Powerslide Podcast #2: The New England Auto Show

The Podcast makes a return as the guys chat about Mr. Power’s trip to the New England Auto Show, some great surprises, and the Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Powerslide Podcast #2: The New England Auto Show

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The Acura NSX: The Masterpiece that Doesn’t Command an Audience

By: Mr. Power

 

It’s a hybrid supercar loaded with technology. From its praised electric steering system, to the integral way it delivers power to all four wheels, the NSX should have been a home run. But it’s not selling…. go to Autotrader or Car Guru and you will find a whole host of NSX’s sitting on the lot. Its competitors, the Porsche 911 Turbo and McLaren 570s fly off the lot. The NSX sales, on the other hand, have been stagnant.

 

Acura’s Weapon

 

This is too bad because the NSX is truly a second coming of an automotive God — the original NSX. Originally produced in 1990, many years have passed since the original NSX hit showroom floors. Long gone is arguably the best F1 driver of all time in Ayrton Senna who graced this car with his expert analysis. Establishing the NSX as a household name in the world of supercars was no easy task, but Honda did what it does best, build a car that is reliable and fun. The NSX thrashed the Ferraris of the era and left every 911 turbo owner with a frown on their face, they were no match for the performance monster that was the NSX.

 

It is no small feat for Hondo to try and build a car that can hold a candle to the original NSX. As a result Honda’s engineers decided to experiment. From the ground up this new NSX is a totally different car. Which I think is admiral. The fact that Honda is willing to dive in head first into the supercar market and break the manufacturing taboo that supercar production is based around heritage (eat your heart out Ferrari). The only thing that is similar between these two generations of cars is that they both have a V6. Although the new NSX has a highly tuned twin turbo V6 punching out 573 horsepower, when paired along with 3 electric motors it can reach 0-60mph in 3.1 seconds. These numbers place the car right in the fight of formidable competition, cars that may have more flair or more dramatic interiors. But the NSX has an ace up its sleeve — hybrid technology. Utilizing its three electric motors: one for each front wheel, one to fill in the gaps of power between shift changes, and one for when the turbos are not fully spoiled, fosters tangible levels of excitement whenever the driver gives it the beans. This technology can only best replicated in cars such as the Porsche 918 or McLaren P1, which cost way more than the NSX and can no longer be bought new.

 

Outlining all the highlights of the new NSX leaves me wondering — why is this car not selling? The answer is quite simple; when non-car people ask what you’re driving and you say an Acura NSX they will respond with “oh how long have you been a software engineer?” But if you have a Porsche Turbo S, the answer would be “Wow, that’s nuts what type of surgeon are you?” The only thing holding the NSX back is stereotyping. If a person were going to spend $170,000+ on a supercar their first choice wouldn’t be the Acura. To most it seems bland and mundane, much like the complex coding you would have to do to be able to afford this car. This is far from the truth; every aspect of this supercar is perfect in my eye. It goes and achieves everything that it should. It’s able to beat every other Japanese import at your local track and overtake that random guy from accounts payable in his leased BMW i535. The NSX is edging near automotive perfection.

A STANDARD Ferrari

By: Mr. Slide

The years 2004 – 2009 were frightening times for many people. Underpowered, eco-friendly, cars were becoming more and more popular. Thousands of people were being robbed of truly great driving experiences. An entire generation of Americans was being taught that cars were predictable, boring, and homogenous. The dark-ages of the common car were poisoning the driving experience[1].

An Expensive Light in the Darkness

The general consensus among automotive historians on early/mid 2000s supercars is that past and future models were/are better. Mr. Power and I tend to agree with this. Back then; it was rare for someone to physically seek out (and pay for) a magnificent driving experience. Thankfully, that didn’t stop Ferrari from making one.

 

Introducing the Ferrari F430, produced from 2004 – 2009, amidst the height of the underpowered eco-friendly plague. With it’s 4.3L naturally aspirated V8 it kicked out 483hp. You’re probably thinking, “hey, if I wait a few years later I could get a much better car in the Ferrari 458.” The 458 is a juicier car, however, there’s something special about the humble F430. It has a gated manual transmission.

Maestro

Harmonically orchestrate your own experience behind the wheel of the F430. Slam that shifter through the gears while climbing up to 200mph. Listen to the magnificent grumbling noises while heel-toeing and controlling everything yourself. This is a Ferrari you can HAMMER. It’s all about the driving experience with the F430, and the gated shifter simply amplifies it. You don’t just sit back and hit the gas, like with modern supercars (458!!), you’re the boss, you’re calling the shots.

 

It was half the cost of the 458 but twice the involvement. Unfortunately, Ferrari will never make this gearbox again. In fact, they don’t plan on making any manual production cars ever again.

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458 Italia

Cash in on Control

That can only mean one thing…the Ferrari F430 manual is a fantastic investment car. They are just coming out of Ferrari’s seven-year, unlimited mileage, warranty — making them less expensive to buy. Right now they are selling for about $100,000. Scoop one of these up, drive it like crazy, and have fun. Then stuff it in your garage and hang on to it for a decade or two. Pretty soon the F430 will be considered vintage and collectors will be willing to pay a fortune for that manual transmission.

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F430

People forget that there were in fact cool cars produced in the early 2000s. The Ferrari F430 is an interesting car, and certainly one that you can enjoy driving. It represents a changing in times for Ferrari; and highlights the beauty of heel-toeing, shifting, and conducting the orchestra.

[1] The remnants of these times can still be felt today.

The New Ferrari Portofino — The California We Never Got

BREAKING NEWS!

By: Mr. Power & Mr. Slide

Mr. Power and Mr. Slide sit down to discuss Ferrari’s newest vehicle dropped today : The Portofino

Mr. Slide: Well, it looks like the California is dead and Ferrari has officially announced its replacement — the Portofino

 

Mr. Power: Yes, Mr. Slide. The ugly stepchild of the Ferrari brand is out. The California, in its last iteration, was a far cry from its classic movie star heritage. If Enzo was still alive he would’ve never let it outside the factory gates.

 

Mr. S: Strong words, Mr. Power. But how about this new Portofino? Named after the small (expensive) vacation city in Italy, its looks are phenomenal. With a 598hp V8 this car can absolutely fly — reaching 60mph in only 3.5 seconds. Ferrari also completely revamped the old California T by adding 40hp, an overhauled intake system, electric power steering, and that fancy new torque delivery technology (the Variable Boost Management system). Added to all this is that fiery electronic rear differential.

 

Mr. P: I agree, this car is stunning to look at, it blows the California away. Honestly, it may be the best looking car Ferrari currently makes. I think it has perfect dimensions and a better wheel design then the 812 Super Fast. Ferrari’s design department took styling queues from the Aston Martin Zagato and it shows. The fluid shapes and exterior contours are stunningly beautiful. For the first time Ferrari has finally made a GT car that is aerodynamically designed with just the right amount of Italian flair. Well done.

Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 11.36.42 PM
Image of the Portofino from Ferrari’s website http://auto.ferrari.com/en_US/sports-cars-models/car-range/ferrari-portofino/

Mr. S: I guess I would agree. I’m impressed with the beauty of this so called, “starter Ferrari[1].” Would you buy one?

 

Mr. P: Trying to buy a Ferrari is a complicated process. Most dealers will emphasize how difficult it is for people to get in the Ferrari brand, or fit the qualifications to buy a new one. However, if I had the money, I would most certainly buy one. I’m a huge fan of the cars Ferrari makes, but I hate all the strings attached. They have done an impeccable job retaining their customers, however they have turned their backs to new buyers. If for whatever reason you are a 20-something-year-old with a big enough trust fund to endorse such a brash decision, I would highly recommend considering the Portofino as your first Ferrari.

 

[1] Whatever that means…

The New VW Bus

By: Mr. Slide

Thousands eagerly wait in complete darkness. The electricity in the air is tangible. Adrenaline flowing, heart pumping, chills fly down the spine like a feather faintly brushing skin. Off in the distance a quiet, but familiar, beat sounds. Your head starts to nod and you look down at your feet. Now the music is getting louder.

An epic roar from the crowd.

Eyes up!

Yes!

The bright spotlight reveals a legend’s return to the stage — welcome back VW Bus.

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NOT the new Bus. We don’t have the rights to post a picture of it. Pls just google it

Yesterday Volkswagen announced a new bus due to release in 2022. It’s called the ID Buzz and it’s 100% electric. Volkswagen has teased this vehicle since 2002, now they finally have a concrete concept model. The inside looks spacious, the colors are great, and that exterior is definitely bus-ish.
The Type 2 bus that we’re all familiar with had a rear mounted, air-cooled, engine. This meant instant death in a collision. The car would die if you were rear-ended, and you would die if you rear-ended someone else. Thankfully VW’s new electric design means the ID Buzz will have a stronger structure for crashes.

 

Then again the VW Bus was never about safety or performance. This machine was made to fit an era. It was designed to be a practical mode of transportation suitable enough to be driven to Woodstock and back. It represented the counterculture flow of 60’s. Could this new electric bus be attractive to the new hippies (aka hipsters)? Only time will tell. For now, I would just recommend changing the bus’s name. Keep groovin’, keep rockin’, and keep solving mysteries in that machine.

 

 

 

 

The Best Car for the Beach. A Casual Conversation

Rain wasn’t due for a few more months. Crops were drying up and a lonely Oklahoman farmer feared for the worst. Taking a deep breath he grimly turned his head to the sky. Suddenly, before he had a chance to beg the heavens for rain, the atmosphere turned black.

*BOOM*

Torrential rain.

A grin slowly arches across the farmer’s face as he turns, squints, and walks back towards his house.

“There must be a CCC starting,” he happily mumbles under his breath.

 

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 is the best car you can take to the beach?”

 

Mr. Slide: Have you ever driven a dune buggy?

Mr. Power: Unfortunately, I have never driven one but they look like supreme beach vehicles. The styling, the swagger, the rawness, it epitomizes everything fun and exciting about going to the beach.

Mr. S: I’d agree. Besides dune buggies, what other cars make great beach vehicles? 

Mr. P: I think there are two different ways of answering this question. One could go whole hog and roll up with a Ford Raptor, or (in a more free spirited way) choose a Yamaha WR250R. Yes, the Yamaha is not a car — it is a motorcycle. Don’t let that fool you though; it has the all the tools to rival dune buggies. Beach parking can be precarious and unpredictable: the bike alleviates all stress however with its small frame and great functionality. As for the Raptor, this beast will have enough cargo space to pack all the boogie boards and beach chairs your heart desires. All while offering the best off-road capability money can buy.

dirt-bike-330815_1920
Not a WR250R

Mr. S: If you’re going with the Ford Raptor and the Yamaha, I’d definitely pick the soft-top Toyota FJ40. Its classic style is fantastic and I love the back seats that face each other. Only thing is it might be tough to eat an ice cream and drive a stick (although I know it’s totally possible). Like the Raptor, it too does well on sand. Can’t beat it…. And, as long as we’re getting two choices, I’d snag the Yamaha as well.

Mr. P: Going to the beach is all about having fun, us car enthusiast find it hard to separate the beach from the car that got us there. The parameters for a great beach vehicle are; 4-wheel drive (or a dirt(ish)-bike), luggage space, and most importantly the smile it puts on your face when you drive it to the shore.

Mr. S: Well said, Mr. Power. However, as we all know, the sandy coastlines are ruled by one king — the dune buggy. Respect its reign and get behind the wheel of one.

 

A Brief Look Into The Future of Cars

By: Mr. Power

Up until this point the automotive industry has largely relied on dinosaurs to power their products. Now, as Climate Change becomes even more evident, we must listen to the polar bears and move towards a different energy source to power our beloved cars.

 

So, What are Our Options?

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A hot Tesla from https://pixabay.com/en/car-electric-tesla-s-electric-car-1209912/

Option 1: A Shock

Companies such as Tesla have revolutionized the electric car and it looks like it’s here to stay. Other car companies have tried to compete with Elon Musk by reveling their own versions of an all-electric car. These companies include; General Motors, Nissan, and BMW. Frankly, its fair to say that they don’t hold a candle to what Tesla offers.

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Notice the mix… from https://pixabay.com/en/car-engine-prius-c-motor-car-231213/

Option 2: A Mix

Hybrid powered cars (which contain both gas and electric powered motors), represent the midway point. They harmonically blend technological improvements all while keeping the oil companies happy. They are terrific for now but still rely on the dinosaur juice to get going.

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This is water….https://pixabay.com/en/water-drop-dropping-splashing-384649/

Option 3: Something Wildly Different

After electric and hybrid, we begin to get funky with the hydrogen-powered car. Honda is the first major automotive company to venture down this road, and their troubles have highlighted the tasks complexity. Although hydrogen is the most abundant element on earth, it’s easier to extract gold from Fort Knox then to get un-bonded hydrogen.

The great thing about hydrogen though is that it is not at all harmful to the environment. This is because it only disposes water vapor through its tailpipe (or something along those lines).

After weighing these options, and meeting with the polar bears, I’m personally of the opinion that electric power is the best way to go. So next time you scoff at the Solar Panel loving, Telsa driving, Crunchy Granola Dentist, think about how he has chosen to save us all and values polar bears lives.

36,000hp Semi Truck

By: Mr. Slide

Exotic vehicles can be broken down into three categories; ones that you have to drive to appreciate, ones that you have to ride passenger in to appreciate, and ones that you just have to watch to appreciate. The 36,000hp Shockwave definitely falls into the last category.

 

Combining the power of three U.S. Navy jet engines (each producing 12,000hp) allows this rig to hit 376mph and clear a quarter mile in just six-and-a-half seconds. I know, sounds bananas, but it’s true.

 

 

The Shockwave is also one of the wildest looking vehicles ever produced — think RC car with a rocket attached (like from Toy Story) only scaled up by a million. It has double smokestacks that spit out demonic black clouds, an absurd flame throwing tailpipe, and military grade parachutes for “brakes.” It seriously sounds like a rocket ship and resembles a bullet train whizzing by (except it’s 125mph faster). However, it’s just a Chevy…from 1957. Bananas.

 

Neal Darnell, the brave man who drives Shockwave, claims that he experiences 6G of positive force while accelerating and then negative 9G of force when the parachute brakes eject. That’s more than what astronauts experience during liftoff. In fact, most people pass out at 9Gs of force because blood struggles to reach the brain[1].

 

So there you have it, one of the craziest vehicles ever made — the Shockwave. You wouldn’t want to drive it, you wouldn’t want to ride in it, but you would definitely want to see it.

 

SOURCES

[1] Baily, Zoe. “Is the Sun Pulling the Planets Closer to It? | Space Facts – Astronomy, the Solar System & Outer Space | All About Space Magazine.” Space Facts Astronomy the Solar System Outer Space All About Space Magazine, Space Answers, http://www.spaceanswers.com/solar-system/is-the-sun-pulling-the-planets-closer-to-it/.
Cover image from WonderfulEngineering.com  http://cdn.wonderfulengineering.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Shockwave-4.jpg
Watson, Leon. “One Lorry You Won’t Get Stuck behind: Introducing the 400mph Shockwave, the World’s Fastest Truck That Can Outrun a Japanese Bullet Train.” Daily Mail Online, Associated Newspapers, 17 Feb. 2014,  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2561173/One-lorry-wont-stuck-Introducing-400mph-Shockwave-worlds-fastest-truck-outrun-Japanese-bullet-train.html
Toy Story images from: (Left) https://thepowerslideblog.files.wordpress.com/2017/08/63b02-toystory_149pyxurz.jpg
(Right)  https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2216/2519512734_2f9e601194_z.jpg?zz=1

The DEATH of the Minivan

By: Mr. Power

The year is 1997, highways are infested with Mini vans. Silver ones, blue ones, or the worst of all — gold ones. All car enthusiast can admit these were dark times for the auto industry. Suburban America was obsessed with Ford Windstars, Dodge Grand Caravans, and the historically disturbing Mazda MPV. Good cars, however they focused too much on practicality and not enough on speed.

mazda-mpv-ii-lw-[5755]
The Mazda MPV from autodata.com http://www.autodata1.com/media/mazda/pics/mazda-mpv-ii-lw-%5B5755%5D.jpg

Longevity = Finding the Balance

Flash forward 20 years and the American automotive scene is at another crossroad. Highways are once again plagued with large variants of motor vehicles — except now they’re called SUVs. With subclasses ranging from crossovers to the more extreme 4×4 style, SUVs offer more ground clearance compared to other types of cars. They are also very practical and extremely well rounded. However, their added height leads to pitiful handling dynamics and horrendous fuel economy (comparatively speaking). Also all midlevel SUVs feel the exact same behind the wheel (if you can feel the difference in driving dynamics between the Honda CRV and the Toyota Rav4 you deserve an award). These cars suffer from chronic boredom and they don’t have to! SUV drivers are extremely fun and deserve more than dreary styling, lackluster engine performance, and mundane handling!

 

I understand that these cars provide more room than other variants of automobiles — thus making for great people carriers. However, there is a great SUV competitor that commonly gets overlooked…The Station-Wagon.

New Volvo V90 Cross Country Driving
Volvo V90 Cross Country from caradvice.com.au http://s3.caradvice.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/2017_volvo_v90_cross-country_02-1.jpg

Wagon Up!

These cars handle better, pack more than enough room, and provide better fuel economy. One of the best manufactures in the station-wagon game is Volvo. Recently healed from its abusive relationship with Ford, most Volvos are being made right here in America (and China). Other manufacturing plants include Sweden — where these cars are more popular than Michael Jordan in the 90’s.

 

Seriously, look at the all-new V90 cross-country. Volvo has integrated sleek Swedish design with a fruity punch of American ingenuity. Delicious. This car offers all the off-road capabilities anyone would need, a world-renowned all-wheel drive system, and the comfiest seats in the automotive world. So next time you’re looking at getting a new car, don’t just go straight for the SUVs, try a wagon (preferably a Volvo because the Swedish know how to do it best). You’ve driven an SUV — now try something different.

285121_2017_Volvo_V90
There it is again! from guideautoweb.com https://a.gaw.to/photos/2/8/5/285121_2017_Volvo_V90.jpg?1024×640

How To Never Forget Where you Parked

By: Mr. Slide

Everybody can relate to that annoying feeling of forgetting where their car is parked. You step outside the mall after a long day of tedious errand running and boom…it’s like looking at a colony[1] of penguins bunched up on an iceberg. The sun’s harsh rays add to your mall induced delirium, combining for an evil hex that forces you to exclaim, “Drat, where did I park?”

 

parking-lot-full-of-durangos
Image From autoblog.com http://www.blogcdn.com/green.autoblog.com/media/2012/05/parking-lot-full-of-durangos.jpg

 

HELP!

 

Obviously, you’re a prideful person, the last thing you want to do is hit the alarm button on your fancy new key fob. That’s essentially the automotive equivalent of having the clerk at the store’s courtesy booth use the all-call to flag down your kid. How could you be so irresponsible? Are you an idiot? It’s your car for gosh sakes, you parked it! Yet in your moment of panic, hands full of groceries, and patience thin, you press that button faster than a ship’s captain lights up a flair.

 

*BEEP….BEEP….BEEEEEEP…YOU PARKED OVER HERE, BABOON*

 

…oh right, yeah………..haha….sorry…

 

Then — after raising the white flag — you invoke the power of hearing to help locate the lost chariot. Finally, moments later, you find your grey car…right in-between the other grey one and the silver one. Ha.

 

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Super Solution

 

“There must be a better way to find my parked car!” you think to yourself as you carefully exit, avoiding other drivers hunting the massive penguin colony. Well, it turns out — there is! The folks over at Find My Car Smarter have released an app that utilizes Bluetooth Smart Technology in order to eliminate the need to hit the shameful alarm button. You simply plug your phone into the cigarette lighter (if you still have one of those suckers); open the app and it will use the GPS to mark where you park. Then, upon exiting the mall, you open your phone and easily navigate the crowded colony. Simple as pie!

 

……Okay, frankly we can’t necessarily say to buy the app, and honestly it would be way better if everybody just bought cooler cars. You would never forget where you parked because your car would stand out to you. “Ah! There is my nitrous blue Ford Focus RS! I recognize it because I love it, take pride in it, and enjoy driving it!” That’s what you would say. You wouldn’t even need that alarm. The app is fantastic and really helps if you’re in a bind, however buying an unmistakable, unforgettable, car is truly the best option.

Ford Focus RS
A Ford Focus RS from autocar.co.uk http://images.cdn.autocar.co.uk/sites/autocar.co.uk/files/styles/gallery_slide/public/ford-focus-rs-rt-2016-125.jpg?itok=chMaUcOh

 

[1] Also known as a waddle