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Monthly Archives: October 2019

Dealerships Continue to Milk Exorbitant Fees From The Toyota Supra

toyota supra

We thought that we have seen the worst when we learned that some merchants in the US were charging double for the Launch Edition of the new Toyota Supra. Recently, one dealership has proven us wrong because it just posted the car with triple its price tag!

Since Toyota announced that they are only making 1,500 units of the Supra’s limited edition model, some dealerships have taken the opportunity to jack up the selling prices of their supplies. The store that really hit the roof this time is Bill Penney Toyota, which is located in Huntsville, Alabama, according to Motor1.

The dealership in question is currently selling the Toyota Supra Launch Edition for a whopping $167,000. That’s a ridiculously $111,750 more than the recommended retail price posted by Toyota.

As a recap, the company has a starting price of $53,990 for the base Premium trim of the car. Going for the Launch Edition only sets the buyer back by $1,260.

Going back to the notorious dealership, one of Bill Penney Toyota’s Supra Premium listing is at $63,000, which is $9,010 up from the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended retail price. That means the buyer will have to shell out $104,000 from Premium to Launch Edition that only adds black wheels, red mirror caps, red leather upholstery, and Launch Edition badges to the car.

If that’s bad enough, we haven’t mentioned yet that the overpriced Launch Edition has already clocked plenty of miles. From its purchase, it seems that the owner of the dealership has taken his sweet time taking the car for a joyride, so its reading is now at 182 miles.

What’s the Hype About the Lexus LF-30?

The Lexus LF-30 electric vehicle was one of the standouts at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. The concept car features a radical design and powerful output.

The LF-30 is Lexus’ entry to the EV bandwagon as more stringent laws for automakers are being passed by their major markets such as Europe and China. They are gradually shifting to electrify most of their vehicles to cut back carbon emissions and please government rule-making bodies.

The LF-30 is powered by four electric motors that produce a total of 536 hp and 700 Nm of torque. The motors are fed by a floor-mounted 110 kWh battery pack positioned at the center of the car to keep its center of gravity balanced and to offer better handling.

On paper, the concept car can go from 0-62 mph in just 3.8 seconds. Meanwhile, it can clock up to 124 mph in terms of max speed.

At full charge, the LF-30 has an electric range of 311 miles based on the WLTP cycle. This can be juiced using at 150 kW even without a plug-in charger as the car is also capable of wireless charging.

Outside, the Lexus EV boasts a futuristic design with its bullet-like form, huge gullwing doors and glass roof that flawlessly runs from front to rear. The same theme can be said about its interior design. The LF-30 has front passenger seats inspired by those of a first-class airliner. Then it has gesture controls, and the glass roof doubles as a SkyGate display with augmented reality features. The thing that makes it truly innovative though is the Lexus Airporter that offers drone technology support in carrying the user’s luggage going to the auto’s cargo bay.

For those who are eagerly anticipating the production version of the Lexus LF-30, well, we have bad news for you all. The car will not be rolling out from Lexus dealerships at least until 2030.

5 Important Things You Need to Know About the New Honda Jazz

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The production of the fourth-generation Honda Jazz (or Honda Fit in the US) is underway. Unveiled at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show, the popular hatchback is sporting a lot of changes in and out plus it is debuting a crossover version.

The key specifications of the 2020 Honda Jazz are still under wraps but here are the things we have uncovered about it so far:

1. Hybrid Powertrain

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In compliance with the electrification reforms in Europe’s transportation sector, the Jazz is adopting Honda’s e:HEV two-motor hybrid system as a standard feature. It is rumored that the company is also going in the same direction for its new Accord model.

Currently, the Jazz is equipped with either a 1.3-liter engine with 100 hp and a 1.5-liter power unit with 128 hp. The latter is the only engine type available in the US market. It is not clear yet whether the Japanese automaker will keep the two engines within the new hybrid Jazz.

2. New Version

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Recognizing the strong demand for crossovers, Honda is offering a new variant of the Jazz called the Crosstar. Quoting Honda, the Jazz Crosstar is “designed to appeal to those seeking a more crossover-style design.”

Aside from the higher ground clearance compared with the standard Jazz, the Crosstar will be sporting a different front grille styling, roof rails, and for some reason, a water-resistant upholstery in its interior.

3. Better Driving Experience

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Honda improves the road visibility for its driver by making the A-pillar of the Jazz thinner. Basically, this has been cut in half to reduce the blind spot of the driver.

4. More User-Friendly

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The interior of the new Jazz looks clean. The alignment of the buttons, knobs, and air vents appear organized. There’s also the simplified design of its multi-function steering wheel. It is interesting to note too that the infotainment system of the vehicle is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Furthermore, it has a new tablet-style LCD touchscreen on the central console.

5. Arrival

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The new Honda Jazz is expected to come out in the European market by mid-2020. The pricing of the unit is yet to be announced.

A Closer Look at the Nissan Ariya Concept Car

Nissan Ariya Concept EV (1)

The Nissan Ariya concept car was just unveiled at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show. From the looks of it, the electric vehicle could serve as a blueprint for the successor of the Nissan Leaf.

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The Ariya shows many similarities with the Leaf EV particularly its overall shape, front grille layout, and body indentations. For a concept car, the EV is quite conservative on its outside appearance, which makes it practical and not too gimmicky unlike many of its counterparts from other brands.

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The Ariya is poised to be marketed as a crossover sport utility vehicle. There seems to be quite a resemblance between the Jaguar I-Pace and the Nissan concept. However, the Japanese carmaker raises the stakes with its two-tone look and narrow slits housing the headlamps.

Nissan didn’t discuss much the technical specifications of the auto but they did reveal that it will be powered by twin electric motors. The setup will be partnered with an all-wheel-drive system.

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The interior design of the Ariya is also clean and simple-looking. Only a handful of physical buttons can be found there, and there is only one knob that manages the EV’s infotainment system and display settings. The rest of the controls are seamlessly embedded on the dashboard in the form of touch-sensitive icons.

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The Ariya boasts smart features as well, thanks to Nissan’s advanced ProPilot driver assistance system. Among its notable features include the capability of the EV to automatically detect the driver’s smartphone. From there, it adjusts the settings of the car based on the preset configuration made by the user.

There’s no info yet about the unveiling of the EV’s production version, but based on its very feasible design and features, it might not be that long.

Suzuki Jimny Copies a Brabus-Tuned Mercedes-AMG G63

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We don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing (it probably depends on what end of the spectrum you are looking at) but the Suzuki Jimny has gained fame or infamy as a poor man’s Mercedes-Benz G-Class, thanks to its rather clever design.

The boxy body of the Jimny makes it an ideal candidate for a G-Class transformation. Just equip it with the iconic three-pointed star logo, front grille, spare wheel cover, and side exhaust pipes so it can easily pass as the iconic Mercedes SUV to the untrained eye. We have seen Wald International do that with the Suzuki Jimny Black Bison Edition. The only major giveaway that it is a G-Class replica is its two-door design and compact body.

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Although not as masterful as Wald, the Russian website Kolesa recently released a rendering of the Jimny with G-Class elements, which could become the basis of future tuning packages for the Suzuki compact SUV. The Jimny can be seen sporting new bumpers, hood scoop, exhaust system, and wheels. It should be noted that the four exhaust pipes of the Jimny have been equally distributed on each of its sides similar to the Mercedes SUV.

The source claimed that they took inspiration from the Brabus version of the G-Class called the G V12 900, so one might say that it is not Mercedes that is being infringed here. As a recap, the tuning package took out the V8 engine of the G-Class and replaced it with a V12 engine capable of producing up to 900 hp as its name implies.

Although tuners might not be able to squeeze out that ridiculous amount of power from the Jimny, we would love to see them give its 1.5-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine a boost way past its original 101 hp configuration.

Toyota Supra 3000GT Concept To Be Unveiled At SEMA In November

The new Supra is undeniably the best thing happening in Toyota right now. Adding flavor to the sports car will be its upcoming performance version from TRD. The US soil is yet to welcome the more powerful variant of the unit, but further fuelling our excitement for it are the teasers that recently came out about the upcoming Toyota Supra 3000GT concept.

According to a report, the Supra 3000GT concept will be making its official debut the SEMA Show happening on November 5 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The details about the car are still under wraps but thanks to the new official teasers of the product, we now have a bit of an idea of what to expect from it.

Based on the new teasers, the Supra 3000GT concept will feature four air vents on its hood. It will also get extended fenders and a large rear wing making it more aggressive-looking. The design elements almost remind us of the very limited classic 3000GT from the 90s. So we are probably getting a mishmash of the vehicle’s past and present versions to please the hardcore Supra fans.

We have no idea yet about the numbers that TRD will be adding to the Supra. Looking at the current specs of its 2020 year model though, its 3.0-liter turbo inline-six will definitely push the envelope above its present 335 hp output. Recently, we have witnessed aftermarket tuners take it as far as 600 horses, but a conservative estimate says TRD might configure it at around 500 hp.

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:

Performance

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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.

Exterior

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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.

Interior

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.

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