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Mercedes Offers Indians High Speed Driving Lessons

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New Delhi: Luxury auto major Mercedes-Benz and Jaypee Sports International  launched a performance driving academy at the Buddh International Circuit race track in Greater Noida suburb of the national capital.

”Mercedes-Benz has decades of experience in this arena and we have found the perfect partner in them,” said Sameer Gaur, managing director and chief executive, Jaypee Sports International (JPSI).

The JPSI-AMG academy is offering a “basic” course that will teach learners how to drive a sports car. AMG is the premium race car of Mercedes-Benz. 

The course fee for Mercedes customers is Rs.50,000 per person. For others, it is Rs.75,000 per person.

”Under the guidance of expert instructors who are former race drivers and champions themselves, our patrons will now have an opportunity to hone their driving skills,” said Peter Honegg, managing director and chief executive, Mercedes-Benz India.

The academy, set up in partnership with Mercedes-Benz, is the fourth such facility by the German automaker after the ones in the US, Germany and China.

The 5.14-km circuit has been designed by German architect and racetrack expert Hermann Tilke.

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MKC Crossover Working Wonders For Lincoln’s US Sales

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Ford has embarked on a comprehensive turnaround of its luxury brand Lincoln, which was once Cadillac’s main rival.

Sure, Lincoln has a very long way to go before it can boast with that rivalry again, but it appears that it is finally on the right track. The luxury automaker said it had the best July sales since 2008, with 7,863 vehicles being delivered to customers last month – 14 percent more than in July 2013.

A significant part of this growth is due to the brand’s latest product, the MKC crossover. Lincoln sold over 1,500 units in July, the model’s third month on the market. The company says the MKC has an average turn of just 11 days on dealer lots, a testimony to strong customer demand.

“The rest of the year should bring really good results for Lincoln. As dealer lots continue to get more MKC’s I expect sales to continue to grow, said Erich Merkle, Ford Motor Company U.S. Sales analyst. “Lincoln will see benefits from the MKC because the small premium utility segment is the fastest growing in the luxury space,” the executive added.

MKC Crossover -3 MKC Crossover -4 MKC Crossover -2

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Lamborghini Mulls Rear-wheel Drive Huracan

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Lamborghinis have been almost exclusively all-wheel driven for over two decades now, and it’s only been certain special variants that ended up being sold with just the one powered axle.

The last one you could buy was the Gallardo Valentino Balboni edition, named in honor of Lamborghini’s most notorious test driver.

Apparently now, they’re set to do it again, this time basing it on the new Huracan. The tip was dropped at Pebble beach last week, when CEO Stephan Winkelmann was quoted as saying: “We did it with the Gallardo so it might be an option. We are a four-wheel-drive super-sports car [manufacturer] but why should we not do a rear-drive option?”

He added that “lots of derivatives” would be desirable for them, because “customers expect it and we always need something new to talk about.”

Processing this for a second, he’s actually quite right, since the people who buy these cars want to feel like they stand out, that their choice shows individuality. Having a plethora of differing variants could give future owners a sense of driving something really unique.

Additionally, a rear-wheel drive Huracan would be a good idea as it would also bring down the price (and weight), resulting in what will probably be the most different proposition to what the standard car offers. Before it, though, Lamborghini will be launching the Huracan drop-top.

Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni

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How Successful Is GM’s Chevrolet Corvette Commercially?

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General Motors announced that it built 37,288 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray models during the 2014 model year, yet another a testimony of the latest Vette’s commercial success.

Corvette Product Manager Harlan Charles revealed at the Corvettes at Carlisle show that the figure includes exports and captured fleet cars that were sellable units. While 37,288 Corvettes built during one model year is not an all-time record, it’s still an impressive result.

 It’s the third best production number in the new millennium, exceeded only by the 37,372 Corvettes build during the 2005 model year and the 40,561 units build during the 2007 model year, right before the onset of the financial crisis.

 GM’s bankruptcy even led some voices to talk about the Corvette’s demise after the C6’s end of production, but fortunately for car enthusiasts that wasn’t the case. The Corvette is now as strong as it has ever been, and that’s a good thing.

 GM also released some data about 2014 Corvettes, which include customers’ preferences such as colors and options. For example, the most popular model was the Z51, accounting for 56 percent of Corvettes ordered. Of all Z51s sold, 36 percent had the Magnetic Selective Ride Control system.

 Another interesting statistic is that 65 percent of all Stingrays were fitted with the 6-speed automatic, with the rest of 35 percent featuring the 7-speed manual. The most popular color was Torch Red (19 percent), followed by Arctic White (17 percent) and Black (16 percent).

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