Why the Porsche 986 Boxster is the Perfect Entry-Level Sports Car

Standard

In 2003, a black Porsche 986 Boxster rolled off the assembly line and hit the streets. Eleven years and 64,000 miles later, this Porsche became mine. The tiny entry-level two-seater sports car has a long lineage of being one of Porsche’s most popular models- and for good reason. Unlike other models such as the 911, Cayenne and Panamera, the Boxster is not only easier to maintain but is also cheaper. The Boxster is a great starter car for those looking to enter not only the Porsche market but also the exotic car world and here’s why:

It’s cheap. A 2003 Boxster can easily be had for under $10,000. When you consider what the Porsche brand is and the prestige it represents, the entry cost is far less than rival brands like Maserati, Lamborghini and Ferrari. For example, to get into a Lamborghini, you’re looking at a price of at least $80,000- and that would be considered an amazing deal. An entry to the Ferrari brand could occasionally be done for around $30,000 for a model a few decades old. Entry to Maserati can come at a reasonable price range of $17,000-$20,000.

The next factor relates back to the price, and that is the maintenance. Like the low price, the Boxster has a relatively low maintenance cost. An oil change can be accomplished for about $120, new brakes for around $700 and a new clutch for $3,000. Those prices are more than your average car but the Boxster and the Porsche brand are far from average. The 986 Boxster is also a very reliable car and needs far less regular maintenance than other entry-level cars from rival companies.

The last reason why this Porsche is the perfect entry–level sports car is the Stuttgart, Germany crafted engine. The 986 Boxster and Boxster S are certainly no competitors of high performance sports cars with the latter of the two boasting the more powerful 3.2L Flat 6 making 258hp. The 986 without the ‘S’ package (the model I currently drive) have the smaller 2.7L Flat 6 producing 227hp. These may not be staggering numbers but the soft rumble of the German Flat 6 and the gear changes of the 5 speed manual (or PDK Automatic) transmission will bring joy to any car enthusiast. While the car may be underpowered, the handling is pure Porsche perfection and will not disappoint.

The Porsche Boxster has been a coveted car in the Porsche brand since it’s introduction in the late 1990’s. For under $10,000 you can get behind the wheel of car built by the same company that gave the world some of the best cars ever produced in the Carrera GT, 918 Spyder and GT3 RS. If you’re looking to enter into the Porsche brand or the exotic car world, the Porsche 986 Boxster and Boxster S are great considerations.

Be sure to follow CarZach on Instagram @Car_Zach and Twitter @CarZachdotCom.

For more pictures of my 2003 Porsche 986 Boxster click HERE.

IMG_4418IMG_4417IMG_4416

Advertisements

The McLaren F1 LM Revealed

Standard

As a car enthusiast there is always one question that is asked in conversion—what is your favorite car? I have been asked this question countless times by so many people and my answer has never changed. Of course, the Lamborghini Murcielago, Enzo Ferrari and Maserati MC12 come to mind, but one super-car stands tall above the rest—the 1995 McLaren F1 LM.

Lamborghini Murcielago LP-640 Roadster.

Maserati MC12

Enzo Ferrari

Produced by the legendary racing company McLaren, the F1 LM is an extremely limited-edition version of the already insane F1 and F1 GTR. The F1 LM has modifications from the track only F1 GTR to make it street-legal.

McLaren F1 LM

It all started in 1992 when Gordon Murray designed and produced the original McLaren F1 that would be allowed on public roads. McLaren had already more than proven itself on the track, but could it compete with Ferrari and Lamborghini which were already having great success producing street cars? Well, the answer was yes. It did more than compete; it absolutely tore up any competition. From 1992 to 1998 only 106 F1 cars rolled off the assembly line in Woking, Surrey, England; only five F1 LM’s were produced. Before we even get to the performance specs, the production number instantly adds huge value to the car.

McLarenF1

The more “common” McLaren F1 boasts incredibly impressive design, power and handling. BMW and the M Sport division built Murray a custom 6.1L V12 engine called the BMW S70/8. Producing 627 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque the F1 will reach 60 mph in a blistering 3.2 seconds, 100 mph in just 6.3 seconds and will top out at 248 mph. As one can imagine, these are unheard of numbers in the nineties, and the vehicle quickly became the worlds fastest street-legal car and held the title until 2005. The naturally aspirated engine sits in Carbon Fiber body panels surrounded by gold foil for heat insulation. A reported 16 grams of gold was used in each McLaren. The limited F1 LM uses the same engine as the track-only F1 GTR; a naturally aspirated V12 producing 680 horsepower and 520 lb-ft of torque. The F1 LM will scream to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, 100 mph in 5.9 seconds and has a max speed of 243 mph. The top speed is lower on the the LM due to added aerodynamic drag.

Notice the gold plating.

Notice the gold plating.

Pop-open the enormous gull-wing doors and you’ll be quite surprised when you notice where the drivers seat is. Murray designed the cars to have the drivers seat in the middle of the car; this gives the driver a more complete F1 racing experience. It not only positions the driver in the same spot as if in a real F1 car, but it allows for much better views of the road in front. Sitting just behind and to the side of the drivers seat are two passenger seats. Yes, this astonishing super-car has room for three passengers. To make things even more intense, it’s recommended both the driver and passengers wear headphones to allow communication to the other passengers during a ride. This is due to the monstrous noise the engine makes. To save weight, little to no insulation was used to keep out the V12’s roar.

Doors up.

Doors up.

mclaren-f1-interior

All five McLaren F1 LM’s produced were painted Papaya Orange to honor Bruce McLaren and the color of his race car. There is in fact a sixth version of the LM called the XP1 LM (also painted in Papaya Orange) that is owned by McLaren and remains in the factory. The car was original promised to Lewis Hamilton, McLaren’s F1 team driver if he won two world championships. Hamilton left the company in 2013 to join Mercedes-Benz after winning one world championship. Rumors have it that the car today is valued at over $4,000,000.

This super-car came far from stripped down; Murray wanted to give drivers comfort as well as performance. Each vehicle came with a specially designed lightweight 10 disc Kenwood sound system that was specifically made to tailor to the buyers music preferences. The cars do not have a radio however because Murray said that he himself barely ever listened to it. The cars also surprisingly come with air conditioning, window defrosters, electric windows and remote control locking. Inside the cabin the lucky owner will find button releases for outside panel access, a storage compartment,and courtesy lights. Also included is a gold plated tool kit, high performance headlights and reverse/fog lights.

10867640-L 10867617-L

Upon purchasing the record-setting vehicle each buyer received a custom edition Tag Heuer Chronometer wristwatch. Each car was specifically produced to the buyers’ needs and wants. McLaren flew out all the buyers to have the seats custom fit to the their body types. The seats are also non-adjustable because they too are specifically set for the driver’s ideal driving position. This of course makes finding a used F1 that much more difficult if you plan to drive it (which I hope you would).

The value of the McLaren F1 and F1 LM have skyrocketed above its original price tag of just under $1,000,000. In 2008 a McLaren F1 was sold for about $4,000,000 and in 2012 at the Pebble Beach Concourse d’Elegance chassis number 066 was sold for a record breaking $8,400,700. Although it is difficult to find an owner willing to give up one of these masterpieces, many have been offered for sale fetching from $4,000,000 all the way to $10,000,000 and above for the F1 LM. McLaren will not release the names of the owners to the public but it is known that famous designer Ralph Lauren has a collection of the cars in his personal garage. There is no doubt that the price of these cars will continue to grow in the future.

The McLaren F1 LM (middle) surrounded by the F1 (Silver) and F1 GT LongTail (Black)

The McLaren F1 LM (middle) surrounded by the F1 (Silver) and F1 GT LongTail (Black)

The McLaren F1 LM (Papaya Orange) and the F1 GT LongTail (Burgundy)

Today, it is extremely rare to see one of these monsters on public streets. I have only seen three in person and yet this has been my favorite car since I was young. My first sighting came over ten years ago at the New York International Auto Show when Mercedes-Benz had a black F1 on display. A few years a later I spotted the insanely rare F1 LM in its beautiful Papaya Orange crossing over the George Washington Bridge here in New York/New Jersey. My latest sighting came on the Long Island Expressway here in New York as a white F1 flew by just a few years ago. Unfortunately, all three sightings came and went so fast that I was unable to snap a picture. All pictures shown throughout the article have come from CarZach fans who have generously sent them over to CarZachdotCom@Gmail.com. I encourage you to send in any sightings you have!

Contrary to popular thought that McLaren would never put out a “newer” F1, they did. The McLaren P1 debuted in 2012 and was limited to just 375 units. All units were sold out by November 2013 at a price of $1,350,000. In my opinion, the F1 and F1 LM will never be replaced. No matter how advanced technology gets a super-car will never be produced so pure and beautiful as the F1. I would love to hear your opinions on whether or not the P1 can truly be considered an F1 replacement. Feel free to comment on the article, tweet us, Instagram us or send us a direct email to CarZachdotCom@Gmail.com.

The all- new McLaren P1

The all- new McLaren P1

Be sure to click the “follow” button at the top of the page or sign up to receive an email with our newest articles! Join over 1,000 people who follow us on Instagram @carzachdotcom or join the car talk on Twitter @CarZachdotCom. Thank you to all participants who sent in their amazing pictures of the F1.

A Quick Run For McLaren

Standard

McLaren, the famed racing group, has quickly integrated itself into making high performance street cars. Starting with the legendary McLaren F1 in the 1990’s, the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren in the early 2000’s and now the McLaren MP4-12C.

IMG_4090

McLaren has recently announced that the MP4-12C will cease production as of 2014. Don’t worry though- McLaren already has the replacement 650S ready to go and the highly exclusive, million-dollar P1 has begun delivery to some very lucky clients.

The 12C was in production from 2011 to 2014, making it a very quick run. No formal production numbers have been released by the British company, but in 2011 it is estimated that 1,000 vehicles were sold in nineteen different countries, including 500 to the United States.

IMG_4219

McLaren took the super-car world by storm with the release of 12C. The car features stunning angles that only years of wind tunnel testing could produce. McLaren had not put out its own street car since the end of F1 production in 1998 and enthusiasts began to wonder if McLaren’s street days were over. In 2009, Frank Stephenson was hired by the automotive group to head the 12C design team. After years of testing, the 12C was born.

IMG_1508

IMG_1525

IMG_0233

Sitting on a carbon MonoCell, the chassis weighs just 176 pounds. Extensive Carbon Fiber was used throughout the vehicle to reduce weight. The total product is a car hitting the scale at only 2,868 pounds. In the legendary F1, a three-person seating style was used; the driver in the middle and two passengers slightly behind and off to the side. The 12C went back to the conventional two-seater sports car but the interior is purposely narrower than most cars, bringing the driver closer to the center. McLaren, thoughtfully calls the cockpit of the car the “Driver Zone”.

IMG_0227

 

IMG_4216

 

Powering the 12C is a 3.8L V8 Twin-Turbo engine that originally produced 592hp. In October of 2013 the company decided to add some extra thrust. Offering free installation for all current McLaren owners the engine was retrofitted to produce a monstrous 616hp. All new models from 2013 on would come standard with the power upgrade. The exotic also features a seven speed dual-cluth automatic transmission. Of course the driver can manually shift gears using the paddle shifters located behind the steering wheel. This allows for faster and more precise gear changes.

IMG_2276

With all that horsepower the 12C will sprint to 60mph in just 3.1 seconds and will scream to a top speed of about 207mph. McLaren also offers a spider version of the vehicle which comes with an automatic removable hard top. The coupe version will run the buyer a mere $239,400 while the spider goes for $265,750. A small price to pay for a truly amazing vehicle. You will be hitting the gas station a bit often as the exotic gets just 15mpg city and 22 highway; but hey, it’s a sexy car.

IMG_0223

McLaren certainly did not hold back with this exquisite exotic. Drive around anywhere and you’ll be sure to find yourself the center of attention. When the famous McLaren doors rise up towards the heavens the vehicle will show off it’s beauty. There is truly not one bad angle on this car, and not one bad color choice either. My personnel favorite being Volcano Yellow.

IMG_1527IMG_1524IMG_4215

With the sad news that the MP4-12C will halt production following the 2014 model year, McLaren is not letting anyone down. They have already released the replacement- the 650S. In fact, some are already out on public roads being tested. The replacement offers more power, and other upgrades. The coupe is set start at $265,400 and the spider at $280,225.

The king of super-cars in my opinion will always be the McLaren F1. It is my all time favorite exotic car. Although just 106 were made from 1992 to 1998, this $2 million dollar vehicle tops the list of all street-cars. In tribute to the king, McLaren recently unveiled the P1. At $1.5 million each and top speed of 218mph this is a legend in the making. Only 375 units will be made and all have been sold.

If you or anyone you know happens to drive or see a 12C, F1, SLR, 650S or P1, tweet in your pictures and videos to @CarZachdotCom on Twitter. Follow us on Instagram @carzachdotcom and be sure to subscribe via email on the left hand side of the screen or simply click “follow” in the top left corner.

IMG_4218

IMG_4056

IMG_2277

Motivation Monday: F430 Style

Standard

Spring has sprung and the exotics are out tearing up the roads here in Long Island, New York. I snapped this photo in the fall of 2013 while attending a massive car show. Over 300 locally owned exotics showed up including this Ferrari F430 and Ferrari F430 Scuderia. The 5.4L engine powers out 490-503 horsepower. The specially tuned exhaust note is music to the ear. Look for the differences in both models (Scuderia on right), different  tail pipes and engine bay. Sadly, the F430 stopped production in 2009, but the beautiful 458 Italia has taken over!

Rev up your week and read more articles right here on CarZach.com and be sure share with friends and family. A new article is in the make, be sure to stay tuned!

Tweets us your own car pictures at @CarZachdotCom! Follow us on Instagram and Pinterest at carzachdotcom! Click ‘follow’ on the top left of the screen to follow us directly or sign up by email on the side bar!

Fast, Fun and Affordable

Standard

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.

IMG_0339

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.

IMG_3699

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!

IMG_3703

IMG_3707

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.

IMG_1722

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.

IMG_3706

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!

IMG_3714

IMG_3713

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

Follow carzach.com by clicking the ‘follow’ button in the top left corner. Sign-up by email on the side bar, don’t worry we never spam! TV star Will Castro and Top Gear USA host Adam Ferrara follow carzach on Twitter @carzachdotcom, you should too! Check out more awesome pictures on our Instagram @carzachdotcom!

Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions with us!

 

 

 

Motivation Monday: Double R

Standard

It’s Monday and I bet most of us wish we were driving around in this beautiful Rolls Royce Phantom Droptop! The days are slowly starting to warmup and soon I bet this Rolls will drop its top! The logo in the middle of the rims are actually stationary and do not spin with tire! This opulent vehicle can set you back $500,000 very easily, but to roll around this kind of luxury I’m sure it’s worth it.

Stay tuned to carzach for a new article this week on an affordable, German hatchback! Follow carzach on Twitter @CarZachdotCom, on Instagram and Pinterest at carzachdotcom! Get notified every time we post by clicking the ‘follow’ button on the top left of the page, or sign up by email on the side bar!

My Ride In A Pure American Beast

Standard

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.

IMG_3680

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.

IMG_3684

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.

IMG_3683

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.

IMG_3687

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.

IMG_3668

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.

IMG_3675

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.

Be sure to subscribe to carzach.com! You can click the ‘follow’ button at the top left of the page, or subscribe via email located on the sidebar! Follow carzach.com on Twitter @CarZachdotCom, Top Gear America’s Adam Ferrara follows us, so you should too! Join the fun on Instagram and Pinterest at CarZachdotCom. As always, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions!

A “Speciale” Ferrari 458

Standard

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!

Motivation Monday: Lambo Line-Up

Standard

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!

A Thrilling Drive In An Audi R8

Standard

As an exotic car enthusiast who doesn’t own any exotic vehicles, it leaves me with a lot of hopeful dreams for the future. Last year, while on a vacation in Mexico I had an opportunity to get behind the wheel of the exclusive Audi R8. Here in the USA these high-performance vehicles rarely get the chance to have someone really put the pedal down and show off their power. Luckily, I was behind the wheel on a closed track and was able to reach speeds up to 100mph. It was a bit challenging to go over 100mph due to the lay-out of the course, which featured a very small straight away and a few different turns.

DSC_5360

In 1997 Audi purchased the all ready highly regarded exotic car producer Lamborghini. Since then, Audi has put some of its excellent engineering into Lamborghini streetcars. In 2007, Lamborghini returned the favor and put some their engineering into the car that would now be known as the Audi R8. To date, more than 50,000 units have rolled off the production line as the vehicle continues to be a high selling, powerful exotic.

Today a 2014 Audi R8 will set a buyer back anywhere between $124,000-$173,000 (depending what on trim levels). The model I had the privilege of driving was the Audi R8 Base Coupe, which costs $124,000. The vehicle has a 4.2L V8 engine that muscles out 430hp. The car will rocket to 60mph in just 4.3 seconds. As the price increases, the more power becomes available such as the 5.2L V10 that boasts 550hp.

DSC_5363

Besides the sleek exterior, the interior is truly exquisite. The seats were a beautiful red leather and surprising very comfortable for an exotic. The dashboard was clean, well-lit and certainly made the driver know they were in an exclusive vehicle.  Visibility out the front windshield and two side windows was great and would definitely make for easy road driving. I did not have the opportunity to check out how the view out the back, as I did not need to reverse the car for any reason. The steering wheel was light and very easy to maneuver which allows the driver to make those quick turns. The vehicle was an automatic, but did have the option to use paddle shifters (I did not).

Starting up the car was truly music to my ears. The V8 had an extraordinary rumble that not only gets the drivers adrenaline pumping but would certainly let on-lookers know that this baby can go. With my seatbelt fastened and my silly racing helmet on I tapped the gas. Wow. The AWD instantly lurched the car forward. Having to watch out for my friend driving the Ferrari 360 Modena I nervously tapped the breaks and came to instant halt.

DSC_5364

With the go ahead, I put the pedal to the floor and launched onto the track. The V8 screamed as the car accelerated heading into the first ‘S’ curve. With no issue at all the car flew out of the curve and continued to annihilate the open pavement ahead. Through the tighter turns the R8 remained perfectly flat and never gave any sign of over or understeer. It seemed like the tires would never stop hugging the road on every turn.

DSC_5359

Soon enough, my three laps of heaven was over and I was told to slow down and pull over. The R8 handled like a true super-car should. The V8 let out beautiful music but was never too loud that it would be an annoyance to the driver or passenger (I could never get annoyed at that). What Audi had done was put forward their very best in engineering and Lamborghini provided the heart of the beast (the engine). It was an experience of a life time in a car that many only dream of sitting in. When the time comes to buy my first exotic, the R8 would be very high up on my list. It was a great car, with out of this world performance!

Enjoy the video below of my thrilling drive!

Be sure to follow carzach on Twitter @CarZachdotCom! As always, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions! Stay tuned   as some big features are to come such as a peek at the Ferrari 458 Speciale and a 500hp Dodge Challenger!

DSC_5374