Just Car Blog
|7 Supercars race to 300km/h – Video||
It’s not everyday that you get to see some of the world’s most powerful super cars take on the challenge of surpassing the 300km/h mark. But, today is one of those days that you do.
At the Quicksilver Exhaust Vmax 200 event, a lot of powerful cars attempted to make it to 300km/h down a runway.
However, it was only a few (of course) that actually reached the coveted mark. These included the Ultima 1000, the 9 Excellence 9EXX, the RUF CTR 3, the Ferrari F12, the 997 Turbo, Mirage GT and, our favorite, the Lamborghini Aventador.
The 9EXX was the fastest of the lot, however and reached a top speed of (!) 368km/h!
You can check it all out in the video below:
|2014 Toyota Tundra 4×2 CrewMax Platinum Review & Test Drive||
Toyota’s paramount in the truck segment has been on a steady course for many years. Now, with the introduction of the all-new 2014 Tundra, the expected ruggedness, packed set of available features and build quality from Toyota, takes the American brands head-on with a regained confidence.
The new 2014 Toyota Tundra receives a few updates to make its bold stance be better recognized in a highly competitive truck segment. The new 2014 Tundra retains much of its chiseled and boxed-off exterior sheet metal, which carries the hard-edged theme into its interior. The addition of daytime running LED lights and a slight re-sculpt of the grill and bumper areas up front define the major changes for the exterior. Additionally, the review camera now comes as standard equipment for the 2014 model year. Toyota’s Entune suite of apps within the infotainment system is also added to applicable trim levels. The 5.7-liter iForce V8 engine is carried over producing a healthy 381 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 401 ft. lbs. of torque at 3,600 rpm.
The Tundra CrewMax, basically a full-size double cab truck with seating for 5, is the largest variation of the Tundra line followed by a double cab featuring shorter rear doors and then the regular two-door cab. Trim levels start with the SR having a standard 4.0-liter V6 with 270 horsepower or the 4.6-liter V8 with 310 horsepower on either the SR or SR5 trims. From there, the 5.7-liter V8 can be had on all trim levels including the Limited and specialized Platinum and 1794 packages all receiving a 6-speed automatic transmission mated to the 5.7-liter V8.
The large 5.7-liter V8 in my Tundra CrewMax Platinum retains its thirst for any grade of unleaded fuel you can throw at it. The looming lackluster fuel consumption numbers also remain, only getting 13 mpg city and 18 mpg highway for 4×2 5.7-liter V8 models. 4×4 models get the same city EPA estimate while the highway mileage drops 1 mpg to 17 mpg. The time in my 2014 Tundra CrewMax 4×2 Platinum test vehicle I saw a consistent 14.6 mpg around town and was able to get my best figure of 18.8 mpg on the highway. The highway fuel consumption saw its way to 17.4 mpg once you climb to 70 mph, all without carrying any load other than two passengers up front.
Mating the 5.7-liter V8 to a quick-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission makes the Tundra a capable towing truck. Combined with an automatically-engaged limited slip differential, the 4×2 and 4×4 Tundra models can tow with ease and navigate slippery trials without breaking a sweat. A dedicated tow/haul mode adapts the throttle input and transmission shifting points to compensate for an extra load out back by holding gears longer and advancing throttle position.
Of course with not-so-thrilling fuel consumption figures, the new 2014 Tundra is expected to lead the way with its towing and hauling abilities, and that it does. The new 2014 Tundra is rated to tow up to 10,400 pounds for all properly equipped 5.7-liter V8 trims. For protected storage space, the Tundra CrewMax allows you to stow away items in the rear seating areas after easily folding seat bottoms up. A new damped tailgate provides access to the rear 5.6 foot bed with the ability to haul just over 1,500 pounds.
Driving the new 2014 Toyota Tundra is surprisingly simplistic, which is a good thing considering how trucks of this shear size are sometimes expected to drive, handle and operate like a bus. Basically, the new Tundra is easy to maneuver, park and has a good ride – with a dash of firmness to gently remind you that you are still driving a large truck. Even the steering angle makes turns an easy task much like a capable full-sized sedan. The slight firmness is what places its ride quality marginally below some of the new offerings from American competition in the truck segment.
The new 2014 Tundra CrewMax 5.7-liter is a decent performer on pavement for a larger double-cab truck. 0-60 mph time comes in around 6.9 seconds, a reassuring trait of the Tundra’s road-going demeanor. The large 20-inch wheels and tires, part of the Platinum CrewMax trim’s standard features, aid to the Tundra’s latteral grip where the quick-acting traction and stability control doesn’t get overworked to keep things in line.
On the inside of the new 2014 Toyota Tundra CrewMax Platinum, comfort and abundant space is king, while much of the plastic surfaces, encompassing the majority of the interior except for the seats and floors, actually mesh well for the expected use that you get out of a truck of this magnitude. The abundance of plastics is an obvious visual characteristic of the Tundra’s dashboard and floorboard console areas. However, the use of the plastic materials never really sets off any cheap or compromising alarms. It proves to be useful for easily cleaning surfaces and long-lasting durability, especially for the rugged blue-collar type on those days where exploring the vast open grounds of American backcountry is expressed all over your clothing.
The new 2014 Toyota Tundra CrewMax Platinum, from its interior’s middle-grounded comfort level, attempts to please everyone and not just one side of life. The perforated leather seats with unique pattern stitching on the upper seat backs, as part of the upgraded Platinum package, adds a nice aesthetic and quality appearance to the cabin. The heated and ventilated front seats are a nice touch to the luxury side of things combined with a power telescoping steering column, power folding and heated outside mirrors, power sliding rear window, driver seat memory and upgraded 12-speaker JBL audio system with streaming Bluetooth audio. The controls are kept simple with large knobs and an easy-to-navigate infotainment system combining the GPS navigation, audio controls, Entune app suite, and a minimal amount of vehicle settings when properly paired to a smartphone via Bluetooth. Dual climate zones are added within the Tundra CrewMax Platinum trim level also. The gauge cluster has large dials and a color center LCD information screen toggled via steering wheel mounted buttons. The options added to my Tundra CrewMax Platinum 4×2 were the larger heated tow review mirrors, which featured integrated amber LED turn signal and running lights, running boards, wheel locks, spare tire lock and a plastic bed liner.
The main benefit of the new 2014 Toyota Tundra remains to be its value perception where the base pricing starts at just $27,563 for a regular cab SR time and just $36,940 for a Limited CrewMax 4×2. My 2014 Toyota Tundra CrewMax 4×2 Platinum, with all of the added features and Platinum package equipment, comes to an as-tested price of $45,794 including a $975 delivery and processing charge. Many comparably equipped trucks, such as the new Chevrolet Silverado 1500 DoubleCab will tip the price scale at $46,500 or higher, making the new Tundra an attractive buy without compromise in what defines a capable large double cab truck.
Copyright: 2013 AutomotiveAddicts.com
- Price: Base Tundra CrewMax Limited $36,940 / As-Tested Tundra CrewMax 4×2 5.7L V8 Platinum $45,794
- Wheelbase: 145.7 inches
- Total length: 228.9
- Overall width: 79.9 inches
- Overall height: 76.2 inches.
- Track: f/r-67.9/67.9in.
- Headroom: f/r-39.7/38.9in.
- Legroom: 42.5/42.3 in.
- Curb weight: 5,560lbs.
- Fuel tank: 26.4 gallons
- Turning circle: 44.0 feet
- EPA mileage: 13 mpg/city, 18 mpg/highway (CrewMax 5.7 2WD)
- 0-60 mph: 6.9 seconds
|The Best Vehicles For Winter||
With one of the largest snowstorms having already dumped three feet of snow onto the Great Plains state, PBS estimates we will have a particularly long and snowy winter (1). Whether you are used to the heaviest of drifts or need something for a first winter driving experience, several cars and trucks top the list of the best cold-weather vehicles.
Cadillac XTS 4
Photo by That Hartford Guy via Flickr
Anyone who has driven a Cadillac before knows that it takes a lot of power to keep it from going forward. When the snows become deep and you want to be sure you can get from the garage onto the street, the XTS 4 may be the best tool in your arsenal. Mother Nature Network reported that the XTS had excellent road handling in cold, wet weather to go along with its traction control and safety rating. The bad news is that the power does not come cheap, since the introductory price of $65,000 goes higher when you realize it boasts a pitiful twenty miles per gallon gas efficiency.
Suzuki SX4 Crossover
Photo by Clement Bucco-Lechat via Wikimedia Commons
All-wheel drive has become standard on so many vehicles that when you look for a winter car you may not even think twice about it. What separates the SX4 from other all-wheel drive SUVs, according to Ask Men, is the three different modes of all-wheel drive that let you escape from drifts and ice buildup alike. One of the cheaper light SUVs on the market, a basic SX4 retails for only $15,000. If you are in need of an auto loan and thinking about purchasing a light SUV, you can get a leg up by using DriveTime’s vehicle financing services to purchase a winter car on credit before the snows start to fall. By getting financing, you can prepare for winter with a low-stance vehicle that fears no snow buildup.
Range Rover HSE
Photo by Delta 51 via Wikimedia Commons
When you want to cruise to the ski resort in style, you may need to look far and wide to find a luxury vehicle capable of handling mountain drifts. The HSE can do that and more, featuring a 20 inch wheels and no less than 510 horsepower in the V8 engine for $60,500. MSN Autos mentions that the HSE’s supercharger makes it great for getting through high mountain valleys, since the engine gets the necessary oxygen that high altitude robs from other cars.
Photo by IFCAR via Wikimedia Commons
One of the standards of all-weather vehicles, the Ford F-150, starting at $23,500, has been the best selling pickup truck in America for many years running for a reason. The 4-by-4 frame can take a beating, while the 160-inch wheelbase can climb over any obstacle that winter has tossed onto the roads. The 5,000 pounds towing capacity, meanwhile, gets you out of tight situations whenever the snow clouds start to amass.
|LeBron James (also) gets a custom Lamborghini||
It seems to becoming a trend for wealthy, famous Americans to ‘wrap’ their expensive supercars in a way that reflects their current state of mind.
Previously, we reported on Nicki Minaj’s pink Lamborghini Aventador and also rapper Flo Rida’s pink Bugatti in honour of breast cancer awareness month.
And, surprise surprise, yet another celebrity has showcased his expensive sport car in an unusual wrap. Basketball star, Lebron James, has debuted his one of a kind Lamborghini Aventador Roadster.
LeBron recently released a new pair of signature sneakers in collaboration with Nike. The Lebron XI ‘Kings Pride’ sneakers features the same inside design as the wrap of the car.
To make his roadster look like his shoes, Lebron collaborated with Lou La Vie, DJ Irie, Toys for Boys Miami, Rich B. Calienteto and, of course, Nike.
Well, I guess this is one (expensive) trend that is only picking up!
Check out Lebron’s car and matching sneakers below:
|2014 Lexus IS 250 Review & Test Drive||
The all-new 2014 Lexus IS 250 points this important Lexus model in the right direction with a more dynamic driving experience, bold new aggressive design and LED lighting, a new interior design, a new multi-link rear suspension, and a new Drive Mode Selector. Taken as a whole, the all-new I S250 is more fun to drive sitting in a more comfortable and sporty cabin.
I said pointed up because the new style features sharp pointed arrow shapes up front and in the rear. First, the wheelbase has been increased by nearly three inches, the width by nearly half an inch giving the IS 250 a more aggressive stance. The new styling is a further evolution of the spindle grille from the new GS and LS models featuring a more three-dimensional design with a chrome-plated frame with black horizontal slates. HID headlamps feature separated LED daytime running lights that are arrow shaped. The lower bumper features a honeycomb air-intake, splitter, a spoiler with a flat underbody panel, foglamps and a working opening that channels air to cool the front brakes. The silhouette shows steeply raked windshield A-pillars, flared fenders, power-remote/heated sideview mirrors with LED signal repeater, newly designed lower side extensions that angle up to help with outside airflow, pull-out door handles, and a full-perimeter chrome strip around the greenhouse. The new rear fascia features LED lamp clusters that wraparound and point down, a chrome strip that attaches the two lamp clusters, a lip spoiler at the end of the trunk lid, a bold bumper with a black contrasting strip that ends at each side, dual chrome exhaust tips and a diffuser underneath to help with rear airflow. The look is sharp, taut and very athletic. The all-new body design cuts through the air with a slippery 0.28 co-efficient of drag enhancing fuel efficiency and less noise entering the cabin.
To give the all-new IS 250 more excitement to drive is the new construction techniques including laser screw welding, additional spot welding and adhesive body bonding help to provide a substantial increase in overall body rigidity. A new rear subframe and cowl side braces further help to enhance handling control and steering response. Also giving me a more responsive ride and handling capability is the all-new multi-link rear suspension, revised front suspension and electric-power-assisted rack & pinion steering system derived from the all-new GS sedan and adopted for the smaller IS 250.
IS 250 power is generated from a potent 2.5 liter, all-aluminum, DOHC, 24-valve V6 with Stoichiometric direct injection and variable valve timing with intelligence. It produces 204 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 185 lb.ft. of torque at 4,800 rpm. This small but potent engine is mated to the reliable six-speed electronically controlled automatic with ECT-i including paddle shifters with rev matching downshifts in SPORT mode to add more fun and excitement to its driving dynamics. The new Drive Mode Selector system features four driving modes in the all-new IS 250. Mounted on the center of the console is a large dial with ECO, NORMAL, and SPORT modes. Just in front is a button for SNOW mode in AWD models. These drives modes are tailored to meet my preferred combination of economy, comfort, performance and handling characteristics. It gives the choice of how I want the car to respond and handle to my throttle and steering inputs.
The new rear suspension and revised front suspension makes driving the all-new IS 250 so much fun and pleasurable. Up front is a double-wishbone setup with high-mount upper arms, coil springs, gas-filled shocks and a stabilizer bar. This new revised front setup gives a 20% increase in sway rigidity and grip. The all-new rear is a multi-link setup with coil springs, gas-filled shocks and a stabilizer bar. Taken together the new suspension helps provide increased grip and control when tackling steeply curving roads. The new electric power steering system gave me a smoother, more accurate feel with greater feedback from the road. It is a great new combination that gives the car better handling with more response to all of my driving inputs.
The brakes are very powerful and linear when applied. Up front are 11.65 inch vented discs clamped with dual-piston calipers. The rear discs are 11.45 and solid with single-piston calipers. The braking system is further enhanced with standard ABS, EBD, BA, Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control and the (VDIM) Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system all working together to keep me in control during high-speed maneuvers and when braking on wet or slick pavement.
The all-new 2014 Lexus IS 250 that I tested came with the custom optional wheel and tire package. It includes 18X8 inch front and 18X8.5 inch rear 10-twin-spoke aluminum alloys with a liquid graphite finish. These beautiful sport wheels are wrapped with 225/40R18 inch front and 255/35R18 inch Bridgestone Turanza low-profile high-performance tires for excellent grip and a smooth ride.
The interior of the all-new IS 250 was inspired by the Lexus LFA supercar with its driver-focused cockpit. My test IS 250 came equipped with the Luxury Package that includes LED headlamps (low-high beam), rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, leather-trimmed interior with high-quality soft-to-the touch materials, aluminum trim, genuine linear dark wood trim on the dashboard and door switch plates, heated/ventilated/rib-quilted front bucket seats with 10-way power adjustments with a driver-side power lumbar control, that is so very comfortable and supportive, leather-wrapped stick shifter, power tilt/telescopic/leather-wrapped steering wheel that feels perfect in my hands with audio controls, radar-sensing cruise control, and a trip computer controls that can be seen on the reconfigurable center screen between the rallye gauges with aluminum bezels. This package also gave the IS 250 extra safety with Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic alert. My new IS 250 came equipped with the 2nd– Generation Lexus Remote Touch Interface (RTI) multi-function control device which controls the navigation system, climate, audio, phone controls and more. It is like using a mouse to click on the desired icons to operate each system.
Standard features inside not mentioned above includes dual map lights, grab handles above each door, two-driver memory, express up/down for all windows, power door locks, Smart Access with push button start/stop, new haptic slide thermostats for the dual climate control system, dual lighted vanity mirrors, dual map pockets behind the front seatbacks, aluminum front door entry plates, easy enter/exit for the driver’s seat, air vents behind the front console, storage slots in each door, self-dimming rearview mirror, garage door openers, power one-touch moonroof, remote trunk release, center console with dual cupholders/storage bin with padded armrest, Lexus clock, rear pull-down armrest with dual cupholders/storage tray, 60/40 rear fold-down seat, Bluetooth, Surround Sound Audio System with HD radio Gracenote album art, MP3 player, USB integration, Sirius Satellite Radio, trunk light and front/rear floor mats. My test IS 250 also came with the Navigation Package that includes Lexus Navigation system, backup camera, remote touch interface, intuitive parking assist, Lexus Enform with App Suite, destination assist & eDestination, Lexus Insider, Voice Command, real-time traffic and weather alerts.
Standard safety systems include front/rear crumple zones, steel beams in each door, steel safety cage, 10-airbags-driver/front passenger front, knee & side airbags, rear side airbags, side curtain airbags, 5-3-point safety belts with front pretensioners/load limiters, LATCH system for child seats, Child Rear Door Locks, Lexus Safety Connect with automatic collision alert, stolen vehicle location, emergency assist button (SOS), and enhanced roadside assistance.
The all-new 2014 Lexus IS 250 is an exciting and luxurious compact sporty sedan. It is all-new in every way-outside, inside with revised steering and suspension systems that make driving the all-new sedan more fun and exciting than before.
COPYRIGHT: 2014: HARVEY SCHWARTZ
- Price: Base IS 250 $35,950 / As-Tested $43,135
- Engine: 2.5-liter DOHC V6 204 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm / 185 ft-lbs. torque @ 4,800 rpm
- Wheelbase: 110.2 inches
- Total length: 183.7 inches
- Total width: 71.3 inches
- Total height: 56.3 inches
- Track: f/r-60.4/61 inches
- Headroom: f/r-38.2/36.9 inches
- Legroom: f/r-44.8/32.2 inches
- EPA passenger volume: 90.2 cu.ft.
- EPA cargo volume: 13.8 cu.ft.
- Curb weight: 3,461 pounds
- Ground clearance: 5.3 inches
- Fuel tank: 17.4 gallons
- Turning circle: 34.2 ft.
- 0-60 mph: 7.7 seconds
- Top speed: 140mph
- EPA fuel economy: 21 mpg/city, 30 mpg/highway
|Ferrari 250 GT SWB ‘Breadvan’ Makes Sweet Music at Oldtimer Grand Prix: Video||
The line of Ferrari 250 vehicles gives us some of the most recognizable and cherished Italian cars on the planet paying homage to the famous 250 GTO. Each vehicle with is own hand-made character within the family line, Ferrari garage artists tended to make unique one-offs and the Ferrari 250 GT SWB Breadvan is one that adds to the exclusive characterization of the most expensive vehicles around today.
Today we stumble on an in-cabin Ferrari 250 GT SWB ‘Breadvan’ video of it making rounds the Nurburgring to pole at the 2013 Oldtimer Grand Prix. The sound is music any automotive enthusiast’s ears from the 3.0-liter V12 engine. Today’s successors of the 250 GT include that of the new Ferrari FF, something that will be a surprise to many enthusiasts – the ‘hatchback’ idea was long explored on the Italian mainland long before any of us were born.
Thanks for the tip Mike Hilal
|Proposed new gadget let’s you see through cars||
We all know the feeling: driving on a highway, at 120km/h+, when suddenly, you find yourself stuck behind a slow moving truck.
You sigh, take a deep breath, and then gently swerve to the right to try and see if the road is clear for you to pass the damned truck. Whilst mostly this works, and you can time your pass efficiently, it is nevertheless quotes dangerous.
How cool would it be of you could just see through the truck or bus in front of you and then make youor quick exit? Well, if thi snew gadget is anything to go by- you CAN!
As incredible as it sounds, a Portuguese scientist has come up with an invention that literally makes you see straight through the car in front of – almost like an X-Ray.
Michael Ferreira, from the University of Porto in Portugal has developed this technology being called “See-through system”.
The See-Through System works by tapping into the visual data being recorded by the forward-facing webcam that some cars/trucks/busses have installed on their windshield.
Then, if you have a similar system in your car, the webcam then streams the feed from the car in front of yours’ webcam and projects it onto a transparent LED screen built into your windshield.
This viewpoint then helps you judge the oncoming traffic from the view of the car or bus or truck in front of you.
Check out what it would look like if you had the system in your car:
Sound too good to be true? Well it’s true; but that doesnt mean it may have some complications. Many critics have raised the question on whether the streaming would be in real time, and if, incase it lags, how it would benefit the driver.
However, Ferreira has a answer to that: “…tests show that the latency isn’t more than 200 milliseconds, which translates to about 10 meters at high speed and won’t make any difference with safety in real-world driving” he said.
Either way, this might be the one safety solution for driving the world has been waiting for. Ferreira even tested the system out himself, and you can see it in action in the video below:
What are your thoughts on this X-Ray technology? Safe or silly?
Source: Smithsonian Magazine
|2015 BMW M235i Greets the Internet with Official Photos||
These days BMW’s new series nomenclature is about as of a mixed bag as your child’s upcoming Halloween trick-or-treat candy bag. The new series vehicles, such as the 2 series, fill gaps that some people didn’t know existed. Probably to stay true to their German counterparts’ actions, BMW is getting into the fulfillment of every segment of car world even if such a segment didn’t exist. In comes the all-new 2015 BMW 2 series with the performance variation being the M235i, which has had its official photos leaked onto the internet today.
The 2015 BMW M235i is said to get a price tag under $50,000 and be powered by the German automaker’s 3.0-liter turbocharged inline 6-cylinder set to produce about 322 horsepower. This should be enough to launch the 3,200 pound vehicle to 60 mph in just under 5 seconds.
The new M235i, although not a true M car like the M3/M4, M5, M6, still will be a highly-sought-after vehicle sporting 50/50 weight distribution, an 8-speed automatic transmission and that BMW finesse enthusiasts have enjoyed for a long time now.
|Ferrari Celebrates their 30th Anniversary in China||
Anniversary’s usually call for some sort of celebration, and the 30 year mark calls for a rather big celebration.
Now, considering that it is the world’s most famous supercar’s anniversary in (over the top) China, you can kind of imagine what their celebration will be like.
If you thought momentous, extravagant and very OTT – then yes, you are correct.
The Italian supercar celebrated its 30th year of trading in China recently, and to celebrate the occasion they gathered more than 600 Ferrari’s in one space. This is the biggest gathering of it’s kind in China ever.
There were over two thousand Ferrari owners in attendance as well, and boy, was this a sight for sore eyes.
Coinciding with the anniversary, was Ferrari China’s official debut of the all new 458 Speciale.
The celebrations actually reminds of the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony – lots of formations, colours and fancy people. Though this is completely done with cars and not people.
They released a special video to commemorate the event, and lucky for you, you can watch it below:
|2014 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ 2.0 Turbo Review & Test Drive||
Thriving to endure through the astounding competitiveness of the midsized sedan segment wars, the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Malibu gets a refresh for the new model year to make a bolder statement. Spending a week behind the wheel of the all-new 2014 Malibu Turbo the takeaway is perceived as a much more defined vehicle within its class that deserves a thorough look.
The new 2014 Chevrolet Malibu receives many welcomed changes within its drivetrain engineering, exterior re-sculpting up front, interior space improvements and a new center console. For 2014 the Malibu base trims featuring its 2.5-liter engine get standard start-stop technology to aid in its improved fuel economy, suspension tweaks, reshaped front end, and additional torque in my 2.0-liter Turbocharged LTZ-trimmed test vehicle.
Already having an enthusiast aptitude in our initial perceptions of each vehicle that we drive, the Malibu LTZ Turbo was under heavy scrutiny from me based on my perceptions of direct competitors like the 2.0-turbo Sonata, Toyota Camry V6, Honda Accord V6, Nissan Altima V6, Ford Fusion V6 and other top-trimmed mainstream mid-sized sedans on the market with high yearly sales figures. Fortunately, the first impressions of the new Malibu Turbo had a solid foundation to build my complete opinion of the new Malibu.
Celebrating 50 years for the Malibu nameplate, Chevrolet stayed true to their basic modern-day mid-sized sedan formula – although the name has since departed far from its beginnings. The 2014 Chevrolet Malibu is in a sense the signifier for General Motors’ ability to adapt and change quickly to satisfy the market’s needs and wants. For the 2014 Malibu it is safe to say they have attempted just that.
The new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine is reworked a bit to add 35 ft-lbs. of additional torque the equation for a total of 295 ft-lbs. while the decent power output of 259 horsepower remains. Midrange rpm throughout the full band, to almost fuel cut, the Malibu Turbo pulls strong with a faint and consistent whistle sound of the turbo spooling up. The front wheels beg for traction at times while the 6-speed automatic transmission adapts well to the stronger mid-range of the turbo-4-cylinder engine. The power, even though it comes on strong just after 2,000 rpm, manages to satisfy those that expect the same oomph from V6 engines. The torque figure, being as high as it is, is never overbearing and does not throw your steering wheel around with any unwanted torque steer.
Cruising around town the engine and transmission mesh together well for smooth shifts but suffers from a slight delay at times when the need arises to skip 3 or more gear cogs. This was a minor hiccup I encountered on more than one occasion but never to the point that things became dangerous or risky when jumping off of an exit ramp into interstate traffic.
The new 2014 Malibu gets updated suspension tuning, which is much improved over the 2013 model I tested last year. The rear damping no longer emits a bouncy rebound as it did in the 2013 model and the new 2014 Malibu LTZ Turbo has a much firmer and reassuring feel even at highway speeds. The sporty characteristics of the Malibu LTZ Turbo emits through most surfaces but really aides in lateral feedback when going into and coming out of turns.
The all-new 2014 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ Turbo inspires a sporty attribute in many ways, including the decent V6-like power output from the turbo-4-cylinder engine getting an EPA-estimated 21 mpg city and 30 mpg highway figure, 19-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in 245/40R19 Goodyear RS-A high-performance all-season tires and sleek body lines. Some of the shortcomings in the performance arena lies with its 6-speed automatic transmission’s manual shifting mode, which allows manual shifts through a cheesy rocker-button mounted on top of the shifter. This disappointment really diminishes the marketable fun that many enthusiasts look for in a sedan that has a dash of performance in its recipe. Considering this minor shortcoming, you can say the Malibu LTZ Turbo’s batter tastes good but it looks to have been taken out of the oven a few minutes too early.
Inside of the new 2014 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ Turbo is a familiar interior layout. Though, for 2014, the Malibu gets a few changes mainly for the trim and lower center console, which all get cleaned up for a refreshing quality look. The Chevy MyLink infotainment system meshes well to assimilate most vehicle settings, audio controls, ac/heater controls all in a large high-resolution 7-inch LCD touchscreen. The new text message-speech system integrates well with some smartphones but the use of an iPhone requires you use Siri through the phone’s home button, which will play the voice through the car’s speakers and listen through the car’s built-in mic. In all, using an iPhone to read off text messages works well – if you are already accustomed to Siri. Though, using the system this way is not a recommended task while driving as it does require you physically pick up the phone and press the home button. Of course their is always the standard OnStar telematics feature for potential connectivity to a live person, just ask them anything.
The seats in the new 2014 Malibu remain the same as last year, which is not a bad thing considering they have good support. The rear seating gets some needed legroom (additional 1.25-inches of knee room) after the slight repositioning of the split 60/40 seat back, all without any change to the vehicle’s wheelbase. Equipped on my Malibu LTZ Turbo test vehicle was the forward collision alert system, measuring distances via a forward-facing camera mounted above the rear-view mirror. Also using the camera is the lane departure warning system, which can be beneficial to those suffering from fatigue on long trips. Otherwise, the lane departure warning can be quite a nuisance for the focused and already-alert driver. Fortunately, it can simply be disabled (and stay disabled on the next start-up) at the press of a dashboard-mounted button.
The combination of performance and efficiency are some of the traits of the new Malibu LTZ Turbo that will be put under a microscope for those considering the many competitive mid-sized sedans on the market. Not having the option for start-stop technology in the Malibu LTZ Turbo trim may not be the determining factor for some, though it is a benefit to serve up the V6 power but with uninspiring EPA fuel economy numbers for a 4-cylinder mid-sized sedan. Nevertheless, the new 2014 Malibu LTZ Turbo deserves to close look when considering a main-stream mid-sized sedan – as it has proved its willingness to become a competitor at the forefront of the market instead of fading into the proverbial rental-car background like it used to.
Copyright: 2013 AutomotiveAddicts.com
- Price: Base Malibu LS MSRP $22,780 / Base Malibu LTZ 2.5 $29,850 / As-Tested Malibu LTZ Turbo (2LZ) $35,105
- Engine: 2.0-liter Turbocharged inline 4-cylinder 259 horsepower @ 5500 rpm / 295 ft-lbs. torque @ 1700 rpm
- Turning circle: 37.4 ft.
- Track: f/r-62.2/62 ft.
- Legroom: f/r-42.1/36.8 inches
- Headroom: f/r-39.0/37.5 inches
- Fuel tank: 18.5 gallons
- EPA Fuel Estimates: 21 mpg city / 30 mpg highway
- Curb weight: 3,500 lbs. est.
- 0-60 mph: 6.3 seconds
|Cars with Animal Names: From the Good to the Awful||
New cars named for animals are nearly extinct these days, but over time there have been at least 50. Except for the engine’s horsepower, few animal associations remain in newer cars. Animal names seem a natural fit for vehicles when you consider the freedom of the open road and dangerously cool image that most are happy to inspire in potential buyers. In no particular order, here are some of the most memorable (although not always logically-named) animal-inspired cars.
Ford Mustang: A favorite of the mid-’60s, the Mustang was introduced in 1964. Ford’s other horses, the Pinto and Maverick, never quite achieved the popularity of the Mustang. Seen as spirited and wild, the Mustang was christened a pony car, youthful and full of energy with a price younger people could afford.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons. All Rights Released.
Ford Pinto: Pinto never approached the popularity of Ford’s other pony, Mustang, which might have had something to do with the whole explosion factor that made the first version in 1971 less than attractive to car buyers. Safety features were finally added in a big recall effort in ’76, which pulled in the ’71-’76 models, along with the equally dangerous ’75-’76 Mercury Bobcat.
Mercury Cougar: This wildcat car was Introduced in 1967, to one-up Ford’s pony-car horse imagery. (Mercury also offered other felines, such as the Lynx.) The Cougar looked a bit like an electric shaver from the front, with disappearing headlights hidden behind flip-up doors/panels. Envisioned as a luxury sports car and advertised as “the man’s car,” it also sold well to women.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons. Public domain.
Jaguar: Purr-fectly named, the car’s feline looks clearly inspired the name of this long, lean, fast and low-to-the-ground vehicle.
The VW Beetle: Strangely, the cute, friendly-looking little car was said to go into production at the behest of Hitler, who envisioned a car that would seat the ideal German family of two adults and three children and fill the system of highways he also envisioned. It’s also said he stole the idea from a Jewish engineer. The true given name of this little car was the Volkswagen Type 1, but it was commonly known as what it looked like: the Beetle or Bug. The company only began marketing it as a “Beetle” in the late ’60s. Although there are more species of beetles (the insect) than any other life form on Earth, the popular VW version has never been quite that plentiful.
Photo by Flickr user Collector Car Ads
Hudson Hornet: This car weighed about 5,000 pounds — no logic there. Cool-looking cars with a low center of gravity, Hornets dominated stock car racing in the ’50s. They’re among the most collectible of cars, according to car buff Jay Leno. Never one to abandon a theme, the Hudson company also put out the Wasp (which was an upgraded version of their unfortunately named Pacemaker).
Ford’s Shelby Cobra: This one arguably looked the most like it’s animal kingdom namesake, with the uniquely curved cowls extending to widen out the front end — like the actual reptile’s hood. It was rather small, but could look pretty threatening when seen approaching fast in your rear view mirror. Excess speed won’t be a problem in the latest version.
Photo by Flickr user Rex Gray
Dodge (now XRT) Viper: The latest model of this powerful car calls to mind a sleek yet venomous snake that attacks the road with a 640 horsepower V10 engine.
Chevrolet Impala: An early design engineer said the Impala was meant as a prestige car for the average American. Featuring a graceful, leaping logo, early versions were anything but. They were 18 feet long and wide enough to serve dinner for six on the hood. Did they corner well and leap lightly over ruts in the road? Nope. They did, however, have flowing lines that suggested graceful motion in the trunk area, sprouting in 1959 what car mags called bat-wing fins above cat-eye taillights. Today’s version has a more sedate look.
Photo by Flickr user digitizedchaos
Predatory fish cars
Plymouth Barracuda: The Barracuda’s animal counterpart is a powerful fish that can grow to nearly seven feet in length and a foot wide. Appropriately, the namesake car was big, with a set of “gills” in the hood and a front end/grill that looked a bit like a ferocious face with an open mouth. The car was fearsome-looking next to smaller, less powerful cars on the road — think of a goldfish staring down a barracuda underwater. The voracious, predatory look of the car attracted a lot of attention, especially in the mid-’60s through ’70s.
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: Introduced in 1963, this curvaceous yet futuristic-looking American sports car proved they didn’t all have to come from Europe.
Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Achird
What unique qualities are you looking for in your next car? Nowadays, dealers such as Chapman in Scottsdale are selling new bugs for under $26,000, but back in 1960, the original beetles sold for about $1,600, with convertibles starting at $2,055. Bugs are still a bargain, and today’s version offers a few amenities not available back then.
|V8 Supercar vs Acrobatic Plane: Video||
Ah, Red Bull; always ready to satisfy the need for more exciting and thrilling videos.
Red Bull Racing Australia has done something pretty amazing – and very entertaining, might we add. Just simply because of the fact that they can, the Red Bull team down under decided to pit one of its acrobatic planes against a V8 supercar.
Beautifully shot on a Gold Coast beach in Australia, the race seems to be pretty close. The beautiful surroundings provide the race with an epic feel – almost like a battle over territory.
The V8 was driven by Red Bull Racing Australia driver, Jamie Whincup. Whincup has already proved to be a force to be reckoned with as he has successfully won four V8 Championships.
The pilot, on the other hand – Joel Haski – is not afraid of the challenge, and is seen bringing his plane dangerously close to the sand a couple of times.
The video also serves as a clever marketing gimmick for the upcoming Gold Coast race of the 2013 V8 Supercar season.
Check out the video below and place your bets – supercar or plane?
Source: Motor Authority
|2014 Buick LaCrosse Premium V6 Review & Test Drive||
I just finished testing the all-new 2014 Buick LaCrosse with the V6 engine and the Premium 1SP trim package. It is an excellent full-size sedan that offers new interior and exterior design cues, plenty of power and performance with advanced safety technologies and enhanced in-vehicle connectivity.
The new refined stance is low and wide with a sleek silhouette. The front fascia shows a more prominent waterfall chrome grille and new sculpted hood with faux heat extractors. The lower front of the grille features active grille shutters that close at highway speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag. The new front fascia is instantly recognizable as a modern Buick and the LED lighting elements enhance it technologically advanced presence. The headlamp housing have a more angular appearance and LED signature accents echo a familial appearance introduced on the 2013 Enclave. They’ve also been positioned slightly outboard to reinforce the car’s presence. The new Bi-Xenon articulating headlights incorporate new technology with enhanced brilliance that improves visibility, is energy-efficient and environmentally (mercury free). The lower bumper features another air-intake with foglamps at the sides set in chrome. The lower bumper has a full-length chrome strip and also a splitter down below to help with front downforce and a flat panel underneath to help with front airflow. The silhouette shows a low, long and sleek design with just the right amount of chrome. The steeply raked windshield A-pillars flow over and quickly down to the rear deck lid. The side includes a full-perimeter chrome strip around the greenhouse, aero-styled power-remote/heated/self-dimming sideview mirrors with directional repeater, flared fenders, chrome pull-out door handles, a chrome strip below each door and lower side extensions to lower the center of gravity further enhancing stability at high speeds. At the rear, a full-width chrome accent reinforces the car’s stance, while fully enclosed exhaust outlets are framed with a chrome finish within the new rear fascia. It is a more integrated appearance designed to show Buick’s attention to detail. An integrated rear spoiler is incorporated in the trailing edge of the deck lid to help improve aerodynamic performance and new LED taillamps-in all-new, wraparound housings-provide a safety benefit by illuminating more quickly than conventional bulbs when the brakes are applied. Down below is a diffuser to help with airflow out the rear. In the front and rear, LaCrosse’s new LED lamps continue the wing-shaped signature appearance that distinguishes Buick’s day and night. With pinched windows the new LaCrosse has a ‘four-door coupe’ look, tight, taut, refined yet luxurious.
The LaCrosse comes equipped with two engine choices: a standard 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine with eAssist light electrification technology, rated at 182hp, and an optional 3.6 liter V6 that I tested in my LaCrosse. This powerful V6 features DOHC, all-aluminum block/heads, Direct Injection with continuously variable valve timing to produce 304hp at 6,800rpm and 264lb.ft. of torque at 5,300rpm. Both engines are mated to six-speed automatic FWD transmissions with sequential shifting. The V6 also features a Sport mode that recalibrates the shift points and tightens the Real Time Dampers for a more responsive ride. LaCrosse is also available with an advanced Haldex all-wheel drive system with electronic limited slip differential that automatically decides how to distribute torque based on vehicle speed, throttle position and individual wheel slip. I would recommend this system where weather is harsh in the winter. I guide the all-new LaCrosse with the standard electric power steering system. This technology helps to save fuel by drawing energy only when the wheels are turned. It also contributes to the LaCrosse’s excellent driving experience with variable assist at different speeds. On the highway the system gave me excellent feedback from the road with very quick response to my inputs. On the city streets the boost was higher but still with quick response to my inputs.
Contributing to the great and easy-to-drive experience is the fully independent suspension with Real Time Damping that reads the road in milliseconds. Up front is a HiPer strut coil-over spring setup with twin-tube dampers with gas-charged valving and hollow direct acting stabilizer bar for quick response and a smooth ride on poorly paved roads. The rear is an H-arm setup with real-time damping, coil springs, gas-charged shocks and a solid stabilizer bar. The ride is always controlled, when passing slower moving vehicles on the road and when changing lanes in fast moving highway driving.
Quickly and safely slowing the all-new LaCrosse down from speed are power-assisted steel disc brakes. Up front are 12.6 inch vented rotors clamped with dual-piston calipers and 12.4 inch vented discs clamped with single-piston calipers in the rear. Standard ABS, StabiliTrak and Traction Control are work together to keep the car headed in the direction that I chose when braking hard on slick or wet pavement. For excellent stability, traction and grip the all-new 2014 LaCrosse Premium rides on big 19X8 inch chrome alloy wheels wrapped with 245/45R19 inch Goodyear Eagle RS-A high-performance tires. The powertrain, steering, suspension and brakes are on par with all entry-level luxury sedans.
The interior features a sweeping dashboard using the finest materials and craftsmanship with excellent attention to detail. The LaCrosse interior uses fine leather; aluminum and chrome trim plus high-quality faux dark wood that sweeps from the dashboard through the front and rear doors. Everywhere is soft-to-the-touch materials. The new instrument cluster features an eight-inch configurable color driver information and cluster display. The sporty, new leather-wrapped/aluminum trimmed/tilt/telescopic steering wheel feels perfect in my hands for easy use. The front bucket seats are very comfortable and supportive and feature power adjustments for both up front including lumbar adjustments for the driver’s side. All buttons, dials, switches and levers are high-quality and within easy reach. While the LaCrosse’s new interior brings more amenities and enhanced personal technology with next-generation IntelliLink, it does so with greater simplicity. The new center stack radio controls, for example, have only seven buttons vs. the previous 17. The larger eight-inch color touch screen is designed to be easier to operate with intuitive controls and smartphone-influenced swipe recognition for easier navigation. The dual-zone climate controls with air filtration also feature capacitive-touch operation and are framed in chrome. The rear headrests fold down to enhance rearward visibility, while the new four-way adjustable front headrests are designed to provide a greater range of comfort, particularly for taller drivers. Interior features inside my test LaCrosse includes grab handles above each door, dual map lamps, dual lighted vanity mirrors, power windows with all express down and front express up/down, power door locks, driver-side easy exit/entry system, electronic parking brake, an eight-inch color touch radio with CD/MP3 player and auxiliary input, XM satellite radio, cruise control, floor mats front/rear, cargo net, dual cupholders and storage bin with padded leather armrest up front, pull-down rear armrest with dual cupholders/storage compartment, storage slots in each door, lighted glovebox, map pockets behind the front seatbacks, rear air outlets behind the front center console, 60/40 split rear fold down seats, rear cargo net with light, two auxiliary power outlets, ambient lighting, Bluetooth for phone and music, USB port, auto-dimming rearview mirror, universal home remote, remote start, 120-volt power outlet, a Bose 11-speaker surround-sound audio system, rain-sensing wipers/washers and aluminum front kick plates, heated/cooled front seats, ultrasonic rear parking assist, memory seats for two drivers, rear vision camera, E-Z key passive entry, push buttons start/stop, heated steering wheel and a power rear sunshade.
LaCrosse uses Buick’s unique QuietTuning engineering that defines Buick’s quality, sound and vibration characteristics and refinement by following a three-point strategy of reducing sounds at their source, blocking sounds from entering the cabin and absorbing any remaining sounds. LaCrosse’s specific QuietTuning features include acoustical laminate on the windshield and front glass, steel laminate on the front-of-dash body area, expanded baffles in the roof pillars, extensive use of melt-on sound deadeners throughout the entire lower body structure, and sound-absorbing material throughout LaCrosse’s engine, passenger and cargo compartments.
Buick’s next-generation IntelliLink Infotainment system debuts on the 2014 LaCrosse. It offers more features designed for intuitive, easy-to-use functionality and incorporates a higher level of wireless connectivity and customized options building on the safety and security of OnStar. In addition to easily identifiable icons covering everything from navigation to phone to music apps such as Pandora, next-generation IntelliLink is designed to accommodate new features and enhancements and be highly customizable. It also features natural language voice recognition, which allows customers to safely place calls, enter destinations, browse media, play music and control other functions simply by telling the vehicle what to do. On its eight-inch screen, customers can swipe and drag. Users with compatible smartphones can pair them with IntelliLink using Bluetooth or a USB connection. This gives customers the ability to play passengers’ music or other media through the car. Standard safety equipment includes driver/front passenger front/side thorax airbags, head side curtain for all rows, battery run-down protection, 3-point safety belts for all five-seats with front pretensioners/load limiters, remote keyless entry, theft deterrent system, front/rear crumple zones and steel beams in each door.
Options that came with my test LaCrosse Premium included Forward Warning System, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Blind Side Zone Alert, Head-Up Display and a Navigation System. You’d be hard pressed to find another entry-level full-size sedan that offers the unique styling, comfort, convenience, luxury, infotainment and safety features as the all-new 2014 Buick LaCrosse.
COPYRIGHT: 2013: HARVEY SCHWARTZ
- Price: Base-$38,310.00/$43,475.00 as tested
- Engine: 3.6 liter V6 DOHC direct-injection 304 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm / 264 lb.ft. of torque @ 5,300 rpm
- Wheelbase: 111.7 inches
- Overall length: 197 inches
- Overall width: 73.1 inches
- Overall height: 59.2 inches
- Track: f/r-61.7/62 inches
- Curb weight: 3,862 pounds
- Headroom: f/r-38/37.3 inches
- Legroom: f/r-41.7/40.5
- EPA interior volume: 99 cu.ft.
- Passenger volume: 101.7 cu.ft.
- Cargo volume: 13.3 cu.ft.
- Turning circle: 36.8 feet
- Fuel tank: 18 gallons
- EPA mileage: 18mpg/city, 28mpg/highway
|CEO of Tesla buys James Bond’s Lotus Esprit||
A couple of months ago we reported on a story that was quite astonishing actually.
A man from Long Island had bought a storage unite for $100 – and in it was the biggest surprise of his life: James Bonds’ famous Lotus Espirit from the film, ‘The Spy who Loved me’.
Since it’s find, the classic 1977 Lotus travelled to London to rest in the capable hand of RM Auctioners. That as until a fe days ago, when the famous car was finally bought by none other than the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk.
It is reported that Musk paid the handsome sum of $866 000 for James Bond’s ex-ride.
Tesla has been doing rather well over the last year and maybe Musk thought he could treat himself to a (very) special gift.
No word yet on what Musk plans on doing with the Lotus. Perhaps he would like to keep it as a statue or maybe he wants to fic it up and really drive it around. We’ll have to wait and see.
Until then, check out a scene from the movie below with the famous car in action – with none other than Mr. Bond behind the wheel:
|2013 Toyota Avalon Limited Hybrid Review & Test Drive||
The all-new 2013 Toyota Avalon parts ways from its monotonous appeal once thought as being reserved for the older-aged. With a new design for 2013, the Toyota Avalon puts on a new enthusiastic exterior look with an inspiring and spacious interior. Additionally, the new Avalon puts its best efficiency efforts forward in a new Hybrid variation that I had the pleasure of driving for a week.
My initial expectations of the new 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid were freshly based off the heals of the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Prius Hybrid, and rightfully so as those vehicles have forged the hybrid segment for many years. With Toyota being the pioneers of main-stream hybrid vehicles in America, the new Avalon should be nothing short of spectacular in the realm of being a dedicated transportation appliance that happens to proudly wear its efficiency (hybrid) badges. No big surprises here, the 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited Hybrid proved to be just that.
Not to place the 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid high on a pedestal, it can’t be helped to mention how the new Toyota Camry Hybrid and Lexus ES300h are close relatives that share just about every drivetrain trait only to subtly hide it under completely different sheet metal and interior lacings. Sharing the drivetrain underpinnings is not a bad thing, considering how well the new ES300h is perceived in the entry-luxury segment and even for those well adapted to living in the lap of luxury.
The new 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid is powered by a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 156 horsepower and 156 ft-lbs. of torque in conjunction with an electric motor. The 141 horsepower electric motor aids in efforts to prove a good deal of instant torque and a supercharged-like thrust of power at midrange when ‘assisting’ the gas engine. Working is sync, the two units together offer up 200 horsepower and a limited benefit of instant torque from the electric motor during initial acceleration.
The engine and electric motor work in a smooth transition to direct power through a CVT transmission to the front wheels. The CVT (continuously variable transmission) unit is well adapted to a series of intricate mechanisms aided by several processing units to keep all of the commotion behind the scenes. The Hybrid synergy drive for the new Avalon Hybrid works virtually seamless. Though, you can still decipher when the engine kicks on from a solo burst of electric motor power, the transition hardly ever upsets expected power delivery. Even still, the system quickly reacts to your infinite gas and brake pedal placements enacting situations where the engine and electric motor are needed to propel the Avalon Hybrid to 60 mph from a dead stop in about 8 seconds. That 0-60 mph figure is far off from the V6 Avalon, about 2 second, just as you would think when you consider the V6 trim has an additional 68 horsepower to play with. This is not to say the new Avalon Hybrid is slow, it still proves to be capable of sprinting around town giving you enough confidence to jump out into traffic and overtake vehicles on the highway with ease. The Avalon Hybrid mainly suffers from its extra bit of weight to carry around due to the battery, in addition to it being slightly down on power when pitted against the 3.5-liter V6 in the gas-powered Avalon getting 21 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.
I found that during my drive in the new Avalon Hybrid, efficiency takes a front seat in all drive mode settings. Just like many Toyota and Lexus offerings, a select drive mode (Eco mode, Normal mode and Sport mode) adapt the vehicle to your driving style. In normal and eco modes the steering wheel effort is light while in sport mode it firms it up just a tad, or just enough to notice. Sport mode also advances the throttle position for a livelier feel through low to mid-range gas pedal modulation. A virtual shift pattern is adopted when you put the gear selector in the sport-manual mode, while an analog rpm gauge is displayed in the center LCD cluster information display. Working with the CVT the manual shift mode simulates shift points throughout the rpm band. It is quite the novelty item for enthusiasts but may prove to give everyday commuters the most excitement they would get out of the Avalon Hybrid, aside from scoring astounding 40-plus mpg figures.
Speaking of fuel economy, my new Avalon Hybrid returned excellent fuel economy throughout my drive in mixed interstate traffic and downtown exploring. I saw an average of 39.1 mpg on the highway and an amazing 44 mpg in the city. The Avalon Hybrid’s battery charges up quickly when steadily cruising near or at highway speeds. Around downtown streets the battery quickly drained as it switched over to full EV mode with my soft acceleration, but yielded mpg figures as high as 51 mpg on a full downtown 20-minute excursion. Simply put, the Avalon Hybrid does what it is supposed to and the EPA estimates, 40 mpg city and 39 mpg highway, are easily attainable, if not bettered by conscience ‘hybrid’ driving. After 275 miles of driving, the 17 gallon gas tank was still well-over half way full.
The new Avalon Hybrid rides great with the right amount of suspension damping and balance of firmness while obeying all speed limit laws. Of course the civility of the Avalon Hybrid remains well intact until you start to push near its limits. After nearly breaching limits of the efficient 17-inch tires’ quiet treads with a slight howl, things tend to get a bit dicey as the Avalon Hybrid’s weight starts to really show its face. Of course the Avalon Hybrid is not a performance vehicle by any means and it is not shy about remind you of this in an affirming manor with tire screeching and upsetting body roll. Nonetheless, the new Avalon Hybrid’s firmer suspension proves to be the compliant trait to make it a bit more lively and adept on those back curvy roads.
The all-new 2013 Avalon Hybrid touts ample interior room in the front and back seating areas. Legroom in the rear, over 39 inches, nearly rivals long-wheelbase luxury sedans, and the plush leather interior of the Avalon Hybrid Limited trim beckons to question why you would pony up any more cash for a luxury-branded vehicle in the same class. Fit and finish to the eye is superb but to the touch some of the finished plastic dashboard pieces diminish your initial perception. Nevertheless, the dashboard is pieced together with long-lasting quality in mind. The new control layout for the 2013 Avalon Hybrid Limited trim feature touch-capacitive buttons for most of the infotainment, ac/heater and vehicle setting controls. The touch-buttons are not overly sensitive but you may mistakenly press a button at times when making adjustments to the analog dials on the dashboard. Overall, the button placements and easy of usability is spot-on.
One of the more interesting aspects of the Toyota Avalon Hybrid’s usable space is the trunk, which also houses the hybrid battery. Surprisingly, even with the hybrid battery placed just at the rear of the rear seatbacks, you have enough space, 14-cubic feet, for several bags. Other features placing the Avalon on the same pedestal as some luxury brands are the heated and ventilated front bucket seats, heated rear-outward seats, optional technology package including radar cruise control w/ pre-collision system and automatic high-beam headlights. The other notable option equipped on my Avalon Hybrid Limited test vehicle is an eBin wireless charging storage tray for wirelessly charging mobile phones with compatible eBin wireless charging capabilities. Don’t expect to get use out of this with your new iPhone, unless you foot the bill for a compatible wireless-charging case. Still, you will be able to pair your smartphone via Bluetooth and stream your music wirelessly.
As a full-sized sedan with an efficiency edge, the new 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid has the proven EPA fuel consumption numbers as to not deviate from its hybrid badges and over-all purpose. The choice of a new Avalon Hybrid over a Camry Hybrid, or any other eco-minded full-sized vehicle, comes down to usable interior space, which the Avalon takes to a new dimension – literally. The use of the same Camry hybrid drivetrain in the new Avalon Hybrid, also found in the Lexus ES300h, is a major emphasis on Toyota’s proven hybrid system, which they are not afraid to utilize in several vehicles. As an added value factor, the Avalon Hybrid starts at just $36,365 for the XLE Premium trim, which is just over $3,000 less than the platform-sharing Lexus ES300h hybrid. My Avalon Hybrid Limited test vehicle loaded up with the Tech package comes to an as-tested price of $44,485 including a $760 delivery, processing and handling fee. In retrospect, the new Toyota Avalon Hybrid is one offering that cannot be matched in terms of its large size and exceptional fuel economy for such a starting price.
Copyright: 2013 AutomotiveAddicts.com
- Price: Base Avalon Hybrid XLE $36,365 / As-Tested Avalon Hybrid Limited $44,485
- Engine: 2.5-liter 4-cylinder (156 horsepower) with two hybrid electric motors for total output of 200 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm / 199 lb.ft. of torque
- Wheelbase: 111 in.
- Overall length: 195.3 in.
- Overall width: 72.2 in.
- Overall height: 57.5 in.
- Track: f/r-62.6/62.2 in.
- Headroom: f/r-37.6/37.9 in. with glass sunroof
- Legroom: f/r-42.1/39.2 in.
- EPA cargo volume: 14.0 cu.ft.
- Curb weight: 3,638 lbs.
- Fuel tank: 17.0 gallons
- Turning radius: 40.0 ft.
- 0-60 mph: 8.1 seconds
- EPA fuel economy: 40 mpg/city 39 mpg/highway
- Range: 680 miles city / 663 miles highway