The BMW X1 Transforms From Wagon to SUV

Author JoeC    Category Crossovers, Family Cars     Tags

If you’ve seen a BMW X1 before, it probably reminds you of older station wagons with its elongated design and low ride height, but BMW just unveiled the new X1, which received a massive injection of SUV DNA. This is the first BMW FWD platform vehicle to make it to the United States, and we’re pretty excited to see it hit the streets.

Let’s take a look at what we know.

Updates to the X1BMW X1

Increases in roof and ride height make the interior of the X1 one of the most spacious yet. The new design gives the vehicle a new look as well, with the roofline peaking right over the front seats and tapering down toward the rear end. Whether it was intentional or not, there’s a clear impression of the BMW X3 here.

The new chassis on the X1 is set to offer a more comfortable driving experience thanks to available features like active dampers, and you should be able to find both front- and all-wheel drive versions when the model arrives. X1 AWD models will have the ability to transfer torque on demand to the individual wheels that need it most for new levels of control on the pavement.

The European release will feature a total of seven different engine options, though we would be surprised if either of the two three-cylinder models made it across the Atlantic. BMW features a six-speed manual and an eight-speed automatic transmission to pair with their engines.

As far as amenities go, this is a BMW. It’s loaded with the latest in tech and comfort features, from the iDrive infotainment system with touchscreen to available LED headlights to advanced safety features that can actually bring the X1 to a stop on their own to prevent a collision.

We’re still waiting on pricing, but because it’s a BMW, expect it to carry an MSRP appropriate to its class. The X1 is set to debut in Europe this October, with the United States release coming later.

What Do You Think?

Are you excited for the new, sportier, more SUV-like BMW X1? Weigh in down below and be sure to check back regularly for more updates on cars we think our car fans will love.


A Look at the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor

Author JoeC    Category Off-Road Vehicles     Tags

2015 Ford F-150 RaptorWe at For Car Fans are starting to get an idea of what the brand new 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor is going to feature, so we thought we’d share what we know with our readers. With a new aluminum-based body and stiffer suspension, this will be a pickup truck to watch. Let’s take a closer look!

Features for the 2017 Ford F-150

Ford is currently trail-testing the 2017 Ford F-150, and based on the video Ford has released—in which the Raptor traverses some difficult off-road terrain—it’s not going to disappoint fans or potential buyers.

The F-150 Raptor is modeled after the aluminum-intensive body of the 2015 Ford F-150. The prototype Ford is testing combines this with the already-completed components of the 2017 Raptor. Though it’s only a prototype, we know drivers will get 3-inch Fox Racing Shox that will optimize shock absorption and make your suspension more resilient on challenging off-road terrain. You’ll also be higher off the ground than you would be with the current Raptor.

This new pickup will feature extra-responsive, clutch-based, and durable four-wheel drive. It provides on-demand torque, getting you the drive you need for those tough maneuvers.

2017 Ford F-150 Raptor Performance and TMS

We did see a concept model of the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor at the Detroit auto show this year. While the current generation of Raptor has a 6.2L V8 that gets 411 hp, the new Raptor should have a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 that produces 450 hp. It will be paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission and feature a dual exhaust to improve efficiency.

The new Raptor will also feature a Terrain Management System (TMS) that adjust traits such as powertrain, driveline, ABS, and traction control according to six preset driving modes including Normal, Street, Weather, Mud, Sand, Baja, and Rock. A Torsen front differential will be optional as well.

Keep Your Eyes Peeled to Learn More

If you want to learn more about the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor, keep your eyes on For Car Fans. The 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor is sure to be an exceptional pickup, and we’ll have more information on it soon.


Check Out the Innovative New Lexus Heartbeat Car

Author JoeC    Category Technology     Tags

lexus heartbeat carThere’s no doubting that the 2015 Lexus RC F Coupe is one serious performance car, boasting a naturally aspirated, 5L V8 engine that produces 467 hp and 389 lb-ft of torque, enabling you to get to 60 mph in around 4.4 seconds. But the forward-thinking engineers at Lexus have done something very special with a one-off RC F—they gave it a heartbeat. Let’s take a closer look.

How Exactly Does the Lexus Heartbeat Car Work?

The “heartbeat car” RC F coupe monitors the driver’s heartbeat and, using that data, sends an electric signal to the performance car’s body panels. These panels have been done over in electro-luminescent paint by Luminor, and, by means of Lexus’s new heartbeat-reading technology, pulse in rhythm with the driver’s heartbeat.

According to Lexus, this heartbeat technology is supposed to prove how thrilling it is to drive a 2015 RC F Coupe, as indeed it must be. Starting at MSRP $62,400, the RC F was designed specifically for driving fans who like an intense ride.

Its available Torque Vectoring Differential gives drivers that needed control boost, while the dynamic gauge cluster is in full-color LCD to deliver info to you in as clear and commanding a way as possible. The Lexus Enform presents drivers with top-of-the-line connectivity and entertainment technology. The cockpit and high-back seats simulate the cockpit of a real race-car.

And then, of course, there’s the heartbeat. While only available on a one-off RC F coupe, the data-regulated heartbeat confirms Lexus’s commitment to innovation and progressive car design.

Lexus Pushes Car Tech Forward One Step at a Time

Lexus is clearly one of the best innovators out there, and the Lexus heartbeat car is no exception. They have proven over and over again that they are the leading innovators of future automotive technology. This kind of driver-integration is only the beginning of the next evolution of automotive realization, so you can expect to see a lot more from Lexus soon.

To keep up to date on all the latest breakthroughs in car technology, keep tuned to the For Car Fans blog.


Mazda Pre-Owned – Have You Considered?

Author JoeC    Category Compacts     Tags

mazdaIf you’re in the market for a great used vehicle that you know will look and drive great for years to come, there is no better option than a Mazda certified pre-owned car. These models are simply some of the best used vehicles on the road, and they offer the kind of true value and reliability that drivers are looking for. We’ve enjoyed learning about Mazda Vehicles from Mr Mazda on YouTube!
In order to be designated a Mazda certified pre-owned vehicle with the Mazda Radar Cruise Control, a used Mazda model must first undergo a 150-point detailed inspection conducted by an experienced Mazda mechanic. Passing this inspection verifies that everything from the engine, to the features, to the upholstery is in excellent condition.
After passing, these vehicles come backed by a 12-month/12,000-mile limited vehicle warranty, and a seven-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty similar to a new car. These warranties ensure if there are any hidden problems, they will be fixed quickly, easily, and with no cost to the driver. These vehicles also come backed by 24-hour emergency roadside assistance, and the perk of three months of complimentary satellite radio. If you need even more guarantees of peace of mind, an extended warranty is available.
A Mazda certified pre-owned vehicle is a great option for any driver looking to stretch his car-buying budget a little further. That’s because Mazda is making some of the best new cars on the road, meaning they also make some of the best used cars on the road. Find yours at Cox Mazda in Bradenton.


Apple CarPlay is Coming to Buick and GMC, Android Auto to Follow

Author JoeC    Category Comparisons     Tags

Apple CarPlayGeneral Motors is finalizing the next steps necessary to get Apple CarPlay into the first GMC trucks for the 2016 model year. Coming close behind the new Google I/O system, auto integration with smart technology will be a fascinating race to watch, with success being determined both by initiative and quality. The Apple CarPlay will start with GMC trucks and then be integrated into some Buick models.

Leading Up to the Release of Apple CarPlay

In San Francisco last month, Chevrolet displayed what their Android auto and CarPlay tech could to for their upcoming models. According to them, 14 Chevrolet models will be equipped with the suite by 2016, complete with MyLink infotainment systems. And because of the similarities and shared technology between CarPlay and GM’s IntelliLink infotainment, other GM brands can be expected to see Google software and Apple software making their way into vehicles around the same time.

What to Expect From Apple CarPlay

The automaker in question revealed its intention to equip several of their upcoming models with this system. The 2016 versions of the GMC Canyon, the GMC Yukon, and the GMC Sierra will all be available with this infotainment program from Apple. An 8-inch IntelliLink infotainment system will house the Apple CarPlay software, with Android Auto being added to the unit by the end of the year.

One exception to this configuration is the GMC Sierra, which employs a 7-inch screen instead of an 8-inch one. The screen should be the only difference, however. After the GMC trucks receive their treatment, Buick is next. An 8-inch screen with Apple CarPlay will come standard on the 2016 Buick LaCrosse and the 2016 Buick Regal, while the Android support will be added later this year.

The system has been designed with the intention to perform seamlessly in concert with the driver. It will allow full access to navigation as well as audio application controls, and more, letting a driver focus on the road.

If you want to stay informed on the release and progress of the Apple CarPlay system and all things that car fans enjoy, bookmark our blog and check back frequently!


The Chevy Camaro – Dominating To The End

Author JoeC    Category Performance     Tags

The rivalry between the Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang is the stuff of legends. But, as Autoblog posits in a recent article, “Is the Camaro the Kryptonite to the Mustang’s Superman, though?” Two recent trademark filings mean that we might find out soon. Our dealer friend in Crestview, FL is on top of this trend.
On May 5, 2015, GM filed trademarks for “Krypton” and “Camaro Krypton.” It’s already been speculated that this filing is meant to coincide with the 2016 release of Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice. That’s just speculation, though — as the Autoblog article points out, it’s not uncommon for an automaker to create a new color and trademark it in case they want to use it in the future. In other words, there’s no guarantee that it will even see the light of day.
Regardless, the connection to Superman seems plausible — Kryptonite is, after all, the only materiachevy crestview FLl that can harm the iconic hero.
It’s a logical connection to the Camaro itself, available in Crestview, FL, which routinely bests other cars on the roadways and the track. With its 323-hp direct-injection V6, it can sprint from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 5.9 seconds — and it can achieve 30 mpg highway. There’s more power to be had if you want it, though: The Camaro SS is available with a 426-hp 6.2L V8 engine.
This power will be easy to control, too, as the Mustang has always emphasized silky-smooth handling to go with its white-knuckle thrills. Just what will the Camaro Krypton add to this enviable package? Stay tuned to find out.


The 7 Fastest Street Legal Cars in the World

Author JoeC    Category Performance     Tags

Ever since the first automobile was created, engineers and drivers have been pushing the envelope to go faster and faster. We know that for many true car fans, the measure of a superior car is the same as finding the top speed or the 0 to 60 mph time. So, really, what are the fastest street legal cars in the world?Pagani Huayra

Feed Your Need for Speed

These seven cars will give you some of the most adrenaline pumping rides you’ll find off the race track:

  • Pagani Huarya: With a top speed of 230 mph, this is actually the slowest model on our list. This car has a slick two-door coupe design and unique antenna-like mirrors, and it’s priced at $1.3 million.
  • McLaren F1: Once, years ago, the F1 was the fastest car in the world. With a top speed of 240 mph, the 106 McLaren F1s that were produced in the 90s are still a force to be reckoned with, they just aren’t the fastest.
  • Koenigsegg CCX: With a top speed of 250 mph, the CCX went through a long list of updates before the US-ready model arrived. A low, sleek style and a pair of unique, vertically opening doors make the CCX eye-catching without being obnoxious.
  • SSC Ultimate Aero: With a top speed of 257 mph, this car once held the “fastest car in the world” spot that we are counting down to. One of the key differences between it and many other models is its lack of electronic assistance devices to give the driver maximum control.
  • Koenigsegg Agera R: “Agera” means “to take action” in Swedish, and we have to admit that you’ll be taking quite a bit of action when behind the wheel of this model, especially if you plan to approach its top speed of 260 mph.
  • Bugatti Veyron Super Sport: For just $2.4 million, you can hit a top speed of 267.8 mph, and it held the top spot on the list for some time. In fact, it was just recently surpassed by the…
  • Hennessey Venom GT: With a top speed of 270 mph, this is actually one of the most affordable models on the list at $1 million. Like some supercars, it has aesthetics that may take some getting used to, but that’s what happens when you optimize for aerodynamics.

Car Fans, Check Back for More

We are car fans writing for car fans, so you can always expect us to cover topics of interest to drivers and true fans of automobiles. Be sure to check back regularly, and let us know down in the comments what your favorite fast cars are, street legal or not.


Ford Teases 2015 Saleen 302 Mustang

Author JoeC    Category Performance     Tags

With the 2015 Ford Mustang on its way, it’s only a matter of time before the streets are filled with custom-tuned models that are made to give you just what you want out of a 03_saleens3022011vehicle that, well, probably already is able to give you what you want. Regardless, for auto fans this means that we can get a glimpse at some redesigned versions of the 2015 Mustang, and that’s something for us to get excited over.

The Saleen 302

Saleen Automotive is one of the longest running Mustang tuners, and they have just released a teaser of the 2015 Saleen 302 Mustang online. Since they opened their doors in 1983, they have been dedicated to providing drivers with the best in custom auto work, and nothing is more apparent when you look at the Saleen 302.

One of the first things we noticed was a new front grille. Originally inspired by the Ford Fusion, the top of the Mustang’s grille has been widened and essentially blacked out to give the vehicle a look like a Challenger or Camaro. Widened fenders and a lengthened hood help distance the Mustang from its factory models, and larger intake openings and a unique lower valance help round out the front end changes.

Final specs are expected to be released soon, but Saleen Automotive has let it out that the vehicle will have a 5.0L V8 under the hood—borrowed from the Mustang GT—and is expected to hit as much as 470 hp or more.

When it comes to the interior, we would like to have a look at it ourselves, but considering just how nice the high-end mustang models can get, we expect the Saleen 302 to be like sitting in the lap of luxury—leather upholstery, the latest in auto technology—as well as embracing a throwback design to old school Mustangs as drivers find themselves seeking the Americana of the classic muscle car in their modern vehicles.

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Here at For Car Fans, we’re just like you. We love cars and love talking about them, and if the idea of the 2015 Saleen 302 Mustang has you excited, well, you’re in the right place. Keep coming back as we update you and the rest of the world with some of the best cars we can find.


2017 Honda Civic Coupe Spotted

Author JoeC    Category Compacts, News     Tags

Prospective car

We know we’re not even halfway into 2015 yet, but the car world moves fast. While the 2016 Honda Civic has just recently debuted—including the promise of the Type-R making its way to the American market—auto journalists have spotted what they believe to be the 2017 Honda Civic Coupe taking test drives, and we’ve got some highlights for you.

What the Spy Photos Show

The next-gen Honda Civic has been the talk of the town since the rumors about the Type-R started, but now that we have confirmation of what’s coming for 2016, there are a few things that don’t quite add up about the spy photos we’ve seen—and that’s why we think they’re for the 2017 Honda Civic Coupe.

It was tough to make out any details from the black plastic camouflage around the Honda, but based on the rumors of a new Civic being based off of the sporty CR-Z body style, we think you’re in for a coupe that is much more sports car style than practical two-door car, differentiating itself from the mid-size Accord even further.

From the spy photos, it looks like the Civic will have a much more aggressive grille design as well as a sleeker profile. While there is no guarantee that the wheels will be on the production model, the Coupe was sporting some nice alloys that are sure to turn heads. In fact, based on what we know of the 2016 Civic and the fact that this model looks substantially different—including those alloy wheels—we think this could be the next generation of the Civic Si Coupe.

We’ll know more by the end of the year, when it’s predicted that this vehicle will go on display, but for now, know that at some point in the future, the Civic will have one of the sportiest designs it has ever seen—and with Honda’s new turbocharged engines available, it’ll be a joy to drive, too.

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We’re true car fans here—it’s in our name—and if you want to keep in the know on all of the latest news for fun-to-drive cars like the Honda Civic Coupe, bookmark our page and keep coming back.


Shapeshifting Goodyear Tires Generate Electricity

Author JoeC    Category Technology, Tires     Tags

Based on the current market’s concept vehicles, you might be surprised to find out that many of the older concept cars were a bit more idealistic and fantastical, almost as if the designers let their kids draw the initial sketches. The downside to the current realistic view of things is that very few goodyear tiresorganizations are using their imaginations to innovate, but Goodyear is looking to the old days with electricity-producing triple tube tires that shift shapes. And for good measure, they have tread patterns and hubs that look like they’ve come straight from the comic books.

How Do These Tires Work?

By using thermoelectric and piezoelectric materials embedded in the tread, changes in pressure and temperature on the tires will generate electricity just from rolling the tires down the road. Does it sound too good to be true? The science supports it, but we have no idea what the costs of the tires might be.

The biggest potential for these new tires is their ability in electric cars, calming the fears of drivers who worry that their battery could die due to the currently limited charging potential of electric cars. As of right now, Goodyear anticipates three different driving modes on these tires, and alternating between them can help optimize electricity generation and the charging of your car’s battery. We think it’s just a matter of time before these tires join the already commonplace regenerative braking on many new cars, electric or not.

  • An eco/safety position has maximum pressure in the tires’ three tubes to reduce rolling resistance.
  • A center tube with a higher pressure helps reduce rolling resistance and decrease the risk of hydroplaning.
  • The sporty mode increases the amount of contact your tire has with the road by reducing the overall pressure of the middle tube.

While the promo images released for the tires have Lexus and Toyota emblems on the wheels, you should pay them little mind. While those images surely come from a marketing deal, we think you can trust these tires to be available on any new model.

Bookmark for More

If you want to learn more about these innovative new tires or would like to keep up with similar innovations in auto tech, remember to bookmark our site here at For Car Fans and check back regularly.