Posted Jul 22nd 2014 1:00PM
Race Recap: 2014 German Grand Prix is relapse and recovery
Posted Jul 22nd 2014 12:35PM
What's the first thing that any car enthusiast wants to do when they go to Germany for the first time? Yup, fahren Sie die Autobahn (drive the Autobhan), of course! BMW provided us with a 2014 328i Gran Turismo xDrive and we hit the German super highway from Munich to embark upon a high-speed road trip to Berlin, about 600 km or so away.
We hopped onto the A9 from Munich and after some construction leaving the city, we hit the open highway. BMW's heads up display functioned perfectly with a constant readout displaying the speed limit. This was great addition for us as we were far from familiar with all the road signs and limits.
Throughout the city centres, the limit was was 100 km/h. As soon as you hit the outskirts (picture headed westbound along the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto into Etobicoke), the limit climbs to 120 km/h. When you head a little further out, the limit increases to 130 km/h. At this point, the cars in the passing lane (left lane) are generally travelling around 20 km/h above the speed limit.
Once you hit the open highway, the heads up display for the speed limit flashes to a circle with a diagonal line through it. This translates to go-time!
Check out the five minute video above to get a taste of what it was like to experience the German Autobahn. What a breath of fresh air! Driving along the Autobahn in Germany is something that we'll never forget. What would have been an agonizing and boring highway drive here in Canada was suddenly transformed into a fantastic and fun road trip in Germany. It seemed that all the drivers on the road were conscious of what other cars were doing and also tend to drive accordingly, like a well-oiled machine. Watch the 240 km/h Autobahn video posted above and look for our upcoming review of the same BMW 328i Gran Turismo xDrive coming soon.
Posted Jul 22nd 2014 12:00PM
It's been a few months since our first quick spin behind the wheel of the BMW i3. We can only imagine the challenges BMW is going to have explaining the i3 electric vehicle to the world (which starts at $44,950 here in Canada). It's got a new powertain (all-electric, with optional range extender), a new production method (carbon fibre reinforced plastic), a new brand (the 'i' line) and a new vehicle type (it's a city car). Despite everything that's different, BMW is still trying to talk about the i3 as if it fits in with the rest of the company's vehicles. But it doesn't. Not really. And that's going to make the marketing and salespeoples' jobs quite difficult.
Which is a shame, really, since the i3 is amazing. If it didn't carry the BMW 'heritage' baggage, people would be falling over each other to sing its praises. This is one of the smoothest, roomiest and slickest electric vehicles we've ever driven, with a lot of hidden surprises. It is a wonderful city car, and well designed for the car-sharing, emissions-aware drivers of the near future. But since the i3 carries the BMW name, everyone we ran into during our time with the car wanted to know one thing: is it "a BMW" as well as being an electric car?
During one point in our test drive, a police car pulled up next to us, totally stopping traffic. While my co-driver and I instantly thought we were going to be asked to move, the officer simply wanted to know what the hype was about with all the new BMW i3s he had seen from our group that day. Oh, and does it drive like a BMW? Click here to watch the video posted above as we'll explore and answer that question (and more) in full detail.
Posted Jul 22nd 2014 11:00AM
As auto enthusiasts, we have to accept that the general public is never going to embrace the manual transmission in a big way ever again. Automatics, CVTs and dual clutches are winning the war, in part because many people think of their car as an appliance. It transports them to and from work, and any way to make the drudgery involve less conscious thought is a welcome relief.
The fact that modern automatics are often more fuel efficient than three-pedal setups isn't helping either. However, the stick shift isn't dead yet. Manual-transmission cars are hanging on to their fan base like the vinyl LP's of the road and the video above lists the top 5 cheapest cars with a clutch
that we really like to drive.
Posted Jul 22nd 2014 10:00AM
It looks like Nissan maybe about to win the first ever battle in the long running war between cars and birds. Imagine a new car paint technology that's resistant to bird poop as well as water, dirt ,and all sorts of other road grime (as shown here)
Imagine no longer folks, as we head to Nissan North America HQ in Nashville, TN for a tech demonstration of Nissan's new technology aiming to even the score in the battle of cars vs. birds. Click here to watch the video above and see it in action for yourself.
Posted Jul 22nd 2014 8:59AM
Posted Jul 21st 2014 8:59PM
For decades, Jaguar has been a company of two minds. On one hand, there are its luxurious, British saloon cars. They might be quick, even sporty, but when it comes down to it, they usually put a focus on comfort and accommodations above all. On the other hand, Jag has its sports cars to really get its buyers' blood pumping. Think about it: the XJ might look pretty sweet, but you know deep down that you would rather take the F-Type for a spirited drive, reveling in its snorty exhaust note. In its latest video, Xcar Films takes us on a very enjoyable history lesson covering some of the Brit brand's most exciting models ever.
Xcar hits all of the highlights, starting with the often-overlooked C-Type from early '50s with its somewhat bulbous shape. Things then progress to the drop-dead gorgeous D-Type. The one in this video is actually the first ever made and therefore worth a fortune. Because of that, the host isn't really able to get too aggressive, but it's fantastic to get an idea of what it's like to experience being behind the wheel of this icon. Finally, it ends with a Series 1 E-Type. This was when the classic model was still something of a sports car; instead of the grand tourer that the E-Type became in its later days.
All three of these cars are legends in their own right, and maybe one day the F-Type could be too. Scroll down for a history lesson on some of Jaguar's best sports cars.
Posted Jul 21st 2014 8:00PM
The 2014 German Formula 1 Grand Prix is the hump-day race in the season and the penultimate chance for drivers and teams to rack up points before the summer break. Trying to stay on top after his first DNF of the year at the British Grand Prix, Mercedes AMG Petronas driver Nico Rosberg didn't have to wait until the race for misfortune to find Lewis Hamilton; his British teammate crashed out of the Q2 qualifying session due to a brake failure, then had to change his gearbox due of the crash, a calamity that left him starting 20th on the grid.
Rosberg took pole ahead of the Williams duo of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, with Kevin Magnussen surprising everyone with a fourth place in his McLaren. Daniel Ricciardo put the first Infiniti Red Bull Racing in fifth, ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari pilot Fernando Alonso, Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat, the Force India pair of Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Perez finishing the top ten.
In a replay of events in Britain but with a German accent, a first-lap incident brought out the Safety Car and the same Brazilian was taken out of the race.
Posted Jul 21st 2014 6:59PM
Formula Drift threw down in the Pacific Northwest over the weekend to the tune of 145+ km/h mph entry speeds into the 5/8 mile oval of Evergreen Speedway near Seattle, WA. Historically, the venue has produced some highly unpredictable results and first-time podium winners, and this weekend would be no different.
Amidst sunny skies and clear track conditions, qualifying took place on Friday and contained many familiar names. Topping the charts was Darren McNamara in the Falken Tire Nissan S14, whose 92-point second run bested his 90-point first run. His runs ended being the best of the initial round of qualifying. Robbie Nishida took second place in the Achilles Tire Lexus SC300, while Odi Bakchis snagged the third qualifying position with his effort, fresh off his first career podium in New Jersey. Points leader Chris Forsberg earned the fourth qualifying position, while Ryan Tuerck placed fifth. Championship contender Fredric Aasbo earned sixth position, and shockingly, 2012 Formula Drift champion Daigo Saito failed to qualify for only the second time in his North American career.