Hooniverse Asks: What do you think about Ford’s car-cutting plan?

Jeff Glucker April 26, 2018 Hooniverse Asks

By 2022, Ford will have a lineup mostly devoid of cars. Instead, the automaker is going to focus on its trucks and utility vehicles. The only cars to survive will be the Mustang and a lifestyle-d up version of the Focus. Everything else will be either a pickup truck or sport utility vehicle.

The reason behind this move is to cut costs. That’s what Blue Oval brand CEO Jim Hackett has said, and the amount of costs to be cut is in the neighborhood of $25 billion.

Ford is certainly following the consumer dollar here. There’s no denying that. People want crossover-type vehicles. There’s no one buying the Fusion, Taurus, or Fiesta so Ford is going to give them the axe.

Is this the right move or is Ford foolishly following trends too aggressively? The F-150 will always be the anchor for the brand, but is the demise of a number of car models a harbinger of more to come?

Ford once killed the Ranger for North America, and that’s coming back. There’s always a chance of vehicular revival for sedans too.

Hooniverse Asks: What’s your current favorite ambitious build?

Jeff Glucker April 24, 2018 Hooniverse Asks

Freddy Hernandez, AKA Tavarish, has been tinkering with a variety of cars on his YouTube channel. His recent acquisition, however, is a rather ambitious project car. It’s a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder that was previously owned by a person with a need for speed. Hence the installed twin-turbo kit and fire damage.

Tavarish has been working his way through the rear end of the car in order to get it back in to running and driving condition. It’s been a hell of a journey so far, and now Freddy has finally fired up the machine.

The fun part about this series is that Freddy is an everyman wrench just like the rest of us. He’s learning as he goes, and he’s documenting the entire process. He just happens to be doing this on an imposing vehicle.

What other builds out there are you following along, waiting for more news? There are plenty of ambitious builds on the Internet right now. Share your favorites below!

The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is the best sports sedan out there

You could buy the BMW, and be boring. You could buy the Mercedes-Benz, and be smugly content. You could be the Audi, and play it safe. You could buy the Lexus, and be comfortable enough. Or… you could buy the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, and be a hero.

If you make the heroes choice, you now have 505 horsepower at your disposal thanks to a Ferrari-derived 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine. It works magic to the rear end through an eight-speed gearbox.

On the outside, you have a muscular and mean machine with a perfectly poised stance. Inside, the Alfa gets down to business with its thin-rimmed suede and leather steering wheel and massive paddles to control the transmission. The seats are excellent, which is good because you’re going to want to fling this four-door beast through the corners.

It’s not cheap. It’s definitely not perfect (keep your warranty information handy). But it is the most thrilling machine in its segment.

[Disclaimer: Alfa Romeo tossed us the keys to the Giulia QF and included a tank of fuel. We had to fill up the car three more times…]

Podcast: Episode 245 – Casa de Klapman

I had to step out this week so Chris Hayes took the chance to meet up with Hooniverse Podcast regular Zack Klapman for a one-on-one catch up. This week the pair cover the Long Beach Grand Prix, the recent passing of the “One Take” reigns to Zack, and Chris’ deliberations on a new daily driver.

Hooniverse Asks: Faux Patina?

Jeff Glucker April 17, 2018 Hooniverse Asks

One one hand, I want to applaud anyone out there who customizes, cherishes, and enjoys their vehicle. That’s what ROCS Auto has down with this Porsche 911. The car is called the ROCS Palo Alto 911 Panamericana Outlaw, and it looks the part. The idea is that this is what this Porsche would look like if it had been used as a Mexican road racing car for decades.

The problem I have here, is that it hasn’t done any of that. The car was built for a well-to-do California client that wanted a car to look like it’s lived a life it hasn’t. It’s fake. It’s faux patina.

I like the aesthetics of this car, but it hasn’t earned those aesthetics. And so I can’t stand behind it. This car is kind of lame, even while it’s cool at the same time.

This is fake ripped holes on overpriced jeans. This is artisanal insanity applied to the automotive space. It’s faux organic. It’s the Whole Foods of automotive styling.

I don’t like it.

But you might, and that’s okay. What do you think of this car and faux patina in general? 

[Source: FlatSixes]

Hooniverse Asks: Do we *need* the Jeep Trackhawk to exist?

Jeff Glucker April 16, 2018 Hooniverse Asks

I’m driving a 707-horsepower Jeep this week. It makes no sense. It defies physics through the sheer monstrous power of its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine. It costs $90,000. The fuel economy is in the single digits.

It’s hilarious, dumb, amazing, childish, and wonderful all at the same time. Do we really need a vehicle like this to exist?

I say yes, because the combustion engine needs to go out with a few more high notes before electrification is the standard. But what say you?

Hooniverse Asks: Would you buy a new Alfa Romeo product?

Jeff Glucker April 12, 2018 Hooniverse Asks

Would you spend your hard-earned cash on a new Alfa Romeo? It doesn’t need to be the spendy 505-horsepower Giulia Quadrifoglio shown above. There are more affordable options at play in the current Alfa Romeo product lineup offered here in the States.

Could you overlook any perceived quality issues and pull the trigger on an Alfa Romeo?

I ask because I’m currently running into the tail end of a great week with the car above. The video will be out soon. Over the course of my time with the car I’ve been waiting for it to break down. It’s done just that with nearly everyone that’s driven the thing. Yet it hasn’t done so yet with me. I realize it’s now bound to happen, but I’m holding out hope that it doesn’t. 

Still the niggling worry is there that the dash will explode into a symphony of warning lights and the entertaining machine will leave me as it rides away on the back of a trailer. That thought exists… but so does the thought of a sharp driving sports sedan with aggressive styling and a truly excellent dynamic experience.

Would you spend the dough on an Alfa?

An RC exhaust system by way of a plastic bottle and a driveshaft slapper

Jeff Glucker April 11, 2018 All Things Hoon

So you wish your RC drift machine sounded more like the real thing? We’ve found a fix that will get you a bit closer to what you seek. This Toyota AE86 remote control drift car makes glorious noise, and the way it does so is both very smart yet very simple.

The car is owned by Yoshitaka Hiraiwa. The driveshaft has been modified with an extra bit of material around the back half. Then wedged between the driftshaft and the bottom of the chassis, we have a folded up plastic bottle. That extra material on the driveshaft then smacks into the bottle every time it rotates. The smacking sounds intensifies as the revs increase, thus the entire effect comes off as if the car has an exhaust system.

The effect is excellent. Smart… yet simple, just like we said.

Thanks for the tip, John Cary!

[Source: 110% JDM Facebook Page]

Podcast: Episode 244 – Quite a Vas Deferens Here

The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio has joined the party! I’m driving the Italian sports sedan this quick and so far *knock on wood* it hasn’t broken down. That’s amazing considering the car has done that for pretty much everyone else that’s driven it.

Beyond that we talk a bit about Chris’ upcoming potential car purchase, my Benz duo, and an upcoming loan of the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

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

Hooniverse Asks: What’s the most unlikely yet capable machine out there?

Jeff Glucker April 10, 2018 Hooniverse Asks

I knew I wanted to get the Range Rover Velar dirty. I did not, however, expect it to be climbing hills, powering through massive rutted trails, and hanging wheels in the air like it just didn’t care. This is supposed to be the fancy pants Range Rover. The one that sacrifices function for quite a bit of form.

But it doesn’t sacrifice anything, because the Velar is ready to get its slim-fit suit exterior covered in mud.

This got me thinking… What is a vehicle that you’d guess wouldn’t be capable yet is actually quite good at a given task? This Velar is a comfortable yet capable off-road machine, but at first glance you’d suspect it would be forced into nothing more than mall crawler duty (in reality, it most likely will mind you).

What other vehicles out there hit you the same way?