Archive for November, 2015
It’s that time of year again, folks.
The holiday season is upon us once again, and that means gifts. Fresh out of ideas? Worry not – we’ve got you covered.
Cinema Driver Movie Car Prints
Cinema Driver by Mainger is a ridiculously cool series of prints featuring the cars, bikes, vans, motorcycles and other forms of transportation that famous cinematic characters were known for. Perfect for the automotive movie buff!
Despite what your father-in-law tells you every time he’s over and there’s something broken in your house, not every guy carries a full set of tools around at all times – but with this handy set of key tools, there’s no need to! These heat-treated, blackened steel keys will help you rub it in his smug face the next time he calls you “unprepared”.
GuardsRed Design Watches
Be careful if you purchase one of these GuardsRed Design Watches for a friend or loved one – they have a tendency to give passerby whiplash with their eye-catching design and meticulous craftsmanship. Personal injury lawsuits are nothing to sniff at..
Leather Works Minnesota
Purveyor of fine, handcrafted, leather goods Leather Works Minnesota is more than just a local company – they’re the vendor of choice for our leather needs. Wallets, belts, travel accessories and much, much more are lovingly crafted by this Saint Paul-based establishment. It’s worth noting that due to their huge popularity and the fact that everything is made by hand, they recommend you allow 2 weeks for shipping during the holiday season.
Triumph Street Twin – 900cc
For those who can’t get enough classic styling, but perhaps prefer modern reliability. The 2016 Triumph Street Twin replaces the existing base Bonneville model, with the welcome addition of an upgraded 900cc eight-valve, high torque motor. Updated from the ground up, this Bonnie gets a new chassis, new suspension, ride-by-wire throttle with traction control, slip assisted clutch, ABS, and LED lighting. Triumph were also so kind as to release a few custom ‘inspiration kits’ you can purchase as a package!
Liveried Egg Chairs
The perfect gift for the racing enthusiast in your life, these ‘egg chairs’ combine retro modern form with iconic styles to create functional automotive art. Using mid-century modern furniture as a canvas, Anthony Jannarelly and Benoit Fraylon create intricate designs that call back to the famous liveries of the legendary race cars of yesteryear.
Whether you’re giving a gift or simply indulging for yourself, these subscription boxes are sure to please. And the best part? You don’t have to leave your house to buy them. One of our favorites is DetailBox – every month you’ll receive 3 to 4 new sample products, which include polishes, waxes, tires polishes, etc. If you like the product they often have exclusive, member-only coupons for the full product! For the ladies in your life, we recommend Stitch Fix - clothing and accessories selected by a personal stylist and hand-delivered to her door.
Why water down your whiskey with ice? These stainless steel cubes (or balls, take your pick) will actually keep your drink colder than ice, for longer than ice – and they won’t dilute that heavenly flavor. If that’s not enough to sway you, they’re also completely non-porous, ensuring you’ll be able to use them over and over with no risk of cross-contamination.
BIR Track Day
Tired of watching races from the comfort of your couch? Want to hop in the drivers seat and take the bull by the horns? A BIR Track Day is an immersive racing experience unlike any other – and with the option to either track your personal car or take the wheel of a spec racer, there’s something for everyone!
Smartphone Garage Opener
This neat piece of tech from Chamberlain installs to your existing setup in minutes, and allows you to open and close your garage door from anywhere with your smartphone and a Wi-Fi connection! Never worry about having left your garage door open again – you can’t buy peace of mind like that.
Auto Floor Guard
Protect that sweet, sweet garage floor from salt, snow, and other other miscellaneous nastiness with Auto Floor Guard - mildew and rot resistant fabric that has been tested to -40 degrees. Available in multiple sizes, the fabric has a unique ultraviolet treatment that resists fading and material breakdown. The perfect gift for those who love to keep everything in their life immaculately clean and well-ordered.
911 Speedometer Cufflinks
What more can be said about these cufflinks that the title doesn’t say already? They look like the speedo from a freakin’ Porsche 911! For the air-cooled enthusiast in your life.
Morrie’s Teen Driving School
This comprehensive course gives young drivers the hands-on experience they need to avoid accidents. Through a combination of classroom activities and engaging, hands-on exercises, this program teaches young drivers skills they simply cannot obtain in traditional driver’s ed programs. Each student is paired with a dedicated instructor who coaches them in his or her own car throughout the entire day. At the end of the program each student will have a vastly improved grasp of their car, vehicle dynamics, car control and lifesaving, proactive driving techniques.
Lego Creator Car Kits
The Great Sleeping Bear
Who among us hasn’t wished we could hibernate through the winter winter months, waking up as the last of the salt is cleared off the roads? With this hand-made bear sleeping bag by Dutch Artist Eiko Ishizawa, the idea seems a little less far-fetched! These individually numbered sleeping bags cost a mere $2,350 – a small price to pay for supreme comfort when the weather gets to be simply unBEARable (Yes, that pun happened. We regret nothing).
Happy Holidays, everyone!
With the 2015 LA Auto Show behind us, we figured it was time for a quick recap to talk about some hits and misses from the show. There were roughly 20-25 new vehicles revealed at the show and while we won’t cover everything, there was a lot to see. It’s easy to show up at these big auto shows and get sucked up into all of the hype and excitement but we’re here to cut through the bullcrap and break down what was really cool and what was just show floor fodder.
Alfa Romeo Giulia: HIT
With 505 hp and the fastest production sedan lap record at the Nurburgring, this BMW M3-fighter has us rummaging through our couch cushions and smashing every piggy bank in sight to scrape together the estimated $70,000 to buy one. Seriously, how can you not fall in love with this thing!?! It looks fantastic inside and out, is available with either a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission, and offers rear or all-wheel drive. And this shade of blue looks particularly dashing as well.
Cadillac XT5: HIT
The Cadillac XT5 is the highly anticipated replacement for the SRX, which is currently the oldest model in their lineup. With a fresh new look and updated materials, the XT5 is a very important launch for Cadillac since the SRX it replaces was the company’s most popular model. With a nearly 300 lb diet, and an updated CUE infotainment system that offers Apple CarPlay, the XT5 is bound to be a strong seller for the brand yet again.
Fiat 124 Spider: MISS
We want to like it, we really do, but the new Fiat 124 Spider takes the already gorgeous new Miata and somehow manages to make it look just a bit frumpy. While we can appreciate some of the styling cues of the original 124 Spider of the 1970′s in this car, it doesn’t really work when it’s scaled up on a modern car. Kudos to Fiat for using the 500 Abarth engine in this car though! It should sound pretty wicked and with turbos make everything better, even if the 124 Spider only comes with 160 hp.
Fiat 500e Stormtrooper Edition: HIT
We’re a sucker for Star Wars so while this fun little collaboration panders to our fellow nerds just a bit too much, we can’t help but love it all the same.
Hyundai Elantra: HIT
While we heard some rumblings from fellow show-goers that the new Elantra just ripped off styling cues from a bunch of other cars, we feel they borrowed some inspiration from some of the best designs out there. The headlights remind us slightly of the Jaguar XF while the grille looks like a mix of Ford Fusion and Audi TT, but these shapes have all been tweaked to fit the new Elantra in a cohesive way that works better than you might at first think. The rear reminds us of Hyundai’s own Genesis which certainly isn’t a bad thing either. Who said a cheap car has to look cheap?
Ford Escape: HIT
Given how good the current Ford Escape already is, the 2017 update is sure to be even better. The new look, with styling cues taken from the Edge, really works on the scaled down Escape too. Black accents and a sportier looking front grille don’t look bad, but we wish they would’ve taken more of a chance with the styling like they did in 2012. No doubt it’ll still be one of the top compact crossovers on the market when it becomes available later next year.
Lincoln MKZ: HIT
Lincoln has had a tough go of things over the last few years. The current lineup’s styling is a bit hit or miss, but we got excited when we saw the stunning Continental concept in New York earlier this year. Now we appreciate Lincoln taking that breathtaking look and applying it to the MKZ. Not only does the new front end look fresh and luxurious, but the MKZ also offers a new Lincoln-exclusive 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 with 400 hp mated to all-wheel drive. Inside, the MKZ is finally on track for offering a level of luxury that at least matches that of its direct competition. If Lincoln can keep rolling out cars like this, their future is beginning to look brighter.
Mazda CX-9: HIT
Mazda has been on a hot-streak lately with their whole lineup, but the CX-9 had been starting to show its age. Thankfully, Mazda adapted their Kodo styling language to the new 7-seat crossover and heavily upgraded the interior and driveline. The new interior is now much more luxurious than it’s ever been in the past with rich and vibrant leather seats and plenty of safety and infotainment tech. The new 2.5-liter turbocharged SkyActiv 4-cylinder offers 250 hp and plenty of torque.
Jaguar F-Pace: HIT
The all-new Jaguar F-Pace made its US debut at the 2015 LA Auto Show and we fell in love with the styling immediately. This is going to be volume seller for the Jaguar we see it being pretty successful for the British manufacturer. But really, who cares how many they sell. It looks beautiful and that’s pretty much all that matters to us. That, and we’re holding out hope that they offer the super aggressive 5.0-liter V8 from the F-Type R at some point down the road. Yes, please!
Range Rover Evoque Convertible: WTF?!?
We don’t even really know to categorize this. It’s ridiculous and useless and stupid and yet, we applaud Land Rover for having the stones to build it. This one can definitely be filed away in the same dark corner as the Nissan Murano Crosscabrio in a folder named “Weird Vehicles You Never Actually Thought Existed”.
Audi’s Booth: HIT
We couldn’t pick just one favorite from Audi’s booth so we picked them all. They all have over 600 hp, they all go like stink, and they all look amazing. You just can’t go wrong.
Porsche 911 C4S Targa: MISS
Welcome to the 328th obscure version of the Porsche’s 911 lineup. This one is the latest 911 with the new twin-turbo engine that isn’t technically a Turbo. It has all-wheel drive, wider rear fenders, and a roof panel that folds down compared to the regular, plain-Jane 911. For those who don’t like this *exact* iteration, it can also be had with a fixed roof, or a full convertible top. Or with less power, or less driven wheels, or with more power, or pretty much any way you could possible want it. Yes, it’s still a 911 so it’ll be amazing to drive but the 911 lineup has become so bloated now that it’s hard to get excited about any new iteration at this point.
Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport: HIT
Although the Boxster/Cayman lineup has plenty of different versions, all with minor tweaks, we love Porsche’s approach to the GT4, and they went somewhere really exciting with this, the GT4 Clubsport. This track-only model takes a largely stock Cayman GT4 and adds a roll-cage, beefed up suspension, and a unique 6-speed version of their PDK gearbox. While it’s largely targeted at a one-make racing series, we’d love to get our hands on one for some track days!
Subaru Impreza Sedan Concept: HIT
We love the design of the Impreza Sedan Concept and really hope the production version will look this good. While most other manufacturers have given up on building concept cars these days, it’s nice to see that Subaru still likes to wow us. Keep your fingers crossed!
Nissan Sentra: HIT
The Nissan Sentra has been a staple of the Japanese automaker’s lineup for decades and this new model, although largely a refresh, is a handsome car. Beyond the fresh new look, Nissan has added some real substance through technology like intelligent cruise control, blind spot detection, forward emergency braking, and rear cross traffic alert. NissanConnect is also available now with navigation, Siri Eyes Free integration, and plenty of apps and services above and beyond what you might expect in this segment.
Although most of the big reveals were yesterday at the 2015 LA Auto Show, the low-pressure schedule today gave us time to make the rounds and get up close and personal with all the things we missed or wanted a second look at. We made sure to circle back and check out the Subaru Impreza Sedan Concept that we didn’t get the chance to see yesterday, as well as some of the new stuff Volkswagen, more crazy concepts from Kia, and some other odds and ends. And that’s a wrap! Goodbye, LA. We’ll miss your glorious weather.
And again, make sure to follow @MorriesAuto on Instagram or on Youtube (youtube.com/morriesauto) for more photos and video from the 2015 LA Auto Show.
One of the perks of our job is that we occasionally get to go to some of the bigger auto shows. As far as this time of year goes, it’s hard to beat the weather in LA and luckily, that’s where we ended up going this week for the 2015 LA Auto Show. Here’s a taste of what we saw today, and make sure to follow @MorriesAuto on Instagram or on Youtube (youtube.com/morriesauto) for more photos and video, live from the show floor. The Ford GT race car, new 400 HP Lincoln MKZ, Mazda CX-9, and Alfa Romeo Giulia got us the most excited. We can’t wait to see more tomorrow!
Not that any of us needed an excuse to get out of Minnesota just as it starts getting cold, but the Los Angeles International Auto Show will be a welcome change of scenery next week. It’s not just the warm weather we’re looking forward to, but the cars too. While we don’t know everything that will be debuting at the auto show this year, it’s sure to be a star-studded show with big debuts from Cadillac, Hyundai, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, and many more.
Cadillac is going to be debuting their SRX replacement – the XT5 – in LA this year. We’ve already seen a handful of photos that have leaked and the midsize crossover is quite beautiful. Being Cadillac’s highest selling vehicle in their lineup, this is a very important vehicle for the automaker and we have high hopes.
Hyundai is going to show off the new 2017 Elantra at the show, as well as possibly debut the Equus-replacing Genesis G90 in concept form. Hyundai is also aiming to split the Genesis name off into its own separate luxury brand, something the automaker has been planning with various degrees of success for a number of years now.
Mazda is taking big steps to replace their aging CX-9 crossover SUV that has remained largely the same for the last 9 years. We expect the new CX-9 to keep the 7-seat layout and offer fresh styling and more of the safety and infotainment technology, such as Mazda Connect, as we see on the rest of Mazda’s lineup.
Nissan will be debuting the updated 2016 Sentra in LA and although details have been scarce, we’re excited to see for ourselves just how Nissan has revised and refined the compact sedan for next year.
Subaru is also going to be rolling out their new Impreza Sedan concept after debuting the 5-door hatch version at the Tokyo Auto Show last month. This will show the design direction of the next generation Impreza that we’ll likely see sometime around 2017 or 2018.
Other notable vehicles that we’re looking forward to seeing include the new Porsche Cayman GT4 Club Sport, a new Mercedes-Benz SL convertible, a lightweight, rear-wheel drive Lamborghini Huracan, the Range Rover Evoque Convertible, an all-new Honda Civic Coupe, the Infiniti QX30 in production form, the new Buick LaCrosse sedan, and lastly, the new Fiat 124 Spider that is based on the new Mazda MX-5 platform. Surely there will be plenty of other interesting debuts at the show and we look forward to capturing them and sharing them with you later next week.