred bucks at the best of times, Switching wipers -. Additionally, you will enjoy better visibility with good wiper blades. It is possible to protect them from the worst of the weather with old socks – no, it’s not a joke, put them on before the snow arrives and you’ll prolong the life of your wiper blades.

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Keeping it clean – contrary to popular belief a huge rain shower is not exactly the same thing as giving your car an effective wash. Cars should be washed monthly at least, waxing the paintwork every 3 months will help you to protect it against rust and other corrosion. You should also keep your interior of your respective car neat and tidy with regular polishing and vacuuming.

Of course every maintained motor can still encounter problems. If yours is well past its use-by date then call in at Claremont Ford and check out their latest deals. Visit the website at fairviewford.com to see what’s happening.

Bently Tries Electric

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Bentley Motors revealed three hybrid concepts in the Beijing International Automotive Show earlier this month. Where lots of luxury automotive companies make sacrifices to performance to give weight down and efficiency up when making with this technology, Bentley’s unveiling shows just how luxurious and sexy a hybrid may be.

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Aesthetically, the Bentley Hybrid Concept retains the look and feel of the high-end automotive brand’s traditional design elements, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t take a few daring choices. Though these stylistic deviations were a little risky, they paid back in spades to create a vehicle that offers a driver power and luxury with some of that particular peace of mind which often comes with driving a hybrid and lessening one’s carbon footprint in the world.

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As described by Chief Executive of Bentley Motors, Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber, during a press conference in Beijing, “Adding performance and efficiency without having compromise to luxury ­- Plug-in hybrids are an important part of Bentley’s exciting future. In recognizing the relative deficiency of hybrid and green tech in top-tier autos, Dr. Schreiber also made note in the pride they’re experiencing as a brand on account of “pioneering these developments within the ultra luxury sector.

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Alongside the hybrid unveiled at the car event, the renowned auto manufacturer announced three more new vehicles, including the agile GT V8 S, a touring sedan Flying Spur V8, as well as the fastest production Bentley ever created, the Continental GT Speed. Additionally they announced that the plug-in hybrid SUV will likely be available by 2017 and this, by the end of the decade, about 90 percent of Bentley’s selection will also be available as plug-in hybrids.

Toyota Attacks Celica and MR2 With Its Special Edition Scion

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Signaling Toyota’s continued plans to attract the youth market with its Scion brand, word came down last week that 2005 would be the a year ago of production for the Celica and MR2. The news will not be terribly surprising, as many expected the new Scion tC coupe would be competition for the Celica while the MR2 was always limited in sales numbers. Still, some expected the Celica name would carry on in some fashion. TheMatrix and Corolla, and Echo are actually left to chase young buyers on the lower end of the market for the Toyota brand with Scion expanding both in number of models and national reach.

In related news, Scion announced a new special edition version of its xA wagon. The xA, to refresh your memory, is the small wagon-looking model, not the refrigerator-like xB. Only 1550 units of the 2005 Scion xA Release Series 1. will be sold, starting this August. All xA Release Series 1.0s will feature the unique exterior color, “Absolutely Red,” an exclusive sport grille, rear spoiler, power slide/tilt sunroof, vehicle dynamic control with traction control, special black seating fabric with red highlights, and red interior lighting in the center storage compartment. Finally, specially numbered badges will be placed into the interior.

The Scion xA Release Series 1. package will add yet another $1,395 on the xA’s $12,480 base price.

Ford On The Center Of SEMA 2004

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If there was one single company with an overwhelming presence at SEMA 2004 in Vegas, that company would indisputably be Ford Motor Company. As a major sponsor of the show, the Ford name could stop being escaped whether you were inside or outside the Las Vegas Convention Center. Add within the grand Ford Motor Company “booth” bathed in blue and the substantial amount of new Mustangs scattered around the show and it is unmistakable that Ford came to play.

It could not have come in a more critical time for Ford, together with the launch from the mass-volume performance vehicle – the Mustang, happening at around the same time as the SEMA Show. The new Mustang represents an effort at capturing an entirely new audience for your decades’ old nameplate. The final few generations of Mustang haven’t exactly been recognized for their refinement, whether that be in suspension dynamics or interior quality. Instead, they used a big ‘ole V8 to get attention. As such, the Mustang hasn’t exactly attracted people interested in plush interiors or nimble handling.

Ford wants to change that somewhat with the new Mustang. They’ve started using a sleek exterior design similar to the first Mustangs. The interior also recalls the ‘Stang of yore, which means it’s a considerable boost from any of the most recent generations. The engines and suspension were also redesigned in an effort to step up the car’s quality image and expand enthusiasm for just about the most well-known brands in America.

Ford Motor Company at SEMA 2004

Section of the effort seems to be whoring out the ‘Stang to just about anyone who will tune it. You couldn’t turn around without seeing the retro-style Mustang anywhere at SEMA. Nowhere was that more evident than with the FoMoCo booth. On hand were no less than a dozen coupes, all tuned by various companies in an attempt to show just what can be done with Ford’s new baby. The bonspeed “Black Rose” added touches of red with an otherwise black vehicle, including buffalo-red leather. Of course, the Vortech supercharger, Borla exhaust, Koni shocks and struts, Eibach springs, and bonspeed 20-inch forged alloy wheels only back this horse’s evil looks.

The H&R Special Springs Mustang was “built for speed, and designed for quick handling.” That means a Flowmaster exhaust, H&R race springs and TCCC camber bolts, H&R sway bars – 38mm front and 25mm rear, Baer Racing Extreme-Plus brakes, and some custom suspension bits fabricated exclusively for this concept. The MRT Interceptor by Mustang Racing Technology features a custom intake valve and manifold covers by The Kandy Shop, a Paxton supercharger kit, custom CPR billet aluminum fuel rails, MRT Street Performance suspension kit and performance chassis components, and stainless steel brakes.

Roush Performance’s Mustang was certainly drawing its share of attention with its aggressive bodykit and rolling stock backed up by legit performance bits – including the Roush supercharger system with Eaton internals, Roush performance suspension (shocks, springs, sway bars and control arms, and Alcon and Roush brakes (14 inch front rotors, 12 inch rears).

Ford Motor Company at SEMA 2004

Land Rover showed off its new LR3 (replacing the Discovery) including a full set of available custom bits. All accessories will likely be sold through Land Rover dealers for people who truly do plan on taking these expensive beasts away from the beaten path. If you so choose, you may pick out an “A” frame protection bar, driving lamps, WARN winch, front and rear lamp guards, Expedition roof rack, raised air intake, raised access ladder, and Goodyear tires.

Since ditching its long-standard refrigerator-inspired designs, Volvo has been aggressively courting young and enthusiastic drivers. The new S40 and V50 compacts have only added an exclamation point out that pursuit, legitimately placing Volvo in direct competition with the Audi A4, Acura TSX, and BMW 325i. Perhaps the most visually attractive SEMA Volvo was the V50 SV wagon, produced by Volvo’s Specialty Vehicles department in Sweden and Volvo Concept and Monitoring Center in Camarillo, CA. The 2.5L turbocharged 5-cylinder has been highly tuned to your full 340 horsepower. The electronic all wheel drive and six-speed manual transmission round out this beautiful blue sportwagon’s drool-inducing package.

The Evolve S40 is the wagon counterpart for the V50, and it features a downright amazing 425 horsepower sent through a Haldex all wheel drive system. Making sure this silver bullet can be brought back down from speed, Evolve fitted the S40 with 15-inch disc brakes with 8-piston aluminum brake calipers. Two words: holy hell.

Ford Motor Company at SEMA 2004

First, unveiled at the Paris Auto Show, the Yamaha-designed-V8-powered XC90 gets a little bit more hot sauce for Vegas. The XC90 Power Utility Vehicle receives a lowered stance and aggressive bodykit, and also a highly retuned engine reportedly capable of a screaming 650 horsepower through a six-speed automatic and all wheel drive. Porsche Cayenne owners, be warned.

Whether or not any one of this ever makes it to showcase, one thing is obvious. Ford Motor Company is not afraid to enjoy whatever it will require to showcase the possibilities of their vast stable of products. From Volvo, to Jaguar, to Mazda, to Mercury, the Ford Motor Company booth was the place where dreams ran wild at SEMA 2004.

Mitsubishi Mirage Might Be The Car That You Have Always Dreamt Off

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If the plan is for your teen driver to take some or all financial responsibility for her own car, the Mirage is actually a sensible choice. Not merely is it inexpensive to buy ($13,790 for starters, with a decent amount of standard equipment including air cooling), but it’s also inexpensive to operate, using a 5 year/60,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty to cover any unexpected problems. Its tiny 3-cylinder engine produces modest power but remarkable fuel economy (44 MPG on the road! ), and it has seven airbags and surprisingly good crash-test results given its small size. Mitsubishi has even designed the front end for inexpensive repairs, with the idea of lowering collision insurance costs. Though the styling is a bit pedestrian (designed for cheating the wind rather than turning heads), the Mirage can be found in a palette of bright colors. It’s a great way to your teen to start taking on the costs of owning a car.

How to Make Sure Your Road Trip is a Blast

There’s an allure on the open road. It’s oft been written of, the romance of driving anonymously through a one horse town, just your ride and your thoughts and the AM radio station arriving faintly. A glimpse of simpler times. Alas, with smart phones and interstate highway systems, the romantic notions of any road trip are a subject put to rest. And that’s okay! If you put in a very small bit of planning, road trips can still be a blast and will be. You don’t need to have a full itinerary, and in fact you shouldn’t, but you will want to make sure a few data is taken care of before you cast caution to the wind and hit the highway, just like Grandad would want.

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To start with, you should at the very least come up with a few destinations you need to see. We’ll call them benchmarks. If most of the fun is as you go along, you want benchmarks to give your drive a sense of direction, even. Great benchmarks are things such as National Parks, like the Grand Canyon or Mount Rushmore. With a few choice benchmarks inside your itinerary, you should use the computer to map out other fun things along the way. You must always maintain your eyes open. For example, if you’re in the 40 heading through the pan handle of Texas, you won’t wish to miss Cadillac Ranch, worth the quick stop for sure. If you have too strict of your itinerary, you might think you don’t have time to stop at the Ranch, but you’ll be missing out on one of the primary purposes of road tripping!

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Also, your car or truck has to be reliable. Some might say wearing down in a town you know no-one in might be a fun adventure, but believe me, there are better adventures to be had than the expensive and frustrating experience of wearing down on the highway at 3 every morning, out of water and hungry. So if you are thinking of getting going in a old clunker, maybe think about buying a new or gently used vehicle, say from a Nissan dealer in Los Angeles. Nissans and Japanese cars are known for their comfort and reliability, so they make excellent road tripping cars. You can see how affordable they really are at metronissanredlands.com. Why not start your road trip off right?

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Another essential thing before road tripping is remembering to get snacks for the road. Beef jerky and pistachios are fun road trip snacks, and the pistachio shells may be tossed out the window. Also bring a good amount of water. It’s better to be hydrated and have to make more bathroom breaks than to self-torture yourself into thinking you don’t have time to stop. Always stop at the rest stop to relieve yourself, it’ll have the trip significantly more bearable. The trip must be fun and will be fun, so don’t put any moment pressures on yourself. You won’t be open to the adventure should you – so avoid wasting time getting snacks, have those with you, and let yourself have the a chance to stop at vista points and other attractions. Remember, you’re road tripping to find out the country, so see it!