BIEBER FEVER: Social media kicked into overdrive outrage upon the release of a viral Internet rumour that Canadian music munchkin Justin Bieber had been picked to replace the late Paul Walker in Fast and Furious 7. Turns out it’s not true. The United Kingdom’s Daily Mail is reporting that Walker’s lookalike brother, Cody, will likely stand in for the actor, who was killed Nov. 30 in a fiery single-car crash. Stand down, Twitterverse.
CLASSIC FAKES: Look closer at that vintage vehicle you received as a Christmas present this year – it may not be authentic. Yes, the counterfeit classic car market is booming. “People with a lot of money prefer to have a classic car in the garage than money in the bank,” Adolfo Orsi, a classic-car expert, told Bloomberg News. “When there is a lot of money, there are fakes. In today’s world, it is possible to replicate everything.” Adds Norbert Schroeder, who verifies classic cars at a company in Cologne, Germany: “In the 1990s, I would find one faked car every five years. Now I find up to five fakes a year.” But who is to blame? “The people faking cars are not a few lone wolves,” Schroeder told Bloomberg. “It’s organized crime because it’s expensive to build such cars and you need good infrastructure to do it.”
TOLL TROUBLE: It was labelled America’s version of the autobahn when it opened with much fanfare last year, a Texas toll highway from Austin to San Antonio with a speed limit of 85 mph (137 km/h). Awesome, right? Well, somewhere along the line, reports the Wall Street Journal, it hit a speed bump, failing to attract the drivers it anticipated, and its operators recently hired restructuring lawyers. It’s just one of several toll roads in the United States facing financial woes because of usage that has failed to meet expectations.
THAT’S ALL, VOLKS: Volkwagen’s much-publicized plan to become the world’s largest auto maker by 2018 has taken a wrong turn. Sales have slowed and Jonathan Browning has been replaced by Michael Horn as CEO of the Volkswagen Group of America. Volkswagen said Browning left for personal reasons.
NO DIESEL: The Porsche Macan SUV, introduced with great fanfare at both the Tokyo and Los Angeles auto shows, will hit North American shores early in 2014. However, while Car and Driver is reporting that the Macan S and Macan Turbo will be joined in 2015 by a Macan S diesel south of the border, Porsche officials here say that the diesel option is not in the cards for Canada.
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