Browsing: Test & Tune

Let’s not kid ourselves, the Mazda MX-5 is not and never was a fast car. Quick? Yes. Fun to drive? Absolutely. But certainly not fast. This enlarged go kart of a car consistently delivered smiles to owners everywhere over the past 16 years of production, due to its excellent handling and incredibly low weight. The current ND model introduces the lightest Miata since the first generation, however, its 2.0-liter SKYACTIV-G power plant produces less horsepower and torque than its most recent predecessor. For this Test & Tune, we started with the basics of intake and exhaust in the search for…

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…

Popular opinion is known to sway with the reveal of new information. This fact holds true for any segment from politics to tuning philosophies. Over the past three years as performance parts manufacturers continue to roll out different forced-induction systems for the Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S, the general consensus on the car has shifted from “this car needs more power” to “which kit should I get?” Text by Sami Sharaf // Photos by Cameron Parsons As a result of the aftermarket’s overwhelming support for this chassis, more options for power production are available for this platform than for most other…

EIGHT YEARS AGO, MITSUBISHI’S EVOLUTION X ASSUMED the duty of carrying the performance torch for the marque as its flagship performance platform. Powered by a 291 horsepower, turbocharged 4B11 engine, the EVO X proudly continuedthe Evolution legacy with the latest Super-All Wheel Control (S-AWC) AWD system and for the first time in the USA, Super-Active Yaw Control (S-AYC). Mitsubishi also offered its EVO X MR with a new transmission solution, the Twin Clutch-Sportronic Shift Transmission (TC-SST). This quick shifting gearbox offered rapid gear changes at the press of a paddle. Text and Testing by Richard Fong // Photos by Richard…

In the first two Test & Tune segments, our 2001 Nissan Silvia S15 gained a total of 68.9 horsepower by removing exhaust restrictions, increasing airflow into the compressor, reducing intake air temperature and fine tuning the engine management system. The Tanabe Concept G Blue turbo-back exhaust system, Blitz LM Intercooler, A’PEXi PowerFC and Super Suction kit, along with expert tuning resulted in a 34-percent increase in power compared to our baseline of 200 horsepower. For this installment, we continue the quest for horsepower by evaluating a set of Tomei Poncam Type-R camshafts, a Peak Performance exhaust manifold and Rockett Brand…

In the first Test and Tune segment, our 2001 Nissan Silvia S15 illustrated how much of a difference quality aftermarket components would make to a turbocharged engine. The Tanabe Concept G Blue turbo-back exhaust system reduced exhaust restrictions and also increased boost pressure. The value of fuel tuning was clearly shown in the results that were recorded. In the capable hands of XS Engineering’s Koji Arai, the A’PEXi Power FC engine- management system and Power Enterprise fuel injectors ensured adequate fuel delivery for the additional boost pressure. With the engine management and exhaust components in place, a total of 32.6…

A normally-aspirated 6-cylinder engine making 300 horsepower deserves some praise. Until recently, 300-horsepower required a V8 or some form of forced-induction. Today, technology allows more horsepower-per-liter than ever before. Unfortunately, a well-tuned engine from the factory means that the aftermarket may struggle to find any additional horsepower. As the Hyundai Genesis Coupe enters its second production year, aftermarket performance manufacturers are making noteworthy progress on research and development for both the 2.0T and 3.8-liter V6 platforms. Since we’ve already modified a 2.0T, it was only natural to see what the performance basics would deliver on the V6 Coupe. Texts and…

Rotary versus Piston: The rivalry between rotary and piston owners has long been established before many of us were born. The rotary engine represents the epitome of small displacement engines that pack a heavy punch. The first 10A rotary engine was used in the Mazda Cosmo in 1965. With a displacement of only 1.0-liter, the engine produced 110 horsepower and 96 lb-ft of torque. These are pretty impressive numbers even by today’s standards. The rotary engine has since evolved. Today the 1.3-liter 13B-MSP RENESIS engine found in the 2004-up RX-8 showcases the latest in rotary- engine technology. Mazda has always…

In our last installment of the Mitsubishi EVO X Test & Tune, we added an intake system and a turbo-back exhaust upgrade and fine-tuned our way to a peak increase of 71 WHP. The addition of the COBB AccessPORT and Boost Pill allowed increased levels of boost pressure from the factory turbocharger while maintaining proper air/fuel ratios. However, with the increased pressure levels comes elevated intake air temperatures and the risk of damaging or destroying factory intake charge plumbing as the OE piping wasn’t designed to withstand elevated boost pressures for long periods of time. Text and Photos by Arnold…

The import performance movement has always featured an ever-changing marketplace. During the ‘80s, the predominant weapons of choice were Mazdas, Datsuns or Toyotas. These lightweight RWD platforms made for perfect pocket rockets. In the ‘90s, the FWD import movement was spurred by turbocharged Honda Civics and Acura Integras tearing up the dragstrip. As the century turned, RWD and AWD vehicles from Nissan, Subaru and Mitsubishi took over the import scene. Now as we near the end of the decade, Mazda is making its charge to be at the front of the pack. Today, the MAZDASPEED3 stands alone as a factory-offered…

Rare and different. Two words that epitomize the Nissan Silvia S15. It carries a mystique almost as captivating as Nissan’s Skyline GT-R. Nissan ceased production of the Silvia S14, known in the U.S. as a 240SX, at the end of 1998. America never received the Silvia S15. Like its Skyline big brother, the S15 only saw production from 1999 until 2002. When production of the Skyline GT-R and the Silvia stopped in 2002, the end of an era had arrived. However, America would become familiar with the S15 through its wide use in drifting and time attack. Favored for its…

The Mitsubishi EVO X is still one of the most popular choices for tuners and for good reason. The 4B11T long block has proven to be stout, capable of handling in excess of 500-plus horsepower regularly. Additionally, the GSR model’s five-speed manual transmission is able to hold equivalent power levels when reinforced properly. Combined with the Active Center Differential and Active Yaw Controls, the EVO X GSR also makes for an excellent track car. This all adds up to a space reserved in the DSPORT D’GARAGE for an EVO X of our own. Now that DSPORT Sales Director Wen Lai…

For most of us in the tuning market, warranty claims become a huge hassle when the dealer denies service based on modifications. Although some dealers are “mod-friendly”, service managers come and go and usually the hook-ups don’t last long. In the aftermarket world, tuning companies looking to offer a factory warranty-friendly package must adhere to higher quality, drivability and reliability standards. Text by Jun Chen // Photos by Jun Chen, Richard Fong and Courtesy of Mountune Turbo Advantage From the factory, Ford’s latest Focus ST hatchback boasts a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder EcoBoost engine. While a four-cylinder, front-wheel-drive hatchback platform is…

In our last STI GVB Test & Tune, we increased the EJ257’s operating efficiency with a bolt-on intake system, a high-flow downpipe, and an exhaust system. These bolt-ons netted a peak horsepower gain of just over 31 horsepower but revealed the limitations of the factory intercooler system as the power curves showed signs of detonation. In this segment we’ll explore solutions that allow us to safely increase the EJ’s power output while eliminating harmful detonation. Text and Photos by Arnold Eugenio // Dyno Testing and Tuning by Bill Knose/HG Motorsports The Parts The STI’s top-mounted intercooler sits above the engine,…

The last time we checked in on our Subaru STI sedan Test & Tune project, we extracted an additional 34.5 WHP by simply changing engine oil, installing new spark plugs, fine-tuning the engine calibration and increasing peak boost pressure by only 1.5psi. This time around, we enlisted the services of several bolt-on parts that are common to the upgrade path for EJ257 owners. In this process, we discovered a few more limitations of the factory system. Understanding these limits allows enthusiasts to make the right choices to safely increase power. Text by Arnold Eugenio // Photos by Richard Fong //…

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