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BMW M5 and M6 Competition Package - Packing 575 hp

A few reviews of the BMW M5 haven't been too positive - it has improved as a luxury car but moved further away from the "Ultimate Driving Machine." If you have an M5 or an M6 and you agree with these reviews, BMW might have an answer. Starting with model year 2014, BMW will offer a performance package called the Competition Package. The package will bump power from 560 hp to 575 hp. Other upgrades include distinct wheels, black exhaust tips, and, more importantly, a revised suspension and a more direct steering ratio. The revised suspension should sharpen up the handling and, judging by the reviews, should be a welcome upgrade to BMW M fans. Top speed will remain governed at 190 mph and 0-60 mph time should drop by 0.1 s to 3.6 s. We'll have to wait for an official release for more details about the suspension upgrades and pricing but, considering that the M5 and M6's aren't set up equally, (full post: BMW M6 Coupe - The Ultimate Twin-Turbo M Car! ), it

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Pricing - Starts at $51,995

The C7 Corvette Stingray was revealed last January but Chevrolet had yet to announce pricing until a few days ago. MSRP for the coupe will be $51,995 and $56,995 for the convertible, including $995 destination fee. The current but outgoing (C6) Corvette has an MSRP of $50,595 for the coupe and $55,595 for the convertible, including $995 destination fee. This means a price bump of $1,400 for both body styles but you get a lot for the $1,400. All Stingrays will come standard with "exceptional" seating support, a great improvement over the current one. The seats feature 8-way power adjustment and a lightweight magnesium frame. Other noticeable standard features include: Five-position Drive Mode Selector 7-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Matching The all-new 6.2 litre LT1 small block V8 with direct injection, Active Fuel Management, continuously variable valve timing and an advanced combustion system Carbon fibre hood on all models and removable roof panel

BMW M6 Coupe - The Ultimate Twin-Turbo M Car!

Motor Trend recently went for a test drive of the 2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe (full post: 2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe First Drive ). Before the test drive, they had a chat with Maximillan Ahme who is the development chief. He explained that each of the closely related M cars (the lineup of M5/M6) has a unique suspension. Each car gets its own set of springs, dampers, anti-roll bars, and electronic damping system calibrations. This means that they aren't all equal in terms of performance. So how do they rank? Well, it should be no surprise that the M6 convertible is the least sporty, with the most touring-oriented suspension setup. What was surprising, though, is where the M5 ranks. It's not the top or tied for first spot. It's not even second. It's third - the only car that ranks below the M5 is missing a roof - the M6 Convertible. The M6 Gran Coupe is second and the M6 Coupe takes first place. The measurable difference in performance between the M5 and the h

The "M5 BMW should have built" - A 700 hp Switzer Tuned BMW M5

The "M5 BMW should have built" is what Switzer, the Ohio-based tuner, is calling their P700 BMW M5. The new F10 BMW M5 is far from lacking in the power department, thanks to a twin turbo 4.4 litre V8 making 560 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. The numbers don't tell the complete story though - judging by acceleration test numbers compared to similar cars in the segment with comparable hp ratings, power-to-weight ratios and even some dyno tests, the hp rating is probably closer to what the car makes at the wheels rather than the crank, which is what many people have come to expect from BMW engines. That was not enough for the folks at Switzer Performance though, so they made a few modifications to bring the numbers up a little. How much is a little? Well, if Switzer is conservative with their power ratings like BMW, then nearly 140 hp. For $6,995, they will take a stock BMW M5 and turn up the boost with a new engine control unit (ECU), replace the stock exhaust with

Bugatti Veyron Super Sport Guinness Record Review - A Closer Look

The Guinness organization (responsible for the Guinness Book of World Records) recently reviewed the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport's speed record. The car achieved an official (and impressive) top speed of 267.8 mph. However, when Hennessey took his Venom GT for a top speed run - achieving an unofficial top speed of 265.7 mph (about 2 mph shy of the Veyron's) - he pointed out that most Veyron Super Sport's sold to customers have an electronic speed limiter set to 257.8 mph. Only 5 World Record Edition Veyron SS's have the speed limiter disabled. This means that the rest of the cars cannot reach the official top speed of 267.8 mph (without the speed limiter disabled). Whether this comment was the reason for the review or not, the Guinness organization decided to revisit the record to decide whether or not it still deserves the record. In an official statement, they said: "Following a thorough review conducted with a number of external experts, Guinness World Rec

Hennessey Venom GT Top Speed Run - 0-265.7 mph in 2 miles!

5.9 seconds. That's all it takes the Venom GT to hit 100 mph (160 km/h). To put that into perspective, most cars on the market take longer than 20 seconds to achieve the same feat. Entry level sports sedans and V6 sports cars struggle to break into the 13 second range. V8 sports cars struggle to break the 10 second mark. You get the picture. In fact, the Venom GT currently holds the acceleration record for production cars for going from 0 - 186 mph (300 km/h), doing the deed in just 13.63 seconds. In other words, by the time it takes most sports cars on the road to hit 100 mph, a Venom GT would be going nearly twice that speed - and less than a second later, at 14.51 seconds, it's doing a cool, round 200 mph. That's all very impressive, especially if you're into the sport and know what it takes to achieve those numbers. But the guys at Hennessey weren't after just acceleration numbers. They wanted the all out top speed crown and they built a car that seems t

The Snake Strikes Back! SRT Viper Time Attack sets Laguna Seca record.

A while ago, Motor Trend held a comparison between a 2013 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (with the ZR1 High Performance Package) and a 2013 SRT Viper GTS (full post: 2013 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 vs 2013 SRT Viper GTS ). The soon-to-be out of production Corvette ZR1 didn't only beat the new SRT Viper GTS, but it also took the title of the fastest production car on Laguna Seca - yes, the outgoing ZR1 broke the lap time record for production cars around Laguna Seca. To make matters worse for the SRT team, the last record holder was a Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR. Ralph Gilles, the president and CEO of SRT, wasn't happy to say the least. Enter the SRT Viper Time Attack - a more hardcore track-ready version of the new SRT Viper (although not as hardcore as an ACR which is still in the works). The Viper TA uses lightweight matte-black Sidewinder II wheels wrapped in sticky R-compound goodness - Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires. They then dial in "significant negative camber" at all 4 cor

The Cadillac Escalade Interior Is Going Upscale

Cadillac's lineup just keeps getting better. According to Car and Driver, the next generation Escalade is going to get a unique interior, worthy of a $70,000 vehicle. Although the interior in the current Escalade does not look identical to its more humble roots - the Chevrolet Tahoe - and uses more premium materials, they do share a lot of parts and resemblance. It will get a unique instrument panel and centre stack along with unique control knobs and other "design elements." The treatment doesn't apply to just the Cadillac. The GMC Yukon will also get its unique interior which means that each full size SUV will have its unique interior. Different interior materials will also be used to further differentiate the 3 SUV's - with the Escalade probably getting the most premium materials. According to Mark Reuss, GM's North America president, the next Escalade's cabin will be a significant improvement over the current generation's. Thi

Ford Focus is best selling car in the world - sign of good things to come?

The Toyota Corolla, one of the most boring and bland vehicles on the market, has long been the best selling car in the world. However, according to Polk, after a survey of world new car registration data, the Ford Focus has dethroned the Toyota Corolla as the #1 best selling car in the world in 2012 (full post: Report: Ford Focus is World's Best-Selling car in 2012 ). Is that a sign of good things to come? In comparisons and test drive reviews, the Ford Focus is usually praised for its handling - something the Toyota Corolla can't claim. The sales success of the Ford Focus could simply mean good pricing and/or better packaging and options that appealed to more people. However, there is the possibility that people (finally) got tired of driving cars that are designed to simply take you from point A to point B. If that's the case, this could be a sign of good things to come - people Focus-ing on the driving experience aspect of driving and not just minimum functio

Touchless Carwash Review (Esso)

I went to get a car wash today and I was very unimpressed with the results. I don't like to use automatic car washes. Touchless car washes usually don't clean that well and I worry about scratches at ones that uses brushes. However, we went on a long trip yesterday and there was a lot of dirt and some bird droppings on the car and I couldn't wash it myself. I don't like to leave these sitting on the car so I decided to go for a car wash. I know touchless car washes leave a little behind but today was even worse. There were bird droppings left on the door sills and above the handles. On the back, there was dirt left right under the taillight, along the entire length, and it's the same case at the other taillight and under the spoiler. I'm not really suggesting that this specific car wash (Esso) is bad. I can't clean everything off the car easily while I'm washing it and I can't expect a touchless car wash to clean as






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 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

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

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

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