As we all know, Lotus Group has been in some hot water for a long time and has yet to pull itself out of its downward spiral. The latest news came when Proton, the unfortunate owner of the Lotus money pit, was bought out by DRB-Hicom. Well, this led several of our colleagues in the automotive journalism field to begin questioning the status of Lotus and its easily angered CEO Dany Bahar.
When you encounter this kind of bad press, there are a few ways that a global company, like Lotus, can handle it. Ultimately, it boils down to a right way to handle it and a wrong way to handle it. Well, Lotus took some the pretty innocent rib jabbing from the media and decided to take the wrong way to an entirely new level.
Lotus decided to take its frustrations out on everyone in the worst possible of ways… via a Facebook post. On their official page they call out several journalists for their “inaccurate reporting,” as Lotus group pretty much claims. They then proceed to entertain us with a long list of fact vs. myth tidbits that really tell us absolutely nothing, other then making clear the fact that they are completely pissed and have no idea how to contain their anger.
The rant almost reads like a 13-year-old girl whose best friend just stole her boyfriend, called her fat, and then spread a nasty rumor that she was kissing the town nerd under the bleachers during the homecoming dance. Yeah, it’s really that bad. What’s worse is a full 10 hours after that scorned-teenager-like post went up, it is still there for the entire world to see and laugh like hell at.
On the surface, it is starting to look as if Lotus is beginning to crack and DRB-Hicom did not become the giant they did by handling things like this lightly. Plus there have already been rumors of Lotus being sold off to China Youngman, Shanghai Automotive, or Beijing Automotive. This may be the straw that broke Lotus’ and Bahar’s back…
Hit the jump to read the unedited post from Facebook, it’s well worth it.
Here’s something you don’t get to see everyday. In an effort to promote the 2012 New York Auto Show, event organizers decided to take a different route than conventional advertising.
Trust us, it can’t get any more different than the Lamborghini Aventador hot dog cart. The Italian supercar was parked in midtown Manhattan together with a cart of Sabrett hot dogs and anybody that walked up to it could get - wait for it - free hotdogs! Nothing gets New Yorkers more amped up than free stuff, then you add the obvious attraction that is the Aventador and you have the prefect blitzkrieg cross-promotion.
In the middle of all the gawking at the Aventador and the chowing done of the hot dogs, the tinge of irony surrounding one slogan in the cart that says "keep parks clean" wasn’t lost on us. After all, for all the positive messages and call to action the slogan is encouraging, it goes without saying that a Lamborghini Aventador is the farthest thing from what you’d describe as eco-friendly.
Nevertheless, the publicity stunt must have worked wonders for the organizers because the early returns on the 2012 New York Auto Show suggested that the event was one of the most successful stagings in the past years.
As much as we try to resist talking about every single celebrity’s car, there are some cases where a celebrity car also happens to be 100% ridiculous. In those cases, well, we just can’t help ourselves. Enter in, Justin Bieber’s 2012 Fisker Karma.
We aren’t reporting on the fact that this teen pop idol is being environmentally friendly, nor that he was handed the keys to this beautiful black Fisker Karma free of charge. Nope, that’s not the story. The story is that this 18-year-old pop sensation turned this beautifully sculpted ECO-supercar into a rolling mirror, literally.
We are cool with a little chrome, but there is a point when it becomes excessive. Mr. Bieber, you hit that point of excess, then broke through the barrier and tossed a live grenade at the remainder of that barrier to make sure it can never be crossed again.
This young man chromed out the entire car, not just a few accents here and there, the e-n-t-i-r-e car. Top to bottom coated in shiny, sunlight-reflecting chrome. Now, if he lived somewhere that the sun wasn’t excruciatingly intense, that might be cool, but this dude lives in California. As you can see from the above video, the sunlight creates a nearly blinding reflection on the car’s surface, which we would assume is illegal.
Um, nope, according to California law, a fully chromed out car is perfectly legal, but those pretty little mood lights under the front bumper are not legal. I remember getting pulled over repeatedly in Pennsylvania for my Camaro’s exhaust being too loud, that monstrosity of a Karma is louder than my Camaro’s exhaust could have ever been.
Hit the jump to see this beautiful machine before Bieber ruined, err, customized it.
There are some “versus” videos that we come across that once we read the titles we simply just keep moving. Things like “Dodge Viper vs. Tomahawk Superbike” come to mind. C’mon, same engine but the bike weighs over 1,000 pounds less. Yeah, no need to watch that one. Other times titles are so intriguing we cannot pass them up, regardless of how obvious they seem.
In a day’s work, we came across this gem titled “Aston Martin vs. Inline Skater” and thought “what the…” Thinking it was going to be some sort of goofy prank, we almost skimmed right past it, but figured watching it wouldn’t hurt.
To our surprise this is a legit video of a German man racing an Aston Martin Vantage, from what we can tell. You may be wondering how the man on the skates plans to keep up with the Aston Martin, which has about 400+ horsepower. Well, he specially fitted three miniature jet engines, which produce 300 horsepower, onto a suit and used them to propel him down a 1/4-mile straight. According to the driver of the car, the skater claims that he has reached upwards of 120 mph and had no objections after finding out the Aston Martin could clear a 1/4-mile in 13 seconds.
You might still think there’s no chance for the inline skater, but you may be shocked to see just how fast those inline skates will go. Plus you can get a good laugh at the driver of the Aston Martin as he is more impressed with the speed of the skater than trying to win the race.
Sit back and enjoy the video above. Oops, we almost forgot, don’t try this at home.
We all love high-performance cars and nearly everyone that loves high-performance cars loves seeing these cars do burnouts. Regardless of the love, there is a time and place for everything. I remember my first ever burn out well, it was in a 1986 Camaro IROC-Z, which I had just finished painting and doing body work on. On my way home from school, some buddies talked me into power-blocking it at a stop light. Well, after about 30 seconds of intense tire smoke, there was a gigantic clunk and the wheels stopped. Yeah, I destroyed the rear end.
$250 later and about two nights of installing the new rear end, I learned never to power-block a car again. I am sure the guy in the above video has learned an important lesson too.
When you are at a car meet and there are cops there, you can oftentimes get away with more than you can on a public street. However, if there is a crowd of people around your Mustang and you decide to power-block it, you are just one slip of your foot away from mowing down a bunch of people.
When the cops see that, regardless of it being private or public property, they will immediately place you under arrest for endangering the lives of others. That’s exactly what happened to the dude in this video. After some enticing by his “friends” he decides to light ‘em up on his Mustang and the cops literally pull him from the car and take him directly to jail, he did not pass “Go” and did not collect $200, just right to jail.
So what did we learn today, guys? Don’t power-block a car in a crowded area with cops around, that’s bad, mmmkay?
There are a lot of new car scams in the world and most of them are initiated by the new car dealer, not the buyer. A group of buyers flipped the script on several Los Angeles dealerships, by using fake identities to purchase 20 cars and were shipping them to Hong Kong and Vietnam to sell them for two to three times their U.S. value.
The one that got these fraudsters busted was the Ferrari 458 Italia, as Ferrari fitted the supercar with a GPS system as standard, which Ferrari used to track the car once they found out they were defrauded. This led U.S. Customs and the California highway Patrol to conduct a full investigation and find the cars on a ship that had already pulled away from the port.
Needless to say, that ship was forced to come back and all but four of the cars were recovered. The four non-recovered cars are due to be shipped back by Vietnamese Customs.
According to the report, had the fraudsters not gone after the Ferrari, chances are they would have gotten away with this scam and made a ton of money in the process. The total amount of the vehicles seized by U.S. customs is estimated at $1.5 million, which would have pulled in around $3 million in Hong Kong and Vietnam.
We are still trying to figure out what in the world a Toyota Tundra was doing in the mix with all of these high-end luxury cars. We also wonder which thief drew the short straw and was stuck going to the Toyota dealership to pick this thing up?
Now we’re sure everyone remembers the insane Subaru WRX STi TRAX which was previewed back in 2009 for the SEMA Auto Show and for Ken Block to fool around in. However, Subaru may have forgotten to put up a disclaimer stating “Don’t try this at home,” because that’s exactly what an insane owner in Chassel, MI, decided to do when they created their very own version of the TRAX.
The car recently popped up on eBay Motors and it’s definitely one of the most interesting cars to come out of the auction site for years. It’s currently unclear if there is much serious interest in the car and while we respect the brave owner for doing these radical modifications, we can’t help thinking that whoever buys it is wasting their money.
It’ll be outlawed in most if not all U.S. states, which means it could only be driven on private property. As a result, it seems to be a waste of a perfectly healthy 2002 Subaru WRX STI as it’ll likely never feel the cool air rushing through its intercooler and will probably be kept in storage all year round.
Nevertheless, this piece of machinery would be unquestionably fun to drive, and if the modifications have been performed correctly, it could very well be the most fun you can have in a Subaru on snow covered roads. However, in saying that, the WRX STI is still pretty capable on snow when left stock due to its 2.0 liter engine, 5 speed transmission, and all-wheel drive system, but like we said, props to the madman behind this creation.
It turns out, Batman’s real name isn’t Bruce Wayne, but Lenny Robinson, and he wasn’t on his way back to the Bat Cave as some people expected. Rather, he makes courtesy visits at DC-area hospitals to spend some quality time with sick children.
This video, which was captured by the Montgomery police, pretty much tells you everything you need to know about the man. He was very polite, he was very cooperative to the cops, and he even took some time to shake hands with the police, as well as pose for some photos.
Nothing like a cool story to get you up and running in the day. We certainly appreciate Batman for his warm-hearted intentions of brightening up some sick child’s day, although it would probably be a good idea to just put the car’s real tags on the car to avoid another incident like this from happening.
“Epic fail” is ultimately one of the most overused and incorrectly used phrases in the world. But, we are going to go ahead and chalk this one up as just that, an epic fail.
If you have ever watched drag races, you have likely noticed one thing in common with all of them. They are always on a straight and flat track. This is not without good reason, as drag cars, rail cars especially, are designed to simply go in a straight line really fast. If you’ve ever seen a rail car veer off the track you might notice that they rarely ever recover prior to a spectacular crash. This is because they have the turning capabilities of a fully loaded semi truck on an icy downhill slope.
Now that we’ve let you in on that secret of the dragster, what do you think would happen when a 1,000+ horsepower rail car decides to take a Sunday drive down a back country road? If you still don’t know, we’ll fill you in. It would crash at the first tiny kink in the road, much like the above video.
In what looks to be some sort of dragster road racing event, these guys take a rail car about 50 feet up the road before sitting it down in a small ravine, in a less-than-desirable way. It’s absolutely hilarious to watch the driver attempt to correct the car and you can really see the minimal amount of steering these things actually have. Fortunately, the driver wasn’t hurt, but we are pretty certain the car has a couple of bucks worth of damage… Enjoy!
In case you haven’t noticed over the past couple of years, it’s important to understand that when it comes to MINI, there’s nothing in the realm of imagination that these guys aren’t afraid to pursue.
The BMW-owned company has never been a shy about its quirky approach in their marketing exploits, as well as in building concepts, special editions, and everything else in between. And as if to continue in that trend, MINI has released a couple of new models that are, safe to say, unlike anything else anybody’s ever built.
One of the models is called the MINI Cowley Caravan, a model that was based on the Countryman, and comes with pretty much everything you need to build an impromptu camp site.
There are two welcoming sleeping berths, a twin-burner gas-stove, a water tank with its own pump and dish-washing facility, a solar module to charge the on-board battery, and a 230-volt power connection that serves as the power source for - get this - the refrigerator, the TV/DVD, and hi-fi stereo system.
The words "MINI" and "contemporary" have very few similarities between them, and you don’t need to look further than the Cowley Caravan as proof of that. Despite being a separate apparatus in its own right, the eye-catching trailer is still only 12 centimeters - that’s under five inches - wider than a MINI Clubman and weighs just under 300 kilograms - 661 lb - making it svelte enough to be towed around by the Countryman, thus turning it into a true road companion whenever and wherever you go.
And by the way, we are 100% sure that this was a clever April Fool’s Day joke from the automaker. Well played, Mini.