Entries Tagged as 'European Cars'

Hype Video: Tanner Foust Attempts To Melt By Brain With His New Global Rallycross VW Beetle (cellphone video)

Posted on 09.19.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments
Tanner Foust's GRC VW Beetle

Tanner Foust’s GRC VW Beetle

Yesterday I took a drive down to San Pedro to check out the scene of the next round of Red Bull Globalrally cross happening this weekend (you can watch live on tv!).  The rumor was that Tanner Foust’s new VW Beetle was going to make its debut at this event so my real motive for making the trip was to check out his new car in person.  I got much more than I bargained for.  It turned out that the event organizers were doing media ride alongs and I was lucky enough to sit shotgun with Tanner Foust as he took to the course in his brand new car.

I will admit I was a bit nervous.  However, I figured this was a new car, its a media ride along, he will probably take it easy on me.  I was completely wrong.  Although to be fair my first indicator should have been the flagger literally warning me that Tanner was about to melt my face off.  You will see what I mean when you watch the incredibly bouncy cellphone video I shot of my experience below.  If its too crazy then I apologize.  I was too busy trying to not pass out to really put deep thought and consideration to my shot composition.

Anyhow, scroll down and enjoy!

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Hype: Mercedes Benz Reveals Curvaceous AMG GT Coupe (Gallery)

Posted on 09.09.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

2016 Mercedes-AMG GT

Did you wake up this morning extremely excited?  Did you spend the first few hours glued to your computer screen?  Of course you did but probably not for the same reason I am referring to.  While you were busy watching Tim Cook reveal the new iPhone 6 and Apple Watch, Mercedes Benz was revealing their new flagship performance car, the AMG GT.  Meant as a replacement for the very lauded SLS, the AMG GT has some pretty big tires to fill.  So how does the AMG GT measure up?  Lets find out…

First thing’s first.  The AMG GT does look similar to the SLS but it is definitely evolved design-wise from its predecessor.  The AMG GT Coupe is very curvy.  The SLS has its fair share of curves as well but there are a few hard edges in its design but the GT coupe has a very sculpted, fluid look.  You would be hard pressed to find an edge or hard lines.  Its also appears to be slightly shorter than the SLS and its front grill is very reminiscent of the radical GT Vision concept MB built for Gran Turismo 6.

AMG’s new coupe will be available in two trims: The GT S and the “base” GT.  What’s the difference?  In a word: performance.  The GT S features a more powerful twin-turbo V8 engine which makes 503HP to the GT’s 456HP.  Both those numbers are down over the out going SLS however the GT will offer a whole host of other performance tweaks that may make up for the lack in horses.  For example the GT S will have a system dubbed “AMG DYNAMIC PLUS” as an option.  This system features dynamic engine and transmission mounts.  Yes, the engine and tranny mounts can move depending on the conditions to help optimize weight distribution!  It will also feature the obligatory electronically controlled dampening system to dial dampers in to specific situations (sport, road, etc).  Both trims will put their power down through seven-speed dual-clutch transmissions with locking differentials.  Ceramic brakes are also available as an option on both GT S and GT.

The interior is as cushy as you might imagine.  In the photos it does seem that they were leaning more towards “luxury” this time but there are lots of racy performance-based cues such as the flat bottom alcantara-wrapped steering wheel and the decision to forgo a full digital dash and sticking with race-inspired traditional needle gauges.  However the center console is teaming with dials and buttons to control all of the electronic goodies.  It looks to be a bit overwhelming and against the trend of simplifying interior tech interfaces the way Audi has over the last few years.  I can see it being a potential sticking point when the reviews start rolling in.

Mercedes Benz has made it clear that they are aiming at the Porsche 911 and the Audi R8 (V8) with the new GT Coupe.  I personally find that somewhat troubling.  With the mighty SLS they had no qualms going after the likes of Ferrari.  Now  they aim at Porsche (who doesn’t) and the 2nd stringer R8?  It makes me wonder if there is yet another car coming down the pipe from Germany that we may yet to know about.  Or maybe, Mercedes Benz just decided that its in their better interests to go after a bigger market of those affluent individuals who want near supercar performance in a package that is easily daily drivable.  When I think deeper about it I can’t really fault them for that.

Really it just seems like Mercedes Benz is doing everything differently when it comes to this new offering.  Take the release dates for example the GT S comes out next spring while the standard GT isn’t due until 2016.  Typically, the protocol is to release the “standard” version first then hit everyone with the high performance model but Mercedes has even flipped that on its head.  In a refreshing move the ravenous performance-addicts get their fix first!

Sure, the GT Coupe may not be as powerful as the SLS on paper but I am sure it will be lighter, more capable in the corners, and more accessible (AKA less $$$) as well.  These days things are less about max HP and more about driving experience.  With a chassis that can move the engine and transmission for optimal weight distribution on the fly, the GT Coupe may just have us asking “SLS who?”

For now, you can check out a (short) spec sheet and all the official pictures in the embedded facebook gallery below:

Spec Sheet:

AMG GT AMG GT S
MSRP TBD TBD
Fuel Economy TBD TBD
Engine 4.0L twin-turbo V8 handbuilt
AMG engine
4.0L twin-turbo V8 handbuilt
AMG engine
Drive Configuration Rear-Wheel Drive Rear-Wheel Drive
Performance 456 hp
443 lb-ft torque
503 hp
479 lb-ft torque
Transmission 7-Speed AMG Dual Clutch
with Manual Shifting Mode
7-Speed AMG Dual Clutch
with Manual Shifting Mode
0-60 (sec.) 3.9 (est.) 3.7 (est.)

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Hype: Mercedes Benz Releases “Virutal” Teaser Of AMG-GT Via Instagram

Posted on 09.05.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Mercedes_AMG-GT_DriveClub_Teaser

In about 5 days Mercedes Benz will officially debut their new AMG-GT coupe to the planet Earth.  However, for those extra anxious to see it Mercedes just dropped a few teaser images of the car on their Instagram account.  The only catch is the images show the virtual version of the AMG-GT which will appear in #DRIVECLUB for Playstation 4.  The two images posted show a rear shot of the AMG-GT and an interior shot but since both pictures are in “twilight” it is hard to make out too many details in either shot.  But hey! It’s better than a stick in the eye!  Click the thumbnails below to check out the two pictures.

Mercedes_AMG-GT_DriveClub_Teaser_1 Mercedes_AMG-GT_DriveClub_Teaser_2

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Hype News: Nissan Presents Deadmau5 With Nyan Cat Edition GT-R To Make Up For Ferrari Kerfuffle (UPDATED)

Posted on 09.03.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

DeadMau5_NyanCat_NissanGT-R_small

For those who follow world famous musician “Deadmau5″ on twitter you’d know that enjoys things with a bit of flair.  This is probably why he wrapped a brand new Ferrari 458 with a full Nyan Cat livery and custom “Purrari” badges for the 2014 Gumball 3000 rally.  He originally did it just for the rally but the “Purrari” got such a positive response from his fans and followers that he kept the wrap on for a while.  However, Ferrari was none-to-pleased with the DJ’s take on their newest sports car and actually sent him a cease and desist letter to return the Ferrari back to stock.  Don’t believe us?  Here is the tweet from the man himself:

The Purrari is officially no more and is back to a regular ol’ boring six figure Italian sports car.  It sucked for Mr. Mau5 and definitely put him in a bad mood.  Today Nissan decided to cheer him up by “presenting” him with an Nyan Cat liveried GT-R complete with a “Deadmau5 edition” badge!  See Nissan’s tweet below:

Score one for Nissan!  Maybe this will teach Ferrari’s legal department to lighten up a bit? …Nahhh.  UPDATE: It looks like this is actually just a playful photoshop done by Nissan which is kind of a bummer.  I think they should totally print up a wrap and make it official!

DeadMau5_NyanCat_NissanGT-R_1 DeadMau5_NyanCat_NissanGT-R_2

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Hype Video: BMW Tapps Chris Forsberg To “Initiate” M4 Coupe To The M Family With Drifting

Posted on 08.26.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

BMW_M4_Drifting_Video_ChrisForsberg

The M4 is the newest edition to the M family and is taking a prominent role by replacing the M3 coupe.  That is a tall order for a new car with such a rich heritage!  If previous generation M3’s were real people they might be a bit skeptical of this new edition.  BMW, being empathetic to this decided it would introduce the M4 coupe to its M3 coupe predecessors in style.  How? By tapping Formula Drift champion Chris Forsberg to drift around them!  Scroll down for two minutes of German-engineered sideways action!

 

WARNING: RANDOM SPECULATION BELOW!

Ok that was a cool video right? Yet, it made me think about something… Why was Chris Forsberg chosen to be the driver for this video? Granted he is definitely a skilled driver but a company like BMW could have grabbed any Hollywood stunt driver for this.  Perhaps there is more here than meets the eye…  Could Chris Forsberg be in negotiations with BMW for the 2015 Formula Drift season?  This isn’t the first video put out by BMW this year which features drifting so they obviously have an interest in it and if trends continue Chris Forsberg is on track to be the 2014 Formula Drift champion.  So, If BMW were to make a foray into Formula Drift it is likely they would want to do it with the reigning champion.  Of course all of this is pure speculation and there is no hard evidence to support this theory, but its fun to imagine!

What do you think?  Will Chris Forsberg leave Nissan for BMW?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Hype Event: Mainstream Productions x Stance Nation Nisei Showoff 2014 (Gallery)

Posted on 08.18.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

NiseiStanceNationShowoff_2014_small

I have been personally attending “import” AKA “tuner” car shows ever since the very first Hot Import Nights that was held right in my hometown of Long Beach.  A lot of things have changed since then.  Car shows got bigger, more publicized, and well far away from their humble beginnings.  Car shows started to become less “a show of cars” and more of an all out “entertainment event” with concerts, video game tournaments, dance crew battles, DJ battles, bikini contests, “fashion” shows, pretty much anything that was eye and ear candy was thrown into the mix to try and add value to the growing prices of admission to offset the growing venues.

At first it was cool.  Each car show was like going to a rave.  There were thumping beats, crazy lights, and increasingly elaborate displays for cars and vendor booths.  Things just got bigger, brighter, and louder.  However, like most bubbles the scene eventually popped.  Blame the economy, the over commercialization, judging controversies, or maybe a combination of several things but at some point the car show scene fell off dramatically, mostly.

Now “mostly” is an important word because despite what was happening with all other car show series, there was one that stayed consistent through the ups and downs and never really lost the respect of enthusiasts.  I am referring to Import Showoff by Mainstream Productions helmed by Ken Miyoshi.  You may not know his name if you are younger than 25 but he has been an important figure in our culture for the last 20 years.  He pretty much created the concept of the “import car show” as we know it and exposed America to drifting far before D1 came to Irwindale so many years ago.  He is a humble guy but incredibly driven and cares deeply for the car culture and putting together a quality show.  When things got big bright and loud he didn’t really buy into it even though those big shows started to take away from Import Showoff’s attendance.

He stuck to his roots and kept things all about the cars and the culture and never strayed too far beyond that.  It may have hurt his series for a while but eventually things changed.  One day we all kind of figured out that we wanted more substance than flash, more culture than commercial, more sunny days hanging out with our friends than flashing neon lights in a dark convention hall.  Then we remembered that there was a show that had been providing those things all along: Import Showoff.

These days Showoff is mostly condensed to a few shows a year: Chinatown Showoff and Nisei Week showoff and to this day many veterans of the scene will tell you that Nisei Week Showoff is the best show of the year.  Its small, and typically held during one of the hottest times of the year but the quality of cars on deck makes it all worth it.  Also with the recent team up of Mainstream Productions and StanceNation, the quality of cars has only grown exponentially.  That is why I urge you, if you have the chance to come out to the Nisei Week Showoff next year.  Make a trip out of it, trust me when I tell you that if you love import cars it will be worth it.

Anyhow, that’s enough of my lecturing about how awesome things used to be.  I went to the Nisei Showoff over the weekend and put together a pretty killer gallery of over 300 pictures!  Check out our Facebook gallery below!  Thanks again to Ken Miyoshi for inviting us to the show and for keeping it real all these years!

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Hype News: Lamborghini Bringing Driving School To Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

Posted on 08.01.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

Lamborghini_Driving_School

Its easy to make a car go fast.  Just push the pedal down as far as it will go.  However, driving fast is a different story.  The ability to drive fast on a track (something that is also known as “racecraft”) is not so easy.  It does come naturally to some people but most of us (including me) need help!  That’s where a driving school comes into play.  Beyond being the coolest thing that still has the word “school” in it, driving schools are the best way to find out how much natural talent you have and build on it to get faster.

There are many different driving schools out there, most notably Skip Barber and Bondurant.  Audi recently opened their own school at Sonoma Raceway, Porsche is in the process of opening up their own school and track here in Long Beach, CA, and now it looks like Lamborghini is expanding their driving school program to the USA and setting up shop at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca!  Unfortunately it looks like it will only be a temporary thing as “Lamborghini Accademia” will only be at the legendary race track for a few days (September 14-17).

So, there you have it.  If you have ever wanted to drive a Lamborghini Huracan down the famous “corkscrew” then now is your chance!  If you want to sign up it will set you back about 5 grand which is a bit of a shock but that price covers everything from the actual driving school to accommodations at a nice near by hotel, food, and more.  So, really its not too bad considering the experience.  Visit http://www.squadracorse.lamborghini.com for more info!  There is also a few more tidbits in the press release below.

Press Release:

Track Accademia Debuts at Legendary Laguna Seca Circuit

Lamborghini Accademia will host its first-ever North American performance driving school – from September 14-17 – at renowned Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The lead role for this year’s global Accademia program is the new Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4, which has achieved great commercial success since its debut earlier this year.

The Accademia, developed by the brand’s motorsports team, Squadra Corse, provides Lamborghini clients with intense driving courses on the track, allowing them to take the first steps into the world of motorsports. It’s a captivating combination of high performance vehicles on some of the world’s legendary race tracks coupled with fine dining and hospitality.

The one-day event is designed to challenge participants with morning exercises including slalom, acceleration, braking, drifting and section training at Laguna Seca’s key corners such as the famous Corkscrew. The afternoon is spent applying the learning into full-course lapping, utilizing one-on-one and video coaching.

At the end of the day each of the 24 participants will receive a certificate from Lamborghini Squadra Corse stating their completion of the course.

After Laguna Seca, Lamborghini Accademia goes back on the road with a stop at Hockenheim, Germany on October 1-2. Winter Accademia event dates, for the 2014-2015 season, will be announced shortly.

For further details on the program and to enroll in the Lamborghini Accademia,
log on to: http://www.squadracorse.lamborghini.com.

Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.
Founded in 1963, Automobili Lamborghini is headquartered in Sant’Agata Bolognese, in Northeastern Italy. The Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4, which made its world debut at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show is the successor to the iconic Gallardo and redefines the luxury super sports car driving experience with its innovative technology and outstanding performance. The Aventador LP 700-4, in Coupé and Roadster offerings, represents the reference point in the world of V12-powered, luxury super sports cars. With 129 dealerships worldwide, in little more than half a century Lamborghini has created an uninterrupted series of extraordinary, exclusive cars that include the 350 GT, Miura, Espada, Countach, Diablo, Murciélago, and several limited series like the Reventón, Sesto Elemento and Aventador J. The Veneno Coupé, the Egoista and the Veneno Roadster, were created to celebrate the brand’s 50th anniversary year in 2013.

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Tuner Hype: John Benton Loves Classic Porsches…Like Seriously Loves Them.. (With Video)

Posted on 04.23.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

JohnBenton

They say there are many breeds of “car people” but if you really want to generalize there are really just two.  The first breed is the person who just loves cars of almost all makes models shapes and sizes which is what I would fall into.  The second breed are those who fall hopelessly in love with just one make and/or model of car.  This breed tends to be made up of the crazy ones, and innovators of our culture.  They can find ways to completely re-invent a car without bastardizing its intended aesthetic.  They will make the object of their affection better without changing anything that they loved about it in the first place.  John Benton is of the latter breed.  Mr. Benton loves Porsche but not just any Porsche, the classic Porsches such as the 1963 901.  Benton loves to take these classic Porsches and make them better in the most significant and yet insignificant ways imaginable all while keeping everything completely vintage and original-ish.  If you want a better idea of what I am talking about then check out the video below.

[Source: Fatlace.com]

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Event Hype: Mother’s Car Polish Exotic Car Show (Gallery)

Posted on 04.17.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

MothersExoticCarShow2014_small

Here we are with another gallery from the epic Long Beach Grand Prix weekend.  As you may or may not know, the TUDOR series has their race on Saturday, so come Saturday night their paddock clears out as they head off to the next race.  In its place on Sunday morning is a cavalcade of luxury and exotic cars filling the lot completely and its all furnished by Mother’s Car Polish.  First thing Sunday morning I headed out to the newly filled lot and started shooting away.  Granted, not every car there was photo worthy but I snapped the best stuff and now I am presenting it all to you in a new gallery.  Just scroll down to check it out.

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Event Hype: Offset Kings Showocase Long Beach (Gallery)

Posted on 04.09.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

OffsetKings_LongBeach2014_small

There was a lot happening on the streets of Long Beach last weekend and we have pictures of it all!  We are kicking off our coverage with a gallery of the Offset Kings showcase brought to you from the team at illest/hellaflush/fatlace.  The showcase brought out some of the best cars in the so cal area and beyond.  Granted there were a few cars that probably shouldn’t have been there but I didn’t take pictures of those so it works out.  All you need to know is that I shot pictures of the best cars there (which is a lot) all for your viewing pleasure.  Below is the embedded facebook gallery of all the pretty automobiles so scroll down and enjoy!

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