Report: Ferrari cuts Toronto lawyer a deal to replace his flooded California [w/video]

Filed under: Convertible, Performance, Etc., Videos, Ferrari, Canada, Luxury

Canadian lawyer Howard Levitt's 2010 Ferrari California gets stuck in a flood on his way to the airport.

A Ferrari might be the last vehicle you’d want to be driving when streets are submerged in water, but Toronto lawyer Howard Levitt was unfortunate enough to be behind the wheel of his $200,000+ Ferrari California when the tunnel he was driving through started to fill up. It was July, when parts of the Canadian city were flooded, but he was determined to make his flight to a court appearance the next day. So Levitt abandoned his metallic blue supercar in the middle of the street and took a cab to the airport, the National Post reports.

The car subsequently was totaled, and the insurance company covered the damage, so after completing his court assignment (and a column for the Financial Post that was due the same day), Levitt began to search for a replacement for his California – driving his 1994 Dodge Viper in the meantime. He decided on a 2014 California in the same metallic blue to replace his 2010 model. When he approached Ferrari to put in an order, the Italian marque was waiting for him, having heard of his mishap. The company offered him a “very generous” deal on a 2014 model; an undisclosed amount less than the after-options retail price of around $300,000.

The new Ferrari is expected to be delivered to Levitt in November, and we can only hope another flood doesn’t catch him off guard. We’re not so sure Ferrari would offer him another “very generous” deal. Feel free to watch the short video below, despite its rather static nature, which we included to precisely show the sad fate of Levitt’s fallen California.

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Ferrari cuts Toronto lawyer a deal to replace his flooded California [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 16:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Ferrari cuts Toronto lawyer a deal to replace his flooded California [w/video]

Filed under: Convertible, Performance, Etc., Videos, Ferrari, Canada, Luxury

Canadian lawyer Howard Levitt's 2010 Ferrari California gets stuck in a flood on his way to the airport.

A Ferrari might be the last vehicle you’d want to be driving when streets are submerged in water, but Toronto lawyer Howard Levitt was unfortunate enough to be behind the wheel of his $200,000+ Ferrari California when the tunnel he was driving through started to fill up. It was July, when parts of the Canadian city were flooded, but he was determined to make his flight to a court appearance the next day. So Levitt abandoned his metallic blue supercar in the middle of the street and took a cab to the airport, the National Post reports.

The car subsequently was totaled, and the insurance company covered the damage, so after completing his court assignment (and a column for the Financial Post that was due the same day), Levitt began to search for a replacement for his California – driving his 1994 Dodge Viper in the meantime. He decided on a 2014 California in the same metallic blue to replace his 2010 model. When he approached Ferrari to put in an order, the Italian marque was waiting for him, having heard of his mishap. The company offered him a “very generous” deal on a 2014 model; an undisclosed amount less than the after-options retail price of around $300,000.

The new Ferrari is expected to be delivered to Levitt in November, and we can only hope another flood doesn’t catch him off guard. We’re not so sure Ferrari would offer him another “very generous” deal. Feel free to watch the short video below, despite its rather static nature, which we included to precisely show the sad fate of Levitt’s fallen California.

Continue reading Ferrari cuts Toronto lawyer a deal to replace his flooded California [w/video]

Ferrari cuts Toronto lawyer a deal to replace his flooded California [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 05 Sep 2013 16:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Lexus to replace GX SUV with new TX crossover

Filed under: SUV, Crossover, Lexus, Luxury

2012 Lexus GX

There’s been a lot of news regarding future Lexus products recently, including spy shots of new RC coupe and NX compact crossover, and reports that a 2+2 coupe based on the LF-LC concept is heading for production. Now, Automotive News says that Japan’s #1 luxury automaker is planning to replace the fullsize, body-on-frame Lexus GX SUV with a three-row crossover called the TX.

The article says that the GX, which is based on the foreign-market Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, will get a styling update for 2014 before being phased out in 2016. In a similar move as Infiniti made with its three-row JX/QX60, the new TX will be car-based, but details are still unknown as to whether it will be front-wheel-drive riding on the Toyota Avalon platform or rear-wheel-drive using the Lexus GS platform. Either way, this new luxury crossover could join the Lexus lineup as soon as late 2016.

Lexus to replace GX SUV with new TX crossover originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 31 Jul 2013 11:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Airplane/train hybrid could replace high-speed trains [w/video]

Filed under: Etc., Japan, Technology

Japanese flying train concept

Hovering Aero Train – Click above to watch video after the jump

A Japanese research team led by Yusuke Sugahara at Tohoku University has built a robotic prototype of a free-flying, ground-effects vehicle that floats within inches of the road. Called Aero Train, this ground-effects vehicle will be used to test an autonomous three-axis stabilization system.

Packing electric motors, the Aero Train hovers inches above the tarmac, eliminating any rolling resistance and allowing it to hit a top speed of 124 miles per hour. A U-shaped concrete channel controls air flow and provides the Aero Train’s robotic controls with a makeshift road to follow. On-board computers control pitch, roll and yaw of the prototype.

In the future – get this – the developers envision the Aero Train traveling within a tunnel capped with solar panels that send juice directly to the vehicle’s batteries. Hit the jump to catch video of the prototype Aero Train floating down the road.

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Airplane/train hybrid could replace high-speed trains [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 13 May 2011 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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A.J. Foyt to replace Donald Trump as Scott Speed and Ho-Pin Tung debut at 100th Indy 500

Filed under: Motorsports, Celebrities

Donald Trump in the Indy 500 pace car

It’ll be a landmark running for the Indianapolis 500 later this month, as the event celebrates its 100th anniversary as the premier open-wheel racing event in America. All of which only gave some fans more reason to be ticked off when Donald Trump was announced as this year’s pace car driver.

Annoyed by political implications detracting from the spirit of racing, many fans were up in arms when Trump was announced as the official pace car driver, evidently prompting the celebrity businessman and possible presidential candidate to change his plans. In his place, organizers at the Speedway have invited none other than A.J. Foyt to drive the Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible that will serve as the official pace car. As a four-time Indy 500 winner, Foyt is among the most decorated drivers ever to lap the Brickyard, and his nomination will surely come as more welcome news to the legions of open-wheel devotees.

In related news, two drivers better known for their formula racing activities overseas will make their Indy debuts at the 500 this year. One of them is Scott Speed, the last American to race in Formula One. Speed shifted over the NASCAR after things didn’t pan out in F1, until Red Bull dropped his sponsorship last year. Given his experience in open wheels and oval tracks, Speed may find a new home at Indy.

Also making his Indy debut will be Ho-Pin Tung, who will become the first Chinese driver to contest the Indianapolis 500. Tung is a reserve/test driver for Renault F1 this season and has contested such feeder series as GP2, A1GP and Superleague Formula. Both he and Speed will be driving for Jay Penske’s Dragon Racing team and will be eligible for the $5 million bonus available to drivers from outside the series should they overcome the insurmountable odds to claim the checkered flag and drink milk in victory lane.

A.J. Foyt to replace Donald Trump as Scott Speed and Ho-Pin Tung debut at 100th Indy 500 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 12 May 2011 18:42:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Keyport multitool looks to replace your keychain

Filed under: Etc., Technology, Videos

keyport mutitool

The Keyport eliminates your keychain – Click above to watch video after the jump

It’s no fun to be “that guy.” You know, the one wearing a janitor-sized keyring with 20 keys clinking together with each step, making you sound like Santa’s sleigh as you jingle all the way to your car door. Keyport has the fix for this.

The Keyport multi-tool allows you to store up to six keys in a single unit, each sitting on a separate slider that can be pushed out as needed. If you have fewer keys than available slots, you can attach a USB slider, LED flashlight and even a bottle opener.

With stainless-steel construction and a variety of color offerings, the Keyport, starting at $49, isn’t cheap. And each key you you need in the device adds an additional $4.99 to the bottom line. Keyport will have them cut and placed onto the slider blades for you. If your car requires a chipped key, be advised: that blade will cost you $20. Should you be driving a vehicle that uses keys equipped with proximity sensors, you’re currently out of luck: the Keyport system isn’t designed to handle those setups.

Still, the Keyport screams “easy sub-$100 Father’s day gift” to us. Head over to MyKeyport.com for more information on this keyring-canceling multi-tool. Curious to see one in action? Click past the jump to see a video demo.

Continue reading Keyport multitool looks to replace your keychain

Keyport multitool looks to replace your keychain originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 08 May 2011 16:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Senator Levin in favor of a bolder clean vehicle mandate to replace CAFE

Filed under: Hybrid, Government/Legal, Electric, Diesel

Carl Levin

Michigan Senator Carl Levin has been called the auto industry’s best friend by detractors who say he’s worked hard to obtain that title by defending the status quo. At the 2010 Business of Plugging In conference in downtown Detroit today, though, he made some comments that might put a stop to such name-calling. Levin said he wants to end what he sees as the small, incremental approach to cleaner vehicles the U.S. government is using today in favor of a huge and comprehensive program. “Our goal should be nothing less than making electric vehicles affordable and attractive to every American family,” he said.

Levin talked about seriously overhauling how the U.S. government promotes cleaner vehicles. He said there are three policy drivers pushing us in this direction today: climate change (which he said “is real, it is urgent and we either deal with it now or our children and grandchildren will have to deal with it later when the remedies will be much more difficult, much more expensive and much less effective.”), national security (i.e., oil independence) and the desire for a thriving manufacturing sector (i.e., jobs).

What has held the U.S. back from dealing with these issues in a coordinated way? Levin cited a fear of government support of manufacturing because that was considered industrial policy, what he termed “the kiss of death”:

While our government refused to partner actively with American manufacturers, our competitors were establishing partnerships and making investments to position their manufacturers for the future. The second impediment was the ability of oil-exporting nations to play like a yo-yo.

America made progress on fuel efficiency gains in the 1970s, Levin said, but OPEC knew how to set us back:

Oil ministers of those nations made it clear they would keep the price of oil at a low enough level so that alternative energy sources would not make economic sense and that distracted us from the fact that ending out dependence on imported oil in our long-term economic interest, beyond the need for environmental and security reasons.

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Continue reading Senator Levin in favor of a bolder clean vehicle mandate to replace CAFE

Senator Levin in favor of a bolder clean vehicle mandate to replace CAFE originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 13 Oct 2010 17:19:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Porsche offering modern nav system to replace classic radios

Filed under: Classics, Coupe, Performance, Etc., Technology, Porsche, Design/Style

Porsche Classic Radio Navigation System

What if you could update your classic car with modern tech, without losing the style that you’ve come to love? Porsche now has a solution for owners of old 911s. Starting in October 2010, owners will be able to retrofit their cars with the Porsche Classic Radio Navigation System (Part # 911 645 910 00), which packages a display screen fitted into a form factor that is an exact fit for the original factory radio’s location. Round knobs keep appearances in line with that classic Porsche aesthetic, but the technology is purely 21st century.

The unit will retail for €595,00 plus VAT (around $776 USD before taxes at current exchange rates). Considering what Porsche gets for some of the options on its modern cars, the neo-retro nav unit’s price seems pretty good. We understand a desire for modern conveniences in older cars, and the Porsche Classic Radio Navigation System may be an answer to the prayers of some 911 enthusiasts since it obviates the need for a less desirable aftermarket solution. (Of cource, one could always just stick a portable GPS unit on the windshield…)

According to MotoBullet, the Classic Radio Navigation System is designed to fit Porsche 911s from from model years 1963 to 1977 (it might also fit the Porsche 914). They go on to suggest that this nav unit may also work with firstgeneration Porsche 912s, but those guys are already going too slow to care where they’re heading. (We kid, we kid… out of jealousy.)

[Source: Porsche via MotoBullet]

Porsche offering modern nav system to replace classic radios originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 18 Sep 2010 18:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Toyota to replace Yaris in U.S., concept coming to Detroit?

Filed under: Detroit Auto Show, Budget, Hatchback, Toyota

2010 Toyota Yaris – Click above for high-res image gallery

B-segment cars have been getting a whole lot of attention lately, what with super-good offerings like the Ford Fiesta, Mazda2 and Honda Fit setting the bar high for the class. Toyota has its friendly little Yaris, but that model hasn’t seen any sort of real update since its debut in late 2006, but large changes are in the works.

Toyota’s North American operations have reportedly been pushing for the Yaris to grow in size, and we should get a conceptual preview of what to expect at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. Toyota is also working on a hybrid powertrain for the Yaris in Europe, though reports state that this engine isn’t slated for the United States. Odd, especially since Toyota has always talked about expanding its Prius nameplate to include a range of hybrid vehicles.

For now, we’ll keep our eyes peeled for more rumors, and we’ll wait to see what Toyota has in store for a Detroit Show debut next January.

Gallery: 2010 Toyota Yaris 5 Door

[Source: Autocar]

Report: Toyota to replace Yaris in U.S., concept coming to Detroit? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 13 Aug 2010 16:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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