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Niky Tamayo

An American ex-patriate living in Asia, Niky is fond of the smell of burning rubber, boiling brake fluid and long walks on the beach.

By on September 12, 2012

The absolute nadir (Nader?) of Suzuki in America was when Consumer Reports announced to the world that OMG, tall and narrow off-roaders do roll over. The fallout of this scandal would taint the image of the Suzuki Samurai forever in the American market, and ensured that the later, ironically more stable, Suzuki Jimny, never made it across the pond.

It’s a crying shame, because the Jimny is the Mazda Miata of the off-road world. (Read More…)

By on May 9, 2012

Jack Baruth’s proposal to grade cars by their ability to hit 80 miles an hour may have some merit in the land of Cheeseburgers and V8s, but it represents a conundrum for those of us who can hardly get to 80 mph. Case for the defense: the new Hyundai Eon, sold (so far) only in […]

By on August 12, 2011

If you have a pulse and a willful ignorance of the local speed limit, you’re probably not interested in the Chevrolet Spark. If you’re a media-savvy hipster who’s on Facebook sixteen hours a day, you’re probably not interested in the Spark, either. If you’re a techno-geek or an eco-geek, you’re probably still not interested in the Chevrolet […]

By on March 3, 2010

For a reviewer, getting handed a car with delivery miles on the odometer is an instant promotion to tribal shaman. You’re given a quick pat on the back before being shoved into a hut with the village’s prettiest virgin. Needless to say, this privilege comes with the sacred duty of keeping the virgin in tip-top […]

By on May 16, 2009

Before landing a part-time gig as an automotive test monkey, I cut my teeth driving virtual cars on Gran Turismo 4 (GT4). Developer Polyphony Digital’s attention to detail was startling. You could/can feel subtle differences between ostensibly similar cars, such as an ’89 and a ’93 Mazda Miata (hint: chassis rigidity on the older car sucks). Sure, GT4’s artificial intelligence was a joke. And the lack of damage was mildly disappointing. But it was a great game, except for the understeer . . . the terminal bloody understeer.

(Read More…)

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