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We’re told that digital is the end-all way of the future, yet the resurgence of paperback books and vinyl records say otherwise. While digital means of consuming information like books and music appear to be taking over, plenty of users show interest in doing things the old fashioned way. In the performance aftermarket, some may question why we still bother with analog-style gauges when there are plenty of digital dash solutions available. In a similar light, why do so many of us prefer manual transmissions when modern DCTs and automatics offer reduced shift times? We simply have more fun driving…

If the DSPORT TAS Tour isn’t already on your bucket list, this year’s adventure might put it on the top of your list. If you love Japanese cars, Japanese culture and Japanese food, there is no better way to experience Japan in eight days and seven nights than on the DSPORT Tokyo Auto Salon tour. For the 2017 experience, 31 attendees joined Tyler, Mikiko, Yuko and me for a Tokyo and Yokohama experience second to none. Text by Michael Ferrara // Photos by Mikiko Akaogi, Arvin Arrozal, Tyler Hirashima, Alex Martinez, Oliver Severino and Asad Taj Day 1: Flight &…

In the 100th issue of DSPORT Magazine, we evaluated and ranked the major automotive manufacturers in our segment. Although that was only six years ago, a lot has changed since then. Ford rolled out a huge presence with its EcoBoost lineup, Honda delivered the Civic Type R to the U.S., the EVO saw its demise in the form of the Final Edition, and Toyota and Subaru introduced the 86/BRZ/FR-S platform. We decided to take a look back and reassess the manufacturers’ ability to offer relevant performance vehicles in our market from 1990 to today. We then graded each company based…

There are two questions you should ask yourself before starting any build: how much horsepower do you want, and how long do you want it to last? Although Subaru’s famous EJ-powered WRX STI models exploded into popularity out of rally racing and other motorsports, the flat-four power plant is infamous for self-destructing when squeezed for more power. Skim through the Subaru forums and you’ll find the question on so many STI owners’ minds, “how much horsepower can my EJ257 handle?” The answer is different for everyone, but the general consensus is that the 400-450whp range is when you might want…

The last time I raced on Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was also the first time I ever crashed there. In October 2015, Mazda loaned us a Touring Car B-Spec (TCB) Mazda2 to take to the Pirelli World Challenge season finale for the full pro racing experience. I’ve raced cars far faster and I must have had more than 500 laps around Mazda Raceway by then, yet I still found myself overwhelmed by the scale of the series and the close competition. If you check www.dsportmag.com or Issue #161, you’ll find the story of how I jumped into the driver’s seat…

You’d be hard pressed to find any motorsport that pushes its drivers and cars harder than rally. Drivers, co-drivers (navigators) and their cars must drive for hours on end over the course of a weekend, navigating their way through off-road beaten trails, thick gravel paths, and stretches of tarmac. The mix of road surfaces, jumps, and unpredictable obstacles makes rally the ultimate proving ground for a driver’s skill and a car’s strength. In the interest of proving the performance and reliability of its parts, paired with a love for rally racing, Cusco assembled a 2014 VAB Subaru WRX STI to…

The cars in the D’Garage don’t spend their days sleeping under the covers, they are daily driven, dyno-tested, and tracked on a regular basis. However, with heavy use comes heavy wear, so the flawless new car shine never lasts long. Sometimes there are factors that you can’t do much about, such as rock chips and small debris flung at you on the freeway, or door and bumper scuffs earned in the grocery store parking lot. Either way, flaws in your paint can stand out like a sore thumb and kill your car’s overall aesthetic. You may even end up having…

Popped fuses, smoked relays and melted wires are telltale signs of big current draws. Electric cooling fans have traditionally been the biggest current hogs on any electrical device on an automotive application. Huge startup currents and high continuous currents can often cause fuses to blow, relays to fail and wires to melt in the cooling fan circuit. While undersized relays and wires are often to blame, it is the nature of a brushed motor that creates the issue. Text by Michael Ferrara // Photos by Cameron Parsons Brush, Brush, Brush If you have ever pushed a car from a dead…

What is horsepower? If you are into performance, you may only know that it’s a good thing and it never hurts to have more. If you appreciate the science, you may know that one horsepower is the energy transfer rate required to raise a 550-pound object by one foot every second. It’s often incorrectly stated that “heat is horsepower.” While a false statement on its own, the reality is that the control of the transfer of heat (a form of energy) can be used to produce the type of tire-smoking horsepower that we crave. Employing the latest generation of thermal…

Welcome to the world of automotive madness. If you have the slightest interest in cars and performance, then the SEMA show is a must-see for you. With thousands of custom cars filling every inch of the Las Vegas Convention Center, it quickly becomes clear that the show’s theme is all-out creativity. The giant show never lacks performance, and with tons of manufacturers displaying their products that can make any car nearly fly, some choose to bump up their horsepower in other ways; like swapping their engine with something a little more “fun.” Although there are various ways to boost up…

With the American sports compact market hurting for more competition, Honda answered the many prayers with their introduction of the Honda Civic Type R to the U.S. market for the very first time. Battling models like the Subaru WRX STI, Ford Focus RS, and the Volkswagen Golf R; Honda had to make this one count. Text by Bassem Girgis // Photos by Bassem Girgis and Courtesy of Honda The King of the Nurburgring The success of Honda’s latest addition to the American market truly showed at the 2017 SEMA show, and there weren’t many corners in the Las Vegas Convention…

Good looks, turbocharged power, low weight, excellent handling, and a distinct sound, Mazda’s FD RX-7 of the 1990s had it all. The car’s unique power plant and timeless looks turned it into an iconic representation of the rise of import performance, making it a highly sought after platform among all of the automotive community. Fujita Yoshiharu and his Fujita Engineering FEED Racing Program team have long appreciated the importance and performance potential of the FD platform, so they decided to search for an example to call their own. This build would turn into the team’s testing platform for new engineering…

Few car design concepts divide an audience more than the wagon. Some see wagons as nothing more than family cars and grocery getters, while others consider them a uniquely sporty aesthetic. More recently, wagons and hatchbacks have evolved into a somewhat popular design for a niche audience, but there are still plenty who refuse to call anything with added cargo volume a performance car. Either way, the sight of an R34 front end on a station wagon at the drag strip is enough for anyone to have to double-take. Text by Cameron Parsons // Photos by Rob Shaw Little more…

The R35 GT-R is fast but it is also heavy at nearly 4,000 pounds, which demands a lot of work out of the braking system. Winmax expands its lineup of performance brake pads with the W4 compound for the R35 GT-R to help the car stop quicker and more reliably. Winmax’s W4 compound pads offer a peak friction coefficient of over 0.4 and operate effectively from cold temperatures up to and beyond 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This enables users to utilize the same brake compound when driving on the street or on the race track. The pads are designed so that…

High oil consumption, excessive smoke through the exhaust, high blow-by, lower than expected power output and increased oil contamination are just some of the possible results of an improper engine break-in or run-in. While production engines in new vehicles are already “broken-in” at the factory, any high-performance “built” engine requires a proper break-in procedure to ensure peak performance, minimal oil consumption and a long life. Even if the best parts are used and the proper machining and assembly was executed, an improper break-in can result in some or all of the negative consequences. While there is no universally agreed upon…

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