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BMW is preparing to launch a new version of its popular X5 SUV, the F15 Security Plus. To the casual observer, nothing is amiss with the X5, but to a firearm-wielding criminal bent on theft or worse, the F15 Security Plus is a rolling safehouse disguised as a BMW .

BMW will officially debut the armored X5 at the upcoming Moscow Auto Show next week, though the original concept made its first appearance in Frankfurt last year. The F15 Security Plus is designed to meet the VR6 protection level, meaning attacks from small arms fire like the AK-47, AR-15, and most hand guns will have no effect on the passenger’s health (well, save for panic or heart attacks).

Ballistic panels and glass aren’t the only modifications BMW has done to the F15. The chassis has been strengthened while the electronic management systems and brakes have been upgraded to deal with the added weight. Power comes from the twin-turbocharged, 4.4-liter V-8 making 445 horsepower and 480 pound feet of torque.

This isn’t BMW’s first in-house armored vehicle. The German automaker has been producing armored versions of its 7 Series for nearly two decades. Currently BMW is producing the VR7-rated 7 Series rated to protect against more lethal threats like explosives and higher-powered rifles.

BMW will also offer a lighter, VR4-rated X5 SUV for customers looking for basic protection but with minimal changes in vehicle driving dynamics. More details are slated for release once the vehicle debuts in Moscow.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW X5 F15 Security Plus

We cover a ton of fast cars and torque-rich trucks here at TopSpeed, but sometimes we’ve got to examine what we’re up against — or what the bank robber who’s stolen a BMW 3 Series as a get-away car is up against. Take a look at the new 2015 Dodge Charger Pursuit. The new police cruiser from Dodge gets all the updates the civilian Charger gets, but also comes with all the right stuff for nabbin’ perps.

Cops are very demanding of their cars; it’s their rolling office and has to be comfortable for an eight-hour shift, plus be ready for chasing suspects sideways down a back road or at 120 mph on the interstate. Dodge has brought the goods with the 2015 Charger Pursuit, retaining all the positive characteristics from the previous Charger, plus incorporating some new features that keep officers happy and Dodge competitive in the squad car category. Remember Ford and Chevy offer some stiff competition.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Dodge Charger Pursuit.

While there’s nothing wrong with the Italian police having a Lamborghini Gallardo or a Huracan sports car at its disposal to apprehend those lightning-fast crooks, a British constabulary’s choice for a patrol vehicle might raise a few eyebrows. No, we’re not talking about a McLaren P1 , although that would be awkward considering the supercar ’s limited availability and purpose, but the Ariel Atom , a vehicle that’s light enough to sprint from 0 to 60 mph quicker than any hypercar.

Unveiled less than a month ago, the ultra-quick Atom 3.5R will serve as a police vehicle following an agreement between the British manufacturer and the local Constabulary of Avon and Somerset. Now don’t go thinking the local police force responsible for protecting the county of Somerset is about to embark on a series of high-speed pursuits, because this specific Atom has a different purpose. According to Auto Express, the featherweight vehicle will help local police raise awareness among motorcycle riders about road safety through the Safer Rider campaign.

There’s no explanation as to why the Somerset Constabulary picked an Ariel Atom for the campaign, but we’re guessing it’s because the vehicle lacks a proper shell, bearing a closer resemblance to motorbikes. It might also have something to do with the fact that Ariel will launch a motorcycle later this year.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Ariel Atom Police Car.

Source: AutoExpress

Every year, BMW brings a number of its vehicles to RETTmobil, considered as the best European expo for emergency vehicles. This year, the Bavarian automaker is doing it again with a handful of models that are built specifically for this occasion. One of these models is the BMW X5 xDrive30d Paramedic Vehicle, which gives a whole new meaning to a luxury SUV ambulance.

The BMW X5 xDrive30d Paramedic Vehicle isn’t your ordinary X5. It’s actually been fully equipped to serve a specific purpose. The exterior colors pretty much say it all, right? The white base of the X5 makes way for orange graphics throughout the body. Custom-issued emergency lights sit on top of the X5 and just under the kidney grilles, further showcasing the breadth of customization BMW undertook to turn this SUV into a full-fledged paramedic vehicle.

The interior of this X5 xDrive30d wasn’t shown in any of the photos, but to serve its purpose, we can surmise that BMW removed most of the accessories from a standard X5 and slapped on a host of life-saving equipment. It should also have tremendous amounts of space and an automatic tailgate that makes it more accessible in times of emergency.

Another important element of this paramedic vehicle is its engine. In this case, this X5 comes with a 3.0-liter six-cylinder in-line diesel engine that produces 258 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, more than enough power to be of good use in emergency situations. It’s also been equipped with xDrive all-wheel drive, allowing it to successfully navigate through the toughest of terrain.

The BMW X5 xDrive30d Paramedic Vehicle is one of seven vehicles BMW is bringing to ReTTmobil. But we’re guessing that lots of eyes will be on this one.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW X5.

What would you do if you were driving back from a casino or just a really high-stakes game of Bingo, and a cop pulled you over and took all of your winnings legally without any guilt on your end? I suspect you would be like me and be rather irate about it. Well, in Nevada and plenty of other states, there is a lot of this happening, and the police are raking in the dough because of it. But now, the citizens are fighting back.

Enter in Tan Nguyen, a man that claims he was on his way to a cousin’s house in California after winning $50,000 at a local casino and as he headed through Humboldt County, Nevada, Deputy Lee Dove pulled him over for doing — get this — 78 in a 75-mph zone. Dove then searched Nguyen’s car and Nguyen opened a briefcase for the deputy, exposing the $50,000 he was carrying. Dove then claimed to smell marijuana in the car and made Nguyen sign a "property for safekeeping receipt," which basically says "here, take my stuff without any criminal charges, because he thought the money was illegally obtained. Nguyen claims he only signed the form under the threat that Dove would confiscate his car and leave him stranded if he hadn’t.

After that was all said and done, Dove warned Nguyen about speeding and left without citing him for anything, but kept the money. The next day, Dove was pictured next to the money with a caption that read: "This cash would have been used to purchase illegal drugs and now will benefit Humboldt County with training and equipment. Great job."

Dove then did the same thing three months later to Ken Smith, as after pulling him over and running a warrant check, he found that a man with that name had a warrant out. Dove detained Smith, swindled him out of over $13,000 and a 0.40 -caliber handgun, and let him go. What’s more, the Ken Smith in question is a white man and the one in the warrant was African-American .

Both Nguyen and Smith have rightfully filed lawsuits, but Nevada seemingly protects itself from this by requiring the owner of the money to prove that it was obtained legally. So essentially, they are guilty until they prove themselves innocent. What makes this all a little fishier is the fact that the Police keep 100 percent of the proceeds from the forfeiture.

Don’t go thinking that this can only happen in Nevada either, as 25 states allow police to keep all the forfeited and seized money, and 37 states have a "guilty until you prove your innocence" stance on forfeitures.

I, for one, say this is completely insane. Who would think that the men and women that are supposed to protect and serve are robbing people blind, and the laws back them up? Check out the video after the jump to see some of the crazy things the police have bought with forfeited money.

Check out the video after the jump.

Source: Forbes

Everyday, thousands of new cars, trucks , vans , and SUVs roll off assembly lines the world over. They represent the newest technology and innovation their respective manufacturer has to offer, and for many buyers, will be the second-largest single purchase they make following their house.

But what happens to a vehicle once its life on the road comes to a stop? The latest infographic from gocompare.com details just how automotive recycling programs are cutting back on unused waste and reintroducing the market with quality recycled materials by shredding the old family sedan for all it’s worth.

Before the recycling process can begin, all fluids are drained, tires are removed, and special equipment like mercury switches and batteries are sent off for separate recycling. The tire-less, dry vehicles are then crushed and ground up. The fist-sized chunks coming from the grinder are then sorted, depending on material. At this point, roughly 15 to 25 percent of the vehicle is considered waste and enters a landfill, with the large remainder headed for further processing.

Plastics and metals are two of the largest reclaimed materials from recycled vehicles. In fact, recycled vehicle plastics save roughly 24 million barrels of oil annually in the U.S. alone. Metals like iron and steel are separated with magnets while copper and aluminum are separated by weight. Car batteries are also a highly recyclable material and can yield up to 97 percent of its original lead content in the process.

Automotive recycling is big business in America with over 12 million vehicles processed annually. Recycling is a $22 billion dollar industry and growing. That growth helps conserve resources and reduce landfill waste while expanding job growth the world over.

Click past the jump to check out the infographic

The failed relaunch of the latest Malibu is still haunting Chevrolet, with slow sales and heavy, heavy discounting needed to move anything near the projected sales numbers. Or even half the sales totals of the larger previous generation.

Car commercials are designed to elicit an emotional response, even a subconscious one. If successful, good creative that focuses on the brand can even plant a purchasing seed in that shopper’s mind for their next car.

Chevrolet has taken full advantage of this with a new television ad showcasing the 2014 Malibu. The target of the campaign is the Chevy family.

Chevy dads, moms, kids, and friends are shown enjoying the most important things in life while driving around in their new Malibu family-mobile. Thought-provoking piano music sets the tone as a meaningful life moments play out and we’re reminded of what matters most – and how grown men can cry like babies when viewing such television spots.

The full-blown marketing campaign aims to rectify the mediocre sales the all-new 2013 Malibu fetched, even with its complete redesign. Chevy received large numbers of customer complaints about bland styling, tight rear legroom, and below-segment-average fuel economy.

Chevy appears to be confident the expedited fixes to those problems will be what customers are looking for and will be enough to win buyers away from the Camry , Accord , Fusion , and Altima .

The front fascia of the 2014 Malibu receives the bulk of the remodeling with a cleaner, more aerodynamic and aggressive look while the interior only gets very minor changes to the center console.

The big interior changes happen in the back seat to address customer complaints of tight rear legroom. Although the car hasn’t changed in length, the rear seats cushions were trimmed by half an inch to visibly enlarge the space and seatbacks were moved rearward, allowing occupants to sit deeper within the seats. The front seatbacks were also scalloped 1.3 inches inward, allowing for more rear seat knee room.

Changes under the hood include the addition of a stop-start feature on the base 2.5-liter inline four. The simple change bumps EPA fuel economy numbers from 22 city/34 highway to 25/36. With the customer complaints addressed and fixed, we’re curios to see how the ’14 Malibu fares against the stiff competition the midsize sedan class offers.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Chevrolet Malibu

Posted on by TB +  

The latest Dodge Charger Pursuit just spanked its two arch-rivals in another high-speed test session by the Michigan State Police , whose data and recommendations are highly regarded in the law enforcement community. And can you blame them for choosing the only model running a Hemi V-8 to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic?

You read that right. The latest Charger is not only on the police order books as a rear-drive V-6 and V-8, but now also with the V-8 to all four wheels.

This is big news because it effectively makes the Charger Pursuit as one of the fastest cars on American highways — year round. With a powertrain and seamless AWD system offered for the V-8, the Charger is hotter than ever below its menacing panels.

No big changes outside since the 2012 refresh brought and updated nose and the full LED racetrack of brake lights in back. Even so, the numerous combinations of police-ready trims are enough to make even a grown man tinkle himself a little when viewed in the rearview mirror.

Such a mean grille surely lets any driver know that a big ticket is coming. Why? The Charger is most popular among money-generating State Highway Patrols versus the boring Tahoe and Taurus Interceptor PPV ’s run by suburban mall cops.

The big Charger Pursuit in your rearview means no chance of escape. The old Pursuit Hemi was able to char the freeways at 160 mph-plus top speed, with a 60 mph sprint now projected to be as low as 5.7 seconds for the AWD Hemi.

What red-blooded cop would turn down this as a daily driver?

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Dodge Charger Pursuit, with details on its newly-available AWD on the potent Hemi V-8.

Posted on by TB +  

In the 2014 Chevrolet Captiva Sport’s senior yearbook, the standard headshot would have been replaced by a blank “No Photo Available.” This commercial vehicle sits in the fleet-only section of Chevy ’s U.S. lineup. These models major on sale price and fuel mileage – but typically include few tech or luxury features and zero trendy styling.

The opposite of trendy, the Captiva Sport is eerily familiar on all American roads. By george! It is the stillborn, second-gen Saturn Vue in a bowtie grille! Additional fender flares and chrome accents appear where there were once maroon Saturn badges.

Reviving this car is a special treatment within General Motors, and only replicated with the (also fleet-only) Chevy Caprice PPV that started life as the 2008 Pontiac G8 GT. What this distinction means for the Captiva Sport is that the vehicles have to be delivered directly to a commercial operator, thereby skipping the local retailer in favor of bulk orders.

The Captiva Sport’s big news for 2014 is an updated infotainment unit that now offers Chevrolet MyLink touchscreen audio and mobile connectivity.

The Captiva Sport is therefore a work car for people who might otherwise be in a Malibu Classic (yes, it existed..) or a Cruze – neither of which have AWD winter traction.

The larger Chevrolet Equinox is also on the fleet books for virtually identical list prices. How do they compare?

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Chevrolet Captiva Sport, the only autobahn-tested AWD crossover in the Chevrolet’s American commercial fleet lineup.

Posted on by Simona  

It looks like things have turned sour at Porsche headquarters in the past few months. At the beginning of this year, a former Porsche dealer in India, Precision Cars, filed a criminal case against Porsche and the courts in Jaipur decided that Porsche CEO, Mattias Müller, and eight other Porsche execs could be arrested and issued warrants for said arrests .

Now, Porsche’s is facing other difficulties. Ex-finance chief, Holger Haerter, has been convicted of fraud after a court in Stuttgart, Germany proved he provided falsified information back in 2009 when Porsche tried to take over Volkswagen AG. The court decided that Haerter offered inaccurate information when he was working on refinancing French bank BNP Paribas’ part of a €10 billion loan ($13 billion). The biggest issue at hand is that this false information affected Volkswagen ’s stock price and lead to market manipulation.

Reports say that prosecutors wanted him to serve time in jail, but instead he was fined an unspecified amount. Haerter rejected the charges and argued for an acquittal.

Click past the jump to read more about Volkswagen’s takeover.

Source: DetroitNews

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