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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Porsche Cayman: Proving why Porsche is the Real Driving Machine

After what had to be 4 weeks of driving around a white 2010 Cayenne (Base, not the new gen.), my parents told me yesterday that Porsche is giving me a Cayman tomorrow to drive around in, which of course made my day.

Fast forward to earlier today, my mom tells me Porsche called and said it was in, so naturally I'm excited and drive right over to Schneider/Nelson to drop off the White Cayenne, with no idea what I'm getting at all. Of course, minutes after I go in, I get a brand new Demo Cayman (basically 2400 miles, PDK, Black/Black, heated/cooled seats, heated steering wheel, ect.), and I'm ecstatic! Takes me about 10 minutes before I'm totally comfortable the car, but then it feels all too familiar, like my Boxster S.

Now you might argue that they're the same car and I would agree to a degree, but you also gotta realize the differences:

*It's more Rigid and stable due to it having a solid structure as opposed to a convertible top (Which would make it more stable at higher speeds, plus help with handling around a track)

*While it might seem negateible, the slight weight and power difference will make a difference overall

*Due to it having a solid roof, it'll have more windows and thus improves on the Boxster's rather serious weakness: Blindspots! Where as the Boxster is terrible to see out of with the top up (Caused me to miss some turns because I didn't know if someone was coming), with the Cayman, I was able to see that no one was in the lane I needed to change into and thus make the turn I needed to rather than drive miles outta the way. It's definitely day and night and besides reducing any blind spots, I can also see behind me and see if anyone's coming as I back out of a spot (You could argue dropping the top on the Boxster solves the problems, but on a rainy day, you wouldn't do it unless you were crazy)

Now for my driving experience so far. To sum it up in a few simple words:

The REAL Ultimate Driving Machine

Sure, some argue BMW's got that title, but when you got a RWD Mid-engine cars that weights less than 3,100lbs (Boxster/Cayman) that handle on rails, have a sweet sounding sonic wail, have the best transmissions and get noticed everywhere you go (To say the very least, I could go on and on), makes you wonder why they didn't copyright that quote 1st (Of course, BMW's the everyman's Ultimate Driving Machine, but even they wish they had a porsche).

Now of course, I got the Base Cayman, but that doesn't mean it's a wimpy slouch. The 2.9l Flat 6 produces 265hp/221tq and weighs about 2998lbs, so while it's not Cayman S fast, it's still gonna fly!
Porsche rates 60 at 5.4(5.2 w/Sport Chrono), but like most companies, that's conservative, and since I once timed it, I got 60 in 4.6 w/my Boxster w/out sport plus, so my guestimation is it's 5-5.2 to 60, but forget 60, like any Porsche, it's really aimming for 100+mph, so like I say with my Boxster S, it's not 0-60, it's 0-100.
Considering it rained before, the roads were slick, but even so, with stock tires, I took exit ramps at high(er) speed's (45-50mph) and at one point, I turned the wheel where you could feel the G-Pull, and where as most cars would start getting tippy, it held it's own, and mind you, I was on the Throttle the whole time, trying to push the limits.

Of course, I've only had the car for one day, so it's just my initial impressions, but so far, EVERYONE whose driven in it (Bree, my nephew, my Speed Devil Dad) LOVE it. My dad's ALL ABOUT Speed and Handling, and after driving it, he's really impressed, and remember, this is just a base Cayman, I'm pretty sure that if it were a 'S', he'd be going to Porsche to pick up his own. I've driven them all (911 4S Convertible, Boxster S, Cayman, Cayenne S, Panamera 4S) and in my Opinion, this is THE best of them all!
You hear it called the 911 Slayer, and I can see why, the 911 I drove wasn't bad, but they don't have the "Feel" that the Boxster/Cayman have and while I love my Boxster, just driving this one shows me how much better it is in so many regards. You can't compare the Cayenne and Panamera, so of the core 3, if you won the lottery and decided to get several cars rather than 1, you'd want the Cayman S or R (Although if you were gonna get 1, 911 Turbo/S or GT3/GT2).

With it's light weight, perfect transmission, powerful engine, amazing suspension and overall appearance, I can easily say, the Cayman is LITERALLY the ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINE! This is definitely one of those "10 cars to drive before you die", even if you can't afford one, you OWE IT to yourself to try one out. You can argue a Corvette is more powerful and ALOT LESS expensive, but drive a Cayman or Boxster for a few hours/days/weeks (whatever you can manage) and you'll understand why they're so expensive and exclusive.

I'm Mike, and this has been my review of the Cayman, enjoy

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Formula 1 KERS Tech In Your Everyday Sportscars?

For some reason I tend to do my best thinking while I am behind the wheel. Possibly because of my commute or because the greenie in front of me in their Prius was going no more than 42mph in a 50mph speed limit road preventing from getting me to get where I needed to go. I finally got fed up and was thinking about passing the ugly thing but I unfortunately had little room and a turn was approaching. At that moment thoughts about the F1 Grand Prix at Monaco I was watching previous night popped into my head. I believe it was a couple years ago that I heard that the F1 organization was introducing new technology into their already tech filled cars. The system is called KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) and truth be told, it is exactly how it sounds. In essence it works as a typical Hybrid system when it comes to storing and regnerating energy from braking or in F1's case the flywheel as well. In F1, it gives the drivers the ability to use that stored energy from braking as a temporary "boost" in power for short bursts so that they can use it to pass an opponent in order to help them win. I know Ferrari is working on this system and plans on introducing it in their regular car lineup, which brings me to the point I am trying to make. Why not have KERS in your regular sports car??

With CAFE strong arming companies to submit to its regulations, sports cars as we know it are slowly changing whether we like it or not. Raw sports cars are now a rare breed and hybrid powertrains finding their way into cars is only inevitable. KERS would provide sports car a nice boost in power when necessary similar to a NOS system without the drawbacks of blown motors and false egos. With the flexability of using the brakes or the flywheel as a charging system for the electric motor the uses would be beneficial and not just in powergains. Now, don't misunderstand my point. I am by no means saying we should just throw in a Prius drive train in a Mustang and have a good looking appliance, afterall that is sacreligious. What I am trying to get across is that having an electric motor to assist the engine so that you can achieve better fuel economy and more power is not such a horrible idea. If you had asked me this same question last year I probably would have been crying after laughing so hard, however it is something that will probably come to fruitition whether we like it or not. I am all for rumbling V8s, or in my case, high strung rotaries, but having your go and being "green" is not such a bad thing. You can have your cake and eat it too. You can have your 400+hp, and get fuel economy that some may have thought would've been impossible for these big high powered motors. This way, the V8s and other high powered motors can live on and still be enjoyed. I understand the drawback of added weight in the cars with the battery for storing the energy, the electric motor(s) and the corresponding components but in my opinion, it is a sacrifice I am willing to make in order to keep my favorite motors alive in the cars that I love.

Before any of you think that I am a traitor and not a true sports car enthusiast, you couldn't be any further from the truth. I love raw sports cars like the venerable Viper, the Corvette, the Z, etc, but our planets resources are limited and getting consumed as more countries are industrializing and there appears to be no end in sight as more bad news rolls in as talk of electric vehicles becomes a normal topic of conversation in auto forums across the web. What about cars such as the Tesla Roadster, you ask? As it too is a sports car but is all electric. Unfortunately they just don't have the soul and feel of a car with an actual internal combustion engine. Its hard to describe, as any sports car owner would probably sympathize and agree with me. Having the KERS system just provides a little bit of longevity to some of the true enthusiasts that are left remaining in the automotive world. After I die, I don't care what happens, but until then, let me enjoy my sports cars.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dodge hits home run with new Charger.

After months of speculation and spy shots, we finally laid our eyes on the official pictures of the 2011 Dodge Charger in R/T form. The new look is quite stunning and begs for attention, with a more sculpted front the Charger loses its blocky look while looking even tougher than the last gen. But perhaps the best change is the rear, which resembles the original Charger, The new taillights stretch all the way across the back and are lit by LEDs. The exhausts are nicely crafted into the bumper which is a very nice touch. Dodge didn't just leave the original Charger styling cues in the rear, the hood and side profile both pay tribute to the original Charger. As for power the R/T will stick to the 5.7L Hemi V8, and the SRT8 will receive the long awaited 6.4L Hemi with 475 hp, which is likely underrated. With all that said, its looks like the Charger will be a smash hit in the car world, and for anybody who likes a monster V8 sedan, or just a simple V6 Charger, this is the one for you.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Do we criticize interiors too much?

Now don't get me wrong, i love a nice looking interior with quality materials but sometimes i think that we are to hard on some, for example the LX cars, when i visited the auto show i checked them all out and i found soft touch materials and nice fit and finish while some materials could have been better it was nothing that would have kept me from buying the car. So really does the dash have to be super soft, because who constantly touches the dash while driving, or constantly plays with buttons that control functions in your car. So for me all i look for in an interior is a nice design, good materials and something that doesn't fall apart in three years. Ive driven a 05 Honda Civic for about a year, which is a car in the cheap compact segment, and Ive been more than happy with its interior and it has held up very well. So with that said do we criticize to much?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Chrysler will be back and better than ever.

As we all know Chrysler has just recently joined a partnership with Fiat and many wondered if this was good choice, well i believe it was a great move because just in these last couple of months chrysler has released upcoming models that look very promising, such as the 2011 Grand Cherokee, spy shots of 2011 Charger with its brand new interior, but all new interiors arent limited to the Charger and Grand Cherokee, the whole line-up will recieve them, just another step in the right direction, but the upgrades dont stop there new engines are on the way also, the Penastar V6 will become the new Chrysler V6, the base 3.6L pumps out 290hp, but that will increase with direct injction and Fiat's Multi Air system, and much increased fuel economy, but it wouldn't be Chrysler without a new HEMI, a 6.4L HEMI will debut in the 2011 Challenger along with its redone interior. The 6.4L horsepower rating have not been released but rumors have it at over 500hp. Most important is the changes the Chrysler lineup will recieve they will get luxury interiors that they should have, that from rumors compete with Lexus. Also the Sebring will be replaced thank god. Dodge will join the CUV market with the Magnum and will replace the caliber with a compact car. So while most think Fiat has done the all the work, i thank Chrysler for putting ther heads together and creating good quality cars that people want to buy, so watch out as Chrysler will soon be throwing down some stiff competition.

Settle UP: Not What U Want, What GM Needs. RWD or FWD Impala

By CmicasatheGreatXvX

First let's get this out the way... I am not a hater of RWD... I can walk out to my garage and find 3 more RWD vehicles in it than U can in yours... :yup: Two of them sporting suspension systems in them that are TRACK READY and with enough power under the hood to make Lewis Hamilton, Mario Andretti, hell... RACER X (of Speed Racer fame) fight over the keys. :badtothebone:

OK... Let's bump the FUEL ECONOMY argument... I have long argued that GM RWD vehicles get fuel economy that equals or betters every FWD based car out there. I have constantly compared CTS (vs Audi A6), Corvette (vs R8), Camaro (vs Accord Coupe), G8 (vs Ford Taurus SHO), and even Tahoe (vs Ridgeline) fuel economy against that of vehicles from Honda, Toyota, and Nissan sporting a FWD based platform. Each time I either gave evidence of them BEATING the competition or at the very least equaling them. NEVER have I argued that FWD was more efficient than than RWD.

My argument has never been against the idea of RWD vehicles.. it has been against the idea of the MAINSTREAM buyer buying a RWD based MAINSTREAM car.. such as the Impala which is well known to be a FWD based car.. in a segment that is FWD norm.

The notion for a RWD sedan from Chevy has always been attractive to me, but not as an IMPALA.. but perhaps a Caprice.. in BETTER times, when GM wasn't in desperate need for market share growth and perception stability. RWD based family cars are simply not viable outside of niche or law enforcement.

Basically the counter argument has been that in Family sedans RWD is as fuel efficient as FWD. This is true. The issue at hand is that in family sedans RWD is not COST EFFICIENT for mainstream companies... nor is it PERCEIVED as being fuel efficient, safe, or practical by the mainstream buyer.

It seems as the advocates are speaking from the perspective of a person living in the 70s when RWD was 90% of the market... when "a Man" didn't even consider FWD based vehicles to haul their families around... Now... despite there being G8s, Chargers, 300cs, Genesis... available in the MAINSTREAM.. their sales are limited to niche or Fleet duty. Using the Holden example is seriously flawed... The Holden Commodore is a BEST SELLING vehicle in OZ... but at 80%+ Fleet duty it makes the American Impala's 35%+ Fleet duty seem minuscule.

AND The advocates WANT GM to introduce another one to the market when a more versatile, flexible, cost effective platform can yield similar performance with better versatility in the in-climate weather that seems to happen as far down as Dallas these days. :( I'm sorry... I witnessed waaaaaaaaaaaaay to many RWD vehicles on the side of the road or spinning outta control for a come back from U about how "those people just don't kno how to drive..." to hold any water. :no:

The fact that these people didn't buy the exact car (ZETA based V8 powered RWD car) just a short while ago is testament that when a mainstream buyer needs family transportation... RWD is not always a necessity like they would have us believe.


The fact that the available RWD based family sedans cars available (Genesis, 300c, Charger) and the defunct one have/had relatively minuscule RETAIL sales compared to their Impala competition. I have no issue with a niche RWD/AWD CAPRICE... or even a quick "flip of script" RWD/AWD based Cadillac XTS... but not a super mainstream name like the Impala. It would be like literally making the Honda Accord a V8 powered car. The market would balk, even tho ENTHUSIASTS would rejoice. Unfortunately ENTHUSIASTS make up a small percentage of the buying public... and normally call for GTOs, Magnums, Genesis, SSRs, ... and then buy them is extremely low numbers. Obviously these so called enthusiasts don't look at the numbers. The current numbers, full year, from 2009 show that a 5 year old, FWD only, no-navigation having, old GM car... still sold approx. 166K vehicles in a down year, amid a Bankruptcy, and factory shut-downs, with about 25% going to fleet. That still leaves about 120K retail sales of said OLD car. Certainly a BETTER vehicle would spawn more sales.

So Yes... I support the idea of taking an award winning BRAND NEW innovative platform and turning it into a more marketable vehicle selling out of a larger retail outlet... while they are IN LOVE with a 5 year old vehicle coming here as a new Impala. If this were 2006... I could dig it.. but this is 2010.. and GM doesn't need another niche car selling outta it's mass selling division while the market demands something else.

More here:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My View on Automotive Telematics.

As you may have heard, GM is in talks with Google to create a telematics system based off of Googles Android platform. This is very likely a result of Ford and Microsoft's SYNC, which is currently in it's third iteration. SYNC is a wonderful platform, allowing you to integrate you mobile devices into you automobile. It is so good in fact, Kia, has also made a similar system called Uvo. Yum.

Below is where I list the pros and cons of the technology.

Things may sound all fine and dandy....but it's really not.  Here's a look behind the scenes at three thins that are wrong with the services that allows you to voice control you phone through your car:

  1. Distraction: Is using in-car apps any better than texting while driving? No. You're looking at a 8 inch screen trying to find  the best resatraunt in your area while scolding demented teenage drivers that text and use mobile internet? Fuck that. You can argue voice control. That's the same thing as talking on speakerphone. You're still gonna be distracted. And that's not even it.....
  2. Integration woes. There have been reports of phones not pairing up right with Ford SYNC. But that's understandable....but with Google in the picture....You have Apple, you have Google. They hate each other's guts. Google has Android, Apple has iPhone. Do you expect Google to allow iPhone support in cars? I don't think so.
  3. Monthly Charges: Here's the killer. SYNC and Uvo will be free. Good on them. But don;t expect the lovechild of GM and Google to be free(after a year of course). OnStar, the communications services by GM already charges users monthly now. Imagine more services. No imagine in-car internet. Your Internet bill cloned in your car. Just so people can be "connected" and tweet their way to oblivion. Did I mention distraction somewhere?
The above is just a few reasons why telematics isn't THAT great. But notice how I never said it sucked either. Here are some reasons it's good:
  1. Connectivity: Your telematics is like a computer. It can proccess info coming from different sources. This could someday used to provide bad drivers with physical input. Better for them, better for you.
  2. More connectivity: Who wouldn't like to tweet from their cars? Mobile internet let's you do things while stuck in traffic.
  3. Integration. Disregard the distraction point I made earlier. Think about this: YOur SYNC or Uvo allows you to use three or four devices in one place. I believe that this is at least more convenient, if not safer. And here I will also list some tech to combat distraction. You have voice control. You have heads-up display. You have text-to-speech. Distraction is still present, but is negated...somewhat.
What do you think of telematics?