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Ferrari LaFerrari - That Noise

I am sure different people will watch this video and think of different things. The video is a Motor Trend Ignition video of a test of the 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari. There are many things to think about.. the the horsepower figure, the performance capabilities, and cost are probably among the first aspects that come of this car that come to mind. All are substantial. The fact that it comes across civilized and well mannered is even better. But I can't help but think of one thing; the noise.





It actually isn't so much about the noise of this car itself. It is more about the "contrast". The contrast between the glorious noise that this car makes and the soulless, muffled, disappointing noise that Ferrari's F1 car. I have already made a post earlier this season about the 2014 Spec F1 cars and I said that they don't sound bad but the more F1 races I watch, the more disappointed I get. I would actually be far more excited to listen to a LaFerrari in person than an F1…

Is A Manual 2015 Chevrolet SS Coming?

When the Chevrolet SS was first announced, I assumed that the decision between the SS and the Charger SRT8 wouldn't be difficult. Assuming no brand loyalty and narrowing your choices down to full size sedans with good ole' American muscle, the choice would come down to your driving style. The Chevy SS would be your favourite of you're more of a canyon carver and the Charger would be your choice if you wanted more of a grand tourer, judging by the fact that the Camaro is smaller and sharper than the Challenger. Chevrolet may want to give buyers another reason to consider the SS though, as Motor Trend sources report that the SS may be getting a six-speed manual transmission and magnetic ride control suspension. 
Full size sedan with a V8 in the front, power going to the back and a manual transmission? Seems too good to be true. I don't know if a manual would make the car any quicker because GM builds a good auto and I believe I have read a few times that the six speed a…

GM Doesn't Want You to Clone The Camaro Z/28

After Ford re-introduced the Boss 302 and Boss 302 Laguna Seca, many parts became available such as the wheels, the front splitter and more. The GT500 spoiler has long been a favourite amount many Mustang owners (myself included - I have a genuine GT500 spoiler on my Boss 302). GM doesn't want you to be able to do that, though. To prevent people from borrowing design cues or all out cloning the mighty Camaro Z/28, GM is restricting sale of 35 parts to only those who own the car.  The restricted parts include the brake callipers and carbon ceramic rotors, forged wheels, helical differential, half shafts, seats and many aerodynamic parts such as the fender flares, rocker panels, rear spoiler and more.




Here is a  list of parts (courtesy of GM Authority) including part numbers:

22958646 ROTOR-FRT BRK
22958647 ROTOR-RR BRK
22958658 CALIPER ASM-FRT BRK
22958607 CALIPER ASM-FRT BRK
22958637 CALIPER ASM-RR BRK
22958634 CALIPER ASM-RR BR
23179350 MOLDING ASM-RKR PNL
23179351 MOLDING ASM-R…

Disappointing BMW M4 Start-up and Rev

This is the new BMW M4 which is powered by a twin-turbo 3-litre straight six making 425 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque which is 11 hp and 111 lb-ft of torque. While that is a healthy upgrade, specially the increase in torque, the engine noise is rather disappointing.. Below is a video showing a 2015 BMW M4 start up and rev.




You can actually hear someone in the background saying that it sounds like a Prius. Many diehard M3 fans and auto enthusiasts in general were bemoaning the switch to a turbo engine and now there's another disappointment, the engine noise. If you have a laptop, I recommend plugging in good speakers, preferably with a woofer, or at least head phones because laptop speakers will make it terrible.

This is the new BMW M4 which is powered by a twin-turbo 3-litre straight six making 425 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque which is 11 hp and 111 lb-ft of torque. While that is a healthy upgrade, specially the increase in torque, the engine noise is rather disappointing.. You can ac…

2015 Hyundai Sonata - Motor Trend's Refreshing or Revolting?

A 245 hp, FWD midsize family sedan with extremely mild sporty aspirations should not have four exhaust outlets. Other than that, it looks much better than the current generation, although that's hardly a compliment in my books because the current generation looks like an over-designed mess. Reducing power seems like a trend with all new Hyundai models now. Someone up there probably wanted to boost all peak power ratings to grab attention while the brand was redefining itself but they are trying to improve drivability now, which is a positive.




Background: Hyundai plans to give the 2.0-litre turbo Sport revised electric power steering system as well as 12.6-inch front brakes (the Mazda6 Grand Touring and Honda Accord Sport have 11.7 and 11.5-inch front brake discs, respectively) and a unique sport-tuned suspension. 
For 2015, HP is reduced for both engines. The 2.4-liter naturally aspirated I4 now produces 185 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque compared to the 2014's model 190-192 hp a…

Happy 50th Mustang!

Just over a week ago, the Mustang nameplate turned 50 years old. Not many cars can claim the honour and even more importantly, the rich heritage. It found success on the streets, in motor sports and even a few iconic roles. Check out the video below put together by Ford Racing to celebrate 50 years of Mustangs in motor sports.




Ford made sure that no one forgets the anniversary by offering a 50th anniversary limited edition model and only 1964 will be built to pay homage to the year 1964, the year the Mustang was born. It will be offered with every available option on the Mustang GT, except colour and transmission. Customers will pick the colour and an automatic or a manual transmission.  Not only that, Ford also repeated the great feat of putting a Mustang on the 86th floor observation deck of the Empire State building - 1,000 ft high.




There is one "gift card" that Ford might not have been excepting though.. a Happy Birthday from Chevrolet and none at Chevrolet other than t…

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible

This week, Chevrolet introduced the convertible version of the highly anticipated, C7 Corvette Z06. Yes, the Z06 will be available with a drop top. A power operated tonneau cover will be offered that is identical to the one offered on the standard stingray. The top will be offered in four colours and can be operated up to speeds of 30 mph. It features a thick fabric top with sound absorbing padding and a glass rear window to provide a quiet cabin. 



This is guaranteed to upset a few die-hard fans. Let's not forget, this is a car that used to be exclusive to a very specific group of people. The Z06 was not offered with a convertible top since the very first Z06 - the 1963 Corvette Stingray. According to GM records, 199 C2 Corvettes with the Z06 package were sold, only one of which was a convertible. However, the C5 and C6 Z06's being offered only as coupes and without an automatic option, they excluded many Corvette buyers who may have wanted extra oomph or bragging rights. GM …

2014 Spec Formula 1 Cars

By now, I imagine all F1 fans have probably watched the first Grand Prix of the season. I finally had a chance to watch it last weekend and I must say, I was quite disappointed with the noise. The major changes to cars have been decreasing engine size, rpm limit and cylinder count, a return to turbocharging, limiting fuel use, body changes to promote safety and increase passing opportunities and increase available power boost from the electric motor, both in duration and magnitude. If you want to learn more about the changes, click here to go to the summary on the Formula 1 official website or watch the video below prepared by the Red Bull.




The changes to the engine itself are the ones that most affect the noise. Firstly, a drop from a V8 to a V6 means fewer cylinder fires per engine revolution and, therefore, per unit of time (second, minute, etc.). This is coupled with a drop in maximum rpm from the typical 18,000 - 19,000 to 15,000. This means fewer fires per revolution and fewer …

I'm back as a new parent!

I unfortunately haven't been able to write lately but, luckily, it was for a very good reason. I am very happy to say that just over two months ago, we were blessed with a healthy little boy and I became a very proud father. Things are finally starting to settle down a bit and get into a routine (except for his sleeping schedule but, luckily, the wife is taking care of that) so I will have more time to start writing again. Now, to make this post as car related as possible, I'll conclude this with a few tips for new or expecting parents:

1 - Make sure you put the baby seat in the middle position. Many manuals and forums recommend the middle position but, aside from safety reasons in case of a crash, putting the seat on the left or right sides is less practical because it renders the door on that side basically useless for anything besides getting the baby in and out. Putting it in the middle will also make it easier to get the baby out from either side of the vehicle which is im…

The 2015 Ford Mustang is revealed!

The 2015 Mustang is finally here and it must be said, I'm pleasantly surprised (for the most part). The folks at Car and Driver were almost bang on with the final rendering that they posted a few weeks ago (2015 Mustang Leaked). This isn't a rendering though, this is the real thing straight from Ford.






Although I am not a fan of a few things, it is much better than I thought it would be. Considering all the talk about the Mustang going global and ditching traditional styling, I am very happy with the result. I think it looks absolutely fantastic. There's one problem, though, which is that it is unmistakably a Mustang only from most angles, not all. Looking at the picture below, if you remove the iconic pony from the wheel centre cap, it does not look like a Mustang. And it doesn't have to look retro to look like a Mustang because the rest of the car is very distinctly Mustang but looks very modern. From the front wheels back, it looks excellent; the profile, the roof, …






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 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.…

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…

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.


The R32, R33, and R34 Skyline GT-R's used a system that looked basically identical to the traditiona…

Michelin PSS vs Firestone Indy 500 - Track Review

A couple of weeks ago, I posted my first impressions of Michelin's PSS vs Firestone Firehawk Indy 500 tires. I've run PSS's for several years on the Boss, but I'm trying the Indy 500's for the first time. In short, I was worried about the narrower tires (I was running 285/35/18 PSS but could only find the Indy 500 in 275/35/18) and tread squirm, but I was happy with them up to that point just driving on the street. I had the chance to drive on them for three track days now. So what were they like? After my first session, they made an impression that basically persisted for the rest of track sessions on them. Phenomenal, unmatched value. Now, if value is something that stands out above all else, it typically means the compromise between qualities you want and those you don't is less than ideal, but the value is attractive. This is no different. I'll start with the bad, which really boil down to two: ultimate grip and grip longevity.

Grip is noticeably lowe…