2013 Audi RS4 Avants in Head to Head Paintball Duel

Take a look at this cool video of two 2013 Audi RS4 Avants going head to head in an aircraft hanger with paintball guns mounted to the hood of the cars.  They make their way around obstacles while trying to score hits against each other.

The drivers, Jim Dowdall & Colin Skeaping, who are professional stunt drivers, demonstrate some amazing driving skills in the video.  It also looks like they had a lot of fun.  This is of course little wonder when you consider they are driving the RS4 Avant, which has a 4.2 liter V8 engine that produces 444 hp and goes from 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds!

In case you were wondering points were scored for hits, flair and creativity.

You can also check out the making of video below:

Audi RS4 Avant
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2013 Hyundai Elantra GT

As promised earlier in our Elantra review, we said we would review more models in Hyundai Canada’s line up. Well, recently we had the chance to spend some time behind the wheel of the new Hyundai Elantra GT. Built as a replacement to Hyundai’s Elantra Touring model, this innovative hatchback designed GT targets the North American buyer who requires loads of space but also wants a sporty, compact car. As winner of AJAC’s (Automobile Journalists Association of Canada) award for Best New Small car (over $21,000) we were looking forward to seeing what the Hyundai Elantra GT had to offer.

Front1

Our tester model came in the GLS Auto trim now listed at MSRP $22,599 CAD.

Performance Features

  • 1.8L Dual CVVT DOHC 16V Engine with 148 horsepower and 131 pound-feet of torque
  • 6-Speed Automatic Transmission with SHIFTRONIC®
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes
  • Driver Selectable Steering
  • *Manufacturer fuel economy ratings are – City (AT) 7.6L/100km, Hwy (AT) 5.3L/100km, Combined (AT) 6.6L/100km

Although frugal overall we did not quite match these figures on our test period as we obtained 7.5L/100 km (31MPG) in a combined city and highway environment. These numbers are still solid considering we were in all types of mixed terrain. Across the Elantra line-up, all automatic transmission models come standard with an optional active eco system that modifies the engine and transmission control to help increase overall fuel efficiency. 

Safety Features

  • Advanced Front Airbags, Front Seat-Mounted Side Airbags, Roof -mounted Side-curtain Airbags (6)
  • Driver Knee Airbag
  • Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD)
  • Vehicle Stability Management (VSM), Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control System (TCS)
  • Keyless Entry and Alarm System

Rear1

Interior Features

  • AM/FM/XM®/CD/MP3 Player with 6 speakers
  • Manual Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows with Driver’s Auto Down 
  • iPod®/USB/Auxiliary input jacks
  • Trip Computer
  • Driver’s Seat Height Adjuster
  • Rear Seat Centre Armrest with Cupholders
  • Power Door Locks
  • Steering Wheel-mounted Audio and Cruise Controls
  • Front Centre Console with Storage compartment and Fixed Armrest
  • Heated Front Seats
  • Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System
  • Tilt and Telescopic Steering Wheel
  • Cooled Glove Box
  • Leather-wrapped Steering Wheel and Gear Shift Knob
  • 8-way Power Driver’s seat with Lumbar Support
  • Luggage Under Floor Box

Exterior features

  • Roof-mounted XM® Antenna
  • 16” Alluminum Alloy Wheels
  • Front Fog Lights
  • Panoramic Sunroof

In comparison to the Hyundai Elantra Coupe reviewed recently the interior of the Elantra GT was not exactly the same since our Coupe tester was a higher trim model. Nevertheless, our tester came with a black interior with sporty cloth front seats with white stitching, a leather wrapped steering wheel with both cruise and audio controls. Along with a slick-looking trip computer screen located between the gauges, the interior feels fun and provides a sporty persona. In addition, the one unique feature our GT model came with not included in the Coupe is the panoramic sunroof providing a true cool factor for a car in this price range.

Interior

As a four door hatchback, the GT is ultra convenient for getting in and out as well as providing both driver and passengers with ample leg and headroom.  During our test period, we headed north for some skiing/snowboarding and the GT was a perfect choice for the outing. The GT offers 651 liters of cargo room behind the rear seat versus the Elantra sedan’s 420 liter trunk and with the 60/40 split back seats folded down the total is a monstrous 1,444 liters of cargo room. As a result, the GT is very comfortable for taking three occupants along with all their ski gear out of the city for a day on the slopes.

trunk

Equipped with both traction control and Hankook snow tires, the GT handled the roads in ski country like a champ and was a real charm to drive in Ontario’s winter weather.

Competitors

The key players currently competing with the 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT for Canadian buyers include the Mazda3 Sport, Ford Focus hatchback, Subaru Impreza hatchback, Toyota Matrix, Kia Forte hatchback and Volkswagen Golf hatchback.  With so many strong competitors, Hyundai does have its work cut out for them however, the Hyundai Elantra GT offers great overall value. With its base trim levels starting at $19,149 through to $26,349 for the top of the line model its hard to beat the Elantra GT in dollar per dollar value comparisons. Therefore, if you are looking for a compact, sporty hatchback capable of tackling just about anything you give it make sure the Hyundai Elantra GT is on your shopping list.

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North American International Auto Show 2013 – NAIAS

Last month, Team RedlineNorth headed south crossing the border into Detroit to attend the 2013 North American International Auto Show – NAIAS. Held over the last two weeks of January, the Detroit show is the biggest auto show in North America and one of the largest in the world.  There is much debate today which global auto show is the most significant, but the reality is NAIAS continues to be among the top along with Geneva, Frankfurt, Paris, Beijing, Shanghai and Tokyo.  The rankings criteria are based around the number of journalists that attend, and the number of worldwide product introductions that are made at the events. This year’s NAIAS total ticketed attendance was 795,416 compared to last year’s 770,932 and the 2013 total is the highest figure since 2004 when 808,833 attended.

As for the full numbers here are the NAIAS 2013 Highlights:

  • Total Vehicle Introductions: 59 (50 Worldwide; 9 North American)
  • Total Press Preview Attendance: 5,212 journalists from 60 countries
  • Total Industry Preview Attendance: 28,326 people from 30 countries
  • Total Charity Preview Attendance: 13,069 people ($3.9 million raised)
  • Total Ticketed Attendance: 795,416 (incl. Industry Preview, Charity Preview & Public Show)
  • Total Economic Impact: $365 Million

Source: NAIAS.com

Lexus LFA

Lexus LFA

The level of trade show booth production is incredible in Detroit and Lexus did not disappoint showing off its unreal LFA model with full sound/audio clips replaying at the display.  Yes, we know the price tag is crazy at $400,00 CAD but it truly sounds like an F1 car and Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson was recently quoted saying it was the best car he has ever driven.

Taking it all in

Taking it all in

With all the major manufacturers represented in Detroit it truly is a must attend show for the auto enthusiast.

Chevrolet Camaro

Chevrolet Camaro

Whether it’s the Hot Wheels Chevrolet Camaro display or Toyota’s latest and greatest in technology the show successfully captures the hearts and minds of attendees.

Cutting edge Toyota technology

Cutting edge Toyota technology

As you likely have heard by now, the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray took home the award as the show’s “Darling” . However, the accolades are not without controversy since there are some Corvette purists who are upset about the rectangular tail lights since the Corvette has had round tail lights for 60 years.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

In spite of what you may have heard, it was not all about the North American automakers as the Europeans brought some quality product like the new BMW 4 series model.  It looks to be a combination of the great features and nimbleness of the 3 series with a little more size and creature comforts from the 5 series.  It sure sounds like a winning product plan and our only question is why did it take this long to come up with it?

BMW 4 Series

BMW 4 Series

And what can we say here? No major auto show is a wrap without some over the top cars and Usain Bolt’s gold Nissan GT-R fits this mold perfectly.  As it would be equally at home parked at Bolt’s house in Jamaica or in LA parked beside Justin Bieber’s chrome plated Fisker Karma or Chris Brown’s jet fighter Lambo.

Usain Bolt's Nissan 370Z

Usain Bolt’s Nissan GT-R

We aim to offer a little taste of what the show includes and inspire you to check it out for yourself. Be sure to mark your calendar for January and hopefully we will see you in Detroit in 2014!

MINI JCW Countryman Backflip

Check out this video of the world’s first successful unassisted automobile backflip on camera.

Guerlain Chicherit pulled off the stunt yesterday in the winter sports resort of Tignes in his native France using a MINI JCW Countryman. No word yet on what modifications were made to the vehicle.

Chicherit is a four times freestyle skiing world champion, he has also won the French rally championship on two occasions and is a veteran of the X-raid Team.

Source: BMW

Source: BMW

Source: BMW

 

 

2013 Chevrolet Trax

Sold in over 140 markets around the world, the 2013 Chevrolet Trax is a smaller sized, five seat CUV/SUV. Powered by a 1.4L turbocharged engine paired to a FWD drivetrain or intelligent AWD system the Trax is well suited for both city and country terrain. Our tester came with the AWD system, an absolutely fantastic feature to have during the biggest snowstorm of the season here in Southern Ontario.

  front shot

The Trax provides drivers with a unique combination of nimble, smaller sized CUV designed for the urban reality along with a hearty, adventurous core for when the going gets tough. During our test week, its smallish size made life easy for parking in various tight spots throughout the city.

The 1.4L turbocharged engine was quite peppy in both city and highway situations and provided a stellar level of overall power.

Fuel Economy

A very good fuel miser, our AWD Trax tester model delivered fuel economy numbers of 8.6 L/100 kms (27 mpg) in a combined highway and city environment.GM Canada’s fuel ratings are based on FWD model at 7.8 L/100 km city and 5.7 L/100 km highway ratings*.

One key interior feature making the Trax come to life was its premium Bose stereo with amplifier, a must have with SiriusXM Satellite Radio™.  Having recently reviewed several other comparable vehicles, the stereo was quite exceptional for its overall price range.

Back seat

Interior Space

The Trax provides a generous amount of interior and storage space as a result of its flexible design and roomy seats. With its 60/40 flip-and-fold rear seat and fold-flat front passenger seat the Trax is totally up for any challenge from drivers who travel with lots of gear. With the rear seats upright, cargo space is 530 litres and with the rear seats folded down it provides a spacious 1,371 L  of cargo space*.  Along with ample cargo space, the Trax provides a varied range of storage including; several cup holders, door and seat pockets and several hidden compartments.

*Based on GM Canada’s vehicle information

storage space

Our 2013 Chevrolet Trax review vehicle came in the 2LT trim package which includes the following features:

  • 1.4L turbocharged ECOTEC® I-4 with VVT
  • Horsepower – 138 @ 4900 rpm
  • Torque – 148 lb.-ft. @ 1850 rpm
  • 6-speed automatic with tap up/down shift control
  • 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • StabiliTrak® – electronic stability control system
  • Cloth/Leatherette Seat Trim
  • Wheels: 16″ x 6.5″ aluminum
  • 10 airbags
  • Air conditioning, keyless entry, power windows, locks and mirrors and cruise control
  • Power sliding glass panel sunroof
  • Premium audio Bose® 7-speaker system with amplifier and SiriusXM Satellite Radio™
  • Rear vision camera
  • Chevrolet MyLink  TouchTM –  with 178mm (7-in.) colour touch-screen display, picture and movie viewer, AM/FM stereo with seek-and-scan and digital clock, includes auxiliary audio input jack and Stitcher SmartRadio™ compatibility
  • $25,500 MSRP* CAD from GM Canada’s website as of February 17, 2013

One thing we did dislike which was similar to some other GM models we have recently reviewed is the fact there was no armrest for the front passenger which is a real bummer on a long road trip.

Another interesting point for Canadians is the fact that the Trax is it is not sold in the United States. Apparently GM’s decision is based on American buyers tending to prefer larger vehicles and the availability in the US of the similar sized Buick Encore model.

Back shot

Competition

The key competitors to the Chevrolet Trax in the smaller CUV/SUV segment are the Hyundai Tucson, Kia Soul, Nissan Juke and Suzuki SX-4. All of these competitors offer similar trim levels and sticker prices resulting in the segment being ultra competitive.  Time will tell who comes out as the sales champ but the good news for GM now is its latest Chevrolet product can hold its own among the competition. The Chevrolet Trax is a solid vehicle providing great overall value and should be on all new car buyers’ lists looking in this segment.

Canadian Car of the Year Announced

The day before the public opening of the Canadian (Toronto) International AutoShow, the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada have announced the winner of the Canadian Car of the Year Award.  Congratulations goes to Honda as the Accord Sedan has been selected as the overall Canadian Car of the Year.

Honda Accord Sedan has been announced as the Canadian Car of the Year by AJAC

Honda Accord Sedan has been announced as the Canadian Car of the Year by AJAC

The Accord Sedan also won Best New Family Car (under $30,000).

The following is a breakdown of the other 2013 category winners that were already announced:

CITY CAR: Ford Focus EV

BEST NEW SMALL CAR (under $21k) Mazda3 Skyactiv Sedan

BEST NEW SMALL CAR (over $21k) Hyundai Elantra GT 

BEST NEW LUXURY CAR: Cadillac ATS (also recently named car of the year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit)

BEST NEW PRESTIGE AND PERFORMANCE CAR (over $75k) Porsche 911 Carrera S

BEST NEW SPORTS/PERFORMANCE CAR (under $50k): Ford Focus ST

BEST NEW SPORTS/PERFORMANCE CAR (over $50k): Porsche Boxster

BEST NEW SUV/CUV (under $35k) Ford Escape 1.6 L EcoBoost

BEST NEW FAMILY CAR (under $30k) Honda Accord Sedan

BEST NEW FAMILY CAR (over $30k) Ford Fusion Hybrid

BEST NEW SUV/CUV ($35k-$60k) Hyundai Santa Fe Sport 2.0T

Congratulations to all of the winners.  The Canadian International AutoShow runs from February 15th to the 24th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Nürburgring Nordschleife

The Holy Grail of all racetracks is Germany’s Nürburgring so it is no surprise driving a lap at its Nordschleife “Northern Loop” is always top of the list for the auto enthusiasts’ bucket list. In spite of its popularity though, this is no ordinary track as it is infamously ranked as the most demanding road course in the world. So it makes sense, if you do get the chance to drive the track someday you will want to see how the professionals do it first.

Well, here’s a definite starting point as veteran track driver, Timo Kluck brings the 154 corners of the Nordschleife to life behind the wheel of his incredible Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0. Created as a promotional piece for Dunlop’s new Sport Maxx tires, the video is an amazing real life tire test on the world’s ultimate racetrack.

See it for yourself here.

A Porsche 911 that does it all

Back in December, we posted coverage on Urban Outlaw, a video bio about the life of Magnus Walker, the famed LA based, rebel Porsche customizer. Well, recently we came across another epic story we want to share that adds to the mystique of the sports car from Deutschland’s city of Stuttgart.

A fiction writer by trade, Jack Olsen taught himself how to work on cars while also building himself the ultimate garage called the 12-Gauge Garage. Inside this magnificent garage, he has created a beautiful one-off Porsche 911 called Black Beauty II. Upon first glance, Jack’s Porsche looks like a sixties or seventies model but actually, it combines four decades of 911 parts ranging from 1965 through to 2000. Comprised of a lightweight body from 1972, the transaxle from 1977, the brakes from a 1986 Turbo and the engine from 1995 model it truly is one of a kind. And with a fighting weight of only 2,400 pounds and 272 horsepower at the crank, the old girl can really move around the track.

Jack Olsen

But the truly amazing part of this story is how this Porsche does it all – whether it’s trips with the family to 7-11, Sunday afternoon drives or full-fledged track days, Jack uses this car to do what it was designed for – drive smooth and fast.  In today’s age of Trailer Queens and Barrett-Jackson auctions, Jack’s passion and purity of using his sports car is truly inspiring.  It also helps that Jack lives in sunny California with its spectacular roads and tracks all within a short drive.

To experience this awesome Porsche for yourself take some time to watch the video below.

Source: Petrolicious

Fast & Furious 6

As a car enthusiast you are likely aware of the Fast & Furious film franchise.  Although it’s probably never going to win any Oscars, it is quite the film series for anyone interested in cars.  With its broad stroke combination of street racing, American muscle, import tuner scene along with a rich level of CGI effects it really does have it all car wise. Well, buzz is building strong as a result of the new ad from the Super Bowl about the sixth installment in the Fast and the Furious film series.

Fast-and-furious-6-movie

Titled Fast and Furious 6, this segment looks to have the same type of insane, carnal car action intersected with an urban, hip hop soundtrack and the same sexy actors we have come to expect with this series.  Although not scheduled to hit theaters until May 2013, we wanted to give you a sneak peek of what is coming with the film’s official three minute extended trailer seen here.

2013 Range Rover Review

Although the Cadillac Escalade is the ultimate in North American SUVs, the foreign SUV crown goes to Land Rover with its opulent Range Rover models.

land-rover-range-rover-fd

For most people purchasing a new Range Rover is likely only a dream as a result of its rich sticker price, however, that does not extinguish the allure of the Range Rover as the modern day chariot.  Well, the Range Rover 4th generation has now been launched and is attracting a ton of buzz within the international auto media.

Earlier this month, Auto Guide.com’s Colum Wood put the Range Rover through its paces  somewhere on the border between Arizona and Utah. Check out the official video review.

We want one…