Category Archives: Reviews

2016 Ford Shelby GT350/GT350R Mustang

After a long 45-year anticipation, the iconic Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 is back. And along with it came a race-ready version that is like no other before it, the GT350R!

The GT350/GT350R models are truly marvels of engineering that redefine the capabilities of American muscle cars. What makes these cars so special is the engineering technology that went into making them.

Both the GT350 and GT350R produce 526 hp  and 429 lb-ft of torque through a 32 valve 8200 rpm naturally aspirated engine! May we say more? Well maybe we can talk about the Flat Plane crankshaft? Yes you heard right, a technology reserved for the high revving supercars (the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini) is used on an American muscle car. This special piece of engineering provides more responsive, higher revving capabilities through a lighter and more compact design, compared to the regular Crossplane crankshaft that all other muscle cars have.

The GT350R is a race-ready car that can be driven on the street. It is not only able to accelerate at a mind-blowing 3.9 seconds from 0-60 mph, it can also handle its way through the corners like a race car should. The fact that this car comes without an air-conditioning unit and without a radio is an indicator that its main purpose in life is to be raced on the track. Those luxuries can of course be added through an electronic package.

Both the GT350 and the GT350R models have the same engine specifications, however the GT350R is about 60 lbs. lighter mostly due to its carbon fiber wheels. Those wheels are produced by Carbon Revolution in Australia and would normally cost $5,000 a piece if bought separately. This makes the GT350R slightly faster by 0.2 seconds for 0-60 and 0.3 seconds for the 1/4 mile (12.1 seconds @ 119.6 mph for the GT350R and 12.4 @ 117.8 mph for the GT350).

How is the GT350R different from the GT350? Oh just a few changes really. The GT350R has (and does not have) the following:

  • 19'' Carbon fiber wheels
  • No rear seat
  • No rear-view camera
  • No radio and no air-conditioning (can be added with an additional $3,000 electronic package most of us would get)

How are they similar? Both come with standard:

  • 5.2L Ti-VCT V8 with Flat Plane Crank
  • MagneRide™ Damping System (Adjustable magnetic shocks)
  • 373 Torsen limited-slip differential
  • TREMEC® 6-speed manual transmission
  • RECARO® cloth sport seats with Miko® suede inserts
  • 15.5 inch brembo breaks - 6-piston in the front, 4-piston in the rear
  • 305mm. tires in the front, 315mm. in the back

It is unbelievable that the GT350 costs only $47,000 and its race-ready brother just $16,000 more, for a total of $63,000. It is also very interesting that Ford has limited the production of the GT350R.  A total of 526 cars were produced in 2016. This definitely adds a collectability aspect to this vehicle that should be seriously considered for car enthusiasts in the market to buy a new car

With the GT350/GT350R Ford produced a car that any car enthusiast would love to have. It is fun to drive both on the street and on the track, it looks great and it sounds even better! An American muscle car that can produce more down-force than a 911 GT3 at 100 mph is not a small achievement. Ford Performance has really made the Mustang they have always wanted to make!

2017 AUDI R8 V10 PLUS

The 2017 Audi R8 V10 Plus is the latest incarnation of the highly successful R8 platform that was first introduced in 2006. The qualities of the R8, being part of a family of great German engineering achievements, are well known and enjoyed by many. This model (just like all previous versions of the R8), is exclusively designed, developed, and manufactured by Audi AG's high performance private subsidiary company, Audi Sport GmbH (formerly Quattro GmbH), and is based on the Lamborghini Gallardo platform.

The R8 platform has been very popular since its inception and the car grew consistently in popularity in the first 5 years (even Tony Stark is driving one). However in recent years the R8 has lost some if it's fame due mostly to competition improvements. There have not been many changes to the R8 until now, which is a testament of German quality and engineering being a few years ahead of the others. The 2017 R8 however, has been "refreshed"!

At first look you will think that the car has not changed much but if you look closely, you'll see that the R8's design has been modernized for 2017, with sharper angles, new headlights and taillights and most prominently a redesigned front fascia and a diminished in size side blade compared to the previous model.

In the interior, the center-mounted infotainment system is replaced by an LCD gauge cluster that tells you everything you need to know. What's left is a more raw, driver-centered interior that resembles a fighter jet's cabin, especially with the new steering wheel that's completely filled with buttons that control things like: engine start/stop, exhaust loudness, transmission settings and of course performance settings.

The new R8 is offered only with a naturally aspirated V10 engine. The regular R8 now comes standard with a 540-hp version of the 5.2-liter V10, and the upgraded R8 V10 Plus version produces a monstrous 610 hp. All-wheel drive is standard as with all the previous year models, but the 6-speed manual transmission is now replaced entirely by the formerly optional 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. In a nutshell here are the most impressive facts about this car:

  • 5.2-liter V10 FSI engine with 540-610 hp depending on the model
  • Seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission
  • Mid-engine design • 100% lightweight construction with Audi Space Frame (ASF)
  • Permanent quattro four wheel drive
  • Carbon fiber-reinforced ceramic brake discs
  • R8 performance steering wheel with multifunction plus and performance mode
  • Audi virtual cockpit
  • Bucket seats

Despite the removal of the manual transmission one of the major intangible improvements of the 2017 model is the fun factor. While previous models have been known to be less exciting to drive, due to the technology getting in the way between the driver and the road, the 2017 model is evidently a lot of fun to drive! So now a lucky owner of one of these cars cannot only just brag about the following impressive performance facts but he/she can also feel the excitement in the gut, which is actually what it is really all about! Here are the numbers:

  • 0-60 in 2.9''
  • Quarter Mile in 10.6''@ 192.8 MPH
  • 1.01 G (AVG) Lateral Acceleration
  • 60-0 Breaking in 103 ft.
  • Top Speed: 205 MPH

In my opinion, the 2017 Audi R8 V10 Plus is definitely an improvement over the previous model. Technology is good but feeling is most important. This is what builds stronger bonds between a car and its driver. Combine that with a mid-engine design and you have a car that has reached a level of perfection not easily rivaled by others! To those who can afford this, it is a well spent $190,000!

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

And God said: "Let there be the 2015 Corvette Z06"!

This pretty much sums up my review! I mean come on... 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque? First thing that comes to my mind is the barf bags that people will need when riding in this car!

Chevy set out to make the best Corvette ever made and they managed that. This is an extraordinary car. It is a huge improvement over the last Chevy flagship, the ZR1, and as every bit much as fun to drive but with a lot more quality and refinement where it matters most.

The 2015 Corvette Z06 makes 650 hp, 650 lb-ft of torque and costs between $79,000 and $105,00 for the top Z07 package, which makes it both tremendously fast and unbelievably cheap. Its supercharged, 6.2-liter, direct-injected pushrod V8 LT4 engine is not as technologically advanced as some of its competitors but it is simple and extremely efficient. The Z06 comes with standard magnetic dampers and carbon-fiber body panels. The optional carbon ceramic brakes are almost a must if you intend to drive this car on the track, although the base configuration brakes will do just fine for street driving.

The first thing you notice when driving this car (yes I actually drove one) is how fast it is. The down-force generated by the various aerodynamic design elements creates 500 lbs of force at high speeds, which is absurd for any car. When it comes to extreme fun factor the Z06 is the car to have!

The Z06 has been ranked among the world’s best, competing with and outperforming the likes of the $353,115 McLaren 650S Spider, $274,120 Lamborghini Huracan and $163,000 Porsche 911 GT3 and the $230,000 Ferrari 458 Italia. It is obvious that the value you get for the money is unbeatable!

Here are some impressive facts:

Specs

  • Engine: 6.2L V8 Supercharged
  • Power: 650 hp
  • Torque: 650 lb-ft
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic or 7-speed manual
  • Wheelbase: 109.7 in
  • Curb Weight: 3,533 lb (51/49%)
  • Base Price: $79,000
  • Price as Tested: $105,210

Performance Metrics

  • 3.2/2.9 seconds 0-60
  • 10.9 seconds @ 127 MPH Quarter Mile
  • 1.16 G (AVG) Lateral Acceleration
  • 60-0 Breaking in 91 ft.
  • Top Speed: 185 mph

This is a beautiful car both inside and outside. Corvette's have been continuously improving from year to year. This one has gone a step farther, adding the appropriate mix of technologies such as a magnetic suspension and an electronic feedback loop between the suspension, the steering and the differential that works in milliseconds to help tame this 650 hp monster, without getting in the way of fun!

A few cars can make you smile as much as this one! And wow, that exhaust has to be the best exhaust ever made! I really want one in my garage!