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Adhering to the company’s mantra of “Performance Through Light Weight” Lotus developed its S1-series Exige in 2000. Powered by a 177-horsepower Rover K-series engine, the 1,700-pound mid-engine sportscar delivered phenomenal performance. When Chris Wilson came across the opportunity to pick up this 2000 Exige S1 rolling chassis minus the engine and transmission, he quickly closed the deal. The next step was to source an engine and transmission. Building up a Rover K-series engine was an option, but finding parts in the States is next to impossible. A more plausible solution would be installing a Toyota 2ZZ engine and transmission like…

Steetable convenience and track-worthy performance, most might tell you that you can’t have both. This battle of comfort versus performance frequently leads automotive engineers and enthusiasts to search for a healthy balance between the two. When looking into aftermarket display and data logging solutions, many include options designed strictly for serious racing. Although race dashes look good and include loads of perks, these countless features that you’d almost never use for the street come with a premium price tag. This is where Racepak steps in with its IQ3s Street Dash and G2X data logger. Text by Cameron Parsons // Photos…

Most automotive and racing enthusiasts are a rare and misunderstood breed. Many of which would happily tear out heated leather seats and sound deadening materials if the result is better lap times. There’s no need for a stereo, as a performance exhaust delivers all the music they could ask for. Air conditioning? No thanks, that just robs power. In order to satisfy the needs of the hardcore track enthusiast and racer, who’s all about going fast on a fair budget, National Auto Sport Association (NASA) partnered with Elan Motorsports Technologies to create the NP01. This prototype-style racecar enters the club…

I hate this! What the Hell? How is it doing that? This trio of phrases was also heard on our dyno starting back in March. The cause? Our Project Scion FR-S was not cooperating with what was supposed to be a simple intake system showcase. The reason? Big government! The factory Engine Control Unit (ECU) in the Scion FR-S is now in total control of performance. Ignoring the driver’s input, the ECU ultimately determines the actual amount of throttle, ignition and fuel delivery it deems appropriate. It’s the epitome of Big Government and it’s becoming common on nearly all-new vehicles.…

Purchasing an ECU refresh solution is not an option for FR-S/BRZ owners. Instead, it should be considered a requirement. In fact, it should be the first performance part purchased for the vehicle. The reason is simple. No significant power gains can be realized on the FR-S/BRZ platform with the factory ECU programming in place. We found out the hard way. The world’s best intake and exhaust systems will only deliver small improvements since the factory program uses torque limiting tables. Fortunately, there is a solution. ECUTEK’s ProECU and RaceROM packages not only remove the performance shackles, but also provide an…

What will over 300 runs for the purpose of an intake showcase teach you? At times, it didn’t seem like much. The factory ECU seemed bipolar at times. Sometimes happy to make power and other times set on spoiling the fun. Fortunately, the addition of the EcuTek tuning solution significantly improved repeatability on the dyno. Experienced EcuTek tuner Bill Knose of HG Motorsports (San Diego, CA) was able to program the factory ECU to behave. In addition to repeatability, the optimized calibration from the EcuTek allowed for additional performance from idle to redline. Text by Michael Ferrara, Tuning by Bill…

DSPORT Staff Update | What project car would you build with a $10k budget? Disclaimer: The views expressed here are from Issue 133, opinions may have since changed. Richard Z-Speed My choice for a $10k build would start with a 1970 Datsun 240Z. Some functioning examples, in need of a little TLC but without terrible rust damage, can still be found for around $3k. One of these chassis would be the perfect starting point for a project build. Depending on what is missing or in need of replacement, I’d reserve $3k for replacement/restoration of the exterior and interior parts. Once…

Automakers have been the hot topic as of late, especially in the wake of “diesel gate”, the Volkswagen emissions scandal that went viral back in September 2015. Now Mitsubishi has been caught in its own debacle, admitting to misrepresentation of fuel economy figures for several of its domestic vehicles. This sent shares of Mitsubishi Motor Corp. (MMC) plummeting to a low of 422 Yen per share on April 27, the lowest it has traded in over a decade. Mitsubishi Motor Corp. stock at it’s April 27th low (Left) and their value since 2000 (Right) But there is some light at…

The best for less. This desire to offer the best sportscar performance for less money is what drove Nissan’s engineers in the 1960’s as design concepts came flying off the drafting boards. In 1969, the Nissan S30Z debuted on Japan’s showroom floors, the first with the “Z” designation. The design, which introduced the Fairlady Z namesake, featured a 2-liter inline six-cylinder engine with a single over-head camshaft. A five-speed manual transmission accompanied the 150 horsepower mill as the standard driveline for the rear-wheel drive hatchback. The next year, this model came to American shores as the Datsun 240Z. Various changes…

Vehicle performance begins at the core of chassis design, encompassing a variety of elements including frame stiffness, strength and rigidity. Often referred to as the fifth spring, a chassis does flex to some degree, just as the suspension travels up and down at each corner. The stiffer the chassis, the less change to suspension geometry, the better the handling. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Rob Shaw Celebratory S2000 Roadster Honda Motor Corporation released the S2000 in April of 1999 to commemorate its 50th anniversary. Following the naming conventions of Honda’s 1960s roadsters, the S2000 got its name from…

Following its wet season-opener on the streets of Long Beach, Formula DRIFT fans, drivers and teams were treated to hot weather for round two at Atlanta. Mixing up matters even more, the top three point leaders were knocked out in the Top 32 competition, opening the door for the podium positions. After qualifying first and then winning every round he entered, Vaughn Gittin dominated the weekend in his Monster Energy / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR. Dai Yoshihara was no slouch either, as he piloted his Falken Tire / Turn 14 Subaru BRZ to a second place finish, his first…

In a world separate from the smog-laden, automotive bureaucratic nightmare that is the United States, a far off land called “Australia” is home to more than its fair share of R32 Skyline GT-Rs. Some are driven on Australian streets and thoroughfares simply as exotic sportscars, but others are subject to a barrage of modifications in the name of straight-line drag-racing performance. Australians tend to be fanatical about drag racing and the Skyline GT-R platform, so seeing one on the road or on a track in Australia is hardly an uncommon sight. To stand out from the norm, Australians have had…

Putting together a performance parts combination to produce more power than you ever expected feels like finding a wad of cash in a jacket you haven’t worn in six months. There’s a sense of surprise, happiness and the inevitable daydreaming of how you are going to use this horsepower or cash to have some fun. On the flip side, having this new found power scrap your entire transmission feels like finding out you owe $2,500 on your taxes when you thought you were getting a refund. Thanks Obama! But seriously, transmission issues have plagued some of the best project vehicles…

First, the Scion FR-S changed its name. Now, Toyota Australia’s Product Design team treats it with a new style. This Toyota GT86 Shooting Brake Concept adds hatchback styling and functionality to an otherwise unchanged Toyota GT86. This unfortunately means still no enhancements to the vehicle’s power output, something that enthusiasts have been begging for since the beginning of the FR-S/BRZ’s production. This Shooting Brake model may only be a concept design, but it is a fully functional vehicle and has even turned laps around Toyota’s test track. Toyota GT86 Global Chief Engineer Tetusya Tada has been more than supportive of the concept since…

The very instant you drive a brand-new car off the lot, you have just lost thousands of dollars. The immediate depreciation of value is, hands down, the worst part of buying a new car. According to data collected by Edmunds.com, new cars lose an average of 11-percent of their value right when leaving the dealership. After the initial hit, new cars will realize a reduction in value at a steady rate of 15- to 25-percent each year and after just five years, most cars will be worth under 40-percent of what they cost new. While this fact of new car…

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