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Must Reads of 2023: News Editor Joel Stocksdale

Must Reads Of 2023 News Editor Joel Stocksdale

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Doing these roundups is always fun. Flipping through the pages of stories written in a year is kind of like going through a photo album. And this year was full of some wild memories driving amazing cars in astonishing places. I even ticked off a couple of bucket-list items, and was happy to bring you along for the ride. So for one more time this year, let’s play the hits.

Super Subarus in Sicily: Tracing the Targo Florio in the BRZ tS and WRX TR

Sliding in at the end of the year was a wild whirlwind of a trip on one of the most historic driving routes in the world. And it turns out that the BRZ and WRX are just about perfect for the job, or any sporty job.



Daikoku Parking Area in Tokyo is a must-visit for car fans

This was easily my favorite thing I did this year, and it came at the end of a really excellent week in Tokyo. For years I’ve wanted to visit Daikoku PA, as it’s a hot spot for car enthusiasts to meet and show off in the Tokyo area. It didn’t disappoint. Great cars and meeting a friend all made it a shoe-in for my highlight of the year.


We test Toyota’s manual EV prototype for the first time, and it’s freaky

Part of that fantastic week in Tokyo involved experiencing the wildest technological magic trick I’ve experienced. An EV, with a single speed, was drivable, and convincing, as a six-speed manual internal combustion car. I don’t know what practical use there is for it, but it was cool to experience.

Lexus UX 300e with simulated manual transmission


Toyota Neo Steer Prototype First Drive Review: Feet-free motoring is pretty groovy

Another fascinating prototype I drove from Toyota was one that was fully hand-controlled. It worked impressively well, and seems like a great option for people with limited use of their legs. It also was my first experience with fast-ratio steer-by-wire, and I came away quite liking it.

Toyota Neo Steer


Hot Wheels Unleashed 2 Review: One of the best arcade racers gets better

I’m bringing this up because this was my favorite racing game I played this year. Yes, I enjoyed it more than “Forza Motorsport.” You should give it a try.

Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged


Toyota EPU is a Maverick-sized electric pickup we really want

Toyota, I want this. You need to build it. That’s why it’s on my list. Build. It.

Toyota EPU concept


VW ID. GTI has lines that connect it to … an Oldsmobile

Did you know the ID. GTI (and past GTIs) have some interesting design inspirations? Now you will. And we’re glad to report this one is already confirmed for production.

Volkswagen ID. GTI Concept


Audi R8 Quattro Final Drive: A fast farewell

It was very brief (just two laps), but ripping an R8 around such a famous track as Laguna Seca (chasing a multiple Le Mans champion) was an unforgettable (and obviously fun) experience.

2023 Audi R8s


McPherson College’s first Pebble Beach entry wins second in class

I graduated from McPherson College, and I was glad to have been able to see the college bring home an award from Pebble Beach. A lot of work went into that car.

1953 Mercedes-Benz 300 S Cabriolet


1965 Apollo GT from ‘The Love Bug’ going to auction

Short of an actual (or really good replica) “Herbie,” the yellow Apollo GT or “Thorndyke Special” would be the car I’d want from one of my all-time favorite movies, “The Love Bug.” It was fun to dream a little, and to learn that one of the movie cars still exists.

1965 Apollo GT "Thorndyke Special"


2023 VW Jetta Review: Quality commuter for the cost-conscious

It feels like the number of really affordable cars is shrinking quickly, especially fun ones. So it was a wonderful surprise to discover that a basic Jetta with a manual transmission is a cheerful little budget machine, and one with enough refinement to feel like it’s not a budget machine.

VW Jetta SE


Hyundai reimagines pixel art with Ioniq 6 design details

Auto shows often give us a chance to get familiar with cars that might not have reached our driveways for testing. And that time allowed me to discover some of the more sneaky design details of the Hyundai Ioniq 6, as well as test some theories I had about all those little pixel squares everywhere. And then later, I learned that the 6 is one of my favorite E-GMP cars.


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