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The News for November 21st, 2014

The All-new Shelby GT350 Mustang

Welcome to the Hooniverse News – 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show edition! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry – which this week came entirely from LA – without the fluff or bull. I just throw in a little opinion of mine because I can. There’s a lot this week:

  • The Shelby GT350 returns better than ever, or anything

  • Cadillac gives the ATS the V treatment

  • Mazda goes practical but tasteful with the CX-3

  • Volkswagen shows off Golf R wagon, but not for us

  • Jaguar F-Type now available with a manual

  • Honda HR-V wants to be your tall hatchback

  • Audi shows off their future with the Prologue Concept

  • Plus YOUR automotive news!

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LAAS – Gaze upon the majestic Oculus Doof

Jeff Glucker November 20, 2014 Car Shows, LA Auto Show
YouTube Preview Image

Rob sure liked watching me be terrible at the CrazyKarts. Here’s Rob entering a different dimension, thanks to the fine folks at Volvo. Like Mr. Emslie said earlier, we work hard and play hard. I guess this is neither of those options though… whatever.

[Yes, I know I spelled Oculus wrong in the video… worse crimes have occurred on this planet.]

LAAS- Call SETI, The New Land Rover Discovery Sport Discovers Aliens

Robert Emslie November 20, 2014 Car Shows, LA Auto Show

DSCN5395

The concentric rear window defroster on the new Land Rover Discovery Sport make it look like the screen on movie Aliens‘ motion detector. Add some reflections from the lights above and… game over, man!

Aliens

Images: ©2014 Hooniverse/Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved, Google Play

LAAS- That Time I Forgot The Camera Was Recording and Came Upon A Spongebob Sienna

Robert Emslie November 20, 2014 Car Shows, LA Auto Show

So I accidentally left my camera recording in the midst of regaling my buddy Jeremy with a story about my neighbor falling out of love with his Prius V when suddenly, Spongebob.

Hooniverse judges the cars of the 2014 LA Auto Show

Greg Kachadurian November 20, 2014 LA Auto Show

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It’s that time of year again. It’s time for the professional auto journalists here at Hooniverse to cover the dozen or so shiny new cars making their global debut at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show this week.

By “cover” them, I really mean pass judgments on them from the comfort of our own keyboards. Only a few of us were able to make it out to the show this year but that doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t pretend to be there covering it. In here you won’t find any boring spec sheets or overdone metaphors for the styling of a side mirror. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any facts at all (that’s all coming in The News tomorrow). What you’ll get instead are the unfiltered and [brutally] honest opinions from some of the creative minds that make up this corner of the Web we call The Hooniverse.

So click past the jump and see what we have to say.

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LAAS- We Work Hard and We Play Hard

Robert Emslie November 20, 2014 Car Shows, LA Auto Show

Just in case you thought that the jet-set life of an Auto Journalist is nothing but back-sweat, impossible deadlines, and keyboard calluses, here’s Chief Blooger Jeff riding a Crazy Cart for your amusement.

Source: Rob Emslie via Vimeo

LAAS- Why Chevy is Better Than Maserati

Robert Emslie November 20, 2014 Car Shows, LA Auto Show

Maserati

See that beautiful show model up there? No, I mean the car,not the lady. That’s the Maserati Alfieri concept sports car, or at least that’s what the company is calling it. Pretty sweet, right? That, and the production Ghibli, Gran Truismo and Quattroporte prove that Maserati knows a thing or two about making drop dead sexy cars. As it turns out, not all of their show personnel  know very much about Maserati.

We were looking over the new Ghibli which is Maserati’s latest entrant down-market, when just such a Maser man walked up and informed us that either he or the adjacent iPad could answer any question we had. I was curious about how many cars Maserati was bringing to America, seeing as the brand has doubled its sales year over year and I wanted to know if the Ghibli was driving that. Unfortunately that stymied the representative. Okay, I asked a simpler question, how many dealers does Maserati presently maintain in the States. Nope, that was also outside of his purview.

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LAAS- Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Miata Bones

Robert Emslie November 20, 2014 Car Shows, LA Auto Show

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Mazda was out in merlot force at this year’s LA show. All of their cars at the front of the display being a uniform shade of the wine made famous in Sideways for Milo’s refusal to drink it. Deep in the bowels of the Mazda display however was a horse of a different color- silver. Back there in the incongruously dark and creepy part of the display is where they decided to show the 2015 Miata’s Skyactiv chassis. Held up by its suspension pickups and transmission, the chassis shows the Miata’s lovely cast suspension bits as well as the central torque tube (which is actually L-shaped) that keeps the engine and transmission in perfect synchronicity with the driveshaft and diff. It’s so beautiful that I wouldn’t mind having it in my living room, although my wife might disagree. One more shot after the jump. … Continue Reading

LAAS- Ford Takes the Explorer Back to the Future

Robert Emslie November 20, 2014 Car Shows, LA Auto Show

Explorer

With it’s debut yesterday, Ford gave the evergreen Explorer model 300-cc of added space. Fortunately that extra displacement comes under the hood in the form of the newly available 2.3-litre EcoBoost four which will replace the outgoing 2.0 four as the Explorer’s mileage-minded motor. According to Ford, the 2.3 brings to the party 270-bhp and 300 lb-ft of torque which is 13% more ponies than the 2.0 could manage. That’s enough grunt that Ford felt this mill was up to 4×4 duty and hence will make it available in the AWD edition as well as the front-drive wagon.

Just like 5.0 V8, a 2.3 litre four has been a staple displacement for Ford for decades. This is the first time that size has found its way under an Explorer’s hood, but it sure seems that if you’re going to buy a Ford with a four, it damn-well ought to be a 2.3. Another element of the 2016 Explorer recalls Ford’s past is in its looks. Ford has restyled both ends of the truck to give it a smaller, more rounded appearance and what they’ve ended up with is a look that’s reminiscent of the 2007-09 Taurus X. You have to squint a little, but it’s there.

Not only that, but the new Explorer’s nose is an even more uncanny doppelgänger for the Land Rover Discovery Sport, which also made its LA debut yesterday. As you will recall, Ford once owned Land Rover, and it’s quite possible that the same designer’s sketches were still on somebody’s computer at both companies after the breakup. What do you think, are they twin brothers of different mothers?

Disco

Images: ©2014 Hooniverse/Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved

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