Despite a decline in July sales compared to the previous year, BMW slowly closes the gap against its main competitor, Mercedes-Benz. After the July 2012 sales reports, Mercedes leads in the U.S. luxury market with 104 units over BMW. Through June, Mercedes led BMW by more than 2,000 units for the year.
BMW’s U.S. sales fell 0.5 percent last month from a year earlier to 21,297, while Mercedes sold 19,311 units, a 1.6 percent gain. Lexus continues its ascending sales trend and reported 18,235 units sold, or 25 percent increase over last year.
Year-to-date sales for BMW accounts for 147,801 units, a 9.4 percent gain.
BMW’s U.S. sales fell 0.5 percent last month from a year earlier to 21,297, while Mercedes sold 19,311 units, a 1.6 percent gain. Lexus continues its ascending sales trend and reported 18,235 units sold, or 25 percent increase over last year. Mercedes U.S. sales through the first seven months of the year rose 14 percent to 147,905.
BMW bets on the sales of the 3 Series xDrive to put the Munich-based automaker ahead of Mercedes by the year-end.
For close to three decades now, Kelleners Sport has been modifying BMW cars with a range of tuning products. Now it’s time for the German brand to introduce its take on the all-new 3-Series (F30) sedan with a raft of upgrades that improve the car’s performance and give it a more unique look.
Kelleners Sport offers performance kits for all diesel and petrol engines available for the European specification 3-Series.
As an example, the tuner tells us that the diesel-powered 320d is boosted from 181hp (184PS) and 380Nm (280 lb-ft) to 215hp (218PS) and 435 Nm (321 lb-ft), while the 2.0-liter turbocharged petrol engine of the 328i rises from 241hp (245PS) and 350Nm (258 lb-ft) to 290hp (294PS) and 420 Nm (310 lb-ft) respectively.
“The result is a significant improvement in power delivery and a higher top speed for both cars,” says Kelleners Sport.
Among the additional hardware upgrades are a sports exhaust system with new tailpipes, and a sports spring set that lowers the car’s ride height by 30mm (1.2 inches) or a tauter coilover suspension that drops the height by 60mm (2.4 inches and promises to improve handling.
Today, automakers are putting higher-than-ever levels of performance and functionality into more-affordable-than-ever packages. These “fun” rides come in all different sizes, shapes and price points, too.
There’s no “best,” but for the sake of discussion here’s a cross-section of some of this writer’s favourite “fun” rides to get the decision-making juices flowing if you’re checking out the market for four-wheeled entertainment.
MINI Cooper S: It won’t do John Force style burnouts down half a drag strip, but the MINI Cooper S puts efficient turbocharged thrust, cheeky looks and go-kart handling abilities into the hands of the masses. This is one of the affordable market’s most purely entertaining driving experiences and one of my favourite fun cars.
|Photo: Sébastien D’Amour|
Ford Mustang GT: Ford’s new 5.0L V8 kicks serious ass — mainly because it performs suspiciously well compared to its rated output, sounds nearly exotic and pulls to 7,000 rpm with a smile on its face. The new 5.0L may be one of the most compelling reasons to get into the Mustang GT, which will embarrass many a pricier car in a light-to-light race. Instant recognition and sharper-than-ever handling round out the package of this favourite fun car. Read more…
A couple of days ago, Lexus released a teaser on YouTube titled ‘Prepare to Unleash the LFA.’ At the time ,many speculated that Toyota’s luxury brand was teasing a new special-edition of the LFA, but that is not the case.
What’s really going on here is similar to Audi’s #WantAnR8 campaign, where one lucky winner who tweeted with the hashtag won the change to drive an R8 around for a day.
Lexus is now giving one lucky fan to grab the 552-hp LFA for a day and take it to Skip Barber Racing School for hardcore driving instructions with a high speed run at the Laguna Seca track. The company is also throwing in a lodging and airfare for you and a friend along with a $ 300 shopping spree.
Check out more details on Lexus’ Facebook page.
Personal hovercraft have never been as popular as ATVs or powerboats, but Michael Mercier is on a mission to change that.
By day, he designs paper shredders. But with a lot of hard work, some engineering and project management expertise, and – here’s the big one – $ 50,000 in startup capital, his Mercier-Jones hovercraft aims to take over the second garage bay of homes across America.
If Mercier reaches his funding goal, he promises that the Mercier-Jones hovercraft will be like nothing else ever built before. With an exterior inspired by exotic cars, the design also has a unique gas-electric hybrid drivetrain that allows for continuous airflow while still providing enough energy for short bursts of power necessary in high-speed maneuvering. The setup is lightweight and promises to be quieter than existing hovercraft.
“The problem with hovercraft available in that market currently, is that the design language doesn’t excite and engage prospective customers the way that it could,” Mercier said. “The Mercier-Jones hovercraft is here to change that trend.”
Mercier has been a hovercraft enthusiast ever since he first saw one on the back of Boys’ Life magazine. He built and tested small hovercrafts for a high school science project, and always kept them in the back of his mind during college while he worked on VTOL and UAV projects. He tinkered around with homebuilt hovercraft, trying to perfect a lift system that he’d drawn up.
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In places like the Southern France where super cars are found in abundance, a standard Ferrari 430 does not really stand out. To make it stand out, the owner of this particular 430 came up with an interesting idea. He had his car fully wrapped in genuine leather! Obviously it’s not a job normal tuners like Hamann or Mansory can do. So it’s done by those Russian nutters at Dartz. The word is this car belongs to rapper The Game, the former G-Unit member.
Check it out in the video after the jump.
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Ferrari, Overkill — By Lawrence on August 6, 2012 at 10:01 am — No Comments
Sometimes we see things that just leave us speachless. This Peugeot 406 Coupe is one of those things. It’s apparently “100% accurate outside” and “an absolutely stunning example of the real car”. Those words aren’t the ones we’d use to describe it, which is why we’ve added it to our overkill category.
Underneath, the Peugeot 406 Coupe chassis and, at most, the 2.9 liter V6 petrol engine probably don’t produce the same sound as the Ferrari’s V8 unit. There’s also the slight issue with the engine being at the front of the car too.
Outside is a similar story. The car has a carbon fiber wrap that “shows a few creases, but nothing majorly noticeable”. Aside from the standard 406 front windscreen, the car features lexan polycarbonate windows all round. 18 inch chrome alloys have been added and we’re told the car has been lowered.
You can see the interior on the photos. It’s located in Wigan, United Kingdom and for £7,500, it really isn’t worth it.
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