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Car News

Finally, a Real, Running Lego Car

This is the thing that dreams are made of, love this story! Every 5-year-old boy’s dream of building a real Lego car and motoring it through the neighborhood has finally come true.

In this scenario it was the dream team of Romanian boy-genius Raul Oaida and Australian entrepreneur Steve Sammartino who envisioned the Lego car, which runs on air, embodies the hot-rod style and tops out at 18 mph. What Sammartino calls the Super Awesome Micro Project all started with some social media prompting and 40 generous benefactors.

Read the full article here.

Maserati Ghibli Snatches Top Safety Rating

I love it when a beautiful cool car like this gets a top safety rating! The 2014 Maserati Ghibli has just received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s “Top Safety Pick” designation. The 2014 Ghibli scored a “good” rating in the each of the IIHS’ key safety tests, including front impact, side impact, low speed rear impact, and roof crush resistance. The Ghibli’s structure was—like the Maserati Quattroporte—designed with steel and aluminum to deliver strength in key areas, while keeping weight down.

The Maserati Ghibli starts at $66,850, a price Maserati hopes is alluring enough to capture a greater share of the market. The entry-level 2014 Ghibli is powered by a 345 hp twin-turbo V-6 engine, paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The 2014 Maserati Ghibli S Q4 ups power to 404 hp with its twin-turbo V-6, and starts at $76,950. The Ghibli sedan looks to compete with the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class among others.

While America will have two gasoline engines to choose from, Maserati has developed a V-6 turbo-diesel that will be available in Europe. All models are rear-wheel drive, with Maserati’s Q4 all-wheel drive system available. We’re seeing more cars offering WiFi WLAN hotspot capability, and the 2014 Ghibli will be included. Other niceties include a 15-speaker Bowers and Wilkens audio system and an 8.4-inch touchscreen.

Source: Maserati and http://blogs.automotive.com

2014 Corvette Stingray Convertible

Love it! This car has got gorgeous lines! Chevy is releasing the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Premiere Edition Convertible just in time to top your wish list. And with a price of $77,450 after delivery, that’s one pricey gift.

Corvette enthusiasts will have to hurry because only 550 top-of-the-line 3LT models will be produced. All of the limited edition 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Premiere Edition Convertible models will come in Lime Rock Green exterior and Brownstone suede interior. The suede-wrapped interior is complemented by sporty carbon fiber accents, a variable tuned exhaust system, Z51 Performance Package, and the Magnetic Selective Ride Control feature.

The special ‘Vette also features unique wheels with “Stingray”-logo center caps, interior sill plates, and even a five-piece set of Corvette branded luggage from Thule, because when you have a Corvette, road trips seem to become a high priority.

Each of the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Premiere Edition Convertible models will have a unique VIN sequence and unique dash plates commemorating their limited-edition status. And as these exclusive Corvettes won’t arrive in dealerships until early 2014, you can always order a 1:18 scale model Chevrolet Corvette ($38.50) from the Corvette Accessories catalog, which will make the wrapping process all that much easier.

Source: Chevrolet and http://blogs.automotive.com

Bright Idea from Mercedes-Benz

I like this idea, it would look really cool! Let’s be honest, for many car buyers the hood ornament or badge on the front of the car is their way of making a statement, especially with luxury brands. Well, Mercedes-Benz is taking its iconic three point star and putting a new shine on it, by offering a Benz badge that lights up.

Make no mistake, this will be the coolest feature some buyers will gladly show off by driving their new Benz to in front of neighbor’s homes after dusk. Mercedes introduced the option with a video highlighting the many incarnations of the Mercedes star over the years.

Mercedes is offering the illuminated star on select models including the new E-Class, the M-Class, GL-Class and CLS-Class sedans. In some cases, depending on the model year, Mercedes dealers can retrofit the LED lighting feature. Mercedes described the new illuminated star as, “Bright, but sophisticated. And it’s your opportunity to announce to the world: ‘This is my Mercedes-Benz!'”

For years, hood ornaments were truly ornaments sticking up and announcing that you were driving a Mercedes-Benz or Cadillac or, if you could really afford it, a Rolls-Royce with the “Spirit of Ecstasy.” Over the years fewer cars carried hood ornaments and more transitioned to badges on the front grill. At first, they were fairly discreet, but not anymore. Now they are big and pronounced. Clearly the designers of cars got the memo from the marketing folks about the importance of plastering the brand on a particular model so everybody knows what’s driving down the street.

In recent years, as more people worked on ways to customize their cars, adding LED lighting to accent features of the car has mad the badge on the grill a new frontier. Go online and you’ll find plenty of kits that let you re-do your badge so it’s illuminated, often in a variety of different colors.

Now Mercedes is bringing the feature to big Benz star in the front grill. You have to wonder, what’s next? Will other automakers follow the Mercedes lead when it comes to LED accents on the hood badge?

Reported on at www.nbcnews.com

No Shock Here – Car Buying Habits Are Changing

When 20- and 30-somethings go car shopping, they’re likely to ask their friends for help – their Facebook friends, that is. The youngest generation of car buyers is far more likely to turn to social media for advice than head for the showroom, according to an eBay Motors study.

More than nine of 10 so-called millennials — “Generation Y” babies born between 1980 and 2000 — turn to the Internet when shopping for a new car or truck, according to the eBay research.

They aren’t alone. A separate study found that the majority of buyers now go online to begin the car buying process – and more than half will be strongly influenced by what their friends have to say on Facebook.

“It has become increasingly important for dealers to ensure that they are reaching consumers when, where and how they want to shop for vehicles – which today, more than ever, means online and on mobile,” said Kristine Chin, head of vehicles at eBay Motors.

Key findings of the eBay study include:

94 percent of millennial car buyers gather information online;

More than a third use mobile devices to do that research, compared to 19 percent of older car shoppers;

Only 13 percent of millennials view visiting a dealership as their preferred method of shopping, while 25 percent of older buyers prefer to go to a showroom.

The study, based on responses from over 1,000 U.S. adults, also found that millennials are more comfortable using portable devices than older drivers when researching a possible purchase. One of five of these young motorists reported that they would be open to going through the entire purchase on a mobile device, according to eBay Motors.

Millennials aren’t alone. The survey found that two of three older motorists say technology is changing how they shop for a car.

That’s supported by the Automotive Social Media and Reputation Trend Study which finds 81 percent of buyers read reviews to narrow down the right car or truck, a figure that has grown substantially in the past six months. The study, by research firm Digital Air Strike, named Cars.com, Edmunds.com and Yahoo! among the most influential sources of reviews.

source: www.nbcnews.com