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Loudspeaker KEF Reference 5 Review (Part 3)
Beyond that, though, the KEF Reference 5s also passed the acid test of this demanding recording by being totally unfazed by the effect of the reverberant acoustic when the music gets fast, high and loud. For once there was really no sense of unpleasant confusion.
Loudspeaker KEF Reference 5 Review (Part 2)
With the Concept Blade prototype and the production Blade, the point-source idea of Uni-Q was cleverly extended to the complete system. Four bass units were placed on the cabinet sides in positions such that their combined acoustic centre exactly coincided with the acoustic centre of the Uni-Q driver on the front. So KEF was able to describe the Blade as the world's ‘first Single Apparent Source loudspeaker'.
Loudspeaker KEF Reference 5 Review (Part 1)
The first new loudspeaker to result from KEF's pioneering venture into CAD, the Model 104 of 1973, was also the first to be designated ‘KEF Reference'. It was followed in 1977 by the now-iconic Model 105, and then by many more.
The Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG – Monster Trucking (Part 2)
It also feels, strangely enough, reasonably well resolved around a tight set of corners. Driving up our favourite hill stretch, with the dampers set to Sport+, the GL seems quite willing to dig its heels in and turn with flourish.
The Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG – Monster Trucking (Part 1)
Panama City, the namesake capital of Panama is a smorgasbord of colours, casinos and modern-day trappings. Till recently, the Diablos Rojos—old dilapidated school buses that looked like graffiti walls on wheels—were amongst the most identifiable fixtures in this city.
The Porsche 911 50th Anniversary Edition – The 991 Carrera S At Its Best
The 50th Anniversary, arriving in the UK a little late for its own birth day party, will run to 1963 units in a nod to the year Porsche first unveiled its rear-engined sports coupe. With a production run eight times greater than the Sport Classic’s, it isn’t likely to have well-heeled 911 enthusiasts aquiver in quite the same way.
The Porsche Macan S – Ready For Track And Trail
The moment we say Porsche, the first thing that comes to the mind is a low-slung sports car until the Cayenne came along and instantly became a bestseller. This time we are in Dubai to drive the second SUV in Porsche’s line-up, the Macan, which is being hailed as Porsche’s answer in the premium compact SUV segment.
Activity Tracker Withings Pulse 02 Review
The names Cedric Hutchings and Eric Carreel may not be instantly familiar to you, but these two gentlemen are concerned about your health and well being. Cedric and Eric are the founders of Withings, a company that creates products and services designed to enable people to track aspects of their lifestyle.
The Mercedes-Benz CLS63 AMG S – Remain Quick And Refined
The styling revisions are subtle to say the least, the most prominent of them being the new lower air intake surround that brings the CLS in line with Mercedes’ recent all-new models. The grille has also been revised and the rear lights have been darkened for a more sinister appearance. The cabin is largely unchanged, save for the new tablet-style central screen.
The Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG – Knocked Out Cold (Part 2)
You’re going too quick and halfway through realise that the car won’t make it. So you tap the brakes, and wait for the car to respond as it starts to understeer – all 2.55 tonnes of it protesting through the 275/50 R20.
The Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG – Knocked Out Cold (Part 1)
It's a design that's withstood the test of time. Critics pan the 'aged yet resolute' exteriors, but in the same breath hold some warped sense of fancy for it. Mercedes-Benz (or its customers) certainly doesn’t seem to care: surviving 35 years of negative sentiment seem to have worked in the MUV’s favour. The G Class forges on – dusting off the radiation and criticism with disdain – as if nothing ever happened.
The Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe – Lean Times For Merc Plutocrats (Part 2)
Magic Body Control is a wonderful contrivance, more than earning its moniker a good 95% of the time. Its camera reading the road ahead to prepare the suspension for whatever is about to tax it, the system washes away all but the most overtly aggressive of road undulations with grader-blade efficiency; you can even charge down sleeping policemen of a more vegetarian bent at unabated speed and simply not feel a thing.
The Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe – Lean Times For Merc Plutocrats (Part 1)
Wok-sized three-pointed star preceding sixteen and half feet of imposing, Banquo’s ghost-white coachwork; 19in gloss-black alloys nursing the angry ulcers of bright-red brake calipers; a power-to-weight ratio of 279bhp-per-tonne; an exhaust system tuned to ape a sleuth of bears awoken from hibernation by a BB-gun alarm clock...
The Aston Martin V8 Vantage N430 – Dynamics And Athleticism (Part 2)
The naturally aspirated 4.7-litre V8 never sounds less than purposeful, but is beginning to feel its age. It’s smooth and tractable enough, but i t lacks the outright punch and immediacy of its price-point rivals.
The Aston Martin V8 Vantage N430 – Dynamics And Athleticism (Part 1)
So this is the V8 Vantage N430. Still looks good, doesn’t it? And sounds good, too, I might add. But then Aston’s baby has never exactly struggled in the aesthetic or acoustic departments. Still, there’s no denying the game has moved on considerably since the Vantage first seduced us in 2005.
The Aston Martin Vantage N430 – Time For Retirement, 007?
The bright blue car finishes fifth, out of a field of nearly 200, and is there to remind the world that Aston builds sports cars. Not grand tourers, but proper, involving coupes that have a proven race heritage. And to make that link a little stronger there’s now this, the Vantage N430.
The Audi RS6 Avant – Significantly Faster
Few cars are as easy to own as an Audi RS6, providing your pockets are deep enough. Big bills are part of the territory, but as long as you can afford them you’ll find this estate is an utterly effort less way of going very quickly – pretty much whatever the weather.
The Ferrari F50 – Mostly Created To Be Fast
They say it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. Owning and then having to part fairly suddenly with a Ferrari F50 generates very similar feelings. On the question of why, the answer is simple but the situation complex.
Porsche Cayenne Turbo Versus Mercedes ML63 AMG – Battle Of The Behemoths (Part 2)
But the ML63 isn’t like that. It’s far more composed. Yes, the body does roll a fair bit, but you can be sure things will not get nasty if a bend is dealt with at little-more-than normal speeds. But the steering is a big spoilsport. It’s light at all speeds and there’s absolutely no hint of feedback whatsoever.
Porsche Cayenne Turbo Versus Mercedes ML63 AMG – Battle Of The Behemoths (Part 1)
Burly, tricked out, super-powerful SUVs don’t really work for me. They’re too big and heavy, and the only thing that those men back at the factory have done by giving such cars excessive power is allow them to go fast in a straight line.
The BMW I8 – Car Of The Future (Part 4)
A small, one-word caveat: understeer. For all Munich’s talk of balanced weight distribution and a center of gravity just 18 inches off the ground, the front tire choice shows that BMW has been cautious with the i8’s fundamental grip. Those tires are a weeny 215-section, and that’s only if you choose the optional wide ones. Standard fit is a 195 front on a 20-inch rim.
The BMW I8 – Car Of The Future (Part 3)
Onto some canyon roads, I pulled the gear lever left into Sport mode, pushed the throttle a little further, and the car responded. It doesn’t so much accelerate as place itself farther down the road. However often I drive cars with electric motors, I’m always a little stunned the first time the torque deploys. It’s just so effective.
The BMW I8 – Car Of The Future (Part 2)
In Sport, the battery is kept at a higher state of charge and is more aggressively replenished under braking. While BMW has carefully downplayed expectations with this car - the company line during development was always that the i8 would be “quick enough” - in reality, it’s a rocket: 0-60 mph in just 3.8 seconds.
The BMW I8 – Car Of The Future (Part 1)
BMW’s i8 is both a car and a preview of the marque’s future. This is fitting, because everyone who sees the i8 assumes it is, in fact, from the future.
McLaren P1, Porsche 918, And Ferrari LaFerrari – A Brave New Breed (Part 5)
This is true to a lesser extent on LaF. Yes, the Ferrari’s naturally aspirated V-12 is a better base for drivability, but you’d never squeeze 950 hp from it without compromising flexibility.
McLaren P1, Porsche 918, And Ferrari LaFerrari – A Brave New Breed (Part 4)
In the Ferrari, I wasn’t even initially aware that the brakes were involved in the charging process. Like everything else on the LaF, the driver is allowed to simply get in and drive. But the best brakes are still on the P1, as its Akebono ceramics are otherworldly.
McLaren P1, Porsche 918, And Ferrari LaFerrari – A Brave New Breed (Part 3)
The LaF uses a battery to go faster, plain and simple. It will not drive under electric power alone. Ferrari has chosen to add 308 pounds of weight, 132 of that in battery mass, to give a wet weight of around 3000 pounds.
McLaren P1, Porsche 918, And Ferrari LaFerrari – A Brave New Breed (Part 2)
Quite how a car charged, literally, with 950 hp can be coaxed forward with so little drama is a function of how far these cars have come since the last frenzied bout of willy-waving 10 years back.
McLaren P1, Porsche 918, And Ferrari LaFerrari – A Brave New Breed (Part 1)
By the time I hit Fiorano, we’d been driving the LaFerrari on the street for a few hours, so I was already familiar with it. When I say “familiar,” I mean I have an idea of how wide it is, how the controls work, how surprisingly supple the ride is, and how much throttle can be used before a sense of social unease seeps in.
BMW 320i Sports Steptronic Versus Lexus IS350 E Versus Mercedes-Benz C200 – The Petrols (Part 1)
You have to feel a tinge of sympathy for Mercedes-Benz. Perennially, its compact-executive sedan has lagged behind its rival from Bavaria in terms of sales success and its inability to gamer overwhelmingly positive reviews from the motoring press.
BMW 320i Sports Steptronic Versus Lexus IS350 E Versus Mercedes-Benz C200 – The Petrols (Part 2)
The BMW makes it easier for occupants to access the bench thanks to a larger door opening, but the sill is higher, so care needs to be taken when exiting the vehicle, and foot room is at a premium when the front seats are in a low position.
BMW 320i Sports Steptronic Versus Lexus IS350 E Versus Mercedes-Benz C200 – The Petrols (Part 3)
The C200, on the other hand, sounds gruff at most engine speeds and the transmission doesn't change gears as smoothly as it should (isn't it time the carmaker stopped developing its own transmissions and started commissioning other companies to develop them?). Thankfully, excellent sound-deadening means the powertrain never becomes overly intrusive.
The Aston Martin V12 Vantage S – Vantage Point (Part 1)
Astons were for gentlemen who hid a streak of thug somewhere beneath their Brioni suit (a certain J. Bond comes to mind); they were on the verge of becoming analogue anachronisms in a digital age, with their old-world technology and lack of a myriad of safety nannies.
The Aston Martin V12 Vantage S – Vantage Point (Part 2)
The older V12 Vantage came with a 6-speed manual ‘box, which has been cast aside in favour of a 7-speed, single-clutch Sportshift III automated manual, from Graziano.
The Cyber-athletic Revolution – E-sports’ Era (Part 1)
One of the first major initiatives to bring video games out of LAN parties and into public limelight happened in 1997 with the formation of the Cyber athlete Professional League (CPL), promising monetary prizes for gamers and a chance to ‘go pro’.
The Cyber-athletic Revolution – E-sports’ Era (Part 2)
There was also the problem where e-sports didn’t actually help sell video games. Tournaments always revolve around a few stalwarts such as Counter-Strike and StarCraft that have years of building their popularity and fan base.
Ferrari 458 Speciale Versus McLaren 650S Versus Porsche 911 GT3 – Holy Trinity (Part 6)
So let's rewind to when you thumb the start button on the thick-rimmed, smoothed-off hexagonal steering wheel (which feels great, by the way). The 4.5-litre V8 pukes out its angry, flat blare and the whole car fizzes and vibrates. The Speciale is loud.
Ferrari 458 Speciale Versus McLaren 650S Versus Porsche 911 GT3 – Holy Trinity (Part 5)
Niggles remain and they’re exposed by the absolute precision of the GT3. The engine, while almost shockingly powerful, does suffer from lag in slower corners and the throttle response just isn’t as sharp as with a great normally aspirated engine.
Ferrari 458 Speciale Versus McLaren 650S Versus Porsche 911 GT3 – Holy Trinity (Part 4)
There's something deeply seductive about the 650S, though. The dihedral doors need a good tug to raise, but as they sweep up and away from the car to expose the slim MonoCelI carbon fibre structure beneath, the sense of anticipation spikes.
Ferrari 458 Speciale Versus McLaren 650S Versus Porsche 911 GT3 – Holy Trinity (Part 3)
In fact there's so much that's familiar. The sensations come thick and fast - the spookily effective, almost surreal traction, the way the tyres seem to squeeze into the surface through each comer, and the short, sharp split-seconds where the tyres slip then grip.
 
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