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.
The term “Mom Car” is a very indearing term for me, because I love my Mom. As guy born in the 1980’s, I have seen Mom Cars shift from station wagons, to mini vans, to SUVs, and now to crossovers. The RX line was introduced in 1998 and quickly saw widespread adoption – it is one of Lexus’ best selling vehicles. While I have seen many guys driving the RX, it appears to be dominated by females drivers; likely due to the fact that the previous three generations had a very feminen design…. Thus why I call it a Mom Car.
There is nothing wrong with driving a Mom Car, but as a single guy who is approaching 30 years old, I want something fun in my driveway, something that is stylish, and something that makes a statement. The new Lexus RX 350 F-Sport is just that!
The Lexus RX 350 F-Sport also has a little bite to its bark, with a V6 engine that produces nearly 300 horsepower and a locking differential (for off-roading).
The cabin of my press vehicle was carefully wrapped in red leather with aluminum trim. The vehicle’s interior poster says performance with sporty bucket seats, paddle shifters and a heads-up-display on the windshield.
I can definitely see myself buying this car! So much so, that I choose the Lexus RX 350 F-Sport over my Porsche Boxster S (my personal car) to take a girl on a date last weekend. It ended up being a wise choice because she complimented me on how stylish the vehicle was… And she drives a Range Rover.
So if you ask me… The Lexus RX 350 F-Sport is a winner for both guys and girls!
FT. LAUDERDALE, March 22, 2016 – Toyota has been the overwhelming gas-electric hybrid sales leader in the U.S. After reimagining its iconic Prius hybrid and building the first RAV4 hybrid – the eighth hybrid in Toyota’s lineup – for 2016, Toyota continues to lead the industry in hybrid technology.
Both all-new vehicles usher in spring in South Florida this week at the 2016 Ft. Lauderdale International Auto Show, held March 24-27 at the Broward County Convention Center.
Showgoers will have a chance to get up close with the Prius, RAV4 Hybrid and other offerings from Toyota’s 2016 model lineup. Additionally, attendees will have the chance to get behind the wheel of the Prius, RAV4, Tacoma, Camry and Corolla at the Toyota Drive Center.
Toyota comes to the Ft. Lauderdale auto show on the heels of a standout year for the region. Southeast Toyota logged record Toyota sales for five months in 2015, ending the year with a total of 480,351 sales – accounting for more than 20 percent of the Toyotas sold in the U.S.
“2015 was a fantastic year for Toyota, and we are proud of the record-breaking results we’re continuing to see so far this year,” said Ed Sheehy, president of Southeast Toyota Distributors. “In the Southeast, February proved to be the best month in our history – and for the industry as well – and we are confident the all-new Prius and sporty and stylish RAV4 will carry on that momentum for our brand.”
After selling more than 3.5 million hybrids worldwide and helping steer the industry toward hybridization, the fourth-generation 2016 Prius serves as a new disruptor. The fresh version of this global green icon takes the hybrid concept further than ever with a striking design, greater ride comfort and improved fuel economy. Fuel economy ratings have risen to 58 mpg city / 53 mpg highway / 56 mpg combined, thanks to lighter weight and further optimized aerodynamics. Higher levels of driving satisfaction and refinement will reward the Prius faithful and surprise those new to the movement.
The new Prius’ premium interior debuts advanced technology complemented by features that are functional, fun and also delight the eyes. The wrap-around dash design, form-hugging seats, ease of controls and enhanced visibility combine to make the new Prius highly engaging.
New to the RAV4 family for 2016, the RAV4 Hybrid is a no-compromise vehicle aimed at active young couples who put high fuel economy at the top of a priority list that also includes utility, style, versatility and capability. The fuel economy is impressive, with EPA ratings of 34 mpg city / 31 mpg highway / 33 mpg combined for the 2016 RAV4 Hybrid.
Both the Prius and the RAV4 will offer Toyota Safety Sense, a new multi-feature advanced safety package anchored by automatic pre-collision braking. TSS bundles cutting edge safety technologies including Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection; Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist; Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control; and Automatic High Beams.
For more information, visit Toyota.com.
Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world’s top automaker and creator of the Prius and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to building vehicles for the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. Over the past 50 years, we’ve built more than 30 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 42,000 people (more than 33,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.) sold more than 2.67 million cars and trucks (more than 2.35 million in the U.S.) in 2014 – and about 80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still on the road today.
There are two reason why I recommend people buy a Subaru: 1) Because they still make station wagons 2) Because they make one of the best all-wheel-drive systems. Subaru and Audi have pioneered all-wheel-drive fro decades – long before Mercedes, Ford, and BMW introduced their all-wheel-drive system for the masses. While all-wheel-drive may not seem important for drivers in the south (because we don’t see snow) it could mean the difference between staying on the road and sliding off during a heavy rain storm. All-wheel-drive is proven to reduce the risk of hydroplaning.
Now back to my first point, Subaru still makes station wagon. It saddens me to see manufactures pull the plug on station wagons… I know no one buys them, but they should. Station wagons offer the utility of an SUV with the road handling of a sedan. I am really glad to see that Subura has full line of wagons, including the Outback.
The Outback is Subaru’s most expensive and most luxurious vehicle, starting at just under $25,000. What a value! The standard engine is a 2.5L 4-cylinder boxer engine paired with symmetrical all-wheel-drive. But if you add $12,000 to the mix, you get a 3.6L 6-cylinder boxer engine, symmetrical all-wheel-drive, leather seats, powered moon roof, navigation, and remote start, plus Subaru’s EysSight emergency braking system. At around $37,000 I had to double check the sticker price. A similarly equipped Audi A4 Allroad will cost you over $45,000.
I recommend the Subaru Outback for buyers who want a premium station wagon without a premium price.
For whatever reason, I wasn’t a fan of the previous generation Nissan Sentra. I was a good car, but I felt like there wasn’t enough emotion in the car. Almost as if the previous generation was an after thought.
Nissan flew me out to California recently to get a first look at the 2016 Sentra, but what I got was more than a first look, it was also a crash course in automotive design by Nissan VP of Design, Taro Ueda. I was amazed by how much energy went into the engineering the vehicle to reduce drag, improve ride quality, and reduce noise. In the photo above, Taro used painters tape to show myself and fellow journalists how each line was symmetrically placed to improve both the styling and aerodynamics of the car.
So lets get down to brass tax… is the 2016 Nissan Sentra worth the money? I say yes. Nissan redesigned the Sentra in order to give other vehicles in this segment a run for there money. The vehicle comes very well appointed with standard equipment and soft-touch materials throughout the cabin. The two biggest improves to the Sentra is ride quality and sounds damping. Nissan re-enginered the suspension to give you a smoother ride, while still allowing you stay in control of the vehicle with little body roll. They also dramatically increased the Nissan Sentra’s sound proofing, which makes this one of the quietest vehicles in its segment.
The 2016 Nissan Sentra starts at a little over $16,000, but with a few options, such as a Bose Sound System, dual climate controls, and leather seats, it takes on a premium feel. I recommend buying the Nissan Sentra if you are looking for a low-cost compact car that offers great gas mileage (up to 40mpg) and enough room to stretch out (111 cubic feet of interior volume) with premium features.
What other vehicle would allow you to explore the swamp filled Florida everglades by day, and attend a black-tie charity gala by night? None other than the Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography Long Wheelbase. It is the ultra-luxury version of the iconic Range Rover. By iconic, I mean its ancestor was the only vehicle on display at Louvre Art Museum in Paris.
By ultra-luxury I mean leather, wood, and aluminum from top to bottom. Of-course you have the usual luxury features of heated and cooled seats along with a heated steering wheel. But, with the autobiography trim level, you get 18-way power adjustable seats with massagers, Full semi-aniline leather seats, an alcantara headliner and a 1700 watt 29 speaker 3D sound system from Meridian. As with its other Range Rover siblings, you get an air suspension system that offers a ride quality on par with the Mercedes S-Class sedan.
The luxury amenities don’t stop with the front seats on the long wheelbase version of this machine, rear passengers will enjoy an unusually large amount of legroom, dual screen entertainment, massaging seats, and sunscreens on the side windows for privacy. Rear passengers can either listen to music and video through the Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography Long Wheelbase’s built in sound system, or with wireless headphones.
Under the hood of the Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography Long Wheelbase (LRRRALWB) is a 5.0L supercharged V8 engine with 510 horsepower and 461 pounds of torque. It jets the SUV from 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds; thats faster than the current generation Porsche Cayman! To exemplify the “Freak In The Sheets” analogy, the Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography Long Wheelbase is equipped with a Terrain 2 Response system, a low-speed transfer case, and two locking differentials. While some may be concerned that the Long Wheelbase version of the Range Rover reduces your off-road capability, fear not… the Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography Long Wheelbase offers 34.7 degree approach, 26.1 degree ramp, and 29.1 degree departure angles.
In addition to being able to climb over nearly any obstacle, the Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography Long Wheelbase is able to wade in up to 35.4 inches of water. I got to test that number with the help of a tour guide; while exploring the lost city of Golden Gates Estate Subdivision. In the 1960s real estate developers set out to create the largest residential subdivision in the United States. The property was set on 41,000 areas in/near the Florida Everglades and hosted nearly 300 miles of paved roads. The only problem is that the Florida Everglades floods during certain times of the year. Thus, it was the perfect place to test the Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography Long Wheelbase water crossing abilities. Even though beautifully paved roads were underneath the water, it was surreal to think I was driving a $150,000 ultra-luxury vehicle through 2 feet of water… and it handled it like a pro. The cabin remained water tight as we waded past fish and birds through the flooded subdivision.
I look at the Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography Long Wheelbase and think, “what are the odds of someone buying this vehicle and actually taking it off roading?” Unless you live Miami Beach (where a number of my friends lost their cars to flooding), on a ranch, or in the mountains, the odds are very slim… But, it is a great feeling to know that you can… It is just like buying a Porsche or a Ferrari; 90% of their owners will never take it to the track, but they know it would be an incredible experience. At least with a Range Rover, you will have private jet class accommodations.
The Lexus RC 350 F-Sport reminds me of Marilyn Monroe – both have dynamite curves! The RC starts with a smooth wide stance towards the nose, then eloquently wraps backwards to create the cabin. Its fastback design leaves an edge in the rear, which gives you the perception that the vehicle is moving even when it is standing still.
It is just as deadly as it is beautiful. Under the hood of the Lexus RC 350 F-Sport is 306 horsepower 3.5L V6 motor. Despite having a zero to sixty time of only 5.6 seconds, it is rated for 28 mpg on the highway. This makes the Lexus RC 350 F-Sport well balanced for both enjoyment and the commute to the office. The RC 350 F-Sport is available with both rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive options. The rear-wheel-drive option produces a quicker zero to sixty time, while the all-wheel-drive option offers improved handling and better traction on slippery surfaces (such as the rain).
The cabin of the RC 350 F-Sport is sporty, but refined. The seats offer greater bolster support than the average Lexus, while maintaining comfortability. The interior uses Lexus’ updated design language. Every control is placed within an arms length, with most items able to be controlled using an intuitive touch pad on the center console. The RC 350 F-Sport offers plenty of headroom for the driver and front passenger, making this a great option for someone who is tall. Backseat passengers on the other hand will be a little squished.
All around, the Lexus RC 350 F-Sport is a great sports coupe and a worthy competitor to the BMW 4-Series.
I got an opportunity to drive the RC 350 F-Sport and RCF in the fall of 2014 at Monticello Motor Club in New York. Click here to read about it and my first impressions of the cars.
The Subaru BRZ isn’t going to win a drag race, but its low center of gravity means that it will lap most cars on a tight road course. The horizontally opposed boxer engines produces 200 horsepower and 151 pounds of torque from a 2.0L package.
Not much has changed since my last review on the BRZ. Read my previous post to find out why you should buy this car.
I came across an interesting article this week discussing the idea of NASCAR switching to “All Electric” motors. This recommendation was given by none other than Bill Nye, the science guy.
Nye says he was “Depressed” at his last race as he watched the cars run on the technology of yesterday, rather than the technology of today like Tesla operates on.
But, is this even a relevant discussion? Isn’t part of the experience of auto racing in general the “thrill” of the motors and the “smell” of the fuel? And what about sponsorship? This would drastically destroy the gasoline and oil companies, possibly causing a major stock market issue.
So then, is there a way to do both and slowly integrate electric into full time? What if NASCAR began using electric motors in the lower series or allowed electric motors to race with the fuel of yesterday, would that be an even trade to an industry that is established?
I have to believe we are a long way away from seeing electric motor racing in NASCAR or any other major auto racing event. While brands like Tesla have changed the world, the world isn’t quite ready for “quite motors” on a racetrack. I do believe, however, that this would be an excellent opportunity for groups like Tesla to form a new style of auto racing on a more lower level. Like how ARCA is the start for NASCAR, Tesla could create their own IROC style race featuring all electric cars. That would be the best option for integrating today’s technology into auto racing, rather than shoving it down the throat of current race fans who seem to have no interest at all in electric.
Nye said in a recent interview that “NASCAR uses gasoline-burning instead of electron-flowing. I wish NASCAR were more like NASA. I wish NASCAR were more about the future instead of the past. I wish NASCAR set up Grand Challenges to inspire companies and individuals to create novel automotive technologies in the way NASA does to create novel space technologies.”
People don’t like change, but will accept new ideas over time. Rather than “all electric NASCAR”, let’s try a small circuit of electric racing until it becomes popular enough to go full time. Something like the recent “Formula E” concept or the 2013 test for Tesla in NASCAR is a good start, so long as they are their own series.
Then, and only then, will a change of that magnitude actually occur.