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Cool Cars

Owning a convertible doesn’t have to be expensive

If you’ve always dreamed of driving through the country or along the coast in a cool and classy convertible but assumed that could never be a reality because of price, you could be wrong.

A web site, ClassicCars.com, has picked five used cars that fit the bill for summer fun, mostly small roadsters and under $10,000. Here’s the lineup:

MGB convertible

The MGB is called “every bit as fun and stylish as the pricier British roadsters.” There are many enthusiasts who own them and parts are still available to fix them, which judging from those we know who have owned one, you’ll be doing often. ClassicCars.com says the best years are 1966 or 1967. The 1970s ones are the cheapest.

Triumph TR6

The Triumph TR6 is set apart by what ClassicCars.com calls as “lusty six-cylinder engine.” It says the car has been underappreciated in the last decade, which could help when it comes to price.

Mazda MX-5 Miata

Even today, the Mazda MX-5 Miata is still made and has such devoted fans that Mazda has been able to drop the “Miata” part out of the name. It was introduced in 1990 and the early ones are fun because of their hidden headlights.

Read more here.

The Era of The Volvo

Volvo  has put two brand new, remarkable vehicles on the market today.  They have  embarked on an ambitious new era, formally unveiled the redesigned XC90, a flagship SUV whose sales performance will help recast the Swedish brand’s fortunes in the United States.

The 2015 XC90 — heralding new styling, room for seven, new safety technologies, more fuel-efficient engines and a more premium interior, all packaged on a new flexible platform — is the first vehicle developed by Volvo since its sale to China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in 2010.

When it goes on sale in the United States early next year, the XC90 will join a growing but cutthroat premium midsize crossover market that is dominated by the Lexus RX and a throng of other European, American and Asian rivals.

Detailed pricing will be announced at a later date, but Volvo said today a well-equipped XC90 T6 with all-wheel drive will have a U.S. starting price of $48,900, excluding an estimated destination charge of $925. The XC90 T6 AWD will come equipped with navigation, 19” wheels, a power laminated panoramic sunroof, advanced connectivity, and is expected to deliver what Volvo says will be “best-in-class power and fuel efficiency.”

U.S. sales of the XC90 — one of the oldest models in the segment — have plummeted as the vehicle has aged. In the United States, Volvo sold 3,031 XC90s through July this year and 6,845 in 2013. U.S. sales peaked in 2004 at 39,183 vehicles, when there were fewer players in the segment.

Volvo has a lot riding on the second-generation XC90, which hasn’t been replaced or significantly upgraded since 2002. Company executives plan to leverage the XC90 rollout to spark momentum for the brand, and rebuild profits and operating margins.

It is coming online as Volvo’s U.S. sales have dipped 11 percent this year and fallen seven out of the last ten years. The brand’s U.S. sales peaked at 139,067 in 2004 and haven’t topped 100,000 units annually since 2007, even as the overall light-vehicle market remains on track to expand for the fifth consecutive year.

“This is one of the most important days in our history. We are not just launching a car but relaunching our brand. Today marks a new era for our company,” said Hakan Samuelsson, CEO of the Volvo Car Group. “The XC90 paves the way for a portfolio of exciting new cars to come over the next few years.”

If there is one silver lining for Volvo as it prepares to launch the XC90, it is that Americans have rediscovered SUVs and crossovers. U.S. deliveries of premium crossovers have jumped 12 percent this year through July, according to the Automotive News Data Center.

Still, the XC90 will compete with more than 20 nameplates including the Acura MDX and RDX, Lincoln MKX, the BMW X3 and X5, the Cadillac SRX, two Porsche models and the Audi Q5 and Q7. Audi and BMW have signaled intentions to expand their crossover lineups, and Jaguar and Maserati plan to market crossovers for the first time.  Will the Volvo vehicles be able to compete against all of this competition?

 

Read full article here 

Aston Martin Announces The Release of Their Lagonda

The new Aston Martin Lagonda will be an amazing car, but it’s not for everyone.  Promising that the new super saloon will be the “finest of fast cars,” the new model will be hand-built in strictly limited numbers and if you want one, you’ll have to wait to be asked.

That’s because sales will be invitation only and, according to the company, offered exclusively in the Middle East — a decision it says it has made based on “specific market demand.”

When the William Towns-designed futuristic original Lagonda was revealed in 1976 it was one of the most technically complex, striking and expensive cars in the world. In fact it was so complex to build that Aston Martin struggled to keep up with customer demand (which came primarily from the Middle East).

Nearly 40 years on Aston Martin is a completely different company in terms of the technology and investment at its disposal and while it is still dedicated to the finest craftsmanship and personalization, it can now offer those services within a state of the art production facility, rather than a couple of draughty factory units.

Specific details about what prospective owners can expect from the new car remain a secret, and according to the company, as each model will be tailored exactly to an individual client’s demands unless an owner chooses to reveal particulars about his or her Lagonda, that’s the way that things are going to remain — confidential.

However, we do know that the new Lagonda will be built on the same platform as all of the company’s existing cars and that it will have a V12 engine under the hood, sending power to the rear wheels. And, of course, in terms of exterior design and expected price tag, the new car and the original will have a lot in common.  This is an amazing vehicle, but if you want it, you are going to have to wait and how that you are asked.

Read more here 

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