By on May 23, 2016

Toyota 86 Racing Series

It beats hooning your mom’s Honda Odyssey.

A teenager took the top spot in the first three races of the Toyota 86 Racing Series this past weekend, beating back the 38 entrants in the fledgling event.

Former kart champion Cameron Hill’s win is exactly what Toyota had in mind when it crafted the three-year series. Designed as an entry point for up-and-coming drivers, the series pits up to five professional drivers against a field of amateurs, with training being top of mind. (Though a $125,000 prize pool sweetens the deal). (Read More…)

By on May 18, 2016

Ford-GT-1

If you missed your chance getting into a limited edition Ford GT supercar last week, your EcoBoost-powered dreams might not be over.

Dave Pericak, director of Global Ford Performance, recently told Autocar that the 600-plus horsepower heart of the GT could beat on — in other low-volume specialty models. (Read More…)

By on April 18, 2016

2017 Acura NSX Exterior-004

I remember it like it was yesterday.

I was working for a crazy little company in Fremont, California in 1995. One day the boss-man pulled up in a shiny new Acura NSX. It was low. It was foreign. It was cool. Little did I know the bitchin’ Acura in the parking lot would upset the supercar apple cart.

Twenty-five years ago, Honda put the big-boys on notice with a fast, economical and reliable supercar. Yes, reliable and supercar can be used in the same sentence without irony when speaking of a first-generation NSX.

If you set the way-back machine to 1990, you’ll realize it was a different world. Supercars were rear-wheel drive, few made more than 300 horsepower, and a modern Volvo wagon would probably eat them alive on a track. By the time the NSX was euthanized in 2005, the competition had more than caught up and Honda decided its resources were best used elsewhere.

For 2017, Acura has resurrected the NSX name and applied it to an all-new mid-engine coupe, but can it fill the big shoes left by its predecessor?

(Read More…)

By on April 1, 2016

Volvo S60 V60 Polestars

Volvo set a corporate high-water mark for speed today by launching two new Polestar models, each with enough power to make a tenured Vermont professor blush.

Dropping two cylinders while gaining 22 horsepower, the upgraded S60 and V60 Polestars are part of Volvo’s effort to boost the visibility of its performance division.

The 2.0-liter Drive-E four-cylinder in the S60 and V60 Polestar (replacing the previous blown straight six) was worked over by Polestar engineers to make 367 horsepower and 347 pounds-feet of torque. The mill, which makes 240 horsepower in T5 models, gains muscle from a supercharger, larger turbocharger and air intake, and a higher-capacity fuel pump.

(Read More…)

By on March 22, 2016

2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe

Four-door coupe styling has filtered down to a newcomer in the Mercedes-Benz range — the GLC midsize crossover SUV.

For its second year on the market, the GLC will receive the coupe-like styling already endowed on its larger brother, the GLE. (Read More…)

By on March 22, 2016

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth

After teasing Americans from a distance at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this month, a production version of a meaner Fiat 124 Spider has been unveiled by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in advance of its New York premiere.

The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Elaborazione Abarth is a mouthful to pronounce, but the Old World name should help add some metaphysical distance between this massaged roadster and its Mazda MX-5 Miata underpinnings. (Read More…)

By on March 8, 2016

Sajeev's Ford Ranger Aftermarket Exhaust, Image: © 2016 Sajeev Mehta/The Truth About Cars

Mike writes:

Sajeev,

Is there some solid information out there about how various mufflers perform and sound? Mine are rusted out and need to be replaced (’96 Chevrolet Suburban 5.7-liter, true dual exhaust with crossover). I’m finding lots of baseless opinions, but little fact. Many forum posts keep referencing someone’s test with a Mustang and fifteen mufflers from 2002. Or some chart showing “flow percentage” but with no reference to who or how this “test” was performed. Perhaps you have some direction?

Also, do you or the B&B have suggestions for quality forums for this Suburban? I’ve not owned much ‘Murican stuff before and am a bit overwhelmed at the quantity of forum options.

(Read More…)

By on October 27, 2015

2015 Honda Civic Si Sedan Exterior-001

BMW has M, Audi has a whole alphabet and Honda has Si. In truth, just the Civic has Si. Honda’s “Sport injection” trim started back in the 1980s but never expanded beyond its compact offerings in the U.S. Honda’s performance trim also never expanded beyond sharpened responses, a modest dollop of power and some looks-fast trim additions. The first Honda Si model came to our shores in 1985, but the first wasn’t a Civic — it was a Prelude. The Civic Si joined us a year later in 1986. But I digress.

Cars like the Civic Si are popular with journalists like me. The reason is simple, quite like the Civic itself. Unlike some performance packages, the Si treatment still favors sharpened responses and improved feel over simply jamming an over-boosted turbo engine under the hood. While the later is obviously a hoot and a half, the former is ultimately more pleasing to my peculiar tastes.

(Read More…)

By on October 20, 2015

main-page-518x191

June writes:

Greetings, editors. I love your website. It has taught me a tremendous amount about cars and the industry. This is my first time writing. I would love to see a piece about auto reliability, perhaps from an insider engineering perspective. What I’d like to see addressed is the question of why some cars and makes are more reliable than others.

I know these issues often result in pissing contests between:

1) those who claim to be “real auto enthusiasts” and would drive nothing less than a German sports car with a stick, despite the verifiable quality control issues that afflicts all the German manufacturers, and,

2) those who value reliability, fewer headaches, fewer trips to the mechanic, and more money saved in the long run, perhaps at the expense of an “emotional” engagement with their car.  (Read More…)

By on August 12, 2015

Buick-Regal-GS_17

We tend to armchair quarterback what’s wrong with specific automotive brands quite a bit in the TTAC comments. Meanwhile, there are people in the real world who get caught up in what’s actually wrong with some of these brands’ products by buying them — for example: the Buick Regal GS.

Jeremy writes:

I owned a 2013 Regal GS manual, bought brand new in Jan 2014 and sold (at a loss) on December 31 2014.

This should be good.

(Read More…)

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