topspeed garage

topspeed garage

Posted on by Bryan 2

This morning, we woke up to a normal day. It was a bit cold, being that it’s September in Northern Ohio, but all in all a good day in the year 2010. At least, we thought it was 2010 because when we looked outside it seemed to be 1969. In the driveway was a Dodge Challenger SRT-8 , a Chevrolet Camaro , and the Ford Mustang GT. Three cars that might have our current year before their names, but look like their older generations.

The new Chevrolet Camaro has just about the same overall look of the older versions from the late 1960s. Except, of course, in a few interesting areas. The tires are much larger, the back end looks like it’s had too much cake, and the beltline is hiked up like a nerd’s trouser line. Not to mention the squished roof that makes the car appear fatter than it actually is.

Our SS version had a smattering of SS badges, massive 20-inch wheels, a hood scoop, and a rear spoiler. The front slot – located on the front fascia – doesn’t actually do anything, as it’s just for show. All these vulgar additions help the car stand out like a man wearing an orange suit in a Ritz-Carlton hotel ballroom.

Hit the jump to keep reading.

Posted on by Bryan 17

In this current economic and environmental situation, the new 2010 Dodge Challenger is like building a mansion for a banker in the middle of downtown Detroit. Not only isn’t it the best place to live, but it might be a bit inappropriate to the underprivileged of the city. Building a car that manages to get 13 miles per gallon and uses a motor the size of a tug boat seems a tad off in today’s green age.

That being said, they’re not the only ones who are going all out to kill more endangered animals in the arctic. Ford has the Mustang - although their new V6 gets 31 miles per gallon - and Chevrolet has the new Camaro SS , both aren’t exactly green.

During the Challenger’s first year, Chrysler was on the ropes and was looking down the barrel of demise. With Fiat taking control of the helm, the company seems to headed in the right direction, but let’s not forget that this muscle car was created during darker days.

Hit the jump to read the rest of the review.

Posted on by Bryan 8

It wasn’t that long ago that Ford was offering us vehicles that were just plain awful. Showrooms were filled with Five-Hundreds, older Escapes, and current generation Focus models. Could this have been the reason why Ford went down the tubes? Possibly.

Ford wasn’t alone though, as General Motors and Chrysler were falling like dominoes as well. General Motors owned more car companies than Coca Cola does drink brands, and needless to say, it wasn’t working. Pontiac went down the drain, as did Oldsmobile, Hummer, and Saturn. What they were left with wasChevrolet , Cadillac , and Buick , three companies that failed to offer a competitive vehicle.

Chrysler , who owned Dodge and Jeep, might have been worse off, if that’s possible. Most of the Jeep products were horrendous and Dodge was in the same boat. Chrysler on the other hand, had a hit on its hands with the 300C, but outside of that, most of their products weren’t very good. After it was all said and done, Chrysler was partly taken over by Fiat, in the attempt to turn the company around and GM was in the hands of the government.

Among the big three car makers in the United States, Ford has undertaken the largest overhaul. The new 2011 Mustang and the new Fiesta are just starting points, but they have changed the way we think about the company. They are wonderfully built, gorgeous to look at, and sensational to drive.

The next machine to come out of the Ford juggernaut is the 2012 Focus , which will be shown at the 2010 Paris Auto Show in just days. The new Focus is an example of Ford’s “One Ford Ford ” product strategy and it will likely be the largest seller for the company. The Focus that we have been seeing in photos will be sold in Europe and in North America, with a few changes in the motor offerings and minor details.

Hit the jump to read on.

Posted on by Bryan 18

During our drive of the new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee , we overheard many shoppers commenting about a need for four-wheel drive in their vehicles. Now, let’s be honest for a moment. Most of these moms and dads will never use the abilities of a four-wheel drive machine. The parking lot at the local grocery store doesn’t have rocks that you need to scale in order to get into the parking lot or deep lakes in front of the door.

Yet, there are those who do use these machines the way they are supposed to be used. A real four-wheel drive machine can do so much in the rough stuff that it’s hard to be stopped. Crossovers and luxury SUVs – besides the Range Rover – would be left for dead.

When looking at the top ten vehicles that have wonderful off-road abilities we first need to find ten of them. It was actually quite a task to find ten vehicles like this. It seems the days of the big off-road SUV are in the past. When we managed to locate them, we looked at build quality, off-road ability, on-road ability, style, comfort, and power.

Hit the jump to see the list.

Posted on by Bryan 12

Some people are willing to pay a pretty penny for luxury. Just look at the price of a first growth French Bordeaux or a tin of Beluga Caviar. These objects are for the rich, the very rich, and to go along with their high-end eats they need high-end vehicles.

We all know that the Bugatti Veyron is the most expensive car in the world, along with its many different variations, so we aren’t just going to do a list of the Bugatti’s, even though it sure would be easy.

Most of these machines are extremely high performance and they aren’t the sort of machines you will see hanging around the local Wal-Mart. In fact, many won’t see BMW’s around Wal-Mart, but that’s beside the point.

Years ago, we reported the top ten most expensive cars in the world as created by Forbes Auto. Well that list detailed how expensive these cars are to own, but we have always held the notion that if you afford these sorts of machines, you can afford to service them and if not, you need an accountant.

Hit the jump to see the list.

Source: Forbes Auto
Posted on by Bryan

It has not been an easy couple of years for the third member of America’s big three. Their products were lame and their profits were even worse, not to mention public perception after the bailout wasn’t that good. While General Motors and Ford have been dominating with new vehicles, Chrysler has been laying low with the same old stuff. Needless to say, this machine has been a long time coming.

With 2010 comes a whole new machine, the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee , a stable in the Chrysler lineup for years, redone and ready to dominate the competition. Not that there is much competition for a full size off-road SUV.

Taking cues from the new Dodge Ram , the 2011 Grand Cherokee takes them in a whole new direction that results in one of the best interiors money can buy. Not to mention a vehicle that is quiet and refined on the road, but hard and aggressive in the rough stuff, not that we were able to go in any.

Hit the jump to continue reading.

Posted on by Bryan 2

It’s been awhile since we test-drove a car, but it’s usually the same old affair. Potential customers drive up to the dealership, get harassed by salespeople who don’t really know the product they are selling, and finally, if you’re lucky –we’ve been turned down before – drive the car you hope to buy.

Usually, the drive is five minutes around the block and that short amount of time can make a Chevrolet Impala look good. The real way to test a car is a road trip, and – for the reader of course – we took a 1,000 miles journey in the biggest and most luxurious Lexus of them all, the LS460L, to the coast of Georgia. The things we have to do for good reviews.

Our journey began on Interstate 77, down through the mountain roads of West Virginia, through the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, and finally down the most insane highway of them all, Interstate 95 to a location only 50 miles from Florida.

Hit the jump to keep reading.

Posted on by Bryan 12

Taking part in a road trip from Northern Ohio to Southern Georgia means that you’re going to need one hell of a car. As much as we would love to take a Ferrari 458 Italia down for pure speed and style purposes, the hard ride and the fire issue might get old after North Carolina.

That’s why we got ourselves a big boat, the Lexus LS. Of course, being who we are, we weren’t happy with the normal LS460, we needed the long wheelbase version with the fancy stuff in the backseat because that’s just more fun. Not to mention the L version is far more relaxing and we aim to see how we feel after such a long drive in such a comfortable cruiser.

So, our trip beings today and we will continue to update you on how the car is behaving and how relaxed and content we are with the most expensive Toyota of the bunch, besides the hybrid models and the LFA of course, with a tag of $95,000.

Enjoy the series, because we are sure going to enjoy the trip.

Posted on by Bryan 6

We have reviewed these machines thoroughly and a clear winner was actually hard to come by. At first, we would have easily picked the BMW M3 to win this battle, but something amazing happened. The Lexus IS-F has changed the way we think about the Japanese premium brand.

The IS, GS, ES, LS, and all those other models have been the sort of things we think about in order to fall asleep and in fact, they worked better than counting sheep. While we were sound asleep with the thought of more exciting cars filling our heads, Lexus must have invaded our dreams, as they created a car for us - the driving enthusiasts - who take to a soft suspension like we take to swine flu; not well.

BMW on the other hand has always been one of our favorite brands. The 3-Series has been fantastic for years and the 5-Series and 7-Series sedans are brilliantly luxurious, but fun to drive. They might be a bit confusing at the moment, but nothing cures that quite like the M division.

Let’s spice things up a little shall we? We reviewed this car a while ago, so consider it an old neighbor. The Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG is like an ax murderer who lives next door, always plotting a way to destroy its next victim. While that might not sound all that wonderful in real life, it’s fantastically invigorating in car form.

Three cars with monster motors; two with four doors, the other with two. Which would come out on top, the IS-F, C63, or the M3?

Hit the jump to find out.

Posted on by Bryan 4

Take a trip back, if you’re able, to a few weeks ago when we reviewed the Lexus IS250C . In that review we made the claim that the IS250C was a major step up from the old SC, which we hate with the same passion as Republicans hate Democrats.

While Lexus had years to realize their SC mistake, Infiniti had nothing. The company hadn’t had a convertible since 1992 with the M30. Starting from scratch might be saying a tad much, as the G37 was built with a hardtop in mind. That being said, taking the top off a car, even if it was designed to have it done, isn’t an easy task to accomplish.

With all these different factors in mind, we took out the new 2010 Infiniti G37 Convertible, with the sport package, out for a week of driving around town. Did the newest Japanese hardtop live up to big veteran Lexus?

Hit the jump to find out.

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