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Video: Chris Harris Compares new Porsche 911 Turbo S against McLaren 12C Spider 3
Dec
Posted by Darryl in Auto Addiction, Automotive, Chris Harris, Drive, Drive Channel, mclaren, McLaren 12C Spider, porsche, Porsche 911 Turbo S, video on 12 3rd, 2013
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Super Cars! I once had a turbo car and thought it was the best thing since sliced bread, totally ‘Super’ in my book. I could hang with the big dogs on the street and get dirty looks from those who quite didn’t understand the outrageous sounds my car made even if it was standing still. In the world of new supercars, everything is simply “fast”. There is no way around it, they are all outrageously fast and Chris Harris has the dream job to test many of them out with the new Porsche 911 Turbo S and McLaren 12C Spider being his latest challenge.

Chris Harris in undoubtedly cheeky in is descriptive language about each and every car he drives and the latest comparison of the 911 Turbo S and 12C Spider is no different. Check out which one he ‘descriptively’ gives a bow at in this recent Drive video below. Enjoy!



Inside Koenigsegg Talks About Carbon Fiber: Video 9
Jan
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Carbon Fiber, Drive, Koenigsegg, Koenigsegg Agera R, Kurt, video on 01 9th, 2013

In case you missed last week’s teaser, “Inside Koenigsegg” is a nine part series, airing on Drive and hosted by the company’s founder, Christian Von Koenigsegg. The videos promise to give a look behind the scenes at one of the world’s premier supercar builders, but will also explain how technology developed for the Agera R trickles down to more common uses.

Carbon fiber is used extensively throughout the Agera R, as it’s lightweight, strong and (important for chassis development) extremely rigid. Koenigsegg claims that his cars are the most carbon fiber-intensive production vehicles built today, as over 400 parts are built using the exotic and expensive material.

Creating a component from carbon fiber sheeting is a labor-intensive process involving the layering of carbon fiber sheets inside a mold along with various films and materials meant to evenly distribute pressure or vacuum. Once the part is layered up, heat and pressure (or vacuum) are used to consolidate the layers, and Koenigsegg describes the process as a “black art.” His company has been perfecting it since 1994, so we’d say that’s an educated opinion.

When properly molded, carbon fiber parts offer a strength to weight ration like few other materials on the planet. Make an error in the manufacturing process (unlikely, given Koenigsegg’s experience) and the part can be weak and brittle, failing at the worst possible time. In other words, there’s little margin for error.

Over the next few years, you can expect to see carbon fiber parts begin to make their way into more and more production cars. Until someone figures out a way to automate the production process, however, the material isn’t likely to be inexpensive to produce.



Chris Harris On Cars: Drop-Top Flogging in McLaren MP4-12C Spider – Video 25
Oct
Posted by Darryl in Automotive, Chris Harris, Drive, mclaren, McLaren MP4-12C Spider, On Cars, video on 10 25th, 2012

Chris Harris gets to flog the new McLaren Mp4-12C Spider around the Ascari Race Resort in the latest DRIVE video. The McLaren MP4-12C is among the hottest exotics currently around. To compete with drop-top variants of what enthusiasts fortunate enough choose to take fast weekend drives, McLaren recently introduced a Spider version of their prided MP4-12C with a little extra power over the first offerings of the MP4-12C – getting a total of 625 ponies. Does the added power, tweaking and power-folding top make a difference? Hear what he has to say about the 625 horsepower drop-top creation here on his latest On Cars video and find out. Enjoy!



Chris Harris Offers His Personal Concession For ‘Sort Of’ Hating The Mazda MX-5 Miata: Video 11
Sep
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Automotive, Chris Harris, Drive, Mazda, Mazda Miata, Mazda MX-5, video on 09 11th, 2012

You can always find a select group of people that will never think of the Mazda MX-5 Miata as a worthy driver’s car or ‘prize’ vehicle for the every-day enthusiast. You could jam a Chevy small block in one with ease and still have frowning-faced onlookers provoke you in shame. Some, on the other hand, have naturally placed the Japanese convertible on a pedestal considering how it has championed many autocross and track events during its 2-decade-long stint. Chris Harris happens to be one on the impermeable fence about liking the Mazda MX-5 Miata truthfully expressing his part-hatred towards the vehicle. In his latest DRIVE On Cars video Chris attempts to give the MX-5 Miata a second go and “reform” his opinion to express it to us the best way he knows how. Quite the entertaining delight here. Enjoy!



Matt Farah Revisits Switzer for a Drive in 1,100 HP Nissan GT-R 11
Sep
Posted by Darryl in Automotive, Drive, Matt Farah, nissan, nissan gt-r, video on 09 11th, 2012

Matt gets to strap behind the wheel of another Switzer Nissan GT-R but this time it uses pump gas and makes an astonishing 1,100 horsepower when using race gas. As Matt explains in this latest DRIVE network video, Switzer does the complete package deal with the GT-R replacing internals and strengthening the drivetrain to lay down over 900 horsepower to the wheels. The vehicle that Matt drives this time is good for 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds, 9.4 seconds at 150 mph in the quarter mile and hits 208 mph in a standing mile. That is just plain FAST. Enjoy the video below!



Video: Matt Farah Test Drives World’s Fastest Tuned Car – Hennessey Venom GT 10
Jul
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Automotive, Drive, Hennessey, Hennessey Venom GT, Hennessey Venom GT Spyder, John Hennessey, Matt Farah, Tuned, Tuners on 07 10th, 2012

“It thrills me, and it scares me… a little bit”. Those are the words of the mastermind behind the new Hennessey Venom GT, John Hennessey, when he drives his monstrous 1200 horsepower and theoretical 272 mph top speed concoction.

Matt Farah, as a kick off to the latest season of Tuned on the DRIVE network, gets the once-in-a-lifetime chance to strap behind the wheel of John Hennessey’s latest creation, the fastest car he has ever driven, the Hennessey Venom GT Spyder. Hit up the jump to view the exclusive test drive video below.



A Behind-The-Scenes Look At Pagani: Video 26
Apr
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Drive, Kurt, Pagani, video, Videos on 04 26th, 2012

Horacio Pagani believes that art and engineering aren’t mutually exclusive, and his passion for both can clearly be seen in every automobile that bears his name. While the video below is long (nearly half an hour), we think it’s well worth watching, as it gives you a very intimate look at the man behind one of the world’s most exclusive supercar manufacturers.

While brands like Lamborghini and Ferrari churn out thousands of cars per year, Pagani builds less than two-dozen. In fact, at its current facility, production is limited to just 20 cars per year, which is why the manufacturer will soon occupy a larger facility. Its capacity? Around 40 cars per year.

That quantity is just about right for Horacio Pagani, who seems to have a personal relationship with each and every one of his customers (who he refers to as family). It’s clear that employees are family, too, as evidenced by the number of Pagani tattoos proudly displayed by the craftsmen who build the cars.

No expense is spared in the construction of a Pagani, and no detail is overlooked. The carbon fiber monocoques use a unique carbon fiber cloth that contains embedded strands of titanium, which adds to the tub’s overall strength and ability to dissipate energy. Sure, it’s significantly more expensive than conventional carbon fiber cloth, but that’s beside the point. It’s the best material available, so that’s what Pagani uses.

Most of us will never have the $1.4 million or so it takes to put a Pagani Huayra into your collection, but that’s beside the point. For those of us with 10w 30 in our veins, knowing that a genius like Horacio Pagani is building cars without compromise is enough.



A Behind-The-Scenes Look At Pagani: Video 26
Apr
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Drive, Kurt, Pagani, video, Videos on 04 26th, 2012

Horacio Pagani believes that art and engineering aren’t mutually exclusive, and his passion for both can clearly be seen in every automobile that bears his name. While the video below is long (nearly half an hour), we think it’s well worth watching, as it gives you a very intimate look at the man behind one of the world’s most exclusive supercar manufacturers.

While brands like Lamborghini and Ferrari churn out thousands of cars per year, Pagani builds less than two-dozen. In fact, at its current facility, production is limited to just 20 cars per year, which is why the manufacturer will soon occupy a larger facility. Its capacity? Around 40 cars per year.

That quantity is just about right for Horacio Pagani, who seems to have a personal relationship with each and every one of his customers (who he refers to as family). It’s clear that employees are family, too, as evidenced by the number of Pagani tattoos proudly displayed by the craftsmen who build the cars.

No expense is spared in the construction of a Pagani, and no detail is overlooked. The carbon fiber monocoques use a unique carbon fiber cloth that contains embedded strands of titanium, which adds to the tub’s overall strength and ability to dissipate energy. Sure, it’s significantly more expensive than conventional carbon fiber cloth, but that’s beside the point. It’s the best material available, so that’s what Pagani uses.

Most of us will never have the $1.4 million or so it takes to put a Pagani Huayra into your collection, but that’s beside the point. For those of us with 10w 30 in our veins, knowing that a genius like Horacio Pagani is building cars without compromise is enough.



Matt Farah Drives The World’s Fastest Street-Legal Lotus Exige: Video 21
Mar
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Drive, Lotus, Matt Farah, video, Videos on 03 21st, 2012

Frank Profera, by most people’s definition of the word, isn’t normal. The former New York City cabbie has a need for speed that can’t be satisfied with conventional means. He’s tried, and has owned Ford GT40s, tricked-out Lamborghinis and even a 900-horsepower Ford RS200 Evolution that clocked off a 0-60 run in under two seconds. They were nice, but they weren’t fast enough to keep him amused.

Enter the Lotus Exige, a car that most of us would be happy driving in stock form. Frank wasn’t, so he began working with Stafford Performance in Lancaster, California to make the Lotus faster. An oversized turbo helped on top end, but created too much lag for Frank’s taste. A supercharger was added to help at low end, and the eventual result (after much additional tuning) was a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produces some 680 horsepower at the wheels. Since Frank’s Exige weighs in at just 2,150 pounds, that gives the car a better power-to-weight ratio than a Bugatti Veyron; in fact, it gives the car better power-to-weight than the 1978 Lotus F1 car campaigned by Mario Andretti.

Matt Farah sums up the quality of the build in a most excellent manner, saying, “I’m surprised at how little the car wants to kill me.” In fact, Farah proclaims the highly-modded Lotus to be the fastest car he’s ever driven, which is no minor compliment. The story behind the car is reason enough to watch the video below, but its acceleration needs to be see to be believed.



Video: TheSmokingTire Drives 950 Horsepower Switzer E900 Nissan GT-R 13
Mar
Posted by Darryl in Automotive, Drive, Drive Channel, nissan, nissan gt-r, TheSmokingTire, video on 03 13th, 2012

In terms of the Nissan GT-R being a sleeper in the eyes of true automotive enthusiasts, forgetaboutit! What some enthusiasts may not realize about a very special Nissan GT-R tuned by Switzer Performance Innovation, is they have pumped some E85 into the refined veins of Godzilla to make about 950 horsepower.

With over 900 horsepower on tap, what will Matt Farah from TheSmokingTire have to say about this ‘special’ creation when he takes it to local canyon roads? Check out the exclusive video below to find out. Enjoy!



Alex Roy Explains How To Beat Speed Traps: Video 20
Feb
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Alex Roy, Automotive, BMW, Drive, Kurt, Speed Traps, video on 02 20th, 2012

Alex Roy and his 2000 BMW E39 M5

Unless you’re a true gear head, it’s entirely possible that you’ve never heard of Alex Roy. He isn’t a Formula 1 star, he hasn’t beaten Sebastian Loeb in a stage of the World Rally Championship and (as far as we know) he’s never turned a faster lap around Talladega than Jeff Gordon. He’s not a movie star, either, but Roy does has a taste for flamboyant costumes and over-the-top theatrics. The man knows a thing or two about driving fast, as well.

Roy is a multi-year Gumball 3000 and Bullrun participant, and holds the (unofficial) transcontinental speed record from New York to Los Angeles, a run Roy and co-driver David Maher made in 31 hours and 4 minutes. He also set a (now beaten) record for a lap of Manhattan, making the trip in 27 minutes with speeds as high as 144 miles per hour.

While Roy has seen his share of police stops, he’s also managed to make a career around avoiding them. In other words, when Alex Roy speaks about avoiding speed traps, it may benefit you greatly to pay attention. That said, we don’t advocate equipping a car with laser jammers (illegal in many jurisdictions), and we’d be the first to point out that public roads aren’t the place to test your driving skills.

Below is the first of a multi-part series where Roy gives advice on avoiding detection. While a lot of what he discusses is common sense, it’s still worth the time to watch the video, and we can’t wait to hear what he has to say on upcoming segments.



‘Drive’ Kicks Off With A Trip To The 24 Hours Of Nürburgring: Video 3
Jan
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Drive, Kurt, video on 01 3rd, 2012

Drive is a new channel for automotive enthusiasts on YouTube, featuring high quality video and higher quality commentary from the likes of Matt Farah, Leo Parente and Mike Spinelli. Kicking off the series and the channel, Leo Parente takes us to last year’s 24 Hours of Nürburgring to explain why the race is like no other. It may not enjoy the fame of LeMans, but the ‘Ring race is even more taxing on driver and car. There are more turns on a longer course, more elevation changes and plenty more chances for something to go wrong.

Germans love their motorsports, so the 24 hour race seems to combine drunken debauchery with good, clean family fun. While Parente’s commentary is a bit over the top (decaf, Mr. Parente, decaf), his spirit is infectious, and you can’t possibly watch this video without wanting to make a pilgrimage to The Green Hell for this year’s race.

We like the feel of Drive, and think the show has potential. There are big plans for the channel, and we’ll be sure to tune in for future episodes. What’s your take? Does Drive go the distance, or does it leave you stranded by the side of the road?



YouTube Gets Its Own Car Show: Video 15
Dec
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Drive, Kurt, News, video on 12 15th, 2011

Do yourself a favor and subscribe to Drive on YouTube. It won’t cost you a penny, and it will bring you content from commentators like Evo’s Chris Harris, The Smoking Tire’s Matt Farah, Jalopnik’s Mike Spinelli, Leo Parente and Alex Roy. It promises to cover everything from car reviews through motorsports and semi-absurd tests of skill and endurance (the type of stuff that Alex Roy thrives on). Produced by J.F. Musial, the series promises to be as good as anything currently on television.

And that’s exactly what YouTube is after. By creating special interest programs available on YouTube only, the site hopes to draw in and retain more viewers, although we have a hard time imagining that traffic on YouTube is lacking.

Will the show work? That remains to be seen, because there are an awful lot of egos involved in its production. There’s a reason why “supergroups” never really last for long, and we’re seeing the same potential for implosion here. Also, expectations for the series are extremely high, and car enthusiasts are among the most opinionated people on the planet. If the initial episodes disappoint, expect to see the same rants witnessed about Top Gear USA and The Car Show.

We wish Drive the best of luck and much success, and we’ll be tuning in when the series kicks off in January.







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