September 21, 2010

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

The name “S-Class” derives from the German word “Sonderklasse” of which “S-Class” is an abbreviation. Sonderklasse means “special class” (or rather: “In a class of its own”), and in automotive terms thus refers to “a specially outfitted car.” Although used colloquially for decades, following its official application in 1972, five generations of officially-named S-Class sedans have been produced. Past two-door coupe models of the S-Class were known as SEC and later S-Coupe. In 1998 they were spun off in a separate line as the CL-Class, however it will be re-designated as the S-Coupe for the 2011 model year.

2007–2009 Mercedes-Benz S 550 (US)

Models sold in North America are the S450 (2008-,SWB and Canada only), S400 Hybrid (2010- ), S550, S600, S63 AMG and S65 AMG; other models to be sold outside North America include the S280, S350, S300, S420 CDI and S320 CDI. The first W221 model released in North America and Japan was the S550 (called S500 outside North America and Japan), with the S600 arriving in the following spring. In the U.S., base prices for the W221 S-Class range from $87,475 for the S550, $144,975 for the S600, $127,775 for the S63 AMG and $194,775 for the S65 AMG.

In terms of performance, the S550 completes the 0–60 mph run in just 5.4 seconds. The car weighs about 2250 kg, but S65 AMG still makes 0–60 mph in just 4.2 second, although a 4.2 second 0-60 has never been claimed or tested, although various automobile magazines state that the S65 will never achieve a practical 0-60 time of under 5 seconds because of its execrable and abominable traction. The S 63 AMG and the S600 makes the same sprint in about 4.6 seconds. AMG claim that the S63 will pull from 50 mph to 70 mph in around 3.9 seconds while the S65 make it to 70 mph from 50 mph in 3.6 seconds.

Mercedes-Benz has traditionally introduced its safety innovations in the S-Class. For instance, the S-Class was the first car in Europe to incorporate airbags. S-Class safety features included innovations in active safety (accident avoidance), passive safety (collision protection), and holistic safety (integration of both active and passive safety features). Active safety features include: ABS braking in 1978 (acts to reduce braking distances and improve stopping control; co-developed with Bosch); traction control and Electronic Stability Program (ESP) in 1995 (improves driver control during difficult road conditions); and Brake Assist (provides full braking power during emergency stops). In 2005, a new infrared night vision feature was introduced (improves visibility during nighttime conditions). Despite the popular misconception, the S-Class was not the first car fitted with ABS braking technology, although some credit can be given for popularizing this now largely standard feature (ABS was initially an option on most models of the W126 S-Class).

W126 500 SEL cabin with driver’s side airbag SRS

Passive safety features include: crumple zones in 1957 (vehicle body structure absorbs the force of impact); three-point seatbelts in 1965 (provides additional torso/body protection); collapsible steering column (prevents the steering column from protruding into the cabin during accidents), strengthened occupant cell enhanced occupant protection during severe impacts (rollovers); pre-accident seatbelt tensioning (tightens seatbelts prior to impact), and sandwich platforms (allows the engine to slide under the occupants in a head-on collision).

PRE-SAFE, Mercedes-Benz’s holistic safety feature, was introduced on the S-Class in 2002. PRE-SAFE integrates multiple active and passive safety features for a “safety net” approach to vehicle safety by attempting to prevent accidents; if accidents do occur, PRE-SAFE aims to reduce occupant injury. In the latest version of this pre-collision system, PRE-SAFE will prime the brake assist system, lock the doors to prevent accidental opening during the accident, adjust the seats, close the windows and sunroof, and tighten seatbelts during certain types of collisions. In the event an accident results in a roll over, the PRE-SAFE feature unlock the doors and lower the windows approximately one half-inch to allow you to exit or safety workers to gain access easily.

Road accident statistics on a model-by-model basis from the UK Department of Transport show that the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is one of the safest cars on the UK roads (measured in terms of chance of death in an accident).

September 17, 2010

Honda Civic 2.0i VTEC Type R Hatch Review

The Japanese version of the Civic was sold as a 4-door Sedan which generates 222bhp at 8400RPM. This is more powerful than the European version, which generates 198bhp at 7,800RPM. The external features of the 3-Door hatchback have changed some what since 2001, with a slightly less ‘sporty’ look and more of a ‘Honda space age’ look. However – under the bonnet the 2litre VTEC engine is the same (tweaked) engine as was in the previous generation, which isn’t a bad thing..

Although the new version is heavier its still lightning quick for its class, with a 0-62mph time of 6.6 seconds. The top speed hasn’t changed and remains at 146MPH. Honda have changed the double wishbone set-up in the rear suspension to a torsion bar suspension, they claim it makes the new civic type R more rigid than before.

The Vehicle Stability Assist on the Civic has been tweaked a little extra, which gives the driver more control.. and ultimately more fun! Fuel economies will undoubtedly be high for those of you who push it until the pistons fly through the bonnet. Expect around 30-40mpg.

As mentioned before, the weight of the car has increased. This is due to the fact that Honda have added more features, making it more of a drivers car. The features include dual climate control, drilled aluminum pedals & footrest, an alloy gear knob for the new 6 speed gearbox, leather steering wheel, auto wipers & lights and optional sat nav.

Unfortunately this time around Honda have taken a step back – they may have introduced new gadgets and features, but nothing new in terms of pure performance comes out of this vehicle.

But I’m pretty sure most Honda Type R fans are waiting for the launch of 2011 honda civic type r next year in 2011 and Japan will be witnessing first hand this speed monster’s birth next year. Owners of the senior Civic Type R, brace yourself!

Nippon Automotive Ltd. –
Japanese Car Parts

2007 Honda Civic Type R for the Japanese MarketFD2 Honda Civic Type R

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September 17, 2010

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR (MR EVO) – 5 Tuning Tips For More Power

The 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution MR (also know as MR Evolution or MR EVO). The MR EVO is one of the finest all-around street performance cars available. This is attributed to its affordable price, (you can get a used 2006 MR EVO for about $20K-28K) its AWD system and its 2.0 liter, 286 horsepower, 289 ft-lbs torque, 4-cylinder engine.

Modifying the MR EVO presents many options as there are a plethora of race companies with parts available. There are certain points on the MR EVO that should be addressed first. MR Evolutions come with many factory placed restrictions. These OEM restrictions were put in place to make the car safer and more reliable for everyday driving. Unfortunately, these restrictions keep your MR EVO from making the most power it can. Below I have the top 5 tuning tips to unleash the true power of your MR EVO!

#1 High-Flowing Air Intake Filter

The MR EVO has the largest stock turbo in any of the Lancer Evolution line-up vehicles. The stock air box is extremely restrictive and a simple air intake replacement will free-up lots of power. The turbo itself will spool up a lot faster, decreasing turbo lag. Gains of anywhere from 8-15hp should be expected. Performance intakes for the MR EVO are very simple to install as well.

#2 High-Flowing 3 Inch Downpipe

The downpipe is one the most crucial parts of any turbocharged car. Upgrading your downpipe will increase loads of horsepower and torque throughout the RPM range. Your turbo will have enhanced spooling characteristics as well. What does this mean? It means that not only will your turbo spool up faster, but your overall boost curve will change as well. When it comes to the MR EVO, the most important place on the exhaust is immediately after the turbo.

#3 High-Flowing 3 Inch Exhaust System

The OEM exhaust on the Lancer Evolution MR is very restrictive. Upgrading the exhaust to a full 3 inch unit does nothing but good in terms of power. Not to mention that sweet exhaust tone that the MR Evolution can make. You will notice an immediate increase in top end power along with a beautiful exhaust tone in the upper RPM. With a variety of styles and finishes available, you can add a little personality to your MR EVO.

#4 High-Performance Clutch

The Mitsubishi Lancer MR clutch is not bad, it just gets bad when you start adding more power to the car. The clutch is must for any MR EVO with performance parts. In my experience with tuning MR Evolutions I found that when the car starts producing about 300hp to the wheels the clutch must be upgraded. When upgrading the clutch you should always replace the flywheel with a lightweight performance version as well. Not only will your clutch hold the power your engine makes, but your overall horsepower will go up as well!

#5 Digital Boost Controller

Boost is one of the most important aspects of the MR EVO. Raising the boost level of the Lancer Evolution is one of the most effective ways to increase horsepower and torque. I have seen a 1 lbs increase in boost result in increases of up to 10 hp! Imagine when you increase the boost by 2, 3, 4, or 5 lbs? Not only that, but a digital boost controller will increase the spool response of your turbo as well. Controlling boost is also crucial if you plan to do more modifications in the future.

There are many options for tuning the Mitsubishi Lancer EVO MR. But these top 5 tips will start you in the right direction to be on the winning team.

Kai Graves is a race mechanic/driver/tuner with 15 years experience in performance automotive. He also owns and operates Leafracing Auto Performance & Service located in Honolulu, HI. Specializing in AWD Turbo modifications and tuning as well as general repairs & maintenance.

Did you find those Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution tuning tips helpful? You can learn a lot more about how to make an EVO fast here:


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Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X (US)

September 17, 2010

Evolution IX

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, colloquially known as the Lancer Evo or Evo,[1] is a high-performance sedan manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors. There have been ten official versions to date, and the designation of each model is most commonly a roman numeral. All use two litre, turbocharged engines and four-wheel drive systems.
The Evolution was originally intended only for Japanese markets, but demand on the “grey import” market led the Evolution series to be offered through Ralliart dealer networks in the United Kingdom and in various European markets from around 1998. Mitsubishi decided to export the eighth generation Evolution to the United States in 2003 after witnessing the success Subaru had in that market with their Impreza WRX, a direct competitor in other global regions

Mitsubishi introduced the Lancer Evolution IX in Japan on March 3, 2005,[12] and exhibited the car at the Geneva Motor Show for the European market the same day.[13] The North American markets saw the model exhibited at the New York International Auto Show the following month.[14] The 2.0 L 4G63 engine has MIVEC technology (variable valve timing), and a revised turbocharger design boosting official power output at the crankshaft to 291 PS (214 kW; 287 hp) and torque to 392 N·m (289 lb·ft).

The USDM Lancer Evolution IX models: standard (Grand Sport Rally or “GSR” in some markets), RS (Rally Sport), SE (Special Edition) and MR (Mitsubishi Racing) varied slightly in their performance capabilities. Subtleties unique to each model accounted for variations in acceleration, handling and top speed. The RS excluded features standard on the standard, SE and MR models (stereo system, power windows and locks, rear wiper, rear wing, trunk lining and sound insulation). The result is a weight savings of over 60 lb (27 kg). The fuel capacity remains the same as the Evo VIII at 14 USgal (53 L).

Although the RS is the lightest of the group, the RS did not manage to outperform the standard IX and the MR around a road course (even if only by fractions of a second). This was purported to be due to the lack of a rear wing on the RS. In a drag race, the three models are all about even. The RS model was produced for rally and racing teams who wanted a platform to build a race car from. It is stripped of all the creature comforts, and other upgrades that drive the price up for features that the race teams would not require.

 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX MR 

September 17, 2010

The 2010 Subaru WRX

The base model 2010 Subaru WRX is now as formidable in the performance department as the upscale WRX STI of last season. The best part is that it is now almost $10,000 less in initial price than any STI model for ’10 and still offers great engines and body styles to choose from. The WRX has a very distinct look and has been heralded for almost a decade now as one of the best cars available for US consumers. The patented all wheel drive system Subaru has placed in these cars makes them ideal for practically any road condition.

Outside, Subaru has given the WRX another facelift making it as distinctive, if not more so than any previous model year. Out is the old sedan style with traditionally sloped rear trunk and body panels. Instead of an abrupt end to the cabin and start of the trunk, the 2010 Subaru WRX gently flows body panels between the two. It will have to be seen whether or not this is a step in the right direction. Most consumers do agree however that the interior is more than adequate and offers a lot of options for customization.

The WRX comes in a base model, and STI package which is designed for ultimate performance. There is a substantial difference in price between the two, and the base model has been upgraded significantly since the previous model year. Base models are equipped with a 2.5 liter engine capable of 165 horsepower. They are offered with a five speed manual transmission or a four speed. STI models have a tweaked engine that is capable of even more horsepower and very pleasant performance.

Base WRX models come with practically every optional accessory imaginable. Of course, buyers can get a basic car that only comes with a few power accessories and limited amenities. Those looking to get the most out of their WRX are probably going to opt for quite a few interior additions that will more than likely see the price rise as well. Stereo systems, plush seats, friendly accessory panels, easy access to shift knobs and instrument clusters make these vehicles well loved by their owners. STI models come with slightly different body styles and interior accents. Again most of these can be customized in a wide variety of ways. On the outside a STI has body sills that may or may not add to performance.

As far as safety is concerned the all wheel drive system in these cars make them ideal for poor weather conditions. Though owners probably wouldn’t want to do too much off road driving with these vehicles, they are more than capable in situations where high clearance isn’t necessary. In crash test ratings these vehicles fair very well. Most tests have them receiving perfect scores in both front and side impact crash tests. Another bonus is the fact that these vehicles come with standard features like stability control, anti-lock brakes, front airbags, side airbags, full curtain airbags, head restraints, and a few other safety features. Drivers can be rather confident that they are in one of the safest vehicles in the class.

Consumers who are looking for a little extra performance out of a sedan may just find the WRX a true delight. The distinctive styling may be what keeps the 2010 Subaru WRX from becoming a mainstream vehicle however. The interior is one of the most well refined available and be customized in literally hundreds if not thousands of different ways. Under the hood, both the base WRX and STI models offer enough power to compete with the likes of a pony car.

Dan Legal is a member of the web development team that runs the website Used Cars For Sale. LemonFree is a car search engine which currently over 1.8 million new and used cars for sale.

If your interested in purchasing a 2010 Subaru WRX; give LemonFree a test drive today!

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2008 Subaru Impreza WRX Hatchback (US)

September 14, 2010

Toyota Mark X

The Mark X (Japanese: トヨタ・マークX) is a mid size automobile created by Toyota for the Japanese market. The Mark X was introduced in 2004 and is manufactured in Kanegasaki, Iwate, Japan. Also sold in China as the Reiz, it is available with either a 253 horsepower (189 kW) 3.0 L or 212 horsepower (158 kW) 2.5 L GR series V6 engine. Both engines offer dual VVT-i (variable valve timing) with gasoline direct injection(Japanese models only). The rear-wheel drive models have a 6-speed automatic transmission as standard, and the all-wheel drive models have a 5-speed automatic.

The Mark X is the successor to the Mark II which was first introduced in 1968, was known in the North American market as the Corona Mark II starting in 1972 and the Cressida from 1977 to 1992 and was the predecessor to the introduction of Lexus. The Mark X is not pronounced “Mark Ten” but “Mark Ex”, though the Mark II is “Mark Two”. The Mark X is an alternative to the Toyota Camry for buyers who like the size of the Camry, but prefer a front engine rear drive powertrain with the option to add all wheel drive, which the Camry doesn’t offer. The Mark X is a combination of previous Mark II siblings, the sport oriented Toyota Chaser, and the luxurious Toyota Cresta in one vehicle, letting the Camry appeal to buyers who traditionally purchased the conservatively styled and equipped Mark II in the past, repeating an approach previously attempted by the short lived Toyota Verossa that used straight 6 engines, whereas the Mark X uses V6 engines.

Both the first and second generation Mark X were manufactured at the Motomachi Plant in Japan

A redesigned Mark X was released on October 19th, 2009. Engine options are the 2.5L 4GR-FSE V6 and the 3.5L 2GR-FSE V6 found in the Crown, GS 350 and IS 350. Models available are Standard (350G, 250G, 250G Four), Premium and Sports (350S, 250G S). The 250G has all-wheel drive as an option (250G Four).[7][8][9]

Changes from the X120 generation include the elimination of the exhaust outlet diffuser, 6-speed automatic for AWD models and a return to the hinge design trunk instead of lift support.

As with the last generation Mark X, Toyota’s in-house tuning company Modellista installed a supercharger on the 3.5L 2GR-FSE motor to create the Mark X +M Super Charger. Power output is 360ps and 50.8 kg-m.

Mark XMark XMark X

September 14, 2010

Ferrari F430 Scuderia


 2006 Ferrari F430

Welcome to this article on the Ferrari F430 Scuderia.

Below is a list of the specs for the ferrari. First off, here is a bit of background information on the F430 scuderia. The F430 scuderia serves as the successor to the challenge stradale. The f430 scuderia was first revealed by Micheal Schumacher at the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show. The F430 Scuderia is aimed to compete with lightweight cars such as the Lamborghini Gallardo superrleggera and the Porsche RS models. It was also tested against this lamborghini by top gear. It showed that the ferrari was faster than the lambo by about a second. you can see this video on my site if you are interested by visiting the link.

The F430 Scuderia is lighter (by 100 kg/220 lb) and more powerful (515 PS (379 kW; 508 hp) at 8500 rpm) than the standard F430. Most of the power in the Scuderia comes from a revised intake, scuderia exhaust and an ion-sensing knock-detection system that allows for a higher compression ratio. Therefore the weight-to-power ratio in the f430 scuderia is reduced from 2.96 kg/hp to 2.5 kg/hp.

In addition to the weight saving measures, the f430 Scuderias semi-automatic transmission gains improved “Superfast”, known as “Superfast2”, software for faster 60 millisecond shift-times. A new traction control system combines the F1-Trac traction and stability control with the E-Diff electronic differential. The Ferrari 430 Scuderia does 0-60 miles per hour in 3.1 s and 0-100 km/h in less than 3.6 seconds, with a top speed of 198 miles per hour.

Country of origin: Italy
Introduced: 2007
engine configuration: V8
Location: mid
Displacement: 4.3 litre
Brakes: disk ventilated cermaic brakes
weight: 1350 kilos
Power: 510BHP
BHP per litre: 118
Top speed: 198 mph
0-60: 3.1 secs
Change gear speed: 60ms
Price: £180,000

The scuderia is definitely a supercar to be desired for but is it worth the extra 50k more than the standard f430?Ferrari also claim that it is as fast as an enzo round their track in Italy and that it is much easier to drive. Tiff Nidell from 5th gear tested the enzo and the scuderia round the track in Italy and got the exact same time for both cars. Bearing in mind that an enzo is about half a million to buy and is much less practical.

visit for videos and more info on the if you are interested.

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September 14, 2010

Mazda RX8 – Promises Comfort and a Powerful Engine

Mazda RX-8

Truly enough, Mazda RX8 came out with better performance and look. Although it still uses the standard Wankel rotary engine, the RX8 has been enhanced with a 16V Renesis engine. The earlier RX models use 13V rotary engines capable of displacing 1.3 liters of fuel that could yield 237 horsepower. But in the RX8 model, the 16V Renesis engine is capable of producing 238hp at 1.6 liters displacement.

Another distinguishing feature of the Mazda RX8 is its balanced weight from front to rear. The car’s weight is almost evenly distributed with almost an even 50:50 distribution on the front and mid-portion. This near perfect balance was attained due to the placing of the engine behind the front axle and the fuel tank in the middle, right before the rear axle.

The RX8’s appearance is also quite unique. Its doors are almost similar to suicide doors, only that it does not have B-pillars between the front and rear doors. Due to this, the front overlap the rear door and that the rear doors can be opened only once the front doors are open. Apart from its distinct appearance, the RX8 is also spacious for four people. On the front seat, more room is given between the driver and the front passenger, while the two passengers at the back can be comfortably seated.

On the downside, the much-publicized Mazda RX8 seem to have not performed according to expectations. The initial announcement of a 247hp capability of the 6-speed manual transmission sports car raised some eyebrows. With its 1.6-liter engine, the 247hp power is rendered doubtful. And it turned out that a number of RX8 owners were dismayed that the car did not produce as much power and speed as was published. Later, Mazda North America Office revised the output from 247hp to 238hp.

The soon-to-be-released 2008-2009 Mazda RX8 will not have that much change except that the chassis bracings were increased to add more rigidity and some other cosmetic changes whoch will make the Mazda RX8 contract hire a popular choice. The 2008-2009 model will also feature a two-rotor rotary engine to deliver better driving performance. This engine is smaller and lighter so it promises the same speed, while providing more comfort.

Darrell F writing about the Mazda RX8 which is available on Mazda contract hire and the RX8 leasing.

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September 14, 2010


Many of us desire a prestigious vehicle that is comfy and can be utilized everyday. Nissan has figured out this problem with the production of the 2009 GT-R. Nissan preferred to leave the specific design that sets it apart from other supercars on the road – but made it an engine that would make it renowned. The price for the whole package is around $80,000.

The 2009 Nissan GT-R still has a very competitive edge to it thanks to the dark grille and distinct headlights and fenders that it is reinforced with. Very few cosmetic alterations have been made to this model. The whole of the body has been made with a unibody monocoque from steel. The front part is constructed with carbon fiber to make it lightweight compared to its other versions.

Nissan also developed a carbon fiber driveshaft that is made from the back of the engine to the transaxle. This transaxle has a dual clutch six speed gearbox. The computer built into it will have the ability to adjust the front to the rear torque split. After which the power from the front wheels will run to a small carbon fiber driveshaft above before moving on to the right, primary driveshaft.

The automaker has permitted the transmission to operate in the fully automatic mode. However, most individuals feel that it works best when utilising the shift paddles that have been mounted to the steering wheel.

When plans of the GT-R leaked out it was typical for many of us to assume that it would be powered by the twin turbocharged version of the VQ-Series V6 that Nissan is known for using. However, this time they chose to use a brand new VR38 engine – which is similar to the VQ. Each of the twin turbo, intercooler VR38 V6 are assembled by hand before installation.

The quantity of power forced out of this engine is 473 horsepower and 6,400 rpm. This allows it to rev from 0 to 62 mph in 3.5 seconds with a top speed of 193 mph. It came as no surprise to us that the 2009 Nissan GT-R became famous for running a quarter mile in only 11.7 seconds.

This put its power output and speed neck in neck with that of the Porsche 911 Turbo. Porsche could feel the heat and the rivalry and felt that Nissan was being untruthful with these lap times. So they challenged them and told them to perform it again. But this did not alter their numbers in the slightest. The Nissan GT-R is truly a great supercar!

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September 14, 2010


The Audi TT is a two-door compact sports car manufactured by Audi Hungaria Motor Kft. in Győr, Hungary, since 1998, for the German automaker and Volkswagen Group subsidiary AUDI AG.The Audi TT is now in its second generation — and both generations have been available in two car body styles; as a 2+2 Coupé, or two-seater Roadster. They have been built on consecutive generations of the Volkswagen Group A platform, starting with the A4 (PQ34). As a result of this platform-sharing, the Audi TT has identical powertrain and suspension layouts as its related platform-mates; this includes a front-mounted transversely orientated engine, front-wheel drive or quattro permanent four-wheel drive system, and fully independent front suspension using MacPherson struts.

Every one would love to see Audi TT performance against a RX8 all time favourite. Do watch this space

Audi TT Coupé II front 20100503.jpg
Audi tt.jpg
In 2005, Audi released the Coupé-only limited edition (800 sold in the UK, not the 1000 originally planned) Audi TT quattro Sport[10] (known as the Audi TT Club Sport in Europe). Built by AUDI AG high performance specialist subsidiary quattro GmbH, it had increased power from its 1.8 litre turbocharged engine – rising to 240 PS (177 kW; 237 hp) and 320 newton metres (236 ft·lbf) of torque – and a reduction in weight of 75 kilograms (165 lb) to 1,390 kilograms (3,064 lb),[10] which allowed for a 0 to 100 kilometres per hour (0 to 62.1 mph) time of 5.9 seconds, and an electronically limited top speed of 250 kilometres per hour (155.3 mph).