SCION FR-S CONCEPT AT SEMA

Having missed the unveiling of this beautiful automobile in New York, I was delighted to see the Scion FR-S Concept sitting at a congested entrance to one of the halls at the 2011 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. However I was a little disappointed when I asked Scion Racing driver and Formula D veteran Ken Gushi if he had been given a chance to drift the AE-86 successor while waiting curbside at BUR. He looked a little disappointed too!

Share:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Furl
  • MySpace
  • Print this article!

FordFocus+EcoBoost=SportTechnology

What happens when you combine the guys responsible for the rally inspired Euro-only Ford RS machines and the Special Vehicle Team responsible for late model cars like the Cobra and Lightning? The Blue Oval’s approach to a One Ford performance machine, and what better platform to display this new Sport Technology to the world than the all new Focus ST.

Back in 2009, we had the opportunity to speak with intimately with then Ford’s President of the Americas, Mark Fields. The conversation focused on the American automaker’s future of full fuel-efficient small cars; however I was wondering about a nice white Focus RS that had been spotted sporting set of Michigan plates and the possibility of seeing more high performance hot hatches stateside. While Mr. Fields didn’t spill any cookies at the time, he did mention, “Anything is possible.” Better late than never.

“Focus ST has not come around by chance,” said Jost Capito, director of Global Performance Vehicles. “What came first was our global performance strategy, which has been developed with North America, Europe and Asia together. With this, the core DNA attributes – steering, driving dynamics, sound quality and power enhancements for all ST models – have been defined to the extent that our engineers can take that global DNA fingerprint and use it to create the new Focus ST.”

The exterior of the soon to be globally sold front wheel drive rocket ship is pumped up with an aggressive ground effects package. The bumpers come complete with super car inspired side blades in the air dams, both front and rear, the latter framing a slick center exit exhaust with an aerodynamic rear spoiler up top; all of which will be available in unique signature ST colors. While on the inside, drivers will plant their backsides into a Recaro sport seat, available in leather and/or cloth, dance on a set of specially designed racing pedals and swap cogs with a proprietary ST shifter. The car will be tuned to deliver a truly sporty experience with a high level of refinement, like all upcoming Sport Technologies vehichles.

Powering the new Ford Focus ST will be the blue oval’s answer to a greener tomorrow, a 2.0 Liter turbocharged and direct injected EcoBoost four cylinder, with twin independent variable camshaft timing (or Ti-VCT for short), mated to a six speed manual gearbox. All you need to know is that when combined, these things give you plenty of go with getting to know your local gas station attendant.

“This is the first time we have used a Ford EcoBoost engine in a high-performance model, and the result will leave drivers smiling,” said Capito. “They will have a lot of power and torque at their disposal throughout the rev range. For everyday driving, though, the characteristics of this car will let them drive in a more fuel-efficient way than previously, which is an essential part of the ST’s DNA.”

The EcoBoost badge is good for going fast in a straight line; however the ST will also be packed with other trick technology to help it go round curves. One Ford rep even mentioned something about FWD over steer, thanks to a torque steer compensator and a non-intrusive ESC with Enhanced Torque Vectoring Control. Which essentially uses the car’s electronics to control parts that are already installed on the vehicle, instead of an LSD like the old Focus RS did. While upgraded hardware will include a sport suspension that gives the Focus a unique aggressive stance and improves handling, delivering an outstanding amount of feedback to the driver through the 235 series Goodyear Eagle F1s wrapped around a set of custom 18 inch Y spokes. If this isn’t enough go fast Focus for you, Ford will be releasing a turn key racing version called the ST-R based off the already capable street car, I can’t wait to drive one!

Share:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Furl
  • MySpace
  • Print this article!

Velosters in Paradise

Hyundai recently showed off the all new Veloster at the Postcard Inn in St. Pete Beach, FL. The car’s unique three door configuration, wide body and assortment of in car entertainment opportunities are sure to make it a hit.

Share:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Furl
  • MySpace
  • Print this article!

The Prius V is a plus sized hybrid

2012 PRUS V INTRODUCTION

An exclusive introduction to the all new Toyota Prius V, for Versatility, that features more cargo capacity than any small SUV, crossover or wagon; and still gets the same MPG hypermilers expect from a car that wears the same name as the most popular hybrid on the planet.

2012 PRIUS V WALKAROUND

An exclusive walkaround of the all new Toyota Prius V.

2012 PRIUS V IN-DEPTH PART 1/3

An exclusive in-depth presentation of the all new Toyota Prius V.
2012 PRIUS V IN-DEPTH PART 2/3


An exclusive in-depth presentation of the all new Toyota Prius V.
2012 PRIUS V IN-DEPTH PART 3/3


An exclusive in-depth presentation of the all new Toyota Prius V.

Share:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Furl
  • MySpace
  • Print this article!

FORD EVOS CONCEPT

Ford’s Group Vice President, Design, and Chief Creative Officer J. Mays said that if you look hard enough, you will see every Ford for the next 50 years.

Share:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Furl
  • MySpace
  • Print this article!

THE BOSS IS BACK, AND IT’S BAD, IN A GOOD WAY

What happens when a car company is facing stiff competition from its largest rival; with a performance minded executive at the helm, a brilliant engineer manning the wrenches and an all new Trans American road racing series to showcase what they are capable of?

Well, if the year is 1969 and we are talking about the Ford Motor Company; you get the Boss 302 Mustang, and if you’re Parnelli Jones, one year later you get a championship.  The Boss Mustang was performance minded engineer Larry Shinoda’s baby, and he made sure that his ponies would be running ahead of the field.  The blue oval brand’s dream machine was a hybrid consisting of a free flowing power plant designed to go racing, a chassis that was beefed up in all the right places and a subtle yet wild appearance package that let any Camaro owner know that this was no mere Mustang.

Fast forward to 2010, and Ford is at it again.  This time the Boss is sporting 21st century technologies like fuel injection, anti lock brakes and airbags.  However; aside from the standard features you might also find on a Flex, the new 302 comes with some go fast goodies like forged internals, some aggressive cams and launch control.  All from factory, and if the standard version isn’t hot enough for you, Ford also sells an even more hard core version named after the famed Laguna Seca circuit in Monterey, CA.  The extra cost of the razor sharp pony car comes in the form of track tuned items like even stickier PZero tires, a front splitter that would make a Cup car crew chief look twice and an X-brace in place of the rear bench; so you won’t ever have to worry about back seat drivers.

If you are just looking to relive your more wreckless days, then the new 302 will provide you with more than enough in the way of highly controllable tail wagging excitement; but if you are a weekend warrior looking to shave off tenths from your track time, then the Laguna Seca is definately for you.  Bunkie Knudsen and Larry Shinoda should be damn proud.

Share:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Furl
  • MySpace
  • Print this article!

EXPERIENCE FORD’S FUTURE TECHNOLOGIES

Drivers today expect more than ever out of their vehicles and are looking for new ways to stay connected, stay safe and improve their experience behind the wheel. Ford’s researchers and engineers are delivering just that with new solutions technologies and innovations to transform the way consumers interact with their vehicle.

Share:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Furl
  • MySpace
  • Print this article!

Rhys Millen Hooks Another One for Hyundai in West Palm

img_42581

Rhys Millen is a professional racecar driver that exhibits a wide range of talents; he jumps a 500 HP Hyundai Veloster in Rallycross competition, skillfully slides up steep mountainsides in a Genesis powered Pikes Peak prototype, and leverages his experience as a World Drifting Champion in a Coupe. All when he’s not driving for TV commercials and Films. Unlike the majority of Formula Drift’s front runners, who came to organized competition as a way to shred rubber without worrying about Johnny Law, this FD Champion comes from a long line of record setting racers.

Recently we had a chance to speak with the New Zealander at the first ever round of Formula D competition to be held on the asphalt of the Palm Beach International Raceway, in Florida. Rhys had set both the fastest entry and exit speeds of the qualifying session, so it could easily be said that Mr. Millen was happy with the RMR Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

Back in 2008 Rhys got his foot in the door with the Korean automaker when his outfit, Rhys Millen Racing, prepared a then unheard of Hyundai Genesis Coupe for the mother of all aftermarket car shows, SEMA. The relationship continued when the show car underwent the full race treatment; and then Rhys was off to the races. Competing to this day in the Redline Time Attack Series as well as Formula Drift, two very distinct forms of motor sport with the same chassis. Then in 2009 the RMR Genesis Coupe managed to set the 2009 2WD record at Pikes Peak, summiting the treacherous switchbacks in just over 12 minutes with Rhys behind the wheel. And now he’s taking a second crack at climbing the hill in a turbocharged V8 powered single seat prototype; all thanks to Hyundai and a few other helpful sponsors like Red Bull and Hankook Tires.

So it was no surprise when Millen referred to RMR’s efforts as a Marketing Program; which lets you know that Rhys is there to help sell Hyundais.

Unlike other forms of motor sport, where as a member of the media can personally attest to being chased out of pit garages by angry torque wrench wielding Indycar mechanics, in Formula Drift there are virtually no barriers between enthusiasts and racers inside the paddock; giving America’s premier professional drifting championship a very grassroots feel.

This left the door open for one very fortunate blonde female to experience the tour of a lifetime. That is because after Rhys found out that she herself was a Genesis Coupe owner, he didn’t hesitate to show her around his office. Now it was either when Ms. Speedracer realized how much further back you sit in a racecar than you do a daily drive, or when she fired up the bored and boosted 4.1 Liter V6 and the Korean based power plant roared to life; but you could see that Rhys had just earned one more Hyundai owner for life.

Share:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Furl
  • MySpace
  • Print this article!

JR RUNNING THE COURSE AT PALM BEACH

Share:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Furl
  • MySpace
  • Print this article!

FORMULA DRIFT LONG BEACH 2011

Long Beach was excellent; good weather, great people and nice cars.  It was nice to see Dai make it to the Semi Finals at the season opener, especially after the way he went out in Irwindale last year.

Share:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Furl
  • MySpace
  • Print this article!