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Michael Harley

West Coast Editor (email | google+) Subscribe to RSS

Michael Harley — a bona fide automotive enthusiast right down to the core — has been driving, studying, reviewing, and photographing cars since he was legally licensed. He fuels his automotive passion by racing a Porsche Boxster with the Porsche Owners Club and embraces any opportunity to get behind the wheel of a high-power motorized vehicle. Michael is a professional automotive journalist, an experienced photographer, and part owner of GSR Autosport — a multi-facetted award-winning automotive racing business campaigning a BMW in the popular Formula Drift series. In addition to Autoblog, Michael is a contributing writer for numerous automotive club publications and the global marketing firm of J.D. Power and Associates.

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    Quick Spin: 2016 Audi S6
    Enhancements Improve, But A Gentleman's Character Prevails 1416243420

    Minutes after spending time in the refreshed 2016 Audi A6 in Germany, we were tossed the keys to its enthusiast-tuned sibling, the Audi S6. In similar manner to its lesser brethren, the S6 has also been updated for the 2016 model year with a new look, a boost in power and additional ...

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    First Drive: 2016 Audi A6
    Boosted Power And New Gearbox Transform This Teutonic Sedan 1415293080

    After dodging light traffic for more than 10 miles at speeds never exceeding 85 miles per hour, the left lane of the derestricted autobahn ahead of us finally opens wide. This is the opportunity we've been waiting for, and we bury the accelerator against its stop and hold it there. The ...

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    Quick Spin: 2015 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid
    Creamy Complex Powertrain Delivers The E-Assisted Goods 1415033820

    Think of the electric motor in the facelifted 2015 Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid as the cream filling in an Oreo cookie. Under the hood of this plug-in hybrid crossover is a 333-horsepower, supercharged 3.0-liter V6 with a 95-hp synchronous electric motor sandwiched between it and an eight-speed ...

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    Review: 2015 McLaren 650S
    Making The MP4-12C A Distant Memory 1414425420

    Otolith organs are the tiny acceleration-sensing parts of your inner ear that are extremely effective at telling your brain when you are changing velocity. They make easy work of elevator rides, subway cars and most roller coasters, but the organs are completely overpowered by the 2015 McLaren ...

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    Quick Spin: 2015 Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster
    Well-Seasoned Beauty Gets Shiftier 1413820620

    Aston Martin previewed its most powerful, quickest-accelerating and fastest production roadster ever at this year's Pebble Beach Concours. The 2015 V12 Vantage S Roadster is essentially a convertible version of the V12 Vantage S Coupe, which we reviewed last year, a model that drops the ...

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    First Drive: 2015 BMW X6
    Bavaria's High-Riding Hunchback Stays The Course 1413215820

    Most everyone would agree that BMW offers a range of very attractive and well-proportioned coupes, sedans, crossovers and wagons. Yet there is one member of its family that has always struck us as a bit odd: the X6. Proudly coined "The world's first Sports Activity Coupe" by its German maker, ...

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    First Drive: 2015 Ford F-150 [w/videos] [UPDATE]
    Utilizing Lightweight Aluminum To Break Steel Traditions 1412294280

    UPDATE: Ford has responded to our inquiries for curb weights on all models and released figures for all models. You can see a chart in the gallery and our article below has been updated accordingly. To learn more about the all-new 2015 F-150 and get an early read on its potential hero-or-zero ...

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    First Drive: 2015 Honda CR-V
    Meaningful Mid-Cycle Refresh Leaves This Cute-Ute All Grown Up 1412092620

    Predicting the future direction of Honda's compact CR-V would have been difficult based on the Civic-derived model that first arrived on our shores for the 1997 model year. The newcomer, selling alongside the body-on-frame Passport (a hastily rebadged Isuzu Rodeo), was a cute compact crossover ...

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    Review: 2014 Pagani Huayra
    A Cool $1.84 Million -€“ Therapy Not Included 1411747020

    As I pilot the Pagani Huayra down a busy Los Angeles freeway, I can't help but grow increasingly concerned about my psychological state – I've got a sneaking suspicion that I'm going a bit mad. My default condition as a law-abiding citizen is to typically play it safe to avoid ...

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    First Drive: 2015 Toyota Yaris
    Refreshed To Sell Confidence And Value, Not Innovation And Technology 1411660620

    Advertising firms have done an admirable job convincing consumers that the easiest way to find a best-in-segment car or truck is by looking at a few key metrics. In the most elementary terms, the vehicle with the highest horsepower, most gears in its transmission housing, lowest acceleration ...

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    Quick Spin: 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid
    Refreshed, Resculpted, Polished And Refined 1411412280

    Toyota offers many flavors of its refreshed 2015 Camry, but those who choose to lower their operating cost-per-mile, squeeze 500-plus miles out of each tank of fuel or run a very efficient and reliable sedan in their taxi fleets will only be interested in one: the Camry Hybrid. The exterior of ...

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    Video: GT-R owner finds going 200 mph on a public freeway is asking for trouble
    1410735540

    We are going to start with the disclaimer: do not try this at home. Ever. That covered, we've been intrigued with a video that is making its rounds on the enthusiast forums. Shot from a dash cam, with a full performance overlay, it shows a modified 800 horsepower Nissan GT-R (with its ...

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    Review: 2015 Cadillac Escalade
    Flying High In Caddy's First-Class SUV 1409328000

    I have never liked traveling to Monterey, CA. The picturesque coastal city is about 300 miles from my home in Los Angeles, which means cramped and uncomfortable regional aircraft are part of the equation when the turnaround is only one night. Over the years, I have cursed the LA Basin's ...

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    Video: Evo pits BMW M3 against Porsche Macan in drag battle
    1408922940

    If you want to move five passengers in very rapid fashion and you've got a $75,000 budget, two newly introduced four-door models immediately come to mind – both are the highest performing vehicles in their respective segments. But which is faster off the line, to the 60-mile-per-hour ...

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    Quick Spin: 2014 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG 4Matic
    Luxury Bruiser Loves To Run, Hates To Dawdle 1408377420

    Let us pause as I toss a Kleenex to the owners of Mercedes-Benz's $166,900 S600 and $222,000 S65 AMG models. The quickest S-Class is not fitted with a twin-turbocharged V12 driving its rear wheels. Instead, that honor goes to this $141,450 S63 AMG, which arrives with a twin-turbocharged V8, a ...

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    First Drive: 2015 Acura TLX
    Splitting The Difference Makes The Difference 1407167820

    Immediately after landing at Washington's Dulles airport, an Acura representative handed me the keys to a 2014 TSX with fewer than 180 miles on its clock. The four-cylinder engine started and I pointed its signature beak towards a destination in Middleburg, VA. It was a curious move by the ...

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    Quick Spin: 2015 Porsche Macan S
    Stuttgart's Entry-Level Crossover Is Everything But 1406822220

    I'd be willing to bet that 99 percent of all Porsche Macan owners will never take their vehicle on a track or see any more off-roading than a dirt path to a summer cottage, yet I maintain that there is no better venue to explore the absolute outer limits of the automaker's newest small family ...

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    First Drive: 2016 Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Prototype [w/video]
    Making The Case To Build A Brand-Defining Sports Car 1406563020

    It only takes about half a lap of the Millbrook Proving Grounds for me to become convinced that Infiniti must build this car. The sedan I am piloting around the English circuit is a working prototype of the Q50 Eau Rouge Concept that made its world debut at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show earlier ...

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    First Drive: 2015 Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT
    Analog Warmth And Stunning Looks For Under $100k 1404921480

    Only one thing is going through my mind as I blast down the Autobahn at 170 miles per hour: If someone were to give me $100,000 today, I'd go buy a new Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT tomorrow. I know there are a dozen other choices out there – cars that are more powerful, quicker around a road ...

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    First Drive: 2015 Hyundai Sonata
    Charting A Premium Course In A Crowded Segment 1404143820

    Completely redesigning a vehicle competing in a fiercely contested segment requires delicately balancing styling, performance, safety, efficiency, innovation, passenger comfort and pricing, while simultaneously not alienating model loyalists. In other words, it's no simple task. Automakers ...

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