Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Mercedes AMG GTC still has some chops!!!



While there is serious competition in the luxury sport roadster market, Mercedes Benz is holding its own in the GTC. Bumper2Bumper checked out what happens when the performance guru’s at AMG get their hands on this iconic vehicle.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

K900 round #2



We like it when there is a second chance to drive and review a nice car, suv or truck. So, when KIA arranged for Bumper2Bumperv to get another crack at the flagship K900 while in the Los Angeles area it was a chance to also get some outside views about the vehicle.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

2020 Mazda MX-5


THE AUTO PAGE
By
John Heilig

  • MODEL: 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF GT
  • ENGINE: 2.0-liter inline 4  
  • TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual 
  • HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 181 hp @ 7,000 rpm/151 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm 
  • WHEELBASE: 90.9 in.  
  • LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 154.1 x 68.3 x 49.0 in.  
  • TIRES: P205/45R17  
  • CARGO CAPACITY: 5.0 cu. ft. 
  • ECONOMY: 26 mpg city/34 mpg highway 
  • FUEL TANK CAPACITY: 11.9 gal. 
  • CURB WEIGHT: 2,335 lbs.  
  • TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended 
  • COMPETITIVE CLASS: Fiat 124, Audi TT, Nissan Z 
  • STICKER:  $35,000 (est.)  
  • BOTTOM LINE: The Mazda Miata is always a fun car, even in its fourth generation. It offers great handling, just enough power, and it’s great looking to boot.



            Anyone who has been reading these scribblings for a while knows that I became enamored with automobiles thanks to a 1958 MGA 1500. I cite the engine because it was replaced by a 1962 MGA 1600 Mk II coupe that had a few more civilized features, such as wind-up windows, a hard top and cargo capacity.
            I mention these because I just got out of a 2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF. Miata has been a fun sports car for four generations now and it hasn’t lost its charm. From Day One it proved to be a better car than any of the MGAs ever were with reliability and good Japanese electronics. The RF, introduced a couple of years ago, is the worthy successor to the MGA coupe, with a hard top that actually lowers automatically into the already minuscule trunk. But hey, if you want cargo carrying capacity, get an SUV. Hard tops were always available for the Miata, but the RF is a fastback style that is more attractive than a simple bubble top. With the top down, clear plastic wind deflectors behind the seats help keep Mom’s hair in place. 
            The Miata also has power windows which frees up a small amount of interior space because of no window winders. In my garage right now is a 1965 MG Midget with wind up windows and that tiny handle banging against your knee can be a pain in the, well, knee. 
            Under the hood is a 2.0-liter four rated at 181 horsepower. None of MGAs even touched 100 horses. This is plenty of power for the 2,335-pound Miata. But in a car like this, absolute power isn’t necessary. Rarely did I get close to the speed limit on the roads I travelled The joy was in the ride and in zipping around curves.
            Right at hand, and I mean literally at hand, is a shifter to work the 6-speed manual gearbox. There’s a large tachometer the center of the instrument panel to guide you, but you really don’t need it for normal driving. After a few short runs you learn when to shift just by the sound. There’s a smaller speedometer to the right of the tach, but all you need to know from that is that 55 mph is where 9 o’clock would be on an analog clock or watch.
            Handling is great, which is one of the features that endeared me to the MGAs. The suspension is firm, but not harsh. 
            Interior storage is a challenge, but Mazda chose to opt in favor of Less is More. For example, there are two removable cupholders. One clips on to the right side of the transmission hump while the other stays in the glove box behind the center console. It’s a very small center console/arm rest with no door pockets. There’s a small space at the base of the center stack that has a pair of USB outlets and room for a phone.
            In a salute to modernity, there’s an infotainment screen of a sensible size in the middle of the dash. The heating/cooling system consists of three knobs, for temperature, fan speed and air direction. 
            Overall, the Miata continues to deliver fun on the road. The RF automatic hard top makes it more civilized, but compared to its distant ancestors from England, almost anything would help.

(c) 2019 The Auto Page Syndicate

Friday, November 29, 2019

2019 LA Auto Show



If there was any doubt that the auto industry is embracing technology in a big way it was dispelled at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show. Bumper2Bumpertv has an overview of a few of the highlights.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

2019 Lexus RC350 F Sport AWD


THE AUTO PAGE
By
John Heilig

·         MODEL: 2019 Lexus RC350 F Sport AWD
·         ENGINE: 3.6-liter V6
·         TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
·         HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 311 hp @ 6,600 rpm/280 lb.-ft. @ 4,800 rpm
·         WHEELBASE: 107.5 in.
·         LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 155.0 x 72.4 x 55.1 in.
·         TIRES: P255/35R19 (F)/P275/35R19 (R)
·         CARGO CAPACITY: 10.4 cu. ft.
·         ECONOMY: 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway
·         FUEL TANK CAPACITY: 17.4 gal.
·         CURB WEIGHT: 3,891 lbs.
·         TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended
·         COMPETITIVE CLASS: Nissan Z, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette
·         STICKER: $57,135 (includes $1,025 delivery, $3,710 options)
·         BOTTOM LINE: The Lexus RC350 stands alone among luxury sport coupes. It has performance to go with the luxury and good handling. 

            As with many Lexus vehicles, there is an F Sport version that is sportier than the base model. So, with the Lexus RC350 F Sport, it rides lower than the standard RC350, which may account for the headaches I received every time I entered it. That door opening just seemed an inch or two too low for my body.
            Otherwise, the RC350 is a comfortable car to drive, especially with the F Sport seats that have excellent side support and really grab you once you get in.
            The exterior design is striking. I don’t there’s one straight line on the whole car. It evokes a Formula 1 car with all the scoops and air direction panels. Interior design with red seats and trim and black overall color is nice.
            The RC350 has a firm suspension, which aids in good handling, but isn’t harsh. We have roads in Pennsylvania that can challenge any suspension, but the RC handled them all and still provided a good ride.
            Under the hood the 3.5-liter V6 offers excellent power at 310 horsepower. On acceleration you almost feel as if you can go on forever (assuming you don’t have speed limits or tachometer red lines), and that’s a comfortable feeling. You feel every transmission shift, but the shifts are smooth. Even in automatic, the gear position is displayed in the center of the speedometer. I like knowing it’s not only “D” but also 1-6. When you’re in manual mode with the paddle shifters, the numerical gear is also displayed.
            The instrument panel is clear with a large digital speedometer within the encircling tachometer. Water temperature and fuel gauges are on the outer fringes.
            The driver grips a busy wheel with multiple switches to handle audio, phone, information, lane departure and radar cruise control (distance to the vehicle in front). The standard (and favorite) Toyota cruise control stalk is behind the wheel on the right side.
            There’s a nicely integrated information screen at the top of the dash. However, navigating around the screen requires ability to work the touch pad on the console, and although I’ve been using an Apple touch screen for several years, I had difficulty getting this one to behave. Perhaps it’s just that I need more time.
            There’s a good audio system and heating/cooling.
            Getting into the rear seats is an issue. Our granddaughter and her backpack had to use every contortion skill she has to get in and out. Honestly, I did’t try.
            Overall, the RC350 F Sport is a great car to drive. I had issues entering and exiting, but once inside it offered a fun, sporty ride with an abundance of power.

(c) 2019 The Auto Page Syndicate