The 2018 Chevy Camaro ZL1 1LE just ripped the ‘Ring a new one

The other day, I posted a video of my review of the Chevy Camaro SS 1LE. There’s a more evil beast coming out soon though, and its badging will read ZL1. You can spec your future freak-beast Camaro in 1LE guise, and that gets you Dynamic Spool Valve dampened suspension setup, a healthy heaping of aero bits, and a car that is capable of lapping the Nürburgring in 7:16.04.

You’ll also have a 650-horsepower engine under the hood and a six-speed manual gearbox at you beck and call.

There are few rear-wheel-drive production vehicles that have gone around The ‘Ring more quickly. An AMG GT R holds the top spot with a time of 7:10.92, and has a price tag quite a bit higher than the $70k it takes to own a ZL1 1LE.

We know that ‘Ring times don’t mean much in the real world… but you have to admire the fact that a Camaro just slapped its throbbing lap time on the counter, and right in the face of Yurup’s fastest machines. Also, watch the video above just for the driving ability alone and you’ll come away impressed.

The Mazda MX-5 RF: A Miata for people who hate convertibles

Jeff Glucker June 22, 2017 Featured

The ND Miata is good. There’s no denying that the current generation Mazda MX-5 is an excellent machine. Still, I’m a bit of weird who prefers coupes to convertibles. Some air would be nice… and that’s where the MX-5 RF comes into play. Say hello to the Retractable Fastback version of …The Answer to any question where it’s not already 42.

You start with the basic MX-5 goodness that is the front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. Add in a slick-shifting six-speed manual gearbox and you’re on the right path.

Now make it a Club version car, which gets beefier brakes, nice bits of blacked-out trim, and some sweet BBS wheels and you are doing even better. The MX-5 RF won’t please the Miata Purists but it will make a whole lot more people who might not’ve considered the car before start to take a closer look.

[Disclaimer: Mazda tossed us the keys to this car and included a tank of fuel. We spent more money on pomade over the next few days at our own expense.]

Podcast: Episode 207 – Dan Greenawalt and Forza 7

Dan Greenawalt, the Creative Director for Turn 10 Studios, swings by the podcast studio to talk about Forza 7. We dive into a bit of his current car love (A Mustang GT350), and press him for some details on the game before taking your questions. 

Hooniverse – Dan Greenawalt and Forza 7

House of Muscle brings some classic Camaro heat to your screen

Mike Musto and his House of Muscle are back on YouTube with a new episode. The latest installment has Mike whipping through some glorious Northern California backroads. He’s doing so in a 1970 Chevy Camaro that’s been built with the goal of being a track beast.

It does this by coming packed with a GM LSA engine and outfitted with a proper suspension setup front and rear. This is the exact type of build you’d expect to find running very well in an Optima Street Car challenge event.

Musto gushes over the gussied up Camaro as he puts it through its paces. This generation car is one that I personally haven’t loved in the past, but the last few years have changed that. This one only helps cement that feeling that this era of Camaro deserves the attention it’s getting now.

Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE: Improving on the Alpha

Dear Camaro fanboys, you’re all terrible…

but the current generation Camaro is fantastic. Especially when it comes fully dressed in SS 1LE guise. You take the already good Camaro SS, and then you add some go-fast bits and a bit of blacked-out body work and you have a truly excellent machine.

The noise. The capability. The in-your-face looks. It all adds up to a beastly American sports car that can dance with damn near anything the rest of the world has to offer. Chevy has a monster on its hands, and we haven’t even *begun* to talk about the ZL1 version that exists…

[Disclaimer: Chevy tossed us the keys to the Camaro for a week and included a tank of fuel. We would love to have also seen more tires, a race track, and more time…]

Australian motorsports organization bans Robbie Gordon from competing Down Under

Jeff Glucker June 19, 2017 Motorsports

Robbie Gordon recently put on a bit of a show for patrons outside of a bar in Darwin, Australia. The stunt didn’t win him the affection of the local police, as they’re a bit harsh with the anti-hoon laws in that neck of the woods. It was clearly a reckless thing to do on a public road, so it’s no surprise it captured the attention of the local law-bringers.

According to NESN, the Darwin donuts wound up costing Gordon 4,150 AUD which works out to a bit over $3,000 US. Additionally, his Super Stadium truck was ordered impounded for up to 48 hours time.

Now comes word of a bit more imposing stuff for Gordon and his adventures in Oz. The Confederation of Australian Motorsport (CAMS) has decided to come down hard on Gordon, and as such have opted to deny Robbie a competition license for an indefinite period.

A statement from CAMS reads as follows:

“With CAMS actively engaging more than ever with local communities, government, and corporate Australia to grow and promote our sport, so-called ‘hoon’ behaviour on public roads is not reflective of our values, nor our member base, and will not be tolerated.”

Now, we have no doubt that Robbie knows how to control his beastly machine, but it’s a bit insane to rip these donuts out in front of a bar while folks look on from the sidewalk. Seeing how Australian authorities have reacted to other such bits of Hoon-ery in the past, we’re not totally surprised at the reaction here.

Is this is another case of someone who should’ve saved it for the track or a locked-down area or has CAMS overreacted? Sound off below.

Also, hop past the jump for the full statement from CAMS…

… Continue Reading

Take in the Nürburging 24 Hour Race from the perspective of a racer

An endurance race is an extreme test of a car, drivers, and a team as a whole. One of the toughest is the Nürburging 24-Hour Race, as it pits all sorts of vehicles against each other but also against a circuit often called The Green Hell. The N24 is a bucket-list-level event for drives and spectators alike, and one person who was formerly a spectator has now become a competitor.

Jethro Bovingdon, aside from having a tremendously British name, is a motoring journalist in the United Kingdom. He’s on the Drivetribe team and he’s putting out some seriously excellent videos on their YouTube channel.

The most recent of which follows Bovingdon as he takes in the N24 from the driver’s seat of the brand-new BMW M4 GT4 race car. Shared with three other drivers, Jethro and this team take a fresh race car from start to finish over the course of 24 hours, shifting weather, through faster and slower bits of traffic, and through the dreaded dark that descends when day turns to night.

It always turns back to day though, and the light shines on the twisting bit of sinewy road we all call The Ring. The car, the drivers, and the team all make it through with only a few battle scars but one great story to share.

Quick Shift: My 1974 Mercedes-Benz gets #Hella fresh

My 1974 Mercedes-Benz 280 is getting a quick upgrade. It’s a small one, but I think it does a nice job on supplying an extra dash of style. I’ve purchased a set of Hella Lamin-X lens covers to give my fog lights that yellow look.

Against the blue paint work, the yellow fog lights pop rather nicely. It’s a quick change that enhances the overall look of the car.

They were easy to install, but I’m getting a little bit of lift on the edges. It’s not picking up off the lens, there’s just a few spots of bubbling. I’m going to get a strong rubberband and wrap one around each lens to try and put a consistent pressure around the outside. I think that will finish this off and get this looking perfect.

What do you think?

Podcast: Episode 206 – A Manuel Transmission

We’re all in the studio and joined by guest Manuel Carrillo III. He’s an automotive content machine doling out great pieces (both written and video-based) for a plethora of Internet Brands outlets. He’s also a friend of Hooniverse. 

We brought Manuel in because we wanted to hear about his latest endeavor; restoring his father’s old 1977 Porsche 911. This is a car that has been sitting for some time, but it’s also the very car that brought a baby MC3 home from the hospital. He’s invested in the outcome, and we want to learn more about it all.

Hooniverse – A Manuel Transmission

A beautiful hot rod does angry things at the Hoonigan Donut Garage

The Hoonigan Daily Transmission series opens a window into the goings-on at the company’s Long Beach headquarters. This is where you’ll find all sorts of machines doing all sorts of vehicular shenanigans. Most often it’s some manner of drift car, but that is certainly not always the case. There are plenty of European sports cars, muscle cars, and even trophy trucks that have stopped by to engage in their given brand of fun.

The latest car to stop by might just be the best one of all. It started life as a standard 1933 Plymouth complete with an inline six-cylinder engine. Since it’s from ’33, that means it’s just five years younger than the company which brought it to life. It’s been given new life, however, at the hands of TJ Russell.

He’s the man behind Russell Built Fabrication and he’s also a self-described Mopar fan. That’s why he didn’t go with some old Ford or Chevy. This Plymouth has been treated to a Chrysler Marine engine, tons of custom front-end bits, and a bit of actual self restraint as well. The body hasn’t been sliced, chopped, diced, or hacked up. The chassis has been reworked to fit the body, and the result is damn near perfect.

I’m no hot rod guy. I can appreciate the work that goes into some of them, but the aesthetic isn’t my thing. This hot rod, however, is damn near perfect.