The Scalpel of Track cars: 2018 Porsche GT3

By: Mr. Power

The 991.2 Porsche GT3, a.k.a. the car that no automotive journalist can hate. Honestly, Porsche has created a car that has ZERO flaws. Seriously; none, zippo, nada. What’s not to love about the 4.0 liter flat six that can punch out roughly 500hp?

 

An Elite Runner

 

2018-Porsche-911-GT3-150
Image from Car and Driver http://www.caranddriver.com/photo-gallery/2018-porsche-911-gt3-first-drive-review-gallery#49

 

Fitted with either the lightning fast PDK transmission, or the more involved six-speed manual, this car can stretch its legs all the way up to 9,000rpm. One would think that the doctors who drive these cars would struggle to control its power. However, Porsche has honed in is rear-wheel steer system that now makes even pizza delivery drivers look clinically clean while hitting racing lines. Porsche has developed this car to be a track ace and (amazingly) hasn’t damaged the GT3 sports car feel.

 

Less Fear. More Fun.

 

2018_porsche_911_gt3_4k-wide-1
Image from HD Wallpapers http://www.hdwallpapers.in/2018_porsche_911_gt3_4k-wallpapers.html

 

There is nothing scary about this vehicle. The ABS doesn’t flash every time you stab the throttle, nor are you met with unyielding over-steer in the bends. The GT3 is confidence inspiring, and it dares its drivers to absolutely mash the throttle.

 

The lucky few that can afford this car (and the even luckier who can get their hands on one) will be graced with automotive bliss. Starting at $144,650 the lucky owners of the Porsche GT3 will be able to enjoy there own little slice of driving bliss. Not many car brands can match Porsche’s sport car heritage while delivering true track reliability.

Mr. Power’s overall grade: 10/10

Advertisements

Where do Your Loyalties Lie? A Casual Conversation

“What was that flash?!”

Two astronauts hovering around in the International Space Station hopelessly stare out the window as a large flash of light transcends from North America. “Was that a meteor that just struck the US?” one terrified astronaut asks the other.

“no…” a third voice whispers from the shadows. “That was the start of a CCC.”

 

Casual Car Conversation (CCC)

By: Mr. Power & Mr. Slide

We start these conversations with simple, yet thought provoking, questions. This week’s will be, “What side of the fence are you on in the great turbo vs. natural aspiration debate?”

turbo-995256_1920

 

Mr. Slide: Do people really love naturally aspirated engines? Or are they a dinosaurs’ technology that folks are too afraid to stray from?

 

Mr. Power: I think naturally aspirated engines evoke a certain emotion when inside a super-exotic or beefy muscle car. These types of engines bring three things to the table; better acoustics, linear power delivery, and in some cases easier general maintenance. That being said, in this day in age, people should not be shy about purchasing a turbo charged car. They provide more usable power and better fuel economy.

 

Mr. S: That’s true, can’t beat the sweet, bellowing, sound of a juicy V8 motoring up though.

 

Mr. P: Turbo charged cars bring a lot to the table when they are done right. Just look at the Mercedes AMG division. Leave it to the Germans to maintain the boisterous roots of the V8 while delivering even more power. I like the idea of turbo charged cars because they put an emphasis on efficiency, while again, adding more flare and usable power.

 

Mr. S: One thing about turbos though is that they are EXPENSIVE to fix and you’d need a second mortgage to replace one. I too enjoy their sparkle, but wonder if turbos are in the cards for all car companies. It would be blasphemous for say Mazda to make a turbo charged Miata in-house. A lot of cars just fit natural aspiration.

 

Mr. P: This is very true. However show me a mainstream car manufacture that doesn’t produce a turbo! The way I look at is that turbos have actually come to save superb naturally aspirated cars — like the Miatas and Audi R8s. Cars that emphasize true driving pleasure will always serve as an oasis for their consumers. They will only become more special and unique as more turbos hit the streets.

 

Mr. S: The turbocharger, another great piece of engineering stolen from the racing world and adopted into ours.

e-Pedal to the Metal

By: Mr. Power

Self-driving cars are fidget spinners for automakers. All the popular kids are addicted to electric vehicles with autonomous driving technology. At first they were made fun of for their ugly, underpowered, Prius and Smart Fortwo. Then a new student showed up and proved that the power of electricity could accelerate a car from 0-60 in 2.5 seconds. Tesla caught the eye of all the big dogs and soon everybody wanted to mimic it.

 

Companies looked at Elon Musk’s baby and simply tried to copy its 100% electric engine. This is like taking a fire truck and painting it to look like a police cruiser. Yeah it’s got the lights and sirens already but it’s not going to drive like the dogs. They failed to examine what makes a Tesla great — its technology.

 

Until now…

 

After years of failed electric cars, Nissan has finally teased us with the new 2018 Volt. Set to release on September 6th, it will have the same powertrain as the 2017 model: 107hp, 187lb-ft of torque. However, the famous front-wheel drive Leaf will now come with a choice of batteries ranging between 40 kWh and 60kWh. That’s up big from last year’s standard 30kWh pack.

 

“wow…those aren’t Tesla specs at all.”

 

Nissan-Leaf-EV-493x349
Photo from The Cool Gadgets thecoolgadgets.com/nissan-leaf-evs-target-for-25000-units-production-by-2012/

 

YOU’RE RIGHT! The phenomenal thing about this new Leaf is that will adopt a fancy piece of ‘Tesla-like’ technology — the e-Pedal. Granted the name needs some work but this innovative pedal is issuing in a new style of driving for the common citizen. Simply push a switch on the car’s drive selector and the gas pedal becomes all one needs for 90% of their driving.

 

One Planet, One Pedal

 

earth-11015_1920

 

Teslas are able to anticipate the road ahead and come to a stop, but the e-Pedal can take over the role of the brake. The driver removes their foot from the gas and the car immediately begins to decelerate until it comes to a complete stop. This makes me wonder, “don’t most cars begin to decelerate when the accelerator is released?” They do, but not at the rate of the Nissan Leaf. The e-Pedal’s braking is so powerful it will even stop the car on a hill.

 

I think this mode would be perfect for city driving, the injured, and the ditsy. Good job, Nissan. Thank you for taking a swing at new technology.

You talkin’ to Me? Why Change the Taxi?

By: Mr. Slide

Think about this: you’ve just landed in an exotic city for the first time. You don’t know anything about the town and you’re itching for some sizzling entertainment. Who’s the first person you ask for fun suggestions? That’s right — the taxi driver at the airport[1].

The cabbie will break off into a 45min rant about the best spots in town before dropping you off at your hotel. Five seconds after exiting the vehicle you immediately realize you forgot all the hot spots he mentioned (along with your passport, wallet, phone, and suitcase) in the taxi.

 

It’s a vacation tradition!

black-and-white-2119607_1920

 

Yellow Cab3

Well, not anymore actually. The automotive company Continental has designed a fancy new (autonomous) taxi replacement. It’s known as the CUbE and it’s absolutely WILD looking.

The CUbE’s perfectly rectangular shape gives it a toolbox-on-wheels kind of swagger. Continental claims that the CUbE’s figure allows the inside to be comfier than a taxicab…c’mon, the inside of a chicken coop is comfier than a taxicab.

 

Regardless, the main selling point with the CUbE is that it will cut down traffic. Continental claims that the autonomous taxi will be more efficient because it can carry a lot of people, thereby fostering an environment of ride splitting.

Flip the CUbE

Wait, wait, wait…a taxi replacement? Leave the taxis alone; they’ve been through enough with the ride-sharing app fad. Plus, I think the CUbE would be the perfect bus replacement. Imagine that, send the CUbE to the gym for a few months and BOOM — efficient autonomous mass-transportation. The taxis aren’t the biggest threats on the roads…it’s the buses. They’re too big, unattractive, and volatile, replace them with the CUbE and create happier roads for all. Keep the vacation tradition alive.

[1] Or, if your under the age of 40, the Uber driver at the airport (same deal)

The Party’s over for Fiestas

By: Mr. Slide

Men’s cuffed jeans, soccer, monarchies, some European cultural trademarks never take off in America. Now, added to this list, is the Ford Fiesta. It’s true; Ford’s front-engine — front-wheel drive — supermini will no longer be sold in the US. It’s heading back to Europe where sales are stronger, food is better, and roads are smaller.

 

Wait…hasn’t the Fiesta already left once?

Euro. Techno. Fiesta!

Yes. It has. The Fiesta originally left the US for a study-abroad trip in 1980. While there it learned how to be sportier, eco-friendly, and safer. Having matured, the Fiesta moved back home in 2010. It was a big hit and sold over 521,500 models between 2010 and 2016. However, over the same six years, Ford sold 695,007 Fiestas in the UK[1].

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Fiesta#/media/File:2011_Ford_Fiesta_SES_hatchback_--_02-18-2011.jpg
Picture from Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Fiesta#/media/File:2011_Ford_Fiesta_SES_hatchback_–_02-18-2011.jpg

 

With sales down for 2017, Ford decided to call the Fiesta back to Europe. Should we be upset about this? Maybe.

It needs to be HOTTER

Cars like the Honda Fit and Ford’s very own Focus seem to sell better over here, but not by much (56k Fits sold in the US for 2016[2]). The reason for these low numbers is obvious — Americans don’t love subcompacts (yet). With wide roads, big families, and cheap gas, buying a Fiesta almost seems like a compromise. Combine this with the car’s notably unreliable automatic transmission and engine’s tendency to explode and it understandable why sales tanked.

 

The only thing is: Americans cannot afford to send the message to automakers that they hate hot-hatches. We are already being robbed of the beautiful (231bhp) Audi S1, the Renault Megane Renaultsport Trophy-R (271bhp), Vauxhall Astra VXR (276bhp), Seat Leon Cupra (286bhp), VW Golf GTI Club Sport (305bhp) and many other beasts.

 

Hopefully, the fact that we didn’t like the 90bhp Ford Fiesta highlights our hunger. The US is ready for REAL hot hatchbacks. It’s time to eat, put down the kids’ menu.

auto-383897_1920
The Audi S1 we are missing out on in the US

[1] “Ford Fiesta.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 22 July 2017. Web. Link

[2] “Honda Fit.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 22 July 2017. Web. Link

How to Never be Bored in Traffic

By: Mr. Slide

*panting*

*pitter-patter-pitter-patter*

*beep..beep*

*SLAM*

*VROOOM*

*screeeeeeech…….* stopped.

 

And it starts from here. Tuesday afternoon. You’re finally done with the nine to five, eight-hour, marathon. All you want is to cruise home, yet a sea of red brake lights lies on the horizon. You’re a marble attempting to penetrate a jar of Nutella.

traffic-843309_1920

Traffix

“There is no way I can enjoy this!” You think to yourself, “traffic is an inescapable burden of modern life that I must suffer through like the hunter/gatherers did the Namib Desert.”

 

Incorrect! Believe it or not, there is a way to make traffic more enjoyable. However, it requires a little effort out of the commuter. Next time you’re parked on the freeway take a look in the rearview mirror. Turn off the radio and just look in your mirror. Don’t look at yourself — look at the interior of your vehicle. Do this for a few seconds until the car in front of you moves. Then, once you stop again, look at your eyes in the mirror. If you’re unhappy, I guarantee that you can’t hold your own gaze for five seconds.

GO!

“What are you trying to do here Mr. Slide? Automotive Yoga? Car Jedi mind tricks? Hypnotism? PILATIES?!”

 

no!

 

That was simply self-examination. Most likely, after staring at your car’s interior and then into your eyes, you thought, “perhaps I’d be happier in a different vehicle.” If this was the case consider buying an absurd 1997 Jeep Wrangler Sport. Solely for the commute — get it in forest green. The manual gearbox in traffic will keep you on your toes and without the doors there really isn’t much boring interior to even look at. Finally, the Jeep’s off-road capabilities offer the chance to eradicate traffic at any time. Honestly, it’s your commute, why be practical? Have some fun.

 

jeep-1323573_1920

 

*if the Jeep is too costly just cover your interior upholstery with tiger striped cloth. At least you’ll laugh when you do your automotive-Jedi-hypnotic-pilates*

1997 Jeep Wrangler Avoiding Traffic

Miata Day!

By: Mr. Power

Last Saturday Mr. Slide and I visited the hallowed grounds of Larz Anderson Auto Museum. This event is always marked on our calendar as a special Miata (MX-5) reunion of all different eras. Dozens of cars are parked on the lawn every year and, much to the amazement of Mr. Slide and I, each year the event grows. Here are my takeaways from this year’s party.

The Cars

Although this event only celebrates Miatas I am always amazed by the uniqueness of each vehicle. Whether it’s a simple ECU tune, an added turbo kit, or chroming out the entire engine bay, these cars are spiced with character. This year’s show featured an influx of racing inspired Miatas. As it stands, Miatas are world renowned for their light and sporty ethos. So when you strip down the interior, add a turbo, a lightweight sports exhaust, and a crispy racing flywheel, these cars evolve into a track weapon.

Fire on the Lawn!

20170716_120109

One of the cars on display was a drift-build Miata. Fiddled with by some of the members of New England Miata club, this car had a welded diff and an enormous back tire — allowing it to redefine a ‘powerslide.’ What really stood out to me was, while I was looking at this car, a crowd of people formed around it and had a conversation about their sheer love for Miatas.

Good Fun.

The Miata has built a massive cult following that truly exemplifies the diversity of car culture. Miatas are commonly referred to as hairdresser’s cars, however this notion is BOGUS. The people at Larz Anderson last Sunday had a true passion for cars. They loved the reliable sportiness this Japanese classic offers. For me, my infatuation for Miatas stems from its attainability. You do not have to be making millions of dollars to own one, this is a car anyone can enjoy with a smile on their face and a happy bank account. Link to a Miata Drag Race

mazda-1296295_1920

Cars and Colors, A Casual Conversation

An intern scurries around the basement of Powerslide HQ. Chip bags crinkle and writers peel their eyes away from laptops. They all stare at the college student balancing pizza boxes up the stairs. He is heading towards the offices of Mr. Power and Mr. Slide.

 

“Is it about to happen?” one journalist asks another with bated breath.

 

“I think it is.” The other responds. “It must be time for a CCC.”

 

Casual Car Conversation (CCC)

By: Mr. Power & Mr. Slide

We start these conversations with simple, yet thought provoking, questions. This week’s will be “What’s up with car colors?”

 

Mr. Power: “So, what are your thoughts?”

Mr. Slide: “Why do so many people make their cars silver/gray? Will this trend ever go away? What color do you think is next?”

Mr. P: American roads are dominated by the dreary colors enforced by German automakers. Many people find these shades to be ‘sleek and refined.’ I disagree. Colors like whites and soft reds add more refinement and also deliver loads of character. As we move forward, I’ve noticed that vehicle paint jobs are beginning to be contrasted by colored wheels. Perhaps this is the next trend. White cars with black rims screams 2020 to me.”

Mr. S: You think that color-ways will ever catch on in the automotive world? They seem to be completely taking over the footwear industry. With online customizations becoming more popular, you think people will branch out more with colors?”

Mr. P: Online customization is a tool best utilized by high end manufacturers. Brands such as, Porsche, Ferrari, and Audi deploy it as an added customer experience. It allows them to highlight their uniqueness and make the customer feel special about the car they designed. Companies such as Toyota, and other standard car companies use car customization as a pricing tool more than anything. While this is helpful, it is not what online customization was meant to do. These companies fail to offer ‘color-ways’ online, thereby facilitation the toxic spread of blandness.”  

Mr. S: “I’m going to list you some colors and you tell me the perfect situation for that paint job: Forrest Green.”

Mr. P: “Subaru. Works on all of them — particularly the Outback. Perhaps because the people who drive them tend to like wooded areas.”

Mr. S: “Cobalt Blue.”

Mr. P: Mustang or Minivan. Surprisingly versatile color. Also phenomenal for an underground street racing vehicle. What about you, any thoughts on Gun Metal Gray?”

Mr. S: “Definitely a cool shade. Porsche 911 Carrera, Mercedes AMG SL65, highest tax bracket kind of color. Final question, how much of an affect does the color of a car have on its overall ‘coolness level?’”

Mr. P: “Color directly correlates with ‘coolness level’, I say 30%. The reason it isn’t higher is because even if you paint a Ferrari gold — like a 2002 Camry — it still has its prancing horse heritage and what’s under the hood. You can’t subtract any coolness away from that.”    

You Need to Buy a Mail Truck

By: Mr. Slide

Mail trucks, baby! They are the stormtrooper like fleet of 200,000 strong, braving all temperatures, neighborhoods, and roads in order to deliver packages and letters.   They’re everywhere, yet have you taken the time to seriously appreciate them? Stop, go, stop, full throttle away from a dog, stop, go, any normal transmission would buckle under this abuse.

 

Known as the Grumman Long Life Vehicle, this machine was built to run 20 hours a day, 7 days a week. According to the National Postal Museum the truck had to be able to complete ironman triathlon type challenges. Including driving over 35,000 potholes (National Postal Museum). Imagine being the driver for that test… The first one hit the road in 1986 and the last new one was produced in 1996. With a shelf life of 30 years the government is looking for possible Grumman LLV replacements. Mr. Power and I plan to have a discussion on what cars we believe could be heir to the throne soon. However, at the moment, I am completely caught up in something…what are they going to do with the 200,000 mail trucks?

 

We know that Newman will take at least one of these beasts to Michigan — where they have ¢10 bottle returns. However, what about the other 199,999 trucks? Will those be going up for sale? That would be sweet. The sheer number of them would theoretically allow for a cheaper price tag. But once you buy one, and you must, what do you do with it?

 

Faux Off-Road LLV

The Grumman is obviously a very capable vehicle, however, muddin’ is not on that ironman triathlon workout plan. That’s why it would have to be faux off-road (like a golf cart). Slice the top off the box, cut out the fenders a bit, and put the biggest tires you can fit on that sucker. Boom. Now you have a pseudo-Willy’s Pick-Up that did Mail Drop-Off.

 

Mini Volkswagen Bus

If you like your granola crunchy simply find an old rounded windshield (perhaps from a spaceship…heard the government is replacing those too). Next, get two perfectly round lights (doesn’t matter if they are meant for a car), and replace the old square ones from the Grumman. Finally, paint that thing like the mystery machine.

 

Mail Camper

Imagine driving up to the woods in your 90hp camper. Gut the trunk, put in a mattress, a George Foreman grill, and slice a few windows into the cabin. Done. This would certainly be a sight and you would definitely be the only one rocking this look. Just don’t go too far into the woods…not sure if a mail truck could outrun a bear.

The Ferrari GTC4Lusso is HOT, Now Where Should it Go?

By: Mr. Slide

My colleague, Mr. Power, recently wrote an article about the top five cars parked in his garage. The list was well balanced, and truly a brilliant glimpse into how one could go about “stacking his/her ponies.”

 

One particular car that caught my attention was the Ferrari GTC4Lusso. Mr. Power mentioned that he’d have the 6.3-liter V-12 naturally aspirated version that kicks out 680hp. Now, before going forward, I should mention that this article will refrain from invoking the classic naturally aspirated vs. turbo debate. I’ll save that cheese for another sandwich, baby!

 

Anyway, I read this and wondered, “How would you classify that car? Is it really a hot-hatch on HGH? How much could you fit in that trunk? Is it just a revised version of the Ferrari FF? IS IT A STATION WAGON??” These questions always come to mind whenever the line between pragmatism and performance blurs.

 

Technically, the GTC4Lusso is assigned to the shooting brake class. The stretched (bubble-like) trunk, two doors, and traditionally leaner stance separate shooting brakes from regular station wagons. Writers love them because, like the GTC4Lusso, they are juiced to the nose and can carry your golf clubs.

 

I agree that the GTC4Lusso pumps some serious heat, and truly lives up to its name’s etymology (Lusso meaning luxury in Italian). Yet I wonder why Ferrari decided to completely replace the FF with it. I’m not 100% sure — but if I had to wager a guess — I would say that it was replaced for business purposes.

 

Walk with me for a second. Why do most people buy $300,000 cars? Why do folks buy Ferraris? Exactly. Most people spend this money because; they want cool, they want ballistic, and they want heads to turn. They do not want double-paned windows that cancel out noise and they most certainly do not want an automatic gearbox with a ‘manual-shifting mode.’ It’s unfortunate because both the FF and the GTC4Lusso are phenomenal cars. However, chances are if one saves up that kind of heat, they’ll be looking for something spicier.

 

I hate to say it: but, as awesome as shooting brakes are, they just don’t appeal to enough people. The GTC4Lusso could be the Prancing Horse’s last stab at the class. It will be interesting to see if the beautifully revamped and re-marketed vehicle will get the attention it deserves from casual drivers.