Posts tagged Morrie’s Auto Group
Now that we’ve had some time to decompress from the craziness that was North American International Auto Show Week, we figured we’d go back through some of our photos from the show to bring you a select few highlights and also some of the disappointments we saw in Detroit. With at least 20 new unveilings at NAIAS in addition to the hundreds of brand new cars decorating the manufacturers’ booth, it was hard to pick just one favorite. So here’s our list of the Hots and the Nots.
HOT: Mazda MX-5 Speedster Concept
We already love the new MX-5, but the skunkworks team at Mazda took an extreme lightweighting approach to this build for show car for SEMA and removed the windshield and convertible top, saving 250 lbs in the process. The wheels have been replaced by lightweight forged wheels and the interior has been suitably stripped out as well. Although it’s unlikely Mazda would ever put an honest sub-2,000 lb Miata into production, we’d still love to get behind the wheel of this thing!
NOT: Chevrolet Bolt
Switching gears a bit, the Chevy Bolt is the EV city-car hatchback take on Tesla’s upcoming Model 3. With a base price of around $30,000 after federal tax credits, it won’t exactly be cheap. Hopefully buyers can look past the price tag and understand that getting 200 miles of range and lightweight aluminum construction isn’t exactly the easiest thing in the world. It’s just not what we’d call… um… pretty.
HOT: Buick Avista Concept
“That’s a Buick?!” We heard this remark from a number of people on the show floor and must admit, it’s certainly a strikingly beautiful vehicle. This certainly isn’t your grandpa’s Buick. This sexy coupe could potentially be put into production on the same chassis as the Chevy Camaro and Cadillac ATS, and use a slightly detuned version of the CTS V-Sport’s twin-turbocharged V6 to put out around 400 horsepower. For now, it’s just a concept but we’re honestly excited for the day Buick builds this thing!
NOT: Mercedes-Benz E-Class and SLC-Class
While the new E-Class is the best midsize sedan the company has ever built, had we not looked at the badges, we never would’ve guessed that it wasn’t either the C-Class or the S-Class. Aside from changes in wheelbase and options, they all look nearly identical. It’s a problem that has plagued their competitor Audi for ages, and now Mercedes has fallen into the same trap, it would seem. To top it off, the new SLC replaces the SLK Convertible and while it’ll surely be the best small convertible they’ve ever built, we’re disappointed that they ditched the V8 in the top SLK 55 model and now uses a twin-turbo V6 that offers 54 less horsepower than the engine it replaces.
HOT: Lincoln Continental
We went nuts over the Continental Concept last year, and the refreshed MKZ in LA. Now, Lincoln has finally given us a production version of the Continental that we were all hoping for and it’s absolutely gorgeous. While it doesn’t come with the classy blue suede slippers of the concept car, it’s still about as suave as you can get. We especially love the jewel-like headlights, the touch-activated door handles, and yes, even the blue leather-lined interior.
HOT: 2017 Ford Fusion Sport
We already love the Fusion sedan so we certainly won’t complain about 325 hp and AWD to the mix! The styling is a pretty mild evolution of the current Fusion with a little Focus mixed in for good measure. Now we just need to get our hands on one to see if the “Sport” name fits the driving experience.
HOT: Ford GT pre-production model
This is it! The 99% production-ready Ford GT! In terms of exterior styling, what you’re looking at is the 2017 Ford GT. The interior has some trim bits that are still up in the air but this is more or less what you can expect to see later this year as the Ford GTs start hitting the streets. We also managed to get the first footage of the Ford GT going into Race Mode! Plus, this stormtrooper’ed out version looks stunningly good in person.
NOT: GMC Acadia
The new GMC Acadia is surely a practical day-to-day car that provides comfort and security on the road for you and your passengers but look at it. It’s not exactly awe-inspiring. Vehicles like this are the definition of automotive purgatory. We’ll pass.
HOT: Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
If you’re looking for a more inspiring people mover, we recommend checking out the new Chrysler Pacifica. It’s a bold, new look for what had been the Town & Country, and given all the new tech under the skin, it deserved a new name. How many minivans do you know of that can get 80 MPG and 530 mile range?!
HOT: 2017 Lexus LC500
Our first thought when we saw this was that Lexus had just rolled out another recycled concept car from the a couple years ago. They promptly corrected us though that this stunning, 467-hp, V8-powered sports car is not just a pipe dream. This is an actual production LC500 as it will appear in dealership showrooms later this year.
HOT: Beefy Off-Road Trucks (Nissan Titan Warrior Concept, Ford Raptor SuperCrew, Ram Rebel)
We’re suckers for a good, solid truck. And it doesn’t get any more solid than the Ford Raptor, right? Well, it seems at least a few manufacturers, including Ford themselves, are trying to improve upon the hot new off-road adventure truck segment. What surprised us the most was Nissan’s attempt with the new Titan Warrior concept. It was big and meaty looking, like a 20oz Porterhouse on wheels.
NOT: Infiniti Q60
We’re not sure what it is about the Q60 that is so uninspiring but despite it bring a 400-hp 2-door coupe, we just can’t get excited about it. Maybe it’s just because Infiniti has never had much of a reputation of making cars that are as dynamically pleasing to drive as they are to look at, or because there are just so many competent cars competing for the crown in this segment.
HOT: Genesis G90
Hyundai’s brand-new luxury spin-off brand is betting on the new Genesis G90 going head to head with the current king of luxury sedans: the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. While we’ve been skeptical of the Korean giant really backing up its claims of world-class luxury, the G90 might just be the car to prove us wrong. If only the name weren’t so generic…
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.
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.
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: