The Truth About Cars » Enthusiasm http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Fri, 27 Feb 2015 19:20:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Enthusiasm http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/enthusiasm/ Geneva 2015: Aston Martin Vulcan Revealed Prior To Global Debut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/geneva-2015-aston-martin-vulcan-revealed-prior-global-debut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/geneva-2015-aston-martin-vulcan-revealed-prior-global-debut/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 13:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1008130 Twenty-four well-heeled gentleman drivers will soon pilot their own Aston Martin Vulcan, the automaker’s newest track-only machine. Power for the Vulcan comes from a naturally aspirated 7-liter V12 pumping over 800 horsepower to the back via a rear mid-mounted Xtrac six-speed sequential-shift transmission. Other features include extensive use of carbon fiber, Brembo racing calipers mounted […]

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Aston Martin Vulcan_01

Twenty-four well-heeled gentleman drivers will soon pilot their own Aston Martin Vulcan, the automaker’s newest track-only machine.

Power for the Vulcan comes from a naturally aspirated 7-liter V12 pumping over 800 horsepower to the back via a rear mid-mounted Xtrac six-speed sequential-shift transmission. Other features include extensive use of carbon fiber, Brembo racing calipers mounted over carbon ceramic discs, race-spec Michelin tires, driver-adjustable anti-lock braking, variable traction control, and a power-to-weight ratio surpassing those found in FIA GTE cars.

Before the 24 fortunate owners take delivery of their FIA-certified Vulcans, they will offered a chance to gain some seat time behind the wheels of Aston Martin’s other road and track offerings — like the V12 Vantage S, One-77 and Vantage GT4 — in an intensive training program. Per special projects and motorsports chief David King, the 24 will then have the opportunity to take part in a series of track days in 2016 “on some of the world’s most famous and glamorous race circuits.”

The Vulcan is set to officially bow at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show next week before making its track debut later in the year, and was produced in a partnership with Multimatic, who will also be in charge of assembling the Ford GT next year.

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Volvo S60, V60 Polestar Enter Second Run, Middle East For 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/volvo-s60-v60-polestar-enter-second-run-middle-east-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/volvo-s60-v60-polestar-enter-second-run-middle-east-2015/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 12:00:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1007730 Been wanting a Volvo S60 or V60 Polestar? The Sino-Swedish automaker is making a second batch for 2015, with 13 countries to take delivery this time. Volvo plans to make 750 S60 and V60 Polestars this year for the 2016 model year, citing the performance vehicles’ sales success in 2014 for the second production run. […]

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Volvo S60 and V60 Polestar, model year 2016

Been wanting a Volvo S60 or V60 Polestar? The Sino-Swedish automaker is making a second batch for 2015, with 13 countries to take delivery this time.

Volvo plans to make 750 S60 and V60 Polestars this year for the 2016 model year, citing the performance vehicles’ sales success in 2014 for the second production run.

Meanwhile, the Middle East will see some of the blue Volvos on its roads this year, as Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and United Arab Emirates are the newest additions to the list of markets the automaker sells its high-performance wares, which currently include Australia, Canada, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.

As for what they’ll receive, the Polestars feature power from a turbocharged 3-liter I6 pushing 345 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque through a Polestar-calibrated paddle-shifted six-speed automatic to the vehicle’s Haldex four-wheel drive system. The S60 goes from nil to 60 in 4.7 seconds, while the V60 does it in 4.8 seconds. Top speed is limited to 155 mph, and Brembo brakes stop the 20-inch wheels — shod in Michelin Pilot Super Sports — before any moose are hit. Price of admission in the U.S. starts at around $60,000.

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Geneva 2015: New Honda Civic Type R Drifts Through Video Before Debut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/geneva-2015-new-honda-civic-type-r-drifts-video-debut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/geneva-2015-new-honda-civic-type-r-drifts-video-debut/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 15:00:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1006770 Though set to appear next month in Geneva, the Honda Civic Type R drifted through a video showing a few of the automaker’s latest and greatest. Per Autoblog, the video, titled “Keep Up,” shows the hot hatch drifting across the screen for one second in the 55-second video, which also showed Honda’s HondaJet, Jazz and […]

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Though set to appear next month in Geneva, the Honda Civic Type R drifted through a video showing a few of the automaker’s latest and greatest.

Per Autoblog, the video, titled “Keep Up,” shows the hot hatch drifting across the screen for one second in the 55-second video, which also showed Honda’s HondaJet, Jazz and ASIMO products, all with words of encouragement rapidly flashing over the desert environment.

Power for the Type R is a 2-liter VTEC turbo-four pushing 280 to 300 horsepower to the front wheels, and was recently teased to have round foglamps, as opposed to the video’s bladed LEDs.

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Tesla Hitting Sales Roadblock In China http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/tesla-hitting-sales-roadblock-china/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/tesla-hitting-sales-roadblock-china/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 16:00:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1003778 Tesla’s Apple aspirations may have its detractors, but the automaker’s ongoing problems in China are likely to do more harm than said detractors. Forbes reports Tesla’s China operations are closing 2014 on a down note, having brought over 444 units in December compared to 747 in November. Further, 45 percent of all Teslas have yet […]

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Tesla’s Apple aspirations may have its detractors, but the automaker’s ongoing problems in China are likely to do more harm than said detractors.

Forbes reports Tesla’s China operations are closing 2014 on a down note, having brought over 444 units in December compared to 747 in November. Further, 45 percent of all Teslas have yet to be registered with local authorities, and therefore, have yet to legally hit the road. The country also accounted for 15 percent of the automaker’s global sales in 2014.

The issue is the brand’s cachet with Chinese consumers, who bought the Model S because of its trendiness, not because it’s better for the environment. Thus, Tesla’s popularity will last as long as the next trendy vehicle from a competing luxury automaker.

CEO Elon Musk’s current solution? Fire or demote those “not on a clear path to positive long-term cash flow.” The publication says this approach will only “erode his power base and credibility,” aspects he needs to maintain if he intends to keep to the path of long-term sustainable growth and stability.

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Chevrolet SS May Gain Camaro 1LE Package If The Suit Abides http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/chevrolet-ss-may-gain-camaro-1le-package-suit-abides/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/chevrolet-ss-may-gain-camaro-1le-package-suit-abides/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2015 11:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1003626 You can row your own and enjoy its magnetic ride these days, but more fun may be coming for the Chevrolet SS if the suits allow it. Motor Trend says the brand’s engineers want to bring the Camaro 1LE package to the performance sedan. The reinterpreted package would include a retuned suspension, new dampers, and […]

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2014 Chevrolet SS in Red

You can row your own and enjoy its magnetic ride these days, but more fun may be coming for the Chevrolet SS if the suits allow it.

Motor Trend says the brand’s engineers want to bring the Camaro 1LE package to the performance sedan. The reinterpreted package would include a retuned suspension, new dampers, and different tires sized equally fore and aft instead of the standard staggered SS setup.

Given the green light, the engineers could bring the option onboard within three to six months. The only concern is whether those higher up in command — and the beancounters they employ — believe such a project is worth doing.

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Chicago 2015: Ford GT Presents Its Canadian Passport http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/chicago-2015-ford-gt-presents-canadian-passport/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/chicago-2015-ford-gt-presents-canadian-passport/#comments Thu, 12 Feb 2015 23:21:13 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=999058 The Blue Oval has no use for 50 shades of gray, not when two will suffice for the 2015 Chicago Auto Show debut of the Ford GT. Per our friends over at AutoGuide, the big news this time around for the 3.5-liter turbo-six exotic is that it will be assembled in Canada. Multimatic Motorsports in […]

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The Blue Oval has no use for 50 shades of gray, not when two will suffice for the 2015 Chicago Auto Show debut of the Ford GT.

Per our friends over at AutoGuide, the big news this time around for the 3.5-liter turbo-six exotic is that it will be assembled in Canada. Multimatic Motorsports in Markham, Ontario — just north of TTAC Zaibatsu HQ in Toronto — will be in charge of putting together the GT, lending further credibility to the rumor that Ford wants to throwdown at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans. The group campaigns a pair of Mustang Boss 302Rs in IMSA’s Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge.

As for other details about production and pricing since its jaw-dropping world debut in Detroit, analysts believe a few hundred units will leave Multimatic annually, each with a price tag of around $200,000. Ford remains silent about either figure, however.

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Plan To Increase US Porsche Macan Allocation In The Works http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/plan-increase-us-porsche-macan-allocation-works/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/plan-increase-us-porsche-macan-allocation-works/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 11:00:05 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=988970 Been waiting a while for a chance to drive home a Porsche Macan? The automaker plans to increase supply to meet demand in 2015. According to Automotive News, Porsche Cars North America COO Joe Lawrence says his subsidiary is pushing for more units because of the Macan’s popularity thus far, and to ensure no customers […]

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2015 Porsche Macan S

Been waiting a while for a chance to drive home a Porsche Macan? The automaker plans to increase supply to meet demand in 2015.

According to Automotive News, Porsche Cars North America COO Joe Lawrence says his subsidiary is pushing for more units because of the Macan’s popularity thus far, and to ensure no customers waiting in line will go seek solace in an X4 or Evoque.

Said wait has been six months and above since the premium crossover went on sale in the United States last May: 7,241 units left the showroom from May through December 2014.

As for how many will be allocated in 2015, Lawrence couldn’t confirm, citing production constraints at the automaker’s factory in Leipzig, Germany and high global demand as factors. A diesel model is also expected in the U.S. by the end of this year.

However many Macans do hit the road this year will help Porsche reach its goal of 50,000 sold in the U.S. annually three years ahead of schedule; 47,007 911s, Cayennes, Macans et al were sold in 2014.

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If You Could Choose Only One: Ferrari 430 or Acura NSX? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/if-you-could-choose-only-one-ferrari-360-or-acura-nsx/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/if-you-could-choose-only-one-ferrari-360-or-acura-nsx/#comments Wed, 21 Jan 2015 19:34:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=860697 I try to find what I think are interesting backgrounds to use when taking photos of cars that I review. Last summer, because of the Independence Day weekend, I was able to keep a Scion FR-S for a couple extra days and, procrastinator that I am, I put off taking some pics until the last moment. Baker’s […]

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I try to find what I think are interesting backgrounds to use when taking photos of cars that I review. Last summer, because of the Independence Day weekend, I was able to keep a Scion FR-S for a couple extra days and, procrastinator that I am, I put off taking some pics until the last moment. Baker’s of Milford, a restaurant and banquet hall located not surprisingly in Milford, Michigan, home of the famed General Motors Proving Grounds, hosts one of the oldest and biggest weekly cruise-in car shows in the country every Sunday afternoon. There are some great two lane roads in that part of Oakland County, including those that circle the Proving Grounds, roads exactly of the sort for which the Toyobaru sports car was designed, so I headed out to Bakers. It was late, they were giving out the raffle prizes, but there were still lots of cars, enough to make a nice backdrop for the photos.

Since a lot of car enthusiasts like to drive something enthusiastic to car shows they attend, when I attend a show I always try to check out the parking lot. There’s almost always something cool or unique, a car or truck worth seeing and this show was no different. I didn’t have to look for very long, because as I pulled into the parking lot I noticed three fairly interesting cars parked together, a Honda S2000 was parked right behind a red and black Acura NSX, which itself was parked next to an even redder Ferrari 360. My immediate car guy question was: so if I had the choice between the two mid-engine supercars for an extended drive, but I could only choose one, which would I choose?

I’ve never driven a Ferrari, which is undoubtedly on the list for every car guy and gal. I’m a car guy. It’s a Ferrari. Capice? On the other hand, I’ve never driven the all aluminum mid-engine Acura and I know how significant the NSX is and what a great car it is, perhaps an even better car than the 360. When it was new, the buff books sang the 360’s praises, but after the next generation Ferrari, the 430, came out, those familiar with the marque said that it was a much better car than then 360 and since the 458 variant of the 430 has been released, the high volume Ferrari of its day, the 360, tends not to get mentioned much these days. The original NSX, though, is the stuff of automotive legend.

That might not be completely fair comparison since the 360 came along relatively late in the NSX’s production run. Perhaps a more appropriate choice might be between the Acura and the Ferrari models immediately previous to the 360, the 348 and the 355. Many Ferrari 360 owners hold the belief that the folks in Maranello benchmarked that car against the NSX because the Ferrari folks in Maranello knew that Honda’s supercar was in fact superior to the 348.

In any case, it’s still an interesting thought experiment. If you could only choose one, which would it be? It is a good question, but since everyone seems to still come up with the same answer (what car guy, after all, is going to turn down driving a Ferrari supercar of any vintage?), in addition to the straight up choice between the Ferrari 430 and the Acura NSX, I’ll offer up another couple of questions to the Best & Brightest. Since we all want to drive a Ferrari, how about if you could drive both of them, which would you drive first? That way you can check the Ferrari off of your bucket list and still get to experience what is supposed to be one of the best driving cars ever, the original NSX.

Finally, though we all want to drive a Ferrari, we also know that exotics are not typically suitable for daily use. My last question is if you had to own one for a year, without having to consider purchase price, depreciation or possible profits, but you would have to be financially responsible for any repairs, maintenance and wear and tear, which one would you pick?

Since there are many fans of the NSX among our readers (not to mention that it’s the favorite car of our Managing Editor), I’ve also included some shots of a couple of other NSXs that were at Bakers that Sunday. A red one was in the show, and a late model gold NSX was parked not far from where the Ferrari, Honda S2000 and NSX were. Yes, the early ones with the hidden headlights look much better than the later versions of the original NSX and I’m probably not the only person who thinks they also look better than the production 2016 NSX, just revealed at the Detroit auto show.

Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS

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NAIAS 2015: 2016 Acura NSX To See Limited Annual Production http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-2016-acura-nsx-see-limited-annual-production/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-2016-acura-nsx-see-limited-annual-production/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 22:05:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=982401 Were you hoping to take a 2016 Acura NSX home when the hybrid supercar leaves Ohio this fall? You may need to get in line. According to AutoGuide, NSX project chief Ted Klaus says production will be on terms of “demand minus one,” with no plans to add more manpower or shifts to the car’s […]

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Were you hoping to take a 2016 Acura NSX home when the hybrid supercar leaves Ohio this fall? You may need to get in line.

According to AutoGuide, NSX project chief Ted Klaus says production will be on terms of “demand minus one,” with no plans to add more manpower or shifts to the car’s annual production. No word thus far on how many will leave Marysville per year.

Right now, the NSX is undergoing final validation prior to production, but Acura announced that the exotic’s twin-turbo hybrid V6 system is expected to deliver at least 550 horsepower. As far as price of admission goes, nothing firm has been confirmed, though one insider says the brand is shooting for a target of $150,000.

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NAIAS 2015: BMW May Introduce AWD to M Division, No M Supercar In Future http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-bmw-may-introduce-awd-m-division-no-m-supercar-future/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-bmw-may-introduce-awd-m-division-no-m-supercar-future/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 21:50:54 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=982377 With Mercedes-AMG models delivering their power to the road through all four wheels, BMW is considering doing the same for most of its M division. However, if anyone was hoping the Bavarians would also bring back the M1, you can breathe now. AutoGuide reports BMW has no plans to add an AWD system to the […]

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With Mercedes-AMG models delivering their power to the road through all four wheels, BMW is considering doing the same for most of its M division. However, if anyone was hoping the Bavarians would also bring back the M1, you can breathe now.

AutoGuide reports BMW has no plans to add an AWD system to the M3 and M4, since the additional weight of such a system would offset any gains the engineers made to shed weight on the two models.

However, for M models above the two, such as the M5 or M6, M Division product management chief Carsten Pries says if his division sees “further increases in terms of horsepower in segments above the M3 and M4,” AWD could be a possibility.

As far as an M1 or i8-based M8 goes, though, he says such a proposition is “very exciting” and “lucrative,” such an effort wouldn’t make sense on either a technical or commercial level. Instead, the focus is on bringing in more profit with models like the M135i, and those from the M Sport range:

[Cars like these] clearly give us an indication of how much demand there is to go up from a top model BMW model into the exclusive products of BMW M. Customers say ‘I want even more of this very emotional experience,’ and they ideally end up with an M Sport and then an M core model.

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NAIAS 2015: 2016 Toyota Tacoma Going Pro http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-2016-toyota-tacoma-going-pro/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-2016-toyota-tacoma-going-pro/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 20:15:06 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=982025 Turns out Toyota had one more trick up its sleeve for the 2016 Tacoma, planning to add a TRD Pro model alongside the rest of the family. According to AutoGuide, Toyota Motor Sales VP of Marketing Jack Hollis confirmed the plans with our sister publication during the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. The current Tacoma TRD […]

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Turns out Toyota had one more trick up its sleeve for the 2016 Tacoma, planning to add a TRD Pro model alongside the rest of the family.

According to AutoGuide, Toyota Motor Sales VP of Marketing Jack Hollis confirmed the plans with our sister publication during the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. The current Tacoma TRD Pro uses Bilstein shocks, Eibach springs, TRD exhaust, and an assortment of cosmetic upgrades to make its presence in Baja Valley felt by all. Whether the 2016 Tacoma TRD Pro will be more hardy remains a mystery for now.

That said, the new TRD Pro model won’t be available just yet. Hollis says to expect it in 2016 at the earliest.

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NAIAS 2015: Cadillac Unveils 2016 CTS-V, Plans For CLA-Fighter http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-cadillac-unveils-2016-cts-v-plans-cla-fighter/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-cadillac-unveils-2016-cts-v-plans-cla-fighter/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 18:50:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=981417 Cadillac finally revealed its 2016 CTS-V performance sedan at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, but the brand also let it be known that it’s considering taking on the Mercedes-Benz CLA in the entry-level premium game, as well [Live photos now available – CA]. The CTS-V derives its power from a 640-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter V8 with […]

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Cadillac finally revealed its 2016 CTS-V performance sedan at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, but the brand also let it be known that it’s considering taking on the Mercedes-Benz CLA in the entry-level premium game, as well [Live photos now available – CA].

The CTS-V derives its power from a 640-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter V8 with a 1.7-liter supercharger, direct injection, and GM’s Active Fuel Management system onboard. Torque is 630 lb-ft, top speed is 200 mph, and zero to 60 comes in 3.7 seconds. A paddle-shifted eight-speed automatic with launch control and Performance Algorithm Shifting directs the power to the back.

Suspension is comprised of a revised multi-link double-pivot MacPherson-strut up front, five-link rear out back. Stiffer front and rear stabilizers reduce body roll by 20 percent, electronic limited-slip differential and 19-inch forged aluminum wheels shod in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires maintain grip on the road and track, and two-piece 15.3-inch front rotors with 6-piston calipers — 14.3-inch discs with 4-piston calipers in the back — help bring everything to a stop.

Other features include: Magnetic Ride Control with four selectable driving modes; enhanced aero; carbon fiber hood with air-extracting vent for reduced lift and heat; 20-way heated and vented front seats; OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi; 12.3-inch instrument cluster display; and wireless inductive phone charging.

As for the CLA fighter, Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen admits entry-level premium offerings like the CLA and Audi A3 have put a dent in ATS sales. However, Cadillac’s entry-level model will be RWD, underpinned by the same platform that the ATS rides upon.

The CTS-V is expected to enter showrooms later this summer.

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NAIAS 2015: Lexus Expands F Lineup With 2016 GS F http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-lexus-expands-f-lineup-2016-gs-f/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-lexus-expands-f-lineup-2016-gs-f/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 17:45:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=980713 For those who prefer their Lexus F to have four doors instead of two, the premium brand has just the thing: The 2016 GS F [Live photos now available – CA]. Under the bonnet, one will find a naturally aspirated 5-liter DOHC 32-valve Atkinson V8 producing 467 horsepower and 389 lb-ft with a redline of […]

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For those who prefer their Lexus F to have four doors instead of two, the premium brand has just the thing: The 2016 GS F [Live photos now available – CA].

Under the bonnet, one will find a naturally aspirated 5-liter DOHC 32-valve Atkinson V8 producing 467 horsepower and 389 lb-ft with a redline of 7,300 rpm. Power goes to the back via an paddle-shifted eight-speed automatic with manual shifting. Four driving modes are available depending on preference, from the fuel efficiency-minded Eco, to the track day-ready Sport S+. Firmer suspension, torque vectoring, wide 19-inch alloy wheels shod in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, and 15-inch front rotors with 6-piston calipers round out the performance aspect of the GS F.

Inside, occupants can enjoy Alcantara trim, the optional 17-speaker Mark Levinson Premium Audio system, Active Sound Control for those who prefer the sound of the V8 over the strings of Vivaldi, lateral support for all in front and back, and an analog clock.

Other features include: radar cruise control; pre-collision warning; LED headlamps; carbon fiber rear spoiler; 12.3-inch central dashboard monitor; and blind-spot monitoring.

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NAIAS 2015: Ram Delivers A Rebel Yell Across Baja Valley http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-ram-delivers-rebel-yell-across-baja-valley/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-ram-delivers-rebel-yell-across-baja-valley/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 15:50:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=980249 Ram unveiled the 10th trim addition to its truck lineup at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, the 1500-based Rebel off-roader, signalling the brand’s intent to tackle Baja Valley in so doing [Live photos now available – CA]. Power for the Rebel comes from a standard 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 VVT, which produces 305 horsepower, 269 lb-ft […]

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Ram unveiled the 10th trim addition to its truck lineup at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, the 1500-based Rebel off-roader, signalling the brand’s intent to tackle Baja Valley in so doing [Live photos now available – CA].

Power for the Rebel comes from a standard 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 VVT, which produces 305 horsepower, 269 lb-ft of torque, and 25 mpg on the highway. The optional 5.7-liter HEMI V8 VVT ups the ante to 395 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque. Both engines send their power to the rear or all four corners via an eight-speed automatic. Gear ratio for the HEMI is 3.92 in 4×2, 3.21 in 4×4; the Pentastar is 4×4-only, with a ratio of 3.92.

Suspension includes Bilstein front and rear shocks, a 1-inch lift, air suspension, softer rear stabilizer bar, and modified alignment of its independent front suspension. Toyo’s 33-inch Open Country A/T all-terrain tires, mounted on 17-inch silver and black cast aluminum wheels, help improve on-road comfort while providing better snow traction. The combination results in a ground clearance of 10.3-inches.

The Rebel is exclusively a crew cab model with a 5-ft, 7-in bed and optional RamBox. Five colors — Granite Crystal Metallic, Bright Silver Metallic, Flame Red, Bright White, Brilliant Black — are available in either monochrome or two-tone, while the interior is done in Radar Red and Black with Light Diesel Gray and Radar Red accent stitching throughout.

Other features include: a black RAM grill in the vein of Ford’s Raptor; powder-coated billet silver skid plate; front tow hooks; LED lighting; optional backup camera; all-weather mats; and tri-fold tonneau cover.

The Rebel is due in showrooms in early H2 2015.

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NAIAS 2015: 2015 MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop Revealed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-2015-mini-john-cooper-works-hardtop-revealed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-2015-mini-john-cooper-works-hardtop-revealed/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 22:30:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=979721 Looking for a high-performance MINI? Meet the 2015 John Cooper Works Hardtop. The latest addition to the MINI family has a 2-liter turbo-four that makes 228 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. Zero to 60 comes in under 6 seconds, but the brand adds that it can jump from 50 to 75 in 5.6 seconds. […]

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Looking for a high-performance MINI? Meet the 2015 John Cooper Works Hardtop.

The latest addition to the MINI family has a 2-liter turbo-four that makes 228 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque. Zero to 60 comes in under 6 seconds, but the brand adds that it can jump from 50 to 75 in 5.6 seconds. Six-speed auto or rev-matching manual helps direct the power to the front.

Suspension for the JCW Hardtop includes a single-joint strut axle up front and multi-link in the rear, with optional dynamic damper control for those who want to switch between comfort and sport modes.

Inside, the driver is greeted by a new gauge styling, including a dark dial for speedometer and engine speed. Bolstered seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, automatic headlights, and rain-sensing automatic windshield wipers are standard, with heated front seats, glass roof and heated folding mirrors as some of the options available.

Price of admission for the JCW Hardtop begins at $30,600, and will go on sale this spring.

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NAIAS 2015: Shelby GT350R Mustang Ready For Track Day http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-shelby-gt350r-mustang-ready-track-day/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-shelby-gt350r-mustang-ready-track-day/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 16:30:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=978313 Coming to Canada and the United States later this year is Ford’s “most race-ready road-legal Mustang ever,” the Shelby GT350R. Under the bonnet of this beast is a 5.2-liter DOHC flat-plane V8, whose 500+ horsepower and over 400 lb-ft of torque make the engine the most powerful naturally aspirated unit Ford offers today. An air-to-oil […]

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Coming to Canada and the United States later this year is Ford’s “most race-ready road-legal Mustang ever,” the Shelby GT350R.

Under the bonnet of this beast is a 5.2-liter DOHC flat-plane V8, whose 500+ horsepower and over 400 lb-ft of torque make the engine the most powerful naturally aspirated unit Ford offers today. An air-to-oil cooler for the V8 and a standard cooler for the six-speed manual help the GT350R handle the hardest of track days.

Suspension is composed of revised springs, bushings and jounce bumpers, antiroll bars, a lowered ride height, cross-axis ball joints up front, and a limited-slip differential with a 3.73 axle ratio in the back.

Like its exotic sibling, the Ford GT, the GT350R was optimized for better aerodynamic performance and downforce. Key components include front and rear underbody belly pans, revised front splitter, vented hood and wheel wells, and an aggressive diffuser.

The track-day machine is also lighter than the GT350 Track Pack model by 130 pounds. Whatever Ford could remove, it did, including the rear seats, air conditioning, stereo system, trunk carpeting and floorboard, exhaust resonators, backup camera, and so on. Weight reduction is further enhanced by standard 19-inch carbon fiber wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires.

Those who prefer a little comfort in their GT350R can opt for the Electronics Packages, which includes dual-zone air conditioning and a seven-speaker audio system among its list of features.

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NAIAS 2015: The Return Of The Ford GT http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-return-ford-gt/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/naias-2015-return-ford-gt/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 15:15:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=978057 We thought this wouldn’t happen, but here it is: The Ford GT has returned. The new GT will begin production late in 2016, and will be sold in select markets around the world in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Ford’s destruction of Ferrari at Le Mans with the GT40. Power for the GT is […]

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We thought this wouldn’t happen, but here it is: The Ford GT has returned.

The new GT will begin production late in 2016, and will be sold in select markets around the world in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Ford’s destruction of Ferrari at Le Mans with the GT40.

Power for the GT is derived from a mid-mounted next-gen twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 producing upwards of 600 horsepower, which is sent to the back via a seven-speed dual-clutch transaxle.

Surrounding the engine and transaxle is bodywork composed of carbon fiber with front and rear aluminum subframes. The body itself is heavily optimized for aero and downforce, and features an active rear spoiler that follows both speed and what the driver desires.

Other features include: adjustable ride height; 20-inch wheels mounted in Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 tires with a composition made specifically for the GT; upward swinging doors; and Ford’s new SYNC 3 connected-vehicle system.

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Owner-Built Engine Program For Corvette Z06 Returns http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/owner-built-engine-program-corvette-z06-returns/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/owner-built-engine-program-corvette-z06-returns/#comments Thu, 08 Jan 2015 12:00:48 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=973569 Buying a new Corvette Z06 soon? Would you like to build its engine? Chevrolet has a plan to make that happen, if you got the cash and the time. Beginning in March, new Z06 owners will have the opportunity to participate in Chevrolet’s resumed Engine Build Experience. The $5,000 option — code PBC, for Bowling […]

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2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z06

Buying a new Corvette Z06 soon? Would you like to build its engine? Chevrolet has a plan to make that happen, if you got the cash and the time.

Beginning in March, new Z06 owners will have the opportunity to participate in Chevrolet’s resumed Engine Build Experience. The $5,000 option — code PBC, for Bowling Green Assembly’s Performance Build Center, where the build will occur — allows owners to spend an entire day building the Z06’s supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 under supervision by a PBC engine assembly tech. A personalized plaque on the engine and photographs of the day complete the package.

That said, the engine won’t necessarily be placed in the owner’s Z06 right away. Corvette product manager Harlan Charles says the owner-built engines will take its place in line with the rest of the engines, flowing into “the scheduling process for vehicle assembly, which depends on a number of logistical variables.”

Those who don’t mind the wait and want to spend more time in Bowling Green, Ky. can also check-off option R8C, which allows owners to pick up their completed Z06 at the National Corvette Museum across the street from Bowling Green Assembly.

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Swearingen: No Evos Planned After X, GSR 5-Speed Coming Summer 2015 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/swearingen-evos-planned-x-gsr-5-speed-coming-summer-2015/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/12/swearingen-evos-planned-x-gsr-5-speed-coming-summer-2015/#comments Mon, 01 Dec 2014 11:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=954425 Bad news: Mitsubishi’s storied Lancer Evolution will stop at 10 after the 2015 model year. Good news: It will go out with a bang. Jalopnik recently held an AMA with Mitsubishi Motors USA executive vice president Don Swearingen. There, one of the commentariat asked if there would be an Evo XI. His response: There are […]

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2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X

Bad news: Mitsubishi’s storied Lancer Evolution will stop at 10 after the 2015 model year. Good news: It will go out with a bang.

Jalopnik recently held an AMA with Mitsubishi Motors USA executive vice president Don Swearingen. There, one of the commentariat asked if there would be an Evo XI. His response:

There are currently no plans for an Evo XI.

We do plan on launching a special edition in June/July of next year as a going away edition. It’s a GSR 5-speed. More horsepower, some suspension tuning, and some bits pieces that are still being finalized. Around 2,000 units will be available.

Other notable statements from the AMA: Mitsubishi wants to return to the D-segment with a replacement for the Galant; is considering more electrification of its lineup, including a PHEV; says no Delicas will be sent to the United States anytime soon; and will be bringing a concept to the 2015 Chicago Auto Show heralding what the new Montero could look like.

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Merrill Lynch: Tesla Sitting On 3K Cars Despite Alleged Scarcity http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/merrill-lynch-tesla-sitting-3k-cars-despite-alleged-scarcity/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/merrill-lynch-tesla-sitting-3k-cars-despite-alleged-scarcity/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 11:00:22 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=945017 If you’re still waiting for your Model S to arrive in your driveway, you might not be too pleased to learn there could be 3,000 cars hiding in the back room, thanks to one man seeking knowledge about Tesla’s famed scarcity. The Daily Kanban reports Merrill Lynch research analyst John Lovallo found that while the […]

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If you’re still waiting for your Model S to arrive in your driveway, you might not be too pleased to learn there could be 3,000 cars hiding in the back room, thanks to one man seeking knowledge about Tesla’s famed scarcity.

The Daily Kanban reports Merrill Lynch research analyst John Lovallo found that while the hype held up for the Model X — for obvious reasons — the same couldn’t be said for the Model S. Despite Tesla’s claim that they sold every car they had in Q3 2014 — even the ones in the showrooms — Lovallo saw a different story with the finished goods inventory. In short: Some 3,000 vehicles were either in transit or in a warehouse.

Merrill Lynch — who told its clients in its research note about Tesla that the automaker’s stock will remain labelled “underperform” for the foreseeable future — also noted that Tesla is facing difficulties in penetrating the Chinese market, “coupled with seemingly tepid European demand for the Model S.” Despite the Chinese government creating a separate pool for EV license plates, 70 percent of plate winners failed to cash-in by the end of last month, and even if everything worked out, lower-cost EVs like the Nissan-Venucia r30 and the 20-some models set to leave Volkswagen’s factories would hardly leave any money for a higher-end EV like those sold by Tesla.

The note concludes by pointing out that the automaker barely makes money from selling regulatory credits to other automakers, while not making a dime off of its vehicles, the latter an issue that “could ultimately prove to be the biggest risk for the company and the pure electric vehicle market at large.”

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Acura May Unleash New Integra As Early As 2017 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/acura-may-unleash-new-integra-early-2017/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/acura-may-unleash-new-integra-early-2017/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 13:00:53 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=943465 The last time one could buy an Acura Integra/RSX new off the showroom floor was in the mid-2000s. That time could come again soon to help the upcoming NSX, and the brand overall. Car & Driver reports Acura’s chief designer, Dave Marek, said a performance brand such as his employer “needs a flagship and… an […]

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The last time one could buy an Acura Integra/RSX new off the showroom floor was in the mid-2000s. That time could come again soon to help the upcoming NSX, and the brand overall.

Car & Driver reports Acura’s chief designer, Dave Marek, said a performance brand such as his employer “needs a flagship and… an accessible sport car. Not a sports car, but a sport car.” While the flagship — the NSX — is set to leave Ohio beginning next year, the reincarnated Integra/RSX would likely begin its return to the showroom floor in 2017 at the earliest.

Though Marek couldn’t be more specific regarding the supporting actor, he did acknowledge that Honda went the wrong way in making Acura too upscale, not at all helped by the Great Recession that turned what would have been the next NSX into a non-homologated Super GT combatant.

Meanwhile, Acura will debut a refreshed ILX next week at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, which he says is a harbinger of things to come:

There are changes coming, and then there are more changes coming. It’s not what our direction is going to be, but it’s a step in that direction. There are lots of resources and activity going into making Acura back into what it was.

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Tesla: Model X Delayed Until Q3 2015, D Models In High Demand http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/tesla-model-x-delayed-q3-2015-d-models-high-demand/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/tesla-model-x-delayed-q3-2015-d-models-high-demand/#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2014 13:00:55 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=941801 Were you hoping to have a Tesla Model X next to your Model S sometime in the next few months? How does Q3 2015 sound? CEO Elon Musk informed investors during his company’s quarterly earnings call Wednesday that the electric SUV would be delayed until the aforementioned quarter to insure quality would be Job No. […]

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Were you hoping to have a Tesla Model X next to your Model S sometime in the next few months? How does Q3 2015 sound?

CEO Elon Musk informed investors during his company’s quarterly earnings call Wednesday that the electric SUV would be delayed until the aforementioned quarter to insure quality would be Job No. 1 as tooling and production step-up to handle both the S and the X:

In anticipation of this effort, we now expect Model X deliveries to start in Q3 of 2015, a few months later than previously expected. This also is a legitimate criticism of Tesla — we prefer to forgo revenue, rather than bring a product to market that does not delight customers. Doing so negatively affects the short term, but positively affects the long term.

In other news, Tesla is discontinuing two colors going forward — green and brown — and if you wanted a P85S, you’re out of luck there, as well: the highest-performing model will now be solely the P85D.

Speaking of the S, Q3 2014 sales have gone well for the automaker, with 7,785 units delivered overall and 907 delivered in a single day, the highest figures ever recorded in a quarter for Tesla. Most of the deliveries were in North America.

Demand for the 85D and P85D is also strong, meriting a boost in production capacity to over 2,000 units per week by the end of 2015.

Finally, the D is beating a path toward the Model 3. Per Jalopnik, Musk proclaimed that the dual-motor powertrain is a precursor to what could happen when the low-cost EV arrives, which may entail a FWD model followed by a D version.

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Dodge: Over 5,000 Challenger Hellcats Ordered Since October http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/dodge-5000-challenger-hellcats-ordered-since-october/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/11/dodge-5000-challenger-hellcats-ordered-since-october/#comments Tue, 04 Nov 2014 14:00:46 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=940297 Since the 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat roared at the 2014 New York Auto Show, enthusiasts have been waiting for the day the big cats would enter the showroom. When ordering opened in October, so did the floodgates. According to Allpar, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis reported over 4,000 orders for the $60,000 707-horsepower musclecar were taken […]

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2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat

Since the 2015 Dodge Challenger Hellcat roared at the 2014 New York Auto Show, enthusiasts have been waiting for the day the big cats would enter the showroom.

When ordering opened in October, so did the floodgates.

According to Allpar, Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis reported over 4,000 orders for the $60,000 707-horsepower musclecar were taken as soon as ordering came online, with an additional 1,000-plus entered since then.

The brand knew demand would be strong, but it had no idea it would come in hot, too; Dodge initially planned to build just 1,200 units annually. There’s also a dealer incentive to get the Challenger Hellcat into customers’ hands as soon as possible so that more can be delivered to the showroom as production moves forward.

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Sovereign Subsidies Fuel Norwegian Tesla Registrations http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/sovereign-subsidies-fuel-norwegian-tesla-registrations/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/sovereign-subsidies-fuel-norwegian-tesla-registrations/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 11:00:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=937762 Not too long ago, Tesla set up shop in Norway, looking to gain some market share in the frosty nation of 5 million. Little did anyone know just how big the share would grow. According to Freakonomics, Norway is the second largest market for the premium EV automaker, with March 2014 being the best month […]

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Not too long ago, Tesla set up shop in Norway, looking to gain some market share in the frosty nation of 5 million.

Little did anyone know just how big the share would grow.

According to Freakonomics, Norway is the second largest market for the premium EV automaker, with March 2014 being the best month in Model S orders thus far. However, not only was it the best month for Tesla, it was the best month for breaking a record: 1,493 units registered, the most units ever recorded with Norwegian authorities in one month since Ford moved 1,454 Sierras in May of 1986.

Through the first nine months of 2014, the automaker averaged 435 regisrations per month, despite the price for a new Model S beginning at kr461,000 (~$68,000 USD); never mind how much a used Model S goes for up there.

How is this possible? Subsidies and incentives so huge it would make the Japanese government blush. Those subsidies help bring the price down to levels found among gasoline-powered vehicles, and are fueled, ironically, by a sovereign wealth fund created from Norway’s massive oil reserves. The fund was created to future-proof the nation from “Dutch Disease”: Over-specialization in the production and export of natural resources at the expense of every other industry in a given country.

Alas, those subsidies won’t last long: Only the first 50,000 registrations will enjoy the perks of pushing a green future.

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Minnesotan Tesla Owners Offer Test Drives To Potential Customers In Iowa http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/minnesotan-tesla-owners-offer-test-drives-potential-customers-iowa/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/10/minnesotan-tesla-owners-offer-test-drives-potential-customers-iowa/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 13:00:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=936938 Iowa may be one of the few states where Tesla itself can’t directly sell its vehicles to the public, but it doesn’t mean owners can’t at least promote the California automaker to potential customers. KCCI-TV in Des Moines reports a group of Minnesotan Tesla owners drove to a local supermarket in Urbandale last weekend to […]

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Iowa Tesla Model S

Iowa may be one of the few states where Tesla itself can’t directly sell its vehicles to the public, but it doesn’t mean owners can’t at least promote the California automaker to potential customers.

KCCI-TV in Des Moines reports a group of Minnesotan Tesla owners drove to a local supermarket in Urbandale last weekend to give Iowans the opportunity to see the Model S first-hand.

One owner stated that the group aren’t fighting against the ban, but are about “sharing new technology” up-close with those who might otherwise view the vehicles from afar.

The group also gave test drives to would-be owners, something that the state’s government has also prohibited Tesla from conducting on its own.

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