Thursday, January 27, 2011

Spied: 2012 Ford Falcon GT-H

When a 450-horsepower supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 is not enough, Ford will soon offer an even more powerful version of the engine — in the Australian Falcon sedan. That model — the Falcon GT-H, is shown here, winter testing.

The car you’re seeing here starts with the 2011 Mustang’s 5.0-liter V-8 and adds a supercharger for Falcon GT duty. Upgrading to the GT-H means including twin intercoolers, pushing horsepower closer to 500.

Ford’s Falcon GT hit the streets at the very end of 2010. The model represented the first time Ford Performance Vehicles used a supercharger.

“FPV’s customers certainly won’t be disappointed by the performance of the new GT range, or in the way the cars drive, and they have real presence with the new graphics package,” said FPV general manager Rod Barrett about the Falcon GT.

The GT-H may borrow the GT-P’s 13-inch Brembo brakes with six-piston calipers front and rear. The prototype shown here wears chunky, five-spoke wheels and has a big spoiler like the GT model. It remains to be seen whether the GT-H will be offered with eye-catching paint packages seen on other high-performance Falcons.

LED daytime running lights similar to those seen on the Fiesta, Taurus, and Edge might be integrated into the lower fascia. Then again, with those two intercoolers, the space normally reserved for fog lights may have been removed to provide more space.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Car: 2012 Mercedes C63 AMG

It is always tough to follow-up a hit; records, movies, restaurants, when you get something right the first time it can be a daunting task to do better. The Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG rocked the mid-sized performance sedan market when it stormed into BMW and Audi’s playground and laid an old-school smack-down of torque and tire smoke on its more reserved German competitors.

When Mercedes released photography of the 2012 C-Class, the first question was, how will this affect the C63? Well first the best news: AMG has decided to stay with the normally-aspirated 6.2-liter V-8 from the previous car. The burbling monster that really defines the car is rated at 451 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. An optional AMG Development Package includes forged pistons, lightweight connecting rods, revised crankshaft and revised ECU programming and increases the horsepower figure to 481. The package also includes an increase in the speed limiter to 174mph, red brake calipers over two piece 14.2-inch front rotors, an AMG performance steering wheel and last but not least a carbon-fiber rear lip spoiler.

The C63 is equipped with AMG’s MCT single-clutch automatic transmission that is equipped with four different modes. One of those modes incorporates a launch-control feature to optimize performance off the line to satisfy your inner drag racer.

It sounds as if Mercedes and AMG have kept everything that made the previous car so good and simply replaced its few soft spots. The transmission will be a welcome addition as will some of the luxury features. Overall, we are just thrilled beyond belief that the big thumper of a V-8 is still under the hood.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Nissan COTY Trophy for leaf 2011

Now, before someone adds a comment of the sort "in other related news, Audi unveiled the new A6", let us make it clear that we're not reporting on the actual Car of the Year (COTY) 2011 results, which were announced in late November 2010, but on the special ceremony that took place at the Pavillion Gabriel in Paris earlier this week to hand over the trophy to this year's winner, the new Nissan Leaf.
The trophy was received by Nissan Motor Co.'s President and CEO Carlos Ghosn, who of course, was extremely happy with the results.
"It is a great honor for Nissan LEAF to be recognized as the European Car of the Year - the first all-electric car to receive this distinction, " said Mr. Ghosn. "Like previous Car of the Year winners, Nissan LEAF is an appealing, competitive car, with no compromise on style, features, safety, performance or handling. Yet it stands apart as an innovative car that reflects a clear vision of the future of transportation - a vision of sustainable mobility."

Speaking at the ceremony Håkan Matson, president of the CoTY jury said: "I am convinced that we will see other electric cars named Car of the Year in the future. But when we do, we must always remember that only one can be the first. And that is why Nissan LEAF Car of the Year 2011 is - and will remain - so very special," said Håkan Matson, president of the CoTY jury, speaking at the ceremony.
You can view the results in detail here, but we'll remind you that the 58 jury members from 23 European countries placed the all-electric Nissan Leaf in first place with 257 points, followed by the Alfa Romeo Giulietta with 248 points and the Opel Meriva small MPV with 244 points. This is the second time Nissan has won the COTY, the first being in 1993 with the Micra, which became the first ever Japanese model to win the accolade. 


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Volvo V60 Diesel-Electric Plug-in Hybrid

The 2011 Geneva Motor Show will host the world premiere of the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid, a near production-ready model that is said to return a very impressive 125 mpg US (1.9 lt/100 km), with CO2 emissions under 50 g/km. In order to achieve this, engineers entered a new variable into the plug-in hybrid equation: a diesel engine.
The V60’s front wheels are driven by a 2.4-liter 5-cylinder turbo diesel powerplant capable of 215HP and 440 Nm (325 lb-ft) of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. At the back, there's a 70HP electric motor that powers the rear wheels and a 12kWh lithium-ion battery pack.
According to Volvo, the V60 Plug-in Hybrid “features the very best properties from three different car types in one sports wagon”, including an all-electric driving mode with a range of up to 32 miles (52 km).

“In order to get true car enthusiasts to think green, you have to offer them the opportunity to drive with low carbon dioxide emissions without taking away the adrenaline rush that promotes genuine driving pleasure. The V60 Plug-in Hybrid has all the traditional properties of a genuine sports wagon. What we've done is to spice it up with spearhead technology”, said Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO of Volvo Cars.
Jointly developed by Volvo and Swedish energy supplier Vattenfall, the V60 Plug-in Hybrid is scheduled to enter series production in 2012.


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New Car: 2012 Mahindra Genio

Mahindra & Mahindra has launched its next-gen commercial vehicle, the Genio, in Mumbai. Targeting to a captive segment – small and medium business needs – the Genio pick-up is priced at Rs 4.99 lakh for the BS-III variant (ex-showroom Navi Mumbai). With the launch of the Genio, M&M is expecting to change the face of the pick-up industry in India.

The Genio single-cab pick-up will be the second product after Maxximo that will be rolled out of Mahindra’s new Chakan facility. The pickup has been developed from Mahindra’s Ingenio platform (U-platform) – the same platform which formed the basis of the Xylo MPV. This 1.2 tonne pickup will also be powered by the same mDi CRDe motor from the Xylo D2, but in a detuned state. The motor now produces 75bhp, 20bhp less than the Xylo D2, while the max torque remains identical at 22kgm.

Speaking at the launch, Dr. Pawan Goenka, President, Automotive & Farm Equipment Sectors, M&M said, “The Genio is a result of extensive consumer insight which captured the latent and expressed needs of the customer. The Genio is an ideal vehicle for businessmen, traders and SMEs. I am confident that it would be a game changer for the pickup segment in times to come.”

Mahindra already has its Bolero pick-up doing duty in the segment, which the manufacturer dominates with 75 percent market share. The segment has seen a growth of 5 percent in the pervious year and is expected to grow in double digits this year. The underperforming segment which had seen no new launches for the last four years – the most recent being the Bolero pick-up – needed fresh products to help it grow. The newly launched Genio will now directly compete with the Tata 207 Di.

On the occasion, Rajesh Jejurikar, Chief Executive, Automotive Division, M&M said, “The pickup industry in India is more than 6500 vehicles per month and growing. With the majority market share that we command, the onus is on us to offer superior products thereby driving the industry growth. Genio has been launched keeping this in mind.”

Launch of the Genio threatens to canablise the market share of Mahindra’s own Bolero pickup. However, Jejurikar is hopeful that the new product won’t eat up into Bolero’s market. He added, “Genio will not canablise Bolero’s market as they are targeted at different customer base. And even if it happens, it will help the segment grow overall.”

The Genio has been developed with an investment of Rs 225 crore and Mahindra claims that more products on the similar platform are in the pipeline. Looking at the value-for-money quotient of CNG powered vehicles; Mahindra is also working on a CNG powered variant of the Genio on priority basis, which will be followed by a double cab pick-up version on the similar platform in future.

At present, Mahindra’s Chakan plant has a capacity of manufacturing 2000 Genios per month, which can be expanded to meet with the market demands. Mahindra is also eyeing the export markets where it’s already selling the Scorpio and the Bolero pickups. “For now, the Genio has been developed for the Indian market only. We are looking at select export markets, but that will happen only after six months,” Goenka said.

The Genio is available in BS-IV variant as well which will be around Rs 15000-18000 dearer than the BS-III version. Offered in four attractive colour options – Silver Shine, Diamond White, Marvel Granite and Skyline Blue, the Genio will be available across 70 dealerships at the time of the launch. And by mid-February 2011, the pickup will be available across Mahindra CV dealerships pan India.

Thanks to: Autocar India

New Car: 2011 Porsche Panamera 4S Exclusive Middle East Edition

Porsche has revealed this limited edition Panamera 4S at the Qatar motor show in Doha.

The Porsche Panamera 4S Exclusive Middle East Edition will be limited to just 66 units for sale in the Middle East only. The special model is from Porsche Design and its interior is upholstered in bright Carrera Red leather, including the doors and dash, while the exterior paint finish is a special Carrera White Metallic paint finish.

The exterior colour is also used for the front air intakes, rear bumper, rear diffuser and the headlight washer system. It gets 20-inch Turbo II alloy wheels.

An Alcantara black headliner also features in the interior, which is trimmed with carbonfibre, and comes with a steering wheel and gear selector wrapped in black leather. The Porsche logo is embossed in the headrests of the red leather front seats and the key fob is made from the same material.

It comes with the standard 395bhp 4.8-litre V8 from the 4S complete with a seven-speed PDK gearbox and all-wheel drive. The Sport Chrono package is standard on the Middle East Edition.

Prices start from just over £100,000.

Thanks to: Autocar

New Car: 2012 Honda Accord (European Version)

Spot the difference! Honda has revealed a revised version of the Honda Accord, which includes a mildly updated look as well as a range of chassis and engine tweaks.

At the front Accord models now get a new bumper, grille and headlights but only the most eagle-eyed of motorists will be able to spot the subtle changes. Meanwhile, at the rear is a slightly reshaped bumper and re-styled lights.

There have been a few changes to the interior too including a silver finish for the door handles and handbrake. ES and EX models also get ambient blue lighting in the footwells too.

The biggest updates though, are unseen. Honda claims refinement has been improved with the use of targeted sound-deadening under the bonnet.

Improvements in efficiency have been made to the Accord's 148bhp 2.2-litre diesel engine, cutting CO2 emissions down to 138g/km – down from 147g/km. For estate models the figure now stands at 143g/km.

The 2.0-litre i-VTEC petrol engine has also seen CO2 emissions in the saloon cut from 168g/km to 159g/km.

There's a range of new viusal upgrades available too, including 17-inch alloys on ES and ES GT models as well as three new colours.

The facelifted Accord will debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March with sales starting in July. For more details click here.

Thanks to: Auto Express

New Car: 2011 Mercedes G55 AMG Arabia

Think the street legal Volkswagen Race Touareg 3 Qatar is one insane SUV? We managed to spot two additional SUVs on display at the 2011 Qatar Motor Show that happen to walk — if not run — on the wild side.

With some legendary off-road credentials and nearly 507 horsepower on tap, the Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG is already a pretty outrageous (and ostentatious) SUV — but that hasn’t stopped the automaker from crafting a special Arabia Limited Edition model for the Middle Eastern market. Admittedly, the modifications are subtle, limited mostly to black trim pieces, wheels, and a single paint stripe down the sides of the vehicle.

Mechanically speaking, the G55 Arabia Edition is the splitting image of stock G55 models. Power still comes from a supercharged 5.4-liter V-8, and is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission and a four-wheel-drive system complete with locking front, center, and rear differentials.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Concept Car: Volkswagen Touareg Gold Edition

While the Race Touareg 3 caters to performance junkies, the new Touareg Gold Edition targets those seeking the most opulent SUV possible. Although the special Magic Morning white paint contains hints of gold, the SUV’s name stems directly from its exterior trim. The Gold Edition’s 22-inch wheels, roof rails, window frames, mirror caps, and other trim pieces are actually plated in 24-karat gold.

Inside, Gold Edition Touaregs are fitted with white Nappa leather seats and a matching headliner fashioned from Alcantara, while the dashboard — also trimmed in leather — receives a natural brown hue. Walnut burr accents are used throughout the cabin, many of which receive gold inlays.

Currently, both the Gold Edition and the homologated Race Touareg are billed as concepts, but there’s a fair chance each could see limited production. We overheard VW officials saying their “price is fixed, but volume is not.” Expect each to be built in small numbers, with most — if not all — headed to Middle Eastern markets.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

New Concept Car: Volkswagen Race Touareg 3

Most of the hubbub at the 2011 Qatar Motor Show surrounds Volkswagen’s small, fuel-sipping concept car, but the automaker also chose to debut two special-edition versions of its Touareg SUV at the same venue.

Of the two, perhaps the most adept at actually tackling the desert sands is the new Race Touareg 3 Qatar. As the name suggests, this is an evolution of Volkswagen’s diesel-powered race buggy (the same vehicle recently dominated the Dakar Rally), but is actually designed to be street legal — at least in Qatar. Lights have been revised as to comply with legal standards, while the interior is dressed up ever so mildly with leather door panel inserts, along with Recaro seats trimmed in Nappa leather.

Make no mistake: this is still a race-ready vehicle. If the retention of the roll cage (now painted Serpentino Grey metallic) and the race seating wasn’t enough of a tip-off, the powertrain itself should be. Like the actual race-spec Race Touareg 3s, the street-legal version makes use of a 2.5-liter, twin-turbocharged, 2.5-liter I-4, which churns out 305 horsepower. Partnered with both a five-speed sequential gearbox and an all-wheel-drive system, the Race Touareg 3 Qatar is still capable of sprinting from 0-60 mph in less than six seconds and reaching a top-speed of 117 mph off-road.

Much as we like the notion of purchasing a street-legal rally weapon, we think more buyers will be interested in Volkswagen’s other introduction.

Thanks to: Motor Trend

Sneak Peek: Toyota FT-86 II Concept

Toyota has released a teaser image of the FT-86 II sports car concept, which the automaker confirms will debut at the Geneva auto show in early March. The FT-86 II is, of course, a sequel to the FT-86 that was shown at the 2009 Tokyo show, and it’s still officially in concept status. The same goes for its Subaru brother, a concept of which is also set to bow in Geneva, but bear in mind that neither is far removed from the production designs that will eventually arrive in dealerships.

Thanks to the magic of Photoshop, we’ve lightened Toyota’s teaser image for a clearer look at the car. The pic reveals squinty headlights and a big mesh lower grille that resembles our earlier rendering of the FT-86. The company promises this car demonstrates its “reborn passion” for sporty cars, something that has been missing from Toyotas of late.

Both the Toyota and Subaru versions of the car may bow in production form on their home turf at the Tokyo auto show this December—two years after the original Toyota FT-86 concept first saw the light of day. While we know the cars will use boxer engines and rear-wheel drive layouts, many questions remain, including whether turbocharging or all-wheel drive are on the agenda for either. For the Toyota, we’re expecting a final name that somehow includes the number 86, especially in light of the company’s recent trademark filing for a boxer-engined “86″ logo.

Keep an eye out during our coverage of the Geneva show for more information on the FT-86 II and Subaru concepts and—hopefully—the production versions, too.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

New Car: 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2 Bicolore

While debuting a super-fuel-efficient VW concept may have seemed out of place in Qatar, using an auto show in the land of the oil-rich to unveil a special-edition Gallardo seems just about right. The two-tone Gallardo Bicolore will be offered only with all-wheel drive as an LP560-4 in other markets, but the version that makes it to us will drive just the rear wheels—à la Gallardo Valentino Balboni—and be dubbed LP550-2. (Yes, that means our cars will make 10 fewer horsepower.)

Aside from the welcome fact that it means more rear-wheel-drive Gallardos coming to our shores beyond the sold-out Balbonis, this special edition is basically an appearance package. But what an appearance it is. The blacked-out greenhouse—which starts at the base of the windshield and extends to the area between the taillights—lends a very tailored look to an already svelte-seeming vehicle. It accentuates the flowing line from front fender to rear haunch, quite possibly making it the best-looking Gallardo yet. Gloss black is applied to the front splitter, air intakes, and rear diffuser. The normally optional glass engine cover is standard here, providing an unobstructed view of the 542-hp V-10 that powers the rear wheels.

The not-black part of the car is available in five shades with names—like all Lambo colors—so wonderfully Italian we just have to share them: Giallo Midas (yellow), Arancio Borealis (orange), Grigio Telesto (gray), Bianco Monocerus (white), and Blu Caelum (blue). The interior gets a dark leather treatment set off by contrasting stitching that corresponds to the exterior color on all but the white car (that one, like the gray car, uses gray thread, too).

One important distinction between this and the Balboni: the transmission. Whereas Valentino’s car came with the six-speed manual, offering Lamborghini’s e-gear transmission as a $10K option, the Bicolore comes only with the single-clutch e-gear automatic.

A total of 222 Bicolores will be offered worldwide. The LP550-2 version will be available here in March starting at $194,000, which is well under the price tag for the e-gear–equipped Balboni ($235,795). Oh, and fuel economy? Leave that to the VW.

Thanks to: Car and Driver

Toyota Avensis BTCC 2011

The touring car version of Toyota's Avensis sedan has moved a step closer to its competition debut following extensive wind tunnel testing at MIRA's aerodynamic analysis facility. The Avensis NGTC (Next Generation Touring Car) is being constructed by GPR Motorsport and is scheduled to hit the tarmac for the first time in the opening rounds of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) at Brands Hatch on 3 April. As you can see in the photo below, the NGTC specification Avensis was joined in the MIRA wind tunnel by a road-going model equipped with a rear wing as the TOCA technical staff wanted to establish a baseline for the car’s aerodynamics.
“We needed to fix a position for the rear wing, based on the aerodynamics of the road car, which gave the levels of downforce we were looking for,” said the championship’s technical director, Peter Riches. “I am pleased to say that this was quickly achieved, and it means that we now have a base line for all cars built to the NGTC regulations and have saved a lot of development time and potential expense for the teams.”

Toyota Avensis BTCC concept 2010
The Japanese firm is not competing in the series with a works team, but does supply the donor cars and body shells to GPR Motorsport. Up until now, two private teams - Dynojet and Speedworks - have taken up the challenge to run in the Avensis, but the company said it hoped that their example will be followed by others "looking to take advantage of the reduced costs of development associated with the new car".

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Audi R8 Spyder 2011

If the factory ready Audi R8 Spyder isn't quite to your liking, perhaps the tuning folks over at Sport Wheels can help you build the roadster of your dreams, albeit at a very, very steep price. If our calculations are correct, the full treatment will cost you around €62,000 (US$85,000 at the current exchange rates) or about half the price of an all-new R8 Spyder in Germany.
The tuning house begins from the outside with numerous carbon fiber parts including the front bumper (€7,799), brake cooling ducts (€1,259), front spoiler (€1,799), rear bumper (€4,799), rear diffuser (€3,799) and fixed wing (€1,999).
Next up are the engine and exhaust system upgrades (€6,048), which help boost output to 600HP and 580Nm of peak torque. Stopping power can be further improved with MOV´IT-CER ceramics brake calipers, but at a ludicrous cost of €21,990. 

Those sexy looking alloy wheels sized 20-inch up front and 21-inch at the back with Dunlop Sport Maxx tires are priced at €4,599, while the tune is completed with an aluminum coil-over suspension for €7,349.


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Car Tire Tips For Consumers In Macedonia Ohio

It's been stated that your auto or truck tires are the lone thing linking you and the road. To give you firm handling, and superior traction, make sure you get your tires checked regularly. Bald tires are a bad idea anytime.

If you want to prevent tire harm you ought to test your tire's air pressure one time a month.

The proper tire pressure is found on the vehicle placard & can be found in the car owner's manual, beneath the gas tank lid , all along the driver's side door edge, and all along the door post.

Your air pressure found on the side of your tire is not the right air pressure for your car. That number is the utmost air pressure for the tire. Always also bear in mind to test the air in your spare tire.

Make sure you test your tire pressure one time a month. Inaccurate air pressure often is the principal cause of tire destruction

You need to prevent getting stranded or paying out costly towing fees. Verify your air pressure on your spare on a regular basis. When you've got different rims than came on your car originally, make sure that the bolts on your spare tire are the right fitting.

Failure to keep your tires properly inflated can encourage wear and will have a negative effect on your autos handling.

If you are checking and adjusting tire pressure, the following need to be kept in mind:

Check the air pressure at the time the tire is cold. Tires get hot even after traveling just a mile. If you have to drive to pump air to your tire, confirm your air pressure just before you leave. Air pressure moves 1-2 pounds for every 10 degrees of temperature difference. Air pressure goes up in warm weather and down in cold weather conditions.

To avoid hydroplaning and skidding your tires have to have proper tread depth. The minimum tread depth is 1/16th of and inch.

Ask over anyone to tell you the best technique to verify your tread depth, and they are going to tell the penny test. What's the penny test? Get a penny and rest it in the tread of your tire. If part of Lincoln's head is covered by the tread, the tires have enough tread. In the event you can see Lincoln's entire head, you should buy a new set of tires.

You might want to also test your tire tread for asymmetrical wear. Uneven abrasion shortens the life of your tires.

Your car tire pressure needs to be the same on the tires of each axle, but may be different on the front and rear axle.

Valve caps have to be tightly closed to defend the valve from dust and filth and prevent it from leaking. Install absent valve caps immediately.

Use this opportunity to inspect your tires to be certain that you have nothing stuck in them or they have no deformities.

Be certain to regularly inspect your tread depth.

If you ever think you have uneven wear it is best to take your car to your tire dealer.

Repeated tire rotation extends tire life. The best way to avoid uneven wear and tear is to have your tires rotated every 6,000 - 8,000 miles or as specified in your vehicle's owner manual.

Curbs may demonstrate to be great trouble to your tires.

Move toward curbs with attention, When you drive over them very fast or at the incorrect angle, the shock may trigger the tire to crack. Stay away from potholes or wreckage in the road when doable. Keep away from sharp stops & starts. Remember to check your owner's manual for your autos maximum load. Overloading your car could shorten your tire's life.

Make sure you trade your tires with the same type of tires that came on your car's original equipment. This consists of tire size, type and speed rating.

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Car Number Plates - Some Things to Think About

When it comes to making your car your very own, there are many things to consider. For example, you are going to take the matters of colour and design of your car into serious consideration. Your car is a after all a great way to express your creative side. For many people, a car is as important as a home. This makes sense, since cars are serious investments, being for most people the second most expensive thing they ever buy. This also makes sense because of how much time we end up spending in our cars, especially if you use yours to get to work and have to drive a long way! The truth of the matter is that many people are inseparable from their cars. If this sounds like you, then you may want to put some serious though into the car number plates that you have.

Personalised Number Plates

When you are shopping around for personalised car number plates, you will be tempted to go to a local business. This used to make sense for many different reasons, but in today's world there are better options. When you use the internet, you are able to have a wider variety of choices. As a matter of fact, the internet allows auto owners to have more options than ever before. When you have more options, you also have the ability to save money. You will be able to save a few pounds, which in today's economy does certainly count. We are all trying to cut back on unnecessary expenses, and if you can get high quality plates for a low price online, you should certainly take advantage of the opportunity.

Not all Sites are Genuine

Keep in mind, however, that there are many car number plates websites that are not legitimate or which do not do great work. You can often single these websites out because they do not have great customer followings or very low organic rankings on Google. They also try to lure you in with free gifts and deals that seem too good to be true. One of the best ways to check on them (and any other online vendor) is to have a look at their reviews. When you are looking for plates, however, there should be a few things that you are keeping in mind. You should be concerned with, first of all, the quality of the plates. You want plates that look good. Second, you will want a website that give you control over the design.

Check Out the Reviews - Google Does!

So when it comes to getting car number plates via the web, you can't go wrong if you check out the customer reviews and testimonials. These are most always written by people just like you who have used the company and have been supremely satisfied. This sort of feedback is important, especially when it comes to shopping online and rumours say is already being used by Google when deciding who to put into their results, especially it seems for the local 'Places' listings. So if others have used a website and have been satisfied enough to write good things about it, then there is no reason to believe that your experience will be any different. So go ahead and order.

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