The Alfa Romeo 4C Spyder is every racer’s dream car!


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.

The VW Golf is a wolf in sheep’s clothing


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.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is for those who want to race to work… Or the grocery store.


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.

The Lincoln MKX Black Label is the Black Card of the automotive industry.


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.

400HP in a luxury sports sedan for only 50k?

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.

The Maybach Is Back! Review of the 2016 Mercedes S600 Maybach

  
Maybach has a long history of producing some of the finest automobiles in the while, dating back to 1909. In recent times, the vehicle is often regarded as one of the best kept secrets, because only truly wealthy people (and automotive enthusiasts) will recognize the name. This has both helped and hurt the brand throughout the years – Helped because the elite want something different from the dozens of Rolls-Royces parked in their neighbor’s drive way; and hurt because most people paying 200k+ for car want to be recognized driving a car that cost as much as the average home in mid-west.

  
Mercedes, the owner of the Macbach brand, has given us a toy to play with. The Mercedes-Benz S600 Maybach. The vehicle is no longer its own make, but an exclusive trim level of the S-Class sedan.

  
The Machbach version of the S-Class is eight inches longer than the long wheelbase S-Class, meaning more legroom for the rear passangers. Riding in the back of the Mercedes S600 Maybach is like riding in a private jet. With the touch of a few buttons, your seat reclines and a foot rest pops out. Dual video screens keep you occupied as you tour around town. Should you get thirsty, an available champagne cool and (real) silver champagne flutes are stored in the rear center console. If alcohol is not your thing, the rear cup holders are both heated and cooled.

  
On the off chance that you actually have to work for a living, tray tables pop out of the rear center consol on the Mercedes S600 Maybach.

Two leather pillows are elegantly placed for nap time in the rear. Rear and side window shades can automatically be raised to reduce ambient light.

  
The 2016 Mercedes S600 Maybach wasn’t built just for the backseat passangers, the driver gets enjoy unprecedented luxury. The cabin is a lined with Napa leather from top to bottom. A heated steering wheel, armrests, and seats keep you warm during the winter, while ventilated seats keep you cool during the summer. Two big and beautiful displays show colorful illustrations of your speed, route information, entertainment selection, and control options for the front and rear massaging seats. Imagine taking a one hour road trip with a masseuse gentle rubbing your back.

  
Should you feel the need for speed, just give the Mercedes S600 a little gas, and you will begin to feel the power of a twin-turbo charged V12 engine with over 600 horsepower. The transmission is wicked smooth – it glides you from zero to sixty in five seconds.

  
With private jet styling and one of the softest rides on the planet, the MayBach is back. But this time, with an iconic nameplate… Watchout Rolls-Royce and Bentley!

The sixth generation Mustang is the best Mustang yet!

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I have been a Mustang fan since I was a boy, but not of all Mustangs… I love the first generation, liked the second, hated the third and fourth, and loved the fifth. I loved the previous generation so much so that I ordered a 2011 Mustang nine months before the car was put into production.

My 2011 Ford Mustang was a metallic blue model with white stripes and saddle leather interior; it was beautiful. Under the hood was 3.7L V6 paired with a six-speed manual gearbox that delivered 305 hp to the rear wheels. At the time, it was one of Ford’s most advanced engines. It was faster than the 2010 Mustang GT, while maintaining a fuel economy of around 28mpg on the highway. I ended up selling my Mustang and buying a Porsche because I wanted a change of pace…. But I still miss Mustang! There is something about driving American muscle.

The Mustang I am driving this week is a sixth generation Mustang. The new Mustang boasts a more aggressive design with a sleeker roof line. The vehicle is slightly wider and longer, but nearly an inch shorter. The model I am driving includes Ford’s new 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine with a six-speed manual gearbox. The engine is rated for 310 horsepower and 320 pounds of torque, so it gallops from zero to sixty a little quicker than my Mustang. The only thing missing is the rumble of the engine through the exhaust. My old Mustang wasn’t nearly as throaty as a V8, but the naturally aspirated V6 engine still produced a nice little rumbled. Instead, when you put the pedal to metal in this car, you hear the turbos spool. Arguably, some may enjoy the sound of turbo chargers getting ready to launch the car – with very minimal lag.

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In addition to increased horsepower and torque, the new EcoBoost Mustang offers slightly increased fuel economy over the current and previous generation V6. Fuel economy has become increasingly important to Ford. Not just because of expected rising fuel costs in the US (even though gas prices are insanely low now), but because this is a global Mustang. Ford is building and selling the Ford Mustang across the globe for the first time ever. Europeans love turbo-charged 4-cylinder engineers because of the lower emissions, increased fuel economy, and low RPM torque. In some European countries, citizens are taxed based on their vehicle’s engine size.   

The all-new interior on the sixth generation Mustang is fighter plane inspired, toggle switches and a speedometer labeled “Ground Speed MPH.” 

The interior is stunning. The new design has turned the unrefined Mustang into a sophisticated vehicle, worthy of ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, and dynamic mood lighting. Their is quite a bit of plastic in the vehicle, but Ford did a fantastic job of dressing it up with stitching accents that make it look like leather. I know I have said it before, but one of the best features of any Ford is Microsoft Sync. It is hands down one of the easiest to use infotainment centers. It offers a wealth of premium features without the need for an expensive data plan (just for your car).

I know the sixth generation Mustang has been out for a while now, but I feel like a kid in a candy store getting my hands on one!

 

Upgrade to first class with the Infiniti Q70L

 
If you have  $50,000 to $65,000 to spend on a luxury sedan, you have a few options. You can get mid-sized sedan like the Mercedes E-Class or the BMW 5-Series, or you can upgrade to the full-sized Infiniti Q70L.

The Infiniti Q70L has Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7-Series, and Audi A8L qualities at a fraction of the price. You get a flagship vehicle with exceptinal ride quality, advanced technologies, and enough leg room for backseat passangers to stretch their legs with an additional six inches of leg room.

 
The interior of the Infiniti Q70L is very posh. The center consol, dash, and doors are dressed with real wood and soft the interior is lined with sof to the touch leather. An available 1o speaker Bose sounds system with twin speakers on the headrest of the front seats is litterally music to my ears – It creates a personalized sound experince for each occupant.

The Infiniti Q70L is avialable in two different engine configurations: a 3.7L V6 that produces 330 horsepower and a 5.6L V8 that produces 416 horsepower. The V8 moves! Both drivetrain option come with a 7-speed automatic transmission that shifts smoothly, but quickly when needed.

The usual flagship level features are standard with the 5.6L varient of the Infiniti Q70L, such as a 360 degree camera and and climate controled seats. So far $64,000 you are not just getting a bigger engine.

The overall design of the Inifiti Q70L has had a major update in almost a decade. This is good for buyers, because they can expect their car to look modern for years to come.

First Drive: 2016 Nissan Altima

 
The 2016 Altima may look nearly identical to the 2015 model, but it is what’s inside that counts. Upgrades include a new grill with active shutters to improve areodynamics and fuel efficentcy, a sportier suspesion, and an enhanced cabin with increased sound proofing material. I can’t get over the how quite this car is!

The 2016 Nissan Altima is available with two engine options: A 4-cylinder engine that gets almost 40 mpg, and a peppy V6 that produces 270 horsepower. New for 2016 is an SR variant, that adds a sportier suspension, paddel shifters, and unique wheel. Nissan uses a CVT transmission in all Altimas, so you get smoother shifts, but you are sacraficing performance.

  
Updated safety technologies make the 2016 Nissan Altima one of the safest cars in it’s segment: An optional forward emergency braking system is able to bring the Altima to a complete stop, rear cross traffic alert warns you if a car is approaching while backing out from a parking spot, and blind spot warning alerts you if a car is driving in your blindspot.

At a starting price of $22,000, this best Nissan Altima yet! 

The Mercedes-Benz SL400 is the new kid on the block!

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The Mecedes-Benz SL400 has big shoes to fill in the United States. It is the new budget friendly SL for our market. While Europe has enjoyed fuel efficient 6-cylinder SL Class roadsters for over a decade, this is the first year, since 2001, that the US market will receive a V6 option. We have had the luxury of touring around with Mecedes’ powerful V8 and V12 engines, producing up to 621 horsepower.

With a smaller engine comes decreased performance, but I will pleasantly surprised by the 2015 Mercedes-Benz SL400. The 3.0L bi-turbo engine produces 329 horsepower and 354 pounds of torque, which means plenty of power for everyday driving. And if the new SL400 is your everyday driver, you will be please to find out that the roadster gets 20 mpg in the city and 27 mph on the highway.

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As with the rest of the SL-Class line up, the Mercedes-Benz SL400 is beautifully crafted grand tourer, designed to trill as you drive along the coast in luxury. The of the SL400 interior is sporty and refined. The seats, doors and dash are blanketed in premium leathers and trimmed with real wood and aluminum. Napa Leather is available as an option. Sporty physical gages are paired with a small display on the instrument cluster. Aluminum brake and gas pedals amplify the performance feeling you get when you are behind the wheel.

It is not a race car feeling, it is a feeling of confidence and comfort. This is the car you want to drive every day or take on a cross country road trip. With the top down you feel like a kid again, and with the top up you can enjoy a peaceful ride.

Because the Mercedes SL400 is a hardtop convertible, you get the benefits of driving a convertible without the disadvantages of owning one. Traditional soft top convertibles are noisy on the highway, the SL400 is as quite. You also don’t have to worry about a thief using a knife to cut open the top and brake into your car.

The Mercedes-Benz SL400 comes very well equipped: Real leather seats (an option on most Mercedes’ now days), wood trim interior, a high-end sound system, backup camera, dual-zone climate control, and a navigation system are all standard. Available options include massaging seats (which don’t work as well as the ones on the S-Class Coupe and Sedan), lane keep assist (which will autocorrect your steering wheel if you veer out of your lane), ventilated seats, and laser guide cruise control.

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My father owns the previous generation SL, the Mercedes-Benz SL550. It was interesting to compare the two vehicles side-by-side. The SL550 was Mecedes’ entry level SL in 2007. It came with a powerful 5.5L V8 that produced 382 horsepower. It also came standard with ABC Sport and a suspension system that allowed you to raise and lower the height of the car – both are expensive options on the new SL Class vehicles. The new one is definitely has a sportier look and much more sophisticated technology.

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While some skeptics might scoff at the Mercedes-Benz SL400 because it has a smaller engine than it’s big brothers, I like it. The smaller engine increases fuel economy, which is important for trips and daily use, plus it comes at a lower price point (starting at $85,000 versus $108,000).

Click here or visit your local Mercedes-Benz deal for more information on the 2015 Mercedes-Benz SL400.