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Showing posts from May, 2013
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Nissan Juke NISMO - A Closer Look

I couldn't help but remember the less than worthy cars Chevy put the SS moniker on in the mid 2000's. The Cobalt SS and Traiblazer SS were great performance cars in their respective classes but the Malibu and Impala simply weren't. Nissan seems to want to cash in on the NISMO name the same way Chevy did with the SS moniker - by making more NISMO models. This is even worse, though, because of fact that the SS had an even longer heritage that is harder to tarnish with a couple of bad models. Here's the first example: the Nissan Juke NISMO. It will start at $23,780 for a FWD with a manual and $26,080 or an AWD with a CVT ($24,998 and $28,478 in Canada). So what is more sporty about this NISMO model? Well, you get a whopping 9 hp over the run-of-the-mill Jukes. On the outside, you still get the polarizing body but with a racy "aerodynamic body kit" (according to the website) and 18" wheels wrapped in Continental ContiSportContact5 tires that a

Details about BMW M5 and M6 Competition Package

BMW recently unrelieved the refreshed 5-series for model year 2014, which is scheduled to be in dealerships by August of this year. Along with the subtle facelift, the 5-series receives an updated diesel engine and the Competition Package. Information about the latter was recently leaked but more details have become available. Opting for the competition package will get you new springs and dampers, which lower the car by 0.4 in, and stiffer anti-roll bars. Since cars are now packed with electronic components that affect performance, most manufacturer performance packages included hardware and software upgrades and the Competition Package is no exception. The steering in the M5 has been an area of criticism and, while the upgraded springs, dampers and anti-roll bars should help, the electric power steering will also be revised for a more direct feel. Other upgrades include reprogramming the active M differential for improved traction and adjusting the stability control syste

Kia Cadenza First test - A Closer Look

Motor Trend recently tested the Kia Cadenza, a full-size sedan that's new for 2013 in the North American market (full post: 2014 Kia Cadenza First Test ). This new sedan will be Kia's flagship until the Quoris RWD sedan makes it to North American market. Buying one will set you back $35,100 before even ticking any options boxes. It seems that the folks at Motor Trend are struggling with this car - they're proposing that this could be a luxury car, if it hadn't been for the Kia name on the hood, because of the luxury car features and the "luxury car-like" starting price of $35,100. The $35,100 starting price is certainly a lot of money for a base model family sedan. Looking at just the price doesn't tell the complete story, though. For that money, you don't get a stripped out model. You get an 8-inch touch screen with the UVO infotainment system and navigation, leather, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and start, Bluetooth, backup camera

2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray Weighs 3,298 lb.

Chevrolet is making more information available about the Corvette Stingray as it gets closer to going on  sale. The new C7 Corvette will weigh 3,298 lb. For the Corvette faithful, that's about 90 lb. heavier than the current, C6 Corvette. How's that possible when we know from the release that the frame underpinning the C7 is 99 lb. lighter than the outgoing one? Well, Chevrolet broke down the areas of weight addition: 35.2 lb. - direct injection, VVT, AFM 6.6 lb. - standard engine oil cooler 13.2 lb. - dual mass clutch 15.4 lb. - steel torque tube part of AFM 4.4 lb. - AFM exhaust valves 11 lb. - 7th transmission speed 18.5 lb. - strengthened differential, half shafts 18.3 lb. - larger fixed brakes 17 lb. - new interior appointments and safety features 17.2 lb. - upgraded seats 18.5 lb. - structural safety requirements 31.5 lb. - new infotainment and cabin technology, as well as relocating battery to the rear 3 lb. - bigger fuel tank The total adds up






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 load

Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R Track Review

2012 Boss 302 on square 305/30/19 RE-71R's at AMP - Graham MacNeil © 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

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

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