Test Driven: Mini Cooper Coupe

Since my grandpa got his first Mini Cooper in 2002, I’ve always looked at them with an air of respect.  Mini has been trying to expand the brand out since 2008 when the Clubman came out, and now, the new Coupe is said to be the most hardcore chassis they put on the market.  With all that in mind, I went to a local dealer and tried one out.  This new black car was an interesting mix of things, but I stepped out of it at the end of the drive with a lot to think about. Continue reading Test Driven: Mini Cooper Coupe

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Secondhand Saint: Ferrari 456 GT/M

Ferrari 456M, by Philipe Collinet

Ferraris really are their own breed. There are other cars out there that may offer similar, or better, performance, but none can match the allure, the prestige, and the pedigree of a true prancing horse. Obviously most Ferraris are far too expensive for most people to afford, but there are a few that have dropped into the realm of possibility for those who cannot write off six figures for a car. This is the Ferrari 456, a member of the Gran Turismo lineage that stretches back to the legendary 250 GT. When it was introduced for the 1992 model year, the 456 was the first worthy Ferrari GT car since the 365 cars ended production in the 1970s. It was a breath of fresh air after the dreadful 400/412 line finally was put out of its misery after 15 years of production. Now they can be had for a reasonable price.     Continue reading Secondhand Saint: Ferrari 456 GT/M

Some thoughts on the 2012 North American International Auto Show.

Chevrolet TRU-140S Concept

Although I was not in the country for this year’s NAIAS, I followed it closely from my phone when I was in Israel for the past two weeks or so.  Overall, I have to say there’s a lot to look at this year, and the new model debuts give me hope that 2012 is going to be even more exciting than 2011 was.  The market is changing fast, and as I watch everyone attempt to catch up, there are some clear indications that some brands in particular have most of their ducks in a row.  Then again, there’s indications that some are definitely struggling to come up with new ideas.  I’m going to go through each country, by major manufacturer, and discuss what I think are the best and the worst of this year’s show. Continue reading Some thoughts on the 2012 North American International Auto Show.

Test Driven: Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic

I got bored watching the Detroit Lions get beaten to a sad, bloody pulp on Thanksgiving by the Green Bay Packers, so I decided to go take something for a drive.  Thanks to a close friend of my uncle, I obtained the keys to his personal Mercedes E350 4Matic, a car that’s quite successful around my hometown in northern New Jersey.  So, in the interest of asking why people love these cars so much, I took half an hour out of Turkey Day and had myself a drive of this black Benz. Continue reading Test Driven: Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic

Evo’s Harry Metcalfe shows us his Zonda

Evo Magazine founder, Harry Metcalfe, shows us some of the day to day parts of owning a Pagani Zonda. At (3:15) Harry demonstrates the amount of torque his 7.3L Zonda has by getting  it rolling from a stop and shifting all the way up the gears with out ever even touching the gas pedal. I have previously only seen this done on diesel trucks, truly incredible for a supercar to be able to do. This is part 2 of his Zonda review, Part one is below. Enjoy.

-Nick Walker

Continue reading Evo’s Harry Metcalfe shows us his Zonda

Test Driven: 2011 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid

I’ve gotten used to hybrids in the four years I’ve driven them.  They aren’t glamorous, they aren’t designed to make you feel like Ayrton Senna in the mountains, and they’re certainly not designed to tow a boat.  That is, of course, until General Motors decided otherwise.  Meet the Cadillac Escalade.  It’s the most expensive, most blinged-out, and most conspicuous SUV GM offers, and it now comes as a hybrid.  I wonder what Greenpeace thinks?  Well, in reality, I don’t give a damn what they think, so I decided to see what this V8-powered mild hybrid, full-size, full-frame truck was all about at the Radnor Hunt Concours last September. Continue reading Test Driven: 2011 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid

Cars 101: Video games and real driving

 

Forza’s Kinect feature allows casual players to simply steer, and the game takes care of the rest. More hardcore players should stick with a controller though.

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.    Continue reading Cars 101: Video games and real driving

Spotted! SAAB 95, Greenwich, CT

Nick and I saw this little Saab station wagon while walking around Greenwich on the first day of the 2011 Concours (June 4th).  Strangely, this is a two-door station wagon that until a few years before it was replaced was capable of seating seven people.  To be honest, I’d rather not try that today.  Still, it’s a nice example and a reminder of what Saab used to be about.

Spotted by: Nick and Al

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