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Showing posts from March, 2015
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Porsche fights over GT3 name with Aston Martin

According to Motor Trend, a new report stated that after talks between Aston Martin and Porsche over the use of the GT3 name, Aston Martin decided to switch the name of the Vantage GT3, which debuted at the Geneva show this year, to Vantage GT12 after its V12 engine.

There aren't many comments on the post but all three commenters are against Porsche fighting over the name, likening it to a spoiled child and saying there wouldn't be any confusion between the two. It isn't about confusion or Porsche being a child. It's about marketing and brand recognition. How many people refer to Porsche 911 GT3's simply as GT3's? If you say GT3 outside of an FIA sanctioned race, everyone knows you are taking about a Porsche 911. That's very successful building of brand recognition and takes time and hard work to do. The name GT3 has weight and cache in the realm of production cars that Porsche built. If this Aston is called the Vantage GT3, that distinct recognition will …

2014 Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 - A Closer Look

I agree with the video, there's something special about this car because it's one of the last very few naturally aspirated supercars. McLaren, Porsche, AMG, you name it. Even Ferrari is going turbo for the 458 Italia replacement. Porsche still has the naturally aspirated GT3 but the top dog is still the Turbo S. What makes this even more sweet is that this last fighter is a big V10. I'm a big fan of V10 noise. I don't know for sure which one sounds better, this or the high revving, wailingYamaha-developed 4.8 V10 in the Lexus LFA (which, in my opinion, is its only redeeming feature). I do know, though, that if both were on a track at the same time, the LFA would sound like it was wailing in fear of this Lambo, which would sound like a mad angry bull. I know which one I would take. Check out the video below to hear it and see its incredible performance.




Kawasaki Ninja H2R - 300 hp and Supercharged

Okay, this isn't a car but there's a reason why I'm writing about it. It has a supercharged 1.0 litre engine makes 296 hp. 296 hp may not be too impressive in a car but one has to remember that this isn't a car. It's a bike and it weighs just 476 lb in full trim and a 90% full tank. That's a weight to power ratio of 1.6 lb/hp. I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around that number.




To put that number into perspective, a 2013 Mustang GT500 has 5.9 lb/hp. A C6 Corvette ZR1 has 5.3 lb/hp. A 2015 Porsche 918 has 4.2 lb/hp and that's with the electric motors running at full song. The insane Hennessey Venom GT with its twin-turbo LS7 7.0 litre engine has 2.2 lb/hp. I can't even begin to imagine what 1.6 lb/hp would feel like.




I would also be curious about how fast you'd have to be going to be able to use that power. I used to have an 09 Cobalt SS. It had GM Stage 1 and a few bolt ons which would put it at very close to that 296 hp figure at the c…

Dodge can't meet demand for Challenger and Charger Hellcats

Apparently, Dodge can't build Dodge Challenger and Charger Hellcats as people can order them. As a result, the company told Fox News: "Due to unprecedented demand for the 2015 Dodge Charger and Challenger SRT Hellcats, we are temporarily restricting orders while we validate current orders that are in the system."

Some dealers are slapping 50% markups on the MSRPs of $59,995 and $63,995 for the Challenger and Charger Hellcats, respectively, while others have reportedly taken deposits on cars they have no idea when they can deliver. In a very respectful move by Dodge, they closed the order books to respect the interests of its fans. It is unknown how long they will be closed for, but an AllParNews.com source said that Dodge may not catch up to the demand and existing orders until August.




Two vehicles, both have 707 hp, supercharged HEMI V8s. One is a large coupe that can go 199 mph and another is a four door sedan that can break the 200 mph barrier and hit 204 mph. The on…

4x4 1920's Dodge Brothers Oilfield Dodge

A buddy at work forwarded this video that he came across to me. It appears to be a promotional video for a 4x4 Dodge Brothers sedan with Oilfield Dodge painted on the side. Enjoy!





Top Gear - Please Come Back!

"I THINK it’s fair to say that nature made a mistake when it invented the dinosaur. It was too big, too violent and with such small and puny arms it was never going to be able to operate heavy machinery or even enjoy a bit of special “me” time."

“All the dinosaurs died and now, years later, no-one mourns their passing. These big, imposing creatures have no place in a world which has moved on.”

This is what Jeremy Clarkson wrote in his column in The Sun. By now, you've probably already heard about what has been going on with Jeremy Clarkson and a BBC producer. The show was suspended as a result and now, the above post suggests that the show is going to be cancelled for good, which is tragic as far as automotive entertainment goes. Top Gear's official website, though, has not posted about it being cancelled so there is still hope, although it confirmed that this week's episode will also be postponed pending the investigation into the matter. I think the last few s…

J.D. Power Dependability Study - It Isn't One

J.D. Power released its 2015 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study about three weeks ago. I don't like their rating criteria, though. According to J.D. Power, the study "examines problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of three-year-old (2012 model year) vehicles. Overall dependability is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality. The study has been enhanced in 2015 to better measure problems related to new technologies and features that are now being offered in today's vehicles."

There are two problems right there. The first is that the problems are reported by owners, not the dealer so there may be issues that are only perceived to be problems. For example, I have heard and read about plenty of owners thinking they have engine or transmission problems and bringing their cars in to get fixed because they aren't accustomed to continuously variable transmission (CVT…

Adjustable Dampers - Are they worth it?

Adjustable dampers are far from perfect. If they were, a car like the Camaro ZL1 would be Mercedes S-Class (or equivalent) comfortable on potholes, Camaro Z/28 (or equivalent) stiff on smooth tracks and infinitely adjustable in-between on mid corner bumps, road imperfections, speed bumps, etc. GM's magnetic shocks are excellent but, while they are one of, if not the best adjustable dampers available in any mainstream car, they're still a huge compromise between ultimate comfort and ultimate chassis control, you just give up less in performance and less in comfort compared to fixed dampers but get added cost and complexity in return.

The added cost and complexity aren't the only issues, either. Ironically, adjustable dampers put a huge roadblock on adjustability if you ever decide to modify the suspension. Every modern car now has stability control and adjustable dampers would have to be connected to and monitored by the stability control system. Buying aftermarket dampers…

Lexus LF-SA (unfortunately) Revealed

And it is a disgrace to automotive design. How is it possible for a concept car to be so HIDEOUS? What kind of crack is Lexus' design studio smoking? If time machines existed and someone took a picture of this, went back a decade or two and showed it to Lexus' design studio at the time, they would burn the place down to make sure nothing this appalling could ever come out of their offices and curse the roads of the future.


Ford Focus RS - Automatics vs Manuals

A few days ago, Motor Trend posted about the debut of the highly anticipated Ford Focus RS. As with just about every debut of a new performance car, an auto vs manual debate shows up in the comments section. The main argument for auto is that modern dual clutch autos are no longer slow and a detriment to performance so why go for an outdated technology (i.e. manual)? This really annoys me. If someone just wants the fastest, they should want intakes, heads and cams tuned for high rpm for max power, mid range be darned. They should want huge turbos for maximum power with no concern for spool times and linear power deliver. That's not the case, though, those who want autos still want a car that's always responsive and linear throughout the rpm range because it isn't a race car and it won't always be at max boost and rpm.

There are compromises that have to be made for street cars to make them enjoyable and fun to drive as often as possible. A manual is one of these. I won…






Cayman GT4 Track Review
A Cayman with 911-challenging power, and it'll hunt anything else in its path.

Is an EcoBoost Mustang any good on Track?
Two days at the track, one Mustang short 4 cylinders, plus a turbo. What's the verdict?

Is the BMW M4 a Proper M?
A BMW M4 and an open track. It should've been brilliant, but somehow, I was disappointed.

Can a stock Golf Diesel handle a Track Day?
The last thing I expected to drive on a track is a completely unmodified little Golf powered by the devil's fuel.




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Everything You Need to Know about the $60k Mid-engine C8 Corvette

By now, you've probably heard one of the most incredible things about the new Corvette. It isn't the mid-engine layout. It's actually the price. It will start just under $60,000 USD (and under $70,000 CAD according to GM Canada Media website). Of course, that number alone means nothing if you aren't getting something special. So the question is: what are you actually getting for $60k? Let's dive right in.


The Drivetrain

Although most publications were anticipating the new Cadillac twin-turbo V8 called "Blackwing" until recently, I predicted last October that the base engine will likely be a revised version of the LT1 V8 in the current C7 Corvette "making anywhere between 480 and 500 hp." The C8 Corvette Stingray (at least until Z versions start coming out) will be powered by a revised 6.2 litre V8 named LT2. The engine will make 495 hp and 470 lb-ft. torque with the Performance Exhaust. The base version hp isn't announced but it will likely …

Watch the 2020 C8 Mid-engine Corvette Reveal

The day is finally here! There have been rumours about a mid-engine Corvette being just around the corner for decades. And over the years, there has been no shortage of mid-engine Corvette concepts either, as if Chevy just wanted to keep the rumours going. This time, it's for real, though. Too much evidence of its existence including test mules and spy shots at the Nurburgring meant it was finally coming for sure.

Last year, I wrote about what we can expect to find on a mid-engine Corvette and when it may be revealed. Although I was off in my prediction of when it will be revealed (and in my defence, it was actually intended to be revealed when I predicted by a supplier issue delayed the reveal), earlier this year, Chevy confirmed that a mid-engine is coming and went as far as announcing the day of its reveal on the side of one of its test mule. That day is today, and if you're sitting at the edge of your seat, you aren't alone.

Wondering how to stay up to date and watch …

This Lanzante Porsche 930 is powered by a GP-winning F1 Engine

Whenever I hear of an outlandish 911 build, I always wonder what hardcore 911 would think. In my experience, they tend to love tradition and preserving the 911 legacy. This car breaks two of the holy trinity of classic 911's; rear engined, flat-six, and air-cooled. It is still rear engined but it uses a V6, water-cooled engine. But I can't imagine a single 911 fan being upset about this.

You see, this isn't just any water-cooled V6 engine. It is a Formula 1 twin-turbocharged 1.5 litre V6 out of a McLaren MP4/3 F1 car. Further preserving the Porsche-ness of this build, the engine was built by a partnership formed between Porsche and TAG to provide engines for McLaren F1 team. Porsche was responsible for the technical burden of design and engineering and TAG financed the effort and stuck its name on the engine as "TAG turbo" since McLaren didn't want Porsche's name on their F1 car.

Lanzante first revealed the car in October last year shortly after the annu…

Brabham BT62 Breaks Bathurst Lap Record

It wasn't long ago that Brabham announced that it was returning to competition with the BT62 to compete at the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and Le Mans. They also announced that they will be building a road-legal version of their mighty BT62, likely to qualify for the GTE class requirements so it can compete at Le Mans. Capitalizing on that, Brabham was planning on taking a BT62 for demonstration laps in the build-up to the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour race that's running this weekend, but they gave the people a lot more than a few hot laps.

With minimal testing on Thursday and with just four laps on Saturday, conditions were good so the BT62 test driver Luke Youlden went for a flying lap. That flying lap set a new track record of 1:58.67. The lap time is a verified clocked time, but it is labeled "unofficial" because it wasn't set during a competitive session. The previous lap record was 1:59.29, set by an unrestricted Audi R8 GT3 race car last year in tes…