Alex Lloyd

  • 2015 Chrysler 300 debuts with a familiar set of chops

    Alex Lloyd at Motoramic 9 days ago

    This is the new Chrysler 300. It looks exactly like a Jaguar. Or a Bentley. Or an Aston Martin. Or an Audi. Basically every luxury carmaker is featured somewhere within the sedan's design, and yet in typical 300 fashion, it starts at just $31,395.

    The platform for the 300 is now ancient, and a full redo isn't due for a while. And so what we have here is much of the same, tweaking the muscular four-door with modern flourishes to keep it fresh. Arriving standard with an 8-speed TorqueFlite transmission, the engines of choice range between a 3.6-liter V-6 with either 292 or 300 hp and a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 good for 363 hp. All-wheel drive is available, and the front axle can disengage to save fuel when power to all-four is unnecessary.

  • Audi Prologue concept revealed in L.A., showcasing brand's new-look face

    Alex Lloyd at Motoramic 9 days ago

    In case you wondered, giant, earth-swallowing grilles are all the rage in the auto industry. It's as if each automaker is trying to one up each other -- mine is bigger than yours.

    Audi's revamped grille, seen here on the new Prologue concept, showcases the brand's future design language for machines like the A6, A7 and A8. And, if Audi decides to go bigger still, this concept could foretell a future A9.

    Under the hood is a tuned version of the company's 4.0-liter V-8, good for 605 hp and 553 lb.-ft. of thrusting torque. 0-60 mph takes just 3.7 seconds, and cornering should prove to be equally as competent thanks to Porsche 911-style all-wheel steering. The rims are awesome too.

    Audi says the Prologue's design characteristics won't be tamed much for actual production, so expect to see more monster grilles in Ingolstadt's future. Because bigger is evidently better.

  • 2016 Jaguar F-Type revealed with all-wheel drive and a stick

    Alex Lloyd at Motoramic 9 days ago

    If there's one thing missing from the stunning Jaguar F-Type it would be a proper manual transmission. Sure, rowing your own gears is so pre-millenium, and bean-counters throughout the universe will tell you what a lousy idea they are for your bottom line. But every now and then an automaker will ignore the men in buttoned-up suits and polished shoes and offer one anyway. Because they like cars, and like us, they like to have fun.

    That's what Jaguar has done with its 2016 F-Type. The cries have been heard, and now, finally, you can option your British sports car with a glorious 6-speed manual gearbox. But only the V-6 version. Because they didn't lose their minds entirely.

    Also on the menu for 2016 is all-wheel drive, which will now become your standard layout in the U.S. for the 550-hp F-Type R models, and feature minor bodywork tweaks to distinguish itself. Unlike the manual, this does make sense to the bean-counters, as increasingly Americans demand power routed to all four of their wheels, whether they live in northern states or not. It also means you can sprint to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds. Which is nice.

     

  • Listen to Ford's flat-plane crank V-8 roar in the 2016 Shelby GT350

    Alex Lloyd at Motoramic 11 days ago

    With more than 500 hp deriving from a 5.2-liter flat-plane crank V-8, Ford promises the new GT350 will be the best performing Mustang ever made. And with Dodge having unleashed the Challenger Hellcat and Chevy the Camaro Z/28, the GT350 needs to deliver.

    In reality the GT350 will be more refined than the Hellcat, and yet not as track-focused as the Z/28. It may line up closer in numbers to that of the Camaro ZL1. While we won't know for a while how well the GT350 drives, Ford has already published a video showcasing how the car sounds: the results, as you can hear in the video above, are pretty darn impressive.

    But what is a “flat-plane crankshaft?” Imagine a see-through version of a typical V-8 engine: The pistons move in a stair-step fashion — alternating power strokes in a way that maximizes the engine’s smoothness; the traditional V-8 burble comes from exhaust pulses created by so-called cross-plane crankshafts.

  • Watch Ken Block smoke L.A. in an 845-hp 'Stang for Gymkhana 7

    Alex Lloyd at Motoramic 11 days ago

    Remember Gymkhana 5, where Block took to the streets of San Francisco? Well, number 7 takes it a step further by utilizing the urban jungle that is Los Angeles, from highways to storm drains to the Hollywood hills. This time, the car in question is not a 600-hp Ford Fiesta; Block has instead upgraded to an 845 hp, all-wheel-drive '65 Mustang -- without question his most badass ride yet. Block even wears goggles, just because.

    It's hard to continue doing the same thing year after year and keep viewers yearning for more. Watch Gymkhana 7 below and let us know your thoughts. If you ask me, this is Block's finest, smokiest work yet.

  • Watch a madman in a Polaris UTV make Ken Block look tame

    Alex Lloyd at Motoramic 17 days ago

    You've likely heard of Ken Block's "Gymkhana," but probably not "XP1K." That may well be due to it's rubbish name, but the stunts produced are no less impressive, as seen here in the series' second edition – the still awfully named, "XP1K2."

    Driving a custom Holz Racing built Polaris RZR XP 1000 Side-by-Side, off-road racing champ R.J. Anderson takes on a playground fraught with danger. It took a team of ten more than a month to create the course, which includes multiple near-vertical drops, 100-foot gap jumps and more. When on location, 40 men and women worked for 14 straight days to capture the video. In it, Anderson makes Block's stunts seem pedestrian by comparison – and in the process, sets a new distance world record for a jumping UTV.

    With over 1 million views in a week, the XP1K series is gaining traction – which may hopefully prompt its creators to come up with a more memorable name.

  • 2016 Cadillac ATS-V revealed, the BMW M4 rival with a stick

    Alex Lloyd at Motoramic 17 days ago

    Wait no more, the first true images of the beefed up ATS have surfaced, and boy does it look mean.

    In many ways, the ATS-V is exactly as you'd expect: lots of fancy hood scoops, winglets and sporty wheels. The 3.6-liter twin-turbo V-6 produces at least 450 hp to the rear wheels, meshed to either an 8-speed paddle shift automatic or a 6-speed manual gearbox; both feature a trick "no-lift" system, according to Road & Track. Stiffness is said to have been improved by 50-percent over the base ATS and an optional track pack adds 100 lbs. of downforce at 150 mph.

    We'll see the ATS-V in the flesh at the upcoming L.A. auto show. With the CTS-V and top-of-the-range CT6 set to be revealed early next year, Cadillac remains on track for a strong 2015. And after bit of quiet spell in terms of new product, that's exactly what GM's luxury arm needs.

  • Watch a rocket-powered bicyclist hit 207 mph in 4.8 seconds

    Alex Lloyd at Motoramic 18 days ago

    That speed delivered Gissy a new world record last week at the Circuit Paul Ricard in the south of France. Unsurprisingly, Gissy broke his own record of 177 mph – because who else would ride a rocket-powered bicycle that looks unsafe at even 10 mph?

    When not in pedal mode, propulsion derives from three small thrusters, powered by fuel with a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide. Total output is the equivalent of around 566 hp, and the weight of the bike is presumably akin to a garden snail.

    This equates to the most insane, unsafe speed attempt ever witnessed. And as shown in the video below, Gissy makes the driver of a 650-hp Ferrari 430 Scuderia look like a total idiot. Although on further inspection, the man clinging to the 200-mph pedal bike is arguably far crazier.

  • Driving the Aston Martin Vantage GT4, the grab-and-go race car for the well-heeled

    Alex Lloyd at Motoramic 18 days ago

    You go to 7-Eleven to purchase a Big Gulp and come away with a winning lottery ticket worth hundreds of millions of dollars. What do you buy, beyond a lifetime supply of gummy bears? A gingham sweater made from organic leprechaun beard, perhaps? The rarest Beanie Baby on Earth? Or hey, maybe an ancient battle-axe forged from the hands of a man that is not the messiah, just a very naughty boy? If it were me with the wad of cash, I’d follow the wise words of Hemingway rather than the psalms of Brian: “Auto racing, bull fighting, and mountain climbing are the only real sports… all the others are games.” While I hear the Matterhorn is for sale, I'm not keen on cold weather. And I'm most certainly opposed to being kicked in the crown jewels by the Bushwhacker. So. Time to go racing. Your options of cars are plentiful, but let’s be honest: it has to look good, it has to sound good, it must be fast, and if you aren’t a professional racer, it has to be benign at the limit. The machine I’d suggest? The $225,000 Aston Martin Vantage GT4 – the most popular of its kind in the world. I drove the GT4 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Of the many race cars I’ve driven in my career, few are as friendly as the Aston, and for the rich gentleman driver – of which there are many – that right there is essential. It’s basically a stock V-8 Vantage that’s lightened by 800 lbs., sports stiffer suspension and runs on slick racing tires. It can line up besides Porsche 911s or Ferraris in sports car championships around the world, or it can race itself in the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge. That last part is something any wealthy gentleman (or gentlelady) can do for $35,000 a weekend. The TRG-Aston Martin Racing team will provide you with a car, an instructor, a team of mechanics and engineers, and all the tacos you can eat. You then do battle on some of the country’s fiercest racetracks, competing against fellow racers all yearning for the same thing – to go fast and have fun. It’s quite the crack if you have plenty of dispensable cash to blow, regardless of your ability.

  • 2015 Cadillac Escalade review: The fellowship of the bling

    Alex Lloyd at Motoramic 22 days ago

    It was 1963 when blues musician Tony Glover found a song manuscript lay on the table at his friend’s apartment. He skimmed through the lyrics: "Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call/Don't stand in the doorway, don't block up the hall..." Glover didn’t buy it, and turned to Bob Dylan and laid forth his concern about the track being too anthemic.