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Showing posts from February, 2013
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SRT Viper ACR is coming!

Unsurprisingly, a more track focused Viper ACR has been confirmed for production (Viper GTS-R shown). SRT CEO Ralph Gilles has previously hinted at a Viper ACR but a high-level at Chrysler has confirmed to  Motor Trend  that a faster snake is already under development. Apparently, the reason for the delay is not budget or technical difficulties facing the SRT team. Rather, it's a problem with the tires. The SRT team would like some of the sticky goodness wrapping the Corvette ZR1's wheels - the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires. However, Michelin wouldn't sell the tires to SRT. The Corvette team may have had something to do with it but that would be difficult to confirm. Either way, they are now pressing their supplier, Pirelli, to develop something comparable to the Pilot Sport Cup tires to be used on the Viper ACR. The development for the car and tires are expected to be done for the 2014 calendar year. Along with upgraded tires, the ACR should receive a bunch o

700 hp C7 Corvette Stingray ZR1 may be in the works!

The C7 Chevy Corvette - the Stingray - was revealed last month and the details are very promising (full post:  The Stingray is back! Details about the new 2014 C7 Corvette ) .  If we're to learn anything from the changes from C5 to the C6 Corvette, the C7 base and Grand Sport Corvettes will approach the performance of the current Z06. Carbon fibre bits and an all aluminum frame are now standard across all models. As a result the new car is 99 lbs lighter but the chassis 57% stiffer than the outgoing model. With the added help of 50/50 weight distribution and increased power, GM says the base model Stingray will be quicker than the current Grand Sport Corvette. That means the Z06 will have to move up a lot in performance and so will the ZR1. The next ZR1 is expect to use a supercharged version of the new LT-1 V8 in the new base Corvette, much like the current Corvette ZR1 formula, with about 700 hp. The Z06 may keep its massive naturally aspirated 7.0 litre V8 but with more po

2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club vs. 2013 Scion FR-S - A Closer Look

When Jeremy Clarkson presented the Toyota GT-86 (Scion FR-S over here) and Subaru BRZ on Top Gear (Season 19 - Episode 3), he praised them for offering affordable RWD fun. With a balanced lightweight chassis, fuel economy tires (little grip) and RWD, the car offers the same sort of fun you can have in German RWD sports sedans, but with two exceptions - lack of power and a luxury car price tag. It sounds like a good formula but the case changes in North America because the domestics have that area covered - affordable, fun RWD cars and they've even got power to boot so marketing them that way won't work. What's the selling point then? The only advantage cars like the Mazda MX-5 offer over here is lightweight handling. Motor Trend's comparison of $28k high performance two door cars that they had last year (full post:  Comparison: $28K High-Performance Two-Door ) used that advantage to choose the winner. I personally would buy the Mustang V6 if I were in the mark

Details about the new 2014 Chevy SS

Chevrolet has finally revealed its much anticipated RWD flagship sedan. As expected, the car looks nearly identical to its Australian cousin, the Holden VF Commodore SS-V and bears great resemblance to the late Pontiac G8 GXP. Unlike the Holden and the Pontiac though, the Chevy will only be offered with a 6-speed automatic as the sole transmission option. This is disappointing for those of us who prefer to row their own gears but I doubt it will affect sales. Since Dodge pulled out of NASCAR, this makes Chevrolet the only maker to have a RWD production vehicle (and a V8 one at that matter) using the same nameplate that's used for NASCAR. It, unfortunately, still isn't mechanically related to the race car but a shared name and front end is a good start. It will be offered with the LS3 6.2 L V8 making 415 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque routed to the rear wheels and a 3.27 final drive ratio. Chevy is estimating a 0-60 time of about 5 seconds but I am expecting this

Top 5 pictures from the Top Gear inbox

Top Gear posted a few funny/weird pictures of the (probably) very many that fans email to them (full post:  A small selection from the TG inbox ). There are quite a few so be sure to check all of them but here are my top 5: Nurburgring Toaster : I would have toast every day just to use this and print a map of the Nurburgring on my breakfast. Knowledge of British culture : This is one of the top 5 simply because it is true. Evolution (or lack thereof) of the Porsche 911 : I can just imagine Jeremy and Hammond fighting over this picture. Jeremy blaming Porsche's design department for being the laziest and Richard defending the design because it is aerodynamic. I do appreciate keeping heritage in car designs but it is still funny to look at. Bugatti Veyron body kit : It is both sad and impressive that someone went through all the work to do this. Lieber Nurburgring als Ehering : This translates to "Rather Nurburgring than






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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The New Mustang Mach 1 Heads to Dealers. Here's why it matters.

No, it's not because it's called Mach 1 or the heritage that comes with the name, although that's pretty cool for Mustang fans. There are few cars out there that have the widespread track use of Mustangs. A combination of affordability, a decent RWD platform with endless aftermarket support and the potential to be competitive when properly set up makes them a staple in most track paddocks in North America. But being popular for track use comes with some headaches for manufacturers. It means that the car will be pushed hard by its customers and that will inevitably lead to discovering weak links .  The vast majority of factory main-stream performance cars have limitations on track when pushed to hot lapping pace. That's not to say they are all equal - some are, without a doubt, far more durable and dependable than others - but nearly all require modifications. Mustangs are no exception. And their popularity also means those weak links are discovered fast, and marketing d

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 load

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 l

Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2's vs Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R's

I never thought I'd ever run Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2's on my 2012 Boss 302. The cost is astronomical and they are supposed to last the least of anything comparable. So how did I end up with (nearly) fresh Sport Cup 2's? A complete fluke. I came across a lightly used set with only a few hundred miles and no track time; 305/30/19 takeoffs from a GT Performance Pack Level 2 (GT PPL2). I knew my 71R's were getting very worn before the season started and likely wouldn't last the whole season, even this short one. The price was far better than a new set of RE-71R's, a little more than half, and local Time Attack rules (Canadian Automobile Sport Clubs) recently made 180 and 200 TW tires equivalent, meaning no PAX or PIP point penalty for going with 180 TW tire like the Pilot Sport Cup 2's. I have been very curious about how PSC2's compare to RE 71R's but I stayed away due to their being painfully expensive and, up to last year, their 180 TW rating would