Automotive News

Petition: Calgary Needs Uber!

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With frequent business trips to the Bay Area, I’ve experienced first hand the convenience of Uber. After a night out with co-workers at Lucky Strike where many adult beverages were consumed (open bar seems to be the theme at company events), half our group wanted to head back to the hotel while the other half decided to head out to a random karaoke bar. I start looking around for cabs so we could flag one down while a couple of the executives just whipped their smartphones out.

In less than a minute they had already summoned a couple Uber cars to pick us up and about 7-8 minutes a driver came up and picked us up. I presume the second Uber car picked up the other group right after we left. The best part was that at the end of the trip, we didn’t have to pay. It’s all done automatically. That’s right, no arguing with the driver about how he can’t take a credit card because his machine is broken, or figuring out how much to tip the driver (trust me, it can get expensive after a night out of drinking if your math is bad lol).

After returning home to Calgary, Uber is one thing I always miss after a night out. In Calgary, you’re lucky if you can even get a taxi after midnight. Most people arrange rides with friends to get home, and unfortunately many choose to drive themselves home while intoxicated. It’s a big problem, but protecting an antiquated taxi system is higher on priority list than providing consumers with better transportation options in Calgary.

I’m not entirely sure when Uber setup this online petition for Uber Calgary, but it was probably some time last year after they ran a promotional trial. They have already collected 3,887 signatures as I am writing this. If you think Calgary City Council should fix the taxi situation by allowing companies like Uber to operate here, go check out the site and sign the petition.

This is your chance to stand with us and send a message to your elected officials that Calgary deserves a new set of transportation choices. Consumers love Uber because the taxi industry doesn’t come close to offering the same convenience and reliability. Drivers love Uber because it provides higher earnings and greater flexibility. Cities love Uber because it gives residents and visitors a ride when they need one, serves neighborhoods that taxi companies neglect and reduces taxi crimes and DUI arrests.

Uber may not completely solve the taxi issues in Calgary, but if the City of Calgary eliminates the $80 minimum that limo and town car service companies have to charge for trips, Uber would be able to operate to relieve the demand on taxi services as it will provide a choice, albeit a more expensive one, to those that are willing to pay for it.

Link to Uber Petition: https://action.uber.org/calgary/


illmotion Sunday School 2014 Show Coverage Part 2

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If you missed the original post, illmotion hosted the 4th annual Sunday School Show and Shine this weekend at the Max Bell Arena. We posted a big set of pictures in Part 1 and as promised we have included the rest of the pictures in this set.

As I mentioned in Part 1, there were a ton of amazing cars that made it out to the show for everyone to see and it is no different for Part 2. I’ve included some of my favorites, but there are many more in the gallery at the end of this post. Apologies to anyone that had a car entered in the show that was missed.

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Honda Boosts Performance of CR-Z With HPD Supercharger

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It may be too little, too late but Honda has announced that the Honda Performance Development (HPD) supercharger kit for the CR-Z is now available. Strapping on the supercharger will boost the power output to 196 horsepower, a significant jump from 130 horsepower. Had the CR-Z launched with a supercharger from the factory, I’d bet there would be a lot more on the road today. The kit also comes with an air-to-air intercooler, high-flow fuel injectors and an updated ECU program. Cost of the kit in the US will be $5,495 (no word on Canadian pricing) and the best part is that CR-Z owners maintain their factory warranty if it is installed by a Honda dealer.

“The CR-Z was the first hybrid to prove that efficiency doesn’t have to come at the cost of sportiness and fun,” said Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development. “With HPD street performance accessories, including the new supercharger kit, the CR-Z will surprise everyone again with even higher levels of performance directly inspired by our on-track racing efforts.”

The HPD supercharger kit is available exclusively for CR-Z manual transmission models and HPD has developed an optional limited slip differential and HPD sport clutch for those customers looking for an even higher level of performance.


illmotion Sunday School 2014 Show Coverage Part 1

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This past sunday, illmotion hosted the 4th annual Sunday School Show and Shine at the Max Bell Arena. As with every year, hundreds of cars descended on the parking lot where owners showcased their rides. One thing different this year however was the weather. Each year, it is normally scorching during the Sunday School Show and Shine, but this year it was a much more comfortable affair allowing people to get out from under their tents to talk cars. Roaming the parking lot it was great to see proud owners talk about their builds with each other and those that came down to check them out.

There were a ton of amazing work, and hopefully we captured a good cross section of the vehicles that were there. With limited time and the number of people checking out the cars in person, it was difficult to get everyone. We’ve broken up the post into two parts due to the sheer number, so check back tomorrow for the rest of the pictures.

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McLaren P1 GTR Design Concept Unveiled

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It may have took two decades, but McLaren has just unveiled the design concept for the successor to the McLaren F1 GTR at a private function at the Pebble Beach Concours event. Meet the McLaren P1 GTR. The goal of the McLaren P1 GTR is crystal clear: to be the best driver’s car in the world on track. The key to that goal is “on track” as McLaren is not constrained by any pesky federal legislations for road legality, or silly bumper laws, emissions standards, etc etc.

Compared to the road going P1, the front track has been increased by 80mm. The P1 GTR ride height is fixed, lower than the standard car and rides on a race-prepared suspension system. The mirrors have been relocated to reduce drag and be closer to the eye line of the driver. The P1 GTR rides on a set of 19″ wheels, 10.5″ wide up front and 13″ out back wrapped in a set of racing slicks and are secured with quick-release centre locking nuts. Changing tires on the P1 GTR will be made easier with the onboard air jacking system, like the one seen on the McLaren 650S GT3.

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Toyota Unveils Updated FT-1 Concept at Pebble Beach

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The Toyota FT-1 Concept was stunning when it was unveiled in Detroit and was probably one of the few concept cars that some people were genuinely excited to see. The excitement is likely due to the fact that many expect that when the production version of the FT-1 hits the streets, it will bring the Supra nameplate back to the Toyota stable.

Today, what we have here is the latest take on the FT-1 concept. Gone now is the sporty black and red interior of the Toyota FT-1 Concept from Detroit Auto Show (NAIAS), replaced with a much more luxurious looking tan (brown?) interior. I’m personally not a fan of tan colored interiors, but you can’t argue how classy it looks on paired up with the graphite paint job of this second FT-1 concept presented at Gordon McCall’s Motorworks Revival gala in Monterey. My first thought when I saw this particular color scheme was that it was more of a Lexus than a Toyota with its premium look and interior styling.

“From the start of the FT-1 project, we wanted the driver to have a feeling of flow while at the wheel – to be able to focus on the road and nothing else,” said Sellene Lee, the Calty creative designer who proposed both color concepts. “In the color studio we help create the atmosphere of the vehicle, and our aim was to ensure everything supported the driver through efficient choices. The saddle leather maintains that same ‘in the zone’ driving intention, while bringing in a more premium feeling.”

I hope this FT-1 makes its rounds during the auto show season as I would love to see it in person. In the mean time, we have a ton of photos in the gallery go check it out!

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Just Under 60 Debuts at 2014 LA Auto Show

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The 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show is shaping up to be a fine show with the announcement from the show organizers that there are just under 60 debuts (25 world debuts) scheduled. The show is still a ways off (Mid November) so nothing specific has been announced, but we do know that the Chevy Volt that was rumored to be debuting in LA will in fact be unveiled early next year in Detroit at the 2015 NAIAS.

You can expect the AMG GT to make an appearance, although the world debut will likely be a month earlier in Paris. Audi may bring the next generation R8 as well. Stay tuned as this will be another exciting auto show season. Our team will be in LA to bring you photos from the show as soon as the cars are unveiled.


Next Generation 2016 Chevy Volt To Debut In Detroit

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Today Tim Mahoney, Global Chevrolet Chief Marketing Officer announced that the next generation 2016 Chevrolet Volt will be debuting at the 2014 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. Rumors had the debut pegged for the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, but a hometown debut makes more sense.

“Volt is the perfect example of the ingenuity that drives everything we do at Chevrolet,” Mahoney said at the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefings. “Volt fully delivers on the promises of Find New Roads and will continue to provide consumers with the transportation solutions they need and deserve in the future.”

Our team will be covering the auto show circuit again this year so you’ll be sure to see coverage of the 2016 Chevy Volt at its unveiling but I’m sure we’ll hear some more news before then.


Importfest 2014 Toronto Pictures

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As Importfest 2014 Vancouver draws closer, we’re just getting around to publishing some pictures that we shot in Toronto when Importfest 2014 rolled through the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Billing itself as “Canada’s Biggest and Baddest” show, Importfest exhibits everything from scooters to classic muscle cars to exotics and of course, imports. Importfest Toronto showcased a great variety of vehicles (minus bikes) ranging from the usual Civics, S2000s, GTRs, the Deadmau5 Purrari and even a hamster powered Scion xB (I think?). Sadly my shot of that engine bay did not turn out.

The line up to get into Importfest started well before the scheduled noon opening time as exhibitors did last minute touch ups on their vehicles. The lineup snaked through the main floor of the MTCC and went on much further than I wanted to explore. I’m guessing there were probably about 500+ people in line when I showed up. Based on the speed of the line, it was probably going to take me an hour or more just to get in and that wouldn’t fly as I had a late afternoon flight to catch to get out of there (I’m too old for the after parties!). Luckily as I approached the front of the line, some vendors were arriving with some equipment for their booth. As all asians look alike, security assumed I was with them and in I went.

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Calgary Gets a New Kart Track

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Well, technically, it’s outside of Strathmore, but who cares. As we mentioned in our Kart School review, the Calgary Kart Racing Club has been working hard at securing a new site for their new kart track that serves Calgary and surrounding areas. They’ve finalized on the location and will be starting construction immediately. The new track is 1.3km long with 14 turns, making it the longest kart sprint track in Canada. It is scheduled to open late summer/early fall.

What I am most excited about are the rumors of a Junior Karting program coming to the new track. Many F1 drivers start their careers as young as 4 years old in junior karts, and the lack of such a program in Canada is a big reason why we do not have many Canadian F1 drivers. It’s a great way to build talent and skillset at an early age to challenge drivers out of Europe.

The CKRC is hosting a fencing party, where volunteers are invited to join in building the new fence for the track. For more information on volunteering, as well as track design, check out the link here.


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