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Podcast: Episode 227 – Dan McNiff of Dinan [SEMA 2017]

Jeff Glucker November 22, 2017 Hooniverse Podcast

Dan McNiff has turned into one of our favorite podcast guests over the last few years. Dan is a technical project manager and oversees warrantying all the beautiful upgrades for BMWs (and Minis) at Dinan. Reprising his SEMA role from last year Dan stops by to share details on their new product offerings but as per usual we deviate from the roadmap shortly thereafter. 

We get the inside story on Dinan’s forays into the VW/Audi world only to be interrupted by their parent company purchasing APR tuning. Beyond business dealings though, we discuss some of the common maladies of modern BMWs and the limitations they reach building warrantee-ready upgrades that can be overcome by their more ambitious clientele.

Check out Dinan’s product offerings at https://www.dinancars.com/

 

Once again thanks to Magnaflow for hosting ShoutEngine podcast on their stage at SEMA 2017


Hooniverse – Dan McNiff of Dinan – SEMA 2017

First Drive: 2018 Kia Stinger GT

Here’s a car we’ve been looking forward to driving for some time now. The roll out of the 2018 Kia Stinger GT has been happening for awhile and we’ve waited quite a bit to see if the car lives up to the hype it’s generating. First off, you should know it lives up to its own hype because it’s an entertaining, stylish, grand-touring sedan with a hatchback booty and 376 horsepower under the hood.

Is it good *enough* though to get folks with the necessary cash to head into Kia dealerships to pick one up? That’s a far tougher question to answer. This is a good car, with an appropriate price tag but it’s a price tag that keeps it out of reach for the younger enthusiast crowd that might long to own such a machine.

On paper, the Kia Stinger GT is a true competitor to the likes of the BMW 440 and 640 Gran Coupe, the Audi S5 Sportback, and the base (BASE, people… Not the V8s) Porsche Panamera. It’s quick, comfortable, and good looking and it can be had for a good deal less than that mighty competitive set.

My fear with the Stinger GT, however, is that it will be a car beloved by enthusiasts and journalists… and purchased by few. I really hope I’m wrong though, and I truly believe that if it sells well it could be the car that gets people finally worrying about what the badging on the nose and tail.

This is the all-new Aston Martin Vantage

Say hello to a brand-new Vantage.

This is Aston Martin’s latest machine to wear a name that goes back to 1951. Today it’s applied to a vehicle that doesn’t just continue on with a storied legacy, but rockets the Vantage into the future.

It’s aggressively styled. From the oversized grille to the integrated rear ducktail and massive diffuser, there’s a lot to take in here. With its short wheelbase, it appears eager and ready for action and the aero elements should help keep that action firmly planted to the ground.

Inside the cabin space, you’ll find a more focused cockpit compared not just to Vantages of old but to the latest DB11 as well. This is the sports car, the drivers car, compared to the more grand touring nature of the larger DB11.

Without an engine to power it, of course, a car like this is nothing more than rolling art. Thankfully, Aston Martin have fitted the Vantage with an AMG-developed 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8. It’s set low in the chassis and far enough back that the engineers have created a 50:50 weight distribution. B

ring the engine to life with a press of a button and you have 503 horsepower and 505 lb-ft of torque at your disposal. That peak torque figure runs from 2k rpm up through 5k rpm, which coupled with a dry weight of 3300 lbs means copious vehicular shenanigans are a mere throttle blip away.

Like the other modern Aston Martin products, the engine is controlled through a rear-mounted ZF 8spd gearbox. Press the paddle to call up first gear, and you can move from 0-60 miles per hour in 3.6 seconds and onward to a 195 mile per hour top speed. Aston Martin’s most sporting model is all-new and appears to be better than ever.

It goes on sale now with a starting price of $150k. Stay tuned because we’ll tell you how it drives in the very near future…

Hooniverse Asks: Which vehicle are you thankful for this year?

Jeff Glucker November 20, 2017 Hooniverse Asks

I still can’t believe it’s a vehicle that you can go to a dealership and purchase. The asking price is well under $100,000. The horsepower figure is over 700. Inside, you’ll find room for five adults. The top speed is 204 miles per hour. It’s a Dodge. It’s the Dodge Charger Hellcat, to be more precise… and it’s one of the most insane cars ever built, and I’m thankful for the fact that it exists even if I can’t afford one of my own.

We live in crazy times. Cars are a nice way to refocus on the good in our lives. What vehicle are reminds you of this? Which vehicle out there, new or old, are you thankful that it exists?

Hooniverse Asks: We’re about to drive the new Kia Stinger, what do you want to know?

Jeff Glucker November 16, 2017 Hooniverse Asks

Today, I’m in Hollywood to attend a launch event for Kia’s latest machine. It’s the 2018 Kia Stinger and it has its sight set on some lofty goals. Is this really a potential BMW 3-Series or Infiniti Q50 competitor?

That I don’t know yet, but I do know that I am incredibly intrigued by the idea of a rear-wheel-drive (or all-wheel-drive if you want it) sports sedan/hatchback.

There’s a four-cylinder engine offered, but we’re here to sample the larger 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V6 and its 365 horsepower output.

I worry that this will be a car that I’ll really enjoy… and no one will buy. Regardless, it’s nearly time for me to take the keys to one. What do you want to know about it?

I’ll put my thoughts in the video review and also answer some questions here later in the day.

Watch Budweiser pay tribute to Dale Earnardt Jr with One Last Ride

Dale Earnhardt Jr is approaching his final NASCAR race. His professional racing career, which started when he was 17 years old, is turning the corner into its final chapter in a series that’s seen an Earnhardt run for decades. As part of the goodbye tour for Dale, one of his long-standing sponsors has created a video to show its appreciation for all that Jr has done for them in this arena.

Now, I’m no big NASCAR fan. That’s the other J Gluck. But Dale Jr has always seen like a stand-up guy working for wins against a sea of racers that want to beat him solely because he’s his father’s son. Dale is a two-time Busch Series champion, two-time winner of the Daytona 500, and a perennial fan favorite. He’s the guy you want to see do well in this sport, and he also clearly has fun with it as well.

So if, like myself, you’re not much of a NASCAR fan, you can be a Dale Jr fan. Hit play on the video above and watch this well-produced short ode to a man who is a major part of the NASCAR universe, and will continue to be when he moves into the broadcast booth next season.

Also… sidenote: I’d love to see a craft brewery compete in this space. Someone needs to step up with the dollars and sponsor the Fontana or Sonoma events.

Hooniverse Podcast: Episode 225 – Renegade Hybrids [SEMA 2017]

This episode Chris Hayes is joined by Renegade Hybrids of Las Vegas; purveyors of the famous LS engine swap kits for the Porsche 911. You’ve likely seen or read about their work over the last year as they made a big splash at SEMA 2016 offering up test drives to a number of automotive journalists.

They start off with the history of Renegade and quickly dive into the positives and negatives of swapping a big V8 into a spot where a flat six formerly resided and even go so far as to explore the depths of wiring harnesses in these ambitious swaps.

Check out the Renegade Hybrids website at http://www.renegadehybrids.com/ and once again thanks to Magnaflow for providing a stage for ShoutEngine podcasts at SEMA 2017.


Hooniverse – Renegade Hybrids – SEMA 2017

Hooniverse Asks: Which engine are you most sad to see fade away?

Jeff Glucker November 14, 2017 Hooniverse Asks

The naturally aspirated V12 engine from Aston Martin is a large lump that I’m rather fond of. It’s an aging hulk of a powerplant that lies a bit about its true size. Listed at 6.0-liters, the 5.9-liter unit generates strong power figures and tremendous noise. It’s final song is being sung under the hood of the car in the photo above, which is a Vanquish S. There it’s producing 580 horsepower, has a redline around 7,000 rpm, and when you see the tach needle sweep past 3,500 rpm your ears are in for a true treat.

This engine is going away in favor of slightly smaller versions that are aided by forced induction. The power will be greater, but the noise is not the same.

Which engine out there do you miss? Which current engine is in a production vehicle but its time is limited and you lament this fact?

Hooniverse Asks: Should you modify your daily driver?

Jeff Glucker November 10, 2017 Hooniverse Asks

This isn’t my exact car, but it’s close enough for the purposes of this post. That’s because it’s a stock Mazda CX-5, which is the vehicle my wife and I purchased over a year ago to serve as our daily driver machine. My wife does a fair bit of driving for work so a lease was out of the question. I wanted something that wouldn’t sap my soul anytime I was behind the wheel, so our options narrowed further. With kiddo and a pair of dogs figured into the equation, we wound up bringing home a CX-5.

It’s been great for the over 30,000 miles now showing on its odometer. There are no squeaks or rattles. The cloth seats are still wonderfully comfortable. Our mid-grade Touring model has downsized wheels which equals tires with more sidewall, and greater ride comfort as a result.

Lately though, I’ve been having thoughts about the thing. It looks fine as it sits, but what if I just throw some parts at it? I’m not talking about anything major. In fact, right now I’m just considering a wheel and tire upgrade, though I worry about making a change to the ride that will worsen the experience. Especially when its my wife that’s spending most of the time driving the CX-5.

So, dear readers, I ask you… should you modify your daily driver? If so, how far are you willing to take it? I know the answers to this will be all over the place, and no one is really wrong here. Still, I’m curious to see the varied takes on the idea.

Let’s Talk About… The Chevrolet Corvette ZR1

Jeff Glucker November 9, 2017 All Things Hoon

Jalopnik got ahold of a leaked image showing off the upcoming Corvette ZR1. It’s mighty angular. Mighty aggressive. And it’s sure to be mighty fast around damn near all race tracks. Is it mighty appealing?

Click on that Read More button to hear what the Hooniverse Collective has to say, and then add your opinion in the comments below.

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