Hooniverse Asks: We’re about to drive the new Kia Stinger, what do you want to know?

Jeff Glucker November 16, 2017 Hooniverse Asks

Today, I’m in Hollywood to attend a launch event for Kia’s latest machine. It’s the 2018 Kia Stinger and it has its sight set on some lofty goals. Is this really a potential BMW 3-Series or Infiniti Q50 competitor?

That I don’t know yet, but I do know that I am incredibly intrigued by the idea of a rear-wheel-drive (or all-wheel-drive if you want it) sports sedan/hatchback.

There’s a four-cylinder engine offered, but we’re here to sample the larger 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 and its 365 horsepower output.

I worry that this will be a car that I’ll really enjoy… and no one will buy. Regardless, it’s nearly time for me to take the keys to one. What do you want to know about it?

I’ll put my thoughts in the video review and also answer some questions here later in the day.

Watch Budweiser pay tribute to Dale Earnardt Jr with One Last Ride

Dale Earnhardt Jr is approaching his final NASCAR race. His professional racing career, which started when he was 17 years old, is turning the corner into its final chapter in a series that’s seen an Earnhardt run for decades. As part of the goodbye tour for Dale, one of his long-standing sponsors has created a video to show its appreciation for all that Jr has done for them in this arena.

Now, I’m no big NASCAR fan. That’s the other J Gluck. But Dale Jr has always seen like a stand-up guy working for wins against a sea of racers that want to beat him solely because he’s his father’s son. Dale is a two-time Busch Series champion, two-time winner of the Daytona 500, and a perennial fan favorite. He’s the guy you want to see do well in this sport, and he also clearly has fun with it as well.

So if, like myself, you’re not much of a NASCAR fan, you can be a Dale Jr fan. Hit play on the video above and watch this well-produced short ode to a man who is a major part of the NASCAR universe, and will continue to be when he moves into the broadcast booth next season.

Also… sidenote: I’d love to see a craft brewery compete in this space. Someone needs to step up with the dollars and sponsor the Fontana or Sonoma events.

Hooniverse Podcast: Episode 225 – Renegade Hybrids [SEMA 2017]

This episode Chris Hayes is joined by Renegade Hybrids of Las Vegas; purveyors of the famous LS engine swap kits for the Porsche 911. You’ve likely seen or read about their work over the last year as they made a big splash at SEMA 2016 offering up test drives to a number of automotive journalists.

They start off with the history of Renegade and quickly dive into the positives and negatives of swapping a big V8 into a spot where a flat six formerly resided and even go so far as to explore the depths of wiring harnesses in these ambitious swaps.

Check out the Renegade Hybrids website at http://www.renegadehybrids.com/ and once again thanks to Magnaflow for providing a stage for ShoutEngine podcasts at SEMA 2017.

Hooniverse – Renegade Hybrids – SEMA 2017

Hooniverse Asks: Which engine are you most sad to see fade away?

Jeff Glucker November 14, 2017 Hooniverse Asks

The naturally aspirated V12 engine from Aston Martin is a large lump that I’m rather fond of. It’s an aging hulk of a powerplant that lies a bit about its true size. Listed at 6.0-liters, the 5.9-liter unit generates strong power figures and tremendous noise. It’s final song is being sung under the hood of the car in the photo above, which is a Vanquish S. There it’s producing 580 horsepower, has a redline around 7,000 rpm, and when you see the tach needle sweep past 3,500 rpm your ears are in for a true treat.

This engine is going away in favor of slightly smaller versions that are aided by forced induction. The power will be greater, but the noise is not the same.

Which engine out there do you miss? Which current engine is in a production vehicle but its time is limited and you lament this fact?

Hooniverse Asks: Should you modify your daily driver?

Jeff Glucker November 10, 2017 Hooniverse Asks

This isn’t my exact car, but it’s close enough for the purposes of this post. That’s because it’s a stock Mazda CX-5, which is the vehicle my wife and I purchased over a year ago to serve as our daily driver machine. My wife does a fair bit of driving for work so a lease was out of the question. I wanted something that wouldn’t sap my soul anytime I was behind the wheel, so our options narrowed further. With kiddo and a pair of dogs figured into the equation, we wound up bringing home a CX-5.

It’s been great for the over 30,000 miles now showing on its odometer. There are no squeaks or rattles. The cloth seats are still wonderfully comfortable. Our mid-grade Touring model has downsized wheels which equals tires with more sidewall, and greater ride comfort as a result.

Lately though, I’ve been having thoughts about the thing. It looks fine as it sits, but what if I just throw some parts at it? I’m not talking about anything major. In fact, right now I’m just considering a wheel and tire upgrade, though I worry about making a change to the ride that will worsen the experience. Especially when its my wife that’s spending most of the time driving the CX-5.

So, dear readers, I ask you… should you modify your daily driver? If so, how far are you willing to take it? I know the answers to this will be all over the place, and no one is really wrong here. Still, I’m curious to see the varied takes on the idea.

Let’s Talk About… The Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

Jeff Glucker November 9, 2017 All Things Hoon

Jalopnik got ahold of a leaked image showing off the upcoming Corvette ZR1. It’s mighty angular. Mighty aggressive. And it’s sure to be mighty fast around damn near all race tracks. Is it mighty appealing?

Click on that Read More button to hear what the Hooniverse Collective has to say, and then add your opinion in the comments below.

… Continue Reading

Podcast: Episode 224 – Will Baty from Centerforce Clutches [SEMA 2017]

The first in our series of SEMA 2017 podcasts Will Baty of Centerforce clutches stops by to talk about… clutches.  We talk about what to expect visiting SEMA and the realities of tradeshows at large before we dive head first into “Clutchlandia”.  Clutchlandia is a magical place where friction is high slipping is punishable by death and Evo engines magically survive past 400HP. 

Ridiculous fictitious nations aside we cover the developments of clutch technology over the last twenty years, how flywheel weights affect your driving and some of the intricacies of dual-clutch transmissions. Thanks to Magnaflow for graciously hosting the Hooniverse and ShoutEngine podcasts at SEMA 2017.

Hooniverse – Will Baty of Centerforce clutches – SEMA 2017

Hooniverse Asks: What’s the dumbest thing you’ve broken… while fixing something else?

Jeff Glucker November 8, 2017 All Things Hoon

Shit… Not how intended to spend this afternoon. Help me @leistungautohaus …you’re my only hope

A post shared by hooniversejeff (@hooniversejeff) on

While wrenching on my 1974 Mercedes-Benz 280 sedan yesterday afternoon, I had a goal in my head. That goal was to adjust the turn signal so it held position when activated and the other was to adjust my driver’s side glass so it was in the closed position.

With respect to the turn signal fix, it was as simple as pulling back a cover and then dremeling out a cleaner notch for the stalk to grab when it’s selected. Now it stays on until the wheel cancels it back to the standard off position. It went just swell.

The driver’s door window is currently giving me trouble because I decided to leave the car with a valet parking service during a trip to Vegas for SEMA. This was dumb on my part for many reasons, but I caved because the price wasn’t much higher than the normal parking rate and it included a wash, which my car needed. Upon my return, I found that my Benz had not been washed. The trim around the ignition key was out farther than before I left, but it was never fully in place so I can’t fully fault anyone there. My driver’s window was halfway down, and when I got into fire up the car and bring it back up it would go no higher.

Yesterday, I decided to open up the door and take a look around. My goal was to loosen the window regulator, slide the window into the fully closed position, and tighten everything back up. Then have someone with more knowledge help me figure out why it was jacked in the first place. I can’t get the actual glass to slide more than halfway up the door though, and I don’t know why. To get better access, I figured I’d remove the side mirror.

While doing so, I snapped one of the three screws holding that mirror in place… so now I have a door torn apart, a window off the tracks, a loose regulator, and a side mirror that’s not tight to the body. So I ask you, what the dumbest thing you’ve broken while trying to fix a different part of your vehicle?

Hooniverse Asks: When did the Jeep Wrangler become the TactiCOOL poster child?

Jeff Glucker October 27, 2017 Hooniverse Asks

The Jeep Wrangler took over for the CJ back in 1986. It was a vehicle still built upon the bones of a machine bred to serve in wartime, and then refined for civilian duty as the decades marched on. Today we have the JK generation Wrangler, and we’re all waiting for Chrysler to stop toying with us and pull the sheet back on the upcoming JL, especially the long-rumored pickup truck version.

Current Jeep fans fall into many camps, but they all seem to genuinely love their highly-capable vehicles. From the base two-door on up to fancy Unlimited Rubicons, you can take a Wrangler anywhere. Lately, it seems like more and more Jeeps aren’t really going places though, yet the owners are already prepped for North Korea to drop their Nukes on the West Coast.

Am I crazy, or does it seem like there has been a bit of a rise in the amount of heavily customized Wranglers prowling the streets? Not lightly upgraded examples, but Wranglers wearing every LED light offered in a given catalog, an angry scowling front-end half covering the headlights, and the cleanest upgraded suspension bought right off the SEMA show floor. These are Jeeps that appear ready for battle, but bear no scars from prior engagements. These Jeeps are tactiCOOL. Also, it seems to happy more often with the more expensive Unlimited over the standard two-door Wrangler.

Is the modern Wrangler Unlimited basically the AR15 of the off-road world? A good tool sullied by a handful of its owner base that seem hellbent on applying every mod with no care of how it actually affects performance. Or even making use of that performance.

When did the Jeep Wrangler become the vehicular posterchild for the tacticool amongst us?

[The Jeep above is listed for sale at ViperExhange.com …for $68k]

Podcast: Episode 223 – ‘Bout Dat Zinfandel Life

Just me and a delicious bottle of beer, sitting around spinnin’ yarns…

Today I talk about running the Pismo Beach dunes in a Polaris RZR, letting someone else drive our Mazda CX-5 so we can taste wine, and then I dive into the upcoming guests for the SEMA episodes we’re going to record next week.

After that it’s question time, and as always you all have some good ones.

Hooniverse – ‘Bout Dat Zinfandel Life