2014 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Roadster – First Drive


Larger-than-life personalities don’t like to compromise, especially where half-million-dollar, open-air sleds are participating. And so the late, great Murcielago Roadster seemed rather comical with its flimsy cloth roof, which limited the car’s top speed to an infeasible 100mph. As a result it rather unkindly came to betheir own roadster derivative, and this time around the LP700-4 Roadster utilizes some genuine engineering because of its two removable roof panels.

Weighing only a 13.2 lb each, the panels are made with an outer composite material wrapped around a high-pressure resin-transfer molded section. Not only do they have an elegant visual solution, they’re also stressed members, bolstering torsional rigidity when snapped in place.

Despite its roof panels tucked into the small storage compartment in the nose, the al fresco übercar boasts a staggering stiffness of 22,000 nM per degree. The Murcielago only offered 20,000 in the coupe form, no less by comparison.

What’s more, the visible difference in rigidity between the open and closed Aventador is indeedwithin the pitlane at Miami-Homestead, with the V12 rumbling mere inches behind my head, we were unlikely to make sure that the lap times due to the lead/follow format. The effect is still dramatic, though furthermore, the rooftop was in place due to debris on the track: after all, this wedge-shaped spacecraft incorporates a healthy dose of theater; first razzle-dazzling the operator with a missile launcher-style starter button. Then there’s also an enormous TFT tachometer and all of the sights and sounds you’d expect from the V12 engine under glass.

Switching to Sport or Corsa opens the exhaust valve earlier, allowing the mechanical percussion of 12 naturally aspirated cylinders to fill the cabin, even though volume levels in the cabin are surprisingly hushed in Strada mode. Lower the rear window – an awkward maneuver requiring you to reach a switch behind the steering wheel – along with a beautiful cacophony tickles your tympanic membranes, altering the soundtrack with the thrum of valvetrain chains and the whoosh of air being sucked into the combustion chambers.

Working up to speed, the Aventador reveals a fidgety, challenging personality that requires full focus on car placement – entirely from turn-in to apex to exit. Unlike McLaren’s brake steer system, which squeezes the inside rotors to help rotate the vehicle, or Ferrari’s e-Diff, which apportions torque either to rear wheel, the Aventador’s rear-biased all-wheel drive Haldex system demands patient positioning and thoughtful throttle input. Gas it too early and the nose drifts wide, understeering like a Subaru Impreza STi. Overdo the right pedal after weight transfers to the front, and the tail readily kicks out.

Within its standard setting, the ESC curtails the slip angle rather conservatively. But again you just flip the switch on the dash to Sport mode, and car rotation makes it much simpler (and hairier) to slither around the track. A characteristic exaggerated by neck-snapping gear shifts, which are strong enough to trigger the steadinessJumping from car to car revealed a fingerprint-like individuality to each and every specimen’s personality, although the carbon-ceramic brakes have a violent, seatbelt-stretching impact on the Aventador’s deceleration: not only does the pedal’s point of engagement vary wildly, so do handling characteristics and so on-limit behavior. In fact, the racetrack was this kind of smorgasbord of different vehicle dynamics it was almost a relief to hit public roads. Almost.

Beyond the purview of Lamborghini executives, the first task was to test the launch control, which required a straight steering wheel, Corsa mode, and ESC within the off position. Stab both pedals, and also the V12 howls to 3000rpm; lift the brake, as well as the single clutch dumps massive torque to any or all four wheels, catapulting the Lamborghini with a mad dash to the manufacturer’s claimed 2.9sec to 60mph. Plus it won’t quit until 217mph – the identical terminal velocity as the coupe, incidentally.

When you surrender to driving license preservation and simmer into mundane mode, it becomes virtually impossible to blend into traffic. Children gawk, cellphones hover as well as semblance of anonymity is lost. And although we had every goal of testing the road-appropriate Strada mode, its molasses-like throttle response and lazy shifts simply wouldn’t do for South Beach; with limited time in this particular over-the-top supercar, enduring the singleSure, it’s better suited to the boulevard than the racetrack, as evidenced by utilization of the nimbler Gallardo Superleggera to the Lamborghini’s Super Trofeo race series, even though it’s engineered for blinding speed and retina-detaching cornering. But don’t tell that to an Aventador Roadster driver; after all, it’s hard to care about naysayers when you’re already smitten by its fighter jet silhouette and addictive engine note.

Santa Paula Chevrolet

Getting Sleep Despite the Fact that Your Kids Drive Now

On one hand, we want our kids to be independent and not rely on us for getting around all the time. On the other hand, are you serious? Those who were so recently in diapers are now driving on the actual streets of the actual world in actual cars? But remember, there was a time when you were a rookie driver making your first turns and accelerations. So while there’s no denying that this is one of the most terrifying rites of passage for any parent, there are a few things you can do make it easier on yourself. And no we’re not suggesting locking your child in the basement but of course that’s the only sure-fire safety method.

Safe Driving Practices


Safe driving starts at Day One, or at least throughout most of childhood. You don’t have to be preachy or make a big deal out of everything. But if you lead by example (putting your phone down and checking your mirrors) and occasionally call attention to what you’re doing, your child will actually listen and pick up on some tips. I like to say things like, ok, I’m merging onto the highway, going to make sure no cars are in the merge lane, okay, now I’m going to quickly accelerate up to speed. You know, not making a huge deal, but enough so that they start to hear and understand what you’re doing. You’ll be amazed at what little tips stick in their minds for ever and make them safer drivers down the road, so to speak.

Safe Car


I don’t advocate parents buying their kids a new car, but you definitely want to make sure your kid gets a safe car. If they’re in some crazy sports car, you’ll never get another night’s sleep. But if you and the little one head to Nissan Downtown LA and pick out a used car that is middle of the road, so to speak, not too flashy, but nice and safe, you’ll be doing your best job as a parent. On Downtown Nissan’s website, you can sort by safety features and make sure that you and your child pick out a car that is safe enough for you, and cool enough for them.

GPS Tracking Device Installed


You’re probably going to want to install a GPS tracking device in your child’s car so that you can monitor where they are at all times. However, if you think I’m being serious and you’re considering doing this, you need to go read a manual on how to parent because you are a terrible parent. Seriously, you have to let your child go and live their own life otherwise neither of you will be able to love the other without resentment. Seriously if you thought I was being serious then we have some major issues and I wouldn’t be surprised if your child drives off to California at the very first time you let them in a car by themselves. Get a hold of yourself, man!

Waterford Hills – Track Review


Specs & Details
Waterford Hills

Location Clarkston, Michigan
Track Configuration 1.42-mile, 8-turn road course
Elevation Change 50 feet
Other Facilities Quarter Midget concessions, track and bleachers camping area, and pistol, rifle and skeet and shotgun ranges!

What goes together better than Detroit and a pushrod V8? A road course and a shooting range, that’s what! Or least we think so, which is why we’re huge fans of the hidden gem just north of Detroit known as Waterford Hills. Built on the grounds of the Oakland County Sportsmen’s Club, where the members are mainly interested in firing their guns on the numerous shooting ranges found on this 200-acre property, in 1958 an infinitely wise board of directors decided a racetrack would be a good addition to their noisy outdoor pursuits. That’s right, Arizona (and Kenny Enterprises), you’re not the only state with a serious appreciation for firearms and race cars.

It’s also a seriously fun and technically challenging road course, even though waterford Hills isn’t just a big-boy wonderland decorated with shotgun shells and corded race tires. Sure, it’s relatively short at 1.42 miles and doesn’t feature any long straights (though the fastest cars will touch 120 mph down the back straight), but there are some dramatic elevation changes, including the signature Hilltop Turn 4, a righthand crest so severe that the front tires catch some air as you lose sight of the track beneath you. If you’re driving a FWD car, you’ll need to let off the gas to prevent free-revving the engine.After that you let the car track out full right before tucking it back in to clip the second apex. You should be able to find a single steering input that allows you to carve this corner in a big, continuous arc, where you control the line with the throttle instead of the steering wheel. Just be careful not to go full throttle too soon, because if you drop a wheel off on the corner exit rumble strip and overcorrect, it’s easy to loop it to the inside, where you’ll seriously redesign your car’s sheetmetal along the pit lane wall.

The climb up from Gulch (Turn 1) to Hilltop (Turn 4) is perhaps the most enjoyable section of Waterford Hills, both because the track has a wonderful flow here that feels like a winding country road and because you’re climbing toward Hilltop the whole time, which makes it very challenging to find the apex of each turn.

Add to that the challenge associated with late apexes hidden by the rise and fall of the terrain along with concrete patches in most corners changing the feel and traction level, and you’ve got a heck of a little roller coaster ride just a stone’s throw from heart of America’s auto industry.

1998 Honda Integra Type R – Kichi Guy


The unspoken style exchange involving the U.S. and Japan has changed to great lengths in the last few years. We Americans have always looked to Japan as our source of tuning inspiration but surprisingly, the partnership between the two countries has become quite reciprocal lately. Currently, you’ll often see American or USDM themed builds pop up in different regions of Japan. Perhaps some Japanese have raised bored with their way of modification and needed a spark to re-ignite that inner fire. We understand how they believe of course, as we’ve always turned to those toWithin a few years, it’s become a huge hit in Japan and contains even spawned a sub-community dedicated strictly to focus on those who want that American look. Think about that when we first discovered the Japanese automotive scene, not only had we not coined the acronym J-D-M , there was no Internet . Today, there are very little secrets left in the global tuning community. Years ago, you might easily identify a particular build’s country of origin just based on specific styling cues. Now it’s a bit harder. We’ve become so good at interpreting one another’s methodologies that you would think that a few of these cars were shipped overseas in a completed state.

You will undoubtedly remember the Sepang Bronze EK cover vehicle from last year’s Honda Issue if you are an avid reader of our publication. Very much like Taku Kusugami’s Civic, this 1998 Integra Type R is heavily influenced by the American Honda scene. In fact, it is possibly the best example of an outsider’s perspective of any U.S. enthusiast-built Honda according to current popular trends and aesthetic cues. It is a combination of a precisely what is modified Honda Americana. One of the some other reasons why we mentioned last year’s Civic cover car is because they both come from the same camp in Japan: Tactical Art, a tuning shop based in the Osaka prefecture.

02 1998 honda integra type r tactical art

06 1998 honda integra type r seibon carbon fiber rear hatch

03 1998 honda integra type r NRG controls

After our first initial meeting using them during our visit to Japan in 2012, we knew we had to go back again this year to discover what was new with them. Their shop space is relatively small by American standards, however, for them, it was actually ample space for them to do whatever they wished to any project vehicle. They generally do everything from basic installs to more labor intensive tasks, like fabricating custom roll cages. Once they told us to stop by to take a look in an Integra Type R that they had recently finished, we were a little taken back by what we saw. Our reaction wasn’t at all negative; it was just completely unexpected. We looked around at their number of Hondas and did not see an ITR–so we thought anyway.

Maybe it’s a testament to their ability to interpret our style but at a glance, you wouldn’t even fathom that the Integra on these pages was an original Type R model. To the casual enthusiast who had little idea this Honda was in Japan, this would merely appear to be an Integra having an ITR front end, right-hand converted, re-sprayed a custom grey on a pair of aggressive 16-inch CCW Classics–and that’s the beauty of the complete concept. It’s that execution of the American style that owner Toshiyuki Yanagi was going for. Diehard Honda fanatics who see the Type R designation with deep religious fervor may cringe at the thought of making an R look un-R like, yet it is of little consequence to Yanagi and Tactical Art. A ’98-spec ITR is far more common to them and while they respect the fact that it is an original Type R, they don’t see heavily modifying them as sacrilege. In Yanagi’s eyes, he just wanted a cool street car to cruise around in–it really happened to benevertheless the entire engine bay has become tucked clean. You’ll find your basic intake and header upgrades but there are no major power-adders to mess with the great balance that this R continues to be known for. A custom Tactical Art exhaust system does little to muffle the loud screams of the B18C as the car blasts along the Osaka Kanjo on any night. Toshiyuki’s Integra looks unrecognizable from the rest of its Type R brethren because it has been repainted a custom gray tone. The factory R decals have been removed during the process and both the hood and rear hatch have been replaced with carbon fiber variants. Seated closely to the massaged wheel wells is some staggered American-made CCW Classics wrapped with stretched Nankang rubber. CNC-milled suspension pieces from Function7 Engineering add rigidity for the chassis and a set of custom Tactical Art dampers help to marry this R on the floor. The interior is completely gutted. Other than a single Bride Zeta III bucket seat, the sole creature comforts that remain are the original dashboard and door panels. Everything else continues to be removed to create room to the custom 21-point rollcage, made in house at Tactical Art.

In our very limited time with the Tactical Art family, we found out that Toshiyuki may be the guy inside their group which is usually on the receiving end of their pranks. They say that he’s this kind of aficionado of the American culture that he even spends plenty of his time on his laptop studying American adult entertainment. Whether that is true or not is none of our business but he takes it all in stride and frequently plays it up. Some might think that he’s a kichi or crazy guy for transforming his R but we praise his efforts. Toshiyuki and also the guys at Tactical Art have taken a plain-Jane Type R and created something very unique to Japan by blending two worlds together.

09 1998 honda integra type r jasma header

10 1998 honda integra type r MFactory oil cap

08 1998 honda integra type r B18C engine

Tuning Menu

1998 Honda Integra Type R

Owner Toshiyuki Yanagi

Hometown Neyagawa-shi, Osaka, Japan

Occupation Kichi-guy (crazy), loosely translated from kichigai

Engine 1.8L B18C; Password: JDM Power Chamber intake; Mugen exhaust manifold; Tactical Art custom stainless exhaust; Koyo full-size radiator; Rywire radiator overflow tank; MFactory oil cap

Drivetrain OEM S80 w/Helical LSD

Footwork & Chassis Tactical Art Original coilovers (F: 20k/R: 18k); Function7 lower control arms and subframe brace

Brakes OEM ITR front/rear brakes

Wheels & Tires 16×9 5/16×9.5 5 CCW Classic wheels; 215/40R16, 225/40R16 Nankang NS-II tires

Exterior Custom Tactical Art Gray paint; ’96-spec ITR headlights; SMART H.I.D. system; Benen tow hook; Seibon carbon-fiber rear hatch and twin-duct hood

Interior Tactical Art 21-point rollcage; custom Battleship Grey interior paint; Password: JDM carbon-fiber fuel pump cover; custom doors; Bride Zeta III seat; NRG steering wheel and quick-release

Thanks You Tactical Art family; Team Madame; Rywire; Stickydiljoe.com

WWW jhpusa.com; passwordjdm.com; rywire.com; tactical-art.jp

Essential Items for Every Family Car – Parents Take Note

Do you remember those carefree days when you could just hop into the car and set off into the sunset without a thought for what you had in the trunk? It didn’t take any planning, you didn’t have to worry about forgetting anything . . . it was all spontaneous and exciting.


Well, if you are a parent to a young family you’ll probably recognize that those days are long gone, they are firmly in the past and there’s no such thing as jumping into the car and driving anymore. Every parent will recognize the sheer moment of panic when “Junior A” is hungry and can’t wait a moment longer to snack on something, and “Junior B” is in desperate need of the toilet . . . and you’ve been stuck in a nose to tail jam for longer than you care to remember.
Whether you’re going on an extended road trip or merely driving across to the other side of town, here are a few things you should always have with you whenever you set off with children.
Towels and/or Blankets – both can work for a little extra warmth when needed, and towels are great for mopping up after thrills and spills.
Wet Wipes – I don’t know who invented wet wipes but I wish it had been me . . . they are invaluable and can come in handy for all sorts of situations from impromptu potty problems to sticky fingers.
Hand Sanitizers – are kind of like wet wipes on steroids and come in incredibly handy to clean up (and sanitize) grubby little fingers before they start munching on their snacks after playing in the park.
Umbrella – even in the sunshine state it can be impossible to predict the weather all of the time. Getting caught in the pouring rain is bad enough, but getting caught in the pouring rain with a couple of kids and no umbrella is unthinkable. Umbrellas actually take up very little storage space so why not tuck one in the trunk somewhere in case of emergency?


Toys – you should always have a few emergency toys on standby to keep your little ones amused. You might like to keep extra toys in the car for the novelty value or in fact always remember to bring some favorites with you on the journey.
Portable Potty – these are priceless when you have little ones who are undergoing this important life stage. Portable potties only cost a few bucks but can be invaluable in emergency situations.
Hats and Sun Visors – it’s a good idea to have a spare supply of hats and / or sun visors in the car at all times to protect your little ones eyes from the harmful sunshine. Alternatively there are some terrific window visors which can block out the light as needed. You should always carry plenty of sun cream or blocker too to protect their delicate skin.


Seatbelt Cutter – never mind when you are travelling with little ones, at just a couple of bucks every car should have one in case of emergency. They are small enough to fit in the glove box and can be used to cut seatbelts and break windows if needed in an emergency situation.
There are some great cars for sale at Los Angeles Nissan which are perfect for families of every size and age group. Why not check them out at Metro Nissan Redlands but remember if you have to take little ones with you it’s always better to be prepared.

2003 BMW M3 – Boosted Reality


The E46 M3 was arguably the last true M car. It sat at the cusp of undeniable performance with functional luxury, seamlessly blended with the raw characteristic every M should exude, although it’s no featherweight.

Beyond all why the E46 M3 is one of the best sports cars ever built, it’s also definitely the best performance bargain for the European icon on today’s market, with prices starting from $14000-25000.

Having possessed a poster in the Europe-only M3 CSL on my own wall considering that the 1400 units were made in 2004, I always planned to obtain the M3. After years of casual searching, I finally found a pristine example exactly as I needed it: Silver Gray Metallic, manual trans, low miles and, on top of that, it was meticulously maintained by none other than Turner Motorsport. Granted, it’s no CSL, but it really ticked almost every other box.on the clock and also the rear subframe already reinforced by TMS, the 2003 M3 was an ideal platform for a project build.

We wanted a day-to-day-driving street brawler, with motorsport-inspired looks and the balls to lap Porsches at weekend track days, while also being capable of drift and auto-X events. Yes, we wanted an M3 that could do it all…

In future issues we’ll delve into the details of the parts used, the installations and difficulties (fortunately there are virtually none) as well as the reason behind each of our product choices.

Plain and simple, we wanted the best of the best, which meant choosing tried ‘n tested parts that could withstand the abuse we’d subject them to. So, we compiled a long list of modifications and sought the recommendations of our friends at european auto source (EAS) in Anaheim, CA.

2003 BMW M3 recaro speed seats 05

2003 BMW M3 coby wheel alcantara steering wheel 11

2003 BMW M3 recaro speed seats 12

The company is one of the primary go-to BMW tuning shops in Southern California. And so they agreed to complete the entire build while walking us through each step.

With three lifts, an in-house DynoJet dynamometer, custom ECU tuning and various parts in store, getting work done at EAS was as relaxing as a Hawaiian vacation.

Maintaining comfort on the freeway while gaining speed in the twisties is a black art, requiring finesse and balance, although having a car that handles well is one thing. So, we started with KW Clubsport coilovers because they’re ideal for the path or track.

This is the fourth car I’ve used them on and they’ve been consistently flawless. With a twist of the knobs, you can move from pothole-absorbing to teeth-chattering, as well as a happy medium is fairly simple toAssociated with Rogue Engineering front control arm and rear trailing arm bushings, plus rear shock mounts, our E46 feels track-ready and road-worthy.

The factory strut bar has a known weakness, so that we swapped it for a Strong Strut that’s reportedly indestructible, yet can be simply removed for motor maintenance without touching the shock towers.

Our biggest gripe with the M3, above all else, may be the steering rack. Non-CSL or ZCP M3s come with a 15.4: 1 rack ratio, making for lazy steering that takes full arm movements to do anything beyond a lane change.

Although the CSL rack is 13.6: 1, we opted for the sought-after unicorn of BMW racks; the Z4 M Coupe’s 12.8: 1 unit. Because of getbmwparts.com it became one of the best modifications we made, transforming the vehicle, albeit at a steep $1600.

The M3 was blessed with massive fenders, so my goal was to exploit them, extracting maximum grip and a broad-shouldered stance.

We wanted wheels that have been aggressive, strong and light-weight, so prefered a set of Volk TE37 wheels wrapped in Falken RT615-k rubber. With 265/35 tires on 18×9.5 up front and 275/35 on 18×10.5 out back, the car is planted and inspires supreme confidence. The deep concave design of the TE37 wheels paired with -4° of front camber created the look we wanted. But in all honesty, if Falken made 285 or 295-width rubber within this tread pattern, we’d run it and also the car would be even happier at the limit. As it is, the handling is fantastic but our power-adders require more traction. Yet the RT615-k is so predictable, that stepping-out your rear mid-corner on full throttle is peanut butter smooth, and smoky. Precisely how we like it!

The car is really a drift monster… After all, it can make a beefy 464whp and revs to 8400rpm.

ESS Tuning offers the most popular supercharger to the BMW crowd, and it’s no real surprise. The kit fitted perfectly, the software tuning delivers factory levels of drivability and the power is phenomenal, even on California’s poor 91-octane fuel.

We’re running the newest ESS VT2-525 supercharger kit, which had been engineered to hit the performance ceiling of pump gas. Kissing 9psi at redline with the centrifugal Vortech blower, means the powerband is literally pushed up a notch. It’s such as the factory power delivery, only multiplied significantly. The car pulls and pullspulls and pullsDue to the choice, we opted for the latest black powdercoat finish about the supercharger, intercooler, intake manifold and plumbing to keep things stealthy: mission accomplished.

In stock form, our M3 put down a wholesome 290whp and 240 lb-ft. Once the ESS blower was fitted we saw gains of 76 and 174hp lb-ft respectively on the wheels.

This road and power-hugging prowess will be useless without the ability to bring things to intense halt, so that we went for Performance Friction brakes. Utilizing lightweight four-piston forged monoblock front calipers with 355mm floating, dimpled rotors, the front brakes are ridiculously capable. Out back we have two-piston calipers on 323mm rotors and lap after lap, the brakes won’t fade, allowing us to carry plenty of speed into any corner. The good looks don’t hurt either…

To complete the car we made minor changes inside. Hearing the blow and exhaust-off valve is equally entertaining, though the factory speakers were blown, so we partnered with Bavarian Soundwerks to setup its Stage 1 loudspeaker upgrade.

To help keep our rear-leads to check we chose Recaro Speed seats because fixed-back buckets weren’t appropriate for our daily driver. The Speed provides support everywhere and has the capacity to accept a five-point harness.

The stock M3 wheel was also somewhat flimsy, and the leather was slippery. So Coby Wheel re-wrapped it in CSL-style grey alcantara with M stitching, thickening the rim and pairing it with matching shift- and e-brake boots.

We avoided the temptation of exterior spoilers and splitters, although the M3 has come a long way. Sometimes subtlety is the best policy, and while it’s no sleeper, it seems to slip underneath the radar good enough.

Part 2: ESS supercharger installation and dyno-test next monthfender and kidney grilles, smoked corners

Interior Recaro Speed seats on Macht Schnell floor mounts, Coby Wheel alcantara steering wheel, shift and e-brake boots, Stack gauges, Macht Schnell delrin shift knob.

2014 Audi RS6 Avant – First Drive


In the us it’s known as a station wagon but Audi labels them “Avant”. Whatever the name, American buyers aren’t keen: SUV popularity undermines the wagon market. So, knowing that, we weren’t surprised to learn that Audi has no plans to offer its all-new RS6 Avant in the The United States, putting all of its eggs into the beautiful RS7 basket instead.

For wagon fans in the usa with the methods to own this sort of machine, the RS6 has joined the ranks of European cars that got away. So it’s no consolation to know that in silhouette the RS6 Avant looks stunning. It’s both masculine and aggressive, being an Audi RS should be. Furthermore, it features squared-off, flared wheel arches that happen to be a distinctive nod to the first quattro. They’re filled with 20″””” wheels but it really appears Audi expects most buyers to opt for the 21″””” rims, since there area lot of optional extras to make it feel even more individual, most of which may be fitted towards the S6 (available as a sedan, and in the US) – and that’s not what makes the RS version so special anyway.

The engine is a good place to begin. The 4.-liter V8 twin-turbo is a lot the same as underneath the bonnet in the Bentley Continental GT, except the Audi has a lot more power. A maximum of 552hp is available over a 1000rpm band of the rev counter from 5700rpm, but it’s the torque that makes this 4266 lb behemoth astoundingly fast.

That it’s provided by 1750rpm entirely up to 5500rpm is staggering, even though as much as 516 lb-ft is produced, which is impressive enough. Which endows the auto with any-speed, any-gear performance that’ll put many sports cars to shame. Yet it can shut down the valves on four cylinders at low-speed until theTalking about gears, the RS6 gets ZF’s excellent eight-speed automatic, and the various modes give it time to both slip softly down the highway and ferociously engage gears together with the throttle wide open, dependant upon the driver’s mood.

You can take control of the transmission with the (annoyingly plastic) paddles behind the steering wheel and, if the car is in Dynamic mode, it gives wonderfully satisfying throttle blips on downshifts. bangs, crackles and Pops in the active exhaust further improve the experience in the over-run too.

Audi’s ‘drive select’ programs allow you to choose different pre-sets that vary throttle response, steering weight and damper control, all to good effect. In Comfort mode, the RS6 isn’t taxing to drive in the least, while the most extreme settings seem to goad the driver into pushing ever faster.

And also this car is fast… Cue disbelief when you spot -62mph in only 3.9sec. Top speed has limitations to 155mph, although this may be raised to 190mph in the event you tick the correct options box on the order form, and believe me by default: it can reach that speed on an alarmingly short component ofthe task of restoring normality. The standard steel rotors are huge and perfectly capable, although Audi will gladly take a few extra dollars from you for the carbon-ceramic option. If you are considering track days, the composites could be better, though we tried both and preferred the pedal feel of the regular steel.

There are many more tricks up the RS6’s sleeve. The quattro system normally sends 60% of output to the rear wheels (approximately 85% in extremis), and in conjunction with the rear sports diff, means the car will understeer a lot less than performance Audis of old.

It’s slightly strange to experience this kind of agile station wagon in a series of corners, where the grip levels are staggeringly high. Although there’s no real feel with the steering wheel, the eagerness to make-in can be relied upon, and the rear generally follows suit, even when trail-braking. Indeed, stability under braking was one of several RS6’s strongest suits.

This might be attributed, without doubt, to the standard adaptive air suspension system, which gives the RS such breadth of ability. Buyers can even go one further by opting for DRC (Dynamic Ride Control) and Dynamic Steering to achieve the car adjust togreatly an engine that should be heard. And with all of thatin the automotive industry these days. New companies emerge almost every month, and the performance wheel industry has become incredibly oversaturated. While there is plenty of room for everybody to get a component of that proverbial pie, the standard is quickly disappearing. Some wheel companies just aren’t true wheel manufacturers anymore; they’re merely placing their name on wheels made overseas and pushing them into the market without overseeing the manufacturing process. This creates an absence of quality control, and customers suffer by overpaying without ever considering quality. Most of these upstart companies often have their wheels manufactured at the same offshore site, so these wheels of questionable quality and construction spread rapidly throughout our community.

There have been a couple of Japanese wheel manufacturers dominating the current market, as long as the tuning community has been around. Companies such as Rays Engineering, Work Wheels and SSR, to name a few, have stood the test of your energy and are a staple in your tuning world. Though their wheels are already replicated an immeasurable number of times, they remain just because a strong faction of enthusiasts believes in quality. They realize that these companies have a rigid standard of quality control. Therefore, they hold their devote America due to their belief in creating nothing but the best. Inside the U.S., one wheel company that’s held strong in excess of 20 years now is a brand you ought to all be aware of: HRE Performance Wheels. Its original founder, Gene Howald (HRE=Howald Racing Enterprises), was a motorsports lover who launched the company over two decades ago. He catered to high-performance customers by manufacturing custom racing wheels in the U.S. and holds seven patents for wheel production and design. Howald sold HRE to its present owners and decided to venture off into other endeavors before going back to the industry in 2007 in 1999. He noticed that the landscape of the performance wheel industry had changed dramatically; manufacturers had become nearly obsolete, with a lot of production having moved to China. He envisioned a company that was completely customer-oriented and that produced custom-made wheels of the best in America, and consequentlyBecause of its owner’s rich knowledge and history, Nutek continues to grow quickly within its six years of business. Though its customer base consists mostly of those from the high-end luxury performance market, Nutek believes in serving all enthusiasts. During the SEMA Show just last year, the company presented show-goers by using a vehicle that was a little unexpected. And we, in addition to many others, quickly took notice. From the outside, it was actually just a very clean S14 Nissan 240SX. Adorning the body and glass were a variety of company logos from various sponsors-nothing unusual. About this particular S14, the gold graphics brought about a nice transition on the Jet Black paint, but what really captured our attention were the five-spoke Nutek Forged Series 625 wheels. Admittedly, Nutek was an unfamiliar name to us at that time, but we enjoyed the sizing and finish on the wheels. Each side of the S14 featured another finish of the same wheel, using the driver side done in a textured/gloss black finish and the passenger side with a high polish. The vehicle, as many fan boys would say, was “proper.”

We eventually caught up with the owner from the Nissan and got a complete look at his build. It turns out that Eddie Kumchumroon’s S14 was wearing Nutek shoes for a reason, since he is the marketing director for Nutek Forged Wheels. He educated us on all things Nutek, and oh yeah, he also showed us the 2JZ-GTE swap we had heard is in the engine bay. Eddie’s was fully built inside and outside to the tune of 773hp, although not only is the Supra motor plenty potent from your factory! It was easy to understand why Nutek chose to use its marketing guy’s car to help make an instant impact in the import community.

One would suppose that Nutek will have final say as to how this 240SX came together, but which had been far from the truth, as a company representative. The truth is, this build is a production of Eddie and performance tuning shop FX Autodesign. He worked closely using the crew from FX to complete a vision he’d had since he first attended a D1GP years before. “I’ve been fixing up every car I’ve ever owned for about 10 years now,” Eddie explains. “I just can’t seem to drive a car that may be stock. I purchased this 240SX a few years back after drifting became big in the usa. The car really captivated me. I had totaled my ’95 Acura Integra at the time and decided to see what I could do with an S14 chassis. I was really inspired by all the mind-boggling engine conversions others were doing for their 240s and wanted to go all-out with no limitations.”

1995 nissan 240SX pioneer amplifier

1995 nissan 240SX sard fuel rail

1995 nissan 240SX AEM boost gauge

FX Autodesign was responsible for all of the legwork with this Supra swap, from creating the custom motor mounts to all the plumbing necessary to get it fired up. Inside the guts from the 2JZ are CP pistons, a rebalanced crankshaft, and Brian Crower valvetrain upgrades, just to name a few. The stock turbine has become upgraded using a larger Turbonetics GTK650 unit mounted to a custom turbo manifold fabricated by FX Autodesign. A GReddy intake manifold and 90mm throttle-body combo breathe high volumes of air into the Toyota engine, while exhaust fumes pass through an A’PEXi GT-spec muffler. A dependable R154 transmission from a JZA70 Supra also makes the transition over to ensure all that power makes it on the tarmac.

Drawing the forged Nutek wheels ever so close to the custom-massaged wheelwells of the S14 coupe are Function & Form Type 2.5 dampers. The entire suspension and chassis have been refreshed, methodically utilizing new components from Circuit Sport. A master bushing kit from Energy Suspension keeps the automobile riding stiff and nice with the help of front and rear sway bars from Tanabe USA. To make sure this 700hp beast has plenty of stopping force, Eddie went with aYou’ll realize it’s quite simple should you train your eyesight to see past the gold accents of the exterior. The rich black paint disguises the lines from the Extreme Dimension aero kit, and Eddie has even gone up to now as to paint the carbon hood and trunk. Keeping the entire body clean will be the objective here, to draw more attention to the graphical representations of all the companies involved in his build. Inside you’ll locate a full catalog of race equipment from Italian parts manufacturer OMP Racing. Everything from the seats, steering wheel, safety harnesses, and pedals is actually all high-grade Italian. The rear seats have been eliminated altogether, but Eddie continues to be mindful to take minor styling cues into mind. The dashboard and associated panels of his interior have been rewrapped in suede, while accent pieces have been overlaid in carbon-fiber.

As soon as the intention is usually to draw attention to a lovely set of wheels, perhaps there is no better vehicle. Eddie as well as the FX Autodesign team did a stellar job of producing this vehicle formidable in each and every aspect. From looks to performance to even custom audio, this 240SX has everything covered. It may be hard to get a good look at the Nutek forged wheels because they are spinning tirelessly in an attempt to deliver 700-plus horses to the ground, just make sure catch a glimpse of it at a standstill, it’s simple to recognize the task that has gone into creating this magnificent machine. Above all else, Eddie Kumchumroon’s Nissan serves as a perfect complement to a wheel company that is centered on quality.

The Problems With Over Confident Drivers

In many walks of life it really does pay to be confident. Confidence is generally good, it helps us to succeed in our endeavors, careers, personal life and hobbies. It allows us to take risks which we may not necessarily try; it allows us to lead a life which is full and active.
Unfortunately being over confident behind the wheel of your motor can be a distinctly bad thing. It leads to lots of car accidents and fatalities . . . people who are driving beyond their natural talent and abilities.
Many people will accept that other motorists over estimate their own driving ability yet few people think that they are guilty of it themselves. Studies show that almost 70% of drivers classify their own driving abilities as above average which is actually rather scary.
The majority of over confident drivers are male, younger and urban with more than 72% of this demographic ranking their driving abilities as above average.


Okay, so what’s the problem? Well, unfortunately over confident drivers also agreed on other things. More than 80% of them didn’t agree that exceeding the speed limit increased their chances of being involved in an accident whereas almost 90% of drivers who didn’t class themselves as “above average ability” agreed that speeding increases the risk of accidents.
Here are a few more rather disturbing facts:
• Overconfident drivers are often less likely to feel that they need to wear seatbelts, motorcycle helmets and other safety devices.
• Drivers who are overconfident tend to blame other drivers for their accidents instead of trying to improve their own driving.
• Over confident drivers believe that they have the ability to “handle” speeding and taking greater risks.


• These drivers are also more likely to become impatient with other drivers, the drivers who they feel are of more limited abilities.
• Over confident drivers are also more likely to drive while distracted and therefore miss important messages ahead of them. They may ignore or simply not notice around half of the information available to them, believing that they are strong enough and have the necessary driving skills not to worry about it and the ability to multitask while driving.
It’s a bit of a worry isn’t it? I remember speaking to a fellow parent just after my son had got his first driver’s license. I clearly remember saying that I didn’t feel the need to worry because he’s a very confident driver (he’d actually been driving on private roads and land from being a small boy).
This lady put me firmly in my place . . . “my son was also extremely confident” she told me . . . “”he passed his driver’s test at 9.30 in the morning and by 12 noon had smashed his car to pieces and was lying in a hospital bed – that’s how confident he was””.


Makes you stop and think doesn’t it? Why do so many drivers believe that their ability makes them invincible . . . that they have the necessary skills to handle their vehicles, even when traveling at speeds much greater than the speed limit? It’s also quite interesting to remember that this demographic of “”over confident”” drivers also has to pay the highest insurance premiums . . . there’s bound to be some correlation there don’t you think?
All drivers are welcome at Los Angeles fiat but please remember that even if you believe that you are the best driver in the County, there are lots more like you. Check out the cars at OC Fiat and drive safely.

Turbo V8 Nissan 240SX Cockpit Camera Captures Drift Lap


Drifting is frequently seen externally as a chaotic mess of bodywork, smoke and rubber vibrating out of place. From within the cabin, life is a bit more enjoyable for a schooled slide artist even if the audio of an engine flirting with redline and melting tires says otherwise. To further illustrate this, we strapped a Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera on the passenger end of drifter Tanner Munson’s boosted and V8-powered Nissan 240SX in a lap around Raceway Park, NJ in theIt can be clear he is a veteran both on the track and behind the wheel of his drift car best exemplified on the 50-second mark of the video. Notice his handbrake work.

For those enthusiastic about what the Freedom Moves event is, it happens at Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ each year. The climate is laidback and grassroots with a serious focus on track time. This year brought out amateurs, pros, locals and spectators crazy about getting slideways.

Filmed and edited by Mark Lenardon.

For more visit: clubloose.com and tannermunsondrifting.com

2011 Audi A5 2.0T Quattro – Birdcage Coupe


If you were to sequence Adam Ligon’s DNA, you’d probably find the letters VAG interspersed amongst the Xs and Ys. And while he’s not exactly old skool in comparison with guys who had been tuning Mk1 GTIs from the mid-’70s, having owned 20-plus VAG cars over the past 22 years, it makes you suspect he’s genetically encoded to buy Audis and VWs.

Being the co-owner of VW/Audi specialist Black Forest Industries inNC and Cary, gives Adam an excuse for his addiction, but the buying started before Black Forest Industries is at business. In fact, he currently owns seven VWs to the one Audi A5 featured here. Admittedly, he loves coupes and when he saw the 1st photos of the A5, had already bought one in his mind.

With the exception of the R8 sports car, Ligon thinks the A5 is the perfect-looking Audi available. Coincidentally, the guy who conceived it, Walter da Silva, also says it’s the most wonderfulabout the A5 before it was bought because the car would function as a test platform for upgrades that Black Forest Industries (BFI) created to develop or distribute. He also knew he’d wait for the 2.-liter TFSI as opposed to the earlier V6 because the four-banger both weighed less along with more tuning options.

Too off-the-shelf to set it apart from other A5s, although prior to its current state, the car ran on 20 BBS CH-R wheels – a can’t-go-wrong choice. So, 20 Maserati Gran Turismo Birdcage wheels, the car gained instant internet viral notoriety, by mounting a set of matte black.

The angular lines of the wheels, with their concave and convex shapes, juxtapose the A5’s fluid lines perfectly. But getting Maserati wheels to put the Audi wasn’t a straightforward bolt-on process.

The lug pattern of the A5, for example, is 5x112mm with a 66.6mm center bore. However the Maserati wheel can be a 5×114.3mm with a 67.1mm center bore. So Adam started with a 14mm stud conversion in the hubs – the studs having bigger .5 threads.

He then went to work enlarging the center bore as well as the lug seats. The latter were machined both wider and closer towards the hub so that you can accept Flextfit nuts. The Flexfit nuts apparently allow a 2.5mm difference in bolt pattern while still retaining a tight grip on the wheel and hub.

With the problem solved, a set of 265/30 R20 Continental DWS tires were stretched over the 20×10.5 wheels. They could then be mounted on the car using 5mm BFI front spacers and 15mm rears to obtain the right offset.

The stance was then dialed in with Suspension Techniques/Weitec coilovers that dropped the auto to the desired height. However, this generated some clearance issues. The front fenders were rolled so that during our drive, we didn’t detect any rubbing by any means, as a result.It may well have taken a great deal of work to get the desired stance of these unusual wheels but you have to agree it affords the A5 a unique look.

Ligon prefers his cars to search OEM as opposed to given them a complete makeover, so he kept it subtle. Additions include a badgeless JOM RS5 grille along with his original four-ringed logo. The side skirt/blades come from the S5 but were mounted upside down so only otaku-level VAG insiders could see the difference.

The back is distinguished by its RavenRacing RS5-style spoiler, which also continues the OEM theme, with black Audi rings making another appearance.

Together with the right stance and visual details, Ligon changed his focus. Like a former autocross junkie and unrepentant hard driver, the stock power wasn’t planning to cut it. So he first went for the stage 2 APR software upgrade. After he got used to that, he went all-in with the APR K04 turbo upgrade kit, which included the larger turbo and manifold, new software plus all of the hardware.

For cooler intake air, Adam installed a Pwrhaus front-mount intercooler. New brackets were then fabricated to fit a K&N intake system which had been originally created for the A4. And to cap it off, a carbon fiber EuroGear engine cover sits on top.

The exhaust contains BFI’s own 3 tubing that starts from the turbo-back and splits into dual 2.5 pipes to exit through a ’09 A5 3.2 valance – the only year when dual outlets were offered.

Upon starting the engine, there’s a raw, unfiltered quality that comes into the cabin. Off the line, it’s slightly hesitant as a result of needing to rotate big 20 wheels. It could also be caused by less back pressure from the exhaust system but the trade-off is soon forgotten because the K04 responds with immediate punch after 2500rpm or so. Unlike the stock turbo, it doesn’t exhaust breath on its way to redline.

2011 audi a5 quattro controlsThe truth is, the engine propels the A5 into triple-digit speeds with ease. APR claims its K04 kit is good for 330hp and 339 lb-ft but BFI’s exhaust should have extracted a little more…

The front brakes are 13.6 S4 discs using the stock A5 calipers, whilst the rears are 13 S5 discs and calipers with Brembo pads at each corner. The stopping power was undeniable, even though we felt the pedal could’ve been firmer and the pads didn’t bite until later in the pedal stroke.

Besides the ST/Weitec coilovers, the car was equipped with BFI’s 29mm front and 25mm rear Stabila sway bars plus SPC adjustable front upper control arms. As you’d expect from a quattro with that sort of equipment, it devours corners with uncanny ease and stability, almost daring you to take the next corner faster.

At the limit, the auto will understeer slightly to inform you you’re approaching the end from the fun, but it’s corrected by a slight lift or more steering input. Body roll isn’t an issue, and also the ride was surprisingly compliant considering the ride height.

Once you look at the numbers, Ligon’s A5 is a near clone of the current S5 (330hp vs 333hp, 339 lb-ft vs 325 lb-ft) yet it comes with a considerable weight advantage (3591 lb vs 3924 lb). So it causes you to wonder why Audi didn’t build the S5 with the 2.0T. It can be argued that premium buyers would want the previous V8 or current supercharged V6, though they’re heavier up front and more prone to understeer. Ligon didn’t stop to ask that question, he just built his very own S5 2.0T and is also loving every minute than itevidence of 330hp K04 turbo upgrade on 2.0T

Layout two-door coupe, front-engine, all-wheel drive

Engine 2.-liter four-cylinder TFSI DOHC 16v with APR K04 turbo software and kitpipes and exits through A5 3.2 valance

Wheels & Tires 20×10.5 Maserati Gran Turismo wheels, custom machined, 14mm stud conversion, Flextfit nuts, BFI spacers 5mm f, 15mm r, 265/30 R20 Continental ExtremeContact DWS tires

Exterior JOM Badgeless grille, S5 side skirt/blades, RavenRacing rear spoiler, ’09 A5 3.2L rear valance, yellow foglights, window tint

Interior AWE Tuning vent boost gauge

Contact Black Forest Industries (blackforestindustries.com)