tech

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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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

Ford is bringing back the Ranger and the Bronco.

By: Jeff Domingues

Ford stated that they will be bringing back the Ford Ranger in 2019 and the Ford Bronco in 2020. Both models were very popular but because of shifts in the public interest, styles and concerns about fuel economy, both models were snubbed and left for dead. I personally really would like to see the Ford Bronco back on the roads because I used to own a 92′ Ford Bronco.

It was a love hate relationship with that truck, it looked good, was comfortable but was horrible on gas, drove like a drunk whale on anything other then straight roads, I could move that steering wheel a few degrees in any direction and that truck would track as straight as an arrow. Driving it on winding roads was interesting, (not in a good way) you had to turn the wheel almost 90 deg to make a lane shift. It was horrible but like I said it was a love hate relationship.

Rumors state that the Bronco will be based off the seven seat, 4 door,  Ford Everest currently available in Australia, New Zealand, and China. How they will translate this into something that will be worthy of the Bronco badge, not a clue, but they said they are bringing back the Bronco so they better give us the Bronco.

Current Ford Everest model
Photo provided by: http://www.ford.com.au

Bronco concepts have been floating around the internet for awhile now but nothing has been made official by Ford yet. I think the concept renderings is the direction Ford should go with.

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This is the concept that looks the most like a Bronco if Ford still made it today. Man that looks good!
Photo provided by: http://www.bronco6g.com
These 2 renderings are concepts if Ford built the Bronco based off the F-150 platform and the Ford Atlas concept.
Photo provided by: Michael Stone Clark and unknown source

I’m a big fan of mid-size pickup trucks seeing how I’ve bought 2 in the past 10yrs. I had a 2007 GMC Canyon (was running very well at 192,000 miles) and now a 2015 Toyota Tacoma TRD off road and I’ve always wanted Ford to give me an option when I was looking for my trucks but they never had anything available. So now they are bringing the Ford Ranger back, GREAT!!  Ford has been absent from the, mid-size pickup market and should represent better then they have. You can get great mid sized trucks from not only Toyota but you have the Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon (Colorado and Canyon are based off the same platform but look completely different), old model but very capable Nissan Frontier, and the brand new Honda Ridgeline. With sales of the Tacoma, Canyon, and Colorado doing very well at this moment, Ford will have to present a truck that will compete with these great trucks. With the Toyota Tacoma dominating this market for years now, and with the Chevy and GMC making great trucks, Ford has their work cut out for them.

The new Ranger will be available to US market in 2019 and will be based off the Ford Ranger model sold in Australia and throughout Asia. It’s still not known if that model will be exactly what the US market will be getting but either way the Ranger is making a come back.

Photo provided by: http://www.Ford.com.au

One aspect that I’m very interested in is the fact that the Bronco and Ranger will be built here in America at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan. I remember driving down Highway US 1&9 here in NJ in the late 80s early 90s, with my parents, and seeing what used to be a huge Ford assembly plant located in Edison, NJ. Thinking as a kid does that it was “SOOOO COOOOL” that the Ford Rangers and Ford Mustangs, I saw on the road were made here in NJ.  Then years later that plant was shut down, in 2004 to be exact, and a few years after that there is a huge open empty void and a surrounding neighborhood that reflected the sudden impact of losing a major contributor to the local economy. Hearing that both models will be made in the good old USA made me DAM PROUD!! This better happen!

Sources: www.Ford.com , www.roadandtrack.com , www.autoblog.com , www.wikipedia.com

Not your grandparents RV!!

By: Jeff Domingues

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It’s been a long time dream of mine and my wife’s to get into a vehicle, leave everything behind and hit the open road for days/ weeks/ months at time. This obsession started with our honeymoon out west. We landed in San Francisco jumped into a Hyundai Elantra rental (I know the most exciting car possible) and started driving.

We had an idea of what we wanted to do but didn’t want to stick to a rigid time schedule, all we knew is we had to end our trip in 2 weeks in Seattle. 2 weeks of open roads, from San Fran to Seattle, I think we can find a few things to do.

We took in the beauty that is San Francisco,  headed west to Yosemite, drove north weaving between the mountains and the cost to the Redwood National and State Park in Northern Cali. Into Oregon hugging the coast as much as possible and into Portland. Then Portland into Seattle, by the time we handed the rental back we managed to do around 3,000 miles, it’s crazy but that cheap rental opened our eyes to the wonder of road trips.

During our 2 weeks driving around relentlessly exploring as much as possible, I notice something that I’ve never seen before. That is offroading vehicles that looked like more than just a 4×4 to go mudding or rock crawling. I noticed people set up their vehicles to go camping as well. WHAT’S THIS!? Offroading with camping. Never have I seen this before and let me tell you my imagination ran wild with ideas of being perched up on top of a mountain waking up to sun rises in a landscape that hid itself from us because we drove all night to get on top of this imaginary mountain.

We have been camping plenty of times, and not car camping were you drive into an over crowded site with people making noise 10′ away from your site. I’m talking spending days out hiking and killing ourselves to get to a site that few have been to or want to go to. So the idea of driving to remote places that are near impossible to get to by foot in the comfort of our own 4×4 rig became a new dream of mine. After returning home I started researching and found out this is called overlanding.

Overlanding is the idea of using a  vehicle to go offroading into remote places so you can camp for days at a time. The vehicle will provide you with shelter, carry your food and water, your camping supplies ect…    This doesn’t need to be anything special as long as the vehicle has a capable 4×4 system, you can use it to go overlanding. Which brings me into the vehicles. Like I said nothing has to be special but special is what we are looking for and special is what I’ve found.

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Photo by: http://www.Outsidevan.com

Outside Van is a customization specialist located in Troutdale, OR. They use Mercedes Sprinter vans as the platform to create some pretty wild creations. This van is their canvas and they use their limitless imaginations and yours if you want, to create the camper of your dreams. Me and my wife live pretty active life styles so this kind of camper makes sense to use. Outside Van specializes the designs towards people that like to go mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, atving, whatever outdoor activity you like they have a van that can accommodate you.

This list of options that can be put into each of their 48, that’s right 48 base models is limitless and overwhelming to list in this blog entry. Showers, solar power, beds, kitchens, storage, seating, winches, bumpers, whatever seriously whatever you can think of they probably have a model with it in it but just encase they don’t they will make one for you.

Pricing is where this vehicle either stays a dream or becomes your reality. Pre-made base models can run around $80k. This is a get you into a van as quickly as possible model or you can jump into models around $100k that are tailored more to your liking. Then there is the I won the lotto, money isn’t an issue anymore models that can put you well over $200k or even $300k for some models that have everything you want, probably so much in the van you can sell your house and live in it full time. Either way they have something for everyone. I’m currently in the “this van is still a dream” phase. But you never know maybe there is a lotto ticket with my name on it somewhere.

Check them out and spend the time needed to see everything they offer and let the dreaming begin.

www.outsidevan.com

Video by: www.outsidevan.com

Photo by: http://www.outsidevan.com

Photo by: http://www.outsidevan.com

One Heck of a Test Drive

A woman was test driving a car in Arlington, VA and instead of pressing the brakes, she mistakenly went full speed on the gas pedal. No one was seriously injured and the sales consultant was okay.

As you can see, she also hit other parked cars. The vehicle she was testing was valued around $60,000. Do you think she has to pay for the damages and this vehicle? You can decide for yourself.

(Photo: ACFDPIO / Twitter)

 

Source

(Photo: ACFDPIO / Twitter)

(Photo: ACFDPIO / Twitter)