I was fortunate enough to see this mighty Ferrari F50 GT at the Concorso Italiano back in 2011, during the Monterey car week. The F50 GT is a Ferrari racing car that never came to be. It was developed to take on the likes of the Porsche 911 GT1, Mercedes CLK GTR and McLaren F1 LM, but it never made it past the prototype stage. Along with the prototype, two F50 GTs were built for customers. This is one of those customer cars, and it was the first one I’ve seen in person. There was a normal F50 right beside it, and the GT makes the standard car look puny by comparison. The performance of the F50 GT is also extremely massive. The car itself weighs in at just 2,005lbs and its 4.7L V12 has 750hp and 383ft/lbs of torque on tap. 60mph comes in under 3 seconds, the 1/4 mile is dispatched in 10.2 sec, and it tops out at 235mph, presumably when the aerodynamics are set up for top end speed. This is a racing car, make no mistake. These photos are a few years old, and I have learned much about photography since, but I think they came out pretty well. Enjoy.
Volkswagen had a bit of genius when they built the CC. Obviously they took the coupe-sedan idea from the Mercedes CLS, but unlike the Mercedes, the CC was generally affordable. It sold like hotcakes because, while underneath it was just a VW Passat, its exterior appearance was nothing short of magnificent. Now many of the early CCs are coming off lease, and are available on the secondhand market for what seems to be a great value. So now the question is, what lies under the CC’s pretty facade, and is it worth spending your money on?
I should disclose that I am considering getting myself a CC like this one, so this drive was as much for me personally, as it was for this article. I love having two sports cars, my Subaru STi and Mazda Miata, but lately I have wanted something a bit more comfortable for daily driving. It would be nice to have a car I could go places in, and not have a little devil on my shoulder, constantly telling me to break the law. That said, I don’t want some gutless econobox either, I want a proper luxury car. Read the rest of this entry »
The 335d was a bit of an oddball on the American market. It was the highest performing diesel version of the E90 3 Series, and BMW sought to see how Americans would receive a top range diesel car. Diesels are huge in Europe, but have a much smaller market share here in the States. Considering that, along with the fact that the 335d was a higher-end model 3 Series, it comes as no surprise that they were not BMW’s biggest seller. That means that today, here in 2013, 335ds are rather uncommon on the used market. It also means that we have to change the way we look at the car now that it is only available pre owned.
Those people who did buy 335ds will absolutely swear by them. To most uneducated Americans the notion of diesel power evokes thoughts of black smoke and the loud rattle of a dump truck. Anyone with actual experience in a modern diesel car will tell an entirely different story. They will tell you about the solid performance, and incredible fuel economy, about a car that both runs clean, and is great fun to drive. Diesels like the 335d are sort of a insider secret in America, those who know, know, and those who don’t know waste their money on (mostly) gutless hybrid cars.
I had driven a 335d once before, but only very briefly. I decided to go out and try another one for two reasons: First, to see how it fairs in the context of the used market. Second, to compare it to the new F30 3 Series that I reviewed recently. Lets face it, BMWs are very overpriced brand new, with all kinds of options that nickel-and-dime you to death. A smart car buyer knows that BMWs should be purchased secondhand, with low mileage and some remainder on the factory warranty. By doing this, you save yourself the vast depreciation that comes from spending so much on all of those fancy options, as well as the BMW brand mark up. I will go into the specifics of this for the 335d later on All you need to know for now is that 335ds are currently right in the sweet spot of the secondhand BMW market.
Ten years ago if someone had told me that Hyundai would soon be making sports and luxury cars I would have laughed in their face. Hyundai was basically the poster child for offensively cheap cars that people would only buy because they couldn’t afford a Honda or Toyota. Over the next decade though, Hyundai would make one hell of an effort toward improvement, becoming one of the best real values on the market. I have been a huge fan of Hyundai in recent years, applauding their innovation and commitment to quality in their drive up market. The Genesis Coupe you see here is one of the cars that helped vastly step their game up, a fast sports car from a company with little racing history. It couldn’t possibly be that good, could it? Read the rest of this entry »
This is one of the new gen Camaros that was converted into a modern Pontiac Firebird. To my understanding they are quite rare, only available as a custom order from shops that standardized the conversion. This is the first one I have ever seen, and this is what I could find about the car and its conversion. Enjoy.
The TZ3 Stradale is a limited production model that is actually a Dodge Viper ACR in Alfa Romeo clothes. It was built to showcase a collaboration between Chrysler and Fiat as a kickoff for future models. Mechanically it is all Viper with the same 640hp V10 as the Viper ACR-X, but with the sort of performance that Viper achieved I don’t hear anyone complaining. The design, done by Zagato, are a clear nod back to the legendary Alfa TZ and TZ2 racing cars of old. Just nine of these TZ3 Stradales will be produced making this one of the more exotic cars in the world. While at Pebble Beach this past summer we were surprised by this car while looking at a lineup of Bugatti Veyrons. All of a sudden there was this earthshaking rumble and then this astonishing car rolled out of the parking deck. It is an incredible machine to behold, and I think this Italian-American collaboration is just right. I must also say that the TZ3 Stradale is among the best looking cars I’ve ever seen. More pictures of the car below. Read the rest of this entry »
On January 3rd, all the sales results for each major car brand sold in the United States were made public for the month of December, and consequently, the entire previous year. For the most part, 2011 was an excellent year for sales in the auto industry, a big step in the right direction since the turmoil of 2009. There were of course, some nasty issues that clearly affected sales across the board, but this year, only a select few CEOs should really need a drink today. So, let’s take a look at these numbers and see what falls out of the tree. Read the rest of this entry »
When we went to Monterey, CA this summer for the Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance we had quite a fiasco with delays on our flight out. Because of this, when we got to the car rental desk, we found the Ford Fusion we had reserved was no longer available. They were also out of lower level economy cars too, so we decided to pay a bit more money and have a Chevy Camaro with a 300hp V6. I had a few days with the car, and got to experience it in a variety of situations. Our hotel was about an hour drive from Monterey on the open highway, and there were plenty of nice twisty roads to drive once we got there. While the Camaro was obviously less of a thrill than some of the supercars we would be driving at the event, it managed to hold its own quite well, and I came away from the trip very impressed with it. Read the rest of this entry »
2011 will be remembered as many things by many people, but one thing it will not be seen as is a boring year. So much happened this year around the world, from terrible cataclysms to amazing and inspiring revolutions. Obviously being a car site, we want to focus more on the auto industry, but it would be a great injustice not to first acknowledge the events of this year that have changed the lives of millions of people around the globe. Now as for the auto industry, many great things have happened as well as a few that are not so great. Read the rest of this entry »
Back in August, Nick and I were at the Pebble Beach Concours, as most of you know. The day we arrived, we got hosed by Air Traffic Control, and missed the debut of the Cadillac Ciel concept car. When we both saw it in the flesh the next morning, I was smitten. While GM is calling it a strict concept, I think that it really does represent a lot about the future of the Cadillac brand in two or three different realms. Read the rest of this entry »
This was the second year for the exotic car meet at Angelina’s Ristorante in Staten Island, NY. I have been both years and the cars were quite different between them (pics from 2010 to come at a later time). It is a fun event with a live DJ, a lawn full of exotic cars, and very fine cuisine for those who can afford it. The scene overlooks the Hudson River and we lucked out with the weather. This show is definitely worth checking out every Fall if you live in the NYC area. (Info here) Read the rest of this entry »
Anyone who grew up in the 1960s or 1970s knows what the VW MicroBus is. It won’t win any drag races or autocross events, but its timeless styling and endlessly cool image have kept it relevant since its inception. The Type 2 is considered by some to be one of the first mass-production minivans, predating the venerable Dodge Caravan and its family by over 2 decades. This particular example was present at the 2011 Radnor Hunt Concours in eastern Pennsylvania, and stood out in the best of ways. The blue Mark 1 21-window version was optioned to the roof and one of the best (if not THE best) example I’ve ever seen in my life. More pictures after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »