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!
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!
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.
To launch their brand new, re-branded facility, Auto Shine organised, in collaboration with the Porsche Club Lebanon, a trip to Deir el Qamar, taking advantage of its wonderful mountain roads and its delicious food. It all started at the Auto Shine facility next to Rondpoint el Adlieh where breakfast was served along with a small tour of the different new compartments of the flagship including:
• Car wash lanes fitted with reverse osmosis water filtering systems.
• Detailing services.
• Smart repairs (leather, fabric, dents & windshield).
• Specialized paint booth for seamless paint touchups.
• Dust free room for paint & film protection.
Mainly, Auto Shine promises to give back to your car it’s natural beauty as if it had just left the showroom. I saw a couple of cars they had treated, result was astonishing! One of those was a 2014 CarreraS 50th anniversary edition with its vintage look rims, its sport button and its exhaust button that I had the chance to drive all the way to Deir el Qamar. (Special thanks goes to Maher Abillama for giving me this unique privilege) YES the exhaust and sport button were on, YES I had the ultrasonically fast PDK paddle shifts in my hands and YES I was allowed to whip that thing to 7,500 RPM. The drive was sublime! the exhaust is perfectly engineered to let your ears cry whether your foot is on the gas or not. Oh FYI the 50th anniversary Carrera is equipped with a 3.8-litre flat-six engine which develops 430hp at 7400rpm (30 more than the original Carrera S). The special edition Carrera benefits from the wider body normally reserved for the Turbo and a re-programmed PASM adaptive suspension that synchronizes perfectly with your driving. Throttle response and the electric power steering are very sharp specially in sport mode. Interior was neat, clear, simple, and functional, perfectly German. Even on those twisty mountain roads, the car handled perfectly. It was really a great experience.
All in all it was a very nice roadtrip/launching event. It gave me the chance to learn more about the new products and services offered by Auto Shine, meet several members of the Porsche fan club and specially their president Mr. Joe Feghaly who owns a black tuned Turbo with more than 600hp on wheels. (You can check it out along with the rest of the pictures of the event right here) Hope to be riding shotgun in that monster very soon to witness what it’s all about. Joe is a huge motorhead chatting with him was a real pleasure. He even has a MK7 GTI with an ABT tune and ABT exhaust coming very soon as an everyday’s ride. Thanks again Auto Shine for the invite and for the Porsche Club for treating me as one of their own!
Make sure you have your headphones on and that the video is playing in HD because things are about to get LOUD. This is a short video that includes the sounds, of 34 amazing vehicles roaring to life! From the ’69 Jaguar E-Type’s quiet Inline-6 to the the rumble of the Aventador’s 6.5L V12 and the punch of the Saleen S7’s twin turbos, you don’t often have the pleasure of hearing these fire up! Each one of these cars is enough to get any petrolhead drooling so prepare to be amazed. Enough said, enjoy and feel free to let me know which ignition start you liked best.
It is never too late to review the launching event of one of the supercars I was really looking forward to see live, the Corvette C7 Stingray. The event itself was one of those regular, well organized, launching events at one of the official dealer’s showroom in Beirut with some top models here and there, local celebrities and a draw for a wonderful rolex at the end. At the contrary, the main car that was being introduced, wearing the Stingray badge, had nothing regular about it. Feel free to check the pictures of the event by clicking right here.
The new Vette is powered by a 6.2-litre V8, outputting 460bhp and 465 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels allowing it to burn the 0-100km/h in just 3.9 seconds. It is not only lighter than the old version but featured a revised chassis and has 4 drive modes: Comfort, Touring, Sport and Track. The comfort mode shots off 4 of the 8 cylinders when you’re light on the throttle in order to save fuel. The track mode in the contrary, is a whole different story, it weights-up the steering, opens up the exhausts and firms the dampers to make sure your levels of adrenaline reach new peaks! You may notice sort of paddle shifts behind the steering wheel even though it is a manual. Well those aren’t really paddle shifts. It is a system that, once turned on, makes sure your RPM stays high while you are shifting gears. Mimics the effects of a heels toe if you wish. Quite something! That thing must be a joy to drive can’t to try out that new manual gearbox!
Look wise, this thing looks amazing! Finally has a proper solid body not a plastic feel one like on the previous models. You have to see it pass by on the street to really know what I am talking about. Really deserve that Stingray badge. The signature 4 central exhaust tail pipes has been conserved. The interior looks good, the center console is driver oriented, the seats are well design and are quite comfortable nothing astonishing to mention though. Cherry on top you get all of that for the price of a Boxster! Starting price of this beauty is just around $100K in Lebanon. All in all, good job Chevy, that new born is going to make it into the history books.
A typical apocalyptic commercial for the official launch of the Huracan. You might think that Lamborghini has dropped the tradition of naming its car models after reputed bulls but you would be wrong. According to Lamborghini, Huracán was a bull that fought in Alicante in 1879. With its triple meaning of storm, Mayan god, and raging bull, this might be the coolest car name ever.
Considered the entry-level Lamborghini, what the California is to Ferrari, it is the replacement of the company’s best-selling model ever, the Gallardo. A worth successor? Powered by a 5.2-liter direct-injected V10 delivering 610 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque that bull would fly the 0-100 km/h in 3.2 seconds (0.2 faster than the 458). The chassis, the result of the combined work of Audi and Lambo weighs 10 per cent less than the Gallardo, but is 50 per cent stiffer thanks to the use of carbon fiber and aluminum. Transmitting the immense power to the new freshly engineered all wheel drive system is a 7 speed dual clutch gear box. A clever feature allows you to hold the left hand paddle as you’re braking hard, entering a corner, automatically the lowest gear possible will be selected in order to provide you with maximum acceleration out of it. All those elements can react differently to the click of a button, the ANIMA (translates as ‘soul’ in Italian) on the bottom of the steering wheel which is much like Ferrari’s Manettino dial.
Being a mix of Aventador and Gallardo, that beast look angry! And it sounds very angry too, judging by that apocalyptic launching ad which reminds me of the Aventador launching commercial released a couple of years ago. The world is coming to an end, the earth’s 5 elements are going crazy and your Lambo is your only key of survival! So, a worth successor? I would say definitely yes even though I think a couple of more ponies could have fitted under the hood. When Ferrari is extracting 570hp out of its V8, 610hp is a bit short for a V10. Yep I would still get a 458 over that massive bull. Oh oh and I forgot to mention, there is a Huracan coming to Lebanon in a couple of month and I met its owner 😉 So stay tuned to TheAdsGarage instagram account to have a first glimpse at it!
As carfreaks, you must have seen the Ken Block’s Gymkhana 6 by now. If you haven’t check the KenBlock Category of TheAdsGarage ASAP!! Here below is the same Gymkhana filmed entirely with a couple of brand new GoPro Hero3+ and edited by GoPro themselves. Not only it is an awesome way for GoPro to advertise their new born and prove, once again, that it is the most versatile camera you can buy but also, an Epic way of letting us enjoy that last Gymkhana in a bunch of new angles. I think there is no better way of feeling the thrill of the drift while sitting at home!
On Sunday the 26th of January, I was invited to Biel, Beirut to attend the launching of the new stallion from Ferrari, the awaited 458 Speciale. The event was very well organised and the setting was perfect. We had a couple of F12 Berlinetta, Enzo, 599 GTO and other custom made 458 to admire while waiting for the rest of the guests to arrive. All the pictures of the event are available by clicking right here.
The Major announcements before the Speciale arrived were the official transfer of the Ferrari importer-ship in Lebanon from Sport Motors Group s.a.l. to Scuderia Lebanon s.a.l. and the introduction of a ultra-modern facility located in Dbayeh, offering showrooms for new and pre-owned Ferraris in addition to a “state of the art” workshop all under the management of Mr. Hassan Haidar.
“So, that Speciale, what do you think of it and is it worth upgrading from a regular 458?” Is the question I asked to a couple of 458 owners to which they all answered with a radical No. No because the regular 458 is so good, so well balanced, so fun to drive, that topping it is very very hard. Ferrari did add 30hp and melt its weight by 90kg and add a couple of active aerodynamics here and there but that is not a major enhancement compared to the awesomeness of the 458, it is not ground braking (Yep they had already test driven that Speciale!!). They all added that, upgrading from a F430 to a F430 Scuderia was worth it at the time but in that new generation not really. You are free to check the full review of the 458 Speciale by clicking right here. Oh and btw we got that awesome gift on the way out signed by Luca di Montezemolo himslef!