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  • The World's First 3D Printed Car

    closeup of a black 3d printer (render)

    The car industry just got a lot more interesting with the groundbreaking introduction of the world's first 3D printed car.

     

    Local Motors, based in Phoenix, is debuting their latest interaction in 3D printed cars at the SEMA auto show in Las Vegas this year.  The LM3D Swim is going to be the first ever road legal, publicly available 3D printed car.  According to venturebeat, the company “live” printed a car at the same show last year but that was merely a test and a prototype.  Over the past year since that showing, the company's engineers have managed to do the impossible and bring the car close to being fully production ready.

     

    Local Motors is partnering with technology companies such as IBM to add sophisticated and high tech features to the car to enhance its abilities both on and off the road.  The big advantage of producing a car this way, is that the company can customize almost every single aspect of the car to the owner’s specifications. The process is nearly as efficient and affordable as buying from a large carmaker.  This could eventually result in a new age of car buying where consumers are able to customize their car the same way they would their hamburger toppings.

     

    According to Slashgear, the car is supposedly more environmentally friendly then most other cars. Additionally, as car buyers become more concerned about the polluting effects of a car, few recognize the power and waste that goes into a standardly produced car.  The 3D printing system is more precise, reducing waste, increasing efficiency and lowering the pollution emissions.

     

    The car is expected to be entirely electric. Prospective owners may reduce the hefty purchase price with subsidies, depending on where the car is purchased and registered.

     

    The LM3D is scheduled to be open for pre-orders in spring of 2016 and the cars are expected to be delivered some time in 2017.  The cars aren't much cheaper than a normal car, coming in at a respectable $53,000.  For now, the novelty of how the car was produced and perhaps some innovative gadgets aboard are all that is attracting drivers to this hot new car. As the company’s technology matures, efficiencies could bring the price down dramatically.

     

    So if you are into the latest and greatest when it comes to your car of choice, you will likely be turning heads while on the cusp of the newest offerings from the car world by ordering your LM3D. It will interesting to see how this technology develops over the next decade, but one thing is for sure, we are in the middle of an exciting shift in automaker history.

  • The Longest Lasting Cars

    longest lasting cars (Medium)
    Do you ever wonder what the most reliable car in America historically was?

     

    As Americans drive their cars longer and wait longer to upgrade, the emphasis on reliability and longevity in cars is becoming a more important quality for shoppers.  IseeCars.com gathered some data on vehicles that have been driven for more than 200,000 miles and the results may surprise you.  Keep in mind that these results are not which cars we think we will last the longest or new models that have the best reliability ratings, but actual cars that are still on the road.

     

    All of the top vehicles are mostly American made trucks and SUVs such as the Chevy Suburban and Ford Expedition.  The number one vehicle was the Ford F-250 Super Duty, with that model making up over 4.2% of the vehicles still on the road with over 200,000 miles.  Turns out the commercials about built Ford tough are not all marketing fluff.

     

    The highest foreign vehicle on the list, the Toyota 4 Runner, comes in 4th place with a 3.5% market share.  The rest of the list is made up of various trucks and SUVs from all makers.  There is a distinct lack of models from luxury makers such as Land Rover on the list.  It is unclear whether that is due to owners trading up earlier or those cars being driven less or simply that luxury cars are sold in a smaller volume initially.

     

    Filtering out all the Trucks and SUVS, the car only list is largely dominated by popular mid-sized Japanese sedans.  Popular names such as the Honda Accord or the Toyota Camry that have a reputation for longevity are high on the list, as one might expect.  The only car from an American company is the Ford Taurus, coming in at the number 7 spot with a 1.0% market share.

     

    The data, while interesting, could be more useful if it were perhaps adjusted for volume. Cars, such as the Camry, are sold in much higher volumes than other cars such as the Taurus or Subaru. Thus, it is tough to make an apples to apples comparison between different models and attribute the difference or lack of one simply due to reliability.

     

    The list may be of  somewhat limited use to current new vehicle buyers, other than to indicate which automakers have reliable reputations, which is typically a trait that extends into current year models.  Nonetheless, it is interesting to see the consistency over the years from these makes and models.

  • Inspirator App Can Create a Bentley For You

    insparator app article (Medium)
    Having trouble deciding what exterior paint color and type of leather you want on your new shiny Bentley?  Well another innovative tool created just for that problem is ready for use and increased the interactivity of outfitting your new luxury ride. Bentley has an amazing little app that will take all the  difficult stylistic decisions out of buying a $200,000 automobile.

     

    The new Bentley Inspirator app uses your mobile device’s front camera to analyze a customer’s facial expression and emotions as they watch a dynamic movie. The program seeks to use this analysis to understand what you like and dislike and design a custom Bentley just for you. It’s safe to say you could find yourself surprised with what your subconscious may actually want in your Bentley.

     

    A less interactive version of the app is available that lets you simply scroll through and select the different customization pieces you would like on your ride.  It might not be a smart idea to go back and use the app once you have already purchased your Bentley, as the app's recommendations might give you buyer’s remorse and you will have to get your car restyled.

     

    With 3D printed cars a thing of the near future and with Bentley rolling out emotion sensing car customization apps, the car buying experience is going through its biggest revolution since the advent of the internet.  Customers have always wanted a car at a fair price with the features they like, but soon we may see additional expectations from the car buying experience. Similar to how our mobile devices can be personally customized to our exact needs.  It will be interesting to see if the top volume carmakers come out with something similar at their dealerships or if this technology remains something only the wealthy ultra-luxury crowd can tinker with before buying.

     

    The Inspirator is currently only used for customers buying a Bentayga luxury SUV but the company expects to expand its' use to other models in the near future.  If you want to test the app out for yourself without having to cough up the dough for a Bentayga, you can test the app out for free over at Bentley's site or at the Apple App Store.

  • Best Gifts For Car Lovers

    Car Gift New Christmas Key Bow Car Key
    Spending another holiday or birthday looking for that perfect gift for the car lover in your family?  We share our favorite car gift ideas for this holiday season.

     

    Performing your own maintenance is a great way to save money versus going to a mechanic, not to mention many gear-heads think of it is a necessary bonding experience with their vehicle.  A great gift for your family “mechanic” this holiday season is a quality scissor lift.  This easy to use lift can help them perform oil changes, tires rotations, and brake jobs without the back breaking and bending over that usually accompanies these tasks. A popular maker is BendPak, offering lifts of all sizes and for different uses, depending on your car’s weight and the maximum height clearance needed.

     

    Does your gear-head have an older model, but appreciates some of the technology available within the new cars and SUV models? One of the more popular and useful gadgets found in today’s models is the backup cameras. Luckily, many automotive aftermarket manufactures now make attachable backup cameras that work with virtually any model.  Most of these cameras are easy to attach and transmit a live video feed to a receiver the driver can view while behind the wheel.  Some even have night vision features. The Garmin BC 20 Wireless Backup Camera, is a great value at under $150 and can even be installed at home.

     

    Want to know what that weird orange light means, but lost the manual?  Car MD to the rescue!  Car MD is a device that diagnoses what the error code your car is showing and then can explain it to you in terms that anyone can understand.  It is like a portable doctor for your automobile.  At $70, the Car MD can save you thousands by detecting serious problems early and avoid having unnecessary repairs performed by an unscrupulous mechanic when all you needed was a new nut, bolt, or radiator hose.

     

    Grip the steering wheel in style while your car grips the icy pavement with a pair of sharp looking driving gloves.  We like this pair from Bloomingdale’s, as they both look stylish and protect against the elements if you are driving in a cold weather state this winter.

     

    For the exotic car enthusiast on a budget, you can give them the sports car experience for a fraction of the sports car price.  A number of companies now offer tours or packages that let people drive exotic sports cars for a limited time.  Some of these packages include a extended car rental of a model that would cost a fortune to buy outright, and can be a great way to get a taste of your fantasy without the large debt.  Check out Exotic Driving Experience or their competitors to get more information on terms and pricing.

     

    Many car fanatics are religious about cleaning and making sure their prized possession stays in tiptop shape, but the battle can be rigorous in the winter months including within the interior.  Give them the gift of ultimate protection with a Weather Tech Floor Mat.  If you know their make and model, you can have the company specifically design one that will fit their ride exactly.  These floor mats are much sturdier than the standard shag carpet most cars come with and the recipient will think warm thoughts of you every time they step out of the rain and into their car.  Truly, a gift that never stops giving.

  • What’s new, cool, and notable with the 2016 Corvette

    Race The Runway Event

    Deletions

    Starting with what is not available that was previously, the beloved corvette is losing two color schemes. The Crystal Red Metallic and Velocity Yellow colors are gone. In addition, the Atlantic and Pacific Design packages that were not ordered much anyways are gone.

    New Goodies

    The colors for the 2016 Corvette are Corvette Racing Yellow and Long Beach Red. These colors replace the no longer available ones we highlighted above. According to corvetterblogger.com, the new red is similar to the 2003 Anniversary red or a red that was an option for corvette purchasers in the 2006-2007 period.

    Perhaps the coolest new thing is a new special edition of this Corvette model will be available for those lucky enough to scoop one up. The special edition is the Corvette Z06 C7.R. The car features special logos and and graphics on the hood, interior and roof. This special edition also comes with a unique car cover. The price is unknown but it is expected to be released at the end of 2015.

    Some other notable new features include the fact that buyers now have the option for two-toned seats. New colors for the interior are available such as Spice Red and Twilight blue and Corvette has expanded the colors available both inside and out on the various different models to give buyers more options and creativity to fit their own personal style.

    Changes

    Notable changes from 2015 include the standard leather wrapped, flat bottomed steering wheel will now be standard on all of the Stingray models. The MyLink infotainment system has been updated and improved and parking cameras are included on more models and design sets than the previous year. Other changes to the Stingray specifically are a new power-closing hatch and trunk along with easier access to the Magnetic Ride Control without having to upgrade to a separate certain package.

    Overall we think the new Corvette looks more amazing than ever and the expanded features and sweet new special edition is awesome for buyers and current owners alike. Remember that LA Wheel and Tire is the one stop shop for all your aftermarket wheel and tire needs for your new Corvette or any car. Check us out and you will not be disappointed.

  • Top 5 James Bond Cars

    James Bond Car

    James Bond movies are known for three things: action, cars, and gorgeous women. Here is our list of our top 5 James Bond cars of all time. Surprisingly, it includes a car that isn't technically a car and one that wasn’t used by James Bond but rather, by one of his arch villains.

    Aston Martin DB5 - Goldfinger

    When the car in the movie is almost as famous as the actor or the movie itself you know it was a sweet ride. With only a little over a 1000 of this particular Aston Martin made, the 1964 classic Goldfinger immortalized this car in the minds of all who saw the movie.

    The voluptuous curves and the beautiful silver paint coat weren’t enough to make this car one of the most famous in the world. No, it took the amazing special effects of the film such as ejector seats and a host of weaponry such as machine guns and missiles to establish its reputation.

    A similar set of Db5’s were later used in another outstanding James Bond movie, Goldeneye, some 30 years after its original cameo. There was also a much more, shall we say rugged, car featured in that movie. But that is also one of our favorites which we talk about below.

    Nevertheless the mere mention of the James Bond franchise flicks off fond memories of this fine piece of human engineering and thus makes it one of our top 5 James Bond cars of all time.

    T-55 Tank - Goldeneye

    The “other” car we mentioned above wasn’t exactly a car per say. No, it was a bellowing behemoth of a tank, a T-55m5. Our hero used this vehicle to crash over a multitude of objects and other cars in his pursuit for justice. While the T-55m5 can’t beat an Aston Martin in a race of any sort it makes much more firepower than the little sedan and in a more believable way. No fake missiles or implausible invisibility here, only the raw power of steel and the tanks forward cannon.

    Part of what makes this one our favorite is that it is used in the same way many of the now famous sports cars are--in a chase scene. Bond uses the T-55 to chase a lovely young female character through the snow covered streets of St. Petersburg. The contrast and “from Russia with love” vibe this gave the scene and the film were the cherry on top of an amazing movie.

    Lotus Esprit S1- The Spy Who Loved Me

    Probably the most unique car on the list that is actually, you know, a car, is the Lotus Esprit S1. Bond famously used this hybrid car to launch out of the depths of the Mediterranean and onto a white sand beach to assault a villain. The car that was only just a few moments ago submerged lurched forward and fired a potent anti aircraft missile smack into the side of a villain’s escape helicopter.

    The Lotus made up for its gaudy design and boxy front hood with sheer creativity and science fiction goodness. The car also featured other such crazy gadgets and gizmos as a cement sprayer, torpedoes, and a periscope. It is clear that if future James Bonds would have had the Lotus they might have been much more successful and perhaps not had their car blown up like the last two.

    2006 Aston Martin DBS V12 - Casino Royale

    With Daniel Craig taking over as the iconic James Bond since 2006, the car of choice has returned to its roots with another Aston Martin. Similar in styling to the original DB5 but noticeably sleeker and much more modern, the DBS returns James Bond to an era of style, speed, and luxury. In between he got caught up with underwater gimmicks, unbelievable technology and strange convertibles and American muscle.

    A great return it has been to the Aston Martin brand for Bond. The first instance of the DBS in Casino Royale had limited to no weapons or gadgets other than a spare gun in case of a case of the dropsies and a defibrillator for, you know, emergencies. That version of the car was soon destroyed on screen in a high-speed pursuit but would return in the next 3 movies. It is unknown whether the DBS will be used again in the next Bond film but it will likely be an Aston Martin of some type as the filmmakers still have a contract with the company.

    Jaguar XKR - Die Another Day

    With its unique bold green color and one of the only Jaguars to ever appear in a Bond movie, the Jaguar XKR is definitely one of the coolest cars ever. It became famous as it took on the Vanish in Die Another Day. A lot of fans liked this car because in terms of gadgetry and weaponry it was at least in the realm of possibility especially when compared to aquatic cars and invisible Aston Martins.

    Whether it was hood mounted machine guns or missiles tucked in the door it didn’t seem to have anything from the like of Star Trek that wasn’t something a military vehicle that wasn’t also an awesome, sexy performance race car might have. Some of the eight unique XKRs that were used in filming were two wheel drive while the four that were used for the famous car chase on ice were four wheel drive, as you might imagine they would have to be in such a driving environment.

  • Porsche takes a stab at Tesla’s market share with its Mission E

    2015 Porsche Mission E Concept

    With Tesla Motors’ increased production of their Model S thanks to a new factory finally coming to fruition, there exists a new challenger to the electric car maker’s throne. That challenger comes from a familiar name, Porsche. The Porsche’s Mission E concept car is the luxury automaker's direct challenge to the Model S. The car is a great headline piece as Porsche claims it could be the even faster than the Model S and possibly the fastest electric car ever.

    What that actually means, in reality, is that the top end maximum speed the Mission E can go is the highest. While going from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds is nothing to sneeze at, the max speed is less useful or important to the everyday performance or luxury car enthusiast.

    Also, like many other electric concepts, prototypes, and Tesla’s production models, the Mission E only has one gear. This feature hurts its speed profile and top end speed while reducing weight since all the normal gearbox components are not needed. This loss of weight helps the car stay nimble despite its other limitations.

    The mission E’s battery is one of the more incredible parts of the vehicle. According to Car and Driver, Porsche claims the car will recharge 80 percent of its battery in just 15 minutes. The battery is also supposed to use much less power than similar systems such as Tesla’s Supercharger system. That combination presents the biggest threat to Tesla, should the automaker be able to use that technology in other products or cars that might make it to market quicker then the Mission E concept.

    With an amazing 310 mile range and a quick charging system, the Mission E appears to be one of the strongest challengers to Tesla and its maverick executive Elon Musk. The only thing holding back this challenger is the fact that it is some years away from being in production. This, while the Model S is beginning to roll off the factory line, is the greatest advantage of the Model S. It is the first mover among luxury performance electric cars and it remains to be seen how big of an advantage that will be.

    With the car being just a concept, price is unknown at this time. Being a Porsche and an advanced electric car it can be safe to assume it will cost a pretty penny but it remains to be seen how much technology can bring down the price of such amazing vehicles with the help of time.

  • What's new for BMW in 2016?

    Bmw Car

    The BMW M2: Muscular, lighter, and zero to 60 in 4.3

    After being leaked almost a week ago by a Kinja user, the car community has been ablaze with discussion of the new BMW M2. The company soon revealed the car officially on Periscope soon after the leak. According to a Jalopnik article, the M2 comes in both manual and automatic, which was unexpected but similar to other BMW models like the M4 and M3. The M2 has 370 horsepower and 343 lb-ft of torque so this baby can certainly move.

    The M2 is expected to launch with only four exterior paint options – mineral gray, Black Sapphire, Alpine White, and Long Beach Blue. According to Car and Driver the expected retail price is around $55,000. The release of the new M2 could be for the model year 2016 or 2017. Stay tuned to La Wheel and Tire for more news about this amazing new BMW. We can't wait to help you customize this beauty even more with some amazing wheels and accessories.

    In the wake of Volkswagen's emission scandal, increased emissions regulation in Europe and North America, and competition from the likes of Tesla, many car makers are ramping up or announcing their electric plans. In the future from BMW they might soon have electric plug ins for cars such as their M3 model.

    BMW working on a M3 electric plug in

    In the wake of Volkswagen's emission scandal, increased emissions regulation in Europe and North America, and competition from the likes of Tesla, many car makers are ramping up or announcing their electric plans. In the future from BMW they might soon have electric plug ins for cars such as their M3 model.

    According to an Auto Guide article, the plugin is expected to add additional torque and possibly horsepower while the car is in electric mode. The downside is that the range in electric mode is expected to be only a paltry 20 miles. The real advantage might be the ability to switch between gasoline and electric based on usage and to conserve fuel. Good for a trip to the grocery store though.

    The M3 and likely this particular electric plug in is not expected till 2020 so it will be awhile before an official announcement is made. Keep an eye and ear on the auto show circuit in the next few years to learn more.

    M4 GTS takes track technology to a road near you

    Another concept car that appears more production ready than concept is the recently announced BMW M4 GTS. The same AutoGuide article tells us that the M4 GTS is one of the first BMWs to feature their brilliant water injection system. This system helps to further cool the engine and allows additional power because of ease of pressure restrictions and higher injection timing.

    Road and Track reports the technical specifications of this beast come in at incredible 500 hp thanks to the above mentioned technology, a lighter body from its many carbon fiber elements, and BMW standard engineering. Unlike their dabbling in electric power, this beauty is expected to be delivered to dealerships in the near future rather than sometime later. Pricing has not been announced yet but based on the information we know we expect it to be more than the M3 for sure and likely in the 60 to 70 thousand range. Wheel enthusiasts will be happy to know that the M3's front wheels are 19x9.5 inch and the back wheels are 20x10.5 inch. Go ahead, drool, we won't mind.

  • Why Lexus Stands Firm on Not Moving Production to China

    1000pxWhy-Lexus-Stands-Firm-On-Not-Moving-Production-To-China-PictureOutsourcing is an integrated part of the new interconnected global economy and Toyota Motor Corp is taking a unique stance firmly against the practice. Toyota Motor Corp, which produces cars under a variety of brand names such as Toyota, Scion, and Lexus, has been traditionally steadfast in their intent to keep Lexus production in Japan and only started production in the US and Canada in the last few years.

    The reason might surprise you. To most companies, the benefits of outsourcing production or back ended services, such as customer call centers, are primarily related to costs. Labor costs vary across industries, but can be a huge part of the overhead a company must endure and any reduction in them can significantly help the bottom line.

    Labor costs in places such as the Far East and South America have attracted numerous employers over the years. Recently, as China's economy has boomed, wage growth and average quality of life increased along with it. Chinese workers were not as affordable as they once were. There is also a question of the quality of the end product that is produced by these outsourced factories. For some products, especially luxury goods, the perception of quality as well as the actual quality of the product itself is more important than cost savings. This is the case for Lexus automobiles and the reason they are avoiding production in China.

    According to Takashi Yamamoto, “There's too much quality risk in China to produce there. When that difficulty is gone, maybe local production is likely to be launched in China, maybe several decades later.” Mr. Yamamoto is executive vice president of Lexus International and has worked for Toyota for over 30 years. This stiff production policy puts the company’s Lexus at a significant price disadvantage to other luxury carmakers such as Audi and BMW.

    While times are good and cars are selling well, the strategy appears to be working for Toyota, but could come back to bite the company during times of slow growth or the next recession. Pressure to cut costs during an economic slowdown, amid falling sales, could cause the company to backtrack on its policy and embrace the costs savings China still offers, even if it is less than in years past.

    A focus on and reputation for quality can be a tremendous marketing advantage for the company. This is especially true in light of recent lapses in quality control amid almost all carmakers including Toyota Corp. Whether it is fallout from defunct Takata airbags, General Motors faulty ignition switch deaths, or the giant elephant in the room of Volkswagen's emissions test cheating. Customers may be willing to accept the higher price, if they perceive the higher price is what they have to live with to avoid these issues and receive a high-end, luxury product.

  • The Latest in Self-Driving Cars

    1000pxThe-Latest-in-Self-Driving-Cars-PictureIf you follow car or automotive news at all, then you know self-driving cars are the next big step for the industry. Self-driving cars are certainly the future and we have the latest news and cool concepts for you right here.

    Obviously, the designers and programmers of self-driving cars must program cars to operate safely under and circumstance, avoiding other cars, erratic drivers, and even pedestrians. If that wasn't enough, the approaching reality of this new type of car has unleashed a flurry of legal and ethical debates and challenges to overcome.

    According to Bigthink.com, researchers at the Toulouse School of Economics are researching what type of ethics should be programmed into a self-driving car. For example, should a self-driving car sacrifice its driver if it is necessary to avoid hitting and killing 5 other people? Or should the driver take a higher priority than everyone else, with the car taking any and all steps necessary to protect its “master” above all else?

    These are some tough ethical questions that do not have easy answers. They will not go away soon either, and will likely become a part of the discussion around this emerging technology for years. Robots and AI in general are yet to carve out their place and role in society in a meaningful way either. It will be interesting to see if such devices or robots are given a type of pseudo-person status under the law, similar to what corporate entities have. Or if they will be treated as a sort of second-class citizen, subject to their own special set of laws.

    Tracing and understanding the legal issues are even more complicated and thorny. If a self-driving car does hit another car or a person, who is at fault? Robots are unlikely to be able to insure themselves anytime in the near future, so it is likely a person or company is at fault, only the law will define whom.

    Google keeps making headlines with their self-driving experiments, with some of the most interesting indicating how the company is unexpectedly having their car act more “human.” Google discovered that their car was making left turns strangely, stopping further back from cars then most human drivers would. This made it difficult for the car to blend in and angered or confused fellow drivers, since it did not adhere to the accepted behavior that everyone else on the road followed.

    Google has also been working to have their cars better understand and recognize children. They recently had children test their car's software at their headquarters. The hope is that the software will recognize children and understand that they are unpredictable, forcing the car to act more cautiously in response.

    Self-driving cars are still a long way from being commonplace and commercially viable. However, the technology remains a frequent news item and a hotbed for competition as “traditional” automakers enter the field. It remains to be seen which company will crack the code and release the first publicly available autonomous car, as well as how the legal and ethical issues now being voiced, will be handled.

  • Inside the 2016 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet and the Shelby GT350

    1000pxInside-the-2016-Ford-Mustang-Cobra-Jet-and-the-Shelby-GT350-PictureThe latest from Ford's turnkey racecar program is the unbelievably fast 2016 Ford Mustang Cobra Jet. Costing just shy of a cool $100,000, the Cobra Jet delivers incredible speed and power for a hefty price tag. A verified eight-second quarter mile time has been recorded and filmed.

    What kind of engine can deliver that kind of performance and how much horsepower does it put out? Is a 1000hp good enough for you? The Cobra Jet features a supercharged 5.0L V8, which will zoom the car down track, making it a formidable force to be reckoned when it debuts in early 2016. The car is built with stamped steel for the roof, quarters, and doors while using aluminum fenders and hood to keep the weight down as much as possible.

    The Cobra Jet will only be produced in a limited run of 50 with 25 in Oxford White and 25 in the Deep Impact Blue paint scheme. To keep this monster cool the company equips an electric water pump from the C-Max Hybrid onto the 5.0L V8 engine. This allows the engine to cool more rapidly than usual when it is not running at full blast, a useful feature to have when using the car in the fits and spurts of drag racing.

    Optional components for the racing enthusiast include a wheelie bar to keep the car from doing a back flip with all the power it is packing. Another option is a set of slick matching Cobra Jet graphics to enhance the solid blue or white paint coat of the Cobra Jet. Stroll over to the Ford production facility if you find yourself in town and be sure to bring a trailer if you want to get your hands on this fine piece of automotive engineering.

    For those of you with a smaller budget but that still want to go fast, we present the new 2016 Ford Shelby GT 350. The GT350 replaces the outgoing GT500 and swaps that car's solid rear axle for a more dynamic fully independent rear suspension. The car features a flat-plane crankshaft and a solid 5.2 liter V-8. No super or turbo charger is offered, but the car is rumored to be redlined over 8000 RPM at its fastest.

    The Shelby GT350 keeps to sports car tradition and only comes in a six-speed manual transmission while many 2016 sports cars have dropped that transmission style in favor of an easier, more accessible automatic system.

    The car is packed with sophisticated technology and innovations such as new dampening systems, updated brakes, and fenders are designed to assist in airflow and engine cooling. The GT350 is without a doubt, one of the fastest and meanest road legal cars to be released by any automaker in 2016, pleasing any sports car enthusiast with its dramatic 526-hp output.

  • Ford's Future Vision: The Emergence of Auto as a Mobile App

    1000pxFord's-Future-Vision-The-Merge-of-Auto-as-a-Mobile-App-Picture

    In an unlikely turn of events, venerable old guard Ford Motor Company is embracing the future. The company is talking about such interesting ideas as “transportation as a service,” collaborating and investing in technology, as well as R&D to avoid being left in the dust.

    Companies with storied histories in old school industries have often struggled to keep up with fast moving, smaller and disruptive technology companies, or start-ups. Ford hopes to avoid this struggle. Bill Ford, president/ CEO and great-grandson of Henry Ford says, “We are now at a point where we are at the threshold of a series of revolutions. Those change(s) are going to happen with or without us. We'd like to have it happen with us.”

    Mr. Ford sees the future of the automobile industry as a mash-up between services like Uber and Lyft and self-driving cars. His future is a place where few people own a car and simply order one using a smart phone app when they need it as a service. This could potentially have an effect on infrastructure as well, as fewer cars would need to be stored in home garages or parking lots. Instead, cars would be almost in constant motion.

    Ford has recently established a R&D center in Silicon Valley, stepping up hiring of engineers, programmers, and other technology personnel. Ford has also experimented with using the automobile to help gather medical information on rural pregnant women in India, as well as mapping and data gathering in certain African countries.

    You will likely remember a company called Eastman Kodak. This was a company that produced analog cameras, film and accessories for those cameras, as well as ran a successful chemical business (Eastman). The rise of digital cameras and the revolution of photography that accompanied it eventually forced the company into bankruptcy a few years after it spun of its Eastman Chemical business. While the company’s downfall wasn't entirely due to technology, it did have a strong impact on the company’s demise. Ford hopes they can avoid a similar fate with their early investments and forward thinking.

    Even with all this talk of the future, Ford's sales remain at all-time high. Sales have been fueled by strength in demand for vehicles both domestically and overseas, especially for the best-selling Ford F-150 truck. Ford has climbed its way back from the dark days of the 2008-2009 recession, which saw competitor GM receiving a government bailout.

    It remains to be seen if any of this talk and the company's efforts will bear fruit as the payoff may be years down the road. However, what is certain is that the company appears to be positioning itself for a strong future for years to come, not focusing on the short-term quarterly performance. Stay tuned for more exiting updates from Ford and other automakers, as the battleground for the future of transportation gets more crowded by the day.

  • Reasons to Buy Chrome Wheels

    Blur magnesium alloy wheel or mag wheel or max wheels of CarChrome wheels are a popular choice for any type and style vehicle. There are different types and styles for these aftermarket add-ons, making it a great opportunity to customize your vehicle. Chrome is offered for both Original Factory Wheels and Aftermarket wheels. Here are some great reasons why you should consider getting some.

    Are you thinking about getting chrome wheels?
    We not only chrome the face of the wheel, we dip the entire wheel in the chrome. Chrome wheels are highly desirable for their aesthetically pleasing effect.

    How do chrome wheels look different?
    Chrome wheels are shiny due to the nature of the chrome metal applied to the surface. The chrome reflects light so the wheels produce an eye-catching effect. This look is often used to compliment high-end, luxury vehicles and is a stylish option that differentiates luxury automobiles from more everyday vehicles.

    Factory wheels range from “14 to “22 depending on what will fit to the specifications of the vehicle.  Of course if you would like to go bigger you can always look in to Aftermarket wheels that can go up to “28 and these can come in many different styles and finishes. Many wheels fit many cars, it all depends on the fitment of the car, just because one wheel comes stock on one vehicle does not mean it would not fit on a different car.

    They modernize older or classic cars
    As well as being a luxury add-on, chrome wheels are also used to modernize older cars. Car wheels are often a giveaway for a car’s age and chrome wheels are a great way to spruce up and modernize an older car for a relatively low cost.

    Chrome wheels can improve the look of a car
    Chrome wheels are all about aesthetics. Keep in mind that chrome wheels are easily scratched and corroded if not taken care of. They are also not weather proofed. We offer PVD, which helps, but chrome wheels are not hard wearing.

    Ultimately, however, it comes down to the design possibilities; they allow car owners to customize their vehicles in a simple way that expresses their personality.

  • Best Car Cleaning Tips

    Car WashA simple squeegee rinse every two weeks when you fill up for gas is not enough to keep your car looking its best.  To keep a car's exterior sparkling, you must have a combination of the right equipment, product, hard work, and patience to do the process correctly.

    The most important thing to start with is a cool rinse of water.  Rinsing removes dirt and grime without the help of soap and scrubbing, and can help the soap clean more effectively.

    The next step is to slowly soap and wash your car, preferably by hand, in sections around the exterior of the car.  Go slowly to ensure all the nooks and crannies are covered —some of the hardest spots are inside the wheel spokes, the very bottom trim and underneath it, and the top parts of the car that are hard to reach.

    Once your car has a layer of soap on it, it is time for another rinse.  Take your time and be sure to get all the soap off because any remaining soap can stain and ruin your car's finish.  Since you will be circling and getting up close with your car during this process, this is a great time to look for any scratches or marks.  You can also take the opportunity to remove old bumper stickers, parking passes, national park stickers, and anything else that is no longer needed.

    Drying should be done, again, preferably by hand.  Avoid letting your car air dry completely, as the water can pool and cause rust or create water stains on your car's finish.  A high quality water absorbing shammy is preferable to a regular towel, due to the amount of moisture that will be absorbed throughout the process.  The shammy will also last longer and be easier to ring out when you are finished.

    Waxing is optional, but highly encouraged.  Find a high quality wax that will last several months and be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle or package to the T.  Failure to apply wax correctly can ruin the exterior of your car and its paint job.

    Follow these simple best practices and tips and you will have a great looking car rolling down the road for years to come!

  • 5 Fun Facts About Chrysler

    Samara, Russia - May 24, 2014: Chrysler Automobile Dealership SiOne of the most iconic car brands is Chrysler. It is an American giant of the industry. Here are some fun facts about the legendary automobile brand.

    From early 20th century pioneer, to Detroit industrial behemoth, Chrysler has experienced many difficulties during its 90-year history. Facing financial collapse in 2009 amidst the credit crunch, America nearly lost one of its most important and enduring companies.

    It was started by a man with humble beginnings

    The company was founded by Walter Chrysler in 1925. He spent his early adulthood working in various parts of the country as a railroad mechanic. A quick-tempered young man, he was often in and out of jobs, struggling for many years before entering car manufacturing in 1911. Showing great skill in cutting production costs, Chrysler was brought on by Buick and then by General Motors before branching out on his own in 1928.

    Chrysler is bigger than you think

    As one of the big three automakers, Chrysler is a major global player. The Fiat Chrysler brand owns the Dodge and Jeep brands, as well as the Chrysler and Fiat divisions. It is the third largest automaker in the world, behind General Motors and Ford.

    The amount of cars they sell will surprise you

    In 2013, Chrysler sold 1.8 million cars. In 2009, they sold just half that amount, partly contributing to its financial collapse. Fortunately, things have turned around for this legendary company since then. Only GM, Ford and Toyota sell more vehicles than Chrysler does.

    It lends its name to the Chrysler building

    Without Chrysler, there would be no Chrysler building. Currently the third largest building in New York, this building was constructed in 1928 and is a masterpiece of Art Deco design. Built by Chrysler’s founder, Walter Chrysler, it was built to house his company’s operations.  It briefly stood as the world’s tallest building, until it was surpassed by the Empire State Building in 1929. Today, it remains an iconic part of the Manhattan skyline.

    Chrysler made more than just cars…

    During the Second World War, much of American industry was engaged in helping the war effort, including Chrysler. The company made radar antennas and engines for airplanes. It was this focus on the war that spawned an all-terrain military vehicle called the Jeep, which would go on to become an American classic. Chrysler would even go on to produce boosters for spacecraft.

    Chrysler is deservedly a much-loved American industrial heavyweight. From cars to rocket engines, this legendary brand defined an era of innovation, industry and wealth, and, to this day, continues to be one of the world’s most important automobile manufacturers.

  • Top 10 Best Movie Cars

    Back To The Future CarBat-mobile (Tumbler) – The Dark Knight
    Part car, part tank, part computer, the Bat-mobile was seriously upgraded in The Dark Knight series.  Backed with weapons, gadgets, and a handy get away bike —should it ever start counting down to self-destruct— the Bat-mobile is the ultimate combination of sexy styling and practicability in a car.

    DeLorean - Back to the Future
    The DeLorean became iconic not because of the car itself, but rather because it happened to be at the right place in the right movie.  Despite being a poor quality car by all consumer standards, the collectible car still fetches high prices today due to its status as a pop culture symbol.

    1970 Dodge Charger – The Fast and the Furious
    The first movie was the car that started it all, the 1970 Dodge Charger.  The ambassador for American muscle, the Charger was such as great car for the movie because it fit Vin Diesel's character's personality and style perfect and made a great contrast to the smaller, faster cars of the other racers.

    2005 Audi A8 – Transporter
    Multiple license plates, more gadgets then Inspector Gadget, weapons, secret compartments, ejection seat; what is not to love.  The Audi A8 put the company on the map and its influence can still be seen in the similarly sleek, slightly round cars that the company still produces to this day.

    1972 Ford Grand Torino – Grand Torino
    Not many cars get their own movie named after them and this is one of the coolest.  Tough yet stylish, powerful with a big roar, this car is the obsession and prized possession of an old ornery war veteran played by legendary actor Clint Eastwood.  In a symbol of ignorance and stubbornness overcome, the car becomes a young Korean kid's new ride.

    1968 Mini Cooper – The Italian Job
    This car was perfect for the movie because the heist was based on a heavily modifier version of this car and it was the only one that could do the job with the speed and hauling required.  The remake some 40 years later used a newer model of the car, showing that the original was the perfect fit and a important memory to keep of the original.

    1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 – Gone in 60 Seconds
    In a movie where there must have been 400 plus cars discussed, looked at, stolen, thought about, only one stands above them all.  The object of a passionate love affair and mental struggle, the Shelby graced the movie screen with an elusive yet deadly presence that made it the perfect centerpiece for this car extravaganza.

    1963 Aston Martin - Goldfinger
    This car is the reason every action movie now must contain multiple amazing rides or suffer at the hands of the movie watching public.  The Aston Martin was the most effective product placement before there ever was and the epitome of luxury.

    Ferrari 250 GT California - Ferris Bueller's Day Off
    Every good hooky story needs a cool car to accompany it or your effort to elude teachers and parents is wasted.  The Ferrari has gone on to become a premier luxury car.  It served its place well to be the fleeting symbol of freedom that would ultimately come crashing down for Ferris.

    1959 Cadillac Miller Meteor – Ghostbusters
    A zany group of low budget, clumsy crime fighters need a car to match their style and the 1959 Cadillac Miller Meteor couldn't have done it better.  This was a Cadillac that someone under the age of 60 wanted to drive and it could haul a boatload of gear to boot.

  • Warning Signs You Need New Tires

    Flat TireThey’re the first point of contact between your vehicle and the road.  Your tires are key to keeping you, your passengers, and other drivers out on the road safe.  But if you don’t check your tires regularly, you could be setting yourself up for an accident.

    Below are some tips to help alert you to when you need new tires; and could help to keep your vehicle, you, and your passengers safe.

    Shallow Tread Depth
    Shallow tread depth is the number one sign for changing your tire. You must ensure that the tread depth never goes below 1.6 mm. You can easily check the tread depth of your tire by using a professional gauge. Don’t have one? Then you can determine the tread depth by using a penny.  Simply insert a penny into your tire’s tread groove with Lincoln’s head upside down and facing you.  If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, then your tread depth is less than 1.6mm and needs to be replaced.

    Sidewall Cracks
    Cracks are one of the major warning signs that suggests you need new tires. The cracks can be due to the bulge at the side of the tires, which can lead to a serious blowout. You should examine your tires periodically to see if there are any cracks or cuts in the sidewalls. Whenever you find any similar problems, you must change the tire to avoid potential incidents.

    Bulges or Blisters
    Bulges or blisters are very dangerous warning signs for your tires. These flaws indicate that the outer surface of your tire has started to weaken. If you notice this type of issue, you should replace your tire immediately, as it can lead to a serious accident.

    Excessive Vibration
    Excessive vibration is one of the most common reasons for replacing a tire. Every car has a certain limit of vibrations. If you drive your car regularly, you can easily differentiate between the usual and excessive vibrations. The excessive vibration can be caused due to a number of reasons. However, only a few of them are related to the tires. Nonetheless, whenever you feel that the vibration is more than the normal range, you should always take your car to a professional to ensure that the tires are balanced and aligned appropriately.

    If you notice any of these warning signs in your tire, you should contact a professional and see to it that the tire is replaced.

  • Summer 2015 Car Shows Around Los Angeles

    Chevrolet Ss Camaro Car On DisplayIt’s the hot summer season, which is the perfect time to visit some of the hottest car shows around. If you live near Los Angeles, you have the opportunity to see some of the most beautiful cars in the world.

    Here are some of the hottest car shows in the Los Angeles area this summer:

    Long Beach High Performance Swap Meet and Car Show, August 2nd

    If you’re more than just a casual car enthusiast, then you won’t want to miss this show in Long Beach.  With more than 600 vendors participating in the event, the Long Beach High Performance Swap Meet and Car Show features custom high performance parts and beautiful vintage vehicles you won’t find anywhere else.  Have a finished custom car you want to sell?  There is even an exclusive parking area called the “Car Corral,” where you can display and sell your car.  This is the perfect event for the dedicated car lover.

    City of Glendale: Cruise Night August 29th

    Cruise Night is one of the Southern California’s largest car shows, where 400 pre-1980 cars are displayed.  But cars aren’t the only attraction at this event.  It is also a great place to spend the day with your family.  With a number of live entertainers, including The Chantays, Smooth…Sounds of Santana, and Jumping Jack Flash – a tribute band to The Rolling Stones -this is a can’t miss event.  Continuing the Cruise Night tradition, the night will also end with a fireworks show near the main stage.  This show is sure to be fun for the whole family.

    Roaders Car Club August 15th

    Roaders Car Club is a great show for vintage car lovers. Here, you can see a variety of muscle cars, Mopar and older Ford models. This show also includes raffles, trophies, and 50/50 drawings. You can also enjoy 70’s greatest hits with the former radio show host “Mr. 8 track the DJ.”  Roaders is a great event of music and vintage cars that is not to be missed.

     

    Do not forget to share your awesome experiences with us in the comment section below.

  • The Best YouTube Channels for Car Lovers

    YouTube homepageThere are hundreds of YouTube channels focused on cars.  Finding the best car channels can be a difficult task in and of itself. Below are some of the most useful channels for the various different type of car enthusiast:

    /Drive

    /Drive is arguably the best YouTube channel for car lovers. This channel has the most diverse and best automotive content on YouTube, including motorsport coverage, driving adventures, and car reviews. Moreover, the channel provides car lovers with a detailed overview about the production of different high-end vehicles. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more diverse channel than /Drive.

    Petrolicious

    If you’re a fan of classic cars, then you’ll have to subscribe to Petrolicious. It provides classic car enthusiasts with unique, original, and high-quality videos. Its videos cover a wide range of vehicles, including the “Little Beast” Nissan Bluebird, the legendary Ferrari 312PB, the BMW M1 “solitary racing supercar,” and even the triple Nickel motorcycle! You cannot afford to miss these amazing vehicles if you’re a real automotive enthusiast.

    Regular Car Reviews

    If you’re looking for a car channel that will not only review the vehicles, but also mixes in some humor, then Regular Car Reviews is the perfect channel one for you. Their videos are simply hilarious! This channel has reviewed a wide range of cars, including 1989 Nissan S13 Silvia, 2013 Ford Mustang GT, and 1974 Plymouth, in a very funny way.  Definitely a fresh take and certainly not to be missed.

    Motor Trend

    Motor Trend has achieved a huge popularity among car enthusiasts, due to its high quality content. From the hottest classic cars, to today’s modern supercars, you will find everything here. This channel produces reviews and news on all the cars manufacturers of the world including Ferrari, BMW, and Lamborghini. Moreover, it produces different “Challenge” and “Roadkill” episodes--each with their own unique flair and aim.  This is the definitive car lover channel and a great starting point for anyone wanting to expand their knowledge of cars.

    XCAR

    XCAR produces some of the most stunning automotive videos that you won’t find anywhere else on YouTube. From Banger Racing XCAR, to Ferrari 458, you will find everything here.  XCAR differentiates itself from the vast array of other channels, in its amazing ability to tell the best stories about automotive history.  Be sure to check out the Porsche 959 film; you won’t be disappointed.

    These are some of the best YouTube Channels for car lovers. If you claim to be a car enthusiast, you should visit these channels and see what they have to offer.

  • Check out the new L.A. Wheel Store and Save!

    NH1263

    Free Shipping in the Contiguous U.S.A.

    L.A. Wheel and Tire is proud to announce our latest limited time only promotional offer running on our new Store!  If you haven't checked it out yet, just click the STORE link along the top and start shopping.

    We are offering the following savings:

    • 10% off all Accessories, including Chrome Care Kits, Valve Stems, Hubcentric Hub Rings, and more.
    • 10% off most Lugs, including Mercedes, Audi, Volkswagen, BMW, and more.
    • 10% off all Outright wheel purchases.  Buy a new set of chrome wheels in the style of your choice!
    • 5% off all Wheel Exchange Program purchases.  Send us your factory (non-chrome) wheels and we'll send you a set of the same wheels, but in gorgeous Triple Trivalent Chrome!

    And don't forget: when you buy a set of wheels -- Outright or Exchange -- you can use the checkbox on the right-hand side to add the $5 Matching Stand Up To Cancer Donation to your order.  We'll match your $5 donation to Stand Up To Cancer, and help bring an end to cancer!

    This promotion lasts for a limited time only, so check it out fast.

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