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Boost is Best. If you disagree, find a 1,000WHP 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine without a turbocharger. On turbocharged engines, the turbo(s) takes center stage in determining the ultimate power output. If a turbo lacks the capacity to hit the power goal, the goal will not be realized. If a turbo is “too big,” the powerband on the engine will be extremely narrow. An absence of low-end and mid-range power results when a poorly matched turbocharger is selected. Text by Michael Ferrara // Photos by Jun Chen TAKING IT TO THE LIMIT While you may be more familiar with the newest-generation of…

Sometimes tough luck will find you at the worst possible moment. The only thing you can do is assess the situation, formulate a game plan and execute it. Project Silvia’s SR23 presented an unusual hurdle as we prepared for a NASA HPDE track event. During a routine oil change, an unexpected part had found its way into the oil pan. Attached to the magnetic oil drain bolt was the oil jet that lubricates the timing chain. Text and Photos by Richard Fong Small Part, Hard To Access The press fit oil jet somehow dislodged itself from the block and luckily…

Performance without pizzazz. It’s the mentality of the street stalker-strip rocker that preys on unsuspecting fools that front with their “all show, no go” rides at stoplight encounters. But to do so while retaining the comforts for daily drivability have proven the greatest challenge for some of these street predators. In the search for ultimate performance, many mistakenly sacrifice the very features that make a streetcar. Imagine having to sweat it out in the summer, freeze in the winter, only drive the car when it’s dry or suffer the noise and vibration of a gutted chassis. It’s not very fun…

There hasn’t been this much hype and attention focused on the race to be the quickest and the fastest since the golden era of modern import drag racing. Back then, the likes of Steph Papadakis, Adam Saruwatari and David Shih battled it out for the title of quickest and fastest import. Today, top tuning shops across the USA and Japan have investing heavily in building parts and performance solutions for Nissan’s R35 GT-R platform. While Japan has focused on the street and on-track capabilities of the GT-R, America’s passion for brute acceleration has focused on the R35’s quarter-mile capabilities. 10-second,…

Many people say that if your job is your passion, you won’t work a day in your life. But when your job becomes work, it will often kill that passion. For Bob Wilkinson, his passion for cars started before he could drive, and after taking shop courses in high school, he decided to be an automotive technician. After attending technical school, Bob went to work as a mechanic. But after five years as a technician, he began to lose the passion for his own project cars. He recalled, “When you’re working on other people’s cars all day, 40 hours a…

Kill the VTEC, Get Ready for 11,000 RPM. Honda’s VTEC technology is one of the best things about the B-series engine. The technology essentially produces the same effect as blending the performance benefits of multiple cam profiles. The low-lift lobes are able to establish a smooth idle, great low-end torque, high manifold vacuum and great part throttle response. The high-lobe is able to deliver all of the benefits of increased valve duration and lift. That translates into an engine that doesn’t run out of steam as it nears redline. Instead, it just seems to want to rev forever. The VTEC…

Boob jobs, butt lifts, and botox. Plastic surgery is a thirteen-billion-dollar-industry in America that continues to gain popularity. Body tuning, the automotive equivalent to plastic surgery, is also gaining interest in the import performance community. From mild lip kits to wild widebodies, body tuning changes the entire look of a vehicle. Recently, aggressive aero kits incorporating huge fender flares have become the newest trend. This bolted-on fender phenomenon, known as “Rough Style”, originates from Japanese tuning shops emulating aerodynamics 70’s Japanese racecars. Most of these shops that specialize in “Rough Style” aero kits focus only on rear-wheel-drive Japanese vehicles. However,…

As the import performance tuning world continues to set performance records that seemingly defy physics with built versions of the Nissan R35 GT-R, the capabilities of the Nissan 370Z are sometimes forgotten. The 370Z, brother to the only currently produced Japanese supercar, continues to deliver one of the best bang-for-the-buck performance values in the world. However, adding truly significant power gains while maintaining 50-state emissions compliance hasn’t been an option. CARB legal intake and exhaust upgrades might add a total of 10-to-20 horsepower; raising the VQ37’s output to 300-to-310 peak wheel horsepower (if you’re lucky). Bigger power gains previously required…

At 91 years old, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is showing no signs of slowing down. Instead, the course and the cars keep getting faster and quicker. As America’s second-oldest racing event (Indy 500 is oldest), this year’s Race to the Clouds witnessed its largest group of competitors ever. A total of 130 individuals attacked the 12.42 miles of pavement that climbs over 4,700 feet of elevation change during the 156-turn course. Considering that the race starts at 9,390 feet, terminates at 14,110 feet and in some sections offers no guard rail protection, both cars and drivers must leave…

Was she myopic, an airhead or just plain stupid? Whatever the case, Little Red Riding Hood was fooled by a wolf in sheep’s clothing. From any angle, this relatively-stock-appearing R35 GT-R could easily be mistaken for just another sheep in the flock. In fact, this GT-R is “the Wolf in Shep’s clothing” that had previously defied physics when it ran into the 9.40s on a pair of T28-based, AMS Alpha 9-spec turbos. That sensational performance on E85, DOT tires and a full exhaust system was enough to earn the vehicle its cover spot on our December 2012 edition (#122). Fast…

The world exposes the globetrotting to a variety of experiences that can often leave a lasting impression. In the case of Michael Treadway, serving America in the U.S. Army enabled him to visit a number of destinations throughout the world. This worldly experience opened his eyes to places that many can only read or learn about second hand. It was during these deployments that he found a passion for automotive performance. Text and Photos by Richard Fong EASY SELL Treadway first fell in love with the Mitsubishi Evolution while in Japan. He recalled, “I chose the EVO after being stationed…

While DSPORT may have shifted focus away from Honda performance over the past few years, we recently had a great opportunity to get back into it. Along the way, we’ll break down the proper way to build a 1,000+ horsepower B-series engine and 8-second capable Civic. Text by Michael Ferrara // Photos by Jun Chen Combat Veteran Five years ago, our former employee Shannon Stanciel joined the U.S. Army and took off to Afghanistan to fight terrorism. His main priority was to come home alive and intact from his tour of duty. If he was able to do that, his…

Patience is an uncharacteristic virtue among automotive enthusiasts. Whether it’s waiting for an engine build, waiting for parts to arrive in the mail, waiting for special order parts to be shipped from Japan, or waiting for the machine shop to finish working on an engine, waiting is a painful ordeal for those anxious to make upgrades or just et their ride back on the road. Track days, events and car meets wait for no one, and missing out can cause undue anxiety for some. What’s worse? Waiting for parts that may or may not ever be developed for your car.…

Race fuel is for racing? Of course it is. Anyone who’s heavily involved in motorsports is likely to have a collection of cars and parts along with a supply of five and 55-gallon fuel containers. But, why does racing require race fuel? Does higher quality race fuel make more power? Absolutely. In fact, race fuels can produce more power and reliability when combined with the proper engine calibration. The tune for the engine must be optimized to match the burn rate, specific gravity, and stoichiometry of each fuel. The ideal ignition timing, air-fuel mixture, and boost levels depend heavily on…

Purchasing an ECU reflash solution is not an option for FR-S/BRZ owners. Instead, it should be considered a requirement. In fact, it should be the first performance part purchased for the vehicle. The reason is simple. No significant power gains can be realized on the FR-S/BRZ platform with the factory ECU programming in place. We found out the hard way. The world’s best intake and exhaust systems will only deliver small improvements since the factory program uses torque limiting tables. Fortunately, there is a solution. ECUTEK’s ProECU and RaceROM packages not only remove the performance shackles, but also provide an…

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