Posts tagged 2015
Nobody likes being late and while anyone can check the time on their smartphone, it’s not a particularly elegant option. Watches have made a huge comeback lately (especially mechanical watches that don’t require batteries to run) and it’s easy to see why. With a style to fit nearly any wrist, there’s something cool about strapping a tiny little machine or supercomputer to your wrist. Being a bunch of car lovers here at Morrie’s, we figured we’d compile a list of our favorite automotive-themed watches to keep the car lover on your holiday gift list on time.
We’re big fans of Autodromo, not just for their watches, but also because the owner of the company is a big car guy. He races a vintage Alfa Romeo and creates some great driving gloves as well as sunglasses. Autodromo’s watches (ranging from $375 – $1,200) are offered in five styles, although we prefer the models that emulate the classic gauges of our favorite race cars such as the “Veloce”, the “Stradale”, and the “Group B”.
While Autodromo is a relative newcomer to watch world, Tissot has been assembling watches since 1853. While that was quite a while before the first cars (or horseless carriages) were ever created, Tissot has built a solid reputation for themselves with a line of automotive-themed watches. The range features both quartz (battery-powered) and mechanical watches with prices ranging from about $350 – $2,000.
For those that appreciate motorcycles, Tudor offers the Fastrider chronograph (about $4,000) in conjunction with Ducati. Available in three unique colors taken directly from the hot new Ducati Scrambler motorcycles, they also come with a really unique leather strap that reminds us of our favorite leather jacket.
One name synonymous with motorsports and cars in general is Steve McQueen. While Heuer (now Tag Heuer) has been around since 1860, Heuer went through a bit of a golden age when they began sponsoring motor racing events in the 1960s. That resurgence hit critical mass when Steve McQueen began wearing a blue and red Heuer Monaco at the track and on set while filming movies like LeMans. As such, that style of Monaco has been dubbed the “Steve McQueen” and now Tag Heuer is offering an updated version with their Caliber 11 movement for 2015 ($5,500).
One of the quintessential timepieces that harkens back to vintage racing is the Chopard Mille Miglia. Named after the famous 1,000 km street race through Italy, the Mille Miglia comes on a really cool rubber strap made from actual recycled tires and stamped with a cool vintage tire tread pattern. We especially like the Mille Miglia GTS Power Control ($6,640) model seen below because it features a power reserve indicator that looks just like a gas gauge to alert the wearer when the watch needs to be wound.
Those of you who attend our Formula One viewing parties at our Morrie’s Heritage Car Connection warehouse, you might’ve seen three-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton sporting his signature IWC Ingenieur Chronograph ($15,200) around the paddock. The titanium case, ceramic crown and chronograph pushers, and carbon fiber dial just scream motorsports.
But for those who aren’t part of the Lewis Hamilton Fan Club might want to consider something even more exotic: the carbon fiber-cased IWC Ingenieur Automatic Carbon Performance Ceramic. With a case made out of solid carbon fiber and accented with shiny and nearly indestructible black ceramic, this lightweight watch is just as much F1 car as it is a watch ($20,800).
OK, so that was more than five but with so many cool options out there, we didn’t like limiting ourselves, or you, from seeing some really cool watches. And since we already blew past our five watch limit, we’ve got one more holy grail of a watch to share with you…
The MB&F HM5 CarboMacrolon is a true piece of haute horology with a completely in-house designed movement and a sleek case that was designed as an homage to one of the most beautiful cars ever built: the Lamborghini Miura. Limited to just 66 pieces in each of three colors, we picked this version as the best of the bunch. What makes this watch so unique is the fact that this is a mechanic watch that displays the time in a digital way, showing the time in two little windows on the side of the watch. What would normally be the face of the watch is actually made up of intricate movable louvers that can be opened by the wearer to allow light to come through the watch and illuminate the time readout. But good looks don’t come cheap – the MB&F HM5 CarboMacrolon carries an eye-watering pricetag of $63,000, or about as much as this lightly used 2014 Maserati Ghibli S Q4.
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.
Last week, Morrie’s Automotive Group sent a team of brave souls – Adam, Gabe, and Alex – to the heart of Manhattan for the 2015 New York International Auto Show press days. Together, we were excited to see all of the latest and greatest cars, eat some pizza, and explore a little slice of the Big Apple. After arriving at JFK airport on Tuesday night, we took a cab to our hotel and quickly ventured out in search of food. While the street food vendor on the corner next to the hotel was tempting, we took the hotel doorman’s recommendation and grabbed some pizza down the street. After a few slices of pie, we quickly hashed out a plan for the following day and got some rest.
The first day of any of the big auto shows around the country is usually the most hectic, with a full day of press conferences, big reveals, and insane crowds. After getting checked in at Javits Center, we hatched a plan that allowed us to skip most of the crowds by avoiding the big reveals altogether and just check out all of the vehicles we could get access to. This included all of the latest and greatest at Ford such as the all-new Focus RS, Raptor, Ford GT, and GT350R Mustang. While we saw most of Ford’s new performance range back in January in Detroit, we were excited to see the Focus RS in production form for the first time in the US. The powerful little hatchback really stood out in its bright blue color. Hyundai and Mazda were nearby so we checked out the Sonata Hybrid and Miata as well. Perusing the rest of the show floor, we also made sure to stop by Cadillac to see the new CT6 as well as Lincoln to check out the sleek new Continental Concept. Maserati also had a few of their Centennial Edition GranTurismos on display that caught our eyes with the updated interior options as well as redesigned wheels. We also made sure to check out the Aston Martin Vulcan, which is simply insane in person. It’s shockingly long, low, and sleek. By the end of the day, we had taken over 800 photos and recorded 16 videos.
Day 2 of the 2015 New York auto show was a little slower, but no less exciting. Of the few big reveals we’d missed out on the day before, we had no problems getting up close to cars like the new McLaren 570S, Hyundai Tucson, and Subaru VT15x RallyCross car. We also made sure to stop by Nissan to check out the new Maxima later that day. A few other highlights of Day 2 included seeing the new Porsche Boxster Spyder, a handful of BMW race cars, pretty much everything on display at Alfa Romeo, and getting up close in personal with the incredibly rare and valuable McLaren F1 XP GT longtail and P1 GTR race car, one of just three ever built. We also managed to film another 10 videos before the day came to an end which made this trip one of our most successful auto shows to date!
Make sure to check out all of our photo and video content in the links below:
The 2015 Twin Cities Auto Show kicks off this week and Morrie’s Automotive Group made sure to hit the show floor earlier this week to show you some highlights from the show. If you haven’t found time to make it to the show yet, visit our 2015 Minneapolis Auto Show website to get a pair of complimentary tickets from any Morrie’s location of your choice.
Also, be sure to check out our YouTube page for some video footage from the show this year!
The third annual 90 Days of Giving has finally come to a close after another terrific year of giving back to the local Chippewa, Wisconsin Community. For three months during the Holiday Season Morrie’s Chippewa Valley Mazda pays it forward by giving away much needed vehicles to nominated families. Following the format of previous giveaways, Morrie’s Chippewa Valley partnered with Gordy’s County Market to give three cars away packaged with a $500.00 gas gift card.
The most difficult part of making these wishes come true is going through the hundreds of nominations Morrie’s Chippewa Valley Mazda receives every year for the 90 Days of Giving. Every story is heartfelt and narrowing it down to three is a difficult process. This year the vehicles that were given away went to three deserving people that not only needed a new car, but were relied on by their family and community for rides everyday as well.
Receiving the most notoriety and engagement this year, local news and radio stations crowded the three giveaways bringing the community even more awareness around the generosity of the Morrie’s and Gordy’s crew. Another big part in making these giveaways into a reality is keeping it a surprise. Morrie’s and Gordy’s go to some pretty extensive lengths to make sure the car recipient has a very special moment when they are recognized as a winner of the 90 Days of Giving. Bill, the General Manager at Morrie’s Chippewa Valley Mazda, often will tell the winner “This is your day” making sure the recipient knows that this is a very special life changing moment for them. This year the giveaways took place at the first nominee’s house, the second was surprised in Gordy’s County Market, and the third nominee received their vehicle in Morrie’s Chippewa Valley Mazda’s Service Drive.
We look forward to next year’s 90 Days of Giving and appreciate everyone who participated in this year’s giveaways.
After a bunch of big reveals from Nissan, Ford, Hyundai, Acura and more on the first day of the 2015 North American International Auto Show, we were excited for day two! Braving the cold temperatures and a food coma from the previous night, we tackled the show floor for another flurry of press conferences from the likes of Cadillac, Lincoln and others.
Looking for a car free of gimmicks and empty promises? Take a look into the future with the new 2015 Mazda6. The Mazda6 is a mid-sized sedan equipped with classic and elegant features designed to meet all your expectations. This breathtaking ride is stylish, environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient. It is custom-designed with technology and luxury features engineered for optimum performance. “The mid-size sedan is the bread-and-butter of the automotive industry, a vehicle that finds its way into nearly every driveway and garage in America,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO for Mazda North American Operations (MNAO).
Mazda6 Trim Levels
The ’15 Mazda6 will be offered in three trim levels:
- Sport with a starting MSRP of $21,190
- Touring with a starting MSRP of $23,845
- Grand Touring with a starting MSRP of $29,895
The Sport and Touring come with a standard six-speed manual transmission. You can optionally upgrade to the six-speed automatic transmission. With that upgrade, you’ll also get Bluetooth® hands-free phone and audio connectivity, HD Radio™ technology, Pandora® Internet radio, audio menu voice command and a 5.8-inch, color, touch screen display and rearview.
On the Grand Touring model, the six-speed automatic is the only transmission offered. This option comes with Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC), Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW), a Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), High Beam Control (HBC) and i-ELOOP and active grille shutters.
Mazda6 Color Palette
For all trims, the Mazda6 is available in six exterior colors, Blue Reflex, Meteor Gray, Jet Black, Snowflake White Pearl, Liquid Silver and Soul Red. Only two interior colors, black and almond are available.
Safety Features on the Mazda6
The 2015 Mazda6 is the ultimate mid-sized sedan when it comes to safety features. Distinguishing safety features include stability control, surround impact airbags, ignition disable security system and seatbelt pretensioners which automatically tighten seat-belts during a collision. There’s also the anti-whiplash feature that actively reacts to constrain the driver’s head to reduce the likelihood of head injuries during a collision. The new Mazda6 is unparalleled when it comes to finesse, reliability and safety. To learn more about Mazda6, call the experts at Morrie’s Mazda. You can reach us at (952) 977-7040.
Morrie’s Mazda, home to the Buy Happy® car shopping experience, is a Mazda dealer of choice in the Minnetonka and the Twin Cities metros. We serve car owners and shoppers with new Mazdas, used cars, expert auto repair, Mazda parts and Mazda accessories. Visit us at 13700 Wayzata Boulevard or call us at (952) 977-7040 the next time you need to buy or service your vehicle.
To be revealed in December
We’ve seen a lot of renderings of what may be the 2015 Ford Mustang, but it sounds like the wait is almost over. It was reported that the redesigned historical Ford model will be reveled in December, a month prior to the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. It was also reported that a few members of the Automotive press will have the chance to see the vehicle next week during a special preview at Ford’s headquarters in Dearborn, MI.
The Sixth Generation Mustang wasn’t expected until its 50th anniversary in April at the New York Auto Show, so we’re thrilled at the opportunity to get a sneak peek ahead of time! The all-new redesigned Mustang has an entirely new exterior and interior design, an EcoBoost turbo four-cylinder option, a V8 motor, a new rear-wheel drive platform, and is considerably less in weight compared to the current model.