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2014 X Games: The Practice Sessions

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This year, the X Games entered the wonderful world of Austin, Texas to highlight a wide range of sports. We were in attendance to capture both the Global Rallycross and the Super Stadium Trucks. More and more automakers are joining the GRC fray, so it’s clear that rallycross is gaining a bit in popularity. Additionally, it’s great to see the SST events find more homes as it’s simple an awesome event to attend in person. I mean, we’re talking about pickups roaring around a course and soaring over jumps… if you don’t love that, there’s something wrong with you.

While we were in Texas, video man Paul Collins captured a wide range of the events with his lens. We didn’t just focus on the cars though, as a ton of events were going on over the course of a handful of days.

This is the 2014 X Games Practice Sessions.

[Please visit Paul Collins' Vimeo page if you're interested in seeing more of his great work]

Video Review: Dinan S3-R BMW 1M
The Real Ultimate Driving Machine

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I harp on BMW a lot. Too much, in fact. The automaker still builds machines that provide a truly engaging driving experience. The problem is though, that the lineup has less and less of that. Still, cars like the new M3 and M4 prove that BMW can still create ultimate driving machines.

Back in 2011, however, they may have created their own modern-day masterpiece. It’s called the BMW 1 Series M Coupe, or 1M for short. This 335-horsepower mighty mobile proved that BMW had not in fact lost its mojo.

Did they leave a bit on the table with the 1M? I wouldn’t have said so back then, but after spending a week with the Dinan S3-R 1M I’m singing a different tune. What Dinan has done is take a great car… and made it into one of the best true driver’s cars that I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing.

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Fantasy Finds Friday: The British Charger

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My favorite muscle car is the 1968 Dodge Charger. I’m attracted to it in ways that… well, in ways that I shouldn’t mention here. Chargers from that era have seen their price tags rise into the stratosphere, and my only real chance of finding one is to either look for a busted-up project or fall into an inheritance that I didn’t know existed.

Or… I can opt for the British Charger.

I’m speaking, of course, about the Jensen Interceptor. This is a British-born machine that had a 10-year run, where it mated Italian styling with American V8 engines from Chrysler. This specific example is from 1973, and comes packing a 440 Magnum.

It can be had for far less than an equally clean Charger with the same engine.

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Podcast: Episode 67 – The boys are back in town

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For the first time in a long time, the whole crew is back together. Hosts Jeff Glucker and Blake Z. Rong are joined by both producers, Chris Hayes and Zack Klapman. This means they dive right into what everyone has been up to, which means a wide range of car adventures. Blake recently returned from the same Nashville-based Nissan event that Jeff spoke about last week, Zack was driving all over the country for a few different things includeing an IMSA race and a country-wide Rally, and Jeff’s prepping for a few more adventures.

The talk changes to what we’ve been driving, which includes the 2015 Cadillac Escalade, and a few other machines old and new.

Hit the jump to listen in, while taking in the rest of our Project Car State of the Union Day on Hooniverse.

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Modern Art Monday: 2015 Nissan GT-R NISMO

2015 Nissan GT-R NISMO

You either love it or hate. It’s the (modern) Nissan GT-R, and it’s been a polarizing machine since the day it was born. The latest and technically greatest version is the 2015 GT-R NISMO, which is lighter and more aggressive than your “standard” version. I recently got to sample the car, alongside a host of other Nissan products in Nashville.

This is the one that made me swear out loud…

Hop the jump if you want to see a Nissan product that made me smile far more than this GT-R. I promise it will make you smile too.

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Buy Alex Kierstein’s Volvo Amazon Because It’s Awesome

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Hooniverse Alum Alex Kierstein graduated to the big boys in the buff book world of automotive journalism. That meant a move to Michigan for him. It also meant a move of his beloved 1967 Volvo Amazon. Now, however, it seems the time has come for Kierstein to part ways with his wonderful machine. His stupidity sale can be your gain!

The car is listed for sale on the Ann Arbor section of Craigslist, which you can find if you click here. This ad might say $4,500 but if you tell him you came from Hooniverse he might just raise it to an even $5,000 cut you a deal.

[Source: Craigslist]

Fantasy Finds Friday: A real Subaru WRX STI rally rocket

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Last week, I offered up a vintage off-roader as my Fantasy Find for that Friday. An old Toyota Land Cruiser is a wonderful beast that’s built to take down tough terrain. What if you want to handle some of that terrain at speeds a bit higher than 15 miles per hour though? You should opt for a rally car, and that’s just what I’ve found for this week.

My FFF for today is a Subaru WRX STI C-Spec RA built in 2007. This specific car was setup for Ken Block during his time running down in New Zealand. It was used during the winter rally season, and it also participated in a rather spectacular video moment when it was launched off of a snowboard jump. It was also crashed on that jump too, so it looks like someone put in the time and effort to put the car back together.

Regardless, the car in the ad appears to be legit, and it would make one hell of a machine for ones winter ski lodge. Remember, this is Fantasy Finds Friday – so yeah, I have a ski house where I can store this thing.

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Podcast: Episode 66 – On the road again (special episode)

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So we’re trying something new today. I’m reporting in from the road, as I’ve traveled to Nashville, TN to sample the entire Nissan lineup. After a day of driving, I am sitting down to let you know how the cars were, about a few special gems that were available to drive, and what I’ve got coming up when I gets back home.

Also, I’m apparently easily distracted by the chick in the AT&T commercial…

Make the jump for Episode 66.

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First Drive: 2015 Lexus NX
Dynamically, a step in the right direction

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[Editor's Note: We have a First Drive coming soon too. The initial footage is not yet finished though, so GET EXCITED because you have more Lexus NX coming your way.]

It also happens to be damned perfect for its target market. The RX is comfortable, offers up an appropriate level of luxury, looks fancy enough without standing out, and is priced in line with the rest of its segment. If you’re afraid to test the diesel waters, the Lexus RX Hybrid is a perfectly fine vehicle for you.

Still, there are some who desire some engagement from their machines. Toyota President Akio Toyoda himself even said recently that he desires to see more a more sporting attitude and nature throughout the Toyota lineup. To that end, we’ve begun to see the initial results of his push. The Avalon no longer looka like the last car you’ll ever buy your grandmother, the Lexus IS and GS are truly entertaining machines both on the street and the track, and the Toyota/Scion GT-86/FR-S are rhythm car blasts from enthusiast heaven.

It should stand then, that a compact crossover from Lexus should be enjoyable to drive as well. This is one of the hottest segments out there, so Lexus needs to offer something unique. Enter the 2015 Lexus NX… and even if you hate how it looks, prepare to love how it drives.

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