Alfa Romeo 4C Spider: A Supercar disguised as a exotic little sexy roadster

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A supercar – defined-  is a luxury,  unusual, high-end, high-performance sports car or grand tourer . Which takes me to this!!! Check out my test drive below.

The Alfa Romeo 4C;  one of the few affordable supercars on the market. You don’t agree? Think about it. Supercars are made of high-tech materials and cutting edge performance innovations right?. Well, the exotic 4C is a mid-engined little rocket with a carbon fibre chassis; like the iconic McLaren 675LT (seen below)one of the most beautiful cars ever. 5fa5b9-20161123193021_1

That chasis (seen below) is a game-changing technology that makes it lighter, tougher, and more resilient.11

Like many super cars, winning on the race track has taught Alfa Romeo about high-tech materials and lightweight properties of aluminum like sheet Molded Compound in the outer body. That makes it 20% lighter, rigid, more stable than steel-and and resists corrosion. That is certainly another sign that this little powerhouse is a supercar in disguise. Alfa Romeo MUST know what they’ve done, and they’ve done it well.

1967 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 StradaleLook at the picture above of the gorgeous 1967 Tipo 33 Stradale; and think about the DNA running through the veines of the current 4C. It’s front design is inspired by tthe Tipo 33 Stradale; low, aggressive, beautiful yet dangerous- dominated by that classic V-shaped plunging neckline front grille. unique headlamps; alluring lines; racing contours and a strong, impressive rear. You’re looking at a supercar.

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PERFORMANCE

The 4C for pure drivers with options like All-Weather, Natural, Dynamic or Race modes and traction control to add to the driving experience. It’s quick! 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds. A 6-speed automatic transmission has a twin clutch and paddle shifters for instant power to the rear wheels. Steering is tight. The turning ratio is amazing. It hugs the road and brembo brakes stops the 4C with stunning precision.

Weighing less than 2500 pounds, that rear-mid-mounted all aluminum turbocharged 1.7-liter DOHC I-4 engine produces 237-hp, 6,000 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque. That’s 4 valves per cylinder, a new-generation turbocharger, ultra-high pressure direct fuel injection and a dual-core intercooler that cools intake air before it reaches the turbocharger churning out a blazing top speed of 160 mph and somehow gets 28 mpg combined. There’s an optional Track package.20161109_172438

A double wishbone suspension setup up front and a MacPherson strut out back and rides on a set of staggered 17×7.0-inch alloys wheels up front and 18×8.0-inch alloys in back. So while the ride is a pure rush, but it’s a roadster so you’re gonna feel the bumps in the road. If you have 3 minutes to see it in action? Check out our Youtube video below.

Action speaks louder than words as so does its growl right? I had a blast and would certianly advise you to take a test drive.

INTERIOR

The 4C is all about saving weight.  The carbon-shelled seats are basic, the passenger seat is fixed and there’s hardly room for storage. The dash and gauges are clean and simple.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

The Alfa Romeo 4C is the most affordable car built around a carbon fiber;. Its an Italian sports car with good value. Competition is stiff from the Lotus Elise and the Porsche Cayman, but you don’t see 4C’s much which makes it a special status. It’s not for most people, but if you want the exciting primal track experience, exclusivity, and an affordable, extremely rare addition to your car collection, the 4C is an option…and its a supercar!

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So Beautiful! Such a Beast

By Tony C. Lesesne

IMG_2758This gorgeous roadster is a not only a work of art, and power; but its a technological wonder, and its a blast to drive, whether its on the streets of Coral Gables or our secret test track.  I did my best to remain calm, cool and collected during the test drive session, but it brought out the child in me. So let’s drop the top and have some fun.

For the video show, watch the new AutoFOCUS Web show on Youtube featuring the Dynamic Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63  (Below)

DROPPING THE TOP: That blue-ish panoramic roof is heat reflective and blocks UV and infrared rays that keeps the the cabin cooler.    This is the launch button – I mean the ignition….This lever on the console activates the top that folds into the trunk while the rear window pivots 180° to help preserve cargo space. Grab your shades cause in less than 20 seconds you’re topless, and it works up to 25 miles per hour.IMG_2680

DRIVE & PERFORMANCE: So let’s get on the track – and take off –  0 to 60 and just four seconds. Hugs the streets…Loves the curves – The seats activate a G-force restraint on either side as you hit curves. …Handling precise…Turning ratio- one of the best I’ve ever tested due to the curve Dynamic assist. Yes this car was MADE to drive! IMG_2689The AMG performance and suspension and high-performance compound braking system is an awesome performance tech package including a 3-stage electronic stability program….Innovative multi clutch technology delivers a confident response to any situation. IMG_2682AMG Dynamic select modes include Comfort, race, sport or Sport Plus settings. …A Fuel-saving Eco start-stop system automatically shuts off the engine at stop lights and idle situations.

DESIGN: Look at that front grille; classic, stylish and elegant, the rear…sexy, powerful. The AMG SL63 has the plenty of distinguishable details like those air gills on the hood… lets get under that hood

ENGINE: Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63 has a handcrafted engine which is a 5.5 L AMG V8 biturbo producing 577 horsepower. It also produces 664 pound feet of torque with its millisecond quick direct injection and multi spark ignition technologies. IMG_2881They combine to increase the fuel injection pressure and turbo boost which are among the AMG enhancements that help it achieve the speed and Power.

INTERIOR: The mix of classic and futuristic collides inside the cabin. Right in front of the steering wheel is the classic silver metallic trimmed odometer and gauges. Ohh,look at the Paddle shifters in the above photo. They are large enough to really enjoy them.   The central analog clock atop the dash modeled after the classic IWC sports watch.Rear view camera…Classic round air vents…Lush, high quality leather seats that are heated or cooled, and head restraints perfectly placed.  IMG_2676The Bang & Olufsen beosound premium system is exquisite with 12 active speakers including two acoustic lens tweeters and 900 total watts of musical power…Plenty of attention to detail, technology, luxury and comfort including 12 way power seats with memory active multi-contour seats massage yeah you heard it right. ..Its hard not to love something so beautiful that sounds so powerful. The  Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63 runs for around $151,350 as expected when getting a work of art, power and performance.

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The Giulia’s looks are seductively elegant and classic; and refreshing to drive.

20170810_150554OVERVIEW

One look at the 2017 Giulia got my heart beating faster and the excited anticipation of test driving this beauty on various roads and situations was more than I could stand. So instead of waiting for the rain to stop, 20170810_150647I ignored the weather and took it for a casual spin on day one. For the record, the Alfa Romeo brand is one of my favorites because of its unique, exotic designs and its spirited and dynamic performance. I want to make sure that you walk away having the same level of appreciation for this unique Italian brand, for what it’s worth.

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EXTERIOR DESIGN

The Giulia’s looks are seductively elegant and classic. I fell in love with that reverse triangular grille design, sleek headlamps and lower matching front spoiler at first sight. That lower spoiler features a front lower-lip that reminds you that this is indeed a formidable luxury performance sedan ready for the road or track. 20170810_150654_HDRGiulia’s perfectly proportioned body sets it apart from other cars on the road and the rear end beautifully arranged, clean and detailed, sporty and graceful with tail lights wrapping around the rear shoulders and dual exhaust tips below.

 

DRIVE & PERFORMANCE

great on-center feel, quick turn-in, and, above all, is communicative. The car moves gracefully and with a full measure of agility on curves and roads with twists and turns. The balanced weight distribution allows the driver to feel the cars onnectivity and athleticism.  I am reminded that experiencing the drive quality includes keeping the sound out and enjoying the sound system all the more.  20170810_150603However, sports car lovers many want a bit more growl from an Italian ride  lile this one. In this case, quieter engine is deceiving. A 280-hp 2.0-liter turbo four with an eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive are standard; all-wheel drive is optional. The Giulia’s turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four is less of a standout.  our estimates on mileage is 21 mpg overall and 32 mpg on the highway. 20170810_150725An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard equipment on all U.S.-market. Massive, metal paddle shifters are satisfying to use when driving hard, but their size and placement can make it inconvenient to reach the turn-signal and wiper stalks.

INTERIOR: Lets start with the first impression. That attention-grabbing, luxurious red leather and black trim is an instant attention-getter. The other impressive surprise, at least for me is the start button; its on the lower left on the flat-bottuned steering wheel. What? 20170810_150843_HDRThe instrument guages are easy to read as the flowing dash leads to the larger than average ceenter console screen with auto readouts and the entertainment information. 20170810_150722Air vents are below the screen with coontrol buttons underneath them. That’s an 8.8-inch touchscreen that provides connectivity; high-tech features like adaptive cruise control are also available. The Giulia’s dashboard layout is attractive but I had to take a few minutes to learn how to operate the various options that the screen provides while also getting my head around the other knobs and contorls on the steering wheel, the center console and the screen collectively. 20170810_150620Especialy the three control knobs behind the stick. I did appreciate the slide-in and out storage space in front of the stick and the deeper storgae option situated behind it, between the driver and passenger seats. It looks neat, organized and well designed.   20170810_150706The front seats feature adjustable bolsters and thigh supports and also the thin-rimmed, flat-bottom steering wheel that’s fun to hold and cool to handle. Rear-seat room is about average for this class. 20170810_150930Easy-to-fold rear seat backs with a useful 40/20/40 split add a measure of practicality and usefulness.

COOL POINTS

Long-term durability remains a big question mark, and Alfa’s reputation doesn’t instill much confidence. At at starting price of $37,995, Giulia bring additional excitement an an iconic style to the Alfa lineup which makes it all the more  enthralling. The Giulia is a lively and distinctive which is what it has to be in a very crowded and competitive class.

 

Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63: A beautiful work of art, and brilliant display of power

IMG_2757There I am posing alongside this gorgeous, head-turning, eye-catching Benz. Its a work of art, and power. Whether its on the gorgous streets of Coral Gables, Florida or on our secret test track location twenty miles north in Broward, I found it to be a charm. First, let’s drop the top and have some fun. A blue-ish panoramic roof is heat reflective and blocks UV and infrared rays that keeps the the cabin cooler.  

This is the launch button – I mean the ignition. This lever on the console activates the top that folds into the trunk while the rear window pivots 180° to help preserve cargo space. Grab your shades cause in less than 20 seconds you’re topless, and it works up to 25 miles per hour.

IMG_2680DRIVE & PERFORMANCE

So let’s get on the track – and take off –  0 to 60 and just four seconds. It truly hugs the streets and loves the curves – The seats activate a G-force restraint on either side as you hit those curves. What a rush! The handling is precise and confident. The turning ratio has to be the best I’ve ever tested due to the curve Dynamic assist.

It’s made to drive and the AMG performance and suspension and high-performance compound braking system is an awesome performance tech package including a 3-stage electronic stability program. Innovative multi clutch technology delivers a confident response to any situation. AMG Dynamic select modes include Comfort, race, sport or Sport Plus settings.  A Fuel-saving Eco start-stop system automatically shuts off the engine at stop lights and idle situations.

DESIGN

The design team surely had a visionin mind. They paid homage to the classic hertitage of the Mercedes sport AMG legecy while adding a futuristic touch with the lines, the stance and the details. Look at that front grille; classic, stylish and elegant, the rear…sexy, powerful. The AMG SL63 has the plenty of distinguishable details like those air gills behind the front wheels and the hood… lets get under that hood.

IMG_2682DSL body structure enhances both occupant protection and handling Precision composed virtually entirely from stamped cast chilled cast thermal Med and extruded aluminum the body is the body shell is nearly 300 lb lighter than before yet 20% more torsionally Ridgid. The windshield frame offers high strength with minimal Visual obstruction and the first of its kind attention assist continually monitors up to 70 parameters of driving behavior and can automatically alert the driver with both Visual and audible warnings if it detects signs of browsing is on long trips.

IMG_2680Adaptive highbeam assist uses continuous input from a camera to automatically vary the range of your headlamps based on the distance to oncoming vehicles and to those ahead of you the rear-view camera is another high-tech safety resource not to mention the parking assist with parking pilot.

ENGINE

Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63 has a handcrafted engine which is a 5.5 L AMG V8 biturbo producing 577 horsepower Also produces 664 pound feet of torque with its millisecond quick direct injection and multi spark ignition Technologies which increases the fuel injection pressure and turbo boost which are among the AMG enhancements that help it achieve the speed and Power.

IMG_2877INTERIOR

Inside you have the sun reflecting AMG Nappa leather upholstery air scarf neck level heating system 12 way power seats with memory active multi-contour seats massage yeah you heard it right. Heated and ventilated seats and more. I’m amazed that Mercedes Benz packed so much style and luxury into a tight space within this roadster. the classic silver metallic trimmed Odometer and gauges are circular and simple. No digital displays here. Ohh, and the paddle shifters… large enough to really enjoy them on the road. I say that because we drivers often have to find that paddle shifter to use them when desired.  Above the dash, there’s a central analog clock atop the dash is modeled after the classic IWC sports watch. That clock sits above the large information and entertainment screen which converts to a rear view camera with classic round air vents on either side. 

IMG_2881For audio on entertainment there’s the apple carplay and command system with Central controller, front bass system, comand hard drive navigation smartphone integration with apple carplay, voice control, dual USB audio ports, HD radio receiver with Sirius XM Radio and hands-free Bluetooth. The Bang & Olufsen premium system is exquisite with 12 active speakers including two acoustic lens tweeters and 900 total watts of musical power. I pushed it to the limit, blasting my favorite jams with no over-modulation whatsoever. Yup, even with the top down, the sound was amazing.

IMG_2676Yes, this test drive was one for the books and not only a trest for me but one for the people on the streets, and in the neighborhood that constantly came to me to share thieir admiration for this amazing roadster. The Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63 runs for $151,350 which is what I expected. I say its one to grab if you want a life-energizing tension-releasing work of art, with power and performance to boot.

For more of AutoFOCUS, check out the season web tv series on www.infocustv.online and Youtube.

The 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport too much fun

By Tony C. Lesesne

Before we get started, check out the video above to learn why a clean car can save you money. After that, LET’S RIDE!!

Check out the 1972 Honda Civic. Now check out the 2017 Honda Civic Sport. Nice! The Civic Sport is a meaner, sexier version of the popular Civic, which bring me to the design.

DESIGN – The Honda Civic Sports grille is swagalicious; horizontal lines, underbody spoilers; a sleeker body design. In the back; not one but two spoilers. There’s a honeycomb design in front and back and dual exhaust underneath. The Civic Sport sits on 18-inch alloy wheels for a modern and mean look. Ok enough about the design – let’s go for a test run.

PERFORMANCE – The first test is the turning ratio and handling. It easily passes that test, taking the turns without any trouble. So now let’s take it out on the road. I want to find out how much pep and performance I can get out of that 180-hp 1.5L turbocharged engine.ntertainment and control center, dash – racing inspired seats. Perfect.

COOL POINTS & CONCLUSION – There are two trim-level tracks for the hatch, with the mainstream LX/EX/EX-L on one side and the Sport/Sport Touring on the other. The cargo area is reasonably deep even with the rear seats up, creating just under 26 cubic feet of luggage space (23 cubic feet in the Sport trims). Currently, prices range from $20,535 for the base LX to $26,135 for the EX-L Navi; both are already on sale. When the $22,135 Sport and loaded Sport Touring arrive in January, the top price will notch up to just over $29,000.

The Chevy Cruze is special

This is a dynamite car, starting with the interior. You can see and feel the effort Chevy put into this dynamo.

OVERVIEW – The 2017 Cruze is fully redesigned and is much more competitive than ever in the compact sedan class.

INTERIOR – You can see why I’m starting my review with the interior of the Cruze. That’s a beautiful dash, and the high tech entertainment; wifi, charger ports. And a seamlessly elegant and  stylish environment – like the stitching – details, that’s impressive

THE DESIGN & EXTERIOR – Look at that front – that’s called Chevy swag. That grated diamond grille badging. That lower spoiler and corner fog lamps underneath. That sporty RS badging. Premier nameplate and even a spoiler on the back roof line making it aerodynamic and stylish. The Forward leaning stance and the hatchback body style definitely works for this car.

THE DRIVE & PERFORMANCE – Lets see how if accelerates. Smooth work on the gas pedal allows the cars to kick in the thrust. The 1.4 liter variable valve timing DOHC  4-cylinder engine gets 31 mpg (28 city  37 Hwy). I was really impressed with its turning ratio and agility. Of course it’s not a sports car but it’s got a sporty feel, which is good for a compact hatchback. In the safety category the Cruze earned a five star rating in front driver and passenger crash. The Cruz Rides on 17” aluminum wheels and it’s both sporty and comfortable.

COOL POINTS AND CONCLUSION – The Cruze is tech high tech. Like the  4G LTE wifi HOTSPOT- onstar remote app; power sunroof. a rearview camera and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality. It has Advanced safety features, like rear parking sensors, lane departure warning and blind-spot monitoring. Tire pressure monitor,. And rear vision camera. At $26,605 the Cruze’s sportiness, style and high-tech accoutrements give it the edge over many of its rivals in this extremely populated and competitive class.

INTERIOR – You can see why I’m starting my review with the interior of the Cruze. That’s a beautiful dash, and the high tech entertainment; wifi, charger ports. And a seamlessly elegant and  stylish environment – like the stitching – details, that’s impressive

THE DESIGN & EXTERIOR – Look at that front – that’s called Chevy swag. That grated diamond grille badging. That lower spoiler and corner fog lamps underneath. That sporty RS badging. Premier nameplate and even a spoiler on the back roof line making it aerodynamic and stylish. The Forward leaning stance and the hatchback body style definitely works for this car.

 

Be sure to vote for your favorite AutoFOCUS car for 2017

The Ford Escape for 2017 is a sweet surprise

Tony C. Lesesne

According to wikipedia – A crossover is a vehicle built on a car platform and combines features of SUV’s, station wagons or hatchbacks.  The crossover combines SUV design features like high interior packaging, high H-point seating, high center of gravity, high ground-clearance or all-wheel-drive capability, and add design features from cars like independent rear suspension, car-like handling, lighter weight and better fuel economy than trucks.Crossovers are offered with front wheel drive, rear wheel drive or all-wheel drive configurations.

Now you know.

The stylish headlights, the grill; the lean stance. Those are the design cues that make the 2017 Ford Escape stand out in a crowd of competitive small crossovers. The competition is INSANE, including the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX 5, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and hyundai Tucson, Toyota Rav4, nissan Rogue. I tested this peppy, versatile turbocharged 179-hp 1.5-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder SE version.

The Escape has only 16 years of production under its belt, yet it sells more than any Ford except the F-150 pickup. The buying shift to crossovers have simply made it pretty popular.

With a towing capacity of  2,000 lb and plenty of Cargo volume, the Escape provides a choice of three four-cylinder engine options, all paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

With a zero-to-60 time of about 7.1 seconds and a quarter-mile run of 15.6 seconds, the Escape is surprisingly quick, fun to drive, and versatile. The fuel economy is around 23 mpg in the city and 30 on the highway.

The Escape’s available electronic driving aids includes its lane-keeping system that warns of lane departure when the steering-wheel vibrates; if the driver wants, the steering eases the vehicle back toward the middle of the lane. Also newly available is active cruise control, which offers driver-selectable following distances.

The SE tech package includes  sync 3, a reverse sensing system, Blind spot info systems, which arrives at around $25,100, add another five grand or so  in really cool options and the sticker price is around $31, 470.00.