Car Search Engines – Top 10 Car Search Sites 2014 #dallas #auto #auction


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Best Car Search Engines

This is a comprehensive list of search engines that allow car buyers to find cars, trucks, SUVs, and other types of vehicles online.

Some of the web sites listed here only return automobiles that were posted specifically to each respective site, while others aggregate listings for sale from various other places and display them in one central location. Dealers can also use some of these resources to submit their available inventory for sale or lease.

Top 10 Car Search Engines

*Alexa Traffic Rank (global). **Monthly Unique Visitor estimates from Compete.com (U.S. only). Updated for 2015.

Summaries

AutoTrader.com Established in 1997, it s the leading online vehicle marketplace and information website. Auto dealers and private sellers can list cars and trucks for sale. Consumers can read reviews, connect with lenders and insurance companies, and research deals on all types of vehicles.

Cars.com Created in 1998, this is a top search engine for online car shoppers, offering information from consumers and experts to help buyers determine which vehicles to buy. The site allows people to search millions of used listings, get pricing details, dealer quotes, read expert reviews, and sell their own. It provides a side-by-side comparison tool, photo galleries, videos, editorial content and has a large selection of new and used inventory.

Edmunds.com Launched in 1995, Edmonds claims to be the first automotive information Web site. It s a car buying guide that lists new and used prices, comparisons, buyer s advice, ratings and values. Consumers can also get price quotes and find vehicles in their area.

CarGurus.com Created in 2000, this website provides over 750,000 vehicle reviews with photos and opinions from real people. It offers the DealFinder search engine that analyzes millions of active listings to give purchasers instant access to the best promotions in their area. It also creates records for private-sellers and dealers.

MotorTrend.com Launched in 1996, MotorTrend is the Official Motor Trend magazine web site. It features new and used vehicles, concept cars, road tests, auto shows, and a ton of additional buying info. MotorTrend.com also provides a news blog, events, videos, forum, classifieds, price comparison and shopping tools.

CarMax.com Launched in 1996, it s the front-end website to the CarMax automotive dealer chain. Users can research all types of models, view detailed specifications, compare ratings, or sell their vehicle to the dealership. It offers payment calculators, financial tools and allows users provide feedback.

CarsDirect.com Started in 1998, this is one of the best online car buying services. It provides used and new automobile info, plus extremely helpful financial-related content. People can search vehicles by make and model, sell a used vehicle, and get help with financing.

Hemmings.com Auto classifieds that allows you to view thousands of classic cars, parts and service available for sale. It has an online auction, provides helpful content, and is a huge community of automotive enthusiasts.

Autobytel.com Since 1995 Autobytel has been providing innovative products and services to help consumers buy, and auto dealers and manufacturers sell, more used and new cars. Shoppers can browse hundreds of thousands of cars for sale, and read their car buying cuide with vehicle reviews, videos and pictures.

Automotive.com Started in 1996, it s one of the Internet s leading auto buying portals. You can locate autos in the classifieds, find trade-in values, and insurance quotes. Consumers can receive information on recalls, safety-ratings, resale valuations, and use the available tools to help during the buying process.

Keep in mind this top ten list of car search engines is based on Alexa Traffic Rank only; not necessarily which ones are best from a user s perspective. If you d like us to review another search engine missing from our one of lists don’t hesitate to send us the web site information via our contact form.

3 thoughts on Best Car Search Engines

    John March 27, 2015 at 3:00 pm

MotoMiner.com is one of the newer car search sites. It is an ACTUAL search engine, in that it goes out and gets vehicle information from dealer websites, so it has a lot more available cars to search through than the other search sites (like Cars.com or whatever). You should check it out and maybe include it in your list.

Great to hear, Wes, thanks for the feedback. Definitely understand why you can t list it yet. We re working on the traffic part. Really appreciate you bending the rule here for the comment. If you have any further feedback for us, we d love to hear it, as we are always looking to improve.


Auctions America 2014 California Collector Car Auction #used #vehicles


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Gayle Anderson was live in Burbank for the  AUCTIONS AMERICA 2014 CALIFORNIA COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION, which opens TODAY, THURSDAY, JULY 31 ST. 2O14 at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport and runs through Saturday, August 2, 2014. This auction features 400 rare and quirky collector cars and trucks handpicked for Southern California’s unique car culture.

Highlights from the sale include more than 60 vehicles formerly owned by noted Palm Springs collector, the late Bob Pond. Cars from the Pond collection include a 1947 Chrysler Town Country Convertible Woodie, a 1957 BMW Isetta 300, 1959 Porsche Diesel Standard Tractor, 1981 DeLorean DMC-12, 1959 Fiat Jolly 500, and a 1949 Buick Roadmaster Convertible used in the film, Rain Man (1988).

Other notable cars include a 1954 Kaiser-Darrin Roadster, a 1960 Plymouth Fury Convertible, a 1946 Mercury Sportsman Convertible, a 1966 427 Shelby Cobra, and a 1953 Muntz Jet Convertible. Take a look at the complete Auctions America California Auction catalog by clicking HERE .

Doors open for preview starting at 9:00 a.m. TODAY, with the Auction starting at 1:00 p.m. Auctions will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, August 1 st and Saturday, August 2 nd. Admission prices are $20 for a day pass and $35 for a weekend pass. Admission is FREE for children under 12 years of age with an adult and active/retired military personnel and their families. On Fireman Friday, Firefighters receive FREE admission upon presentation of ID.

To reserve a room at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport, call (818) 843-6000 and ask for the ‘Auctions America Preferred Rate’. You can also click here to reserve a room.

About Auctions America

TODAY, THURSDAY, JULY 31 ST. 2014

2014 California Collector Car Auction

Doors open for preview at 9 a.m.

Auction starts at 1 p.m.

Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport


Average used car price hits record high in 2014 #auto #bill #of #sale #form


#used car prices
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Average used car price hits record high in 2014

Feb. 12 photo of two-year-old certified pre-owned cars at a Nissan dealership in Marlborough, Mass. (Photo: Bill Sikes, AP)

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In another sign that the auto market’s recovery has not yet peaked, the average used car price hit a record $16,800 last year, according to a report from Edmunds.com

That was up 5.7% from 2013’s average of $15,900. Higher used car prices mean that the resale value of three- and four-year-old vehicles coming off leases is strong. They also mean that people looking to buy new cars are likely to get reasonable offers on the models they trade in.

A major driver for last year’s gain is the growth in what automakers and their dealers call the “certified pre-owned” (CPO) market. These are mostly off-lease vehicles that dealers recondition and offer as alternatives to bargain hunting consumers who don’t want to buy a new vehicle.

U.S. dealers sold a record 2.3 million CPO vehicles last year or 21% of the nation’s used car market, up from 1.53 million in 2009.

“We fully expect CPO popularity to continue throughout 2015 because many leased cars are being returned in excellent shape and lightly used cars are being traded in at faster rates than in previous years,” said Jessica Caldwell, an analyst at Edmunds, a car-shopping information service.

Edmunds broke down the 2013 to 2014 used car price changes by age of vehicle. The increase in average selling price of 1-year-old and 4-year-old vehicles was about the same as the 5.7% jump of the overall used car market.

Surprisingly, prices for older cars rose even faster. The average price of 8- and 9-year-old models jumped 8.8% and 8.5% respectively, and they ranged between 10.5% and 15% for those that were 11-years-old or older.

Edmunds’ Caldwell said vehicles between 11 and 16 years old benefited more from falling gasoline prices because buyers weren’t as concerned with fuel economy as they were with utility.

Melinda Zabritski, director of automotive credit for Experian, a credit analysis firm, said the increase in subprime auto lending could be another contributing factor reinforcing older vehicle prices because subprime borrowers tend to purchase older vehicles.

Another factor driving the certified pre-owned market is the rebound in leasing, which now accounts for about 27% of all new vehicle transactions, up from about 18% in the worst of the Great Recession in 2009. But more than half — 53% — of luxury car transactions were leases last year, up from 42% in 2008. So the population of vehicles those lessees return in 2017 or 2018 will be skewed toward the higher end of the price spectrum.

As leasing approaches 30% of the new vehicle market, used car prices could soften sometime later this decade. A study released last November by Autotrader.com and its affiliate Manheim Consulting, projected that the number of vehicles coming back to dealers will climb from about 2.2 million last year to 3.4 million in 2017.

“The supply is building and prices are dipping some, but not collapsing,” said Michelle Krebs, an analyst with Autotrader.com.

Experian’s Zabritski predicts used car prices will remain strong for the near term.

“You’ve got a combination of rising prices coupled with an increase in the end-of-lease returns so we’re probably going to see used prices leveling off,” she said.

USED VEHICLE AVERAGE TRANSACTION PRICE

Vehicle Age, 2013, 2014, % Change

1 year old, $28,357,,$29,967,,5.7%

2 years old, $24,055, $24,415, 1.5%

3 years old, $22,810, $22,567, -1.1%

4 years old, $20,298, $21,413, 5.5%

5 years old, $17,687, $17,990, 1.7%

6 years old, $15,687, $15,435, -1.6%

7 years old, $13,476, $13,934, 3.4%

8 years old, $10,911, $11,872, 8.8%


Cheapest New Cars For 2014 Under $14000 – Top 5 #indianapolis #auto #show


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Cheapest New Cars For 2014 Under $14000 – Top 5

N ew year, new life, goes the saying, and for some people, new life means new car, why not? who would not like to start the year with a new car? at least, I would. For those lucky ones that have in their plans to get a new or used car this coming 2014, but are still not quite sure because a new one could be more expensive than a used one, let me contradict you, show you and tell you a little bit, about what are the best and cheapest new 2014 cars you can get today in the US for less than $14000 only, an affordable figure for someone with decent credit and decent job. All of them are economical, great for the city and good for all tastes and ages.

Starting with the most expensive, this is the top 5 list of the cheapest new cars in America for this coming 2014:

5) Kia Rio 2014 – MSRP Price: $13,800

In the new model of the 3rd generation of the Rio, Kia keeps the youthful and sporty style which has helped it to gain a lot of worldwide followers in recent years. It is available in two different versions, sedan and 5-door hatchback, being the hatchback only $100 more expensive.

KIA RIO 2014 SEDAN. For the low price, this vehicle is simply amazing. To find more about the new Rio, please visit its official site .

Its exterior design shows the constant evolution of Kia in recent years. With daring and aerodynamic cuts that inspire a sense of youth and rebellion. Includes sunroof and alloy wheels making the Rio one of the favorite cars of the youth segment looking for an economical but well equipped car.

It has some qualities that place it above the others in its segment. Its exterior European style, an interior perfectly clean with well designed controls, and above all, a friendly and efficient powertrain. This model will amaze you instantly once you are seated behind the wheel. If I had to pick one of the reasons that most attract me from the Rio, compared to other inexpensive small cars, it would be its lively style, quiet acceleration and fresh look.

4) Smart ForTwo Pure 2014 – MSRP Price: $13,270

The fact that a car is tiny does not mean it has to be unsafe or poorly equipped, and the smart Fortwo Pure is living proof of that.

The subcompact segment is gaining momentum in developed markets due to high gas prices and pollution emissions, and the smart fortwo pure, a car designed for urban living space, has been developed from these requirements.

2014 SMART FORTWO PURE. An high quality urban car unique in its kind. To find more about the new fortwo, please visit its official site. Photo source: smart.com

This tiny coupe comes with 5-speed smartshift transmission with automatic or manual mode. It also features hill start assist, and lots of standard safety features such as 8 full-size airbags.

The fortwo is a car that, as its name implies, is designed for two people. Its exterior design is very distinctive, especially because of the already famous Tridion safety cell, which everyone knows as the silver stripe we found across the car. This safety cell was created considering that the small car could withstand impacts of much larger vehicles and achieved its goal in spades.

The smart fortwo pure comes equipped with a 1.0L 3 cylinder in line engine of 70-HP that delivers up to 38 mpg combined. Its gas tank has a capacity of up to 8.7 gallon, this means that with the current gas prices, you can fill up to the tank with less than $30.

3) Mitsubishi Mirage 2014 – MSRP Price: $12,995

Is characterized by being compact on the outside, but plenty of room and comfort inside. It was presented in April at the New York auto show and it is now being released in the U.S. market. The main goal of this model is to expand to emerging markets, and become a practical and economical choice.

2014 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE. The incredible gasoline vehicle that yields like a hybrid. To find more about the new Japanese Mirage, please visit its official site .

The latest creation from the Japanese manufacturer took the basic concepts that define a “compact car” such as: efficiency, functionality and performance, achieving with the Mirage an urban size car, friendly to the environment with low CO2 emissions, with high safety standards for all occupants and low fuel consumption.

The Mirage is available as a five-door hatchback for five-passenger, with an 1.2L DOHC MIVEC three-cylinder engine of 74-HP, that according to Mitsubishi has a combined EPA fuel efficiency rating of 40 mpg (37 in the city / 44 on highway). If those numbers are accepted in the industry, Mitsubishi says that the Mirage will be the more efficient gasoline vehicle that isn’t a hybrid, sold in the U.S.

2) Chevrolet Spark 2014 – MSRP Price: $12,170

With eight expressive colors, the new 2014 Chevrolet Spark has a tone for everyone. It has a navigation system unique in its class. The smartphone application BringGo offers plenty of user-friendly features, such as a pager and traffic data in real time that can be experienced when it is connected through Chevrolet MyLink.

CHEVROLET SPARK 2014. A globe-trotting city car with lots of cutting-edge features and positive consumer reviews at a miserable low price ;-J that surely you can afford. To find more about the new Japanese Mirage, please visit its official site .

For the new 2014 model, the highlight is the addition of a new continuously variable transmission CVT, instead of the current 4-speed automatic. The 5-speed manual will also be offered. In both cases, they will be together to a 1.2L 4-cylinder engine which can generate 84 horsepower. The car is rated at 34 MPG combined with a 5-speed manual transmission which decreases to 32 MPG when using an automatic transmission. The inclusion of this new CVT transmission would intend to improve the EPA rating, plus it is also expected to improve the driving experience.

In short, the Spark is an unpretentious city car, focusing on doing well what it has to do. Its light weight and compact size allow it to have a small engine enough to move you into the big cities. Honestly, the interior, although it is not remarkable, it is enough for the rear passengers can make short trips without any problems, and taking into account the segment to which it belongs, it is not so bad at all.

1) Nissan Versa Sedan 2014 – MSRP Price: $11,990

The Nissan Versa sedan is an economical car that focuses on the family. For this 2014, it enters its third year on the market and does so without external changes. Its exterior design is a bit quirky as it looks like two cars in one. From the rear, it looks like an Altima. large and square, but at the front becomes rounded. In short, the 2014 Versa still has proportions a bit unorthodox for current standards, and although some pictures of an alleged facelift have come out, apparently we will have to wait until 2015 to see it on the dealerships.

2014 NISSAN VERSA SEDAN. The best deal of all five. For less than $12000 you can buy a new car that is perfect for the daily commuting and for the family too. To find more about this Japanese sedan, please visit its official site .

The Versa sales target is clear: those people looking for a modern car, affordably priced with good performance and enough interior space. So far, Nissan has been successful. In 2012 were sold 774.846 units worldwide, figure that places it as the eighth best-selling car and the Nissan model with more acceptance in the automotive industry. Being known as the cheapest new car for sale in America has also helped it to have a place on the podium of the best cars for those looking for economy and reliability.

In terms of mechanical and specifications, The Nissan Versa S model, which is the one that cost $11,990 and the cheapest one of the four available, comes equipped with a 1.6 L DOHC Inline 4-cylinder engine of 109-HP which delivers up to 27 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on highways.


Car Mechanic Simulator 2014 в Steam #auto #bill #of #sale #form


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Купить PlayWay’s Sim Bundle

Car Mechanic Simulator 2014 Complete Edition now available!

Complete Edition with 2 free expansion packs is now available.

1/4 Mile DLC features new tuning missions and a 1/4 mile racetrack, that will let you check the performance of the car you were working on.

Car Mechanic Simulator now on our Facebook

View PlayWay’s facebook page to gain access to game news and updates, new screenshots and discuss with us the future of the game.

Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 now on KickStarter

For a list of features visit Kickstarter site:

Об этой игре

Now you can own and operate your own auto repair service with PlayWay’s Car Mechanic Simulator 2014.

Car Mechanic Simulator 2014 gives you the behind the scenes view of the daily dealings at local garages and dealership repair shops.

  • Interact with car owners seeking repairs
  • Order parts and materials necessary to maintain inventory including used car parts to help keep consumer costs low.
  • Purchase repair manuals to enable you to work better, faster and earn more income!
  • Work on eight different car models including Town Cars, Compacts, Sedans, SUVs, Family Cars, SUVs VANs, and Limousines
  • Gain experience with over 120 different repairs including brakes, transmission fixes, body shop work, steering and alignment adjustments, chip tuning, diagnostic analysis, test drive pad, OBD scanning, oil changes, fix broken parts and engage in dozens of other tasks.
  • Car Mechanic Simulator 2014 is a must have for auto mechanics and fans of the world’s most popular autos!

    4X4 Expansion Pack provides 20 new F2P work orders for various repairs of 4X4 off road vehicles and is available at no cost to owners of the baseline Steam-enabled release.

    The primary 4X4 car is a separate body frame with rigid, live front and rear axles. It presents unique new maintenance challenges far different from those in the base version of Car Mechanic Simulator 2014. Once installed, new parts appear in the garage shop including front and rear axles, drive shafts, special off-road shock absorbers and a rear muffler. The new vehicle is also available in endless mode.

    4×4 Expansion Pack features:

    • Brand new 4×4 car with new set of parts.
  • 20 new repair orders to complete
  • 1/4 Mile Expansion Pack comes with new test track, where you can check the performance of tuned cars.

    Enter the world of car tuners and equip cars with sport parts to increase their performance and meet your customers demands.


    What Is An Average Interest Rate On A Poor Credit Car Loan Bad credit no money down used car loans 2014.


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    What Is An Average Interest Rate On A Poor Credit Car Loan

    Do you have poor credit? Looking out for a car at some stage or the other in life is a common thing. Even if a person has a poor  credit history, the desire to buy a car cannot stop him from finding different ways of buying it. There are a number of people, even after having a bad credit are still on the look out for a new car.

    They may also not be fully aware of the interest rates or APR that will be required to be paid for the loan that they will avail from the loan company. As regards the rate of interest, they really do not know, exactly what rate of interest will be asked by the car dealers.

    Market conditions affect the rate of interest:

    The average loan rate for cars can be anywhere between 4% to7% for those having a good credit. The rates of interest depend greatly on the source that you are going to use for financing the car. It should be noted that the market conditions also affect the rates of interest on the car loans.

    The rates can vary dramatically, when the borrower has a bad credit. For instance, an average subprime poor credit score of 550 could give you interest up to 14.29% The varying rates of interest on the car loans are to be well understood by the borrower of the car loan. Hence it is a very crucial issue for the borrower to find the right financing company or auto dealer for the auto vehicle.

    A good source like credit.com offers advice that enables the borrower to have a fairly reasonable rate of interest to be paid for the car.

    A car having in-house financing even attracts interest rates of 20% and even up to 28% depending on the place you are staying. I would advice against in house financing and refer instead to credit union for car loans. The maximum interest credit union can charge for a car loan is 18%.

    Some of the establishments that charge such unreasonably high interest rates were actually unregulated in the past, and to regulate them the state laws had to intervene to control such situations, so that things don’t go out of hand.

    There is no such thing as an average interest rate on a car loan:

    Many variables and conditions are responsible for determining the rate of interest on the car loans. Many factors are responsible, when you wish to obtain the lowest rate of interest for your car loan, even when you have a very poor credit. It is the lending source that determines the rate of interest.

    There can be a possibility, where you have to pay a higher rate of interest on car loan with poor credit, than someone else who has a credit history that is excellent. So it is best if you do a thorough research and explore all possibilities before you accept any offer of the interest on the loan.

    Accepting an interest rate of above 12% needs a thorough research from your side. Having to make unnecessary high payments of interest could be the worse thing that you can face. Improving your credit in the future and getting ahead with payments, gets more and more difficult as you keep shelling out huge amounts on the interest.

    Making use of the reputable and legitimate sources available online are very useful in obtaining the lowest interest rates on your car loan. Services offered by the lending companies keeping varying from one another. Some of the lending companies may be more reputable than the others, so it is important for you to be doubly sure before you finally sign the loan contract.


    Uber program offers auto loans to subprime borrowers – Nov. 5, 2014


    #bad credit auto financing
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    Uber program offers auto loans to subprime borrowers

    Uber has a new controversy on its hands.

    Uber doesn’t make auto loans itself; it connects drivers to lenders like Santander Consumer USA, which make loans that can be paid off via deductions from their Uber paychecks.

    The loan program was highlighted Tuesday by tech blog Valleywag, which noted that Uber has been pitching the program specifically to borrowers with poor credit.

    “Even if you have bad credit or no credit at all, we can help you get behind the wheel in a week,” the company says in a promotional video.

    Valleywag quoted a number of alleged Uber drivers complaining about the terms of the loans, which one described as “just laughably bad, and left for the desperate and/or uneducated.”

    5 stunning stats about Uber

    Loans to subprime borrowers — those with poor credit who face harsher repayment terms as a result — played a central role in the 2008 financial crisis. In recent months, federal regulators have reportedly been investigating subprime auto lenders amid concerns about onerous rates and a potential bubble in the sector.

    Uber declined to comment on the rates drivers are offered, but it defended the program, saying it “provides drivers with discounts on cars as well as access to financing that may not otherwise be available to them.”

    “We’re very proud of the fact that thousands of our driver partners have participated in the program and collectively saved millions of dollars to date,” the company said.

    In a blog post announcing the program last year, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick said the loans were low-risk because drivers “have a robust, reliable cash flow through the Uber platform.”

    Santander declined to comment.

    This kind of criticism is nothing new for Uber. The company has faced repeated protests from drivers over its fare policies, and has tangled with regulators in a number of cities as it aggressively expands. It’s also taken heat for sending thousands of fake ride requests to rival car-hailing service Lyft.

    CNNMoney (New York) November 6, 2014: 3:48 PM ET


    Recap: Tokyo Auto Salon 2014 – Motor Trend


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    Carmakers focus on racing while cute and cosplay flood the floor

    Carmakers focus on racing while cute and cosplay flood the floor

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    Presented each year in January with a tsunami of customization, psychedelic colors and outrageous cos-play, Tokyo’s Auto Salon (TAS) is the world’s third largest tuning and custom car show behind America’s SEMA and Germany’s Essen.

    Now in its 32nd year, TAS appears to be coming under the influence of Abenomics (Prime Minister Abe’s expansive economic policies) as witnessed by a jump in the number of display cars from 802 last year to 840 this year, while customizer and parts supplier stands climbed to 3,880, up from 3,608.

    Highlighted by two world premieres and countless domestic launches, TAS 2014 drew a reported 300,000 visitors through the gates of the Makuhari Messe complex some 30kms east of Tokyo.

    The big news at this year’s show, and the only Japanese world premiere, was one that actually wasn’t meant to be. On Subaru’s stand, PR types lifted the covers on the all-new WRX STi, albeit in fully-blown Nurburgring 24-hour spec form. According to my PR contact on hand, Subaru wanted to try to remain low key about this reveal, so as not to rain on the parade of Subaru of America as it unveils the road-going WRX STi at the Detroit Auto Show on January 14.

    But hey, when you show a car first – anywhere in the world – that’s defined as a ‘world premiere.’ Subaru HQs in Japan had to shine a spotlight on this car because there is a lot riding on it – like the company’s pride. With the previous WRX STi, Subaru won its class twice in the famed Nurburgring endurance race and it expects to achieve that accolade again this year when the all-new STi attacks Nurburgring on June 19-22. From what we are hearing, the body and suspension setup might be new, but the powertrain in basically a carryover from the outgoing STi. Powered by the same EJ20 2.0-liter boxer turbocharged engine with 6-speed manual transmission generating in excess of 350hp (street version expected to get 320hp) the new machine could slice at least 5 seconds off the current lap time.

    The other world premiere was the unnecessarily over-named Mercedes A45 AMG 4MATIC Petronas Green Edition. Boasting the same 360hp 2.0-liter turbocharged engine as the standard A45 AMG, this new version gets unique aeroparts and green paint work that pays homage to company’s F1 car for 2104. Expected to fetch a sticker price of around $100,000, only 30 will be built. With Japan ranked as one of AMG’s strongest markets, it was no surprise to see the company occupying the third largest stand area (after Toyota and Honda) as it displayed 17 vehicles packing a combined horsepower of 6200.

    Following on from last year, Toyota and its racing arm Gazoo Racing, displayed dozens of dressed up 86 (Scion FRS) sports cars in conjunction with Subaru, its sister company in this co-developed coupe. The Gazoo Racing 86 tuned by GRMN is a tuned 86 that has received significant feedback from the company’s 86 race car that won its class in the 2012 Nurburgring 24-hour race. Employing numerous revised parts including a new camshaft and piston profile and new exhaust system, the GRMN 86 gets an extra 30 hp over the stock version.

    As you might have realized from the above Subaru and Toyota references, the Nurburgring racetrack plays a big part in Japanese car design and performance settings.

    In fact, there is one more reference to the famed circuit that came to light while I was chatting with a senior engineer near the Lexus LFA display. It just took one quick look at the two LFAs sitting on the stand to see that one had a longer wheelbase. According to our source, Toyota will be racing two LFAs at Nurburgring this year, one fitted with the standard wheelbase and stock 4.8-liter V10 engine, while the other LFA will incorporate an approximately 20cm longer wheelbase and V10 engine bored out to 5.3-liters. Putting 2 + 2 together, could I have accidentally stumbled over the powertrain for the Lexus LF-LC concept unveiled at Detroit last year and green-lighted for production in early 2013?

    Mazda on the other hand, was focusing its concept car designs on American race cars. Inspired by the Skyactiv diesel-powered Grand Am GX Mazda6 which won its class in the Rolex Sports Car Series of 2013, Mazda Japan created the Axela (Mazda3) Sports with unique decals, Recaro racing seats and Sabelt harnesses, as well as 4-pot Brembo brakes. A diesel-powered Atenza (Mazda6) Concept and CX-5 finished in matt black paintwork were also on display as part of a media push to promote the company’s “Be a racing driver” campaign.

    Without doubt, one of the biggest drawcards to TAS each year are the crazy machines found at the NATS (Nihon Automobile College) stand. With over 800 students, this college of mechanics, designers, engineers and body repair experts spends many months each year creating around a dozen wacky vehicles that push the limits of the real world. The star of this year’s stand was undoubtedly “Lightning Natseen,” a coupe that recreates the look of Lightning McQueen from “Cars,” but sits on a Nissan 180SX platform and powertrain. Other notable experiments include the Nascar-inspired Nats Prius HB Silhouette Gr. 72, the Mazda RX-7 based Nats REvoltion and a Nats original, the cartoon-inspired EV-sports Prototype 02.

    We’d like to say that the highlight of Honda’s stand was the new hybrid NSX or even the 660cc 3-cylinder turbo powered S660, but that was not the case. Sitting in the middle of Honda’s stand was a 660cc minicar called the N-Wagon (spelt N-Wgn in Japanese) “Macaron Color Collection” incorporating a selection of macarons and flowers on the dashboard and a mint and chocolate combination interior trim. One source told us that this spec would target women and would not come with the ribbon on top. Now if this was a macaron delivery vehicle, we’d understand, but, um, it’s not.

    And who could ignore the little coupe sitting on the Daihatsu stand? Posing in brown and orange paint, the 660cc “Kopen future included” incorporated a new livery to the car revealed last November at the Tokyo Motor Show.

    In addition to exhibiting their limited production 600hp GT-R Nismo, Nissan unveiled the dressed up X-Trail X-Tremer Package Stretched and Nismo March.

    Meanwhile, Toyota (Lexus), Nissan and Honda all displayed their new race cars for this year’s Super GT championships.

    Two crucial debuts this year for the Big Three are the Cadillac CTS and the Chevy Corvette C7, two versions – including a Hennessy version of which were on display.

    And finally…

    The zaniest creation at the Salon went to the WiZ International College for its “Munsters-inspired” Mazda MX-5-based hotrod, the cutest dress-up prize went to the 660cc Rilakkuma Suzuki Lapin with the teddy bear themed wheel design, the most powerful gong went to the fully reworked Kansai R35 GT1000 Nissan GT-R pumping out 1000hp/7300rpm, and the raunchiest ‘cos-play’ trophy went to the Wald International Black Bison Mercedes G-Class for their bikini clad ladies when it was just 5C outside.