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.
With the recent release of the Ford RS Focus to the world, Australian authorities have taken special notice to the blue oval’s rather interestingly named feature called the “drift mode”. The feature channels up to 70 percent of the RS’s torque to the rear wheels, and then up to 100 percent of that output to either side to enable torque vectoring, which allows the driver to easily to push the vehicle into a drift. The car’s stability control system also monitors driver input in relation to the car’s yaw and will kick in stability features to correct for driver errors. The result, an incredibly easy to drive car which can also save you should you push a little beyond your ability.
Australian authorities aren’t happy that drivers could press a button and cause havoc on public roads. More specifically, they aren’t too happy that Ford actually designed a feature in a car that allows people to become hooligans on the streets. Ford has countered saying that all the design elements of their vehicle was approved for the Australian market, specifically that when the vehicle enters the “drift mode”, a disclaimer message comes up warning drivers that the mode is for race track use only.
The all new 2017 Acura NSX is a superbly capable vehicle with loads of technology packed into it. The beauty of the hybrid powerplant for the NSX is not only that it produces 570hp from combining a V6 twin turbo motor paired with electric motors, it’s the fact the powertrain of the NSX is deigned to be modular. Recently at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb we saw the full electric version of the NSX compete, and now the release of the GT3 NSX shows us that a fully gas powered car sending power to the rear wheels is also possible.
As Acura continues to think of new iterations of the NSX for public consumption, managing this powertrain equation is critical. As an example, word has spread about Acura possibly producing a light weight Type R version of the NSX which has traditionally been a stripped down street legal track car. With the current NSX’s curb weight tipping in close to 4,000 pounds, light weight is far from reality. However, as the modular powertrain comes into play, stripping out all the electronic gismos in favor of a simple gas motor and rear drive certainly moves the needle towards the lightweight side.
With a drop in overall power by ditching the electric motors, Acura will have to come up with a plan to up the power ante of the gas motor. Maybe we’ll see a highly tuned version of the current gas motor. Only time will tell, but we know that the development team at Acura is highly capable at churning out a beast of a car.
The Grand Tour just finished wrapping up their first episode filming in Johannesburg, South Africa, and we can’t wait for the season to air. It has been some time since we’ve seen the dynamic trio of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May hit out TV screens and since talks about their new show started to circulate viewers around the world have been waiting for them to come back.
The concept of the show is a great departure from the trios original show concept. Having seen what each host could create based on their solo shows over the years, we know that the team is dynamic enough to pull off a different concept. The key is whether the energy which worked under the Top Gear UK brand will carry forward to this new concept. I am hopeful for the new show and can’t wait for The Grand Tour to air.
Aston Martin has issued a recall on a number of their vehicles as a result of an issue identified with their door locks. The affected vehicles include the 2010-2015 Aston Martin DB9, 2010-2012 DBS, 2010-2016 Rapide, 2010-2016 V8 Vantage, 2012 Virage, 2014-2016 Vanquish, 2011-2016 V12 Vantage, and 2012-2013 V12 Zagato. In total 6,076 cars are impacted by the recall.
The problems door locks have been isolated to the door unlocking mechanism which may not function properly when the vehicle is locked from the outside. Due to the issue with the locks, a passenger could get trapped inside the vehicle. Aston Martin’s recall will require dealership to deactivate a feature in the locking system which has a double locking process. The system is controlled by a computer so the fix should just be a simple software update.
Texting while driving is already a bad enough offense. Now people have taken distracted driving to a whole new level while playing Pokemon Go, which has taken the digital world by storm. The problem has gotten so bad that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has created a pubic message to all drivers not to play the game while driving.
Pokemon Go is a new game which plays from your cell phone and combines the activity of walking with game play. The idea of walk just simply means that the player must travel from one place to another to interact and engage in the game. According to NHTSA, 58 percent of Pokemon Go players are in the 18-to-24 age range, while another 38 percent is comprised of 25-to-30-year-old players, both of which are the core age groups most likely to get into a car accident or die in a distracted-driving-related crash.
Accidents related to distracted driving, or just being distracted in general, are already on the rise since the release of the game. So please take the strong words of the NHTSA to heart and don’t play and drive.
Sebastian Vettel is known to be a perfectionist behind that four wheels of his F1 car. But the four time world champion is now testing the waters of 2 wheels, just not at a competitive level. Instead, Vettel has enlisted custom motorcycle builer Marcus Walz to build him a one off bike specially tailored to Vettel’s taste.
Walz’s bikes don’t come cheap. The builder creates bespoke masterpieces out of his Germany based company and the bill usually is north of the $100,000 mark. Not that it would be an issue for Vettel to fork over the cash. But it also looks like Walz’s Formula One clientele doesn’t end at just Vettel. Apparently Kimi Raikkonen had commissioned a bike for himself as well.
With the first season of the rebooted show wound down, so has the investigation against the show for doing a burnout at UK’s 96 year old war memorial. The trust that oversees the BBC stated that their appeals to the matter were at this point done and closed. The scene where Ken Block and Matt LeBlanc did the burnout never made it on the air.
Maybe that’s a good sign to come for the show? Even though it has no bearings on where the directon of Top Gear will go next season, any good news is something in the right direction for the newly rebooted TV show. Another piece of good news, it is expected that Matt LeBlanc will take over the lead host role for season two.
Seems like you can’t go anywhere these days without being bombarded by Pokemon. I, personally, was too old to play with Pokemon. They don’t make any sense to me, but for those who did enjoy the characters growing up, the new Pokemon Go game is nothing less than addictive. Everywhere you go for the last couple of weeks, you see people trying to catch these darn Pokemon on their cell phones. People go to far lengths to catch these cartoon creatures, and for one player he decided to hope in a Ring Taxi and catch some Pokemon on a race lap around the historic track.
The game designers created an interactive game which required the player to physically go outside, walk around, and find Pokemons which have been spread all around the world. The goal of the game is to catch them all, and what more obscure yet fun place to catch some Pokemon than at the Nurburgring.
My thought? It’s blasphemy to go for a ride on the Nurburgring and do anything else other than sit tight and enjoy the historic track and all that the ring taxi driver has to offer in terms of speed and excitement as they fly through the race track. Focusing on finding Pokemons at the Nurburging just goes to show how addicted people are in the pursuit to find all the characters.
Some may recall that Volkswagen’s 2.0L diesel engine wasn’t the only motor in the company’s lineup that was misleading emission regulators. Volkswagen 3.0L diesel motors found in Audis and Porsches were also part of the emission scandal. Recently, Volkswagen submitted a recall to regulators but the solution was far from acceptable according the the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
As CARB put it, “VW‘s and Audi’s submissions are incomplete, substantially deficient, and fall far short of meeting the legal requirements to return these vehicles to the claimed certified configuration,” Currently, vehicles built between 2009 and 2016 which use the 3.0L diesel engine is affected. If VW doesn’t come up with a plan that satisfied regulators, they may be forced to purchase the vehicles back from customers.
When you mix the fat wallet of Mercedes with the creative genius behind Garia, a company whose sole business is producing luxury carts, you get somewhat of a novelty item that you just don’t want to say no to. Be it a Hummer cart, of a Porsche cart, Mercedes has the one up on all those companies by creating something that doesn’t look like the typical Mercedes, but has the essence and all the traditional luxury trim you would come to expect of the brand.
The folks over at Mercedes has had this idea for the least 3 years. Designing and collaborating with Garia allowed the company to produce a concept cart which they recently debuted. Mercedes and Garia went to great lengths to make a golf cart that doesn’t look like a golf car. They wanted to change the way golfers looked and used the cart. No longer is it just a transit vehicle to get from hole to hole. This car makes a statement with it’s lowered ride height and simplistic yet elegant body lines.
Hop inside and you’ll be greeted with all the goodies you would find in the carts bigger siblings. Occupants sit on a curved bench seat which also plays dual role as a fridge to hold those oh so important beverages while you are on the green. The dash is trimmed in carbon fiber, as is the rest of the interior to create that luxury and performance feel. Tech package includes a full infotainment system. And don’t worry about getting around the entire 18 holes as the cart has a full range of 50 miles.
The Mercedes/Garia partnership cart is not slated for production. Only two concept vehicles will be built to go on shows and gauge buyer interest.