Granted, it’s no Detroit Auto Show, but it’s big enough and often showcases a few North American, sometimes world, premiers. And Montrealers everywhere know it’s a sign of the spring/summer to come, so we all look forward to the Montreal International Auto Show (MIAS).
This year, the MIAS was something to write home about. Since 2009, the industry has been clawing its way back to normal, and so by association have the automotive shows that go along with it. What was once a dismal, sad display of cars parked on carpets in a banquet hall has since returned to its glory of interactive booths, bright lights, props and spectacular set-ups.
I’ve been attending the MIAS press day for about seven years now, so I’ve seen my fair share of unveilings and reveals. I’ve come to expect certain things: silken-sheet-covered car sits behind podium flanked by gorgeous, Amazonian-like models in stilettos while president of said manufacturer gives his speech. At exactly the right moment, adject the relevant-and-somehow-connected-to-the-vehicle-in-a-random-one-off-kind-of-way music plays for 15-25 seconds as the sheet is pulled back by the previously mentioned car girl’s perfectly manicured hands, journalists are given a few seconds to soak in the glory of the vehicle, and then it’s all over.
Well, not this year.
Every track has a learning curve, but Mosport has a learning wall. I recently caught up with Bill Auberlin and Joey Hand at this year’s Mosport ALMS race and both drivers shared the same sentiment: Mosport is downright hairy, and sometimes scary.
It has the type of elevation changes that weight and unload a chassis, the type of high-speed corners that benefit from aero downforce, or at least reduced lift, a long up-hill back-straight that challenges engines, and a couple of braking zones that torment rotors. Mosport is, unequivocally, North America’s highest speed racetrack. For several years Mosport raceway – now badged Canadian Tire Motorsport Park under new ownership – has provided BMWBLOG the ideal proving grounds to test the true dynamics of BMW cars and SUVs. I suppose it is in some measure Canada’s Nurburgring – minus the castle and great length (so… it’s not really – but that sounds cool). Suffice it to say that Mosport is BMWBLOG’s home proving ground and playground and after putting in so many laps both wet and dry, we affectionately call it home.
Of course, we’ve tested more than BMW metal around this retired Formula 1 circuit. Late this summer I strapped into a shiny new Nissan GTR to set a new benchmark for lap time and trap speed. BMWBLOG met Godzilla, as she’s so aptly been named.
“BMWBLOG met Godzilla, as she’s so aptly been named.”
I write this racetrack review for BMWBLOG for two key reasons: to draw comparisons between Nissan’s AWD system and BMW M’s XM AWD system; secondly to ponder the success of Godzilla, and where BMW’s M3 slots in by way of competition.
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While Tesla Motors started its career and gained worldwide attention through its 2008 electric-powered Roadster that was built around the Lotus Elise and which has since been retired, the Silicon Valley-based carmaker has much bigger plans in store for eco-conscious consumers.
This year, Tesla launched its first entry into the automotive mainstream, the Model S electric sedan that went on sale in June, and previewed its next step in making electric cars available to a wider audience with the Model X seven-seater crossover concept that will lead to a production model within the next couple of years.
Understandably, in order to survive, Tesla will need to expand its range in other segments as well, and here’s where an old acquaintance of CarScoop comes into the picture.
Dejan Hristov is an independent designer whom we came to know from his study for a Bugatti Super Sedan. This time, Hristov is proposing a smaller Tesla vehicle that he named the Model C.
The edgy-looking, three-door hatchback employs some interesting design solutions such as the sliding passenger compartment doors as well as the rear bumper that incorporates a retractable drawer.
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In BMW’s family hierarchy, bigger means better. That is to say, a higher number denotes a superior car. Of course, how you define automotive superiority will dictate which car you favor, and we all love cars for different reasons. A rain-meister track-addict will cast his ballot for the all-new F20 1 series as superior – with its uber low curb weight and stiff, communicative chassis. An elderly driver will likely favor the 7, with its graceful moves and comfortable, accommodating interior. A young family will pick the X3 for its good value and spaciousness. You get the idea.
So who will pick the M6? I’m not quite sure, but I think I have a rough idea.
BMW has crowned the M6 as its foremost M car, the pinnacle of the M brand. Of course, the M folks will still tell you that the M3 remains the benchmark for handling – but depending on the racetrack, it may not remain the benchmark for outright performance and quickest lap times.
The BMW Performance Center, unveiled in 1999 in Spartanburg, South Carolina is perhaps the best place in the United States to celebrate the BMW spirit, dedication to quality, and commitment to performance.
Home to the BMW Performance Driving School, the BMW Performance Center Delivery Program and a world-class conference center, BMW designed its Performance Center to expand the unique automotive experience into a memorable event. At one location, a visitor can tour a $ 1.6 billion state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, browse the Zentrum museum showcasing more than 75 years of BMW automotive and motorcycle history, host a successful corporate event, and enroll in one of several driving instruction programs.
Highlights of the state-of-the-art facility include:
- $ 12 Million Dollar Facility (Performance Center)
- BMW Vehicle Delivery Center
- BMW SAV Off-Road Course
- An advanced technical facility, body shop and apprentice training for company-owned vehicles.
- Conference facilities
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For some time BMWBLOG has been a proponent of M diesels. Why? Simply because we knew they could do it, and effectively. Also, because we have a hankering for ungodly sums of torque. Torque is exciting. M automobiles are exciting. So why not a diesel M auto?
Sports vehicle drivers and performance drivers (not usually synonymous) are a extremely demanding sort. In our world, automobiles need to grow to be better than the complete of their elements. They must transport us to a magical place of acceleration, neck straining cornering, and otherwise mind-bending functionality. They need to dance with us as prepared partners on the racetrack or above a curvy road. They should wink at us naughtily from the sidewalk. And their sound should raise fine dorsal hairs. Sports vehicles, should steal our hearts. Why else would we get them?! They are depreciating, impractical assets only slightly less foolish than boats.
The apparent query is this: can a diesel be attractive? Posing this query a lot more than a decade ago would have mustered laughter toped with scorn. But times have altered, and so have diesels. The mainstay of business heavy gear and ’18 wheelers,’ they have been heavily created by the Germans. Effectively, that is relatively of a redundant statement since the Germans created the diesel engine in the very first place. Our pal Rudolf Diesel gave us the first diesel engine in 1893, and the monstrous single cylinder whacking at the ground like a pile-driver was impressive and possibly even a bit thrilling (for dread of your existence must you get too close), but practically nothing near to alluring. In the decades that followed the diesel grew to become porridge ordinary and fell effectively under the radar of sports auto designers.
The following most apparent query in succession would be: what makes an engine sexy? There’s a freebie for the comment section – go nuts. In my viewpoint, high revs are a crucial ingredient in the sex appeal. I want my engine to scream all the way to a lofty redline. Loud screaming is fascinating, frankly. And yes we’re even now speaking about cars. Following, the engine should connect with the chassis and give it existence – vibrant, exuberant existence. This variety of vitality requires higher output, so naturally, large horsepower and torque figures bring cachet and appeal to a sports activities vehicle.
We pointed out screaming in the context of revs, but the sound of the engine is crucial all over the rev assortment. An interesting examine conducted by a university in the UK objectively proved the sexual attraction of exotic engine sounds. The university took baseline saliva samples from all subjects and measured their testosterone ranges (a central sex hormone in each males and females). All check subjects have been female, and came from random backgrounds from all walks of lifestyle. The subjects were then given several soundtracks to listen to via higher fidelity speakers. The very first soundtrack was compliments of a Ferrari F430. The 2nd came from Lamborghini. A number of other exotica followed with their voices gloriously filling the space. The final results came back with outstanding consistency. All subjects were considerably turned on. Just to ensure it wasn’t the professor’s cologne, the subjects have been then submitted to the soundtrack from a late model Chrysler Neon. The results once more showed consistency, but this time all subjects showed significantly reduced than baseline testosterone levels in their saliva – they were efficiently “turned off.” The moral of the story is clear. Really don’t buy a Chrysler. Seriously, the research scientifically proves what we’ve identified all along: a stunning sounding engine raises the mood and for severe automobile lovers constitutes child producing music. Sound is important. In a sports auto, melodious engine notes are important.
The 2012 Focus is the Blue Oval’s most recently launched product, so it makes sense that Ford is bringing more of them to SEMA than any other model. There are in fact seven: six hatchbacks and one sedan, worked over by familiar names that include 3dCarbon, Roush, and Steeda. Details on each follow below; other SEMA show cars from Ford include three Fiestas, four F-series trucks, and three Explorers.
Ford Focus by Roush Performance
Talk about our kind of Focus. Roush mostly left playing dress-up to other shops and went straight to amping up the powertrain. This Roush Stage 3 Focus ought to be a riot, with its TVS supercharger, modified induction system, and dual-exit exhaust. As to the aesthetic changes, they’re limited to Roush grille inserts, a chin splitter, door graphics, and matte paint. Here’s hoping Roush offers this package to consumers—we have a feeling it will, given its past offerings for Focuses—and sends one our way.
Ford Focus by 3dCarbon
Speaking of dress-up, that’s what this 3dCarbon Focus hatch is all about, with its body kit and satin-finish exterior wrap. The windows have been tinted, an upper roof spoiler added, and red accents—including a set of BBS wheels—sprinkled around the exterior. The functional elements include Pirelli rubber and a set of Eibach springs.