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ROCKET
LACar film review

FILM REVIEW—ROCKET is the winner of a 2017 Student Academy Award along with multiple other awards at a number of film festivals across the county. It’s the story of 1950′s dirt track racing … and a young girl’s legacy passed down from father to daughter. Filmed on location at a ranch in Lompoc, California and featuring driving by the likes of racing legend Wally Pankratz and his daughter, TQ champ Randi; “ROCKET” is a study in relationships and racing to life and portrays the subject in a cinematic style reminiscent of Bruce Kessler and John Frankenheimer. Review by Dave Wolin.

GATHERING LEAVES IN A FORD FOCUS
A Ford Focus rewards you for green behavior

AUTO REVIEW—I’m looking at a duo of five-leaf plants on the dashboard of the 2017 Ford Focus SEL. They may resemble Cannabis Sativa genus, but they actually represent Anticipation and Speed in the Eco-Drive mode with more leaves the better. I lost two Anticipation leaves, but managed to keep all five Speed leaves. Page 175 of the 500-page manual (what is this, a spaceship!) explains that Anticipation shows how well I anticipate stopping in traffic, not engaging in over-acceleration and so on. Zoran Segina reports.

MAJOR AND MINOR SCALES
illest x Hot Wheels VW Panel Bus Launch

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AUTO REVIEW— This special event took place at Hot Wheels HQ in El Segundo, CA.  The event promoted the newly released Fatlace VW Panel Bus Die Cast; modeled after the life size bus of Mark Arcenal, founder/creative director (Fatlace) illest Brand.  The online pre-sale of the model sold out quickly as collectors eagerly bought up the limited edition casting. Kenneth Chiu reports.

ELECTRIFIED
Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

AUTO REVIEW—The new 2017 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron with the 1.4 liter TFSI Turbo inline four-cylinder engine/electric motor, Audi signature styling, Audi assist, interior quality, ergonomics, luxury and safety, making this model one of the best on the compact hybrid market. I am testing the new model with the technology package and A3 Sportback Premium Plus package. Updated e-tron models now offer improved technology with the virtual cockpit and standard driver assistance systems including Audi pre-sense front braking. Harvey Schwartz reports.

ROMEO AND GIULIA
Alfa Romeo’s romantic sport sedan

AUTO REVIEW—The midsize sedan segment is slowly shrinking as more buyers are grabbing midsize SUVs and crossovers. Nonetheless, Alfa has come back into this segment with a vehicle that turns heads, is luxurious inside, is fast, and features a ZF 8-speed transmission with RWD while exhibiting superb handling, braking, connectivity and safety. Introduced in 2017, the only changes for 2018 are added paint colors. The Giulia is available with two powertrains: a 2.9 liter 505hp, twin-turbo V6, and a 2.0 liter, 280hp, turbo inline 4-cylinder, that I tested. The car brings Italian style and craftsmanship to the segment. Harvey Schwartz reports.

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