8 episodes

Revisit the automotive past and look ahead to its future with TheIgnitionBlog Podcast. Join Matt and Nolan as they dive deep into specific automotive topics and share a fair bit of pointless anecdotes on everything from "The Best Supercars of the 90s" to "Cars We Love to Hate." Check the blog to catch up on an entire series or even suggest topics for future discussion!

TheIgnitionBlog Podcast Nolan Browning and Matt Dace

    • Automotive
    • 5.0, 3 Ratings

Revisit the automotive past and look ahead to its future with TheIgnitionBlog Podcast. Join Matt and Nolan as they dive deep into specific automotive topics and share a fair bit of pointless anecdotes on everything from "The Best Supercars of the 90s" to "Cars We Love to Hate." Check the blog to catch up on an entire series or even suggest topics for future discussion!

    Episode 8: Best Vehicles of 2018, Most Anticipated of 2019

    Episode 8: Best Vehicles of 2018, Most Anticipated of 2019

    In this Episode:

    Matt Dace and Nolan Browning reminisce on all the best, along with some of the worst, cars and SUVs from 2018. With auto show season in full swing, they also talk about the most anticipated vehicles you’ll want to watch for in 2019!

    2018 Audi A5 and S5 Sportback

    The novelty of the new Audi A5’s Sportback design helps it stand out from the crowd this year and make it a dark horse for our Car of the Year in 2018. The A4 and S5 offer a refined and luxurious ride, while still delivering effortless performance that simply gets the job done. The S5 is a world-class sprinter in a tuxedo, albeit a red tuxedo in the case of our tested. The cross-stitched seating is very premium and perfectly European.

    The Sportback hatch allows for massive amounts of cargo space, not unlike a grown-up version of the Volkswagen Golf. Subtle features like the A5’s ambient lighting and the Audi Virtual Cockpit help to dramatize the driving experience and make both the A5 and S5 more enjoyable to operate. Listen to more of our thoughts at 13:55.



    Show Notes:

    (01:12) 2018 Kia Stinger GT Review

    (02:53) Kia Rondo Rally

    (03:02) Kia Niro and Hyundai Ioniq

    (03:34) Kia Niro PHEV Review

    (05:09) Fiat 500e Drive

    (05:50) Dud of the Year: 2018 Nissan Leaf – Suffered from a shorter range than most buyers had hoped for, ceded sales to the Chevrolet Bolt EV. Still a great ride, comfortable interior, and the promise of a longer-range Leaf in 2019.

    (08:35) 2019 Hyundai Kona EV

    (09:11) EV of the Year: Tesla Model 3

    (09:54) Forbes: Tesla On Track To Become America’s #1 Premium Automaker

    (11:20) Tesla $7,500 Rebate Ending

    (12:05) GM Fights for EV Tax Credit

    (13:30) Chevrolet Bolt EV Was Made for Autocrossing

    (13:55) Car of the Year: 2018 Audi A5 and S5 (see review above show notes)

    (15:10) Audi S5 is for VW Golf owners that have grown up

    (15:53) 2019 Audi RS5 Sportback

    (17:32) a href="http://www.

    • 53 min
    Episode 7: Monterey Car Week 2018

    Episode 7: Monterey Car Week 2018


    In this Episode:

    Matt Dace and Nolan Browning talk about all of the events surrounding this year’s Monterey Car Week. Including The Quail, Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, Concours d’Lemons, a review of the Lexus GS 300, and much more!

    2018 Lexus GS 300 Review: The Road To Monterey

    We recently reviewed the Lexus GS 450h and found it rather expensive and the hybrid system was rather outdated for the price. But this newer, 4-cylinder model offers much of the same benefits for almost $30k less. Over 500 miles on our trip up and back from Monterey, we found that the GS offered decent acceleration in Normal and Sport modes with a comfortable ride. Eco mode at (high) highway speeds helped us average around 29 miles per gallon, but acceleration suffered immensely. The cooled seats and powerful climate control helped keep us cool on the long, hot stretches of central California.

    The handling is rather soft, as you would expect, but adds up to a wonderful overall luxury interior experience. This week’s podcast episode was recorded inside the GS 300 on our ride home, something that may not have been possible in cars without as much sound isolation. We drove on rutted dirt roads and navigated several rocky back lots during our trip, and the Lexus could have kept a sleeping baby calm and comfortable. In a town full of rare and expensive exotics, the Lexus GS 300 offered subtle luxury. We were in good company at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca as the Lexus halo car, the LC 500, greets people at the entrance to the track. The GS even made its appearance on the race track in GS F form as the pace car for the Rolex Reunion festivities. The trio of GS F seemed to perform admirably while keeping the pace, often gapping lead cars like a Porsche 935 during caution laps. Listen to our full review in the episode below, starting at 26:54.



    Show Notes:

    (01:14) Lamborghini SVJ Debut and Party

    (02:06) Motor Trend writer/personality Jonny Lieberman

    (03:38) Pixar creative director Jay Ward

    (04:03) Tim Burton aka “Shmee” of Shmee150 on YouTube

    (04:30) Jonny’s Ferrari GTC4LussoT 

    (06:42) Mclaren Senna GTR at The Quail

    (07:08) Michael Fux’s Rolls-Royce “Phantom in Fuxia” and McLaren Senna

    (08:16) Singer Porsche 911 DLS at The Quail

    (08:35) Paganis of The Quail 2018

    (08:42) The a href="https://rennlist.com/articles/ruf-porsches-honor-the-ruf-family-at-monterey-car-week/" target="_b...

    • 53 min
    Episode 6: Wagon Love

    Episode 6: Wagon Love


    In this Episode:

    Matt Dace and Nolan Browning talk about their top five wagons of all time, give a full review of the 2018 Buick Regal TourX. Plus, we talk about highlights from the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed and give a bonus “Carpool Review” of the 2017 Lexus GS450h.

    2018 Buick Regal TourX Wagon Review: You Don’t Need an SUV

    The whole reason for the “Wagon Love” theme of this episode is a surprising new offering from the Buick brand. The Regal TourX is big on utility, luxury, passenger comfort, and styling. The ride was much more comfortable and soft than the Buick Regals that we have tested in the past. Yet, this new TourX handled well on the twisty highway 154, just north of Santa Barbara, with just enough steering feedback to feel the weight take control. The overall driving experience is encroaching on the Audi allroad or V60 Cross Country.

    We also found that power is more than adequate, with 250 horsepower from a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder. At only $39k, this Buick reminded us more of the current crop of Volvo wagons than it did of the past Regals that we have driven. The wagon design also allows for plenty of room for people and things. The interior quality was noticeably improved from the typical General Motors attempt, aside from the highly-reflective chrome trim around the shifter. Which creates an interior so bright, you’re going to need shades!

    The more we drove the Regal TourX, the more we questioned the need for the growing SUV market. Despite its weight, the Regal TourX was capable of fuel economy in the high-20s. Even a weekend trip to Lowe’s for mulch was no problem with the expansive rear hatch and cargo area. Speaking of the cargo area, the Buick even projects the brand’s logo behind the rear of the car as you approach, just in case you forget what you’re driving. Oh yes, “that’s a Buick!” Listen to the full episode to hear more thoughts on the car and the need for Buick to create a Regal GS Wagon to keep the genre alive.

    2017 Lexus GS450h Review: Looking Toward The Future

    With the last major refresh in 2011, The Lexus GS is was one of the first models to get the more extreme front grille. Since then, this large sedan hasn’t really aged in the market as Lexus would have wanted. At $67k, the GS450h buyer is typically older and therefore most offended by the drastic styling change. We take some time during our bonus “Carpool Review” to examine why the GS line is having problems when there is a lot to like about this car.

    With combined fuel economy around 30MPG, the GS450h’s hybrid drivetrain delivers stellar economy and decent performance. Technology like adaptive cruise control was included in our model but shows its age. The automatic braking could never quite get the spacing right and would stop the car abruptly, even if traffic came to a slower stop. We did like the larger screen with the ability to customize layout on either side of the display. The interior is also as handsome as you expect from a Lexus GS, with brown leather and black accents.

    Ultimately, without any major update or much corporate attention paid to the GS, it feels like old technology with a harsher transition between gas and electric compared to newer cars like a Volvo XC90 T8.  In fact, we noted how close the GS450h felt to our 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, as it was designed at the same time.

    • 52 min
    Episode 5: Millennium Muscle "Return of the HEMI Part 2"

    Episode 5: Millennium Muscle "Return of the HEMI Part 2"

    In this Episode:

    Matt Dace and Nolan Browning continue the Millennium Muscle car series with the “Return of the HEMI” Part 2 of 2. We discuss the return of two classic American muscle cars, the Dodge Charger and Challenger. Plus, a true Millennium Muscle car to call our own with the Hellcat and Demon.

    “Affordable” Muscle: 2017 Dodge Challenger T/A Review

    While $43,765 may not seem very affordable to most, this Green Go Challenger T/A packs a ton of muscle car into a stripped-down package. On the outside, the matte black hood, T/A side stripes, and trunk lid signify that this Chally means business. The Mopar-branded hood pins and retro “Challenger” badging also help to kick up the “nostalgia factor.” Heading inside, we find houndstooth pattern cloth bucket seats and classic white gauges.

    Our model was equipped with the 375hp 5.7L that still has plenty of muscle to have a good time, despite the high-horsepower world that we live in. Stepping into the future, the 2017 Challenger T/A featured Performance Pages on the multimedia display to show things like G-forces, 0-60MPH timing, and crucial engine data. The massive 8.4″ touchscreen also featured the latest Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability to keep the music cranked up as loud as the HEMI! Be sure and listen to the episode for more thoughts on our time with the Challenger T/A.

    Muscle That Corners: 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody

    We had a chance to test out the spectacular Dodge Charger Hellcat back in 2016 and found it to be frighteningly beautiful. That car inspired the “Millennium Muscle” car era in our minds and ultimately led to the creation of this series. But if there was one flaw with the Hellcat, it was the struggle to control all of that power. At times it would feel as if you were atop a tomahawk missile, trying to control it by fruitlessly yanking at the reins. But that all changes with the introduction of the SRT Hellcat Widebody.

    The lovely folks at FCA invite us out to drive the new Widebody through the Angeles Crest mountains. We did the full loop from La Cañada Flintridge to Wrightwood, CA and would even deal with a bit of ice on the roads. In the past, wet and snowy pavement meant certain death behind the wheel of a Hellcat. Thankfully, the Widebody adds new 305/35R20 Pirelli P Zero performance tires at all four corners and an updated electrically-assisted power steering system. A new “Steering” option is found in the SRT menu and allows you to dial in Street, Sport or Track modes for just the right amount of steering feel to keep you confident behind the wheel. Listen to the episode for more details from the drive and thoughts on the Dodge Demon, also pictured above!


    Show Notes:

    (03:13) Dodge Charger debut at 2005 Chicago Auto Show

    (03:40) Mixed reviews on Charger styling, comments from Ralph Gilles

    (07:11) 2006 Dodge Charger SRT8 debuts at 2005 NY Auto Show

    (07:30) 2006 Dodge Charger SRT8 styling (exterior,

    • 45 min
    Episode 4: Millennium Muscle "Return of the HEMI Part 1"

    Episode 4: Millennium Muscle "Return of the HEMI Part 1"

    In this Episode:

    Matt Dace and Nolan Browning continue the Millennium Muscle car series with the “Return of the HEMI” Part 1 of 2. We discuss the development of the Chrysler LX platform and the launch of two American icons, the Dodge Magnum and the Chrysler 300.


    Show Notes:

    (01:20) “That Thing Got a HEMI?” Commerical

    (01:50) Information on the modern HEMI engine

    (03:26) Burke Brown talks Daimler Chrysler and LX platform development

    (04:26) Chrysler 300M

    (05:45) Dodge Magnum SRT-8 Concept debuts at LA Auto Show [Pic 2]

    (06:55) B-roll video of Magnum SRT-8 Concept

    (07:30) Chrysler 300C concept debuts at NY Auto Show in April of 2003

    (08:10) Motor Trend compares Chrysler 300 to Mercury Marauder and Impala SS

    (09:45) Interview with Freeman Thomas, designs include Audi TT, New Beetle, and Chrysler 300. 

    (10:36) Ralph Gilles talks Dodge Magnum and Chrysler 300 with MotoManTV

    (11:02) Chrysler LHS interior, featuring rather sexy HVAC controls

    (12:10) Dodge Sling Shot and Tomahawk concepts

    (13:43) Trevor Creed, the designer of Magnum, discusses its unique styling

    (14:12) Dieter Zetsche discusses 2003 Magnum SRT-8 concept in press release

    (15:10) “Dude, what do you got in that thing?” commercial for Dodge Magnum

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    • 38 min
    Episode 3: Car Buying Advice "Find A Cheap and Reliable Used Car"

    Episode 3: Car Buying Advice "Find A Cheap and Reliable Used Car"

    In this Episode:

    Matt Dace and Nolan Browning give advice on what to look for when buying a used car. We also talk about the brands and models you may want to consider when trying to find a car under $5,000 and $10,000. Finally, help a friend decide between an Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti, Jaguar XE 35t, and a Kia Stinger GT.

    2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti

    We have talked about the impressive driving dynamics of the Alfa Romeo Giulia in the past, but recently we were able to spend an entire week with a Giulia Ti AWD. This showed some of the flaws in the interior, namely the poor quality of the main control dial and the terrible user interface of the infotainment system. The addition of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is very welcome, but can’t completely fix the flaws in an interface that is worse than our least-favorite audio system in the latest Mazda products.

    The overall comfort and driving experience, even with the base 2.0L engine and AWD, was still far superior to most luxury sedans on the market. With 280 horsepower and 306 lb-ft or torque, the Giulia Ti pulls hard from a stoplight and will be plenty of fun around town. The Q4 all-wheel-drive system kept the tires firmly planted while driving through a rare Los Angeles rainstorm that passed through.

    Overall, the current deals on the Giulia Ti make it a refreshing contender in the market. However, this car, or any Alfa Romeo, is definitely something you want to lease and not buy. We hope for improvement to the overall mechanical and interior quality in the future to keep this Italian brand alive in the States.

    2018 Kia Stinger GT

    Kia Stinger GT photos by Jim Donnelly Photo

    To start, the Kia Stinger GT is one of the best performance sedans I have driven in years and easily the best Kia product ever made. That second statement isn’t saying much as the Kia brand has always been known for sensible consumer cars, avoiding any vehicle that you could truly get excited about. The Stinger GT features an incredible twin-turbo 3.3L V6 engine that produces 365 horsepower and 376 lb.-ft. of torque. The chassis of the Kia Stinger platform feels light, yet rigid thanks to its use of advanced high-strength steel. At around 3,600 pounds, the Kia Stinger is nearly 1,000 pounds lighter than the already fast Genesis G80 Sport that utilizes the same engine. The results are stunning as our RWD Stinger GT throws you back in your seat and even lets you kick the tail end of the car out for a controlled drift through turns.

    The interior is laden with black leather and plastics but feels solid enough and is on par with something like a modern Dodge Charger. All of this performance comes at a price of just over $45,000, enough to make most potential buyers turn and run. Buyers looking to purchase or lease the Kia Stinger will need to decide if they want to pay a premium to be part of the movement to make Kia “cool” and change the brand perception. Listen to the podcast episode for our full thoughts on how the Stinger GT stacks up against the Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti and Jaguar XE 35t.



    Show Notes:

    (02:00) Info on our early personal vehicles

    (05:20) To help with research, use this a href="http://pop.h-cdn.

    • 46 min

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