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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Car Reviews

Fiat's On The Right Track With The Abarth 695 Maserati Edition

On: Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 5:20PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Fiat Abarth 695 Maserati Edition test 2

Plenty of automakers come out with "special" editions of cars to help revive interest and temporarily boost sales based on essentially a novelty-inspired purchase. Oftentimes, these specialty cars come with fancy paint jobs, lots of useless body cladding, lots of badges, but not much in the way of actual tangible improvements. There are of course, exceptions to every rule -- enter the Fiat Abarth 695 Maserati Edition. Although we have not been shy about our lackluster excitement about the Charlie Sheen-backed Fiat 500 over the last few months, it seems that Fiat is back at it again with an updated version of its sporty little go kart. But the big question is: Is the Maserati Edition actually an upgrade worth talking about?

Haunted Highways: A Series Exploring The Ghosts of Cars Gone By (Quickly)

On: Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 10:09AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Ferrari F355 test 2

So rarely does a car come along that actually makes a significant change in its parent company. Sure, if you believe the commercials, every single new car is some big, grandiose example of how the company is transforming and evolving into something bigger and better. But the truth is, a lot of those cars are just "filler" cars, and really don't do much except affect the bottom line. But the ones that truly make a difference are the ones we remember, especially when that company is one that doesn't create cars, it creates dreams. The F355 was not only a dream come true for teenagers and millionaires everywhere, it was also helped revitalize the Prancing Horse back to international automotive supremacy.

In the mid-1990's, Ferrari was in the midst of a bit of a slump. The emotional high the F40 left in its wake had faded and the few cars Ferrari had like the 348 and the 512 TR began to seem almost a bit antiquated compared to some of their German, Italian, and even Japanese rivals. Ferrari needed ... something, and in May of 1994 they got just what they were looking for and then some. The F355 Berlinetta  and the targa-topped GTS were the first introduction of what would go on to be one of the most popular Ferrari models ever built. The Pininfarina design was a direct descendant of the 348-308 lineage, and although you can see the resemblance if you look hard enough, the F355 didn't just replace those cars, it leapt a light year ahead of them.

2014 Aston Martin Vanquish: The Next Ruler Of All The Lands

On: Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 2:40PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

2014 Aston Martin Vanquish test 2

The king is dead, long live the king!  For those of you who can afford the most expensive cars in the world, you might find yourself chanting this same mantra when it comes to the newest Gran Turismo. Of course, you could just be like us and like to keep up with the current world of extreme automotive luxury and performance cars, even if they may still be just a bit out of our price range. That being said, whether it comes as simply news, or a change in your next purchase considerations, Aston Martin has decided to axe their flagship DBS model and replace it with a name from the not-so-distant-past, the Vanquish.  

In typical Aston Martin style, they've taken the former model, and made it into a car that is bigger, badder, and bolder than ever before. Borrowing extensively from the One-77 show car that made its rounds on just about every circuit in the world, the new Vanquish is a bit sleeker, while accentuating its aggressive rear fenders, while trumping the outgoing DBS in length, height, and width. Of course, that is not necessarily a good thing when it comes to being a car, but thankfully physical dimensions are not the only realm the Vanquish bests the DBS.

Haunted Highways: A Series Exploring The Ghosts of Cars Gone By (Quickly)

On: Wed, Jul 18, 2012 at 12:22PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Shelby Series 1 test 2

With the recent passing of one of this writer's personal heroes, we thought it was time to take a look back on one of Carroll Shelby's greatest creations. Although it was only built for one model year, the Shelby Series 1 may be one of the most underrated sports cars of all time.  

The Series 1 was the first car that Carroll Shelby created from scratch. Really? Yes, really. Think it over -- all of the other cars Shelby is known for were already in production: the Cobra was originally an A/C Ace, the GT350 and GT500 were Mustangs, even the Dodge GLH was an Omni before it became one of the first pocket-rockets. The Series 1 however, was nothing before it came into existence  It was an idea, at best and then became one of the crown jewels in the king's garage.


The Return Of The M Coupe!

On: Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 11:56AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

BMW M135i test 2

After what seems like months of rumors, BMW has finally decided to officially announce the return of one of the hottest hatches around -- the M Coupe, dubbed the M135i in this new iteration. Call it whatever you like, the next Coupe will certainly be a stormer. We last saw the shooting brake Bimmer in 2008 in the form of the less-than-exciting Z4 variant, but the 2013 version has thankfully turned up the heat since its last appearance. The M135i looks more like a hot rod VW Golf than roller-skate look of the previous version. Whether that is good or bad, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but obviously BMW approves.

2013 Mercedes SL653: The Future Never Looked So Good!

On: Mon, Jul 2, 2012 at 4:04PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

2013 Mercedes SL653 test 2

Amidst all of the current hybrid nonsense going on in the world, it would be easy for a traditional gearhead to lose faith in the hope that the future will bring him bigger, better, and badder models to choose from. Considering how everything now seems to either plug-in, charge-up, or boast more about miles per gallon than horsepower, it is at the very least understandable to imagine how someone could think that our world's best hot rod days are behind us. But fear not, you weary worrywarts, we are here to tell you that not all is lost. In fact, one look at the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL63 and all your fears will be quelled.

Classic Car Cultist: Buick Grand National GNX

On: Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 3:13PM | By: Chris Salamone

Buick Grand National GNX test 2

From 1978 to 1987, Buick produced a series of rear-wheel drive ‘luxury’ coupes and sedans, fondly remembered as the Regal and later Grand National models. In conjunction with a series of NASCAR victories in the Manufacturers Cups of 1981 and 1982, Buick decided to bump the company’s performance aspirations to the next level. The Grand National was born.

But not until the Grand National’s last year of production, 1987, did Buick manifest the vehicle’s full potential – in a performance-oriented GNX. For twice the cost of admission relative to a standard Grand National, the GNX entranced a mere 547 buyers for the then-staggering sum of $29,900.

Today, the GNX’s reputation has grown. What was once seen as the flagship of the bygone muscle car era is now viewed as the last bastion of American automotive glory. The 1987 Buick Grand National GNX is the car which stood on the precipice of change and laughed in the face of environmental consciousness, practicality, and – of course – vehicular impotence.

Fiat 500 Abarth -- We Don't Quite Get It

On: Tue, Jun 12, 2012 at 10:19AM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Fiat 500 Abarth test 2

By now you're probably seen them. One of the commercials for the new Fiat 500 Abarth -- either the scorching hot supermodel posing as a Fiat or the other commercial with the same girl being flaunted about by the notorious Charlie Sheen. Fiat has arguably gone overboard trying to convince us that we should undoubtedly desire the 500 Abarth above just about anything else on the road. And while we appreciate the effort, when it comes right down to where the rubber meets the road -- we don't see it. There have been so many cars marketed by manufacturers over the years that although we have not become completely desensitized to the whip-around-a-corner, go-fast-in-a-straighaway-with-nothing-else-around-it-to-give-us-perspective marketing gimmicks, we have become substantially more skeptical about taking advertisers at their word.

Putting aside the question of why anyone would think that Charlie Sheen would help sell a car, let's just take the car itself and gain a little perspective shall we? So aside from the cool black paint and snazzy scorpion logo, the Fiat looks like the exact antithesis of its tall, rail-thin supermodel spokesperson -- the Abarth looks short, stout, and arguably portly. Fiat has given the 500 Abarth all of the little sporty amenities it could squeeze into the little car -- red stitched seats, a fun dashboard, even a shift light, but really, for all its sporty features, when it comes right down to it, it seems like the Abarth is a-bark, not a-bite.

Ford Reveals Refreshed 2013 F-150

On: Wed, Jun 6, 2012 at 10:06AM | By: Chris Salamone

2013 Ford F-150 test 2

For 2013, Ford has updated the F-150 to resemble the company’s larger, more powerful full-sized truck variant, the Super Duty. While we won’t see any startling changes to next year’s F-150, expect to see new 18 and 20 inch wheel options, an updated front fascia, high-intensity discharge headlamps, and those massively oversized side view mirrors found on the F-150’s big brother.

With an incoming overhaul due for the Dodge Ram and Chevy Silverado, Ford seems to be playing it safe until the dust settles – choosing to let competitors make the first move.

What The F-Type Took So Long?!

On: Tue, Jun 5, 2012 at 2:48PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Jaguar F-type test 2

For those that are lucky enough to remember the Hot Rods of the 1960's and '70's, there were some tough choices to make back then if you were in the market for a new sports car. Not only was there an array of phenomenal domestic cars on the market to choose from, there were some fantastic cars coming in from overseas. One of the prettiest out there was the venerable E-Type, which caused many potential owners lots of grief -- Corvette or E-Type? E-Type or Corvette? Although we're quite sure that those that selected the car bearing the crossed flags made the right decision, the E-Type could certainly make any one wonder, "What if ..." every now and then.

Well, a whole new generation of buyers are finally about to experience the agony of that same decision. After what seems to be about a millennium, Jaguar has announced it will bring back a sporty model that will be the unofficial modern-day evolution of the E-Type, known appropriately as the F-Type. Coming in 2013, the F-Type will be one hot ticket based in no small part on the C-X16 concept car Jaguar debuted last year at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

348 Reasons To Buy A 2013 Genesis Coupe!

On: Thu, May 24, 2012 at 12:02PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe test 2

In case you have been hiding under a rock somewhere in the middle of a barren wasteland somewhere, you may have taken notice of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe. It is a wonderful entry level sports coupe that has all but taken the under-$40,000 market by storm since its debut back in 2008 and has only been getting better since then.

From the onset, the GC designers used an E46 BMW M3 as their benchmark for chassis stiffness and performance and they got pretty close, so one would think that it would be difficult to trump a car that was nearly as good as one of the best cars of the last decade, right? Wrong. 2013 will mark the second official generation of the Genesis Coupe, and boy is it going to be something special! The second-gen Genesis Coupe gets a front and rear fascia facelift that gives it a 370Z meets Lancer Evolution look that is a definite improvement over the outgoing model. Aside from the new fascias, the rear also sports a new LED tail light set up that looks a bit more adult than its predecessor.