Driver Seat

DRIVER SEAT> 40 Years of Volkswagen Golf GTI

This year, Volkswagen is celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the popular VW Golf - the best selling European car of all time! More than 30 million Golf models have been sold since the Golf Mk1 went on sale in May 1974 in Europe (the car made its debut in the United States as the Volkswagen Rabbit in December of the same year). Seven generations later, the successful formula remains the same: compact, yet elegant styling; space-efficient interior design; small displacement yet powerful engines; and responsive front-wheel-drive handling.

While on a short trip to San Francisco, I had the unique opportunity to test drive both the all new 2015 Volkswagen Golf Mark 7 and a 1984 Golf GTI Mark1. What an awesome experience that was!   Read more...

DRIVER SEAT> Global Time Attack at Road Atlanta

Road Atlanta and Global Time Attack are a match made in heaven. If you combine a 2.54 mile road course that rolls through the green hills of Georgia with an open rule set where maximum speed and minimum lap times are all that matters, you're bound to have an incredible event.

Thanks to GTA series sponsors like Continental Tire, Whiteline Suspension, Garrett Turbo, Spec Clutch and Meister Watches, the battle for Road Atlanta certainly did not disappoint, with new competitors in the mix, newly set fastest lap records, and even big crashes!   Read more...

DRIVER SEAT> 370Z Roadster At Raceline Track Day

I had a lot more fun than expected when I test drove this Midnight Blue 370Z Touring Roadster! During the week I had it, I drove it to several weekday meetings and photo shoots with the top down, enjoying the 70 degree weather typical of Southern California in February. On the weekend, I was given the opportunity to join my friends from Raceline USA at a track day they hosted at Buttonwillow Raceway.

At first, I felt like the odd man out in a bone stock 2013 370Z Touring Roadster, because almost everyone else in attendance drove the track day in a modified or race prepared car. I quickly got over that feeling though, because a day at the track with friends is always a fun experience. And a 6-speed 370Z Roadster is definitely a fun car to drive!   Read more...

DRIVER SEAT> Track Testing The BF Goodrich Rival

Michelin North America's BFGoodrich brand just recently unveiled the all new BFG g-Force Rival, an ultra high performance tire designed for drivers that want versatile tires for their high performance street cars; tires sticky enough to be used in autocross and track-day events, then driven home.

Last week, I was given the opportunity to test the new BFG Rival at NOLA Motorsports Park, and it delivered on every single one of its claims. The BFG Rival might even be the best new tire in the Tire Rack lineup for weekend autocrossers, road racers, and midnight canyon runners. However, before we jump to any conclusions, let's take a closer look at our experiences on the racetrack.   Read more...

DRIVER SEAT> Ferrari vs Lambo At Exotics Racing

It doesn't matter if you're male or female; young or old. Everyone loves exotic cars - especially Ferrari and Lamborghini. They're beautiful; they're fast; they're exclusive. Unfortunately for most, this exclusivity stems from the fact that they're also very rare and expensive; some people never even get the chance to drive an exotic super car in their entire lifetime. The lust for exotic automobiles begins when you are a child - every car lover dreams of driving an exotic car, but usually they only get to play with smaller scale toy versions.

Luckily for us, MotorMavens sharpshooter Mike Kim and I were given the rare opportunity to test drive a pair of exotic supercars on a race track at Exotics Racing in Las Vegas! Located just a few freeway exits away from The Las Vegas Strip, Exotics Racing blends all the luxury and service that one expects from a Las Vegas Resort with an amazing supercar driving experience.

To be honest, Mike and I have always thought that test driving cars like the Ferrari 458 Italia, Lamborghini Aventador, Mercedes Benz SLS AMG, Audi R8 and Aston Martin V8 Vantage were out of our price range, so we never really bothered to look into it. Big mistake. As it turns out, our stupid assumptions were wrong. Completely wrong!   Read more...

DRIVER SEAT> Volkswagen Golf R: Turbo AWD Fun

The new Volkswagen Golf R just might be the perfect daily driver - but only if you value things like nimble handling, quick acceleration, a sporty-yet-comfortable interior, a good stereo system, ice cold air conditioning, and the ability to bring friends on road trips with you. If you don't like those things, then the Golf R might not be for you. But wait - who doesn't like those things???

My first experience with the new Volkswagen Golf R certainly caught me by surprise. As a person that has been primarily focused on sporty Japanese cars all my adult life, I'll honestly admit that I've never really looked into buying a Volkswagen. As a result, I've been a bit ignorant and unfamiliar with the VW brand in the past - something that I will definitely be changing in the future!

I knew that the Golf R was Volkswagen's top contender in the sport compact segment. However, until I actually had the chance to spend an entire week with the car, I had no idea that I would like the car as much as I did! Of course, the Golf R did have some pros and cons...   Read more...

DRIVER SEAT> Longo Scion FRS Tour of LA Drive

With all the attention the new Scion FR-S and Toyota GT86 have been receiving, people have been scouring the internet for photos and information on the exciting new front engine, rear wheel drive sports car platform that has been taking the world by storm. Scion dealers around the nation have been participating in Scion "First 86" unveilings, but the good folks at Longo Toyota/Scion have decided to be proactive in connecting with the newly developing Scion FRS owners community.

While other dealers concentrate on trying to move units, Scion salesman Jeffrey Chang and Longo Scion decided to sponsor the very first Scion FR-S Tour of LA driving event! Lots of great looking cars were in attendance, but I just couldn't take my eyes off the newly built Cusco Scion FRS, which was already outfitted with Toyota emblems, and the full line of Cusco suspension and accessories.   Read more...

DRIVER SEAT> Scion FR-S Driving Impressions

The fact that Toyota (Scion) has reintroduced an affordable FR-Sports car (front engine, rear wheel drive) back into its product lineup is so exciting! Everyone has been talking about it, dreaming about it, and hypothesizing about it for quite some time now... but last week, I actually had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the new 2013 Scion FR-S.

As a member of the automotive media and an AE86 owner, it's no secret that I've been blessed with the opportunity to see the new FR-S up close on a couple different occasions, but this would be the very first time that I had any quality seat time with the car.

This being said, once I received the gracious email invite from Scion, I cleared my schedule and eagerly jumped on a plane to Las Vegas to find out what it would be like to drive the highly anticipated FR-S on a winding road, open highway, autocross course, wet skidpad, and perhaps the most enjoyable - a high speed handling test at one of Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch's racetracks.   Read more...

DRIVER SEAT> Testing The BF Goodrich Comp2

Those who have been following the @MOTORMAVENS feed on Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter probably already know that I tested out the new BF Goodrich g-Force Sport Comp-2 tire at California Speedway (Auto Club Speedway) this past week.

According to BFG, their new Comp2 tire promises drivers the ability to accelerate faster, corner harder, and brake in a shorter distance than their competitors. When asked exactly who they consider to be their competition for this class of tire, BFG pointed to Dunlop Direzza DZ101, Yokohama S-Drive, Kumho Ecsta SPT KU31, Cooper and Hankook Ventus V12 tires.   Read more...

DRIVER SEAT> B-Spec Mazdaspeed 2 and HPD Fit

Some people get into motorsports because they think that modifying their cars with aftermarket parts will allow them to drive faster. Others prefer to invest their time and money into seat time, realizing that any car can only be driven as fast as the skill level of the driver permits. These people realize that training and practice are the real keys to winning races - not adding more horsepower or braking to a vehicle.

Enter the B-Spec Series, an SCCA sanctioned racing class that was created for compact street-stock cars that racers could drive to and from the racetrack if they wanted. The idea was to create something similar to the SCCA Spec Miata class, with rules against hardcore modifications to equalize the playing field for the vehicles. In B-Spec competition, the ability to win races really boils down to the driver's skill and preparation.

When our friends at Mazdaspeed and Honda Performance Development invited us to attend a private track testing of their B-Spec Mazdaspeed 2 and an HPD-prepared Honda Fit, we just couldn't pass up the offer!   Read more...

DRIVER SEAT> Nexen/Mazdatrix RX8 & Kyle Mohan

I’m Kyle Mohan, and I drive the Nexen Tires/Mazdatrix RX8 in the Formula Drift Championship. It’s hard to believe that 2011 was already the fifth season for Kyle Mohan Racing (KMR) in Formula Drift. We started with an FC3S RX-7 that I built from the ground up with my dad in his driveway, and now we have our team, a title sponsor, and our first top ten finish in the Formula Drift Championship!

It’s been a very fun year for us! We achieved our best championship result in Formula Drift and won the Team Drift competition at the Long Beach Grand Prix, but we’ve also had a lot of setbacks.   Read more...

DRIVER SEAT> Miami Meets the Nissan Cube

The Nissan Cube is one of the newest Japanese imports to American shores, and what better place for such a spicy import to come ashore than caliente Miami? Not too long ago, we got to spend a little time with this habanero chili pepper-colored specimen (very nice) and we're digging the flavor.

Marketed by Nissan as the "Cube Mobile Device," this new product offering from Nissan competes directly against the highly popular Scion xB and the newly introduced Kia Soul.   Read more...