Category: Tuners

By on October 30, 2017

2017 Honda Civic Type R - Image: Honda

Between Mopar’s 707-horsepower Hellcat engine and Honda’s 306-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter from the Civic Type R, the crate engine gods have smiled on both axles today.

Like Mopar, Honda took advantage of this week’s SEMA show in Las Vegas to announce the availability of the front-drive monster’s engine in standalone form. No doubt this news immediately inspired visions of the cobbled-together HR-V Type R you really wanted, but be warned. This engine comes with an asterisk. Read More >

By on October 30, 2017

2016 Dodge Challenger SRT with the HEMI® Hellcat engine - Image: FCA

This should lead to more than a few odd pairings. Mopar, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ performance and aftermarket parts division, will now offer a Dodge SRT Hellcat engine — the company’s 707 horsepower, supercharged 6.2-liter V8 — minus the car.

Dubbed the “Hellcrate,” the warranty-backed engine and associated kit was unveiled Monday ahead of this week’s SEMA show in Las Vegas. This means Mopar fans looking to own a 707-hp beast have other options than just visiting an FCA dealer and signing on the dotted line for a new vehicle. Read More >

By on May 1, 2017

hondata-2017-honda-civic

Honda’s new Civic is a heck of a car, even if the styling is polarizing. But it’s not a performance car like Civics of old, where mixing and matching engine and transmissions from other models could yield a very quick ride with a stratospheric redline. Enthusiasts are anxiously awaiting the Si and Type-R trims, which promise plenty of power — but what of those who already have a car, or need features the high-performance cars don’t have?

Enter Hondata, the firm that’s been tuning Honda engine management systems for years. It’s been the industry leader for those looking to do those engine swaps, and has developed software and devices to add performance to the factory ECU.

Recently, Hondata released its FlashPro for the newest Civic powered by the 1.5-liter turbo engine, and I had a chance to drive a Hondata-tuned 2017 Civic.

Even stock, the new turbo Civic is faster in the quarter-mile than the previous-generation Civic Si, so the extra performance should be impressive.

Read More >

By on November 2, 2016

Lead-RamTruck-Jeep-Wont-See-Dirt-SEMA-2016-11-2

For the automotive aftermarket, SEMA is all about showing off the latest and greatest gear, and more often than not that comes in the form of vehicle builds around the Las Vegas Convention Center. There’s everything from mild to wild, but there’s also plenty of trucks and SUVs that go so far over the top that they reach a level of absurdity.

That leads us to this collection of trucks. Although fitted with suspension lifts and aftermarket wheels, in spite of the aggressive tires these trucks and Jeeps at the 2016 SEMA Show will live their lives on asphalt and never see the dirt. Read More >

By on June 1, 2016

2014 Hennessey Venom

I hate it when people get ripped off. And judging by your reaction to Bark’s piece last week about a dealer in Florida, you hate it too.

The latest con job to be posted to the Interwebs involves someone who’s no stranger to crime: John Hennessey. The Texas-based tuner of extraordinary supercars, Hennessey Performance Engineering, might not be building cars as exclusive as it purports — that is if it builds them at all, reports Jalopnik.

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 May 9, 2016

Roush Mustang Blue

Is the 707 horsepower Dodge Hellcat too weak for you? Do you miss the 662 hp Shelby GT500? Do you love the sensual whine of a supercharger pulley? Well, a Ford dealer in Ohio has the car for you.

Lebanon Ford of suburban Cincinnati is a Roush Performance dealer, and has decided to offer the base 2016 Mustang GT with a Roush Stage 2 supercharger for under $40,000.

This undercuts the Challenger Hellcat by nearly $25k, meaning you could pick up a new Fiesta ST with the difference, or perhaps a few sets of tires. You’ll need them.

Read More >

By on April 4, 2016

Yugo Tank Conversion

Craigslist can be a great place to waste a few hours browsing oddities or finding your next money pit of a project car. I have a few projects but one of my more nostalgic goals is to find a Yugo to add to my collection.

Most examples of the Yugo that pop up online are usually in a non-running state or resemble Swiss cheese, but the crew over at BangShift found the oddest one of them all.

Read More >

By on March 10, 2016

Jeep® Trailcat Concept (Images: © 2015 FCA US LLC)

In anticipation of the 50th Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, Jeep turned its best and brightest designers loose and created seven concept vehicles you’ll probably never drive.

But you can gaze, and you can dream.

These rolling showcases for Jeep and Mopar performance parts crop up annually in advance of the off-road love-in (March 19 – 27), but this year Jeep delved deep into the history file to celebrate its 75th birthday.

We’ll highlight the standouts after the break. Read More >

By on March 10, 2016

Honda FCX Clarity At Shell Hydrogen Fuel Pump

The world needs to be saved, but who wants to spend more money doing it?

That, cash lands on Takata-plagued dealers, Tesla takes to the track, BMW wants you in and out fast, and Volkswagen dreams of slaying the Prius … after the break!

Read More >

By on March 8, 2016

SEMA show 2011(Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Attention, racecar enthusiasts: Your Congressional representatives are looking out for you!

Normally, this phrase would be met with suspicion and outright fear, but for those fighting the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed regulation on racecar conversions, it’s the best news they’ve had in weeks.

A bipartisan bill introduced in Congress would protect the track-only use of modified street vehicles for use in competition, a practice the EPA is seeking to prohibit. Read More >

By on November 12, 2015

2016 Ford Focus RS

There may be a quicker one coming.

That’s if you believe what Autocar reported Thursday. According to the British publication, Ford engineers in Europe are already be whispering there could be a lighter, quicker version of the 2016 Ford Focus RS coming. Engineers are reportedly aiming for a sub-4 second 0-60 run.

The increased performance won’t come by way of a bigger engine however — the laws of thermodynamics in cramped spaces preclude a bigger bolt-on snail, apparently — but rather the ol’ Colin Chapman route: adding more lightness. Read More >

By on October 10, 2015

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As Opel begins its retail roll out of the new Astra across Europe, some enterprising spy shooters have found the Opel’s Chinese-market twin wearing Buick tri-shields and Verano GS badging.

And holy shit, this is about to get very, very confusing.

According to Autohome, the Verano GS — marketed as Buick Weilang GS in China — is expected to be revealed at the Guangzhou Auto Show with GM’s 169 horsepower, 1.5-liter turbocharged engine and 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The same engine will be used in North America in the new Malibu, albeit with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Now before you get too excited about those GS badges, it may not mean what you think it means, at least in this case.

Read More >

By on October 8, 2015

2015_Tokyo_S_FR_AD564FF957182CD46FD9B78DEA3A35326451B5B1

Toyota on Thursday released a preview of what to expect on its stand at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month and it’s all sorts of steampunk and futuristic weirdness, but more on that in a moment.

While the Scion FR-S isn’t flying off dealer lots here in North America, the Japanese seem to like their compact sports coupes. The S-FR, according to Toyota is ” a lightweight, sporty concept offering a fun, responsive driving experience” and slots below the Toyobaru twins and go head-to-head with the Honda S660 kei sports that America won’t get because of course we won’t.

Read More >

By on September 22, 2015

tdiengine

Many in the Volkswagen diesel community are fanatical about their fuel economy and are understandably angry that a fix for the current emissions scandal may see them lose fuel economy in order to lower NOx output. The aftermarket community has provided modifications for the DPF and Adblue systems in the past, meaning there’s good chance they’ll provide parts and tuning to revert any changes Volkswagen may implement on the affected models.

Read More >

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