Hooniverse Asks: Have you switched to your winter tires yet?

Jeff Glucker October 30, 2018 Hooniverse Asks

The temperatures are falling. The ground is cold and hard. Your lovely ultra high performance tires have become effectively useless. It’s that time and you know it, but have you made the switch yet? I’m not going to insert a WINTER IS COMING joke because winter is already here and that means it’s time to swap on your winter tires.

How many of you live in a place where you need to do this? How many of you have made the switch? How many of you stubbornly cling to the notion that all-season tires are good enough?

Sound off below!

Ayrton Senna whipped a VAZ-2101 around the Hungaroring

Jeff Glucker October 29, 2018 All Things Hoon

You hear the name Ayrton Senna and your mind goes to a few places. It might be Monaco. It could be an image of that iconic helmet and its colors. Perhaps you think of a rainy circuit and Senna putting on a driving clinic for his colleagues. What you don’t think about is the VAZ-2101. A Soviet-modified Fiat 124 not typically considered the sort of machine to be wielded by one of the greatest drivers of all time. But that’s what you’re looking at in the picture above.

Drivetribe says that the photo was snapped ahead of the 1986 Hungarian Grand Prix. The year was 1986 and Senna wanted a car to take around the Hungaroring to absorb the circuit. He requested a car that the locals would use and he was presented with the VAZ-2101. And that’s how we have a photo of Ayrton Senna driving this hunk of Russian (and Italian) metal around a race track.

It’s a fantastic shot of a legendary man driving an …interesting car.

[East Coast Editor and self-proclaimed Eastern European car expert’s note – VAZ was the abbreviated name of the auto manufacturer, Volzhsky Avtomobilny Zavod. It was used for the Soviet Union market cars. All cars exported out of Soviet Union had the name Lada. Mr. Executive Editor would know that if he bothered to read my review of a VAZ 21033 on TTAC -KK]

[Source: Drivetribe]

Pirelli brings back a classic in the Stella Bianca

Jeff Glucker October 29, 2018 All Things Hoon

If you have a vintage ride, you often have few options with respect to the tires. There are companies out there, certainly, but finding original examples of the tires once fitted to your car may prove a fruitless endeavor. Pirelli has an answer for a number of vintage car owners, however, as it’s brought back one of its classic tires; the Stella Bianca.

Originally introduced in 1927, the Stella Bianca was Pirelli’s first modern tire. It remained in service to the brand all the way through the early 1950’s. Now Pirelli has brought it back but with modern compounds employed for proper driving dynamics in all weather conditions.

The tread pattern is identical to the original. It was researched through Pirelli archives and recreated along with the sidewall markings. In its heyday, the Stella Bianca was fitted to Alfa Romeos, Fiats, Lancias, Ferraris, and more. Now it’s back and it would surely look great on any vehicle from the era in which it was originally devised.

The Ford Mustang Bullitt is the right way to go green

Forget the movie, embrace the awesome of the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt. Dripping with perfect Highland Green paint and stanced nicely with a set of blacked-out torque thrust-style wheels, the all-new Bullitt is a bad-ass ride.

Under the hood is a power-bumped 5.0-liter V8 engine and it’s making 480 horsepower here. Row your own gears with the slick-shifting six-speed manual gearbox, and enjoy destroying those fancy Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. They work well and look good too thanks to some actual sidewall.

If you love the movie, you’ll enjoy this car. If you don’t care about the movie, you’re going to love this car just the same. It’s that good.

[Disclaimer: Ford tossed us the keys to the Mustang Bullitt and included a tank of fuel. I bought the turtleneck but left the tag on so I can return it.]

Mopar is unleashing a brand-new Elephant into the room

Jeff Glucker October 26, 2018 All Things Hoon

The people at Chrysler and Mopar are insane. How else do we have vehicles like the Challenger and Charger Hellcat, the Demon, and the Trackhawk? But their insanity is our kind of insanity and it’s reared its head in a glorious new way… which is in fact sort of an old way, at the same time. Mopar is going to offer a new crate motor and it’s most likely a modern version of the famed 426 Hemi.

The Elephant is back.

Used in NASCAR, drag racing, and under the hood of some insane street muscle machines, the 426 Hemi was lovingly called the Elephant engine because of its size and power. This is a 7.0-liter beast motor topped by a pair of quad-barrel carburetors. It’s most famous application saw it stuffed under the long hoods of both the Plymouth Road Runner and the Dodger Charger Daytona.

Now you’re going to be able to buy a fresh version to stuff under whatever the hell you want. It won’t be cheap, but it will be awesome. We’ll learn more when Mopar pulls back the wraps at SEMA on October 30th.

For now, enjoy this other teaser clip from Mopar which makes fun of its own other engine family. Yes, that’s an Elephant stomping on the footprints of a Hellcat. Hilarious. Awesome. Tremendous in-brand fun.

Also… if someone doesn’t stuff one of these into a Durango or Trackhawk and then call it the Hellephant, then something’s terrible wrong with the world.

Mahk still hates Chevy

Jeff Glucker October 26, 2018 All Things Hoon

Mahk is back. So is his hatred for Chevy, the brand’s pitchman, and the bow-tied branded trucks. This latest Real People spot is a good one to lampoon and Mahk is upping his editing skills. He’s also upped his knowledge of the automakers out there as he rattles off the names of brands he thinks are better than Chevy Trucks. And that includes a few Chinese automakers as well.

Need a laugh on a Friday? Click play and watch Mahk shit on Chevy.

The McLaren Speedtail is a proper hyper car because it’s properly wild

Supercars, over the course of the last decade or so, have become almost boring. Not because of the baked-in performance or styling. There’s been some great designs and the modern supercar or hyper car is capable of throwing down wild metrics. But there’s nothing out there that captures the imagine quite like the old-school machines used to do. McLaren is changing that with the arrival of its new first-ever hyper GT; the Speedtail.

An evolutionary step forward over The Original supercar, the McLaren F1. The Speedtail is shaped like a concept car, opts for a center-seat layout, and is the fastest car McLaren has ever built. Mis-matched wheels, a low production run, and a high price-tag are just a small part of the puzzle that makes up the truly intriguing Speedtail. So let’s hop on past the jump and dive into this future fantastic sled that’s equal parts technical marvel and preferred ride of Zaphod Beeblebrox.

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The Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is an absolute mental machine


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HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAWTF! …this car is absolutely mental . . . #corvette #zr1 #chevy #corvettezr1 #hooniverse #hooniversethings

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This thing is basically Dethklok… the car.

I’ve just wrapped up a wonderful week with the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, and it’s ruined the notion of raw speed for anything else I’m set to drive. How is it capable of doing so? The 6.2-liter aluminum V8 sitting out in the snout joins forces with a supercharger and it’s a marriage that’s good for 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque. And all of that whoosh, thrust, and grunt is sent through a seven-speed manual gearbox on out to the rear wheels.

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Hooniverse Asks: What do you want to know about the Hyundai Veloster N?

Jeff Glucker October 23, 2018 Hooniverse Asks

I’m off to Northern California to get a good look at Hyundai’s attempt at an honest-to-goodness performance machine. The Hyundai Veloster N has got the right numbers on paper and proper hot-hatch styling. But can it really compete? To find out, Hyundai is prepared to let us loose on the twisting Thunderhill tarmac.

We drive the Veloster N on Wednesday. Before that happens, I’m curious what you want to know about the car. Sound off below and I’ll answer your questions here or in the video we’ll shoot.

Lewis Hamilton is a truly great champion

If you’re a fan of motorsport, this is a tremendous time to be following the achievements of Lewis Hamilton in Formula 1. The 33 year old driver is on the precipice of achieving a truly amazing feat. Though he didn’t capture his 5th F1 World Championship this past weekend in Austin, there’s little doubt he won’t snag that title by season’s end. Once he does, Hamilton sits with only Juan Manual Fangio in second place for most driver’s championships. Only Michael Schumacher sits ahead with an insane seven world championships to his name.

When Hamilton first started winning, I was excited to see the young man take the sport by storm. His story is a remarkable one. With a dedicated father working upwards of four jobs to keep Lewis in his go-kart, Hamilton won races right from the outset. Often at circuits where other (more well off) families were shocked to see a young black kid battling for victory. His story is one of focus, dedication, and ridiculous support from an equally dedicated father.

So why have folks (at least those outside of his native UK) soured on Hamilton in recent years? I have some theories.

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