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 3rd, 2016

toyota-logo

Toyota has identified an issue with their side Curtain-Shield-Airbags (CSA). Specifically, the electronic module that controls the deployment of the airbag in an accident situation was improperly programmed and could injure passengers in the event of improper activation.

Toyota states the recall impacts a total of 320,000 vehicles which includes their premiere Gx470 (built between 2004-2006) and LX470 (built between 2003-2006) under the Lexus brand, the Toyota Land Cruiser (built between 2003-2006), 4Runner (built between 2004-2006), and the Tundra and Sequoia (built between 2005-2006).

Vehicles that are affected will go through a thorough inspection and service will include the replacement of the airbag control module. Owners of these vehicles will receive a notice from Toyota shortly.

Owners can also contact their local dealers for more information.


February 3rd, 2016

2016-honda-civic

Honda is stopping sales on their 2016 Civic that is sold with their 2.0L four cylinder engines due to a potential problem that may lead to early engine failures. Early reports indicate that the piston pin snap rings may have been improperly assembled and if it came loose could cause significant piston and internal damage to the 2.0L engine. This issue could potentially impact 34,000 Civics that were produced for the 2016 year.

Specific details have yet to be released, but Honda intends to notify NHTSA officially on February 5, said Chris Martin Spokesperson for Honda. Once finalized with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Honda will release an official statement to the general public about the recall in March. What is know at this time is that the issue is isolated to the 2.0L engine and does not affect Honda’s 1.5L turbo engine.


February 3rd, 2016

vw-budd-e

Volkswagen’s concept transport vehicle dubbed the Budd-e gives us a peak into the automaker’s mindset on green design production vehicles. The Budd-e concept was debuted at the 2016 Consumers Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year.

What the Budd-e has going for it is a spacious interior cabin with configurable seating positions all thanks to a flat cabin floor. Below the floors hides the vehicles batteries which are used to power electric motors which power the front and rear axels. The batteries span the entire length of the floor which gives the Budd-e an estimated 233 mile range. Having no gas tank, the Budd-e offers an extensive amount of storage space both inside the cabin, and also in a stowaway compartment that extends from the back bumper and into the belly of the vehicle.

The Budd-e is a nicely package vehicle that offers a lot of unique features. The only thing it doesn’t offer is soul. Volkswagen enthusiasts have been longing for the manufacturer to debut a replacement for the much beloved Microbus. Volkswagen created the concept Bulli which echoed much of the classic design and tied bus lovers over for a little while. Then finally this year they released the Budd-e and have stated that much of the concept design elements will likely make its way into the production vehicle. Unfortunately, for many bus enthusiasts, this is like taking a punch to the gut.

Here’s to hoping that when the Budd-e does go into production, which is estimated to be around 2020, that Volkswagen will adapt some more of the classic designs into the new car to continue the Microbus’ legacy.


February 3rd, 2016

Takata_safety_culture

Takata Corp has been under fire for its poor handling of the airbag crisis. An independent panel of former government regulators and engineering experts were put together by Takata last year to identify the root cause of the problem at their factories as evidence was pointing to a manufacturing flaw in their airbag inflators. However, finding the root cause and correcting it might only be a band aid to a broader systematic problem.

“It is unlikely that even the most Herculean isolated efforts to improve quality at Takata will succeed unless there’s an accompanying shift in Takata’s culture,” stated in a report from the independent panel. Internal processes need to change in order for proper documentation and accountability for test findings of product performance and product reliability. More importantly, a proactive approach to enforce quality standards needs to be put in place and adopted across all levels of the organization. Currently, Takata does not have its own quality program, rather, they take a reactive approach and rely on safety incident reports from their automaker customers.


February 2nd, 2016

takata_ceo

No matter how much planning a company makes, all it takes is for the CEO to say no to turn things right around again. Earlier this week, we reported that Takata CEO will be resigning as a result of the airbag crisis looming over the Takata company. Today, Takata CEO Shigehisa Takada announced that he intends to stay at the top man in charge of his company.

Initial reports indicated that the step down by Takada was to take the blame for the airbag crisis at Takata. The crisis itself has left investors with great doubt and can be visibly seen when companies such as Honda, Ford, Mazda and Toyota have all decided not to use Takata products in their vehicles. Uncertainty continues to build as the impacted vehicle numbers continue to grow to a staggering 5 million.

Shigehisa Takada has done a very poor job handling this airbag crisis. His decision to stay at the helm of the company certainly doesn’t help to disperse the dark cloud that looms over his company.


February 2nd, 2016

2016-porsche-911-gt3-rs

Porsche CEO Oliver Blume made it pretty clear, “One wants to drive a Porsche by oneself.” With that statement, Porsche lays out it’s plans, or lack thereof, for engineering autonomous driving features into any of their cars.

I don’t think any Porsche enthusiast would’ve ever doubted this direction from the company. Porsche has a rich history in motor racing and has translated much of what they’ve learned on the track to the cars that they build for the road. They build performance cars, and more importantly, they build performance cars for drivers. Although this is one piece of new technology the company is not adopting, Porsche breaks many other technological boundaries. Take for example their 918 which exemplifies modern day racing technology adapted to its truest form for the road.

Another technology Porsche isn’t afraid to take head on is electric power. Blume eventually wants every Porsche in his stable to be available with a hybrid powertrain option and this could become a reality as soon as 2018. Word has been circulating for a while about a possible plug in version of a 911. Taking what they learned from the 918 spyder and adapting it to the 911 platform will make this legendary car even more legendary.


February 2nd, 2016

2017-ford-gt

You can have all the money in the world, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you will get selected to be the owner of the new Ford GT. Ford is creating a super stringent selection process to identify who will be the owners of their new supercar.

Some of the basic customer questions would include how many Ford’s they’ve owned in the past, which models, and how often they will be driving the car. The reason for this exclusive selection process is because Ford wants only the most passionate blue oval enthusiasts to be the curators of their exclusive supercar. They want only people who are passionate about their cars, and will keep and drive their cars to be able to own a GT. Ford’s product chief, Raj Nair, said that customers will have to sign a contract which requires them to keep the GT in their possession for a set amount of time which helps limit new vehicles from being purchased and immediately flipped.

Orders for the new Ford GT will begin in February. From what we’ve seen so far the new supercar looks to be an amazing piece of machinery. Outside of the picture, not much is know about the car. We certainly can’t wait for more details to be made available.


February 2nd, 2016

bentley-flying-spur-mulliner

H J Mulliner started the Mulliner company in 1897 and is a well known and well respected coachbuilder. Acquired by Rolls Royce in 1959, the Mulliner group is now the responsible hands behind the ultra luxurious interiors of Bentley vehicles. For 2016, Mulliner is offering brand new interior options that have never graced the Bentley Flying Spur.

Drivers of the Flying Spur can bask in the wonderful Mulliner’s signature quilt patterned leather interior which includes seat bolsters, door panels and the center console. Interior veneer options will now include painted and finely polished panels which brings in the exterior paint color to the interior cabin. Passengers, however, have many more toys to play with. You can now purchase a refrigerated bottle cooler which sits between the two rear passengers. With the cooler option, you can also purchase a bespoke bottle stopper and two champagne flutes that have bases designed to look like the wheels off of your Bentley. A custom storage compartment is hidden from view behind the two front seats. The compartment can be trimmed in a wide range of materials.

Owners of Bentley clearly like the finer things in life. With these new interior options from Bentley, they now have even more places to burn through their spare change.


February 1st, 2016

2017-acura-nsx

The all new Acura NSX just sold for an astounding $1.2 million at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. But this isn’t just any old NSX, this is VIN 001, the first vehicle to roll off the assembly line from Acura. And this is no ordinary sale, the proceeds from the auction will be going to charities; the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and the Camp Southern Ground.

The honor of owning the VIN 001 Acura NSX goes to Rick Hendrick, owner of the American NASCAR team. Like all other owners, he still has to wait to receive his vehicle, but being top bidder gives him the privilege to order vehicle number one. And as a race team owner, why would he want to come in number two anyways?

Starting on February 25, Acura will be taking orders for their new Acura NSX. The all new supercar is a revival of their supercar from the 90’s which has become legendary among enthusiasts and the motorsport circle. The new NSX is a hybrid vehicle which utilizes a gas 3.5L twin turbo V6 engine and three electric motors which in total produces 573hp. Prices for the NSX will range from $158,000USD to a fully optioned out $208,000USD.


February 1st, 2016

2015-Nissan-Altima-Sedan

Nissan Motor Co. has issued a statement to recall about 870,000 vehicles in the United States and Canada. The issue has been identified as a potentially faulty hood latch. This isn’t the first time Nissan has recalled their vehicles for such an issue. More specifically, this is the third time the manufacturer has had to issue a recall of this nature since 2014.

The impacted vehicle is the Nissan Altima which were built between 2013-2015. The hood latch, specifically the secondary hood latch, may not close properly and leave the hood unlatched due to production issues with a rust coating. When the hatch is not closed properly, this could lead to the hood opening while driving which restricts drivers view of the road and may cause an accident.

Of the 870,000 vehicles identified in North America, 24,895 vehicles are located in Canada with the same problem. Starting in February, owners can schedule their vehicles into a local dealer where the hood latch will be replaced with a new unit.
For additional information, we encourage owners to get into contact with their local dealers.

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