One-of-a-Kind BMW i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition to be Auctioned During Pebble Beach

Celebrating the arrival the BMW i8 hybrid sports car in the States, the company will auction a one-of-a-kind i8 Concours d’Elegance Edition this coming weekend at the Pebble Beach Concours.

The special edition will have unique paint and interior as well as a number of bespoke features making a true one-of-a-kind car. To be sold by Gooding & Company during the event this Saturday, the proceeds go to the Pebble Beach Company Foundation and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

The car itself is painted in a special shade called Frozen Grey with a unique interior with Dalbergia Brown leather. The custom tanned hides are accented with BMW i Blue stitching while the cabin gets several other trim accents in BMW i Blue.

Door sills will have custom etched plaques denoting it as the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance Edition. One at the rear parcel shelf will have signatures of senior BMW executives who played key roles in the development of the i8.

Sold ahead of the official sale date, this car will have a number US firsts including laser headlights pending government approval of course. The buyer will also get a BMW i8 display key as well as the first professional edition BMW Charging Station.

In case you might have asked, “is that all”?, the sale will include a complete set of Louis Vuitton luggage specially crafted for the car.

2015 Acura TLX

Acura is continuing to re-imagine their aging product line, this week unveiling their all-new mid-range 2015 TLX sport sedan.

A successor to the TL, the 2015 TLX will reside between the entry model ILX and the top-line RLX sedans with styling that compliments them both with familiar family DNA.

While the all-new 2015 TLX shares the same 109” wheelbase as the last generation, it grows 4” in length and an inch wider for a more substantial foot print.

Aside the new styling and exterior treatments, the TLX gets new engines and power-trains for 2015 including two new direct-injected i-VTEC engines and two new transmissions including the world’s first Dual Clutch Transmission with a torque converter.

The base TLX gets a 2.4-liter four with 206-horsepower mated to an all-new 8-speed Dual Clutch Transmission with torque converter which should be an interesting new drive experience. The company’s 3.5-liter, 290-horsepower V-6 will be available with a new company first 9-speed automatic transmission as well.

Chassis options will also include Acura’s Precision All-Wheel Steer and Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive on upper end trim levels. Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive will be available only with the 3.5-liter V-6 .

Like all recent Acura models, the new TLX will be available with a raft of the latest interior technologies from infotainment to driver assistance. We’ll bring you a more detailed report when we get behind the wheel.

2015 Dodge Charger Pursuit

If when you’re behind the wheel ya spend your time watching the rear view mirror for the law, a new face is on the scene with the 2015 Dodge Charger Pursuit.

With a more sinister look than ever, the re-designed 2015 Charger is reporting for duty, offering police departments a welcome home from the likes of the Ford Taurus and Australian Chevrolet Caprice.

It has what Dodge calls a “superhero” look with a cross-hair grille and a more pronounced “Coke bottle” shape. LED turn signals and daytime running lights will certainly get your attention coming up from behind.

The new 2015 Dodge Charger Pursuit will offer both V6 and V8 power, as well as all-wheel-drive. The pursuit rated 5.7 liter HEMI V8 will offer up 370 horsepower and 0-to-60 time of less than 6 seconds.

For departments less concerned with high-speed pursuit, the still powerful 292 horsepower 3.6 liter V6 will offer up 26 highway mpg.

It of course gets cop shocks, cop tires and cop brakes – namely the large 14.5” front and 13.8” rear disc brakes we might expect to find in the track package.

The interior gets a host of modifications to make its use as an office easier including user programmable buttons on the steering wheel for police equipment, back-up camera and a park assistance system.

Dodge boasts of the most comprehensive factory-installed police equipment package in the industry, offering departments a one stop shop for a fully outfitted cruiser.

2015 Chevrolet Colorado

Chevrolet’s re-entry into the mid-sized pickup market is getting closer this week, the company announcing a starting price of $20,995 for the new 2015 Colorado.

While loosely based on GM’s global compact pickups, the Colorado will be built in the United States and has a completely unique body and interior from that truck sold around the world.

Standard will be a rather robust 200 horsepower 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine available with a 6-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic.

For those wanting more power, you can opt for the 305 horsepower 3.6 liter V-6, that engine coming standard with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Later next year the Colorado will offer a segment first 2.8 liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine which is expected to offer exceptional fuel-efficiency and towing capability for its class.

The new Colorado will be available in only an extended-cab with a five or six-foot beds and a four-door cab with a six-foot bed at launch, no standard cab model will be offered at this time.

The all-new Chevrolet Colorado will be arriving at your local North American dealerships this fall.

Test Drives

This week we tested the 2014 Nissan Rogue compact crossover SUV, a solid competitor to the Toyota RAV4, Honda CRV, and the Ford Escape.

Nissan’s entry brings a number of segment unique features like an available third row seat and the company’s compelling around-view monitor to give it a market edge.

That third row seat is a bit scant but we found the overall driving experience of the Rogue to be well sorted as was the top notch build quality of its interior.

While we usually aren’t much into constantly variable transmissions, this one seems to overcome most of the drivability objections I usually have with them, earning high marks.

Also tested this week was the 2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid, the only full-size sedan offered in its class with the gas-electric option.

Thus it offers up full-sized room and ride along with economy-car fuel-efficiency which is rated up to 40 mpg.

We achieved slightly less at 38 mpg combined in our week with the Avalon Hybrid but keep in mind the air-conditioning was on at all times as it was over 100 degrees every day we were behind the wheel.

This week we’re having a good deal of fun testing the all-powerful 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport. With a 3.6 liter twin-turbocharged V6 rated a 420 horsepower, how can it not be a hoot?

So far we have already eaten through two tanks of gas, prodigiously sinking on the accelerator at every opportunity. But is power everything in a class filled with competitors like Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and BMW?

For these and many other reviews, log onto TestDrivenTV or our YouTube Channel.

Lincoln’s Pocket Park Re-Imagining in San Francisco

For our Reality Check this week, we were checking in on Lincoln to see if the brand was still alive and found their latest press release about re-imagining, something the brand has been busy at for some time.

But it isn’t a new product, instead the company has helped Architectural Digest and Architecture for Humanity through their Lincoln Re-imagine Project to create a pocket park from a dead-end street next to a freeway in San Francisco.

The program has helped artists and designers transform the east end of Burrows Street in the Portola neighborhood of San Francisco with a painted mural on a retaining wall and landscaping a patch of freeway embankment.

Lincoln says it has transformed Burrows Street Park into an enriching and valuable destination that touches and serves the community and reflects the brand’s values.

The news release goes on to talk about how this dead-end street pocket park will become a thriving hub of community-centric events and programming.

The re-imagined park will serve as a working blueprint for a comprehensive, community-led effort for revitalization, and is meant to set a precedent for future public-space improvement projects throughout the city.

Well this is all very nice, and a job well done to beautify a small corner of the city obviously in need of re-imagination, I ask when Lincoln plans on doing the same for their ailing brand?

With entire brand sales with all models combined that equal less than that of the nearly defunct Ford E-Series vans last month, seems some time spent re-imagining some product might be in order no?

Money Shot

Now its time for our Money Shot, our weekly photo chosen from the press-releases that really deserves a look.

The 2015 Corvette Z06 gets our nod this week, in this shot close down in with its sinister black trim and sticky looking tire. It just makes you want to take it out on the track right now doesn’t it?

You can download all of our weekly Money Shots as hi-res wallpapers on our website. Collect them all I say!

Thank you for watching Motoring Monday for August 11, 2014!