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Showing posts from December, 2012
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Snow Driving Tips

With snow on the roads, grip is reduced and, as a result, a vehicle's ability to accelerate, brake and turn is also reduced. Here are a few winter driving tips that could help you drive safer while there's snow on the ground.


Starting up

- Roll into the gas pedal: When taking off, always apply very little pressure on the gas pedal and start to roll into it very slowly to avoid losing traction and spinning the wheels.

- Start in 2nd gear: In manual/standard vehicles, especially those with high torque outputs, it may be helpful to start in 2nd gear as it will have less torque at the wheels and will be less likely to spin.

- Don't keep spinning: If, while you're trying to get going, the wheels keep spinning but you are not moving, lift off the gas right away. For one, the tires most likely will keep spinning without going anywhere and you could dig the tires deeper in the snow. For another, if you actually start moving, you could damage the gears and be faced with a very e…

Winter Car Maintenance Tips

It's this time of the year again and I thought I would share a few winter maintenance tips that can be overlooked but they can keep a vehicle running better and more safely.


1- Tires

They're the only components that connect your vehicle to the road. Regardless of the capability of a vehicle's drivetrain and suspension or how strong the brakes are, they will handle only as well as the tires allow them to. Always get snow tires and not summer or all season tires if snow stays on the ground. If you only get rain but no snow where you live, all season tires are a great choice.

Check tread regularly to make sure the grooves are deep enough. Tires have wear bars which indicate  when the amount of tread left is unsafe for driving. Snow tires have two wear bars; one for dry/wet driving and one for snow driving. If the tread is at the taller wear bar (the snow wear bar), the tires are not safe for snow driving but may still be used in the rain or dry. If the tread reaches the lower …

Super wagons, anyone?

What do you get when take a powerful V8, add a capable chassis, RWD or AWD and wrap it up in a 4 door shell with a large hatch behind the rear seat? Super wagons.. a super fast, tire shredding, grocery getters with performance that challenges supercars.

Audi has just revealed its new Audi RS6 wagon with a 4.0 litre twin turbo V8 putting out 552 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Audi estimates a 0-62 mph time (0-100 km/h) of 3.9 s but judging by Motor Trend's test and dyno of the Audi S8 which uses basically the same engine, I expect the acceleration and output numbers to be on the conservative side. I wouldn't be surprised if the engine puts out about the same power as the one in the S8 but Audi just gave them different ratings to market this as being more sporty.

The idea of a powerful people mover is nothing new. Large station wagons with powerful V8's were not unusual but, unfortunately, after the oil crisis of 1973, the power wars started to die. The power wars are back thou…

Handling a Nissan GTR on A Wet Track - A Closer Look

I have talked to many people who tried to argue that AWD gives the Nissan GTR a traction advantage over RWD competitors.. which is true. However, they argue that, because of the AWD drivetrain, the GTR has another advantage which is that it can be driven year round, in inclement weather. They also usually refer to the GTR's Nurburgring lap time as a wet lap time because the track was slightly damp at a few spots and that it would be several seconds faster if it had been completely dry. I disagree.

The GTR's power and suspension setup isn't meant for all weather capability.. add that to a performance oriented AWD drivetrain, and all weather capability starts to seem very unlikely.



The video shows an Audi A1 quattro with just over 250 hp that has no problem at all keeping up with a Nissan GTR, which has more than twice the power, on a wet course. In fact, at several points in the video, the Audi A1 seems like it had a good shot at passing the GTR. The advantages of the Audi,…

How to deal with drunk drivers

Luckily, I haven't been involved with any drunk drivers but I know many people who have. It is never pleasant, whether there is a collision or not. I saw this video yesterday and decided to make a post about  it. The driver in the Subaru does appear to be drunk but, IMO, this is definitely NOT the way to deal with a drunk driver.

The driving could have swerved violently across the lanes and hit this guy while he was passing. He could brake too quickly while you're close behind or accelerate and lose control while you're in front.



MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) Canada has been encouraging drivers to call 911 when they suspect there is a drunk driver and they list a few signs for drunk drivers:

 - Driving unreasonably fast, slow or at an inconsistent speed
 - Driving in and out of lanes
 - Tailgating and changing lanes frequently
 - Making exceptionally wide turns
 - Changing lanes or passing without sufficient clearance
 - Overshooting or stopping well before stop sig…






Does An Aftermarket Grille Really Increase Airflow?
I put a Saleen S281 grille to the test to answer that question.

Stock Suspension S197 Mustang With Square 305/30/19's
What you need to fit a proper size square tire setup.

How Limited Slip Diffs Make You Faster on Track
What you need to know about how they put power down and pros and cons.

Can Telemetry Explain Schumacher's Talent?
A comparison between Schumacher's and then team mate Herbert's data.






Cayman GT4 Track Review
The first Cayman with proper (911-challenging) power.

Is an EcoBoost Mustang any good on Track?
Two days at the track in a Mustang short 4 cylinders.

2016 BMW M4 DCT Track Review
It's quick (properly quick). But is it fun?

Can a stock Golf Diesel handle a Track Day?
Not your every day track beater.




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Michelin Pilot Super Sports vs Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 - Street Review

I've been a huge fan of Michelin PSS tires and exclusively bought them for the Mustang over the last four years. So how did I end up here? This year, I was hugely interested in trying an "R-comp" tire. I had my eyes set on Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R's for two simple reasons: price and reputation. Although not a true "R-comp" tire on paper, it performs like one by the account of every single test and review I've read (down to wear rates...). They seem like they're easily the most affordable (from a big brand) R-comp tire and combine that with a reputation for having tons of grip, it was an easy top contender. I had my concerns, though. For one, I'm told and have read that they are an autox tire, not really designed for high speed, pressure, and temps associated with open track. For another, the Mustang is a heavy car (as far as track cars are concerned) being roughly 3,800 lb. (including driver), which will amplify the unwanted open track loads.…

Koenigsegg Gamera: 4 Seats, 4WD, 3 Cylinders, and 1700 hp

Meet the Koenigsegg Gamera. This car brings so many firsts, not just to Koenigsegg, but also to the entire automotive industry. For Koenigsegg, it is the first car to have 4 seats, the first to have 3 cylinders and the first to have all wheel drive. Koenigsegg calls it the world's first mega-GT (gran touring) car, and I think they're right. For the world, it brings the first four seater, mid-engine, hyper car. Koenigsegg says it wants to bring the "exciting performance traits of a mid-engine two-seater megacar with the practicalities of a four-seater car with more luggage space" so the experience can be shared with "family and friends." Clearly, I need better friends...

With 1,700 hp on tap, you are sure to impress those lucky enough to be your family and friends if you own one of those. Of course, a three cylinder engine with 1,700 hp is likely to have all the driveability and flexibility of a farm tractor so Koenigsegg doesn't rely on it for all the …

Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R Track Review

For better or for worse, I have heard and read so much about RE-71R's. Everyone swears by the grip but complains about the wear. Generally speaking, the pros are:

1. They grip as well or better than most R comps.
2. They don't wear as quickly as R comps if driven occasionally on the street.
3. They work better in the rain than R comps.

The cons were limited to overheating quickly when used on track (being an autocross tire) and wearing too fast on heavy cars like mine.

In the popular 200 TW category, they are faster than the popular Hankook RS-4's and BFGoodrich Rival S's according to published Tire Rack Tests. According to plenty of reviews, they are also faster than well established R comps like R888R's (which don't seem to work too well on heavy cars anyway) and the venerable NT01's. But I was still hesitant for a while until I talked to a tire tech support gentleman at Tire Rack who has gone faster on RE-71R's than NT01s. In a Mustang (his own, not…

Michelin PSS vs Firestone Indy 500 - Track Review

A couple of weeks ago, I posted my first impressions of Michelin's PSS vs Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 tires. I've run PSS's for several years on the Boss, but I'm trying the Indy 500's for the first time. In short, I was worried about the narrower tires (I was running 285/35/18 PSS but could only find the Indy 500 in 275/35/18) and tread squirm, but I was happy with them up to that point just driving on the street. I had the chance to drive on them for three track days now. So what were they like? After my first session, they made an impression that basically persisted for the rest of track sessions on them. Phenomenal, unmatched value. Now, if value is something that stands out above all else, it typically means the compromise between qualities you want and those you don't is less than ideal, but the value is attractive. This is no different. I'll start with the bad, which really boil down to two: ultimate grip and grip longevity.

Grip is noticeably lowe…