Posts Tagged ‘year:2015’

Driving Impressions. Michelin Defender LTX M/S

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Michelin invited beyond.ca to the beautiful New England State of Vermont. We were hosted by the awesome team from Michelin Canada and Michelin USA. They brought their tire engineers, product managers, regional managers and public relations folks to introduce us to Michelin’s newest truck tire offering, the Michelin Defender LTX M/S.

In a previous article, I explained the rationale behind the new Michelin Defender LTX M/S. It’s now time to talk about what it is like to drive with these fine tires from Michelin.

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Review: 2015 Jeep Cherokee

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I travel more than the average person. I’m lucky to be able to do that. Travelling has sure changed for me though.

Like most people, I started travelling alone. It was easy. I took what I needed and I could travel light. Some years ago I got married. This added complexity. It added more luggage and another body that required restroom breaks, food and more sleep. I got used to that for a few years and then an additional traveller joined the group. This was by far the most disruptive change.

It required a full-size suitcase, a car seat, a stroller and a diaper bag. This on top of the carry-on I would normally carry with my camera gear and laptop. It was a major effort that left me near completely drenched in sweat just getting to the check-in counter, let alone rushing to a gate if we were late for a flight. We’ve missed a couple of flights in that family configuration. It got easier as we didn’t need the diaper bag anymore and the number of clothes we carried dropped as it was directly proportional to the amount of spit-up there was.

Early this year, a new addition arrived making us a family of 4. This added another car seat, the diaper bag returned, even more clothes got stuffed into the full-size luggage pushing the 50lb limit on every trip. We have learned to travel lighter. We bring washing detergent and try to do laundry while we are away rather than trying to pack enough clothes.

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2015 McLaren 650S – Exotic Redefined

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I recently had the privileged of driving a car that most people can only dream of driving. Sure, you can pay a sum of money and head to LA or Las Vegas and rent one for a few laps, but those types of experiences are all about thrill seeking. When you get the opportunity to drive an exotic super-car, you take it and enjoy every moment of it.

I’m not going to bore you with the details of what makes up a 650S. That type of information can be found on the internet. Lets talk about how the car looks and feels.

The 650S literally looks like the bridge design between where McLaren production cars started and where they are now. The front is all P1 / 570S and the rear is all MP4-12C. The car is striking. I really love the front of the car. It’s aggressive and unique without being arrogant. The rear of the car is all business. It’s neat, tidy and functional. The high mounted exhaust exits are perfectly placed and convey that the 650S is no ordinary car. Some say it is the face-lift of the 12C, but other say it is a step up bringing it closer to the P1.

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Volkswagen Brings Quartet Of Beetles To The Big Apple

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Here at the 2015 New York Auto Show, Volkswagen is showing off four Beetle concepts that not only play homage to the Beetle’s past but also provides a preview of what may be coming down the line. Two of the concepts are coupes and two are convertibles and VW has said it is gauging the public’s reaction to determine which of these concepts will make it to production. The next-generation Beetle, which will be moving to the MQB platform which underpins the Golf will probably arrive as a MY2018 Beetle. My guess is one, or possibly all of these concepts will be used to push the last remaining current generation Beetles out the door before the arrival of the next generation.

Some customers in China and abroad have requested that the factory offer a pink color option, and that color is being tested in the Pink Color Edition concept. Painted in pink metallic with grey accents on the mirrors and side mouldings this pink Beetle caters to the trendy, style-concious individual that wants to make a statement with their car.

The Beetle Convertible Denim concept car has what I initially thought was a denim soft top, but it turns out it is just a textured fabric that resembles denim. It is painted in a stonewashed Blue metallic paint and also has grey accents like the Pink Color Edition concept. Moving inside denim-like pockets adorn the backs and sides of the seats. The inner seat surfaces are upholstered in a light blue fabric while the outer surfaces are lined with blue leatherette and the piping is trimmed in white. Various other interior trims and panels are adorned in blue fabric and white stitching and details.

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While the Denim Beetle concept had a nice cool tone to it the other Beetle convertible concept, the Beetle Convertible Wave has a fiery Habanero Orange metallic paint job offset with chrome side mirrors. The seat inserts are in a classic houndstooth pattern that are a throwback to the 50’s and 60’s fashion scene. A wooden dashpad inspired by a traditional surfboard complement the design of the seats.

The last Beetle featured is the R-Line concept. The R-Line concept is finished in a Oryx White Pearl paint with an aggressive looking front bumper featuring enlarged air vents and a glossy black lower front lip that extends down the sides and fender of the car. The side mirrors and rear diffuser are also finished in a glossy black paint job. The dashpad, door inserts and steering wheel feature splashs of carbon fiber because race car. In fact, the Beetle R-Line concept is more than half an inch wider than the standard production car.

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Infiniti QX30 Concept Arrives In New York

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The Infiniti QX30 Concept was unveiled earlier this month at the Geneva Motor Show and like other concept vehicles released lately, it is not too far from production. In fact Infiniti has said they plan to bring out the production version next year and as you can see in the photos there really isn’t much work to bring it to production specs. The body work will of course get toned down a bit but the wavy lines aren’t too aggressive as it is in my opinion. The front end on the concept is a bit busy and will likely be where we will see the most changes when the production version comes out. The over-sized air intakes on the lower front fascia will probably get smaller and be filled in with some sort of fog light.

Under the hood, the concept is packing a 2.0L turbocharged engine coupled with a 7-speed automatic transmission. The engine is supplied by Mercedes-Benz (right out of the B250) so it’ll likely be about 220 horsepower. It rides on a set of 21″ wheels which sit under a set of plastic fender flares on all four corners. If you’re thinking this is similar to something like an Audi Allroad, you couldn’t be more correct. Like the Allroad, the QX30 Concept is essentially a Q30 Concept with a bit more road clearance and wider plastic over-fenders.

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Volvo planning more Cross Country models

Back in August we had a chance to sit down with Volvo Senior VP Lex Kerssemakers at the unveiling of the new XC90, when he told us all about the company’s plans to completely revitalize its lineup within the next four years. Cross Country models, he assured us when asked, would be a big part of …


Chevy Silverado Midnight Edition coming to Chicago

Between the GMC Canyon Nightfall Edition and Chevy Silverado Custom Sport, the truck divisions of General Motors had no lack of blacked-out custom pickups to showcase at the Detroit Auto Show this year. But now the General has announced one more.

Called the Midnight Edition, for this special …


2014 BMW i3, i8 sales strong enough to reach almost 17,800 last year

BMW makes its futuristic i brand vehicles – the i3 and i8 – at a plant in Leipzig, Germany. But the customers most willing to buy one of these plug-in cars live where the lightweight carbon fiber used in the body structure is made: North America.

Speaking at the Detroit Auto Show


Porsche 911 GT3 RS getting all-new atmospheric engine

Porsche surprised many of its most puritanical enthusiasts when it took a decidedly more usable approach with the current 911 GT3. But when the new GT3 RS debuts, it promises to be a much more extreme departure. And a big part of that comes down to the engine.

At the Detroit Auto Show this we…


2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport

Just Because You Have A Family Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Have An Adventure

The SUV category transitioned from glorified agricultural equipment into slick mall trawlers in the blink of an evolutionary eye. But in the genre’s speedy civilization process, something was left on the table – the …


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