2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SEL AWD

By: Jeff Domingues

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The 2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport SEL AWD is a bargain in todays market. At $26,590 this little SUV comes standard with many options that people are looking for at a cheaper price while most small SUV’s are priced around $30k and above. I drove it around for 1 full week and enjoyed it. I can’t say it’s the nicest interior or the best SUV out there but I feel many people will like this very much. My wife doesn’t like SUV’s but she liked this one and thought it was a great size and had a bit of style. I enjoyed driving it around and thought it was smoother on bumpy roads then my Toyota Tacoma. Not saying its better off road but it is smoother over bumps. Check out the video for more details.

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A kind of “about me profile” and the car that made me obsessed!

By: Jeff Domingues

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Since I was a young boy I always remember having a strong fascination with cars/trucks and everything motorized. It wasn’t always about how fast a car can go, it wasn’t always about how good a car looks. Sometimes I just liked certain aspects of automobiles and their ability to entice and provoke emotions. The fantasies that were rooted in my favorite Bond movie, the getaway car from a bank robbery scene, the drive into the sunset with the girl of my dreams. It’s the same emotions and dreams that drive many gear heads and their ability to keep being fascinated by pieces of metal on wheels.

This is the instance that started it, while on vacations with my family I saw a car that I instantly fell in love with. It was the late 80’s early 90’s and I was some where around 9yrs to 12yrs old. We just woke up and my family and I were packing up the car and getting ready to leave what I’m sure I would avoid now, a road side motel worthy of a low budget horror film.  It was foggy out and we were in some southern state with nothing but trees and tarmac around. WOW now that I’m writing this I can’t believe how vivid the memory actually is but there it was pulling out of the parking lot of the same scary road side motel we were at.

The scene was too perfect with the morning sun shining through what was left of the morning fog. It was as quiet as can be with only the sound of the birds bringing this painting to life and SUDDENLY the disruption of peace and tranquility with the sound of the devil racing out of the parking lot. The engine noise filled the air with anger, brutality and excitement. All I knew about the car was that it was black, had two doors, my father told me it was a Mercedes Benz, and it sounded like the end of the world racing out of the parking lot. I was hooked, this less then a minute moment in my life was all I needed to become engulfed in passion for cars. Like any kid the moment faded, I became distracted with life and forgot about the car but was left with a lasting impression, I now loved cars.

Fast forward  12 or so years, when I was in college, I saw the car again. There it was waiting impatiently for the light to turn green and race away. It gave me the chance to look at it’s beauty, to study it and to remember my lost memory of that foggy morning.  Now I knew what it was, like a forgotten dream or a repressed memory brought back to the mind’s eye, that beautiful car once again flooded me with emotion and the desire to drive it on a winding road with the windows down and the sound of a roaring engine as the soundtrack.

It was a Mercedes Benz 560 SEC AMG, a car that looks like something a gangster would drive in a movie or equally fitting a hero/playboy driving on some European or maybe on a winding California road. Going to who knows where, to do who knows what, but it’s doing it with style and grace. This is me, this is my passion, this is what I love. It may not be about the car alone but maybe it has to do with the idea of freedom and to go where I want, when I want and how I want to get there. The ability to find out what is behind a turn, around the corner, over the hill, on the other side, of god knows what. It’s about a boy and a machine, imagination and dreams, this is the 560 SEC AMG!

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It’s just a car to some but I say the hell with that. It is elegance and style mated to a 6.0L, 32 valve, fuel injected, V8 pushing out 385 angry HP. You have to understand this car was around in the USA between 1988-1991. At that time this was a monster in a finely fitted tuxedo, that impressed everyone with its charm and strength. A kind of gorilla that went to school for ballroom dancing and how to be a proper lady in public, but it enjoyed being in a fight club, bar room brawls, knife fights, hooliganism, and polo on a Sunday (or whatever the hell rich people do for leisure). It had both a male and female persona to it. It’s elegance transcends genders, it was a transsexual of sorts. To brutish to be a dainty lady, too elegant to be a brutish thug, but it was both and it did it well, it had a kind of “Plein de vie” that makes me love it.

It stood for a period of time when Mercedes really had a hand built reputation and feel.

From the two that I’ve seen first hand both were a regular body but there was a wide body version available as well.

The 560 SEC AMG is an extremely rare car here in the states and I like it that way. It keeps the fantasy unsatisfied and hungry. It takes on a mythological, legendary tale status, like big foot or aliens (aliens exist). If this was something as commonplace as other 80’s Benzs then the mystic about this car wouldn’t be so strong. A quick Google search only produced two 560 SEC AMG for sale, one costing $90,ooo (regular body) and the other was over $156,000 (wide body).  Obviously the value hasn’t diminished and is a very sought after car.

I’ll leave it at this, I love this car, and I wish I had one in my driveway. Some people won’t understand and some will even down right hate it, some will never even question it and understand completely but all must be able to understand the emotions of fulfilling a dream and desire. The wonders of the imagination and trying to hold on to the innocence of being a child and playing. All I want to do is play in my dreams, hopefully making it my reality.

Batman’s garage is in Melbourne Australia not Gotham.

By: Jeff Domingues

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Photo provided by: http://www.digitaltrends.com

When you have so much money you can buy a house that Bruce Wayne would be envious of but when Bruce gets insanely jealous of your garage, you have been doing something right. Molecule is an architecture firm located in Melbourne, Australia and they were hired to renovate a “1929 heritage house” for their client. The mission was to renovate, modernize, and alter the house without compromising the historical design and integrity.   Something easier said then done when you consider the client wanted a personal movie theater, all modern bells and whistles, also some place to park an extensive collection of cars that anyone would be happy to trade their mother in-law for. Sorry mom, but come on!

 

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This conceptual site sketch shows the orientation of the garage between the existing home, the tennis court and pool.
Photo provided by: http://www.digitaltrends.com

This 1929 estate was built before garages were a main staple in every house, since the automobile became an integral part of just about everyone’s life. Adding an addition or a separate building to house the growing car collection wasn’t an option. Seeing how it would alter the exterior and not to mention the fact the house was shoehorned into a narrow property (by mansion standards), there was not enough room to build. Molecule Studios came up with a clever idea borrowed from what we see in many commercial buildings in our downtown business areas and the Batman movies. They placed the 12 car garage underground with a secrete entrance located under the adjacent tennis court.

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Photo provided by: http://www.digitaltrends.com

The 12 seat theater was then placed at the end of the pivoting point of the hydraulically lifted garage door/ceiling/tennis court and above the garage. Even the connection from the garage to the home was kept hidden away from the exterior view. They designed a stair case that enters the home through the floor of the living room on the 1st floor.

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Photo provided by: http://www.digitaltrends.com

While this underground garage idea is nothing new, the cool factor is so high seeing how someone actually has a Bat Cave Garage identical to what is in the movie. Pretty cool!! The rest of the house borders between a mix of modern and traditional. A bit too high end looking for me but credit is due where credit is due.

Photo provided by: http://www.digitaltrends.com

Source: www.moleculeweb.com  , www.hiconsumption.com , www.dailymail.co.uk

 

 

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio 1st Alfa sold in the USA in over 20yrs and what a car it is!!

By: Jeff Domingues

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For years I’ve been seeing European car reviews talk about the beautiful cars offered by Alfa Romeo. I never thought much of them but they are a beloved brand across the pond and we will finally get a chance to see what the fuss is all about in 2017 with the arrival of the Giulia Quadrifoglio.

Europeans have had the luxury of being able to enjoy the Italian style and Italian performance while we sit back and just read about it and see it in videos. 1st impressions, yea it looks good, actually it looks really good. It has the sharp muscular lines you want to see in a performance car and to make it better it actually looks usable as a daily driver. Alfa obviously wants to take on the M3 into the ring.

Alfa set out to make a direct competitor to the BMW M3 and with the Giulia Quadrifoglio they have the right idea by making this the most powerful Alfa ever. The Giulia Quadrifoglio  is rear wheel drive, with almost perfect 50/50 weight distribution, twin turbo aluminum 2.9 liter v6 boasting 505hp and 443lb-ft of torque, with 0-60 time in a class leading 3.8 seconds and reaching top speeds, Alfa claims, of 191 mph! All that power is paired with a six speed manual or a 8 speed automatic transmission. Stopping this monster are huge optional carbon ceramic brakes.

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With gas milage always a concern, the Giulia Quadrifoglio has cylinder deactivation and start/stop system to conserve fuel to a modest 17 city and 24 highway, not bad considering all the power this v6 produces.

The v6 is a Ferrari technology based engine, sharing the same technology and design as the Ferrari F154 twin turbo V8 found in the Scuderia 488GTB and the California T. I would say that is a great platform to emulate when designing a 4 door saloon.

Alfa incorporated aluminum doors and fenders, carbon fiber hood, roof, and driveshaft to keep weight down. At a only 3359lbs this pissed off looking car should be able to move itself around a track with ease. Aiding grip is a rear carbon fiber spoiler and a front carbon fiber splitter that lowers under hard braking and cornering to increase aerodynamic down force. During high speeds the splitter is raised and closed to decrease drag and down force.

Alfa successfully executed an aggressive body styling that has the #1 attribute I love in performance cars, it looks like it’s mad at you.  Bulging wheel wheels hugging stylish 19″ wheels, low sloping hood lines, angry eye brow head lights, a rear diffuser that screams aerodynamic performance, and it just looks so good in what, Alfa calls, Rosso Competizione Tri-Coat (red).

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The cabin is filled with all modern comforts and technology you would expect from a car of this caliber and price range, starting at $37,000 for an entry Guilia model fixed with a turbo charged 4 cylinder producing 280hp, to a fully loaded Guilia Quadrifoglio twin turbo v6 starting at $70,000.

Italian craftsmanship is visible in the stylish interior, with hand stitched full grain Italian leather seats, steering wheel and dash all tied together with available trims of natural wood (natural walnut or dark gray oak), brushed aluminum, and carbon fiber. The leather wrapped seats are supported by really sharp looking carbon fiber that ups the interior even more. The touch screen, with most of the cars functions and navigation, is very nicely integrated into the dash.

Stability control, four driving modes (dynamic, natural, advanced efficiency, and of course the only mode that matters, RACE) are all standard in the fully loaded Quadrifoglio, that insures you find the right feel and stability to help you get all 505hp to the road.

This car screams sexy and only time will tell if this car/ manufacturer is ready for the American market. I believe it will do very well as it’s performance and styling will attract many consumers. Also the fact it’s a new car and buyers are always attracted to the new and shiny of whatever, cars especially, sales should do well. Look at the popularity of Maserati in the US, as soon as that manufacturer hit our streets you started to see Maserati’s on the streets, TV shows and popular culture. I personally can’t wait to see one in person.

Video by: MOTOR1

Video by: Auto Club TV

Video by: 24 Motor

Sources: www.alfaromeousa.com , www.caranddriver.com , www.roadandtrack.com

Photos: www.caricos.com

Fiat Chrysler accused of emission cheating by EPA.

By: Jeff Domingues

White House To Require Higher Fuel Efficiency Standards For Cars, By 2016

Photo provided by: http://www.howstuffworks.com

It’s almost 20° above January averages for New Jersey right now. When we should be seeing temperatures around 31°, temperatures have been around 48°, to even what it was a week or so  ago 68°. Is this global warming or just unusual weather that we can forget about and expect our usual 30° weather and 2′ of snow coming just like every year? Many scientist would say that this weather and weather across the globe are infect in direct correlation with increased pollutants affecting our weather. The Obama campaign made it clear they want to change our environmental impact  and drastically change emission standards. With Trump in office, who stated many times that he wants to reduce EPA regulations, why is the EPA attacking Fiat Chrysler Automobiles?

Well that’s because it was the last efforts of the Obama campaign to make sure that every company is held accountable for their negligence and down right criminal acts, when FCA and Cummings was accused of negligence and conspiring to pass along diesel engines that fail EPA standards. Recently the EPA have found that Fiat Chrysler have put in place software that would allow over 100,000 Fiat Chrysler diesel models to emit emissions over the legal limit. The diesel models in question are 2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500 pickup trucks.  This unfortunately is to similar to VW’s attempts at passing along dirty cars to the public to make a profit, VW which just recently pleaded guilty to in fact putting software that would allow their cars to pass diesel emission standards while pumping a huge amount of toxins into our air.

All modern diesel engines have software that would allow the engines to run clean but allow, under certain driving situations, to essentially run dirty to prevent over heating. This is where the problem starts, FCA is being accused of not disclosing this software to the EPA, and the FCA software allowed the engines to run dirty in more situations than it actually needs. Therefore polluting uncontrollably and causing the EPA to stand on its ends angry and waving a red flag. EPA accusing FCA of using “defeat devices” comes as a huge blow to an automotive company that is still rebounding from almost going bankrupt while needing the government to help it stand up straight.

Sergio Marchionne, is the chief executive of FCA, is fighting this like a pissed off kid being accused of cheating on a test. He is denying everything and stating that doing something like this is stupid. “There’s not a guy who would try something as stupid” as consciously installing something that would cheat and cause problems and accusations of being a criminal. I hope he is being honest about that comment and is holding true to his words.  He would continue to say “We don’t belong to a class of criminals” and “we have done, in our view, nothing that is illegal.”

FCA feels that they have done nothing wrong, and what the EPA feels as lying and cheating is purely their interpretation. If FCA is found guilty they would face up to $44k for each car that is effected by this “defeat devise.”  Math time $44K x 100,000= $4,400,000,000!!!!! Can FCA afford to have not only the finical burden and probably even more crucial the negative publicity burden, is yet to be seen?

You can say, well look at VW and how they are doing? Amazingly VW seems to keep selling cars, total for 2016 are at 322,948, a 7.6% decrease over 2015.  That is not horrible considering they just pleaded guilty for their emission scandal and paid something like $20 billion in penalties and lawsuits. Then again people are willing to turn a blind eye to VW’s troubles and lies because of the quality of their cars. Will people be willing to do the same for Dodge and Jeep, I’m sure they will, but will FCA be able to deal with the financial burden?

I’m very partial to USA brands, even if it has an Italian flavor to it. I would like to believe that Jeep and Dodge are legit and want to do things the right way but someone doing wrong, is someone doing wrong.

With new major shot callers in Washington DC, that view global warming as nothing more then a lie and something that we should overlook to insure that profit succeeds concerns over environment issues, why should the EPA care about emission standards? EPA is now under the control of Trump appointed Scott Pruitt, who made it a point to file lawsuits against the EPA a number of times to reduce EPA restrictions so that companies can increase production and profit at the expense of our environment. Maybe this new leadership will in fact benefit FCA during what will surely be troubling times. How and when FCA and other companies will be able to benefit from new policies is still up in the air but I don’t see global warming issues being taken care of anytime soon.

HOPEFULLY it won’t be that bad and there will be enough pressure to insure that companies that are wrongfully polluting our environment are held accountable and dealt with accordingly. HOPEFULLY this administration leads us into the right direction and makes it a point to clean things up and put amazing technology that is currently available into use. HOPEFULLY THIS ADMINISTRATION will push us into new and even more spectacular future of clean energy, air, water, and land.

Video by: The Young Turks

Video by: CNBC

Sources: www.epa.com , media.vw.com , www.nytimes.com , www.detroitnews.com

This is what you would have to look like to survive a major car crash. WOW

By: Jeff Domingues

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photo provided by: http://www.metronews.ca

This handsome man is Graham, a human like sculpture created by Melbourne artist Patricia Piccinini, commissioned by the Transport Accident Commission of Victoria, Australia. With the help of trauma surgeons and researchers, Patricia was capable of sculpting this weird supper human. Not exactly the supper human we are used to seeing in Marvel or DC comics, he is what humans would evolve into if we can evolve because of our modern means of transportation. Graham has a flat face, large thick skull and no neck to protect his brain and spin. His skin is thick to protect from fatal wounds, special rib cage that acts like a cushion for his soft internal bits and pieces. Knees that can bend in any directs and long hoof like feet to help him move quicker. The idea is to make people think about how vulnerable we all are. “We would need to look like THAT” I’m sure can be heard in the gallery Graham is displayed in and whoever is reading this. The official Graham website is worth going to, there is a 360° interactive view of him that will give you an in depth view of what makes Graham, Graham. CRAZY

Sources: www.meetgraham.com.au ,  www.cnn.com