On May 2nd Audi Pacific hosted the private preview for Iron Man 3 in Torrance. A BIG thank you to the over 160 customers that came out to experience the fun and see the Audi R8 and Tony Stark in action.
This special preview was before the Midnight first showing for the general public, in fact as the Audi Pacific showing was being ushered into the theatre, there were 10 lines of people waiting for the midnight showing.
This was the second time that Audi Pacific has hosted an Iron Man movie night at the AMC Del Amo in Torrance and it was great to see so many friends out to see it.
There were a number of people from the Audi Pacific and LAcarGUY team at the event including Mike and Sean Sullivan, Jeff LaPlant, Chris Prodromides and his wife Stephany, and many more.
The Audi R8 e-tron® was front and center in the latest Iron Man movie, it was the perfect choice for Tony Stark, power, technology, style, and all done in a way that defies convention!
Over the last 18 months you can really see Akio Toyoda’s fingerprints on the Lexus brand. For many years Lexus was considered a brand of fine cars with excellent build quality and a dealer network that set the standard for the industry. However, they were also thought of as bland and emotionless vehicles. Cars and SUV’s for those that wanted something nice, but didn’t care about cars or want to think about cars.
Akio’s statement was that cars bearing his family’s name WOULD have emotion, would have a connection to the driver, they would NOT be thought of as just a commodity item.
The all new GS was the first real statement along those lines and now with the 2014 Lexus IS, the third generation of the car, Akio has focused Lexus’ efforts into not just drawing event with cars like the BMW 3 Series and the Audi A4, but setting the standard for the small luxury performance segment.
The new IS draws from it’s larger stablemate, the GS, in several areas. The front end is a further, more aggressive evolution of the spindle grill, the interior continues the horizontal theme dash, and the rear suspension is derived from the GS as well.
The new IS gains 2.5 inches in wheelbase allowing for a further 1.6 inches of rear seat legroom. The overall length has been extended 3.5 inches, the trunk now has an additional .5 cubic foot of space and the first time offering a 60/40 split folding rear seat for additional cargo capacity.
When the new IS is ordered with Satellite Navigation, it comes loaded with 3D mapping including Street View. Traffic and weather information are now subscription free, weather is updated every 10 minutes and traffic every 2 minutes. Traffic also has the addition feature of Predictive Traffic which can forecast ahead 15, 30 and 45 minutes so that you can see what your route may look like, and if you should choose a different way. Also when you are running low on fuel gas stations will appear as Points Of Interest on the map.
The 2014 IS has all of the safety features you’ve come to expect on a car at this level, 10 air bags, Blind Spot Warning with Cross Traffic, lane departure alert, and Pre Collision Radar cruise control down to 25 miles an hour.
The F-Sport version of the new IS, available on both the IS 250 and the IS 350 is distinguished by a different nose and bumper, different seats, LED daytime running lights, variable adaptive suspension and additional drive modes of Sports S and S+. Also in the F-Sport is a different gage cluster that draws it’s inspiration from the LFA Supercar. The center dial slides from the center to the right and alters the information on the LCD gage cluster.
Optional on all models is the 15 speaker, 835 watt Mark Levinson audio system. The system features a full digital (Class-D) amplifier, 5.1 channel/7.1 channel surround system, a total of 15 GreenEdge™ ultra-high efficiency speakers and a Lexus-first Auto Volume System,which automatically adjusts volume when changing between sources or radio channels.
The IS 250 and 350 can be had either as Rear Drive or All Wheel Drive. Power comes from either a 2.5 liter V6 in the IS 250 offering 204 horsepower and 184 lb/ft of torque, or the 3.5 liter V6 in the IS 350 which offers up 306 horsepower and 277 lb/ft of torque.
Fuel economy is rated in the IS 250 at 21/30/24 (city/highway/combined) for the Rear Drive and 20/27/23 for the All Wheel Drive model. The IS 350 rates as 19/28/22 for the Rear Drive and 19/26/21 for the All Wheel Drive.
All IS 250’s, plus the IS 350 AWD will use a six speed automatic transmission, while the Rear Drive IS 350 will use the eight speed automatic from the outgoing IS-F.
On the road the new IS has a very comfortable and controlled ride quality, the cabin is very quiet, as you’d expect. However, when you put your foot down, there is a very sporty sounding exhaust, and when tossed aggressively into corners, the body stays very flat, and the handling is very neutral, with just a hint of understeer to keep you safe.
Lexus believe you can have your cake and eat it too with the suspension in the new IS. They have soften the springs at all four corners to make the ride more supple, yet larger anti roll bars allow the handling to be very sporty and controlled without being overly stiff. When you want a more aggressive suspension you can dial it up with the drive mode selector. In the standard IS you have a Sport mode, and in the F-Sport there are Sports S and S+ options. The additional modes will not only change the suspension calibrations, but alter how aggressive the throttle is as well.
For 30 years the BMW 3 Series has set the benchmark for the small sport luxury segment, and Audi in the last decade has been running neck and neck with BMW with their A4. Lexus have now gone all in on this segment, and just like when Lexus entered the market with the original LS, the Germans will be may need to re-evaluate their current efforts.
Pricing for the IS 250 begins at $35,950 and $39,465 for the IS 350, All Wheel Drive adds $2,515 to the IS 250 and $2,235 to the IS 350, all models of the new IS will be available mid Summer.
In the second episode (part 1 of 2) released last week, the Subaru Rally Team USA reunites in Michigan for 2013 Sno*Drift Rally. This is the first rally of the Rally America season and takes place in Montmorency County. The one-off ice and snow event has been described as beyond treacherous and provides a unique challenge to the team.
The team will be competing agains the best and drivers David Higgins and Craig Drew will be pushed to the limit on this course that proves to be far more difficult than anybody had anticipated.
The all-new 2014 Lexus IS sedans will feature an all-new multimedia system with a remote touch interface and will deliver real-time traffic and weather information over the air for free.
Lexus has made $1,400 worth of equipment that was optional in previous IS models standard in the new luxury sedans, including HID headlamps, L-shaped LED daytime running lights, Drive Mode Select, paddle shifters, a dual-zone climate control system, a next-generation Remote Touch Interface, Display Audio, a color 4.2-inch TFT multi-information display, and 10 airbags, while pricing the new Lexus IS 350 2.1 percent lower than its predecessor.
The revamped in-vehicle multimedia system features a 7-inch VGA multi-display as the centerpiece, providing drivers with climate, audio, and navigation information. The display can be operated via a Display Audio controller, which can access Info, Setup, Display, Media, Climate, and Phone screens, or by way of the carmaker’s new Remote Touch system featuring a next-generation haptic joystick.
The in-vehicle information system also features what Lexus describes as “advanced voice recognition” enabled by a new dual-microphone system and voice box built on the latest Nuance voice recognition software platform. The system searches a navigation point-of-interest (POI) database to conduct local search and Microsoft’s Bing for Internet search through a connected smartphone app.
Lexus is billing the free, HD radio-supplied weather and traffic info accessible in the 2014 IS sedan as an “industry-first application.” The same information service was previously provided via Sirius XM but required a subscription. Customers will have the option to add the Lexus Enform App Suite to their system, which uses cellular connectivity to provide weather and traffic info when out of HD Radio coverage range, and also includes fuel price, stock market, and sports updates.
The experts at Consumer Reports have chosen the Porsche Boxster as their highest rated two-seater vehicle. In testing, Porsche Boxster knocked off the Mercedes-Benz SLK, Audi TT, and BMW Z4. They all did well, but CR proclaims mid-engine Boxster as delivering “the purest sports-car experience of the four roadsters.”
Consumer Reports liked the redesigned 2.7-liter Boxster as they found its engine “very responsive” and the 6-speed manual transmission “smooth and crisp.” Their team was impressed with the power-operated folding soft top and storage areas too, saying “the power top is quick and can be opened or closed on the go at up to 35 mph, a very nice convenience, and the front and rear trunks continue to be a bonus.” Sealing the win, the independent testing agency added, “handling is still excellent despite some loss of steering feedback and the ride is not punishing.”
Which is your favorite two-seater and does it deserve the top prize? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section.
The Volkswagen Beetle Turbo, Beetle Turbo Convertible and the Jetta GLI all go on sale this month and for the 2013 models, the most notable change has been the improvement in power of the award winning EA888 2.0-liter turbocharged TSI® engine.
There is an increase in 10 horsepower compared to its predecessor, which brings total output to 210 horses and torque remains unchanged at 207 lb-ft. The Beetle Turbo is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds, which is an improvement of 0.2 seconds. And the Jetta GLI does the run to 60 in 6.7 seconds which is a tenth faster with the manual transmission and two-tenths quicker with the DSG® dual-clutch automatic than cars equipped with the Gen 2 engine.
Along with improved performance, the new engine also provides a manufacturer-estimated improvement in fuel efficiency for the Beetle models of between four and eight percent in city and combined fuel economy. The new engine has been designed to be lighter and more fuel efficient. This in part due to the reduction in weight by eight pounds. Improvements to design include a thinwall crankcase casting; exhaust headers that are integrated into the cylinder head; smaller diameter main bearings; roller bearings for the twin balancer shafts; and a crankshaft that has four counterweights instead of eight.
As well as the new engine, the Beetle Turbo and the Beetle Turbo Convertible both receive new R-Line bumpers that feature grained black surfaces and chrome-framed turn signals at the front and a diffuser at the rear. The Jetta GLI also receives upgrades with LED taillights on all three trims.
At the Shanghai Auto Show last week, Toyota revealed a pair of green technology concepts, which might be a preview of hybrid systems that could appear in future models. Both cars are aimed at the Chinese market, with the FT-HT Yuejia debuting a six-seater hatch and the Yundong Shuangquing II previewing a new sedan model.
Toyota says that the hatch’s “Yuejia” name means “happy family”, while the sedan’s name combines “movement upon clouds” with the term “dual support” – the latter a reference to its petrol-electric powertrain. The Yundong Shuangqing II seems to be a more subdued version of the Furia concept seen at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, but now with a hybrid powertrain. Both the Furia and Yundong Shuangqing II concepts have sharply defined sheetmetal to separate the front of the car from the side. The two cars’ profiles look identical, from the upward kink of the rear side window to the character line that strikes through the door handles.
Little has been revealed about the concepts’ hybrid drivetrains, although Toyota has confirmed that a new system is being developed at its Changshu plant in China.
In July 2004, Porsche introduced a new generation 911 Carrera and 911 Carrera S models, which were referred to internally as the 997. Its clear oval headlights with separate turn-signal markers in the front apron were reminiscent of older 911 models, but the 997 offered more than just style.
It was a high-performance vehicle, capable of turning out 325 horsepower with its 3.6-liter boxer engine while the new 3.8-liter engine of the Carrera S managed an incredible 355 horsepower.
The chassis was also substantially reworked, and the Carrera S came with Porsche Active Suspension Management as standard equipment. In 2006 Porsche introduced the 911 Turbo, the first gasoline-powered production automobile to include a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry. A model update in the fall of 2008 made the 997 even more efficient thanks to direct fuel injection and a dual clutch transmission. Never before had the 911 series made such extensive allowances to suit drivers’ individual preferences, and with Carrera, Targa, Cabriolet, rear or all-wheel drive, Turbo, GTS, special models, and road versions of GT racing cars, the 911 family ultimately comprised 24 model versions.
Subaru of America Inc. has released the first episode of “Launch Control”, a bi-weekly web video series that chronicles Subaru Rally Team USA and the Subaru PUMA RallyCross Team as they prepare for and compete in a fast-paced 2013 race season spanning the globe. With a mix of in-car video, car prep and driver interviews, “Launch Control” is the story of two teams, everything it takes to win and everything that gets in the way.
In the debut episode of “Launch Control,” Subaru Rally Team USA driver and defending Rally America Champion David Higgins is training for the upcoming season at his home in Wales, UK, while the crew at Vermont Sports Car, the Subaru technical partner managing both teams, is hard at work in the shop preparing the 2013 Subaru WRX STI team cars for a the season ahead.
Check out the video below:
This past weekend, LAcarGUY‘s team were on-hand at the unveiling of the official H2.0 Fountain at Polliwog Park on Earth Day. LAcarGUY is proud to be among a number of community partners who have contributed to support Leadership Manhattan Beach’s initiative to provide seven state-of-the-art water drinking fountains to the community, where three of which include a fountain especially for canine companions.
LAcarGUY‘s Manager of the Environment, Alisha Auringer, and CIO, Tim James, had the opportunity to fill up their water bottles using the bottle-refilling dispensers! LAcarGUY was also presented with a sponsorship plaque from the wonderful team at Leadership Manhattan Beach.
Check out a few pics from the day! If you attended the event, tell us what you think of the new drinking fountains!