Browsing: The Cars

Die-hard HONDA fans lamented the loss of the “Integra” nameplate in 2002 when the U.S.-based Acura division settled upon an alphanumeric naming structure for all of its vehicles. Done at the height of America’s Honda B-series craze, there was also some initial backlash that coincided with the new platform’s (known as the RSX) K-series powerplant. It was at once new, foreign and for a while, considered somewhat undesirable. Honda fans wanted their Integras, and they wanted them badly. Text by Arnold Eugenio // Photos by Eric Tong The BK Dilemma Massachusetts resident Kiet Hong was initially on the fence. While…

Ford’s impressive ECOBOOST engine collection features several technologies that increase both efficiency and performance. These technologies include computer-controlled variable valve timing, a direct injection fuel system and even the latest turbocharger design from BorgWarner. Variants of these engines power the entire Ford lineup, from the economic Focus to the hefty F150 pickup. When packaged into the potent ST model however, the Fiesta has surprised the staff of DSPORT as one of our favorite cars in the D’GARAGE stable. Text by Sami Sharaf // Photos by Sami Sharaf Even though the 1.6-liter ECOBOOST engine packs efficiency and performance into the Fiesta…

In the ongoing saga of KA vs SR, there has been both progress and setbacks as Jeren and Richard continue their builds. Here is the latest news from both camps as they move closer to the final competition. Text and Photos by Arnold Eugenio and Richard Fong Project SR20 Update In the last visit with the SR20, the increased displacement, cylinder head work and camshafts put more power under the curve and earlier in the RPM range. However, peak power was limited, as the upper limits of the TOMEI POWERED 8446 turbocharger had been reached. To attain greater peak power…

Because Racecar. This is the usual response to questions like, “Where is the interior? Why don’t the windows roll down? Where is the sound system? Don’t you have power door locks?” Sure, the absence of such equipment certainly helps to lighten the chassis and ultimately, record quicker passes down the 1,320. But realistically, who can enjoy their car for more than just a few seconds at a time without these amenities, especially when running errands, sitting in traffic or going on a road trip? Text and Photos by Richard Fong These very concerns hit home for Jason Flesher. Like many…

Imagine carrying an 80MPH drift on low-grip gravel, with a thick forest on one side of the road and a mountainside drop on the other. A simple miscalculation of a bump in the road or the amount of grip available can send the car tumbling down the mountain or wrapped around a tree in the blink of an eye. This recipe for disaster, known as rally racing, calls for some of the toughest-built racecars in all of motorsports, from the tires and suspension to the roll cage and safety equipment that surrounds the vehicle occupants. In order to get a…

High-performance automotive technology and components often times trickle down from motorsports and racing. That technology is then applied to consumers on a mass production scale. Because racing is perceived as the crux of automotive technology, it is often the means by which tuning shops learn more about their tradecraft and validate their abilities in competition. While this is the angle that many shops employ to earn recognition and clout with consumers, others focus directly on the needs of consumers. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Richard Fong and Sami Sharaf The People’s Tuner Focusing on the enthusiast’s needs separates…

If it has wheels, it can be raced. The world of racing is no longer just reserved for the fastest vehicles. Spec classes designed for specific platforms pits drivers and teams against the clock and each other, regardless of the vehicle type. Even so, it’s hard to imagine the practical and modestly powered Honda Fit as a racecar. After all, the GE8 Fit’s 1.5-liter L15A7 engine makes all of 118 horsepower and 107 lb-ft torque. However, its broad popularity among consumers and its use in Super Taikyu class ST-5 make for a compelling argument that it should not be a wonder…

As much as many of us trash talk the onslaught of reality TV that showcases stories of rags to riches, weight loss and becoming a bonafide culinary master, the success of these shows further proves that people love transformation stories. However, the essential pieces of every “before and after” lie between the “before” and the “after.” This is where the dirty work takes place, where the finer details make all the difference in the final product. As the D’Garage Ford Fiesta ST reaches its fourth and final stage of its build, we found no shortage of details to work on…

When you hear the term “Kamikaze”, you’d probably think of the Japanese World War II special attack units. However, when translated from Japanese, kamikaze means “Divine Wind” or “Spirit Wind”. For a machine to move as if driven by a divine wind, it’s going to need some power, be able to slice through the air and keep the tires planted down the straights and through the turns. Text by Richard Fong // Photos by Rob Shaw Swift Like a Spirited Wind In Sagamihara City, Kanagawa Prefecture, the aero parts specialists at Varis have been busy designing some of the most…

Seven teams, seven Nissan R35 GT-Rs. Seven-second passes. This remarkable group of seven running sevens composes an international band of drag strip outlaws riding on the bleeding edge of innovation and technology. They constantly battle with physics and extract unbelievable horsepower and torque from the all-aluminum V6, twin-turbocharged VR38DETT engine. By Richard Fong // Lead Image Courtesy of Altechno Racing Rapid Development Just five years ago, a Nissan GT-R making 900 horsepower broke the nine-second barrier. Today, at least 13 GT-Rs from across the globe make anywhere from 1,600 to 2,500 horsepower and clear the quarter mile in under eight…

#7 | Altechno Racing | Russia 7.745 @ 183.93 MPH Building an international presence lends to credibility building a championship racecar solidifies it. Over the course of the last 15 years in business, Altechno Racing has established a foothold in both Moscow and Dubai through more than 150 vehicle builds and in excess of 55 awards. In addition to an impressive resume, Altechno’s efforts in drag racing has landed it among the world’s top seven GT-Rs. Photos Courtesy of Altechno Racing Trickle Down Effect Alexei Briginevich opened Altechno Racing in 2001. Like Briginevich, his staff shares a passion for cars,…

#6 | Subzero | Dubai, UAE & Saudi Arabia 7.693 @ 178.11 MPH What started as a personal project eleven years ago grew into a formidable tuning facility, customization shop and drag racing team. A love for car customization and drag racing fueled the motivation for Rashid Al Jabri to open Subzero Motorsports (Subzero.) The shop started in a small garage with six employees and has since grown into a 50,000 square-foot, ISO-certified 9001:2000 facility with a staff of 40 engineers, mechanics and tuners. Photos by Octavio Veliz, Nidal AbuKhalid (MotorHeads Arabia) & Subzero Racing Building Block Subzero’s reputation in…

#5 | AMS/Alpha Performance | USA 7.485 @ 192.97 AMS opened it’s doors in March 2001 as Automotorsports Inc. (AMS) by Martin Musial. The company started off by developing camshafts for the turbocharged Merkur XR4TI, but shortly after, the vehicle experienced a sharp decline in popularity and relevance. Musial shifted the company’s focus toward Mitsubishi’s 4G63 powered platforms, the Galant VR4 and the Eclipse GST and GSX. AMS evolved as new platforms became available, embracing the CT9A EVO VIII and IX and then the CZ4A EVO X. AMS invested heavily into improving and racing the different EVO chassis, claiming numerous…

#4 | T1 Race Development | USA 7.385 @ 195.76 MPH Once a drag racer, always a drag racer. Tony Palo started in the automotive industry 20 years ago. Already an automotive and racing enthusiast, he worked at several high-profile shops before deciding to venture out on his own, establishing T1 Race Development in July 2005. He started working up a 2000 Acura Integra GSR (as featured in DSPORT Issue #51, March 2007) in the chase to have the first eight-second FWD streetcar. This Integra became T1 Race Development’s flagship project and in October 2008, he made that goal a…

#3 | Extreme Turbo Systems | USA 7.326 @ 196.63 MPH Accelerating a 3,800 lbs. vehicle down a 1,320-foot drag strip in less than eight seconds is no easy feat. Doing so with off-the-shelf parts might seem even more daunting. Using a reflashed factory ECU and an essentially stock suspension? Mind-blowing. But this is what Extreme Turbo Systems (ETS) accomplished in early 2014 with its R35 GT-R (DSPORT Issue #143, July 2014). Photos by Dianne Boyce (DB Photos) and Jesse Childress Race and Chase The ETS GT-R rose to prominence quickly, jockeying for the world record in the quarter mile…

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