Here in southern California the car culture “industry” circle is somewhat small. What that really means is eventually, certain people will stand out and they’ll be that person that everyone knows in one way or another. Antonio Alvendia is one of those people. Ever since I started attending events in a professional capacity I could almost count on seeing Antonio there with his camera (or cameras) chatting it up with everyone (especially the models *wink*) and making friends.
The guy has pretty much been a staple of the industry and the culture around here for a while and his career demonstrates it. However, if there is one defining characteristic about Antonio its his love for the AE86 Toyota Corolla/Trueno/Levin/Sprinter/Hachi-Roku, whatever you want to call it, its his obsession. The man owns five of them for god’s sake!
In the latest episode of Petrolicious Antonio explains his love for the AE86 and how the car is possibly responsible for his entire career. He speaks a little about some of the land marks in his career history like helping to start a certain website owned by EA games, to the formation of his current site MotorMavens.com, to the birth of 86 Fest. Its a great episode and worth checking out if you want a little background on one of the most well known AE86 lovers in the country. Check out the episode below.
This past weekend, it was hot in California. Like…seriously hot… I’m talking triple digits here. Do you know what Californians do when temperatures hit triple digits? They stay their asses at home, that’s what! They move as little as possible unless it involves getting into a cool body of water. However, for some there are exceptions. There are instances in which a person can listen to their local weather person plead with them to stay inside and yet still decide to leave the house. For people like me, one of those exceptions is the annual Nisei Week Showoff.
If you’re truly an import car enthusiast and you live anywhere in the vicinity of Southern California then you know that the Nisei Showoff is easily one of the top car shows of the year. In the last few years Mainstream Production’s Showoff has increased even further in quality due to their partnering up with StanceNation. As such, I (and hundreds of others) braved the relentless heat to make the trip out to Little Tokyo in Los Angeles for this year’s StanceNation x Nisei Showoff.
As per usual, the quality of cars on hand did not disappoint! The show was stacked as always and what was even more delightful is that there were plenty of cars there that I haven’t already seen at other shows that took place earlier this year. There was a small issue though; and this issue is totally on me and not the show production.
See, Ken Miyoshi (the godfather of Import Showoff) is a smart guy; and smart guys have foresight. Typically, Nisei Showoff is held in an out door parking lot in the middle of Little Tokyo. Ken, (again using foresight) figured that with a record heat wave attacking the city; that spot may not be the best place for the show this year. So, he moved the venue to an (mostly) underground parking garage. The first level was still in the daylight but the further you went into the show the farther away you got from that giant nuclear reactor in the sky we call the sun. It was a brilliant idea and likely saved many a back from sunburn. However, due to the constant fluctuation in lighting conditions it made taking pictures a bit tricky. As a result my gallery is a bit lighter (in number) than usual. However, this is not me saying that having the show at this location was a bad idea. Quite the contrary. This was a damn smart move. I just wasn’t quite prepared for it as I should have been so for that I apologize. Despite that though I still feel that I did a pretty good job of capturing the best cars there.
With that said, feel free to scroll down and check out the 100 image gallery below. Also, if you’ve never been I would highly recommend going to Nisei Showoff next year! Yes, it will probably be hot but I promise you that if you like import cars and the like as much as I do then it is totally worth it! Thanks to Ken Miyoshi, Mainstream Productions, and StanceNation for inviting me out once again. Ok now stop reading and check out the pics below!
What is better than a car show with tons of cars, vendors giving away free stuff, and 5 car wide drifting exhibitions? A car show that has all that stuff and is also completely free to get in! That is exactly what Nitto Tire did for a second time at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA. Despite the heat, tons of people came out to enjoy the cars, drifting, and wait in line to buy some BBQ. It was all in good fun! I paid a short visit myself to check out some of the talent on deck and it was pretty sweet. Check out the full gallery below and if you missed out on Auto Enthusiast Day this year make a note for next year! Its hard to not recommend a free car show!
Racing games have gotten more and more realistic over time. Games like Gran Turismo, Forza Motorsport and Project CARS have all aimed to get as close as possible to bringing a real driving and racing experience home. However, as realistic as these games are they can only go so far into replicating the true experience. It doesn’t matter how awesome Forza Motorsport looks, if you’re playing it sitting on your couch holding a controller it just isn’t going to measure up as well to the real thing.
There are other ways to further enhance the experience such as using a racing wheel peripheral rather can a controller. One could also make use of a rig such as the type sold by our friends at Playseat Racing. A wheel and a proper seat rig can really take the experience that extra step to really make players feel like they are racing. Although, if you have the desire (and the money) you can take it even further than that.
That is where the TL3 Racing Simulator Pod comes in. As the name suggests, the TL3 is a full-sized simulator made specifically to re-create the racing experience as realistically as possible. The TL3 pod features a 200 degree wrap around 6 million pixel seamless screen so that users can look full left or full right and be completely surrounded by the virtual cockpit and racing environment. The seat in the TL3 can be adjusted to different positions depending on the type of racing involved (more upright for rally and GT racing and more of a horizontal position for open wheel racing) and moves on 3 axis’s hence the “3” in the TL3’s name.
It comes with a powerful PC to run its racing simulator as smoothly as possible and also comes with a high end racing wheel peripheral with realistic pedals to make the experience that much better. The makers of the TL3 really wanted to make sure they were as accurate as possible. In fact they even worked with an F1 team to develop the TL3 and many customers of the TL3 are professional drivers who wish to hone their skills at home.
So, how much does a set up like this go for? The TL3 retails for about 34,995 British Pounds which is about $54,000 in the good ol’ USA. The TL3 is definitely not cheap. There are stripped down versions that can be had for less money though. There is a TL2 (seat moves on two axis’s) and the 200 series which has a more stripped down exterior. Both of the aforementioned units can be had for less money. Although, if I could afford it I’d definitely go for the flagship TL3.
How about you? Would you fork over $54k for the TL3? Do you think its worth it or a complete waste of cash? Let us know in the comments or tweet to us at @MotorworldHype. If you want to see how the TL3 works check out the official video below.
Codemasters F1 2015 is coming out soon and we are definitely excited for it. We had a taste of it at E3 2015 last month and while it was just a short experience we enjoyed it. Now, it is obviously still possible that once the full game comes out there may be a pile of things we hate about it. But, that seems unlikely at this point. Today, just before the British Grand Prix weekend Codemasters has released a new trailer which lists off some of F1 2015’s game modes and features as well as demonstrates the kind of imagery their new game engine can muster. They also released some in-game Silverstone screen shots as well. Check out the trailer and the screen shot gallery below!
Sometimes people imagine things that make perfect sense and yet do not actually exist in any official capacity. Why isn’t there a telephone booth that doubles as a time machine? Why isn’t there a high-tech suit of armor that allows the wearer to fly and fight evil along side other super heroes? Why hasn’t Mazda actually built an MX-5 roaster with a rotary engine? While not always the case, sometimes imagination and ingenuity can provide tangible solutions to those questions. Surely if necessity is the mother of invention then imagination must be its father, yes?
Anyhow the point I’m getting to is that sometimes if someone else doesn’t make the thing you want, then you can make it yourself. That is exactly what Japanese tuner FEED did with the Mazda MX-5. Considered by many to be a near perfect car when it comes to power and balance, some felt that it was missing one essential ingredient to actually make it so: a rotary engine. For some mysterious reason Mazda never saw it fit to equip their peppy roadster with their tri-point engine. Thus, FEED did it themselves and with quite successful results. In the video below, Japanese drifting legend and accomplished circuit racer Nobuteru “N.O.B.” Taniguchi pilots the FEED Rotary MX-5 in an all Roadster battle. The video is just a taste but its a tasty taste. While just an excerpt from Hot Version Vol 127, the full video can be digitally rented or purchased. In the meantime, I suggest checking out the preview!
If you are into racing games, and I mean like really into them, then you likely know the name Fanatec. If you know the name Fanatec then you know what they do; which is make high quality racing wheel peripherals for PC and consoles. If you know all that then you also know that Fanatec wheels aren’t cheap! Because of their, well let’s just say “premium” pricing, buying a Fanatec wheel can be considered more of an investment than anything else.
Having said that one could imagine how bummed out Fanatec owners were two years ago when they realized their Fanatec wheels would not work on Xbox One. Fast forward to E3 2015 and a few things have changed. Fanatec worked closely with Microsoft and worked out a solution. It is a pricy solution but a solution nonetheless. The Fanatec Club Sport V2 wheel base is the flag ship product from the brand and is meant for the most serious of sim racers on console or PC. It has the best of the best components inside it and features a design that allows for using various wheel rims via a quick-release hub.
Fanatec has created a special Xbox One compatible hub that attaches to the Club Sport V2 wheel base! Yay! This is great news for those who already own the $600 Club Sport V2 base and $299 Club Sport pedals. Xbox One compatibility is merely an extra $399 away which the purchase of a Club Sport GT steering wheel which comes with the special Xbox One hub. However, those who don’t already own the wheel base are looking at a roughly $1,300 total price tag. Just for reference that is more than three times the price of a current gaming console or about equal the price of a nicely equipped gaming PC.
$1,300 bucks is a lot money. Is it worth it? Well that all just depends on how much one cares about sim racing and quality of sim racing products. I had a chance to use the new Xbox One GT steering wheel at E3 and did a quick video on my thoughts on the brief user experience I had with Fanatec’s latest. Check it out below. If you want to drop the cash for this set up just visit Fanatec.com to order the Club Sport V2 wheel base and Pedals. However, the Xbox One wheel/hub will not be available until August 31st, 2015 so you’ll have to wait on that part. While a two month wait sucks, that is still plenty of time before Forza Motorsport 6’s release date (September 15th, 2015).
I got to play plenty of racing games at E3 this year but the game I was really looking forward to getting my hands on was the new F1 game from Codemasters. F1 2015is the first Codemasters F1 game on the new crop of gaming consoles (PlayStation 4, Xbox One). Not to say that the previous F1 games haven’t been awesome but I always knew that if they had a more powerful console at their disposal the team could really create something cool. So, how is it looking so far? Check out my gameplay impression as well as a quick interview with Mr. Lee Mather who is the Principal Game designer for F1 2015. You can also click the thumbnails for HD screen shots!
Relatively speaking, I haven’t been an automotive journalist for that long. Despite that fact I have had a chance to do some amazing things and meet some incredible people. Although I couldn’t say that I sat down with a direct descendant of a actual automotive legend, until now! During the Forza Motorsport 6 preview event the team at Turn 10 not only wanted to celebrate the debut of the game but also highlight their partnership with Ford as the new Ford GT will be the official Forza 6 cover car.
I was told before the event that a “representative from Ford” would be on hand to answer any questions about the partnership or the Ford GT (which was also there). What I wasn’t told is that the Ford rep they were speaking off was actually Henry Ford III. Yes that Henry Ford! Crazy right?! After I let the automotive history nerd in me settle down I actually got to sit down with Henry and have a quick discussion about the Ford GT. He takes on questions such as how the Forza team partnership with the Ford GT began, where they see the Ford GT fitting in the market, and a few other questions about engineering and design choices. Check it out below!
As per usual in southern California, the weather over the weekend was pretty nice. In fact it was perfect car show weather which is why we were so glad that WekFest“LA” just happened to be going on in our backyard during the weekend as well. Once again in the shadow of the Queen Mary at the Long Beach Harbor hundreds of top notch builds slowly rolled in to fill the Queen Mary Events Park for the annual WekFest event.
This is one of the must-attend events of the year if you are a part of the so cal car scene as some of the best builds only come out for this event or debut re-freshes and major changes. The car count seemed a little bit lower than last year but don’t quote me on that. Either way despite the actual number of cars the quality was definitely way up. What really surprised me was the amount of Hondas on display. There are always at least a few top shelf Honda’s at WekFest but this year the Honda servings were particularly generous. While the number of Hondas this year seemed to go up there seemed to be a decline in the amount of “VIP style” cars in attendance. Not sure if that means there is a change in the trend or if maybe it was just a coincidence. Either way they were missed as we love those builds just as much as anything else.
All in all though the event was great. It also attracted a very big crowd. It didn’t take long for the “official” parking lot to reach capacity, forcing many attendees to park in downtown Long Beach and take a tram back to the show! Ironic isn’t it? If nothing else that is a message to all who will attend next year to show up early and guarantee yourself a parking spot.
Anyhow enough words! To see the full gallery in all its glory then simply scroll below. FYI it is a facebook-based gallery so you’ll need to be logged into your account to view it but soon we will provide links to a Google gallery as well.