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Dies Irae: the Definitive Driver's Magazine

Dies Irae was the one most popular automotive magazine in central Europe from it’s founding in 1929 to it’s rebranding to Car! Magazine in 2004, when people assumed that Dies Irae had been taken off of shelves rather than rebranded. In 2016 the magazine was brought by Autocar magazine and once again rebranded to Dies Irae: the Definitive Driver’s Magazine. The magazine has been releasing monthly copies ever since.

Dies Irae tended to focus on 2-3 cars per magazine, with smaller segments about goings on in the automotive world taking a backseat to detailed explanations and descriptions of cars. Very little of the magazine was taken up by advertisments, most of them being crammed onto a 2 pages at the back of the magazine. Dies Irae also featured artwork and posters in every issue, all created by the best of the best when it came to automotive artwork. These artwork and posters would vary from postcard size to fully-blown wall posters, and sometimes you would even get an exclusive gift like a badge or, in later years, a fridge magnet.

The cars reviewed and looked at in Dies Irae ranged from small, compact econoboxes to classic racecars, all reviewed by a small team of 5. This team, hand selected from a special test, ensures that all reviews are engaging and entertaining to read. In addition to this, the magazine only cost (circa latest copy July 19th, 2021) £1.50, or $2.06 in USD. This was significantly cheaper than most other magazines for the simple fact that the total team working on the magazine was roughly 10-11, discounting the various artists brought in throught it’s lifespan. This made it more accessible to people, and typically meant that it was more widespread than others.

Despite most of the older copies being available for purchase online, either via eBay or Facebook Marketplace (in varying conditions) it can be quite hard to come across them, and any one past 1988 tends to be more than it’s really worth.

Therefore I shall be reprinting the main car reviews for each magazine in this thread, along with the original artwork. To see the whole magazines, I might do them in the future if I ever get a Patreon set up. So stay tuned for that.

Basically, just feel free to relax and read some car reviews, and please feel free to leave a comment if you feel displeased about anything about my magazine at any point in time. I’m typically quite open to criticism.

That’s all for now, remember to take care and stay safe!

(FYI the little # and a number correlates to the month, eg. 1 = jan 2 = feb etc.)
-Void

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Will be interesting to see what you can come up with.What kind of cars are you looking for to review, and how do you want them sent in?

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Dies Irae #10, 2016
Zephorus Blueberry HPX review

"A bit of an oddball"


The earlier generation Blueberries won rally championships. Can this one live up to their legacy?

When I was first sent the email telling me that I would be test driving the all-new Blueberry HPX, I didn’t entirely know what to think. I had seen adverts for the regular models previously on TV, but had never actually clocked that it was a new Blueberry, since it looked nothing like Zephorus’ older cars. Which, as a brand just 2 years in the process of being rebuilt, made perfect sense.

Of course, the best thing to do when attempting to pool funds to create a larger business is to tap into whatever is popular at the time, and what has been the rage for the last few years and for the forseeable future is mini - SUV’s. And that’s exactly what the Blueberry HPX is. It’s a neat little five-door compact that has been lifted and given cross-country modifications. In theory.

On paper the HPX looks to be just about the best car Zephorus has ever made. Jam-packed with many the latest technologies available to Zephorus and using Zephorus’ trade secret engine tech to get incredible mpg and horsepower output. However.

The FWD powertrain, partnered with the sport-tread tyres causes for an underwhelming offroad ability. This also causes for the car to experience snap oversteer when cornering at high speeds, and the brakes seem to be too small for the car’s power, resulting in brake fade and a high stopping distance. The suspension’s tuning also causes the Blueberry to lean massively, and negatively affects the handling, and the short, top-heavy dimensions also negatively affect the handling, causing the HPX to go up on two wheels at high speeds. At higher speeds the steering has seemingly no input on the direction, and at lower speeds it steers far too much. Despite this the Blueberry is very fun to drive, and the model I was given handled well despite it’s faults.

The interior however, didn’t fare as well. Despite being a brand-new car I managed to similtaniously get my coffee cup jammed in the cupholder, and broke the cupholder in an attempt to remove it. The interior also did not retain heat very well, often being freezing cold in the early winter mornings on which I drove it. However, I must say that the heating worked very well, warming up the car much faster than my current ETK 800 Coupe, and the heated seats just put the cherry on the top. The seats were surprisingly comfortable, despite being mostly plastic and faux leather, but the lack of shoulder braces lead to me sliding out of the seat whilst cornering which wasn’t particularly pleasant. Despite that the fully adjustable seat led for a comfortable sitting position, no matter your height or size and a moveable steering wheel only improved that further. The gauges and buttons are easy to access and well-lit at night, proving for an easy driving experience. Overall the interior, despite being plasticy and cheap looking is a well-put together, comfortable, easy-to-use interior that serves it’s purpose very well.


The turbocharged inline 4 creates a smooth, torquey ride that still accelerates well

Overall, the Blueberry HPX is a good car. It has it’s faults, but then again every car does, and the HPX’s faults don’t affect it all too much. If you’re looking for a small, sporty hatchback with some decent offroad and load-carrying ability, then the Blueberry is the only car in it’s class even worth looking at, and for just $34,000 for the top-trim spec it’s not massively expensive. The unique exterior makes the HPX stand out no matter where you are, so if you like to be the centre of attention this car makes a good option for you. However, due to the fact that it’s a relatively small car it can make it hard to fit some things into the less-than-ideal sized trunk. It’s not the car for me, to be entirely honest, and for $34,000 I would rather get another ETK. But, it fills a niche and it fills it well.

thanks to @Riley for the car, it’s a neat little package that i enjoyed a lot. i look forward to see where Zephorus goes for the future!

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i don’t mind what cars are submitted, the more and diverse the better imo! as for submission, either dm me on the discourse or on discord with the .car file and any lore you would like me to stick to

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And year does not matter either, I guess, since the magazine has been around since 1929?

Another question, do you test them in beam or not?

yes. practically all the testing is done in beam so unfortunately 3-wheelers won’t work (unless someone else fixes them for me lmao idk how)

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Not a bad start to this thread - informative and honest all the way through. Keep it up!

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Dies Irae #2, 1976
IP Pandora 2000 GTX review

"Diamond in the Rough"


The Flaire, the Pandora’s ‘big brother’ was extremely successful at it’s launch, can the Pandora do the same?

The Pandora is truly a wholy remarkable car, really showing the high quality come to be expected of IP in recent years. While the Pandora in itself is not their most luxurious car IP has ever made, nor is it the fastest, or the most reliable, it certainly ticks all those boxes, and ticks them well. And, for just £5150 (£12,800 in 2012 GDP) it’s not expensive either. And what do you get in this £5000 package?

Well, for starters the 2000 GTX takes the trusty IP 4L inline 4 and completely reworks the tuning, taking it from a mild fill in horsepower to a snappy 97.8 horsepower. Couple this with a weight of just 955.1 kilos and the Pandora accelerates to 60 mph in just 10 seconds, and can top out at 121 mph, which aren’t exactly supercar numbers but are still high for a cheap sports sedan. Despite the sport-oriented tuning the GTX still manages 26.3 miles to the gallon, so it doesn’t drain money out of your pocket either, which in current times of high fuel prices is vital to a car’s success.

The car’s suspension and wheels have also been completely overhauled, the springs being made stiffer and the stickier tyres have been fitted to custom alloy wheels to give it a stiffer, more responsive ride. A manual 5-speed makes the 121 mph top speed easy to reach without straining the car too much.

The modifications aren’t just internal either. Paired with the Pandora’s already striking styling is paired with front and rear spoilers, unique GTX stripes and a pair of foglights, creating a truly beautiful car.

However, the clutch is still the same from the base model, which is famously easy to short-shift and destroy the gearbox, meaning that despite the slick gearstick movement and the minimal power dropoff from changing gears is cancelled out by the precision and carefulness you have to use to ensure you don’t break the clutch.

In addition to this, the gearstick in question is quite far away from the seat, and especially considering the position of the seat compared to the steering wheel and pedals. The interior is also somewhat more sportier than the standard, but the proportions are weird and uncomfortable. The seats are far too low down compared to the rest of the car and the steering wheel is oddly close to the seat. Aside from this the interior is decently comfortable, and is surpisingly spacious for the actual cabin size.

The Pandora 2000 GTX is proof that a car doesn’t have to be extravagant to evokes feelings in any petrolhead and simple buyer alike. It can also similtaneously blend into a cityscape and stand out from the crowd at any car show, creating a truly unique experience. And the signature IP ruggedness shines through once more in the Pandora, you’d think it was indestructible with how many hits it can take and still drive on fine. The RWD drivetrain makes for a fun driving experience nonetheless.

Overall, the IP Pandora 2000 GTX is a great car, it’s somehow so bland that it become exciting and nothing else really comes close. It has it’s flaws and quirks, but it’s just so hard to notice those while driving the Pandora. And I know the taboo with buying a car you review, but I simply had no choice. It’s just too good.

You want my advice? Buy one.

big thanks to @Knugcab for the car, it was a joy to drive and extremely enjoyable to throw around all types of terrain. i might have to engine-swap one of these for uhh… research purposes.

that’s all from me, see you in the next one! - void.

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Sorry for the delay on the next article. Been swamped with schoolwork and personal issues. Should be up by next week

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