1. Alfa Romeo Guilia
I saw this car at the Frankfurt Autoshow last year and fell in love with it. Now it is for the US market to compete head to head with BMW’s M series and Mercedes’ AMG series vehicles. If you want a unique high performance sedan, this is your car!
2. Acura NSX
Acura (Honda, everywhere else in the world) has been teasing us with a new NSX for the past five years. Now it is finally here and a production ready prototype is on display at the Miami Auto Show. Get ready to see them on the streets of South Florida, because I know of at least one local dealer who delivered the car to a customer.
3. Genesis G90
4. Audi R8
5. Lexus LC500 Hybrid
When I read the headlines that the Cadillac ATS-V has a 464HP motor under the hood, my mind immediately raced… Does the ATS-V have the same 464HP pushrod V8 from the Cheverolet Corvette? The answer is no, it is even better! The Corvette’s pushrod V8 is archaic when compared to dual overhead cam engines found in the Porsche 911 and the Jaguar F-Type, but the Corvette is faster car around the track. As the saying goes, why fix it if it isn’t broken! Unfortunately (but fortunately), the engineers at GM couldn’t fit the Corvette’s massive 6.2L V8 engine into the Cadillac ATS-V. So they beefed up a modern 3.6L V6 with overhead cams and added dual-turbochargers to bring up the power to an evenly matched 464HP. That is over 40% more horsepower per liter than the Corvette!
Despite the Cadillac ATS-V’s horsepower per liter advantage, the 3.6L engine produces 20 pounds of torque less than the Corvette’s 6.2L motor. This paired with being a heavier car than the Corvette means that the zero-to-sixty times are slowed down to 3.8 seconds (compared to the Corvette’s 3.7 seconds). Maybe slow isn’t the right word because they are both faster in a straight line than the $110,000 Porsche 911 4S, and arguably quicker around a racetrack too. The Cadillac ATS-V starts at $60,696 and the Corvette starts at $55,450.
Both the Cadillac ATS-V and the Corvette come standard with sticky Michellin Pilot Super Sport tires design for performance driving both on and off the track, they both also feature best in class Brembo Brakes (arguably the best high performance brake manufacture for road cars), and they both have a sports tuned suspension with magnetic ride (optional on the Corvette). Options on both vehicles include extended use of carbon fiber and authentic Racaro seats in front. Racaro seats are synonymous with racing because of the way they hug your body while cornering and the back support provided for endurance racing.
So with the performance line drawn so closely, is the Cadillac ATS-V a four passenger Corvette? The awnser is no, because nothing can replace the allure of America’s most iconic sports. But it does offer a new luxurious option for those who want Corvette, but need a four passenger vehicle. It is perfect car for those who want a 189 mph track capable sports car that can take the kids to school.
Click here for more information about the Cadillac ATS-V or visit your local Cadillac dealer.
In racing you want a car that is fast in a straightline and quick around the corners, which means that you need a powerful engine paired with a light weight and well balanced chassis. It was with this inspiration that Alfa engineered the 4C a couple years ago. The mid engine design means that the car is perfectly balaned, and it’s use of a carbon fiber tub increases occupant safety and greatly reduces weight. The US version weighed in at around 2,400 pounds (the Europen version weighed even less) and launched the car from zero to sixty in only 4 seconds. It is and was a true racing driver’s car with limited comfort amenities, but full on performance. The vehcile comes equipped with a turbocharged 4-cylinder and a six speed dual-clutch gearbox, which means that the Alfa Romeo 4C shifts quicker than you can say Alfa. The transmission rivals that of its much bigger cousin, the Ferrari 488 GTB/S.
You can read more about the Alfa Romeo 4C coupe here. Continue reading for details on the 4C Spyder.
The next variant of the Alfa Romeo 4C is here, and it comes as a Spyder. The targa top version of the 4C protects you from the elements using a folding cloth top, and lets the sunshine in with the release of two screws and four levelers. It is a manual collapsible top, so removing it and attaching it can be tricky, but it is easy once you get the hang of it. I even removed it once while stopped at a long stoplight! The ease of removing the top reminds me of the glory days of T-Tops. You can either fold the top up and place it in the seat next to you or their is a spot for it in the trunk. Putting the top on though requires you to get out the car for a few minutes in order to ensure a proper fit – I got caught in a rain storm one afternoon during my week with the car, so I pulled off the road and rushed to put the top on in order to protect the beautiful leather interior. While rushing to put the top on, I forgot to slip part of the cloth into the windshield seem; it protected me and the interior from the rain while stopped, but as soon as I started moving, I was blasted with water. I had to pull over again to remove and re-attach the top for a tight fit.
Driving with the top off and the windows down, it is a what you would expect from a Spyder: The wind blowing through your hair and an enhanced sound of an exotic engine exhaust roaring the in the background. The wind is almost non-existent with the windows up, because the rear window acts as a windscreen. This combination works well on the highway if you are trying to talk on the phone or have a conversation with the passenger next to you.
Driving with the top on is a very similar experience to the coupe version of the Alfa Romeo 4C. I haven’t compared the two side-by-side, but the only drawback that I can think of is a reduced noise insulation… But I don’t mind because I love its Italian exhaust note!
Choosing between the 4C Coupe and 4C Spyder is a difficult decision. The 4C Coupe looks sexier with a rear window peeping into the mid-engine bay, but the Spyder offers an enhance driving experience.
So the choice is yours!
Visit your local Alfa Romeo dealer for more information on the 4C or click here to visit Alfa Romeo’s website.
As an automotive journalist and car enthusiast, I love fast cars, but I love fast cars that pretend to be slow cars even more! There is something special about driving a car that only other automotive enthusiasts will appreciate. Meet the VW Golf R, not to be confused with its slow little brother, the VW Golf GTI. The R takes hot hatchback performance to another level with more starting power, more stopping power, and tighter handling.
Under the hood is a 2.0L turbo charged 4-cylinder motor that produces 292 horse power. The engine is paired with a dual-clutch and an all-wheel-drive system, which rockets this unsuspecting hatchback from zero to sixty in 4.5 seconds. Which this may not be super car times, remember that the starting price of a VW Golf R is only around $36,000.
Visit your local VW dealer or visit click here to visit VW’s website.
Rarely in life will you find a true blend of polar opposites. I say this because the Jaguar XJL is both a high end luxury vehicle designed to offer an elegant ride to the theater by your chauffeur, and a high performance vehicle that is designed to hug a twisted road. I didn’t always think this way…
My initial impression of the long-wheelbase sedan was skewed by previouslt driving the Mecedes S-Class sedan. I was expecting the Jaguar XJL to be a gigantic luxury car with private plane amenities and a smooth ride, but lacking the thrill of a performance vehicle. I was naive in thinking this way, because as soon as I got behind the wheel and drove the car a block, I remembered Jaguar’s racing DNA. The Jaguar XJL is big and luxurious, but it wants run! As soon as you apply an ounce of throttle, the supercharge 5.0L V8 pushed the car from 0 to 60 in less than 5 seconds. Then as you hit a curved onramp, you feel the car gripping the road with little body roll. Don’t misread my thoughts, this is still a big and heavy car at 4,131 pounds, but that is nearly 700 pounds less than the S-Class thanks to Jaguar’s extent isle use of aluminum.
The interior is what you would expect from a $100,000 car built in the UK: Classic British styling paired with ultra-premium materials. Every detail, from the diamond stitched leather seats to massive wood trim was eloquently crafted. Annoying grid lock commutes are a thing of the past now, because the front passengers have heated and ventalated massaging seats. Rear seat passengers will have to slum it without the massaging seats, but they do have extended legroom thanks to the extra long wheel base on the XJL.
I defintily wouldn’t complain about being chauffeured around in the backseat, but I would rather be driving this full-sized luxury sedan with stunning looks and exhilarating performance!
For more information about the Jaguar XJL, contact your local Jaguar dealer or click here to go the website.
The thought of a high performance keep to me is odd, because when I think of Jeep I think of a super reliable off road vehicles. It doesn’t matter if it is the Wrangler Sport or the Grand Cherokee, their entire lineup is built on the foundation of off-roading.
So when a Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT showed up to my doorstep, my first reaction was: “this will be interesting!” And it was!
I was super impressed wit this vehicle because it felt and drove like a sports car. It’s characteristics were able to be changed on fly using the drive mode selector. Under the hood is a 475HP V8 Hemi paired with a 8 speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel-drive. Thank to this all-wheel-drive system, the near perfect traction control system and sticky Pirelli tires, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT can take off like a rocket without spinning your wheels. Even on a wet road in track mode, the car gripped. I went to a parking lot and tried to do burn outs and the car gripped. I couldn’t break her loose!
In addition to raw power, the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT also massive Brembo brakes and a sports tune suspension. So out of the box you have an SUV design for the track. I would never turn it into a track car, but it is fun knowing that you could if you were daring enough.
The big attaction to Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is obviously the performance, but I wouldn’t do it justice if I didn’t talk about the interior which comes nicely appointed. The vehicle I test drove featured supple caramel colored leather seats. The infotainment center was pretty standard with navigation, satilite radio and apps for vehicle fuel economy. Unique to the SRT is performance app, which offers performance stats and info on all of the vehicles systems.
I am not quite sure who this vehicle is targeted towards, but the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is a must see for anyone who wants a sports car, but needs four seats.
For more information about the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, visit your local Jeep dealer or CLICK HERE to visit Jeep’s website.
Lincoln’s tradition of building beautiful luxury vehicles dates back to 1917, but they became the pinnacle of class in the 1950’s and 60’s when the US Presidents, actors (such as Marilyn Monroe), and music artists (such as Frank Sinatra) were seen driving them.
The modern era of Lincoln is classy, sophisticated and high tech. To take it over the top, Lincoln has introduced the Black Lable program for its most discriminating buyers. I equate it to like having a Black Card from American Express or Master Card, because Lincoln’s Black Label program offers a host of exclusive membership privileges. These include special menus at select upscale restaurants and invitations to VIP parties. The buying process for a Black Label vehicle is also a unique process, because the concierge (sales associate) will come to your home or office with a suitcase of unique color samples and interior trim materials that are exclusive to Black Label Lincoln vehicles. The swatches are categorized into themes.
The vehicle I tested featured “The Muse” theme, which was inspired by the Roaring Twenties with duo tone colors. As with all Black Label vehicles, it features upgraded leather called Venetian Leather. This was my first experiencing this type of leather. It is very similar to Nappa leather in terms of softness, but one Lincoln engineer told me that it is much more durable than Nappa leather. The MKX Black Label also features Alcantara headliner offer occupants to premium feel to touch from top to bottom.
The drivetrain on the Lincoln MKX Black Label is similar to the regular MKX, which offers a 3.7L naturally aspirated V6, a 2.7L V6 EcoBoost (turbo charged) for increased fuel economy, or a 3.7L naturally aspirated V6 with all-wheel-drive.
The Lincoln MKX Black Label also offers similar technology features as the regular MKX, such as lane keep assist and one of the best infotainment systems in the business, Micrsoft Sync.
For more information about the Lincoln MKX Black Label, contact your local Lincoln dealer or Click Here to visit the special Black Label website.
It sounds too good to be true, but the 2016 Infiniti Q50S luxury sports sedan really does offer 400hp for around 50k. It is a bargin when you compare it to the BMW M3 which offers 25 more horsepower, but at a $13,000 premium. Other competition in its class is the Audi S4 and the Lexus IS F-Sport, but they don’t offer anywhere close to 400hp.
In addition to 400 horsepower under the hood, the Infiniti Q50S has a number of high-performance goodies under the hood:
- The digital steering system offers a dynamic input and feel, allowing you have a sporty feel during a spirited drive and a luxury feel while cruising on the highway.
- Rear wheel drive comes standard, versus the Audi A4 which comes with front wheel drive. The optional all-wheel-drive system maintains a rear wheel drive bias, while delivering up to 50% of the power to the front wheels when needed.
- A seven speed automatic is standard equipment for all Q50 models. The aluminum paddle shifts on the steering column deliver a quick response and shift times are quick for a traditional automatic transmission.
- Five driving modes are available, each with its own presets to change the way the car drives: Snow, Eco, Standard, Sport, and Sport Plus.
One of the cooler facts about the Q50S is that Infiniti is racing them in the British Touring Car Championship. It is neat to see a sedan in the this price range being raced by the manufacture!
The Q50S offers a modern exterior design with sleek lines and a sporty look. Almost every line was engineered for aerodynamics, in order to increase fuel economy and performance. It is available in 9 colors, ranging from liquid platinum to iridium blue. The vehicle I tested came in Venetian Ruby.
The interior is dressed with leather and optional maple wood or aluminum trim. Gray or black interior are your only color options. The highlight of the interior, at least for me, was the dual touchscreen displays on the center consol. This is the only vehicle I have driven with them. Because of their enhanced fuctionality, I am really surprised more vehicles don’t make use of dual screens instead of unusually large widescreen displays. The dual screens allow you to control two systems simultaneously, such as navigation and audio. Large widescreen displays, like the only on BMWs, perform a similar function, but their use isn’t as intuitive.
Like I said earlier in the article, the Infiniti Q50S is priced around $50,000, which makes this car a bargain for those wanting a high performance sedan without braking the bank.
For more information about the 2016 Infiniti Q50S, contact your local dealer or go to InfinitiUSA.com.
A friend recently turned me on to a new automotive app called Washe. It is the Uber of car washes. Users are able to request that a mobile car wash visits there home, or office, for a deluxe interior and exterior car wash. It is the perfect app for business professionals who like driving in a clean car, but don’t have the time to wash it. The app makes use of your phone’s GPS and stored credit card information to make the process quick and simple. The app allows you to schedule your carwash, or get your car wash immediately. Click here for more information or to download the app.
Outside of a brief period in the late 80’s and early 90’s, the Ford Mustang was my vehicle of choice in the “Pony Wars.” The Mustang had great styling and a strong culture behind the name. In the previous couple generations, the Camaro one upped the Mustang with independent suspension, but with premium leather and soft touch materials, the Mustang’s interior was far superior than the Camaro.
All of that has changed with the 2016 Camaro. Chevrolet stepped up there game with a modern interior fit for a premium sports car. The Camaro RS with a few small upgrades offers beautifully wrapped leather seats, also with a leather arm rest, gear shifter, and steering wheel. Chrome accents are masterfully placed to infused to give the interior a sporty and modern look. The large touchscreen display is at finger tips reach for audio, navigation, and other infotainment controls. I love the new climate controls; simply turn the center air vents up or down adjust the temperature.
Now take that premium interior and pair it with a V6 and you have the perfect sports coupe for daily driving. I say perfect because it gets great gas mile and has plenty of power to have fun with, 335 horse power to be exact. If you want even more fun, opt for the sport exhaust, which enhances the exhaust note. It makes the V6 sound better and louder than the V8, plus it offers a slight increase in horsepower… Who doesn’t love a good roar? The vehicle I tested was the 8-speed automatic varient, which Chevrolet claims shifts faster than a manual transmission and just as fast as a dual-clutch transmission. The vehicle is able to roll through the gears almost instantly in fully automatic mode, but I noticed a tiny lag when using the paddle shifters to control the gearbox.
Not seen, but easy to feel are the structural and suspension improvements to the 2016 Camaro. The new vehicle is 390 pounds lighter and the body 28% more ridged than the previous generation; this means improved handling and car control…. Finally a Camaro worthy of competing in an Autocross course.
In summary, the new Camaro has won over fanboys, at least this one! Find out more by visiting your local dealer or by clicking here to visit the Chevrolet website.