by Mark J. Cipolloni Motorsports has a major dilemma it soon must address, or it will be faced with almost certain extinction. Increasingly manufacturers are using motorsports for R&D for its road cars. We hear all the time that manufacturers want the series they participate in to be relevant to the road cars they will sell either now, or in the future. I will be the first to admit that the manufacturers are the lifeblood of motorsports. They bring huge sums of money into the sport to try and develop better engines, better cars and better engineers.
by Ali Arsham The all-new 2016 Hyundai Tucson will arrive in dealerships as you read this and we were excited to be given the opportunity to test it beforehand. The new Tucson continues with Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design theme that debuted on the 2015 Genesis. The new styling is not ground breaking but it results in a good looking vehicle.
Autonomous Cars + Uber = Game Changer! Connected vehicle technology may never become mandatory in American cars, as the Department of Transportation recently suggested it might, because it does have to be. Autonomous vehicles are getting so good that soon they will be able to drive totally independent from any communication from other vehicles. Combine autonomous vehicle technology with Uber technology and you get the first step to a world without car-ownership.
375th and final example of the McLaren P1 produced The final chapter in the production of the McLaren P1 has now been written as the 375th and final example was completed, bringing the curtain down on the most technologically advanced and dynamically accomplished supercar ever made. From launch, the groundbreaking model was designed with one key goal: to be the best drivers" car on road and track.
by Ali Arsham The Acura RDX was introduced in 2007 and it stood out because of its turbocharged engine and sporty nature. The RDX was given a total redesign in 2013 and it lost some of its sportiness but was bigger and smoother. For 2016 the RDX gets freshened up with some more changes and we wanted to see what direction the RDX was headed. What we discovered was that the RDX is smoother, more luxurious and just more of what you would expect from an Acura.
in Gothenburg, Sweden today Volvo Cars debuted the highly-anticipated Volvo S90 luxury sedan in Gothenburg, Sweden today on the heels of the company’s award-winning Volvo XC90 SUV. The all-new Volvo S90 sedan is a bold entry into the luxury sedan market and sets a new standard with superior materials, technology, comfort and class-leading semi-autonomous features. "With $11 USD billion of investment over the past five years we have not only reimagined what Volvo Cars can be – we are now delivering on our promise of a resurgent and relevant Volvo Cars brand," said Hakan Samuelsson, President & CEO, Volvo Car Group.
by Ali Arsham There are many cars these days that claim to be driver focused but many of them don’t even come with a manual transmission so they can’t be taken seriously. Yes, Ferraris and Lamborghinis don’t come with a manual transmission these days and that’s a shame because the joy of a sports car is to feel the machine and be in charge instead of having computers do all the work for you. Fortunately, the folks at Mazda still feel that way and the new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is as pure as you can get in a mass produced sports car.
Fixes the ugly front of the previous model New appearance for an automotive icon: the beginning of 2016 will see the start of customer orders for the Mercedes-Benz SL which will be available from April 2016 with a host of significantly enhanced technical and visual features. More powerful engines, the automatic transmission 9G-TRONIC, DYNAMIC SELECT with five transmission modes and Active Body Control with the curve tilting function all take the legend to a new dynamic level.
Re-living Childhood Dream with 1971 Pontiac LeMans
by Stephen Cox Keith Boschetti didn't have his driver's license. It was the autumn of 1985 and his 16th birthday wasn't until the following February. But like every teenager in the 1980's, he wanted a car. And it had to be a muscle car that he could drive with pride. "I didn't just want a car. I wanted a cool looking car. I wanted something special," Boschetti said from his New York office, reflecting on his childhood in Bergen County, New Jersey.
Luxury Crossover with new V6 engine and advanced all-wheel drive Cadillac today unveiled the first-ever 2017 Crossover Touring 5 (XT5,) a comprehensively upgraded luxury crossover and the cornerstone of a new series of crossovers in the brand's ongoing expansion. The first-ever XT5 premieres this month at the Dubai and Los Angeles auto shows and begins production in the U.S. and China in spring 2016.
High-Tech Reincarnation of Acura's supercar When the original Acura NSX made its debut 25 years ago, it forever changed the supercar universe by combining scintillating sports car styling and athletic performance—common traits long associated with the exotic car segment—with a new dimension of quality, exceptional ergonomics, comfort, and dynamic poise. The NSX introduced and defined Acura's approach to "Precision Crafted Performance" with its cutting-edge design and innovative technology that provided accessible supercar performance for real drivers in the real world.
Ferrari's street legal F12tdf is built for the track
Ferrari says that in terms of acceleration, the tdf is 'second to none.' Ferrari has revealed the F12tdf which pays homage to the Tour de France, the legendary endurance road race that Ferrari dominated in the 1950s and '60s. The F12tdf is a concentration of technical innovations which involve all the areas central to Ferrari's DNA: engine, aerodynamics and vehicle dynamics. As a result, in terms of acceleration, roadholding and agility, the new berlinetta is second to none. 0-60 mph comes in 2.7-seconds, 120 mph comes in 7.9 sec. Top speed is 211 mph.
Seems like cars have always had radios, but they didn't. One evening, in 1929, two young men named William Lear and Elmer Wavering drove their girlfriends to a lookout point high above the Mississippi River town of Quincy, Illinois, to watch the sunset. It was a romantic night to be sure, but one of the women observed that it would be even nicer if they could listen to music in the car. Lear and Wavering liked the idea.
First time available for USA BMW today announced the new 2016 BMW M4 GTS giving BMW M GmbH a new and exclusive technological masterpiece which elevates the potential of the BMW M4 Coupe to an impressive new level. With its powerful, motorsport-inspired looks and high-performance technology, the BMW M4 GTS has its sights set squarely on the race track.
by Ali Arsham The heavy duty diesel pick up market war has been going for many years now and I think it is safe to say that Ford has brought the biggest gun to the fight. Everyone talks about how their truck can haul the most but we wanted to see just how well the new Ford F350 can tow so we arranged a test to tow the biggest trailer that we could find to see the results.
by Ali Arsham A full size luxury SUV is probably the best vehicle for a long distance road trip and they don’t get much better than the Lincoln Navigator. So when we had a 2015 Navigator show up, we had no choice but to drive it everywhere and see if the Navigator is as enjoyable as we remember it from its early days.
Electric Sports Car This is what it might look like -- the Porsche of tomorrow. Porsche is presenting the "Mission E" concept car at the IAA in Frankfurt from 17 to 27 September. The concept car is a coherent design of a sports car with an electric drive and all of the traits that make up a Porsche. In the Mission E, an entirely new spread is experienced between performance and efficiency -- supplemented by a futuristic display and control concept. The joint premiere with the new generation 911 Carrera has symbolic character. The first all-electrically powered four-seat Porsche of the 21st century represents the future of a concept that made the 911 the most successful sports car ever for over 50 years.
by Ali Arsham If your average SUV is not big enough for you, then you are in need of a Chevrolet Suburban. The Suburban has been around for 80 years now and is in its 12th generation. Of course today’s version has little in common with the first one and the first one certainly did not have features like 4G connectivity and six USB ports but the new one does. After spending some time with the giant SUV, we found that the unique combination of space, luxury and capability is very useful.
and Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance presented by Rolex It was a Globally Renowned Tribute To Automotive Splendour. Staged on the scenic fairway of the 18th hole of the Pebble Beach Golf Links, the grand finale of the Monterey Classic Car Week the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, saw a bumper entry of 200 premium collector’s cars today.
Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance As the epic annual Monterey Classic Car Week continues to grow and grow, so too does one of its central events, the Pebble Beach Tour d'Elegance presented by Rolex. In the 2015 event, which was blessed by the best Californian weather in recent years, nearly 200 cars with a value collectively running into the many hundreds of millions of dollars, ran the non-competitive tour of 80 miles (129 kilometers), to the mass approval of huge crowds.
by Ali Arsham Ford takes it trucks very seriously. Without the F150, the company would be in a different place today so every time the F150 is being redesigned, it is done with a lot of research and analysis. The new F150 has been tested probably more than any other recent Ford. Before the 2015 F-150 went on sale, it will have been torture-tested in labs, at Ford proving grounds and in the hands of some of Ford’s most demanding truck customers for more than 10 million miles. The grueling testing simulates the demands Ford customers will subject the truck to throughout its average lifetime.
Official unveiling scheduled for Frankfurt Motor Show Ferrari announces the launch of the 488 Spider, its most powerful ever mid-rear-engined V8 car to feature the patented retractable hard top along with the highest level of technological innovation and with cutting-edge design. Ferrari was the first manufacturer to introduce the RHT (Retractable Hard Top) on a car of this particular architecture. This solution ensures lower weight (-25 kg) and better cockpit comfort compared to the classic fabric soft-top.
by Ali Arsham There is a new work truck in town and it is a good one. Ram is now selling its brand new ProMaster City. The vehicle is aimed at contractors, plumbers, delivery people and others who need to haul stuff around the city. It is designed to be an affordable option for people who need such a vehicle and it is brilliant/
by Ali Arsham The Lexus LS was one of those game changing cars when it first arrived in 1991. The original car was initiated by the Toyota chairman himself to be a luxury sedan to beat the best from Europe. The engineers were told not to use any existing Toyota platforms or engines in their designs and what they came out had to beat out their targets and it did.
by Ali Arsham The Audi A3 is one of the best kept secrets out there. Here is an Audi at Toyota prices that still feels and drives like an Audi. The A3 was totally redesigned last year and the US market lost the hatchback version so now all A3 models are sedans. The good news is that there are many improvements along the way. There is even a rumor that the hatchback will be back in the US.
Lighter, more powerful, with more advanced technology The sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro revealed today offers higher levels of performance, technology and refinement and is designed to maintain the sporty car segment leadership earned over the past five years. The Gen Six Camaro provides a faster, more nimble driving experience, enabled by an all-new, lighter architecture and a broader powertrain range. Six all-new powertrain combinations are offered, including a 2.0L Turbo, an all-new 3.6L V-6 and the LT1 6.2L V-8, which is SAE-certified at 455 horsepower (339 kW) and 455 lb-ft of torque (617 Nm) – for the most powerful Camaro SS ever.
by Ali Arsham The minivan has been forgotten among many manufacturers. There are only a handful of minivans still available for sale and most have not been redesigned in a long time. Kia’s Sedona minivan has been around for a long time but has not been updated for many years. Some assumed that Kia would just quietly get rid of it from their lineup but instead Kia redesigned it and has made the 2015 Sedona one of the best and most attractive minivans available.
by Ali Arsham The Honda Civic is an amazing car. The same basic car can be so different. We sampled our favorite Civic, the Si, along with one of the most luxurious, the EX-L. They are completely different animals and appeal to different people while they are the same chassis and are priced about the same. It is an unlikely comparison but it is intriguing.
Only 37 GT350R Models To Be Built In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Shelby GT350, Ford will build a limited run of Shelby GT350 and GT350R Mustangs for 2015. The original Shelby GT350, introduced in 1965, established Mustang’s performance credentials on racetracks around the world. The all-new Shelby GT350, featuring the most powerful naturally aspirated Ford production engine ever, re-establishes Mustang as a world-class sports car. Only 100 Shelby GT350 models will feature a 2015 model year designation before production switches over to 2016. Of these, 50 will be equipped with the Technology Package and 50 equipped with the Track Package.
Chevrolet Introduces 2016 Corvette Z06 C7.R Edition
Track-to-street connection honored with limited production model Chevrolet today introduced the 2016 Corvette Z06 C7.R Edition - a road-going, track-capable homage to the Corvette Racing C7.R racecars. It's offered in Corvette Racing's signature yellow livery - or black - with coordinated exterior and interior accents. Only 500 examples of the C7.R Edition will be built and all will include the Z07 Performance Package with carbon ceramic brakes, as well as a specially serialized vehicle identification number. They go on sale later this year.
Displacement of the NSX's all-new twin turbo V-6 engine to be 3.5-liters In advance of the market launch of the highly anticipated next generation Acura NSX, the engineers leading the supercar's development shared new technical details and design strategies with the automotive engineering community at the April 22nd SAE Detroit Section dinner, held in conjunction with the SAE 2015 World Congress and Exhibition.
Most attainable McLaren yet McLaren will launch its second model in the new Sports Series, the McLaren 540C Coupe, at the Shanghai Motor Show, 20-29 April 2015. The most attainable McLaren yet, the 540C Coupe joins the recently revealed 570S Coupe in the Sports Series as the brand brings its race derived DNA to a new audience and segment.
Cadillac CT6 to Offer Plug-In Hybrid Electric Technology
PHEV system expected to double fuel economy Cadillac announced today at the Shanghai Auto Show that it will add an available Plug-In Hybrid Electric (PHEV) propulsion system to its upcoming range-topping CT6 sedan. The new PHEV system is expected to more than double the fuel economy of the conventional powertrain offerings. The CT6 PHEV takes advantage of the car’s advanced lightweight structure to create a unique formula for the prestige sedan.
Should boost lagging sales Cadillac today announced the ELR electrified luxury coupe will offer a host of upgrades for the 2016 model year, including boosts in acceleration, driving performance and connectivity. Major product upgrades include a more than 25 percent boost in power and torque, faster acceleration that improves 0-60 mph by 1.5 seconds, higher top speed, retuned chassis and steering for better handling, more responsive brakes and a new Performance equipment package
Two examples of the 570S unveiled at New York Auto Show The all-new McLaren Sports Series brings McLaren race-derived technologies and supercar driving exhilaration to the sports car market for the first time. Launching with two power outputs, the Sports Series offers class-leading performance, lightweight construction including a carbon fiber chassis, recognizable McLaren design values and a comprehensive specification list.
by Ali Arsham The Hyundai Genesis was a significant car when it was introduced in 2009. It brought luxury to the masses by providing an alternative to the German brands at a significant discount. The 2015 Genesis brings some improvements to the second generation premium sedan. The 2015 Genesis represents a bold step forward for Hyundai, continuing to build upon its successful strategy of marketing its premium models under the Hyundai brand umbrella, rather than a costly separate luxury brand sales channel.
Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid Derives Technology from Volt
GM estimates combined fuel economy ratings to exceed 45 mpg Chevrolet’s recent production announcement of its all-electric vehicle based on the Bolt EV concept, as well as the introduction of the 2016 Chevrolet Volt, will be joined by a strong hybrid version of the next-generation Malibu. Using technology from the 2016 Chevrolet Volt propulsion system, Malibu Hybrid will offer an estimated combined fuel economy rating exceeding 45 mpg, higher than the combined mileage ratings of the Ford Fusion, Toyota Camry and Hyundai Sonata hybrid variants.
Ten new plug-in hybrids by 2017 Extra impetus for the Mercedes-Benz strategic hybrid initiative: In the run-up to 2017 the company is bringing out a total of ten plug-in hybrid models, i.e. one new model with high-tech hybrid drive every four months on average. Following the successful launch of the S 500 PLUG-IN HYBRID, this month will see the C 350 e, the second model to feature the progressive drive concept, find its way to dealerships.
by Ali Arsham The Honda Fit came into the US market in 2006 partially because the Civic and the Accord were getting bigger which meant there was no small car left in Honda’s lineup. The first generation Fit was somewhat revolutionary because it was a small car that was also fun to drive. In fact as soon as the Fit came out, there were tuners producing racing versions of the Fit. Now there is the third generation of the Fit that has arrived on our shores and Honda has tried to bring the Fit more upmarket with the 2015 version to make the car even better.
The Purest Essence Of A Lamborghini Super Sports Car With increased power, lower weight, improved aerodynamics and innovative technologies the Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 Superveloce is the most pure incarnation of a Lamborghini to date: unmistakable Lamborghini super sports car DNA, dynamic superiority and exceptional driving precision. A focus on weight reduction while incorporating innovative technologies has resulted in the most sports-oriented, fastest and most emotional series production Lamborghini ever. The weight has been further reduced by 50 kg through enhanced lightweight engineering including significant use of carbon fiber.
The Ultimate 911 For High-Performance Drivers The new Porsche 911 GT3 RS breaks down the barrier between road-going sports cars and race cars. It is equipped with the maximum amount of motorsport technology that is currently possible in a street-legal 911 suitable for everyday driving. Extensive modifications to its drivetrain, aerodynamics, and lightweight design take performance to an even higher level than the 911 GT3.
Debut's at the 85th International Geneva Motor Show The track-dedicated 1000PS McLaren P1 GTR will debut at the 85th International Geneva Motor Show in limited production form with only minor modifications to the Design Concept presented just six months ago. The most noticeable change is the livery that the Geneva show car will be sporting. It is one which will be available to the fortunate few who will be joining the McLaren P1 GTR Driver Program that kicks off at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain later this year.
Fastest and most powerful production Lotus ever The new Lotus Evora 400 is the latest pure and focused supercar from Lotus, combining high performance with the legendary Lotus benchmark handling. It is faster and dynamically more capable than the previous Lotus Evora leading to greater agility and a more involving drive. Maximum speed is 186 mph (300 km/h) and acceleration 0-60 mph is just 4.1 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.2 seconds).
Ferrari 488 GTB: extreme power for extreme thrills
The new V8 debuts at Geneva Forty years on from the unveiling of its first ever mid-rear-engined V8 model, the 308 GTB, the Prancing Horse opens a new chapter in its 8-cylinder history. The Ferrari 488 GTB provides track-level performance that can be enjoyed to the full even by non-professional drivers in everyday use. Its response times, nimbleness and on-the-limit driving guarantee a unique sense of exhilaration and unparalleled driving pleasure.
by Stephen Cox After a Mexican 302-equipped Ford Torino crossed the block at Mecum Auctions recently, I've received a boatload of questions about these unique engines, their collector value, and how to identify them. Mexican 302's are a bit of an oddity, so I thought I'd pass along the answers publicly for Ford enthusiasts.
by Ali Arsham Kia has come a long way since their humble beginnings. The best evidence is the new Kia K900, a car so luxurious that many European luxury car makers should be getting nervous. This year marks Kia Motors' 20th anniversary in the U.S. market, and the all-new K900 is a symbol of how far the brand has come and the next bold example of the challenger spirit that has benefitted Kia over two decades of growth and maturation.
Limited edition to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the McLaren F1 GTR victory Every one of the 106 models of the McLaren F1 built has a story to tell, with those wearing a 'GTR' badge boasting a lineage back to one of the most famous results in the history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. As the checkered flag fell at the end of the 1995 race, five McLaren F1 GTRs crossed the line to finish 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 13th.
by Ali Arsham The sixth generation Hyundai Sonata was introduced in 2011. It was Hyundai's best attempt to go after the big boys in the class from Honda and Toyota. It also had an optional turbocharged four cylinder engine instead of the usual V6 offered by others and featured the Hyundai Fluidic Sculpture design. The seventh generation 2015 Sonata was just introduced and it has been improved in almost every way but the turbo engine produces less power than before.
At Detroit Auto Show Ford Monday unveiled the new Shelby GT350R Mustang, the most track-ready road-going production Mustang ever built. In 1965, Ford and Carroll Shelby developed a road-racing version of the popular Ford Mustang - the Shelby GT350 Competition model. Lighter, more powerful and with a highly developed suspension, it is one of the most iconic racing Mustangs ever produced.
Twin-turbo Ford EcoBoost V6 producing more than 600 horsepower Ford today unveiled the all-new GT, an ultra-high-performance supercar that serves as a technology showcase for top EcoBoost performance, aerodynamics and lightweight carbon fiber construction. The GT is one of more than 12 new Ford Performance vehicles coming by 2020. It joins Focus RS, F-150 Raptor, Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT350R in the growing Ford Performance lineup.
Acura's highly anticipated next-generation NSX supercar Twenty-five years after the debut of the original, paradigm-shifting NSX supercar, Acura revealed the production version of its highly anticipated successor - the next-generation Acura NSX, developed and produced in the U.S. - to the world's auto media at the 2015 North American International Auto Show today. The production model, in a scintillating NSX Red finish, took the stage with a growl from its twin-turbocharged engine.
New styling and longer EV range Chevrolet today unveiled the all-new 2016 Volt electric car with extended range, showcasing a sleeker, sportier design that offers 50 miles of EV range, greater efficiency and stronger acceleration. The Volt's new, efficient propulsion system will offer a General Motors' - estimated total driving range of more than 400 miles and with regular charging, owners are expected to travel more than 1,000 miles on average between gas fill-ups.
by Ali Arsham Mini has always been about fun motoring so when we heard that the new third generation Mini is coming out we were nervous that Mini would follow the path that many have taken with more heft and less fun. We managed to get our hands on a Mini Cooper Hardtop to see if the new car was still as much fun as the old car.
Luxury in motion With the S 500 INTELLIGENT DRIVE and the Future Truck 2025, Mercedes-Benz has already made the vision of autonomous driving reality. The new research vehicle F 015 Luxury in Motion has its world premiere at the Consumer Electronics Show, and provides a concrete example of the visionary ideas the company is developing with regard to autonomous driving of the future. With this self-driving luxury sedan Mercedes-Benz illustrates how the car is growing beyond its role as a mere means of transport and will ultimately become a private retreating space.
by Stephen Cox My true passion was for classic cars and historic racing cars... that is, until the summer of 2012 when I co-hosted Mecum's first major motorcycle auction in Monterey. That auction was my road-to-Damascus moment. My eyes were opened to the beauty, history and raw functionality of motorcycles. As we approach Mecum's biggest bike auction ever at Las Vegas on January 8-10, my plan is to drag as many of my car friends as possible into the amazing world of bikes.
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