Spy Shots! 2019 Cadillac CT6

Kamil Kaluski September 7, 2017 All Things Hoon

There is a little bit of a problem with the Cadillac CT6 – it’s not selling well. That’s a shame because based on what I heard (Caddy doesn’t seem to want me to review their cars) it’s a pretty damn good car. The sales problem is one that is plaguing most sedan models, what with everyone buying SUVs, but the CT6 seems to be hit especially hard. 

For 2019 Cadillac will try to fix that by updating the CT6. It will receive a mild facelift and potentially a long promised twin-turbo V8 engine. Our awesome spy photographer caught up with Cadillac engineers testing the 2019 model high up in the mountains. 

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Airstream 2 Go is Airstream Glamping for Everyone

Kamil Kaluski September 7, 2017 All Things Hoon

Our family vacation was a modest one this year, nine days camping in northern Vermont. We stayed at a few places, all really nice cabins in the woods, away from everything. Everything except a general store, wifi, television, proper bathrooms, a swimming pool, a full kitchen, heat and air conditioning, laundry facilities, a grill, and comfy beds. You know, only the essentials of camping in the wilderness.

Despite our glamorous camping cabins being nicely stacked, we still had to bring a ton of crap. The trunk and the roof-top box were filled with things we may or may not need. And each time we moved I had to load and unload this crap. And those cabins were not exactly cheap, either. And those cabins had somewhat of fixed locations.

While I am not a camper/RV type person, I always had a thing for Airstream trailers. I just love the look of them, a timeless design that gets better each time you see it. Throughout our trip I kept pointing them out to my wife and kids. When I got back I read Jeff’s Airsteam article and it only fueled my interest in Airstream.

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The Cars of Kyrgyzstan

This is the second submission from long time reader Oliver Klose, a.k.a. Sjalabais. This summer he vacationed in Kyrgyzstan, which I think is the Bora Bora of central Asia. He submitted two articles, this first one of driving in Kyrgyzstan and this second one on the cars that he saw there. Enjoy. -KK

Central Asia has an interesting history. Often referred to as The Great Game, the saying goes that big powers – mostly Britain, Russia and China – have for centuries tried to influence these beautiful countries with varying degrees of success (Afghanistan, anyone?). That is reflected by an incredibly diverse carscape still solidly shaped by politics.

As a country that came into being by the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Kyrgyzstan obviously has a great choice of Russian machinery still visible in traffic. The Moskovich above is a typical candidate, still very prominent in the countryside. But also the staple of Russian-sphere roads, the Lada, is everywhere in all possible iterations.

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A Guide to Driving in Kyrgyzstan

Today we have a submission from long time reader Oliver Klose, a.k.a. Sjalabais. This summer he vacationed in Kyrgyzstan, which I think is the Hawaii of central Asia. He submitted two articles, this first one of driving in Kyrgyzstan and an another on the cars that he saw there. Enjoy. -KK

Kyrgyzstan is a small, mountainous country wedged between Kazakhstan and China that is most definitely worth a visit for its stunning landscape, hospitable people and weird food. When preparing for a trip to Kyrgyzstan (and countries like it), you will encounter a lot of advice about driving yourself that only leaves one conclusion: Get a car with a driver, or face extinction at the hands of traffic chaos. But if you like to drive, you may choose not to listen to that advice, and here’s why.

Kyrgyzstan has some of the most amazing roads in the world. There are newly paved, silk smooth interstates as well as high standard mountain roads courtesy of a deal with China involving prison labour. You’ll find well maintained gravel roads as well as gravel roads that will shake your car’s interior to pieces and simultaneously greatly enhance your digestion. You can also find roads that will lead you to an elevation of 4000m (13,123 feet), making it possible to stretch a summerly 40C (104F) to fresh snow within one drive.

Driving in Kyrgyzstan can be a real joy if you manage to be attentive and adapt to the local driving style. But be aware that an ageing car park and a spirited approach of getting from A to B make driving in Central Asian countries roughly twice as dangerous as in the US or Europe, considering accident and traffic fatality statistics. Here are some observations from our week spent driving in the country and how to make it enjoyable rather than a knife’s edge experience.

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Team O’Neil Explains Rally Car Prep

Kamil Kaluski August 30, 2017 All Things Hoon

Wyatt Knox from Team O’Neil Rally School takes us on a tour of what makes a car, a rally car. From suspension, to brakes, engine work, and the cage, he goes over everything in detail. But there is more; more stuff that you typically can’t just see, the kind of stuff that is not in rules books, the kind of stuff that can only come from experience. 

Wyatt explains the purpose of a foam pad on a skid plate, for instance. Or why a catalytic converter is mounted in the rear of the car, or what a wheel scraper is. He goes into details of how a rally car differs from a track car. Details such as long protected brake lines, what rotors to use and not use and why, engine mounts, modular cooling system, and underbody protection. He goes into details of having two spare tires, an impact gun, and a jack and their mounting points. 

Watch the video, it tells you the kind of things that you can only learn from doing. Many of them can be applicable to your daily driver, too. 

Spy Shots! 2019 Ford Transit Connect

Kamil Kaluski August 28, 2017 All Things Hoon

You know what is a very underrated vehicle? The Ford Transit Connect. Most people forget that this minivan/car hybrid thing even exists. That’s too bad because it is one of the most functional vehicles around.

It may seem small but it makes the best use of its interior space. The long wheel base version seats up to seven and has more interior volume than the Honda Pilot. It’s big side doors and hatch allow that space to be very easily accessible. 

Above and below are spy shots of the 2019 Ford Transit Connect. It’s shape is instantly recognizable which means that changes will be limited to front and rear fascias, powertrain, and interior. 

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Audi S1 on tracks on a beach looks fun

Kamil Kaluski August 17, 2017 All Things Hoon

The 231-hp Audi S1, an all-wheel-drive hot-hatch, is one of those vehicles that Audi doesn’t think Americans would buy. Perhaps justifiably so, as it is based on the small VW Polo chassis and costs as much as the Golf R. And the Golf R seems better in every measurable way, lacking only the cachet of the four-ring badge, if such thing even exists. 

Some loony hoon, somewhere, decided that it would be a good idea to remove the wheels off his S1 and replace them with tracks. Then he went to the beach with it. The result is something that looks incredibly fun. 

Project Car SOTU: The Integra GS-R

In October 2015 the Integra looked and ran perfectly. It was freshly detailed, which included wet-sanding and headlight clearing. The engine was serviced; new plugs, fuel filter, valve adjustment,  cold-air intake with a new filter. It ran strong and it ran well.

Then I parked it temporarily in my friend’s huge garage. And I haven’t driven it since. I didn’t mean for that to happen. The access to it wasn’t always easy. I didn’t always have the time. And the time just flew by. But last week I did spend some time with it…

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Project Car SOTU: 4Runner Project keeps running

My 2010 Toyota 4Runner SR5 has been getting somewhat regular updates on Hooniverse. In recent times I installed Rigid Industries off-road lights, eBay LED interior lights, and provided a four-season update on my BFGoodrich KO2 tires.

Other than routine maintenance and one annoying intermittent issue there’s not much to report. It currently has less than 50,000 miles so I don’t expect major issues for a while. I do have some new parts laying around and some plans but time is lacking…

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Sampling the Yakima FullSwing hitch-mounted bicycle rack

Transporting bicycles isn’t easy. If your vehicle is big and functional enough, it’s possible throw a bike or two inside, with the front wheels removed. The roof is a good place but placing bicycles on a larger vehicle may be challenging for some. Also, once on the roof bikes cause significant drag, make a lot of noise, and kill the fuel economy. 

Transporting bikes on a rack mounted behind the vehicle seems like it makes the most sense. Here, the bikes are easier to load and don’t create drag. Still, it’s not a perfect solution as the rack extends the length of your vehicle, may block visibility, and now your trunk is inaccessible. Unlike a roof rack, for full vehicle functionality the rear racks need to be removed when the bikes are off. 

With the FullSwing, Yakima tries to make living with a hitch-mounted rack easier. This is a large unit designed to accommodate four bicycles and also swing out of the way even with bikes on it. Now you’re allowed access to the hatch or the tailgate of the vehicle.

Can this be the perfect solution for bike transport?

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