Few vehicles can hold the title of super car; an ultra high performance car that is exclusive and often times barely street legal. If there was such a title, The Land Rover Range Rover SVR would deserve the title of “Super SUV.” The Range Rover SVR’s impressive performance stems from its massive 5.0L supercharged V8 engine that produces 550 horsepower and 502 ib-ft of torque. From there, the performance enhancements extend to the wheels with 20″ Brembo brakes and 21″ alloy wheels. It also features a super quick 8-speed automatic transmission, that shifts almost as fast as a dual-clutch transmission. Now can you guess the top speed of this “Super SUV?” Try 162 mph!
The Land Rover Range Rover SVR even sounds like a super car! The engine roars when you step on the gas pedal. The exhaust note reminds me of the Jaguar F-Type, which in my opinion sounds better than a Ferrari 488 GTB.
Of course, a Land Rover wouldn’t be a Land Rover without its off-road prowess. The Range Rover SVR is fully equipped to take on extreme off-road conditions: Mud, Rocky Terrain, Ice, and Water. The vehicle offers two locking differentials, a low and high gear box, as well as, independent suspension for all four wheels and adjustable ride height. It is one of the most capable SUV’s on the market – arguably second to only the full size Range Rover.
Rarely, can a tall, off-road equipped vehicle out perform the average sports car.
The inside of the Range Rover SVR is even more special looking than the outside… Your eyes are immediately drawn to competition seats. While traditional seatbelt are still in place, the competition seats (both front and rear) off slots for a racing harness. While they are not functional, that look awesome! The rest of cabin is lined with carbon fiber trim. It adds to performance appearing of this one of a kind “Super SUV.”
The usual luxury features are available with Range Rover SVR: A full leather dash and doors, a large touch screen infotainment display, a panoramic sunroof, and a mini-fridge underneath the center console armrest. The only thing missing was the ventilated seats – sadly those are not available with competition seats.
All in all, the Range Rover SVR is a truly amazing vehicle. It has got style, off-road capability, and performance. It certainly gives the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and the Mercedes G63 AMG a run for the hills.
Contact your local Land Rover dealer for more information on the 2015 Range Rover SVR or click here to visit the Land Rover website.
The 2015 BMW M3 is a compact luxury on steroids; every thing gets enhanced over the 3-Series: A more powerful engine with nearly 250 more horsepower, bigger brakes, stiffer suspension, and a louder exhaust.
One thing you will also notice right away, is that the new BMW M3 is a sedan. Traditionally (prior to 2014) the M3 was a four passenger coupe. In 2014 BMW transitioned its model system: Odd numbers are sedans / wagons and even numbers are coupes / convertibles (both two-doors and four-doors). Adding M performance to the new 3-series sedan was a really smart decision. It offers buyers who want a true sports car, but need a backseat and four doors. The only other four door sports car that comes to mind is the Porsche Panamera, but its longer wheelbase and weight means that it wouldn’t be as agile as the M3 on the racetrack.
Under the hood of the 2015 BMW M3 is twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six that makes 425 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. It is also an update over the previous generation. Prior M3s offered a 4.0L V8 that produced 414 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. This new six-cylinder may be smaller, but it is a lot faster! 2015 BMW M3 goes 0 to 60 in just 3.9 seconds. That is faster than the current Audi R8, Porsche 911 and Alfa Romeo 4C. But lets not forget, this is a four-passenger with four doors.
The 2015 BMW M3 I tested had all of the performance bells and whistles, including BMW’s M Carbon-Ceramic Brakes. The package improves brake performance under high temperatures and reduces the overall vehicle weight by 42 pounds; it’s exactly what you need for the racetrack. The M3 with the M Carbon-Ceramic Brakes package delivers incredible stopping power when it is dry – it is the quickest stopping vehicle I have ever driven – but be really careful in the rain. On the fifth day of testing the M3, a nice rain shower came through town and I quickly realized that stopping performance went from amazing to poor. It wasn’t the tires, the rain had cooled the rotors and pads, which reduced the effectiveness of the brakes. It also caused them to squeal often… but as soon as the rain passed, the brakes went back to normal and delivered impressive performance.
“Life is too short to drive boring cars.” I don’t remember who said it, but they were right. The joy of driving the 2015 BMW M3 is enhanced if you get the 6-speed manual – In my opinion, it is one of the best modern day manual transmissions you can buy. The gearbox shifts easily and the clutch is stiff enough so you easily know when it catches, but not so stiff that it wears your foot out. The best part of BMW’s new manual transmission is active rev-matching. No more heal-to-toe downshifting! As soon as you place the car into gear, the RPMs will rise to the appropriate speed. So all you have to do is let the clutch out.
It was really hard to say good bye to the 2015 BMW M3. It was fun to drive, super quick, very nimble, and it comfortably fit myself and three friends… It is the perfect four-door sports car.
From the late 1970s till now, how many vehicles have maintained their original body style? Some may argue that the 2015 Porsche 911 resembles its 1979 sibling, but lets face it, they are both very different cars.
The Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG (aka G-Wagen or G-Class) is almost identical to its siblings from 30 years ago. It is vehicle that is sought after as both a status symbol and means of reliable transportation in the harshest climates. Why fix something that isn’t broken?
The G-Wagen was originally developed as a military vehicle in 1972, with a civilian version made available in 1979. Many variants of the G-Wagen have been created, but it’s basic shape and style has remained the same. For example, the Pope had a custom G-Wagen created with a bullet-proof glass compartment for parades and events.
Now days, you will find the G-Wagen driven on the streets of Beverly Hills, Dallas, and Palm Beach by gorgeous soccer moms and NBA basketball players; few realizing the G-Wagon’s true potential. The G-Wagon is the ultimate off-road vehicle. Its three locking differentials, independent suspension, and low transfer 4X4 gearbox is why you will just as likely find the G-Wagon in the middle of the Article Circle. Very few vehicles offer three locking differentials – this allows both the front wheels and both of the rear wheels to spin with even power… You won’t find that on a Land Rover! The Land Rover Range Rover for instance has two locking differentials. Meaning that even though it has four wheel drive, not all of the wheels will have even power.
The G-Wagen that I tested was powered by AMG, Mercedes’s high-performance division. It featured a hand built 536 horsepower biturbo V8 engine. The motor is paired with a 7-speed AMG transmission, which helps launch the G-Wagen from zero to sixty in 5.3 seconds. It also has a sport exhaust, which produces a hearty rumble. So why does an off road vehicle need so much power and a loud exhaust? Because it is awesome!
I am normally a big fan of Mercedes-Benz’s interiors. The manufactures does an impressive job of combining old-world luxury with modern design and technology. I wasn’t very impressed with the G-Wagen. Don’t get me wrong, the interior is well crafted and uses high quality materials, such as premium leather and real wood trim, but it is too boxy for my tastes. Also, I hate the infotainment screen in the center, it looks like an after thought.
While it may not be a traditional “US” Mercedes-Benz in terms of style, it upholds Mercedes’ standards in terms of comfort. The seats were incredible; they offered a multitude of adjustments and were very comfortable for my 2 hour day trip from Ft Lauderdale to Naples, Florida. The vehicle also offered a massive amounts of headroom. I am 5’8″ and I had nearly a foot of room above my head – if you are a tall guy, this could seal the deal by itself.
The Mercedes G63 AMG is the second longest production vehicle to carry the Mercedes-Benz name plate, and I hope it stays that way. It has truly stood the test of time with great engineering, great build quality, and loyal fanbase.
The Navigator is Lincoln’s flagship vehicle. It represents old school luxury, something most other automotive manufacturers have lost.
The 2015 model year is a refresh of the third generation Navigator. The design isn’t overpowering, it’s not complex, and it’s not boastful; its elegant and refined.
The interior of the 2015 Lincoln Navigator is inviting. It is like walking into your living room. The center console isn’t over encumbered by a million buttons, each one is intelligently placed so you can enjoy the drive without distractions.
The leather seats are supple and offer good backsupport. The driver and passangers are surrounded by real wood trim, which sets this vehicle apart from many of its other premium competitors.
Multiple entertainment options are available, including a premium audio infotainment system with Microsoft Sync. The system is absolutly incredible! Voice commands allow you to control nearly every fuction of the vehicle, including the radio, navigation and climate controls.
This is a solidly built first class suite on wheels, but it is also flexible. The third row folds flat with the touch of a button. Now you are able to fit extra cargo, such as a couch from the furniture store. The versitility of the 2015 Lincoln Navigator make it a solid choice for drivers with a large family: it is roomy, luxurious, and reasonably priced at $61,000.
The 2016 Hyundai Tucson has big shoes to fill… The 2015 Tucson was the “highest ranked small SUV by JB Power.
At first glance of the upcoming Hyundai Tucson, I thought that the styling resembled a german luxury compact SUV. Then, when I got behind the wheel, my impression changed to an American compact SUV. Turns out, both observations were correct…. The exterior of the 2016 Tucson was designed by Hyundai’s German design team, and the exterior was designed by the American design.
After a wonderful dinner with Hyundai’s product manager, I learned that this is common practice for Hyundai. The American, German, and Korean design teams faceoff to design each new vehicle concept.
The 2016 Hyundai Tucson is a completely new compact SUV. In addition to a new exterior and interior, a new drivetrain is available. The 1.6L 4-cylinder turbo provides ample power and great fuel economy at 33 mpg on the highway.
I was impressed with Hyundai’s use of a dual-clutch transmission in the Tucson. Dual-clutch transmissions are more expensive to build, but they offer the performance and economy benefits of a manual transmission with the ease of use of a traditional automatic.
I quite surprise with how spacious the cabin felt for a compact SUV. Both the front and backseat felt cozy. Most passangers will have plenty of leg room.
Hyundai was inovative with the cargo area on the 2016 Tucson. Suprisenly, it offers more cargo volumn than many mid-size or large SUVs – more than the Porsche Cayanne.
Technology wise, the new Hyundai Tucson is available with all of the usual bells and whistles: 8″ touchscreen display, Bluetooth, navigation, and a backup camera. There is only one USB port, which is a disappointment. Hyundai makes up for it with multiple power plugs in the vehicle.
This compact SUV is a bargain with a starting price of $22,000. It feels solid, looks great, and practical.
Since 1907, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars have been braking the mould of engineering and craftmanship. Their pedigree places them as one of the most iconic brands in the world. Renowned for luxury, but also with a history for performance. In the 1930’s, Rolls-Royce ruled the land, air, and sea – Having held simultaneous speed records for all three challenges. 80 years later, we are under a new era for Rolls-Royce. The brand is owned by BMW, but the company continues its tradition of making “the world’s best automobiles.”
When I got a phone call that Rolls-Royce was sending me a Wraith for a week, I thought I was dreaming. The Wraith is Rolls-Royce’s most powerful production car ever built.
Under the hood is a monsterous 624 horsepower V12 engine. The motor is paired with a satilite aided transmission – you heard right, satilite – the transmission uses GPS to know the road ahead. If you are driving the car hard and approaching a turn, the Rolls-Royce Wraith will automatically downshift for you before you get into the turn… The car thinks for you.
At a curb rate of over 5,000 pounds, most people would think this SUV sized coupe wouldn’t be quick off of the line… but they’re are wrong. The Wraith can do zero to sixty in 4.4 seconds. That is faster than the Porsche 911!
Of course the best part of the Rolls-Royce Wraith is its luxurious interior. The seats, dash, and doors are wrapped in bull’s leather. Most other manufactures use cow leather, because it is cheaper. Cow’s leather stretches overtime and causes creases. Rolls-Royce only uses bull’s leather, because bull’s leather is stronger and doesn’t stretch. The vehicle I drove was a bespoke model, which means that it uses custom materials, and it makes it a one-of-a-kind car. This beauty featured ostrich leather on the center consol, 1″ lambs wool floormats, and teak wood trim on the doors. The doors on Rolls-Royce are particularly special, because they are the suicide doors (notice the photo at the very top). The doors open from the front, which it make it easier to get in and out of the car. But, unless you have someone to close the door for you, it is extremely difficult to close the door for yourself. Rolls-Royce has a solution… motorized a doors! With the push of a button, your door closes for you.
Another opulent feature of the Rolls-Royce Wraith is the night sky headliner. 1,340 LEDs re-create your favorite constellation in the night sky.
The whole point in owning a Rolls-Royce is how refined it gets you from point A to point B. Driving the Wraith is like “floating on a cloud.” You don’t feel the bumps in the road, you don’t hear the wind noise, and you don’t realize that you are moving until you look out of the window. The Wraith is nearly silent, even at highway speeds. I caught myself going faster than I had intended on multiple occasions. The car is a joy to cruise in – I could drive it for hours up and down A1A or 95. It is by far the best Rolls-Royce to drive yourself in.
I will admit, being a 28 year old guy, I felt a little weird driving a $400,000 car for a week. One of my friend’s commented that it looks like I stole Dad’s car… The Rolls-Royce Wraith draws a lot of attention. I had people ask me all sorts of questions: How can someone so young afford such a nice car? Can you give me money? Are you a celebrity? The Wraith is definitely over the top! It makes a statement and sets you apart from all of the other drivers on the road.
A Rolls-Royce wouldn’t be complete with out its mascot, the Spirit of Ectasy. She pops out of the grill when the car is turned on; and at night, she lit with brilliant white LEDs for all of the world to see.
Let’s talk about the Pros and Cons of driving a Rolls-Royce…
Pros: 1) You get a lot of attention. 2) You know you are driving the world’s best luxury car. 3) The seats and ride are so comfortable, you feel refreshed getting out of the car after a long trip.
Cons: 1) You get a lot of attention. 2) You need to be carful where you park – theives like to steal the hood ornament, fans like to take pictures with the car, and envious drivers might try to key the car.
There is no question that the 2015 Rolls-Royce rules the road. Its superior ride, beautiful design, and vast number of factory customizations makes it the most luxurious car money can buy.
So the question is, is the 2015 Rolls-Royce Wraith worth the $400,000 (with options) price tag? I say yes!
I recently took a 2,000+ mile road trip in my Porsche (You may have seen the photos on Twitter). From Ft Lauderdale to the Smokie Mountains, to the Biltmore Esate in Asheville, to Charleston, I enjoyed top down driving and scenic roads. The highlight of my adventure was visiting the Biltmore Estate. It is famous for being the largest home in the USA, but what most peole don’t know is that it is also the proving grounds for Land Rover’s world renowned off-road academy.
If you are an off-road enthusiast – by any means – then the Land Rover Experience Driving School should be on your bucket list. When I arived, I expected to meet a Land Rover representative who was going to try to sell me on why the new Range Rover is the “best off-road vehicle ever created.” Instead, I was introduced to a thrill seeking off-road proffessional intstructor. His terrain expereince included everything from rock deserts to arttic mountain climbs.
The school doesn’t teach out to drive a Land Rover with sophisticated technology; it teaches you how to properly drive an off-road vehicle. The first thing my instructor did was to take me to an open field and show me the capability lines on the 2015 Range Rover – how steep of a hill can it climb or go over without bottoming out. By understanding the capability lines of our vehicle, you can determin the best route to take. Next we discussed how to properly steer the vehcile while off-roading. Normal steering positions are thrown out the window, because you never want to cross your arms. If the airbag goes off and your arms are crossed while making a sharp turn, then your hand will hit you in the face. Instead, you want to constantly reposition your hands towards the bottom of the steering wheel. We went on to discuss power managment and hill decent (without hill decent control active). These basis techniques should be applied no matter what type of vehicle you are driving, whether it be a $24,000 Jeep Wrangler or $150,000 Range Rover Autobiography.
After a couple hours with all of the technology off, my instructor taught me how to drive with the technoogy on. “Technology doesn’t replace technique,” said my instructor. He was right. The techniques I learned with the technology off made me a better off-road driver. I know how to better control my vehicle over difficult terain, how to navigate a tight trail without scratching my vehicle, and how to judge my vehicles limmitations without testing them.
Following an afternoon of intense training, my driving instructor gave me a graduation gift… A private tour of the US Land Rover Heritage Collection! While it may look like a garage full of old Land Rovers, this collection is unique. It contains one the first Land Rovers ever built, as well as, two Land Rovers that drove arround the world. All of the Land Rovers in the collection are in working order and (somewhat) regularly hit the trails, when they are not on display.
Lexus’ flagship vehicle, the LS460 is one of the most elegant vehicles you can buy for under $75,000. The exterior is stately, with a long body and a long front fascia. It is a reminder of one of the golden eras of automotive, when large cars ruled the road. Drivers of the Lexus LS460 sedan can lean back and enjoy the road with the peace of mind that they are driving a very reliable, safe, and comfortable vehicle. With its smooth ride, you feel calm and relax sitting behind the wheel. Continue Reading →
The 2016 Nissan Maxima comes from a long line of mid-sized cars from Nissan, but this one is different. This is the first Maxima that has me saying wow!
The exterior styling is beautiful and a 300 horsepower motor is impressive, but what really has me excited is the interior. The available quilted leather seats make you take a double-take on Nissan badge in front. They are absolutely beautiful. I have seen quilted leather seats in a diamond pattern before on Ferrari, but never on a Japanese car, or for that matter on a non-luxury brand. To back it up is real aluminum or wood trim on the doors and dash.
Nissan calls the 2016 Maxima a four-door sports car. I appreciate the association, because this car was designed to be both fun and luxurious. The car rides smoothly and is quite while you are putting around town. But as soon as you give it a little gas, the engine starts to breath, and you can hear a nice rumble through the exhaust. Like I mentioned before, the 2016 Nissan Maxima comes with 300 horsepower motor (standard). The engine is paired with a Continuous Varible Transmission, which isn’t my favorite, but this CVT does a fantastic job. It offers a quick response and does a great job of simulating a traditional automatic gearbox. The paddle shifters give you greater control and adds a little fun to the driving experience.
Nissan had an independent testing program compare the 2016 Nissan Maxima on the race track with the BMW 3 series and Audi A4… Guess which car has the fastest lap, the Nissan.
If you are looking for a sporty sedan that is also a great value, the 2016 Nissan Maxima is your car. With such style, performance and luxury, I am surprise this car doesn’t have an Infiniti badge on it!
Cadillac is amongst the oldest automotive brands in the world. Over the past 113 years, Cadillac has established itself as the premier American luxury automobile manufacture. The 2015 Cadillac Escalade continues that tradition with a new modern design. More aggressive lines and a new front fascia give the new Escalade a slick look.
I had the pleasure of driving the 2015 Cadillac Escalade for a week in South Florida. The SUV is a thing of beauty: its big, powerful, and ultra luxurious.
Despite its massive size, the 2015 Cadillac Escalade was easy to drive. The full-size SUV offers good visibility and a fairly tight turning radius. The ride quality it great and the steering is soft, so driving the Escalade isn’t fatiguing. A benefit of driving such a large vehicle is that most drivers are unusually polite – I can see why the driver of a Maita or small Toyota might be intimaded. The 2015 Escalade is a big and powerful vehicle.
While the outside of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade might appear intimidating, the interior is inviting. The seats, doors, and dash are wrapped in ultra-smooth leather. You will find real wood trim throughout the cabin, as well as, a alcantara headliner. The high quality materials remind me of what you might find on a corporate jet.
The new Cadillac Escalade is loaded with electronics. OnStar and Cue offer a high quality infotainment system, complete with premium audio and a four screen BlueRay player.
You can seat 7 people comfortably in the Escalade: two in front, two in the middle, and three in back. All seven passangers have plenty of legroom, AC vents, and are easily able to see the TV screens. It is perfect for the modern family – I tested is with my friend and his kids; everyone was happy (and quite) after an hour long car ride.
Because of the premium materials used and level of comfort, the 2015 Cadillac Escalade should get an award for best-in-class interior… It’s exquisite!
The 2015 Cadillac Escalade, with its sleek design and supple interior, make the perfect luxury SUV for large families and those who like to drive big cars.
For more information, visit your local Cadillac dealer or click here to visit Cadillac’s website.