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Project 4Runner: Four seasons with BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2

It all started about fourteen months ago when I got a flat tire on a busy New England highway, in the middle of the afternoon, with my whole family in the car. Something big and sharp punctured my five year old right rear BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A tire. The tire was beyond repair and needed to be replaced. While there was nothing really wrong withe rest of the tires but six years and 37,000 miles, I decided to replace them all. 

I did much research as to which tires to get. I wanted a light truck (LT) all-terrain tires because I knew at some point I would venture off the highway. I wanted a tire that would provide traction in all four seasons. A big requirement was that the tire was quiet on the highway. And in a totally poser way, I wanted a tire that look good, rugged. Oh, I did not want to spend a ton of money, either.

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Quick Spin: 2017 Subaru BRZ with Performance Package.

In my recent review I mentioned that you all should go and buy the Subaru BRZ because it is everything you all wanted – stick, rear-wheel-drive, fun, efficient, and affordable. I really think it is the best new car performance buy for the buck. In fact, I’m sure of it: GTI/Si/ST are wrong wheel drive, the American muscle cars are just too damn big and heavy, the Miata is too damn small for most of us, and most others are just priced out of reach for many. Those are all great cars, but the BRZ and its Toyota sibling simply give you more grins per dollar.

Now Subaru made the BRZ harder to resist thanks to the addition of the Performance Package.

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Review: 2017 Honda CR-V Touring AWD

This is the all-new fifth generation 2017 Honda CR-V. Yes, it is all-new, as per Honda, but you wouldn’t necessarily know this by looking at it. In my eyes it simply looks too similar to the 2016 model to be called all-new, but it is. One would know that this is an all-new vehicle by simply driving it. I would even go as far as to say that this is the most significant update to the CR-V since the original came out in 1997.

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2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon starts at $84,995

Kamil Kaluski May 23, 2017 The News!

The manufacturer suggested retail price for the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon $84,995. We should say only $84,995. That is the price for the highest horsepower V8 production car engine ever produced, a car that can do a damn wheelie and run the quarter mile in just over nine seconds. And the damn thing comes with a three-year/36,000-mile warranty and five-year/60,000-mile powertrain coverage. 

Think about that for a minute. It is almost unreal. The power, the performance, the price, and the warranty. 

The gas guzzler tax (shocking, I know) is included in that price but the $1095 destination fee is not. The Demon will have a several options, all of which are equally reasonably priced:

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LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS Crash Test

There is something about crash test videos that makes us watch them over and over again. It’s probably that whole watching-a-train-wreck thing that is oddly satisfying, somewhat saddening, and filled with anticipation. Some crash tests are scary and others show the incredible strength of the passenger cell and the energy absorbing properties of everything else. 

Chances are that if you are reading this you have probably played with Legos at some point in your life. If you ever played with Legos it is a safe bet that at some point you crashed your Lego cars. For instance, my brother and I would attempt to build a vehicle that would contain two mini figures, have operational doors and windows, and break apart the least upon being send down a flight of carpeted stairs. Good times. 

Apparently the crash experts from German ADAC are still kids at heart. They took the Lego Technic Porsche 911 GT3 RS, a really cool 1:8 version of the real thing with many functional features, and crash tested it. They followed their own rules and utilized the standard EURO-NCAP, 40% offset crash test. The Porsche hit the barrier at 46km/h, which is almost 29 MPH, which is damn fast for anything Lego. 

The results are quite amazing. For our viewing pleasure, ADAC used some fancy cameras, capturing the crash in 1000 frames-per-second. Just watch the video. 

Cars from Smokey and the Bandit reimagined for 40th anniversary

It’s been forty years since the original Smokey and the Bandit premiered. That seems like a crazy long amount of time, longer than many of us have been around. This is why for so many of us Smokey and the Bandit, possibly Cannonball too, may just have been the movie that made kiddo us fall in love with cars. I know it was for me. 

Decades ago pundits assumed that after year 2000 we all would have a flying hydrogen-powered cars and that the world would be out of oil. Fortunately the world today has a Challenger SRT Demon with a supercharged V8 that screams Fuck Yea louder than any 1970s Pontiac ever could (sorry, fact). While Pontiac is no longer around, we still have an equally awesome Camaro and many police departments still drive big sedans with V8 engines that send their power to the rear wheels. 

Big rigs, despite the above image, have not changed much either. They still have 18 wheels and huge turbo-diesel engines with transmissions that many of us couldn’t shift. The biggest difference might be in the fact that the flat-nosed cab-over truck are just about gone from our roads. 

Carspring.co.uk reimagined what some of the character cars from the movie might look like today. Except for the rig, they seem pretty much spot-on. Check out their site for a few more Bandit options. We have asked before what the Bandit would drive today, but those comments were unfortunately lost. 

Most importantly, we can get Coors beer in just about every store. 

Quick Pic: a Naked Escort is Coming

Kamil Kaluski May 18, 2017 Quick Pics

This is a rather poor picture of a classic Ford Escort MKII. It is somewhat incomplete. It is slightly modified. And it is on it’s way over from the UK to our friends at Ace Performance Systems.  

Ace Performance has some very cool plans for this MKII. It will be a lot more than just a build and we will be a part of it. Stay tuned, it’s going to be great. 

24 Hours of Lemons: Buick is the Rainmaster, Wins Judge’s Choice!

Rain. The forecast called for lots of it. A major storm, they called it. It rained the night before and it was suppose to rain all day Saturday. Certainly not great for racing. My hopes of anything exciting happening on Saturday were slim. 

I was wrong. Very wrong. 

The race started under a long full-course yellow. Then, the 24 Hours of Lemons overlords let us race as if it was just a spring shower. Our fastest driver, Rafal, was in first. He did well, very well in fact. In his two-hour scheduled stint he also used half the fuel we typically use on a dry race day. Less refueling made our pit-stop shorter. I was in next. 

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Improving the new Toyota Land Cruiser

I recently reviewed the 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser. While I really liked it, and I would love to own one, but it just wasn’t all it could be for me. To be totally happy with my imaginary Land Cruiser ownership I would have to improve it slightly. Despite the limited U.S. sales of this vehicle, it is a global vehicle and therefore it’s total sales are justifiably high for the after-market to offer some amazing things for it. 

Being that I am married and have two kids, my built would not be a crazy hardcore one. I don’t need my rig to get me everywhere and I wouldn’t live off-the grid for days at a time in it. It would serve to get us to scenic places on trails that are no more than difficulty 5 or 6 rating.  Here is how I’d modify my 2017 Land Cruiser…

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Review: 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser

The Land Cruiser has been sold in North America for over sixty years. It and the Toyopet Crown were the automaker’s first two models here. Despite the fact that Toyota sold only one of its Land Cruisers in its first year in America, it was soon the only model offered here until 1965. Toyota Motor Company has grown slightly since that time but the Land Cruiser has remained in its model line-up that whole time.

Over the years the Land Cruiser has morphed from a small simple utility vehicle into a much larger vehicle available in various lengths and configurations. In North America, long wheelbase models with bigger engines thrived. Eventually, the Land Cruiser became more opulent and expensive, forcing Toyota to introduce smaller, less expensive, off-road capable utility models.

Today the Land Cruiser is sort of an odd duck that really warrants a closer look.

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