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Dealers adjusting prices on 2019 4Runner and Tacoma TRD Pro models

Kamil Kaluski November 20, 2018 All Things Hoon

Looking to get yourself a new 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro or 4Runner TRD Pro? Pick your dealer wisely. People on Toyota message boards have been posting pictures of dealer-adjusted prices on some new 2019 TRD Pro models. 

Seriously, screw those dealers. Walk away and share your experiences on social media. Then either find a different dealer or wait. Or, hell, for $67,000 you can get a brand new 2018 Ford Raptor. Then let Toyota know how you feel about it. 

Source: toyota-4runner.org

Truck Central: 2018 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro review

Hooniverse Asks: How would you advertise Mitsubishi vehicles?

Kamil Kaluski November 20, 2018 Hooniverse Asks

The above is an image that Mitsubishi Motors, specifically their marketing department, circulated around on social media. It’s speaks of the torque, or rather the lack thereof, that the engine of Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross generates. By any comparison, that isn’t much – the base Volkswagen Golf has more.

The thing is, the current lineup of Mitsubishi CUVs isn’t that bad. They have all the latest safety features, good sound systems, heated seats, Apple CarPlay connections, and other stuff that buyers desire. It’s not always integrated as well as other makers, and the vehicles are showing their age, but they’re not bad. The final sales prices are much lower than the competition, too. 

So, you’re in charge of marketing these Mitsubishi’s. The job is important to you as it’s a stepping stone in your career. If you are successful here there will be plenty of other opportunities. How do you advertise these vehicles?

Review: 2018 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross SEL

2019 Ford Ranger touts ASS TORQUE

My good friend Leo (follow his Instagram here) went to the 2018 Overland Expo East. Ford was there showing off their new 2019 Ford Ranger. The Toyota Tacoma pretty much owns the mid-size pickup truck segment and is hugely popular with the outdoorsy types, so this was a good marketing move. In their advertising, Ford makes no secrets about the Ranger’s adventurous ambitions, showing how various canoes, boards, and bikes can be attached to their new truck.

Ford also likes to brag about their best-in-class torque, towing, and payload. And rightfully so, as the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine delivers 310 lb.-ft. of torque, which is 45 more than the Tacoma’s V6. But sometimes the road to market dominance isn’t paved, despite the best advertising intentions. We can’t wait to drive the Ranger to determine if the four-banger really does have ass torque

The Amazing Vehicles of 2017 Overland Expo East

V.I.S.I.T: RHD Toyota Land Cruiser 70

I have about a dozen friends who send me pictures of interesting cars they on the road. Some are snoozers and some are mildly interesting. And then there are some really special. I would consider this right-hand-drive two-door Land Cruiser 70-series to fit into the really special category. 

Over the last few years the popularity of Land Rover Defenders in Boston has skyrocketed. In the summer I often see two or three per day and I don’t even drive that much. Jeep Wranglers have become common family vehicles. I am beginning to see more and more modified 4Runners, like my own. I’ve seen a few modified Land Cruisers of various ages, too. It’s like everyone is going on an expedition to the Berkshires or Cape Cod. 

It is therefore no surprise that someone would be buy an imported 70-series Land Cruiser if for no other reason than to be different. And that is great!

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Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Handling by Lotus

In addition to making sports cars, the Lotus brand also offers engineering and consulting services. Clients of those services vary from race teams to automakers. Some automakers handed the design of the suspension systems to Lotus, be it a design from the ground up or an improvement to what the automaker designed but lacks the experience in perfecting. Sometimes the Lotus badges worked as a marketing tool, too. And other times the automakers kept quiet about it, possibly being too embarrassed about not being able to design a proper suspension system themselves. 

Today we are looking for the cars that were improved by Lotus Engineering. Keep in mind that some wore the Lotus badges and some didn’t. 

The Caveats (there are always caveats):

  • Must not be a Lotus vehicle. 
  • One-offs, concept cars, and race cars, and other specials are fair game as long as they are not Lotus cars. 
  • Really, any non-Lotus vehicle with Lotus designed bits is a fair game. 
  • Bonus points for obscure stuff that you don’t find on the first fives pages of Google search. 

Difficulty: 6.5 out of 10, 11 out of 10 for stuff none of us ever heard of – do some homework. 

A Tale of Two Golfs – Hatch and Wagen

I recently had the opportunity two drive two similar but different 2018 Volkswagen Golfs. The first was a Golf S SportWagen. The second was a conventional Golf SE hatchback. The differences in trim between the two were limited to a sunroof, leather seats, and a bigger infotainment screen on the Golf SE. The two vehicles had the same 1.8T engines. The wagon was equipped with a five-speed manual transmission while the hatchback had a six-speed automatic.

In theory, both should be very similar. The biggest decisions a buyer should need to make should be between is which trim level and transmission to pick. Both have the same wheelbase and chassis setup. But to my surprise these two Golfs were very different and not it a good way, either.

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Good guy in a Tundra helps save lives in Paradise fire

Kamil Kaluski November 13, 2018 All Things Hoon

Those who are on any social media platform have probably seen the picture of this marshmallowed Toyota Tundra and its description. If you are not on social media, congrats, you are a better person than us. It is extremely sad and scary to see what is happening with the South California wildfires now. But from every sad story heroes emerge. This person and his Toyota Tundra are just two of those heroes. 

Allyn Pierce is a managing nurse at the Intensive Care Unit at Feather River Hospital. He is also the owner of this slightly modified Tundra TRD 4×4 Off-Road that he used it to get out of Paradise. After getting his family out of Paradise, but unfortunately losing their house, he then went back in to help to evacuate a hospital. That’s amazing, brave, and just awesome. The people who work for Toyota saw this and responded…

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Quick Spin: 2018 Lexus NX 300

Sedans are dead. So-called normal people buy crossover utility vehicles now. Those wanting nicer cars, buy nicer CUVs and not nicer sedans. That market segment, that of midsize two-row luxury CUVs, is red hot. Lexus was a pioneer in this class with the original RX 300. Over the years, the RX has grown though, with this year even being available with a third row. This is why the Lexus NX now exists – it’s basically the size of the original RX, if slightly bigger.

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Alec Baldwin punches a guy with Saab Turbo X SportCombi

Kamil Kaluski November 5, 2018 All Things Hoon

You may have heard that Alec Baldwin recently got into a fight with someone over a parking spot near his home in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. The fact that this happened will no surprise anyone who has ever attempted to street park in the Village. Equally unsurprising is the fact that Alec Baldwin (60!), allegedly punched someone. But there are two surprising things here: first is that Alec Baldwin street parks his Escalade daddy mobile and the second is the type of car that the alleged victim drove. 

The car belonging to the alleged victim is one of 600 Saab Turbo X SportCombi’s sold in the United States. And it looks to be in great condition despite being sometimes street parked in New York City. It even has a little Ferrari-eque moose logo on the side. 

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Ford GT Application Site Opening Again

Kamil Kaluski October 30, 2018 All Things Hoon

From: Ford GT Application <applicant@fordgtapplication.com>
Date: Tue, Oct 30, 2018 at 3:21 PM
Subject: Ford GT Application Announcement
To: Kamil <kamil@hooniverse.com>

Dear Kamil,

We are writing to inform you that the Ford GT application site will reopen on November 8th, 2018 at 1:01 PM GMT through December 7th, 2018 at 12:01 PM GMT. The link to the application can be found at www.fordgt.com

Please note, if you applied in 2016, you will need to login and accept the Terms and Conditions for your application to be reconsidered for an upcoming allocation. You will also have the ability to update your application, if you choose to do so.

Once the application period closes, all applications will be reviewed by Ford Motor Company, and all applicants will be notified of the results by the Ford GT Concierge Team by April 5th, 2019.

Sincerely,

Ford GT Concierge Team

So there is that, I can try to order myself a new Ford GT again. What a communist way of selling cars – you have to ask them for a permission to buy their not-so-cheap car. I wonder if they will take a vehicle of equal design and performance for a trade-in, such as my Buick Regal. If not, I am sure I have some change in the couch cushions. Which color should I get?