Expect Used-Car Prices to Skyrocket in the Southeast Post-Hurricane

Flooded cars

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Remember the 2009 Cash for Clunkers program? Some hated it. Others invested in this new form of government cheese. After eight weeks, the entire USA had spent nearly $3 billion in taxpayer money to supplement the purchase of almost 690,000 vehicles. It was a big deal, but not nearly as big as what’s happening right now in the Southeast thanks to hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

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Roughly a million vehicles have been totaled from Texas to the southern tip of Florida. When Superstorm Sandy hit the New York tri-state area in 2012, auto sales in metropolitan New York City skyrocketed 49 percent in a single month. Yet, as far as vehicle population is concerned, the aftermath of that storm represents a fraction of the damage Harvey and Irma have left from Houston to Miami. Industry trade paper Automotive News reported estimates that retail sales in Houston were up 40 to 50 percent over year-ago levels in the immediate aftermath of the storm, even as inventories were depleted by flood damage.

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When extreme disasters strike, local car dealers at ground zero will fan out into surrounding wholesale dealer auctions to buy whatever they can to fulfill the surge in demand. Within a week of Harvey’s landfall, there were dealers throughout southeast Texas visiting mega auctions in Atlanta, Tampa, and Tulsa. These folks were loading up cars and trucks on transport vehicles that were headed out to places including Houston and Corpus Christi.

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Bradley Williams has been a large-scale buyer for franchise and independent dealers, and he’s seen this invasion of demand at regional auctions before. “Everyone from Texas is up in Tennessee now, and it’s going to be like this for the next two to three months now that Florida got hit, too,” Williams said. “I have to go buy cars in Ohio for a Tennessee store at this point.” The spike in demand hits every level of the used-car market, from late-model cars and trucks with fewer than 50,000 miles on their odometers to runaround beaters that have been to the moon and back.

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Auto auction

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A spokesman for the Insurance Council of Texas told Car and Driver earlier this month that about 15 percent of Texans generally drive without insurance. Of the Texan motorists that are insured, about 75 percent have comprehensive coverage, which would cover flood damage. I would venture to estimate that a substantial number of those who did keep comprehensive insurance coverage have older vehicles that aren’t worth very much. This level of loss on the low side of the market means that cheap cars will soon be in incredibly short supply for the next several months. Even up in the Northeast.

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If there is one saving grace for the Southeast in terms of shopping for a vehicle, it is the timing of these natural disasters. Most major hurricanes take place during the late summer to early fall, a time when the used-car market is usually soft. Still, values have already been going up. “I watched an ’09 Focus with 115K [miles] do $4400 today at auction,” said Kristen Mauro, owner of Image Auto Sales in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, noting that the retail value is $4800. That suggests the wholesale price allows only a slim profit margin or that the buyer plans to sell the car at an inflated price. “I seriously don’t understand where people are going with these vehicles.”

--Scammers Take Advantage after Cars Get Flooded in Texas Hurricane-Things to Keep in Mind When You’re Hunting for a Reliable Used Car-Great Used-Car Bargains Hide among the New-Car Losers--

The double wallop that hit the Southeast is going to have an impact on used-car prices for a long time. A natural disaster can bring out the price gougers and opportunists like little else. So if you live in one of the hurricane-impacted areas and already enjoy what you drive, keep it if you can. Deals won’t be happening any time soon.

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Steve Lang has been an auto auctioneer, car dealer, and part owner of an auto auction for nearly two decades.

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Original author: Steve Lang
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Frankfurt's best and wurst

Spread out over an area roughly the size of Delaware but with better currywurst, the biennial Frankfurt Motor Show is the perfect place to take in the sights and flavors of the German auto industry while bleeding through your loafers from all the...
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The Escalade Dilemma – The Big Picture

New York–based Cadillac might portray itself as cool, edgy, and urban these days, but it can’t live without a vehicle whose DNA is deeply encoded with heartland perceptions and values. A vehicle that, like the hapless Cimarron, started life as a cynical corruption of a brand that once proclaimed itself “The Standard of the World.” Yes, we’re talking about the Escalade.

The original Escalade was a GMC Yukon Denali—itself a fancy Chevy Tahoe—with wreath-and-crest badges and some wood ’n’ leather inside. It was GM’s panicked riposte to the Lincoln Navigator, the gussied-up Ford Expedition that helped topple Cadillac from its position as America’s No. 1 luxury brand for the first time in history. Today’s Escalade more deftly riffs on current Cadillac design cues, and the interior is laden with luxury car prerequisites. But no amount of window dressing can disguise the fact that it remains a truck in a tux, obviously related to quotidian Tahoes and Yukons.

That hasn’t stopped it from outselling all of Cadillac’s car lines in the U.S., and by a considerable margin at that. Combined Escalade and Escalade ESV sales through August this year made it the brand’s No. 2 model line—only behind the much less expensive XT5 crossover. As the priciest Cadillac you can buy, the Escalade is also hugely profitable. Most of the $24,000 to $40,000 price premium the Escalade commands over a fully loaded Tahoe is pure gravy. GM’s bean counters love this thing.

There’s no polite way to say this: An SUV that’s more truck than limousine is Cadillac’s flagship vehicle, its halo model. That sound you hear is Brooklyn marketing hipsters sobbing into their Aperol spritzes.

Over the past decade, Cadillac planners have looked several times at the idea of moving the Escalade off GM’s truck architecture. But the math has proven inescapable, so the next-gen Escalade will also share hardware and key components with forthcoming Tahoe and Yukon models.

Well-placed GM insiders insist Caddy’s flagship will benefit from the fundamental improvements in performance, refinement, and quality being baked in across GM’s next-gen pickup and full-size SUV architecture. The new Escalade will get independent rear suspension and air springs that will deliver significant improvements in ride quality and overall refinement.

Ditching the current model’s heavy, cumbersome live axle will also enable GM designers to lower the floor at the rear, allowing—at last—decent legroom for third-row passengers. GM’s 420-hp, 460-lb-ft 6.2-liter V-8 will remain the workhorse engine, but Cadillac will likely also offer a supercharged V-8 similar to that used in the CTS-V, tuned to deliver more than 600 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque. Both engines will drive through the new 10-speed automatic jointly developed by GM and Ford. (It’s still odd to hear that, I know.)

The next Escalade should be the best version ever, though it remains to be seen how thoroughly Cadillac will sweat the details. The current model’s clunky and clumsy analog column shifter, something straight out of a Silverado pickup, is one obvious gargoyle that needs slaying. Escalade drivers ought to be able to shift between park, reverse, and drive with their fingertips instead of having to arm wrestle a relic from the 1960s.

Regardless, the next Escalade will be a stopgap. No matter how well dressed or how well engineered, a body-on-frame truck simply cannot deliver the performance, ride, handling, quietness, interior room, and energy efficiency customers outside North America will demand if they are seeking a legitimate alternative to a full-size Range Rover or Mercedes-Benz GLS.

In the meantime, Cadillac is racing to determine exactly what sort of vehicle can finally redefine one of America’s great luxury brands in the 21st century. This much is clear: With the market for large sedans collapsing, it will be a unibody crossover of some kind. Tougher emissions rules mean it will likely be available with a high-performance hybrid powertrain or even be fully electric drive from the get-go. To make it happen, though, Cadillac needs its truck in a tux to keep the cash registers ringing well into the 2020s.

MORE FROM ANGUS MACKENZIE:

Identity Crisis: The Trouble With Show-Off Technology The Truth About German Automakers and America Jaguar and Land Rover’s Tricky Balancing Act Why Automakers Are Still Betting on Electrification

The post The Escalade Dilemma – The Big Picture appeared first on Motor Trend.

Original author: Angus MacKenzie
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Conquering Thunderhill Raceway in the 2018 Porsche 911 GT3

WILLOWS, California — Porsche’s GT products live a strange life, at least by Stuttgart standards. Sullen stares and whispered complaints—it’s not new enough, light enough, the steering isn’t as good—are the usual welcomes for a new 911. But the GT division can—and does—get away with murder (well, justifiable homicide, anyway; remember the reaction to the PDK-only 991.1 GT3?). Each new regular GT3 or GT2 is heralded as the new “best,” outpacing, outrunning, and out-winging the now-obsolete predecessor. The 2018 Porsche 911 GT3 is the latest and greatest—and ostensibly one of the most hotly anticipated Porsches in recent memory. We drove the new GT3 earlier this year, but Porsche flew four 991.2 GT3s from Germany, cleared out Thunderhill Raceway, and let us have another go before the start of 2017’s Pebble Beach festivities.

The 991.2 GT3 was announced during a time of political unrest for Porsche, when controversy surrounding the limited 911 R was reaching a fever pitch. The R was a fabulously retro, ultra-desirable special edition 911 that packed a variant of the GT3 RS’ 4.0-liter engine, but featured a six-speed manual transmission in place of the 991.1 GT3’s aforementioned PDK dual-clutch transmission. At the time, this was the only way to get GT3 RS hardware with the stick, so demand was explosive. The car, which started at a considerable $185,950, was limited to just 991 units and was almost entirely sold out before it hit the auto show floor. Havoc ensued as collectors, speculators, and looky-loos threw seven-figure sums at well-optioned Rs.

As it turned out, the 2018 GT3 was the perfect pressure valve for the market. For the new generation, the six-speed ‘box and an evolution of the 4.0-liter from the R and RS is the new norm, leaving the 991.1 GT3 the sole PDK-only generation—for now. With the manual back in the GT3, the bubble was lanced, and prices of the R have subsided below the half-million mark.

From the outside, the changes are more subtle. The biggest visual differences are in the front fascia and rear bumper, now a touch sharper and more angular than the 991.1’s. These new bumpers, along with freshened underbody aerodynamics and a rear wing that sits 0.78-inch higher, contribute to an aerodynamic profile that produces 340 pounds of downforce at speed—20 percent more than before. Even those gorgeous center-lock wheels carry over since, according to GT bossman Andreas Preuninger, “we couldn’t make anything lighter that was prettier.”

The GT3’s 4.0-liter free-breathing flat-six pushes out 500 hp—a mighty, mighty figure for a naturally aspirated 911. That’s 25 extra horses over the older 3.8-liter engine, which come along with 15 additional lb-ft of torque, for a total of 339 lb-ft. That’s identical to the power figures for both the 911 R and the 991.1 GT3 RS, but the engine is sturdier than ever before. Porsche packed this sixer with all sorts of goodies to ensure it can handle endless pulls to its 9,000 rpm redline with aplomb. How does it spin so easily? It has a stiffer, hollow, oil-fed crankshaft, shimmed solid lifters, and softer valve springs.

All this high-spun twist is managed by a choice of the six-speed manual transmission or the familiar seven-speed PDK dual clutch box. Both power the rear wheels, but how torque is split between the two hubs differs. PDK-equipped cars enjoy a super-smart electronic limited slip differential, but for the self-shifting Luddites with the six-speed, the limited slip rear gearset is fully mechanical.

My first taste of the GT3 was out on winding, dusty two-lanes between Napa Valley and Thunderhill Raceway, roughly 120 miles due north of our overnight stay. The 991 is not a small car, but even cutting through the narrow forest hills en route to the track, the tight and hyper-responsive character of the GT3 shrunk the car around my shoulders. Once I ran out of traffic and corners, I explored the full range of the 9,000 rpm tachometer. Moreso than even the gnarliest V-8s from Detroit and the screaming V-12s from Italy, the current batch of Porsche 4.0s have a violent, primal wail chock full of mechanical thrash and metallic zing that turns the skin electric.

Almost as intoxicating as the sound is the speed. In the PDK, 0-60 mph is dispatched in just 3.2 seconds, 0-100 mph in 7.3, and top speed is 197 mph. In the manual, those figures jump to 3.8 seconds for 60 mph, 7.6 for 100 mph, and 198 mph for the top speed. Passing was nearly as violent as the 911 Turbo I drove earlier this year, but for different reasons. The Turbo blinks in and out of warp with an effortless, even friendly whoosh—make a quick, smooth pass in the GT3 and you’re liable to scare the daylights out of the occupants of the rolling chicane with the resulting howl as the PDK kicks down two gears.

Tremendous car, meet tremendous track. Thunderhill was mine for the day and Porsche made sure I got its money’s worth. This was the five-mile configuration of the track, infamously billed as the longest road course in America. It’s not just the distance that fatigues—Thunderhill is littered with off-camber sweepers, blind crests, and decreasing-radius corners that impress and intimidate.

All three of the GT3s on hand were flown in from Germany, so to ensure its precious metal was returned to sender sans scuff or smudge, Le Mans champion and endurance legend Hurley Haywood and current factory Porsche driver Patrick Long were rolled out of storage to play safari guide for the day.

After a quick driver’s meeting, we slotted ourselves into the GT3s thrumming in pit lane, lined up behind either Long’s white 991.2 GTS or Haywood’s blue Turbo S. I cut my Thunderhill teeth in a red PDK GT3, carefully probing the track under the speed allowed by Haywood until we exploded into full-throttle down the main straight that led to the end of the first lap.

Out among the straw-colored hills of the raceway park, the GT3 was magic. Every input, from the throttle, steering, braking, clutch, and shifter felt measured, perfectly weighted. The off-camber turns were vicious, but so was the steering, enhanced by the rear-wheel steering system that debuted on the last generation. In the PDK, these challenging corners were putty under our fingertips. Smash the optional carbon ceramic brakes, turn in, gas it, let the e-diff grab the rear end by the scruff, and lean on the aero as you whip around that decreasing radius with hair-ripping grip. Exit, and breathe. Pin it as close to 9,000 as you can, and repeat.

The manual GT3 was different. It wasn’t so much the additional effort of the three-pedal dance, but the mechanical differential out back that changed the game. Where the PDK absorbed and muffled sloppy cornering and throttle use, the manual gave my mistakes a megaphone. Per instruction and my own volition, all traction control and stability systems were left on, but the yellow six-speed GT3 still enjoyed a gentler touch. The aero and ceramic stompers were still there, as was Porsche’s excellent torque vectoring system (PTV), but the rear end was much more playful, especially on corner exit.

After a full day, we pointed our GT3s back toward Napa. I was back in the manual GT3 for the three hour drive back, enjoying the scenic wine country scenery surrounding the nearly abandoned hill passes. After a few turns, the choice of transmissions is clear—for street use, grab the manual. It’s more enjoyable, nearly as fast, and for a 500-hp weapon, is eminently approachable for canyon or highway blasts.

In the market for a lightly used 911 R? Put that $400,000 to better use by picking up a 2018 Porsche 911 GT3 with the same transmission and better engine. The $260,000 you’ll have left should buy you many, many laps around Thunderhill.

2018 Porsche 911 GT3 Specifications

ON SALE Now
PRICE $144,650 (base)
ENGINE 4.0L DOHC 24-valve flat-six / 500 hp @ 8,250 rpm, 339 lb-ft @ 6,000 rpm
TRANSMISSION 6-speed manual transmission, 7-speed dual-clutch transmission
LAYOUT 2-door, 2-passenger, rear-engine, RWD coupe
EPA MILEAGE N/A
L x W x H 179.6 x 72.9 x 50.0 in
WHEELBASE 96.7 in
WEIGHT 3,116 lb
0-60 MPH 3.2 seconds (PDK), 3.8 seconds (Manual)
TOP SPEED 197 mph (PDK), 198 mph (Manual)

The post Conquering Thunderhill Raceway in the 2018 Porsche 911 GT3 appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

Original author: cgolden
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Price of Success: Tesla Model 3 Buyers Might Not Get Full EV Tax Credit

Tesla Model 3 driving

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Sometime about a year from now, whether or not Tesla can ramp its annual production level up to the 500,000 mark CEO Elon Musk is hoping for, Tesla will face a new challenge: Its cars will effectively become a little more expensive to buyers—even if the official prices don’t change.

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That’s because, with electric vehicles, sales success comes at a price—the phase-out of the federal EV tax credit that effectively gives buyers with the tax liability up to $7500 off the price of the vehicle. That phase-out is triggered when any automaker reaches 200,000 cumulative sales (starting in 2010) of qualifying plug-in hybrids or fully electric vehicles.

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Alan Baum of Baum & Associates, which forecasts and tracks sales of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and electric and fuel-cell vehicles, projects that with the mass-production ramp-up of the Model 3, Tesla will reach the 200,000 mark in the first quarter of 2018. Tesla entered 2017 at 111,953 cumulative U.S. deliveries (including a small number of Roadsters, pre-2010). For the year to date, Baum estimates another 37,130, which brings today’s total near 150,000. Musk has suggested a 20,000-per-month production rate for Tesla by the end of the year, but even at a more modest rate it would hit that ceiling in the first quarter of 2018.

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Tesla Model S-3-X

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Reaching the sales mark triggers a phase-out period in which, two calendar quarters later, buyers can still claim 50 percent of the credit for two quarters, and then 25 percent for vehicles delivered for two quarters after that. So with the timeline experts anticipate, a $7500 tax credit will apply to Tesla models delivered by September, then a $3750 credit would apply through 2018, followed by an $1875 credit for the first half of 2019. Tesla vehicles wouldn’t be eligible for the credit at all after that.

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To its credit, Tesla has been noting a starting price of “$35,000 before incentives,” rather than singling out the $7500 credit prominently. Effectively, though, the credit could bring the bottom-line price of the base Model 3 to just $28,700 (including destination)—and that’s before state rebates or other local incentives. While those who place a reservation today almost certainly won’t get the full $7500, they’ll likely get one of the phase-out amounts.

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A Perk That Phases Out First for Tesla

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No other automaker is poised to hit its phase-out period in the next year. Cumulatively, through last month, Nissan has sold 112,128 Leaf EVs, which gives it several more years at the rate that model has been selling—or at least a year or two if sales pick up. GM has sold 145,820 qualifying plug-ins to date, of which 125,939 are Volts, according to Baum. Through June, GM had only sold about 7600 Chevrolet Bolt EVs, although some project it at about a 20,000 annual sales rate—about on par with the Volt, or a little less. At those figures, GM might have nearly a year more than Tesla for buyers to claim the full $7500.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

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The Internal Revenue Service keeps a regularly updated page on cumulative sales on the way to 200,000, but its list only includes BMW, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz. When this page was last updated—in June, with final numbers through the first quarter of 2017—all three of those automakers were far behind Tesla. Today, Ford is likely around the 100,000 mark, while BMW is nearing 50,000.

--If the U.S. Government Nixes the $7500 EV Tax Credit, Then What?-How the EV Tax Credit Works-Tesla Model 3: Review, Photos, News--

Rest assured, you’ll be able to get the EV tax credit with most other makes for a long time. There will soon be a bevy of brands with long-range electric vehicles—including some automakers (Jaguar, for instance) that will be effectively starting at zero—and those electric vehicles will qualify for the tax credit for years, barring any changes from Washington. Tesla might not see the market playing field as being level at that point, but it’s about to get interesting.

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Original author: Bengt Halvorson
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We Do Hoodoo & End Up in Deep Doo-Doo

Crawling Through Oregon.
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2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Automatic Review: 8 Things to Know

Most automakers have sport packages, but how many offer genuine sports cars like the Miata? Modern Mazdas generally deliver sportiness in an attractive package, and those two traits work well together in the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF. “RF” stands for Retractable Fastback, a body style that elevates the Miata’s visual appeal. But how does the driving experience change when you opt for a six-speed automatic transmission? We drove 2017 MX-5 Miata RF automatic and manual models during the Pebble Beach car week to find out.

The RF is the more exclusive body style, right?

Actually, no. So far this calendar year, Mazda tells us the traditional Miata softtop body style is selling about evenly compared to the RF.

The traditional Miata is the way to go if your budget is tight. The $25,790 Sport base model isn’t offered on the RF, which carries a base price of $32,430 in Club form. That’s $2,755 more than a non-RF Miata Club. Go for the slightly more relaxed Grand Touring trim, and the price climbs to $33,495, or $2,555 more than a non-RF Miata. If you want to appreciate the Miata’s sporty rear-drive package without the six-speed manual transmission, a six-speed auto is $1,480 on the soft-top-only Sport, $730 on the Club, and $1,205 on the Grand Touring.

It Auto Be Good …

Before you enter the Miata’s Sport mode, the six-speed automatic is already responsive in most situations. The shift knob itself looks a bit like a manual transmission shifter, although if you were looking to hide your Miata’s automatic transmission, the PRND to the left of the shift boot gives it away. I wish the manual modes didn’t auto upshift—there’s a manual gate on the shift stalk, and the car has quick-reacting paddle shifters—but overall, this is a good automatic.

… But You Should Still Consider the Manual

Depending on your situation, however, the manual still deserves consideration. The automatic is good, but it highlights the engine’s limits. Instead of being more involved in the driving experience and using a superb shifter, you put your foot down on the accelerator pedal and wait for the car’s 155 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque to go to work. I didn’t find the Miata RF as underpowered when I drove the manual-transmission model because I wasn’t as focused on acceleration.

So far, 59 percent of RF buyers have chosen the manual, which Mazda says is much more than the last-gen Miata’s hardtop model. Softtop buyers (since January) have gone with the manual about 65 percent of the time.

0–60 Times

Motor Trend has tested the Miata softtop accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and the RF in 6.4 seconds. Both of those cars had six-speed manuals; a Grand Touring softtop with a six-speed auto reached 60 mph in 6.8 seconds, so a Miata RF with an automatic might take more than 7.0 seconds to hit 60 mph.

Attention-Getter

The MX-5 Miata in RF form is way more of a boulevard star than the regular model. While at dinner off Highway 1 in Monterey one night, I watched as another diner parked his car and, mesmerized, walked straight to the Machine Gray Metallic Miata RF I was driving (and not to the beautiful Jaguar E-Type droptop he had to drive past to park).

Look Again

I like the Miata RF’s styling, too, but could do without the predictable effect those extra panels have on rear visibility. What would be a blind-spot-free lane change on the regular Miata with its top down requires a tad more work on the RF for drivers who look behind themselves to supplement what the mirrors show.

Is It Ready Yet?

Part of the Miata’s appeal is its two-second manual top operation. On the Miata RF, the top takes a respectable 13 seconds to stow or return back to its coupelike form. That’s fine, but I really wish the top could be operated at speeds higher than its 6-mph limit. Softtop convertible competitors with tops that function up to about 30 mph provide the freedom of going top up/down at a stoplight without worry of a green light appearing faster than you thought it would—just accelerate slowly, and the car will continue its folding or unfolding. When Motor Trend first drove the MX-5 Miata RF, Mazda told us that the low maximum speed helps eliminate the possibility of long hair getting swept into the mechanicals.

Double Check This Before You Buy

The Miata wouldn’t be the fun-to-drive sports car it is if Mazda tried to cater to all body types and heights. That’s why I’m not going to fault the Miata for not fitting me (I’m nearly 6’5″), but anyone over 6 feet should really take care to find a comfortable driving position before driving away from the dealership and toward your favorite curvy road. Really, though, this is something consumers should do on every car, whether it’s a Miata, CX-9, or F-150.

The RF model, by the way, has 36.8 inches of headroom to the regular Miata’s 37.4 inches, but they both have about 4.5 cubic feet of trunk space.

The Miata I’d Buy

If I were interested in the Miata and could fit my above-average-height self inside easier, I would skip the RF model. I can see why it’s already so popular within the Miata lineup, with a hard top that provides more security and added style. Even so, I want the ability to drive top-down and, at a whim or the sight of traffic ahead, put the top back up at speed.

“My” Miata would be a manual-transmission, softtop variant in either the Club or Grand Touring trim. And as much as I like Mazda’s new signature Machine Gray Metallic exterior color, I’d opt for a brighter color to maximize the appeal of the body-colored panels on the tops of the interior door panels.

Read more about the Miata:

2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Club First Test: More Top, Less Flop 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club Long-Term Verdict 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata vs. 2015 Subaru BRZ Comparison Mazda MX-5 Miata: 2016 Motor Trend Car of the Year Finalist

See more of the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF here:

The post 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Automatic Review: 8 Things to Know appeared first on Motor Trend.

Original author: Zach Gale
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Audi and Bang & Olufsen Continue Partnership with A8’s 3D Sound System

It’s a very personal thing, buying a new car. There’s a whole raft of reasons behind each purchase, ranging anywhere from styling to performance to fuel efficiency. It might be a surprise, but some hardcore audiophiles even look for the car within the segment with the most powerful and versatile sound system. High-end collaborations between automaker and audio corporations is nothing new, but it looks like Audi and Bang & Olufsen have taken the temporary lead with their new “3D” system in the new Audi A8 sedan.

Even on paper, it’s impressive—when equipped with the new system, Audi’s newest executive sedan packs 1,920 watts of power, distributed through 23 speakers. These new speakers incorporate lightweight neodymium magnets for distortion reduction and to keep sound as pure as possible.

The speakers aren’t located in the usual places, either. In addition to the A-pillar, there are two embedded in the rear headliner, providing a surround sound experience not found anywhere else. It’s visually dramatic as well—the B&O tweeters emerge from the dashboard when the infotainment system is engaged.

These aren’t just for show either, considering each tweeter is packed with its own amplifier. It’s as customizable as well, with individual controls available from the front MMI command center and a tablet-style interface for the rear passengers.

If you’re interested, the top-of-the-line Audi A8 should be hitting dealership floors sometime toward the end of fall later this year.

The post Audi and Bang & Olufsen Continue Partnership with A8’s 3D Sound System appeared first on Motor Trend.

Original author: cgolden
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This Marine Owns Two Stellar Mustangs: 2002 Supercharged Saleen and 2012 GT

Chris Seijido of Northern Virginia is the proud owner of two manual Mustangs, a 2002 supercharged Saleen (No. 731) and a 2012 Mustang GT.
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Win a 2017 Corvette at Covettes at Carlisle in Support of Chip Miller

Even though Corvette enthusiast Chip Miller isn’t with us physically anymore, he continues to have a positive effect on the world left behind. Miller was known worldwide for his resilient positive attitude, his passion for Corvettes, his tremendous personal Corvette collection, and for creating the highly popular Corvettes at Carlisle show in Pennsylvania. Sadly, In […]

The post Win a 2017 Corvette at Covettes at Carlisle in Support of Chip Miller appeared first on Corvette: Sales, News & Lifestyle.

Original author: Keith Cornett
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    Your Houston, Texas Auto Appraiser

    We are dedicated to offering you immediate and reliable customer service whether it be on the phone, via email or through our online ordering system. Our company prides itself on being able to handle all of your auto appraisal needs. Feel free to call or send us an email to schedule your appraisal(s).

    Our Certified Houston, Texas Auto Appraisers look forward to serving you!


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    Pinnacle Android App is available through Google Play. Click to download the app. 


    Insurance Coverage

    If you are looking to increase your insurance coverage on your vehicle, the insurance company may require you to obtain a certified auto appraisal. If you have a custom car, truck or motorcycle, the insurance company won't pay you more than book value. Get a stated value appraisal to cover money spent customizing your vehicle. Have a collector or exotic vehicle?  Book value does not justify current market value. Have a certified auto appraisal done to ensure your vehicle is properly valuated.

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    Pinnacle Auto Appraisers Will Professionally Evaluate Your Vehicle!

    FLEET VEHICLES:

    Pinnacle Auto Appraisers prides itself on quickly handling large amounts of vehicles. We routinely handle fleets for: vans, trucking, limousine, shuttle, buses, SUV, corporate, taxi, dealership, clubs, rental, and delivery companies. We handle large national chains, small family businesses, and car club appraisals.

    Call Now: 1-877-988-9911

     

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    Pinnacle Auto Appraisers Offers Quality Fleet Appraisals!

    Accident

    If you were involved in an accident and the insurance company deemed your vehicle a total loss, we can help.  If you don't agree with the insurance company's offer, you have the right to hire an independent certified appraiser to determine the actual cash value of your vehicle.  Our certified appraiser will go to the vehicle location, conduct the inspection and complete a certified total loss appraisal on your vehicle.  Total loss claims do require a negotiation phase which we will take care of for you at no additional charge!

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    Let Pinnacle Auto Appraisers Help After A Crash!

    Pre-Purchase Inspections

    Are you looking at potentially buying a late model or classic vehicle but you're out of state and can't look at the vehicle yourself? Do you need someone to make sure the vehicle is worth what the seller is asking? We can help! With a Pre-Purchase Inspection, we will go out to the vehicle and check for condition issues, mechanical issues, leaks, rust and more! We can also perform a certified auto appraisal on the vehicle to give you peace of mind when making an offer to purchase the vehicle. Don't risk buying a vehicle sight-unseen! Let us perform an inspection before you buy! Contact us today for more details!

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    Pinnacle Auto Appraisers - Let us inspect your next vehicle!

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