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Mazda MX-5 (Miata) Defy Convention

Defy Convention.. that's how Mazda sums this ad. The ad starts out with a group of cars, all of which are convertibles faster than an MX-5 (Miata), lined up to set up for a drag race. The Mazda, an uninvited guest according to the ad, shows up as they're getting ready to launch and just before they take off, it starts "raining" (later in the ad you learn that a water truck starts dumping water on the track). As soon as it starts raining, they all "race" to put their top up before they take off and the Mazda gets the top up the quickest, takes off and finishes the 1/4 mile first. I have no problem with a good play on words for ads. I love creative advertising. In this case, "the world's fastest convertible" is the one that takes the least amount of time to put the top up. The problem I have with the ad is the selling message. The Miata has never been about features. It has never been luxury, speed or power. It is isn't even abou

2014 Corvette Stingray gets 30 mpg, rated at 29 mpg EPA highway!

How does it get 30 mpg, yet it's rated at "only" 29 mpg on the highway? Well, you may remember from an earlier post -  Corvette Stingray makes 460 hp!  - that one of the new engine technologies for the Corvette is Active Fuel Management (AFM) which saves fuel by shutting down half of the engine's cylinders under light load driving conditions. Many enthusiasts, myself included, were not too sure what to think about the AFM technology from a performance perspective. Will throttle response be delayed or dull to prevent firing up all 8 cylinders? Will the auto transmission shifts be slower or hunt for a higher gear on the highway to activate AFM? These are among the questions that were worrying me but, as it turns out, enthusiasts need not worry. At the live reveal of the Corvette earlier this year -  The Stingray is back!  - Chevy announced that the car will be available with a 5-mode Driver Mode Select (DMS) feature which varies attributes like active

Discount Tire Direct - A Canadian Order That's Tough to Beat

Last December, I bought light weight 18" wheels to replace the heavier 19" stock wheels. I had been planning on doing it this summer but I was forced to do it at the time (find out why here ). I always have several automotive parts website bookmarked. Whenever I want to buy something, I open up the related sites (in this case Tire Rack, Discount Tire Direct, 1010Tires, etc.) and decide (mostly) based on prices and shipping charges, the latter are often a lot for orders shipping from the US to Canada. I ended up on Discount Tire Direct  (DTD) because they had the best prices and they were very helpful over the phone. I was happy to find good service but was very disappointed that Discount Tire had the best prices.. let me explain. If you go to the home page of 1010Tires , you'll see "We are Canadian, Eh! All Canadian orders are shipping from Canada, Pay no duties, Pay no brokerage fees, etc." A clear selling message that if you're in Canada and you buy

Got'er fixed - The Boss is all set to go!

Last time I took my car to the track, a 2012 Mustang Boss 302, I had a steering issue occur more than once, where it seemed like power steering cut off temporarily for less than a second at a time (full post: 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 - Back at the track! ). I took the car to the dealership, Steele Ford , and they asked me a few questions about the issue when I went to drop it off. As is the case with any sports cars owners, I was reluctant to say that the problem occurred on the track. There's a long track record (see what I did there?) of dealerships refusing warranty work on a car simply because the tires of it touched the asphalt of a road course, regardless of whether the cause of the problem is abusing the car on a track. Nevertheless, I decided to be honest to better help them diagnose the problem and to put trust in them in the hope of them putting trust back in me. Well, I was not disappointed. They said they'll look at it and see if they find any codes and

K-Car treasure - The ultimate 1987 Dodge Aries race car!

If you've been looking for a car but haven't been able to find the perfect opportunity, look no further! Here's an excellent 1987 Dodge Aries that also happens to have racing pedigree. Yes, this is a Kijiji K-Car race champion! Max Karpinccho piloted this car to victory against Bolt Lundgren and got his pride back. The best part is that you could be the new lucky owner because it is up for sale and for a good cause. This performance machine isn't a one trick pony, though. Despite the excellent performance and race-tuned suspension, it has a full interior and a premium Alpine sound system so it could be a family car all week and a track warrior on the weekend. Forget the Mercedes Benz 190E Cosworth and the BMW M3 - this is genesis of the sports sedan. The car will be on sale until July, 8th, 2013 and Kijiji will match the selected buyer's offer (up to $10,000) and donate the total sum to Habitat for Humanity . If you're interested in this gem,

Just how fast is the new Corvette Stingray?

Chevrolet released official performance numbers for the 2014 Corvette Stingray and they're nothing short of impressive. When equipped with the Z51 Performance Package, Chevrolet estimates that it will be able to get from 0 - 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and cover the 1/4 mile in 12.0 seconds at 119 mph. With braking performance of 60-0 mph in 107 ft and the ability to sustain 1.03 g in cornering, handling is just as impressive. In the hands of Jim Mero, Corvette vehicle dynamics engineer, the Stingray is capable of lapping Virginia International Raceway's (VIR) 4.2 mile Grand Course in 2:51.78. The lap was done in a Stingray equipped with the Z51 Performance Package and Magnetic Ride Control. The only modifications made to the car were the addition safety features, such as a racing seat and harness along with a fire extinguisher system. Luckily, VIR is the track that Car and Driver uses for their annual Lightning Lap event so a large database of lap times is available

Cadillac CTS finally gets a proper price tag!

GM finally announced pricing for the new, 2014 Cadillac CTS and it was given a proper price tag to match the move upwards Cadillac made with the 2014 model year (full post: 2014 Cadillac CTS ). The current and previous CTS models have been stuck between the compact and midsize luxury segments and their sizes and prices reflected that. Now that Cadillac has a proper entry into the compact segment, the ATS, the CTS can comfortably move into the midsize luxury segment. The third generation CTS sedan grows in size and interior space. It is now five inches longer than the outgoing model and interior space reflects the increased size. Despite the increase in size, the new car is 244 lb. lighter than the previous model and sits lower which should give it handling dynamics to match the excellent ATS. The CTS is expected to be the lightest car in its segment. The 2013 CTS standard model will start at $46,025, including $925 destination fee, which is an increase of $6,005 over the

2014 Chevrolet SS Pricing Announced - MSRP of $44,470

Chevrolet revealed details about the flagship sedan, the Chevy SS, earlier this year ( Details about the new 2014 Chevy SS ) but pricing has only been announced a couple of weeks ago. When it goes on sale in the fourth quarter of 2013, it will carry an MSRP of $44,470 in the US, including a $995 destination fee. Unfortunately, the SS will not be sold in Canada. The car will come standard with a long list of features such as: High intensity discharge (HID) headlamps with light emitting diode (LED) daytime running lamps (DRL) Automatic Parking Assist Chevrolet MyLink with a color touch screen and GPS-based navigation system Bose premium audio system - including SiriusXM radio (with 12-month trial) Color head-up display and color driver information centre Dual-zone automatic climate control Alloy pedal covers Heating and ventilated front seats with memory Side Blind Zone Alert and Lane Departure Warning Rear-vision camera with rear park assist Keyless access and pu

2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 - Back at the track!

A few weeks ago, I took my car - a 2012 Mustang Boss 302 - to the track for the first time this summer. Head to  2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 - Doing what it does best!  to find out what modifications I made and how I liked it last summer, stock, and how I like it so far this summer after modifications! This time, I'm back at the track with the local BMW club - BMW Club Atlantic - for a high performance driving school (HPDS) that I attend annually. The school is arranged twice a year and each time, it runs for an entire weekend. Each day, there are 2 sessions of slaloms and accident avoidance exercises and 2 lapping sessions for a total of 8 sessions on the track. Classroom sessions that go for 15 to 30 minutes run between each track session where vehicle dynamics and track etiquette are discussed. It is a very comprehensive school and between the 1-on-1 instructor time and classroom sessions, there's a lot to be learned for those who are trying to improve. If you're l

2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 - Doing what it does best!

It was 6:30 a.m. and I was already up and getting ready to leave. It wasn't for work - I'm usually not awake until 7:30 a.m. on workdays. I also didn't need to grab or prepare lunch. I did grab a couple of items, though, my helmet and my second car key - the track key (TracKey), for the first day at the track this summer. The local track - Atlantic Motorsport Park  (AMP) - is about an hour away. I filled up the car and a 10 litre gas tank and headed to the track. I arrived shortly after 8:00. The last time I was at the track before then was the last weekend of August, 2012, and I have been counting down the weekends since then. Once I arrived at the track, saw the line up of cars and heard a few idling engines, it seemed like it was only last weekend that I had been there last. Now let's get to the important stuff - the car. I've had the car on the track before. Initial impressions were excellent. I bought my car "used" with 230 miles on the cloc






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