Exotics Racing Review

Have you ever wondered what it might be like in Automotive Heaven? After a recent trip to Las Vegas, I think I might be able to put it into words.

For me (and perhaps soon some of you) Automotive Heaven is a place called Exotics Racing, located right next to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Exotics Racing isn’t some fly by night outfit. They are actually the U.S. subsidiary of the number one supercar racing school in Europe, Cascade Events. Exotics Racing was designed by a team lead by five time race champion, stunt driver and Fast Club tv host Romain Thievin.

So enough about the background, what will you find at Exotics Racing? If it’s exotic they probably have it. In the Ferrari category there is the F430, F430 Scuderia and the 458 Italia. Lamborghini choices include the Gallardo LP550, Superleggera LP570 and the all new LP700 Aventador. SLS AMG, Corvette, Audi R8, Aston-Martin, Nissan GTR, Porsche? Yes, they have those too.

So, you’re probably thinking, “sure, you can get in them, and drive really slowly and carefully around a really easy course”. Nope. They built a 1.4 mile track, that although not terribly difficult does require some skill if you want to get the most out of the car. And they actually let you go all out, with other cars on the track. They do place a pro in the passenger seat who gives some really helpful advice or just in case you miss a turn, or when there’s a passing issue (in fact they prefer that the co-driver take control during cases where cars coming from behind go to pass). But as intrusive as a “co-pilot” might sound you’ll find that the “right” person next to you will help you reach the full potential of that car on that course.

I decided to take two cars out, the 458 Italia and the F430 Scuderia. The experience in the 458 Italia was incredible, after one lap (getting comfortable with the track) I found myself hitting the line fairly consistently and accurately, and really pushing the car through the corners. There’s one long straight, and that was taken with the throttle wide open until the clearly marked “brake zone” just prior to turn one, a easy right. As I got more confident the co-drive changed from suggesting, “brake” when I got to that zone, to “brake, brake more, BRAKE HARD”! It was a blast. I did get passed by one car, I managed to pass one car, and ended up in a race with another 458 Italia, with me on it’s tail. And then the five laps were over. Dang.

One slight negative, your experience may depend to some degree on the person in the seat next to you. The pro in the 458 Italia seemed relaxed, and really urged me to be as well. He helped me quickly get the most out of both the car and myself. But the experience in the F430 Scuderia was not quite as good. It’s an excellent car, but I never really hit that comfort zone.

Long story short, I highly recommend adding this to your bucket list. It doesn’t cost as much as some might think, with five laps starting as low as $199 in the Corvette Grand Sport and $299 in the Ferrari F430 F1.

They also offer two drifting laps, with a pro drifting driver at the wheel, for $99.

F430scuderia

aventador

For more information Exotics Racing

 

 

Subaru Takes Top Spot In Quality From Honda

Honda, the winner of the Consumer Reports survey on quality for the last four years dropped to fourth place. Subaru took the top place in this latest survey, with an overall score of 75 points. Second place went to Mazda and third to Toyota.

“While Japanese automakers still hold the top five spots, their lead is shrinking,” David Champion, senior director for the magazine’s automotive test center, said in a statement. “In some of Honda’s and Toyota’s recently redesigned models, cost cutting has become noticeable.”

Chrysler remained in last place, however its overall score jumped 8 points to 51, making it the second most improved automaker.

Ford, on the other hand, dropped the farthest, from fifth place last year to 10th place in the 2012 report.

Volvo, at 64 points in sixth place, beat out Mercedes and BMW, and was the best grade of any of the European brands tested.

Nissan was fifth (67 points), Hyundai and BMW both finished with 63 points and Volkswagen had 62 points. The other automakers tested were Mercedes-Benz (58 points) and General Motors (56 points).

The complete Consumer Reports report is available at Consumer Reports

Nissan Recall

Nissan will recall more than 79,000 vehicles due to a potential fuel leak issue.

The recall will cover the Nissan Juke, Infiniti QX and Infiniti M from the 2011 and 2012 model years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report indicates that fuel pressure sensors may not be tight, potentially allowing fuel to leak. Nissan indicated no fires have been reported.

Dealers will tighten the sensors or replace gaskets free of charge to take care of the problem.

The vehicles were made between Oct. 5, 2009 and Dec. 27, 2011.

For more information Recall

Eight Picks For Fuel Efficient Cars

Gas prices are climbing, again. Some analysts predict prices could very well hit $5 a gallon! There are a number of reasons why this is happening, and many of them aren’t what many think they are. For instance, demand for gasoline in the U.S. is at its lowest point in more than a decade while domestic oil production is at an eight-year high. So supply and demand aren’t currently the major driving factors. Instability in the middle east has quite a bit to do with it, as well as the trading market for oil itself (investors betting on future prices). Long story short, short of price controls (which hasn’t worked too well in the past) there isn’t a lot that can be done to bring prices down anytime soon.

So, with all of that said, maybe you’re looking for a car that saves a few dollars on fuel? You may not be, the numbers show demand for powerful (and sometimes gas guzzling) engines remain strong. If you do happen to be looking for a short list of cars that may save a few dollars on gas, here are 8 potential vehicles that may be good choices.

For the whole story Fuel Sippers

200MPH 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 Test Ride

First thought to be just a crazy rumor, we recently confirmed reports that Ford and Shelby were indeed working on a 200mph capable Shelby GT500. The prototype of that car is now ready for testing, and it is one amazing piece of automotive engineering. Now as much as we would like to report that we were the first to get to test drive this beast, we weren’t. In fact Car and Driver magazine asked and they weren’t. They were however allowed a test RIDE, which is the next best thing. So here’s the report from that test ride.

For the whole story: 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

Nationwide Series, Did NASCAR Wait Too Long for Caution?

Anyone who watched the Nationwide Series on Saturday knows that it was one exciting, and dangerous race. James Buescher pulled some brilliant moves in order to avoid being taken out in a massive wreck on the final lap to take the checkered flag. Wild stuff!

But ESPN takes a closer look, and poses the question, “Did NASCAR wait too long to yellow flag it”? It’s a good question, and fair to ask. Read the story and let us know what your thoughts are.

For the whole story ESPN Nationwide Series

Daytona 500

It’s finally race day! Fans have been waiting for a year, but they will need to wait just a bit longer it seems. Unfortunately, mother nature is not cooperating, and there is a rain delay in place. They had the track drying machines out earlier, during a break in the rain. But then it started raining yet once again. As of 2:15pm Eastern time there is no official announcement on when the race will start.

One source for live updates: Sports Illustrated Daytona 500

2012 Fisker Karma Road Test

The Fisker Karma is beautiful, few people would deny this. But since it was first a concept many have wondered what the real car would actually be like to drive. Would it be as fast and agile as it’s body style implies? Would it meet the stiff mileage criteria that Fisker set for itself?

Well many of these question can finally be put to rest, as Car and Driver finally got their hands on one for a full instrumented test.

Here’s a couple of short quotes from the story: “The Karma’s wheelbase—124.4 inches, or about the same as a 1958 Edsel’s—is 9.4 inches longer than a Porsche Panamera’s. Yet the back seat is smaller than a Honda Fit’s. A Kia Rio’s trunk is more than twice the size of the Karma’s.” and “The Fisker saddles its aluminum space frame with one engine, one generator, two electric motors, a 315-cell lithium-ion battery pack, a roof-mounted solar panel, and three separate liquid-cooling systems, yielding a curb weight of 5297 pounds.”

For the whole story Car and Driver Fisker

Buy a 2012 Dodge Charger, To Save Gas?

This may come as a bit of a surprise. But if you compare the base 2012 Dodge Charger to the Toyota Avalon, the Charger will do a better job with gas mileage. In fact, the Charger with base 292hp 3.6 liter V6 and 8 speed automatic will net you 19mpg in the city and 31mpg on the highway. The 2012 Toyota Avalon with a 262hp V6 gets 19mpg city and 28mph highway.

The 2012 Dodge Charger is rated five stars out of five stars , the top safety ranking by the NHTSA, for overall passenger protection.

Price $26,420

For more information Dodge

Three Hyundai Models Named 2012 “Best Bets”

The Car Book has released it’s “Best Bets” list for 2012, and three Hyundai’s made the list. The annually released book rated vehicles in a number of categories: crash tests, safety features, rollover, preventative maintenance, repair costs, warranty, fuel economy, complaints and insurance, with the heaviest emphasis on safety.

The Accent, Sonata, and Tucson were named as 2012 BEST BETS by The Car Book. The book’s author, Jack Gillis, noted, “We appreciate the fact that Hyundai has made a significant contribution to improving the market choices for the American car buyer. During these most challenging times for the auto industry, the fact that Hyundai vehicles have the quality and features most important to today’s car buyer is a testament to their desire to meet customer needs.”