Coupes

Grinding Gears Garage welcomes the 2013 Porsche Boxster, Ambassador for the Middle-Aged Crisis

Lighter, faster, more agile, and, as if it really matters, more fuel-efficient. That is how Porsche describes its next-generation Boxster convertible sports car. The Boxster was a hit from the start and since initial launch Porsche has sought to improve on the initial package while not confusing the car with its bread-and-butter 911 line. The Boxster is a mid-engine two-seater and for 2013 is almost totally madeover. The new design has a longer wheelbase and wider tracks front and rear…


Chevy to Offer Real Hot Wheels Camaro

Hot Wheels fans who dream of driving some of their favorite miniature toys are getting their wishes as Chevrolet has announced it will offer a limited-edition run of the Kinetic Blue Camaro it debuted at SEMA in Las Vegas. “Millions of us grew up playing with Hot Wheels,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet Marketing. “Offering a special production model of the Camaro Hot Wheels is an opportunity to bring those memories to life, for kids of all ages.”…


Here’s Your Justification for Buying the 2014 Corvette

Have you been trying to justify the purchase of a new Corvette, but just couldn’t make it far past the “because I want one” stage? Here’s an argument that might hold a little bit more weight with your spouse: It will get 26+ miles to the gallon! While you might think that in order to get nearly 30 mpg, sacrifices would have to be made to engine size and performance, that doesn’t appear to be an issue. When the 2014…


2013 Nissan 370Z Coupe in Steamy, Hot Magma Red

Certain automotive formulas work for some automakers. Porsche has its 911, Ford has the Mustang, BMW (of course) the 3-Series and for Nissan it’s the Z. Build a good car that is fun to drive, back it with a loyal customer base and the model line is set for a long lifespan – 43 years in the case of the Nissan sport coupe. “Since the original 1970 Z was first introduced our goal has always been to keep the design…


The 2012 BMW 650i Coupe Connects with Drivers’ Emotions

Over the course of an average Gear Diary calendar year, I drive more than 80 new vehicles for review. During that time, there are many vehicles I will not shed a tear over when it is time to relinquish the keys, as they’ve fallen just a bit short of making any sort of emotional connection with me. And then there is the BMW 650i Coupe. “I can’t find the keys;” “BMW called and said I could just keep it;” “The…


2013 Scion FR-S Is One Friggin’ Really Sweet Ride

No sooner than we took our seats in the movie theater-turned presentation room at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas that we knew this was unmistakably a Scion program. Thumping music, flashy images and video – and everything product-centric. Scion is the new, trendy little division of Toyota and we were here to experience the all-new rear drive sport coupe co-developed with Subaru and marketed as the Scion FR-S here in the States. With the exception of its Lexus…


Jaguar XKR-S Convertible: The Big Cat Daddy in the Texas Hill Country

It’s been no secret that the convertible hot rod coupes from Jaguar have been some of my favorite cars to drive. Most recently I spent a week behind the wheel of the newest, baddest cat on the block, the XKR-S Convertible. Jaguar released the R-S series to stand above the already improved “R”-designate cars and I would volunteer that the “S” implies spectacular as that is what I found my driving experience in the big kitty to be. While the…


Spring is (Always) in the Air in 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK350

Ah, spring is in the air and for many our thoughts are turned towards taking short (or long) weekend getaways as we welcome back warmer weather, higher pollen counts (and fuel prices) – and top-down driving. Here in the sunbelt states we are already enjoying our first sunburn of the season but for those of you not fortunate enough to be shedding woolen attire yet I invite you to “cheat” convertible season a bit in the new Mercedes-Benz SLK roadster….


‘Godzilla’ Terrorizes City Streets: Mothra and Rodan Flee in Fear

Quick, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind when I say “Godzilla?” For most it is the star of childhood monster movies that feature horrible voice-dubbing. For the true auto enthusiast it means one thing – Nissan GT-R. I took delivery of a 2012 GT-R for Super Bowl weekend and despite a few little things, this is one SUPER car. GT-R is the North American version of the Skyline GT-R, Nissan’s answer to the likes of Porsche 911…


At the Las Vegas Speedway with a 2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport and an LFA

This is not the car I was driving when I won my title 😉 How did you  spend your Saturday? I spent it behind the wheel of a 2013 Lexus GS 350 F, ultimately winning the title of “Fastest Woman in Vegas” while driving on a closed course at Las Vegas Speedway. The GS350 really impressed me because it was the best of both words — fast and sleek like a sports car, but large enough for a family and…


2012 Honda Civic Si: It Wasn’t Broke, but They Fixed It Anyway

It wasn’t broke, so why did Honda (try to) fix it? That is a question many have had for Honda after they released the 2012 Civic earlier this year. As with the rest of the model lineup, the sporty Si was made over for 2012, enhancing a low, sleek athletic appearance with a long windshield rake, one that raises some criticism due to the design and construction challenges because of it. Honda continues to employ the split-level instrument panel in…


2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Is One Bad Pony Car

The Boss is back – and it is bad***. The 2012 Mustang Boss 302 is the most fun I have had in a pony car since, well, ever. I even like this new Ford more than my cherished ’69 Camaro with the solid lifter crate motor. Ford has brought its heritage forward four score as they re-release the Boss 302 on the newest Mustang platform. Originally released in 1969, the Boss 302 was the first of three Boss factory performance…


2011 Honda CR-Z Compact Sport Coupe Hybrid a Bit of a Surprise

The CR-Z from Honda was a bit of a surprise for me: A surprise it took Honda so long to come out with a modern version of its popular little car; a surprise it came out as a hybrid; and a surprise that I found myself a little disappointed by the whole thing. As a modern CR-X, it has gained a bit of size and heft and as a hybrid it comes up a bit short on gas mileage. The…


Chevy Camaro Convertible Hot As a Firecracker

This is my last Chevy Camaro review this year I promise. Maybe. Arriving just in time for the official launch of summer was this blazing redhot Victory Red Camaro Convertible. And as luck would have it we are celebrating the second hottest June ever right here in North Central Texas. Wonderful. What that means is that either I have to be an early riser or a night owl to enjoy some top-down driving in this gorgeous creature. That or I…


Infiniti’s Endless Summer: 2011 G37 Convertible

Summer is calling and Infiniti is answering with its G Convertible model. Based on the stylish and sporty G Coupe, the new hardtop droptop adds a third dimension to driving pleasure from the automaker. They still have all the basics covered: Spirited 325hp VQ-Series 3.7-liter V-6 engine under the hood backed by choice of 7-speed automatic transmission or (as ours was equipped) a quick-shifting 6-speed manual gearbox with short-throw shifter and commuter-friendly clutch. The G37 Convertible Sport 6MT (as our…


2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS: Headbangers’ Paradise

A little over a year ago I had written how impressed I was with the new Chevy Camaro RS and its new V-6 with a six-speed manual gearbox. Fast forward and GM sends a V-8-laden SS model of almost the exact same color scheme and, well, perhaps my expectations were a bit too high for their “beast.” For me, the new Camaro still wins out were I only judging styling. Slip behind the wheel and my concerns quickly repeat those…


Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track Fights for Respect

Rodney Dangerfield based an entire stand-up career on it, singer Aretha Franklin had a big hit with it and the new Hyundai Genesis Coupe demands it: Respect. Two things might help them out here. First, get your marketing department to begin plastering every new action film with the car and second, spin a performance division off from the main corporate umbrella and give it a brand name consumers can easily pronounce. Sure, I had read the glossy newsrack reviews pitting…


2011 BMW 335i Convertible

The calendar says we haven’t hit the first official day of winter yet and your mind may be displaying visions of sugarplums in preparation for the quickly approaching holiday season. But should there be an interest in a convertible in your near future – especially a convertible with a German accent – you might want to start thinking about cheaping-out on gift giving this season so you can save your pennies in time to enjoy topless cruising weather when the…


G Coupe or M Sedan, Infiniti’s Class of 37s Offer Driving Nirvana

Most of you have probably seen the Nissan commercial where a new father-to-be laments his ownership of a Z sports coupe after hearing the news his family is growing. He is suddenly struck with the brilliant idea to stretch the Z to a four-door sports car in the form of the Maxima. Flip this same scenario to an Infiniti family and that is exactly the case as we went from G37 coupe to M37 sport sedan recently. No, the rabbit…


2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata

A few years back, the good folks at Mazda chose to drop the Miata tagline on the most popular two-seat convertible sports car in the world, instead going only with the MX-5 designation. I guess this gave the cute little bugger more of a “macho” image as many consumers have thought of Miata as more a “chick’s” car. Masculinity intact, I thoroughly enjoyed my week in the Mazda MX-5 Miata, which I dubbed “Miazda” purely to enhance the confusion. In…


Fun around every corner in Honda Civic Si

Bold would be an adequate way to describe some of Honda’s design choices in recent years. Ridgeline? Bold. Element? Bold. Civic? You guessed it – bold. Honda took a giant leap of faith when redesigning their popular small vehicle lineup a short while back, but that is what the automaker has been doing well over the past couple of decades – taking giant leaps of faith followed by success of nearly all of those choices. As energy prices soared ever…