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Brief Review: Smart ForFour 1.0 Passion.

Chris Haining October 20, 2015 Quick Spin, Reviews


Smart was in danger of becoming an ironic name. The smallest Daimler-Benz product always sold on the virtues of novelty and wantability more than anything else, and in recent times was beginning to look increasingly irrelevant. Now, thanks to platform sharing with Renault, the New Smart may well finally be a vehicle useful enough to justify the epithet.

The brochure for the ForFour is full of images of young people with fashionable beards clearly having fun, so it seems reasonable to investigate whether the dressed up and up-priced Germanised Twingo actually lives up to what their marketing department promises, delivering entertainment as well as intelligence. Take the jump to find out.

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How I learned to stop worrying and love the Miata: A quick drive

Right now, Mazda is touring the nation with their new Miata, letting the faithful from far and wide experience the fourth coming of everyones favorite roadster. I was lucky enough to get to tackle Austin Driveway (a local track with a few fun turns) in a 2016 MX-5 in Grand Touring trim and with the 6 speed manual. Here are my quick thoughts on the car, the experience, and whether it’s the savior of all things driving. … Continue Reading

Hooniverse Ride Along: Polaris RZR 900 EPS

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The ethos of Hooniverse is the love for all things with wheels and an engine (or motor for the electric-powered offerings). When the opportunity arises to drive some stellar trails in ATV’s and Side-By-Sides we would be foolish to turn down the opportunity.

At this years Motor Press Guild Droptops & Dirt event in beautiful Malibu, Polaris brought out a few of their newest products. Todays focus is on the RZR 900 EPS and the high amounts of giggling fun that ensued.

Because I’m clumsy I went for the more enclosed option between a Side-By-Side and an ATV. Its 75 horsepower is more than enough to scoot this along. For those who thrive on numbers, 0-40mph is over in 3.76 seconds, and it’s enough to get the “throttle happy” into a bit of trouble on the trails. But it’s by no means scary. The capabilities and ease of use means the most novice driver can enjoy it.

Please disregard all my hooting and hollering (yes I’m Texan), it was an absolute blast to drive.

Quick Spin: 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S
…Fast Meter Redefined

Go ahead and think back to when you first started driving cars. Think to when you first felt something truly fast, if you rode in it, drove it or saw it blast pass you on a highway or local drag strip. For me it was a 1995 Chevrolet Camaro Z28. To 16 year old me this was a rocket ship and was like nothing I had driven up to that point… “allegedly.”

Since then I’ve driven some fairly fast cars, be they from the factory or heavily modified. Regardless of any power I’ve felt before, a strange and wonderful thing happened to me today.

My “fast meter” just got reset and I welcomed with open arms the brutal acceleration of the 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S.

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Weekend Edition: A leisurely drive in a Mercedes-Benz 220 (W115)


This 1971 Mercedes-Benz W115 is one of the loveliest cars I’ve driven. It belongs to a German friend, one who currently hosts the Suzuki Swift convertible in his garage, and it’s been in his family since new.

A few months ago, as I was in Germany, I had a chance to check out the Benz and have a little drive around the smallish town. Armed with my trusty brown camera and a nifty-fifty lens, I snapped a few detail shots to accompany the post.

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Classic Quick Spin: Lancia Fulvia Sport Zagato

Bradley Brownell November 10, 2014 Featured, Quick Spin


When someone throws you the keys to a Lancia Fulvia Sport Zagato, it doesn’t take more than a split second to say yes. A few months back, I was given the opportunity at a Lancia club gathering to drive this beautiful vision of Italian design, and I could not have been more excited to slip behind the wheel. I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited to drive a front wheel drive car, especially considering it only carried a 1216cc V4 rated at around 80 horsepower.

The great thing about the Zagato, though, is that lightweight hand-formed aluminum bodywork forming a modern-for-its-era angular shape. It took a bit for me to get used to the driving experience, as it wasn’t exactly modern. Once accustomed, though, it was quite a joy to drive.

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2014 MPG Track Day: Driving Impressions

Occasionally, we here at Hooniverse have the privilege of access to some fantastic automobiles. Any time where I am invited to attend an actual track day, and when my real job wife will let me dedicate the time to go, I am all for it. Being the new member to the Hooniverse team, this was my first major event so I was walking around in a giddy fashion when I saw the list of offerings that were to be given to us.

I packed up my gear and headed from San Diego to Willow Springs Raceway to meet up with Jeff and Rob for this years MPG Track Day. Driving just about everything that was available to us, I will give you my quick impressions of a few of the good and bad about some of the vehicles in attendance.

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Quick Spin- 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C


This past week a number of your humble hosts attended the Motor Press Guild’s 2014 Track Days event, where we got to wrap our hands around the wheels of some of the coolest cars debuting at the moment. One of the most sought-after rides – one that literally had a waiting list to drive – was the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C, the car that relaunches the venerated Italian brand here in the U.S..

I managed to get on that list and take the car out on the track at the Streets of Willow and I’m now back, with a crazy grin still stuck on my face, to tell you what it was like. … Continue Reading

BMW i3 and i3 Range Extender: Existential Review


Have you ever wondered how arts reviewers manage to get away with saying what they do? Every time I pick up one of the London newspapers I spend time reviewing the reviews section, purely because I’m fascinated by opinion. What on Earth gives a person, particularly a non-artist, the right to judge on “how good” a new art installation, performance or recording is? Who’s to say that one idea is any more valid than another?

Of course, cars are a lot less subjective than art. For anybody who has ever taken an interest in driving it should be painfully obvious when a car fails, wholly or in part, to do its job competently. Or indeed when it excels. But sometimes the line between car and art becomes blurred. The BMW i3 has come along and established itself in a hitherto unoccupied slot in the vehicle-roadspace continuum. It’s a new idea, and I found it kind of tricky to get my head around.

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Review: 2014 Seat Ibiza FR 140; Poetry in Auto Emoción?


Appearing at Millbrook where I spent a day at,
Was this little red hatchback manufactured by SEAT,
This motoring journalist lark that I play at,
Was an excuse to take it for a spin.

From it’s antecedent some thirty years back,
The Ibiza’s evolved to a meal from a snack.
Let us check its development, is it on the right track?
Take the jump, there are more words within.

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