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USA

Things aren’t looking so good for Aston Martin’s future if the automaker fails to get an exemption from the U.S. government’s crash test standards regarding its DB9 and Vantage models. More specifically, both models fail to comply with the new side-impact crash standards coming into effect next month and therefore would not qualify for sale within the U.S. Bloomberg reports Aston Martin filed for an exemption for the two cars last year, but the word is still out on whether the automaker will be able to continue selling the two models without making significant structural changes to meet the higher standards.

The exemptions would allow the DB9 to be sold through August 2016 and the Vantage through August 2017. Without such leeway, the automaker could suffer tremendous financial losses to its dealer network, resulting in many lost jobs and closed franchises.

With the independently owned Aston Martin already in a tight financial bind, the automaker likely cannot afford to significantly alter the DB9 and Vantage to comply with the new legislation. Since Aston Martin isn’t a part of a larger organization of automakers, it cannot simply borrow technology or shift funds to fix the problem.

The new side-impact crash standards taking effect next month are designed to heighten a vehicle’s ability to protect occupants against impacts with solid objects such as utility poles and trees.

Click past the jump to read about the Aston Martin Vantage and DB9

Source: Bloomberg

Mercedes-Benz USA has a potential problem on its hands with the 2015 GLA-Class . No, it’s not the kind of problem that can spell doom and gloom for the new crossover itself. It’s the kind of problem that spells doom and gloom for U.S. customers of the GLA-Class. That’s because the supply of GLA models headed to the U.S. could be scarcer than anybody expected.

Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Steve Cannon lamented on the potential dearth of GLA models headed stateside, telling Auto News that demand in other markets could cut off the allocation of the compact crossover in the U.S. Demand for the GLA-Class in China, for example, is as strong, maybe even stronger than the U.S. Even sales in Europe have rebounded to the point that models Mercedes-Benz USA usually receives from its European counterpart aren’t arriving this year.

All that points to the GLA being even scarcer than the CLA-Class compact sedan that went on sale in the U.S. last year. So if you were planning on buying the GLA-Class, it might be best to be that early bird that gets the worm. Otherwise, you might end up losing out on the GLA-Class when sales begin here in September 2014 for the GLA250 4MATIC.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes GLA.

Ever wish you could flog a brand-new Lamborghini Huracán around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca under the direction of Lamborghini’s own Squadra Corse professional driving team? Sure you have. Well, now Lamborghini is offering the first-ever chance this coming September. This marks Lamborghini Accademia’s first time offering the program inside the U.S., and it comes at a perfect time too. The Accademia is bringing a fleet of brand-new Huracáns to the event, which runs from September 14 through 17. Students will start out with the essentials such as braking, accelerating, slalom, drifting, and section training.

Leading the one-day course are the team members of Lamborghini’s Squadra Corse, part of Lambo’s in-house research and development department dedicated to motorsports. The department’s focus includes GT3, the Super Trofeo series, and customer driving courses such as this one.

Once students learn the fundamentals of handling a 602-horsepower car, they get to run the entire Leguna Seca track with one-on-one guidance and video coaching. When the course is completed, each driver is awarded a swanky certificate of completion from Lamborghini. Also included are some fine dining opportunities during the day’s events.

Thankfully, you don’t have to be a current Lamborghini owner to participate. In this case, money talks well enough. The one-day driving school costs $4,995 for a single driver. Your significant other can tag along and enjoy the food and festivities for an extra $795. Other packages are available for those looking to book a hotel through Lamborghini.

While the price tag might seem steep, think of it as cheap insurance for both your car and your life. There is no substitute for good driving.

Click past the jump to read more about Lamborghini’s new North American Performance Driving School.

If you’re in the market for a new car and have roughly $1.4 million to spend, then your option list just grew by one. This Pagani Huayra is currently for sale in Greenwich, Connecticut and is one of the first — if not the first — Huayras to be sold inside the U.S. You’ll recall Pagani opened up the avenue for Huayras to make their way Stateside just a few weeks ago.

Hand-built in Modena, Italy, the supercar is flown to the U.S. for importation. Its allure comes from its AMG-sourced, twin-turbocharged, 6.0-liter, V-12 engine cranking out 730 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque. A seven-speed sequential gearbox controls the action. The mid-engine machine is capable of holding corners at 1.66 g of lateral acceleration and hitting 60 mph in just 3.2 seconds. Its top speed is an outrageous 230 mph.

This particular example is has its carbon-fiber body exposed for all to see and its interior is covered in red leather. With only has 35 miles on its odometer, this Huayra is ready for a long life of track days and garaged nights. Even with its high price tag, we can’t imagine it sitting on the dealer lot very long. These cars are outrageously rare, with Pagani only building a handful each year.

Click past the jump to read more about the Pagani Huayra.

Pagani Automobili has been officially launched in North America. It’s been 22 years since Horacio Pagani established its very own company in Modena, Italy, and 15 years since the very first Zonda left the workshop, and Pagani may now officially sell its supercars in the United States.

And by "supercars" we mean the breathtaking Huayra , the upcoming Huayra Roadster and all the limited edition and bespoke versions that are set to follow. All these V-12-powered rockets can be acquired through the company’s U.S. subsidiary, Pagani WorldWide, across the entire North American continent.

Although U.S. deliveries of the Huayra have only just begun, the said supercar is already familiar with American soil as an import, and a very successful one for that matter. According to Pagani , 40 percent of Huayra sales this year have been accounted by U.S. customers, making North America its largest market. Now that the Huayra can be picked up from specialized dealerships, we expect Pagani to flourish even more in the United States.

Click past the jump to read more about Pagani’s North-American launch.

Alfa Romeo’s arrival in North America has moved one step closer to becoming a reality after the Italian automaker announced the first 86 dealerships in the U.S. and Canada. The announcement is the latest piece of evidence that the company’s long-awaited return to North America will finally go on as scheduled.

All in all, 33 states in the U.S. will receive an Alfa Romeo dealership. Of those 33, California received the most number of dealerships at 12 with Texas a close second with 10 and Florida with nine. Other major auto markets also received a handful of dealerships, including Michigan (5), Ohio (4), Virginia (4), and Illinois (3). On the flip side, New York received only one dealership, which is a little surprising to say the least.

As for Canada, the entire country was given four dealerships, including two in Quebec and one for both Ontario and Vancouver.

Alfa Romeo is expected to announce more franchises later this year. But for now, these 86 dealers will get first dibs on selling new Alfa Romeo models in their market, including the 4C and the limited edition 4C Launch Edition .

Get ready, North America, Alfa Romeo is set to return!

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C.

The Falcon F7 project commenced only five years ago, when engineer and car enthusiast Jeff Lemke decided it’s time to build his very own supercar . It took Falcon Motorsports less than three years to complete it, just in time to show the production version of the vehicle at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show .

The F7’s configuration is pretty much basic and in accordance with today’s supercar standards. It rides on a tungsten inert gas-welded aluminum chassis with a carbon-fiber/kevlar reinforced floor pan, the body panels are made of carbon fiber, while the GM -sourced V-8 engine is mounted behind the seats.

Yes, like most small automotive ventures, Falcon Motorsports did not develop its own powertrain or suspension system, choosing to borrow them from the previous Chevrolet Corvette Z06 .

Although the recipe sounds similar to those used by Shelby SuperCars or Hennessey , the Falcon F7 has yet to stir the supercar waters, probably because it has no speed records or thousands of horsepower attached to its name. But despite its rather anonymous status, this unique, daring vehicle is worthy of your attention.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Falcon F7.

Okay, folks, the 2014 New York International Auto Show is in the books, and we saw more debuts than we could even keep up with. We saw all of the big boys come with at least one key addition to their lineups, but we also had a few misses. For example. we were hoping to see the Hellcat option for the Challenger and Charger , and some extra information on the next-gen Miata — not just a glimpse at its chassis — neither of which happened.

As with every year, we are set to bring you the best and worst of the NYIAS, but we’re changing things up a bit. This year, each of our esteemed staffers has chosen their favorite and least favorite of the show and let you know why they loved or hated each one — some of us even had complete opposite opinions. Included in the list below is the Dart-ized Charger, the even-more-retro Challenger, a concept from Land Rover and even a "dirt cheap" Aston Martin .

There were a lot of vehicles to choose from, and we may have missed one that you loved or hated. Let us know in the comments below what car you loved or hated the most from the 2014 NYIAS.

Click past the jump to read about our favorite and least favorite debuts in New York.

BMW is continuing to enjoy great success in the United States. But as growing sales and local prosperity always come with high demand, the Germans need to find ways to boost North American production, especially when it comes to their best-selling 3 Series sedan .

BMW already has a facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The plant assembles X5 and X6 SUVs and is about to have its production capacity increased by 50 percent when it welcomes a brand new vehicle, the larger X7 .

Since squeezing 3 Series production in South Carolina is out of the question, BMW is planning on building a second factory in North America, Bloomberg reports, adding that the manufacturer has narrowed the list of locations within the United States and Mexico, with at least two sites south of the border still being considered.

There’s no indication as to where BMW might decide to assemble the 3 Series in North America, but Mexico sounds more likely due to a number financial considerations that also include less expensive workforce.

A timetable for this decision is not available at the time of this writing, but stay tuned to TopSpeed for further information.

Click past the jump to find out more about BMW plans to move 3 Series production to North America

Source: Bloomberg

Mini owners, pack your bags, get your car serviced and then get your butt to San Francisco; the Mini Takes the States road rally is back! This biennial event is the largest official Mini road rally covering 18 states, 15 cities and more than 5,000 miles. The trip will begin on Saturday July 26 in San Francisco California and will end two full weeks later on Sunday August 10 in Boston.

Along the way, you will get the chance to see much of our great country as the journey winds West into Colorado, then cuts south into Texas. From there you head towards Memphis, Tennessee and up to Chicago finishing with a northern detour to Buffalo, NY and finally arriving Boston. There are several more stops scattered through the middle as well.

While the cost for the trip will be what you make of it, Mini has thankfully made the entry and registration fees decidedly affordable at $45 per person with kids under 12 and all pets being freebies. If you decide that a 14-day cross-country vacation is not quite your cup of tea, Mini happily invites you to join for any portion of the festivities you prefer.

Whether you own a Cooper Hardtop , Clubman , Countryman or any other member of the Mini brand, join in and have fun.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mini Takes The States Event.


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