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Posts from the ‘Events’ Category

Moving Day!

behind the wheel wood in blue sun

Dear Readers,

I have the opportunity to move my blog to the Sun Sentinel’s new website, today is the day. My new blog will be called Behind The Wheel. I will be doing weekly car reviews on all of your favorite manufactures. I hope you follow me there.

My first review for Behind The Wheel will be on the 2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante. It is V12 Grand Tourer that has a price tag of $322,000. Find out if I think it is worth the price by going to www.Behind-The-Wheel.com

Thank you for reading,

Jonathan Brownfield

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Behind the wheel of the 2014 Corvette Stingray Convertible

The 2014 Corvette Stingray Convertible on the beach in the Florida Keys

The 2014 Corvette Stingray is such an amazing car, and the convertible version makes it even more fun! What makes it so great, is the thrill it produces while only costing around $50,000. The Stingray is faster than the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S, Jaguar F-Type, Audi R8, and the Maserati Granturismo Sport. The Corvette Stingray I tested was priced around $70,000, but that is still bargain compared to the $117,000 Porsche 911 or $126,000 Maserati. It included the Z51 performance package, performance exhaust, and the magnetic ride control.

2014 Corvette Stingray Engine

The car is powered by a 6.2L V8 engine that produces 455 horsepower and 460 pounds of torque. It can do 0-60 in 3.8 seconds and stop 0-60 in 107 feet. So you are probably thinking Corvette vs Porsche, hows the handling? The car handles beautifully! It can achieve 1.03gs in cornering grip. Chevrolet was able to accomplish this by reducing weight and having an optimal 50/50 weight balance. New to 2014 is the use of an aluminum frame, and carbon fiber panels.

2014 Corvette Stingray Fishing

What is also remarkable, is that the car gets 29 mpg. No other car has over 450 horsepower and has 29 miles per gallon. Chevrolet is able to accomplish this by offering a 7-speed manual gearbox and an eco mode that shuts off 4 cylinders when cruising.

White 2014 Corvette Stingray

The new Corvette offers some really cool features, such as a heads up display, a digital dash board, and active-rev matching . Active-rev matching speeds up the engine timing when downshifting – When you are racing and begin to downshift, you want to increase your RPMs so the engine matches the RPMs of the gear it will go into.

2014 Corvette Stingray Grill

Hands down, the 2014 Corvette Stingray is one of my all-time favorite cars – It has the styling of a Ferrari California, the performance and thrill of a Porsche, and it costs half the price… Oh and the roar of the engine is so sweet!

The Fort Lauderdale Collectors Car Auction

A few of my favorite cars at the Fort Lauderdale Collectors Car Auction. The auction takes places Saturday January 5th and Sunday January 6th 2013.

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A Corvette 427 Stingray, originally owned and driven by a local Formula 1 driver

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I love this rare Mercedes SL190 convertible

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1971 Chevy El Camino

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The tow truck from “Cars” the movie

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1960’s Mustang Fastback

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Corvette Stingray

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1980 Ferrari 308GTS

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Porsche GTS 3

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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.

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

The 5th Avenue Car Show

The 5th Avenue Car Show was this weekend in Naples, Florida. I was told by the owner of The Corvette Store in Pompano Beach that it is the largest car show in Florida. There were eight blocks filled with 100s of rare exotics and vintage cars.

The left side of the street is vintage Ferrari’s and the right side of the street is new Ferraris

An extremely rare Mercedes Benz 300 SLR

An original Mustang Shelby GT 350

The Back To The Future Car

This beautiful vintage Ferrari was amongst my favorites at the show

A Ferrari Enzo was a highlight at the show. Only 399 were ever produced

The brand new 2012 McLaren. This car’s direct competition is the Ferrari Italia.

The brand new Corvette was modified to look like a 1960s Stingray