Disclaimer: there is some NSFW language. This car makes you swear a lot, but in a great way!
Disclaimer: there is some NSFW language. This car makes you swear a lot, but in a great way!
There is something extra-remarkable about the Ferrari brand. It’s more of an exclusive lifestyle club than just a car company at this point. The car is merely your ticket to join, but all Ferraris are not created equal.
The Ferrari California T bears the burden of being the entry-level member of this most exclusive club. It’ll get you in the door, but that’s about it. It is the low man on the totem pole, and in this world of elitist snobbery, many enjoy looking down on that. But you know what? If we can cast aside the country club mentality for a minute, the California T was, in many ways, the best real-world package Ferrari made. And now that it’s being replaced by the Portofino, the California T is one of the best value grand touring cars you can buy.
Sometimes great things do fall right in your lap. The other day I went to work and was having a pretty normal day. As I went to leave for lunch, I noticed this striking silver Acura NSX parked in front of our building. I had no idea why it was there, but where I work, at AWE Tuning, we get cool cars stopping by all the time. I checked out the NSX with my coworkers, and spoke with the driver, who I found out worked for Acura corporate. I knew my boss was going to take the car for a spin, but as we talked, he told me I could sign a release and drive the car too. Say no more, I signed the papers. It was going to be a fun lunch break…
This was crazy, a supercar drive had fallen in my lap on a random Monday afternoon. I didn’t have my proper camera on me, and the roads near work aren’t the best for testing out handling, but hey, I figured I’d make the absolute most of it. I only had about 10 minutes in the NSX, so it was just a taste, but it gave me a solid impression of what Acura’s new supercar is all about.
Luxury isn’t about needs, luxury is about wants, or rather, desires. Practical concerns come second to delivering a highly remarkable experience. A luxury object is an art form, and it must appeal deeply to human emotion, even at the expense of being practical or being objectively inane.
The upscale part of Toyota, Lexus has always been extremely focused on delivering on practical concerns. They have the best reputation for build quality in the entire industry, and their cars have always been solid. A Lexus has always been a nice and dependable way to get around, but they never really rose above being just a well-polished transportation appliance. They never evoked any sort of deep carnal desire, or had a sense of occasion that made you want to go out and drive just for the hell of it.
Since 2008, Lexus has been taking serious steps to spice up their brand and make themselves a player in the true luxury segment. It’s a marketplace where people want something genuinely special, not just a Camry fitted with leather and wood. Lexus needed to define their own unique experience, and boy have they made moves in the years since.
This is the new Lexus LC 500, and it just might be the best GT car you can buy for $100 grand.
I’ve been itching to get my hands on a BMW i8 ever since I first saw it, and the chance finally came. As a car blogger working to grow my following, it’s still a very special occasion when someone is willing to throw me the keys to a six-figure set of wheels. As you might expect, it’s awesome to get to live the dream, even if it’s only for a little bit.
The BMW i8 is a total show-stopper. More of a UFO than a car, people go crazy when they see it out on the street. Most of them won’t even know what it is, but they will know that it’s something very, very special.
I’ve been lucky to have driven a few Jaguar F-Types in the last few years. I drove the V6S and V8S models when they first came out, and then I drove the R Coupe a year later.
I think my biggest takeaway was just how much crazier the V8 was, with all that extra power going to the rear wheels. It was fast, like scary fast, and there was always the sense that it was testing the limits of its rear tires. It really kept me on my toes, and that made it really, really exciting.
Unfortunately, exciting doesn’t bode well with the safety concerns of modern automakers. We enthusiasts were hoping Jaguar would give us the V8 F-Type with a manual gearbox. Instead, they left the V8 models automatic-only, and took away our rear wheel drive. I guess that’s the price we pay for getting our hopes up.
So, has Jaguar tamed the beast? Have they neutered the big cat?
I believe the term is “Land Yacht.” A massive, expensive way of getting from place to place for people who like to take up their slightly-more-than-fair share of space in the world. It also works great if you have a large family, although, most forms of birth control are a lot cheaper than this $90,000 behemoth.
Either way, if this is the way you want to get around in the world, then the Infiniti QX80 Limited will do a lot to float your boat. Maybe a Cadillac Escalade is too “Tony Soprano” for you. Maybe you’d like a Mercedes GLS, but, unfortunately, your local dealer just sold their last one to another real estate agent who’s drowning themselves in payments trying to “project an image of success” to their clients. Have no fear, the QX80 is here to save the day, and you just might be glad you didn’t get the others.
Everyone sharpen your pitchforks and light your torches! Porsche has gone and changed the 911 again, and this time we’re gonna burn Stuttgart to the ground! They won’t get a way with it this time!
Wait, what? What’s that you say? Porsche has turbocharged all of the 911 Carrera models, and now they’re actually improved? You say Porsche has secretly answered our purist prayers and we don’t even know it? How can that be?!!!!
Well it’s true, folks, all of it. Porsche has made all of their 911s into 911 Turbos, although they’ll surely hate me for saying it that way. The way Porsche would want me to say it is, “911 Carrera and Targa models all now have a 3.0L Twin Turbocharged Flat-Six engine, but they are not “911 Turbos” because the 911 Turbo and 911 Turbo S each have a 3.8L Twin Turbocharged Flat-Six engine.” See what I mean?
There are a few ways to look at this new 991.2 generation Porsche 911. I’m going to go through the way I see the car now, after taking it for a spin recently.
I’m not going to waste our time talking much about the aspects of the 911 that haven’t changed much. Just know that it’s still a wonderful handling car, it still has the best electric power steering in the business, it’s still of top-notch build quality, and PDK is still among the best dual-clutch trannies around.
Alright, now let’s talk about that new turbocharged engine, and what it does for the 911 as a car…
There is absolutely no substitute for seat time when judging a car. I thought Alfa Romeo had sold themselves out when they built the 4C without the option of a manual gearbox. I mean, who on earth would want a light little sports car without a clutch pedal and a gear lever? But the truth is, building a good car is a lot like cooking a good meal. Each ingredient must be executed well in its own right, but then the most important thing is how it all comes together as a whole.
The Italians are known for treating their cars exactly as they treat their food, as works of art. Alfa Romeos, in particular, have always had a sense of living soul, even if, at times, there wasn’t much else good about them. My friend, Evan, had an old Alfa Spider that only ever worked properly when he was taking a girl out on a date in it – now, isn’t that the most Italian thing you’ve ever heard?
Alfa Romeos are cars built on an ideology of passion and emotion first, and everything else second. Sure, in the past that has sometimes meant questionable dependability, but at least they never committed the atrocity of making life boring or mundane. Life is worth more than just living, it’s worth enjoying, and that is what Alfa Romeos are all about.
This white 4C Spider is actually the first Alfa Romeo I’ve ever driven. It marks the return of Alfa Romeo production cars to the USA, and will be soon followed by the new Giulia sedan. Being my first Alfa, I admit that I had underestimated the way they can make the ingredients of a car come together into one delicious masterpiece of a machine.
I quickly realized that the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider has something very special about it. I drove 8 very cool cars in the same weekend, including a Ferrari and some Porsches, but this Alfa 4C was the one I just couldn’t stop thinking about. Here’s why…
I despised this BMW M5 when it came out, but then I drove it and it totally won me over. You see, I had always seen the E39 M5 as the quintessential BMW M5, and in many ways I still do. But I had been defining the M5 as a driver’s car, which is only a part of what it is actually meant to be. The BMW M5 has really always been about being a four-door useable supercar. As supercars have changed over the last decade or so, the BMW M5 has changed along with them.
The F10 generation M5 you see here is the most modern idea of what a four-door supercar should be, and I must admit that it blew my mind with it’s bag-o-tricks.
It Does More of Everything Now
The original E28 BMW M5 from the 1980s was a practical 5-Series sedan with the engine from the BMW M1 Supercar stuffed under the hood. Sedan practicality with supercar levels of punch, and handling to match. Back then, refinement only really went so far, and there was a trade off between comfort and performance.
Over time, that has become less, and less the case. And now the craziest thing about the M5 is that it is basically a full-fledged luxury cruiser in addition to being a practical supercar.
Looking back to the early 2000s, the E39 M5’s era, the current 5-Series is the same size as the 7-Series was back then. If this M5 were out 10-15 years ago, it would’ve been an M7.
It’s not just the size, though. The M5 can have almost all of the same luxury features available on today’s BMW 7-Series. If it weren’t for the M-Badge and all the extra performance, the M5 would do just fine as an everyday luxury sedan.
The Porsche 911 has traditionally been the king of luxury sports cars, but the current generation has become way too expensive and is fairly forgettable. 911 Carrera S models start at $100,000 and can top $150,000 with all the options you want. For that kind of money, don’t you want something with a little more impact?
The 911 is probably as weak as it has ever been right now, and happily, there are many great options that can be had for under $120,000, let alone under $150,000.
The Jaguar F-Type is a relative newcomer, and it has a hell of a lot to offer for very reasonable money.
This is the Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, a rear wheel drive one, which sadly will only exist for the 2015 model year. Come 2016, and all V8 F-Types will all be all wheel drive. The plus, longer tire life and more grip… the minus, longer tire life and more grip.
In either RWD or AWD form, though, the V8 Jag F-Type is a hugely desirable car. To the extent that I might argue it’s the best luxury sports car (or “Sports Grand Tourer”) to buy right now, overall.
Tesla has taken the industry by storm, shattering all expectations and continuing to surprise everyone. I remember about a year ago when Tesla shares were around $120 and many analysts were saying that was far too high. Well guess what, today shares are selling for $218.
Elon Musk’s can-do spirit permeates through the Tesla brand. That charisma associated with the brand seems to appeal to many customers as much the car itself does. Lately, I’ve grown accustomed to seeing Teslas everywhere in my area. For a high-end luxury car, they are selling like hotcakes.
The Model S P85D is surely the most multi-functional vehicle that I’ve ever experienced, and that is what surprised and impressed me the most about it. In fact, I’d say it’s like having four distinct cars in one…