Posts Tagged ‘BEST Motorcycles’

The worst road wheels of all time. BEST CARS – Interesting facts about cars

1. Subaru XT 1985 Play around with the shape of the spokes steering wheel – a sacred thing. Some companies, such as “Citroen”, adored scheme with one needle, some prefer two, three or four, but always respected the principle of symmetry. But Subaru – an unusual company. 2. Nissan Nails 2001 Nissan stylists to create […]

BEST CAR. Luxury BMW i8

 

Hot Take: 2016 Ford Shelby GT350

Shortly into my first day at AUTOMOBILE, associate editor Jonathon Klein tosses me a key fob. “Here, take the Shelby,” he says. Well, that’s one way to start a new job.

When I last drove a new Ford Mustang, it still had a wheel-hop-inducing solid rear axle. With that bit of vintage engineering finally replaced by a modern independent rear setup, the excellent engines Ford is fitting its pony car with are truly able to come alive.

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The 2016 Shelby GT350 is simply a joy to drive, its 5.2-liter, 526-hp, 429-lb-ft, flat-plane crank V-8 practically begs to be opened up if you so much as think about putting pressure on the fun pedal. Getting ready for a drive on open freeway? Bring a radar detector. Stuck in traffic? Wait for an opening between slow-moving Priuses and allow the howl from the high-revving V-8 to wash over you. Sure, some people might think you’re one of those impatient, aggressive types, but those people would equally as guilty if their accelerators produced the same aural and gravitational sensations.

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Rounding out the total package of fun is the precise Tremec TR-3160 six-speed manual. Modern twin-clutch autos may shift infinitely faster, but no computer will ever replace the emotional satisfaction of a proper manual gearbox. The Shelby’s Tremec has plenty of the mechanical heft the company’s boxes are known for, which fits neatly with the engine’s personality — though aggressive shifts while accelerating no longer prod the rear to step out thanks to modernized suspension geometry.

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Our tester didn’t have navigation or a large touchscreen, which is unfortunate but also easily resolved with a suction-cup mount for your phone. Besides, you don’t need it yelling at you while you exclaim “Wheee!” with a stupid grin on your face as you blast down the nearest long on-ramp or carve your local back road to the sound of the V-8’s growl as it inches toward its stratospheric 8,250 rpm redline. If you live near any sort of twisty road topography, write off your weekends; you’ll be spending all your free time driving. After a ride in the passenger seat, your friends will understand.

2016 Ford Shelby GT350 Specifications

On Sale: Now
Price: $56,970
Engine: 5.2L DOHC 32-valve V-8/526 hp @ 7,500 rpm, 429 lb-ft @ 4,750
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Layout: 2-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, RWD coupe
EPA Mileage: 16/24 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H: 188.9 x 75.9 x 54.2 in
Wheelbase: 107.1 in
Weight: 3,760 lb
0-60 MPH: 4.1 sec
Top Speed: 175 mph (est)

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The post Hot Take: 2016 Ford Shelby GT350 appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

Proper Sendoff: Driving the Final Audi S4 Offered with a Manual Transmission

For a company who trumpets fancy slogans like “Truth in Engineering” and “Advancement Through Technology,” you’d imagine Audi would have phased the manual transmission out of its model lineup years ago. It nearly succeeded in the gearbox subjugation, but the B8 S4 remained a stick-shift holdout during the advent of the dual-clutch, right up to the end of the 2016 model year. This is the final year for both the B8 generation of S4 and Audi’s manual transmission, at least here in the U.S. On the twilight of their departure, we took one last gulp of what made the transmission and the outgoing S4 special.

The B8 S4 arrived for the 2009 model year, packing a somewhat demure 333 hp to the 2008 BMW M3’s 414 hp and the Mercedes’ C63’s 451 hp. Then again, Audi’s S lineup was never designed to butt heads with such super sedans. The S4 and bigger S6 always aimed right down the center of the performance bull’s-eye, not leaning too far into soft, cushy comfort nor too far into the opposite end of the spectrum of punishingly harsh performance. Unlike some of its more powerful rivals, the S4 wasn’t a performance car that happened to have four doors; it was a livable, comfortable four-door sedan that was still able to crack off whip-quick lap times.

That was then, and this is now. The S4 has remained on the market for seven years, sporting only a handful of updates to keep the innards market fresh. Initially in a class of its own, the S4 now occupies a $50,000 segment bursting with options like the BMW 340i and Mercedes-Benz C450 AMG Sport (C43). Somehow, despite its age, the S4 still feels special in a segment that sometimes tries too hard.

To give the S4 a proper send-off, we scuttled down to central Ohio, where near-abandoned roads snake through hills and valleys to create an ideal, real-world test track. It’s close to a five-hour drive from metro Detroit, and the deliciously dual-purpose S4 couldn’t have been more compliant; our bottoms and our ears escaped fatigue. On the highway, the car is as reassuring and confident as any regular Audi four-door. Inside, Audi did its best to cram the sedan chock-full of gizmos and tech bits from its sizeable stable. The age of the car shows through but just barely; the car was refreshed in 2012, so the switchgear and design isn’t too stale.

Ohio State Route 26 undulates through a lush, idyllic swath of countryside, carving through a landscape of decrepit farmhouses and abandoned general stores. The road brims with elevation changes, switchbacks, and long, smooth straights. On Route 26, the S4 shed its lazy road-cruiser attitude and hopped from turn to turn with surprising lightness. The 3.0-liter doesn’t have the explosiveness of its twin-turbo counterparts, but the V-6 was exceptionally smooth. It pulled clean and hard to redline, ripping from a standstill to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, according to Audi. From behind the wheel, we’re sure that is conservative; we’ve seen tests producing the B8 S4’s 60 mph sprint at around 4.4 seconds.

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Despite the fun we had, it’s not perfect. The S4’s V-6 is still mounted over the front axle, serving up an unhealthy dollop of understeer when you push too hard. Ours did not have the optional rear sport differential either, an option we’ve heard makes a large difference during corner exit.

On back roads the six-speed manual is a joy. The shifter and pedals are spaced perfectly, accommodating simple heel-toe downshifts without fuss or muss. Gearing is short, so the 333 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque are managed well in tight environments.

When we finished pretending to be DTM superstars, the S4 settled down. We rejoined major highways and cruised comfortably back to Michigan, with our nerves and the car no worse for the wear. Over the course of around 800 miles, the B8 S4 and its six-speed manual proved itself to be as dual-purpose and easy to drive as sports sedans come. When the 2017 Audi S4 arrives on dealer lots, we’ll be first in line to see how the new conventional eight-speed lives up to the bygone six-speed manual. And with the handling improvements Audi has made to even the regular A4, our hopes are high for Ingolstadt’s sporty sedan.

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The post Proper Sendoff: Driving the Final Audi S4 Offered with a Manual Transmission appeared first on Automobile Magazine.

Ferrari Sergio Pininfarina – that says it all. Interesting facts (9 photos)

Justification Sergio revolutionary appearance lies in its very name: car, dedicated to the memory of the great designer Sergio Pininfarina, could not be conservative. And, of course, decorate such a machine can only label company that Sergio has devoted fifty years of his creative activity, – Ferrari. Ferrari Sergio Pininfarina Strictly speaking, this could end […]

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