First Drive: 2017 Subaru Impreza WRX


At the 2017 Houston Auto Show, I got to test drive a 2017 Subaru Impreza. It comes with a 2.0L H4 engine that produces 152 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque. Subaru has a turbocharged version of the Impreza, the Impreza WRX. Subaru had one available to test drive at the 2017 Houston Auto Show. The version that I test drove came with the optional CVT transmission. A six speed manual transmission is standard for the WRX. The WRX comes with an all-wheel drive system. Subaru is known for its flat boxer engines and its all-wheel drive system.

The WRX has a sporty look it. The hood scoop adds to the aggressive styling. The version I drove was the WRX Premium, which comes with foglamps, 18 x 8.5-inch aluminum alloy wheels. It also came with cloth seats. The WRX Premium also comes with manually adjusted driver and passenger seats. I had plenty of head room and leg room behind the wheel.

The WRX is powered by a turbocharged 2.0L H4 engine that produces 268 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds withe CVT and 5.4 seconds with the 6 speed manual transmission. It has a top speed of 155 mph. Like the Impreza, the WRX has a smooth ride. The extra 104 hp is very noticable. This car is very fun to drive. The WRX starts at $26,695, The WRX Premium starts at $28,995. The WRX Limited starts at $30,995. You do get a lot of bang for your buck with the WRX.

Overall, this is a fun sports sedan to drive. It has a smooth ride, plenty of room for a compact sedan, and is reasonably priced. The WRX solves the Impreza’s lack of power. For those who need more power, there is the WRX STi, which comes with a 2.5L turbocharged H4 engine that produces 305 hp and 290 lb-ft of torque. The STi starts at $35,195. There are vehicles with V6 engine that do not have power of the WRX or the STi engine. With the WRX, you can get a fun compact sports sedan for under $30,000.

CarJunkie

Photo was taken by a digital camera.

To see more car related articles, check out http://carjunkie713.blogspot.com/.

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First Drive: 2017 Subaru Impreza Sedan


My favorite thing about the Houston Auto Show is the ride and drive. I should have done it in 2011. My first experience doing the ride and drive at the Houston Auto Show was in 2012, when I test drove four cars. One of those was the 2012 Subaru Impreza Sedan. At the 2017 Houston Auto Show, I got behind of the wheel of a 2017 Subaru Impreza Sedan. I version I drove has the Impreza 2.0i Sport Sedan. It also came with the optional CVT transmission. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on the Impreza sport sedan.

The Impreza Sport Sedan looks like a proper sports sedan compared to the other two Impreza trims. The black trim across the grill and the 18″ aluminum wheels gives it an aggressive look. It has a more aggressive appearance compared to the 2012 Impreza I drove. The Impreza Sport comes with cloth seats. The center console is simplistic and the touchscreen was easy to use, especially for someone not familiar with Subaru’s infotainment system. I had plenty of leg room and head room behind the wheel.

The Subaru Impreza is powered by a 2.0L H4 engine that produces 152 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque. That is an increase of 4 hp from the Impreza I drove in 2012 although torque remained the same. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 9.2 seconds, It did not have much acceleration and I did not feel that much power. But while the Impreza lacks in acceleration in power, it makes up for with a quiet and smooth ride. Prices for the Subaru Impreza start at $18,395. The Impreza 2.0i sport sedan starts at $21,995. That is not much for an all-wheel drive compact sedan.

Overall, the Impreza sedan does its job. It is a good vehicle of choice for new drivers and first time buyers with its starting price point and practicality. The sport trim has much better exterior styling compared to the other Impreza trims. It is lacking in the power and performance department. For those who want power and performance, there is the Subaru WRX and STi versions.

CarJunkie

Photo was taken by a digital camera.

To see more car related articles, check out http://carjunkie713.blogspot.com/.

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First Drive: 2017 Maserati Levante/Levante S


Maserati has been making cars since 1914. In over 100 years, Maserati has never made a SUV. The luxury SUV is a growing market. Porsche has the Cayenne. In 2016, Bentley came out with the Bentayga, Jaguar released the F-Pace, and Tesla released the Model S. In 2016, Maserati came out with the Levante, a mid-size luxury SUV. The Levante comes in two powertrains, both are 3.0L twin-turbo V6 engines paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Levante gets 346 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque from its engine. The Levante S get 424 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque. But is the Levante worthy of the trident? Read more

First Drive: 2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat


My personal car is a 2015 Dodge Challenger R/T Plus. It is powered by a 5.7L Hemi V8 that produces 372 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. There is also the Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack and the Dodge Challenger SRT 392 that are powered by a 6.4L V8 that produces 485 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque. When Dodge came out with a refresh for the Challenger for the 2015 model year, Dodge and SRT decided to up the horsepower and torque even more. Dodge put its first ever supercharged Hemi V8 engine in the Challenger, calling it the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. The car comes with two different key fobs for two power outputs. When the red key fob is used, the Hellcat engine puts out 707 hp. When the black key fob is used, the Hellcat engine puts out 500 hp. I got to get behind the wheel of the Challenger SRT Hellcat, but with the black key fob. I have been in the passenger seat when the red key was in use.

The SRT Hellcat looks like most Challengers, but there are a few things that make the Hellcat stand out. First, the hood has two side openings in addition to the opening in the middle of the hood. The Challenger SRT 392 has only the opening in the middle of the hood. The Hellcat I drove had the optional black satin hood. The Hellcat front inner light bulb on the driver side has been removed and replaced with an air intake. The Hellcat also does not have fog lights. It does have a unique front diffuser. The Hellcat does come with 20″ matte black forged wheels as standard. The one I drove has 20″ brass monkey forged wheels. The Hellcat comes with a black spoiler in the rear. This car looks fast. The Hellcat I drove comes with black leather seats that are heated and ventilated in the front. It has an 8.4 inch touchscreen with navigation.

The Challenger SRT Hellcat is powered by a supercharged 6.2L V8 engine that produces 707 hp with the red key fob and 500 hp with the black key fob. There is also a valet mode that limits the hp to 350. The Challenger SRT Hellcat also get 650 lb-ft of torque from its engine. It comes with a six-speed manual transmission, but the one I drove came with the eight-speed automatic transmission. 0 to 60 mph time for the Hellcat is 3.6 seconds and has a top speed between 199 mph. I was only able to drive the Hellcat with the black key fob, but I have been in the passenger seat when the red key fob was active. This car is fast. It is the most powerful car I have ever been in. Even with all that power, it is quite comfortable to drive. It is smooth on the roads. It is hard to hear anything with the high performance engine and exhaust. This is a car you need to be careful with this car because the rear likes to get out from under you. The car will fishtail if you floor the gas pedal from a dead stop. I have been in the Hellcat when it has fishtailed. But once it took off, I was pinned to the back of my seat. Prices for the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat start at $65,290 which includes a $1,700 gas guzzler tax. The version I drove has a listed price of $73,765. Compare to other vehicles with over 600 hp, the Challenger SRT Hellcat is a bargain.

Overall, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is one fast muscle car. It is scary fast. It gets up and goes. Its performance rivals many supercars, but at a fraction of the price. It is a bargain compared to Ferraris, McLarens, and Lamborghinis. I have driven supercharged vehicles and non of them were as powerful as the Hellcat. One problem the Hellcat has is getting all that power to the ground. The rear tires are not wide enough to handle all the power and it will fishtail if the power is not managed properly.

CarJunkie

Photo was taken by a camera phone.

To see more car related articles, check out http://carjunkie713.blogspot.com/.

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Wrestlers You Need To Know: Kazuchika Okada

New Japan Pro Wrestling is one of my favorite wrestling promotion. When I was in college, I watched older matches from NJPW involving Jushin “Thunder” Liger, Masahiro Chono, and Keiji Mutoh/Great Muta. I got back into NJPW when I watched NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 9 on PPV with the legendary Jim Ross on commentary. I also got to see NJPW matches on AXS TV. The current ace of NJPW is “Rainmaker” Kazuchika Okada.

Image result for kazuchika okada iwgp

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Wrestlers You Need To Know: Shinsuke Nakamura

After starting off the new article series with current WWE Heavyweight Champion A.J. Styles, time to head to WWE’s developmental territory NXT. This next wrestler is The King of Strong style and is the current NXT Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura.

Image result for shinsuke nakamura Read more

Wrestlers You Need To Know: A.J. Styles

In addition to cars, I enjoy professional wrestling. I have seen matches from multiple promotions and I have decided to write articles on wrestlers that casual fans may or may not be aware of. What better way to start this new series than with the current WWE Heavyweight Champion A.J. Styles.

Image result for aj styles wwe

 

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First Drive: Fiat 124 Spider


The original Fiat 124 Spider was built between 1966 and 1980. It was a two door, front engine, rear-wheel drive convertible. In 2016, Fiat released a two door, front engine, rear-wheel drive roadster, the Fiat 124 Spider. It is produced in Horishima, Japan along with the Mazda MX-5 Miata. The Fiat 124 Spider shares a platform with the MX-5 Miata. However, the 124 Spider is five inches longer, has a different engine, and shares no body panels with the MX-5 Miata. I was able to test drive the 124 Spider at a local dealership in Houston. The version I drove was the 124 Spider Classica, which came with cloth seats, a seven inch display, and a reverse camera. The version I drove came with the six-speed AISIN automatic transmission. A six-speed manual transmission is available as well.

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Spotlight: Expressionist of the Month – May 2015

Variety is the spice of life, but not all web sites share this philosophy. Many web sites devote all their attention to one topic, some niche corner of geekdom that they can obsess over. Be it movies or video games, comics or cartoons, most web sites pick a topic and settle in.

Thats where Manic Expression is different. Oh sure, you’ll find the usual nerd discussions going on here. “Was Age of Ultron better than the first Avengers movie?” 
“Who was the best Doctor Who?” “Did Splinter really learn ninjitsu from a book he found or was that a fever dream I was having?” But sometimes we talk politics, or we get poetry or fiction from our writers. Sometimes we get car reviews.

Car Junkie has been a member of Manic Expression for a long time now, practically since the beginning. I remember the first time I saw one of his reviews on our site. I got excited. By the topic… Well, no. I’ll be honest: I don’t care about cars. Hell, I don’t even have a drivers license, never have. I couldn’t tell you anything about top speeds or which car has the best engine, and if you tried to explain it to me I would probably glaze over pretty quickly. It’s just not my thing.

So why was I excited? Because Car Junkie was doing something different. In a site filled with movie reviews and Let’s Plays, he took a shot that people might find his own personal passion interesting. Year after year he has continued to share with us what he thinks is interesting about the topic he loves to talk about. Not only that but he was integral to making Outstanding Content a success, giving his time to help celebrate his community.

What makes me smile every time I log on to Manic Expression is the variety. We’re a weird assortment of people, aren’t we? Westerns, My Little Pony, politics – there’s a little something for everyone here. Whatever is on our mind, whatever means something to us, that’s what each of us brings to the table. Car Junkie loves cars. Loves to talk cars. Gets excited about cars. Wants you to know how excited he is about cars. And I’ll be damned if his excitement doesn’t rub off.

First Impression: Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Spyder Performante


Lamborghini has been producing the Gallardo since 2003. There have been several versions of the Gallardo, including two different Gallardo Superleggeras. In 2010, Lamborghini decided to make a convertible version of the Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera, calling this version the Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder Performante. The Gallardo Performante weighs 321 lbs more than the Gallardo Superleggera, but the Performante still weighs 143 lbs less than the standard Gallardo Spyder.

I first saw the Gallardo Performante at the November 2011 edition of Houston Cars and Coffee. I love the styling of this car. It looks aggressive and fast. I do not think that the Gallardo Superleggera needed to be a convertible, but it looks awesome. The carbon fiber accents helps the car stand out. It works with the Gallardo Superleggera and it works with the Gallardo Performante. The Performante is one of the better looking convertibles out there and is one of the best looking versions of the Gallardo.

The Gallardo Performante is powered by a 5.2L V10, paired with a six-speed e-gear transmission, that produces 570 hp and 398.3 lb-ft of torque. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and reaches a top speed of 201 mph. The price for the Performante is $248,000. A standard Gallardo has a base price of $205,000. The Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder starts at $224,600. The Gallardo Superleggera starts for $237,600. The Gallardo Performante has the same top speed and is 0.1 seconds quicker to 60 mph than the Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder. Based on performance, the Performante is overpriced. But the standard Gallardo Spyder does not have the styling that the Performante has.

The Gallardo Performante has been featured on Clarkson: Powered Up, Fifth Gear, and The Car Show.

Final Thought: I love the styling of the car. It looks aggressive. But the Gallardo Performante is not as quick or as fast as a Gallardo Superleggera, yet is costs over $10,000 more than the Superleggera. Then again, convertibles are usually more expensive that coupes. Whether you go with the Gallardo Performante or the Gallardo Superleggera, you will get one stylish, fast supercar.

CarJunkie

Photo taken from a digital camera.

Originally written on November 12, 2011

First Impression: Aston Martin V12 Vantage


Aston Martin is known for making cars with power, beauty and soul. In 2005, Aston Martin started production of the Vantage. The Vantage is a beautiful car, but it weighs over 3,400 lbs. The 4.3L and 4.7L V8 engines were lacking in power. In 2009, Aston Martin decided to put the 6.0L V12 engine found in the DBS and put it in the Vantage. The result is a faster version of Vantage, called the Aston Martin V12 Vantage.

I recently saw the V12 Vantage and the 2011 edition of Houston Cars and Coffee. I thought it was just another Vantage until I saw what was under the hood. The V12 engine barely fits in the engine compartment, even after the space-saving modifications done to the engine compartment. The V12 Vantage gets new rear diffuser, an adjustable rear-spoiler, carbon-ceramic breaks, carbon fiber trunk lid, and and vented carbon fiber hood. These changes improve the styling of a beautiful car. I just love the styling of all current Aston Martins.

The V12 Vantage is powered by a 6.0L V12 engine, paired with a six-speed manual transmission, that produces 510 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. The V12 Vantage goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and reaches a top speed of 190 mph. Prices for the V12 Vantage start at $176,995 dollars, plus a destination charge of $1,615 and a $3000 gas guzzler tax. This car is beautiful, fast, and a little bit expensive. But few cars can match the styling of an Aston Martin. It is definitely $60,000 better than the standard Vantage.

The V12 Vantage has been reviewed by Jeremy Clarkson during Top Gear Series 13, Episode 7. Rutledge Wood reviewed the car during Top Gear US Season 1, Episode 2. The V12 Vantage has also made a stop at Jay Leno’s garage. The V12 Vantage has also been featured on Top Gear Australia, Top Gear Apocalypse, Clarkson: Duel, and Cars.TV. The V12 Vantage is playable in Test Drive Unlimited 2, Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, Need For Speed: World, Need For Speed: The Run, Forza Motorsport 3, Forza Motorsport 4, and Driver: San Francisco.

Final Thoughts: This is a much improved Vantage. It is more powerful and better looking than the V8 Vantage. It is still not as beautiful as the DBS or DB9. The V8 Vantage has beauty and soul, but lacks power. The V12 Vantage as beauty, soul and power. The V8 Vantage was overpriced at $120,000, but the V12 Vantage is worthy of the near $180,000 price tag.

CarJunkie

Photo taken from a digital camera.

Originally written on November 5, 2011

First Impression: Maserati GranTurismo/GranCabrio


In 2002, Maserati produced the fifth generation of the Quattroporte. In 2007, Maserati started production on the coupe derived from the Quattroporte body, called the GranTurismo. In 2010, Maserati released a convertible version of the GranTurismo, called the GranCabrio. The GranTurismo is a front-engine, rear-wheel drive, 2+2 grand tourer. The GranTurismo originally came with 4.2L V8, but in 2008, Maserati came out with the GranTurismo S that featured a 4.7L V8.

The GranTurismo and GranCabrio make occasional appearances at Houston Cars and Coffee events. I have seen a few GranTurismos and GranCabrios on the roads of Houston. These cars are beautiful. They are very stylish cars. While interning at Pininfarina, Jason Castriota designed these cars. I have friends who are not car guys, yet they like the styling of Maseratis.

The GranTurismo is powered by a 4.2L V8, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, that produces 400 hp and 340 lb-ft of torque. It goes from 0 to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds and reaches a top speed of 177 mph. The GranTurismo S, GranTursimo S Automatic, and GranCabrio are powered by a 4.7L V8 that produces the 434 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque. The GranTurismo S Automatic and GranCabrio come with the six-speed automatic transmission. The GranTurismo S uses a six-speed dual-clutch semi-automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The Gran Cabrio goes from 0 to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds and reaches a top speed of 176 mph. The GranTurismo S and S Automatic go from 0 to 60 mph in under 5 seconds and reach a top speed of 181 mph. Prices for the GranTurimo start at $118,900. The GranTurismo S goes for $122,500. The GranCabrio starts at $136,300. The GranTurismo and GranCabrio are great sports car.  They do not have the performance of a supercar. The price is fair for high performing sports cars.

The GranCabrio has been reviewd on Fifth Gear and RTL Autowereld. The GranTurismo and its variants have been featured on Reaper, Motorweek, Clarkson: Thriller, A Gifted Man, RTL Autowereld, Auto Esporte, Amazing Race, Top Gear Australia, LOpuKHI, and Fifth Gear. Top Gear featured the car during Series 6, Episode 5. The GranCabrio is playable in Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit. The GranTurismo and its variants are playable in Driver: San Francisco, Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, Forza Motorsport 2, Forza Motorsport 3, Forza Motorsport 4, Need For Speed: Shift, Shift 2: Unleashed, and Gran Turismo 5.

Final Thoughts: These are fast, highly stylish grand tourers. The GranTurismo and GranCabrio do not have the performance of a super car. The price is fair for these cars. Jason Castriota did a great job designing these cars and I cannot wait to see how he designed the SSC Tuatara. If these cars were faster and had more power, they would be competing against Ferrari. I do not think that Fiat wants Maserati and Ferrari competing against each other. Ferrari and Maserati were once rivals, now they are both owned by Fiat. The GranTurismo and GranCabrio are good alternatives to a Ferrari, but they do not match the prestige nor the performance of a Ferrari. However, Maseratis are $100,000 less than the Ferrari 458 and $200,000 less than the Ferrari 599 GTB. If you want a high performing sports car, then go with a Maserati. If you want something Italian and can go over 190 mph, then go with a Ferrari.

CarJunkie

Photos taken from a camera phone.

Originally written on October 23, 2011

4

Classic Car: BMW Z8


Henrik Fisker is responsible for some of the most beautiful cars ever made. He designed the Aston Martin V8 Vantage and worked with Ian Callum on designing the Aston Martin DB9. He also designed the BMW Z8. The Z8 is two-door, two-seater, front-engine, rear-wheel drive roadster with a hardtop. The Z8’s production run was from 1999 to 2003, with 5,703 Z8s built.

I recently saw the Z8 at the April 2011 and October 2011 editions of Houston Cars and Coffee. This is one beautiful car. Both times, the Z8 had the top up. One Z8 had the hood up and the engine looks great. It is great to see a car used in a James Bond film in person. I just love the styling of the Z8.

The Z8 is powered by a BMW Motorsport 4.9L V8 engine from the E39 M5, paired with a six-speed manual transmission, that produces 394 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque. The Z8 goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and has a limited top speed of 155 mph. Disengage the limiter and the Z8 will reach a top speed 186 mph. A new Z8 went for $128,000. It is beautiful and fast. It maybe a little bit expensive by late 90’s early 2000’s standards, but there is nothing like it on the road.

The Z8 was featured in James Bond: The World is Not Enough, Honey, Mischief 3000, It’s All Gone Pete Tong, Fastlane, and the Tuxedo. Motorweek has reviewed it. It also has been featured on Clarkson: No Limit and Jeremy Clarkson: Head to Head. Clarkson reviewed the Alpina Z8 during Series 2, Episode 3, where he says the car has terrible handling. The Z8 is also playable in The World is Not Enough, James Bond 007: Agnet Under Fire, 007 Racing, Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2, Crackdown, Project Gotham Racing 3, Drift City, Drag Racer, Drag Racer 3, Need For Speed GT, Forza Motorsport 4, Pursuit Force, Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice, and GT Racing: Motor Academy.

This is one of the best looking cars I have ever seen that came from Germany. It is one of the all time greats that wears the BMW badge. Even though it went out of production in 2003, the cheapest Z8 I saw for sale was $88,000. A new Z8 went for $125,000. A Corvette made during the production run goes from $14,000 to $50,000. The Z8 keeps its value and I have seen a few Z8s go for over $125,000 on Auto Trader. The Z8 is definitely a collector’s car, especially when it people are selling it above its original selling price. The Z8 is beautiful and is fast. Anyone who collects German cars needs to have a Z8 in his/her collection. It is good car for cruising, whether the top is up or down.

CarJunkie

Photos taken from a camera phone.

Originally written on October 16, 2011

First Impression: Lotus Evora


Lotus is known for making rear-mid engine sports cars with incredible handling. In 2009, Lotus started production on a rear-mid engine, rear-wheel drive, two-door, two-seat or 2+2 seat sports car in 2009, the Lotus Evora. The Evora uses a different platform from the Elise and Exige. The Evora earned EVO Magazine’s “Car of the Year 2009,” CAR Magazine’s “Peformance Car of the Year 2009,” and Autocar’s “Britain’s Best Driver’s Car 2009” awards.

 

I first saw the Lotus Evora at the 2011 Houston Auto Show and at the October 2011 edition of Houston Cars and Coffee. It has good styling, but the styling is not as aggressive as the Exige styling. It is a little bit longer than the Elise and Exige. It can come with 2+2 seating arrangement, but only small children could fit in the rear seats. The Evora also weighs 3,000 lbs, which is 1,000 lbs. more than the Exige.

 

The Evora is powered by a Toyota 3.5L V6 engine that can be supercharged and is paired with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The standard V6 engine produces 276 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The Evora goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and reaches a top speed of 162 mph. The Evora S comes with a supercharged 3.5L V6 that produces 345 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The Evora S goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds and reaches a top speed of 172 mph. Prices for the Evora start at $65,157 and prices for the Evora S start at $81,175. That is incredible performance out of a V6 engine. The Evora and Evora S are great performing cars, but the Evora S is almost as expensive as the Nissan GT-R, but the Evora S is not as quick or as fast as the GT-R. The price for the Evora is fair for what you get with the Evora.

 

Adam Ferrara drove a Lotus Evora in Florida during Top Gear US Season 1, Episode 6. The American Stig drove the Evora around Top Gear US test track in 1:28.4. Top Gear UK reviewed the Evora during Series 13, Episode 1. The British Stig drove the Evora around the Top Gear UK test track in 1:25.7. Fifth Gear and Motorweek have also reviewed the Evora. The Evora is playable in Need For Speed: World, Gran Turismo 5, Need For Speed: The Run, Forza Motorsport 3, Asphalt 5, GT Racing: Motor Academy, Test Drive Unlimited 2, Forza Motorsport 4, Carbon Auto Theft 2, and Real Racing 2.

 

Final Thought: This is another great car from Lotus. It is one of the fastest cars to wear the Lotus badge. It is a little bit longer and about 1,000 lbs. heavier than the Elise and Exige, but the Evora still handles very well. Lotus continues its tradition of performance, styling, and handling with the Evora. With what comes standard in the Evora plus the performance and the handling, $65,000 is a good price. The Evora S is overprice at $81,000. The Evora S acceleration to 60 mph is only 0.3 seconds quicker and only goes 10 mph faster than the standard Evora. The addition of a supercharger should not cost $16,000 if it slightly improves the performance of the car. The Evora is a good buy. One should get the Evora S if he or she needs a car can be used as a weekend car and as a track day car.

 

CarJunkie

Photo taken from a camera phone and a digital camera.

Check out more car articles at http://carjunkie713.blogspot.com

Originally written on October 9, 2011

First Impression: Lotus Exige


The Lotus Elise has been used as a basis for other cars, including the Lotus Exige. The Exige is essentially the coupe version of the Elise. The Exige is two-door, mid-engine, rear-wheel drive sports car. The Hennessey Venom GT is based on the Exige.

The Exige is a regular at the Houston Cars and Coffee events. Star Motors brought an Exige at the 2011 Houston Auto Show. I love the styling of the car. It looks sportier and more aggressive than the Elise. The Exige weighs just over 2,000. It is lightweight and has good weight balance. The Exige is one of the best handling cars on the roads.

The Exige is powered by a 1.8L I4 engine, paired with a six-speed manual transmission, that produces 190 hp and 138 lb-ft of torque. The Exige goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and reaches a top speed of 147 mph. The Lotus Exige S has a supercharged 1.8L I4 engine that produces 218 hp and 158.6 lb-ft of torque.  The Exige S goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and reaches a top speed of 148 mph. The Exige S 240 gets 240 hp and goes from 0 to 60 mph in under 4.0 seconds. Prices for the Lotus Exige start at $65,690. The Lotus Exige has great performance, great handling, but it is a little bit pricey.

Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson reviewed the Exige during Series 4, Episode 1, where he tested the handling of the Exige by seeing if an Apache Gunship Helicopter can get a missle lock on the Exige, which it did not. Top Gear also reviewed the Exige S during Series 8, Episode 3. The Exige and its different versions are playable in Blur, Project Gotham Racing Series, Fuel, Sega GT 2002, Lotus Challenge, Asphalt: Urban GT, Test Drive Unlimited, Need For Speed Series, Forza Motorsports series, Real Racing 2, Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights, and many other racing games.

Final Thoughts: This is a great performing, stylish sports car. The 190 hp can easily get a 1 ton car up to speed quickly. Plus, the Exige is one of the best handling cars on the road. The price is a little high for what the Exige is plus not much comes standard on the Exige. But, what other car can avoid missile lock from an Apache Gunship Helicopter. A Dodge Viper could not evade missile lock. Lotuses in general do not have much standard and are a little bit over price for what you get standard. But, nothing handles as well as a Lotus. There is nothing on the road like a Lotus. Lotus have great styling that the Elise was used as the basis for the Tesla Roadster and the Exige was used as the basis for the Hennessey Venom GT. When you buy a Lotus, you are getting performance, handling, and styling. Few companies can give you cars with all three.

CarJunkie

Photo taken from a camera phone.

Check out more car articles at http://carjunkie713.blogspot.com

Originally written on October 9, 2011