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Archive for March, 2012

Mitt Romney loves cars. And he’s got the garage to prove it.

March 28th, 2012

Mitt Romney | 2012

Plans for a new home built on Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s beachfront La Jolla, Calif. property call for the ultimate split-level garage, complete with a car elevator. Romney’s Batcave will feature space for four cars and the capability to easily ferry them to and from the ground floor.  We don’t have official photos, but his garage probably looks something like this.

[Click here to see the lift in action]
Mitt Romney | Car Elevator

The Romney’s current house in a pricey San Diego-area district will be demolished to make way for a new 8,105-sq-ft. home, including an outdoor shower, the previously mentioned uber-garage and a 3,600 sq-ft. underground living quarters. Estimates place construction costs at $12 million. Romney paid a lobbyist $21,500 in an attempt to expedite the building process with the city.

Romney family La Jolla, Calif. estate. (Google Maps)

Romney family La Jolla, Calif. estate. (Google Maps)

The son of a former American Motors CEO, Romney is a genuine car American car lover, counting a Ford Mustang, a Nash Rambler American, two Cadillac SRXs and a Chevy Silverado pickup among his family rides.

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BMW Recalls 1.3 Million Vehicles

March 28th, 2012

BMW Recall 5-Series 6-Series Battery Cable Cover Safety

BMW has issued a worldwide recall on 1.3 million 5-Series and 6-Series models to address an improperly mounted battery cable cover that may cause vehicles to fail to start, to function improperly or even to catch fire.

BMW says just a small number of previous-generation 5- and 6-Series built between 2003 and 2010 will suffer from the problem. No accidents or injuries have been reported thus far as a result of this issue. Owners will receive letters soon and should visit their local BMW dealership for the free 30-minute fix.

You can contact BMW at 1-800-525-7417 or by email at customer.relations@bmwna.com for more info.

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Chrysler Featured on 60 Minutes (Complete Episode Inside)

March 28th, 2012

Chrysler 60 Minutes Feature Marchionne Interview Dodge Dart Factory Header

“There’s nothing worse for a leader than to see fear in people’s faces. It’s been a long, rocky road, but fear is gone.”

So said auto industry superstar Sergrio Marchionne, CEO of Chrysler Group and Fiat Automotive, in a new candid interview with “60 Minutes” that takes a serious look at Chrysler’s return from death’s door to startling profitability. Chrysler Group made a $183 million profit in 2011 on the strength of hot-selling SUVs and crossovers, and much-improved passenger cars.

Marchionne and his team deserve credit for negotiating the majority sale of Chrysler to the Italians, wisely using government bailout money to make tangible improvements across the company’s entire portfolio then paying back loans ahead of schedule.

Here’s the full segment. Marchionne comes off as a shrewd businessman with true passion for his job. Watch for an inside look at the new 2013 Dodge Dart!

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Kobe Bryant Picks Up a $329k 2012 Ferrari F458

March 26th, 2012

Kobe Bryant's Ferrari F458 Italia
Benching?  What benching?  Los Angeles Lakers king of everything Kobe Bryant has just picked up the keys to his brand new 2012 Ferrari 458 Italia, TMZ says. Kobe reportedly paid $329,000 for the new Ferrari, which stickers at $225k before options, with a check.

Because if you’re Kobe Bryant you can do things like walk into a dealership and buy a supercar with a personal check, no questions asked.  For those who are not in the know, in order to purchase a F458, you have to have previously owned more than just a couple Ferraris.  Yeah, you can be this weeks’ Mega Millions winner and still not have the clout to just pick one up, further adding to the exclusivity and allure of owning one of the best handling cars out on the market today.

Kobe was seen as recently as Christmas Day 2011 arriving at Staples Center driving a stealth-like flat black 2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP-700. No word on if the Lambo car was a loaner or if Kobe is quietly building a collection of the best and brightest modern Italian supercars. Bryant has also owned a Ferrari F430, a white Range Rover and a Bentley Continental GT.

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How Does BMW Make Their Cars So Light?

March 26th, 2012

How BMW Makes Cars So Light Stamping Tools Header

How do you make a vehicle perform better, get better mileage and emit less pollutants without changing the powertrain one bit? The answer is make it lighter. Even as BMW’s most-recent models like the new 3-Series have grown in proportions, they are lighter than before thanks to some advanced engineering techniques.

Not the least of these techniques is an innovative stamping process for components that need to be very strong and rigid, like a car’s B-pillar. BMW uses thinner steel for big weight savings, but does this make the cars less safe?

“On the contrary, we have developed a method of pressing that makes the component harder and more rigid. How? Quite simply, with fire and water,” says Dr. Frank Ebert, technical planning manager of innovations at BMW AG.

Thin sheets of steel coated in zinc are precision stamped into place, then heated to 900°C, forming an outer layer of iron-zinc alloy. The red-hot parts are then switched to another machine where they are water cooled in seconds down to 200°C, a process which forms extremely hard bonds. The resulting part is stronger than a much thicker traditionally stamped steel pillar.

Watch the video for an inside look!

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