This is a big moment for American auto industry, one that can mark a turning point toward success or a continued trend of let downs in the luxury market. Obviously the big comparison is with the BMW 3 series, and I have been very unimpressed with the comparisons done by large publications so far (favoritism and bias run rampant over objectivism and sense). So, I went out and drove the ATS and BMW 3 series back to back to see what I thought from the driver seat. I’m not going to string you along, I liked the Cadillac better, and I will explain why in the paragraphs that follow. Read the rest of this entry »
I have yet to meet an owner of a Mazdaspeed3 (MS3) who didn’t legitimately love their car. Something about the car seems to inspire people, they always have that “I know something you don’t” smirk on their face. Mazdas have always had a good sporting dynamic to them, but the enthusiasm that owners seem to have about this car goes beyond that. I have always known about the MS3, but somehow, while I’ve been out driving all sorts of fun cars over the years, it has eluded me. So recently, I decided it was time I take one out for a spin to see what these owners are so smug about. Read the rest of this entry »
By now most of us car folks know that BMW has been working on a line of front wheel drive cars, but today it has basically become official. I saw on Jalopnik that BMW will launch their first front drive car at the Paris Motor Show later this year. For me this marks the end of an era for BMW because they have finally made the commitment to stray from the ideals that made their great name. This is on top the fact that their entire line of cars has been getting bigger, heavier, and softer in recent years. In my opinion there are also no “true” M cars right now either, as all of the current ones put luxury as the priority over proper driving dynamics, when traditionally it was the other way around (see the fake engine noises in the M5). BMW has been going soft for some time now, whilst catering to the yuppy, poser crowd that just wants a status symbol in their driveway; the same people who buy X6s, X3s and whatnot. I see this as the end of an era for BMW because by making a front drive car they are showing their priority commitment to this plastic sort of customer at the expense of the brand’s own established identity and their previous customer base. BMW has always been about driving pleasure, now they are more about being a fashion accessory; going a similar route Toyota did back in the early 00s with the “green” stuff. They will likely be financially successful, but the BMW brand will have lost its significant reputation, in favor of becoming a cliché trademark of superficial and insincere culture. Cherish the memories folks, as there were some really great times over the years.
PS: Buy late model M cars soon because they will likely all be appreciating within a few years. I could’ve had an E30 M3 for 7k when I first got my license, now I’m kicking myself.
This was my first time driving a Prius of any sort, although I have driven other hybrids. The Prius is special though because society has made into the poster child for the green car movement. The Prius C is the newest, smallest member of the Prius family, and it is selling like hotcakes right now. Like many car guys, I have always had a good deal of contempt for the Prius over the years for various reasons, but I figured it would be a good idea to at least go try one out for myself before closing the book on the car for good. What lay ahead tuned out to be an interesting experience. Read the rest of this entry »
In the world of small, economical cars it is hard to find something that is remarkable. Most cars offer basically the same package as all of their competitors, making any differentiating factors superficial at best. Hyundai has changed this game with the Veloster dramatically. Everything from its design, to its features, to the driving experience, the Veloster has charged into the market with a new and unique package, and it is selling like hotcakes. Read the rest of this entry »
My generation was the first to grow up with video games that could really simulate reality to a high degree. There are titles out there now that can simulate the likes of ruthless combat, dog fighting a fighter jet, and of course racing a car. Every generation after us will continue to grow up with these simulating games, and will wind up trying to use the experience they have gained in these games when it comes time to get behind the wheel for real. Many people out there do not believe such games hold any real merit in such skills as driving a car, but they would be hugely mistaken. Much can be learned from experience in realistic video games, but it is important to understand what translates into reality and what does not. Read the rest of this entry »
This one has a story to go with it. I was on a bus tour going around Oahu with my family and we stopped to see the top of one of the mountains where a famous battle had occurred. So on the way back to the bus we see this R8 pull in and park. The guy gets out and goes to to the other side of the car to open the passenger door. Then not one, but two gorgeous model-looking girls step out. Needless to say it was clear that this guy was doing a few things very right in his life.
As many of you are aware, Hurricane Irene is bearing down on the northeast right now. Everyone is preparing for a big hit from nature. My family has a situation where we have 5 cars and only a 3 car garage, so I took it upon myself to see what could be done. Read the rest of this entry »
Since it’s mandatory for a car site to feature Ken Block’s videos, here you go. Its a good one, by far the most theatrical yet. We have also decided to feature the other 3 Gymkhanas, and one good spoof, below so you can see where all of this has come from. In my opinion these videos were much better when he was driving a Subaru, but I’m biased as hell. Enjoy watching.
More Gymkhana vids inside: Read the rest of this entry »