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The recently released Audi S7 is one hot hatchback ...Pg. 12


Fiat 500C Abarth


Group B class race cars are alive and well. 43

The Fiat 500 receives a bit more zip 20


The AJAC Eco Run highlights some remedies for gas pump 34

Dark Lextasy

50 Years of mclaren

McLaren celebrates its 50th anniversary 49

Chris Kulbach’s Lexus IS300 36

Fuel-cell technology

Hyundai Fuel Cell Car Reaches the Production 24 Starting Lines--------------------------------------------------------------- 4 Road Test: Audi S6 ------------------------------------------------------- 16 Road Test: Acura RLX ---------------------------------------------------- 18 Product Review: Deco Windshield Repair ---------------------------- 26 Test Fleet ------------------------------------------------------------------- 28 First Drive: Nissan Versa Note ------------------------------------------ 30 Road Test: Chevy Cruze Diesel------------------------------------------- 31 The Truck Guy ------------------------------------------------------------- 32 Feature: Import Fest ------------------------------------------------------ 40 Classic Corner ------------------------------------------------------------- 51 New Product Showcase -------------------------------------------------- 52 Parting Shots -------------------------------------------------------------- 54

Moonglow Graeme Tate’s version of the custom-made Moonglow 46 RPM Aug / Sept 2013 


Volume 15, Issue No. 4 August/September 2013 Publisher / Editor: Dean Washington Associate Publisher: David Symons Circulation: Brenda Washington New Car Editor Gerry Frechette Managing Editor / Graphic Designer Jordan Allan Sales & Marketing Elaine Fontaine Contributing Writers/Photographers: Jordan Allan Gerry Frechette Cam Hutchins Nigel Matthews Giancarlo Pawelec Russell Purcell Budd Stanley

Volkswagen Performance Diesel Coming to Canada? W

ith Volkswagen set to unveil its performance-oriented diesel car, the Golf GTD, in Europe this summer, it had some of us on this side of the pond wonder, will it make its way to North America? Well, the U.S. market got its answer with Volkswagen officially announcing the Golf GTD will be made available for the 2015 model year, featuring both 2-door and 4-door versions, and powered by a 2.0L turbodiesel that makes 184 horsepower and a whopping 280 ft-lb of torque. Canadians, however, haven’t gotten an answer as to whether or not the GTD will grace our roads, but John LeBlanc of the National Post recently had the opportunity to drive the GTD in Tergensee, Germany and saw no reason why the car wouldn’t sell well here. It takes the performance abilities of the ever popular GTI, and crosses them with a fuel efficient diesel engine that still provides plenty of fun. We will keep you posted. Canada’s First Web-Based Directory and Review Site for Automotive Enthusiasts IFITSGOTAMOTOR.COM Ltd. has proudly announced it is launching Canada’s first web-based directory and review site that is focused on connecting automotive enthusiasts with local automotive aftermarket businesses. The site, appropriately called IFITSGOTAMOTOR.COM, will list businesses in order of proximity to the customer that is doing the search, whether that business has a website or not. Consumers can search any one of many automotive service categories, and the results on the site will prioritize businesses from

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STARTING LINES the searcher’s neighbourhood first. The intent of the website is to build an online community of auto enthusiasts and everyday motorists that will share their tips for the best parts and service providers. To ensure high-quality standards and a safe experience for all, each post is reviewed before it is posted on the actual site. IFITSGOTAMOTOR.COM currently lists over 40,000 automotive related businesses located all across Canada. Wireless Cell Phone Charging Could be Next Great Option As first reported by Consumer Reports News, a new option that may make its way onto new vehicles is wireless cell phone charging to keep your device fully


Publishing Schedule: RPM is published 6 times per year by RPM Media Inc. Every second month. Subscription Info: 1 year: (6 issues) $9.95 + hst, 2 years: (12 issues) $17.95 + hst. Second class mailing #40050183. General Policies: The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily endorsed by the publisher. Reprints with permission only. Advertisements are accepted in good faith, but we suggest that it is in your best interest to check offers personally. Publication by rpm motoring monthly should not be taken as an endorsement of the product or services offered. The publisher assumes no responsibility for the return of any materials sent to our offices by individuals or organizations.

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charged while leaving behind all of those cords that clutter up your car. Depending on what exact make and model you own, this new technology could fully integrate your phone with the car’s audio system and touch screen just by simply placing your phone on the charging pad built into the car’s console or on a covered storage compartment. The pad works by using a transmitter to send an electromagnetic signal that is picked up by a receiver in the phone. This technology has already surfaced, with it being made an option for the 2013 Toyota Avalon. The technology is called Qi (pronounced “chee”), and is promoted by the Wireless Power Consortium who hope to see Qi in more new models soon. GM and Honda Join Forces to Collaborate on Next-Gen Fuel Cell Technologies General Motors and Honda have announced that they have reached a long-term agreement to codevelop next-generation fuel cell systems and hydrogen storage technologies, with the aim of introducing them around 2020. They plan to work together to further advance refueling infrastructure, which is important for the long-term viability and consumer acceptance of fuel cell vehicles. Honda and GM are already acknowledged as leaders in fuel


cell technology with the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index ranking GM and Honda number 1 and 2 respectively in total fuel cell patents filed between 2002 and 2012. Fuel cell vehicles are important because they can operate on renewable hydrogen made from sources like wind and biomass, only emit water vapour, and eliminate many of the challenges current automobiles face such as petroleum dependency, emissions, efficiency, range and refueling time. New Details Starting to Emerge About New-Gen Audi R8 As first reported by Auto Express, details of the new Audi R8 have begun to emerge. Due to the success of the R8, Audi left it relatively un-changed until last year when it received a minor facelift, so designing an all new model is a difficult task. On the outside, the R8 is

said to showcase a more dynamic design and will feature things like a more prominent single-frame grille, more aggressive air intakes, shorter signature side blades, and a carbon fibre hood to reduce weight. Inside, the car will be chock full of high-tech gadgets such as a digital instrument cluster, a digital rearview mirror, and an updated infotainment system. Powering the car will be the same 4.2L V8 or 5.2L V10 which boast 450 and 600 horsepower respectively, but with a stop-start function which will greatly increase fuel economy. Mazda unveils the next Mazda3 Due to the fact that the Mazda3 is Mazda’s best selling model in its lineup, and that over 430,000 units have been sold in Canada since 2003, it’s a pretty big deal to introduce the next generation, which is exactly what Mazda has done. The new 3 is the third new model in Mazda’s lineup that will sport the KODO-Soul of Motion design theme as well as the full-suite of SKYACTIV Technologies. All-new features for the Mazda3 will include a new car connectivity system that boasts a new Human Machine Interface (HMI), and a wide range of i-ACTIVSENSE active safety technologies that will aid the driver in recognizing and avoiding any hazards. The new model will offer two versions of Mazda’s SKYACTIV-G gasoline engine, a 2.0L that makes 155 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque and a 2.5L that pushes 184 horsepower with 185 lb-ft of torque. Look for the Mazda3 to be at Canadian dealerships by this fall. Say Good-Bye to the BMW M3 Coupe Production of BMW’s popular, sporty, two-door M3 Coupe has officially ended, due to the fact the next generation car will be launched under the name M4, which makes sense since the 3 Series Coupe became the 4 Series for 2014 model year. There will still be new M3s, but never again in a two-door coupe version. BMW first came out with the M3 coupe in 1986 and the recent generation, which was launched in 2007, has exceeded over 40,000 units being rolled out of the factory.

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STARTING LINES way to reduce the CO2 emissions from 114 g/km to 89 g/km. TMC (Toyota Motor Corporation) will continue research and development of new hybrid and other cutting edge technologies, with the goal of reducing even more emissions. Canadian Auto Sales up 1.3 Percent In June, Could Have Best Year Since 2002 Canadian auto sales were 171,608 for the month of June, which is up 1.3 percent from the 169,459 vehicles sold in June 2012, and Alexandra Posadzki of the Canadian Press reports we could be in for our best year, auto sales wise, since 2002. She says that Carlos Gomes of the Bank of Nova Scotia has predicted that around 1.72 million light vehicles will be sold in Canada by the end of the year. The Canadian market is following the similar trend that the US market has seen lately, with sedan and other passenger car sales falling, but the SUV, CUV, and pickup market is greatly increasing, and helps explain the increase in sales. Ford continues to lead the way in sales, despite falling 6 percent from the previous month. Chrysler Group comes in as the second in sales for the month, with General Motors Many of the M3’s styling cues and powertrain components are derived behind them in third. directly from motorsport. The latest generation 4.0L V8 engine made an incredible 420 horsepower and was designed specifically for the The Ford F-150 continues to be M3, and the numerous construction details such as electronicallyCanada’s best selling vehicle. controlled individual throttle butterflies, ion current knock control, and dynamically optimized oil supply were all borrowed from motor racing. It is sad to see a legend go, but we all look forward to what BMW will do next with the M4. Toyota Surpasses Three Million Prius’ Sold At the end of June, the Toyota Motor Corporation announced that the total, worldwide sales of the Prius hybrid vehicle had surpassed the three million mark. The Prius was debuted in 1997 and was the world’s first mass production hybrid car, and since then, two new generations have been spawned, with the second being launched in 2003, and the third in 2009. Toyota has greatly reduced the cost of the hybrid system from the first to the third generation, and has also found a

10 RPM Aug / Sept 2013

STARTING LINES Auto Industry and Movember Team Up to Promote Awareness for Men’s Health Movember is an annual, month long event in November in which guys are encouraged to grow a moustache to raise awareness and funds for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and men’s mental health initiatives. Recently, the auto industry has gotten involved with the creation of the Friends of LGM – Canadian Auto Industry United network which consisted of 185 teams and 1,275 members


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last year. The idea was to create this network to give this huge industry a voice when it comes to the awareness of men’s health issues, and to help raise more money as a similar network involving the Oil and Gas industry in Alberta was able to raise over $800,000 using the same initiative. Last year the Auto Industry network was able to raise over $245,000 for the cause. To help the cause this year, simply register a team at Movember. com and use your creativity to encourage guys to grow their mo’s, and to donate to this amazing cause. Nissan Brings Back Datsun for FirstTime Buyers In Emerging Markets Don’t get too excited, as there’s no word on if it will ever come back to Canada, but, after a 30-year hiatus, Nissan has relaunched the Datsun brand for first-time buyers in emerging markets. The Datsun Go, which is a small 5-seat hatchback, will go on sale in India next year for around $7,545 Canadian, with it eventually being available in Indonesia, Russia, and South Africa soon after. Nissan has said the brand’s reputation for reliability and quality will help it gain popularity in the emerging markets it will be released in. Originally founded in 1931, Datsun was bought out by Nissan in 1934 and is said to be the brand that launched the eventual acceptance of Japanese cars in North America. The Datsun brand was discontinued starting in 1981 and has now been brought back with the hopes of providing the same expansion the original Datsun provided when it came to North America.

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The Sexiest Hatchback on Wheels

2013 Audi S7 Story and photos by Russell Purcell

a new surge of customers to the Audi fold, some felt that it lacked the performance some drivers would expect based on its near sports coupe he fine cars produced by Audi AG have proven very popular in Canada styling. This criticism will now wilt away as Audi recently released the due to the fact that the company’s quattro all-wheel-drive system gives potent S7 - a car with both the stats and moves to satisfy the wants and the stylish luxury vehicles a level of surefooted traction that few rivals can desires of the enthusiast driver. match. Audi launched its slinky A7 in 2012, a five-door, fastback model that represented a significant styling departure for the German auto maker. The Audi S7 exhibits plenty of curb appeal. The car’s profile reveals an While the A7’s sleek styling has carved out its own niche and brought almost teardrop shape which is created by the sharply raked rear roofline. Subtle fender flares seemingly wrap over the S7’s massive sport alloy wheels and help give the car a more aggressive stance than the more sedate A7. The now familiar Audi grille and LED headlamps are present, but enhanced aero work on the front and rear fascias is immediately evident. Silver inserts bisect the openings around the driving lights, and the signature colour also graces the chin spoiler, rear valance and side mirrors. Bold, high-visibility LED tail lamps and quad exhaust tips complete the package.


As the S7 has been designed and engineered for responsible grown-ups, it has not been spoiled with boy-racer wings or an over-sized aero kit. The look is all business, although a rear spoiler discretely emerges to enhance aerodynamics when travelling at highway speeds. Slip behind the wheel of a modern Audi and you will be amazed at how understated the interior compartment looks at first glance. The designs are uncluttered and purposeful. Everything is placed to permit intuitive use by the driver, and fit and finish is second to none. 12 At The Wheel RPM Aug / Sept 2013

Audi’s Drive Select system is also on the menu. This innovative bit of technological magic permits the driver to tailor the car’s engine mapping, throttle response, shift points and steering feel to best suit the driving conditions. Further tweaking is available via Audi’s Adaptive Sport Air Suspension which allows the driver to dial the car’s ride characteristics to meet his or her immediate handling or comfort needs. Both technologies improve the car’s driving dynamics, level of stability, and help to maintain optimal traction.

If you need seating for five individuals you will need to buy the S8 sedan, as the S7 only offers seating for four. At 6’2” tall, I found the front seating area quite generous and comfortable, but the rear seats will be best suited for sub-six-footers. The hand-stitched leather S Sport seats feature a diamond pattern similar to that of sporting cars of the past, and while firm, these supportive buckets proved comfortable enough for long-haul touring. The S7 features a trunk large enough to carry gear for four, and larger items can be accommodated by deploying the 60/40 split folding rear seats or utilizing the ski pass through.

the car’s headlights.

Safety technologies included Audi’s blind spot monitoring system, adaptive cruise control, and a heads-up display. Audi’s signature LED headlights are distinctive and stylish, but they also provide exceptional coverage and adaptive capabilities when cornering. Other systems include active lane to alert the driver when he or she is wandering outside the lane of travel, and night vision assistance with thermal imaging, which has been engineered to detect pedestrians, obstacles or animals that may be hidden from view of

Under the hood resides Audi’s turbocharged, 4.0-litre TFSI V8 engine. Like most of the German company’s engines, this power plant is a marvel of engineering and efficiency, so you get the best of both worlds. The engine generates 420 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels via the quattro system. The seven-speed S-tronic transmission proved to be a smooth operator when left to work on its own accord, but it really comes into its own when you choose your own shift points via the steering wheel mounted paddle mechanisms. The potent combination of direct injection and a pair of turbochargers helps ensure that the well-sorted V8 will always be capable of delivering sufficient power whenever the need arises. On the other hand, this proven powertrain is also capable of seamlessly deactivating four cylinders (Cylinder-on-Demand Technology) while cruising on the highway in an effort to conserve precious fuel.

The Audi S7 comes equipped with the company’s well-sorted multi-media interface (MMI) system. MMI is a multi-purpose control system which is much more intuitive than similar systems in the marketplace. A consolemounted touch-pad helps simplify some of the more common functions. The system’s display screen emerges from atop the dash and offers users excellent visual cues for many of the car’s comfort and entertainment features. In the case of my test vehicle, the MMI system allowed me to quickly operate and master the navigation system, the four-zone climate control system, Bluetooth, as well as the optional Bang & Olufsen The S7 is a blast to drive. It represents the near perfect mix of refinement and zip in one pretty package. I spent a week exploring some of my fapremium audio system. vourite roads in an effort to get a real feel for this car’s handling dynamics. The S7 features the latest iteration of Audi’s now legendary quattro When I asked the car to be civil it delivered a ride perfectly suited for an all-wheel drive system complete with a sport-minded rear differential. executive level automobile, and the quality of finishes and level of luxury This system varies the power between the rear wheels as needed and on display in the car’s roomy passenger cabin would still be impressive in depending on the driving conditions. Canada’s climatic conditions have a a car tagged at the twice the price. However, when the roadway became tendency to be unpredictable, so having all-wheel drive as dummy-proof interesting, the S7 was always ready and willing to carve its way through the turns and help me exorcise some demons. as this one on board is worth the price of admission.

14 At The Wheel RPM Aug / Sept 2013

SPECIFICATIONS Base Price (MSRP): ................................................................ $89,300-$101,800 Type: .......................................................................... 4-passenger, 4-door coupĂŠ Layout: . ..................................................................................Front-engine, AWD Engine: . ............................................Turbocharged 4.0L V8 with direct injection. Power: .....................................................................420 hp @ 5,500 - 6,400 rpm Torque (lb-ft): ...............................................................405 @ 1,400 - 5,200 rpm Transmission: ....................................................... 7-speed S-tronic auto-manual Brakes: . ............................................................................. Ventilated discs F & R Acceleration (0-100 km/h): ....................................................................... 4.7 sec Fuel consumption (L/100 km): . ..............................................City 12.7; Hwy 8.3

The Audi S7 is a really special machine. On the one hand, it features refined styling and all the bells and whistles that appeal to the sophisticated buyer that Audi is looking to attract. On the other, it delivers a high-performance driving experience that is so refined you can let it simmer below the surface until you are ready to unleash it on an unsuspecting world. This is one sexy automobile. This car puts the power down with authority and throttle response is immediate. A capable driver can hustle the S7 from 0-100 km/h in a mere 4.7 seconds. The speed-sensitive ServoTronic steering provides excellent feedback for the driver, and the car responded instantaneously to my inputs, tracking straight and true with a level of precision I was not accustomed to. Luckily, the wide contact patch and sticky rubber of the big Pirelli P-Zero tires kept the car planted as I explored the limits of the car’s handling. The S7 is very nimble and drives as if it is a much smaller car than it really is. In fact , the car handled so well that it kept me thoroughly entertained all week long. On more than one occasion I found myself taking the long route to work in the morning and looking for excuses to run errands late into the evening. Maximizing my seat time in the car became my daily mission, and my time behind the wheel was most appreciated when I had no set plan or destination.

At The Wheel RPM Aug / Sept 2013 15

ROAD TEST - AUDI S6 to and navigate. Work your way around the button arrangement and everything falls into place with minimal distraction. Audi has dropped the big V10 for the small but more potent 4.0-litre V8 boosted with twin-turbochargers, that increases both fuel efficiency and power over the big 10. Add cylinder-on-demand technology, and the best I was able to get out of the big brute was 9.9L/100 km on the highway but hey, it’s a twin turbo V8 lumped into a big car, so that’s still not too shabby. Getting anywhere near Audi’s claimed 8.3L/100 km requires a patient foot and speeds no faster than 70 km/h. Regardless, despite being nearly 100 horsepower down on the M5, the S6 is only .4 of a second slower to 100 km/h and is nipping at the M5’s heels in all other departments. However, passengers are treated with a much more refined ride as well as a visceral, yet subdued V8 howl that very much adds to the driving experience.

All Business Audi’s big S6 takes no prisoners, but is it just about the numbers? Review and photos by Budd Stanley, additional photos courtesy of Audi


have had a bit of a love-hate relationship with the brand from Ingolstadt. While I love Audi’s styling, ergonomics and performance, they still just don’t drive like a driver’s car. Communication between driver and car is muted and dulled by large engines sitting ahead of the front wheels and the quattro AWD system that chooses safe and boring handling characteristics over thrill and excitement.

Massive power, grip and acceleration is what the S6 is all about. It absolutely bombards the senses with driving pleasure right up until you start to find the limits of the car, then everything starts to fall apart. Despite Audi’s best efforts to curb the tremendous amount of understeer in its quattros, and a noticeable effort has been made, aggressive corners are rewarded with an armful of nose plowing understeer. Try to adjust with sharper steering inputs, and the S6 does neutral out, but a little too much will bring the back end out, waking the traction and stability control to kill power, initiating braking and ruining the entire experience. Thinking the driving aids will stay off can be a costly mistake as the initial counter steer can be a ditchfinding exercise. If there is anything I hate more than the infotainment systems, it’s driver aids that turn themselves back on.

However, Audi has been working hard to cure some of its stereotypical downfalls as it aggressively attacks the likes of national rivals Mercedes and BMW, the latter of which builds some of the most intuitive cars made As a high-performance mid-sized sedan, the Audi is amazing, making long today. And they are doing it with a rash of new high-performance S-models road trips on meandering roads a joyous affair. However, it sacrifices the fun factor, for bench racers’ bragging rights. But isn’t fun what the S-lineup is all to hit the market, one of the most important being the S6. about? The fact is, the S6 is an 8/10ths car; driving at 8/10ths is rewarding, We’ll get to the oily bits a bit later. The S6 is one of those cars that looks pushing above rewards with frustration. The S6 is a magnificent driver, it’s alright in photos, but when you are standing next to it, it’s properly elegant just not a pure driver’s car. However, if you are looking for a more intuitive with a dash of menace thrown in for good measure. The same can be quattro to thrash about in, may I suggest the S4 and TTS. said of the interior design; not only is it the best of the bunch, its likely one of the best interior designs I’ve ever laid eyes on. Ingolstadt implements nice materials in which to clothe the tasteful design, and while I’m not a big fan of box quilting, Audi somehow has pulled it off brilliantly while not looking stuffy. I hate infotainment systems; the more and more advanced the manufacturers keep making these things, the more I wish for just a couple of HVAC dials and some radio preset buttons. To look at Audi’s centre console and screen, you’d think my oldfashioned thinking would put me in a grump, but the system, despite its complexity, is quite easy to get used 16 At The Wheel RPM Aug / Sept 2013

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ROAD TEST - ACURA RLX Acura has absolutely brimmed the RLX with tech, and really, that has pretty much become the calling card of any luxury car. Radar-guided cruise control whether in the open or in traffic help bring the RLX up to date, but it is the others that lead the way with new innovations. I complained last year that the infotainment system was terribly outdated and had the resolution of an Atari video game. I’m happy to see they have improved both the usability and the graphics on at least one screen. The 3.5-litre V6 does do a good job of getting the big RLX going, but there has to be something said about a big engine sitting over the front wheels when tasked with drive, steering and a heavy amount of the braking duties as well. The result is a car that just doesn’t seem as planted or as direct as all the competition that either utilizes RWD or AWD. And they do that for a reason.

Angel Eyes Has Acura brought a knife to a gunfight with the new RLX? Story by Budd Stanley, photos courtesy of Acura Canada


’ve always liked Acuras, right up to about five years ago when they started playing around with what I thought was one of the most attractive designs in the luxury segment. It was about this time that it implemented “Keen Edge Dynamic” styling to its car lineup, effectively killing the sporty nature of the old car. However, the RL was, for the most part, left alone, and didn’t adopt the annoying shield front grille until only recently, and despite my love for smaller nimble vehicles, it became my favourite Acura. Jump ahead to 2013 and Acura has tossed out the RL name to bring its largest, most technically advanced machine into line with the rest of the brand, dubbed the RLX. The RL has always been an underdog in the large list of luxo-barges, but will this fresh start see the big Acura garner more aristocratic cred? Well, no, unfortunately. When Acura started comparing the car to the BMW 5-series and Audi A6, that was its first mistake. That is like comparing the Accord to a Corolla; it’s just not in the same class.

Acura tries to overcome this handicap, or at least what I see as a handicap, with some snazzy new chassis engineering in the way of P-AWS. Of course, all-wheel steering is nothing new, but if you’re going to do something like this, you have to get it right, and Acura has done just that, implementing actuator-controlled rear steering. With an actuator attached to each rear wheel, steering angles of up to 1.8 degrees of toe can help bring the rear end around in tight corners, stabilize heavy braking or make emergency lane changes much smoother. While the system feels very wrong at first, the merits do shine through with a little time behind the wheel and it does make the big RLX a bit more nimble. However, this is a double-edged sword, as children susceptible to car sickness will paint the interior with vomit on a twisty section of road. And while the system is a cool feature, I can’t help but think of it as a bit of a gimmick to distract you from the fact the RLX just doesn’t play in the same game as its competition. The ride is smooth and comfortable, the surroundings pleasant, and many systems keep you safe, but it’s just lacking the soul of a true luxury car.

So, has Acura brought a knife to a gunfight? Well it has to be said that it has; as the brand’s top luxury car, it just doesn’t compete with the likes of a 7-series, A8, S-Class or LS, and even against Acura’s confessed real competition that is the mid-sized luxury sedans. The wrong drivetrain layout and subdued design does not help its cause for a segment The new design… well let’s not beat around the bush - it’s boring. With of excess. no real character, nothing really draws the eye away from the competition. Put the RLX next to an Audi A6, BMW 5-series, Lexus GS, Infiniti However, that being said, Acura has succeeded well in giving you big M37 and Mercedes E-Class and it might as well be invisible. I actually bang for a not-so-large buck. Starting at $49,990, only the other FWD think the old RL was vastly better looking, whereas the RLX just looks vehicle in this class, the Cadillac XTS, gives a better deal for the massive like a big Honda with flashy LED lights. amount of features and comforts you get with a large luxury sedan.

18 At The Wheel RPM Aug / Sept 2013

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ROAD TEST - FIAT 500C ABARTH a complicated structure of bows and braces which retract like an accordion into a large pile of fabric on the vehicle’s rear deck, the roof of the 500C behaves more like a large sunroof in its operation. There are no latches to unhook or levers to pull, as the durable black panel slides along fixed roof rails before forming a compact and carefully-folded pile between the two rear roof pillars. With the roof retracted, there was surprisingly little buffeting in the passenger compartment due to this novel design. The 1.4-litre MultiAir engine is turbocharged and features twin intercoolers to efficiently feed it air. It produces 160 horsepower and 170 lb-ft of torque which does not sound like much in this day and age, but given the car’s diminutive size and light weight, it delivers a respectable output. In a straight line, the nose of the car gently lifts as the car squats down on its haunches and rockets from 0-100 km/h in a tick over seven seconds.

High on Style The 2013 Fiat 500C Abarth

The Abarth features an analogue turbo boost gauge which is mounted conveniently to the left of the wheel, to allow the driver to monitor the pressure of the turbocharger. The same gauge doubles as a shift indicator when the car is being operated in Sport mode, so that the driver can get the most from the engine as they row through the heavy-duty, five-speed gear box.

The performance-tuned suspension incorporates advanced Koni shock absorbers up front, stiffer spring rates front and rear, and a lower ride height (15mm) in an effort to improve on the Fiat’s handling and minianadians love small cars, so it should come as no surprise that mize body roll. Also on board is the Abarth Torque Transfer Control when Chrysler brought the tiny Fiat 500 to our shores, it quickly (TTC) system which automatically distributes engine torque between found a home in many car parks and driveways. But as handy as the the front wheels to minimize understeer and maximize traction. 500 is to navigate through congested city streets, it really loses its lustre when the roads get twisty, as it doesn’t offer much in the performance As the offerings from the Abarth division have substantially more perdepartment. While the majority of Fiat 500 buyers are shopping for an formance potential than the regular Fiat 500 models, the cars come economical urban runabout, there are always those hooligans out there fitted with a high-performance brake system with semi-metallic brake looking for wheel lifting and tire squealing performance. Enter the Fiat linings at all four corners. Larger 11.1-inch ventilated rotors are utilized with great effect, as my test unit stopped on a dime. In a final splash 500 Abarth, Italy’s answer to the hot hatch. of Italian flair, the brake calipers have been lacquered in Rosso (red) paint. What the heck is an Abarth? Abarth is a small Italian company that began building compact race cars and performance parts in the 1950s. The firm’s first association with Moving to the interior, the driving position in a Fiat 500 is an odd one. Fiat began in 1952 when Abarth used Fiat mechanicals as the basis You sit very high and the foot well is very short if you have long legs. for its stunning Abarth 1500 Biposto show car. Similar collaborations continued until Fiat eventually purchased the operation in 1971 and it soon became the racing arm for the company. Story and photos by Russell Purcell


In 2007, Fiat decided to reinvigorate the Abarth brand in an effort to attract younger buyers and broaden the company’s appeal to the enthusiast crowd. For 2013, the Fiat 500 Abarth has come to North America to further promote the arrival of the Italian manufacturer to our shores. The car is available in two forms - a two-door hatchback and a convertible. The Abarth comes equipped with a unique body kit, a roof-mounted spoiler, and high-performance wheels and tires. Add to this racy graphics and a low ride height, and the car has the go-fast looks popular with the tuner crowd. Twin, chrome exhaust pipes erupt with a heavy burble that is just raspy enough to make the hairs stand up on your neck and arms, and its distinctive bark will tickle your ears with each downshift. This is especially so in the convertible version of this sporty machine.

At 6’2” tall, my right knee spent a week getting fresh with the centre The subject for this review is the convertible version of the car which is console, and my size 13 feet were partially obstructed by the same known as the Fiat 500C Abarth. Unlike most convertibles which feature due to the odd placement of the pedals. With the roof in place, I had 20 At The Wheel RPM Aug / Sept 2013

ROAD TEST - FIAT 500C ABARTH car has an extremely short wheelbase and rides on a very stiff chassis means that you will feel every bump along your way. Surprisingly, beyond the bone-jarring and head-bumping ride, I found it hard to get a feel for the road, due to the elevated seating position and overly assisted steering. I imagine this car would feel like a go-kart if the seat was properly placed, but unfortunately you feel like you are perched atop the seat of a riding lawn mower.

to forgo wearing a hat, as my head was brushing the headliner even with the seat in its lowest position. The interior on my test vehicle seemed to be well constructed and the level of fit and finish was impressive. The classic contrast of the largely black interior and white dash panel was pleasant to the eye, but the vibrant lipstick red seats and door inserts gave the Abarth its real curb appeal. The Abarth’s dash layout is a study in simplicity as there are minimal controls and very little clutter. Due to the car’s petite size, everything is within easy reach of both hand and eye, although some may feel the shifter sits too high due to its placement on the dash rather than the floor. The three-spoke, flat-bottom steering wheel is one of the best in the business. It features a leather wrap, bright red stitching, and of course, a centre cap with the iconic black scorpion logo. There are four more of these Abarth shield badges on the exterior of the vehicle as well as red scorpion caps on the wheels.

I will admit howe v e r, t h a t t h e car felt relatively quick and nimble, but I came away wanting so much more. The power is there, the car tracks with precision, and the short-throw gearbox is pretty slick, but in my opinion, the Abarth comes up short as a true hot hatch. Perhaps a two-seat version with serious bucket seats on minimal rails would be the ticket, especially for taller folk, as they would be able to stretch out with extended leg room and a lower centre of gravity. It works for the slightly larger Mini. The Fiat 500C Abarth is high on style and still somewhat rare on Canadian streets. It would be the perfect ride for a fashion-conscious hairdresser with attitude. I say this due to the fact that the only person I know with one is just that. She bought the car because it’s Italian, as is she, and she loved the fact that it made enough noise to announce her arrival everywhere she goes. I felt like a cartoon character while behind the wheel of this car largely due to the obvious mismatch of my manly size and its teeny tiny proportions.

I can see where the Fiat 500 Abarth models have a lot of performance potential, but due to the odd seating position and offset pedal arrangeThe Fiat 500C Abarth has been designed to fit four adults, but to be ment, it is almost impossible to extract the performance that is already honest, it is best suited for a couple of adults and their weekend gear. there. As a result, the Fiat Abarth is definitely a work in progress. The rear seating area is very small and the mere act of slipping past the front seatbacks into the tiny space should be reserved for small children. The front seats are proper sport buckets and feature a fair amount of side bolstering but they didn’t do much to inspire confidence as the foam used in their construction seemed abnormally pliable and soft. As a result, the bolsters were unable to hold me firmly in place during aggressive cornering manoeuvres. After a few days behind the wheel of this Italian pony, I finally got comfortable enough to explore its handling limits. The mere fact that the

SPECIFICATIONS Base Price (MSRP): . ................................................................ $27,995 (500C) Type: .......................................... 4-passenger, 2-door hatchback or convertible Layout: .................................................................................Front-engine, FWD Engine: ........................................................................1.4-litre turbo 4-cylinder Power: . .............................................................................160 hp @ 5,500 rpm Torque (lb-ft): . .......................................................................170 @ 2,500 rpm Transmission: . ......................................................................... 5-speed manual Brakes: ............................................................................Ventilated discs F & R Acceleration (0-100 km/h): . ...................................................................7.3 sec Trunk/Cargo Capacity: ..............................................................................269 L Fuel consumption (L/100 km): ......................................... City 7.1 L; Hwy 5.7 L

22 At The Wheel RPM Aug / Sept 2013

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A&W opened the first drive-in restaurant in Canada...

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The cars are now classics, and so is A&W. Join us now for another fun season of Cruisin' the Dub at a restaurant near you.

Find a Cruisin' restaurant at 速 Trade-mark of A&W Trade Marks Limited Partnership, used under licence.

HYUNDAI ix35 FUEL CELL The company is Hyundai, and the vehicle is the ix35 Fuel Cell, (the gasoline version of which is known here as the Tucson crossover.) We will call it the ix35, though, because it is not being built to be sold in North America. Europe is the first region to receive this production fuel cell vehicle, no doubt due to hydrogen being more widely available there, with Denmark, specifically, being the first country to receive ix35 Fuel Cells. It can’t be said that this fuel cell vehicle will be “mass” produced, as Hyundai plans to build some 1,000 of them over the next couple of years, and most of them will likely end up in government and commercial fleets in Europe. But the lessons learned will be put to use in 2015 when Hyundai will join other automakers in launching fuel cell vehicles for sale to the general public.

Hyundai Fuel Cell Car Reaches Production Line Story and photos by Gerry Frechette


or some 15 years now, prototype versions of hydrogen fuel cell-powered electric vehicles have been made available for short test drives, and I have had the pleasure of trying out a couple of dozen of them. Certainly, the technology has been improved greatly over that time (smaller fuel cells generating more power, smaller tanks holding more fuel, etc.), but the driving experience has essentially been the same all this time. But there is something different now on the commercial side, as one manufacturer has decided to take the plunge and actually produce, on an assembly line, a fuel-cell vehicle available for everyday use on public roads, some two years before several other companies have said they would do the same.

We had the chance to drive the ix35 during the Hydrogen+Fuel Cell Conference in Vancouver recently, and we had few clues beyond the splashy graphics that this was any different than a domestic gasoline-powered Tucson. There was a smaller cargo compartment, what with things like fuel tanks and batteries needing somewhere to live, different gauges, and the underhood view was not something you’d see every day down at your local Hyundai service department, but overall, it was a normal crossover vehicle to look at and sit in. And much the same could be said for the driving experience, as this is an electric vehicle, of which there are several for sale here now, just with a different power source. It is quiet, refined, and delivers maximum torque (221 lb-ft) the moment you apply throttle. It is said to be capable of accelerating from 0-100 km/h in 12.5 seconds, reaching 160 km/h, and delivering a range of over 600 kilometres (not at top speed, of course), probably comparable numbers to today’s plug-in hybrids, but with zero emissions beyond water vapour. In other words, the ix35 Fuel Cell is a completely real-world vehicle that meets all reasonable customer requirements and that could be sold here now – if the various other issues concerning fuel cell vehicles could be solved. We eagerly anticipate the day, hopefully in 2015, when a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle is available for sale in a Canadian auto dealer. That day is a step closer now that Hyundai has begun series production of this one, and put them on the road in Europe.

HYDROGEN + FUEL CELL CONFERENCE The technology, of course, is improving by leaps and bounds, but major stumbling blocks remain in making the fuel cell vehicle a viable proposition for the average motorist. Cost, of course, is one such concern, and it may take several years for a fuel cell vehicle to cost about what an advanced hybrid would. In other words, we can expect a significant premium in cost when they first come to market in a couple of years, and economies of scale will help drive the price down by 2017 or so.

The Same Message, Further Down The Road Story and photos by Gerry Frechette

But there has to be some way for the customer to fuel such a vehicle, and this remains the biggest hurdle. The universal message from the manufacturers is that a reliable hydrogen fuelling network is a necessity, and that political and entrepreneurial will is required to develop it. So far, the traditional oil companies do not seem to be publicly interested in being a part of this process, as almost all (a few dozen in Canada) hydrogen filling stations have been built by governments or private companies, mostly for their own fleet use. Therefore, there are still very few of them, and if, all of a sudden, there were to be a few thousand fuel cell vehicles on the road in Canada, the current re-fuelling situation would be a hindrance to the ownership experience.

So, much remains to be resolved before the first FCVs arrive in 2015, and very couple of years, the world’s Hydrogen Fuel Cell community gath- the first affordable mass-market ones a couple of years after that. It will be ers in Vancouver for a conference to talk about where the industry and fascinating to see the story unfold, because the future of zero-emission technology are, and where they will be in the foreseeable future. private transportation probably depends on it.


24 At The Wheel RPM Aug / Sept 2013





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PRODUCT REVIEW - DECO WINDSHIELD REPAIR The repair process involves drilling into the fractured glass to reach the lamination layer. This clears the chip of any debris or loose bits of glass and preps the surface for the repair. A special clear adhesive resin is injected under pressure into the hole recess (using a device called a bridge) and then cured with an ultraviolet light unit. This resin will bond with the glass and return the strength and clarity of the windshield to a level that will meet most road safety requirements. By repairing the glass, you are able to retain the factory windshield seal, which is much stronger than that of a typical replacement windshield.

Product Test: DECO Windshield Repair

The consumer can expect to see a visually improved chip, but you will still notice a little bit of scarring, primarily from the inside of the car, because it is impossible to mold the glass back together. The process will effectively prevent the crack from worsening. The larger bull’s-eye chip was near the centre of my windshield, and it had already begun to sprout small cracks that I knew would probably spread rapidly if I didn’t get it fixed. The smaller crack was referred to as a batwing by the Deco technician, and although it wasn’t very deep, I still felt it was worth fixing, especially when you consider that Deco gives you a break on additional repairs.

Deco has a flat fee structure for its services. The cost to repair a single chip is $35.00, while additional chip repairs are $15.00 each (+ taxes ). If you Story and photos by Russell Purcell have a chip that has already begun to stretch across your windshield as a crack, the Deco technicians will fill the crack to prevent it from spreading he windshield in an automobile is a very important piece of equipment, any further. This latter service is $55.00. as it allows the driver to see the road ahead while also protecting the vehicle’s occupants from the elements, road debris and insects. On a more The company offers a lifetime warranty serious note, the windshield helps to keep you from being thrown out of and money-back guarantee on chip rea vehicle during an accident, and it also helps to maintain the structural pairs up to and including those the size of integrity of the roof and passenger cabin in the event of a roll-over. In a “Toonie.” Unfortunately, they are unable short, it is important to ensure that your windshield is maintained properly to offer a guarantee for crack repairs. to keep both you and your passengers safe.


Early windshields were made out of ordinary window glass which proved troublesome, as it has a tendency to shatter when struck by stones or in the event of a crash, and the long shards of glass posed a real danger to the driver and passengers. Modern windshields are engineering marvels comprised of three individual layers - an outside layer of curved glass, a middle laminate layer, and an inside layer of curved glass. Luckily the majority of windshield damage is to the outside layer of the glass which means it can be economically repaired.

So how have the repairs held up? At the time of this writing, it has been exactly one year since my windshield was repaired, and I am happy to report that both repairs have held up well and that there has been no further spread of the fine residual cracks left behind after the repair.

Obviously if your windshield is severely cracked or has been riddled with rock chips, it might be best to consider ordering a brand-new windshield. However, if you are only faced with a small crack or smaller chips, you would be wise to look into having these blemishes repaired by an expeThere are basically three types of damage to windshields - circular rienced technician, as this will limit the severity of the damage and help Bull’s-eyes, linear cracks, and star-shaped breaks. All three are typically maintain the safety of your vehicle. caused by impacts with stones or other hard debris. Fortunately, most windshield damage can be successfully repaired without removing the glass, eliminating the risk of leaking or bonding problems sometimes associated with replacement. The windshield on my truck had been marred by two chips over the winter, and I knew that it was imperative that I get them repaired before they formed into cracks. After some research, I made my way to the local Deco Windshield Repair kiosk in the parking lot of my local mall. You will usually spot the company’s bright orange tents near Canadian Tire stores, as they have a working agreement. The Deco technician took a look at my damage and gave me a quote, and then informed me it would take about 20 minutes to half-an-hour to complete the repairs. I must admit that it was nice not to have to make an appointment or waste an entire afternoon to get this service done. 26 At The Wheel RPM Aug / Sept 2013




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Price: ...............................................................................................................$18,595 Engine: .................................................................................. 2.0L I4 DOHC 16-valve Trans: . .................................................................................................... 6-speed auto Power: ............................................................................................................... 160 hp Torque: ............................................................................................................ 148 lb-ft Curb Weight: .................................................................................1,445 kg/3,186 lb Fuel Consumption: (L/100km – City/Hwy) ............................................... 8.6/5.8 New for 2013: The Dart is Dodge’s all-new compact sedan that comes in 5 different trims and with 3 different engines. Segment Competitors: Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra, Kia Forte, Toyota Corolla, Hyundai Elantra, Mitsubishi Lancer The Skinny: Dodge re-introduced the Dart for the 2013 model year as its new compact sedan. Three engine options are being offered; a base 2.0L, a 1.4L MultiAir Turbo, and the top of the line 2.4L Tigershark MultiAir 2, all of which provide enough power and great fuel economy. Pros: We found the look of the car’s exterior caught people’s attention, and the inside we found to be plenty spacious and all of the controls were well laid out and easy to use. Cons: Our test model SXT with the base 2.0L had poor acceleration, and a cheap-looking interior when compared to the Rallye version. The Verdict: The Dart will definitely compete in the compact sedan class, and the wide array of trim and engine options available will attract all sorts of buyers.

BMW 650i Gran Coupe

Price: ......................................................................................................$98,800 Engine: . .....................................................4.4L V8 twin-turbo DOHC 32-valve Trans: ............................................................................................ 8-speed auto Power: . ....................................................................................................445 hp Torque: . .................................................................................................480 lb-ft Curb Weight: ...........................................................................1,920 kg/4,233 lb Fuel Consumption: (L/100km – City/Hwy) .......................................16.5/8.3 New for 2013: The Gran Coupe is the first 4-door in the 6-Series lineup and takes all of the great features of the 6-Series and adds two more doors and comfortable seating for up to five people. Segment Competitors: BMW 5-Series, Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class, Audi A7 The Skinny: BMW created the 6-Series Gran Coupe to compete with the Mercedes-Benz CLS and Audi A7, both of which are big, powerful, luxurious 4-door sedans, as is the 6-Series Gran Coupe. BMW certainly has taken care of the power side of things, giving it a 4.4L V8 Twin Turbo drivetrain that produces 445 hp, and of course, it’s plenty spacious with room to comfortably seat five adults. Pros: Definitely one of the better looking cars on the road due in part to the sexy, aggressive contoured lines of the exterior complete with unmatched performance and handling. Cons: The car has a relatively small interior, especially when you consider the overall size of the car. The Verdict: One of our top-ten head-turning vehicles that never fails to live up to the sexy quotient, and is a vehicle one must consider when looking to buy in this class.

Jaguar XJ AWD

Price: ......................................................................................................$96,000 Engine: ................................................3.0L V6 Supercharged DOHC 24-valve Trans: . ............................................................................................8-speed auto Power: ......................................................................................................340 hp Torque: ...................................................................................................332 lb-ft Curb Weight: .........................................................................1,884 kg/4,154 lb Fuel Consumption: (L/100km – City/Hwy) .......................................13.2/8.1 New for 2013: The XJ receives an all-new 340-horsepower 3.0L Supercharged V6 engine that is now paired with a new 8-speed ZF automatic transmission, which is available for all engine options. Segment Competitors: Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-Series, Lexus LS, Audi A8 The Skinny: Instinctive All-Wheel Drive is now an option for the new V6 version of the XJ, a trend that Jaguar is following after seeing the likes of the Audi A8 and Lexus LS, among others. While the V6 model may not have the power of the V8 version, it is certainly not slow with 340 hp, and the money you’ll save on the sticker price and at the pump could make it worthwhile. Pros: The XJ’s incredibly sexy body lines make it a real head-turner, and the roomy interior makes for a smooth comfortable ride. Cons: We found the XJ to have a poor turning radius, and also found it to have a somewhat sticky gearbox. The Verdict: While not quite in the same class, Jaguar once again offers a price-conscious alternative to the Aston Martin. 28 At The Wheel RPM Aug / Sept 2013


Price: ......................................................................................................$64,650 Engine: ..............................................3.5L V6 DOHC 24-valve + electric motor Trans: ........................................................ Continuously Variable Transmission Power: ......................................................................................................343 hp Torque: ...................................................................................................345 lb-ft Curb Weight: ...................................................................... 1,865 kg/4,112 lbs. Fuel Consumption: (L/100km – City/Hwy) .........................................6.5/6.2 New for 2013: The GS 450h is all new for 2013, and features some big improvements to the hybrid drivetrain including a second-generation Lexus Hybrid Drive system. Other changes are new rear suspension, lighter components throughout, and a wider stance. Segment Competitors: Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, Acura RLX, Fisker Karma, Jaguar XF. The Skinny: The GS 450h is a luxury performance hybrid sedan that was the first of its kind when it debuted in 2005. The car is now in its second generation, and features many upgrades from the original, such as a new Lexus Hybrid Drive System which boasts better fuel economy and power numbers than the original. Pros: Definitely one of the smoothest, most comfortable rides we have ever had. Cons: We found you are very aware when the transition between the electric and gas motors happens. The Verdict: The GS 450h delivers a unique combination of luxury, performance, and economy that has not been seen on many vehicles before it.

Chevrolet Trax LTZ AWD

Price: ......................................................................................................$29,330 Engine: . .............................................................. 1.4L I4 turbo DOHC 16-valve Trans: ............................................................................................ 6-speed auto Power: .....................................................................................................138 hp Torque: . .................................................................................................148 lb-ft Curb Weight: ..........................................................................1,476 kg/3,254 lb Fuel Consumption: (L/100km – City/Hwy) .........................................8.7/6.5 New for 2013: The Chevrolet Trax is an all-new vehicle, and GM has been marketing it as an “urban SUV” with the target buyers being city dwellers looking for a vehicle with a little more room without giving up fuel economy. Segment Competitors: Nissan Juke, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Soul, Buick Encore, Kia Sportage. The Skinny: The all-new Trax is a good option for someone looking to downsize from a large SUV and doesn’t want to lose all the extra room, or for someone upsizing from a compact car. Downsizers will love the fuel economy, quickness and agility of the Trax, while upsizers will appreciate the extra cargo room that comes with it. Pros: This vehicle maximizes storage space with a folding front passenger seat and an underfloor storage bin. Cons: We found the engine to have an annoying winding noise, and it definitely could use a bit more power. The Verdict: The Trax does so many things well, and we think GM was right in branding this the “Urban SUV.”

Kia Cadenza

Price: .......................................................................................................$37,795 Engine: ......................................................................... 3.3L V6 DOHC 24-valve Trans: .....................................................................................6-speed automatic Power: .......................................................................................................293 hp Torque: ....................................................................................................255 lb-ft Curb Weight: ..........................................................................1,500 kg/3,307 lb Fuel Consumption: (L/100km – City/Hwy) ......................................... 11.2/7.4 New for 2014: The 2014 Cadenza is all-new and is Kia’s new flagship model. It has more features and technologies than any other Kia models and is powered by a powerful 3.3L GDI V6 engine that produces 293 hp and 255 lb-ft of torque. Segment Competitors: Hyundai Genesis, Chrysler 300, Ford Taurus, Nissan Maxima, Acura TL, Infiniti G Sedan. The Skinny: The Cadenza is seen as Kia’s entry into the luxury sedan segment, and luxurious it is. The Cadenza features a number of new technologies such as Blind Spot Detection and Lane Departure Warnings, as well as a 12-speaker Infinity audio system that is controlled by Kia’s UVO system. Pros: The luxurious exterior gives the car the look of being something much more expensive than it actually is. Cons: Steering can feel pretty loose at times, and headroom in the drivers seat will be an issue for people 6’4”-plus. The Verdict: The Cadenza will give buyers refined luxury without having to break the bank to get it. At The Wheel RPM Aug / Sept 2013 29

FIRST DRIVE - 2014 NISSAN VERSA NOTE looking 16-inch alloy wheels to the mix and you’ve got a hatchback that will definitely make people think twice before buying anything else. Under the hood, the Note has a 1.6-litre DOHC engine that produces 109 horsepower, which obviously isn’t a huge number, but clearly when Nissan designed this car, fuel economy and safety were the idea, not designing some tirescreeching gas-thirsty track car. The engine is paired to a second-generation CVT transmission that is more compact and lighter in weight than the previous generation, and features a wide gear ratio, low friction and is highly responsive on starts and at low speeds. Not surprisingly, fuel economy on our test drive was excellent. It seemed like the gas gauge needle barely moved after several long hauls.

Best-In-Class The all-new 2014 Nissan Versa Note

During our drive over some very scenic highways in the San Diego area, I couldn’t help but notice that the quality of the ride seemed as if it was on par with vehicles much more expensive than the one I was driving, partly due to the new low rolling-resistance tires that are included on all CVT model Versa Notes. Another indication of the ride quality improvement was just how shielded you are from road and engine noise thanks to a few new noise reducing features. The front and rear doors of the Note sport double door seals, while the windshield has an inner layer of acoustic film, and the front pillar has extra insulation for starters.

Parts of the drive provided us with some pretty interesting winding highways, which was a perfect way for us to see how the Versa could handle cornering at decent speeds. I was impressed with how the car reacted. It showed Story and photos by Jordan Allan, little-to-no signs of body roll which additional photos courtesy of Nissan can really throw the feel of cornerhe all-new 2014 Versa Note brings a welcomed (and needed) refresh ing off, and the stiff steering allowed to Nissan’s entry-level hatchback. Especially as it looks to compete us to keep our speed… and even against its already well-established competitors including the Ford Fiesta, have a bit of fun. Toyota Yaris, Kia Rio, and Honda Fit, just to name a few. During a recent media preview in San Diego, I was given the opportunity to take it to the Cargo room is going to be a huge streets of California to see if it would indeed give the compact hatchback selling point for the Versa Note, as it boasts a best-in-class cargo capacity with the Hyundai Accent being the only segment a run for its money. other car in the class to even come close. This is due in large part because Once inside the Note, I found it to have a surprisingly roomy interior, espe- of the Note’s Divide-N-Hide Adjustable floor. The floor can sit in an upper cially when you consider the car itself isn’t very big at all. Nonetheless, I was level position where you can store and conceal things beneath it or bridge able to get my rather large 6’4” frame comfortably into the driver’s seat, and the gap to the back of the rear seats when they’re folded down. It also has was left with plenty of headroom. In fact, there was still room to push the seat a lower level position that allows you to place items on top of it, along with back even further. The radio and climate controls were very well situated, an interim flip position that allows a mixed cargo mode. and the 5.8-inch touch-screen featuring NissanConnect with navigation The Versa Note’s new look is definitely a lot bolder than some of the run-ofwas particularly easy to use. The Note the-mill options available in this segment, and the fact that Nissan seems to boasts many ‘best in class’ numbers in have conquered fuel efficiency with a class leading 6.1L/100 km in the city interior room categories such as front and 5.5L/100 km combined fuel economy that will certainly boost sales. All headroom, rear legroom, passenger in all, this vehicle definitely hits a lot of the right notes, with its combination room, and cargo capacity. Another of efficiency and practicality. I left California thinking Nissan has done well thing that can’t be ignored about the enough that when buyers are looking for a car in this segment, the Versa interior is the number of advanced Note will at the very least make up a good part of the conversation. features that are included, such as heated front seats, push button start, a back-up camera, and around view monitoring; a pretty impressive list when you consider the top-of-the-line Versa Note still comes in under $20,000.


The all-new Versa Note is built on the same platform as the Versa Sedan, and is a huge improvement on the previous Versa Hatchback with a wide array of technology options, as well as a number of exterior features, all geared toward making it a safer and more efficient vehicle. The Note now boasts a vented taillight design, inspired from the Juke and 370Z, as well as some other aerodynamic features such as a large front spoiler and front tire deflectors, rear tire deflectors, and a fuel tank and rear suspension beam that are flush with the floor so the Note can be as aerodynamic as possible to reduce wind resistance, thereby improving fuel efficiency. Add some cool 30 At The Wheel RPM Aug / Sept 2013

ROAD TEST - CHEVROLET CRUZE DIESEL achieved at a low 2,600 rpm, so all normal driving activity, like leaving a stop light or merging onto a highway, is made easy with V8-like grunt. Not only that, but GM claims that the Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel delivers an industry-best 4.2L/100 km on the highway – claimed to be better than any non-hybrid passenger car in Canada - which means better than any VW. The battle lines have been drawn, and just wait until the Mazda hits the road.

Chevrolet Cruze Clean Diesel Story & Photos by Gerry Frechette

As one might expect, Cruze’s turbodiesel is based on proven architecture already used in European models. Collaborating with Italian and German engineering groups, GM’s diesel engineers in the U.S. adapted the engine to accommodate our more stringent diesel emission standards and a wider range of driving conditions – including colder climates and higher altitudes – for North America. The diesel exhaust is cleaned up with urea injection; a 17-litre tank holds enough emissions fluid to provide at least 16,000 kilometres of driving between refills. The system is also designed for servicing to coincide with oil changes, for greater convenience. With a starting price at $24,945, some of the features of the Cruze diesel include a six-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel antilock disc brakes, 3.20 final drive ratio, 140-amp alternator, 800-cold-cranking-amps battery, 17-inch alloy wheels, leather-appointed seating, ultra-low-rolling resistance all-season tires, rear spoiler, and Aero Performance Package. The latter three no doubt apply lessons learned from the Cruze Eco 1.4-litre gas turbo model, which one suspects will be one of the diesel’s strongest competitors, in the same showroom, for those who really don’t want an oil-burner.


But there is really no reason not to want one these days, such is the refinement, efficiency and durability of them. We had first first-hand experience with the first two during Eco-Run, as the Cruze was a great cruiser, and achieved actual fuel consumption figures of 7.81L City and 4.99L Highway, both figures not quite as good as the “official” NRCan numbers (7.5/4.2), which usually tend to be optimistic. So, the City number is respectable and Anyway, that was then, and this is now. Technology has improved greatly, the Highway one very good, and if you spend most of your time on a highobviously, and the various manufacturers are looking to cover as many way, you will be very happy with the consumption of this or any diesel. bases as they can in an effort to satisfy demand, to say nothing of fuel The Chevy Cruze Clean Diesel is more than just a new powertrain option efficiency regulations on both sides of the border. in the compact class. It is a big move by one of the major car companies Diesel, of course, is very common everywhere else in the world, and every in affirmation of the future of diesel engines in North America. auto maker has the technology. A couple of Japanese manufacturers were said to have domestic diesel programs a couple of years ago, but they were postponed, and Mazda has since confirmed a diesel engine in its Skyactiv program. But first, and in a very important move, Chevrolet has launched the Cruze diesel-powered compact sedan, and you can’t get much more mainstream than that. Is diesel finally a viable proposition for the auto makers in North America? iesel engines in the “popular” price ranges have pretty much been the preserve of Volkswagen for decades. More than 30 years ago, Detroit went into diesels, and they were so unreliable, many Americans vowed they would never buy them again. Canadians weren’t quite as annoyed, and there has always been more demand for the oil burners here.

We had the chance to drive the Cruze Diesel at the recent AJAC Eco-Run, and came away very impressed. It is really quite the sleeper, in the sense that if you don’t notice the badge on the trunk, and the slightly different sound emanating from under the hood, you might not know what you were looking at. But you sure know what you are driving, if you are so lucky. It’s all about the torque, as is usual with diesel. Cruze’s new 2.0-litre delivers 151 horsepower and 264 lb-ft of pulling power, and peak torque is

SPECIFICATIONS Base price: ........................................................................................... $24,945 Type: ........................................................... 4-door, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan Layout: ................................................................................. Front engine, FWD Engine: ......................................................................2.0L DOHC Turbodiesel I4 Transmission: . ..............................................................................6-speed auto Power: . .............................................................................151 hp @ 4,000 rpm Torque: . ......................................................................... 264 lb-ft @ 2,600 rpm Curb weight: . ...................................................................................... 1,576 kg Fuel Economy (L/100km, city/hwy): .......................................................7.5/4.2

At The Wheel RPM Aug / Sept 2013 31


Ford F-150 Tremor By Ian Harwood The big one is coming sooner than you think and it’s going to shake things up. I am talking about the world’s first EcoBoost-powered Sport Truck, the Ford F-150 Tremor. Looks: The F-150 Tremor is a performance-based sport truck that features a stealth-looking silver paint job with matte black accents, coupled with matte black 20-inch wheels, smoked taillights, and matching projector HID headlights. This truck is definitely an earth-shaking time Ford has offered this with an EcoBoost engine, gives you fast acceleration off the line. head-turner. In The Cab: The Tremor is a regular-cab F-150 that features unique black leather bucket seats with Alcantara inserts and red piping, flow-through centre console, brushed metal accents and a red-stitched steering wheel. This vehicle will be equipped with the latest connectivity technology by SYNC and MyFord touch, a touch screen that allows you to not only connect your phone, but control your music, vehicle settings and navigation all by the sound of your voice.

Pump frequency: Not available at this time

Safety first: Dual-stage front airbags with a safety canopy system that is designed to provide full side, head, and body protection. AdvanceTrac system with roll stability control, four-wheel ABS, SOS post-crash alert system, and Securilock passive anti-theft engine immobilizer system are just some of the safety features on board this sport truck.

Roadworthy: With the success of such projects like the F-150 Raptor or the F-150 Lightning by the team over at SVT, I am surprised Ford would announce this just before a new model in 2015. In any case, it’s nice to see new projects to get people excited about driving trucks.

Power: The 3.5-litre EcoBoost engine puts out 365 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, all using regular fuel. It has twin independent variable camshaft timing for substantial performance while maintaining good fuel efficiency. The transmission is a six-speed automatic. There is an electronic locking differential that is standard equipment on both two- and four-wheel drive models. A 4.10 gear ratio, which is the first

32 At The Wheel RPM Aug / Sept 2013

Warranty support: Basic warranty: 36 months / 60,000 km Powertrain warranty: 60 months / 100,000 km Corrosion perforation warranty: 60 months / unlimited distance Roadside assistance: 60 months / 100,000 km

Verdict: I think this model is a testament to all the truck owners who like to customize their vehicles, and it shows the auto manufacturers are listening, and they want to continue to bring high quality aftermarketinspired products to their customers. Sticker price: Not available at this time.


AJAC Eco-Run Demonstrates Remedies For Gas Pump Pain

Story and photos by Gerry Frechette


anadians continue to be concerned over the high costs to fuel their vehicles, but feel there’s little they can do to find relief. In fact, there are ways to ease the pain at the pump and AJAC (Automobile Journalists Association of Canada) has demonstrated remedies we all can use.

The event started on a high note, as the first stage from the Ottawa airport hotel to the Natural Resources Canada head office in downtown Ottawa was “won” by....ahem.... your fearless correspondent, who was honoured with the presentation of the coveted Green Eco-Run T-Shirt by none other than the Minister of Natural Resources, Mr. Joe Oliver. My steed for this momentous accomplishment was a Mitsubishi i-MiEV full-electric compact sedan, with “fuel efficiency” (or the equivalent used for electric cars) electronically measured through the car’s computer system by a sophisticated monitor installed for that purpose.

What started last year as the “London-Brighton” drive in Ontario of several eco-friendly vehicles has quickly turned into a full-fledged event with many supporting partners, that has generated a huge amount of data on the pros and cons of the various types of alternative-fuelled vehicles. This year, the AJAC Eco-Run was held in several stages from Ottawa to Montreal the first week of June, with some 22 vehicles that represent the most advanced fuel-efficient and eco-friendly technologies available in today’s automotive marketplace. Participating vehicles ranged from compacts and family sedans to premium full-size SUVs and pickups. The types of powertrains included pure electrics and plug-in hybrids, Having said that, this event was not a competition, and there were no gas/electric hybrids and a variety of high-efficiency gas- and diesel- winners, per se, although a fuel consumption summary was compiled. The various entries demonstrated, however, that consumers have numerfuelled engines. ous choices when looking for a new, fuel-efficient vehicle, regardless of the size, type and price range they’re seeking. Results of the monitoring are posted on the AJAC website, Many conclusions can be drawn from a perusal of the results, both in terms of the results achieved, and the relative merits of the various technologies; some are no surprise, while others are.

In terms of the results, these exercises in efficiency always end up being a comparison between the “official” NRCan ratings published each year, and the actual observed consumption figures in the real world of the event. In any case, this exercise supports a number of important observations and conclusions: 34 At The Wheel RPM Aug / Sept 2013

AJAC ECO RUN • While hybrids excelled in city operation, when comparing vehicles of similar size and type, the best of the gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles were as good as or better than some of the hybrids on the highway. • The diesel-powered vehicles tended to be slightly more fuel-efficient than their direct gasoline counterparts in highway operation, but not in city operation. All of these results can be seen in the accompanying Fuel Consumption Summary, and they provide a very interesting picture of the vehicles we drove, the consumption they are rated for, and the consumption they actually achieved. Not only did the AJAC Eco-Run highlight the latest advances by manufacturers to improve fuel efficiency and reduce the impact on our fragile environment, the journalists used driving techniques we all can adopt to reduce fuel consumption – and fuel costs – regardless of the age of First, and perhaps most importantly, when drivers deliberately apply our vehicles. fuel-efficient driving techniques, as the journalists taking part in this exercise did to the point of hyper-miling (no competition here, of course), they can achieve some remarkably low fuel-consumption figures. The overall average fuel-consumption for the 22 vehicles in the Eco-Run was just 5.27 L/100 km. Significantly, that figure is below the average combined official fuel-consumption figures published in Natural Resources Canada’s Energuide for the same vehicles. The majority of the individual vehicles also bettered their official ratings, proving that they are in fact attainable in the real world when the vehicles are driven in a fuel-efficient manner. Perhaps surprisingly, that average also bettered the government’s proposed fleet-average fuel-consumption target for 2025 (approximately 5.6 L/100 km). While the group of vehicles in the Eco-Run does not represent the same distribution as that of the total vehicle population, the result is encouraging nonetheless, demonstrating that the target is potentially achievable with a broad mix of vehicle types. While no statistically valid conclusions can be drawn from the results in terms of car-to-car comparisons, several trends are apparent with respect to the technologies. • On a pure energy-efficiency basis, battery-electric vehicles (EVs) are by far the most efficient in both city and highway operation – for those whose lifestyle can accommodate the limited range and long recharge times inherent in EV use. • Plug-in hybrids were the next-most-efficient as a group, achieving significantly better fuel economy than conventional hybrids in city driving, where they were able to operate in electric mode for much of the relatively short trips. • Hybrids, as a group, had lower fuel consumption than gasoline or diesel vehicles overall, with a greater advantage apparent in city driving than on the highway. They were, however, the only group that did not better their official fuel-consumption ratings in the context of the Eco-Run.

2013 AJAC Eco-Run Fuel Consumption Summary Fuel Consumption (L(Le)/100km) City Avg Hwy Avg Overall Avg

NRCan Ratings (L(Le)/100km) City Hwy Combined

Electric Vehicle Ford Focus EV Mitsubishi i-MiEV smart fortwo electric drive Electric Vehicle Average

1.81 1.18 1.35 1.45

1.74 1.22 1.54 1.50

1.78 1.22 1.50 1.50

1.7 1.9 1.5 1.7

2.0 2.4 2.1 2.2

1.8 2.1 1.8 1.9

Plug-in Hybrid Chevrolet Volt Ford Fusion Energi Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid Plug-in Hybrid Average

1.51 1.65 2.63 1.54

2.72 4.12 4.38 1.53

2.39 3.44 3.91 1.81

6.7 4.3 4.0 5.0

5.4 4.7 4.2 4.8

6.1 4.5 4.1 4.9

Hybrid Ford C-MAX Hybrid Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Infiniti M35h Lexus ES300h Toyota Prius v Volkswagen Jetta Turbocharged Hybrid Hybrid Average

5.93 6.08 8.22 5.75 4.98 5.41 6.06

5.08 6.63 7.87 5.78 5.05 4.68 5.85

5.39 6.54 8.07 5.83 5.09 4.95 5.86

4.0 5.4 7.5 4.7 4.3 4.5 5.1

4.1 4.9 6.1 5.1 4.8 4.2 4.9

4.0 5.2 6.9 4.9 4.5 4.4 5.0

Gasoline Kia Rio LX + ECO Mazda CX-5 Mazda Mazda3 Mazda Mazda6 Mercedes-Benz B250 Ram 1500 HFE Subaru Forester Gasoline Average

7.16 6.72 6.27 6.27 NA 11.06 7.77 7.54

6.04 6.02 4.78 5.64 NA 9.18 6.27 6.32

6.44 6.29 5.28 5.89 NA 9.84 6.79 6.76

6.8 7.8 7.1 7.6 7.9 11.4 8.3 9.5

5.4 5.7 4.9 5.1 5.5 7.8 6.2 6.8

6.2 6.9 6.1 6.5 6.8 9.8 7.4 8.3

Diesel Chevrolet Cruze Diesel Mercedes-Benz GLK250 BlueTEC Porsche Cayenne Diesel Diesel Average

7.81 7.43 8.90 8.05

4.99 5.92 7.95 6.29

5.88 6.44 8.32 6.88

7.5 8.3 10.8 8.9

4.2 5.9 6.7 5.6

6.0 7.2 9.0 7.4

Overall Average







At The Wheel RPM Aug / Sept 2013 35

Dark Lextasy

Chris Kulbach’s Lexus IS300

ebuted in 2000, the Lexus IS300 was a fresh, appealing model in the luxury car segment, offering an alternative to the usual European models. In the past decade, there have been countless project builds of this awesome platform, ranging from the slammed VIP-style better known in the Japanese show scene, to high-horsepower race machines stateside. This dark Lexus owned and built by Chris Kulbach of Trenton, Ontario is one which fits right in the middle of the spectrum and taking a path less traveled – in way of naturally-aspirated goodness.

Under the Seibon carbon fibre hood is a built 2JZGE engine boasting upgraded internals from Brian Crower (camshafts, valve springs, retainers, steel valves) and RP connecting rods mated to JE pistons. Air is forced via an AEM intake system that has been custom powder-coated (along with most exposed pieces in the engine bay) while cooling is left to a Mishimoto rad for the engine and a cooler for the tranny. Letting the hot gasses out from this high-compression NA engine is done through a set of custom headers that feed out to a custom exhaust system. For added power, an NX Express nitrous kit was fitted and trunk-mounted. Although currently not fully tuned, the car is said to put out roughly 400 horsepower in high-revving form.

It is no wonder as to why every major IS build boasts a massive turbocharger under the hood, as it all comes down to the infamous 2JZ engine, although the USDM IS300 came with the 3.0-litre, inline-6, naturally-aspirated version. The common first step with this car is to swap the meek engine for the one fitted into the Supra – a boosted version from the factory. Kulbach did what most would consider insane and truthfully not worth it - he built his non-turbo motor. Surely the expectation with his ‘Lextasy’ was not to race it, but rather to have something that could keep up with the pack and still be unique enough to take home awards at shows across the country.

For the looks-good department, Kulbach’s vision was to keep things in true JDM-VIP form with a mild exterior. The entire car was re-sprayed in a custom two-tone theme with gunmetal on the bottom half and black on the top – from the window-door line above. An Extreme Dimensions ‘Vertex’ aero kit wraps all around the IS300 adding an aggressive edge to the factory boxy design and is tied in with pieces such as APR GT3 side mirrors, Spyder headlights with halos, and LED taillights. For the added dark touch, the roof and trunk were wrapped in carbon fibre vinyl, while the Lexus emblems and grill were blacked out.

Story and photos by Giancarlo Pawelec


36 Speed & Sound RPM Aug / Sept 2013

Vintage 1965

Vintage 2013

Classic car. Modern light. For improved visibility and more light on the road, treat your car right with GE NiGhthawk™ sealed beam headlights. ~"QaXVWcTa[XVWc* ~7XVW_TaU^a\P]RTQ[dTfWXcT[XVWc ~8\_a^eTSeXbXQX[XchP]SQTccTaR^]caPbc

GE NiGhthawk™XbPcaPST\PaZ^U64! "64 GE NiGhthawk™WP[^VT][P\_b_a^SdRTd_c^"\^aT[XVWcX]P]PaTPX[[d\X]PcTSfXcW more than 15,000 candelas in light intensity compared to a standard halogen headlamp bulb. Specific light levels vary by bulb type and headlamp assembly.

The inside of ‘Lextasy’ is all-business with a pair of Momo racing seats securing both driver and passenger during spirited drives, paired with a set of five-point Takata harnesses. Tucked tightly in the cabin is a Cusco sixpoint roll-cage adding to the race-boy feel of this build, but still functional should mayhem ever occur. For crucial engine read-outs, Kulbach has created a custom three-gauge pod where the factory passenger airbag once was and another above the centre console. Fitted in these pods are Autometer Phantom series gauges for volts, clock, oil pressure, acceleration, transmission temperature, and differential temperature. For the added show n’ shine points race, the headliner was wrapped in a graphite suede, accents painted in black and pillars wrapped in carbon fibre. For the shifter, it was an easy choice – more carbon fibre by way of a Mishimoto piece.

manages all signals and music / movie selection of choice. The trunk area has been custom-built with an embossed “Lexus IS300” backing plate and trunk enclosure housing the subwoofer and aforementioned nitrous bottle.

No project is complete without some in-car entertainment otherwise known as ICE, especially an award-winning show car such as this. Kulbach reached out to his sponsors once again for some help, and they delivered. Two RE Audio amplifiers power a 12-inch subwoofer and speakers custom-fitted throughout. A JVC double-din DVD head unit replaces the factory one and

Without the support from his sponsors such as Mishimoto, Brian Crower, Nitrous Express, Cusco USA, RE Audio, and others, this Lextasy would not be where it is. So what’s the moral of this story? Simple actually. Regardless of what the trends may be, always march to the beat of your own drum – even when the going gets tough – as dreams do come true, even naturally-aspirated ones!

38 Speed & Sound RPM Aug / Sept 2013

For the rolling portion of the IS, a set of 18-inch TSW Cathridge wheels sized at 8 inches front and 9.5 inches at the back set the tone, wrapped in sticky Falken FK452 rubber. The stance of this beast is entrusted to a set of HSD 32-way adjustable coilovers, while Cusco strut bars and braces tighten any lateral movement. For stopping power, Kulbach fitted StopTech cross-drilled rotors and paired them to ceramic pads. For the time being, the factory brake calipers are powder-coated Lexus gray with custom lettering on them. After nearly a year of building, Chris Kulbach’s dream of having a unique show-quality Lexus IS300 has come true. There have been many ups and downs as well as variations throughout the process to get to this final reveal, but it was all worth it. Taking the road less traveled (by way of not going boosted or with an engine swap) is never an easy thing to do, but one that provides a higher sense of fulfillment.


REMOTE START When it comes to security and comfort, the award winning Compustar is the leader. With models in a selection of one-way or two-way communication versions, and transmission ranges of 2,000’ - 5,000’, Compustar will give you the peace of mind you are looking for in a security and remote start system.

SKU: RF-2W7032-SH-CN


Âť 2 x 4 button 2-way LCD SH remotes Ç˝Í–ÇŚÂ™ÂƒÂ›Â?ƒ‹Â?ˆ—Â?…–‹‘Â?…‘Â?Ƥ”Â? Âť Up to 3,000’ of transmit range * Âť Opt’l keyless entry integration ** Âť Opt’l trunk release integration ** Âť Opt’l starter disable protection ** Ç˝’–ǯŽ’ƒ”Â?‹Â?‰Ž‹‰Š–…‘Â?Ƥ”Â?ƒ–‹‘Â?Č—Č— Âť User-program warm or cold start

Âť 1 x 4 button 2-way LED SS remote Âť 1 x 1 button 1-way SS remote Âť Up to 5,000’ of transmit range * Âť Opt’l keyless entry integration ** Âť Opt’l trunk release integration ** Âť Opt’l starter disable protection ** Ç˝’–ǯŽ’ƒ”Â?‹Â?‰Ž‹‰Š–…‘Â?Ƥ”Â?ƒ–‹‘Â?Č—Č— Âť User-program warm or cold start

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* Maximum transmitting range under optimum conditions. Range performance is not guaranteed. ** Optional feature that may require extra installation labour. Please consult your local retailer for details.


ImportFest 2013

Story and photos by Giancarlo Pawelec


arking its 13-year return, Canada’s “Biggest and Baddest Car Show” once again kicked off with a bang in the big city. Hosted at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre, ImportFest once again brought out the very best of show cars, feature on-stage acts, exhibitors, and lovely tuner models. Fans from across the province and even as far as the United States made the trek for what would be one of the best car shows in recent years. By noon, the gates opened to waiting fans, shattering attendance records in the tens of thousands. Over 300 vehicles of all makes and models were showcased, ranging from JDM-inspired creations like GT-Rs, slammed Euros, pro drift race cars, and a handful of Italian supercars. Unlike recent years, the quality of competitor vehicles was at an all-time high, including one particular build that was a purpose-built SEMA car from the past. The stanced car selection was also very strong as the growing trend is not losing steam anytime soon. For show goers looking to grab some swag, there were plenty of exhibitors giving out samples and plenty of gorgeous models of all types ready for a photo-op. On stage, Scott Boogie with the help of other emcees and the deejay kept the high vibe going throughout the day. Every form of eye candy was present during the stage shows including the must-watch bikini contest and lingerie show. For the musically inclined, an awesome deejay battle happened in the early afternoon bringing a twist to the lifestyle element that the ImportFest show is known for. If RC racing is your thing, there was also an on-site track for those brave enough to get sideways in micro form. 40 Speed & Sound RPM Aug / Sept 2013


By early evening (as is tradition) ImportFest killed half the lights in the convention centre and kicked off the party atmosphere to the next level. On went the glow sticks and coloured lights, as well as some incredible show’n’shine displays – albeit imposs i b l e t o p h o t ograph a c c u r a t e l y. N o t a b l e mentions go out to both Scion Canada and Subaru Canada for their incredible showcases, in which the FR-S / BRZ were in the prime spotlight. The SONY and Alpine booths were also amazing, complete with some incredible product displays and featured vehicles such as the matte-black Scion tC and “MellowYellow” Nissan 370Z.

42 Speed & Sound RPM Aug / Sept 2013

After much anticipation, it was time for the awards ceremony. A big congratulations to the Best of Show winner Paul Tolson with his custom green twin-turbo Lexus GS400! Other notable mentions and winners include NextMod, who displayed over 20 pristine vehicles, Team EST for taking all the top honours, and Vossen wheels for making the trek up from Miami, Florida to see what the Canadian scene is all about. With 12 hours of visual candy and an on-going music score on stage, ImportFest has once again made history in truly being the premiere show in Canada.


Group B is Alive and Well

Hill Climbs bring out the craziest of competition vehicles Story by Budd Stanley, photos courtesy of Peugeot I remember long ago, during the infancy days of YouTube, a fellow rally racer told me to look up a video entitled, “Climb Dance.” Now, I may be too young to remember the crazy age of the Group B era, but as a rallyist, I know nearly as much about the class dubbed “Too fast to race” than anyone who was lucky enough to see these cars in action. However, as I watched in horror of the harrowing acts of Finn Ari Vatanen, wrestling the 600+ horsepower Peugeot 405 T16 up the side of Pikes Peak, dragging wheels over the edge of massive sheer drops, I was left thinking this was one of the most epic pieces of motorsport cinematography ever produced. That was until a few short weeks ago. The Group B-derived 405 T16 that Vatanen piloted was based on the Group B regulations that were canceled at the end of the 1986 WRC season. Group B was the most iconic era in rallying history, as you may have read last issue, when I introduced you to the ridiculous Group S cars that were about to take to the stages, packing over 1,000-horsepower in tiny AWD compacts. However, with the death of Henri Toivonen, the Group B class was banned, never to see the light of day again.

And once again, there was a video crew documenting nine-time WRC champion, Frenchman Sebastien Loeb, as he climbed the great hill. The resulting video was just as striking as the one produced back in the late eighties, only more terrifying as the car Loeb was driving was two-and-a-half minutes faster up the 20-kilometre course than Vatanen’s. Watching this Peugeot tear the tarmac off the mountain made me realize that Group B is not actually gone, it’s just taken a different shape, and is indeed alive and well. Much like the Group B cars of old, Loeb’s 208 T16 is constructed out of a tubular-framed chassis with carbon fibre panels mounted on top to keep weight to a minimum. The design has been shaped to resemble a Peugeot 208 as much as possible, but aerodynamics take precedence, with front and rear wings and a flat undertray with rear diffuser being used to keep the car on the ground at 240 km/h. Likewise, a large vent on the roof helps feed the hungry engine with fresh oxygen. Unlike the crazy twin-charged (turbo and supercharged) four-cylinder engines many of the teams were working on in the eighties, Peugeot powered the 208 T16 with a

However, with massive resources tied up in these monstrous cars, both Audi and Peugeot would make use of their Group B cars, running them at the Paris-Dakar Rally and up Pikes Peak, which still had lax rules governing the cars that run up to an altitude of 4,301 metres. Both Audi and Peugeot would break records and walk away from Pikes Peak with a couple of wins for Peugeot, six for Audi. After the factories packed away the last of these monsters, though, the “Race to the Clouds” continued to attract manic winged wonders including the odd decommissioned Group B car, like Stig Blomquist’s Ford RS200. The true violence and speed of Pikes Peak would not stir within me until shortly after this year’s running of the event, that saw Peugeot back to reclaim the record it once held with the 405 T16. Speed & Sound RPM Aug / Sept 2013 43

PERFORMANCE the first-generation 908 HDi FAP. Unfortunately, there weren’t any wider options in stock! The result was as predictable as any of Loeb’s 78-victories in the WRC. The 208 T16 outclassed everything in the field, as did its driver. It was only a matter of by how much would the pairing break Rhys Millen’s record time of 9:46.16. Peugeot Sport’s highly sophisticated computer system had calculated that Loeb could finish the race in 8 minutes 15 seconds, in the end; he even beat his own team’s computer with a remarkable time of 8:13.878. While Pikes Peak is the most famous of hillclimbs, Group B cars, both historic and modern interpretations under lax rulebooks, still take to competition at hillclimbs across the world. Unlike so many racing classes killed off long ago, it’s refreshing you can still see the old monsters in action today. bi-turbo V6 generating 875 horsepower. Obviously, the nomenclature is historical, as T16 stands for “turbo 16-valve” as used on the old Group B engine. As a result of the lightweight body and huge power, the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak puts out even more power than a Formula One car. Weighing a mere 875 kilograms, that’s a power-to-weight ratio of 1:1 or 1000 horsepower per tonne. The engine is housed in the mid-rear position of the chassis, much like the famous Group B cars of the 1980s. However, this car is not all rally car. A couple of years ago, Colorado paved the entire course up Pikes Peak, effectively upping the grip and speed of the surface. For this reason, the 208 T16 Pikes Peak shares its genes with those of the Le Mans 24 Hourswinning 908 in several areas as well. Common areas include the running gear, brakes and aerodynamic features like the air-intake and the two-metre-wide rear wing which was originally used for

44 Speed & Sound RPM Aug / Sept 2013

Moonglow Looking back at Turbine-powered concepts

Story and photos by Cam Hutchins

California, part of the L.A. sprawl. He was a member of the car club The Long Beach Renegades and it was a budget build with most work being aving owned many Hot Rods in his youth, including a custom ‘51 Chevy, done outside on the driveway. The car was only one year-old when the custom ‘48 Plymouth 3-passenger Business Coupe and a ‘32 Ford modifications began. 5-window coupe painted fire engine red with a ‘48 Merc ¾-race for go, in 1972, Graeme Tait completely restored a ‘32 Ford 3-window coupe show The 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe was a good looking car to begin car that had been featured in Car Craft in 1960. In the 1990s, Tait had the with and it had many subtle modifications to enhance its look, but the big desire, time and money to build another one. This was not going to be some chop gave it the classification of Radical Custom. Interestingly, to keep the lowered ‘32 with the mandatory big block, nor was it going to be some wild car fresh, it had been constantly tweaked and shown extensively, and then custom he dreamed up. He had long been a fan of the late ‘50s customs Steck sold it and never built another custom. that were based on the ‘53-’54 Chevys. But custom cars were much different in 1996 when this project started, Rod and Custom did a complete computer comparison of the top customs and the banging and mudding of body panels was not the way it was done from the ‘40s and ‘50s, and the Hirohata Merc and Moonglow were the most anymore. Using the photos as guides, Tait saw some of the subtle details famous. Tait remembers the 1957 Car Craft with the white Moonglow on the that others also building copies of the Moonglow failed to get ‘Right.’ cover. Knowing it was built by a Commercial Artist named Duane Steck in his spare time and at his own house seemed too good to be true.


Reading about the Moonglow as a kid, and then finding out it was one of the most recognizable customs ever built, was the starting point. The original was not to be found, so a tribute car was carefully planned. To recreate the Moonglow, Tait poured over every magazine and then a friend from California got the original photos from Tom Taylor. These photos were original enlargements and they worked from these to perfect the tribute car. The pics were taken at Larry Watson’s shop and showed the Moonglow in its “Silver with scallops phase.” The Moonglow was built in the driveway of Duane Steck in Bellflower, 46 Rods & Classics RPM Aug / Sept 2013

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teeth. Door handles are shaved, gas gate is eliminated, and 1953 Ford headlights are Frenched and peaked to match the fender line. The taillights are 1956 Chrysler inverted and placed into custom one-piece handcrafted housings. The rear deck was extended forward and widened to move the rear window forward for a correct stock-appearing roofline. The front bumper is frenched and bolt holes front and rear are filled. The rear bumper has 1956 Chev Bumperettes with a 1957 Caddy overrider bridge. On either side of the bumper were port holes for exhaust, all Frenched-in seamlessly. The gas gate and rock guards were eliminated and totally custom made skirts were fabricated. The car is powered by a well-documented professionally-rebuilt 261 cubic inch six-cylinder Chevy breathing through dual Carter Weber two-barrels on an Offenhauser manifold with a Fenton split exhaust manifold. It is balanced and blueprinted with a high-compression GM Factory head and a “torquey” cam designed to run with a 700R4 Transmission. All period-correct high-performance and many “Concours” chrome dress up pieces were used to make a one-of-a-kind engine. Tait lived by the motto “if it doesn’t go, chrome it.”

There were five versions of Moonglow. The first was painted white by Earl Schieb with powder blue trim. Steck had heard of a talented kid from George Barris who was an up-and-coming  pinstriper and did scallops. This was Larry Watson, working out of his parents’ driveway, and he was asked by Steck to paint nudes on the Moonglow. Watson accomplished the nudes to perfection and followed up with some amazing pinstriping. Some of the underhood goodies include: • 1959 261 cu. in. Chevy inline-6 cylinder (new rebuild). The next version had some body mods including a bigger, reshaped • Torquey cam by Shadbolt – the best in the business. grille opening and another coat of white enamel, striped this time by the • Factory GM high-compression 868 head. same Larry Watson of ‘Watson’s House of Style’. • 2 Carter Weber two-barrel carbs with real 1950s Stelling and Hellings carb air cleaners (chrome over brass). During 1959, the fifth and final version of Moonglow was again painted by • Offenhauser manifold and valve cover and rare Offenhauser side cover. Larry Watson, candy blue over silver pearl. Watson has said it was his best • Beehive oil filter (finned) and power steering reservoir. candy blue paint-job ever and has told Tait that of all the colours the Moon- • Chrome coil, alternator, compressor, pulley, glow has been, the blue was the best. This version of the car was featured Fenton headers, bellhousing. on the cover of Custom Cars in March 1960. • All braided stainless hoses were used on the motor • Polished stainless hood springs Shortly after this, Steck traded the car for a sports car and later on, his brother • All custom ceramic-coated dual exhaust by Muffler Tech saw it being crushed at a wrecking yard.   A Mustang II front end with Camaro disc brakes and a '57 Chevy rear end Knowing the original was gone sent Tait on a hunt for the perfect car to with 3:70 gears offers the best combination for city and highway driving. create his own Moonglow, and he found a cherry California car with tinted Firestone Air Bag suspension on all four corners allows for correct cruising glass from Riverside. It was far enough away from the ocean to not have height and wicked “dropped show” height. “Vintage Air” Gen-II air condiany rust at all. The car had been brought tioning with custom-made condenser and brackets, and a great stereo to Canada by a buddy of Tait’s who was compatible with i-Pods, completes the driving experience. convinced to sell it to him. The seats are trimmed in snow white Naugahyde with 1.5-inch full roll and Of course, the new Moonglow is the bright pleated, and this continues to the backs of the seats and the package tray, blue of the fifth version, but without the with carpets in bright royal blue for a striking contrast. The knobs for the ‘55 Chevy headlights, Tait preferring the heater, radio, shifter, etc were ordered from a cottage business in the states Frenched headlights of the earlier ver- and took well over two years to finally arrive, but they look so Fifties! sions. Another decision was to go plexiglass rear windows heated With the top being chopped and the suspension air-bagged, the lowering in his Mom’s oven like the original Steck version. works out to 10 ½ inches in total, so a heavy-duty wiring harness by Clear  head Enterprises Inc was installed. The 52-spoke 1954 Buick Skylark wire The car was completely stripped apart and two minor creases in the front wheels make sure it looks cool. fender caused Tait to find perfect NOS fenders for his creation. This car was all built on an English wheel and power hammer and uses lead. Not The paint took four months, as numerous hours were spent block sanding over-the-counter lead; the English-trained panel beater had a special for- and perfecting the car before the bright “China Blue” pearl, base clear paint mula for the lead. was applied. The final result is stunning and after 12 years and 6,000 hours, this is truly a one-of-a-kind custom, literally taking every trick Duane Steck The frame was sent to Doug McLanders’ shop in Cloverdale, where it used and going way beyond it, quality-wise. was customized including some tubular components with four-bar links and a lowering system using Airride technologies on all four corners. Since hitting the road in 2007, it has been the Winner of the “Coolest Custom,” “Street Rod Award” and the “Best of a Hundred” at the 2008 GoodGuys Built in five private garages instead of a “driveway,” depending on what work Puyallup car show. Moonglow also won “Best Custom,” “Ladies Choice” and was being performed and at various times, the 3.5-inch chop was done at “Outstanding Custom” at the Abbotsford World of Wheels, and numerous a friend’s garage, as well as the taillights and other extensive mods, then other U.S. awards for Customs. This car has been driven and trailered to on to another friend’s shop to perfect the chop. shows (depending on distance) and its road manners are impeccable, so this is a trailer queen that loves to be driven. Then to Ted Sorenson’s where Tait had a panel beater come in to stretch the deck and French the headlight header bar and taillights...and all the other body mods. The panel beater was trained in England to work on Coaches including some for the Royal Family. That “just right look” took lots of time because the chopped “compound curved” rear window does not come off a parts shelf anywhere on this planet. The rear window took two years to complete and was a  real challenge. First, a custom mold was created that looked like cribbing for the Brooklyn Bridge. Then came the metal refinishing to complete the contour for the mold.  The rear glass was molded and then sent to the U.S. for lamination. No expense was spared and it was well worth it, as the rear window is perfect to the line of the body. The hood was nosed and decked and finished off underneath to show quality. The upper grill bar was Frenched into the body and comprises 15 48 Rods & Classics RPM Aug / Sept 2013


Fifty Years of the Orange Swoosh

McLaren celebrates 50-years of race winning success and exotic hypercars Story by Budd Stanley, photos courtesy of McLaren and The Bruce McLaren Trust

He’d already built an Austin 7 into a race car before he’d even received his driving license; practicing on a figure of eight he created around two trees in the back yard. Before he knew it, he was moving up the ranks, swapping the little 7 for an Austin Healey, then a Cooper. His racing success would see the Kiwi transplanted into Europe and the professional world of motor racing, under the invitation of Jack Brabham.

Sometime in the mid ‘60s during a quite regular testing session, a certain Bruce McLaren left the pits and noticed that the fuel cap had not been secured properly. A constant perfectionist, this at first angered him, but as the cap continued to flap about even at high speed, he came to the realization that the aerodynamics should have been holding the cap down, but this was not the case. Stopping in the pits, he jumped from the car, ran to a mechanics toolbox, grabbed a pair of shears and started cutting the bodywork away behind the radiator. Climbing back in the car he immediately began turning lap McLaren would race for times faster than before. Cooper in Formula 2, This was the quality of the man that created what has become one moving up to their Forof the most storied racing teams of all time. A team that, well after mula 1 team at the age of his death, takes his words to heart and took his enterprise from a 22, when he was the youngest driver to win a Grand Prix, the 1959 small-time racing team to an international corporation that creates United States GP. In 1963, he created his own team, Bruce McLaren some of the most fearsome machines to grace the track and the Motor Racing Ltd, and started to build his own racing cars. The first street. Not only was he a gifted driver, he was fanatically involved in would be a re-engineered Zerex Special sports car that he won with the analysis, engineering, and aerodynamics of his racing cars, and first time out at Mosport. He would later dub the car the Cooper Oldsmobile. For a few years, he would continue to take pre-built race would more often than not be found constantly testing. cars and re-engineer them to be more competitive until 1966, when “To do something well is so worthwhile that to die trying to do it bet- he left the Cooper team to concentrate on his own company and his ter cannot be foolhardy. It would be a waste of life to do nothing with first ground-up factory-built Formula 1 car, the M2A. one’s ability, for I feel that life is measured in achievement, not in years alone.” These were the iconic words uttered by McLaren that While the team’s Formula 1 program proved uncompetitive in its inception, its CanAm cars proved the business here in North America, are now legend and rules to live by at the McLaren factory. as McLaren and fellow Kiwi, Denny Hulme, took five victories from Born to Les & Ruth on August 30, 1937 at Auckland, New Zealand, the six races in 1967, kicking off a four-year dominance of the sport McLaren’s love of racing came early with the influence of his father. with the introduction of the M6 and M8 CanAm cars. Rods & Classics RPM Aug / Sept 2013 49

HISTORY On June 2, 1970, at the Goodwood circuit in England, McLaren was conducting routine testing in Hulme’s M8D when a pin securing the tail section went missing. Wind pressure ripped away the rear bodywork and wing, upsetting the car’s downforce and stability. The M8D slid broadside into a marshal’s post at well over 160 km/h (100 mph). Bruce McLaren was killed, just short of his 33rd birthday.

The Canadian Connection

Despite the tragic loss of the team’s namesake, McLaren would continue to dominate CanAm racing with the likes of Denny Hulme, Dan Gurney and Peter Revson taking on and beating the might of Lola and Porsche. The Formula 1 team would also prosper. Hulme and Revson

Story by Budd Stanley


uring the late ‘60s, McLaren raced its team cars in several disciplines, such as Formula One, Formula Two and the CanAm Sports Car series here in North America. However, he wanted to expand his horizons to build production road cars. A way to get that done, while opening up new racing opportunities at the same time (McLaren liked the possibility of challenging Porsche, Ferrari and Alfa Romeo) was to create a race car to compete at Le Mans. The M6GT was to be a closed cockpit coupe version of the iconic McLaren M6B CanAm racer. As Le Mans prototypes require homologation, that meant 50 road-going versions would have to be produced. Sure enough, McLaren had 50 closed cockpit bodies produced that would fit over the M6B chassis. Two racing prototypes were built for evaluation purposes, although a change in the rules scuttled the project. The project would be reignited by McLaren in 1970 as it was something that was near and dear to his heart, as he converted one of the old prototype M6BGTs into his own personal road car. However, the project would again be scuttled with the subsequent death of McLaren later that year during a testing incident. Enter Andre Fournier, a wealthy young French Canadian who was looking to purchase an exotic sports car for the road. When he heard that Lola was involved in a project to create GT coupes for the road, he hopped on the first plane to England to see what might be available as the T70 was a competent racer. After negotiating with Lola founder, Eric Broadley, a suitable price could not be reached. So he took his business over to McLaren, who just happened to have already designed a road version, and a deal was made to create the M12GT making use of the surplus coupe bodies and McLaren’s current chassis, the M12. The first privately sold McLaren road car was created, and shipped to Fournier in Waterloo, Quebec. However, like the customer cars that McLaren built for sports car racing, the M12GT did not come to our shores as a turnkey car ready for the road. Several vital parts, such as headlights, were missing, and Fournier had to enlist the services of race car driver Jacques Duval to shake down and set up the car for street duty. Thus, 22 years before the F1 went on sale in 1992, McLaren’s first production car hit the streets thanks to the influence of a Canadian. 50 Rods & Classics RPM Aug / Sept 2013

would score the team’s first podiums and victories, while Emerson Fittipaldi won the team’s first driver’s title in 1974. The next year, Hulme would partner with Mike Hailwood to achieve the team’s first constructor’s title. 1976 would see James Hunt win an iconic driver’s championship with his epic battles with Ferrari’s Niki Lauda. 1980 would signal the glory years for the team, as McLaren merged with Ron Dennis’ Project Four Formula Two team. The merger ushered in a rash of constructor’s and driver’s titles to become one of the most successful teams in Formula 1 championship history, with McLaren cars and drivers winning a total of 20 world championships. Today, the McLaren team is a constant contender, (well maybe not this year) a team that has withstood the cutthroat nature of the sport, which leaves only Ferrari as a longer-surviving team. Along with the racing success, McLaren Automotive has embarked on a journey Bruce would have been proud of, finally building the production road cars he once dreamed of just before his death, and have stayed true to his famous words for the whole trip.

CLASSIC CORNER Pagani Huayra will make its Canadian debut and first public show appearance coming to Vancouver directly from the Monterey Peninsula in California, where the who’s who of the automobile world take in a week of car shows, auctions and vintage racing. Craig Stowe, President of LSW, believes the stars have aligned for this automotive extravaganza. “The timing is perfect because it is the time of year when a number of manufacturers are launching their latest luxury models and displaying them at Pebble Beach. We are fortunate that just a few weeks later, some of these cars will travel north to Beautiful British Columbia”. “The key factors in making a Concours successful is to have a spectacular location, which we certainly have, one of the world’s most beautiful cities with great hotels, restaurants and a local base of astute and sophisticated collectors of classic and modern, luxury and supercars,” said Stowe.

Canada’s Finest Luxury & Supercar Show Returns Story and photos by Nigel Matthews, additional photos courtesy of Marcel Lech Photography


he latest supercars, rarest of classics and finest of european fashions showcase the 5th annual judged show. This will be the first year of judging for modified luxury and supercars.

What is a Concours d’Elegance? The French-to-English translation means ‘competition of excellence.’ Each vehicle in the Concours has been hand-picked by a selection committee and invited on the recommendation of Nigel Matthews, the Chairman of Automotive Selection for the event, and Chief Judge. Matthews explained how the featured cars will be judged. “Trained judges will evaluate the competing vehicles thoroughly, scrutinizing the vehicles from a number of different angles. Only vehicles with perfect scores or as close to perfect as they can get will be considered for a top honour.”

Two hundred of the most spectacular cars from the past and present will adorn the lush great lawn of VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, Contenders will be vying for the ultimate prize for rare automobile collectors - a Best of Show Trophy. Winning a Concours Best of Show carries September 7th & 8th, 2013. both a boost in prestige and in some cases can add value to a vehicle’s The Luxury & Supercar Weekend (www. pedigree. will showcase some of the rarest classic and modern General admission tickets supercars in the world. Six-thosand- are $50 (www.luxurysuperplus guests and media are expected to, for access to some of the rarest classic and attend from all over the globe. modern supercars in the Luxury & Supercar Weekend (LSW) world. For a more enhanced was first held in Vancouver in 2009 at the Plaza of Nations, the following experience, guests over 19 year it travelled to Seoul, Korea, and it returned to Vancouver in 2011. It can purchase VIP tickets has grown into the Nation’s finest two-day outdoor lifestyle event which for $75 – a special rate for offers visitors a unique up-close and personal opportunity to view the RPM Magazine (be sure to enter promotional code RPM world’s most important examples of automotive achievements. when buying tickets online VIP tickets include This year, LSW is celebrating anniversaries of automotive achievements. lunch in the Italian food & wine tent, adult beverages, access to LSW They will include a salute to the 60th anniversary of Corvette, 50 years of fashions and automotive lectures hosted by keynote speakers. Lamborghini, and 50 years of a car that has not changed its shape in 50 years, the iconic Porsche 911. As well, a stunning display of a significant private collection of Ferraris that have never been seen before, a salute to the Great Gatsby era and the usual display of Italian, German and British classics. Something new for this year will be a class of traditional ‘30s Hot Rods and a selection of muscle cars from the big three manufacturers Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, along with a display of small military vehicles. That class will be called “The Highway of Heroes.” The 2011 LSW venue was used to showcase the Canadian debut of the McLaren MP4-12C. This year, the Rods & Classics RPM Aug / Sept 2013 51

NEW PRODUCT SHOWCASE New Camaro Mud Guards Available from Husky Liners The all-new Camaro Mud Guards from Husky Liners are for 20102013 model years and will immediately provide enhanced styling for your Camaro. The guards, which are made from a high impact-resistant material, will help prevent any damage to your vehicle’s paint from the sandblasting effects of rocks and road debris. They are engineered to contour to body panels and fenders for a precise fit, and have been NHRA track-tested on the Husky Liners COPO Camaro. The package includes front and rear guards, and will not work with the ground effects package.

Parts For Any Mopar

Everything you need... Anywhere you need it!

52 Rods & Classics RPM Aug / Sept 2013

For more information please go to

BBK Caster Camber Plates for 2005-2014 Ford Mustang BBK is now offering Caster Camber plates for the 2005-2014 Ford Mustang V6, GT or Shelby GT500. The plates are designed to work well at any ride height but are ideal for lowered vehicles to adjust the caster and camber alignment. They allow you to adjust camber without changing the caster, which means you can control how fast your tires wear and improve your stability while cornering. The plates are made from CNC-machined billet aluminum, Teflonlined spherical bearings, and factory OEM bearing cups. For more information please go to

Vortech Superchargers 2013 Scion FR-S/ Subaru BRZ Superchargers The people at Vortech Superchargers have engineered a new centrifugal Supercharging System for the 2013 Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ. The systems include a calibration upgrade and all necessary fuel components to boost your FRS/BRZ up to 294 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque with 9 PSI at the factory redline. Also included is a replacement MAP sensor and Ecutek programmer to re-flash the ECU with a calibration for 91-octane fuel. The kit is only available for vehicles with a manual transmission, but calibration for automatics is under development.




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Stainless Steel Exhaust System for 2005-2010 Chrysler Products

Fast & Easy Installation Available in Chrome or Smoke

Dynomax Performance Exhaust now offers a drone-free, stainless steel exhaust kit for the 2005-2010 Dodge Charger R/T, Chrysler 300C, and Dodge Magnum R/T 5.7L Hemi V8. All of the kits come complete with stainless steel DynoMax VT Mufflers and feature a 4-inch outlet, and double-wall, buffed and polished 6-inch OAL SS slant cut tips. They feature 3-inch SS mandrel bent pipes and come with eight stainless steel band clamps and all necessary hardware for installation. They boast gains of up to 13 hp and 22 lb-ft of torque. For more information please go to

Cold Air Intake for 2013 Ford Focus ST

Airaid now offers a performance Cold Air Intake for the new 2013 Ford Focus ST and its turbocharged 2.0L EcoBoost engine. The system consists of Cold Air Dam panels and a new performance filter, which can boost your performance by 10 horsepower and 12 lb-ft of torque. The Cold Air Dam panels replace the upper half of the factory intake box, and snaps into the lower half to use the factory cold air inlet ducts. The weatherstripping seals the panels against the bottom of the hood to keep hot engine air away from the filter. For more information please go to

NEWLY RELEASED: 2014 Chevy Silverado 2014 GMC Sierra


Rods & Classics RPM Aug / Sept 2013 53

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Parting Shots is where we share those photos that defy classification. If you’ve seen something fourwheeled (or otherwise) that you would like to share, please send it to

It’s a car, no it’s a bike, no... it’s both?

That’s one way to try and beat the traffic.

We’d like to know how, or why this happened.

54 Rods & Classics RPM Aug / Sept 2013

Definitely the last car you’d want to do that to.