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Friday
Sep122014

The Hyphenated GT

By Christopher A. Sawyer 

The wraps have finally been pulled from the Mercedes-AMG GT. Built mainly of aluminum, the lightweight GT is powered by a 4.0-liter twin turbo V8 mounted behind the front wheel centerline driving through a seven-speed dual-clutch rear transaxle. Available in both GT and GT S form, the new car has a claimed top speed of 193 mph, and can sprint from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds in the more potent GT S trim. 

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Friday
Sep122014

Finally! Jaguar Reveals the XE

By Christopher A. Sawyer      

On September 8, Jaguar introduced the new, small XE sedan in a low-key ceremony across London that ended at Earl’s Court in London. Site of the famous Earl’s Court Motor Show, the venue was host to 3,000 VIPs on-hand to see the car officially revealed. Not that they could have missed the helicopter that flew a red XE from its production facility in Solihull to London. There it was placed on a high-speed landing craft and taken to Chelsea Harbor, where it was offloaded and driven from Battersea to Earl’s Court, escorted by two classic Jaguar Mark II police cars. As I said, it was a low-key event. 

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Friday
Sep122014

First Run: Lexus RC

By Christopher A. Sawyer 

RC 350 F Sport could be the sales leader of the RC line.The setting was a wide track with large, perfectly manicured grass runoff areas that sits in a valley with its extremities running up and down the hills that feed into this depression. Its pavement describes arcs from surprisingly tight to wide open, joined by straights of varying lengths. The quick lead-and-follow undertaken in an RC F proved it to be fast but not brutally quick, and capable of sticking resolutely to the tarmac. That, and its 476 hp/389 lb.-ft. V8 makes a wonderful, primal sound. I coveted a chance to try the same exercise in the RC F Sport with all-wheel drive and rear-wheel steering to see if the latter option was as benign as it had appeared on the roads out to the track. However, time was short and there was another, more important member of the family to evaluate, one that wasn’t available for lapping purposes. Just outside the clubhouse sat a base RC 350 wearing optional 19-in. wheels and tires, but devoid of all the technology (Variable Gear Ratio Steering, Adaptive Variable Suspension, Torque Vectoring Differential, etc.) that is available on the RC F Sport and V8-powered RC F. It was the prefect test subject. 

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Friday
Aug222014

2014 Toyota 4Runner Trail Premium 4x4

By Christopher A. Sawyer 

Why in the name of all that is holy would Toyota make the 4Runner look like an outtake from Mitsubishi’s design studio? The aggressively… interesting… front end could only have been stolen from Mitsubishi’s Raider pickup, which itself was built on the Dodge Dakota platform. It wasn’t handsome then, it isn’t handsome now, but it is exactly the look Toyota wanted for its serious off-road mid-size SUV. This thing looks like a barking dog Transformer, ready to rip off your leg and feed it to you. 

 

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