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2014 Corvette Stingray Z51 Tested!

It's in a league "well beyond the reach of the current Porsche crowd." That's what Car and Driver had to say about the new Corvette during their test after posting a 1.08 g score on GM's black-lake circle. Much like the outgoing C6 Corvette, opinions about the new Corvette seem to be anonymous. However, unlike the outgoing C6 Corvette which was praised for its performance capabilities and value but criticized for the quality of the interior and the seats, the C7 Corvette Stingray seem to be basically flawless.

We'll get the easy stuff out of the way first - the numbers. The best numbers were achieved by Edmunds, where they were able to do a 0-60 mph sprint in just 3.8 seconds and the 1/4 mile was dealt with in 12 seconds flat at 117 mph. For comparison, the last Grand Sport Edmunds tested did the same deeds in 4.2 seconds and 12.5 s @ 115.1 mph. The Stingray was able to blast through a 6 x 100 ft slalom at 72.8 mph and hold 1.08 g around the skidpad while th…

What is the best mod to cut down lap times?

You've got some money saved. You have been thinking about modifying your car to make it quicker and now is the time to go shopping. If you're not sure what to get, the good news is that with track days and interest in lapping becoming more popular, you can easily find good resources online. Better tires are usually recommended as the best place to start and I couldn't agree more. If you want to improve the specs of your car, tires are definitely the best place to start. If you want to go faster, though, save your money..

Last weekend, I headed to the track for Atlantic Sports Car Club (ASCC) Time Attack #2, my first timed event. I've only been going to non-timed, lapping events for the past few years but I've wanted to start going to timed events for a while to make sure I'm moving in the right direction. The event included 5 sessions - a practice session and 4 hot sessions. I was planning on using my GoPro camera to film all timed sessions but, unfortunately,…

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 about handling,…

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 handling, throttle m…

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 from th…

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 go from th…

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, head to Kijiji K-C…

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 for comparison…

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 outgoing mode…

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 AssistChevrolet MyLink with a color touch screen and GPS-based navigation systemBose premium audio system - including SiriusXM radio (with 12-month trial)Color head-up display and color driver information centreDual-zone automatic climate controlAlloy pedal coversHeating and ventilated front seats with memorySide Blind Zone Alert and Lane Departure WarningRear-vision camera with rear park assistKeyless access and push-button start
The only options av…






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 …

Bridgestone Potenza RE-71R Track Review

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 at Tire Rack who has gone faster on RE-71R's than NT01s. In a Mustang (his own, not…

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…

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.…