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Posts from the ‘Sports Cars’ 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!

2014 Jaguar F-Type S Review and Test Drive

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I am going to start by saying I love the 2014 Jaguar F-Type! It is my favorite new convertible for this year. Jaguar hasn’t released a true sports car in a couple decades, but this one knocks it out of the park. It is the perfect combination of sports car and luxury.

The car I test had 380 horsepower and a top speed of over 170 mph. I didn’t go quite that fast, but I had a great time!

The car fits like a glove! I felt extremely connected with the car. Especially when I used sport mode. The model I drove featured an adjustable exhaust. So the car is unusually loud when I was racing around town and usually quiet when I was on the phone.

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Jaguar has always been a gentleman’s car, which meant I had the cougars lining up to get a closer look. The cats love other cats! [Cougar is a compliment in my book]

The interior of the Jaguar F-Type S was plush. The seats were designed for a sports car, but extremely soft. Outside of the Corvette, this is the only car I have driven with adjustable sides on the seats. This feature helps you stay in one place while hugging the corners.

Despite not having a dual clutch transmission, the car shifted extremely quick. The steering was very responsive and the car was a blast to drive!

If I has an extra $81,000 I would buy it just because it is so fun to drive!

A special thanks to Alpine Jaguar in South Florida for letting me drive the car. Check our their selection http://www.AlpineJaguar.com

Cruising on the NASCAR track

Ford_Mustang_NASCAR_Track

A couple weekends ago, I took my 2011 Ford Mustang out of on the NASCAR track at Homestead Miami Speedway. The thrill of speeding around a corner at 120+ mph is like no other! My co-pilot for the day was Stephanie Rosenblatt. I used the first 3 laps to get a feel for the track. You never want to push your car to the limits unless you have a solid feel for the course. After a quick pitstop, I got back on the track and was ready to do some damage! This time I was having a friendly competition with a a BMW 335is. Homestead Miami Speedway mounted a Go-Pro in the BMW, but after a lap or two, he was way behind the pack!

Video footage courtesy of Miami Homestead Speedway

BMW Z4 sDrive35is Review

The BMW Z4 is a really fun car to drive! I had a blast hugging corners in this two seater roadster. The turbocharged 6-cylinder engine produces 335 HP, which isn’t incredible, but the car only weighs 3,500 pounds. It also has a 7 speed dual clutch transmission, so the car shifts as quickly as you can tap the paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

It felt great being behind the wheel while driving on standard roads. It was like driving a big go kart. Driving the Z4 on the highway was not so desirable. It is a small car, and as such, it is not that comfortable. The truly hard top convertible is very convent. You can quickly put the top up and down with touch of a button… Perfect for taking the top down while stopped at a traffic light!

I recomend the BMW Z4 sDrive35is if you want a fun car for around town, but don’t plan to take it on any road trips. The best car to compare this to would be the Porsche Boxster S

You can check out the BMW Z4 at Vista BMW in Pompano Beach http://vistabmwpompano.com/homepage.html

2012 Corvette Review

The 2012 Corvette is one of my favorite American sports cars. It offers an exhilarating ride thanks to a 6.2L V8 engine. I tested the automatic transmission version and was pleasantly surprised. The car is able to change gears fairly quickly, and the paddle shifters were fun to play with. I would love to see a dual clutch transmission here for increased performance.

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The Corvette makes you feel like you are in the cockpit of a fighter jet. It is the only sports car (I know of) which features a heads up display. Your speedometer, tachometer, gear selected, and current radio station appears to be projected on the road. I wish more cars would incorporate this technology because it avoids having to take your eyes off the road.

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The interior of the 2012 Corvette offers big improvements! Previous Corvette interiors were made of hard plastics and felt cheap. The 2012 is wrapped in leather and has a soft dashboard. The seats are very comfortable. I drove the Corvette over 1,000 miles in one week with no back pain. The adjustable suspension is a neat feature, but I noticed little variation in how the car rode or handled.

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I took my girlfriend, Ashley Cline, out for a night on the town and quickly realized that it is the perfect car to drive on a date. The Corvette only has two seats, so it keeps things intimate. The ability to take the hard top off also comes in handy. Ashley and I started the date with the top on so it didn’t mess up our hair. At the end of the evening we brought out our adventurous spirit by popping off the top and cruising down the highway.

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Bringing the Corvette to Homestead Miami Speedway for their monthly track day was a must! I quickly found that the Corvette was admired other drivers. The Corvette enthusiasts were particularly fond of the new color for 2012. Several Corvette drivers complained about easy it was to fishtail their cars, but I never experienced this problem with traction control on. I was able to punch the accelerator every time without the car sliding around.

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Most sports car purists and race fans will notice the extended gauge cluster featuring an oil pressure analog display. A very important instrument to monitor when racing.

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Driving the 2012 Corvette for a week was a blast! It is a beautiful car with lots of power. It makes a perfect second car, but comfortable enough to drive everyday. When compared to the Porsche 911, the Corvette excelled in acceleration and valued. You can really feel the power at your finger tips.

Explore the entire Corvette family here: http://www.chevrolet.com/corvette-sports-cars/

BONUS: How to get into a Corvette

How to get into a Corvette, 1980’s style

Their are two ways of entering a Corvette (or really any convertible for that matter): by opening the door or by jumping in. I prefer jumping into the car for a quick getaway. The video above gives a demonstration on how to do both.

When jumping into a car for the first time, remember to wear soft sole shoes so you don’t accidentally scratch the car.

General Motors loaned me a 2012 Corvette Grand Sport for the week, so you will see the full review coming soon!