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Ferrari shows California with unique upholstery at Goodwood

Posted by Michael Thomas at

Order up a new Ferrari and you can get it just about any way you want it. That's what the company's Tailor Made program is all about. And it's showcasing some of the possibilities at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend with the unique cabrio you see here.

This one-of-a-kind Ferrari California T has been done up in a special blue and white livery. Its three-layer Bianco Italia paintjob is overlaid with a pair of offset blue stripes, complimented by a set of 20-inch alloys in blue and silver. The interior is similarly done up in blue and white, but it's the material with which that's done that's the most interesting bit


Maranello has upholstered and trimmed the interior of this particular California with a new high-tech material called Mycro Prestige. It's less than a millimeter thick and weighs only a third of what the leather would, but it's flameproof and water resistant while being porous and breathable. Sort of like Alcantara, but more advanced. more...

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Opinion: will Alfa’s masterplan succeed?

Posted by Allen Willey at

So we've been shown the firework-hot version of the new Alfa Giulia. Its convincing looks are backed up by an equally convincing spec that begins with a horsepower number on the exciting side of 500. A good start to a revival.

And when we put it on the internet last night, you topgear.commers went mad. This place lit up with hits and comments. Another good sign.

But are enough people around the world actually ready to open their bank accounts and buy an Alfa? I'm not just talking about this rather rare-groove and expensive Giulia Quadrifoglio, but a whole range of Giulias and other cars and crossovers. They're supposed to take substantial chunks of business from the big-sellers from BMW, Audi et al. Can they?

Alfa's plan doesn't lack ambition. It means at least six cars by 2018, all (except the Alfa 4C) based on the Giulia's new platform.

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450bhp 3-Eleven is the fastest Lotus ever

Posted by Allen Willey at

Enjoy simple, punchy soundbytes? Try this. You're looking at the fastest, most powerful, quickest-lapping Lotus ever to hit the road.

The 3-Eleven is, if you will, a successor to the 2-Eleven. Remember that 2007 machine? A stripped-out, ultralight, barely-legal bathtub on wheels that nibbled at the very extremities of what any normal person would define as a 'car'.

But for this all-new incarnation, it's powered by something altogether more serious than the 2-Eleven's supercharged 1.8.

For 3-Eleven duty, the Lotus-Toyota supercharged V6 is hopped up to 450bhp. In a car weighing just over 900kg. That means a Veyron-troubling power-to ratio.

The result is 0-60mph in 'under 3.0 seconds'. That is properly violent acceleration. And Lotus is quietly saying no car under £100,000 will lap the Nurburgring quicker, hinting that the 3-Eleven could get very close to a seven-minute lap of the Green Hell. That's closing in on Porsche 918 Spyder pace.

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June's used-car sales picture

Posted by Allen Willey at

  After quite a strong May for used-vehicle sales (at least among franchised dealers), how is June shaping up? That’s the question a couple industry observers are looking at as the month winds down. Edmunds.com is estimating June used-car sales (across all channels: franchised and independent dealers, plus private-party figures) will reach 2.98 million. This would result in a used SAAR of 37.2 million; last month, Edmunds pinpointed used sales at 3.07 million with a SAAR of 37.4 million. ... More ...

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Luxury diesel models good sell for cost-conscious shoppers

Posted by Michael Thomas at

BINGHAM FARMS, Mich. - 

Though diesel vehicles might not be the easiest sell these days, the latest results from Vincentric’s first Canadian Diesel Analysis might give dealers some talking points when trying to convince shoppers of the benefits of these units.

According to the results of the analysis released today, the company found that 12 out of 34 diesel vehicles, or 35 percent, had lower total cost-of-ownership than their closest gasoline counterparts. more ...

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