For some people it’s hard to understand how someone can justify the price tag of a luxury car or SUV. Most of the time these are the folks who like saving money whenever they can, and often they haven’t owned a luxury vehicle before. As the saying goes you don’t know what you’re missing if you’ve never experienced it, or something like that. Luxury cars have a lot to offer and the benefits aren’t just skin deep. Luxury owners know all the benefits of paying for a high quality vehicle, and that’s why they keep coming back for more, even if they are paying thousands more for their vehicles than the average Joe next door.
Get the Best Safety Features
Even if you’re shopping for a family vehicle it often makes a lot of sense to go with a luxury brand. That’s because luxury vehicles come with some of the best safety features on the market. They are equipped with leading adaptive safety features like dynamic cruise control, and radar traffic systems that make sure that you notice the major safety concerns out on the road even if you aren’t paying close attention. Many times these systems will spot potential problems before they are even visible to the driver.
The higher prices of luxury vehicles generally result in higher quality interiors. This means that you get a cushier seat with more back support for more comfortable driving, especially on longer trips. Not only are the vehicles built with better and more comfortable materials, but they also have more comfort features as well. These features include things like automatic climate control, and heated or vented seats. What seems like a pretty basic perk on paper can add up to be a really nice benefit over time.
While this isn’t a good reason for many people to get luxury vehicles it’s nice to have a car, truck or SUV that’s nice looking. Having a good looking vehicle inspires pride and offers something to look forward to each day that you prepare for the morning commute. Not only will the car be styled to look better, but you’ll enjoy a more exclusive look as well. Most luxury vehicles have edgier styling to help them stand out and they come with more options to choose from. When you are customizing your new Audi A4 you’ll have plenty of different options to pick from, allowing you to create a more unique vehicle overall.
Fun To Drive
Not every luxury vehicle is going to be powerful or built for performance, but the bulk of them are more powerful than standard vehicles are. This means that you can speed up faster, enjoy superior handling around corners and overall just enjoy the ride a bit more. It’s fun slamming down on the gas pedal and feeling the vehicle respond with force immediately, and that’s what you’ll experience with many luxury vehicles. Cars made from automakers like Audi are known for their excellent driving mechanics and that’s what you can expect when you pick the right luxury vehicle to drive around.
Buying a luxury vehicle doesn’t just mean having a showy badge to flaunt to your coworkers when you pull into the parking lot. Buying these vehicles gives you more features, more driving performance and generally more perks to enjoy overall.
While it makes a lot of sense for brands like Toyota to invest heavily in online marketing and virtual interfaces to show off their vehicles, the same can’t be said for luxury offerings from automakers like Porsche. High-end luxury purchases are more of an emotional experience and you have to really love that new 911 to be willing to pay the exorbitant price tag attached with it. That’s why Porsche is investing heavily in its Experience Center just outside of Atlanta. The Center gives interested customers a chance to truly experience Porsche vehicles, and the automaker hopes that will result in an increased number of buyers overall.
Driver development track
One of the highlights of the experience center is the Driver Development track. This 1.6 mile circuit comes with a variety of challenges to help drivers tackle specific skills that they would like to enhance. The course offers a section to promote improved handling capabilities, another to help deal with low friction turning, one to help with general handling in low-friction situations and an off-road course for more extreme uphill and loose surface situations. Each person that decides to head out onto the track will be paired with a coach that will help them achieve specific goals while on the course. This is to help the driver remain safe and to help them get the most out of the experience.
The cars also come with a camera to give you the opportunity to keep a recording of the whole experience. Porsche is undoubtedly hoping that you’ll be inclined to share your experience with the rest of the world on social media, but either way you’ll have a fund memento from your day on the track.
Take a Look at Some Classics
Porsche maintains a large set of classic vehicles that serve as a sort of Porsche Museum for all the visitors who come in. Whether you want to get a look at one of the early race cars, or even the original Porsche Diesel tractor you’ll enjoy a look into Porsche’s past. The automaker is also making it possible for Porsche owners to display their own vehicles at the facility for a fee.
Enjoy Fine Dining
There is even a fine dining restaurant so you can eat well after a day of fun at the experience center. The 356 Restaurant is a modern looking establishment that’s a mix between a bar and a dining area. It has a casual atmosphere with the quality food of a top restaurant.
Get Evaluated for Racing
The human performance center will evaluate your readiness for actual racing. The dedicated medical personnel will take a look at your vitals and let you know how ready you are to go racing. It’s a fun way to check out your fitness level and it helps make sure that every driver that gets behind the wheel is
Driving Simulator Lab
Climb inside one of the simulated Porsche cockpits and try racing on different tracks around the world. The simulator offers a fun experience and gives you a chance to try out a variety of tracks that you probably wouldn’t get a chance to drive on otherwise.
All of this fun comes together in a memorable experience, and that’s exactly what Porsche is counting on. They expect around 30,000 visitors to make their way through the doors of the center annually, and the organization is hoping that each one will want to recount tales from the experience for years to come to any Porsche fans they meet up with.
Most new car buyers focus on the features or the look of a vehicle far more than they do the safety features. When you think about this it seems a bit silly that so much focus is placed on the fun aspect of owning a vehicle and something so important like personal safety is often placed on the back burner. If you want to make sure you and possibly your family and friends are safe when riding in your vehicle, do yourself a favor and make sure that you spend a sufficient amount of time considering safety options before making the purchase.
Take a Look at Crash Ratings
One of the most important ways to verify the safety of vehicles is through crash test ratings. Both the NHTSA and the IIHS crash vehicles into specific barriers on a regular basis to check to see how durable they really are. There’s no better way to find out what a vehicle is made of than to look at the crash test ratings. Look for vehicles like the Prius V and the Toyota Highlander that scored highly on both crash tests, because they will hold together in the unfortunate event of a crash.
Always look at the number of airbags that a vehicle comes with. The more airbags that it packs in the better, because this means you’ll be protected more effectively in the event of a crash. Many vehicles have at least six airbags today and an increasing number are getting knee bags and side-curtain bags even at the back of the vehicle. Keep track of the number of airbags before you buy.
Backup Cameras Make Sense
Many new vehicles are coming with backup cameras today, and that’s because they help avoid a lot of possible collisions. Co;nsider getting a vehicle that has a camera and if you have to choose between one that does and one that does not, you should get the vehicle with the camera. It will make you safer and make the vehicle more enjoyable to drive. While you’re at it, you should pay attention to how well you can see out all the windows of a vehicle and stick with one that offers a good level of visibility. If you’re having a hard time seeing out some of the windows or the pillars are too wide that can cause problems down the road.
Look for Active Safety Technology
While active safety technology such as adaptive cruise, blind spot monitors and even some autonomous driving systems are still pretty new to the market, they are good to have. They help keep you out of trouble when your mind wanders or when you simply don’t notice an impending problem. Active safety technology may be the most important safety feature that vehicles can have and getting a car loaded up with it is a good way to stay safer out on the road.
If you want a safer vehicle it’s a good idea to look out for all these features before you buy. They make a big difference and can create a much safer environment for you and your family.
While there is something special about a car with a massive amount of power packed under its hood, having a great deal of power doesn’t necessarily improve the driving experience. Many car owners who rave about Porsche vehicles don’t like them because their packed with power, but because they are lightweight and have excellent driving mechanics. It’s pretty cool to be able to say that your car’s packing over 700HP, but let’s be honest, how often are you going to be able to make use of all that power? Just think about this for a moment, in a car with over 700 HP you can reach 60 MPH in first gear. At that speed most drivers aren’t planning on turning the speedometer much farther, and there’s so much untapped potential being wasted.
According to Andreas Preuninger, Porsche’s GT car chief Porsche is going to stop chasing numbers in future iterations of its top vehicles. Sure numbers sell, but they aren’t what make a great car. What makes a great car is excellent driving mechanics and good steering feedback. These are all features that can be achieved with 400 or 500 HP just fine, and there realistically isn’t any reason to go higher than that.
More Power Means More Weight
Another thing to consider is that adding more horsepower to a vehicle means adding more weight as well. A more powerful car needs larger brakes, it needs a bigger engine, a more durable suspension and these are all things that take away from the driving experience and the feeling of power. Unless a car is crafted from very expensive materials such as carbon fiber, you won’t really feel all the added power that it has because it weighs so much more.
It’s likely that future generations of Porsche vehicles will focus on maintaining current horsepower levels, or even dropping back a bit and improving upon what matters most, driving mechanics. Through lighter vehicles, improved suspension systems and bolstered steering setups Porsche vehicles can still lead the industry and show everyone just how meaningless the horsepower rating really is.
Eventually if Porsche is able to pull away from the power war it’s likely that the rest of the industry will follow in the automaker’s wake. This should lead to more accessible vehicles that are more fun to drive around in, and maybe just maybe car weight will start going down again.
For all the critics out there that say that hybrid vehicles are a waste of resources, particularly because the batteries go bad after a time, it’s important to realize that many hybrid batteries live another life after they aren’t suitable for use in vehicles any longer. A cluster of buildings in Yellowstone National Park powered solely by car battery packs are an excellent reminder that hybrid batteries don’t have to be tossed out when they aren’t usable in vehicles any longer.
Harnessing Solar Power Effectively
Most of the time when solar energy is harnessed the excess power that’s produced is simply sent off to the rest of the power grid for someone else to use. This works well for those who are tied to an existing power line, but isn’t a viable option for more remote buildings without remote access. For situations such as those battery storage is the best solution and that’s exactly what’s used at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch buildings. There are five in all and they make use of a collection of vehicle batteries to store energy collected from solar, and soon hydro energy sources.
Inspecting the Packs
Each of the excess battery packs is disassembled and tested to make sure they can be used for energy storage. After the batteries are approved they are given a new battery management systems and arranged into 52 pack arrays for a high storage capacity. The five buildings make use of an array of 208 batteries that hold a total of 85 KWH of energy in all. The storage solution offers plenty of power for the buildings to use when the sun isn’t out, and helps keep any excess energy that the building doesn’t make use of during the day too.
Toyota has a recycling program for its battery packs, but it’s even more beneficial to reuse the packs for another purpose before they are recycled. The packs offer a lot of great storage capacity and could be used in a range of possible projects, especially with so many homes turning to alternative energy sources like solar panels to provide needed power.
That’s why hybrid vehicles may not be the responsible vehicles that some people are making them out to be. Whether the batteries they use are recycled or put to another use, they aren’t going to the landfill anytime soon and that’s a good thing. The packs offer a lot of precious metals that most people aren’t going to want to simply let go to waste.
For the first time since 2012 Toyota is planning on redesigning the GT 86 to give it a more modern look. The car’s only been on the market for the past four years, and this mid-cycle makeover isn’t likely to bring with it many dramatic changes. A Toyota insider expects the car to receive modest aesthetic alterations while getting some pretty minor performance enhancements as well.
Don’t Expect a Radical Redesign
Though Toyota does plan on changing around the body style of the vehicle noticeably, you shouldn’t expect anything too radical to occur. The Toyota GT 86 is produced on the same assembly line as the Subaru BRZ and the body panels can only be adjusted so much while staying within the manufacturing limits. That means that Toyota is limited on what they can do overall, but you should expect to see some fresh new lines, a new grille and a variety of aesthetic improvements that will make the vehicle look more modern while helping it maintain that stylish edge it’s known for.
The car is expected to get a new bonnet, new headlights, a lowered grille that’s increased in size and probably a new bumper as well. The coupe version of the car is also going to get some redesigns with a new rear bumper and more noticeable diffuser setup.
Moderate Performance Improvements
For those of you hoping for a radically more powerful GT 86 you won’t be getting your wishes for the mid-cycle update. The 2.0 liter engine is expected to remain the same, but should get some tuning upgrades and some frictional adjustments. The manifold design is changing and the engine is expected to have boosted power and torque by around five percent overall and should be more efficient by close to seven percent as well. This will bump the total horsepower of the vehicle up above 200, but it likely won’t hit 210. The power and efficiency improvements will be nice, but they probably won’t be as noticeable as some of the planned suspension modifications.
The car is expected to receive a reinforced rear suspension. The new subframe modifications would give the vehicle a more rigid and performance-focused feel. The car is expected to have tighter driving mechanics, and the change should be noticeable enough to stand out more than the power improvement does.
Fans of the GT 86 should look forward to the new and improved looks above everything else, and maybe some new tech improvements as well. The performance and handling of the vehicle will be pretty similar to the original 2012 version and Toyota likely won’t make major changes for another four years.
When remodeling the 2016 Lexus RX the company went all out to make sure nobody described it as dull again, and it’s safe to say that they achieved that goal. The front of the vehicle combines the spindle grille with some serious angular shapes. Deep triangular grooves are cut into either side of the vehicle underneath the LED running lights and foglights. The angle of the lights goes up against the angle of the spindle grille to create a level of symmetry while providing a very aggressive look. Combine that with the deep angular seams down the vehicle and the floating roof design and you have a sportier look. The RX also had its wheelbase expanded by 1.9 inches and its length boosted by 4.7 inches giving the designers more room to create modifications.
The inside of the 2016 RX is a clear improvement over the outgoing model. Not only is there much more legroom available for those in the rear seat, but there is also a moonroof offered for those who want a little more light in the vehicle. The center stack has been cleaned up noticeably and there is an optional 12.3 inch display for the media system for improved results. There is also a heads up display option if you really want to increase the screens in the vehicle. Overall it seems more upscale, cleaner and more comfortable to be in.
Lexus hasn’t released any specifics about the RX yet so any performance figures, fuel efficiency numbers and talks of added features is all just speculation at this point. It’s safe to say that the same focus on tech features will be present in this model, along with plenty of comfort features. It will be interesting to see if Lexus added some power to the RX to match the relatively bold new exterior. That type of improvement could be what draws in the new buyers and even satisfies some of the customers who are put off by the altered appearance in the first place. There’s no doubt that the RX looks strikingly different, but will Lexus make interior improvements to match, or will customers be presented with a miss-matched interior. We’ll all just have to wait and see.
Developing new automotive technologies can be extraordinarily expensive and it makes sense to advance technology in the most affordable way possible. That’s why many car companies are starting to work together to try and lower research and developments costs for new technology. Toyota is considering a partnership with Mazda so that both companies can improve their lineup affordably. Toyota is known for its hybrid and fuel cell technology and Mazda has some highly efficient gas and diesel engines. By sharing these technologies amongst each other both automakers could improve their vehicles noticeably.
An Existing Relationship
Toyota and Mazda already have a mutually beneficial relationship and this latest deal would just be expanding upon the benefits that both are already enjoying. Currently Toyota is making its gas-electric technology for some of Mazda’s lineup and Mazda is working on developing a small car at its Mexico plant for Toyota. Mazda should start development on the vehicle later on this year.
Meeting Strict Emissions Requirements
All around the world governments are cracking down on fuel efficiency and emissions standards. The governments want cleaner vehicles. They want less pollution going into the air and they want their nations to stop depending on fossil fuels so much. What this really means is that automakers have a lot of work ahead of them and they will probably spend a great deal on research and development to meet the new guidelines and remain in operation legally. While some automakers are focusing on lobbying and stopping these new laws, or at least softening the requirements, other car companies are striking up relationships to try and spread these developments costs amongst themselves. With the new Mazda engine technology Toyota will be able to make its lineup more efficient and improve MPG across its lineup. Toyota fans can expect even more impressive vehicles in the future with technology that was only available to Mazda previously. Mazda will be able to make similar changes to its own lineup and will likely begin offering some hybrid and possibly fuel cell cars in the future to help reduce its dependency on gas and diesel.
Mazda plans to form additional partnerships in the future, and with Toyota giving out information and working to expand its fuel cell technology so aggressively it’s likely they will form new partnerships in the future as well. Each new partnership helps bring better more technologically advanced vehicles to the marketplace for everyone to enjoy.
When most consumers pick up a new Volkswagen it’s likely to be the Passat, the Golf or the Beetle. These are the most popular vehicles in the lineup, but not always the best fit for the consumer. There is a little-known vehicle badged the Volkswagen CC and it’s an excellent driver-focused car dubbed the four-door sedan that many consumers will love. It benefits from above-average chiseled looks, an increase in power over most of the VW lineup and simple interior styling that makes it more intuitive to drive around. These are all differences that a subset of drivers will really enjoy, and that’s who should consider this car.
Purist Drivers Unite
The 2015 Volkswagen CC and the CC lineup overall is about performance and a pure driving experience more than anything else. Sure it’s a more expensive vehicle, and yes it doesn’t have all the features of the Passat, but that’s why people buy it. The CC is a bare-bones, high performance driving experience. It lets the purist connect with the car on a whole new level and even comes with a nice smooth manual transmission to emphasize that point.
While the CC probably isn’t going to win many track races against a true hardened sports car, it’s got plenty of power that shows through with every step of the pedal and turn of the wheel.
The inside of the 2015 CC Sport 2.0T shows of highly padded bucket seats that emphasize a sporty ribbed pattern. Compared to the Passat and many others of the VW lineup the CC is sparsely equipped. The media system is quite minor, the gauge cluster is simple in design and everything is neatly segmented into its own place. The interior is clearly made from quality materials, and it has an expensive look, but it isn’t confusing and you won’t have to spend as much time learning how to use features and navigating all the different items inside.
Inclusive Base Price
Often the base vehicle in a lineup is pretty bare bones, but the base CC comes with most of the main features and upgrading will only give you a set of extras that you may or may not want such as a massage feature and a more luxurious interior. The car comes standard with a 5.0 touch screen media screen that manages to blend in with the rest of the vehicle well. This device offers navigation, and a rear view camera. The base model is also equipped with a pair of bixenon headlamps as well for greater road visibility and a more upscale look.
Overall you get quite a bit with the Volkswagen CC models and it’s a more fun car to drive around than a Passat or many of the other family focused vehicles. As with any driver-focused performance car you’ll pay a bit more for the power and the upscale look, but for some it’s going to be more than worth the price.
LAcarGUY has lead the revolution when it comes to offering environmentally friendly vehicles for sale to the public, more people come to the LAcarGUY family of dealers for EV’s Hybrids and Clean Diesels that just about anyone else in the country. Our leadership on that front continues as Toyota Santa Monica has been named one of eight exclusive stores to sell the Toyota Mirai, the next step in the revolution of environmentally responsible vehicles from Toyota.
The Toyota Mirai is a four-door, mid-size sedan with performance that fully competes with traditional internal combustion engines – but it uses no gasoline and emits nothing but water vapor. The groundbreaking fuel cell electric vehicle is powered by hydrogen, re-fuels in about five minutes, and travels up to 300 miles on a full tank.
In its basic operation, a fuel cell vehicle works much like a battery electric vehicle. But instead of the large drive battery, Mirai’s fuel cell stack combines hydrogen gas from tanks with oxygen to produce electricity that powers the electric motor.
Beginning in summer, you can request a Mirai by visiting www.toyota.com/mirai. Production of the Mirai is limited to approximately 3000 units through 2017 , and vehicles will be placed with select, eligible customers. Therefore, we encourage you to make your requests early to save a potential parking spot in transportation history. You can visit www.toyota.com/mirai today to sign up for more information and notification of exact order request launch timing in the coming months, also make sure to stop in at Toyota Santa Monica to talk to us about the Mirai, and watch for more news coming on our Facebook and Twitter pages.