Rod Stewart’s Lamborghini Fetches Nearly £1Million

Rod Stewart's Lamborgini

Rod Stewart’s old Lamborghini, which he bought for £8,000 back in 1972, has sold for £919,000 at auction – that’s more than 100 times more than the singer paid for it!

The 68-year-old rocker bought the yellow, 186mph car on the back of hit single Maggie May and No 1 album Every Picture Tells A Story. He also asked for the car to have a cassette player with a record function – so he could store tunes that came into his head.

The Lamborghini is one of only seven right-hand drive Miura SVs ever made and went up for auction at the Bonhams’ Goodwood Revival sale in Chichester, West Sussex. Earlier this year, the car took part in Lamborghini’s 50th anniversary celebrations in Italy.

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The Miura is named after Don Eduardo Miura, a famous breeder of fighting bulls. Its arrival in 1966 established Lamborghini as a major challenger to Ferrari as a maker of luxury sporting cars. The SV was the ultimate Miura and was the world’s fastest production car when it was introduced.

A representative from Bonham’s suggested that it was the last of the line and in near perfect condition, but is that the reason for the high bidding war or is it the story this supercar has to tell..?

Porsche Launches Green Hybrid Supercar

Production-ready Porsche 918 Spyder

Porsche has unveiled a 72 miles per gallon hybrid supercar at Frankfurt’s International Auto Show. The car will be built in a run of no more than 918 examples, in left-hand drive only, over the next 18 months.

The 918 Spyder is powered by a plug-in petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain based around a mid-mounted, naturally aspirated 4.6-litre V8 petrol engine that produces 599bhp at 8700rpm. It is supported by two electric motors, one sited up front within the front axle and another at the rear, developing a combined 282bhp at 6500rpm.

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Based around a carbonfibre monocoque, the Spyder comes clothed in composite plastic body panels and uses a bespoke chassis fashioned from aluminium, magnesium and titanium.This combination has helped Porsche achieve a kerb weight of 1634kg for the 918 Spyder in its lightest form, despite the inherent complexity and bulk of its petrol-electric hybrid powertrain and battery pack.

Removable roof panels that stow away in the nose section allow the new Porsche to be used either as a coupé or a roadster, while an optional Weissach performance package brings a series of aerodynamic tweaks. These include winglets to the bumpers for added downforce, as well as a number of lightweight components, including magnesium wheels, that combined to reduce the kerb weight by 35kg over the standard model.

Production-ready Porsche 918 Spyder

With a top speed of 198 miles per hour and the ability to go from 0 to 62 miles per hour in under three second, this new supercar does more miles to the gallon than the Toyota Prius hybrid. However, at £540,000 compared to the Prius’s £22,000, you would have to drive 1.85 million miles for the Porsche to work out as better value.

The 918 Spyder hybrid is proof that even those with the biggest buying power are still looking for either fuel efficiency or green credentials…or is it? Supercar manufacturers are being forced to adapt by the prospect of new European emissions regulations, which are designed to crack down on air pollution and make cars cheaper to run.

We’d love to know what you think – are Porsche buyers more concerned with fuel efficiency or green credentials?

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BMW App For i3 Virtual Test Drive

BMW i3 Virtual Test Drive App

If you ever needed proof that the car industry is leading the way in technology, here it is. BMW has launched a smartphone and tablet app for virtually test driving the new i3, to fill the time gap before it is available to test drive on the dealership forecourts.

The ‘BMW i3: Become Electric’ app is available now on the Apple App Store, and from 26 September 2013 on Google Play. It has a ‘show-your-friends’ feature with 360-degree interactivity, and using the accelerometer in your device, you control the viewing aspect by tilting and turning your phone or tablet.

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Probably the most exciting feature of the app is that you get to act as the leading role in a pretend Hollywood film. According to BMW you ‘head through the streets of a foreign city in a race against time, as you test out the car’s features and become the star of a film’. Here’s the trailer:

According to BMW UK Marketing Director Chris Brownridge, the new i3 virtual test drive is a culmination of film, advertising, gaming and digital marketing: “Become Electric allows consumers to experience the future of mobility in a revolutionary and exciting new way. You are at the wheel of the new BMW i3 electric car for almost the entire film all while being immersed in a big Hollywood-style movie.”

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Obviously the app doesn’t come close to driving the real car. It’s also fair to say that anyone genuinely interested in buying the model will probably still test drive the real deal anyway, but as it’s free no doubt the app fans amongst you will enjoy having a go and as a novelty app it’s…well, pretty cool.

The new BMW i3 will go on sale in the UK in late 2013, but if you want to know how many hours, minutes and seconds, there’s a countdown clock on the official website – https://www.becomeelectric.co.uk.

The Wrist Watch That Tracks Car Performance

Nissan Nismo Watch

Nissan has created a wrist watch that tracks the performance of both the wearer and the vehicle they are driving. It measures heart rate, temperature and other biometrics of the driver as well as the speeds and fuel consumption of the vehicle. It was unveiled ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show, which runs until 22 September.

Experts say that the watch, called the Nissan Nismo, could be an important step towards greater connectivity in cars. The Nismo watch can be connected to the car’s on-board computer system to allow users to monitor vehicle telematics and performance data.

Other smart watches have hit the market recently, including Samsung’s Galaxy Gear and Sony’s Smartwatch 2, but editor-in-chief of What Car?, Chas Hallett, said that car connected watched could be even more useful than those offered by consumer electronic firms. “Imagine if you could heat up your car on a cold day before you got into it or shut the roof of your convertible when it started raining and it was parked outside,” he said.

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The current gadget is one of the first products to come out of its Nismo laboratory, which captures live biometric and telematics data from Nissan racing cars and their drivers. The eventual aim would be to create wearable technology for drivers that can spot fatigue, monitor drivers’ levels of concentration and emotions and record hydration levels.

The Nissan Nismo smartwatch comes in three colours, can be controlled by two buttons on the screen and has a battery life of around a week.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23964797

Mobile Phones Disguised As Car Key Fobs

mobile phones disguised as car key fobs

These strange looking mobile phones have started emerging in the UK market, disguised as car key fobs. Officials are already considering banning them, but who would want to buy one anyway?

Marketed as “the world’s smallest mobiles”, the devices are available from mainstream shopping channels such as Amazon and eBay and feature logos from brands including BMW, Volkswagen, Bentley, Audi and Porsche. It’s doubtful that the manufacturers have given permission for this though.

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You might think it’s a lot of effort to go through to try and get away with speaking on the phone whilst driving, have these people not heard of hands free sets?? Well apparently the ‘phone fobs’ have been advertised with prisoners in mind, as having a mobile phone in jail is an offense.

The product description of one device sold via Amazon states that it features “very very very low metal contact badges [which] can be removed due to metal content alarm”, while another says the fob is “easily concealable”.

Mobile Phones Designed To Look Like Car Key Fobs

More than 7,000 phones and Sim cards were confiscated in prisons in England and Wales last year. The latest key fob mobile phone has the potential to increase the number of mobiles in prisons simply by the nature of the design and size.

The government is discussing the issue with the National Trading Standards Board and the Serious Organised Crime Agency, and the NTSB has asked retailers to stop selling the ‘phone fobs’. The POA – a prison officer’s trade union has warned that prisoners found in possession of a mobile phone should be prosecuted.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23782136

Wealthy Asians Choose Classic Cars

Wealthy Asians Choose Classic Cars

It has emerged that wealthy Asians are choosing classic cars over gold and property. Thanks to rising demand from wealthy Asians, classic cars such as Ferraris, Bugattis and Bentleys soared by 28 per cent in value in the year to June, outstripping gold, art and luxury London property.

Most collectors buy because they are passionate about old cars, but many are well aware of their rising value and buy accordingly. Over the past three to four years, values for older classic motor cars at auction or in dealer and private sales have bucked the global recession, proving a prudent investment..

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“It’s an asset class that’s very rare and it’s very aspirational,” said Andrew Shirley, editor of the report. “A lot of Asian high net worth individuals have acquired classic cars…They keep them in their garage in the UK or Europe and they come over and drive them in rallies.”

However the classic car market has always been difficult to play. In 2007 banker Dietricj Hatlapa creative the first authoritative independent index, which now covers 50 cars worth at least £100,000, each with only 1,000 examples built and all with an established collector community. The index shows values racing up 16 per cent in 2012.

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According to Mohammad Syed, head of strategic solutions at Coutts private bank, the non-financial rewards of owning a classic car are many. “The sector has bragging rights. Anyone can buy, or have purpose-built, a super-yacht, a big estate or a private jet, but you can’t replicate a unique historic car with provenance. This is something that no amount of wealth can recreate.”

He says the super wealthy want something unique which gives them access to exclusive events and social circles. For example, LVMH hosts an invitation-only car rally for high-end collectors. Other examples of strictly invitation-only events are the Pierre Corthay/Rothschild car run and the Concours of Elegance at Windsor Castle, which features 60 of the rarest motor cars in the world.

Source: http://gulfnews.com/news/world/usa/wealthy-choosing-classic-cars-over-gold-and-property-1.1228590

Personalised Number Plates Make A Statement

Personalised number plates have been around for decades, and their popularity shows no sign of decreasing. Last year the UK’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency raised £67m from the sale of personalised number plates.

Lord Alan Sugar has AMS 1, the Duke and Duchess drove away from their wedding with one that said JU5T WED and presenter Chris Evans has several. So what is it about them that people love?

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Earlier this year, Steve Holden drove 219 miles from his bed and breakfast in Yarm, north-east England, to Oxford to buy HO11 DEN. He went to the auction with a £3,000 mental limit but ended up spending £7,400.

Heather Logan and her husband Gordon own seven, including 33 GL and 33 HL. After hearing GO12 DON was being auctioned in Leeds, they made the trip from their Cleveland home in March.

It seems for the thousands of drivers who actually have personalised number plates, they are regarded as a statement of individuality or an investment.

Motoring journalist Quentin Willson said earlier this year: “It really is about being visually pleasing. They are great fun but much abused. It seems to have caught the nation’s psyche. For a motoring-obsessed nation they are a suburban trinket. A number plate is a form of automotive jewellery. You can either change your car or change your number plate, and changing your number plate is cheaper.”

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