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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Aftermarket

Porsche Upgrades Panamera Turbo With After-Market Turbo Kit

On: Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 10:15AM | By: Chris Weiss

Porsche Upgrades Panamera Turbo With After-Market Turbo Kit test 1-1

The Porsche Panamera has been splitting its time winning praise and fending off derision since its introduction last year. For owners that want to avoid the latter and welcome more of the former, Porsche has new options that will add power, performance and looks to the four-door. Panamera Turbo owners who want to massage even more horses out of their four-door will soon have a new option. Porsche announced the Powerkit that will boost the output of the Panamera Turbo by 40 hp. The kit will be available this fall. Also available this fall, Porsche will offer several new exterior options.

Porsche's new Powerkit will equip the Panamera Turbo models with new turbochargers that house titanium-alloy turbine wheels. The kit will also include tunes to the engine management system to make the Panamera Turbo's V8 more responsive. The kit pulls an extra 40 ponies out of the 4.8-liter V8 for a total of 540, and also boosts torque to 553 lb-ft (up from 516).

RedLine TimeAttack 2010: Chris Rado And World Racing

On: Tue, Aug 17, 2010 at 2:25PM | By: John Welch

The BUSINESS! test 2

Before we delve into Chris Rado and his World Racing team’s disappointing weekend, there is a little story I have to tell. Standing in the paddock of Sebring International Raceway, wondering just how hot is was outside, I put down my Canon, wiped my forehead and simply observed the World Racing crew for a few moments. I had spent the last twenty minutes taking as many revealing images of Chris Rado's outrageous Scion tCs as I could, and had yet to actually see Mr. Rado himself. Out of the corner of my right eye I noticed a hauler door open and a fire-suit clad Rado step out into the unnerving Florida sunshine.
I've met a few race drivers in my time, NASCAR guys mostly, and it took all of my limited self-control not to strut right up to Rado and start yakking at the guy as if we had grown up on the same street. Rado inspected his "tame" Scion, the Super Modified FWD contender you see in most of the images accompanying this post; he displayed a scrunched forehead, a serious posture. I decided perhaps it might not be the best idea to bother him at the moment. After 30 seconds of discussion with a crew member, Rado, completely unaware that I was spying on him harder than a jilted Astronaut spies on her fantasy crewmate, displayed true sportsmanship like I have never seen in a race paddock, professional or otherwise.

Without touching either of his own cars, Rado walked over to one of his litany of air compressors and began assembling a hose and air chuck. A flat-black and red Honda Accord pulled up to the left of World Racing's pits, and it's driver, Sean Yearwood, threw the Honda into 'Park' (I know it’s a manual, how do you use that cliché without ‘Park’?) and gingerly climbed out of the Super Modified FWD-class Accord. That is the most important part of this entire story, Yearwood and his Honda compete in the same class as Rado and his be-winged Scion tC. Direct competitors . . . and Rado was actually helping Yearwood out, allowing the Honda driver to use his equipment and spending his own time and energy to make sure the compressor hose was long enough and that the tank was full of air. Never have I seen a racer help his competition out so thoroughly, going out of his way to make sure Yearwood ran his best time, and the fans were entertained. I decided that this act of selflessness had earned Rado a reprieve from my badgering, and did not approach him.

Okay, now that I've gotten that off my chest, we can focus on World Racing's insane Scions, Rado's bad racing luck, and the images that accompany his trip to Sebring, Florida.

RedLine TimeAttack 2010: Sebring International Raceway

On: Mon, Aug 16, 2010 at 6:23PM | By: John Welch

RedLine TimeAttack 2010: Sebring International Raceway test 1-1

Sebring is as historic a race track as there is in the world. True, it isn't Le Mans or Monaco, and Americans would most likely name Daytona, Indianapolis, or Talledega before they would Sebring; the fact remains, this former B-17 training facility is hallowed ground.

I love Daytona, very much, but it just doesn't have the same panache as Sebring. The luxury-suites at Daytona are named for companies like General Mills, Lowes, and Fed-Ex; the suites on the front stretch of the Sebring race course are named after Audi, Panoz, and Chapparal. There is an unmistakable difference in historic quality between the two tracks and the events they entertain. Daytona is an enterprise for generating cash-flow, Sebring International Raceway is a beacon of purity in an otherwise tainted marketplace . . .

And the RedLine Time Attack Series fits right in with the philosophies of Sebring, real or completely dreamed up by myself as I struggled to suppress my child-like giddiness, almost vomiting as I ran a trembling finger over the Armco barrier on Sebring's front straight. From this position I was looking at cement that has stood the test of time. Unaltered for nearly 60 years, the front stretch at Sebring is a sight any American-born sports car enthusiast has to take in, at least once, before they die. The RedLine Time Attack event, held between August 13th and 15th, afforded me more access to more parts of Sebring than I have ever had before, and for that I am thoroughly grateful to the event organizers and participants. I hope my home state and fellow Floridians were able to make them feel welcome, as I will be bitterly disappointed if the event does not return to Sebring next year. After viewing the images and reading the stories the AutoShopper was able to collect during this stunning production car-based race, you too will be champing at the bit for the 2011 RedLine Time Attack at Sebring International Raceway, in the middle of nowhere, Florida . . .

Lexus Gives LFA Lease Scheme the Ax, Customers Can Now Buy the Supercar Outright

On: Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 3:09PM | By: Chris Weiss

Lexus Gives LFA Lease Scheme the Ax, Customers Can Now Buy the Supercar Outright test 1-1

Lexus had previously made a small stir when it announced that U.S. customers would only be able to lease the $375,000 LFA. The idea was to offer the car through a mandatory, two-year lease to prevent us profit-minded Americans from buying and flipping the car, negatively impacting the "ownership experience." Today, the company announced that it is reversing this policy and offering the LFA for regular sale. However, owners wishing to sell the car within the first two years must get the go-ahead from the dealership they bought it from.


The 2011 Mustang RTR Package

On: Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 12:28PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

The 2011 Mustang RTR Package test 1-1

The 2011 Ford Mustang has arrived with the great looks and performance you would expect from Mustang, but now Ford is announcing a new RTR dealer-installed package from Vaughn Gittin Jr. (driver of the No. 25 Falken Tire 2011 Ford Mustang).

In an interview with Mustang News.com Gittin is quoted as saying, “I have been getting ready for the launch of Mustang RTR, which is a project I have taken on as my vision for a new generation of Mustang to get some new eyes on the car. It is a dealer-installed package that has Ford Racing parts on it. Other than that, I have been working on some really big things that we are going to announce soon, including a really big sponsor coming on board shortly. I am out in Charlotte testing my brand new 2011 Mustang.”

The introduction of Mustang RTR enhances the notoriety and success that Gittin has seen in  the Formula Drift, with a significant lead in the championship point standings. Gittin took first place while driving the Falken Tire 2011 Ford Mustang GT at the opening competition in Long Beach. He also took second place in the more recent "Road Atllanta."

Some of the upgrades include in the package:  Mustang RTR 19x9.5-inch wheels, Ford Racing mufflers, and Ford Racing handling pack (performance-tuned dampers and springs).

Mustang RTR transforms an already great looking Mustang into a real head-turner with exclusive styling, accentuated by a chin spoiler with splitter and supports, rocker splitters, a rear diffuser and aluminum rear spoiler. A distinct Mustang RTR stripe scheme adds even more character. The interior upgrades include RTR-exclusive floor mats, shifter knob, and emblems.

When Vaughn Gitten Jr. was asked what he liked most about the new Mustang, he replied, “It is unbelievable. It is a Ford Racing 5.0L V-8 and we are testing a new tire as well. Between the grip of the new tire and the extra horsepower we have, it is just an unbelievable car. It is a lot faster and I just cannot wait to compete with it.”

The RTR package was created in partnership with Classic Design Concepts, a Michigan company with a great reputation for high quality and stylish flair. The Mustang RTR package is available at select dealerships for the 2011 Mustang GT. A Mustang V-6 package will be available in late 2010. Visit the website at www.mustangrtr.com for more information.

Official Reproduction Parts Available For Restoring Your Old Ford

On: Tue, Jun 8, 2010 at 10:46AM | By: Clay Ritchings

Official Reproduction Parts Available For Restoring Your Old Ford test 1-1

The days of driving around hunting for car parts to restore your old Ford are a thing of the past. No more trudging through muddy junk yards on the hunt for the illusive Mustang—all the while doing your best to avoid the canine landmines. If you are lucky enough to scrounge the part you need, it is unlikely that you can just bolt it to your classic and call it a day. Thanks to Ford and the “Interwebs” it is much easier to restore your classic Ford with factory-correct parts. Parts that are manufactured on original Ford tooling and have the fit and finish you are looking for are just a mouse click away.

Rejoice, Ford fanatics, your beloved manufacturer now offers up over 9,000 officially licensed parts. Ford is offering Parts for cars and trucks going back to Model Ts, and the catalog includes complete shells for 1967, 68, 69, and 70 Mustang coupes, as well as all manner of other parts to fix up old Mercurys and Lincolns. 

New Vinyl Graphics For Customization of Ford Models

On: Sat, Jun 5, 2010 at 11:24AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

New Vinyl Graphics For Customization of Ford Models test 1-1

Ford has developed a new website for its customers to easily create a personalized look for the Ford of their choice by adding a variety of choices of new vinyl graphics that mimic custom paint jobs and cost only half as much. The vinyl graphics are professionally installed at Ford dealerships and each one comes with a warranty.

There are virtually 50 different designs to choose from for every vehicle on the website, including Ford Taurus, Fiesta, Focus, Edge, Flex, Escape, Explorer, the F-Series trucks, and, of course, the Mustang (Mustang and F-150s are two of the most commonly customized vehicles), and many more.

The idea must have caught on from the recent Ford Fiesta/American Idol promotion where 12 custom-designed Fiestas were given away in a drawing to aspirant contenders.The new website makes it easy and affordable for Ford customers to personalize their ride by selecting the model and color of their Ford, then picking form dozens of custom vinyl graphics  to "try  before they buy," seeing exactly how the graphics will look on their automobile before purchasing any of the designs.

A Cool Accessory For Your Car

On: Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 2:31PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

A Cool Accessory For Your Car  test 2

The list of car accessories available for your automobile is endless these days.  If you plan to spend a lot of time on the road, particularly if you love camping, one of the most useful is a refrigerator that plugs into a 12 volt power point in your vehicle to keep food and drinks cool when traveling without the mess and hassle of keeping ice in a cooler.  Some types of portable units can even keep food frozen in the car!

If you are traveling with a baby and need to keep bottles cool, or for diabetics with insulin that has be kept refrigerated, this car accessory is invaluable. The minimum size that most people select is 40 liters which can hold enough food for two adults and two kids for several days.  The size refrigerator that you select will depend partially on the space you have in your vehicle and the type of power source you have, the bigger units of course draw more power.

What Will You Name Your New Car?

On: Fri, May 7, 2010 at 5:55PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

What Will You Name Your New Car? test 1-1

It may come as a surprise to many people, but there is actually a fancy scientific name for the naming of people’s cars and it is called "anthropomorphism." Studies have shown that as many as 25% of all motorists name their cars, and about half of them thought of their cars as either masculine or feminine. If a car is simply an electronic piece of equipment, then why is it more likely to be named than a refrigerator, or even a snowmobile, or a go-cart, for that matter?

The Economic Collapse Claims Another Victim: Bye Bye, Ralliart

On: Fri, Mar 12, 2010 at 1:38PM | By: John Welch

The Economic Collapse Claims Another Victim: Bye Bye, Ralliart  test 1-1

Though relatively unknown until Gran Turismo changed all of our misconceptions of foreign car markets, Ralliart has been providing parts to Mitsubishi for over 25 years. The company has also lent its name to several Rally-inspired Mitsus, the most recognizable (for us 'Murrhikens, anyhow) being the Lancer Ralliart.

Mitsubishi doesn't seem all that worried, as now they don't have to pay royalties on a name that is already synonymous with their vehicles. The demise of Ralliart may just be the first in a wave of Jap-o-Tuner deaths, as the Japanese tuning industry has nose-dived in the last two years. The world woke up and realized that nobody wants a 400 horsepower Scion xB. Or Hummers with stoopid rims and three tons worth of stereo equipment. Oh, wait, that last abortion is a uniquely American disaster, sorry, Japan. Didn't mean to reflect my self-loathing on you guys . . . make a race car out of that CR-Z, fellahs, don't mind me . . .

Motorcycle -Motored Mayhem

On: Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 5:13PM | By: John Welch

Metro Gnome test 2

I absolutely despise kypping other blog's stories for my own benefit, but these cars are just waaay to rad to pass up. Do we all know what the 24 Hours of LeMons is? Probably not.

An amateur race held all over the country, the 24 Hours of LeMons can be broken down in a fairly concise manner. You go junkyard-hopping until you find a beater you like. After spending no more then $500 on the car and modifications (brake and safety-related parts are exempt from the mandated budget),  you have to be able to prove that five bills was the ceiling. Proper documentation is a good idea, because if the organizers don't believe you spent only $500 getting that Roush supercharger for your '89 Town Car, well then they're gunna bash the crap out of the poor girl. Or they're going to force you to let them buy it from you. Or they'll decree an immediate crushing. Needless to say, buy a complete hunk-of-ess and engineer/penny-pinch your ass off! Complete rules and history of the 24 Hours of LeMons can be found here . . .

So, this was all somebody else's idea, and I really have absolutely nothing to do with it; why am I just now mentioning this marathon of corner-carving destruction derby? Simple: the outlandishly brilliant technology born of severe determination and a $500 budget. Inside the post: links to every scrap of info I could find regarding tiny front-drive econoboxes and the motorcycle powerplants that have been lovingly stuffed into their passenger seats . . .