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Toyota Reimagines The First Japanese Supercar 28
Feb
Posted by Chris Brewer in An Addictive Take On Cars, Automotive, Jacksonville, FL, Japanese Automakers, Japanese Cars, Scion, Scion FR-S, Subaru BRZ, TOYOTA, toyota 2000gt, video on 02 28th, 2014
Scion Ocean Front

In 1965, Toyota made a move that revolutionized the auto manufacturer’s reputation and fearlessly initiated the import sports car movement. Known as the most conservative of all Japanese car makers, Toyota wanted to strike out with a car that would rival the Porsche 911 and the Jaguar XKE in both style and performance. In collaboration with Yamaha, Toyota built the rear wheel drive, two-seater, 6 cylinder 2000GT. Limited in production, only 351 were produced, the 2000GT showed the world that Japan was capable of making cars that not only exhibited unsurpassed quality, but looked incredible and were fun to drive on the road or race track. Toyota crafted the 2000GT to at standard that even at the asking price of $6800, the company lost money on every car sold. For reference the 1965 Porsche 911 stickered at $6500 and the Jaguar XKE sold for $5600.

1967 Toyota 2000GT

The styling and performance of the 2000GT inspired Nissan, then known as Datsun in the US, to build what many consider the grandfather of the modern import sports car, the 1969 Datsun 240z. The 240z followed the basic formula of the 2000GT as a rear wheel drive, two-seater, grand tourer powered by a stout inline 6, but did it for less than half the asking price. An enthusiastic reception from the US market allowed Nissan to sell over 168,000 first generation Z cars, eventually becoming the best selling sports car of all time.

1971 Datsun 240z

Over time the Toyota and Nissan flagship sports cars evolved, growing in size, weight and price. Both cars eventually ceased production by essentially pricing themselves out of the sales market. After a five-year hiatus in the US, Nissan reinvented the Z car in the form of the 2002 350z, but Toyota remained relatively silent on the flagship sports car front. Rumors would travel around the Internet from time to time, but the manufacturer never officially hinted of a new car in the lineage of the 2000GT.

Scion FR-S and 240z

In 2009, Toyota announced the FT-86 concept at the Tokyo Auto Show. Inspired in part by the AE86 Corrolla and the Sports 800, the FT-86 had even more in common with the original 2000GT. Not only did the Toyota concept and the 2000GT look alike, the FT-86 was also the result of two Japanese auto manufacturers working together to build an industry standard sports car. This time around it was Toyota manufacturing the coachwork and Subaru providing the 4-cylinder 2.0-liter boxer (horizontally opposed) engine producing 200 horsepower and 151 ft. lbs. of torque.

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The warmly received concept soon entered into full production, getting the 86 and GT86 moniker in Japan and Europe. For the US market, the car was rebranding as the Scion FR-S and launched with great anticipation alongside its twin brother the Subaru BRZ for the 2012 model year.

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The Scion FR-S’s twin brother, the Subaru BRZ

The Scion FR-S had an immediate fan base. Critics loved it. The car sold so well that dealers experienced back orders for months at a time. It appeared that Toyota had reimagined the formula of a well-built, lightweight, great handling, affordable sports car in the heritage of the Toyota 2000GT, but priced more along the lines of Datsun’s best-selling 240z.

But will the FR-S live up to the legendary status of the early import sports cars? As the owner of a 1971 Datsun 240z, I couldn’t wait to find out!

Scion Ocean Front

I picked up the 2014 Scion FR-S 10 Series at the Southeast Toyota Distributors Westlake Processing Center, located on the Westside of Jacksonville, Florida. The facility itself deserves a mention, providing jobs for many Jacksonville residents and giving Toyota a strong presence in northeast Florida. Many of the sport and luxury Toyota brand vehicles in the Southeast United States have the finishing touches completed at this facility. For instance, if your Camry came with leather seats, odds are Toyota installed them in Jacksonville.

Southeast Toyota Distributors Westlake Processing Center, located on the Westside of Jacksonville, Florida.

Southeast Toyota Distributors Westlake Processing Center, located on the Westside of Jacksonville, Florida.

The FR-S 10 Series comes equipped with a push button start. I sat down in the firm, but comfortable race inspired seat, buckled up and hit the button. I had read quite a bit about the high-revving Subaru boxer engine and quickly rolled down the windows so I could appreciate what it was up to. I placed the 6-speed rev matching automatic transmission in drive and drove off on what would become one of the most memorable weeks that I have ever spent with a car.

Approaching the northbound ramp of I-295, I sharply cut the wheel and stabbed the throttle. The rear end of the FR-S slid around to catch up with the front wheels and compliantly sped onto the highway. I could not stop smiling. The Scion is nimble and sure-footed, but make no mistake, the 2700 lb FR-S likes to dance.

Scion FR-S Fly By

The Scion FR-S has one of the lowest centers of gravity of any production car on the road today. We are talking Ferrari and Lotus territory. The finely tuned suspension, wide 17-inch tires, and record-book-low center of gravity means that the car handles incredibly well. I would argue that the FR-S is the best handling car under $50k, which is remarkable considering that FR-S starts at only $25,255 and the top-of-the-line FR-S 10 Series with an automatic is only $29,430. Adding to that value is that even with my led foot I was able to get an average of 30 mpg combined over the week that I drove the car. Scion officially claims the automatic gets an EPA 25 city/34 highway.

The 2014 Scion FR-S 10 Series is absolutely a driver’s car in the tradition of my 1971 Datsun 240z. When I had the two cars together in the driveway it was apparent that Scion had caught the vision of the affordable ‘70’s import and taken it to the next level.

240z and Scion FR-S 10 Series

The FR-S is everything that the original import sports cars were and more.  The aesthetics, incredible driving performance, Toyota reliability and unequaled value, both in initial and long term cost, makes the Scion FR-S a well deserved top pick for sports cars under $30k. If you are in the market for a head turning car that is a blast to drive but won’t break the bank, the 2014 Scion FR-S might be the car for you.



First Look: New Audi TT 28
Feb
Posted by CarBlog Staff in audi, Audi TT Coupe, Automotive News, Autostyle, Geneva Auto Show, Popular on 02 28th, 2014

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The Audi TT has firmly cemented itself as somewhat of an iconic car. The sleek, modern and clever design that got people talking when it was first released back in 1998, is getting a slight update.

The Mk II TT is Audi’s new TT. And just to give us a little taste before it’s official debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March, Audi has released a few sketches – that right, not photos or videos, but sketches – of the updated TT. 

The new TT is said to feature strong horizontal lines, which in turn should make the car seem more dominant.

Another noticeable change is that the Audi logo, the intertwined four rings, will now feature on the bonnet of the car instead of on the grille.

While the TT will feature the standard, two exhaust pipes, the TTS will double that and have four exhaust pipes – of course making it look meaner than it’s less powerful sibling.

As a whole, the new TT looks bigger, badder and more beautiful than before. If these sketches are anything to go by, Audi fans (and petrol heads in general) are in for a treat when we can finally see the real-life version at Geneva. Yet another one we’re going to keep an eye out for at Geneva.

Take a look at the sketches below:

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AUTT

Source: TopGear



Volvo Concept Estate Foreshadows Stunning Design – Videos 28
Feb
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Auto Addiction, auto show, Automotive, Concept Vehicle, Geneva Auto Show, Geneva Motor Show, video, Volvo Concept Estate on 02 28th, 2014
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I’m a sucker for wagons and that is alright in the scheme of my counterparts who partake in automotive journalism along with many automotive purists and enthusiasts alike. What some may refer as a Shooting Brake design, has taken on a new life in place of that old station wagon conception that brings back memories of Clark Griswold out cruising in the family truckster.

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There is a new onslaught of creative and stunning Shooting Brake designs and Volvo has introduced one that is simply breathtaking. The new Volvo Concept Estate, slated to debut at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show next week, takes automotive design to a new depth where the Swedish company known for pioneering the safest vehicles on the road has stunned everyone.

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The interior is just as advanced as its exterior where the dashboard utilizes a large central touch-screen for just about every control, much like the Tesla Model S.

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Not much is known about this new Volvo Concept Estate but we will have our eyes pealed at the Geneva Auto Show when we will demand a bit more information – because we want them to build this vehicle.

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Hit up the videos of this stunning wagon below and daydream with us!



Teaser: Rolls Royce Ghost Series 2 27
Feb
Posted by CarBlog Staff in Automotive News, Autostyle, new, Popular, Rolls-Royce Ghost on 02 27th, 2014

RRG

After 5 long years, Rolls Royce has finally decided to update the very classy, very luxurious and very expensive Ghost; to be revealed at this year’s Geneva Auto Show.

The current Ghost is almost perfect. But who wouldn’t say yes to a few improvements here and there.

While we have been waiting in anticipation for a while now for any news or photos of the updated Ghost, today Rolls Royce finally decided to give their fans a taste of whats to come at Geneva. The first official photo of the ghost has been released, and while it’s not much, it’s enough to get us really excited for its Geneva debut. 

The photo reveals a more sleek finish to the front of the car and also new headlights. We have no information on the inner workings f the car yet, but we can speculate that the insides will stay pretty much the same as the original Ghost.

That means a twin turbocharged, 6.6 liter V12 engine that produces a mammoth 563 horsepower.

It’s also very likely (well, guaranteed) that the automaker has updated the Ghost’s infotainment system. Just think of all the technology advances, especially for cars, in the art 5 years. We’re sure this luxury brand won’t skip out on any of that…

Furthermore, there’s not much to say about the Ghost Series 2 – except that we will definitely be keeping an eye out for this one at Geneva. The lonesome picture s featured below:

RRG2

Source: Motor Authority



2014 Volkswagen Touareg V6 R-Line Review & Test Drive 27
Feb
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Automotive, SUV, Test Drives, Volkswagen, Volkswagen Touareg on 02 27th, 2014
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In Volkswagen’s aim to be at the forefront of the automotive sales force around the world, the latest vehicles from the German automaker have taken on a new approach in agreeing with what consumers desire in their day-to-day transportation. Probably one of the overlooked changes within the Volkswagen line remains to be the Touareg, which entered into its 2nd generation for the 2011 model year and carries that basic design for the latest 2014 model. The new 2014 Volkswagen Touareg has embarked on a journey thought to have been overshadowed by predominant competitors in the crossover utility vehicle segment but still holds its own and some by offering many different trim levels and three engine choices with more of a focused task for on-road duties.

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The new 2014 Volkswagen Touareg receives a new R-Line trim, which is the choice for my test vehicle. Capturing the new face of Volkswagen is the signature grill embodying the VW emblem, chiseled front fascia and unique to the automaker rear tail lights, which all encase the ‘new look’ for easy recognition of the brand. The 2014 Volkswagen Touareg is no different in sportier its R-Line trim featuring a unique body kit, sport-tuned suspension and LED taillights. My 2014 Volkswagen Touareg R-Line features the standard 3.6-liter V6 engine generating 280 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. The use of the V6 engine with a 15-degree configuration (VR6), now just a 10.6-degree V, pays homage to the long line of well praised narrow-angle 6-cylinder engines from Volkswagen produced over many decades. The use of the V6 (VR6) aids in consistent power output through the rpm band and a good amount of torque surging through the drivetrain at a relatively low rpm initially maxing out at just 2,500 rpm.

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In terms of engine choices for the new Volkswagen Touareg aside from the standard V6, there remains the variety of a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 diesel (TDI) with 204-horsepower and an abundance of torque at 406 lb-ft. In addition ,the Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid gets its own supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine (333 hp/325 lbs-ft torque) paired with a 47 hp and 221 lbs-ft of torque electric motor for a total output of 380 horsepower and 428 lb-ft of torque, the obvious monster of the bunch but with a bit of extra weight (over 400 lbs. more than V6 R-Line trim). With the wide range of engine choices and a multitude of trim levels (Sport, Lux, R-Line, Executive and Hybrid), the new Volkswagen Touareg attempts to provide something to appease everyone in the premium crossover utility vehicle market. Moreover, the sporty R-Line trim can be had with the torque-monster TDI diesel engine.

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As far as the new 2014 Volkswagen Touareg V6 R-Line’s road-going mannerism, it is perceived to be an enjoyable experience over-all. The new Volkswagen Touareg R-Line hugs the road with its stylish 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in beefy 275/45 R20 Continental rubber. The retuned sport suspension of the Touareg R-Line takes a different approach from other trims providing a stiffer and more planted ride. The suspension damning is somewhat aggressive but not to the point of being overly harsh at cruising speeds. With the benefit of the Touareg R-Line’s sport suspension, the handling and confidence instilled in you as a driver is reassured the instant you navigate through paved roads with a nicely weighted steering wheel, decent power fed through all four wheels and excellent braking performance due to large 13-inch brake rotors on in all four corners while the fronts get 4-piston calipers and 2-piston rear.

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The 3.6-liter VR6 engine is nicely matched to a new 8-speed automatic transmission. Together the power delivery is adequate with a surprising initial surge through first gear to really move all 4,711 pounds of German engineering forward. Through all 8 forward gears the Touareg pulls nicely but not with the consistency of the extra grunt it exerts through first gear. Basically, after hitting 2nd gear the Touareg plays catch up to finish what little bit of the extra momentum was expended through the short 1st gear. Though, the Touareg does give you some confidence in overtaking vehicles on the highway and having the ability to tow up to 7,000 pounds is also an added plus. Another surprising aspect of the new 2014 Touareg R-Line is its sport suspension’s ability to keep the body roll to a minimum for an SUV of this stature. The size of the new 2014 Volkswagen Touareg is not realized until you sit in the cabin, which is highly competitive in over-all space among its direct competition exhibiting only 2 rows of seats. On the flip side of things, the Touareg R-Line’s competent road characteristics virtually shrink the SUV to emit a slight dash of nimbleness. A dedicated off-road mode takes the 4Motion full-time all-wheel-drive system to a new level through the adaptive Torsen center Limited-Slip differential. In normal on-road mode the power split is 40% front and 60% rear. Off-road mode will allow the split to vary dependent on where slip is detected to rout additional power to the wheels with grip. Additionally, off-road mode displays a dedicated steering angle meter on the dashboard. On the road-going prowl, the new 2014 Volkswagen Touareg V6 gets an EPA estimated 17 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. Though those are not impressive figures, I was able to better the highway mileage to get almost 24 mpg with an average of 23.7 mpg over a 25 mile local highway trip. Though, at interstate speeds the mpg average declines quickly to about 22 mpg traveling just above 70 mph. Around the city I saw a steady 17.2 mpg to match the EPA estimate.

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The unique Touareg R-Line is a mid-level trim where it adds onto the V6 Lux trim tacking on brushed aluminum interior trim, LED taillights, 20-inch alloy wheels, Sport suspension, unique R-Line badging and a sport body kit. Other highlighted feature subsets within the V6 Lux trim, all included on my V6 R-Line Touareg, include a rearview camera, touchscreen navigation system, power-liftgate (R-Line takes away the hands-free foot-activation liftgate option), keyless access with push-button start, Bi-Xenon HID headlights with adaptive front lighting (turns headlights in direction of steering wheel angle), 12-way power adjustable heated front Vienna leather seats, heated and power-folding outside mirrors and a massively large tilting-and-sliding panoramic sunroof encompassing almost 85% of the roof with a power sunshade.

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The interior is nicely appointed with decent fit and finish and a good use of contrasting soft-touch plastics with the brushed aluminum trim. Much of the button layout is easy to access without much of a guessing game while a slight redundancy of controls through the touch-screen and physical buttons give the driver and front passenger a choice of operation for some features. The latest iteration of Volkswagen’s GPS navigation system and integration of infotainment controls operates smoothly with added detail to roads. Advanced dragging functions also aid in its ease of use through an abundance of menu sets for system settings and over-all operation. The seating areas are spacious and substantial for 5 adults with enough cargo to fill up just over 32-cubic-feet of space with all seats in place. Folding down the 60/40 split rear seat backs, either manually or using the power release at the rear of the vehicle, allows for 64 cubic-feet of storage.

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The 2014 Volkswagen Touareg is somewhat of an underdog in the full scheme of SUV offerings in its current segment. Being more focused on paved roads versus off-roading – more than it has ever been, places the Touareg in a position to go head-to-head with other midsized SUVs built to have the driving attitude of a car without taking too much away from the SUV versatility and ruggedness. As a luxury SUV, the 2014 Volkswagen Touareg R-Line provides more of a sportier side than many others in this class. The Touareg R-Line initially serves up sporty looks and ends with a unique over-all driving personality taken from the books of its German heritage.

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The 2014 Volkswagen Touareg starts at $44,570 for the base V6 Sport. My 2014 Touareg R-Line with the additional included equipment starts at $54,111 and gets an as-tested price of $55,021 with the $910 destination charge.

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Copyright 2014 AutomotiveAddicts.com

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base Touareg Sport V6 $45,480 / As-Tested Touareg R-Line V6 $55,021
  • Vehicle layout: Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, SUV
  • Engine: 3.6-liter DOHC 24-valve (VR6 – 10.6-degree V) 280 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm / 266 ft-lbs. @ 2,500 rpm
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Curb weight: 4,711 lbs.
  • Wheelbase: 113.9 in
  • Length x width x height: 188.8 x 76.4 x 68.2 in.
  • Ground Clearance: 7.9 in.
  • Headroom: f/r-39.6 in./38.9 in.
  • Legroom: f/r-41.4 in./36.9 in.
  • 0-60 mph: 7.8 sec
  • EPA city/hwy fuel econ: 17 mpg / 23 mpg
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 26.4 gallons


If I had $33 million dollars…Dezer is selling the James Bond collection 27
Feb
Posted by Chris Brewer in ASTON MARTIN, Auto Addiction, Automotive, Movie, News, TOYOTA on 02 27th, 2014
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Remember that amazing James Bond movie vehicle collection that Automotive Addicts reported on last October? The one that belongs to Michael Dezer and is a part of the Miami Auto Museum at the Dezer Collection?  Well it is up for sale. And if you have $33,000,000 laying around, it can be yours.

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Dezer’s one of a kind collection obviously contains a couple of prerequisite James Bond signature Austin Martin DB5′s, but that is only scratching the surface. Also included in this 59 vehicle collection is a magnificent Toyota 2000GT convertible, a couple of tanks, a Lotus Espirit Submarine, a helicopter shell and a large handful of motorcycles.

I have included the full list below. I am guessing there is something here for everyone.

  • Land Rover (Casino Royale)
  • Russian T55 tank (Goldeneye)
  • Cagiva motorcycle (Goldeneye)
  • Lotus Esprit Turbo white (For Your Eyes Only)
  • Aston Martin DB5 with gadgets (Man from Uncle George Lazenby)
  • BSA Lightening motorcycle (Thunderball)
  • Aston Martin DBS (OHMSS)
  • Toyota 2000GT (You Only Live Twice) Not used in film.
  • Triumph Stag (Diamonds are Forever)
  • Jaguar XKR (Die Another Day)
  • BMW 750il (Tomorrow Never Dies)
  • BMW R1200 motorcycle (Tomorrow Never Dies)
  • Aston Martin V8 with skis (The Living Daylights Lotus Esprit Turbo bronze with skis(For Your Eyes Only)
  • Lotus Esprit S1 (The Spy who Loved Me)
  • Aston Martin V8 (The Living Daylights)
  • Aston Martin DB5 (Goldeneye)
  • Lotus Esprit (Spare for parts)
  • Helicopter shell (The Spy Who Loved Me) Not used in film.
  • Lotus Esprit Submarine (The Spy Who Loved me)
  • Aston Martin Vanquish (Die Another day)
  • Fairey Huntress (From Russia With Love)
  • Cagiva motorcycle (Goldeneye)
  • Parahawk & figure (The World is Not Enough) Skidoo (Die Another Day )
  • Q Boat (The World in Not Enough)
  • Road version Hovercraft (Die Another day)
  • Glastron GT150 (Live and Let Die)
  • Alfa Romeo 159 (Quantum of Solace)
  • Wetbikes x 2 (The Spy Who Loved Me)
  • TUK TUK Taxi (Octopussy)
  • Kawasaki Z900 & sidecar (The Spy Who loved Me)
  • Renault 11 half car (A View to Kill)
  • Ford Mustang Mach 1 (Diamonds are Forever)
  • BMW Motorcycle (Tomorrow Never Dies)
  • GP Beach Buggy (For Your Eyes Only)
  • TUK TUK Taxi (Octopusy)
  • Speedboat (Live and Let Die)
  • Litte Nellie Autogiro (You Only Live Twice) Not used in film
  • Dragon tank (Dr No)
  • Replica Mini Bede Jet (Octopussy)
  • Gaz Volga (Goldeneye)
  • Mini Citroen 2CV (For Your Eyes Only)
  • Yellow 2CV (For Your Eyes Only)
  • Replica Yellow 2CV (For Your Eyes Only)
  • Replica AMC Hornet (The Man with the Golden Gun) Not used in film
  • MP Lafer (Moonraker) Not used in film
  • BMW Z8 (The World is Not Enough)
  • Q Boat (The World is Not Enough) hull
  • Renault 11 Taxi (A View to Kill)
  • Rolls Royce Sedanca de Ville (Goldfinger) Not used in film
  • Ford Thunderbird (Die Another Day) Not used in film
  • Land Rover (Skyfall)
  • Lada Riva (The World is Not Enough)
  • Lockheed Jetstar Jet(Goldfinger) Not used in film
  • Land Rover (Skyfall)
  • Audi A5 (Skyfall)
  • Lotus Mould (The Spy Who Loved Me)
  • Reef Ranger Mini submarine (Licence to Kill)

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And if you made it this far, a little easter egg…



2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club Review & Test Drive 26
Feb
Posted by Harvey Schwartz in 2014 Mazda MX-5, Automotive, convertible, Mazda, Mazda Miata, Mazda MX-5, Roadster, Test Drives on 02 26th, 2014
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When I say ‘cheap thrills’ I mean that I can’t find any other two-seat pure sports roadster for under $30,000.00 that gives so much sports car thrills and driving pleasure with a power-retracting hardtop.  I just finished testing and photographing the new Club model and it is a real ‘kick-in-the-pants’.  For a pure two-seat sports car the 2014 Mazda MX-5 Miata ‘Club’ has it all.

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The Club model that I tested has styling that is pure with a wide-mouth front grille finished with a piano black upper brow, black splitter with a flat underside, an aluminum hood, projector-beam headlamp clusters with black bezels, new projector-beam foglamps with black matte surrounds, flared fenders stuffed with 17X7 inch dark gunmetal alloy wheels wrapped with Bridgestone 205/45R17 inch street-sticky Potenza RE050A low-profile performance tires, body-color pull-out door handles, black power-remote outside mirrors, black ‘MX-5’ lower strip, a ‘Club’ medallion on each fender, seat back bar garnish is displayed in a glossy dark gray motif, rear diffuser and finished with dual sport-tuned, polished stainless steel exhaust tips.  The power hard-top is painted in glossy black to give the body a bolder look.  The power hard-top just takes 15-seconds to raise or lower and I just have to release the center lock on the inside and push a lighted button.

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Power and performance easily back up the bold looks starting with the high-revving (7,200rpm redline), MZR 2.0 liter, all-aluminum, DOHC, four-cylinder engine with VVT for excellent low-end torque.  It generates a healthy 167hp at 7,000rpm and 140lb.ft. of torque at 5,000rpm.  I tested the engine mated to the six-speed, short-throw manual transmission that comes with an Induction Sound Enhancer that consists of a series of tuned pipes and a passive resonance membrane.  It delivers the engine’s natural induction sound to the cowl, just ahead of the windshield, so more attractive engine sounds can be heard at a satisfying volume without resorting to simply being a loud, obtrusive noise.  Mounted front mid-ship for precise handling and balance, additional engine features include a forged steel crankcase, forged steel connecting rods with floating wrist pins, and revised pistons with stronger wrist pin bosses, stiffer valve springs and engine oil cooler when exercising the MX-5 for long periods of time on the backroads.

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The stubby, leather-wrapped, short-throw six-speed manual that was mated to my test MX-5 was perfectly placed and a pleasure to use.  Each time I changed gears to the next I felt a push to my back, the harder I pushed on the throttle, the more the push back into my seatback.  The MX-5 also comes standard with aluminum Power Plant Frame for exceptional stiffness and weight saving, plus a limited-slip differential to put the power down to the pavement.

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The MX-5 ‘Club’ comes standard with a sport-tuned fully independent suspension for precise handling when cornering and a solid feel when driving at triple-digits on the highway.  Even though the weight is only 2,511 pounds the MX-5 feels like it is riding on wheels. Up front is a double-wishbone setup with forged aluminum arms, coil springs, monotube gas-filled Bilstein shocks and a stabilizer bar.  The rear features a multi-link setup with an aluminum baring support, monotube gas-filled Bilstein shocks, coil springs, tubular control arms, an aluminum knuckle and a stabilizer bar.  For added stiffness and control the MX-5 comes standard with front/rear subframes, a monocoque unibody with a backbone frame construction.  These items further eliminated any noise, vibration and harshness when driving.

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Away we go with a perfectly calibrated electronic power-assisted rack & pinion -steering system that moves the MX-5 exactly where I want the car to head-just a little tug on the leather-wrapped/tilting steering wheel moves its direction with precision.  A front strut tower brace further adds to the stiffness and cornering prowess.  On-center feel and my feel for the road are exceptional.  This system is just perfect for the MX-5 to keep it up-to-date and pure.

Quickly and safely slowing the MX-5 ‘Club’ down from speed are power-assisted, steel disc brakes.  Up front are 11.4 inch vented discs clamped with large single-piston aluminum-housed calipers with the rear equipped with 11 inch solid discs clamped with single-piston aluminum-housed calipers.  Standard brake enhancements include ABS, EBD, Dynamic Stability Control and Traction Control.  For real pulse-quickening times I shut off the Stability/Traction Control system off to let rear slid out when exiting a steep corner.

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On the inside the ‘Club’ theme continues with a body-color-matching decoration panel feature trim-specific graphics, red contrast stitching on the deeply cut yet comfortable cloth bucket seats with manual adjustments and driver’s-side height adjuster, a dark gray contoured surround meter around the stunning gauges, A/C, power express down windows, power door locks, cruise control and AM-FM-CD-MP3-WMA-Sirius radio controls on the steering wheel, rear center console storage, storage baskets at the bottom of each door, mesh aero board, center console with dual cupholders and storage bin, front open storage tray, map light, dual vanity mirrors, auxiliary audio input jack, remote keyless entry, trip computer and floor mats.  All buttons, switches and dials are easy to reach and fully illuminated for safe nighttime travel.

2014 Mazda MX5 Cluster Done Small

Standard safety systems include 3-point safety belts with pretensioners/load limiters, advanced dual front and side airbags, front/rear crumple zones, anti-theft engine immobilizer and side-impact door beams.

The new 2014 Mazda MX-5 Club Hardtop Convertible is one of the best values in two-seat sport roadsters.  More than 900,000 consumers have purchased the MX-5 so far and the owners that I spoke to raved about the fun-to-drive elements.  I would recommend that consumers over 6ft. 3in. get inside first with the top up before a purchase because I had only ½ inch of headroom and I am 6ft. 3in.  Other than that its ZOOM-ZOOM fun!

2014 Mazda MX5 Beauty Right Done Small
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2014 Mazda MX5 Beauty Side Done Small
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2014 Mazda MX5 Engine Done Small

COPYRIGHT: 2014: HARVEY SCHWARTZ

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: $28,665.00 as tested
  • Engine: 2.0-liter DOHC inline-4-cylinder 167 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm / 140 ft-lbs. of torque @ 5,000 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 91.7 inches
  • Total length: 157.3 inches
  • Total width: 67.7 inches
  • Total height: 49.4 inches
  • Headroom: 37 inches
  • Legroom: 43.1 inches
  • Turning circle: 30.8 feet
  • Ground clearance: 5 inches
  • Fuel tank: 12.7 gallons
  • EPA fuel mileage: 21mpg/city, 28mpg/highway
  • 0-60 mph: 6.1 seconds

 



Video: Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Gets Flying Car Mode – Disables Traction Control When Airborne 25
Feb
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in 2014 Camaro Z/28, Auto Addiction, Automotive, Chevrolet, Chevrolet Camaro Z28, News, Technical, video on 02 25th, 2014
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“Do you even lift bro?” – That is pretty much the air of what this video is all about, pun intended. It seems Chevrolet has many things up their sleeves when it comes to laying down the best track time on the Nurburgring. Chevrolet is slowly releasing details on the ingenuity that went into the new 2014 Camaro Z/28 to help it shave seconds off of lap times, even when the vehicle is airborne.

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A system called “Flying Car Mode” enables the traction control to temporarily disable when ride-height sensors detect the vehicle being airborne. This in itself allows full throttle to be applied so when the vehicle lands it does not suffer from an negative torque or slow-down due to a conventional traction control system slowing the spin of the wheels from detecting an abrupt acceleration while off of the pavement. It is pretty ingenious if you think about it. Check out the video below for the demonstration and explanation.



Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake Officially Revealed 25
Feb
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Auto Addiction, Automotive, Jaguar, Jaguar XF Sportbrake, Jaguar XFR-S, Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake, News, Sport Wagon, wagon on 02 25th, 2014
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Jaguar has been making some leaps, more in a literal sense just like the cat you may see prowling at your local zoo. That leaping forward momentum has set off a paradigm shift where Jaguar is breaking out to introduce a sports wagon, or what some may dub as a Sportbrake. Whatever you want to call it, ahem-Wagon, they have officially introduce their all-new Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake off the heels of their successful prowling Jaguar XFR-S Sedan.

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The all-new Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake features the same 550-horsepower 5.0-liter supercharged V8 engine that we all have grown to love and cannot get enough of its intoxicating exhaust note. With the rear lugging around extra weight in the Sportbrake iteration of the Jaguar XFR-S, a few additional details were changed up to compensate and retain the sporty and track-worthy nature of this new growling cat sporting a larger backside. The rear suspension gets reworked with adaptive dampers tuned as to not diminish the XFR-S sedan’s well-praised handling dynamics in the new Sportbrake form.

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As it stands, the all-new Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake won’t be making it to this side of the pond (US) going the same way for the Jaguar XF Sportbrake… for now. Hopefully carrying the £82,495 price in the UK ($137,000 usd) will spark some interest here in the states of our lovely public who would not mind being a little bold and different to pilot the new Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake.

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JAGUAR TO UNVEIL NEW XFR-S SPORTBRAKE AT GENEVA INTERNATIONAL MOTOR SHOW

IN BRIEF

Jaguar’s 2015 Model Year XF range to be unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show 2014
From real-world efficiency to Autobahn-storming performance, Jaguar’s 2015 model year XF range caters to every sensibility, without compromising on the luxury, refinement and versatility expected of a Jaguar
The XFR-S Sportbrake is the first high-performance R-S branded sports estate car
to be produced by Jaguar, with 550PS on tap and 1675 litres of rear load space
The XFR-S Sportbrake’s 5.0-litre supercharged V8 delivers 550PS and 680Nm of torque
New XFR-S Sportbrake priced at £82,495 in UK, with full 2015 MY XF range available to order from 01 April 2014

IN DETAIL

The XFR-S Sportbrake is the first high-performance sports estate car to be produced by Jaguar
The XFR-S Sportbrake builds on the already acclaimed XFR-S saloon – boasting the same power figures and levels of agility – with increased versatility and practicality
Its 5.0-litre supercharged V8 delivers 550PS of power and 680Nm of torque with the added benefit of 1675 litres of rear load space when the rear seats are folded flat
The XFR-S Sportbrake will sprint from zero to 60mph in 4.6 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds) and on to an electronically limited top speed of 186mph (300km/h)
An eight-speed transmission with ‘Quickshift’ functionality enables optimal acceleration throughout the speed and rev ranges
The XFR-S Saloon’s chassis has been specifically retuned for the XFR-S Sportbrake
Active electronic differential and Dynamic Stability Control systems from the XFR-S Saloon enhance the XKR-S Sportbrake’s handling characteristics
Aerodynamic changes reduce lift compared to the standard Sportbrake and give the
XFR-S Sportbrake an assertive appearance
20-inch ‘Varuna’ forged alloy wheels – the same as those fitted to the XFR-S Saloon – are shod with bespoke tyres to maximise grip
Exclusive interior materials include carbon leather and contrasting highlight micro-piping and stitching
The third model in Jaguar’s ultra-high performance R-S range, the XFR-S Sportbrake joins its XFR-S saloon sibling in the exclusive 300km/h club and is a vivid expression of Jaguar’s longstanding and legendary sports saloon lineage. The XFR-S Sportbrake incorporates engineering features from both the XKR-S and the all-new F-TYPE two-seater sports car to create the most driver-focused, agile and responsive iteration of Jaguar’s award-winning XF model range.

“Combining real-world versatility with electrifying performance, the XFR-S Sportbrake brings Jaguar’s sporting character to life in a truly engaging car that will satisfy the most demanding of drivers while fitting into the most active of lifestyles.”

Dean Murden, Vehicle Programme Director, Jaguar

The XFR-S Sportbrake’s R-S powertrain, chassis and body enhancements enable the car to push the performance boundaries.

Electrifying performance is provided by the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol engine, which now boasts 550PS and 680Nm – up 40PS and 55Nm respectively over its XFR installation. The increases have been achieved through revisions to the engine management system and optimisation of the flow of air both into and out of the engine.

Fitted with an eight-speed transmission incorporating Jaguar’s ‘Quickshift’ technology (developed for the F-TYPE), the increase in engine output allows the XFR-S Sportbrake to accelerate to 60mph in 4.6 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds) and on to an electronically limited top speed of 186mph (300km/h).

In order to manage the extra rear mass of the XFR-S Sportbrake while retaining the sharp turn-in and response of the XFR-S Saloon, the Sportbrake’s rear suspension has been modified with revisions to both rear spring rates and the adaptive damper tune. These revisions work together to increase the feeling of connectivity with the road surface, allowing for confidence-inspiring handling and a supple, controlled ride. Recalibrated active electronic differential and Dynamic Stability Control settings have been tuned to work with the XFR-S Sportbrake’s modified rear suspension to allow the enthusiastic driver to make the most of the car’s huge potential.

Design

Reflecting the changes under the skin, the appearance of the XFR-S Sportbrake has been subtly modified in order to allow the car to achieve its full potential. As with the standard Jaguar Sportbrake, the combination of a flowing rear window graphic, rising waist and estate roofline lends the XFR-S Sportbrake a dynamic, broad-shouldered stance, while the extended roofline affords rear-seat passengers an additional 48mm of headroom and the seats offer both a 60:40 split fold function and integral ski hatch. Remote-fold levers inside the load-space opening allow the seats to be stowed flat quickly and easily, creating a cargo volume of up to 1675 litres. Rear lift has been reduced through the fitment of a spoiler mounted on the top of the rear hatch to manage the airflow off the top rear surface of the car.

The new, deeper front bumper incorporates larger lower central and side air intakes – the former framed in carbon fibre – in order to provide adequate airflow into the engine bay. A front splitter at the lower edge of the bumper provides the first of a number of aerodynamic changes designed to smooth the passage of the car through the air at very high speeds. The extended side sills and aeroblade mouldings behind the front wheels serve to create a sharp break-off point between the lower bodywork and the road surface in order to keep the airflow attached to the car’s sides for as long as possible. The same thinking dictated the deeper side mouldings behind the rear wheels. This extended rear bumper also incorporates a central, carbon fibre diffuser, deeper than the item found on the XFR and which travels further under the rear of the car to reduce lift.

The wider, six-spoke, 20-inch lightweight Varuna forged alloy wheels provide the XFR-S Sportbrake with a purposeful, broad-shouldered stance and come as standard with a dual finish. A ceramic polish is applied to the outer surfaces, its eye-catching appearance contrasting with inner gloss black areas. As an option the wheels can be supplied in either full gloss black or technical grey finishes.

The assertive appearance of the XFR-S Sportbrake is further enhanced through the use of gloss black trim in place of chrome around the grille, within the side vent, around the front and rear screens, windows and across the bootlid. The mesh in the front grilles is also a purposeful gloss black.

XFR-S Sportbrake customers can choose from an exterior palette comprising five colours: Ultra Blue, Ultimate Black, Stratus Grey, Polaris White and Italian Racing Red.

This colour palette is complemented inside the XFR-S Sportbrake with Warm Charcoal leather trim on the seats and doors enhanced through the use of carbon effect leather. Exclusive to R-S cars, this is used on the seat bolsters and arm rests and reflects the use of exotic carbon fibre on the aerodynamic elements of the car. The seats themselves are embossed with the R-S logo and can be finished with a choice of contrast colour micro-piping and stitching in either red, blue or ivory. The same subtle enhancement runs across the top of the dashboard, the fascia of which is finished in a Dark Aluminium unique to the R-S, complete with badging.

Performance

The XFR-S Sportbrake features Jaguar’s acclaimed 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol engine in its most potent form matched to an eight-speed transmission with Quickshift functionality. This all-new combination provides a visceral blend of vivid acceleration, driver involvement and control plus entry to the exclusive 300km/h (186mph) club of ultra-high performance cars.

The all-aluminium quad-cam engine delivers not only extreme performance but also tremendous efficiency thanks to the technologies incorporated into it, including spray-guided direct injection (SGDI) and dual independent variable cam timing (DIVCT).

The high-pressure die-cast lightweight aluminium block is stiffened with cast iron liners and cross-bolted main bearing caps, providing refinement to match its power. The four-valve cylinder heads are constructed from recycled aluminium, between them sitting the Roots-type twin vortex supercharger fed by two intercoolers. These feature their own water-cooling circuit to reduce the temperature of the pressurised air to optimise power and efficiency.

In order to help liberate the additional 40PS and 55Nm of torque over the standard XFR, larger front air intakes in the lower bumper of the XFR-S allow greater volumes of air to be fed into the engine. The intake system also features a symposer that channels more of the induction noise into the cabin, adding to the aural excitement of the XFR-S Sportbrake.

The result is a 0-60mph time of 4.6 seconds (0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds) and an electronically-limited top speed of 186mph (300km/h).

The exhaust system has been optimised in order to channel the waste gases away from the engine with the greatest efficiency. The central silencer has been replaced with an X-piece and near straight-through rear pipes combining to provide an enhanced exhaust note with the added benefit of a motorsport-style crackle on the overrun.

Maximising the benefit of the engine recalibration is the eight-speed automatic transmission with Quickshift technology. Developed for the F-TYPE sports car, Quickshift ideally suits the XFR-S Sportbrake’s focused and involving remit. When the enthusiastic driver changes up a gear manually by using the steering wheel-mounted paddles, the Quickshift technology ensures the quickest, crispest shifts via rapid and precisely timed engine torque intervention.

When downshifting (either manually or when in Sport mode) the engine management system automatically blips the throttle to ensure the XFR-S Sportbrake remains balanced and composed, particularly important on entry to a corner. This function also allows the transmission to perform multiple and very rapid downshifts during hard braking. When operating in automatic mode, the transmission can detect the manner in which the car is being driven by monitoring acceleration and braking, cornering forces, throttle and brake pedal activity, road load and kickdown request. On detecting a more enthusiastic driving style, the transmission will automatically make the gearshifts more aggressive and move the shift-up point higher in the rev range.

Corner Recognition senses when the car is negotiating a bend, the transmission holding the correct gear for the exit. The transmission will also recognise when the car is performing a series of overtaking manoeuvres requiring rapid changes in throttle position and, rather than change up, remain in a lower gear ready for the next demand for acceleration.

Dynamics

The dynamic characteristics of the XFR-S Sportbrake were informed by the engineering development of both the XKR-S and the F-TYPE, the result being an incredibly agile, responsive and involving car. For the XFR-S Saloon both front and rear suspension systems were uprated and carefully tuned over tens of thousands of miles at Jaguar’s testing centre at the legendary Nürburgring, the high-speed bowl at Nardo in Italy and the engineers’ favourite roads around the Gaydon Research and Development centre and in north Wales.

The main challenge in the development of the XFR-S Sportbrake was to manage the extra rear mass of the car while retaining the sharp turn-in and response of its saloon cousin. In order to achieve this, Jaguar engineers tuned the XFR-S Sportbrake’s rear active suspension to cope with the extra weight of the car’s increased rear mass, with the dampers and springs adjusted to match the mass distribution of the car. The anti-roll bars have been changed and the rear axle has been modified, while the rear brakes have been tuned to work in conjunction with the car’s ABS system.

Overall lateral suspension stiffness has been increased by 30 per cent front and rear, with front and rear spring rates increased by the same amount.

As on the XFR-S Saloon, the front suspension knuckles have been revised in line with those found on the XKR-S to achieve the increased camber and castor stiffness which, along with new wheel bearings, optimise steering and handling precision. The steering system has additionally benefited from the fitment of the valving developed for the F-TYPE.

The rear subframe has enabled revisions to suspension geometry which, allied to stiffer bushes – new rear knuckles and working in tandem with the stiffer springs – increase stability and response over standard XF Sportbrake models.

In order to achieve the maximum benefit from the suspension revisions, the XFR-S Sportbrake has lightweight, forged 20-inch ‘Varuna’ alloy wheels. These are half an inch wider at the front and an inch wider at the rear in comparison to the wheels found on the XFR but their construction means there is no weight penalty to be paid.

The tyres, developed in conjunction with Pirelli exclusively for the XFR-S Sportbrake, are 10mm wider all round, being 265/35 and 295/30 front/rear. The difference between the wheel rim and tyre width increases has the effect of pre-loading the sidewall to improve handling and steering response without adversely affecting refinement.

Working in harmony with the uprated suspension, wheels and tyres are revised electronic programmes controlling the Adaptive Dynamics, active electronic differential and Dynamic Stability Control systems.

Jaguar’s Adaptive Dynamics system actively controls vertical body movement, roll and pitch rates through the use of continuously variable dampers. The system monitors driver inputs and the road conditions, adjusting damper rates in response up to 500 times a second to optimise stability and agility. The driver’s selection of Dynamic Mode offers enhanced body control through moving the damping rates to the firmer end of the available range.

The Jaguar active electronic differential – which can apply full locking torque almost instantaneously when necessary – has been recalibrated in order to exploit the greater grip offered by the wider rear tyres, the more precisely controlled suspension and the engine output. Working in parallel with the differential, the ‘Trac DSC’ setting of the Dynamic Stability Control system now offers the enthusiastic driver more opportunity to explore the outer edges of the handling envelope while nevertheless providing a discreet safety net.

Providing equal levels of confidence is Jaguar’s High Performance Braking System, which offers an unmatched combination of power, stability and fine modulation. The 380mm front and 376mm rear discs are internally ventilated for assured repeated stopping power and on XFR-S benefit from additional cooling provided by under-body air channelling.

The XFR-S Sportbrake is fitted as standard with a 825W, 18-speaker system from British audio experts Meridian. Recognised by audiophiles as a leader in audio reproduction and fidelity, the system uses digital signal processing to create a sound field that is second to none. The system features Meridian’s proprietary Trifield System that places every occupant at the centre of their own perfectly focused surround-sound arena.

XFR-S Sportbrake Technical specification*

XFR-S SPORTBRAKE
Engine 5.0-litre V8 supercharged petrol
Capacity (cc) 5000
Bore/Stroke (mm) 92.5/93
Peak Power (PS@rpm) 550@6500
Peak Power (kW@rpm) 405@6500
Peak Torque
(lb/ft @rpm) 502@2500-5500
Peak Torque (Nm@rpm) 680@2500-5500
Transmission Eight-speed ‘Quickshift’ automatic
0-60mph (secs) 4.6
0-100km/h (secs) 4.8
Top Speed (mph | km/h) 186 | 300 (electronically limited)
Combined Economy
(EU mpg | l/100km) 22.2 | 12.7
CO2 Emissions (g/km) 297
*Manufacturer’s figures



Hennessey Venom GT Running 270.49 MPH on NASA Runway: Video 25
Feb
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Auto Addiction, Automotive, Hennessey, Hennessey Venom GT, John Hennessey, News, video on 02 25th, 2014
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The battle has been on for John Hennessey and his team to literally rough up the Bugatti Veyron with their pride and joy Venom GT. Be that the Venom GT is Hennessey’s creation birthed from a Lotus Elise, it is highly modified and you can basically call it their own mad creation capable of speeds over 270 mph, which the Venom GT has clearly claimed this week on a NASA runway.

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Of course the controversy and naysayers are coming out of the woodwork to critique and mock the Hennessey Venom GT’s 270 mph run. Whatever the “official” standing of the record is, the Venom GT ran 270 mph and that is a fact. To beat the dead horse even more, we have supplied you with the exclusive Venom GT 270.49 mph run video below. Just don’t forget to enter the JFK moon speech. Priceless! Enjoy!



2014 Jeep Patriot Latitude 4WD Review & Test Drive 25
Feb
Posted by Harvey Schwartz in Automotive, Jeep, Jeep Patriot, SUV, Test Drives on 02 25th, 2014
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2014 Jeep Patriot Latitude Beauty Left Up Done Small

If the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, Cherokee or four door Wrangler 4X4’s are above your price line and with each a little too much off-road capability, then look to the new 2014 Jeep Patriot with the Latitude Package.

The Patriot stays true to the iconic Jeep styling with its seven-slot grille with black mesh backing, the two round halogen headlamps, round lower foglamps, stand-up windshield A-pillars, horizontal flared fenders, pull-out body-color door handles, black contrasting lower bodykit, front skid plate/rear diffuser and a flat roof with black roof rails.  The 2014 Patriot is unmistakably a Jeep and is designed to appeal to compact SUV consumers who want its traditional Jeep styling with best-in-class off-road capability at an affordable price.  The Patriot offers consumers segment-leading 4X4 capability and excellent fuel efficiency along with the above-mentioned styling and clever interior features.  The Patriot Latitude 4X4 with the upgraded powertrain starts at just $23,795.00.

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The new Patriot Latitude is powered by the 2.4 liter inline-4-cylinder all-aluminum engine with DOHC’s, a tuned intake manifold with electronic active charge motion control valve and dual variable valve time (VVT) on both the intake and exhaust camshafts which helps optimize the torque curve at all speeds and produces more power, better fuel economy and smooth, quieter operation than engines without VVT.  It generates 172hp at 6,000rpm and 165lb.ft. of toque at just 4,400rpm.  This potent four-banger is mated, for the first time, to the world-class 6F24 six-speed automatic with AutoStick sequential shifting, standard.  Independently developed by PowerTech and is refined for application in the 2014Patriot.  Compact and lightweight, the 6F24 eliminated many potential extra engineering efforts from a packaging standpoint with the chassis layout.  Overall length of the transmission is only 378.5mm.  The six-speed features a closely aligned 5.46b gear spread that provides nearly imperceptible shifting from launch through highway speeds.  With a 4.21 first gear and standard AutoStick for manual-like shifting, accelerating characteristics deliver more fun-to-drive excitement.  With a 0.77 sixth gear, engine rpm is significantly reduced at highway speeds for optimal fuel efficiency.  The steeped shift schedule across all six gears is designed for optimal fuel economy-21mpg/city, 27mpg/highway.  I really noticed the extremely quiet operation throughout the gear ranges with the use of noise-resistant gears that effectively reduced noise, vibration and harshness.  This new six-speed also helps reduce cost of ownership and maintenance costs with its ‘fill-for-life’ design.  There is no transmission dipstick, and transmission filter or fluid changes are not required under normal driving conditions.  Low-viscosity fluid is used to improve fuel economy by enabling quicker operating temperatures on the transmission to reduce drag on internal components.

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My 2014 Jeep Patriot 4X4 Latitude came equipped with the Freedom Drive I 4X4 that is a full-time, active four-wheel drive system with lock mode designed to give me year-round assurance with the ability to handle rough weather and lower traction conditions.  This active four-wheel-drive system is recommended for daily use, including slick conditions that come with rain and light snow.  Freedom Drive I also features a lockable center coupling giving me the ability to put the Jeep Patriot in four-wheel-drive lock mode to handle deep snow, sand and other low traction surfaces.

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The fun-to-drive attitude comes from the fully independent suspension, the hydraulic power assist precise rack & pinion steering system, the power-assisted steel disc brakes, Hill Start Assist and electronic stability control.  The new Patriot rides like a refined Jeep Wrangler 4X4 four-door with the more comfortable fully independent suspension.  Up front are MacPherson struts, coil springs over gas-charged shocks and a solid stabilizer bar.  The rear multi-link setup features coil springs, link-type stabilizer bar and gas-charged shocks.  Mated to the proven hydraulic power assist rack & pinion steering I felt more precision and quick reaction when cornering, a smooth, solid, and quiet ride at highway speeds.

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My confident when driving at high speeds or when going into a curve was heighted by the powerful all-steel disc brakes with standard ABS and BA.  Up front are 11.5 inch vented rotors clamped with single-piston calipers and 10.3 inch solid discs clamped with single-piston calipers in the rear.  When slowing down from high speed or when traveling around slow city traffic the feel is very linear, the more I push on the pedal the more stopping power I felt.  The 2014 Jeep Patriot 4X4 Latitude rides on 17X6.5 inch five-spoke, painted aluminum wheels wrapped with Firestone 215/60R17 inch Affinity tires for excellent grip and a smooth, quiet ride.

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The interior is roomy, comfortable with the latest in connectivity features.  Tasteful use of chrome trim around the round air-vents, door handle, shifter gate and the open storage bin just above the deep and wide glovebox.  The premium cloth/heated front bucket seats are very comfortable and cut to keep my snug with cornering.  Both are manual adjustable with my seat height adjustable for the perfect fit.  The leather-wrapped/tilting, 3-spoke steering wheel feels great in my hands and features controls for the audio system and cruise control.  The gauge cluster is retro designed with black background with white lettering and orange needles.  More standard equipment includes interior removable/rechargeable rear lamps/flashlight, dual map lights, dual vanity mirrors, grab handles above each door, illuminated entry, variable speed wipers/washers/rear wiper/washer, keyless entry, 12-volt power plug, 115-volt power plug, programmable retained power, driver personalization, A/C, rear 60/40 split reclining seats, power windows with driver’s-side express down, programmable power door locks, front-passenger fold-flat seat, Jeep signature front floor mats/rear floor mats, illuminated front dual cupholders, center armrest with dual-tiered storage box, rear dual cupholders, power-remote/heated sideview mirrors, self-dimming rearview mirror and dark tined rear side windows/rear window.

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The optional Customer Preferred Package that my test Patriot came with includes a one-touch power sunroof, 9-Boston Acoustic speakers and two articulating speakers mounted to the inside of the rear liftgate, Sirius Satellite Radio, electronic vehicle information center, universal garage door opener, tire pressure monitor system, soft tonneau cargo cover and U-connect handsfree Bluetooth phone with iPod connectivity, 6.5-inch touch screen 40GB hard drive with 28 GB available, AM-FM-CD/DVD/MP3/HDD audio system.

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Standard safety features include advanced multi-stage front and supplemental side-curtain front/rear airbags, supplemental front seat-mounted side airbags, active front head restraints, height-adjustable 3-point safety belts up front with pretensioners/load limiters, 3-3-point rear safety belts, front/rear crumple zones, steel beams in each door and electronic roll mitigation.

The new 2014 Jeep Patriot 2.4 liter 4X4 Latitude edition comes with the right amount of Jeep signature styling, power, performance, and a comfortable interior with all the connectivity that a young consumer is looking for starting well under $25,000.00, and $26,380.00 not including destination charges that can vary with dealers.

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COPYRIGHT: 2014: HARVEY SCHWARTZ

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: $26,380
  • Engine:  2.4-liter inline-4-cylinder DOHC 172 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm / 165 lb.ft. of toque @ 4,400 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 103.7 inches
  • Track: f/r-59.8/59.8 inches
  • Overall length: 173.8 inches
  • Overall width: 69.2 inches
  • Overall height: 66.8 inches
  • Approach angle: 26.4
  • Breakover angle: 20.9
  • Departure angle: 28.5
  • Ground clearance: 8.1 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,378 pounds
  • Fuel tank: 13.5 gallons
  • Headroom: f/r-39.1/39.9 inches
  • Legroom: f/r-40.6/39.4 inches
  • Turing circle: 35.6 feet
  • SAE interior volume: 104.4 cu.ft.
  • Cargo volume: rear-seats up-23/rear-seats folded-53.5 cu.ft.
  • EPA interior volume 124.4 cu.ft.
  • Trunk lift-over height: 30.7 inches
  • Cargo volume with front passenger seat folded-flat and rear-seat folded-63.4 cu.ft.
  • Towing: up to 2,000 pounds


Hennessey Venom GT breaks land speed record 25
Feb
Posted by CarBlog Staff in Automotive News, Hennessey Venom GT, Land speed record, Popular, Super car news, Videos on 02 25th, 2014

Hennessy

Well this is some really exciting news on a Tuesday afternoon!

While we love ourselves a bit of super car, we really like it when these super cars push it to there limits – and if a land speed record gets broken in the process, all the better.

The Hennessey Venom GT has broken the land speed record (only just) at an incredible 270,4 mph. To put that into perspective; the Venom topped an amazing 435,16 km/h. Now that’s one fast car. 

While Hennessey is celebrating, one company that is surely not as happy (and probably plotting their revenge) is Bugatti. Before the Venom took top honours, that record belonged to the Bugatti Veyron  Super Sport that held the record at 269,86 mph. Or 434,29 km/h.

That was set up four years ago.

The record breaking attempt naturally needed a big space to race. So Hennessey packed up their voluptuous Venom and took it ver to the John F. Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, where, eventually, the record was broken.

Hennessy

However, there is a little spanner in the works. Hennessey’s new record is not, per say, an official record. It is not recognized by the Guinness Book of world Records only because of one minor detail.

Guinness requires that these production cars racing for the record to have at least 30 made. Unfortunately for the Venom GT, only 29 will be made. What a pity.

Still, this doesn’t stop us from enjoying the Hennessey Venom GT’s super impressive performance! And lucky for us, the people over at Hennessey decided to film the momentous occasion.

Check out the video below:

Source: The Verge



Chris Harris drives the new McLaren P1 24
Feb
Posted by CarBlog Staff in Automotive News, mclaren, McLaren P1, Popular, Super car news, Videos on 02 24th, 2014

MCL P1

There has been much excitement about McLaren’s latest offering, the P1. Some have even described this super car as the ultimate hyper car – something McLaren is surely proud of.

To see what all the hype is about and if the P1 really is so impressive, our favorite car expert, Chris Harris, took the car for a drive around the Yas MArina Grand Prix Circuit in Abu Dhabi.

Chris also chats to McLaren’s chief test driver, Chris Goodwin, about the immaculate P1.

To be fair though, the car Chris gets to take around the track is a prototype for the P1 called the XP7. However, even if this is just a taste of whats to come with the full production model P1, we are really excited!

Check out the video below:

Source: YouTube



How To Create a Toyota FT-1 Concept TRD Race Car in Photoshop: Video 21
Feb
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Auto Addiction, Automotive, Automotive Help, Photoshop, Technical, TOYOTA, Toyota FT-1 Concept, TRD, video on 02 21st, 2014
toyota-ft-1-concept-trd-racecar-photoshop

toyota-ft-1-concept-trd-racecar-photoshop

I always wanted to be a car designer but I instead took up an initial career working with computer technology and software internet marketing until I ventured back into my heart-felt passion of doing something with cars. Have you ever wanted to tinker around with photoshop to the point that you feel like a car designer? I know I have many times and have failed miserably with only a few successful attempts, which I still care not to share with the hundreds of thousands of visitors to AutomotiveAddicts.com. The guys at Autobytel have taken on the time consuming task of sharing their exquisite photoshop skills in the creation of a Toyota FT-1 Concept TRD racecar.

No doubt that the Toyota FT-1 Concept is one of the hottest vehicles to be showcased on an auto show floor in decades. Taking such an already-stunning design and doing anything apart from changing the color via photoshop is a serious feat. Somehow, Autobytel does it justice in the creation of a TRD racecar variation as demonstrated in the exclusive photoshop time-lapse video below. Enjoy!



Want to own a Batmobile? This one is for sale 21
Feb
Posted by CarBlog Staff in Advertising, Auto Advertising, Automotive News, Autostyle, Batmobile, car sales, Car Styling, Modified car Talk, Performance, Popular, Videos on 02 21st, 2014

Batmobile Tumbler

One thing is for sure. Whether you are male or female, a fan of Batman or not, all of us have thought about what it would feel like to drive the Batmobile at some point or another.

Wouldn’t it be great to evade the traffic cops and track down criminals (bad drivers) in your very own Batmobile? Yes it would. And now, you can – as one of Batman’s famous Batmobile replicas has just been put up for sale.

The Tumbler is a version of the Batmobile found in the Dark Knight trilogy. While Christian Bale (aka Batman) got to drive around in one, 5 other replicas were made around the world and at least one of them can be yours. 

The Tumbler features a powerful Chevrolet LS1 V8 engine as well as requisite dual rear wheels, which are 44-inch super Swampers. Sure, he first thing you notice when you look at the monstrous car is wheels, but we sure wouldn’t mind that engine!

Furthermore, the Tumbler has GPS, an iPod integrated sound system as well as 5 cameras all around the car to help you out with the difficult blind spots.

The car was posted as for sale on car collector website, James Edition. It’s current owner, a man from Florida, notes that the car is indeed street legal, but is generally ‘not a daily driver’. We can’t imagine why…

The price tag? A cool $1 million. Small change for someone like Bruce Wayne – and a really wealthy car collector.

So, if you have dreams of flying down the street in a Batmobile, then this is your opportunity. Just don’t think your the real Dark Knight.

Check out the video below to refresh your memory – a scene from the Dark Knight featuring the Tumbler:

Source: Motor Authority







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