First Drive: 2018 Audi SQ5

Take one part Audi S4 and S5 powertrain. Mix that with a bit of Q5 body work. What do you have? A surprisingly good fat wagon that goes by the name of 2018 Audi SQ5.

There’s over 350 horsepower on tap. An optional rear sport differential makes sure the power is applied purposefully. An optional adaptive air suspension system keeps the car planted when it needs to be and allows it to raise up when necessary. Large front brakes with six-piston calipers haul the action down to a stop in short order.

If you need a luxury crossover but want a luxury sports sedan… this is the car for you.

[Disclaimer: Audi put me on a plane and sent me to British Columbia. There was a hotel, food, and booze involved as well.]

850hp Group B Audi Quattro enjoys devouring tarmac

The Group B cars remain legendary machines to this day. You don’t see them in action like you used to, but there are places where they remain the active fire-breathing monsters that we all remember. One of those places is on a hillclimb course, and that’s where we find this amazing specimen.

According to the video description, this one is making 850 horsepower and driver Keith Edwards is basically suggesting courses of action for the nose as it makes its way up to the finish line.

What makes it go… and don’t say ask a mechanic

That is the opening line to the 1973 film What’s Under Your Hood?. For some, the space under the hood of a car is a mystery zone where all you know is that air and fuel turn into fire and then your wheels turn. Actually, if you know that little bit there, you’re probably in better shape than a fair amount of the driving public. Want to know a bit more? Then this is a great video to watch.

Yes, it’s a bit old but it’s presenting the very basic parts of an engine in an easy to understand format. It’s all explained in that great way from all videos of the era. There’s no fluff, just information.

You’re going to learn about the engine, transmission, driveshaft, and rear axle. And you’re going to learn about all of that in just ten minutes. Hit play and let your brain soak it all in.

Podcast: Episode 203 – Meeting of the Triumvarite

Chris, Zack, and myself are all in the studio for the first time in what feels like a long time… even though it’s only been a few weeks. We talk about Zack getting to check out Jay Leno’s Garage and his trip to Icon for a Casino Charity evening. I talk about my recent fuel line fix on the 1974 Mercedes-Benz 280 sedan that I purchased.

After that we take your questions, and we’re keeping the accents alive as well.

Hooniverse – Meeting of the Triumvirate

McLaren 570GT – The everyday supercar

McLaren makes an entry-level car, and it goes by the name 570GT. Now, entry level to McLaren means you’ll still need to remove over $200,000 from your bank account to come and play… but in these insane times, that actually makes it relatively affordable compared to the competition.

What you get for all of that coin is a 3.8-liter V8 paired with a set of turbochargers that work together to produce 562 horsepower. What you also get is a truly great driving machine that dances the line between grand tourer and sports car.

Yet don’t get too cozy… because when you’re ready to destroy any road in front of you, that ability is a button press and dial twist away.

[Disclaimer: McLaren tossed us the keys to the 570GT and included a tank of fuel.]

Rally Notes… deciphered, thanks to the Team O’neil Rally School

Rally notes are confusing. Lots of numbers, letters, descriptions, and more that all are fed from your co-drivers mouth into your brain. A brain, mind you, that is currently quite busy with the task of making sure you don’t launch a rally car off a cliff, into a tree, or through a snow bank. Still, this shorthand for the course ahead helps driver and co-driver become a cohesive unit while minimizing the need for unnecessary words and chatter.

Instead of saying “Hey bro… there’s a medium-grade right turn ahead, it’s about a three. After that there’s a hella sick jump and then we have a tight left-hand turn where you should grab some rear brake and pull a dope slide.”

The co-driver would say “R3 100, into jump, L1”.

What does that mean? Watch the video above and find out. In it, you’ll find Wyatt Knox of the Team O’Neil Rally School breaking down the world of rally notes for you. 

This quad-turbo Silvia is delightfully insane

Are you ready for insanity? It arrives today in the form of this Nissan Silvia. Under the hood is a 2JZ motor, which is not insane. What is insane is the quadruple turbocharger setup. Also the hand operated secondary throttle body. Oh, and the jet-engine on the rear of the car for forced downforce, but that bit isn’t quite operational yet.

What’s also thrilling about this car? It doesn’t have power steering.

This build is glorious in its insanity.

[Found via Reddit]

Quick Shift 2: Fixing the fuel lines on the Benz

My 1974 Mercedes-Benz 280 sedan is leaking fuel. So I’m going to try to fix it, and I go for a swim in fuel along the way.

Two t-shirts gave their lives during the making of this episode of Quick Shift.

Project Car: The Benz no longer drips fuel

So I stopped the fuel leak… Eventually. #hooniversethings

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My 1974 Mercedes-Benz 280 sedan is supposed to be the easy one. The safer one. I don’t know why I thought things would work that way, but I really did. Now I know the folly in this thinking. The other day I noticed a puddle under the rear of the car.

Bend down. Sniff. Recoil in horror and sadness, or shorror as I like to call it and realize I’m staring at the expensive fluid we all call fuel. Or gasolina if you’re Daddy Yankee.

A rubber hose which connects the fuel line to the fuel tank had become worn out and was dripping a steady flow of precious dino fluid on my garage floor. I was able to fix it, and in an amount of time that most of you would consider slow. 

Also, I now know that gasoline feels very cold on your body and eventually it leaves a nice rash on your skin. There was fuel… everywhere. Stay tuned for the video version of this adventure in the next Hooniverse Quick Shift.

Monster Ford Escort Cosworth looks at hills and climbs them in rapid fashion

The Ford Escort Cosworth is a neat little homologation special that arrived from the factory with nearly 230 horsepower. The version you see above has a bit more juice flowing to the wheels. This one here apparently makes 620 horsepower and enjoys being flung up hillclimb routes and nearly into guardrails.

Have some more awesome on your Monday. Watch this video, then go crush your next meeting.