Life is weird sometimes. A couple of months ago, I mentioned how awesome I thought it would be to pit the two most well known San Francisco Bay Area based Porsche LeMons cars against each other in a tongue-in-cheek ‘battle royale’ with a journalist hot-shoe at the wheel [note: I’m a warm-shoe at best]. When I first posited such an idea to the owners of these respective cars via a post on Facebook, I didn’t think they’d take me up on the deal, and figured it’d be nothing more than a friendly comment. Shortly after that initial post, however, we’d figured out an event that would work best for all of us; the Golden Gate Region PCA’s 9th autocross of the season at the old Alameda Naval Facility in early November. As they say, ‘you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take’. (more…)
Text and Photography by Bryce Womeldurf.
When it came to light last Friday that Volkswagen had been circumventing U.S. environmental standards through a software cheat, I didn’t really think there was much of a story there for me to cover. HoonArt tends to focus on sports cars and issues related to them, which doesn’t typically have much to do with emissions control or fuel economy. Despite living in a state that hasn’t tested emissions since the ’90s, I keep my vehicles emissions compliant, but that’s usually about as far as it goes. That was, until I started thinking about what the potential fines could mean for Volkswagen… (more…)
‘Passion’ is what the Rotary Meeting was all about at Maze Circuit this past weekend.
The Rotary & Roadster Meeting at Sendai Hi-Land was an event I truly enjoyed going to. Run by Pan Speed and a few other shops in the Japanese Mazda scene, it was a fine occasion to hunt both familiar cars and fresh machines that I otherwise wouldn’t have had the chance to see at events like 7’s Day. But then Sendai Hi-Land got closed down.
The 2011 earthquake set the wheels in motion for the circuit’s demise, and spiralling costs to keep it running eventually saw its owners pull the pin. It’s a real pity too, because it was a great track – one that I had the opportunity to drive a few times when Nissan held R35 GT-R events up there. But as the saying goes, all good things have to eventually come to an end, and this was very much one of them.
Ever since, Pan Speed has been on the lookout for a substitute venue. (more…)
[Alex Roy debates where we’re headed as a driving and eventually non-driving culture, and what that could mean for automotive enthusiasts. This was a good one. It starts on a bit of a downer, and I don’t want to spoil it, but the ending is pretty good.]
Elon Musk believes in it. So does Uber’s Travis Kalanick. The Autonomotive Singularity is inevitable. It is the enemy of enthusiast car culture as it stands, but only as we know it. If we come to understand it, it might just be the best thing ever for car enthusiasts. Might.
I’m interested in the future of driving itself, which is why I lie in bed at night wondering if Elon Musk is right.
If you truly love driving, you need to understand the Autonomotive Singularity, and that means you have to stop ignoring it and accept it. (more…)
[The subject of turbocharging came up again over the weekend, when Porsche announced that the 911 was going all turbo. There was a lot of discussion online about what this meant for Porsche’s future. I was initially thinking that turbocharging wasn’t such a big deal, as I tend to not think of fuel economy standards much, generally thinking of them as just a necessary hurdle. But then the more I looked into it, I was reminded of just how broken our fuel economy system is in the United States. It was then that I found this article from Road & Track’s Jason Cammisa, and decided to share it here. This was in response to the Ferrari California T, but much of the potential problems hold true. The point is that there are many drawbacks to turbocharging being used as the answer to all of the fuel economy problems, but in the end it’s driver involvement and engine response that matter. As long as the engineers keep working towards that, there is still hope.
Sam Smith summed it up really well in a few tweets, culminating with this one:
And really, point isn’t turbo vs. NA. Or manual vs. auto. It’s emotion against numbness. Involvement vs. not. Do it right, I won’t care how.
— Sam Smith (@ThatSamSmith) September 7, 2015
The article below does a great job of explaining the problems that we face going into the future with turbocharging.- Bryce Womeldurf]
“We don’t like the turbo,” said the man with the Italian accent. Before I could stand up and cheer, he continued, “but it’s the right way to reduce emissions without sacrificing performance.”
Oh. A rare moment of honesty, then a graceful slingshot into the same turbo spin we’ve heard from all corners of the globe. But this was the first time I’d heard a senior executive from a major carmaker admit that turbos are less than perfect.
The fact is, every car company is being forced into forced induction, for the exact reasons our Italian friend gave. Since neither he nor the company he works for, Ferrari, can come out and say it, I will: Turbos aren’t the best solution, especially for high-performance cars, and they don’t always provide the benefits that carmakers claim they do. Less emissions, more performance? Let’s take a look. (more…)
As the drivers of IndyCar prepare for their season-closing race at Sonoma Raceway, they likely do so with heavy hearts following the crash that claimed the life of Justin Wilson. So to honor him, they drove his car and their own across San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge ahead of this race weekend. (more…)
Video by The Smoking Tire
This new video by Matt Farah from the Smoking Tire is probably filled with more laughter than any single One Take video we’ve seen from him so far. In the video, he takes Alex Roy’s Morgan 3-Wheeler up and down Angeles Crest Highway in one take (hence the name) giving his impressions of the Morgan along the way. As noted in the video, this car has a lot of drawbacks including the need for a helmet, it having exhaust pipes that can burn you, a huge lack of practicality, among many others. Despite all of this, Matt Farah says that it makes him feel like the Great Gatsby and that he thinks it’s the greatest car ever made. He can’t seem to say enough good things about it. Push play and let the laughter begin.