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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Mar 16 2012, 3:01 PM

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Attention frat boys and country music fans: Willie Nelson’s Rolls-Royce styled golf cart will be up for auction in Palm Beach, Fla. during the upcoming auction from April 5 through 7.

Built in 1981 and given to the country music legend by his former wife, Connie, the electric-powered cart features a Rolls grille and hood ornament and body-styling to match. That’s cool, but as is true with so many other things Willie, the real fun doesn’t begin until the substances start flowing.

The miniature party-mobile has an on-board wet bar with buttons for bourbon, gin, scotch, vodka and a W for water or whiskey. The auction winner will be able to enjoy those beverages while sitting on velvet seats with “Willie” embroidery surrounded by a crest.

Anyone familiar with Florida culture will know that depending on where you are a golf cart is about as common for transportation as a traditional car. That means if the cart stays locally owned, it could be seen humming along to a tee time or just the nearest beach.

Two bags of Nelson’s personal golf bags also come with the purchase, though the drivers, putters, woods and irons are absent.

Seized by the IRS (it looks like they beat the DEA to the punch) from Nelson’s Pedernales Golf Course, the auction is set to start with no reserve.

If you have the cash and feel like one-upping Van Wilder this is probably the purchase for you.

GALLERY: Willie Nelson’s golf cart

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[Source: Barrett-Jackson]

 |  Mar 12 2012, 10:01 AM

While some electric vehicle companies are floundering, AMP Electric Vehicles has just been cleared by the IRS to give a federal tax credit to its customers. 

With the prices of gas steadily increasing, the timing of AMP’s qualification is right on point. Jim Taylor, AMP CEO says “Given the recent increase in gas prices and the low operating cost of an EV, more buyers are turning their attention to EV alternatives.”

Buyers of AMP’s electric vehicles can now get up to $7,500 off in federal tax credits, and additional tax credits of up to $5,000 are also available depending on your state.

AMP provides all-electric versions of Jeep Grand Cherokees and Mercedes-Benz MLs. With the tax credits, it means that buyers could get into an AMP EV for $49,000.

The vehicles both claim a range of at least 80 miles on a single charge, and still boast the same cargo space and passenger room as the standard gas variants, even with the batteries.

 |  Jun 09 2011, 1:51 PM

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (a non-partisan watchdog group) says the Internal Revenue Service failed to stop millions of dollars of fraudulent claims from being issued to prisoners, the deceased and underage applicants.

The IRS’s system is designed to catch fraudulent claims before sending taxpayer money to criminals. However, a Reuters report explains that the qualified motor vehicle deduction (QMV) program was abused by thousand of individuals with a total cost to taxpayers of over $152 million and over $1 million of those losses were filed by prisoners, deceased and underage applicants.

The QMV program was created  by the Obama administration as part of the Stimulus Act, which was intended to offer consumers the ability to write off taxes associated with the purchase of new vehicles weighing less than 8,500 lbs and valued up to $49,500.

According to the report, 4,257 people should have automatically been flagged for being “excessive” according to IRS safeguards, but were not. Additionally, the IRS apparently did not require independent proof that applicants purchased new vehicles, or how much they paid in the taxes they wrote off within the program.

The IRS said they will review the claims found by the watchdog group and take necessary action to recover taxpayer money taken by fraudulent filers.

[Source: Left Lane News]

 |  May 16 2011, 8:38 AM

While the Obama Administration is pushing for a 62-mpg CAFE regulation, promoting small, green cars, the IRS has a plan to get owners of businesses behind the wheel of a gas guzzling behemoth.

In what appears to be a plan to stimulate the economy, the IRS has announced new tax rules for companies that make buying a big truck a more economically feasible decision. New tax deduction rules improve the more you spend, and even go up if you’re truck of choice weighs over 6,000 lbs.

So if you are looking at buying a big truck, like a Cadillac Escalade or Infiniti QX56 (above), the new rules will let you deduct 100% of the car’s value in the first year (subject to a personal use disallowance – essentially meaning it has to be used exclusively for work). The amount of depreciation that can be deducted also varies on the cost of the vehicle, with more expensive machines paired with much more significant deductions. According to figures in the Wall Street Journal, for any vehicle under 6,000 lbs and the first year depreciation deduction is $11,060, but the deduction for following years is much more significant for more expensive vehicle, with a $4,900 second year deduction for a vehicle over $31,000 compared to a $3,200 deduction for a vehicle costing under $20,000.

While this move by the IRS does seem to go against a push for fuel efficient cars by the government, there is an economic policy behind it, helping to promote purchases of large trucks by businesses. The new rules apply to vehicles bought after Sept.8 2010 and up until Jan. 1, 2012.

[Source: WSJ]

See a list of 2011 model year trucks that apply for the bonus credit, as compiled by GMI, after the jump:

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Report: 2014 Ford Mustang to Get Independent Rear Suspension

Future Mustang may go global targeting cars like the BMW M3

 |  Jan 21 2010, 2:42 PM

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Ford is planning an independent rear suspension (IRS) for the next-generation Mustang. Due out in 2014, this next model will celebrate 50 years of the iconic pony car.

The news comes from Motor Trend after discussions with several Ford execs and one unnamed company insider. It is also based on several assumptions, which include the fact that a new global independent rear end platform is in the works after Ford canceled plans for a different rear-drive independent platform that was to underpin the Mustang, next generation Ford Falcon (in Australia) and an upcoming Lincoln model.

A new Mustang-based IRS platform would mean that the Falcon and Lincoln models would be canceled – which Ford has indicated is already the case for the Falcon, a model that has seen sales slum considerably over the past several years.

In order to make a new IRS platform affordable, Ford would have to take the Mustang global. While this does meet with Ford’s new One Ford approach for global platforms, in our recent discussions with Ford marketing boss Jim Farley, he indicated that the Mustang wasn’t likely to ever become a global seller.

Many of the details are still unclear and the report suggests the next Mustang may simply be an evolution of the current car or that it may go in two other very-different directions. The first would be along the lines of the BMW M3, shrinking the size of the car and using a twin-turbo EcoBoost V6. The second would be to take the car to an almost exotic level and take on cars like the Nissan GT-R.

[Source: MotorTrend]

 |  Mar 30 2009, 11:09 AM
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Photo Courtesy whitehouse.gov

While President Barak Obama’s press conference on what his administration is doing to solve the crisis in the U.S. auto industry focused mostly on helping out General Motors and Chrysler, he did give brief mention of a few initiatives aimed at jump-starting car sales at the consumer level.

Two main programs were discussed, including a scrappage program and tax deductions.

President Obama said that he will be looking into ways to see if there is any money to set aside in a fund to create a scrappage plan. While no specifics were given as to the details of the plan, usually these programs give consumers a significant rebate on the purchase of a new car when they trade in or “scrap” their old car. Often cars must be close to 10 years of age to qualify.

A similar program was launched in Germany several months ago with resounding success, boosting car sales by 21 percent in February over the previous period a year earlier. President Obama said that such a plan in the United States could increase car sales by as much as 100,000 units in 2009.

It is not clear if the scrappage plan would apply to just GM and Chrysler products, or to any vehicle manufactured within the United States, or to any vehicle at all.

The second incentive would allow for tax paid on a new car to be deducted from one’s income tax. This program is further developed as President Obama said his administration has already begun working with the IRS. A specific time frame has also been given that would seen the tax deduction apply to any vehicle purchased between February 16th and December 31st of this year.

The scrappage plan, once it goes into effect, would be retroactive as of today.

 |  Feb 05 2009, 5:56 PM

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Thanks to a new low emissions diesel engine, BMW models equipped with the twin-turbo 3.0-liter diesel inline-six motor will qualify for a tax credit, valued at up to $1,800.

The Advanced Lean Burn Technology Motor Vehicle Tax Credit has just been confirmed by the IRS, and is awarded to vehicles that burn significantly less fuel and produce less greenhouse gas emissions. The credit applies to the new 335d and X5 xDrive35d models and is valued at $900 and $1,800 respectively.

“Qualification for these tax credits is further recognition of the remarkable efficiency of our new BMW Advanced Diesel models,” said Jim O’Donnell, President of BMW of North America, LLC.

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The 335d and X5 xDrive35d share BMW’s high-performance, BluePerformance twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six diesel motor that makes 265hp and 425 ft-lbs of torque. Thanks to all that power the 335d can hit 60 mph in just 6.0-seconds and the X5 xDrive35d will do the same sprint in just 6.9-seconds.

Despite the performance figures the 335d gets a modest 23 mpg in the city and an incredible 36 mpg on the highway! The diesel X5 is slightly less impressive (although still great for an SUV) with a city/highway rating of 19/26 mpg.

See the AutoGuide complete reviews of the 335d and X5 xDrive35d here:

BMW 335d

BMW X5 xDrive35d

Official release after the jump:

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