The Whole New Toyota Camry

Dated: 7 Mar 2012
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Categoiry: Billet Grilles, Deflectors, Exterior Accessories

Toyota has manufactured and sold 15 million Camry models across 100 countries since it debuted way back in 1983. It’s a number that’s nearly unfathomable. If all of those polite four-doors were still roaming the earth, there’d be one for every man, woman and child in Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. combined, and you’d still have a almost a million vehicles left over. Even more eye-widening is Toyota’s claim that of the Camry models built and sold over the last 15 years, 90 percent are still happily enduring a daily commute on nearly every corner of the planet. By sheer volume and longevity, the Camry is nothing short of an engineering and manufacturing wonder.

Almost by default, the Camry has grown to become the vehicle by which all other mid-sized creations must measure themselves, and over the past two years, Ford, Hyundai, Kia and Volkswagen have unveiled products designed specifically to lure buyers from the Toyota model’s swollen ranks. In response, Toyota City has turned out the seventh-generation Camry – a model that’s been altered with blink-and-you’ll-miss-it delicacy. But as millions of current Camry owners will tell you, that may not be a bad thing.

Catch the 2012 Toyota Camry from the corner of your eye and chances are good you’ll have a hard time telling it from its predecessor. The latest generation carries itself with dimensions identical to the 2011 model. Total length, wheelbase, width and height are all carried-over dimensions, resulting in a familiar profile. Even so, the company’s engineers and designers have cloaked the sedan in entirely new sheetmetal from stem to stern. A completely new nose incorporates a refreshed headlight design with an integrated chrome grille. The assembly splays from fender to fender with the goal of giving the vehicle the impression of greater width without actually stretching the model’s track.


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Ford Truck is Almost as Ridiculous as it is Massive

Dated: 22 Feb 2012
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Categoiry: Billet Grilles, Exterior Accessories, Floor Mats & Liners, Interior Accessories

It seems with custom 4×4 show trucks and the people who build them “more” is always better. It doesn’t particularly matter what it is—wheels, lift, length, silly graphics—the more there is, the better it is. If ever there were a vehicle to illustrate this way of thinking it’s this 6×6 1993 Ford F350 currently listed on Ebay.

Why have four wheel drive when you can have six wheel drive? Amusingly enough, that is exactly what this truck has—thanks to the two transfer cases, the trucks second rear axle is actually functional, allowing you to drive this truck in two, four, or six wheel drive.

If a double cab long bed pickup truck with 42″ tires wasn’t tall or long enough already for your taste, this is the vehicle for you. Thanks to the air ride suspension, the truck can lift itself and additional 5″-6″ on command. The extra rear axle necessitated stretching the truck’s bed 24″ and the “complexity” of the massive stereo meant an additional 18″ were added in between the cab and the bed.

The result is as you can see an absolute monster. We cannot even imagine what kind of ridiculous turning radius this thing has, but driving this 6×6 promises to be an adventure at best. In case you do get stuck in an embarrassing position because of this truck’s massive wheelbase there is a propane based flame thrower hooked up to the dual stacks. At least you can entertain everyone inconvenienced by the immensity of your vehicle.

Although the owner has “over $65,000″ invested in this massive custom truck, it’s listed with no reserve and the current high bid of $6100 is quite a bit less that. If you’re interested in the truck the seller is flexible and is considering trades. Just don’t offer any “stupid shit” in trade for his 30 foot long six wheel drive lifted F350 with purple graphics.

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2012 Mercedes ML350 Review

Dated: 7 Feb 2012
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Categoiry: Billet Grilles, Exterior Accessories
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The redesigned 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class impresses reviewers with its attractive exterior, powerful, yet fuel-efficient V6 engines and more standard features.

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class is completely new, and reviewers are happy about the changes they’ve seen so far. The consensus of the auto press for the 2011 model was that it was pricey, and its competitors offered better value. Mercedes-Benz must have taken these comments to heart, because the 2012 M-Class comes with a more extensive list of standard features and has the same base price as the outgoing model. “Mercedes-Benz continues to keep it fresh with an all-new version of its popular M-Class SUV. More powerful engines with better fuel economy, improved handling and new technologies are all ingredients to a prize-winning recipe,” writes Left Lane News. “That they are able to do it and add additional content while holding the line on price-creep is even more impressive.”

At the heart of the redesigned M-Class are two new V6 engines that reviewers praise for being powerful and refined. While early luxury midsize SUVs were lumbering, truck-based behemoths more suited to off-roading than car pool duty, they say that Mercedes distances the 2012 M-Class from these humble roots. Its comfortable ride and light-on-its-feet agility, coupled with improved fuel economy from both its gas-powered and diesel engines, have reviewers raving about this next-generation luxo-hauler.

The improvements aren’t just under the hood. Many of the interior and exterior changes are subtle, but reviewers are pleased with the direction Mercedes-Benz took with this redesign. They say the 2012 M-Class has been honed rather than reinvented, with ergonomic changes and new technologies that make the driving experience easier. Plus, the M-Class’ revised sheet metal helps it stand out as a Mercedes while updating its classic, two-box SUV silhouette.

Though the 2012 Mercedes-Benz M-Class certainly isn’t the best value in its class, it’s a vast improvement over the 2011’s status-symbol persona. While it’s still a Mercedes, and its brand name alone will lead many shoppers to the dealership, budget-conscious buyers can feel a little happier knowing that they can get more bang for their buck.

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Super Bowl Commercial: Dream Car in Reality

Dated: 6 Feb 2012
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Categoiry: Billet Grilles, Deflectors, Exterior Accessories

Kia Super Bowl Commercial

A Victoria’s Secret model! Motley Crue! Chuck Liddell! Bikinis, bikinis bikinis!

Quite the spectacle for a sub-20,000 compact car. Kia calls this spot, “A dream car, for real life.” Sure, OK. I don’t think anybody really dreams of owning a Kia. The low price to entry, quality to cost ratio and warranty that sway most to the economical automaker are more emblematic of a pragmatic decision than a REM-sleep fueled fantasy purchase.

Still, like the rising quality of the cars themselves—seriously, the mid to late 2000s were good years for the Korean company—the commercials have also improved. They’re more big-budget, appealing, the kind of things people may take another look it. Frankly, their ads are just like their cars in these regards.

For example: Remember this ad from a recent Super Bowl, where the toys come to life and have a crazy road trip? Loved it (especially the “mom” tattoo part). This one, though? Uhhhhh. Remember that kid in high school that tried to hard to get noticed by the “in crowd”? That’s this ad in a nutshell.

While it’s hard to argue with Adriana Lima appearing in anything, this spot still feels forced and overstuffed with spectacle. Well duh, it’s a Super Bowl commercial—you may retort. And you’d be right. It just didn’t have that same feeling as the spot I alluded to earlier. (And Motley Crue, plus a Madonna halftime show—it’s ’80s night, apparently.)

Bring back the toys.

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Review of 2012 Audi Q7

Dated: 2 Feb 2012
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Categoiry: Billet Grilles, Exterior Accessories, Grille Guards & Bull Bars

Reviewers appreciate the powerful engine options and upscale interior in the 2012 Audi Q7, but say that shoppers looking for a spacious third row should look elsewhere.

The automotive press agrees that the 2012 Audi Q7’s engine lineup and interior quality are its strong points. Whether shoppers choose the base gas-powered V6, the sportier S line trim or the TDI diesel engine, automotive writers say they’ll be happy. Reviewers also praise the Q7’s smooth ride and upscale interior, saying they combine to make the Audi Q7 an especially luxurious SUV.

But test drivers do have some bones to pick with this German family hauler. Some say that while the Q7 is too big on the outside, it’s too small on the inside. That means it’s hard to maneuver in parking lots, but its second and third rows still aren’t very accommodating for adults.

Overall, reviewers think that the Audi Q7 is a good buy for shoppers who put a priority on classy interior appointments, engine performance and capable driving manners. Otherwise, buyers who need a useable third row or who want a less-expensive option may want to look elsewhere.

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2012 Audi A4 Review

Dated: 30 Jan 2012
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Categoiry: Billet Grilles, Exterior Accessories
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The 2012 Audi A4 ranks 1 out of 19 Upscale Midsize Cars.  With its sharp interior and exterior styling, available all-wheel drive and good fuel economy, the 2012 Audi A4 is a viable alternative to more costly rivals.

The 2012 Audi A4 offers a combination of top-notch interior quality and nimble driving dynamics that continues to earn praise from the automotive press. Since the introduction of the current generation A4 in 2009, Audi has made few changes. Only one engine is offered, and the A4 can be configured with either front- or all-wheel drive. Reviewers love Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system, saying it improves the A4’s grip on winding roads.

Frequent comparisons are drawn to rivals such as the BMW 3-Series, which test drivers often consider to be the benchmark for performance within the class. Many say that the Audi A4 may ultimately suit drivers better in the real world. “The A4 may be best in class, period,” writes Automobile Magazine. “Purists and weekend racers will rightfully stand behind the better-balanced BMW 3-series, but for the majority of buyers looking for German driving dynamics, great design, and good fuel economy, this may be the best bet.”

Though reviewers are quick to note that the A4’s 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is no match for more powerful upscale midsize cars, the 2012 Audi A4 has a lot going for it. Fuel economy remains stellar, and with the exception of hybrids like the Chevrolet Volt and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, the 2012 Audi A4 is one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in the class.

The 2012 Audi A4 is both larger and less expensive than many other upscale midsize cars. However, if you load the A4 with options, its price can shoot north of $40,000 in a hurry.

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Top Selling Vehicles of 2011

Dated: 25 Jan 2012
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Categoiry: Billet Grilles, Exterior Accessories, Nerf Bars & Running Boards
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The figures have been tallied for the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. in 2011, and not surprisingly, the Ford F-Series pickup truck is king of the heap once again. Dealers sold a total of 584,917 F-Series units in 2011, beating out the second-place Chevrolet Silverado by 169,787 units. The Toyota Camry filled out the podium with 308,510 sales, which left the top three unaltered from their 2010 rankings. Fourth place went to the surging Nissan Altima, which jumped from its seventh place position last year. Likewise, the Ford Escape enjoyed a jolt in popularity as well. While the aging CUV took the 13th spot last year, the Ford sold 254,293 units to take fifth place in 2011.

That bumped the Honda Accord and its Crosstour variant to sixth place. Interestingly enough, the Honda duo just barely beat out the Ford Fusion by 5,000 units. Were the two Honda models to be split, the Fusion would have easily knocked the Accord further down the list. Likewise, the Toyota Corolla and Matrix teamed up to edge out the Chevrolet Cruze for ninth and tenth places, respectively. Head over to The Examiner for a full chart detailing the top 20 best-selling vehicles in the U.S. for 2011.

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2012 BMW 3-Series

Dated: 24 Jan 2012
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Categoiry: Billet Grilles, Deflectors, Exterior Accessories

The styling of the 2012 BMW 3 Series is an evolution of the previous model. The styling follows the design language seen in the new 5 Series, with concave and convex shapes providing a sporty stance and image.

BMW has also redesigned the interior of the new 3 Series. The future model combines luxury with sportiness and different combinations of interior trim can be seen across the three lines: Sport, Luxury and Modern. The driver-focused cockpit is even more emphasized in the F30 3 Series being angled towards the driver by seven degrees

As seen in some of the photos below, an M Sport package is also available for the new 3 Series. The super sporty pack adds 18-inch or 19-inch lightweight wheels as an option. Included in the M Sport pack is an M-tuned suspension which lowers the car by ten millimeters and offers stiffer spring rates and damper settings as well as stronger stabilizer bars. BMW says the decision to include M Sport brakes as standard has yet to be determined.

BMW Individual High-gloss Shadowline trim gives the car the typical M look. An optional M paint is also offered – Estoril Blue, as well as M Sport brakes with contrasting blue paint finish.

Special aerodynamics cues, front and rear bumpers, sill covers in body color and a striking diffuser insert in Dark Shadow Metallic on the tail, and chromium exhaust pipe finishers underline the sporting character of the M Sport package.

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Yanke Wins New Ford F-150

Dated: 20 Jan 2012
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Categoiry: Billet Grilles, Deflectors, Exterior Accessories
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Owner/operator Sasa Gavranovic has won a new Ford F-150 truck as part of Yanke’s “Be the One” safety program.

The program, launched by Yanke in 2009, incorporates online training, safety breakfasts, seminars, signage, logos, decals, presentations and various social media reminders – all encouraging safety. The program is targeted to all staff, both on-road operators and those working in terminals across Canada.

The company says the program focus is on safety, “but most specifically, personal attitudes, behaviours and core values, and how that impacts how you approach your work each day. Critical to this is information sharing, emphasizing the awareness of potential emotional, financial and physical loss that might occur,” Yanke officials said in a release.

“Yanke wishes to congratulate all of its professional transport operators and staff for their commitment to Be the One and helping make the roads a safer place for all of us,” said Yanke president and CEO Russel Marcoux.

As part of the program, Yanke holds incentive draws for all operators that meet qualifying criteria. In addition to awarding cash prizes each month, Yanke awards a grand prize of a pick-up truck of the winner’s choosing, valued up to $50,000. This year, Gavranovic’s name was drawn from 437 eligible professional transport operators as the grand prize winner. He received his prize while attending the recent “Be the One” safety seminar in Brampton, Ont.

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Volvo Truck’s NA New High

Dated: 19 Jan 2012
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Categoiry: Billet Grilles, Exterior Accessories, Nerf Bars & Running Boards

Volvo Trucks is celebrating a strong year in 2011, in which it says it reached its highest ever North American market share.

WardsAuto Group data indicated Volvo accounted for 12.1% of the combined US and Canadian retail market in 2011, a new high for the company. The data also showed Volvo gained more market share than any other manufacturer in 2011, the company announced. Volvo officials said the company also reached “record penetration levels” for its own engines and I-Shift automated transmission.

The company attributes its growth to a particularly strong performance in the US where its market share grew nearly three points and retail sales increased 109% over 2010 levels.

In 2010, its combined US and Canadian market share was 9.6%. It finished 2011 at 12.1% with a total retail volume of 23,820 units compared to just 12,100 in 2010.

“Coming after our two-point market share gain in 2010, this record 2011 performance demonstrates the market’s continued recognition of the excellent fuel efficiency and industry-leading driver comfort and safety features that Volvo Trucks is delivering today,” said Ron Huibers, president of North American truck sales and marketing. “The performance of our broad dealer network helped achieve an improved customer mix, and our fuel efficiency leadership means we’re well positioned as fleets intensify their focus on lowering fuel costs.”

Huibers said the company’s proprietary engines and I-Shift transmission have been driving growth as both have performed well in the field. The percentage of Volvo trucks sold with Volvo engines hit a new high of nearly 80% in 2011, he added. And I-Shift penetration also set a new record of more than 40% of those.

“Volvo’s integrated powertrain approach drives fuel efficiency leadership and facilitates innovations, like the XE13 fuel efficiency package, which cannot be replicated without the highest degree of coordination throughout every layer of the organization” Huibers said.

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