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Monterey Car Week events hurt by Carmel's fee increases03/30/2015
Increases in fees could be strangling some events of the big Monterey Car Week.
Taxes and fees are one of the many things car-related events struggle with anywhere -- and events that are part of the big car week in Monterey every August are no exception. Municipal services are a necessary part of organizing a concours or a rally, and every local event has a way of working out the costs. The bucolic burg of Carmel-by-the-Sea, once ruled by resident and former mayor Clint Eastwood, has decided to raise fees charged to several car-related events this year, with the result that at least one of the events will be pulling out of the city.
The Pacific Grove Concours Auto Rally once drove through Carmel on its way around the communities that make up the peninsula. But this year when it leaves Lighthouse and Forest Avenue in Pacific Grove on Friday, Aug. 14, it will skirt the city of Carmel because of an increase in fees the city wants to charge it, according to the Carmel Pine Cone, the local newspaper. Carmel wanted over $12,000 for the rally to come through town and briefly organize in a parking lot before heading back over the peninsula to Pacific Grove. That was more than the charity event could handle.
BBC boss gets bodyguards after death threat following Clarkson firing03/30/2015
BBC director-general Lord Tony Hall received a bodyguard detail after receiving a death threat hours after announcing that Jeremy Clarkson's contract with BBC would not be renewed, Britain's Daily Mail reports.
The threat against Hall and his wife was deemed to be credible, with the network making the decision to hire bodyguards for the network chief on Saturday, March 28. Scotland Yard confirmed to media outlets in the U.K. that it was investigating what was called a "threat to kill" Hall that had been sent via email from overseas on Wednesday, March 25. Neither the BBC nor Scotland Yard elaborated on the specifics of the emailed threat.
"Police in Westminster are investigating an allegation of threats to kill," a Scotland Yard representative told the media. "The allegation was reported to police on Wednesday, March 25. Inquiries continue. No arrests have been made."
2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium Coupe review notes03/31/2015
ASSOCIATE EDITOR GRAHAM KOZAK: Chalk it up to being the first car I’ve driven since the last bit of ice vanished from Detroit-area roads (or what’s left of them), but this 2015 Ford Mustang GT spoke to me in a way that previous ’15 models failed to -- really enjoyed driving around in it, really enjoyed how the six-speed played smoothly with the V8. The looks are growing on me, too; it’s not a radical departure from the previous generation, but I like the little things -- like how the fastback lines flow into the dramatically raked tail end.
All-around increased refinement levels and that independent rear suspension make me wonder, though: What, exactly, is the Mustang? It’s not really a sports car, not really a grand tourer, not really a full-blown muscle car. A pony car, maybe, but what does that even mean?
I don’t think being a little tough to define is necessarily a problem here. When you’ve got a legendary name and 50-plus years of history to go on, simply being a Mustang is probably enough. It helps that the car is certainly capable of speaking for itself under the right circumstances -- and no, I’m not talking about the morning commute or an afternoon at the track.
2015 Mercedes-Benz GLA250 4Matic review notes03/30/2015
DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: I like a lot of the new crop of compact crossovers -- unlike some folks on our staff, I think a comfortable ride height, AWD and decent gas mileage makes a lot of sense, even if the practicality is rarely better than that of a comparable sedan.
Audi and now Mercedes-Benz seem to have settled onto a turbo I4/dual-clutch transmission formula for their entry-level models, and the GLA250 uses the same powertrain as the related Mercedes CLA250 sedan. If you don’t mind the herky-jerky starting and weird low-speed performance of that powertrain, you’ll likely enjoy the GLA. I’m not a fan, and while I acknowledge the fuel economy and performance benefits of a good dual-clutch ‘box, the setup feels awkward in an entry-luxe crossover.
A stab of the throttle is required to get forward (or rearward) motion started in parking lots, and gear changes -- while smooth and quick -- seem to either lug the engine (in the regular “E” mode) or hold gears too long (“S” mode) for around-town driving. Sure, you can bang off reasonably quick shifts via the steering wheel-mounted paddles, but no one really does that and you shouldn’t have to in order to get acceptable shift points.