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  Automotive industry news, it feels like nothing of what they say is really important but put it together and you will get the big picture before the others.

As one of the world’s most esteemed brands, Ferrari is no stranger to getting involved with weird lawsuits. But this time, the Maranello-based company has found itself in a humdinger of a legal battle with a 21-year-old amateur racer. The issue at hand? Control of a Ferrari fan page on Facebook.

According to Bloomberg, 21-year-old Sammy Wasem and his father Olivier have filed a criminal complaint against Ferrari SpA over accusations that the latter engaged in copyright infringement on a Ferrari fan page the younger Wasem started when he was 15 years old. Not to be outdone, Ferrari has also taken the steps to sue the Wasems, claiming that on their part, the two misused the company’s trademark to advertise non-Ferrari merchandise on its website, not to mention touting the brand on items like Wasem’s 18th birthday celebration.

This case is peculiar on so many levels, notwithstanding the obvious oddity of a fight involving a Facebook fan page. But it also has far-reaching consequences to a lot more people, largely because of how it can define the line that crosses violating somebody’s freedom of expression on social media.

As far as Ferrari is concerned, the issue it has is with people who, according to spokesman Stefano Lai, "try to use Ferrari’s intellectual property to make money out of it,” an accusation that the company is apparently throwing the direction of the Wasems despite objections by Olivier Wasem that he and his son made no money selling merchandise on the site.

For them, the fan page was merely an expression of Sammy’s love for the Maranello brand, and when it grew to become one of the biggest Ferrari fan pages on Facebook, it caught the attention of Ferrari, who in turn, sent the Wasems an email on March 2009, informing them that it was "taking over formal administration of the fan page".

At first, the Wasems agreed to turn the site into the official fan page for Ferrari, but on the understanding that they would receive financial compensation for their efforts in improving the fan page. But the money never came, four years after they lost their administration rights, hence, the civil lawsuit that was filed in February 2013, demanding Ferrari to pay them owed compensation, amounting to around $11 million for 5,500 hours of work.

I have a mild issue with the numbers the kid and his dad are tossing out. First of all, 5,500 hours since the age of 15 means that he spent 17 hours per week working on the Facebook page. I find that a little outlandish. Secondly, doing the math on the amount they are suing for and the amount of time spent on the site (per their claims) that amounts out to $2,000 per hour... Yeah, that’s a little much, folks.

As it stands, the case is now in the hands of a Geneva prosecutor who, in turn, will determine what kind of action is going to be taken next.

Click past the jump to read about Ferrari’s latest model: the California T

Source: Bloomberg

The SRT Viper’s well-chronicled sales struggles have been well documented in the media these days. While company boss Ralph Giles continues to put on a brave — and maybe even defiant — face, today’s news involving Chrysler’s decision to shut down production of the Viper because of lagging sales is something even Giles doesn’t have any excuse for.

The company made the announcement in a statement, essentially confirming rumors that it was shutting down its Conner Avenue Assembly Plant from April 14th to to June 23rd. That’s two months of the Viper’s production remaining idle, but given how much supply it still has in its inventory — 756 unsold on March 1 — there was no need for the company to keep building more Vipers .

The Viper’s struggles in sales are a little surprising, considering the hype and fanfare the sports car received when it made its return a few years ago. Some people might point to the season as a reason for lagging sales, but even that doesn’t fully explain how the Viper hasn’t been universally lauded the same way as the new Chevrolet Corvette Stingray .

Even with its limited production, wouldn’t consumers be tripping over themselves to get a Viper if it were in such a high demand? The truth its, demand for the sports car isn’t as high as SRT would’ve hoped.

We are starting to wonder if this lack of interest may result in a very short lifespan for the new SRT Viper... Let us know what you think in the comments section.

Click past the jump to read more about the SRT Viper.

We’ve been keeping a close eye on the roasting Porsche GT3 debacle unfolding over the last month or so with little information to go on. However, Porsche has unofficially announced the findings from its investigation and the company’s apparent remedy to the conundrum. Porsche will be replacing every 2014 GT3’s 3.8-liter engine.

A GT3 owner posted a letter from Porsche on an owner forum explaining the issue and Porsche’s plan to rectify it. According to the letter, damage is caused by “loosened piston rod screw connection which damaged the crankcase,” in the case of at least two GT3s. The letter continues saying a new screw connection is currently being tested.

In our estimation from the statement above, the 3.8-liter flax six threw a rod that damaged the crankcase and resulted in a fire. Perhaps shrapnel from the exploding block ripped through a fuel line, resulting in the blaze seen in the picture above.

When Porsche concludes the updated hardware will work, “we will be installing new engines with optimized piston rod screw connections in all 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 vehicles.” The letter goes on to say the Porsche will begin scheduling services and owners will be getting more information within the next three weeks.

Stay tuned to TopSpeed for any breaking news on this story.

Click past the jump to read Porsche’s letter and more about the Porsche 911 GT3 and to read the letter from Porsche.

Source: Rennlist

Ever since Jeep unveiled the new 2015 Renegade at the Geneva Motor Show , the world has gobbled up every bit of information about the new crossover . Small, practical, useful, fun, and sporty — Chrysler’s newest Jeep has all the same Jeep ingredients we’re used to, but has packaged it in a very unique way.

Besides being a unique vehicle in the Jeep lineup, the Renegade is also set to be one of Jeep’s most popular. Built in Italy in cohorts with Fiat , the Renegade will be sold globally. Its small size, fuel-efficient lineup of engines, and four-wheel-drive systems will help it conquer the competition.

We’ve already told you about the all-new Renegade here , but now we’re bringing you a condensed version – a top 10 list of notable features Chrysler hopes will put the Renegade on top.

Click past the jump for an overview of the 2015 Jeep Renegade

Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Get those checkbooks ready because the first production 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is headed to Barrett Jackson. For everyone who was pining for the return of the Corvette Z06, your wish was granted when Chevrolet officially unveiled the sports car it hailed as the "most track-capable Corvette ever, designed to deliver supercar levels of performance through unique powertrain, chassis and aerodynamic features".

But if you’re interested in new Corvette Z06, you’re going to need to pony up a significant amour of money because the first production Corvette Z06 — yep, the one with VIN 001 — is headed to the Barrett Jackson auction in Palm Beach, Florida from April 11th through the 13th.

This isn’t the first time that Chevrolet has sent first production models to the auction block, including the first production 2014 Corvette Stingray , which NASCAR team owner and Corvette collector Richard Hendrick scooped up for $1 million.

Not to discourage anybody who doesn’t have that kind of budget, but that’s just the market these days for these first production Corvettes. And with this one being the long-awaited Z06, there’s a good chance that $1 million turns out to be a conservative estimate.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Corvette Z06.

Schumacher will Drive a 2011 Formula 1 Silver Arrow Around Nurburgring

It’s been over two months since Michael Schumacher’s horrible skiing accident that left him fighting for his life in a French hospital, but recent reports by Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport indicates that Schumacher is now breathing on his own.

While this seems like a significant development for the seven-time Formula One world champion who is, according to his manager Sabine Kehm, still in the "wake up phase," the family has released a statement through Schumi’s manager claiming that this claim is false, according to a report from TGCOM24..

The same Gazzetta article also indicated that two of Schumacher’s best buds in Formula One — Jean Todt and Ross Brawn — have made frequent visits to the hospital to be by Schumacher’s side. It’s also been reported that when Todt and Brawn visit Schumi, recordings of pit radio conversations and F1 engine sounds are played in an attempt to stimulate his memories.

We’re still holding out for better and more definitive news of his condition, and we’d love to believe that this report is true. Unfortunately, it looks like we are still in a holding pattern with this situation

Click past the jump to read more about Michael Schumacher.

Source: TGCOM24
BMW 4 Series Coupe

Every year, hundreds of motoring journalists from all over the world descend upon New York City for the New York International Auto Show . Among the new car reveals, fancy parties and exciting concepts, the New York Auto Show also plays host to the World Car of the Year Awards.

This prestigious award is handed out by a collection of experienced automotive journalists from around the world. Some of this year’s jurors include writers from countries like Japan, Russia, South Africa, China, Australia and more. Overall there are nearly 70 jurors in total.

Some of the previous year’s winners include the Mk VII Volkswagen Golf and the Nissan Leaf .

Of all the cars that were eligible for this year’s award, twelve have been selected as finalists. We have brought together all twelve of the final candidates for you here, and we also included a little bit information about each one.
Which one do you think deserves to win and why? Sound off in the comments below.

Click past the jump to read about the World Car of the Year candidates

Mercedes C63 AMG

In today’s news we have a report that says one of our favorite fire-breathing sports cars is getting a convertible version. We are talking about the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG. In the past, the AMG-tuned C-Class models have been offered in basic coupe , wagon and sedan models, but Autocar claims that a convertible version is in the works as well.

Power will be provided by a new 4.0-liter V8, strapped with a pair of turbocharges to boost output to about 500 horsepower. Expect the torque rating to be similarly lofty.

As for the rest of the drivetrain, the AMG team at Mercedes has been making a habit of sticking an AWD system in its cars lately, but Autocar says that won’t be the case with the C63. They even got a quote from AMG boss Tobias Moers at the Detroit Auto Show , “There will be no four-wheel drive on the C63.”

Can you imagine how much you could have in a tire-destroying, 500 horsepower four-seat convertible? I can already smell the rubber and hear the passengers screaming.

No official word on when the new convertible will be coming, but since the standard sedan isn’t expected until early next year, summer 2015 would make for a safe guess.

Source: Autocar UK
Toyota FT-1 Concept

Well it looks like we have some solid confirmation that the bonkers Toyota FT-1 Concept is actually going to be the next Supra . Yes, every person in the entire world has said that the FT-1 is the next Supra already, but that was all speculation, conjecture and plain old rumor mongering. What we have now is much more solid proof that the folks at Toyota are turning their drop-dead sexy coupe concept into the next Japanese supercar .

The confirmation comes from a man named Peter Lyon. If you are unfamiliar with his name, I am sure you have probably read his work at some point. He is a journalist living in Tokyo who specializes in the Japanese Auto Industry. He has had his work published in MotorTrend, Autocar, Evo and many more. If anyone has connections at Toyota , it is this guy.

According to a source “close to Toyota” the next Supra is a go, and it is well into production. The current target is a 2016 release.

Beyond confirming that the Supra is really coming, Lyon gives drivetrain details.

Read on to hear what he has to say, and hear our take on it as well.

Click past the jump to read about the Toyota FT-1 Concept

Source: 7Tune
Koenigsegg Agera R BLT

I have come to know and love Tesla , though I try to keep our love affair under wraps for the most part. It’s not fair for myself — a journalist — to attest my love for a brand, but in this case, I feel I am in good enough company to let that little tidbit of information out.

The reason I feel so comfortable doing so is that Christian von Koenigsegg — yeah, the dude who some of the most bad-ass supercars in the world are named after — wears his love for the electric car manufacturer on his shoulder. Yup, he actually drives a Tesla Model S every day. Let that sink in for a second; the guy could drive any one of his hypercars to work, but he prefers his Model S.

He went on to say that he feels that about 80 percent of the cars sold by the year 2020 will be electric.

An added twist to this story is that when Koenigsegg was in the market to snatch up the now-defunct Saab , its intentions were to manufacture and sell all-electric cars. This may have led to Mr Koenigsegg singing a different tune had that gone through.

No matter what way you slice it, it is pretty cool to have him give Tesla the ol’ hat tip.

Click past the jump to read about the car he loves so much.


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