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Top Tips To Prepare Your Vehicle For Summer

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Summer is nearly upon us. To many that means trips to the beach, visits with family, and last minute outings of all sorts. Summer driving adds up to a lot of driving under extreme conditions that can include heat, dust, on top of stop-and-go traffic jams. Each one of these will take an extreme toll on your vehicle. If you do not take the proper precautions, your vehicle is going to let you down, usually at the most inopportune moment. Luckily, by performing some periodic maintenance and taking a few other precautions, you can lessen the chance of a breakdown or minimize the impact of one.     Continue reading “Top Tips To Prepare Your Vehicle For Summer” »

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Where To Buy A V12

Where To Buy A V12

There is just something sexy about a 12-cylinder engine. It isn't that a twelve banger equates to more power than any other engine; it just makes a statement. It's like a middle finger to the fuel economy maniacs in the world. It says: ''I make ridiculous money and I don't care what you think.'' It also tells the world that you work hard, play hard, and drive fast. Overall, the slowest V12 is sexier than the fastest twin-turbo four popper anyone can produce...and sounds much better going by! Given the fanatical way that the auto world is turning to the lightest possible engines, the 12 is a dying breed. So, where can you still find a car powered by one? Let's have a look, shall we?image-5 Continue reading “Where To Buy A V12” »

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2017 Cars That Everyone Is Waiting For

Let's start today's post with an age-old conundrum...what is the best part about being a man? Is it sports? Bourbon and cigars? The rush of adrenaline from pushing a sports car to its limits? All of those things make being a man much more satisfying, but perhaps the best thing about manhood is the ability to delay one's gratification. Well, when it comes to cars anyway. Leave a smooth bourbon and a well wrapped Cubano laying around and I will have it lit and sipped before you can return to the room. Now that the thirst is upon me, let's move into some cars that have been in the manufacturers brewing pot for a while, but are about to come to fruition for the enjoyment of us all. Cheers, mate!

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A Look Back At AMG's Most Interesting Work

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Mercedes-Benz is known for cars and trucks that are dependable, distinctive, powerful, and luxurious. Despite being globally known as a premium brand, the executives at MB know that they need to turn to subsidiary AMG to build their most powerful cars. The legendary tuner, based in Affalterbach, Germany, was founded with the main intent of building better Benz's way back in 1967. MB took sole ownership in 2005, creating Mercedes-AMG. The years between AMG's founding and now have produced some very interesting cars. Let's have a look back at what, in our opinion, are some of AMG's most interesting work. Continue reading “A Look Back At AMG's Most Interesting Work” »

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The Mercedes-Benz G500 4x4 Squared: The Baddest Benz On The Block

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The Mercedes-Benz G-class is a mid-size luxury SUV manufactured in Austria. Even the most casual of observers can recognize a G-class from a distance without seeing the badging. All you have to know is that it looks like a shiny box on wheels and BOOM, you are a G-class expert. Affectionately called the G-Wagon, the SUV has been in production since 1979, with several iterations available over the years. Recently, the Germans introduced a new version, the 2017 G500 4x4 Squared and it is a dandy of a box...ummm, SUV. Yeah, we meant SUV. Let's have a look at this new G-G-Wagon!

Continue reading “The Mercedes-Benz G500 4x4 Squared: The Baddest Benz On The Block” »

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Delightfully Impractical Cars That You Must Have

To some of us, certain cars are better than women. They can be depended upon. It is easy to know what is wrong if they are acting up and they never put you through any kind of mind game. Straightforward and sexy as hell. If women didn't have uses that a car can not fulfill, men would do without them all together. Yes, that is offensively sexist, so no need to mention it in the comments section. By the by, this writer's opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the owner of this blog. Whew, now that the legals are covered, let's have a look at a few cars that are so outlandishly expensive and/or impractical that you may almost feel as if they are must haves in your life.

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Cars That Changed Automotive Design Forever

If we were to be honest, we would all have to admit that the vast majority of the cars we pass each day look so similar that it is difficult to distinguish one automaker from another without careful study. Cookie-cutter design has become so prevalent that buyers often forget that there was a time when automotive design was a major aspect of each new model launch, with every manufacturer looking to stand out visually. Modern supercars have even begun to resemble each other. It is enough to drive an automobile enthusiast to drink...pass us a pint, will you love?

Most radically innovative designs are relegated to the rank of non-production concept vehicles. On occasion, an interesting design element makes it to the masses. It is those few that we will be concerning ourselves with today. Without further ado, here are several cars that changed automotive design forever...or at least started a design trend during their time period.

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1948 Cadillac

  

Every manufacturer in the world was heavily influenced by aircraft and rocketry during the late 1940s through the early 1960s. There were many concepts created during this period that were near twins of aircraft at the time. If you look at some of them, you expect them to launch at any moment. Perhaps the main design element of the period that influenced production models was the tailfin. Iconic American automotive designer Harley Earl was the first to put larger-than-life tailfins on a car, kicking off a craze that lasted for nearly twenty years.

1974 Lamborghini Countach

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The wedge is one of the most iconic design innovations known the to automotive world. Writers and enthusiasts debate the origins of the design, but one of the earliest is the 1968 Alfa Romeo Carabo designed by Marcello Gandini of Bertone. The concept version of the Lamborghini Countach that arrived in 1971 drew heavily from the Carabo in its wedge form, wheel house openings, and its notorious scissor-doors, which leads us to the 1974 Countach.

The name Countach is taken from the Piedmontese dialect and means astonishment and amazement. That is exactly what the first production Countach did to the world. Everything about the car heavily influences supercars today. It is nearly impossible to find a mid-engine hypercar that does not feature the cabin-forward design as well as the iconic scissor-door system. Granted, modern cars are as aerodynamic as the '74 looks and feature much improved dampening systems, but each draws heavily from the innovations of Gandini.

1970 Land Rover Range Rover

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To many the Ford Explorer is the progenitor of the modern SUV craze, just as the early VW is credited with spearheading the minivan insanity. We beg to differ. Ford may have created an SUV for the masses, but Land Rover created the foremost. Even a layperson can see the heavy influence that 1970 Range Rover had on the design of the early Ford Explorer. So, why didn't the Range Rover become the sparkling success that the Explorer did? Money. The average consumer could easily afford an Explorer, the Range Rover was, and still is, a premium offering.

2005 Mercedes-Benz CLS

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The 2005 Mercedes-Benz CLS was the first production saloon to feature a coupe-like design. The more sporty profile caught on, influencing other premium brands to follow suit. BMW climbed on board with the 6-series Gran Sport and Audi followed with the A7. Making inroads in the premium segment would not necessarily make the design influential, but when its elements started to appear in economy saloons like the Hyundai Sonata, it became an official mover and shaker. If you look further, you can see a semblance of the design element in SUVs like the Acura ZDX and the BMW X6.

2004 Toyota Prius

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The Toyota Prius can not claim to be the first hybrid ever produced, but it can claim to be the best selling and most fuel efficient available to the general public. The 2004 Toyota Prius can also claim to have set a design profile that has become the standard for what an economy hybrid is supposed to look like. The Prius's exterior has become so ingrained in our minds that we can close our eyes and still see the damn thing. If you doubt how influential the Prius's design is, just look at a Honda Insight or a Chevrolet Volt. Now, if Toyota would be so kind as to make the Prius more fun to drive there would be more of them on the roads.

2006 Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano

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Before the 599 GTB Fiorano, downforce was provided through wings and spoilers. Both are effective, but do not add anything to a car's design...despite what shade-tree tuners may think. The 2006 599 GTB Fiorano introduced the high-performance world to flying buttresses over the rear quarter panels. The design allows for excellent downforce without overly affecting a car's drag coefficient. While you will not see them on your daily driver for a while, they are prominently featured on just about every dream car. Take a look at the new Porsche 918 Spyder, any McLaren, or the BMW i8.

There are other cars that could have made this list. Some would say the Audi R8 should be here because it was the first to have LED headlamps, then there is the Ford Explorer for starting the cookie-cutter SUV trend. One could even argue for the second-generation Dodge Ram for making truck design more aggressive and less utilitarian. In our defense, the R8 simply used a new material for headlamps and someone was bound to create a bland SUV at some point.

We would love to hear about other influential design elements form our readers. Feel free to dress us down in the comments section.

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Cars From Geneva That We May Never See

If you attend an international auto show, you will see the latest offerings from automakers big and small. They make for great news fodder in every market. Those offerings are the main reason that trade magazines attend these shows; but, if you ask the onsite reporters, many will tell you they enjoy the bizarre, overpowered, and interesting interpretations from tuners, boutique makers, and aftermarket specialists. These companies offer heavily nuanced versions of standard fare sporting interesting fiberglass body kits or build their own cars. Most have one thing in common, they will never make it to mass production. This year's Geneva show offered many such ''interesting characters'', so we thought our readers would enjoy seeing a few of them.

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2017 Subaru Impreza: First Ride On A New Platform   

image-4The Impreza has long been Subaru's best selling model. Nearly every shade-tree tuner has turned their attention to an Impreza WRX at some time or another. With the Impreza's global attraction, it only make sense that the 2017 Subaru Impreza will be the first model to ride on the automaker's new global platform. We thought our readers would like to have a close-up look at the new platform and the next-gen Impreza; thus, the impetus for this post. Continue reading “2017 Subaru Impreza: First Ride On A New Platform   ” »

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Cars That Changed Automotive Design Forever

If we were to be honest, we would all have to admit that the vast majority of the cars we pass each day look so similar that it is difficult to distinguish one automaker from another without careful study. Cookie-cutter design has become so prevalent that buyers often forget that there was a time when automotive design was a major aspect of each new model launch, with every manufacturer looking to stand out visually. Modern supercars have even begun to resemble each other. It is enough to drive an automobile enthusiast to drink...pass us a pint, will you love?

Most radically innovative designs are relegated to the rank of non-production concept vehicles. On occasion, an interesting design element makes it to the masses. It is those few that we will be concerning ourselves with today. Without further ado, here are several cars that changed automotive design forever...or at least started a design trend during their time period.image Continue reading “Cars That Changed Automotive Design Forever” »

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