Friday, November 29, 2013

Winter is here!

It snowed earlier this week, and that first batch of snow hasn't melted yet... I guess that means winter is here. Still, some people are still driving high-powered rear wheel drive cars on the street: I saw a Maserati GT this morning, even though it was well below zero.

I spotted a new Maserati Quattroporte. I'm sure it's an excellent car, but the proportions seem a little "off" in comparison to the previous generation. I think the car is probably too long.

I've seen many new BMW 3-series, and I think they look great in black and in blue. I have yet to try one and am curious how the 2.0 liter turbo engines feel.

After having seen a couple of new Boxsters and Caymans, I truly believe they are more "exotic" looking than a Ferrari California.

The Civic is still in its garage, but at some point in the next few days, the engine will be removed, as some parts of it have already been sold. A new different engine will be going in over the winter. I can't wait!

Cool cars spotted:
Bentley Mulsanne
Rolls-Royce Phantom
Rolls-Royce Ghost
Maserati GT
New AMG E63
Porsche 911T (before the snow)
Nissan GTR
BMW 1M (in the snow!)
Audi S6 Avant
Classic Mini
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII
Lexus IS-F

Friday, November 15, 2013

Still on the topic of high-end cars...

Yesterday, my friend Stephen invited Alex, J. and I to a launch party for the new S-Class at a Mercedes dealer. He said he would meet us and we could take his car, a borrowed "surprise". When we arrived, we saw that the surprise was a nearly new Bentley Continental convertible. I quickly assessed that it would not be easy to get Jules' baby seat in the back, so we took the M3 instead and I was promised a test drive later in the evening.

The Mercedes event was fun, with great food. There was a live band, and Jules loved that. He also got a taste of smoked meat. We saw Stephen's new GL350 Bluetec, which had arrived at the dealer but was not yet fully prepped. He chose a nice colour combination, and I will surely get a test drive it soon.

After we went to Vaudreuil so Alex could buy a used elliptical trainer, I dropped off Alex and Jules at hom so I could have my Bentley test drive. The car is lovely, and we began cruising around the industrial part of TMR. This took us by many exotic car dealerships, including Aston Martin, Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Ferrari, and some used car dealers too. I was beginning to get blase... oh look, a Murcielago, a Ferrari FF, a new Corvette Stingray. We walked around the back of the RR dealership to see if they still had a Bentley that interested Stephen, when, lo and behold, I saw what looked like a UFO up on a lift... After all these years, and after seeing millions of dollars worth of high-end cars, a Countach can still take one's breath away!

We drove around some more and I can confirm that the Bentley is a sweet car. My only complaint was that the transmission did not kick down very quickly when I floored it on the highway, but once the power comes on, it's quite a rush. There was an annoying whirring sound in the cabin that I could not identify. At the end of our drive, we realized it was the passenger seat air conditioning unit, and that the noise was coming from the seat. I didn't get to sample the whisper quiet version of the car. I guess that will be for the next drive!

Cool cars spotted at the dealerships:
AMG SLS convertible
RR Phantom
RR Ghost
Ferrari FF
Ferrari 328
Ferrari 575
Ferrari 599
Lamborghini Murcielago 
Lamborghini Countach LP5000 (!)
2014 Corvette Stingray
Aston Martin V8 Vantage
Fisker Karma

Other cool cars spotted:
Porsche 930 Slant Nose
BMW 3.0 CS
Nissan GTR
Jaguar XKR-S
Porsche 911 993
Ferrari 360
Ferrari F430 (Camouflage!)
Ferrari California
Audi R8 V10
Lamborghini Gallardo
Camaro ZL1
AMG C63 Black
Lexus IS-F

Monday, November 11, 2013

Why do we love exotic cars?

I was invited at the last minute to instruct at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with a company called G1 Tours this past Saturday. The company charges its customers to drive a couple of laps on a track in one of several high-end cars, including Lamborghini's, Ferrari's, an Audi R8 V10 and a Nissan GTR.

From what I could tell, the customers were pretty happy with their drives, even though they were short. Although we did not have access to the full track, we were let loose on the front straight, where drivers could easily accelerate to over 200 km /h. However, many drivers seemed not to care too much about accelerating all-out... they were just happy to be driving the cars and wanted to have their picture taken behind the wheel.

It's hard to fully understand the draw of these cars, but it is just there, not only for people like me who are into cars. I could barely believe the number of people snapping pictures as we drove by. There were throngs of people out at the track for most of the day, despite the near-freezing temperatures.

I was happy to get to drive the Audi R8 V10 for a short burst (up to 200) after sitting in the passenger seat for 3 hours. I had spent the morning in a Gallardo Superleggera and the Audi was much more refined (and therefore more comfortable for the passenger). Of course, the Audi is a bit less exotic than its Lamborghini cousin, but the performance is astounding and I could imagine living with an R8 on a daily basis... this was not the case with the Gallardo (it didn't even have a radio!).

I don't know exactly how much the customers paid for their laps, but every one of the people I rode with (dozens of them) got out of the driver's seat with a huge grin on his or her face!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cool photos of Jules!

My sister's mother-in-law Ness came by our place to take some photos of Jules, and she sent us a couple of preview shots:

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I think they are pretty awesome!

On Tuesday morning, I saw four Tesla's on the road (including a Roadster). I can't believe they are so popular, although I can see why people like them.

On Saturday, I will be instructing at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with G1 Tours, a company that lets people drive exotic cars for a few laps on race tracks. I hope it's as fun as it sounds!

Cool cars spotted:
60's Alfa Romeo coupe
Tesla Roadster
McLaren MP4
Ferrari 458
Ferrari California
Lexus IS-F
Mercedes 230 GE

Friday, November 1, 2013

J's first Halloween

Even though it was raining out, we went trick-or-treating with Jules. Alex and I took turns carrying him up to the houses in our neighbourhood, until everyone was starting to get a bit wet. All in all, I am glad we went.

This is the candy Jules received
This is the amount he will be allowed to eat. 
The weather today is great... 17 degrees and some rain. I guess this is what happens when you install your winter tires early! All that is left to winterize the car is the rust proofing.