The McLaren Senna: A Polarizing And Powerful Machine

By Gino Dorazio on

McLaren has done some incredible things in recent years.

Since the release of the MP4-12C (still hate the name) McLaren has made some insanely good cars to catapult the company to new heights in the car world.

The 650S gave birth to the sport series, the P1 has become one of the most sought-after cars in the world and the 720S is just insane as ever on the performance front.

McLaren has been churning out models pretty quickly and to great effect, besides some having concerns over resale value for the second hand market.

However you look at it,  McLaren really deserves be be taken seriously.  More so with their insane new offering:  The McLaren Senna.

 

P15:

The Senna started life a year or so ago (at least from what I can remember)  as the code name P15.

There was a bit of confusion when McLaren Senna when it was being developed.  Because people conflated the “P15” with the “BP23” early on.

The BP23 is yet to be released as of right now, but McLaren says it will be a three-seater ultimate grand tourer.

That is where the true separation is.  The P15 (now the “Senna” officially) is a track focused monster that also happens to be street legal.

 

Senna:

Senna

If you’re not really into or concerned with the history of motor sport or Formula One, you might be wondering where the name “Senna” came from.  Understandable.

Ayrton Senna was (and is) a very famous Formula One driver most notably with McLaren’s F1 team in 1988 – 1993.

Before then, he started racing with go-carts at a young age and eventually raced F1 with Toleman and Lotus.

Senna raced one of, if not the, greatest seasons in F1 ever in 1988.  He only lost one race to a crash at the Italian GP.

From 1989, the rivalry between Senna and driver Probst intensified and created some of the most entertaining racing ever.

Unfortunately, Ayrton Senna died in a violent crash resulting from a steering column failure in 1994.  His home country of Brazil mourned Senna for three days.

Senna is regarded as one of the greatest drivers ever, and still holds a high regard in motor sport the world over.  His success at McLaren prompted the creation of the new McLaren Senna super car.

 

The McLaren Senna:

Onto the car itself inspired by the man.

The new McLaren Senna is a track-focused machine with only its own purpose in mind.  Stripped down, powerful and impractical.  Just how it should be.

As for numbers, we’re looking at 780-790 or so horsepower and 590 pound feet of torque from a 4.0 L twin-turbocharged engine connected to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission.

The car weights around 2,600 pounds and features tons of aero bits to produce an insane amount of down force.

I guess you could say all the boxes are checked here.  

Only 500 Senna’s will be made.

 

Styling:

The polarizing part of this car is the styling.  It’s not beautiful, but it’s purely made to be the best it can be as a track machine.  It doesn’t need to be pretty.

I personally don’t like the look of the McLaren Senna, but I understand what it’s made for.  

Now if this new car doesn’t perform on the track to the highest level, it will be a complete flop.

In the coming weeks before the car is released, we’ll dive into the cool bits as we get more information.  

The front end of the Senna takes a lot from the 720S, but in a more angled way.

The rear is completely unlike anything from McLaren.  I think this is where most people draw issue from.

The wing is massive, but in  an awkward position.  Even though I’m sure it’s there for good reason.

And there’s a cool little trick up the Senna’s sleeve.  The side of the door can be optioned to be glass, so you can better have visibility of curbs or apex.  I love that.

 

Sum It Up:

 

The newest McLaren ultimate series car isn’t the most beautiful car out there (however I think it can look better in a different color or spec) but the Senna certainly was made for a specific purpose.  The track.

The car is already sold out of its 500 units.  Next for McLaren is the BP23.

The 2020 Tesla Roadster Is Coming

By Gino Dorazio on

 

Only recently, Tesla revealed its brand new Roadster which will be available as a 2020 model.  And the world has gone nuts ever since.

But first, some short history:

The Tesla Roadster started out when the company did, around 2006.  It was based on the Lotus chassis (that we see on a lot of first cars from young companies)  and was really the original Tesla.

tesla roadster

The original Tesla Roadster was impressive in its own right.  The cars motors packed 248 horsepower and could do over 240 miles on a single charge.  Pretty decent by today’s standards of electric cars.

The thing is quick too, with a 0-60 of 4.6 seconds for the first renditions of the car, which eventually turned into 3.7 seconds with the 2.5 Sport model.  Even though it was $128,000 for the roadster, that’s properly quick.

Tesla’s first roadster was limited heavily to only 2,400 examples roughly.  Even with all of the versions it came in, it’s still a pretty rare sight.

The original Tesla roadster did look very good for the limitations it had.  Being that the chassis and most of the body were sourced from Lotus, options were limited.  

The New Tesla Roadster:

The new Tesla Roadster was unveiled at a show largely dedicated to the new Tesla Semi-Truck, but the truck was upstaged by its smaller partner in a big way.  Tesla really knows how to put on a show.

Everyone went visibly nuts when they brought out the Roadster.  The new Tesla Roadster is a sleek machine that, if I’m honest, has a love or hate design.

The new Roadster promises some insane numbers, as I’m sure you’ve heard.  0-60 MPH in 1.9 seconds, have a 600+ mile range, top speeds past 200 MPH, 0-100 MPH in 4.2 seconds, and four seats.  

Now this thing is making some serious claims.

My first thoughts about those figures was if a 1.9 second 0-60 MPH time is even possible on road tires…So, is it?

It’s been debated since the car’s unveiling, and evidence shows that road tires are only really equipped to possibly take a 2.05 (or so) second launch.  And that’s with the stickiest stuff available.

However, I think that by the time the Roadster’s available, tire technology will improve and that 1.9 may be more plausible.  But how did they get that figure now?

I’m really not sure.

Tesla has a number of issues as a company and are under delivering on some fronts, but it’s groundbreaking creations have kind of protected the company from itself in a way.

Styling:

eh.

The Tesla Roadster doesn’t look very great.

I love the Model S and the Model X front end design.  I think it’s unique and distinctly Tesla.  That being said, it just doesn’t look as good as it could.

It is a sharp looking vehicle, but it doesn’t look like much of a performance animal as it claims to be.

The Roadster is sleekly designed, but it seems like, from the design, that it will be more of a one-trick-pony.

Hard acceleration will be the Roadsters claim to fame most likely.

Overall the car is very slippery looking, but it continues the design language of making the car look like an appliance.  That’s really my only complaint with most electric cars.

Sum It Up:

The new 2020 Tesla Roadster definitely has a lot to prove when it comes out.  The good news for Tesla is that they have three years (more like two, actually) to develop this thing into what it is claiming to be.  

With the Model 3 still being figured out and now the Tesla Semi being in the works, Tesla has a lot to figure out before they can truly focus on the Roadster.  

Pricing has been announced for the 2020 Tesla Roadster, with the launch version starting at $250,000 (with a $50,000 deposit) and the versions after beginning at $200,000.


I think it’s safe to say that the launch editions will sell out fairly quickly, and the market for these cars will eat them up.  However, I do know there’s also plenty of “Never-Tesla” people out there as well.

 

The world is excited as it should be, and we’ll all wait on Elon Musk to deliver on his promises in the meantime.  What are your thoughts on the new Roadster?

Bollinger B1

Bollinger B1: An Interesting Addition To A Growing Market

By Gino Dorazio on

Reinventing the automobile isn’t an easy thing to do.  But recently, we’ve seen a massive influx in companies trying to do just that.

Tesla is even regarded as one of the more familiar faces in the whole alternate-powered-car world.  The prominent electric car maker set a stage for a new race.

Companies like Faraday Future, Lucid, Venturi and even Dyson and Apple have been linked into this new world.

Now obviously I don’t want to discount the workings of Toyota wit their Prius, Chevrolet with their Volt, Nissan with their Leaf, and others I may be leaving out.  They’ve absolutely been making this sort of thing for a while now and deserve recognition.

The younger market of drivers are looking to these sorts of new machines to drive in the future.  Younger people generally like that sort of thing.  In fact, more and more younger generations are hardly interested in driving at all.

Autonomous vehicles (or the concept of them) are taking pop culture by storm these days.

This sort of thing makes me a bit sad because I’m 100% for the classic ICE; Internal combustion engine.

 

I don’t see the excitement in electric cars and definitely don’t see it in autonomous cars.  But that’s my two cents.  

Anyway, it looks like we have to add a new manufacturer onto the long and growing list of electric car makes.  Bollinger.

 

Specs – Bollinger B1:

Vehicle Type: Off-Road Utility Truck
Powertrain: 60Kw – 100Kw motors
Gearbox: One Speed
Power: 360 HP
MPG: 67.5 MPGe (est.)
Torque: 472 Lb-ft.
Length: 150 Inches
Width: 76.5 Inches
Height: 73.5 Inches
Top Speed: Not Yet Available
Seating: Four Adults
Wheelbase: 105 Inches
0-60 MPH (0-120 KPH): Not Yet Available
Base Price: Not Yet Available

 

Now we can talk about this interesting machine.  The Bollinger B1.  

Bollinger Motors is a very new company.  They only have one product, and it still in the development phase.  I’m not saying that’s a bad thing; I’m just letting you know!

That being the case, there isn’t a lot of information out there for the B1.  But, it does look like a very interesting addition to the electric vehicle market.

The Bollinger B1 is an electric truck.  Four wheel drive, 360 horsepower, rugged design and only purpose in mind.

It’s not beautiful, elegant or even comfortable.  It’s a purpose built machine and to look at it any other way is a mistake.

 

The Exterior – Bollinger B1:

Onto the exterior of the interesting Bollinger B1, you don’t get much in the ways of elegant styling.   

But that’s exactly what the creators of the B1 electric truck wanted.  Straightforward truck-ness.

Most electric cars out there that get released continuously have some crazy styling.  Like the Model S to the Rimac Concept One.  They push the boundaries of design to further look like spaceships.

Nothing wrong with that honestly, since the space-age technology in the car kind of elicits a space-age design.

You don’t get any of that with the Bollinger B1.

The Bollinger B1 is as basic as you can possible get with car design.

It’s a box with headlights and tail lights and seats in the middle.  And that’s pretty much it.  If you thought the Jeep Wrangler was a simplistic design, the Bollinger B1 is definitely on a different level.

The Bollinger B1 is has exposed rivets and basically the bare minimum as far as being a car goes.

You can call it lazy, but that’s exactly what Bollinger was going for.  The essentials.

The Bollinger B1 is an off-roading machine capable on any terrain as is powered by electricity.

The boxy design and massive ride height is perfect for its purpose.  

From the front of the car, the Bollinger B1 features a tow hook, circular headlights and blinkers, and small grilles.  Again, that’s pretty much it.

Bollinger B1

The side of the Bollinger B1 shows off the very boxy lines.  This simplicity allows Bollinger to offer a cover for the back of the truck  which is nice and makes the design look more complete and features rear seats.

On the back of the Bollinger B1 you get brake lights, turn signals and reverse lamps.  Past that you get a bumper, some reflects and that’s it.  Very, very minimal.

Overall I like what Bollinger did here.  It’s super simple, and knows what it is.  It doesn’t try to be fancy or quilted because it is an all-terrain utility vehicle.  And that’s it.  

I think that cars (or trucks in this case) go to great lengths to be something that they’re not.  In today’s market, you have a lot of trucks that try to put a ton of luxurious features in that almost defeat the purpose of being a truck.

This sort of thing annoys me a bit, as I think cars built for a purpose shouldn’t really divert from it.  That’s why I like the Bollinger B1; even though I’m not a fan of electric cars or even trucks.  It knows what it is and doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not.  I think we can all appreciate that.

The Interior-Bollinger B1:

This is another area of the B1 where there really isn’t much to discuss.  Bollinger continued the bare-bones approach for the B1 on the inside, where there is barely an interior to speak of.  I love it.

An interesting feature in most electric cars like the Bollinger B1 is the absence of that clunky center tunnel found in traditional cars.  This is because electric cars don’t feature large transmissions to be housed in the middle of the cabin.

So in its place, Bollinger placed a small table and a tool box on top of it in between the driver and passenger.  Clever.

From the driver’s seat, you will see the bare essentials.  The steering wheel, gear selector (presumably for drive and reverse) the gauges and again that’s pretty much it.

The rest of the interior is equally as bare.  The seats are pretty standard car seats, the radio and “infotainment” is a small circle in the middle of the dashboard, and the rest is pretty much bare metal.

Bollinger B1

Even the front end of the B1 opens up from the passenger cell in the middle of the vehicle to completely expose it.  I think it’s to carry abnormally long cargo like a tree trunk or something…If you need it, it’s there.

Again, I applaud Bollinger for this bare-bones approach to an electric truck.  It’s like those little kits you can get at science museums but big enough to sit in.

The simplicity is beautiful in the B1.  The utility vehicle fills a small void in the market that I think it’s customers will really appreciate.

 

The Performance – Bollinger B1:

The performance aspect of the Bollinger B1 all comes to its capability as a utility vehicle, and not its speed.

That’s the issue that other electric car makes are having right now.  

Faraday Futures FF91 (I think that’s what it’s called…) is for some reason so focused on speed and acceleration that it detracts from what the car is.  A luxurious cruiser.  Not a supercar.

It’s for that reason that I appreciate the B1.  It knows what it is and doesn’t try to be anything else.

That all being said, we can talk about some specs.

The Bollinger B1 has four motors, each connected to a wheel.  They produce a total of 3360 horsepower and 472 pound feet of torque.  Very good numbers for an off-roader.

Plus, that 472 pound feet of torque is available instantly.  That’s the beauty of electric propulsion.  Instant torque.  Which is absolutely something a utility vehicle the Bollinger B1 could use.  Utility vehicles need that torque.

Besides those figures, there isn’t much out there in terms of performance data to go by; Other than the fact you can get 67 MPGe.  Which is nice.

But that bit of performance metrics is just enough.  You get what the thing was made for and it packs the numbers to handle itself nicely in an off-road situation.

The Bollinger B1 is definitely packed to made do for what it’s made for.  

 

Sum It Up – Bollinger B1:

 

The Bollinger B1 is a special vehicle that fills a special gap in the market.  

I do like what the machine is all about, and I hope that is gets enough orders to really take off.  Apparently Bollinger is planning a four door version as well, which does seem a bit premature to me.

Maybe see how successful or unsuccessful the first model is before planning and potentially building a four door model?  Maybe it’s just me.

Anyway, the Bollinger B1 is currently taking orders from their website.  It seems simple enough to get right for a small company, and that’s one reason why I think you should get one if the B1 is something you’re looking for.

2016 Toyota Mirai

2016 Toyota Mirai: $57,000 For Fuel Cell-Driven Sedan

By Gino Dorazio on

We live in an ever-changing world.  That kind of goes without saying.  The constant and increasing speed that technology is introduced is staggering.  Getting closer to being too fast for the general consumer.

This pace of development led to the big boom in electric cars we’ve seen recently.  With Tesla, Chevrolet, Faraday, Toyota, Nissan and many others jumping in to create the vision for the perfect electric car.  Some for the future and some for the every day consumer.

As high-tech gets more accessible to the everyday consumer, we see more radical and bold moves from manufactures to make the next cutting-edge vehicle.  This leads us to the Toyota Mirai.

The new 2016 Toyota Mirai use some impressive technology that isn’t exactly as talked about it as much as it should be.

Fuel cell tech is definitely an interesting concept, basically whereby the only exhaust from the vehicles operation is water.

I remember when I was younger I had bought a kit from a local science museum that was a hydrogen fuel cell powered car.

It was a little kit that consisted of everything I needed to build a simple fuel cell and simple wheels on axles.  It was my first exposure to this cool technology.

fuel cell car

The cost of fuel cell tech is immense compared to other propulsion methods like the internal combustion engine or even electricity.

But anyway, the 2016 Toyota Mirai is looking to create some sort of incentive for manufactures to jump on hydrogen cell.  With more development, fuel cell technology could be much more affordable to produce and sell.

The Specs-2016 Toyota Mirai:

 

Vehicle Type: Midsize Sedan 
Powertrain: Hydrogen Fuel Cell
Gearbox: 1-Speed Transmission
Power: 151 HP (est.)
MPG: Up to 67 Highway, 67 City 
Torque: 247 Lb-Ft. (est.)
Length: 193 Inches(est.)
Width: 72 Inches (est.)
Height: 61 Inches (est.)
Top Speed: 111 MPH (est.)
Seating: 5
Wheelbase: 109 Inches  (est.)
0-60 MPH (0-120 KPH): 9.4 seconds (est.)
Base Price: $57,000 (est.)

 

Hydrogen Fuel Cell:

The way fuel cells function is pretty impressive.  It’s a true modern technology that really should be used to move our world forward (my two cents in there).

A hydrogen fuel cell functions by converting chemical energy from a fuel into electricity through an electro-chemical reaction with hydrogen and oxygen or another oxidizing agent.

A major difference between fuel cells and conventional batteries is that fuel cells require a constant flow of air, or oxidizing element.  Hydrogen is usually from some sort of (usually) renewable fuel or natural gas.

Truly some science fiction stuff.

The issue with changing the propulsion system in a car from gasoline and even home charging to a degree is the infrastructure.

Without charging stations or fueling stations nearly as plentiful as gasoline pumps, the issue is consumers not being able to find places to charge or refuel while they’re on the road.

This sort of thing is a massive hurdle for manufactures of cars like the Toyota Mirai.  There may be a perfect home solution, but out on the road, the Mirai and even Tesla‘s aren’t equipped to go everywhere.  They need specific charging/refueling stations and in the electric cars situation, charging can take a good chunk of time.

The Exterior – 2016 Toyota Mirai:

Toyota Mirai

There is a large amount of technology underneath the panels of the 2016 Toyota Mirai.   Fuel cell technology is immense and Toyota really made a good offering with it in this car.

The exterior design isn’t as convincing though.

Toyota’s new Mirai looks like a very angry Prius.  Essentially, that’s what it is.

Proportions on the new Mirai are interesting to say the least.  The front end has massive side air ducts that aren’t air ducts at all.  They’re sealed off for the most part.

The front end is styled much more aggressively than it needs to be.  The massive intakes that aren’t really there along with the slender headlight assemblies make for a style that a fuel cell-powered car that barely does 0-60 in 9.5 seconds a bit confused.

I get that a radical idea makes for a radical design, but there are so many other ways to design a futuristic car to suit itself rather than tacking on massive air ducts.  Just look at the Tesla Model S.  No air ducts.  It doesn’t need them.  And the front end of the Model S is just lovely.

From the side, the Mirai’s proportions are a bit more off than the the front.

The silhouette of the roof is nice, and is pretty sharp versus most Toyota’s with a softer look.

Toyota added in a blacked-out C-pillar and a floating hood element.  They work well, but things fall apart beyond that.

The different swooping lines in the side of the car’s body do look nice, but the wheel arches are just way, way too small.

The whole side of the car looks incredibly cheap because of how  small the wheel well are.  This car’s whole design would be much better off on a sportier car, versus a car made for environmental purposes.

Just like the front of the car, the whole thing is just overly aggressive for what it is.

Things aren’t much better in the back, either.  The weird, bubbly proportions and seemingly random shapes make the Mirai look outdated and confused.  Especially for $57,000.

Overall the styling of the 2016 Toyota Mirai is just misplaced.  The car makes sense as a whole, but it’s not styled properly for what it is.  What do you all think?

The Interior-2016 Toyota Mirai:

2016 Toyota Mirai

The inside of the 2016 Toyota Mirai is definitely for people who are more tuned to the tech-savvy side.

There are three screens from the center console to the upper dashboard for the driver and passenger.  The lowest one is the A/C controls, then you have the classic media controls above that, and a screen that acts as an instrument cluster.  

It is a bit much, but that’s just the beginning here.

You can see a lot of Lexus poking through the interior design.  The boxy air vents, shiny materials and interesting line choices.

Toyota’s usual design of its own special gaudiness and odd off-centered look is in the Mirai as well.

The designers of the Mirai redesigned a new type of shifting system.  It’s a little knob on the center stack for reverse, neutral and drive.  Very simple and easy to understand, I presume.

Most of the controls are touch-sensitive in the Mirai.  Temperature is changed with a slider and the rest of the infotainment and climate controls appear to be touch sensitive.

Overall the interior is a very Toyota one.  Nothing more radical than its drive system.  The designers have made decent work in here.  Nothing really groundbreaking, but not bad.

 

The Performance – 2016 Toyota Mirai:

Toyota Mirai

As for performance metrics from a standard car perspective, the Toyota Mirai is definitely a bit lagged behind competitors.

From a numbers perspective, we’re looking at a four door economy car with 151 horsepower and a 0-60 time (not that anyone who gets a Mirai really cares about) of 9.4 to 8.6 seconds depending on who you ask.

The Mirai isn’t about performance though.  It’s about reinventing the car into a hydrogen-powered cruiser.  

And the Toyota Mirai does pretty much just that.  If the fuel is a problem for you, Toyota offers 3 years or $15,000 worth of fuel.   That makes things interesting.

The car also issues a driving score to the driver dependant on a number of factors.  From how you drive, the car will tell you how to get the most out of the technology.  A nice little party trick.

Another interesting perk of the fuel cell technology is that you get instant torque.  This means the Mirai can maneuver through traffic pretty decently, even though it only packs 151 horses.  You won’t win races, but you’ll be able to comfortably keep with other cars.

Onto the fuel economy, the Mirai obviously does things very well.

67 miles per gallon in both the city and highway does sound odd (since there’s no difference) but that’s the beauty of hydrogen fuel cell.

Overall the Mirai does impressively well for such a young technology.  It’s a boundary-pusher that I do hope gains a following.  Or at least some more infrastructure development.

If you’re looking for Tesla P100D performance, you won’t find it here.

Sum It Up:

The 2016 Toyota Mirai is a step in the right direction for alternative-energy powered cars.  The styling could use some help, but the drive trains is what sells it.  Also, the $57,000 price tag doesn’t help much.  

Overall, I think things for the Mirai are headed in the right direction with the right hands.  

If any car maker is to make something like the Mirai, it’s Toyota.  They’ve pioneered the Prius and have a good track record with these types of cutting edge projects. I just wish the price tag was lower.  For a car with an alternate power source, the Mirai is a bit pricy.

Polaris Slingshot: An Alternative To Cars and Cycles

By admin on

The Polaris Slingshot. Quite an interesting machine.

As far as what the Slingshot actually is, the definition varies from state-to-state officially. Polaris calls it an “open-air roadster” which sounds a bit misleading but they’re not entirely wrong.

The classification varies legally from a 3-wheel motorcycle or an autocycle. If you’ve seen one you know how odd they are. But undeniably interesting.

It bridges an awkward gap between car and motorcycle. They’re so popular that even toy companies make ride-on versions for kids styled after the Slingshot.

In some ways, it’s more car than motorcycle. For example it has ABS, traction control, stability control, a 5-speed automatic transmission and perhaps most interesting is the 2.4 L four-cylinder engine from GM. A proper car engine.

With 91 level octane fuel, the Slingshot’s engine can produce 173 horsepower with 166 pound-feet of torque and will rev up to 7,200 RPM.

The price is much closer to a car than a motorcycle, too. The Slingshot starts at $19,000 and can be specced up to $30,999. That’s a lot by any means.

But there’s no doubt there is a market for the Slingshot. People are buying them and they sure get heads to turn.

Polaris:

Polaris Slingshot

I think it’s important to know what Polaris is so we can understand where the Slingshot came from.  

Polaris is a power sports company.  From dirt, snow, road, track (apparently), transport and even cycles, Polaris provides its customers with quite an array of choices.

Polaris also sells other brands of vehicles like Indian motorcycles, Victory motorcycles, GEM Electric and even light grade military vehicles.  Polaris is a very large company.

Polaris’ vision is all about delivering the best experience for their customers.

The company was founded by two brothers and their good friend. Edgar and Allen Heteen and David Johnson.  

The company started out as Hetteen Hoist & Derrick in 1945 before it developed into Polaris in the 1950’s after creating the first snowmobile and going on a journey across Alaska in the deep snow to demonstrate the durability of the machine.

Now, Polaris is a leader in power sports.       

Polaris’ whole company was founded on innovating.   The Slingshot is just another innovation that Polaris created, and it’s created quite a storm.

The Specs – Polaris Slingshot:

Vehicle Type: Tri-cycle
Power Plant: 2.4 L 4-cyl
Gearbox: 5-Speed Manual
Power: 173 HP
MPG: Not Available
Torque: 166 lb-ft.
Length: 149.6 Inches
Width: 77.9 Inches
Height: 51.9 Inches
Wheelbase: 105 inches
Top Speed: Not Available
Seating: Two Adults
0-60 MPH (0-120 KPH): Under 5 Seconds
Base Price: $19,000 (est).

 

The Exterior – Polaris Slingshot:

Polaris Slingshot

The outside of the Polaris Slingshot is absolutely where it makes the name for itself.

Polaris designed the slingshot to be a three-wheel motorcycle and tried to avoid having it called a car by any means.

Calling the Slingshot a car would definitely put Polaris in a position it doesn’t want to be in.  The federal regulations are already interesting with this sort of thing, with different licenses needed in different states and helmets required in some states and not others…You’ll really need to know your stuff when buying.

That’s also why Polaris sticks away from posting performance data like the zero to sixty times.  If they post that the time is less than 5 seconds (which it is), that seems relatively slow for motorcycles.  However, that’s decently quick for a car.

The outside of the Polaris Slingshot is absolutely where it makes the name for itself.

Polaris designed the slingshot to be a three-wheel motorcycle and tried to avoid having it called a car by any means.

Calling the Slingshot a car would definitely put Polaris in a position it doesn’t want to be in.  The federal regulations are already interesting with this sort of thing, with different licenses needed in different states and helmets required in some states and not others…You’ll really need to know your stuff when buying.

That’s also why Polaris sticks away from posting performance data like the zero to sixty times.  If they post that the time is less than 5 seconds (which it is), that seems relatively slow for motorcycles.  However, that’s decently quick for a car.

Polaris is doing a good job in their position, though.  Keeping things balanced so more regulators don’t raise an eyebrow.

Onto the design.

“Slingshot” to me is an odd name.  It kind of paints the tri-cycle as more of a toy.  And that’s more or less what it is.  And that’s what Polaris makes, largely.

The Slingshot has a very open design compared to pretty much anything else I’ve written about.  Purpose built for fun, and enjoying the open air.  

And if you don’t want the wind splashing in your face, Polaris makes a $3,000 option for you called the “Slingshade”.  It’s essentially a roof system you can add on which makes the Slingshot look much more like a car rather than a tri-cycle.

Polaris Slingshot

 

 

But this also makes the proportions look very weird.  Like someone cut off the back of a car. It looks incomplete.

Up front on the standard Slingshot, you get pretty much the bare minimum.  But it looks great.

The front end is aggressively styled and everything comes to a strong focal point at the Polaris logo.  Honestly, it’s a very cool and well thought-out design.

There are also two fog lights in a higher position than you’d normally find on a car.  Almost like nostrils on the Slingshot.

Polaris made the Slingshot to tick all of the boxes for a sporty look.  Sharp angles, low body height, long hood (obviously the size of the car/motorcycle makes it look larger), gaping holes, prominent snout and aggressive eyes.  

Like I said, body work in minimal.  Which makes for a very cool view with the suspension system exposed.

The side view is actually very attractive on the Slingshot.  The design dips downward at the passenger cell.  Polaris designed the passenger cell of the Slingshot to be open as well to help give it the open-air feel.

The slingshot looks to be the same width throughout the design, but the rear wheel makes everything narrow out abruptly.  But that’s the nature of this particular beast.

In the back, you get a massive rear wheel, suspension system and belt-drive assembly all clearly visible.

Polaris Slingshot

That’s really where the whole motorcycle DNA is.  The rest is kind of like a BAC Mono in a way…Barely.

Overall the uniqueness of the Polaris Slingshot is what makes it so special.  It’s a three-wheel car in a way.  But not in the way a Reliant Robin is a three-wheel car.

The Slingshot is a machine purely made for thrills.  And none of its design tries to hide that, unless you get the Slingblade add-on which seems odd to me.

The Interior – Polaris Slingshot:

Polaris Slingshot

Honestly there isn’t much here to really talk about.  The inside of the Polaris Slingshot is very simple and straightforward.  As it should be.

You get essentially one button, a small screen, seats, shifter and steering wheel.  Optional extras include mood lighting in the footwell!

The plastic and metal of the interior is all angled and slashed which fits the exterior design.  

It’s a tight space with a small LCD screen for (I’m guessing) entertainment and driver-focused appeal.  A good job all around.

The gauges are classic analog for the most part with a small LCD display for different messages.  

The cabin is very bare otherwise where there are no carpets or creature comforts.  Simple stuff.

There is a small sound system so you can listen to some tunes while you ride as well.  The Slingshot offers an upgraded entertainment system as well that looks much more like a normal cars add-in.  

Like I said before, you can add-on a type of roof assembly from the factory that does look a bit bulky but it closes things off if you want.  

Another option as you go through the model range for the Slingshot is for upgraded racing seats rather than the standard seats.  A nice added touch.

Overall the interior of the Polaris Slingshot is a purpose built place for a driver and one passenger.  I like that.

The Performance – Polaris Slingshot:

Polaris Slingshot

The Polaris Slingshot is quick, but by car standards.  By motorcycle standards, not so much.

Like I said before, this is why Polaris doesn’t boast or post (that rhymes) some performance metrics usually common in cars marketing campaigns.  

This is because it would seem sluggish to motorcycles but quick to cars.  Any way that Polaris can stray away from the Slingshot being a car, they’ll do.  

Simply because if the federal government classifies it as a car over a three-wheel, that’ll mean much tighter regulations on the Slingshot.

The Polaris Slingshot will do a zero to sixty sprint in less than five seconds, with 173 horsepower out of a 2.4 L four cylinder engine from GM and 166 pound feet of torque.  Enough to get the small, fun machine into some tail-happy spins.

The Slingshot is apparently a huge thrill and joy to drive around in.  It’s like a snowmobile for the road in the sense that it is solely meant for visceral thrill and little else.  

With the weight of just about 1,800 pounds, the 173 horsepower really shines through.  It’s not quick for a motorcycle, but to say it isn’t quick period is a lie.

Sum It Up:

The Polaris Slingshot is a bit pricy for a toy, but the beauty of it is in how unique the Slingshot is.  It fills a very interesting space where I’m sure the market isn’t the size of let’s say, the mid-size sedan market, but customers are there nonetheless.

 

It’s not a car and it’s not a motorcycle, but it is a ton of fun.  

 

 

The Jaguar XJR Has Come A Long Way

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Recently, a good friend of mine and I visited a very interesting spectacle called the Jaguar Art of Performance Tour.

I was expecting a ton of cheesy-ness and marketing garbage before going there, as you get with a lot of these “VIP Events”.

But I was very pleasantly surprised when I arrived at this particular event.

Right when you walk in you’re greeted with Jaguar’s latest lineup of cars and SUV’s and they are gorgeous.

Jaguar brought along their newest iteration of the F-Type which is called the 400.  400 horsepower, and a limited edition for 2018.  Very cool.

Jaguar F-Type

Next to that was the newest XE-S.  A supercharged V6 in a comfortable and sporty package.  I was particularly a fan of that one.

After that you had the XJ Sportbrake.  The most stylish wagon out there in my opinion.

Past the Sportbrake was the F-Pace and E-Pace.  Both awesome in their own right.

And of course, the subject of this article.  The Jaguar XJR.

Right when I saw this particular Jag, I was taken back a few steps.  Since the model back in 2004, the XJR has developed into a beautiful full size sedan that evokes a type of 1950’s private jet feel.  I’ll go into that later.

Of course the XJR Jaguar had at the event was a fully-loaded example called the 575 which again, stands for the horsepower.  575 horses in a full size sedan.

The XJR isn’t cheap obviously.  The standard car starts around $75,000 and loaded examples creep into the $100,000 range.

Let’s explore this monster of a car.

The Specs-Jaguar XJR:

Vehicle Type: Fullsize Sedan
Power Plant: 5.0 L V8
Gearbox: 8 speed automatic
Power: 550-575 HP
MPG: Up to 23 Highway/15 City 
Torque: 502 lb-ft.
Length: 202 – 207 Inches
Width: 75 Inches
Height: 58 Inches
Wheelbase: 119.4 – 124.3 Inches
Top Speed: 155 MPH (Limited)
Seating: 5 Adults
0-60 MPH (0-120 KPH): 3.8 Seconds
Base Price: $75,000 (est).

Continued:

The spec that Jaguar brought to the Art of Performance Tour was absolutely beautiful.

The paint work on the body of the car was a deep midnight blue from far away.  But when you got close to it, you could see different speckles of glimmering purple, green and blue that sparkled in the light.  It was immensely beautiful to look at.

On top of that, the car featured black accents including the grille, badges, vents and rims.  It looked insane.

Jaguar’s XJR used to be all about the executive appeal and nothing really more, and that is where the newest iteration has some similarities.

However, just by looking at the new car you can see how much has changed since then.  The new Jaguar XJR is a ruthless performance animal that features an interior nicer than most houses.

The car is available in standard wheelbase and long wheelbase form for a more luxurious ride.

The front end of the XJR features more aggressive styling than the standard XJ, which is to be expected.

Jaguar has changed a lot since the 2004 XJR, which is decently popular second hand.

On top of the styling change, Jaguar is also very confident in the reliability of their cars.

When we were at the Art of Performance event, we talked with a spokesperson who said that Jaguar is now offering a 60,000 mile / 5 Year warranty on their cars.

Most in this class are at 50,000 miles.  I would definitely say 60,000 miles is better.

The Exterior – Jaguar XJR

Jaguar XJR

Back even ten years ago, the Jaguar XJR had a completely different style and direction to it.

It was a massive sedan which still remains, but the new XJR is much more sporty and in my opinion more beautiful.

The example that Jaguar had featured at the Art of Performance Tour was perfect in my eyes as I explained earlier.  I loved it. 

In any case, the car started years ago as an executive cruiser for a gentle ride and developed into a pretty refined and sporty sedan.

The car has a very sexy face.  I know that sounds really weird but the eyes are curled over and softly squinted and it looks great.

The bold grille now features a refined emblem that is basically a jaguar roaring at you.  Super cool.

The secondary air vents on the side of the bumper are distinctly Jaguar.  Even with the aggression and assertive face, the Jaguar XJR manages not to be too shouty looking.  A style I’m sure owners enjoy.

Continued:

From the side, you really get a good idea of the massive size of the XJR.  It’s a big car.

The roof line is very slender and low-cut, but you’d never really notice on the inside of the car.  

Usually with a low-profile roof line, the head room in the cabin gets compromised for the sake of outside looks but this is not the case for the new XJR. More on that later.

The front and rear overhang is very long, and the C-pillar features that “floating” look.  Very stylish on this big sedan.

On the back of the Jaguar XJR, you get a large trunk, swooping (and lovely) tail lights and new quad-outlet exhaust tips.

Normal XJ’s have large dual outlet exhaust tips that have been around for some time now.

The XJR gets the quad treatment as Jaguar wants you to know it’s the more hardcore version.  Which works pretty well.

The Interior-Jaguar XJR:

Jaguar XJR
Lovely.

The inside of the XJR is immaculate.  

At the Art of Performance Tour, I first sat in the back seat which was a good place to be.

First you notice the quilted-leather goodness you’re sat in.  It’s soft and the seating position is very comfortable.

To the left you find the center seat folds down and reveals some controls for reclining the rear seats, ventilation and heating.  A truly luxurious experience.

In front of you is a big screen that you can control with the remote control that comes with the car.  Plus a small tray like on an airplane seat.

These sort of amenities seem to be getting more and more commonplace for this caliber of car.  You see it with the top-level Mercedes S-Class, Cadillac CT6, Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series.  

The XJR does things a little bit differently, though.  I quite like it.

Jaguar’s XJR has an interior that reminds me of a 1950’s styled private jet.  The way the air vents are shaped, the analog clock, the glossy black accents, the wood paneling and so much more give off that vibe.

Plus, you get an ash tray.  In a time where that sort of thing is frowned upon, it oddly looks at home in the big Jag.  Flashy as can be.

The front seats are just as nice to sit in as the rear seats.  The air vents are controlled super smoothly.  When you move the assembly around, it glides like butter.   Jaguar really put some time and effort into the air vents.

Continued:

They put time and effort into every material you touch on the inside.  It’s lovely.

The instrument cluster is completely digital now as well.  You can configure it in a number of ways to suit your tastes, and the infotainment screen still allows passenger use to be easy and un-disruptive to what the driver needs to see.

There is a definite learning curve for all the technology, but you’d be hardpressed to find a new car in the XJR’s class that doesn’t have some type of learning curve to take advantage of all the fancy tech.

The car makes no mistake about what it is.  Especially in “L” form (which means long wheelbase.  Which means more luxury).

Jaguar’s XJR can be equipped in this long-wheelbase form, which amps everything up to 11.

The interior is mapped out very well and appointed with the top-notch materials you’d expect out of a car nearing the $100,000 mark.

The main thing Jaguar nailed with the interior of the XJR is you know it is much more than an average car.  There is very little about it that is “average”.  

Sure, it depends on how you spec the car but you can tell Jaguar wants the XJR to meet some sort of standard of excitement.  I appreciate that.

The Performance – Jaguar XJR:

Jaguar XJR

The XJR is the performance version of the XJ.  That kind of goes without saying, as there is an “R” added to the name.  If you know how companies (usually) name cars, you’ll know that putting an “R” at the end means it’s more sporty.

The XJR features a 5.0 L supercharged V8 (!) and can output as much as 575 horsepower.  And that’s a lot.

Even with the massive weight and size, the XJR will so a zero to sixty sprint in 3.8 seconds which is insanely quick for a car of its size.

Other than the massive engine, you get active dampers and ride control to help keeps things in line as you mash the pedal.

Obviously though, the XJR gets unsettled and isn’t as nimble as it could be.  Because it’s a massive executive sedan.  

Without stomping on the throttle, the car is composed and can really cater to itself in the city.  A lovely cruiser.  

Just don’t make it mad.

Sum It Up:

The XJR is impressive.  In the simplest term, the car is impressive.  It’s luxurious, sporty in the right places and is definitely a Jaguar.

The XJR is a pricy one too.  The thing starts around $100,000 while the standard XJ can be had for less than $75,000.  Jaguar really isn’t messing around.

But if you have the money, the XJR does things in a style that is unlike any other at this price point.  You’ll have to experience one to see what I mean.

 

The BMW X2 Is Really Going To Happen

By admin on

Just under nine months ago or so was the North American International Auto Show.  Its the biggest automotive event near me and there’s always a ton of incredible vehicles on display.  Concept cars, redesigns, remakes; the like.

This year the BMW stand was such a crowded mess that we had to wait a day to go so that we could get an actual decent look at what they offered.  Really, everything was hard to see the first day.

So on the second day of the show, we were able to see the new 5 Series which was an absolute stunner.  Technology, style and power.   I love it.

In front of the 5 Series (if I remember right…) was something really interesting.  The BMW X2.

It was probably the least BMW out of the whole line up that the Bavarian’s brought there.  The X2 was a rugged looking compact SUV with those knobby tires for dirt, high ground clearance and of course some kidney grilles.  Interesting to say the least.

The X2 also had these two exhaust pipes sticking out that looked like jet engines.  Very cool.

Along with the likes of the Lexus UX which I wrote about recently, the X2 is a concept-compact SUV that aims to enter a very small market segment.

However, the BMW X2 is doing things a bit differently than the UX.  Over the course of time since we saw the X2 at NAIAS, the compact crossover has developed into a production version of itself.  Which is much different from what we saw in January.

The Specs-BMW X2:

Vehicle Type: Compact SUV
Power Plant: Not Yet Available
Gearbox: Not Yet Available
Power: Not Yet Available
MPG: Not Yet Available
Torque: Not Yet Available
Length: Not Available
Width: Not Available
Height: Not Available
Wheelbase: Not Available
Top Speed: Not Available
Seating: 5 Adults
0-60 MPH (0-120 KPH): Not Available
Base Price: Not Yet Available

Continued:
The BMW X2 has evolved quite a bit from the model we saw at the Detroit Auto Show.  Now, BMW wants to put the X2 into production as a compact SUV situated just above the X1.  That’s a full line-up for you. From X1-X7.

However the production version will be very different compared to the concept at NAIAS.  No longer will it have beefy tires, wide fenders and an off-road chic about it.

The X2 is just like a lot of concept cars that meet the same fate. I guess we can blame regulations and such for watering down what would be awesome and unique vehicles.

Recently, the X2 has been spotted wearing some interesting camouflage as it gets ready for its production debut.

Even though it’s been spotted out and about, BMW still hasn’t released any details.  All is we know is what the camo-ed-up version looks.  Not even the release date was announced, even though it looks pretty close to production.

We can tell a fair bit from the car even when it’s under some covering.  Mainly, you can see BMW’s newest design language.

The Exterior-BMW X2:

At Milano Fashion Week, a lot of photographers saw the X2 in its new camo dress.  It retains some styling from the concept car, so let’s talk about that for a second.

The BMW X2 concept had massive grilles up front and headlights that are slender and feature BMW’s headlamp design we see in cars on the road today.

BMW also fitted larger intakes on the sides of the bumper to complete the X2’s very assertive look.

The side intakes are very aggressive and formed nicely around the bumper.  It’s ambitious looking and I like that.

BMW’s X2 concept has a sporty rear end as well and still retains a capable style.

The Production Version:

The two cars, both production and concept share a lot of styling similarities.  Which is obvious, but they seem to be made for different purposes now.

The production version of the X2 looks like a stylish, compact crossover.

From the front, you can see BMW restyled the kidney grilles to have more of a boxed shape and more pronounced character.

The head lights have also been reshaped from the concept version.  Wider lamps are fitted most likely to comply with regulations and such.

Also, the front fascia is much softer.  It is still a cool looking SUV, but seems to be pursuing a different purpose.

BMW kept the roof line slender and athletic, and the back of the car is actually much like the concept version which is nice.  The bumper is changed, but it still looks great.

Versus the X1, the X2 is a bit smaller and has a more athletic style to it.  The more hatchback curvature and lower ride height let the X2 look more dynamic.

The X1 and the X2 are very similar to each other underneath, which means they have similar body structures as well.  Even though the X2 is a bit more sporty.  Which is still very different from the X2 concept.

Overall, I think the new X2 is a sharp looking SUV, but it opens up a lot of questions for consumers.

It shares the same architecture as the X1 (which means it has a front-wheel-drive option) and has generally the same proportions.  Except it’s slightly smaller.  So it’s a less practical X1.

The X1 was a very successful machine for BMW, and I’m not sure if they’re replacing the X1 with the X2, or slotting it below somehow.  Maybe you can tell me…

The Interior-BMW X2:

The interior of most BMW’s exhibit the same kind of design language as we’ve seen from BMW for years.  It’s a working formula.

Some may say that the interiors of BMW’s haven’t changed since the 1980’s and in some ways, they’re right.

But you can’t deny BMW uses great materials and is perfectly functional.   BMW is very straight forward with how they design things on the inside of their cars, and it works every time.  Repetitive?  Sure, but you can’t deny it’s a proven system.

Anyway, the BMW X2 has only really been seen in concept form, and even then the interior wasn’t visible to the public.

The car that was spotted in public never turned up any good photos of the interior, so we’ll have to use our brains here.

BMW recently redesigned things on the inside of their cars to keep with the times.  The new 5 Series is a lovely example of this and of course the new 7 Series speaks for itself.

With that said we can anticipate the inside of the BMW X2 to reflect the new language BMW is using.  Larger screens, redesigned wheel, new instrument cluster design and new seating are some of the updates.

The X2 also looks a bit smaller than the X1.  That means interior space will most likely be affected.  But we don’t know to what degree.

BMW X2 Interior Spyshot

The roof line indicates that head room will be shorter than the X1’s due to the slender profile and athletic shaping of the X2 as well.

BMW’s baby active crossover should a stylish little place to be on the inside, and should all together make for a convincing entry into this market.

The market for these smaller SUV’s continues to grow here in the United States and seemingly around the world.

We see entries coming from Lexus, Infiniti, Cadillac, Mercedes and now BMW.  Everyone is taking notice of the market that would seem small, but is growing rapidly for manufactures to develop models this quickly.

The Performance-BMW X2:

BMW X2

The X2 will be an interesting animal.  The small SUV will use the same chassis as the BMW X1, which means it will offer front wheel drive and of course BMW’s xDrive system.

As for power plants, nothing has been confirmed quite yet but we suspect that there will be a number of offerings from the Bavarian’s.

Rumor has it that in Europe, there will be a couple of diesel offerings and they won’t be available in the United States.  Seems like standard issue to me.

For the gasoline powered options, we’re betting a 2.0 L four cylinder engine will be in the base level models and potentially a 3.0 L I6 for the higher trim levels like a X2 35i or something of that nature.

I don’t think we’ll see an X2 M for some time but BMW has a habit of doing things like that so I wouldn’t be surprised.  Even though we never saw an X1 M, I think the X2 M would make more sense since it’s a sportier SUV over the X1.

But I could be wrong.  Perhaps the X2 40i will be the limit.

Regardless of what powers the X2, I think we’ll see a capable little SUV just like the X1.  The X1 is plenty quick on its own and BMW knows how to get the right amount of power out of any platform, even if it’s front wheel drive.

I don’t really agree with BMW making a front wheel drive platform as BMW’s are historically more geared toward the driving experience (rear-wheel or all-wheel) but you know how it goes: If it sells, they’ll make it.

Sum It Up:

The BMW X2 looks to be coming soon to BMW dealerships around the country, even though we don’t really know much about it at the moment.

BMW is focusing a lot of their energy and money on developing the Z4 and 8 Series cars that have been teased recently as well.

Not only those, but BMW is releasing the new 3 Series soon as well as the X7, and only just released the new 5 Series and 7 Series.  A true lineup over haul.

With all of that happening, it’s easy to see how the X2 got over shadowed.  But I’m sure that’ll change with the release of the vehicle.

McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe Canister Steam System Review

McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe Canister Steam System Review

By admin on

Some of the toughest cleaning jobs can already be hard enough, but when it involves your car, things get a little trickier.

There is certainly no shortage when it comes to cleaners and various chemicals to clean your car with. You can easily find an assortment of foams, sprays, wipes, and whatever else all the companies keep putting out there.

Now look, some of these do have their place, but mainly involving finishing the job, like protectants, waxes, glass cleaner; things like that.

If you’re trying to clean off the car on the outside, or trying to freshen up the upholstery and seats, you do have the option of using chemicals, but this isn’t necessarily the most ideal choice.McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe Canister Steam System Tiles

Chemicals can be harsh on your sensitive skin, harmful to breathe in (especially in close quarters,) and may not always be the best on your interior material, eventually causing fading, discolorations, and even stains of their own.

Steam presents a much safer alternative, that’s also completely safe for your car’s interior, and even the exteriors as well. The power of steam can be far more effective than cleaners and other chemicals, using water and heat to gently remove dirt and stains.

That’s where steam cleaners come in. These tools come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and applications, but it can sometimes be hard to find a more portable version that is intended for versatile use in and around your home — and your car.

The McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe Canister Steam System is your answer.

About The Product

This steamer is designed to be a workhorse, suitable for any number of situations. Whether you’re cleaning your car’s seats, removing engine grime, or getting stubborn dirt off of bumpers, the McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe Canister Steam System can get it done.

The system is intended to be extremely portable, and has multiple attachments that deliver the steam in several different ways, and in some cases, assist you with the scrubbing and cleaning, taking out some of the effort.

Here are a few of the main features:

  • On-demand variable steam control
  • A maximum of 58 psi to blast away dirt and grime
  • Large 64 oz. water tank that heats up in 12 minutes, with up to 120 minutes of continuous steam
  • 23 versatile accessories; including a floor mop attachment for sealed flooring surfaces,
  • Extra-long 18-foot power cord with integrated wrap
  • On-board storage for accessories

The system is easy to use. Simply fill the tank (to about 75% capacity so there’s room for pressure,) let the water heat up, and the system is ready to go in a little over 10 minutes.

Once the steamer is ready, you can choose from any number of special attachments that dictate how the steam is delivered. This includes a steam wand with a nozzle tip, brushes, pads, and a mop attachment for floors.McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe Canister Steam System Front View Review

With 23 accessories, you have a huge amount of options to help you clean certain surfaces much easier. Many of the attachments are great for a car’s interior, making it easy to freshen up the inside and get stains out, without even touching cleaners or chemicals.

One of the unique aspects of the McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe Canister Steam System is its steam control feature on the main hose. No matter what attachment you are using, you can turn the dial to control the amount of steam, giving you an added amount of control over your cleaning, and helping to make delicate cleaning situations much more viable.

A pressure gauge on the system keeps you informed of the pressure, so you know exactly how much you are using at any given moment.

Pros And Cons Of The McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe Canister Steam System

Mccullough makes an entire line of steamers, with the MC1385 being the highest capacity with the most uses. User reviews from those who have purchased and used the system are overwhelmingly positive.

One of the most mentioned benefits of the steamer’s design is how long the power cord is, along with the hose length. This allows for more convenience, without having to worry about moving the system around as you clean, be it inside the home or out. The provided reach is usually enough for most rooms, and may even let you go further.

The expanded water tank size adds eve more convenience. This is one of the bigger tanks you’ll see on a home steam cleaner system like this, so you avoid the annoying frequent refills you get with smaller models.McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe Canister Steam System Grill Cleaning

The only real complaint had to do with the system’s handle getting to hot after prolonged usage, and a lack of a clip for the hose when you want to keep it all bound together when moving it, or storing it. These are both minor, and have no bearing on how the McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe Canister Steam System actually operates.

How To Get A McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe Canister Steam System

This steam cleaner system can usually be found for under $200 on Amazon. You can get it shipped to your home in just a day or two, and they also offer very generous coverage plans for cheap, ranging from 1 to 3 years total. We always recommend a coverage plan for tools like this.

Final Verdict

The McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe Canister Steam System may not be the only steam cleaner on the market, but it may very well be the best. The large water tank, fast heat time, and controllable steam amounts already place it on a superior level, but the whopping 23 accessories tealy helps to push it over the top and into an elite category.

Our Rating:

4.5-5

Those who are serious about using the best steam cleaner for their car (and home,) and also value convenience and versatility should invest in the McCulloch MC1385 Deluxe Canister Steam System. Click here to order one for yourself in a matter of minutes.

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2018 Toyota Sienna: An Update To An Update

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If you look at the current generations of minivans across the automotive industry, you’ll notice that they all are morphing into these slightly more aggressive looking machines.  Interesting trend for minivans (except for maybe the Pacifica).

I’m not sure why things are turning this way.  Maybe it’s because manufactures want more younger people in their minivans, or maybe it’s just the styling trend of the industry.  Not really sure.

As for things with the Toyota Sienna, I imagine Toyota couldn’t be happier with how things are going.  The Sienna is a top-selling Minivan in the U.S.

So the bar is set pretty high for the 2018 Toyota Sienna.  Especially since Toyota dropped a more powerful engine into the Sienna last year.

For the 2018 model year, Toyota is updating the Sienna to meet the rest of its line up.  From styling to technology, the new Sienna adopts new cues and plastic surgery to match what Toyota has been doing with their big intakes and veiny hoods.

There are new safety features in the new Sienna too which is always nice.

An important note to make here is that the new Sienna is not really a completely new generation.  It’s a redesign. An update.  Plastic surgery.

This is an interesting situation since the Pacifica, Odyssey and others in the segment are on totally new platforms. Which means the current Sienna is several years dated versus brand new competitors.

In 2017, the Sienna out-performed everyone.  So even with new mini’s out there, I think the Sienna will do well regardless.

The Specs-2018 Toyota Sienna:

Vehicle Type: Minivan
Power Plant: 3.5 L V6 
Gearbox: 7 Speed Automatic
Power: 296 HP
MPG: Not Yet Available
Torque: 263 lb-ft.
Length: Not Available
Width: Not Available
Height: Not Available
Wheelbase: Not Available
Top Speed: Not Available
Seating: Seven Adults
0-60 MPH (0-120 KPH): 7.0 Seconds (!)
Base Price: Not Yet Available

I’m going to try to forget the whole “Swagger Wagon” ad campaign that Toyota ran years ago (and recently) on the Sienna.  It’s pretty cringy.  Truly painful to say out loud.  I can’t imagine how many “cool” dads have told their kids and their friends to “hop in the swagger wagon”.

Anyway, the Sienna also offers front wheel drive and all wheel drive.  Something you don’t find on other minivans out there.

This also means that the Sienna will do a zero to sixty in seven seconds flat.  From a minivan, that’s pretty impressive.  Not to mention is has almost 300 horses.  It’s not quite the Mercedes R63, but I love it.

In 2017 we saw Toyota fit every Sienna with automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beams, and lane-keep assist.  Standard.  You have to pay a $5,000 premium to get that on a Mercedes. “The Swagger Wagon” isn’t sounding too ridiculous now, is it?

Now we can look into the 2018 Toyota Sienna.  A refreshing update to an undeniably aging minivan.  You can see its age showing a bit in some places, and we’ll see where.

The Exterior-2018 Toyota Sienna:

2018 toyota sienna exterior

 

At first glance you can see the differences from the old Toyota Sienna to the new one.  A stronger face, sleeker lines and veins are new here and pretty instantly noticeable.

Beyond that, there really aren’t any vast differences.  It’s all in the face.

The new 2018 Sienna is even less of a redesign.  Even less than a makeover.  They pretty much just changed the front end.

Like I said before, the Sienna was the top selling minivan on this side of the water so you can’t really shame them for not changing much.  If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.

But it’s a delicate balance because you want to keep things fresh for customers.  But at the same time it’s a working formula.  So this is how Toyota handled it.

The front end on the old-styled Sienna was pretty dated by any standard.  The old large mesh grilles look very 2008 to me, rather than 2017.  So, they changed that for 2018.

In comes that massive front intake/grille that we see on the new Camry and Corolla.

The new Toyota Sienna‘s massive mouth is complimented by the proportionately tiny Toyota badge.

The upper grille is kind of cool looking.  It’s size actually makes sense and the way the veins on the hood fall into the shape of the badge looks great.  Plus the little wings that extend from the Toyota badge and into the headlights is very cool.

Toyota made the headlights a bit more slender and smaller overall.  It’s a more updated look.

I think that the face of the 2018 Toyota Sienna is a bit more aggressive and assertive than it really needs to be.  In the end it is mini van and trying to make it more sporty than it is, is a mistake.

To clear up any confusion I don’t think they over did it but it’s getting close.  Dangerous territory.

Like I touched on before, the new Toyota Sienna is mostly a light redesign.  The side and back of the minivan are pretty much the same as we saw in 2017.

This is where I think things kind of come apart for the 2018 Toyota Sienna.  From the side view and back view the Sienna looks dated.  It looks like the new front end has been tacked on to the 2017 model.

The body is absolutely massive (looking).  Even though the new Sienna is oddly quick, it really looks like the rear wheels are under a lot of body work.

If they wanted the sporty appeal that the front kind of eludes toward, I’d expect something like we see on the new Odyssey.  A much slimmer look.

In the back, things aren’t much different.  It isn’t an ugly design, but it is aging.  Competitors to the Sienna take their design a bit more seriously here.  But again this really is a seven year old design.

Overall I think that the new 2018 Toyota Sienna is a looker, maybe more than its own good.  But it’s exactly what you’d expect from a refreshed model.  Not a full redesign.

The Interior-2018 Toyota Sienna:

2018 Toyota Sienna Interior

Toyota didn’t do much in here.  You get largely the same interior as you get in the 2017 model for the 2018 model.

The layout on the interior is all based about comfort as it should be.

The dashboard is getting to be dated in appearance, but it is still perfectly functional.

I think the key to remember is how much technology comes standard in the new Sienna as I said before.  Even if the interior is a bit old looking compared to competitors, the standard technology is probably the best.  If not the best, it’s extremely well equipped.

Standard in the Sienna you get adaptive cruise control, emergency breaking, automatic high-beams and lane-keep assist.  All standard.

As things usually go you can get all the fake wood in the world and leather that seems pretty nice for the price point.

The center stack is pretty straight forward and I imagine there’s a very small learning curb to get used to the tech and layout, but I think the odd ball is the shifter.  It kind of sticks out awkwardly.

I know that it really does make sense where it’s at and I think it may be my critical eye, but it seems a bit awkward.

2018 toyota sienna
just a fun day at “swagger wagon”

Other than that though I can see why the Sienna is such a high seller.  The interior is very spacious, loaded with plenty of tech and is comfortable.  That’s pretty much any minivan really needs and the Sienna does it very well.

However, some materials seem cheap to the touch and unless you get the top level trims, the ride can be pretty harsh.  Also, the all-wheel-drive options have a hard time towing heavy payloads according to some reviews.

Overall the interior of the 2018 Toyota Sienna is as we’ve seen for the last few years.  technology is updated nicely but the overall interior remains.  It’s a working formula, but it seems to be lagging a bit behind competitors.

The Performance-2018 Toyota Sienna:

2018 toyota Sienna

The Sienna isn’t a performer by any means (it’s a minivan…) but it sure does pack some power that I didn’t expect.

Almost 300 horses are packed into its 3.5 V6 engine with 263 pound feet of torque.  Zero to sixty (if you’re really worried about that) is done in an impressive seven seconds.  Not bad at all.

Even with all that power in a minivan as I touched on, the Sienna struggles to pull some weight in all wheel drive form.  Towing is rated around 3,5000 pounds but just isn’t rated for all wheel drive.

Like I said, the Sienna offers both front wheel drive and all wheel drive which is pretty unique for this segment.  A welcome change especially in a state like Michigan.

Now let’s touch on cargo space.  Behind the third row seats you have 29.1 cubic feet.  Behind the second row seats, you’ll have 87.1 cubic feet. Finally behind the front row seats you’ll have a total of 150 cubic feet for use.

Fuel mileage is 24 miles per gallon on the highway and 18 in the city for the all wheel drive option.  For the front wheel drive option you’ll be getting 27 miles per gallon on the highway and 19 miles per gallon in the city.

There is plenty of equipment like a 360 degree camera, heated steering wheel, navigation and an upgraded sound system that are all available as options.

Sum It Up:

The 2018 Toyota Sienna should have no problems being a dominate force in the minivan world when sales figures come in for the 2018 model year.  Will it be the MOST dominate force?  Probably not.  But it will be a very strong competitor.

The 2018 Toyota Sienna has hit dealerships since April this year, so if you’re in the market for one of the most solid minivans out there, head to your nearest “Swagger Wagon” dealer today!

Vacmaster VBV1210 Vacuum Review

Vacmaster VBV1210 Vacuum Review

By admin on

Everyone can agree on the fact that taking your car to the car wash to use the vacuum is now the most ideal experience. For one thing, you have to leave your driveway to do so, you may have to wait on a vacuum, and sometimes that vacuum may be the “bad one” that is barely operational.

Home vacuums provide a much more convenient way to keep your car clean, and one that you can depend on. Having a car vac at home means your car is clean more often, as you’re more prone to vacuum frequently if you can do it at your home.

Not everyone likes to invest in a product that’s only for cars, so multivac products are much more preferred. This gives you something that you can use in the home and out, combining two things into one.Vacmaster VBV1210 Vacuum Sloting Out Review

The Vacmaster VBV1210 Vacuum is the perfect example of a versatile vacuum that can offer multiple applications that extend well beyond your vehicle. It’s perfect for using in your car on a frequent basis, but it provides a lot more, and not for an outrageous price.

About The Product

Vacmaster is a fairly well-known name in the cleaning industry, especially when it comes to making commercial-level products for home use. This product is intended to offer 3 specific uses, and all of them on a high level.

The Vacmaster vacuum can be used all over your property, and not just in your car. It is a wet vac, dry vac, and a detachable blower, all in one.

Included with the Vacmaster wet/dry vac:

  • 7 ft. hose
  • 12 ft. Cord with Cord Wrap
  • 2 extension wands
  • Car nozzle
  • Crevice tool
  • 8 in. utility nozzle
  • Blower nozzle
  • Air/noise diffuser
  • Blower adapter
  • Standard cartridge filter
  • Reusable foam sleeve
  • Quick Release Detachable Blower, with 210 MPH blowing speed
  • Extra large drain port
  • Balanced Top Handle Design and a large On/Off dust-sealed switch

The vacuum is very powerful, regardless of what attachment you are using. It’s perfect for car upholstery and interiors, and the multiple attachments give you several different options for accessing crevices and other spots where messes are hiding.

If you have a liquid spill, be it in your car or in your home, the wet vac setting easily handles that as well. The vacuum’s 12 gallon capacity is probably more than it needs to be, but it’s good to have that much storage space in case of huge messes.

Ther leaf blower is almost like a bonus. With a max wind speed of 210 MPH, you’ve got all the power you need to blow leaves, dirt, grass, and whatever else out of the way. Different attachments can be used to direct the airflow in a more targeted way.Vacmaster VBV1210 Vacuum Detached Review

It is worth noting that the unit may trip a breaker if used on certain electrical outlets. It does require some added power, and you’ll likely need an extension cord as well. Aside from that, it requires just a small amount of assembly out of the box, which is really just the installation of the casters.

Oh, right, the casters. This vacuum has caster wheels on the bottom, letting you roll it to and from where you’re using it. They are actually fairly heavy duty as well, so no need to babby the vacuum as you push it along your yard or driveway.

Pros And Cons Of The Vacmaster VBV1210 Vacuum

The Vacmaster seems to be very popular among its users. The vast majority of buyers were all impressed with the power of both the vacuum and the blower. Some even found some inventive uses for the vacuum attachment, such as sucking up popcorn ceiling particles right off the ceiling.

Buyers were also happy with the portability from the casters. There were some that complained about eh casters coming off, but the general consensus was that they weren’t screwing them in right, which is obviously an easy fix.

So how is it for a car? Incredibly effective. The 5 HP vacuum creates a strong suction that makes cleaning the inside of your car a breeze. No worrying about having to go back over the same spot over and over. The multiple attachments make the process even easier.Vacmaster VBV1210 Vacuum Leaf Blowing Review

Perhaps an underrated part of the vacuum is how quiet it already is, but you can attach a muffler to make it more quiet. This will make it more comfortable to use for long periods, and spare your neighbors the annoying noise as well.

There may be a small adjustment period when you first start using the unit as you feel it out, but you’ll quickly get acclimated to how everything works, and learn its limits as well.

How To Get A Vacmaster VBV1210 Vacuum

The Vacmaster can easily be found on Amazon, where you can order it and have it shipped right to your door in a matter of days; for free if you’re a Prime customer. The price is very fair, as it is over $100, but stays under the $130 mark. When you consider that you’re getting 3 tolls in one, that’s a very good value. Some people pay that much just for a vacuum.

And if that’s not enough, you get a 2 year warranty, which is double what you normally get with something like this.Vacmaster VBV1210 Vacuum Front View Review

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a solid vacuum for your car that you can depend on for frequent use, this product from Vacmaster is an excellent choice, even if that’s all it did. The added bonus of a wet vac AND a leaf blower places it on another level. The numerous attachments and convenient features make it a superior home vac, especially for the price.

Our Rating

4.5-5

If you’d like to have a powerful, convenient, and versatile vacuum that contains endless uses, click here to purchase.

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