2018 INFINITI QX80 – First Drive Review w/ Performance Handling Video

QX80 is truly a gentle giant.  This full-size SUV has massive amounts of space and towing strength – key reasons this big brute is still so popular years since its 2011 launch. This 2018 refresh is the second round of facelift updates for the QX80.  New bodywork in the entire nose and tail strikes a fresh pose for 2018 – and certainly looks sharp. We got an early chance to drive the new QX80 around Charleston SC this week.  This is a deeply impressive truck with superb ride quality and luxury galore.  Lux materials and of course the luxury of surplus capability and commodious cabin volume.   What’s New Outside? QX80’s design from the windshield forward is all new.  Blockier fenders meet a much more vertical grille in a new shape.  Infiniti’s flowing wave motif fills this jumbo grille nicely, and brings along a new lower bumper and fascia in …

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2017 Audi S3 – Photo Slideshow + 50 Extra Pics!

  50 pics of the new S3 that didn’t make it into the review — but too pretty not to share! In addition, a video slideshow of the review pics (not these..) for those who want to just lean back and soak it in. That mansion in some of the pics is Drayton Hall, a home completed in 1742.  This makes it one of the oldest surviving structures in the United States. 2017 Audi S3 Quattro S-tronic – HD Road Test Review       2017 Audi S3   2017 Audi S3 Quattro S-tronic – HD Road Test Review You May Also Like:SC Classic Cars – Photo Tour of 50 RARE ICONS in Original, Un-restored Condition [176 Pics] Off the highway toward Greenville, South Carolina, there is a magnificent collection of rare cars. Something about this salt-free climate seems to have kept these rarities in rough, but true condition. 1956 …

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2016 Lexus GS-F – HD Road Test Review – F*** YES!

Nothing prepares you for the GS-F. Even after weeks of heated anticipation, the GS-F’s arrival out front dropped jaws. And whipped heads around with its sonics for anyone within a mile radius of the highest-performance Lexus four-door of all time. The GS-F introduction for the 2016 modelyear joins a comprehensive GS revamp of the tech, style and powertrains up and down the lineup. A new turbo four kicks off a nine-strong model range as the GS200t, while and this monster 467HP V8 tops the broad new GS offering.  F Sport upgrades for the GS200t, GS350 and GS450h are all available, with the middle powertrains even offering AWD. The GS-F is really the main event, however.  It is the halo super-sedan to rival the M5 and E63 that Lexus fans and owners have been craving for years now. Is Lexus’s bold attack on those fearsome rivals effective? Read on, friends! We loved this GS-F …

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Kiawah 2016 Highlights – 1984 LOTUS Esprit TURBO

Kiawah 2016 Highlights – 1984 LOTUS Esprit TURBO You May Also Like:Kiawah 2016 Highlights – 1963 LOTUS Super 7 Cosworth So tiny. So elegant! The Lotus Seven in the flesh is unreal in its engineering purity and basic beauty. The cabin with basic lower seat cushions but hardbacked pieces for both perches?  Or the giant, one-piece front fenders.  And the elaborate, contrast-creme weatherstripping between its central body and fenders?  All exquisite. Kiawah 2016 Highlights – 1963 LOTUS Super 7 CosworthKiawah 2016 Highlights – 2016 Porsche MACAN TURBO in Sapphire Blue Kiawah 2016 Highlights – 2016 Porsche MACAN TURBO in Sapphire BlueKiawah 2016 Highlights – 1992 Ferrari F40   Kiawah 2016 Highlights – 1992 Ferrari F40Kiawah 2016 Highlights – 1974 DeTomaso Longchamp Here is a seriously rare exotic that influenced virtually every American car in the 1980s: the DeTomaso Longchamp.  But here’s the key detail: this car is a 1974. The …

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Travel Adventures – 2016 Ford Mustang GT California Special Visits Botany Bay, SC (+Video, 50 Photos)

Any list of great drive adventures on the East Coast should include Botany Bay.  This special nature preserve in Edisto Beach South Carolina offers stunning old Oak trees and curvey roads from start to finish. The property is free to enter, with a parking area a few miles in at the tital marsh and dunes.  Then the action happens for most visitors: you stroll a boardwalk to a beach that is absolutely frozen in time.  It is completely original, with hundreds of trees in the sands. The backstory of the property traces to the Seabrook family’s Sea Cloud plantation.  Construction started in 1798, which is when the layout of the roads was cleared and planted with shade trees at twenty-pace intervals.  More than 200 years later, the drive through is unlike anything else in the world.  The property was donated to the state under the conditions that it be open to …

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2016 SEAT Leon CUPRA 290 – GTI-Beating Coupe, Hatch and Wagon Gain New Sport Exhaust and Power Bump

A new sport exhaust for the five-door and SC Cupras for 2016 opens up a shouty new bellow on throttle — and ramps up max power by about 10 ponies. The wagon appears to miss out on the new sport exhaust — but is bumped up to 290 all the same.  Vmax?  156MPH!  0-60?  5.7-seconds on its best day, and 6.2-ish like clockwork on other days.  Both are a half-second beyond what the fastest GTI can deliver. As before on the Cupra 280, this wagon/coupe/hatch family is the quickest front-drive production car to ever lap the Nurburgring.  Standard LED lighting all around, customizable colors and locking differential set the Leon Cupras far beyond the standard-fare Golf GTI in 2016.  Of course, that GTI is also down about 80 horsepower versus its Spanish cousins.  Yet pricing for all has been near-identical. The value and chic style of the Leon Cupras make it …

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SC Classic Cars – Photo Tour of 50 RARE ICONS in Original, Un-restored Condition [176 Pics]

Off the highway toward Greenville, South Carolina, there is a magnificent collection of rare cars. Something about this salt-free climate seems to have kept these rarities in rough, but true condition. 1956 Jaguar Mark 8, 1961 Lincoln Continental. And three 1941 Lincoln Continental Mark I’s! In various states of decay, naturally. But intact and original. Check the link to view all these and more. They are priced very, very affordably. http://www.classiccarsofsc.com/ SC Classic Cars – Photo Tour of 50 RARE ICONS You May Also Like:DP Motorsports Porsche 964 Classic S and Classic RS are Better-Than-Original Classic 911s We all know the amazing work from Singer in California – rebuilding old Porsche 911’s with such meticulous care that the cars are absolutely perfect upon delivery to their new owners. A vintage car – perfectly remade and optimized. Sounds divine! The tradeoff for many is the prohibitive cost and level of personalization …

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Volvo Announces $500M Factory in Charleston, South Carolina – First USA-Made Volvo Cars in 2018

2016 Volvo XC90R 8

Volvo made its big factory announcement this morning — right in my backyard!  Yes, Volvo is coming to Charleston to be closer to car-revs-daily!? Just kidding. Volvo chose this Southeastern Atlantic state for a number of reasons — all related to the firm’s ambitious goal of making up to 200,000 cars a year here by around 2020. The first Volvo plant anywhere in North America, Volvo is clearly seeking the strategic and financial advantages that come with building its cars close to their intended market. Why South Carolina? Every state is willing to kick big tax incentives to manufacturers these days, with Georgia also in the final running for the Volvo project. South Carolina is no different in that regard, with the Berkeley County Volvo plant set to receive generous incentives for decades to come. That is just a cost of doing business. But there are other huge reasons at …

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Concept Flashback – 2001 Toyota FXS Roadster Was Riviera-Style EV Supercar

fxs gif

The Toyota FXS concept from 2001 was one of the first full vehicle ideas from the Nice, France-based Toyota ED2 studio. Short for Toyota European Design and Development, ED2 has since delivered a variety of cool and not-so-cool production cars — including the latest Yaris and the unloved Lexus SC430 of the mid-2000s. This concept is important because it showed an innovative hybrid powertrain with an ultra-smooth underbody and sleekness in all its exterior shapes. A steep drop-nose style established thed FXS as a super sports car, as does the chopped windshield and cab-backward propotion. The rear taillamp in a single LED light bar was very ahead of its time, as is the very moody and chic cabin design. All of these ideas eventually fed into what the Lexus LFA concepts and later the LF-A production car would become. Much of the hyper-soft surfacing of this car would be ditched …

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