Tag Archives: Performance Cars

Mind Over Motor Podcast 7 – Thoughts on the Camaro Facelift, Performance SUVs, and Enthusiast Hybrids

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Audi Delivers for America with the RS 5 Sportback

Audi RS5 Sportback NYIAS 1

The US market often doesn’t get the most desirable Audi models, but the success of the A7, S7, and RS 7 made it clear that the 4-door-coupe is something the Americans love.

It’s no secret that the average, boring car market’s interest is shifting toward crossovers. Only more enthusiast-minded buyers still want a car, and the standard sedan design leaves a lot to be desired in our modern era. The 4-door-coupe offers the added style of the classic GT car people dream about, but with the practicality of a sedan. It’s a way to have your cake and eat it too, and now you can have it in the flavor of the new Audi RS 5 with its 450hp twin-turbo 2.9L V6.

Don’t get me wrong here, I’m still devastated that Audi chooses to continue to deny us Americans the Avant models we crave, but the Sportback is a compromise I’ve been willing to accept.

Also, how about this green? I love it!

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Why I don’t think the Japanese “Get” the American Performance Market At All

05-2018-subaru-wrx-sti-type-ra-fd-1

Various media outlets have been reporting headlines along the lines of “Subaru Adds More Power to the STI!!!” But in reality, it’s just 5hp which changes absolutely nothing. It does, however, raise a larger issue I’ve had with Japanese automakers seeming to lack a basic understanding of the American market’s constant need for improvements.

Honestly, I say Subaru can go screw themselves until they make some real and meaningful improvements to the STI. They’re over a decade late on a real power bump for this car. My 04 STI was a Porsche 911 killer when it came out, and now an STI will lose to a V6 Camry on a highway pull. Even though the STI hasn’t changed much at all, somehow it’s nowhere near the same caliber of car it once was.

I don’t think the Japanese really understand the idea of growth in the performance market because they’ve made the exact same mistake with many other models over the years. They always seem to make a great product to start, but then they leave it the same for 10-15 years and finally kill it because it’s not selling and they wonder why…

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Highlights From the 2018 New York International Auto Show

NYIAS 2018 Koenigsegg Regera and Agera RS

The New York Auto Show was stacked with tons of amazing cars and some interesting debuts this year. Here is a highlight gallery with more to come!

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Mercedes CLK GTR Spotted at the Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island

Mercedes CLK GTR Amelia 23

This was one of those HOLY SHIT moments. I go out for a test drive, come back, and there’s a literal unicorn sitting in the courtyard in front of the Ritz. I mean I had literally seen a McLaren F1 go by out on the road just a few minutes before, and what could possibly top that? A Mercedes CLK GTR is one of the few that could, and there it was!

This is only the second CLK GTR I’ve ever seen in person, and the only one actually in a public setting that had been driven in on the road. Just 25 CLK GTR road cars exist on our Earth, making it more than twice as rare as the mighty McLaren F1. It is such an insane machine, even in the company of other incredible cars it just trumps them.

For those unfamiliar with the Mercedes CLK GTR, it is quite literally a street-legal LeMans racing car. Back in the late 1990s carmakers had to build a small production run of street-legal versions of their racecars if they wanted to compete in the GT1 class at LeMans. Mercedes had the CLK GTR, McLaren had the F1, and Porsche had the 911 GT1. There were also a number of similar, more obscure GT1 homologations from Lotus, Nissan, Toyota, Lamborghini, and others.

The CLK GTR is powered by an AMG-built V12 producing somewhere in the neighborhood of 600hp, although this particular GTR appears to have had some extra work put into it so it may be even more.

It’s one thing to have a car that turn heads, it’s a totally different thing to have a car that will literally make people’s dreams come true when you roll up. This is surely the latter.

Continue reading Mercedes CLK GTR Spotted at the Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island