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This 530-horsepower Volkswagen T1 “Race-Taxi” laughs at your ‘Ring Taxi

This is one of those builds that must have started with lots of alcohol and a bet. I can’t imagine any other way a Volkswagen T1 bus could have ended up on the Monza GP course with enough bi-turbo power to even be in the same frame as a Ferrari 458 Speciale.

This video comes to us from 19Bozzy92 again and its subject is a spectacular build running around the track for a very good cause. It was a charity event called 6 Ruote di Speranza which benefits the disabled and this Volkswagen proved to be the perfect “race taxi” for up to four people at once. According to the Speedhunters post about the build, this started as a T3 bus that had its body replaced by that of an older T1. What lies underneath is a bi-turbo flat six out of a 1995 Porsche 993 and it’s been boosted to produce 530 horsepower. It still has the wind working against it but it’s still fast enough to be the only Volkswagen bus you will ever see passing anybody on a track. For that, we applaud Mr. Fred Bernhard for building and racing this wonderful creation. We are not worthy.

[Source: 19Bozzy92, Speedhunters]

2016 SEMA Show cars that don’t suck

Greg Kachadurian November 2, 2016 Featured, SEMA

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The 2016 SEMA Show is kicking off today and will be home to thousands of aftermarket parts, accessories, and fully-built show cars for the internet to make fun of. Some of the stuff that seeps out of those convention halls is worthy of the hate, but even the show that once gave us a lowrider Scion iA and the Hot Wheels Camaro can field some awesome creations.

Some of the most exceptional show cars as hand picked (really just by Jeff and I) will be featured here in what’s sort of a SEMA Show news recap. We’ve got new projects from The Roadster Shop, The FJ Company, The Ringbrothers, and more.

You can put away the eye bleach, friends… you’re safe here.

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Review: Assetto Corsa’s Porsche Pack I

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For the last fifteen years or so, if you wanted to race a Porsche in the perfect digital world you only had a few options. Option A was whatever Need for Speed title was out at the time and option B was the occasional Forza game, but only if Turn 10 were allowed to include them. For reasons unknown to science, Porsche and EA Games entered an exclusive deal around the time that Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed came out that escalated into a cancerous contract. No other publisher could use Porsche in their game unless EA allowed them to. As you could imagine, many great racing titles were left out for far too long.

That changed this week. The contract allegedly expired earlier this year and Porsche seemed eager to partner with somebody else to bring their brand to a new player base. That brings us back to Kunos Simulazioni’s Assetto Corsa, a racing sim which signaled an end to contractual tyranny with the release of the first of three officially-licensed Porsche expansion packs. It’s Porsche’s first new game franchise in over a decade.

A total of eight Porsches made their way into Assetto Corsa this week through the first expansion pack and a free bonus. Quick details and “driving” impressions on each of the new Porsches added to the game are past the jump.

This is a whole new way to experience Porsche, and unless you can afford to track these cars in real life, it’s the best way.

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The News for October 28th, 2016

Greg Kachadurian October 28, 2016 The News!

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Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. There’s also just a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • Mercedes-AMG E63 and E63 S get faster, more powerful

  • Mercedes-Benz actually built a truck

  • Volkswagen reveals all-new seven-passenger Atlas

  • Hyundai shows new, upscale Azera in Korea

  • Honda Clarity Fuel Cell rated for record-breaking 366 miles of range

  • Mazda creates another MX-5 Speedster for SEMA and it’s awesome

  • Mazda teases all-new CX-5, headed for Los Angeles Auto Show

  • What’s your automotive news?

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My Summer Car is now in Steam Early Access

My Summer Car, that strange and wonderful-looking summer project car game that Antti’s people gave us, is now available in Steam Early Access on Windows platforms as announced by this new, very Finnish gameplay trailer. Finally, this highly detailed 90’s project car builder and permadeath life survival simulator is available to everyone with a Steam account and a decently-powerful PC, albeit in an unfinished state.

“You have to cast your mind’s eye back twenty years, nearly pre-internet times when young men in Finland had nothing to do except wrench on rusty cars and drink beer. The only good thing that had happened in decades was the ice hockey world championship in 1995, there was nothing good on television except MacGyver reruns and no online car sales ads had been invented yet – so wasting time was incredibly tedious compared to today’s constant stream of entertainment and beaters. The game tries to capture that innocent time, and damn if it doesn’t do it well.” – Antti, certified Finnish person

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The News for October 21st, 2016

Greg Kachadurian October 21, 2016 The News!

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Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. There’s also just a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • BMW’s Marco Wittmann wins DTM championship, gets special edition M4 GTS to celebrate

  • New Geely sub-brand reveals ride-sharing concept

  • Shop Neiman Marcus, get an Infiniti Q60 as a stocking stuffer

  • Tesla is putting better Autopilot hardware in all future models starting now

  • Nissan takes control of Mitsubishi because nobody else wanted them

  • Neat fact about the Aston Martin RB001 – it can drive on a ceiling

  • What’s your automotive news?

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Everything you need to know about the 2017 BMW 5 Series

Greg Kachadurian October 14, 2016 The News!

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This is a supplemental piece to today’s news recap. BMW ended up doing A LOT to the new 5 Series, so much so that I could only cut down the 7,000+ word to about 1,000 words without missing the important details. Therefore, spin off post.

The F10 BMW 5 Series (2011-2016) is a great car by pretty much all accounts. It has less controversial styling than its predecessor, it’s supremely comfortable, it’s quite nice to drive, and the M version once got me to 150 mph at Road Atlanta. It also sold pretty well and served as sort of a benchmark for the executive sports saloon class. This week, BMW announced the next chapter in the 5 Series saga which aims to build on everything that was great and fix what wasn’t. Say hello to the 2017 BMW (G30) 5 Series. Yes, BMW chassis codes are already up to the Gs now.

The seventh generation 5er gets a full makeover both visually and mechanically. Vehicle performance and dynamics are improved, weight has been lost, driver assistance systems were tweaked and added, and it’s all wrapped in a visually stunning design. It’s rare that I get to write about a new BMW I don’t hate.

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The News for October 14th, 2016

Greg Kachadurian October 14, 2016 The News!

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Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. There’s also just a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • BMW reveals all-new 5 Series with tons of new and exciting things

  • Honda CR-V gets meaner, more upscale for 2017 model year

  • Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus promises fully street-legal SCG003S

  • The Hoonicorn makes 1,400 horsepower now

  • Ford Performance offers EcoBoost power pack

  • Ford idles Mustang production after sharp decrease in sales

  • What’s your automotive news?

… Continue Reading

The News for October 7th, 2016

Greg Kachadurian October 7, 2016 The News!

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Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. There’s also just a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • Chevrolet and TARDEC reveal their military fuel-cell truck concept

  • Hennessey will build a 600 horsepower, 6×6 Raptor because it can

  • UAW chairman confirms Ranger and Bronco are returning

  • The last Ford Falcon rolls off the line, Ford Australia manufacturing ceases

  • Toyota prices the more capable, better-looking Prius Prime under $30K

  • Mazda prices the regular MX-5 Miata RF over $30K

  • What’s your automotive news?

… Continue Reading

Quick Pics – the Daytona Prototype’s swan song

Daytona Prototype

Several race cars made their final professional appearance at last weekend’s Petit Le Mans, including the polarizing Daytona Prototype cars. After thirteen years, IMSA is replacing them next season with all new cars that follow more of an international standard and should make their top class a little less awkward. Generally, the reaction to that decision has been more than favorable. Will you miss them?

If you asked me that around the time ALMS and Grand Am merged, I would have cheered at the thought of them being gone. Those DPs were replacing the fantastic LMP1 cars that made an ALMS race such a magical thing up until 2012. No more Audi R18, no more Peugeot 908, and no more Aston Martin-powered Lolas. I hated DPs for that. But then I saw them race a few times at Road Atlanta and Daytona… sure enough, my opinion changed. The DPs have been getting prettier in recent years (not saying much, I know) and the Corvette DPs in particular are probably the best-looking models to date. They’re fast, they’re louder than anything else on track, and they helped a newly formed sports car series get its footing during its most crucial years. I’m looking forward to the new cars 2017 brings, but I find myself missing the DPs a bit more than I thought I would.

[Image © 2016 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]