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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Aftermarket

Countrymen, Lend Me Your Gears! (Video)

On: Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 11:37AM | By: Chris Salamone

Mini Countryman X-raid test 2

Much has been said about Prodrive-enhanced Minis as the latest and greatest Mini modification. Step aside, Prodrive, X-raid has entered the arena. Sponsored by Monster, the German-based Baja racing team X-raid plans to enter five excruciatingly excellent Minis in a high-stakes South American desert rally race starting January 1, 2012 and concluding two weeks later across the continent.

In addition to five brightly-colored Minis, X-raid also intends to throw in three BMW X3s in the 2012 Dakar rally which spans from Mar del Plata, Argentina to Lima, Peru.

Volvo Unveils Pricey Polestar Tuning Option

On: Tue, Nov 8, 2011 at 1:45PM | By: Chris Salamone

Polestar Volvo C30 test 2

Volvo Cars of North America announced yesterday that factory-approved tuning software would be available for purchase next week. The software can be mated to any new or slightly used Volvos mated with T5 engines sold from model year 2008 and up. Volvo enthusiasts will have something to smile about because official Polestar performance upgrades do not affect that almighty factory warranty, so we can all avoid any sad buyer’s remorse commonly associated with performance purchases and voided warranties.

There is some bad news mixed with the good, however. Volvo’s Polestar tuning option runs a jaw-dropping $1,295 installed, yet adds a mere 23 horsepower and 29 lb.-ft. of torque to upgraded vehicles.

Nissan Unveils The Juke R

On: Sat, Oct 29, 2011 at 10:23AM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Unveils The Juke R test 2

Nissan previously said of the Juke R: "the car is not for production." After seeing the live pictures, we're more happy about that fact than ever. The emphasized reflections of the original rendering helped to obscure some of this thing's pure unadulterated fugitude. It's a pretty rough stretch of highway that looks way too busy for a small crossover.

After a serious teasing campaign about its development, the Juke R was unveiled in a somewhat of a surprise move in Spain. The Juke R was tacked onto the unveiling of the Qashqai, a Euro-market crossover.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Holy Van Commercials, Ya Dig?

On: Sat, Oct 22, 2011 at 11:12AM | By: Chris Salamone

Custom VW Van test 2

From the A-Team to Scooby Doo, no vehicle is more controversial, yet respected, than the van. They come in many different shapes in sizes, ranging from the Mazda 5 to those monster commercial conversion vans over at Sportsmobile. So diverse are these vans, that a determined rundown of all the individual makes and models would create a list as colorful and ongoing as Herman Cain’s anti-Muslim rhetoric. Instead, we’ll focus on the most important aspect of vanenvy: awesome ads.

Prepare for some of the greatest van commercials of all time.       


Ford To Equip More Vehicles With Text-Reading Capabilities

On: Thu, Oct 20, 2011 at 3:02PM | By: Chris Weiss

Ford To Equip More Vehicles With Text-Reading Capabilities test 2

Imagine this. You're driving along in your Mustang on a deserted road in the middle of the afternoon. The sky is bright blue; there's not a single car on the road ahead; and you decide to put that V-6 engine to the test, going a little faster than you'd usually go. All of the sudden, your car starts talking to you telling you all about how your girlfriend is out shopping for her bridesmaid dress and is so pissed about what a bridezilla diva-monger the bride is being.

"OMG! OMG!!!!" you think. "Please tell me more! My fast, serene country road drive was oh so perfect before it was ruined by completely random girlfriend drama that I don't care about. Thanks Ford!"

That is your future with Ford's text-reading function, which will be equipped to a raft of new vehicles.

Accessories Can Be A Worthy Investment

On: Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 11:21AM | By: Peter C Sessler

Accessories Can Be A Worthy Investment test 2

You might want to consider making some small investments to make your car a bit more bearable. You can spend an incredible amount of money on car accessories, but we'll look at some of the more practical ones that are available. Obviously, you can save a lot of money by doing these yourself.

The first area to consider is your car's lights. All cars today use halogen bulbs, but, even so, some cars have poorly designed reflectors and lenses. To get brighter lights (to help you see deer, for example) you may want to consider replacing the original bulbs with ones that have a higher wattage rating. Most of the local parts stores stock them, and it is suggested that you have your headlights aligned to make sure you won't blind anyone.

There is also a great variety of add-on driving lights that you can install either on top or below your front bumper or in the grille area. These are designed to supplement your high beams. However, you'll probably find that adding a good set of fog lamps is preferable. Fog lamps will help you see better in the fog, rain, and snow.

Wanderlust Glory At Overland Expo 2012

On: Thu, Oct 6, 2011 at 11:26AM | By: Chris Salamone

Wanderlust Glory At Overland Expo 2012 test 2

Occasionally, an event so exciting, so dramatic, and bizarrely authentic graces the average auto enthusiast’s agenda. As a result, months of planning and preparation go into a single quasi-religious-type migration. For some, that trip might be to the Concours, and for others it could be Indy. But not all gearheads are sated by mere spectator events alone.

Queue: Aaron Copland’s Rodeo.

The Overland Expo, or OX as it’s affectionately called, is an adventurers' carnival: a three-day feast of workshops, exhibitions, and camping, topped off with a travel film festival. Fortunately for us, OX 2012 has been slotted for May 18 -20, leaving ample time to refine our adventuremobiles and work a nice crease into our safari hats.

Octane And Performance

On: Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 2:47PM | By: Peter C Sessler

Octane And Performance test 2

I am always looking for ways to get better mileage, so I thought, perhaps the gas I’ve been using makes any difference, so I decided to try premium gas in my 1998 Neon commuter special.

I have always wondered if using premium would make any difference in my mileage. According to an oil company executive I know, the octane rating of a gasoline can be adjusted during the “cracking” process as the gasoline is being made—and at no or negligible cost.

I’ve read different opinions on gas mileage; the most common one is that, as long as your engine is tuned and in good condition, switching to a gasoline with a higher octane rating will have no effect on performance, power, or mileage. After some lengthy research on the Internet, I believe this to be true. Yet, why does my Neon now get 3 mpg more than it did before? When first bought the car, I got 30.5 mpg on the highway (75-80 mph, keeping up with traffic on I-75). Switching to Mobil 1 synthetic oil added another 1.5 mpg for a total of 32 mpg. And now I’m up to 35 mpg. What gives?

Extended Warranties - Are They Worth It?

On: Mon, Oct 3, 2011 at 12:00PM | By: Peter C Sessler

Extended Warranties - Are They Worth It? test 2

If you know anything about the car business, you'll know that car dealers these days don't make their money from the sales of new cars—dealer profits are made from used car sales, financing, the sale of aftermarket items, and extended warranties. In fact, extended warranties are extremely important to the financial well-being of a dealership—but are they necessary from a consumer's point of view? The answer is, it depends.

Fans Strike Back: Celica Search Continues

On: Fri, Sep 30, 2011 at 3:46PM | By: Chris Salamone

1977 Star Wars Celica Liftback GT test 2

Uber fandom is a serious business, and the folks over at the official Star Wars blog take no exception. Yet, few cult-classic franchises exist which garner as much love and controversy from the public-at-large as Star Wars. After revolutionizing the filmmaking process, changing the perception of sci-fi space epics, and staying in the spotlight decades later, Star Wars remains a series worthy of high honor. The devout writers on the official blog have been diligently searching for a very particular 1977 Celica Liftback GT since the mid 1990s. Just recently they released yet another public service announcement that the search continues, that this Celica must be found.

They’re ardently seeking the whereabouts of the first officially sanctioned Star Wars custom car, which was awarded in some kind of promotion-type sweepstakes several months after A New Hope hit the open market.

Hyundai To Debut ARKed-Up Veloster At SEMA (Noah Could Not Be Reached For Comment)

On: Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 5:01PM | By: Andrew W Davis

Hyundai's ARK Performance Veloster -- 2011 SEMA show car test 2

“To showcase the performance capabilities and aftermarket potential of its innovative three-door coupe, Hyundai has teamed up with ARK Performance to transform Veloster into a sleek and sporty rally car.”

Finally a car company comes out with a press release that doesn’t require distilling and translating and—as I’ve heard Brits say—“mucking about.”

I don’t usually “phone in” my articles, but, as it turns out, those nice folks at the Car Company Nobody Saw Coming pretty much did my work for me. It continues…