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Lexus LF-SA (unfortunately) Revealed

And it is a disgrace to automotive design. How is it possible for a concept car to be so HIDEOUS? What kind of crack is Lexus' design studio smoking? If time machines existed and someone took a picture of this, went back a decade or two and showed it to Lexus' design studio at the time, they would burn the place down to make sure nothing this appalling could ever come out of their offices and curse the roads of the future.


Ford Focus RS - Automatics vs Manuals

A few days ago, Motor Trend posted about the debut of the highly anticipated Ford Focus RS. As with just about every debut of a new performance car, an auto vs manual debate shows up in the comments section. The main argument for auto is that modern dual clutch autos are no longer slow and a detriment to performance so why go for an outdated technology (i.e. manual)? This really annoys me. If someone just wants the fastest, they should want intakes, heads and cams tuned for high rpm for max power, mid range be darned. They should want huge turbos for maximum power with no concern for spool times and linear power deliver. That's not the case, though, those who want autos still want a car that's always responsive and linear throughout the rpm range because it isn't a race car and it won't always be at max boost and rpm.

There are compromises that have to be made for street cars to make them enjoyable and fun to drive as often as possible. A manual is one of these. I won…

Chevrolet SS 1LE Handling Package Possible!

Chevrolet delighted many car enthusiasts when it announced that it will offer a new model called the Chevrolet SS; a RWD sedan based on the Holden Commodore with a standard LS3 6.2 litre V8. Many considered it a replacement to the much loved but short lived Pontiac G8 which was also based on the Holden Commodore. Unsurprisingly, the Chevy SS has been well received in reviews since its introduction, like the G8.

Chevy decided that that wasn't enough, though. Last year, it decided to give another treat to the car's fans and made a 6-speed manual transmission available instead of just the 6-speed auto and the now-well-known GM magnetic shocks also became an option. I wasn't expecting much more to be changed from now on. Since the SS is based on the Commodore and also built alongside of it in Australia, it is expected to go out of production when Holden's manufacturing operations close in Australia and start relying on global GM platforms. A Motor Trend source, though, sa…

2016 Ferrari 488GTB - 458 Replacement

I know this isn't a video of a 488GTB but bear with me. This is a video by Motor Trend of a 2010 Ferrari 458 Italia. It shows a very brief review and hot lapping at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during the 2011 Best Driver's Car (BDC) feature. Play the video, skip to 0:42 and listen. Once you get to about 1:00, you should rewind back to 0:42 and let it play again to 1:00. I did that a few times. That's what the Ferrari 458 Italia sounds like, with a screaming 4.5 litre V8 that revs all the way to 9,000 rpm, where it produces peak aural pleasure and power. Rev matching downshifts are awesome. What an engine. What a noise. Sadly, the replacement of the Ferrari 458 will almost certainly not sound like that. 



The 488 GTB will replace the 4.5 litre V8 with a 3.9 litre V8 that makes peak power at 8,000 rpm and will probably redline at the same point like the last one, which would mean a drop of 1,000 rpm. A pair of turbochargers ensure what's left of that high pitched noise is …

2016 Cadillac CT6 Surprise Unveil

In an unprecedented move, Cadillac chose to unveil a brand new car (one that is currently going to sit at the top of the lineup at that) in an Oscars commercial instead of a car show or press release. Meet the CT6, completely unveiled, although we'll have to wait until the New York Auto Show for the official debut with all the details and get a better look at it from different angles. I think it's a very smart move, capturing an unexpected moment and a lot of excitement, but only time will tell if it will pay off in sales.

I've always been a fan of Cadillac's Art and Science design language and this is no exception. I think it looks great and elegant. What's even more important to me in this segment is looking substantial but not bulky and demanding presence. I think it hits all the right marks.




As far as mechanical details, so far it's expected to receive 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6 and an optional plug-in hybrid powertrain that should get about 70 mpge. It will …

1,000 hp Twin-Turbo Dodge Viper TA

Over 1,000 hp V10 engine, in a RWD car with a six speed manual. This car also happens to be a Viper, one of the most charismatic cars on the road. This is the work of RSI Racing Solutions through their RSI Twin Turbo Race Systems kit. Starting from $89,950 on top of the price of a Viper, the kit brings Precision 72 mm turbos (76 mm are optional) with custom associated plumbing, cooling, intake and exhaust. The kit also brings built forged block and internals with a 528 c.i. (8.7 litre) stroker kit. The heads and valvetrain, fuel system and clutch are also upgraded to handle the newfound horsepower. The transmission, clutch, differential and axles can also be built to handle the added grunt. If that's more than you'd like, you can forego the built block and heads and go with smaller, 62 mm turbos along with their plumbing and cooling and upgraded fuelling which starts at $44,950. This kit, called RSI Twin Turbo Systems is good for over 850 hp at the wheels. Awesome. Check out …

Lexus LF-SA Teaser

When will Lexus spare the world from this terrible design language? A commenter on Motor Trend Wide Open Throttle's post said: 
"What a hideous, deformed, loud-mouthed, inside-out, upside-down terror is this?!?!? This...this "thing" is an utter disgrace. Wait, I'm sorry! That statement was a disgrace to "things" everywhere! I weep for Lexus enthusiasts everywhere (except BD, he probably deserves this)! Where did they get the inspiration for this monstrosity??? From a deep sea angler???

C'mon, Akio! What happened to the people who designed the FRS?? Were they mysteriously wiped out by an asteroid one night while working on this vehicle, so you decided to hire a bunch of teenage metal-heads who spend their days playing Zombie Apocalypse finish the design??? Oh man, if only there were enough negative adjectives to describe this horrible...this horrible....phenomenon.

I heretofore refuse to call whatever this ill-conceived hunk of metal is a "car&…

Small Block V8 RWD Drifting Minivan

This "Momkhana" video commercial is a spoof of Ken Block's Gymkhana videos. A second generation Toyota Sienna minivan has had its stock engine and drivetrain thrown out and replaced with a small block V8 and RWD. This is how minivans should come from the factory. Imagine pulling up next to this at a traffic light and hearing it. If at least one manufacturer made an optional trim/package for a production minivan of this caliber or close to, even if it's a turbo V6 with a simple FWD-based AWD system, minivans will be cool again. They probably won't sell well or make money for the manufacturers so it'll never happen. 




2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo MR Test - A Closer Look

"True, the Evo MR is an aged dog. Its equipment is antiquated." Who would have thought this would be how to describe an Evo? It has basically been unchanged since its introduction. In fact, the pictures posted here are from Mitsubishi's website. A link that takes you to a flickr Mitsubishi account where the pictures are titled 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

 The Lancer Evolution has always been a performance bargain, offering performance that nothing in its budget did but, with a starting price that's as close as makes no difference $40,000 and no updates since its introduction, that's no longer the case. You can get Camaros, Mustangs and Challengers that are faster and quicker now. Many people now know that a Camaro SS 1LE or a Mustang GT Track Pack are hugely capable on a track and can easily beat an Evo but would struggle to believe that a Challenger would beat an Evo on the track but during Car and Driver Lightning Lap features, a 2011 Challenger SRT8 392…

Juns Subaru BRZ - 2.4 litre Synergy V8

Meet Juns Subaru BRZ. If the traditional power adding methods like forced induction or dropping a small block V8 aren't your thing, this may be it (although I imagine swapping a small block V8 into something small is typically a North American - and awesome - solution, but I digress). This one does have a V8 but it's a very different kind of V8 and, at $70,000, it will cost you a multiple of that but you will no doubt have something very unique.




The engine is based on two Kawasaki Ninja ZX-12R engines and has a displacement of 2.4 litres. Power? 356 hp at 10,680 rpm, a whopping 156 hp over stock, although torque gets a much more modest jump to 199 lb-ft, "only" 48 lb-ft over stock. This frankenstein engine is the work of Synery Power in New Zealand, which developed the engine for midget car speedway racing but they have wanted to put it in a street car. I would imagine the experience might be similar to a rotary engine, making a lot of power but all very high in the…






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.…