When Porsche launched the Panamera, we were a little shocked, but the novelty has quickly worn off and we are now pretty much indifferent about it. The biggest issue that makes the Panamera such an afterthought is the fact that it’s not really cool. Sure it’s a sedan, but sedans can still be pretty bad-ass (see: Tesla Model S, Ford Taurus SHO, etc.)
Germany’s No Limit Custom, a motorcycle customization shop, has shifted its focus from building awesome bikes to modifying sports cars. One of its newest models released is a modification kit to the Porsche Panamera, which it dubbed the GP-970. NLC claims this kit fits every style of Panamera to date: the Panamera, Panamera S, Panamera S Hybrid, Panamera 4/4S, Panamera GTS, Panamera Turbo, and Panamera Turbo S.
For the most part, the GP-970 kit is only to increase the appearance and aerodynamics of the already relatively powerful Panamera. As with many body kits, there is a fine line between improving the car and completely ruining it, which is what we need to take a look at.
To find out if NLC is part of the former or latter group, you’re going to have to click past the jump.
Videos of people tackling the `Ring are becoming more and more precious, as we await the outcome of its bankruptcy proceeding and find out if the Nürburgring will continue to exist or not. In the above video, we get a great look at just how awesome this sacred track really is, as we watch Kazunori Yamauchi navigate a Lexus IS F racecar around this technical track.
It’s not necessarily the most intense video, as it is relatively event-free, but watching Yamauchi whip the steering wheel as he feathers the throttle is a thing of art. You also get a front-row seat at seeing what it’s like on the `Ring, a thing that none of us will likely ever experience.
What’s even better is that this video was taken during the 24 hours race, so this isn’t the short version of the Nürburgring. This race includes the GP circuit of the `Ring, which also adds significant time to his lap, which YouTube commenters left so much negative feedback on, the poster had to add a disclaimer to the video.
So, crank up the speakers, kick back, and enjoy a spot in the passenger’s seat as Kazunori Yamauchi and his Lexus IS F take us for a tour around the `Ring. It’s definitely worth the 10 minutes.
If you’ve ever been to a tire shop for four brand-spankin’-new tires, you can typically expect to sit around for at least an hour. If you show up on a Saturday, you had better just drop off your car and come back in three or four hours. That is, of course, unless you are F1 driver Jenson Button.
At the German Grand Prix on Sunday, Button was in 3rd place and pulled into the pits for a new set of tires, which you can typically expect to lose at least one position when doing. Button, on the other hand, pulled in and didn’t even lose a single position. It’s not because the car trailing him was so far behind, but rather because his pit crew was ridiculously fast. They lifted the car, removed four tires and rims, and installed four new tires and rims in 2.31 seconds.
That’s not only insanely fast, but it is also a new world record. One YouTube user managed to get a shot of the record-breaking pit stop and posted it for all of us to see. Literally, if you blink, you’ll miss almost everything.
Check out the above video to see just how fast this crew gets this job done. The lightning-fast work of Button’s crew also enabled him to overtake the No. 2 slot, as Sebastian Vettel pitted shortly after Button.
As the Nürburgring sinks into its bankruptcy proceedings and the light at the end of the tunnel of relief for the famed `Ring looks bleak, everyone in the automotive industry would love to help, but they all have their own problems. F1 has its own lineup of issues to deal with, especially its boss, Bernie Ecclestone, but it has stepped up to the task and is offering a much-needed hand to the failing track.
Ecclestone has vowed to do whatever he can to save the track and isn’t just saying it to sound good. According to a report, Ecclestone has said that he will waive the typical sanctioning fee to bring an F1 race to the Nürburgring. For those that don’t know how significant that really is, the fee to bring F1 to Austin, Texas ran a full $25 million. That would bring huge attendance to the ’Ring and general tourism to the suffering area, possibly giving it the injection of cash that it needs.
F1 is still an extremely popular series in Europe, so the entire area could see income in the hundreds of million of dollars, if it is planned correctly. The biggest issue is whether the `Ring is suitable for F1 racing, as low income typically leads to poor track conditions. If it is not in acceptable shape, would Nürburgring officials have the spare cash to fix it up? If there is no cash to fix it, would F1 be willing to inch closer to that plate by helping fix the track to get it race-ready?
According to reports from `Ring officials, there is only a short time frame to get an F1 deal done, but it may be a little too late to completely save the famed raceway.
We’ll keep you updated as more information becomes available.
We are always writing article about this and that sports cars trekking around the famous Nürburgring course in Germany, which we have nicknamed the `Ring out of necessity. We have even seen some not-so-sporty cars lapping the ring, like a CR-V that found out it did not belong on a race track. We never really gave any thought to the financial health of our favorite circuit.
According to a report from Germany, the `Ring is in some serious financial trouble and is in need of a financial bailout. Officials running the Nürburgring have reached out to the European Union for a roughly €13 million bailout, but the EU has said “No way.” In addition to the denial of funds, there is also a pending investigation on a €524 million payment the `Ring and its surrounding attractions – an amusement park, mall and hotel – received.
The reasoning behind this investigation is that German Land Rhineland Palatinate (RLP) provided the €524 million in funds for the building of the aforementioned leisure activities under the guise of tourism. It was later found by the EU that the Nürburgring was already in financial chaos at that time and the funds are seen as a potential bailout, which requires EU approval.
Ultimately, the Nürburgring has already filed for bankruptcy and its future will be decided by either the courts or its new owners.
We knew that the `Ring was in some trouble back in 2010 when the Save the Ring group was formed, but we never would have expected this. We guess Porsche is likely happy with its decision to buy its own track, as the `Ring very well may not exist in just a few years. We hope that is not the end result, but it is a distant possibility.
We all know that when you buy or sell anything of significant worth, the gummament is not too far away with its hand out asking for its share. It doesn’t care which side it comes from, just as long as someone pays “The Man.” Well, when VW AG decided it was time to buyout the remaining 50.1 percent of Porsche and get its former ownership group completely out of the picture, we were talking billions of Euros, €4.5 billion to be exact.
Well, even in Germany, “The Man,” or better yet “Der Mann,” is there in the form of the Baden-Württemberg Finance Ministry asking for his cut of the deal, which would total about €1.5 billion ($1.9 million). This was just about the breaking point of the entire deal, as a part of the buyout was that VW pays the tax.
After five months of massaging the numbers, looking at the laws, and manipulating things in ways that would make a business ethics major cringe, VW and Porsche are about to pull off this deal 100 percent tax free. How they pulled this off was simple enough… The only real sticking point was the fact that VW had to find out how to manipulate the deal into a corporate restructuring, as opposed to a sale.
To achieve a restructuring classification instead of a buy-sell classification, VW gave Porsche the €4.5 billion buying price, but included in that price a single voting share of VW stock… Yeah, that’s it. One little piece of paper that says “I can vote on important issues” saved VW €1.5 billion. Gotta love those tax attorneys.
The deal has yet to be approved by state authorities, but sans any omissions or errors, this looks to be a final deal that gives VW the title to Porsche, instead of just a rental contract.
So picture that you just snagged up a car for, let’s say $3,800, and it is a great car that you completely fall in love with. A year later, you find out that the car was illegally seized according to a court ruling and you have to hand the car over to the heirs of its original owner. You’d be pretty upset, right? Well, add three zeros to that price and you that exact situation unfolding in Germany.
A Dutch car collector purchased a 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Roadster from RM Auctions last year for a whopping $3.8 million in California. When the collector shipped the car back to Germany, the German government seized the car stating that it was illegally taken by an American military official around 1945 and shipped to the U.S., as the heirs of the pricy automobile are claiming that the American serviceman stole the vehicle and hid it in the U.S.
Typically, Germany has a 30-year statute of limitation on this sort of case, but a German court stated that since the car was not in Germany for 30 years, the limitation clock never started, which is an odd interpretation of statute of limitations laws. The strangest thing is that between 1945 and 1970, no one has any idea where the car was and what was being done with it, so there is technically no proof that the car was not in Germany, and we find the ruling a little off the wall.
We certainly hope that the buyer can recoup at least a majority of the $3.8 million he used to purchase the car from the seller. Also, there has to be some U.S. law on the books that puts RM Auctions on the hook for selling a car with a shady and undocumented past that just may cost the collector millions of dollars.
One thing’s for sure, if this car wasn’t worth $3.7 million, we are willing to bet that the heirs couldn’t have cared less about getting back the property… We’ll keep you updated as this story progresses.
Ever wonder what it would be like to sit in the wings as the newest, hottest supercar desperately tries to conceal its newest generation? Feel at home with a camera in your hand and money in your pocket? PistonSpy Tours is now offering a few lucky people a chance to do just that as they embark on a trip through some of the most popular testing grounds in the world for the opportunity to catch these cars in action.
For a fee ranging from £700 to £1100, these lucky folks will be able to tour either Germany, Italy/Alps, or Sweden with a guide to take pictures or videos of vehicles that have not been introduced to the market just yet. The tour will last four days and will include pick up/drop off at the airport, fuel used during the trip, hotels/guest houses, breakfast and evening meals, and the vehicle that will be shared during the trip.
At the end of this adventure, guests will be able to take home a gallery of their shots and will also get the chance to sell them to the automotive press to make some extra cash. All in a day’s work during this remarkable working vacation!
This trip is only being offered for a short time and only 1-3 guests will be able to join the guide, so make your reservations quick! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The European auto market has the Spring Edition. The American auto market has the Special Edition. Continuing on that trend, Mazda has announced that it will be releasing a new special run model of their highly-popular MX-5 Miata sports car for the German market.
The model is called the MX-5 Senshu Special Edition, which made its debut at the 2012 Auto Mobil International Show in Leipzig, Germany.
The "Senshu" name is Japanese for "player," and this particular Miata is all that and more. It’s available in three different exterior colors - Red, White, and Black - and is based on the MX-5’s Sports Line spec model.
On the outside, the Senshu Special Edition comes equipped with a unique black surround design on the front front grille, racing stripes that run along the car’s profile, a matte black rear diffuser, xenon headlights, a lowered Bilstein sports suspension, and a new set of 17" dark alloy wheels wrapped in 205/45 R17 tires.
Inside, the special edition MX-5 gets treated to leather seats dressed in a two-tone black and gray scheme. It also has red stitching on the door panels, red surrounds on the air vents, an aluminum trim decoration, sports aluminum pedals, and a Bose audio system.
No performance enhancements were made to the car so expect it to carry the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 158 horsepower and is mated to a six-speed manual transmission.
Only 200 of these babies will hit the German market with each being priced at €29,190, a number that converts to $36,297 based on current exchange rates.
The Toyota GT 86 is fast becoming a popular sports car choice in a number of worldwide markets, so much so that a country like Germany will receive a host of new accessories for the Japanese sports coupe.
Remember, the GT 86 is being prepared as a no-frills sports car, so if you want to add your own personal touches to it, you can do so at your own behest. In order to address people’s needs for creativity, Toyota Germany has released a number of new accessories that can be seen on the sports car.
Taking a look at the package, it appears pretty similar to the one being offered in Italy. The racing stripes on the hood and the roof are there, as are the decals on the sides. On the flip side, the German accessories for the GT 86 also include carbon fiber mirror caps, a choice of wheels - the OZ racing Ultraleggera alloys cost €529 ($657) - suspension tweaks, a new JBL sound system, and a touch-screen display with navigation.
Those last three accessories cost €189 ($234), €1,045 ($1,300), and €695 ($863), respectively.
If you needed proof that the GT 86 is becoming a hot ticket in multiple towns, you only need to look at two countries that are famous for their super cars - Italy and Germany - showing some serious love for the Japanese sports coupe to realize that the GT 86 is here to stay.