New Formula ‘E’ Racing Series Announced

News this week that FIA, the International Motorsport Federation, has announced a global series of city centre electric car races.  The objective of the series is to have 10 teams and 20 drivers participating in the competition and it will be open to any cars sanctioned as ‘Formula E’ by the FIA.

The commercial rights to the FIA Formula E Championship has been licensed to a consortium of investors, Formula E Holdings Ltd (FEH). FEH has as anchor investor London-based entrepreneur Enrique Bañuelos, and as CEO and shareholder former MEP and racing team owner Alejandro Agag.

Audi R18 e-tron quattro the first electric hybrid to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans

Demonstration runs will start in 2013 and the full series will being in 2014.

Locations could include Hong Kong, Rio de Janeiro, Moscow, Shanghai, Beijing, Mumbai, Sydney, Cape Town, Mexico City, and Los Angeles.

However, it’s likely to early to confirm all of the cities that will be participating.

Source: FIA

Advertisements

2012 Chevrolet Volt Review

The Chevrolet Volt is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle which has been offered by General Motors since 2010. It is the first full production modern electric vehicle (EV) GM has developed and builds on their experience from earlier electric vehicle pilots, such as the EV1 in the mid-1990s. As the description of the vehicle implies, drivers can plug-in their vehicle to the electricity grid to recharge the battery which enables them to drive entirely on electricity. Does this game changing technology live up to all the hype? And how does it compare to conventional gasoline powered vehicles? Read on to find out.

2012 Chevy Volt

The Numbers:

The MSRP for the 2012 Chevy Volt is $41,545 (CAD) and it is eligible for government incentives in a number of jurisdictions. In Canada, the province of Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia all offer purchase incentives.  In Ontario, the incentive value is $8,231 (CAD) resulting in the starting price of the Volt being reduced to $33,314 (CAD).

So what does the post incentive price of the low $30k get you? More than you may think.

The Volt is powered by a dual 111 KW electric motor producing 149 hp along with a 1.4 liter, four cylinder, gasoline engine producing 85 hp. While the Volt’s acceleration won’t win you any races at the track, it is still quite impressive. When entering the freeway you only have to nudge the accelerator to get you up to cruising speed.

Officially, the Volt’s acceleration time is 9.2 seconds running on electric-only mode, and 9.0 seconds with the gasoline engine assisting propulsion and overall top speed is 160 km/h (100 mph).

2012 Volt: Charging Port

The all important stat for electric vehicles is the range. The Volt’s range is approximately 40-80 kms (24 to 50 miles) on the electric battery and over 500 kms (310 miles) using the gasoline ‘range extender’ engine. It should be noted factors such as driver behaviour, ambient temperature, road conditions, terrain, etc… can all have an impact on the total distance that can be driven in electric only mode. This is common to all electric vehicles.In total, Volt drivers get up to 580 kms (360 miles) of range from both the battery and gasoline engine combined as it has a 35 liter (9.25 gallon) gas tank. This combination is the real differentiator for both daily commute driving and those all important road trips.

The Driving Experience:

Although the Volt is a compact car it provides users with a lot of pep. This was in fact evident since the RedlineNorth Team was impressed with the power behind the wheel off the line, largely thanks to the large amount of torque the electric motor provides.

2012 Volt: Eligible for a green licence plate providing access to High Occupancy Vehicle lanes in Ontario, Canada

While braking does feel different in an electric vehicle largely due to the regenerative braking technology, overall the brakes felt as responsive as traditional brakes. And after a few days driving the Volt, the unique characteristics of the regenerative braking became so familiar we were not aware of the difference.

Cut away of the Chevy Volt showing the location of the lithium batteries

As a result of the batteries being located along the bottom of the vehicle (see picture above) the Volt has a low center of gravity and really hugs the road when cornering. Once the electric battery has been depleted the car automatically shifts into ‘range extender’ mode utilizing the gasoline engine. This switch is seamless for the driver and there is only a slight hint of engine sounds once it kicks in, much less overall noise than in a conventional combustion vehicle.

Interior:

2012 Volt: Rear two person seating

The Volt seats four, as the back middle seat is taken up with the 16 kWh battery. Our Volt tester came with all the available interior features including a premium trim package consisting of leather wrapped steering wheel, heated driver & passenger seats all in a supple black leather. During the test period, we used the Volt around the city for transporting the whole family, including an infant. The installation of the car seat was easy thanks to the UAS and the lack of a middle seat didn’t provide much inconvenience. There was also sufficient trunk space for all the extra ‘stuff’ that comes with transporting young children. However, families with two young kids going on an extended trip may find storage space limited. Similarly, rear leg room is somewhat limited, but legroom and trunk space are largely on par with other compact class vehicles.

2012 Volt: Location of the Level 1 charger in the trunk along with tire repair kit

The location of the Level 1 (120V) charger under the trunk floor, where a spare tire is typically kept (the vehicle comes with a tire repair kit and air compressor) could be a bit inconvenient on multi-day trips. Since the current design requires you to unload the trunk in order to lift up the trunk floor to access the charger. Having a split trunk floor lid requiring only one side to be free of trunk contents in order to access the charger would likely be a better design.

The infotainment system in the Volt is fairly standard for its class and includes; a 6 speaker system with SiriusXM satellite radio, standard Bluetooth hands free phone and audio connectivity, remote starter, OnStar®, USB ports and an Android and iOS compatible app (OnStar® Remote Link) that provides key vehicle information, including current state of charge.

Optional equipment in the test vehicle included a rear vision camera and parking assist. The parking assist uses ultrasonic frequencies to let you know while backing up when you are nearing an object. A warning symbol also appears in rear view monitor showing what side of the vehicle the object is located, a really nice feature for the urbanite. However, while the rear camera option is a positive feature from a safety perspective, when parking in tight spots, such as a downtown parking garage, the warning beeps can become  distracting and at times we were wanting a mute button. Nevertheless, this is only a minor nuisance and did not significantly detract from the overall driving experience.

2012 Volt: Dashboard display providing battery, total range and fuel efficiency information. Note the fuel efficiency calculation of 1.1l/100km

For those so inclined, pressing a button on the dash provides a wealth of information on your driving characteristics. There is real time feedback on your driving style in the form of a round green ground ball in the instrument panel that will shift upwards if you are draining energy and stay stable or move downwards if you are recovering energy, through the brakes for example. It can be quite addictive to try and drive in such a manner as to keep the ball steady or move downwards.

Charging (Time and Cost):

The Volt comes with a Level 1 (120 V) charger standard with the vehicle. Plugging the vehicle into to a standard wall socket will charge the 16 kWh battery in approximately 10-12 hours. Volt owners also have the option of upgrading to a Level 2 (240V) charger (think the type of plug your clothes dryer uses) which drops the recharge time down to approximately 4 hours. It should be noted the times are for a completely depleted battery to 100% charge. If you are simply topping up the battery at night charge times would be less. As mentioned previously a fully charged battery will allow you to drive approximately 40 to 80 kilometers. Enough for the average urban commuter to get to work and back, plus perform a few extra side trips along the way.

The cost of recharging the battery will vary based on the electricity prices in the region, but in Ontario, Canada they will range from $1 to $2 depending on the time of day and state of battery charge. The vehicle allows owners to delay their charging to take advantage of time of use billing differences (in jurisdictions that have it). In other words, if an electricity provider reduces their rates starting at 8 pm Volt owners can program their vehicle to start charging after 8 pm despite plugging it in earlier.

Exterior

2012 Volt: Sporty Styling

The Volt’s appearance has an understated sportiness to it and the RedlineNorth Team remains partial to the look of the Volt tester in black. Overall, the style of the Volt has a modern look and feel with extremely clean lines and a square back end. The interior trim in the test vehicle was a glossy white plastic and initially it looked attractive, but after a while you felt like you’re riding around in a giant iPod and that look may not be for everyone.

2012 Volt: Front dashboard

Summary

Over the course of the week the RedlineNorth Team test vehicle was recharged three times and used approximately $9 in gasoline (the Volt requires premium gasoline). Total estimated cost for the week based on $1.45/litre ($5.50/gallon) of premium gasoline and 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity was just under $13.

A number of people have commented that the pay back period on gasoline savings alone on EVs is prohibitively long. Based on gasoline prices only that may be the case depending on the scenario, however, other factors such as reduced maintenance costs, along with non-monetary considerations such as the quiet ride, high low end torque, convenience of filling up at home and peace of mind around reducing your tailpipe emissions all contribute to the attractiveness of the vehicle. Focusing solely on the potential savings from fuel fill ups is a single dimensional argument that misses the point. Consumers that are buying the Volt are buying the total package and its an attractive package at that.

Electric vehicles such as the Volt are remarkable in that they are unremarkable. They feel like you are driving any other similar gasoline or diesel fueled vehicle. The Volt doesn’t feel like you have sacrificed any performance or features for its class in order to be able to drive around town on electrons. Once you get over the type of ‘fuel’ that is powering the vehicle whether it’s diesel, gasoline or electricity you sit back and enjoy the ride.

With GM already selling more than 22,000 Volts to date globally we look forward to seeing more of the Chevy Volts on our roads. So keep your eye out for this innovative, high tech piece of auto machinery as the new 2013 Chevrolet Volt will be arriving in select GM showrooms soon.

Competitors:

Currently in Canada, the main electric vehicle competitors to the Chevrolet Volt are the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi Motors’ i-MiEV which are both full battery electric vehicles. The upcoming Ford Focus EV and the plug-in version of the Toyota Prius will also provide the Volt with additional competition later on this year.

If only we had a spare million dollars….

A few months ago, we did a post on celebrity rides and referenced Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler’s recent purchase of the first production Hennessey Venom GT Spyder model. Well, we thought it was a good time to revisit the Hennessey Venom GT — still the fastest production car on the planet. Hennessey claims the car can achieve a top speed of 272 mph (437 km/h).

Based on a highly modified Lotus Exige chassis, the Venom GT is powered by a twin-turbocharged version of General Motors’ 6.2 L (380 cu in) LS9 V8 from the Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1. The modified engine produces 1,200 HP and 1,155 lb-ft. torque. Yes, this is not a typo it produces 1,200 HP! Of course there is a catch though and that’s the price which starts at $1 million USD.

The mid-engine V8 is paired to the rear wheels with a Ricardo 6-speed transmission. The bodywork leverages handmade lightweight carbon fiber along with carbon fiber wheels resulting in a production curb weight of only 2,700 lb (1,200 kg). To deliver the ultimate supercar stopping power required braking components include 15 inch carbon ceramic rotors and Brembo 6-piston calipers in the front and 4-piston calipers in the rear.

However, to truly experience this car you need to watch the following video as pictures just do not do it justice.  The video is of Steven’s actual car as he kindly shared it for a recent episode of Drive’s show Tuned. I guess we all know why he did American Idol now?

Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance hits sales record

Wow, that’s all we can say about the sales results from last weekend’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance car festival.  The five auction houses that participated in the annual auto festival sold a combined $260 million USD of vehicles last weekend, up 31% from the previous record of $198 million USD set last year, according to Hagerty Insurance, which tracks collector-car prices. The highest price came from Santa Monica based auction house Gooding & Co. when they sold a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster for $11.8 million USD.

1936 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster

The events second top seller was a 1968 Ford GT40 sold for a record breaking $11 million USD by Blenheim, Ontario’s very own RM Auctions making it the most expensive American car ever sold at auction.

1968 Ford GT40

For more photos check out the following Globe and Mail slide show of the event.

Consumer Reports: Total Cost of Car Ownership

Consumer Reports have recently published an analysis on the total cost of ownership of a new vehicle over a one, three, five and eight year period.  They have used a number of factors in their analysis including depreciation, fuel, interest on financing, insurance, sales tax, as well as average maintenance and repair costs.

Their analysis has produced some interesting results.  First and foremost the median cost of ownership for a new vehicle is more than $9,100 a year, over a five year ownership period.  Furthermore, the largest single cost in a new vehicle is depreciation, making up 48% of costs in the first five years. This of course assumes that you will be eventually selling the new vehicle down the road and not driving it into the ground.

Consumer Reports Analysis

Courtesy: Consumer Reports.org

The second largest cost is fuel accounting for 24%, while interest on vehicle financing is third with 11%, again over a five year period.

As indicated at the beginning of this post the Consumer Reports analysis is based on a number of assumptions, such as the cost of fuel ($4.20/gallon or $1.11/litre), insurance, interest (6%, 15% down, 5 years – also assumes the vehicle isn’t bought outright at the beginning) and sales tax (5%) to name a few.

All of their assumptions are reasonable and necessary for a broad based analysis, but can vary widely across different jurisdictions. One should keep this in mind when reading the results.

Nonetheless, based on their analysis, the least expensive car to own is Toyota Prius which costs just $5,000 a year to own for five years.  While the most expensive vehicle in the list is the BMW 750Li at a whopping $21,500 a year, for a five year period.

A complete breakdown on the ownership cost per model can be found below.

For a more in depth analysis, including further details on the assumptions used and how that may relate to your situation read the complete article here.

Ownership Costs by Vehicle
(Source: Consumer Reports)

Lowest cost Highest cost
Make & Model Cost/year over 5 years Make & model Cost/year over 5 years
Small cars
Toyota Prius C $5,000 Mitsubishi Lancer ES $7,000
Toyota Corolla Base 5,250 Mazda3 Hatchback 7,000
Honda Fit (base) 5,250 Nissan Sentra 2.0 SL 7,000
Smart ForTwo 5,500 Ford Focus Hatchback 7,000
Honda Fit Sport 5,500 Kia Soul 7,000
Mazda2 (MT) 5,500 Kia Forte Hatchback 7,000
Scion xD (MT) 5,500 Kia Forte Koup 7,250
Toyota Yaris Hatchback 5,500 Chevrolet Cruze 1.4T 7,250
Scion xD (AT) 5,750 Suzuki SX4 Hatchback 7,500
Toyota Corolla LE 5,750 Chevrolet Cruze ECO 7,500
Family sedans
Toyota Camry Hybrid 6,500 Toyota Camry (V6) 8,250
Volkswagen Passat TDI 6,500 Ford Fusion (V6, FWD) 8,250
Toyota Camry (4-cyl.) 6,750 Chevrolet Impala (3.6) 8,250
Hyundai Sonata Hybrid 6,750 Nissan Altima (V6) 8,500
Hyundai Sonata (2.4) 6,750 Subaru Legacy 3.6R 8,500
Honda Accord (4-cyl.) 6,750 Chrysler 200 (V6) 8,500
Ford Fusion (4-cyl.) 7,000 Kia Optima 2.0T 8,750
Mazda6 (4-cyl.) 7,000 Ford Fusion (V6, AWD) 8,750
Nissan Altima (4-cyl.) 7,250 Mazda6 (V6) 9,000
Subaru Legacy 2.5i 7,250 Volkswagen Passat (V6) 9,250
Upscale & luxury cars
Lexus CT 200h 7,750 Lincoln MKS AWD 13,000
Buick Verano (2.4) 7,750 BMW 535i 13,250
Audi A3 2.0T 8,000 Mercedes-Benz E350 13,500
Buick Regal (2.4) 8,000 Jaguar XF 13,500
Acura TSX (4-cyl.) 8,250 Hyundai Equus 14,000
Buick Regal (turbo) 8,500 Lexus LS 460L 16,000
Buick LaCrosse eAssist 8,750 Jaguar XJL 19,000
Infiniti G25 Sedan 9,000 Audi A8 L 20,000
Toyota Avalon 9,000 Mercedes-Benz S550 20,500
Volkswagen CC 2.0T 9,000 BMW 750Li 21,500
Lowest cost Highest cost
Make & Model Cost/year over 5 years Make & model Cost/year over 5 years
Small SUVs
Toyota RAV4 (4-cyl.) $7,000 Subaru Forester 2.5XT (turbo) $8,250
Honda CR-V 7,250 Nissan Xterra 8,750
Nissan Juke 7,250 Mitsubishi Outlander (V6) 9,000
Mitsubishi Outlander (4-cyl.) 7,500 Kia Sportage (2.0T) 9,250
Hyundai Tucson (2.4) 7,500 Volkswagen Tiguan 9,750
Midsized SUVs
Hyundai Santa Fe (4-cyl.) 8,000 Dodge Journey V6) 10,750
Chevrolet Equinox (4-cyl.) 8,000 Nissan Pathfinder (V6) 10,750
GMC Terrain (4-cyl.) 8,000 Ford Explorer (V6) 11,250
Kia Sorento (4-cyl.) 8,250 Jeep Grand Cherokee (V6) 11,250
Jeep Liberty 8,500 Jeep Grand Cherokee (V8) 12,750
Large SUVs
Ford Flex (V6) 10,500 Dodge Durango (V8) 13,500
GMC Acadia 10,500 Ford Expedition 14,000
Chevrolet Traverse 10,500 Chevrolet Suburban 14,000
Ford Flex (EcoBoost, V6) 11,750 GMC Yukon XL 14,250
Dodge Durango (V6) 12,250 GMC Yukon (5.3) 15,000
Upscale/luxury SUVs
BMW X3 (3.0) 10,250 Mercedes-Benz ML350 14,250
Land Rover LR2 10,500 Land Rover LR4 14,250
Infiniti EX 10,500 Mercedes-Benz GL350 BlueTec 15,000
Audi Q5 3.2 11,250 Porsche Cayenne (V6) 15,250
Lexus RX 350 11,250 Infiniti QX56 15,500
Buick Enclave 11,250 Lincoln Navigator 15,750
Volvo XC60 11,500 Toyota Land Cruiser 16,000
Mercedes-Benz GLK350 11,500 Land Rover Range Rover Sport 16,250
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 11,500 Mercedes-Benz GL450 16,500
Acura MDX 11,750 Cadillac Escalade (base) 17,250
Lowest cost Highest cost
Make & Model Cost/year over 5 years Make & model Cost/year over 5 years
Minivans & wagons
Toyota Prius V $6,000 BMW 328xi Wagon $10,000
Volkswagen Jetta Wagon TDI 6,250 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT 10,250
Volkswagen Jetta Wagon SE 7,500 Kia Sedona 10,500
Mazda5 7,750 Nissan Quest 10,500
Subaru Outback 2.5i 8,000 Chrysler Town & Country 10,750
Sporty cars & convertibles
Mini Cooper Hatchback Base 5,750 Lexus IS 250 Convertible 11,000
Honda CR-Z 6,000 Subaru Impreza STi 11,000
Fiat 500 Sport 6,000 Chevrolet Camaro Convertible SS 11,000
Volkswagen Beetle 2.5 6,500 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 11,250
Fiat 500 C 6,500 BMW 328i Convertible 11,750
Mini Cooper Hatchback S 6,500 Audi A5 2.0T 11,750
Scion tC 6,500 Infiniti G37 Convertible 11,750
Hyundai Veloster 6,750 Chevrolet Corvette Base 12,750
Kia Forte Sedan 6,750 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 14,500
Honda Civic Si 7,250 Jaguar XK 19,000
Pickup trucks
Toyota Tacoma (V6) 8,500 Chevrolet Avalanche 13,000
Chevrolet Colorado 9,250 Dodge Ram 2500 Turbodiesel 13,750
Nissan Frontier 9,250 Ford F-250 Turbodiesel 14,000
GMC Canyon 9,500 GMC Sierra 2500HD Turbodiesel 14,250
Honda Ridgeline 9,500 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD Turbodiesel 14,25

Moparfest 2012

During a glorious recent August weekend, Team RedlineNorth headed down to Southwestern Ontario’s Moparfest. With close to 2,000 show vehicles and almost 25,000 spectators Moparfest is now Canada’s largest all Mopar show and is a sight to be experienced for any car enthusiast. Started 32 years ago by a few friends with a shared love of Mopar cars the show has grown into a massive charity event that takes over the town of New Hamburg, Ontario for one weekend a year.  The annual event is a fundraiser for the local community with proceeds totaling over $2.5 million dollars from the past 32 years.

Here are some amazing new and old examples of Mopar muscle and design in all their automotive glory.

2012 Dodge Challenger SRT

1970 Hemi Cuda

1969 AMC AMX

2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8 – Car competed in 2011 Targa Newfoundland Rally

Desotos lined-up

1940s Dodge Heavy Duty

1969 Dodge Coronet

1980 Dodge Ramcharger

1978 Dodge Lil’ Red Express

1980 Chrysler Cordoba

The majority of the show consisted of 60s/70s muscle car models including the Barracuda, Dodge Charger, Dart, Swinger, Duster, Plymouth Road Runner, Plymouth Super Bee, Plymouth Satellite and a few rare Superbird models. In addition, there were a wide range of Fargo trucks as well as luxury sedans including the Chrysler Cordoba and New Yorker models with a few jeeps and AMC cars in between. All in all, an amazing showcase put on right here in the heartland of Ontario.  Who knew there was so much Mopar pride north of the border?

Wheels on the Danforth

True to our roots of covering local events, the RedlineNorth team dropped into a Toronto car show called Wheels on the Danforth on Saturday, August 11th. Hosted by the Crossroads of the Danforth BIA which is made up of the businesses and property owners on Danforth Ave. between Victoria Park Avenue and Scotia Road (just east of Warden Avenue).

1968 Dodge Charger

Unfortunately, it rained throughout the day so overall turnout of classic cars was far lower than last year’s 200. Nevertheless, there was an assortment of 60s muscle, 40s-50s classics and a few Hot Rods in between.

1968 Ford Torino GT

40s Ford Business Coupes

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air 2 Door Hardtop

1957 GMC Pick-Up

Boyd Coddington style Hot Rod Convertible

Pikes Peak Crash

Pikes Peak is a fourteen thousand foot peak in the United States, located 10 miles (16 km) west of the city of Colorado Springs.  It is also the location of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, an annual automobile and motorcycle hill climb to the summit. The elevation climbs from 4,720 ft (1,440 m) from the start to the finish at 14,110 ft (4,300 m), on grades averaging 7%.  Of course what goes up must come down, as driver Jeremy Foley and his co-driver found out a couple of days ago around mile 16 in an area of the mountain known as Devil’s Playground.

Their Mitsubishi EVO VIII flipped numerous times as it rolled down the hill in what could be misconstrued as Hollywood stunt. Thankfully both were not seriously hurt in the crash.

Autoglym Valet Kit Review

Autoglym Valet Kit

The RedlineNorth team were recently provided a sample of the Autoglym Valet Kit from our friends at Canadian Tire to review.  This kit provides the user with a start to finish for all quick auto detailing needs and includes six 500 ml bottles of Autoglym products (Bodyworks Shampoo Conditioner, Super Resin Polish, Fast Glass, Instant Tyre Dressing, Vinyl & Rubber Care and Custom Wheel Cleaner), a Perfect Polish Cloth, Sponge and carrying case.  The only noticeable exception is car wax, although it does come with a Rapid Detailer (see below for a review on that product).  The Autoglym Valet Kit retails for $99.99 and is available at Canadian Tire in Canada. The individual products are also sold separately.

The RedlineNorth team used a black 2003 Nissan Altima to try out the kit.  Black is a notoriously difficult paint colour to keep looking new and tends to show off a lot of imperfections, such as scratches and dents. A perfect opportunity to see what this stuff can do!

First up for review is the Rapid Detailer which is designed to be used between regular washing to remove dust and fingerprints and provides water repellent properties.  In short, the detailer worked very well – so much so it was noticed by one of the wives of the RedlineNorth team a couple of days after the application as the car being ‘shiny’ and ‘looks good.’ In our books that’s one of the most authentic reviews we could have received.  In addition,  given that the application of the product was so quick and easy to apply, the Rapid Detailer is going to be used regularly by us going forward.

All that is required to apply the Rapid Detailer is a cold vehicle surface, a quick spray and a little bit of elbow grease with a mirco fiber cloth.  The Valet Kit does come with a ‘perfect palm’ applicator, as shown below, which we used to apply the detailer.  It was a nice added touch, but not necessary to get a good result. After the application we let the detailer sit for a number of minutes while we applied the tyre dressing and wheel cleaner. We then returned to the detailer to wipe off the product and did some quick buffing to reveal a brilliant shine.  So much so, the black metal appeared almost mirror like reflecting our work area as can be seen in the pictures.  We can honestly say we’ve used a number of similar products in the past, but have yet to such a result in as little time as this took.

Before Auto Glym Rapid Detailer Applied

Before Autoglym Rapid Detailer was applied

Using the Palm Applicator

Results of the Autoglym Rapid Detailer

The Custom Wheel Cleaner was also very easy to apply with a few squirts around the circumference of the rim, about 60 seconds of wiping and then letting sit for 60 seconds, doing one wheel at a time.

At the same time as the Wheel Cleaner, the Instant Tyre Dressing was applied as both require rinsing after the application. Yes, tyre is spelled with a ‘y’ in the UK and as these products are actually made in England – not just the typical cop out of being ‘designed’ in one place, but actually made somewhere else –  it’s therefore fitting they use the British spelling. Again, the application was very easy, a few squirts, one wipe around to ensure an even coating and then let sit for three minutes.

Before Customer Wheel Cleaner

Before Custom Wheel Cleaner

Before Instant Tyre Dressing

Before Instant Tyre Dressing

Literally 60 second wipe

Literally a 60 second wipe

Once the tire and rims were rinsed there was a very noticeable improvement in the blackness of the tire and the cleanliness of the rims.  These two Autoglym products were one of the easiest products to apply that also resulted in noticeable results.

The Results

In addition, the Instant Tyre Dressing can also be used as an engine dressing to protect and improve the appearance under the hood as well.

After using the products

At the end of the day there are a wide variety of car cleaning products out there. The old adage you get what you pay for rings true with AutoGlym.  While other products may give you a similar result, a lot more effort can be required.  The Autoglym products aren’t the cheapest products out there.  Individually, the products retail for $12.99 for the Tyre Dressing, $14.99 for the Rapid Detailer, and $12.99 for the Custom Wheel Cleaner. However, what impressed the RedlineNorth team the most was the easy of use and the little effort required to make a 9 year old car look very good, and stay that way.

If you are like the RedlineNorth team and you have one hour on the weekend once a month to work on the car and you want something that will give you the best results with very little effort and time, we recommend you give the AutoGlym Valet Kit a shot and try it for yourself. Canadian Tire also offers a 1 year exchange warranty redeemable at any Canadian Tire store on the three products reviewed in this post.

McLaren MP4-12C Review

We thought it was time to take a closer look at one of the coolest supercars available today. We are talking about the McLaren MP4-12C, the amazing sports car designed and manufactured by the UK’s McLaren Automotive. It is the first production car wholly designed and built by McLaren since the McLaren F1.  With a sticker price in the $250,000 CAD range the MP4-12C is priced to compete with the Lamborghini Gallardo and Ferrari 458. Although the price is elitist to say the least, there are recent reports that 55 of the MP4-12C’s have been sold this year alone in Canada. Who says there’s a recession still?

The MP4-12C features a carbon fibre composite chassis, and is powered by a mid-mounted McLaren M838T 3.8-litre V8, twin-turbo engine developing approximately 592 HP  and 443 lb ft of torque. According to McLaren, the MP4-12C can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds and 0 to 200 km/h (124 mph) in 8.9 seconds, however if optional Corsa tires are used acceleration times are further improved on with 0 to 62 mph completed in 3.1 seconds. The car has a top speed of 333 km/h (207 mph) and can brake from 200 km/h (124 mph) to a complete stop in under 5 seconds. Braking from 100 km/h (62 mph) to zero can be done in under 30 metres (98 ft). Power is transmitted to the wheels through a 7-speed Seamless Shift dual-clutch gearbox.

This car and its performance stats are absolutely incredible and securely puts it in the ultimate supercar class. The MP4-12C also leverages its Formula 1 heritage by using F1 racing technologies such as “brake steer”, where the inside rear wheel is braked during fast cornering to reduce understeer.

And if this wasn’t enough, for those drivers who just won’t settle unless they have an open car there is also the incredible McLaren 12C Spider. It has all of the fun and performance of the closed model but with a unique retractable hard top (RHT) folding roof system.

To get a sense of the visceral experience of this super machine you need to watch the official launch video.

For more information on how you can get behind the wheel of this ultimate “Widowmaker” check out the official site of Woodbridge, Ontario based Toronto McLaren.