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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Miscellaneous

Classic Car Cultist: Subaru BRAT

On: Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 3:13PM | By: Chris Salamone

Subaru Brat test 2

Remember that insanely popular kid from high school? The one with the mullet and cigarette pack carefully rolled into his sleeve? What made him popular was not that outlandish haircut, and certainly not any strange ability to communicate better than the rest of us, nor was it the product of a highly confused and misguided generation. Instead, his claim to fame can only be attributed to the one universally recognized symbol of a ‘top of the food chain’ status. Say hello to the Subaru BRAT.

The BRAT, a clever acronym for Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter, was a car which defied categorization. Part car, part utility truck, Subaru essentially chopped the rear top off of the company’s four-wheel drive station wagon and released the BRAT as a competitor for the then heavily popular Chevrolet El Camino and Ford Ranchero market.

Volvo Unveils Pricey Polestar Tuning Option

On: Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 1:45PM | By: Chris Salamone

Polestar Volvo C30 test 2

Volvo Cars of North America announced yesterday that factory-approved tuning software would be available for purchase next week. The software can be mated to any new or slightly used Volvos mated with T5 engines sold from model year 2008 and up. Volvo enthusiasts will have something to smile about because official Polestar performance upgrades do not affect that almighty factory warranty, so we can all avoid any sad buyer’s remorse commonly associated with performance purchases and voided warranties.

There is some bad news mixed with the good, however. Volvo’s Polestar tuning option runs a jaw-dropping $1,295 installed, yet adds a mere 23 horsepower and 29 lb.-ft. of torque to upgraded vehicles.

Videos That Rock: Freestyle Motorcycling The French Alps

On: Mon, Nov 7, 2011 at 5:03PM | By: Chris Weiss

Videos That Rock: Freestyle Motorcycling The French Alps test 2

Freestyle motorcycling too often gets a rep of contrived stunts in front of drunken fans in a big arena on 'Sunday, Sunday, Sunday'. Not that any of that is necessarily bad, but it's not all you can do with a bike. After all, "freestyle" indicates a lack of boundaries and a bit of imagination.

Ride the World Productions take us worlds away from the dirt and mud of the arena, bringing motorcycling to one of the most beautiful natural environments in the world: the French Alps. What ensues is a captivating film that redefines "freestyle motorcyling" for casual fans like myself.

23-Year-Old Re-Skins 2011 Mustang With Classic Parts

On: Fri, Nov 4, 2011 at 5:32PM | By: David Walter

23-Year-Old Re-Skins 2011 Mustang With Classic Parts test 2

Remember when Ford first released the newest generation of Mustangs? Its retro, late-1960s pony car styling had every muscle car fan double-taking and savouring each rare glimpse of one on the highway. However, years later and with the return of the also 1960s-inspired Chevy Camaro and Dodge Challenger, the Mustang's throwback look has lost most of its luster.

Until now... (read in Jeremy Clarkson's voice)


'Bond In Motion' Exhibit Planned For England's National Motor Museum

On: Thu, Nov 3, 2011 at 1:32PM | By: Chris Salamone

Aston Martin DB5 test 2

Bond fanatics will now have a sudden change in holiday plans this year. EON Productions (the new movie house propagating Bond films) and the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, England have announced a joint-effort to open a ‘Bond In Motion’ exhibit set to debut January 18, 2012.

While the National Motor Museum is already an impressive collection, with over 250 historically and mechanically significant vehicles, this latest announcement of a Bond-themed exhibit will add an additional 50 iconic Bond transports from 50 years of silver screen glory. And, by the way, we aren’t just talking about super lux sports cars—the exhibit will also feature boats, bikes, sleds, jets, and a few surprises, too.

Most Awesome Traffic Back-Up Ever! (Video)

On: Thu, Nov 3, 2011 at 9:06AM | By: Chris Weiss

Most Awesome Traffic Back-Up Ever test 2

You're driving along the freeway or a country road when you suddenly catch a glimpse of red, black, yellow... whatever. That's no ordinary Chevy or Honda. Hell, it doesn't even look like a Mustang, Corvette, or other everyday sports car. No, that's something special. It's lower than any other car on the road, has some major curves, and doesn't look like any type of car you've ever seen. You slow down to a crawl and try not to gawk too obviously when the car in question passes. Whether it’s a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bugatti, or something else, seeing a supercar like that can make your entire day—because it's not every day that you see one.

Given that logic, it's not every lifetime that you see more than a hundred supercars in one massive traffic jam. But today's that day.

Who Really Wants To Buy A ZL1?

On: Thu, Oct 27, 2011 at 4:11PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

Who Really Wants To Buy A ZL1? test 2

So by now you know all about the upcoming Chevy Camaro ZL1. It will be a beast, no doubt. Nearly 600 horsepower and 600-lb-ft or torque out of a supercharged 6.2-liter LSA motor borrowed from its cousin, the CTS-V. A bigger and stronger driveshaft and differential connected to big (and light!) 20-inch wheels shod in massive 305-millimeter wide rear tires (and equally massive fronts) will help this car put all of that power to the pavement. Electric power-steering, huge six-piston 14.6-inch front/four piston 14/4-inch rear Brembo brakes, and the highly touted magnetorheological shocks all serve to help the ZL1 offer a measure of all-around performance and not just hit the market as a one trick pony (car). We also know this ZL1 will definitely not be the sleeper its great, great grandfather was. A big power-dome hood, carbon fiber insert (a la ZR1), a more exaggerated body kit, and shinier (and louder) exhaust all help distinguish its owner as someone with slightly deeper pockets than all of those silly SS and, even worse, RS owners running around. 

But here's the thing; although it's safe to say that we all will rejoice and nearly strain our necks to turn and watch one of these super-Camaros roll by, the big question this writer keeps coming back to is this: "If it were my money, would I spend it on a Camaro?"

RM To Offer Ferrari's Ultimate Party-Pad-On-Wheels At Its London Sale

On: Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 3:38PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Photoillustration by author test 2

It’s an age-old quandary: Sure, your Ferrari attracts the ladies, but wouldn’t it be great if you could skip the whole “driving somewhere to tryst” stage of the evening by going straight from the “Let’s get out of here” to the “Welcome to my basement. We have to be quiet, though, as my mom’s asleep upstairs” without any messy driving-about?

If only there was a Ferrari that WAS somewhere to tryst. Not only would it save you from any embarrassing “What the hell are you kids doing down there?!” type yelling from rudely-awakened parental-types (plus, you could get well and truly hammered if you chose to as there's no driving on the menu).

Well, you and your lady friend no longer have to worry about such things as Ferrari has handed over its own house-on-wheels to RM Auctions so that you—and every other dude in this predicament—can financially fight over it at the firm’s London sale on Oct. 26.

Long-Term Test: 2011 Subaru Outback

On: Mon, Oct 24, 2011 at 12:02PM | By: Chris Salamone

2011 Subaru Outback test 2

A common hallmark of most car reviews is the invisible hand which gently guides the reviewer into a state of fluffy feedback-inducing euphoria: aka the manufacturer. All too often vehicles are lent to reviewers who receive inexplicable perks in exchange for a positive review. So what makes this long-term test any different? My tester Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium didn’t come from the manufacturer and, much to my chagrin, no perks were sent in my direction. Even without an exciting array of hidden incentives, I attempted to put this slightly-used beaut through its paces.

At 22,000 miles it’s fair to say that we have a pretty good picture of this vehicle’s stats.

Ford Big-Block Hemi Engines

On: Sat, Oct 22, 2011 at 11:35AM | By: Peter C Sessler

Ford Big-Block Hemi Engines test 2

By the mid-1990s, Ford completely changed its engine lineup by finally introducing modern engines based on the Modular design. Whereas in the past, Ford would have one engine based on the 5.0 engine, by just boring and stroking, a larger engine would be available—this would be the 351 engine. Relatively cheap, it made for gas guzzling engines that weren’t too powerful either.

The name Modular was derived from being able to switch plant tooling so that different versions of the engine could be easily assembled. Modular engines are used in Ford and Lincoln cars. In trucks they are known as “Triton” while the InTech name was used in cars using the DOHC versions of the engine.

Latest Russian Military Hovercraft [Insert Dolph Lundgren Quip Here]

On: Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 2:09PM | By: Chris Salamone

Russian Military Spec Christy 6143 test 2

A country famous for implementing the world’s largest military hovercraft, the SR-N4, has created a new hovering killing machine. Caught during the filming of an upcoming Russian movie, made by an appropriately-named studio ‘Lenfilm’, this newest Russian military-grade hovercraft makes short work of sand, mud, and even choppy surf. Fans of the soon-to-be Red Dawn remake won’t be disappointed to hear that Russia still values the heady stench of glory with their Christy 6143 hovercraft, designed specifically for Special Forces operations “of any complexity.”