A BMW dealership from the Czech Republic is actually responsible for this unique piece of art, not BMW directly. The dealership chose a local artist Andy Reiben to turn the new 3er saloon into an eye-popping piece of psychedelic candy. Before finally getting its final details done with a brush, the four-door model was first wrapped in matte vinyl, then sprayed with cans of paint; that must have take a lot of time.
When the work was finished, and he was able to take a step back and look at the creation he dubbed, “Flodium”, Reiben said: “It really is a strange feeling when you as a painter are standing in front of the hood of a beautiful black car and you are to make the first dot by the brush, which then will dance about the body to your notes and ideas and will turn everything in brilliant colour artwork.”
In an effort to reinvigorate sales and seek new customers, Scion could be considering a change in its brand direction. Where would that change go you might ask? Scion would farther market to the burgeoning entry-level luxury segment- something the German brands are already starting to milk. This is a conversation that originally started with the brand’s birth: to aim Scion vehicles at budget-savers from Korea or the low end of the luxury market.
“We were torn at what direction to go,” Toyota‘s North American CEO, Jim Lentz said to Automotive News. “We could go any of those directions.”
Scion hit a more expensive level with the FR-S, and there’s more potential for that to grow with the Toyota-badged convertible version of the car shown last month in Geneva. However, bringing the convertible over to Scion would mean an increase in price creeping into the high 20,000 range.
Budget vehicles were available for around $13,000 when Scion launched. Even though there are still cars priced at that level, Lentz said the market is moving up. “Today it’s hard to find much value below $18,000 to $20,000. There’s going to be a big need in the $25,000 range for a fun-to-drive, nice-looking value-oriented product.”
It is unclear yet if moving to a more expensive model range will really help Scion, bu the flexibility is there. A rear-wheel drive vehicle could easily spawn from the FR-S while less expensive front-wheel drive cars to compete with Mercedes’ new CLA would also be easy for the brand to cobble together.
Lexus, as the crossover segment continues to grow, is considering adding a three-row model joining the RX (pictured on the right) which is currently the only CUV in the Japanese automaker’s lineup.
According to Lexus vice-president of marketing Brian Smith, the automaker could convert one of its body-on-frame SUVs, the GX or LX, to unibody platforms. In an interview with WardsAuto, Smith said that a three-row, unibody crossover is something the market could be seeing from Lexus in the future. It is also what Lexus believes the consumers want to see.
“In general, CUVs of any size are becoming a bigger force in the industry,” Smith said in the interview. “So as we sell more products globally, I think that could lead to new products for us.”
With its RX model, Lexus already dominate the two-row segment, which is considerably larger than most of its competitors, although still too small to compete against models like the Acura MDX or newly introduced Infiniti QX60.
General Motors has informed roughly 900 of its over 3,000 Chevrolet dealerships that they qualify to sell the 2014 Corvette Stingray when it launches. This means that when it becomes available this summer, fewer than one-third of the Chevrolet dealerships will be eligible to sell the new Stingray, however, the dealerships that are eligible can begin ordering the sports car in the coming weeks. Causing it to limit allocation and inventory to its highest-volume Corvette dealerships, Chevy expects the demand for the Corvette Stingray to outstrip supply.
“Chevrolet provided dealers with guidance and requirements early in 2012 so dealers would know well in advance whether they would likely receive Corvette models during the initial six to nine months after launch,” Russ Clark, Chevrolet marketing director for performance cars, said in a statement.
The 900 dealerships chosen account for 80 percent of Corvette sales last year and other dealerships won’t be allocated any inventory until at least six to nine months after the new Stingray’s launch. To be eligible to receive the 2014 Corvette Stingray in their inventory, the dealerships had to sell at least four Corvettes last year.
Still, the dealerships picked will have to meet several other requirements including having Stingray specialists in both sales and service. All of these specialist then must attends a 1.5 day training session at the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Dealer Sales Academy at Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Nevada. Excluding travel expense, the cost is $2,000 per person to attend this session.
The Wonder Woman Kia Sportage has just been unveiled at the 2013 New York Auto Show: the seventh of eight Kia customized Justice League-themed vehicles. Teaming up with DC Entertainment and Super Street magazine, Kia transformed the mundane crossover to a vehicle inspired by Wonder Woman’s power, inspiration, and sense of equality.
The Wonder Woman theme accents the Sportage’s aesthetics with a custom aero kit and a red and blue exterior color scheme. Stars and gold trim outlined which outline this car were influenced directly from Wonder Woman’s costume, while paying a subtle homage to her weapon of choice, “The Lasso of Truth.” While blue headlight beams reflect Wonder Woman’s piercing blue eyrs, the eagle chest-plate emblem was custom integrated into the production Sportage grille.
While the seats were heavily influenced by Wonder Woman’s outfit and and are embroidered with her logo, red upholstery and custom dash pieces are combined with blue LED lighting inside the vehicle. The eighth and final Kia of this campaign is currently in the works and will be amalgamation of all seven Super Heroes in one.
“As one of the most well-known Super Heroes in the world, Wonder Woman portrays an impressive balance of power, agility and confidence, all of which are inherent characteristics of the Kia Sportage crossover,” said Michael Sprague, executive vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. “Like the rest of the Justice League-inspired vehicles, this customized Sportage signifies a meaningful collaboration between cars and pop-culture. And for the first time, here in New York, all seven vehicles are standing together in one place to raise awareness for DC Entertainment’s very worthy ‘We Can Be Heroes’ giving campaign.”
Infiniti just announced pricing for the Q50 sport sedan, which was originally unveiled back in January at the Detroit Auto Show. Pricing starts at $37,355 including delivery, entry climbs to $48,805 for the all-wheel drive hybrid model sport. As previously reported, the hybrid model comes with a 3.5 liter V6 rather than the 3.7 liter powerplant, and every model comes with a seven-speed automatic transmission. This system is that same hybrid system currently found in the M35h sedan.
Pricing announced Wednesday, March 27th is specifically being referred to as “introductory,” suggesting the MSRP might climb once the car reaches dealers this summer. Preordering the Q50 also gets buyers a free iPad Mini. In addition, Infiniti is offering it’s “popularly equipped” Q50 premium model with an optional navigation system for $42,605. Aside from the drivetrain changes, Infiniti is also abandoning the familiar button-based infotainment system found in both its Nissan’s cars for a new touch screen system.
The Chrysler Group and its SRT arm, aiming to satisfy track enthusiasts with deep pockets, formally presented the new limited edition 2014 Viper TA (which stands for Time Attack) in Manhattan on Wednesday, March 27th. All finished in the special “TA Orange” exterior paint color developed exclusively for this model that is based on the entry-level Viper adding a bevy of performance goods to better its handling, only 33 units of the TA will be built and sold from the third quarter this year.
The new Viper TA sports a uniquely tuned and upgraded specifically for on-track usage suspension that features a two-mode Bilstein BampTronic system, carbon fiber front and rear spoilers, a carbon fiber x-brace under the hood, lighter wheels wrapped in Pirelli P Zero Corsa rubber and stickers instead of badges (to save weight), among other upgrades. Although SRT’s more extreme interpretation of the latest Viper retains the stock model’s all-aluminum 8.4-liter V10 rated at 640 horsepower, the chassis and aerodynamic changes promise to greatly improve the car’s on-track times.
Ford has revealed a special commemorative logo and a marketing campaign that will see merchandise sold from over 50 different companies to celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of its most significant vehicles, the Mustang. Jackets, shirts, watches and even pinball machines will be included in this merchandise, all of which will be branded with the new logo.
The new logo was a result of a design contest put on by Ford chief officer J Mays, which was won by designer Michael Thompson. Typically, the logo features the famous galloping pony which has been seen on the Mustang since it was first introduced. With festivities starting at the upcoming 2013 New York Auto Show, Ford will be celebrating all year long. April 17, 2014 is the Mustang’s official 50th birthday, as the original Mustang was unveiled at the 1964 New York World’s Fair.