Tag Archives: exotic cars

2012 Nissan GT-R Review

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Author’s Note: Credit for the night pictures goes to my friend Ben Husband.

Behold the mighty GT-R. This isn’t just any Nissan. It’s a Nissan GT-R! If you ever watch Fast and Furious or play Gran Turismo video games, then you probably have heard of the Nissan Skyline GT-R. The Skyline GT-R was the sporty and top of the line version of the Skyline range which consisted of  mostly four door sedans and coupes. It all started with the first Nissan Skyline GT-R that debuted in 1969. These GT-Rs were known for their success in Japanese motorsports. However, the second generation was not as successful as the first because it arrived in 1973 just in time for the global gasoline crisis After just one year, Nissan canceled the Skyline GT-R. It wasn’t until 1989 that the Skyline GT-R reappeared. This generation was the first to utilize all wheel drive as well as four wheel steering and a turbocharged inline six engine. These features made it the most successful GT-R of all time with more than 40,000 units sold. By then, the Skyline GT-R had become Nissan’s flagship in terms of status and performance. The 1995 redesign elevated it in power and performance, but never reached the same sales as the previous generation. Then came the fifth generation Skyline GT-R which debuted in 1999. If you play the Gran Turismo Series or watch Fast and Furious, you would recognize this generation. We all know that was Paul Walker’s favorite car in the franchise. This generation (codenamed the R34) reached supercar levels of speed and handling, and it is known for its tuning potential. The R34 was a popular car for Japanese tuners as they were able to get as much as 800 horsepower from its engine. Sadly, none of these Skyline GT-Rs were ever sold in North America. However, the Infiniti G sedan and coupe and the EX crossover are Skylines brought from Japan and rebadged as Infinitis (Infiniti is Nissan’s luxury division). As the R34 stopped production in 2002, Nissan announced that it would separate its next GT-R from the Skyline lineup. Nissan launched the GT-R in 2007, and for the first time, it was sold in North America.  Continue reading

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2014 Mercedes Benz SLK250 Review

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Fun fact: The original Mercedes SLK was the first production luxury convertible to feature a folding hardtop. This novel feature enabled the SLK to look like a coupe with the top up, and a roadster with the top down, while also providing extra comfort and security that other cloth top convertibles could not match.  It was a success, selling around 55,000 worldwide in its first year (expensive convertibles do not usually sell this well). However, the original SLK garnered a reputation as a chick car, as it did not provide the driving experience its looks suggested. The second generation SLK in 2005-2011 sacrificed the previous SLK’s smooth lines for a more racier design. Even though handling was improved considerably, its image as a chick car remained, and its handling was still far off the pace of a Porsche Boxster. The latest SLK retains the retractable hardtop while promising better performance than the last two SLKs. Continue reading

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2011 BMW 740Li Review

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Debuting in 1977, the 7 series was higher in status and price compared to its 3 and 5 stablemates. It promised a better driving experience with more power and luxury. The first two generations (E23 and E32) did not take off as well as expected as it looked too similar to the 5 series. The 1994-2001 E38 generation fared slightly better due to being featured in several hit movies such as Tomorrow Never Dies with James Bond, and The Transporter. However, it still looked like an oversized 5 series. It wasn’t until 2002 that the 7 series’ popularity soared. The redesigned 7 series (E65) was the best selling 7 series of all time. At the time, Chris Bangle was BMW’s designer, and he was responsible for the controversial styling on the 3, 5, and of course, the 7. Controversy hit the 7 series due to its radical styling and complicated controls. But it finally looked different than other BMWs. Redesigned in 2009, this 7 series builds on its fundamental traits of the older 7, while dialing back on the styling. Continue reading

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