Just Car Blog
|Score That Bugatti Veyron 1, Tuned Nissan GT-R 0||
If you own a car like the Bugatti Veyron in south Florida, there aren’t many places where you can mat the go-pedal, at least for long. One of the better options is Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR), which used to be called Moroso Motorsport Park. Aside from the fact that the track is in the middle of nowhere, and has absolutely no elevation change (like every other track in Florida), it isn’t a bad facility. Its drag strip is often open to the public, and its road course can be run with an instructor or during high-performance driving events.
Drag Times was at PBIR last Wednesday, when they noticed a Bugatti Veyron running the road course. Since a mildly tuned Nissan GT-R was already making a few runs at the drag strip, it seemed logical to encourage the Veyron owner to try his luck in the quarter mile.
The result shown here is impressive, but we didn’t get to see the Veyron’s first run, which was done without using the car’s launch control. The net result of that pass was a 12 second run, at 137 miles per hour, which would have been a loss to the GT-R.
|BMW 1-Series 3-Door Hatch Exposed||
Thanks to Chinese portal site sohu.com, the images above and below of the new BMW 1-Series as a 3-door hatchback, has been exposed with patent/trademark designs. With the knowledge of a BMW 1-Series 5-door hatchback on the way, the images provide a good idea of what to expect next from BMW.
Looking elongated, the B-pillar is pulled back and angled towards the rear and the effect is enhanced even more by the arcing of the roof combined with arcing side glass.
BMW will be offering the 1-Series in a total of six different body variants divided into two different build architectures. The 1-Series 3-door hatchback is expected to arrive in the U.S. Summer time in 2012.
Source: World Car Fans
|The 2012 Cadillac Escalade Won’t Be So Easy To Steal||
While the Cadillac Escalade has racked up plenty of awards (and legions of fans) since launch, one that doesn’t sit in the front of the trophy case is “Top Ten Most Stolen Vehicle.” The Escalade is a target for car thieves, thanks to its export value, its parts value and the truck’s bling factor. Cost saving measures from GM, like an easily-defeated plastic steering wheel lock, didn’t help matters any, either.
For 2012, Cadillac wants you to know that they’ve significantly enhanced security on Escalade models. First up is the PASS Key 3+, which uses electronic encryption between the key, the lock cylinder and the ignition system. When the key is inserted into the ignition cylinder, the system looks for an electronic handshake; if none is given, the car won’t start, even if the key used unlocks the cylinder.
Steering column locks are strengthened for 2012, too, making roll-away thefts on a flatbed more difficult if the truck is parked with the front wheels turned. All GM vehicles also come with OnStar, which can help locate and even disable a vehicle after a theft occurs.
Cadillac is offering optional security enhancements, too, like a new style of wheel lock said to be more secure than previous versions. There’s an available shock sensor, which is aimed at reducing content theft, and Cadillac is also offering a tilt sensor that triggers the alarm when a change in inclination is detected.
A little common sense goes a long way, too. Don’t leave valuables in your car, period, even if you think they’re out of sight. Park in well-lit areas, preferable within sight of security cameras. Always lock your doors when you leave your vehicle, and lock them again as soon as you enter. Never leave you vehicle running, even if you’re only away for a few seconds.
No car will ever be theft-proof, but by making yours harder to steal, you can encourage car thieves to shop elsewhere.
|Chevrolet Releases new “The Road We’re On” Centennial Video Series||
It’s hard to imagine that a car company, let alone series of brands, has lasted upwards of 100 years. With hard times hitting the industries in the 1920’s, to the most recent hardship that America has faced, it is good to know that General Motors’ Chevrolet brand has been one to stick it out for a full 100 years. To celebrate their recent paramount, Chevrolet has released a series of videos titled “The Road We’re On”. These videos bring life stories of Chevrolet owners, communities and dealers to the forefront of reality in America. Truly, these videos are a testament to how deep American history runs and Chevrolet was there to be a part through the ups and downs. Enjoy the 8-part series of videos below!
Episode 1: Welcome to Bridgeville
Bridgeville is a small town in Pennsylvania steeped in Americana
Episode 2: The Colussys
Dating back to 1918, the Colussy family owns and operates the oldest Chevy dealership in the United States
Episode 3: Half Mile of Dirt
24 year old driver Jared Miley carries on the traditions and breaks new ground with his family-run race team
Episode 4: Steel Roots
Lisa Baer, a 4th generation steel contractor, tells the story of taking over a family business and the importance of keeping businesses local
Episode 5: History of Bridgeville
The story of how Bridgeville, PA came to be what it is today and what it will be tomorrow
Episode 6: The Road Ahead
What does the future of mobility hold for a small town in America?
Episode 7: Sarasnick’s
The story of the Sarasnick’s and how they helped build their family-run business helped build their community.
Episode 8: Me & My Chevy
A look at local car clubs and profiles of vintage auto enthusiasts.
|Next Generation BMW M3/M4 Rendered Into Reality||
The next BMW M3 is already in the works making rounds at the normal Nurburgring testing grounds. Aside from finding out what will be under the bonnet of the new M3 or M4, whichever BMW decides to name it, enthusiasts want to know what BMW’s prided sports coupe will look like. Our good friends at BMWBlog, through the Facebook page of Iacoski, rendered the new M3/M4 into reality. So far, in my opinion, this is the best looking representation of what the new BMW M3/M4 could look like. What do you think, love it or leave it?
|The Oddest Test Drive Ever: Video||
You can learn a lot about a person from a little word association. For example, if you say “machine” and the subject replies “head,” chances are they’re a Deep Purple fan. If you say “wife” and get a reply of “chainsaw,” or if you say “barnyard” and get the response of “lubricant,” then you know you have trouble. Along those lines, we’re not quite sure what to make of Mathew Foster, the winner in a recent MINI contest that had entrants define the ultimate test drive in six words.
Mr. Foster’s six words? Stewardess, salt flats, paratroopers, sushi, Falconer. If anyone can explain what the outdated term for a flight attendant, a high-speed testing ground, airborne soldiers, Japanese cuisine and an obscure Swedish power metal band have to do with the new MINI Coupe, we’re all ears. Odd though his terms may be, they do make for an interesting video, reminiscent of college roommates who ingested large quantities of magical mushrooms. Except in the video, the carpet never marched up the wall to eat the light.
|Building BMW’s 1-Series: Video||
If you ever have the opportunity to tour a BMW manufacturing plant, especially one in Germany, jump at the chance. BMW’s plant in Munich looks more like a hospital than an automotive assembly line, and the plant in Regensburg, Germany that produces the 1-Series looks to be along the same lines. The plants aren’t just clean, they’re spotless, and the line workers are serious about the tasks they’ve been assigned.
BMW likes to mix things up for workers, too. In its motorcycle assembly plant outside Berlin, teams are assigned to various stations on a rotating basis. One week may be transmission assembly, while the following week may be cylinder head assembly. By changing up the tasks performed, BMW tries to make line work more interesting, but it also ensures that any employee can work at any point in the assembly line.
If you’ve ever toured another assembly line, chances are it wasn’t nearly as clean and organized as the one in the video below. Enjoy.
|Spotted: Land Rover Tests new Range Rover 2012||
These shots reveal Land Rover testing their new Range Rover 2012, in full camouflage, in the deserts of Dubai that is being developed at Land Rover’s global headquarters in Warwickshire, UK. These photos will put any enthusiasts at ease who may be concerned that Land Rover could be loosing their off-road focus because if there is any place that tests the toughness and resilience of an out-door vehicle its the desert.
The new Range Rover is likely to showcase all the latest in engineering from the Tata owned 4X4 specialist. The new architecture will be aluminium intensive, increased interior space, a focus on upmarket cabin appointments and a suite of upgraded V6 and V8 engines that will provide the power, with a hybrid electrified powertrain to follow.
This new Range Rover is expected to be revealed in about six months time for the UK summer of 2012.
Source: Car Magazine
|The 2012 Chrysler 300 Goes Upscale||
We love the 2011 Chrysler 300 both for what it is (a full-size American sedan with an available V-8) and what it isn’t (stuffy or pretentious). The Chrysler 300 has no aspirations of taking on the Mercedes-Benz E-Class for luxury, and it isn’t really small or nimble enough to be a legitimate sport sedan competitor to BMW’s 5-Series (although the 300 SRT-8 is plenty fast). Instead, the Chrysler 300 is a big sedan for the common man, albeit one that can be optioned out to near-luxury levels.
For 2012, Chrysler is launching a Luxury Series 300 that takes the car one step closer to the posh side. Outside, Luxury Series cars are distinguished by their platinum-chrome grilles, door handles, mirror caps and polished 19 or 20-inch wheels, depending upon platform (RWD cars get 20-inch wheels, AWD cars get 19-inch). The styling changes are subtle and tasteful, and really do enhance the looks of the 300.
The big news, however, is on the inside. Luxury Series cars get a black or mochachino Poltrona Frau “Foligno” leather-wrapped instrument cluster, center console sides and upper front and rear door panels. Premium Nappa leather is used for the armrests and seats, and the steering wheel is wrapped in either black or mochachino leather. Natural Pore Mocha wood trim, in a matte finish, is used to accent the interior as well.
The Luxury Series cars will arrive at dealers in the first quarter of 2012, at a starting price of $40,145 for a RWD Chrysler 300. Opt for the base 300 Luxury Series in AWD, and the price goes up to $42,495. If you want the 300C Luxury Series, a rear-drive model starts at $42,895, while the AWD sedan will be priced from $45,245.
|2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 Review & Test Drive||
Chrysler’s Street and Racing Technology (SRT) group continues to inject astounding performance attributes into already excellent Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles. Now, breaking off as a separate brand entity, the SRT group touts its most powerful HEMI engine found in new 2012 SRT8 performance vehicles including the all-new Chrysler 300 SRT8.
The new 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 is the fastest sedan, along side of the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8, to make it off of the production line from the Chrysler Corporation. At the heart of the new 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 is a monstrous 6.4-liter HEMI V8 engine making 470 horsepower and a matching 470 ft.-lbs. of torque. The re-worked engine is a marvel in itself, which at the aid of technological advancements is able to still get 23 miles to the gallon on the highway.
At the point of diminishing return for all-things considered to be technologically advanced by today’s standards, the new 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT still uses a prehistoric 5-speed automatic transmission. The new 300 SRT8 does, however, add shift paddles to a sporty flat-bottom thick-rimed steering wheel, quite possibly to give the driver a perception of added control with a limited amount of forward cogs. Though, having a 5-speed automatic mated to such a robust powerplant, the new Chrysler 300 SRT8 still delivers gobs of rear-wheel-grunt to the pavement even with widely spaced gear ratios. I had no problem painting the pavement with dark lines of Goodyear Eagle F1 rubber.
With the help of cylinder deactivation technology (Fuel Saver Technology), the new Chrysler 300 SRT8 is able to get 23 mpg on the highway. Not an excellent figure but it is an improvement over older SRT8 sedans. Unfortunately, the 300 SRT8 gets hit with a gas-guzzlers tax partly due to its low 14 mpg city EPA estimate. Possibly, a new 8-speed automatic, said to be in the works for next year, will improve fuel economy to at least avoid the extra taxation. During my city travels in the new 300 SRT8 I averaged 16 mpg. On the highway I saw a steady figure of 22.5 mpg traveling at 65 mph.
It is no denying that the new 2012 Chrysler 300 is a big vehicle. In the 300’s SRT8 trim level, the 6.4-liter 392 HEMI gets an excellent support network to compensate for the 300’s size and 4,365 pound curb weight. This “support network” is compromised of a beefed up suspension system with active-adjustable dampers, bigger disc brake rotors with Brembo calipers up front, forged 20-inch wheels shod in 245/45 Z-rated rubber, and revised front/rear fascias for a mean look. The darkened grill, darkened headlights, rear spoiler and rear diffuser covering 4-inch chrome exhaust tips only add to the 300 SRT8’s performance oriented character.
Surprisingly, when you get down and dirty with the new 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 pushing it to its limits, it keeps its composure for such a large car. The rear suspension is very soft for a sedan that has 470 horsepower. However, a Sport mode hidden within the 300 SRT8’s 8.4-inch LCD touch screen controls menu will stiffen the dampers eliminating the float in the rear for better stability. Additionally, the sport mode will add weight to the hydraulic steering rack and change shift patterns for optimal performance. The Dodge Charger SRT8, has a rear suspension setup that is said to be about 40% stiffer than it’s sibling the Chrysler 300 SRT8. Suspension, exclusively tuned for the 300 SRT8, is one item on a very short list of unique characteristics that set the Charger SRT8 apart from the 300 SRT8. Otherwise, they share an identical drivetrain.
Performance mixed with a quant taste of luxury is where the Chrysler 300 SRT8 is positioned. When compared to the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8, the 300 SRT8 blends a bit more luxury into the equation aside from virtually identical straight-line performance. When all of the performance attributes of the new 300 SRT8 are working in sync, you are able to reach 60 mph in a quick 4.5 seconds, run a full quarter mile in 13.0 seconds and have the confidence to throw it into sharp corners on a race track. Those figures will easily leave the BMW 550i glancing at the 300 SRT8’s LED taillights while listing to the HEMI’s rumble fade into a distant memory. Although the new 300 SRT8 won’t bite back at the Cadillac CTS-V, it tends to keep German competitors on their toes.
On the inside of the 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8, the cabin falls a little short of expectations on a vehicle just over $50 grand. This is not to say that the interior of the Chrysler 300 SRT8 is cheap by any means. After-all, the dashboard is wrapped in leather, the bright bluish cluster gauges instantly pop into focus, deeply bolstered heated and ventilated leather front seats with suede inserts are supportive yet comfy, carbon fiber trim laces the dash and shifter areas, and the touch-screen interface integrates most vehicle controls nevertheless proving to be user-friendly.
During our previous review of the 2011 Chrysler 300C, I took special notice to the new 8.4-inch screen and the upgraded Chrysler Uconnect system. The new 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 takes the system even a step further by integrating vehicle performance data, something that the SRT brand has offered for a few years now in a much smaller two-tone screen in the dash cluster. This time, by allowing the driver to interact with SRT vehicle performance data via a “Performance Pages” option on the large 8.4-inch LCD touch-screen, the driver and passenger are better able to read and decipher data on the fly. For instance, the G-force meter is now an easy-to-see graphic representation in full color for metering g forces. Additionally, the SRT vehicle performance data screens allow the driver to record acceleration times and braking times. For those compelled to utilize this data for driver improvements, Chrysler throws in a one-day SRT driver school when you purchase a new Chrysler 300 SRT8. This is further proof that the new 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 may serve as a dual-purpose vehicle satisfying you on daily commutes as well as on the track.
Putting performance on the back burner, which is hard to do in the new 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8, you may take notice to other excellent aspects of such a dynamic vehicle. For starters, the heated and cooled front cup holders are an intuitive part of the new Chrysler 300. Moreover, the optional dual-pane panoramic sunroof with a power shade adds a bit of functional elegance to the equation. My test vehicle’s adaptive cruise control (radar cruise control), collision alert, blindspot monitoring, rear fog lights, and cross-path detection, all part of an optional SafetyTec package, adds convenience and safety. The 900-watt 18-speaker system sounds good but suffers from abnormal vibration sounds from the rear panel.
The all-new 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 beckons to be the only vehicle in your stable as it proves to be a capable performer on the track and at the same time, a favorable luxury vehicle for those long commutes or road trips. The SRT division has continued a tradition of being exceptional at offering performance versions of many vehicles that would otherwise require owners taking to aftermarket venders potentially costing thousands more. With that in mind, having an as-tested price of $54,430 I can honestly say that the new 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8 is worth every penny.
Copyright: 2011 AutomotiveAddicts.com
- Price: Base Chrysler 300 SRT8 $47,170 As-Tested Chrysler 300 SRT8 $54,430
- Engine: 6.4-liter HEMI 392 V8 470 horsepower @ 5200rpm / 470 ft-lbs. torque @ 4200rpm
- Wheelbase: 120.2in.
- Total length: 198.6in.
- Total width: 74.2in.
- Total height: 58.2in.
- Track: f/r-63.4/63.1in.
- Weight distribution: f/r-52%/48%
- Headroom: f/r-38.6/37.9in.
- Legroom: f/r-41.8/40.1in.
- EPA interior room: 122.6cu.ft.
- Trunk room: 16.3cu.ft.
- Fuel tank: 19.1 gallons
- 0-60 mph: 4.5 seconds
- EPA mileage specs: 14mpg/city, 23mpg/highway
|Lara Stone And The Mercedes SL Are Icons Of Style||
Warning: you’re probably not hip, beautiful, thin or rich enough to watch this video. In fact, if you want to own a new Mercedes SL for its performance and handling, and not to flip the single-digit-salute to your BMW Z4-driving neighbors, this video isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you’re currently dressed head to toe in the latest fashion (preferably in black) and think that
primer matte paint makes a car more attractive, watch on, mister or misses hipster. This video is made for you and the rest of your one-percenter friends.
On the other hand, we unwashed masses would have loved to crash this video shoot in a Boss 302 Mustang with a trunk full of cheeseburgers. We’d take turns throwing giant rooster tails of dirt over cast, car and crew, while one of our assistants force-fed Ms. Stone burgers until she approached something resembling a normal weight. Alas, the Occupy movement has not yet reached the automotive video world.
Enjoy the video below, if you can. Frankly, it’s not for us.
|Lexus LF LC Concept Leaked||
The image above, reveals the new Lexus LF LC concept car expected to be officially unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show in January. Top Gear have reported that all they know for certain about the new model is that it’s been created at the company’s California design studio, the same place where the original SC430 was drawn.
The new concept is about the same size as the SC and also has two doors but it differs in that there is a pair of seats in the back. The image also suggests that it has a targa top and while Lexus have yet to confirm, it is possible that the new concept is a rear wheel drive and the spacious body work could be wrapped around the Toyota GT 86 platform.
|Honda Looks To Shave Weight From Its Products||
On the plus side, no one will argue that lighter vehicles are more fuel efficient and yield better acceleration, cornering and stopping ability. On the down side, building lighter vehicles either costs significantly more money thanks to the use of exotic materials, or produces some other kind of trade-off. In a production decision that’s sure to raise a few eyebrows, Honda will revise the way its building cars to save both weight and manufacturing cost.
Today, most cars are built using a steel unibody, with outer panels bolted into place. This makes assembly relatively easy, and it makes repair easy, but it adds both weight and complexity to the finished produce. As Motor Authority and Reuters report, Honda will switch to welding outer panels to vehicle frames instead of bolting them on. The switch will begin on the company’s small vehicles at first (like it’s new N Box, shown above), so changes to U.S. production in the short term aren’t likely.
Honda is making the switch to be more competitive in emerging markets, which the automaker sees as critical to its growth. A strong yen doesn’t help overseas profits. either, so expect to see Honda embrace the new manufacturing technique across its product line sooner or later.
What does it mean to the consumer? In the event of a collision, old panels will have to be cut away and new panels welded into place instead of bolted into place. That’s often the case with rear quarter panels today, so while Honda’s move will make body repair more challenging, it won’t have much of an effect on professional auto body shops. We’d expect the cost of body repair to rise, which likely means higher auto insurance rates for welded-construction cars.
|Ken Block’s Year In Reverse: Video||
The marketing and driving machine that is Ken Block had another busy year in 2011. He kicked out a new Gymkhana video, raced a few WRC stages, stacked a car (hard) in Portugal, made dozens of celebrity appearances and sold a boatload of shoes and giant-billed hats. Thanks to the small-in-size-but-big-in-resolution GoPro camera, you can now revisit the highlights of Ken’s year, in full 1080 pixel resolution.
It’s pretty clear that Ken Block spent more time sideways on racetracks in 2011 than we spent driving on racetracks this year, but we hope to change that in 2012. We’re sure Ken will be back at it again in 2012, too, and we’re hoping he decides to put a little more effort into racing WRC than he has in the past. We know the Ford Fiesta RS WRC is a capable car (it gave Mikko Hirvonen a third place finish this year), and we know that Ken can drive on a variety of surfaces. How about showing the rest of the world that Americans can drive in motorsports other than NASCAR?
|Toyota Launches Prius C in Japan||
Toyota Motor Company has recently launched the Aqua hatchback, known as the Prius C in international markets, in Japan.
The entry level hybrid prides itself on a fuel efficiency of 35.4 km/L (83.3 mpg US; 2.8L/ 100km). Powered by a 1.5-litre Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II), the Aqua produces a combined motor and engine output of 100 PS (98 bhp / 73 kW). For improved engine efficieny, the vehicle features a cooled Exhaust-Gas Recirculation system and a battery powered water pump. The water pump, unlike other traditional designs, reduces friction on the engine and allows precise control of coolant flow.
The Aqua has a starting price of 1.69 million yen ($21,700) and Toyota Motor Company has plans to sell 12,000 units per month.
In addition, Toyota as also announced that it will be launching additional TRD and Modellista versions of the new hybrid. For the TRD there is a new front bumper lower apron with integrated LED lights and side skirts. Also available are a new set of wheels, firmer shock absorbers and springs plus a stainless cat-back exhaust system with dual tips. While the Modellista package offering is similar to that of the TRD, there are two versions available each offering a 5-piece body kits containing front and rear aprons, side skirts and roof spoiler.
Source: World Car Fans