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2018 MAZDA 3 HATCHBACK DESIGN REVIEW – FIREBALL MALIBU VLOG 812 – After seeing a Private Screening of Hotel Transylvania 3, Fireball does the 2018 Mazda 3 design thing. WATCH!

This is the 168hp 2019 TOYOTA COROLLA HATCHBACK…

Click here if you don’t see the photos…


2017 CHEVY CRUZE HATCHBACK ARRIVES! – FIREBALL MALIBU VLOG 667 – Among the beach swims and cleanups, Chevy sends Fireball the all-new 2017 Chevy Cruze Hatchback in red hot! Plus, so great Inspiration.

From WIKI… The Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback is a small car that has been made by General Motors since 2008.

The nameplate has been used previously in Japan, for a version of a subcompact hatchback car produced under a joint venture with Suzuki from 2001 to 2007, and was based on the Suzuki Ignis.

Since 2009, the Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback nameplate has designated a globally developed, designed, and manufactured four-door compact sedan—complemented by a five-door hatchback body variant from 2011, and a station wagon in 2012.

The Cruze was actually released earlier in 2008 to the South Korean market under the name Daewoo Lacetti Premiere until the phasing out of the Daewoo brand in favor of Chevrolet in 2011.

In Australasia, the model has been on sale since 2009 as the Holden Cruze.

This new generation Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback does not serve as a replacement for the Suzuki-derived Japanese market predecessor.

Instead, it replaces three other compact models: the Chevrolet Optra sold internationally under various names (such as the Suzuki Forenza in North America, Chevrolet Optra in Latin America, Chevrolet/Daewoo Lacetti in Europe and Asia)…

…the Chevrolet Cobalt, sold exclusively in North America, and the Opel-sourced, Australasian-market Holden Astra (later returning in 2012 briefly as an Opel until the next year, and again in 2015 as a Holden).


FULLY RESTORED 1970 OPEL GT – FIREBALL MALIBU VLOG 741 – Fireball tours Southern California, exploring Car Culture among English Cars, Metropolitans, Concept Cars and more. Visiting Sports Car Classics, he spots a 1970 Opel GT.

The Opel GT is a front-engine, rear-drive two-seat sports car manufactured and marketed by Opel in two generations — separated by a 34-year hiatus.

The first generation Opel GT (1968-1973) debuted as a styling exercise in 1965 at the Paris and Frankfurt motor shows.

The production vehicle used mechanical components from the contemporary Opel Kadett B and two-door hard top bodywork by French contractor Brissonneau & Lotz.

The styling of the 1970 Opel GT was often cited as similar to the 1968 Chevrolet Corvette which went on sale in September 1967.

The Opel GT was equipped with a base 1.1 L OHV straight-4 engine, which produced 67 hp (SAE) at 6,000 rpm.

However, most buyers chose an optional 1.9 L camshaft in head engine, which produced 102 hp (SAE) at 5200 to 5400 rpm. Some of the early 1968 models also came with a slightly higher compression “H” code cylinder head.

In 1971, due to emissions regulations, Opel reduced the compression ratio of the 1.9 L engine used in the US and output fell to 83 hp (SAE). There was also a GT/J model, which was a less expensive version of the 1900-engined GT which was sold only in Europe.

Standard transmission was a manual four-speed. A three-speed automatic was available with the 1.9 L engine. The model run of the Opel GT was from 1968 to 1973. The Opel GT uses a steel unibody and a conventional front-engined, rear-wheel drive layout.

The engine is mounted far back in the chassis to improve weight distribution. Front suspension consists of upper A-arms and a lower transverse leaf spring. A live axle and coil springs are used in the rear.

The power-assisted braking system uses discs in the front, drums in the rear. Steering is unassisted. One unusual feature of the Opel GT is the operation of the pop-up headlights.

They are manually operated, by way of a large lever along the center console next to the shifter. Unlike most pop-up headlights, they both rotate in the same direction (counterclockwise from inside the car) about a longitudinal axis.

One standard joke about GT owners was that you can easily spot them due to the heavy muscles on their right arm built up by using the lever to pop up the headlights. Designed by Opel Stylist Erhard Schnell, the Opel GT is a fastback, that has neither an externally accessible trunk nor a conventional hatchback.

There is a parcel shelf behind the seats that can only be accessed through the main doors. Behind the parcel shelf is a fold-up panel that conceals a spare tire and jack.

The interior of the Opel GT is surprisingly large for a car of its size, owing to its original design process (exterior metal was sculpted around an interior model).

Headroom and legroom are sufficient for those over 6 feet (1.83 m) tall.

During 1968 to 1973, a total of 103,463 cars were sold. The most collectable GTs are probably the first few hundred cars hand-assembled in 1968 and the 1968–1970 models with the 1.1 L engine, which totaled out at 3,573 cars.

Of the later cars 10,760 were the cheaper model (GT/J), which lacked nearly all chrome parts and offered fewer standard features.

In some markets, items like a limited slip differential, front and rear anti-sway bars, heated rear window, and engine bay light were standard, although most cars were shipped without them.


Fireball rarely gets SWEDISH CARS… so in honor of tomorrow’s incoming Vlog (which is a sick Swedish Wagon!), here’s a playlist of the best sexy swedes from the past. DO IT!

And check out today’s RIDE! A 1969 SAAB SONETT!

It’s rare when you get to salivate over a Swedish classic. And if you didn’t know I was talking about a car, this first line would really catch your attention. But, since it is a car — in fact a 1969 Saab Sonett owned by Farhad Fozounmayeh — you’re in for a treat. Welcome to today’s VLOGROCKET.

Overseeing the West Coast ad operations for “Time” magazine and TIME.com, Farhad has a very detailed job. And you’d think that he’d be the kind of guy that would want a detail-oriented car. But this lil’ Swedish wonder is actually very simple.

When we met at the bluffs to shoot the car, I got a chance to see the simplicity of its V4 motor which put out a whopping 60 horsepower. For it’s near original state, the car was relaxed and exuded a type of driving excitement that really just meant pure fun.

We weren’t going to drive fast, race around corners or launch off the line. All we did was putt up PCH to get a photo.

But doing just that in this car was like stepping into an original Corgi toy. It was so simple that you could say, like a kid, “Wow, the doors and bonnet actually open!”

“I’ve had the Sonett for about a year,” Farhad said. “It turned out to be a family heirloom. My dad, who is also a car fanatic, passed it on to me and I look forward to someday giving it to my kids.”

But why this car?

“I love rare and unique cars. This one has an interesting history and has made some history. Only a little more than 600 were ever made for this model year. One of the first cars to have 3-pt seat belts, a roll bar and high back seats to prevent whiplash.”

Yeah, that’s just what I’d want in my toys if I were a kid. Can you see the packaging? “Real life-like roll bar and action seats!” So cool.

This car is so quirky and there are a lot of unique things about it like the hood being the entire front half and having an offset bulge or the “faux hatchback.” Basically, no hatchback but a small door like a cupboard. Funky. You could slide your surfboard in there if it was three feet long. 

“The best part is that it’s the ultimate conversation piece,” Farhad said. “Most vintage or classics people are familiar with … They take a look, have a few comments and move on. With the Sonett model — especially the 67-69 models — most people have never seen or even heard of it.

Ninety five percent of people come up asking, ‘What in the world is this thing?’ The other 5 percent have never seen one and only know about it through magazines or books. Met some good people and have had many fun conversations.”

Farhad has a blast with this bugger on weekend drives in Malibu because, from Oxnard to Santa Monica, (the best order to do it) “It’s hands down, the best strip to cruise on earth.”

I’d agree 100 percent. But there’s one thing I’d add. The joy of driving this car pales in comparison to the joy it brings others as it cruises by. Not knowing what it is stirs up a positive curiosity and desire to hear a story.

And the stories are truly the essence of driving. 

And lastly, although Farhad’s Sonett is simple, his taste in movie cars is a little more technical, being James Bond’s Lotus Turbo Esprit. 

“My dad was a huge Bond fan so I saw all the 007 films growing up. These were the Roger Moore years (my favorite Bond) and he had a couple of different versions of the Esprit through his films (my favorite model was in ‘For Your Eyes Only’).

But they were all great and I loved the design.”

Like I said, it’s the stories. What’s yours?

Congrats, Farhad. You and your super cool Saab are this week’s Ride of the Week!

Do you want to be featured VLOGROCKET? Let him know what you’ve got askfireball@fireballtim.com!



2017 HYUNDAI IONIQ ELECTRIC CAR!- FIREBALL MALIBU VLOG 657 – Tons of stuff including LOWRIDERS at The Petersen Museum and the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq Electric Car.

From WIKI…The 2017 Hyundai IONIQ Electric Car is a mid-size hatchback hybrid. It was announced officially in 2016 at the Geneva Motor Show. The 2017 Hyundai IONIQ Electric Car comes in three different options: the Hybrid, the Plug-in Hybrid, and the Electric.

Hyundai is intending for the Ioniq to compete with the Toyota Prius.

At the 2017 Washington Auto Show, Hyundai USA announced the hybrid Ioniq and 2017 Hyundai IONIQ Electric Car will go on sale in the USA by April 1, 2017.

The plug-in hybrid version of the Ioniq is set to go on sale on September 1, 2017. Each of the three models will be available nationwide, but not every Hyundai dealership will be selling them.

The electric motor found in the 2017 Hyundai IONIQ Electric Car has 295 Nm of torque and rated at 88kW. The Ioniq EV motor in sport mode can accelerate from 0 to 62mph in 9.9 seconds. In normal mode, it can go from 0 to 62mph in 10.2 seconds.

The Ioniq Electric has a 28 kWh lithium-polymer battery pack that gives the EV a city range of 135 miles, a highway range of 110 miles, and an overall EPA rated combined EV range of 124 miles.

The overall efficiency is rated at 136 MPGe, compared to the competing Toyota Prius which sits at 133MPGe.

Drivers choosing the IONIQ Plug-in can safely rely on over 50 kilometres of estimated pure electric driving range powered by the potent 8.9 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery.

The IONIQ Electric offers pure e-mobility through a 28 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery for an estimated range of over 250 km. The battery pack takes about 4 hours to charge with a level 2 fast charger.


DO THIS IN THE 2017 HYUNDAI IONIQ EV – FIREBALL MALIBU VLOG 654 – The 2017 Hyundai Ionic EV arrives and Fireball grabs the crew for some watering hole and leaping goodness at Malibu Creek State Park.

From WIKI… The 2017 HYUNDAI IONIQ EV is a Compact five-door hatchback manufactured and marketed by Hyundai in hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric variants. The nameplate Ioniq is a portmanteau of ion and unique.

The 2017 HYUNDAI IONIQ EV debuted in South Korea in January 2016. with the three variants debuting at 2016 Geneva and New York auto shows.

The 2017 HYUNDAI IONIQ EV variant launched in its home market in February 2016, followed by the electric model in July 2016. During its first one-year period in the market, global sales of the 2017 HYUNDAI IONIQ EV nameplate totaled 31,165 units, consisting of 24,350 conventional hybrids, 6,797 units of the pure electric variant, and 18 plug-in hybrids.

At the 2017 Washington Auto Show, Hyundai announced the hybrid and 2017 HYUNDAI IONIQ EV versions would go on sale in North America by April 1, 2017.

The plug-in hybrid version will follow in September, 2017. Each 2017 HYUNDAI IONIQ EV variant will be sold in all 50 states, but it will not be available in all Hyundai dealerships.

As of late 2016, the model year 2017 HYUNDAI IONIQ EV became the EPA’s most efficient vehicle — including all model years and all fuel types — with a rated fuel economy of 136 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent

The 2017 HYUNDAI IONIQ EV is one of Hyundai’s entries into the expanding hybrid car market competing with the Toyota Prius.

Sharing the same powertrain with the Kia Niro hybrid crossover, the Ioniq is powered by a 1.6-liter Kappa four cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine with 40% thermal efficiency capable of delivering 78 kW (105 hp) and an estimated 109 lb·ft (148 N·m) of torque.

This engine has been specifically tailored to the hybrid application and is combined with a shifting six-speed dual-clutch transmission. Like many hybrids and electric cars, neither the 2017 HYUNDAI IONIQ EV nor Electric are suitable for towing a trailer.


2017 FIAT 500 ABARTH TURBO GO KART! – FIREBALL MALIBU VLOG 650. Fireball and Kathie scoot around town in the all-new 2017 Fiat 500 Abarth Turbo Go Kart! Who knew you could have so much fun with your top off?

WIKI… The Fiat 500 Abarth is a two-door, four-passenger, transverse front-engine, front wheel drive A-segment city car manufactured and marketed by the Fiat subdivision of FCA since 2007 in hatchback coupé and fixed-profile cabriolet body styles, over a single generation —

…and available in European markets beginning with model year 2016 with its first facelift. The Fiat 500 Abarth is internally designated as the Type 312 by FCA. Fiat 500 Abarth

Derived from the 2004 Fiat Trepiùno 3+1 concept (designed by Roberto Giolito), the 500’s styling recalls Fiat’s original 1957 Fiat 500, nicknamed the Bambino —

…a model that was designed and engineered by Dante Giacosa with more than 4 million sold over its 18-year (1957-1975) production span. Fiat 500 Abarth

Translated from concept to production design under the design direction of Frank Stephenson, the Fiat 500 Abarth features Dante Giacosa’s 1964 breakthrough front-wheel drive breakthrough layout —

…which ultimately became an industry standard, the layout “adopted by virtually every other manufacturer in the world” for front-wheel drive. Fiat 500 Abarth

The Fiat 500 Abarth uses Fiat’s Multiair hydraulically actuated variable valve timing (VVT) engine technology, winner of the 2010 International Engine of the Year as well as Popular Science’s Best of What’s New.

Announced on May 5, 2006, photographs of the Fiat 500 Abarth were presented on March 20, 2007, officially debuting on July 4, 2007, with 250,000 people in attendance and with new models prominently displayed in 30 Italian cities.

Manufactured in Tychy, Poland and Toluca, Mexico, the Fiat 500 Abarth is marketed in more than 100 countries worldwide, including North America, where the Fiat 500 Abarth marked Fiat’s market return after 27 years.

With the millionth Fiat 500 Abarth produced in 2012; and production reaching 2 million in 2017, after 10 years, the 500 has won more than 40 major awards, including the CAR Magazine Car of the Year (2007) and the World’s Most Beautiful Automobile In 2009, an art installation designed by architect Fabio Novembre featured 20 full-size fiberglass replicas of the Fiat 500C, shaped as planters, along Milan’s famous Via Monte Napoleone. Fiat 500 Abarth


CORVETTE LS3 POWERED 1988 CHRYSLER CONQUEST – FIREBALL MALIBU VLOG – Fireball’s Wheels and Waves Show goes off featuring an amazing Corvette LS3 Powered 1988 Chrysler Conquest. Then he takes an awesome ride into Malibu Creek State Park for some pool adventures. And that’s the Vlog.

About the CONQUEST from WIKI… The #MitsubishiStarion Chrysler Conquest was a two-door, turbocharged four-cylinder rear-wheel drive four-seat hatchback sports car that was manufactured by Mitsubishi from 1982 to 1989.

Rebadged variants were marketed in North America as the Chrysler Conquest under the Chrysler, Dodge, and Plymouth names.

The Starion/ Chrysler Conquest is one of the first modern Japanese turbocharged performance automobiles to use electronic fuel injection.

Mitsubishi began marketing the Starion/ Chrysler Conquest in 1982, during a period in which a number of Japanese grand tourer (GT) sports cars were available, including the Nissan Z cars, Mazda RX-7, Toyota Supra and to a lesser extent, the Honda Prelude and Isuzu Piazza.

The Starion/ Chrysler Conquest was marketed in the US under Mitsubishi as the Starion and badge engineered variants of were marketed as the Chrysler Conquest, Dodge, Plymouth and Chrysler Conquest.

In the UK it was sold as the Colt Starion.

Manufactured in two body configuration; a narrowbody and widebody, the narrower style complied with Japanese exterior dimension regulations taxing larger vehicles and engine displacement exceeding 2000cc.

Only the narrowbody was offered through the 1985.5 model year.

The introduction of the widebody also split the car into two ranges: one a non-intercooled lower horsepower car using the narrow body style and a high-performance intercooled widebody.

In most markets, widebody cars were given the label of Starion ESI-r or Chrysler Conquest TSi. Markets that never received the widebody had the ESI-r label, these cars had similar performance as the widebodies.

Widebody cars were offered in 1986-1989 model years in the US.

It was marketed in North America by Mitsubishi as the Starion from 1983 until 1989 and by Chrysler as the Conquest under both the Dodge and Plymouth names from 1984 to 1986 and under the Chrysler Conquest name from 1987 until 1989.