Only in Japan…..

Petrolicious has published a cool story about Nissan’s creative advertising style in the early days around its flagship sport coupe the Nissan Skyline.  It all began in the 1970s with a young and “in love” caucasian couple exploring Japan in their new coupe. Honestly, you watch this ad now and it’s hard to believe this was ever popular anywhere but having lived in Japan at one time I understand their affinity to anything Western.

Nissan built on this 70s love theme and in the 80s embraced Paul Newman as he became the new face of the Skyline brand as a result of his racing exploits with Nissan US.

I had no idea Paul Newman hustled Skylines and I bet not many people in North America know either.  I always thought Paul Walker was the first Hollywood actor to love the Skyline. Well, you really do learn something new everyday.

Paul Walker Skyline

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15 Best Sounding V8 Engines

Although it has been a much tamer winter here in Toronto compared to last year, Spring can’t come soon enough. Here’s a little cacophony of sounds to get you all over this final hump.  Make sure to crank up the volume on this insane video from the folks at VisoRacer.

Nothing beats the sound of a powerful V8 engine…..Nothing!

What’s your favourite engine?

Russia’s SHERP ATV

With Valentine’s Day just behind us, we thought it was time to share some real man toys that would make any enthusiast grin from ear to ear.  Check out this unbelievable Russian made skid steer on steroids called the Sherp ATV.  For slightly under $50,000, buyers can configure this unstoppable machine to their personal preference while literally being able to drive through anything, anywhere. The Sherp ATV weighs 2,866 pounds and comes with a 44 horsepower 1.5 liter Kubota four-cylinder diesel engine linked to a five-speed manual transmission. Specs are as follows – 28 mph on land, or 3.7 mph in water, depending on the wind and it will crawl at up to 9.3 mph in first gear.

Watch it in action here:

RIP Dave Mirra – 1974-2016

Some tragic news came out yesterday as police confirmed reports that Dave Mirra, one of the world’s best BMX freestyle riders and rally car drivers died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in Greenville, North Carolina.

Authorities said they responded to an apparent suicide and discovered his body in a truck. Mirra, 41, was married with two children. He had been visiting friends in the area, officials said.

Growing up, Dave Mirra was an idol to me and my friends so this news really does hit home.  Mirra had super human talent and from all the coverage over the years he seemed like an absolute gem of a person which makes this all the more tragic.

Here is a recent tribute video of Dave Mirra.

Here are some older video highlights from Dave’s time as a driver for Team Subaru Rally USA.

 

2016 Chevrolet Spark to start at $9,995 in Canada

Some interesting news came out of the Montreal International Auto Show from Chevrolet this week with the announcement that the all-new 2016 Spark will start at just $9,995 plus freight and delivery charges – the lowest MSRP of any car in Canada.

2016 Chevrolet Spark

2016 Chevrolet Spark

Having reviewed early versions of the Spark we were interested in this story as our experience with the 2013 version was very positive.  Check out our earlier review.

The 2016 model is front wheel drive, four-passenger sub compact equipped with a 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine that develops 98 horsepower and 94 lb-ft of torque (a 16-percent increase over the previous model). A five-speed manual transmission is included, while a continuously variable automatic is optional. It comes with solid safety features such as 10 standard airbags and back-up camera, along with technology that isn’t typically offered in this segment for this price.  The Spark comes with a standard 7-inch MyLink touch-screen infotainment system providing owners a smart and simple way to access Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, leveraging the latest technology that customers use every day.  OnStar with a 4GLTE Wi-Fi hotspot is also standard.

2016 Chevrolet Spark

2016 Chevrolet Spark

In today’s age with so many cars becoming exponentially more expensive it is refreshing to see a manufacturer providing customers with a value focused model.

For more information and specifications on the 2016 Chevrolet Spark, see the latest product guide on media.gm.ca.

Image Source:GM Canada

New season, new race cars from Porsche AG

We’re already crazy Porsche fans here at RedlineNorth, so pretty much anything Porsche related gets us pumped up. However, this new promo video from the Porsche AG marketing department will make any racing fan warm and fuzzy on a cold winter day. Kudos to Porsche for hitting the mark with their 2016 racing season preview video.

Drivers! Start your engines!

Quality Car Porn from the Roar Before the Rolex 24

We wanted to share some close-up car porn from the various race teams doing their final testing this weekend at the Roar Before the Rolex 24.  Only a few more weeks until RedlineNorth will be on site in person covering the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

Rolex 24 at Daytona Cont’d.

Everyone is entitled to a different opinion, but I’m most excited to see the brand new Ford GT race car fielded by Chip Ganassi Racing perform in the Rolex 24 Hours.

The cool thing about this car, aside from its 600+ HP and exclusive carbon-fibre body panels, is that it’s developed and constructed in Canada, a mere 30 km from where I live in downtown Toronto.
(Be sure to look for the Mosport cameos)

Multimatic, the manufacturer, is a privately held Canadian company who has been a global leader in automotive technology and component engineering since 1984. They’ve always provided an unwavering level of support for racing, and as a result, today, are responsible for building all the Chip Ganassi race cars and road cars for Ford, of which there are a total of 250 this year.

It’s pretty cool that a company with a relatively low profile can create such innovative and winning race car technology right in our own backyard.

I’ll be watching the Ford GT closely at the Roar Before the 24 test at Daytona from January 8-10. Sources says Ganassi is apparently going to LeMans with four of these cars in June as well – so no pressure :).

Toyota Reimagines Marty McFly’s Dream Truck with 2016 Tacoma

Growing up as a kid in the 1980s the Back to the Future film franchise is part of your DNA. So it should be no surprise that we were interested in seeing what Toyota would do to capitalize on the 30th anniversary of the blockbuster film. Well, good on them for letting our imaginations go wild and for a brief moment let us dream of going to a dealer to order a 2016 Toyota Tacoma with the “1985” Marty McFly 4×4 look.

"Marty McFly" Toyota Tacoma

“Marty McFly” Toyota Tacoma

Unfortunately, it’s highly unlikely this beauty will ever see production, as it will likely end up in some auto museum along with all those other concepts that never come to life. Nevertheless, how cool would it be if they made a “Back to the Future” anniversary model with the 2016 Tacoma?  I would totally park it beside my “Fall Guy” GMC 2500 series…..

“Marty McFly” Toyota Tacoma

“Marty McFly” Toyota Tacoma

“Marty McFly” Toyota Tacoma

“Marty McFly” Toyota Tacoma

Photos courtesy of Toyota.

VW’s Diesel Cheating Began With Cost-Cutting: Report

With every passing day this VW scandal seems to be getting bigger so now seemed like a good time as any to take a closer look.

VW Scandal

VW Scandal

And Jalopnik has gone ahead and done us a solid with this article that explains how the whole mess started with VW attempting to cost cut.  I’m no litigation expert but after reading this it appears that things may still get a lot worse before they get better.  It truly is a big f’ing mess that will likely take a few years to sort out.  I do feel sorry for the thousands of workers around the world and all the secondary industry folks who had nothing to do with this but will be severely affected.  I sincerely hope VW puts its best men and women on the case and is able to come out of this a better company in the future.