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2011 Infiniti G37S Limited Edition Hardtop Convertible Review & Test Drive 31
Oct
Posted by Harvey Schwartz in Automotive, convertible, featured, Hardtop Convertible, Infiniti, Infiniti G37 Convertible, Test Drives on 10 31st, 2011

‘NO LIMITS’

The 2011 Infiniti G37S convertible features seductive coupe-like styling, high-performance driving, a three-piece folding hardtop and a new limited edition package.

Though only in its third year of production, the seductively styled open-air Infiniti G convertible adds a new level of excitement in 2011 with the addition of the new G37S convertible ‘limited-edition’ version, featuring an array of exclusive features ranging from special exterior enhancements to a Monaco Red leather-appointed interior with red tone Maple accents.  Other enhancements for 2011 include a revised front fascia design with the foglamps moved from inside the headlight to the lower fascia area; revised 19in. alloy wheels and two new exterior colors-Lapis Blue and Malbec Black, the color of my incredible G37S ride.

Looking and driving the new 2011 G37S limited-edition hardtop convertible truly rejuvenated my spirits with its seductive styling and exciting performance as only a handful of vehicles have in the past-plus the three-piece power retractable hardtop is designed to look as good with the top up as down.

The G convertible maintains a coupe-like silhouette with the top up through the use of a special three-piece ‘clamshell’ retractable hardtop, which allows for both a stylish shorter rear overhang and a low trunk lid.  Compared to the G coupe, the G convertible utilizes unique body panels from the A-pillar back, along with a 1.1 inch wider overall width, wider rear track and modified rear suspension.  Along with stunning G coupe-like proportions, the G convertible offers signature Infiniti styling cues such as flowing front fender curves, a wave-style aluminum hood, L-shaped HID bi-functional xenon headlights with integrated foglamps.  The limited-edition model adds a unique front fascia with a ‘Midnight Black’ grille and uniquely formed and deeper side sills.  In the rear, the taillights are unique to the G convertible, incorporating an inner ‘circle of light’ for added style.  The chrome rear trunk finisher incorporates both an integrated high-mount stoplight and the small camera for the standard RearView Monitor System.

The automatic top opening/closing sequences takes approximately 30 seconds from start to finish.  The open/close toggle switch is located on the center console, just behind the transmission shifter lever.

The design of the G37S limited-edition convertible takes into consideration the typical challenges to fully enjoying open air driving, such as added interior noise and turbulence, added heating and cooling system demand and even the fact that the seating surfaces can get hot in the sun or cool at night.

The G37S limited-edition convertible’s interior design combines sophistication, craftsmanship and thoughtfulness with unique, systems created to enhance the open-air driving experience.  The driver-oriented cockpit features an Infiniti signature instrument panel design with Infiniti electroluminescent instrumentation with a while illuminated color scheme, integrated multi-function information driver computer and signature Infiniti clock.

The double hand-stitched leather-covered, power tilt/telescoping steering wheel is designed for maximum comfort and usability and feels great in your hands and features audio and cruise control buttons.  Solid magnesium paddle shifters are located on the steering column for fast gear changes using the 7-speed automatic transmission.

Custom Maple Accents trim is located across the dashboard, doors and around the center console for an elegant look.  Comfortable and supportive custom Monaco Red heated/cooled/8-way power adjustable bucket seats up front are exclusive with the limited-edition model.  The cockpit also includes high-grip aluminum foot pedals and foot rest giving it a sportier look.  A power walk-in device with position memory provides easy access to the 2nd row seats (the front seats move forward automatically at the touch of a button to allow passengers into the rear seats.

The limited-edition’s long list of comfort and convenient features include Infiniti’s Intelligent Key with push button start/stop, an adaptive dual zone climate control system air conditioning system that adjusts to provide optimal comfort with the top up or down, a rearview monitor, cruise-control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated/power remote sideview mirrors, power express up/down windows, power door locks, auto on/off headlights, rear window defroster, memory system for the driver’s seat, steering wheel and outside mirrors, driver’s seat steering wheel and outside mirror synchronization, dual lighted vanity mirrors, dual map lights, center console with dual cupholders/storage bin with padded armrest, door storage slots, lighted glovebox, front/rear carpeted floor mats, rain-sensing wipers, Infiniti hard-drive navigation system with touch-screen, DVD video playback, 3-D building graphics and Birdview Lane Guidance, speed limit advisory, streaming audio, Bluetooth, XM NavTraffic/XM NavWeather, Zagat Survey, and Infiniti voice recognition.

The limited-edition G37S hardtop convertible also comes with an outstanding audio system-a 13-speaker Infiniti Bose Open Air Sound System with AudioPilot 2.0 technology that automatically optimizes EQ settings for open/closed top positions.  The system’s special Bose Front seat Personal Speakers, mounted in the front seat head restraints, enable superior front audio quality regardless of the top position.  A 2.0 GB Music Box (800MB for music storage) is also included.

On the mechanical side the limited-edition G37S is also outstanding.  Like the G coupe and G sedan, the G37S limited-edition convertible’s outstanding dynamic performance credentials start with a combination of its advanced FM platform and award-winning V6 engine.  The 3.7 liter V6 all-aluminum, DOHC engine with VVEL (variable valve event and lift), is rated at 325hp and 267lb.ft. of torque.  The VVEL system combines hydraulic-controlled variable valve timing and electronically controlled variable lift on the intake side, helping to improve not only performance and response but also emissions and fuel economy.

The engine is mated to an electronically controlled 7-speed automatic rear-wheel drive transmission with manual mode, downshift rev matching, Drive Sport mode, Adaptive Shift Control and solid magnesium paddle shifters to quickly change gears, up or down.

The car’s excellent responsive handling and ride performance is provided by its unique and advanced FM (front mid-ship) platform design, which optimizes front/rear weight balance and creates a stable foundation for the 4-wheel independent suspension.  The front suspension is a double-wishbone design with a single pivot lower wishbone, a long upper link, dual-flow path gas-charged shocks, coil springs and a stabilizer bar.  The multi-link rear suspension design separates the dual flow path gas-charged shocks and springs and there is also a stabilizer bar.  This unique suspension design helps to minimize alignment changes and reduce suspension friction for nimble handling unlike other hardtop convertibles and a smooth ride.

Responsive steering is provided by a vehicle-speed-sensing rack & pinion system, with a sport-tuned steering gear.  The car quickly goes where you want it to go with just a little pull on the wheel, just like a racecar even though this is a much heavier luxury performance hardtop convertible.

Strong brakes help slow the car down from speed.  Up front are 14 inch vented discs clamped with aluminum four-piston calipers, and 13.8 inch vented discs clamped with two-piston calipers, all embossed with Infiniti lettering.  Standard ABS, EBD, BA, Vehicle Dynamic Control and Traction Control all work together to keep you in control of your forward direction on slick or slippery pavement.

The new limited-edition G37S hardtop convertible rides on unique 19X8.5 front and 19X9 inch lightweight cast aluminum alloy wheels wrapped with sticky Bridgestone 225/45R19 front and 245/40R19 inch low-profile, high-performance tires in the rear for excellent grip and a smooth ride.

All four occupants are kept safe.  An advanced airbag system with dual-stage supplemental front airbags with seatbelt and occupant classification sensors is standard, along with door-mounted curtain side-impact airbags; front-seat mounted side-impact airbags and front seat active head restraints.  The rear seat includes fixed head restraints with Pop-up Roll Bars.  The car also features reinforced front side members, front pillars and body sills.

For the discerning, enthusiast driver who wants the sun and wind in your face plus the four-season weather-proof ability of a hardtop convertible, including the latest and best luxury and personal convenience technologies, the new 2011 Limited-Edition Infiniti G37S is the car for you.

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COPYRIGHT:2011:HARVEY SCHWARTZ

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base G37 Hardtop Convertible $45,750 / As-Tested G37S Limited Edition Hardtop Convertible $58,125.00 including destination
  • Engine: 3.7-liter DOHC 32-Valve V6 325 horsepower @ 7000 rpm / 267 ft-lbs. torque @ 5200 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 112.2in.
  • Total length: 184in.
  • Total width: 72.9in.
  • Total height: 55.1in.
  • Track: f/r-60.8/62.6in.
  • Headroom: f/r-39.4/34.5in.
  • Legroom: f/r-43.9/27.2in.
  • Fuel tank: 20-gallons
  • Turning circle: 36.1-ft.
  • Curb weight: 4,078lbs.
  • EPA mileage: 17mpg/city, 25mpg/highway


Coast To Coast In A 2012 Chevy Sonic 31
Oct
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2012 Chevy Sonic, Automotive, Chevrolet, Kurt, video on 10 31st, 2011

Andy Richter arrives in NYC. Image: TeamCoco

Chevrolet really, really wants Millenials to love the 2012 Chevy Sonic. To prove the car is hip, Chevy’s sent it bungee jumping and skydiving, although the Sonic ad didn’t actually show the “specially modified” car after it landed in the desert. As Chevy points out, the new Sonic will hit 60 miles per hour in less than half a second, but only when you drop it out of a plane.

Chevy’s latest marketing stunt for the Sonic involves comedian and Conan O’Brien sidekick Andy Richter. To promote Chevy’s newest subcompact, Richter drove his “Orange Bullet” from Los Angeles to New York, a distance of some 3,000 miles. Here’s the catch: he only got three days to do it.

I love a road trip as much as the next guy, and I’ve driven the country from end to end one more than one occasion. Doing it in three days, in a subcompact car (no matter how nice it is on the inside), pegs the suck-o-meter. If you want to see how Richter fared along the way, he’s got video logs up on the Team Coco website, or you can tune in to tonight’s Conan O’Brien show for a recap.



The 2012 Fiat Abarth: Worth Waiting For 31
Oct
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth, Automotive, Fiat, Kurt, Los Angeles Auto Show, News on 10 31st, 2011

The 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth. Image: Chrysler Group LLC

Living on this side of the Atlantic, the name Abarth isn’t exactly well known. In Europe, however, Abarth is widely recognized as the in-house tuner for Fiat, similar to what AMG is to Mercedes or NISMO is to Nissan. Abarth earned a reputation by tuning and racing cars in the 1960s and 1970s, and despite the diminutive size of the cars built, they proved more than capable of beating larger, more powerful rivals around tight European road courses.

We’ve known for a while that Fiat would bring an Abarth-tuned version of the Fiat 500 into the U.S. market, but here are the very first images of a U.S. spec car. The 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth will make its official debut at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show, so Fiat hasn’t released any specific details on the car’s output. We know it will use a tuned version of Fiat’s 1.4-liter Multi-Air Turbo engine, and we know the Fiat 500 Abarth makes 133 horsepower in Euro trim. That’s good enough for a zero to sixty time of under 8 seconds, or roughly two and a half seconds quicker than the base Fiat 500.

The 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth. Image: Chrysler Group LLC

Still, worrying about a zero to sixty time on a car like the Fiat 500 Abarth misses the point entirely. There will always be faster cars in a straight line, but the strength of Abarth models has always been more about how the car works as an overall package. Like Mazda’s MX-5 Miata, going fast in an Fiat 500 Abarth is all about preserving momentum, and I suspect that the Mini Cooper will soon have a serious challenger to the title of best handling front-wheel-drive car.



New Mini Roadster 2012 31
Oct
Posted by Kelly Levinsohn in Automotive News, Autostyle, Popular on 10 31st, 2011

minicooperroadster New Mini Roadster 2012

Mini has introduced its new Roadster for 2012 that is the sixth edition to the Mini range. The new Roadster, based on the Coupe, has a manual soft top and is the very first production two-seat open-top Mini in history.

The vehicle will be manufactured in the UK ‘s Plant Oxford with sales beginning in 2012 with a price tag of £18,015 for a Cooper Roadster and £24,850 for the John Cooper Works Roadster. In between these two offerings are the Cooper SD and Cooper S and power ranges from 120bhp in the Cooper to 208bhp in the John Cooper Works.

The new Roadster sits 20 millimeters lower than a traditional Mini convertible which is expected to help with its handling, chassis tuning, electronic differential lock control, rollover bars and active rear spoiler. The windscreen is also angled 13 degrees faster than the existing soft top model.

The official press release also specifies that “bespoke colour and materials concept for upholstery, exterior mirrors, trim elements and colour lines are available as well as exclusive MINI Yours options and Sport Stripes in contrasting colour provide further individualisation.”

minicooperroadster2 New Mini Roadster 2012

source: carmagazine



Video: Cadillac Ciel Concept at 2011 Miami Auto Show 29
Oct
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in auto show, Automotive, Cadillac, Cadillac Ciel, Concept Car, Concept Vehicle, Miami, video on 10 29th, 2011

The Automotive Addicts crew had the opportunity to attend the 2011 Miami Auto Show. During our visit, the highlight that took our breath away was the Cadillac Ciel Concept vehicle. Below is a video of this stunning concept car that hopefully Cadillac will bring to fruition one day.


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2011 Nissan Juke SV Review & Test Drive 28
Oct
Posted by Harvey Schwartz in Automotive, featured, nissan, Nissan Juke, Test Drives on 10 28th, 2011

‘JAMMING WITH THE JUKE’

Yes, I was jamming with the all-new Nissan Juke SV last week.  Jamming in musical terms is when the music becomes free-form and that was the feeling I got when looking at and driving the all-new Juke.  The styling, interior and driving fun is taken from several different types of auto segments.

Juke fuses the best qualities of a sports car, including a sporty driving position, dynamic handling and a powerful turbo engine, with the best aspects of an SUV-such as the robust lower body, raised ground height, improved visibility, confident stance and available all-wheel drive.  These qualities come together in a uniquely Nissan way with value, quality, safety and driving pleasure.

Juke’s aggressive styling brings a breath of fresh air to the segment.  Built on Nissan’s proven global B-platform, Juke features a powerful front end treatment with the turn signals integrated into the front fenders, a high beltline and coupe-like falling roofline.

Other exterior highlights include body-colored outside mirrors, and front door handles, hidden rear door handles.

Juke also offers generous ground clearance with standard 17 inch wheels and tires.  Adding to the authentic SUV look is a broad should line, large wheel arches and robust lower bodywork that seems to emerge from under the vehicle.  Above the waistline, Juke shows it sporty side with a raked windshield, upswept rear side windows and canopy-like glass.  The lights also reflect Juke’s sporty agility, with front lights split into two distinct elements, wit the main lamps drawing inspiration from rally car lights.  Fog lights are optional, depending on trim level.  In the rear, the taillights share a resemblance with the distinctive ‘boomerang’ design found on the 370Z sports car.  It is ‘free form’ from any angle.

The Juke interior is equally aggressive with bolstered front seats, a wide instrument panel and a unique center console inspired by a motorcycle fuel tank and finished in a high-gloss paint.  The gearshift sits on top of the console, inspired by sports car driver/shifter positioning.

The center console design clearly makes the statement that Juke is no ordinary compact crossover.  It’s an unexpected touch that reinforces Juke’s active, sporty attitude, while also helping create a sense of a true driver’s cockpit.

Another unique element of the Juke interior is the Integrated Control (I-CON) system drive mode selector, which offers three different throttle/transmission/steering response settings-Normal for everyday driving, Sport for a more intense performance feel, and Eco for maximum efficiency.  It adjusts throttle, transmission (CVT only) and steering feel for the precise ride you want.  I-CON also serves as a central command center and display module, adopting different display colors and functions depending on how it is being used.  In Climate-mode, the display shows the interior temperature settings while the ‘buttons’ display air flow preferences.  In ‘D-mode the buttons change to the three driving modes that you can choose, and the display shows the turbo boost gauge and current g’s that you are currently feeling.

Despite Juke’s overall compact dimensions, the interior offers segment competitive roominess and space for five adults.  In the rear, a fold-down 60/40-split bench seat and flat load floor provide passengers and cargo hauling flexibility.

Among the long list of standard Juke interior features are a 6-way manual driver’s seat and 4-way manual front passenger seat, dual front and rear beverage holders, speed-sensitive automatic door locks, power windows, AM-FM-CD audio system with steering wheel controls, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, interface system for iPod and storage under the rear cargo floor (FWD models only).

Available interior features include premium cloth fabrics, leather-appointed seats, heated front seats, RearView monitor, Nissan Intelligent Key with push button start/stop, XM satellite radio, upgraded speakers with Rockford Fosgate powered subwoofer, USB connector for iPod and other devices, power sliding moonroof and privacy glass.  Also available is the Nissan navigation system 5.0 inch screen with XM NavTraffic with Real-Time Traffic information.

Powering the all-new Juke is a standard 1.6 liter Direct Injection Gasoline turbo/intercooled, 16-valve, all-aluminum alloy, inline 4-cylinder engine rated at 188hp at 5,600rpm and 177lb.ft. of torque between 2,000-5,200rpm.  The engine, the first application inNorth America, combines the best of both worlds-spirited performance and good fuel economy.  Direct Injection helps improve combustion, enhancing power, torque, economy and emissions.  The use of the turbocharger and intercooler also help boost power, while the variable timing control for both intake and exhaust cycles improves low-end engine response.

Two transmissions are offered-Nissan’s advanced Xtronic CVT with S-mode, and a 6-speed manual transmission (SV FWD and SL FWD models only).  The CVT is very quiet and pulls well when you put your foot down hard on the throttle.

The suspension is excellent giving you precise handling and a smooth ride.  Up front is an independent MacPherson strut setup with a 23mm stabilizer bar and twin-tube KYB gas-charged shocks.  The rear features a torsion beam setup with integrated stabilizer bar and KYB twin-tube gas-charged shocks.

You steer the Juke precisely where you want it to go with a vehicle-speed-sensing electric power steering system that gives you a good feel for the road and is weighed perfectly for the front-wheel-drive system.

Slowing the Juke down from speed are large, power-assisted, 4-wheel steel disc brakes.

Up front are 11.7 inch vented discs clamped with dual-piston calipers while 11.5 inch solid discs are clamped with single-piston calipers in the rear.  Your braking power and control are enhanced with standard ABS, EBD, and BA.

All Juke’s ride on large 17X7 inch aluminum alloy wheels wrapped with Goodyear Eagle 215/55R17 inch all-season radial tires for a smooth and compliant ride.

Standard features not mentioned above in the Juke SV include leather-wrapped/tilting steering wheel with cruise control/audio buttons, push button start/stop, power sliding moonroof, dual map lamps, cargo area light, front passenger seatback map pocket, dual vanity mirrors, automatic A/C climate control, variable speed, intermittent wipers/washers, rear wiper/washer, 12-volt DC power outlet, thick cut-pile carpeting with floor mats.

Every 2011 Juke comes equipped with the Nissan Advanced Airbag System with dual-stage, dual-threshold front airbags and seatbelt and occupant classification sensors, roof-mounted curtain side-impact airbags for front and rear outboard occupant protection, seat-mounted driver and front passenger side-impact airbags and front-seat active head restraints.  Other standard features include LATCH for child seats, Nissan vehicle immobilizer, vehicle security system, tire pressure monitoring system, vehicle dynamic control, and traction control.

The all-new 2011 Nissan Sport cross takes a little from each segment and puts them all together to introduce a vehicle that can be enjoyed by anyone looking for a different type of vehicle that is unique in styling, gives good performance, features the latest in auto high-tech, is versatile and safe with good EPA mileage specs.

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COPYRIGHT:2011:HARVEY SCHWARTZ

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base Juke $20,760.00/As-Tested Juke SV $22,780.00
  • Engine:  1.6-liter DOHC direct injection 16-valve 4-cylinder 188 horsepower @ 5600 rpm / 177 ft-lbs. torque @ 2000 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 99.6in.
  • Total length: 162.4in.
  • Total width: 60.5in.
  • Total height: 61.8in.
  • Track: f/r-60/60in.
  • Ground clearance: 7in.
  • Approach angle: 27-degrees
  • Departure angle: 29.8-degrees
  • Breakover angle: 21.9-degrees
  • Headroom: f/r-39.6/36.7in.
  • Legroom: f/r-42.1/32.1in.
  • Cargo volume: behind 2nd row-10.5/behind front row-35.9cu.ft.
  • Turning circle: 36.4ft.
  • Fuel tank: 13.2 gallons
  • Curb weight: 2,970lbs.
  • 0-60 mph: 7.3 seconds
  • EPA mileage: 27mpg/city, 32mpg/highway

 



Radioactive Cars Hit Japan’s Used Market 28
Oct
Posted by Kurt Ernst in japan, Kurt, News, used cars on 10 28th, 2011

A Japanese used car in Russia. Image: Flickr user andrijbulba

Adding a whole new meaning to the phrase “hot car,” some profit-focused used car dealers in Japan are reselling cars contaminated by radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi reactor meltdown. Cars that had previously been marked for destruction have been re-registered with new license plates and sold to unsuspecting customers, both in Japan and abroad. Japan has a long history of exporting “lightly used” automobiles to eager buyers in Russia and Southeast Asia.

Last June, Russian police intercepted a shipment of radioactive used cars inbound from Japan. That incident has led to increased monitoring of incoming Japanese car shipments by Australia, the U.S. and countries in South America. It also led to additional monitoring at Japanese ports, making it harder to get radioactive cars out of the country. For unscrupulous dealers, reselling the cars within Japan is the only alternative.

USA Today reports that the legal limit of radiation emission for used cars is 0.3 microsieverts per hour, which is probably just above levels of background radiation. One re-registered van was found to be emitting 110 microsieverts per hour of radiation, which would add up to an average yearly radiation exposure of 6.2 millisieverts in just over 56 hours of driving.

The dealer who resold the van did what he could to clean it up, but could not decontaminate it beyond emitting 30 microsieverts per hour. In his own words, he sold the vehicle in Japan, “because I couldn’t afford to lose the money.”

Thanks to radiation monitoring at ports, there isn’t much danger of hot cars being imported into the U.S.. Still, we have our share of natural disasters here, and many used car dealers wouldn’t think twice about selling flood-damaged or otherwise salvaged cars. It may be cliche but it’s also true: if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Image credit: Flickr user andrijbulba



Has the Toyota FT-86 Been Leaked? 28
Oct
Posted by Kelly Levinsohn in Automotive News, Concept car news on 10 28th, 2011

toyotaFT86 Has the Toyota FT 86 Been Leaked?

It’s quite possible that this leaked image from the Toyota’s Modellista parts division catalogue is the new Toyota FT-86. While the image looks very similar to the original concept car first revealed, although earlier reports suggested that it wouldn’t, Toyota has not yet verified or commented on the questionable image at this time.

source: autoblog



Chevy Silverado Realtree Concept 28
Oct
Posted by Kelly Levinsohn in 4X4, Automotive News, Concept car news, Event Coverage, Videos on 10 28th, 2011

Chevrolet has teamed up with outdoor outfitter Realtree, with whom they have had a seven year relationship, to create the Silverado Realtree Concept. Called the “ultimate hunting pickup” and based on the Silverado HD 2500, the new concept car will debut at the 2011 SEMA Motor Show.

The champagne silver exterior emblazoned with Realtree graphics, a custom front bumper, winch and 35-inch off-road tyres is powered by a Duramax diesel with 765 pound-feet of torque. Other features include retractable running boards for improved entry and exit and a custom designed rear cab for all outdoor gear storage.

Chevysilveradorealtree Chevy Silverado Realtree Concept

The interior continues the outdoor theme with dark cocoa leather seats bearing camouflage piping and orange stitching.

Marketing manager of Chevrolet pickups Tony Truelove has said that, ”This truck is a celebration of the seven-year partnership between Chevrolet and Realtree. It’s only natural to combine the dependable, long-lasting Silverado HD with Realtree, the best gear for the outdoors.”

View the Chevy Silverado Realtree teaser video below:

Image source: autoguide



Why Steve Jobs Never Had a License Plate on his Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG 28
Oct
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Automotive, Benz SL55 AMG, Mercedes Benz, News, SL55 AMG, Steve Jobs on 10 28th, 2011

The late Steve Jobs was truly a pioneer of our lifetime and in the automotive enthusiast community many of us remember spy shots of his famous silver Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG. Some of us recall that his SL55 AMG never had a license plate. Recently this mystery has resurfaced with an explanation from the folks at iTWire who spoke to Job Callas, the CTO of Entrust who worked with Apple in different security roles. Reportedly, according to Callas, Jobs found a loophole in California laws that would essentially allow him to drive around without a license plate.

Jobs discovered that a new vehicle is able to drive around in California without a license plate for up to six months. We knew Jobs was a clever guy but he took his company motto of ‘Thinking Different’ to his own automobile and simply leased a new silver Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG every 6 months to avoid placing a license plate on the vehicle. Supposedly each SL55 AMG owned by Jobs was nearly identical and only a true enthusiast would be able to point out any differences.

This goes to show that Steve Jobs will leave behind a legacy that continues to keep us guessing for many years to come. It is “just one more thing” that Jobs leaves behind for us to ponder.



2012 Volvo S60 T6 R-Design Review & Test Drive 27
Oct
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Automotive, featured, Test Drives, VOLVO, Volvo C60, Volvo C60 R-Design on 10 27th, 2011

“Safety, Sports Appeal and Performance Blended into a Complete Package”

The Swedes have managed to produce the most powerful production Volvo yet, the all-new Volvo S60 R-Design. The new 2012 Volvo S60 R-Design jumps aboard the performance sedan segment to continue a long heritage of the safest vehicles on the road, which happens to have excellent performance characteristics to boot.

For 2012 the new Volvo S60 sedan maintains its redesigned styling from the 2011 model year putting to rest any previous notions that Volvos are boxy and boring vehicles.

The all-new 2012 Volvo S60 R-Design takes Volvo to new heights not only in the styling department but in the performance arena as well. Adding an additional 25-horsepower and 29 lb-ft. of torque over the standard S60 T6’s turbocharged inline 6-cylinder makes the new S60 R-Design the most powerful Volvo to date.

I had the chance to spend a full week with the new S60 R-Design. The new S60 R-Design recalls a feeling that I probably share with other performance-sedan enthusiasts when the Volvo 850 was one of the rare turbocharged sedans during the 1990’s. Since then, Volvo has departed from the boxy design now encompassing sexy curves without sacrificing their primary focus on safety.

In a world full of drivers distracted by anything from the latest smartphones to abundant doses of alcoholic beverages, Volvo manages to discerningly blend safety and performance in the new S60 R-Design. For instance, the new City Safety system attempts to help you prevent rear-end collisions below 19 mph. Essentially, in the event that you are not paying attention, City Safety will automatically stop the car if a low-speed collision is imminent.  Other standard safety features include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, full-length side curtain airbags, front-seat side airbags and whiplash-reducing front head restraints. Volvo’s pedestrian detection system, part of the optional technology package on the S60, will apply the brakes to stop the vehicle to help avoid hitting pedestrians who are 31-inches in height. The system operates below 22 mph. Additionally, the technology package includes driver-attention warning, lane departure warning and collision warning with auto-braking.

The new Volvo S60 R-Design pumps out 325 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque through a six-speed automatic transmission, which directs power to all 4 wheels to propel over 3,800 pounds. The combination actually makes for a potent mixture especially when the snappy surge of torque hits you in the back as the turbocharger starts to spool at a low 3,000 rpm. Thanks to Volvo’s advanced all-wheel-drive system transferring power at different degrees to each wheel, the S60 R-Design felt planted at virtually any level of acceleration. On slippery roads the Volvo AWD system is especially beneficial by vectoring power to the wheels with the most traction.

EPA fuel consumption figures for the 2012 Volvo S60 R-Design are 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. If you are any thing like me, once you feel the intoxicating acceleration of the S60 R-Design, you will have a hard time driving conservatively. During my time in the S60 R-Design, mostly consisting of city commutes and some light highway driving, I came away with an average of 22.5 mpg.

Inside of the new 2012 Volvo S60 R-Design is a sporty cabin with supportive front bucket seats and a simple two-pod gauge cluster. The cluster is well lit at night from projected LED lighting instead of conventional backlighting. The dashboard stack for the S60 R-Design is a common trait for Volvo featuring numbered buttons arranged like a phone keypad and large turning dials. The center LCD screen is on the small side but provides excellent contrast to easily read menus and view streets on the navigation system. Navigating through the vehicle settings and controls on the LCD screen via dashboard turn knobs or steering wheel mounted controls is relatively simplistic. The GPS navigation system on the new S60 R-Design is a welcomed improvement over previous year’s units which had not-so-user-friendly controls mounted on the back of the steering wheel.

Stiffer springs, stiffer bushings and a strut tower brace, all aid in the new S60 R-Design’s improved handling characteristics over a standard S60 T6 without making the ride too harsh over bumpy roads. The R-Design version of the S60 also receives other special treatments in the looks area featuring a sporty rear diffuser, lower front fascia, flat-black grille, rear spoiler, and unique black-accented five-spoke 18-inch wheels. For the interior the S60 R-Design gets blue watch dial cluster gauges, perforated and bolstered leather seating areas w/ contrast stitching and R-Design logos throughout the interior.

Already the Volvo S60 is a sporty sedan out of the box. The exclusive T6 R-Design trim takes it to a new level playing on the same field as a new BMW 335i sedan with an M-Sport package. The starting price for the all-new S60 R-Design is $43,475 including destination, which is already $6 grand less than a BMW 335i sedan M-package. Mind you, the S60 R-Design already comes with the premium package, which includes HID headlights, power moonroof and power front seats. Moreover, the R-Design version has added power and upgraded sports suspension which could easily cost the enthusiast over $3 grand on a normal S60 T6 going the aftermarket way.

The all-new 2012 Volvo S60 R-Design may not be the sportiest and fastest sedan to come off an assembly line, but it is surely an excellent alternative for the sport-minded but safety conscience enthusiast who needs 4 doors.

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Copyright: 2011 AutomotiveAddicts.com

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base Volvo S60 R-Design $43,475 / As-Tested S60 T6 AWD R-Design $46,875
  • Engine: 3.0-liter DOHC 24-valve turbocharged inline-6 cylinder 325 horsepower @ 6500 rpm / 354 ft-lbs. torque @ 3000 rpm
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic
  • Drive: All-wheel-drive
  • Wheelbase: 109.3in.
  • Total length: 182.2in.
  • Total width: 73.4in.
  • Total height: 58.4in.
  • Track: f/r-62.1/62in.
  • Headroom: f/r-38.3/37.4in.
  • Legroom: f/r-41.9/33.5in.
  • Fuel tank: 17.8 gallons
  • Turning circle: 39.0ft.
  • Interior volume: 105.5cu.ft.
  • Curb weight: 3,877 lbs.
  • 0-60mph: 5.5 seconds
  • EPA mileage: 18mpg/city, 26mpg/highway


The Cadillac ATS Throws Down Against BMW 27
Oct
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2013 Cadillac ATS, Automotive, Cadillac, Kurt, Nurburgring, video on 10 27th, 2011

We showed you the first teaser video of the Cadillac ATS on the Nürburgring a few weeks back, and there isn’t a lot of new material in the Cadillac video below. It does give the best look yet at the styling of the 2013 Cadillac ATS, and it’s significant for one other reason: it gives you an idea of how serious Cadillac is about competing in this segment.

For decades, the BMW 3 Series has defined the compact sport sedan segment, and Cadillac seems intent on going head-to-head with Bavaria’s best. Previous attempts have ranged from laughable (the Cadillac Cimarron of the 1980s) to merely misguided (the Cadillac Catera of the late 1990s), but both cars were badge engineered from existing products. The ATS, on the other hand, starts from a clean sheet of paper.

It looks like the You Tube video below is part of an ongoing series, documenting the testing and tuning of the ATS. As long as the content is relevant, we’ll keep posting the progress that Cadillac is making.



Photographed: NARRA Viper Days at Daytona International Speedway 27
Oct
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Automotive, Daytona, Dodge, Dodge Viper, Dodge Viper ACR-X, Events, Viper, Viper ACR-X on 10 27th, 2011

This past weekend our photographer, Brandon Connelly, was at Daytona International Speedway for NARRA Viper Days. With it being Viper days there was quite the abundance of ACRs, ACR-Xs as well as a small number of Competition Coupes on hand. Each day at about 4pm there was a Viper Cup race as well for the actual race series, some of you may have seen it on Speed in the past.

This event also had PBOC along with it as well so it brought out some regular track day drivers as well. Flat Out Motorsports was on hand for this event logging some solid track time in at the speedway with the 99 Viper GTS, Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera 560-4, and a Supercharged Viper SRT-10. On the track as well was an Orange Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera 570-4 which was driven by Viper Cup driver Jim Booth. Jim was pushing the Lamborghini to the limits as he ran a lap time of 1:59 in it and even at one point lifted a tire off the track.

Stay tuned to the site as in two weeks time we will have coverage from Brandon as he heads out to Daytona once more for the exotic car event of the year, Italian Cars at Daytona. This event tracks cars like Enzos, Veyrons, all sorts of Lamborghinis and other Ferraris. It is bound to be spectacular and we’re sure Brandon is going to bring back some amazing photos.

Here are a few of Brandon’s photos from the event. Be sure to check out the rest via his Flickr feed.

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New Audi A4, S4 & A4 Quattro 27
Oct
Posted by Kelly Levinsohn in Automotive News, Autostyle, Modified car Talk, Popular on 10 27th, 2011

newaudia4 New Audi A4, S4 & A4 Quattro

The Audi A4 series has been updated with the new A4 Sedan, A4 Avant, A4 Allroad Quattro and S4 for 2013. Audi’s A4 has been the German auto manufacturer’s best seller for 39 years and is in its eighth generation. The A4 has been updated with reused sheet metal and powertrains to keep it at the forefront of the entry level luxury car arena.

In terms of styling, the new A4 has a more angular nose with the replacement of the bonnet and front bumper as well as the lights and grille. The bonnet has a stronger curvaure with the lights at the front and rear having been modified with a slight wave and styalized LED elements.

The interior has been refined with new steering wheels with high gloss and chrome inlays and a simplified MMI infotainment system. High-gloss applications and the slender chrome trim at the controls add a sophistication to the design.

The grille is painted grey with high gloss black on the six cylinder models or in combination with the S line exterior package and the A4 Quattro is distinguished by the horizontal chrome applications and round fog lights of the grille.

With improved motors, fuel consumption levels have decreased by 11% facilitated by the start-stop system, forced induction and standardisation of of direct-injection while still maximising power and torque. Depending on the model chosen, drive is channelled to either the front wheels, or all four on Quattro models, via a six-speed manual, CVT Multitronic or seven-speed S-tronic automatic gearboxes. in 2013, the A4 will be fitted with a new electromechanical power steering system.

European buyers will be able to select from six turbodiesel and four gasoline engines while the US are expecting at least the 2.0-litre turbocharged four (211 horsepower) and 3.0-litre supercharged six with up to 333 horsepower in high-performance S4 trim.

Pricing has yet to be confirmed but Audi claims that it will change only slightly from the current offering.

newaudiS4avant 150x150 New Audi A4, S4 & A4 Quattro
newaudirearlights 150x150 New Audi A4, S4 & A4 Quattro
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image source: carmagazine

 



The Subaru BRZ And The Scion FR-S: What’s The Difference? 26
Oct
Posted by Kurt Ernst in 2012 Scion FR-S, 2012 Subaru BRZ, 2012 Toyota FT-86, Automotive, Kurt, Subaru, Tokyo Motor Show, TOYOTA on 10 26th, 2011

Scion's FR-S concept. Image: Toyota Motor Sales USA

We’re still a month away from the unveiling of the Subaru BRZ (and likely the Scion FR-S/Toyota FT-86) at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, but details on the differences between the cars are beginning to emerge. While Toyota has done the bulk of the promotion to date, Subaru has done much of the behind-the-scenes heavy lifting. In other words, it’s reasonable to expect that the Subie will be both faster and better handling, but with a commensurately higher price.

Subaru is claiming that the BRZ will have the lowest center of gravity of any production car, thanks to its low-mounted boxer engine and rear-drive layout. We’re not sure if that includes the Toyota, but it wouldn’t take much engineering to drop the motor in the BRZ a quarter inch lower than the motor in the FR-S.

Power output, however, is where the paths of the two cars begin to diverge. According to Autocar, the Subaru will make “less than 300 horsepower” versus 200 horsepower from the Toyota. Autocar reports that the bump will come from ECU tuning, but we’re skeptical that a tune alone can produce an extra 100 ponies in a normally aspirated car.

As for exterior styling differences, both companies are keeping the finished product a closely guarded secret. At the very least, expect the grille and bumpers to differ between the Subaru and Toyota variants.







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