Ferrari Could Find Itself In Serious Trouble If Scandalous Allegations Are Proven True

Just when you thought that the auto industry was on the mend after numerous scandals rocked it to its core, another potentially devastating scandal is on the horizon, this time involving Ferrari.

A report from The Daily Mail reveals that Florida-based Ferrari salesman Robert “Bud” Root has filed a pair of lawsuits in Florida alleging Ferrari of using a device that was designed to electronically roll back the digital odometers of Ferrari models that go on sale in the pre-owned (or second-hand) market. According to Root’s lawsuit, the practice of rolling back these odometers allows Ferrari owners to sell their Ferraris to unsuspecting buyers at grossly inflated prices.

The device is reportedly called the “Deis Tester, internet” and according to the lawsuit, it has been available since 2010 and has a software program that allows it to reset a Ferrari odometer back to as low as 0 miles. Not only that but Root also alleges that Ferrari headquarters in Maranello is complicit in the activity, even going so far as publishing a written policy manual detailing how the device works and having sole authority on when to actually use the device.

The lawsuit further adds that Ferrari “licenses the equipment, administers the passwords and remote log-in authorisations, electronically uploads and tracks functions through the use of the device – including odometer rollbacks – through aInternet connection, and stores the electronic data.”

As for why Root stepped forward threatening to blow the lid off of the allegedly illegal practice, it appears that the 71-year old salesman reportedly fired after discovering the use of the Deis Tester and implications it could have from a legal standpoint. Root even named one of his clients, retired Sara Lee CEO C. Steve McMillan, and accused him of paying off one of the dealership’s mechanics to roll back the odometer of his Ferrari LaFerrari back to 0 miles so he could sell it a higher price than what the car was supposed to be worth.

For its part, Ferrari of Palm Beach attorney Jason Kairalla issued a statement on behalf of the dealership, saying that it “does not litigate in the newspaper,” before adding its belief that the lawsuit filed by its employee “is wholly without merit and will be vigorously defended in court."

Meanwhile, the Italian automaker has also commented on the allegations, telling Motor Authority that the automaker does not comment on litigation that involves third parties with respect to Ferrari North America and the litigation does not involve Ferrari. The automaker threw in its own caveat, adding that it “reserves” the right to take all appropriate action against any party that has adversely affected its rights.

Continue after the jump to read the full story


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You Won’t Believe Which Autonomous Car is the Fastest in the World

Five years ago, the thought of seeing autonomous cars on the road seemed like a far-fetched reality. These days, autonomous cars are touted as the future of the auto industry, and one car that prides itself on being able to drive by itself has set the performance benchmark for all the rest of the autonomous driving world to challenge. The Nio EP9 may not be a household name yet, but it recently made a strong case for itself at the Circuit of the Americas when it lapped the 3.4-mile circuit in 2:40.33, doing so while achieving a top speed of 160 mph and setting the record for the fastest self-driving car around the track.

Just as important (maybe even more so) is the 2:11.30 lap time it posted with a driver behind the wheel of the car with a top speed of 170 mph. All the same, the lap time is the fastest lap time around the famed circuit for a production car. The EP9’s achievement is a big milestone in it of itself, especially when you consider that the Aston Martin Vantage V8 racer that won a pole position in the GT-class car during the 2016 Six Hours of Circuit of the Americas managed to post its fastest lap of 2:04.61. Let it be said then: the EP9’s lap time with a driver behind the wheel is only seven seconds off the pace of track’s GT-class lap record. That’s impressive in any language.

Granted, the EP9’s record lap time might still ring hollow for some skeptics who believe that more autonomous cars should post their own lap times around COTA to “validate” Nio’s fastest lap around the track claims. But that’s neither Nio’s nor the EP9’s issue. All it can control is the lap time it posts; if somebody wants to put the EP9’s lap time in its proper place, that’s on them to make it happen.

Either way, there’s no denying that the Nio EP9 is a potent piece of autonomous driving machinery. The startup company says that its pride and joy is powered by four electric motors that combine to produce a staggering 1,341 horsepower. That allows the car to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 2.7 seconds and 0 to 124 mph in 7.1 seconds. Top speed is reportedly begged at 195 mph to go with a 265-mile range.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


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BMW M760Li xDrive by BMW Individual

You can be excused if you’ve become increasingly frustrated with BMW and the seemingly long wait for the M7 to arrive, if it ever arrives to begin with. Truth be told, it’s become an exercise in patience itself just to wait for the flagship sedan. The presence of the M760Li xDrive, which BMW launched in late 2016, isn’t helping that long and arduous wait, either. But the good news is that we still do have the M760Li xDrive as opposed to not having one at all. It may not be the M7, but it could pass as one if you ignore the fact that it isn’t. Makes sense, right?

That’s not the point of all this, though, because to BMW’s credit, it is at least doing its part to make the M760Li xDrive more interesting with the luxury saloon’s first go in the world of BMW Individual. As you can imagine, a car that’s already brimming with luxury appointments like the M760Li xDrive is going to be a little difficult to improve from an aesthetic standpoint because, well, it already has everything a customer would probably want in a saloon short of it actually having its own portable butler. (Hmm…)

Good thing then that BMW Individual isn’t bound by what a car already has, but what a car could still have to go on top of what it already has. And so, the German automaker’s very own personalization division went to work on the M760Li xDrive and presented it with a series of new options that are meant to entice customers on seeing the seemingly limitless customization potential of the saloon.

You think the BMW M760Li xDrive already has everything? Well, try telling BMW Individual that. Just don’t mention anything about the M7, because, well, that’s for BMW to answer.

Continue after the jump to read more about the BMW M760Li xDrive by BMW Individual


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2017 Jeep Compass By Mopar

Jeep has a long history with vehicle customization and personalization going back to the first CJ Jeeps produced after WWII. These days, instead of plows, seeders, and hay rakes, Jeep customers are looking for aftermarket equipment designed for improved off-road capabilities, everyday usability, and curb-size appearance. Mopar has been there for much of Jeep’s history but is now enjoying a renaissance in popularity thanks to a wide selection of dealer add-on parts. These accessories are able to be wrapped inside vehicle financing and are covered under warranty.

Mopar’s latest batch of parts fits Jeep’s newest product – the 2017 Jeep Compass. This two-row crossover slots between the Renegade and Cherokee, both in size and price. Its sleek, modern looks are arguably more attractive than the Cherokee, while still harking back to Jeep’s glory days.

To showcase Mopar’s new line of more than 90 Compass accessories, Jeep created this one-off demo model with a bevy of upgrades. Pietro Gorlier, the head of Mopar, said this regarding the new lineup of parts:

“Owners can put their unique stamp on the all-new Jeep Compass right at launch with a full line of authentic Jeep accessories. Mopar celebrates its 80th anniversary in 2017, and we continue to deliver products that remain true to the DNA of each brand and the personality of each vehicle. With a full line of accessories available at launch, we’re ready to do that for 2017 Jeep Compass owners.”

The wide selection of Mopar parts and accessories give Jeep owners many direction possibilities. From simple window shades and floor mats to larger wheels and rock rails, the Mopar catalog gives plenty of choices.

Mopar’s list of highlighted products is below.

Continue reading for more information.


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Samsung: The new S8 Won’t Blow Up Your Car

Last year was a rough one for Samsung. That glorious and amazing Note 7 Phablet hit the market and everyone into carrying phones the size of cinder blocks that don’t have an apple on the back was super stoked. Well, until those phones went rogue and started self-destructing in people’s pockets, homes, and even cars. Truth be told, who knows if Samsung really told the truth, but the problem was supposedly related to the batteries used in the would-be halo phone.

There were some crazy videos out there that included a lithium-charged explosion in someone’s pocket, but one of the more recent stories before the phones were disabled was the story behind a family that nearly avoided tragedy thanks to their need to stop at home and offload something before continuing about their day of yard-sell hunting.

Long story short, a Note 7 was left charging in the center console, and next thing you know the family jeep found its Jeep heaven. Fast forward a few months to today, and Samsung is set to make its next big release, this time in the form of the next-gen Galaxy S8 lineup. As such, the brand is doing everything it can to prove that these new phones won’t explode and take out your home, Jeep, or girlfriend checking out your phone in the middle of the night.

So far, the brand has released three different ads, two of which include quick peeks into the testing each phone goes through before being shipped out and put on the shelf. In the video above, you even get to watch the battery get punctured by what one could only describe as a freaky mind probe from a science fiction movie, but it doesn’t blow up. The phone is even shown operating in excessively cold temperatures and being bent under pressure without any big boom taking place.

Apparently, the brand now has what it calls a seven-point battery test that ensures each battery is free of defect. But, let’s be honest; won’t a part of you wonder if the S8 will try to kill you too? Check out the video above to see Samsung’s “toughest safety testing ever.”


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Renault Alpine A110

It took Renault about three years to transform the 2012 Alpine A110-50 Concept into a production-friendly vehicle, but the new sports car was still far from being unveiled in 2016. Come 2017 and the French brand is finally ready to relaunch the Alpine brand, with the mid-engined coupe set to break cover at the Geneva Motor Show in March. As expected, the production model shares many design features with the concept cars Alpine showcased in recent years.

The most recent of them is dubbed Alpine Celebration Concept and broke cover ahead of the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans. It was featured again a couple of weeks later in the year at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and looked ready to hit the streets with minor modifications here and here.

As the name suggests, the Celebration Concept celebrates six decades since Alpine was established in Dieppe, France. Also, it pays homage to the classic 1961 -1973 Alpine A110, a sports car the French built from 1961 to 1977. Introduced as an evolution of the A108, the two-door "Berlinette" was designed by Giovanni Michelotti and used a rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. Among being Alpine’s most iconic model, the A110 was also a successful race car, winning the manufacturer’s title at the end of 1973 World Rally Championship.

All told, the new Alpine has a lot of heritage to build on.

Up until now, the production design was somewhat of a mystery, but a couple of photos launched in February 2017 confirm that it’s heavily based on the Celebration Concept. Alpine also confirmed that it will be called the A110, just like its 1960s predecessor.

Updated 02/28/2017: Alpine dropped the first two images of its new A110 sports car and confirmed the car will be making its official debut next week at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the new Renault Alpine.


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Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE

Unveiled for the 2017 model year, the sixth-generation Camaro ZL1 is by far the most impressive Camaro with forced-induction built to date. Powered by the the same LT4 engine introduced with the Corvette Z06, the latest ZL1 packs 650 horsepower, looks incredibly menacing, and costs a little more than $60,000, an amazing sticker given the performance. But, as incredible as it may sound, Chevrolet just managed to the make ZL1 even better by giving it the 1LE upgrade.

Previously available on the SS model, the 1LE package was just made available for the V-6 version too for the sixth-generation Camaro. Now, Chevy devised a similar package for the ZL1 and claims that the supercharged 1LE is the most track-capable Camaro ever, meaning it should outgun the bonkers (and now discontinued) Z28 too. These claims are backed by racing-based suspension and aero technologies, as well as exclusive Goodyear Eagle F1 tires, and a range of weight-saving measure.

“The track-focused 1LE package offers progressive levels of performance across the Camaro lineup, from the V6 1LE to the SS 1LE,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “But with the new ZL1 1LE, the progression takes a quantum leap — this is the ultimate track-day Camaro.”

How powerful and fast is it? How much it cost? How does it compare to the Shelby GT350 and the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat? Read my review below to get all the answers.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE.


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2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Spied with Tweaks

A 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class prototype was spied recently with light camouflage treatments over the front and rear ends of the sedan, with the front end seeming to be getting most of the attention for this light refresh.

The bumper is still completely masked to hide the latest aerodynamic flourishes and fog light updates while the grille shutters of the black Benz are closed due to the obvious extreme cold temperature testing, but our spy managed to snap a few close-ups of the new multi-beam LED headlight kit.

Instead of the units seen on last year’s C- E-, and S-Class models, this version gets two additional vertical LED high beams in the far corners of the light assembly. The system uses four control units to calculate the ideal light pattern 100 times a second, according to Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes Benz C Class Spy Shots Rear

Mercedes Benz C Class Spy Shots Rear

When adaptive high beam assist plus is used, the main beam helps illuminate the road with better precision and distribution of bright light while cornering on twisty roads without blinding oncoming traffic.

The two new LEDs seen in the recent spy shots could be infrared LED spotlights that may also assist in the night view assist mode that helps detect people and animals that may be unseen by the driver under low light conditions.

Mercedes Benz C Class Spy Shots Headlight

Mercedes Benz C Class Spy Shots Headlight

Around back, the adaptive brake lights are still masked substantially, but we can also see that they remain mostly unchanged in size and dimension.

The adaptive lights warn other vehicles by flashing rapidly in the event the driver has to stop suddenly from speeds above 30 mph or during emergency braking.

Overall, the C-Class largely remains the same, at least from the outside, and the latest tweets will have to placate owners until an all-new C-Class sedan breaks cover in 2019 or so.

Mercedes Benz C Class Spy Shots Front
Mercedes Benz C Class Spy Shots Front 1 1
Mercedes Benz C Class Spy Shots Front 1 2
Mercedes Benz C Class Spy Shots Grille
Mercedes Benz C Class Spy Shots Headlight
Mercedes Benz C Class Spy Shots Rear
Mercedes Benz C Class Spy Shots Rear 1 1
Mercedes Benz C Class Spy Shots Rear
Mercedes Benz C Class Spy Shots Side
Mercedes Benz C Class Spy Shots Three Quarter Rear
Mercedes Benz C Class Spy Shots Three Quarter

Mercedes Benz C Class Spy Shots Grille

Mercedes Benz C Class Spy Shots Grille

The post 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Spied with Tweaks appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

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New Renault Alpine A110 Production Car Ready for Geneva

A new version of the Renault Alpine A110 will debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. But Renault is giving us an early look now at its reborn classic, which looks nearly identical to the Alpine Vision concept we saw at last year’s Monte Carlo Rally.

The mid-engine coupe, which is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, recalls the Alpine A110 Berlinette that was built from the early 1960s to the late 1970s by the French company using Renault engines and parts.

“Its name is A110, reflecting the timeless principles of compact size, lightweight, and agility that made the success of the ‘Berlinette,” according to Alpine’s brief press release.

Alpine A110 Teaser Side 1

Alpine A110 Teaser Side 1

Alpine’s A110 sports a full aluminum platform and upper body for optimum weight savings and agility, we are also told.

The new Alpine reinterprets the hood shape and quad headlights of the original. Also recognizable to fans of the rally racer is the L-shaped line that runs along the door to the rear wheel.

Alpine has been taking $2,000 deposits for the “Premiere Edition” of 1,955 vehicles for several months now. The retro-styled car is available in blue, white, and black. Alpine claims the car can do 0-62 mph in 4.5 seconds. The Premiere Edition starts at about $62,000.

Alpine is expected to start deliveries of the A110 toward the end of the year in continental Europe, then Japan and the U.K. in 2018. Alpine says it will be available in 13 countries, but there are no plans to bring it to the U.S. at this time.

More details about the two-seater will be revealed on March 7 at the Geneva Motor Show.

Source: Renault

ALPINE
Alpine A110 Teaser
1971-Renault-Alpine-A110-1600S-Petrolicious-front-view
alpine-vision-concept-8-2

The post New Renault Alpine A110 Production Car Ready for Geneva appeared first on Motor Trend.

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Compact High Rider: 2018 Toyota C-HR

Previewing Toyota’s latest model.

2018 Toyota C-HR.

2018 Toyota C-HR.

As of this writing, I’m in Austin, Texas, putting on the finishing touches to your review of the 2018 Toyota C-HR. This all-new model rolls into US showrooms in April and will slot just below the RAV4 in Toyota’s SUV product line.

But I can’t tell you everything I know about this vehicle, at least not until March 8, 2017. That’s the date when embargoed information about the C-HR’s driving impressions, pricing, and fuel economy is lifted. So, please check back here then for the complete scoop.

2018 Toyota C-HR.

2018 Toyota C-HR

What I can tell you is that the Toyota C-HR is something completely different from what we’ve seen for this brand. Originally conceived as a Scion product, the automaker transitioned this vehicle to the Toyota brand once it decided to cancel Scion. I can also tell you is that the same pricing philosophy espoused by Scion is on display here and builds on other Scion-to-Toyota models, including the Yaris iA, Corolla iM, and the Toyota 86.

Toyota says that “C-HR” stands for Coupe High-Rider. What you have is a coupe-like design married to a high profile. This means you sit up high while driving. Naturally, you don’t enjoy the same driving characteristics of a low-slung coupe. At the same time, there is an advantage that I’ll make known when my full review is published.

The C-HR is built on an all-new global platform. It is actually a “C segment” model like the RAV4, but it is slightly smaller. It takes aim at the B segment or subcompact SUVs, including the Nissan Juke, Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade, Chevrolet Trax, Mazda CX-3, Fiat 500X, and others. Add the Kia Soul to this mix.

2018 Toyota C-HR

Front-Wheel Drive Only

Unlike its competitors, the Toyota C-HR is front-wheel drive only. This may put the vehicle at a disadvantage, especially for people who want the added security of all-wheel drive. My thinking, however, is that this SUV will appeal to a group of consumers who are looking for something else, namely fun-to-drive characteristics, something the C-HR has.

All models are powered by an new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 144 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. This engine is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission. No six-speed manual gearbox is available. At least not in North America. Europe will see the manual and drivers there will enjoy throttle blips for rev-matched downshifting. In my opinion, this feature will eventually arrive in US-spec models. It just has to!

There are a few other things I can tell you about the CH-R.

First, it seats five. The front bucket seats are generously bolstered, offering very good support to your hips and back.

Second, the rear 60-40 seat holds three, but two is ideal. Even then, cabin room is skewed toward the front occupants, therefore this vehicle is ideal for two. That said, if you must sit in the back, headroom is not an issue — I’m nearly 6-feet tall and there was room to spare.

2018 Toyota CH-R

Third, the rear storage space is fairly sizable. Fold down the rear seat and two people have enough room to carry a week’s worth of luggage with them.

Fourth, if you like color schemes the C-HR won’t disappoint you. In addition to such standard colors as black, white, red, and blue, there are three two-tone colors available — this means that the roofs are white and the body is another color, such as green or blue. It looks great and reminds me of a similar paint scheme found on the FJ Cruiser.

Fifth, there is a distinct diamond theme running through the C-HR. Look closely and you can see it on the exterior. Inside, the diamonds are on the door panels, the headliner, and in other places you might not expect it. We found it a cool way to showcase this vehicle.

2018 Toyota C-HR.

Stay Tuned!

So, to wrap up for now I’ve included a bunch of photos to whet your appetite. Come the second Wednesday of March, I’ll fill in the details about this sporty, new model.


2018 Toyota C-HR.
2018 Toyota C-HR.
2018 Toyota C-HR.
2018 Toyota C-HR.
2018 Toyota C-HR.
2018 Toyota C-HR.
2018 Toyota C-HR.
2018 Toyota C-HR.
2018 Toyota C-HR.
2018 Toyota C-HR.
2018 Toyota C-HR.
2018 Toyota C-HR.
2018 Toyota C-HR.
2018 Toyota C-HR.
2018 Toyota C-HR.
2018 Toyota C-HR.
2018 Toyota C-HR.
2018 Toyota C-HR.
2018 Toyota C-HR.
2018 Toyota C-HR.
2018 Toyota C-HR.
2018 Toyota C-HR.
2018 Toyota C-HR.

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