Browsing: The Cars

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…

Inspired by high horsepower rally machines of the 1980s and early 1990s, the battle between the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Subaru WRX STI carried on for over a full decade. Both platforms kicked off in the early 1990s, sporting turbocharged four-cylinder engines sending nearly 300 horsepower through an AWD drivetrain. When one model raised the performance bar, the other would bite back with another round of updates. The battle raged on through the cars’ introductions to the United States until 2015, when Mitsubishi was forced to pull the plug on the EVO brand. Although the EVO name came to its…

After waiting over 16 years, there is finally a generation of Honda Civic that may become more popular to performance enthusiasts than the 4th, 5th and 6th generation Civics that led the import performance movement in the States. For the first time ever, this 10th generation of Civic will feature not only the Si variant, but also a Type R edition available in the US. While the Civic Type R (CTR) has existed since 1997 in other parts of the world, the only Type R to hit our shores in the past was the DC2 Integra Type R (ITR). This…

Bigger, better, stronger, faster. It’s a simple mantra spoken by many performance enthusiasts. When it comes to increasing an engine’s performance, making it bigger (increasing displacement), better (more efficient), stronger (capable of sustaining higher power output) and faster (capable of higher peak RPMs) is a solid plan to follow. While there are a number of aftermarket companies that offer the stroker kits and valvetrain upgrades to build a “B.B.S.F.” engine, there are times when one may want or have to engineer solutions from scratch. Custom crankshafts, custom pistons and custom rods are sometimes the only path for a specific goal.…

Although we as enthusiasts appreciate and enjoy the power capabilities of the acclaimed 2JZ-GTE platform, we also can’t deny that high horsepower JZA80 Supras are a dime a dozen. Pristine builds don’t seem to turn heads anymore unless the car cranks out more than 1,200whp. Even then, few make the effort to turn that power into anything but a quarter-mile burnout. Ken Miyazaki of Japan took a different approach with his 1998 Toyota Supra Turbo. Instead of aspiring to the many dyno queens in existence, he outfitted his JZA80 to turn fast laps on a road course. Text by Cameron…

There are few examples of the States getting a better version of a vehicle platform than the rest of the world. However, the first-generation (1G) and second-generation (2G) DSMs are an exception to the rule. While only FWD versions were available in Japan, AWD versions were available in the States. A cooperative effort between Chrysler and Mitsubishi produced the Eagle Talon TSi AWD, the Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX and Plymouth Laser RS Turbo AWDs. These legendary DSMs would not only introduce the States to the capabilities of turbocharged four-cylinders, but also to the extreme merits and challenges of an all-wheel-drive configuration.…

At the start of the new millennium, many performance enthusiasts went through a hard breakup with Honda. After years vested to one brand, the relationship between enthusiast and Honda went stale shortly after 2000. Honda simply stopped building Civics for enthusiasts. Within the DSPORT staff, we witnessed firsthand the parting of longtime Honda lovers and their make of choice. Most staffers replaced their Honda Civics and Acura Integras with EVOs, STis, and even European models such as the GTI. With the exception of the S2000 roadster, there has not been significant reason to get back together with Honda for those…

If you haven’t heard of HKS, Daigo Saito and Nobuteru “NOB” Taniguchi, then you must be very new to the import performance scene. HKS has been Japan’s premiere full-line performance parts manufacturer since the 1970s. Today, HKS has reestablished a US presence and we expect big things in the coming years. Daigo Saito is the D1GP and Formula D championship driver that we followed in our DSPORT Full Lock video series the season that he took the championship. He’s well known for his aggressive driving style and big-power drift machines. He is also the proprietor of Fat Five Racing, a…

Producing big horsepower at higher elevations may seem like magic, but it’s actually a matter of making best use of the amount of oxygen that is available. Since the oxygen density is reduced at elevation, improvements and adjustments must be made in order for significant horsepower to be produced reliably. To many people living at higher elevations, producing high-horsepower builds can be both a challenge and an adventure. Text and Photos by Richard Fong Happenstance Fan When Jeremy Hepburn started car shopping, he wasn’t totally sure what he wanted. Just out of high school, he was drawn to the NSX,…

When drifting began, the pioneers of the sport favored several real wheels drive platforms for power, weight distribution and handling traits. Nissan’s Silvia platform proved itself on the touge of Japan as well as in drifting competitions around the world. With the turbocharged SR20DET engine capable of producing over 400 horsepower with bolt-on parts and tuning, the affordable S-chassis made its way to the top of various podiums through the mid 2000’s. But in the USA, the Formula Drift Pro Championship started to get the attention of domestic manufacturers, and soon Dodge Vipers, Ford Mustangs and Chevy Camaros joined the…

Behind the wide fenders and glossy paint is more than your average show car. Andrew Dryden of Orange County, California, has inadvertently constructed a powerful and eye-catching 1993 Toyota MR2 Turbo and this project is proof that dreams do come true. You see, Andrew is only 19 years old, juggling school and work. However, his passion for road racing and Toyotas drove him to build an MR2 that could crush the competition not only on the racetrack but in the aesthetics department as well. Andrew is well aware of the quality products available for imports in the states and wasted…

Once upon a time, Honda built serious performance automobiles. Although drag-racing enthusiasts didn’t embrace the Acura NSX or Honda S2000 in great numbers, both machines provided worry-free driving enjoyment and possessed the DNA to serve as weekend racers. Hong Kong native and owner of PFabrications, Pang Cheung, knew from the beginning of his project that he wanted to build a badass rear-wheel-drive Honda. Since Honda has dedicated itself to pandering solely to suburban mothers and commute warriors, Pang was left with few options. He settled on an AP1 S2000 and set his mind on creating the “cleanest S2000 with the…

Roll racing isn’t real racing. It’s a glorified street race that lacks the sophistication of a race with proper start/finish equipment. In 2003, the Texas Mile event showed us an alternative to traditional 1/8th mile and 1/4-mile acceleration contests. The standing mile was created to give vehicles a competitive venue where there was enough pavement to safely measure top speeds. But for organizers, finding an accessible strip of pavement over a mile long proved to be a challenge. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Larry Chen From Rolling to Standing Traction had always been a challenge for streetcars, which…

FOUR CYLINDERS, IRON BLOCK AND READY TO ROCK. NISSAN’S KA24DE engine sports a 2.4-liter displacement, dual overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder and a compression ratio of 9.5:1. In many ways, the design of the KA24DE makes it the perfect candidate for a high-horsepower, turbocharged setup. For that very reason, we’ve been beefing up our Project KA to become the solid foundation for an extreme test of turbocharger technology. Text and Photos by Jun Chen The Goal For every person that understands how a turbocharger works, there are likely hundreds of others who don’t. Even owners of turbocharged vehicles may…

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