2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet: Vicious Elegance

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I may have grown up around one of the earliest 911s in existence, but the first time I got behind the wheel of a Porsche, any Porsche, was when I was 19. It was a sinister black 1985 911 Turbo that was less than a year old. This was the car that struck fear into the hearts of Buick Grand National owners. One of the first cars to touch the 4 second zero to sixty. It was black on black, with the requisite fat fenders and whale tail. Every bit as extravagant as the decade it was born into.

That black beast spent a weekend with a buddy and I, a debauched weekend filled with sex, drugs, booze and stop light battles. It was the first time that I had seen the high side of 160 MPH. A chance meeting with an equally sinister looking black Buick on an empty street in Hamilton on Sunday morning gave me the opportunity to see if Zuffenhausen’s weapon could slay the quickest America had to offer. The Porker did not let me down.

It was not until the drive home that I learned that the borrowed car was not exactly borrowed, rather it had been liberated for the weekend. I shudder to think how different my life would be if I had been pulled over at nearly triple the double nickle in the unlawfully obtained turbo. Needless to say, that machine solidified the Porsche brand’s mystique in my young brain.
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Ross Bentley offers up free driving instructor Manifesto

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Recently I was more or less forced into the position of being a lapping day instructor. I understand this is often how it happens.

Organizer: We need more instructors. Grab a newbie and go.
Me: Dude, I am so not qualified to be an instructor.
Organizer: Man, I’ve been following you in that Jag. You’re fast as hell, you’ll do fine.
Me: Ummmm….ok, but I’m not promising anything.

Ok, so I don’t know when knowing your way around your home track and the ability to string together a few hot laps became the benchmark for becoming an instructor, but in this particular case, they had more absolute newbies than they had anticipated so a warm body who was able to keep it on the island was going to be enough.
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Second Annual Mazda Adventure Rally wrap-up

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Last year the folks at Mazda Canada decided to begin hosting an annual event that was unlike the usual car launch. Called the Mazda Adventure Rally, the event pitted journalist teams against each other in an attempt to win $10,000 for the charity of their choice. I was fortunate to be selected as part of the Toronto Star Wheels team, aptly named Team Star Wars along with my fellow Wheels scribe, Peter Bleakney. Of course our ride wore the most Canadian of all numbers, #27. The event took us through Colorado and Utah, across gold rush era mountain paths and through desert canyons. You can read about our incredible experience here and here.

For this year’s event, Team Star Wars was again invited to compete in the event, which would have much much greater secrecy leading up to the event to ensure that none of the competitors had a leg up on the other teams. That meant that we were boarded onto a chartered flight without any idea where we might be going. Ok, so that isn’t quite true. A few of us had it figured out and I had seen a tractor trailer loaded full of stickered MX-5s cruising down the highway in Toronto, so I knew what were were driving. I was a good boy though and didn’t spill the beans.
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Review: 2014 Dodge Dart GT

2014 Dodge DartI was at the New York Auto Show when Dodge took the wraps off of its new Dart, the first car the world would see as a result of Fiat’s take over of struggling Chrysler. Dodge’s last compact, the forgettable Caliber did not impress anyone, and I think it is fair to say Dodge would like us all to forget about that car. The media swarm at the Dart’s reveal was massive. And the Dodge execs hammered the fact this car has Alfa Romeo DNA. The press swooned. Normally at a car show, a new car is revealed, everyone moves on to the next press conference. This is when I get my pictures of the car. But not the Dart. The media never left. All day long, hours after the reveal, photographers and TV crews from around the world swarmed around the new Dart.

Unfortunately, us car journalist’s views do not always coincide with the general public. Sadly, since its debut, the Dodge Dart has been a slow seller. For that, it would not be fair to blame the Dart entirely. I feel that Dodge’s indifference to compact cars over the past several years simply has most new car buyers not even consider the brand. And I think with the Dart, Dodge execs recognize that. The person who has in mind a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla will not be swayed with the Dart. So, Dodge decided the Dart would not be a plain vanilla compact car.

Instead of a boring, appliance like device, the Dart is actually a very handsome car. Perfectly proportioned and dashing in design, the Dart is arguably one of the best looking compacts available today. There are plenty of styling cues from its big brother Charger that tie the Dart into the Dodge family, but it is not overdone. Our test car’s paint color, Header Orange, was over the top. Yes, you could literally see me coming a mile away. This is not your Grandma’s beige Corolla.

2014 Dodge Dart GTIf Dodge’s had a weak spot in the past, it was definitely in the interior. Thankfully, the Dart offers a tastefully done interior. For my family of three there was plenty of room, visibility was excellent, and the controls intuitive and easy to use. I especially liked the 8.4″ screen that controls navigation, audio, climate control and other functions. It is easily one of the best interfaces in the business. The quality of materials was above average for the price paid on the Dart. However, there is a downside. I wouldn’t call the Dart uncomfortable, but the ideal driving position seemed to elude me during my week with the car. As much fiddling I did, I nver felt like I was sitting in the car right.

As far as engines go, Dart buyers have three choices. Base Darts come with a 2.0L four rated at 160hp. The higher mileage Aero has a 1.4L turbo, also rated at 160hp. Our test car, the GT, features a 2.4L four rated at 184hp. All Darts come standard with a six-speed manual, and a six speed automatic is optional. The Aero model has a six-speed automated manual that has been criticized for slow, clunky shifts. Our Dart GT sounds aggressive at start up, and acceleration is frisky. However, EPA fuel economy ratings of 22/31 MPG City/Highway are pretty disappointing for a modern compact car. Handling and braking are excellent in our sport-tuned GT. The bottom line here is you crave great handling and an engine with attitude, and are willing to pay the price at the pump, the Dart GT may be for you.

You can get yourself into a Dart for $17,000 and change, but our test car was the GT, the sportiest iteration of the Dart. The base price on our car was $20,995USD. Standard equipment included Nappa leather seating, 8.4″ touch screen display, Bluetooth, dual zone auto climate control, heated seats, heated steering wheel, SiriusXM satellite radio, ambient LED interior lighting, power seats, fog lamps, 18″ alloys and dual exhaust tips. Our car’s options included the Technology Group (Rear park assist, blind spot and rear cross path detection, auto high beams, rain sensitive windshield wipers, ), and navigation. Including destination, our Dart GT rings in at a respectable $25,125.

2014 Dodge Dart GTIn the vast market of compact cars, the Dart is a unique option. Again, one gets the sense Dodge threw up their hands and decided no matter what they do, they will not sway any buyers of the Civic/Corolla crowd. So instead, we have a slightly edgier compact that is perfectly competent. But for the same money, you may have to give up a couple options, the VW GTI or Jetta GLI are far more satisfying rides. The Dart is a solid effort, and light years ahead of the Caliber. But with such lackluster fuel economy figures, a majoy factor in this class of car, I fear the Dart will continue to be a slow seller.

 

The 2014 Greenwich Concours d’Elegance: Part I

2014 Greenwich Concours d'Elegance

The 19th Greenwich Concours d’ Elegance: A Festival of Speed and Style was held over the weekend of May 31 – June 1 in Roger Sherman Baldwin Park by the Greenwich Harbor. The Connecticut Concours is just the right size – big enough for an incredible selection of cars, yet small enough so that every car on the field has a chance to parade by the stand at the end of the day. Concours organizers annually assemble a show of unique cars which can apply to show once every three years. Concours proceeds benefit AmeriCares programs.

Saturday is the Concours Americana where domestic antique automobiles share the lawn with 70’s muscle cars. It was a warm but cloudy day, but the passing rain ended just in time for the parade and awards, while the clouds hung around for dramatic photos. [Read more...]

REVIEW: 2014 Maserati Grancabrio Sport

 

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This is the sharper, more focused version of the Grancabrio; equipped with more power, adaptive suspension, faster gear changes and added loudness.

The Sport is propelled by the same engine that resides beneath the elegantly long bonnet of the regular Grancabrio and Granturismo (the coupe) but has been tuned to serve up even more power.

The Ferrari-sourced 4.7 litre V8 transmits its 450 horses to the rear wheels through the standard car‘s ZF gearbox, which has also been ’breathed on‘ to reduce gear changes by half. All of this combines to permit a 0 to 62 time of 5.2 seconds.

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At the risk of being accused of overstatement, this car is almost improbably beautiful and simultaneously aggressive. It‘s all elegant lines and perfectly placed bulges, not to mention a pair of the nicest hips in the business sitting low on 20-inch graphite wheels. Stand back, gaze at it for a second and you‘ll realise that it‘s a striking machine from any angle.

I‘d tested the coupe version, the Granturismo Sport last year and couldn‘t get enough of it but this car had added appeal; as the name would suggest, it‘s a soft top. And it was red.

Selecting Sport mode does many things that are beyond my understanding. The entire car becomes even more taut and lively by remapping induction, ignition, damping but most importantly, it gets louder.

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Starting it from cold will give you a satisfying enough sound but as your hand inevitable strays to the Sport button, a relatively refined idle becomes a guttural growl, then a sharp bark when you dip the throttle. A cacophony of pops on the overrun will then widen your grin. All of this gets better when the Grancabrio is introduced to tarmac.

I got myself installed behind the ’wheel and into the supportive seats. The ride is refined and the cabin is surprisingly well insulated from road and wind but thankfully not the delights produced by induction and exhaust. It will cruise contentedly for as long as you want it to and you‘ll be perfectly comfortable.

However, you‘ll get the most out of this car on fast, clear A roads with the roof down. It was still a bit nippy so I had my seat heater on maximum.

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Gearing down from almost any speed will produce blinding acceleration and at the first set of good bends, you‘ll experience the tremendous grip at all four corners.

Point the car in and you‘ll be rewarded with accuracy, apply some good throttle on the exit and you‘ll feel a touch of movement from the back wheels.

An intuitive traction system ensures that even the most ignorant of drivers can convince themselves that they have talent. If there‘s even the slightest hint of body-roll, the Grancabrio Sport will not bother telling you about it.

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Run out of road and the huge discs and calipers will heave the big car down from the most impossible of speeds without any drama.

This is a superbly balanced car and Maserati has not achieved this by accident. A lot of attention has been given to things like mounting the gearbox at the rear, counter-balancing the mid-front positioned engine, lowering the suspension and stiffening the springs and dampers. All of this has been dialled into this sport-focused car but without the loss of any of its character or unquantifiable Italian flair.

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I was left with the feeling that this was not simply a GT convertible and not quite a supercar but a fine blend of both. The Sport is blisteringly quick, accurate and sounds fantastic if it‘s a tool for a couple of hours of fun but is also impeccably behaved and supremely comfortable on longer hauls.

This is a car that any manufacturer would be proud of but isn‘t – because they haven‘t built it. However, Maserati has and I always expected it to be this good.

Alfa Romeo One Step Closer to North American Return

Alfa Romeo 4C (European-spec)If it seems like it has been years of talk about the anticipated return of Alfa Romeo to these shores, well, that’s because it has. As a car guy this is news any one of us would embrace, but for me, I used to own an Alfa Romeo. I owned a 1987 Spyder Graduate (you know, after that little movie starring Dustin Hoffman). Reports of Alfa’s return trickled in and out, but with so little actual news to report, this is a subject I have kept off the The Garage. That changes now.

The Alfa Romeo 4C is a mid-engine, two seater sports car powered by a 1.8L direct injected aluminum turbocharged four cylinder rated at 237hp. I’ve not heard the engine myself, but from what I read the sound is bonkers. The only transmission available is a six-speed twin-clutch, so those hoping for a manual, you are out of luck. On paper these numbers don’t sound impressive, but this number will. Thanks to a carbon fiber tub, the North American spec 4C weighs less than 2,500lbs.

The North American media launch of the 4C is happening as I write this-and sadly, no, The Garage was not invited, but our friends at Autoblog were. What we found out today is that a 2015 4C will come with a starting price of $53,900USD, plus $1,295 in destination charges. If you want to be the first in line, Alfa Romeo has created the Launch Edition. Reserved for the first 500 cars, this car will set you back a cool $69,695. Autoblog tells us that Alfa expects the typical 4C to roll out the showroom with a price from the low t0 mid $60′s.

Alfa Romeo 4C (European-spec)A major debate surrounding Alfa Romeo’s return to North America was who should be able to sell them? Fiat dealers? Maserati dealers? For what is starting out as a niche brand, a new network was out of the question. As it stands now, the majority of dealers that will sell Alfa Romeos will share the floor with their Fiat cousins, with a small number of Maserati dealers also joining the comeback. Fiat-Chrysler announced today that there are currently 82 Alfa Romeo dealers in the US, and four in Canada. The eventual goal is to have a combined 300 dealers. For the US, even though we will have 86 dealers, it’s only in 33 states. The greatest concentration of Alfa dealers are in California, Texas, and Florida. Not even New York City currently has an Alfa Romeo store. Curious to know where your closest Alfa Romeo dealer is? Click right here.

After all these years it is with great pleasure I can say Alfa Romeo is really, finally, coming back. When I owned my Alfa Spyder, it was in the remaining years of the last time Alfa Romeo sold new cars here. My local dealer was in New Haven, CT, in an old brick building that was dripping with charm, and well, a lot of other fluids as well from the well-used Alfas on the lot. In the showroom sat shiny new cars, but in reality the front-wheel drive 164 sport sedan, while styled as smartly as an Armani suit, never caught on, and my beloved Spyder, which at that point was an antique in a world where the Mazda Miata reigned.

There was a certain charm about that old dealership and those quirky old cars that still speaks to me today. That era is gone, however. The new Alfa Romeo dealers will be housed in pristine, sleek, contemporary facilities with not a drop of oil in sight. And with Alfa Romeo’s return imminent, I found myself asking how, apart from the car, do they reintroduce themselves? There are kids who are now college students who have never seen a new Alfa Romeo.

Then I remembered. I was eleven years old, had just moved to a new neighborhood. I got a newspaper route, and one of my customers had a car I’d never seen or heard of before. It was a stunning Alfa Romeo GTV-6. I always looked forward to coming over the deliver the newspaper, just to see and admire the car, and glance inside at a fleet of gauges and switches, and rich looking Recaro leather seats. With a growing family, the GTV gave way to a Milano 3.0 Verde, and finally the top-spec 164S. By this time, I was hooked, and already had my own red Alfa Spyder.

And that was the answer to my question. And to future 4C owners, I challenge you. Leave the car in the driveway. If you want to inspire a new generation of Alfisti, they have to see it. And they won’t if you slip out of your garage, drive to your office, and slip it back into your garage when you return home. After seeing that GTV-6 all the time, I couldn’t stand it. I had to have my own Alfa Romeo. And all these years later, I am dying to see what Alfa has in store for us. The 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C goes on sale this summer.

Wheels up in 5!

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The latest episode of driver/car feature videos from VARAC focuses on my good friend Emily Atkins and her brother Andrew as they share stories about how they got involved in racing. The partners in Big Brother Little Sister Racing also talk about their machines, a wicked Mustang and a classic Porsche 911.

The highlight for me is the recreation of the classic 911 racing pose, with one front wheel in the air as Emily attacks Mosport’s iconic turn 5.

REVIEW: 2014 BMW X5 xDrive50i M Sport

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They said no one would be interested. They said that SUV drivers loved the trucky ride and feel of their rough and tough vehicles. But what do they say now?

Behold, what we have here is genesis!

Over 1.3 million vehicles and two generations ago when BMW introduced the X5 in 1999, SUVs at the time were mostly based on pickup truck platforms. Built on traditional body-on-frame platforms, these vehicles were capable tow vehicles and superior off-road. However the drawbacks included rougher rides, high step-in heights, and truck-like handling.

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It isn’t often that an auto manufacturer gets to launch an entirely new vehicle segment. But with the X5, coined the world’s first Sport Activity Vehicle, BMW proved to its competitors (and customers) that there was and is indeed a market for a vehicle with all the pros of an SUV (added space, higher seating position, etc) but with the luxury, safety, security, ride and handling, and performance of their Ultimate Driving Machines.

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Fast forward to 2014 and every major auto manufacturer worth its salt has some sort of crossover vehicle in its model line-up. Even Lamborghini is working on one! As the old adage goes, if you can’t beat them, join them!

For this review, I tested the “bad boy” in the X5 line-up, the V8 powered X5 xDrive50i M Sport. Keep reading to find out why this is the closest thing you can get to a brand new X5 M…for now.

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EXTERIOR

This 3rd generation X5 still shares a lot of its design traits with its popular predecessors. BMW defines these as a long wheelbase, short front overhang, upright A-pillars, and a short distance between the front axle and the leading edge of the front door.

Look closely and you may even be able to spot the front bumper’s subtle X-shaped contour lines which are meant to identify the vehicle as a member of BMW’s X model family.

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As with every BMW, the 3D kidney grill is present, larger than ever before, and the hallmark four round headlamps have been elongated to meet the sides of said kidney grill (a la 3 and 4-series cars).

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All X5 models are equipped with standard adaptive Bi-Xenon headlights, but new to the game is the availability of BMW’s Adaptive LED headlights. In this latest iteration, the LED accent rings (aka angel eyes) have been flattened along the bottom edge and overlapped at the top.

LED front foglamps are also standard equipment on all X5 models.

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Add BMW’s optional High Beam Assistant (part of the $3,800 technology package) which automatically turns the high beams on and off, and you truly have the best lighting system money can buy on an SUV today.

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The LEDs resemble daylight more closely and cast a controlled flood of light that can even change pattern according to the speed of the vehicle and type of road it is being driven on (e.g. city or highway).

BMW’s Drag-reducing Air Curtains also make their debut on the X5. The engineers claim that these vertical apertures are designed to guide the incoming air around the wheel arches, creating a curtain of air over the wheels before making a controlled escape through the Air Breathers in the side of the front fenders.

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Out back, the X5 is mostly unchanged from its predecessor. The Range Rover-like two piece power tailgate is retained, and the thin 3D LED light strips in the classic BMW L-shaped rear lights create an even more striking night-time signature.

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My X5 xDrive50i test car was equipped with the $4,000 optional M Sport Line package, which, among other things, included a set of attractive 20” M Double-spoke alloy wheels mounted on massively wide tires (275/40 up front and 315/35 out back).

IMG_4980-2These are rear tires worthy of a Porsche 911 Turbo and they really help to accentuate the wide track and sporty stance of the X5. However aware that replacement tires will not come cheap.

IMG_4981-3The M Sport package also includes an M-aero body kit, Shadowline trim that replaces all of the chrome trim, as well as high-gloss roof rails.

If you’re looking to set your X5 apart from the more pedestrian looking ones in the mall parking lot, save your pennies and spring for this performance-orientated package full of goodies. It really helps to emphasise the “Sport” in Sport Activity Vehicle.

INTERIOR

This is where BMW has clearly invested some time and money. If you’re familiar with BMW’s latest interiors, you will feel right at home in these new digs.

IMG_5039-18A new multi-layered horizontal design has been applied to the X5’s dash and instrument panel. BMW says that the use of layered surfaces helps to reflect the spaciousness of the new cabin.

The result is a more interesting take on the usual business-like interior. The new 3D design and contrasting surfaces colours play off nicely against each other.

IMG_5063-34The configurable ambient lighting system adds a high class touch to the interior, not unlike that in a Rolls Royce (which is part of the BMW Group).

IMG_5048-24Also new to the X5 is a heads-up display system that can display your music selection, warning messages, speed, and navigation directions. It’s highly visible even in bright sunlight and highly recommended.

A central piece of this revised interior is the enlarged 10.23” freestanding iDrive screen. Controlled via the iDrive touchpad, this screen has impressive high resolution and contrast.

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Due to the upsized display, the live video feed from the 360 degree Surround View camera system is also proportional improved in clarity and usability.

As mentioned in my previous reviews, I truly believe that BMW has the best 360 camera system in the business.

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The M Sport Line package’s offerings continue inside with the addition of an anthracite headliner, an M-sport steering wheel with flappy paddles, and multi-contour sport seats.

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Speaking of the front seats, they’re nicely trimmed in BMW’s Dakota leather and are top notch – supportive, all-day comfy, and adjustable in enough ways that even the pickiest driver or passenger can find a suitable position.

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Second row passengers won’t be missing out either, particularly as my test vehicle’s Premium Package also included 4-zone climate control, heated rear seats, rear window sunshades, and a $1,950 optional rear seat entertainment system with dual 9.2” screens.

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This rear entertainment system includes a DVD changer and allows the rear passengers remote-control functions to the ConnectedDrive system.

TV, radio, DVD, and even navigation functions are accessible from the rear seat independent of the driver and the front iDrive display. Auxiliary connections are also available for MP3 players and game consoles.

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As nice as this system is put together, the option price is rather steep. I would personally skip it for a couple of iPad Airs instead and still come out ahead by a few hundred dollars.

If you’re an audiophile, one option that would be hard to pass up on would be the $4,900 optional Bang & Olufsen Sound System.

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Equipped with a new Dirac Dimensions signal processing system, the Bang & Olufsen High End Surround System includes 16 speakers and a whopping music output of 1,200 watts.

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The system’s party trick is an automatically extending (and lit) centre speaker on the dashboard carrier.

This speaker is a mid-range unit featuring Acoustic Lens Technology for consistent sound quality on all seats.

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You can choose between two sound settings: “Studio” for authentic sound and “Expanded” for surround sound.

The lighting scheme of individual speaker covers is also sure to illicit “oohs” and “ahhs” from your passengers.

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The X5′s versatility also gets cranked up a notch or two with the addition of a 40/20/40-split folding rear seat which allows the loading of long and slim objects like skis, but without sacrificing room for back seat occupants.

Optional third row seats are also available but judging from the available cargo area space, the seats are likely to be suitable for only small children.

So how does it drive?

The answer to the million-dollar question is a resounding “YES”.  The BMW X5 still does handle like the company’s famed sports sedans, which is the top reason to consider this crossover.

The xDrive50i’s V8 engine produces gobs of power and an angry snarl. It’s a truly intoxicating guttural noise that encourages you to rev it more. Unlike the Range Rover Supercharged I tested earlier this year, the X5′s racy V8 does entice you to push its limits. And anytime you need the muscle it’s there for the taking.

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The direct injection 4.4L TwinScroll Twin Turbo V8 engine generates 445 prancing German ponies and 479 ft-lbs of torque between 2000-4500 rpms. The relatively flat torque curve is the main reason why the grunt is there in abundance at all times.

0-100 km/hr whooshes by in a sports car like 5.1 seconds. Not bad for a vehicle tipping the scales at 5,150 lbs.

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BMW Canada rates the xDrive50i at 14.6L/100 kms in the city and 9.2L/100 kms on the highway. I managed 16.5L/100 kms in mostly city driving and admittedly with a heavier than normal right foot.

But let’s face it. Customers who opt for the high output V8 engine aren’t too worried about its fuel consumption. For those who are, the miserly xDrive35d turbo-diesel is rated at an impressive 8.7L/100 kms in the city and 6.3L/100 kms on the highway.

To help stretch out the distance in between fill-ups with the maximum 85L of fuel on board, BMW offers a few clever tech innovations. Firstly, the ECO PRO drive control mode retards downshifts and relaxes throttle response. On the highway it will even automatically shift the transmission into neutral when coasting, so as to lower the engine revs.

The system works extremely well and even reports the kilometres of range extended by using ECO PRO.

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Conversely, toggle the Dynamic Drive active chassis control’s switch over to Sport or Sport+ and the X5 livens up with noticeably sharper steering, faster and more aggressive gear changes, and a much more responsive throttle pedal.

To tie that all together is BMW’s Adaptive M Suspension, part of the M Sport Line package. Offering firmer settings and a self-leveling rear air suspension, the system is also linked to the Dynamic Drive control and helps the X5 make the claim of being the closest thing to driving a sports car one can get whilst still in an SUV (save for the Porsche Cayenne Turbo).

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On my usual test loop, the xDrive50i was seriously accomplished even when judged by car (and not just SUV) standards. The benefits of the 50/50 weight distribution are even more evident with this heavier vehicle, and the meaty tires offer huge amounts of grip especially when combined with BMW’s excellent xDrive all-wheel-drive system.

It feels surreal to be driving something with such a high up seating position but with quick and precise steering, little body roll, amazing power delivery, and an angry exhaust note to boot.

The 5,000+ curb weight does make itself apparent when “throwing” the X5 around tight off-camber ribbons of tarmac, but most drivers will never get anywhere close to its limits unless they’re doing something truly stupid.

WRAP-UP

As with all BMWs, be careful with the options sheet or the sticker price can escalate quickly. My X5 V8 tester’s price was a gulp-worthy $96,400 before taxes, freight and PDI.

This 3rd generation X5 is more of an evolution rather than a revolution. But as the saying goes, “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”.  And thus BMW has taken a calculated approach not to mess up a good thing.

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As its predecessors have done before, this latest X5 once again sets new standards for luxury, versatility and – because it is a BMW first and foremost – driving dynamics.

BMW has focused on the things that its customers care about the most. Improvements in quality, technology, space, driving dynamics, and the upgraded appearance of its cockpit top the list.

And as Martha Stewart says, “That’s a good thing”.

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Sweet Mother of Jeebus – watch this Honda Insight crash at close to 200 MPH!

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I don’t know how I missed this one when it was posted back in November, but this is one of the craziest motorsport crashes I have ever seen, and it involves a rather unlikely subject.

Around my area, the only people who drive Honda‘s Insight hybrid are nuclear plant employees who are still hanging on to their super high mileage, first generation hybrids. The machine you are about to see is not like those cars. The HASport Hondata Insight is a full on land speed record car, capable of speeds in the range of 200 miles per hour!
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