The Honda Civic has gotten a bit of a bad rap over the years, being the stereotype platform for “ricers”. In fact I actually just saw The Fast and The Furious, the film that single handedly started the ricer craze, shortly before writing this article. In popular culture Honda Civics are always modified in ridiculous ways, looking like something you’d find in a kid’s cereal box. However, those who really know about Honda’s history know that Honda has made some really fantastic cars over the years. There were of course the NSX and S2000, which were both rear wheel drive. But there have also been cars like the Integra Type R, which is one of the best handling cars of all time despite it being front wheel drive. The fact is that Honda really does have the proven knowhow to make a fantastic car. They have had a lot of racing experience over the years, and history has proven that when they make something good, it is usually really good. So with this in mind, I decided to try out the current Honda Civic Si to see how it fits in with Honda’s past lineage of affordable performance cars.
I found this Citroen SM in the parking lot of a hotel yesterday. The SM is a very interesting car. After Citroen purchased Maserati in 1968, they began development on a flagship grand touring car. The SM debuted at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show, and they produced it through 1975. The SM is remains one of the only true gran touring cars to have front wheel drive, with the same Maserati V6 found in the original Quattroporte and Merak under its hood, producing between 170-180hp. Thanks to its sleek aerodynamics, the Citroen SM could reach 140mph, and onwers said it had no problem cruising at a steady 120mph on the autobahn. Today the SM exudes a level of class and style rivaled by few other cars on the road, and that is why I took the time to shoot these pics. Enjoy.
The Lotus Seven has proved a popular sports car platform over the better half of the last century. Lotus designed and produced the Seven from 1957 to 1972, but since then companies like Caterham have been producing their own take on the classic sports car. Caterham has kept the basic formula of their Seven the same as the original Lotus, lightweight and simple, but offers a wider variety of engines, with power figures ranging from 140-300hp (not sure what is in the car here). Sevens offer a very pure driving experience with fantastic performance, and that is why Colin Chapman’s original design has endured over the years. Enjoy the photos.
Those of you familiar with this site probably know that my family recently purchased Volkswagen’s new Jetta Hybrid. So far we have loved everything about the car, and it has proven capable of delivering on VW’s MPG claims. I have even seen as high as 53mpg average on some trips, and that means VW has managed to out-do the Toyota Prius. I say that because the Jetta is also an extremely competent performing car in all other respects aside from gas mileage. They’ve used a turbocharged engine in it, so it has enough squirt to get out of its own way. The Jetta Hybrid also happens to handle extremely well because it has the same suspension architecture as the Jetta GLI. Where most hybrids tend to be extremely compromised in all aspects besides fuel economy, the Jetta Hybrid manages to be extremely well rounded while also seeing the same sort of MPG as the hybrid pimp-daddy, the Prius. So now I have to wonder, what could VW do if they really decided to focus a car on fuel economy to the same degree Toyota has done?
It just so happens that VW already has all of the tools it would need to create the ultimate economy car. The answer is a painfully obvious one, yet it the bean counters have been avoiding it because it may upset their current marketing scheme. I am talking about VW making a diesel hybrid.
This beautiful Lotus Europa S2 caught my eye at the recent British Motorcar show in Lewes, DE. There were other Europas around it, but this S2′s tri-tone color scheme really set it apart from the crowd. I just love looking at Lotuses because they’re purpose of lightness and handling is clearly evident in their design. Just look at that rear camber…. o yea. Enjoy the pics.
Here are our favorite photos from the past week. These are not our photos, so please click on them for a link to our source. Enjoy.
Porsche enthusiasts are some of the most dreadfully conservative people you’ll find when it comes to their favorite cars. Any change to the 911, large or small, gets heavily scrutinized to the n’th degree. All too often, they let their nit picking blind them, and they often wind up missing all of the new 911’s great aspects. The evolution of new models is a necessary fact of life, and it usually makes the car better overall, otherwise Porsche wouldn’t do it. The new 911, the 991, has followed this same trend, being criticized every which way against older Porsche models. I chose a more positive approach. Not, “how is the 991 worse than its predecessors?”, but “how does the 991 faire as a modern 911?”
Drive’s Chris Harris tests the Porsche 918 on the track in its final stages of development. He also brings up some good points about technology, and what it means for a hypercar.
Saw this very intense Nissan GTR at the Cruise Night in Hopewell, NJ last Friday. It certainly turned heads when it rolled up, and to my knowledge it belongs to Interstate Motorsports, a new exotic car dealer in the area. I’m not sure exactly what has been done to this GTR modification wise, but it definitely doesn’t seem stock. One thing I must point out though, is the Ferrari badge on the back… it nearly ruined the car for me because it is entirely tasteless. The sweet color and wheels saved this GTR, but there is really no excuse for being fake, especially at this level. That said, it was comical hearing people walk by and say “nice Ferrari” while I was taking these photos. Enjoy.
Here are our favorite photos from the past week. I went heavy on the Lamborghinis this week because it is their 50th anniversary. These are not our photos, so please click on them for a link to our source. Enjoy.
Buick’s doing much better now than it was at the same time half a decade ago. They brought us the Regal, which is a rebadged Opel Insignia, and the Verano, a rebadged and re-engineered Chevrolet Cruze. Normally, this would make me want to tear my own hear out of my scalp, as GM’s track record with rebadged cars is just plain awful. The last time a European sedan was adapted for the USA market was in 1997 when Cadillac dumped the Catera on our shores, a reheated Opel Omega–with predictably lukewarm results. Buick’s last American compact, the Skylark, was an embarrassment to its name and was insulting to someone who wanted a premium small car. Luckily, I got the chance to sample Buick’s two best turbocharged options last month in the form of the Regal GS and Verano Turbo. Originally, I was going to keep the two separate, but after a long thought and two eye-opening drives, I’ve changed my mind, because these two cars should be looked at together. One of them is clearly better than the other–and one of the two doesn’t quite live up to its badge’s reputation.
At the airport terminal, having just arrived in Jacksonville Florida for our weekend at Amelia Island, we came to the the point in our travels where it was time to rent a car. The attendant asked us, in an ever so friendly manner, “Now, what are you boys in town for this weekend?” We told her about the car shows on Amelia Island, and a smirk came to her face. She had us right where she wanted us and she damn well knew it. “Well, have I got something extra special for you then. Are you Ford or Chevy fans?” We opted for Chevy. “Well guess what. I just happen to have a pretty little yellow Camaro SS on the lot for you”. We exchange glances, and then she said, “It’s normally pretty expensive, but I can give it to you for an extra $20 a day.” Considering we had booked an economy car, liable to be a Chevy Spark or some other gutless mode of transportation, it was a very solid offer. We accepted, and went out to the parking lot to see if the car was actually an SS. To our surprise it was, bright and yellow as described, with a big V8 under the hood. So with that we loaded up our bags, and set off in our 400hp rental car.