Plateforme de Communiqués de Presse en Ligne : bricolage, maison, jardin...

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Plateforme de Communiqués de Presse en Ligne : bricolage, maison, jardin...

Plateforme de Communiqués de Presse en Ligne : bricolage, maison, jardin...
Communiques en ligne est une plateforme de communiqués de presse en ligne, permettant de communiquer sur les actualités, nouveautés et produits de votre entreprise ou de votre site internet dans les rubriques bricolage, maison ou jardin.
Communiques en ligne est une plateforme de communiqués de presse en ligne, permettant de communiquer sur les actualités, nouveautés et produits de votre entreprise ou de votre site internet dans les rubriques bricolage, maison ou jardin.

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  • Kia?s fortified Forte5 :

    The Forte name, finding its roots in music, French and fencing, denotes strength, which seems fitting for a vehicle series within the important-to-Canada compact segment.

    Tested here we have the Kia Forte5, a five-door hatchback slotted neatly between the Forte four-door sedan and the two-door Forte Koup.

    The Forte5 lineup ranges in price from around $20-$30K and offers two engine choices, new technologies and numerous trim tweaks for the 2017 model year.

    The Forte5 has been fortified (if I can make that play on words) with a mid-cycle refresh that has emboldened its design.

    2017 Kia Forte5 SX

    Following the styling lead of the latest-gen Optima, the Forte5?s new tiger-nose grille is wider and stronger, connecting with the edges of redesigned headlight assemblies that sweep sleekly around the front fenders.

    The standard fog lamps have been revised. The character lines are crisper and more pronounced, the profile is sleek, and new taillights balance the edgier Euro-design in back.

    The Forte5 lineup starts with a 2.0-litre direct injection four-cylinder engine with DOHC architecture and dual-cam variable valve timing (D-CVVT), contributing to 164 hp and 151 lb/ft of torque. Although this powertrain starts off being mated to a six-speed manual in the base LX+MT model, the bulk of the lineup, from LX to EX, comes with a new second-generation six-speed automatic.

    2017 Kia Forte5 SX

    Ah, but now for something just a little bit different.

    Our tester, a top-of-the-line SX model ($29,895), comes loaded to the gills with equipment and extras.

    Also Read:áVW Golf offers comfort in a reliable hatch

    Korean companies have always set the benchmark on dollar-value content, so even the lowest LX trim level model comes complete with electronic stability control, vehicle stability management, hill assist control, auto headlights, foglamps, A/C, keyless entry, heated front seats, a standard rearview camera and six-speaker audio system. And, as you rise through the trim levels, an impressive list of leather appointments and other extras get added.

    2017 Kia Forte5 SX

    So, by the time you get to the all-inclusive levels of this SX model, the inventory list features all the goodies added by the graduated trim levels, plus alloy pedals, ventilated front seats and an added integrated navigation system, among other items.

    This particular SX tester also came dipped in an optional shade of Hyper Blue (+$200), an exclusive colour only available in SX trim. And, mimicking the original hot hatch, there?s a notable, bright red accent line slashing across the front, a la VW GTI, that must have had Vee Dub execs swooning into the arms of their lawyers.

    Also Read:á2016 VW Golf R ? A red rocket for every occasion?

    Backing all this sport posturing, the SX bumps up the power ante with a 1.6-litre turbocharged T-GDI engine boasting the same DOHC D-CVVT technologies, but to a more muscular tune of 201 hp and 195 lb/ft of torque.

    With most of that bottom-end oomph coming on strong at a low 1,500 rpm, the SX launches out of the gate with aplomb and even with a little tire squeal, to satisfy drivers in search of performance to go with their five-door practicality.

    2017 Kia Forte5 SX

    The SX?s 1.6-litre turbo unit manages just fine, thank you, on regular octane game and its fuel economy is rated at 9.4/7.9/100km (city/hwy), which is really not far off the base engine rating. My numbers came in closer to the city average, probably reflecting the evil grin on my face as I squirted this puppy out of the corners.

    The SX matches the power increase with a new seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that allows cog changes through shifter paddles on a new flat-bottomed D-shaped steering wheel.

    Also Read:áVeloster Turbo blends fun and practicality in a stylish package

    The SX also incorporates a dual exhaust system, bigger brakes, 18-inch alloy wheels and, to set off the sport motif, a sport bumper and grille up front bracketed by Xenon HID headlights, along with a unique rear spoiler and LED light bar taillights in back. A lane-keep assist system is also added into the mix for 2017.

    2017 Kia Forte5 SX

    Inside, the Kia Forte5 hosts passengers in a roomy-for-a-compact cabin, with all-black environs, leather-appointed with contrasting piano black glosses and scattered chrome highlights. The instrumentation is a just-right mix of buttons, knobs and touch screen surfaces that allow driver operation without the distractions of menu-scrolling, hunting, pecking and near-death experiences.

    Second row accommodation is do-able and the cargo area swallows up to 657 litres of luggage, expanding to 1,597 litres with the second row folded.

    It?s a very complete package.

    I could go on and on but, to sum up, with its maximized five-door interior space still blending well with compact nimbleness, and bolstered by an SX bump up in performance and handling, this Forte5 certainly offers Kia customers a hot hatch that lives up to its name.

    2017 Kia Forte5 SX

    2017 Kia Forte5 SXá

    BODY STYLE: Compact five-door five-passenger hatchback

    DRIVE METHOD: Front engine, seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and front-wheel drive

    ENGINE: 1.6-litre turbocharged T-GDI DOHC D-CVVT four-cylinder (201 hp and 195 lb/ft)

    CARGO: 657 litres, 1,597 litres with second row folded

    FUEL ECONOMY: 9.4/7.9L/100km (city/hwy)

    PRICE: SX $29,895; As tested $30,095 including Hyper Blue paint ($200). Freight ($1,560) not included.



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  • BMW shows performance hybrids in New York :

    BMW will showcase its latest model line-up featuring the BMW iPerformance family of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles at the 2017 New York International Auto Show.

    The new BMW 530e iPerformance is the latest addition to BMW?s growing family of plug-in hybrid iPerformance vehicles.

    It combines BMW eDrive electric drive concept and a four-cylinder gasoline engine to achieve 248 hp providing 310 lb/ft of torque and a 0-60 time in 6.1 seconds.

    Purely electric driving for the BMW 530e iPerformance is possible for up to 15 miles.

    TheáBMW 740e xDrive iPerformance, BMW?s flagship plug-in hybrid model, presents the comfort of the BMW 7 Series with the virtues of electric, locally emission-free mobility. The luxury sedan gets its eDrive powertrain technology from TheáBMW 330e iPerformanceáadds a plug-in hybrid drive system to the world?s most successful premium model, the BMW 3 Series.

    BMW Flagship and 530e

    The innovative use of an electric motor with the BMWáTwinPower Turbo inline four-cylinder engine, which has won the International Engine of the Year Award twice to date, results in a total system output of 248 hp and 310 lb/ft of torque.

    TheáBMW X5 xDrive40e iPerformance, the company?s first plug-in hybrid, combines the 2.0-litre TwinPower Turbo inline 4-cylinder engine with an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery, integrated into its eight-speed automatic transmission.

    This SUV can travel approximately 14 miles on pure electric propulsion, powered by a lithium-ion battery.

    The gasoline engine and electric motor put out 308 hp and 332 lb/ft of torque, enough to propel the X5 xDrive40e from 0-60mph in just 6.5 seconds.

    2017 BMW 530e


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  • York-Bay-Yonge ramp demolition will equal traffic chaos for downtown Toronto :

    It?s been a while since I let loose with a really good rant on these pages, so here goes.

    My dander has been up since it was announced, and it increases day-by-day, as the date of April 17 draws nearer. The demolition of the York-Bay-Yonge ramp from the Gardiner Expressway, which is to start that day, is going to create a downtown traffic nightmare unlike any we have ever seen in this city.

    In addition to taking down that ramp forever, which currently funnels Gardiner traffic in three directions ? east to Yonge St. and north on Bay and York streets ? they are going to widen Harbour St. eastbound at the same time, which means it will be down to two lanes during the construction period.

    Oh, joy.

    The whole project ? the teardown of the three-way ramp, the widening of Harbour and the construction of a new ramp eastbound off the Gardiner that will end at Lower Simcoe St. ? is estimated to take eight months, and everything is expected to be finished and wrapped up with a big, red bow on it by January 2018.

    If I was a bookmaker, I would take bets against that happening.

    Now, I am not against renovating this particular ramp. As Mayor John Tory said (and he sure shows up at every possible photo-op these days, doesn?t he?), it?s 50 years old and not in the best of shape. But renovating/repairing a vital link to downtown is a far cry from demolishing it, and the city has opted for the latter, and the reasons for doing that are bogus, at best.

    Also Read:áLETTERS: Pros and cons to Gardiner traffic

    Said the mayor (a paraphrase): The expansion will give pedestrians and cyclists better access to the waterfront. And I say (direct quote): What are you talking about?

    For years and years, I have been hearing the Gardiner-car-hating crowd going on about how the Expressway cuts off access to the waterfront. I thought ? silly me ? that all you had to do to get down to the lake was either walk or ride your bike underneath the Gardiner. If anything cuts off access to the waterfront, I would suggest (in order): Lake Shore Blvd., Queens Quay, condominiums, hotels, sugar refineries, and office buildings as being the culprits. For the life of me, I can?t figure out how the Gardiner impedes anything or anybody, so far as going down and enjoying the waterfront is concerned.

    But the mayor says this will provide better access, and he?s the mayor, and I?m not.

    Now, as usual, it?s car drivers who are being made to suffer. Construction will be restricted to 7 a.m. till 7 p.m., so as not to disturb the residents of condominiums in the area. So tens of thousands of commuters, who keep the economy of the city of Toronto ? particularly the downtown ? humming along will be inconvenienced yet again so that a couple of thousand condo dwellers can get their sleep.

    Now, those folks either bought or are renting those condos so they can live right downtown where the action is ? action being noise and bright lights. They made a choice to live down there, and the fact that the city could cut the construction time for this project in half by having this work done 24 hours a day instead of 12, to accommodate these people who essentially asked for noise in the first place, is appalling. You want peace and quiet? Don?t live next to an expressway. I mean, some of them are so close to that highway you can tell the colour of their underwear as you drive past. And they?re going to be upset by a little noise?

    They?re young, they?re hip, and the vast majority are either single or couples. They don?t even get home till 2 a.m. And construction will be cut off at 7 p.m. so as not to disturb them? Please.

    Oh, and we haven?t even broached the subject of work on weekends. The city says only that some intersections will be closed on some weekends for work to be done, but chances are this project will mostly be a five-day-a-week, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. job. Which means that ? just as happened the last time the Gardiner was repaired ? the city is going to have to cough up extra cash and go to seven days a week or else this won?t be finished till a year from next January.

    The city says it wants drivers to use other eastbound routes south of Queen St. during the construction period and says it will be adjusting traffic signal timing to help with congestion. Two observations:

    ? Why did it take this potential nightmare to trigger an adjustment to traffic signals to make driving a car in the downtown easier? By saying things like that, it makes one wonder if the city has left the lights out of sequence on purpose, doesn?t it?

    Also read: Here?s an easy solution to daily backup on the Gardiner

    ? The first eastbound street you encounter driving north from the construction zone (Blue Jays Way doesn?t count) is Front St., and it?s two-way and congested already, particularly around Union Station. The next street up is Wellington, which is one-way westbound ? the wrong way. Then you come to King St., which is so clogged now that serious discussions are taking place to ban cars from some sections of it entirely. Adelaide is one-way eastbound ? hooray ? and then you have Richmond going westbound (wrong way, again) and, finally, Queen, which ? like King ? is already jam-packed. Throw in the bicycle riders with the street cars, buses and thousands of exasperated motorists and ? well ? watch out.

    (Why not do something really radical? Just for those eight months, change the direction of Wellington to make it one-way eastbound. This is force majeur, so be decisive. Otherwise, it will be an unholy mess.)

    During construction, drivers will have to exit the eastbound Gardiner at the Spadina and Jarvis St. ramps. Arrangements have been made for people using the Spadina ramp to access eastbound Lake Shore Blvd., which has been a no-no for 50 years. But that won?t do much good anyway, because Lake Shore is already bumper-to-bumper during the morning rush and it will quickly narrow to two lanes, making it even more imperative to do something bold (see bracketed paragraph above).

    Tory says there will be disruptions and that he doesn?t want to sugar-coat anything.

    When this announcement was made, the city issued photographs to show what some areas look like now and what they?ll look like after the work is completed in 2018. The ?now? photos are dark and foreboding, with no people around and that dastardly Gardiner ramp cutting off the sunlight.

    The one purporting to show what things will be like in 2018 shows the sun shining and happy couples walking along hand-in-hand.

    Everything is beautiful.

    Yup, you sure wouldn?t want to sugarcoat anything, would you, Mr. Mayor?

    York-Bay-Yonge now


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  • BMW 330e PHEV is the new green :

    The 2017 BMW 330e plug-in electric vehicle (PHEV) tested here is one of the latest in the electric revolution going on in the car industry.

    Donald Trump aside, just about everyone on this planet now realizes that global warming isn?t something vaguely in the future, but here and now.

    Just look at Australia?s Great Barrier Reef!

    BMW has been working on electrification of its fleet for a long time and cars such as the i3 and i8, pure electrics, are leaders in their segment.

    2017 BMW 330e

    But more to the point, BMW has launched its growing iPerformance family which combine the benefits of electricity without impinging on sporty ride and handling and high calibre appointments.

    The 330e is a case in point and keeps all the 3 Series core values, while building on BMW?s eDrive technology.

    The eDrive electric system in the 330e consists of an electric motor rated at 87 hp and 184 lb/ft of torque working in concert with a 2.0-litre twin scroll turbo inline four-cylinder producing 180 hp and 215 lb/ft of torque combining to put out 248 hp and 310 lb/ft.

    Acceleration from 0-100 km/h is listed at 6.2 seconds with a top speed limited to 210 km/h and 120 km/h in pure electric mode.

    2017 BMW 330e

    Because the battery is stored below the cargo floor, trunk space is 370 litres as opposed to 470 litres in a ?standard? 3 Series.

    BMW says it places the electric motor ?upstream? from the eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission so its ratios can also be used in the all-electric mode with the benefit of doing away with the weight and need for a torque converter.

    Walking up to the 330e, it looks the same as any ordinary 3 Series, except for the very large charging port door on the left front fender, which opens to reveal a multi-prong socket.

    In the trunk there is a dedicated charge cord that fits into a 110-volt grounded outlet. It?s bulky, but the chord is about 25 ft long so it reaches from most wall sockets.

    Also Read:áAudi goes electric with the A3 Sportback e-tron

    If you run the battery flat, expect it to take overnight to charge on 110-volts.

    When fully charged, I was able (in winter conditions with the heat on) to do about 20-24 km (BMW says up to 40 km is possible) on pure electric power, but if you use the Eco-Pro energy saving mode, features such as regenerative braking are maximized.

    The Eco-Pro/Sport toggle is found on the centre console to the left, but there is also the eDrive button at the back of the shifter that supplies three eDrive modes: the standard AUTO eDrive mode, the purely electric MAX eDrive mode and the Save Battery mode, which maintains the charging status at a constant level.

    I was trying to see if I could drive for a week without using a drop of gasoline.

    2017 BMW 330e

    When I picked it up at BMW Canada, the 330e was showing the previous driver had his/her overall average showing as 5.6L/100 km, which is about 50 miles to the Canadian gallon.

    For the first three days I did errands around town, plugging in every night and saw the average go down to 5.2L/100 km or about 54 miles to the Canadian gallon.

    To do this, I held it to around 40 km/h on battery/regenerative and always had juice left when I got home.

    Eventually I had to do some highway driving and of course the gasoline engine cut in, coming up to speed from the on ramp. But when I got to a steady 100 km/h, the engine turned off and the motor/battery kicked in seamlessly.

    It?s weird to look at the instruments and see the speedometer indicating 100 km/h, but the tach needle at zero revs.

    With rear-drive and the battery weighing about 200 lb under the cargo floor, there is a sensation of the heft when going into a corner.

    But being a BMW, the suspension gives no feeling of understeer, which you might expect.

    Acceleration is brisk, which you also expect from a BMW, especially a 3 Series.

    2017 BMW 330e

    2017 BMW 330e

    At the end of the week, I had covered 168.1 km (about half on the highway) and used 20.8-litres of premium fuel which shot the average way up. But with some more Eco-Pro driving I was able to get consumption down to 5.6L/100 km when I returned it.

    For what it?s worth NRCan shows the fuel rating of the 330e on premium to be 8.5/6.9/7.7L/100 km in ?normal? usage not days on end using Eco-Pro and the eDrive modes.

    Also Read:áCayenne Hybrid plugs into a greener world

    Starting price was $52,100, but it had a lot of options for an as tested price of $61,250, not including $2,145 destination charge (which includes both freight and PDI).

    Sure, you can get PHEVs that are cheaper, but they don?t have the magic of the blue and white roundel badge on the hood.

    Think of the BMW 330e not as just the ?Ultimate Driving Machine? but the ?Ultimate Driving PHEV?.

    2017 BMW 330e

    2017 BMW 330e PHEVá

    BODY STYLE: Mid-size, plug-in hybrid sedan.

    DRIVE METHOD: Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission

    ENGINE: 2.0-litre TwinPower turbo inline four-cylinder (180 hp, 215 lb/ft) with BMW eDrive electric motor (87 hp, 184 lb/ft) for a combined 248 hp and 310 lb/ft) plus 5.7 kWh lithium-ion battery

    FUEL ECONOMY: (Premium) 8.5/6.9/7.7L/100 km city/highway/combined.

    CARGO VOLUME: 370 litres

    PRICE: (Starting price), $52,550; as tested $61,250, not including $2,145 destination charge (which includes both freight and PDI)



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  • Lexus tops J.D. Power luxury satisfaction list :

    Lexus has been ranked highest in customer satisfaction among luxury brands in the U.S.-based J.D. Power 2017 Customer Service Index (CSI) Study, marking the 17th time the brand has claimed the top spot.

    Overall, Lexus achieved a CSI score of 874 on a 1,000-point scale, 15 points above the segment average and the highest numerical score in the study, regardless of segment.

    The 2017 CSI Study measures customer satisfaction with service at a franchised dealer or independent service facility for maintenance or repair work among owners and lessees of one-to five-year-old vehicles.

    The study was fielded between October and December 2016. It is based Lexus previously ranked highest in the J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction with Dealer Service (CSI) Study from 1991-1995, 1997-2001, 2006, and 2009-2013.

    2017 Customer Service Index




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  • Lexus LC 500 puts panache first :

    The Lexus LC 500 makes the strongest statement yet about the brand?s future direction.

    Previewed by the LF-LC concept in 2012, the Lexus LC debuted as a production model at the 2016 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.

    The body?s substantial, ?planted? look stems from prominent quarter panels that flare away from the centre of the car and door panels that are pulled inward.

    The Lexus LC offers a choice no other premium coupe does: the LC 500 with a high-performance V8 or LC 500h with a new-generation Multi Stage Hybrid powertrain.

    In both, the focus is driving excitement, with the LC 500h offering higher fuel efficiency associated with the world?s luxury hybrid leader.

    Based on the engine in the Lexus GS F an RC F high-performance models, the LC 500 version raises the output to 471 hp and 398 lb/ft of peak torque. The LC 500 can sprint from zero to 60 mph in less than 4.5 seconds.


    The fast-revving V8 issues a stunning soundtrack amplified by a special resonance tube connecting the intake to the firewall, plus a standard Active Exhaust that rumbles and roars like a high-performance GT should.

    The driver can adjust the natural exhaust sound level via the Drive Mode Select system. The V8 is a good citizen, too, switching to the Atkinson cycle to enhance fuel efficiency at cruising speeds and Otto cycle for higher performance levels when accelerating.

    The Lexus LC 500 debuts the first 10-speed automatic transmission for a luxury automobile. Smaller and lighter than some eight-speed units, this new transmission executes shifts at speeds rivaling dual-clutch transmissions, yet with the seamless performance and smoothness of a torque converter automatic.

    Lexus, which introduced the world?s first luxury hybrid 13 years ago, developed a new Multi Stage Hybrid System specifically for the LC 500h.

    Like other Lexus hybrid configurations, the Multi Stage Hybrid System teams the gasoline engine with two electric motor/generators, but similarities end there.

    The Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine uses D-4S direct fuel injection, and lightweight valvetrain components allow a 6,600-rpm redline, with Dual VVT-i ensuring ample torque across the engine speed range.

    Also Read:áLexus wows with new flagship, the LC 500/500h Coupe

    The Multi Stage Hybrid System allows for more electric assist at lower vehicle speeds, and it enables the LC 500h to operate with the gasoline engine off at speeds of up to 87 mph.

    Combined system output is 354 hp, yet that figure does not fully indicate the LC 500h?s performance potential. In a conventional full hybrid vehicle, engine output is amplified by the electric motor via a reduction gear.

    With the new Multi Stage Hybrid System, the power from the V6 engine and the electric motor can be amplified by the four-speed automatic transmission, generating much greater drive power when accelerating.

    The LC 500h is the first Lexus hybrid that can spin its rear wheels. It is also the first Lexus hybrid to use a compact, lightweight lithium-ion battery.

    The battery pack fits neatly between the rear seats and the luggage compartment and has a high power density, with its 84 cells producing 310.8 volts.


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  • TV spot shows Hyundai SuperStructure under stress :

    The SuperStructure ? the advanced metal frame forming the core of the Hyundai Elantra compact car has been put to the ultimate rigidity stress test and comfortably withstood the weight of seven cars stacked upon it.

    The SuperStructure of the 2017 Hyundai Elantra is made with 53 per cent Advanced High Strength Steel from the company?s in-house Hyundai Steel plant and was engineered to be incredibly strong.

    Hyundai Auto Canada Corp. put the claim of strength to the test, by stacking approximately 12.6 metric tonnes (27,780 lb) of cars on top of it.

    The test was conducted in late February at Hearn Generating Station, a decommissioned power generation station in Toronto.

    The setting and the test was also used as a backdrop for a photoshoot, commercial shoot, and an opportunity to create an immersive digital environment for customers to learn more about the Hyundai SuperStructure, the Elantra Sedan, the Elantra Sport, and the soon-to-be-released all-new Elantra GT five-door.

    Also Read: 2017 Hyundai Elantra ? Out with the old, In with the new?

    To conduct the test, Hyundai pulled one SuperStructure out from the start of the Elantra production line at its manufacturing facility in Alabama and diverted seven additional, completed Elantra cars that were to be shipped to dealers.

    Hyundai developed the SuperStructure utilizing proprietary Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS) and the application of structural adhesives to improve the rigidity of the frame.

    A comprehensive series of digital elements were created during the shoot that are in addition to an online, television, and cinema commercial.

    The company used time-lapse photography to capture the build and teardown of the tower, created behind-the-scenes videos, set-up 360-degree cameras, and commissioned a virtual reality experience.

    Hyundai SuperStructure


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  • A Road Trip To Historic Georgetown :

    South Carolina is one of our favourite destinations and our visits always include a road trip to explore a nearby town. Our home base is usually sunny Myrtle Beach and we never run out of fun things to do and explore. This ocean town is ideal for families as there are endless activities, family friendly accommodations, delicious dining options, a trendy boardwalk with adorable shops, and of course boundless water sports like banana boats, jet skis, and parasailing.

    Over the years, Myrtle Beach trips with my son Noah, have included driving to Murrell?s Inlet and Conway, and this time we decided to take a road trip to Georgetown for the day. Georgetown County, the third-oldest city in South Carolina, is located on the Sampit River about an hour-long scenic drive along US Highway 17. This highway is a major artery that goes through the large stretch of east coast beaches known as the Grand Strand

    Georgetown County

    Georgetown is also the halfway point if you are driving from Myrtle Beach to Charleston, and in fact highway 17 will take you all the way there if you want to keep driving. Georgetown is a charming waterfront community with a rich history dating back hundreds of years. It?s a quaint place to enjoy some shopping, dining, and exploring.

    Our friend picked us up in a shiny FIAT 500 L so we could travel in style.

    Georgetown County

    On route we passed a popular state park with campgrounds that in the summer months start to resemble little cities with homey RV?s and pitched tents. Halfway to Georgetown, around Murrell?s Inlet, it started pouring rain and it became obvious why there are so many retention ponds in the area. The lush green trees on either side of the road flourish with the rain and sun and make for a beautiful scenic drive.

    In typical South Carolina style, by the time our cozy FIAT got us to Georgetown the rain had completely stopped. Just south of Georgetown is Hopsewee Plantation and our first stop on this road trip. This National Historic Landmark was built before the American Revolutionary War and dates back to 1740. It was a former rice plantation and the birthplace Thomas Lynch Jr., one of the people that signed the Declaration of Independence. The first crop of rice arrived in coastal South Carolina around 1685 during the Colonial Period, and the area became the largest producer of rice in the United States.

    Georgetown County

    The Hopsewee Plantation is now a private residence with tours open to the public to view the historic house, antique furniture, and the land surrounding the old building. Hopsewee is an ideal place to learn about traditional sweetgrass basket weaving and you can take a hands on workshop with the lovely and talented Ms. Vera Manigault.

    This South Carolina Lowcountry tradition dates back to the 1700?s when sweetgrass baskets were brought by West African slaves to the United States. Vera tells us that back then all plantations had a basket maker. She smiles and says, ?I learned mostly from my great aunt how to make baskets?. She patiently shows Noah how to weave the authentic straw into a masterpiece.

    Georgetown County

    Vera must first collect the material to make these baskets, which is proving to be more difficult these days. As South Carolina?s coastal islands are becoming more developed by gated resort communities it?s harder to gain access to the materials as public access is often denied. Sweetgrass baskets are made from natural materials such as marsh bulrush, longleaf pine needles and sweetgrass.

    Georgetown County

    Vera?s creativity in making her baskets is reflected in the colour she is able to weave into them using natural dyes. The outcome is stunning Colorful Baskets that she sells along the side of the road when she is not busy teaching workshops at Hopsewee. Vera is a ninth generation weaver and Gullah descendant from Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

    Back in the car we continue driving through historic Georgetown and our next stop is the Kaminski House Museum.

    Georgetown County

    This fancy old colonial home built on a bluff overlooks the Sampit River and is very peaceful. It was originally built in the 1760?s and renovated after World War II. It?s furnished with 18th and 19th century English and American furniture and stunning artwork. Since it was constructed during the reign of King George III of Great Britain it is considered a Georgian design and people from all over travel to Front Street in Georgetown to visit the museum. It has been open to the public since 1973 and teaches visitors from around the world about the history of Georgetown.

    If you feel the need to balance all this history with a modern flair and some shopping, consider stopping in Pawleys Island on the way back to Myrtle Beach. Of course like many small towns Pawleys Island also has a rich history. In the early 1700?s the families of rice planters that owned plantations settled in Pawleys Island. Today there are still 12 original residences in the historic district. It?s a laid back casual town with beaches, sand dunes, and the famous rope hammocks.

    Georgetown County

    Pawleys is great for local shopping at boutiques for one of a kind treasures.á When we arrived at the Hammock Shops Village Noah eagerly tested out several unique rope hammocks while I browsed through shops looking at colourful baseball hats, woven carpets, jewelry, sarongs, handbags, funky beachwear, and artisan made artwork.

    Georgetown County

    At the Hammock Weavers Pavilion, founded by a brilliant riverboat captain in the 1800?s, visitors can learn the art of authentic hammock weaving and place an order for a one of a kind hammock to bring home and swing on at their leisure.

    The drive back to Myrtle Beach from the Hammocks Shop Village is just over half an hour. The route takes you past Litchfield by the Sea, Murrell?s Inlet, and Surfside Beach along highway 17, all these towns are great to stop in for a meal and a chat with locals. Myrtle Beach is a perfect family destination with an average year round temperature of 25 degrees Celsius and lots of sunny days to explore the 100km of beautiful beaches. Many Canadians drive from Ontario and it?s approximately a 15-hour drive from Toronto and there are several routes to choose from.

    Regardless how many times Noah and I travel to Myrtle Beach we are always in awe of the magnificent sunrise. It?s worth getting up at dawn to walk along the shore among the palm trees, collect washed up shells, and watch the orange, pink, yellow, and red sunrise over the waves of the ocean. On our last morning we saw a pod of dolphins happily jumping through the air, as if to wave goodbye to us with their fins until our next trip to the magnificent Grand Strand.

    Georgetown County

    All photos taken by Miriam Porter

    For help planning your road trip to Myrtle Beach and surrounding area visit their website.


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  • Lotus announces hand-built Elise Sprint :

    A significant update for the legendary Lotus Elise, the Sprint, has been unveiled.

    The latest in efficient engineering results in the Sprint weighing under 800 kg.

    Featuring a host of weight-saving items as standard, as well as the Elise?s distinctive new styling, the new Lotus remains true to the company?s founding principles.

    Benefitting the range as a whole, all new Elise editions receive the car?s new look and new interior options, and every single one of the Sprint?s lightweight components can be specified on the standard Elise Sport and the Elise Sport 220 variants.

    Lotus Elise

    Integrating a new front and rear aesthetic with Lotus? established design language, this latest Elise also receives a wide range of cabin enhancements ? including the lightweight open-gate gear select mechanism first introduced on the Lotus Exige Sport 350.

    The Sprint is available in both the 1.6-litre naturally aspirated and 1.8-litre supercharged versions. Delivering an exciting mid-point in the range, it broadens the car?s appeal by including lightweight and carbon components as standard.

    You May Also Like:áAlfa Romeo 4C Spider, What a sports car was meant to be

    The reduction in weight translates into quicker acceleration with 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds and 4.1 seconds for the Elise Sprint and Elise Sprint 220 respectively.

    Providing the perfect soundtrack at any speed, the new exhaust makes the 1.8-litre supercharged Elise the best-sounding four-cylinder car on the market.

    Stopping power is provided by AP Racing twin-piston front calipers and Brembo single-piston rear-calipers ? optional lightweight two-piece brake discs are also available.

    Lotus Elise Sprint


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  • Range Rover introduces Zenith watch for Velar :

    To celebrate the recent launch of the new Range Rover Velar, the fourth member of the Range Rover family, Swiss watchmaker Zenith has unveiled the new Zenith Chronomaster El Primero Range Rover Velar Special Edition watch. ?

    Specially co-developed by design and technical engineering teams working in close harmony, the El Primero Velar chronograph features a custom ceramized aluminum case and a high beat movement of 36,000 vibrations per hour (VpH).

    El Primero Velar is a wrist-worn symbol of the lightweight high performance, elegant simplicity and visually reductive qualities of the all-new member of the Range Rover SUV family.

    Also Read:áRange Rover Velar world debut

    The El Primero Velar features a 42 mm case finished in high contrast burnished copper, a brushed slate grey dial, three chronograph sub-dials, date indicator at six o?clock, and a robust winding crown paired with two functional push pieces.

    The underside of the watch reveals the Range Rover and Velar names engraved on the oscillating weight and the retaining ring of the transparent case back.

    Zenith Range Rover watch


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