Land Rover is the fountain of youth

Even as Land Rover celebrates its sixty-fifth anniversary — generally thought to be retirement age — the automaker is showing the growth of a Silicon Valley startup and posting income that must make its former proprietors weep. For the 3rd fiscal year running, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) announced a profit of at least $2.3 billion, the price India’s Tata Motors compensated Ford for it in June 2008. Sales are up 22 percent, to 375,000 units. Property Rover makes up about 84 percent of group sales and all of the profit, according to analysts. Considering that JLR flirted with personal bankruptcy and begged for a bailout from the British government in ’09 2009, this is one of the most astonishing recoveries the auto industry has seen. So what went right for Property Rover? And had been Ford wrong to sell?

It seemed like the proper move at that time. Sources close to the sale reveal that not just a single main automaker showed interest. There were five private-equity companies and two Indian carmakers — Tata and small Mahindra — in the working. This was not a good time to be marketing a volatile vehicle company, especially one dependent on costly SUVs. If JLR got still been on the market when the financial meltdown struck just a couple of months later, “Ford would have closed it,” states Sanford Bernstein’s auto analyst, Max Warburton.

“The whole Tata deal was incredibly romantic,” Warburton continues. “The decision came from a guy — Ratan Tata — who just loved the history of the British brands. There is no operational synergy between Tata and JLR.”

It was hardly hanging around through 2009. JLR posted nearly $500 million in losses, and Tata tried to obtain a loan from the U.K. authorities. Ford CEO Alan Mulally must have been Google-translating caveat emptor from Latin to Hindi.

“It had been tight, about as restricted as it gets at an automobile company,” a previous JLR executive told us. “We were playing for time, doing everything we legitimately could to help ease the cash flow. We had a hard time meeting the payroll.”

Then the profits graph started to march upward: a small income in the fiscal calendar year that ended in March 2010 followed by colossal profits another three years. What happened? Well-received services helped: the Evoque rapidly became Land Rover’s best seller, helping to boost sales in all markets, even shaky European countries, where Property Rover grew 18 percent this past year. But China’s unexpected discovery of SUVs is easily the biggest reason for Land Rover’s riches. China became the brand’s biggest marketplace this season: sales there rose 48 percent after growing 76 percent the entire year before.

More positive indications lay ahead. The brand new Range Rover hasn’t however made a complete year’s contribution to underneath line, and we’ll shortly see a long-wheelbase version aimed squarely at China’s chauffeur-driven market. The new Range Rover Sport is really a much better alternative to a model that was Land Rover’s most rewarding and — after the Evoque — its biggest seller, despite its high cost. It will get yourself a downsized 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, again targeted at China, where it wins a tax crack. The roads of Shanghai will be thick with them.

So Property Rover is saved, correct? Not entirely. Property Rover has been greatly aided by the weak British pound, that could recover. And although China is still growing, the rate is slowing and its own government can be cracking down on conspicuous consumption. In the last quarter of fiscal year 2012-13, Land Rover’s sales there have been up “just” 13 percent. Land Rover wouldn’t be Uk without that minor frisson of monetary peril.

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Some thoughts and opinion from Chris Ilson

After glancing at this article I get the sense that once Land Rover as a brand got into the Chinese market the profits started rolling in.  But there was a slightly hidden message, Land Rover showed real innovation with the Evoque.  I think deep down that is what most people want, something new instead of something commonplace.



Run 50 years of Porsche 911 history















It seems many people are celebrating anniversaries this season: it’s Aston’s hundredth, Lamborghini’s fiftieth, Ford Mustang’s fiftieth, Chevy Corvette’s sixtieth – and Tesla simply switched ten or something. It has been a little beyond control, frankly, each one of these forced marketing and advertising festivities, but if we’d to choose one milestone to essentially celebrate and party forever, the Porsche 911  <>  will be near the top of our list.

Get ready for a significant 911 blowout bash at following week’s Frankfurt Motor Display  <; . It had been on September 12 back 1963 at this really show where Porsche  <>  unveiled its “901” painted in a fairly dull shade of beige. Though drably finished, the automobile caused an internationally frenzy in the budding German sports vehicle sphere.

There have been nonstop “50th Anniversary 911” parties since January 1st atlanta divorce attorneys corner of the world. We recently attended what’s likely the best of these all, sort of hands-on driving party of each 911 generation at the test track which makes these cars what they’re – the seemingly humble circuit out behind Porsche’s skunkworks at Weissach in Germany. It may be small, but it is the perfect venue for rapidly wringing out both Porsches and the loose nut when driving.

An admission: All 911 generations were readily available, but we made a decision to respectfully skip both 997 and 991. We took your day as more of a chance to rediscover the roots of 911 passion, especially with this limited time and many additional journalists clamoring for drives. So, we drove authentic 911s, 930s, a 964, a few 993 variants, and something of the initial water-cooled 996 models.

Porsche very first handed us the keys to a red 402-hp (all numbers SAE) 993 Turbo 3.6 coupe from 1995. This is the initial 911 Turbo ahead with two turbochargers and long term all-wheel generate, and we piloted this gem on the initial leg of our trip to Weissach.

This first production edition of all-wheel generate for the 911 was, properly, only alright. It offered plenty of push through sizzling corners, but thanks a lot in no small component to the multi-link back suspension that debuted with this generation, we’d among well known joy rides ever. The 993 can also be the most amazing 911 actually, and the mating of the M64/60 flat-six to the six-velocity Getrag G50 manual tranny turned this Turbo right into a contemporary marvel. We cherished this very first leg of our generate – sunlight was away and the Turbo 3.6 has been just loving the very clear atmosphere. How could it obtain much better when compared to a romp in another of Porsche’s final air-cooled flat-sixes?


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2014 Lamborghini Gallardo

The westcoaster's favorite car for beach cruising!

The Lamborghini Gallardo could be retired quickly, replaced with a fresh model (More information here) , rumored to be known as the Cabrera. But it doesn’t mean the Gallardo is certainly irrelevant.

In fact, Lamborghini spent some time working hard to help keep the Gallardo line refreshing, adding a variety of special editions with various engine tunes and generate configurations. A few of the for example the Gallardo LP 570-4 Superleggera, the LP 560-4, the LP 550-2, the LP 570-4 Spyder Performante, the LP 560-4 Spyder, and the LP 550-2 Spyder.

As is definitely the case with today’s Lamborghini, the initial number indicates metric hp, and the second the amount of drive wheels. Another descriptors are equally easy: a Spyder is really a convertible, and the Superleggera and Efficiency tags translate from Italian to “super lighting” and “powerful”, respectively.

Regardless of the power output or generate configuration, all Gallarados utilize the same fundamental 5.2-liter V-10 engine. Versions with the -2 designation do not get all-wheel drive, but all the other available versions do. The -2 versions get rear-wheel drive rather. All models come regular with the “e equipment” robotized sequential transmitting with paddle-shift.

The Gallardo is fast: it can reach 60 mph in less than 3.4 seconds and keep on to a high speed over 200 mph.

Despite the focus on statistics and capability, nevertheless, the Gallardo, like almost every other Lamborghini, is about a lot more than overall performance. It’s about design, design, and presence; it’s concerning the way it certainly makes you feel and just how it turns heads. The Gallardo doesn’t obtain the dramatic scissor-starting doors the Aventador will, but its reduced, angular user profile and barking exhaust notice work together.

Inside the Gallardo, you will discover a concise, high-performance-themed space. There’s very little room for loose products or Huge Gulps, and in the front-mounted trunk, there’s hardly area for a weekend’s luggage. Getting back in and out isn’t simple due to the reduced stance, though Spyder versions make the transition a lot more vertical than horizontal, easing the procedure. Despite the insufficient room and creature comforts, the cabin is definitely well-appointed, with quality materials and exact construction.

It’s miles from practical, nevertheless, you currently knew that. The query is whether, after almost ten years available, the Gallardo nevertheless cuts the striking physique you’re after–especially with an upgraded sitting on the sidelines.

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Exclusive: our day with Lamborghini Veneno in the desert

Twelve humans have got walked on the moon, however just three humans will possess a Lamborghini Veneno <>  coupe.

The Italian automaker promises that its most recent handcrafted $4 million supercar is certainly “extremely exclusive,” but we’d venture to call a gross understatement. Think about that Bugatti  <>  is producing 450 Veyrons, Ferrari  <>  designed 399 Enzos and Porsche  <>  assembled simply 345 of its 959 supercars  <>  – you do not see some of those “extremely exclusive” vehicles on a good monthly basis. Right now ponder the news headlines that Lamborghini  <>  can make only four completely homologated street-lawful Venenos, and selfishly provide only three of these for sale to the general public.

After grasping the productions quantities (or the shortage thereof), we think about ourselves rather lucky to possess secured the only real existing Veneno on earth for a recent photograph shoot in California’s Mojave Desert (needless to say we asked to operate a vehicle it, but no mass media has ever been permitted to drive it above strolling speeds). Following its arrival at the Geneva Engine Show  <>  earlier this season, the coupe produced its United states debut at the current Pebble Seaside Concours d’Elegance  <; . Your day after the display, it traveled by enclosed vehicle to your secret photo area before being wrapped upward securely and delivered by air back again to Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy.

Standing on the Lamborghini, watching the hot sun reflect off its gray metallic-look paint, you can only think about the Veneno an exceptionally fascinating machine.

Lamborghini informed us that the two-seater was made to drive the envelope of style and entertain the automaker’s upcoming styling cues. In accordance with those who penned the form, its razor-sharpened, carbon fiber figure isn’t just edgy, aggressive, sinister and evil, it’s completely practical. Every details in the bodywork provides reportedly been constructed to optimize downforce, increase cooling and reduce drag very much the same as a racecar. Think about its front end a big aerodynamic wing, with channels to steer air over and round the windshield. The fenders are usually set from the body, as being a sports activity prototype racer, to improve airflow round the sides and feed atmosphere in to the radiators, brakes and consumption. The rear wing is certainly adjustable, and under the coupe is really a smooth underbelly to reduce turbulence and lift.

However the vehicle isn’t a completely clean-sheet design. Predicated on Lamborghini’s own Aventador  <>  – a scene-stealing exotic by every definition of the word – the Veneno can be a physical exercise in lightweight composite creating technology. Although some aluminum subframes are distributed to its more prevalent sibling, the Veneno offers its specialized carbon-fiber monocoque tub, carbon-fiber entire body panels and an inside that has patented forged composite seats and woven carbon-fiber Carbonskin cloth (believe carbon-fiber fabric protected with a smooth and flexible resin). Where in fact the Aventador suggestions the scales at 3,472 lbs, the Veneno weighs simply 3,190 pounds.

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Some cheeky opinion from Chris Ilson

This is one of those rare cars that makes people ask the question “Why buy something with this much potential and performance, only to be forced driving the speed limits?”  Unless the owners are also race car drivers who can use performance vehicles to their absolute potential, it’s just a waste.  Who wants to argue that people who buy this car only do so to say “Look at me, I bought this!”

Read some other articles related to this.


Nissan Pathfinder, Infiniti JX in transmission safety probe

Nissan may be pushed to recall 110,000 Pathfinder and Infiniti JX35 crossovers, because of amount of customer complaints. Customers report suddenly losing strength, with restoration facilities blaming the problem on faulty transmitting cooler line connections. Both Pathfinder and JX35 work with a continuously variable transmission. By right now, the only real vehicles being investigated are usually from design year 2013.

Nissan has long been cooperating with the Nationwide Highway Traffic Basic safety Administration, according to a written report from Reuters, and contains developed a repair for the affected automobiles. It isn’t clear whether this can turn into a full-blown recall, as there were no known situations of injuries or crashes. But with a possible 110,000 vehicles susceptible to sudden power reduction, a recall appears to be a likely outcome.

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And now more random opinion from Chris Ilson

I’m not entirely shocked to see this bit of news.  It must be said once more that Nissan had wonderful reliability when the vehicles were being built in Japan.  Sadly it appears the march of progress and being forced to stay competitive in such a highly aggressive market has pushed Nissan to make some bad choices.  This opinion might be formed out of knowledge of Nissan vehicles with the traditional clutch type automatic transmissions versus the newer Constant Velocity Transmissions.  CVT transmissions are great.  Less moving parts to fail over time and a smoother driving experience.  But I’ll prefer to keep my old clutch type transmission until every last bolt disentergrates.

Report: Daimler and Nissan to build luxury cars in a new factory in Mexico

A couple of years back, when Daimler  <>  wanted somebody to spread the expense of development of small vehicles, it decided to collaborate  <>  with Nissan  <>  on future products, such as for example vehicle systems and drivetrains. The most recent growth in the collaboration worries the assembly of little luxury vehicles for Infiniti  <>  and Mercedes-Benz  <>  at a Nissan plant in Mexico, two unnamed sources told Reuters  <; .

The plant involved, Aguascalientes, is really a $2 billion project that may open later this season next to a preexisting Nissan factory. The forthcoming Infiniti Q30  <>  four-door hatchback is likely to be built there, probably alongside the Mercedes GLA-Class  <; , that is one of the candidates Mercedes is thinking of to build as of this facility, Reuters reviews. The GLA will debut at the Frankfurt Engine Show  <>  this month, and preliminary production of the design will take invest Germany. The Q30 could follow an identical path, with assembly beginning at Nissan’s Sunderland plant in the united kingdom, and expanding to Aguascalientes down the road.

The underlying system of the Q30 and GLA, codenamed New Era Compact Car (NGCC), originated by Daimler. The Q30 will be the first Infiniti produced beneath the automakers’ agreement. This past year, Nissan decided to make engines  <>  that could find their method into Mercedes and Infiniti automobiles.

The NGCC platform furthermore forms the foundation of the Mercedes CLA-Class  <>  sedan that continues on sale this 30 days, and the Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive  <; , that ought to reach showrooms next summer time, Reuters reviews, but those automobiles are slated to become built-in Hungary and Rastatt, Germany, respectively.

News Source: Reuters  <;

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Opinion from Chris Ilson

Here is one of those news articles where you glance at then hope you just imagined the whole thing.  No way could this be true.  Only time can tell if this move is a smart one but I can safely say my opinion is unchanging even if perceived as evil.  Nissan always was the Japanese car manufractuer.  Now with this news the quality originally assoicated with Nissan is slightly suspect.

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Spy shots: Watch this Nissan GT-R Nismo attack the “Ring

Following yesterday’s spy pictures of the Nissan GT-R Nismo at the Nürburgring, we have been well informed that some intrepid spies possess captured video of Extremely Godzilla lapping the monitor. We aren’t certain which turn the initial clip is showing, however the second and 3rd are probably the tough right-hander referred to as Bergwerk.

Just like the current GT-R, the Nismo, despite having what may be a fresh exhaust system, is not a vehicle that sounds especially great in a flyby. It’s more of simply a rigorous whooshing noise. Check out the entire video clip from RSR Nürburgring listed below.


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I’ll say if Nissan puts the GT-R on a diet and drops the curb weight a bit, the car can put down even more impressive numbers.  I love the comment in the original article about the whoosing noise from the exhaust system.  While I’ll mention giving the GT-R a more pronounced exhaust note (think of what Lexus did with the LFA’s exhaust) all the racer nerds will say “What does the exhaust sound have to do with peformance and lap times!”  The purists who are devoted fans of the Nissan GT-R or Skyline might have some issue with the lack of the exhaust sound but all things considered the car is still up there with the best.