Category - Speed:Sport:Life Original Content

Racer Boy: Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car – Run What You Brung

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Photos by Saroja Raman

So you finally got yourself a little hot rod in your driveway and you have been telling everyone who will listen to you in any random Starbucks parking lot that your car is fast. You quote the zero-to-sixty times from statistics which you memorized from the internet and just like Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon, you’ve “made a few modifications” yourself to improve the car’s performance. You know deep down in your hot rodder heart that if you were given the opportunity to compete with your machine of speed you would crush all of the other fools on your favorite car forum. The Optima Search for the Ultimate Street Car is just the place for a guy like you with a fast street car to show those bench racing keyboard jockeys that your car is truly legit!

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Speed Read: 2015 Nissan Juke NISMO RS

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I generally liked the Juke NISMO when I drove it two years ago. I found it to be a plucky, and quirky, entry into a field of vehicles that are by definition fairly quirky – namely city cars like the Fiat 500, Mini Cooper and Hyundai Veloster. Though not quite up to the task of taking on high-performance hot hatches such as the Ford Focus ST or Volkswagen GTI, it does strike a unique balance as a pseudo-crossover/warm hatch. Last year, Nissan upped the ante with an RS version, bringing in more power and a sharper chassis but keeping the same pumped-up puffer fish looks and aero additions from the regular NISMO model.

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Driven: 2015 Chevy Colorado Z71

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When Chevy announced that it would bring a version of the “rest-of-world” Colorado midsize pickup to the US market in 2013, it was a move that could be labelled as either foolhardy or a no-brainer. On the foolhardy end of the scale, how would Chevrolet (and GMC) take on the juggernaut Toyota Tacoma, which has dominated the compact and midsize pickup segment so completely that all other players vacated the field long ago, save the Nissan Frontier, which soldiers on propelled only by its maker’s pride. On the other hand, the tooling for the Colorado was already done, more or less; this vehicle has been built and sold in Asia and South America for the last three years. Why not refresh it for the North American market, up the feature content, and do battle with the likes of Toyota? GM obviously went with the latter decision, and the truck that resulted is pictured here.

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Driven: 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT 392

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Regular readers will have noticed by now that there is a general preponderance of Dodge Charger and Challenger models featured on our site…this is no mere coincidence. We at Speed:Sport:Life are huge fans of the breed in general – that is, torque-heavy, rear-wheel-driven, throwback American muscle cars. Dodge makes some of the absolute best cars in the business right now at fitting that exact criteria, and as long as they keep making them, we’re happy to keep driving them. The SRT 392 that recently spent a week with me is a perfect example of what makes the model so great.

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Driven: 2015.5 Volvo V60 T6 R-Design

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It wasn’t so long ago that you could choose a dealership from a range of makes, walk in and plunk down money for a fast station wagon. Sure, it might cost you a bit, but the options were there. Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Cadillac, even Dodge, have offered big engines in five door bodies in recent years. Today, short of the $104,000 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG wagon and any number of crossovers, your options are limited – to this car: the Volvo V60 T6 R-Design. They say competition breeds excellence, so what happens when then there’s a near-complete dearth of it? Read on to find out.

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