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Cristian Gnaticov

Staff Writer
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Growing up in the communist regime, little Cristian knew the local cars, whose models you could count using the fingers on one hand, by their sound. Scale models were a luxury back then, so he turned to old magazines for glimpses of famous models sold in the West.

Shortly after the regime fell, he started school and got his first four-wheeled toys. Not long after, he experienced the "brute force" of an old Dacia (long before the current Renault era) far away from public roads - and he instantly knew that his life won't have any meaning for the next 10 years or so, when he could get his license and take on the roads on his own.

As years slowly passed, his father started teaching him the basic parking and turning maneuvers. And before he knew it, he turned 18 and got his prized license.

He spent the next few years going to car meets and the occasional drag race, as part of local clubs, and when he finished school and started earning his first money, he knew what he had to do: modify an old Dacia (his first true love) and go rallying.

So the arduous process began. Finding a good engine, transmission and suspension, upgrading the brakes and reinforcing the chassis. An old Renault 5 Alpine supplied the power unit, whereas the suspension and brakes came from a Dacia factory rally car.

Countless sleepless nights later, his baby was almost ready to hit the asphalt, gravel and other fun surfaces. Unfortunately, a string of events that included a garage fire, among others, killed his dream. So, he moved on to drive press cars and write for a living, and the rest is history.

He worked for several automotive online journals and now he's back at autoevolution after his first tour in the mid-2000s.
This Is Mexico’s 2021 BMW iX3, and It Starts at 1,425,000 Pesos
This Is Mexico’s 2021 BMW iX3, and It Starts at 1,425,000 Pesos

26 Jun 2021, 13:30 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / The 2021 BMW iX3 is now officially up for grabs in Mexico, with deliveries set to commence in the second half of the year. The electric premium compact crossover is offered in two trim levels, named the Inspiring and Impressive, and comes with a lo...

 
Manhart’s LR Defender Arrives With Bad Boy Looks, V8-Rivaling Power
Manhart’s LR Defender Arrives With Bad Boy Looks, V8-Rivaling Power

26 Jun 2021, 13:22 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / The new V8-powered Land Rover Defender may blow your washings off the line, with 525 PS (518 HP / 386 kW) and 625 Nm (461 lb-ft) of torque, but the P400 variant tuned by Manhart shouldn’t be ignored either. For one, the 3.0-liter inline-si...

 
Hyundai i20 N Is a Great Track Car, Conquers the ’Ring With One Fast Lap
Hyundai i20 N Is a Great Track Car, Conquers the ’Ring With One Fast Lap

26 Jun 2021, 12:42 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / Ask anyone what their favorite small hot hatchback is, and they’ll probably say the Toyota GR Yaris. But that’s an homologation special, with a bespoke platform, all-wheel-drive, and a large amount of thrust, so it sits in a league of i...

 
2022 GMC Hummer EV Takes to the Road, Reveals More of Its Big Boy Nature
2022 GMC Hummer EV Takes to the Road, Reveals More of Its Big Boy Nature

26 Jun 2021, 12:32 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / The 2022 GMC Hummer EV was spotted in the open last week, turning a lot of heads and making one Ford Mustang driver follow it around and immortalizing the rare event. The Detroit automaker won’t start rolling out the 2022 GMC Hummer EV unt...

 
Buy This Pile of Junk, Tell Everyone You Have a Mercedes-AMG SL 63
Buy This Pile of Junk, Tell Everyone You Have a Mercedes-AMG SL 63

26 Jun 2021, 12:04 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / Mercedes-AMG has been tasked with the development of the new generation SL, which will share many components with the upcoming two-door GT lineup. It is expected to break cover before the end of the year, or in early 2022, but if you cannot wait th...

 
Hummer H1 Cabrio Could Be Your $105k Spartan Summer Companion
Hummer H1 Cabrio Could Be Your $105k Spartan Summer Companion

26 Jun 2021, 11:22 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / Even though it has always been considered an unrefined and very basic beast, the Hummer H1 has a certain appeal to it that cannot be matched by today’s off-roaders. Whether it is that hairy-chested exterior design, basic analogue cockpit o...

 
2021 Genesis G80 Gets Clean Diesel Option in Australia
2021 Genesis G80 Gets Clean Diesel Option in Australia

26 Jun 2021, 11:03 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / Genesis has introduced a new diesel option for the 2021 G80 in Australia. It joins the existing four- and six-cylinder petrol units, and carries a AU$3,000 (equal to US$2,278) premium over the base 2.5T model. Pricing for the new Genesis G80 2.2...

 
Brabus Mercedes-AMG G 63 Costs as Much as 9 Dodge Durango Hellcats
Brabus Mercedes-AMG G 63 Costs as Much as 9 Dodge Durango Hellcats

26 Jun 2021, 09:42 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / Anyone with over $700k to blow on a new set of wheels is spoiled for choice, but presuming you had a rich uncle that you’re not aware of, what would you get for that kind of money? A Porsche 911 Turbo S, a Rolls-Royce Ghost and a Mercedes-AMG...

 
How Quick Is Hennessey’s Mammoth Compared to the Stock Ram 1500 TRX?
How Quick Is Hennessey’s Mammoth Compared to the Stock Ram 1500 TRX?

26 Jun 2021, 09:19 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / With production of the Hennessey Mammoth 1000 kicking off earlier this week, the Lone Star State tuner has decided to show what the hypertruck is made of. And what better way to demonstrate the stunning amount of work that went into it than by drag...

 
Brash Kia K5 Is Best Left Underground Where It Belongs
Brash Kia K5 Is Best Left Underground Where It Belongs

25 Jun 2021, 16:56 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / The tuning fairy has paid a visit to this Kia K5, granting it a bundled wish and making it a head-turning ride. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean good looking, but that’s a totally different subject. Presented by Ferrada, as it feat...

 
Tuned Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 Goes for Bronze, Craves for the ‘45’ Badge
Tuned Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 Goes for Bronze, Craves for the ‘45’ Badge

25 Jun 2021, 14:38 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / With so many crossovers and SUVs available, it’s probably easy to forget about the Mercedes-Benz GLB. But it is, nonetheless, the most spacious premium subcompact high-rider in their portfolio, slotting between the GLA and GLC, and it is quit...

 
Trailer: 2022 BMW X3 Meets Scarlett Johansson in Marvel’s Black Widow
Trailer: 2022 BMW X3 Meets Scarlett Johansson in Marvel’s Black Widow

25 Jun 2021, 11:08 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / BMW has teamed up with Marvel Studios to showcase the 2022 X3 in the new Black Widow movie. The facelifted premium compact crossover has made an official appearance in the movie due July 9, joined by the 2-Series Gran Coupe, a front-wheel-drive cha...

 
Dacia Signs Ex-Aston Martin Design Director, Miles Nurnberger
Dacia Signs Ex-Aston Martin Design Director, Miles Nurnberger

25 Jun 2021, 09:21 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / With a lineup arguably consisting of some of the most beautiful modern cars, Aston Martin has Miles Nurnberger to thank for the styling of the Valkyrie project, as well as the DBX luxury SUV, and others. Only the 45-year old won’t be designin...

 
$70 Million Ferrari 250 GTO Is More Expensive Than the Beverly Hills Real Estate
$70 Million Ferrari 250 GTO Is More Expensive Than the Beverly Hills Real Estate

25 Jun 2021, 08:52 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / The Ferrari 250 GTO is the most expensive car ever sold at auction. Some of the extremely rare examples that went under the gavel these past few years fetched tens of millions of dollars, and the priciest is said to have changed hands for a whoppin...

 
Cops Go Drag Racing, Police Car Takes On Hellcats and the Gap Is Big
Cops Go Drag Racing, Police Car Takes On Hellcats and the Gap Is Big

25 Jun 2021, 07:49 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / At some point, most of us (okay, probably all of us) have wondered whether we can beat a police cruiser in a straight line acceleration, yet the answer is obvious. It depends on the type of car that we’re driving, what engine it has, how it p...

 
Mercedes-AMG C 63 Thinks It’s a Mustang, Crashes at Cali Car Meet While Drifting
Mercedes-AMG C 63 Thinks It’s a Mustang, Crashes at Cali Car Meet While Drifting

24 Jun 2021, 14:26 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / A shirtless driver, accompanied by his shirtless friends, became the laugh of the day at a car meet in California last week, as he ended up ruining his Mercedes-AMG C 63 while showing off in front of a large crowd. Throughout the video, the youn...

 
BMW X7 Poldo Dog Couture Is a Pet-Friendly Large SUV With Lots of Attitude
BMW X7 Poldo Dog Couture Is a Pet-Friendly Large SUV With Lots of Attitude

24 Jun 2021, 12:31 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / BMW has partnered up with Poldo Dog Couture, an Italian company specialized in making clothes and other accessories for man’s best friend, to launch a pet-friendly variant of the X7 xDrive40d. Aimed solely at the Italian market, the 2021 B...

 
Classic Jaguar E-Type Goes Electric in Time for Its 60th Anniversary
Classic Jaguar E-Type Goes Electric in Time for Its 60th Anniversary

24 Jun 2021, 12:22 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / There are numerous electric conversions available for the iconic Jaguar E-Type, and one of the latest has been signed by a British company called Electrogenic. Their proposal includes three different levels of zero-emission power, and optional rang...

 
2021 Nissan Juke Rally Tribute Concept Is a 240Z African Racer at Heart
2021 Nissan Juke Rally Tribute Concept Is a 240Z African Racer at Heart

24 Jun 2021, 10:06 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / Fifty years have passed since Nissan won the 1971 East Africa Rally with the 240Z, driven by Edgar Herrmann, who was assisted by Hans Schuller, and they are celebrating the anniversary with what is probably the coolest looking second-gen Juke. D...

 
Japan’s 2021 BMW X5 Pleasure Edition Has an Eye-Rolling Name, Can Seat Seven
Japan’s 2021 BMW X5 Pleasure Edition Has an Eye-Rolling Name, Can Seat Seven

24 Jun 2021, 09:28 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / BMW’s Japan arm has been on a roll this month, as besides the new 8-Series Frozen Black Edition, they have also introduced a special variant of the X5, named the Pleasure Edition. A limited model that will be produced until the end of July...

 

Stories by Cristian Gnaticov