We’ve explored the worst, now we get to talk about the Super Bowl 50 car commercials that were actually good. What a relief right? Despite the fact that the commercials below are (what I think) are the best of the crop this year, none of them particularly blew my mind. However, they did their job by being memorable, entertaining, and well, not sucking. With that said lets take a look at the top three!
#3 “Commander” (Audi)
In this commercial a retired astronaut has pretty much gone catatonic from feeling that his best days are behind him. He stares at pictures of his past accomplishments and seems to sink into despair. Luckily right before the commercial becomes painfully depressing, his son shows up with his brand new Audi R8 and gives the keys to his father. Once in the driver’s seat, the retired astronaut seems to regain his vigor as the car’s acceleration reminds him of lift off. The premise may be a bit cheesy but it tugs on the heart strings just enough. Combine its good execution with a David Bowie soundtrack and you have the makings of a memorable spot.
#2 “Defy Labels” (MINI)
I love it when a car commercial can have a great message without being too preachy. This MINI commercial pulls that off nicely. It features sports celebrities and people of all walks of life: men, women, gay, straight, tall, short defiantly listing off some of the stereotype labels that have plagued the MINI over the years. Its really effective and is a cool way to remind people not to invest too heavily in cultural labels or stereotypes.
#1 “Portraits” (Jeep)
In 2016 Jeep is celebrating its 75th birthday. There are a lot of bombastic over the top ways that Jeep/Chrysler could have celebrated the occasion, especially considering the grand stage of the Super Bowl. Yet, Jeep didn’t go for the big blow out. Instead they used a more subtle but poignant approach by celebrating the role that Jeep has played in American history and celebrating the people who own Jeeps and really use them for what they’re built for. Its a brilliant piece and I think it deserves the number one spot.
There you have it. My picks for the best car commercials of this year’s Super Bowl. What do you think? Do you agree with my choices or do you have your own list of the commercials you thought were the best? Let me know in the comments or tweet to us at @MotorworldHype.
Its that time again! With another Super Bowl here and gone comes a new crop of high-budget car commercials that either hit or miss. In case you didn’t read the title of this post too closely, we are going to explore the top (err bottom) three misses of Super Bowl 50. Hold your nose because its going to get stinky. Ready? OK lets do this.
#3 “Ryanville” (Hyundai)
In this spot for the new Hyundai Elantra two women find themselves in “Ryanville”, a magical place where everyone looks like Ryan Reynolds, and there are no other women. It wasn’t necessarily a terrible commercial and I suppose if I was attracted to Ryan Reynolds as much as every other woman on the planet I may have enjoyed it more than I did. However, all I could think about is how much this spot was a totally wasted opportunity for a Deadpool cameo…
#2 “The Longest Chase” (Toyota)
I had to watch this commercial twice to come to a final verdict. At first I thought it was a half successful attempt to make the Prius cool. Although after watching it again I realized that this commercial that makes celebrities out of criminals who rob a bank and go on an extended car chase with the police probably isn’t all that socially responsible. While I can understand the function of the joke, in the end it just comes off as kind of lame; much like the car its advertising…
#1 “What He Said” (Acura)
This one hurts. It hurts a lot. I never thought I’d be designating the worse commercial of the Super Bowl to one meant for the second coming of the Acura NSX. I think what the problem is here is that there were very high expectations for this spot. I mean we’re talking about the new NSX! Fans have waited for this car for years! This commercial is supposed to herald the return of the Japanese super cars! What it actually does is just cobble together some semi-abstract shots of a new NSX coming together but it just feels…meh. Then there’s the name “What He Said.” What the heck is that supposed to mean? Is it supposed to be some weird twist on the “that what she said” joke? If so, I’m not seeing it! This should have been the best car commercial of the Super Bowl but it ended up being the most underwhelming. Which is sad because I’m sure the new NSX is probably pretty exciting to drive.
Whew! OK, that was rough but we go through it. Those were my picks for the three worse car commercials of Super Bowl 50. Next will be my three best picks!
You may have seen our recent post all about the re-fresh of the Petersen Automotive Museum in downtown Los Angeles. Part of that re-fresh is a brand new interactive exhibit called the “Pixar Mechanical Institute” in which characters from the popular Pixar “Cars” films help educate kids and adults about how cars work and how they’re built. While at the media opening of the Petersen I had the chance to sit down with Jay Ward who has the official title of “Guardian” of all things “Cars” for Pixar Animation. He gave some insight behind his role at Pixar and what the Pixar Mechanical Institute means to him and what it could mean when it comes to keeping kids interested in cars. He makes some great points and oozes his passion for automobiles. Check out the interview below!
Almost two years ago the Petersen Automotive Museum closed down. Why? Because they felt that after several decades it was time for a major change. So began a 90 million dollar re-design that transformed not only the exterior but the interior of the Petersen Museum. I was lucky enough to be invited to the well, I’ll just call it a “pre-opening” in which the ribbon was cut and media was welcomed to tour the newly designed museum before it was opened to the public. The new look is amazing and what’s more is that the new design now separates each floor into a different “theme” of the automotive culture. The first floor is themed the “Art Of The Automobile”, the second floor the “Industry Of The Automobile” while the third floor is the “History Of The Automobile.”
There are also brand new interactive displays including a full-on Forza Motorsport 6 gaming room and the “Pixar Mechanical Institute” which enlists the cast of Pixar’s “Cars” to help teach people young and old about how cars work. It is all pretty damn awesome so I took it upon myself to take you all on a quick video tour of the new digs which you can check out below as well as a gallery of 100+ pictures! Enjoy!
What if I told you that someone made a track car out of a Minivan? What if I went onto tell you that despite that same minivan out lapped a V8 Camaro? What if I continued to tell you that same minivan out lapped a V8 Camaro despite having a stock V6 engine? You would probably think I was a liar or crazy…Or a crazy liar. Yet, this is all true. The track minivan part not me being a crazy liar. Anyhow, for SEMA Toyota reached out to performance shop DG-Spec to see if they could turn a Sienna minivan into something that could hold its own at the track. Not only did DG-Spec create a Sienna that could hold its own, they created one that could out pace a sport tuned muscle car by over a second! The crazy part is that DG did little to nothing with the Sienna’s engine. They focused their efforts on breaking and suspension. By out handling other cars the Minivan dubbed the Sienna R-Tuned Concept can out pace its competitors by cornering faster.
To get a behind-the-scenes look at the Sienna R-Tuned build check out the video below. You can also find a 20+ picture gallery and a press release with more info. You really do want to watch the video. Trust me you will love seeing this thing in action.
Toyota Sienna R-Tuned Concept Pushes the Limits at Toyota’s 2015 SEMA Display
Sienna with Stock Engine and Transmission Outpaces Camaro SS
TORRANCE, Calif., Nov. 3, 2015—Why turn a Sienna minivan—the least likely product in the Toyota lineup—into a performance vehicle? It’s one thing to make an LFA supercar go fast around a racetrack. People expect that. But no one sees a Sienna coming.
People’s perception of just how much fun you can have driving a family hauler will change dramatically when they see the Toyota Sienna R-Tuned concept, which made its debut today at Toyota’s 2015 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show display.
Toyota Technical Center collaborated with championship-winning performance shop DG-Spec to modify a stock Sienna SE “Swagger Wagon” with performance tires, wheels, brakes, double-adjustable shocks with racing springs, and a clutch-type limited-slip differential to deliver radically enhanced performance.
The result? Even though the concept uses the Sienna’s stock 3.5-liter V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission, it has outpaced even a 6.2-liter V8 Camaro SS on the test track. At the Streets of Willow Springs, just north of Los Angeles, the Sienna R-Tuned turned a blistering 1:27 lap time, sailing past the 6.2-liter V8 Camaro by a full second around the 1.7-mile sports car course.
“When we produced the Sienna SE, we started moving in the direction of more sportiness beyond what you would find in a family hauler,” said Andrew Lund, chief engineer for the Sienna at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “With the Sienna R-Tuned, we wanted to see if we could create a vehicle that would push the limits even farther. We definitely proved that it’s possible.”
When asked how the Sienna R-Tuned could go faster than a 426-horsepower sports car, Lund said, “We looked at the overall dynamics of the vehicle, and made adjustments to make the vehicle handle and brake better. The Sienna R-Tuned simply carries more speed through the corners.”
Yet the Sienna R-Tuned isn’t a vehicle that can only be handled by a professional driver. When tested by a select group of everyday drivers, they were truly surprised at how easy it is to drive. People felt more confident, more in control and more secure behind the wheel.
The Sienna R-Tuned can be seen November 3-6, 2015, in the Toyota display booth (#24700) located in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center at the 2015 SEMA Show.
There are a lot of famous and successful people who have come from humble beginnings. Because they come from such beginnings they tend to appreciate the fruits of their labor a little more than someone born into it. Rapper Chris “Ludacris” Bridges is one such person. Back when he was first making his way in the music industry he used the money from a few of his very early successes and bought a 1993 Acura Legend. Luxurious and sporty, Ludacris felt that the car fit his personality. He loved the car and took really good care of it and spent a lot of time in it. In fact much of his first few albums were written in that car. Despite blowing up and becoming world famous and having the money to buy Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Porsches he still kept his Acura Legend and still drove it often.
Unfortunately, during one of those drives he got into a wreck which beat up his beloved Legend pretty badly. Acura heard about this and decided to step in to help. They took Ludacris’ Legend (which had well over 200k miles on it) and restored it to its original condition (with a few extra mods). On top of that they also enlisted the builders at Galpin Auto Sports to build a one-off 2016 ILX Sedan for the rapper as well.
You can See Ludacris’ reaction to his newly restored Acura Legend below as well as get a look at what Galpin did with the 2016 ILX.
Roof you say? Mazda says they need no such thing! Mazda has built two special edition one-off MX-5s and neither of them have a roof or a conventional top. Why? Because weight that’s why! The main message of the MX-5 Speedster concept and MX-5 Spyder concept is “lightweight”. Both of these custom iterations of the MX-5 are all about losing pounds and gaining driving pleasure. Notice how I didn’t mention any addition of power? That is because the builders at Mazda wanted to keep things as well balanced as possible. Both the MX-5 Speedster and Spyder retain the stock SKYACTIV-G 2.0 liter engine but have received their own respective aerodynamic and suspension tweaks to sharpen up handling and increase grip.
Of the two I would probably say that the Speedster is my favorite since its roofless throwback styling matches so well with the lines of the new MX-5 and the color is pretty fresh! The Spyder does have something of a cover (which Mazda refers to as a “Bikini top”) but its very sparse compared to the standard convertible roof that normally comes with the MX-5.
Sadly, its unlikely that either of these MX-5 examples will be put into production but that doesn’t make them any less fun to drool over. Click on the thumbnails below for larger pictures of Mazda’s custom MX-5’s and for more information a press release along with spec sheets for both cars can be found under the gallery. Let us know what you think about this pair of MX-5’s in the comments or tweet your thoughts to us at @MotorworldHype.
MX-5 Spyder and MX-5 Speedster concepts debut at 2015 SEMA show in Las Vegas.
SEMA is the world’s largest speciality automotive product and tuning trade show.
Mazda North America collaborated with various aftermarket parts suppliers to create the concepts.
The 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas sees the debut of two design concepts based on the all-new Mazda MX-5. The MX-5 Spyder and MX-5 Speedster concepts take the MX-5’s lightweight fun-to-drive roadster doctrine a step further, reducing even more weight while accentuating open-air driving.
Designers drew inspiration from vintage roadsters. The MX-5 Spyder features a bikini top, Mercury Silver exterior, carbon fibre aero kit, grille intake, lightweight 17-inch Yokohama ADVAN Racing RS II wheels and a Spinneybeck PRIMA natural full-grain leather interior. The MX-5 Speedster, meanwhile, pares the roadster back to the bare essentials – it even has a deflector in place of the windscreen – for an old school wind-in-the-hair sports car experience. Mazda took its weight-cutting passion to extremes with for example carbon fibre doors and seats as well as custom 16-inch RAYS 57 Extreme Gram Lights wheels. The Speedster tips the scales at only 943kg, and is also 30mm lower than the production MX-5 thanks to an adjustable coilover suspension.
“Both MX-5 Spyder and MX-5 Speedster are uncompromising designs that highlight the core strengths of MX-5,” said Ken Saward, design manager at Mazda North American Operations. He and his colleagues at Mazda collaborated with various aftermarket parts suppliers and performance shops to create the two concepts. “With the all-new 2016 MX-5, we have a clean sheet to show how the aftermarket can go wild on our flagship sports car while staying true to its mission.”
The MX-5 Spyder and MX-5 Speedster are on display at Mazda’s stand in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Centre. The SEMA Show is an annual trade event for automobile aftermarket specialty products organised by the Specialty Equipment Market Association. The 2015 event runs until the 6th November.
Mazda MX-5 Spyder
Engine: SKYACTIV-G 2.0 DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder with VVT
Wheels: Custom Yokohama ADVAN Racing RS II 17 x 8 (42mm offset)
Brakes: Front Brembo four-piston calipers with vented rotors
Tyres: Yokohama ADVAN A048 225/45/17
Shocks: Adjustable coilovers
Weight: 1,043 kg
Exterior colour: Mercury Silver
Interior: Seats and doors trimmed in Spinneybeck PRIMA natural leather
Mazda MX-5 Speedster
Engine: SKYACTIV-G 2.0 DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder with VVT
Wheels: Custom RAYS 57 Extreme Gram Lights 16 x 8 (45mm offset)
Brakes: Front Brembo four-piston calipers with vented rotors
Tyres: Kumho Ecsta V710 225/50/16
Shocks: K&W adjustable coilover suspension
Weight: 943 kg
Exterior colour: Blue Ether
Seats: Lightweight carbon fibre seats developed by Mu-Len Delta Seat exclusively for the 2016 MX-5, trimmed in black Alcantara
Just when you thought you were safe from the infamous Rocket Bunny a new brand from the Japanese aero stylist debuts this year at SEMA. Rocket Bunny’s brand “Pandem” looks to be a division of Rocket Bunny/TRA Kyoto that will deal mostly with luxury cars with the first being the Lexus RC-F. Now, this may look similar to something you saw last year but that was Rocket Bunny taking on the Lexus RC 350 F sport. This is a slightly different animal and there are some styling cues that haven’t been seen before albeit subtle. Either way though this is definitely an aggressive looking treatment for the already aggressive Lexus RC-F. The 3M “Gloss Burnt Orange” vinyl wrap only does that much more to drive the message home that this car is meant to look fast and flashy all at once.
Beyond the visual stuff, actual performance modifications are relatively light. An Advanced Flow Engineering Takeda intake and a Greddy Supreme SP dual exhaust are the only engine modifications to speak of. Though other areas have been addressed nicely. The stock suspension set up has been replaced with a KW Suspension Variant 3 coilover kit, the front brakes upgraded to Brembo monoblock 6-piston calipers, a 6-point custom interior roll cage by Evasive Motorsports, and a set of Volk Racing 20 inch TE37 “Ultra” wheels round out the upgrades.
All together this is a pretty decent build and while sparse on the performance side the total package comes together nicely. Although this would be a tricky street car to pilot given the roll cage and wide proportions. While it is never expressly mentioned by Lexus, I am thinking this car is likely meant for track days only. For a full gallery of the Pandem Lexus RC-F check out the gallery below. For more info there is a full spec sheet below the gallery.
Let us know what you think about the Pandem Lexus RC-F in the comments or tweet your opinions to us at @MotorworldHype!
2015 LEXUS RC F – GORDON TING/BEYOND MARKETING
Display Location: Lexus, 21601, Central Hall #LexusRCF
Custom Evasive Motorsports 6 point roll cage and rear cover panels
MV Design body work, kit installation and paint
Daily Visual 3M Gloss Burnt Orange wrap
Volk Racing TE-37 Ultra, Matte Blue Gunmetal Front: 20 x 10” Rear: 20 x 12”
Bridgestone Potenza tires
Front 6 Piston monobloc caliper, slotted type-3 405 x 34mm 2- piece floating disc assembly
Rear slotted type-3 345 x 28mm 2-piece floating disc assembly
• KW Suspension Varient 3 coilover kit
GReddy Supreme SP dual exhaust system •
Advanced Flow Engineering Takeda retain intake system
Sparco USA Grid Competition FIA approved race seats
Tomorrow is Halloween AKA the day women use as an excuse to wear gloriously revealing costumes, AKA the last day before major retail stores can ignore Thanksgiving and put up all their Christmas decorations, AKA the day before the biggest candy sale of the year. Anyway, Halloween is all about everything scary and creepy so I thought I would give you all a quick run down of my top five scariest cars from film and television. Fair warning though I’m 80s kids so most of the cars on this list are from that era. That may be more or less scary depending on who you ask… Anyway here we go I’m going to start from #5 and work our way to #1!
5. Death Proof -1970 Chevy Nova
This is the most recent car (in a manner of speaking) on the list is the 1970 Chevy Nova from the Quentin Tarantino film “Death Proof”. The short horror film revolves around three women who are on the hunt for a Dodge Challenger similar to the one from the classic film “Vanishing Point.” Unfortunately for the women they get chased and terrorized by a psychopath driving a 1970 Chevy Nova stunt car that has been rigged to be “Death Proof”. Basically this crazy killer things that as long as he is inside the car he can’t die. He uses this belief as a green light to go on a murder spree. Its pretty creepy!
4. Munster Koach -Ford Model T
OK so this car won’t be really scary or creepy to any adults but when I was a kid watching re-runs of “The Munsters” it got to be a little bit! Today though I think this is one of the most awesome hot-rods ever created. Movie Car legend George Barris was tapped to create a big scary hot rod for America’s favorite horror family and he transformed a Ford Model T into just that. Dubbed the “Munster Koach” it took Herman Munster and his family on all kinds of crazy adventures.
3. Christine -1958 Plymouth Fury
If you are into scary movies and haven’t seen “Christine” then you are doing yourself a dis-service. This flick is legit creepy! Its about a car that is possessed and is bent on maiming and killing any human being that comes near it! It starts off by closing its hood on someone’s hand and then it suffocates another person with its exhaust fumes! And that’s just the beginning. By the time this movie is over “Christine” racks up quite the body count. To this day I still wonder if the classic cars I come across are inhabited by some type of evil spirit…
2. The Wraith -D 1984 Dodge M4s Turbo Interceptor
The Wraith is a pretty bad movie but its also pretty gruesome which is why it made my list. Its all about a teen that comes back from the dead to get revenge on the gang of crazy street racers that killed him. That sounds like a decent premise but where it all starts to get weird is that the teen comes back as some kind of weird daft punk reject looking dude driving a Dodge sports car prototype. However, once the film gets to all the murder-y-bits then it starts to get disturbing. If nothing else its still fun to see a group of d-bags get their come-up-ins.
1. Maximum Overdrive -1986 Semi-Truck
This is hands down one of the worst movies ever made. Its story about how random machines come to life after being exposed to radiation after the Earth passes through the tail of a comet. Seriously that’s what happens! I know that sounds incredibly stupid but please understand something: I was like 5 years old when I saw this movie for the first time! Also, the main villain of the film was a black semi-truck with a GIANT fiber glass green-goblin face on the front of it! Also it played creepy carnival-like music whenever it showed up! It was terrifying!! I was literally afraid of trucks for like a year after!
So, there you have it. Those are my top five scariest cars. Did any of those cars creep you out when you were younger? Am I just crazy? What do you think are the scariest cars you’ve ever seen? Let us know in the comments or tweet to us at @MotorworldHype.
Remember that headlight teaser Lexus released a short while ago? Well, here is the rest of the car! This is the Lexus “LF-FC Flagship Concept.” As you can see its not a sports car or SUV but instead a luxury sedan that looks like it could be the next evolution for the current Lexus LS. The LF-FC however, is Lexus’ vision for the future and that’s demonstrated through several conceptual design choices. First off is the use of Lexus’ “L-finesse” design language. I know, “L-finesse” sounds like a brand of shampoo but I do like what the design language has done in this instance. The LF-FC really looks like its from the not too distant future without being too over the top. It nicely blends smooth surfaces with a few hard edges.
The other nod to the near future comes in the interior which is the home of what Lexus calls the “Human Machine Interface”. Seriously, that’s what they’re calling it… Anyhow the Human Machine Interface allows, well, Humans to control functions of the car like infotainment and the A/C with hand gestures. There are no buttons, knobs, or touch screens here. Instead there is a holographic interface that can recognize gestures.
To really drive the point home Lexus explains that the LF-FC is hydrogen fuel-cell powered. The fuel cell provides electricity to one main electric motor at the rear of the vehicle and two in-wheel motors at the front. To help compensate for the extra weight inside the wheels, the rims themselves are made from carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP).
Obviously the LF-FC lives deep in the heart of “what-if land” but at the same time its not that hard to imagine some of this concept’s tech making it into production models, especially the fuel-cell bit. Toyota (Lexus’ parent company) is already going full on with Hydrogen with the new Mirai vehicle so it isn’t hard to imagine that tech making its way to the Luxury offerings as well. Although its pretty safe to say the whole Human Machine Interface hologram thing is quite a ways off.
To get a better look at the LF-FC check out the gallery below and the press release below that for more details. Let us know what you think about the new Lexus concept in the comments or tweet to us at @MotorworldHype.
October 28, 2015
TOKYO (Oct. 28, 2015) — Taking center stage in the Lexus booth at the Tokyo Motor Show 2015, Lexus revealed the LF-FC flagship concept, a visionary new vehicle that offers a peek into the design and technology direction of the brand’s future flagship sedan.
“Lexus wants to surprise and evoke emotion with its distinctive design and forward-thinking technology. For us, it is more than just a car, and we should exceed conventional imagination. The LF-FC expresses our progressive luxury and high-tech vision of a not so distant future,” said Tokuo Fukuichi, Lexus International President.
The LF-FC features a fresh new styling theme that embodies Lexus’ “L-finesse” design philosophy. From every angle, the sedan is aggressively elegant, exuding the spirit of a grand touring vehicle. An evolved version of Lexus’ signature grille with a new mesh design dominates the front, while floating “L-shaped” daytime running lights (DRL) extrude flawlessly from the front fenders. The rear is highlighted by striking new taillights that adopt the same floating theme as the DRL. When seen from its profile, the LF-FC’s true character is revealed. The roofline flows from front to rear in the manner of a “4-door coupe,” suggesting that this vehicle isn’t just meant for straight highways, but to also be enjoyed on twisty roads. The sporty 21-inch aluminum wheels with carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) rims, add an extra dose of flair to what is already a dynamically styled machine.
The spacious interior of the LF-FC has been designed to wrap its occupants in a comfortable yet futuristic environment, while providing the driver with a highly-functional cockpit. The cabin has been designed in two sections, top and bottom. The top conveys a sense of openness, allowing the driver to concentrate on the road ahead without feeling constrained. When seen at eye level, the front seats seem to be floating. The rear seats have been designed for those who enjoy being driven, offering a reclining feature and plenty of head and knee space. High-quality aniline leather on the seats, doors and dashboard enhances the level of luxury of the interior.
Highlighting the new technology inside the LF-FC is an advanced human machine interface that can be operated by simple hand gestures, without the need to touch a panel or controls. A small holographic image on the center console indicates where the system can interpret your hand gestures to control the audio system and ventilation.
At the heart of the LF-FC is a high output fuel cell power system that energizes the rear wheels, and also sends power to two in-wheel motors in the front, making the LF-FC all-wheel-drive. This innovative drive system allows precise torque distribution control between the front and rear wheels, giving the full-size sedan exceptional dynamic handling and superior road stability. The strategic placement of the fuel-cell stack at the rear of the vehicle, power control unit at the front and T-formation configured hydrogen fuel tanks result in front and rear weight distribution optimal for a sporty sedan.
Using automated driving technologies, with elevated traffic environment recognition, prediction, and judgment function, the LF-FC provides a safe and efficient driving experience for its occupants and supports the vision of a world without traffic accidents.