Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Polestar Charlotte Grand Opening!

The fine folks at Polestar electric vehicles just held a grand opening in Charlotte NC, and NMS was there! I'll admit that they had a free bar and some free food, but I passed on those and just wanted to check out the new dealership and their cars. 

There were several of these tablets available to check out the cars.

Display room

The showroom had just enough room for 3 cars in it, and it was very sleek and cool looking. If you're looking for an electric car with a ton of horsepower and pretty good range, you might want to put them on the list. They were showing their Polestar 2 model. From what I see on the Internet, there will be a slightly bigger Polestar 3 coming next year, which will also cost a bit more. Oh, and one more interesting thing about this company...

Trunk rear hatch looked pretty useful.

The Polestar company is a joint venture of Volvo (you know, the Swedish guys) and Chinese automaker Geely. The current Polestars are built, in, China. Hey, it's a global economy, in case you didn't get the memo. A little Geely trivia, they have China only models too, of course, and some of them have cool names like "Coolray" and "Okavango." Somewhere online I read the perspective that for those of us that remember being skeptical of Japanese or Korean vehicles when they were new, well, just keep that in mind if you doubt the ability of Chinese makers to build good cars now or in the future. 

Also, and even a bigger deal, is that Polestar will be building their next model, the Polestar 3 in the USA. To be a bit more specific, they will build it right here in good old South Carolina! As a new resident of the Palmetto state, I'd just like to highlight this fact, since BMW already builds their SUVs here (up in Greenville SC,) and the VW company will build a huge new factory for their future Scout electric vehicles in the state also! Amazing!

Back seat room OK, huge sunroof, and dig the seatbelt color!

There are several configurations of the Polestar 2, with the cheapest one being a single electric motor that starts just under $50,000 and has an electric range of 320 miles. 

Big central screen, and funky gear selector

The Long-Range Dual Motor version starts at $55,300 and has a range of 276 miles. 

Brembo brakes, drilled rotors, like most Porsches

Then there is a Long-Range Dual Motor with Performance Pack that starts at $63,000 and has a range of 247 miles. This one has the most horsepower, 455! Also, who prices something right at $63,000.00? I'd like the gas station people to just give us a plain price like this instead of the traditional 3.29 AND NINE TENTHS OF A CENT. COME ON MAN, I'm just TOTALLY out of 9/10th Cent Coins over here!

Free drinks, and free my favorite flavor!

While I haven't test driven one of these, they seem to be very nicely finished, and I'm sure with the power numbers of up to 421hp and 0-60 in 4.3 seconds they are a hoot to drive. You can check out Polestar USA at this link: POLESTAR USA 

Polestar 2

Plenty of room in the front seats, OK in back

I spotted these Michelin 20 inch wheels

The Polestar 2 comes with 3 years or 30,000 miles of free maintenance. Oh, and they'll come pick it up and then bring it back to you too. Maybe every car maker should do this!

Navigation screen centered on the driver

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Report From Track Night in America

NMS Cayman on track at CMP. Photo by Tradd's Photos.

Carolina Motorsports Park (we'll call it the home track for NMS) was the place, and Track Night in America was the event. Sponsored by the SCCA, these events are an EASY way to get on track for part of a day, in YOUR car, and have FUN! There ya go, three big all-caps words that no driver can resist: EASY, YOUR car, FUN! OK, make it 4 words, I'm not a math major. 

Check out the website, find an event near you, and GET ON TRACK!

Hey, I got a free t-shirt!

The drivers were split into three ability groups, and everyone got 3 twenty-minute sessions on track. Actually, the Beginner group got an extra session of paced laps, just to get used to the track and learn their way around. Here's a video one of my sessions, if you want to see the track at CMP, a few cars passing, and nothing but a good time being had by all! I drove in the Intermediate group. There are 4 specific straights where we could pass each other IF the leading car gave the following driver a point. That makes sure everyone knows who is passing who and on which side of the lead car. The Advanced group could point another car by in any location, since those drivers should have enough experience to be safe doing so. 

Intermediate Group Driver Meeting
Kyle Ray-Smith (2nd from right, member of the Bunch of Idiots racing team) was our group leader.

I had not driven on track for over a year, so my first session was a bit of relearning, but man it was fun. In the next 2 sessions I pushed the speeds up a bit, hit the brakes really hard, and worked on improving my cornering. 

When you're serious about racing.

I went with the 19-inch wheels for this event.

These events do a great job of splitting drivers into ability groups, and I can say that everyone in the Intermediate group was well behaved, let faster cars go by, and I didn't see any yellow, red, or black flags. Being safe, keeping it on track, and ending with a smile on your face (with an intact car) are the goals.  

Oh, don't worry if you get low, they've got gas at racetracks, and plenty of it!

Pro Tip: Show up with a full tank, because the plenty-o-gas at the track will tend to be a bit more expensive than outside the track. They had 93 octane at $4.99 a gallon, and $10.99 for 100 octane. On a side note, why does the blogger website want me to make "93 octane" plural, as in 93 OCTANES?

Oh hey, they gave me a shiny new "Track Night in America" sticker! The rule of decals/stickers is that each one on your car or helmet is worth 5 more horsepower! It's a proven scientific fact!

When the advanced group went out, I grabbed a photo of almost all the cars, so just in case you haven't seen enough cool cars today, here ya go! Any car can participate in TNiA. 

Thursday, September 21, 2023

National Drive Electric Week 2023

Brian checks out electric cars in 2014

Come on now, you've heard of electric cars and trucks by now! Shoot, you might even own or lease one. Maybe you know somebody with one. OK, or maybe you hate the idea of electric vehicles. Regardless, you can learn more about electric vehicles and test drive some during National Drive Electric Week! Formore info, or to find an event near you, check out their website: National Drive Electric Week

2014 BMW i3, our previous pick for best electric

I don't have anything to do with this event, and I don't know if the folks in charge have already thought of this or need a cool slogan, but if it were up to me, I'd recommend they use "DEW" for "Drive Electric Week." How about "Just DEW It America!" In their email they refer to it as NDEW, but I think they could cut 25% of those letters and save some ink while they're at it!

Nissan Leaf: we liked it just a hair less than the BMW i3

We attended a Drive Electric Week a few years ago in Blythewood SC (future home of the Audi Scout SUV all electric factory) and had a blast test driving some all-electric cars, so we'll hopefully get to do the same this weekend up in North Carolina. I think electrics are like hybrids, they may or may not fit your driving needs, such as commuting or long-distance trips. If they do fit your plans, then it's worth taking a look. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Clover SC Car Show and Fall Festival

Modern kit-car version of the epic Ford Cobra, one of two at the car show!

Here in York County SC, last Saturday was the annual Clover Auto Show and Fall Festival. If you've never heard of Clover, that's OK, it's not the largest city in the USA. OK, it's not even the largest city in South Carolina. Oh, and it's not the largest city in York County. However, it is in the top 5 for York County, coming in at a population of 7363, so way ahead of 6th place Sharon with 475. Anyway, 

There was a big turn-out of classic cars, lots of other booths selling stuff, bouncy houses for the kids, so let's take a look at just some of the cool cars that we spotted.

The original Ford Maverick was a car.

What says "THE 70s" like this Maverick interior!?!?

1964 Mercury Comet, bring it on!

They don't make rear ends like this anymore!
Gas filler panel in the center too. 

Mercury logo
When station wagons ruled the world!

Plymouth Custom Suburban!

When station wagons ruled the world part II
1956 Dodge Sierra
I think the bit of rust gives the two-toned paint scheme more of a three-toned look!

Dodge with "Mad Max" plate!

Random trivia, the Dodge had this dealership badge from Great Neck NY, which is where we just lived on Long Island!

1966 Chevrolet Corvette

It's always a great day for a car show!

Awesome Buick circa 1959

Sorry I didn't check out the Army Jeep, but I drove one in 1986 in basic training

Decal on an old VW Beetle

What's better than a Four Barrel?

A SIX Barrel!