Posts Tagged ‘2011


A whole lot of updates on AK – pics and video!

Hi everyone,

this space has been left unattended for a month at the very least, but I now have the opportunity to share with you what we’ve been doing over at We have car reviews up with several more on deck, a multitude of photos and our first original videos!

We attended the Americana Manhasset Concours D’Elegance on Oct. 10th. click here to see our video and photo gallery of the event.

This is our first venture into cutting a video for the site. It’s more of an exercise in what we hope to accomplish in the near future.

Also live is our long overdue review of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Limited, a car I enjoyed but learned a painful lesson about time management and the delaying of writing a review. I have several new ones to write and I’m desperately trying to avoid repeating the same pattern.

Check out the Sonata review here.

And lastly, here are some shots for upcoming features on AutoKinesis:

Thanks for reading! Keep checking AutoKinesis for more news and articles!

and visit our youtube channel and let us know what you think of our new videos.

-Alex K-



First Drive: 2011 Ford Fiesta

Ain’t no party like an NYC party, ‘cuz an NYC party don’t stop. Unless the party is more of a fiesta, specifically the 2011 Ford Fiesta, and you mire it in bumper-to-bumper traffic. The party at the very least slows to a crawl at that point. No worries, though, since the Fiesta is specifically designed for the urban stop-and-go environment, giving the driver plenty to work with on the side roads and in the gridlock.

Read the rest here at


First Drive: 2011 Mustang GT 5.0

At Ford H.Q, when the sheet was pulled off of the 2011 Mustang GT that would sport the 5.0 V8, a fellow journalist leaned in to me and muttered a painful truth I was attempting to ignore:

“looks like you’re gonna have to upgrade.”

My heart sank. No one likes to hear that their automotive pride and joy is to be surpassed by a newer, faster model and here I was, at the very spawning ground of my ‘08 GT/CS being told it was officially obsolete. I managed to fool myself regarding last year’s refresh as my ape-like, chest-thumping defense mechanism was triggered. This time, however, no matter how much pride and jealousy oozes through my seams, I cannot ignore the fact that the new Mustang GT is simply amazing

Read the rest here at


2011 Lotus Elise: pics and specs

Lotus (which we really should talk more about here) has bestowed upon us news on the 2011 Elise, the latest version of the consummate roadster from the Norfolk gents. The bog standard model will feature a 1.6 liter Toyota engine that puts out roughly 134 HP, while the top of the range, the Elise SC, will sport a 1.8 supercharged engine that produces 217 HP.  That gives the SC a 0-60 of 4.3 secs, with a top speed of 145 mph.

The key to the performance and efficiency of the new Toyota engine is the Valvematic system (a variable valve lift mechanism), which is combined with the dual VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent). The engine continuously controls intake valve opening/closing timing and the intake valve lift to vary the volume of the intake airflow, giving significant improvements in efficiency and fuel economy. This ensures optimal performance based on the engines operational condition,  helping the Elise achieve both high fuel efficiency and high performance.

Max power output is achieved at near 6800 rpm and maximum torque (a respectable 160 Nm, 118 lb.ft) is reached at 4400 rpm. This makes for a good combination of mid range pull but also encourages the driver to rev the engine to the redline of 7000 rpm . Like all Elise sportscars, there are three shift up lights, on the binnacle cumulatively lighting when the driver is getting closer to the rev limiter. When all three light up, they’ll flash, signaling the ideal upshift moment.

If Lotus cars are synonymous with anything, it’s most definitely handling. The entry level Lotus Elise weighs 876 kg, making it one of the lightest fully homologated sportscars in the world. The low weight translates into efficient performance with minimal fuel consumption, and a little horsepower goes a long way. The delicacy and accuracy of the steering, throttle and brakes of the Elise and all of these factors are what contribute the “rides on rails” reputation.

Some key changes to the 2011 models are the body design changes (more on that in a moment), new all in one headlights with LED day running lights and indicators, new cast and forged wheels, and an extended warranty.

The body changes not only update the Elise to match the Evora’s style, but also reduce the drag coefficient by 4%, improving speed and fuel economy. It may not seem like much, but a little goes a long way in racing.  What I can’t shake is that, yes, the Elise’s new look has been evolved from Evora design, but I can’t help thinking that the front end looks more closely related to a different sports car…

I dunno, I could be alone in thinking this. If you agree that the new Elise is the milkman’s kid, drop me a comment. And if you think I’m way off, do the same, I’m eager to see what your thoughts are.

-Alex K-


First Look: 2012 Ford Focus

Sat in an empty assembly plant in Dearborn and told to expect news about the Focus, I can’t say I was enthused. It’s a good car, but I’ve regarded it with indifference since the U.S. was never going to have a Focus as good looking and interesting as the RS. When the sheet was pulled back, I, prepping for a very long presentation and in “subtle-nap” position, sprang up in pleasant surprise.

The next-gen incarnation (2011? 2012? the press release says” goes on sale early 2011″  but I’m being corrected. weird.) has been re-worked by a global team of specialists to make a sporty, stylish car that meets their targets of fuel economy and driving quality. The 2012 Focus is also the first car to be created under the ONE ford approach, a strategy to create and design cars that appeal to all markets. Indeed, the new Focus will be nearly identical in all markets, with 80 percent parts commonality around the world.

“The new Ford Focus is a clear demonstration that our ONE Ford strategy is providing global consumers with great products that harness the best of Ford Motor Company,” said Alan Mulally, Ford’s president and CEO.

The 2012 Focus continues Ford’s kinetic design initiative and giving the car a sporty feel that will be eye catching worldwide.  The lower trapezoidal grille is divided into 3 sections, which is the first detail immediately noticeable in the car’s expressive form language. The Focus features an athletic profile and a great stance on both the 4-door sedan and the 5-door hatchback. The interior will be equally sleek and will have the recently announced MyFord Touch interface incorporated into the design.

The Focus brought improved levels of agility and responsiveness to C-segment cars, and the new Focus plans to raise the bar even higher with refining the precision and ride control of the driving characteristics.  Engineers have updated suspension concepts from prior models and optimized the multilink rear suspension and the semi-islolated front and rear subframes. The chassis design will be complemented by an Electronic Power Assist Steering system, which will aid in precision at high speeds and adjust itself accordingly to be maneuverable for actions like parking.

Cornering stability and agility have been enhanced with the introduction of an advanced Dynamic Cornering Control system, which uses “torque vectoring” to transfer power between the drive wheels to reduce understeer, allow better turn-in, and improve traction.  These characteristics will be the same across the globe, using identical chassis and suspension architecture in all markets, except to meet minor regional specifications such as tires.

The power behind the 2012 Focus for the North American market will be a completely new 2.0-liter engine that features direct injection and Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT)  for enhanced fuel efficiency and performance, the same engineering to be used in the Mustang GT 5.0.  The 4-cylinder engine looks to produce an estimated HP of 150+, and 145 ft-lbs of torque.

To maximize the performance and fuel economy , the engine is mated with a dry-clutch six-speed Ford PowerShift automatic transmission.  Based on manual gearbox technology, torque converters, planetary gears, and  oil pumps will be out, and electronically controlled twin clutches will shift gears for optimal torque flow and ease of operation.

now with radial blur!!

The new range will start production simultaneously in Europe and North America late this year, and is expected to go on sale in early 2011 and will be revealed in person at the North American International Auto Show.

Head over to Autosavant to read this news with the E-I-C’s contributions as he’s on hand at NAIAS to compare it in person with the competition.

-Alex K-