Ariel Atom – Up Close and Personal

tmi autotech ariel atom details
The Ariel Atom is a vehicle much coveted by so many enthusiasts, yet seen in real life by so few. The vehicles have been on the market for some time in various configurations. It was only recently, however, that Virginia-based TMI AutoTech Inc. made the Ariel Atom 3 and Race Spec Atom more attainable to U.S. buyers. TMI makes the Ariel Atoms under license from Ariel Motor Company which is based in Crewkerne, England.

With the Ace Performance in Tewksbury, MA recently becoming the first northeast dealership for Ariel Atoms, I just had to see the vehicle in person. Given a plethora of options, virtually no two Ariel Atom 3s are identical whereas Race Spec Atoms vary only in color of their front bonnets. All TMI-built Atoms are powered by the same Honda K24 230hp iVTEC engine, with the exception of the limited run of the Ariel Atom Honda Racing Edition.

Rather than writing an excessively long essay about the Ariel Atom, I chose to let my pictures of the black Race Spec Atom and a privately owned street-legal Ariel Atom 3 do the talking. If each picture is worth a thousand words, below are fifty thousand of them. I am neither a professional photographer nor do I have a fancy camera, but I did attempt to capture the details that most enthusiasts would find interesting.

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2014 NYIAS: Classic NYPD Cars

new york auto show nypd cars (11)

The 2014 New York Auto Show is now in full swing until Sunday, April 27th. While we provided you with awesomeomgamazeballs coverage of the new, relevant, and interesting stuff, there is always more. On the lower level of the Javits Center, which is usually reserved for trucks, there is a section with after-market bro cars/trucks, movie cars, some classic cars, and others. This year, this others was a bunch of privately owned ex-NYPD cars.

The cars came from NYC Police Museum, which is temporarily housed downtown at 45 Wall Street, because the original location was damaged my super-storm Sandy. All cars are privately owned, mostly by retired NYPD cops, on the loan to the museum and the show. Hit the jump for too see all of them. Head to Bangshift.com for my buddy Craig Fitzgerald’s Bangshift.com write up on these cars, simply because he knows them better than I do.
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2014 NYIAS: Alfa Romeo 4C, BMW M3, and other sports cars

2014 NYIAS Sports Cars-2

The 2014 New York International Auto Show is… kind of a snoozer. There really isn’t anything that we haven’t seen before, nothing earth shattering, nothing amazing. Or perhaps we’re just jaded, I’m not sure. This is the reason why we’re going to look at some sporty vehicles which we’ve seen before, but that are worth a second look. 

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NYIAS 2014: All The Mazda Miatas!

2014 NYIAS-2

Mazda, for some reason, thinks that auto journos like Miatas, so they have brought to the New York Auto Show almost every significant Miata they have ever made. From the original stripped out 1990 model with steel wheels to race cars, tuner cars, and concept cars. 

All pictures after the jump, including one of Jeff being a little too happy. My favorite is still the coupe concept from the mid-90s. There is no sign of the all-new ND Miata, which is disappointing. 

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New York International Auto Show 2014 – The Hooniverse Coverage

nyc auto show 2014

It’s that time of the year again when Jeff and I meet up in New York City and drink provide Hooniverse readers with some kind of a vague but somewhat interesting coverage. We are not sure exactly how we’re going to do it, and likely we never will be. We just walk around aimlessly, chat with people like, talk about people we don’t like, eat junk food, look at cars and criticize, drink fancy lattes, look at cars and drool, and take random pics with our fancy cameras. We’ll have our phones on us for the ever important selfies and/or really weird stuff which will FaceBook/tweet.

There will be premiers, some auto journosaur will do/say something stupid, professional and knowledgeable product professionals in ridiculously short miniskirts, automakers will put on fancy press conferences that we will not attend. There is also a few halls that no journos ever attend with old cars, and more frequently attended truck area. Is there anything you, our awesome readers, want to see specifically?


Craigslist: Turbocharged 2006 Honda Element EX AWD

honda element turbo front

For those not familiar with it, the Honda Element was a very interesting vehicle. Based on the CR-V chassis it was a square four door CUV thing, with the rear doors being suicide style similar to the Toyota FJ Cruiser, and rear hatch with a proper tailgate. The interior was all lined with water resistant fabric and the floors were rubber-ish. The most interesting thing about it was it interior size – with rear seats folded and and secured against the wall, the thing had more space than a Land Rover. The front and rear seats also folded flat, making the Element a great “camping” (wink) vehicle.

Aside from its funky looks (sunroof was in the back, near the hatch) and utilitarian design that made it appealing to a limited group of people, there wasn’t much else to the Element. It was a good vehicle in a Honda sense, reliable and efficient, but otherwise unappealing to enthusiasts. Except this one guy who turbocharged his.

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Review: 2015 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E
Supercharged and Turbocharged

2014 Volvo S60 drive-e side

2014 Volvo S60 drive-e engineRemember the 1995 Volvo 850 T-5R? Of course, how could anyone not. The boxy performance sedan had just enough appearance cues to be ignored by the masses and adored by its fans. With 243hp it ran 0-60mph sprint in mid-five second range and it pulled almost 0.90g on the skidpad, its performance surpassed those looks. This made the T-5R one of the most special Volvos for a very special group of people, and you know who you are.

This 2015 S60 T6 has 302hp and 295lb-ft of torque. By conservative factory estimates it does 0-60mph in 5.6 seconds, but it feels faster than that. Despite the T6 nomenclature, this 2015 S60 is powered by the supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. The old fives and sixes are dead (almost), long live the new fours. I won’t beat around the bush, this new engine is amazing!

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PSA: Don’t park in front of a fire hydrant

bmw fire hose prick hydrant

BMW-FIREHOSEThere is a seven-alarm fire in East Boston right now. It started as a car fire and quickly spread to three neighboring buildings. Being that a nine-alarm Back Bay fire recently claimed the lives of two firefighters, Fire Lieutenant Edward Walsh, 43, and Firefighter Michael Kennedy, 33, any report of a city fire is being dramatically reported by local news crews. 

Reading it on my tweeter feed I noticed a local newscaster from WBZ CBS tweeting the above pictures. First, it reminded of a similar picture that is older than the internet (right). Secondly, I asked myself out loud ‘why is it always an BMW?’

I text messaged my firefighter friend the above picture and asked if there is any way of routing the hose under or around the car. His answer was an expected and an obvious one, no.

“You can’t really bend a charged 4-inch feed line. Straight and a slight bend is about as good as you can do. And they will never park in front of a hydrant again”

“Water is everything at a fire and you need it ASAP.”

“Looks like they may have swung the cars end out too?”

So please, don’t park next to fire hydrants, not even for a minute. 


Wagon Wednesday: 1990 Ford Country Squire

1990 Ford Country Squire front left

Have you ever of heard of SpeedyCop? Yes, of course you have, one of his creations tied for the 2013 Hooniversal Car of the Year, the most prestigious award in the automotive industry. If you’re still clueless as to who/what SpeedyCop is, then there is no hope for you.

Sometime ago Mr. SpeedyCop decided to build a National Lampoon’s Wagon Queen Family Truckster as a 24 Hours of Lemons racer. This is why he obtained the pictured wagon. But even a ruthless cop has moments of weakness, and when it came to butchering this youngtimer and sending to racing hell where it would spend the rest of its life swapping paint and genuine-ish wood-ish paneling with other crapcans, the good cop said “No!”  

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Modern Art Monday: Tesla Model S Drivetrain

tesla drivetrain

This series originally kicked off with a look at interesting design features of modern cars. The Tesla Model S is as modern as we can get in the world of automobiles. With a handsome design which features two trunks and a hatch, electric motors powerful enough push the performance into sports car territory, and nationwide supercharging system designed around these new electric vehicles, Tesla may go down in history as a company that revolutionized the automobile.

What is rarely seen in automotive media is the service side of new vehicles. The above picture shows the whole electric drivetrain (not the batteries), elegantly removed from the Model S. It comes out in one piece, with suspension and brakes attached.

One Tesla owner, “kerrentonsnow” on Imgur, has posted a lot of pictures he took while having his Model S serviced. It’s worth checking out. It’s a nice look into a world that does not deal with oils and fuels, which makes the service shops look much more clean. Hit the jump for a few more pics.

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