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Showing posts from 2014

Car FYI's 2014 In Reverse Part 1

Photo Credit: General Motors 2014 is coming to a close providing what has been a year's worth of memories. As a follower of automotive culture, I have been highs and lows shaping what has been the past 12 months. The auto sector for 2014 consisted of exciting new designs, evolutions in technology and visions of a thrilling future. Conversely, some high-profile fails have also left a negative impression. With the conclusion of 2014, I want to some automotive-related highlights for this year. The following is Car FYI's first grouping of Most Spectacular Vehicle Launch of 2014: (Tie) 2015 Ford Mustang and 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata For 2014, despite all the movements in the realm of electric-powered driving and autonomous driving technology, the human driver has been rewarded handsomely. A new crop of gasoline-fuelled sports cars and high-performance vehicles has explored new heights in design as well as horsepower. Arriving ahead of the Ford Mustang’s 50 th annivers

Tesla Roadster Woos Owners/Critics with 3.0 Upgrade

When the Tesla Roadster debuted in 2008, many were skeptical for the prospects of an auto company headquartered in California building exclusively electric vehicles. In the movie "Revenge of the Electric Car", the early struggles of the organization headed by PayPal founder Elon Musk clearly illustrated a deep sea of mud to trek through for Tesla Motors. Despite some production troubles, the Roadster did gain enough attention to keep the company in business. Development and successful launch of Motor Trend Car of the Year winning Tesla Model S  cemented that the struggles were worth it. Advertised by Tesla Motors as the Roadster 3.0 package, the electric car automaker serves two interests; current owners of their initial automobiles with a tempting modification and those they intend to win over by proving gains in electric vehicle technology. The main goal of Tesla's Roadster 3.0 package is to increase the potential of electrified performance pleasure by increasing

Car FYI Holiday Gift List: Mattel Hot Wheels Die Cast Cars

Location: Various On-line retailers and stores Price: $1-189.99 This next Car FYI Gift List idea is a bit on the nose but can not be underestimated in its appeal. Young or old, Hot Wheels lead the way into the hearts of true car fans. For budding automotive enthusiasts, Hot Wheels provide an extension of imagination and basically hours of fun either on specialized tracks or practically anywhere else. For adults, Hot Wheels captures past memories as well as a continuing passion for automobile. Providing myself only the occasional indulgence, I was fortunate to find two vehicles etched in my childhood. First being Knight Rider's K.I.T.T. in Super Pursuit Mode and the second was Herbie the Love Bug. Larger, high-detail replicas are also provided through the Hot Wheels Elite line. The vehicle shown in the picture is the special San Diego Comic-Con version of the Darth Vader car part of the recently unveiled Hot Wheels Star Wars line. Right now on Amazon.com, one example

Car FYI Holiday Gift List: Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Model Car and Pen

Location: Mercedes Benz Collection Price: $145.95 One of the most iconic Mercedes-Benz production vehicles ever built, the 300 SL Gullwing was derived from a winning race car. The unique opening doors, the first-ever application of fuel injection to a performance car and limited in production to just 1,400 examples from 1954 to 1957, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing is a prized vehicle among high-end collectors. While the full-sized 300 SL Gullwing could demand over $300,000 at a top auction, the gift item-oriented  Mercedes-Benz Collection offers a smaller, more affordable alternative for fans of the 1950s supercar. Part of their 2014 Holiday Star line of lifestyle accessories, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Model Car and Pen features a 1:43 scale die cast replica of the classic Gullwing sports car painted in Fire Engine Red. A black ballpoint pen with red accents is destined to be moved by a pleased writer when they are looking at the miniaturized 300 SL. The die cast and th

CAR FYI Holiday Gift List: OPI Ford Mustang Nail Lacquer Collection

Location: Sparkle Canada Price: $39.21 The Ford Mustang has long had a strong relationship with women during its 50 years in the marketplace. This allegiance was forged early in the production of the famous American classic. Ford has reported  "the first retail produced Mustang” was purchased by school teacher Gail Wise in Chicago. Ahead of the introduction of the brand-new 2015 Ford Mustang, one lifestyle product was released specifically tailored to the pony car’s faithful female followers. OPI Ford Mustang Nail Lacquer Collection Described as a limited-edition nail lacquer collection, the Ford Mustang-themed products come in six colours. The list of categorized colours include ‘Race Red‘, a golden pearl ‘50 Years of Style‘, black ‘Queen of the Road‘, pinkish ‘Girl Love Ponies‘, ‘The Sky’s My Limit’ aqua hue and ‘Angel with a Leadfoot’ consisting of a celestial white. According to OPI Co-Founder and EVP Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, “These lacquers celebrate a woman’s pur

Car FYI Holiday Gift List: Mopar HEMI Original Blueprint Reproduction

Price: 250.95 US Location: Mopar Authetic Gear (US Site) This year, Mopar celebrated the 50 th anniversary of the 426 HEMI racing engine. While Chrysler Corporation had utilized powerplants utilizing hemispherical chambers since the 1950s, the 426 cubic-inch version (nicknamed the Elephant) was considered the zenith of their HEMI development. Developed as a racing engine, Chrysler intended to win the Daytona 500 with the Tom Hoover-designed 426 HEMI V-8. At the 1964 Daytona 500, Richard Petty lead a top-three sweep at the track powered by the Chrysler engine. Aside from stock car racing, the 426 HEMI engine would also become a force in professional drag racing. Street Chrysler products equipped with the Elephant was and remains a prized example of Mopar muscle car performance. As a special treat for hard-core Mopar fans, a reproduction of the blueprint for the groundbreaking performance is provided as a high-quality piece. Chrysler’s A864 HEMI® Cylinder Block Line Drawin

200-Mile Per Hour 2016 Cadillac CTS-V Unveiled Ahead of NAIAS

Right now, many children are studying their family Christmas trees studying whether the gifts addressed to them will be the highly desired toy or the less intriguing clothing item. When we were young, we were taught waiting would be rewarded on December 25th (sometimes Christmas Eve depending on the family tradition). Sometimes, the anxiety of delivering a gift could prove difficult for the gift giver. Cadillac just couldn't wait until January's North American International Auto Show to show the world their latest gift to the performance luxury sedan market. The latest iteration of the General Motors' premium brand's beloved performance luxury, the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V sedan has arrived ahead of Santa Claus' sleigh. At First Glance: It could be said from the debut of the 2014 Cadillac CTS sedan that engineers were provided with quite an elegantly athletic shape to work with when creating the third-generation version of their V-8 sport luxury sedan. The

No More Words: Chrysler To Be Simply Known as FCA

Some believe that companies are living entities similar to other creatures on this planet. Certainly businesses can be fostered into valuable members of human society when properly encouraged. Like individuals, companies are also required to pay taxes in a fair civilization (although many elect to declare their residence in a civilization that results in the smallest tax bill). Businesses can even be adored to an extent as brands and products can assemble a strong following. The automotive sector contains some of the deepest connections where people have grown all attached to a product name. The Chevrolet Corvette is envied for being a sports car embodying American performance while the Jeep Wrangler epitomizes classic utility. Even the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic enjoy a fondness among North American motorists as trusted transportation. These types of associations are highly valued to the point even a minor change has the potential of completely ostracizing audiences. When Fi

Car FYI Holiday Gift List: The Mega Bloks Canadian Tire Ice Truck

Are you still seeking that ideal gift for that car lover in your life? Young and old, the attraction of four-wheeled vehicles has long-served as a source of amusement. While some of us would identify our ideal Christmas or holiday gift with 707 horsepower flowing to the rear wheels of a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat , a majority of enthusiasts can be won over by a fun, thoughtful surprise related to the automobiles. For this reason, Car FYI has compiled several gift ideas for the Canadian automotive fan. Recognizing the assorted tastes of individuals enchanted by car culture, maybe one suggestion will guide the gift-giver or perhaps the self-gifter. Starting off the 2014 Holiday Gift List, I share with you an item that definitely caught my eye. On the first day of 2014, retailer Canadian Tire created a chillingly awesome commercial for the MotoMaster Eliminator battery. Premiering during the January 1st Winter Classic NHL match with the Detroit Red Wings facing off against the T

Jaguar Land Rover's Bold Vision for Future with 360 Virtual Urban Windscreen

If you own a modern vehicle, chances are at least one pair of uncomfortably large roof pillars have possibly caused you grief while maneuvering. Larger pillars exist these days are necessitated to structurally toughen the vehicle for improved handling and to meet modern crash-resistance. While smaller roof pillars on older cars encouraged drivers to look around, the modern wisdom is to drive more dependently with mirrors. Despite serving their purpose, mirrors are not always trusted by drivers. Making the pillars virtually invisible, Jaguar Land Rover's new technology concept has the potential of reducing city collisions. Called a 360 Virtual Urban Windscreen, Jaguar Land Rover uses array of high-tech devices to deliver a maximum field of view for the motorist. Inside, a screen is installed on each pillar of the vehicle's cabin is supported by cameras. The live video feeds from the camera positions are relayed onto the pillar displays providing an unobstructed perspectiv

Ford Performance Promises to be New United Front for Blue Oval Excitement

High-speed performance cars convey an international language. Through the emission of sound from a sports car`s exhaust, the translation more efficient than any program on with Rosetta Stone software is realized. Despite the internationally recognized sound of performance, not all speed demons on four wheels have a voice in every major country in the world. Some cars are delayed travel to continents while others are created to satisfy a specific country (though envied across the planet). In a time where reaching a global market is becoming more important for auto companies, performance cars must become world travelers. The Nissan Skyline/GTR was denied to North Americans until the 2008. On the opposite side of the coin, the North American staple Ford Mustang featured a limited international presence until the introduction of the 2015 model year vehicle . Along with the Mustang, Ford's organization of their region performance entities will insure a single sport model can roam t

Mercedes-Benz Celebrates Formula 1 World Championship with Special SL 63 AMG

To say the 2014 Formula 1 season ended well for the Mercedes AMG team would be a grand understatement. With Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg driving the W05 Hybrid race car, the team captured victory in 16 of season’s 19 events. In qualifying, one of the Mercedes AMG drivers prevailed with the pole position in all but one race (Williams’ Felipe Massa propelled by a customer Mercedes-Benz power unit won the Austrian Grand Prix’s pole). As Lewis Hamilton overcame a mid-season gap to triumph over teammate Rosberg for his second World Drivers’ Championship , Mercedes-Benz captured the honour of proclaiming themselves the toast of the paddock among teams. After five seasons for the Mercedes AMG organization gave glimpses of potential, quick adjustment to new rules for the 2014 Formula 1 vehicles netted the factory-based team the manufacturers’ championship. Since the manufacturers’ trophy in the series was not established until 1958 (three years after Mercedes-Benz pulled out of competi

Canada's Most Stolen Cars by Region for 2014

Photo Credit: Chris Nagy In a previous post, I shared the results compiled by the Insurance Bureau of Canada on the top-10 most frequently stolen vehicles in this country for 2014. Having already shared the story of the nation's most frequently stolen vehicles , the organization also created lists relating to regions of Canada shining a spotlight on the fact that thieves in certain provinces prey upon specific automobiles. Dividing Canada into five areas, there is indeed major differences in the types of vehicles stolen. Prairies and Territories Encompassing four provinces and three territories in Canada, pickup truck thefts appear to dominate the mindset of thieves. Eight of the top-10 most targeted vehicles on the list for the region are Ford Super Duty pickup trucks. These numbers of this region of Canada has clearly resonated with the regional trends as the 2007 Ford F-250 Super Duty made the top of both lists. Two vehicles of note on the list for the prairies is

Ford F-Series Super Duty Trucks Among Most Stolen Vehicles in Canada

In most cases, automakers appreciate it when their vehicles are found at the top of charts. In Canada, Ford Motor Company has contently watched as their F-Series truck line has been a hot commodity. On-road and off-road capacities for Ford's pickup trucks has been reflected year after year. As a matter of fact, 48 years of sales-topping performances in its class reveals the Canadian popularity for this dependable work vehicle. Coveted among hard-working individuals and businesses, the Ford F-Series has unfortunately become a magnet for thieves. A report released on Wednesday by the Insurance Bureau of Canada highlighted the top-10 most stolen vehicles in this country. On the national chart, Ford F-Series trucks appeared on the list a total of seven times. With Ford F-Series pickups taking the top three positions on the list, the 2003 Cadillac Escalade is positioned in fourth place as the highest vehicle not to be a Ford truck. Other than the F-Series and Escalade, the Honda C

Electric Car Company Tesla Opens All-New Store in Montreal

With months of cold, snowy weather, vast landmass and limited charging stations outside pockets of urban areas, electric vehicles currently face a tough road in Canada. A company driven technological visionary Elon Musk, Tesla Motors has not been deterred from expanding their dealership network north of the 49th parallel. The first Canadian Tesla store opened at  Toronto's Yorkdale Shopping Centre in late 2012. Since the Toronto store opening, Tesla expanded west adding a sales outlet on Vancouver's Robson Street and added a several service outlets. This weekend, the city of Montreal receives increased attention from the electric car maker with the christening of a new store inside the large French-Canadian city. Opening with a VIP celebration Friday night, Tesla's latest Montreal sales and service center came alive on Ferrier street. During the weekend, the mood of the dealership will be electric as the showroom welcomes the public to explore a range of technologies

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Hyundai Tucson Coming to Canadian Dealerships

Photo Credit: CNW Group/Hyundai Auto Canada Corp Canadian motorists have been provided with some relief in the past few weeks as the correction of oil prices is bringing the prices at gas stations to a more tolerable level. While the immediate concerns for energy are being pacified by this drop, our future thoughts envision a world beyond the finite quantity of accessible oil. Hydrogen is seen as the most ambitious energy source. While dispelling safety and efficiency concerns with the plentiful gas, automakers are slowly spoon-feeding the driving public to hydrogen cars. Some vehicles burn hydrogen fuel in an internal combustion engine but a more active vision sees the gas sent through fuel cells creating electrical power. A handful of test vehicles over the past decade have been a prelude what is a limited production run. The hydrogen fuel cell powered Honda FCX Clarity was first sold in 2008 and Toyota is set to produce the Mirai for driving customers. For the time being, Ca

Stephen K. Carlisle To Become New Head of General Motors Canada in 2015

Entering the new year, General Motors of Canada will have a new President and Managing Director. Appointed to the job on November 20th, Woodstock, Ontario-born Stephen K. Carlisle will become the leading influence of the large automaker's Canadian arm. Carlisle's assignment in his birth country comes after a some high-ranking globetrotting with the company. A Canadian born and raised individual who earned an bachelor of applied science degree in systems design engineering from the University of Waterloo, Stephen Carlisle has also acquired a master's degree in business administration from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999. Carlisle's work history with General Motors started in 1982 as a co-op student at the Oshawa Truck Assembly Centre. In 1986, Stephen Carlisle was assigned to advanced manufacturing engineering at the Oshawa operations during a time it underwent massive retooling for updated Chevrolet and GMC pickup trucks as well as the adoption of ne