Friends of the show Jonathon Klein and Jason Connor join Chris and myself in the studio. We talk about the recent DWA Coastal Range Rally, which Connor attended with his Ford Focus ST. Klein tells us about driving the Scarbo F1 replica car, which sounds amazing.
Additionally, there’s some news on the upcoming recording of Episode 200! It will take place on April 3rd at Four Sons Brewery in Huntington Beach. We should get started around 7pm.
After that bit of news, we rush through your questions because we all wanted to go to K1 after and hit up the karting track
Subaru has created an affordable, fun, rear-wheel-drive sports car and you know it by the three letters BRZ. Sure, a number of folks would like a lot more power from the thing, but that’s not coming just yet.
For 2017, Subaru has updated a bit of the styling but they’ve also revised the suspension, relaxed the traction control, and are now offering an upgrade called the Performance Package.
Check that box on the order form and you’ll get Sachs dampers, an aluminum rear spoiler, and larger brakes.
Is it worth your money? We trekked all the way to a gorgeous racing circuit in Spain to find out.
[Disclaimer: Subaru put me on a long flight to Spain where there was a great hotel, amazing food, mediocre beer, and delicious wine. Also, we got a tour of the Alhambra, which is a must-visit spot on this planet.]
The worst part about driving a hybrid, is that you’re constantly reminded of the fact that driving enjoyment is no longer a thing about which you care. Sure, you can spend big bucks and get something with a bit of vigor like a Porsche Panamaniac e-Hybrid, but that starts at $100k and I bet you that you’ll end up with enough options that you could’ve thrown a base Macan into the mix as well. Your standard hybrid, however, is quite boring and manages to remind you of this every chance it gets.
Kia is hoping to change that with the introduction of its all new 2017 Niro. This is a vehicle that was built from the outset to be a hybrid. With that in mind, Kia knew it wanted something that was both a mere sipper of fuel yet also functional and enjoyable on a daily basis.
Much like Roman Emperor Nero looked to make his empire a more pleasing place, the Niro hopes to do the same for the hybrid. To see if that is something that’s actually possible in a vehicle not costing you six figures, I trekked to San Antonio, Texas to find out.
…because we know that Texans are rootin’ tootin’ and straight-up hollerin’ for more hybrids.
Let me clarify… the McLaren 570S is affordable relative to its competition. That’s because it’s a McLaren and it has a starting price of less than $200,000.
This is your chance to drive a McLaren for the same price as a Nissan, an Audi, a Porsche, and a few other expensive machines.
Let’s be real… none of us can afford this thing, but it’s a damned bargain for the space in which it’s competing. This is the McLaren 570S and it’s f**king awesome
[Disclaimer: McLaren tossed us the keys to the 570S and included a tank of fuel. I then pretended I was a baller and bought the fancy ketchup at my local whole foods… then gave everyone the finger when I drove off.]
[Apologies for the audio on this one. We had a microphone failure, so we had to use the audio from the GoPro. I didn’t want to completely ditch the video though… so “enjoy”?]
Subaru is quietly kicking ass here in the United States. The brand has seen its sales numbers rise year over year and there’s no sign of slowing at the moment. In fact, we could be on the verge of one million Subaru sales in a given year, in just a few years time. That’s a massive jump over the few hundred thousand from just a couple of years prior.
One car very important to the success of the brand is, of course, the Impreza. The 2017 Subaru Impreza is especially important for a number of reasons. It’s the first model build on the Subaru Global Platform for our market, and this is a platform that will underpin nearly every model to come. Additionally, this is the first Impreza built right here in the United States.
The 2017 Impreza, for the US market, is built in Indiana.
It’s a strong entry in a crowded segment, and it has some great pluses and a few minuses to go along with it.
[Disclaimer: Subaru invited us to sample the latest Impreza, and put me up in a hotel in La Jolla. There was food. There were drinks.]
Our podcast that is, and we’re referring to guest Matt Farah of The Smoking Tire. He’s been a busy man the last year or so, with his steady stream of One Take videos on his own channel or the great shows he’s hosting for NBC Sports as part of The Drive.
Matt sits down to talk with us about all of that, and then some. Also we get in some questions as well. If you want to hear what’s essentially the first half of this podcast, you should also tune in to myself sitting in as a guest on Matt’s TST Podcast.
When I say that “Mazda gets us”, I am trying to stand on a soapbox and preach to the enthusiast masses. The problem here is that those masses aren’t exactly that. We’re the minority, yet Mazda is still plucking on our automotive heart strings. There have been many examples of this over the years, but the latest one is the updated Mazda3.
How so? List off all of the automakers that will let you opt for the manual gearbox across all available trim lines. I don’t have to wait for your answers here, because I know the list is short.
Long time friends of the show BBI Autosport grace us with their presence in the Magnaflow booth at SEMA 2016. Zack and Chris sit down to talk everything Porsche with BBI including; 991.1 vs 991.2, the future of the GT3, the slow migration of 911 engines forward, carbs vs EFI, and the legendary build quality of antique german steel.
Here’s a quick look at the new 2017 Audi Allroad. It’s our German friends longroof answer to the crossover question.
Here for the new model year, Audi has swapped in a revised 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder engine, which is now good for 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque.
The ride height is slightly raised.
There’s underbody protection.
Throw in more aggressive tires and some mud flaps and we’ve got a $53,000 ($44,000 base price) trail runner.
Yes, we didn’t venture out into the deeper parts of the trail but I know that we could’ve. How? You’re going to have to wait for the video where we torture a Volkswagen Golf Alltrack to find out.
(Spoiler: It handled said “torture” just fine)
[Disclaimer: Audi tossed me the keys to the 2017 Allroad and included a tank of fuel. I had to wash the mud off the car before giving it back, while it was raining outside. I had to go wash a car… while it was raining. I still didn’t get all of the mud, sorry Audi.]