Just before the new year, some news was released regarding a new traffic and driving law that was suppose to be implemented by Jan 2015. According to it each driver was going to be provided, on his driving license, with around 12 points that gets deducted depending on the violation committed, quite similar to the French driving license system. Fixed radars (on the side of the road) and mobile radars (in police cars) were going to be installed in order to catch the racers on our streets. They were going to be charged a minimum of around 120$ and a maximum in the thousands in addition to the seizure of the vehicle and the imprisonment of the driver. We barely have road signs on the streets and authorities are thinking of increasing the fines! Apparently these laws are going to be implemented by April but I haven’t seen any actions taken by the Police to make sure the citizens are aware of these new rules. If you guys have any update on the matter, feel free to share it in the comment section below.
In the meantime, Touch, in collaboration with Yasa, has released a new awareness, “Text if You Can” campaign that has been running for a couple of weeks now and that is based on the fact that you can’t be fully focused doing two things at the same time. The idea was to invite Lebanese celebrities and do sort of experiment asking them to do what they do best and try to text at the same time. The concept is fresh and fun. Let’s hope this new way of tackling the issue is going to be effective among the Lebanese society! You can find all the videos of the campaign by clicking right here. Stay safe people!
The world greatest drag race is back! Yes a couple of supercars couldn’t make it to the Start line due to some restrictions, but still we have a pretty cool line up this year! Contestants include this time an Alfa Romeo 4C, BMW i8, BMW M4, the crazy track oriented Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Ford Fiesta ST, Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, Nissan GT-R Nismo, Porsche 911 Turbo S, Subaru WRX STI, and Volkswagen Golf GTI! Yeah I know a bit weird for a GTI and a Ford Fiesta to be among those big boys but Motortrend included them as they were trying to pick up the best drivers car of 2014. You are free to check the full episode of how they proceeded by clicking here. I really wasn’t expecting the outcome of this drag race to be honest. Check it out and let me know what you think 🙂
In case you haven’t seen the World’s Greatest Drag Race of the previous years no worries, TheAdsGarage best driver’s car category is here for you!
I can guaranty that this commercial will blow your mind, so be prepared! Honda, with the collaboration of Wieden + Kennedy London have created an incredible and unique way of promoting the new Civic and it’s sportier version, the Civic Type R. For this, they came up with a “double-sided story” on YouTube. While watching the video above, you can press and hold the “R” button on your keyboard to switch between both very interesting lives of a middle aged dad. Both videos are synced beautifully, scene by scene, second by second. This perfectly interactive advertisement/short film is directed by Daniel Wolfe. The commercial clearly portrays the two very distinct sides that the Civic can have in a very new and interesting way, pure magic!
Regarding the new Civic Type R, it has quite an aggressive look, with that massive rear spoiler and four exhaust tail pipes. Don’t know if you guys liked it but it is not my type of design. I saw it live at the Paris Motorshow, and I felt that it was too “out there”, like it was just out of Pimp My Ride or something. Engine wise, no official figures or specs have been disclosed by Honda so far but it looks like it is going to be equipped with a 2.0-litre i-VTEC turbocharged engine. It is actually the first time a Type R has a turbocharger under the hood. For now it will only be released with a 6 speed manual gearbox that is going to be handling around 280hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. Honda is looking to built another even wilder version of this Type R as Seat did with their extreme Leon Cupra and Renault with their Magane 265 RS cup. They are actually chasing after the front-wheel-drive lap record at the Nurburgring race track with their new born. Well, best of lucks!
Ken Block is back with quite a surprising car this time, an all wheel drive, 6.7 liter Rouch Yates V8 Mustang from 1965 producing 845 hp and 720 lb.-ft of torque! The car just looks mad! Probably the most bonkers Mustang ever built and he is drifting the shit out of it on the streets of LA playing around with cops and other low riders. The project has been achieved with the collaboration of Vaughn Gittin Jr and his RTR team. “This is hands-down the best Gymkhana car I’ve had yet,” said Ken Block on an interview with Top Gear a couple of weeks ago. The drifting isn’t as impressive as in the previous videos with the all mighty Fiesta to be honest. We are used to much crazier stunts and jumps from Mr.Block! But enough talking for now! Enjoy the show!!
Our Lebanese drifter and rally icon, the one and only Abdo Feghali aka Dado has been featured in the brand new RedBull Failaka Showdown video doing what he does best! This time his drifting action has been filmed and directed by professionals as he races against the free runner Mohammed Al Attar in the Kuwaiti island of Failaka. The video of the Two Red Bull Athletes going head-to-head is perfectly directed, filmed and executed. Believe me, no random videos go on the RedBull Youtube channel with its 3,791,030 subscribers! But the main question remains: Will the trainers outrun the tires?
BMW seems really into advertising the drifting capabilities of their brand new models lately and we love it!! After the video of the M4 drifting on a Aircraft carrier, (which was completely edited), and the video of a couple of M235i drifting around a roundabout (actual footage) the M family is back and with all its ancestors this time. This M4 initiation brought together 52 privately owned M models ranging from classics to recent ones, all here to welcome the new born. I would really be curious to see the reaction of the private owners as the M4 drifts a few centimeters away from their cars! I have to point out that with these new commercials BMW is doing a really good job bringing awareness about their new models with every commercial getting no less than millions of views. They are also stressing on the potential of their new models and what they can accomplish in terms of maneuverability and feel.
Regarding the M4 I have already written a full review on it back when it was still a concept. (which you can access by clicking here). I would like to add to it the fact that I have had a ride in a M4 lately. To start with, I find this car gorgeous. The design lines and aerodynamic details look really good and yet are not too extreme making this car classy to drive to work and sexy to drive on the track. The interior has been refined with some red and blue stitches and other carbon fiber finishes. The central infotainment system is clear and useful with a properly sized screen. Regarding the ride, the car feels super comfortable on our bumpy roads even though sitting on those massive 19 inch rims. The exhaust sound ain’t as bad as people are saying it is but I do understand that the E92 V8 must sound better and less “digital”. What particularly astonished me was how fast the gear shifts of that dual clutch 7 speed automatic gearbox are specially in sport settings! I have tried the new generation PDK and 7 speed dual clutch of Ferrari and believe me it can easily compete. About that turbo-charged engine, with its turbo for each 3 cylinders, with one that starts spooling at low rpms and another one at higher rpms, turbo lag has practically disappeared! I guess this is the new trend that most of the manufactures will be fitting in their upcoming models. Let’s see what the competitors will be announcing at the Paris motor-show in a couple of weeks!
You adrenaline junkies are gonna love this! Five cherry red M235i coupes performing a choreographed high-speed drifting sequence on a closed traffic rotary in Capetown! What more to ask! First question that comes to mind: “Is that a fake, montage, Hollywood style type of commercial?” The answer is no, that roundabout was actually closed for a period of almost 3 days in order for the director and crew to capture the shots. In the cars are actual precision, professional drifting champions like Rhys Millen and Samuel Hübinette. The cars available were only these five M235i. There were no replacement cars “just in case” so the drivers had to be very careful. Oh and almost 33,000$ worth of tires was spend in the making. The commercial is just brilliant, perfectly targeting a typical M235i buyer that would be looking for a classy, sporty, German and fun coupe. You can check the behind the scenes video taken by Drive by clicking right here.
Now, about the M235i. It is the new born of BMW hiding under the hood a turbocharged N55 inline-six, making 320 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque burning the 0-100km/h in just 4.8 sec. A quick-shifting eight-speed automatic (not dual-clutch) with wheel-mounted paddles and a launch-control program is standard. Being a beamer, the power is sent directly to the back wheels. With that, the car manages a 52:48 weight distribution. The interior is regular, typical BMW with a nice big display screen in the middle. The steering wheel has been beautifully designed. So glad that the hand brake is still here and hasn’t been replaced by those hideous parking buttons that are invading most modern cars. All in all, that M235i must really be a joy to drive and drift. I loved the inside and outside design even though I have some problems with the back and those two small exhaust tips. If you are looking forward to getting one, go crazy go for a red or a blue! It is a fun car after all!
One of the best city cars is proving its power once again by drag racing against some Fords, Audis and Porsches! You would be surprise but that Electric Smart was able to beat them all. The advertisement is clever considering it’s hard to find any open roads in today’s congested city streets. The Smart Fortwo takes on a big advantage in the first five metres, thanks to all of its torque being available immediately upon acceleration. I personally really like that machine. It is more solid that most production cars, can fit in unbelievably small parking spots, you can get it with the roof off and it is rear wheel drive! Really the best combo for a city car.
With the California T not only has Ferrari facelifted its most selling Ferrari of all times with more than 10,000 units sold but also has introduced the new generation of turbo engines, a first since the F40 back in 1987. That freshly engineered engine is a 3.9 liters twin turbocharged V8 releasing 553 hp and 557 lb-ft of torque. A whooping 70hp and 50% increase in torque compared to the previous model. (Keep in mind that the 458 Italia has 570hp and 398 lb-ft of torque). Turbo engines are always associated with turbo lag. Well, not this time. Ferrari has worked really hard on this new engine so it behaves as much like a normally aspirated unit as possible, both in its power and torque delivery and the way it sounds. In fact, turbos have been programmed so that a first turbo starts spooling at low revs and another kicks in at higher rpm. Power is delivered to the rear wheels via the Ferrari Dual Clutch 7 speed transmission. Look wise, the car looks much sportier compared to the previous model with that aggressive front end, aerodynamic air vents flowing from behind the front wheel and that rear diffuser. The exhaust finally went from stacked to sideways.
So what was it like to drive? To start with, sitting in it you do feel in a proper Ferrari with its massive paddleshifters, its refined leather, its steering wheel and its manettino switch. I really liked their new infotainment system, very interactive. Note that it will be updated very soon to “Car Play” by Apple that will allow you to completely synchronize you’re iPhone with the car. Driving wise, the car is very dynamic. There is practically no body roll. Suspension was firm in turns and comfortable on bumpy roads. Brakes have been massively improved, and beautifully calibrated so that the car doesn’t go sideways nor has the front that moves down even though it contains a massive V8 engine. Despite it being a turbo engine, you do not feel any turbo lag at all. Over all it was a wonderful experience specially based on the fact that I had a professional Ferrari test driver next to me advising me on how to extract the maximum fun and feel out of that test drive! Scuderia Lebanon thank you very much for this one of a kind opportunity you have given me. Looking forward to trying out other Italian beauties!
I want to start by highlighting how sexy that thing is. Even though it is the cheapest Mercedes Sedan you can buy, for me it looks much better than its bigger cousins. That front hood, that smashed rear with those beautiful rear stop lights, those two exhaust tips and all of that put together with a zest of aggressiveness, Mercedes created a category of their own, the “compact sedan”.
Being heavily based on the A200, it features the same interior, the same front-wheel-drive system, same seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and same 1.6 liters turbocharged 4 cylinder engine developing 156hp and 250nm of torque. Performance was pretty similar to the A class. You really have to push it in order to squeeze power out of it. But when you do, performance isn’t bad at all. Handling was fine, specially on those 18 inches wheels. Cruising around town, the CLA was very comfortable and its size wasn’t a hassle even on our small narrow streets. The active dynamic steering, front and back sensors and rear view camera made that thing a joy to park. You would be surprised but its boot is really big with a capacity of 470 liters (versus 341L for A-Class). In standard form, the CLA 200 comes with bi-xenon headlamps, a panoramic roof, leather seats, front and rear sensors, a rear view camera, cruise control and Bluetooth phone/audio connectivity. All of that for a total price of $58,500 in Lebanon.
All in all, loved the package, aesthetically speaking the car looks fine from the inside (except for that floating screen) and so damn hot from the outside. I think it is fairly priced for what it is worth and compared to prices of other sedans in Lebanon. In case you’re more of a performance junky you might want to consider the CLA250 with its 208hp. Other than that, the CLA200 would be just fine. Special thanks obviously goes to Mercedes Lebanon for putting that beautiful German creature in my hands for a weekend.