Bringing back the Roadster

If you’re a car person, then you know just how far electric cars have come in such a short period of time. Armed with electric motors means large amounts of instant torque, and with torque comes hard acceleration. One of the most recognizable makers of electric cars known as Tesla, is living proof.

If you look at their lineup performance wise, it’s pretty impressive. Their Model S can reach 0-60 mph as fast as 2.5 seconds. Even more impressive to me is their Model X which can reach 60 in just 2.9 seconds. This is an SUV we’re talking about here, and it’s the fastest SUV in production Tesla claims. I’ll take their word on that.

However, Tesla just unveiled an absolute game changer. After years of anticipation, they have finally answered all the requests to bring back the Roadster. Well, they’re taking orders, but you can’t get your hands on one until 2020.

The new Roadster’s performance is unbelievable, and I mean it. The Roadster accelerates like a rollercoaster from 0-60 mph in a staggering 1.9 seconds. Yes under 2 seconds! It then climbs up to 100 mph in just 2.3 seconds for a combined total of just 4.2 seconds. This car can reach 100 mph faster than a lot of performance cars even reach 60! Making it the fastest accelerating production car.

Tesla Roadster:

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Tesla even went the extra mile to make the Roadster as practical as possible. One of the most important factors of electric cars that people ask about is what the range is on a charge. The Roadster can get up to 621 miles on a charge, making it very practical, considering very few gasoline fueled cars have an equal or greater range.

Also practical about the Roadster is the fact that it’s a 2+2. Yes, they snuck in two seats back there. Elon Musk doesn’t recommend fitting a rather larger person back there, but he claims you can cram them in there. With that said, you could very well have a family and still own this car. The MSRP of the Roadster is $200k, including a $50k deposit. Production doesn’t start until 2020.

It’s great to see that Tesla is responding to the demand for a newer high performance car, and they haven’t disappointed one bit. I’ll be waiting impatiently to see in 2020 how owners are liking their new Roadsters and if they will be as practical and reliable as Elon has claimed.

Roadster Dash:

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Sources:

https://www.tesla.com/roadster/

http://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/future-cars/a13792609/tesla-roadster-photos-info/

 

 

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Reaching New Speeds

When you think of peak performance, you think of the best of the best, or the cream of the crop. Very little room, if not any is left for error, and every detail is carefully considered to ensure optimal results. Such a state is highly sought after in the car performance and tuner scene. But no other vehicle class has gotten it down to a science more than hypercars.

I mean, when designing a performance car that will have an MSRP of over a million dollars, there really is no excuse for a lack of ingenuity in designing a car that will bend what we think is possible for a production car to put down.

The purpose of todays post is to introduce you to something I think might impress you. If someone asked you what the fastest production car is current day, you’d probably name out the Bugatti Chiron (261 mph), the Hennessy Venom GT (270mph), or the Koenigsegg  Agera RS (278mph). All of these having very impressive and respectable top speeds. But there may just be new player in the game which is projected to reach an entirely new milestone in the top speed for production cars world.

Just recently debuted at the 2017 SEMA car show, the Hennessy Venom F5 has some astonishing stats on paper. Certainly astonishing is its $1.6 million USD price tag. But what exactly do you get for such a price? Well, if it holds to what Hennessy claims, when in production the Venom F5 will shatter the previous top speed record with a top speed of 301 mph. Thats right, this bad boy now introduces us to the 300 mph club, a whole new division. All of the details can be found on their website (Here).

Hennessey Venom F5:

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As listed on Hennessy’s site, the Venom F5 reaches 186 mph in under 10 seconds, and 249 mph in under 30. This is possible thanks to all of the beautiful curves and edges that you see on the vehicle. It has been designed with an extremely low drag coefficient allowing it to slice through the air. It also helps that this thing is powered by a monstrous 1,600 bhp Twin Turbo V8.

Production will be limited to just 24 models, making it fairly exclusive. It’s nice to see that there are companies striving to not just push out the same cars with slightly different designs and slap a million dollar price tag on them, but instead pushing the limits of what we consider possible. There are many restrictions that come along with producing a car for production that will be allowed on the streets, and for a company to do so and make it reach 300+ mph seems amazing to me. I can’t wait to see more of this car when they begin to ship out to their respective owners.

More Photos:

All Photos and information on the car gathered from:

http://www.hennesseyspecialvehicles.com

 

A dying Breed

It’s a nightmare scenario of almost all car enthusiasts. The day that the automatic has fully replaced the manual transmission. But will a day even come? Some believe so, while others remain hopeful.

I myself have yet to have the privilege of owning a stick shift car, but it is certainly a requirement for next purchase. Having a manual gearbox to me makes it feel as if I have absolute control over the car as opposed to an automatic transmission.

Manual transmission featured in the Subaru WRX STI:

subaru-wrx-sti-manual-transmission

But with todays technology, automatic transmissions are become far more advanced, and are getting better at beating manuals in most aspects. A post on Jalopnik found here, points out that car brands such as Mercedes, Ferrari, and lamborghini don’t even produce manual cars anymore.

These companies are taking advantage of Dual-clutch transmissions that operate as an automatic transmission, however can be shifted by using paddle shifters. I think paddle shifters are an amazing creation, and can be very fun, however don’t fully replace the full satisfaction of banging through gears with your left foot and right arm.

Like stated earlier, technology is making automatics more and more efficient and practical, and more appealing to the average car consumer. This leaves manuals as pretty much an option for those who are looking for better enjoyment when driving (a much smaller crowd). An automatic is for someone who’s looking to go from point a to point b, a manual transmission is for the car enthusiast. I can’t seem to remember where exactly I read this quote from, so I can’t give proper credit, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

I myself don’t want to believe that the manuals will ever go extinct, however I’m prepared to see such a day. It’s hard to picture companies such as Ford completely discontinuing a manual option for their Mustangs, or Chevrolet with their Corvette lineup. But you never know what technology the future can bring. #SaveTheManuals

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P.S. I found this cool invention while scrolling through my Facebook feed. Basically it converts an H-pattern gearbox into a sequential gearbox, pretty neat!

Sources:

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https://jalopnik.com/the-manual-transmission-is-dying-and-its-all-our-fault-1789087773

 

 

Hidden Meanings

Car enthusiast or not, most of us likely have a good grip on popular car manufacturers and their brand specific badges. These badges/logos play an enormous role in the branding/marketing of such car brands. But do you truly know the meanings behind most of the badges? Some are blatantly obvious, however a lot require some digging into. Me being my curious self, decided to do a little research and find out some of the reasons and messages of some popular car manufacturers. Heres a list of some that I decided were pretty interesting.

Aston Martin:

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It may not be apparent at first, but the logo for Aston Martin is a set of wings. Inherently wings represent speed, freedom, dreams, and exploring the boundaries. All great characteristics to have embedded into the perception of a car brand.

Mercedes:

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The Mercedes emblem has a fairly simple meaning behind it. The three points of the star represent Mercedes “domination of the land, the sea, and the air”.

Maserati:

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The sharp and classy Maserati logo is like none other. The logo is actually a trident, which was chosen due to its symbolism of Bologna, the home city of Maserati. More specifically the trident was inspired from the Fountain of Neptune, in the Piazza Maggiore of Bologna.

Audi:

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The rings of the Audi emblem have always reminded me of the rings of the olympics logo. The four rings in Audi’s logo represent the four makers of Auto Union. Those being Audi, Horch, DKW, and Wanderer

Infiniti:

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The Infiniti actually has two meanings. The easier to guess being a road that runs far into the distance. The second meaning, being a representation of Mount Fuji, a popular landmark of its home country Japan.

Subaru:

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The iconic stars of the Subaru emblem, believe it or not, is a representation of one of earths constellations. The Pleiades star collection, found in the Taurus constellation to be exact. The biggest star represents Fuji Heavy Industries, and the smaller stars represent it’s subsidiaries, Subaru being one.

Mitsubishi:

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The three diamonds of Mitsubishi’s logo originate from its name. Mitsubishi in Japanese actually means Three (Mistu), Diamond/Rhombus (hishi). Therefore the reason why three diamonds appear on the Mitsubishi badge.

Mazda:

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The Mazda emblem is another clever emblem to imply two meanings. If you look at the logo, you can see an M, obviously representing Mazda. But the middle section is also designed to look like extended wings. I believe the design its self is neat, but the purposes make it even more neat.

Sources:

http://www.carlogos.org

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More Speed, Less Cash

It’s a picture perfect dream, sitting behind the wheel of a six figure price tag sports car. All of the power and speed you could ever ask for right in your hands. But, for various reasons, most of us can’t afford the high price of such masterpieces. Or even the cost to insure one!

Thankfully, there are plenty of great cars out there that can still cure your itch for speed, and keep you from breaking the bank. The cars I will reference in this post can all be found for under $10k, and in most cases well under. Here they are.

Mitsubishi 3000GT:

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The 3000GT’s real name is the Mitsubishi GTO, however in most countries that it was exported to from Japan, it was renamed to the 3000GT. Another name that the GT was also renamed is the Dodge stealth. In America, 1994-2004 models of the 3000GT contain a V6 that puts out 220 hp at 6,000 RPM.

Ford mustang gt:

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No other car type best represents America than pure muscle, and Ford has long been one of the best to perfect this class of cars with their Mustang lineup. The GT series, specifically models 1999-2004 are growing increasingly affordable, even to high school students. Base models push 260 hp, and special editions such as the mach 1 have up to 305 hp.

Mazda RX-8:

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The Mazda RX-8 may seem boring on paper, being equipped with its mere 1.3L engine. But don’t be fooled as it’s not your typical piston engine that powers this rev happy Mazda. The RX-8 along with it’s older brother, the RX-7, have gained much of their popularity thanks to it’s rotary engine. Thanks to the rotary, RX-8’s have an amazing 9,000 rpm redline, and pushes a little over 200 hp to the rear wheels.

Subaru Impreza WRX:

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Of course included in this post I must add my favorite of all. Despite being one of the best cars in retaining its value, every year the older models become easier to afford. Right now the cut-off seems to be at the 2005 model year (pictured above), at which you can find one in good condition and with a reasonable amount of miles  for under $10k. The boxer engine inside of the wrx will get it up to 60 mph in mid 5 seconds. Wrx’s are also all wheel drive, making them handle very well into corners, and also in bad weather.

Image Sources:

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1999-04_Ford_Mustang_coupe.jpg

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Other sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Mustang_(fourth_generation)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitsubishi_GTO

 

 

 

Luxurious V8

Picture luxury on 4 wheels, and you’re almost gaurenteed to envision in your thoughts the familiar silver ornament that sits upon the hoods of Mercedes-Benz’s. Now add in a 5.8L supercharged V8, and you’ve got yourself the formula for a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.

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In production from 2003-2010, the McLaren had a sticker price of a whopping half a Million USD. Mercedes also limited production to a mere 2,157 units in total. If you are wondering about the McLaren name being in a Mercedes car, the reason being is that Mercedes owned 40% of McLaren at the time.

With a redline of 7,000 RPM’s and a 600HP engine, this Benz could get up to 60 in 3.4 seconds. If you have a need for speed, the 722 edition (a variation) reaches a top speed of 209 mph.

Since the day I first laid eyes on this car, I have been obsessed. The low profile and extremely sleek design are visually appealing. Especially appealing is the exhaust note of the turbo’d V8. Also, the look of this car reminds me of the old batman car.  This car releases the inner child in me, and makes me wish I could afford to splurge on a such a car.

2009 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren FAB Design Desire

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_SLR_McLaren#722_Edition

https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/mercedes-benz-slr-mclaren-road-test

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Godzilla

It’s all wheel drive (AWD), a 2 door coupe,  and at a fraction of the cost of high end sport cars  like Lamborghini, and Ferrari, it can keep up with and out run such cars. What kind of car fits this description? Ahhhh yes, Godzilla. Better known as the Nissan GT-R.

Nissan first introduced the GT-R in its Skyline series which began production in Japan in 1969. But the skyline as we know to be highly popular technically wasn’t introduced until the third generation of the model, where Nissan re introduced the Skyline as the Skyline GT-R R32 model. It was this model that gave the GTR its common “Godzilla” nickname thanks to the Australia motor magazine Wheels. This nickname has stuck to the Gt-R to current day in the newer R35 models.

The current day Nissan GT-R (R35), began production in 2007 and no longer is a part of the Skyline range. Un-modified, a GT-R can reach not to sixty in as little as 2.7 seconds, putting it at a very respectable place in the the fastest production cars. This is incredible also considering it’s reasonable msrp of about $110k USD. If you look at fairly new (couple years old) but slightly used GT-R’s with under 30k miles, you can score yourself one of these bad boys for only around $60k USD. Keep in mind you’re going to pay to maintain a $100k vehicle, however for the price of a new truck, you can own a car that will let you compete with $200K plus Lamborghini’s.

The Nissan GT-R is definitely on my list of cars to buy some day. Because it’s a Japanese  car, there are plenty of options for modifying to get every bit of power from the Godzilla. I personally think they look best in either gray or white, but wouldn’t mind a blue one as blue is my favorite color. Below I will attach an image of a Nissan R35 GT-R.

Sorces used:

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_GT-R

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Skyline_GT-R

 

 

My next car?

A common question that you have or probably will be asked at one point in your life is “what was you first car?“.  And you will probably have an answer right on the top of your head. The excitement and new doors opened upon owning your first car are some memories not easily forgotten. But what if you were asked a slightly different question? The question of what your next car would be. Would you have an answer?

Some would say “why does it matter? The car I have right now is enough”, and some might ponder the ideas of themselves in their favorite car that they have always wished they had. Myself being closer to the latter. I have a fairly certain idea of what my next car will be, and have had my mind set on it for quite some time. Okay, maybe for over 5 years now.

Unlike the average individual, who usually decides which dealership they would like to go to, and then look for a new car. I have the car chosen out, but have to find a dealership that actually has one in stock. And when you have the very strict constraints that I have, it can be quite a challenge finding the car within reasonable distance (150 miles).

Exactly what car do I have in mind for my next? My answer is a Subaru Impreza WRX. I have had many other considerations within the years that I am waiting to own my affordable dream car, but this one always triumphs the others.

What makes this car so special? Why does is have to be this car you ask? Well, it has every desirable feature in a car that I can currently wish for. The inner car enthusiast in me desires the performance it offers and can justify purchasing this car due to its practicality. My attraction for this particular car began back when I discovered and fell in love with rally racing, and has only grown as I learn more and more about this car and just cars in general.

It pushes out a decent 265 horsepower to not just the front or rear wheels, but all four. This means it’s great for plowing through the tough New England winter blizzards, and for better all around handling when driving. The boxer engine that powers the WRX and all other Subaru’s is proven to be reliable and regularly reach 250k miles without a problem and still retain its youth strength. There are a large amount of aftermarket parts available for the WRX making it easy to customize. A lot of options for modifications also makes it easy with little investment for one to get their WRX up in the 300’s for horsepower, and even further depending on the desire and funding available for more power.

Beyond these reasons I am obsessed with the look of the last generation of WRX Hatchbacks (2011-2014) which I will post below. Also the unique sound from WRX’s/Subaru’s is what always has my head turning looking for where it is. A modest exhaust will reveal the rumble of the WRX’s boxer engine, a sound thats music to my ears.

I am hoping that I will have the opportunity of finally owning my dream car before the end of the year, and possibly before winter season. I plan on picking a 2011 Hatchback, in either blue or white. I am still searching for the right one and in the right condition, but I will know for sure when I find the right one. Being able to actually own this car will be a big help in providing content for this page, and might open up doors for me entering  the video (vlog) style blogging on the popular site Youtube.

Last generation of the Subaru WRX/STI Hatchback:

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Image Source:

Subaru_Impreza_WRX_STI_Competition_Car_(MIAS_`11).jpg

 

What makes you tick?

If you can name it, then there is almost always someone out there who has developed a passion, or higher appreciation for such a thing. The level of passion can vary from a means of leisure, up to a way of life and full devotion. Sometimes it is easy for one to explain their passion to others to understand, and sometimes it can be a bit more difficult.

For me and many others like me, it has always been a challenge to fully explain what exactly it is that draws me towards my passion for cars. There isn’t exactly one particular reason to pinpoint why, but rather a collection of reasons. The first main hurdle faced when trying to explain to a non car person your passion for cars, is getting them to forget what their definition of what a car is. For a non-car person, what they want in a car is completely different than a car enthusiast.

You see, when someone has a special interest for something, almost all practicality goes down the drain. A non-car enthusiast will generally seek an economical car that gets great gas mileage, is dependable, is relatively inexpensive to maintain, and will be the most comfortable for them. For a car enthusiast, these factors play a much smaller role in the cars they choose to own. Things such as performance, aesthetics, collectability, and personal preferences are more important to them. Understanding this is the biggest hurdle to overcome in understanding car culture.

I happened to find a small article that covers some great reasons that can be easily relatable to even those who don’t consider themselves to have a passion for cars [Article]. One reason covered in the article that all should be able to relate to is the sense of freedom that is given by having a car. As a kid just getting your license, its exciting to be able to now drive yourself places without the dependency on others. This sense of freedom sticks with us all.

Another great reason the article discusses is Personality. The article describes it as your car being a “direct extension” of how you view yourself as a person. This couldn’t be more true for car enthusiasts. Many car lovers see their car as a representation of themselves and invest large amounts of money into their cars to get them to be most appealing to themselves. This is why car meets (events held where car enthusiasts gather to display their cars) are a popular activity amongst car enthusiasts. It gives them the opportunity to share with like minded people everything they have done to their car and why.

In the end, we all have our guilty pleasures and areas that we probably shouldn’t spend as much as we choose to in. It’s just what we choose to spend abnormal amounts of time and money in that separates us. Hopefully this post can help to better explain the reasons behind car enthusiasts and their decisions.

Do you think someone is a fool for spending lets say $3-$5,000 to upgrade their car?

Downloading “Your car keys”

For those who have purchased or rode in a car released in the past few years, you may have noticed an iconic routine missing when starting up the car. The familiar fumbling in your pockets, clinking of metal, and the twist of your hand to wake up your automobile’s engine. It may all soon be a thing of the past.

With the rapid growth of technology in the past couple of decades, it has found its way into almost every industry. For the automotive industry it has mostly meant fancy displays, comfortable seat adjustments, gps navigation, more controls, and electric motors. However, technology is now even threatening your car keys. The majority of car brands have introduced keys known as keyfobs that involve a push start instead of twisting a key, but even now those pose extinction.

If you’re keeping up to date in the auto tech news, recent news articles covering this topic can be found on msn.com (link) and foxnews.com (link). Both of the articles use information gathered from an interview of Ian Robertson who works for BMW, a prominent brand looking to remove physical car keys.

Instead of a key to get into your car, car brands such as BMW and Tesla are replacing them with an app that is downloaded onto your smartphone. The Tesla model 3 which is now in production will take advantage of this app and also includes a credit card like object to unlock your car in the case that you don’t have your phone. This card, and app are the only way to gain access of your model 3, no physical key is provided.

Tesla card to unlock:

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Reading of these new technologies brings to the front of my mind questions on how practical this concept will be, and if this will even take off and have the whole industry on board.

This may be because this is still such a new concept to consider, but I am yet to be convinced that turning over to digital is the way to go for accessing and starting your car.  To me it seems like yet another way for humans to become dependent on their phones. Also, it gives me a headache to think of the security issues that could occur in the event that your phone is hacked and along with it access to your car. The card to unlock Tesla model 3 is a neat idea for backup however it doesn’t provide much of an improvement from the already existing wireless key fobs that let you access your car as long as its in range (in your pocket). The only benefit I can foresee is the flat design taking up less space in your pocket. However unlike the wireless key fob, you have to take the Tesla card out of your pocket, and it just seems like an easier thing to lose.

What do you think, are digital keys superior to physical in your opinion? What are some benefits and drawbacks that you think digital keys would bring to the auto industry?

Photo source:

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