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.

The Track Rat: ESS Supercharged BMW M3 »

This week, I had the pleasure of driving Jason’s (CSMRX7) amazing track weapon, the ESS Supercharged BMW E90 M3. I may be an AMG fanboy as of late [...]


October 8th, 2014

2015-rolls-royce-phantom-metropolitan-5
So you took at look at the nearly $400,000 Bentley Mulsanne Speed and thought it was a little pedestrian for your liking. That only the rabble advertise their prices to accommodate people who must budget their vehicle purchases. You want a car with which you can say “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it”. So you look at Rolls Royce, but you want something more exclusive than just any Rolls Royce. You want something even your peers will find rare, so you decide to order some bespoke options. Oh, but the number of choices you have! Who has time to compare wood grains these days? No, you want somebody to make those decisions for you.

Well congratulations, imaginary person, you’re one of twenty people with the means and motive to purchase the Phantom Metropolitan. It’s got some hand-crafted wood in there to give it that Metropolitan vibe, according to their press release:

When open, Phantom’s signature picnic table presents occupants with an elevated view of the city, created through the expert application of 500 individual wood veneer pieces.”

Neat. Aside from that it’s the same as any other Bespoke Rolls in that the colour and feel of every other piece of the car can be selected. So, sorry, it looks like you’re going to have to pay somebody to make those calls for you, on top of the $MoreThanYouCanAffordPal price you already paid. Rough time to be rich, I know.

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October 8th, 2014

2015-opel-corsa-hatchback-paris-4
Opel unveiled the new Corsa here in Paris, with the help of supermodel Claudia Schiffer. This mini hatchback competes against the Ford Fiesta, and unlike other European hatchbacks, might make its way to North America under the Buick badge. Engine choices are plentiful, with 5 gasoline engines and 2 diesel engines to choose from. On either end of the gasoline spectrum, there is a 1.2L 68hp four cylinder, up to a 99hp 1.4L turbo. Oddly enough, an even more powerful 1.0L 3 cylinder is available rated at 114hp. On the diesel front, the 1.3L engine pumps out 74hp and 94hp in its two trims.

Check out our Opel Corsa Hatchback gallery after the jump.

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October 8th, 2014

2015-bentley-mulsanne-speed-paris-2

This is a car for the 1% of the 1%. 99.9% people need not apply. It’s likely to be close to $400K here in Canada. You can still buy a nice condo for that kind of money. But for the Uber rich where $400K is chump change, the Mulsanne Speed is a nice daily commuter. The 6.75 L V8 churns out a respectable 530 hp and makes the 6000 lbs car capable of going 330 km/h (190 mph).

Blacked out chrome and some exhaust tip changes are really the only things you might notice that are different from the regular and mundane Mulsanne. The interior is faboulous. Any surface that can be covered in quilted leather has quilted leather. The interior ooozes luxury. The crazy thing about this massive car is that it only seats 4. The middle seat in the back is fully of audio controls, usb ports and the all important wine glass holder. Cause you know, if you are rich and being driven around, you have to be sporting Champagne.

As with all Bentley’s, everything is handmade and bespoke. You want something special? You have to pay. But what is an extra $40K when you are spending $400K? Anyway, enjoy our small gallery of unobtanium from the Paris Motor show.

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October 8th, 2014

2015-lexux-nx-200t-paris-3
While we were in New York for the 2014 New York International Auto Show, Lexus debuted the NX 200t at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition so we were not able to see it in person. With our luck, just as we left New York they brought one to the New York show so it wasn’t until here in Paris at the Mondial de l’Automobile 2014 that we ran into the NX to see it in the flesh and it looks every bit as good as it does in pictures.

Here is a recap from our previous coverage of the Lexus NX200t since our thoughts haven’t changed:

The NX will be Lexus’ fourth SUV, and will slot under the RX. In terms of exterior design, it does not deviate too far from the Lexus design language. It basically looks like a smaller RX with the front end elements off of the IS. The signature spindle grill and headlights with split LED daytime running lights are there along with the subtle chrome trims. One big visual difference are the contrasting wheel arches that just doesn’t seem to fit the luxury look of Lexus. Interestingly enough, Subaru opted to remove the contrasting wheel arches off the all-new 2015 Subaru Outback they revealed last week. It does give the NX that wider more aggressive look that may be the key to draw in younger buyers for Lexus though.

Out back, the Lexus NX features a pair of really striking taillights that feature a soft diffused LED look. Compared to the RX, the NX rear hatch runs closer to the edge of the rear bumper eliminating the rubberized cargo loading ledge. Another nice luxury touch are the door handles with integrated LED lights and hidden key barrels.

Inside, Lexus wants to draw attention to the center instrument panel with silver frame surrounds that mimics the spindle design found up front. The seats are mounted close to the floor to not only provide more headroom, but to also provide a more connected feel when driving the NX. That’s right, no need to gangsta lean to look cool in the NX kids!

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October 8th, 2014

skoda-fabia-paris-motor-show-4
Meet the new Skoda Fabia. Over in Europe, the Fabia is the most popular car in the small car segment, according to the Skoda press release. Being wholly owned by the VW Group, the Fabia borrows many parts from the VW family, most noticeably the all new infotainment system based on VW’s Modular Infotainment Matrix technology, giving Fabia owners a full touchscreen display with Apple like swipe operation. Drivetrains are also heavily borrowed from VW, with three gasoline engines ranging from 75hp to 110hp, and three diesel engines ranging from 75hp to 105hp. Power to the wheels is transferred through a manual transmission, or the much praised VW/Audi DSG gearboxes.

Click for more photos of the Skoda Fabia


October 8th, 2014

renault-eolab-concept-paris-2
1L/100km. In case that looks like a typo, I’ll spell it out. ONE liter of fuel, for one hundred kilometers of distance. That is what Renault claims the EOLAB Concept can attain on a single liter of fuel. Renault fitted the EOLAB Concept with a 75hp 1L engine coupled to a 65hp electric motor, for a combined 140hp and a top speed of 120km/h. The key to the EOLAB’s staggeringly low fuel consumption is optimized aerodynamics, and light weight construction featuring a magnesium roof, aluminum doors, and plastic hood.

No word on if or when the EOLAB will show up at your dealer’s doors, Renault claims the purpose of EOLAB is to ensure that ultra-low fuel consumption becomes a reality for as many people as possible. Check out our EOLAB gallery below.

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October 8th, 2014

2016-mazda-mx-5-paris-1
The new Miata is a long time coming. The ND generation is to be released to the public as a 2016 model. Mazda’s Kodo design language has brought an aggressive nature to what I considered a cute car. I am unsure if I like it. Well, change that, I don’t like it. I think it has more to do with Kodo than the overall look of the car. The design language really works on the Mazda6, not so much on the Mazda3. The Miata being even smaller, has me thinking that Kodo is more appropriate to larger cars (to me anyway).

This iteration has lost some weight. 2,200 lbs is the figure I have seen floating around the internet as a curb weight. No surprise is that the engine will still be a 4 cylinder and rumoured to be the 2.0L Skyactive that sees duty in other Mazda products. Expect 150-170 hp. With the weight loss, this should make it a very fun car to toss around.

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October 8th, 2014

2015-suzuki-vitara-paris-15

In the mid 90′s, the Grand Vitara was a fairly popular vehicle in Canada. It was also sold as the Geo Tracker and later as the Chevrolet Tracker, and also as the Asuna Sunrunner. The Grand Vitara was popular because it was essentially a mini SUV, a market that is exploding in popularity lately. Suzuki was building small crossovers way before it was cool to do so. Now, they are in Paris debuting the all-new 2015 Vitara and though it loses the “Grand” in the name, is actually bigger than the Grand Vitara that we knew from the 90′s and this is because Suzuki has still been producing the Grand Vitara outside of our markets. The new Vitara is of course smaller than the current (and recently discontinued) Grand Vitara.

The 2015 Vitara is available in over a dozen bright paint colors and can be ordered with a white or black roof offering a plethora of customization options. The exterior color can be brought into the interior via a body-colored aluminum trim. We don’t have a picture as we weren’t able to gain access to the vehicles when we were checking out the Vitara. One feature not typically found in smaller crossovers outside of North America is standard all-wheel drive. In normal operation mode the ALLGRIP all-wheel-drive system sends power to the front wheels and will automatically shift power to the rear wheels if there is any slippage.

Barring a new production partnership, unfortunately we will not be seeing the new Vitara in North America as they stopped their North American operations a couple years ago.

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October 8th, 2014

mitsubishi-outlander-phev-concept-s-8

Mitsubishi unveiled the Outlander PHEV Concept S in Paris It is an preview of what might be coming when the Outlander is facelifted. Stylish new headlights that are adorned with LEDs and a new angular grill. The taillights reach from hip to hip.

The profile view for some reason reminds me of a SAAB.

Specs are kind of weak. 2.0L 4 cylinder with electric motors that make 200+ hp. That translates to an 11+ second quarter. The slowness can probably be attributed to the weight of the batteries. The SUV is however good for 1.6 L / 100 km which is pretty incredible.

Given that the EVO is rumoured to be replaced by an SUV, it is likely that this Concept is a preview of the new corporate face that might adorn said EVO replacement.

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October 8th, 2014

seat-leon-x-perience-paris-1
The SEAT Leon X-PERIENCE is an offshoot of the VW Golf Alltrack under the SEAT brand. The X-PERIENCE takes the Leon ST, and adds front and rear underbody protection, and plastic body pieces to allow for more rugged off road usage. The permanent AWD system, borrowed from VW Groups 4MOTION technology, features the latest Haldex AWD system, coupled to the 1.8L TSI engine at 180hp. Diesel lovers can choose between the 1.6L TDI with 110hp, or the much loved 2.0L TDI with 185hp. Transmission choices are the standard 6-speed manual, or the 6-speed DSG. Start stop technology improves fuel consumption.

The SEAT Leon X-PERIENCE is expected to hit European showroom floors in the next month.

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