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2015 Honda Fit – Why Jeff is Wrong

2015 honda fit ex-l front 34 (Custom)

Most auto journalists, and Jeff, just love the 2015 Honda Fit, as they should. After all, it is an economical, affordable, reliable, and highly utilitarian vehicle. Completely redesigned for this year, the Fit is extremely important as its buyers are likely to become the future buyers of pricier Honda cars. But after I spent some time with it, I wasn’t so in love with the Fit.

Allow me to explain.

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TMI Ariel Atom 3S – The American Turbocharged 3.5R

Kamil Kaluski October 10, 2014 The News!

TMI Ariel Atom 3S

Some time ago the Ariel Atom 3.5R debuted in Europe. Now the American manufacturer of Ariel Atom, TMI AutoTech, is releasing their version called the Atom 3S. The improved vehicle is now equipped with a turbocharged version of its Honda 2.4-liter engine that makes the same 365-horsepower as the European 3.5R, and 310 ft/lbs of torque. That more powerful engine can be coupled to a Sadev 6-speed paddle shift sequential transmission. There is also a brand new traction control system.

The exterior is upgraded with side pot intercoolers, similar to the ones on the 3.5R and V8 Atoms, new headlights, windscreen (removable for your best Clarkson impression), and fenders. Inside is a standard LCD display for all the vital information and some updated trim. Prices for the new Atom 3S start at $89,740. The base Atom 3, which gets some updates and a lot more standard features, is available at $64,500. Registration and street legality still depends on what state you live in, but it is possible.

Hit the jump for a brief press release which lists all the specifications and the differences between the Atom 3 and the new 3S. There is also a video of the 3S doing a full course 3.27-mile lap around VIR in 1.58.8 seconds. For comparison, Grassroots Motorsports did their 2014 Tire Rack Ultimate Track Car Challenge at the same track and here are regional SCCA records.

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2014 Porsche 911 Carrera – Twenty Models for Twenty Buyers

Kamil Kaluski October 8, 2014 All Things Hoon

All 911 models 2014

Porsche just announced the GTS version of the 911 Carrera. The GTS is essentially a 911 Carrera S with the engine powerkit and all performance items that an enthusiast would want, with a price just perfectly squeezed in between the Carrera S and the Turbo. And in a typical Porsche fashion, the GTS is available in RWD and AWD, coupe and cabrio.

For those confused by all those models, we here at Hooniverse created a handy guide as to fro whom each model was exactly designed for.

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Weird and Obscure Cars Living and Dying in Poland

other cars living and dying in poland

In the past few years we have visited American carsAmerican cars againWest German cars, East German carsJapanese carsItalian carsFrench carsCzechoslovakianSwedish cars, Polish cars, and obscure, weird, and random cars all living and dying in Poland. This was done with pictures provided by the readers of zlomnik.pl. It all started with my family trip to Poland in 2011 where I unexpectedly came upon the The Museum of Communist Polish Cars in Krakow, drove the FSO Polonez and the Lada Niva. That trip to the old country, my first in almost twenty-five years, after I left Poland for a better life in the United States in 1987, brought back a lot childhood automotive memories for me. Since that time I have become almost obsessed with the cars on Poland’s roads, specifically the ones from communist era, and the country’s twentieth century history.

This weekend I will be flying back to Poland again to visit my family and attend my father’s seventieth birthday. I have a lot of personal things scheduled while there but I am making time for some automotive events, too. I hope to drive as many shit cars as possible, visit museums and junk yards, and simply scour the streets for all kinds of automotive treasures.

Now onto today’s most, which if different as it does not group the cars by their country of origin but is instead a mix of the really weird, unusual, mixed up, and unidentifiable by me. Some pictures also give a glimpse into the ran down areas of where these cars exist. As usual, all pictures are courtesy of zlomnik.pl and that website’s readers. Enjoy.

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TMI AutoTech Ariel Atom commercial

Kamil Kaluski October 2, 2014 All Things Hoon

TMI AutoTech Inc. is the U.S. manufacturer of the Ariel Atom 3 and the Ariel Atom Spec racer. They have just released their first commercial which has left us kind of puzzled as it doesn’t really tell much about the car, its performance, price, or specs, or availability, which is a shame.

What I do know is that there are a lot of people working on making these car street legal, which varies by state, and that they’ll have some exciting news soon. At the very least, the spot gives us some basic Atom porn… and that’s always a good thing. What would you have done to make this “commercial” better? Sound off in the comments.

Truck Thursday: Land Rover Discovery with Vortec Power

land rover discovery vortec

I love Land Rovers, don’t question it, just accept it. The thing is that I’m simply too smart to buy a used one, for obvious reasons, and too dumb to make enough money to afford a new one. Despite that, in an attempt to redefine insanity, I keep looking for a used one. There are unicorns and/or amazing deals out there and this one may be one of those.

 

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SpeedyCop builds the perfect Wagon Queen Family Truckster

Kamil Kaluski September 22, 2014 24 Hours of Lemons

Wagon Queen Family Truckster speedycop lemons griswald 1

The madman known as Speedycop is at it again! For last weekends’s 24 Hours of Lemons race he built one of the best replicas of the Wagon Queen Family Truckster from National Lampoon Vacation I have ever seen. The astonishing part is that it is Lemons race legal, meaning roll cage, race seat, safety switch.

The vehicle is amazing in its detail; from the headlights and windows to Aunt Edna on the roof, to a dog leash tied to the rear bumper. I wonder how many times he had to watch the movie to get it so perfect. I have a feeling that this car, like the Hooniversal Car of the Year winner Spirit of LeMons, will be the one he keeps around a while and makes it road legal. A road trip to next year’s New York International Auto Show would be perfect, just so I can take it for a spin.

Check out all the pics on SpeedyCop’s facebook page.

Update: The Wagon Queen Family Truckster won the most prestigious 24 Hours of Lemons award, The Index of Effluency! Big congratulations to SpeedCop and his Gang of Outlaws!

The Boston Cup is another event to see rich people’s cars

Kamil Kaluski September 15, 2014 All Things Hoon

The boston cup 2014

Next Sunday, September 21st, 2014, The Boston Cup returns to the Boston Common. The third annual event is a kind of a show and Concours in one. Due to limited space this is an invitation-only even for the cars but it is open to the general public… for a price.

The cars are gated off and the only people who have an closeup access are, as per The Boston Globe:

The only folks inside the barriers are car owners, show sponsors, and those who want to pony up $75 for a VIP ticket or $50 for inside access.

“We’re not pushing those tickets,” says Doucette [the organizer]. “Those are for the few who have the need or desire to be inside.

“Our business model is different from a show that is dependent on admission fees. Our funding comes from solid sponsors and the money is there for us. It costs $100,000 to put on the show and we donate $25,000 to the city.”

While it would be nice to see all those cars lined up a few blocks from my house, I am not willing to pay $50 per person to see them. They are likely to be cars that I have already seen at the various Larz Anderson events or the Greenwich Concours anyway. There are far more interesting things I can spend $200 on for my family of four. Thanks, but no thanks.

Having lived in this city for ten years and going to The Common frequently, I have never before seen an event such as this that required an admission fee. Furthermore, with sponsors such as JP Morgan, Sam Adams, RM Auctions, that thing has paid for itself and then some. It’s run by volunteers, but somebody’s generating cash. I couldn’t find one charity that The Boston Cup is donating money to and I consider the $25,000 to the city is rent, not a donation.

Image: factoryfive.com

Truck Thursday: Nissan “Project Titan” is one awesome expedition truck

Nissan Project Titan

Those of that have been following my ramblings on these pages know that I have a lust for expedition vehicles. Perhaps it is from my father, a geography professor and a Lada Niva owner, or my mother who is a frequent traveler and a Jeep Wrangler owner, or perhaps my six week long African safari during college left an impression on me. Whatever the case, I love the damn things. Unfortunately, in my personal life I have neither the need, the time, the place, or the funds for a proper expedition vehicle, which is why I bore you with them here.

Nissan recently created a crowd-sourced projected which will allow “Iraqi war veterans and Wounded Warrior Project Alumni David Guzman and Kevin McMahon embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure… across the Alaskan landscape, Nissan will document the adventure, with a YouTube series set to launch this fall. The adventure begins today when Guzman and McMahon shift into drive in the Alaskan Frontier. To follow the team’s thrilling journey through the Last Frontier, visit the Nissan Trucks Facebook page: Facebook.com/nissantrucks.”

Cool! A nicely built expedition truck that will actually be used!

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