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Safety Swede: 2016 Volvo XC90 to Debut with Two “World First” Safety …

2016 Volvo XC90 safety tech

2016 Volvo XC90 safety tech

After more than a decade of doing basically nothing with its XC90 SUV, Volvo has suddenly kicked things into high gear. The automaker is aggressively previewing the all-new 2016 XC90, first showing off the crossover’s infotainment tech, letting us ride along in a prototype, revealing the interior, and even detailing the super-awesome-sounding plug-in-hybrid powertrain option. Now Volvo is returning to form and highlighting some of the upcoming SUV’s new safety features, two of which the company says are “world firsts.”

It’s hardly surprising that Volvo, which has built its reputation on safety, would pull such tricks out of its sleeve for the new XC90. The model is the automaker’s de facto flagship, and the new one will carry the standard for the brand’s next-generation vehicles to follow. The first world-first safety feature debuting on the XC90 is Safe Positioning, which is aimed at reducing injuries in crashes where the vehicle leaves the road. When the system detects that the XC90 is running off the road, it cinches tight the seatbelts, locking occupants snugly into the seats. This is important because the seats have energy-absorbing material between their outer layers and the frame designed to cushion occupants’ spines in the event of an extreme vertical impact, such as a hard landing at the bottom of a ditch.

2016 Volvo XC90 safety tech

2016 Volvo XC90 safety tech

Next up is an automatic braking feature that can stop the car before it turns in front of oncoming traffic. This is a common sort of crash, where the driver of a car turning left, for example, misjudges the velocity of—or simply doesn’t see—an oncoming car and makes a turn in front of it. Our home state of Michigan is so paranoid over the prospect of such accidents that it designed many of its roads without left-turn lanes, choosing instead to route traffic through a so-called “Michigan Left,” which is where cars wanting to turn left instead turn right or go straight at an intersection, then more or less pull a U-turn using designated lanes on the left to avoid crossing two directions of traffic. Volvo’s mistrust of left-turners elevates the automatic-braking game from a simple detection of largely stationary objects in front of a vehicle (as executed by the automaker’s own City Safety feature) to a more complex decision-making process that can consider faster-moving targets not directly in front of a vehicle.



We’re fairly certain that Volvo has even more safety advances in store for the XC90, but we may need to wait until the model makes its full debut next month to find out.

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Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/safety-swede-2016-volvo-xc90-to-debut-with-two-world-first-safety-technologies/

Power Rankings Indianapolis – Fantasy Insider

The Brickyard 400 is one of the crown jewel races on the NASCAR schedule, and when you win here, your name gets etched on one of the most beautiful trophies in all of motor sports.

In order to score big at Indy, you need to look back at Pocono and New Hampshire. These races should still be fresh in your mind. Let me refresh your memory. Brad Keselowski led the most laps at Pocono and finished second. Two weeks ago in New Hampshire, he did donuts after leading 138 laps. His average start at the Brickyard is 12.5 and his average finish is 14.5, but don’t let that bother you. It seems like team Penske has its ducks in a row this year and Brad seems to be the front-runner to give the #48 a run for its money come Chase time.

Kyle Busch has to be considered a threat for the Brickyard with his 7.5 average finish the past five years.  He’s never won at Indy but has the fifth best driver rating among all active drivers and second best rating the past five years.  He led 62 laps at New Hampshire and finished second, and if his crew chief can keep up with the changes, then KB should have an outstanding day.

This is the race you want to have Kyle Larson; his price should still be good if you haven’t joined the bandwagon. I know he doesn’t have any stats for Indy, but after leading 14 laps at New Hampshire, a third place finish should make Uncle Fester’s light bulb shine very bright.

Tony Stewart owns the second best driver rating at Indy and at Pocono. Earlier this year, he led 62 laps but shot himself in the foot. Tony doesn’t qualify well at Indy(15.9) for his career, but he tops the charts among all drivers with a 7.9 average finish and two lifetime wins. He finished seventh at New Hampshire and looks to be a good buy on most fantasy games.

Jimmie Johnson has the best driver rating at Indy, including four wins to add to that impressive resume. No one comes close to his qualifying average at a blistering 3.3 the past five years at Indy. His average finish is 11.0 the past five years and those are still good points for your fantasy team. The question is, can you afford to have him on your fantasy team? The answer is YES! Why? The Chase is right around the corner, and if you wait too long, his price might not be obtainable for that Chase run coming down the stretch.

All the drivers mentioned above are driving Chevrolets; they have more wins at Indy, including the last 11 races.

When it comes to crown jewel races, all the big teams will be firing on all cylinders with over $9 million of prize money at stake, so load up on the big boys if you can.

Here’s Indy’s power rankings for the last five years:

10 Kasey Kahne- 1 top 5 and 1 top 10, average finish 11.5.

9 Kevin Harvick- 1 top 5 and 1 top 10, average finish 11.3.

8 Jimmie Johnson- 1 win, 2 top 5s and 2 top 10s, average finish 11.0.

7 Jamie McMurray- 1 win, 2 top 5s and 2 top 10s, average finish 10.5.

6 Paul Menard- 1 win, 1 top 5 and 1 top 10, average finish 10.3.

5 Jeff Gordon- 2 top 5s and 3 top 10s, average finish 9.3.

4 Ryan Newman- 1 win, 1 top 5 and 2 top 10s, average finish 9.3.

3 Greg Biffle- 2 top 5s and 3 top 10s, average finish 9.3.

2 Kyle Busch- 1 top 5 and 4 top 10s, average finish 7.5.

1 Tony Stewart- 2 top 5s and 4 top 10s, average finish 6.3.

 

A reminder that ESPN will broadcast its final season of NASCAR, beginning with qualifying on Saturday and race day Sunday. I will post my “Ice Picks” on Friday for the drivers that will give you the most points for Sunday’s race. Check out my “Millennium Rookies” Part I II.  Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Thanks for stopping in.

@JoeIcemanNieves

Article source: http://stockcarspin.com/2014/07/23/power-rankings-indianapolis-fantasy-insider/

24 Hours of LeMons Pacific Northworst: The Winners

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Top 1

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Top 1
After returning to The Ridge Motorsports Park in rainy Washington for the fourth annual Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons, we inspected the 63 entrants and sent them onto the track on Saturday, then watched the hard-fought class battles reach their climax on Sunday. It was wet and blustery out and many cars left important bits of their running gear on the tarmac as the race wore on, but some teams persevered and took home property-value-lowering examples of LeMons trophy hardware. In fact, each of the three class winners achieved a long-sought-but-always-denied goal at this race. Here’s what happened.

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Class A 2

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Class A 2
The Model T GT, which is essentially a Fox-platform Mustang with bullet-riddled Model T and Model A body parts added, has won a few LeMons races since its debut in 2010 (the most recent being the 2013 Button Turrible race). This time, even with the official “Shark In the Aquarium” 5-lap handicap assigned to the team by the LeMons Supreme Court (thanks to the low car count and lack of the usual California-based contenders at this race), the Model T GT’s drivers managed to get the most laps and edge out the ’86 Ford Thunderbird of the Killer Whales by a fraction of a lap.

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Class A 3

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Class A 3
Having spent years in futile pursuit of overall and Class A wins in their devil-themed (car number 666, of course) third-gen Chevrolet Camaro, the members of Team IWannaROC decided to switch to a Ford for the Pacific Northworst weekend, renting the Model T GT from its owners.

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Class A 1

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Class A 1
This move paid off handsomely for the IWannaROC guys, whose excellent driving skills had been insufficient to overcome the limitations of the General Motors F-body (it took 94 races before an F-body finally grabbed an overall LeMons win). Switching to the somewhat more reliable Model T GT did the trick.

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Class B 2

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Class B 2
Class B was even more exciting than Class A, with ONSET/Tetanus West Racing and their 1989 Chevrolet Cavalier taking the class win by four laps and finishing in P4 overall.

Chevrolet Cavalier Wreck at Sears Point 24 Hours of LeMons 2010

Chevrolet Cavalier Wreck at Sears Point 24 Hours of LeMons 2010
The ONSET team has been competing in the 24 Hours of LeMons since the 2007 season, running an increasingly quick Chevrolet Cavalier wagon that seemed on pace to claim an overall win… until the car went into the wall hard at Sears Point and was obliterated back in 2010.

308-RoadAmericaLeMons

308-RoadAmericaLeMons
Having no car of his own, ONSET team captain Anton Lovett then became The Wandering LeMons Racer, traveling the country and doing arrive-and-drives with teams in every region (in the photo above, he is the guy on the left with the Texans of Tetanus Racing, at the 2012 Road America race). In fact, Anton did so much racing that he had 50 LeMons races under his belt when he finished the ’14 Pacific Northworst event.

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Class B 1

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Class B 1
Even with more 24 Hours of LeMons races driven than any other human being on the planet, Anton had never been on a team that got a class win. Finally, he built his new Cavalier last year, dropped a 3.1-liter V6 into it, sorted out the bugs during several California races, and put together a team of good LeMons drivers. This proved to be the winning formula, and ONSET got its first class win. Congratulations! Next on the agenda, a 3.9 swap and a shot at Class A.

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Class B Pursuer

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Class B Pursuer
The Class B battle was no sure thing for ONSET, however, because the Petty Cash Jeep Cherokee took an early class lead and seemed unstoppable, solid front axle and all. Then the Renault-sourced windshield-wiper motor failed in the rain and the driver lost the ability to see anything. The repair took enough time for ONSET to snare the lead and hold onto it for the rest of the race.

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Class C 1

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Class C 1
In Class C, we had another team achieve a seemingly impossible goal. The Car Error Panamericana guys have been running their Saturn SL for many years, squishy stock suspension, slushbox transmission, and all, but a class win had seemed as far from their grasp as does a Mars Base for the Bhutan Space Program. When the car didn’t break, the drivers got buried in black flags. When those disasters didn’t happen, some other team squeaked past the Car Error guys for a class win. Finally, everything went right and the Saturn (now equipped with puzzling homebrewed fiberglass body kit) nailed down a Class C win by 16 laps (and a respectable-for-Class-C 29th place overall). Well done, Car Error Panamericana!

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Heroic Fix 2

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Heroic Fix 2
For the Most Heroic Fix award, the Transcontinental Drifters took it by resorting to desperate measures to keep their 1960 Chevrolet Corvair in the race.

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Heroic Fix 1

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Heroic Fix 1
The Transcontinental Drifters fought transmission-linkage problems for most of Saturday, while hoping that the Corvair’s increasingly catastrophic engine oil blow-by problem would cure itself. Finally, welding the shift linkage in place, giving the team a third-gear-only car, solved the shifting problem… but then the engine threw a connecting rod. Game over, man? No! Borrowing a Sawzall from the fire crew, the Drifters sliced the offending connecting rod (a tactic that sometimes works) and reassembled the engine, donating a cut-off chunk of rod to the firemen.

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - I Got Screwed 1

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - I Got Screwed 1
Earning the I Got Screwed award (and setting the track record for most trips by the wrecker for a single car during the course of a weekend), the Barely Legal Super Lemons squad proved unable to fix any of the dozen problems plaguing their 1980 Toyota Corolla. Last year, this team won the Failure To Fail award for never giving up on their hopeless Toyota; this year, they just couldn’t sort out the bugs and managed a mere 29 laps. On the plus side, they did beat a BMW 325i, a Toyota MR2, a Ford Mustang, a Volkswagen Jetta, and the Corvair.

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Regional

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Regional
A team that seemed destined to miserable failure suddenly reversed their screaming nosedive and became examples for the rest of the teams. Dim Sun Racing had problems registering their Datsun 240Z before the race, then had problems getting it through the pre-race inspections, then racked up several spins and four-off offenses during the first couple hours of racing. Most of the time, a team like that will continue to be a source of headaches for the race organizers, but at some point a switch flipped and the Dim Sun Racing guys raced cleanly for the remainder of the weekend. For this accomplishment, we created the We’re Shocked That You’re Not Idiots award as the special regional trophy.

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Judges' Choice 3

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Judges' Choice 3
The Judges’ Choice award went to Trouble Brewing Racing and their Mazda RX-7.

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Judges' Choice 4

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Judges' Choice 4
Why? Well, first of all, Trouble Brewing converted their RX-7 to a fairly credible replica of Cheech’s Chevy Impala lowrider from Up In Smoke, complete with drum set in the back, dingle balls, MUF DVR California license plates, primer patches, and a car number commemorating the ballot initiative that made cannabis legal in Washington.

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Judges' Choice 2

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Judges' Choice 2
It’s the details like this that really impress the judges!

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Judges' Choice 1

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Judges' Choice 1
However, the real reason the LeMons Supreme Court opted to issue their coveted award to Trouble Brewing was what happened on Saturday night when another RX-7 team blew up their engine. Trouble Brewing had a spare engine in the trailer, and they just gave it to the Rotary Rooter team, along with the loan of an engine hoist. Pretty easy Judges’ Choice call.

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Organizer's Choice

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Organizer's Choice
We’ve seen quite a few cars converted to “Barbie’s Corvette” over the years, including a Chevy El Camino, a Honda Civic, and a Dodge Neon, but never an actual Corvette. Silversleeves Racing found an ugly ’84 Corvette, complete with the unloved Doug Nash 4+3 transmission and hated Cross-Fire Injection.

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Organizer's Choice 2

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Organizer's Choice 2
Most teams would be content to just cage the thing and start turning laps until the transmission breaks and/or the Cease-Fire Injection system goes berserk, but not Silversleeves Racing.

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Organizer's Choice 3

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - Organizer's Choice 3
Instead, they applied a frighteningly accurate Barbified paint job to the car, then converted one of the drivers into “Barbie’s Racer Friend Kate,” complete with retail box, and another into Racer Ken. For the car, the paint, and the costumes, Silversleeves Racing received the prestigious Organizer’s Choice award (which made up for the humiliation of a Corvette team that finished in the bottom half of the standings, getting stomped by such not-known-for-quickness cars as a naturally-aspirated Peugeot 505, a Dodge Shadow, a ’93 Subaru Legacy with automatic transmission, a diesel 300SD Mercedes-Benz, a Dodge Caravan, and a Ford Pinto).

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - IOE 1

Pacific Northworst 24 Hours of LeMons Winners - IOE 1
Speaking of the naturally-aspirated Peugeot 505 that beat the Corvette (by nine laps), we’ve come to the top team of this race, the winners of the Index of Effluency trophy: F.F.L.A.T. (French Foreign Legion Attack Team) and their 29-year-old French sedan. The F.F.L.A.T. car cruised around the track in most comfortable and leisurely fashion, setting the fifth-slowest best lap time of any team in the race, yet finished in a very respectable P35. Excellent work, F.F.L.A.T.!

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Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/24-hours-of-lemons-pacific-northworst-the-winners-2/

Feast Your Eyes on Our 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition Mega Gallery

Feast Your Eyes on Our 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition Mega GalleryFeast Your Eyes on Our 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition Mega Gallery

It was more than a year ago that Alfa Romeo declared its impending return to the U.S. market and detailed the 500 Launch Edition 4C sports cars that would land first. It has taken a little longer than expected, but since Alfa is actually for real coming here later this summer, we figured we’d revisit the Launch Edition. We recently spent some time with one in U.S. spec—the handful of photos that accompanied the announcement were of Euro-market cars—so we snapped some fresh pics.

To recap, the Launch Edition goes on sale before the regular 4C hits dealerships and at a cost of $69,695. That’s quite a bit more than the $55,195 base model, but the car does pack a bunch of otherwise optional equipment as standard.



The Launch Editions have a unique front fascia; the Track package with a stiffened suspension and special exhaust; bixenon headlights with LED running lights; a carbon-fiber spoiler and mirror caps; red brake calipers; matte-black forged-aluminum 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels; sport seats; a leather-wrapped dash and door panels; red or white accent stitching; carbon-fiber interior trim; and a fancy Launch Edition plaque. A plaque! Check it all out in the gallery below:
Feast Your Eyes on Our 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition Mega GalleryFeast Your Eyes on Our 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition Mega Gallery

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Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/feast-your-eyes-on-our-2015-alfa-romeo-4c-launch-edition-mega-gallery/

What’ll It Do? Here’s How Quick We Think the 2015 Ford Mustang Will Be!

2015 Ford Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost2015 Ford Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost

Let’s get this disclaimer out of the way: Without knowing the 2015 Ford Mustang’s full technical specs, pegging the car’s acceleration is nothing more than an educated guess. There are many variables yet unaccounted for, including its all-new architecture, additional standard features, and the new turbocharged four-cylinder EcoBoost engine option. But Ford has finally released the outputs for each of the Mustang’s three available engines—and the curb weights of the cars so equipped—and we just couldn’t help ourselves. So let the educated guessing begin.

Despite initial rumors to the contrary, the Mustang hasn’t gained much weight. The V-6 coupe, for example, is about as heavy as it was before, and the V-8–powered, stick-shifted GT model is up by just 87 pounds, according to Ford. The EcoBoost model doesn’t have a direct predecessor, but compared to the last-gen V-6 model, it carries just 36 additional pounds. Only the GT’s 5.0-liter V-8 sees an increase in power, while the V-6 sheds five ponies and the 2.3-liter debuts with slightly more power and a lot more torque than the V-6. Data in hand, we crunched all the numbers, and this is how we think the 2015 Mustang’s performance will stack up:

To put a finer point on things, we believe that the EcoBoost Mustang will make good use of its low-end turbocharged power to better get out of the gate than the V-6–powered base model, and it should maintain that gap through the quarter-mile. The new GT is a little different story. Ford used the epic Boss 302 as the GT’s performance bogey, and that car hooked up basically as ideally as possible. Even though the Boss was lighter and boasted 444 ponies to the new GT’s 435, we’re expecting the GT to hurtle itself through space with similar alacrity. Now all that’s left for us to do is to strap our test gear to the new Mustangs and gather real numbers—stay tuned, because those testing sessions are fast approaching.



2015 Ford Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost2015 Ford Mustang 2.3L EcoBoost

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Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/whatll-it-do-heres-how-quick-we-think-the-2015-ford-mustang-will-be/

Confirmed: 2015 Chevrolet SS Sedan Gets No-Cost Manual Gearbox, Magnetic …

2014 Chevrolet SS

2014 Chevrolet SS 2014 Chevrolet SS model shown

Aha! Just as we suspected, the 2015 Chevrolet SS sedan is getting a manual-transmission option, as GM’s own recently released order guide for the car gives away. Pleasantly, that’s not the only good news for SS fans: The car also gets GM’s excellent Magnetic Ride Control adaptive suspension as standard. There also are a ton of new color choices, and the sedan gains Chevrolet’s 4G-linked OnStar telematics system as standard.

Being the Save the Manuals people, we’ll first detail the stick: It’s a six-speed job, and it comes paired with a shorter 3.70:1 rear-axle ratio. (The automatic-equipped SS soldiers on with its taller 3.27:1 ratio.) The shorter ratio should make for feistier launches, but we’ll need to actually test one to ascertain how it lines up with the automatic and its quick 4.5-second 0–60 time.



As for the new paint options, the SS’s palette is twice the size for 2015. The carry-over Silver Ice, Red Hot 2, Phantom Black, Heron White, and Mystic Green are joined by Some Like It Hot Red, Perfect Blue, Alchemy Purple, and two more greens: Regal Peacock and Jungle. That’s a lot of green, an amount that we wholeheartedly endorse. Speaking of green, Chevrolet has yet to release pricing for the new car—the current model starts at $45,770—but we know the manual will be a no-cost option. The 2015 SS arrives at dealers in early 2015.
2014 Chevrolet SS model shown2014 Chevrolet SS model shown

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Article source: http://blog.caranddriver.com/confirmed-2015-chevrolet-ss-sedan-gets-no-cost-manual-gearbox-magnetic-ride-control-more-colors/

Avoiding Unaffordable Cars with Problem Credit

Recent data compiled by Requisite Press indicate that a median income family can afford less than fifty three percent of an average priced new car

Knowing Your Financial Limitations

Avoiding Unaffordable Cars with Problem Credit

Here at Auto Credit Express we understand the importance of correctly budgeting for an auto loan. Just as the fictional Inspector Harry Callihan noted in the movie Magnum Force that “A man’s got to know his limitations”, borrowers, especially those with problem credit, also need to be aware of their financial limitations.

“Car buyers are often encouraged to focus solely on monthly payments,” said Phil Kelton, president of Requisite Press. “But long-term loans, with seemingly affordable payments, inflate the amount that buyers spend and can erode household financial security. Buyers that aren’t fully informed can easily become financially struggling owners and poor long-term customers.”

20-4-10 Auto Financing Rule

We’ve always supported the idea that car buyers with bad credit should have a down payment of at least ten percent, while keeping the finance term to a maximum of 48 to 60 months. Most subprime lenders also limit payments to a maximum 20 percent of monthly gross household income.

The folks at the Requisite Press, however, tighten these parameters even further with their 20-4-10 rule that “consists of a minimum 20 percent down payment, a maximum 4-year loan term, and monthly payments of no more than 10 percent of gross household income.”

June Auto Buyer’s Affordability Index

In their most recent June Auto Buyer’s Affordability Index (ABAI) Requisite Press found that:

A prudent, median-income family can only afford 52.7 percent of an average-priced new car. In fact, only one-third of American households can afford the $30,342 average price while preserving financial security*. This shrinks to fewer than one in four when insurance for a second car is included. However, consumers can take steps to save 20 percent or more—results that could preserve the financial security of a million additional families.

*Analysis based on the U.S. Census Income Report (September 2013)

Problem Credit Car Loans

The biggest issue for consumers with low credit scores is that the higher-than-normal interest rates of the majority of high-risk car loans often means exceeding both a 48-month loan term ceiling as well as the 10 percent gross income cap.

To help consumers, Requisite Press has even created AffordCheck(SM), a free, online financial assessment tool, based on the 20-4-10 rule that can be accessed here.

The Bottom Line

The fact is that borrowers, especially those who are credit-challenged, should always maximize the down payment amount while keeping both the loan term and payment-to-income ratio to a minimum. By following these guidelines, buyers can avoid financing an unaffordable car.

One more tip: Auto Credit Express helps applicants that have experienced car credit problems find those dealers that can give them their best chances for bad or poor credit auto loan approval.

So if you’re ready to take that first step in reestablishing your auto credit, you can begin now by filling out our online car loan application.

Article source: http://www.autocreditexpress.com/blog/2014/07/21/avoiding-unaffordable-cars-with-problem-credit/

GM Unveils Educator Discount Program

The latest program from General Motors could also help educators and qualified family members who have less than perfect credit

New Car Discounts

GM Unveils Educator Discount Program

At Auto Credit Express we realize that considering the higher cost of new cars, consumers with bad credit typically pick a low-mileage used car. But there are a select group of buyers who might discover that, following a recent announcement from General Motors, financing a new car might be nearly as affordable.

According to a press release issued last week, “Now through Jan. 2, 2015, current employees of a public or private school, university or college are eligible to participate in the new GM Educator Discount program and receive a significant discount on the purchase or lease of a new 2015 or 2014 Chevrolet, Buick or GMC vehicle.”

“GM values the work our educators and support staff are doing across the county to create a strong, responsible workforce for the future,” said Linda Stouffer, manager, Vehicle Purchase Programs. “The GM Educator Discount is our way of showing our support and appreciation for everyone in the education community.”

In addition, GM is also notes that “Eligible Participants are able to sponsor their spouse or same-sex domestic partner (SSDP), where applicable, and dependent children and stepchildren, provided the children are either under 21 years of age or full-time students under 25 years of age on the date of purchase. (Note: Eligible SSDPs are treated the same as spouses and, therefore, their dependent children and stepchildren are also included.)”

The GM Educator Discount

The discount, which is about the same as GM offers to employees of its supplier companies, equates to, roughly, dealer invoice pricing and can be used on any 2015 or 2014 Chevrolet, Buick and GMC model except the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 and Spark EV.

In most cases, buyers who quality for the program – even those with credit issues – can also deduct any current GM new car incentives offered on a particular model from the educator discounted price for even greater savings.

But just because an educator with credit issues qualifies for the discount program doesn’t mean it can automatically be used for a high-risk car loan.

Qualifications for Problem Credit Buyers

Even if they quality, borrowers with iffy credit need to remember that they must follow certain guidelines set by the lender.

In this instance it means that once the lender has determined their vehicle budget and interest rate, it’s up to the dealership to show them the cars that fit within those requirements.

In particular, the finance manager has to determine whether a new car eligible for the discount falls within the lender’s guidelines. The fact is, in some cases it will and in some cases it won’t.

Another issue that has to be addressed is that while we only work dealers that finance people with bad credit, not all General Motors new car dealers work with individuals that have experienced past credit issues.

We Can Help

The fact is, if you’re an educator or a qualifying family member and you have poor credit, we can’t promise that we can place you with a participating Chevrolet, Buick or GMC dealer. Even if we can, we also can’t promise that you’ll qualify for a vehicle that will allow you to take advantage of the GM Educator Discount. But then again, no one can.

What we can tell you is that Auto Credit Express helps buyers with damaged credit find those dealers that can offer them their best chances for an auto loan approval. So if you’re ready, you can begin the process at this time by filling out our online car loan application.

Article source: http://www.autocreditexpress.com/blog/2014/07/19/gm-unveils-educator-discount-program/

IIHS Recommends Safe Cars for Teen Drivers

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently released a list of recommended used cars that are affordable even for those consumers with less than perfect credit

Used cars and problem credit

Creating a Successful Budget

Here at Auto Credit Express we realize that, once their application is approved, most car buyers with bad credit will end up financing a used car. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because, taken as a whole, today’s vehicles are built better and will last longer than ever before.

Because high-risk car loans come with higher than average interest rates, we also recommend that buyers with low credit scores consider an affordable compact or midsize sedan. We also believe anyone considering a used car should first order a vehicle history (with a report from a company such as Carfax) then, if it’s clean, have the vehicle inspected by both an ASE certified master mechanic as well as a body and frame specialist.

But the “to-do” list shouldn’t end there, and we were reminded of this earlier today in a press release from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

IIHS Used Vehicles for Teens

The IIHS, which rates new vehicles for crashworthiness, noted that “Many teenagers are driving vehicles that don’t offer good crash protection and lack important safety technology.”

In a national phone survey of parents that it conducted, the IIHS found that 83 percent of vehicles purchased for teen drivers were used, also pointing out that “for many families, a 2014 Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ isn’t in the budget.”

With that reality in mind, the Institute has compiled a list of affordable used vehicles that meet important safety criteria for teen drivers (see below). There are two tiers of recommended vehicles with options at various price points, ranging from less than $5,000 to nearly $20,000, so parents can buy the most safety for their money, whatever their budget.

List of Safe Used Cars

Since most people with bad credit buying cars are looking in the same price range, here at Auto Credit Express we thought this would be an ideal list for these buyers as well as the teenage drivers in their households.

We had to slice and dice things a bit (some of the vehicles turned out to be too pricey for their age), but the list follows the rules the IIHS set up including:

  • Young drivers should stay away from high horsepower. Vehicles with more powerful engines can tempt them to test the limits.
  • Bigger, heavier vehicles protect better in a crash. There are no minicars or small cars on the recommended list. Small SUVs are included because their weight is similar to that of a midsize car.
  • ESC is a must. This feature, which helps a driver maintain control of the vehicle on curves and slippery roads, reduces risk on a level comparable to safety belts.
  • Vehicles should have the best safety ratings possible. At a minimum, that means good ratings in the IIHS moderate overlap front test, acceptable ratings in the IIHS side crash test and four or five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Best Choices

Recommended used vehicles for teens starting under $20,000 (good ratings in the IIHS moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests. If rated by NHTSA, they earn 4 or 5 stars overall or 4 or 5 stars in the front and side tests under the old rating scheme. All come with standard ESC.)

Prices, rounded to the nearest $100, were taken from Kelley Blue Book on July 1, 2014, for the lowest trim level and earliest applicable model year based on the following criteria: vehicle in good condition, typical mileage and private party purchase in Arlington, Va.

Midsize Cars, Model Years, Price

Honda Accord sedan, 2012 and later; coupe, 2013-14, $14,400
Toyota Camry, 2012 and later, $14,300
Buick Verano, 2012 and later, $14,100
Kia Optima, 2011 and later, $13,300
Hyundai Sonata, 2011 and later, $12,100
Subaru Legacy, 2010 and later, $11,900
Dodge Avenger, 2011 and later, $11,600
Chevrolet Malibu, 2010 and later; built after November 2009, $10,900
Chrysler 200 sedan, 2011 and later, $10,700
Mercury Milan, 2010-11; built after April 2010, $10,700
Ford Fusion, 2010 and later; built after April 2010, $10,200
Volkswagen Passat, 2009 and later, $10,000
Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen, 2009 and later, $9,400
Volkswagen Jetta, 2009 and later, $8,200

Small SUVs, Model Years, Price

Kia Sportage, 2011 and later, $13,800
Hyundai Tucson, 2010 and later, $13,100
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, 2011 and later, $12,000
Volkswagen Tiguan, 2009 and later, $10,200

For a complete listing of all vehicles including a separate list for “Good Choices”, follow this link.

The Bottom Line

Even if you don’t have a teenager, it pays to buy the safest car you can afford – whether your credit is great or less than perfect. Tin this instance, the new report from the IIHS can go a long way to steering you towards the right vehicle.

One more tip: Auto Credit Express helps applicants with car credit challenges find those dealers for their best opportunities for auto loan approvals.

So if you’re ready to take the next step, you can begin by filling out our online car loan application.

Article source: http://www.autocreditexpress.com/blog/2014/07/20/iihs-recommends-safe-cars-for-teen-drivers/

2015 BMW M4 vs. 2014 Porsche 911 Carrera



2015 BMW M4 vs. 2014 Porsche 911 Carrera

Comparison Tests

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Front to Back: Two wildly divergent approaches to building all the sports car you’d ever need.




<!– From the August 2014 Issue of Car and Driver

If there were a perfect way to construct a car, we would have figured it out by now. In 129 years of automotive development, though, the only consensus in the industry seems to be that four wheels are better than three. The perpetual evolution of the automobile, along with a few steadfast traditions, suggests that a great car is more a matter of practical application than scientific theory.

Few vehicle pairings make this notion more obvious than the Porsche 911 Carrera and the BMW M4, two icons that couldn’t be more different, mechanically speaking. What’s the right way to build a car? Engine ahead of or behind the driver? Naturally aspirated or turbocharged? Interactive three-pedal transmission or a heroically quick automatic? These two cars propose an alternate answer: D) All of the above.




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Each car is a reflection of its maker’s Weltanschauung, its worldview. BMW’s hot-rod coupe is the product of a full-line manufacturer adept at turning mainstream cars into performance specials. The 911 has been honed over the past 50 years by sports-car experts who only recently discovered sedans and SUVs. BMW and Porsche have more common ground with the X5 and Cayenne than with the M4 and the 911. Yet matchups like this 28-year rivalry are at the core of our Weltanschauung. What passes for one, anyway.

Price brings them closer together than ever. This particular 911 is refreshingly free of frippery. At $92,140, this manual-transmission, base Carrera sports just $6890 in options, every one of them worthy of a piece of your paycheck. The only excess is the sport exhaust, which pleads a convincing case every time you lean on the gas pedal. The long list of equipment that wasn’t on our test car is a mixed bag of fluff and desirable performance equipment—stuff like a limited-slip differential and adaptive dampers, but also a paint-matched key and leather-covered air vents.




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BMW’s new (and, technically, first) M4 starts $20,125 lower than the base 911. We closed that gap with a handful of expensive options such as the $8150 carbon-ceramic brakes, $1200 19-inch wheels, and $2900 dual-clutch automatic transmission. Our test car’s final price of $80,325 is nearly double that of the most basic 4-series, for what is almost certainly more than double the car.

So we have a purpose-built sports car versus a factory speed-shop conversion. Who makes the best all-around, all-day-every-day performance car?

Continued…

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Article source: http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons/2015-bmw-m4-vs-2014-porsche-911-carrera-comparison-test