Skip to main content

Posts

HOME   |   ABOUT   |   NEWS   |   TECH ARTICLES   |   AT THE TRACK   |   REVIEWS   |   VIDEOS   |   CONTACT ME

The new 2014 Jeep Cherokee - A Closer Look

I thought I had seen a design team screw up when I saw the Aston Martin Rapide S (full post: Aston Martin Rapide S - What were they thinking? ) but this is something else.. besides the grille, this looks nothing like a Jeep should look. The profile looks far better. I can easily see resemblance to the Grand Cherokee, which is a very good thing since it looks great, but those headlights just ruin the front for me. Apparently it was designed to look contemporary in 2019, when it becomes due for a redesign. Why? Shouldn't it look contemporary now? It WILL be redesigned in 2019. People's tastes evolve along with car design. If we've learned anything from the history of car design, if a design is too far ahead of people's tastes, it is usually not very well received. The interior looks good and a definite upgrade over the current Compass and Patriot. It will still be offered in front-wheel drive and all wheel drive configurations and with two engine cho

Aston Martin Rapide S - What were they thinking? - A Closer Look

That gaping grille.. I can hardly notice any other detail about the car in any picture showing the front, which is just wrong for an Aston Martin. Besides the fact that it's ugly, Aston Martin's designs always flow without being "fluid" and busy. At first glance, you see the car as a whole - a beautiful piece of design. This just isn't the case here. The rest of the car flows very nicely, as it should for an Aston. I wish I could talk to an Aston Martin design engineer. What were they thinking? Performance isn't very strong either, for what it is. Many people are upset about the numbers. 4.7 s 0-60 mph and 13.1 s @ 111 mph isn't slow (full post: Aston Martin Rapide S Test) but it is far from impressive these days, especially for a $200,000+ exotic super sedan.. with a 5.9 litre V12 engine.. but it doesn't really bother me. This is not the point of an Aston Martin, especially a sedan. Let's face it, owners of this car are not going to

Details about the U.S.- spec 2015 VW Golf GTI (Mk VII)

The first detail about the 2015 Golf GTI (Mk VII/Mk 7) that caught my attention was the available torque sensing limited slip differential. The differential will be offered as part of a performance package that adds horsepower and bigger brakes along with the upgraded differential. The brake-based limited slip differential has been an area of criticism with the current GTI so this should be a great upgrade. However, torque has increased significantly to 258 lb-ft (although power gets only a small bump to 210 hp). Although the Golf GTI has been low on power compared to turbocharged FWD hot hatches and compact sedans, it always has been well balanced and composed. Will the extra torque spoil the balance of the GTI? The Mazda Mazdaspeed3 uses a torque sensing limited slip differential but the front end is still nervous and torque steer is just about the worst in the class. I doubt the GTI will be that bad but will it be worse than the outgoing model? Will this move force Ford

Ticket for Driving 2 MPH Under The Limit

There are some people on the road who don't take too well to being passed, even if they're driving under the limit. Sometimes when I pass a driver and get back in the right lane, he or she floors the accelerator, changes lanes and drives in the left/passing lane next to a slow vehicle at the same speed that vehicle to block me for a while. Needless to say, it is VERY frustrating and it seems like people like that may have something to worry about in the future. According to Jalopnik, a lady in Maryland was pulled over and ticketed for driving 2 mph under the limit (full post: You'll Love The Police For Giving A Woman A Ticket For 2 MPH Under The Limit ). I don't know if she was blocking someone in particular, as I have seen happen several times on the highway, or she simply didn't think it was a big deal to drive under the limit in a passing lane. There is usually a law that states you can only drive in the left lane while passing. I don't know if that's t

2013 Ford Focus ST Lap Times - A Closer Look

A few weeks ago, Car and Driver posted their annual new and updated performance cars test - Lightning Lap 2013 ( Car and Driver's Lightning Lap 2013 - A Closer Look ). While the Focus ST has yet to disappoint a reviewer in terms of driving balance and handling, especially for a front-wheel drive, performance numbers and lap times were a little lower than expected. The Lightning Lap is held at Virginia International Raceway (VIR), where the Focus ST posted a lap time of 3:21.4. In case you are not familiar with the track and the lap times, this time puts it behind competitors like the Golf GTI MkVI, the Subaru BRZ, the Mini Cooper John Cooper Works, the Subaru Impreza WRX and the Mazda Mazdaspeed 3. One thing to note, though, is that it wasn't all smooth sailing for the Focus ST during Lightning Lap 2013. The Lightning Lap test is simple in that cars are ranked based only on their lap times over 3 days of tests. They usually record the fastest lap times on the seco

Can't afford a Stingray? Get a Corvette Coupe!

Chevrolet has released plenty of information about the C7 Corvette - the Stingray. There are many improvements such as a more aerodynamics body, a stiffer and lighter aluminum chassis and standard carbon fibre roof and hood to lower weight further and bring the centre of gravity lower. All of this sounds great for performance but not so much for the price. To make sure the Corvette stays affordable, Chevrolet is planning a base Corvette coupe that won't share the Stingray moniker. The Corvette coupe is expected to have a smaller version of the new all-aluminum direct injection small block V8. The displacement is expected to be around 5.3 litres and should have around or just under 400 hp. Chevrolet considered a twin-turbo V6 but didn't use it because it delivered on power goals but not fuel economy. I expect carbon fibre bits to be replaced with lower-cost aluminum or fibreglass ones and the 7-speed manual to be replaced with a 6-speed unit. Chevrolet said during the re

Mods That Make People Think You're A Dirtbag

Ever wonder what mods make you look like a dirtbag to people? Jalopnik put together a top-10 list of worst mods according to its readers (full post: Ten Car Mods That Make People Think You're An A--hole ). I agree with the majority of them and I am actually (pleasantly) surprised that stance is number 1 on the list. However, I wouldn't put stance as number one. My number one is very low on the offence list - sitting comfortable at number 9. HID Kits In Stock Housings : As Jalopnik wrote, wanting better and brighter headlights is just fine. Getting a cheap set isn't a problem for me either - it's your car and it's up to you to take care of it - and putting them in stock housings isn't necessarily the problem. The problem is HIDs in reflector/non-projector housings. Nothing says you're dirtbag more than blinding oncoming traffic, increasing the risk of a crash, because you're too cheap to properly modify your car. HIDs in reflector housings are no

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






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.




🔥 Most Visited This Week

2007 Saleen Mustang S281 SC Super Shaker Track Review

"Who's your green student today?" asked a friend and instructor at the BMW Club Atlantic Advanced Driver Training (HPDE) weekend in June this year. I said: "The Saleen." The response was: "Oh, boy." Mustangs, generally, have a reputation for being more power than chassis. Mustang drivers have quite the reputation for.. how to put this nicely? Taking advantage of said power/chassis imbalance. To make matters worse, this particular Mustang was a supercharged Saleen, with a honkin' Shaker scoop sticking out of its hood. Did I mention it was also a convertible? And the owner was someone who's never been on track before but clearly has the speed bug. Having had a Mustang for years and driven a few on track, they don't scare me - generally speaking - but the combination of being convertible and supercharged with a new and excited owner worried me a little. Nevertheless, I shrugged it off and got excited about chatting with the owner to find

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

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

2014 BMW 335i xDrive M Sport Review

Post-refresh 2015 F30 3-series pictured.  Which is better, an F30 3-series or an E46? The F30 has certainly taken its fair share of heat. But if you thought I was going to say the E46, you'd be dead wrong. The F30 3-series is better. Far better. It is quicker, faster, safer, more practical, more efficient, more refined, quieter.. the list goes on. A lot of reviews and people I talk to consider the F30 to be an abomination. Frankly, I don't see it. You'd have to be mad to think the E46 is better. Completely out to lunch. I don't know who in their right mind would prefer the E46..  Trouble is, since when were people buying sports cars in their right minds? Here, lies the real problem. " Raw rather than refined in its noises, pounding ride, heavy clutch, 50 grand and cloth seats? " "..  and not at all shy about its performance compromises. It always acts like the automotive jock it is, every mile of every day. " " Raw and quite loud.. An