Even Toyota Mirai Advertisements Improve the Environment

March 27, 2017 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , ,

For the most part billboards are just a waste of space. They take up a section of the earth and show off commercial pictures that you see while driving by. There is no purpose to them and it can be frustrating seeing them all over the place when something else could be there instead. That’s been the case with billboards for years, but that’s something that Toyota is changing right now with its Mirai billboard. Toyota is putting up special billboards that actually scrub pollution from the air around them. Not only do the billboards show off the new Mirai, they make the surrounding air better for everyone at the same time.

toyota air cleaning billboard

How they Work

Each of the billboards is made from titanium dioxide-coated vinyl that reacts with oxygen to convert nitrogen oxide into nitrates and take them right out of the air. It’s a passive system that requires no electricity, and it’s something that will continue to work for a long time before stopping.

The Overall Impact

Nitrogen oxide is responsible for smog, as well as acid rain. Taking it out of the air is a very good thing for the California landscape where most of the Mirai billboards are currently located. It’s estimated that the 37 billboards put up currently will remove the equivalent of 5,285 vehicles worth of Nitrogen oxide each and every month. That’s a pretty significant impact over such a small number of billboards.

The Toyota Mirai is celebrated as an environmentally-friendly vehicle because it runs on hydrogen and only emits water vapor out of its tailpipe. Now the billboards that represent that vehicle can also be touted as environmentally friendly. It’s a brilliant branding stunt, and an excellent way to take nearly useless billboards and turn them into a tool that will help improve the landscape around them. If only more companies thought like Toyota in their marketing efforts and did something environmentally friendly while building publicity for a vehicle.

The Audi RS3 Finally Comes to America and It’s Glorious

March 24, 2017 lacarguy Audi Tags: , ,

For years driving enthusiasts lusted after the Audi RS 3 over in Europe. The little powerhouse of a vehicle could tear up a track while looking unassuming at the same time. It’s like the ultimate hot hatch, and it’s something that up until now we haven’t been able to get our hands on. That’s all about to change though, because Audi is bringing over an RS3 to the US, or at least as close as we can hope to get at present. This little car might look just like the A3, but don’t let that fool you, it comes packed with power and is a whole lot of fun to drive around.

2017 audi rs3

Insane Power

For such a small and lightweight vehicle, the RS3 comes packed with power. It’s equipped with a five cylinder turbocharged engine that offers a massive 400 HP of driving force. The power is accompanied by 354 lb.-ft. of torque and very little turbo lag to boot. All that power is tied up to the very capable S Tronic automatic manual seven-speed shifter. It delivers lightning fast gear changes and is a capable tool to unlock all the power contained under the hood of this little beast.

Excellent Handling Mechanics

A powerful car is a lot of fun to drive around, but without the right handling mechanics it’s only good through straight lines. The RS3 offers all the power and top-notch handling mechanics to boot. The steering is nice and stiff and there’s a slight understeer or oversteer depending on the driving mode that your operating in. In standard mode you’ll face understeer. In dynamic drive mode you’ll have sweet glorious oversteer that makes it easy to whip around corners and slide the wheels while doing it. The capable all-wheel drive will help keep the car steady under pressure and you’ll be able to really apply pressure with all that power at your disposal.

Quality Build and Interior

Of course this model will pack in upscale finishes and extra media features like any top-end Audi is expected to. You’ll have all the comfort features that you could want in a sports car, and most of them are going to come standard so you won’t have to pay extra for comfort. Of course the price of the car will reflect all those features. It’s expected to retail upwards of $55,000 when it finally goes on sale this summer, which puts it in the middle of many similarly equipped high-performance cars from the likes of Mercedes and BMW.

Overall the RS3 isn’t a car you’re going to want to miss when it’s released in the US, and it’s going to be a vehicle that’s highly in demand when the time comes.

The 2018 Sienna Receives some Very Nice Enhancements

March 23, 2017 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , ,

The 2018 Toyota Sienna benefits from some serious updates even though it looks very similar to the 2017 model. If you’re looking for a new minivan, the 2018 model year will offer notable improvements over the 2017 model year. Here’s an overview of what you can expect from the new minivan.

2017 toyota sienna

Mostly the Same on the Outside

When looking at the Sienna from the outside you would almost swear that it’s the same vehicle as the 2017 model. That’s because besides for the new bumper with a larger grille and nose, none of the enhancements are visual ones. If you opt for the Sienna SE you’ll enjoy a laminated windshield. If you spring for the Limited model you’ll also get acoustic glass on both side windows up front for a quieter ride, but that’s it for exterior enhancements. The real changes come on the inside of the minivan.

A Serious Safety Upgrade

Sienna drivers can feel a whole lot safer while toting the kids around from school to soccer practice now that Toyota is making its whole safety lineup available as standard to every model of the Sienna. That means that you get things like adaptive cruise, steering assist, auto emergency brakes, lane-departure and auto high beams as standard. You won’t pay a dime for any of these enhancements, even though they will make the minivan much safer to drive around.

Tech Improvements

Another area where you’ll notice the Sienna is jumping ahead is in technology. The 2018 model will come equipped with a total of 5 USB ports, making it simple to keep all your mobile devices topped up while going down the road. It’s also going to come with a 4.2” infotainment display and the vehicle will come with Android streaming capabilities for the entertainment system as well. If you opt for the Limited version of the Sienna, you’ll also enjoy a surround camera that gives you an excellent view of your vehicle from different angles when backing up and navigating tight spaces.

Entune 3.0 is also going to come standard with each of the different trims in the Sienna. This gives you a nav system that connects through smartphone, and all the trims above the base model will come with 4G LTE and Wifi connectivity.

There’s a lot to love about the 2018 Toyota Sienna, and  for tech enthusiasts it will likely be the best option out on the road for a few years. Whether you’re concerned about the safety of your family, your family relies heavily on mobile devices or you just want the enhanced media features without paying for them, the Sienna is worth a look.

2018 Porsche Enhancements to Look for

March 22, 2017 lacarguy Porsche Tags: , , ,

2018 Model-year Porsche vehicles are going to receive a number of enhancements that make them more worthwhile than ever before. Whether you’ve been wanting more power, different color options, or an enhanced media system, all those changes and more are coming to the 2018 model year vehicles. Here’s an overview of what you can expect from the next lineup of cars, pay close attention.

2017 Porsche 911 cabriolet

911 S and 911 Owners Get Power Bump

In 2018 911 S models are going to come with an optional performance kit that will increase overall power by 30 HP. This is an enhancement that current 911 owners will also be able to make use of, that is as long as they chose to get the Sport Chrono package at time of purchase. That means that 2017 Porsche that’s sitting in your garage can be even faster, you just have to be willing to shell out some money at the dealership to have the performance enhancement added in 2018.

In order to achieve this performance enhancement the vehicle will be equipped with upsized turbochargers as well as the Sports Chrono package, an enhanced brake cooking system, dynamic mounts for the engine, and a dual tailpipe exhaust system. Overall the cost should be approximately $12,350 for the added performance, and it’s going to be available for new 911, Carrera S, 911 Targa 4S, Carrera S and 4S models as well as the 911 S.

More Color Options

Not only will 2018 bring performance enhancements to Porsche vehicles, it also brings more interior and exterior color selections to choose from. You’ll have several additional colors to pick from, though some are completely model exclusive, like Palladium Metallic for the Cayenne, and Saffron Yellow Metallic for the 911.

Enhanced Media System

Vehicles that are available with the Porsche Connect service are going to benefit from the addition of many additional services. This includes things like in-car WiFi and LTE access to help make vehicles more connected overall.

All these changes are notably improving Porsche vehicles across the lineup in 2018, but some of the improvements, like the power boost pack will come at a cost. You’ll have to look through all the 2018 enhancements and decide if they’re worth the added cost or not when the time comes to make the purchase.

Toyota Borrows Microsoft Technology with Patent Purchase

March 21, 2017 lacarguy Toyota Tags: , , , , ,

Recently Microsoft has been scrambling to try and convince automakers to use its technology for connected cars. Specifically its Azure platform. The tech giant swears that the technology is ideal for connected cars and that many of the features will make a very real difference for automakers. Apparently talks with Toyota have paid off, because the automaker is working with Microsoft signing a deal to use some of the company’s patent’s for developments in the future.

microsoft logo

 

No Specific Details

Currently there are no specific details about the deal between the two mammoth companies, we just know that a deal was made. It’s presumed that the deal was for connected vehicles, and it’s likely that Toyota will leverage the tech to make some piece of self-driving vehicles, or at least communicating vehicles work more effectively.

Toyota’s Push for Connected Vehicles

This is just one more indicator that’s in favor of the idea that Toyota is pushing for connected vehicles that can communicate in different ways. Toyota understands the value of cars that can talk to one another, and earlier this year expressed an interest in creating vehicles that communicate for safety purposes. That could be something that the automaker is working on with help from Microsoft.

While there is no information about the amount that Toyota agreed to pay Microsoft, or what technology the auto giant is going to be using, it’s a good sign that some sort of innovation is on the way from Toyota, and that the company is serious about taking a strong step forward toward automation, communication and other tech-focused enhancements for its vehicles.

Volkswagen Changes in 2017

March 20, 2017 lacarguy Volkswagen Tags: , , , ,

There’s a lot of new changes coming down the pipeline for Volkswagen in 2017, and as a fan of the brand it makes sense to stay on top of what’s coming up. Here’s an overview of what enhancements you’ll see in the Volkswagen lineup, what’s pretty much staying the same and what new releases are going to come out in 2018.

2017 jetta

The Golf

The Volkswagen Golf is going to benefit from a bunch of new changes this year, making it worth taking a look at if you’re planning on getting a new compact vehicle. The car will be offered with a Wolfsburg Edition trim. The GTI variation will now come with the Sport trim as well, giving you more power options to choose from. The e-Golf is receiving more power and a range enhancement and the Golf model is going to receive a whole host of updates in 2018 with an improved model.

The Beetle

The Volkswagen Beetle is always one of the more reserved vehicles that don’t receive too many changes in a model year. This year a Pink limited edition Beetle is being added for buyers to consider. There’s also going to be more aggressive bumpers on the 1.8T models of the Beetle.

Volkswagen Tiguan

The Tiguan gets a whole host of changes for the 2017 year of the vehicle. It will now come standard with a four-cylinder turbocharged engine across the whole range of vehicle. There’s a Wolfsburg and Sport trim of the vehicle available now, additional standard features were added to the vehicle and both the R-Line and SE trims were removed entirely.

The Passat

While many VW vehicles are sitting still, the Passat is receiving a host of changes. The R-Line trim is getting more standard features, and both auto braking and forward collision warning are becoming standard throughout the lineup.

The Touareg

The Touareg is a popular SUV sold by Volkswagen and it’s getting some notable changes in 2017. For starters there will no longer be a Lux trim version of the vehicle, and a Wolfsburg trim option has been added. Just like the Passat it’s getting standard auto braking and forward collision warning. The vehicle will also be completely redesigned for the 2018 model year, so keep your eyes opened for that.

Overall this is a year for some notable changes to the Volkswagen lineup, but the 2018 model year is the one with the most dramatic changes on the way. There will be a new model for the Touareg, Tiguan, and the Golf.

New Changes for Volkswagen in 2017

March 20, 2017 lacarguy Uncategorized Tags: , , , ,

There’s a lot of new changes coming down the pipeline for Volkswagen in 2017, and as a fan of the brand it makes sense to stay on top of what’s coming up. Here’s an overview of what enhancements you’ll see in the Volkswagen lineup, what’s pretty much staying the same and what new releases are going to come out in 2018.

2017 tiguan

The Golf

The Volkswagen Golf is going to benefit from a bunch of new changes this year, making it worth taking a look at if you’re planning on getting a new compact vehicle. The car will be offered with a Wolfsburg Edition trim. The GTI variation will now come with the Sport trim as well, giving you more power options to choose from. The e-Golf is receiving more power and a range enhancement and the Golf model is going to receive a whole host of updates in 2018 with an improved model.

The Beetle

The Volkswagen Beetle is always one of the more reserved vehicles that don’t receive too many changes in a model year. This year a Pink limited edition Beetle is being added for buyers to consider. There’s also going to be more aggressive bumpers on the 1.8T models of the Beetle.

Volkswagen Tiguan

The Tiguan gets a whole host of changes for the 2017 year of the vehicle. It will now come standard with a four-cylinder turbocharged engine across the whole range of vehicle. There’s a Wolfsburg and Sport trim of the vehicle available now, additional standard features were added to the vehicle and both the R-Line and SE trims were removed entirely.

The Passat

While many VW vehicles are sitting still, the Passat is receiving a host of changes. The R-Line trim is getting more standard features, and both auto braking and forward collision warning are becoming standard throughout the lineup.

The Touareg

The Touareg is a popular SUV sold by Volkswagen and it’s getting some notable changes in 2017. For starters there will no longer be a Lux trim version of the vehicle, and a Wolfsburg trim option has been added. Just like the Passat it’s getting standard auto braking and forward collision warning. The vehicle will also be completely redesigned for the 2018 model year, so keep your eyes opened for that.

Overall this is a year for some notable changes to the Volkswagen lineup, but the 2018 model year is the one with the most dramatic changes on the way. There will be a new model for the Touareg, Tiguan, and the Golf.

The Three Pedal Dance Returns To The Porsche 911 GT3

March 17, 2017 lacarguy Pacific Porsche, Porsche, Porsche South Bay, Uncategorized Tags: , ,

911 GT3-1 Front Three Quarter

The recent Geneva Motor Show brought welcome news the Porsche faithful and enthusiasts, the “Drivers 911″ the 911 GT3 would once again be offered with a manual transmission!

In an ever increasing world of automation and complication, there comes a time and reason to unplug from it all and get back to basics, or at least as basic can get in this current day and age.  When the 991 GT3 debuted it was hailed as the next great step, save for one thing, the lack of a manual transmission.  The Porsche PDK is a superb transmission, and if the goal is to get around the race track in the quickest time, then there is no better tool to row through the gears.  In the daily commute, stuck in traffic, the PDK also shines saving your left leg in stop and go traffic.

However, there are times when you want to row your own, to truly feel connected to the car and the driving experience, and for that, the best tool for the job is a manual transmission!  If you wanted something close to the GT3 with a manual, you had to be lucky enough to get the 911R, but those were only offered to those who purchased the 918 Spyder, or, if you found one second hand, they started at $500,000 and went up quickly from there.

Porsche heard loud and clear that the faithful still wanted a manual gearbox and now they have responded.  With the 991.2GT3 a six-speed manual returns attached to a 4.0 liter naturally-asperated flat six developing 500 horsepower and 339 lb/ft of torque.  It wasn’t that long ago that 997 Turbo topped out at 450 horsepower, and now, the GT3 brings 500 naturally-asperated horsepower to the dance to sing that glorious song as it approaches it’s near 9,000 rpm redline.

Deliveries of the 991.2GT3 will begin in September, if you’d like to reserve one today, please contact us as these will be very hard to get.

Please have a look at this video as Andreas Preuninger, Porsche GT Project Director, guides DRIVETRIBE’s Features Editor Henry Catchpole around the latest Porsche 911 GT3.

Porsche South Bay Classic Partner Open House

March 17, 2017 lacarguy LAcarGUY News & Events, Pacific Porsche, Porsche, Porsche South Bay Tags: , ,

Porsche South Bay Classic Partner Open House

It was a long hard road to get here, but it was worth it.

Not only does Porsche South Bay have a spectacular new home, we are now one of only four Porsche Classic Partner locations in the United States! To celebrate we held an open house, and over 700 people were in attendance for our 60’s themed party! We had an amazing display of classic Porsche’s including a few VERY special ones.

We had Jerry Seinfeld’s 901 Porsche on display, Mike Sullivan’s 918 Spyder and enough other classic Porsche’s to be the envy of any Cars & Coffee. Factory Porsche race driver Patrick Long was also in attendance with his personal 964.

We had great food and drinks, along with a DJ, and we gave away a bunch of prizes, including four vouchers for the Porsche Experience Center!

We’ve assembled some great shots of the event, click the link to see them all!

Porsche Classic Partner Program

Porsche Classic cares for Porsche vehicles that have been our of standard production for at least 10 years. As a Porsche Classic Partner, we have a dedicated team of technicians, advisors and parts specialists trained and certified to work on Porsche Classic Vehicles. To learn more about the Porsche Classic Partner program, please head over and have a look

Porsche South Bay Classic Partner Open House

The New Porsche Mission E Could Benefit from Over the Air Upgrades after Release

March 16, 2017 lacarguy Porsche Tags: , , , , ,

By now most people have heard about the Porsche Mission-E all-electric supercar that Porsche is working on. They know that the automaker is shooting for a 300+ mile range for the car, while making something that’s going to be a blast to drive and that’s going to be very quick. If Porsche can deliver on all these things it’s going to have a pretty successful vehicle on its hands, but the automaker isn’t content to just stop there. Porsche also plans on releasing a car that is upgrade-able over the air, and that might be capable of automated driving with a simple over the air update.

Porsche Mission E

Over the Air Upgrades

Much like Tesla did with its Roadster, Porsche wants to be able to make enhancements to its Mission E with wireless software changes to the vehicle. It wants to be able to adjust the tune of the engine, increase or decrease power output in the future, and maybe add in additional tech features like improved automated driving features over time as well.

By simply turning your vehicle on, it could connect to the Internet and receive the updates that it needs to put new features into place using the existing technology. This is something that software companies do all the time today, but not something that is as common in automobiles currently. If Porsche can incorporate this feature into is Mission E, and we’re confident that the company can, buyers will be able to get more life out of the supercar before wanting to upgrade to the latest model.

Automated Driving Features

Porsche, once fully against automated driving, stated that it plans on releasing the Mission E with some self-driving features. For instance, the car might be able to pilot the driver through congested traffic on a straight road, and tackle other simple tasks like that that would otherwise be dull. The Mission E might come with pretty limited self-driving features, but over time as the tech improves, Porsche should be able to make software updates to the vehicle to make it more capable than before. Owners will notice their vehicle getting smarter, the media system getting new features and the vehicle improving over time. That’s the benefit of over-the-air updates, and it’s an exciting feature that Porsche owners could really benefit from.

Porsche is planning on releasing the Mission E in different power levels, so its possible that buyers will be able to change from one power level to the next with a paid update to the vehicle, but there’s no word if that’s going to be the case for the Mission E or not.

Porsche is betting big on this electric supercar and is sinking more than 1 billion Euros into research and development for it. The automaker is planning on selling 20,000 models each year, which would be significant for the luxury automaker, making it account for approximately 10 percent of all sales.

The features set to come with the Mission E are not set in stone, but so far the specs are exciting and something to look forward to. Serious Porsche fans that want to get into electric vehicles should seriously look at this option.With a 300 mile range and a 15 minute charge time the Mission E could be a convenient daily driver that replaces a gas-powered vehicle with ease.