The News for March 14th, 2014

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It’s friday, which means it is time for The News! This week it’s a special edition of The News because our intrepid news hound Greg K. (his last name takes too long to type out) is off today, so I’m filling in for man-boy wonder. No, I won’t just spout off about how awesome I think the new C-Class Benz looks (those bright blue approach lights are gorgeous), but instead I’ll share some new car news from around the Interwebz.

Let’s dive right in with these stories for Friday, March 14th, 2014:

  • New Jersey says Fughedaboutit to Tesla

  • BMW bringing every type of car possible to NY Auto Show

  • MINI planning to cut the fat

  • Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 can out-brake its own wheels and tires.

Chris Christie Say “Eh, Oh, come ON!” to Tesla

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We don’t like to get political around these parts… so we won’t, but we will share the details of what’s going down with Tesla in New Jersey. Per a new rule in the state, automakers cannot sell vehicles directly to consumers. That means that Tesla customers are sort of out of luck if they want a shiny new Model S.

The rule is, as you would expect, backed by traditional dealerships that serve as the standard middle men between automakers and consumers. Apparently it’s also backed by Chris Christie as well. Tesla feels rightfully slighted here, as their sales models works on a direct-to-consumer approach. Still, this doesn’t mean New Jersey residents simply can’t drive Tesla vehicles… they just have to work a little bit harder to get them.

Here’s a an article from Mashable with an even-keel opinion on the matter.

[Images courtesy of Autoblog/Drew Phillips]

BMW invading New York Auto Show with Every Car Type… Ever

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The New York Auto Show is coming up relatively soon, and that means automakers are already hard at work stacking up their transporters with their latest goods. BMW will need to bring quite a few trucks since it’s going to feature a lineup filled with many answers to questions that only indecisive maniacs are asking.

Remember when you learned that the 3 Series would be a sedan and the 4 Series would be a coupe? Well, the 4 Series is also a coupe-like sedan (4 Series Gran Coupe), a sporty coupe-like sedan (Alpina B6), and an ungainly crossover (X4). We wouldn’t be surprised to hear about a 3 Series Gran Sedan that happens to be a not-so-shapely two door, a 4 Series trike, and some sort of hunchbacked 4 Series GT.

Hell, BMW could build a four-door motorcycle SUV and we wouldn’t be shocked. The lineup is so diluted that we imagine BMW salespeople have their shoppers throw a dart at a big board to figure out what they’re going to put in their driveway.

[Image courtesy of Autoweek]

MINI ready to trim its lineup fat

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For a few years now, MINI has been, well anything but… the automaker has been throwing new models into the lineup at a rather surprising rate. It’s especially troublesome considering that all of the vehicles are relatively similar, minus a few changes to shape and interior volume.

Wait… BMW owns MINI don’t they? Sonofabi-

Okay, so this makes a bit more sense now but we’re happy to hear that the maker of luxury go-karts appears to be coming to its senses. The brand will reduce its offerings in order to focus on three pillar models: the hardtop, Countryman, and Clubman. This means the Paceman, Coupe, and Roadster will be memorialized by KBB next year.

This is a good thing because MINI is clearly a brand that has been stretching itself a bit too thin with all of these variations on a very similar theme. Returning to focus on core models will help those core models because more appealing. They’re already delightfully expensive, now it’s time to make them simply delightful.

[Image courtesy of Autoweek]

Chevy Camaro Z/28 Can Out Brake Its Wheels and Tires

2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

According to a story over on Jalopnik, Chevrolet engineers had to work out an interesting problem with the new Camaro Z/28. The car is capable of 1.5g of deceleration thanks to the massive carbon ceramic brakes and sticky Pirelli P Zero R compound tires. In fact, it’s so capable that the tires were slipping the rims… meaning as the car came to quick halt, the rubber kept moving as the wheels came to a stop.

… jesus.

The solution was to media blast the wheel in order to create a gritted grippy surface upon which to apply abrasive paint. This is a trick similarly found with race cars, and it was enough to get the tires to stop dancing on the wheels when the binders were squeezed.

If you don’t think this Camaro Z/28 is going to be an insane-o track machine, you should think again. Yes it’s expensive but, and this is coming from a guy who kind of hates all Camaros except the ZL1, it’s going to be excellent. In fact, I was lucky enough to get a spin in one around the Milford Proving Grounds a few months back. Nothing from behind the wheel yet, but stay tuned… we’ll get our grubby mitts on the car at some point this year.

BLIP:

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Our jealousy knows no bounds. Sam Smith, Editor guy supreme-o over at Road  Track, recently wrote about a drive in a true dream machine. We’re talking about none other than the McLaren F1. We know that Road & Track is one hell of a publication, but that’s pretty excellent to see the owner of said McLaren to toss Sam the keys.

Still… we hate Sam now. Go read his story here.

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