Posts By: AMagagnoli

By on July 26, 2019

The first thing that many people do when their new car is ready for its first set of replacement tires is to ditch them for something else. Whether that’s a tire with a high tread mileage guarantee, an ultra-grippy tire, or the cheapest thing they can find, few people actively seek out the exact same tires that their vehicle came with from the factory.

If OEMs could have just selected the best-rated tire from the Tire Rack website, or asked people on a forum what they preferred, and called it a day, wouldn’t they have done that? If you think you’re smarter than an entire team of OEM engineers, then go ahead and slap on that 80,0000-mile-guaranteed set of tires. But, you will want to understand what you might be giving up in the process. (Read More…)

By on July 23, 2019

Toyota GAZOO Racing showed their Supra GT4 Concept at the Geneva motor show in March, but the word “Concept” must be emphasized. While they are planning to bring the car to market, and parading it on the media accounts, the entire program is very early in its development. With no existing sales and support team based in the United States, let’s investigate what it will take to bring the GT4 to IMSA and SRO GT America competition in the U.S.

GT4 is an international homologation specification that is owned by the SRO Motorsports Group and adopted by race sanctioning bodies around the globe. The Supra GT4 will be entering a class that includes entries such as the Aston Martin Vantage, Audi R8, Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, McLaren 570S, Mercedes-AMG GT, Porsche Cayman, and — of course — the BMW M4. (Read More…)

By on July 17, 2019

We’re living in a golden age of performance where somehow, despite all the focus on electrification and sport-utility development, you can still buy a nearly 800 horsepower coupe off the showroom floor for less than six figures. All of the so-called “Detroit 3” manufacturers are offering supercharged V8’s that start with the Camaro ZL1 and Corvette Z06’s 650 hp and top out at the Challenger Redeye’s 797 hp. The new Shelby GT500 falls in between, with 760 hp.

Are they the fastest iterations of each of their respective platforms? Yes. Does that make them the best? No. In fact, they become inferior in the process. (Read More…)

By on July 12, 2019

We, very literally, have a bit of a fluff piece for this Friday afternoon. Coming out of Frankfort, KY, a curious little kitten had mistakenly selected the rear subframe of a 2000 Honda Accord as a safe resting place. Little did she know, she was about to have a very tall tale to tell her furry friends.

Earlier this week, over a journey of several hours, the kitten rode from Lexington to Versailles to Frankfort in the undercarriage of the Honda. It wasn’t until the car’s owner was stopped at a Hardee’s restaurant that he finally heard her meowing from within the chassis. By good fortune, they were right next to Midas of Frankfort, which is owned by a fellow racer and friend, Scott Bourne. When the restaurant manager went over and asked Scott if his crew could help, they didn’t pussy foot around and got right to it.  (Read More…)

By on July 4, 2019

The realities of modern racing series are dominated by homologation rules and the balancing of performance between makes and models. As such, the racecar’s engines are sometimes detuned when compared the road-going car upon which they’re based.

In celebration of their 1966 Ferrari-beating LeMans win, Ford Performance wanted to offer its customers a de-restricted track-day version of the GT, which they’re calling the Mk II. With Multimatic, the designers of the Ford GT racecar and manufacturer of all Ford GTs, they threw the rule books out the window and set out to build the ultimate GT track car. (Read More…)

By on July 3, 2019

As we just covered yesterday, the V-Series application to the Cadillac CT4 and CT5 models will don intermediary performance models, similar to the former V-Sport line. The Blackwing nomenclature will designate top-performing models, redefining what the letter V really means to a Cadillac.

During the reveal of the 2020 CT4-V and CT5-V sedans, General Motors President Mark Reuss said, “Cadillac will make manuals in V-Series.” With four V-Series models across the two sedans, which are the likely candidates to receive three pedals? (Read More…)

By on July 3, 2019

The Audi S8 has always been the Q-ship of choice for those who wanted a luxurious sports sedan that flew under the radar of untrained eyes. For the 2020 model year, Audi increases the output to 563 horsepower, but retains the understated nature of the cosmetic upgrades.

Though the pictures shown are of the European short-wheelbase S8, only the long-wheelbase version will be arriving on U.S. shores. Sent to the Quattro all-wheel drive system through a standard eight-speed automatic transmission, the twin-turbo V8 engine is supplemented by a 48-volt mild hybrid system. The combined power of 563 hp and 590 ft-lbs is an increase of 103 hp and 103 ft-lbs over the standard A8’s twin-turbo V8.  (Read More…)

By on July 2, 2019

Hyundai’s luxury Genesis brand is set to launch a new global electric vehicle architecture in 2021. Both a sedan and SUV are said to be in the works, positioning the Korean models to go head-to-head with Tesla Motors. These would be the first electric vehicles created under the Genesis moniker and are just a part of their growing commitment to developing alternative-propulsion vehicles. (Read More…)

By on July 2, 2019

With the launch of the new Cadillac CT4-V and CT5-V models, enthusiast balked at the mild power outputs and engine configurations. The CT4-V provides 320 horsepower from its 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder mill, while the CT5-V’s turbo V6 makes 355 hp. Both figures are significant degradations from the previous ATS-V and CTS-V models, respectively.

Fear not, dear readers. The V-Series moniker has simply moved down-market, effectively replacing the V-Sport line. But this has made room for a new top-tier performance line: Blackwing. (Read More…)

By on July 1, 2019

Mazda has filed a recall for 25,003 of its 2019 Mazda3 cars due to a risk of the wheels falling off. Lug nuts were found to have loosened and come off the car, though there have been no reports of accidents or injuries thus far. Having personally had wheels depart my cars more than once, I can attest to this leading to a less-than-ideal day and hope to encourage affected customers not to wait on this one.

Wheel bolts, or studs, on the car are pressed in from the back of the wheel hub. When the lug nuts are tightened on the studs, they essentially sandwich the hub, rotor, and wheel together. Mazda found that the studs where not fully seated in the back of the hub as the vehicles left the factory, allowing them to be drawn in the remainder of the way as the forces on the wheel were naturally applied through driving. This, however, would also gradually reduce the torque on the lug nuts. (Read More…)

By on June 28, 2019

$73,995 will be the cost of entry for the fastest production Mustang ever made, including destination and the gas-guzzler tax. Fully-optioned, the Shelby GT500 can top $100,000, which also makes it the most expensive production Mustang ever made.

The Mustang6G Forum first published leaked pricing and an order guide for the 2020 Shelby GT500, while Motor Authority has verified the information with Ford. At its base price, the 760-horsepower Shelby GT500 costs comparatively more than either the 797-hp Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye ($73,440) or the 650-hp Camaro ZL1 ($64,695) — though we don’t yet know exactly how the performance will stack up.

The GT500 will likely make up for the power deficit to the Redeye via better handling, even in widebody form ($79,440). Comparing to the Camaro ZL1 with the track-focused 1LE package ($72,195), the Shelby has 110 hp in hand over its historic rival. Even if it takes the $18,500 Carbon Fiber Track Pack and $1,500 Handling Package to do it, this author is expecting the GT500 will set the new benchmark for outright pony car track performance. (Read More…)

By on June 28, 2019

Lancer Evolution vs WRX STi had been as classic a rivalry as Mustang vs Camaro. But, with the departure of the Evo in 2016, there has been a hole in the marketplace and in the hearts of enthusiasts. Reports coming out of Autocar point to a revival of the famed rivalry, with an theoretical Evo XI getting some help from Renault.

While the Evolution name has been rumored to be revived in the form of some sort of SUV or electric vehicle — or both — the Lancer Evolution may yet return in proper super-sedan form. While details are spotty, it is speculated that the engine would come from the next-generation Renault Mégane RS. The current Mégane RS is the front-wheel drive Nürburgring production vehicle record holder, sporting a 296 horsepower and 295 ft-lbs 1.8-liter, 4-cylinder engine. With the next-generation engine anticipated to displace 2.0-liters, it may utilize a bit of electric boosting from a 48V mild-hybrid system to close in on the 341 hp coming from Subaru’s WRX STi S209. (Read More…)

By on June 27, 2019

Maximizing the footprint with which to apply up to 707 horsepower and 650 ft-lbs of torque, the 2020 Charger SRT Hellcat and Scat Pack add a Widebody package to cover their 305/35ZR20 Pirelli tires and 20×11-inch wheels. For the Hellcat, 0-60 mph comes in 3.6 seconds while the quarter-mile elapsed time drops to 10.96 seconds and the skidpad grip builds to 0.96 g. Combined with the additional braking grip and revised chassis tuning, the lap time around an FCA-approved, 2.1-mile road course drops by a massive 2.1 seconds.

The Scat Pack Widebody sees similar improvements, getting to 60 mph from a standstill in 4.3 seconds on its way to a 12.4 second quarter mile. Without the weight of the supercharger and associated plumbing over the nose, the Scat Pack Widebody pulls an even more impressive 0.98 g on the skidpad. Around the same 2.1-mile road course (presumably GingerMan Raceway), the Charger Scat Pack drops 1.3 seconds in Widebody form. (Read More…)

By on June 27, 2019

The new Tremor off-road package will bring a new 7.3-liter V8 and 10-speed automatic transmission to the heavy-duty F-250 and F-350 lineups. The 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbo diesel V8 will also be available, paired with its 6-speed automatic.

Ford’s Tremor package is a shot across the bow of the RAM Power Wagon. The 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires are the largest diameter rubber available on any HD pickup and a 2-inch lift of the front suspension and shorter air dam enable real off-road prowess for the Super Duty trucks. (Read More…)

By on June 26, 2019

Dodge released a teaser video this morning of a Charger SRT, shrouded by a sheet flapping in the wind. Though covered, the visible cues point to the previously-spied widebody Charger. The video is titled, “Something big is coming…”, so they’re not exactly leaving much to the imagination.

The front bumper looks to ready depart from the current SRT Charger design by incorporating a snout akin to that found on the SRT Durango. The lower outer air inlets grow considerably larger and more aggressive, as well. (Read More…)

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