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Monthly Archives: October 2019

2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Versus 2019 Corvette C7

It’s a battle of Corvettes wherein one is mid-engined and the other is front-engined. Recently, the debate as to whether or not the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 is quicker than the 2019 Corvette C7 was settled at the Grattan Raceway in west Michigan.

Both cars were equipped with the track-focused Z51 Performance Package for the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. The two were also fitted with adaptive dampers and they feature an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The C8 and C7 were wearing Corvette-specific Michelin tires but the C8 had the new Pilot Sport 4S rubber while the C7 settled for the old Pilot Super Sports tires. Then as mentioned, the C8 features a mid-engine setup while the C7 had its engine positioned in front.

The electronic stability control (ESC) of the cars was deactivated so that the organizers could make a more accurate comparison of the chassis differences of the vehicles. Next, the RaceLogic VBox LapTimer of the Corvettes was activated for more precise data logging.

The face-off between the Corvettes took place in a 2.2-mile stretch for each lap. After 6 laps, the C8 finished faster with a lap time of 1:26.1 as opposed to the C7’s 1:27.0, which is nearly a second difference. The older car appeared to close the gap in some instances but the C8 was just too much for it.

The C8 was more agile and it conquered corners more smoothly than the C7. Furthermore, the tires of the newer Corvette were more planted on the ground during the event.

Overall, the Corvette C8 managed to hold its own against its predecessor with its better performance and better handling.

Presenting the Ferrari Monza SP2 of Gordon Ramsay

Apart from the delicious dishes, charming kids who are aspiring to be chefs and screaming at adults who want to make it big in the cooking landscape but failing miserably, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay does not only have a palate for good food but he also has a good taste when it comes to supercars. One of the autos in his collection is a rare Ferrari Monza SP2.

The Monza SP2 together with its sibling Monza SP1 takes inspiration from the speedsters during the 1950s and 1960s era. Both vehicles belong in the Icona series of Ferrari, and they make use of the brand’s 812 Superfast platform. Despite their vintage looks, they are equipped with all the advanced technology that their maker has to offer.

Ramsay’s roofless Monza SP2 does not have a windshield and it has a black finish with a horizontal red stripe running across its bonnet. Meanwhile, its interior leather surfaces are also in contrasting red. In addition, the wheels of the car feature a five-spoke design in gunmetal gray.

The Monza SP2 and its SP1 sibling are equipped with a 6.5-liter V12 engine. The power unit produces 809 hp that pushes each car from 0-62 mph in just 2.9 seconds, and they can go faster than 186 mph.

The production of the Monza SP1 and SP2 is only limited to 499 samples. Each cost around $2 million, which is obviously not an issue with someone as wealthy as Ramsay. In fact, it is not the only Ferrari in the celebrity chef’s garage because he also owns a LaFerrari and LaFerrari Aperta.

Entry-Level BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe is Packing with Plenty of Interesting Features

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The new 2-Series Gran Coupe is the BMW brand’s entry to the luxury car market. However, that doesn’t mean that the automaker is holding back on its features.

The new 2-Series Gran Coupe was revealed on Tuesday ahead of the heavily anticipated 2019 Los Angeles Motor Show. The unit will come in two versions in the US, namely the 228i and the high-performance M235i.

Here are the key specifications of the 2-Series Gran Coupe that everyone should take note of when it arrives in spring:


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Underneath the hood of the 2-Series Gran Coupe is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine in two states of tune for its two variants. The 228i produces 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque while the M235i has an output of 301 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. An all-wheel-drive system partnered to an eight-speed automatic transmission comes as a standard for both car trims.

The 228i accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in just 6 seconds. The M235i does that in a mere 4.7 seconds, thanks to its better engine specs that include reinforced crankshaft, bigger turbo, and upgraded fuel injectors.


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The 2020 2-Series Gran Coupe departs from the design of its outgoing 2019 model with a better-looking sloping roofline and revamped fascia. The front borrows the styling cues found in the Z4 with its larger grille, longer nose and angular LED headlamps. Meanwhile, the back features narrower LED taillights.

The vehicle measures 105.1 inches in terms of wheelbase. It is fitted with 17-inch wheels that can be upgraded to 18-inch wheels for the M235i model. The sportier trim also gets M sport suspension and steering, Torsen limited-slip differential, and other exterior highlights.


BMW is generous enough in giving the cabin of the 2-Series Gran Coupe high-quality elements. It is equipped with an 8.8-inch infotainment display with a dial controller and Apple CarPlay integration, but the screen can be upgraded to 10.25 inches. Among the other goodies within the car are emergency braking, blind-spot monitors and an optional 9.2-inch head-up display.

Rare 1976 BMW 530 Motorsport Limited Edition Restored

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The 1976 BMW 530 Motorsport Limited Edition (MLE) is a very rare car, and only a handful of it is known to have survived the test of time. One unit was found in South Africa under a rough shape, but thanks to a painstaking restoration process, it has reclaimed its former glory.

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The 530 MLE is a homologation special under the E12 generation series of BMW. Although the first M1 came out two years after the 530 MLE’s initial production run, the 530 MLE is considered as the first unofficial BMW M car.

Looking at the history books of the brand, only 110 units of Type 1 530 MLE were made in 1976 under South Africa’s Production Series. The company was required to sell at least 100 units of the auto that time but it went on to sell 10 more due to high market demand. The Type 2 variant came out in 1977 that sold 117 units.

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One surviving unit of the model was found in a pretty beat up condition as rust has taken over its bodywork, and the surfaces of its cabin were already dirty and torn. It was also missing several key components like the grille, headlights, bumper, and leather panels in the interior, to name a few.

Before it was purchased by BMW, the car belonged to Peter Kaye-Eddie who was a driver and team manager for a 530 MLE team. Its original chassis with number 770100 was still intact as well as its stock engine.

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Luis Malhou of Custom Restorations was tasked by BMW to put the 530 MLE into its pristine condition. Members of the team who assembled the 530 MLE in its production run back in the day were consulted during the whole ordeal. The whole work took a year to finish, and it was truly a success when it was unveiled in a ceremony held at BMW Group Plant Rosslyn in South Africa.

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The restored 1976 BMW 530 MLE retained its modified 3.0-liter inline-six engine. It’s capable of producing up to 200 hp and 204 lb-ft of torque. The numbers allow it to sprint from 0-62 mph in just 9.3 seconds.

While the figures are no longer that impressive by today’s standards, it should be noted that the numbers were remarkable in 1976. Add to that the fact that the 530 MLE marked the beginning of BMW’s focus on track-oriented cars.

Coming Soon: The Next-Generation Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ

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The rumors are true after all. The next-generation models of the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ have been confirmed. An official announcement about the scheduled debut of the two is yet to be made but sources suggest that it might take place at the Tokyo Motor Show this month.

A few months ago, Toyota definitely impressed us with the unveiling of the new Supra. Demand was high on the new sports car as orders piled up from US customers. However, it seems that Toyota has more surprises to come.

According to the press release of Toyota, the joint development of the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ have been green-lighted. With that, the two sports cars are expected to share plenty of features.

The specifications of the cars are yet to be revealed but they will likely come with a new version of the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine found in the Subaru Ascent. The power unit will not be too overpowered though in order to avoid casting a shadow on the performance of the Supra. The two brands will probably keep the rear-wheel-drive platform of the said vehicles.

At the end of September, Toyota increased its stake in Subaru. Toyota raised its holdings in Subaru from 17 percent to 20 percent. This makes Subaru an equity affiliate of Toyota. Moreover, the move also brings the strong US sales and profits of Subaru onto Toyota.

The expansion of the partnership between the two automakers will allow them to share plenty of interesting technologies for their future cars, including Toyota’s new hybrid system and Subaru’s advanced all-wheel-drive system.

Lamborghini To Be Sold Or Stock Listed By Volkswagen

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The Lamborghini brand might be transformed into a separate legal entity. The move aims to increase the value of the Volkswagen Group by more than double.

Bloomberg reported that Volkswagen is weighing on selling or stock listing Lamborghini. However, the agency didn’t name its sources because the said people apparently didn’t want to be identified. Furthermore, the article noted that the deliberations are confidential in nature, and the company is yet to arrive at a pronouncement on the matter.

Volkswagen Group, currently valued at $89 billion might jump its market cap $220 billion if the mentioned plans come into fruition. This could give the German brand an edge against its key rivals, especially Toyota.

The boost in cash flow would enable Volkswagen to pool more resources in its shift to prioritize electric vehicle production. Insiders suggest too that Volkswagen’s “Vision 2030” corporate plan includes putting more focus on its core brands like Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche.

The decision of Volkswagen might have also been driven by the pressure coming from investors. For quite some time already, the company has been pushed to free up its assets.

Lamborghini is presently valued at $11 billion. A huge improvement in the earnings of the brand came last year. It is projected to earn more going forward because of the arrival of the Urus and the redesigned Aventador. A new hypercar is being developed by the company also based on the rumor mill.

The talks to fold Lamborghini into a separate legal entity are already in motion according to the source. A solid consensus on the subject might be revealed by the end of 2020.

Nissan and Renault Name New CEOs

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Just this year, we saw two chief executive officers make their exit from Nissan. Recently, the company announced that they have finally chosen someone who will officially take the leadership position and that’s Makoto Uchida.

The announcement that Uchida is the next CEO of Nissan came this Tuesday. He is currently the company’s head of its China business.

It should be noted that the Japan-based company just removed Carlos Ghosn last April following a series of controversies arising from his alleged financial misconduct. The allegations led to his arrest in November last year.

Ghosn’s replacement, Hiroto Saikawa was also ousted barely a month ago due to an alleged pay scandal. He was heavily criticized too for his failure to support Nissan’s merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.

Uchida is only 53 years old upon his new appointment. He served as president of the company’s Chinese joint venture in April 2018. Nissan is hopeful that he will be a key in repairing their severed ties with Renault.

Speaking of Renault, its board announced an interim CEO for the company as well. They just fired Thierry Bollore on Friday following the announcement of Nissan’s change in leadership. Taking over the French firm temporarily is Clotilde Delbos who has been with Renault since 2012 and has served as the company’s chief financial officer in 2016.

Delbos is said to be a supporter of Renault’s merger with Nissan. Paired with Uchida, the people within their respective companies and the French government are hoping that the Nissan-Renault full merger will still push through, and possibly increase their ties with Mitsubishi Motors.

Here are the Things You Can Get From the 2020 Nissan Pathfinder

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Despite the mounting controversies surrounding Nissan, it is business as usual for the Japan-based company. Recently, the carmaker announced the pricing of its new Nissan Pathfinder.

Nissan just jacked up the price of the 2020 model year sport utility vehicle by $50 to $150. Crunching down the numbers, the base Pathfinder S trim now starts at $31,680, which is up by $150 compared to its outgoing model. The range-topping all-wheel-drive Platinum trim of the auto is up by $50 with its price tag sitting at $44,610. On the other hand, the SV and SL trims of the range also increased by $50 and $100. The figures exclude the extra $1,045 destination and handling fees.

The current generation of the Pathfinder has been pretty stale since its introduction in 2013. The facelifted version that we presently have dates back to 2017. Not much has changed in the SUV from that point onwards.

Those who are looking for a little spice in their Pathfinders should go for the Rock Creek Edition of the vehicle though. The upgrade is available for the SV and SL trims of the SUV for an additional $995.

The Rock Creek Edition offers a tougher and more rugged appearance for the auto. It adds fender flares, black trim and 18-inch wheels to the SUV. Meanwhile, going inside it reveals a contrasting beige and black leather combination on the upholstery highlighted by chrome inserts and stitching.

Popping up the hood of the Pathfinder shows a 3.5-liter V6 with 284 hp. Managing the power going to either only the front or all four wheels is a CVT transmission. Furthermore, the SUV comes with a trailer tow package as a standard fit that allows it to tow up to 6,000 pounds.

2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road Pricing Revealed at $36,300

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After the unveiling of the 2020 year model Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road sport utility vehicle at the Chicago Auto Show, we were left wondering how much it will cost. Now, we know that it will start at $36,300, which already includes a $1,120 destination fee.

The RAV4 TRD Off-Road sits somewhere between Toyota’s entry-level LE and the more expensive Limited trims. The former is priced at $26,970 and the latter is just $300 more than the TRD Off-Road.

The TRD Off-Road is only a notch above the Adventure trim with its off-road focused features (as indicated by its name). However, the off-roader is $2,225 more costly than the Adventure version of the RAV4.

Under the hood, the TRD Off-Road is equipped with a 2.5-liter engine much like the RAV4’s other trims. That’s good for a 203 hp peak output. Also, it is available only in an all-wheel-drive system like its siblings.

Justifying its price though is its tuned suspension, reconfigured coil springs, and modified shocks. Since it is designed to conquer rugged terrains, these are partnered with 18-inch matte black wheels.

The auto is offered in a two-tone finish called the “Magnetic Gray with Ice Edge” palette. The Midnight Black and Lunar Rock color schemes can be combined with Ice Edge for those who do not like the standard colors of the SUV. Furthermore, buyers who want a simpler tone for their autos can just go for the Super White and Ruby Flare Pearl themes.

Inside, the “TRD” letterings can be found in the vehicle’s headrests and all-weather floor and cargo mats. Red stitchings also highlight its upholstery.

Check out some of the 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road’s photos in the gallery below:

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