Tag Archives: driving

Dreaming of snow.

Not too far away is the beauty of the winter. Find a friend with another Bugatti Veyron and a brisk drive through the winter boulevards and twisties!

This photograph is beautiful and ridiculous at the same time—-but still wonderful!

src: the game gtr

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art of the day. “The Game”

These 2 bits of digitally (and tastefully) altered artwork are promotional material for The Game; a “lifestyle” rallye being held in Morocco this June.  1507km worth.

More info at The Game

via Intersection Magazine Maroc

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video of the day. Fulvia.

Glorious….and good driving as well, for a change!

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video of the day. A310.

an Alpine Renault A310 1800, to be specific, soldiering through the twisties! lovely!

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video of the day. night driving. 911 GT3 R @ ‘Ring

all types of goodness…

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IEDEI car shopping. Review #3

As many of you who regularly (or not regularly) check this blog know, I am indeed an Audiphile (i have come to terms with  my problem), however I have a great amount of respect and admiration for all marques of cars (besides Ferrari, of course).  It is inevitable, however, that during my car search I obviously explored the current Audi line to find out what fit into my criteria of selecting a new car.  The most obvious frontrunner for the task was the 2011 Audi S4.  A little over a year ago, I helped my mother decide on a 2010 Audi A4, which she has really enjoyed owning and I have enjoyed driving during my visits to my parents’ house.  Although I like the A4 quite a bit, I felt like i needed something a bit more active and less comfortable—with better handling and sharper characteristics.  That being said, i think the A4 is a wonderful car overall, and would make a great choice for most people—however i’m not sure i qualify as sane like most people.  The S4 squares directly against the BMW 335i I tested prior, and I was keen to find out whether it lived up to the hype I had created for it in my deranged, hyperactive brain.

Styling.

I think this is easily one of the most handsome and well executed Audi designs on the road—-with classic and timeless sedan features, as well as trademark features of current Audi styling including LED lighting and single large frame grille.  I do think the car is a little bit large from the outside, however the proportions sit well like a tall supermodel lying on a psychiatrist’s sofa.  For me, the ultimate cosmetic package on any Audi is the current Titanium Sport pkg, which my test car had.  Adding black single frame outline and darkened titanium and silver sport RS wheels really make the S4 stand out from its other siblings as well as from other cars on the road.  I absolutely love the RS wheels on this car, and I think these may be the best looking OEM wheels i’ve seen on any car.  I wasn’t a fan of the silver mirror housings (an S car feature) or the silver door sill treatment under the doors.  Overall though, a very slick package which really has a lot of presence and attitude.

Interior.


The interior of the S4 felt very much like the interior of the A4.  This car didn’t have a built-in navigation device, which was disappointing as it is one of the things I would really like in my next car.  The Silk Nappa seats were very comfortable and supportive; however I found the black/grey & white combination to really bling things up a bit too much.  I love leather seats, but not white ones! I would have also preferred the leather/alcantara combination rather to the all-leather ones.  As with most Audis, the materials used on the interior are first class, and I have yet to find another manufacturer which puts so much effort and detail into their interiors; it is part of the reason I am such an Audiphile.  That being said, I think there may be a bit too much silver going on in the dash, which adds a shininess I am not particularly fond of.  The dials had a very sporting touch though, and the ‘cockpit’ like surroundings really make the driver feel as if they are in control of what is going on.  The car I drove this particular day at the dual-clutch S-Tronic/DSG gearbox, which came with paddle shifters present on the back of the steering wheel with metal finish.  The steering wheel was leather wrapped and felt nice, if a bit light and not as heavy to hold as the older Audi steering wheels present on my car.  Back seat room was plentifull, and the trunk was quite vast.  All in all, a very nicely executed interior which earns its 4 rings.

Driving.

For me, this was the most important part of the S4 experience, as I expected a lot.  What I can tell you is that the S4 is fast—-as in hooker-being-chased-by-a-police-officer-through-a-seedy-motel-parking-lot fast.  0-60 felt instant (i’ve read between 4.4-4.9 seconds in various magazines), and the rate at which the supercharged 3.0L V6 gains speed at any speed really is remarkable.  The DSG gearbox is simply wicked in every way, it burps during upshifts, and blips during downshifts—-entertaining sounds coming from a highly entertaining gearbox.  The car felt sports car quick.  The handling was also to spec of a high performance and special german saloon—-as quick turns felt accurate, responsive, and very well balanced.  Huge amounts of grip, and vast amounts of confidence to the driver.  In terms of ability to gain speed and momentum, the S4 definitely trumps the Evo and the 335i in most respects.  Much of this comes down to the combination of the DSG and the supercharged V6.  The braking was excellent, as most Audis are—however the biggest improvement was in the quicker steering response as compared to previous generation S4s. They have changed the torque distribution to 60% to the rear wheels, which may have greatly influenced this positive change.  I think this felt overall like one of the better balanced Audi setups i’ve driven, and surely the data emerging that this 333hp S4 is as quick as the 414hp B7 RS4 in a track setting is evidence to that.  My biggest complaint about the driving experience, is that the exhaust was far too quiet (almost silent), and that the car is too refined.  It feels too well engineered, which made me feel slightly numb after driving it.  When I drove the Evo 10, i got out of the car wanting to get drunk and scream about how good it was to drive—-when I got out of the S4, I felt like drinking a glass of milk and turning on the news.  Overall though, it has the performance to match the good looks and the expectations.

Overall.

I really like the S4—i think it is a handsome package with a slick engine and a nicely trimmed outline.  The Titanium package makes it look very evil (in a good way) and the car has plenty of presence on the road. The price of the car I tested was $53k, and put the S4 out of my preferred price range.   Do i think it is worth that money? Yes i do.  Will I be paying that kind of money? No I won’t.  The S4 did not excite me in a visceral way—-and to me this served as evidence that a fast 0-60 time, my favourite marque,  and a pretty package are not enough to excite me about a car.  There are intangible qualities which makes people love cars, and for me at this time—this is not the car which suits my state-of-mind.

In terms of comparing with the 335i and the Evo; the S4 easily trumps the 335i in pretty much every way I an think of, besides price—–however it doesn’t fare as well against the Evo 10.  Why? The Evo 10 had a lot of passion in its engineering, passion one can feel—-and it went after a very simple goal: to create the best performance sedan possible on a budget.  The S4 tries to blend upscale luxury with effortless performance—-and it does it quite successfully, but i’m not sure If i’m as appreciative of that combination. I am looking for a car which I can easily drive plenty of freeway miles in day after day and then arrive home to Brooklyn, drive around Manhattan on the weekends, expand our family with, and to take to the airport and back—-as that car, this feels like too imposing of a package….maybe even too “mature” of a package.  So in summary: great car, but not for me.

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video of the day. Senna and rally cars.

This is some amazing home video footage of Ayrton Senna testing rally cars.  Thanks to Chris Harris for sharing this.

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“C’Etait Un Rendez-Vous”: the Mercedes that could.

I first saw “C’Etait Un Rendez-Vous” about 7 years ago, and was absolutely blown away by it.  I used to watch it every day for a while.  A couple of years later, after speaking to a ‘car guru’ friend of mine, I learned that the car in the short film was NOT a Ferrari 275 GTB, but a Mercedes 450 SEL 6.9, which was later admitted in interviews by Claude Lelouch, maker of the film.  Since then, i’ve made it my duty to point this out to almost everyone who seems to think it is a Ferrari 275 GTB, the same thing I USED to think—until i was told the truth.

The sound of the engine, has been rumoured to be overdubbed from a Ferrari 275 GTB, something I feel to be consistent with the sound—unless proven otherwise by some other documentation.

I found this sweet photo of Mr. Lelouch mounting his camera kit on the SEL @ The Torrible Zone

(2nd grainy photo from IDCMB.com)

I’ve seen this clip about a million times, but I suppose for context and for people who have never seen it—-it is worth reposting here.

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how to turn a fail into a win!

this guy has some skillz and a ton of luck!

 

Vodpod videos no longer available.
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BBC: “Grand Prix – The Killer Years” (4 Parts)

This is a fascinating show which was aired in the UK by BBC.  Split into 4 parts on YouTube; it documents some of the safety issues and concerns in 1950+ F1 racing.  There is some great footage, accompanied by sad and disturbing accident footage—-however it is overall, much much more interesting than just an accident compilation.  Well worth watching if you are into F1 history as I have become…

The part in Part 3 where Nick Drake’s music comes on in the background, while they are on Jim Clark’s onboard is just one of the most special pieces of a show i can remember in recent memory—-superb.

(Thanks to John Patterson for pointing this video series out!)

 

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“Anatomy of a pothole”

I drive a lot through New York City—-and everyday I find myself wondering HOW the potholes in the road just get bigger and bigger.  They fix them, they come back.   After several years of commuting by car through NYC city streets; I have learned areas where the road is worse than others, in my mental data bank of pothole summaries.  That being said, there are always new surprises which bubble up.

So how are potholes made!?

“It’s hard to believe those chasms in the pavement aren’t the remnants of miniature explosions. Instead, they’re carved by plain old water. The process usually starts with one little crack that fills with H2O. When water freezes, it expands, and when the water inside the crack expands, it pushes the asphalt outward and upward—a lot like when you forget a soda in the freezer and return to find a frozen volcano bursting from the bottle. “

read the rest of this interesting article here:
Anatomy of a Pothole – U.S. Roads and Infrastructure – Popular Mechanics

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obsessions.

Yesterday I sat at an Italian Pastry Shop with my friends who run Automobilac and Motoring Con Brio and we discussed our favourite cars, automotive musings, and anything related to our favourite hobby.  I distinctly remembering mentioning to them how obsessed I have become with the Alpine A110…and I felt later that the only people who could truly understand would be people into automobiles and motoring.  I have been gathering an unhealthy obsession with the Alpine-Renault A110.  Readers of this blog will know that I have always carried an obsession with it—however these days it is interfering with my time.  The last time this happened, was in 2000 with the then-new Audi TT.  I ended up buying that car 3 years later after 3 years of incessant obsession and lust.  I have owned it ever since, for the last 8 years.  I have been obsessed with the Alpine A110 for at least the last 4 or 5 years.  But it has been steadily been increasing.

Are there any stories of Automotive obsession that you have?  What became of it?  Are you currently obsessed with a car of your absolute dreams?  There are days I close my eyes and imagine myself on an evening mountain road with dim lights in my Alpine, pummeling through empty rough roads in an anonymous country.  These scenes flood my brain.

However, for the time being, I am simply confined to these daydreams and imaginary movements; while I remind myself to work hard on my career to develop the financial character to go out and buy the A110 of my choice—–assuming they are not (A) all destroyed by then (B) they don’t all get purchased by the Japanese, and (C) their price does not move past the ‘buyable’ level….whatever that means.

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foto of the day. junior z.

i love this car. it is so weird.  when i saw one in person once, it was even weirder.  the Alfa Romeo Junior Zagato

the aardvark attacks! (click foto to enlarge)


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R18 TDI. bring on Le Mans!

I rarely find prototype race cars to be ‘beautiful’ any more, but the R18 TDI is just utter gorgeousness in its beastly black and its crazy divider fin.

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Winter glory!

NYC winters are generally boring, cold, and without snow.  This year is a beautiful concoction of endless snowfalls leading to a fantastic daily commute!  Here’s a crappy cell phone photo to show my struggles of daily parallel parking in heavily restricted side streets of manhattan! I would have it no other way.  Luckily when it snows here, all of the “alternate side rules” get suspended; which means open parking spots for me without some of the fights I have had with other drivers in the past….all part of my NYC experience.

(and yes, that is the IEDEI mobile)

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video of the day (2): 250 SWB

got this from the mighty Automobiliac blog.  Again, i regret posting Ferrari stuff, because i really don’t like Ferraris….but there is something wonderful about the audio recording on this video…….the sound coming out of that 250 SWB is magnificent.

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i can relate….

Sooner or later I will write to you all about WHY i skip my 10 minute, 2-stop subway ride and mostly take the 30 minute driving option from Brooklyn to Manhattan to get to work and search for street parking every day; an act of sheer insanity, however I am motivated and excited to choose the inefficient, yet much more enjoyable manner to get to work.  This old Audi commercial reminds me of how i feel every morning (aside from the valet parking, that is)

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foto of the day. gt3.

So i’ve developed a very unhealthy admiration of the Porsche 911 GT3 these days, maybe because it is practical and insanely fast…..like ass-whoopish fast compared to nearly anything on the road; but also because i met a gentleman at a car show a few months ago, who was talking to me about his new GT3 RS….who told me one of his favourite cars he ever owned was a TT 225 Coupe, and then proceeded to convince me that i should be driving a used GT3…. this conversation really sank in over time.  Pre-owned GT3s are a hell of a deal……..996s especially—–HOWEVER i still hate the interior of the 996, and i had the exterior weird side skirts and thin body of the 996s as well…..not enough muscle, too much skinny finesse…..what also ruins it for me, is how several people i’ve spoken to who have driven and/or owned a 996 GT3 seem to say the same thing; that the car is very fidgety and not so stable turning nicely paved roads into concrete slabs of hell with shifty wheels?

How would i want mine?  Black on black of course—the only combination for me….but no worries, it’s not happening any time soon….997s are still pulling $90k and above.

me driving a 997 GT3 (no, it’s not me….)

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foto of the day. McQueen.

Steve McQueen would have turned 80 today, if he was alive.  So today’s foto of the day is a tribute to the man!

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Fulvia video. V4 FTW!

here is a great video of a Lancia Fulvia.

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1000+ views today.

For the first time since I started this blog about 16 months ago, it recieved more than 1000 unique views for just today.  That’s a milestone!  Cheers to all the IEDEI friends out there, and let’s aim for 2000 hits a day!

Time to celebrate with a picture of our spiritual webmaster, Steve McQueen!


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Genetics may be linked to poor driving skills

genetics_driving_skills

Very interesting research, and I definitely think it has a basis!

People with a particular gene variant performed more than 20 percent worse on a driving test than people without it – and a follow-up test a few days later yielded similar results. About 30 percent of Americans have the variant.

“These people make more errors from the get-go, and they forget more of what they learned after time away,” said Dr. Steven Cramer, neurology associate professor and senior author of the study published recently in the journal Cerebral Cortex.

This gene variant limits the availability of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor during activity. BDNF keeps memory strong by supporting communication among brain cells and keeping them functioning optimally. When a person is engaged in a particular task, BDNF is secreted in the brain area connected with that activity to help the body respond

see here to read the rest of the report from the University of California-Irvine

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-10/uoc–bdm102809.php

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