Fast SUVs lovers, Meet Your New Badass God

Jeep Trackhawk Hellcat

We’ve all known this was coming for a while, but now the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is here, and it’s taking charge.

I like it a lot, but for a different reason than most. Sure, the 707hp Hellcat engine hooked to AWD is wonderful, but it’s this Jeep’s attitude that I love the most. I love that this isn’t some pretentious white collar status symbol, that’s really not what an SUV is supposed to be about. SUVs, to me at least, are work horses, meant to get down and dirty. The Jeep is much more of a badass than the Porsche Cayenne, the Mercedes GLE, or the BMW X5/X6. To me, the flavor of this Hellcat Jeep just seems right.

Truth be told, the Jeep SRT was my favorite of the big fast SUVs already, for the same reason. Now that they’ve put the Hellcat in it, that just makes it all the more lust-worthy.

Yes, with options, this will probably be a $100,000+ Jeep, but it will roast all of its competition. I mean, this is a vehicle weighing well over 5,000lbs that can go 0-60 in 3.5 sec, and 180 mph up top. In the SUV world, that’s absolutely insane, and you’ve still got plenty of room for the kids in back.

Honestly, I think this is now my favorite Hellcat model, because A) It can put that power down, and B) it is just so unexpected.

This is the new ultimate BAMF mobile for sure!

-Nick

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1955 Ferrari 750 Monza at Amelia Island

1955 Ferrari 750 Monza 1

This is how Ferrari does a 4 banger, to race competitively in the lower displacement classes. The 750 Monza was an evolution of the Ferrari 500 Mondial. It featured a larger 3.0L inline four that produced a healthy 250hp… very healthy indeed when you consider this car only weighs 1,600 lbs.

This 750 Monza showed up outside the Ritz Carlton during the Amelia Island Concours Weekend. It was quite stunning. Enjoy!

Continue reading 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza at Amelia Island

Mercedes just dropped my dream SUV, the GLC63 AMG

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Yesterday I reviewed the impressive, but massive, BMW X6 M. In that article I talked about how the performance of large SUVs will always be held back by their hefty physical size and weight. While the X6 M was mighty impressive for what it was, I still found myself wanting one of the options one size smaller. As it so happened, the same day my review went live, Mercedes-Benz decided to drop their trump card. Meet the GLC63 AMG.

How did we get to this point, where there is now a 503hp twin turbo V8 engine in a medium-size crossover. Less than a decade ago, a crossover like this was a sign that a car enthusiast had given up on fun, that family life had beaten them into submission. But you can fit a car seat, or two, in this AMG just the same as you can a basic Subaru Forester. It’s still a fully functional crossover, but now with some brutally serious high performance credentials. This is a family car I’ll be more than happy to consider whenever that time comes (If I can afford one by then, of course).

Performance wise, the thing we most need to consider when comparing the GLC63 to the likes of a BMW X6 M is weight. The 4.0L twin turbo V8 only adds around 100lbs to the weight of the Mercedes C-Class, comparing the C43 and C63. Apply that same difference onto the GLC43, at 4,150lbs, and the GLC63 should weigh around 4,250lbs. That’s 1,000lbs less than the BMW X6 M, and the GLC63 S still has over 500hp. So it’s a LOT lighter and will handle much better as a result, and it’s also not much less powerful at all. In short, this new Merc will be better than any of the bigger options, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche the like.

I already loved the Mercedes GLC43 AMG, the Porsche Macan S/GTS/Turbo, and the Jaguar F-Pace S, and they only have 350-400hp. The GLC63 AMG S is upping the bar to 500hp, and as of now it’s only real rival will be the Alfa Romeo Stelvio QV.

I love that we’re actually at a time where I can be genuinely excited about SUVs. These medium size high performance models drive like luxurious rally cars, and they’re a phenomenal package for the real world.

It would appear that BMW and Porsche need to catch up…

-Nick Walker

BMW X6 M Driven: The best and worst of BMW

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The big teal thing you see here is a BMW X6 M, and it’s everything that’s right and everything that’s wrong with BMW sitting on the same four wheels. Think of it as a BMW M5 with AWD and more ground clearance. Being an X6, and not an X5, it’s also a “Coupe SUV,” which I still find very odd.

On a totally subjective level, I’m not a fan of the BMW X6. I’d even say it’s the flagship of everything I don’t like about the modern BMW brand. They’ve been over-segmenting like crazy, trying to carve the market into thinner and thinner slices, and the X6 is largely where it began.

It all started when Mercedes made the CLS, a beautiful sedan with the sleek design and style of a coupe. BMW saw how well it was received, and decided to try and do the same thing, but with a big SUV. The problem is SUVs aren’t sleek by nature, so the sloped roofline makes the X6 look bulbous and awkward from most angles. With such a large chunky profile, I just think the full roofline of the X5 looks a lot better. People seem to like the X6 because it’s different, but different isn’t always a good thing.

So, in my eyes, BMW was shooting for style, and they missed by a mile. Why, then, would anyone buy an X6 over an X5? Apparently I just don’t “get it.”

In an effort to try and understand the X6, I figured I’d take a spin in the ultimate BMW X6 M. It’s everything the X6 can be with an extra serving of horsepower and handling. If there were any way to make me come around to the BMW X6, driving this beast would surely be it.

First, come along for the ride…

Continue reading BMW X6 M Driven: The best and worst of BMW

A pristine Mercedes 300SL Gullwing in Scarsdale

Mercedes 300SL Gullwing at Scarsdale

Many of you see an old antique Mercedes here, but I see the first supercar. The Mercedes-Benz 300SL was a car that moved the bar for performance to an entirely new level in the 1950s. It was the first road car capable of reaching 150 mph, and it was raced extensively all over the world. The coupe version of the 300SL also had the fabulous gulling doors you see here, which really set it apart from anything else on the road.

Yes, today it is a classic, maybe even a museum piece, but I hope anyone lucky enough to own one of these cars has the dignity to let it stretch its legs, at least once in a while.

-Nick

Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead spotted in Greenwich, because of course

Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Greenwich 1

You can buy many very nice things for half-a-million dollars. Most people think of that as a comfortable house, but in Greenwich, CT they think of it as just another car.

We spotted this Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead in traffic, and it was like a parade unto itself. We love seeing all those massive and majestic pre-war luxury cars at concours events, and Rolls Royce is the only company who still builds such cars today.

Amongst normal cars in traffic, this Phantom Drophead is quite a sight.

-Nick

Motor Trend takes us out in the new Camaro ZL1

The new-gen Chevrolet Camaro has been pretty damn impressive thus far. How does the most powerful ZL1 model improve it? And could the manual version be faster than the fancy new 10 speed automatic around a racetrack?

-Nick

Ferrari 166 MM at Amelia Island

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This immaculate Ferrari 166 MM is one of those restorations that almost certainly looks better today than the day it left the factory. Keep in mind, these cars were originally built for sports car racing, and the MM in the name stands for Mille Miglia – arguably the most insane road race of all time. Beauty was secondary to the this Ferrari’s original function, but now that it’s a classic, worth millions of dollars, beauty has become its primary purpose. Given that change, it makes sense that the workmanship would take a step up during the restoration. Racecars are mean to be pushed to destruction in the pursuit of victory, show cars are meant to be a timeless spectacle for the eye.

Looking at these photos, it seems this Ferrari 166 MM has made that jump, and they did a spectacular job with it.

Enjoy!

Continue reading Ferrari 166 MM at Amelia Island

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