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Enthusiast’s Guide: The FIA World Endurance Championship

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This weekend, the FIA will be launching their 2014 season of the World Endurance Championship in Jolly Old at the historic and heralded Silverstone circuit. The 2014 season has a lot of changes in store for the series, including new engine regs, the retirement of a legend in the form of Allan McNish, the return of Porsche to top-tier of international motor racing, and a bit of shuffling in the lower ranks. As the season opener is coming up in just a few day’s time, we will continue our series of articles covering the various road racing series and important races all over the world. Previously we have covered The TUDOR United Sports Car Championship, the 12 hours of Sebring, the Bathurst 12 hourFormula 1, the Pirelli World Challenge, and IndyCar. This time, we’re here to discuss my personal favorite form of international racing, the FIA WEC!

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Review: Morgan 3 Wheeler
A love of driving… Distilled

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Four wheels can be fun, and two wheels seem adventurous. Somewhere in the middle lies the Morgan 3 Wheeler. It’s essentially a bathtub connected to an X-Wedge S&S motor and a triumvirate of wheels. Inside the cockpit is a pair of quilted leather seats, a wooden steering wheel, a gear shift lever, and a few gauges set alongside a starter button.

It’s a simple recipe… Yet when it’s all stirred together it created one of the most entertaining vehicles on the entire planet.

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The Drift Chronicles: The Other Side… Rivalries

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It’s a new season of Formula Drift, which means it’s a new season of… The Drift Chronicles! This time we’ve teamed up more closely with our friend The Drift Idiot (AKA Sam) to bring you a look at the other side of drifting. Last season ended with Michael Essa taking the overall win… with some controversy, and it’s setup the new season to see some rivalry drama unfold.

In this episode of The Drift Chronicles, we examine rivalries between Chris Forsberg and Michael Essa, Justin Pawlak and Vaughn Gittin Jr., and also the rivalry between the drivers… and the walls.

Click on down past the jump to take in an all-new season of The Drift Chronicles.

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Podcast: Episode 55 – We’re Talking About Racing with Justin Wilson

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IndyCar and Dale Coyne Racing driver Justin Wilson joins Jeff Glucker and Blake Z. Rong in the podcast palace. The chatter dives right into the world of motorsports, of which Justin is a prominent figure. He’s won at nearly every level in which he’s competed, and he’s now gunning for a strong showing in the 2014 Indy season.

Eventually we talk about some non racing bits, including the NSX, which Jeff can’t stop talking about. 

If you’re a fan of motorsports, this will be our greatest podcast episode ever. If you’re not, it’s still pretty damn awesome.

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Review: 2014 Chevrolet SS
A last dash for Aussie gold

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We look upon the Australian automotive offerings with jealous delight. There are coupes, wagons, and sedans that we’d love to put in our own garages. Don’t even get me started on Utes…

It’s not often that a bit of Oz awesomeness makes it Stateside though, and that’s because the idea of a rear-wheel-drive V8-powered bruiser only appeals to a limited bit of the market. We love that bit of the market, and that means we should love the 2014 Chevrolet SS. It’s a rebadged Holden Commodore VF, which means it has a 6.2-liter LS3 motor up front and the driven wheels planted out back.

Sounds like a recipe for Hooniversal success… but is it? Hop on down to find out.

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

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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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Podcast: Episode 54 – A Winner Is You… and guest Garnett Lee!

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Episode 54 is here to rock your ear holes, and it features a special guest by the name of Garnett Lee. If you’re a fan of video games, you should know that name has Lee is the man who started the wildly popular 1UP Yours podcast. He’s since moved on to a new show he hosts called Garnett on Games.

Also… he’s a car guy! He owns a 2013 Porsche Boxster, and he loves talking all things automotive. Folks, I know I say each episode is a good one… but this one is a good one. So hop the jump, hit play, and enjoy!

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The Rometsch Beeskow is the Bee’s Knees

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One of the great things about attending meet-ins like Cars & Coffee is their surprising nature, you never know just what’s going to show up. This past weekend at my local Saturday crack of dawn congregation a pretty special car made an appearance, and it’s one that might have you saying, when in Rometsch

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First Drive: 2015 Hyundai Genesis
No longer an attempt at luxury, but now the real thing

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When the first Genesis was introduced to the planet in 2009, most of the world scoffed at the idea of a luxury vehicle wearing a Hyundai badge. Still, the car has performed alright, and it does a decent job at playing pretend luxury sedan. There were a few areas, however, where it fell a bit flat. The driving dynamics were mediocre, and the seats were far from luxurious.

Now though, it appears we’re ready for round two of the Genesis story. No, I’m not talking about Phil Collins trying to get the band back together, but rather Hyundai turning its upscale four-door into a true contender. The 2015 Hyundai Genesis is here, and it’s not stuck in the Land of Confusion (Whoooaaaa ooooooh).

It’s now a real luxury sedan, and it’s time that Germany and Japan ought to pay attention to it.

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Review: 2014 Toyota 4Runner Trail

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Full ladder frame. 4-wheel drive system with a two-speed transfercase. Locking rear differential. Fancy traction control system with crawl control. Selectable terrain response system. Skid plates. Full-size spare tire. All of those are trademark items found on world’s best off-road 4×4 vehicles, such as this Land Cruiser Prado-based, 2014 Toyota 4Runner.

And yet there I was, technically not even off road, completely stuck in five inches of snow. Nothing designed to keep the Trail edition 4Runner moving forward worked.

Nothing.

All four wheels were just spinning, desperate to grab onto something that would allow them to overcome the low coefficient of friction between the tire, the wet snow, and the dirt under it. What finally did work was a tow truck which winched me out from about thirty feet away after two hours of waiting. It was a Sunday afternoon in Vermont, I guess I should be happy that it only took that long.

So what went wrong?

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