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 $6-Million Superyacht Sinks Off Mykonos

$6-Million Superyacht Sinks Off Mykonos

It’s very rare to see boat enthusiasts find themselves with their jaws dropping on the floor. But that’s exactly what happened when a superyacht that costs $6 million sunk off the popular tourist island in Mykonos, Greece.

Multiple reports have come out saying that the yacht, thought to be a 106-foot 2009 Custom Line Navetta 33 named MY Aloha, ran aground of a reef between known tourist resorts of Platis Gialos and Psarrou late last week, causing it to sink to its untimely death.
A quick research revealed that Italian shipbuilder Custom Line built the MY Aloha for a private owner, who did not make the superyacht available for private charter. According to Yacht Charter Fleet, the Aloha has five cabins that can accommodate as many as 10 guests and a brand-new model would cost a buyer close to $11 million. The boat that sunk was a little over five years old with an estimated value of $6.2 million.

Fortunately, all four passengers who are on board the yacht at the time of the accident were rescued from the sinking yacht and taken back to shore in good health. That’s about the only positive thing to come out of this incredible ordeal.

Just so everybody’s on the same page. A sinking yacht, let alone one that costs $6 million, is very different from a car involved in a crash. Whereas the latter might still be salvaged if the conditions are right, a boat that makes a beeline for the ocean floor is about as done as done gets. There’s no retrieving it. All the owner can do is weep over the sight of $6 million literally getting swallowed up by the sea.

Port officials in Mykonos have launched an investigation into the incident and have set up a boom around the yacht to absorb any fuel that may seep into the sea.

Continue reading to read more about the sinking of the $6-million MY Aloha superyacht.

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The 5 Best Cars For The Apocalypse

The 5 Best Cars For The Apocalypse

When the end of civilization as we know it comes…what will you drive? That’s one of the first questions to pop to my mind when it comes to The Walking Dead, 28 Days Later, The Stand or other post-apocalypse fare. Not to mention the Mad Max series, which pretty much bases itself around this question.

It’s not really that absurd or obsessive a consideration. After all (concerns of long-term fuel availability aside), when it comes to being able to get away from trouble, a vehicle is going to be one of your most important pieces of survival equipment. A car or truck can also provide protection from the elements and help to haul loads that are too heavy to carry.

Everyone’s got a favorite "zombie-fighting" vehicle, of course, but what would you really want to drive in a post-apocalyptic wasteland? The topic has been much discussed over repeat viewings of "The Walking Dead" at my house. Is the key really to jump into the first Humvee or armored HEMMT you can find and not look back? Not necessarily.

I’m not talking about modified battle cars. If you’re going to strap on armor and smash into your enemies, grab up all the Toyota Camrys and Chevy Camaros that you can and go to town. What I’m considering is more fundamental transportation, the vehicle that’s going to carry the most supplies, take you the farthest, and be the most reliable. Adding armor and weapons to protect yourself from hostile mutants is another discussion entirely.

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Monterey Car Week 2015 – Day 2

Monterey Car Week 2015 – Day 2

When confronted with a buffed-out classic luxury or sports cars priced at six or seven figures, it’s easy to forget that, at its core, a car is a machine. It’s made for a purpose – to move people around in the world, no matter how lovingly well crafted its sheet metal. But in the realm of high-end collectible automobiles, some cars seem to take on a different role, living out their days sheltered from the elements in vault-like garages, never actually rolling across pavement under their own power. It’s certainly the best way to protect an investment, but if a car could think, I’d venture it would want to row through the gears, lean into the corners and gulp in the rushing air. It would want to be driven. Mercifully, the Tour d’Elegance provides just such an opportunity for some of these cars.

In advance of Concours Sunday, the 2015 Tour saw roughly 200 vintage vehicles take to the Monterey coast, plying the local back roads and highways in a rare opportunity to stretch the old legs. Over 80 miles were covered, proving the pampered automobiles’ worth as both functional modes of transportation and tasty eye candy.

While not a competition, successful completion of the Tour does yield consideration should two vehicles find themselves tied in the same class come Sunday’s main event. What’s more, it’s a chance for the general public to see these cars up close and personal against the stunning backdrop of the continental U.S.’s western edge. And I was there to capture it all. For the full preview of Monterey Car Week you can check my article here.

Continue reading to learn what happened on Day 2.

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2015 Nissan Juke Nismo RS - Driven

2015 Nissan Juke Nismo RS - Driven

The 2015 Nissan Juke is as funky and odd as they come – there’s no denying that. Stares, pointing, and in at least one case, laughter, followed this car wherever I drove it. But this isn’t an ordinary Juke. No, this is the Juke Nismo RS – Nissan’s second-hottest Juke available. Only the 2016 Nissan Juke-R Nismo is faster, though by quite a margin thanks to its 2016 Nissan GT-R powertrain.

Nevertheless, this four-cylinder, turbocharged, hot-hatch on stilts scoots down the road with plenty of speed. That’s thanks to an extra 27 horsepower, a sport-tuned suspension, summer performance tires, and some fancy electronic wizardry. But even with the extra ponies, the main focus tends to return to its styling. None of the folks I showed it to cared that it had extra power or electronic torque vectoring. It was all about that “frog face.”

While the looks garner the majority of attention, there’s plenty more about the Juke Nismo RS that’s worth talking about. Nissan has fitted this bug-eyed monster with Recaro seats, a suede steering wheel with an on-center marker, and a host of aerodynamic upgrades.

The Nismo RS might not be the fastest crossover/hot-hatch on the market, but it does pack plenty of fun. Plus, it offers three pedals and a stick – allowing drivers to get the most out of the experience.

Continue reading for the full driven review

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Cars Totalling $390 Million Were Sold During Monterey's Classic Car Week

Cars Totalling $390 Million Were Sold During Monterey’s Classic Car Week

Last week was Classic Car Week in Monterey California – a massive week-long car show with some of the best cars ever built, and multiple auctions where millions are spent. This year, it looks like at least $390 million changed hands between buyers and sellers, but we are still waiting on an official total. We should receive the official numbers closer to the end of August, once all sales from Rick Cole Auctions are reported, and all sales are finalized, so expect a slightly higher number – probably closer to $400 million.

This year, RM Sotheby’s auction alone pulled in $172 million in sales, and had the highest sale this year – a 1964 Ferrari 250 LM coupe that pulled in a whopping $17.6 million dollars. It is not as high as the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO that sold for a record-breaking $38 million last year, but it is noteworthy nonetheless. Between all of the auctions, the average sale price was $497,000 and the median price was just over $96,000.

Total sales are actually down from last year, but that record-breaking sale of the ’62 Ferrari 250 GTO last year had an extra impact on the sales total. Despite the slight decline in overall sales, nobody is really sweating – just 10 years ago, recorded sales were only $79 million. Think about that for a minute. This year, it only took five cars to approach that total. A 1953 Jaguar E-type Lightweight Roadster sold for $13.2 million, a 1998 McLaren P1 LM Coupe went for $13.7, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB coupe went for $16.5 and its slightly older, but topless variant– a 1961 Ferarri 250 GT California SWB Spyder – went for $16.8 million. Add in the $17.6 million from the ’64 Ferrari I mentioned earlier and the five cars collectively brought in $77.8 million dollars. Sure, maybe all of this means little to you. If you are like me, you are lucky just to watch from the sidelines. Keep in mind, however, that there is more to it than some overly wealthy old guys spending a lot of money and trading expensive collectibles.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Modified BMW Z3M Coupe Stars in Petrolicious Video

Modified BMW Z3M Coupe Stars in Petrolicious Video

The the 1998 - 2002 BMW Z3M Coupe is an odd-ball that took its lumps but ended up being incredibly fun; the same can probably be said for the latest Petrolicious video. Normally focusing on rare, low-production vintage and classic cars, Petrolicious switched gears a bit to focus on Alex McCulloch and his interestingly tuned BMW Z3M Coupe.

McCulloch, an airline pilot and avid hang glider, chose the car for its challenging nature, which he says is an “exercise in frustration,” but he has turned the M Coupe into an impressive track car that tackles the NASA Time Trial (TTB) class. Watching him drive around the track shows just how much of a handful the Z3M Coupe can be to drive. Perhaps the best part about his car is that he has tuned it in a way that it can easily be put back to stock in 48 hours, if needed.

The tuning was never an issue with the Z3M Coupe, though. It was the awkward shooting brake design. As McCulloch put it, the Z3M Coupe was “not a product of marketing or branding.” Instead, it was an effort to make a more rigid, track-friendly version of the Z3M leading to the Coupe’s unusual design that has earned the car numerous nicknames over the years including “clown shoe,” which is referenced in the episode title.

Sure, this Petrolicious lacks a gorgeous vintage car and obnoxious, burbling exhaust notes, but it offer some cool aerial videography and colorful viewer comments (hurray, Internet!). Seriously, reading the comments on this one is almost as fun as watching the video itself… go ahead, check them out!

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2017 Opel Insignia Successor Begins Testing: Spy Shots

2017 Opel Insignia Successor Begins Testing: Spy Shots

Our spy photographers recently spotted Opel testing an interesting four-door coupe prototype, which is rumored to be the next-gen Opel Insignia. Despite the heavy camouflage, the coupe-like roofline is obvious, and its hindquarters have a shape that is similar to that of the 2015 - 2016 Audi A7. The redesigned Opel Insignia is due out in 2017 with a styling heavily inspired by the 2013 Opel Monza Concept.

U.S. buyers should pay attention to this car since the current Insignia is the same as the 2014 Buick Regal. For years, rumors have suggested that Buick could get a flagship or halo model inspired by the 2016 Porsche Panamera, and while this is definitely not that model, the hatchback design is very similar. If Buick does offer such a model, it probably wouldn’t have much competition in the U.S. aside from the 2015 Volkswagen CC… assuming VW develops a next-gen version of that sedan.

Speaking of Volkswagen, our source suggests that in addition to its sleeker design, the next-gen Insignia is expected to grow in size by almost four inches to compete with the likes of the Skoda Superb. Like most modern cars, the added size won’t result in a heavier car, as the information also suggests a weight loss of almost 440 pounds compared to the current Insignia.

Although the interior camouflage is even more effective than the cladding on the outside, the next-gen Insignia could get some advanced cabin technology, including a digital dashboard similar to what was introduced on the Opel Monza Concept.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Geely-Owned Company Buys Miller Motorsports Park Circuit

Geely-Owned Company Buys Miller Motorsports Park Circuit

Toole County, Utah commissioners made a surprise announcement on Tuesday, that Miller Motorsports Park has been sold to Chinese company Mitime Investment and Development group for $20 million. You may not have heard of Mitime, but you’ve probably heard of its parent company, Geely, which is China’s largest car company and current owner of Volvo.

Originally constructed in 2006 by Salt Lake City billionaire and Utah Jazz owner Larry H. Miller, the track was left to Toole County in 2014 after the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies (Miller passed away in 2009) decided not to renew its lease on the property. According to The Salt Lake Tribune, county commissioners opted to sell the track rather than shut it down.

That being the case, all track operations will continue as they were and all 90 employees at Miller Motorsports Park will keep their jobs. The 23-turn, 4.48-mile track currently hosts several sports car races, including a round of the Pirelli World Challenge, and motorcycle races. Its also home to the Ford Performance Racing School and formerly hosted rounds of the American Le Mans Series.

MMP’s new owners also a have a few updates and additions in mind. Both an oval test track and drag strip are planned, as well as a new hotel that will house Geely drivers, mechanics, and any other personnel with business at the track.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Ford Obtains Patent For Backward-Facing Driver's Seat

Ford Obtains Patent For Backward-Facing Driver’s Seat

The idea of self-driving cars isn’t new – Google has been using them for a while, and other manufacturers like Audi and BMW have systems in development that are being tested in the real world as you read this. It is inevitable that at some point, your daily commute will be as simple as saying “go to work” or “take me to the grocery store” and kicking back while your over-intelligent car does all the work for you. Ford has taken the first step in joining the list of manufacturers with self-driving technology and has received approval of its patent for a backward facing driver seat.

The design isn’t all that dissimilar from the 2015 Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion concept that was displayed at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. The backward-facing seat would allow the driver (and passenger for that matter) to rotate the seats and engage with the rear passengers in a lounge-like setting while cruising down the highway. Another function would allow you to move to the rear seat and fold the front seats downward – making an ottoman that you could rest your feet on during longer commutes. All of this will be possible while the vehicle is in motion.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Christian Bale To Play Young Enzo Ferrari in Upcoming Biopic

Christian Bale To Play Young Enzo Ferrari in Upcoming Biopic

A Ferrari biopic has been in the works in some form or another for about 15 years. A fake version was made in the HBO show Entourage in which superstar actor Vincent Chase played Enzo Ferrari, but that’s about as close as we’ve gotten. But now it looks like the project is moving ahead and actor Christian Bale is reportedly being tapped to play the young Il Commendatore.

Currently most well known for his starring role in the most recent Batman trilogy, Bale could co-star with veteran actor Robert De Niro, who’s involvement with the film was confirmed in April of 2015. The working theory seems to be that Bale could play a young Enzo during the company’s founding as a racing team in the 40s, 50s and 60s, and De Niro would play the same character towards the end of his life in the 70s and 80s.

“For me it is an honor and a joy to tell the life of an extraordinary man who revolutionized the automotive world and across historical periods,” De Niro told Italian outlet Il Messaggero in April. “The film will go into production soon, mostly in Italy, and has absolute priority over all my other projects.”

The film is reportedly in the hands of director Michael Mann. The Ferrari film is thought to be a passion project for the director, who with movies including Ali and The Insider is no stranger to the biopic genre. He also worked with De Niro on the crime epic, Heat, and more recently with Bale on Public Enemies. His attention to detail and long-form storytelling style should appease car geeks like us.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Next Ferrari California Could be More Track-Focused

Next Ferrari California Could be More Track-Focused

As good as they are, the Ferrari California and updated 2015 Ferrari California T that replaced it have never really been able to get past being perceived as the boulevard-cruising, entry-level (despite costing around $200,000) Ferraris for people who really only want to be seen in a Ferrari. The reality is quite different, but nonetheless the next California will be a much more performance-oriented, hardcore sports car.

According to a new report from Automobile, a new California will arrive in 2017 with a more aggressive attitude. With a new emphasis on on-track performance, the new car will be lower to ground and powered by a new front-mid-mounted 2.9-liter V-6 with around 600 horsepower, which could also power a new 2018 Ferrari Dino. It will also usher in Ferrari’s next-generation design language, which is expected to be even more radical and flamboyant than the company’s current offerings.

Like the current California, it will also get a folding hardtop, but it will be lighter and take up less trunk space. A fixed-roof version could be offered too. It will be built on Ferrari’s new modular matrix aluminum space-frame architecture, which will accommodate both front- and mid-engine next-generation Ferraris.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Sargo Boats Unveils The 33 Explorer Boat

Sargo Boats Unveils The 33 Explorer Boat

Sargo Boats, known for lusty creations like the 36 Fly and the 36 Explorer, has unveiled its latest pride and joy, the 33 Explorer. While it won’t technically sit at the top of its range - that’s still the territory of the 36 Explorer - the 33 will come with all the bells and whistles of a full-blown explorer boat that can match wits with the likes of the Botnia Targa 32.

From the outside, you can immediately distinguish the 33 Explorer as a real Sargo. The exquisite design work and the long waterline are trademarks of the Finnish brand. The 33 Explorer has a 36’2” hull that stretches all the way around, creating a perfect v-shape that is the mark of an aggressive boat in the open seas.

It also features a rather interesting single-level deck that sits on top of the freeboard, which looks a lot taller than most explorer boats of its size. That gives the 33 Explorer a really muscular look as it towers over other explorer boats of its size. Right smack in the middle of the deck is the pilothouse. Step inside and you’ll be treated to a world of refined luxury, highlighted by matt black finishes throughout the cockpit. It also has an adjustable steering console and an offshore seat that provides extra levels of comfort for the captain.

Step outside the pilothouse and you’ll soon realize how Sargo managed to capitalize on every inch of space on the deck. It’s still comfortable and spacious enough to be able to walk around it, but literally every inch of functional space was used to create an elegant and safe environment.

A similar experience will greet you once you go below decks. There you’ll see a vee-shaped berth in the bows and an amidships cabin that can be configured in a multitude of ways depending on your preference. You can either set up three separate berths with a divan or two berths with a heads compartment. Either way, there’s plenty of maneuverability that’ll allow you and your guests to enjoy your trip in the sea.

Sargo did its homework with the 33 Explorer. That’s high praise considering that the best part of the 33 Explorer is still yet to come. There’s still no announcement on this end, but it’s been reported that the Finnish boat yard plans to give the 33 Explorer a variety of engines, highlighted by twin 400-horsepower engines that can produce a top speed of about 43 knots.

Other engine options, including a single 400-horsepower engine or twin 300-horsepower engine, are likely to be offered as options.

Continue reading to learn more about Sargo Boats’ 33 Explorer boat.

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