Author Archive

As slick as a sweaty snail

Posted in Troy Queef by Troy Queef on Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

troyqueefThe hefty hands continue their temporal twist around the fecund face of my Breitling, alighting with impudent earnestness upon a position that reminds me with perfectly vertical smirk that it is exactly 6am. Yet, to be stirred from slumbers at such an heinous hour is no hardship when there is hardcore helming to happen.

So it is that while sparrows are still taking a shit, shower and shave, I am stabbing the start symbol and getting ready to unleash the C-bomb. Yet my mission on this mottled midweek morn is not to drop a strident swear that would see me banned from the Beeb for the C I refer to is something altogether less offensive – crossover. Specifically, my steed for today’s all-out trot down the tip-top twisties of the East Midlands melting pot is the second manifestation of Nissan’s stunning selling seg-buster. Welcome to the qurious qase of the Qashqai in the morning.

First impressions are of a deft driving position and the quiet quality of the seductively slick shutline. Firing the four banger under the bulbous bonnet licks at your lugholes with a wondrous whisper for this particular Qash sups from a cup brimmed with unctuous unleaded. A scan of the spec sheet may have your brows burnished with concern at the seeming smallness of this petrol huffing lump yet its 1.2 litres are tickled by a turbo that immediately makes its presence plain. Add in a shifter as slick as a sweaty snail and the kid-carrying crossover can certainly shift.

Question is, how does she dance when Captain Corner comes on the intercom? Some persistent pedalling at a steady seven-tenths has already pointed up plantedness underpinned by a ride as firm as a Pasadena pilates queen’s posterior. Now it’s time to set the wick to twisty.

Almost immediately, the mid-sized Niss steps up like it’s been dissed, bringing poise to proceedings in a bag marked ‘party’. Maxing the attack into a searing set of switchbacks, the shocks soak up snags like a quartet of kinetic kitchen rolls and the serene steering guides the preened prow like an apex seeking sniffer dog. Coming in committed to an especially knotty kinkback I slide loafer from loud pedal and feel the trailing end get tricksy. I simply catch it with a dab of oppo and I’m away.

The Nissan Qashqai Acenta 1.2 DIG-T 115 is a bitch. And I spanked it.

Troy Queef is Executive Associate Editor-At-Large for DAB OF OPPO magazine

 

 

DAB OF OPPO T-shirts are in the Sniff merch shop now

image_16353_1_195315_1_38903_1_48_1_510349

As poised as a porcelain panther

Posted in Troy Queef by Troy Queef on Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

troyqueefSomnambulant spears of sheer sunlight streak and shriek as an orange orb crests its head above the hazy horizontal horizon of England’s eastern extremes. All at once the light laps upon a coruscating cube shifting at some speed across the flatlands of the uberFens. Manipulate your mind palace to zoom in on this pacey pedalling and your eye will espy that a Soul is being stirred here.

Note the conspicuous capital in that last sentence. For the boxy beast that scythes through the green sheet of the corpulent countryside is none other than Kia’s nubile next gen segment smashing family funster and this time around it’s more businesslike than Branson’s briefcase.

When I fired the fob in the Tuesday twilight, first encounters were with a hatchback hewn from handsome with a sturdy stance and sleek surfacing hiding an inside as sensible as an accountant’s aunt, legroom you could limbo in and more preened plastic up front than on a plumped up porn star.

The oil ingesting engine ignites in an instant and initial impressions reveal a talented transmission and a clutch as snappy as a shark in Snappy Snaps. A ride as pliant as a pair of kitten skin slippers just adds to an act as refined and practical as Nigel Havers’s knapsack.

Now we get to the only question that matters: How does the functional Soul brother handle a helming? There’s only one way to peel this puppy. So it is that I find myself facing the rapacious rock face of the finest wheelman’s playground the East Midlands can provide and straight away, the Soul bares its soul. When the blacktop starts to buck, the engine talks the torque and the gearshift slides through the gate like an oiled adder on acid. Better yet, the chassis stays classy in the face of firm questioning, keeping as poised as a porcelain panther and delivering a black rubber bear hug to the broken blacktop below.

Entering an especially nuggety complex the nose dives in like an apex-crazed Tom Daley when all at once I back off the gas hammer. In a split second the Soul drops a shoulder and the tail gets waggy. I simply catch it with a dab of oppo and I’m away.

The Kia Soul Connect Plus 1.6 CRDi is a bitch. And I spanked it.

Troy Queef is Executive Associate Editor-At-Large for DAB OF OPPO magazine

 

THEY’RE BACK AT LAST!
Get your DAB OF OPPO T-shirts from the Sniff Petrol merch shop now!

image_16353_1_195315_1_38903_1_48_1_510349

Pulls like a cat on ketamine

Posted in Troy Queef by Troy Queef on Thursday, October 17th, 2013

troyqueefA crepuscular chasm of crystal light cleaves the clouds cowering over Cambridgeshire, signalling that the somnambulant sun has stirred and soared into the sanguine sky aloft.

On the torpid terra firma ‘twixt flowing fields lies a roulade of rapaciously ribbon-like road and upon it, scuttling speedily like a spacious shrew, exists a solid slug of silver, cutting through the slowly waking world behind a hot haze of headlight.

Will this be a day of Note? Oh yes. The wry reference in that prior sentence was no careless capitalisation for today I am skippering Nissan’s brightest B-seg baby, the new and nubile Note. Question is, is the Note truly noteworthy?

When I popped the locks at ungodly o’clock first impressions were of a design that’s cubically cool and a solid stance that hints at a hope of helmsworthiness. The innards are preened with purpose too, boasting a simple style that puts the tools on the table. I wasted no time in introducing chino to chair and thumbing the business button to get this party started.

First impressions disarm with charm as several key players come to the dynamic table, starting with the thrumsome hum of the three pot puller under the prow. This smooth operator forms an amiable alliance with a whip snap gear grabber that glides through the gate like an oleaginous eel and brakes as firm as treading on a turtle.

So we know the basics are designed to keep the wheelwright keen. However, will the nippy Note handle the heat when the pedalling gets pacey? So it is to quench this vital question that I find myself palming this pint-sized charmer across some of the East Midlands’ most brutal blacktop. As the ferocity of the velocity climbs, so the little Nissan responds in kind, taking each swoop and sinew in its stride, returning each difficult dynamic delivery back across the net with a well-damped bow on top. As the engine purrs yet pulls like a cat on ketamine the subtle suspension gets to work on soothing the surging surface of every supine switchback like a mechanical masseur.

Applying some spice on the way into an especially testing turn I back out of the gas giver and feel a feed of facts from the axles that tells me the arse is going AWOL. I simply catch it with a dab of oppo and I’m away.

The Nissan Note 1.2 Acenta Premium is a bitch. And I spanked it.

Troy Queef is Executive Associate Editor-At-Large for DAB OF OPPO magazine

Slick as an olive oil octopus

Posted in Troy Queef by Troy Queef on Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

troyqueefSheer sheets of supine spray dash like decorous duvets of damp ‘pon my prow as I pedal pell-mell through the soaking shards of another sadly sodden summer. Yet these is no time to ruefully reflect upon the climatic catastrophes that have thus far banished barbecues and crucified cricket cups for today another curious question must sizzle the synapses of anyone owlishly observing this verdant view of the East Midlands. Goring the grey gauze of persistent precipitation is a speedy spot of red, piercing precisely through the June gloom like some kind of mirage. Stranger still, that observation is actually apposite.

Fear not, this is no hostile hallucination but merely a robust report of the crisp characters that adorn the rump of the hatchback I am helming for today I find myself in the business bay of Mitsubishi’s most nubile newcomer, the Mirage.

When I popped the locks at shock o’clock first impressions were of a diminutive demeanour ripe for a righteous ride to the ragged edge. From the density of the doors to the slide of the seats, there is a indelible impression of added lightness and major controls marinated in perky purposefulness.

So far, this micro Mitsu has sometimes literally soaked up all that is asked of it in the aqueous playground of the roads near Kettering. At the business end the thrumming three sends spiky spurts of urge through twin tyres of anorexic aspect which also enact the crisp commands of the tri-spoke tiller. Factor in a shifter as slick as an olive oil octopus and anchors avaricious for action and this baby ‘bishi seems to have all the answers. Question is, will the Mirage melt when it’s given the full pace Paxman?

As the ruinous rain recedes I sub-consciously step up the pedalling and dial in some dynamism to this previously jaunty journey. All at once the Mirage seems to telepathically tell that things are about to get serious. The motor may be light on litres but it romps to the red line like a gasoline guzzling greyhound as the chassis chews up all that the aquiline blacktop can fire at its axles. Piling with purpose into an especially sinuous switchback I peel my paw from the power pedal and feel the mini Mit’s benign backend come into play. I simply catch it with a dab of oppo and I’m away.

The Mitsubishi Mirage 1.2 MIVEC 3 is a bitch. And I spanked it.

Troy Queef is Executive Associate Editor-At-Large for DAB OF OPPO magazine

Punches like Ali on amphetamines

Posted in Troy Queef by Troy Queef on Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Winter’s white weft still lingers like a decaying duvet across the flat firmament of the Midlands’ most Eastern fringes, kettling Kettering with a bony breeze and the fading flakes of a foot-tall fall. Yet there is no time to reflect on sundry snowings for now is the time to splice the ice with some serious pedalling.

My steed for today’s sub-zero shakedown on the Fenland’s finest is a machine guaranteed to slide. But fear not, for this does not imply inadequate adhesion but refers merely to the agents of ingress that cling gamely to its smoothly sculpted sides. That’s right, I’m helming Ford’s new sliding doored B-pillarless B-seg baby, the B-Max.

First impressions are of a righteous rightness to all major controls, each perfectly positioned to impress the willing wheelsmith. Question is, can this early ergonomic excellence maintain its game face in the theatre of blacktop?

Almost immediately, a depth of detailed dynamism is heartily heralded by the lusty lustre of the baby three-banger under the frontage. Packing purposeful power yet thimble-thin thirst from just a litre of leverage toned by a turbo, this downsized diamond punches like Ali on amphetamines, co-operatively coached by a shifter that’s slicker than a cormorant on the Torrey Canyon.

So the basics are nailed down tighter than a nun’s knickers but what happens when the wheelmanship gets serious? It’s time to take the B- to the max.

Turn-in feels crisper than a pile of poppadoms, shepherded by steering sharp enough to tear tarmac and a level of roll control that would make Mr Warburton weep. Bumps are soaked up like tears on a tissue as the feisty Ford makes short work of the switchbacks and arm wrestles each apex into supine submission.

I swoop at speed into an especially contorted curve complex, feel the cool crescendo of Gs and remove my hand stitched helmsmith’s loafer from the business pedal. All at once the tail twitches wide. I simply catch it with a dab of oppo and I’m away.

The Ford B-Max Zetec 1.0T 100PS Ecoboost is a bitch. And I spanked it.

Troy Queef is Executive Associate Editor-At-Large for DAB OF OPPO magazine

Handsomely hewn

Posted in Troy Queef by Troy Queef on Friday, November 16th, 2012

Crisp slits of saturnine searchlight spear silently through the somnambulant gloaming of an East Midlands early morn. All at once the diminishing dawn darkness is rent asunder by a pair of hunting headlights, proudly on-point at the prow of a swiftly shifting shape that spears with impudent fantastical ease across the slowly wakening world of the cruel countryside near Kettering.

For the committed wheelsmith this is prime business time, cuddling up to the cusp of sunrise and making helming hay before the celestial fireball breaks cover. My steed for this early a.m. assault on the unploughed metaphorical soil of a fresh Friday is a familiar set of letters roundly remixed for the ‘13 model year in the handsomely hewn shape of the brand new Honda CR-V.

When I set off the central locking at shock o’clock this morning the first impression was the sturdy stench of quality and the perfect precision that only Soichiro’s squad can offer. Yet this sharply suited soft-roader is no soccer mom sludge sledge for it aims to inject more S without losing the UV. Question is, can this beautifully baked biscuit slip smoothly into a pair of dancing trousers?

This particular ‘V may suckle from the treacle teat but there are no complaints about the girth of grunt that accompanies its distantly dieselly thunderings. Powerful progress is a given, and it’s assisted by a gearshift as slick as a silk sash soaked in sunflower oil. So the powertrain is packed with pertinent promise but it will all be as pointless as a punched pencil if the chassis isn’t sassy.

Initial reports are good as the suspension sucks up the terrors of tawdry Tarmacadam like a Russian hooker with a straw. Rude ruts and perfidious potholes are smoothed off like a well-polished pebble as the hungry Honda devours devious backtop. It’s time to open the box marked ‘bends’. Sinuous steering makes an early announcement of CR-V’s intention to party, commands from the tiller are taken without question, turn-in as crisp as an Egyptian cotton pillowcase full of Quavers. Armed with such action, every curve becomes a no-appointment-necessary meeting with Mr Apex.

With the ante upped, I chucked a fistful of mph into the pot and throw the Honda headlong at the most splendiferous switchbacks I can seek yet still this fecund family car grips like a drowning man to the side of a dinghy. On one especially S-shaped complex I slammed shut the gas at the corner’s crescendo and felt the tall tail begin to step wide. I simply caught it with a dab of oppo and I was away.

The Honda CR-V 2.2 i-DTEC SE-T is a bitch, and I spanked it.

Troy Queef is Executive Associate Editor-At-Large for DAB OF OPPO magazine

Kinetic kitchen paper

Posted in Troy Queef by Troy Queef on Friday, August 24th, 2012

As Britain basks in the warm glow of post-Olympic bliss, reclining as a nation under a downy duvet of deliverance and sparking up a smooth smoke of success, we must now face up to the absence of Ennis and the banishment of Bolt from our television screens and seek to extract entertainment from other avenues. Some may seek solace in cinema or amusement in booze but I have chosen the bonny embrace of my old buddy blacktop.

So it is that on this muggy Monday I am spearing across the badlands of the East Midlands in a streak of white lightning, the purity of its paint at odds with the on paper promise that this may be some unholy hybrid. Destination: Kettering.

More eager readers may have noticed an etymological elephant in the room of that last sentence. That’s right – someone just dropped the H-bomb. Yet the machine that has received this duopoly of drivetrains is not some lenient Lexus or pious Prius though it comes from the same hybrid henchmen for today I am pedalling Toyota’s tiniest two-motor tech to date. Welcome to the Yaris Hybrid.

First impressions when I popped the locks this a.m. were of nothing notable beyond the familiar face of this, the third gen of Toyota’s tiddler. Yet sparking the motor surrounds you in a suspicious silence that continues when you suggest the spindly shifter shakes hands with Mr D. Employing the instantaneous urge that only electrical motivation can bestow, the Yar-Hyb romps from rest with a silky smoothness that is literally all torque. You have only the merest moment to think about this pertinent push in the solar plexus before the petrol powered portion of the powertrain licks into life, as smooth and seamless as one of Des Lynam’s links.

So this baby’s got the balls to shift on the straights, but how does it rhumba on a black snake of bends? The Hybraris has an appointment with a particularly thorough examination. Dr Apex will see you now.

As the pace rises the reigned-in ride refuses to run out of answers whilst the CVT shift system keeps pouring on the power in an orgy of organisation that’s always on hand to dole out more drive. Caress it into a corner and you can feel the springs soak up the situation like kinetic kitchen paper whilst the handy helm never flinches from its focus. On one especially nuggety switchback I piled in at eleven-tenths and slammed shut the gas at the corner’s crescendo. The pert posterior attempted to step wide, I simply caught it with a dab of oppo and I was away.

The Toyota Yaris Hybrid T-Spirit is a bitch. And I spanked it.

Troy Queef is Executive Associate Editor-At-Large for DAB OF OPPO magazine

Sharper than lime eye drops

Posted in Troy Queef by Troy Queef on Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Where serendipitous sunshine should shroud the smooth scenescapes of the English East Midlands instead they are washed with unwelcome water as a ravenous rain repeatedly risks our wroth with its rapacious railing. Whilst conspicuous chunks of the country spake sad soliloquys for the sodden summer, weather worries cannot be allowed to harm the vital business of helming. And besides, today I am impervious to the impertinence of precipitation for I have all-paw drive.

Yet the creature I am pedalling is no lumbering ladder-frame log lugger for this is a lightweight 4×4 and it comes from Mazda, a company normally known for riotous roadsters and homely hatchbacks. This newcomer is neither, for now the firm is trying – literally – to crossover. The bold badge on the boot tells you all you need to know about the name – CX-5. The styling is equally stirring, from the proud prow through the filigree folds of the flanks back to a posterior that is packed with practical portent. Question is, can it sing as good as it looks on the CD sleeve?

Immediately, first impressions are sharper than lime eye drops; steering feels keener than a beaver on bath salts, gear change is crisper than a deep-fried Dorito. Even that optimised oil burner under the burnished bonnet feels hotter than a fireman’s phaal. Make no mistake; this high-riding whore is hungry for helming. Mazda makes great play of its ‘Skyactiv’ philosophy, laying on the lightness and extracting the efficiency, but all I know is, it’s a whole balloon of boon for the keen wheelsmith.

It may be higher than a basketballer’s ballbag but this funked up familyist likes to party on the Tarmac. Turn it in it hard and it grips like a Taurined-up trawlerman, balanced as a ballerina on a beam between two buildings. But what happens when you start asking harder questions? Does the chassis crack under some back road Paxman? To find out, I fire in hot to a particularly naggety switchback, feel the feedback flowing with each twist of the tiller, and then strangle the gas just as we shake hands with Mr Apex. All at once the tail comes into play with a saucy sidestep. I simply catch it with a dab of oppo and I’m away.

The Mazda CX-5 2.2d SE-L Nav AWD is a bitch. And I spanked it.

Troy Queef is Executive Associate Editor-At-Large for DAB OF OPPO magazine

Grips like a gluey gorilla

Posted in Troy Queef by Troy Queef on Friday, May 4th, 2012

Grey curtains of rancid rain tickle the turbulent terrain of the East Midlands with the pure punch of headlong H2O. While experts spout about drought, here in the British hinterland the populous are fretfully fingering those downloaded diagrams for an aqueous ark. Yet ‘midst the murk and moisture a single bright star spears across the leaden landscape, piercing precipitation with palpable power. Fear not, for this is no malign meteor nor catastrophic comet. The bright burst of brilliance that sears across this scene is no less than the candescent child of a glittering Korea for today I am helming Hyundai’s crucial new mid-range lynchpin, the i30.

The proud prow tells you much that you need to know about this bold new battler in the hotly contested C-segment. Fluid flourishes identify handsome headlamps that bestride a gaping grille as aggressive as a pissed off pit bull. Every swoop of steel and plunge of plastic firmly informs you that this baby means business. The friendly Focus and genteel Golf have just been invited to a hatchback hoedown. Question is, has the hearty Hyundai brought an under-damped knife to this ride-and-handling gun fight?

First impressions do not disappoint. Control surfaces quiver with quality in an interior refreshingly free of egregious ergonomics. Time to get pedalling. The motor fires up fast and settles to a bassy beat. This 1582cc engine may suckle from the black teat of diesel yet its thrum turns to hum as soon as the business pedal is mashed. Couple it to a six-speed gearbox as slick as a Brylcreemed eel and you’ve got an irresistible recipe for powertrain poetry.

So it is that I find myself pedalling apace through the drowning diorama of the near-Kettering countryside, playing the gearlever like a vertical oboe and letting the motor do the torqueing. But now comes the big one. Can this honed Hyundai keep up the conversation when the twisties take a seat at the table? Time to fire this funster at some of the region’s ballsiest B-roads and see if it comes away crying.

I flow it into some searing switchbacks and feel roll being resisted as the Gs start to squeeze. The dynamic ‘dai grips like a gluey gorilla as the sassy chassis soaks up surfaces like steel sprung silica gel. The steering whispers wistfully with slivers of secrets about the suspension’s endeavours as I wind the wheelsmithery up to 11. Coming in hot to an especially luscious left hander I caress the apex and then slam shut the power pedal. All at once the Hyundai’s polished posterior comes out to play. I simply catch it with a dab of oppo and I’m away.

The Hyundai i30 Active 1.6 CRDi Blue Drive is a bitch. And I spanked it.

Troy Queef is Executive Associate Editor-At-Large for DAB OF OPPO magazine

The helm responds rapaciously

Posted in Troy Queef by Troy Queef on Friday, March 16th, 2012

An infectious and fractious buzz rasps through the somnambulant sinews of the rural East Midlands, zizzing off trees and kissing clouds with its insistent ire. Could it be that Kettering is about to suffer another fatal wasp attack? Fear not my friends for this crisp cacophony is not the aural warning of a squadron of stripy stingers but comes from behind the bonnet of a bonny and benign baby. Can you see one? That last sentence is no accidental lapse nor keyboard calamity for the very wheels I’m referring to are indeed C1. Citroen C1.

At the risk of muddying your mind with obvious oxymoron, small is the new large. From the funky fizz of Fiat’s fashionable 500 to the quantifiable quality of VW’s virtuous Up, it’s never been bigger to be little which is why the kids at Cit have given their microhatch a mid-life makeover, all the better to let it surf the trendy wave that splashes onto a beach marked ‘downsizing’. We already know that this is an admirably minimalist sub-B funster but has it been ruined by the automotive analogue of collagen and silicone? Is it lightweight dynamically as well as literally?

I’m finding out in the only way possible – by pedalling across the cream of North Northamptonshire blacktop, giving it a good thrapping towards Thrapston. The brightening buzz that announces my arrival and whirls in my wake comes courtesy of a keen trio of cylinders delivering 67 perfectly preened ponies to the front rubbers. As the revs rise, the buzz strums upwards to thrum and then hum and the little Cit begins to punch above the weight it doesn’t have.

Question is, it soars on the straights but will it sink on the switchbacks? I’m about to plunge my head into a bucket of answers. The brakes feel firm but friendly, like a reasonable teacher. Bang down a change, feel the lever move sweetly, snappy as a photobooth. Initial turn-in comes crisp as the contents of Gary Lineker’s larder, the helm responds rapaciously to my commands, my eyes lock like lasers onto the apex and the Double Chevroned doozy follows my gaze telepathically. As the apex is kissed like a Cornish man on his cousin, I lift loafer from loud pedal and feel the C1’s glassy ass begin to step wide. I simply catch it with a dab of oppo and I’m away.

The Citroen C1 VTR+ is a bitch. And I spanked it.

Troy Queef is Executive Associate Editor-At-Large for DAB OF OPPO magazine