Pic of the Day

2 12 2009

I call this one “Classic.”  It is a stunning example of a Porsche 718/8 W-RS Spyder.

Classic Porsche


Click on the image to view full size.

Fiesta Time!

2 12 2009

Just an hour or so ago Ford pulled the cover off of the new Fiesta sub-compact car. Wow is this a good looking car in 5-door hatchback form (sedan isn’t quite as eye-catching). It was ushered in by Ford’s Fiesta Movement Agents and the whole unveil really was aimed at the Fiesta’s Gen-Y target audience. There was a live twitter feed on a projector where anyone that included “#fiestamovement” in their tweet could see it displayed over the satin covered cars – and you know I got my own tweet up there.
The Fiestas themselves ranged from the factory stock cars to highly modified with my favorite being the maroon hatch that was turboed and lowered with Work wheels.
I think Ford has really nailed it’s target audience and finally created a sub-compact econo-box the average person would want to buy. I can’t wait to see this go head to head with the new Mazda2 and maybe even see an SVT or, dare I say it, an RS version of the Fiesta. But as it sits, the standard car with its distinct styling and 40mpg highway fuel economy is nothing to laugh at.


2 12 2009

Mazda just unveiled the all-new Mazda2. Very cute but sporty looking sub-compact. Will definitely be good competition for the Yaris and Fit. Now if they will only make a Mazdaspeed version…

The Beetle is finally going to retire.

2 12 2009

Big news from the VW unveil is that the new version of the Beetle coupe and convertible will be its last. Yay!
Now off to see the future of Soccer-Mom mobiles with the release of the new Toyota Sienna.

Chevy Cruzes in to Open the 2009 LA Auto Show

2 12 2009

The madness that is known as Press Days at the LA Auto show has begun and day 1 is packed with unveils. Chevy was first out of the gate promoting their new green technology including hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and their EREV (read “Not Hybrid”) Volt. They announced that California will be among the first markets to sell the Volt and it should come at the end of 2010.
Chevy also unveiled their new compact sedan (coupe variant will be available too), the Cruze. First impression is very good. Well done exterior with some actual style to it and an overall sporty look.
The interior is where the Cruze really struts its stuff. Finally getting away from over-plasticy, bland interiors, the Cruze features sweeping curves on its 2-tone dashboard and a very well laid out console.
The engine isn’t too shabby either. GM is using one of its European turbo-charged 4 cylinders that promises a sporty driving experience and 40 mpg on the highway.

And so it begins…

2 12 2009

At the LA Auto Show it is all about making an impression. Manufacturers create a big spectacle about all of their new cars no matter how minor they may be.
The first day of Press Days is just starting and we are about to witness perhaps the biggest spectacle of all – a keynote speech by Bob Lutz. But why would a keynote speech be so spectacular? Because Mr. Lutz wasn’t the original speaker.
Yesterday afternoon the industr was rocked with news that GM’s CEO and President Fritz Henderson, our Original keynote speaker, resigned his position with The General. This was a totally unexpected move and puzzled many people. Rumors abound as to the actal reasons behind Fritz’s act of seppuku but hopefully Bob “Maximum” Lutz will clear this up and shed some interesting light on what’s going on with GM and the auto industry in general.

American Muscle

28 10 2009

Currently conducting an American Muscle showdown. Who will win? Challenger SRT8 with its massive 6.1L Hemi? Camaro with its G8 derived chassis and independent rear suspension? Or the Mustang GT with its awesome blue paint. Place your bets.

A Few Videos

28 10 2009

Well it is the dawn of day 2 here at the MPG Track Day and I am still a bit overwhelmed to say the least.  Day 1 was so much fun and ended perfectly with a very nice banquet and afterparty at the hotel.  I will be doing a driving impression wrap-up of the afternoon vehicles of day 1 this morning while I eat breakfast at the track.  In the meantime, I have started uploading a few videos to youtube.  I have been taking videos in every car I have driven so it will take a bit of time to get Everything uploaded.  But big thanks to Ramon Casas of Wolf Productions (http://www.wolfpro.net)  for lending me one of his awesome camera mounts. Make sure to watch in “High Quality”

Roush 427R

370Z Nismo

Lancer Evolution MR-Touring

Civic Si 4dr

John Cooper Works Mini Convertible

Lotus Elise Supercharged


27 10 2009

Just drove the new Z4. Bleh. Goes from horrible understeer to a super floaty rear end. Fast in a straight line though.

The Day So Far – Civic Si, Mazdaspeed3, Genesis Coupe, Nismo Z, and Lamborghinis.

27 10 2009

It’s lunch time here at Cali Speedway so I figured it was a good time to update on how the day is going. I started off the day right by riding in a Lamborghini LP640 with an Indy driver at the helm. All I can say about that is wow is it fast and wow does it understeer.
Following my ride along I immediately jumped in the special edition Balboni Gallardo for a street drive. Amazing car, beautiful interior, and an exhaust note that curls your toes in extasy (even more so in a tunnel).
First track drive of the day was the Mazdaspeed3. Lots of power, good handling, crappy tcs.
I followed that with the genesis 3.8 grand touring. Decent auto trans, fun handling dynamics, and good brakes – but a way too intrusive tcs.
Next was the civic si 4door. This was by far the most fun I had on the track. If I had to chose one car to spend all day in it would be the Civic Si. Very fun and forgiving car. Buttery smooth gearbox, peaky engine, lsd all add up to a great driving experience.
Final car of the morning was the Nismo7 – the catfish. Holy crap was this thing good. But its best feature by far was its brakes. Stop on a dime power and the ability to take abuse over and over without fading. Handling and power were also astounding. Biggest suprise on it was its TCS. It actually let you have fun. I was actually hanging tail through turns. Lunch is over and it is time to get back on track. Next up – Evo MR Touring.