Author - Byron Hurd

Road Tested: 2013 Scion FR-S

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Lead photo courtesy of Scion. Other photos by the author.

I’m writing this only six weeks after driving the FR-S, but it feels like it’s already years too late. Thanks to the wonders of Web 2.0, the FR-S was old before it even debuted. Like the Nissan GT-R and the new Chevy Camaro before it, Toyota and Subaru’s joint project came in riding a wave of hype that would shame a lot of west-coast beakers, fueled by daily speculation and rumor seeping out from the innumerable followers of thousands of automotive forums and outlets.

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Speed Read: Kia Sorento SX AWD

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Photos courtesy of Kia

I’ve dedicated a lot of thought (and blog space) to Kia and Hyundai over the last couple of years. It occurred to me while retrieving those stories that it’s unusual for me to cover a single Korean vehicle in a review—a failing that I intend to make up for.

This is not the first time I’ve driven a Sorento, but it is the first time I’ve dedicated a review to it, and that’s not really fair. For one thing, the Sorento is a good car, easily as good as the Journey that I referred to in my Genesis Coupe story above. But more than that, driving a Sorento convinced me that Kia was the real deal.

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Mazda: Embracing the 2%

Photos by Mazda. 

This was supposed to be a “Speed Read” featuring Mazda’s new CX-5 crossover, and then it was going to be a two-part Speed Read so that I could include a new SKYACTIV-equipped Mazda3i Touring 5-Door. Instead, after reflecting on a long weekend with Mazda at the Baltimore Grand Prix, I’m going to use this space to talk a little more about the company whose support for automotive enthusiasts cannot possibly be overstated.

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Driven: 2013 Audi A8 L 4.0T

Photos courtesy of Audi

In Washington, D.C., a stoplight on Independence Avenue is more than just a traffic control device. It’s a choke point–a security checkpoint–but normally, you don’t get asked for your papers. Normally.

This has occurred to me before, but wasn’t on my mind as I sat at the traffic light at Independence and 2nd Street Northeast in Capitol Hill. In fact, despite the presence of a D.C. metro cop in my rear-view mirror, it wasn’t anywhere on my list of concerns. The police presence in D.C. is so ubiquitous these days that I rarely give the various law enforcement and paramilitary organizations a second thought. I’ve only been working downtown for five years, but it’s long enough to become used to seeing M16-equipped officers standing on the sidewalk.

So as I eased away from the stoplight and my mirrors lit up with red and blue, my first instinct was to simply move out of the way. I slipped into the right lane and slowed to allow the officer to pass, but when I glanced in the side-view to monitor his progress, I was greeted by the glare of a mirror-mounted spotlight. Hmmm. I know how this story ends.

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Road Tested: 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 R-Spec

 

Genesis Coupe photos courtesy of Hyundai. Comparison photos by the Author.

For the enthusiast buyer, the introduction of the Genesis Coupe was a watershed moment for Hyundai. The closest the company had previously come to building a true fun car was the Tiburon, a front-wheel drive compact coupe whose drivetrain options were straight out of the 1990s. The Tiburon would have been right at home in the company of the Ford Probe, Mazda MX-6, Mercury Cougar and, if you like things a bit more exotic, the Alfa Romeo GTV. However, in the world of 370Zs and 300hp V6 pony cars, Hyundai’s oddly-sculpted shark just didn’t have teeth.

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Driven: 2013 Porsche Panamera GTS

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Photos by the author

To say the Panamera has been a controversial car for Porsche would be underselling it. If you look back, it represents the culmination of everything hardcore 911 purists declare to be anathema. It’s water-cooled, it’s front-engined, it’s V8-powered, and it comes with four doors and a nigh-on-endless order sheet littered with luxury-oriented features. If your litmus test for what should be available on a Porsche goes no further than “will it make it faster?” then your hostility is not unexpected. But don’t make the mistake of assuming the Panamera lacks performance features. Far from it, but they’re only a piece of the bigger package.

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