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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A “Speciale” Ferrari 458

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The Ferrari 458 Italia has quickly become a very popular super-car to own! A 2013 Ferrari 458 Italia will cost $233,509 and carries a 4.5L V8 engine that powers out 570hp. But hey, it’s a Ferrari, so of course engineers went to the drawing board and made something a bit more extreme. The result is the 2014 Ferrari 458 Italia Speciale!

The beautiful 458 Speciale with some original 458's in the background!

The beautiful 458 Speciale!

The new exotic cranks out a huge 597hp and is a full 200lbs lighter than the regular 458. For $298,000 the Speciale will launch to 60mph in a swift 2.8 seconds and will max out at a mere 202mph. Of course with all this power comes poor gas mileage, the vehicle gets just 13mph city and 17mpg highway. The exhaust note is louder and the car even shifts faster than the base 458.

The heart of the beast!

The heart of the beast!

Styling wise the car features a unique air intake right above the Ferrari badge on the hood of the car. Also, above the headlights, the exotic has numerous small air intakes, adding a good flair to the vehicle. The most notable added touch is the white and blue stripe that runs down the center of the car. I find that this gives the vehicle a more sexy, sleek and fast look.The exhaust pipes have gone from three down to two and are now spread farther apart.

Notice the different tailpipes.

Notice the different tailpipes.

The interior of the car is just as beautiful as the exterior. To help shave off some weight, pure racing seats were inserted into the car which really gives the driver and passenger a true race car feel. To hold the the riders in place, the car is equipped with a 4-point harness seatbelt. The interior is stripped out of most common amenities giving it more of a super-car feel. I had the rare opportunity to sit inside the exclusive vehicle. The bucket seats, known to be uncomfortable in other cars, were shockingly not too bad. Of course I would not recommend very long drives, but for short drives the riders won’t be sore when they get out.

Beautiful bucket seats and a true race car interior.

Beautiful bucket seats and a true race car interior.

DSCN3788The dashboard was clean and just screamed “drive me”. The steering wheel was a piece of art, with numerous options like start engine and race mode. The paddle shifters sat tucked in behind the steering wheel allowing the driver good maneuverability. Sitting out in front, the yellow tachometer clearly shows the insane rev’s of the car. Two beautifully crafted electronic screens sit on either side of the tachometer that display all of sorts of information, like speed, to the driver. Most of the interior is made from carbon-fiber, offering not only sexy styling but weight reduction.

"Drive me".

“Drive me”.

In summary, Ferrari has done it again. They have continued the legacy of the Challenge Stradale and Scuderia series vehicles with this Speciale edition 458!

A big thank you goes out to Ferrari-Maserati Long Island, a division of Experience Auto Group. Located in Plainview, New York, they give customers a superb buying experience and offer the most beautiful cars on the market. They host great events and are always supportive of my passion for exotic vehicles. Be sure to stop by to check out their cars, and follow them on Twitter @FerMasLI!

Follow carzach on Twitter @CarZachdotCom and now follow along on Instagram @CarZachdotCom! Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions! Check out all the photos of the exotic in the gallery below!

T-Rex: A Different Kind of Monster!

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A new kind of monster is tearing up the streets all over the world. It hails from Quebec, Canada but offers almost nothing to shield the driver and passenger from the cold. The car is a T-Rex from the company Compagna.

Compagna started in 1988 with a few people and a big vision. in 1995 the first ever street-legal T-Rex was unleashed into the wild. The monster has one of the most unique designs ever- three wheels, two seats and no doors. The model pictured above is a T-Rex 14R. The 16S is the the newest and most up-to-date model offered by the Canadian company.

Notice the small windshield and wide front stance.

Notice the small windshield and wide front stance.

Starting at $57,999 it is one expensive, unique and fast vehicle. In fact, T-Rex is considered to be a motorcycle. Therefore, drivers must have motorcycle license to drive it. Compagna offers eight different color options and they ship each vehicle to the customer.

T-Rex sits just four inches off the ground, making driving not only a thrilling experience but also a bit scary. The vehicle is only 48 inches tall, so no I would certainly not recommend it to tall people. T-Rex features a 6-speed sequential manual transmission that is controlled by hand, like a motorcycle. The  engine comes from BMW and packs 160HP. Now that may not seem like a lot (my Volvo has more) but for a car that weighs just 1,040lbs it is insanely fast and will reach 60mph in just 4 seconds. A driver will max out at 120mph, which being so close to the ground is pretty damn scary.

Cargo carriers on the side.

Cargo carriers on the side.

T-Rex seats two and has a few different areas where cargo can be stored. The windshield is low and only offers partial protection to the driver and passenger. Meanwhile, there are no other windows, and the side of the vehicle is completely open.To fight theft, the steering wheel is completely removable. Compagna also offers a touch screen navigation system and an incredible sound system.

No steering wheel, touch screen navigation and of course towels over the seats to protect it from the rain.

No steering wheel, touch screen navigation and of course towels over the seats to protect it from the rain.

Many would recognize this unique vehicle from MTV’s hit TV show Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory, where he often plays around in his own white T-Rex. Personally, I have seen a few on the roads of Long Island, even on the highway. Compagna does take safety seriously and T-Rex is equipped with a roll cage, specialized crash zones and of course seat belts.

In my opinion, if I had some extra cash sitting around to spend on a fun toy I would certainly buy one. I have never been a big motorcycle fan, but this is a one-of-a-kind beautiful machine that keeps pace with super-cars. I don’t think I would be all that excited to take this puppy out on the highway, but it certainly would be amazing to tear up some streets and open parking lots. The vehicle has gotten nothing but rave reviews from owners and even the guys on Top Gear BBC. The car is said to handle amazingly but the riders should be prepared for intense G-force around corners.

T-Rex is one of the most distinct vehicles on the market right now. Many people who see them, probably don’t know what it is they’re looking at. It’s far from your average car, motorcycle and even go-kart. Keep your eyes peeled for this monster shredding the roads in the nice weather!

One fat rear-wheel!

One fat rear-wheel!

Would you pay $60,000 for this toy? Would you even want to get into one? Let me know what you think! Be sure to follow Carzach on Twitter @CarZachdotCom