Entries Tagged 'general thoughts' ↓

Lexus IS vs. Infiniti G37 (Price:Power)

2009 Lexus IS350
VS

2009-g37-sedan-front

I like crunching numbers when it comes to cars.  Weight, torque and horsepower play a huge part of what I like about a car but it isn’t the only thing.  Take the new 2009 Infiniti G37 sedan and the 2009 Lexus IS series cars, both battle the same luxury sport sedan market.  Here’s a concise list of the specs for both.  Pay close attention to weight, horsepower, vehicle price and transmission options.

Infiniti G37

Price: $33,250 (Base), $33,700 (Journey), $35,750 (AWD G37x), $34,250 (Sport 6spd Manual)

Horsepower/Torque:  328 HP/269 ft-lbs

Weight:  3,581 (Base), 3,590 (Journey), 3,791 (AWD), 3,615 (Sport)

Wheel Base: 112.2 Inches

Fuel Economy (City/Hwy): 18/26 (Base), 18/26 (Journey), 18/25 (AWD), 17/25 (Sport)

Lexus IS

Price: $32,325 (IS250), $36,605 (IS350), $34,785 (IS250-AWD), $31,155 (IS250 6Spd Manual)

Horsepower/Torque:  IS250 - 204 HP/185 ft-lbs, IS350 - 306 HP/277 ft-lbs

Weight:  3,435 (IS250), 3,527 (IS350), 3,651 (AWD), 3,455 (Manual)

Wheel Base: 107.5 Inches

Fuel Economy (City/Hwy): 21/29 (IS250), 18/25 (IS350), 20/26 (AWD), 18/26 (Manual)

So what would you choose?  Looking at the numbers and my thirst for horsepower I would probably choose the G37 given the above information even if it is a little more money.  The only 300 HP version of the IS is in the 350 trim without an option of a 6-speed manual transmission, though it does come with a 6-speed sequential shift automatic and is lighter weight then the G37.  The IS350 also gets a 1 mile per gallon better in the city but I’d certainly sacrifice the 1 mile per gallon for an additional 22 horsepower.

But specifications aren’t everything and neither is horsepower.  You have to take into consideration which car pleases your visual pallet more.  For me it is close.  But the headlights and slightly more refined lines of IS I find more visually appealing.  Did you figure out what car I would get yet?

You also have to consider all around feel of the vehicle.  If all things were equal in this aspect, I would buy the Infiniti but they are not.  Lexus has an untouchable renown for dependability and one that I can vouch for after seeing a 12 year old, 200,000 mile Lexus LS that look brand new under the hood when I was repairing cars (the car was in for maintenance).  The bottom line is a Lexus doesn’t feel like a Toyota and a Infiniti has a subtle (or sometimes not so subtle)  hint of Nissan.  Maybe it is that Infinity uses its engine in Nissans and only a few Lexus cars share power plants with Toyota. Maybe it is the interior components that Infiniti uses that are not quite up to Lexus status quo.  I guess if I was looking for a car more performance geared I would go with the Infiniti and if I was looking for a car that my wife could enjoy riding in, that has the true feeling of luxury, and is dependable then the Lexus IS is what I would go for.

all Lexus imagery ©Toyota Motors Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
all Infiniti Imagery ©Nissan

Late Nights Car Watching

The other night we went out to check out the underground car scene. It was kind of like bird watching, only with cars, and there really weren’t any cars.

How I Handle Envy

Proper GT-3 Image

For the past couple of months, while I have been waiting / trying to get my bike fixed, I have been borrowing Allen’s 240sx. To be totally honest and totally clear, this car is pretty much rice. The paint is bad, there is a big dent in the front corner (a standard on these cars), the lights no longer go down, it has an exhaust that battles with the jets at the airpark, and it is lowered. One thing that doesn’t really count but is worth noting is that it is NOT front-wheel-drive.

It is at this point that I should also note that Allen didn’t just lower it but completely redid his suspension from the ground up and that he also added a LSD to it so it is pretty easy and ready to drift (a fun rainy day event)

While I was driving today I see a car in my rear view mirror creeping up.

Continue reading →

Mid-Life Crisis

The other day was my birthday and I believe it is generally the onset of most mid-life crisis; depression, countless hours of video games, and complete discouragement as to how my life has been thus far. I want to reach for greater things, bigger things, and things that excite me. I determined that I need the ultimate vehicle for the mid-life crisis.

First off I don’t want anything blatantly over the top. I need something refined and respectable. Something that gets great gas mileage but also performs; the vehicle has to make a subtle statement.It only has to carry two people because, frankly, it is my mid-life crisis and kids don’t have to be involved.

I was thinking the new Corvette because it gets a sensible 27 miles per gallon. The Corvette is the epitome of Mid-Life Crisis solutions, but it is just not going to work for me.  I don’t like to follow trends, I like to make them. As a result the Mustang and all of it derivatives are just plain out. Don’t get me wrong, both cars are great and I wouldn’t mind owning either, but this is a mid-life crisis not high school. (There was one kid at my high school who had a Vette and several with Mustangs.) Continue reading →

Its Good to “B-King”

Suzuki is leading the way in the new street motorcycles that it is releasing for 2008, and it has one of the most versatile line-ups in the industry. One of the newest additions is the “B-King” a naked sport/standard motorcycle that takes the crown on two fronts.

The first is speed.

This motorcycle has been built with the legendary Hayabusa 1340cc engine. Making this the fastest, naked bike on the planet. The engine has been re-tuned slightly so as not to take away from the Hayabusa’s title of fastest production motorcycle. In addition to the engine, the “King” is equipped with typical Hayabusa components like inverted front forks, adjustable rear suspension, and front and rear disc brakes making it not very light at 520 lbs, dry. Another thing that is not so light is the $12,899.00 MSRP.

But I said there were two things that “B-King” takes the crown for 2008 and that is the most unattractive motorcycle to date. I can’t really explain what happened between the concept that was revealed and what went into production. The concept has a more aggressive stance, looks lower and has huge wheels, where as the production “B-King” has terrible looking mirrors, wheels off of what look like a GS500F and a very upright stance. There is one feature that Suzuki did leave from the concept and that was the duel coffee can mufflers shoved under the tail. Seriously? It looks like Suzuki picked-up what was left of the meteorite from the movie Armageddon and slapped a couple coffee cans and wheels on it and called it good.

I guess if I want Hayabusa power, lighter weight, and better looks, I should stick with the sexy Hayabusa which, by the way, happens to be $900 dollars less on the MSRP then the “B-King”. The extra $900 might as well be the nails in the coffin. They should have named it “Suc-King”…

[Austin: I cannot stand the way this motorcycle looks. I disagree with Allen about concept to production changes. The concept looks better but only slightly. They both look like crap, and I am actually surprised that they brought this into production at all. The side view is one thing but from the top, the tail is HUGE. I am looking for more pictures to post on this beast. ]

My Grown-Up Christmas List

I was thinking on my way to work about what I would like to have if money was never an issue. Since it is the season for gifts we figured Austin and would write our Christmas lists out and explain why we want what we want. I believe most of the stuff on my list pertains to vehicles, speed or various things having to do with elements of this site.

Allen:

1. A Red Rider Double Pump Action BB gun. Why? Duh, haven’t you seen A Christmas Story? Besides I can shoot out tires on Austin’s Sentra. And no, won’t shoot my eye out. (Austin: I grew up with one of these. Good luck killing a bird with it. It’s hard.) I’m not trying to kill a bird, just shoot out your tires…

2. This one is a triple whammy. A monster truck, Lotus Exige, and Toyota Prius. The Toyota Prius is for my sister Laura (Austin’s wife) which she will need after I demolish Austin’s Sentra with the Monster Truck, crushing it so far in the pavement that it will become a permanent fixture for everyone to look upon. That leaves the Exige, which I will drive up in and hand Austin the keys. Finally his mouth will stop hurting…

+ =

3. A Triumph Daytona 675 – Because it just looks so good I want to hang it on my wall like a piece of art. But seeing as how it is a motorcycle, I can ride it around and show it off.

4. A private race track with facility for modifying and testing cars. Seriously? You have to ask why I want this? I could do anything I ever wanted to do on my own private race track.

5. A BMW 135i – I must have one. Twin turbo straight six putting out over 300 HP and rear wheel drive. Sounds like powerslide heaven!

6. 1967 Volkswagen Bus – I always wanted one of these with a Keg-O-Rator, couch and 42 flat panel T.V. inside. Sound like a party, right? The Keg will be Four Peaks Oatmeal Stout for good times with Austin.

7. World Peace – This is on everyones Christmas list, right? (Austin: Not mine)

9. (Don’t ask about #8 my wife made me remove it.) $10,000 to put into my Corolla GT-S and an additional $10,000 to put into my 240sx.

10. To win the Lottery and purchase everything on my Grown-Up Christmas List.

Austin:

1. For reals I want to fix my motorcycle. Last year the battery died and it was really cold. Since then other problems have arisen and it has not been ridden more than 200 miles in the last year. It is sad and it hurts me to see it outside. It is an ’01 SV 650. Allen and I are both attached to this bike.

2. A Lotus Exige. It is totally unreasonable but I want a car that I can feel uncomfortable in for a reason. I want to drive my daughter around and hear her excited laugh when we drift a turn in the coolest car in the world.

3. A Subaru STI. For some reason this stays on my list. Great function, great performance, terrible fuel consumption

4. A Gyro-copter. What better way to fly the friendly skies legally without a license. (I think, I haven’t done the research) (Allen: Is that safe? It looks like something MacGyver put together.)

5. And this is really a very desirable car for me and has been for a very long time. Every racing game I have there is an Nissan S14 Silvia (or 240sx) sitting in the virtual garage. I think they are one of the best looking RWD Nissans out there. Simply smashing. They are the painful lust of a smaller more reasonable nature.

6. For 2008, I want an HDTV and a PS3 in time for Gran Turismo 5. I am not the only one out there I am sure, but I am very excited for this to come out, but unlike the other times, the technology is missing in my house.

7. I am going to agree with Allen that if I had the means, a private track would be great. I am sure the site would improve significantly if we had a track to test stuff on.

8. A 2008 Yamaha R6. When I go to the dealership, this is the bike that I sit on and feel at home in. I love my SV, but the R6 just seems like something from the future. It is so light weight that it just feels like a natural extension of my body. Yamaha, If you are reading this, send it my way.

300 HP for 2008

WRX STI

There are a number of vehicles coming out in 2008 with over 300 HP and under $40,000. What is the best? Well, I’d love to tell you but odds are unless a manufacturer gives a few vehicles to test I won’t be able to give you an honest opinion. I can only list the car and based on specification from the manufacturer and give you a best guess. I’ll try not to let my Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) bias get in the way. With the criteria established – 300 HP – under $40,000 – here I go. Continue reading →

I’ll Take The Red Pill

“Kizashi!”

“Gesundheit!” That was the response I got when I told Austin about this Suzuki Concept I saw.

Suzuki is thinking about putting out a new sedan/wagon and I think it looks awesome. It reminds me of the matrix, you know, the red pill that Neo took to get to the real world. I mean that in a good way.

Continue reading →

Drifter’s Do it Sideways!

How to Initial your D…

“Drifting” is basically defined as a controlled slide, and it can only really be accomplished in a Rear-Wheel (RWD) or All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) vehicles that are rear wheel biased. There are many techniques to accomplishing drifting around corners all resulting in oversteer. Continue reading →

Suppressing my “URGE” to…

I was glancing around the other night, in hopes of finding a concept car that would meet my profile. You know the rear wheel drive, lightweight, enthusiast’s car I love so much, and guess what happened to appear. Something to spring life back into my hopes. Something that I could drive sideways and all I have to do is suppress my urge to… Continue reading →