Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New cars to cost more as MCD plans parking fee hike

Buying a car in the city is likely to get more expensive. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) plans to double the night parking fee which a buyer has to pay while registering his vehicle.

Those planning to buy cars priced between Rs4 lakh and Rs10 lakh will have to shell out Rs12,000 as night parking charge against the prevailing Rs4,000. For luxury cars, costing more than Rs10 lakh, buyers will have to pay Rs 20,000.

The civic body says it is planning this rise to replenish its depleting coffers. The exponential increase in construction costs is another reason. "There has been tremendous increase in the cost of building material and other expenses. We require more money to ensure that the construction of parking lots is completed on time,`` a senior municipal corporation official said.

The proposal will be placed before the civic body's standing committee on Tuesday. For using MCD roads and parking spaces, Delhiites have to pay a one-time night parking charge to the municipal corporation while registering the vehicle. "People often park vehicles outside their homes or on roads and other public places which belongs to MCD. They have to pay for using MCD land for parking," the official said.

With close to four lakh new cars added every year to Delhi's vehicle load, the proposed increase is likely to become a good source of revenue for the civic agency. Till now, luxury cars did not have to pay these charges. But now MCD plans to levy a charge of Rs 20,000 on all cars priced above Rs 10 lakh.

Similarly, the civic body has almost doubled the annual fees on commercial vehicles. Private buses, tempos and trucks will now have to pay between Rs4,000 and Rs8,000. Keeping in mind the growing number of private and radio taxis with all-India permit, MCD plans to charge Rs 10,000 annually as night parking charges.

Justifying the proposed hike, MCD officials said, for building a manual multi-level parking for one car, the government spends approximately Rs 4 lakh and for an automated multi-level parking the payout is approximately Rs 9 lakh. "This means for every new car in Delhi, the government incurs an expenditure of Rs 4 lakh for a manual parking. With limited parking space available we have no option but to build multi-level parking and with the sharp rise in construction cost, we need more money," said a senior MCD official.

Unfortunately, the parking scenario in the city hasn't improved much in the last few years. MCD has plans for several parking projects, which includes 21 conventional multi-level, 15 automated multi-level and 4 stack parking lots, to create room for close to 8,000 cars. But none of these projects are nearing completion. In fact, most of them, sanctioned in the last two-three years, are in the initial stages.
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bugatti Veyron Super Sport Price: $2.6 million

Bugatti Veyron Super Sport Price: $2.6 millionIt’s hard to pinpoint the raison d’etre of the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, given that the “stock” Veyron is also ridiculously fast reaching a top speed of 407 km/h (253 mph). True, the Super Sport did reach a Guinness World of Records-certified top speed of 431 km/h or 268 mph, however the car shipped to clients are restricted to 415 km/h (258 mph).

So, you have to pay a hefty premium over the less capable Veyrons (the Bugatti 16.4 Grand Sport costs $1.86 million and the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 $1.59 million) for a mere 8 km/h (5 mph) increase in top speed . But in the rich man’s world, prestige is very important, and we’re quite sure that billionaires will happily fork out the dough for the 1,200 horsepower supercar.
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Presidential Porsche causes uproar

Presidential Porsche causes uproarBuying a car is usually a personal matter, but not for Philippine President Benigno Aquino III whose purchase of a Porsche at Christmas has become a headline-grabbing national controversy. Within hours of Aquino admitting last week that he bought a “third-hand” 2007 Porsche for R725 000, the 50-year-old bachelor was swamped by criticism.

While there was no doubt that Aquino used his own money and did not spend a single centavo of government funds, critics said the binge was inappropriate and insensitive for a leader of a country where a third of the population is impoverished.

The news also came at a time when Filipinos struggled with rising prices of fuel, toll fees and basic commodities such as bread and sugar. One left-wing lawmaker lamented that the president's “display of wealth is a troubling reminder of the wide disparity between the rich and the poor in the country.”

A caller on a weekend radio programme even likened Aquino's Porsche purchase to a highly criticised R138 000 dinner of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at New York's Le Cirque restaurant, which was paid for by a wealthy congressman during a trip in 2009.

“I didn't realize until now that he is also insensitive to the plight of poor Filipinos,” the man said. “Why couldn't he wait to buy this expensive toy until after his term as president?”

On the president's official Facebook page, one man told Aquino that he should not be surprised at the criticism because “a president with a Porsche while his people suffer in hunger (is) not a nice picture.”

Aquino, whose bachelor lifestyle has come under scrutiny since he became president on June 30, said he sees nothing wrong with buying the sports car using money he earned from selling an old BMW.

He also stressed that it should not affect his government's austerity campaign and fight against corruption.

“Why would it have an effect? In the first place, that is a third-hand car. Secondly, the government did not pay for it,” he told reporters.

“No one should probably object if sometimes I do something that would make me smile in the face of all the problems I am dealing with,” he added. “There is probably nothing wrong that while I can still drive this kind of car, I will try it out and not just experience it on a video game.”

Die-hard supporters have defended Aquino, arguing that the president had the right to enjoy his own money.

“Let him enjoy the ride, he deserves it,” one car enthusiast said in an online forum.

One fan on his Facebook page said Aquino should just ignore the criticisms and continue with his job, adding that his detractors were just jealous that he could afford a Porsche.

“But if you want, you can just donate it to me,” he added. “I salute you, sir!”

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile urged the public to let Aquino enjoy his new sports car, which he said has no bearing whatsoever on the welfare of the nation.

“If he did not steal it, why should we take away his right to have that kind of car?” he said. “Why should we deny the highest leader of the land to have a Porsche?”

Political columnist Rina Jimenez-David said she believes that Aquino has “the right to ride and drive the car of his choice, especially if he buys this with his own money.”

But Jimenez-David cautioned that the Porsche purchase appears to be sending the wrong message about the Aquino administration.

“It gives us a glimpse into the rather bizarre priorities of the president,” she said. “One would think, given the many grave problems he confronts, that matters of personal whim would take a back seat for now.”

“Was owning a Porsche such an urgent matter?”

A more pressing question to ask, however, is how would these critics react if they ever vistied South Africa? We’d love to be the fly on that wall! -IOL & Sapa-dpa
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Koenigsegg Agera – Price: $1.5 million (estimated)

Koenigsegg Agera – Price: $1.5 million (estimated)With a body made out of carbon fiber and aluminum, the 910 hp Koenigsegg Agera can accelerate from standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under 3.1 seconds. It’s a proper supercar and then some, as the Swedes claim it offers the most luggage space in this segment.

Not the highest priority when buying a vehicle of this kind, but for one and a half million dollars, it's a welcome plus.
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Friday, January 14, 2011

Research reveals reluctance to buy expensive mobile phones for fear of accidental damage

Research reveals reluctance to buy expensive mobile phones for fear of accidental damageNew research commissioned by P2i shows that 43 per cent of people in the US would be put off buying an expensive mobile phone for fear of accidentally damaging it.

The research of 1065 adults, conducted by TNS, also reveals that four in ten people had already damaged their mobile phone by either dropping it in water or spilling liquid on it, while damage caused by scratching and staining was reported by a third of respondents. Bizarrely, 45 people also claimed damage to their mobile phones caused by a pet.

Dr Stephen Coulson, CTO at P2i said, “As consumer electronic devices become smaller, lighter and sleeker, there’s less space for traditional engineered solutions that deter liquids. As a result, mobile phones and other gadgets are a significant new market for nano-coating technologies.

P2i has been out and about promoting Aridion. The substance is applied using a special pulsed ionised gas (plasma), which is created within a vacuum chamber, to attach a nanoscopic polymer layer – one thousand times thinner than a human hair – to the electronic device. This lowers the product's surface energy, so that when liquid comes into contact with it, they form beads and simply roll off.
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Maybach Landaulet – Price: $1.405 million

Maybach Landaulet – Price: $1.405 millionInitially presented at the 2008 Detroit Motor Show, the Maybach Landaulet is based on the 62S and it has a soft top that offers rear passengers an unhindered feeling of space. Powered by a twin turbo V12 engine.

The Landaulet is a luxury apartment on wheels, complete with refrigerator, folding tables and two champagne flutes in hand-polished 925 sterling silver.
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Monday, January 10, 2011

SSC Ultimate Aero – Price: $750,000

Considered by many a Bugatti Veyron-killer, the SSC Aero Ultimate can reach a top speed of 273 mph (439 km/h), thanks to its 1,287 hp V8 engine. Unlike the LeBlanc Mirabeau, this beast comes with quite a long standard equipment list.

Many body parts are made from carbon fiber, but the lightweight material has been also used in the cabin.
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Friday, January 7, 2011

LeBlanc Mirabeau – Price: $728,000

LeBlanc Mirabeau – Price: $728,000The LeBlanc Mirabeau is a pureblooded Swiss racecar, which happens to be street-legal at the same time. Wealthy playboys aren’t going to be overwhelmed by luxury with this one, as leather and other comfort features cost extra.

This machine is all about speed and handling, relying on a supercharged V8 for power, that delivers 700 hp and 850 Nm of torque.
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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ferrari SA Aperta – Price: $520,000 (estimated)

Ferrari SA Aperta – Price: $520,000 (estimated)Showcased at this year’s Paris Auto Show, the SA Aperta (aperta means “open” in Italian) was Ferrari’s way of celebrating the 80th anniversary of Pininfarina. Based on the 599 GTO, the SA Aperta has a removable soft-top roof and features the same 670 hp V12 engine.

With a 0-to-60 time of just 3.5 seconds, the sexiest 599 is quite a performer and a rare car, as only 80 will be built.
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 SuperVeloce – Price: $455,400

Lamborghini Murcielago LP670-4 SuperVeloce – Price: $455,400A very different beast compared to the Drophead Coupe, the Lamborghini LP670-4 SuperVeloce is the swan song of the Murcielago series. Boasting a 6.5-liter V12 engine, capable of 670 hp, the four-wheel drive Italian supercar can reach 60 mph (96 km/h) in less than 3.2 seconds.

Owner of this beast not only have to be rich, but capable as well, especially if they're going to specify the car with the six-speed manual transmission.
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