Tag Archives: Audi

2019 Volkswagen Arteon SEL w/4Motion

VW Arteon  a sporty fastback that should score big with families …

VW’s new luxury family sedan proves that cars are not dead yet. This sporty fastback is simply so much more fun and comfortable to drive than an SUV or large crossover that it makes you wonder why cars are falling out of favor.

VW has launched the Arteon (odd name to be sure, but not a deal breaker) to replace the CC which was equally attractive. The tested Chili Red (medium metallic red) SEL with 4Motion has everything a family predestined to buy a ute or crossover could want. Continue reading 2019 Volkswagen Arteon SEL w/4Motion

Die-cast: Autoart’s 2014 LeMans, Toyota TS040 Hybrid

Toyota’s LeMans hybrid racer looks good in 1/18 scale …Autoart Toyota TS040 Hybrid

LeMans prototype racers press the envelope of styling and power to compete at the highest levels of the World Endurance Championship that includes the famous 24 Hours of LeMans in France.

Audi has dominated that race for the past decade and Porsche has had its run too. But a few years back Toyota decided to enter the fray and take on the big boys with its TS030. But it took two years to work out the bugs and the hybrid model TS040 won the WEC manufacturer’s championship in 2014.

Autoart has created another masterful reproduction in 1/18 scale, here with the No. 7 Toyota racer that was driven in 2014 by noted endurance drivers, Alexander Wurz, Kazuki Nakajima,  and Stéphane Sarrazin.

The History

Toyota’s foray into prototype racing for the endurance title started in 2012 with the TS030 hybrid. But it was the TS040 that finally moved the Japanese car maker to the top of the LMP1 podium. Autoart Toyota TS040 HybridThe TS040 used a naturally-aspirated V8 that featured a supercapacitor system, or energy-retrieval system, on the rear and front axle to give it 58% more power than its predecessor. This also gave the racer 4-wheel-drive, a major benefit in an endurance car that often has to race in lousy weather.

The car features a carbon fiber and aluminum honeycomb chassis and its 3.7-liter 90-degree V8 along with the energy-retrieval system generates nearly 1000 horsepower – 986 hp to be exact. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart’s 2014 LeMans, Toyota TS040 Hybrid

2017 Genesis G90 RWD 5.0 Ultimate

Genesis has it all, but the panache and name …2017 Genesis G90

When Toyota launched Lexus in 1989, its first sedans impersonated Mercedes-Benz models, but cost a lot less. Now Hyundai has launched its impressive new Genesis luxury car lineup with two models and the top-level G90 looks like a Bentley. Even its logo resembles that of the British make.

Again the formula is to create a car that visually screams luxury while undercutting the original by thousands of dollars. To be sure the new G90 competes mostly with the large Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Lexus and Cadillac sedans. But if you could convince your neighbors you were driving a Bentley, yet only spent $70 grand or so, well, you just might try.

That’s what Hyundai is betting on, just as Lexus did before it.2017 Genesis G90

Certainly the G90 is impressive and dressed in Caspian Black, a metallic black paint job, the tested rear-drive Ultimate model turned heads. People asked what it was. Genesis didn’t ring any bells.

But it may soon. Along with this 5.0-liter, 420-horse, V6-powered G90 Genesis offers the G80 with a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 that creates a substantial 365 horsepower. Both models are rear-wheel drive, but offer all-wheel-drive versions too. Continue reading 2017 Genesis G90 RWD 5.0 Ultimate

2016 Lexus RC 200t

Lexus RC looks, drives like a sexy beast 2016 Lexus RC 200t

Not much in the car world is better than a sexy sports car, except maybe one that offers four engine choices and a wide span of prices so more folks can afford said sexy beast.

Lexus happily does just that with its RC sports coupe, which offers two versions of its 3.5-liter V6, plus a rockin’ 467-horsepower V8-powered F model for the serious racer wanna-bes or guys overcompensating for something.

The tested base RC 200t lists at $39,995 while the V8 version starts at about $64,000.

I tested the RC 350 more than a year ago and found it powerful, stylish, nimble and well, pretty much a hoot to drive. The 200t is less of the same.

Still stylish with its distinctive spindle grille and edgy overall looks, the RC 200t features a good looking interior too and all the handling and fun of the 350, but with less power and one major stumbling block, an annoying hesitation for that power to kick in when you first tromp the gas pedal.2016 Lexus RC 200t

Here’s the deal. Continue reading 2016 Lexus RC 200t

2016 Acura RDX AWD Advance

Acura RDX couples luxury, power with AWD rdx

Smooth, quiet and useful, with a strong interior luxury quotient. That’s the new Acura RDX AWD Advance, the top-of-the-line model that should be making European makes nervous.

Why?

Well, it’s awfully nice and for substantially less cash than equally equipped German makes, such BMW, Mercedes and Audi. There’s still some panache to such nameplates, but folks looking for luxury and value will find both in the Acura.

This is an incredibly quiet and comfortable crossover vehicle that will carry five passengers. It’s handsome but certainly not a head turner. But the dark metallic blue of the test vehicle made this RDX stand out in a sea of gray/silver crossovers populating suburbia.

rdx2There’s much to like here, and little to loathe, or even think twice about.

Power is good from the 3.5-liter iVTEC V6 that creates 279 horsepower with a torque rating of 252 ft.-lbs. Plus there’s a sport mode that increases throttle response if you’re needing quick acceleration. Certainly the RDX will quickly get you to highway speeds for easy merges. However, and this was only a moderate concern, sometime there is a lag in acceleration once you are at speed and get on the gas quickly to pass, or when powering out of a turn. This is not uncommon in many of today’s vehicles, no matter their price. Continue reading 2016 Acura RDX AWD Advance

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid SE

Hybrid gives us another good reason to buy a Camrycamry1

            Toyota’s Camry was the best-selling car in the United States last year, topping the No. 2 Honda Accord by roughly 40,000 units.

In fact, Camry has been one of the top-selling cars for years, and for several, Toyota was happy to let it idle along. But a couple years ago Toyota decided that styling mattered and revamped Camry’s exterior helping it become one of the better styled family sedans.

Now along comes the hybrid version, which means it has a gas engine and hybrid electric system that work in conjunction to create excellent fuel economy. Add to that the Camry’s expected comfort, longevity and its newfound styling, which includes a large Audi-style grille, and, to be honest, there’s not much to fault.

The 2015 Camry remains a pleasant drive, and in my eye, much more stylish than an Accord. Toyota’s hybrid system is the best in the biz for functionality and consistently good gas mileage. I got 36.5 mpg in about a 50/50 split of city and highway. EPA rates this at 40 mpg city and 38 mpg highway. Regular unleaded is all the 2.5-liter I4 requires. There’s also an Eco mode controlled by a button on the console if you want to improve your mileage. But it does sap your power considerably. Continue reading 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid SE

2015 Kia K900

K900, like Equus, delivers quiet luxury, many features at lower priceK900A

Established luxury makes may want to check that rearview mirror as Kia and its cousin Hyundai are gaining on them, rapidly.

Case in point, the new Kia K900, the separated-at-birth twin to Hyundai’s luxurious Equus. Both the K900 and Equus are ladled with luxury features, look as luxurious as any full-size luxury sedans on the road, and are as quiet as Miller Park in October – quieter!

Sound deadening and a smooth-running 5.0-liter V8 create an interior that could pass for a sensory deprivation tank, if you close your eyes. You won’t want too though because the interior looks great too and cradles you in its soft leather trimmings.

Did I mention that you’ll pay on the order of $10 grand less than a “traditional” luxury make?

Consider the K900 starts at $59,500 and even at that price you get much of the luxury trimmings that came on the metallic gray test car, which added a $6,000 VIP package to push this to $66,400, including a $900 delivery fee. A Lexus, Audi, Mercedes-Benz or other full-size European luxury sedan will run you considerably more. But then their logos have been around longer.

k900bCertainly value is a big part of the Kia’s story, but while value talks, performance walks. That is, it puts you in the hunt for luxury sedan buyers’ stock option checks. Continue reading 2015 Kia K900

Braking News: Automotive Bowl Ads

Car ads in the Super Bowl

Super_Bowl_XLVIII_logoThey pay a crapfull of money to buy ads in the Super Bowl so at 4 million bucks and have one, maybe two shots to grab viewers’ attention. This year Audi, CarMax, Jaguar, Kia, Hyundia, Toyota, and VW are all swinging for the fence. Check them out ahead of time. My faves:

Audi – Doberhuahua: Who doesn’t love dogs?

Kia – The Truth: Laurence Fishburne reprises his role as Morpheus from The Matrix

Toyota Highlander: Nice cross-promotion with the Muppets. I like the second one the best.

VW: Both ads are kind of cute.

 

Audi R8 races two superbikes

The need for speed!!!

I’ve seen a lot of car vs. motorcycle videos over the years but this one really caught my eye. Entertaining yet stupid. Not because of a spectacular accident or anything like that, but because the people involved race like they’re playing a harmless video game.

The video comes from the interior of an Audi R8, which I have seen when I got to take a ride in one, and documents a scary-fast impromptu race against two superbikes, a Suzuki GSXR1000 and a Kawasaki Ninja ZX 10R. That’s what the description reads but they might be 600 cc  bikes. It seriously looks like something you would see in a game of Need for Speed and not on a real highway.

FYI:  265KPH = 165MPH

Caution: language

AudiR8-motorcycle-racing

 

Chasing Classic Cars: There’s an app for that

For those who like me love going to the app store and classic cars

Let’s face it, we’re all car junkies! If we don’t already have our classic car, our baby, we lust for it. Well…..there’s always the promo models but they’re not interactive. Relax followers, I found a couple of apps that might interest you.

Free is good!

When I go to the app store I try to limit what I pay for apps. Of my 118 apps (OK, I might have gone a little overboard), I have a several that are $4.99 and a couple that are $9.99 (mostly aviation related). But FREE is even better, right? I have tons of those. Keep in mind that most of the apps offered are created with a goal of generating revenue. So free isn’t always free. To generate revenue, many free apps will make up the difference with in-app purchases.

chasing classic cars, car apps, app store, classic car apps.Not sure how I found out about it but CSR Classic caught my eye. The concept behind this app is that you have the opportunity to restore “THE GREATEST CLASSIC CARS EVER MADE” although not everybody will totally agree with the list of cars. There are Mustangs, a Corvette and several other Chevys, Mopars, such as a Road Runner and Barracuda, along with options from BMW and Audi that you drag race against other fictional car owners the app comes up with. Whateverchasing classic cars, car apps, app store, classic car apps. you do, do not pick the Chevy Impala even though it has a big 427 engine in it. I picked it thinking all that power would help and it didn’t and ended chasing classic cars, car apps, app store, classic car apps.chasing classic cars, car apps, app store, classic car apps.up costing me lots in upgrades. It’s all about shift timing and power. Oh and speaking of upgrades, you get some freebies in the beginning and it is pretty easy to earn the cash needed for  them. I used most of them to buy the Thunderbird which ran must better but eventually needed some upgrades I would have to pay for. The in-app purchases start at $2.99 (not bad) and run all the way up to $59.99 (ouch). Well after a while I loved the game, I didn’t love it more than the $9.99 upgrade I had bought. I will warn you that this game is addictive.

The classic cars that you will never own

chasing classic cars, classic cars, car apps, iphone, ipad, SavageOnWheels.comchasing classic cars, classic cars, car apps, iphone, ipad, SavageOnWheels.comAh but you can with this cool app I found called Car Fiend (who isn’t?) where you can create your ultimate garage. It’s sort of like Facebook or Pinterest but just for cars. You can add pictures of your own rides or grab ones you see on the internet to put in your garage. Others can comment on your picks while you can do the same with their’s. I’m not going to get into what’s in my garage because I’m going to do a post about that soon. I love this app! Hats off to its developer, CARFIEND.

How much do you think that car costs?

hagerty-1I do that all the time when I see a classic car. My wife and daughter ask too. Hey, it’s not like we’re going to buy it but it’s nice to know. This comes from one of my favorite place to hang out at Hagerty.com, considered THE source on classic cars. Hagerty has a price guide app. Totally FREE! You can find your car’s price and view market trends. It is so easy to use. Select the make, model, and year and the prices pop right up from a low (barn find not covered) to a high (restored to factory or better). Just for fun, pick a car, any car. I like to have fun with the exotics like Lambos or Porsches as these are the cars I will probably never own. Come on PowerBall!

chasing classic cars, car apps, app store, classic car apps.