2013 - 2018 KYMCO K-PIPE 125
The mini-streetbike market heats up with new competition to go head-to-head with the long-standing K-Pipe 125 from Kwang Yang Motor Co, Ltd — better known to us as the Taiwanese manufacturer, KYMCO — introduced not long ago to the U.S. market. Intended to be lightweight and fuel-efficient, the K-Pipe gives the pocket bike class — long dominated by Honda with the Grom and now with the Z125 PRO from Kawasaki — a viable, less expensive option. Entry level? Yes. Commuter? Sure. Fun? Definitely.
Continue reading for my review of the KYMCO K-Pipe 125.
2013 Aeroboat SV12
The 55ft SV12 took the market by storm when it was launched at Berkeley Square Rolls-Royce showroom in Mayfair in 2013. A significant departure from the norm, the SV12 rapidly gained attention and interest from the market.
Depending on how you like to spend time at sea, the SV12 is available in two versions. The SV12 is optimum for the sportier personality with four shock-absorbing seats in the Teardrop Cockpit designed to keep all guests secure and comfortable when traveling at high speed.
The alternative is the SV12-A, which offers a more relaxed layout by substituting the rear seats for a U-shaped seating area. As the owner enjoys time at the controls, guests are kept informed about the performance of the speedboat via an analogue-style display located in the middle of the cockpit’s exquisite seating area.
2013 - 2018 Honda CB500F
Back in 2012, Honda presented the CB500F to the world at the EICMA Motor Show to bolster its “standard” category for the 2013 model year. This compact streetfighter sported Honda’s then-new 471 cc in a rather naked layout with almost 50-horsepower on tap to push the 414-pound curb weight around, so it’s safe to say that it definitely punches above its weight. This is at least part of the reason for its success and market popularity, and the factory has made tweaks here and there in an attempt to keep it fresh all the way into 2018 in order to maintain that momentum. Now that the family has matured somewhat and settled into its groove if you like, I want to take a look at the range to try and divine the secrets to its success.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda CB500F.
2013 - 2018 Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 GT 8V
Moto Guzzi came up with its latest version of the 1200 GT back in ’11, and that design has withstood the test of time as it looks to be a direct carryover into at least the 2018 model year. The factory retains the service of the “four-valve” engine with its 100-plus horsepower and transverse V-twin layout. In keeping with its heritage, the latest Norge falls well within the sport-tour bracket with the protective features and cargo capacity the U.S. market expects of its long-distance bikes. How will it stack up against the American V-twins and the new Gold Wing? We’re going to find out, but first let’s take a deeper look at the current Norge GT.
Continue reading for my review of the Moto Guzzi Norge 1200 GT.
A Brace Of Woes For Kawasaki Motors Off-Road Division
Kawasaki announces the voluntary recall on a handful of its off-road products for a couple of different reasons. Both of these recalls expose a chink in the anti-terrain armor on almost 59,000 units sold in North America. First up we have approximately 28,000 side-by-side units sold between July 2014 and June 2016 from the 2015 through 2017 YM Mule Pro-FX/FXT and the Mule Pro-DX/DXT families. This bundle of trouble is closely followed by something around 30,094 Teryx and Teryx4 from a spread of years, specifically; 2012-13 Teryx4 750 4x4 units with four seats as well as the two- and four-seat variants of the 2014 through 2016 Teryx 800 4x4 range that were sold between November 2011 and November 2015.
Continue reading for more on the Kawasaki recalls.
The maxi-scooter market has been expanding for over a decade now with more and more 500 cc-plus models joining the battle in the never-ending fight for customers. Honda’s flagship business-class maxi— the aptly-named Silver Wing— continues the fight into the current year with a machine largely unchanged since the original rolled in ’02. The twin-cylinder mill falls just short of the 600 cc mark and puts out nearly 30 ponies, so this ain’t your average little European-style scoot by any means. In fact, the factory considers it less a scooter and more a mid-size tour/commute motorcycle and more or less markets it as such. Whether this is rightly so or not, I wanted to see for myself.
Continue reading for my review of the Honda Silver Wing.
Suzuki brings streetbike styling to the entry-level market with its GW250 family— also known as the GSR250 in Japan, and the Inazuma 250 in the EU. Displacement, weight and complexity is kept low, making it very user-friendly and a good trainer for folks inclined to go the naked/streetfighter/sportbike route when — or if — they upgrade.
Priced near the bottom of the spectrum, the GW250 is worth a look for folks unsure if the two-wheel life is for them or not, and with a price tag just over four grand this rides qualifies as a financially low-risk test vehicle for an exploratory foray into the wind. It’s also a good commuter since the small engine will get you a break on insurance in most states.
Since nearly every sportbike manufacturer has a comparable model — to include the rest of the “Big Four” in Japan — pressure is high on Suzuki to deliver because brand loyalty developed early on has a tendency to stick.
Continue reading for my review of the Suzuki GW250.
Launched as a successor to the Ferrari Enzo, the Ferrari LaFerrari was designed with a language that, according to the design team led by Flavio Manzoni, is the perfect combination of form and function. It combines F1-inspired aerodynamics and plenty of sharp character lines to bring together one of the wildest production cars from Ferrari. On the inside, the LaFerrari got a newly-designed steering wheel that is more square than it is round, and an overall interior design that screams track-only but offers plenty of comfort two. The biggest news is what makes this red rocket go. The new LaFerrari is the first car from the brand to use a hybrid drive system. Known as the HY-KERS system, it has a 6.3-liter V-12 and two electric motors. Total output is 963 horsepower (800 from the ICE and 163 from the electric motors) and more than 663 pound-feet of torque. To help keep everything kosher on the road, the suspension system has been designed specifically for the car, and Brembo brakes are in place to bring this puppy to a stop.
Ferrari went above and beyond with the LaFerrari, with the exception of the name, but don’t even get me started on that one. Outside of the name, however, Ferrari is bringing a heavy hitter to a supercar market that is now going hybrid. It is slated to compete against models like the wild McLaren P1 and the Porsche 918 Spyder – both of which have plenty of hybrid DNA in their genes. So, what separates the goofy-named LaFerrari from the pack of hybrid heavy hitters? Check out our full review below and you’ll find out that and more.
Updated 08/22/2016: Ferrari brought a satin black 2014 LaFerrari at the 2016 Mecum Auctions sale during Monterey Car Week, where it was auction for the record price of $4.7 million. Check the picture gallery for a new set of images taken during the auction.
Hit the jump to rear more about the new LaFerrari.
2016 - 2017 Acura ILX
The Acura ILX debuted for the 2013 model year as Acura’s first compact model since the Acura RSX was discontinued in 2006. After only a couple years on the market, Acura decided to refresh the ILX for the 2016 model year. The refresh wasn’t exactly extensive, but the ILX did gain updated front and rear fascias, a restyled front grille, five-point LED headlights, and LED taillights. Acura also dropped the 2.0-liter four-cylinder in favor of a 2.4-liter and an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission from the TLX, giving the ILX a bump up to 201 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. Interior updates were rather thin, but the interior did get some contrast stitching and some new technological add-ons that were available for the upper trim levels.
The ILX made its first debut at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, but didn’t go on sale until February of 2016. Of course, we were really hoping that the ILX would get a little more power, considering the only gain really came in the form of torque, but this was a simple facelift and Acura did good by us on the body and interior. A redesigned model isn’t expected until closer to 2020, so until then, the ILX will continue with minor changes from the 2016 refresh on. That said, the 2017 model has carried on unchanged and went on sale in April of 2016. Let’s take a closer look at the refreshed ILX and go over all the fine details.
Updated 04/12/2016: Acura announced prices for the 2017 ILX - a model that continues unchanged over the 2016 model year and will be put on sale tomorrow, April 13, 2016.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Acura ILX.
2015 - 2017 Porsche Macan
The Macan was launched in 2014 and became Porsche’s second production crossover and smallest SUV. Based on the same MLB platform underpinning the Audi Q5, the Macan was launched with a range of gasoline and diesel V-6 engines. Later on, it also received a 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit, become the first modern-day Porsche to use a four-banger.
Remember when Porsche released the Cayenne? Remember all the people in their Porsche owners club shirts sitting around and telling you about how this new SUV was a disgrace to the Porsche logo and that all the company should design and produce are 911 variants? Well, the Cayenne turned out to be a real success, so the company decided to further expand its SUV lineup with the addition of a new model placed under the midsize SUV.
After being tested for a very long time, the new Macan made its world debut at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show. Initially, the model was rumored to be called "Cajun," but Porsche opted for "Macan" – a name coming from the Indonesian word for tiger. According to Porsche, the name symbolizes the Macan as a model that is "powerful and ready to pounce at any time, yet light-footed and tenacious on off-road terrain."
Initially, the Macan was only offered in “Turbo” and “S” form here in the U.S., but eventually, the Macan GTS was made available as well. In 2016, Porsche expanded the Macan lineup even further with a new entry-level model.
Continue reading to learn more about the Porsche Macan.
At the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, Kia unveiled its new, rear-wheel-drive flagship. Aimed at German luxury vehicles such as the BMW 7 Series, the sedan went on sale in the first quarter of 2014.
The K900 rides on the same platform as the Hyundai Equus, from which it also borrowed the powerful, 5.0-liter, V-8 engine that hooks up to an eight-speed transmission with three driving modes: Eco, Normal and Sport.
According to the company, the K900 "is the next logical progression for Kia. It demonstrates what Kia is capable of and will help redefine what the Kia brand stands for." The flagship went on sale just in time to celebrate Kia’s 20th anniversary on the U.S. market.
Updated 11/25/2015: Kia announced details on the 2016 K900 - a model that adds a new V-6 engine. Unlike the 2015 model year, the 2016 K900 will be offered in three trim levels: V6 Premium, V6 Luxury and V8 Luxury, with prices ranging from $49,000 to $61,900.
Continue reading to learn more about the Kia K900.
The Lexus RC has been one of the most hotly anticipated reveals by the Japanese automaker in recent years. Launched at the 2013 Tokyo show in both gasoline and hybrid versions, the RC adopted a design language similar to what we have seen with the recently unveiled IS Sedan, but taken to a sportier level and sans the two rear doors.
The new RC is defined by aggressively contoured lines, the trademark Lexus spindle grille, the usual triangular headlamps and a cockpit specially designed for optimal driver and passenger enjoyment. Initially launched with two drivetrains, the RC has received two new engines for 2016. In addition to the rear-wheel-drive RC 350, Lexus added the RC 300 AWD, and a new entry-level trim, the RC 200t.
These new models transformed the RC lineup into a four-model family, in addition tot the high-performance RC F, which the Japanese introduced for the 2015 model year. Keep reading for the full rundown on the RC, as well as the updates that Lexus roll out for the 2016 model year.
Updated 10/02/2015: After being launched for the 2015 model year, the RC Coupe enters 2016 with a choice of three engines: a 241 horsepower turbocharged 4-Cylinder, a 255 horsepower V-6 and a 306 horsepower V-6.
Click past the jump to read more about the Lexus RC.
BMW’s supercar, the M1, was sold between 1978 to 1981 as the only mid-engined BMW to be mass produced. But you’d expect more from a maker like BMW, right? And with all the competition on the market, BMW had to do something about it, so they decided to put the Vision Efficient Dynamics Concept unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show into production.
There is one distinct change for the Vision Efficient Dynamics Concept as it heads into production, as BMW changed its name to the i8. Along with the recently announced i3, the i8 shows the other end of the spectrum that the German automaker can reach with its hybrid drivetrains. The production i8 will, surprisingly, carry the concept’s in-line three-cylinder engine combined with an electric motor to drive the front wheels.
As of now, there is only one i8 model set for production, but we have a sneaking suspicion that there may be an M or M Sport model in coming years.
Updated 9/1/2015: Our man Jonathan Lopez took some pics at Monterey Car Week. Enjoy!
Click past the jump to read all about the upcoming i8