Author Archives: M Lemmon

About M Lemmon

Owner and Chief Contributor of Content to Car Rolodex

We will return in the near future

We haven’t packed up and quit reporting on the latest Automotive news, however we are going to be taking a break for a while.

We hope that if you’ve landed here today, you will find that the over 700 posts of content will be enough to entertain until we return.

Regards,
The CarRolodex team


Remote Controlled Car Action Chase Shows up Hollywood

If you’ve ever watched the original 1960s-era Star Trek, you know just how bad so-called “practical effects” can look, especially when the camera lingers too long on low-budget models. The creative brain trust clearly took advantage of a relatively compact digital SLR camera, a hand-held steadicam, and his skills with Final Cut Pro to craft a sequence that would likely have impressed the directors of Bullitt or Gone in Sixty Seconds.

The next time you watch an action film with lots of stunts performed by actual drivers, know that many of the basic shooting techniques used aren’t that far removed from what Zach King did in his cul-de-sac.


Corvette Production Began 60 Years Ago

Chevrolet claims the Corvette is the longest-running, continuously produced passenger car, giving the honor to the Suburban for a vehicle of any type. All ’53 Chevrolet Corvettes were finished in Polo White with a red interior, and at first, came standard with an inline-six-cylinder engine. By 1955, 90 percent of all Corvette buyers went with the optional V-8.

1953 Chevrolet Corvette First Auto Show Appearance

1953 Chevrolet Corvette First Auto Show Appearance

But the original Corvette wasn’t all about straight-line acceleration: in our very first 1953 Chevrolet Corvette road test with an I-6 model, we recorded a 0-60 mph time of 11.5 seconds and a 105.3-mph top speed.

1953 Chevrolet Corvette - Rolling off of the Production line

1953 Chevrolet Corvette – Rolling off of the Production line

Since that time, the Corvette has survived changes for better and for worse, and total production of the car numbers about 1,560,000 units. For the first five months of 2013, Corvette sales were down 13.1 percent to 4820 units, but once shipments of the 2014 Corvette begin arriving in dealerships, we’re sure that picture will change.

1953 Chevrolet Corvette

1953 Chevrolet Corvette

For now, enjoy the 1953 Chevrolet Corvette photos


Take a First Look at the all new 2014 Mazda3

Like the latest CX-5 and Mazda 6, it will have some degree of Skyactiv lightweight and fuel-saving technologies built in. Also, as a recent batch of spy photos clearly shows, it will inherit the 6’s and CX-5’s attractive Kodo design language. Stay tuned for more, but based on these leaked images, we can say this: The Mazda 3 is once again one of the most attractive small cars out there.

2014 Mazda 3 - Front Headlight Silhoutette

2014 Mazda 3 – Front Headlight Silhoutette

The next Mazda3, like the recently revamped 6, is a complete departure from the outgoing model, with virtually no lingering Ford DNA whatsoever. Following the anthropometric trend of gradually increasing size, the wheelbase stretches 2.4 inches to 106.3 and the width broadens by 1.6 inches, yielding 2.3 inches of front and 0.4 inch of rear shoulder room. The roofline drops by 0.6 inch for better aerodynamics.

2014 Mazda 3 - Front 3/4

2014 Mazda 3 – Front 3/4

In North America, the 3 will have two available engines. The 2.0-liter SKYACTIV-G engine will produce 155 hp at 6000 rpm, and 150 lb-ft at 4000 rpm. The other engine is the 2.5-liter SKYACTIV-G that’s already found in the CX-5 and Mazda6, making 184 hp at 5700 rpm and 185 lb-ft at 3250 rpm. Another cool efficiency trick i-ELOOP brings: capacitors that store energy regenerated by the alternator during braking, another claimed world-first. Mazda’s new i-ELOOP suite of fuel-saving extras also includes active grille shutters that route air around the car except when the radiator absolutely needs it to cool the Skyactiv engines. Either engine comes with a choice of manual or automatic six-speed transmissions.

2014 Mazda 3 - Rear 3/4

2014 Mazda 3 – Rear 3/4

Inside, the big news is the HUD, which Mazda will integrate into all Mazda vehicles going forward as part of a “human-machine-interface” system. That conjures up images of cyborgs, but really the point is to combat driver distraction. We know the HUD display will carry all the normal driving info you’d expect, but it’s not clear what other information will be displayed. A suite of new safety-related “apps” utilizing cameras, millimeter-wave radar, and laser sensors is offered under the i-ACTIVESENSE moniker (maybe the hyphen and shout-case are to keep them out of trouble with Apple?), a pricey option package. Features include high-beam control, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, forward-obstruction warning, Smart City Brake Support (enhanced or automated braking, when a collision is anticipated at speeds under 19 mph), and radar cruise control.

2014 Mazda 3 - Dashboard layout

2014 Mazda 3 – Dashboard layout

Diesel? No plans to make a SKYACTIV-D version at this point. That could be code for pretty much anything in manufacturer-speak, so we’ll have to wait and see what direction Mazda goes there. Likely the reception of the Mazda6 SKYACTIV-D will be the key factor in a possible diesel Mazda3, but our European and Japanese friends get the diesel engine right off the bat.


2014 Aston Martin Vanquish loses its lid!

Aston Martin has lifted the veil off of the 2014 Vanquish Volante convertible.  Based on the range-topping Vanquish coupe, the V12-powered Volante represents several milestones for the hundred-year old British firm. None of the Vanquish coupe’s sexiness is lost in the transformation to drop-top Volante. Even the soft-top complements the body lines. That top is made from a lightweight triple-layer fabric and can be raised or lowered in 14 seconds and at speeds up to 30 mph.

2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante - Front 3/4

2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante – Front 3/4

Like its coupe sibling, the Vanquish Volante wears carbon composite body panels wrapped around a bonded aluminum structure. Underhood, there are no surprises: you’ll find the same 6.0-liter, 565-hp, 457 lb-ft V12 that so ably powers the coupe. Aston’s 6-speed Touchtronic II paddle-shift transmission is also carried over, along with the hardtop’s six-piston Brembo carbon ceramic setup in front, with four-piston carbon ceramic stoppers in the rear.

2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante - Rear 3/4

2014 Aston Martin Vanquish Volante – Rear 3/4

Retaining the coupe’s 2+2 layout, the Volante’s interior is built with premium materials such as Luxmil leather, satin chrome and Alcantara.  The cockpit boasts a new, user-friendly center console that is inspired by the exclusive One-77 supercar.  The console is home to the infotainment system, the engine start button, the gear selection buttons and the climate control knobs.

In keeping with the Vanquish Volante’s range-topper status, it gets a range-topping price of $297,995. That’s a $16,000 premium over the Vanquish coupe, nearly $100,000 more than the four-door Rapide S, and a not-insignificant $150,000 more than the 2013 V8 Vantage roadster.


Chris Harris Reviews the road legal Formula Ford 1-liter EcoBoost Car

The British journalist Chris Harris has driven the street legal Formula Ford racing car 1.0 liter EcoBoost engine. The unit was tweaked to develop 170 horsepower.

This amount of power was obtained via a new ECU and thanks to a turbocharger from the larger 1.6 liter Turbo EcoBoost engine. The Formula Ford 1.0 EcoBoost is very light, sharp and responsive and thanks to that amount of power it can be driven at high speeds with no problem.
After the jump you can see how the street legal Formula Ford car can deal with Chris Harris.

BMW celebrates the 10th anniversary of the M3 CSL

BMW has released a new video to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the M3 CSL.

Designed to be the ultimate sports coupe, the M3 CSL had a stripped out interior and a lighter rear window. The car also featured a number of lightweight components including a carbon fiber reinforced plastic roof, center console and trunk. Thanks to these modifications, the M3 CSL tipped the scales at approximately 1,385 kg (3,054 lb) which was more than 110 kg (243 lb) lighter than the standard M3.

Besides going on a diet, engineers tweaked the engine to produce 360 HP (265 kW). This enabled the car to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 4.9 seconds and hit an electronically-limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).

A total of 1,383 M3 CSLs were built and all the cars were sold “within the space of a few months.”