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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.
Alfa Romeo Junior Digitally Becomes a Subcompact Hair Blower With Summer Dreams
Alfa Romeo Junior Digitally Becomes a Subcompact Hair Blower With Summer Dreams

25 Apr 2024, 21:08 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / Alfa Romeo keeps making headlines with the Junior. The model was initially known as the Milano, yet after a dispute with the Italian government, the automaker agreed to give it a new name. Now, the subcompact crossover is back in the limelight with...

 
Next-Gen 2026 Mercedes-Benz V-Class Mule Spied With Electric Power
Next-Gen 2026 Mercedes-Benz V-Class Mule Spied With Electric Power

25 Apr 2024, 12:56 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / From constantly renewing its passenger car lineup to expanding its product portfolio, Mercedes has a lot on its plate, including new vans and minivans. This story is all about the next-generation V-Class/Vito, which is currently in the making. M...

 
2024 Buick GL8 PHEV Is GM's China Minivan With VIP and Aviation Seats
2024 Buick GL8 PHEV Is GM's China Minivan With VIP and Aviation Seats

25 Apr 2024, 12:06 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / A lot is happening in China's automotive world these days, as the 2024 Beijing Auto Show has officially opened its gates today, April 25. Local and international automakers are attending the car event, which comprises many local and inter...

 
New Genesis G80 EV Magma Concept Unveiled, Previews Future Tesla Model S Rival
New Genesis G80 EV Magma Concept Unveiled, Previews Future Tesla Model S Rival

25 Apr 2024, 11:26 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / Genesis is celebrating its third anniversary since launching its models in China. Hyundai's premium car brand is present these days at the 2024 Beijing Auto Show with several vehicles, including the all-new G80 EV Magma Concept. The 2024 Ge...

 
Bentley Targets China's One-Percenters With Exclusive Collection by Mulliner
Bentley Targets China's One-Percenters With Exclusive Collection by Mulliner

25 Apr 2024, 10:36 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / Bentley is aware that China is the biggest car market worldwide, and while the crew from Crewe has said no to some large automotive events recently, it couldn’t have missed the 2024 Beijing Auto Show’s massive exposure. As a result, ...

 
AC Schnitzer Wants To Tune Your G60 BMW 5 Series/i5
AC Schnitzer Wants To Tune Your G60 BMW 5 Series/i5

25 Apr 2024, 09:47 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / BMW's executive model, the 5 Series, and its electric sibling, the i5, have fallen into the hands of AC Schnitzer. The renowned tuner has prepared a few aftermarket upgrades for it, and if you know how it rolls, you know that the proposal is q...

 
New Mazda Arata Concept Shown in Beijing, Previews Future Tesla Model Y Rival
New Mazda Arata Concept Shown in Beijing, Previews Future Tesla Model Y Rival

25 Apr 2024, 08:38 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / Mazda has kicked things off a notch at the 2024 Beijing International Motor Show by unveiling two brand-new products. The first one is called the EZ-6 and will likely be christened the EZ-60 when it arrives in Chinese showrooms later this year, and...

 
BMW-Powered Land Rover Defender OCTA Officially Firing Up Its Engine on July 3
BMW-Powered Land Rover Defender OCTA Officially Firing Up Its Engine on July 3

25 Apr 2024, 08:02 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / The most exciting member of the latest generation Land Rover Defender family, the OCTA, is due this summer. The model will be officially unveiled on July 3, following a series of exclusive preview events worldwide. Land Rover has just made the o...

 
Widebody Nissan Z Flirts With the Camera in the Land of the Rising Sun
Widebody Nissan Z Flirts With the Camera in the Land of the Rising Sun

25 Apr 2024, 00:06 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / The latest generation Z just blew two candles off its birthday cake, and while Nissan didn't throw a party for the sports car, Liberty Walk has, albeit it was a small, digital, and kind of restrained one. All jokes aside, the Nissan Z is ta...

 
Rendering: 2025 Chevrolet Nomad Is a Muscly Shooting Brake With Camaro ZL1 Roots
Rendering: 2025 Chevrolet Nomad Is a Muscly Shooting Brake With Camaro ZL1 Roots

24 Apr 2024, 21:08 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / Certain car companies (ahem, Mercedes!) call their sporty station wagons shooting brakes, yet we all know what this term normally stands for three-door estates. Just like coupes should only have two doors. Do you remember the golden days of moto...

 
This '92 Corvette Wants To Be Your Guilty Pleasure, Needs Your Name on the Dotted Line
This '92 Corvette Wants To Be Your Guilty Pleasure, Needs Your Name on the Dotted Line

24 Apr 2024, 11:12 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / The used car market is far from stabilized, as some models cost more money than they did a couple of years ago. And we don't mean those high-end collectibles that keep a good chunk of the petrolhead crowd up at night, but some traditional ride...

 
Facelifted Mitsubishi ASX Fails To Evade Its Renault Roots but Becomes Techier
Facelifted Mitsubishi ASX Fails To Evade Its Renault Roots but Becomes Techier

24 Apr 2024, 09:52 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / Mitsubishi is still trying to trick new European car buyers into buying the ASX, a rebadged Renault Captur. However, since its French cousin got a mid-cycle refresh, it's not time for the Japanese variant to follow in its footsteps. Althoug...

 
2026 BMW iX Going Under the Knife, Will Sport a New Face and Pack More Punch
2026 BMW iX Going Under the Knife, Will Sport a New Face and Pack More Punch

24 Apr 2024, 09:13 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / BMW wants to keep the iX competitive in the electric crossover class for a few more years. As a result, a mid-cycle refresh of the vehicle is right around the corner, and it will replace the soon-to-be three-year-old iteration. We wouldn't ...

 
Rolls-Royce Spectre Loses Its Appeal in Mansory's Hands, Looks Like a Bad Chinese Copycat
Rolls-Royce Spectre Loses Its Appeal in Mansory's Hands, Looks Like a Bad Chinese Copycat

24 Apr 2024, 07:46 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / Don't act like you haven't seen it coming, as we told you about it over a month ago, and now it is time to meet it, whether you like it or not. Thus, say hello to Mansory's first take on the Rolls-Royce Spectre. The luxury electri...

 
Subaru Legacy Falls Victim to Crossovers and SUVs, Production Will End in 2025
Subaru Legacy Falls Victim to Crossovers and SUVs, Production Will End in 2025

24 Apr 2024, 07:07 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / Numerous traditional passenger cars have lost the battle to high-riders these past few years, and another model is now getting ready to leave the assembly line for good: the Subaru Legacy. The Japanese company will end production of its family s...

 
Lamborghini Urus Hits the Tuning Gym, Looks Like a Muscular Hyper Hatch
Lamborghini Urus Hits the Tuning Gym, Looks Like a Muscular Hyper Hatch

23 Apr 2024, 23:06 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / Lowering the ground clearance of any crossover or SUV is tricky, as you'll often end up with a hatchback or wagon-looking ride. The same goes for this Lamborghini Urus, and while it may sound like we hate it, we don't. After all, it has g...

 
2025 Hyundai Grandeur Gets an Unofficial Facelift, Should It Launch in the US of A?
2025 Hyundai Grandeur Gets an Unofficial Facelift, Should It Launch in the US of A?

23 Apr 2024, 21:08 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / Hyundai is one of the few companies that remains committed to traditional passenger cars in the United States. It's low-slung portfolio comprises the battery-electric Ioniq 6, as well as the Elantra, Elantra Hybrid, Elantra N, and the Sonata. ...

 
2025 LR Defender OCTA Has a BMW Heart, Powerslides Like Crazy at the 'Ring
2025 LR Defender OCTA Has a BMW Heart, Powerslides Like Crazy at the 'Ring

23 Apr 2024, 11:42 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / Did you know Land Rover's latest-gen Defender can powerslide like a madman? Probably yes, if you've watched the spy video we covered last week. The footage made its way to the World Wide Web courtesy of Car Spy Media, and more recently, o...

 
2025 A5 Avant Hits Audi Sport's Gym, Becomes the RS 5 Avant Muscular Station Wagon
2025 A5 Avant Hits Audi Sport's Gym, Becomes the RS 5 Avant Muscular Station Wagon

23 Apr 2024, 08:33 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / Wait a minute. The current A5 comes in Coupe, Cabriolet, and Sportback body styles, with the traditional sedan and station wagon versions reserved for the A4. So, what's up with the 2025 Audi A5 Avant and RS 5 Avant? It's all about Aud...

 
Kia Tasman Pickup Goes All Artsy With New Camouflage, Will Debut in 2025
Kia Tasman Pickup Goes All Artsy With New Camouflage, Will Debut in 2025

23 Apr 2024, 07:22 UTC · By: Cristian Gnaticov / Korean automaker Kia has put the spotlight on the Tasman. The pickup, which will enter the light commercial vehicle class next year, has gained a fresh camouflage developed in collaboration with Richard Boyd-Dunlop. Australia's diverse land...

 

Stories by Cristian Gnaticov