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Quick Spin: 2018 Volkswagen Passat 2.0T SEL Premium

There’s a problem with mid-size sedans. They’re not selling. Seriously, no one is buying them. Everyone wants an SUV these days. It’s so much of a problem that Ford, a huge automaker by any measure, gave in and decided “hell, let’s just not make any ‘cars’ for the U.S. market”. And others might follow suit, because irrational thinking is contagious.

Not all automakers are so quick to simply give up on cars but it’s obvious that the focus for most sits with SUVs and crossovers. Volkswagen has the Atlas and the recently redone Tiguan, which is now available with third row seats. There’s also the excellent Alltrack, which itself is a jacked up version of the Golf Sportwagen. A version that’s significantly pricier and better selling. It’s maddening. Still, there’s also the lovable Golf, the new Jetta, and the Passat.

But is just having cars in an automakers’ portfolio enough? 

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Review: 2018 Kia Stinger GT


The headrests. I don’t love the headrests. If you keep the backrest of your seat more on the vertical, the headrests will push on the back of your head. They should really have some back and forth adjustment. Everything else about the Kia Stinger GT is excellent. It looks great. It goes and handles as good as it looks. It’s a world class car that should put every automaker on notice. Go buy one, you’ll love it.

That’s it. That’s the review. 

 

Edit: The headrests are adjustable forward and back as per the owner’s manual, page 3-16. But, even in the rear-most position they can still tap he back of the driver’s head. 

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Mystery Car

Kamil Kaluski May 11, 2018 Mystery Car

Another Friday, another Mystery Car! I figured that I have been inundating yous guys with new cars, so I decided to throw in something old. I’m gonna give ya tip and say that it’s wicked old. I’m looking for make and hopefully model name, perhaps a period of time when it was made. 

Maymar was the first to correctly identify last week’s Mystery Button, and the fact that it came from a Kia Nero. But the real mystery was the actual function of the button. “12V BATT RESET” the button said. How does one actually reset a battery?

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Spy Shots: Rolls-Royce Cullinan – The SUV of those who find the Phantom too small

If you think Rolls Royce making an SUV is a blasphemy, you’re wrong. Rolls-Royce has been making SUVs for decades, it just that they were all disguised as cars. That is quite opposite from a modern cross-over vehicle which is a car disguised as a utility vehicle. If you don’t believe me, find one of the smaller Rollses, like the Dawn or the Ghost. Stand next to it and observe. You’ll notice that belt-line is near your chest, that the side mirrors are similar in side to those on a full-size pickup, and that the vehicle footprint is similar to that of a Chevy Tahoe, if not bigger. 

Make no mistake, the Cullinan will be a huge vehicle if for no other reason then to show its superiority over lesser vehicles. You see, to have a Rolls is to be seen and when everyone at the country club or posh restaurants switched to huge SUVs, the Rolls-Royce vehicles were no longer the dominant ones. They no longer got all the looks and they got lost is the sea of huge vehicles. The only way for Rolls to go is to go bigger, and hence the Cullinan which will easily surpass six feet in height. 

Thanks for sending these, and the Supra spy shots in, Brandon! Sorry it took us so long to get to them.

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Spy Shots: The New Toyota Supra

It is no secret that Toyota is working on a new Supra. And frankly, what the hell, Toyota, why would it take you twenty years to bring this car back to the market? Let’s hope that when it comes here it’s a worthy successor to the vehicle from the 1990s. While we already know that it will be pricey, unlike the Supras of the 1980s, let’s hope that it won’t be priced like an exotic. My guess is that it will be priced somewhere between the Lexus RC F and the Lexus LC, so figure in the $70,000s. 

Reader Brandon spotted this mule being tested about two weeks ago and managed to get some good shots of it. Along with this Supra was a camouflaged Rolls Royce Cullinan. That is interesting because the Supra is being developed along with the next BMW Z4, which we have spied before here. BMW owns Rolls Royce, so it would make sense that the Z4 and the Rolls be seen together, but the Supra? 

Thanks for sending these in, Brandon! Sorry it took us so long to get to them.

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Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Two doors, two seats, fixed roof, and no hatch

I’m a big fan of grand touring automobiles. Those are usually luxury large coupes that were designed to swallow up miles while providing the driver and the passenger utmost comfort. Big engines, just enough room for you and yours, and the small amount of stuff two people may need for a weekend at a resort far away from home. 

But, I like my grand touring coupes in a certain specific way. First, I prefer two seats. The small useless rear seats bother me for some reason, I hate them. I also don’t love convertibles. I prefer fixed roof vehicles. And while I love hatches, I don’t want a hatch grand touring coupe. Hatches, while useful, add weight and may reduce structural strength. I also don’t think that they’re very classy. A coupe, by my own definition, is a sedan-like three-box shape but with two doors.

So today we are looking for two-passenger, two-door coupes, with a fixed hard roof, and no hatch. 

The Caveats (there are always caveats):

  • No rear- or mid-engine cars – a coupe, by my own definition, has the engine in the front. 
  • A model with rear seats deleted, such as the Mustang GT350R, doesn’t count. 
  • Just because you think a vehicle shouldn’t have rear seats (BRZ, Camaro) but has them, doesn’t count. 
  • A hatch is a cargo opening that has glass in it and/or hinges above the belt-line of the vehicle. 

Difficulty: 7.8 out of 8, harder than you think, I think. 

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates! Bonus points for adding photos.

Image: hagerty.com

Boston’s Art of the Automobile

Kamil Kaluski May 7, 2018 Car Shows

The Art of the Automobile, which corresponds with the city’s ArtWeek, for the third year in row kicked off New England’s outdoor Car Show Season. Limited to only 110 cars, the idea of this show was to present to the public a little bit from each segment of the whole car culture. Needless to say, if you love cars, there was something there you’d like. 

There were ten specifically procured art vehicles, including the lowest mileage ’48 Pontiac Woody know to exist and Briggs Cunningham’s personal driver Mercedes-Benz 6.3. And then there were the latest exotics, jacked up trucks, slammed and stanced rides, some modern classics, and some true classics. A little bit for everyone, indeed. 

Friend of the Hooniverse, Joshua Sweeney (some of his work here), made the above video. His additional pictures can be seen on the Art of Automobile Facebook page. 

A closer look at the Mitsubishi L300 4×4

Last December I started in a video review of an awful but not awful Fiat Cinquecento Sporting. The host of the video was a Polish automotive journalist Tymon Grabowski, also known as Zlomnik, which long time Hooniverse readers may be more familiar with. Now Mr. Zlomnik has made another video, that of a Mitshubishi L300 4×4. Unfortunately this video is in Polish, and by the request of his viewers, Mr. Grabowski talks as if he is John Moschitta Jr., but that is not how he typically talks. Fortunately, the video is subtitled in English for the rest of us.

The Mitsubishi L300 4×4 doesn’t really need an introduction. It’s a relatively small van with forward controls, mid-mounted engine, and a four wheel drive – a version of the Delica. Part camper, people hauler, and off-roader, this charming van has many of us wanting it. But, like everything, it has some downsides, such as parts availability, rust, speed, and safety. Zlomnik goes into details and then takes it down a dirt road. Enjoy. 

Mystery Car

Let’s mix things up a bit. We’d typically post a piece of a taillight, an odd angle of a hood, or a half broken piece of a fender trim. That was always enough for you hooligans to figure out what car it came off of. But this, this is a bit different. Make and model, please. 

The mystery car from two weeks ago (I had to take a week off) was identified relatively quickly, to my annoyance. See it below. 

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Spy Shots: Jeep Wrangler pickup – The Scrambler!

The new Wrangler is already a runaway success for Jeep. It alone will likely be responsible for keeping the lights on in Alfa Romeo and Fiat dealerships. But Jeep isn’t done with the two- and four-door version of the Wrangler. It is no secret that the Jeep pickup is coming. Even people who work for Jeep, who are trained to never discuss future products, are like “yea, the JL Wrangler pickup is coming for 2019, it will be build at old Toledo Supplier Park once it’s retooled from the JK…”

At this point they might as well just start driving the undisguised prototypes on the road because everyone knows what they will look like. But no, they insist on covering them up in that wanna be camo crap. Fine. Whatever. Here our other awesome spy photographer caught what looks like a Sport, or otherwise more base, model of the upcoming pickup. I am saying that based strictly on the fact that it’s wearing highway tires on black steel wheels. But…

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