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.
More than any other day in the calendar year, April 1st requires a lot of us to be on our p’s and q’s to differentiate the legitimate news events from the ones that have, shall we say, mischief written all over them.
This one appears to be the latter.
Peugeot UK has come out with a video highlighting their latest revolutionary concept: "mood paint." Described as a reactive paint that changes its color depending on your emotions, the mood paint was developed by Peugeot technicians who used psychochromatic coating to alter the molecular structure of the paint to emit light at varying wavelengths. From there, heat sensors were put on the Peugeot RCZ’ s steering wheel, which then reads the driver’s body temperature and pulse rate to change the car’s body color.
According to Vince Clisham, Peugeot’s project manager, the mood paint is a "world first for motoring."
"To have developed a paint that accurately reflects the emotion of the driver, will no doubt have our competitors green with envy," he adds.
Check out the video of Peugeot’s mood paint demonstration and tell us if this is legit or an April Fools prank from the French automaker.
Just when you think that you’ve figured out how MINI’s mind works, they come out with something that reminds you just how unpredictable these guys are when it comes to their vehicles.
Say you’re taking a long road trip and you’re eyes are starting to become as heavy as sand bags. The prudent thing to do is to find the nearest inn or just park on the side of the road to catch a brief nap. In the case of the Swindon Roof Top Tent Edition, you can actually do the latter by climbing up to the car’s roof-top tent to get some shut eye.
You read that right; this special MINI Cooper model has a tent set-up on where the roof rack was once located.
Unbelievable as that sounds, it’s even more ridiculous to think that the tent actually has space for two people with a working ladder that allows you access to the roof of your car and inside your tent. And if that wasn’t enough, the roof tent has its own "tent box" that you can use to stow away your tent when you’re not using it. Add some pillows, some blankets, and some stuffed teddy bears, and you’re all set for nice and relaxing sleep inside your tent.
Then again, we’re not naive enough to think that this wasn’t just an elaborate - and brilliant - April Fool’s Day joke from the German automaker. If it was, then consider us buying it hook, line, and sinker. To be honest, with all of their special edition models, we’d truly believe this would be something they were capable of.
Apparently, even a crime fighter like Batman isn’t above the law, especially when it comes to having no tags on his Batmobile...err...Lamborghini .
As it turns out, Batman was cruising around in Maryland when he was pulled over by the Montgomery County Police Department because the car didn’t have any plates on it. While we understand the Caped Crusader doesn’t want people checking on his DMV records, it might still have been a good idea to abide by the law. Otherwise, you’re pretty much attracting police cars to your Lamborghini the same way you do to the Bat signal.
The photo comes courtesy of the Montgomery Country Police Department’s Twitter page and to their credit, they seemed to get a kick out of Batman’s folly more than anything else.
Let’s hope that the Dark Knight learns his lesson the next time he goes out in full garb and hammer. After all, he wouldn’t want more bad press now that his newest movie is coming out in a few months, right?
Over the past few years, we have seen the craziest limousines out there, including a Ferrari 360 Modena limousine. Now, we can add another crazy sports car limo to the list. This is a one-of-a-kind Dodge Viper convertible limousine that made its debut a couple of weeks ago at the Sam’s Town 300 NASCAR race in Las Vegas. It took the first lap around the track chauffeuring Oscar Goodman, the grand marshal of the race, around the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
This special limo was specially designed by a company called Unique Movie Cars, which specialize in creating models specially for the big screen. You may remember models like the Mutt Cutts van from Dumb and Dumber and KITT from Knight Rider - both of them were the company’s proud creations.
It seems that the new Viper limousine will offer interior room for six people, but we don’t know just yet the technologies it will offer.
While the development of charging stations and wireless charging continues on a productive path, some people choose to charge their vehicles in a much more practical - and dedicated - fashion. We received a tip on an owner of a Fisker Karma in Paris that goes to great lengths - literally - to charge his hybrid sedan.
In the 16th District of Paris in "Place d’iena," where homes sell for about $3 million, a reader was able to take a picture of this Fisker Karma with its extension cord snaked out of its window. The extension cord was then stretched up to the owner’s window and undoubtedly plugged in to charge. As if that’s not ballsy enough in a neighborhood where thieves probably salivate at the opportunity of someone slipping up in their defenses, the owner left the car there overnight! This guy must really want to make sure his car is charged before going to work in the morning.
As a refresher, the Fisker Karma is a plug-in hybrid that uses a lithium-ion battery pack to power two 200+ hp electric motors for about 50 miles. Once the juice runs out of the batteries, a GM-sourced 2.0-liter gas engine producing 260 hp generates the electricity needed to power the sedan. Fisker says the Karma makes the 0 to 60 mph sprint in less than 6 seconds and can hit a top speed of more than 125 mph.