Driving a Ferrari 612 on such a tight track was an eye-opening experience for me. This is a big V12 GT car meant for the open road, how on Earth did Ferrari make it handle so light and nimbly on a small track with some areas only a little bigger than an autocross? And how did the car give me so much confidence after just getting to know it that I was comfortable taking the chicane that splits up the main straight flat, reaching 200kph (124mph) on the back straight before diving into the hairpin?
Looking at this track, you wouldn’t think that sort of speed would be possible from a big car like this. The 612 should have been totally out of its element here, but it was so willing the change direction, and so nicely balanced, that it actually felt right at home. I was enthralled by Ferrari when I first drove the 430 Scuderia on track, but this 612 sold me for good on their ability to make any car drive as it should. Just as the Scuderia did, the 612 seemed to connect right to my brain stem, and driving it felt more telepathic than artificial. The fact that they could do that with a big 2 ton GT car is unbelievable. Most big GTs I’ve driven don’t really get past being merely competent in tight corners, but this 612 was genuinely playful. I remain blown away by it. And that V12!! 🎶🎶🎶
The BMW i8 is today a lot like the DeLorean was in the early 80s.
While not nearly the political phenomenon the DeLorean was, in the market it occupies the exact same slot: a spaceship-looking car with epic doors that doesn’t perform nearly as good as it looks. In fact, the ratio of the i8’s power compared to the Ferrari 488’s is nearly identical to that of the DeLorean compared to a Ferrari 308.
Don’t get me wrong, I actually really love the i8 for what it is, and I enjoyed cruising around in the sapphire blue one you see above. But the i8’s party piece is its appearance rather than its performance. It’s only about as fast as a stage 2 Subaru, but it will turn as many heads in town as a Koenigsegg, especially in an insane color like this. We actually had a guy push his stroller into a curb because he was so fixated on our i8 just sitting at a red light.
The i8 is really is a concept car you can buy, but it’s more for casual drivers than enthusiasts in terms of the driving experience it offers. Also just like the DeLorean ⛄️
This was my first drive in a Ferrari, a 430 Scuderia. Right after my drive in the Lambo, I hopped into this Scud, the stripped-out track-focused version of the F430.
I was used to driving sports cars, my STI and my dad’s 911, and I had just driven the Gallardo, but I cannot emphasize enough how much sharper this Ferrari felt than the lot of them. It didn’t feel like a machine I was operating, but more like it connected right to my brain stem and became a part of me out on the track. I’d had my warm up in the Lambo, and with the deeper connection in the Ferrari, I really started to get in my groove.
I listened to the instructor and I wound up being able to enter corners at speeds I hadn’t thought possible. By the end, I was reaching around 125 on the main straight and entering the next corner at 90, where before I had only thought 60 or 70 was possible. It was an unbelievable rush, and the car gave me the confidence to really focus on learning.
Most Ferraris offer an amazing experience, but on track, a 430 Scuderia is more amazing than most of them. It was one hell of a hands-on introduction to the prancing horse.
Continue reading A New Definition of “Sharp”: Driving My First Ferrari
This was the moment the dream was first realized. I was finally driving my first bonafide supercar! It was this bright orange Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4, and I drove it on track at Exotics Racing in Las Vegas. This was also my first time on a proper race track too, so I had everything to learn.
I remember pulling out on the track. I just floored it in 1st and it broke all 4 tires loose, then chirped them again into 2nd. The ferocity of the acceleration and the roar of that V10 were unlike anything I could have imagined. Before that, I had only driven a few cars around 400hp, so this was by far the fastest car I’d experienced.
Being such a novice I did my best in the corners, TC saved me big time once, but I made full use of the short straight on all of my laps, clocking around 115 or so by the time I had to brake.
In hindsight, I was so sloppy, but I had a blast realizing my childhood dream of driving a supercar for the first time. A screaming Lamborghini is a great first experience to have.
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.
Continue reading Ferrari California T Review: Is It Sweeter Secondhand?
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.
Continue reading Acura NSX Review: Can an Acura be a “full” supercar?
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.
Continue reading Lexus LC 500 Review: Lexus Has Finally Found Their Form
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.
Continue reading My Drive in a BMW i8: A Concept Car for the Street
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?
Continue reading Jaguar F-Type R AWD: A Cat Tamed By Four Paws?
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.
Continue reading Infiniti QX80 Limited Review: The Plush Utility Vehicle
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…
Continue reading Porsche 991.2 Carrera S Review: Do Turbos Make a Better 911?