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Five Alive

Audi’s five-cylinder engine is back with a bang 12

ALSO INSIDE: Performance

The Holden Commodore and the Ford Falcon do battle down under 46

BMW 650i xDrive The BMW 6 Series Coupe is now available with BMW’s all-wheel dirve system xDrive... pg 22

Porsche 911

The seventh generation of Porsche’s iconic sports car 18

Library on wheels

Smitty Miller brings the library to you with the help of 41

carroll shelby

Charged Up Jason Woo’s 1999 Mazda Miata Supercharged 36

We pay our respects to the late Carroll 54 Starting Lines--------------------------------------------------------------- 4 Road Test: Lexus GS350 ------------------------------------------------- 16 Road Test: Nissan Versa-------------------------------------------------- 20 Road Test: Toyota Yaris -------------------------------------------------- 21 Road Test: Chrysler 300S ------------------------------------------------ 26 Wheels 101----------------------------------------------------------------- 29 Greatest Roads #17------------------------------------------------------- 30 RPM Test Fleet------------------------------------------------------------- 32 Autoglym ------------------------------------------------------------------ 34 The Truck Guy-------------------------------------------------------------- 35 Plugged In: OEM Integration -------------------------------------------- 43 Classic Corner------------------------------------------------------------- 56 New Product Showcase-------------------------------------------------- 58 One-on-One: Jason De Carteret------------------------------------------ 60 Parting Shots-------------------------------------------------------------- 64

‘66 Shelby GT 350H Allen Cheng’s 1966 Shelby GT 350H 48

RPM Jun / July 2012 


The Legend is Dead, RIP Carroll Volume 14, Issue No. 3 June/July 2012 Publisher / Editor: Dean Washington Associate Publisher: David Symons Advertising Inquiries: Circulation: Brenda Washington New Car Editor Gerry Frechette Editorial Coordinator / Graphic Designer Jordan Allan Sales & Marketing Elaine Fontaine Controller: B.M. Walker Contributing Writers/Photographers: Jordan Allan Gerry Frechette Arch Linsao Dave MacKinnon Nigel Matthews Russell Purcell Budd Stanley Greg Symons

He was a man who was bigger than life. He, with the help of Ford, brought American cars into the limelight of sports car racing at the height of the sport’s glory years. He created legendary race cars, iconic road cars and built a name that was performance. He was supposed to have died back in the ‘60s with a bad heart, but he persevered and survived not only in life, but professionally as well. Yes, we’ve lost the Texan in the black Stetson; Carroll Shelby has succumbed to pneumonia at the age of 89. To the very end, Shelby had his hands full of projects, most notably the modern Shelby Mustangs. Our condolences to the entire Shelby clan; the entire motoring world has lost a great ambassador. RIP Carroll, may you race Enzo in that big racetrack in the sky with the same success. GM Buys Percentage of Peugeot? There were a lot of disappointed GM product owners left out in the cold when the General killed off Pontiac, Saturn and Hummer when the recession brought the world’s largest automotive manufacturer to its knees. However, with GM now making money once again, it seems like the auto giant is up to its old tricks, becoming the second-largest shareholder in PSA Peugeot Citroen, with a proposal for seven percent of the French automaker. The action cost General Motors $423 million to buy into PSA, allowing both automakers to net cost savings over the course of the initial 10-year term of the partnership by leveraging their collective purchasing power for better prices from suppliers and also sharing economies of scale. GM and PSA are also looking to create vehicles, powertrains and components together within the next four years. The two companies have already started work on developing a low-cost small car to sell in emerging markets.

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RPM Jun / July 2012

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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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RPM Jun / July 2012


Ford Racing Offering B-Spec Package for Fiesta The B-Spec class of road racing has been a smashing success at both the amateur and professional levels. Designed as an affordable class for the entry-level racer, B-Spec features production cars utilizing nearly completely standard setups, with only the addition of safety equipment and specific tires and suspension components. With the field comprising subcompact hatches, the Fiesta is a particularly potent weapon and as such, Ford Racing now offers a B-Spec upgrade kit that will make any Fiesta hatchback legal to compete in SCCA and GRAND-AM’s B-Spec classes. At the centre of the parts kit is an affordable Ford Racing coil-over suspension, racing ABS and A/C delete, SS brake lines, K&N filter and shift kit. This kit, when combined with racing tires, makes the already fun-to-drive Fiesta a wellbalanced track competitor. Including the donor car and the Ford Racing B-Spec parts, the estimated cost to build a race-ready B-Spec Fiesta is approximately $25,000.00. Couple Drives Passat TDI 2,616 km On One Tank It used to be that when a gearhead wanted to prove their driving skill, they went out and raced their car against fellow gearheads. However, with high gas prices and an influx of highly efficient cars, there seems to be a new form of motorsport gathering steam. The art of “hypermiling” is the quest to record the absolute best fuel efficiency of a vehicle that one can obtain. John and Helen Taylor are “mileage experts” according to Volkswagen, who hold a mass of world records for fuel-efficient driving. Yeah, not the most exciting people, you may think, but the Taylors have recently set yet another record by driving a stock 2012 Passat TDI SE all the way from Houston, Texas to Sterling, Virginia without refueling. That’s 2,616 kilometres on a 73L tank averaging 2.8L100km. As we’ve done a fair bit of fuel efficiency challenges ourselves, we admire the Taylors’ patience and discipline, but we’ll keep challenging ourselves at the track.


The Snake Comes Out of its Burrow It’s been quite a while since we’ve had a supercar from the Pentastar, however, with rumours abounding of a return of the snake and Dodge confirming only months ago that the Viper will indeed make its return, we finally have pictures and details of the new halo car. Two models, the SRT Viper and SRT Viper GTS, will be available later this year as a 2013MY vehicle. The iconic all-aluminum 8.4-litre V10 will be back in the engine bay delivering an estimated 640 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque, the most torque of any naturally-aspirated sports car engine in the world. The chassis will be 50-percent stiffer with triple-digit weight reduction thanks to an all-new carbon-fibre and aluminum skin. The GTS model will feature adjustable suspension along with premium quality interior appointments to combat the European exotics. A track package will also offer race compound tires, slotted two-piece rotors and ultralightweight, track-ready wheels. While on paper, the new Viper seems as manic as ever, the addition of luxury and tech appointments and traction and stability control make us wonder if the new car will be engineered for those who want to be seen in a supercar, or those who want to drive one.

This could be the sign of things to come. The Department of Motor Vehicles officials in Nevada has issued Google the first U.S. license to test self-driving cars on public streets, after conducting demonstrations on the Las Vegas Strip. The test was designed to prove that the cars are indeed safe, and perhaps safer than human drivers. Google’s automated Toyota Prius uses laser radar mounted on the roof and in the grille to detect pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles, creating a virtual buffer zone around the obstacles that the car then avoids. Nevada’s regulations require two people in the test cars at all times. One person is behind the wheel, while the other person monitors a computer screen that shows the car’s planned route and keeps tabs on roadway hazards and traffic lights. So far, Google has applied to license three test vehicles that will display red plates and an infinity symbol to represent their status as vehicles of the future. Scion Backing Racers Racing is a tough hobby to get into. Unless daddy left you a healthy trust fund or you just happened to sell a successful soft-

Nevada Gives Google’s Automated Prius The OK

ware company, racing usually comes at the cost of every available cent and usually a girlfriend or two. Thankfully, Scion recognizes 

RPM Jun / July 2012

STARTING LINES the passion of racers and their sacrifices to the speed gods and will Bridgestone Printing Designs On Tires be supporting motorsport competitors across Canada for the secOver the years, we’ve seen several tire manufacturers market odd ond year in a row, through the Scion Racing contingency program. new ways to sell their tires, everything from tires that emit coloured This special program is designed to support aspiring Scion racers smoke during a burnout to tires across the country to compete in sanctioned closed course racing that don’t require air to tires that events. Autoslalom, time attack, drag racing and more are eligible smell like flowers. Well, Bridgeto participate. This program becomes all the more significant with stone thinks it’s hit an untapped the arrival of the FR-S, which will undoubtedly become a staple in aftermarket with its unveiling of grassroots motorsports. To be eligible for the Scion Racing contires with printed sidewalls. The tingency program, Scion drivers must participate in a minimum of funky new tires use layers of ink, two races. In helping to support tomorrow’s racing talent, monetary one below and one above a proprizes of up to $500 are available, plus up to $300 for a second tective coating, with which tuners place finish and $150 for a third place finish. A division chamcan fully customize the design of pion will be paid $800. For more information on the Scion Racing the sidewalls using any kind of contingency program, including how to enter, visit http://www.scion. vector-based graphics. Bridgesca/scion/en/lifestyle/racing. tone claims the outer-most layer won’t succumb to scrapes and Jaguar Gets Back into Factory Backed Racing, Not scratches, and neither the durability nor the weight of the tires are What You Think compromised by the technology. Bridgestone has yet to set a date It has been a good long while since we’ve seen the big cat for production. attack a racetrack in anger, but while we’d love to see Jaguar head back to Le Mans with a modern car, we’ll have Honda Wins Appeal Over Fuel-efficiency to make do with Jaguar’s announcement to return to comAdvertizing petitive racing in the world of historic motorsport with the It’s a controversial subject, the legitimacy of the fuel efficiency launch of Jaguar Heritage Racing. For the first time since rating that manufacturers advertise on their vehicles. Depend1956, works-supported C- and D-Types will race again at ing on the circumstances and environments of the tests done venues including Goodwood and the Nurburgring, while the to obtain these numbers, and that of the real world driver sceseason-long program will also see Jaguar Heritage Racing narios of new owners, there could be a rather large discrepsupport numerous additional events on the historic motoring ancy. Californian Heather Peters wasn’t too impressed at the calendar. These include the Mille Miglia, the Pebble Beach numbers she was getting after buying a Honda Civic Hybrid. Concours d’Elegance, and each round of the E-Type chalAs such, she took American Honda to court earlier this year lenge in the UK. While it will be great to see these cars out and was awarded $10,000 after complaining that Honda was on the battlefield once again, with Audi, BMW, Mercedes, misleading her, promising the sedan would get significantly Aston Martin, and Porsche all running several top-tier racing better mileage than proved true in the real world. Well, Honda series, we have to admit it would be nice to see Jaguar not has since won back its money, appealing the decision in Suso content to just sit on their laurels. preme Court. With the price of fuel reaching record highs and

10 RPM Jun / July 2012


NGK Spark Plugs Canada Limited Celebrates 30 Years in Canada NGK Spark Plugs Canada Limited brought employees and customers together to celebrate the company’s 30th anniversary in Canada. The ignition and emissions component supplier held a gala dinner event at the Hilton in Markham, Ont., that featured corporate and political dignitaries as well as compelling entertainment. Among the speakers at the event were Eiji Yamamotoa, consul general of Japan at Toronto, Town of Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti, Deborah Moynes-Keshen, executive vice-president, Automotive Industries Association of Canada. “I wanted to express any sincerest appreciation to every employee for their

THE ORIGINAL stRoNgeR > tougheR > moRe DuRAble


no real end in sight, the importance of a manufacturer’s published fuel efficiency ratings is becoming more and more important to the paying customer. We’ve likely not heard the last of this debate, as testing parameters and regulations still create a blurry image of what is capable, and real-world driving conditions and habits will offer two very different numbers.

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[contributions] to the success of NGK in Canada,” president and CEO of NGK World Wide Shinichi Odo addressed the attendees. “I would like to thank all of you for your great support over the past 30 years as we look forward to a prosperous future.” Guests were also invited to tour the company’s headquarters and warehouse in Markham, Ont., where nearly 5,000 skus of Spark Plugs, Wires Set and Oxygen Sensors are inventoried in addition to Akebono Brake Pads, which the company represents for the Canadian market.

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Performance on Five

Story and photos by Gerry Frechette


he inline five-cylinder engine is not a common configuration in the recent history of the automobile, with Audi being the first to use such a design, gasoline-fuelled, in 1976. It became the mainstay engine of the sportiest Audi models for almost two decades, both normally-aspirated and turbocharged, powering the cars with the four rings to many successes in Group B rallying, and making for many capable sport sedans in the day, including the first S4 with turbo power, 20 years ago. By the mid-1990s, though, the use of the straight five, hung longitudinally out over the front axle, came to an end for various reasons, and Audi followed convention with inline-four, V6 and V8 engines in the interim. When we first drove the Audi TTS a few years ago, its high-output turbo four with 265 horsepower made for a very fun sports car. But the rumours kept getting stronger – Audi would be getting back into the five-cylinder game, and the TT platform would house the latest-generation five-banger, mounted transversely for the first time, yielding very potent performance in the small and light TT. That day has arrived, we have driven the TT RS, and we can say that it is, indeed, a different animal from any four-cylinder TT that has preceded it. The extra cylinder, plus modern technology like direct injection, makes the TT into a unique performance car, with a distinctive growling sound to go with its iconic design, and speed to burn. 12 At The Wheel RPM Jun / July 2012

The performance equation begins with the 2.5-litre (think of it, 150-something cubic inches) engine’s output of 360 hp and 343 lb-ft of torque as low as 1,650 rpm, thanks to 18 pounds of boost and a 10.0:1 compression ratio, unheard-of numbers not so long ago on a turbo engine. This beast easily propels the TT RS into near-supercar territory, reportedly a bit quicker than big brother R8. Like, zero-to-100 km/h in a ferocious 4.6 seconds, according to Audi. That power is directed through a six-speed manual transmission – only. We don’t get the twin-clutch seven-speed DSG manumatic that other markets get and that is even quicker, but there are no complaints here, other than the heavy clutch in traffic. All four wheels are driven, via the expected quattro system with Haldex technology. In the rain, this thing just hunkered down and took off. At the corners are magnetorheological dampers, the kind that change their settings instantly via electric charge, and they keep body motions well under control, with very little lean in corners. Brakes are very large and clamped by four-piston calipers up front. Our tester was, unfortunately except in the rain, still equipped with its winter tires, which were 18-inchers rather than the correct 255/35-19s, so the photos don’t quite convey what the stock TT RS looks like. We never came close to the limit of its capabilities in the dry on public roads, so it wasn’t a big issue on the performance side. We did find out in the rain that the car will eventually understeer, but that was really pushing things. As seems to be mandatory in performance cars these days, the TT RS has the little button labelled “Sport” on the console, and as is usually the case, it transforms the car into a rambunctious instrument of instant gratification of all the driver’s senses used to pilot it. Changed to the wild side are suspension settings, steering response, throttle mapping, and even the exhaust flow via an opened flap in the tailpipe that turns a guttural bark into a shriek that only a five could make.

14 At The Wheel RPM Jun / July 2012

As befits a limited-edition car (only 1,000 for North America, supposedly), the TT RS wears a bespoke suit of clothes, with unique front and rear valences, extra vents, a rear diffuser, carbon-fibre rear-view mirrors, and a tall fixed rear wing that is a bit “tuner” looking, but which must be needed at hyper-speed with the short, stubby TT bodywork. The interior of the TT RS could be described as a bit austere and purposeful, in the Audi tradition, with its monochromatic black shade. Fit, finish and materials are really beyond criticism. The front seats are, of course, multi-adjustable and very supportive and comfortable. We say “front” because, surprisingly, there are actually rear seats that are useful only for very small humans to sit in, specifically a young child in a properly-installed seat – unless the person in the seat up front is equally small and has the seat way up. That area of the car is much more useful when said seats are folded down and become a cargo area. The TT RS is not unique among German sports coupes in this odd situation which might have something to do with cheaper insurance in some jurisdictions. Options include navigation system, Bose audio, and Titanium styling package, all of which our tester had. Connectivity is extensive, with iPod connect, two memory card slots, and a DVD player.

SPECIFICATIONS Type of vehicle: ............................................ Front-engined, AWD sports coupe Engine: .................................................. Turbocharged 2.5L DOHC five-cylinder Power: . .............................................................................360 hp @ 5,500 rpm Torque: . .......................................................... 343 lb-ft of torque @ 1,650 rpm Transmission: . ...................................................................... Six-speed manual Brakes: ...................................................................... Four-wheel disc with ABS Tires: ........................................................................................... P255/35YR19 Price: . ....................................................................................... (base) $67,600

Is there any downside to the TT RS? It puts out a noisy drone at constant highway speeds, so it’s not the most aurally comfortable cruiser. And, well, it costs some $10,000 more than the aforementioned TTS coupe with the same drivetrain (and DSG transmission available.) Whether that extra 95 horsepower is put to good use is really up to the driver, but it would be fun to have, and that five-cylinder engine is a unique piece of equipment in the world of performance cars. If you want to surprise all manner of German performance cars in speed contests, especially in the wet, the TT RS is the Audi for you. At The Wheel RPM Jun / July 2012 15

ROAD TEST - LEXUS GS350 F-SPORT AWD that individuals cross-shopping Lexus with the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz will award the Japanese brand some extra style points. The driver will appreciate the layout of the cockpit, which places all the controls and switchgear within easy reach of both hand and eye. I found it difficult to take my hands off the thick-rimmed, three-spoke F-Sport steering wheel, as it was that comfortable.

The Wait is Over Story and photos by Russell Purcell


he Lexus GS has been thoroughly reworked for 2013, so I was full of anticipation when I arrived to pick up the car for my test drive. I was also intrigued because the test unit was equipped with the company’s new F-Sport Package, and I had yet to see one of these cars in the flesh. As the garage door rolled up and I got my first look at the car’s almost sinister new face, I have to admit I was excited, and this was the first time a Lexus product had had that effect on me in a long while. Lexus, much like its parent Toyota, is often accused of producing rather bland designs. A quick walk around the new GS proves that this may no longer be the case. The car’s lines are crisp and clean, but subtle curves and a plethora of unique styling elements combine to give the car a distinct flare that will make it stand out from the crowd. Overall, it is a more mature design which will appeal to the target audience much better than the boy-racer look typical of most performance offerings from Japan. The company set the ever-popular BMW 5-Series as its benchmark when it came time to renovate and reinvigorate the GS, and after spending some time behind the wheel, it is obvious that they have created a contender. I have no qualms about referring to the new GS as a sports sedan, something I wasn’t willing to do with its forbear. In fact, the GS 350 now possesses the styling, performance and luxury required to give its many rivals a run for the money. The interior is a classy affair, and it is apparent that the designers worked overtime to put the vanilla label firmly in the rearview mirror. The deep black exterior paint on my test vehicle will prove popular with executive types, but the high contrast earthy red tone that cloaked the seats and door panels was stunning. Lexus calls this Garnet, and it caught the eye of every person who saw the car. The quality of the leather, trim and carpeting used throughout the car’s interior far surpassed what I would expect in a car at this price point, and I suspect 16 At The Wheel RPM Jun / July 2012

Taking a page from the marketing manuals of rivals such as Germany’s iconic BMW and Mercedes-Benz brands, it appears that Lexus is looking towards using the FSport moniker to differentiate those cars that feature performance levels that will appeal to the enthusiast driver. BMW’s M division and Mercedes-Benz’s AMG are world-renowned for putting a host of special machines on the road, and with cars like the F-Performance IS F and LFA in the Lexus portfolio, Lexus has established the foundation for its own more attainable performance line under the F-Sport name. The $4,800 F-Sport package includes a host of styling elements including 19-inch F-Sport wheels, an aggressive front fascia that features bold mesh inserts to complement the grille treatment, a subtle rear spoiler and high-performance brake calipers. On the inside, the level of F-Sport bling is actually quite reserved, as it includes subtle badging, aluminum pedal covers, metallic accent trim, and perforated leather F-Sport seats. The aforementioned steering wheel is also part of the package, as is a special shift knob and door sill scuff plates. On the technology side, the F-Sport Package adds the Drive Mode Select system with S+ mode, which allows the driver to customize the car’s handling dynamics and performance parameters via the dash-mounted display screen interface. An advanced Adaptive Variable Suspension system has been developed to bless the car with improved steering response as well as significantly reduce the effects of body roll and lean. The GS350 is fitted with a 3.5-litre V6 engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. My car also featured the latest variant of the company’s all-wheel drive system. The base version of the car is a reardriver, which I have no doubt would be a blast to drive with this power train, but I tend to believe that a large number of Canadian orders will be all-wheel drive-equipped cars. A hybrid model known as the GS 450h is also on the menu, but this car will only be available as a rear-wheel

ROAD TEST - LEXUS GS350 F-SPORT AWD excess drama, and Lexus claims runs from a standstill to 100 km/h will take a mere 5.7 seconds Surprisingly, the weight penalty afforded the car by the addition of the all-wheel drive system hasn’t hindered its performance as much as I would expect. In fact, I think the additional weight may have helped give this car its very neutral handling. The car feels exceptionally wellbalanced when executing turns, carving corners and traipsing over roller-coaster-like hills. The system directs 70 percent of the power to the rear wheels which helps preserve the handling dynamics favoured by the majority of enthusiast drivers, but when wheel slippage is detected, the system reacts to transfer power where it will provide optimal traction. The list of standard equipment is long and includes all the comfort, safety and entertainment accessories expected in an executive class sedan, but notable highlights include an abundance of LED lighting systems and a multi-use screen for navigation, entertainment and sysdrive model. It will arrive with a 3.5-litre V6 fitted with a hybrid system tem controls. The latter is controlled via a mouse-like input device that seemingly floats above the centre console as you explore the settings and a very efficient continuously variable transmission (CVT). for various comfort, audio and convenience systems. At the touch of a button, the car came to life. As I gently tapped the throttle, the throaty rasp of the exhaust tickled my ears. The ultra- A premium 12-speaker audio system with XM satellite radio, Bluetooth smooth V6 under the car’s shapely bonnet produces 306 horsepower capabilities and auxiliary and USB inputs is also on hand to help satisfy and 277 lb-ft of torque. While that might not sound like a lot in this era your audiophile needs. of muscular motors, it proved sufficient to keep me enthralled during The 2013 Lexus GS 350 stands as a huge step forward for the Japamy time behind the wheel. nese luxury brand, especially when equipped with the F-Sport packAs I made my way through the city and rush hour traffic, it became clear age. I suspect that Lexus will see a surge in both showroom traffic and that this car had dual personalities. The car was a model citizen as I sales as consumers become more aware of the company’s intriguing navigated through the urban environment, but once I found a stretch of new direction. open road, the punchy delinquent would attempt to commandeer the SPECIFICATIONS controls, begging for me to adjust my inputs to release the hounds. The car was more than content to do all the work in the shifting department, but I should warn you that once you start manipulating the shift paddles, it will be hard to stop. Gear changes are quick and transitions are smooth enough to go unnoticed by your passengers, that is until the downshift blip function kicks in to stir them awake. Acceleration is very linear, as the car begins its hustle to highway speeds without any

Base Price (MSRP):...................................................... $54,900 (GS 350 AWD) Price as tested: . ..$61,785.20 (Includes: F-Sport Package - $4,800; Freight and PDI- $1,950; A/C tax - $100; Various environmental fees- $35.20) Type: ......................................................... 5-passenger, 4-door, full-size sedan Layout: ................................................................................ Front-engine, AWD Engine:....................................................................... 3.5L, DOHC, 24-valve V6 Power: . .............................................................................306 hp @ 6,400 rpm Torque: . ......................................................................... 277 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm Transmission: . .................................................................6-speed auto-manual Brakes: ............................................................................................... Disc/disc Curb weight: . ......................................................................1,805 kg (3,980 lb) Acceleration (0-100 km/h): . ...................................................................5.7 sec Fuel economy [L/100 km]: . ............. City 11.1 L (25 mpg); Hwy 7.6 L (37 mpg)

At The Wheel RPM Jun / July 2012 17


The Legend Continues Story and photos by Russell Purcell

The car was made a little larger than previous iterations to provide much needed room in the passenger cabin, so it was important for the design team to monitor weight gain. One solution was to replace some of the body panels with aluminum, including the doors, fenders, and hood and trunk lids. The passenger cabin is more luxurious than that of previous offerings, and the dash, instrument cluster and centre console have been modernized to look like less-cluttered versions of those featured in the car’s sisters, the Panamera and Cayenne.

he Porsche 911 is one of the true icons in the automotive world. The model was born out of the successful 356 program in 1963 and is quickly approaching its 50th year of production. The car is, in short, a legend. It represents the dream machine for people from all walks of life and every age group, and has established a very large fan base over the last half century.

The car’s cockpit has been designed to place the driver in the optimal setting to become one with the car, and the most vital controls, gauges and switches are easily accessible for the operator. The body-hugging sports seats seemed infinitely adjustable (18-way) and proved firm and well-bolstered enough for serious track duty. The three-spoke steering wheel features a wide rim, and is fitted with paddle shift levers so that the driver can extract the most fun from the incredible PDK transmission.

This past spring, Porsche unleashed the seventh generation of the venerable 911 sports car, code name 991, to the motoring public. Each time the German company revisits the 911 design, there is a mild sense of tension felt among car enthusiasts worldwide as they are always haunted by the possibility that someone may drop the ball, and damage the image and functional form of the four-wheeled masterpiece of engineering that is the Porsche 911.

Once you slip into the driver’s seat, you will notice that there is a little more room to stretch out in, which will bode well for sales in the North American market. Retracting the extra-large moonroof ($1,710) gives the occupants an almost open-air driving experience. The rear passenger area is still best reserved for diminutive folk, but the stretched wheelbase added enough room to the rear footwell that I could now stow my camera bag on the floor rather than the rear seat.

Evolution takes time, and the designers and engineers at Porsche have managed to carefully direct this process for almost five decades. The 911’s basic shape and layout is still intact and acts to provide a tried-and-true foundation upon which they are free to create a car that stirs the heart, and the soul. With each new variant, the team at Porsche has managed to keep the car relevant, competitive and surprisingly (for such an aged design) innovative.

Standard equipment on my test car included a dual-zone automatic climate control, power windows, mirrors and door locks, Bi-Xenon headlights, navigation, Bluetooth mobile phone interface, and a premium audio system. The car was fitted with the optional twin-tube sport exhaust system, so I have to admit that I may have neglected to explore the capabilities of this apparently excellent sound system, as my ears prefer to be tickled by the mechanical music created by this mechanical instrument.


The 991 is the most forward-thinking 911 design yet. The new car features a longer wheelbase, a significantly lower suspension, and a wider track. These technical changes have given the new car an enhanced level of stability which will help inspire driver confidence. Few automobiles can claim the motorsport heritage held by the Porsche 911. Variants of the nimble coupe have been racking up major racing victories and establishing track records around the globe since day one, so it should come as no surprise that from certain angles, the 991 looks like the incredible windcheating GT1 endurance racer of days gone by. The wide rear fenders, sharply slanted windscreen and slivered taillights remind us that the familiar shape of the 911 was penned for the track and perfected in the wind tunnel. 18 At The Wheel RPM Jun / July 2012

ROAD TEST - PORSCHE 911 CARRERA S SPECIFICATIONS Base Price (MSRP): . .......................................................................... $110,000 Price as tested: . ........................................ $146,795 (with optional equipment, $1,085 destination charge, and $100 A/C tax) Type: ............................................................ 2-door, 4-passenger sports coupe Engine: .......................................3.8L, Direct Fuel-Injection (DFI) DOHC flat-six Power: . .............................................................................400 hp @ 7,400 rpm Torque: . ......................................................................... 325 lb-ft @ 5,600 rpm Transmission: . ................................................................7-speed Porsche PDK Brakes: ............................................................................................... Disc/disc Top speed: . ........................................................................................ 304 km/h Acceleration (0-100 km/h): . ...................................................................4.5 sec Fuel economy [L/100 km]: . ............ City 10.6 L (27 mpg); Hwy 7.3 L (39 mpg)

The all-new electric power steering has been engineered to provide just enough assistance to reduce the amount of effort required by the driver, while at the same time enhancing the level of steering precision. While playing on the icy road surfaces at Camp4, I was amazed that I wasn’t sawing at the wheel as I completed my lapping exercises. The car didn’t seem nervous or unsettled no matter how hard I pushed, but the same could not be said for my passenger. I like to think of the new Carrera S as a memory factory, as launching the car from a standstill is a pleasure-inducing experience that I would like to live over and over. Runs from 0-100 km/h take 4.5 seconds, and the car’s top speed is listed as 304 km/h.

The base 911 features a 3.4-litre, flat-6-cylinder engine that produces a healthy 350 horsepower and 288 lb-ft of torque, but my test vehicle was the upmarket Carrera S model, which gets its motivation from a 3.8-litre unit blessed with 400 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed manual transmission is standard on both models, but most buyers will opt for the seven-speed Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) auto-manual.

Acceleration is a controlled fury as a full complement of electronic stability and traction controls are on board to keep the car tracking straight and true. The Carrera S comes fitted with Porsche Stability Management (PSM) and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) as standard equipment, but enthusiast buyers looking to sharpen this track tool will want to order both the optional Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) and Sport Chrono Package to help enhance the driving experience further. If that wasn’t enough, While Porsche automobiles are lauded for being the apex predators of the the 911 Carrera S also features the company’s latest innovation, Porsche performance food chain, it is refreshing to see that the company acknowledges Torque Vectoring (PTV), which increases dynamic performance. the need to protect the environment with its non-hybrid offerings as well. As a result, all 911s now feature Porsche’s auto start-stop function that shuts Of course, a speed-activated rear spoiler is on board to deliver downforce down the engine when the car rolls to a stop, in an effort to reduce vehicle when travelling at higher speeds, but this latest design is longer than that of emissions. the outgoing 997, and is more visually appealing when deployed. Apart from the time I was allotted to test the 911 Carrera S on the street, I was also lucky enough to get the chance to spend some time behind the wheel of a similar model at two separate track events. The first took place in February when I did my best to learn how to drift Porsche’s iconic coupe through the technical corners of a high-speed, snow-covered track while attending the car’s Canadian launch at Camp4, held in Notre-Dame de la Merci, Quebec. The second track experience took place in April at my local track - Mission Raceway Park - where I was given the chance to put the new car through its paces as part of a lapping day organized by the local Porsche representative. What did I learn about the new car? Well the biggest revelation is that the car feels much more planted at speed, especially when pushed hard through the corners. Handling is razor sharp and surprisingly neutral for a 911, a car that at one time was plagued by oversteer due to the fact that the engine hangs out past the rear axle.

The engine’s torque curve is a little wider than that in the previous model, which means you will find that you are able to power through corners like never before. Luckily, similar improvements were made to the braking system to ensure that you can draw in the reins when your enthusiasm overwhelms your driving abilities. These powerful brakes sport lightweight discs, huge cooling ducts, and six-piston calipers up front. The all new electric power steering provided just enough assistance to reduce the amount of effort required by the driver, but at no time did I feel any substantial loss of feel. In fact, it seems to enhance the level of steering precision. The new Type 991 represents the future for Porsche designs. The car embraces the 911 model’s long lineage and sporting tradition while at the same time delivering the performance, efficiency, and comfort now demanded by the modern Porsche buyer. The legend continues.

At The Wheel RPM Jun / July 2012 19


Nissan Versa

Get some bang for your buck with the Versa Review by Budd Stanley, photos courtesy of Nissan Canada


to find much more space inside. Like the classic Mini, the Versa seems cavernous inside, when compared to its pint-sized exterior. As a compact, the Versa has urban manoeuvrability and fuel efficiency coupled with a nearly hysterically huge interior volume. Rear seat passengers should not fret; this sub-compact features legroom that would make all but the largest of luxury barges blush. Equally impressive is the massive trunk that hangs off the back that will eat 419L of cargo.

et’s not beat around the bush; the Nissan Versa is the cheapest car you can buy on the market today, and as such it’s not going to be impressing any bench racers, high-status types or techno heroes with its abilities. However, what it does offer the buyer is a good ride, decent handling, great interior space and impressive interior build quality for the segment. Interiors seem to be hit or miss with Nissan, but for its bottom-dollar car, I have to admit I Under the hood resides an all-new 1.6L four-banger producing similar power figures as the outgoing 1.8L, and is matched to an was impressed. ultra-fuel efficient CVT which is ten perecnt smaller and offers 30 percent less friction. The CVT is an incredibly efficient means of getting the power to the wheels and Nissan just made it a lot better. This equates to a consumption rating of 6.7L/100 km city, 5.2L highway, and 6.0L combined.

While the dash is much more refined, the rear seat legroom is really what makes the interior special. I’m still in need of getting used to the new exterior design, as many other manufacturers are building much prettier cars in this class, but if you still like the look of the outgoing version, the old hatchback is still being produced, as its redesign is being withheld until later this year. The big story, though, on this little car is its size. The Versa might be smaller than the outgoing version, but Nissan has managed 20 At The Wheel RPM Jun / July 2012

When it’s all said and done, the sub-compact market is all about getting some kind of bang, for the cheapest buck. As the Versa returns as the lowest priced vehicle on the market once again, you’d think that it would be a hard car to live with, However, Nissan has done a great job of not only building a car that you won’t be embarrassed to be seen in, but also made it quite versatile and comfortable at the same time. In terms of great bang for buck, the Versa reigns supreme.

SPECIFICATIONS MSRP:.................................................................................................. $11,798 Price as tested:..................................................................................... $16,298 Layout:................................................................................. Front Engine, FWD Engine:......................................................................... 1.6L inline four-cylinder Power: . ................................................................................................. 109 hp, Torque:................................................................................................ 107 lb-ft Transmission:.................................................. 5-speed Manual, CVT automatic Curb Weight: ....................................................................................... 1,092 kg Fuel Efficiency (city, highway, combined): ................ 6.7L/100km, 5.2L/100km, 6.0L/100km

ROAD TEST - TOYOTA YARIS SPECIFICATIONS MSRP: . ..................................................................................................$13,990 Price as tested: . .....................................................................................$20,712 Engine: .......................................................................... 1.5L inline-four cylinder Power: . ....................................................................................................106 hp Torque: . ................................................................................................ 103 lb-ft Curb Weight (kg): .......................................................................................1,020 Layout: ...................................................................................Front Engine, FWD Fuel Efficiency (city, highway, combined): 6.6L/100km, 5.2L/100km, 6.0L/100km

proper position in front of the driver. Along with improved materials and a good dash design, the new Yaris looks and feels like a real car again, and not like a toy. The stool-like feeling of the old seats has been vastly improved; they can’t be lowered any farther, unfortunately, but now they have greatly improved bolstering, so you won’t feel like you’re going to fall over onto your passenger when making left hand turns.

Changed Attitude

The new Yaris is the same car with a new character Review by Budd Stanley, photos courtesy of Toyota Canada

Interior space is also improved with the use of thinner seat backs opening up the rear legroom and also creating 25 percent more rear cargo area. Drivers, don’t fret, a more aggressive cab-forward design also aids the front passengers with more leg room. Another new feature I also greatly enjoyed was the single wiper on the windshield, a small change that just makes the car so much better. On the road, the Yaris is a much more communicative car with a more European feel to the chassis. Firmed up suspension and larger brakes bring the Yaris inline with the more sporty competition, but when it comes to the drivetrain, not much has changed. Still providing motivation is the proven 1.5-litre four-cylinder pumping out 106 horsepower and 103 lb-ft of torque, making for a combined fuel efficiency rating of 6.0L/100km.Throwing that power to the wheels is the tried-and-true four-speed automatic and five-speed manual gearboxes. Unfortunately, there are no six-speed units offered yet, which could likely make the little Yaris a real player in the fuel-efficiency game.


Another disappointment is the clutch actuation on the manualequipped Yaris. The lethargic throttle response of the engine coupled to a clutch with little feel of its engagement point makes this car one of the easiest to stall. As a large number of young drivers will likely be looking at the Yaris to either be their first car or be the car they learn how to drive in, the courting period could be filled with unnecessary The sub-compact hatchback category is one that has been flourishing drama. Only the Mini Countryman had a clutch worse than this. over the last couple of years, as more and more manufacturers keep jumping into the game with new vehicles. And while the Yaris was However, with the weak clutch and the lack of engine response aside, the car that reintroduced the segment to Canadians back in 2004, I really like what Toyota has done with the Yaris. It’s fun to drive again, then called the Echo Hatchback, the car has been on a bit of a slide useful and versatile and finally has the looks that more than its mother as of late. The problem? A segment full of cool new vehicles and will love. For an entry level price of $13,990, the Yaris is looking more Toyota’s stubbornness to rely on its well-known good build quality and more attractive. Do I like it more than the aging Fit, Versa or even the 500? Yes. Do I like it more than the Fiesta or Accent? No, but it while building boring cars. has several vital improvements that has seen it make a very large However, there is an interesting trend happening over at Toyota. leap up the ladder with what is technically a heavy facelift, rather than It is starting to design more interesting vehicles, even if they are an all-new model. I’m happy to say, well done Toyota. still very safely styled. As smaller makes such as Hyundai, Kia and Mazda have made big headways with unique and interesting designs, Toyota’s “don’t insult anyone” design theory seems to have taken a new direction, as several bold new designs are coming from the Japanese automaker. remember when the Yaris first came to our shores in the form of the Echo Hatchback. That was a great little car with smart thinking employed into many little details. When it was replaced with the Yaris, the cute little runabout seemed to get bigger, chunkier and more awkward, and to be honest, just wasn’t fun to drive.

The latest is the redesigned Yaris. Now, I loved the first version of this car, the Echo Hatchback, but the inception of the Yaris left a fairly bland taste in my mouth, with handling and seating characteristics that only added to the mediocre feelings I had towards the car. Despite being built on the same platform as the outgoing Yaris, the 2012 edition gets a much needed shot of character, along with several other improvements. The bold new look is continued into the cabin where Toyota has finally moved the rather annoying centre gauge cluster back to its

Finally, Toyota has ditched the old centremounted gauge cluster and put it back where it belongs, in front of the driver. At The Wheel RPM Jun / July 2012 21


A Coupe For All Seasons Story and photos by Russell Purcell


here are few automobiles as curvaceous and pleasing to the eye as the luxurious BMW 6 Series Coupe. This stunning automobile has attracted a faithful following due to its refined manners and sporty ride, but BMW was losing many potential customers for this car due to the fact that it was unavailable fitted with xDrive, the company’s well-sorted all-wheel drive system. Well, it appears that the product planners at BMW were listening, as Canadian consumers can now order the all-new 650i xDrive in either coupe or convertible form.

The passenger compartment is much roomier than it looks, but the two spots in the rear seating area are best reserved for children or smaller adults, as it can be tricky to navigate through the tight opening created when the front seat is folded forward, and there is limited room for larger feet. Up front, however, I found both seating positions to be very spacious, as the ultra-supportive bucket seats and extended footwells allow both driver and passenger to stretch out. I stand 6’2” tall and possess a large enough frame that I feel cramped when I get situated in some coupe designs, but the 650 provided sufficient leg-, hip- and headroom to make it a pleasure to get behind the wheel. As a luxury brand, BMW is noted for its impeccable interiors. The fitand-finish of the cabin is decidedly upmarket, as premium leather hides, fine woods and soft touch materials are used throughout. You would be hard-pressed to find a flaw in the stitching or signs of premature wear on any surface in this finely crafted machine. A quick look under the shapely hood reveals BMW’s twin-turbocharged, 4.4-litre V8 engine mated to a cutting-edge, eight-speed, sport-minded manumatic transmission. These twin marvels of engineering combine to deliver a driving experience so satisfying that I can almost guarantee that the car’s owner will rarely ever make it to work on time, and will probably always choose the long route to his or her destination. A six-speed manual gearbox is available as an option on the two-wheel drive 650i, but BMW did not see enough demand to offer this option to buyers of the xDrive model.

The BMW 650i was introduced in 2004, so it was time for a facelift to ensure that sales would remain strong. The car has been thoroughly re-designed for 2012, but the design team was very careful to retain the majority of the car’s styling cues and iconic features such as the prominent twin-kidney grille and signature halo-ringed headlamps. The car itself is longer, wider and lower than the outgoing variant, and its new skin looks much more aeroThe BMW 650i xDrive is a relatively large car, but when you dynamic and opulent than the design it replaces. step down hard on the throttle pedal, you will relish the spritely BMW is famous for perfecting the cockpit area of its automobiles, performance delivered by the ultra-smooth, 400-horsepower V8, so it should come as no surprise that the layout of the switchgear as well as the throaty roar of the performance exhaust. The twinand various instruments has been oriented towards the driver to turbochargers spool up so quickly that turbo lag is non-existent, enhance visibility and reduce reach. The comfort of the driver has and the torque band is broad enough to ensure that power is been thoroughly considered to reduce fatigue, and the seating readily available at all times. Acceleration is brisk but controlled, position and controls have all been designed to optimize safety and and sprints from a standstill to 100km/h take a mere five seconds promote driver confidence. Once seated in the driver’s position, - even quicker when you make your own gear selections via the I manipulated the many power controls to customize the fit of the steering wheel-mounted shift paddles. BMW’s sales literature car to best suit my individual needs. Of note, BMW’s iDrive system claims times as quick as 4.8 seconds! is back, but it has evolved to be much more intuitive. The system now utilizes a large, 10.2-inch display screen to help you navigate The marketing department at BMW has worked hard to convince through the car’s various systems, as well as display navigational the consumer that its automobiles deliver “the ultimate driving experience,” and my experience in a number of the company’s data, various camera views, and of course, play videos. 22 At The Wheel RPM Jun / July 2012


vehicles as of late has revealed that the engineering team is working hard to live up to this claim. The BMW 650i xDrive comes equipped with BMW’s innovative Adaptive Drive and Dynamic Drive systems on board, which allow the driver to adjust the car’s handling and power delivery to best suit the driving conditions. There are four dynamic pre-sets (Comfort, Normal, Sport and Sport+) which seamlessly transform the car’s handling and performance parameters at the touch of a button. A graphic on the display screen helps relay to the driver what changes are being made to the suspension, drivetrain and traction control systems. I had the opportunity to explore some nice twisty roads during my weeklong test period with the 650i xDrive. I was immediately impressed with how communicative the steering felt and how precisely the car tracked, as I tossed it into the corners and played with the throttle. The paddle shift mechanisms were lightning quick and when left on its own, the gearbox did not disappoint. The big disc brakes proved to be progres-

SPECIFICATIONS Base Price (MSRP):............................................ $101,500-109,900 (Cabriolet) Price as tested: . ................................................................................. $132,400 Type:....................................................................... 4-passenger, 2-door coupe Layout: ................................................................................ Front-engine, AWD Engine: ............................................Twin-turbocharged, 4.4L, DOHC V8 engine Power: . ................................................................400 hp @ 5,500 – 6,400 rpm Torque: . ............................................................ 450 lb-ft @ 1,750 – 4,500 rpm Transmission: . .................................................. 8-speed Tiptronic auto-manual Brakes: ............................................................................................... Disc/disc Acceleration (0-100 km/h): . ...................................................................4.8 sec Fuel economy [L/100 km]: . ........ City 13.5 L (21 mpg); Hwy 8.2 L (34.45 mpg)

and bumps are far less intrusive than before, and the car feels more planted when driven aggressively. The partnership of the dynamic suspension and the all-wheel drive system act seamlessly to help preserve the car’s traction which greatly enhances the car’s handling. Passenger safety has become a top priority for most Canadian consumers when it comes time to shop for an automobile, and BMW is a company that takes this to the next level. When you buy a modern car that retails above the $100,000 mark, it will no doubt be outfitted with the latest and greatest safety technologies such as lane-departure warning, parking assist, and a full complement of next generation air bags. The 650i xDrive also came equipped with BMW’s full arsenal of cameras. There is a pair of small cameras situated discretely on the front fenders that transmit a view of oncoming traffic to the dash-mounted screen so that the driver can safely enter the roadway from hidden driveways or alley ways. This keeps the car’s long hood from intruding on the flow of traffic. At the other end of the vehicle, a rear-view camera is cleverly concealed behind the trunk lid’s roundel. It proved invaluable, as rearward visibility is relatively poor. There is also a surround-view system which provides an overhead view of the vehicle’s surroundings which makes parking in tight spaces a far less stressful exercise. The crown jewel, however, is BMW’s incredible Night Vision with pedestrian recognition. This advancement allows the driver to see in the dark and warns you of any approaching danger that is located outside the range of the headlights.

The BMW 6-Series is a country club favourite due to the fact that it offers the near perfect mix of luxury, high-technology, and performance sive rather than grabby, and are backed up by a host of electronic aids in a design that delivers unsurpassed curb appeal. Canadian buyers designed to maximize and maintain brake effectiveness. will appreciate the opportunity to order the car fitted with the proven xDrive all-wheel drive system as it will extend your love affair with this The new car has been transformed by its long wheelbase and the ad- car beyond the typical spring and summer fling enjoyed by owners of ditional weight of the xDrive system. Road surface irregularities, dips most luxury coupes.

24 At The Wheel RPM Jun / July 2012


Chrysler 300S V8

By Gerry Frechette, photos courtesy of Chrysler


here was a time, say, in the 1960s, when the big sedan was the norm on North American roads. It had high levels of attitude and presence, plenty of interior room and most likely a V8, usually a small-block but occasionally a behemoth of 400-plus cubic inches in the premium brands. The 1966 Chrysler four-door hardtop with 440 V8 comes to mind; what a magnificent beast. Sure, there were still big sedans being built in the decades since then, but it was mostly government fleets and police departments who were buying them. They weren’t so much aspirational cars. But then, several years ago, Chrysler introduced the 300, a big rear-drive sedan with V8 power, and it has pretty much had that market, the big domestic luxury sedan for personal use, to itself since then. Now, there is the second generation of the 300 (actually, there were many other 300s dating back to the 1950’s, but that is a story for another day.) All the aspects of the original that people liked - unique design, attitude, room, V8 - have been kept and improved upon, while the car as a whole has been upgraded with modern technology and new levels of refinement. To look at the new 300, there is no doubt of what it is, as the overall design theme has been retained, but with a more mature look that should appeal to more people. The grille is smaller and smoother looking, and the taillights better integrated, but kept is the very high belt line, gun-slit windows and bulging fenders that are key to its aggressive visual demeanour. There is a wide variety of equipment and models available, again just like the old days, including 26 At The Wheel RPM Jun / July 2012

V6 and two V8s, and rear-drive or all-wheel drive, but new for 2012 is the 300S, and it takes the 300 in a different direction that adds even more subtle sportiness. We drove the rear-drive with the Hemi V8, no doubt the most performance-oriented version, but even the V6 AWD will get you most of the features that differentiate the S from other 300s, which are more luxurious (the C) or just plain outrageous (SRT8). So the S is all about appealing to a slightly different demographic, one to whom look and street cred is all-important. To that end, there is no chrome and no wood, just matte carbon fibre and piano black monochromatic finishes. Inside, the seats are upholstered in unique black or Radar Red leather. The audio system is something called Beats by Dr. Dre audio technology, the good doctor appar-

Driven to perform. Ultra high performance with comfort. The art of combining ultra high performance with a luxury ride is what differentiates the Toyo Proxes T1 Sport. It’s unique rib design improves braking as well as delivering a quiet, more comfortable ride. The T1 Sport also gives you precise handling and better grip in both dry and wet road conditions. Toyo Tires‌engineered for the real world.


ently being a musician to whom the intended customer will relate. We don’t, but the audio is pretty impressive nonetheless, with ten speakers and 552 watts, and the satellite radio can be programmed to something other than urban music, thank goodness. The cabin is cavernous in all directions, and it offers more legroom than most of its competitors, especially in the back seat. The car features a well-designed interior layout with soft-touch plastics and materials that are a world apart from the previous generation of 300. Outside, the 300S is distinguished by unique body-colour fascia accents and mirrors, black-accented headlamp bezels with matching sculpted horizontal grille blades in black chrome, and a new set of 20-inch polished-face aluminum wheels with black-painted pockets and wider all-season performance tires. We must say that having the 300S with the 5.7-litre Hemi V8 is a bit of a guilty pleasure, an unnecessary extra two cylinders in real-world use (gasp – did we just say that?). The 300S with 3.6-litre V6 has most of the same features for over $4,000 less, plus the new 8-speed au-

28 At The Wheel RPM Jun / July 2012

tomatic transmission that is currently not available on the V8 (which gets the dated 5-speed), and its power rating of a spirited 292 horsepower is only some 71 less, and in a lighter car. The bottom line is, you get all the same look and image with the V6, with very flexible driving characteristics and highway fuel consumption of 6.4L vs 8.0L for the Hemi, despite the latter having the MDS technology that shuts down four cylinders under light load. Plus, the all-wheel drive system, with the active transfer case and front axle disconnect, is available on both (for $2,000 more) and probably a good idea in this climate. But then, those who want the image and speed will prefer the Hemi no matter what. Driving it, one is always aware of its size, but considering that, it handles well, stops confidently and goes like heck. Much better than that 1966 model. In any case, the 300S is notable for its distinctly cool attitude and flair, and is a real head-turner. Not to mention, a great value no matter which drivetrain is chosen, and a car that is unique in this market – a traditional full-size American luxury sedan. And we like that.

SPECIFICATIONS Vehicle type:......................................... Full-size, front-engine, four-door sedan MSRP (300S RWD):............................................................................. $40,245 Engine: ..........................................................................................5.7L OHV V8 Transmission: . .................................................................... 5-speed automatic Power: . .............................................................................363 hp @ 5,200 rpm Torque: . .............................................................................................. 394 lb-ft Brakes: .......................................................................... 4 ventilated discs, ABS Fuel Economy:.................................... 13.5 L/100km city, 8.0 L/100km highway Warranty: .......................................................... 36 months / 60,000 kilometres

WHEELS 101 measures from the back lip of the wheel to the mounting surface of the wheel. If that meant nothing to you, don’t worry, I’ll explain it further. Both offset and backspacing measure where the wheel will sit in the fender of your vehicle, from a depth perspective. The bigger the number, the deeper inset that wheel is inside your fender. The smaller the number, the more that wheel is pushed outward toward the outside of your fender. Your vehicle does have a range of offsets or backspacing that can fit in the fender without interfering with any of the vehicle’s panels or suspension components. And yes, to determine exactly what that range is, talk to your wheel expert! You’ll notice the repetition of the phrase, “talk to your wheel expert.” And the reason I constantly repeat it is because it’s the best advice I can give you. Keep in mind, they’re trained and they do this for a living. My best advice is to let them earn their keep. That being said, though, you also can’t expect them to do 100 percent of the work for you. They’re going to need some help from you. Make sure you provide them with your COMPLETE vehicle information. Some vehicles have specific models or trim levels that have different wheel fitment specifications. Your wheel expert needs to know this. Also, give them an idea of what type of wheel you want. Wheel styles are so subjective and everyone likes different things and has different preferences. What you like may not necessarily be what they like, and vice versa. It’s almost like asking someone to pick out a shirt for you or a pair of glasses or something similar when they have just met you. Not By Arch Linsao easy. So do your wheel expert a favour, and throw them a bone. Give them an idea of what you like. Chrome? Painted? Specific colours? lright, so here’s your quick lesson in wheel fitment. Shopping for 5-spoke? 6-spoke? 10-spoke? You get the idea, right? wheels is usually a bit of a daunting task surrounded by a whole bunch of automotive jargon and random numbers. What I’m here to do So there you go, a quick guide to what all the numbers mean surroundis break it down in a way that just about anyone can understand. And ing wheel fitments and a few tips to help you find those wheels to help hopefully, it’ll make your quest to purchase some custom wheels for your set your vehicle apart from all the others out there. Now call your wheel vehicle a bit more pleasant, enjoyable even! expert!

Wheels 101: Condensed Edition A

I’ll start with an example of how wheel measurements will commonly be displayed on any given website: 18x8, 5x114.3, 40mm. This is what you’d see on most website wheel listings or magazine wheel listings. To most, this means absolutely nothing. But these numbers will basically determine if that wheel will fit on your specific vehicle. Because hiding in that line of random numbers is your vehicle’s specific wheel specifications. Let me break it down into parts for you, and it’ll make it a bit easier to understand. I’ll use the exact example above to demonstrate. 1) 18x8 – This is the wheel sizing, in inches, 18 being the diameter of the wheel, and 8 being the width of the wheel. Every vehicle out there has a certain range of wheel sizes that are able to be fit onto it. That range is vehicle-specific and just depends on how your vehicle was designed. The best bet to determine the sizing range of your vehicle is to talk to your wheel expert. 5x114.3 – This is the bolt circle or PCD of your vehicle. Basically, the 5 displays how many lug studs or bolts you have holding your wheels to your vehicle. And the 114.3 denotes the spacing of those studs/bolts from each other, measured in millimetres. In some cases, you’d see this displayed in inches, for example: 5x4.5. This also means there are 5 studs/bolts and they are spaced 4.5 inches apart (roughly). This measurement is vehicle-specific and cannot be changed. The wheel you purchase must have the same bolt circle as your vehicle or else it will not bolt up to your vehicle. If you are curious about what your vehicle bolt circle is, again, talk to your wheel expert. 3) 40mm – This is the offset of the wheel, measured in millimetres. In some cases, this is also called backspacing, which is measured in inches. They realistically measure the same thing, just in different units and on different points of the wheels. Offset measures the distance from the middle of the wheel to the mounting surface of the wheel. Backspacing

Wheel Schematic At The Wheel RPM Jun / July 2012 29

GREATEST ROADS #17 One of the most beautiful, thick and lush rain forests that has lined any of the roads. The humid fog that hung in the trees made the drive all the more serene.

Racing the Rain

fun working its way through the hills before the forest, but once in the forest, the nature of the road changed quite radically.

With the rain pouring down, the Mount Lindesay road began to jerk and kick its way through the thick undergrowth. Long open bends quickly turned to sharp narrow bursts that wound up into the mounA detour from flooding finds tains, the forest spilling out over the road with the weight of the water pouring down. However, like all great roads, there is never a pullout a hidden gem available to stop for some photography, and the visual delights of the tropical rain forest obstructed views so greatly that the odd chance Story and photos by Budd Stanley of seeing your next two corners was a rare treat. Before I knew it, I had wound up to the summit, which happens to be the border beIt seems as though the best roads I drive are the hardest to get tween Queensland and New South Wales, and I hadn’t even taken photos of, and this is most certainly the case with this particular bit one photo yet. of majestic beauty. Working my way north along the East Coast of Australia, the area’s infamous monsoon season hit with extreme violence. The heavens opened, and every field, creek bed and valley was full of water, cutting off the entire north of the country for a couple of days. The main highway, the Pacific Coast Highway, was closed when I reached it on my trip up from Sydney. Still in my Britz Best time to Go: Weekdays from March to 4WD camper, my choice in vehicle was now starting to make a lot of December sense, as I had to cross many flooded out roads and small landslide obstructions just to get this far in my bid for Brisbane. Total Distance: 66 km

About The Route

Camping on the beach in my converted Toyota Land Cruiser, I was up at 3:00 AM to hopefully find that the State Emergency Services crews had cleared the three separate flooded sections of the highway. To my excitement, I breezed through with no issues, although one of the crews told me that the highway was still flooded several hundred kilometres up, and that I may want to try an inland route if I had any hope of making Brisbane. However, they said it with a chuckle, making me think my chances were slim at best. Stopping off at an Information Outlet, I picked up a local map and planned my route. From Kyogle, I would make my way north to the Lindesay Mountain pass in hopes that it was high enough ground to stay above water on my way to Beaudesert. However, as I left the town, the rain was falling harder than I’ve ever seen rain fall and more of the landscape was under water than not. My wary demeanour was put to rest when the rains let up as I left the farm lands and began to lift up into the lushest green tropical rain forest I’d ever seen. Massive tall standing Eucalyptus and Gum trees were surrounded by fern trees with a forest floor packed full of yet even more ferns. The gentle winding country road was already quite 30 At The Wheel RPM Jun / July 2012

Route: Starting point is the junction of Highway 91 and Highway 13. From this junction, we travel North East up the Mount Lindesay Highway, over a mountainous region through thick lush rain forests, finishing in the town of Beaudesert just across the southern state line in Queensland, Australia. Road Type: Smooth narrow tarmac road. Places To Stop: There literally is nowhere to stop. The road is socked in by the forest and the only real pull-off is at the state border. Road Type: Smooth narrow tarmac road. Warnings: This road tends to washout or experience landslides during the wet summer months, with very slick shoulders. Watch for suicidal birds and kangaroos, and no barriers to keep you on the road.

GREATEST ROADS #17 As I began to descend down the east side, the rain began to become more and more violent, and having been through this situation for the last few days, I knew that I was now in a race with the water to get down to the lowest point. Finally finding a few small muddy pullouts to stop and get the photos you see here, I was drenched to the bone before my second foot hit the ground. Snap a few quick ones then get back in and get going. Before I knew it, the tropical rain forest was being replaced with open meadows as the road continued to wind just as viciously down through the undulating and hilly topography, still lined with several layers of trees to keep the corners blind. However, what wasn’t blind anymore were the rather serious dropoffs that now lined the left side of the road. With no barriers to save me if I locked up a wheel, my slow speeds in the 4x4 allowed me to momentarily look away from the road, and straight down a 200-metre drop. All of a sudden, this road and the situation just got a lot more serious.

Getting out to take a photo, I was drenched to the bone before my second foot hit the ground.

Finally, I broke out of the trees and into the meadows, still racing the water down the mountain. Great rivers of water were now flowing across the roadway and undermining the side edges. I soon came to a bridge signed “Tamrookum Creek bridge #7.” Having crossed over several bridges before, I was hoping that these numbers would be going up, but I was not very surprised to find “Tamrookum Creek bridge #6” only a short distance down the road. The race was on for “Tamrookum Creek bridge #1” as that would likely be the lowest in the rapidly flattening out terrain, and the most likely to be covered by flood waters. The suspense built as my fears were coming true; each bridge was getting a little lower to the ground, the water getting a little higher as the countdown continued. Finally, I rounded a sharp corner, spraying water to both sides of the road, to find that “Tamrookum Creek bridge #1” was still over the water, at least just as I rocketed over the top, crossing the finishing line. I had felt like I had just won a long-distance marathon with Mother Nature, and I really couldn’t ask for a better battleground for the fight to take place. Despite not having a machine that would give me the greatest driving pleasure on such a road, I never would have found it if it wasn’t for the fording and off-road abilities of my Britz 4WD camper. Thank goodness I did have it, as this was one of the most epic roads I’ve driven yet. The road came out of the forest, but the corners were still blind with a few rows of trees lining the roadway as it passed through the undulating meadows.

It may not have been a sports car, but without this Britz 4WD Camper, I never would have been able to find the Lindesay Highway. At The Wheel RPM Jun / July 2012 31


BMW 650i Coupe

from the SLS AMG, LED running lights, new powertrains, and a retractable hardtop that opens or closes in twenty seconds. Under the hood, our tester offered the new 302-horsepower direct-injection 3.5-liter V6 engine and a seven-speed automatic transmission. Segment Competitors: Audi TT, BMW Z4, Chevrolet Corvette, Infiniti G Convertible, MINI Roadster, Nissan Z. The Skinny: The redesigned SLK 350 improves on its predecessor’s strengths. We see why it continues to be one of the most desirable luxury convertibles, as its price point remains competitive and obtainable. Pros: Looks, price, quality, fuel efficiency, ride. Cons: Could use a few more ponies. The Verdict: Great car for the price. It has the whole package.

with an all-new 4.4 litre V8 power plant of 4.8 seconds. Also new are adaptive nectedDrive driver assistance system surround view, parking assistant and B pedestrian recognition, Lane Departure Lane Change Warning System. Segment Competitors: Audi A5, Jagua The Skinny: This is the third generatio heart-pumping twin-turbocharged 4.4-l which produces 400 horsepower and 4 of course strengthens and lowers the w Pros: Sleek exterior, we loved the thro Cons: High price tag, no rear seating c The Verdict: If you like the combinatio a good hard look at the 650i.

BASE MSRP: $66,500 Engine: 3.5L V6 DOHC 24-valve Trans: 7 speed auto Power: 302 hp Torque: 273 lb-ft Curb Weight: 1,540kg/3,388 lb Fuel Economy: (L/100km – City/Highway) 10.5/6.8 New for 2012: The SLK is redesigned with styling cues

BASE MSRP: $101,500 Engine: 4.4L V8 twin-turbo DOHC 32Trans: 8-speed auto Power: 400 hp Torque: 450 lb-ft Curb Weight: 1,990 kg/4,378 lb Fuel Economy: (L/100km – City/High New for 2012: All new for 2012. The

Subaru Impreza

BASE MSRP: $22,595 Engine: 2.0L H4 DOHC Trans: 5-speed manual Power: 148 hp Torque: 145 lb-ft Curb Weight: 1,320 kg/ 2,904 lb Fuel Economy: (L/100km – City/Highway) 8.3/5.9 New for 2012: The Impreza is redesigned with all-new

four and five-door trims and a new more efficient powertrain that sports an increase of 30 percent fuel economy. Its new 2.0-liter 148-horsepower boxer engine comes with a choice of a 5-speed manual transmission or an enhanced Lineartronic continuously variable transmission. Segment Competitors: Chevrolet Cruze, Hyundai Elantra Touring, Mitsubishi Lancer, Scion tC, Volkswagen Golf. The Skinny: The Impreza’s new sleek design brings it closer to its competitors. The redesign also provides a longer wheelbase as well as modified door and roof trim and front seats which provide more passenger and cargo room. There are interior upgrades galore which include soft-touch interior materials and the latest infotainment and connectivity technology. Pros: Great on gas, lots of cargo space as well as leg room. Comfy seating. Cons: No Wow factor…doesn’t stand out it the crowd as far as looks. The Verdict: A great step forward and now hanging with the Jones’.

Range Rover Evoque

BASE MSRP: $60,095 Engine: 2.0L L4 turbo DOHC 16-valves Trans: 6-speed auto Power: 240 hp Torque: 251 lb-ft Curb Weight: 1,628 kg/3,582 lb Fuel Economy: (L/100km – City/Highway)


New for 2012: Brand new model.

Segment Competitors: Acura ZDX, Audi Q5, Infiniti EX, Lexus GX 460, Volkswagen Touareg, Volvo XC60. The Skinny: The Evoque is a new Range Rover that stays true to the traditional design cues but looks like nothing the automaker has ever produced before. It is also the smallest and lightest Range Rover ever offered and boasts the best ever fuel economy. It combines luxury, performance and multi-terrain capability in a more compact package. The Evoque is equipped with full-time all-wheel drive and powered by a direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder engine that sports 240-horsepower and is mated with a six-speed automatic transmission. Pros: Great New Look for Rover, Classy Interior befitting the brand. Cons: Only a 4Cyl…Either love or hate the dial-a-gear pop up knob. The Verdict: This could be the coolest-looking vehicle of the year! 32 At The Wheel RPM Jun / July 2012

supercharged 3.0-liter V6 engine 8-speed Tiptronic S transmission Porsche innovation, quality and the best-ever highway fuel econo Pros: As expected – excellent ga Cons: Love or hate the styling … The Verdict: If you can get pa drive.

Hyundai Genesis Coup

BASE MSRP: $36,499 Engine: 3.8 L V6 DOHC 24-valves Trans: 6-speed manual Power: 306 hp Torque: 266 lb-ft Curb Weight: 1,543 kg/3,394 lb Fuel Economy: (L/100km – City/Highw

New for 2013: The Genesis Coupe re

that includes a more aggressive front fa graded power plant, new LED taillight d design. Segment Competitors: BMW 3 Series, D san Z, Mitsubishi Eclipse, Scion tC.. The Skinny: The Genesis Coupe’s eng now produces 274 horsepower which is is a 14 percent bump. Our tester was a paddle-shift manual if desired. Pros: We loved the purr of the engine a ish. Cons: Poor turning radius, clutch a bit to The Verdict: Even though the price ha



hway) 13.5/8.3 e new 6-Series comes t that sports 0 to 60 time e LED headlights, Conms, rear-view camera, BMW Night Vision with e Warning System and

ar XK Series, Lexus IS F, Maserati Gran Turismo, Nissan GT-R, Porsche 911.. on of the 650i coupe and by far the best yet in our opinion. Our tester included the liter V8 engine that came equipped with the new 8-speed automatic transmission 450 lb-ft of torque. The all-new chassis and structure uses a lot of aluminum which weight. oaty exhaust note, excellent powertrain. capacity. on of power and luxury …and can afford a vehicle over $100K, you have to take

Porsche Panamera S Hybrid

BASE MSRP: $110,450 Engine: 3.0L V6 DOHC 24-valve + electric motor Trans: 8-speed auto Power: 380 hp Torque: 428 lb-ft Curb Weight: 1,980 kg/4,356 lbs Fuel Economy: (L/100km – City/Highway) 17.0/6.8 New for 2012: New hybrid version for Panamera


Segment Competitors: BMW ActiveHybrid 7, Infiniti

M Hybrid, Mercedes-Benz S-Class Hybrid. The Skinny: The Panamera S Hybrid is powered by a e combined with an electric motor that delivers the power though an n. The Panamera S Hybrid combines fuel efficiency with legendary of course…performance. The Panamera S Hybrid also produces omy for a Porsche. as mileage, no sacrifice in Porsche power or fun. …matter of taste. ast the exterior styling (we were divided) this is one great car to

upe 3.8GT

way) 10.0/6.6

eceived a styling refresh ascia and hood, an updesign and new wheel

Dodge Challenger, Nis-

gines both received upgrades. The 2.0T’s turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine s a 30 percent increase and the 3.8 V6 goes from 306 to 348 horsepower which a V6, 6-speed manual but both engines also now have 8-speeds that include the

and the overall look of the car. Really hugged the road and had a nice interior fin-

ouchy. as crept up since the Tiburon, the Genesis Coupe is full value for the sticker price.

MyFord Touch Performance Upgrade By Jordan Allan


rivers today are faced with more distractions than ever. From talking on their phones, to choosing a song on an MP3 player, there is an endless amount of things that can take our hands off the wheel and our eyes off the road. In 2007, Ford raised the bar of in-vehicle connectivity by allowing Ford and Lincoln buyers the ability to control their digital devices by using simple voice commands with the launch of SYNC. In 2010 Ford once again took another leap forward with the release of the MyFord Touch System. For the first time it allowed drivers to control most vehicle systems in three different ways - by voice commands, a steering wheel-mounted five-button controller, or using the eight-inch touchscreen. This year, Ford has taken yet another step forward with an upgrade to the MyFord Touch system that makes it simpler, faster and easier to use. The touch screen functionality has improved with faster response times, simpler graphics and bolder text that make it easier to read. The voice controls also provide even better recognition than the previous version. The home screen retains the four-corner layout of the old version, but has been completely redesigned to ensure clear labeling of the main function areas: Phone, Navigation, Climate and Entertainment. Also, for the first time, the home screen is customizable and allows the users to choose what functions they want featured on the home screen. In addition to the simplified interface and improved performance, Ford has added many new features such as improved phone compatibility and support for tablets, and improved navigation maps and destination entry. The new system is available for all new 2013 models that feature MyFord Touch. Current Ford owners that have the old system will be sent MyFord Touch upgrade packages that include a USB flash drive with the updated software and instructions for the 60-minute download.


Autoglym Arrives in Royal Style Story by Greg Symons As we mark the occasion of the Queen’s 50 year reign with all the pomp and circumstance of Royal visits to Canada and a massive celebration in the UK, it seems somehow fitting that the car care company that has become synonymous with the pristine appearance of the world’s most luxurious manufacturers has launched its expanded product line Autoglym’s brand has become so highly prized for their integrity and quality that they have been awarded two Royal Warrants of in Canada. Appointment. This means that the households of Her Majesty Autoglym has embarked on a bold ambition in the Canadian The Queen and H.R.H. The Prince of Wales have been using Autoglym car care products consistently over a minimum of a marketplace. Their aim is to be the number one premium car care brand in five year period. Canada for discerning Canadian motorists. And… they are hopAnd in the auto racing world, there are currently 15 teams who ing to achieve that in just 5 short years! use their products because they are demonstrably different, Backing up that ambition is an enviable reputation built since with a professional finish that offers enduring protection. Best of 1965 of aligning their products with the most prestigious vehicle all the products are easy to use and good value for money with dependable quality. Soon the public was clamouring for access to Autoglym’s product lines. Now Autoglym has become the UK’s leading care brand with its products available in 45 countries worldwide. As we ride into the summer of 2012 Autoglym has initiated a major product roll out available exclusively at Canadian Tire stores across Canada. After a limited launch in 2009, Autoglym will now have 25 separate product lines available ranging from their all new Super Resin Polish to wheel cleaners, interior shampoo, hi tech finishing cloths and paint renovators. They’ve also developed unique applicators which are not only designed for optimized application manufacturers in the world including Aston Martin Lagonda, but are a comfortable fit like the Perfect Palm Applicator retailing for a very affordable $7.99. Bentley, Jaguar and Land Rover. In fact, their launch in Mississauga last month included a product Probably the most innovative special product they’ve introduced application demonstration using a gorgeous Aston Martin Van- is the very useful and handy pack of Bird Dropping Wipes. There’s nothing more discouraging than returning to your tage. After applying a select amount of grime to this incredible car on a hot summer afternoon and finding a car, members of the auto press watched it disappear and gleam messy deposit quietly baking its way again like new in very short order. into your car’s beautiful polished finish. Now, all you need to do is whip out a handy moisturized The “Gleam” was developed by a British motor trade entrepreneur wipe, let it sit for a moment and then wipe it 46 years ago. In his hometown of origin, Letchworth Garden City, away. Done and dealt with. A 10 pack is priced England, the end result on treated vehicles was referred to as at $6.99 or about 70 cents a poop or rather we producing a fine “Glym”. And so a brand was born! should say…a pop. Over the years Autoglym’s reputation grew and became an open After all, Autoglym is a refined British product secret among the auto trade with proud owners of the best vewith very impressive lineage! hicles quietly let it be known they had discovered a great new weapon in the art of car care. 34 At The Wheel RPM Jun / July 2012


LED Lighting By Ian Harwood


ED stands for light emitting diode, which are extremely small semiconductor diodes that are capable of creating light. LED lights work very similarly to standard lights, except for the fact that LEDs are much smaller and contain no filament. Instead of a filament, an LED creates light using nothing but the movement of electricity along the path of its semiconductor. As the electrons stream across the semiconductor, they create electromagnetic radiation. Some forms of this electromagnetic amp draw of 1.18 and a lifespan over 50,000 hours. Cost is $258. radiation can take the form of light. Now that you have this information, here is how it applies to the automotive world. The six-inch E-series light is available in a flood, spot, or a combo. It also has a 50,000+ hour lifespan and draws 1.77 amps. LED lights are becoming increasingly popular these days on trucks. Gone are the days of putting the highest wattage sealed-beam lamps For some serious light, there are the 30, 40 and 50-inch light bars you can find, often referred to as airplane landing lights, on your bumper that have an unbreakable polycarbonate lens and are available in a or roll-bar to light up the night sky to enjoy some extended off-road driv- spot, flood, or a combo. The 50-inch light bar gives off enough light ing hours. LED lights not only give you incredible light, but they draw to reach distances of 1,497 metres. These are priced from $1,099 to very little amperage. This is a real advantage over adding a second $1,759. Now, finding a place to mount them to your truck can pose a alternator or constantly having to jumpstart your dead battery. challenge. There are some mounting brackets that are universal and some vehicle-specific brackets, but generally you have to make some Off-road LED lights come in many different shapes and sizes. This helps up. The front bumper usually is a great place to start. The OEMs are with the many different sizes of grill openings or bumper light locations. great for providing spots to mount their optional lights. You can also Rigid Industries is a pioneer in this new off-road light technology, offering purchase bumper-mounted light bars that can hold one long light bar many different kinds of lights. The dually light is a small 3 x 3-inch cube or two smaller ones. Make sure the location you choose is not lower that has 1,300 lumens of light that has the same output as a 50w light, than the bumper, or your expensive new lights may get knocked off while only drawing 15 watts. A pair of these lights costs $219. your first trip out. If you own a Jeep, there are mounting brackets available to attach to your windshield pillar or just above the windshield. E-series lights are LED light bars that come in various lengths. The Check out the entire lineup of lights and brackets available at www. four-inch E-series light is available in a flood or spot pattern that has an

At The Wheel RPM Jun / July 2012 35

Blue Samurai

Story and Photos by Giancarlo Pawelec (


irst introduced in 1989 at the Chicago Auto Show by Mazda, the Miata, otherwise known as the MX-5, has earned the right to be called the best sports car of all time. Since its introduction, there have been nearly one million of them sold around the world and at any given race event (amateur or pro level), one will find a slew of these small sports cars thrashing through a road course with ease. Jason Woo of Toronto is no stranger to the Miata, having not only built this as a daily driver, but also currently racing his ’99 Miata in various time attack series. The once-mild exterior was the first to change and with it came all the essentials for any weekend track warrior – more aero! The OEM lip and skirts were kept with the major additions being a custom-vented OEM aluminum hood that has been wrapped in carbon fibre vinyl along with the AutoKonexion version 1 carbon fibre trunk, also wrapped to match. Out back sits 36 Speed & Sound RPM Jun / July 2012

an MR55 carbon fibre rear spoiler with custom high mounts for added downforce. For looks, Woo added a set of APR carbon fibre mirrors, NB2 taillights, Project-G acrylite roof spoiler, blacked out emblems and a 20-percent tint all around. With the outside addressed, Woo quickly focused on the cockpit of this 10th anniversary-edition Miata. From the factory, the Mazda came well-equipped, but Woo wanted a more track-spec feel so in went a pair of Bride Vios 3 racing seats, G-Force 6-point harness, MOMO Jet Carbon 350mm steering wheel attached to an NRG quick release, and MazdaSpeed pedal set. The rest of the interior was tweaked to fit a set of Defi Race Blue gauges (boost and oil temperature) and Innovate wideband O2 gauge for engine vital readouts. The final touch came in the way of carbon fibre trim, custom dash lighting and blue accents (leather shift boot, carpet, and floor mats). Seeing as Woo daily drives this track-ready Miata, the in-car entertainment had to be upgraded for his long commutes across the city. Without sacrificing too much, Woo had a custom-installed and fully removable JL Audio 8-inch subwoofer fitted in the passenger footwell, which goes great with the factory Bose speaker system. Controlling the signals is a Kenwood DDX418 6.1-inch multimedia head unit. On to the powerplant of this blue samurai, and one can easily tell that it is far from stock. At first glance, the now paintedwhite engine boasts a BRP MP62 ported supercharger fitted with a 15-psi pulley that is fed a cold charge through a TRD air-to-air intercooler. A large 70-mm throttle body and six Mazda RX-8 425cc injectors provide the right mixture of air and fuel, leaving the MegaSquirt 2, built and tuned by MT 38 Speed & Sound RPM Jun / July 2012




When your claim requires finding some automotive needle in a haystack, Davin’s your man. He has one job here at Hagerty: when a client needs a replacement part, he finds it. And though that sometimes involves hours of searching and frustration – maybe even a few tears – he wouldn’t trade his job for anything in the world. It’s that kind of passion that makes him perfect for Hagerty, and makes Hagerty perfect for you.

Hagerty. We may sell insurance but we live classics.

Motorsport, to do all the computing. Unlike what meets the eye, the BP6D 1.8-litre engine is far from factory spec with its ceramic-coated pistons, M-Tuned connecting rods and ARP studs. Add to that, a custom 4-2-1 exhaust header that feeds hot gasses out through a custom 2.25-inch system and into a Vibrant titanium muffler to the tune of 235whp and 192 lb-ft of torque! Planting the power down from the supercharged engine is an assortment of suspension goods including TEIN Monoflex coilovers, Racing Beat 1.125-inch hollow front sway bars, 949 Racing end links, Boss frog arms, and an adjustable shock tower bar. For rollers, Woo went in the way of the Miata enthusiasts’ choice of 15-inch 949Racing 6UL wheels sized at 9 inches all around, and wrapped in sticky Toyo R1R 225/45R tires. For the much-needed stopping power during his time attack runs, Woo installed a set of Wilwood DynaPro front calipers with 11.75-inch rotors up front and a Miata Sport 11-inch brake kit at the back, both fitted with aggressive CarboTech brake pads. The final piece of the puzzle is a Wilwood brake proportioning valve, a must-have for anyone doing any form of racing. Within only a handful of years, Jason Woo has taken his once-mild Miata into a realm from which there is no turning back. It is true when people say that racing is addictive and Woo is head-deep thanks in part to the team at MT Motorsport, for which he is a part of the time attack crew. Following suit in the racing lineage of other Miatas, this blue samurai will be slicing its way through corners and anyone who dares challenge it on the road course.

40 Speed & Sound RPM Jun / July 2012


LiLi hits the Road to Deliver the Library to the People Story and photos by Russell Purcell

Instead, what was needed was a much smaller interactive platform that would give her more mobility and allow her to get closer to the people mitty Miller is a character. She is a woman with an obvious passion she was trying to connect with within the community. for her work, a heart of gold, and big plans. The ex-jazz singer is the Community Development Librarian for the Fraser Valley Regional The search for a suitable vehicle began. After doing plenty of research Library and her goal is to reach out to those members of the community and test driving several vehicles, Ms. Miller determined that the Nissan who often get lost in the shuffle, and introduce them to all the services Cube would be the perfect platform on which to build her mobile star attraction. and programs offered by the FVRL system.


“I like the fact that the Cube has a unique look, because this is a rather unique program,” said Miller during our interview. “We test drove a lot of cars, but we selected the Cube because the LiLi project is mostly about breaking stereotypes, and when you look at the Cube it becomes apparent that it is a car that is meant to break a few stereotypes too. It is Obviously her first thought was that she would need to build a bookmobile unexpected looking. In fact, it is so ugly that I think it’s cute!” in order to service such a large area. A consultant was hired to look into such a project and he determined that it would cost at least $200,000 The funding for LiLi comes from an annual Libraries and Literacy grant to properly set up a functional bookmobile. With the current state of the from the provincial government, so the fact that the vehicle has a relaeconomy and money in short supply, it was determined that Ms. Miller tively low purchase price and is inexpensive to operate really helped and her team didn’t have enough time or money to go that route, so it with the budget as well. was important that they get creative. “I was happy to hear that the Cube has excellent safety ratings and “We soon came to the realization that the book is only our product, “ excellent reliability, but I must admit that it is also fun to drive. It’s like said Ms. Miller, “and if we chose to solely concentrate on the book, we driving a go kart!” would be neglecting all the other services the library offers, which would The Library Live & On Tour project is an innovative exercise designed to be a huge mistake!” extend the reach of the various community libraries by setting up what Soon, the concept of the Li- is essentially a mobile classroom at various community events and brary Live & On Tour project gatherings. As the “tour manager” for the project, Ms. Miller consults - LiLi for short - was born. with the individual library managers at each of the brick-and-mortar Smitty’s background in the facilities to determine what the needs of their individual communities entertainment industry helped might be, and how best LiLi could serve them. A representative from her realize that there was no the local branch will usually accompany Ms. Miller to the major events need to construct an enormous so that visitors will be able to establish a connection with a friendly face vehicle and stuff it with books. from their local library. The entire Fraser Valley Regional Library District includes 24 libraries in 15 different municipalities in B.C., so when Ms. Miller was hired, she was given the directive to build a mobile initiative that would help her stress service and awareness rather than just being about books.

Speed & Sound RPM Jun / July 2012


FEATURE “A lot of the events I attend take place on the weekend. Most are fairs, parades and festivals, but the real work takes place during the week when I use the car as bait to attract people back to the library. I go to places that serve socially excluded people like food banks, transition houses, women’s shelters and actually deliver services. At these stops I often deliver books from one of our sponsors, First Book Canada, which provides me with a grant to offer a number of books free of charge that the individual can keep as their own.” LiLi features two 3G-connected laptops that permit Ms. Miller to offer these individuals information services or even provide some basic computer training. She also has the ability to sign people up for a library card or even waive overdue fines. “ I knew that overdue fines were an obstacle for some people, but I wasn’t aware just how big an obstacle they were until I hit the street with LiLi. I have been given carte blanche to waive fines for some of these people in hopes that it will alleviate this stress and get them back to the library.” Another popular stop for LiLi is senior residential homes, because Smitty has found that many of the residents in these facilities were once avid readers but have lost touch with books due to physical limitations such as degraded vision, or perhaps a lack of mobility. Her goal is to make books and the library relevant to their lives, by introducing them to new technologies such as eBooks and various electronic readers. “We are in the modern world now and the library doesn’t need to be a stodgy institution. Unfortunately, it still has that image. Our libraries have made the foray into community development a little bit in the past, but it has never been married with so much flash. I am not a stodgy librarian, and LiLi is not a stodgy bookmobile!”

ing tool while on location. The addition of externally-mounted all-weather speakers and a video game system also give it the entertainment draw necessary to attract children and adolescents. “I find that kids are attracted by the flashy paint scheme and some of the cool novelty items we hand out at events, but in reality, LiLi’s true purpose is as a tool to promote adult literacy. As a result, the aim is to target those individuals 19 years and older. Getting kids excited about the library is a bonus.” LiLi’s utility comes in handy as the colourful little vehicle also provides transportation for the program’s awning, chairs and “gadget bar,” an interactive set up designed to provide a hands-on display of the latest technologies available to help people read. This includes the likes of a number of eReaders as well as the most popular tablets. Smitty Miller and her team at FVRL are very pleased with the reception they have received for LiLi since the program was launched at the end of April, as the tour has already been scheduled to attend more than 50 community events. But the real work happens with far less fanfare, as Smitty and LiLi visit other institutions in hopes of improving reading rates and reconnecting with those members of our communities who have largely given up on the library system. For this they should be commended.

The car is equipped with a host of audio and video equipment (donated by Clarion Canada and 360 Fabrication) so that it can be used as a learn- For more information visit:

Close-up: LiLi -The 21st Century Bookmobile LiLi is a 2012 Nissan Cube that has been customized to serve as a mobile classroom and presentation centre. 360 Fabrication, a renowned custom car shop located in Abbotsford, B.C. , was brought on to perform the transformation and help Ms. Miller’s vision become a rolling reality. Time commitments required LiLi to be road-ready for the busy spring and summer event seasons , but there are plans to make further modifications to the vehicle in the near future. The current arsenal of electronics includes the following equipment: •A pair of laptop computers with 3G internet capabilities •40-inch plasma television for presentations, games and digital display purposes •Two Kobo eReaders •One Sony eReader •One iPad2 •One Blackberry Playbook •One X-Box Kinect game system •Custom Clarion stereo system with iPod and USB connectivity •Roof-mounted quick-release Exile XM9 marine speakers for music and PA system •One Line 6 wireless microphone •"Ahooga" horn The vehicle has been wrapped with a very vibrant vinyl graphic designed in-house by the FVRL Graphics Department which helps draw attention to LiLi wherever she may go. Abbotsford Nissan donated a set of 17-inch Niche NR6 wheels wrapped in Achilles ATR Sport tires. 42 Speed & Sound RPM Jun / July 2012


OEM Integration Story by Dave MacKinnon, photos by the Manufacturers


ast year, we talked about ways to integrate aftermarket source units and amplifiers into your vehicle while retaining the use of some of the factory components. This is just one half of the integration story, though. As more and more vehicle manufacturers tightly integrate their audio systems into all aspects of the vehicle, it is becoming harder to replace the factory radio with something from the aftermarket, so adding on to them only makes sense. In this article, we’ll look at some of the options available to you.

BMW has long been known as a 12-volt / mobile audio aftermarket installers nightmare. Enter the need for OEM Integration products. this system. Companies like mObridge from Australia, Dension and NavTV have solutions to add iPod and/or Bluetooth functionality to vehicles that feature MOST networks, including BMW, Audi, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and more.

What’s the best solution for you? As always, a trip to your local speciality car audio shop is the best place to start. These guys should be well versed in the options available for your vehicle, and can take Years ago, it was nearly impossible to connect a portable music care of the installation, making the whole upgrade process simple player, be it a Walkman, Discman or MP3 player, to your factory audio and seamless. system without resorting to using terrible-sounding FM transmitters or those horrendous cassette tape adapters. As vehicle manufacturers started to add CD changers to their cars, aftermarket companies like Scosche, Axxess, Pacific Accessory Corporation and more found ways to use this connection as an input. This spawned a whole new category of products in the mobile electronics industry, and this category continues to grow all the time. The popularity of the Apple iPod forced the biggest push in advancements in integration. Everyone who had an iPod wanted a way to connect it to their radio. With some careful reverse engineering and cooperation from different OEM radio manufacturers, interfaces were developed that allowed your factory radio to ‘see’ the iPod, even though it thought it was a CD changer. Even the few years of iPod integration to aftermarket radios used this type of connectivity. The inclusion of a USB port now replaces all this ‘hard work.’ We have previously mentioned the MOST bus. This is a fibre optic system that connects different entertainment components in a car together, while saving significant weight as compared to copper cabling. The disadvantage, for most, is that you can’t simply ‘splice’ into

The ABT2010 from mObridge provides premium Parrot Bluetooth, iPod/iPhone and an aux input to Mercedes Benz, Audi, Porsche, BMW and Mini vehicles that use the MOST data bus. High-speed DSP processing and state-ofthe-art technology provide stunning sound quality from all sources while retaining all factory audio functions.

Speed & Sound RPM Jun / July 2012



The AXIPHA from Scosche allows an iPod to be connected to various Honda and Acura vehicles that do not have factory-installed navigation. It uses the CD Changer interface and features 5V charging to support the latest generation iPods.

Precision Interface offers the GM12LAN-AUX/S to provide an auxiliary input to select 2003-2011 GM vehicles equipped with Class II and 29-Bit LAN bus radios. The connection is made via the sat radio interface and vehicle specific harnesses are required.

The ISMZ571 is one of the new Gateway iPod and iPhone interfaces from iSimple. This interface works with select 2010 and 2011 Mazda vehicles including the Mazda 3, RX-8 and CX-7 that are satellite radio-ready. 44 Speed & Sound RPM Jun / July 2012

Owners of 2005 to 2008 Audi A4 and Lamborghini Gallardo vehicles with the Audi RNS radio can now add a dedicated Audio Video input to their factory radio. Perfect for enjoying movies or games while away on vacation.

The GMBTI series of interface modules lets your installer integrate an aftermarket Bluetooth hands-free kit from companies like Parrot, DriveNTalk and Motorola with your GM Data bus-equipped factory audio system.

The Gateway Five from Dension allows you to connect your iPod/iPhone to your factory CAN bus-equipped vehicle, like VW, Audi or BMW. It also features Bluetooth hands-free calling for maximum safety and convenience while on the road.

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Land of the Family Muscle Car

Australia’s intimidating breed of family saloons Story by Budd Stanley, photos courtesy of Ford and Holden The muscle car is alive and well here in Canada; like a phoenix taking flight, ground-thumping V8’s rocket Mustangs, Camaros, Challengers and Chargers across wide-open spaces. While the modern Muscle Car has been a success, with rivalries once again being renewed, most of these cars have yet to deal with the handling issues of old, and only the Charger SRT8 will give you the option of four doors.

echelon. But these cars are not just about power. They can handle too; these are cornering cars and can hold the whole family and a weekend’s worth of luggage to boot.

Let’s start with the Holden, as we actually know the Commodore in a small way as it was imported to Canada as the Pontiac G8 before GM pulled the plug. Its junior muscle car is the SV6 that sports a 285-horsepower V6 with upgraded handling and four-pot sport calipers on large vented discs to keep everything pointed in the right direction. However, it’s the SV6’s bigger, angrier brother, the SS, packing a 350-hp 6.0L LS-series V8 lifted However, we are not the only place where muscle thrives. Australians right out of the Corvette Z06 that is the real muscle in the Holden line. are also consumed by the corruption of power with their own unique tastes. Two vehicles in particular have been a fixture on the Aussie scene, However, Holden’s tuning division, HSV, also massages the SS into a wellconstantly improving themselves generation after generation to the point trained street warrior. The Clubsport R8 receives a massive appearance where a rivalry has developed that makes the Mustang/Camaro issue package, adding vents and gills all over for a very menacing look, along look like a rock-throwing battle between temper tantruming children. No, the rivalry of Ford Falcon vs. Holden Commodore is one that rivals Ferrari and Lamborghini, maybe even the spiteful motorsport spat between Ford and Ferrari during the ‘60s. When visiting Australia, a curious motoring observer will notice for the most part that Aussies only drive three different vehicles. Those who live in the Outback all pilot the hardy Toyota Land Cruiser, but where tarmac roads are plentiful, it’s either a Commodore or Falcon that dominate the long straight roads of Australia. It’s a rivalry that is so entrenched in the Australian auto enthusiast psyche that Ford and Holden logos are as common as trees, and people plaster them on every available spot on their bodies, putting NASCAR fans to shame. The loyalties are so strong that all manufacturers are too intimidated to ever subject a competitor to the market. Ford limits the amount of Mustangs imported into the country and the Chrysler 300 is mere fodder to the Falcon and Commodore masses. And for good reason, because the Falcon and Commodore are very impressive pieces of machinery. Both are offered in everything from barebones bargain-basement inline-sixes to the ferocious V8s in the upper 46 Speed & Sound RPM Jun / July 2012


with upgraded handling and braking. The GTS is the Commodore’s subsequently the fans, are separated into only two camps, Falcon and halo car, with an upgrade to 441 hp and six-piston calipers, making the Commodore. And the two sides don’t like each other, a feud so great Commodore into a particularly intimidating customer. that until now, no other manufacturer has dared to enter a different make of car, and the Aussies are none too happy to hear that a Nissan The Falcon is an equally fearsome package, with a fantastic list of GT-R will be playing with the locals. It’s a move equivalent to Toyota options and models, nearly all performance-oriented. Along with Eco- jumping into NASCAR. Boosted versions, Ford Australia offers the XR6, a 4.0-litre straight-six boosted with a turbo to make 362 hp. However, Ford’s performance My experience in Australia had me a little perplexed. These are both wing, FPV, or Ford Performance Vehicles, builds up even more power- great cars, with incredible numbers produced by American-based ful examples. The F6 is a highly-tuned version of the XR6 with racing corporations, so why do we not have them here? While the Taurus is brakes, 18-inch wheels, handling package and 421 hp; it’s a six-cyl- an impressive vehicle, the Falcon has so much more character while inder that can hold its own against V8-powered Holdens. However, offering the popular EcoBoost powertrain for those who don’t need to the daddy of all Falcons is the GT with Alice Cooper-like black fangs shake the ground. Likewise, the Commodore seemed like it would fit the that hang from the headlights and an equally menacing bark from the North American mold beautifully, yet despite only a few years of sales supercharged 5.0-litre Boss V8, with 450 horsepower. Both cars emit in the thin disguise of the G8, GM has chosen not to use the platform in the most amazing and evil sounds from the rear, pronouncing their any other of their brands. Although there is a rumour that the car could intentions to all who may challenge, and challenge they do. make a return as a Chevy SS, we’ll have to wait and see. The roads of Australia are painted in the rubber left from sites where Falcons and Commodores do battle. On the streets, on the strips and in the biggest motorsport championship in the country, these two battle and scrap. The Aussie V8 Supercars championship may only be a national racing series, but it garners an international audience. Despite the sheer number of entrants, usually around 40 cars, the teams, and

It’s all rather disappointing, but if you look at it from a marketing point of view, the Mustang and Camaro are these companies’ power hitters, and to bring in competition that would steal their thunder doesn’t always make good business sense, unfortunately. However, it would be nice to see a couple of versatile, family-carrying monsters roam the local streets.

Speed & Sound RPM Jun / July 2012


1966 Shelby GT 350H Looking back at Turbine-powered concepts

By Allen Cheng and Cam Hutchins


lmost all car rental agencies have pretty cool cars as part of their fleets, but one has to go back in time when renting a car meant being asked, do you want full-sized or bigger? Carroll Shelby came up with the idea to sell cars to Hertz Rental Cars as part of a Sports Car Club, and painted the first cars Black with Gold “Le Mans”-style stripes to match the colours of the Hertz company’s first cars. Only 1,000 cars were leased to Hertz, so the program was not the total success it could have been, but the rarity of the cars only adds to their allure. It must have driven Shelby crazy that a company that had 1,000 locations as early as 1955 did not lease many more of these cars. But these cars leave an impression. The stunning Black with Gold stripes and the elusive “H” after the name makes these cars so desirable that after Allen Cheng of Langley sold his 427SC Cobra tribute car, the GT 350H was the next car he had to have. Cheng had always loved the cars produced by Carroll Shelby and starting in 1995, spent less than a year building a replicar 427 Cobra SC. After a few years, he sold the Cobra and the desire to have a “toy” to work on, play with and show led him on a quest for a GT 350. The 48 Speed & Sound RPM Jun / July 2012



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eBay. Finding that his future car was actually in Canada already, in High River, Alberta, the price was finally agreed upon after a bunch of negotiating. Picking the car up on the last dry weekend through the mountain passes was lucky, and the work was started to make sure the car was perfect and fully roadworthy.

1965 and 66 Shelby GT 350 had been referred to as a clapped-out race car for the street.. The ‘65 and ‘66s had the same race suspensions found on the infamous 1965 R-Models and the beautiful fastback styling of the original Mustang. The only difference between the Street and Race models was the engines. The 1965 models had no backseat to aid in the homologation for racing, so 1966 was also the first year that rear seats and automatic transmissions were offered (Ford wanted to increase the Shelby Mustang sales for 1966, and automatics were beginning to take over). Out of the 2,378 GT 350s produced in 1966, 1,000 were the specially-striped Hertz cars leased to the Hertz Company with predominantly automatic transmissions. Along with the black cars were red, green, white and blue cars with gold stripes if they did have the “Le Mans Stripes.” In the late summer of 2002, Cheng spent a lot of time surfing the web looking for a Shelby Mustang and finally found the right car on

50 Rods & Classics RPM Jun / July 2012

The menacing look (or classy, depending on your point of view) of the Black and Gold colour combo can’t be beaten, in my book. This particular car served its rental duties at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). It was the 993rd of the 1,000 cars delivered to Hertz. When its rental duties were over, it was sold as a used car at Shelby’s Hi-Performance Motors in the Greater Los Angeles Area. As part of the sale, the Koni shock absorbers (and lowered front A-arms) and Shelby Wood Steering Wheel were specified.     Most later 1966 GT350s came with stock shock absorbers and Mustang wood-grained steering wheel. It still retains all the regular GT

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350 mods: K-Code mechanical lifter engine, heavy-duty radiator, export brace, Monte Carlo bar, Cobra aluminum intake manifold, Shelby exhaust headers, Shelby Cobra valve covers, Cobra 7-quart oil pan, larger front anti-roll bar, Shelby hood with scoop, front disc brakes, station wagon 2-inch rear drum brakes, 3.89:1 ratio 9-inch rear end with Shelby under-ride traction bars, functional side scoops and the 1966-only Plexiglas rear quarter windows which replaced the air extractors on the regular Mustang. 

SAAC-35 in 2010) and at many venues in Washington State. She has always been driven to shows, NEVER trailered, and always enjoyed!! She has won two Best of Shows, one Participant’s Choice Award (as voted by almost 400 enthusiastic car owners at the 2009 City of Port Coquitlam Show and Shine) and numerous First Place

The only change Cheng made to the exterior is to remove and store the original 14-inch chrome Magnum 500s and replace them with a set of original 15-inch Shelby Cragars (available on 1965 and early1966 GT 350s) that were purchased from a Shelby collector in Florida in late 2002.  The frame, body (as it left the Shelby American plant), brakes, transmission, interior and sound system are all bone Shelby stock. No mods whatsoever. The engine is still standard bore, and sports her original special K-Code automatic transmission. The vehicle was partially “refreshed” by the last American owner from Montana in 1989. As part of getting the car completely roadworthy, Cheng spent five days carefully wet sanding and polishing the car before he put it on the road. He also replaced the fuel tank, had the carburetor rebuilt (by Darcy at Canadian Carburetors), took the motor apart and replaced the head gaskets and seals, had the seals awards from local and American Shows. She has been graciously in the tranny replaced, and rebuilt the rear wheel cylinders before invited, and participated in, the Steamworks Concours d’Elegance, getting her on the road in early 2003.  the Kirkland Concours and the new Crescent Beach Invitational Concours d’Elegance.  Since then, this Hertz has been driven and shown locally and in the U.S.  She has been as far as California Speedway (SAAC-30 in One cool story about this car is the time it went for a track day as 2005), Infineon Raceway (otherwise remembered as Sears Point for part of the Shelby Owners Club, and the previous owner got to go out with Dan Gurney at the wheel. At very high speeds on the oval track, the speed was a little much for the original side scoops and first the left and then the right decided to fly-off . If only a GT 350H is on your “to-do” list, then the Shelby American Automobile Club is an invaluable resource, helping  buyers do their due diligence before purchase. The breakdown of the 1,000 Hertz cars (42 percent of all 1966 Shelby GT350s): about 730 Black/Gold (all with Le Mans stripes), the the rest almost evenly broken into the Red, Green, White and Blue colours.  There is a White/Gold (originally Blue/Gold) Hertz in Cloverdale. There is also a Blue/Gold Hertz undergoing restoration in Aldergrove. That’s three original Hertz cars in the Lower Mainland of B.C.!    Many years went by before Hertz Rentals started to use GT350s again in their rental fleet and only bought 500 of the Classic Black with Gold stripe version coupes in 2006 & convertibles in 2007 that are destined to be the “Pot of Gold” cars down the road. 52 Rods & Classics RPM Jun / July 2012


Carroll The man who challenged the world - and won Story by Budd Stanley, photos courtesy of Ford


simmer, as Shelby did not like the way Ferrari ran his team, saying that he had killed several of his friends who drove for Ferrari. But it was all for naught as Shelby’s career as a racing driver was cut down in 1960 due to a heart condition. He would jump into the race car with nitroglycerin pills hidden under his tongue to keep his rib cage from exploding. His heart just couldn’t keep up and he hung up the driving gloves when doctors finally said he only had five years to live.

t the age of 89, Carroll Shelby lost his battle with pneumonia, ending what has become one of the most iconic, fun, and gloried times in American motoring history. The story of Carroll Shelby is not just the story of a man who was a visionary, ambitious and with intense charisma, it’s also a story of a man who was extremely lucky and in the right place at the right time. Within the span of five years, he built his own car and conquered the world of sports car racing to become Being told you only have a few years of life left may not sound like the luckiest bit of news, but it was at this time that experimental surgery a legend in American motoring history and culture. was just then allowing doctors to transplant the human heart for the first During the Second World War, Shelby worked on aircraft engines, time. Shelby would be one of the first to undergo the risky surgery. eventually moving up to become a test pilot. It was these two trades that nurtured the skills that would make him a world-class racing driver With newfound life, Shelby returned to motorsport in a much different and team owner. After the war, Shelby would enter the road-racing capacity. With his experience racing over in Europe, Shelby knew world and before he knew it, he’d risen through the ranks to race for that AC made excellent-handling roadsters. However, they were not some of the most iconic world-class teams in the World Sports Car the most powerful cars. Coincidentally, at this same time, Ford was Championship. He drove for both Aston Martin and Maserati in Formula looking to improve its performance image with the Chevrolet Corvette One and Sports Cars. Teamed with Roy Salvadori and driving an Aston stealing sales from it. Ford had a rather potent V8 sitting in its inventory, and when Shelby came walking into Lee Iacocca’s office one day, a Martin DBR1, he won the 1959 24-Hours of Le Mans. relationship was forged that would last for over four decades. Shelby Ironically, Enzo Ferrari approached Shelby no fewer than three times had an engine for his little British Roadster and the Shelby Cobra 289 to try and hire him. However, a historical rivalry had already begun to was born. The Cobra exploded onto the motorsport scene, dominating everything it raced against to rule SCCA road racing. The success of the Cobra was so impressive that Iacocca approached Shelby to build a special high-performance version of the Mustang. The Shelby GT350 was the result and would be another impressive milestone for both Ford and Shelby.

While building high-performance versions of road cars was profitable, Shelby’s main focus was to win the World Sports Car Championship, one that was dominated by Ferrari. To win the championship, the Cobra was good, but not quite good enough to beat the 250 GTOs, so Shelby had Peter Brock sketch out the Daytona Coupe. From drawing board to racetrack, the project was completed in just 90 days. The car won its class at the Sebring 12-hour race, then Shelby took the car to Le Mans where it was leading the field with seven hours left. However, in a cruel twist of fate, the car blew an oil cooler, missing out on the overall win, but was still able to win its class. However, the disappointment of Le Mans was replaced with the chance to win the championship outright. The Daytona had developed to a 54 Rods & Classics RPM Jun / July 2012

HISTORY CARROLL SHELBY PLUGGED- IN with the Ford GT40 program. It would be the only time an American manufacturer would win the World Sports Car Championship. 1966 saw the GT40 win back to back in Daytona and Sebring. With a Le Mans win in reach, Ford put its entire financial might behind the program, spending an estimated $200,000. At the end of the first hour, the GT40s held the first four spots, breaking lap records as they went. The key was brakes that could be changed out in only one minute, allowing the drivers to use the full might of the brakes throughout the race and not make do with conserving. Ford had a distinct performance advantage and would go on to win the race, Henry Ford commenting that the win was the single most important victory in Ford history. The 1967 event would see the updated GT40 Mark IVs win once again, this time with two Americans, Gurney and Foyt, at the wheel, but it would be a bittersweet victory. After the second win, Ford pulled all the team’s funding for sports car racing. Shelby Racing was left without funding and Carroll packed off to Africa to go big game hunting for several years. In the span of five years, Shelby had built two of the most iconic cars of all time, dominated SCCA racing, took Ford to Le Mans winning it twice and won the World Championship.

point where it was out-pacing the Ferrari. With only Monza left in the season, a win would see Shelby take the championship, but Ferrari had the Monza race canceled when he knew the Daytonas would outclass his cars on home soil, allowing them to keep the championship by a measly two points.

Upon Shelby’s return to America, it didn’t take him long to find new vehicles to modify into high-performance weapons after splitting from Ford. The list of vehicles that received Shelby’s touch is impressive, everything from the Toyota 2000GT, to a massive list of Dodges. With Shelby’s friend Lee Iacocca moving to Chrysler, the relationship flourished once again with a mass of Shelby-tuned models in the ‘80s including the Charger, Omni, Daytona, Lancer, Shadow, Spirit and even the Dakota. However, the most important project that Shelby was brought in to consult on was the development of the Viper in 1991.

At this time, Henry Ford II was trying to make Ford a world car company, and attempted to buy Ferrari. Enzo refused to put up with the bureaucracy of the big automaker and after several heated negotiations, After riding the gravy train with Chrysler, in 1998 Shelby wanted to return Henry and Enzo parted ways with deep personal grudges. Ferrari’s to his roots, and designed the next generation Shelby Roadster in the behaviour steamed Ford so much that he set his sights on beating Shelby Series 1, which made use of the 320-horsepower Oldsmobile 4.0L V8. However, Shelby’s loyalties were with Ford. 2004 saw the return of the Shelby and Ford relationship as two impressive concept cars were created, the Ford Shelby Cobra Concept and the Ford Shelby FR-1, which were modern-day interpretations and tributes to the Cobras of old. Soon after, the Mustang GT500 was released to the public, a car that has already undertaken several development phases to become a truly competent GT. After fifty years of building vehicles of substantial performance and value, Shelby America continues to add to the legend of the man that gives the company its name. His vehicles are the most copied and replicated vehicles ever created, his accomplishments some of the greatest and most dramatic motorsport stories ever told. He is a man that will never be forgotten for as long as wheeled vehicles roam this Earth. His name will live on in the hearts and minds of those who quest to go faster, as he was the Grandfather of American Motorsports success on the world Ferrari in the arena that they were most passionate about, winning Le stage. Rest in peace Carroll, and may you race door-to-door with Enzo Mans, purely out of spite. However, Ford didn’t turn to Shelby at first, for eternity on that big race track in the sky. dedicating the might of the company’s engineering force to creating the legendary GT40. Despite the resources Ford threw at the project, the GT40s failed miserably in their first appearance at Le Mans in 1964. Yet, Shelby, with only a handful of dedicated engineers, managed to come second in the race with an ailing car, and had Ferrari on its knees in the championship. With Shelby already a part of the Ford family, the decision was easy. Ford needed a sharper weapon, and put his meanest junkyard dog to work. In 1965, the GT40s failed once again, with all the engines blowing up despite being the fastest cars, an even more disappointing disgrace, but the Daytona Coupe would go on to win the World Championship with Alan Mann running the program, while Shelby was preoccupied Rods & Classics RPM Jun / July 2012 55


Cobra MA-200 an Exotic One-Off By Nigel Matthews


t is always nice to come across a car that is very significant and unheard of, and my most recent discovery was this very stylish 1963 AC prototype hinted at what lay ahead for the cars of the 1970s. at the Boca Raton Concours in Florida. The original contract with Shelby America for the Cobra called for only 50 The MA-200 (the MA came from the first two letters of the designer’s cars, and even that small order was taking up a lot of time and resources surname) was registered for road use in November of 1963 and became Chairman Hurlock’s personal transportation up until 1968, when it was sold at the AC factory. to a doctor. Thinking ahead, AC Cars designed a replacement for the aging AC Ace, I suspect that the MA-200 played a significant role in the shape of the 29 AC and the prototype was called the MA-200. 428 convertibles, but that’s a suggestion denied by the Italian Coachbuilder The in-house designer, Z.T. Marzewski, was asked to design an all-AC Frua, who contends the resemblance was more of a coincidence! . product, and he chose to use a tubular chassis that would use rear inboard disc-brakes, a high-mounted rack-and-pinion steering rack and a five-speed Unfortunately, the MA-200 never made the leap from prototype to producgearbox. The engine compartment measurements were for an inline six-cyl- tion model. What was supposed to be the replacement for the Ace was inder engine, but in a cost-saving measure, Marzewski was asked to change overshadowed by the Cobra. his design to accommodate a Ford 289 cid V8. Mark Gould of Miami was scouring ads in magazines and on the Internet As luck would have it, AC Chairman Derek Hurlock had been presented with a looking for something special when he came across the sole MA-200 for high-performance, race-prepared 289 V8 by Ford, one of five special engines sale in England. that were built for the two Cobra Coupes entered in the 1963 Le Mans 24-hour He bought it and a few months later it was shipped to his home in the U.S. race. Hurlock had the engine fitted the into the MA-200 prototype. and restored to its original as-new condition. The body was hand-beaten out of aluminum, and its slab sides and pointed nose were truly way ahead of their time for late-1962. The bold design also Truly a one-of-a-kind classic.

Ginetta is 54 Years Old and Still Building Cars By Nigel Matthews

The brothers each played separate roles in building and running the company. Trevor was the stylist, Ivor was in charge of engineering, Dougs one of the youngest members of the British Automobile Racing Club las acted as the general manager; and Robert took care of sales. during the late-1960s, my favourite racing car to watch at the Thruxton Their first break was in 1962, with the introduction of the G4, which used circuit was the mid-engine Ginetta G12. a popular four-cylinder Ford engine. The 1965 G10 was quite a different The Ginetta company was founded in 1958 by four brothers — Robert, car and one that the brothers hoped to conquer the U.S. market with. Ivor, Trevor and Douglas Walklett — who set up premises in Woodbridge, It was fitted with a 289-cid Ford V8 engine. Unfortunately, parts supply Suffolk. Building cars was an extension of their passion for motor racing problems meant that only six G10 cars were ever produced. that evolved into the production of road/race-orientated motor cars. The first model designation was the G1 which was based on the pre-war Next came the G11, which reverted to using a four-cylinder MGB engine. However, once again, parts supply problems slowed production, so the Wolseley Hornet. total G11 production amounted to just a dozen cars. Small car manufacturers like Ginetta had a hard time competing with the big five manufacturers, who produced 90 per cent of Britain’s motor The brothers retired in 1989 and sold the company, and the new owner could not make a go of it and sold it to a group of enthusiasts with vehicles. Martin Phaff as the Managing Director. By this time, they were building the G20 and G33.


In 2002, the G27 was available with a Rover V8 engine; this model had a Walklett connection in that Mark Walklett (Trevor’s Son) was involved in its design. Fast forward to 2012, nearly 60 years later, and the Ginetta name is still alive and well. Visit to see the latest model offerings.

Nigel Matthews is the Director of Sales and Marketing for Hagerty Canada. Hagerty is the world’s largest specialist Collector Car and Boat Insurance specialist. Contact him at or visit 56 Rods & Classics RPM Jun / July 2012

Dayco Canada Corp 7810 Keele Street, Unit C, Concord, ON L4K 0B7 4EL  s4OLL&REE    &AX  sWWWDAYCOCA

NEW PRODUCT SHOWCASE Airraid Intake Systems for 2011-12 Dodge Charger & Challenger and Chrysler 300

supercharged applications that would benefit from a performance tune. The stock OE electronics are used after installation of the throttle body, so a direct fit and a simple installation to all factory harnesses is assured.

For more information please go to Airraid has now made its SynthaMax Intake Systems available for owners of the 2011-12 Dodge Challenger and Charger, as well as the Chrysler 300, for all three engines. The System features a Cold Air Dam that isolates a SynthaMax Blue Filter from hot underhood air. The cold air is drawn through the filter and into the engine using a high-density polyethylene intake adapter to further optimize airflow. The system delivers gains of up to 10 hp and 14 lb-ft of torque with the 3.6L Pentastar V6, 12 hp and 11 lb-ft for the 5.7L Hemi, and 11 The new Drift HD Point of hp and 20 lb-ft for the 6.4L SRT8 engine. View camera is now available from Drift Camera For more information please go to Canada. The camera will include Drift’s signature features such as the LCD screen, wireless remote control, 300-degree rotating lens, HD settings, and much more, plus many new features. The camera is 25 percent smaller than BBK has just released a performance throttle body for the LS3 its predecessor, it has a 2010-12 Camaro SS and 2006-12 Corvettes. The product will come replaceable lens, it can available in two different sizes, a 95mm for stock and lightly modi- take up to 9MP photos, fied applications that require no tuning, and a 102mm for built and and it has a new goggle strap in addition to the curved and flat adhesive mounts, plus a universal clip for multiple mounting options.

Drift Camera Canada Announces Drift HD Point of View Camera

2010-12 Camaro SS and 2006-12 Corvette Throttle Body from BBK

For more information please go to

Eibach Pro-Kit Springs for 2011-12 Dodge Challenger The Eibach Springs Pro-Kit is now available for the 2011-2012 Dodge Challenger. The kit will lower the car’s centre of gravity which will reduce squatting during acceleration, body roll in corners and excessive nose-dive under braking. Not only will the car perform better, but it will look better also due to the kit reducing excessive fenderwell clearance. With the springs installed, the front is lowered 1.4 inches and the rear 1.7 inches. For more information please go to

58 RPM Jun / July 2012

NEW PRODUCT SHOWCASE Beyond Black Tire Pro Dressing from Surf City Garage Surf City Garage’s Beyond Black Tire Pro Dressing will instantly give your tires that factory-new look. The product has been designed to suit those who are going after a true matte black, non-greasy, non-oily finish. It’s a no-sling, no-gel formula which ensures it won’t leave a thick or glossy look to your tires. Not only will the dressing give your tires the right-out-of-the-showroom shine, it can also extend their life by protecting them from UV rays. For more information please go to

DynoMax VT Exhaust Systems for 2012 Mustang GT 5.0L & Shelby GT500 DynoMax is now offering a high performance exhaust system for the Ford Mustang GT 5.0L and the Shelby GT500 5.4L V8 that can add up to 12 horsepower and 12 ft-lbs of torque without adding that annoying exhaust drone. The system includes a pair of drone-free

DynoMax VT mufflers that feature an innovative design that controls the irritating drone while ensuring maximum performance. The system was designed to follow the OE routing and features 3.5-inch, double walled, 304-grade exhaust tips. For more information please go to www.

Dayco Drive Belt Training Program This one is for our technician readers out there. Dayco Products has enhanced the new Drive Belt Training program to include a $10 rebate for its Belt Diagnostic Kit (laser alignment tool). Once you take and pass the course, you will receive a certificate along with a $10 Rebate for a new Laser Alignment Kit. The Dayco Drive Belt training program is centred on properly diagnosing belt noise. The #1 cause for belt noise is misalignment and arming professional technicians with this tool will dramatically help reduce comebacks and aggravation in the bay. Visit the Dayco website to take the drive belt training certification and buy one of the most innovative alignment tools on the market at a discount. For more information please go to

RPM Jun / July 2012 59

with Jason De Carteret Presented by your local GRiP Tire Store Visit them on the web at :

Story by Budd Stanley

time of 39 hours and 54 minutes.

De Carteret is a British Explorer and Adventurist who has just Jhisason recently returned from a successful trip to Antarctica where he and co-driver broke the record for the fastest journey from the coast to

RPM: Now obviously, the vehicle that you used to achieve this record is a rather unique and specialized bit of machinery. What alterations did you make to this vehicle to get you to the South Pole in record time?

the South Pole by overland route. The record came on the hundredth anniversary of Ronald Amundsen first finding the South Pole back in December 1911. From the frozen wind-blown pole region to the heat of Africa, Jason is always working on a new adventure. We caught up with him in Namibia to discuss his recent success. RPM: So Jason, where did the idea of breaking the record to the South Pole come from? JDC: Well, that’s a bit of a long story, but I first skied to the south pole in 2004 and have good experience of what the services and environment are like and how to handle yourself there. When I got back, I noticed that Land Rover attempted to drive to the pole and failed after only 9 km. I figured I could have built and planned a better vehicle to handle the harsh environment. In 2005, I did actually achieve my goal of driving a vehicle to the South Pole in a record time of 2 days, 21 hours and 21 minutes, beating the previous record of 24 days. But even after that expedition, I knew we had it in us to do it faster. So I designed a vehicle that could better handle the conditions and took 30 hours off my first record with a 60 RPM Jun / July 2012

JDC: Well, the vehicle we used is called Polar; it started out as a Toyota Tacoma and was designed with everything in mind to keeping her as light as possible. We also wanted to be environmentally conscious in this attempt, as well, and powered it with Bio-Ethanol to show that if we can get a bio-fueled vehicle to the South Pole, getting one to the grocery store shouldn’t be an issue. At the same time, we needed a lot of power at low revs for driving very large tires through deep snow, so Sparks Toyota in America did a substantial makeover on the engine and added a high-pressure supercharger to create 350 horsepower. But when we completed the first record, we burnt 1,085L getting to the pole, where as with Polar we only used 440L while nearly cutting the time in half. RPM: What changes needed to be made to cope with the extreme environment of Antarctica? JDC: After Sparks Toyota spun their magic, the truck went to Iceland to a company called Arctic Trucks, who redesigned the rear suspension to

planet. You can head out of camp and have your tracks covered up in minutes making it very easy to get lost. Conversely, you will come across tracks that are two years old. Driving to the South Pole, you are actually driving uphill the whole way, as the pole sits on an ice sheet 10,000 feet thick. You also have to watch out for crevasses. The ice sheet is always moving towards the ocean, so it opens up with these crevasses from the stretching. We had stopped inadvertently in the middle of a field of crevasses for a vehicle check and Kieron had stepped out and fell into one, but luckily it was only hip deep. They get a crust of snow covering the tops and can be quite dangerous. Driving in deep snow also takes some getting used to, as you must try to keep the revs low to prevent the wheels from spinning and digging you down into the snow. RPM: Did you have to make many stops to check over the vehicle? quite a sophisticated coil spring suspension and did their 44 conversion and put three of the five fuel tanks into the vehicle. Then the truck came to England and Ian Nesbitt designed the body of the vehicle while my codriver, Kieron Bradley, changed the vehicle over to bio-fuel and put in two 400L fuel tanks and pumps in the rear, to give a total of 1,200L of fuel.

JDC: Absolutely, we’d stop every hour to check tire pressures, the build up of ice, the heat of the differential, the heat of the wheel bearings. You always want to check everything to see if anything is going wrong. Out there, you’re all on your own, so we needed to sort out any issues before they become larger ones.

RPM: Did anything make it past your checks? RPM: Obviously, Antarctica is a rather dangerous place. What kind of safety precautions were built into the Po- JDC: Well, funny enough, once we made it to the ceremonial South lar? Pole and took some photographs, we looked back at the truck and noticed that it looked a little crooked. It turned out that we had broken a JDC: Well, not much to be honest. There was a lot of design that went coil spring and we still needed to drive back to the coast. So we actually into the crevasse bar mounted on the front of the vehicle, which would fixed it with ratchet straps and porridge. We created a temporary cup dig into the other side of the crevasse to keep us from falling in. We also around the broken spring then filled it with porridge and allowed it to had a roll cage built in just in case we did fall into a large one. The entire freeze, effectively creating a solid platform, and it made it the entire 1,100 interior was stripped out and fitted with insulation, which worked quite km back. However, when we shipped it to South America, it melted and well keeping the average temperature in the truck to around -4 degrees then we had a new problem. Celsius. RPM: If you could say anything to sum up the experience, RPM: So talk us through the trip itself. Obviously, most what would you say? world record attempts don’t run as smoothly as planned. JDC: It’s been such a privilege to go down there and be on a continent JDC: We definitely had our fair share of breakdowns. We had a break- on this planet that man has never inhabited; it’s absolutely pristine and down placing a fuel cache out on the route where a brake caliper bolt a beautiful place. Most of us only know Antarctica as a little white line at broke, causing the caliper to come off and smash the wheel. So we the bottom of the map, but it’s not so much about doing the event, but welded the wheel back together and started the expedition proper. Our more about sharing it with others. Discovery Channel will be showing first attempt had to be canceled due to adverse weather, and we found a documentary of our trip, which should be shown in Canada later this that the suspension collapsed on one corner of the truck. However, on year. It’s just an amazing place that is unlike anywhere else. the third attempt, we decided we would break the record or break the vehicle. RPM: We know these things don’t happen without sponsors and help. Who made this trip possible for you? RPM: Antarctica is obviously a very foreign place to most of us. What was it like to drive over the continent that is JDC: Absolutely, Sparks Toyota were fantastic and obviously Thomson likely the least-touched place on Earth? Reuters were the financial backers, which you absolutely have to have. JDC: Antarctica is a bizarre place. The weather is very unpredictable Arctic Trucks in Iceland, Ian Nesbitt and Kieron Bradley were instrumental and extreme; it actually dictates the weather systems for the rest of the and all worked together to make this happen, and I thank them all.

WE`VE GOT TRACTION RPM Jun / July 2012 61

Presented by:

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

Forget the bodyshop, this is just as good.

Guess the elevator was broken. We’re willing to bet this car doesn’t really have a HEMI.

Just one engine is no longer enough!

62 RPM Jun / July 2012


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