The Chevrolet Camaro holds a special place in my heart, mainly because the 1992 Camaro Z28 was my first car. Under the hood was a 5.0L V8, which was good for a little over 200 horsepower – not bad for the time. My car had a 4-speed automatic transmission but was available with a 5-speed manual. I was the coolest guy at Saint John Vianney High School (in my mind) with that car… It was fast, looked cool, and I could fit all three of my best friends in it!
Fast forward to 2018 and you have the Chevy Camaro SS with a 6.2L engine. The Corvette derived pushrod V8 is good for 455 horsepower and 455 pounds of torque. Off the line you can do 0 to 60 mph in 4 seconds flat with the 8-speed automatic transmission and 4.3 seconds with the manual. That is Porsche territory for a vehicle that starts at $38,000. The vehicle is obviously no slouch when it comes to raw power, but the new Camaro also makes a decent road course track car. Powerful Brembo brakes are standard on the SS model, as well as, a drive selection mode to tailor the car’s driving dynamics based upon on-road or track use. The noticeable differentiators with each drive mode are throttle response, shift points (automatic), body roll (with optional magnetic ride), the exhaust note, and how much or little the stability computer will let you slide the rear end before it catches you. When going around tight corners, the Camaro SS felt heavy in the front, which lead to significant understeer. But thanks to the immensely powerful V8, you can gently create rotation by carefully applying throttle to the rear wheels. Continue Reading →
I am sure you have heard of the phrase “you can’t have your cake and eat it too.” This proverb has been accurate for most of BMW’s recent history. This is especially true for their current lineup because their vehicles tend to be polar opposites. The latest generation of Bimmers offer either Mercedes level luxury or Porsche level performance. You are either riding in comfort and style in their series models (IE 3-series,5-series,etc) or being bounced around like ping pong ball while you are grinning from ear to ear in their M cars (IE M3,M5,etc). If you haven’t noticed, BMW’s latest trend is to offer “M Sport” packages for their series models; Allowing a 180 horsepower 320i sedan to pose as a 425 horsepower M3. This is like allowing a sheep to dress in wolf’s clothing. The “M Sport” packages in most cases don’t offer any performance benefits while making the vehicle look like an M car. Thus the packages are a waste of money in my opinion.
So now we turn to this week’s vehicle… the BMW M550i. It is not an M5, but it is also not, not an M5. And don’t confuse it as a BMW 5-Series with an M-Sport package. The most accurate statement I can come up with is that the BMW M550i is an M5 with a “touring package.” Continue Reading →
Life is too short to drive boring cars. So lucky for us, there are handful of sports sedans on the market that gets the kids to school, is a pleasure to drive, and quick off the line. These include the Alfa Romeo Giulia, Audi S4, BMW M3, Cadillac ATS-V, Mercedes AMG C43/C63, and of course the Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400. They each have their merits. The Infiniti Q50 Red Sport 400 is in the middle of the pack in terms of performance, but it is at the top of the charts for value and fun. Continue Reading →
With the ability to accelerate from 0 to 60mph in less than 3 seconds, the Nissan GTR is one of the quickest sports cars in the world. And because of its ability to dominate Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Porsches on the dragstrip, it has earned the nickname Godzilla. The GTR is rated for a top speed of nearly 200mph. It is big mean and incredibility fast! It only has a 3.8L V6, but this twin-turbo monster is good for 565 horsepower (600 horsepower on the NISMO edition) and 467 pounds of torque. That is supercar status for a vehicle that cost less $100,000 brand new from factory. Continue Reading →
Mercedes-Benz has a pedigree for building both technologically advanced and beautiful sports cars; one which dates back to their motorsports accomplishments in the 1920’s and 30’s. But Mercedes’ most iconic and loved sports car was the 1954-1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing Coupe. By using advanced lightweight materials such as aluminum and direct fuel injection (the first production vehicle to do so), the 300SL was the “fastest car in the world” for its era.
The modern day tribute to this historic sports car is the Mercedes AMG GTR. And do I dare say that it is the most beautiful car Mercedes has made in the past 50 years? The AMG GTR’s iconic shape mirrors the silhouette of the 300 SL with a long sweeping bonnet (hood) and a tear drop shaped fastback in the rear. The GTR’s lines are sleek and seductive like the original 300 SL. The AMG GTR technically has two older brothers that share the same lineage and styling ques; the AMG GT and the AMG GTS. The AMG GTR is the range topper though with the lightest weight, most advanced technologies, more aggressive styling, and the most power. Continue Reading →
Raise your hand if you are reading this and you live in an Amazon Jungle or Alaska. If you are raising your hand right now, skip to the next article. If you are NOT raising your hand right now, keep reading… You likely don’t need the full off-road capability of a traditional Range Rover. I am guessing that your daily commute involves beautifully paved roads and well manicured lawns to go beside them. And that is why Land Rover gave birth to their newest creation, the Velar. Continue Reading →
Life doesn’t get much better than cruising around in an S-Class… or does it? Well it does because the S63 AMG Cabriolet makes the ultimate daily driver, and here is why:
Mercedes has breathed new life into there flagship sedan by reducing the number of doors, increasing the horsepower, and giving it a ragtop. The S63 AMG is still every bit as comfortable (for the driver) as an S-Class sedan, but now the vehicle excites the driver. All of your senses begin to tingle as you lower the top and smash the gas pedal. Your head begins to stick like glue to the headrest as all 603 horses shift there brute power though a 9-speed automatic gearbox. Then when you least expect it, a curve in the road approaches you vehicle. As you begin to take it, the S63 AMG Cabriolet’s adjustable air suspension tightens in order to reduce body roll on your 4,800 pound rolling lazy boy sofa. Continue Reading →
Whether you are driving Jaguar’s large XJ sedan or their nimble F-Type roadster, there is no mistaking that you are driving something special. The F-Type is Jaguar’s modern day heart and soul. Its performance roots trace back to the D-Type (yes, I know that their is a C-Type), to a time when Jaguar was the king of sports car Jungle. It wasn’t just a LeMans race winning champion. The coolest of cool, such as Steve McQueen, drove Jaguar D-Types on their every day commutes. Continue Reading →
Few colors are more passionate than, and few cars are more iconic than the Ford Mustang. While the vehicle has evolved over the years from boxy to round, and then back to a retro look across 6 generations, one thing has remained the same – the Ford Mustang creates an emotion connection to everyone who experiences it. You will be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t reminisce about driving on the open road with their friends, or burning rubber… after all it is a Pony car. Continue Reading →
When browsing a corporate parking garage, it is easy to get lost in the sea of executive and middle management cars. Everyone tends to drive BMWs and Audi’s that cost north of $50,000, but have half of the features of this week’s test vehicle. And arguably, the 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport looks better too. I am a big fan of the brand’s new design language, which appears to have a little German and Japanese influence in it. Yet, this crossover utility vehicle was assembled in the USA and is technically more American than a Ford Edge or a Chevrolet Equinox. Continue Reading →