Mustang-based Rocket super muscle car added to VLF lineup

Remember the Galpin Rocket? The 725-horsepower beast based on the sixth-generation Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] Mustang, co-designed by Galpin Auto Sports and Henrik Fisker.

Unveiled at the 2014 Los Angeles auto show, the car turned out to be quite a hit and was even selected for the opening scene of the first episode of Amazon’s “The Grand Tour.”

The Rocket is still available, though it’s now being manufactured by VLF and part of the VLF lineup. In recognition of this transition, the car has been renamed the VLF Rocket V8.

VLF is the Auburn Hills, Michigan-based car company started by Bob Lutz and Gilbert Villarreal initially with a V-8 conversion for the Fisker Karma—it’s since added the Force 1 V10 and X-Series. Henrik Fisker joined VLF in 2016, which explains the company’s link with the Rocket.

Galpin chief Beau Boeckmann (left) and Henrik Fisker

Galpin chief Beau Boeckmann (left) and Henrik Fisker

Enlarge Photo

Galpin is still involved as the company is the exclusive dealer of the car in California. In the near future, VLF will be appointing dealers in other states and eventually in other countries. It’s the expected demand for the car outside the United States that influenced Galpin’s decision to get VLF to take over the project, explains Galpin boss Beau Boeckmann.

“With Henrik Fisker as a partner at VLF, the company became a natural fit, as they could achieve fast volumes of limited production,” he said.

Intended as the “ultimate American muscle car,” the Rocket V8 gets its 725-hp strength from a supercharged upgrade to the Mustang GT’s 5.0-liter V-8, as well as a huge range of bodywork upgrades. Some of those design details are borrowed from the 1960s and 1970s pony cars, with particular attention paid to the styling of the 1968 Shelby GT500. The materials, on the other hand, are fully modern, including carbon fiber bodywork.

VLF will offer the Rocket V8 initially as a coupe but a convertible is also planned, as previewed in concept form at the 2015 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The company is yet to confirm how much it will charge but says to expect a starting price of approximately $120,000.

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Nissan Vmotion 2.0 Concept

Nissan Vmotion 2.0 Concept At the Detroit Show Nissan has presented a study that explore the direction for a future autonomous premium sedan, featuring an exterior with bold, angular surfaces and a futuristic, essential design. http://ift.tt/xmDu5K

44th NauticSud to run from 18th to 26th February 2017 in Naples

Superyacht Captains, owners and senior crew that are in the Naples area between the 18th and 26th February this year, should not miss the 44th edition of NauticSud International Trade Show, which will be doubling its space and will offer even more companies and products on display. A great place to search for that perfect tender for your mega yacht or check out the latest in luxury amenities and accessories … and not only!

parte_nauticsud2017

Gennaro Amato, President of the Nautical Association of the Region of Campania announced that over 300 vessels will be on show: “We are looking at spectacular numbers right now, with over 30,000 square meters of exhibitor space where over 150 companies will be present. These numbers confirm Naples as a premier international port on the global stage.”

Amongst the most renowned international brands is the successful luxury yacht builder Azimut, in addition to the nautical associations of Sicily and Puglia and many other important marine groups and institution.

Concept and Design Competition announced:

“An important part of our strategic focus has also included research and development in the marine sector” continued President Amato. “And thanks to the leadership and efforts of Vincenzo Nappo, a board member of UCINA, and his technical team at MV Marine, we are proud to announce the Concept and Design competition with a cash prize for two exceptional students. The jury will be made up of experts from the sector including university professors and award winning journalists from the sector. Our objective is to offer an incentive to young people to innovative and grow in the marine industry.”

foto amato chiodo marrazzo

The committee welcomes original concept designs for a sailing or motor yacht under 30 meters. This competition is reserved exclusively for students with no paid professional experience in the industry. Participation is free and submissions can be made by an individual or a team. Deadline for submissions is February 13, 2017. For more information on how to participate please visit the ANRC website.

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Mercedes overtakes BMW in sales race in US and abroad

The past 12 months have been very good for Mercedes-Benz. The automaker recorded worldwide sales of 2,083,888 million cars in 2016, the first time it’s cracked the 2.0 million mark and the first time since 2005 that it’s outsold arch rival BMW. The figure represents a substantial 11.3 percent increase on sales in 2015.

It was records all around with BMW’s sales in 2016 coming in at 2,003,359 cars, up 5.2 percent on 2015’s results. In third place was Audi whose sales of 1,871,350 cars were up 3.8 percent on its 2015 results, even with the diesel scandal.

Mercedes was also the leader in the luxury car market in the United States in 2016, even though its sales here took a dip. The automaker’s sales totaled 340,237 cars, a decline of 0.8 percent. Lexus was a close second with 331,228 sales, down 3.9 percent on the previous year.  BMW was in third spot with 313,174 sales, down a substantial 5.2 percent on the previous year.

The strong performance of Mercedes worldwide is a reflection of its efforts to expand the lineup and focus on improving the level of comfort, design and technology in its cars. Mercedes has also shaken up its Chinese operations since being fined by regulators in 2015 for price fixing. As was the case for many luxury automakers, China was Mercedes’ single biggest market with sales in 2016 coming in at 472,844 cars, up 26.6 percent on 2015.

For Mercedes, it also didn’t hurt that the automaker has won the last three Formula One World Championships and via its in-house tuner Mercedes-AMG is now building some of the best performance cars on the planet. AMG’s sales in 2016 totaled 99,235 cars, an insane 44.1 percent gain on the previous year’s record results.

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Official photos and info on the huge 98m mega yacht AVIVA released by Abeking & Rasmussen

The official news regarding the launch of the massive 98-metre mega yacht AVIVA have been released by the yacht’s builder, Abeking & Rasmussen this morning. AVIVA has hit the water in the second week of January and represents the largest ever superyacht constructed by the German shipyard.

A&R 98m luxury yacht AVIVA

A&R 98m luxury yacht AVIVA

She was launched by means of a sophisticated launching system where a large pontoon from Norway had been shipped in and moored in front of the new construction shed. A dedicated hydraulic platform trailer with 60 wheels combined with a winch transported the impressive 98 metres of the vessel slowly but steadily onto the pontoon. The entire operation was planned well ahead, taking several weeks to organise.

Abeking und Rasmussen yacht AVIVA during launch

Abeking und Rasmussen yacht AVIVA during launch

As mentioned in the previous articles, Reymond Langton Design were the masterminds behind her design, collaborating with Toby Silverton on AVIVA’s exterior, they have come up with an elegant, sleek yacht with characteristic lines.

A&R 98m AVIVA

A&R 98m AVIVA

A&R 98m superyacht AVIVA

A&R 98m superyacht AVIVA

One of the most impressive features of her modern yet mystical interior is the full-size padel tennis court measuring 20m x 10m x 6m.

A&R 98m superyacht AVIVA

A&R 98m superyacht AVIVA

As a result of extensive new research and testing her sturdy and curvaceous hull provides for superior seakeeping abilities combined with a 20% decrease in drag. Less engine output is required, fuel consumption is significantly lower and she can reach a maximum speed of 20 knots. The hybrid drive system enables AVIVA to run at up to 11 knots without the use of the main engines, using electric motors only. This means her cruising is smooth, silent and environmentally beneficial, providing great comfort to her owner and guests aboard.

Abeking und Rasmussen yacht AVIVA

Abeking und Rasmussen yacht AVIVA

The 98-metre was launched in a record time of 33 months from the signing of the contract, which is very unusual for the size of this project. Thanks to this experience and additional detailed planning, A&R will be able to deliver future superyachts in even less time. Following her sea trials, which are due to start shortly, AVIVA is scheduled for delivery in spring 2017.

A&R 98m Yacht AVIVA

A&R 98m Yacht AVIVA

Abeking und Rasmussen AVIVA

Abeking und Rasmussen AVIVA

Abeking und Rasmussen superyacht AVIVA

Abeking und Rasmussen superyacht AVIVA

98m mega yacht AVIVA

98m mega yacht AVIVA

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Analysis: Ferrari parent company FCA embroiled in US emissions challenge

Today’s news that the US Environmental Protection Agency has decided to go after FIAT Chrysler Automobile for violating emissions laws will cause some concerns in the corridors at Ferrari.

Although Ferrari is not directly affected – the case revolves around the Jeep and RAM brands in the USA – nevertheless the size of the multi billion dollar fines paid out by VW recently to settle its case and the impact that has had on the VW and Audi motorsport programmes, will be front of mind.

The EPA has issued FCA with a ‘notice of violation’, relating to the sale of 104,000 recent diesel model Jeep and RAM vehicles that it said violated legal limits on toxic substances, the accusation being that there is software designed to trick the EPA’s emissions tests.

“Once again a major automaker made the business decision to skirt the rules and got caught,” said California Air Resource chair Mary Nichols.

XPB.cc Sergio Marchionne

FCA boss Sergio Marchionne, who is also chairman of Ferrari, has come out with a robust defence, saying “We have done nothing illegal” and calling the EPA’s move “grandstanding” shortly before the inauguration of the new US President Donald Trump.

Trump had earlier in the week Tweeted his thanks to Marchionne and FCA for announcing a new plant in the US, creating thousands of jobs. Whether the announcement was a pre-emptive move, knowing that the EPA was on the warpath, is not known at this time.

VW has had a torrid time since the EPA went after them, with executives being charged with criminal offences and an admission of guilt and $4.3 billion coming only yesterday.

The VW example shows that what happens in the automotive sector can have a devastating effect on the company’s ability to compete in the motorsport space. Having paid already close to $20 billion, VW has cancelled the Audi WEC programme and all its rally activities in WRC.

Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari is in a slightly different position in that it’s F1 team is very well funded from outside. It earns around $170 million a year from F1 Management, $100m of which is an annual bonus payment for being the ‘Longest Standing Team’. That deal is locked in until the end of 2020 under the bilateral agreement with F1 Management struck by former Chairman Luca di Montezemolo and Bernie Ecclestone.

On top of that it has big money sponsorship deals with Philip Morris, Shell, Santander and others which mean that the amount of money Ferrari itself contributes to the F1 programme is quite small. It also earns money from the sale of engines to Haas and Sauber and of technology and support services to Haas.

So if the US EPA does manage to prove that FCA utilised software on its diesel cars that cheated their emissions tests and FCA is liable to the fines of around $4 billion that are being talked about, the impact on Ferrari’s F1 operation will not necessarily be as painful as it was for Audi and VW Motorsport.

However, the new owners of F1 Liberty Media, will be renegotiating the deals with the F1 teams for the period after 2020 and it is hard to see the $100m bonus continuing at that level. Additionally it is not clear how much longer the Philip Morris deal with Ferrari will continue.

XPB.cc Sergio Marchionne

Another concern is the large debt on FCA, which partly motivated the flotation of Ferrari last year. FCA has net debt of $4.7 billion at the end of 2016 and Marchionne’s target is to clear that by the end of 2018 at which point he is due to step down and hand the FCA reins onto a new manager. Marchionne has told Italian media that FCA will survive even if it is hit with the kind of fines being talked about.

There has been talk in F1 circles recently of selling off electronics and automotive components business Magnetti Marelli to help reduce debt.

The EPA news from America would also appear to put paid to Marchionne’s oft stated dream of returning Alfa Romeo to Formula 1.

For Ferrari, F1 is vital as it is the company’s principal marketing effort, along with a limited GT programme in WEC and Le Mans as well as US sportscar racing. For Liberty Media, whose shareholders meet on the 17th to vote on the final part of the F1 takeover, the presence of Ferrari in the F1 field is fundamental.

It has been a year of shocks and there seems to be no sign of that ending.

What do you think of today’s news on FIAT Chrysler? Leave your comments below

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2017 Dakar Rally – Stage 10 Results

Racing returns to the 2017 Dakar Rally, with Stage 10 taking the competitors from Chilecito to San Juan. The day had two timed special stages, with 449km of terrain to cover while under the stopwatch.

One of the last days to make time on the leaders, we saw some heroic rides from farther down the time sheet, while the top riders kept it conservative.

Of course, the big news of the day was the retirement of Pablo Quintanilla, who fainted during the stage, and gave up his #2 spot in the overall standings. This was a huge blow to Husqvarna’s Dakar hopes for 2017, as Pierre-Alexandre Renet is now the team’s top rider – 6th overall after today.

Fortunes were mixed for the Honda boys as well, as Joan Barreda took another stage win, and climbed to fifth overall. Barreda is now less than hour back from overall leader Sam Sunderland, which should be a topic of conversation after Honda’s one-hour time penalty for an illegal fueling.

The day would have been a one-two for Honda, but Michael Metge missed allegedly missed a waypoint, and was handed another one-hour time penalty for it.

Metge’s ride still was important for HRC though, as the French rider helped Barreda, after the Spaniard made a navigation error – like any good water-carrier does.

Stage 10 was billed as the most difficult stage of this year’s rally, and for Yamaha’s Adrien van Beveren it certainly was. Making mistakes on the course, Van Beveren finished 17th on the stage, which dropped him to 4th overall. He will need to make up over three minutes to get back into podium position.

For KTM, it was solid day of time management for Sam Sunderland, who finished in 12th, over 17 minutes behind Barreda. But, because his nearest rivals didn’t fare the day as well, Sunderland actually extended his overall lead by almost 10 minutes.

Sunderland now commands a 30-minute lead over teammate Matthias Walkner, and a 38-minute lead over fellow KTM rider Gerard Farres. For as much contention as there has been for the 2017 Dakar Rally leaderboard, it is looking very possible that we could see KTM sweep the podium when we get to Buenos Aires.

Tomorrow sees the Dakar Rally heading closer to the finish line, with 288km planned for the penultimate timed special. Riders will have to contend with their last set of sand dunes, which will come early in the stage, before hitting more “rally” styled roads.

This will likely be the last chance to see movement in the leaderboard, though never say never.

Top 15 from Stage 10 – Chilecito to San Juan:

Pos. Rider Nation Team Bike Time
1 BARREDA Joan SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 5:49’45
2 SVITKO Stefan SLO Slovnaft Team KTM +0’24
3 CAIMI Franco ARG Honda South America Rally Team Honda +3’48
4 RENET Pierre-Alexandre FRA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +4’21
5 RODRIGUES Helder POR Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +5’46
6 CERVANTES Iván SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +7’15
7 METGE Adrien FRA Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +8’18
8 GONCALVES Paulo POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +8’43
9 KLYMCIW Ondrej CZE Klymciw Racing Husqvarna +9’22
10 WALKNER Matthias AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +12’53
11 SALVATIERRA Juan Carlos BOL Duust Rally Team KTM +14’57
12 SUNDERLAND Sam GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +17’06
13 FARRES Gerard SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +21’25
14 SANZ Laia SPA KTM Factory Racing Team KTM +21’39
15 GYENES Emanuel ROU Autonet Motorcycle Team KTM +23’32

Provisional Top 15 Overall Standings for the 2017 Dakar Rally:

Pos. Rider Nation Team Bike Time
1 SUNDERLAND Sam GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 28:07’59
2 WALKNER Matthias AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +30’01
3 FARRES Gerard SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +38’43
4 VAN BEVEREN Adrien FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +41’57
5 BARREDA Joan SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +53’47
6 RENET Pierre-Alexandre FRA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +55’24
7 GONCALVES Paulo POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +1:00’11
8 DE SOULTRAIT Xavier FRA Viltais Racing Team HFP Yamaha +1:32’55
9 CAIMI Franco ARG Honda South America Rally Team Honda +1:37’57
10 SVITKO Stefan SLO Slovnaft Team KTM +1:48’45
11 RODRIGUES Helder POR Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +1:51’25
12 SALVATIERRA Juan Carlos BOL Duust Rally Team KTM +2:04’38
13 KLYMCIW Ondrej CZE Klymciw Racing Husqvarna +2:08’55
14 RODRIGUES Joaquim POR Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +2:09’09
15 CERVANTES Iván SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +2:22’04

Honda:

Husqvarna:

KTM:

Yamaha Racing:

Source: Dakar; Photos: HRC, Husqvarna, KTM, & Yamaha Racing

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2017 Dakar Rally – Stage 10: Barreda, Barreda, Barreda

Racing returns to the 2017 Dakar Rally, with Stage 10 taking the competitors from Chilecito to San Juan. The day had two timed special stages, with 449km of terrain to cover while under the stopwatch.

One of the last days to make time on the leaders, we saw some heroic rides from farther down the time sheet, while the top riders kept it conservative.

Of course, the big news of the day was the retirement of Pablo Quintanilla, who fainted during the stage, and gave up his #2 spot in the overall standings. This was a huge blow to Husqvarna’s Dakar hopes for 2017, as Pierre-Alexandre Renet is now the team’s top rider – 6th overall after today.

Fortunes were mixed for the Honda boys as well, as Joan Barreda took another stage win, and climbed to fifth overall. Barreda is now less than hour back from overall leader Sam Sunderland, which should be a topic of conversation after Honda’s one-hour time penalty for an illegal fueling.

The day would have been a one-two for Honda, but Michael Metge missed allegedly missed a waypoint, and was handed another one-hour time penalty for it.

Metge’s ride still was important for HRC though, as the French rider helped Barreda, after the Spaniard made a navigation error – like any good water-carrier does.

Stage 10 was billed as the most difficult stage of this year’s rally, and for Yamaha’s Adrien van Beveren it certainly was. Making mistakes on the course, Van Beveren finished 17th on the stage, which dropped him to 4th overall. He will need to make up over three minutes to get back into podium position.

For KTM, it was solid day of time management for Sam Sunderland, who finished in 12th, over 17 minutes behind Barreda. But, because his nearest rivals didn’t fare the day as well, Sunderland actually extended his overall lead by almost 10 minutes.

Sunderland now commands a 30-minute lead over teammate Matthias Walkner, and a 38-minute lead over fellow KTM rider Gerard Farres. For as much contention as there has been for the 2017 Dakar Rally leaderboard, it is looking very possible that we could see KTM sweep the podium when we get to Buenos Aires.

Tomorrow sees the Dakar Rally heading closer to the finish line, with 288km planned for the penultimate timed special. Riders will have to contend with their last set of sand dunes, which will come early in the stage, before hitting more “rally” styled roads.

This will likely be the last chance to see movement in the leaderboard, though never say never.

Top 15 from Stage 10 – Chilecito to San Juan:

Pos. Rider Nation Team Bike Time
1 BARREDA Joan SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 5:49’45
2 SVITKO Stefan SLO Slovnaft Team KTM +0’24
3 CAIMI Franco ARG Honda South America Rally Team Honda +3’48
4 RENET Pierre-Alexandre FRA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +4’21
5 RODRIGUES Helder POR Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +5’46
6 CERVANTES Iván SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +7’15
7 METGE Adrien FRA Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +8’18
8 GONCALVES Paulo POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +8’43
9 KLYMCIW Ondrej CZE Klymciw Racing Husqvarna +9’22
10 WALKNER Matthias AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +12’53
11 SALVATIERRA Juan Carlos BOL Duust Rally Team KTM +14’57
12 SUNDERLAND Sam GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +17’06
13 FARRES Gerard SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +21’25
14 SANZ Laia SPA KTM Factory Racing Team KTM +21’39
15 GYENES Emanuel ROU Autonet Motorcycle Team KTM +23’32

Provisional Top 15 Overall Standings for the 2017 Dakar Rally:

Pos. Rider Nation Team Bike Time
1 SUNDERLAND Sam GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 28:07’59
2 WALKNER Matthias AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +30’01
3 FARRES Gerard SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +38’43
4 VAN BEVEREN Adrien FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +41’57
5 BARREDA Joan SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +53’47
6 RENET Pierre-Alexandre FRA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +55’24
7 GONCALVES Paulo POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +1:00’11
8 DE SOULTRAIT Xavier FRA Viltais Racing Team HFP Yamaha +1:32’55
9 CAIMI Franco ARG Honda South America Rally Team Honda +1:37’57
10 SVITKO Stefan SLO Slovnaft Team KTM +1:48’45
11 RODRIGUES Helder POR Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +1:51’25
12 SALVATIERRA Juan Carlos BOL Duust Rally Team KTM +2:04’38
13 KLYMCIW Ondrej CZE Klymciw Racing Husqvarna +2:08’55
14 RODRIGUES Joaquim POR Hero Motorsports Team Rally Hero +2:09’09
15 CERVANTES Iván SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +2:22’04

Honda:

Husqvarna:

KTM:

Yamaha Racing:

Source: Dakar

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