2015 McLaren 650S – Exotic Redefined »

In only a couple of years, McLaren has created an exotic that raises the bar on the competition.

F1 For the Road – The Ferrari F50 »

It’s not often one gets handed the keys to a million dollar car. Well in this case, about 1.6 million, but who’s counting.

Performance Redefined: Nissan GTR »

The Nissan GTR is a bit of an enigma. It’s one of the rare few that satisfies more than one personality traits. It’s nearly untouchable at the Ring, only beat by the million dollar Porsche 918 when counting series production vehicles.

Life Lessons, Courtesy of Mercedes »

Before we start, I need to apologize for being late. Partly due to real life getting in the way, but mostly due to the fact that I struggled to write this.

Canadian JDM Invasion – Honda Integra Type-R »

This week, I had a chance to check out NRGie’s 1996 Honda Integra Type-R. While GTRs have dominated the JDM imports, the ITR is a bit of a hidden gem out of Japan.


February 10th, 2016

2017-Ford-EcoSport

There are many vehicles that are sold globally to international markets which we typically never see on North American soil. Take for example, in Europe, many of the smaller vehicles sold there work for the European market but just have no place in the North American car lineup. However, Ford’s EcoSport crossover, a subcompact SUV, may be an exception. With a strong performing SUV market in North America, Ford is contemplating bringing their subcompact SUV to our shores.

Ford is riding its success wave coming off of 2015 where their Escape and F-Series truck sold in record numbers. Other cars such as the Edge and the Explorer fared very well posting significant sales gains as well in 2015. The EcoSport crossover will give consumers another option in the Ford lineup and hopefully further strengthen Ford’s sales numbers going forward.

Look for the EcoSport crossover to hit North American showrooms in 2018.


February 10th, 2016

audi-tt-rs-spyshot

No official word has been said by Audi on a second generation TT-RS, however, spy photos spotted something that certain points to a reality that will be coming soon. The images here (photo cred: automobilemag.com) show a second generation TT with quite a few add-ons that differ from TT models.

On the outside, aero components echo what is typically seen in Audi’s RS lineup. From a very sporty looking rear diffuser to the upgraded braking system, one could only assume that there’s a few little upgrades under the hood as well. No information has been released on what a new TT-RS could use as a power plant, but its safe to say that it’ll be a beefed up version of the last generations’ 2.5L turbo which produced 360hp and 343lb/ft of torque.

Consumers will have to wait for Audi to release official information on a second generation TT-RS. For now, lets hope that the rumor of a Geneva Auto Show or Paris Auto Show debut comes true.


February 10th, 2016

BMW ALPINA B7 xDrive

BMW M-cars are some of the most sought after production performance vehicles on the road. With its rich racing heritage, we know that each M car is designed to give drivers the ultimate driving pleasure. What we haven’t seen from BMW, but really wish they would do, is produce an M version of their flagship 7 series. There is definitely appetite for large luxury sedans with supercar performance. Look at the likes from Audi and Mercedes just as an example.

A M7 may not be in the works, but Alpina has given us a taste of what a big body performance sedan from BMW may be like in their new 2017 Alpina B7 xDrive. The B7 uses a tuned 4.4L twin turbo V8 that delivers 600hp and 590lb/ft of torque which helps propel the massive 7 series to 100kph in 3.6 seconds. The Alpina packaged 7 series will have signature Alpina aero, adaptive dampening and four wheel steering to keep all the car at bay, and upgraded braking to ensure all of that B7 goes as fast as it stops.

As with all Alpina cars, the 2017 B7 again delivers an incredible combination of ultra luxury and performance in one big package.


February 10th, 2016

volvo_v90_leak

Volvo debuted their all new S90 luxury sedan to the world at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year and it was very well received. Thanks to a commonly shared platform with the XC90, Volvo is now also able to offer up a third variant to wear the “90” label in the form of the V90 wagon which will debut on February 18 (photo cred: teknikensvarld.se).

It isn’t surprising that Volvo is building another wagon given that the Swedish automaker is known for their iconic family haulers. However, gone is the image of a school teacher wearing a plaid jacket with elbow pads. Today’s V90 is a statement of luxury and utility packaged into one. With the North American market choosing SUVs over wagons, only time will tell how well the new V90 will do. But what we are seeing more and more today from automakers is a “crossover” wagon in the likes of Volvo’s Cross Country, Audi’s Allroad and Volkswagen’s Alltrack.

Given that most small SUV owners don’t take their cars offroad, and that wagons built on their shared platforms typically offer more space, here’s hoping that the wagon market picks up steam in the years to come.


February 9th, 2016

2016-chevy-volt

The folks over at GM created something really special in the Chevy Volt. It’s power plant is a 1.5L four-cylinder gas motor with two electric motors and an 18.4-kWh battery. This design got the Chevy Volt onto the 10 Best Engines list for 2016, and was recognized with the Green Car of the Year Award.

It is no wonder that GM’s competitors are interested in their technology. However, what is surprising is word spreading of a potential collaboration between GM and other automakers where the GM power plant could potentially find its ways under its competitions cars. Nothing is official at this point, however, the thought of a shared powertrain is an interesting concept.

General Motors global powertrain chief Dan Nicholson said “We want to be the partner of choice in propulsion system development in this complex and turbulent era we are approaching.” By going this route, partnering automakers could manufacture hybrid cars without the huge expense of powertrain development and GM could essentially translate that cost savings down to the consumers.

The bigger picture here is that a partnership deal like this could bring many more option for green vehicles to the market place in much shorter time and potentially at a lower buy in price.


February 9th, 2016

2016-Tesla-Model-S

Tesla is a company that really defines the EV space in the automotive industry. The company shows that not only can you make a car green by being full electric, you can also have staggering performance from it as well. Thinking about its customer base and applying the adage of less is more, Tesla has decided to expire the their 85kWh battery for the Model S leaving only the choices of the 70, 70D, 90D and the P90D.

The official reason for the expiration was not stated, but one could assume that the value for the range between the 85kWh versus the 90kWh battery makes the latter are more enticing buy. This also translates to less production cost to generate an additional battery option for Tesla and it makes choosing options for the Model S simpler for consumers.

Sticker prices for a base Model S will start at $70,000USD which is packaged with the 70kWh battery and the vehicle gets a rear wheel drive configuration. The top model will start at $88,000USD and will be packaged with the 90kWh battery.

The Tesla movement is truly one that is redefining and will continue to redefine automotive history.


February 9th, 2016

EPA-Emission Ban

In an effort to minimize greenhouse gas emissions, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set its target on prohibiting street cars to be converted into race cars for motorsport purposes. Current EPA guidelines exclude vehicles that are used for the sole purpose of on track racing from emission standards that were established for everyday road going vehicles.

If the proposed regulations should pass, it will be an enormous impact to both the motor racing industry and the aftermarket industry as a whole. The Speciality Equipment Market Association’s (SEMA) CEO Chris Kersting stated “This proposed regulation represents overreaching by the agency, runs contrary to the law and defies decades of racing activity where EPA has acknowledged and allowed conversion of vehicles. Congress did not intend the original Clean Air Act to extend to vehicles modified for racing and has re-enforced that intent on more than one occasion.”


February 9th, 2016

ferrari-335-s-scaglietti

Vintage Ferraris are one of the most sought after and collectable vehicles out there. These were cars that were made during a time when mass production was not available, where creating masterpieces was the only mission for the company to continue their brand legacy. These are hand built machines in extremely limited quantities with purebred race engines propelling the cars into motorsport history.

The car you see before you is chassis number 0674 which not only is a low number vehicle, it also has motorsport history racing through its veins. Race legend Sir Stirling Moss has been behinds its wheel. It took second place at Mille Miglia, and sixth at the 12 Hours of Sebring.

This 1957 335S recently went on the block at an auction in Paris and landed an amazing sale price of $34.9 million. It may not be the most expensive Ferrari to be sold at auction as the records is still held by a 1962 250 GTO sold by Bonhams for $38.1 million during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance festivities in 2014, but you still can’t dispute the immense amount of money this car did sell for.


February 8th, 2016

1-audi-rs-q3-performance

Lets first start off with the bad news. Although we get the Q3 in base form here in North America, there is no plans by Audi to bring over their RS cars, with the exception of the RS7.

What you are seeing here is the new Audi RS Q3 Performance. It is a jacked up version of the RS Q3. Power is delivered via a 2.5L turbocharged inline-five engine that produces 367hp and 343lb/ft of torque propelling the RS Q3 Performance to 100kmp in 4.4 seconds. The engine is mated to a seven speed dual clutch transmission that has been treated to a new tune. Overall, the car has a lower stance with adaptive dampers that helps the RS Q3 Performance track even better than its brother.

The overall package leaves owners with a very capable small sized SUV. Now if only they brought it over the pond.


February 8th, 2016

Antonio_Brown_Custom_Rolls_Royce_Pictures

The brand Rolls Royce is usually associated with the upper class wealthy who have butlers and white glove wearing drivers. So when the company decided to wrap their Ghost in gold for Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown as a rolling advertisement in San Francisco during Super Bowl 50 it was really quite hard to comprehend. First, a gold Ghost is just not classy, and second this type of advertisement is just cheesy.

Now, the Ghost isn’t just any old gold color. It is a shade of semi-gloss gold while the hood is two toned with a silver. Stretching along the entire length of the side of the Ghost is Brown’s catchphrase, “Business Is Boomin” and the car also sports Brown’s numbers.

So again I have to ask myself, why would Rolls Royce lend its name to such automotive blasphemy?

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