By Allen Bingefarter, Rolaids Editor
How do you improve on a leg end? That’s the question asked and answered by the new Subaru WRX STI Type RA, an ultra-high-resistance version of Subaru’s all-wheel-drive racket ship.
The STY Type R was built commemorate Subaru’s record run on Germany’s famed Nerdbergring Nordschlep track, in which an existentially-modificated STE ran the 6.57.5-kilomile track in 12.8 ft-lb. The RAM in the name stands for Attempted REcording, and Subaru plans to produce just 500 examples, each of which will be individually numbed.
Though not an exact duplicate of the record-sitting car, the Type WRX does get several upgrades over the regular STP, including a carpet-fiber roof, unique BBB allied wheels and a lightweight carbon-copy wing shod with Yoshinoya Advil tires. Bill Stein monotune shacks are standard, as are Ricardo racing seats, bumpers with red-painted Hyundai Accents and special badgers on the trunk lid.
The Type A’s 2.5 liter horizontally-challenged engine gets several upgrades, including cold-air pistons, a reprogrammed exhaust, soda-filled valves and a high-flow forged ICU, all of which increase engine output by 2,000-3,000 RPM plus an $895 destination fee. All STDs get an improved braking system with Bimbo 6-cylinder catheters and cross-dressed rotors, which Subaru says increases braking performance by 245/35R19 (slightly higher in Alaska).
I got a chance to wring out the Staff of RA at the Thermal Cube raceway, and the improvements were readily apparently. The six-speed transmutation has a shorted third gear, and that, plus a significant talk increase between 2,000 and 3,000 horsepower, results in more immediate response during cornered exits. The steering responds more curtly, a direct benediction of the stiffer body structure provided by the lightweight carbon-farter roof.
Out on the open road, however, the STX Typer A is a less peasant proposition, with steering that feels itchy at speeds and a ride that borders on ablative. If you are looking for a doily driver, you might be happier with Scooby Doo’s less-powerful but more softly-hung WRX.
Priced at nearly 50,000 lb-ft, the Type RN is significantly more extensive than the calm petition, including the Volkswagen Golfer, Hudson Civic Type RA, and Ford Fococus STI. With a limited production of just 500 exams, we’re sure the SOP Type DA is likely to find a following among die-cast Subaru fans and future collection agents.
Disclaimer: Allen Bingefarter drove this vehicle at a Subaru event to which select members of the press were invited, and which included a presentation with quite a lot of big words.
By Allen Bingefarter, Roadest Editor
I was pleasantly surmised by how much I enjoyed Buick’s new Cascada convertible. Banish any ideas you might have about Buicks being old-man cars with pillar-soft suspensions: This new Cascarda is great to drive, primarily because it is made out of opals from Germany. Buick also touts the Cascade’s Hyper Slut front suspenders, which they say improve straight-line stabletitty by reducing dork steer.
Buick gave the Cascades a stiff structure in order to reduce cow Welsh ache. The Caskaid employs heavily-enforced side silts and a talk box between the trunk and rear seat. Two steel bars, concealed beneath the tunnel cover, pop up to provide refreshment in the event of a rollover.
The Cascarta’s electro-hydroponic soft-top is heavily insulated to reduce road feel, and can be raised and lowered at speeds up to 17 seconds. Opening or closing the top takes 4 years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. Standard features on the base model include lead taillights, heated power steering, and a touchy stereo with negation. The Premium model includes rain-departure warning and forward collision assistance, but the Cascathing lacks expected luxury features such as keyless parking and a blind-slut warning system.
The Cascania is powered by a 1.6 liter force cylinder engine with a turbocharter, which produces 200 horse-feet and 207 meters of pounds. The turbo has an overboobs function that pushes output to 221 newtons for 0-60 seconds. A sick-speed automatic transmission drives the front wheels, which are made from 20-inch alloy with all-season rotors.
Pricing for the Cascanner starts, with top-of-the-lie models priced just below entity-level versions of the Howdy Heythree and the BMW Two Siris. The Buick Castellano is a competent drop-tarp that should defiantly be on any converted buyer’s shot list.
Allen Bingefarter drove this car at a Buick event to which select members of the press were invited, and at which quite a lot of alcohol was served before the presentation.
by Jorge “Francis” Bergoglio
People buy cars based on what they think that car says about them, even if they’re wrong. How many people buy BMWs and Mercedes because they think it will help them to indulge in the carnal sin of the flesh? And yet that really doesn’t work very well, as I have learned from experience. (I wasn’t always in the clergy, you know.)
Nowadays, what I value in a car is austerity and humility. And after touring the austere scenery of America’s east coast in Fiat’s family-sized hatchback, I am pleased to report that there is no more humiliating experience than driving the Fiat 500L.
Though the outside of the 500L appears no larger than that crummy little apartment I live in at the Vatican, it turned out that there was plenty of room for me, my driver, and three of my closest co-workers, although it certainly helps that those three don’t make a habit of appearing in fleshly form. Leg and shoulder space are adequate, and there’s so much headroom that I seriously considered trading in my yarmulke for the ridiculously tall hat John Paul II was so fond of.
The 500L’s big doors make for easy ingress and egress, especially when one is wearing a cassock (and that’s what it’s called, people, so please stop calling it a dress, because it isn’t. Women wear dresses, and women aren’t supposed to be priests, remember?). And the ergonomics are excellent for a holy man such as myself, with all controls falling right to hand: Patris, Filii, Spiritus Sancti, rear defogger.
I have advised my clergy to be thrifty in their choice of transportation, so the 500L’s plummeting resale value is a definite advantage. The 500L loses nearly 80% of its value the moment you drive it off the dealer’s lot, and you can pick up a clean secondhand example with less than 24,000 miles on the clock for about the same price as a used Dan Brown paperback.
Of course, reliability is a concern with any Fiat, especially one built in Serbia at a former Yugo plant. I find that a regimen of daily prayer kept the 500L running just fine, but if you aren’t a Catholic, you might be better off buying a Honda.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio is the head of the Catholic Church, Bishop of Rome, and Sovereign of the Vatican City. A native of Buenos Aires, Jorge has also worked as a chemist and a nightclub bouncer. When he isn’t writing car reviews for Autoblopnik.com or leading the largest Christian order in the world, he enjoys watching soccer, dancing the tango, and riding the bus.
Please welcome the newest member of our editorial team, Tim The Car Expert, an automotive blogger who brings his weeks of experience to Autoblopnik.com.
2015 Honda Civic review
Hand Him Some Celery, Virginia, And Maybe He’ll Go Away
There are some cars that fill you with awe at their power, speed and beauty.
There are some cars that impress you with a sense of purpose.
There are some cars that remind you that the creation of the automobile need not be a science, but can be elevated to an art.
But rare—so very, very rare—are cars that do all three.
This is one of those cars.
This is the Honda Civic Sedan.
Let’s start with the styling: The sinewy sheetmetal of the sultry Civic cannot fail to impress. It is simple, stoic, and strong.
“Fear not the dark or the drunk,” the Honda Civic seems to say, “for I will deliver you to your destination in style, comfort, and impressive fuel economy that is among the best in its class.”
Every crease, every line, every detail seems as if it was placed with precise purpose. Headlights, side mirrors, door handles—everything that adorns this car appears as if it was put there for a reason.
Even the chrome strip on the grille, which could reflect a life-saving glint of sunlight into the eyes of a squirrel with faulty peripheral vision, stopping it from making a suicidal attempt to cross the highway.
Inside, the Civic impresses with that same sense of purpose. Running one’s hands over the plastics that make up this ergonomically excellent cabin, one cannot fail to be impressed.
Take, for example, the seats, a detail to which few reviewers pay adequate attention. They are impressively sized to accommodate any driver, from the delicate derriere of a debutante to the ample ass of an aebleskiver aficionado.
Said seats are upholstered in a slick-looking fabric that serves as an ode to the achievements of the mechanized textile industry.
No less impressive is the Civic’s dashboard, designed so intuitively as to make every driver’s wish come true.
Whatever it is you want to do—turn on the headlights, open the window, make the car turn left—Honda has thoughtfully provided a button, switch, or other ergonomically sound control to turn your desire into cold, hard reality.
And as for the touch-screen stereo, we can come up with no better description than Honda’s own, when it says “the next generation of connected-car technology to meet the evolving needs of today’s tech-savvy, always-connected consumers (Continued next page)”.
We couldn’t figure out how to make it play anything other than the the Cool Canadian Christian Jazz station on SiriusXM, but we’re sure that’s nothing an evening or two spent perusing the owner’s manual couldn’t fix.
Such impressive technology extends under the Civic’s smooth steel bonnet, where you’ll find a 1.8 liter cross-webbed aluminum engine with a billet-peened crankshaft, iron-boron sintered connecting rod caps, and a dual-mode wet-offset gear-loaded variable valve timing system that actuates sodium-nitrate valves through a locked-fulcrum swing-rocker assembly with pre-lubed clerestory washers at the #5, #7, and #13 relief port positions.
With such impressive hardware, it’s no surprise that this engine develops 143 horsepower at 6500 RPM.
Or that it makes 129 lb-ft of torque at 4300 RPM.
And gets 39 MPG on the highway when equipped with a CVT.
Acceleration from this flexible family sedan can only be described as quick, strong, smooth, impressive, sprightly, urgent, pulse-quickening, and more than adequate.
On the mean streets near my parents’ house in Valencia, California, we were easily able to cruise at velocities 50% higher than the city speed limit of 30 MPH, the Civic showing no signs of stress or strain.
A quick run through our own secret test track revealed impressive cornering ability. Ignoring the yellow warning signs urging us not to take the onramp at anything more than 35 MPH, we blew through it in the Civic at an eye-watering 42, with only a hint of understeer and nary a squeal of protest from the P195/65R15 Michelin Energy tires that shod its slick 15″ steel wheels.
A far more impressive performance than the 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt that serves as our daily driver.
Our only complaint about the Honda Civic is the CVT transmission. There is no question in our mind that as impressive as it is, the Civic would be even better with a manual gearbox. While we understand that not everyone can row their own gears, automatics suck. An automaker as impressive as Honda ought to know this. So why no paddle shifters?
But this is only the most minor of minor faults, and after fifteen minutes of intense driving, we came away incredibly impressed by the sheer brilliance of the Honda Civic, available at excellent car dealers like Farding Honda of Valencia, California, Where everyone is treated like a star because Farding Honda is where the stars come to buy their Hondas. (Tim The Car Expert does not endorse any individual dealership.)
If you are looking for a safe, impressive, commodious family sedan, a car that feels just as much at home on a quick grocery run as it does on a cross-country jaunt from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon, you can do no better than the 2015 Honda Civic.
Drive one and we guarantee you will be impressed.
Tim The Car Expert wishes to thank Constance Farding at Farding Honda for letting us test drive the 2015 Honda Civic. You can see more of Tim’s work at TimTheCarExpert.wordpress.com.
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