New York’s Finest at The Auto Show

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It’s that time of year again, the annual New York International Auto Show took over the Jacob Javits Center this past week. Automakers from across the globe showcase their latest, most innovative vehicles for the upcoming year. This year we saw the excitement of the all the new redesigned Dodge Challenger and Charger and the 50th year celebration of the classic Ford Mustang. Of course, the high-end companies displayed their masterpieces for the public to see.

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In my opinion, this years show stopper was Koenigsegg Agera R. This heart-pounding, carbon fiber, head turning super-car gathered quite the crowd at the auto show. With 1,140 horsepower, the rare beast will reach 60mph in 2.8 seconds, 200mph in 17.8 seconds and will max out an astronomical speed  of 278mph. Follow CarZach as we will do a more in depth report on this unique vehicle.

Koenigsegg Agera R

Koenigsegg Agera R.

American muscle came up big at this years auto show with the all new redesigned Dodge Challenger and Charger. The famous ‘racetrack’ tail lights of the Challenger are no more and the front end received a nice facelift. The Charger keeps the ‘racetrack’ tail lights but receives a new front end and some different styling cues on the side profile. Both vehicles will be offered in the Super Bee, SRT and R/T editions. The interior has been redone but due to the set-up of the displays I was unable to snap pictures of it. Chevrolet also rolled out the new ZO6 edition for the beautiful Corvette Stingray.

Challenger SuperBee

Challenger SuperBee.

R/T Charger

R/T Charger.

Corvette Stingray ZO6

Corvette Stingray ZO6.

On the hybrid end of things, the $845,000 Porsche 918 Spyder simply embarrassed the New York Yankee special edition Toyota Prius. With both a gasoline and electric engine the new Porsche super-car won’t lack any of the thrills that are supposed to come with this type of vehicle. The stunning BMW i8 was also on display and drew a huge crowd. At $136,000 the new BMW hybrid is the best looking vehicle to ever come from the company in my opinion. Back in reality, the decently priced Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is a stylish car and competitors such as Lexus should be nervous about the MKZ taking some business.

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Small sized SUV’s are an increased demand and numerous car companies have answered. Porsche rolled out their smaller, “more affordable” SUV called the Macan that starts at $49,000. Jaguar also showed a new SUV that looks a bit like its British cousin, the Ranger Rover Evoque. Chevy rolled out new Trax which looks to be an affordable everyday vehicle that will challenge Jeep’s new small SUV the Renegade. Both of these cars will go head-to-head with the Mazda CX-5.

The new Porsche Macan.

The new Porsche Macan.

A surprisingly lack of innovation was seen from Honda, Mitsubishi, Acura, Hyundai and Infiniti. All of their new vehicles looked basically the same as the ones traveling the streets now. There didn’t seem to be any major redesigns or introductions of crazy concept cars.

Going to the Italian vehicles, Maserati proudly displayed the new Quattraporte, Ghibli and MC-Stradele. All were beautiful and had an excited crowd as the doors to some of the vehicles were unlocked for the spectators to go inside. Alfa Romeo, had two absolutely beautiful 12C’s on display as the company is trying to regain territory here in the United States. With a reported starting price of just $55,000 the 12C is sure become popular once it hits the streets. Sadly, I was unable to snap pictures of the vehicle due to the massive crowds gathered around. Lamborghini showed off a vibrant Aventador Roadster; but to my disappointment did not have the all new Huracan at the show.

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Out of Japan, Toyota displayed the newly redesigned Camry, and Carolla. The concept FT-1 was a sign of sophisticated innovation from Toyota and I know many people, including me are hoping the flashy sports car sees production in the near future. Nissan of course displayed an out of this world concept car that took major styling cues from the Altima and Maxima. They also released a new track monster GTR Nismo edition; which I was unable to find at the show. The pint sized Juke SUV also will see a Nismo edition available for just $26,000. Lexus, did lack a bit of innovation but their new ‘F’ marked vehicles are set to take aim at AMG, S series and R-Design vehicles from Mercedes, Audi and Volvo.

For limited time only, the DUB Magazine tour filled up a room at the auto show. Of course upon entry, there was loud music being blasted from a DJ booth. The excitement was centered around local Long Island company, Martino Auto Concepts as they displayed a very unique Ferrari F430 and Lamborghini Murcielago LP-640. Already massive Rolls Royce’s saw some crazy body kits and huge rims. A pair of Lamborghini Gallardo’s were set with their GoldRush Rally stickers. The blacked out Elite Motorsports Lamborghini was looking sexy next to a white Ferrari 458 Italia. A chrome Audi R8 was also on display.

Martino Auto Concepts shows off some insane crazy exotics.

Martino Auto Concepts shows off some crazy exotics.

Chrome Audi R8.

Chrome Audi R8.

Elite Motorsports Lamborghini Gallardo.

Elite Motorsports Lamborghini Gallardo.

It is safe to say that the 2014 New York International Auto Show was a success. With hundreds of vehicles on display and thousands of people wanting to get a look, it was very difficult to snap perfect pictures and pictures of all the cars mentioned here. There will be many articles to come in the near future that will strictly focus on cars such as the Koenigsegg.

In addition to the auto show, I attended a local event here on Long Island. There was over 300 locally owned vehicles that met up early on a Sunday morning. Cars included an SLR McLaren, chrome blue Nissan GTR, and numerous Lamborghinis. Stay tuned for more articles on these vehicles as well.

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Fast, Fun and Affordable

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Fast, fun and affordable. Three words that have endless meaning in the car world. When my father decided to buy a new car a few years ago, I of course jumped all over the situation and found him all kinds of cars. He wanted something that was fast, fun, and of course affordable. Another requirement was a sunroof and manual transmission. In the end, the search came down to two vehicles- the Honda Civic Coupe SI or the Volkswagen GTI.

The decision was simple once we visited the Volkswagen dealership. It was instant love. The SI was out of the picture and my dad was now a proud new owner of a 2012 Volkswagen GTI.

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Purchased for about $27,000 the GTI came with a sunroof, 6-speed manual transmission, touch-screen radio, bluetooth connectivity, 18 inch alloy rims with low-profile tires and unique plaid seats. Under the hood sits a turbo-charged Audi engine that produces about 211hp (although its only marked at 200hp). The duel chrome tipped mufflers let off a soft growl as soon as the ignition is turned on. The GTI is offered in a 4-door but this model is the 2-door, which in my opinion has a meaner look. On the grille of the vehicle is the iconic red stripe with the GTI badge proudly displayed between the stripes. The GTI  badge is also shown on the trunk of the car. The VW logo stands out both in the front and rear of the vehicle, which I think it is perfectly placed. Look through those unique 18 inch alloy rims and your eye catches sexy red brake calipers.

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Open up the doors and the first thing you’ll notice are the plaid cloth seats. This is a feature that has been passed down from each generation of the GTI. For the people who aren’t into plaid, black leather is also available. Personally, I think the seats are beautiful and help give the car a distinct look. The bucket seats are very comfortable and very sporty looking. All the stitching is red which adds to the true sports car feel. The 6-speed manual transmission is simple black leather that leads up to a steel-colored shifter knob. The touch-screen radio is the same you get in any Audi. The steering wheel, which is flat bottomed is absolutely stunning. Black leather, and outlined in red stitching it is truly sexy. In fact, it is the same steering wheel that has been used in Lamborghini Gallardo’s. The backseat has plenty of room for passengers and also has the plaid seats. The added optional Bose stereo sounds pristine!

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Clutch down and turn the key. The GTI comes growling to life. A few revs even sound pretty nice. First gear is extremely powerful making for an almost immediate shift into second gear. The car weighs just over a ton so acceleration is excellent. Anyone in the car is thrown back against the seat has the FWD quickly gains traction and launches the car. The engine gets louder and louder making for a pretty good exhaust note. The driver can conquer all 6-speeds pretty quickly.

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On winding roads the GTI really shines. With sport tuned suspension the vehicle easily handles turns at speeds of 40mph+ and remains completely flat. The low profile tires are glued to the asphalt and anyone inside the car is not roughly tossed around. The cornering in this vehicle feels as if you were driving in a Porsche. No turn is too hard to handle for the GTI. My dad often loves to take out the car on winding roads and put the suspension to the test- and it never fails.

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On an open road in upstate New York, my dad and I decided to open up the GTI. Starting in 6th gear at about 65mph we floored it. With absolutely no turbo-lag the car rocketed forward and seamlessly reached about 115mph before we braked. The speedometer goes up to 180mph which is pretty impressive. The digital speedometer kept skipping numbers as the car reached higher speeds. The vehicle handled with such ease and if this had been an open-track, the GTI would have easily topped the 115mph mark. This car is completely stock, but there are many offered upgrades, some which give the vehicle 500+ horsepower!

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Today the GTI has about 10,000 miles on it. It has been driven from Long Island to Tennessee with great ease. It has handled the snow of New York, and even a crazy ice storm in Arkansas. The vehicle is reliable and has never had an issues and VW offers great maintenance deals. The GTI is the perfect car for someone looking to add some fun to their daily driver. With a price tag starting at just $25,000 the GTI is extremely affordable for all power and superb handling it gives. Credited car magazines such as MotorTrend have said that the GTI is much better value than the more expensive R version. I would highly recommend the GTI to anyone. It has quickly become one of my favorite cars to drive and be a passenger in.IMG_3700

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My Ride In A Pure American Beast

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American muscle —there is simply nothing like it. It can’t be compared to super-cars and and they’re certainly no ordinary vehicle. Although some muscle cars can compete with super-cars on 0-60mph times, it is a totally different thrill. On a recent trip to Tennessee, I found myself sitting in the passenger seat of a very powerful 2013 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 HEMI. This iconic vehicle can easily be considered the picture perfect muscle car.

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The SRT series is the most powerful series of vehicles that Dodge offers. Pop the hood in the Challenger, and the 6.4 Liter, V8, 392 cubic inch HEMI engine muscles out a huge 470hp with 470 lb.-ft of torque. As if all that standard power wasn’t enough, the owner of this Challenger added some extras, including a Modern Muscle 85mm ported throttle body, LMI CAI, 180 degree thermostat, speedlogix catch can and a Trinity Diablo sport tuner. Forget the stock 470hp, this baby has about 525hp and 525 lb.-ft of torque.

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For a vehicle weighing in at 4,170 pounds, this Challenger will reach 60mph in just 3.2 seconds. Yes, that is super-car status speed. Surprisingly, with all of this power, the car manages to get  14 mpg city and 23 mpg highway. And the owner of the car told me while driving with cruise control on, he’s gotten up to 26 mpg, which is outstanding for a V8.  In the beautifully crafted chrome fuel cap goes premium 91 octane fuel.  The engine is a beautiful beast. The perfectly clean engine reads HEMI and is beautifully crafted.

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The exterior of the vehicle is very muscular and powerful looking. Sitting 4.8 inches off the ground and 57.1 inches tall, the Challenger could very easily be used as an every day driver. Personally, I love the black paint job with the dual stripe down the center. It helps give the car a mean look—much meaner than the Camaro (the Challenger’s main competition). From every angle, the vehicle looks powerful, but my favorite view is staring into the eyes (headlights) of the car head on. The SRT badge is displayed proudly on the front grille along side the name of the car. This adds a very intimidating look to the vehicle. The SRT8 badge is also displayed on the rear of the car on the small but good looking spoiler. The low profile tires hold simple but sleek 20 inch rims that again say SRT on one of the spokes. On the side of the vehicle, towards the front sits a 392 HEMI badge that perfectly pops out against the black paint.

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The interior of the vehicle is just as sleek as the outside. The leather seats are opulent and make for a very easy ride, even on the bumpiest of roads. Although, when “Sport” mode is engaged the ride changes. The owner of the car explained to me how the quiet, comfortable cabin becomes a bit more bumpy. But hey, who cares? It’s a 525hp beast! The 6-speed manual transmission is conquered with a sleek and sexy shifter knob. Perhaps, one the best looking features of the interior was the SRT logo stitched into the black leather bucket seats. It truly gave a voluptuous feel. On the passenger side dashboard “Challenger SRT” was displayed to make sure no one could possibly forget what kind of monster they’re in. The navigation screen was well placed and gave both a luxury and muscle car look.IMG_3679

The flat bottom leather steering wheel also displayed the SRT badge as did the instruments on the dashboard. It was a very simple and clean dashboard. It was not cluttered at all, giving great maneuverability for both the driver and passenger. The backseats had room to comfortably fit a full sized adult. One odd feature of the car is that only the passenger side seat folds to allow access to rear seats. The sounds system was absolutely  amazing,  and with 18 built-in speakers, the driver and passenger(s) could jam out pleasantly. Even better than the sound system was the mean muscled growl that came from the engine. At a stop the V8 let off a soft growl, and as soon as the gas was just topped, the V8 let loose a monstrous exhaust note from the dual chrome tipped pipes.

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After winding through the police filled suburban streets of Memphis, we entered an industrial zone. After some exploring, we found the perfect straight away to let out all 525hp. After a quick 180 the Challenger sat ready for launch. Keeping one foot on the brake, the revs built up and the growl of the engine was getting louder and louder. Now with one foot on the clutch and one foot flooring the gas, we rocketed to 60mph in just over 3 seconds. My body was blasted backwards against my seat, my eyes wide and my adrenaline pumping. The engine went from a growl to a musical roar that sounded as if a lion was marking its territory. The power from the RWD was surely felt upon take-off. After reaching about 100mph in what seemed like only 5 seconds, the monster was once again tamed and the roar went down to a growl. Only one word can be used to describe this experience and that is—wow.

Back on populated streets, the Challenger handled with ease. Although, the rear end of the vehicle did slide out, giving a nice drift with little effort. This SRT Challenger is one extremely powerful daily driver. In my opinion the Challenger wins over any model Camaro, and most Mustangs (aside from the Shelby GT500). Dodge has reinvented the muscle car for the modern day. This Challenger specifically, can outrun plenty of super-cars that carry price tags well over $200,000. In fact, the V10 Audi R8, is the only naturally aspirated exotic vehicle that can give this Challenger a run for its money. Of course the Challenger is not meant to be thrown around tight turns and remain flat like some other exotic cars, but it certainly does make it fun when the rear end slides out and the air is filled with smoke from the tires.

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At the end of the road, this custom 2013 Dodge Challenger SRT8 392 HEMI is one hell of a beast. At 525hp the term muscle car has a new meaning. There monstrous beast is ready to tear up the asphalt anywhere it goes.

A big thank you to the owner of the Challenger for giving me the opportunity to go for a trilling ride and being so informative about the car. It’s always awesome to meet another car enthusiast.

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Motivation Monday: Lambo Line-Up

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Another Monday but this one is filled with three beautiful Lamborghini Gallardo’s! Personally, I would love to take the yellow beast out for a spin. The weather is slowly warming up here in New York and the exotics are slowly creeping their way out of garages. Stay tuned this week for a great article on a very “speciale” Ferrari!

Thank you to Experience Auto Group Ferrari-Maserati Long Island for allowing me to photograph some great cars! Be sure to  follow them on Twitter @FerMasLI. Follow @CarZachdotCom on Twitter for the latest updates!