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The Lost World: Jurassic Park – 1997 Mercedes-Benz ML320

The Lost World: Jurassic Park – 1997 Mercedes-Benz ML320

The Jurassic Park Mercedes-Benz SUVs

If you’ve seen The Lost World: Jurassic Park movie, you may have noticed the Mercedes-Benz SUVs throughout the film. For the expedition to Isla Sorna, InGen builds three customized 1997 Mercedes-Benz ML320 SUVs. The purpose of these vehicles is to drive and navigate the island for transporting equipment. This equipment mostly consists of camera and study items. The nicknames for the three vehicles are: AAV Fontana, AAV Montana, and AAV Santana. Unfortunately, the Montana was left behind in this film. Regardless, these vehicles “shine bright like a diamond” through the film.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park Movie

The Lost World: Jurassic Park Official Trailer #1 – Jeff Goldblum Movie (1997) – Jurassic Park Fansite – YouTube

The film The Lost World: Jurassic Park was released on May 19, 1997 by director Steven Spielberg. This 1997 film was able to reach a box office value of 618.6 million USD on a 73 million USD budget. Furthermore, at 2 hours and 9 minutes, this film provides quite a look into InGen’s invasion of Isla Sorna. One main reason for their invasion is to capture dinosaurs to display at an amphitheater zoo in San Diego. Dr. Ian Malcolm, played by Jeff Goldblum, thinks this is a terrible idea, and he isn’t far from being correct. Over the film, the entire process turns into a disaster leading up to a t-rex invasion of San Diego. With such a large box office value, the film unfortunately didn’t receive amazing reviews, with a rating of 6.5/10 by IMDb.

AAV Fontana, AAV Montana, & AAV Santana

1997 Mercedes-Benz ML320 - AAV Montana in The Lost World: Jurassic Park - Rear Corner - Wikimedia Commons - EuroDrift

1997 Mercedes-Benz ML320 – AAV Montana in The Lost World: Jurassic Park – Rear Corner – Wikimedia Commons – EuroDrift

For the film, the three 1997 Mercedes-Benz ML320 SUVs were customized with a ton of aftermarket components. Each of three vehicles have the following options:

  • Camouflage Paint
  • Custom Step Bars
  • Fog Lights
  • Front Bull Bars
  • Front Tow Cable
  • Leather Seats
  • Rear Taillight Guards
  • Winch
  • 4-Wheel Drive

These features provide the basis for the overall vehicles before the additional options differentiate the three 320s. Next, each vehicle will be discussed pointing out the additional features that distinguish them individually from the others. The AAV Fontana, AAV Montana, and AAV Santana all have features that provide them slightly different advantages in varying situations.

For the 1997 Mercedes-Benz ML320 AAV Fontana, the car has quite a few additional features. These features include:

  • Additional Round Bubble Top
  • Bottom & Top Hang on Jerry Cans
  • Bubble Window Roof
  • Duel Mounted Side Mirror Search Lights
  • Grey Interior
  • Mounted Side Lights
  • Protective Bars

For the AAV Montana, the options differ slightly than the AAV Fontana. The AAV Montana’s enhancements include:

  • Bubble Window Roof
  • Duel Grab Bars on Rear Sides
  • Duel Mounted Side Mirror Searchlights
  • Grey Interior
  • Hood Mounted Carrier
  • Extra Wheel Top Mounted
  • Mounted Door Guard Panes
  • Protective Bars

Lastly, the AAV Santana had the least amount of additional options. These features include:

  • Aluminum Interior
  • Bottom Mounted Hang on Jerry Cans
  • Cut Out Backside
  • Mounted Light Bar

Each of these vehicles serves a slightly different purpose due to their features. Unfortunately, two of these vehicles were destroyed during the film. Luckily, for the AAV Montana, it remained safe in the InGen gatherers equipment facility.

R.I.P. AAV Fontana & AAV Santana

The Lost World: Jurassic Park (4/10) Movie CLIP – Ripped Apart (1997) HD – Movieclips – YouTube

Unfortunately, the AAV Fontana and AAV Santana didn’t remain safe during the film. While attempting to fix a young tyrannosaurus rex’s leg, two adult T. rexes show up. As this occurs, the AAV Fontana ML320 is hurtled off the cliff. However, the T. rex adults don’t stop there… the entire trailer containing Ian, Nick, & Sarah is pushed about halfway over the cliff. This causes the characters to fall and eventually dangle from a rope. This rope is set up by Eddie who drives the AAV Santana to the scene. Unfortunately, for Eddie, the two T. rex adults return, and he doesn’t survive, and neither does the Santana.

The AAV Montana is Still Alive!

1997 Mercedes-Benz ML320 - AAV Montana in The Lost World: Jurassic Park - Rear - Pixabay - EuroDrift

1997 Mercedes-Benz ML320 – AAV Montana in The Lost World: Jurassic Park – Rear – Pixabay – EuroDrift

Overall, The Lost World: Jurassic Park is a great movie. Critics may not agree, but if you’re a fan of dinosaurs, you’re missing out if you haven’t seen it. Furthermore, the 1997 Mercedes-Benz ML320 SUVs were a perfect match for the movie. These vehicles are built for adventures and the outdoors, so their arrival on Isla Sorna isn’t a surprise. Even though the AAV Fontana and Santana didn’t survive, the AAV Montana is still alive! Long live the Jurassic Park Mercedes-Benz SUV!

1993-1998 Bentley Brooklands: 4-Door Luxury Saloon

1993-1998 Bentley Brooklands: 4-Door Luxury Saloon

The 1st Generation Bentley Brooklands

From 1992 until 1998, Bentley produced a 4-door luxury saloon titled the Brooklands. In recent years, the name Brooklands was used for a 2-door coupe, but in the past, it was a sedan. The model years run from 1993 to 1998 although production was from 1992 to 1998. This saloon was the replacement for the Bentley Eight and Bentley Mulsanne S. It was also cheaper than the Bentley Turbo R at the time. The successor to the 1st generation Brooklands is the Arnage.

An Unfortunately Sluggish 6.75-Liter V8

Under the hood, the 1992-1996 Bentley Brooklands has a 6.75-liter V8 engine. This motor is capable of 222 horsepower and 332 lb.-ft. of torque. The manufacturer claims the top speed for this sedan is 127 mph. From 0 to 60 mph, it takes a slow 10 seconds. Furthermore, it completes a quarter mile in 18.2 seconds. This sounds a bit slow, which is why the 1996 models received an updated engine. By adding a light-pressure turbo to the V8, Bentley was able to reach 300 horsepower for the remaining years. In 1998, a top tier version was released called the Brooklands R. This model has the turbo as well as the suspension from the Bentley Turbo R. Either way, the engine works in combination with a 4-speed automatic transmission.

Technology Differences from Predecessors

1993 Bentley Brooklands - Rear Corner - Wikimedia Commons - EuroDrift

1993 Bentley Brooklands – Rear Corner – Wikimedia Commons – EuroDrift

The features of the 1992-1998 Bentley Brooklands include only a handful of differences from its predecessor. First, there is the classic Bentley waterfall grille with dual headlights. Secondly, the car has wraparound parking lights. Thirdly, the Brooklands has the trademark descending boot lid as well as chrome B-pillars. Inside, the car sports a leather-wrapped center console with a gear selector. In the past, the gear selector was steering column mounted. Finally, there is an ample woodgrain interior trim.

Original MSRP of $156,500 in the 1990s

1993 BENTLEY BROOKLANDS REVIEW – STARTING 6.75 V8 ENGINE & DRIVING – Keith Gannon – YouTube

Overall, the 1992-1998 Bentley Brooklands was quite a unique vehicle. With an independent front and rear suspension as well as RWD, this car was the equivalent of a boat on wheels. Although it had a powerful V8, the car was a bit sluggish off the line and thru the quarter mile. The Bentley Brooklands saloon had a starting MSRP of around $156,500 in the US. In conclusion, the 1st generation Bentley Brooklands was a symbol of luxury and prestige.

1980-1989 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit Mark I

1980-1989 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit Mark I

The 1st Generation Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit

1982 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit Mark I - Rear Corner - Wikimedia Commons - EuroDrift

1982 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit Mark I – Rear Corner – Wikimedia Commons – EuroDrift

In 1980, Rolls-Royce introduced the 1st generation Silver Spirit Mark I full-size 4-door luxury saloon. The Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit Mark I was manufactured from 1980 to 1989 in Crewe, Cheshire, England. The designer for the original Silver Spirit Mark I was Fitz Feller in 1974. Furthermore, the Silver Spirit basis has been used for numerous other models including the:

  • Flying Spur
  • Mulsanne
  • Park Ward
  • Silver Dawn
  • Touring Limousine

This basis makes the Silver Spirit a truly unique and special vehicle in the Rolls-Royce line-up.

6.75-Liter L410 V8 Engine with 237 Horsepower

1982 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit Mark I - Front - Wikimedia Commons - EuroDrift

1982 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit Mark I – Front – Wikimedia Commons – EuroDrift05

The 1980-1989 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit Mark I sports a 6.75-liter L410 V8 engine. This motor produces 237 horsepower and 332 lb.-ft. of torque. The motors backbone is a 16-valve system with 2 single-barrel carburetors. This engine can hit 60 mph in an estimation of 11 seconds. To 112 mph, the Silver Spirit Mark I takes around 54.5 seconds. Furthermore, the Mark I can reach a top speed of 120 mph. Finally, the engine works in combination with a GM THM 400 3-speed automatic gearbox.

Features and Technological Aspects of Mark I

1982 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit Mark I - Interior - Wikimedia Commons - EuroDrift

1982 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit Mark I – Interior – Wikimedia Commons – EuroDrift

The 1980-1989 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit Mark I is built with quite a unique and competitive setup. Firstly, the car has unitary bodywork by Pressed Steel. Secondly, there is a hydropneumatics self-leveling suspension. Thirdly, the suspension also includes a Girling automatic hydraulic ride height control system. Fourthly, the shock absorbers are a gas-charged design. Lastly, the front of the vehicle has ventilated disc brakes while the rear has solid disc brakes.

The Beginning of the Rolls-Royce Luxury Saloon

Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit Mark I 1982 độc nhất tại Việt Nam – AUTOEXPRESSVN – YouTube

Note: The video is not in English but it is the best YouTube video showcasing the Silver Spirit Mark I.

The 1980-1989 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit Mark I was the beginning of the luxury saloon era. With it’s basis in most other Rolls-Royce saloon models, the Silver Spirit “shines bright like a diamond”. This unique sedan is now a collector’s car but the value hasn’t held up well. A Mark I Silver Spirit can now be found for only $20,000 to $40,000. Although the value didn’t withhold, the Silver Spirit Mark I is a fabulous collector’s car for the Rolls-Royce fan. In conclusion, the Silver Spirit Mark I deserves respect as the foundation for many Rolls-Royce saloons.

1987 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit Mark I - Front Corner in White - Wikimedia Commons - EuroDrift

1987 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit Mark I – Front Corner in White – Wikimedia Commons – EuroDrift

 

The Aston Martin Lagonda: An Unconventional Saloon

The Aston Martin Lagonda: An Unconventional Saloon

The Unconventional Aston Martin Saloon

Aston Martin Lagonda - Interior - Wikimedia Commons - EuroDrift

Aston Martin Lagonda – Interior – Wikimedia Commons – EuroDrift

From 1976 to 1990, Aston Martin offered a 4-door luxury grand tourer saloon called the Lagonda. The design of the Aston Martin Lagonda is by William Towns. With this unconventional design, Aston Martin was able to resuscitate itself in a degrading market situation. The overall design for the Lagonda follows the “folded paper” visual strategy. Starting in 1974, there are 4 series of releases for the Lagonda. Generally, the years for the series are as follows:

  • 1974-1975: Series 1
  • 1976-1985: Series 2
  • 1986-1987: Series 3
  • 1987-1990: Series 4

Each series offers different features, whether minor face-lifts, or entire overhauls in design.

Aston Martin Lagonda: Series 1 (1974-1975)

Aston Martin Lagonda - Rear - Wikimedia Commons - EuroDrift

Aston Martin Lagonda – Rear – Wikimedia Commons – EuroDrift

In 1974 and 1975, the Aston Martin Lagonda was available as a series 1 model. The series 1 Lagonda was announced at the 1974 London Motor Show. The series 1 sports a 5.3-liter DOHC V8 engine with 280 horsepower and 301 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine allows for a top speed of around 149 mph. Additionally, from 0 to 60 mph, the series 1 Lagonda takes only 6.2 seconds. Furthermore, and most noteworthy, two units were upgraded to a 7.0-liter Aston Martin V8. Most important, this larger engine can reach between 440 and 480 horsepower.

Aston Martin Lagonda: Series 2 (1976-1985)

1984 Aston Martin Lagonda - Front - Wikimedia Commons - EuroDrift

1984 Aston Martin Lagonda – Front – Wikimedia Commons – EuroDrift

From 1976 to 1985, the series 2 Aston Martin Lagonda was available on the market. This version features the same 5.3-liter DOHC V8 with 280 horsepower and 302 lb.-ft. of torque. A major alteration, that is a bit disappointing, is the downgrade of the acceleration and top speed. In the series 2, 0 to 60 mph takes 8.8 seconds, 2.6 seconds slower than the series 1. On top of this, the top speed is lower at 143 mph.

On the technology side, the series 2 Lagonda initially had a digital LED dashboard and touch pad controls. These features were abandoned in 1980. On the exterior, the series 2 also has minor alterations to the front bumper and air dam. Furthermore, the MSRP of the Lagonda in 1980 was the equivalent of $68,883.23. This may seem cheap, but due to inflation, this is equivalent to a current buying power of $220,952.26. Thanks inflation, you’re the shi… best!

Aston Martin Lagonda: Series 3 (1986-1987)

1986 Aston Martin Lagonda - Front Corner - Wikimedia Commons - EuroDrift

1986 Aston Martin Lagonda – Front Corner – Wikimedia Commons – EuroDrift

From 1986 to 1987, the series 3 Aston Martin Lagonda was in fashion. At this time, the units were limited to only 75. Differences for the series 3 are as follows: fuel injected engines and vacuum fluorescent display system. These features were a modernization of those technologies at the time. Otherwise, the series 3 didn’t differ too much from its predecessor.

Aston Martin Lagonda: Series 4 (1987-1990)

1989 Aston Martin Lagonda - Front Corner - Wikimedia Commons - EuroDrift

1989 Aston Martin Lagonda – Front Corner – Wikimedia Commons – EuroDrift

The series 4 Aston Martin Lagonda was brought into awareness at the 1987 Geneva Motor Show. This series features a significant facelift including rounded edges. Not surprisingly, this series was limited to only 105 units. One major visual alteration is the elimination of the pop-up headlights. On the series 4 Lagonda, there are new triple headlights. Furthermore, Aston Martin removed the side surge line and installed 16” wheels. The series 4 is also the last Lagonda series to hit the market. Unfortunately, in January of 1990, Aston Martin closed production on this unconventional saloon.

The End of the Unconventional Aston Martin Era

Classics Revealed: The 1984 Aston Martin Lagonda rides again – The Fast Lane Car – YouTube

Through its years of production, the Aston Martin Lagonda was as popular as it was unusual. To be honest, who would’ve thought that the Lagonda would save the manufacturer. But, in a positive direction, the Lagonda relieved Aston’s financial dilemma bringing funding to the company. In current years, the Lagonda still survives, but records show at least 20% are no longer in existence. Overall, the Lagonda took the world by surprise and kept Aston in the auto world.

1987 Aston Martin Lagonda Shooting Brake - Rear - Wikimedia Commons - EuroDrift

1987 Aston Martin Lagonda Shooting Brake – Rear – Wikimedia Commons – EuroDrift

1964-1966 Lamborghini 350 GT: A Limited Production

1964-1966 Lamborghini 350 GT: A Limited Production

The First Production Lamborghini

1965 Lamborghini 350 GT - Front Corner in Black - Wikipedia - EuroDrift

1965 Lamborghini 350 GT – Front Corner in Black – Wikipedia – EuroDrift

From 1964 to 1966, the Lamborghini 350 GT was a production 2-door grand tourer coupe. Not surprisingly, this model may not be familiar to most people. This is probably due to the 350 GT’s very limited production of only 120 units. This limitation makes surviving models a rare spectacle. Now, Lamborghini is famous for it’s rear-engine sports cars as well as the all-new SUV (the Urus). Regardless, and most noteworthy, the Lamborghini 350 GT was Ferruccio Lamborghini’s first production car.

3.5-Liter Aluminum Alloy DOHC V12

1965 Lamborghini 350 GT - Engine - Wikipedia - EuroDrift

1965 Lamborghini 350 GT – Engine – Wikipedia – EuroDrift

Under the hood, the 1964-1966 Lamborghini 350 GT sports a 3.5-liter aluminum alloy DOHC V12. This engine produces around 280 horsepower and close to 240 lb.-ft. of torque. The motor works in sync with a 5-speed ZF manual transmission. From 0 to 62 mph, the 350 GT takes only 6.8 seconds. Furthermore, from 0 to 100 mph, it takes only 16.3 seconds. At the high end, the 350 GT can reach a top speed of 158 mph. Lastly, to top it off, this motor can produce 400 horsepower but was limited for production.

Aluminum Body, Carburetors, & Wishbone Suspension

1965 Lamborghini 350 GT - Rear - Wikipedia - EuroDrift

1965 Lamborghini 350 GT – Rear – Wikipedia – EuroDrift

The 1964-1966 Lamborghini 350 GT starts with an aluminum body. Next, there is four-wheel independent suspension with unequal-length wishbones. On top of that, the suspension uses concentric coil-spring-damper units. Furthermore, there is a Salisbury differential as well as a four-vacuum servo-assisted Girling disc brakes. Lastly, the 350 GT is built with twin-barrel side-draught Weber 40 DCOE 2 carburetors.

The Beginning of the Lamborghini Empire

1965 Lamborghini 350 GT – Jay Leno’s Garage – YouTube

Overall, the Lamborghini 350 GT was the beginning of the empire built by Ferruccio Lamborghini. Due to its importance in the Lamborghini line-up, it is quite the collector’s car. On top of that, with it’s limitation of 120 units, there are only a handful left in the world today. With it’s race design, this car is meant to compete with alternative sports car rivals. Imagine… only if they left the 400 horsepower in the production model. Regardless, the 350 GT is an automobile of beauty and marvel.

1965 Lamborghini 350 GT - Rear Logo - Wikipedia - EuroDrift

1965 Lamborghini 350 GT – Rear Logo – Wikipedia – EuroDrift

2019 Volkswagen Arteon: Entering the U.S. in Late 2018

2019 Volkswagen Arteon: Entering the U.S. in Late 2018

The 2019 Volkswagen Arteon comes to America

2019 Volkswagen Arteon - Front - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2019 Volkswagen Arteon – Front – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

Earlier this year, the stylish, four-door Arteon made its American debut at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show. Consumers got a chance to view the newest Volkswagen that will find its way into showrooms during fourth-quarter of 2018.

There is a bit of controversy over what to call the Arteon. Volkswagen insists that it is a sedan. At first glance, the 4-door car does indeed look like a sedan or maybe a sports coupe. However, the Arteon has a hinged opening above the back windshield. In America, we call that a hatchback.

2019 Volkswagen Arteon - Rear - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2019 Volkswagen Arteon – Rear – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

Volkswagen insists that the car is not a hatchback.

So, Arteon is a sleek hatchback-sedan that looks like a sports coupe and it comes with three trim levels: SE, SEL, and SEL Premium.

Features and Specifications

2019 Volkswagen Arteon - Engine - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2019 Volkswagen Arteon – Engine – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

The 2019 Volkswagen Arteon runs on a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine, producing 268 hp and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. Handling is accomplished with an eight-speed automatic transmission and buyers can choose between front or all-wheel drive.

The 2019 Arteon comes standard with heated front seats (heated backseats optional)  and LED headlamps.

2019 Volkswagen Arteon - Interior - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2019 Volkswagen Arteon – Interior – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

Actually, the full list of standard features is pretty impressive:

  • Autonomous Emergency Braking
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Forward Collision Assist
  • Proximity-Key Entry
  • 3-Zone Climate Control
  • 8.0-inch Touchscreen Control with Apple CarPlay and Android Support

Other options for the Arteon include Volkswagen’s full-LED gauge cluster, sunroof, heated rear seats, and for a truly luxurious ride – a massaging driver’s seat.

Pricing on the 2019 Arteon

Volkswagen Arteon 2018 review – is it better than an Audi? – carwow – YouTube

The official price points haven’t yet been published but should be released this summer. Volkswagen has said that they expect the starting price to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $34,000. If that is true, then it means that the base price of the Arteon will overlap the decked-out price of the Passat. Speculation is that a loaded Arteon SEL Premium will surpass the $40,000 mark.

2019 Volkswagen Arteon - Rear Corner - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2019 Volkswagen Arteon – Rear Corner – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

 

2018 Jaguar XF S Sportbrake: A Stylish Wagon

2018 Jaguar XF S Sportbrake: A Stylish Wagon

2018 Jaguar XF S Sportbrake

2018 Jaguar XF S Sportbrake - Side in Action - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2018 Jaguar XF S Sportbrake – Side in Action – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

Basically, the new Jaguar XF S Sportbrake is just a larger, wagon version of Jaguar’s XF sedan. However, unlike the sedan, the Sportbrake wagon only comes with one engine option: the 3.0-liter supercharged V6 with an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

Yet, why mess with a good thing. This engine is powerful enough to accelerate this 4000+ lb. vehicle at super-fast speeds.

It’s FAST!

2018 Jaguar XF S Sportbrake - Engine - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2018 Jaguar XF S Sportbrake – Engine – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

Mama move over, this wagon is not for getting groceries or the kids to soccer games.

Jaguar claims that the XF S Sportbrake will do an impressive 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds. The 380-hp engine has 332 lb.-ft. of torque and never flags at any rpm. When you hit the gas, it GOES! Top speed on the Sportbrake is 121 mph, which is great until you need to stop.

A 4000+ lb. object moving at speeds of 100 mph will NOT stop on a dime. Like older wagons, you still have a bit of yaw in the corners and, truth be told, it still looks like a wagon.

The 2018 Jaguar XF S Sportbrake – Not Built for Comfort

2018 Jaguar XF S Sportbrake - Front Corner in Action - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2018 Jaguar XF S Sportbrake – Front Corner in Action – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

So, here is the problem. The Sportbrake is a $73,000 wagon that only seats five people and doesn’t have the cargo space to haul anything over 6 feet long. It’s also been noted that both the front and back seats are not that comfortable. Both are flat and firm, making long trips a bit tedious.

Jaguar has done what it does best, it’s made a fast car, in a category where fast is not all that common. The Sportbrake also has plenty of power to tow and it looks pretty darn good for a wagon. The lines are sleek and definitely make you think of a Jaguar.

2018 Jaguar XF S Sportbrake - Front Grille & Headlight - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2018 Jaguar XF S Sportbrake – Front Grille & Headlight – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

What’s missing are the things that make people want to buy wagons in the first place: seating, cargo space, and comfort.

So, for wagon enthusiasts with money to burn, why not? It’s fun and fast and sure to turn a few heads. However, if you are just interested in a fast and powerful car, the XF sedan might be a better choice.

Jaguar XF Sportbrake (2018) Features, Interior, Design [YOUCAR] – YouTube

2018 Jaguar XF S Sportbrake - Interior - Manufacturer Picture - EuroDrift

2018 Jaguar XF S Sportbrake – Interior – Manufacturer Picture – EuroDrift

The Italian Job: 2003 Mini Cooper S

The Italian Job: 2003 Mini Cooper S

Fun Facts About the Italian Job 2003 Mini Cooper S

There are lots of iconic movie cars, but very few “small” cars outside of Herbie the Love Bug and, of course, the Mini Cooper from the Italian Job.  In fact, both the original 1969 and the 2003 movie, act as a full-length commercial for the Mini Cooper.

The original picture features three Mk1 Austin Mini Cooper S’s, in red, white and blue and the 2003 movie showcases the 2003 Mini Cooper S, modified both on and off-screen.

1963 Austin Mini Cooper S Mk1 - Front - The Italian Job - Wikimedia Commons - EuroDrift

1963 Austin Mini Cooper S Mk1 – Front – The Italian Job – Wikimedia Commons – EuroDrift

On-Screen and Off-Screen Modifications

On screen, the Mini Coopers were to be used to “get back the gold” after a double-cross. The main characters devise a plan to update and modify three small cars (Mini Coopers). They want them to be FAST and with a beefier suspension to carry the heavy bars of gold they hope to recover.

Off-screen, it was actually necessary for the movie makers to make modifications to the three cars before shooting could take place. Two electric-powered Mini Coopers and a Mini Cooper S had to be built because gasoline-powered vehicles are prohibited in Los Angeles’ subway system. Without the modifications, that iconic chase scene through the tunnels could not have taken place.

Another Mini Cooper with two steering wheels was used for some of the shooting. This was so that a stunt driver could navigate while the actors did their thing for the camera. This one of a kind Mini now sits on display at the Mini factory in Cowley, Oxford.

Specs on a Non-Modified 2003 Mini Cooper S

The Italian Job (2003) – Trailer – Paramount – YouTube

How close to what you see on the screen is a real Mini Cooper S?

A non-modified 2003 Mini Cooper S has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with a mechanical-drive supercharger and produces 163 horsepower.  Though it’s a bit slow off the line, the six-speed manual transmission means there’s plenty of power and good control. However, be prepared to do a lot of shifting. If it’s your daily driver, you may find that to be a bit of a nuisance.

All in all, people find the Mini-Cooper fun to drive around. However, most agree that the size and shifting make it a bit impractical for families or the daily commute.

 

 

Everyone Deserves a Second Chance… Including Volkswagen

Everyone Deserves a Second Chance… Including Volkswagen

VW Emissions Scandal & Why They Deserve a Second Chance

2018 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible - Front - PAS 2018 - EuroDrift

2018 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible – Front – PAS 2018 – EuroDrift

For the 642,000 people working for Volkswagen, the actions of a few have altered their lives irrevocably.

You are probably aware that from 2006 to 2015, VW based their US sales strategy on selling “clean diesel” vehicles such as the Passat and the Jetta. They claimed that these vehicles rivaled electric-hybrids like the Toyota Prius in both performance and emissions.

Sales records show that as many as 580,000 found their way into the garages of unwary consumers. All of these customers thought they were buying high-performance, EPA-friendly autos.

But they weren’t.

Instead, they were actually purchasing vehicles which spewed 4x the legal limit of noxious fumes allowed by the US Nox Regulations.

Who’s to Blame for VW Emissions Scandal?

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan - Front - PAS 2018 - EuroDrift

2018 Volkswagen Tiguan – Front – PAS 2018 – EuroDrift

So, how did this fraud continue for close to a decade? Who knew and who didn’t?

Actually, the emissions scandal was the work of only a handful of people.

About 40 people, worked together to cover up the results of the failed emissions testing. The fraud went all the way to the top and there is little doubt that the CEO, Winkerton, knew of the issue in 2016. Many feel that he knew about it before then and may have had a hand in its execution.

Once the story broke, vehicle owners began filing civil lawsuits and criminal investigations began. Several executives found themselves facing jail sentences and VW’s CEO was forced to resign. In addition, the company was hit with billions of dollars in fines and settlements.

2nd Chances for VW Workers

Volkswagen’s diesel scandal, explained – The Verge – YouTube

Unfortunately, the lasting implications for the 642,000 auto workers who had nothing to do with the VW Emissions Scandal are real. VW sales have still not returned to same levels they were before the diesel scandal. Some US auto dealers reported that they had days during the past two years when they didn’t see a single customer in their showrooms.

Yet, finally, this past quarter, VW sales have started to climb.

According to Autodata, it looks as if VW has gained 12% over previous year’s sales. This could mean that the public is willing to forgive and forget now that those who engineered the VW Emissions Scandal have had to pay the piper.

2018 Volkswagen Atlas - Front - PAS 2018 - EuroDrift

2018 Volkswagen Atlas – Front – PAS 2018 – EuroDrift

BMW Vehicle Subscription Service: Testing in Nashville

BMW Vehicle Subscription Service: Testing in Nashville

BMW Begins Offering Subscription Service in Nashville

2018 BMW M2 - Front - PAS 2018 - EuroDrift

2018 BMW M2 – Front – PAS 2018 – EuroDrift

Just this week, BMW began testing their new BMW vehicle subscription service in Nashville, Tennessee. Similar to the Cadillac and Volvo subscription services, drivers can request vehicles through a mobile app and if desired, can even drive a different car every day of the month.

Once you request your car from the BMW subscription service, a concierge from the local dealer delivers the car to you. It comes fully fueled and detailed and you can even have them preset the car to match your preferences.

Lease, Buy, or Use the BMW Vehicle Subscription Service?

2018 BMW M4 - Front - PAS 2018 - EuroDrift

2018 BMW M4 – Front – PAS 2018 – EuroDrift

Most people are familiar with the buying and leasing process. What they may not realize is how the BMW subscription service might better fit their needs.

A lease can allow you to drive a car for a lower monthly sum than it takes to finance a purchase. For many, it’s a way to drive a nicer car without having a hefty down payment. However, when leasing, you are tied to that one vehicle for the term of your lease and you still have to find auto insurance and maintain the car.

Subscription plans allow you to “own” or “rent” a car month-to-month. This is perfect for those who don’t want the hassle of owning or maintaining a car year around. The BMW subscription service also includes insurance, maintenance, and roadside assistance as part of the subscription fee.

How Much Does It Cost?

BMW’s New Subscription Service I Fortune – Fortune Magazine – YouTube

The cost of the BMW vehicle subscription service is similar to that of other car companies. For between $2,000 and $3,700, BMW lovers can pick between various models such as the BMW M2, the 5 Series, and the X5.

For hybrid enthusiasts, the 530e iPerformance and X5 xDrive40e iPerformance are also available.

And if speed is your thing, then you might want to tool around town in the M4 convertible, M5, M6 convertible, X5M, or X6M.

As of now, the BMW vehicle subscription service is still in the testing phase. Nashville should allow them to learn and grow the program to better meet the needs of their customers before launching it across the country.

2018 BMW X2 - Front - PAS 2018 - EuroDrift

2018 BMW X2 – Front – PAS 2018 – EuroDrift

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