For $25K you have many great options for a high-performance daily driver. If you want a brand new car you can get a Honda Civic Si or a Volkswagen GTI, both great “hot hatches” with amazing handling and turbocharged power. Looking a couple years used, you can find a current-gen Subaru WRX, or variants of the Ford Mustang or Chevy Camaro. But what if you want something even more serious with more emphasis on luxury and even higher performance? For $25K, the cars will be a few years older, 8-10 years old in this case, but you are getting $60K worth of car for less than half the price.
I’m starting to look around in this general price range for my next step, and I have various options depending on what I decide to do with my current stable of cars. I decided to go have a drive in some of the cars I’ve been looking at to see what they’re really like from behind the wheel.
I went to a local dealer to check out two Audi B8 S4s, and low and behold, they had a Lexus IS F on the lot as well – it hadn’t been listed online yet. IS Fs are pretty rare, and this one was in my range, so I added it to my list to drive.
The S4 and IS F are a somewhat strange comparison, the Audi is AWD with a supercharged V6, and the Lexus is RWD with a 5.0L V8. When it comes to driving in bad weather, they don’t really do the same things. That said, both are midsize sedans that offer high performance with a lot of polish. Overall, they serve the same basic function for the same basic price, so, despite their vast differences in many areas, that means they compete.
Continue reading $25K Used Car Shootout: Audi B8 S4 vs Lexus IS F
The Geneva Motor Show happened this week, and every year it’s like Christmas has come for the car industry.
Here are the highlights for me, and my thoughts on each…
Ferrari 812 Superfast
The front-engine V12 Ferraris are by far my favorite Ferraris. They have always been the ultimate expression of what a grand touring car can be, and their lineage goes all the way back to the beginning of Ferrari road cars in the early 1950s.
The 812 Superfast takes the insanity of the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta, and takes it up yet another notch. With damn near 800hp on tap from its still-naturally-aspirated-V12 engine, the 812 Superfast is now the ultimate GT car (really more of a supercar) that money can buy. I also think it looks absolutely manic, yet somehow still in an elegant sort of way.
Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid
Do you think anyone ever imagined this when the Toyota Prius first came out? Hybrids were once pathetic little econo-boxes, but here is a 680hp Porsche Panamera with a hybrid system developed from the 918 hypercar. This is exactly how hybrid technology should be used. I want a 680hp bullet that can still get decent MPG when I’m not thrashing it. If nothing else, isn’t technology all about having your cake and eating it too?
Continue reading My take on the 2017 Geneva Motor Show
Our second gallery of highlights from First Class Fitment 2016. Enjoy!
Continue reading Highlights From First Class Fitment 2016, Gallery 2
The Ferrari 488 GTB is one of the supercars to beat at the moment, taking everything awesome about the 458 and turbocharging it (quite literally). The question is, is it worth the price premium you pay over more “entry-level” supercars? (I really don’t feel right about saying it that way)
I mean, let’s face it, a Ferrari 488 GTB is going to run you over $300,000 when options and dealer premiums are added. Meanwhile you can have the McLaren 570S and Audi R8 V10 Plus, and keep around $100 grand in your pocket. Maybe buy something cheap, like an Audi A8, as a daily driver.
Is the 488 really worth it in context?
In this unlikely, but actually relevant, comparison, we see German logic go up against raw Italian emotion. I’ve driven the Alfa 4C, and it still has my heart. That’s all I’ll say…
First Class Fitment is a stance/modified car show held at the Airport in Princeton, NJ every fall. People come from all over the region, bringing nicely done rides of all sorts. The event is mostly stanced cars, as you might expect, but there are a few other gems sprinkled in for good measure.
This year was quite good. Lots of really well built cars with interesting details. That’s one thing I love about modified car shows, each car has so much personality. They’d all stand out parked on the street alone, but the ones that catch my eye at the show are always extra cool.
I took quite a lot of photos at the event, so there is much more to come. Enjoy the first gallery!
Continue reading Highlights From First Class Fitment 2015: Part 1
Volkswagen TDIs are incredible vehicles, despite much of the public sentiment right now, propagated by the whole Dieselgate debacle.
Disagree? Then try achieving over 50 MPG while cruising at 90mph in any other car… a Pruis will barely even go that fast, let alone be efficient there.
Many Volkswagen TDI owners are very worried about the Dieselgate recall ruining their car’s performance, fuel mileage, and resale value — more so than the possibility of their car killing a few extra birds.
This article is for the informed diesel buyers, and probably not the those who bought their cars based on some vast “green” marketing fantasy. Everyone who knows diesel, knows it’s not the cleanest option, but they also know that its durabiltiy and efficiency makes up for that.
So if you’re starting to feel angry about the bird comment, then I suggest you stop reading here because the rest of this article will only piss you off even more.
For the rest of you, I want to discuss the best course of action for TDI owners who want to keep their diesels running solid after the recall is implemented. And yes, that means running a bit dirty to retain the outstanding performance and fuel economy, which are likely the main reasons you purchased a TDI. I will also discuss my take on what will most likely happen with the value of TDIs in the coming years (utilizing my degree in economics!).
Continue reading Don’t Let The Dieselgate Recall Ruin Your VW TDI Experience
Audi brought two of their diesel LMP racing cars to the Radnor Hunt Concours this year. With all the emphasis on making supercars into “racing cars for the road”, why haven’t we seen a diesel supercar yet? I mean over the last decade Audi has dominated the 24hrs of Le Mans with these TDI prototype cars.
We’d sure love a diesel Audi R8?
Race cars don’t come much more awesome than this. Motor Trend’s Randy Pobst gets behind the wheel of the 2014 Le Mans winner, the Audi R18 E-Tron.
Volkswagen’s 2.0T has been the backbone of their lineup, at least here in the US, for nearly a decade now. It has nestled itself into a versitile position, powering the higher-end VW models as well as the lower level Audi models.
Volkswagens equipped with the 2.0T include: the GTI, Golf R, Jetta GLI, Passat, Beetle Turbo, CC, Eos, and Tiguan.
Audis equipped with the 2.0T include: the A3, S3, A4, A5, A6, Q3, Q5, and TT.
The 2.0T has wide-ranging capabilities, and, what luck, it just so happens to be quite tuneable. While there are a few varying versions of the 2.0T out there, depending on the model, the general modification path is pretty standard fare.
Continue reading Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R 2.0T Modification and Tuning Guide
We spotted this sinister Audi R8 with some seriously bitchin’ wheels in the Fuel Run lineup when they came through Carmel. Such a great look!
In today’s market, $40,000 marks a sort of barrier between “normal” cars and “luxury” cars. You can basically find any sort of car for under $40 grand, so it can be argued that nobody needs to spend more than that unless they’re interested in fluff. It is a realistic budget for many middle class Americans, and that is why we have chosen to kick off our new “Our Picks” segment with it.
We will give our picks for two $40,000 budget scenarios, one as an only car, and the other as a second car. We will also give our second choices for each. Keep in mind, this is how we would spend our own money, with our rather discerning tastes in cars, and not necessarily our recommendations for more average buyers.
Continue reading Our Picks, the $40,000 question