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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 are 10 mm wider…

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 system for high…

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 and se…

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, AFM6.6 lb. - standard engine oil cooler13.2 lb. - dual mass clutch15.4 lb. - steel torque tube part of AFM4.4 lb. - AFM exhaust valves11 lb. - 7th transmission speed18.5 lb. - strengthened differential, half shafts18.3 lb. - larger fixed brakes17 lb. - new interior appointments and safety features17.2 lb. - upgraded seats18.5 lb. - structural safety requirements31.5 lb. - new infotainment and cabin technology, as well as relocating battery to the rear3 lb. - bigger fuel tank
The total adds up to 210 lb. 
However, since there are …

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 will …

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 Selector7-speed manual transmission with Active Rev MatchingThe all-new 6.2 litre LT1 small block V8 with direct injection, Active Fuel Management, continuously variable valve timing and an advanced combustion systemCarbon fibre hood on all models and removable roof panel on coupesAlumin…

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 highest ranking M - t…

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 a Switzer…

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 Records …

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 to be ca…






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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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 direct …

The Truth behind Owning a Modified Ferrari 458 Italia

After driving and reviewing this modified 620 hp Ferrari 458 Italia, I talk to the owner to find out the truth behind owning and living with a modern Ferrari. This isn't a garage queen Ferrari either, it serves double duty as an every day car and track car. Watch to find out ownership costs, reliability, and experience. Interested in joining Scott at the track? Check out MHPDC.

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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 loads.…

Stock Suspension S197 Mustang With Square 305/30/19's

If you've had any doubts about whether or not they will fit, fear not! You absolutely can run square 305/30/19's. I had a lot of doubts before pulling the trigger, even more so when the wheels where on the car. The tires do poke out a bit and I figured rubbing is all but guaranteed at full compression but I couldn't be happier I trusted APEX and those on here who have run it.

Here's what you need:

1. Camber plates: I have MM C/C plates and they are maxed out at -2.3 deg with the stock struts. I have been running them for years with many track days without issue.

2. 1"/25 mm spacer: I have Motorsport-tech 1" spacers and they look like high quality units. There is maybe a 1/4 inch clearance in the back so you can't go any narrower than 25 mm. http://www.motorsport-tech.com/adaptec/car/ford_s and you want Design 2.


3. Elongated studs: your best bet is to get the FPP hubs with elongated studs instead of reusing the old one. Bearings are consumables anyway so…