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Review: 2012 MINI Cooper S Countryman All4

Posted on 11. Aug, 2012 by .


MINI is the most unlikely successful new brand in America. Why? Because the brand "tiny transport" ethos runs counter to America's "bigger is better" mantra. Of course, to explain these conflicting philosophies, why is the modern MINI uses are by far not as mini as minis. Still with me? Hang on to your hat, because the German owner of the legendary British brand to make American domination hinges not the biggest MINI decided. Enter the MINI Countryman. Or as I like to call it the Mini Maxi.

Click here to view the embedded video.


The outside of the Countryman is full of firsts. It is the first MINI with 5 doors, the first MINI with available AWD, the first MINI longer than 13-feet. And the dubious honor of all, the first MINI weigh over 3,000 lbs. To be precise, weighed our Countryman S All4 in at £ 3,220. MINI fans will notice, that's £ 655 severe as a two-door, the MINI Cooper S makes maximizing the Countryman look like someone was inflating a balloon MINI and forgot to say "when." Your opinions may vary, but this bloated MINI is very attractive to my eye. From the cheeky round headlights for signature hood scoop and the optional sport stripes, no one will confuse the Countryman for anything but a MINI.


A logical shopper would look at the Countryman and it seats four doors as five. Not so fast. Keeping with the tradition MINI Countryman is a four-passenger car at heart, and in the grounds. A quick search revealed that among the four local MINI dealership, only six of the 134 Countryman CUVs were equipped with the $ 250 fifth seat option. Availability aside, the middle seat should be thought of as an "emergency" because of the close fit proportions of the Countryman. Adding that fifth seat leads to another unexpected problem: no rear cupholders. You see, the Countryman uses an interesting center "rail" system, which extends generally from the dashboard to the rear seatback. The rails can be snap-on accessories such as various storage boxes, mobile phone owners, sunglasses storage and decisively; Cupholder. Family-minded buyers should keep in mind that the rear door pockets do not hold fast food style lemonade. To compensate for the rear amenities, the Countryman is three times the cargo space of the Cooper with the seats up (16.5 cubic feet) and twice with the folded (41.3 cubic feet.)

As with all MINI models, a low rent headlining coexists with smart switches, rich leather, a thick rimmed steering wheel and an occasional smattering of hard plastics. Style rather than luxury is what makes MINI as it most clearly "Disneyesque" by the ginormous speedometer / infotainment / HVAC vent cluster. Practical people find the switchgear too deep in the dashboard for the convenience (it's an eye-on-the-road nightmare), but the look is undeniably swish and unlikely to interfere with the MINI faithful.


Frugal Shopper, you should skip this section, as MINI infotainment price tags are far from the Mini. All MINI Countryman models start with AM / FM / XM / HD Radio / CD player. If you love something iDevice and a Bluetooth hands-free, add $ 500 to your tab. An additional $ 500 (or $ 250 if you planned the armrest anyway) you get the MINI Connected system sans nav. MINI Connected is adapted BMW iDrive (circa 2011) to the smaller screen and Minimalist Controls. As with BMW iPhone app lets you Tweet, Facebook, Online Radio, Google, and you'll see some additional "sport" themed instrumentation on the LCD.

MINI takes "the app thing" to a new level with "Dynamic Music" and "Mission Control." Dynamic music is digitized, beat-heavy music that changes as you drive. And accelerate the pace increases as the system adds more instruments. Flip turn on your turn signal and begin to ring basin from the speakers on the side that you display. Mission Control plays canned phrases in stereotypical British accent in response to driver inputs. MINI floor and the system says "fulllll gas!" Press the Sport button and several tins of votes have a conversation about sports driving. While there for a day or two is fun, I can not imagine a day with this app owners.

As a gateway drug if you have MINI Connected, it's hard to say no to the $ 750 nav up selling. Once you have the nav the $ 750 Harman / Kardon speakers not a big leap. After all that has been added, your MINI will tell salespeople "If you choose the technology package, you can add the parking sensors at half price"($ 250.) Total up-sell: $ 2,750. "Is not technology great?"


Under the hood is fine the same engines as the rest of the MINI lineup. The base 1.6L engine is good for 121HP and 114 lb-ft. As expected, pitting against 121HP £ 3000 results in comfortable acceleration. Our test model was the "Cooper S", with direct injection and a turbocharger means have been added to bring the power up to 181HP and turn to 177 pounds-ft of 1.600 to 5.000 RPM. MINI turbo engine uses an 'overboost' function to bump torque to 192 lb-ft of 1.700 to 4.500 RPM, under certain conditions for a limited period. Either engine is manual with a 6-speed Getrag or an optional 6-speed Aisin automatic mated.

Once you have selected the option box for the turbo engine, you have to. "ALL4" access to the $ 1,700 Haldex AWD system called The system is essentially the same as the other Haldex implementations and uses a wet clutch pack instead of a center differential. The clutch unlocked during low-speed maneuvers for better handling feel completely locked during hard acceleration, and the connection varies depending on the traction requirements. Keep connected MINI tells us the system is programmed to feel the clutch pack more than competing systems improvement.

MINI has confirmed that 2013 will bring some love to the JCW Countryman. The engine is the same 1.6L direct-injection turbo than S model, with the Boost be cranked to the maximum. MINI has not publish power figures, but expect it. To slot in around 220HP


Expectations are important in the drive technology reviews. If you order the Countryman as a normal MINI driving despite AWD, expect space for five and a large cargo area, you will be disappointed.

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Pre Production Review: 2013 Lexus LS 460 and LS 600hL

Posted on 10. Aug, 2012 by .


The LS and I have a long relationship. Back in 1993 I was an impressionable teenager just before the holy-grail Age: 16 This meant that I always dreamed of driving. My parents were Oldsmobile and Chrysler people, so my choices were a 1980 Custom Cruiser, a 1985 Cutlass Ciera, or a 1988 Grand Voyager. The Oldsmobiles were diesel. Need I say more? One day my best friend's father put in a brand new 1993 Lexus LS 400 for the school run. I had no idea that cars with this kind of precision could be mounted, and my world was changed forever. Needless to say, when the Lexus invited me to the unveiling of the fifth-generation LS, my expectations were set high.

Click here to view the embedded video.


The first thing to know about the all-new fifth-generation LS, it is not all new. 2013 brings a major update to the "FX40" LS Sedan, where some 3,000 parts have been changed from the 2006 to 2012 model (which was face-lifted in 2009). As an important refresh there sheetmetal changes and only the doors, roof and rear window are the same. Lexus mounted a very aggressive interpretation of its new "spindle" finally give the LS-like "rear-view mirror 'presence as the German competition.


Lexus has a good reputation for interior perfection. Even though we are in a pre-production car (which usually means it's going to be something wrong) were, there was not as much as a stitch out of place. That's not to say that the LS-Class is a leader in internal parts. The LS 460 still shaped with a dashboard and pleather door panels, while Mercedes and BMW have to double him laying on leather quality.

During the LS 'seats among the most comfortable I have ever sat in, the GS' offer 18-way seats a wider range of movement and adjustment. If you are lucky enough to be buying an LS in drivable if driving, the 10-fold rear seats have no equal. Oh, and the right rear seat shiatsu massages. As Mercedes and BMW, Lexus offers a short and long version of the LS. Due to the age of the LS is the fundamental dimensions of the LS 460L inside stretched considerably shorter than BMW 7 series.

Apart from the opulence of the rear seat in the extended LS, the gadget list is a reminder of two things. One: the 2013 LS is a refresh. Two: Lexus has historically a company that perfected not reinvented. To this end, you will not find a fancy LCD instrument cluster or any whiz-bang-I-gotta-have-it tech. Lexus has even quietly removed their complicated self-parking option. Instead, Lexus has doubled down, which has called for its target audience: perfect leather, perfect stitching, the quietest ride you have ever had and flushed quantities of wood, Jaguar would.

Infotainment / Gadgets

In the middle of the new dashboard is a standard 12.3-inch infotainment / navigation screen. This latest generation of Lexus' Enform "is essentially the same software as last year, the model is adapted for a larger screen. The screen is bright and easy to read, he unfortunately Lexus awkward joystick for the ride. If you think iDrive is a pain to use, can Lexus' pointing device to take you to a whole new level of frustration. As with the system in the current GS, the graphics interface and step behind iDrive, MMI and Volvo Sensus.

The optional 19-speaker Mark Levinson audio system for audiophile perfection as close as you will find in a factory-installed audio system. While the 450-watt on tap, this system behind the Bowers & Wilkins and Bang & Olufsen systems used in competition, its unlikely to be a problem for most buyers. USB, iDevice and smartphone app integration are the same as in the rest of the Lexus line up provides a solid and stable interface without voice commands ala Ford SYNC and even Toyota Entune.


With all the changes inside and only 50% of the parts is new, it's obvious what does not change, the drive train. The same 4.6L engine and 8-speed transmission, the breakthrough was in 2006, still with only minor software tweaks that pushes the engine by 6HP to 386HP or 360HP Total equipped with the optional all-wheel drive. If you feel particularly spendy, Lexus will continue to provide the LS 600h L 438HP and seemingly unlimited torque through all four wheels (and consume large amounts of fuel in the process) to offer. The observant will notice in the crowd, these numbers pale in comparison to the twin-turbo V8 from the Germans, but remember that the LS stickers for significantly less.


When the rubber meets the road, you do not hear a lot when you're piloting a LS. Lexus always known

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Parents Still Aren’t Getting Car Seats Right

Posted on 10. Aug, 2012 by .


It seems as car seat discussion everywhere.

Starting before the child is even born, hospital educators often child-safety seat curriculum required new parent classes. In the news and online, parents often hear about changes child seat regulations. It is also often a topic of conversation in mothers' groups and play dates. However, the message could not get through, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. As children age, the study found a decrease in car seat use and an increase in children who are unrestrained in cars.

The study National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data collector uses trained to watch as families arrived in places like gas stations, fast food restaurants, rec centers and child care facilities. Data collectors asked many factors used by the child restraint systems and do the situation of children in the car. These data were combined with previously published national NHTSA survey on the use of booster seats.

Observed by the 21,476 children in the study, it was found that few of the new children's occupant safety meets issued guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2011.

The safety instructions are:

Rear-Facing Seat: It is recommended that infants remain in rear-facing car seats until at least 2 years. The study found that "very few kids looking to stay behind after the age of 1."

Forward-facing seat: The guidelines state that suggested children remain in forward-facing child car seats with a five-point harness until they reach the maximum weight and size limits of the car seat manufacturer.

Seats: A child should remain in a booster seat until the vehicle seat belt, which is sized for an adult to fit properly as determined by a five-step test, according to the security policies. This is usually when a child is 57 inches tall – the average height of a 11-year-old – but can vary based on a child's growth patterns and proportions. The study found that less than 2% of children with a booster seat after 7 years.

Front Seat: It is recommended that children stay in the back seat until age 13. The study found that "many" children were older than 5 in the front seat. "Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 3 and send more than 140,000 children to the emergency room each year," according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Sure, you can child safety seats be a pain sometimes. They are hard to get in and out of cars, and it can be difficult, willful children to keep on board with riding in them for a long time. However, if for no other reason than your child's life, the expectations set from the first day that your child must be in the appropriate seat for his / her age. My oldest daughter recently grew big enough to ride in the car without a child, and she is going into the seventh grade. Sure, she hated to know her friends, she was still sitting in a child seat, but I'd rather her little angry and in a booster seat than the dangerous alternatives.

Car Seat Basics Part One: be examined Your Seat
Car Seat Basics Part Two: from infant to convertible seat
Car Seat Basics Part Three: Beyond the booster

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Boomerang Basement Bolides — First Place: Mazda Miata PRHT

Posted on 09. Aug, 2012 by .


The conventions of the auto request in writing that we come up with at least a working metaphor for each comparison test, so here goes: You guys remember that movie It might Get Loud? Obviously, the Scion FR-S Jack White: stripped down and consciously retro, perhaps too confident context sensitive worshiped unconditionally by a group of people who have never signed a mortgage. The Genesis 2.0t R-Spec is the Edge: a lot of sharp edges and technical brilliance to cover a fundamental deficit of talent.

The Miata? Well …

When we meet Mr. Page in the above mentioned film, he's chauffeured in an old English home. He is a 60-ish man in a tailored jacket: quiet, reserved, old. He told a few stories in a voice that barely registered on the noise from the road and looks pensively out the window at the beautiful scenery and so on. You know he would not fit into the infamous dragon suit, and you would not want to see him in it, even if he could manage the trick. Sure, he Earlier a rocker, but now he's a dead ringer for your college roommate's grandfather.

Then he passes someone a guitar. Oh, look, old chap, it's that 1959 Gibson he used to carry around. Terribly old now, like the others, it will be handled. Jack White watching him dispassionately, perhaps wondering exactly why they have dug up the man and the instrument for the film when he's Jack White, the man of the hour, he'S one who draws the panties now he'S with the hipper-than-thou record company and super-luxurious Nashville building full of limited-press record, this guy is as dead as Elvis, just do not do not know yet, and it seems that Mr. Page is now online insertion , and perhaps he manages one strum or something OH MY GOD He plays Whole Lotta Love.

At that precise moment, anything and everything disappears connected with the film, and it is clear, obvious to everyone that, despite their millions of record sales and undisputed merits, Jack White and the Edge are not suitable wear side dragon jockstrap.

The same thing happens when I fresh from ten laps each in the FR-S and Genesis, hop in the Miata, loaf sucked on the front straight courtesy of the ever impressive normal MZR / Duratec / Whatevs, and tap the brakes briefly before bending in to Turn One. Well, the car closely, and it's slow, and OH MY GOD IT IS NOT ONE. This is a Pushchair. Be sure to Toyota. Once you made a sports car. You have a couple of them -. The star-crossed second generation MR2 turbo and the miniature Boxster Spyder MR – met or exceeded the size of this particular Miata They know how to do it.

More importantly, Mazda has it easy for you. The Touring-spec power-retractable hardtop, the Miata MX-5 charming, even in history. To begin with, it's too big, it sits too high, and it has neither the Elan-through-a-copier charm of the first generation car, or the elegant sportiness of the second generation. It weighs too much and it's sure as hell costs too much, no matter what country you call home, this is probably the most expensive car of our trio and delivers the lowest level of some large margin.

It is possible to whip the "NC" Miata in shape like a race car, as I know from experience. Our test car has not received this type of cleaning. Instead, it has a folding metal hardtop. Why? The Miata has always been a convertible. It makes sense in this way. For more than twenty years, however, people have ask for a Miata Coupe. Except for a very short run Japanese market production of 200 NB coupes, Mazda is still felt never responds to this request. Instead, we have the PRHT. I can not see weekend warriors spend the extra money for them over the soft-top, and the people who want a coupe. Establishment for reasons of weight and stiffness, which does not explicitly address the PRHT Call it the "Miata New York", it only makes sense if you are in an area where people steal to cut soft-tops open, which is to live has been left in the glove compartment. We did not ask for a PRHT, but we are not a color cloth and we do not get free Honda S2000S with signed-over tracks sit in the glove box so we can go play SCCA racer on someone else's dime. Instead, we got what happened to be in the press fleet, and that was the pensioner spec PRHT. Ugh.

Going into our test I was pretty sure that the hardcore, touge Tofu dorifto FR-S wanted to humiliate the Miata. It made sense: a new, faster, stiffer car should Beating them thoroughly with impaired end-of-run special. I could not be more wrong. The FR-S and Genesis both much too large and clumsy to compete. You do not know how big the Scion until you are sitting in the Mazda. Yes, the current car is pretty monstrous of Miata or Elan standards. No, it's not a 1.6-liter NA. It is not so good. (Full disclosure: Your author had an ex-SCCA Solo National Winner Miata "C" package '94, bought as a surprise gift for his wife, he went twice, saying it "weak" before returning to her Stage 3 SRT-4 .) It's still good enough.

Against an MR2 Turbo, the Miata would seem slow, weak, vulnerable to pressure. For an MR Spyder, the Miata would seem a bit like a Bayliner, truthfully, especially in tight sections. Before the FR-S comes from the Miata like a freakin 'Caterham. It is only a few inches narrower the band, but in practice it feels like the FR-S is a foot wider and a Testarossa the Miata the 308GTS. This is not something that anyone wants to admit over the Internet, but if you have our trio driving group, the Genesis and FR-S is in a basket and the Miata in another.

It is such a joy to Toronto Motorsports Park to steer, the Miata always communicates exactly what has happened. Even with the more-present-in-magazine-articles-than-reality 10/10ths, I can not imagine that anyone could behind a ham-handed idiot bring this car to crash. All you can do what the Scion can the Mazda better. In a place like VIR, the lack of power and unwanted aerodynamic profile would cost the small convertible money, but on the Alan Wilson-style tracks with short straights and corners of the Mazda connection, you can deliver the tofu as well as the FR-S. Of course, the Genesis has so much power that it simply disappears into the distance, regardless of route. One would need an SCCA rule book autocross course complete with 45 mph max corners to equalize the two.

Driven isolated, the Miata's 167-hp four seems energetic enough, and as has been the case since 1990, is the shift quality is outstanding. The brakes are good unobtrusively sliding caliper affairs, but they work. All control measures are easy and well coordinated. It is possible to feel more control in a production vehicle, but you must hurry, because the 987 Boxster has disappeared almost showroom floors.

The current Miata has been roundly criticized for its suspension tuning, and that the criticism is valid. There are more than you have to roll, and the car can feel a little toes at times. For about $ 1400 you can do Koni Yellow and aftermarket springs. I certainly would, that changes in my own car, but descriptions of the equity markets are settings as "scary" or "uncontrollable" either hyperbolic or incompetent. You will not roll yet to get the car. I tried, believe me, especially in our News Editor Derek Kriendler who was upset in the passenger seat at the time.

Mazda is fully aware that the Miata is a third car for most of its owners, and they'll build it this way. What I mean is this: The interior is quality construction and clear forever. Plastics are durable, the vehicle is easy to maintain and save for the aforementioned PRHT there are no silly gimmicks. There is no SYNC system or the like, because you will understand your Mazda Miata for ten or twenty years, and by the time you are ready to sell to hold, today's most advanced system is as embarrassing as the "Your Door, is a jar "electronic-voice system from a 1982 Datsun Maxima would be today.

At the end of our test day (which again we told AutoGuide) we were informed that we had about half an hour, go with which a shortened version of the track. The AutoGuide crew heard this news and immediately ran for the FR-S, which was sitting next to my Boxster in the starting lineup. Derek and I lay between them and the FR-S. We looked at each other … what should we do? As one, we turned away from the Toyota and went back to the Miata to fifteen or so more rounds in. This current MX-5 Miata put, the worst in history, but it is still the best car in this test . Deal with it Children.

Images courtesy of Julie Hyde, who she thought was just along for the Mike Stern concert in Toronto at night.

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Car Backseats to Avoid

Posted on 09. Aug, 2012 by .


Car buyers often without families overlook the back seat. It can empty weeks to go at a time, jump across to friends for this trip through the city and find out Johnny has shiny new ride a back seat best suited for food, coats and hobbits. No one expects a two-door sports car, or provide too much space at the back, so we have cars that picked up as they look decent room should … not. When Johnny Got dibs in one of these, call for the front seat immediately. Find us thank you later.

2013 Chevrolet Malibu
There is a tendency to walk among midsize cars, and it has the ever-increasing rear seats. The Honda Accord and VW Passat are a prime example, adults can sit open even with a laptop in the back of the VW. Unfortunately, GM does not have the memo. The Malibu has 36.8 inches of rear legroom, which is 2.1 inches less than a Toyota Camry, let alone the Passat. Reality deceives the numbers. The Malibu has comparable information on the redesigned Nissan Altima, but we would take the Altima, the larger bank every day. The Chevrolet rear seat sits low, has has a large floor hump and undersized property for your legs and knees. Mosey front: In the back seat department, the Malibu is maladroit.

2012 Ford Fiesta
The Fiesta has a mediocre fifth place in our small car-car shootout last March and his narrow back seat was a big reason why. Not all small cars are the same: the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris boasts livable space, while the Nissan Versa is downright generous. The Fiesta is the segment of extra-small selection. Rear legroom is a scant 31.2 inches, which is almost 6 inches just before the Versa. Her knees in the front seat, her hair mops the ceiling, their feet towards the center floor hump jam dig. The name may say, Fiesta, but there is no party there again.

2012 Hyundai Tucson
The Tucson actually has respectable backseat room. Dimensions comparable with the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4 But the seat is not as many competitors do, adjust, and it sits very low to the ground. The door frame scallops below what can make for noggin hitting exits. The biggest offender is driving the SUV, which is a choppy mess for every riding in the back. Hyundai tries to address this topic with successive updates for the latest generation of the shock absorbers, but we hardly noticed a difference. Bounce your way to the front seat if you can.

2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
If Jeep Wrangler extended almost 21 inches and added a second pair of doors, Wrangler fans rejoiced. A Wrangler for four! Well, not so much. Most of the extra length went to cargo capacity, with rear legroom up only 1.6 inches above cluttered back seat of the two-door Wrangler. Headroom is good, but leg room in the Unlimited is still in … limited supply of high seats but short cushion. Play up your trail guide download credentials, off road app, do what it takes for the driver to push you to front-seat status.

Lexus IS Sedan
The IS does not have enough back seat – something that, say, has not Lexus CT 200h hybrid hatchback. But it's just so tight. (Less than a Honda Civic Coupe) with only 30.6 cm of rear legroom, the IS is a squeeze. The rear seats sit too low, dig your feet in the backrests of the front seats, and an enormous floor hump shares the meager footwell. Only the cruelest driver would cram into five people, which would mean a poor sap has to slouch on the elevated center position. Do not be that guy. Get forward.

Mazda says 36.2 inches of rear legroom, but the numbers deceive. The Mazda3's rear seat is narrower than competitors such as the Kia Forte sedan, Volkswagen Jetta, Honda Civic and Dodge Dart. Adults legroom and foot space will find little space. Many compact cameras have reasonable rear seats, but Mazda does not make one of them. It is an affordable car, at least, so that the driver may open for cheap bribe to get you front-seat rights.

Toyota FJ Cruiser
To 9.2 centimeters longer than a Ford Escape, the FJ Cruiser the size would make you think the back seat should fit adults, or last great kids. It does not work. Editor-in-Chief Patrick Olsen had trouble mounting his children through the FJ rear-hinged doors, and once inside, they complained nonstop – doing more than usually children – about the limited spaces. It is a cave-like environment, as FJ massive C-pillars swallow most visibility. You're not a caver. Snag the front seat before it is too late.

Related 's $ 25,000 SUV Comparison 's $ 16,000 small car comparison
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Boomerang Basement Bolides — Second Place: Hyundai Genesis 2.0t R-Spec (Yo)

Posted on 08. Aug, 2012 by .


"That's how I ride. Flat Out." So the the infamous Miata-blocking Koenigsegg/GT2 driver says in the trackday community popular Video Ever. As a fellow teacher and track rat, I meet people like that all the time – but just as often, I see fairly talented drivers in small-caliber hardware that holds a perverse pleasure equally talented students take in Corvettes and the like. When I discuss their behavior with them, they will always say, with a kind of wounded, defensive pride,

"It's more fun to drive a slow car fast than it is to drive a fast car slow." My answer is always the same:

"Yes, but it's the most Fun to drive a fast car fast, so next time, I need you to show us from the Climbing Esses. "

The Genesis R-Spec 2.0t has the most energy, the lowest lap times, and the most ridiculous name in our little group. It is the fast car of the group, and it's fun to go fast, too. Why stop to it seconds?

Before we get to that part of the review where I natter on how the Genesis "the head rushes as the Mad Golem of legend with his ass on fire" and "stamp of authority with every exit around 300 fire-breathing turbocharged Korean Eohippuses"Or something like that, we will have to take a moment some of the people in the class to go home early. If you're in the market for a car of this type, and you have no interest in driving your personal car in a manner that is to learn both time consuming and somewhat risky commit and You do not care put at the head of the autumn evening, you can close the browser window now, turn off your computer, go to your local Hyundai dealer, and arrange financing for your new Genesis.

Let me tell you. Some nice things about the Genesis They are all true, and perhaps it is the Genesis forum guys threatened by the entry into the mass of underemployed FR-S wanna-bes who are currently camped on my front yard and keep my house burn down. (To these people, I have to say one thing: playing the solo of "Mr. Brownstone" is harder than it sounds, so I'll carry on and practice 50 more Even with the volume turned up, and sometimes I'll just stop in the middle of the song and back for another attempt.)

The Genesis looks great on the inside, even in two-liter trim, and on the outside it is, ah, unmistakable. Here at TTAC, we believe that the facelift helped matters in this regard. The original nose was tres Generics. This is like the LS1 Trans Am LT1 model compared: not nearly as graceful, but it deletes the track like Charles Barkley. It is also understood a Hyundai, and that starts to be important for all parties involved, both the company itself in its efforts to build the Hyundai brand and the growing community of young people who are proud to see one driving. Like it or hate it, when you get inside are no excuses necessary. It feels special in a way that owners want to feel their first "nice" car special.

Although Hyundai no longer plays the value-for-money card with totally committed fervor, the Genesis is still aggressively priced. It costs more than the pre-facelift model, but you get more for your money, especially in the engine room. Specifications and standard equipment on the list of Genesis alone would handily win this comparison. It also suggests the infamous V-6 Mustang as over-the-road proposition is considerably more pleasant to drive around the city and park much easier.

In a straight line and an off-ramp, the Genesis is fast, impressive and stable. When the FR-S has a bit of the normally aspirated 300ZX it – deliberately slow and unable to meets its chassis – the Genesis like Fox Mustang plays against. The engine is the point here. We have read all the complaints about turbo lag. That's what happens when you turn 274 hp from two liters. You can not conquer the laws of physics. The specific output of GenCoupe beat most versions of the GT-R and 911 Turbo, and the sacred horses have a turbo for each side of the block. In any case, the turbo lag is not bad. It's not a Switzer GT2 or something like that. It is a perfectly reasonable car with a 100,000-mile warranty, which happened to take too much power.

UNNNNN-Fortunately, it is also weighs a lot. At 3,300 pounds, it's a chunky monkey. For this reason, even though I kick almost certain Hyundai'm more power gets to the ground and has a much fatter torque curve than, say, my 1995 Porsche 993, when it's time, the old Super Beetle hectic his ass through his massive grin. We can add a few more readers out of the classroom now you can too: the simple answer to "Why does not the Genesis to win your stupid test" is the single word:


Around Toronto Motorsports Park perfectly flat, perfectly normal, lunar landscape of a road course, is the Genesis a car much bigger than the inputs required by the FR-S. On the front straight – bam! The engine takes and rushes to the head, such as the legend of the Golem angry with his ass on fire. When you get there, the standard Brembos are useful to have massively. Each fade is almost certainly due to the standard pads. Pad swaps are much easier than caliper swaps, and much cheaper. Do not skip on the R-Spec option if you plan to track the car. In the first corner, the Genesis proves just the same amount of cornering as FR-S, and it is just as easy. It's not as fast, but that's not relevant until you get to the second part of the route.

Once you are there, the R-Spec feel a bit truckish to get through the tight left-right-left-field, but in contrast to the FR-S, you can cheat and turn the car on the throttle a little. Plus, it's not like the FR-S is a born race car through the tight curves anyway – for that, You need the Miata.

Our friends at Auto Guide complained about the transfer, but we had no problems. It might just be because AutoGuide Dave Pratte is a world famous Canadian time trial rider and your humble author once had a 218-minute race stint in a '86 Supra with well over 200k on the clock to do. Compared to a '86 Supra with well over 200k on the clock, the Genesis and a Caterham Seven is continued throughout the transmission department. It is a Bit Long throw. Put on your big girl panties and deal with it.

Not like you have to move all that much anyway. The Genesis will be the third loafed through sections, the FR-S and Miata repeatedly slapping their rev-limiter in the second have. It is highly similar. If you are in the mood to push, you can build the transmission and the engine thrust from the tip. When you do this, the two-liter exit stamp each with authority around 300 fire-breathing turbocharged Korean Eohippuses.

It's basically a very nice car around TMP. As with the 3.8-liter V-6 model of the same car, the view is nice and solid forward in Japanese low-hood tradition. It is easy to see the places on the track, and as long as you respect the car size and weight, it is easy to beat Their marks on the track. It's hard to feel that the Genesis, although quite capable of track construction would escape prefer cruising the boulevard with his angry face, or hammering in the left lane with his booted turbmotor. Of the three cars in our test, the Genesis saw the least amount of time behind the wheel. We all wanted to drive the FR-S, because, hey, it's the FR-S, and it is a celebrity. We all wanted to drive the Miata because it was a joy to drive. The Genesis? Fast, competent, and quite ready to hit the road for lunch.

As previously stated, Hyundai Motor in the FR-S are easily wins this comparison. If you separate the proverbial peanut butter and chocolate, but you get two contenders, the stuff is not quite true.

Why did the Genesis beat the FR-S? The test is a stretch. Is quick counts for a lot. The Hyundai is faster than the Scion. Had the Scion was enormously superior to the Genesis of a dynamic view – as we expected – Then we would be willing to overlook the velocity deficit. It is not, so we are not.

Why did lose the Genesis the Miata? The Miata is enormously superior to the Genesis from a dynamic standpoint. Enough to overcome the lap time difference. It's so easy. Quick beats slowly, great beats fast. The Scion is too slow, the Hyundai is too heavy. On the open road, the Hyundai is your winner, around the circuit, it's just a strong second place.

Images courtesy of Julie Hyde, which was usually set based on their outstanding rack.

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Suzuki Death Watch 5: How deep would you cut to make a profit?

Posted on 08. Aug, 2012 by .


The Grim Reaper is not at the door step of the American Suzuki, after all. We have learned, ASMC is healthier, at least financially, than we thought. But, to be profitable in the past year ASMC had completely cut almost any non-essential and some essential functions of their business.

American Suzuki has been very conservative since the launch of its motorcycle line in North America run. With the automotive division only 26,618 units sold last year in the U.S. (which is less than both Porsche and Land Rover) and margins on these vehicles – all outside North America imported, with the exception of the equator – is very thin, it was clear serious injuries as the day had to be done when that was built in the main target in the black.

Public Relations? What is Public Relations?

As we noted in an earlier article mentioned Suzuki Deathwatch, Melissa Fujimoto is currently fielding media inquiries after the departure of PR veteren Jeff Holland. Before her media wrangling duties, Fujimoto spent about 10 years with the actions of an administrative proceeding role in ASMC. In 2011, all operations were carried out activities, so Fujimoto without portfolio. So, instead of the release of the long-term, loyal employees, they made the logical choice and put them on other tasks.

The other tasks while including media relations are primarily as a secretary for ASMC President Seiichi Maruyama.

This may seem odd, but it makes sense when you realize the ASMC current position. There are no plans to release a new product in the next 12-18 months, save for facelifts Grand Vitara and SX4, so it is not. A ton of media inquiries Most current PR duties include reporting monthly sales and the management of the machinery, which can be easily managed by someone whose background is an administrative role in promotions.

ASMC outsourced yet another PR and marketing tasks Paine PR.

Auto Shows? Which car shows?

Before last year ASMC participated in 66 car shows. This number was cut to four. Without a new product in the wings, goes on additional car shows is just an added marketing costs, which is not needed. In a way, it's a smart move to cut costs, but it really needs. The brand in the public eye, which can not live near a Suzuki dealer

The number of dealers will disappear also. Current dealer is arrested development, close to a number of franchises under $ 50,000 buy-outs, their doors.

Everything is cut on the bone

ASMC has lost class talent and has been selling very low volumes of cars with even lower margins. But in 2011, made a profit and sent ASMC bonus checks all his employees.

"People do not understand how economically (Suzuki) can take a car to run companies," said a source who spoke on condition of anonymity: "If say employees from other automakers me how much they spend on things, it blows my mind . "

These gains come with a price. Brand awareness is at a low point. Product development is virtually nonexistent. And over time, leaving more talent for less stressful pastures. While the mood of the moment Suzuki supposedly "normal", its hard to ignore the deafening silence from the lack of new products and a shrinking dealer network.

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Classic Pickup: 1946-68 Dodge Power Wagon

Posted on 08. Aug, 2012 by .


Text and photos by Richard Truesdell

For many truck enthusiasts, the history of Dodge trucks starting in autumn 1993, with the introduction of the Ram pickup. In a heartbeat Dodge went from being an also-ran in the light-duty pickup truck market in a big competition with established leaders Ford and Chevrolet.

In retrospect, it is easy to remember Chrysler executive Bob Lutz said, "Even if 80 percent of the focus group participants, the proposed 1994 Ram, 20 percent in love with it were hated Even if only half actually bought the upcoming Ram, we will more than double our. shares "Since 1993 Dodge share full-size pickup market has exploded, with the brand typically collect about 20 percent of the total market each year.

But the reality is that Dodge in a legacy hard-working truck has originated from 1916. And of all the pickup trucks that Dodge has ever produced, one stands out: the Dodge Power Wagon, the first factory built 4X4.

Civilian Dodge Power Wagon was conceived an existing T214 Dodge truck chassis, which the Allies used during the Second World War. More than a quarter-million copies were built. It was offered virtually unchanged in appearance from early 1946 until 1968, when the model was discontinued for domestic sales. (Continued production for export.) The robust Power Wagon was a no-nonsense truck, a throwback to a time when truck and there was little effort to move upmarket features carlike.

Civilian Power Wagon, was introduced in February 1946, answered the question by many GIs again: "Where can I get a truck like I used in the war?" Dodge answered by the uncompromising WDX, now best known as the Power Wagon. The truck costs about $ 1,600 – more than twice as high as the more conventional half-ton pickups. (If you pace with inflation, $ 1,600 in 1946, about $ 19,000 today translated.)

The Power Wagon shared its basic design and 126-inch wheelbase with the three-quarter-ton weapons carrier and the front shell and grille similar to the T234 were three-quarter-ton truck from Dodge for the Chinese Army built, what makes his strip along the Burma Road. It should be noted that Dodge built the first factory 4X4s, something that was not Ford and GM are matched up well into the 1950s was.

The truck-126-inch wheelbase was a near-halfway between the 120 – and 133-inch wheelbase on conventional Dodge "Job Rated" one-ton two wheel-drive trucks. The Power Wagon was big fender owners plenty of space for wheel diameter for extra-heavy-duty applications is increasing. Standard wheels were 16×5.50 inch bear 7.50×16 inch eight-inch tire 16×6.50 or 9×16-inch wearing eight layers of rubber.

The styling of the Power Wagon was a carry over from the war 1939 truck design. The top of the hood and radiator surround are borrowed from a Dodge three tons trucks. The interior looked Spartan, with the functionality of its main calling card.

In 1961 began a 251-cubic-inch flat-head engine to the original and somewhat under-powered 230-cubic-inch flat-head engine, replace the back to the pre-war period. A synchromesh transmission, alternator and 12-volt electrical system upgrade were among the big changes over the years. Many Power Wagons were converted into fire trucks, school buses and other specialized applications. (Fitted in 1949 Power Wagon fire truck shown here with a body from the American Fire Apparatus in Battle Creek, Michigan) According to "Dodge Trucks" Don Bunn, some Power Wagons were also converted to body, making them the original Dodge SUVs. (These were available with both four and six doors.)

Total 95,145 WDX-WM300 Power Wagons were sold in Germany from 1946 to 1968. Thereafter, they were mainly built for export and owners estimated in less developed countries of the truck reputation for ruggedness.

The dark blue example shown here by Jim Hetrick of Lake Forest, California, is heard, according to the owner, this is one of the earliest surviving and running performance cars out of the car in the first year of production. First-year civilian production was 2,890 units. While Power Wagons surface regularly on eBay and other auction sites is the best way to acquire a to active in the online Dodge Power Wagon communities and let them know that your desire to be an add to your collection.

Author Notes

Dodge has the Power Wagon name used several times over the years, starting in 1957 with the light-duty half-ton W100 (two-wheel drive) and W200 (all wheel drive) models of the one-ton W300 in followed 1958 . From 1956, the chassis-cab-only offered two-ton W500 model, production ended in 1971when it with the W600 for the 1972 model year was replaced. Production ended in 1977 with the elimination of all medium-duty Dodge trucks.

A concept version of Power Wagon, powered by a Cummins turbo diesel engine, debuted at the 1999 North American International Auto Show. Some of his style are built into the mainstream Ram pickups with the 2002-08 (DR) generation. From 2005, an off-road-oriented high-performance Power Wagon version of the Ram lineup, where it was added to the present day. For more photos of this classic Power Wagon, our Facebook page and like us.

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Boomerang Basement Bolides — Third Place: Scion FR-S

Posted on 07. Aug, 2012 by .


"This car," Derek Kriendler told me when we reached the third gear down Toronto Motorsports Park just before, "is like a GT-R is a man who lives in his mother's basement." He had a point. Some American subcultures practice what I think, as immobile ambition – All those McMansions with no furniture and a double-income couple anxiously hoping someone will think over and impressed by the bridal staircase and moldings. Other subcultures are all about in the streets and show off your clothes, your trip or your wife.

The men of Generation Y are not marry hopeful small starter wives, buying promising starter homes, and with hopeful small parties the way their parents and grandparents their Twenty. Instead, they have returned to the stucco-fronted McMansions their teenage years boomerang, so that they can view their student-debt-to-likely-career perspectives money in their spare time. Their culture is a mobile. It's about the house that do not belong to them. Is there a better way to do it than with a $ 25,000 sports car, because Mommy is crazy money paid or late shift at Barnes & Noble record count, mostly spent secretly spinning a Ra Ra Riot hard disk instead of the recommended Diana Krall Christmas album and control Facebook on one of the iPhone? And after 25 years after receiving awards for participation and surfing along on a wave of grade inflation, Gen Y has enough confidence in to a full-cost sports car with a healthy dose of ironic contempt. A Corvette is "trying too hard" and trying too hard is something you just never works, you see.

That is quite a chore social context of the FR-S: all mad tyte JDM Dopeness can finance for $ 425 per month. It's a perfect fit. The problem comes when you see the FR-S in a different context: that of its readily available competition.

In the end it is the Prices Context that determine the fate of the small Toyobaru. At $ 17,500, would the FR-S was the hottest new car have Year. At $ 33,000, it would be in the kind of deep sinkholes dealership, the cars like the normally aspirated 300ZX and Supra used to capture fall.

We opted for the FR-S with two cars that have found a happy home for the $ 24,955 "Scion Pure Price" to introduce your despicable local Toyota dealer, no doubt, as in the first line of a long-added distributor Device List Comparison: The Hyundai Genesis 2.0T R-Spec ($ 24,500) and the Mazda MX-5 PRHT ($ 27,540). The venue, as already mentioned, was Toronto Motorsports Park We shared cars and equipment with our sister company publication Auto Guide for the test. With a "DriftBox" stepped AutoGuide the time trial rider Dave Pratte what he calls "Attack Mode", recording a lap time of 1:26.2 for the FR-S 2.0t and a 1:25.0 for the Genesis R-Spec . Those times were so incredibly good – up to seven seconds better than what had other publications recorded under similar conditions – we do not try to bother to beat them.

Instead, I called my friend, TrackDAZE senior instructor and Camaro Mustang Challenge Champion Colin Jevens to help me, the Scion, Mazda and Hyundai put in their proper places. We have to pack dozens of rounds at the car, compared notes and discussed various arcane aspects of suspension tuning up all around us was wayyyy past and ready to go home. If you are able to have a headline to read, you can see the results of these discussions: The Scion completed what Motor Trend she would probably call "second runner-up" but what TTAC called DFL. Why?

First things first: your humble author Art loves the FR-S. I tried to buy one, too. I like the way it looks, inside and out. I like the proportions, the size, the interior space. I like the sound the boxer four. I even like the Scion brand and philosophy, enough so that I. An FR-S has a GT, get though, in my view, the price difference between the two is non-existent, and plugs the GT more

I wish for personal reasons, a FR-S as well. Nearly thirty years ago, my father lent his girlfriend "sports car", so I could check it out. It looked exactly like this:

That's right: a black bowtie 1984 post Celica GT-S. Black suede bucket seats. Graphic Equalizer. Fender flares. Five-speed manual transmission. HID headlamps. I was not stupid twelve years old, I've had a few cars drove me thanks to my mother easily charmed friends and I knew that the Celica was slow even by the standards of that time. But it looked sooooo cool. The interior was a dark, private cave that could easily contain not one, but three yoga instructors. It can been all show and no go, but the show was pretty good. I could not even bring myself to tell the old man, it was a sled. To this day, I'm pretty sure he thinks it was a Supra.

The FR-S is Dead The Celica GT-S coupe for the modern age. It's stylish, it has a completely darkened cave of the interior, which requires the cellar-dwelling teenager in all of us, and it is likely that popular with the ladies because of its Scion badges and lack of spine-crushing acceleration. If you buy one, just because it is a FR-S, will you have my blessing.

The problem comes when you are to make two comparisons. The first, ironically enough, is this '84 Celica. The Celica had the famous 22R-E Toyota Motor. Keep get it and throw a chain in it from time to time, and that Celica will last forever. The FR-S, however, has a Subaru engine. I do not want a Subaru engine in my FR-S. To some degree, this is like putting a Northstar in a Lexus: hey, it's boring, but now it will explode and ! die I do not want to be an expert on swapping head gaskets. I do not want to do all of my maintenance under the car. I want the engine from the intimate and went last-gen Celica GT-S. Or the turbo engine from the All-Trac in front. In fact, I'd just prefer. JDM one last generation All-Trac, or the Calty-designed bar-of-soap All-Trac, which preceded it Hell, give me a first generation All-Trac. Knowing how much power the '89 All-Trac had? As much as the FR-S. Where is the progress? I want my Toyota in a Toyota engine. I want the car to last forever, with no hassle. It is part of the promise of buying a Toyota. The FR-S, which by the standards, break the promise. When I am ready to do my own head gaskets, I can buy a STi for similar money, boost the boost and humble The FR-S both on the highway and on the racetrack.

Our second comparison place on the track, as if fate wanted it, and that's where the FR-S should . shine It's a great draw, literally. It's nice to direct. It's about as "neutral" as a street car and get it to do what you ask of him. Unless, of course, as what you ask is not contained quickly. The Genesis just eviscerates it. Dave Pratte super-fast lap times prove insufficient, the difference between the two cars. The Genesis much faster down the straights and in the corners, the actual cornering speed is pretty much the same.

The FR-S with a gene-matching two-liter turbo engine – which is, a FR-S that Toyota could easily build in their sleep from the parts bin, and boot eliminating Subaru out of the equation – would be preferable to a Genesis on the track. That would be to have the car. Get the drive train from the last All-Trac, you crank the boost a bit, forget the crap about the focus, and we have a great car, okay?

As delivered, the FR-S is not a great car, and the boxer's fault. Half the time, it may not even have the "Toyobaru" up to speeds where the infamous all-season tire would feel loose track. There is no sense that it makes the rated 200 hp. There are a number of sound and fury signifies that you're talking about a Hyundai, the less costs get passed. Ten rounds in the Hyundai is absolutely spoil your enjoyment FR-S, because the Hyundai simply Engines away anywhere there's a chance to do this, and it can play the '84 Celica game: it's a deep, dark cave Oriental from a closed coupe and it looks sporty from afar. Why buy the FR-S, if the Genesis is available? Because it's a Toyota and thus reliable? Well, it's a Toyota with a Subaru engine.

At this point, if you're part of the FT-86 owners club / clique / Facebook page, you've no doubt constructed an elaborate psychological reaction, such as the FR-S is lighter and more agile, and a far better driver's car than the Genesis, and like a real driver, a man who knows nothing about cars, would like to see really. A real driver would prefer the filet mignon of midcorner adaptability to the high-fructose corn syrup of overboosted turbo.

Guess what? A real driver pulls the Mazda Miata.

Compared with the Miata, the FR-S feels a thousand meters wide and two tons. The view is bleak. The engine feels no stronger than the little four in Mazda and it's not so easy to respond to small changes in the throttle position. The steering sublime, when scanned individually seems a little short of his Miata is. Suddenly, you realize that is not the FR-S, the "Miata coupe" that some Internet players haters it means when the specs came out. It is not so good. A true Miata Coupe would run rings around the FR-S. A true Miata Coupe would FR-S obsolete overnight. It must be made within the FR-S Mazda power as irrelevant as whole career Rick Springfield.

Even before the Miata hardtop but the FR-S is still second best, and in my opinion (although not the opinion of Colin Jevens who believed it a little more fun than the total R-Spec) can not not with the Genesis. It is too slow to beat the Hyundai and limp to the Miata meet. The term "falling between two stools" applies here, but where the Scion is really, in the end, is in last place. Yes, you can mod the hell out and have a great time, but we will show you in a special "Zeroth Place" complement, at the end of this series, there are better alternatives for that, to. It's back to the basement for the future Toyota – Eighty-Six.

Images courtesy Julie Hyde, you know that their objective was not really wants.

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Tuner Trucks: Still Ready to Make a Statement

Posted on 06. Aug, 2012 by .


By Mike Magda

The shrinking number of high-performance "tuner" Truck not gone unnoticed in the pickup community. Industry observers can certainly call the close economic as carmakers main motivation to eliminate high-performance street truck from their statements. But the aftermarket has cut back significantly, too.

"We saw a big run-tuner truck for quite some time, from the late 80s," says Larry Weiner of Performance West, a California company that designs concept vehicles for the automotive aftermarket and corporate clients. "It was a high-water mark in the 90s and in 2000. Then she looked away."

Four-wheel drive truck. Always popular with truck owners, whether it emulates offroad racers or monster trucks Then the game-changing is GMT400 platform was introduced in 1987. Tired of mini trucks dominate the road enthusiasts fell in love with the sleek design of the full-size Chevy and GMC C / K 1500 pickup and the aftermarket responded with a bevy of new products. Stores that flooded normally Mustangs and Camaros worried suddenly contracts to two-wheel-drive pickups change by lowering the suspension, swapping on wide, low-profile tires, mounting the body with aero kits, and by as much horsepower as possible. Wild finishes also served to strengthen the market fascination pickups.

Tuners like Lingenfelter, Kenne Belle, Canepa, breastfeeding, Steeda, Roush and dozens of others soon developed and offered a variety of performance packages and many eventually came with turnkey vehicles. Even mainstream enthusiast magazines noticed the trend and began to carry out comparative tests of some of the most powerful messages.

Automobile manufacturers in Detroit also brought many of their own favors to the party, with the groundbreaking GMC Syclone, the torque-load but clumsy Chevy 454SS and spirited, but sometimes moody, Ford SVT Lightning. Dodge Dakota boasted the feisty R / T and later met with the head of the brutal 500-horsepower Ram SRT10. This all served to inspire truck owners to modify their pickups.

Then the factory performance market went away. Chrysler knew that his days were limited and did almost all of her hot-rod projects. The Silverado SS was mostly smoke and mirrors. GMC tried using the C3 but seemed more interested in leather selection as performance improvements. The "image" buyers are not interested in more pickups. The only exception is the latest Ford SVT Raptor, but it is geared for off-roaders.

A closer examination of the market shows that a few players who are still eager to burn rubber on the road performance arena.

"We are a kind of filling that niche of the Silverado SS and Lightning owner," Mike Vendetto built by Callaway Cars, the three versions of the Callaway Sport Truck, among others rated at 540 hp says. "But not everyone makes that jump no more."

"As a tuner, we are at the mercy of what comes from the OEMs," says John Hennessey of Hennessey Performance, a Texas-based company with a wide range of power products that meet many high profile clients. "Fortunately, they have some great platforms."

Hennessy is particularly bullish on the Raptor. Last year, the company has more than 100 Raptors upgraded with its VelociRaptor compressor package, which can increase the stock 6.2-liter V-8 up to 600 hp. Hennessey is the development of programs for the EcoBoost and 5.0-liter engines, also.

"[The 5.0] a big engine is begging for more power. We have just had a 575-hp compressor upgrade for a customer, and he loves it!" Says Hennessey, who has collaborated with Toyota and Dodge Hemi 5.7-liter V-8 engines.

What caused the drought in the tuner truck market in addition to the ongoing recession? Experts point to a variety of reasons, including the growing size of today's pickup, more on the environmental and demographic change.

"If you do your homework to Gen Y" says Weiner, "you'll find that their interests are different. Only 43 percent have a driver's license in the previous generation by 66 percent. They also have to come from age in a time of saving measures, not a robust economy. All these things affect market segments. "

In the glory days tuner market development costs were spread in full-size SUVs, which were very popular with families and urban trendsetters. Many of these consumers now drifting toward crossover vehicles, begging the point that late model vehicles. Simply too big and heavy to produce significant performance gains

"As a manufacturer trucks that develop to gain weight on, the chances of a factory-fitted sport truck dwindle away," says Tony Marszalek, director of performance products Roush Industries.

"Our HPE500 compressor upgrade for Tundra, Sequoia, Land Cruiser and LX 570 offers performance similar to the Ram SRT10" counters Hennessey.

In the boom years was the regular cab, the most popular model, come with the four-door extended cab only on the market. Both configurations could be changed for the road, with convincing results. Now the focus is on the heavier crew cabin that do not radiate street cred as the lean, muscular profile of a traditional regular cab.

"Athletic is in the eye of the beholder," argues Hennessey. "I think our VelociRaptor is one of the coolest, baddest-looking truck on the road. And there are a lot of Tundra trucks are, Raptor owners would be something to think about."

Hennessey, the point was more than a few years ago, when Toyota offered a supercharger package for the 5.7-liter V-8 found. A demonstration truck is a light two-wheel drive regular cab pulled ass built in a series of magazine tests, and it looked sharp doing so because it had the right proportions for a street-performance pickup.

Regular Cab trucks and lower prices, which give the customers more money on modifications.

. "I'm aware of to start with a stripper, then we can say the enthusiasts, 'Look, we did not start too much 40 grand,'" says Weiner noted that one of the last pickups he developed the Dodge Red Express was " Regular cab, short bed, Hemi, and I think with discounts you could have bought that truck for 23 large, new. "

Another challenge for the tuner market is the growing number of states adopting California emission standards. Twenty years ago, it might have two or three states with the stricter smog laws. Today, 19 states have California-spec emissions standards.

"Everything that the OEM or aftermarket will not be faced with meeting emissions standards," said Weiner, adding that the fight automaker also meet the stringent federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy. "So I do not foresee a big boost [in performance pickups] at this point in time."

One of the most exciting vehicles at the end of the tuner trucks phenomenon was the Roush F-150. His last year was 2008, and instead to build more trucks on the 5.4-liter V-8 is based, the company began developing a 6.2-liter version for the 2010 model year.

"If fuel prices and then explodes the economy fell apart, we moved 6.2L program as well," said Marszalek. "We started the development of the 6.2L program again in 2010 and served as retail parts program in the mid-2011. With truck sales now rises and an increase in demand from our dealer network, we have a 6.2-liter Raptor Program bring the market decided to build a post title. "

When evaluating the overall presentation tuner truck market, it could be argued that it. Great opportunities in the diesel sector Roush even able to avoid work on propane and other alternative fuels. But the wide-open performance street truck craze that enthusiasts will enjoy 10 to 20 years may never again the same level of popularity. Of course made similar predictions to predict the muscle car market in the 70s.

"I think there will always be a demand for a sport truck," said Marszalek. "The key will be to bring to the market in order to compare performance improvements over the stock truck and not against the light, high-powered cars from the past."

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