• Subaru BRZ review

    Subaru BRZ review

    The Subaru BRZ is one of the best kept secrets of the auotmotive world.

    Developed alongisde the near-identical Toyota GT86, it’s an affordable back-to-basics front
    engined, rear-wheel drive 2+2 sports coupe.

    For 2017, Subaru has given the evergreen BRZ a mid-life facelift, equipment upgrade and distilled the trim options down to just one – SE Lux.

    Subaru BRZ review

    The exterior design tweaks are subtle, apart from the old school aerodynamic wing at the rear. Elsewhere, there’s a new front bumper, LED headlights and 10-spoke 17-inch alloys.

    You can choose from five colours, though Subaru’s iconic WR (World Rally) Blue Pearl is surely the one to go for.

    Inside, a 4.2-inch LCD colour display is added to the instrument display, featuring such sporting essentials as a G-Force meter and braking gauge.

    Subaru BRZ review

    The leather steering wheel is now smaller and boasts audio controls, while plastics generally have been upgraded or replaced by leather, giving the cabin a more upmarket feel.

    The Alcantra and leather seats are more comfortable than ever (the driver’s seat has a six-way adjustment), while a 6.2-inch touchscreen has been added to the centre console, though sat nav is a £1,250 option.

    The infotainment system is not as hi-tech as the best of them, but it does the job and, of course, offers full connectivity.

    Subaru BRZ review

    Traditionalists will be pleased to note that the cockpit is still adorned with plenty of retro-feel knobs and toggle switches.

    The rear passenger seats are fitted with ISOFIX anchor points, but as with most 2+2s, they are
    almost totally useless. Better news in the boot where there’s 243 litres of space available – 1,270 with the rear seats folded flat.

    The 2017 Subaru BRZ is more driver focused than ever. Sadly, there’s no extra power for the 2.0-
    litre 200PS ‘Boxer’ petrol engine, but it is more responsive, it still sounds suitably throaty and CO2 emissions are slightly lower.

    Subaru BRZ review

    Elsewhere, Subaru’s engineers have made various changes (to the steering, suspension, dampers and
    brakes) to tweak the driving dynamics and make the BRZ even sharper than before.

    Priced from £26,050, the BRZ is one of the most entertaining cars you’ll find for that money.

    The chassis is better than ever and it’s enormous fun on flowing country roads. Agile and engaging, it’s helped by a slick six-speed short-throw manual gearbox and it feels totally
    planted.

    Subaru BRZ review

    For the record, the BRZ is capable of 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds (but feels faster) and it tops out at 140mph. Fuel economy is a claimed 36.2mpg (and it not far off that in the real world), while CO2 emissions are a very average 180g/km.

    But here’s the thing. The BRZ is also now available with automatic transmission – and it’s a bit of a revelation.

    Subaru BRZ review

    It may sounds like sacrilege in a sports car package like this, but the auto box slams through the gears pretty well – even producing the odd pop on down-changes, allowing you to concentrate on the driving. The engine even sounds more sporty.

    Verdict: The new, improved Subaru BRZ is better than ever. With a mild makeover inside and out, plus enhanced driving dynamics, it has to be one of the best-value, most entertaining sports cars
    on the market – and it still looks just as cool.

    Review by Gareth Herincx

    Subaru BRZ review

    The post Subaru BRZ review appeared first on Automotive Blog.

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  • QUAIL MOTORCYCLE GATHERING: BEST OF THE BEST!

    Cool temperatures fail to lower motorcycle fever at the Quail and keep Jim Palam from delivering this photo report.

    Low temperatures, brisk winds and overcast skies did nothing to dampen the spirits of over 3,000 visitors to the 2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering on May 6 at the beautiful Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel, CA.

    Gordon McCall, motorsports director for the Quail Lodge, was once again the perfect ringleader for this 9th Annual gathering. It featured over 300 rare and historic bikes, as well as a generous sampling of custom and modified rides from some of the rising stars in the motorcycle enthusiast’s expanding universe. GEICO Motorcycles presented the event.

    Jim Palam, our man (and Triumph rider) on the West Coast was up and out early to capture the action. The show was so good that he forgot to eat his complimentary gourmet lunch – but he did take a big bite of The Gathering’s tasty essence – yours now to enjoy.

    Taking the Design and Style Award was Simon Waterfall’s super-clean and serious ‘75 Moto Guzzi 850T, Top, rebadged as Supernaturale. Designed and built by Hugo Eccler of Untitled Motorcycles of San Francisco (pictured) the bike features a custom aluminum tank, advanced electronics and fingertip controls. Its overall brushed satin finish will intentionally age gracefully, developing an individualized patina from the way the rider handles the bike.

    What do you do if you have a beautiful old Triumph race tank? If you’re Californian Bryan Thompson you build the quintessential ‘58 Triumph Tiger from ground up, around the tank. So good is this build that this Black Beauty has been racking up a bounty of awards – including First Place in the Quail’s Custom/Modified category. Well-done Bryan!

    Chris Carter has become almost as famous as the spectacular motorcycles in his amazing All Things Two Wheels collection. So thanks Chris for bringing your gorgeous ‘14 Jefferson Board Track Racer to The Gathering. It took 2nd Place in the American category.

    Considered one of the most innovative motorcycles ever created, only 10 hand-crafted Britten V1000 superbikes were ever built. This Britten, #10, resides in the Solvang Vintage Motorcycle Museum, just a few blocks from my home. It belongs to the museum’s owner Virgil Elings and he proudly displayed it at The Gathering. Virgil’s son Jeff rode it up onto the winner’s ramp to accept the Significance in Racing Award.

    I met Richard Mitchell as he was rolling this meticulously customized BSA A65 Thunderbolt up to the Entrant’s Window late Friday afternoon. When Richard is not designing for Tesla, his passion is motorcycles. His beautiful creation went on to win 2nd Place in the Custom/Modified category.

    Ole #38 didn’t look like much when from a distance when I spotted owner Gary Landeen trying to kick-start her for a bevy of patient judges. On what was surely his last kick she fired up – and like the menacing roar of a Coliseum lion she fired up the crowd as well! This bike is the legendary Ed “Iron Man” Kretz’s Pre-War Big Base Indian Scout FDB 381 that competed successfully on a national level from 1941 through 1967. What a thrill to see and hear #38 roar at The Gathering!

    Two For The Road! If you’re a Motorhead you find beauty in design, function and performance. So forgive me if my heart beats a little faster when I take in the sexy symmetry of John Stein’s ‘70 Twin Motor BSA drag bike – bared for all to see in the Competition On Road Class.

    The 750 Sport was essentially a racier version of Ducati’s first big V-Twin, the 750GT. Its Goldenrod Yellow and black paint scheme and lean, aggressive styling made this Italian beauty really stand out from the crowd. Robert Jordon owns this stunning and pristine example.

    Wake Me Up Before You Goggo! The Hans Glas GMBH Company of Germany produced the Goggo Motorscooter in the 1950s. They were dependable and offered better performance than their Italian counterparts. They were however a bit pricier and few ever made it to the States. Harley and Deb Welch brought this nifty ‘55 Goggo 150 to The Gathering.

    And now for something different: The ‘76 Hercules W2000. Powered by an air-cooled, single-rotor Sachs-designed Wankel engine, it was manufactured in Germany. Innovative for sure, but criticized for its high cost, insufficient ground clearance and low performance. And of course, now, in high-demand by collectors! Congratulations to Stephan Haddad for the bike’s 2nd Place win in the Other European category.

    Words & photos by Jim Palam, http://www.jimpalam.com/

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  • Jeep gets dirty with Renegade ‘Tough Mudder’ Edition

    Jeep is celebrating its fourth year sponsoring the UK Tough Mudder series with a special edition Renegade 4×4.

    Just 100 Jeep Renegade Tough Mudder 4x4s will be made, and to mark the occasion, the first ever ‘Tough Mudder for Jeep’ took place at Silverstone Circuit’s off-road course in Northamptonshire.

    The Renegade successfully waded through a course designed by Tough Mudder, tackling rough terrain, dirty water and signature Tough Mudder obstacles, including ‘Mud Mile’ and ‘Quagmire.’ The SUV also tackled the steep slopes and inclines of ‘Killa Gorilla’ and the treacherous Cliff Hanger obstacle.

    Priced from £27,795, Jeep reckons the limited edition “embodies the spirit, fun, adventure and innovation of Tough Mudder with Jeep’s legendary off-road credentials, ensuring drivers can tackle any challenge while Mudders push themselves into the unknown”.

    The Tough Mudder Renegade is a 4×4 2.0-litre Multijet diesel automatic, available in orange and black. Standard features include:

    • 2.0 Diesel Multijet II (140hp)
    • 9 speed automatic transmission
    • 4×4 Active Low
    • 17” black alloy off road wheels – with 215/60/ R17 Mud & Snow tyres
    • Tough Mudder exclusive bonnet decal
    • Limited edition numbered stickers on upper rear three quarter panel
    • Tough Mudder tailgate badge
    • Off road style front bumper
    • Specific interior look – orange and black – with anodised orange interior bezels
    • Fabric – heated front seats
    • (DAB) Digital radio
    • Uconnect 5” touchscreen with Bluetooth, Sat Nav and live services
    • All weather floor mats
    • Tough Mudder Merchandise Pack to include water bottle, cap, hand towel, lanyard and wrist band in a drawstring bag

    The post Jeep gets dirty with Renegade ‘Tough Mudder’ Edition appeared first on Automotive Blog.

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  • Best Cars to Lease in 2017

    Leasing a car is one of the most flexible finance options, as it allows you to change your car every 3-4 years. If you enjoy driving a new car, now is a great time to lease, as from sweet city cars to cool cabriolets, 2017 brings us a variety of amazing deals.

    Mercedes E-Class Saloon

    Are you searching for a saloon? Look no further! Perhaps the most popular lease car in the saloon market is the classy and comfortable E-Class. This marvellous Mercedes saloon combines supreme interior comfort with a strong and assertive stance. Lovely lines sweep the sides of this vehicle and innovative technology, such as Mercedes Connect, takes pride of place inside the cabin.

    mercede e-class 2017

    mercede e-class 2017

    Toyota Aygo City Car

    Perhaps you’re after a savvy city car? The 2017 Toyota Aygo might be small and sweet, but don’t underestimate the power in the practicality of this fun and funky city slicker. If you love to stay informed and entertained on the go, you will love the infotainment system on offer in the Aygo. Fantastic features extend to the driving position of this vehicle, with adjustable steering wheel and driver’s seat, enabling you to create perfect comfort.

    Toyota aygo

    Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet

    Summer is fast approaching, so why not drop the top and stay cool in a Cabriolet? If you love the look of this vehicle, you will be amazed by the AMG lines, sporting wider wheel arches and excellent exhaust pipes. Step inside the Mercedes C-Class Cabriolet and you will find that keeps its sleek even with the inclusion of four seats, so we can enjoy practicality as well as style in this cabriolet. Top technology fills the interior of this vehicle and seats standard sport seats are so comfortable. Those of us who love a little style will be pleased to know that 2017 brings us some supreme C-Class Cabriolet lease deals.

    BMW i3

    If the futuristic feel of the electric car excites you, you will love the all-electric 2017 BMW i3. Power and practicality is not compromised for sustainability in this BMW i3. Proudly, BMW boasts a cool combination of zero emissions and a 0 to 62 mph time of just 7.3 seconds in the BMW i3. The BMW i3 can also travel up to a total of 206 miles on a single charge. The interior is lovely and light, carefully crafted from high strength carbon, an amazing material which is utilised to create passenger safety.

    bmw i3

    Bmw i3

    Range Rover Evoque

    Spacious SUV’s are sought after by many and we’re in luck, as 2017 offers excellent Range Rover Evoque lease deals. Drivers of this compact SUV love the generous and comfortable cabin, with height above your head and space at the sides. As well as ultimate upgrades to the interior, drivers of the 2017 Evoque also enjoy excellent engine efficiency with the introduction of the new family of diesel engines. So if you love the look of these stylish SUV’s, then why not check out the Range Rover Evoque lease deals on offer at All Car Leasing.

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  • New Weise W-Tex Touring Jacket Comes With Over-Trousers

    Ever had to peel off soggy jeans after a rainstorm? It was dry and sunny when you left. But then the rain came and now you’re wearing soaked denim leggings. And your legs have turned blue from a combination of the cold and colours running. Well, the new Weise W-Tex Touring Jacket comes with over-trousers in a large rear pocket to prevent that happening again.

    2017 Weise W-Tex Touring Jacket comes with overtrousers built in
    The Weise W-Tex Touring Jacket carries lightweight over-trousers in a large rear pocket

    The over-trousers aren’t going to get you through a track day. But they will keep you snug and dry if you get caught out by a shower. So while Weise may call it a touring jacket, we’d say it’s as good for short trips and commuting, without having to carry a backpack full of spare kit. Especially when armoured jeans have become more and more popular.

    The W-Tex trousers have a full polyester lining, with an elasticated waist and Velcro ankle pull tabs. So they’re easy to wear and should be comfortable.

    The Weise W-Tex waterproof jeans come with the Weise W-Tex Touring Jacket

    The Weise W-Tex Touring Jacket itself is your standard all-weather motorcycle jacket. It has a waterproof and breathable drop liner, plus a full-length popper and Velcro storm flap over a YKK zip to keep your top half dry.

    Weise W-Tex Touring Jacket
    The Weise W-Tex Touring Jacket in Black/Stone

    There’s a removable 120-gram thermal quilted liner to cope with changing temperatures. And large two-way zipped vents at the cuffs, shoulders and on the back to let cool air in when you need it.

    The shell of the Weise W-Tex Touring Jacket is made from tough 600 denier material. And there’s removable Knox Micro-Lock CE-approved armour at the shoulders, elbows and back.

    2017 Weise W-Tex Touring Jacket with Over-Trousers Black
    The Weise W-Tex Touring Jacket in Black

    To help you be seen, there is reflective detailing on the arms and back. And you can adjust the collar, waist and torso to get the right fit. The Weise W-Tex Touring Jacket has the large rear pocket for storing your handy over-trousers, and also has four large external pockets and two smaller hand warmer pockets.

    2017 Weise W-Tex Touring Jacket with Over-Trousers Back

    The Weise W-Tex Touring Jacket with the W-Tex waterproof jeans included will cost £289.99 and comes in Black (sizes M-5XL) and Black/Stone (sizes M-3XL).

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