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Meet the 2014 Ram ProMaster – America’s manliest Fiat yet

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Yesterday, Ram revealed the new Ram ProMaster – a working van, for the working man. Fred Diaz, President and CEO – Ram and Chrysler de Mexico, took the stage at the Chicago Auto Show to share what the new van would offer. If you’re interested in details and want to see photos this post isn’t it.

You can however find a great deal of information and a full photo gallery at Chrysler’s Media Page. (LINK) That’s where I snagged the photo above before a 4-shot Americano and I made it all kinds of badass working-man awesome.

Work van? Sure, I knew one. … Continue Reading

BREAKCLUSIVE!!! Bob Lutz named Secretary of Transportation!

Juan Barnett January 30, 2013 The News!

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(WASHINGTON – From the Future) – One month ago today Robert Anthony “Bob” Lutz’s was nominated by President Barack Obama to become the next Secretary of Transportation. Lutz succeeds Ray LaHood as the country’s top transportation authority.

LaHood resigned in January saying, “He’d rather leave while the world still loved him.”

The Senate unanimously approved Mr. Lutz to his new position shortly after the President transmitted the nomination to Capitol Hill.

“What else is there to say, Mr. Lutz is a badass motherfucker, a Marine, and frankly most of us up here have a man-crush on him” said the senior Senator from Louisiana.

“Washington needs a man who’ll speak his mind, a leader who is capable of being decisive, even if completely wrong. I may not agree with his position on global warming, but at least I won’t be fed wishy-washy bullshit” said the junior Senator from Puerto Rico.

At Secretary Lutz swearing in President Obama said, “There was only one choice for Secretary of Transportation, Bob Lutz. Bob not only has the experience and knowledge, but he is tough as nails. I have no doubt he’ll make the American transportation system the safest and strongest it has ever been.”  … Continue Reading

Modern Art Monday: The Future of the Lincoln Motor Company

Ford has shifted into overdrive on its journey to reinvent its luxury division, Lincoln. In 2010 Ford Motor Company retired the Mercury brand and announced new investments in Lincoln. The Blue Oval wanted to put the days of badge engineering behind it. Ford partnered with ad agency WPP, led by Cameron McNaughton, and charged it with redefining the luxury brand for the 21st century. The first step: a new old name – Lincoln Motor Company

To celebrate the new name, Lincoln Motor Company launched a collection of new creative spots online. The brand has finalized its media talking points, which someone was nice enough to ‘cam’ a media event here. When I asked him, Mr. Jim Farley, Ford’s Chief Marketing Officer and now Head of Lincoln Global, to describe in three-words the future of Lincoln, he replied “provocative.”

Most importantly, the Lincoln MKZ is launching. The first ‘new’ product since Ford declared war on badge engineering. The new MKZ is a good looking vehicle, but is it enough to sway buyers from the smoking hot (pun intended) 2013 Ford Fusion? Did Lincoln design go far enough?

Last December I was introduced to Mr. John Manoogian II. Mr. Manoogian has held design positions throughout the automotive industry and is now a design consultant and visiting professor at the College of Creative Studies (CSS) in Detroit, Michigan. Last year he gave his senior class an interesting project – design a Lincoln for the year 2025.

Mr. Manoogian was kind enough to send me photos of their work, with students’ permission of course. Click the jump link to see a full gallery of what they came up with. This is what tomorrow’s designers envision for a brand being restored today.

… Continue Reading

Mitsubishi wants YOU!

Juan Barnett December 7, 2012 All Things Hoon

Mitsubishi recently posted a listing for a position within the company. The automaker is looking for a Senior Special Product Specialist, and you can see if you fit the bill by clicking here.

Then I thought – how would I do this job?

I put my illustratin’ skills to work and set out to prove I could be Mitsubishi’s Next Top Product Specialist. Or at the very least create a guide for the man or woman who actually gets this job. 

… Continue Reading

Congress Says I want YOUR car regulated

Last week, Senate bill S.1449, known also as the `Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Improvement Act of 2011′ or `Mariah’s Act’, was voted out of committee and placed on the Senate’s legislative calendar. This typically means an unofficial agreement has been struck between members and the bill will soon be voted on.

The bill authorizes funding for highway safety and contains Congress’ wish list for all-things-automotive that need regulatin’.

It’s important to note, this isn’t the final legislation. Once it clears the Senate floor, where it could be changed again, the House of Representatives will have a chance to potentially add their regulatory must-haves.

Why here? Why Hoon? The changes in this bill could impact what we drive and how we drive it. Below are just a few nuggets I pulled from the bill. If you want to read the whole thing – be my guest! The link is here.

… Continue Reading

Ownership Review: 2013 Ford Focus ST

Juan Barnett September 26, 2012 Featured, Ford Reviews

Black wheels and red calipers are not standard and are the result of a Driveway DIY undertaking.

Disclosure: Ford did NOT provide me with this 2013 Ford Focus ST. This vehicle was a retail purchase made by me and approved by my wife.

Let me begin by saying the Ford Focus ST is an astonishingly fun and entertaining vehicle. This front-wheel-drive turbo hatchback offers respectable fuel economy (32MPG HWY), accommodates 4-to-5 grownups and will hold its own against its German and Japanese rivals.

Having said that, this post highlights a handful of flaws I found with the car after 200 miles of seat time. This is a hypercritical assessment and not a comprehensive review. Consider it a first impression of displeasures.

Bottom line – I love the ST and I think most other people will too, but there are a few issues…

… Continue Reading

Top Five Racing Games of the ‘80s – I ♥ The ’80s

The 1980s introduced us to computers and video games. With those came the two obvious passions that plague man – porn and car racing games. Today we will travel in time and look the car racing video games of the 1980s. If you were born sometime in the 1970s these games will bring back great memories, perhaps even enough to dust off your Atari. You’re on your own to find vintage pr0n.

… Continue Reading

Hooniverse Asks Bonus: What Modern Car Would You Shoot in an Eighties-Style TV Spot? I ♥ The ’80s

Juan Barnett September 12, 2012 Hooniverse Asks

Very few vehicles produced during the 1980’s stirred the soul. Most lacked character, both in design and performance (thank you oil crisis). While the cars themselves were short on imagination, their marketing and advertising was not.

As with most consumer goods, crappy products require produce phenomenal advertising.

But was the advertising really that ‘good’? Or does the VHS quality, tacky one-liners and pure nostalgia of it all make it good?

It’s hard to say why, but automotive ads from the 1980s make me all warm inside. Thankfully the World Wide Web has an endless supply of these classic automotive spots.

Older ads lack the digital manipulation and correction you find in today’s spots. They look and feel more ‘real’ and are focused on the people part of the product. They were in your face and daring. “Pontiac Grand Am is the best car you will EVER drive” says one spot filmed in 1986.

So my question to the hoonthusiast below – If you had to take a current vehicle and shoot an eighties-style TV ad:

A) Which vehicle would you choose?

B) What would your ad be?

YouTube till your fingers bleed to fine your muse. Classic remakes are encouraged. 

 

1929 Gas Powered Ice Cream Machine – We all scream for hoon cream!

Juan Barnett August 29, 2012 All Things Hoon

Recently I had the opportunity to attend the World’s Largest Corvette Flea Market (aka Corvettes at Carlisle). Corvettes stretched as far as the eye could see. Some were adorned with large signs proclaiming their mechanical triumph – ‘1200 HP’ one sign read. Another, plastered to the window of a 2004 C5 Z06, read ‘OVER 1000 Horsepowers.’

While all very impressive machines there was one that caught my attention and it only had 1.5 Horsepower.

Meet the 1929 John Deere Model E Ice Cream Machine (video below).

… Continue Reading

Video: Audi e-Tron – An Acoustic Cover of Nürburgring

If I asked you to name three quiet places you’d likely rattle off library, waiting room, and maybe a bookstore. What you wouldn’t say is behind the wheel of an Audi R8 lapping the Nürburgring. Audi recently posted a video to YouTube titled “Audi R8 e-Tron – Weltrekordfahrt auf dem Nürburgring”. According to our good friends at Google Translate the summary of the video reads as follows:

“Markus Winkelhock drove the Audi R8 e-tron world record on the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring: The former DTM driver raced with the purely electric-powered Audi in just 8 minutes and 9 seconds over the distance. The video shows the complete record run from the perspective of the onboard cameras.”

The lap is quiet, but not completely silent. While the video lacks the erotic sonata of the R8’s V10, it opens up a new melody – Listen: Physics in Motion. It is an acoustic track. A cover of a song classically known for its deafening roars and high revs. The e-Tron provides her listeners with a new concert – a symphony of struggle between rubber and asphalt; their sounds familiar, yet never so pure. The steady rush of air keeps rhythm for the chorus of turns. 

… Continue Reading

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