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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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Falken Azenis RT615k+ Street and Track Review

Last year, I picked up a 2009 Lancer Ralliart to do a long term test with it as a dual duty track/daily. One of the first things I knew I was going to do was put a decent set of tires on it. The car came without OEM wheels which was actually good because I didn't have to hesitate about getting a good set of aftermarket wheels to support going wider. Thankfully, my friends at YST Auto Halifax  set me up with a great set of Superspeed RF03RR wheels. The Wheels I had never even heard of Superspeed but I trusted the good folk at YST Auto who mentioned some customer cars running on track with them. These wheels are rotary forged which is basically a prerequisite to be taken seriously in this market populated by companies like TSW and Fast Wheels. The wheels looked like a high quality, well finished wheel and each had a "QC" check sticker on. Just for appearances? Maybe, but I found no defects. The wheels seemed easy to balance (didn't need many weights) and at 18.1 lb. f

How would a Mustang 3.5L EcoBoost compare to the 5.0L V8?

Ever wonder how a 3.5 litre EcoBoost might fair against the 5.0 litre V8 in the Mustang? Of course you have. Ever since Ford dropped it in the F150 (and perhaps well before), everyone has been wondering how it would perform. There are basically two camps; those who think it would be awesome because of tuneability and power potential and those who think it means the death of the V8 in the Mustang. If you are in the latter group, we seem to be good so far with continuous upgrades to the 5.0 litre Coyote and the brand new Shelby GT500 which still uses a supercharged V8 as it has been for over a decade and multiple iterations. But what if... Well, it seems we are closer than ever to finding out the answer to that question. American Trucks recently got together two crew cab, short box, 4x4 F150's but one has the 5.0 litre V8 and the other has the 3.5 litre EcoBoost V6. There has been a few comparisons between 5.0 litre and 3.5 litre EB F150's, but this seems to be the most di

GTR vs Evo X vs STI: which has the best AWD system?

A few weeks ago, I made a post explaining  mainstream AWD system types and how they compare , pros and cons, etc. including some simple diagrams to show where the power goes and how much. As promised, this post will focus on specific cars and what AWD systems they use, especially ones that that have more or less been defined by their AWD systems, and the best place to start may be with a bombshell; the Nissan GT-R. Nissan GT-R (R35) The GT-R has built a reputation around having monster traction and very approachable performance, thanks to its AWD system - Advanced Total Traction Engineering System for All-Terrain (ATTESA) - and what it can do for you. But the GT-R doesn't actually use the most mechanically sophisticated type of AWD systems discussed in the previous article, namely a "true" AWD with a centre differential. Instead, it uses a clutch pack to transfer power. RWD-based clutch-type AWD schematic - Rams Eye The Track Guy © The R32, R33, and R34 Sky

Juns Subaru BRZ - 2.4 litre Synergy V8

Meet Juns Subaru BRZ. If the traditional power adding methods like forced induction or dropping a small block V8 aren't your thing, this may be it (although I imagine swapping a small block V8 into something small is typically a North American - and awesome - solution, but I digress). This one does have a V8 but it's a very different kind of V8 and, at $70,000, it will cost you a multiple of that but you will no doubt have something very unique. The engine is based on two Kawasaki Ninja ZX-12R engines and has a displacement of 2.4 litres. Power? 356 hp at 10,680 rpm, a whopping 156 hp over stock, although torque gets a much more modest jump to 199 lb-ft, "only" 48 lb-ft over stock. This frankenstein engine is the work of Synery Power in New Zealand, which developed the engine for midget car speedway racing but they have wanted to put it in a street car. I would imagine the experience might be similar to a rotary engine, making a lot of power but all very h