Is the new, 2018 Lexus LC500 any good?

When you think of high-performance cars, the name Lexus is probably not the first brand to come to mind. Continue reading —

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The 2017 Honda Civic Type-R is awesome, but is it flawless?

IMG_6954When Honda first introduced the Civic back in 1972, it was the entry-level offering from this Japanese manufacturer. Over the years, the Civic has grown in size, and performance, and it is now at a point where it has never been at before – at least in North America – because it is truly a road-legal track car that can monster the type of cars most people typically think of as sports cars. Ladies and gentleman, I am talking about, the 2017 Honda Civic Type-R.
Let’s start with the numbers, shall we. Under its hood, lies a 2.0L, four-cylinder motor, that features double over head cams, and 16 valves – with variable valve timing. That on its own would have made for a pretty tasty engine, but the clever engineers at Honda decided to bolt a giant turbocharger to it. End result is a motor that produces 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.
All that energy gets transmitted to just the front wheels, via what is possibly the best six-speed manual transmission currently on sale, in any car. Build up some heat in its 245/30 ZR18 performance tires, launch it properly, and it’ll sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.0 seconds flat! Keep that accelerator pedal buried (on the autobahn, or on a proper race track) and its speedometer will go all the way up to 277 km/h! This is a properly fast car.
However, surprisingly, what makes this car special are not the numbers it can achieve, but how it achieves them. The Civic Type-R sits on a chassis that is stiff in all the right places, and has excellent suspension geometry. As a result, the very moment you turn it into a corner, you get the feeling that everything from camber angles to tires, to chassis and suspension, plus the steering ratio, are all dialed in to work with each other. As a result, this car can take corners at ridiculous speeds, and not lose its cool – most drivers on the other hand, will not have the skills, or the nerves, to extract all that the Civic Type-R can offer.
Aiding in its pursuit of speed, are its aerodynamics. Look all around this car, and you’ll find splitters, ground effects, and spoilers, which are not just for show. They all work together to keep this car nailed to the tarmac. It looks the way it does, not because some designer wanted it that way – it looks this way, because it has to! The fact that it looks wonderful – like a mad, anime racing car – is just a bonus.
However, don’t think that Honda went all track-focused, and forgot all about creature comforts. Not at all, as the Civic Type-R comes really well equipped with features such as power windows, locks, and mirrors. It also has a good infotainment system – which features navigation – and conveniences like a blind spot camera (a Honda exclusive technology), cruise control, and a whole lot more. However, the best button in here, is the red “Engine Start” button.
Like all current generation Civic models, the Type-R is spacious, and its sports seats are, in a word, perfect.
So, is this car flawless? It comes close, but no. First issue you have to keep in mind, is that it is a bit noisy on the highway, because it doesn’t have lots of sound deadening material in it to keep the weight down  – at 1,415 kg, it is quite a bit lighter than its main rivals. Secondly, it has a stiff ride – which gets even stiffer when you select ‘Sport’ or ‘+R’ mode – so it is not ideal for daily driving. Because it is a Type-R, it is pretty much impossible to drive it sensibly, which means, it’ll drink a lot of gas – I averaged 9.7 L/100km, and it’ll drink the finest premium fuel you can find, 94 octane please.
My biggest complaint with it, is its exhaust note – despite having three exiting pipes, it is far too quiet to be a performance car. Honda, I hope that you have a sportier exhaust coming for the Type-R in the future, because it surely deserves that.IMG_6950
However, after spending a week with the 2017 Honda Civic Type-R, I am fully convinced that it deserves its asking price – even if it baffles some people, who view it as just another Civic! That price is: $40,890 + freight, PDI, dealer fees, and taxes.
Should you buy one? Well, considering that they are all sold out for the first model year, I say, if you can find one that is not being offered at a huge premium, don’t hesitate even for a second, the Type-R is not only all the performance car you wish for it to be, it delivers much more than that.
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My visit to Kahn Design was a disaster…

DSCN6387Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to work on plenty of exciting stories, and have met many high profile people from the automotive industry. Meeting Afzal Khan, the man behind Kahn Design, was the biggest disappointment of my career!

I had put in a lot of effort to go visit Kahn Design, travelled at my own expense, and made arrangements with one of their PR reps – who had been just wonderful to deal with. All was well, until I met Mr. Khan. He showed no appreciation for the work I had put in to get there, was mostly sarcastic and rude, and just wanted to brush me aside.

As a result of my interaction with Mr. Khan, I didn’t even want to do this story, but after a discussion with my editor, it was decided to do it anyway – since I had invested money on this assignment.

So, here is the >>>link<<< to the story, and as you’ll read, it’s true, the company’s very expensive, flagship SUV – the Flying Huntsman 6×6 – broke down after just 15 minutes!

So, if you’re looking for a unique, or special vehicle, and want quality engineering, don’t bother looking at Kahn Design, or any of their other brands, such as Project Kahn, and Chelsea Truck Co.

 

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The David Brown Automotive Speedback GT is an expensive sensation…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIts style evokes nostalgia, its details delights, its price will make you gasp, while the driving experience simply satisfies; ladies and gentleman, I present to you, the Speedback GT – by David Brown Automotive: Continue reading through this link <>OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Visiting the home of Rolls-Royce

IMG_5988bBack in April, I was fortunate enough to visit the home of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, in UK.

This was a dream assignment, as I have always loved the cars wearing the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy’ hood ornament.

However, reality is often not as good as your dream. Not the case here, my visit to Rolls-Royce was even better than I had imagined. Not only does the global headquarters of this prestigious automaker sit on a spectacular site, the buildings themselves are design masterpieces, and the people working there have a heart of gold – the nicest group I’ve ever come across.

For all the details, read the entire article, as published on >>>autofocus.ca<<<.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

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The Callaway Corvette SC757 AeroWagen is THE car to get…

ca13I first read about Callaway Corvette’s back in 1987, and really fell in love with their speed and style.

ca18Hence, it was a great honour to not only get to drive their latest model – the 2017 Callaway Corvette SC757 AeroWagen – but to also meet up and spend time with the legendary Reeves Callaway (the founder of the company) and Dr. Paul Deutschman (the stylist behind these wonderful supercars).

The full story on the stunning Callaway AeroWagen – which thanks to its SC757 package, became the most powerful car I’ve ever driven – can be found through this >>>Autofocus.ca<<< link.

Hope everyone enjoys the article.

 

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2017 Corvette Bash at the NCM – a great event with awesome cars

IMG_6094bIf you like the Chevrolet Corvette, then you should make a point to visit the National Corvette Museum (NCM) in Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA.

NCM holds plenty of Corvette-based events throughout the year, but the one to go to, is the Corvette Bash, presented by Michelin.

This year’s event also played host to a special exhibit of Callaway Corvette’s – which I think are the best, enhanced Corvette’s ever made.

Click this >>>autofocus.ca<<< link to see a gallery from this event.

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