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2019 Hyundai Santa Fe unveiled

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Hyundai has lifted the covers off their new 2019 Santa Fe, giving the SUV a new look, upgraded tech, and a new diesel option for the North American market.

The 2019 facelift, the fourth since its inception in 2001, will see its models streamlined as the previously named Santa Fe Sport will now just be called the Santa Fe, while the 7-seater version will be named the Santa Fe XL.

The Santa Fe will sport a redesigned front end, standard with LED lights, wider stance, and what Hyundai calls a “bold new look”. Hyundai has also promised a larger daylight opening, as well as additional interior design elements aimed at improving the driving experience.

New engine, more tech

The two petrol engines on offer are the 2.4 liter inline four-cylinder GDI engine (185 hp) or a more powerful, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (232 hp). The latest edition is the revised 2.2-liter CRDi turbodiesel engine.  The diesel variant will give customers a torquey 320 pound feet with its 200 horsepower output and is slated to arrive in early 2019. The diesel option is only available in the model’s 3-row version, and like its petrol counterparts, will come mated to a new 8-speed automatic transmission.

Techwise, consumers will get the Qi-standard wireless smartphone charging pad, and in its highest trims, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on an 8.0-inch touchscreen. Those opting for the top of the line will also get a HUD that projects its information on an 8.5-inch display area that boasts a wide array of options and functions. Base models come equipped with the 7.0-inch interface.

A North American bestseller

There have been 1.5 million Santa Fe’s sold in America since 2001, Hyundai hopes the upgrades and design changes will continue their strong presence in the North American market. And while the Santa Fe has never been the most exciting option when it comes to SUVs, it continues to be strong in the practicality and value categories.

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Rare Ferrari GTO sells for record $70 million

How much money would you pay for the car of your dreams?

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How much money would you pay for the car of your dreams? What about a one-of-a-kind beauty that you see driving past your prestige dealer? How about a rare 1963 Ferrari GTO?

If you are Dave MacNeil, the answer to the latter, is USD $70 million. MacNeil, who is the CEO of automotive weather guard company WeatherTech, shelled out the record amount for a rare Ferrari.

It is no ordinary rare Ferrari of course. While already limited to 39 builds, this particular one, chassis number 4153 GT, is special. The car won the 1964 Tour de France motor race and finished fourth at Le Mans in 1963.

Records Broken

The $70 million paid by MacNeil eclipses the previous record for the Ferrari GTO. In 2013, a GTO was sold for a then record $53 million.

The Ferrari GTO is powered by a 3.0-litre V12 engine and is one of only 39 built between 1962-1964.

MacNeil joins an exclusive group of GTO owners that include Ralph Lauren and Walmart heir Rob Walton.

How much is too much?

When you are in the same tax bracket as the Ralph Laurens and Walmarts of the world, perhaps there really isn’t a price that is too much for a prized automobile. It is truly rarefied air when the cars in your collection exceed seven digits a piece. For the rest of us, it seems utterly ridiculous of course. Collectors however, do see the worth of these incredibly rare vehicles.

How would you rather spend $70 million? I would definitely buy an expensive sports car, but one for considerably less.

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Camaro coming to Australia as an automatic only

The Chevrolet Camaro is officially coming to Australia this year as an import from Holden Special Vehicles. Excitement may have been tempered slightly with its expected high price, and its auto-only option.

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With the demise of local manufacturing, Australian buyers looking for grunt outside of expensive European options have flocked to the Ford Mustang. Almost 10,000 ‘Stangs were sold last year, which is enough proof that, while Australians don’t make affordable muscle cars anymore, they still want to buy them.

Holden, without a flagship V8 for the first time in decades, is turning to its parent company GM for a much needed boost. Holden’s performance arm, Holden Special Vehicles, announced earlier that the Chevy Camaro, in its 2SS trim, will be made available this year.

Good News and Bad News

That’s definitely the good news portion of it. While the thrill of locally made, hotted-up Commodores have been put to bed, the Camaro is more than a worthy successor. HSV have announced the specs for the 2SS for Australia, proving that it’ll pack quite the punch to satisfy the cravings of auto enthusiasts and muscle car fans.

The Australian 2SS Camaros will come with a 6.2-litre Gen 5 LT1 V8, packing 454hp (339kW) and 455 ft-lb of torque (617Nm). It will have Brembo brakes, a bi-modal exhaust, tons of technology and a variety of colour options.

So what is bad news here? Well, the Camaros have started arriving in Australia in your factory standard left-hand drive version. They are being converted to right-hand drive by HSV, which will add a hefty bump to the price tag. While no official numbers have been released just yet, speculation is that the price will come in around USD$60,400 (AUD$80,000). That’s almost $20k more than made-for-Australia Mustangs. HSV says they will be looking to keep numbers at 1,000 units a year, well below that of Ford’s current Mustang sales.

Another sticking point for performance enthusiasts is that the Australian Camaros will be available with an automatic transmission only. I know that probably stings, so I’ll let that sink in for a moment. Equipped with paddle shifters, it’ll be mated to an 8-speed auto transmission, which means the Camaro will be based on the outgoing 2018 model, and not the new 2019.

Still a Winner

Time will tell how the factory-backed Camaro will do. European performance cars have done pretty well with automatic transmissions, so it shouldn’t really hurt that much. While on the pricey side, the Camaro will still be far more affordable than an Audi RS or BMW M-series. It is a just a shame that this particular car, one that is aimed at filling in some lofty Commodore shoes, comes a little shackled from the get-go.

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