Author Archive

More bite than a bucket of bears

Posted in Troy Queef by Troy Queef on Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

troyqueefA cawing cabal of cacophonous crows shatters the slumbers of this summer Sunday scene, slicing the soft shafts of 6am sunlight like a scimitar of sound. Yet there is no time to breathe in this bucolic beauty for a man-made monument invites the eye towards its reflective repose. Yet this is no sullen statue for the edifice in question is unquestionably car sshaped. Note that the double S impressed upon the end of that last sentence was no tip slip on the key platter for the hewn beauty that stands within this landscape is none other than the box fresh baby from those sibilant stewards of South Korea’s third most sizeable, Ssangyong. It’s time to talk Tivoli.

First impressions of this Korea-defining moment are bang into the B-segment with all the crossover cues cool-conscious consumers crave and a stocky stance that smells of stability. Felt betwixt fingers, the craven key calls you with silken siren song towards the righteous rocks of wheelmanship and it would be rude to refuse that particular pleasure cruise. Let’s do this.

Tease the Tivoli at two-tenths to begin and the over-riding vibe is of an easy-going engine locked in mechanical marriage to a swift and slick shifter, as smooth as Roger Moore’s pool table. Road ruts and devious divots are dispatched with disdain as the suspension sucks up shattered surfaces like steel silica gel. Question is, can the chass’ keep its class when you apply more gas?

Stepping up the pedaling to helm factor 9 soon reveals that the ‘Yong likes to play along. When the question comes knocking, the meaty motor opens its cupboard to reveal several extra packets of power while the bounteous brakes bring more bite than a bucket of bears as turn-in as tight as Tom Daly’s trunks allows you to sear seamlessly into every switchback, maximising each meeting with the main man Mr Apex.

Coming in code red to an especially testing series of esses I rolled off the hot pedal to see what was what and all at once the Tivoli’s taut tail came into play. I simply caught it with a dab of oppo and I was away.

The Ssangyong Tivoli 1.6 EX is a bitch. And I spanked it.

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

 

The grip of an onanistic orangutan

Posted in Troy Queef by Troy Queef on Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

troyqueefRapacious rain lashes the huddled hinterland in an egregious aqua attack on the East Midlands, lashing liquid upon the stark and somnambulant scene of a muted morning. The sun’s slow slide into the ascendant is cloaked by cloying clouds but its lazy light increasingly illuminates the fecund flatlands, joining a galloping glow in the gloaming; two broad beams of bright that scamper and surge through the scene like lazy lasers atop a rampaging robot.

The light source alluded to in the previous para goes by the name of Adam, but fear not; this is not the moniker of a marauding machine for the mechanical make-up is entirely benign and the helm behind the handle bears the familiar features of the gawping griffin that shows this beut is fruit from the hall of Vaux.

Luton’s B-seg baby has been with us for a while but time hasn’t tarnished the soft cinctures of its styling nor quashed the quality of its innovative inner sanctum. Into this mix of perky poise and diaphanous dashboard, the Vaux populists have now scored a slam dunk on the motivational mores of 2015 with the effortless installation of a thrumming three banger with an added twist of turbo.

First impressions are of an idle smoother than Sinatra’s snooker table. The engine’s elegant early efforts are matched as you dip a clutch crisper than Kettle Chips and slot a shifter as sweet as a caramel coated kitten. Even through the urban burden, you can feel an urgent surge hardwired into the baby V’s DNA. Question is, can this Luton beauty keep up the rhumba when the dancing gets derestricted.

My dawn-time dive into the punchiest paths of the Peterborough region will provide the tough line of questioning this fast torqueing tike requires. As the street lights shrink in the middle mirror, the pace is poured on and immediately the acquiescent Adam accepts that it’s time for tillermanship. A nuanced but nuggety ride belies the grip of an onanistic orangutan while the petite pedals feel some love from lascivious loafers and the sinewed steering arrives at the party packing precision. It’s time to push the pedalling to the helm stop.

Powering with purpose now, the triple tube motor takes on a vigorous vim accompanied by the sparky and sonorous soundtrack of a semi-911 as the cheeky chassis soaks up serpentine switchbacks like a mechanical flannel. Cannoning with crisp commitment into an especially hairy hairpin I plant a quizzical kiss on the apex and briskly back out of the gas, instantly causing the Adam’s planted posterior to come into play. I simply catch it with a dab of oppo and I’m away.

The Vauxhall Adam 1.0T Jam is a bitch. And I spanked it.

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

 

 

 

Hotter than jalapeno homebrew

Posted in Troy Queef by Troy Queef on Thursday, October 30th, 2014

troyqueefThere it is. The Bend. Looming from the gloom of an unremarkable fall-time dawn, to the untrained ocular observation this is a mere twist of Tarmacadam carelessly kinking into the countryside. But The Bend is more than that. It glistens with the gloopy grease through the growing gloaming, proudly presenting its audacious apex as a chilling challenge to the committed wheelsmith. And we are coming in hotter than jalapeno  homebrew. The Bend is make or break time. But at this mesmerising millisecond in time there are 500 reasons why my palms are not patinated with perspiration.

Backtrack many multiples of minutes to ouch o’clock and the bonny bubble of fun that sits doused in dew on my driveway. Its familiar form tells you that the numerical nuance in the previous para was no accident for the bulbous baby that adorns my frontage is none other than the latest iteration of Fiat’s sub-B smash, the legendary 500, now plumped and preened for MY15. The rigourous retro style isn’t in question but more important issues must be sifted on this somnambulant Sunday. Specifically, is this micro machine mere stylist’s whim or can it go bowling with the big boys when it’s turned up to helm factor five?

First impressions were of a crisp quality to all controls and the thoughtful thrum of the brace of bangers within the titchy two-pot turbocharged tugger, now packing ponies over a ton in number. The sport-mode steering gave toothsome turn-in and bitey brakes proved rapid raptors of velocity as the speeds got serious. Add in a boisterous yet buoyant bottom line to the decorous damping and a shifter as slick as an eel in an olive oil outlet and all signs seemed to point to a win for wheelmanship.

Now, however, we close in on The Bend. As tests go, this is sterner than a stentorian sergeant major steering squaddies around a square. Can the Torinese tearaway act like a man when it sits the blacktop exam?

Firing in hard to the bold and burnished surface of The Bend reveals grip like an UHU octopus and the perfect poise of Darcey Bussell on a diving board, shocks soaking up sinews like sponges on the sidelines of a sportsfield. As the apex catches a clip round the ear, I slip sole from the shiny surface of the business pedal and await with interest the outcome. All at once the pert posterior joins the party, stepping smartly sideways in a show of smirksome sympathy. I simply catch it with a dab of oppo and I’m away.

The Fiat 500 0.9 Twinair 105 Cult is a bitch. And I spanked it.

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

Sweeter than a sugar coated kitten

Posted in Troy Queef by Troy Queef on Thursday, September 11th, 2014

troyqueefA stark and strident sunlight sears the strip steak sinews of the sordid switchbacks that spear and streak their way across the sad September salute of summer’s last smile. Firing like a bulbous bullet across this bucolic beauty a lone spot of silver draws the eye to the ball of energy moving at a lick across the landscape. What man-made metal monster would presume to peel apart the green garden of Great Britain’s inner Eastern reaches? At the risk of sounding like an ardent Australian, don’t worry; it’s Eco, Sport.

Cleave the comma from the end of that sentiment and you arrive with elegant ease at the handle of the hot baby I am helming for this all-out, balls-out pedal across the feculent flatlands that coddle around Kettering for this morning’s wheelsmith steed is none other than the Blue Oval’s B-seg class buster, the high riding family funster they call EcoSport.

When I thumbed the button to unlatch this hatch at ouch o’clock a.m. first impressions were of a quiet quality enriched by the ergonomic excellence you’d expect of a potently precise pick ‘n’ mix from the parts bin of Ford’s lower slung funkster, the fabulous Fiesta. Question is, will the EcSpo balls-up the blacktop ballet its baby brother gets so bang-on?

A saddled-up saunter at approx. eight-tenths rapidly reveals a polish and potential that invites the keen wheelwright to plunge his paws deeper into the pot. The oil-slugging engine purrs with potency, allied to a shifter that’s sweeter than a sugar coated kitten and a sassy chassis that deals with divots using a firm but fair hand and a saucy swagger like an S&M school teacher. Question is, what happens when you turn the wick up to 11? It’s time to really get helming.

All at once the ‘coSport seems to tauten its haunches and uncover its claws as if somehow sympatically sensing the powerful pedalling that is coming its way. Monstering the motor until it torques reveals a hearty heave that keeps speeds interesting while full blooded inputs to the leather wrapped helm fail to kill the composure of the dampers’ devotion to keeping an even keel over the worst of Northants’ tarmac bants. Firing in spicy to an especially testing switchback I make a laser guided lunge for the bullseye marked ‘apex’ and then slam shut the taps to see what reacts. The answer is a playful tail, slyly stepping sideways to get in on the action. I simply caught it with a dab of oppo and I was away.

The Ford EcoSport 1.5 TDCi Titanium is a bitch. And I spanked it.

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

 

 

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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

 

 

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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

 

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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