SUBARU TECNICA INTERNATIONAL UNLEASHES MOST POWERFUL MODEL EVER WITH LIMITED-EDITION STI S209

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Write up and photographs provided by Subaru USA

Debuts at 2019 North American International Auto Show

First-ever STI-crafted S-line performance vehicle sold in the United States

Limited production run of around 200 units

Available exclusively in the U.S.

341-horsepower (est.) 2.5-liter SUBARU BOXER engine

Aggressive new look with wide fenders, front canards and rear wing

Performance-focused chassis with flexible strut tower bar and draw stiffeners

Exclusive 19 x 9-inch forged BBS® wheels with bespoke Dunlop® SP Sport Maxx® GT600A tires

Brembo® brakes with new high-friction pads

Available in two exterior colors: World Rally Blue Pearl and Crystal White Pearl

Subaru Tecnica International (STI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Subaru Corporation, today introduced the limited-edition STI S209, the first-ever S-line STI product produced exclusively for the U.S. market. As an S-line product, the STI S209 encompasses upgrades in power, handling, aerodynamics and driver engagement, and undergoes final assembly in Kiryu, Japan, where it receives engine modifications and bodywork alterations that in total require it to be homologated for the U.S. by STI; thus, the S209 is considered the first “STI-built” Subaru sold in the U.S. The S209 carries on a high-performance tradition that dates to STI-built models that were exclusive to the Japanese domestic market – the 2000 S201 through the 2018 S208.

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Designed with a focus on high-performance driving, the S209 draws inspiration and tech transfer from STI’s most formidable track machine: the WRX STI Nürburgring Challenge racecar, which won the SP3T class at the 2018 24 Hours of Nürburgring, marking the fifth time STI dominated the SP3T class at the grueling endurance race. The S209, like the Nürburgring Challenge racecar, wears an expanded wide-body exterior treatment, which extends the vehicle’s overall width to 72.4 inches, or 1.7 inches wider than a standard WRX STI. The bulging fenders accommodate wider front/rear tracks (+ 0.6 in front/rear) and 265/35 Dunlop® SP Sport Maxx® GT600A summer-only tires wrapped around lightweight 19 x 9-inch forged BBS alloy wheels. The all-new tires, developed exclusively for the S209 by Dunlop, are a significant contributor to the car’s tenacious maximum lateral grip of over 1.0 g. Vents on the front fenders provide additional engine cooling, while vents on the rear fenders rectify air turbulence to reduce drag. Brembo brakes, with cross-drilled steel rotors and 6-piston monoblock front calipers and 2-piston monoblock rear calipers, provide stout stopping force, thanks in part to upgraded high-friction pads that deliver improved fade-resistance.

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Underneath the S209’s broader body are specially developed Bilstein® dampers, stiffened coil springs, a 20mm rear stabilizer bar and pillow-type bushings for the front/rear lateral links. The S209 incorporates reinforcements to the front crossmember and rear subframes and, a la the Nürburgring racecar, a flexible front-strut tower bar and flexible front/rear draw stiffeners. The flexible tower bar, unlike a conventional rigid bar, is split and joined with a pillow ball joint in the center to be longitudinally mobile while helping laterally stiffen the body of the car. The result is optimum tire grip during lateral moments combined with compliant ride during longitudinal moments. Meanwhile, the draw stiffeners apply tension between the body and cross member to optimize chassis flex, improving stability when cornering and delivering better ride, handling and steering response. Other Nürburgring racecar tech that trickles down to the S209: front, rear and side under spoilers; front bumper canards; and carbon-fiber roof panel and rear wing.

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A thoroughly reworked version of the legendary EJ25 2.5-liter turbocharged BOXER engine propels the S209. Featuring an STI turbocharger manufactured by HKS®, the EJ25 serves up an estimated 341 horsepower, thanks in part to a larger turbine and compressor (up 6 and 8 percent, respectively, compared to WRX STI) as well as maximum boost pressure that has been increased to 18.0 psi (16.2 psi for WRX STI). Proudly displaying an S209 serial number plate, the enhanced BOXER engine utilizes forged pistons and connecting rods that are both lighter and stronger. Midrange torque, too, gets a notable bump, up 10 percent at 3,600 rpm, delivering higher corner exit speeds when driving on track.

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For ultimate driver engagement, the S209 comes exclusively with a close-ratio 6-speed manual transmission that routes power to a full-time Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system with front/rear limited-slip differentials, a Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD), Active Torque Vectoring and Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control. A recalibrated SI-Drive system offers three modes: Intelligent (I) for improved fuel economy and smoother power control; Sport (S) for optimized power balance between response and control; and Sport Sharp (S#) for achieving the best acceleration times. STI engineers recommend Sport over Sport Sharp for circuit driving, as the less aggressive throttle map allows for greater driver control.

To feed more air to the EJ25, the S209 uses a high-flow intake system featuring a new intake duct, induction box with conical air filter, silicone turbo inlet duct and, a nod from the 2004-07 WRX STI, an intercooler water spray system that lowers intercooler temperature via manually operated steering-wheel paddles. More air demands more fuel, so the S209 receives a new high-flow fuel pump, larger fuel injectors and an STI-tuned engine control module. High-performance mufflers deliver 17-percent less airflow resistance while larger hand-polished stainless-steel exhaust tips – 101mm in diameter – deliver aggressive appearance and acoustics.

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The S209 receives multiple tweaks to elevate it from other STI sedans. An STI badge replaces the traditional Subaru star cluster on the center of the D-shape steering wheel, which is wrapped in Ultrasuede® with silver stitching, a treatment that carries over to the lid of the center console storage box. An S209 serial number badge resides on the center console, and S209 badges adorn the passenger-side dash and the headrests of the Recaro® front bucket seats, which feature new silver-hued inserts. Outside, special S209 badges are affixed to the front grille and fenders as well as the rear decklid.

Only around 200 units of the STI S209 will be built, earmarked exclusively for the U.S. Available exterior color/BBS wheel combinations will be WR Blue Pearl/gray wheels and Crystal White Pearl/gold wheels. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date in late 2019.


About Subaru Tecnica International, Inc.
Subaru Tecnica International Inc. (STI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Subaru Corporation of Japan, was established to undertake the motorsports activities of Subaru. Today STI's core businesses are supplying motorsports base vehicles and competition parts; planning, tuning and developing Subaru Limited Edition models; planning and selling accessories; and tuning parts for auto enthusiasts worldwide. Through these operations, STI aims to provide special satisfaction to its many Subaru fans.

2020 Lexus RC F and RC F Track Edition Debut in Detroit

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Story and pictures provided by Lexus USA

Refreshed 2020 Lexus RC F boasts improved performance and updated design

  • New 2020 RC F Track Edition offers exclusive upgrades designed for hard core enthusiasts

  • New launch control feature delivers 0-to-60mph time of less than 4.0 seconds on Track Edition

January 14, 2019

DETROIT (Jan. 2019) – Freshly updated for the 2020 model year, the RC F coupe now boasts improved performance, revised styling and an all-new, limited production Track Edition. With the introduction of the RC F Track Edition, hard core driving enthusiasts no longer have to decide between a luxury car for the street and a serious performance car for the track. Blending the luxury and craftsmanship of Lexus with performance upgrades typically reserved for exotic sportscars, the RC F Track Edition is capable of turning hot laps all afternoon and being driven home that night. It’s the latest milestone for the F performance brand that will continue to evolve as an important pillar of the overall strategy at Lexus.    

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The Track Edition joins the standard Lexus RC F performance coupe which has been extensively updated for the 2020 model year. Improved aerodynamics, reduced weight, a retuned suspension and enhanced styling elevate the RC F to a new level of performance and refinement.
 
“The new RCF and the Track Edition, in particular, benefit from constant development since their original launch.  With the latest improvements, these models help further distinguish the F brand by offering fast, durable, highly capable performance cars that rely on a range of technologies to help make their performance accessible to drivers of all skill levels,” said Koji Sato, Executive Vice President, Lexus International.

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The RC F Redefined
The 2020 Lexus RC F coupe gets a wide range of changes designed to boost its performance and freshen its overall look. One of the first targets for the engineers was reducing weight without compromising the coupe’s sense of refinement and solidity. At the rear, hollow half shafts are now used in place of the previous solid shafts while up front a pared down intake manifold and a smaller air conditioning compressor remove weight from the front of the car. Changing to aluminum for the toe control brackets and upper suspension support brackets also reduces weight while maintaining stiffness.

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To further refine the feel of the RC F, there are now stiffer bushings for the rear suspension arms and steering rack mounts. More rigid engine mounts were also used to better transmit the power of the RC F’s normally aspirated 5.0-liter V8, one of the last such engines available in a luxury coupe. It’s now rated at 472 horsepower (+5hp) and 395 pound feet of torque (+6 lb ft) thanks to a revised intake routing and lower rpm trigger point for the secondary intake opening (2,800 rpm vs 3,600rpm). An eight-speed automatic transmission carries over, but a higher final drive ratio (3.13 vs 2.93) has been installed to improve off-the-line response.
 
For the ultimate in standing start acceleration, the RC F now includes electronic launch control as standard. With a push of the button on the console, the system automatically adjusts the traction and throttle control for maximum acceleration from a stop. All the driver has to do is press and hold the brake pedal, engage the system, floor the accelerator to bring up the engine speed and release the brake.
 
Additional performance gains are delivered by new Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires designed specifically for the RC F. Compared to the standard Michelin specifications, the tires on the RC F utilize a unique profile shape, tread pattern and rubber compound. The changes are specifically designed to reduce understeer, improve overall lateral grip and increase durability under extreme conditions.  
 
There are also subtle but substantive changes to the styling of the RC F that add familial traits to further refine its aggressive overall shape. Up front, the headlights have been updated to a design that features stacked LED lights and integrated daytime running lights. The shape of the signature grille has been altered by adding a lower lip opening that stretches across the bottom to create a visually shorter front fascia. At the rear of the car, new taillights integrate neatly into a reshaped bumper to give the RC F a cleaner, more chiseled appearance.
 
RC F Track Edition: A Higher Degree of F
More than a mere accessories package, the limited production RC F Track Edition features a precisely engineered set of upgrades that work together seamlessly to push its performance to a new level. Developed with input from Lexus race teams in the Super GT and IMSA series, the Track Edition is designed to deliver exceptional performance that enthusiasts can easily exploit in a wide variety of conditions. 
 
Achieving that level of predictable performance was made possible by rigorous engineering and the assembly precision of Takumi masters who oversee production of every RC F. All aspects of the car were scrutinized for improvement, but the Track Edition doesn’t forego refinement for all-out speed. It remains an uncompromised luxury performance coupe with the ability to impress both on the track and off.
 
A Smoother Shape and a Precise Diet
One key area of improvement is the RC F Track Edition’s aerodynamic signature. Up front, the unique front splitter with canards is not only made from carbon fiber to reduce weight, it’s also designed to increase front end downforce for better grip and more precise steering. At the rear of the car, a fixed rear wing made from carbon fiber replaces the active spoiler offered on the standard RC F. The fixed wing is not only lighter, it does double duty by simultaneously reducing drag and adding downforce.
 
To accomplish that paradoxical feat, the engineers started by shaping the wing in a way that smooths the airflow over the rear of the car to decrease drag-inducing turbulence. They then added a very slight angle of attack to produce downforce without compromising the overall airflow. The result is up to 58 pounds of additional downforce compared to the active rear spoiler.  
 
Like the standard model, weight reduction was a key area of focus for the Track Edition. Preliminary estimates put the total reduction at 176 pounds compared to the previous RC F, but more importantly, the engineers focused on cutting weight that yields the most significant dynamic improvements. This led to keying in on unsprung weight since any weight that can be removed from the mass not supported by the suspension pays huge dividends in handling and steering feel.  
 
With that goal in mind, every Track Edition model is upgraded with Brembo carbon ceramic brake rotors. They are not only significantly lighter than their steel counterparts, they’re also better able to withstand the extreme heat cycling associated with performance driving. They are surrounded by a set of lightweight 19” BBS forged alloy wheels that feature a design derived from the RC F GT3 race car. Between the wheels, brake rotors and calipers, the Track Edition boasts a significant 55-pound reduction in unsprung weight on the front of the car alone. 
 
Additional weight was removed by specifying carbon fiber for the roof and hood along with switching to a carbon fiber partition behind the rear seats and a carbon bumper reinforcement. Many of these carbon fiber pieces are made on the same line that supplied the Lexus LFA during its two-year production run. A standard titanium muffler and tail pipes is yet another area where the Track Edition sheds weight. Rarely seen on production cars, the use of titanium not only reduces the overall weight of the individual parts, it gives the Track Edition a polished look along with a unique sound. 
 
That sound is worth enhancing, too, as the Track Edition uses the same 472hp, normally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 found in every 2020 RC F. In fact, when combined with the Track Edition’s reduced curb weight, this RC F has the best power-to-weight ratio among its competitors. Couple that with the new electronic launch control system, and the RC F Track Edition is capable of launching from 0-to-60 mph in 3.96 seconds.
 
In order to give the Track Edition a more exclusive look on the inside, a red leather interior comes standard along with Alcantara seat accents and red carbon trim on the doors and dashboard. Only two exterior colors will be available: Ultra White and Matte Nebula Gray, an exclusive color only available on the Track Edition.  
 
Both the 2020 Lexus RC F and the RC F Track Edition will start production in the second quarter of 2019. Pricing will be announced closer to their on-sale dates.

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2020 Cadillac XT6 Makes Global Debut

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Source provided by Cadillac Media

Photographs by Cadillac

All-new three-row crossover makes every seat the best seat in the house and offers comprehensive standard and available safety technologies

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Cadillac expands its popular crossover and SUV lineup with today’s global debut of the 2020 XT6.

Created to make the most of passengers’ time on the road, this all-new three-row crossover centers on a luxurious, adaptable and connected cabin, complemented with responsive handling and a comprehensive suite of standard and available safety technologies.

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“The first-ever Cadillac XT6 delivers a compelling blend of spaciousness, safety and convenience features for customers who thrive on doing it all,” said Steve Carlisle, Cadillac president. “It joins the all-new XT4, which has soared to the top spot in its segment, our global best-selling XT5 and the iconic Escalade to accelerate the brand’s global growth, with a spirit that is uniquely Cadillac.”

Every inch of the XT6 has been carefully considered and developed to offer a refined, comfortable place to connect and enjoy the ride.

“Every seat is the best seat in the house,” said Carlisle. “From luxurious appointments, comfort and convenience to premium sound and technology features, every passenger gets an optimized experience.”


Vehicle highlights:

  • XT6 offers a comprehensive suite of standard and available driver assistance and safety technologies1, along with generous cargo capacity4.

  • The latest Cadillac user experience, with intuitive controls including a rotary controller with new jog functionality.

  • Premium Luxury and Sport models offer customers more customized looks with unique exterior and interior distinction.

  • Nimble, responsive driving experience, powered by a 3.6L V-6 engine and nine-speed automatic transmission, offering up to four selectable driving modes.

“The new Cadillac XT6 models provide two expressions of the signature Cadillac experience, allowing more personalized appearance and driving character,” said John Plonka, chief engineer. “Premium Luxury models provide an elevated level of refinement, while Sport models offer a performance-oriented feel.”

Refined Luxury, Comfort and Convenience
XT6 advances Cadillac’s contemporary interior aesthetic, with elegant, wide surface lines and simple interfaces. It’s an expression that focuses attention on the quality and authenticity of materials and impeccable craftsmanship.
Distinctive trim and interior colors delineate the Premium Luxury and Sport models. Premium Luxury models are trimmed with exotic wood decor, while the Sport features performance-inspired carbon fiber trim.

Available comfort features help ensure all passengers have a luxurious experience in every seating row, including Cadillac’s first Bose® Performance Series sound system with 14 custom-tuned speakers delivering immersive, powerful audio throughout XT6’s cabin. Additional available features include semi-aniline premium leather-appointed seating; Cadillac’s in-vehicle air ionizer; automatic heated/ventilated front seats and heated second-row rear outboard seats, and a standard automatic heated steering wheel.

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Additionally, XT6’s available convenience features help keep drivers and passengers connected, confident and in control, including:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control – Advanced1.

  • Night Vision.

  • NFC phone pairing and wireless charging for compatible phones3.

  • HD Surround Vision Camera1.

  • Illuminated Cadillac Crest hands-free liftgate.

  • Keyless Open and Adaptive Remote Start.

A standard power-folding third-row seat and remote fold-down feature for the second-row seat enhance versatility, while a tip/pitch-and-slide feature on the second-row seat allows easy access to the third row.

Safety and Driver Assistance Features
XT6 offers a comprehensive suite of driver assistance and safety technologies1 that can help drivers be more aware of their environment. They include sophisticated radar-, camera- and other sensor-based technologies.

Further, the vehicle structure is designed to help keep occupants safe, with premium body materials and features such as boxed, splayed front rails and a state-of-the-art restraint system, including seven standard airbags11.

HIGHLIGHTED XT6 DRIVER ASSISTANCE & SAFETY TECHNOLOGIES1

STANDARD

AVAILABLE

HD Rear Vision Camera with Remote Wash
Forward Collision Alert
Following Distance Indicator
Automatic Emergency Braking
Front Pedestrian Braking
Front and Rear Park Assist
Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert
Rear Cross Traffic Alert
Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning
Safety Alert Seat
Speed limiter

Rear Camera Mirror with Remote Wash
Enhanced Automatic Emergency Braking
Adaptive Cruise Control - Advanced
Automatic Parking Assist with Braking
Rear Pedestrian Alert
HD Surround Vision
Surround Vision Recorder
Head-up Display
Reverse Automatic Braking
Night Vision
Hitch Guidance (with Hitch View)


Thoughtful, Seamless Connectivity

Thoughtful technology integration is central to the XT6’s mission of offering a seamless and intuitive in-vehicle experience. It elevates connectivity to a new threshold for Cadillac, with some of the brand’s most advanced features.

The latest Cadillac user experience5 provides more ways to interface with the system, including one-touch phone pairing via Near Field Communication and a new rotary controller with intuitive jog functionality.  And when it comes to plugging in, all models come with six USB ports2(two for each row of seats).

Additional available driver support and connectivity technologies include:

  • Personalization — user profiles stored in the Cloud6 allow customers to access their custom profile in other properly equipped GM vehicles.

  • Updated navigation7 functionality with natural address entry.

  • Capable of supporting SiriusXM 360L.

  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi® hotspot (includes 3GB or three months of data, whichever comes first)8.

  • Apple CarPlay9 and Android Auto10 for compatible smartphones.

  • Next-generation, 15-watt wireless charging3.

  • Teen Driver.

FEATURE FOCUS: ROTARY CONTROLLER WITH NEW JOG FUNCTION

The XT6’s rotary controller with new jog function is a first for Cadillac and is designed to complement hard buttons and steering wheel controls, making it even easier to navigate the UX on the HD 8-inch-diagonal color touchscreen display. It builds on the technology introduced on the XT4, adding the jog function to allow the user to tilt the knob — similar to a joystick — to easily navigate between the items on the touchscreen display.


Design Distinction

The foundation for the XT6’s expressive design is its strong proportions, with distinct personas for the Premium Luxury and Sport models.

“The XT6 is unmistakably Cadillac,” said Andrew Smith, executive director of global Cadillac design. “It reinterprets our design language in a unique way, with the Premium Luxury and Sport models adding more sophisticated or aggressive character depending on preference.”

Bright Galvano exterior accents distinguish the Premium Luxury model, while the XT6 Sport is defined by darker accents and more aggressive, performance-inspired details, including available 21-inch wheels. Both models feature advanced lighting technology, including vertically emphasized LED signatures. Two headlamp variants are offered: a standard bi-function LED projector design or an available, performance LED headlamp system with a three-element projector array.


XT6 PREMIUM LUXURY DESIGN FEATURES

XT6 SPORT DESIGN FEATURES

Bright Galvano finish on the grille, side window moldings and roof rails.
Unique front and rear fascias with red taillight lenses.
Through-fascia exhaust outlets.
Specific 20-inch wheels.

Black grille with a specific, V-Series-inspired pattern; black window moldings and roof rails.
Unique front and rear fascias with tinted neutral-density (clear) taillight lenses.
Through-fascia exhaust outlets.
20-inch wheels are standard, with 21-inch wheels available.


Driving Dynamics and Propulsion

The XT6’s driving experience offers a rewarding balance of responsiveness and refinement, with a feeling of solidity that enhances driver confidence. Those qualities are uniquely distilled between the Premium Luxury and Sport models, with a greater emphasis on road isolation in the Premium Luxury and a greater feeling of agility dialed into the Sport’s chassis tuning.

Customer-selectable drive modes allow the XT6 to adapt even better to driver preferences and changing road conditions. The modes are uniquely calibrated to support the characteristics of the Premium Luxury or Sport models.

AWD is available on Premium Luxury and standard on XT6 Sport. The Sport model features a Sport Control active twin-clutch AWD design that helps enhance the driving experience with active yaw control. Sport models also feature Continuous Damping Control active handling and a faster steering ratio that is tuned to support a more enthusiast-level driving feel, with increased feedback and greater overall responsiveness.

The XT6’s sophisticated driving dynamics are powered by a 3.6L DOHC V-6 engine estimated at 310 horsepower (231 kW) backed by a nine-speed automatic transmission featuring next-generation Electronic Precision Shift. To enhance fuel efficiency, Active Fuel Management technology enables V-4 operation when V-6 power is not required.

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Lexus LC Convertible Concept

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The all new Lexus LC Convertible Concept vehicle will be officially revealed Monday January 14th. It’s been a few years since Lexus has made a convertible. SC was the last convertible they made and certainly was under powered. Not with the new LC. Powered plant should be the same as the coupe powering a 5.0L V8 pushing shy of 500hp.

Stay tuned for more footage once revealed. Till then enjoy the short clip below.

Picture and Video provided by Lexus USA.

SCOTT SPEED JOINS SUBARU MOTORSPORTS FOR 2019 RALLYCROSS SEASON

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Write up and photos provided by Subaru USA

Subaru of America, Inc. today announced the addition of rallycross ace Scott Speed to its 2019 Americas Rallycross (ARX) driver lineup, bringing even more firepower to one of America’s premier motorsports programs and reaffirming the Subaru brand’s commitment to the sport of rallycross. Team drivers Patrik Sandell and Chris Atkinson will also return for 2019 to round out a three-car effort aimed at capturing the ARX title.

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With four overall U.S. rallycross championship wins including last year’s inaugural ARX driver’s title, Speed will look to continue his dominant run in 2019 behind the wheel of a 600-horsepower WRX STI Supercar. A veteran of Formula 1, NASCAR, karting and Formula E, Speed adds a new dimension to a team with a strong background in stage rally.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Subaru Motorsports for the next chapter in my rallycross career,” Speed said. “This team has made big strides in the past few years, and they have what it takes to win. I’m looking forward to defending my title, and racing alongside Patrik and Chris to bring the team championship to Subaru!”

Speed will be introduced January 14 at the North American International Auto Show alongside his Vermont SportsCar-prepared WRX STI VT19x rallycross car, which wears the newly introduced blue and gold colors of Subaru Motorsports.

Follow Subaru Motorsports on Instagram @srtusa, on Twitter @srtusa, and on Facebook.


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About Subaru Motorsports
Subaru Motorsports - Rally Team USA is managed by Vermont SportsCar and competes in the Americas Rallycross championship and the American Rally Association series with the support of Subaru of America, Inc. Follow the team online at www.subaru.com/rally. Subaru Motorsports participates in off-road racing with Crawford Performance/Grabowski Brothers Racing and in Pirelli World Challenge with TechSport Racing.




2016 Blackhawks Camaro in route to Madhouse on Madison

Never to late when you talk about the Chicago Blackhawks.  Especially when today is the first playoff game in a mission to keep Stanley in Chicago.  Here we have put together a short video from when the 2016 Chicago Blackhawks Chevrolet Camaro SS was first revealed at the Chicago Auto Show.  This is the 7th year Chevy Drives Chicago and The Chicago Blackhawks has teamed up to bring this car to reality and to one lucky winner a chance to take it home at the end of the season.  

Click on image to read up on the full history of the project. 

Click on image to read up on the full history of the project. 

Video was taken from the McCormick Place to United Center better known as Madhouse on Madison.  Nothing special on the video just having little fun entering into this year NHL playoff.  By far we are no professionals in making video but at least we tried.  Like to thank again all who was a part of this project.  If you haven't already seen this car in person, wow.  It's a jaw dropping design the crew over at Real Wheels Corp has done for this year.  In big help with B-Forged Wheels, Alea Leather & Modern bow Tie.  Thank you all and GO Hawks.  

Click on Image to register today to win this vehicle.  

Click on Image to register today to win this vehicle.  

2016 Chicago Blackhawks Chevy Camaro SS Coupe

One of the most talked about NHL teams of the last year has been the Chicago Blackhawks.  After winning their 6th Stanley cup (3 in the past 6 seasons), the team has been gaining a bigger fan base with each game.  A Blackhawks related contest has been gaining momentum and fans as well; I mean, who wouldn’t want the opportunity to win a one of a kind, custom car?  The 2016 Chicago Blackhawks themed Chevy Camaro SS Coupe is the sixth model designed and given away by Chevy Drives Chicago.  One lucky fan will drive away with this awesome car at the end of the 2016 season. 

From (L) to (R) - 2010,2011,2012,2013,2014, & 2015

RealWheels Corp (RWC) has taken the challenge from day 1 to bring you a unique, one of a kind Camaro, and in the last 6 years it has gained the attention of many fans.  This is also Captain Jonathan Toews’ and Patrick Kane’s 6th year being the ambassadors of the project. I am proud to have been able to assist with the project and very excited for the lucky winner to take home his/her prize. 

In previous years, the Blackhawks Camaro has been a convertible.  But with Chevrolet introducing a newly redesigned Camaro for 2016, the convertible was not available until the Spring, so RWC went with the coupe. This SS is the fastest Camaro SS to date, pushing 455hp and 455 lb-fts of torque from a 6.2L V8.  I had the opportunity to drive the car before the transformation begun and wow.  There really is a night and day difference from last year’s project.  It’s lighter, smaller, shares the same motor as the Corvette Stingray LT1 6.2 V8, and has 29 more horsepower than 2015. 

Whoever wins this car better hold on!!  It’s going to surprise you in every way.  The car came so well equipped that we didn’t do anything underneath the hood or structurally.  I believe you’ll be ok with the amount of horsepower the car comes with.  What RWC did do was team up with a number of design teams, including B-Forged Wheels, a local manufacture out of La Grange, IL.  B-Forged did an amazing job designing custom made, 22” 180 RL 3 piece forged wheels, which are staggered and wrapped with Pirelli tires.  The photos do not do these awesome rims justice…you must see them in person.

The exterior has a custom paint job courtesy of Modern Bow Tie featuring a GM Phantom Satin Grey metallic base, with a Raven Gloss Black racing stripe on the hood, full roof and rear wing.   This black was also used for accent pieces around the car.  As an added touch, Victory Red was added on the bottom of the side mirrors and grill accents. This paint combo really gives the car an “I mean business” look.  This was the whole vision when the Chevy Drives Chicago and RWC teams met late last year, and I think you’ll agree they definitely achieved that with this year’s design.

You can’t just have a cool paint job and rims without having a unique interior.  Alea Leather returned to the project to contribute to the entirely redesigned interior.  Not only did they go above and beyond with adding custom embroidery featuring the Blackhawks logo, but included an entirely new pattern that they have recently announced will be added to their award winning line up.  This is a soft napa leather with team color stitching.  Mostly black with little grey with red stitching.  They did a fantastic job once again, and are a great partner to work with. 

Click on Image to be re-directed to Chevy Drives Chicago To register to win 

Click on Image to be re-directed to Chevy Drives Chicago To register to win 

You are probably asking yourself now, “How do I win this vehicle?”  All you have to do is visit the Chevy Drives Chicago website to register.  There is no purchase necessary, and you can get a peek at the car at the Chicago Auto Show going on RIGHT NOW!  Head to the Chevy Drives Chicago fan zone, check out the car, and register on site.  There will also be a Blackhawks gift shop, special appearances from several players, games and many other surprises so don’t miss out on the excitement. 

I’d personally like to thank all who contributed to this project, with a special thanks to B-Forged Wheels, Alea Leather, and Modern Bow Tie painting for an amazing job.  RealWheels Corp has outdone themselves again for the 6th year in a row.  Now that you have seen exclusive photographs of the vehicle, make sure to head over to Chicago Auto Show and register at the Chevy Drives Chicago fan zone booth.  This vehicle will also be displayed after the Auto Show at all Chicago Blackhawks homes games.  If you can’t make it to the auto show or home game, visit the Chevy Drives Chicago website today. 

Click on image to view rest of album.  

Click on image to view rest of album.  

All photographs taken and owned by ©Chris Chavez Photography

 

2016 NAIAS - Lexus revealed two new vehicles

Lexus entered the 2016 North American International Automotive Show with not just one but two new reveals.  There has been some rumors of a new sports coupe but never would have thought on what was revealed.  Lexus has set the bar high within the last 5 years and doesn’t look like they are slowing down at all.  Just late last year they released the highly anticipated Lexus GSF with it’s 5.0 V8 pushing out 467hp adding to the RCF coupe that has been on sale for a year.  Well just few weeks after it’s reach the show room floor Lexus released two new vehicles.  

 

Lexus introduced the new all electric sedan looking to be available in 2020.  Not much information was said but 2020 is right around the corner.  Only that it will have 0 emissions and no oil.  This beautiful sedan design had people talking and realistic doesn’t look far off to becoming a production vehicle.  

 

The second vehicle that was revealed was the 2017 Lexus LC 500.  This follows a concept design that was revealed in 2013 with the LF-LC.  Following the same power plant as the RCF and GSF, with a 5.0L V8 / 467hp.  By time vehicle gets released I will not be surprised if the squeeze a few more horses out of it.  This is Lexus first 10 speed automotive that will be in this new model. Talking to a representative, the price point will be just shy of $100k fully equipped.  

Akio Toyoda chief branding officer and master driver explained the direction Lexus in heading.  Having took some opinions that was said in 2011, he took it personally and took over the whole operation in making a statement that there will be no boring in Lexus.  5 years later, he kept his word and having a recently redesigned line up in the IS, ES, GS, NX, RX, GX, LX, RCF, GSF and recently revealed LC 500, Mr Toyoda stated that this is only the beginning.  Oh boy.  

All photographs are taken and owned by Chris Chavez Photography

Below is the full revealed of both vehicles. Lexus showing no signs of slowing down. 

1965 Pontiac GTO

One of the most popular muscle cars has to be the Pontiac GTO.  It was certainly popular with Craig and Mickey Miller, who were itching to get their hands on one.  They found one and inquired about purchasing it.  Unfortunately the owner, who was the 6th person to own this GTO, said he was not interested as he knew that one day he would restore it.  Well, fast forward 25 years, and the man had been so focused on other projects throughout the years that he had never touched the car.  So he called Craig and told him that he could have it for free.  You can only imagine Craig’s reaction when he got that call!

Craig began the ’65 GTO project in October of 2008.  There were so many things that he wanted to do, but finding the previous owners became task #1 after finding an old parking ticket in the glove compartment.  After many phone calls and emails, he was able to find not only the original owner, but the ones in between the original and most previous owners.  Over the years, they have remained in contact and have become good friends.  One of them even got married in the GTO!  It’s amazing how a 50 year old vehicle can bring people together.

Back to the restoration.  After all of the searching he had done over the years, Craig was determined to make his GTO one of a kind.  He partnered with Al’s Body Shop, Bill Dwyer Body Shop, and Hot Rod Auto to work on the exterior of the GTO.  There was a good amount of rust as well as bumps and bruises from being raced, used in wedding processionals, and everyday driving.  Many parts were fixed or replaced as a result, including the quarter panels, inner & outer wheel tubs, trunk cross members, trunk panels, driver side floor plan and the entire passenger door.  Once the body was fixed, it was time to give it some color.  The guys over at Hot Rod & Auto took over and painted it with a House of Kolor paint called Kandy Brandy Wine red.  This color is so rich and beautiful; the pictures don’t do it justice.  It’s a must see in person, and if you want the same color, you’ll have to negotiate with Craig…he bought it all.  One of a kind GTO, remember?

After the exterior was complete, Craig turned his focus to the interior.  Dave over at D & E Upholstery did a complete makeover, replacing everything that he could.  The GTO received new seat covers, head liner, floor carpet, Juke tray, said panels, arm rests, and trunk liner.  He also added an autometer tach where the clock used to be, giving the interior a cool, sleek look.

Now for the good stuff…under the hood.  The GTO has a 455 engine built by A-Team.  Craig was secretive with the horsepower, but by the looks of it, this car has plenty of power to move quickly.  The engine may look like a bit of a sleeper, but Craig had several aftermarket parts added including a competition valve job, Edelbrock worker, comp cam, and many others.  As an added kick, it also has a nitrous kit installed.  To keep all of that power on the road, Craig outfitted the GTO with 70 Cragar wheels, wrapped with BF Goodrich tires.

This GTO truly has a great story behind it…so much so that I told Craig he should write a book about it.  If you see it at a car show, be sure to get up close and listen to one of the many stories he has to share.  The most paramount thing is the bond that has been formed between him and the rest of the owners.  All of them arrived while I was doing the shoot, including the couple that were married in the car.  I could definitely feel the mutual admiration they all had for each other, and how happy the car has made each of them over the last 50 years.  Thank you all for allowing me to capture the story and this beautiful 1965 Pontiac GTO.

Nissan Titan Warrior Concept

Truck that speaks for itself.  The recently revealed Nissan Titan Warrior Concept vehicle took everyone by storm with it's mouth dropping designed.  A mixture of the Raptor and Reaper then times it by 10.  You have the Titan Warrior.  

Everything about the truck was immaculate.  This particular concept will stay where it is but gives many truck enthusiast a glimpse of what the recently release Nissan Titan can be.  The cummings diesel in the new XD had been getting many intrigue and it's just the beginning.  With a slight lift, aftermarket wheels, bigger tires, exhaust and a mean looking facelift, who wouldn't want to drive this?  You'll have your hard core Chevy, Ford & Dodge die hard fans dissing this truck but deep down, you know they won't hesitate when you hand over the keys.  

Below is a video made by Nissan.  Here brief information will be mentioned about this concept vehicles.  Who knows, maybe one day Nissan will decide to make this a truck we can own.  Till then, we can just dream about it.  

All photographs are taken and owned by Chris Chavez Photography. 

The Future Is Here. Mercedes-Benz F 015 - Video

Mercedes-Benz F 015 during NAIAS

Mercedes-Benz F 015 during NAIAS

The world premier of the new Mercedes-Benz F 015 at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier in the year took the world by storm.  The future is certainly here with this vehicle that pretty much drives itself.  

It's unbelievable how far technology has come.  This practically is a moving office and/or living room.  I won't go into the  full breakdown of the vehicle, rather have you check out this video provided by Mercedes-Benz to see it for yourself.  

What doesn't this car do?  This is an F-Cell plug-in hybrid like what you see in today's F 125, which is technology that has been used and tested since 2011.  This car offers it all from safety to convenience. It may not be the best looking vehicle on the road but take notice, the future is here.  

Photographs provided by Chris Chavez Photography.  

Video by Mercedes-Benz

2015 Dodge Viper SRT - DNA of a Supercar Video

2015 Dodge Viper SRT on display at 2015 NAIAS

2015 Dodge Viper SRT on display at 2015 NAIAS

Here is a video released by Dodge Viper during Media Days at NAIAS in Detroit January 12 & 13th.   The media usb kit they handed out included a very impressive video on the performance and how  the car is built.  A Motor Trend film, they did a great job going through the design, engineering behind it, hows it's built and testing to maximize the performance on the 5th generation of the Viper.  Grab some popcorn, sit back and enjoy the 20 minute video.  

2015 Chevy Camaro SS Convertible - Chicago Blackhawks

Another hockey season has begun, which means a chance to win a custom built, 2015 Chevy Camaro Blackhawks Edition could be yours.  For the past six years, Chevy Drives Chicago has partnered up with one of the hottest and most successful NHL teams, The Chicago Blackhawks, to offer one lucky fan a chance to win a custom designed Chicago Blackhawks Chevy Camaro SS Convertible.  To enter this year’s contest, visit the Chevy Drives Chicago website to register.  You will also be able to register (and drool) in person now that the car is on display at the United Center for all Blackhawks home games, and will also be on display the 2015 Chicago Auto Show.

2010 Chicago Blackhawks Camaro - First Camaro made  Picture from web - motor authority.com

2010 Chicago Blackhawks Camaro - First Camaro made

Picture from web - motor authority.com

Each year, the project gets more and more media attention, including print, commercials, and being featured on several websites such as www.Yahoo.com and www.cars.com.  The design evolves and is unique each year, so the anticipation of the reveal is always fun to experience.  I have some insight into this year’s design, and I can promise you, it does not disappoint!

2011 Chicago Blackhawks Camaro  Picture taken by Michael Chunko found on Web (Flickr)

2011 Chicago Blackhawks Camaro

Picture taken by Michael Chunko found on Web (Flickr)

Given the success of the Blackhawks, the car continues to be a hot item of interest each year.  Real Wheels Corporation (RWC) has worked on this project since day one, and continually strives to create a jaw dropping design each year.  As the years go on, the car is outfitted with more and more custom parts, making it a truly unique and eye-catching vehicle.  For 2015, RWC has teamed up with some new manufacturers to give this model a fresh new look.

2012 Chicago Blackhawks Camaro SS Convertible   Picture from web at CSN Chicago

2012 Chicago Blackhawks Camaro SS Convertible 

Picture from web at CSN Chicago

 

Alea Leather has signed on to create an entirely custom interior.   Alea Leather is a rapidly growing company, and they are definitely making noise in the automotive industry with their affordable and award winning designs.  The 2015 Blackhawks Camaro features custom seat covers made of top of the line Napa leather and the Blackhawks logo stitched in, as well as leather covering on parts of the dash and steering wheel.   This is a new feature for this year, and it truly fits the style of the car.  MagnaFlow is one of the leading exhaust manufacturers, and has contributed a new exhaust for this project.  MagnaFlow specializes in throaty sound and performance, which gives the Camaro a very aggressive road presence. 

 

2013 Chicago Blackhawks Camaro SS Convertible   Picture provided by Chris Chavez Photography

2013 Chicago Blackhawks Camaro SS Convertible 

Picture provided by Chris Chavez Photography

ACS composites has worked on previous years’ projects, and again this year in providing the body kit, which showcases new splitters, rockers, and hood insert.  To complement the aggressive body styling, 2Crave has outfitted the Camaro with their newest Mach 8 wheels, 22x9 in the front and 22x10.5 in the rear, creating a staggered look with a 1.5 inch drop.  Varad provided custom lighting behind the grill and throughout the vehicle.  Finally, Estrada Customs of Vernon Hills painted the vehicle in a factory white and red with a true black accent as part the custom design.   Seriously, you will be blown away by the final product!

2014 Chicago Blackhawks Chevy Camaro SS Convertible -  Picture provided by Chris Chavez Photography

2014 Chicago Blackhawks Chevy Camaro SS Convertible -

Picture provided by Chris Chavez Photography

 

So now you have another reason to check out the Blackhaws at home.  If you can't make a game, be sure to attend the 2015 Chicago Auto Show for your chance to register to win this one of a kind creation.  Head over to www.chevydriveschicago.com to register and catch a peek of the finished product.

I wonder how the new 2015 Chicago Blackhawks Camaro SS Convertible will look.  Visit Chevydriveschicago.com for up to date information about the build.  Click on image to be re-directed.  Follow them today on Facebook.  

I wonder how the new 2015 Chicago Blackhawks Camaro SS Convertible will look.  Visit Chevydriveschicago.com for up to date information about the build.  Click on image to be re-directed.  Follow them today on Facebook.  

Like to see more?  Click on imgae.  

Like to see more?  Click on imgae.  

Go visit your nearest ChicagoLand and Northern Indiana Chevy dealerships today!  

Gymkhana 7 by Ken Block

Highly anticipated video from Ken Block called Gymkhana 7 was just released earlier today and did not disappoint.  

This custom made 1965 "Notchback" Ford Mustang with 845hp took on the streets of L.A.  Here he showed off great control drifting through the city making some ruckus.  

What is more impressive than drifting through obstacles is that this is the ONLY all wheel drive performance Mustang ever built.  Not to delay any further, check out the video below of this immaculate showcase of vehicle control tearing up the streets of L.A.  

Like to thank all who was involved in the project and making it possible.  All footage and information were gathered through online sources.  

Drivers view with Dyson Racing Bentley Continental GT3

One of the most talked about Pirelli World Challenge race teams released a driver’s view of a race that was recently held in Toronto.  Dyson Racing shared a video of Butch Leitzinger driving a Bentley Continental GT3 in the first of two races being held during the Challenge.  In the video below, you will have he opportunity to experience the race from the driver’s seat, including accidents during the race.  Enjoy the video and keep an eye out for the next video Dyson Racing releases. 

Video provided The RACER Channel.  

Dyson Racing Butch Leitzinger - Bentley Continental GT3 - Picture Credit - Chris Chavez Photography

Here is another video from Dyson Racing, highlighting the Bentley’s North American debut at Road America earlier in the year.  I had the opportunity to be there and witness this incredible machine take on one of the longest tracks in the world.  Since this was the first time racing in North America in over 10 years, Dyson didn’t miss a beat running the second fastest lap.  This is such a beautiful car to see in person.  At first glance, you are thinking,“Did I just see a Bentley?”  Yes you did.  I hope you enjoy the video as much as I did and, I look forward to seeing the great success the team has been having this year continue into the future.  

Video provided by Dyson Racing

Picture Credit - Chris Chavez Photography - Road America

All photographs taken by Chris Chavez Photography 

Roush Performance Ford SVT Raptor

Roush Performance Ford SVT Raptor

Roush Performance Ford SVT Raptor

Earlier in the year, I had the opportunity to hang out with the guys over at Roush Performance.  I met up with them in Chicago for lunch while they were en route from Detroit, MI to Elkhart Lake, WI for the Pirelli World Challenge at Road America.  They were making the trip in the Roush Performance Ford Raptor, which is a truck you have to see as it is incredible.

 

We met up for lunch at one of my favorite Irish restaurants in Chicago, Mystic Celt in the Lakeview neighborhood.  Since the Roush crew was running ahead of schedule, I suggested we go to the beach after we finished eating.  It was a beautiful day in Chicago and everyone was out, so I figured it would be a good way to be visible and have some fun.  North Avenue Beach is probably the most recognizable beach in Chicago, so we headed that way.  As we were cruising down Lake Shore Drive, we caused a bit of a traffic “issue” as people were trying to get a look at the beast of a truck that Roush was riding in.  As usual, the beach was crowded, so we spoke to Chicago’s finest, who allowed us to do a quick photo shoot on the sand.  

VIP Parking at Mystic Celt in Lakeview

VIP Parking at Mystic Celt in Lakeview

 

We all had great time during the shoot and while enjoying the scenery, but the crew had to get back on the road and I had to go back to dealing with local traffic.  I was only able to take exterior shots of the truck since the interior was loaded with luggage, but I think you’ll get the picture.  This has to be one of my favorite trucks.  The graphics really stick out and give it that aggressive look.  

Click on Image to be re-directed to official website

Click on Image to be re-directed to official website

 

Later in the week, I was at Road America and met up with them during the races.  We all had great time and especially enjoyed seeing Jack Roush Jr. reach the podium on race two.  For more information on the Roush Performance Ford Raptor, please visit www.RoushPerformance.com.

Jack Roush Jr - Pirelli World Challenge - Road America - Turn 7   Click on image for complete coverage.  

Jack Roush Jr - Pirelli World Challenge - Road America - Turn 7 

Click on image for complete coverage.  

Finally bought a Hybrid..


For the last several months, I have been reviewing all types of vehicles, including hybrids. At first, I just knew I was not a fan and couldn’t justify spending an average of $10,000 more than the average gasoline only vehicle.  You would think I would be just the opposite since I live in a huge city and hybrids are designed for maximizing mpg.  After driving and reviewing several different hybrids, I have learned more about them and have found myself actual liking them.

I have had the opportunity to drive hybrids by various manufacturers including Toyota, Lexus, Hyundai, Kia, Ford, Honda and Nissan.  When you think of a hybrid car, of course the first vehicle that comes to mind is the Toyota Prius.  This vehicle has been the flagship of today’s hybrid vehicles, but is it really?  Personally, I was never a fan in its appearance.  Yes, it is functional, but I wasn’t going to sacrifice looks to get one.  It’s apparent that other manufacturers have taken note, and you can see that other hybrids have come a long way in both looking stylish, efficient & performance.

In the last couple of months, my wife and I began discussing the purchase of a new vehicle.  We slowly realized we needed to focus on maximizing our mpg being that we lived in the lovely city of Chicago.  We currently have a 2 year old son and have another boy due at the end of the year.  Space was a concern for us since we would soon be traveling with a larger family.  Getting an SUV was the direction we were heading, but wasn’t ideal for everyday driving in the city.  In my experience, you really don’t save much gas, if any from all, from the hybrid SUV’s I have driven.  We liked the space offered, so we were considering some normal crossovers, such as the Kia Sorrento, Ford Edge and Hyundai Santa Fe.  These certainly were our favorite to date, and thought they were a good value for the price considering the options that came with them.

We ultimately decided that we weren’t ready to take the leap to a SUV, so we decided to look into four door sedans that might fit our needs.  At the time, we were driving a 2008 Honda Accord EX-L.  We loved the car and found it to be very spacious, but the miles were getting up there and some major maintenance was due.  I was at a Honda dealership getting normal maintenance done, and made the mistake of walking into the showroom.  This is where I first laid eyes on the new Honda Accord Touring Hybrid.  I was impressed at the big improvements Honda has made throughout the years, and upon seeing all of the gadgets and safety features, I automatically fell in love.  Since we had an Accord already, we were familiar with the brand.  The interior hadn’t changed much from what we were currently driving, so it was already comfortable to us.  The main thing we knew was the reliability of the car, and felt that it was enough room to travel with two sons even with the loss of space in the trunk.  We weren’t too crazy with the interior, but I really liked the safety features it had.  Having cool features also came with a hefty price tag.  Not crazy expensive, but enough to take step back and say am I really going to pay close to $40k (after all of the add-ons we wanted) on an Accord?  It did give an approximate 50 mpg city driving which I liked.  We decided to leave a deposit and order one in mid-June.  If you know the history of the Accord Touring Hybrids, you’ll know that there was a long waiting period, especially for the color we wanted.  So we got ready to wait.

As we waited, my wife and I talked about the Accord, but one particular car that kept jumping in the conversations was the Kia Optima Hybrid.  We had had the chance to drive it, and both actually loved the car inside and out.  She and our son especially loved the panoramic sunroof, not to mention all the features it came with including heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, and heated steering wheel, to name a few that the Accord didn’t offer.  We had opportunity to drive both the Hybrid and SX turbo model for some time so we knew the car.  We knew it had lots of room inside, which was a plus since both of us are tall and we wouldn’t lose much leg room by having the Britax baby seats in the rear.  I liked how it drove and how I felt driving it.  Everything was easy to control and figure out.  The Optima Hybrid didn’t get close the advertised mpg of the Accord, but it was still the second best from all that we have driven. 

We were just playing the waiting game with Honda, and were happy to be told the car was going to go into production the week for July 6th.  We were excited and were getting ready for our delivery in the first week of August.  Well, the first week of August came, and when I called for an update I was given some bad news.  We told it wasn’t coming and the actual production date was pushed back.  I asked when and I even stopped by the dealership to get answers but was told I would get a call back later in the day.   I then went home and called around several Honda dealerships in the Chicagoland area to see if anyone had a touring model with black interior.  No luck.  I called couple of times to ask for GM and said he would call me back.  Here is when I made the decision while waiting for my wife to get home from work that I wanted to take a trip to the Kia dealership.  

Long story short, Kia had the model I was interested in on the showroom floor with everything I wanted except mud flaps, which was not a deal breaker in the slightest.  They gave me a price I couldn’t refuse, so I called the GM at Honda and asked status of my order immediately because I was at a Kia dealership about to purchase a vehicle.  He told me hesitantly that it wouldn’t be built until late August and delivery would occur in September.  I thanked him and told him that I would most likely be purchasing a different vehicle and would notify him in the AM to cancel my order.   As it turns out, we drove off that very night with a brand new Kia Optima Hybrid with all the bells and whistles for about $10k less than the Honda Accord Touring Hybrid would have been with about the same features.  Yes the Accord had a couple more features like the blind side camera and adaptive cruise control, but the Optima far outweighed those with the added features that it offered.  We did lose mpg per stated rates, but for the price and not having to wait, it was a no brainer for us.  We didn’t want to wait any longer since we were moving at the end of the month and my wife was getting further along in her pregnancy by the day. Ultimately, the Kia was our first choice; we just didn’t realize it until we got over the Accord euphoria and actually talked about another car.  I am more than ok with saving $10k over having the additional 10 mpg.  

Since we’ve had the car, we have driven approximately 1,000 miles, and we just love it.  Everywhere we go we get complimented on the car, and get asked about the car from curious admirers.  It has a very modern luxury style to it that you can’t stop looking at it.  Yes it’s “just” a Kia but if you haven’t seen, driven or spent time with one you just don’t know.  You get a lot for your buck plus a warranty that will put a smile on your face.  We are really glad we stopped in at the Kia dealership and drove away in the new Optima Hybrid.  We know we will enjoy this vehicle a lot more than we would have the Accord.  

I am averaging 34 mpg in the city and 45 mpg on the highway.  I am very happy with my purchase, especially after having driven many different hybrids this year.  I’m not left with the “what if” thoughts since I have a really good feel for what the other cars have to offer.  I also noticed today that the price of the Accord Touring Hybrid has jumped up a few hundred bucks.  We will probably add a SUV in a year or two, and after looking at the SUV line up, we are leaning towards the Kia Sorento AWD Limited.  Purchasing the Optima has made it easy since we both loved the Sorrento and now know that we are truly getting a great product in Kia.  The SUV write up will come at a later date once we purchase it.  It will be interesting to see what we end up with!

Thank you all for reading.  Both dealerships that helped me were very friendly, and are both located on the north side of Chicago.  Grossinger Honda at 6600 N Western Ave is a new dealership formerly called Carrs Honda.  We bought the Kia Optima from Grossinger Kia at 6750 N Lincoln Ave.  They have a great staff and got me in and out in no time.  I will be writing about our experience there soon.  At Honda ask for Bill and at Kia, Jerry will take care of you.  Both are very professional and will make sure your purchase experience goes smoothly and hassle free.

 

Jerry at Grossinger Kia - http://www.grossingerkia.com

Bill at Grossinger Honda - http://www.grossingerhonda.com

All photographs from Honda Accord Touring Hybrid are from the web.

Photographs of Kia Optima EX Hybrid provided by Chris Chavez Photography

New ZR1 Dyno World Record!! KP Racing

We’d like to congratulate KP Racing out of Houston, TX for breaking the Corvette ZR1 dyno record at 934rwhp. Great job!  The vehicle is owned by RC Cox. This team will be bringing up a Corvette to race at the 2014 Michigan Mile, and are looking to break the record for the fastest Corvette in the standing mile.  It’s an event you don’t want to miss!

Any questions or further information you can reach KP Racing at 281-664-8000.  

For more information on the 2014 Michigan Mile, please visit www.TheMichicanMile.com

Picture provided by KP Racing.  

Click on image to visit KP Racing webiste

Click on image to visit KP Racing webiste

Bentley Motorsports Returns to North America

 I’d like to share some exciting news straight from the masterminds at Bentley 

 

 

-Continental GT3 to compete in North America with Dyson Racing

-First race to be Pirelli World Challenge round at Road America

-Development over 2014 in preparation for 2015 championship

-New Continental GT3 race car on display at NYIAS

 

(New York, 16th April 2014) After an impressive performance at the opening round of the Blancpain Endurance Series in Monza, Italy last weekend, the new Bentley Continental GT3 is set to reintroduce the celebrated British marque to North American motorsports with Dyson Racing. The premier sports car racing team in the U.S., Dyson will race a pair of Continental GT3s in the second half of the 2014 Pirelli World Challenge in preparation for a full season of competition in 2015.

 

The new partnership returns Bentley to the racetracks of North America for the first time since 2003. The Continental GT3 will be on display on the Bentley stand at the New York International Auto Show on April 16 and 17. Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush, comments from the show:

 

“Now that our European motorsport programme is up and running, securing a return to racing in our biggest market is the natural next step. It’s extremely exciting to be back here with a racecar, and I’m delighted to be working with the Dyson team. Their operation reflects and embodies so many Bentley values, and I’m very confident in their abilities. This venture is the next step in the Continental GT3 plan, which we hope will eventually see our customers racing in Bentleys all around the world.”


Pending testing and development results, Bentley’s U.S. racing programme will begin with the entry of a single Continental GT3 in the Road America round of the Pirelli World Challenge at Elkhart Lake in Wisconsin on June 21. A second car will be added later in the season.


Development work and assignments for the single-driver sprint races will be shared among Chris Dyson and long-time Dyson Racing team members Guy Smith and Butch Leitzinger. The latter are also veteran Bentley Boys, Leitzinger as a driver of the class-winning Bentley EXP-8 at Le Mans in 2001 and 2002, Smith as a driver of the Le Mans overall-winning Bentley Speed 8 in 2003. Smith, who was also a development driver for the current Bentley Continental GT3 program and who is now piloting one in five races of the 2014 European Blancpain Series, will drive with Dyson Racing Team Bentley as his European commitments permit.


Team Principal Rob Dyson comments:


“Our team is proud to be demonstrating to Americans that Bentley is not only one of the great names in automotive history, but also today the producer of the finest high-performance luxury cars available. As Dyson Racing begins its fourth decade in professional motorsports, it’s an honor for all of us on the team to be racing the Continental GT3 with Bentley in the Pirelli World Challenge.”

Story and Pictures is provided by and owned by Bentley Media.