Review: 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk – The Best Hellcat?

Great news! Sports cars are not dead! You can enjoy them on a summer day or a drive down a twisty mountain road. They make great rewarding track cars, too. And you will certainly look cool driving around town in your mid-engine machine. But if you’re looking for fast, like …

The Cammed & Tubbed Podcast: Episode 250 – The Podcast All-Star Break

With Brad absent this week, Cam is joined by Motor Affair’s Patrick Stevenson to talk about cars, kids, and understand BMWs, Porsches, and the Acura NSX. The Cammed and Tubbed Podcast – The Podcast All-Star Break Check out our Instagram, our Twitter, and our Facebook pages. As always, we’d really …

First Drive: Jaguar E-Pace

Crossovers are currently where all the cash sits. Car buyers want them, and automakers keep cranking them out. That’s how we wind up with a vehicle like the all-new Jaguar E-Pace. It’s the baby of the Jaguar crossover bunch, but that doesn’t mean it’s simply an entry-level cash grab. Okay, …

Truck Central: Dodge stuffs the 6.4L Hemi in the Durango SRT
and it’s real real good

I’ve been reviewing trucks for a new YouTube channel called, appropriately, Truck Central. Recently I spent some time with the new Dodge Durango SRT. The FCA folks seem content to Hellcat everything, but the Durango hasn’t received that love just yet. What it has received, however is the 392. That would …

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The News for February 23rd, 2018

Greg Kachadurian February 23, 2018 The News!

Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. There’s also just a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • Volvo stuns with the new V60 Estate

  • Porsche updates 911 GT3 RS, manages to make it even more expensive

  • Ferrari reveals the 488 Pista, their latest track day special

  • Toyota’s breakthrough magnet development could mean cheaper EVs

  • What’s your automotive news?

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The Grand Tour makes you wanna do outdoorsy stuff!

Kamil Kaluski February 23, 2018 TV Shows

I get several dozen press release emails per day. Most bloggers/bloogers/writers get a lot more, I just don’t subscribe to them. I glance at them and delete 90% of them. I respond to some, usually asking for more information, only to never get a response. And then there are a few that surprise me, such as this one:

Hi Kamil,

Has a show or movie ever energized you to seek adventure beyond the screen? The Grand Tour, a Prime Original that follows three intrepid former car journalists on their high speed escapades around the world, has attracted fans ready to hit the road for their own adrenaline fueled adventures. Amazon uncovered a few fun facts about Prime members who have streamed The Grand Tour, and we’re spreading the word on where to get inspiration for your next trip to the great outdoors. These trends were obtained by comparing the purchase behavior of a sample of 100K Grand Tour viewers on Amazon to that of 100K Non-Grand Tour viewers.

Amazon learned Grand Tour viewers are more likely to seek extreme outdoor hobbies and live in areas known for adventure in the great outdoors than those Prime members who haven’t streamed the show yet. In 2017, Grand Tour viewers spent 24% more in Amazon’s Sports & Outdoor store than an average non-Grand Tour viewer. And these Grand Tour viewers are not just novices of the outdoors; they purchased more brands for top outdoor athletes and serious outdoor enthusiasts including GoPro, Black Diamond, Osprey, Patagonia and Thule than did non-Grand Tour viewers. The largest percentage differences in spend on outdoor equipment between Grand Tour viewers and non-Grand Tour viewers were on cycling gear (53%), rock climbing gear (45%) and skiing and snowboarding gear (44%).

It is no surprise Grand Tour viewers in the US are living in places that are known as gateways to adventure. Washington – home of Mt. Rainier, Olympic National Park and neighbor to the Pacific Ocean, and Colorado – land of the Rocky Mountains and Mesa Verde National Park, had the highest number of Grand Tour season two viewers per capita in the US. These states have an abundance of activities for those seeking an outdoor and adventurous lifestyle.

Grand Tour viewers are more likely to drive cars that are compact and adventure-ready and steer clear of the family cars. When purchasing automobile parts in Amazon’s Automotive store, customers can add information about their current car to the Amazon Garage for shopping parts and accessories designed specifically for that vehicle. The Subaru Impreza was the top car model that was more likely to be added to a Grand Tour viewer’s garage than a Non-Grand Tour viewer’s in 2017.

If you have been looking for motivation to dust off your bike, climb a new route, wax your skis or take the family camping, check out The Grand Tour for some adventure inspiration and see you in the great outdoors!


So, first off, Amazon, like the NSA and Facebook, watch your online adventures very carefully. Don’t bother with the tin hat, if you’re that paranoid then just remove the internet from your life. 

Second of all, look at all you outdoorsy Colorado Subaru-driving types! Those of you that have been to Colorado know that basically everyone drives a Subaru or a Toyota body-on-frame vehicle of some kind. I’m assuming that Amazon does not really know the difference between Impreza and WRX, but that’s fine. Light-up, stream your show, and drive your Impreza, Impretza as Clarkson calls it, and do something EXTREME!!!

Personally, my inspiration from the show has always been to drive some kind of a super luxury coupe from a fancy hotel in Paris to the Amalfi Coast while listing to Margret Thatcher speeches. 

I’d just like to add that the second season of The Grand Tour was so much better than first. That Audi versus Lancia segment was some of Clarkson’s best work to day. Good job, Amazon! 

Great automotive design atrocities of our time

Chris Haining February 22, 2018 Hooniverse Asks

We live in a world that couldn’t be more fickle if it tried. Not only do fashions come and go like a sneeze on a sunny day, but yesterday’s sound thinking becomes tomorrow’s crazy idea almost overnight. And so it is with car design.

In my lifetime I’ve seen pop-up headlights fall from vogue, a brief fascination with bodyside decals that describe every facet of a car’s specification in minute detail, and I even caught the tail end of those jagged louvered panels that folk would use to obscure their rear visibility. Inexplicably. Generally, though, car design has made subtle, gradual movements towards the better – today’s cars may not be anywhere near as interesting as those past masters that tug at our heart strings, but they’re faster, quieter, safer and more efficient. Overall, I’d say it’s a net gain.

Every now and again, though, the natural process of evolution is interrupted by something really stupid. Case in point: Saturn and the ION’s stupid centre-mounted instrument panel.

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The DFL Show: Episode 92 – There’s Fluoride In Lake Lloyd

Eric and Stef discuss the weekend’s goings on in the motorsport world, including the Daytona 500, where Austin Dillon did it for Dale. Oh yeah, there was a WRC event, too. With a surprise winner. A few Formula One cars were unveiled ahead of the new season. Eric has thoughts about Danica Patrick. Kubica tests Manor’s LMP1 Ginetta G60-LT-P1 Mecachrome, which has a dumb name. Lots of other touring car, IndyCar, and sports car news. Check it out, it’s a fun time.

The DFL Show – There’s Fluoride In Lake Lloyd

Check out our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages. As always, we’d really appreciate it if you would rate us on iTunes, share us with your friends, and maybe if you’re feeling nice, interact with us on those social medias.

Photo: NASCAR on Facebook

Riding the Pan-American Highway by Bus: Peru and Ecuador

As some of you know, I started a trek in 2007 to ride the entire 14,741-mile Pan-American Highway by bus. Last month, I finally accomplished this goal. The final stretch was from Lima, Peru, northward, to Turbo, Colombia. The Darien Gap, a roadless stretch of jungle between Panama and Colombia, prevents the highway from running contiguously from North to South America. Turbo is the northern terminus of the South American portion of the highway.

Here are my observations and experiences from Lima to Ecuador. … Continue Reading

Podcast: Episode 238 – Hellcatting along

Jeff Glucker February 21, 2018 All Things Hoon

Solo episode recorded from inside the ridealong chamber of the 2018 Dodge Challenger Hellcat W I D E B O I.

Also, I chat briefly about heading off to sample the new Audi RS5, some updates to my Mercedes-Benz 280 sedan, and touch on a few of the vehicles coming to Hooniverse in the next few weeks and months.

Sorry for the short solo episode, we’ll be back in the studio soon.

Hooniverse – Hellcatting along

Hooniverse Asks: What’s the most iconic wagon of all time?

Jeff Glucker February 21, 2018 Hooniverse Asks

It’s Wednesday. The holy day in the middle of the week when we praise the longroof. In thinking about wagons, I was curious as to which of all the greats might we consider to be the most iconic? 

In the modern era, it’s likely to be a Mercedes-AMG E63 or the Audi RS6 Avant. Back a few decades, we’d say it’s the Volvo 245. You can step back along the Volvo family lines even further, however, and arrive at the 1800ES and the Amazon.

In the more American side of things, we have the Country Squire and Country Sedan. There are others of course, but the Fords stand out most fresh in my mind.

Of all the wagons, which is the one that stands out as the most iconic machine to wear the longer roof? This is a tough question with many answers, so I look forward to seeing what arrives in the comments below.

Review: 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk – The Best Hellcat?

Great news! Sports cars are not dead! You can enjoy them on a summer day or a drive down a twisty mountain road. They make great rewarding track cars, too. And you will certainly look cool driving around town in your mid-engine machine.

But if you’re looking for fast, like real-deal street fast, the answer comes from an unlikely place – Jeep!

Yup, the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. For those not paying attention, the Trackhawk is a Grand Cherokee based on the SRT model but with the 707-horsepower engine from the Challenger/Charger Hellcat twins under its hood. And, unlike on those twins, that engine sends all that power to all four wheels.

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Hooniverse Asks: What’s your Powerball-paid-for fantasy island car?

Jeff Glucker February 20, 2018 Hooniverse Asks

I was just on vacation with my wife and daughter. We went to an island. I can’t afford to live there, but I can certainly day dream about what that might be like if I could. In this fantasy world, I’d need to vehicle to get around the island and I know exactly what that would be.

Basically, I’d roam my new island home in my Dodge Charger set atop a Pro2 (or maybe Pro4) trophy truck chassis. Inside, the cabin would be reworked so as to provide some minimal level of creature comfort but not too much. I’d be able to drive… anywhere, and I’d also still be able to say I was driving a muscle car (of sorts).

If you were to win the Powerball jackpot, what sort of fantasy island car would you drive? Yes, Fantasy Island car but I expect other answers besides a chopped up Plymouth Volare. Okay, some other answers… this is Hooniverse, so that answer definitely still works here too.

Odd things that made you go “ooh” when you were younger.

When you’re very young, the smallest things can make a huge impression. You would occasionally assign rather more value or significance to something than it might realistically merit. Such it was when I was growing up. My Dad was a Ford man for much of the ’80s, and I spend the latter portion of that decade cruising in the back of his top-of-the range Sierra Ghia.

I recognised – and felt smug – that it had features that were absent in the lesser cars my friends would trundle around in at the time. It had head rests for rear seat passengers, a true sign of luxury and refinement. There were adjustable map-reading lights in the front, too, and few cars could match the Sierra’s ‘graphic information module’ that warned of low temperatures, unclosed doors and failed bulbs, and looked awesome lit up at night. There was one feature notably absent, though – one that I first spotted in 1987 while perusing a Ford brochure. The Granada Scorpio had red door edge-illuminators.

My little mind was blown.

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