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Presenting the Ferrari 458 Italia Spider

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This past Wednesday, Ferrari unveiled the new 458 Italia Spider. It is a hardtop convertible that roars beauty and performance.

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The Spider version of the 458 Italia marks the end of the F430 era, which was the successor the the 360 Modena line.

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As with the Ferrari 458 Italia coupe, the Spider is powered by a 4.5L V8 rear mid-engine (The engine rests on top of the rear axle, instead of behind or in front of the rear axle. Rear mid-engine cars offer improved handling and give better traction to the rear wheels).

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(Photo by Ashley Cline)

I look good behind the wheel of a Ferrari!

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Ashley Cline also looks good behind the wheel, but I think Miss Preppy Pink Blondie needs either a white or pink Italia.

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We snuck into the Ferrari of Fort Lauderdale garage for a quick peek. The best thing about all of the 2012 Ferrari’s is that they include seven years of free service and maintenance. Prior Ferrari’s required $3,000+ in maintenance a year.

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The Ferrari 458 Italia Spider is a beautiful car and possibly the best car on the planet. With 562 hp and a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox, I challenge you to find a better hand built automotive work of art.

The 2012 Volkswagen Jetta

I borrowed the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta last Thursday, so this weekend my friend John and I spoofed the 1990’s Volkswagen Golf commercial. The featured song is Da Da Da by Trio. Use this link to see the original: Da Da Da Commercial

Buick and General Motors Luncheon

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The General Motors South East PR team invited me to a luncheon on Wednesday to showcase Buick’s eAssist technology and the 2013 lineup. I was never exposed to Buick before this event, so it was very interesting. Katie Maltais from Buick started lunch with some surprising facts: Buick outsold both Audi and Acura in 2011, and their best selling vehicle is an SUV. Buick’s three sedan options (from largest to smallest) are the Lacrosse, Regal, and Verano. Buick’s SUV options are the Enclave and the Encore.

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Stephen Poulos took floor after Katie to explain how the eAssist hybrid system works. Stephen is the Global Chief Engineer for General Motors and a car nut! The big difference between Buick’s hybrid system is that the gasoline engine is the primary motor and the electric motor secondary motor. eAssist functions more like a supercharger than a hybrid, which is why you won’t find the word “hybrid” anywhere on the car. Buick developed a way to combine the alternator and electric motor into one piece without using permeant magnets, which is very unique. The electric motor adds 15 HP to the car when accelerating from a stop or when passing a car on the highway.

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After lunch we visited the Verano, Regal, and Lacrosse in the parking lot. The interiors were surprisingly nice and the cars had a solid feel to them. I then had the amazing opportunity of taking a test drive with Stephen. We drove the Regal around the streets of Miami for about 20 minutes. It took a few minutes to charge the battery, but once changed, eAssist made a big difference. It added a nice little boast of power when needed and allowed the engine to shutoff when completely stopped. I had never driven a car with auto start and stop technology, it was pretty neat. Whenever we came to a stop the engine would turn off and instantly turn back on once I took my foot off the brake. At one point I stopped car in the middle of a side street, waited for the engine to turn off, then peeled out when I slammed on the gas pedal.

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I use to think Buick was a car for grandfathers. Their image is changing… It is becoming a cool brand.

Check out Buick’s full lineup here http://www.buick.com/flash.html