Musk Cracks the Whip on Tesla Production, Experts Say ‘Get Real’

Tesla HQ

Everyone and their 90-year-old great aunt knows that Tesla is putting all of its might into reaching a volume target of 500,000 vehicles in 2018, but more voices are now calling CEO Elon Musk’s timeline impossible.

Musk wants high-volume production to start in less than two years, but suppliers tell Reuters that the accelerated target is a pipe dream. Will delays in parts sourcing and other nitty-gritty issues throw cold water on Tesla’s plans (and customers’ Model 3 ownership dreams)?

In the past, Musk said he wants at least 100,000 Model 3 vehicles out the door by the end of 2017, and plans to raise (and spend) $2 billion to see that it happens. There are 373,000 Model 3 reservations to satisfy, as well as boosted Model S and Model X demand.

Not so fast, say a number of people in the know.

The Reuters report cites auto production consultant Ron Harbour of Oliver Wyman, who claims the assembly machinery parts could take up to 18 months to source and install. If the full 18 months are used up just getting the not-yet-finalized Model 3’s assembly line in order, it means production wouldn’t start until November 2017.

Industry forecaster Jeff Schuster of LMC Automotive called Musk’s goal “implausible,” pointing to issues in battery procurement.

Musk plans to source batteries from his massive Nevada Gigafactory, which is currently under construction. Any delay at the Gigafactory will hamper production, regardless of whether the assembly line is ready to go.

The materials that make up lithium-ion batteries are somewhat scarce, meaning there could be a limit on the pace of battery production, says Sam Fiorani of AutoForecast Solutions.

Musk plans to pour more cash into the Gigafactory, but a battery savior might gallop to his rescue with more money. Today, Panasonic announced it would speed up its planned $1.6 billion investment in the factory if Musk asks for it.

There’s no end to the skepticism surrounding Tesla’s production target, but many Musk naysayers also give a grudging benefit of a doubt to the man who can land a rocket upright on a ship.

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Source: Thetruthaboutcars.com

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 Race Car

A sports car collector’s dream; this 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 Race Car is on of the last cars produced and the only one for sale in the United States. This specific car is Chassis #135 and raced in the Pirelli World Challenge for a partial season. This ultra-rare race car is for sale by The Garage in Doral, Florida with only 2,952 miles (4,750 km). The Asking price is $499,900.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG For Sale

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 Race Car

2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 Race Car For Sale

White Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 Race Car

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 Race Car USA

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Source: Exoticcarlist.com

BMW M4 Competition Sport Set For Limited Run In Spain

2017 BMW M4 Competition

The list of cool things native to Spain, topped by Jamón ibérico, La Liga and Ibiza, grows a little longer with the introduction of BMW’s newest addition to their M4 lineup, the M4 Competition Sport Edition. Limited to a run of just 60 units, Spain is the only market that will receive the middle-child of the M4 model range, sandwiched between the standard M4 and track-focused M4 GTS.

In essence, the BMW M4 Competition Sport appears to be a slightly less frenetic version of the BMW M4 GTS — a diet M4 GTS if you will — perfect for deep-pocketed customers who crave a little more flamboyance, just a few ticks more of performance, and occasionally require the use of their rear seats.

BMW M4 Competition Sport

A modest increase of 25-hp via tuning of the M4’s 3.0-liter S55 twin-turbo inline-six means the M4 CS now makes a total of 450-hp, with torque remaining unchanged from the standard M4 at 405lb-ft. In comparison to the M4 GTS, which with the help of water injection makes 500-hp, the increased output may seem insignificant, but note the GTS has a much narrower powerband than the CS, needing to be revved all the way up to 4,000rpm before max torque is available. The CS still produces peak torque at 1,850rpm, a figure which can be translated to read: “usable power.”

And though the extra horsepower does command some recognition, it’s the exterior touches to the M4 CS that make it worthy of a limited edition moniker. At the corners, the CS gets the same M star-spoke “666” style wheels as the M4 GTS, which are polished and forged — without the Acid Orange finish unique to the GTS. Behind the M light-alloy wheels BMW has equipped carbon-ceramic brakes, which are claimed to reduce unsprung mass by 14lbs.

BMW M4 Competition

As we slowly make our way up the M4 CS, we find a generous use of carbon fiber, employed for the front splitter, side skirts, and rear diffuser. These M Performance accessories are matched with the mirror housings and fixed rear spoiler, both finished in CFRP, the later weighing just 3.5lbs.

The M4 CS will only be available in three color combinations, using custom colors and trims from BMW’s Individual line. These include a Brilliant White exterior with a Cohiba fine-grain leather interior, San Marino Blue on San Marino Blue, and Jerez Black with BMW Individual Goldbraun seats and instrument panel.

BMW M4 Competition Sport Interior

Orders are currently being accepted for the BMW M4 Competition Sport Edition at a price of 132,900 euros (~$151,838 US). US customers who feel left out can choose to option their standard M4s with the $5,500 competition package, which comes with the same retuned 450-hp engine and the same 20” star-spoke M light-alloys as the M4 CS. The package also includes staggered tires, different seats (coupe only) and an M sports exhaust system with black chrome tailpipes accented by high-gloss Shadow Line black exterior trim bits.

You won’t be in the limited edition club, but you can opt for a manual transmission if you choose to go this route, unlike with the M4 CS which only gets the dual-clutch automatic.

BMW M4 For Sale

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Aston Martin DBS vs Ferrari California

The Aston Martin DBS and the Ferrari California are a pair of cars designed for the great art of touring – two vehicles that tease with the promise of wind in your hair, long straight roads and endless sunshine, but which is better? Both cars hark back to the golden age of tourers – the Ferrari brings memories of the 365 California of 1966, while the DBS’ ancestor proudly roamed the roads of the same era with its bullish, muscular frame. Their descendants were both released in the late 00’s, 2007 for the Aston and 2008 for the California, making you think that someone, somewhere wanted the automotive contest of their fathers to once again rage free on the highways of the world.

Aston Martin DBS

Aston Martin DBS For Sale

The DBS sits in a similar frame to the DB9, packing a 5.9L V12 under the hood, whilst the comparatively svelte California is powered by a 4.3L V8. When it comes to the all-important facts and figures of performance, the Ferrari hits 60 in 3.8 seconds, fast enough to turn all but the neatest coiffure from high style to high times, half a second faster than its British cousin, which it also edges out at top speed – 193 to 191 MPH respectively. The California has a true sense of composure however, the speeds you hit never feel as all-consuming as they do on some other cars. Depending on your personality, speed demon or weekend cruiser, this could fall either into the pro or con category for you.

To drive, they both fit neatly into the GT category, but at different ends of the spectrum. The California feels comfortable on long journeys while maintaining a balance and ease of driving. The DBS on the other hand is more wild, with its traction control earning its pay handily on any high-speed drive, with the Aston having a tendency to go from an easy drive to a thrill-ride pretty quickly. It’s fun, and never feels anything less than fast but the California is a more balanced ride.

So the California wins round one, but when you think Aston Martin, the idea of sophistication, of design, of hand-stitched leather (how could we forget?) is never far from our minds, so let’s take a look at the car’s design and aesthetics. As mentioned above, the DBS’ body is broadly similar to that of the DB9, with a few additions to give a more aggressive, racing look, such as the deep cut vents you’ll find in the hood. Inside, you’ll find the same plush luxury you’ve come to expect – immaculate leather coats the surfaces, with magnesium alloy paddle ratio-selectors sitting comfortably behind the wheel. It’s inestimably Aston, while in some other cars it could come across as pretentious, in the DBS it just feels right.

Ferrari California

Ferrari California For Sale

The California’s design has the classic Ferrari look, with swollen and muscular haunches sitting above the wheel-arches, and retro-style vents on the wings. From a cursory look at the interior, you’d feel like you were playing a game of ‘spot the difference’ with the Aston. Once again, beautifully-stitched leather abounds, but on closer inspection, the California lacks some of the class that can be found in the DBS, making up for it with increased driver comfort.

On the price front, a DBS with little mileage will set you back around $140K, with a California rolling up at around the same price, occasionally falling to around $120K.

The final verdict – the DBS puts on a very strong show, with a large, powerful engine pushing what feels like a mobile clubhouse to great speeds and providing a fun ride, but the California is able to just edge ahead on comfort and speed. It provides a more balanced package, delivering the traditional Ferrari blend of aesthetics and performance that is what led many of us to love cars in the first place.

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Source: Exoticcarlist.com

Engine swap-a-bration: Concorso Italiano highlights once-repowered Ferraris

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Ferrari serial number 0438. Photos courtesy Concorso Italiano.

For all their vaunted status and multiple millions they sell for these days, Ferraris were once used cars – yesterday’s news with an engine that in many cases proved a liability rather than another part of the mystique. So while an engine swap in any other car’s past might make for a curiosity, engine-swapped Ferraris qualify for a class all their own at this year’s Concorso Italiano.

As Randy Cook, author of two books devoted specifically to engine-swapped Ferraris – Bowtie Ferraris and Blue Oval, et al, Ferraris – noted, not every vintage Ferrari owner likes to admit that his car once relied on something as common as a Chevrolet or Ford V-8 for power. “Some people do, though some don’t want the notoriety,” he said. “Even when it’s public knowledge, some don’t want it to be publicized.”

Yet Cook has documented 99 instances in which former owners ditched the original Ferrari engine for one either more powerful, more reliable, or more easily serviced: 76 of them using Chevrolet engines, 14 using Ford engines, four using Buicks, two using Offenhausers, and one each using a Chrysler, Mercedes, and Maserati engine. Pretty much all of them occurred in the mid-Fifties through late 1960s.

Cook said he believes still more engine-swapped Ferraris remain undocumented. “My guess is that every one that went to South America had an American engine in it at one point,” he said.

Generally, Cook said, owners of street-driven Ferraris chose to repower their cars following a failure of the original engine. As for Ferraris dedicated to racing, about half got repowered following an engine failure, the rest because another engine was cheaper to maintain or because another engine proved more competitive.

“For example, they could still run the same class with a 5.0-liter Chevrolet engine that they previously ran with the original 3.0-liter Ferrari engine,” Cook said.

engineswapFerraris_0235_700

Ferrari serial number 0235.

Noteworthy examples of Ferraris that once relied on something other than Ferrari power include 0666, the first 250 Testa Rossa, which famously sold for $16 million five years ago (and which had a Ford V-8 installed in the mid-1960s); and 0235, a 212 Inter Pinin Farina cabriolet displayed at Paris and Brussels when new (and which later received a Chevrolet V-8).

Almost every engine-swapped Ferrari returned to Maranello power during the price bubble of the late 1980s and early 1990s, largely thanks to collector Dick Merritt, who stockpiled at least two dozen removed Ferrari engines during the years prior. Cook said that, to his knowledge, only one Ferrari remains with its swapped engine still underhood: serial number 1175, the 1959 250 GT Series 1 Pinin Farina coupe that he once owned and that inspired the Concorso class when Tom McDowell spotted it at last year’s event.

Perhaps due to the reluctance of current-day Ferrari owners to address the engine-swap history of their cars, Cook said he and McDowell are still searching for examples to fill the class. Among those slated to appear are the above mentioned serial number 0235 and serial number 0438, a 1954 500 Mondial once powered by a 320hp Corvette V-8.

Concorso Italiano takes place August 20 at Black Horse Golf Course in Monterey Bay, California. For more information, visit Concorso.com.


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Source: blog.ritedrive.com

Four-Links – electric Ferrari, electric cabover, GMC Twin Six, fastback Grand National

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Servicing a Ferrari can sometimes cost as much as an entirely new car. And then there’s their apparent propensity to catch fire. But out of adversity comes opportunity, and Eric Hutchinson embraced the former to create the latter when he bought a fire-damaged 1978 Ferrari 308 GTS and converted it to electric power using three AC51 HPEVS electric motors good for a combined 465 horsepower. Engine Swap Depot has the details.

fourlinks_NissanEV4

* Another unlikely place for an electric drivetrain? A cabover truck. Yet that’s just what Nissan attempted in 1973 with its EV4-P and EV4-H concept trucks, as we learned from Japanese Nostalgic Car this week.

fourlinks_TwinSix

* A more typical cabover engine choice might be the GMC Twin Six V-12 of the 1960s, one of the last attempts to wring as much power out of gasoline engine packaging for big trucks before the era of diesel took over. Mac’s Motor City Garage has more on the unusual engine.

fourlinks_AeroGN

* Speaking (slightly) of appropriateness, how was it ever appropriate that Buick named its Grand National after the stock car racing series but it was Chevrolet and Pontiac’s chassis-mates to the Grand National that got the aerodynamic aids for stock car racing? As one of our readers pointed out earlier this week, one intrepid Grand National owner embarked on a project to rectify that by adding a Monte Carlo Aerocoupe’s rear glass to his GN and making it look factory.

fourlinks_tr6vr6

* Finally, there’s probably no more inspiration to swapping a Volkswagen’s VR6 into a Triumph TR6 than the nameplay, but as we see at Stance is Everything, at least one hot rodder went ahead and built a VR6-powered TR6 anyway.


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Source: blog.ritedrive.com

Ramapo Concours d’Elegance announces 2016 classes

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A BMW 3.0 CSL and a BMW M1 on the grounds of Ramapo College. Photos courtesy Ramapo Concours d’Elegance.

The inaugural Ramapo Concours d’Elegance took place on the campus of Ramapo College in Mahwah, New Jersey, last June 6. As with the Cars and Coffee events that inspired it, the show was a success, raising money to support both Ramapo College and the Hackensack University Medical Center. With the debut event now in the rearview mirror, the Ramapo Concours has announced its classes for 2016.

2015 Ramapo Concours d'Elegance

The Micro Car Class carries over from 2015.

Unlike more traditional concours events, which repeat popular classes and designate a few special or tribute categories each year, the Ramapo Concours features (nearly) all new classes for its sophomore year. Since BMW’s U.S. headquarters is in nearby Woodcliff Lake, and since BMW is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2016, the Bavarian brand is featured heavily in this year’s festivities, with classes for Rare BMW Models; Early BMW Motorcycles; BMW 2002 – A Brand Icon; and BMW M Cars – New and Vintage. The show’s next class, Micro Cars, will likely be populated with more than a few BMW Isettas, the bubble car (built under license from Italy’s Iso) that kept BMW in the black in the mid to late 1950s. The Micro Car class is the only carry-over from 2015.

2015 Ramapo Concours d'Elegance

2015’s Shelby-Powered Class will be replaced by 2016’s 60s American Muscle.

Rounding out the 2016 event will be 60s American Muscle; Retired Race Cars (open to all years and models); Rally Cars; Lamborghini (all years and models); and Ferrari (all years and models). Each class will be judged for first, second and third place, and additional awards will include the Student Judges Award, the Presenting Sponsor Award, the President’s Award, and, of course, Best in Show.

The 2016 Ramapo Concours d’Elegance will take place on Saturday, June 11, followed by a scenic driving tour of the area on Sunday, June 12, ending at the Thayer Hotel on the grounds of the West Point Military Academy. The tour is open to all, though tickets (which include a catered lunch) must be purchased in advance.

For more details on the 2016 Ramapo Concours d’Elegance, visit RamapoConcours.com.


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Source: blog.ritedrive.com

"Gran Turismo Sport" trailer shows off awe-inspiring realism

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The march toward Polyphony’s latest installment in its hugely-successful Gran Turismo series has just gotten more exciting.

The game is called Gran Turismo Sport and it’s currently available for pre-order. If you’re a PlayStation owner, you’ll definitely want to do just that judging by the amazing realism and some exotic new locales showed off in this new trailer.

The trailer give us a more thorough taste than before, when the series announced its exciting partnership with the FIA for an online racing league. The trailer also shows off an Alfa Romeo 4C racer, so watch closely. 

Pre-order the game and you’ll get a special car in-game depending on where you’ve bought it.

Special cars for those that pre-order

The freebie cars announced so far have included a Ford Motor Company [NYSE:F] Mustang Group B Rally car, a Toyota FT-1 Vision GT Group 3 racign car, and a Peugeot 908 HDi FAP LMP1.

One standout versus the regular Gran Turismo games is that all 140 cars available to drive in the game will feature interior cameras with detailed imagery just like a real-life driver would see. 

Additionally, given how technology has advanced, it shouldn’t come as much surprise that Gran Turismo Sport includes compatibility with VR headsets and a mode for 4K screens. The Photo Mode also now lets users place their cars in front of more than 1,000 scenes across the world.

The game is due for release on November 15.

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Source: Motor Authority

Why the 2016 Lamborghini Huracan A Better Sport

There is good news for the next calendar year: The next-gen Lamborghini Huracan will offer that RWD experience. A departure from the first Huracan, which offered AWD, the 2016 Lamborghini Huracan LP 580-2 will mark a return to the rear. Why does it matter? As with any new model, even the most pragmatic of test cycles cannot predict everything and every machine can be improved.
[embedded content]The clip above is the official introduction of the Lamborghini Huracan.

The Lamborghini Huracan 610-4 stepped in to fill the rather large shoes of the outgoing Gallardo—the social and non-threatening offering. That is not to say that the Gallardo is not a beast, it simply means it lies somewhere beneath the more extreme brand offerings. The Huracan was developed to serve in that capacity, beneath the more aggressive and powerful Lamborghini Aventador and Veneno machines. Let us take a look at how the next-gen Huracan will measure up:

The 2016 Lamborghini Huracan LP 580-2 at a glance:

  • While the AWD LP 610 car is certainly nothing worthy of a scoff, some drivers found it irritating on the track. The return to a RWD corrects the issues of using an AWD on the track, giving more of the decision-making power back to the driver and away from the computer. Track braking was also a problem area.
  • The RWD LP 580-2 delivers the solution to these woes via the capacity to nail the proper performance figures in admirable times while providing that distinctive and historic Lamborghini driving experience.
  • She hits the 0-60 mile per hour jump a shaving slower than her predecessor, and packs the same healthy 5.2-liter V10 tweaked to grip the back.
  • Further adaptations include the ever-so-slight grill changes. She is also 73 pounds lighter on her wheels thanks to the reduction in equipment feeding the front.

2016 Lamborghini HuracanThe first-gen Lamborghini Huracan in her regular attire.

2016 Lamborghini HuracanThe first-gen Lamborghini Huracan dressed for success. 

Overall, not only is the 2016 Lamborghini Huracan LP 580-2 a return to RWD, she is around $30k less than the AWD, making it a win-win.

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Source: Imaginelifestyles.com

What if your next Uber driver picked you up in a Bugatti?

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Requesting an Uber driver is kind of like playing automotive roulette: You never know what you’re going to get.

Odds are good that a Toyota Camry or a Nissan Altima might pop up, but some lucky passengers in Dubai wound up with something much more impressive.

ALSO SEE: M4 driver with death wish drifts through Moscow streets

Instead of an expected Toyota, passengers were picked up by entertainer Coby Persin in a Bugatti Veyron. Like most Veyrons, it wasn’t exactly a subtle one as you’ll see in the video.

Even in Dubai, where supercars are commonplace, a Bugatti as an Uber is certainly out of the ordinary. Persin took over a friend’s account and set off along the sidelines of Sheikh Zayed Road in the rapidly-expanding industrial sector of Dubai not far from the dealership where he picked up the car.

His passengers definitely enjoyed the surprise, with one asking him how fast the car can accelerate. When Persin obliges, the look on her face is pretty much priceless, though that is to be expected in a Bugatti.

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Source: Motor Authority

Mahindra KUV100: An SUV for the Future Types

Mahindra brand of India has been busy creating concepts for their own burgeoning market, including the KUV100 SUV, their entry into the hatchback crossover arena. The company has been slinging images of the newbie around Mumbai and intends to take on competitors like the Ford Figo, Hyundai Grand i10 and Maruti Suzuki WagonR.

Mahindra KUV100Images courtesy of MahindraKUV.com gallery

The Mahindra KUV100 SUV will be offered in both diesel and standard petrol, with no mention of an electric or hybrid offering just yet. The brand launched the TUV300 earlier in the year, which looks very much like an Indian version of the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Because the swanky new KUV100 is still a concept, it simply looks cooler than its predecessor, but it may appear quite similar in production form—a perhaps smaller version of it. That said, it is important for potential buyers to be realistic about what a concept vehicle is actually going to look like when it hits the market. Automakers spend countless hours and dollars drumming up love for their new offerings– but by the time the actual product emerges, too many hands have had their way and it is often a disappointment in comparison to its promise.

The Mahindra KUV100 is pronounced “One double Oh” and will be rolling out over the next few months as the major auto shows begin to occur. The SUV concept was developed in the company’s own facility in Chennai adhering to global standards and regulations, including those pesky emissions. According to director Pawan Goenka of Mahindra (which is actually named Mahindra & Mahindra, like an egotistical law firm): “We are all set to create a new segment with the launch of the KUV100 which also marks our foray into ground up petrol engines. An ambitious project from the very start, the KUV100, is all set to carve its niche amongst first time car buyers with its unique propositions.”

Mahindra KUV100So…is this what American automakers will be driving while they are living in India making the most of the economic auto boom?

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Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato, 2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn, 2018 Jeep Wrangler: Car News Headlines

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Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato concept, 2016 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este

Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato concept, 2016 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este

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Aston Martin teamed up with Italian design house Zagato to develop a new custom creation based on its Vanquish supercar. The result is the stunning Vanquish Zagato which will be on display this weekend at the 2016 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.

We’ve just driven Rolls-Royce’s Dawn convertible. It’s soon to be the only convertible in Rolls-Royce’s lineup but fortunately it’s the type of car that’s extremely hard to fault.

A new generation of the Jeep Wrangler bows next year and judging from spy shots posted today it will look a lot like the current JK model. The spy shots show the four-door Wrangler Unlimited but there are also the 2-door Wrangler and a new pickup in the works.

You’ll find all of these stories and more in today’s car news, right here at Motor Authority.

Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato concept debuts at Villa d’Este

2016 Rolls-Royce Dawn first drive review

2018 Jeep Wrangler Ultimate spy shots

GM to compensate 2016 Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia buyers for misstated MPG

Uber’s autonomous Ford Fusion to hit the roads in Pittsburgh

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS diesel on hold, facing further EPA scrutiny

First look at TVR sports car’s iStream Carbon chassis

2016 Chevrolet Malibu video review

Mazzanti’s latest teaser for EV-R supercar previews aero tech

2016 Mini Cooper Clubman gas mileage review

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Source: Motor Authority