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Showing posts from 2015

6th Generation 2016 Chevy Camaro

This surprises a lot of people, considering that I have a Mustang and a Boss 302 at that, but I'm a Camaro fan. For one, I've always been a Chevy small block fan. They're compact and light (for the displacement), powerful, efficient and reliable. Secondly, without Camaro rivalry, I don't think the Mustang would be as good. Finally, I'm a domestic kind of guy so I like seeing good products from all domestics. As a result, I was looking forward to the highly anticipated 6th generation Camaro and I must say, it doesn't look like it will disappoint.

The first and most important piece of information is that the Camaro is all new. It shares nothing with the previous generation. People will no longer be able to say this is an old bloated chassis or it's just a rebadged Holden. This one is based on the Alpha chassis Cadillac developed for the Cadillac ATS. It's lightweight, compact and strong where as the previous Zeta chassis was intended for a full size seda…

JLT Oil Catch Can Review

I've had a catch can for about a couple of years. If you've been following my blog, you may know that I've had a seldom problem with power steering randomly cutting off. I thought I had it fixed several times but it kept returning. Finally, towards the end of last summer, the problem was found by a tech at one of the local dealers. After a lot of time behind the wheel on and off the track, I can confidently say the problem is gone. I hate to admit but it was my fault. The catch can that I bought was a bigger unit that came with a mounting bracket. Without checking the wiring, I mounted it where the electric power steering rack ground was. Sometimes, while turning, the can would shift so slightly but enough to move the ground cable, cut power and therefore power steering. It was terrifying, especially on the track, and really hurt with being confident behind the wheel.

After the tech found it, he put a second nut on that bolt to hold it better and it worked so much better …

Ford Focus RS Makes Big Power!

Just remember, you heard it (or read it) here first. Ford said that this will be the most powerful Focus ever with "well in excess of 315 hp". Back in February when I posted about it (2016 Focus RS), I brought up the extremely limited edition RS500 which made 345 hp so I expected this one to make close to 350 hp. Sure enough, Ford officially revealed that the Focus RS will make 345 hp and 324 lb-ft of torque from its 2.3 litre EcoBoost engine. This time, though, it won't be a very limited edition to get all that power. All RS's will make that power, at least until Ford makes a performance package or special edition with even more.




As Ford said when it debuted the RS, the engine has been significantly upgraded to handle the added power compared to the 310 hp unit found in the Mustang EcoBoost. The 2.3 litre engine shares the block with the Mustang but significant upgrades support the increased power. The radiator and intercooler are both much bigger units. A new twin…

Mustang Shelby GT350 - Legendary Name Brings Legendary Power

It's old news by now but I can't see my blog not having a post about this.. I'm a big Mustang fun. It's the highest revving, most powerful and most power dense production engine in Ford's history. Need more superlatives? It's also Ford's first flat-plane crankshaft and the world's largest flat-plane crankshaft V8. It also has another achievement to add to its portfolio. At 526 hp, it makes over 100 hp/litre.




It will make its peak power, 526 hp, at 7,500 rpm and a peak torque value of 429 lb-ft at 4,750 rpm which gives it a healthy hp and torque peaks spread of 2,750 rpms. Moreover, 90% of peak torque is available from approximately 3,450 rpm and 7,000 rpm. Optimizations have been made everywhere to ensure the engine is always happy to go around a track.

As everyone now knows, the engine will feature a plat-plane crankshaft to improve engine breathing. It does so by separating cylinder banks exhaust pulses (i.e. you can't have two cylinders on oppos…

Dodge Viper ACR is back!

If you've just bought the most hardcore version of any car that's currently on sale, it will very soon be rendered pedestrian. That's because the Viper ACR is back and it's even more capable. In fact, it's a lot more capable.






Upgraded suspension? Check. The brakes are carbon-ceramic Brembo units with six piston callipers in the front clamping on 15.4 inches rotors and four piston callipers in the back clamping on 14.2 in rotors. Adjustable Bilstein coil-overs replace the stock units and the springs now are stiffer at 600 lb/in in the front and an eye water 1,300 lb/in in the back. Unlike many aftermarket adjustable dampers, those shocks feature 10 settings to adjust both rebound and compression. The coil-overs also allow for ride height adjustment of up to 3 inches! The tires? Oh, they're big. 295/25/19 in the front and 355/30/19 in the rear. If all of this adjustability isn't enough, consider the adjustable aero bits.






An optional Extreme Aero package will…

Cadillac ATS-V+ with LS7 Power

Once I learned that the ATS-V will come with a twin-turbo V6, I was a little disappointed but thought that that it actually needs a TT V6 to compete with the M3. If it didn't have one, the ATS-V would have been looked down upon by German brand loyalists as being "old tech" and "inefficient". Cadillac still has to build brand credibility in that market so it's smart to offer the same type of technology so that the brand is the only thing they have to work hard to sell, not what's under the hood. Still, I (and many other fans) wanted a V8 but I never thought I'd see the day. A few weeks ago, though, a rumour has been going around that a higher version of the ATS-V will come and be called ATS-V+. It won't get the new LT1 V8, though, found in the Stingray and upcoming Camaro. No, it will come with the monster LS7 7.0 litre V8 that was in the C6 Corvette Z06 and the current Camaro Z/28. AWESOME.
I read that this was just that, a rumour. The fact tha…

Dad's Supercar - A great mid-engine build

I came across this home build on a forum (Cobaltss.net) and thought it was really cool. It's a mid-engine build with an engine out of a Cobalt SS (appears to be an LSJ) with a dry sump oiling system. The goal, according to the page, is to have 450 hp on gas to drive to the strip and switch to methanol, change injectors and tune and run with ~ 1,000 hp.






Rear suspension:


Front suspension:



Check it out the (little) details on the build here: Dad's Home-built mid-engine Supercar


Formula race car driver reflexes in the rain

Super fast reflexes, great situational awareness and excellent car control. Watching that save was so impressive that I had to watch it a couple of times. My favourite part is staying focused, in control and continuing the race after avoiding the situation.





Can a fuel additive add hp? Dyno with Video!

Have you ever wondered if fuel additives really make a difference in how the car runs? Better yet, have you ever got in an argument with someone about whether or not it makes a difference? I have. This should settle it (assuming you trust the results of course).





Cadillac CT6 - full details!

If you want some proof that Cadillac is doing something right, I might be able to help. Looking through the stats of my blog, searches and viewership of my posts about the CT6 have been soaring lately. There's a lot of excitement about this car and I'm not surprised. There's a lot riding on it and while Cadillac sales haven't been newsworthy, it's hard to argue that it is well on its way to reestablishing itself as a true world leader in luxury with a slowly expanding lineup.


We heard a few things about the CT6 and have seen it in a first-in-the-industry reveal in an Oscars commercial (2016 Cadillac CT6 Surprise Unveil) but now we have full details and things are looking even better. Cadillac is promising a lot in terms of driver involvement, chassis control and power while still delivering in comfort, luxury and connectivity. I don't care much for the last (i.e. connectivity) but it is an important aspect of modern cars so they have to deliver on all fronts.



Corvette Z06 beats GT-R Nismo after all!

This is a little overdue, but man, was I ever happy when I read this. A lot of people were disappointed after the first comparison of the new Corvette Z06 vs the Nissan GT-R Nismo and frankly I was a little disappointed myself (read first post here). Every one was expecting the Z06 with the Z07 package to beat every car short of hyper cars on a track but in the hands of Randy Pobst, it posted a best lap of 1:27.1 at Willow Springs vs a lap time of 1:25.7 by the GT-R Nismo, trailing it by 1.4 seconds. Every Corvette fan, myself included, tried to find reasons as to why it lost as it was hard to believe because the Corvette performed far better in individual handling tests (figure-8, braking and skidpad). Well, as it turns out, there was a reason. Chevy looked into the test car and found that the rear suspension was out of alignment.




They sent it back to Motor Trend. To make things even better, GM developed a new setting for the magnetic shocks for rough tracks like Willow. The setting…

Porsche fights over GT3 name with Aston Martin

According to Motor Trend, a new report stated that after talks between Aston Martin and Porsche over the use of the GT3 name, Aston Martin decided to switch the name of the Vantage GT3, which debuted at the Geneva show this year, to Vantage GT12 after its V12 engine.

There aren't many comments on the post but all three commenters are against Porsche fighting over the name, likening it to a spoiled child and saying there wouldn't be any confusion between the two. It isn't about confusion or Porsche being a child. It's about marketing and brand recognition. How many people refer to Porsche 911 GT3's simply as GT3's? If you say GT3 outside of an FIA sanctioned race, everyone knows you are taking about a Porsche 911. That's very successful building of brand recognition and takes time and hard work to do. The name GT3 has weight and cache in the realm of production cars that Porsche built. If this Aston is called the Vantage GT3, that distinct recognition will …

2014 Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 - A Closer Look

I agree with the video, there's something special about this car because it's one of the last very few naturally aspirated supercars. McLaren, Porsche, AMG, you name it. Even Ferrari is going turbo for the 458 Italia replacement. Porsche still has the naturally aspirated GT3 but the top dog is still the Turbo S. What makes this even more sweet is that this last fighter is a big V10. I'm a big fan of V10 noise. I don't know for sure which one sounds better, this or the high revving, wailingYamaha-developed 4.8 V10 in the Lexus LFA (which, in my opinion, is its only redeeming feature). I do know, though, that if both were on a track at the same time, the LFA would sound like it was wailing in fear of this Lambo, which would sound like a mad angry bull. I know which one I would take. Check out the video below to hear it and see its incredible performance.




Kawasaki Ninja H2R - 300 hp and Supercharged

Okay, this isn't a car but there's a reason why I'm writing about it. It has a supercharged 1.0 litre engine makes 296 hp. 296 hp may not be too impressive in a car but one has to remember that this isn't a car. It's a bike and it weighs just 476 lb in full trim and a 90% full tank. That's a weight to power ratio of 1.6 lb/hp. I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around that number.




To put that number into perspective, a 2013 Mustang GT500 has 5.9 lb/hp. A C6 Corvette ZR1 has 5.3 lb/hp. A 2015 Porsche 918 has 4.2 lb/hp and that's with the electric motors running at full song. The insane Hennessey Venom GT with its twin-turbo LS7 7.0 litre engine has 2.2 lb/hp. I can't even begin to imagine what 1.6 lb/hp would feel like.




I would also be curious about how fast you'd have to be going to be able to use that power. I used to have an 09 Cobalt SS. It had GM Stage 1 and a few bolt ons which would put it at very close to that 296 hp figure at the c…

Dodge can't meet demand for Challenger and Charger Hellcats

Apparently, Dodge can't build Dodge Challenger and Charger Hellcats as people can order them. As a result, the company told Fox News: "Due to unprecedented demand for the 2015 Dodge Charger and Challenger SRT Hellcats, we are temporarily restricting orders while we validate current orders that are in the system."

Some dealers are slapping 50% markups on the MSRPs of $59,995 and $63,995 for the Challenger and Charger Hellcats, respectively, while others have reportedly taken deposits on cars they have no idea when they can deliver. In a very respectful move by Dodge, they closed the order books to respect the interests of its fans. It is unknown how long they will be closed for, but an AllParNews.com source said that Dodge may not catch up to the demand and existing orders until August.




Two vehicles, both have 707 hp, supercharged HEMI V8s. One is a large coupe that can go 199 mph and another is a four door sedan that can break the 200 mph barrier and hit 204 mph. The on…

4x4 1920's Dodge Brothers Oilfield Dodge

A buddy at work forwarded this video that he came across to me. It appears to be a promotional video for a 4x4 Dodge Brothers sedan with Oilfield Dodge painted on the side. Enjoy!





Top Gear - Please Come Back!

"I THINK it’s fair to say that nature made a mistake when it invented the dinosaur. It was too big, too violent and with such small and puny arms it was never going to be able to operate heavy machinery or even enjoy a bit of special “me” time."

“All the dinosaurs died and now, years later, no-one mourns their passing. These big, imposing creatures have no place in a world which has moved on.”

This is what Jeremy Clarkson wrote in his column in The Sun. By now, you've probably already heard about what has been going on with Jeremy Clarkson and a BBC producer. The show was suspended as a result and now, the above post suggests that the show is going to be cancelled for good, which is tragic as far as automotive entertainment goes. Top Gear's official website, though, has not posted about it being cancelled so there is still hope, although it confirmed that this week's episode will also be postponed pending the investigation into the matter. I think the last few s…

J.D. Power Dependability Study - It Isn't One

J.D. Power released its 2015 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study about three weeks ago. I don't like their rating criteria, though. According to J.D. Power, the study "examines problems experienced during the past 12 months by original owners of three-year-old (2012 model year) vehicles. Overall dependability is determined by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100), with a lower score reflecting higher quality. The study has been enhanced in 2015 to better measure problems related to new technologies and features that are now being offered in today's vehicles."

There are two problems right there. The first is that the problems are reported by owners, not the dealer so there may be issues that are only perceived to be problems. For example, I have heard and read about plenty of owners thinking they have engine or transmission problems and bringing their cars in to get fixed because they aren't accustomed to continuously variable transmission (CVT…

Adjustable Dampers - Are they worth it?

Adjustable dampers are far from perfect. If they were, a car like the Camaro ZL1 would be Mercedes S-Class (or equivalent) comfortable on potholes, Camaro Z/28 (or equivalent) stiff on smooth tracks and infinitely adjustable in-between on mid corner bumps, road imperfections, speed bumps, etc. GM's magnetic shocks are excellent but, while they are one of, if not the best adjustable dampers available in any mainstream car, they're still a huge compromise between ultimate comfort and ultimate chassis control, you just give up less in performance and less in comfort compared to fixed dampers but get added cost and complexity in return.

The added cost and complexity aren't the only issues, either. Ironically, adjustable dampers put a huge roadblock on adjustability if you ever decide to modify the suspension. Every modern car now has stability control and adjustable dampers would have to be connected to and monitored by the stability control system. Buying aftermarket dampers…

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…