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Madman's automotive news

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Posted: Friday, October 14, 2011 2:54 am | Updated: 6:32 am, Mon Feb 13, 2012.

Being a generation X kid, I don't have much of a choice when it comes to keeping in touch with friends and family in a hi-tech way. Mobile phones, email and social networking are a necessity. While I don't give constant Facebook updates, I do check in on occasion mostly to see how old my friends are getting.

This Friday will be different, Facebook will be buzzing. BMW will reveal their new 3 series this Friday, October 14 at 10 p.m. live via Facebook. BMW will be unveiling the updated 3 series live from Munich Germany, and I will be able to catch the stream from their Facebook page. I have seen some spy photos of the car and read the specifications. It is apparent why BMW is outselling Mercedes. If you are a Beamer fan, tune in later this week. In my humble opinion, this has got to be the most worthwhile use of social networking ever.

While the Germans were busy putting the final touches on the latest 3 series, General Motors announced plans for their most powerful convertible ever. Boasting more power than a Porsche 911 Turbo S, the new Camaro ZL1 will come with a super - car - embarrassing 6.2 liter engine producing 580 horsepower. The original Camaro SS convertible that paced the Indianapolis 500 back in 1967 produced 350 horsepower from its 6.5 liter power plant. This new ZL1 is going to be an absolute madman.

Mazda tends to do things differently and sometimes it is a good thing. When they produced the turbocharged Wankel rotary-powered Mazda RX - 7, the automotive world took notice. The RX - 7 was not the first car to use a Wankel rotary engine which is more at home powering a plane than a car; but it was the first one that was any good. The small light engine made it possible to achieve perfect weight distribution in a car with a shape that is still, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful Japanese cars ever made. The Mazda RX - 8, on the other hand, is too small, ugly, cramped and slow for...well anyone. I am only mentioning its death because it may be the Wankel's swan song and that is news worthy.

While looking at used cars in the classified section of the paper, you may notice some folks make a point to tell you the car they are selling has a "clean title." What this means is the car they are advertising has never been wrecked, stolen, stripped or in a flood. It is important to know if the car you are considering has a "salvaged title." These cars are worth very little...like next to nothing. California is going to help you spot these born - again jalopies by requiring red window stickers for identification. This sounds like a great idea to help protect consumers from unscrupulous sellers. This idea is so good it will more than likely end up a model for a federal database of salvaged cars. Not thrilled with the idea are the folks over at Carfax and Auto Check who provide a similar service for a fee. Soon you will have no need to ask a seller to show you the Carfax.

Saving the best news for last.... I do most of my auto racing sitting in front of a high - def TV with an X Box or PS3 controller in one hand and a Dorito in the other. I was excited to hear Forza Motorsport 4 would be available soon. But when I heard Jeremy Clarkson would be doing commentary in the game play, I freaked out. Jeremy Clarkson of the BBC will be doing commentary on my lap at Silverstone raceway. How cool is that? For those of you who do not watch Top Gear, please catch an episode. The show is like my article...chock full of nail-biting auto news, relevant facts and witty commentary.

That's the news, Lodi, keep on driving and stay safe out there, oh, and watch those detours!

 

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