Tag Archives: LA

Spy Shots: Porsche Macan caught completely uncovered

By Brandon Turkus

Porsche Macan Spy Photo front three-quarter tight

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Porsche is preparing to launch its sub-Cayenne CUV, with a suspected debut at the 2013 Los Angeles International Auto Show, which means we’re right about at the point where undisguised models start scampering around the cities and towns of Germany. Our spy photographers snagged just such a model, with only the headlights and taillights concealed by camouflage (no, those comically large lamps aren’t a production item).

The undisguised car looks like a tiny Cayenne. Not really surprising, we know, but it’s impressive to see how the Cayenne’s styling works with the smaller proportions of the Macan. It looks squat, athletic and poised, like it’s a small, “sporty” crossover we’d actually want to drive. Both the Macan and the Macan Turbo are shown, with the more powerful model sporting a set of quad exhausts.

The only big questions now concern the shape of the lights and the interior. From the photos, we can see a rough outline of the headlights, although the taillights are more difficult to discern. The interior remains a mystery.

Thankfully, LA is less than four months away, so we won’t have too long to wait to see a fully uncovered Macan.

Porsche Macan caught completely uncovered originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 31 Jul 2013 17:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

The X Games Are Leaving Los Angeles, But Not Before Bucky Lasek Has A Chance At History

By Chris Smith, Forbes Staff

‘s Summer X Games, the world’s premier action sports series, moved to Los Angeles in 2003 for its ninth iteration. The series had jumped around the country since its 1995 inception, spending a few years each in Rhode Island, San Diego, San Francisco and Philadelphia. But in LA, the X Games found a permanent home, one the series would return to each summer for the next decade. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

Report: Mercedes S65 AMG to bow in LA, S600 in Detroit

By Jeffrey N. Ross

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Between the launch of the 2014 Mercedes S-Class, the debut of the S63 AMG (shown above) and reports about a new “super S-Class,” the Mercedes-Benz flagship sedan has been in the news a lot lately. According to Car and Driver, Mercedes plans to introduce three new flavors of the latest S-Class at the Frankfurt, LA and Detroit auto shows.

We already heard that the plug-in hybrid version will be introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, but this new report says that the V12-powered S65 AMG and S600 models will soon follow. At the LA Auto Show in November, the S65 AMG will hit the stage with a twin-turbo V12 expected to produce more than the current model’s 621 horsepower. This should make for one quick S-Class, no doubt able to shave a few ticks off the 2014 S63 AMG’s 0-60 time of 3.9 seconds.

Following the S65’s debut, Mercedes will reportedly take the wraps off its S600, which will use a less-powerful version of the mighty V12. The 2013 model year S600 produces 510 hp from its 5.5-liter twin-turbo V12, which is enough to propel the sedan to 60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds. The updated version should only improve those figures. Stay tuned.

Mercedes S65 AMG to bow in LA, S600 in Detroit originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 30 Jul 2013 15:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Next for Weiner's Sexting Pal: Porn Star?

By Evann Gastaldo

Anthony Weiner’s latest sexting partner: coming to a sex tape near you? TMZ spotted Sydney Leathers getting into the car of porn honcho Steve Hirsch, CEO of Vivid Entertainment, after leaving the company’s LA headquarters Saturday. And Gawker notes that she has been on a bit of a media blitz… …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Newser – Home

‘Ray Donovan’ Executive Producer, Bryan Zuriff, Pleads Guilty In Gambling Case Connected To Russian Mob

By The Huffington Post News Editors

Though that headline may read like it was ripped from the script of a premium cable drama about the entertainment industry’s seedy underbelly, Bryan Zuriff, an executive producer on Showtime’s Hollywood fixer drama “Ray Donovan,” really did plead guilty to running an illegal gambling ring with connections to the Russian mob.

On Friday at the Manhattan Federal Court, Zuriff admitted to running an illegal online gambling ring’s LA sportsbook and having some involvement in the outfit’s New York operations, the New York Post reports.

U.S. attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement that Zuriff is facing up to five years in prison and has agreed to turn over $500,000 as part of a plea deal. “Bryan Zuriff spanned the coasts with his crimes, by operating his own illegal gambling enterprise in Los Angeles, and helping to operate a vast illegal gambling enterprise in New York,” Bharara said. “With his plea, he becomes the first defendant, but not the last, to be convicted in this sprawling script of criminal conduct.”

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Huffington Post

Report: BMW M4 Concept headed for Pebble Beach?

By Brandon Turkus

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If a report from AutoExpress is to be believed, BMW will have a surprise in store for August’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The sleuths on the other side of The Pond are expecting to see a production-ready concept of the M3 Coupe-replacing BMW M4. The near-production showcar move is something we’ve seen from BMW, particularly when it comes to M products, over the years.

From the report, AE is expecting production versions of both the M4 and M3 sedan to be shown at the North American International Auto Show in January. We’ve covered the M4 rather obsessively, reporting on the company’s efforts to reduce the new car’s curb weight just last week.

AutoExpress dives deeper, though, speaking to BMW Group’s Senior VP Brand and Product Strategies, Klaus Froehlich. According to Froehlich, the M3/4 only shares about 20 percent of its parts with the 335i/435i. The engine is expected to be a bespoke unit, and will be mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. There should be plenty of carbon fiber to cut weight, as well. The report gets even more explosive, though, as the British outfit has revealed that the M3 and M4 will be joined by a 4 Series Convertible and the new BMW 2 Series in Detroit.

Now, this all seems fantastic, and we’re inclined to believe that an M4 Concept could arrive at Pebble. But debuting four (four!) models, especially two M cars, at one auto show just doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. What seems more likely, though, is for the two M cars to arrive in Detroit, having been preceded by the 4 Series Convertible at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Why? Well, LA isn’t covered in snow for half the year, making it a much bigger convertible market than Detroit. As for the 2 Series, that’s a toss up. We could see it being shown at any of the big American shows, or it could be held until Geneva. We’ll be sure to update when we know more.

BMW M4 Concept headed for Pebble Beach? originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 23 Jul 2013 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Report: First Toyota unintended acceleration case headed for trial

By Brandon Turkus

2006 Toyota Camry XLE front three-quarters

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Toyota is going to be back in the spotlight, as the first of its unintended acceleration lawsuits is headed for trial. This case covers a Los Angeles sushi shop owner, Noriko Uno. According to the what the family told The Detroit News, Uno only put about 10,000 miles on her 2006 Toyota Camry in four years. Uno was apparently afraid of high speeds, avoiding the freeway and taking a route home along LA’s surface streets to avoid them.

On August 28, 2009, Uno’s Camry suddenly accelerated to 100 miles per hour, eventually striking a telephone poll and a tree and killing her. The family contends that Uno attempted to step on the brakes and pull the emergency brake, neither of which brought her speed under control, while Toyota maintains that improperly installed floormats and driver error have been behind the majority of the 80 cases expected to be heard in court.

In Uno’s case, The Detroit News is expecting the trial to focus on the lack of an override if the gas and brake pedals were pressed at the same time. Brake overrides were installed on Toyota’s European fleet. The Uno family attorney will need to prove to the jury that it wasn’t driver error that killed Noriko Uno.

Uno’s case will be a bellwether case, which other state courts will use to predict potential outcomes for similar lawsuits. Toyota is also combating suits in federal court as well, although in most cases both sides have chosen to settle. The federal suit argues that the Camry and other models had defective electronic throttle control systems, despite denials from Toyota and investigations from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and NASA coming up empty.

First Toyota unintended acceleration case headed for trial originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 11:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Renting? Cities To Get The Most Bang For Your Buck

By Zillow, Contributor

Kansas City isn’t just topping charts for its barbecue this summer — it’s also where renters can get the most for their money. According to Zillow’s latest analysis, Kansas City is one of 10 big cities offering the best combination of: Current rental prices Price per square foot Low year-over-year changes in cost of rent Low cost of rent compared with the cost of buying a home If you’re looking to rent, this could mean the difference between a 2-bedroom with a private patio and a 500-square-foot studio. And for prospective buyers facing the current rise in home values and low for-sale inventory, renting in one of these cities may present an attractive alternative. Here’s a look at homes for rent in the top 10 places where you can get the biggest bang for your buck. No. 10: Mikwaukee, WI 1922 N 52nd St, Milwaukee, WI For rent: $1,500 per month Specs: 1,145 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 1.25 baths Extras: Professional landscaping, outdoor living space, laundry, 2-car detached garage No. 9: New Orleans, LA 3109 General Taylor St, New Orleans, LA For rent: $1,100 per month Specs: 1,094 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 1 bath Extras: Front porch, off-street parking, pets on case-by-case basis, tenant-maintained yard No. 8: Columbus, OH 136 Columbian Ave, Columbus, OH For rent: $800 per month …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

The Time Has Come For Southern California House Prices To Take A Rest

By Richard Green, Contributor

DataQuick today reported that house prices in Southern California have risen 28 percent from the last year.  A year ago, people who were buying houses in this part of the world were getting a good deal.  Now, the deal is so-so.

Take a look at the table below (it is something I constructed for my class on mortgages and mortgage backed securities).  The numbers on the vertical axis (.03,.05,.05..)are cost of capital numbers–the financing costs of owning a house.  Generally speaking, the cost of capital for owning a house is the mortgage rate plus one percent, which reflects that the cost of the equity in the house (the down-payment) is higher than the cost of the mortgage.  The numbers across the horizontal access (10, 15,20…) are rent-to-price ratios.  Suppose you can own a condo for $360,000; the rent on the same unit is $1500 per month or $18,000 per year.  The price to rent ratio is then 20.

In the example given here, we are looking at a household that pays a federal marginal tax rate of 25 percent, a state marginal tax rate of 7.9 percent, faces closing costs of 3 percent, annual maintenance cost of 2.5 percent, a property tax rate of one percent, a Realtor commission of 5 percent, and expects to hold the property for five years (feel free to email me at richarkg@usc.edu if you wish to put your own assumptions in the spreadsheet that produced the numbers listed below).

As it happens, I have been looking at costs and rents in Westwood, a neighborhood just west of Beverly Hills and on the other side of the 405 from Brentwood.  Rents on 2 bedroom units run around $28 per year per square foot; prices are around $650 per square foot, so the price to rent ratio is around 23.  With current mortgage rates at 4.5 percent, the cost of capital is 5.5 percent.  So lets look at the cells that are bolded: a price to rent ratio of 23 and a cost of capital of 5.5 lies in the middle of them.  The numbers in the cell is the amount of appreciation that is required each year that one holds a property for renting and owning to break even with each other.

So right now, for owning to be a better financial deal than renting, prices must rise around 4 percent each year.  Is this feasible in the long run for Los Angeles?  Yes, because over the long term, prices in LA tend to rise by about the rate of inflation plus one percent, so if we think 3 percent steady state inflation is in our future, we should be fine.  But will it rise much more than inflation plus one percent for a long time?  I doubt it.  And of course, CPI growth is less than two percent right now.  House prices are about where fundamentals say they should be, but it is time for increases to slow down.

Price to Rent Ratio
10 15 20 25 30
0.03 -0.031 0.003 0.020 0.030 0.036
0.04 -0.024 0.010 0.027 0.037 0.044
0.05 -0.017 0.017 0.034 0.044 0.051
Cost of Capital 0.06 -0.009 0.024 0.041 0.051 0.058
0.07 -0.002 0.031 0.048 0.058 0.065
0.08 0.005 0.039 0.055 0.066 0.072
0.09 0.012 0.046 0.063 0.073 0.079
0.1 0.019 0.053 0.070 0.080 0.087

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

Report: Formula E calendar set at ten races, top F1 teams being courted

By Brandon Turkus

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Formula E, the open-wheel EV racing series has finalized the calendar for its inaugural season. Set to kick of in 2014, the races looks like to have been distributed quite evenly across the globe.

Two American races (LA and Miami) along with a pair of South American races in Rio and Buenos Aires round out the contests in the New World. London, Berlin and Rome make up the European leg of the championship, while Beijing, Bangkok and Putrajaya cover Asia.

This news follows a report from Autoweek that Formula E is courting some of the top Formula One teams. According to AW, series organizer Alejandro Agag is already in talks with McLaren, and is of the opinion that one day the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull will take part in the emissions free series.

Despite the current lack of big names, the parts of the Formula E cars look promising. Batteries from Williams are mated to electric motors from McLaren, while Dallara provides the chassis. Like F1, there’s only one tire supplier, although we’re happy to announce it’s Michelin rather than Pirelli. Series test driver Lucas di Grassi showed us just what the FE cars can do with an in-car video a few months ago.

As for drivers, we don’t see Sebastien Vettel leaving his gas-powered racer soon. Formula E could see an influx of retired F1 drivers and GP2 veterans, although Agag told Autoweek “I can’t say any names yet.” The series will kickoff in 2014, in the Italian capital of Rome.

Formula E calendar set at ten races, top F1 teams being courted originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Jul 2013 18:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Autoblog

Protesters of Zimmerman acquittal march in LA, SF

Demonstrators protested in three California cities against the acquittal of George Zimmerman and officials say they broke windows and vandalized cars in Oakland.

The Oakland police dispatch office said about 100 people protested there and police were dealing with acts of vandalism. The office had no word of any arrests.

Local media reports said some marchers vandalized a police squad car and police formed a line to block the protesters’ path.

The Oakland demonstration followed a raucous but largely peaceful one in San Francisco, which police say ended by 10 p.m.

City News Service reported that the verdict also sparked protests in Los Angeles, where hundreds of people gathered in a park for what police termed a peaceful vigil.

At one point, a group stopped a passenger train and police worked to persuade them to return to the nearby park.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox US News

First Look: StyleSaint Turns Community Inspiration Into A Real Fashion Collection

By Lydia Dishman, Contributor

File this one under: it was only a matter of time. After the proliferation of Pinterest-like sites inviting users to curate their own little corner of the Web, StyleSaint, an LA-based fashion platform, is taking all those tear sheets to the next level. “We are taking content from our community to turn into products that didn’t exist,” co-founder Allison Beal tells FORBES. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

How 4/20 Became 'National Weed Day'

By Ruth Brown It’s April 20, the day marijuana enthusiasts around the country celebrate their favorite smokable green herb at events like the Cannabis Cup in Denver and Snoop Lion‘s (nee-Dogg’s) 420 Festival in LA. But why April 20? The tradition can be traced back to a group of high school students in…

From: http://www.newser.com/story/166560/how-420-became-national-weed-day.html