Browsing: The Cars

Comfort, luxury and refinement. When Toyota introduced Lexus as its luxury brand back in 1989, these three words clearly defined the Lexus brand. The 1990 Lexus LS featured an ultra-smooth V8 engine, plush ride and a well-appointed interior that featured technology that rivaled the best European offerings at the time. Through the 90s and arguably into the 2000s, Lexus not only became synonymous with comfort and refinement, but also a lack of sportiness, feeling and exhilaration. In 2006, realizing this deficiency in its product line, Lexus headed back to the drawing board and claimed its own high-performance letter, F. Following…

At over two miles above sea level, Pikes Peak International Hill Climb draws competitors from across the nation and the world. For a young Michigan couple, Cody Loveland and Tabitha Lohr, taking on the mountain would be a team effort. Cody, the owner and proprietor of NSX tuning shop LoveFab since 2005, has been an instructor at Ginger Man Raceway for nearly 10 years. Building turbocharged NA1 and NA2 vehicles provided valuable knowledge and experience. When competing against world-class competitors and hill climb veterans in the Unlimited class, talent and chassis building encompass only a part of the big picture.…

Anyone that loves speed and acceleration probably loves raw horsepower even more. These traits typify the hardcore sportscar enthusiast, whose passion for a performance machine knows no limits. This is the sort of personality that would buy a globally coveted vehicle, work with a famed tuner to triple its output and then waste no time putting tires onto the pavement. Text By Richard Fong // Photos by Rob Shaw About That GT-R Life Kenneth Blanck was born and raised in Okinawa, Japan. He grew up a fan of Japan’s automotive culture, embracing drag racing and the underground world of street…

You don’t know the meaning of handling unless you’ve driven a go kart, a formula racecar, or a Miata. Many like to boast the handling capabilities of a new platform on the market or their personal track car, which very well could be excellent handling cars. The difference with something like a go kart or a track-prepared Miata, however, is that experiencing these vehicles at their limits around a race track is near violent. Stand on the brakes before a corner and you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. Throw the steering wheel into a hard turn and you’ll…

Everything changed when E85 came to town. The days of having separate tunes for pump gas versus race gas are now just a memory for many. Every day, more enthusiasts make the switch to E85. If you are blessed enough to live in an area that has access to this fuel, why wouldn’t you make the switch? You can crank up the boost to make the same power as most race gasolines, yet the cost is less than pump gas. Adding a flex-fuel sensor to the mix provides total fuel compatibility so not having an E85 station on your route…

Many auto enthusiasts seem to think that they have a good idea of their car’s capabilities, but the truth is many of them haven’t even come close to finding the limit. After taking our 2016 Mazda MX-5 around the track for its first D’Garage feature, the Miata came back to the DSPORT shop for its next round of upgrades. In anticipation of future track days and race events, the ND MX-5 took to some new solutions to improve its cooling and handling, exceeding expectations of what the car could really do on a racetrack. Text and Photos by Cameron Parsons…

Racing runs in the blood, and for some families it runs deep and to the core. In the case of the late rally driver Roger Clark, it started when he passed his driving test at age 17 and joined the Leicester Car Club. Clark competed in a variety of platforms including Ford Escorts, Porsches, Mini Coopers and Triumphs, to name a few. He focused on rally, competing for over 20 years in his native England. He and his co-driver Jim Porter campaigned successfully in the 1970s, capturing three British Rally Championships and two wins in the UK’s biggest rally race,…

As I’m packing my bags for Seville, Spain to test drive the new Lexus LC 500, it’s hard to hide my excitement for this new Grand Tourer. Unlike the LFA which was prohibitively expensive due to its limited production run and extremely high engineering costs, the LC serves as a platform that can compete with other GT cars in the same $100,000 price bracket. The LC’s stylish design is uniquely Lexus both inside and out with an interior swathed in leather and an exterior that screams next-generation LFA. For the 2016 SEMA show, Lexus worked with some of its industry…

Mitsubishi’s EVO-VIII is arguably the hottest-performance car on the planet priced around $30,000. All-wheel-drive combines with the classic 4G63 turbocharged power plant to deliver the ultimate tag team. In stock form, the EVO performs well. However, the EVO truly shines in the hands of a capable tuner. Text and Photos by Michael Ferrara // Published on 6/28/04 in DSPORT Turbotrix: DSM Tuning Turbotrix has proven itself once again as an extremely capable tuner thanks to the company flagship which graces this month’s cover. This metallic-orange EVO not only became the first EVO into the 10s on U.S. soil, it also…

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is the ultimate example of the saying “don’t knock it ‘til you try it.” Many car snobs look at a vehicle’s list of specifications, skimming past items like suspension design and curb weight, only in search of power output, interior amenities and its ability to make them feel manly. With the MX-5, Mazda treats automotive enthusiasts with a return to the fundamentals of performance – a lightweight platform on a well-balanced chassis that delivers a ton of fun on-track. For our 2016 ND MX-5 project, we chose to exploit its strengths for track use and eventually…

When it comes to the R34 GT-R’s RB26 engine, its personality is established by the choice of turbo system. For two decades, turbo upgrades for the RB26 provided either a solid mid-RPM performer for street and track use or a top-end screamer for drag racing. If you were content with 500-600 horsepower, there could be some semblance of response. If you wanted more power, the laggy boost response of a larger turbo would mean that low and mid-RPM performance would be sacrificed. Fortunately, technology has provided a solution. Text by Michael Ferrara // Photos by Joe Singleton and Staff The…

BUILDING PROJECT CARS IS RARELY A SMOOTH PROCESS, AS THERE ARE INEVITABLE BUMPS IN THE ROAD, unexpected errors and stages of the build that simply don’t go according to plan. Even well-thought-out builds can encounter hardships and adversity. But the reward for perseverance can make it all worth while. Mike Sullivan, the president of Mishimoto Automotive, wanted to build a “show stopper” for the 2008 SEMA Show. In his search for a suitable booth car, he found a JDM Nissan Silvia S13. Mike’s original plan was to build the car simply for show. This plan took a radical turn when…

AS A MASS OF COLD AIR COLLIDES WITH AN AREA OF WARM AIR, the difference in air volumes creates instability. This atmospheric volatility sets off a chain reaction so immense that energy rips through the sky igniting the very air it passes through. So much happens in such an instant that the only evidence of this reaction is a flash of lightning followed by a bone-shaking rumble of thunder. A built engine, massive air and fuel delivery along with precise tuning can produce thunderous performance from a vehicle. Ivan Vallejo’s 2004 Mitsubishi EVO VIII is one example of the Tropic…

SEEKING ADVENTURE AND TRAILBLAZING INTO the unknown is embedded in Norwegian DNA. The Vikings of yore had no problem sailing uncharted territory. Perhaps this explains Fredric “The Norwegian Hammer” Aasbo’s interest in the new Toyota GT86 (sister platform to the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ). While the GT86, Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ have been the hot topic for the better part of the last year, it’s too new to have comprehensive aftermarket support. In fact, the first FR-S wasn’t delivered stateside until May 2012 and Norway wasn’t expecting its first production unit until June 2012. Text by Richard Fong…

IT’S NO SECRET THAT THE LAST FEW YEARS HAVE seen a sharp increase of V8 swaps among Formula Drift competitors. Sure, these drivers offer compelling reasons like a broad power band, reliability and more horsepower. However, to the legions of JDM purists, putting an American V8 engine into a Japanese chassis is just blasphemy. Interestingly, some of Formula D’s other drivers also share this sentiment. For Formula Drift and DMCC competitor David Briggs he choose a S14 with a built SR23VET. Text and Photos by Richard Fong Go With What You Know David’s decision was simply to stick with what…

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