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Racing Kingdom – the online racing game!

To be honest right from the start, I never liked free online racing games because most of them are filled with annoying ads that get on my last nerves. Anyway, a friend of mine was bored one day and while browsing the Internet he stumbled upon a video game called Racing Kingdom. At first, I was reluctant to his recommendation but I decided to give it a try.

The first thing I liked about it is that they didn’t ask me to make an account because you can join for free by using a Facebook account and let’s face it, there aren’t that many people left who don’t have an account.

The game offers you 40 cars to choose from, ranging from exotics, concepts to sports cars. You have the possibility to connect and play with your friends in drag races, drift racing as well as circuit racing. The Bayside City in which the game takes place consists of 5 areas: Downtown, Rosewood Hill (unlocked at Level 4), Castaway Hill (unlocked at Level 7), Maple Hill (unlocked at level 10) and Castle Hill (unlocked at level 14). This means that there is a lengthy career waiting for you so you won’t get bored very easily and this can only be a good thing.

To unlock the areas you will have to increase your level and you can do this by gaining respect. How you can respect? Simple, by winning races. This isn’t really a novelty in car video games so you should be quite familiar with this system. There are tournaments in which you can participate but only after you reach Level 5. In addition, you get a garage once you reach 28 respect points in which you will be able to store your cars.

Needless to say, with the money that you earn you can buy one of the licensed cars available. Speaking of, there aren’t many online free racing games that have licensed cars. Most of them have a bunch of vehicles that look roughly the same as the originals but they have some odd names so this is a nice touch to actually buy a Mercedes CLS or an Audi RS4, not a bizarrely-named car. Aside from acquiring a vehicle, Racing Kingdom gives you the possibility to purchase upgrade to make the cars better, like improving performance or handling, just like a proper (and paid for) PC / Xbox 360 / PS3 game does.

A nice feature of the game is the Crew section in which you can hire a bunch of your friends in order to build a concept car and after that convert it into credits. You can hire an engine tech, a brakes tuner, electrician, welder, test drive and a crew leader. During the process, once you achieve certain steps you get rewards like gas, cash, cars and so on, quite cool actually.

All things considered, Racing Kingdom really surprised me with its rich selection of features that you would normally expect to get for a retail game and since I’ve played it I began to change my mind about online free racing video games because at least this one doesn’t invade you with annoying ads.

If you’re a car lover and you’d like to play during office hours, you can start with just a click here. Have fun!

First drive: the 2011 Citroen C4

The new Citroen C4

My family has a long history with French cars: they currently own 3 Citroens that they’ve bought during the past 6-7 years. I remember how cool I thought the Citroen C4 Coupe VTR looked when I first saw it. Given the context, you can imagine that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the new C4, when I was invited to the launch.

I can’t say we agreed at first. Yes, this new creature had a more aggressive front styling and a bigger front grill, just like the more recent Citroen cars, but at the same time the lines are smoother, more tamed. This is what I don’t really fancy. I liked the lines of the old Coupe. But since the new C4 is not a coupe, it’s definitely better looking than the old model, which was fluffy like a doughnut. And I didn’t really like the doughnut, although the C3 pulled it off quite nicely.

Back to the cars I drove. As always, I picked the most powerful cars that were lined up: 150hp, diesel and petrol. And I did like what they can do: they have fast reactions to gas pedal, climbing up to 140-150 km/h quite hastily and it doesn’t struggle to get there. What I really disliked was the semi-automatic gearbox. I’d rather have the manual one any day. The semi-automatic is quite strange, because, as low speed, you feel like someone’s braking before you get to change speeds.

And this is about everything I don’t like about the new C4. These issues are more about Citroen in general, than about this particular model.

And now for the good part: what I do like about the new Citroen C4.
I absolutely love the interior! I’ve always liked Citroen interiors, from the C5 to the C3 Pluriel and C4 Picasso. Yes, I thought the fixed steering wheel was weird (and they gave up on that, by the way), but I still liked every tiny bit of the cars’ interiors. The good news is that now it’s even better looking. Especially in the full option version, with the sat nav and all the perks.

The dashboard is asymmetrical. The left is a whole another story from the right. They’re from different books, I tell you. Right in front of the driver, above the indicators and what not, a series of crests that make it look like some kind of prehistoric creature. The whole plastic detailing is great quality, so there’s no cheap feeling there.

Another pleasantly strange thing about the interior is the massage seats. This is a strange option for a car that isn’t necessarily in the premium category. But this is good strange. Citroen are known for the amount of technology they put in their cars and the massage seats are… recommended. :) They’re just right to keep you relaxed while you speed into the tricky curves of the Carpathian mountain roads.

As for the exterior, I’m really not a big fan. The C4’s design fits quite well into the line of the medium sized cars that has been advertised lately, but I want the rough, pointy edges of the old C4 back. Not to mention that there is no coupe version of the new C4 and I assume that the new DS4 will fill the sporty spot on the Citroen team.

Well, it seems that I’ve been complaining a bit too much. I haven’t covered that well just how much I liked to drive it. With some nice music in the background, but with the pedal to the floor, the car is more than a pleasant experience. I expected the C5 to be very cool, with a great interior and great noise cancellation and so on, the C4 took me by surprise.

Overall, I liked the new Citroen C4 more than I expected to. I didn’t like the semi-automatic gearbox, so I’d like to stick to the manual one, please. I confess I would love a bigger engine, which I hope we’ll get on the new DS4. And the interior is so great that it makes me want to sleep in this car.

What’s under the hood?
Well, you’ll find three version for engine they’ve put in the new C4:
- Diesel 1.6 HDI 90 hp, 0-100 km/h in 12.9 seconds, top speed -180 km/h
- Petrol 2.0 HDI 150 hp, 0-100 km/h in 8.6 seconds, top speed – 207 km/h
- Petrol 1.6 HDI 110hp, 0-100 km/h in in 11.2 seconds, top speed – 190 km/h.
The cool thing about the car is that there are tons of accessories, some useful, some just for looks, that you can make your car stand out.

To complete the picture, take a look at this video, shot by our friend Razvan from Trafictube. Also, check out the full set of pictures from the drive test in our gallery.

The new Citroen C4 from trafictube on Vimeo.

Photo Gallery: 2011 Citroen C4

2011 Citroen C4 2011 Citroen C4 2011 Citroen C4 2011 Citroen C4

Top Gear Season 14 Episode 2 review

Top Gear Season 14 Episode 2 review

After a smashing debut of its 14th season, Top Gear was back yesterday on BBC 2 and BBC HD to satisfy the thirst of any auto enthusiast out there.

But while last week’s episode was focused on a road trip through Romania, now, the guys have taken on a brave and eco challenge, as they were required to built an electric-powered car from scratch, with their own chassis, engine and design, with Richard Hammond, James May and Jeremy Clarkson, respectively, handling one department.

Hit the jump to read the full review of the TV show.

Top Gear Season 14 Episode 1 review

Top Gear Season 14 Episode 1 review

Ah yes, the day many car enthusiasts have awaited since the last season ended has finally arrived: Top Gear is now back with a whole new season on BBC 2. You’ve already seen the teaser trailer revealed in order to promote the new season, 14 to be specific, so I’m sure most of you tuned in last night to see the first episode.

And what an episode it was dear readers. You can hit the jump and see our complete review, but in case you don’t want anything spoiled, wait for the rerun and then come back to share your thoughts with the rest of our readers.


Fifth Gear Season 14 Episode 7

It’s really been a hectic time around here at AutoUnleashed but we still managed to write the reviews for the last two episode of this season of Fifth Gear. Episode 7 was a pretty good one, with highlights such as a dirt bike race between Tiff and Vicky or an Audi A3 which can park itself.

The show kicked off with Jonny’s experiment to improve on one of the most excitinghot hatches ever, the mark 2 Volkswagen Golf GTI. Although the normal car was a really good one, gaining Tiff’s praise, Jonny, together with some specialised VW tuners, managed in about a month to take the old car to new heights. After fitting it with special adjustable suspension, a revamped engine and special exhaust they created an even more powerful car which handled even better. So there you have it, you can improve one of the best cars made. Check out the video here.

“It’s new but is it any good?” followed, with Vicky testing Suzuki’s new city car, the Splash. They pitted it up against the current favorite city car of the Fifth Gear team, the Fiat Panda. A special test was put together, with the two cars being driven on cobblestones and the presenter tested which of the cars have the worst ride. It took into consideration how your groceries were at the end of the road, and how the confort of the driver was. (more…)

Fifth Gear Season 14 Episode 4

This week Fifth Gear really prepared a lot of test drives for us, which can only bring smiles upon our faces. The show kicked off with a Honda Civic Mugen RR, the fastest hot-hatch model available, unfortunately, only in Japan. So Jason Plato decided to put it up against Honda’s fastest model available in Europe, the S2000. The Civic really proved it’s worth on the track, being especially tuned by the guys from Mugen, and beat the S2000, which lagged almost a whole two seconds behing the Japanese model. In the end, the Civic really sounds great, but for an everyday car, which offers you power in the right situations, the S2000 is the right one.

Next up, Tim Shaw showed us some situations where you can beat the CO2 emissions tax. Starting next year, in the UK, new tax bands will be introduced, making the car owners pay a lot more on their yearly tax. Tim came up with quite a few ways of cheating the tax or advantages that it brings. The first solution was getting a motorbike, which has a tax of maximum £66. Next up, was getting a car which was 8 years old, before the tax was introduced, or you can take it one step further, by buying a classic car, registered before 1973. (more…)

2008 Chevrolet Cobalt review

The 2008 Chevrolet Cobalt XFE is a new option package designed to offer improved fuel economy. Model-year 2008 also marks the return of the Cobalt SS high-performance model to this compact car’s roster. Manual-transmission Cobalt LS and LT models come with the XFE package, which includes specific tires and powertrain tweaks designed to maximize fuel economy. Note that the XFE package is not available on Cobalts equipped with the 2LT option package.

Sport coupes and sedans have a 171-hp 2.4-liter engine, while the SS is a coupe only, and it has a 260-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter powerplant. In terms of safety, the Chevrolet Cobalt is a mixed bag. In contrast to some cars in this class, rear disc brakes and ABS are optional except on the highest trim levels. Side curtain airbags became standard for ’08, while they were previously optional. When equipped with the side curtain bags, the Cobalt has scored quite well in crash tests. Small Chevrolet cars have rarely been known for the quality of their interiors, and the Cobalt doesn’t do much to change this.

In editorial reviews, the car has earned negative commentary in regard to its hard plastics, inconsistent build quality and limited storage. On the positive side, the Cobalt’s interior is nicely insulated from road and engine noise, and the front seats should be very comfortable for the majority of drivers and passengers. The Cobalt debuted for the 2005 model year. As such, it is only now starting to appear with frequency as a used vehicle. The Cobalt effectively replaced the long-running Chevy Cavalier, which was both smaller and of much poorer quality.


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Win a T-Shirt with importtuner


This is a review ordered by ImportTuner through ReviewMe. But, remember, these are my opinions presented here and are not in any way influenced by ImportTuner.

So, what’s this about? Well, ImportTuner organized a contest and you can win an Import tuner tshirt plus you can get featured in an article about your car.

The next question that probably pops in your head is what you have to do. You have to submit your photos of your car, plus a contest entry about your ride. They’ll choose the top three entries and feature them in an online article and send each winner an importtuner.com t-shirt.

You can enter from 9:00 a.m. PST 6/01/2007 till 17:00 p.m. PST 6/22/2007. Online voting from 17:30 p.m. PST 6/22/2007 till 17:00 p.m. PST 6/30/2007. And stay tuned to see if you are a winner.

So, nothing really more to say about this contest, except that it looks pretty cool and all you “tuned up” guys should really take a look here. (more…)

Autotropolis.com Review

This is a paid review ordered by Autotropolis, through ReviewMe. But stay cool, even if they paid for it, the opinions expressed here are completely mine and are not influenced in any way by them.

So, what is Autotropolis? It’s a website that wants to turn into an indispensable resource for those of you trying to find a new car. Their “weapon” is the very interesting Vehicle Selector Aid tool, reviewed by us here, a few days ago. The tool allows you to search for the best new car for you, depending on your lifestyle, your needs and your preferences. And it is pretty good, as I found out by reviewing it, the solutions it gave me being close to what I wanted. If you don’t want a suggestion, they offer you the possibility of searching by Manufacturer, Make, Type or Price. (more…)

Vehicle Selector Aid System

First of all, I’d like to mention that this is a paid review, order by Autotropolis.com through ReviewMe. However, even if paid, the opinions presented here are all mine. So here it goes.

The main subject of this review is Autotropolis’ Vehicle Selector Aid service. What does this service do? As it’s name says, it helps you find the most appropriate new car for you. They claim that this is “the internet’s first application to help you find New Cars based on your needs and wants, not just price and style!”. So let’s see if they are right. I’ll try to find myself a new car. (more…)