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Dodge Viper: More charm needed for this snake?

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The Dodge Viper returned to the world in 2013 and everyone… kind of went, huh. That’s a bit of a surprise considering the styling is excellent, the V10 makes amazing noise, and the performance capability of the car is higher than that of most drivers that will climb behind the wheel.

Still, it’s priced a bit high in its 2013 and 2014 model years, and the sales are sluggish. Dodge has decided to fix that for 2015 with a massive price drop and a minor power bump.

We’re curious what would make the car sales figures so flat though, as this seems like something that fans of the well-to-do fans of the brand would be snapping up. Is it simply a matter of a car being priced too high?

Pretty much… yes.

[Disclaimer: Dodge loaned us the Viper for a few days, and included a tank of gas. I believe I used one tank for each day I drove the car... worth it.]

Podcast: Episode 79 – A regular podcast

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I’m once again joined by my podcast partner in audio crime. Blake Z Rong has returned from doing famous automotive journalist activities so we have lots to chat about. Additionally, we fall back into the old format of starting with a bit of new car news before digressing into, well, basic insanity.

Hop the break and let your ears explore the space…

… Continue Reading

Video: TMI Autotech is Prepping Ariel Atoms for the US Market

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Friends of Hooniverse TMI Autotech are the go-to source for freshly built Ariel Atoms here in the United States. They’re based in Virginia. That last line isn’t exciting until you realize they’re more specifically located right at Virginia International Raceway. That’s quite a nice spot when you have a fleet of Atoms eager to be flogged around a race track.

This short video they’ve produced gives you a glimpse into their facility. Since we’re buddies with them, we thought we’d pass it along to you.

…and yes, you can bet your ass we’re trying to get seat time in one of these things.

Ken Block takes us for a ride in his GRC Fiesta ST

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The Global Rallycross series recently invaded Los Angeles, and our man Jason Connor trekked up to check things out. He arrived during the practice days, and was given the chance to ride shotgun with one Ken Block. His GoPro was charged up, his helmet was affixed, and he was sent off through the course.

Podcast: Episode 78 – Back into the podcast palace

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Podcast Producer Chris Hayes and myself step back into the original podcast palace of love for Episode 78. Blake Z. Rong is off doing professional automotive writer things on the other side of the country.

Topics range from a few favorites revealed at the Paris Motor Show, to Volvos new crazy concept turbo motor, and on to a few things we’ve driven recently. These include the Lamborghini Aventador Roadster, a 2015 Hyundai Sonata, and a few other machines.

Also, I digress towards the end and talk about a time when I got really drunk…

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Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG: Ballin’ on a budget or the real AMG deal?

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For many years now, AMG have been churning out ballistic machines with hand-built engines. The cars sole purpose has been to generate power, noise, and tire smoke. Now though, there’s a new generation of AMG vehicles and one of the interesting spots in the lineup is occupied by the CLA45 AMG.

It’s a compact sedan that’s shaped a bit like a coupe and offers up turbocharged four-cylinder goodness. That doesn’t sound like something that the mad minds at AMG would cook up… until you realize that this is one of the most powerful four-cylinder engines ever created.

Still, is it the real AMG experience or is it merely a budget pretender? Let’s watch…

Fantasy Finds Friday: Niki Lauda’s prop Ferrari from RUSH

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Today is a rather unique find for the Fantasy Garage. There’s a company called Prop Store, which is based in Los Angeles and London, and the outfit sells many items from TV and film. There’s an auction coming up this month that has tons of truly amazing items from the movie world, and were I a richer man I’d have a house filled with lots of really dumb shit that I personally find awesome.

One of those items would be this screen used Ferrari 312T2 prop car from the film Rush. It’s not the only car up for auction, but it’s the one I’d be most thrilled to take home. The starting bid is a relatively low £10,000, and the expected price is somewhere between £20,000-£30,000.

Seems pretty damn cheap for a vehicle that actually operates. It was built on a tube chassis, and it was designed to accept other bodys for shooting purposes. For sale purposes, the battery has been removed and all fluids have been drained. Additionally, it’s recommended that it not be driven… HAHAHA, nuts to that!

Check out the whole auction here, and sound off in the comments on what you’ve found for your Fantasy Finds on this Friday.

[Source: PropStore]

The Drift Chronicles: Rise of the S14!

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When it comes to drifting, there are a handful of machines that folks like to utilize for their LETS GO SIDEWAYS, FAST potential. One such machine is the beloved Nissan Silvia, also known as the 180SX, 200SX, and 240SX depending on where you’re located on this planet.

The S15 may be a perennial winner in the D1 series, but it’s the S14 that we’re taking a look at today. Our man Drift Idiot trekked to Texas to take in Round 6 of the 2014 Formula Drift season. While there he talked to a handful of S14 drivers to determine why they prefer this machine, what makes it special, and to garner a bit more insight into the world of the S14.

Drivers Forrest Wang, Odi Bakchis, Rob Primo, and Darren McNamara all sound off on the cult of S14.

[Also, that shot of the screen at the speedway? It's real! They played The Drift Chronicles in between rounds!]

Podcast: Episode 77 – Come join me on my couch…

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Rather than take a week off, I decided to fire up the podcast-er-ator machine, plop on my couch, open a beer, and start rambling. This week I run the show solo. The topics range from my recent drive of the new Aston Martin V12 Vantage S Roadster to the weekend I just spent with a Lamborghini Aventador Roadster. Additionally, I talk about the recent Car and Driver Lightning Lap results while prattling away about all that I see that’s good about the Subaru Legacy 3.6R that I’m driving this week.

Click on through… to the other side (yeah).

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Under the Hood: Valvoline explores the world of DIY mechanics
and starts off with our own Tim Odell

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Here in the Hooniverse, we love dirty hands, tools that are actually used, and project vehicles that are both a point of pride and a point of frustration. Yes, even I like getting my hands occasionally dirty… but it’s best when I have adult supervision. If you’ve been hanging around here for awhile, you know that the main man behind our own set of wrenches is Mr. Mad Science, AKA Tim Odell.

The folks at Valvoline have been paying attention, because they recently sent a small film crew over to Tim’s house to capture a quick glimpse into his world. This is the first part of a new series called Under the Hood: The Spirit of DIY. So come along as we take a look at Tim’s cars, his young kids, and what he does that gets his hands so damn dirty.

[Disclaimer: Valvoline gave Tim a few bucks to be a part of this series. He has already spent that money on beer.]

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