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Showing posts from March, 2013

The new 2014 Jeep Cherokee - A Closer Look

I thought I had seen a design team screw up when I saw the Aston Martin Rapide S (full post: Aston Martin Rapide S - What were they thinking?) but this is something else.. besides the grille, this looks nothing like a Jeep should look.




The profile looks far better. I can easily see resemblance to the Grand Cherokee, which is a very good thing since it looks great, but those headlights just ruin the front for me. Apparently it was designed to look contemporary in 2019, when it becomes due for a redesign. Why? Shouldn't it look contemporary now? It WILL be redesigned in 2019. People's tastes evolve along with car design. If we've learned anything from the history of car design, if a design is too far ahead of people's tastes, it is usually not very well received.




The interior looks good and a definite upgrade over the current Compass and Patriot. It will still be offered in front-wheel drive and all wheel drive configurations and with two engine choices - a 2.4 litre Ti…

Aston Martin Rapide S - What were they thinking? - A Closer Look

That gaping grille.. I can hardly notice any other detail about the car in any picture showing the front, which is just wrong for an Aston Martin. Besides the fact that it's ugly, Aston Martin's designs always flow without being "fluid" and busy. At first glance, you see the car as a whole - a beautiful piece of design. This just isn't the case here. The rest of the car flows very nicely, as it should for an Aston. I wish I could talk to an Aston Martin design engineer. What were they thinking? Performance isn't very strong either, for what it is.



Many people are upset about the numbers. 4.7 s 0-60 mph and 13.1 s @ 111 mph isn't slow (full post: Aston Martin Rapide S Test) but it is far from impressive these days, especially for a $200,000+ exotic super sedan.. with a 5.9 litre V12 engine.. but it doesn't really bother me. This is not the point of an Aston Martin, especially a sedan. Let's face it, owners of this car are not going to track it or …

Details about the U.S.- spec 2015 VW Golf GTI (Mk VII)

The first detail about the 2015 Golf GTI (Mk VII/Mk 7) that caught my attention was the available torque sensing limited slip differential. The differential will be offered as part of a performance package that adds horsepower and bigger brakes along with the upgraded differential. The brake-based limited slip differential has been an area of criticism with the current GTI so this should be a great upgrade. However, torque has increased significantly to 258 lb-ft (although power gets only a small bump to 210 hp).



Although the Golf GTI has been low on power compared to turbocharged FWD hot hatches and compact sedans, it always has been well balanced and composed. Will the extra torque spoil the balance of the GTI? The Mazda Mazdaspeed3 uses a torque sensing limited slip differential but the front end is still nervous and torque steer is just about the worst in the class. I doubt the GTI will be that bad but will it be worse than the outgoing model? Will this move force Ford to offer a…

Ticket for Driving 2 MPH Under The Limit

There are some people on the road who don't take too well to being passed, even if they're driving under the limit. Sometimes when I pass a driver and get back in the right lane, he or she floors the accelerator, changes lanes and drives in the left/passing lane next to a slow vehicle at the same speed that vehicle to block me for a while. Needless to say, it is VERY frustrating and it seems like people like that may have something to worry about in the future.

According to Jalopnik, a lady in Maryland was pulled over and ticketed for driving 2 mph under the limit (full post: You'll Love The Police For Giving A Woman A Ticket For 2 MPH Under The Limit). I don't know if she was blocking someone in particular, as I have seen happen several times on the highway, or she simply didn't think it was a big deal to drive under the limit in a passing lane. There is usually a law that states you can only drive in the left lane while passing. I don't know if that's the…

2013 Ford Focus ST Lap Times - A Closer Look

A few weeks ago, Car and Driver posted their annual new and updated performance cars test - Lightning Lap 2013 (Car and Driver's Lightning Lap 2013 - A Closer Look). While the Focus ST has yet to disappoint a reviewer in terms of driving balance and handling, especially for a front-wheel drive, performance numbers and lap times were a little lower than expected.

The Lightning Lap is held at Virginia International Raceway (VIR), where the Focus ST posted a lap time of 3:21.4. In case you are not familiar with the track and the lap times, this time puts it behind competitors like the Golf GTI MkVI, the Subaru BRZ, the Mini Cooper John Cooper Works, the Subaru Impreza WRX and the Mazda Mazdaspeed 3. One thing to note, though, is that it wasn't all smooth sailing for the Focus ST during Lightning Lap 2013.

The Lightning Lap test is simple in that cars are ranked based only on their lap times over 3 days of tests. They usually record the fastest lap times on the second day, which …

Can't afford a Stingray? Get a Corvette Coupe!

Chevrolet has released plenty of information about the C7 Corvette - the Stingray. There are many improvements such as a more aerodynamics body, a stiffer and lighter aluminum chassis and standard carbon fibre roof and hood to lower weight further and bring the centre of gravity lower. All of this sounds great for performance but not so much for the price. To make sure the Corvette stays affordable, Chevrolet is planning a base Corvette coupe that won't share the Stingray moniker.

The Corvette coupe is expected to have a smaller version of the new all-aluminum direct injection small block V8. The displacement is expected to be around 5.3 litres and should have around or just under 400 hp. Chevrolet considered a twin-turbo V6 but didn't use it because it delivered on power goals but not fuel economy. I expect carbon fibre bits to be replaced with lower-cost aluminum or fibreglass ones and the 7-speed manual to be replaced with a 6-speed unit. Chevrolet said during the release …

Mods That Make People Think You're A Dirtbag

Ever wonder what mods make you look like a dirtbag to people? Jalopnik put together a top-10 list of worst mods according to its readers (full post: Ten Car Mods That Make People Think You're An A--hole). I agree with the majority of them and I am actually (pleasantly) surprised that stance is number 1 on the list. However, I wouldn't put stance as number one. My number one is very low on the offence list - sitting comfortable at number 9.




HID Kits In Stock Housings: As Jalopnik wrote, wanting better and brighter headlights is just fine. Getting a cheap set isn't a problem for me either - it's your car and it's up to you to take care of it - and putting them in stock housings isn't necessarily the problem. The problem is HIDs in reflector/non-projector housings. Nothing says you're dirtbag more than blinding oncoming traffic, increasing the risk of a crash, because you're too cheap to properly modify your car.

HIDs in reflector housings are not only bad …