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Germany

Germany


The 2012 London Olympics is now in full swing and German automaker is lending its support to the German National Team by providing a special edition, one-off A1 E-Tron model to serve as the company’s exhibition model.

We all know that the A1 E-Tron carries an internal combustion engine that charges the car’s batteries and can produce a total of 102 horsepower with a 0-60 mph time of 10 seconds and a top speed of just over 80 mph. Clearly, the A1 E-Tron isn’t exactly a rubber smoker, but nevertheless, it does make for a good celebratory piece for the German National Team at the Olympics. As an official partner of Germany’s Olympic Sports Confederation and the National Paralympic Committee Germany, Audi has even sent 60 A1 E-Tron models to London where they are being used as a shuttle service running between the MS Deutschland cruise ship and the German House.

As for the A1 E-Tron Germany Olympic Team Edition, the car carries the colors of Germany loud and proud in its support of its athletes. The one-off model also sports black bezel headlamps, ’2012’ in scripted on the side mirrors and roof, a new set of white multi-spoke wheels with touches of Germany’s national colors, and an exclusive interior trim with the same patriotic highlights reserved only for this particular model.


It’s no secret that F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has a pretty deep set of pockets. Sure, having that much money has gotten him in trouble on numerous occasions, but it still doesn’t hurt to have those kind of resources because it might come in handy when you are reportedly interested in purchasing a bankrupt race track.

That’s the word coming out of German newspaper, Rheinpfalz, which reported that Ecclestone is interested in buying the Nurburgring race track. Yeah, when we’re worried about the financial hit that will come from buying shoes, Ecclestone seems to have no worries about buying a race track.

Such is life.

In any case, the F1 chief is actually interested in buying the company that owns the Nurburgring. Financial details and specifications surrounding this apparent interest isn’t being divulged, but Ecclestone has made it pretty clear that he still wants Formula One to have a race in one of the most famous tracks in the world although he did say that it would not happen at his expense. This negates previous rumors that F1 would waive the typical sanctioning fee to bring an F1 race to the Nürburgring, which totaled $25 million when the race was brought to Austin, Texas.

This, of course, isn’t the first time Ecclestone has gotten into the business of track buying, having previously done so a few years ago when he purchased a controlling stake of the Turkish GP race track. Ecclestone also owns the Paul Richard test circuit in France.

Now it looks like he’s got his eyes set on buying arguably the most famous race track in the world. Just another day in the life of the eccentric F1 billionaire.

Source: rheinpfalz

For most Americans, if you mention “Fall Guy” and “Volkswagen Amarok,” they have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. The former was a rather unpopular TV show that ran from November 4, 1981 through May 2, 1986 featuring a stuntman turned bounty hunter named Colt Seaver and the latter is a pickup truck that Volkswagen offers only in the European market. When you put the two together, you get the Volkswagen Amarok Colt Seaver Edition.

In the series, Colt Seaver drove a beat up 1980 GMC Sierra that was put through many suspension-breaking stunts and, much like General Lee on the Dukes of Hazzard, the Sierra never showed any signs of wear. Well, the theme of this one-off Amarok is the Sierra that Seaver beat the heck out of.

The Amarok Colt Seaver Edition receives its power from a 1,968 cc 4-pot engine that cranks out 163 PS (160 horsepower) at 4,000 rpm and 400 Nm (295 pound-feet) of torque at 1,500 to 2,000 rpm. What makes it like the Sierra that Seaver beat around is the fact that it boasts the same tan-on-brown paint scheme, brush bar, roll bar, and light bar that the Sierra boasted – scaled down to meet the Amarok’s compact size, of course. It also boasts a rather large “Fall Guy Stuntman Assoc” decal on its hood.

The truck itself actually looks rather neat with its lift kit, all-terrain tires, and classic paint job, but to name a special edition truck after a relatively unknown TV series from the `80s is strange. This becomes especially strange when you consider that the dealership building this truck is asking €51,695 ($62,700 at the current exchange rates) for it, which is just shy of three times the Amarok’s base price.

Here you go, take that ridiculous decal off of the hood and strip all ties to the TV show and it just may be worth the cash.

For those that don’t know the TV series (AKA most of America) click past the jump to see a video piecing together stunts from the show.

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.

The Famed Nürburgring is in Financial Trouble

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.

Source: Total F1

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 Mini Mini stry 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.

Source: Bloomberg

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